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Roster Issues

Entries in this blog

Ch-ch-changes?

The Twins play their 30th game this afternoon and are currently 11-18. They've been beset by bad luck, bad play and have taken a beating with two rule changes (extra-inning runner on second, 7-inning games for doubleheaders). How do they get out of this funk? I'm sure many in the organization will preach patience and they may be right, but that isn't any fun. Here are some possibilities for change that might help the team:   Role change. We've already seen one role change. At least temporarily A

Unthinkable? Let Cruz go after 2020?

Nelson Cruz has been everything the Twins could have expected for 2019 and 2020. He's stayed relatively healthy, hit both with power and for average, he's been available to play except for two ten-day stays on the Injured List and he has been a team leader and mentor for all players on his team. Cruz has been far and away the best hitter both last year and this year.   Despite all of his contributions, I am not sure my favorite team should bring back Nelson Cruz for the 2021 season. There is a t

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My prediction for the new 29 man roster

MLB and the MLBPA agreed yesterday to accommodations for a shortened 2020 major league schedule. Many things are to be determined, especially since there is no firm date for the season to begin. I choose to be optimistic that there will be baseball this summer, perhaps without crowds in the stands. One thing agreed to unofficially was an expanded roster. The number that has been published is 29. I am going with that information and will now name the 29 players I expect will be on the roster for

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Strange Times

I write this blog entry when I was expecting to do other things. I am in Fort Myers in 80 degree weather with just a hint of a breeze on a nice Thursday afternoon. What could be wrong? Well, actually, plenty.   My significant other and I made plans for the rest of winter sometime in January. Because we had made an extended trip of the Christmas/New Year holidays and because we were planning a family gathering for the summer, we decided to stay in Minnesota for the rest of January and I decided I

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Playing Favorites

I have been a Twins fan since I was six years old, when they moved to the Twin Cities from Washington. After nearly sixty years, I doubt that that will ever be a fan of another baseball team or lose interest in "my team". In the course of the 59 years that the Twins have been the Twins, I have always had a favorite player or two every year. Sometimes that guy is a star, often he's not the star of the team. My favorites have included some obscure guys like Gary Wayne, Geoff Zahn, and Ron Washingt

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Escobar and Gonzalez

Two 30-year-old natives of Venezuela, both switch-hitters, both came to the majors as shortstops who became utility players and were to become free agents at the end of the 2018 season. I was looking at Baseball Reference and thought I would compare the former Twin with the current Twin. I was surprised how similar their numbers were. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/e/escobed01.shtml https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/gonzama01.shtml   While they are very similar, there are

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Miguel Sanó--Hitter and Fielder

With the announcement that Nelson Cruz suffered a wrist injury yesterday, my immediate thought was who would replace him in the lineup and on the roster if he had to go on the injured list. It would appear to me that the answer is the much-discussed Miguel Sanó, who is on his third and last stop in his rehab program.   Much has been written about Sanó. I wish to confine this discussion to the ballplayer between the lines. The other stuff has been beaten to death IMHO. What will the Twins get whe

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A Great Start to 2019

Here we are on May 9th and the Twins have the best record in Major League Baseball. They have had some low moments, but mostly everything has gone as well as, or better than, expected. Chatter about the Twins has been positive, especially after dominating a bad Baltimore team and then winning a series (and the season series) against the Houston Astros. A 4-2 road trip, including a dominant sweep in Toronto have put the Twins a season-high 11 games over .500.   I doubt everything will continue to

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Contention for 2019 and Beyond

The Twins have ridden the roller coaster during the Paul Molitor era. Up in 2015, way down in 2016, a peek at the playoffs in 2017 and now way down in 2018. The roller coaster claimed a front-office victim in longtime GM Terry Ryan two years ago and now there has to be some heat on field manager Molitor after this season's extreme disappointment.   The complaints about the old regime included being too "old school", including pitch-to-contact staffs, not using advanced metrics, cookie cutter app

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Thoughts on Brian Dozier

Let me preface what will undoubtedly be a long entry by saying I am a Dozier fan. I have spoken to him at Spring Training a couple of times and like the young man. I believe he has been the Twins MVP for each of the last four seasons (counting this one) and I have no doubt that he is the team's best player at this point. Certainly, he isn't flawless, but the Twins need more players like Brian Dozier, not less.   Over the course of this long, horrible season, Brian Dozier has often been a hot top

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All-Star Break Thoughts

At the All-Star break, the Twins sit with a terrible 32-56 record and it is only that good because they've won the last three series against three AL West clubs. For most of the season, the Twins have scored the fewest runs in the AL while allowing the most. I wasn't totally surprised that the Twins pitching staff was bad, but it just doesn't seem right that they would be last in runs scored justifiably because they weren't getting on base and not hitting when they did manage to get runners in s

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Twins Problems Start and End on the Mound

Yep, the Twins are bad. They almost certainly will lose 100 games and finish last in the AL Central. Management has been trashed regularly on Twins Daily and has deserved the scorn of the fan base. Articles have been written and several threads have discussed trading just about every veteran on the roster. I submit to everyone that the position players aren't that bad and not that much needs to be done. There is enough talent to score plenty of runs.   Pitching, on the other hand, is a problem.

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My Visit to Yankee Stadium

Well I saw the new Yankee Stadium last night. It was determined before we got to New York, that we would see Lions vs. Christians er Yankees vs. Twins on Friday night. My son, serving as tour guide/babysitter had us heading for the Bronx by 5 PM. After spending all afternoon in a museum, I was ready to go. We got to a subway station and headed towards the stadium. An uneventful 20 minute ride later and we were there. But wait! We hadn't eaten and the majority of our party didn't want ballpark fo

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Anatomy of a Big Inning (or two)

Yesterday, Ricky Nolasco and the Twins were cruising to a victory against the weakened, but still hated, New York Yankees. A funny thing happened on the way to the winner's circle--the Twins gave up seven runs in innings 7, 8, and 9 and were beaten despite getting two homers against Chapman in the ninth.   Here are some of the culprits: Kevin Jepsen entered in the eighth with a two-run lead and one runner on first and one out. He yielded the game-tying homer to Carlos Beltran, which gave the Yan

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Thanksgiving in New York, with a Twins twist

I spent Thanksgiving in New York City, visiting my son and his fiancée and seeing some sites. No, I didn't find Dave W, I guess I didn't look. Anyway, I did attend my first, and probably only, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We arrived early and found a place to stand across from Fox News. We saw the parades, floats, minor celebrities and Santa.   A women standing next to me asked me if I was from Minnesota, since I was wearing a coat that said "Mayo Clinic" on it. She said that she had grown up

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Life is like a Box of Chocolates...

"You never know what you're gonna get" (from Forrest Gump), this little witticism also applies to baseball players. Every front office projects what their prospects will become, but it is never a sure bet. Consider two current Minnesota Twins: Brian Dozier came to the Twins as a shortstop, thought to be fundamentally sound in the field, but without great tools. As a hitter, he had never hit below .274 and never exceeded nine homers in a season, with his top year yielding at .320 average in a y

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Off-Season Decisions

After the back-slapping is done at Twins Way, the general manager should have time to take a long, hard look at the season that just played out. The Twins won 83 games and were competitive. The season was highlighted by one fine month (May) and a pluckiness that kept them from sinking too far when times got tough. The Twins pitching improved more than their metrics indicated while offensively the team scored more runs than their numbers indicated.   The Twins scored 695 runs, while the league av

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Your 2016 Twins (no-trades edition)

The Twins will enter 2016 after recording their best record since 2010. They have added several young players, most of whom are here to stay. As of today, they have some gaps, but overall have a decent team returning for next year. Four players are slated to be free agents--Mike Pelfrey, Torii Hunter, Brian Duensing, and Neal Cotts. Perhaps a player or two will be non-tendered. Candidates would be Casey Fien, Eduardo Nuñez, and Blane Boyer.   Here is my current projection for the Opening Day 201

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Tightly Packed

The Twins have one week remaining in a regular season which has seen them stay relevant throughout the entire season. One thing that has transpired in the course of the season is that a regular lineup has developed. The nine players with the most plate appearances on the year fill the nine positions on the field and in the batting order and these nine players are the ones getting the bulk of playing time during the stretch drive in September.   I looked at yesterday's box score and made a couple

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Recalls! Get Your Recalls Here!

September 1st is almost here. The Twins play Houston twice more and then they can have the luxury of an expanded roster going forward. They are certain to recall some players and a couple guys have earned a look with outstanding seasons. There are service time and 40-man roster considerations as well.   This year, the Twins are in the wild card chase, so they won't recall young players just to get a look at them or grant playing time to see what they can do. The goal will be to recall players wh

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So You're Saying There's A Chance?

The Twins current playoff probability according to Baseball Prospectus is just 7%. That seems low, given the fact that they only trail wild card leader Baltimore by 1.5 games and play the Orioles four games within the week.   Here's a tale about the underdog winning. A young sophomore track runner has had a respectable season in the 1600 meters going into the conference meet. However, she hadn't beaten three older runners (one of whom went on to win the state championship) all year. On a cool, c

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Odd Man (Men) Out?

n 2016, barring a trade, the Twins will have five players under the age of 26 who profile to be good or better outfielders. Five of these players will have played for the Twins, and the sixth (Max Kepler) might make his debut this September. Here's a look at all six, with my view of strengths and weaknesses:   Oswaldo Arcia--Strengths: Big Time left handed power. In 853 Twins' plate appearances, he has 36 homers and a .437 slugging average. Pedigree of hitting. Going into this year, Arcia domina

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All-Star Break Thoughts

I'm jumping the gun by a day, but the Twins are approaching the All-Star break and they certainly qualify as contenders. After beating Detroit today, they are tied for the second best record in the league at eight games over .500. One can't help but be a little optimistic about the Twins chances for the last 74 games. Today was a high point, not only hammering Detroit's starting pitcher, but also the mid-game announcement that Brian Dozier would indeed make the 2015 All-Star team, all on the hee

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Time to Decide

Okay, we're past the statistical halfway point in the season. Sometimes it takes a while to flesh out who can help a team for the present and the future and sometimes circumstances make that decision. However, the Twins still haven't made decisions about several positions and players. The team is in the race for a wild card and they have not solidified several positions on the team. Here's my take on the key decisions that need to be made.   1-Shortstop. Danny Santana started the season as the r

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A Team in Contention, A Team in Flux

I was originally going to write about the Twins "June Swoon", but the news of Vargas' demotion followed by word that Miguel Sano would assume his spot on the roster makes last month's struggle old news. The Twins are above .500 so by loose definition they are contenders to make the playoffs. They have promoted three of their top prospects within the last month and it looks like this won't be the end of the moves.   First, a look at positions, followed by a look at players. Center Field: The Twi

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