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Roster Issues

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2022 Twins--What Went Wrong and How to Fix It

Some time after the All-Star break, I was pondering how the Twins could fit all of their quality major league position players on the active roster. A few weeks later, baseball immortals Mark Contreras and Caleb Hamilton were on the big club. Fast forward to a crucial five-game series in Cleveland and the Twins were starting Bailey Ober, Josh Winder (both coming off injuries) and having Louie Varland make his second major league start and Jake Cave and Gilberto Celestino were considered regular

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Thoughts on 2023

Manfredball will be in full swing in 2023. No more shifts, a pitch clock and bigger bases. The Twins will need to adjust to the changes and they will probably have to adjust more than most. The larger bases will make infield hits and stolen bases more common. The Twins will need to find a way to get more speed in their lineup and to be better base runners. They have been dreadful running the bases and have yielded oodles of stolen bases and that is not all on their catchers. At the very least, a

Frustration

I just fed my obsession by playing golf for about the fifteenth day out of sixteen. Well, it wasn't pretty and I left the course pretty frustrated. Before I got home, I had a chance to read the latest on Twins Daily and Major League Trade Rumors. The Twins will face the high-flying Yankees with three red-hot pitchers going for the Evil Empire. The Twins will counter with Cole Sands, Chris Archer and Dylan Bundy. I don't think I've ever seen such a lopsided matchup in favor of the visiting team w

The Merry Merry Month of May

The Twins finished the month of May with an 18-12 record. Given the schedule they faced in that month, 18 wins isn't exactly dominating. They closed with a 4-5 record in their last nine games playing bottom-dwellers in those last games.  Here are the stats for May per ESPN. https://www.espn.com/mlb/team/stats/_/name/min/split/41/table/batting/sort/OPS/dir/desc  and  https://www.espn.com/mlb/team/stats/_/type/pitching/name/min/split/41       Just a few highlights. Luis Arraez, Trevor La

Twins' Bullpen: Don't trust (most) Anyone Over 30

Twins fans can take a breath and be very satisfied with where the squad is in the standings and how well they have played in the last 10 games. A 9-1 record in the last 10 games tends to relieve our anxieties. However, I think it is human nature to find something to worry about. Befitting the Twins 13-9 (good, not great) record, there are things to worry about--Miguel Sano's poor start, unsustainable success from youngsters and reclamation projects in the starting rotation and, of course, injuri

Where We Stack Up

As I occasionally do, I checked MLB statistics today. I wanted to see how the team stacked up to the rest of Major League Baseball. Most teams have played about 10 games, so we have an idea of trends, although some things are out of whack. Baltimore has good pitching? Cleveland has the top team BA in the American League? Nah, those things won't last. What about the Twins? Well, with a 4-6 record and and -6 run differential, I figured the Twins would profile poorly on offense and middle of the ro

The (Almost) Complete Opening Day Roster

As of this moment there are 30 rostered players and 1 non-rostered player in camp for the Twins. Of the rostered players, Jovani Martin has been told he would be optioned to St. Paul and Cory Stashak will stay in Florida and go on the Injured List. That includes 16 pitchers and 13 position players. The non-roster player is Kyle Garlick, who got a year's service time last year as a backup outfielder who was later injured and never returned to the major league active roster. I assume that the Twin

Predicted 2022 28-Man Roster

After the lockout, big trades and a huge free agent signing (who knew Joe Smith would be available😃), the Twins are zeroing in on Opening Day 2022. They will carry 28 players for the month of April, allowing additional ramping up for pitchers. I don't claim to all-knowing, but I have listened to and watched Twins baseball since Calvin moved the team to Met Stadium. The roster I'm predicting will include 15 pitchers, about as many as the Twins used in some full seasons in the 60s. Okay, here goes

Settling in at Shortstop

The Minnesota Twins are completing one of their most disappointing seasons in their history in one week. While they will only win around 70 games, they have major league talent under team control at every position except one--shortstop. Andrelton Simmons was acquired on a one-year deal and has shown himself to be a competent (not all-world) defender and has had a putrid offensive season. The consensus at this site is that he should not and will not return in 2022. By all measures, the 2021 Simmo

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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

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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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