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About this blog

On-site Twins coverage from Brandon Warne, Zone Coverage Twins beat reporter

Entries in this blog

What Statcast Says About Minnesota Twins Outfielders — 2016-18

This article appears in full on Zone Coverage here. Please click through to read it all.   Perhaps the most brilliant mind in contemporary baseball analysis — at least among those creating products available to the public — is Daren Willman, the proprietor of Baseball Savant, a website he created on his own before joining forces with MLB.com.   The site is a treasure trove of everything you could ever hope to imagine to learn about the game. You truly are limited only by your own imagination. I

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

What Experts are Saying About Twins Prospects

With the arrival of spring comes a lot of things people have been working on all winter long. Teams have worked on building rosters, the earth has worked on getting warmer and writers have worked on prospect lists to unveil to the masses.   Prospect coverage has grown immensely in the last decade-plus — perhaps in lockstep with the Moneyball era — as fans have gone from shrugging at the idea of a minor leaguer coming up to the big leagues or being in a trade to the point where it’s almost become

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Why I’m Not Buying the Minnesota Twins — For Now

It’s early June, and the Minnesota Twins are not only keeping their proverbial heads above water, but in fact have the second-most wins and the best winning percentage in the entire American League. Yes this Twins team, who was picked by national types to be among the five or so worst teams in baseball, is leading the charge in one of the better divisions in baseball.   Baseball is truly a weird game.   The Twins are 32-17 since a 1-6 start. They’re 31-16 against teams that aren’t from Detroit.

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Where Do The Twins Go From Here?

The Twins snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-3 in over the Rangers on Sunday. The club is now 4-9 in June and has sunk to 34-28, 1.5 games behind the Royals who were incidentally rained out in St. Louis on Sunday — the exact place the Twins open a series Monday.   But “sunk” and six games over .500 doesn’t really make sense in the grand scheme of things.   After all, wasn’t this a team that was supposed to lose 90 again, or thereabouts? And while even the latest updated projections have

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: When Everyone is Healthy, What's the Ideal Twins Lineup?

Please click through to Zone Coverage here to read this article in full.   Robbie Grossman came off the disabled list on Tuesday morning and is in the lineup against the Rays, batting ninth and DH’ing against righty Jake Odorizzi. With that move, the Twins offense is almost completely healthy.   That’s not to say that Miguel Sano is not a significant loss — he is — but rather from a health standpoint, the Twins only have one player on the shelf offensively — as opposed to, say, a handful of pitc

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: What on Earth has Gotten into Eddie Rosario?

You may have noticed that Eddie Rosario has been hitting higher in the order of late. Part of it has been that the Twins have faced a number of lefties lately, and he’s one of the few batters on the team holding their own against them. Part it is also that Miguel Sano has been sidelined for the past few days after getting hit on the hand with a pitch against the Texas Rangers.   But perhaps a large part of it stems from the fact that Rosario is having a nice offensive season, too. For the season

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: What has Happened Since the Twins Last Won 81 Games?

You can be forgiven if you don’t remember what exactly happened on Sept. 6, 2010. The Twins defeated the Royals by a 5-4 margin at Target Field. Jeff Manship got the win, Matt Capps the save and the Royals — under the direction of a man in his first year at the helm of the team named Ned Yost — fell to 57-80, 23.5 games out of first place.   Give up?   On that day, the Minnesota Twins won their 81st game of that season. It’s not really remarkable because the Twins won 13 more games by the end of

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: What Awaits the Twins in the Final 13 Games?

Monday marks the Twins last off day before the end of the season, and provides a good chance to take a step back and survey what lies ahead. Minnesota opens a three-game series with Cleveland coming to town, with Tuesday marking the first of seven remaining games between the Twins and the Tribe. So essentially, more than half the Twins’ remaining 13 games come against Cleveland, a team which has underachieved virtually the entire season, but finds itself a mere 1.5 games behind the local nine.  

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: What are the Twins Doing With Two Strikes Offensively?

Watching Byron Buxton hit with two strikes on Sunday led me to wonder what the rest of the team is doing with their two-strike opportunities. Not just what kind of batting line they’re putting together — generally bad — but how often are they striking out when the count reaches two strikes?   For a little bit of context, the average American League batter is hitting .179/.247/.274 with two strikes, and has struck out 39.5 percent of the time coming into Monday’s action. It’s not terribly surpris

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Twins Well Equipped to Handle Rescheduled Games

This is an excerpt of a story that originates on Zone Coverage here. Please click through to read it in full.   Mother Nature has a cruel and ironic sense of humor.   While the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox had three-quarters of a four-game set turned into a winter wonderland last weekend, it’s going to be a balmy 67 degrees on Monday — just in time for the Twins to open a four-game series with the New York Yankees.   In the Bronx, as luck would have it.   Postponements mean make-up game

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Twins Unequivocally Did the Right Thing at the Trade Deadline

It’s not often that I allow someone in my mentions to get me so wound up that I devote an entire, stand-alone article to a single person, but here we are.   The tweet in question — feel free to click and read the mind-bending thread in all its glory — appears as follows: http://zonecoverage.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Capture-1.jpg   NOTE: This person has since blocked me for reasons that don’t entirely make sense. He has also deleted the tweets, so I have saved this screenshot to remember hi

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Twins Should Target Yasmani Grandal This Offseason

The full story can be read by clicking through here.   It’s no secret this year hasn’t gone as planned for the Minnesota Twins.   It’s also no secret that the Twins — who look drastically different than they did even a week ago — will see significant turnover this offseason on the roster.   Not only were traded players Eduardo Escobar, Brian Dozier, Lance Lynn and Zach Duke slated to become free agents in the offseason, but so too are Joe Mauer and possibly also Ervin Santana. The upshot here i

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Twins Capitalized on Unusual Offseason Marketplace to Build a Winner

This content originates at Zone Coverage here -- please click through to read it in its entirety.   In the mid-1980s, MLB teams colluded to keep player contracts — both in terms of length and dollars — from getting out of control. And while we’d stop short of using the c-word to describe the last two offseasons, there are some stunningly similar situations playing out before our very eyes.   Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel are both sitting at home twiddling their thumbs as teams now wait for th

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Twins Bullpen Showing Signs of Life

The two most recent additions to this Minnesota Twins team were to help prop up a sagging bullpen. True enough, the unit was adequate in the first half as the Twins raced out to as high as 11 games over .500. But early-season darlings Blaine Boyer and the since-demoted Aaron Thompson hit proverbial walls, leaving the Twins’ fans wondering if the club would take steps to address the bullpen before it ultimately sapped their playoff chances.   And the answer as of right now is … sort of?   That’s

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Trying to Make Sense of the Buxton Decision

This is an excerpt from an article on Zone Coverage; read it in full here.   Over the weekend the Minnesota Twins made waves in the baseball community by announcing that they were not bringing Byron Buxton up when the Triple-A season ends on Monday. The decision effectively ended Buxton’s 2018 season before it really got a chance to get going, and created a take-storm for one big reason.   By not bringing Buxton up for the last month of the season, they’ll retain his rights through the 2022 seas

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Trevor May; A Pleasant Surprise

Trevor May’s career got off to an inauspicious start. After wearing out Triple-A pretty well — 2.85 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 1.16 WHIP — May was summoned for an Aug. 9 start last season against the A’s. May only lasted two innings, struck out none and walked seven as just 28 of his 63 pitches went for strikes.   May didn’t complete five innings until his third start, and didn’t pick up a win until his fifth. As August came to an end, May’s ERA sat at 10.42. September was markedly better — if still not perf

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Thompson Shedding Yes Man Attitude, Flourishing

Aaron Thompson marches to the beat of his own drum. That probably isn’t a shock to many, as he falls under a number of subsets that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing oddities from. Bert Blyleven will frequently suggest pitchers are a different sort on Twins telecasts, but beyond that Thompson is also a reliever as well as left handed — two things that push him further down the oddball spectrum in baseball circles.   Twins general manager Terry Ryan — a fellow former left-handed pitcher in his own

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: The Twins Should Promote Nick Gordon

This is an excerpt from a story that originated at Zone Coverage. Please read it in its entirety here, and consider subscribing to support the site.   The Miguel Sano injury situation trudged through Day 18 on Tuesday without much of an update as the Minnesota Twins prepared to open a quick two-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals.   “(It was) more of the same today,” manager Paul Molitor said. “(He) ran the bases. Still, from my vantage point, we’re not seeing max effort, which we’re going

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: The Twins Offense is too Good to Bunt -- Seriously.

Read this story in full on Zone Coverage here.   It’s a play as old as the game itself, and maybe that’s because the DH didn’t always exist. It’s the bunt, a time-honored tradition that is being phased out of the game more and more every year.   Fangraphs has sacrifice bunt totals dating back to 1895, and according to their database, the 925 sacrifice bunts laid down by teams in 2017 was the second-lowest figure in MLB history. Only the 1900 season (806 bunts) featured fewer, and there were only

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: The Time is Now -- The Twins Should Call Up Zack Granite

By now you’ve probably heard that the Minnesota Twins have an outfielder who is setting the world on fire down at Triple-A. His name is Zack Granite, and he’s a jack-of-all-trades as far as outfield defense is concerned, and he’s hitting a robust .371/.423/.516 in 54 games between Triple-A Rochester (49 games) and High-A Fort Myers (five games).   He’s not just stellar in the batter’s box, but he’s stolen 119 bases over five season in the Twins system at a success rate of 73.4 percent. The succe

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: The Most Improved Twins From the First Half

When a team plays drastically better from one year to the next, it usually means one of a couple things. With some teams, it means a number of key offseason acquisitions have paid off. For others, especially if the roster is largely intact from a season ago, it suggests that some guys — usually younger players — have taken a step forward and elevated their game to a new level.   Considering the complexion of this current Twins roster, the latter seems far more likely. Sure, players from the outs

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: The Minnesota Twins’ Secret Extension Candidate

Post originally appeared at 105 The Ticket's Cold Omaha:   There’s a Minnesota Twins player who has quietly turned himself into one of the best players in the American League at his position, and it might be time the team takes notice financially.   It’s not Joe Mauer, who is still signed to that hotly-contested deal through 2018. It isn’t Brian Dozier, who inked a four-year, $20 million extension just before the season started.   No, it’s third baseman Trevor Plouffe, whom many in Twins Territo

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Shopping What’s Left in Free Agency for the Minnesota Twins

Pitchers and catchers report for the Minnesota Twins in less than a week, yet the pile of free agents looks as picked over as a Thanksgiving buffet after the first pass.   In short, there are plenty of leftovers — and primo ones, at that.   The Twins have already signed four pitchers to MLB deals, but could still stand to stock up on the remaining goods — all of which are likely to come at a lower price than when the winter started. It also isn’t a perfect roster for the Twins at this point. Sur

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Pressly, Morrison United by Similarities from Fathers

This is part of a story that appears in full on Zone Coverage here. Please click through to read it in full, and consider subscribing!   You wouldn’t think Logan Morrison and Ryan Pressly have much in common.   Morrison is a little over a year older, married with a child and is not necessarily brash, but definitely outspoken. That outspokenness has led to times where he’s butted heads with people in charge, but he’ll tell you he’s never said anything he didn’t mean or felt was true in the moment

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Pre All-Star Weekend Mailbag

Hey guys. I’m writing you all from vacation in beautiful Rapid City, S.D. We’re on our way to see Mount Rushmore in the morning, but before that, here’s the mailbag column I promised you all almost a week ago. The homestand got kind of busy, and I ended up writing a James Rowson/Byron Buxton column I wasn’t previously planning on.   Also, my baby turns eight weeks old this Tuesday, and so we’re spending my paternity leave and some of my wife’s maternity leave on the road because we never take va

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

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