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About this blog

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

Entries in this blog

WARNE: Possible September Call-Ups for the Minnesota Twins

On Sept. 1 in MLB, rosters expand. For the entire month, teams can bring up and use any player on the 40-man roster. The usage of this is varied, as some teams will empty out their minors and stock their clubhouse and dugout. Others will simply bring up some pinch-runner types and an extra bullpen arm or two.   It all depends on the team’s goals for the season and the construction of their rosters -- both 25- and 40-man. Some teams have more MLB-ready players on their 40’s than others, while oth

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

The Case for Trading Eddie Rosario this Winter

This is an excerpt from an article that appears at Zone Coverage in full here. Please click through to read it in full.   No matter what direction the 2019 season takes the Minnesota Twins, their offseason is going to be filled with intrigue.   Three of the team’s five starting pitchers — Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda — are eligible for free agency, leaving Jose Berrios and Martin Perez, who has a team option, as potentially the sole holdovers heading into 2020. And while the Twi

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Forming a Way Too Early Twins Offseason Blueprint

The Minnesota Twins are certainly still in the thick of things in the Wild Card race, but it’s never too early to look to the offseason to get a feel for what the team might do to improve. In fact, there could be a lot of moves as the team looks to reframe itself in the images of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine, as we’ve already seen a personnel purge in the scouting and analytics departments with more to come.     That could even include at the top, with manager Paul Molitor working on the la

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Four Trades the Minnesota Twins Should Consider Making

We’re now past the All-Star Game and headed full steam toward the trade deadline on July 31. For the Minnesota Twins, a lot of things can happen between now and then, with games against Houston, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers coming up which may help tip the scales one way or the other toward whether the team will buy, sell or do something in the middle.   Part of the fun of this time of year is reading columns from Jon Heyman or Jim Bowden about which trades make sense. So I’v

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Power Ranking the Fits for the Twins in Free Agency

The hot stove has remained tepid to this point, and while that has been cause for a bit of antsiness among fans and people who care about this news, it also allows us to do what teams are doing with these players — dig in a bit deeper.   So today, we’re taking a look at the power rankings of the players who offer the best fits for the Twins as free agents this offseason with all avenues considered.   1. Shohei Ohtani – RHP/LHH – Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters   Because of the cost-to-potential rat

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

Twins Hitting Coach James Rowson Clarifies Hitting Plan for Byron Buxton

Some comments made by Twins center fielder Byron Buxton during the road trip to Fenway Park last week sent the blogosphere/Twittersphere into a tizzy. Buxton, who has hit just .209/.283/.303 this season coming into Thursday night’s game against the Orioles, told Jake Depue of 1500ESPN that he had scorned the leg kick he used to start the season in order to put the ball in play more — including more balls hit on the ground.   “[The goal is] putting the ball in play more,” Buxton told Depue. “Putt

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

Debunking Your Favorite Logical Fallacies Regarding the Twins at the Trade Deadline

This is just part of the full story, which can be read at Zone Coverage here.   In case you've been under a rock over the past four days, you've no doubt seen the widespread reaction to how the Minnesota Twins handled the trade deadline.   It hasn't been great!   But most of it isn't rooted in facts or solid rationale. And I get it; fans are fired up because they get to know these players and then one day they're gone. I don't want people to lose sight of this even though I don't watch the Twins

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

MUST SEE: Fan Tweets Brian Dozier Proof He Hit a Home Run

In the third inning of the Minnesota Twins’ 8-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Friday night, Brian Dozier hit a long foul ball to the right field corner on a 1-1 pitch from Royals starter Jason Vargas. It was initially ruled foul, and manager Paul Molitor asked for a review.   After the review, the call was upheld due to inconclusive evidence to overturn the call.   Well, how is this for evidence?     Luke Thomas appears to be a recent graduate of Missouri State Unive

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: August Waiver Trade Candidates for the Minnesota Twins

We’ve established the rules for post-July 31 trades. Now we should take a look at who the Twins might target, right?   It’s pretty easy to isolate three areas where the Twins can use some help: Starting pitching Relief pitching Batters who can hit left-handed pitching   The pitching woes are hard to miss. Only the Rangers (6.4) have gotten fewer strikeouts per nine innings from starting pitchers than the Twins (6.9), and just four teams have posted higher ERA from their rotations than the T

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

REPORTS: Twins to Promote Reliever John Curtiss

Following Tuesday night’s 4-1 win over the Chicago White Sox, the Minnesota Twins designated right-handed pitcher Tim Melville for assignment. That opened up a spot on the 40-man roster, and it sure sounds like right-handed reliever John Curtiss will be getting the call, as MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger first reported which was shortly followed by a report from Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.       The Twins have yet to confirm the move, though Curtiss is expected to join the

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

2017 Minnesota Twins Report Card: Alan Busenitz

This is a series of evaluations that will be done this offseason on every player that closed the season on the 40-man roster for the Minnesota Twins throughout the winter until each player has been evaluated. The plan is to start with Mr. Belisle and move all the way through the pitchers, then to the catchers, infielders, outfielders and finally those listed as designated hitters on the club’s official MLB.com roster. That means we’ll wrap it up with Kennys Vargas sometime before the season star

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

Minnesota Twins 2019 40-Man Report Cards: Homer Bailey

Here's an excerpt from an article originating from Zone Coverage. Please click through here to support the content.   A couple of offseasons ago, we ran a series similar to what we're doing here, entitled "Minnesota Twins 40-Man Report Cards." The only key difference to be aware of is since it's happening now instead of during the offseason, we're going to make it forward-looking -- that is, with the current 40-man roster as constructed, looking back on their 2019 season.   So in some cases -- s

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: 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: Injury Updates; Arcia’s Benching; Mauer Trivia

This post originally appeared at 105 The Ticket's Cold Omaha:   Prior to Monday night’s game — the opening of an 11-game homestand that ranks as the longest of the season — Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony provided injury updates on the pair of pitchers currently residing on the club’s disabled list, as well as an update on Trevor May:   Reliever Brian Duensing (strained right intercostal) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session, and it is expected that he’ll throw live to hitters before Thu

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

Minnesota Twins Offseason Blueprint -- Version I

This is an excerpt from an article that appears at Zone Coverage; click here to read it in full.   The celebratory alcohol is barely dry on the shirts handed out to the Boston Red Sox after winning the World Series on Sunday night, but in a news cycle that never sleeps, we’re already moving onto the 2019 season via offseason moves.   The Minnesota Twins are facing a pivotal offseason. The brain trust of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have overseen a swinging pendulum so far through two seasons, an

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

REPORTS: Twins to Promote RHP Felix Jorge from Chattanooga for Saturday Start

As the Minnesota Twins were in the process of losing to the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Thursday night, word broke that the team had honed in on who’d make one of the starts in Saturday’s doubleheader in Kansas City.   It’ll be righty Felix Jorge, who’ll be making his big-league debut, and making the jump from Double-A Chattanooga.   The move was first floated by Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press early Thursday:     The move was then reported by Mariana Guzman, who covers the Twins for

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

The Promotion: Devin Smeltzer

This is an excerpt of a story which originates at Zone Coverage here. Please click through to read it in full.   The Minnesota Twins have placed right-handed starting pitcher Michael Pineda on the disabled list with right knee tendinitis, and are purchasing the contract of 23-year-old lefty Devin Smelzter to take his place on the roster.   Smeltzer will make his debut in a start against Milwaukee on Tuesday night at Target Field.   The Player: Left-handed pitcher Devin Smeltzer   The Situation:

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Joe Mauer’s Going Oppo … Again

There isn’t a more polarizing figure on the Minneapolis sports landscape than Joe Mauer. It’s not hard to see, either. For instance, have a look at social media when Mauer gets a day off — any day off — and how the average fan reacts to it. Never mind the fact that Mauer came into Wednesday tied with Brian Dozier for the most games played on the team.   One certainly can’t fault the average fan for suggesting Mauer hasn’t played particularly well this season, however. Mauer’s hitting just .263/.

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

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

Garver, Donaldson Express Thoughts, Concerns on Proposed Altered MLB Season

This is an excerpt from a story which originates at Zone Coverage, please click here to read in full.   Minnesota Twins players Mitch Garver and Josh Donaldson addressed local media on a conference call Thursday afternoon, and it covered a wide range of subjects -- many of which would come as no surprise to curious fans. What are they specifically doing to maintain as much of their Grapefruit League progress as possible? What are they doing to pass the days when they aren't working out? Where

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

Minnesota Twins Announce 2017 Minor-League Player, Pitcher of the Year

This is an excerpt from a piece that appears in full on Zone Coverage here.   On Wednesday the Minnesota Twins announced the winners of their Sherry Robertson (Minor League Player of the Year) and Jim Rantz (Minor League Pitcher of the Year) Awards.   Catcher Mitch Garver got the nod for the Robertson Award, and it was richly deserved after the numbers he posted at Triple-A Rochester.   Garver was rewarded with a call-up to the big leagues after hitting a stellar .291/.387/.541 in 88 games with

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

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