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Twins thoughts with a sabermetric slant.

Entries in this blog

Beginner's Luck? How Rookie Managers Typically Perform

How much sleep do you think Rocco Baldelli got Wednesday night?   Sure, this is far from his first Opening Day, but there will be plenty of firsts involved in it: His first regular-season lineup card, his first win or loss in charge of a club, and who knows, maybe even his first managerial ejection.   Like six other teams, the Twins enter 2019 with a manager looking to complete their first full season with the team. Of the seven new bosses, only one has completed a full MLB season for another te

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The Perfect Crime: A Look Back at the Twins' Trade for Joe Nathan

There was a time, particularly during his first stint as Twins GM, that Terry Ryan was a trading partner to be feared, largely because of his ability to turn throw-in prospects into major league contributors. There are stories -- likely apocryphal -- of opposing GMs deeming a low-level prospect untouchable because Ryan had been inquiring as to his availability. The reputation wasn’t without merit: Dave Hollins became David Ortiz; Chuck Knoblauch turned into Eric Milton, Cristian Guzman, Buck Buc

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How Aggressive Should the Twins Be About Trading Eduardo Nunez?

The bright spots for the Twins have been few and far between this season, but they have been there. Joe Mauer’s hot start, Byung-Ho Park’s chase for the Golden Sledgehammer -- HitTrackerOnline’s award for the longest average HR distance -- and the beginning of Robbie Grossman’s Hall-of-Fame run have been unexpected joys. None of these, however, can hold a candle to Eduardo Nunez’s start.   Going into Friday’s game, Nunez was hitting .328/.355/.531 with 12 SB, 9 HR, and a team-best 1.5 fWAR. His

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Are The Twins Really One of the Worst Teams Ever?

With almost two full months of the season in the books, the number of Twins fans who believe there’s a playoff run in the cards has dwindled to almost nil. Those left clinging to hope are doing so against all visual and statistical evidence. Some fans are actively rooting for the team to break the Cleveland Spiders’ record for losses in a season (154) to make sure the Braves don’t nick the first overall pick in the 2017 draft, to maximize the probability of a front office overhaul, or because it

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Charge of the Light (Hitting) Brigade: Who Should Lead The Twins' Attack?

For much of the past 15 years or so, the Twins have had very easy decisions to make with the first spot in the batting order. Jacque Jones settled there, then handed the position over to Shannon Stewart, who was a fixture atop the order until 2006 when Luis Castillo joined the team. He held the role until 2008 when it was briefly handed over to Carlos Gomez, who promptly hit .246/.281/.345 and lost the job to Denard Span. Span locked the role down, holding it until he was traded prior to the 201

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Total Support: Why Jim Pohlad's Unsatisfying Comments May Be Wise

For the Twins to make a serious run at a division title in 2016 with the roster they had leaving Ft. Myers, a whole lot had to break right. Byron Buxton needed to take a big step forward at the plate, Joe Mauer needed to return to his old form, Phil Hughes needed to make 2016 look more like 2014 than 2015, Byung-Ho Park needed to hit the ground running, Glen Perkins needed to come back healthy, and about a half-dozen other things had to fall into place. Very little of it was outlandish in and of

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Replacing Kevin Jepsen

All losses are equal in the standings, this we all know, but there’s something extra galling about losing a game in the late innings, particularly with a blown save in the ninth inning. Everything else went right, then at the last second, a supposed specialist comes in and fails to do the job they were on the roster to do. I have long been convinced this is why teams will overpay -- compared to the statistical value -- for reliable closers: They’re willing to give up some financial flexibility t

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Rotating the Rotation: Is Jose Berrios Coming Up Soon?

The Twins went into Spring Training with one of the more interesting positional battles on their hands as they had three back-of-the-rotation starters -- Ricky Nolasco, Tyler Duffey, and Tommy Milone -- one of the top pitching prospects with a shot of making the majors this season in Jose Berrios, and just two spots in the rotation.   The cost savings of starting him in the minors made if fairly likely that Berrios wasn’t going to break camp with the team, but he made the decision an easy one (a

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B-E Aggressive! Twins Hitters Are Letting The World Pass Them By

It wasn’t supposed to start like this; it wasn’t even supposed to be close. Even the most pessimistic Twins fan wouldn’t have seen three straight sweeps to start the season coming. 4-5? Sure. 2-7? Maybe. 0-9 as of Friday morning? Only if Miguel Sano, Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer, Trevor Plouffe, and Ervin Santana all joined a doomsday cult and disappeared into a Central American jungle. And yet, even without a cult-related roster issue, here we are.   When a team is 0-9, the list of things that are g

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Nick Punto and Miguel Sano: Getting The Good To Outweigh The Bad

Perhaps no Twin better typified the mid-2000s teams than Nick Punto. The nibbliest of the piranhas, Punto played every defensive position over the course of his career except pitcher and catcher, and played most of them better than the average major leaguer. In fact, he had nearly 4000 chances to make a defensive play, and made just 84 errors. Defensive stats have evolved substantially since Punto came into the league, but they’re all fairly unanimous in showing that Punto was a positive asset d

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Lottery Numbers: Projecting the 2016 Twins

While they differ in methodology, the major projection systems -- Marcel, OLIVER, PECOTA, Steamer, ZiPS et al. -- all abide by one central rule: Projections are not predictions. This mantra should be a source of comfort to Twins fans, since most experts are willing to predict that the team will be interesting and has at least some chance of making the playoff run they barely missed out on last year.   The projections, however, are nowhere near as kind. The offense looks to be about league averag

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Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!

Baseball hasn't always been the paragon of parity, with teams like the Cardinals, Braves, and Yankees constructing dynasties that spanned for the better part of a decade, but this year is unlike any we've seen in recent history. No American League team is more than 10 games out of a playoff spot with two full months of the season left. It's parity to the utmost: Every team is in it if they want to be.   From a general baseball standpoint, this is phenomenal. Even as the Royals run away with the

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Setting Expectations For Byron Buxton's First Game

As you may have heard other places on the inter-net and quite possibly on this very website, the Twins' top prospect, Byron Buxton, has joined the team in Texas and the assumption is that he'll make his debut on Sunday.   Understandably, there is a lot of excitement surrounding his arrival and not a mean amount of expectation-tempering from the other side as Twins fans try to figure out what it means to have a player of Buxton's caliber on the roster.   While Buxton wasn't Baseball America's top

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