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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, adding players with plus speed will be needed and a renewed emphasis on elements of "small ball" will have to be done.

I am looking to 2023 because I believe the 2022 season is basically over. A large number of the Twins' top position players aren't playing (Buxton, Polanco, Kepler) and many viewed as emerging (Jeffers, Kirilloff, Larnach) aren't playing either. Carlos Correa has been an offensive disapointment. Add in that Max Kepler and Gary Sanchez have been playing at replacement player level and it is a near miracle that the Twins are still in a pennant race. They've had plenty of help from Cleveland and Chicago, but it appears to me that it will be a surprise if the Twins finish higher than third in the weak Central Division.

I think there will be enough talent for the Twins to contend in 2023. A bullpen that includes Jhoan Duran, Jorge Lopez, Caleb Thielbar and Griffin Jax will be a far cry better than the bully that began the season in 2022. Add in prospective starters Joe Ryan, Sonny Gray, Kenta Maeda, Tyler Mahle and later Chris Paddack with guys like Louis Varland, Simeon Woods-Richardson, Josh Winder and Bailey Ober ready to step in, perhaps there wouldn't be as many short starts and so much pressure on the bullpen. 

There is position player talent as well. Jose Miranda has shown himself to be a major league hitter with perhaps a ceiling of star, Nick Gordon has developed into a competent major leaguer with positional versatility. Jeffers, Larnach and Kirilloff showed glimpses of what they could be before they were sidelined by injuries. Byron Buxton played most of the season on one leg and yet was valuable. If only he could get his health right for a season, the Twins become a different team. If Correa comes back, he is a fine ballplayer at a crucial position. If not, the Twins have sufficient funds to upgrade the team (pitching staff or position plauers). It is obvious that there will be more injuries, hopefully not as much as 2022, and also that some players will no longer be Twins in the coming year. 

Circling back to the mark that Commissioner Manfred has made on baseball, with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place, MLB is now going to recognize minor leaguers as a union. My fervent hope is that minor league players will get upgraded treatment in future years. Time will tell on that.

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I know Duran has become a monster in the bullpen but what if he could be even better as a starter?  All but two of his minor league games were starts, can't help but wonder what he'd do in that role in the big leagues.  Went thru a similar deal with Trevor May almost a decade ago.  Always wondered how he would have fared as a starter in the big leagues. 
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Competing in the AL Central doesn't require much, as 2022 has revealed. If the Twins finish above .500 this year, consider it an 'exceeded expectations' season.

I don't think the Twins have enough to go beyond competing in the AL Central in 2023. They need a top-tier SP and a legitimate power hitter. They also need to rethink the coaching staff - pitching, hitting, conditioning. 

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The front iffice & coaching staff have been a Hugh disappointment this year.

Going in we knew pitching, especially  the Bullpen was a weakness.

 Correa's $35M would have been gar better spent on pitching, then you take a chance with Miranda & Lewis at key I field positions. While Miranda's success was not a surprise,  Lewis may have been. Given that success & wanting  to find a spot in the lineup for Lewis because they had Correa, they put Lewis in CF, out of position , & then lost him for the year. He would never have been in CF if we had a bullpen Instead of Correa..

Of course the FO could not have predicted all the injuries,but not jumper all over Eric Hosmer at the trade deadline is inexcusable. 

With both our FB out all year and fill ins who don't play the position making way to many mistakes, that was an absolute no Brainer.

Trading for injured pitchers because they have contract control bit them in the ass twice. Losing some good prospects for nothing just added I salt to injury & stupidity. The only good move made by the FO all year was the addition of Fulmer. Lopez has stunk it up.

While I hated to see Garver go, injuries proved that to be the right move, in order to get rid of Donaldson. Another stupid move to begin with..

How about drafting some more former major leaguer's sons? Gordon is a good utility player with speed. An asset that needs to be exploited, per your opening statement.

But just look at that Toronto lineup! 

My God, 4 former major league sons who are lighting it up! Not to mention the Padres.

This off-season, trade for Hosmer, even if Kirriloff recovers, Gordon as utility, trade "one tool" Arraez, Lewis at SS, Miranda at 3B, trade Urshela, we are stuck with Sanchez, but it could be worse, The OF is a problem, they miss Rosario more than they realize.

Doubtful Gray wants to return, but he or similar is crucial. They desperately need a healthy Buxton & Polanco and a breakout outfield slugger.

Build a balanced team and avoid "splashy" big money free agent moves at all costs (except maybe a for sure healthy starting pitcher if they don't  retain Gray).

Glad to see the "shift" go next year.

It sucks! We lost to Houston in 2019 because of two weak grounder through the shift. Seeing as we can't hit the other way to save our lives (better learn how) it will be great to see the game as it was meant to be played, not all on just stats and metrics.

Another year lost!

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Hard to argue about this season being done. I'd say the fat lady has one foot on the stage..

The change in shifts will help a few Twins. Pitch clock. IDK. Base size will probably hurt the team because of our catching situation and our lack of elite speed that they will take the chance of injury(Buxton) to steal bases...

I think this team is much better positioned to complete next year then they were this year due to the trades they made trying to get this team into the post season this year.

Now if the FO would actually sign a #1 pitcher (Rodon), a couple of really good BP arms (Fulmer, Rogers) and a slugger who can hit his weight (JD Martinez, Bell) 

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The season isn't over yet, though it may be soon.

Catcher should be a major area to address in the offseason. Assuming Correa opts out, I'd take that money and pursue Wilson Contreras hard. (Jeffers can be his backup until he actually hits for more than a couple weeks every other month.) We aren't "stuck" with Sanchez at all; he is a FA after the season.

There should be enough money with Sanchez's coin off the payroll to pursue Carlos Rodon seriously as well. If you land him, a Rodon, Gray (who is under team control), Mahle, Maeda, and Ryan rotation with Winder, Ober, Varland, SWR, Paddack, and maybe even Dobber as depth/long pen arms seems more than competitive. (Also, Balazovic is looking recovered from his injury with some recent domination.) Maybe look for extra help for the 'pen, but as noted, we are better off than last spring already.

Third area is supposed to be a strength, outfield. It is not a strength; for the second straight year we have had a parade of marginal players filling in for the eternally injured. Maybe the shift things helped, but one of my personal favorites, Max Kepler, looks like a fourth outfielder. He can't hit consistently (hasn't for years now), and he can't stay healthy. Byron can't stay healthy enough to play outfield for even a half season. Larnach and Kirilloff might be back and healthy, or they might not. Celestino still looks like AAAA level. Some nights he makes me say Wow! and others (especially when running the bases) he makes me say 'wow' (in pain).

Bottom line, they should probably go after a starting outfielder with a good bat tool. And give some of their top minor leaguers (like Wallner) and Gordon every chance to knock Max out of the starting lineup. 

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I think we need to look into why so many injuries.  Seems that for multiple years now, we are among the teams that have starters miss the most games in the A.L.  Why?  

Do we have a inadequate training staff compared to other teams?

Are we trying to save money by not having a very good training staff?

Are we not using the best available/modern methods compared to other teams?

This year it seems we not only were poor at preventing injuries, but also poor at getting the players back quickly once they were injured.  (why does a 6 week injury turn into a 3+ month recovery?)

If this were a video game - we appear to have hired a trainer with an F in preventative, and an F in recovery.  

We have the Mayo Clinic not too far away - maybe get a partnership with them to try and have our 2023 squad spend less time on the IL?

 

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Baldelli should be fired right after todays game and the FO should be on probation at the least.  So many blunders.  Biggest one for me was letting Berrios go.  They panicked and took what they could and it was absolutely NOTHING.  I don't think Berrios wanted to stay though.  No one wants to be stuck in an organization like this in the prime of their careers.  We are all about getting the one last hope big name "ex" stars.

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2023? I don't know about next year, anything can happen. Cleveland is on the verge of making history with their young and inexperienced roster. They also have among the most talented pitching and position ready players at AAA and AA in all of baseball. Cleveland is looking like they are going to win the AL Central amidst a full rebuild. Where does that put the 2023 Twins? At the very least, they are looking up.

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13 hours ago, tony&rodney said:

2023? I don't know about next year, anything can happen. Cleveland is on the verge of making history with their young and inexperienced roster. They also have among the most talented pitching and position ready players at AAA and AA in all of baseball. Cleveland is looking like they are going to win the AL Central amidst a full rebuild. Where does that put the 2023 Twins? At the very least, they are looking up.

I certainly think the Twins will be only the third pick for 2023, but with much better health and some good acquisitions, they can compete. 

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On 9/9/2022 at 11:49 PM, dxpavelka said:

I know Duran has become a monster in the bullpen but what if he could be even better as a starter?  All but two of his minor league games were starts, can't help but wonder what he'd do in that role in the big leagues.  Went thru a similar deal with Trevor May almost a decade ago.  Always wondered how he would have fared as a starter in the big leagues. 
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Well if they move him expect a ton of short starts, he pitched 16 innings last year and only 65 so far this year, can't see them doubling that next year. Or maybe next year they actually piggy back starters and don't blow out the pen by June.  At this point they have Gray, Ryan, Maeda, Mahle, Ober, Winder and Varland I would expect to be ahead of him as starters plus Paddack coming back. but I fully expect Gray to be traded and don't expect them to bring in any starters except for back up in AAA.

As for May he wasn't that great of relief pitcher not sure he would have been better as a starter. (His career ERA is 4.35)

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1 hour ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

I fully expect Gray to be traded

There is a decent chance that is true. Additionally, one wonders if Mahle will be back if the medical reports show he is bordering on toast. 

Nevertheless, there will be opportunities to add pitching via trade or free agency and the young pups (some not so very young) could be a pile of good mid to back rotation guys (Ryan, Ober, Winder, Varland, & SWR) to support Maeda and whomever arrives next. Paddack has one year left - 2024. So the Twins have a decision there as well.

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IF everyone gets healthy over the off-season it will be a nice problem to figure out the rotation and the line-up.

Rotation: Ryan, Ober, Winder, Varland, Mahle, Gray, Mazda, SWR, Paddock, and possibly Duran. Piggyback 'em, BP 'em, whatever is needed as we have seen that there is no such thing as too many SP's.

Line-up: Arraez, Miranda, Polanco, Urshela, Larnach, Buxton, Kepler, Kirilloff, Wallner, Lewis, Gordon, Jeffers, and possibly Correa. Probably need to sign another C. Again, find a place to play 'em and there is no such thing as too many.

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On 9/20/2022 at 3:26 PM, tony&rodney said:

There is a decent chance that is true. Additionally, one wonders if Mahle will be back if the medical reports show he is bordering on toast. 

 

The MRIs done on Mahle's shoulder have revealed no significant issues. I don't know if that is "bordering on toast". I also don't think Gray will be traded nor will he request a trade. Taking a quote or two from him at his worst moment doesn't mean that there are irreconcilable differences. 

Look, there have been multiple injuries seemingly leaving a shell of the team by September the last four years. I think Rocco and the front office have to look at this and at least make revisions in how they are using their pitchers, if not change their plan. 

I do think there is enough major league talent to contend and I don't want every over-30 player traded or released. They need to figure out a way to have pitchers and position players more healthy in the stretch run. It may be that a team with a centerpiece of Byron Buxton will always be too fragile to compete. 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, stringer bell said:

The MRIs done on Mahle's shoulder have revealed no significant issues. I don't know if that is "bordering on toast". I also don't think Gray will be traded nor will he request a trade. Taking a quote or two from him at his worst moment doesn't mean that there are irreconcilable differences. 

Look, there have been multiple injuries seemingly leaving a shell of the team by September the last four years. I think Rocco and the front office have to look at this and at least make revisions in how they are using their pitchers, if not change their plan. 

I do think there is enough major league talent to contend and I don't want every over-30 player traded or released. They need to figure out a way to have pitchers and position players more healthy in the stretch run. It may be that a team with a centerpiece of Byron Buxton will always be too fragile to compete. 

 

 

Agree with the need for health. 

I don't have access to the medical files but the comments we receive on health are meaningless. Just one of many examples is the 6-8 week IL stint for Larnach that is now nearly double what was reported by the Twins. If there is a good chance due to proven medical knowledge that any player will more likely than not be able to make it through half of a season I would take a long look at their inclusion going forward. Again, I defer to medics and the Twins call on these issues.

Do you believe that health would have made enough of a difference this year?

I'm not buying that excuse myself, based on the record from late May to August. The 2022 Twins did not play well during an extended period even when they ran out their regulars. 

To drag out what I have stated in other threads ... I don't need to see people fired, released, or traded. I do expect some reflection on what was a fail: 1) The Plan and 2) the lack of fundamental play. The current group should all be able to make some changes from the front office down to the coaches and players.

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1 hour ago, stringer bell said:

 It may be that a team with a centerpiece of Byron Buxton will always be too fragile to compete.

When I talk about FO analytics and their tolerance for risk. this is a central question to ponder, and I'm glad you've raised it.  Signing Buxton long-term was nearly a marketing necessity, and nobody with P&L responsibility can ignore that.  So IMO Buxton's a given.  How do you deal with injury risk, with that as a given?  Apparently our FO has chosen to construct a starting pitching staff with injury risk intentionally built in and accepted, in pursuit of maximum upside for the dollar.  They traded for Gray, who hasn't been a workhorse in some time and a downward trajectory in IP looks in progress.  They signed two free agents in Archer and Bundy who everyone expected would be on limited workloads, and yet both have had time on the IL and both are likely to pitch 145 innings or less.  And the two big trades, well, that has been discussed to death, about the red flags that were knowable by even fans who look at IL logs before the trades were consummated.

Outfield and pitching staff are very nearly separate decisions.  And yet, I believe a different FO, or at least one with a different analytics team to advise them, could choose different approaches, given that "given" about Buxton.  If OF will be iffy, maybe the strategy is a more solid starting staff, at whatever cost that may involve.

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On 9/20/2022 at 1:30 PM, TwinsDr2021 said:

Well if they move him expect a ton of short starts, he pitched 16 innings last year and only 65 so far this year, can't see them doubling that next year. Or maybe next year they actually piggy back starters and don't blow out the pen by June.  At this point they have Gray, Ryan, Maeda, Mahle, Ober, Winder and Varland I would expect to be ahead of him as starters plus Paddack coming back. but I fully expect Gray to be traded and don't expect them to bring in any starters except for back up in AAA.

As for May he wasn't that great of relief pitcher not sure he would have been better as a starter. (His career ERA is 4.35)

The fact that May wasn't that great a relief pitcher only amplifies the fact that he MIGHT have been better as a starter.  Would love to know how you'd be expecting more starting innings from any of Maeda, Ober or Winder next year than a doubling of Duran's 65 since none of them approached that number this year either.

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37 minutes ago, dxpavelka said:

The fact that May wasn't that great a relief pitcher only amplifies the fact that he MIGHT have been better as a starter. 

Why stop there?  Always wondered if Ron Davis would have made a dandy anchor to any starting rotation.  Why neither the Yankees nor Twins had the foresight to give that idea a whirl is beyond me.  But the fact they didn't only strengthens the case.

I've also always wondered what would have happened if Sir Barton and Babe Ruth had traded places.  Could a horseracing AND baseball Triple Crown have been achieved?  Pretty sure yes.  How can a horse know unless he tries?

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8 hours ago, dxpavelka said:

The fact that May wasn't that great a relief pitcher only amplifies the fact that he MIGHT have been better as a starter.  Would love to know how you'd be expecting more starting innings from any of Maeda, Ober or Winder next year than a doubling of Duran's 65 since none of them approached that number this year either.

What makes you think I expect more starting innings from Maeda, Ober or Winder? I have a feeling Ober will be on some sort of inning limit is whole career as a Twin, unless he magically stops getting hurt. I also expect Winder will be on some sort of innings limit since he only pitched 72 in 2021 and is very likely not going to make it that far this year. Maeda coming off a year off except he would be on a limit as well.

Now the Twins could do what some have begged for this year and make them 40 game 3 inning pitchers to piggy back off of 5 innings starts or they could have them start 25 games and pitch 5 innings and burn the pen out again. I don't have any idea what how the Twins will do that.  Maybe they let Ryan, Mahle and Gray being pitch into the 6th or 7th inning guys and they have the last two spots be piggy back type starts. IDK

IMO I don't see the Twins changing much, I think they might let a few select starters go a bit deeper next year, but they better be damn near perfect,  not let runners on after the 4th and have a low pitch count to boot. (Similar to Ryan's last two starts)

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19 hours ago, dxpavelka said:

The fact that May wasn't that great a relief pitcher only amplifies the fact that he MIGHT have been better as a starter.  Would love to know how you'd be expecting more starting innings from any of Maeda, Ober or Winder next year than a doubling of Duran's 65 since none of them approached that number this year either.

If your talking about Trevor May he did start his big league Career as a starter , maybe a handful  then tjs and came back as a reliever ...

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19 hours ago, ashbury said:

Why stop there?  Always wondered if Ron Davis would have made a dandy anchor to any starting rotation.  Why neither the Yankees nor Twins had the foresight to give that idea a whirl is beyond me.  But the fact they didn't only strengthens the case.

I've also always wondered what would have happened if Sir Barton and Babe Ruth had traded places.  Could a horseracing AND baseball Triple Crown have been achieved?  Pretty sure yes.  How can a horse know unless he tries?

he just might have

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10 hours ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

What makes you think I expect more starting innings from Maeda, Ober or Winder? I have a feeling Ober will be on some sort of inning limit is whole career as a Twin, unless he magically stops getting hurt. I also expect Winder will be on some sort of innings limit since he only pitched 72 in 2021 and is very likely not going to make it that far this year. Maeda coming off a year off except he would be on a limit as well.

Now the Twins could do what some have begged for this year and make them 40 game 3 inning pitchers to piggy back off of 5 innings starts or they could have them start 25 games and pitch 5 innings and burn the pen out again. I don't have any idea what how the Twins will do that.  Maybe they let Ryan, Mahle and Gray being pitch into the 6th or 7th inning guys and they have the last two spots be piggy back type starts. IDK

IMO I don't see the Twins changing much, I think they might let a few select starters go a bit deeper next year, but they better be damn near perfect,  not let runners on after the 4th and have a low pitch count to boot. (Similar to Ryan's last two starts)

Um, mostly the fact that you listed them all as guys who expected to be starters ahead of him and if that's the expectation, innings go with it.

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8 minutes ago, Blyleven2011 said:

If your talking about Trevor May he did start his big league Career as a starter , maybe a handful  then tjs and came back as a reliever ...

Lots of guys come back from TJS as starters.  Would have been worth the shot.  Not like we were flush with dominant SP while he was here.

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