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I'm not surprised at our losses to Detroit. Saturday's games were both iffy affairs from the outset, so I can live with a split (sorry how we lost that one though). Sunday, the Twins played poorly, but I will agree with Tom about Astudillo leading off. That seemed a bit odd to me.

 

I wouldn't say the Twins are falling apart due to a couple of injuries, but I do note that injuries expose a certain lack of depth the Twins have. We played with two -WAR players in yesterday's lineup--granted, they performed better than expected, but it is not a long-term solution for the season; with Cruz exiting (hopefully short term), things get even a bit dicier.

 

As for nit-picking, it is nice that we are able to be nit-picky at the six week mark. Last year at this time, we had a lot of legitimate reasons to be griping.

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It's interesting how Duffey, who has had chance after chance the last three years is suddenly a guy that so many want to come up because he had one absolutely dominant outing in a blowout on Saturday

Hildenberg is also a problem in the bullpen right now. I wonder how many games he needs to blow up before getting demoted while guys like Duffey are not getting much of a chance to stay.

I respect your opinion.  I don't agree.

How about congratulations Gardy.  I always enjoyed him in the Twins dugout and it is fun to see him and his team having fun.  They are playing far above their talent level right now and I think it shows that Gardy does know how to handle a team.

 

He had to go from here, but its nice to see him succeed and from what I could tell in MI, they are enjoying him too.  He is the right guy to handle this transition period for the Tigers.  

 

Team Home Runs - we are 3 they are 29.  Batting average - Twins 2, Detroit 25.  ERA - Twins 7, Detroit 21, WAR - Twins 3, Detroit 25.  No contest, except that the human factor still eludes the sabrmatricians.   And that is what makes baseball fun.

 

Now Twins - get back to winning. 

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I'm not surprised at our losses to Detroit. Saturday's games were both iffy affairs from the outset, so I can live with a split (sorry how we lost that one though). Sunday, the Twins played poorly, but I will agree with Tom about Astudillo leading off. That seemed a bit odd to me.

 

I wouldn't say the Twins are falling apart due to a couple of injuries, but I do note that injuries expose a certain lack of depth the Twins have. We played with two -WAR players in yesterday's lineup--granted, they performed better than expected, but it is not a long-term solution for the season; with Cruz exiting (hopefully short term), things get even a bit dicier.

 

As for nit-picking, it is nice that we are able to be nit-picky at the six week mark. Last year at this time, we had a lot of legitimate reasons to be griping.

I disagree about lack of depth, at least among the position players. It has been great to have Cruz' bat in the lineup, but the team can work around not having him for a week or two if it comes to that. If they have to put Cruz on the IL, they have a replacement for him in Sanó. With Sanó's ability to play third and first, they might be able to kind of rotate the DH between a catcher (Astudillo or Garver), Sanó and perhaps one of the outfielders. It also would keep Cave in the majors for as long as Cruz was out. 

 

I think the lack of starting pitcher depth is much more concerning. Teams don't get away with five starters in the rotation very often and if the next-best option is Kohl Stewart, well I think that is a problem. 

 

I said earlier that Hildenberger has at least one option. I do believe the league has figured out much of his deception and the stuff he has requires really good command and he hasn't shown it since last year at midseason. Some of you old-timers might remember a right-handed reliever the Twins had named Frank Eufemia. He was nearly unhittable his first trip around the league, but when he faced teams a second or third time, he became very hittable. Eufemia didn't throw hard and featured a really good off-speed pitch. I wonder if Hildy is another example.

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I’m not usually one to nitpick lineup construction, but the way Rocco Baldelli filled things out had me scratching my head. This was Astudillo’s first game since April 27, but he was the leadoff man. He ended up leaving six men on base today. I get that Buxton has looked very comfortable in the No. 9 spot, but having him behind Adrianza and Cave against a left-handed starter was odd to see.

 

 

I didn't see the game because I was driving in the car listening to it so any thoughts I have wouldn't be fair comment as far as the game goes. 

 

However... on this point, I have been watching. I want to state that I'm absolutely happy with the way things are being handled... I don't have complaint... however... It appears that players are locked into batting slots in the order and I don't understand the reason why. 

 

I know that they are trying to separate rights and lefts to give the opposing manager something to think about when trying to decide between a lefty or righty out of the pen and that is sensible but I've been watching and it is rather obvious that Baldelli has locked in players to similar slots in the batting order. 

 

I honestly don't care about batting order... go ahead and put Dave Kingman in the lead off spot... I really don't care... I'm also not a psychologist but I do strongly believe that players will not be emotionally damaged and unable to perform if they are moved around in the lineup. 

 

 

If he wants to put Astudillo in the lead off spot... I'm fine with it... But if he did it because Garver usually hits in that spot against lefties and Astudillo is replacing Garver... then I'm not fine with it... because that is auto-pilot managing and I don't care much for that. 

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I would certainly expect things to even out, but sometimes they don't. The Dodgers had the third-best OPS in baseball last year (.774) but somehow maintained the third-worst OPS with two outs and RISP (.640). They also still won 92 games and went to the World Series, so ya know, things worked out OK for them. Still, what a weird thing to happen.

 

OK... even less reason to worry about it... 

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Not understanding the Duffy arguments to replace Hildy.  Perplexing that Rogers did not pitch.  I think when Hildy gets over used he may struggle.   Hildy has been pretty good and Duffy, besides the one outing has been close to a disaster the last 3 years?

 

Yes I wish we had more options to put in that situation in the bullpen, which I think is the real issue.  Yeah we split with Detroit and we are a better team.  Let's see how we do against the Halo's bullpen wise.

 

 

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Things don’t necessarily even out. I’d like to see the Dodgers’ splits over that time to see how it played out (yes, I’m too lazy to look).

 

Two bad months and four normal months can make things look bad, yet only the two bad months are an unexpected outcome.

 

After a bad/good stretch, the expected outcome is not the opposite; the expected outcome is normality.

Keep trying. Good luck.

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I didn't see the game because I was driving in the car listening to it so any thoughts I have wouldn't be fair comment as far as the game goes.

 

However... on this point, I have been watching. I want to state that I'm absolutely happy with the way things are being handled... I don't have complaint... however... It appears that players are locked into batting slots in the order and I don't understand the reason why.

 

I know that they are trying to separate rights and lefts to give the opposing manager something to think about when trying to decide between a lefty or righty out of the pen and that is sensible but I've been watching and it is rather obvious that Baldelli has locked in players to similar slots in the batting order.

 

I honestly don't care about batting order... go ahead and put Dave Kingman in the lead off spot... I really don't care... I'm also not a psychologist but I do strongly believe that players will not be emotionally damaged and unable to perform if they are moved around in the lineup.

 

 

If he wants to put Astudillo in the lead off spot... I'm fine with it... But if he did it because Garver usually hits in that spot against lefties and Astudillo is replacing Garver... then I'm not fine with it... because that is auto-pilot managing and I don't care much for that.

What? When Garver doesn't play, Kepler leads off. I don't understand this post. It's about the first time this has happened.

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People don't get that things don't even out the way they think. That's how casinos make money....

Which is exactly what I said... You can't bank on good or bad luck going forward.

 

The last sentence of that post was literally:

"After a bad/good stretch, the expected outcome is not the opposite; the expected outcome is normality."

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If you sub "Pressly" with "Duffey", you might end up with the same conclusion, unless you saw Pressly blossom with pitching coaches other than the ones Duffey got his "chances" with.  And some of those "chances" were as an ill-placed starter. 

 

The last 2 spots in the pen should be rotating among players who have the hottest arms now.  And I'd argue that Duffey is hotter than Hildenberger, so he should replace him.  If he cools off and someone else is better, replace him.  This team is a contender.  Cannot afford to carry people who are hurting it, esp. if they have options.

Duffey=Pressly, there is a stretch.

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The umpire was bad in this game. Garver walked in the ninth, but after the Marwin hit, instead of two on, one out, there were two outs and one on. On the Dixon home run, he struck out on the previous pitch, but the ump called it a ball. That’s a big difference. There were several other missed calls.

 

As for line-up construction, I understand why they are batting Buxton ninth (for confidence reasons), but I think as many at bats as possible for him will also be a confidence booster. I think he should start moving up in the lineup (none of Willians, Kepler, or Adrianza should have batted ahead of him against a lefty, for example). I’d like him ahead of some RBI options.

 

And Garver should be starting as much as possible. He can DH if Cruz is going to miss time.

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The umpire was bad in this game. Garver walked in the ninth, but after the Marwin hit, instead of two on, one out, there were two outs and one on. On the Dixon home run, he struck out on the previous pitch, but the ump called it a ball. That’s a big difference. There were several other missed calls.

 

As for line-up construction, I understand why they are batting Buxton ninth (for confidence reasons), but I think as many at bats as possible for him will also be a confidence booster. I think he should start moving up in the lineup (none of Willians, Kepler, or Adrianza should have batted ahead of him against a lefty, for example). I’d like him ahead of some RBI options.

 

And Garver should be starting as much as possible. He can DH if Cruz is going to miss time.

why wouldn't Willians bat ahead of Buxton, especially vs a LHer?
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What? When Garver doesn't play, Kepler leads off. I don't understand this post. It's about the first time this has happened.

 

Kepler has been leading off against RH's.

Garver has been leading off against LH's. 

 

We faced an LH yesterday. Garver wasn't in the lineup. Astudillo was in the lineup instead and like Garver... he was batting lead-off. 

 

Very template-esque. 

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What? When Garver doesn't play, Kepler leads off. I don't understand this post. It's about the first time this has happened.

 

Here's the template that Baldelli is following. 

 

Vs. RH

1. Kepler

2. Polanco

3. Cruz

4. Rosario

5. Cron

6. Gonzalez

7. Schoop or Garver

8. Castro or Schoop

9. Buxton

 

Vs. LH

1. Garver

2. Polanco

3. Cruz

4. Rosario

5. Cron

6. Gonzalez

7. Kepler

8. Schoop

9. Buxton

 

When Astudillo plays... he typically goes into the slot of the player who isn't in the lineup leaving the rest of the template undisturbed. 

 

When Adrianza or Cave plays... they will bat 7th or 8th and this will push the 6th, 7th and 8th hitters in the template up one place. 

 

It's pretty predictable... I'm not complaining... we are winning. I just don't understand why a template is necessary. 

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A lot of good responses to today's summary. I'll throw my two cents into the ether regarding the themes of the day:

 

RISP - I'm with Brock. Not enough PA to make anything of the slump. K and BB rates are similar to the full-season numbers. They are about the only two categories that have any meaning at 150 PA. As Brock said, expect normal numbers (not above average) the rest of the way.

 

Duffey - He has the pitches to be a good reliever. My cheap-seat take is he's never had control of his emotions. When things get difficult, Duffey seems to get so wound up he can't focus. The game speeds up for him. That said, the issue can be overcome. I'd give him another chance. Let Johnson work with him for a while.

 

Injuries - The Twins can handle the loss of Cruz for a few weeks. Cave and Astudillo can take his PA the next few days. Sano will be there when he's ready to return.  Losing a top SP or RP would be a lot scarier. 

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Had a few minutes to scan the updated numbers this morning. The issue is quality of contact. In two out, RISP situations the Twins have a 15.5 LD% and a 16.3 IFFB%. Those are both quite a bit worse than their overall numbers. That being the case, of course their BABIP in those situations is going to be horrible (.220).

 

Something that's worked out really well for this lineup is being aggressive early in the count. They haven't done that quite as much in these two out, RISP situations. Here's a look at their average pitches per plate appearance: 

 

2 out, RISP PPA: 4.00 (656/164)

All other situations: 3.76 (4,949/1,316)

 

That may not seem like a huge difference, but keep in mind the team with the lowest overall pitches per plate appearance (the Twins) is at 3.79 and the highest (Texas) is at 4.10. 

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A lot of good responses to today's summary. I'll throw my two cents into the ether regarding the themes of the day:

 

RISP - I'm with Brock. Not enough PA to make anything of the slump. K and BB rates are similar to the full-season numbers. They are about the only two categories that have any meaning at 150 PA. As Brock said, expect normal numbers (not above average) the rest of the way.

 

Duffey - He has the pitches to be a good reliever. My cheap-seat take is he's never had control of his emotions. When things get difficult, Duffey seems to get so wound up he can't focus. The game speeds up for him. That said, the issue can be overcome. I'd give him another chance. Let Johnson work with him for a while.

 

Injuries - The Twins can handle the loss of Cruz for a few weeks. Cave and Astudillo can take his PA the next few days. Sano will be there when he's ready to return. Losing a top SP or RP would be a lot scarier.

 

Agree with your post entirety.

 

Thinking Nelson Cruz would be healthy for 162 games is a little optimistic.

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It's interesting how Duffey, who has had chance after chance the last three years is suddenly a guy that so many want to come up because he had one absolutely dominant outing in a blowout on Saturday night...

Duffey has always been good at AAA, career ERA of 2.73 and 1.32 this season. I believe there is something there. It's not crazy to think that these coaches can get him to a decent MLB level. We're not expecting him to be a lights out late inning pitcher but he could be one of those last pieces that the bullpen hasn't been able to find. Let him have his shot at the revolving door that has been the back end of the bullpen.

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Nobody is talking about it, but I see Perez' problem being the fact his routine was messed up this week.  Leaving for paternity leave, not doing what he normally does between starts, seeing his son born, etc.  So not surprised at all when he was a bit off early in the game.  Plus that second home run came after the hitter should have been out as that pitch was clearly a strike.

 

Have noticed that Cruz didn't appear to be his normal self for some time.  Expect a few weeks off may be very good for him.  Hopefully, it isn't something that drags on all season.

 

Also surprised when Astudillo led off.  More surprised he was catching in his first game back...especially from a leg injury.  Getting right handers into the lineup, could see him at third with Gonzalez in left as a better lineup.  Going to be real tough getting all three catchers at bats going forward.  The way Garver ahs been performing, he has to be in the lineup at least half the time.

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I would certainly expect things to even out, but sometimes they don't. The Dodgers had the third-best OPS in baseball last year (.774) but somehow maintained the third-worst OPS with two outs and RISP (.640). They also still won 92 games and went to the World Series, so ya know, things worked out OK for them. Still, what a weird thing to happen.

 

 

Things don’t necessarily even out. I’d like to see the Dodgers’ splits over that time to see how it played out (yes, I’m too lazy to look).

Two bad months and four normal months can make things look bad, yet only the two bad months are an unexpected outcome.

After a bad/good stretch, the expected outcome is not the opposite; the expected outcome is normality.

 

The 2018 Dodgers wRC+ with 2 outs and RISP, by month:

 

March/April: 102

May: 26

June: 129

July: 68

August: 61

Sep./Oct.: 66

 

Here's the link (you have to manually change the "Group By" drop-down menu to "Month"):

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders/splits-leaderboards?splitArr=56,59,216&splitArrPitch=&position=B&autoPt=false&splitTeams=false&statType=team&statgroup=2&startDate=2018-3-1&endDate=2018-11-1&players=&filter=

 

For the season, the Dodgers were at 75. The two worst full season marks in 2018 were BAL (57) and SFG (65).

Edited by spycake
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