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After yesterday's crucial win over Chicago, I thought about how big the game tonight (Wednesday) is going to be. It will really be important in terms of catching the Sox and Cleveland in the final 3.5 weeks of the season. 

 

Then I looked at the coming schedule. With most everyone (except Garver) looking like they should be on the field within a week, I noted that the Twins have two doubleheaders in a five day stretch. They are not alone in this crazy partial season, but there will be a lot of innings to cover within those five days. 

 

I think there is a good shot that the Twins will have six different starters available for the seven games. Odorizzi looks like he will be on track to pitch within a week plus the Twins have Berríos, Maeda, Dobnak, Hill and Pineda all nominally healthy. There is one day off before the stretch of games and two days off afterwards. Also, with doubleheaders this year, the games are only scheduled for seven innings and an additional player is added. According to my calculation, the Twins would need to pitch 55 innings in the seven games, if they go the full seven in each doubleheader and there are no extra innings. 

 

How should the pitching staff be handled? Will Rocco do a bullpen game in the doubleheader with Detroit? On the other end (doubleheader in St. Louis) pencil in Odorizzi for one of the games with a bullpen game the alternative? Also of note, the Twins play Cleveland after their two days of rest.

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Can't get over finishing the season against the Reds and before that 3 against the Cubs with 2 in between against the Tigers. Glad to see Buxton back in the lineup. No stats to back it up but it just seems that the winning % goes up when he is in there. He needs to finsih this season out with a couple of non injury related games off maybe but ideally he should be able to run the table. Sox and Indians play 4 against each other prior to the season ending NL Central matchups that they both have. Should be a lot of scoreboard watching.

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I am not worried about Twins not making playoffs, unless they just fall off the table this month.  They should try to get to first if they can to have home field, but if they play in a bubble as has been discussed, maybe that is not as important.  There is always advantage to batting second though.  If Odo is ready to return during the stretch coming up he should get a start in there and no pen game during the DH.  Be willing to pull the starter if they not doing well during DH, but if you can get 5 or 6 strong innings maybe even full 7 why not go for it.  Odo will never go 7 in a normal game though, but others can.  

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I was going to suggest using Smeltzer, but in looking at his stats I'm reminded why he has not pitched for awhile.

 

Is he the likely candidate to go to St. Paul who Odo returns?

One would have to think so. Smeltzer has hardly pitched and certainly not in leverage situations. 

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The specific plans depend a lot on when Odo is able to return, but here's what I see:

 

  • Friday, Game 1: Dobnak is next up in the rotation and would have five days rest. 
  • Friday, Game 2: Maeda could pitch on four days rest, but I'd rather use him in a nine-inning game. If Odo is ready, it would be good to start him in a shorter game. If Odo isn't ready, I save him for the DH next Tuesday and go with the Bullpen. With the second doubleheader, another option would be to use Odo as an opener and go no more than three innings (<50 or so pitches) with hopes of bringing him back on Tuesday. 
  • Saturday: Maeda on five days rest:
  • Sunday: It would be Hill's turn, but he hasn't gone more than five innings yet. I'd skip him and go with Pineda on four days rest. That also takes Hill out of the mix for the Cleveland series.
  • Monday: Berrios on four days rest.
  • Tuesday, Game 1: Hill
  • Tuesday, Game 2: Odo, if he didn't go on Friday. Otherwise Bullpen.

 

With Wednesday and Thursday off, this sets things up for Dobnak, Maeda, Pineda in the Cleveland series, with Berrios in Game 1 against the Sox. Beyond that, it could be either a 5 or 6 man rotation, depending on what Odo and Hill have done. 

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CNo stats to back it up but it just seems that the winning % goes up when he is in there.

2020 games he appears: 14-8

Other 2020 games: 7-8

 

Previous seasons have shown a similar trend.

 

Meep Meep Meep Meep...

 

It has been backed up (and safely too) with stats.

 

(Sorry... one just gets certain images in one's head.)

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