Jump to content
  • Create Account

Game Thread: Royals @ Twins 1:10 PM 5/30/2021


The Twins entertain the Royals in the rubber game of a three-game series today (weather permitting). Matt Shoemaker opposes Brad Keller in the mound matchup. The Twins stand at 21-29 while Kansas City is 24-26. At about 75 miles from Target Field it is raining here, but according to weather.com no rain is forecast in Minneapolis.

I checked my calendar yesterday and saw that the end of the month payments were coming out. That must mean another month is almost done and that it's time to turn the page. A month is approximately 1/6 of a baseball season and is a large enough sample size to show what is working and what isn't. Here's a (premature) look back at the merry, merry month of May from a Twins Baseball perspective.

The Twins are 12-15 this month after a 9-15 month of April. That's a hole folks. The team is in the top half of MLB in runs scored and homers this month. However pitching has been poor--team ERA, WHIP and BAA are all in the bottom five. Here is a look at how individuals have done in the month:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zpjY3J0dYtgFpBvetruiieJBpaTasIJnfoDr6-4RSQk/edit

https://docs.google.com/document/d/131zo8C37b5X8k-wo2ap_XdnSMs3rkvUhV4LSPgYgb84/edit

There are several nuggets in the month's statistics. On a positive note, Rob Refsnyder has been a revelation and a godsend for his contributions. Miguel Sanó showed why it is so hard to quit on a guy who has such power potential. Mitch Garver had an excellent month after a disastrous month of April. The final positive I'll mention is the good hitting of rookies Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach. Both of those guys are going to be outstanding offensive players for years to come. My observation is that neither is a candidate for a gold glove in the outfield, but that Kirilloff looks pretty smooth at first base.

Now for the downside--the pitching across the board was subpar (by a lot). Two non-competitive outings each by Shoemaker and Happ made their stats for the month (and the season) look very bad. The bullpen is leaky and the starters don't give a lot of innings. The team ERA this month is over 5 and even subtracting poor work from fringe players, the team did not pitch well again in May. Offensively, two veteran right handed hitters have struggled mightily this month. Josh Donaldson has had a rough month at the plate and has made a few fielding miscues at inopportune times. Nelson Cruz' tough month has slid under the radar. His season numbers are still good, but three homers and six RBI and a .703 OPS from a middle of the order fixture is not getting the job done. I'd expect a resurgence for both Donaldson and Cruz, but sometimes players fall off a cliff. Father Time is a tough adversary.

A win today would give the Twins three straight series wins. Baby steps. Enjoy the game!

 

Royals (24-26) Lineup:

W. Merrifield2B 47-190 27 4 14 .247
C. Santana1B 42-168 34 10 2 .250
A. BenintendiLF 48-170 16 4 6 .282
S. PerezC 54-195 31 10 0 .277
A. MondesiSS 7-18 3 1 1 .389
E. OlivaresRF ----- -- -- -- --
K. Gutierrez3B 11-44 1 0 0 .250
H. DozierDH 17-122 14 5 1 .139
J. DysonCF 8-36 0 0 3 .222

 

Twins (21-30) Lineup:

Polanco 2b

Donaldson 3b

Kirilloff rf

Cruz dh

Sanó 1b

Larnach lf

Refsnyder cf

Rortvedt c

Simmons ss

 

Pitchers: Shoemaker (MN) 2-5 5.48 ERA     

                 Keller (KC)  4-4 5.72 ERA

Rortvedt in the starting lineup. I would presume Kepler has been placed on the IL, but have seen no verification.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

Just thinking....Buxton is probably the best CFer in all of baseball....when he's healthy. No one gets to more balls than he does. However, his body does not want him to play regularly in the manner that he is used to. I'm wondering, to keep him in the lineup in some capacity whether the Twins would consider making him more or less a DH, to at least take advantage of his bat?

I know this sounds like wild talk....but honestly he just can't stay in the lineup with the way he plays the field. He is of no use to us spending more than half of a season nursing any one of an accounting  spread of injuries.  Taking away his defensive talent would be really rough, but OTOH, would be nice to see him contribute more than just a week or two of games before getting hurt. Plus, Cruz may be heading for the last roundup. His month of May was not up to his standards at all. Twins could be moving him at the deadline.

Then there is Donaldson....who has contributed virtually nothing offensively in a month. And even his 'd' has not sparkled. Maybe he is not motivated to play for a team not going anywhere (at least for now). But whatever the case, I am not ready to give him a pass just because he draws a few walks. Thats just not good enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woof, KC clearly came out of the gate trying to ambush Shoemaker. They were swinging at everything. Darn near worked, too. Lucky they got only one run. Good recovery by Shoe and Rortvedt, who switched to nothing but diving stuff below the zone. The bad news is that KC might be right: They may be able to chase Shoemaker if he throws anything above the bottom of the zone. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anybody else notice that MLB turns off the volume after each inning, so the commercials are silent? I'm okay with that, but then they don't turn the volume back on when the game resumes, so I have to get up and do it myself.

How am I supposed to maintain my expansive waistline if they keep making me get off the couch?

Oh, and now they turn the sound back on. Clever humans...!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say Shoemaker has officially beaten KC's attempt to bushwack him in the 1st inning. Interesting commentary that Baldi has told Shoe to let it rip with his fastball, rather than conserve energy for later innings. His full-speed heat does make his other stuff more effective. Better to have 4 or 5 innings of good Shoemaker than to watch him save energy and get shelled early. 

That said, the Twins better find one or two decent long relievers like Thorpe and TBD if their older guys are going to cut loose with max effort.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, jimbo92107 said:

I would say Shoemaker has officially beaten KC's attempt to bushwack him in the 1st inning. Interesting commentary that Baldi has told Shoe to let it rip with his fastball, rather than conserve energy for later innings. His full-speed heat does make his other stuff more effective. Better to have 4 or 5 innings of good Shoemaker than to watch him save energy and get shelled early. 

That said, the Twins better find one or two decent long relievers like Thorpe and TBD if their older guys are going to cut loose with max effort.

I don't think we should be applauding Rocco (or any coach, ever) for the strategy of "throw your best stuff."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

Is Jeffers in the doghouse?  Rortvedt seems to be the flavor of the year and I am curious why Jeffers does not get another call.

According to the radio guys, it was Rortvedt's arm that got him the callup with Kansas City's proclivity for running. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Question for Keller: If you can throw a 2-seam, 94 mph heater that spends 80 percent of its flight path outside the zone, then the last 20 percent bends to 3 inches inside the left corner... why would you throw any other pitch??

This could be one of those guys that should reduce his repertoire to just a couple things that nobody can deal with, and then go out and collect your Cy Young.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, IndianaTwin said:

According to the radio guys, it was Rortvedt's arm that got him the callup with Kansas City's proclivity for running. 

Going with past writings from the TD guys' that cover the minor leagues Rortvedt is the only "true" catcher in the Twins system; that is, he calls a good game, has excellent defensive skills. and he can hit his weight. Our other options at catcher are "hit first, catch second" guys.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's see, no Wes, yet.  Let's give Shoe an opportunity to work through this.  Baldelli will let him give up a big bomb or another couple of bleeders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought that defense was what we were fixing this year.  I have not seen it,  The errors do not always get scored as they should, but listening to each game you can hear the announcers cringing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...