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One Former Twin Helping Each AL Playoff Contender


This year, Minnesota might not be in the playoff race, but that doesn’t mean fans have to tune out from the exciting races across baseball. Former Twins players and prospects are on nearly every contending team’s roster. 

 

Some of these players had memorable Twins tenures, while others might not have gotten a full opportunity. Either way, they are in the thick of the playoff hunt as their team’s search for October glory. 

Division Leaders
Tampa Bay: Nelson Cruz, DH

Nelson Cruz was dealt at the trade deadline in a move that brought back two top pitching prospects, including Joe Ryan. Since the trade, Cruz has posted a .776 OPS, which is 130 points lower than he had with the Twins this year. He still has a 117 OPS+, and he has some big hits in a Rays uniform. Tampa looks to go back to the World Series with Cruz as their veteran leader. 

Chicago: Liam Hendriks, RP
Chicago paid Liam Hendriks a ton of money this winter to bring him to the Southside, and he has lived up to the hype. He leads the American League in Saves, and he has a career-high strikeout rate. Minnesota never gave Hendriks a chance in the bullpen, and some question the team’s decision to let him go. Either way, Chicago paid him to perform like this and to help the team in October.

Houston: Ryan Pressly, RP
Pressly was dealt to the Astros back in 2018 for Jorge Alcala and Gilberto Celestino. Both of these players have impacted the 2021 Twins, and they look to have bright futures. Ryan Pressly is in the midst of a tremendous season at the backend of the Astros bullpen. He has a sub 1.00 WHIP for the second time in his career, and his chase rate ranks in the 94th percentile. 

Wild Card Contenders
Boston: Martin Perez, SP

Twins fans may not have fond memories of Martin Perez as he posted a 5.12 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP in over 165 innings back in 2019. His time in Boston has only been slightly better. In the season’s first half, he posted a 4.04 ERA, which isn’t easy to do in the AL East. His average exit velocity and BB% both rank in the 60th percentile or higher. 

Toronto: Jose Berrios, SP
On Sunday, Jose Berrios made his first career start against the Twins, and the Blue Jays walked away with the win. Berrios was part of a blockbuster deadline deal that brought Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson to Minnesota. Toronto didn’t need Berrios to be an ace, and he has posted a 130 OPS+. Also, he has been worth more win probability added for the Blue Jays this season than with the Twins.

New York: Luis Gil, SP
In 2018, Gil was sent to the Yankees for Jake Cave, but he was a long way from making an impact at the big-league level. He’s been impressive across six big-league starts this season by posting a 3.07 ERA and 11.7 SO/9. Right now, the Yankees are on the outside of the playoffs, but Luis Gil might be one of the pieces to get them back into the postseason. 

Oakland: Deolis Guerra, RP
Deolis Guerra was part of the Johan Santana trade, and Oakland is his sixth organization since leaving Minnesota. Oakland also has former Twin Sergio Romo, but Guerra has been the more valuable player this season. He ranks in the 84th percentile or higher in average exit velocity, xwOBA, xSLG, hard-hit %, and chase rate.   

Which of these players has the most significant impact on the playoff races? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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Deolis Guerra has thrown a whopping 160 innings in his MLB career for 5 teams and is 32 years old. He isn't the love that was lost by the Twins. And as your own article said about Henriks he was bounced around after being DFA'd by the Twins. He also somewhere along the way found like 5 mph on his fastball, which ya know, might by an underlying reason he's better now.

Perez was blasted so hard the first half of the season the Sawx took him out of the rotation.

It has been highly publicized about Pressly refusing to try the adjustments from the Twins that he implemented with the Astros.

It isn't as if the these pitchers just left and the Twins would be world beaters if they stayed.

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It is really hard to judge these things until the ends of each career. They're all on different tracks and so at any one moment the decision is incomplete. Of course my favorite trade is the one that brought Jake Cave my favorite player to complain about. It has provided me with many posts on the TD site.

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7 hours ago, a-wan said:

Deolis Guerra has thrown a whopping 160 innings in his MLB career for 5 teams and is 32 years old. He isn't the love that was lost by the Twins. And as your own article said about Henriks he was bounced around after being DFA'd by the Twins. He also somewhere along the way found like 5 mph on his fastball, which ya know, might by an underlying reason he's better now.

Perez was blasted so hard the first half of the season the Sawx took him out of the rotation.

It has been highly publicized about Pressly refusing to try the adjustments from the Twins that he implemented with the Astros.

It isn't as if the these pitchers just left and the Twins would be world beaters if they stayed.

To paraphrase Mike Sixel, how quickly people forget

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6 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

It is really hard to judge these things until the ends of each career. They're all on different tracks and so at any one moment the decision is incomplete. Of course my favorite trade is the one that brought Jake Cave my favorite player to complain about. It has provided me with many posts on the TD site.

Keep your complaints coming on Cave!  He needs to be GONE.  Way too many apologists for Cave, who seem to forget that his putrid performance with his bat the last 2 seasons do actually count.  What he did in 2019 has proven to be a complete aberration.

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The only two on this list that bug me not being Twins are Pressley and Hendricks.  Pressley, as one noted above, refused to make the same adjustment while with the Twins that he did on the Astros (some say the Twins wouldn't allow it, but I find that hard to believe) and that the Twins never gave Hendricks a true chance - imagine him instead of Colome as the closer...

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You can say the same thing about Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City. What do they have in common with the Twins??

They all think building a minor league system is more important than winning today's ball game. Which is just an excuse for acting poor and cheap.

The Twins have 2 good years in a row...followed by two bad months..........and they unload players. Panic selloff -- That'll win a championship.

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