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GAME THREAD: 5/21/22, Twins @ Royals, 6:10 CT


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Roster Moves: The Twins have placed RHP Josh Winder on the 15-day IL with a shoulder issue. They have also optioned LHP Devin Smeltzer to AAA-STP after last nights start. Bailey Ober has been activated from the injured list and will start tomorrow's game. He has thrown a rehab game, so his pitch count shouldn't be too limited. To replace Winder, the club has purchased the contract of RHP Trevor Megill, a 28 year old. He is 0-2, with an ERA of 3.27 at Saint Paul in 11 innings of work. He has earned two saves, and struck out 15 while walking only 4. He appeared in 28 games last year with the Cubs, allowing 22 runs in 23.2 innings of work. He throws a 4S that sits in the upper 90's, a curve, slider, and sinker. The slider was dominant last year, but it is on small sample size. He allowed 2 runs in 6 innings of work during spring training. To make room on the 40 man roster, the Twins DFA'd RHP prospect Chris Vallimont, who has struggled mightily at AA-Wichita. I would not be shocked to see Vallimont claimed, as he has electric stuff and options remaining. 

 

The Pitchers: RHP Joe Ryan (4-2, 2.39 ERA, 36 K's, 37.2 IP) v RHP Brad Keller (1-3, 2.89 ERA, 25 K's, 43.2 IP)

The Twins hand the ball to their best starting pitcher in Joe Ryan once again, who is coming off of a 6 inning, 1 ER performance against Cleveland. Ryan faced KC earlier this season, allowing no runs in 6 innings of work while scattering 2 hits and a walk while striking out 5. Brad Keller has been really good thus far, but the BABIP number, sitting at .227, suggests that some negative regression is incoming for the Royals arm. The statcast page also shows a lot of blue for someone with a sub-3 ERA. He does pound the strike zone, so unlike Daniel Lynch last night, he isn't likely going to give up free bases. However, he doesn't strike anyone out and is likely going to give up base hits. He last threw against the White Sox, going 7 innings, allowing 3 runs, 8 hits, and no walks while striking out 3. He has not struck out more than 3 hitters in his last 4 starts. His slider is his most used pitch, allowing an average against of just .173. The 4 seam will sit between 92-95, but has gotten hit hard, including 2 HR. He also mixes in a changeup and sinker, neither of which are above average offerings. 

 

The Lineups
 

Twins

CF Byron Buxton R
1B Luis Arraez L
SS C. Correa R
2B J. Polanco S
RF Max Kepler L
DH Gary Sanchez R
3B Gio Urshela R
C Ryan Jeffers R
LF G. Celestino R

 

Royals

RF W. Merrifield R
LF A. Benintendi L
SS Bobby Witt R
1B H. Dozier R
C MJ Melendez L
DH C. Santana S
CF Kyle Isbel L
3B E. Rivera R
2B Nicky Lopez L
 

Byron Buxton is in CF for the third straight game and second straight day, with Arraez back at 1B against a RHP. Carlos Correa is once again at SS, with Polanco, Kepler, and Sanchez all back in the lineup with Sanchez being the DH. Gio Urshella gets the start at the hot corner tonight after a big night from Jose Miranda on Friday. Ryan Jeffers gets the start behind the dish, and Gilberto Celestino will start in LF against a right handed pitcher with Trevor Larnach still not activated from rehab assignment. the Royals lineup loots largely the same, with the only change being in Center Field. Kyle Isbel will get the start their tonight, after coming in to PH last night going 2-2. He did not make the play in CF on Miranda's 2 run double which proved to win the game.

 

Weather: 61 degrees, 9 MPH wind blowing from left to right field, and 0% chance of rain

Vegas Odds: Twins -150, Royals +130, O/U 7.5

On this Day: 1930 - Babe Ruth hits three consecutive home runs in the first game of a doubleheader against the A's, then decides to hit right-handed against Jack Quinn in the ninth inning. After two strikes, he switches to lefty but strikes out. Ruth is homerless in the nightcap.

Pick to Click: Max Kepler hits his first home run in a while

Prediction: Twins 7, Royals 3

 

Go Twins!!
 

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As someone who likes bunting and stealing bases and all... Not sure I understand having someone who is streaking bunt to bring up a guy who is slumping. 

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