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Is this team in free fall?


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Community Leader

Our Minnesota Twins are currently 38-32 and in 2nd Place in the AL Central Division. However, they’ve lost 4 of their last 5 games, the last two games they’ve had seemingly impossible losses. A few days ago I made a thread asking if this team should buy or sell at the deadline. When I made it, it was a no brainer that the team should buy, but now they’re on a bit of a losing streak.

Do you think this team can break out of its losing streak? Or do you think that they will be knocked out of contention quickly?

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I don't think they are in free fall mode but there are enough warts that they might be just a 500 type team.  Losing steaks and winning streaks happen in baseball all the time.  We have some younger players that could improve in Larnach, Miranda, and Kirilloff so you never know but just given what we have seen.  Cleveland looks pretty Solid the White Sox could go on a run if they get healthy and the Twins have the worst pen of those two teams so I don't like our chances at a division title right now.  It is baseball though and the unthinkable can happen at any moment so you can't count anybody out.  It just kind of looks like the odds are against us at this time.

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They're not in free fall, but they're not playing well either. The pen is brutal outside of Duran. The starters are a unit of the walking wounded trying to get their footing again. The offense is boom or bust game to game. The base running is awful. And the defense can make some spectacular plays, but too often makes bonehead plays (no excuse for Larnach throwing to the plate in the 9th and not keeping the go ahead run at first) or boots routine plays that the spectacular plays are outweighed by the bad.

This would be a great time for the All Star break so they could regroup for a week before getting back to it, but instead they need to get the ship straightened out over the next month without blowing up the season. We're not even halfway through the season so all the doom and gloom is premature, in my opinion. But there are real concerns with the pen and health of this team. There's not much that can be done to fix the pen externally at this point as other teams aren't willing to make trades yet, unless you drastically overpay, and that'd be an awful/desperate decision. They need to make some hard decisions on players like Duffey and Thielbar. It's all well and good to wish, hope, and maybe even expect a return to their previous quality performances, but you can't allow that hope to destroy the season. Duffey seems like a good dude, and I'm sure it's not fun DFAing good guys who have done a lot for your team, but that's what needs to happen sometimes. It's time to make some decisions on the arms this team has available and shake things up. Change some strategies. The plans may have been solid to start the year, but now you've been punched in the face and it's time to adjust. People always say baseball is a game of adjustments. Hitters have to adjust to new ways pitchers are trying to get them out, and front offices and managers need to adjust to the new reality of their teams. Can't let this season get away in the next month because you're not willing to make the tough calls.

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They are not in full free fall yet but recent results are not looking good.  They are inconsistent both offensively and pitching, especially relief pitching.  I think the pen is wearing down due to over use.  We should consider getting at least 1 more inning out of each of our starters or start bringing up a few long relievers for the pen or move Smeltzer to the pen.  Maybe try openers.  We need something different other than 4-5 innings of relief pictures each game.

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Too early to say we're in free fall but not too early to see how this team is short a few key components. We need at least one more consistent starting pitcher, 2-3 solid or better relief pitchers and at least one more solid middle of the order type bat. The good news is that we may get the starter when Ober and Winder come back, and one of them could be one of the relief pitchers we need. Maeda and Alcala could be 2 more later in the season, but it's hard to know when or rely on them. We need to trade for at least one more or find them in the minors.  Kirilloff and/or Miranda could be that middle of the order bat; Larnach seems less likely. Probably not something we have to get in a trade. 

I think the reality is that this team as presently constructed is an 80-87 win group. Could compete for a playoff spot or even the division but not much more than that. The old saw is that you play the first 1/3 of the season to see what you have, make changes in the second 1/3 to fill your holes, and play out the last 1/3 to see how you finish. We're in that second 1/3 and we need to make some changes. I hope that the FO and Rocco are up to the task because it may/will mean losing some good guys for have served the team well (Duffy, Theilbar, Gordon), trading some prospects we'd rather keep, and playing or DHing young guys over vets to see if we can upgrade the offense (Miranda and Kirilloff every day, less at bats for Urshela, Kepler and Sanchez).  Should be interesting top see if they are up to the task. 

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1 hour ago, Irishman said:

I have absolutely no faith in Twins.   I’m sorry to say that.   Their bullpen are so terrible.   Their starting pitchers are not that good at all.   
 

I think Falvey and Baldelli need to let go after this season.  

That would be the best outcome long term. But it's not going to happen.

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This team is not in free fall. They're 4-6 in their last 10 games and they'd been significantly outperforming this year. The team is +23 runs on the year and are still ahead of their Pythagorean (37-33). Losing a few games is going to happen and the AL Central has far more talent than it did in 2017-2020.

Freefall is what the Angels looked like. Losing 14 straight and 18 of 20. 

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39 minutes ago, SanoMustGo said:

This team, as constructed, is not good enough.(and will never be without a complete rebuild) I don't think it's a freefall, but a slow, painful death.  Trade away veteran assets and rebuild.

I vehemently disagree with this. This isn’t the NBA. Scorched earth rebuilds are very high risk, low reward propositions that take 5 years or more to recover from. I don’t want to watch the Pirates for the next decade.

this team is again, tied for first in the central. Is on pace for 90 wins. They’re 4th in the AL in runs scored, 7th in runs allowed.

a couple good bullpen pieces added, along with some health in the rotation can take this team a long ways in securing a post season berth.

it has been a rough patch, they are not in free fall.

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Are there Twins fans hoping that the Twins repeat 2021? The 2022 Twins team is much improved from one year ago and they will face some challenges all season as they battle to get into the playoffs. The Cleveland series was fun and baseball fans get to watch a 5 game series next week as these two teams vie for victories.

The Twins are not in anything like a free fall. The AL Central was pretty pathetic in 2019 and 2020. The Cleveland team is coming on and the division is better than previously. This will result in closer games.

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No this team is not in a free fall. They won today. Almost all teams go through good patches and rough patches - the key is having longer and more good patches than rough ones.

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1 hour ago, Richie the Rally Goat said:

I vehemently disagree with this. This isn’t the NBA. Scorched earth rebuilds are very high risk, low reward propositions that take 5 years or more to recover from. I don’t want to watch the Pirates for the next decade.

this team is again, tied for first in the central. Is on pace for 90 wins. They’re 4th in the AL in runs scored, 7th in runs allowed.

a couple good bullpen pieces added, along with some health in the rotation can take this team a long ways in securing a post season berth.

it has been a rough patch, they are not in free fall.

The FO won't do what is necessary t fix the pitching this year.

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1 minute ago, MMMordabito said:

They just need to get Sano back.

YES!  Bat him 3rd in the order and play him in CF so Buxton can rest for the rest of the season, cause his fragile body cannot stand up to what it takes.

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It’s a really long season. Yes the bullpen is frustrating but they have the ability to do something about it. I think they need to tighten up their play. Way too many sloppy plays in the field and on the base paths the last few weeks. I’m not generally a guy that dings Rocco but his teams are not super solid in the fundamentals of the game. 

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42 minutes ago, SanoMustGo said:

The FO won't do what is necessary t fix the pitching this year.

Please bring evidence. What makes you think they won’t make a trade or trades to improve the team?

Also, why would you choose to blow up a team that is currently on-pace to win 90 games and most of the team is on contract for next year? Why would you choose to watch a loser for a decade over a winner for two years at least?

Do you miss 2011 to 2018? I don’t

just say no to rebuilds

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I think the rotation hsa strength to be stronger. Give the pitchers a chance to just pitch past the fifth and often, at the least, a sixth inning.

I like the face of the lineup. Jeffers, Kirilloff, Arraez, Correa, Urshela, Kepler, Buxton, Larnach. A bench of Sanchez, Miranda, Gordon, Polanco, Celestino.

You got some pieces here to trade.

What I hate is the lack of a true closer. And the system used for using relievers in games. 

The division is still not the strongest. The division will be won (or lost) in September.

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As has already been addressed in other threads, the rest of this month is key. Luckily a 1-0 victory similar to earlier games this season saved then from being swept by the Guardinians and got them tied for first instead of 2 games back. The Colorado series is kind of scary but may be a blessing to play on the road and loose. Then the make or break 5 games at Cleveland in 4 days to close out the month. Really is a brutal run of games with the next off day not until July 7. .500 ball through all of this is most that can be expected but it could be much worse.

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After the games on May 24 we were at 27-16. Since then we have gone 13-17. Not wonderful but certainly not in free fall. I believe we lead the majors in injured list time and Cleveland got hot for a while but in spite of those issues we are still in first place. I think this team will be in contention for the postseason from this point forward.

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Since The beginning of June, the Twins pitching staff is 28th in MLB in WAR with 0 WAR. The SP are slightly positive and the RP have slightly negative WAR. 
https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2022&month=1000&season1=2022&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&startdate=2022-06-01&enddate=2022-06-26

For the hitters.  Celestino, Kepler, Urshela, Sanchez, and Kirilloff have 0 to negative WAR (for the month of June)

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=10&type=8&season=2022&month=1000&season1=2022&ind=0&team=8&rost=1&age=&filter=&players=&startdate=2022-06-01&enddate=2022-06-26
 

I am not sure about free fall, but the pitching staff as currently constructed, is not playoff caliber.  Kepler, Urshela, Sanchez, and Kirilloff have to do better  

 

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6 hours ago, Nine of twelve said:

After the games on May 24 we were at 27-16. Since then we have gone 13-17. Not wonderful but certainly not in free fall. I believe we lead the majors in injured list time and Cleveland got hot for a while but in spite of those issues we are still in first place. I think this team will be in contention for the postseason from this point forward.

Agreed. Going through some adversity could help them later in the season when the pressure ramps up, too. 

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