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  • Twins Daily Minnesota Twins Starting Pitcher of the Month - August 2021


    Seth Stohs

    August is complete, and we are already handing out awards. Today, we are going to share the Twins Daily choice for Pitcher of the Month. There were several relievers and one starter who were deserving of consideration.  

    Taylor Rogers was the choice for Twins Daily Pitcher of the Month in both May and June, and Kenta Maeda ‘received’ the award in August. Who will take home the prestigious award in their minds (because we haven’t come up with any sort of physical trophy or plaque or piece of paper). 

    Now, before we get too far into this, I will debunk a rumor that was going around the Twitter-sphere on Wednesday afternoon. 

     Sure, he had a 0.00 ERA and just a 1.00 WHIP, and opponents didn’t get a single hit off of him all month, but here are some candidates that finished ahead of La Tortuga in voting. 

    Before even getting to the Honorable Mentions and the Winner, there were several strong pitching performances by the Twins in August, particularly out of the bullpen. Unfortunately, the starting pitching was not as good. 

    • First, Andrew Albers posted a 0.96 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in his two appearances and 9 1/3 innings. 
    • Jorge Alcala had a 1.50 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP in August, but he pitched in just five games and spent half of the month on the Injured List. 
    • Tyler Duffey had a 2.25 ERA and 12 strikeouts but had just eight innings and a 1.75 WHIP.
    • Caleb Thielbar became one of the most reliable arms out of the team’s bullpen. He had 14 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings. His WHIP was just 0.95. 

    Without further ado, here are three honorable mentions, followed by the big winner!

    Honorable Mention #3: RHP Ralph Garza, Jr. 

    The Twins claimed the 27-year-old right-hander after the Astros DFA’d him on August 1st. He was called up to the Twins on August 14th and has been impressive since. In eight games and 10 1/3 innings, he posted a 1.74 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP. He gave up just two earned runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out nine batters. Opponents hit just .167 against him. 

    The Twins have claimed several players off waivers over the past couple of months and signed a few others to minor league deals. Several have already been DFAd and weren’t claimed by another team, hence, they remain in St. Paul (Beau Burrows, Edgar Garcia, Nick Vincent). However, Garza, with his multiple side-winding arm angles and pitch movement, has made a good first impression. 

    Honorable Mention #2: RHP Alexander Colome 

    Colome hasn’t been good in 2021. It would be tough to argue that he has been. However, he was solid in August. Following the trade of Hansel Robles at the July 30th trade deadline and the season-ending injury to Taylor Rogers, Colome has returned to the closer’s role and generally been good. Of his 13 appearances in August, ten of them provided him with a save opportunity. He converted eight of them. And he had a solid month in Alexander Colome fashion. In his 12 2/3 innings, he had a 1.22 WHIP. He gave up some hits, and he issued five walks to go with just five strikeouts. 

    Honorable Mention #1: Bailey Ober

    Ober made his big-league debut in May. He had some ups and downs along the way, but overall, the Twins have to be thrilled with his performance. In his five August starts, he went 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. In 27 1/3 innings, he gave up 27 hits, walked just three and struck out 26 batters.

    As important, Ober has been very consistent and reliable over the past month. He pitched at least five innings in all five starts. His ERA dropped from 4.94 to 3.98 over the course of the month. He hasn’t given up more than three earned runs since July 10. The Twins are now 10-6 in games started by Ober in 2021. The only rookie starters whose teams have a better winning percentage in their games started are Alek Manoak of the Blue Jays and Shane McClanahan of the Rays. 

    Twins Starting Pitcher of the Month: Juan Minaya 

    Minaya has been with the Twins since the beginning of the 2020 season. Before that, he had spent much of the previous four seasons in the White Sox bullpen. He had recorded 142 strikeouts over 128 1/3 innings with Chicago. He signed a minor league signed a minor league deal with the Twins and went to spring training 2020. He then participated at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. In fact, he was called up to the Twins once last year, but a day or two later, he was DFAd without pitching in a game. He went unclaimed and stayed in the organization. 

    He signed back with the Twins in 2021 and began the season in St. Paul.  He was called up to the Twins at the end of May and pitched in four games before being DFAd on June 5th to make room for Griffin Jax. He was again unclaimed and returned to St. Paul. However, in mid-July, he was called up one more time, and after sporadic appearances, he got thrown into more proverbial fires following the trade deadline, and he has been very good. 

    In August, Minaya worked in ten games. He went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Opponents hit just .180 off of him. He walked eight, but struck out 16 batters in his 14 innings.  

    Still just 30-years-old, Minaya has a chance to keep himself on the 40-man roster throughout the offseason and in the plans for the team’s 2022 bullpen. August was a good month for that endeavor. 

     

    Congratulations to Juan Minaya on a great month, as well as the other Honorable Mentions. Do you agree that Minaya is the choice? Should Bailey Ober have been the recipient? 

     

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    To me it is Ober and it really isn't close. 5 starts, 3 of them he started pitching the 6th inning, two of them he completed the 6th, and all of them finished 5 innings. Something he has not been able to prior to August. He has learned to get more out of his 70/80 pitches as the season has went on.

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    The most important individual performance in August IMO was Ober establishing his place in rotation for next year.  However, the BP in aggregate is looking like we have added some pieces that will help next year.  Minaya looks to be part of the future.  Garza could do the same with a strong performance the remainder of the season and Griffin Jax will probably end up as part of the BP solution.  Coulumbe is serviceable too.  Alcala has what it takes and he seems to be putting it together.  Get Rodgers back with Alcala performing the way he has recently, put Gant in the BP, replace Colome with a reliable late inning guy and along with these new additions we have reason to be optimistic about the BP next year.

    Rodgers / FA / Duffey / Alcala / Minaya / Gant / Thielbar / Garza Jr.  A LH free agent would be ideal or a RH free agent, Gant starts the year in rotation if he does well the rest of the year.  Jax is a depth piece in the rotation or replaces Garza. 

     

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    I get that with a pool of just 5 starters it hardly makes sense to split this in two groups of reliever or starter as your top 5 starters would likely have to include poor performer's but starter versus reliever seems like compering apples and oranges to me. So IMO this really should be parsed out as separate for reliever and Starter.

    The more innings pitched the better the sample size even if a month is a SSS on its own.  Relievers with so few innings pitched and such a SSSS tells us very little other than they held their own for a few innings.  Hands down just value wise this belongs to Ober as he pitched more innings almost as effectively as a reliever.  

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    Missed it, Seth. Ober was the key. The lone effective starter on the staff who, sadly, only pitches five innings and usually doesn't get the decision.

     

    The off-season will be interesting. Names that the Twins have designated, yet went unclaimed. Should the Twins still do the same and hope they can woo guys back with minor league contracts (maybe do it now, like Tampa Bay did with Slegers). Pay Minaya, Garza, Thielbar, Coulombe, Hamilton, Gibaut bigger contracts to maybe end up at St. Paul - much better than 40-man roster money. Of course, they could be grabbed in the Rule 5. But like the decision that COULD be made on Dobank (depending on how he pitches), teams would rather pass than pay.

     

    One inning can kill a bullpen arm (like if Duffey didn't strike out three guys, that bases-loaded by Minaya could've been three runs easily).

     

    Since our rottion is now Ober, Jax, Ryan and pray for rain, the bullpen looks interesting.

     

    Rogers, Duffey, Alcala. 

    Thielbar, Coulombe, Minaya, Garza, Gibaut, Gant, Farrell are all still in play. But, really, could you live with names like Moran, Cano, Mason in place of any of the minor free agents signed? Gonna be some tough questions, and hope the Twins don't get pillaged in the Rule 5 or minor league free agent marketplace

     

    Amazingly, we aren't talking about people like Thorpe, Smeltzer in the future of the Twins. Let alone Colina.

     

    Interesting note: the Twins could've advanced Duran to the major league roster to clear up a 40-man space by then putting him on the 60-day for September, but didn't.

     

     

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    I always have to remind myself, that I don't know what is really happening with these guys. We only see the results of their day to day efforts.  It is easy to mistake a lucky outting for a good outing & an unlucky outting for a bad outting.  :)

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    Sometimes, there just isn't anyone that deserves an award, and like the HOF, you just skip it that time.

    This thread is the best place I could find to post this..... Colome is now being used to sell MLB.TV to Twins' fans on the Twins MLB site. Let that sink in. MLB thinks Colome will inspire action to watch the Twins the rest of the season. Circle of Awareness, MLB?

     

    colome mlbtv.jpg

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    15 minutes ago, h2oface said:

    Sometimes, there just isn't anyone that deserves an award, and like the HOF, you just skip it that time.

    This thread is the best place I could find to post this..... Colome is now being used to sell MLB.TV to Twins' fans on the Twins MLB site. Let that sink in. MLB thinks Colome will inspire action to watch the Twins the rest of the season. Circle of Awareness, MLB?

    That's Pineda in that picture.

    Which is also a little ridiculous since he's injured and may or may not pitch again this season.

    And maybe, just maybe, there doesn't need to be a picture of a Twin on an ad about "the race to the postseason" at all...?

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    1 hour ago, whosafraidofluigirussolo said:

    That's Pineda in that picture.

    Which is also a little ridiculous since he's injured and may or may not pitch again this season.

    And maybe, just maybe, there doesn't need to be a picture of a Twin on an ad about "the race to the postseason" at all...?

    If only it had been Colome. I'm pretty sure he will be able to vault *some* team into the post season this year, but it won't be the Twins

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    6 hours ago, whosafraidofluigirussolo said:

    That's Pineda in that picture.

    Which is also a little ridiculous since he's injured and may or may not pitch again this season.

    And maybe, just maybe, there doesn't need to be a picture of a Twin on an ad about "the race to the postseason" at all...?

    Pineda, eh? Damn. I guess I didn't recognize him with his tongue not sticking out :rolleyes: Colome on top. I guess the sure tell is the crooked of the hat. Colome is right crooked and Pineda is left crooked.

    I find it sad that either would be the face of the Twins.

    colome.jpg

    pineda.jpeg

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    6 minutes ago, h2oface said:

    I find it sad that either would be the face of the Twins.

    Injured or consistently terrible (or both) is representative of the 2021 Twins.

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