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    wsnydes

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  3. USAFChief

    USAFChief

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/21/2022 in all areas

  1. Mike Sixel

    Chris Paddack UCL

    I'm here for the " this front office is bad at their jobs" takes. Despite, you know, actually being good...
    31 points
  2. Impressive loss for Bundy. Instead of showing embarrassment, he took his lumps, then kept working on his game. In the end, working against live batters, Bundy got sharp and stayed there, finishing up looking as dominant as he did in his previous start. He also saved the pen from spending at least two more pitchers. Kudos, Mr. Bundy. Impressive loss.
    24 points
  3. Is this a serious comment? You don't understand why they signed a platinum glove winning, MVP candidate SS when they could? Sorry to break it to you, but Lewis is the one they'd have to find a position for. When Correa gets healthy they're going to put the platinum glove winning SS back at SS. If Lewis mashes they'll move him to 3B or LF or a super utility role.
    23 points
  4. I don't think Tampa Bay will ever try to make a trade with the Twins again.
    23 points
  5. quit knocking on Arraez..i'm perfectly fine with him at 1st or DH..don't care if he doesn't knock it out of the park. what this team does too often is K....i'd rather have a guy up there batting .300 + than a guy batting .220 and hitting a HR every 20 AB's and K-ing 10 times.
    22 points
  6. For the record, I'm also open to the Pohlads giving me $300,000,000, if anyone out there was wondering.
    22 points
  7. I… uh… think it may have arrived. This team may just have gotten really good in a hurry.
    21 points
  8. 1. Based on actual performance on the field. We just sent down our 4th best position player. I understand that this is my opinion. I also understand small sample sizes. I understand that he could slump in the future and settle in at a different spot in my subjective rankings. However... The guy was handed a job and he did that job better than most of the players who remain and it wasn't particularly close either. The team just sent down our 4th best position player in my opinion. I know we can always call him back up... it's not the end of the world... we didn't release him... but yeah... we just sent down our 4th best position player. That is always going to be hard to justify. 2. They were unprepared for his success. The organization was not prepped for this. Baldelli said that they are going to send him down to play SS but also get exposed to other positions. THEY ARE LATE WITH THIS PLAN!!! If it is necessary to get him exposed to other positions... it should have been done already. It's disappointing that my team (that I thought was progressive) would let a positional bottleneck occur. If you have a Correa on the 26 man roster and a top prospect on the 40 man at the same position and not considering (planning) for the possibility of a different position for that position player behind Correa... you dropped the ball. Even if you don't have a Correa on your roster... any time a prospect has to wait in line at one position and one position only... you extend that wait... waiting for that one spot to get hurt or fail. THEY ARE LATE WITH THIS NEW PLAN!!! 3. Do we have to wait until Correa specifically gets hurt again to see Lewis. How long is this exposure process going to take? If Kepler or Urshela gets hurt for example next week... will Lewis need more exposure or do we call up a lesser player to play 3B or OF instead? Miranda has not played well and is still here so the answer appears to be lesser players until this exposure process plays out. I remain supportive of the front office but Jeez... I am disappointed.
    20 points
  9. Why field your best performing players, anyway, eh? It would be sooooooo unusual for the Twins to bring a player up and have him play a position he doesn't really play. They never do that, right?
    20 points
  10. Don't get mad at Urshela or Sano for their baserunning. When Coach yells "Last Batter" before the pitch, you just keep going until the other side puts each runner out. You know that ice cream is waiting for you at Dairy Queen.
    20 points
  11. I have a really tough time finding any reason that justifies sending him down. look at what the Padres did with CJ Abrams, a SS by trade, to start the season. He was hitting so well in spring training they decided that getting his bat in the lineup, regardless of position, gave them the best opportunity to win. He played SS, LF, RF, and 2nd. Tatis comes back, clearly short isn't an option. Oh same problem with the Twins .. Correa comes back, short isn't an option. This situation is no different. Abrams was coming off a major knee injury as well and if he was able to prove he could hit at the MLB level he'd still be up in San Diego because that helped the team. Royce Lewis on the other did prove he can hit MLB level pitching. I really do not understand this whole argument for getting him reps at SS just for defensive development. If that's the logic we want go by, then don't even bother bringing up the rest of the season. He clearly is athletic enough to play any of the 3 outfield positions. He has and can slide 15 feet over to 3rd, especially for a SS with his arm and the range + ability to make throws charging in (we saw it plenty in the 11 games he played) .. It's not like were throwing a fielder of Luis Arraez's caliber over there. (arod, hanley ramirez, machado, etc all did it midseason). Nick Gordon - 259 / 292 / 309 Gio Urshela - 226 / 280 / 330 Royce Lewis - 308 / 325 / 564 ... (top prospect, future cornerstone) Worried defensively? Arraez played 1st, 3rd, and LF in MLB with less than 10 games played in minors at any. Gordon played ZERO in the OF before being thrown out there. What in the world are we doing .. Your in 1st place, if he gives you the best opportunity to win, there's no reason to have him play in AAA getting reps shagging balls in left or taking grounders at 3rd.
    19 points
  12. For God's sake. Everybody and their brother are either hurt or in Mendoza-range, and there've been a run of Molitor-level lineups of late. But sure, let's take the one guy who's actually producing and exciting the fans, and stuff him back east. It's not like he wouldn't be learning anything watching CC every day up close, and spelling him at SS when necessary. Oh, and let's take that other promising kid who's utterly looking lost, flailing at the plate, and costing us chances to win actual games, and keep him up on this side of the river. Because, let's not try to win any MLB games along the way, or anything.
    19 points
  13. I’d love to think that maybe part of this decision is because they are confident in working out a long-term deal with Correa. Yeah, I dream big.
    19 points
  14. He seems to genuinely like it here and appears to have already formed a really good relationship with Buxton, as evidenced by him calming down Buxton and helping him get his head right mid-game and then shouting "BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD" at Buxton after he walked it off. I find myself liking Carlos Correa more than I ever expected. He seems like a really positive influence on the team, which definitely may not have been the case when dealing with a highly paid player on a huge contract who can't hit his way out of a wet paper bag.
    19 points
  15. I agree with Perkins. This could happen in Minneapolis. Royce does not appear to need kid gloves to help in his development. It's a lack of imagination, and the need to keep churning pitchers that forced this, and that sucks. We need Royce's bat, now and moving forward.
    18 points
  16. Uh.......not buying what your selling Nick......really....Manager of the Year? This has to rank in the higher stages of hyperbolic statements ever authored on TD.
    18 points
  17. Catfish. Now there’s an ugly fish. But they’re fun to catch, at least a neighbor told me that. We were whacking fresh rhubarb out of the patch that straddled our property line, sweating in the sun, throwing lies and fairy tales about so he might’ve been exaggerating a little. I’ve never done that myself. Anyway, he claimed he once caught a thirty-pound catfish out of the Minnesota River and took most of an hour to relate the complete tale. I wasn’t sure who got the worst of it; me or the catfish. Anyway, fighting the fish so exhausted my neighbor he claimed his arms were about to fall off before he landed the brute. He’s been hooked on the catfish sport ever since. I guess you could say the experience turned him into a catfish hunter. Speaking of which (notice the smooth transition), Charles Finley, the colorful former owner of the Kansas City Athletics, was also a catfish hunter; in his case “thee” Catfish Hunter. “Catfish” was born just plain old James Augustus Hunter, before Finley hooked him with a baseball contract. Finley, always a showman, thought the nineteen year-old pitcher needed a flashy nickname that would help sell tickets, so he re-christened his new player “Catfish” and thus the legend began. Catfish, though he never played for the Minnesota Twins, did have a few Minnesota connections, one rather ignominious for him; his brother shot him in the foot while the boys were hunting; a second connection ignominious for the Twins and the third a Bob Dylan song written in his honor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eql7x6AYTM4 Finley sent the injured young Hunter to Mayo Clinic here in Minnesota to get the foot-shooting damage repaired, but Hunter still lost a toe as a result of the accident. Sort of reminiscent of Hall of Fame pitcher Mordecai “Three Fingers” Brown, twice World Series Champion with the Cubs, so named because he’d lost a finger in a farm accident as a kid. Hunter, however, never became “Nine Toe” Hunter. At least he could thank Finley for that much. Signed right out of high school, Catfish never played in the minors. He won his first professional game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park in 1965 and was named to the American League All Star team in both 1966 and 1967. Not a bad start for a young fella. Finley moved the A’s from Kansas City to Oakland in 1968 and on May 8 of that same year (here it comes), ahem, against the Minnesota Twins, Hunter pitched the 9th perfect game in baseball history. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning when Hunter laid down a run-scoring bunt and drove in two more runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth. Yeah, the “eighth” inning. You know, when today’s pitchers have long been tucked away and wrapped in cotton to to “protect” their arm from falling off. There are four things I find remarkable about Hunter’s perfect game; one, of course, it was a perfect game; secondly, Hunter had three hits; third, he had three RBI’s; and fourth, he bunted, successfully, a mostly forsaken art in today’s launch angle game. Despite Hunter’s numerous awards as a pitcher (Cy Young, multiple All Star selections, multiple 20-win seasons, multiple complete games, World Series Championships, Hall of Fame, etc) Catfish is also remembered as being the first free agent in professional baseball. After a $50,000 salary dispute with Finley, Hunter was ruled a free agent and was quickly signed by the Evil Empire for what was then the highest salary in baseball; 5 years for $3.5 million. That first year with the Yankees Hunter led the league in wins (23) for the second year in a row, innings pitched (328) and complete games (30) but still finished second (to Jim Palmer) for the American League Cy Young Award. Think about that and compare those numbers to today’s pitchers. You may then ponder, as I (I’m a professional ponderer), why some of today’s managers (not mentioning any one in particular) fear letting a pitcher throw 100 pitches, or more than five innings in a particular outing, or do 200 innings in a season without breaking into a cold sweat at the thought of his “stud” pitcher throwing a complete game without needing a couple weeks off. But that was then, this is now. Fortunately for us, the Athletics no longer have a Catfish Hunter to skunk the Twins, but it is May and the Twins have been known to stink up the occasional stadium, especially when playing a team they should readily beat. Let’s hope instead they’ll cast their bait upon still water tonight and pull in their own Perfect Game, getting a little historical revenge against the A’s. But like most of you I'm fishing for a win of any kind. Let’s just hope it isn’t too ugly, you know, two or three more Twins headed for the IL. Today’s Pitchers Twins Chris Archer RHP 0-1 ERA 4.43 22 K Athletics Zack Logue LHP 2-1 ERA 1.35 12 K Line-ups Not yet posted And by the way, my baseball novel, the one I’ve been working on for 30 years, has finally been published as a Kindle book on Amazon. It’s free for the next five days, one of those book promotion things. You can read it on just about any device if you download the right software from Amazon and of course if you already own a Kindle. So have a go at it. It’s based on the Twins with some “fictional” characters us old-timers might recognize mixed in. Give it a shout out on Amazon if you like it. Here’s the link. https://www.amazon.com/Prospect-Dave-Gehrke-ebook/dp/B09YS7GG7N/ref=sr_1_1crid=YBYEF1IIM0TG&keywords=The+Prospect+Dave+Gehrke&qid=1652483919&sprefix=the+prospect+dave+gehrke%2Caps%2C562&sr=8-1
    18 points
  18. Hi everybody, and welcome to today's game thread. I'm not going to try to do any analysis because we have plenty of contributors to this site who perform this function much better than I could. Instead I'm going to use my usual 5-topic introduction. 1. Happy Mother's day to all, especially to those who are mothers. Your mother contributed a lot to your life. For one thing, over half of your DNA was inherited from your biological mother. Also please remember that any woman who contributed to your upbringing was in some sense your mother. Father's Day and Grandparent's Day are coming later in the year. Speaking of grandparents, my parents used to make me spend two weeks with my grandparents every summer. I did it even though I hated the cemetery. 2. In many years Minnesota's fishing season opener takes place on Mother's Day weekend. But because Mother's Day falls on an early date this year it's not until next weekend. This reminds me of the old proverb: Give a man a fish and he has food for a day. Teach a man to fish and he has to buy bamboo rods, graphite reels, monofilament lines, neoprene waders, creels, tackleboxes, lures, flies, spinners, worm rigs, slip sinkers, offset hooks, gore-tex hats, 20 pocket vests, fish finders, depth sounders, radar, boats, trailers, global positioning systems, coolers, and six-packs. 3. Yesterday's Kentucky Derby was a stunning race. I won't say which horse won for those of you who aren't aware of the result, but here's what happened: 4. Baseball has been such an integral part of American life for so many years that it is inevitable that many baseball idioms have become part of the English language. Here are 30 of them that I found after a very quick search. 1. ballpark figure: a rough estimate 2. bat a thousand: a reference to a continuing series of successes, alluding to a baseball player who gets on base every time at bat 3. box score: a count or summary (from the chart on which a games statistical details are recorded; applicable to various sports but originating in reference to baseball) 4. bush league: a sports organization subordinate to the major leagues (referring to the usually rural locations of such teams; can apply to any sport but originated in reference to baseball) 5. curve ball: something unexpected (from the unpredictable trajectory of that type of baseball pitch) 6. go to bat for: support (from the notion of a batter contributing to his team) 7–8. hit a home run/hit one out of the park: be successful 9. in the ballpark: close; said of an estimate (compared to being within the confines of a stadium) 10–11. it’s a whole new ball game/different ball game: a reference to a changed situation 12. keep (one’s) eyes on the ball: maintain focus (compared to a batter concentrating on a pitch) 13. major league: significant, as in a reference to a company that is one of the leaders in its industry or line of business (from the fact that the major leagues are the pinnacle of achievement in sports) 14. off base: wrong, or on the wrong track (from the notion of a player not being in contact with one of the bases) 15. on deck: next in line (from the location designated for the next batter to await his turn) 16. out in left field: said of a person with an eccentric or unusual idea (from the idea of left field being a distant location) 17. out of (one’s) league: said of one who is trying to succeed in an area in which he or she faces superior competition or is striving to achieve too much (originally from baseball but applicable to many sports) 18. (hit it) out of the park: succeed (comparing a success to a home run) 19. pinch hitter: substitute (from the designation of a player taking another’s place at bat) 20. play ball: cooperate 21. play hardball: act aggressively (from the density of a baseball as compared to a softball) 22. rain check: a promise to make good on an offer (from tickets offered for rescheduled sporting events postponed by rain; originated in baseball but applicable to any outdoor sport or event) 23. softball: an easy, noncontroversial question 24. step up to the plate: take responsibility (compared to a player taking his turn at bat) 25. strike out: fail, especially repeatedly 26. strikes against (one): said of more than one disadvantage or mistake a person has against him or her 27. swing for the fences: perform with great effort or intensity (as compared to a baseball player trying to hit a home run) 28. three strikes and you’re out: a reference to someone being given three chances to succeed (analogous to the three strikes a hitter is allowed before being called out) 29. throw (one) a curve: surprise someone with something unexpected or not expected as presented (as compared to a curveball) 30. touch base: contact (compared to a player landing a foot on a base) 5. After a rainy morning it appears the weather will clear enough to allow the game to be played. But even if the weather doesn't cooperate I'm sure they'll try to play between the raindrops. The Twins' lineup has not been posted as I write this, so I'll wait until it's available and post both teams' lineups together. Go Twins!
    18 points
  19. So excited!! Royce is such a good guy. He's uber-talented, but he also believes in himself. That he is off to such a terrific start in St. Paul after missing two years speaks to his work ethic, confidence and ability!!
    18 points
  20. Interesting fact: Paddack, in spite of loads more experience, is about a year and a half younger than Wells.
    18 points
  21. Which Jeffers are you talking about? Jeffers is good catcher: appears to call a good game, sets a nice target and does an excellent job with pitch framing, and blocks the plate pretty well. He's not the greatest at controlling the running game, but he's not awful at it either. And right now he's hitting just fine: OPS+ of 117. Good power, solid eye at the plate. (He's also significantly out-playing Mitch Garver so far) Weird take, mah dude.
    18 points
  22. With the Minnesota Twins holding a surprisingly sturdy lead in the American League Central, it’s no wonder that the team’s fans have some strong words about their unexpected success. “It is absurd to me that they treat Byron Buxton with kid gloves,” said Hank Winters, 67, a retired bank executive. “Harmon Killebrew played every day and he’s in the Hall of Fame. Buxton may as well just work for the government. Sick of this.” The Twins lead the heavily favored and godless Chicago White Sox by three games after a rocky 4-8 start. They're on pace to win a stunning 94 games. This playoff-worthy effort has given the fanbase plenty to talk about. “Royce Lewis hits the cover off the ball and you send him to Triple-A,” said Beck Bradford, 41, a youth volleyball coordinator from Castle Rock Township. “Miranda can’t hit a bull in the ass with a handful of sand and Correa won’t even be here next year. But the boy geniuses (Twins executives Derek Falvey and Thad Levine) looked at the algorithms and said, ‘Nope, Royce, you go over to St. Paul, grab a stool at Alary’s, get comfortable. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.’ “I’ve never been more angry,” added Bradford. Minnesota’s 22-16 record can be chalked up to several factors, perhaps none more important than the bullpen, which has been asked to do a lot with the starters still rounding themselves into shape after the lockout-shortened spring. This has not gone unnoticed. “Chris Paddack is already going under the knife for Tommy John and we have no consistent closer,” said Tamara Kapsner, 49, a car salesperson in Robbinsdale. “Meanwhile, Taylor Rogers is going to the All-Star Game. If I made that kind of deal at my job they wouldn’t have to fire me, I’d just throw my [EXPLETIVE] in a box and go. Great call. Super.” With the team’s schedule remarkably soft over the next couple weeks, the chance for Minnesota to put some space between them and the rest of the Central has people talking. “I never took PTO in 27 years at TCF (Bank),” said Winters. “Because I had a work ethic. Did I miss birthdays and graduations and custody hearings and my third marriage? Yes. All of them. Cry more, Byron.” “Spreadsheet oughta be manager, not Rocco (Baldelli),” said Bradford. “Bleep boop, pivot table, bench Correa, he’s played one game in a row, might hurt himself again.” “May as well just trade (Jhoan) Duran for (retired former Twin) Mike Pelfrey,” said Kapsner. “Disgusting. Pohlads should’ve contracted them when they had the chance.”
    17 points
  23. Option 4: combine options 2 and 3. He's currently one of the 9 best hitters on this team and if they're serious about contending this year you keep him up because he gives you a better chance to win games. Correa was already getting regularly scheduled off days before the hand injury so there's no reason to think that will change. Lewis is their best SS after Correa so it makes sense to give him a couple starts a week there when you DH or sit Correa. Put him at 3B for 2 other starts a week and LF/CF (I assume he could handle LF without any issue and we've seen him play CF very well in the AFL) for another 2 starts a week. He's getting everyday ABs and gets to work with Correa on the side for his SS defense.
    17 points
  24. I'm not buying it either. Their record, I'm afraid, is largely due to the super easy schedule so far. While the Twins won 2 out of 3 against the Rays, they got killed by the Dodgers and Astros. All the other teams they played are terrible. SO, they haven't been tested. If they can play well against actual good teams, then you can see what you've got in them. Their super easy schedule continues until June. If they made the playoffs, they'd be huge underdogs. How about letting Rocco get a single playoff game win before calling him great?
    17 points
  25. Yeah. Definitely not like he has won that award once and finished 5th another time in his 3-year managerial career. Very outlandish suggestion,
    17 points
  26. Nice series win, and Winder was very impressive. Want to give a shout out to the defense, not just for today, but all year so far. It's been very good, and has been the difference in at least a couple Ws this year.
    17 points
  27. Finally! Fun With Numbers that's actually fun!
    17 points
  28. Any reason 3B wasn't included? That's where I'd look to put him. Also, the 'yuck' .538 OPS is based on a really small sample size. So small in fact that because BBR for some reason hasn't updated with last nights game his OPS is actually over 100 points higher at .643.
    16 points
  29. Never mind that Lewis was a complete unknown two months ago. The guy literally had not played an actual baseball game since 2019. You can put him in the cage and through every drill in the book but until you get him on a baseball diamond against peer competition, it's mostly guesswork.
    16 points
  30. Not worried at all it’s the first month of the season he has put the ball in play taken walks and found his way on base and then stolen bases. Not every hitter need to hit 30 hr and strike out 200 times. I like the positional versatility look at how valueable Arraez has been filling in. i do think the SS experiment needs to end and move him back around the OF and 2B 3B. If the power doesn’t come 4 of the 5 tools with great bat to ball skills is still extremely valuable.
    16 points
  31. Fun night tonight with the little one and the wife. Our starter threw us one of his warm up balls.
    16 points
  32. Joe Smith is an absolute bargain at just $2.5 million! It’s really nice to have another guy we can trust to come in and get big outs down in the bullpen.
    16 points
  33. Sending down Lewis and keeping Miranda up because he "can play first base" is asinine imo. Any MLB bench player should be able to play left field at a passable level, Lewis can do that. I see zero good reasons to sending him back down. Its moves like this, on top of not being able to manage the leash on pen arms properly that drive me nuts with this team, managing and all around operation. Its almost parody at this point. Think of the dumbest way they can manage players and games, and they will probably do it.
    15 points
  34. Baldelli had the makings of a slam-dunk hire in 2019, when he became the youngest recipient of Manager of the Year in history, leading the Twins to a historic 101-win season. He followed with another division title in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. One would think such an impressive start to his managerial career would earn the guy a bit of leeway in the eyes of fans. Turns out, not so much. While experiencing his first rocky year at the helm, Rocco was routinely derided by a large portion of the fanbase and columnist hive in 2021's last-place debacle. Never mind he was supplied by the front office with Alex Colomé as his closer and the Happ-maker combo as his rotation reinforcements. Never mind dealing with a rotten hand injury-wise. Baldelli took major heat nonetheless. It's the name of the game. As this 2022 season got off to similarly ugly start, with a 4-8 record two weeks in, fans on Twitter were calling for Rocco's head and a certain desperate-for-attention local media outlet was hilariously attempting to manufacture a manager controversy. Since that 4-8 start, Baldelli's Twins are 17-7. They're winning tight games. They're playing far cleaner, crisper ball than opponents. And they're bouncing back from adversity. Tactically, Baldelli has been pressing the right buttons and his decision have paid off time and time again. Here are three examples from Monday's 3-1 victory: 1: Chris Archer pulled after four innings. It wasn't an obvious call by any means. Archer had allowed only one run on two hits over four innings. He was at just 62 pitches when Baldelli made the decision to pull him. The Twins were in the midst of a stretch with nine games in nine days. They could've tried to squeeze another inning or two. The skipper did not want to see Archer face Oakland's lineup for a third time and that was absolutely the right call. Yennier Canó came in and mowed down the next two frames, giving hitters a very different look from the starter. Griffin Jax followed with two scoreless frames, and then Tyler Duffey closed things out in a clean ninth. Another shutout showing from the relief corps. Minnesota's bullpen, despite losing one of the best relievers in baseball on the eve of Opening Day, has been phenomenal. Elite by any measure. Elite! Who would've expected this based on the personnel we saw forming this unit? Twins relief pitchers – from Canó to Jax to Joe Smith to Jhoan Duran to Emilio Pagán and beyond – are getting it done. Rocco is putting them in spots to succeed, as has been his trademark. His bullpen ranked third in the majors in WAR in 2019, and second in 2020. Baldelli quietly has an argument as the best bullpen manager in baseball. 2: Small ball pays off in the 5th inning. I'm not a big fan of small-ball tactics generally, and based on his tendencies I think it's safe to say Baldelli feels the same. (I mean, that 2019 team was basically a giant middle-finger to small ball as a concept.) But both of us could agree that it made sense to take such an approach in the fifth inning of a 1-1 game after Royce Lewis drew a leadoff walk. Nick Gordon, the #9 hitter who entered with a paltry .596 OPS, stepped in and got the bunt call. He executed, bringing up the team's best hitter with one out and a man in scoring position. Byron Buxton? Oh, you know he executed. Even if it hadn't worked out, bunting with Gordon there is a move that simply made sense. Baldelli has shown he'll go that route when it's warranted. You wonder if the dead-ball trend might compel this calculating manager to keep adjusting in that direction. 3: Buxton was on the field. There's been a whole bunch of grumbling lately about the team's "kid-gloves treatment" of Buxton. (Much of it, you'll be shocked to learn, coming from the aforementioned desperate-for-attention outlet.) Apparently it is now controversial to take a cautious approach in a 162-game season with your vitally important superstar who also happens to be banged up, and maybe the most injury-prone player in the league. Yes, Baldelli and the Twins have opened up about their intentions to manage Buxton's workload this year in hopes of keeping him off the injured list. Their plan has been successful so far, in every way. Buxton has avoided the IL – despite a few scares that continue to affect him – and the Twins are six games above .500, leading the division, even with him playing only two-thirds of the time. Winning the division and having Buxton healthy for the playoffs should be this team's utmost aspiration. It's a combination they haven't yet been able to achieve yet. Right now, Baldelli has the Twins on track to do both. And people are still complaining. SMH. Some of us appreciate you, Rocco, and see the things you're doing to help this team exceed expectations. Many won't. But that's the name of the game.
    15 points
  35. That's too bad for Paddack. Hopefully we get to see him back on the mound next year even under the worst case scenario. But I have to be honest, I've gotten a real taste for watching these young pitchers, I liked what I saw from Paddack, but I'm looking forward to soon seeing Woods-Richardson, Canterino, Balazovic, Henriquez or even Sands walking through the newly opened door.
    15 points
  36. Joe Smith is remarkable. Duran looks like he's playing catch. Precision aplomb.
    15 points
  37. The next time you feel like you are not good at what you are trying, remember that these are the best ballplayers on the planet. If they can do that occasionally, you can make a mistake and still be good at what you want to do.
    15 points
  38. I’m not hesitant to criticize our front office. However I want to give them credit for signing Nelson Cruz, getting great production from him and then flipping him for Joe Ryan. Huge benefits that may last for many more years with Ryan in the rotation. Here is the must un-sabr observation ever. Ever notice that Nick Gordon does something positive every time he gets in there?
    15 points
  39. That Nelson Cruz trade is looking more and more like a heist.
    15 points
  40. bighat

    Buxton's back!

    Buxton will be leading off and DH'ing against the Royals this afternoon.
    15 points
  41. There are some games where there really isn't much to say or needs to be said. Glad to have the win.
    14 points
  42. Lol ... posters here don't disappoint. It surprises me that it wasn't Miranda being sent down first, but that's really the only surprise. But when they activate Larnach, it will be. When both Correa and Larnach were activated, it was always going to be for Miranda and Lewis. Who else was going to be sent down? Tell me who else was going to be sent down who could be sent down? Does Gio have options left? Arraez? Gordon? In two weeks when they have to go down to 13 pitchers and they have to bring up a position player ... who do you think it's going to be? My guess is Lewis will be back up in 2 weeks, playing everywhere. While I don't disagree with some here saying he could get those reps up here, I think there is equal argument for him getting those reps in AAA. Remember, he didn't play for two years. In spite of that, he has been outstanding ... in one position, after two years. I don't really think a lot of rust needs to be shaken off playing elsewhere given his play so far this year, but I do understand the rationale.
    14 points
  43. Every fan is smarter than a baseball manager. Why is that? Every decision that a manager makes that does not work the fan can say they would have never done that.
    14 points
  44. I did not expect to see Lewis excel to this degree coming off of two straight lost years. He continues to impress and it's fun to watch. It's great to see him taking the opportunity and running with it. Love to see him forcing the issue to keep him up.
    14 points
  45. Gilberto Celestino has had an interesting path to the majors, and one that reduced his initial shine for most of the fanbase. Celestino was acquired for Ryan Pressly at the 2018 trade deadline, alongside Jorge Alcala, in a very unpopular deal at the time. MLB Pipeline ranked Celestino the 15th best prospect in 2019, and 14th best in 2020. The consensus was that Celestino was a standout defensive center fielder, but questions about his bat and power limited his overall projection. When Celestino was called up out of emergency in 2021, his initial performance not only confirmed the offensive questions in the prospect rankings but the calling card of his defense was also poor with -2 Outs Above Average coming from 56 attempts. Celestino was clearly overmatched at the major league level, as he played a handful of games at AA before making the jump to the Twins. Celestino accumulated a 22 wRC+ and -0.7 fWAR in only 62 plate appearances in 2021. Needless to say, when Celestino was added to the 2022 Opening Day roster the reaction amid the fanbase was tepid. It's probable that the Twins didn't even envision Celestino making the roster, as they optioned him to Triple-A St. Paul on 3/31. Many believed that his status on the roster was to be temporary, with rumors swirling about the Twins adding Justin Upton to be a source of right-handed power in the outfield. Derek Falvey even went as far to say that Celestino could be off the major league roster in a week's time. Flashing forward to early May, Celestino has outperformed expectations, and probably any output that could have come from Justin Upton. As of 5/9, Celestino has provided some of the best offensive and defensive numbers on the team. AVG OBP SLG OPS OPS+ wRC+ wOBA fWAR bWAR Gilberto Celestino .324 .390 .405 .796 144 143 .361 0.6 0.4 FanGraphs has Celestino as the 6th most valuable offensive player on the Twins in fWAR and his wRC+ is the third highest on team behind Byron Buxton and the legendary Kyle Garlick. On the defensive side of his game, Celestino has 2 Outs Above Average (84th percentile). It's a small sample size, but how has Celestino been so valuable this early on? The answer to that question: Celestino has had amazing plate discipline. Season Pitches Zone % Zone Swing % Zone Contact % Chase % Chase Contact % Edge % 1st Pitch Swing % Swing % Whiff % Meatball % Meatball Swing % 2021 235 51.5 64.5 82.1 26.3 63.3 43.8 30.6 46 23.1 6 85.7 2022 145 52.4 65.8 96 15.9 72.7 46.2 28.6 42.1 8.2 8.3 66.7 MLB 48.5 66.8 82 28.3 58.4 42.6 29.2 47 24.6 7.2 76 The highlighted cells show that areas where Celestino has been outperforming both his 2021 self, and the MLB average. He's simply become one of the most contact-oriented players in the game, and one of the most discerning about balls and strikes. He's swinging and making contact at pitches that are meant to be swung at in the zone, and spitting at the outside pitches that usually result in outs. Among all players with at least 25 plate appearances, Celestino ranks 3rd in Whiff % (8.2%) , and 16th in Chase Rate (15.9%). To put that in further perspective, here's a look at Celestino compared to two other players with great plate discipline reputations. Pitches Zone % Zone Swing % Zone Contact % Chase % Chase Contact % Edge % 1st Pitch Swing % Swing % Whiff % Meatball % Meatball Swing % Gilberto Celestino 145 52.4 65.8 96 15.9 72.7 46.2 28.6 42.1 8.2 8.3 66.7 Luis Arraez 351 43.6 66 92.1 25.8 88.2 46.4 19.5 43.3 8.6 5.7 60 Juan Soto 549 43.4 56.7 80.7 19.3 66.7 41 20.3 35.5 23.1 5.8 78.1 MLB 48.5 66.8 82 28.3 58.4 42.6 29.2 47 24.6 7.2 76 Am I saying that Gilberto Celestino is the next Juan Soto or Luis Arráez? No, but I am saying that Celestino is a supremely disciplined hitter with extreme contact skill. That doesn't always take a large sample to determine. Soto has a chase rate of 19.3%, which ranks in the 90th percentile. Arráez has a miniscule whiff rate of 8.6%, which is in the 100th percentile of MLB players. Celestino tops both players in these areas at this point in the season. The only knock on Celestino this year can be his lack of power. Both his Barrel Rate (3.2%) and his average exit velocity (86.9 MPH) rank below the MLB average. However, the Twins have plenty of slugging across their lineup to make up for that. Luis Arráez used to be the lone bat-to-ball man in the lineup with names like Miguel Sano, Gary Sanchez, Alex Kiriloff, and Gio Urshela. It helps to have offensive diversity, and Gilberto Celestino may be filling a needed niche that nobody expected. If Celestino's current blend of strong defense and astounding swing decisions holds up, he probably ranks as a starting-caliber outfielder on most major league teams. The lack of power will always hold him back from being a true star, but his skillset fits today's game more so than the previous half-decade. The surprise addition to Opening Day roster may have been the perfect fit for the 2022 brand of baseball.
    14 points
  46. The school was in session - Verlander showed Ryan what a great pitcher does. In fact, he showed the statheads what is important - it is not Ks - it is outs. Great game. and the lineup waited for good pitches. They were patient and productive - like the Dodgers this is an important lesson. For the managers - stolen bases and hit and run still works. What a game - thanks Astros. Like the Dodgers they taught the lesson of quality play.
    14 points
  47. Last Week's Game Results: Game 23 | MIN 2, BAL 1: Paddack, Bullpen Power Twins in Win Game 24 | MIN 7, BAL 2: Twins Stay Hot Behind Ryan, Bats Game 25 | BAL 9, MIN 4: Bad Start, Bad Defense, Bad Luck Game 26 | BAL 5, MIN 3: Solo Shots Shatter Twins Game 27 | MIN 2, OAK 1: Game of Firsts Ends in Victory Game 28 | MIN 1, OAK 0: Polanco and Pitching Power Another Win Game 29 | MIN 4, OAK 3: Bullpen Completes Sweep of Oakland Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 5/2 through Sun, 5/8 *** Record Last Week: 5-2 (Overall: 18-11) Run Differential Last Week: +2 (Overall: +25) Standing: 1st Place in AL Central (3.0 GA) NEWS & NOTES Things looked grim after Carlos Correa took a pitch off the hand on Thursday night in Baltimore, with post-game X-rays suggesting the potential of a non-displaced fracture. Twins fans couldn't be blamed for their incredulity ... another HBP knocking out a superstar player for an extended period?? But unlike last year, when Byron Buxton's broken hand was just another big ol' drop in the endless bucket of bad luck, the Twins again got some unexpected positive news upon further testing, with a Friday CT scan showing only a bruise. Correa avoided the injured list, just like Buxton did last month after his scary slide into second at Fenway. Even with Correa staying active, the Twins still called up top prospect Royce Lewis to fill in at shortstop over the weekend, adding an extra level of energy to their home series against Oakland. Lewis has gotten his MLB career off to a solid start, with three hits in his first 10 at-bats. Buxton himself appears to have dodged another scary setback. He left Saturday's game due to tightness in his right hip – the same spot where a significant strain cost him six weeks last year – but the the new issue was described as "very low level" and he too avoided an IL trip. The good breaks in the wake of bad news didn't stop there. COVID reared its ugly head in the Twins clubhouse once again, with manager Rocco Baldelli as well as Luis Arraez and Dylan Bundy all testing positive on Thursday. But by the end of the weekend, no one else on the team had registered a positive test, which qualifies as a big relief given the level of contagion we've seen with this virus. It wasn't all happy outcomes, however. Trevor Larnach suffered a groin strain that forced him to IL, which is especially unfortunate because he was really cooking (as we'll cover shortly). The team is confident that his absence will be a short one – hopefully only around the 10-day minimum – but still the Twins will be without one of their most effective hitters of late. Alex Kirilloff has activated after a rehab stint in St. Paul, but the jury is very much out on his ability to make an impact with his balky wrist. And, ss it turns out, Miguel Sanó's balky left knee was serious enough to require a surgical remedy. He underwent a procedure to repair torn meniscus, and figures to be out for a couple of months, though no firm timetable has been established. With top prospect José Miranda called up to replace him and likely to see a bulk of time at first base, it's possible that Sanó will return to find his job taken. He may be reaching the end of the road in Minnesota. Meanwhile, Chris Paddack left Sunday's start with inflammation in his right elbow, which was a big issue last year when he battled a partially torn UCL that required a PRP injection. Very unsettling, but we'll see what comes out from further exams on Sunday. I guess we've learned better than to jump to negative conclusions. HIGHLIGHTS This pitching staff is incredible. What else can you say? Even within the context of a drastic decline in offense across the league, Twins pitchers are simply crushing it. The past week featured four games in which opponents were held to two runs or fewer, including a pair of 2-1 squeakers and a 1-0 victory. A certain amount of good luck is inherently at play when you're scratching out wins like these. But the staff is legitimately winning games, and it's valuable to bank them while the bats continue to lag amidst a league-wide hitting scourge. Great performances are coming from all corners of the rotation and bullpen. Sonny Gray returned from the injured list on Saturday with an electric performance against Oakland, striking out seven over four scoreless innings. The previous day saw Josh Winder obliterate the A's in his second MLB start: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. The combination of he and Joe Ryan, who looked good once again in Tuesday's win over Baltimore and now sports a 1.63 ERA, is almost too much to handle. This franchise has been starved for impact rookie pitchers. Now we've got ALL the impact rookie pitchers. Of course, this conversation wouldn't be complete without a mention of Jhoan Duran, who's been just as uplifting to the bullpen as Ryan and Winder in the rotation. Duran was on his way to an appearance in the Lowlights column this week after allowing two homers and taking the loss on Thursday. Then he went out on Saturday and cemented a 1-0 win with two absurdly dominant innings. He allowed no hits. He struck out five. He got nine whiffs on 32 pitches. I'm not sure prime Aroldis Chapman comparisons are out of bounds at this point. Duran is lighting up the radar gun and flat-out blowing people away. His only weakness so far has been an odd proneness to the long ball – with four of the 10 hits he's allowed in 14 ⅔ leaving the yard – but that seems very flukish to me. The bullpen, in general, has been simply phenomenal. Over the past week Twins relievers allowed just three earned runs in 33 innings, good for a 0.87 ERA with a 38-to-6 K/BB ratio in 31 innings. The shockingly effective relief unit was absolutely pivotal in a weekend sweep of the Athletics. While the offense has been underwhelming overall, it's nice to see some secondary contributors stepping up, especially with Correa and Buxton hobbled. Larnach has been making a very strong impression, and getting plenty of tread. He started five of seven games last week before the groin injury surfaced, going 6-for-15 with a pair of doubles and five runs scored. Jorge Polanco notched nine hits in 25 at-bats, including the decisive solo shot in Saturday's win. José Miranda launched his first career home run and made it count in a 2-1 Friday win. Gilberto Celestino tallied six hits in 15 at-bats to push his average to .324. LOWLIGHTS It was a tough week for Bundy. His positive COVID diagnosis came on the heels of a nightmare outing against his former team in Baltimore. Over 3 ⅔ innings, he was touched up for a career-high nine earned runs, with the Orioles piling up 11 hits, two walks and two home runs in a ballpark that had been suppressing offense to the extreme. Bundy had given up six earned runs over six innings in his previous start, so he's seen his ERA balloon from 0.59 to 5.76 in a span of two outings. No one expected the extraordinarily strong start to sustain, but this is a jarring regression to the mean by any standard. It's the kind of all-out implosion that can put an inexpensive back-of-rotation flier like Bundy on the ropes very quickly in a suddenly crowded rotation. TRENDING STORYLINE Rotation adjustments lie ahead of the Twins. Even with Paddack going down, their starting mix is full between Gray, Ryan, Winder, Bundy, and Chris Archer. Bailey Ober is expected back in relatively short order. An overabundance of starting pitching depth is certainly not a "problem" anyone expected the Twins to deal with, and it's almost funny we're discussing it. Nevertheless, here we are. Even if they're cool to continue rolling with six, what happens when Ober is ready to come back? How many more bad outings can Bundy afford? Is it possible a move to the bullpen might breathe some life into his upper-80s fastball? LOOKING AHEAD Things get a bit more challenging this week with the Astros and Guardians coming to town. The Twins will need to play better ball than they did against Oakland if they want to win these series. How much will Buxton and Correa play? We shall see. TUESDAY, 5/10: ASTROS @ TWINS – RHP Justin Verlander v. RHP Joe Ryan WEDNESDAY, 5/11: ASTROS @ TWINS – RHP Jose Urquidy v. RHP Chris Archer THURSDAY, 5/12: ASTROS @ TWINS – RHP Luis Garcia v. RHP Josh Winder FRIDAY, 5/13: GUARDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Shane Bieber v. RHP Sonny Gray SATURDAY, 5/14: GUARDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Triston McKenzie v. TBD SUNDAY, 5/15: GUARDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Zach Plesac v. RHP Joe Ryan
    14 points
  48. Rough one from Bundy. He was the starter signing I was the iffiest about in the offseason, and right now he's not looking up to the challenge. With Gray coming back, and everyone else pitching well, he looks like a candidate to move out of the rotation if he can't get it together quickly. Yes, there were some poor defensive plays and a bit of bad luck, but Bundy also pitched poorly and was very hittable. That's on him. Tough night for Celestino. I have some sympathy for him on the fly ball he couldn't run in on; he didn't get a good read on it and it wouldn't have been an easy play even if he had...but it didn't help his pitcher much to miss that one. And then he rockets a ball that should have been an easy hit and it tags Sanchez (who must have felt like he had extra baseball attraction spray on or something). Correa's HR was a beauty, though! And I'm a fan of Moran and his changeup, so I'm happy to see him back up. He's going to drive some people nuts when he's wild, but that change is a weapon that will make hitters look silly, and it's so fun. Go get 'em tomorrow, win the series with 3 out of 4 and move on happy.
    14 points
  49. After this win the Twins are on pace to win 93.8 games.
    14 points
  50. He literally has 7.0 MLB innings pitched and hasn't pitched earlier than the seventh inning since his debut game. I'm not sure what you expect to happen here.
    14 points
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