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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/14/2021 in all areas

  1. Very hard to keep the faith in an organization that has kept Matt Shoemaker on the roster over the past several weeks.
    11 points
  2. I already had forgotten about Littell, when thinking about this debacle of a season. They simply dropped him from the 40-man by outrighting him to AAA last season, and he opted for free agency instead of agreeing to a minor league renewal with the Twins. His good numbers this year are definitely Small Sample Size as yet, and last year was a disaster for him due in large part to the longball which oftentimes will correct itself. But he seems like a good example for consideration. So, was it fundamental talent evaluation, marking him as simply not good enough to keep on the 40-man? stats analytics, downplaying his potential for a rebound from high BABIP and ridiculous HR rate? coaching, not finding him a way to succeed last year, taking into account injury? medical staff, judging that his elbow was a deal breaker? Levine and/or Falvey, improperly synthesizing the above information being given to them? Would one person in the above web of experts saying "no, no, we need to keep him" have been enough? (Maybe one did, and was outvoted/overruled.) I'd also love to have insight about Littell's own decision to accept a minor-league offer from a different franchise. Just a clearer path back to the majors? Or was there something in the Twins organization he found distasteful? Can't ever know, of course. Was it just bad luck? Or Total System Failure? I'm really concerned about the decision making.
    10 points
  3. Yes. But the numbers ended up working in favor of Littell. Twins also gave up on Hendricks, too. Sometimes your best minor league starters will do better out of the bullpen. And players have ups and downs. I always thought Trevor May was the closer option for the future. Deolis Guerra also ran out of options. Could he have been that backend bullpen arm earlier for the Twins? With rosters now at 26, you can carry that extra arm, or funnel them back and forth from AAA ball, as long as options do remain. Of course, we also have the case of Nick Anderson, deserving of protection by the Twins but... And Curtiss and Chargois were also top minor league guys that got away when they didn't produce right away for the Twins, as needed. But then you also have names like DeLong, Harper, Adams, Moran, Hildenberger, Magill, Parker, Eades, Poppen, Stewart, Wisler, Gearrin, Moya, Slegers, Reed, , Kinley, Busenitz, Mejia, Drake. What is frustrating is when the Twins search out the slush pile and disregard their own prospects.
    10 points
  4. There may be reasons that we will probably never know. But this is one case where I think the FO just blew it. He was relatively young, had some milb success and then a great 2019 in the pen. To me, you discount almost everything negative that happened to a player in 2020. Then you add the elbow issue. You keep a guy like that for a hoped/expected rebound unless you thought his elbow was toast for some reason. I don't expect the FO to be be perfect and hit all the time. But they blew this one.
    8 points
  5. Such a dangerous game to play picking out 1 player and saying "Team X missed on him and should've known better." You can do it for any number of players and every organization. Littell is a bummer because it felt knee jerk to cut him from the 40 man when he was hurt, but let's not forget, as the OP mentions, no other team claimed him. It's not like he was some great prospect or player that had teams knocking down the door to get him. He went unclaimed and then signed a minor league deal. Happens all the time to thousands of players so picking out 1 and saying "look what the Twins screwed up!" is quite a bit misleading. Obviously Ortiz leads Twins fans to make these complaints quite often. Hendricks is often brought up, too, but he's a great example of 20/20 hindsight. He wasn't good for the Twins as a starter. Was here under a different regime. Was bad for Toronto and KC after he left (KC even tried him in the pen in the year they were the bullpen whisperers and couldn't get him right). Was mostly solid with some flashes of greatness for Toronto and Oakland for the next 4 years (8 years deep in his career at this point). Then finally blew up in his 9th big league season at the age of 30 for Oakland. So acting like the Twins clearly missed something in Hendricks is revisionist history at best. You can make a list of very good players that were DFA'd, traded, lost to rule 5, etc. for every major league team. Even those super geniuses in Tampa. It happens every single year. Just feels like whatever team you cheer for does it more because you pay attention to that team more closely. Littell certainly looks like he'd help this embarrassment of a pen this year, but he went unclaimed last year and most of the people now clamoring to have him back would have been complaining about having him part of the bullpen plan as we started the season. Plenty of people complained the Twins didn't bring Wisler back and complain about the way the Twins build a pen, but the Giants used the same approach and brought them both in only to see Wisler collapse and Littell succeed. Thus is the life of 90% of bullpen arms.
    7 points
  6. Hmmm. And just a couple of months ago, by most accounts everywhere, they were a top 5 team in MLB. The adored FO and its manager have sabotaged this team with the crummy parts they added or resigned. Colome, Happ, Dobnak, Shoemaker, the scrap heap pitchers signed and in AAA, Duffey becoming doughboy and ineffective, Maeda becoming himself again (everyone was penciling him in as ace and even took homegrown Berrios opening day start away from him), believing in Sano come hell or high water..... This could have been different, and off season signings been remarkable instead of tragic. This is not a bad team. It is a team that needs uninjured players, and pitching that isn't a hope. And a manager that inspires. Some of his decisions have just been horrid. Many, I mean. I hope they don't trade their best players. You don't become better if you trade Berrios, for instance. Just like we aren't better by trading Ryan Pressly for prospects. Blah blah blah... you can't grade the trade yet..... sure you can. Houston got a closer and we got hope. All these years count still. And so far, for what we needed for the "window", we got nothing. We get better by replacing the bad players with good players, not by trading the best ones for hope and dreams.
    7 points
  7. That's a really good question... That said, guys get added to the 40-man from High-A often. Looking back, Polanco and Kepler were added after their full seasons at Cedar Rapids when Cedar Rapids was in Low-A. So I don't think they HAVE TO move him up to AA. The other thing I keep forgetting is that he's only 22. Adding him to the 40-man means three option years. So, in reality that means there is no rush to promote him this year. That said, how 40-man rosters are used now compared to even 8-10 years ago is much, much different. So, they can't necessarily add a guy with more questions about their future. So, I do think it'd be good for him to get up to AA this year, even if just for the final 4-6 weeks... but I also would like to see him experience some sustained success for awhile. I think that would be great for him mentally in terms of confidence. Long-winded answer for you. Sorry. Ha!
    6 points
  8. Yeah I agree with you. I thought it was strange they gave up on him so soon especially with the injury. I know they wanted to clear 40 man space and I guess they assumed he would sign with them and not elect free agency but they were wrong so it went sideways on them. They didn't trust him on the 40 man and he obviously didn't see a clear path making it back on the 40 man with the Twins so he went somewhere he thought might give him a better chance. Makes sense to me but the Twins lost out big time. It seems like their 40 man construction has been lacking. Especially when it comes to pen arms. They took big risks this past year in not adding Baddoo and Miranda and Baddoo got taken and to what end so they could claim Waddell, Gibaut, and Hamilton? What if a team had selected Miranda as well? Two likely top 10 prospects would have been poached. Sometimes I think they outsmart themselves. They kept Chalmers on the 40 man even though they never used him in spring training and the guy can't throw a strike when he wants to let alone needs to. They didn't have Ober pitch this spring either. Why not give him some time facing some actual major league hitters before the season started? He was on the 40 man. Too often they do things even a amateur armchair GM wouldn't do. I hate to second guess because I don't have all the info and other teams mess up as well but I am starting to lose my trust in their decision making. They are going to have some serious 40 man decisions coming up with Royce Lewis, Jermaine Palacios, Wander Javier and Jose Miranda likely needing to be added as well as Winder, Sands, Enlow, Vallimont, Rijo, and maybe Neff needing to be added. Right now I don't have a lot of confidence they will pick the right players but there is not going to be room for all of them so they best choose wisely. There might be more candidates but those are ones I can think of.
    5 points
  9. Might be a little too soon to declare it one way or the other; one things we've seen is that relievers at the margin are awfully fungible. Up one year, down the next. Colome had an outstanding track record going into this season and has been trash this year. Robles has been good this year, bad last year, great the year before, etc. Look at someone like Stashak: had two nice years where he was a good reliever...trash this season. How's Trevor May been? (hint: meh.) Littell has a nice shiny ERA right now, but his FIP is sitting at 4.08. With his K/9 unimpressive (he's a bit above his career average, but still below his career best), the career low H/9 looks a bit like Small Sample Size Syndrome. I see regression to the mean in his future, I'm afraid. He's certainly not someone I would invest in long-term? Considering the misses on other players this year and the utter failures of the bullpen this year, this one sucks...but I don't really blame them for going that way. Littell still looks like just a guy to me.
    5 points
  10. Not really Twins minor league related, but… we are here at Hammond Stadium this morning for a Perfect Game tournament. Super bummed that the mussels don’t play until tomorrow (we are done today and heading home after the game ).
    5 points
  11. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 6/7 through Sun, 6/13 *** Record Last Week: 2-4 (Overall: 26-39) Run Differential Last Week: -15 (Overall: -50) Standing: T-4th Place in AL Central (15.0 GB) Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 60 | NYY 8, MIN 4: New York Pulls Away Late, Wins Series Opener Game 61 | NYY 9, MIN 6: Yankees Tee Off on Dobnak in Victory Game 62 | MIN 7, NYY 5: Donaldson, Cruz Power Dramatic Comeback vs. Chapman Game 63 | HOU 6, MIN 4: Shoemaker's Late Lapse Leads to Loss Game 64 | MIN 5, HOU 2: Twins Win Behind Strong Effort from Berríos Game 65 | HOU 14, MIN 3: Astros Destroy Twins Pitching in Blowout NEWS & NOTES Relatively speaking, it was a pretty quiet week in terms of roster moves and injury updates. Byron Buxton, Kenta Maeda, Luis Arraez, and Max Kepler all embarked on rehab assignments in St. Paul, so the Twins figure to get back these important fixtures in the near future. Gilberto Celestino was optioned to Triple-A, then quickly recalled, as Kyle Garlick went on the shelf with a sports hernia. Rob Refsnyder is back. (He started in right field and batted cleanup on Sunday, which says a lot about the state of this roster.) HIGHLIGHTS The biggest highlight of the week, and the season, came in the ninth inning of Thursday's series finale against the Yankees. With the Twins trailing by two runs and facing a sweep, Aroldis Chapman came to the mound, carrying a 0.39 ERA, 4-0 record, and 12-for-13 save conversion rate. He'd been lights-out, and was going up against a Twins team that has constantly shrunk in big spots. All of which made the ensuing sequence of events astonishingly improbable. If you turned away from the TV, you might've missed one of the most exhilarating comeback wins in recent franchise history. It all happened so quickly. Jorge Polanco led off with a single. In stepped Josh Donaldson, who took ball one and then launched a mammoth game-tying home run to left-center. Willians Astudillo, pinch-hitting for Nick Gordon, followed with a first-pitch single of his own. And then came Nelson Cruz, who basically replicated what Donaldson did two ABs earlier by drilling a 1-0 pitch deep to center for the walk-off winner. Within a span of nine pitches, the Twins grasped victory from the jaws of defeat. For Twins fans, the feeling was bittersweet, because it was hard not to think about how much more epic and energizing that win would've been if the Twins hadn't cast themselves hopelessly out of contention. In anticipation of this season, we dreamed about Cruz and Donaldson coming through with game-changing jolts like this all year long, but instead, such marquee moments have been far and few between, which is part of the reason the team finds itself buried in last place. With that said, Cruz's bat has been showing some life at the plate again lately and that's good to see now matter how you slice it. He went 6-for-16 with three home runs and six RBIs on the week, equaling his totals in those categories from the entire month of May. He might not find himself leading the Twins on a pennant chase in August and September, but maybe he can do it for someone else, and score Minnesota a prospect or two in the process. Donaldson's clutch bomb was also part of a power-hitting rejuvenation, as he followed the next day by going deep twice against Houston – his second two-homer game in an eight-day span. His slugging percentage, which had sagged to .408 by the end of the Baltimore series in early June, is back up to .475. As I noted last week, Donaldson's been remarkably healthy and durable since his season-opening IL sint, leading the team in games played and plate appearances since returning. He's also been doing some very nice work with the glove. Polanco, whose single set up the dramatic finish against New York, has generally stayed hot at the plate. He went 6-for-21 with three homers and six RBIs last week. His left-handed swing is actually doing damage again and that's huge. Other standout offensive performances included Miguel Sanó (8-for-24 with two homers and four RBIs) and Alex Kirilloff (5-for-13 with just one strikeout in five games). There weren't many positives on the pitching side, but José Berríos certainly qualifies. He was masterful against the Astros on Saturday night, spinning seven innings of two-run ball. The righty allowed only five hits and two walks while striking out eight. Berríos has won five straight decisions and the Twins are 7-1 in his last seven starts dating back to the beginning of May. The other noteworthy pitching bright spot was a strong showing from Bailey Ober on Friday night, when he made a spot start in place of Matt Shoemaker. Going against an elite Houston offense, Ober tossed five innings and allowed just two runs, striking out seven with one walk. He continues to pump 92-93 MPH with his four-seamer, which is immensely encouraging. Ober looks like he could be a legitimate factor on a pitching staff that desperately needs help, both now and moving forward. LOWLIGHTS Even after being bumped from the rotation, Shoemaker continues to cost the Twins with his staggeringly poor play. He appeared in relief on Friday night against the Astros and took the loss, giving up two runs in the ninth to break a tie. (The decision by Rocco Baldelli to use him in this situation was ... questionable to say the least.) He came out of the bullpen again on Sunday and looked customarily awful, coughing up three runs on four hits and two walks in two innings of work. Shoemaker has the worst ERA in the league, he's been tagged with eight losses in 13 appearances, and seems to look worse every time he takes the mound. It's past time for the Twins to move on. Roster crunches and depth issues be damned: you can't justify continuing to run a guy like this out in major-league games. The same can also be said for Alex Colomé, whose brief stretch of effectiveness in May is now a distant memory. He gave up two runs on three hits in his one inning of work on Sunday, and has a 5.48 ERA on the season to go along with his league-worst (by a mile) negative-2.34 Win Probability Added. Colomé's departure is probably less imminent than Shoemaker's, because they're paying him three times as much and are so direly short-handed in the bullpen, but in both cases it's only a matter of time. These guys were complete free agent busts and wherever the Twins go from here, they aren't going to be part of it. The situation with Randy Dobnak is a bit more complicated. He's looked every bit as bad as Shoemaker, with his ERA inflating to 8.38 after allowing 14 earned runs in 6 ⅔ innings over the past week. Dobnak gave up five home runs in two appearances, with four coming against his reinvented slider which has changed from a powerful asset to a glaring weakness for him. That begs the question why he or the Twins thought it would be a good idea to tinker with that pitch in the first place. It's not pleasant to watch Dobnak pitch right now, but the solution isn't as simple as cutting bait like it is with Shoemaker. The Twins just signed Dobnak to a five-year contract extension on the heels of an outstanding spring training, and while the monetary commitment isn't huge, they are invested in him for better or worse. It behooves them to help him work through his issues because he's currently one of their few figments of long-term stability in the rotation picture. Fixing the pitching staff has become a primary crux for the Twins and their future outlook. The work is cut out for them here. Michael Pineda looks to be headed for the Injured List. Shoemaker is unusable and J.A. Happ hasn't been much better. Berríos is under contract for one more year after this and Maeda two more. It's tough to have much confidence in the front office filling tons of holes and constructing a quality unit from scratch during the offseason given how poorly all of their moves this year fared. As such, you can see why it's critically important for Ober to build on his early success and for Dobnak to get straightened out. The Twins need some things to break right with young pitchers or they simply won't be equipped to contend next year, in which case, why not just trade Berríos at the upcoming deadline? TRENDING STORYLINE For what it's worth, the Twins are about to get a lot closer to full strength. Maeda, Buxton, and Arraez have completed their rehab stints and will be traveling to Seattle for the upcoming road trip. Maeda is scheduled to start against the Mariners on Monday, and the other two will presumably be activated for that game as well. Kepler is be a bit further behind, given that he played his first rehab game in St. Paul on Sunday (and was the DH), but we could see him up before week's end. Those are some pretty key cogs the Twins have been playing without. We'll see if their returns, along with a softening of the schedule, can help this team get on a bit of a winning run here in the back half of June. So far, sustained hot streaks have eluded them. LOOKING AHEAD Get ready for some late-night baseball as the Twins head to Seattle for a showdown against the Mariners in Pacific Time. Then, following an off day, Minnesota heads down to Texas for a weekend series against the last-place Rangers. MONDAY, 6/13: TWINS @ MARINERS – RHP Kenta Maeda v. LHP Marco Gonzales TUESDAY, 6/14: TWINS @ MARINERS – LHP J.A. Happ vs. RHP Chris Flexen WEDNESDAY, 6/15: TWINS @ MARINERS – RHP Bailey Ober v. RHP Justus Sheffield FRIDAY, 6/17: TWINS @ RANGERS – RHP Jose Berrios v. RHP Mike Foltynewicz SATURDAY, 6/18: TWINS @ RANGERS – TBD v. LHP Kolby Allard SUNDAY, 6/19: TWINS @ RANGERS – RHP Kenta Maeda v. RHP Dane Dunning
    4 points
  12. If Buxton is healthy: trade him. This team burned the extension bridge with him and, even if they didn't, I want no part of it. If he could play 120 games I'd give him the farm, but he can't. Get what you can and start making sure Gordon or Lewis or someone else is the CFer of the future for this team. Disclaimer: I do not love this conclusion, it's just the only reasonable one left.
    4 points
  13. Colome wasn't a scrap heap find, though: he'd been a fine and reliable reliever for 5 years in a row. (interesting question on Colome: is he cooked, or is he going to bounce back, either through the end of this season or next? really hard to know) I was thrilled with the Colome signing and based on what we knew then it was absolutely a fine move...it just hasn't worked out. He's literally having the worse stretch of his career since moving to the bullpen. Maybe it's small sample size and will look different by the end of the year, maybe he's just cooked as a pitcher at 32. But he's a sunk cost now with no trade value unless he gets straightened out. So with the year lost, I'd actually pitch him in higher leverage situations now and see if he gets on a roll and can be dealt. That's not a long leash, that's trying to get something for your money. Hell, he ain't blocking anyone. Shoemaker & Happ were attempts to add depth to starting pitching and I really don't think anyone was looking towards Littell as a starting option this season; even the Giants weren't looking that way, a spot start not withstanding. And Shoemaker got yanked from the rotation now that someone got healthy. His leash was "long" because we had nothing else. Pineda was hurt (and is again), Maeda was hurt, Thorpe is hurt, Dobnak has been worse, Smeltzer is hurt and was bad last year...
    4 points
  14. Relievers are very volatile bunch. They will have up and down years. Very few will be top reliever for many years in a row. Having a good stretch or season does not mean really much.
    4 points
  15. Winder has 41 IP above A-ball, and didn't throw a single inning in organized play last year. Yes, he's off to a great start in AA, but it's still only 8 starts from a guy whose career high is 125 IP in a season. Let him take a couple of additional turns and move him up at midseason if you have a slot for him a AAA. Not like he's going to fly in and save the season at Target Field. Cano is doing well, but is still pretty hittable; I'd feel better about a pitcher of his age in AA not giving up about as many hits as innings pitched. He's likely to move up fairly soon anyway. Moran looks like a terrific prospect right now; I can live with his BB/9 when a player gets Ks like that. But these are still tiny sample sizes, which is why the Twins probably aren't feeling the need to rush into anything. Great results for Wander Javier. Really great to see him healthy and displaying his talent. It takes a lot, mentally and physically, to come back from all that injury and layoff time so it's fun to see him play and play well. Hard to rank him as a prospect right now, but could be a fun evaluation at season's end. Miranda is killing it. Love the low K-rate, love seeing good power production, love seeing him shine. He will rocket up the prospect charts, and deservedly so.
    4 points
  16. The examples of players who have turned around a bad season are endless. Players should not be jettisoned at the first sign of trouble. They moved him to the pen 60 games into the season. It's not if they just ignored the problem. The next logical step was to see if he could provide value out of the BP. They also have to have a replacement. How quickly did you expect them to determine readiness with no Milb season last year and a late start this year? I would have much more difficulty having faith in an organization that did things without a thoughtful process. Just dumping Shoemaker is not a thoughtful process.
    4 points
  17. Another game, another couple hits from Javier. Is this former top prospect who was no longer in your top 20 working his way back into top prospect status? He is developing into the most exciting story in the organization, at least for me. Hopefully, they will keep him in Cedar Rapids for at least another month to build his confidence. Should he continue, going to be lots of teams kicking themselves for not selecting him in the Rule 5...twice! After reading Seth's comment, gave him the sad face because we all had such high hopes for Rijo. Hopefully, it is just a scare and he is back in a few weeks.
    4 points
  18. Relievers can be one of the trickiest groups for teams to evaluate. One relief pitcher can look great, and another can look terrible with such small sample sizes attached to their performances. Minnesota saw multiple relievers leave last winter and not all of them have found success with their new teams. However, one pitcher might be proving the Twins gave up on him a little too early. Zack Littell joined the Twins in 2017 as part of an interesting trade deadline. Minnesota acquired Jaime Garcia from the Braves and then after making one start, he was dealt to the Yankees. Littell was part of the return from New York, and he was amid a tremendous minor league campaign where he posted a 2.12 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Littell’s time in Minnesota was filled with ups and downs. After finding some success in the upper minors, Littell seemed to be part of Minnesota’s future bullpen with the numbers he compiled in 2019. As a 23-year-old, he posted a 2.68 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP with a 32 to 9 strikeout to walk ratio. He was striking out less than a batter per inning, but his ERA+ and FIP pointed to him being an above average relief option. He was also one of the team’s most reliable relief arms down the stretch. Things couldn’t have gone much worse for Littell in 2020. He made six appearances with the Twins and allowed five home runs. He made multiple trips to the injured list as his elbow was bothering him. This probably made it easier for Minnesota to designate him for assignment and remove him from the 40-man roster without another team making a claim. This still left the team in a little bit of a dilemma as he would need to be added back to the 40-man this winter or become a minor league free agent. He became a free agent and signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants. In a division with the Dodgers and Padres, the Giants weren’t supposed to be in contention, but they entered play on Monday with a one game division lead. Littell has been part of the surprise club as he has posted a 1.47 ERA with a 0.98 WHIP across 20 appearances. The team even turned to him to make a start for the club. His strikeouts per nine are higher than his career average and he’s doing a better job of keeping the ball in the park. Last year’s elbow issues seem to be behind him. There are likely multiple reasons that Minnesota let Littell go whether they were worried about his elbow or low strikeout numbers. However, his success is tough to swallow when the Twins have struggled to get consistent production out of the bullpen in 2021. Do you think the Twins gave up on Littell too early? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
    3 points
  19. TRANSACTIONS: OF Max Kepler joins Triple-A St.Paul on a rehab assignment SAINTS SENTINEL Storm Chasers 15, Saints 4 Box Score Charlie Barnes: 3 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 4 K HR: Damek Tomscha (4) Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras (3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) Charlie Barnes entered Sunday with a sterling 2.20 ERA in 32 ⅔ innings for the Saints this year. He’d allowed just two runs in his previous 19 innings spanning across three starts. That trend changed Sunday as Barnes allowed four homers and six runs in his shortest outing of the young season. Andrew Vasquez and Ian Gibaut each allowed three runs in relief. In the first game of his rehab assignment, Max Kepler went 0-for-4. Mark Contreras, who had been struggling since moving up to Triple-A, had a great day at the plate with three hits, including a double. The Saints won two of their six games against the Storm Chasers this week, falling to 17-19 on the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wind Surge 7, Drillers 1 Box Score Josh Winder: 6 IP, 3 H, R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: José Miranda (8) Multi-hit games: Miranda (3-for-5, HR, BB), Aaron Whitefield (2-for-3, RBI, 2 BB), Roy Morales (2-for-4, RBI, R, BB) Josh Winder has now struck out 50 of the 158 batters he’s faced this season. He lowered his ERA to 2.16 after another great start Sunday. Winder is thriving with increased velocity on his fastball and exceptional command. Winder was walked only eight batters in 41 ⅔ innings. The righty retired 14 in a row to complete his outing Sunday. Also excelling for the Wind Surge is José Miranda, who entered today hitting .296/.370/.496 with a miniscule 11% strikeout rate. Miranda busted out of a brief June slump with three hits and a homer in the win. Right-handed reliever Yennier Cano continued to dominate with two perfect innings. Cano has allowed just three runs in 18 ⅓ innings (1.47 ERA) while striking out nearly 35% of the batters he’s faced. Cano and Jovani Moran have been lights-out for the Surge. KERNELS NUGGETS Snappers 8, Kernels 5 Box Score Luis Rijo: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K HR: Wander Javier (5) Multi-hit games: Javier (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI), Gabe Snyder (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB), Luis Rijo made his first start of the 2021 season and struck out two in one scoreless inning. Rijo was fantastic for the Kernels in 2019, pitching to a 2.86 ERA with 99 strikeouts in 107 innings as a starter. Wander Javier is officially on fire. The former top prospect came into the game hitting .295/.340/.636 in June. That was before he recorded two more hits and a homer in the loss. https://twitter.com/tlschwerz/status/1404207298700926977?s=20 Unfortunately Javier and Gabe Snyder’s offensive efforts were not enough to mask an ugly performance from the Cedar Rapids bullpen. The Kernels fell to 17-19 on the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Mussels 4, Hammerheads 3 Box Score Casey Legumina: 1 IP, 0 BB, 0 H, 0 R/ER, K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Mussels went 3-for-32 but scored four runs Sunday. They walked eight times, including three from Aaron Sabato, who entered the game with a 21% walk rate on the season. Sabato walked in a run in the fifth and watched ball four get away from the catcher in the first, scoring the Mussels’ first run of the game. Yunior Severino made it 4-0 with an RBI single to center in the fifth. The Mussels had some terrific performances out of the bullpen en route to victory. Blue Jays rookie Alek Manoah has a 3.14 ERA in three starts for Toronto this year while his older brother, Erik Manoah Jr., was added to the Mussels’ roster this week. Manoah was fantastic Sunday, striking out three in 1 ⅓ innings of perfect ball. He threw 10 strikes on 16 pitches in a strong first impression. The Mussels are 20-16. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Josh Winder Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: José Miranda PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – Did not play #2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – 2-for-4, 2B #4 - Ryan Jeffers (Minnesota) – 1-for-3, HR #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – Did not play #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-2, 3 BB #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured list (elbow) #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Injured list (elbow) #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – 0-for-3 #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – Did not play #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured list (wrist) #14 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-4, BB #15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow) #17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) –0-for-1 #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A #19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 3-for-5, HR, BB #20 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    3 points
  20. The Twins visit Seattle on the first leg of a two-city road trip. The Mariners are three games under .500 despite having a poorer run differential than the Twins, who are 13 games below the break-even mark. The Mariners started the Twins slide off a cliff in April when they came back from a 6-0 deficit in the middle innings and beat the Twins. The Twins really haven't been the same since. Yesterday's game marked another low point as the Twins gave up 14 runs and 20 hits to a good Houston lineup. The three relievers who followed Pineda to the mound yielded runs in every inning, totaling nine runs and 14 hits in five innings. The way those three pitchers are throwing, they should not be on a big league pitching staff. There will be reinforcements. Kenta Maeda is scheduled to start tonight and the return of position players Luis Arraez and Byron Buxton seems imminent. Max Kepler is rehabbing in St. Paul and probably will be ready before the team returns to Minnesota. A week from today, the roster figures to look considerably different than the squad that faced Houston. Only Maeda can pitch among the returnees and that is where the Twins have fallen apart. Further it looks like there isn't much help available in the minor leagues. There will be a crunch particularly among the outfielders. Adding back Buxton and eventually Kepler will give the Twins a lot of choices to play the corner outfield spots. Given how the season has gone, there probably will be an injury or two to current players. This is not the season I expected, but watching the progress (or lack thereof) of players is about all a fan can do. Go Twins! Lineups to follow. Twins Kenta Maeda (R) 1. Jorge Polanco (S) 2B 2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B 3. Nelson Cruz (R) DH 4. Trevor Larnach (L) LF 5. Ryan Jeffers (R) C 6. Miguel Sano (R) 1B 7. Alex Kirilloff (L) RF 8. Andrelton Simmons (R) SS 9. Gilberto Celestino (R) CF Mariners Marco Gonzales (L) 1. J.P. Crawford (L) SS 2. Jake Fraley (L) DH 3. Ty France (R) 1B 4. Kyle Seager (L) 3B 5. Dylan Moore (R) 2B 6. Jake Bauers (L) RF 7. Tom Murphy (R) C 8. Shed Long Jr. (L) LF 9. Taylor Trammell (L) CF
    3 points
  21. If the caution demonstrated with Buxton ever resulted in more games played in the future, this wouldn’t be as frustrating. But we know it won’t.
    3 points
  22. If I set an over-under of .219 for after this series completes, will anyone take the under? / edit - a quick bit of math suggests it would take only about 50 base hits during the 3-game series - easy peasy
    3 points
  23. Danchat

    2021 Off-Season Thread

    Spotrac has completely removed Hunter until the details of the deal are released, it seems. He was originally signed up for $17.25M and Tomasson's tweet states we'll save $3.73M of cap via the signing bonus, so doing the math (28.74 - 17.25 + 3.73) we are at $15.22M in cap space. There are now rumors about the Vikings potentially bringing back Sheldon Richardson, which would be a great addition to rotate with Pierce and Tomlinson. That group of 3 DTs would be a massive upgrade from the disaster that was the DT spot in 2020.
    3 points
  24. You're very adept at changing the subject. This discussion has nothing to do with who they should have signed. It started with me saying Shoemaker should have been DFA'D 2 weeks ago, to which you said players rebound all the time, and besides, they don't have anyone else. BTW, I'm with Kirbydome...although I roll my eyes rather than laugh when someone attempts to defend the front office with "who else?" as a defense of the front office. If Shoemaker is the best you have, 2.5 months into the season, you've failed miserably. Epicly.
    3 points
  25. Just use a text-to-speech program to read the Twins Daily game threads.
    3 points
  26. Definitely gave up too early on him. They still had an option left to try to fix him this year.
    3 points
  27. I have no idea how you can berate the Pressly trade NOW after already seeing Alcala succeeding and with Celestino close to being MLB ready at AA. Alcala is really "nothing" to you but hope? We traded 1.5 years of Pressley on a non contending team in 2018 for 6-7 years of Celestino and Alcala. I'd do that trade again in a heartbeat. I'd agree that it is easy to reload for 2022 by ditching Happ, Shoe, Colome, etc. but if you CANNOT reasonably extend Berrios or Buck by the trade deadline it makes sense to shop them around for difference making level prospects like Pache, Pearson, etc to see if you can do the Pressly trade AGAIN by trading 1.5 years of a player for 6-7 years of one or more other guys that can improve this team long term.
    3 points
  28. Cripes, it’s only baseball. We don’t need this dehumanizing crap.
    3 points
  29. The path forward is clear now and frankly has been for the last month or so. This is a developmental/retooling year. What we need to learn from this year is what pieces we have and don't have and whether our focus is short term or a full rebuild is in order. I think if you start there, the steps are relatively straightforward. First, you DFA or trade the players on expiring contracts or who aren't part of the next contending team, unless you want to re-sign them now. DFA Shoemaker TODAY. Get ready to trade Cruz, Happ and Simmons. Trade Pineda if he's healthy enough to be interesting, you can always try to re-sign him in the offseason and he just isn't healthy enough for more than 20-22 starts. Demote Dobnak, he might be part of a contending team as a back end starter, you need to try to straighten him out in AAA. Colome is going to be almost impossible to trade because of his contract so we're probably stick trying to "fix" him or an August DFA. We're stuck with Donaldson and while he's overpaid, he does help us, just not as much as we'd hoped. Try to re-sign Robles and trade him if you can't. Second, bring up the troops and play them every day. Keep Larnach and Kirilloff on pace for at least 500 MLB at bats, and try to find 350-400 for Gordon. Jeffers and Rortvedt catch until Garver is back and even then should stay and get MLB experience. Ober stays in the rotation, Duran joins him after the All-Star break, and find 5-8 starts for any other starter you think has a chance to be MLB helpful next year (Winder, Sands, Barnes?). Get Hamilton, Vasquez, Moran and Cano into the bullpen at various points and try to get them 20 appearances apiece unless they stink out of the gate. Try Thorpe as a reliever when he's off the DL. Balzevic can move up to AAA in a few weeks, and then get a start or 3 in September so we don't use up a year. As for everyone else, while they've done ok, they should be moved to AAA or traded if necessary to give other guys their shot. These are the guys on the roster who are nice to have but don't move the needle much - Theilbar, Astudillo, Refsnyder, Garlick, Cave. Love Astudillo as a 26th man, both Refsnyder and Garlick are nice stories and Theilbar has been better than expected but we're talking about a 26th man/3rd catcher utility guy, 2 guys competing for the 5th or 6th OF spot, and a back of bullpen LH. They could help another team this year but they aren't part of the core of the Twins going forward ( with the possible exception of Refsnyder if this SSS is even close to what he could do off the bench). Let's use their roster spots for evaluating players. Whatever you do DO NOT trade Buxton or Berrios until the offseason. Try to keep them and then trade them only if you can't re-sign them and then only for near MLB ready starting pitching. They are part of the next contending Twins team and we need this year to figure out the horizon for that team - 2022, 2023, or are we looking at 2025 or later? The answer to that question determines how much you pay to keep them. Good times.
    3 points
  30. It's good to see Winder finish strong. That's been the only issue he's had this year, as he hits the third time through the order he has gotten hit a bit too much. With Winder, Moran, and Cano, I'm not sure how much more the Twins are waiting to see at AA. All three have clearly earned a spot up in St. Paul. Let's see what they can do with the Saints.
    3 points
  31. I'd argue putting your organization in the position of needing a pitcher with an ERA over 7.5 and a WHIP over 1.6 is "not a thoughtful process."
    3 points
  32. If Berrios and Buxton sign extensions, that would be great. But that's not what I hear from the "experts" on MLB radio. They are saying that both are committed to testing the free agency market. If that is true, the front office has to trade both of them in July.
    3 points
  33. When we live in the world of woulda, coulda, shoulda... The current Twins epitomize this. Would have been better without the injuries, slightly better but we really weren't that good when we were healthy (minus the 1st week). Key pieces of the pie on paper could have done better and should be playing better. Kepler and Cave in OF were placeholders for the young guns and weren't the difference maker. Sano, you get a blind squirrel finds a nut (HR) every now and then but overweight K machine consistently is brutal (modern day O's Chris Davis). Cruz has been better side of OK, need to move him before deadline to a contender, he deserves that much. Astudillo cute story is just that cute story, versatile on paper but not great at any single position, back up at best (should never see the mound again but when your relief core blows chunks when they step on the field, you get 47 mph). Simmons defense was calling card, hitting not so much. Give me .250 avg all day from him, but needs to shore up defense. I like Gordon, should be playing 5-6 days a week, probably will since Buxton will be injured again by Independence Day. Pitching staff has been brutal except for Berrios. Build around him and Maeda, Ober and let the young guys in waiting battle for us late summer. Ouch of a year for sure
    3 points
  34. Even against decent teams with second-line and third-line players this team has done OK at producing runs. As long as our position players are healthy I'm not concerned about that. It seems we have enough talent coming along to keep us stocked for the next few years. Beyond that, the obvious has already been stated many times. It's time to cut bait regarding Shoemaker. I can't picture another team taking him on if he's released, much less give something up for him in a trade. We should hang on to other short-termers for now and hope their performance in the next month or so can fetch us something in trades. But don't be impatient; the offers from contenders will improve between now and the trading deadline and we want to get the most we can.
    3 points
  35. 3 points
  36. Offense has been down across baseball this year as pitchers have dominated for much of the 2021 campaign. This can be directly related to an increase in pitch velocity, movement, and spin rates. Some of these increases are tied to sticky substances used by pitchers to increase their control and spin rate. Minnesota’s pitchers haven’t been taking advantage of this decrease in offense, so how does spin rate factor into their results? Starting in 2020, Statcast posted an active spin leaderboard, which can also include an active spin %. They offer a longer explanation at their site, but the nuts-and-bolts description is the spin that contributes to movement including up or down and side to side. Twins Four-seam Leaderboard (Active Spin %) Hansel Robles (99 %), Cody Stashak (98 %), Alex Colome (97 %) Currently, Robles ranks as the player getting the 12th most active spin on his four-seam fastball. Batters have posted a .200 BA and a .360 SLG when facing this pitch, which are far superior to the numbers he saw last year (.355 BA, .742 SLG). Stashak’s fastball hasn’t been as effective this year and he has switched to using his slider more than his four-seamer. Colome uses his cutter almost twice as much as his four-seamer, but opponents have combined for a .500 SLG when getting a fastball to hit. Twins Changeup Leaderboard (Active Spin %) J.A. Happ (98 %), Jose Berrios (95%), Hansel Robles (94%) For the second consecutive season, Happ is using his changeup less often, but opponents are hitting about 90 points lower against this pitch. Berrios has been known for the movement on his pitches since he was an amateur so it’s no surprise to see him near the top of the leaderboard when it comes to multiple pitches in his repertoire. Berrios uses his changeup mainly against lefties as batters have posted a .636 SLG against it so far in 2021. Robles uses his changeup 44% of the time and he has generated a 26% Whiff% with this pitch. Twins Slider Leaderboard (Active Spin %) Taylor Rogers (43%), Caleb Thielbar (42%), Jorge Alcala (32%) Even though these are the leaders on the Twins, none of these pitchers rank in the top-100 compared to the rest of baseball. Rogers and his lanky frame/delivery make for a slider that is tough for both righties and lefties in the batter’s box. For the first time in his career, Rogers is using his slider more than his sinker. Alcala ranks well on the Twins, and he might be the team’s closer of the future if he can continue to develop another pitch. Twins Sinker Leaderboard (Active Spin %) Jose Berrios (95%), Taylor Rogers (95%), Matt Shoemaker (92%) At this point, Minnesota fans might want to avoid any leaderboard with Matt Shoemaker. However, Berrios and Rogers have been two of the most consistent Twins pitchers this season as they rank near baseball’s top-30 in this category. Also, Berrios has seen increased sinker usage in each of the last two seasons. Batters posted a .561 SLG against Rogers’ sinker last season and he has improved that number by nearly 160 points in 2021. The Twins don’t have a pitcher in the mold of Gerrit Cole or Trevor Bauer that rely heavily on spin to be effective. Maybe this crackdown will help level the playing field for Twins pitchers and batters. Will baseball’s crackdown on sticky substances impact the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
    2 points
  37. Too busy working for that, still working on some aspects of being Australian as I moved down from the states 8 years ago.
    2 points
  38. I was pretty high on Littell last year, so it's disappointing to see him do so well just a year after we DFA'd him. Something is wrong with our pitching staff, and our FO seems more interested in trying out 30+ year old journeyman relievers than developing their own internal relievers. And then you remember that they essentially traded Huascar Ynoa for Littell... one of the more promising young starters in baseball, now that he's a Brave. I was hoping the Twins' organization would become similar to Cleveland or Tampa Bay in regards to pitching, but that hasn't happened. The true test will be when the FO's pitching prospects start emerging onto the MLB team.
    2 points
  39. You bring up some interesting points to consider. 1] I thought Colome was a quality signing at the time, and as you mention, he was coming off 5 fine seasons, including his best season ever. Is he toast at 32yo? Maybe. But he's never been about velocity. Considering he has ZERO trade value, you either need to DFA him at some point to audition someone else, OR....and I can't believe I'm saying this....you need to see if he can find himself again the rest of the season and maybe warrant a look-see for 2022 if he looks like his old self. (I'd probably dump him and audition other arms at some point]. 2] Conversely, I thought the Robles signing was a possible key addition for this year coming off a terrible 2020. And he's been, largely, quite good. So what is his trade value vs keeping him and maybe re-signing him to a 1yr deal? And I'm not saying they should trade him or keep him, just that there are things here to consider. (I think he's a possible re-sign on a 1yr). 3] The "loss" of giving up on Littell too soon...which I think they did...may not have any long lasting implications. But it does make me reflect on the future of Stashak. While not possessing a long history of success, he was good in 2019/2020 so does he get dumped this off-season vs a similar growth bounce back in 2021? Just a few things to consider.
    2 points
  40. Remember when people argued his deal was too much? Good times.
    2 points
  41. I've defended Sano for awhile, but this team's best future is probably not going to include him. Not at 1B or DH and that's all I think he can play. They need to decide what Gordon's best future position is and play him there every day. Every day, I don't care who has to sit.
    2 points
  42. Does anyone know when the Twins contract with BSN is up? I see this ending up with them streaming games on their own app and going back to having some games on local TV on Sundays etc. Possibly a joint venture with the Wild and/or Wolves as they tried to do with Victory Sports One until the Wolves demanded 50/50 sharing.
    2 points
  43. Well, if it was me, the Twins would still be on Year 4 of the Darvish contract. Do you want to continue?
    2 points
  44. Yes and no. They need a spot for him at the next level, which means Palacios has to get promoted too. It's important to make sure he's successful. 750 OPS in 140 plate appearances doesn't scream "promote me". Canterino is the player at Cedar Rapids who is the most impressive.
    2 points
  45. Given that Wander needs to be protected, should he be moving up faster than others? I have no idea at all, btw. Hence the question.
    2 points
  46. I was waiting for this with Barnes. When he is bad he tends to be very bad. Thankfully he wasn't added to the 40 man just yet. Hopefully he comes back just a strong but typically this is the beginning of more bad outings than good ones. I guess we will see how he respond's over the next month. Winder hasn't been getting as many K's but he has been pitching into the 6th inning which is good to see. I assume he will be the next guy up to AAA when an arm is needed there. Miranda is ready to move as well. Would be nice for the FO to see just how far along he is before the trade deadline because he looks like a better 3rd base prospect than a lot trade candidates I have seen. Wander is starting to look like the real deal. The power that was supposed to be there is showing up. After his extremely cold start his OPS is finally over 700. The walk and K rates could be better at this level but are not too out of line and considering he was almost a non-prospect just fine for now. I am really hopeful they have something here. He has a long way to go but this is a great start.
    2 points
  47. Kudos, Nick, for telling it like it is! At this stage of this bitter season, it is a lot more refreshing to see the cold, hard facts rather than the apologist's versions. As a devoted Twins' fan for almost 70 years, I am sickened by their ineptness, both on the field, in the clubhouse, and in mgt. ranks. With that said, I recognize that the common knee jerk rx to fire the ones responsible for the carnage might give us temporary emotional relief, but will not happen, at least this year. So the real qurstion is : how much rope should Falvine, Baldy, and staff be given? As you've indicated, the Twins will be in seller's mode and Falvey has shown little hesitation in dumping players at the deadline. But isn't the real question now: can this squad return to contention next year, and if so, who constitutes the core going forward and what prospects have a chance to contribute to a turnaround? My two cents: 1. The core consists of : Bux, Berrios, Kirillof, Larnach, Jeffers, Arraez/Polanco(probably not both). If so, trading Bux or Berrios is a no-no. Signing them to long term contracts is a priority. 2. There are very few prospects who right now look like keepers. Maybe Ober, Alcala, and perhaps Gordon(utility). That's not enough to fill in this roster with positive adds for next season. So the immediate need is to bring up our best prospects ASAP., e.g., Duran, Winder, Balozavic(in a month or so), and a couple of relievers now doing well at Wichita. Dump the non-performers now: Colome, Shoemaker, and Dobnak for starters. Let's see the rooks sooner so we have a better idea what we have rather than wait for a September callup. A few other players can be traded for more prospects closer to the deadline: Cruz, Sano or Kepler, Duffy or Rogers or both, maybe Pineda if he brings back a top 100 prospect. I would then reassess these new players' performance and see if we have enough to contend next year. If the answer is yes, then give the FO & Baldy one more chance next year. If not, then it's time for an offseason housecleaning that includes Falvine, Rocco and coaching staff. There must be some accountability, either positive or negative!!
    2 points
  48. I hope for the best with the team, players, & front office. No idea what the correct answer is, although I hope it does not require a total rebuild. I will continue watching/following/cheering/Hoping
    2 points
  49. So many pitches catching too much plate and being given a ride. Why is Dobnak pitching when he has a nail problem and can't complete his pitches? Why is Shoemaker even still here?
    2 points
  50. His ERA was 2.20 before this today's game... they're all still working on things. They're all going to have games like that. And, the Saints are literally playing 4-5 teams this year, so they're going to see each other a lot. By the way, Luis Rijo left today's game with an elbow "injury"... at least according to the assumption made by the Beloit radio people. Just not good... hopefully it isn't serious, but we'll find out, I'm sure.
    2 points
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