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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/03/2021 in all areas

  1. He has played what, three months of AA ball after sitting out a year following college and some are downgrading his potential. And he is playing while dealing with an injured hand. Bah Humbug! I am amazed that the Twins were able to pry him away from Toronto. Why you ask? Looked at Toronto's draft last year. They paid this kid $7.0M to sign, which was $820,000 over the allotted slot of $6.18M. That was the second highest bonus paid last year, which ties to some who maintain he was one of the top two prospects in the draft. The result was that the Jays ended up around 5% over their allotted pool, ie, they paid a hefty tax. With everything Toronto paid to get this kid, I doubt their opinion slipped, especially considering he is playing with that injury. So why were the Twins able to get this kid and a top notch young pitcher? Easy, they traded one hell of a great young pitcher who will help the Jays battle for the playoffs this year and next. Berrios just may be an ACE, but most of us here have nitpicked his talent apart for the past whatever years. Why, probably in part because the bloody Twins haven't been able to satisfy our yearning for some playoff success. None of us knows what the future holds for this young man. But odds are pretty darn good that he is gonna be heck of a good one.
    11 points
  2. I think these points are not anything to be too worried about at this point. Contact: I don't think it's overly surprising for Martin's strikeout rate to increase being thrust straight into AA. He's more than held his own at AA as a 22 year old and think his offensive profile as an OBP machine has not changed. Let's get more of a minor league sample size without the injury before we worry too much here. Impacting the Baseball: This to me will be something to keep an eye on, but I think it's still too limited of a sample size (including the hand injury), to overly speculate with. If he can get to Starling Marte level power then he will be a very helpful player. His college exit velos were excellent, and there's no reason one year away should change that perception too much. Keith Law mentioned that his swing with the injury has caused more of an inside out swing, which naturally would create less power. Let's see where things go once the hand injury heals in the offseason. Defense: I think we have a tendency to over analyze defense on these forums to the point where we begin playing a player who can't hit just for the sake of SS defense. I think Martin has a lot of utility (like Arraez) to have defensive flexibility at CF/2B/3B/LF. He does not profile well as a corner outfielder, but would still be a great addition for days where Kepler/Larnach need a day off. Polanco and Arraez will probably be in the ballpark of 3+ WAR players for the forseeable future, but leveraging where they play with Martin could create an incredible top of the lineup. Even if we re-sign Buxton, we know he will miss time so this is a nice player to have who can be a 2-3 WAR swiss army knife who may be a slightly better version of Arraez. In my opinion, Martin (like Arraez) fits a huge need for the future offense in having table setters for our power hitters. The 2020 and 2021 Twins have had issues with having to out-homer there competition, which to me is not good baseball. I think Arraez, Polanco, and Martin will be excellent future compliments to the way Falvine wants to build out the middle of the order, and I don't think these shortcomings listed by scouts are anything to be too worried about at this stage.
    11 points
  3. I think it is hard to say they bought low on a guy that is in his first season of pro ball, and has improved each month in terms of average and OBP. He is also 2 years younger than average age level he is at. He also has reduced his K's each month. May, was 24k to 9 walks. June was 19K to 13 walks and July was 10K to 15 walks, with a .500 OBP. Yes, slugging is an issue, and lack of clear defensive position, but for a guy that is young for the league, had not played pro ball, with wood bat before, and had long time off, he is making big strides each month. Personally, I would not say this is buying low on a guy. It is not like he has spent a few years in pro ball and never had a breakout. Hopefully he can increase his power some, but that OBP is crazy good, and having more walks than K's is always a plus too.
    10 points
  4. How do you buy low on the 13th ranked prospect in all of baseball?
    10 points
  5. Austin Martin is a highly-regarded prospect and has been since well before he was drafted 5th overall by Toronto in 2020. Many evaluators even saw Martin as the top hitter of the entire draft. He was arguably the most talented prospect to change jerseys at this year’s deadline as well. Making it all the more incredible is the Twins not only received Martin in their Berrios deal, but also another top 100 prospect in right handed pitcher Simeon Woods-Richardson. It seemed too good to be true at the time, and it may be worthwhile to consider how the Twins talked the Blue Jays into parting with a player who was drafted 5th overall just a year ago. Contact Concerns In his senior season at Vanderbilt, Austin Martin struck out just twice in 69 plate appearances against some of the best collegiate pitching in the country. It set him apart from the typical college masher as a savant when it came to bat-to-ball skills. Such a skillset comes with a high floor which is likely why Toronto was aggressive enough to assign Martin to AA in his professional debut in 2021. His 2021 season hasn’t been a complete disaster, but it has raised some eyebrows. Martin has struck out over 20% of the time which was an outcome not many scouts saw coming. Some attribute it to his passive approach which while leading him to a near 15% walk rate, may also get him unnecessarily deep into counts that he can’t battle his way out of. Martin may need to find a happy medium between drawing his walks and being just aggressive enough to take advantage of hittable pitches early in counts. Impacting the Baseball: You typically hear of prospects “flashing plus power”, whereas Martin has been cited to flash average power. Given his eye at the plate and impressive bat-to-ball skills, the Twins won’t need him to become a 40 home run hitter in order to be a success. That being said, his .383 slugging % in 2021 paired with an 8 mph drop in average exit velocity has been enough to cause worry among some scouts. It’s easier to develop power as a player ages than it is elite contact ability, and the Twins will be counting on Martin to do so to some extent as he continues to inch closer to the Major League level. Defensive Future: By almost all accounts, Martin is not the Twins shortstop of the future. While athletic and soft handed, his arm may be lacking for the most important position in the infield. While listed as a shortstop, he played third base for much of his senior year before being moved to center field due to throwing issues by year’s end. Scouts have yet to come to much of a conclusion in regards to Austin Martin the center fielder. The Twins will surely get a closer look at their new top two prospect at shortstop, but don’t be surprised to see them pivot to trying him as an heir to the center field position in the case of a Buxton departure. A player of such a skillset just doesn’t slot in well to the traditionally power-heavy corner positions in the outfield. Such a lack of clarity on a defensive future is enough to rub some of the prospect shine away on a 22 year old. Austin Martin is certainly an incredibly exciting prospect and one that isn’t too far off from the Majors in all likelihood. There are further questions that have been raised in the last year about his ceiling however that without a doubt contributed to the Twins ability to receive both him and a highly-regarded pitching prospect. The front office admitted they were enormous fans of Martin during the 2020 draft but had no shot at drafting him. While his stock hasn’t crashed, Falvine and company have bought relatively low on a prospect that caught their eye a year ago and now have the opportunity to develop a possible cornerstone of the next great Minnesota Twins team. Can the Twins come out on the winning end of the gamble they made on trading away their home grown ace? — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
    5 points
  6. You are aware that every single player, prior to playing a major league game, is considered a prospect, right? These are 2 very good, young players. Believe it or not, Berrios was once a prospect!
    5 points
  7. They're buying low if you agree with FanGraphs downgrade on Martin, I guess? the Twins FO doesn't seem too concerned about his power production this year (he may have adjusted his swing to compensate for a hand injury) and they're right that it's a lot easier to add power to a guy with high bat skills and great control of the strike zone than it is to add average and contact to a player with big power. Small tweaks in elevating his swing, pulling the ball more, using his legs better, adding muscle, etc are all thing that could add additional pop to his bat. I heard on Gleeman & the Geek the comp of "Shannon Stewart with more walks" right now. That would be a pretty nice player, as Shannon Stewart was a borderline all-star a couple of times and a quality starter for the better part of a decade. add in more walks and you have a player who is a multiple all-star and a building block for your team. I really didn't expect the twins to get a player of this quality and a high-upside pitcher for Berrios, which was part of my resistance to trading him (the other part is I would have preferred to sign him long-term...but I'm increasingly of the belief that absent a substantial overpay the Twins had no shot of extending him. I think the same is true for Toronto: I believe Berrios is serious about wanting to be a free agent and see what happens.) Martin is really good as a player. They'll find a position for him defensively; this isn't a case of needing to stash him somewhere where he won't do any damage.
    5 points
  8. I like the Arraez comparison and I think it's a good one, although Martin's bat will be a lot better in the long run. I'm not really worried about him, Toronto is pretty aggressive with their prospects. Most teams probably wouldn't have dropped him in AA to start his career so it made sense that he struggled a bit. He's going to be really good.
    5 points
  9. He's so easy to root for. Glad his bat has bounced back!
    5 points
  10. I think the timeline depends on their willingness to go with prospects as opposed to filling spots with free agents. I agree they are not contending next year but they could put a team on the field next year that would project to be close.
    4 points
  11. Except, he spent 2020 doing just that. He worked really hard on his motion/delivery to alleviate the aches and pains he felt previously after pitching. No reports this season of any recurring issues. And his velocity has jumped from high 80's to touching low 90's to being a consistent 92-94 with amazing extension and hiding. For him, now, it's all about working on secondary stuff and building up his arm for IP. Funny how we are so desperate for internal development for SP but we forget how bad Gibson and Berrios looked initially. And Ober, just the 1st rotational piece to reach the majors, is such a question mark when his initial numbers are better than either of them. Instant gratification happens so seldom. I predict nothing for Ober, at this point, other than just maybe being a solid back end option. Just surprised how few look at what he's done thus far and dismiss him.
    4 points
  12. Guys, I think Ober's development is clearly a success. He's getting better every start and showing signs of being a consistent back end starter - 4 or 5 spot. Those guys do not grow on trees and are pretty valuable. Yes, he's not a #1 or #2 but that doesn't mean he isn't important. I can absolutely see him as the 4th or 5th starter at the beginning of next season. There is one thing that puzzles me. I understand that we're watching his innings but why 4-5 innings for another 10-12 starts instead of 6 plus innings for another 7-8 starts? that's what we need next year - starters that can go 6 plus innings. Let's see if he can be one of those guys and whether he can navigate that 3rd time through the lineup. Yes, that mans shutting him down in early September but that might be a good thing. We have a lot of potential starters to evaluate THIS YEAR - Ober, Jax, Barnes, Ryan, Winder, Thorpe, Balazovic, at the very least. Leave a few starts for those guys. run piggy back starts - e.g., Jax as long as he can go followed by Barnes hopefully to the end of the game - but get these guys on the mound and find out if they're ready for the big time. Commit to the re-tool NOW, don't waste this year.
    4 points
  13. It’s been a few days since the Minnesota Twins allowed the dust to settle on their 2021 Trade Deadline moves. With some big names leaving the organization, and some big prospects entering, it’s time to take a look at the talent that moved places. The headliner was obviously the Jose Berrios move. As a fan, this one was always going to be hard to stomach. Berrios was drafted by the organization, developed, and became one of the best pitchers in Twins history. As it became increasingly evident that he would not sign a long-term extension with the club, moving him made more and more sense. Derek Falvey had to maximize the return on Berrios is there was going to be a deal, and he did absolutely that. I noted Austin Martin being my desired target should a swap with the Blue Jays be the plan of action. Still though, getting controllable pitching needed to happen considering Minnesota was moving an ace. To get both Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson was an absolute coup, and it was the strongest return any swap generated during the deadline. I wrote up the Cruz swap last week and getting Joe Ryan looks like a very strong return for a guy that’s an impending free agent and had limited suitors. While Nelson Cruz is great, there was never a point in which I thought he’d bring back much to work with. Instead, the Twins got Team USA’s game one starter in Ryan, and a flier that’s close to major league ready in Drew Strotman. No matter how Falvey organized this one, he did incredibly well. Flipping J.A. Happ to the Cardinals was impressive as well. I’ve kicked the notion that he could be seen as valuable to someone for weeks. That always was tongue in cheek with how poorly he’s pitched but leave it to St. Louis to make me look smart. John Gant is under team control in 2022, and that gives the Twins a veteran arm with a longer runway to decide a future on. He can both start and relieve, although he’s currently in Rocco Baldelli’s pen. Gant has pitched well above expectations this year, and his FIP suggests some massive regression is coming. That said, if the Twins can unlock another tier, they may have something to work with down the line. It wasn’t unexpected to see Hansel Robles moved, although I did think that Alex Colome may wind up being the more coveted reliever. Boston sent back a non-top 30 arm in Alex Scherff, but the 23-year-old has big strikeout numbers and is already at Double-A. Although he’s a reliever, that’s still a useful arm to add for an organization needing to develop pitchers for the highest level. There has to be some criticism directed at Falvey and Thad Levine, although none of it should be for what they did. Instead, not trading Michael Pineda or Andrelton Simmons looks like a missed opportunity. Both are impending free agents and serve no purpose to this club down the stretch. I’d like to see Pineda back next season, but that could happen on the open market anyways. There’s no reason for this team to hold onto any semblance of respectability and turning the results over to youth makes more sense than ever. Simmons has been fine defensively, but he’s non-existent at the plate and some contender could’ve parted with a bag of balls for a shortstop upgrade. When the bell run on July 31, we had seen the most exciting trade deadline in Major League Baseball history come to an end. The Minnesota Twins bettered their future, and made some high impact moves that both Falvey and Levine should be praised for. Now it’ll be up to the organizational infrastructure to develop and best position these talents in an opportunity to bear fruit and turn the tides of the big-league club. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
    3 points
  14. Jorge Polanco must have been riding high back in 2019 as he made his first All-Star Game as the American League’s starting shortstop. He finished that season with career highs in nearly every offensive category, and the Twins were at the top of the AL Central. Life was good. In each of the last two offseasons, he underwent ankle surgery. Polanco’s clearly-hampered swing was evident as he played through the injury. During the 2020 season, he played in 55 of the team’s 60 games, but his slugging percentage dropped over 130 points compared to 2019. Over the team’s final 15 games, he posted a .167 batting average with two extra-base hits. Entering the 2021 season, Minnesota’s offseason plan included moving Polanco from shortstop to second base. He has always been stretched defensively at shortstop, and the switch may also take some pressure off his ailing ankles. He has been good defensively as he ranks just outside the top-3 AL second basemen when it comes to SABR’s Defensive Index. While the defensive switch has worked, his offensive numbers are what really needed to improve. Quietly, Polanco has rediscovered his swing during the 2021 season. Over the team’s last 70 games, he is hitting .297/.355/.524 (.879) with 15 home runs and 17 doubles. If the season ended today, there’s a good chance he would be named the team MVP. On a last-place team, that might not mean a lot, but it might be a sign of him being healthy for the first time in multiple seasons. Polanco is signed through 2023 as part of his 5-year, $25.75 million extension, but vesting/team options can keep in Minnesota through 2025. If he stays with the Twins, he will turn 31-years old in 2025, and the team would control the majority of his prime years. By being with the organization for this long, he also has the opportunity to be the veteran presence on a team that will include a young core of Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and other prospects yet to debut. Over the last decade, veteran players like Nelson Cruz, Brian Dozier, and Torii Hunter took on the team leader role to help nurture young players and be the contending team's voice. Polanco hasn't taken on that role yet, but looking into the future makes it easier to imagine him taking on the leadership role the future Twins will need on and off the field. Do you think Polanco is the right veteran leader for the Twins turnaround? 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
  15. After Mitch Garver and Nelson Cruz took home the prestigious title in May and June, respectively, we will have a new award winner for the month of July. Before we announce the winner, let’s look at a group of honorable mentions for the month. Honorable Mention #3: Luis Arraez Arraez missed some time in July, otherwise he’d be higher on this list, but he was still one of the most productive Twins of the month. In the month of July, he had the highest batting average (.373) and on-base percentage (.415) of his career in months where he had at least 40 at-bats. Due to the time he’s missed this year, he’s currently about 50 plate appearances short of being a qualified hitter but he would rank 13th in the league in batting average if he had the minimum number of plate appearances. He gets bonus points for the crafty slide he showed on July 19th against the Chicago White Sox Honorable Mention #2: Josh Donaldson At 35-years-old, it’s safe to assume that Donaldson’s MVP days are behind him but that was probably an unfair bar to hold him to in the first place. Over the last two months, Donaldson has been one of the Twins best hitters smashing 11 homeruns with a .929 OPS. Although Donaldson slowed a bit in July and missed some time, he still accrued 0.5 fWAR with three homeruns and a .854 OPS. Included in his three home runs from the month was this 446 foot moon shot against off of José Cisnero where he broke through some career milestones. Honorable Mention #1: Max Kepler Kepler has struggled since his impressive 2019 season, but he hit well in July hitting one double, one triple, and a team-leading eight homeruns. He ended the month slashing .228/.290/.522 with a wRC+ of 118. Most notably, he became the all-time leader in walk off hits with this bloop against the Tigers that scored utility pinch runner Kenta Maeda in extras. Many thought that Kepler might get traded at the deadline and it even sounds like they had some preliminary talks with the Yankees. Alas, he’ll keep manning Centerfield and Right Field for the foreseeable future as the Twins begin a (hopefully) mini rebuild. Hitter of the Month: Jorge Polanco This was quite easy. In the month of July, Polanco slashed .327/.366/.548 with a wRC+ of 149 and this is now two plus months of solid play from the Twins second baseman. It seems that part of Polanco’s rebound can be thanks to a healthy ankle, and I wonder if shifting to second is a little easier on the joint. Regardless, this is an important development for a player who is under contract until 2024-2025 and could theoretically be a contributor to the next competitive window for the Twins.
    3 points
  16. THAT'S WHAT I AM TALKIN' (apparently to myself) ABOUT!!!!!
    3 points
  17. The FO manipulated his service time, they leaked information about Buxton not signing, and then they tried to trade him. So, yeah, they might not expect him to be here much longer. I'd rather lose this FO than Buxton but others may disagree.
    3 points
  18. In their quest to try out all former Twins pitchers, the Rays are giving Dietrich Enns a shot.
    3 points
  19. The Blue Jays got exactly what they wanted in Jose Berrios and thus the Twins were able to receive two highly rated prospects in return. Austin Martin may develop, quickly, into a real fine MLB player and we hope he does as soon as next season. However, Martin was not going to play ahead of Bichette or Springer and thus his value was higher for others than to Toronto. I don't think Toronto was down on Martin as a prospect. The Twins could use Austin Martin in LF if Buxton returns to full health. Byron has had a real tough time with injuries but most of them are unrelated and he could, absolutely, bounce back to be a 140+ games per year star. Power in CF allows for a line drive hitter in LF, and Martin could be that player. The Twins still need two pitchers though.
    3 points
  20. Right on brother! Let's not let ourselves get so desperate for a Berrios replacement that we judge all of the new SP candidates with that lens. They are all going to struggle initially before they improve. Ober is actually on a good course compared to most, so while Ii think he should go 6 innings a start for fewer starts rather tan 4-5 for more, I don't want to lose sight of the fact that he may be developing into a solid 4/5 starter as early as next year. And that's a very good thing. By the way, Jax has actually looked better than at least I expected this early. Is it possible that our AA/AAA pitching development folks are actually competent? We'll see as the next wave comes up but the early returns are better than I expected. Now let's see some of the mid 20s bullpen guys. Like NOW.
    3 points
  21. I may be one of the few who like Simmons for a team that wants to be respectable. He will probably win a gold glove again this year. Although his batting numbers are not good he has had many timely hits. Unless we have a major league caliber defender at shortstop for next year, I would bring him back if the price is right.
    3 points
  22. I'm very bullish on Ober. Command is everything, he's got it. Plus the deception. So, a five inning playoff start down the road is something I look forward to.
    3 points
  23. For the month of July Sano had a wRC+ of 126 and struck out exactly 1/3 of his ABs. He will be moveable if he repeats or improves upon that performance in August. However, he is no longer a big problem and he won't be a problem at all if he continues to trend up. Why not just let him play at this point, especially with Kirilloff out and see what happens. Maybe he regains some value to trade this off-season.
    3 points
  24. Lewis Thorpe should be done with his rehab stint soon. He's going to have to make a good impression or he'll be cut this offseason because he's out of options.
    3 points
  25. Sad? Becoming a #4 starter is a fantastic outcome for a 12th round pick. And if they were to go on a playoff run, he could move to the pen and possibly gain a couple ticks on his fastball, likely increasing his K rate. This organization has a woeful track record with starting pitching, but Ober could be a sign of things to come.
    3 points
  26. Following a non-existent 2020 minor league season, the line between reliever and starter continues to be blurred for prospects. That being said, a few pitchers were used more regularly out of the bullpen and were able to separate themselves statistically. Before exploring the top four relievers, here are three Honorable Mentions: Jordan Gore, Cedar Rapids Kernels/Wichita Wind Surge - 8 G, 2.77 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 8 H, 8 walks, 21 strikeouts Osiris German, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels/Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 2.40 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 9 H, 6 walks, 23 strikeouts Ryan Mason, Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 0.82 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 10 H, 5 walks, 14 strikeouts. THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - RHP Derek Molina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 3.06 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 17.2 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 22 K Molina was drafted by the Twins in the 14th round back in 2017. He ended the 2019 season at High-A and that’s where he’s spent all of 2021. Things didn’t start off great for him during the 2021 campaign as he entered the month of July with a 5.46 ERA with opponents getting on base over 33% of the time against him. There were some positive signs as his strikeout totals were high (40 K in 29 2/3 innings). He seemed to put it all together in July as was asked to pitch two innings or more in every appearance. Opponents were only able to hit .190/.257/.286 (.543), and his five walks were the fewest he’s had in any month. Righties really struggle against Molina as he has held them to a .190 average with 35 strikeouts in 100 at-bats this season. His numbers could have looked even better if he hadn’t allowed two earned runs on the last day of the month. #3 - LHP Jovani Moran - Wichita Wind Surge/St. Paul Saints - 8 G, 2.41 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 6 H, 7 BB, 34 K Moran joined the Twins in 2015 as a 7th round pick from Puerto Rico, and the development of his dominant changeup have made him a reliever to keep an eye on. He made his first five appearances at Triple-A during July, where he is over three years younger than the average age of the competition. He posted some dominant numbers during the month as he faced a total of 71 batters and compiled 34 strikeouts. Yes, he struck out nearly 50% of the batters he faced during the month. Also, he was asked to pitch more than one inning in every appearance during July. Batters struggled to do anything against him as he held them to a .094/.183/.203 slash line. With him now in St. Paul, it is not hard to imagine him making his big league debut before season’s end. #2 - LHP Denny Bentley - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels - 11 G, 1.65 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 8 H, 8 BB, 21 K Bentley, a 33rd round pick back in 2018, was the June Relief Pitcher of the Month, so it’s no surprise to see his name back near the top of the list. For the second straight month, batters hit under .145 against him and got on base only 25% of the time. All three of his earned runs this month came in one appearance as he was asked to make a spot start back on July 6. That means he ended the month with eight straight scoreless appearances. Even as a lefty, Bentley allows a .705 OPS against left-handed hitters, which is nearly 240 points higher than his OPS versus righties. Since he’s pitched at Low-A for the entire season, one has to wonder if he will make the jump to High-A during the season’s second half. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: RHP Erik Manoah Jr. - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 0.60 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 20 K Manoah might not be a familiar name to Twins fans because he wasn’t even in the organization at season’s start. He began the year pitching in independent baseball as part of the Atlantic League, but he impressed enough to catch the eye of the Twins organization. Originally, he was a 13th round pick of the Mets and he pitched parts of three seasons for that organization before joining the Angels organization. He topped out at High-A with Los Angeles and ended 2019 pitching in the American Association. As the calendar turned to July, Manoah was promoted to Cedar Rapids where he made an immediate impact. Across nine appearances, he only allowed one run and he held batters to hitting .140/.241/.180 (.421). Lefties have only been able to combine for a .313 OPS when facing Manoah. Also, he seems to buckle down in pressure situations as he has 24 strikeouts in 43 at-bats with runners on base. Because of his stints in independent leagues, all but one of his at-bats this season has come against younger batters. Other players might have quit after multiple years in independent leagues, but now he is back on the professional map. And yes, his younger brother Alek pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays. As the Twins have seen this year, an organization can never have too much relief pitching. All of these players had strong month and some may be worthy of promotions in the weeks ahead. Congratulations to Erik Manoah Jr., the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for July 2021.
    2 points
  27. The reverse bremergasm! What a rarity!
    2 points
  28. "You guys 'member that time when the Twins had that one pitcher, who could get outs an' stuff? 'Member that? That was awesome."
    2 points
  29. Not going to defend either party here, as there's no way of knowing what really happened, but I think its fair to bring up whether Twins were thin-skinned here in this release. Many of us have questionned this FO's(and their coaching staff's) ability to find and develop pitching talent. No doubt, the Shoe was in the twilight of his career, but that doesn't mean we can totally dismiss his comments as "sour grapes". There are just too many failures on the part of Falvine in identifying real pitching talent, not only in FA but in minor league development, as well. How many nuggets have they unearthed in their almost 5 years at the helm? How many prospects who they let go who have flourished elsewhere? I have always complained about this FO's hubris. They think they are smarter than old school GM's, not because of their talent evaluation, but because of their mastery of new technology. How far has that gotten us? They first selected a pitching coach, Alston, who had no discernible skills when hired. They quickly jettisoned him for a college whizkid in Wes Johnson who had some initial success but has failed to develop even one prospect. On the offense side, they seem to have struck pay dirt in James Rowson, but didn't retain him. This whole Shoemaker episode smacks of small-mindedness(on both sides) and sheds little credit on Twins management.. I can only hope they succeed in turning things around quickly, but have lost confidence in their abilities.
    2 points
  30. Interesting group and we all know how much help the Twins bullpen needs. Wondering how Gore has a 1.00 WHIP with 8 hits and 8 walks in 13.0 innings?
    2 points
  31. Polanco is the only leader sure to stick around. #2 is Garver, a now experienced catcher who is able to lead a young pitching staff. He is tradeable with Jeffers ready and a need for SP. #3 is Buxton. He works as hard as anyone and he's fought through struggles. I hope the Twins pony up and pay him.
    2 points
  32. I hope the Twins take a seriously internal look at themselves and find the truth in what he has said.
    2 points
  33. No, Ober does not need to go 7 innings. That's not what starting pitchers do anymore. Pineda is barely averaging more than 5 innings per start. If Ober can consistently go 5 innings and keep the team in the game he's a 4th starter. I'm skeptical that we see the Twins bring up many of the real pitching prospects. Strotman, Balazovic and Duran are on the 40 man roster so we could see them but they will not want to add players early. They already need to evaluate Jax, Barnes, Thorpe, Gant, Burrows, Alcala and Garcia to see if they are worth keeping for 2022. Remember that you don't get to add the whole 40 man in September anymore.
    2 points
  34. True, true. But think of the weird pitches he could develop and be known as "three finger" Rogers. Nah . . . rehab and recovery is probably better. Get well Lefty.
    2 points
  35. I had the same reaction but he has not quite lived up to expectations in his first season of professional baseball so if you squint, it makes some sense, maybe, sort of, kinda. Yep.
    2 points
  36. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Four Starters for July, there were some other solid starting performers that just missed the cut. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in July. HONORABLE MENTION RHP Ben Gross - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 14 H, 4 BB, 25 K RHP Jordan Balazovic - Wichita Wind Surge - 5 GS, 28.1 IP, 2.86 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 21 H, 11 BB, 31 K. THE TOP FOUR STARTING PITCHERS #4 - RHP Giovahniey German - FCL Twins - 5 GS, 16.2 IP, 1.62 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 9 H, 7 BB, 19 K German was born in Massachusetts but grew up in the Dominican Republic. The Twins signed him as a 16-year-old in 2017. He spent two seasons in the DSL. After missing the 2020 season, He came to the States this spring and was placed on the FCL Twins roster. His first start was June 28th and he gave up four earned runs in four innings. In his first start of July, he gave up three earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. Since then, he has tossed 13 1/3 innings and only allowed an unearned run. In his July 13th start, he tossed five no-hit innings and allowed two walks. #3 - LHP Aaron Rozek - FCL Twins/Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels/Wichita Wind Surge - 5 G, 2 GS, 22.0 IP, 1.64 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 16 H, 2 BB, 29 K Rozek grew up a Twins fan in Burnsville. After high school, he went to Minnesota State-Mankato. He redshirted and then pitched four seasons for the Mavericks. He also played in the Northwoods League during his summers. He went undrafted in 2018 and has played independent baseball since. Until, that is, the Twins signed him in June. It’s been an interesting month. After two appearances in the FCL, including five shutout innings on July 3rd in which he struck out 11, he was moved to the Double-A Wichita Wind Surge. He pitched three scoreless innings in relief and recorded a Win. He was then sent to Ft. Myers where he has pitched three times. He tossed five scoreless innings in his first start there and ended the month with a two-inning scoreless outing. The lefty rarely, if ever, touches 90 on a radar gun, but he mixes things up well to keep hitters off balance. #2 - LHP Tyler Watson - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 19.0 IP, 0.47 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 11 H, 7 BB, 17 K Watson spent most of the season’s first month in a piggybacking role, either starting and working three innings or coming on after the starting and working three innings. In June, he worked mostly as a more traditional relief pitcher, working two innings or less. His final appearance of June was a four-inning start, and his four outings in July were all either four or five innings. His non-start, he came into the game in the second inning and pitched until the seventh inning. On the month, he gave up just two earned runs. He limited base runners. He was very good. Overall this season, the former Nationals prospect is 2-1 with a 1.68 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is (Drumroll, please...) Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels/Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Louie Varland - 5 GS, 27.0 IP, 1.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 20 H, 8 BB, 36 K Louie Varland was a star on the diamond and on the wrestling mat in his years at North St. Paul High School. He stayed home and pitched for three years at Concordia University in St. Paul, the first two years with his brother Gus. Gus was the 14th round pick of the Oakland A’s in 2018. He was traded to the Dodgers earlier this year. Louie was the 15th round pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2019. He pitched in just three games that summer for Elizabethton. He used the 2020 summer to get healthy, get stronger and gain velocity, and he did just that, hitting 100 mph on a radar gun before spring training. But for now, the intent for Varland is to be a starter, and he’s been fantastic. He began the season with Ft. Myers where he went 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 10 games. In 47 1/3 innings, he walked 16 and struck out 76 batters. He made two July starts in Ft. Myers, but mid-month, he was promoted to HIgh-A Cedar Rapids. He has made three starts for the Kernels so far and is yet to allow a run. In 16 innings, he has given up just eight hits, walked seven and struck out 17 batters. His best start was in Cedar Rapids against Beloit when he gave up one hit and struck out nine batters in five scoreless innings. Overall this season, the 23-year-old is 5-2 with a 1.56 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. In 63 1/3 innings, he has walked 23 and struck out 93 batters. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of July, Cedar Rapids RHP Louie Varland.
    2 points
  37. The Twins seem to lean heavily on offense as a basis for their roster. Whether that’s for financial reasons or in house theory is hard to say. But, pitching is extremely expensive, for a reason. I think 2019 was the outlier, everyone had career years. 2020 was such a fluke year how would one know. We spent the entire season playing in a very weak division. This year the injuries did pile up. The roster decisions did not pan out. And a significant group of players are not having career years. But the sad fact is that it appears this present group which was to lead us from the wilderness isn’t ever going to. Some just may not be that good, Kepler. Some can’t stay on the field, Buxton. Some just can’t be figured out, Sano. Then there are those who can hit, but whose defense deeply cuts into their effectiveness, Garver and Polanco. On the pitching side, the starters are "analytically" held to short starts. So the game can be turned over to a bullpen which couldn’t hold a chihuahua, not to speak of a bull. Sooner or later the Twins organization will find out you need pitching to win. Frankly I think they know that, but for whatever reason won’t expend the resources to make it happen.
    2 points
  38. He's lucky. Two lifetimes as an MLB pitcher. I'll probably be an emaciated cow.
    2 points
  39. You hit the nail on the head with the statement I highlighted. It's understandable that fans don't want to wait. We want to be charging ahead. Trade for superstars and sign elite free agents. This team is not in that position. That expectation is going to disappoint of the next year plus as the development of Ober and a few more prospects is going to be part of the landscape. What's not to like with Ober. He is a 12th round pick that looks to have a floor of a solid back-end starter. He has very good mechanics for such a tall guy. Perhaps he can add strength and even more velocity. Then, if he can improve just one of his breaking pitches ... what's his ceiling? He is one of th bright spots in a dismal year for twins fans. Let's hope Ryan / Winder / Jax and/or a couple others show us their promise the rest of the way.
    2 points
  40. You can't compare Ober to Methuselah, it was a completely different game back then. The average fastball was 12 MPH, and starters were expected to go 90 innings.
    2 points
  41. I liked about every comment here because right or wrong the opinions are just smart! I applaud Shoemaker for being open and honest and taking at least some responsibility for not performing. He should. But just being a realist, not every single pitcher, or player, "fits" with an organization. We've seen it time and time again. It's reality. The Twins have COMPLETELY revamped their milb system when it comes to treating pitchers and players as individuals and tailoring their developmental approach. And we've heard from current players and previous players in regard to the massive change within the system. But I have NO PROBLEM saying Rocco, Johnson, scouts and the FO may have just made a mistake on a guy. They THOUGHT they had a really good plan for an experienced back end SP that would work. Sorry, s**t happens and you aren't always right. But then again, as Shoe states, he could have said no. And he has the right to also shake off signs. And shouldn't he be doing well at AAA as a healthy and experienced pitcher? But have to admit I'm curious why he took the milb assignment instead of going elsewhere. Makes little sense to me unless NOBODY was knocking on his door. IF the Twins think think this was bad communication and a mistake that can be rectified, I have no problem. IF Shoemaker really likes the organization, no problem. We need a couple veteran SP for 2022, which MIGHT include Pineda. But could Shoe, previously quality in his career when healthy, be an option? Please. Shoemaker is trying to get a contract for 2022 and not really blaming anyone because he doesn't want to rock the boat. He's at AAA FOR THE MOMENT, because he's a good guy and provides IP. He's probably gone a week from now due to additions and promotions. Over and done, it was a really smart flier for a talented but frequently injured SP that just didn't fit.
    2 points
  42. 2 points
  43. Kind of tough seeing no Sands, Canterino, Duran, Winder etc. in these lists but congrats to the guys who made it. Louie has been outstanding from day one. His current dominant stretch just adds to the legend at this point. Not sure how he is doing it with mainly just the fastball and some control issues at least to start the season. Still he has the best pitching line in the system. Congrats well deserved recognition. Been pretty surprised by Watson as I thought he might be done. I think a reliever role suits him best and we could really use lefties so would be nice if he can be dominant in short bursts. Had already asked Seth about Rozek because of the great success he has had and was stunned he didn't have a fastball in the 90's. Not sure if he can continue to make his stuff work all the way up but he sure pitched well this month and caught my attention. Gross is another guy who exceeded my expectations and I would like to see him move up to AA and see if he can handle some of the best hitters in the minors. He has been too good to keep at High A.
    2 points
  44. I do not like the way we have used Ober. Pitch him as long as he is doing well, extend him, let him be a starter. If he starts to wear down then shut him down, but no more 4 inning starts. Keep bringing up the young guys. I like Ober's story and I hope the other pitchers are so good that he does not make the rotation.
    2 points
  45. All I know is that Twins' fans better get used to just enjoying having a MLB team for its own sake and not worrying about wins and losses. When the predictions for a rosier future are all based upon unknowns and generalities like "a bunch of good arms" and "do a better job with free agency" the word "hope" comes to mind.
    2 points
  46. None of us have enough first hand knowledge to know the real story. But thanks for all the information, Matt. What concerns me is whether or not the Twins are trying to get all pitchers to focus on some of the same things, ie,, throw X pitch high in the zone, throw more sliders, etc. Every pitcher is different, would expect the best staff would be one that gets the most out of each pitcher based on his individual strengths.
    2 points
  47. I've posted this too much, but since this is a Pineda thread....... They have 2 veterans on the MLB roster to mentor the young players. I think we all under estimate the value of that. I'd try to extend Pineda 2 years. Then either sign or deal for a better SP in the off season. Pineda, Meada, FA/Trade + 2 from this system is what I'd start the year with. I think rotating the AAA / AA players thru this year, to get their feet wet and see their stuff against MLB players is important, and I think Pineda and Maeda being here to mentor them is also important.
    2 points
  48. Yeah, I view this as a disappointment. Not a huge failure but not good and rather perplexing, especially after moving Happ. I understand why Simmons wasn't dealt (and Donaldson as well), there were so many position players left without a market today. Something of a surprise the market shook out that way.
    2 points
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