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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/27/2021 in Posts

  1. 49 errors!!!! That's terrible! With a glove like th- .... wait, across 4 years? 12 errors a year? For a shortstop? If SS errors are your thing, you won't enjoy a return of Polanco to the most visible defensive position - he made 18 and 22 errors in his two full-time stints at the position (and he committed 17 this season, mostly at 2B). Gordon was error prone in the minors and the team showed reluctance to even try him there this year. Arraez... no. Just no. We need range in a shortstop, and an arm. Simmons touched the ball over 500 times this season, as did every full-time shortstop in the majors - his rate of plays made per inning was second in the AL among full-timers (though in years past, he usually would be #1). The number of errors that get charged are a drop in the bucket to a shortstop's total picture, in part because the official scorers are directed not to call an error on every play-not-made for statistics-keeping purposes. I'm not going to defend Simmons. He was "only" 31 but played like an old 31. He has slipped defensively to only better than average, and his bat is impossible to support no matter how good the defense - no player can save enough runs to make up for the black hole he was in the lineup. He was below replacement-level and won't be missed IMO. But I like to make roster decisions based on the full resume a player brings, not the superficial aspects. Oh, and, Welcome To Twins Daily. I wound up doing a little deep-dive on one of the supporting points you made, but overall I like the ideas you raised in this article.
    22 points
  2. Colome has to be the unluckiest pitcher on the planet. He always seems to be on the mound when the other team is scoring runs.
    20 points
  3. It also doesn't typically have 9 guys on the 60-Day IL. These were definitely the easy decisions. There are the free agents who will come off after the World Series. Then there are several tough decisions.
    18 points
  4. Ober didn't pitch last year and never topped 78.2 innings in his professional career because of injuries. His max was 106 back in 2014 when he was a freshman in college. He's a terrible example for your point. Jose Berrios was second in the AL in innings pitched this year. He didn't get there by pitching 14 innings a game for the Jays. When pitchers are throwing well Rocco lets them go.
    17 points
  5. So am I understanding correctly, The Twins should trade a 3B with a 3.2 WAR in in 132 games, and 3.6 in 160 games and eat millions and millions of dollars , for salary relief and hand a spot to rookie 3B?
    17 points
  6. a-wan

    Eddie Rosario

    Rosario was so sought after at the trade deadline that the Braves traded the desiccated corpse of Pablo Sandoval to get him.
    16 points
  7. The Twins aren't going to sign any of these players, but... The "now isn't the time" argument has always been wrong. There is never the "wrong time" to get better players, yet people make that argument all the time. "Wait till we're one player away to sign that player" is, to put it bluntly, a stupid idea. You wouldnt be one player short had you signed that player when you could. Not to mention that "one player" might not be there now. Sign good players when you can. Of the three, I'd take Correa, but the Twins won't sign any of these five.
    16 points
  8. This might be some slight repackaging of the trade to the fanbase in that Alaca was supposed to be a starter and now we're resigned ourselves to hoping he's a 60-70 inning relief pitcher. He did look good at the end of the year. He'll be 26 next year so he's pretty much what he is. Celestino's failures at the majors were expected but he's been impressive at AAA. Looks like a worst case scenario is 4th outfielder. It's a solid return. But the problem with the trade goes a bit more than that. It was clear that the Twins didn't know what they had in Pressly, he took off in Houston and then he signed a team friendly extension to stay there. He made two all-star teams and closed out a world series. In four years with Houston he's managed over 5 WAR in about 160 innings (not counting 22 post-season games), In 85 innings, Alaca hasn't reached 1 WAR. The problem was, once again, this FO failed to value the talent they had in the system.
    16 points
  9. That trade suggestion stinks on many levels. 1st it adds to our 40 man dilemma, 2nd reduces our impact level, 3rd it doesn't reduce the payroll that much, 4th I believe Miranda isn't ready quite yet and could use the mentoring that Donaldson would provide (not saying that he could put some time in the majors this year). Hopefully we can find an adequate and cheaper CF sub than Bradley.
    15 points
  10. Well, can we focus on what each team DID have? 1. Good starting pitching and a deep staff generally. 2. A deep offensive attack that stretches the other teams' pitching staff. 3. Lots of home runs from lots of different players. 4. And, the one attribute that is most often overlooked, forgotten and ignored because there is no way to control it: multiple veteran guys who have "career years", for whatever reason, during the same season, whether pitchers or hitters.
    15 points
  11. It would be great if all or most of those things pan out. I'll add two more: Austin Martin makes the team out of spring training with his defensive versatility and well rounded offensive game giving the Twins an on base machine at the top of their order to replace the traded Luis Arraez who brings back a solid starting pitcher with multiple years of team control. Martin eventually settles in at Left Field where his defense invokes memories of the Royals Alex Gordon. Jordan Balazovic discovers how great it is to be healthy all the time and wows in April and May, first in AA and then at AAA for St. Paul. After his first June start for the Saints in which he throws 7 shut out 2-hit innings striking out 12 he is moved to the Big Team where he impresses with a performance that earns him Rookie of the Year votes while flashing #1 starter stuff. With a couple of solid veterans fronting the Twins rotation and Balazovic, Ryan and Ober holding down the #3, #4, and #5 spots the Twins reclaim the division from a talented White Sox outfit who fire Tony Larussa after another 1st round playoff exit. The Twins meanwhile, exorcise all their Playoff winless demons and cruise thru the post season without losing a game in route to winning the the World Series over the mighty L.A. Dodgers in a 4-game sweep. "How Sweet it IS !!!"
    15 points
  12. Sielk

    Who Can the Twins Deal?

    I don't want to trade Garver. Catcher is a position of strength right now. But would it remain one if your catchers are Jeffers/Rortvedt/new acquisition? I'm not convinced that Jeffers could just replace Garver right now. I hate to say this, because Luis Arraez has been my favorite player these last three years, but it might make sense to trade him. 2B/3B is really a strength of this team. Between Polanco, Donaldson (who you probably can't trade), Miranda and Arraez you already have four players for two spots. And while there are always some injuries, we already saw that little logjam this season when the lack of regular playing time was probably one of the reasons why Miranda wasn't called up. Speaking of injuries, let's talk about Arráez'. He has already missed a lot of time because of his knees. Even when he has been on the field, the injuries have caused some extended slumps we haven't seen from him before. A Luis Arraez who hits .330 is a special hitter. If he hits only .280 with no power and bad defense? Not so much. That doesn't mean the Twins should just dump him. But right now he is still only one season removed from hitting .320. If another team is willing to bet on his health and offers them a good return, they should maybe pull the trigger instead of banking on better health in the future. If you wait longer and it goes poorly, his value might plummet rather quickly. Ugh, I really hated writing this...
    15 points
  13. I don't trade Garver unless I'm punting next year, of someone gives me an insane deal. You win by having players be A LOT better than other team's players (position by position)....and Garver is one of the best hitting catchers/1B/DHs in the game. I'm ok with dealing any of the others you mention, because I believe in the next wave of corner fielders. (not counting Buxton, who you didn't really mention).
    15 points
  14. Dropping Maggi after not giving him an at-bat is just a kick in the teeth. Though I believe in the kid and think he will have a place on a roster somewhere next year, would have been right for the Twins to reward the kid a little for the years and time he has given this organization, especially in a lost year like 2021. Best of luck to him.
    15 points
  15. Hard to argue of these points. All quite plausible. There has been some chatter here about Jax to the BP because of how effective he has been the first time through the lineup. Let’s hope we see that to start 2022. Allow me to add a couple more. Perhaps the most impactful development would be if the Twins produced several quality SPs from the current deep crop of prospects outside of Ryan/Ober. Of course, this is a really generic statement that would be true of any team but the Twins have a bunch of guys that could be very good major league SPs. The influence would go beyond the obvious impact starting pitching makes. It would also free up dollars the Twins have been investing in SPs and redirect it to other needs or extending our core. Our future is going to look very bright if just two of Duran / Balazovic / Winder / Canterino / Enlow / Sands and SWR get established at the ML level this year. Jose Miranda could also have a huge impact. I like Donaldson but his influence is short term. Miranda could be an anchor in that lineup for the next decade. Buxton / Polanco / Kirilloff and Miranda would be formidable at the top of the line-up.
    14 points
  16. 14 points
  17. Stop being reasonable. This is the internet!
    14 points
  18. Unless they spend $6-8M on someone they like better, Pineda will be back as a veteran #3-4 part of the rotation. He's not special. But when on the mound, he's been good to very good for 3yrs now. PLEASE find a way to agree on an extension for Buxton. At some point you have to gamble a bit in hope of winning. The kid just dominates and makes a difference in so many ways when he's in the lineup. Again, it's a bit of a gamble. But you just have to find a way to make it work. Polanco is a STUD! PERIOD! Amazing how this team has played .500 ball and beaten or held serve against top teams since trading away our top hitter and pitcher. This confirms what I've felt for some time now. 1] Real money spent on ONE GUY, probably Stoman, to head your rotation. 2] Trade or splurge on a 1yr deal for a #2, but keep the roster in place. 3] With apologies to our current coaches, but bring in someone who can communicate a different approach other than bombas. Homers are awesome! But we can't just live by ONE big inning. The talent on hand, including a healthy Kirilloff as well as Larnach and Miranda coming up, is fine. And K's are just part of today's game. But there just HAS to be a way to take the talent on hand and provide more efficiency. 4] I have issues with some things Rocco has done. Never more than this season. I think he's still growing in to his position. But PLEASE, give him a bench coach with experience who can get in his ear and advise him on a few things he might not be seeing clearly. I think Shelton did that. I think Bell might have been that guy. And I don't know who THE GUY might be, but Rocco needs a smart, maybe veteran guy, who he can respect to hold the reigns a bit.
    14 points
  19. Crackedfungo

    Eddie Rosario

    And, Rosario wins a huge game for ATL. Four hits. GW RBI, and rally starting run with one of the best slides I have ever seen. Yes, we could have used him (or got something for him). He is what he is......a spark plug, and a WINNER.
    13 points
  20. If it's an overpay situation, fine, I like good pitching as well as the next fan. But a trade of Garver means the FO has to turn attention to finding another catcher for the 40-man who is either strong enough for us to want in the majors all season or else is acceptably good and has minor league options. Those aren't for sale cheap, which is why Miami would want one of ours. I want to have a competitive advantage at several positions around the lineup, and Garver's offense provides that at catcher. You don't build a contender by being average everywhere. I don't believe a tandem of Jeffers/Rortvedt is championship quality for 2022, nor do I expect to incur no injuries to need to work around. None of Tomas Telis, David Banuelos, and Caleb Hamilton fit the job description, for me, as a viable third option. I'd rather Rortvedt remain the third option, until his bat develops further. OTOH, catcher is about the last position where I value having a total stud, since either he plays only 60% of the time or else brings roster problems by needing to DH on his days off (you can't attract a Nelson Cruz type if you have a Joe Mauer type). So my mind isn't closed to the idea. I just need some assurance that there is a plan beyond "gee, this looks like a good trade." That seems like should go without saying, but too often I've wondered about a move, only to find several months later that the plan was "we'll make do with what we have."
    13 points
  21. I've been about as big of a supporter of this FO as you'll find on these boards, but this is an awful start to the offseason and I feel like I'm going to end up joining the ranks of the very upset fans by the end of the winter. I don't get this at all. They have SO MANY AAAA relievers on the 40 man and they waive the kid who throws 100 with a nasty slider? Don't see the reasoning at all. Feels like they're going to try to thread the needle and really contend in 2022 and end up losing a handful of young guys and tank the future along with the present. Not a fan of this move at all.
    13 points
  22. Number3

    Eddie Rosario

    Great to see Eddie Rosario come through with a big hit for the Braves yesterday and be with a team capable of actually winning a playoff series. Letting him go along with blowing up the pitching staff has the Twins where they are. I can hear the chuckles now; fine. There was something about Rosario in left, Buxton (when available) in center and Kepler in right that just seemed to work. Now the outfield is the result of throwing darts with players names at an outfield on the wall.
    12 points
  23. It is no secret that the Twins had a disappointing 2021 season. We had our positives, like a great season from Jorge Polanco and we continued to see that when Byron Buxton is on the field he has the potential to be the best player in baseball. One place we really faltered last year was our free agent signings did not live up to expectations. From Matt Shoemaker and his -0.7 fWAR, an ERA over 8, and FIP over 6, to Andrelton Simmons and his -0.5 fWAR, 56 wRC+, and .558 OPS, and many in between, one place the Twins could really improve this year is in their free agent acquisitions. With between 45-60 million dollars in projected spending, the Twins could really get creative with their free agent signings. Here are 5 free agents that I think the Twins should try to acquire this offseason. Heath Hembree, RP, NY Mets At first glance, Heath Hembree had an extremely disappointing 2021 campaign. From a standard statistical viewpoint, he was 2-7 with a 5.59 ERA. Now, by only looking at these numbers you might think the Twins would be crazy to sign a 33 year old reliever with stats that bad. But taking a deeper dive into his numbers, you might be able to see why this is a cheap signing that could very well pay off. Although Hembree had a 5.59 ERA last season, his expected ERA (xERA) was actually 3.12, which was in the 88th percentile of all MLB pitchers last season. If you are unfamiliar, xERA takes into account the quality of contact allowed by a pitcher (exit velocity and launch angle) rather than the results of what happened. Basically, it eliminates luck (weather, defenses, ballpark dimensions). It gives the pitcher credit for what he can control. According to Baseball Savant, Hembree had the largest difference between his actual ERA and his expected ERA for any pitcher in the 2021 season (2.47). Another statistic that favors just how unlucky Hembree was this season is xwOBA. This is similar to xERA in that it shows how Hembree’s batted ball data including his walks allowed and strikeouts would usually play out, eliminating factors beyond his control. Hembree’s xwOBA was actually .035 lower than his actual wOBA, good enough for 9th in the MLB among qualifiers. As strikeouts are becoming more and more common in the big leagues, it is important to have pitchers who can strike guys out at a high rate. This is something Hembree excelled at last year. Hembree struck out 34.2% of batters last year. A number this high puts him in the 96th percentile of all MLB pitchers, which is fantastic. His high strikeout rates can be attributed to his above average spin rates. Along with his fastball velocity being in the 79th percentile of all pitchers, his fastball spin rate is in the 92nd percentile, and his breaking-ball spin rate is in the 96th percentile. These are great predictors of future success for Hembree because although his bad luck may not continue, his high strikeout numbers and high spin rates should. One thing Hembree could work on is limiting the number of walks he allows. Last year Hembree’s walk rate was 9.9%, which was only in the 28th percentile of all pitchers. If Hembree limits his walks and gets a little bit more luck on his side, he could be a key contributor to the Twins bullpen in 2022 at a very low price. Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros There are not many players more controversial than Carlos Correa. His handling of the 2017 Houston Astros cheating scandal rubbed a lot of people in the wrong direction. Many wondered if Correa’s red hot start to his career was only because of the cheating. The answer to that question can be put to rest. In 2021, Correa had the 9th highest fWAR (5.8) of all position players. Additionally he had a wRC+ of 134, meaning he was 34% above a league average hitter Correa is one of the best players in the league when he is at his best. In 2021, he was in the 87th percentile of xWOBA, his hard hit rate was in the 63rd percentile at over 42%, and his walk rate was almost 12%, good enough to be in the 84th percentile. In 2021, the Twins had one of the worst shortstops in the league in Simmons. Going from Simmons to Correa would be a massive upgrade at one of the premier positions in baseball. This past year, Correa was in the 97th percentile in Outs Above Average (OAA). He was the 6th highest shortstop behind Nicky Lopez, Francisco Lindor, Nick Ahmed, Simmons, and Brandon Crawford. Yes, Simmons is ahead of Correa but Correa’s offense is so much better than Simmons’s that the difference defensively is almost negligible. Correa is also a machine in the playoffs. He is currently tied for the 7th most homers in playoff history with 18, and he is only 27 years old. Astros manager Dusty Baker has called Correa one of the best pressure players he has ever seen, and Baker has been in the MLB as a manager since 1993 and has managed the likes of Barry Bonds, Joey Votto, and Bryce Harper. If we do sign Correa, the question arises: what happens to Austin Martin and Royce Lewis? Well, if we have enough money to sign Correa that means we most likely didn’t extend Buxton or we would’ve traded Donaldson to get rid of his contract to clear up money for Correa. That leaves an open spot at CF and 3B. Ideally, Lewis would play center and Martin would play third like he did in his college days at Vanderbilt. Lewis has also been taking reps in the outfield in the minor leagues. Again, this move only happens if we trade or don’t resign Buxton, which I think is a terrible idea given his sky high potential. Correa will likely command a lot of money in the free agent market, and is projected to get an expensive 10 year, $266.2 million dollar contract by Spotrac. This signing is unfortunately not likely, but the Twins could definitely make it happen if they were to unload salaries. If we don’t extend Byron Buxton, I would hope we pivot to making Correa a massive offer. Chris Taylor, UTIL, LA Dodgers If you have been paying attention to postseason baseball this year, you probably are familiar with Chris Taylor. Earlier this month, he hit a walk-off home run to send the Dodgers to the NLDS. He has been an integral part of the Los Angeles Dodgers success since being traded there from Seattle in 2016. Taylor is a utility man who can play all three outfield positions along with third base and middle infield. Having a player with that kind of versatility on your team can be vital to team success. It would allow us to give guys regular days off while shifting Taylor all around the diamond. Taylor had a breakout 2017 campaign, when he had an .850 OPS and a 126 wRC+. Since then he has been around a 110 wRC+, still 10% better than league average. Taylor is also extremely fast, as he is in the 91st percentile of all players in sprint speed, as his average is 28.8 ft/sec (league average is 27). Another thing Taylor does extremely well is his plate discipline. In 2021 his walk rate was 10.8% and in the 73rd percentile. His chase rate was in the 92nd percentile, which means he rarely swings at bad pitches. The combination of Taylor having a high walk rate and low chase rate means that even when he is not hitting well at the plate he can still contribute offensively, getting on base 34% of the time and he will usually steal over 10 bases a season. Chris Taylor will be a player who will be worth 2-3 WAR per season and does a lot of little things right that help his teams win games. He would not be a super expensive pick-up as Spotrac has him projected to be worth $11 million per year. This would be a great signing by the Twins and Taylor would be able to help us in all facets of the game Ryan Tepera, RP, Chicago White Sox Most recently, Ryan Tepera made headlines for saying the Astros are still doing ‘sketchy stuff’, to which Astros manager Dusty Baker responded saying he had never heard of Tepera before. Well, maybe Dusty should pay a little more attention because Tepera was quietly one of the best relievers in baseball in 2021. Historically, when relief pitchers are evaluated, the first thing people check is how many saves they have. Between his time on the north side and south side of Chicago this season, Tepera only had one save to his name. A lot of this is due to the White Sox bullpen being absolutely loaded with big names such as Liam Hendriks and Craig Kimbrel. But if you take a deeper dive into the statistics, you will find that Tepera was the second best pitcher in an extremely deep White Sox bullpen. Tepera had an ERA of 2.79, which is already considered elite. Even at this elite level, Tepera got unlucky. His xERA was 2.50 and his xwOBA was .248. These are both in the 96th percentile of all pitchers. Of relief pitchers with at least 60 innings pitched in 2021, there were only 6 with a lower xERA than Tepera. Another thing Tepera excels at is getting swings and misses. His whiff rate was in the 96th percentile, and his K% was just over 30%, good enough to be in the 88th percentile of all pitchers. When I first looked at his pitch profile, his fastball velocity, spin rate, and his curveball spin rate are all about league average. So I wondered, what makes him so special? Tepera has a very good slider, throwing it nearly 45% of the time in 2021, up from just over 5% in 2020. His whiff rate on his slider was nearly 51%, meaning that over half of the time batters would swing at it they would swing and miss. This is extremely good. Another thing that jumps out at me about Tepera’s slider is that since 2019, he is getting roughly 0.7 feet more of extension on his slider, and since then his xwOBA on that pitch has gone way down. Once Tepera discovered he had an elite slider and began throwing it more, he turned into one of the most dominant relievers in the league. Obviously the Twins struggled with relief pitching this season and Tepera would be a huge upgrade to our bullpen. With his strong expected stats from 2021 and his newly revamped slider, Tepera would be very successful and a great signing for fairly cheap. Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, Boston Red Sox Among baseball fans, Eduardo Rodriguez is a pretty well-known name. He has always been a fairly consistent middle of the rotation starter. This season, he had a below average ERA of 4.74, although his xERA showed that he was a bit unlucky. His xERA was 3.55, more than a difference of a full point. This is in the 73rd percentile of all qualified pitchers. With a bit more luck, he would be a solid 3 starter in a Twins rotation that badly needs a consistent starter. With Michael Pineda being a free agent and Kenta Maeda undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Twins are in dire need of starting pitchers. If you look at Eduardo Rodriguez’s percentile rankings in 2021, he was above average in just about every relevant category. In fact, he was in the 90th percentile of average exit velocity allowed. This means that he rarely allows hard contact and that is a very important quality to have as a pitcher. He also had a K% of 27.4, which is in the 76th percentile of all pitchers. He does not walk a lot of batters, having a walk rate of 7%, good enough to be in the 70th percentile of all pitchers. One reason Rodriguez is still not excellent despite his ability to miss barrels is because of his pitch arsenal. Below is his pitch arsenal by month in 2021. As you can see, he threw his fastball almost 45% of the time and his most frequent off-speed pitch is his changeup. He has a good mix of pitches, throwing four different pitches more than 10% of the time. However, he could be even more effective if he threw his sinker more and his cutter less. In 2021, his cutter was his worst pitch, allowing a .301 BA and a .487 SLG on the pitch. However, he continued to throw it 18% of the time, or every fifth pitch. His sinker was way more effective, only allowing a BA of .264 and a SLG of .385. However, he only threw his sinker 11% of the time, or 60% as much as he threw his cutter. Rodriguez also has an extremely effective changeup. Against changeups, hitters had an xBA of .238 against it, with lefties hitting only .176 against the changeup. If the Twins could convince Rodriguez to throw more sinkers and changeups, and less cutters, he would be an outstanding signing. Rodriguez would not be a super expensive signing, with plenty of starting pitchers also on the market such as big names Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, and Justin Verlander. A lot of teams may underlook an unlucky pitcher such as Rodriguez and that may allow the Twins to swoop in and sign him for less money than he is worth. Conclusion The Twins had a very disappointing 2021 season and they have a big offseason ahead of them. They have big decisions to make such as a potential Buxton extension, key arbitration decisions such as Taylor Rogers and Tyler Duffey, potential trades, and which free agents to bring in. If we look at a big name free agent such as Correa and then some undervalued pieces like Hembree, Taylor, Tepera, and Rodriguez we will be in a good spot to compete for the AL Central again in 2022.
    12 points
  24. Time will tell for sure, but I always get the impression that when it comes to the shortstop position, most pundits and fans only see the players' defense as a pass/fail proposition. But it isn't black or white, there's plenty of scenarios where a below average defender is acceptable. I mean statistically, half of the starting shortstops in the league are going to be below average. No one wants Jorge Polanco as a starting shortstop, but the team did win 100 freakin' games with him at the position. It's not ideal but it's not like it's going to destroy the season. Obviously, aim for higher quality defense than Polanco, but I don't want the team to get so caught up in the defensive side of things that they don't regularly put the optimal offense into the lineup.
    12 points
  25. Recently, I was doing some really boring work in the yard, mulling over how we may have watched the final game of Byron Buxton in a Twins uniform. I certainly hope that's not the case and will likely write a lengthy post about it another time but I'd put the odds of him being traded this offseason at no lower than 40%. As I kinda seethed over the idea of Buxton being traded, it led to me to start thinking of how many years were wasted before he turned into the beastly hitter he is today. That led me to start thinking about his predecessor, Aaron Hicks... and holy ****, the same thing happened to him, too! So then I started thinking about Carlos Gomez and... wow, the Twins wasted so much centerfield talent in the wake of losing Torii Hunter after the 2007 season. Carlos Gomez (2008-2009) So let's go back in time a bit... In the offseason leading up to 2008, we saw Torii Hunter sign with the Los Angeles Anaheim Angels of Angeles Anaheim and the Twins, worried about losing Johan Santana the following year, traded him to the Mets with the centerpiece being Carlos Gomez, their young centerfielder. The Mets had obviously rushed Gomez to the majors, as he posted just a 55 OPS+ in his age 21 season. The Twins, obviously feeling some pressure at the loss of Hunter, continued to throw Gomez out there every day and he continued to be very bad at hitting a baseball. There was some questioning of whether Gomez had any business in MLB and the Twins did him no favors. He ended his Twins career with the following line: Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB 2008-2009 MIN 290 963 892 130 221 39 12 10 87 47 18 47 214 .248 .293 .352 .645 73 314 8 11 10 3 0 Despite his otherworldly defense, Gomez was at best a mediocre player with the Twins. But then he was traded and posted the following line for his years in Milwaukee: Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB 2010-2014 MIL 623 2262 2047 322 547 102 24 79 245 145 30 136 521 .267 .324 .456 .780 110 934 39 43 22 14 4 Yikes. So, yeah, uh... this is only the beginning. Aaron Hicks (2013-2015) Fans expected Hicks to be TNGTCF (The Next Great Twins CenterFielder), washing the bad taste of Gomez in Milwaukee out of our mouths and returning us to the glory days of Puckett and Hunter. It didn't really work out for us this time, either. Hicks, fresh off a very good AA season in 2012, opened the 2013 MLB season as the Twins' starting centerfielder. This decision was also questioned at the time and the results ended up being Carlos Gomez Redux. It became so bad at one point in Hicks' Twins career that he gave up switch-hitting and didn't tell his coaches. No one seemed to have any clue what was going on, least of all Hicks. Over three seasons with the Twins, he posted this painful line: Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB 2013-2015 MIN 247 928 819 107 184 30 6 20 78 26 9 94 206 .225 .306 .349 .655 81 286 8 4 6 5 2 He bounced back and forth in the minors a bit before ultimately being traded to the Damned Yankees for the empty uniform of John Ryan Murphy. And then he proceeded to do this in a Yankees uniform over the following five seasons: Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB 2016-2020 NYY 461 1769 1498 245 360 69 6 68 219 29 14 243 356 .240 .346 .431 .776 108 645 22 7 4 17 3 Hicks has been injured and the Yankees were a bit over-eager in extending him but it's hard to do anything but cringe at that line and all the wasted (cheap) years of Hicks the Twins gave away. Byron Buxton (2015-present) Buxton and Hicks had a single year of overlap as Buxton debuted as a 21 year-old rookie in 2015 alongside Hicks' final season in a Twins uniform. Buxton was... not good... and the trend continued. After posting a miserable 57 OPS+ in 139 plate appearances as a rookie, the Twins said "looks good, he's our centerfielder of the future!" and promptly traded Aaron Hicks that offseason. Buxton continued to be not good. Like Gomez and Hicks before him, aggressive promotion and lack of coaching consistency plagued Byron as he constantly changed his swing, stance, and approach. The Twins wanted him to be a groundball speed guy while the game itself was screaming for Byron to become Willie Mays, not Willie Mays Hayes. Over the two seasons of Byron struggling under the Ryan administration, he posted the following line: Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB 2015-2016 MIN 138 469 427 60 94 26 7 12 44 12 4 29 162 .220 .274 .398 .672 80 170 3 4 6 3 0 Then came Falvey and Levine. While they didn't implement many coaching changes over the 2016-2017 offseason, changes were coming. Buxton had his only healthy, full season while posting the following line: Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards 2017 23 MIN AL 140 511 462 69 117 14 6 16 51 29 1 38 150 .253 .314 .413 .728 93 191 1 4 5 2 2 *8/HD MVP-18,GG In 2018, we basically didn't see Byron Buxton in Minnesota, as the all-too-familiar injury bug limited his playing time in the majors. But when he returned in 2019 with a more stabilized swing, approach, and comfort level, Beast Mode Buxton emerged, finally showing Twins fans the player they anticipated watching since that June day in 2012. Since 2019, Buxton has done the following: Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB 2019-2021 MIN 187 684 636 117 176 56 4 42 105 25 5 34 166 .277 .321 .575 .897 137 366 5 9 2 3 1 On a per-game basis, he's probably the best player in baseball. Which makes all of this the more sad. We've watched future All-Star centerfielders grow up in Minnesota but leave before we see true greatness emerge in them. Which is why it's not only important for this front office to sign Buxton, it's far and away the most important thing they can do this offseason. Instead of giving up on yet another fantastic up-the-middle talent before they're ready to shine, the Twins need to stop making the same mistake and do one thing: Pay. The. Man.
    12 points
  26. gunnarthor

    Eddie Rosario

    I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Eddie. I loved that a 4th round draft pick turned himself into a team leader and has had a nice career. He struggled a lot more with Cleveland than I thought he would have but looks good in Atlanta. I hope he gets a ring this year. The Twins had a lot of corner OF depth, they probably could have handled some of it better, but letting Rosario go was a pretty obvious Twins payroll move. Blame the Pohlads. The fanbase has gotten so accustomed to it, we argue when it's time to let these guys go.
    12 points
  27. I’m reposting this excellent analysis from @Otto von Ballpark because we’re going to read a narrative about Jax’s success the first time through the order that is not true. “Jax, 1st 5 MLB starts, first time through the order: 5 GS, 4 H, 0 XBH, 0 R, 3 BB, 0 HBP, 11 K Jax, next 9 MLB starts, first time through the order: 9 GS, 12 H, 8 XBH (6 HR), 12 R, 6 BB, 2 HBP, 14 K His 4 relief appearances don't help either, first time through the order: 4 G, 9 H, 3 XBH (2 HR), 5 R, 4 BB, 7 K All told, he had a 5.39 FIP/xFIP the first time through the order this season, 5.10/5.36 after moving into the rotation. Still a fairly small sample, and obviously it can't account for the potential of his stuff playing up in the pen, but it doesn't appear that he has shown any particular first time through the order ability thus far.” Original post here
    12 points
  28. Wait a minute folks. Simmons had the 6th highest fielding percentage in the American league at SS in 2021. . He made some awesome plays at SS. He also made some heads up plays at SS. However his batting was pathetic. His swings looked like my high school teammates. I don't want him back either, but my reasons have nothing todo with his fielding percentage.
    12 points
  29. Brock Beauchamp

    The Cusp Guys

    So much depth and the real question is what part of it is good. The thing is that the team lost 89 games. They were distinctly very bad at playing baseball. So how much do we care about their current 40-man roster? I honestly do not know. The 40-man shuffle has yet to begin and I'm so interested to see where all of this goes.
    12 points
  30. There is nothing the front office can do this offseason more important than getting Buxton under contract. Whatever it takes. Pay the man. It's criminal it has gone this long.
    12 points
  31. I am delighted - Eddie Rosario has taken over the playoff and Twins Daily. Its the off season and our former Twin is the talk of the league, Eddie on MLB.com, and Twins Daily. He is so hot we missed the perfect two innings by Graterol on mlb.com. and Ryan Pressly finishing two games for Houston. Only Ehire 0-7 looks like a Twin in the Post Season, but he is there, Jake Odorizzi has pitched like a Twin in the playoffs with a 9.00 era. Jason Castro drove in the winning run in one game for the Astros and is 2 for 4 with a HR. Boston is trailing in the series because they have Martin Perez doing his Twins thing with a 12 era and Danny Santana 0-2. The Twins fan is never at a loss in the playoffs (only the Twins are). And the teams with the fewest ex-Twins are the ones that are behind at this stage. And in answer to the question - how will it end? With Eddie holding the WS trophy.
    11 points
  32. Polonco at second, Lewis at short and Miranda at third. Keep Buxton and Kepler in center and right. Add Larnach and Martin in left field with Martin moving around to center and right as needed. Arraez gets a lot of at bats as DH, while also backing up Polo and Miranda at second and third. Kirilloff is the first baseman with Sano as DH and AK's backup. Would be heck of an every day lineup without the need to go out and sign any expensive free agents. But it all starts with Lewis being able to handle short. As for who plays short when Lewis needs a day off, could be Polo, Martin or another backup utility guy...maybe Gordon?
    11 points
  33. There are 30 MLB teams and 15 players in those top four tiers. Expecting a single mid-market team to sign 20% of those those 15 players is a pretty unreasonable ask. But my expectation is for the Twins to sign one of those top guys (not top four tiers, maybe top three) and then one higher-upside reach on a shorter contract. Then they can go get a filler like Pineda. (not that it needs to happen in that particular order but come February, that's what I want to see)
    11 points
  34. I see very little chance of getting a quality return for JD during the offseason. Either you're eating a ton of money and watching your team get worse while hoping on a lottery ticket prospect, or you're eating a little money while watching your team get worse and getting nothing in return. I think waiting til the deadline is a smarter move. He's got less money on the books and if he's raking again somebody will want him. If the team is doing well and he's raking then you keep him as that was the plan when you gave him the deal to start. Obviously take calls and listen to any offers, but if I'm the Twins FO I'm not actively shopping him during the offseason.
    11 points
  35. cHawk

    Eddie Rosario

    Ugh, not this again. Are we really arguing that Rosario would’ve put this team anywhere near contention?
    11 points
  36. I don't think you'd be able to find a professional baseball scout anywhere that would agree that Correa isn't better than Polanco at short. Their arms aren't even comparable. OAA (Baseball Savant) ranked Correa as the 6th best defensive SS in baseball this year. The fielding bible had him #1 in baseball (above Simmons). Everyone on this list is significantly better defensively than Polanco. Like it isn't even a debate.
    11 points
  37. I'll add #5. Buxton and the Twins agree on a new contract.
    11 points
  38. Please not Stroman. I'm not sure I can handle several years of TwinsDaily articles arguing whether or not Stroman is an "ace."
    11 points
  39. Or....they thought they didn't need him as much as a possible starter, likely RP, and a possible starting OF. Sure, they could be wrong about that.....but if you can get a good RP and good OF for 1.5 years of a good RP, why not? Why not do that? Sure, Houston unlocked things the Twins did not. Not every team is good at every thing, especially given they'd just begun changing the systems and processes in 2018. Is this part of a pattern? Possibly. But to call this one a bad trade at this point seems off to me. YMMV, of course.
    11 points
  40. October: in a rather weird twist, Twins and Vikings seasons end on the same day.
    11 points
  41. Probably. However, I don't think this is the right question. Is trading him the best way to build a contender and how long will that take. That's the right question. Polanco is really important to this lineup. Yes, we could go with Arraez at 2B which is his best defensive position. One of them should be traded, IMO. If it's Polanco, it needs to be a big haul. Otherwise, trade Arraez a part of a trade to get a SS or pitching. Trading Polanco extends the time it takes us tom get back in contention. We have a very good chance of ending 2022 with a pitching staff that is homegrown. Extend Buxton and establish this homegrown staff and we have a great shot at contention for several years.
    10 points
  42. tony&rodney

    Eddie Rosario

    No, at least we shouldn't. I'm not thinking that. I enjoy watching him hit though and Atlanta is still playing and Eddie had a nice hit for them. Maybe just some nostalgic rooting for a former Twin.
    10 points
  43. This is unquestionably the weakest group this organization has ever sent to the AFL. Wow.
    10 points
  44. We don't actually know what transaction was discussed. Maybe the Twins would have had to eat half of the remaining salary just to be rid of him, with Ryan LaMarre coming back as a fig leaf for dignity's sake, and the discussion never progressed from that kind of insult. I don't believe the Yankees actually acquired any middle infielders at the deadline, so whatever discussion there was was likely brief and not terribly motivated.
    10 points
  45. There is still 42 players on the 40 man roster including the 60 day DL. Simmons will be a FA. There are still several easy decisions. Garlick Cave Refsnyder Thorpe Maybe Astudillo And then it gets more difficult but there are a few players we can cut.
    10 points
  46. Over the summer we analyzed the Twins' 40 man roster and what moves would have to be made to protect the right prospects and which fringe players to keep. Now that the season is nearly over, let's have a look at the updated 40 man roster (which is now at 49 with all the guys on the 60 day IL!), sorted by category. Some topics worth discussing: Where does Arraez end up? Playing LF and 3B seems to be harming his value, and Polanco should have 2B locked down. Would it make sense to trade him? John Gant, from what I've seen, will be maximized as a reliever rather than a starter. After a disastrous start, the Twins' bullpen has covered the middle innings well, so is Gant superfluous? Speaking of 'middle' relief, I am hesitant to give up on Stashak after he was a strong cog in the system in 2019 and 2020. I also think Edwar Colina is too talented to try and sneak through waivers. Griffin Jax's only path to being a MLB pitcher might be through the pen. How many middling relievers should be retained on the 40 man to pitch the middle innings? Here's what I will be rolling with for my 40 man roster in preparation for free agency and the Rule 5 draft: #1-26: All the Locks #27: Cody Stashak - I can't give up on him yet, and his peripherals in 2021 suggested he was prime for positive regression. He won't have a lot of rope in 2022, however. #28: Nick Gordon - He has shown enough as a bench bat and utility player to be worth a roster spot. It's nice to finally have base-stealing speed on the bench. But many questions loom - will he ever be able to handle SS and will he develop any power? #29 - 34: Rule 5 protections in Lewis, Miranda, Winder, Enlow, Sands, and Palacios. IMO Enlow is too good to expose to R5, unlike Nick Burdi was several years back. He won't be placed on the 60 day IL as he would receive MLB pay and service time, so he will just take up a 40 man roster spot all season. Palacios is the one borderline guy I will keep, as from what I've read he can handle SS and he's hit well at AA. With Gordon unlikely to be trusted as the backup SS, I wonder if Palacios could fill that role further down the road. As for the other prospects, I simply don't value Severino as highly as others. He likely lands at 2B, and while he's had a breakout year with the bat, his power still hasn't developed. If someone claims a 22 year old from A+ with a nondescript track record... well, I can live with that. Vallimont has not been good at AA and should be moved to the bullpen. Javier just can't hit. Funderburk intrigues me, but probably ends up as a reliever if he makes it to the majors. Rijo has been hurt most the year, like most of our pitching prospects. The rest of these spots are placeholders for trade targets/free agents/wavier claims: #35: Brent Rooker - I don't think Rooker has a long future in the majors, though there is reason to believe that there is something more diving into the numbers - see bean5301's article on that here. #36: Griffin Jax - I like that the Twins gave Jax a chance, but he has failed to show promise. Just maybe he can work as a long reliever, but I wouldn't save him a spot on the 40 man for that. #37: Juan Minaya - He's pitched far better than expected, but I see regression coming. I think the Twins could DFA him and bring him back on a minor league deal instead of going through arbitration. #38: Devin Smeltzer - He was only hitting 87/88 MPH before having a UCL tear. We need starting pitching depth, but I am unsure whether Smezlter will still be up to the task. #39: Ralph Garza - The waiver claim hasn't been half bad, but there's also little upside here. He could sneak through waivers. #40: Kyle Garlick - His ability to rake against lefties is nice, but he's been awful against righties and is already turning 30. He will be the first to be DFA'd. Other Notes: Pineda is a candidate to re-sign, but that probably won't happen until later, probably past the Rule 5 draft. Maeda can be placed on the 60 day IL to save a spot when Spring Training starts, or sometime around then (if I remember right). MLB is probably going to have a lockout in 2022, making this all moot. Let me know who you'd keep on your 40 man roster!
    10 points
  47. But I think this is part of the pattern. Ynoa for Garcia? Gil for Cave? Baddoo, Wells, Goodman, Chargois (and others) for nothing? The Escobar and Dozier trades don't look great. 3 lottery tickets for Dyson? Kintzler for Watson? Dumping Hughes and a comp pick to save payroll? Harper for McMahon? Even the Graterol and the comp for Maeda is looking bad. Each of these moves are, individually, defensible. But, man, they aren't great moves. For me, it's a sign that the Twins FO doesn't evaluate talent correctly and, worse, fails to understand the talent it has.
    10 points
  48. Colome getting the save is a great example of why it is a worthless stat. He stunk again. Getting out of the inning and giving up two runs in the process is not a good outing. Please find a new home for him.
    10 points
  49. I'm pretty high on Jax as a reliever. He has been very good the first time through the order, and if only asked to pitch an inning at a time, I think his stuff would benefit from being dialed up a few degrees. I'd definitely keep him as a bullpen arm.
    9 points
  50. I'm quite worried that the idea that "we weren't that bad after mid-May" wins out and we deceive ourselves on how bad this team was. 8th worst record in all baseball, 3rd worse in AL. They need to somehow figure out how to get a pitching staff that can cover 1500 or so innings and they have basically nothing to rely on right now. Essentially, ownership has to step up and pay big in free agency. If not, the Twins should just blow it all up, trade everyone with any value, and look forward to 2024.
    9 points
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