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  • Former Twins to Watch on NL Playoff Teams


    Cody Christie

    Last season, Eddie Rosario was a key player for the Braves on their way to a World Series title. Can any other former Twins help their club find postseason glory in 2022?

    Image courtesy of Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports

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    Plenty of former fan favorites populate the rosters of the National League’s best teams this season. Not all of these players have performed admirably this season, but the playoffs allow for players to shine on the biggest stage. Here are eight former Twins to watch on the NL’s playoff teams. 

    Mets: Trevor May, Eduardo Escobar
    Escobar is in his 12th big league season with his fifth different organization. During the 2022 campaign, he has been the primary third baseman for the Mets in their fight for the NL East title. However, his defense at third ranks among the NL’s worst for third basemen, as only Alec Bohm has a lower SDI. Escobar provides other dynamics to a club as he has an OPS+ above 100 for the fifth consecutive season, where he has played more than 60 games. The Mets haven’t made the playoffs since 2016, so the club has pressure to win in October. 

    May is heading to free agency at the season’s end, so he wants to end his Mets tenure on a high note. In 23 appearances, he has an ERA north of 5.50 with a 1.57 WHIP. He is striking out more than ten batters per nine innings for the sixth consecutive season. He’s had multiple IL stints this year for a stress reaction on the lower portion of his humerus and a COVID situation. In September, he has a 3.14 ERA while holding opponents to a .694 OPS, so the Mets hope this carries over to the postseason. 

    Braves: Jake Odorizzi, Ehire Adrianza, Eddie Rosario, Robbie Grossman
    Odorizzi was pitching well for the Astros to start the season, but the Braves traded for him at the deadline for reliever Will Smith. Since joining Atlanta, Odorizzi has posted a 5.66 ERA with a 1.67 WHIP in nine starts. Odorizzi isn’t guaranteed to make the playoff rotation with other strong pitchers, but Spencer Strider’s injury may give Odorizzi an opportunity. 

    Adrianza made ten playoff appearances during the Braves’ 2021 World Series run, and the club found a way to bring him back for 2022. He started the year in the Nationals organization, but the Braves traded Trey Harris to Washington for Adrianza. So far in 2022, Adrianza has hit .174/.267/.207 (.473) in limited action. He will likely serve as a bench option for Atlanta as a late-inning defensive replacement.

    Rosario was a playoff hero for the Braves last season, winning the NLCS MVP before heading to free agency. Atlanta re-signed the outfielder to a 2-year, $18 million contract, and he’s having a career-worst offensive season. In 76 games, he has posted a 69 OPS+ with 18 extra-base hits. Rosario has missed time this season with an eye injury and a hamstring problem. Can Rosario make Braves fans forget his poor season with another October to remember?

    After leaving the Twins, Grossman revitalized his career in the A’s and Tigers organizations. Since 2019, he has posted a 99 OPS+ while playing strong outfield defense. The Braves acquired Grossman from the Tigers at the trade deadline for Kris Anglin, and he has raised his OPS by 61 points since moving to the NL. Atlanta has multiple outfield injuries that may push Grossman into a more critical role. 

    Dodgers: Brusdar Graterol 
    Graterol is having his best big-league season as he has set career-best marks in ERA, strikeouts, H/9, and ERA+. Los Angeles continued to use him in late-inning situations as he earned the first three saves of his career. His postseason numbers are even better than his regular season totals. In 18 appearances, he has a 2.04 ERA with a 0.62 WHIP and a 13-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. The Dodgers look like one of baseball’s best teams, and Graterol will be asked to get some big outs in October. 

    Phillies: Kyle Gibson
    The Phillies are fighting for their playoff lives, and Gibson might be one of the players to push them into the postseason. Gibson is heading to free agency this winter, so October is an opportunity for him to shine. Last season, he was a first-time All-Star but struggled after being traded to the Phillies (5.09 ERA). In 2022, he posted a 4.84 ERA with a 1.32 WHIP across 30 starts. Gibson was terrific in August with a 2.30 ERA as he held batters to a .637 OPS. Philadelphia will need that version of Gibson to make a deep October run. 

    Can any of these players have an Eddie Rosario-type October in 2022? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

     

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    Robbie Grossman "strong outfield defense"? Surely you jest! He is nearly unplayable in the outfield and has some of the worst defensive numbers in the league.

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    1 hour ago, Rosterman said:

    The Brewers are still hanging in there. If they make it, Taylor Rogers would be closing games!

    If they do make it, if they are asking Rogers to close out games they should just give up.  He has blown a large percentage of his save chances with them, not that he has had a ton, but he has blown 3 and converted 3, not a good percentage 50%. 

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    I'll cheer for all of them. I like Gibson but even at his best is able to save the Phillies. Rosario loves to be a hero but doubt it'll be this year. Graterol is my bet to really shine this post season.

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    Graterol to shine. In the Playoffs and for years to come. But we got a 2 month hot streak from Maeda for him. I bet he is happier to be where he is though - on a great team. 

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    18 hours ago, Squirrel said:

    As much as I love Eddie, he won it last year and I can’t stand the Braves. I’m going with my other favorite Eddie and hope Esco and the Mets win it all

    M..E..T..S METS METS METS!!!  My NL team since forever.  Double on the Braves.

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