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  • Twins 4, Tigers 1: Debutants Do Their Part, Twins Take the Series Win


    Thiéres Rabelo

    Minnesota’s pitchers combined for a fantastic afternoon on the mound, and the offense came through when needed, despite some early struggles, helping the Twins to secure a series victory against the Tigers at Target Field.

    Image courtesy of Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 5 IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 9K (78 pitches, 63 strikes, 80.8%)
    Home Runs: none
    Top 3 WPA: Sandy León (.200), Joe Ryan (.155), Michael Fulmer (.079)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
    chart.png.9fe38957451ee8bf04c93c535f8d51b3.png

    Four new ballplayers joined the Twins at Tuesday’s trade deadline, three pitchers (Tyler Mahle, Jorge López, and Michael Fulmer) and a catcher (Sandy León). With Minnesota’s pitching going through an incredibly rough patch for weeks now, it was natural for the pitcher trades to be celebrated the most. But it was the lone bat acquired in those deals to make some noise first.

    After going down in order in the first inning, the offense set the wheels in motion in the second. TD’s hitter of the month of July, José Miranda kicked things off with a leadoff single shortly before Nick Gordon drew a one-out walk. Lefty Tyler Alexander managed to retire Jake Cave for the second out, but he couldn’t dodge the León bullet. Batting eighth in his very first at-bat as a Twin, León drove in both runners with a double to the left-field corner.

    Unfortunately for the Twins, the offense couldn’t do much outside that second inning. Alexander pitched three perfect innings around it, keeping the Twins bats on a leash. Fortunately for the Twins, though, Joe Ryan had a tremendous start to this game – perhaps another impact brought to the table by León. Ryan tossed four scoreless innings to open this game, allowing only two hits while striking out seven.

    During the fifth, he had some issues, causing him to hit two batters and allowing Riley Greene to push the leadoff runner across, scoring Detroit’s first run. Ryan limited the damage to the one run by striking out the next two batters for a total of nine through five. Also, TD’s Nick Nelson found this gem:

    Came the sixth inning, and Rocco Baldelli decided it was time to have another new Twin make his debut for Minnesota. Fulmer needed only 13 pitches, nine of which were strikes, to toss a scoreless frame with a punch out. He also caught former teammate Harold Castro trying to steal second to end the inning. In the home sixth, Byron Buxton led things off with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and was pushed across by a Carlos Correa single, making it 3-1 Minnesota.

    While Caleb Thielbar and Jhoan Duran did a fine job keeping the lead intact through the seventh and eighth innings, the bats had a hard time adding on. Cave and León got back-to-back hits in the seventh (León’s first multi-hit game of the season), but both runners ended up being stranded. But they managed to get one more insurance run for Jorge Lopez to have an easier time trying to get his first save as a Twin in the ninth.

    Buxton led off the eighth with a single, shortly before Jorge Polanco got his first hit of the afternoon, a one-out single. Miranda drew a walk to load the bases with one out, and the Twins had the chance to break the game open. Gio Urshela hit a sac-fly to center to score Buxton from third, but that was all Minnesota got, as Gordon struck out next to end the inning. López stepped up for his first save opportunity with Minnesota and he breezed through the ninth, retiring the side on seven pitches, concluding a perfect debut for the new fellows.

    Postgame interview

    What’s Next?
    The Twins continue their homestand on Thursday when they start a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Target Field. The first pitch of game one is scheduled for tomorrow at 6:40 pm CDT, with Sonny Gray (3.41 ERA) taking the mound for Minnesota and Alek Manoah (2.43 ERA) starting for Toronto.

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT
                 
    Pagán 20 20 0 16 0 56
    Jax 11 0 20 24 0 55
    Duran 11 0 10 0 19 40
    Megill 7 23 0 8 0 38
    Fulmer 0 0 23 0 13 36
    Duffey 28 0 0 7 0 35
    Moran 0 16 0 10 0 26
    Thielbar 0 7 0 0 11 18
    López 0 0 0 0 7 7
     

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    1 hour ago, nicksaviking said:

    If I’m honest, I think Pagan is going to pull a Colome and pitch well going forward despite fan unrest. Those walks were a bit of a career aberration.

    But I got a long memory so I’d have been OK if he was released instead of sending Moran down. 
     

    Though Duffey might be a biggest question mark anyway.

    Also, to continue the rambling, is it too much to ask to sign Jeurys Familia too? His BABIP is over .400 this year. His being terrible seems like flukey SSS stuff.

    Personally I take Pagan going forward over Duffey. And it's not close.

    Duffey has nothing. Getting by on hoping it's hit AT somebody.

    Not that I like Pagan, but at least he has stuff that plays when he's on.

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    A problem I have with the FO is "fear". Especially in regard to the pen. They aren't afraid to take a chance on someone, but they are equally afraid to let someone go, seemingly "afraid" they might lose out on someone.

    What more does Moran have to do to earn an extended shot? How can he get better and grow and prove he belongs other than to stick around?

    The Twins are not going to get the Duffey of old magically and are almost certain not to bring him back, unless it's  on a milb deal. And I'm OK walking away from Pagan as well, but at least I can see velocity and a somewhat decent breaking ball and a splitter that is still a work in progress but shows potential. So while I'd run with someone else, at least I can see a reason to stick with him for a little longer.

    And I think Duffey is a great guy and teammate and did a great job for a few seasons, but the harsh reality is he's got nothing left but guts and guile and its not working. And you're trying to win now, and next year. Who gives you a better chance to do that? A RP who's toast? Or a young arm with potential who will hopefully get better with time and experience?

    I actually kinda like Megill a bit. So they keep him up but send down Moran with as much or more potential? Duffey should have a "tired arm" or SOMETHING, if you want to keep him and SEE. Otherwise, quit being afraid. If somethings not working, then go down a different path.

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    9 hours ago, DocBauer said:

    A problem I have with the FO is "fear". Especially in regard to the pen. They aren't afraid to take a chance on someone, but they are equally afraid to let someone go, seemingly "afraid" they might lose out on someone.

    What more does Moran have to do to earn an extended shot? How can he get better and grow and prove he belongs other than to stick around?

     

    I'd prefer Moran, but sending him down instead of getting rid of Duffey keeps some depth. I'm ready to move along from Duffey, but if someone gets hurt, they're running out of AAA options as so many have already been DFA'd.

     

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    17 hours ago, IowaBeancounter said:

    Bullpen is completely changed.  Which reliever with get option (or DFAd), when Mahle is added?

     

    If it's not Duffey, he must have some compromising pictures of Rocco somewhere.........

    EDIT==I now see it's Moran and I don't get it.

    Can anyone make a case for why Duffey should be on this team?  I don't even understand the comparisons between Duffey and Pagan.  I have zero problem with Pagan being the 6th inning guy.  He's got stuff....can get a strikeout and (most) of his issues seem to come in 8th or 9th inning high leverage/save situations.  Duffey right now is just praying for something to be hit at someone or the off chance someone will swing at one of his slurves in the dirt.  IMHO he's almost unusable. 

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    9 hours ago, DocBauer said:

    A problem I have with the FO is "fear". Especially in regard to the pen. They aren't afraid to take a chance on someone, but they are equally afraid to let someone go, seemingly "afraid" they might lose out on someone.

    What more does Moran have to do to earn an extended shot? How can he get better and grow and prove he belongs other than to stick around?

    The Twins are not going to get the Duffey of old magically and are almost certain not to bring him back, unless it's  on a milb deal. And I'm OK walking away from Pagan as well, but at least I can see velocity and a somewhat decent breaking ball and a splitter that is still a work in progress but shows potential. So while I'd run with someone else, at least I can see a reason to stick with him for a little longer.

    And I think Duffey is a great guy and teammate and did a great job for a few seasons, but the harsh reality is he's got nothing left but guts and guile and its not working. And you're trying to win now, and next year. Who gives you a better chance to do that? A RP who's toast? Or a young arm with potential who will hopefully get better with time and experience?

    I actually kinda like Megill a bit. So they keep him up but send down Moran with as much or more potential? Duffey should have a "tired arm" or SOMETHING, if you want to keep him and SEE. Otherwise, quit being afraid. If somethings not working, then go down a different path.

    Totally with you Doc.  I like Duffy as a person and a player and have a ton of respect for the guy, but the harsh reality is a team needs to put their best collection of arms in the pen and I honestly don't think Duffy fits in that group anymore.  MLB is very competitive and you can't afford to drop games because you hope someone might return to form and he has been getting hit hard when he is out there. Especially when there are guys that look as good or better right there behind him.  

    Maybe they are keeping him around as a wait and see on a Maeda or Winder return as they see Moran as injury insurance?  Not sure but unless something changes I still see him as the weakest link right now.

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    1 hour ago, cheeseheadgophfan said:

    If it's not Duffey, he must have some compromising pictures of Rocco somewhere.........

    EDIT==I now see it's Moran and I don't get it.

    Can anyone make a case for why Duffey should be on this team?  I don't even understand the comparisons between Duffey and Pagan.  I have zero problem with Pagan being the 6th inning guy.  He's got stuff....can get a strikeout and (most) of his issues seem to come in 8th or 9th inning high leverage/save situations.  Duffey right now is just praying for something to be hit at someone or the off chance someone will swing at one of his slurves in the dirt.  IMHO he's almost unusable. 

    They do need SOME bullpen depth. I'd rather have Moran up, but I understand why they're doing it this way; injuries happen as we should be well aware this year. Most of the other options in St. Paul are not very attractive.

    And if you can't figure out why they aren't just callously booting a guy who's been in the organization for 11 years and was good up until last year, I don't know what to tell you.

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    4 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

    They do need SOME bullpen depth. I'd rather have Moran up, but I understand why they're doing it this way; injuries happen as we should be well aware this year. Most of the other options in St. Paul are not very attractive.

    And if you can't figure out why they aren't just callously booting a guy who's been in the organization for 11 years and was good up until last year, I don't know what to tell you.

    Huh?   Is it callous to send Moran down?  Or how about Sanchez after he won a game or us last week?  Are you seriously implying that the Twins should hang on to Duffey in the middle of a pennant race because he's been around for 11 years?  Ugh....that's the kind of thinking that needs to go.  They're paying him 3.8 million dollars this year....and he's been terrible......and it's not going to suddenly get better.  I wish my employer was that callous.  I guess I don't know what to say....no one has made a case why Duffey is on the team, other than he's a "good guy".  

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    I think the Twins are definitely impacted by the tenure of the player. I didn't see them just DFAing Sano and I doubt they'll do that with Duffey. I'm trying to think of any tenured veteran they've done that to and coming up empty (I may be totally off-base here). They will just stash Duffey in low leverage situations till the end of the year and say goodbye after the season. Duffey can eat some innings and not hurt the team.

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