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Matthew Lenz

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Matthew Lenz last won the day on September 5 2021

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About Matthew Lenz

  • Birthday 10/18/1988

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  1. After 1,813 2/3 innings and more than 13 seasons at the Major League Level, Fansided reports that Francisco Liriano is hanging it up. Let's reflect on the career that was for the former Twins southpaw in a player retrospective. Francisco Liriano was signed as an international free agent in 2000 by the San Francisco Giants before being sent to the Twins in the A.J. Pierzynski trade following the 2003 season. At the time, Liriano was the 83rd ranked prospect in baseball, per Baseball America via Baseball Cube, and was the headliner in a trade that also netted the Twins Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser. Liriano would spend the majority of the next two seasons dominating at AA-New Brighton and AAA-Rochester before exploding onto the scene in 2006. Liriano started the season with the Twins as a reliever where he was quite effective posting a 3.22 ERA and a 32:4 K:BB over 22 1/3 innings pitched. On May 15th, the Twins decided to move struggling right-hander Carlos Silva to the bullpen and promote Liriano to the starting rotation where he went on to make 15 dominant starts with a 1.96 ERA/2.85 FIP, 3.9 K/BB ratio, and held opponents to a .238 wOBA. This stretch included being selected for the All-Star Game and bookended with back-to-back starts of double-digit strikeouts against Cleveland on July 23rd and the Detroit Tigers five days later. Ultimately, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, Liriano was shut down due to a strained ligament in his throwing arm after his start on August 7th. He needed Tommy John surgery after lasting just two innings against Oakland on September 13th. Despite starting the season in the bullpen and losing the last two months of the season to injury, the Twins rookie phenom affectionately dubbed “The Franchise” finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. It was 578 days between Major League starts for Liriano. He lasted just three starts before being sent to AAA-Rochester until August of 2008. He showed flashes of his old self in the last two months of the season, but it was clear he wasn’t the same pitcher from 2006. In fact, it wasn't until the 2010 season when the Twins got consistent, effective production from the former budding star. He even received Cy Young Award votes, but alas, that season ended up being a one-off. Aside from a (messy) no-hitter on May 3rd, 2011, the lefty struggled over the next 48 starts leading to him being dealt to division rival Chicago White Sox at the 2012 trade deadline for star-to-be Eduardo Escobar (thanks again, A.J.) and LHP Pedro Hernandez. His tenure with the White Sox lasted just two months and he spent the next three-and-a-half years with the Pittsburgh Pirates where he enjoyed a bit of a resurgence making 86 starts from 2013 to 2015 and posting a 3.26 ERA/3.23 FIP and a 9.6 K/9 but struggled with control walking 3.8 batters per nine innings. These control issues only got worse in 2016 which led to him being dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays at the trade deadline and then again a year later from the Blue Jays to the Houston Astros. He spent 2017 with the Detroit Tigers making 26 starts but with a decreasing fastball velocity and K/9 coupled with an increasing BB/9, ERA, and FIP, it was clear that his run as an effective starter was over at 34 years old. Back in Pittsburgh for the juiced 2019 season, he had a bit of a renaissance as a reliever where he made 69 appearances with a respectable 8.10 K/9 and 3.47 ERA/4.14 FIP. He signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia in 2020 before being released ahead of the start of the season and then, in 2021, a minor-league deal with Toronto before being released ahead of that season. In his 13 roller coaster seasons, Francisco Liriano made 300 starts and 119 relief appearances. As a starter, he ended with a 4.16 ERA/3.88 FIP, striking out 1,682 batters, while as a reliever he had a 4.08 ERA/3.94 FIP and sitting down 133 hitters. He’s the ultimate “What Could Have Been?” story, but gave Twins fans one of the best 15 game stretches in franchise history. So with that in the forefront, let’s wish Francisco Liriano a happy and healthy retirement from Twins Territory by leaving your favorite story or memory in the comment section. View full article
  2. Francisco Liriano was signed as an international free agent in 2000 by the San Francisco Giants before being sent to the Twins in the A.J. Pierzynski trade following the 2003 season. At the time, Liriano was the 83rd ranked prospect in baseball, per Baseball America via Baseball Cube, and was the headliner in a trade that also netted the Twins Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser. Liriano would spend the majority of the next two seasons dominating at AA-New Brighton and AAA-Rochester before exploding onto the scene in 2006. Liriano started the season with the Twins as a reliever where he was quite effective posting a 3.22 ERA and a 32:4 K:BB over 22 1/3 innings pitched. On May 15th, the Twins decided to move struggling right-hander Carlos Silva to the bullpen and promote Liriano to the starting rotation where he went on to make 15 dominant starts with a 1.96 ERA/2.85 FIP, 3.9 K/BB ratio, and held opponents to a .238 wOBA. This stretch included being selected for the All-Star Game and bookended with back-to-back starts of double-digit strikeouts against Cleveland on July 23rd and the Detroit Tigers five days later. Ultimately, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, Liriano was shut down due to a strained ligament in his throwing arm after his start on August 7th. He needed Tommy John surgery after lasting just two innings against Oakland on September 13th. Despite starting the season in the bullpen and losing the last two months of the season to injury, the Twins rookie phenom affectionately dubbed “The Franchise” finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. It was 578 days between Major League starts for Liriano. He lasted just three starts before being sent to AAA-Rochester until August of 2008. He showed flashes of his old self in the last two months of the season, but it was clear he wasn’t the same pitcher from 2006. In fact, it wasn't until the 2010 season when the Twins got consistent, effective production from the former budding star. He even received Cy Young Award votes, but alas, that season ended up being a one-off. Aside from a (messy) no-hitter on May 3rd, 2011, the lefty struggled over the next 48 starts leading to him being dealt to division rival Chicago White Sox at the 2012 trade deadline for star-to-be Eduardo Escobar (thanks again, A.J.) and LHP Pedro Hernandez. His tenure with the White Sox lasted just two months and he spent the next three-and-a-half years with the Pittsburgh Pirates where he enjoyed a bit of a resurgence making 86 starts from 2013 to 2015 and posting a 3.26 ERA/3.23 FIP and a 9.6 K/9 but struggled with control walking 3.8 batters per nine innings. These control issues only got worse in 2016 which led to him being dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays at the trade deadline and then again a year later from the Blue Jays to the Houston Astros. He spent 2017 with the Detroit Tigers making 26 starts but with a decreasing fastball velocity and K/9 coupled with an increasing BB/9, ERA, and FIP, it was clear that his run as an effective starter was over at 34 years old. Back in Pittsburgh for the juiced 2019 season, he had a bit of a renaissance as a reliever where he made 69 appearances with a respectable 8.10 K/9 and 3.47 ERA/4.14 FIP. He signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia in 2020 before being released ahead of the start of the season and then, in 2021, a minor-league deal with Toronto before being released ahead of that season. In his 13 roller coaster seasons, Francisco Liriano made 300 starts and 119 relief appearances. As a starter, he ended with a 4.16 ERA/3.88 FIP, striking out 1,682 batters, while as a reliever he had a 4.08 ERA/3.94 FIP and sitting down 133 hitters. He’s the ultimate “What Could Have Been?” story, but gave Twins fans one of the best 15 game stretches in franchise history. So with that in the forefront, let’s wish Francisco Liriano a happy and healthy retirement from Twins Territory by leaving your favorite story or memory in the comment section.
  3. I'm surprised at how many people are taking Miranda's lone monster season and assuming that he can sustain or repeat that. I don't know more than anyone else to for sure say 2021 was a fluke, but I'm also not sold that his 2016-2018 seasons aren't telling. Based on his scouting report, it sounds like he doesn't have a great glove and the Twins struggled defensively last year...who says he can't be the DH of the future?
  4. Pineda technically isn't on the roster anymore. Maeda will miss at least half of 2022. Sure 2021 is Miranda's most recent season, but we have more data (2016-2018) that could indicate 2021 was a fluke. I'm not against putting my. marbles in that basket but I also think we should consider "selling high" unless we think he's the real deal.
  5. The Twins needs to rebuild an entire pitching staff (3-4 starters and 3-4 spots in their bullpen) along with a shortstop and left fielder. They have some options who contributed in 2021 and some options in the minors who could contribute in 2022, but A LOT has to go right for them to contend. I don't see them contending in 2022.
  6. Are any of those guys good at that position? Donaldson is no longer a great third basemen and is aging/declining, Arraez is not great at the position, and Miranda could be a one-year wonder and I'm not sure how he is defensively. His MLB.com scouting report says he "could be an offensive minded everyday utility player"...doesn't really sound like defense is considered a strength. The Twins struggled defensively last year and this would be a clear upgrade that would come with at least average offense.
  7. There's no argument that Chapman is an upgrade defensively. We could argue that Donaldson is better offensively but given his age, recent health, and defensive decline a move to DH would make sense. What makes you so sure that 2021 wasn't a fluke for Miranda? He's never put up numbers near what he did last year. Could it be real? Absolutely. Could it be a fluke? Absolutely. My take...we have a plethora of IF (Polanco Arraez, Lewis, Martin, Cavaco, etc.) that makes some of them expendable. I wouldn't trade two guys (Polanco and Arraez) who have proven to contribute at the MLB level and (Lewis, Martin, Cavaco, etc.) aren't going to be enough to net Chapman.
  8. Recently the A’s General Manager, David Forst was quoted as saying “we have to listen and be open to whatever comes out of this”, speaking of the organization's financial situation. Should the Twins pursue the best defensive third baseman in baseball? Twins Daily's own Cody Christie broached this very topic two years ago when Chapman was coming off monster 2018 and 2019 seasons that earned him MVP votes in each season and an All-Star Appearance in 2019. At that time Cody speculated that the package would start with Byron Buxton and include a couple prospects based on Chapman’s recent performance and four years of team control remaining. Since then, Chapman has added a third Gold Glove to his resume, but has regressed a little on the offensive side of the ball coming off a career-low 101 wRC+ in the 2021 season. Furthermore, he’s now only under team control for two more years which diminishes his value a little more. As Forst suggested in the full quote to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, letting other teams hand out big contracts is “the cycle for the A’s”. You might remember current Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson was once an up-and-coming star for the Oakland Athletics before getting shipped to the Toronto Blue Jays for Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman, Brett Lawrie, and Sean Nolin... none of which were Top 100 prospects at the time and none of which have made much of an impact on the field for the A’s. OOF. The similarities between 2014 Donaldson and 2021 Chapman are quite surprising. Both players were/are 28 years old. Donaldson had one-year of team control whereas Chapman has two-years. Donaldson had two monster years and so has Chapman. Both were/are considered among the best defenders in the league. Albeit the Donaldson trade was seven years ago, can the Twins really get away with trading for Chapman without giving up a top 100 prospect? To answer that question let's look at a more recent traded involving a star third baseman on a small market team. Back in February of this year, the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Nolan Arenado and $51 million while giving up the following: LHP Austin Gomber - never top 100, 219.1 IP, 4.27 FIP, 2.35 K/BB INF Mateo Gil - never top 100, #22 prospect in COL system in 2020, unranked in 2021 INF Elehuris Montero - never top 100, #7 prospect in COL system in 2020, #4 in 2021 RHP Toney Locey - never top 100, #15 prospect in COL system in 2020, unranked in 2021 RHP Jake Sommers - never top 100, unranked in COL system in 2020 & 2021 Looking at that list of names and their resumes, there is definitely some more recent precedent that indicates the Twins may not have to “sell the farm” to acquire Chapman from the A’s, who I think most would rank below Arenado in terms of providing value to a team (not to mention the $51 million toss-in). So with all that said, what does a trade with the A’s look like involving Chapman? First thing the Twins would have to do is move on from Donaldson, who was shopped at the trade deadline, or get him to agree to be the primary Designated Hitter and relieve Chapman at third base as-needed. The former seems like a more realistic option than the latter, although the metrics clearly show that Donaldson has lost a step (or multiple steps) at the hot corner. Once we’ve opened third base, then comes working with the A’s on a deal keeping in mind the precedent that has been set and the ongoing CBA negotiations that could make any teams tentative to be aggressive until they have a more clear picture on what the next CBA entails. With that said, here are some names I would shop/include in a deal for Matt Chapman: Jose Miranda - yes, he’s coming off a monster 2021 minor league season but was that real or sustainable? Nobody knows. This could be an opportunity to sell high and what better option than giving the A’s their third basemen of the future. Josh Winder, Matt Canterino, Blayne Enlow - you can never have enough pitching but seven of their top ten prospects are pitchers which afford them some flexibility to part with one. You might have to add in another low level prospect or two, but I think it makes a lot of sense to sell high on Miranda if you’re getting a young-ish third basemen in return who you have at least two years of team control over with the ability to negotiate an extension to keep him in a Twins uniform through his prime. Are you interested in seeing Matt Chapman as a Twins if it means giving up Donaldson, Miranda, and a couple other prospects? View full article
  9. Twins Daily's own Cody Christie broached this very topic two years ago when Chapman was coming off monster 2018 and 2019 seasons that earned him MVP votes in each season and an All-Star Appearance in 2019. At that time Cody speculated that the package would start with Byron Buxton and include a couple prospects based on Chapman’s recent performance and four years of team control remaining. Since then, Chapman has added a third Gold Glove to his resume, but has regressed a little on the offensive side of the ball coming off a career-low 101 wRC+ in the 2021 season. Furthermore, he’s now only under team control for two more years which diminishes his value a little more. As Forst suggested in the full quote to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, letting other teams hand out big contracts is “the cycle for the A’s”. You might remember current Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson was once an up-and-coming star for the Oakland Athletics before getting shipped to the Toronto Blue Jays for Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman, Brett Lawrie, and Sean Nolin... none of which were Top 100 prospects at the time and none of which have made much of an impact on the field for the A’s. OOF. The similarities between 2014 Donaldson and 2021 Chapman are quite surprising. Both players were/are 28 years old. Donaldson had one-year of team control whereas Chapman has two-years. Donaldson had two monster years and so has Chapman. Both were/are considered among the best defenders in the league. Albeit the Donaldson trade was seven years ago, can the Twins really get away with trading for Chapman without giving up a top 100 prospect? To answer that question let's look at a more recent traded involving a star third baseman on a small market team. Back in February of this year, the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Nolan Arenado and $51 million while giving up the following: LHP Austin Gomber - never top 100, 219.1 IP, 4.27 FIP, 2.35 K/BB INF Mateo Gil - never top 100, #22 prospect in COL system in 2020, unranked in 2021 INF Elehuris Montero - never top 100, #7 prospect in COL system in 2020, #4 in 2021 RHP Toney Locey - never top 100, #15 prospect in COL system in 2020, unranked in 2021 RHP Jake Sommers - never top 100, unranked in COL system in 2020 & 2021 Looking at that list of names and their resumes, there is definitely some more recent precedent that indicates the Twins may not have to “sell the farm” to acquire Chapman from the A’s, who I think most would rank below Arenado in terms of providing value to a team (not to mention the $51 million toss-in). So with all that said, what does a trade with the A’s look like involving Chapman? First thing the Twins would have to do is move on from Donaldson, who was shopped at the trade deadline, or get him to agree to be the primary Designated Hitter and relieve Chapman at third base as-needed. The former seems like a more realistic option than the latter, although the metrics clearly show that Donaldson has lost a step (or multiple steps) at the hot corner. Once we’ve opened third base, then comes working with the A’s on a deal keeping in mind the precedent that has been set and the ongoing CBA negotiations that could make any teams tentative to be aggressive until they have a more clear picture on what the next CBA entails. With that said, here are some names I would shop/include in a deal for Matt Chapman: Jose Miranda - yes, he’s coming off a monster 2021 minor league season but was that real or sustainable? Nobody knows. This could be an opportunity to sell high and what better option than giving the A’s their third basemen of the future. Josh Winder, Matt Canterino, Blayne Enlow - you can never have enough pitching but seven of their top ten prospects are pitchers which afford them some flexibility to part with one. You might have to add in another low level prospect or two, but I think it makes a lot of sense to sell high on Miranda if you’re getting a young-ish third basemen in return who you have at least two years of team control over with the ability to negotiate an extension to keep him in a Twins uniform through his prime. Are you interested in seeing Matt Chapman as a Twins if it means giving up Donaldson, Miranda, and a couple other prospects?
  10. I am going to work on a run article creating the best stadium in baseball using parts of other stadiums (I.e the green monster, Wrigley ivy, the metrodome milk jug). I’d like to make it a bit of a crowdsourcing article though. From any ballpark you’ve been to, what are some of your favorite features?
  11. The Twins finish the season on a high note with back-to-back wins and a series victory over the Royals. They end one of the most disappointing seasons in MLB history with a record 73-89 and last place in the AL Central. That and more in today's recap! Box Score Charlie Barnes: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER (3 R), 1 BB, 3 K Homeruns: Polanco (33), Buxton (19) Top 3 WPA: Polanco (.104), Minaya (.091), Vincent (.085) Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) Twins Offense Strikes Early It didn’t take but seven pitches for the Twins to take a three-run lead against rookie Jackson Kowar. After a single by Luis Arraez to start the game, Byron Buxton extended his MLB record with his 41st extra-base hit, and then Jorge Polanco went boom. The onslaught continued with a Josh Donaldson walk, Max Kepler single, and an RBI single from Miguel Sanó making it 4-0 Twins before they recorded their first out with a Brent Rooker strikeout. A Nick Gordon fielder's choice scored Kepler and then Ryan Jeffers struck out to end the inning with a 5-0 cushion for Charlie Barnes. The Twins were mostly quiet until the top of the lineup was due up for a third time in the top of the fifth. Arraez led off with another single before Buxton, once again, extended his MLB record with another extra-base hit…this time a four bagger to make it 7-0. That would be the last of the Twins threats of the day as they were only able to muster up two more hits, another came from Arraez, in the last three innings of play. Charlie Barnes Gets Knocked Out Early but Bullpen Finishes Year Strong For the first time all season, Barnes wasn’t able to give the Twins four innings as he was pulled after just eight outs. In his 2 ⅔ innings he allowed nine baserunners and three runs (two earned). He actually posted a respectable 13-percent whiff percentage but when the Royals made contact, they averaged an exit velocity of 106.2 miles per hour, which was ultimately his demise. Juan Minaya came on in relief and was able to hold the Royals to just the three runs followed by a two strikeout inning in the fourth. Nick Vincent shined in his two innings needing only 15 pitches to strikeout two Royals and get six outs. Not to be outdone by Vincent, Kyle Barraclough struck out the side in the seventh and added one more in the eighth before being pulled in favor of Jorge Alcala who finished the inning with a strikeout of his own. Alcala pitched a clean ninth with two strikeouts and earned his first career save after blowing his first four opportunities this year. WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Barraclough 0 14 0 0 36 50 Minaya 22 0 0 0 27 49 Thielbar 0 14 0 26 0 40 Farrell 0 0 38 0 0 38 Moran 0 0 38 0 0 38 Duffey 21 0 0 15 0 36 Alcalá 0 13 0 0 19 32 Vincent 0 16 0 0 15 31 Colomé 18 0 0 7 0 25 Coulombe 0 0 15 0 0 15 Garza Jr. 0 12 0 0 0 12 View full article
  12. Box Score Charlie Barnes: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER (3 R), 1 BB, 3 K Homeruns: Polanco (33), Buxton (19) Top 3 WPA: Polanco (.104), Minaya (.091), Vincent (.085) Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) Twins Offense Strikes Early It didn’t take but seven pitches for the Twins to take a three-run lead against rookie Jackson Kowar. After a single by Luis Arraez to start the game, Byron Buxton extended his MLB record with his 41st extra-base hit, and then Jorge Polanco went boom. The onslaught continued with a Josh Donaldson walk, Max Kepler single, and an RBI single from Miguel Sanó making it 4-0 Twins before they recorded their first out with a Brent Rooker strikeout. A Nick Gordon fielder's choice scored Kepler and then Ryan Jeffers struck out to end the inning with a 5-0 cushion for Charlie Barnes. The Twins were mostly quiet until the top of the lineup was due up for a third time in the top of the fifth. Arraez led off with another single before Buxton, once again, extended his MLB record with another extra-base hit…this time a four bagger to make it 7-0. That would be the last of the Twins threats of the day as they were only able to muster up two more hits, another came from Arraez, in the last three innings of play. Charlie Barnes Gets Knocked Out Early but Bullpen Finishes Year Strong For the first time all season, Barnes wasn’t able to give the Twins four innings as he was pulled after just eight outs. In his 2 ⅔ innings he allowed nine baserunners and three runs (two earned). He actually posted a respectable 13-percent whiff percentage but when the Royals made contact, they averaged an exit velocity of 106.2 miles per hour, which was ultimately his demise. Juan Minaya came on in relief and was able to hold the Royals to just the three runs followed by a two strikeout inning in the fourth. Nick Vincent shined in his two innings needing only 15 pitches to strikeout two Royals and get six outs. Not to be outdone by Vincent, Kyle Barraclough struck out the side in the seventh and added one more in the eighth before being pulled in favor of Jorge Alcala who finished the inning with a strikeout of his own. Alcala pitched a clean ninth with two strikeouts and earned his first career save after blowing his first four opportunities this year. WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Barraclough 0 14 0 0 36 50 Minaya 22 0 0 0 27 49 Thielbar 0 14 0 26 0 40 Farrell 0 0 38 0 0 38 Moran 0 0 38 0 0 38 Duffey 21 0 0 15 0 36 Alcalá 0 13 0 0 19 32 Vincent 0 16 0 0 15 31 Colomé 18 0 0 7 0 25 Coulombe 0 0 15 0 0 15 Garza Jr. 0 12 0 0 0 12
  13. I almost think it will be a slap in the face if they decide to spend a lot of money this winter. TBH the strategy they’ve used last two years (cheap, prove it deals) should be used this year while they wait for some of the younger guys to be ready in 2023 and 2024.
  14. He’s be pretty solid this year! But how quickly you forget about Joe Ryan!
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