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Cody Pirkl

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  1. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from Minfidel for an article, Ronny Henriquez Has Earned a Shot   
    Ronny Henriquez was acquired in the Mitch Garver deal and was seen as a middling starting pitching prospect. The ERA results weren’t there, but at 21 years old, Henriquez posted a 25%+ K rate at every stop in the minors. His generous listing at 5’10 raised questions about his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload, and those concerns escalated when he posted a near 6 ERA in AAA out of St. Paul’s rotation in 14 starts. His strikeouts continued to impress however, and he was finally moved to a relief role toward the end of the season.
    As the Twins faded out of contention, they finally began cycling in younger talent instead of pitchers such as Joe Smith and Tyler Thornburg. In the case of Henriquez, what we saw was very encouraging.
    As we’ve seen with Twins pitchers who boast plus sliders, the Twins weren’t shy about having Henriquez go back to the well on his best pitch. He threw his breaking ball nearly 50% of the time as his primary pitch, and in his short stint it proved to be lethal. Despite being by far his most used pitch, the slider induced a whiff rate of over 31%. Not only did it avoid being hit, it allowed a .136 batting average and .227 slugging % when hitters did make contact. His secondary pitch being the changeup only drew a 22.6% whiff rate, but it too allowed a sub .200 average and sub .300 slugging % against as well. Henriquez flashed two plus offerings to get both left and right handed hitters out consistently.
    The issue with Henriquez was the fastball. His main concern in St. Paul was the long ball, and the culprit was front and center when he joined the Twins. In his admittedly limited action, his four seam allowed a .400 batting average and staggering 1.400 slugging percentage. Hitters teed off on the pitch, and it’s not difficult to see why:
    The good news on the rocky debut of his fastball is that the adjustment is obvious and likely easily fixed: Keep it out of the heart of the zone. The heat map at the top of the zone is fantastic. Adjusting the trend in the middle of the zone could raise his game to new levels in a bullpen role.
    Henriquez shouldn’t be an offspeed needy, fastball avoidant pitcher. The 55 scouting grade on his heater is easily justified, as the pitch has been noted to have tremendous ride and can often be pushed into the upper 90s when needed.
    While the slider was the eye popping weapon he showed in his debut, it’s possible the fastball could become just as big of a pitch moving forward despite how bad it looked through his first 11+ innings. Even pushing the pitch to average would make Henriquez a legitimate bullpen piece.
    Despite being just 22 years old, it can be argued that Henriquez’s days in the minors should be over. With his three-pitch mix one could argue Henriquez should still be working toward a future rotation spot. The issue is that Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster and would likely be 7th on the starting pitching depth chart at best. He’d have to have a good bit of success in AAA before being entrusted in such a role with the big league club. Much like what’s been argued with fellow top prospect Matt Canterino, it seems like a waste of time to slow cook prospects who appear to be able to help the club right now in pursuit of the very small chance that they can latch on as a starter.
    It’s not entirely clear what the Twins offseason plan is regarding the bullpen, but we can assume nothing big is coming. At most they’ll likely sign a Joe Smith caliber pitcher to fill some innings and try to milk some value out of. They may make a waiver claim on a pitcher who does one thing well in pursuit of the next Matt Wisler. Instead we should be hoping for the Twins to turn to one of their young upside arms, a commodity that has been very difficult for this front office to come by.
    Rather than spending a few million on another veteran reliever to spend the last year of their career in Minnesota, why not turn to the 22 year old with two plus offspeed pitches and a high 90s fastball? Henriquez could take a low leverage, possibly even multi inning role and get a chance to work his way up the depth chart. If he struggles he can be optioned for another arm as opposed to the yearly bounce back candidate signing that sticks on the roster far too long due to their veteran status.
    Last year the Twins may have leaned too heavily on their internal pitching production. This year they have much more in place, and gambling on Henriquez in a minor role seems like a worthwhile bet. Ronny Henriquez should be in the Twins Opening Day bullpen
     
  2. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from Minny505 for an article, Ronny Henriquez Has Earned a Shot   
    Ronny Henriquez was acquired in the Mitch Garver deal and was seen as a middling starting pitching prospect. The ERA results weren’t there, but at 21 years old, Henriquez posted a 25%+ K rate at every stop in the minors. His generous listing at 5’10 raised questions about his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload, and those concerns escalated when he posted a near 6 ERA in AAA out of St. Paul’s rotation in 14 starts. His strikeouts continued to impress however, and he was finally moved to a relief role toward the end of the season.
    As the Twins faded out of contention, they finally began cycling in younger talent instead of pitchers such as Joe Smith and Tyler Thornburg. In the case of Henriquez, what we saw was very encouraging.
    As we’ve seen with Twins pitchers who boast plus sliders, the Twins weren’t shy about having Henriquez go back to the well on his best pitch. He threw his breaking ball nearly 50% of the time as his primary pitch, and in his short stint it proved to be lethal. Despite being by far his most used pitch, the slider induced a whiff rate of over 31%. Not only did it avoid being hit, it allowed a .136 batting average and .227 slugging % when hitters did make contact. His secondary pitch being the changeup only drew a 22.6% whiff rate, but it too allowed a sub .200 average and sub .300 slugging % against as well. Henriquez flashed two plus offerings to get both left and right handed hitters out consistently.
    The issue with Henriquez was the fastball. His main concern in St. Paul was the long ball, and the culprit was front and center when he joined the Twins. In his admittedly limited action, his four seam allowed a .400 batting average and staggering 1.400 slugging percentage. Hitters teed off on the pitch, and it’s not difficult to see why:
    The good news on the rocky debut of his fastball is that the adjustment is obvious and likely easily fixed: Keep it out of the heart of the zone. The heat map at the top of the zone is fantastic. Adjusting the trend in the middle of the zone could raise his game to new levels in a bullpen role.
    Henriquez shouldn’t be an offspeed needy, fastball avoidant pitcher. The 55 scouting grade on his heater is easily justified, as the pitch has been noted to have tremendous ride and can often be pushed into the upper 90s when needed.
    While the slider was the eye popping weapon he showed in his debut, it’s possible the fastball could become just as big of a pitch moving forward despite how bad it looked through his first 11+ innings. Even pushing the pitch to average would make Henriquez a legitimate bullpen piece.
    Despite being just 22 years old, it can be argued that Henriquez’s days in the minors should be over. With his three-pitch mix one could argue Henriquez should still be working toward a future rotation spot. The issue is that Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster and would likely be 7th on the starting pitching depth chart at best. He’d have to have a good bit of success in AAA before being entrusted in such a role with the big league club. Much like what’s been argued with fellow top prospect Matt Canterino, it seems like a waste of time to slow cook prospects who appear to be able to help the club right now in pursuit of the very small chance that they can latch on as a starter.
    It’s not entirely clear what the Twins offseason plan is regarding the bullpen, but we can assume nothing big is coming. At most they’ll likely sign a Joe Smith caliber pitcher to fill some innings and try to milk some value out of. They may make a waiver claim on a pitcher who does one thing well in pursuit of the next Matt Wisler. Instead we should be hoping for the Twins to turn to one of their young upside arms, a commodity that has been very difficult for this front office to come by.
    Rather than spending a few million on another veteran reliever to spend the last year of their career in Minnesota, why not turn to the 22 year old with two plus offspeed pitches and a high 90s fastball? Henriquez could take a low leverage, possibly even multi inning role and get a chance to work his way up the depth chart. If he struggles he can be optioned for another arm as opposed to the yearly bounce back candidate signing that sticks on the roster far too long due to their veteran status.
    Last year the Twins may have leaned too heavily on their internal pitching production. This year they have much more in place, and gambling on Henriquez in a minor role seems like a worthwhile bet. Ronny Henriquez should be in the Twins Opening Day bullpen
     
  3. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from The Mad King for an article, Ronny Henriquez Has Earned a Shot   
    Ronny Henriquez was acquired in the Mitch Garver deal and was seen as a middling starting pitching prospect. The ERA results weren’t there, but at 21 years old, Henriquez posted a 25%+ K rate at every stop in the minors. His generous listing at 5’10 raised questions about his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload, and those concerns escalated when he posted a near 6 ERA in AAA out of St. Paul’s rotation in 14 starts. His strikeouts continued to impress however, and he was finally moved to a relief role toward the end of the season.
    As the Twins faded out of contention, they finally began cycling in younger talent instead of pitchers such as Joe Smith and Tyler Thornburg. In the case of Henriquez, what we saw was very encouraging.
    As we’ve seen with Twins pitchers who boast plus sliders, the Twins weren’t shy about having Henriquez go back to the well on his best pitch. He threw his breaking ball nearly 50% of the time as his primary pitch, and in his short stint it proved to be lethal. Despite being by far his most used pitch, the slider induced a whiff rate of over 31%. Not only did it avoid being hit, it allowed a .136 batting average and .227 slugging % when hitters did make contact. His secondary pitch being the changeup only drew a 22.6% whiff rate, but it too allowed a sub .200 average and sub .300 slugging % against as well. Henriquez flashed two plus offerings to get both left and right handed hitters out consistently.
    The issue with Henriquez was the fastball. His main concern in St. Paul was the long ball, and the culprit was front and center when he joined the Twins. In his admittedly limited action, his four seam allowed a .400 batting average and staggering 1.400 slugging percentage. Hitters teed off on the pitch, and it’s not difficult to see why:
    The good news on the rocky debut of his fastball is that the adjustment is obvious and likely easily fixed: Keep it out of the heart of the zone. The heat map at the top of the zone is fantastic. Adjusting the trend in the middle of the zone could raise his game to new levels in a bullpen role.
    Henriquez shouldn’t be an offspeed needy, fastball avoidant pitcher. The 55 scouting grade on his heater is easily justified, as the pitch has been noted to have tremendous ride and can often be pushed into the upper 90s when needed.
    While the slider was the eye popping weapon he showed in his debut, it’s possible the fastball could become just as big of a pitch moving forward despite how bad it looked through his first 11+ innings. Even pushing the pitch to average would make Henriquez a legitimate bullpen piece.
    Despite being just 22 years old, it can be argued that Henriquez’s days in the minors should be over. With his three-pitch mix one could argue Henriquez should still be working toward a future rotation spot. The issue is that Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster and would likely be 7th on the starting pitching depth chart at best. He’d have to have a good bit of success in AAA before being entrusted in such a role with the big league club. Much like what’s been argued with fellow top prospect Matt Canterino, it seems like a waste of time to slow cook prospects who appear to be able to help the club right now in pursuit of the very small chance that they can latch on as a starter.
    It’s not entirely clear what the Twins offseason plan is regarding the bullpen, but we can assume nothing big is coming. At most they’ll likely sign a Joe Smith caliber pitcher to fill some innings and try to milk some value out of. They may make a waiver claim on a pitcher who does one thing well in pursuit of the next Matt Wisler. Instead we should be hoping for the Twins to turn to one of their young upside arms, a commodity that has been very difficult for this front office to come by.
    Rather than spending a few million on another veteran reliever to spend the last year of their career in Minnesota, why not turn to the 22 year old with two plus offspeed pitches and a high 90s fastball? Henriquez could take a low leverage, possibly even multi inning role and get a chance to work his way up the depth chart. If he struggles he can be optioned for another arm as opposed to the yearly bounce back candidate signing that sticks on the roster far too long due to their veteran status.
    Last year the Twins may have leaned too heavily on their internal pitching production. This year they have much more in place, and gambling on Henriquez in a minor role seems like a worthwhile bet. Ronny Henriquez should be in the Twins Opening Day bullpen
     
  4. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from nicksaviking for an article, Ronny Henriquez Has Earned a Shot   
    Ronny Henriquez was acquired in the Mitch Garver deal and was seen as a middling starting pitching prospect. The ERA results weren’t there, but at 21 years old, Henriquez posted a 25%+ K rate at every stop in the minors. His generous listing at 5’10 raised questions about his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload, and those concerns escalated when he posted a near 6 ERA in AAA out of St. Paul’s rotation in 14 starts. His strikeouts continued to impress however, and he was finally moved to a relief role toward the end of the season.
    As the Twins faded out of contention, they finally began cycling in younger talent instead of pitchers such as Joe Smith and Tyler Thornburg. In the case of Henriquez, what we saw was very encouraging.
    As we’ve seen with Twins pitchers who boast plus sliders, the Twins weren’t shy about having Henriquez go back to the well on his best pitch. He threw his breaking ball nearly 50% of the time as his primary pitch, and in his short stint it proved to be lethal. Despite being by far his most used pitch, the slider induced a whiff rate of over 31%. Not only did it avoid being hit, it allowed a .136 batting average and .227 slugging % when hitters did make contact. His secondary pitch being the changeup only drew a 22.6% whiff rate, but it too allowed a sub .200 average and sub .300 slugging % against as well. Henriquez flashed two plus offerings to get both left and right handed hitters out consistently.
    The issue with Henriquez was the fastball. His main concern in St. Paul was the long ball, and the culprit was front and center when he joined the Twins. In his admittedly limited action, his four seam allowed a .400 batting average and staggering 1.400 slugging percentage. Hitters teed off on the pitch, and it’s not difficult to see why:
    The good news on the rocky debut of his fastball is that the adjustment is obvious and likely easily fixed: Keep it out of the heart of the zone. The heat map at the top of the zone is fantastic. Adjusting the trend in the middle of the zone could raise his game to new levels in a bullpen role.
    Henriquez shouldn’t be an offspeed needy, fastball avoidant pitcher. The 55 scouting grade on his heater is easily justified, as the pitch has been noted to have tremendous ride and can often be pushed into the upper 90s when needed.
    While the slider was the eye popping weapon he showed in his debut, it’s possible the fastball could become just as big of a pitch moving forward despite how bad it looked through his first 11+ innings. Even pushing the pitch to average would make Henriquez a legitimate bullpen piece.
    Despite being just 22 years old, it can be argued that Henriquez’s days in the minors should be over. With his three-pitch mix one could argue Henriquez should still be working toward a future rotation spot. The issue is that Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster and would likely be 7th on the starting pitching depth chart at best. He’d have to have a good bit of success in AAA before being entrusted in such a role with the big league club. Much like what’s been argued with fellow top prospect Matt Canterino, it seems like a waste of time to slow cook prospects who appear to be able to help the club right now in pursuit of the very small chance that they can latch on as a starter.
    It’s not entirely clear what the Twins offseason plan is regarding the bullpen, but we can assume nothing big is coming. At most they’ll likely sign a Joe Smith caliber pitcher to fill some innings and try to milk some value out of. They may make a waiver claim on a pitcher who does one thing well in pursuit of the next Matt Wisler. Instead we should be hoping for the Twins to turn to one of their young upside arms, a commodity that has been very difficult for this front office to come by.
    Rather than spending a few million on another veteran reliever to spend the last year of their career in Minnesota, why not turn to the 22 year old with two plus offspeed pitches and a high 90s fastball? Henriquez could take a low leverage, possibly even multi inning role and get a chance to work his way up the depth chart. If he struggles he can be optioned for another arm as opposed to the yearly bounce back candidate signing that sticks on the roster far too long due to their veteran status.
    Last year the Twins may have leaned too heavily on their internal pitching production. This year they have much more in place, and gambling on Henriquez in a minor role seems like a worthwhile bet. Ronny Henriquez should be in the Twins Opening Day bullpen
     
  5. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for an article, Ronny Henriquez Has Earned a Shot   
    Ronny Henriquez was acquired in the Mitch Garver deal and was seen as a middling starting pitching prospect. The ERA results weren’t there, but at 21 years old, Henriquez posted a 25%+ K rate at every stop in the minors. His generous listing at 5’10 raised questions about his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload, and those concerns escalated when he posted a near 6 ERA in AAA out of St. Paul’s rotation in 14 starts. His strikeouts continued to impress however, and he was finally moved to a relief role toward the end of the season.
    As the Twins faded out of contention, they finally began cycling in younger talent instead of pitchers such as Joe Smith and Tyler Thornburg. In the case of Henriquez, what we saw was very encouraging.
    As we’ve seen with Twins pitchers who boast plus sliders, the Twins weren’t shy about having Henriquez go back to the well on his best pitch. He threw his breaking ball nearly 50% of the time as his primary pitch, and in his short stint it proved to be lethal. Despite being by far his most used pitch, the slider induced a whiff rate of over 31%. Not only did it avoid being hit, it allowed a .136 batting average and .227 slugging % when hitters did make contact. His secondary pitch being the changeup only drew a 22.6% whiff rate, but it too allowed a sub .200 average and sub .300 slugging % against as well. Henriquez flashed two plus offerings to get both left and right handed hitters out consistently.
    The issue with Henriquez was the fastball. His main concern in St. Paul was the long ball, and the culprit was front and center when he joined the Twins. In his admittedly limited action, his four seam allowed a .400 batting average and staggering 1.400 slugging percentage. Hitters teed off on the pitch, and it’s not difficult to see why:
    The good news on the rocky debut of his fastball is that the adjustment is obvious and likely easily fixed: Keep it out of the heart of the zone. The heat map at the top of the zone is fantastic. Adjusting the trend in the middle of the zone could raise his game to new levels in a bullpen role.
    Henriquez shouldn’t be an offspeed needy, fastball avoidant pitcher. The 55 scouting grade on his heater is easily justified, as the pitch has been noted to have tremendous ride and can often be pushed into the upper 90s when needed.
    While the slider was the eye popping weapon he showed in his debut, it’s possible the fastball could become just as big of a pitch moving forward despite how bad it looked through his first 11+ innings. Even pushing the pitch to average would make Henriquez a legitimate bullpen piece.
    Despite being just 22 years old, it can be argued that Henriquez’s days in the minors should be over. With his three-pitch mix one could argue Henriquez should still be working toward a future rotation spot. The issue is that Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster and would likely be 7th on the starting pitching depth chart at best. He’d have to have a good bit of success in AAA before being entrusted in such a role with the big league club. Much like what’s been argued with fellow top prospect Matt Canterino, it seems like a waste of time to slow cook prospects who appear to be able to help the club right now in pursuit of the very small chance that they can latch on as a starter.
    It’s not entirely clear what the Twins offseason plan is regarding the bullpen, but we can assume nothing big is coming. At most they’ll likely sign a Joe Smith caliber pitcher to fill some innings and try to milk some value out of. They may make a waiver claim on a pitcher who does one thing well in pursuit of the next Matt Wisler. Instead we should be hoping for the Twins to turn to one of their young upside arms, a commodity that has been very difficult for this front office to come by.
    Rather than spending a few million on another veteran reliever to spend the last year of their career in Minnesota, why not turn to the 22 year old with two plus offspeed pitches and a high 90s fastball? Henriquez could take a low leverage, possibly even multi inning role and get a chance to work his way up the depth chart. If he struggles he can be optioned for another arm as opposed to the yearly bounce back candidate signing that sticks on the roster far too long due to their veteran status.
    Last year the Twins may have leaned too heavily on their internal pitching production. This year they have much more in place, and gambling on Henriquez in a minor role seems like a worthwhile bet. Ronny Henriquez should be in the Twins Opening Day bullpen
     
  6. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, Ronny Henriquez Has Earned a Shot   
    Ronny Henriquez was acquired in the Mitch Garver deal and was seen as a middling starting pitching prospect. The ERA results weren’t there, but at 21 years old, Henriquez posted a 25%+ K rate at every stop in the minors. His generous listing at 5’10 raised questions about his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload, and those concerns escalated when he posted a near 6 ERA in AAA out of St. Paul’s rotation in 14 starts. His strikeouts continued to impress however, and he was finally moved to a relief role toward the end of the season.
    As the Twins faded out of contention, they finally began cycling in younger talent instead of pitchers such as Joe Smith and Tyler Thornburg. In the case of Henriquez, what we saw was very encouraging.
    As we’ve seen with Twins pitchers who boast plus sliders, the Twins weren’t shy about having Henriquez go back to the well on his best pitch. He threw his breaking ball nearly 50% of the time as his primary pitch, and in his short stint it proved to be lethal. Despite being by far his most used pitch, the slider induced a whiff rate of over 31%. Not only did it avoid being hit, it allowed a .136 batting average and .227 slugging % when hitters did make contact. His secondary pitch being the changeup only drew a 22.6% whiff rate, but it too allowed a sub .200 average and sub .300 slugging % against as well. Henriquez flashed two plus offerings to get both left and right handed hitters out consistently.
    The issue with Henriquez was the fastball. His main concern in St. Paul was the long ball, and the culprit was front and center when he joined the Twins. In his admittedly limited action, his four seam allowed a .400 batting average and staggering 1.400 slugging percentage. Hitters teed off on the pitch, and it’s not difficult to see why:
    The good news on the rocky debut of his fastball is that the adjustment is obvious and likely easily fixed: Keep it out of the heart of the zone. The heat map at the top of the zone is fantastic. Adjusting the trend in the middle of the zone could raise his game to new levels in a bullpen role.
    Henriquez shouldn’t be an offspeed needy, fastball avoidant pitcher. The 55 scouting grade on his heater is easily justified, as the pitch has been noted to have tremendous ride and can often be pushed into the upper 90s when needed.
    While the slider was the eye popping weapon he showed in his debut, it’s possible the fastball could become just as big of a pitch moving forward despite how bad it looked through his first 11+ innings. Even pushing the pitch to average would make Henriquez a legitimate bullpen piece.
    Despite being just 22 years old, it can be argued that Henriquez’s days in the minors should be over. With his three-pitch mix one could argue Henriquez should still be working toward a future rotation spot. The issue is that Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster and would likely be 7th on the starting pitching depth chart at best. He’d have to have a good bit of success in AAA before being entrusted in such a role with the big league club. Much like what’s been argued with fellow top prospect Matt Canterino, it seems like a waste of time to slow cook prospects who appear to be able to help the club right now in pursuit of the very small chance that they can latch on as a starter.
    It’s not entirely clear what the Twins offseason plan is regarding the bullpen, but we can assume nothing big is coming. At most they’ll likely sign a Joe Smith caliber pitcher to fill some innings and try to milk some value out of. They may make a waiver claim on a pitcher who does one thing well in pursuit of the next Matt Wisler. Instead we should be hoping for the Twins to turn to one of their young upside arms, a commodity that has been very difficult for this front office to come by.
    Rather than spending a few million on another veteran reliever to spend the last year of their career in Minnesota, why not turn to the 22 year old with two plus offspeed pitches and a high 90s fastball? Henriquez could take a low leverage, possibly even multi inning role and get a chance to work his way up the depth chart. If he struggles he can be optioned for another arm as opposed to the yearly bounce back candidate signing that sticks on the roster far too long due to their veteran status.
    Last year the Twins may have leaned too heavily on their internal pitching production. This year they have much more in place, and gambling on Henriquez in a minor role seems like a worthwhile bet. Ronny Henriquez should be in the Twins Opening Day bullpen
     
  7. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from EGFTShaw for an article, Ronny Henriquez Has Earned a Shot   
    Ronny Henriquez was acquired in the Mitch Garver deal and was seen as a middling starting pitching prospect. The ERA results weren’t there, but at 21 years old, Henriquez posted a 25%+ K rate at every stop in the minors. His generous listing at 5’10 raised questions about his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload, and those concerns escalated when he posted a near 6 ERA in AAA out of St. Paul’s rotation in 14 starts. His strikeouts continued to impress however, and he was finally moved to a relief role toward the end of the season.
    As the Twins faded out of contention, they finally began cycling in younger talent instead of pitchers such as Joe Smith and Tyler Thornburg. In the case of Henriquez, what we saw was very encouraging.
    As we’ve seen with Twins pitchers who boast plus sliders, the Twins weren’t shy about having Henriquez go back to the well on his best pitch. He threw his breaking ball nearly 50% of the time as his primary pitch, and in his short stint it proved to be lethal. Despite being by far his most used pitch, the slider induced a whiff rate of over 31%. Not only did it avoid being hit, it allowed a .136 batting average and .227 slugging % when hitters did make contact. His secondary pitch being the changeup only drew a 22.6% whiff rate, but it too allowed a sub .200 average and sub .300 slugging % against as well. Henriquez flashed two plus offerings to get both left and right handed hitters out consistently.
    The issue with Henriquez was the fastball. His main concern in St. Paul was the long ball, and the culprit was front and center when he joined the Twins. In his admittedly limited action, his four seam allowed a .400 batting average and staggering 1.400 slugging percentage. Hitters teed off on the pitch, and it’s not difficult to see why:
    The good news on the rocky debut of his fastball is that the adjustment is obvious and likely easily fixed: Keep it out of the heart of the zone. The heat map at the top of the zone is fantastic. Adjusting the trend in the middle of the zone could raise his game to new levels in a bullpen role.
    Henriquez shouldn’t be an offspeed needy, fastball avoidant pitcher. The 55 scouting grade on his heater is easily justified, as the pitch has been noted to have tremendous ride and can often be pushed into the upper 90s when needed.
    While the slider was the eye popping weapon he showed in his debut, it’s possible the fastball could become just as big of a pitch moving forward despite how bad it looked through his first 11+ innings. Even pushing the pitch to average would make Henriquez a legitimate bullpen piece.
    Despite being just 22 years old, it can be argued that Henriquez’s days in the minors should be over. With his three-pitch mix one could argue Henriquez should still be working toward a future rotation spot. The issue is that Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster and would likely be 7th on the starting pitching depth chart at best. He’d have to have a good bit of success in AAA before being entrusted in such a role with the big league club. Much like what’s been argued with fellow top prospect Matt Canterino, it seems like a waste of time to slow cook prospects who appear to be able to help the club right now in pursuit of the very small chance that they can latch on as a starter.
    It’s not entirely clear what the Twins offseason plan is regarding the bullpen, but we can assume nothing big is coming. At most they’ll likely sign a Joe Smith caliber pitcher to fill some innings and try to milk some value out of. They may make a waiver claim on a pitcher who does one thing well in pursuit of the next Matt Wisler. Instead we should be hoping for the Twins to turn to one of their young upside arms, a commodity that has been very difficult for this front office to come by.
    Rather than spending a few million on another veteran reliever to spend the last year of their career in Minnesota, why not turn to the 22 year old with two plus offspeed pitches and a high 90s fastball? Henriquez could take a low leverage, possibly even multi inning role and get a chance to work his way up the depth chart. If he struggles he can be optioned for another arm as opposed to the yearly bounce back candidate signing that sticks on the roster far too long due to their veteran status.
    Last year the Twins may have leaned too heavily on their internal pitching production. This year they have much more in place, and gambling on Henriquez in a minor role seems like a worthwhile bet. Ronny Henriquez should be in the Twins Opening Day bullpen
     
  8. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from Dman for an article, Ronny Henriquez Has Earned a Shot   
    Ronny Henriquez was acquired in the Mitch Garver deal and was seen as a middling starting pitching prospect. The ERA results weren’t there, but at 21 years old, Henriquez posted a 25%+ K rate at every stop in the minors. His generous listing at 5’10 raised questions about his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload, and those concerns escalated when he posted a near 6 ERA in AAA out of St. Paul’s rotation in 14 starts. His strikeouts continued to impress however, and he was finally moved to a relief role toward the end of the season.
    As the Twins faded out of contention, they finally began cycling in younger talent instead of pitchers such as Joe Smith and Tyler Thornburg. In the case of Henriquez, what we saw was very encouraging.
    As we’ve seen with Twins pitchers who boast plus sliders, the Twins weren’t shy about having Henriquez go back to the well on his best pitch. He threw his breaking ball nearly 50% of the time as his primary pitch, and in his short stint it proved to be lethal. Despite being by far his most used pitch, the slider induced a whiff rate of over 31%. Not only did it avoid being hit, it allowed a .136 batting average and .227 slugging % when hitters did make contact. His secondary pitch being the changeup only drew a 22.6% whiff rate, but it too allowed a sub .200 average and sub .300 slugging % against as well. Henriquez flashed two plus offerings to get both left and right handed hitters out consistently.
    The issue with Henriquez was the fastball. His main concern in St. Paul was the long ball, and the culprit was front and center when he joined the Twins. In his admittedly limited action, his four seam allowed a .400 batting average and staggering 1.400 slugging percentage. Hitters teed off on the pitch, and it’s not difficult to see why:
    The good news on the rocky debut of his fastball is that the adjustment is obvious and likely easily fixed: Keep it out of the heart of the zone. The heat map at the top of the zone is fantastic. Adjusting the trend in the middle of the zone could raise his game to new levels in a bullpen role.
    Henriquez shouldn’t be an offspeed needy, fastball avoidant pitcher. The 55 scouting grade on his heater is easily justified, as the pitch has been noted to have tremendous ride and can often be pushed into the upper 90s when needed.
    While the slider was the eye popping weapon he showed in his debut, it’s possible the fastball could become just as big of a pitch moving forward despite how bad it looked through his first 11+ innings. Even pushing the pitch to average would make Henriquez a legitimate bullpen piece.
    Despite being just 22 years old, it can be argued that Henriquez’s days in the minors should be over. With his three-pitch mix one could argue Henriquez should still be working toward a future rotation spot. The issue is that Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster and would likely be 7th on the starting pitching depth chart at best. He’d have to have a good bit of success in AAA before being entrusted in such a role with the big league club. Much like what’s been argued with fellow top prospect Matt Canterino, it seems like a waste of time to slow cook prospects who appear to be able to help the club right now in pursuit of the very small chance that they can latch on as a starter.
    It’s not entirely clear what the Twins offseason plan is regarding the bullpen, but we can assume nothing big is coming. At most they’ll likely sign a Joe Smith caliber pitcher to fill some innings and try to milk some value out of. They may make a waiver claim on a pitcher who does one thing well in pursuit of the next Matt Wisler. Instead we should be hoping for the Twins to turn to one of their young upside arms, a commodity that has been very difficult for this front office to come by.
    Rather than spending a few million on another veteran reliever to spend the last year of their career in Minnesota, why not turn to the 22 year old with two plus offspeed pitches and a high 90s fastball? Henriquez could take a low leverage, possibly even multi inning role and get a chance to work his way up the depth chart. If he struggles he can be optioned for another arm as opposed to the yearly bounce back candidate signing that sticks on the roster far too long due to their veteran status.
    Last year the Twins may have leaned too heavily on their internal pitching production. This year they have much more in place, and gambling on Henriquez in a minor role seems like a worthwhile bet. Ronny Henriquez should be in the Twins Opening Day bullpen
     
  9. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from CharlieDee for an article, Ronny Henriquez Has Earned a Shot   
    Ronny Henriquez was acquired in the Mitch Garver deal and was seen as a middling starting pitching prospect. The ERA results weren’t there, but at 21 years old, Henriquez posted a 25%+ K rate at every stop in the minors. His generous listing at 5’10 raised questions about his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload, and those concerns escalated when he posted a near 6 ERA in AAA out of St. Paul’s rotation in 14 starts. His strikeouts continued to impress however, and he was finally moved to a relief role toward the end of the season.
    As the Twins faded out of contention, they finally began cycling in younger talent instead of pitchers such as Joe Smith and Tyler Thornburg. In the case of Henriquez, what we saw was very encouraging.
    As we’ve seen with Twins pitchers who boast plus sliders, the Twins weren’t shy about having Henriquez go back to the well on his best pitch. He threw his breaking ball nearly 50% of the time as his primary pitch, and in his short stint it proved to be lethal. Despite being by far his most used pitch, the slider induced a whiff rate of over 31%. Not only did it avoid being hit, it allowed a .136 batting average and .227 slugging % when hitters did make contact. His secondary pitch being the changeup only drew a 22.6% whiff rate, but it too allowed a sub .200 average and sub .300 slugging % against as well. Henriquez flashed two plus offerings to get both left and right handed hitters out consistently.
    The issue with Henriquez was the fastball. His main concern in St. Paul was the long ball, and the culprit was front and center when he joined the Twins. In his admittedly limited action, his four seam allowed a .400 batting average and staggering 1.400 slugging percentage. Hitters teed off on the pitch, and it’s not difficult to see why:
    The good news on the rocky debut of his fastball is that the adjustment is obvious and likely easily fixed: Keep it out of the heart of the zone. The heat map at the top of the zone is fantastic. Adjusting the trend in the middle of the zone could raise his game to new levels in a bullpen role.
    Henriquez shouldn’t be an offspeed needy, fastball avoidant pitcher. The 55 scouting grade on his heater is easily justified, as the pitch has been noted to have tremendous ride and can often be pushed into the upper 90s when needed.
    While the slider was the eye popping weapon he showed in his debut, it’s possible the fastball could become just as big of a pitch moving forward despite how bad it looked through his first 11+ innings. Even pushing the pitch to average would make Henriquez a legitimate bullpen piece.
    Despite being just 22 years old, it can be argued that Henriquez’s days in the minors should be over. With his three-pitch mix one could argue Henriquez should still be working toward a future rotation spot. The issue is that Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster and would likely be 7th on the starting pitching depth chart at best. He’d have to have a good bit of success in AAA before being entrusted in such a role with the big league club. Much like what’s been argued with fellow top prospect Matt Canterino, it seems like a waste of time to slow cook prospects who appear to be able to help the club right now in pursuit of the very small chance that they can latch on as a starter.
    It’s not entirely clear what the Twins offseason plan is regarding the bullpen, but we can assume nothing big is coming. At most they’ll likely sign a Joe Smith caliber pitcher to fill some innings and try to milk some value out of. They may make a waiver claim on a pitcher who does one thing well in pursuit of the next Matt Wisler. Instead we should be hoping for the Twins to turn to one of their young upside arms, a commodity that has been very difficult for this front office to come by.
    Rather than spending a few million on another veteran reliever to spend the last year of their career in Minnesota, why not turn to the 22 year old with two plus offspeed pitches and a high 90s fastball? Henriquez could take a low leverage, possibly even multi inning role and get a chance to work his way up the depth chart. If he struggles he can be optioned for another arm as opposed to the yearly bounce back candidate signing that sticks on the roster far too long due to their veteran status.
    Last year the Twins may have leaned too heavily on their internal pitching production. This year they have much more in place, and gambling on Henriquez in a minor role seems like a worthwhile bet. Ronny Henriquez should be in the Twins Opening Day bullpen
     
  10. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from MN_ExPat for an article, Ronny Henriquez Has Earned a Shot   
    Ronny Henriquez was acquired in the Mitch Garver deal and was seen as a middling starting pitching prospect. The ERA results weren’t there, but at 21 years old, Henriquez posted a 25%+ K rate at every stop in the minors. His generous listing at 5’10 raised questions about his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload, and those concerns escalated when he posted a near 6 ERA in AAA out of St. Paul’s rotation in 14 starts. His strikeouts continued to impress however, and he was finally moved to a relief role toward the end of the season.
    As the Twins faded out of contention, they finally began cycling in younger talent instead of pitchers such as Joe Smith and Tyler Thornburg. In the case of Henriquez, what we saw was very encouraging.
    As we’ve seen with Twins pitchers who boast plus sliders, the Twins weren’t shy about having Henriquez go back to the well on his best pitch. He threw his breaking ball nearly 50% of the time as his primary pitch, and in his short stint it proved to be lethal. Despite being by far his most used pitch, the slider induced a whiff rate of over 31%. Not only did it avoid being hit, it allowed a .136 batting average and .227 slugging % when hitters did make contact. His secondary pitch being the changeup only drew a 22.6% whiff rate, but it too allowed a sub .200 average and sub .300 slugging % against as well. Henriquez flashed two plus offerings to get both left and right handed hitters out consistently.
    The issue with Henriquez was the fastball. His main concern in St. Paul was the long ball, and the culprit was front and center when he joined the Twins. In his admittedly limited action, his four seam allowed a .400 batting average and staggering 1.400 slugging percentage. Hitters teed off on the pitch, and it’s not difficult to see why:
    The good news on the rocky debut of his fastball is that the adjustment is obvious and likely easily fixed: Keep it out of the heart of the zone. The heat map at the top of the zone is fantastic. Adjusting the trend in the middle of the zone could raise his game to new levels in a bullpen role.
    Henriquez shouldn’t be an offspeed needy, fastball avoidant pitcher. The 55 scouting grade on his heater is easily justified, as the pitch has been noted to have tremendous ride and can often be pushed into the upper 90s when needed.
    While the slider was the eye popping weapon he showed in his debut, it’s possible the fastball could become just as big of a pitch moving forward despite how bad it looked through his first 11+ innings. Even pushing the pitch to average would make Henriquez a legitimate bullpen piece.
    Despite being just 22 years old, it can be argued that Henriquez’s days in the minors should be over. With his three-pitch mix one could argue Henriquez should still be working toward a future rotation spot. The issue is that Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster and would likely be 7th on the starting pitching depth chart at best. He’d have to have a good bit of success in AAA before being entrusted in such a role with the big league club. Much like what’s been argued with fellow top prospect Matt Canterino, it seems like a waste of time to slow cook prospects who appear to be able to help the club right now in pursuit of the very small chance that they can latch on as a starter.
    It’s not entirely clear what the Twins offseason plan is regarding the bullpen, but we can assume nothing big is coming. At most they’ll likely sign a Joe Smith caliber pitcher to fill some innings and try to milk some value out of. They may make a waiver claim on a pitcher who does one thing well in pursuit of the next Matt Wisler. Instead we should be hoping for the Twins to turn to one of their young upside arms, a commodity that has been very difficult for this front office to come by.
    Rather than spending a few million on another veteran reliever to spend the last year of their career in Minnesota, why not turn to the 22 year old with two plus offspeed pitches and a high 90s fastball? Henriquez could take a low leverage, possibly even multi inning role and get a chance to work his way up the depth chart. If he struggles he can be optioned for another arm as opposed to the yearly bounce back candidate signing that sticks on the roster far too long due to their veteran status.
    Last year the Twins may have leaned too heavily on their internal pitching production. This year they have much more in place, and gambling on Henriquez in a minor role seems like a worthwhile bet. Ronny Henriquez should be in the Twins Opening Day bullpen
     
  11. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from Hrbeks Divot for an article, Ronny Henriquez Has Earned a Shot   
    Ronny Henriquez was acquired in the Mitch Garver deal and was seen as a middling starting pitching prospect. The ERA results weren’t there, but at 21 years old, Henriquez posted a 25%+ K rate at every stop in the minors. His generous listing at 5’10 raised questions about his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload, and those concerns escalated when he posted a near 6 ERA in AAA out of St. Paul’s rotation in 14 starts. His strikeouts continued to impress however, and he was finally moved to a relief role toward the end of the season.
    As the Twins faded out of contention, they finally began cycling in younger talent instead of pitchers such as Joe Smith and Tyler Thornburg. In the case of Henriquez, what we saw was very encouraging.
    As we’ve seen with Twins pitchers who boast plus sliders, the Twins weren’t shy about having Henriquez go back to the well on his best pitch. He threw his breaking ball nearly 50% of the time as his primary pitch, and in his short stint it proved to be lethal. Despite being by far his most used pitch, the slider induced a whiff rate of over 31%. Not only did it avoid being hit, it allowed a .136 batting average and .227 slugging % when hitters did make contact. His secondary pitch being the changeup only drew a 22.6% whiff rate, but it too allowed a sub .200 average and sub .300 slugging % against as well. Henriquez flashed two plus offerings to get both left and right handed hitters out consistently.
    The issue with Henriquez was the fastball. His main concern in St. Paul was the long ball, and the culprit was front and center when he joined the Twins. In his admittedly limited action, his four seam allowed a .400 batting average and staggering 1.400 slugging percentage. Hitters teed off on the pitch, and it’s not difficult to see why:
    The good news on the rocky debut of his fastball is that the adjustment is obvious and likely easily fixed: Keep it out of the heart of the zone. The heat map at the top of the zone is fantastic. Adjusting the trend in the middle of the zone could raise his game to new levels in a bullpen role.
    Henriquez shouldn’t be an offspeed needy, fastball avoidant pitcher. The 55 scouting grade on his heater is easily justified, as the pitch has been noted to have tremendous ride and can often be pushed into the upper 90s when needed.
    While the slider was the eye popping weapon he showed in his debut, it’s possible the fastball could become just as big of a pitch moving forward despite how bad it looked through his first 11+ innings. Even pushing the pitch to average would make Henriquez a legitimate bullpen piece.
    Despite being just 22 years old, it can be argued that Henriquez’s days in the minors should be over. With his three-pitch mix one could argue Henriquez should still be working toward a future rotation spot. The issue is that Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster and would likely be 7th on the starting pitching depth chart at best. He’d have to have a good bit of success in AAA before being entrusted in such a role with the big league club. Much like what’s been argued with fellow top prospect Matt Canterino, it seems like a waste of time to slow cook prospects who appear to be able to help the club right now in pursuit of the very small chance that they can latch on as a starter.
    It’s not entirely clear what the Twins offseason plan is regarding the bullpen, but we can assume nothing big is coming. At most they’ll likely sign a Joe Smith caliber pitcher to fill some innings and try to milk some value out of. They may make a waiver claim on a pitcher who does one thing well in pursuit of the next Matt Wisler. Instead we should be hoping for the Twins to turn to one of their young upside arms, a commodity that has been very difficult for this front office to come by.
    Rather than spending a few million on another veteran reliever to spend the last year of their career in Minnesota, why not turn to the 22 year old with two plus offspeed pitches and a high 90s fastball? Henriquez could take a low leverage, possibly even multi inning role and get a chance to work his way up the depth chart. If he struggles he can be optioned for another arm as opposed to the yearly bounce back candidate signing that sticks on the roster far too long due to their veteran status.
    Last year the Twins may have leaned too heavily on their internal pitching production. This year they have much more in place, and gambling on Henriquez in a minor role seems like a worthwhile bet. Ronny Henriquez should be in the Twins Opening Day bullpen
     
  12. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from Doctor Gast for an article, Ronny Henriquez Has Earned a Shot   
    Ronny Henriquez was acquired in the Mitch Garver deal and was seen as a middling starting pitching prospect. The ERA results weren’t there, but at 21 years old, Henriquez posted a 25%+ K rate at every stop in the minors. His generous listing at 5’10 raised questions about his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload, and those concerns escalated when he posted a near 6 ERA in AAA out of St. Paul’s rotation in 14 starts. His strikeouts continued to impress however, and he was finally moved to a relief role toward the end of the season.
    As the Twins faded out of contention, they finally began cycling in younger talent instead of pitchers such as Joe Smith and Tyler Thornburg. In the case of Henriquez, what we saw was very encouraging.
    As we’ve seen with Twins pitchers who boast plus sliders, the Twins weren’t shy about having Henriquez go back to the well on his best pitch. He threw his breaking ball nearly 50% of the time as his primary pitch, and in his short stint it proved to be lethal. Despite being by far his most used pitch, the slider induced a whiff rate of over 31%. Not only did it avoid being hit, it allowed a .136 batting average and .227 slugging % when hitters did make contact. His secondary pitch being the changeup only drew a 22.6% whiff rate, but it too allowed a sub .200 average and sub .300 slugging % against as well. Henriquez flashed two plus offerings to get both left and right handed hitters out consistently.
    The issue with Henriquez was the fastball. His main concern in St. Paul was the long ball, and the culprit was front and center when he joined the Twins. In his admittedly limited action, his four seam allowed a .400 batting average and staggering 1.400 slugging percentage. Hitters teed off on the pitch, and it’s not difficult to see why:
    The good news on the rocky debut of his fastball is that the adjustment is obvious and likely easily fixed: Keep it out of the heart of the zone. The heat map at the top of the zone is fantastic. Adjusting the trend in the middle of the zone could raise his game to new levels in a bullpen role.
    Henriquez shouldn’t be an offspeed needy, fastball avoidant pitcher. The 55 scouting grade on his heater is easily justified, as the pitch has been noted to have tremendous ride and can often be pushed into the upper 90s when needed.
    While the slider was the eye popping weapon he showed in his debut, it’s possible the fastball could become just as big of a pitch moving forward despite how bad it looked through his first 11+ innings. Even pushing the pitch to average would make Henriquez a legitimate bullpen piece.
    Despite being just 22 years old, it can be argued that Henriquez’s days in the minors should be over. With his three-pitch mix one could argue Henriquez should still be working toward a future rotation spot. The issue is that Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster and would likely be 7th on the starting pitching depth chart at best. He’d have to have a good bit of success in AAA before being entrusted in such a role with the big league club. Much like what’s been argued with fellow top prospect Matt Canterino, it seems like a waste of time to slow cook prospects who appear to be able to help the club right now in pursuit of the very small chance that they can latch on as a starter.
    It’s not entirely clear what the Twins offseason plan is regarding the bullpen, but we can assume nothing big is coming. At most they’ll likely sign a Joe Smith caliber pitcher to fill some innings and try to milk some value out of. They may make a waiver claim on a pitcher who does one thing well in pursuit of the next Matt Wisler. Instead we should be hoping for the Twins to turn to one of their young upside arms, a commodity that has been very difficult for this front office to come by.
    Rather than spending a few million on another veteran reliever to spend the last year of their career in Minnesota, why not turn to the 22 year old with two plus offspeed pitches and a high 90s fastball? Henriquez could take a low leverage, possibly even multi inning role and get a chance to work his way up the depth chart. If he struggles he can be optioned for another arm as opposed to the yearly bounce back candidate signing that sticks on the roster far too long due to their veteran status.
    Last year the Twins may have leaned too heavily on their internal pitching production. This year they have much more in place, and gambling on Henriquez in a minor role seems like a worthwhile bet. Ronny Henriquez should be in the Twins Opening Day bullpen
     
  13. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from nclahammer for an article, Let's Worry About the Lineup This Winter   
    Talks of coaxing a high end starting pitcher to Minnesota are swirling as should always be the case when premier pitching is available, but the Twins don’t have an entire rotation to overhaul as they have in recent years. Adding an ace to the group of Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, Joe Ryan, Kenta Maeda, and Bailey Ober would be a massively positive move, but with a fair amount of pitching talent and depth in Minnesota, perhaps we should be turning more attention towards getting lineup help.
    As things stand, Carlos Correa is not currently a Minnesota Twin. Though inept in clutch spots for much of the season, a massive chunk of the Twins offense will be missing should Correa find another home. The Twins set a floor at shortstop with a savvy addition of Kyle Farmer, but the dropoff from a player who was 40% above league average offensively to one that was 9% below in Farmer would be felt on a daily basis. Farmer being the Opening Day shortstop would be far from a disaster, but in order to compete, the Twins would need to massively supplement their position player group elsewhere.
     
     
    Headed into 2023, the Twins have a fun group of young, high upside hitters that have some questions to answer including Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Matt Wallner, and eventually Royce Lewis. It’s a similar position to the one they were in last winter with the pitching staff. Having filled out 40% of the rotation with Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer and another 40% of the rotation with two rookies in Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober, the Twins gambled on contributions from their young pitching which had proven nothing yet.
    It was an unmitigated disaster aside from Ryan. Top prospects such as Jordan Balazovic cratered in AAA. Josh Winder was ineffective and had recurring shoulder issues. Having done so in just about every season of his career aside from 2021, Bailey Ober once again missed massive amounts of time. They didn’t have the floor they thought they did.
     
     
    The Twins need to avoid gambling on their player development in 2023 as much as possible. They’ve drastically overestimated their ability to produce quality regulars in recent years. And while the most recent bursted bubble was on the pitching side, gambling on unproven, often injured players such as Larnach, Kirilloff, and Lewis to keep an MLB roster afloat simply cannot be the game plan at this point. They also had to trade away several up-and-coming possible impact hitters as a result of their recent miscalculations.
    Also consider the health of the team. Beyond the young players having missed time in 2022, players such as Jorge Polanco no longer appear to be locks to play 150+ games. Byron Buxton’s injury risk will always be a consideration. They also no longer have Gio Urshela to add production to the fringes of the roster, and unfortunately at this point anyone expecting any kind of offensive competence from players like Max Kepler are likely going to be very disappointed.
     
    In short, the Twins lineup isn't a force to be reckoned with. It does appear to have some upside and depth, but the trick is getting said lineup to the threshold of “quality” which likely requires multiple more additions. Perhaps it is adding Correa or one of his fellow free agents such as Xander Boegarts . The heavily left-handed outfield could also use another right-handed option such as Mitch Haniger. Perhaps they’ve even liked what they’ve seen from Jose Abreu across the division enough to bring him in as a veteran RBI machine that can DH and cycle into first base.
    While several creative moves are certainly on tap for the winter, it may be time to recognize that the current rotation has the possibility of helping a team to a playoff run. It’s hard to say the same about the position player group. For once perhaps fans should pivot off of the “Can he pitch?” replies to every acquisition the Twins make. It’s time to worry about the bats.
  14. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from The Mad King for an article, Let's Worry About the Lineup This Winter   
    Talks of coaxing a high end starting pitcher to Minnesota are swirling as should always be the case when premier pitching is available, but the Twins don’t have an entire rotation to overhaul as they have in recent years. Adding an ace to the group of Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, Joe Ryan, Kenta Maeda, and Bailey Ober would be a massively positive move, but with a fair amount of pitching talent and depth in Minnesota, perhaps we should be turning more attention towards getting lineup help.
    As things stand, Carlos Correa is not currently a Minnesota Twin. Though inept in clutch spots for much of the season, a massive chunk of the Twins offense will be missing should Correa find another home. The Twins set a floor at shortstop with a savvy addition of Kyle Farmer, but the dropoff from a player who was 40% above league average offensively to one that was 9% below in Farmer would be felt on a daily basis. Farmer being the Opening Day shortstop would be far from a disaster, but in order to compete, the Twins would need to massively supplement their position player group elsewhere.
     
     
    Headed into 2023, the Twins have a fun group of young, high upside hitters that have some questions to answer including Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Matt Wallner, and eventually Royce Lewis. It’s a similar position to the one they were in last winter with the pitching staff. Having filled out 40% of the rotation with Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer and another 40% of the rotation with two rookies in Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober, the Twins gambled on contributions from their young pitching which had proven nothing yet.
    It was an unmitigated disaster aside from Ryan. Top prospects such as Jordan Balazovic cratered in AAA. Josh Winder was ineffective and had recurring shoulder issues. Having done so in just about every season of his career aside from 2021, Bailey Ober once again missed massive amounts of time. They didn’t have the floor they thought they did.
     
     
    The Twins need to avoid gambling on their player development in 2023 as much as possible. They’ve drastically overestimated their ability to produce quality regulars in recent years. And while the most recent bursted bubble was on the pitching side, gambling on unproven, often injured players such as Larnach, Kirilloff, and Lewis to keep an MLB roster afloat simply cannot be the game plan at this point. They also had to trade away several up-and-coming possible impact hitters as a result of their recent miscalculations.
    Also consider the health of the team. Beyond the young players having missed time in 2022, players such as Jorge Polanco no longer appear to be locks to play 150+ games. Byron Buxton’s injury risk will always be a consideration. They also no longer have Gio Urshela to add production to the fringes of the roster, and unfortunately at this point anyone expecting any kind of offensive competence from players like Max Kepler are likely going to be very disappointed.
     
    In short, the Twins lineup isn't a force to be reckoned with. It does appear to have some upside and depth, but the trick is getting said lineup to the threshold of “quality” which likely requires multiple more additions. Perhaps it is adding Correa or one of his fellow free agents such as Xander Boegarts . The heavily left-handed outfield could also use another right-handed option such as Mitch Haniger. Perhaps they’ve even liked what they’ve seen from Jose Abreu across the division enough to bring him in as a veteran RBI machine that can DH and cycle into first base.
    While several creative moves are certainly on tap for the winter, it may be time to recognize that the current rotation has the possibility of helping a team to a playoff run. It’s hard to say the same about the position player group. For once perhaps fans should pivot off of the “Can he pitch?” replies to every acquisition the Twins make. It’s time to worry about the bats.
  15. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, Let's Worry About the Lineup This Winter   
    Talks of coaxing a high end starting pitcher to Minnesota are swirling as should always be the case when premier pitching is available, but the Twins don’t have an entire rotation to overhaul as they have in recent years. Adding an ace to the group of Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, Joe Ryan, Kenta Maeda, and Bailey Ober would be a massively positive move, but with a fair amount of pitching talent and depth in Minnesota, perhaps we should be turning more attention towards getting lineup help.
    As things stand, Carlos Correa is not currently a Minnesota Twin. Though inept in clutch spots for much of the season, a massive chunk of the Twins offense will be missing should Correa find another home. The Twins set a floor at shortstop with a savvy addition of Kyle Farmer, but the dropoff from a player who was 40% above league average offensively to one that was 9% below in Farmer would be felt on a daily basis. Farmer being the Opening Day shortstop would be far from a disaster, but in order to compete, the Twins would need to massively supplement their position player group elsewhere.
     
     
    Headed into 2023, the Twins have a fun group of young, high upside hitters that have some questions to answer including Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Matt Wallner, and eventually Royce Lewis. It’s a similar position to the one they were in last winter with the pitching staff. Having filled out 40% of the rotation with Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer and another 40% of the rotation with two rookies in Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober, the Twins gambled on contributions from their young pitching which had proven nothing yet.
    It was an unmitigated disaster aside from Ryan. Top prospects such as Jordan Balazovic cratered in AAA. Josh Winder was ineffective and had recurring shoulder issues. Having done so in just about every season of his career aside from 2021, Bailey Ober once again missed massive amounts of time. They didn’t have the floor they thought they did.
     
     
    The Twins need to avoid gambling on their player development in 2023 as much as possible. They’ve drastically overestimated their ability to produce quality regulars in recent years. And while the most recent bursted bubble was on the pitching side, gambling on unproven, often injured players such as Larnach, Kirilloff, and Lewis to keep an MLB roster afloat simply cannot be the game plan at this point. They also had to trade away several up-and-coming possible impact hitters as a result of their recent miscalculations.
    Also consider the health of the team. Beyond the young players having missed time in 2022, players such as Jorge Polanco no longer appear to be locks to play 150+ games. Byron Buxton’s injury risk will always be a consideration. They also no longer have Gio Urshela to add production to the fringes of the roster, and unfortunately at this point anyone expecting any kind of offensive competence from players like Max Kepler are likely going to be very disappointed.
     
    In short, the Twins lineup isn't a force to be reckoned with. It does appear to have some upside and depth, but the trick is getting said lineup to the threshold of “quality” which likely requires multiple more additions. Perhaps it is adding Correa or one of his fellow free agents such as Xander Boegarts . The heavily left-handed outfield could also use another right-handed option such as Mitch Haniger. Perhaps they’ve even liked what they’ve seen from Jose Abreu across the division enough to bring him in as a veteran RBI machine that can DH and cycle into first base.
    While several creative moves are certainly on tap for the winter, it may be time to recognize that the current rotation has the possibility of helping a team to a playoff run. It’s hard to say the same about the position player group. For once perhaps fans should pivot off of the “Can he pitch?” replies to every acquisition the Twins make. It’s time to worry about the bats.
  16. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from Karbo for an article, Let's Worry About the Lineup This Winter   
    Talks of coaxing a high end starting pitcher to Minnesota are swirling as should always be the case when premier pitching is available, but the Twins don’t have an entire rotation to overhaul as they have in recent years. Adding an ace to the group of Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, Joe Ryan, Kenta Maeda, and Bailey Ober would be a massively positive move, but with a fair amount of pitching talent and depth in Minnesota, perhaps we should be turning more attention towards getting lineup help.
    As things stand, Carlos Correa is not currently a Minnesota Twin. Though inept in clutch spots for much of the season, a massive chunk of the Twins offense will be missing should Correa find another home. The Twins set a floor at shortstop with a savvy addition of Kyle Farmer, but the dropoff from a player who was 40% above league average offensively to one that was 9% below in Farmer would be felt on a daily basis. Farmer being the Opening Day shortstop would be far from a disaster, but in order to compete, the Twins would need to massively supplement their position player group elsewhere.
     
     
    Headed into 2023, the Twins have a fun group of young, high upside hitters that have some questions to answer including Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Matt Wallner, and eventually Royce Lewis. It’s a similar position to the one they were in last winter with the pitching staff. Having filled out 40% of the rotation with Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer and another 40% of the rotation with two rookies in Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober, the Twins gambled on contributions from their young pitching which had proven nothing yet.
    It was an unmitigated disaster aside from Ryan. Top prospects such as Jordan Balazovic cratered in AAA. Josh Winder was ineffective and had recurring shoulder issues. Having done so in just about every season of his career aside from 2021, Bailey Ober once again missed massive amounts of time. They didn’t have the floor they thought they did.
     
     
    The Twins need to avoid gambling on their player development in 2023 as much as possible. They’ve drastically overestimated their ability to produce quality regulars in recent years. And while the most recent bursted bubble was on the pitching side, gambling on unproven, often injured players such as Larnach, Kirilloff, and Lewis to keep an MLB roster afloat simply cannot be the game plan at this point. They also had to trade away several up-and-coming possible impact hitters as a result of their recent miscalculations.
    Also consider the health of the team. Beyond the young players having missed time in 2022, players such as Jorge Polanco no longer appear to be locks to play 150+ games. Byron Buxton’s injury risk will always be a consideration. They also no longer have Gio Urshela to add production to the fringes of the roster, and unfortunately at this point anyone expecting any kind of offensive competence from players like Max Kepler are likely going to be very disappointed.
     
    In short, the Twins lineup isn't a force to be reckoned with. It does appear to have some upside and depth, but the trick is getting said lineup to the threshold of “quality” which likely requires multiple more additions. Perhaps it is adding Correa or one of his fellow free agents such as Xander Boegarts . The heavily left-handed outfield could also use another right-handed option such as Mitch Haniger. Perhaps they’ve even liked what they’ve seen from Jose Abreu across the division enough to bring him in as a veteran RBI machine that can DH and cycle into first base.
    While several creative moves are certainly on tap for the winter, it may be time to recognize that the current rotation has the possibility of helping a team to a playoff run. It’s hard to say the same about the position player group. For once perhaps fans should pivot off of the “Can he pitch?” replies to every acquisition the Twins make. It’s time to worry about the bats.
  17. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from weitz41 for an article, Let's Worry About the Lineup This Winter   
    Talks of coaxing a high end starting pitcher to Minnesota are swirling as should always be the case when premier pitching is available, but the Twins don’t have an entire rotation to overhaul as they have in recent years. Adding an ace to the group of Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, Joe Ryan, Kenta Maeda, and Bailey Ober would be a massively positive move, but with a fair amount of pitching talent and depth in Minnesota, perhaps we should be turning more attention towards getting lineup help.
    As things stand, Carlos Correa is not currently a Minnesota Twin. Though inept in clutch spots for much of the season, a massive chunk of the Twins offense will be missing should Correa find another home. The Twins set a floor at shortstop with a savvy addition of Kyle Farmer, but the dropoff from a player who was 40% above league average offensively to one that was 9% below in Farmer would be felt on a daily basis. Farmer being the Opening Day shortstop would be far from a disaster, but in order to compete, the Twins would need to massively supplement their position player group elsewhere.
     
     
    Headed into 2023, the Twins have a fun group of young, high upside hitters that have some questions to answer including Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Matt Wallner, and eventually Royce Lewis. It’s a similar position to the one they were in last winter with the pitching staff. Having filled out 40% of the rotation with Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer and another 40% of the rotation with two rookies in Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober, the Twins gambled on contributions from their young pitching which had proven nothing yet.
    It was an unmitigated disaster aside from Ryan. Top prospects such as Jordan Balazovic cratered in AAA. Josh Winder was ineffective and had recurring shoulder issues. Having done so in just about every season of his career aside from 2021, Bailey Ober once again missed massive amounts of time. They didn’t have the floor they thought they did.
     
     
    The Twins need to avoid gambling on their player development in 2023 as much as possible. They’ve drastically overestimated their ability to produce quality regulars in recent years. And while the most recent bursted bubble was on the pitching side, gambling on unproven, often injured players such as Larnach, Kirilloff, and Lewis to keep an MLB roster afloat simply cannot be the game plan at this point. They also had to trade away several up-and-coming possible impact hitters as a result of their recent miscalculations.
    Also consider the health of the team. Beyond the young players having missed time in 2022, players such as Jorge Polanco no longer appear to be locks to play 150+ games. Byron Buxton’s injury risk will always be a consideration. They also no longer have Gio Urshela to add production to the fringes of the roster, and unfortunately at this point anyone expecting any kind of offensive competence from players like Max Kepler are likely going to be very disappointed.
     
    In short, the Twins lineup isn't a force to be reckoned with. It does appear to have some upside and depth, but the trick is getting said lineup to the threshold of “quality” which likely requires multiple more additions. Perhaps it is adding Correa or one of his fellow free agents such as Xander Boegarts . The heavily left-handed outfield could also use another right-handed option such as Mitch Haniger. Perhaps they’ve even liked what they’ve seen from Jose Abreu across the division enough to bring him in as a veteran RBI machine that can DH and cycle into first base.
    While several creative moves are certainly on tap for the winter, it may be time to recognize that the current rotation has the possibility of helping a team to a playoff run. It’s hard to say the same about the position player group. For once perhaps fans should pivot off of the “Can he pitch?” replies to every acquisition the Twins make. It’s time to worry about the bats.
  18. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, Let's Worry About the Lineup This Winter   
    Talks of coaxing a high end starting pitcher to Minnesota are swirling as should always be the case when premier pitching is available, but the Twins don’t have an entire rotation to overhaul as they have in recent years. Adding an ace to the group of Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, Joe Ryan, Kenta Maeda, and Bailey Ober would be a massively positive move, but with a fair amount of pitching talent and depth in Minnesota, perhaps we should be turning more attention towards getting lineup help.
    As things stand, Carlos Correa is not currently a Minnesota Twin. Though inept in clutch spots for much of the season, a massive chunk of the Twins offense will be missing should Correa find another home. The Twins set a floor at shortstop with a savvy addition of Kyle Farmer, but the dropoff from a player who was 40% above league average offensively to one that was 9% below in Farmer would be felt on a daily basis. Farmer being the Opening Day shortstop would be far from a disaster, but in order to compete, the Twins would need to massively supplement their position player group elsewhere.
     
     
    Headed into 2023, the Twins have a fun group of young, high upside hitters that have some questions to answer including Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Matt Wallner, and eventually Royce Lewis. It’s a similar position to the one they were in last winter with the pitching staff. Having filled out 40% of the rotation with Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer and another 40% of the rotation with two rookies in Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober, the Twins gambled on contributions from their young pitching which had proven nothing yet.
    It was an unmitigated disaster aside from Ryan. Top prospects such as Jordan Balazovic cratered in AAA. Josh Winder was ineffective and had recurring shoulder issues. Having done so in just about every season of his career aside from 2021, Bailey Ober once again missed massive amounts of time. They didn’t have the floor they thought they did.
     
     
    The Twins need to avoid gambling on their player development in 2023 as much as possible. They’ve drastically overestimated their ability to produce quality regulars in recent years. And while the most recent bursted bubble was on the pitching side, gambling on unproven, often injured players such as Larnach, Kirilloff, and Lewis to keep an MLB roster afloat simply cannot be the game plan at this point. They also had to trade away several up-and-coming possible impact hitters as a result of their recent miscalculations.
    Also consider the health of the team. Beyond the young players having missed time in 2022, players such as Jorge Polanco no longer appear to be locks to play 150+ games. Byron Buxton’s injury risk will always be a consideration. They also no longer have Gio Urshela to add production to the fringes of the roster, and unfortunately at this point anyone expecting any kind of offensive competence from players like Max Kepler are likely going to be very disappointed.
     
    In short, the Twins lineup isn't a force to be reckoned with. It does appear to have some upside and depth, but the trick is getting said lineup to the threshold of “quality” which likely requires multiple more additions. Perhaps it is adding Correa or one of his fellow free agents such as Xander Boegarts . The heavily left-handed outfield could also use another right-handed option such as Mitch Haniger. Perhaps they’ve even liked what they’ve seen from Jose Abreu across the division enough to bring him in as a veteran RBI machine that can DH and cycle into first base.
    While several creative moves are certainly on tap for the winter, it may be time to recognize that the current rotation has the possibility of helping a team to a playoff run. It’s hard to say the same about the position player group. For once perhaps fans should pivot off of the “Can he pitch?” replies to every acquisition the Twins make. It’s time to worry about the bats.
  19. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from nclahammer for an article, The Trade Target that Fixes The Twins Outfield   
    The Twins are full of talent in the outfield but are a bit left-handed heavy. It’s also begun to feel like long-time Twin Max Kepler’s time is running out in Minnesota. Effectively swapping him out for a right-handed platoon option seems like a relatively small move that could pay off big time for a Twins roster which is fighting for a return to relevance.
    Hunter Renfroe has never been a big name in his seven seasons but has been nothing less than a solid player for some time now. In 2022 he had a career season, slashing .255/.315/.492 in Milwaukee. Having already bounced between four teams in his seven years, could yet another trade help return the Twins to the promised land?
     
     
    Complementing the Corners
    Between Kepler, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Nick Gordon and Matt Wallner, the Twins outfield is overly left-handed, and we’ve seen teams abuse that late in games the last few seasons. Only Byron Buxton and the recently re-signed Kyle Garlick balance things out, and recently neither has been reliable in terms of their availability.
    Renfroe would not only be a welcome addition in terms of production (.258/.350/.492 vs LHP in 2022), but in terms of reliability. The aforementioned Buxton and Garlick combined to play just 158 games in 2022. Renfroe played in 125 even being used in somewhat of a platoon role in Milwaukee. While Garlick in particular fills the “lefty masher” role, he’s been an easy out in his career against right-handed pitching and has been healthy enough to play in just 102 games for the Twins the last two seasons.
    Renfroe on the other hand was 20% above league average against same-handed pitching in 2022 while still filling the same role Garlick does, with an injury history that suggests he’d be more available on a day-to-day basis moving forward. While Garlick and the Twins recently agreed on a contract for 2023, the amount is miniscule, and if they could swing a trade Renfroe, being an upgrade over Garlick is an easy argument to make.
     
    The Twins would be well positioned with a lefty masher who’s capable against righties and can fill in at either corner to complement their many left-handed options. It seems like a win-win.
    Change is Coming
    Though nothing is definitive at this time, there’s been some talk of Kepler’s time in Minnesota coming to an end. Filling his spot with someone like Renfroe makes too much sense. Nearing 30 years of age, we know what Max Kepler is. While capable of providing gold glove caliber defense, it’s safe to say this value is outweighed by his extremely limited offensive profile. Long understood to be an incapable hitter against left-handed pitching, Kepler has recently failed to post even league average offense against righties.
    Too often, his at-bat results in pulling a ball either straight into the ground to second or first base, or popping out to shallow right field. He has failed to adjust his approach at all, and is no longer even a league average hitter. Yet he’ll continue to start day after day due to his defense.
    A pivot to Renfroe adds so many dimensions to a Twins' lineup in need of a breath of fresh air. In addition to Renfroe’s superior bat, he was also worth six Defensive Runs Saved in left field and two in right field. A slight defensive downgrade is possible, but that step down will be far outweighed by the need Renfroe would fill in the Twins lineup. 
     
    In terms of financial cost, the trade off also is not that restrictive. After making a bit under $8m in 2022, Renfroe will likely be due $10ish million in 2023. Assuming the Twins can find a home for Kepler’s $8.5m salary, it won’t cost them much. It’s also possible they could get creative and include a player such as Gio Urshela in a trade to the third base needy Brewers in a deal for Renfroe, which would unload even more money.
    With the Twins having high free agent aspirations at positions such as shortstop, the trade market may be the place to look for offensive help. With Teoscar Hernandez recently being traded for a 28-year-old reliever and a minor leaguer, a Renfroe trade continues to look more and more affordable. The Twins should be looking to shake up the outfield with a more diverse set of players. Renfroe may just be the answer. Do you agree?
     
  20. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, The Trade Target that Fixes The Twins Outfield   
    The Twins are full of talent in the outfield but are a bit left-handed heavy. It’s also begun to feel like long-time Twin Max Kepler’s time is running out in Minnesota. Effectively swapping him out for a right-handed platoon option seems like a relatively small move that could pay off big time for a Twins roster which is fighting for a return to relevance.
    Hunter Renfroe has never been a big name in his seven seasons but has been nothing less than a solid player for some time now. In 2022 he had a career season, slashing .255/.315/.492 in Milwaukee. Having already bounced between four teams in his seven years, could yet another trade help return the Twins to the promised land?
     
     
    Complementing the Corners
    Between Kepler, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Nick Gordon and Matt Wallner, the Twins outfield is overly left-handed, and we’ve seen teams abuse that late in games the last few seasons. Only Byron Buxton and the recently re-signed Kyle Garlick balance things out, and recently neither has been reliable in terms of their availability.
    Renfroe would not only be a welcome addition in terms of production (.258/.350/.492 vs LHP in 2022), but in terms of reliability. The aforementioned Buxton and Garlick combined to play just 158 games in 2022. Renfroe played in 125 even being used in somewhat of a platoon role in Milwaukee. While Garlick in particular fills the “lefty masher” role, he’s been an easy out in his career against right-handed pitching and has been healthy enough to play in just 102 games for the Twins the last two seasons.
    Renfroe on the other hand was 20% above league average against same-handed pitching in 2022 while still filling the same role Garlick does, with an injury history that suggests he’d be more available on a day-to-day basis moving forward. While Garlick and the Twins recently agreed on a contract for 2023, the amount is miniscule, and if they could swing a trade Renfroe, being an upgrade over Garlick is an easy argument to make.
     
    The Twins would be well positioned with a lefty masher who’s capable against righties and can fill in at either corner to complement their many left-handed options. It seems like a win-win.
    Change is Coming
    Though nothing is definitive at this time, there’s been some talk of Kepler’s time in Minnesota coming to an end. Filling his spot with someone like Renfroe makes too much sense. Nearing 30 years of age, we know what Max Kepler is. While capable of providing gold glove caliber defense, it’s safe to say this value is outweighed by his extremely limited offensive profile. Long understood to be an incapable hitter against left-handed pitching, Kepler has recently failed to post even league average offense against righties.
    Too often, his at-bat results in pulling a ball either straight into the ground to second or first base, or popping out to shallow right field. He has failed to adjust his approach at all, and is no longer even a league average hitter. Yet he’ll continue to start day after day due to his defense.
    A pivot to Renfroe adds so many dimensions to a Twins' lineup in need of a breath of fresh air. In addition to Renfroe’s superior bat, he was also worth six Defensive Runs Saved in left field and two in right field. A slight defensive downgrade is possible, but that step down will be far outweighed by the need Renfroe would fill in the Twins lineup. 
     
    In terms of financial cost, the trade off also is not that restrictive. After making a bit under $8m in 2022, Renfroe will likely be due $10ish million in 2023. Assuming the Twins can find a home for Kepler’s $8.5m salary, it won’t cost them much. It’s also possible they could get creative and include a player such as Gio Urshela in a trade to the third base needy Brewers in a deal for Renfroe, which would unload even more money.
    With the Twins having high free agent aspirations at positions such as shortstop, the trade market may be the place to look for offensive help. With Teoscar Hernandez recently being traded for a 28-year-old reliever and a minor leaguer, a Renfroe trade continues to look more and more affordable. The Twins should be looking to shake up the outfield with a more diverse set of players. Renfroe may just be the answer. Do you agree?
     
  21. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, Should The Twins Bring Back Taylor Rogers?   
    The Twins have mostly neglected the bullpen in years past and it’s more often than not blown up in their faces. The few additions they typically make are what many consider “bargain bin” pitchers, typically coming off of rough seasons in search of a bounce back. By targeting Taylor Rogers, they can stick to the strategy we’ve seen them use time and time again, though this time the payoff could be much better.
    Rogers is coming off of a rough season by his standards. In 64 innings he posted a 4.76 ERA. His strikeout rate remained strong at 30.7%, still in the 10th percentile in all of baseball. His walks ticked up slightly as did his homers, though neither to a worrisome degree. While his peripherals were higher than usual, they were far from disastrous (3.32 FIP, 3.26 xFIP). His season was marred by untimely meltdowns, blowing 10 saves between San Diego and Milwaukee. Is there hope Rogers could rebound in his age-32 season?
    As noted, Rogers was still able to strike out hitters at an impressive clip, and while his average fastball was down over a full tick from 2021, his average of 94.3 mph isn’t far off from his career norm. There isn’t much to suggest that he’s entered the decline of his career quite yet aside from his unsightly ERA. 
    One little talked about factor of Rogers's season is that it appeared San Diego changed the shape of his slider. The pitch was three mph slower than it was in 2021 and had 40.4 inches of drop as opposed to 35.7 in 2021. Instead of the hard breaker we’d grown accustomed to seeing, Rogers was throwing more of a looping breaking ball. While the results didn’t show up on the slider, it was likely easier to differentiate between his out-pitch and his sinker. His slider’s underlying success was about the same, but his fastball produced the worst underlying numbers of his career. It seems like this would be an easy fix for Rogers to make. With the rest of his stuff appearing to be intact, Rogers could be due for a huge bounce-back. At the very least his underlying numbers as is suggest he massively underperformed in 2022.
    Rogers also had an absurd 16 saves through May 21, as a questionable Padres bullpen leaned on him heavily to begin the season before he began to unravel. We saw a decline in performance from the left-hander in Minnesota during several seasons when Rogers was ridden particularly hard. The Padres may have simply bent him until he broke early in the year, especially given the fact that he was coming off of a finger injury. A Twins bullpen consisting of Duran, Jax, Thielbar, Lopez, etc. is a far cry from the bullpens of Twins past or the Padres early 2022 bullpen in which Rogers was the go-to guy for every situation. With more options, the Twins would be able to avoid any kind of burnout Rogers has suffered from in the past.
    In regards to the fit, the Twins could greatly use another left-handed option even as Caleb Thielbar has become a certified dude. Having two left-handed options who can also get righties out at a respectable clip would add an entirely new dimension to the Twins bullpen. We often saw Thielbar pitching in late situations regardless of matchup in 2022 when other arms were missing or struggling, leaving the Twins without another effective lefty if a matchup opportunity arose. Rogers would be an easy and familiar fix.
    Let's be honest. The Twins aren’t going to all of a sudden pony up and sign a legit back end of the bullpen reliever. It’s not in their DNA. There’s a lengthy list of their typical candidates they’ll probably be plucking a few names from in hopes that one of their bounce-back projects finally works out. Instead of hitching their wagon to an Ian Kennedy or Archie Bradley, why not reach out to a familiar face with tangible signs of a rebound in their profile? Not to mention the fact that it would be a homecoming for a homegrown player who was just recently a fan favorite.
    Taylor Rogers checks a lot of boxes that the Twins are looking for, and a reunion just seems like it would make too much sense. Should we be hoping to see the former anchor of the Twins bullpen added back to a new look core at the back end of games in 2023? Let us know below.
     
  22. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from LiamC for an article, Should The Twins Bring Back Taylor Rogers?   
    The Twins have mostly neglected the bullpen in years past and it’s more often than not blown up in their faces. The few additions they typically make are what many consider “bargain bin” pitchers, typically coming off of rough seasons in search of a bounce back. By targeting Taylor Rogers, they can stick to the strategy we’ve seen them use time and time again, though this time the payoff could be much better.
    Rogers is coming off of a rough season by his standards. In 64 innings he posted a 4.76 ERA. His strikeout rate remained strong at 30.7%, still in the 10th percentile in all of baseball. His walks ticked up slightly as did his homers, though neither to a worrisome degree. While his peripherals were higher than usual, they were far from disastrous (3.32 FIP, 3.26 xFIP). His season was marred by untimely meltdowns, blowing 10 saves between San Diego and Milwaukee. Is there hope Rogers could rebound in his age-32 season?
    As noted, Rogers was still able to strike out hitters at an impressive clip, and while his average fastball was down over a full tick from 2021, his average of 94.3 mph isn’t far off from his career norm. There isn’t much to suggest that he’s entered the decline of his career quite yet aside from his unsightly ERA. 
    One little talked about factor of Rogers's season is that it appeared San Diego changed the shape of his slider. The pitch was three mph slower than it was in 2021 and had 40.4 inches of drop as opposed to 35.7 in 2021. Instead of the hard breaker we’d grown accustomed to seeing, Rogers was throwing more of a looping breaking ball. While the results didn’t show up on the slider, it was likely easier to differentiate between his out-pitch and his sinker. His slider’s underlying success was about the same, but his fastball produced the worst underlying numbers of his career. It seems like this would be an easy fix for Rogers to make. With the rest of his stuff appearing to be intact, Rogers could be due for a huge bounce-back. At the very least his underlying numbers as is suggest he massively underperformed in 2022.
    Rogers also had an absurd 16 saves through May 21, as a questionable Padres bullpen leaned on him heavily to begin the season before he began to unravel. We saw a decline in performance from the left-hander in Minnesota during several seasons when Rogers was ridden particularly hard. The Padres may have simply bent him until he broke early in the year, especially given the fact that he was coming off of a finger injury. A Twins bullpen consisting of Duran, Jax, Thielbar, Lopez, etc. is a far cry from the bullpens of Twins past or the Padres early 2022 bullpen in which Rogers was the go-to guy for every situation. With more options, the Twins would be able to avoid any kind of burnout Rogers has suffered from in the past.
    In regards to the fit, the Twins could greatly use another left-handed option even as Caleb Thielbar has become a certified dude. Having two left-handed options who can also get righties out at a respectable clip would add an entirely new dimension to the Twins bullpen. We often saw Thielbar pitching in late situations regardless of matchup in 2022 when other arms were missing or struggling, leaving the Twins without another effective lefty if a matchup opportunity arose. Rogers would be an easy and familiar fix.
    Let's be honest. The Twins aren’t going to all of a sudden pony up and sign a legit back end of the bullpen reliever. It’s not in their DNA. There’s a lengthy list of their typical candidates they’ll probably be plucking a few names from in hopes that one of their bounce-back projects finally works out. Instead of hitching their wagon to an Ian Kennedy or Archie Bradley, why not reach out to a familiar face with tangible signs of a rebound in their profile? Not to mention the fact that it would be a homecoming for a homegrown player who was just recently a fan favorite.
    Taylor Rogers checks a lot of boxes that the Twins are looking for, and a reunion just seems like it would make too much sense. Should we be hoping to see the former anchor of the Twins bullpen added back to a new look core at the back end of games in 2023? Let us know below.
     
  23. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from Karbo for an article, Planning for the Future Behind the Plate   
    The catcher position is incredibly demanding, which is why we commonly see either a gold glove caliber defender with no offense or a relatively great hitting catcher who struggles defensively. It’s hard to do both. Ryan Jeffers has leaned more towards the former so far in his career, as his bat hasn’t played for more than short flashes at a time. With changes to how the game of baseball is played, however, could Jeffers’ carrying tool become obsolete?
    Jeffers has flashed some thump in his bat so far throughout his career, though never consistently at the MLB level. He also hasn’t made enough contact or reached base at a high enough clip to be considered an offensive contributor as shown in his .210/.285/.390 line in 591 plate appearances thus far. Instead Jeffers makes his impact with his defense, though not in a traditional sense.
    Jeffers has only caught 24% of baserunners trying to steal in his career. Though not all blame can be assigned to the catcher in such a measure, it’s safe to say catching baserunners isn’t Jeffers’ specialty. Instead his defensive reputation comes from stealing strikes on borderline pitches, and we’ve seen plenty of examples of him doing so in his three years.
    Jeffers has been in the 60th percentile or better for framing in every year of his career so far. Stealing strikes is his #1 skill, and he does it well. Converting a first-pitch ball into a strike for example can lower an opposing hitters’ OPS from .916 in a 1-0 count to .827. Or from .842 to .382 going from a 1-1 count to 0-2. There’s no doubt that Jeffers' pitch framing has helped Twins pitchers when he’s been on the field.
    The issue however is that the robo-umpire idea doesn’t appear to be a question of if, but rather when. No longer will catchers be able to stage pitches to sway umpires, as they’ll be measured objectively. The timeline of when we’ll see the electronic strike zone debut is unclear, but for the current version of Ryan Jeffers, this is very bad news.
    It’s possible that Jeffers has more development to make. He has missed his fair share of time with injury. But for the Twins, who lack another catcher even within their top 30 prospects, this should create some worry for the future. We appear to be on the fence regarding whether Jeffers can be “the guy” behind the plate for future Twins teams, but taking away his biggest strength would answer the question for us. The Twins need a long-term backup plan.
    There are several routes the Twins can go. Signing free agent Willson Contreras is undoubtedly the most fun scenario. Going from Jeffers to the electric former Cubs backstop who seemingly does it all would no doubt be an upgrade. Contreras however will likely require a massive deal after hitting free agency at 30 following a season in which he posted an incredible 132 wRC+ at the plate. Such a deal wouldn’t be the Twins' style and they have needs elsewhere. The rest of free agency doesn’t inspire much confidence in the long term.
    The Twins could also make a concerted effort to address the position in the draft. The bright side of their disappointing season in 2022 is the higher draft pick they hold. They haven’t drafted a first-round catcher since Joe Mauer in 2001 and of course the talent has to be worth the pick. If a catcher isn’t available that’s worthy of a 1st round selection, consider for example that Mitch Garver was drafted in the 9th round because of defensive concerns. They could beat the rush and target bat first catchers now rather than waiting until receiving and framing are no longer considered skills. The Twins love their “market inefficiencies” and they can take advantage of one that won’t be around much longer during the 2023 draft.
    Independent of the upcoming strike zone changes, Jeffers had enough question marks. The Twins have been fortunate in recent history with catchers such as Garver breaking through after not carrying a high prospect pedigree. It’s time to shore up the future with a lacking pipeline of catchers. This is the offseason for the Twins to set themselves up for a possible future without Ryan Jeffers
     
  24. Like
    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from Doctor Gast for an article, Planning for the Future Behind the Plate   
    The catcher position is incredibly demanding, which is why we commonly see either a gold glove caliber defender with no offense or a relatively great hitting catcher who struggles defensively. It’s hard to do both. Ryan Jeffers has leaned more towards the former so far in his career, as his bat hasn’t played for more than short flashes at a time. With changes to how the game of baseball is played, however, could Jeffers’ carrying tool become obsolete?
    Jeffers has flashed some thump in his bat so far throughout his career, though never consistently at the MLB level. He also hasn’t made enough contact or reached base at a high enough clip to be considered an offensive contributor as shown in his .210/.285/.390 line in 591 plate appearances thus far. Instead Jeffers makes his impact with his defense, though not in a traditional sense.
    Jeffers has only caught 24% of baserunners trying to steal in his career. Though not all blame can be assigned to the catcher in such a measure, it’s safe to say catching baserunners isn’t Jeffers’ specialty. Instead his defensive reputation comes from stealing strikes on borderline pitches, and we’ve seen plenty of examples of him doing so in his three years.
    Jeffers has been in the 60th percentile or better for framing in every year of his career so far. Stealing strikes is his #1 skill, and he does it well. Converting a first-pitch ball into a strike for example can lower an opposing hitters’ OPS from .916 in a 1-0 count to .827. Or from .842 to .382 going from a 1-1 count to 0-2. There’s no doubt that Jeffers' pitch framing has helped Twins pitchers when he’s been on the field.
    The issue however is that the robo-umpire idea doesn’t appear to be a question of if, but rather when. No longer will catchers be able to stage pitches to sway umpires, as they’ll be measured objectively. The timeline of when we’ll see the electronic strike zone debut is unclear, but for the current version of Ryan Jeffers, this is very bad news.
    It’s possible that Jeffers has more development to make. He has missed his fair share of time with injury. But for the Twins, who lack another catcher even within their top 30 prospects, this should create some worry for the future. We appear to be on the fence regarding whether Jeffers can be “the guy” behind the plate for future Twins teams, but taking away his biggest strength would answer the question for us. The Twins need a long-term backup plan.
    There are several routes the Twins can go. Signing free agent Willson Contreras is undoubtedly the most fun scenario. Going from Jeffers to the electric former Cubs backstop who seemingly does it all would no doubt be an upgrade. Contreras however will likely require a massive deal after hitting free agency at 30 following a season in which he posted an incredible 132 wRC+ at the plate. Such a deal wouldn’t be the Twins' style and they have needs elsewhere. The rest of free agency doesn’t inspire much confidence in the long term.
    The Twins could also make a concerted effort to address the position in the draft. The bright side of their disappointing season in 2022 is the higher draft pick they hold. They haven’t drafted a first-round catcher since Joe Mauer in 2001 and of course the talent has to be worth the pick. If a catcher isn’t available that’s worthy of a 1st round selection, consider for example that Mitch Garver was drafted in the 9th round because of defensive concerns. They could beat the rush and target bat first catchers now rather than waiting until receiving and framing are no longer considered skills. The Twins love their “market inefficiencies” and they can take advantage of one that won’t be around much longer during the 2023 draft.
    Independent of the upcoming strike zone changes, Jeffers had enough question marks. The Twins have been fortunate in recent history with catchers such as Garver breaking through after not carrying a high prospect pedigree. It’s time to shore up the future with a lacking pipeline of catchers. This is the offseason for the Twins to set themselves up for a possible future without Ryan Jeffers
     
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    Cody Pirkl got a reaction from Minny505 for an article, Joe Ryan Has Another Level   
    The Rays were likely willing to part with Joe Ryan because of his pitch mix concerns, as he dominated every stop in the minors by using a unique fastball almost exclusively. The pitch was deceptive and unhittable, as his low arm slot made it hard for hitters to anticipate where the ball is going to end up. No fastball is good enough to sustainably dominate the majors, however, and Ryan is set to work on diversifying his pitch mix in 2022.
    He threw his fastball 60% of the time in 2022, down about 5% from 2021 as he began mixing sliders 20% of the time while also throwing an occasional changeup or curveball. His final line of a 3.55 ERA across 147 innings points to this pitch mix change being a massive success, although there is some context to consider.
    Ryan had a few months that prevented him from putting up some eye-popping numbers in his rookie season. In June, he posted a 5.74 ERA, followed by a 5.06 mark in July and a 4.13 in August. At the time the explanation was the difficulties he was having returning from COVID, which likely did carry some weight. Still, almost every bit of failure Ryan had in 2022 stemmed from his offspeed offerings.
    Ryan’s slider allowed a .245/.330/.497 line, his changeup .277/.492/.355, and his curveball .286/.333/.393. For comparison sake, his fastball allowed a .145/.263/.300 mark. It seemed like every home run he allowed was on an offspeed pitch. After plenty of scouting reports saying Ryan was a reliever because of his pitch mix, the floor that many worried about showed itself for several months. Even with his solid final numbers, the questions that were raised about Joe Ryan being able to navigate top-tier lineups remain. Moving forward there’s reason to be optimistic.
    The biggest issue of Ryan’s game is clearly the success of his offspeed pitches, and the final numbers on them certainly validate those concerns. Ryan got incredibly unlucky according to his expected numbers for the entire season. His slider accounted for 40% of the home runs he gave up despite throwing it just 40% of the time. The pitch allowed a .245 BA but had a .221 expected batting average. While getting clubbed to the tune of a .497 SLG, the pitch had an expected SLG of just .354, an even better mark than his highly touted fastball. This is true of both his changeup and curve as well, as all of his secondaries' actual numbers were on the wrong side of the expected stats.
    This is no call to reward Ryan for what Statcast says his pitches “should” be. There are a lot of factors that go into expected numbers. It is odd however that in a season where the ball was assumedly changed to negatively impact offense that Ryan would underperform so consistently. There’s no telling how these pitches will look in 2023, but it's safe to assume that Ryan and the Twins will continue to refine these offspeed pitches, and the deep numbers say they have a surprisingly strong base to build off of. His slider in particular appears to have a chance at being his best pitch based on the expected stats and the near 30% whiff rate.
    Things often went wrong when Joe Ryan turned to his secondary pitches in 2022. It confirmed many of the predictions that were made about the fastball first right-hander and likely still leaves a few concerned about his future as a starter. Still, Ryan put up dominant stretches despite these struggles, and the final numbers say that his pitch mix isn’t nearly the disaster some thought. In 2023, Ryan’s goal will surely be to establish one more reliable offering to pair with his fastball. Doing so opens a whole new ceiling for a pitcher that already helped anchor the rotation in 2022. The best part is, Joe Ryan is closer than we think.
     
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