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Nash Walker

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  1. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from DocBauer for a blog entry, The Past, Present, and Future for Miguel Sanó   
    Photo credit: © David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
     
    On his 27th birthday, let’s review Miguel Sanó’s up-and-down Twins career.
     
    The past:
     
    Sanó, a shortstop at the time, was widely regarded as the top free agent teenage prospect in Latin America in 2009. At just 16 years old, Sanó signed for $3.15 million with the Twins and began his trek to Minnesota.
     
    Sanó thrived in rookie ball. As an 18-year-old, he hit .292/.352/.637 with 20 home runs and 18 doubles in 66 games for Elizabethton.
     
    Gaining strength and power, Sanó bashed 28 more homers in 129 games for Single-A Beloit in 2012.
     
    Sanó began his age-20 season in Fort Myers and hit .330 with a 1.079 OPS before being moved to Double-A New Britain in June.
     
    MLB Pipeline ranked him as the No.3 prospect in baseball in 2013.
     
    Sanó was quickly moving toward his MLB debut when he suffered an elbow injury in spring training 2014. The injury required Tommy John surgery and he was forced to miss the entire season.
     
    He returned to Chattanooga in 2015 at Double-A to hit .274/.374/.544 with 15 homers in 66 games. After a dominant 10-for-15 stretch, the Twins deemed him ready for the bigs.
     
    Sanó made his major league debut on July 2, 2015 in Kansas City. In his first four games with the Twins, he went 6-for-15 (.400). Sanó hit .261 with a .913 OPS (149 OPS+) and 18 homers in the final 76 games of his rookie season.
     
    While leading the Twins in homers and RBIs to start the 2016 season, Sanó hit the IL with a hamstring injury in early June.
     
    He missed a month and hit 14 more home runs upon recovery, finishing with 25 bombs in 116 games. He struck out 178 times and led the league with a 36% strikeout rate, just ahead of teammate Byron Buxton (35.6%).
     
    Sanó had a tremendous first half of 2017. He hit .276/.368/.538 with 21 homers and was voted into his first All-Star game.
     
    On August 18, he fouled a ball off his shin and played only four more games the rest of the year.
     
    Sanó strained his hamstring again in April of 2018 and missed 24 games. In the 17 games after his return, he hit an abysmal .191/.247/.353 with 30 strikeouts in 73 plate appearances (41% K-rate).
     
    The Twins moved him to Single-A in mid-June, then Triple-A a month later. He finally flew back to Minnesota in late July and hit .195 with a .684 OPS and 49 strikeouts in his final 136 plate appearances (36% K-rate).
     
    The present:
     
    His career at a crossroads, Sanó fully bought in prior to the 2019 season. He played in the Dominican Winter League and suffered a freak injury at the championship parade. He missed the first 42 games of the season.
     
    He hit .253 with a .948 OPS and seven homers in his first month back.
     
    The next chapter wasn’t as rosy. Sanó underwent a truly horrifying stretch, going 5-for-42 with 23 strikeouts (55% K-rate).
     
    With fans calling for him to be sent down again, Sanó overhauled his swing with James Rowson and made the haters bite their tongues.
     
    From June 28 on, he led all American League third basemen in homers (25) and hard-hit rate (54.1%), and finished second to Alex Bregman in OPS (.994), wRC+ (156), and offensive fWAR (20.8). He was monstrous.
     
    The Twins rewarded him with a shiny extension this winter, locking him up through 2023.
     
    Sanó excitedly moved over to first base to make room for Josh Donaldson, making up a potentially historic duo at the corners.
     
    The future:
     
    So, what can we expect from Sanó moving forward?
     
    Well, more homers and strikeouts.
     
    Sanó leads baseball in strikeout rate among players with at least 1,500 plate appearances since 2016.
     
    In 2019, Sanó finished second to Aaron Judge in average exit velocity (94.4 MPH).
     
    Sanó led all of baseball in hard-hit percentage (57.2%) and barrel percentage per batted-ball event (21.2%), finishing ahead of Judge, Nelson Cruz, Gary Sánchez, and Mike Trout.
     
    In other words, his insane home run numbers weren’t fake. Regression has been a hot-button word for the Twins after setting the home run record last year, but Sanó’s insane 2019 numbers are backed and confirmed by almost every metric.
     
    This may surprise you, but Sanó is actually a very disciplined hitter. His 26.2% chase rate is below league average, but his contact rate is also far below league average.
     
    He has a lot of swing-and-miss in his profile, but he chases at an admirable rate. When he makes contact, he smashes it. He owns the Statcast record for hard-hit percentage in a single season among qualifiers since they started tracking it in 2015.
     
    His 12.5% walk rate in 2019 was over 50% higher than league average.
     
    Yes, Sanó strikes out a lot. He also walks a lot. The “strikeout or home run” tag, while not a terrible one to be pegged with, is simply incorrect.
     
    His approach is well-constructed and one that should continue to provide results. He lays off poor pitches well and punishes strikes, a formula for success.
     
    The fan base is incredibly hard on Sanó. His mistakes off the field and his slumps on it have turned many fans away. The strikeouts, especially among baseball traditionalists, are super unattractive.
     
    His majestic homers make up for some of it, but there will always be a fraction of the fan base that simply doesn’t like him.
     
    That’s fine, but as he continues to destroy baseballs, it’s going to get more and more difficult to not love his game. It’s time to embrace Sanó for what he is, an imperfect baseball player and human, just like everyone else.
     
    Whether you like it or not, he is a franchise mainstay and expressed his desire to remain in Minnesota for the long haul.
     
    How he will fare defensively at first remains to be seen, but his bat is going to play.
     
    The future is very bright for Mr. Miguel Sanó. His prime is upon us. Happy birthday, Miguel!
  2. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from wabene for a blog entry, Why Jordan Balazovic has the makings of an ace   
    Rightly so, Twins fans are very excited about Brusdar Graterol, the flame-throwing 21-year-old from Venezuela. Graterol was called up to the Twins bullpen last summer and mostly impressed, even touching 102 MPH on his sinker. Graterol will be in the rotation soon enough, and his future partner in crime, the one they call "Jordy Blaze,” is on his way to stardom.
     
    Jordan Balazovic was drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 Amateur Draft out of Mississauga, Canada. Balazovic played in eight Gulf Coast League games as a 17-year-old and posted a 1.97 ERA. Balazovic was mediocre at Class A in 2018 with a 3.94 ERA and 7-3 record. While Balazovic had a pedestrian ERA, his peripherals were outstanding. He struck out 78 batters in 61 2/3 innings and allowed only 5 home runs.
     
    Balazovic massively improved in 2019 with a 2.18 ERA in four starts at Cedar Rapids with 14.4 K/9. It was quickly realized that Balazovic was ready for the next step. He was promoted to Fort Myers and continued his excellence. In 73 innings, Jordy-B struck out 96 batters and allowed just three home runs. Balazovic was an elite strike thrower, walking just 2.4 batters per nine innings.
     
    Balazovic increased his velocity and consistently lived at 95 MPH with his sinker. Balazovic has flashed a plus-slider and at times, a great changeup. With his velocity increasing, his complementary pitches are becoming devastating. Tom Froemming has great analysis here:
     
    The 6 foot 5, 215 pound up-and-comer is developing well-deserved praise and attention. Balazovic is ranked as the 76th overall prospect on MLB Pipeline. Balazovic just turned 21, and figures to start next season in Pensacola at class Double-A. With the developmental system instituted by Derek Falvey and company, Jordy Blaze carries unforeseen upside.
     
    Image Credits:
    Creator:Gordon Donovan
    Credit:Photo: Gordon Donovan
    Copyright:Photo: Gordon Donovan
  3. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from DannySD for a blog entry, Keeping Graterol, Acquiring Maeda Should Be the Twins' Goal   
    In a bizarre and frustrating twist, the Red Sox are staunchly refusing to get anything less than Graterol (and more) from the Twins. It just ain’t gonna work with Boston, Falvine.
     
    Kenta Maeda, with his underrated toolbox, would look great in Minnesota. Since his rookie season in 2016, Maeda ranks second to Max Scherzer among all pitchers with at least 1,000 at-bats against right-handed hitters (.199). In a right-handed heavy league and division, his prowess is welcomed with open arms.
     
    A large pull to Madison Bumgarner was his ability to pitch at an extremely high level in October. On a much lesser but comparably impressive scale, Maeda has a 3.31 ERA in 24 postseason games. Most of his appearances came out of the bullpen, but I foresee Maeda pitching the first four or five innings against the Yankees or Astros this October.
     
    Brusdar Graterol is an immense talent. His ability and upside have been tarnished in recent days by both the industry and Twins fans convincing themselves that he really isn’t that great. He is special. I wasn’t against this Graterol-for-Maeda swap, but I don’t want to see Brusdar go. Keep him as an overpowering gun in the 2020 bullpen if you can. He is an asset on and off the field for Minnesota.
     
    The Twins farm system is so incredibly deep with MLB-ready arms and bats. I am of the belief that they could put together a package for the Dodgers to acquire Maeda. I think he’s going to be traded regardless, so why not cut out the Red Sox, shift the focus away from Graterol, and group two or three top 20 prospects for Maeda?
     
    The Dodgers can work separately for Mookie Betts and David Price, and the Twins can exit this circus with Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox. Stash Graterol in an already great bullpen, pencil in Maeda as your number three starter, and let’s go to battle starting March 26th in Oakland.
     
    Would the Dodgers push to grab Graterol for their own World Series caliber roster? Probably. Say no. Flex your muscles of depth in the farm system and work a little magic to keep arguably your best pitching prospect while obtaining Maeda, who makes this Twins team that much better. This has been a wild ride, but the Twins can come out on top, and in a big way.
     
    What do you think? Comment below!
  4. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from nclahammer for a blog entry, Keeping Graterol, Acquiring Maeda Should Be the Twins' Goal   
    In a bizarre and frustrating twist, the Red Sox are staunchly refusing to get anything less than Graterol (and more) from the Twins. It just ain’t gonna work with Boston, Falvine.
     
    Kenta Maeda, with his underrated toolbox, would look great in Minnesota. Since his rookie season in 2016, Maeda ranks second to Max Scherzer among all pitchers with at least 1,000 at-bats against right-handed hitters (.199). In a right-handed heavy league and division, his prowess is welcomed with open arms.
     
    A large pull to Madison Bumgarner was his ability to pitch at an extremely high level in October. On a much lesser but comparably impressive scale, Maeda has a 3.31 ERA in 24 postseason games. Most of his appearances came out of the bullpen, but I foresee Maeda pitching the first four or five innings against the Yankees or Astros this October.
     
    Brusdar Graterol is an immense talent. His ability and upside have been tarnished in recent days by both the industry and Twins fans convincing themselves that he really isn’t that great. He is special. I wasn’t against this Graterol-for-Maeda swap, but I don’t want to see Brusdar go. Keep him as an overpowering gun in the 2020 bullpen if you can. He is an asset on and off the field for Minnesota.
     
    The Twins farm system is so incredibly deep with MLB-ready arms and bats. I am of the belief that they could put together a package for the Dodgers to acquire Maeda. I think he’s going to be traded regardless, so why not cut out the Red Sox, shift the focus away from Graterol, and group two or three top 20 prospects for Maeda?
     
    The Dodgers can work separately for Mookie Betts and David Price, and the Twins can exit this circus with Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox. Stash Graterol in an already great bullpen, pencil in Maeda as your number three starter, and let’s go to battle starting March 26th in Oakland.
     
    Would the Dodgers push to grab Graterol for their own World Series caliber roster? Probably. Say no. Flex your muscles of depth in the farm system and work a little magic to keep arguably your best pitching prospect while obtaining Maeda, who makes this Twins team that much better. This has been a wild ride, but the Twins can come out on top, and in a big way.
     
    What do you think? Comment below!
  5. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from howieramone2 for a blog entry, Plan B: Dallas Keuchel and Josh Donaldson   
    Somewhat expected news dropped on Saturday night when LaVelle E. Neal of the Star Tribune basically removed Hyun-Jin Ryu from the Twins' potential list of targets in his latest Winter Meetings primer article.
     
    Similar to Zack Wheeler, Ryu has a preference to stay on the coast. For Wheeler, the east was most desirable. But for Ryu, he would like to remain in or near Los Angeles, where he has spent his entire career.
     
    With this presumably in mind, Madison Bumgarner has the best resume of the remaining free agent pitchers. Tom Froemming wrote today about why you shouldn't be fooled by Bumgarner's legacy.
     
    There is no doubt that the Twins need to improve their rotation to repeat success, but if Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Ryu are off the board, and Bumgarner isn't as advertised, who is next?
     
    His name may carry ill-advised weight because of the Cy Young Award back in 2015, but former Atlanta Braves hurler Dallas Keuchel could still provide depth to the staff for at least the next two years.
     
    Keuchel is entering his age-32 season and has posted sub-4.00 ERA seasons in back-to-back years. His strikeout numbers don't pop, and his fastball averaged just 87.8 MPH in 2019, so how is he getting outs?
     
    Keuchel posted the highest ground ball rate among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched last year. He did benefit from his defense as his FIP was almost a full run higher than his ERA.
     
    The Twins had one of the worst infield defenses in baseball in 2019, but can improve defensively and help maintain Keuchel's ERA with the common denominator: Josh Donaldson.
     
    Donaldson saved 15 runs and posted a 2.4 UZR at third base last year for the Braves. Keuchel started two games in the NLDS and struggled, but that was mostly because he allowed three home runs in eight innings.
     
    Donaldson's 6.1 bWAR in 2019 was higher than Wheeler, Bumgarner and Ryu, and was just shy of Strasburg and Cole. He will also likely demand only a three-year contract because of his age (he turns 34 on Sunday).
     
    Acquiring Keuchel and Donaldson on three-year deals, along with team friendly contracts on Odorizzi, Pineda, and Alex Avila, is hardly a failed offseason. I would consider that haul a slam dunk with Donaldson as the headliner.
     
    What do you think? Enjoy your Sunday!
  6. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from Greglw3 for a blog entry, Plan B: Dallas Keuchel and Josh Donaldson   
    Somewhat expected news dropped on Saturday night when LaVelle E. Neal of the Star Tribune basically removed Hyun-Jin Ryu from the Twins' potential list of targets in his latest Winter Meetings primer article.
     
    Similar to Zack Wheeler, Ryu has a preference to stay on the coast. For Wheeler, the east was most desirable. But for Ryu, he would like to remain in or near Los Angeles, where he has spent his entire career.
     
    With this presumably in mind, Madison Bumgarner has the best resume of the remaining free agent pitchers. Tom Froemming wrote today about why you shouldn't be fooled by Bumgarner's legacy.
     
    There is no doubt that the Twins need to improve their rotation to repeat success, but if Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Ryu are off the board, and Bumgarner isn't as advertised, who is next?
     
    His name may carry ill-advised weight because of the Cy Young Award back in 2015, but former Atlanta Braves hurler Dallas Keuchel could still provide depth to the staff for at least the next two years.
     
    Keuchel is entering his age-32 season and has posted sub-4.00 ERA seasons in back-to-back years. His strikeout numbers don't pop, and his fastball averaged just 87.8 MPH in 2019, so how is he getting outs?
     
    Keuchel posted the highest ground ball rate among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched last year. He did benefit from his defense as his FIP was almost a full run higher than his ERA.
     
    The Twins had one of the worst infield defenses in baseball in 2019, but can improve defensively and help maintain Keuchel's ERA with the common denominator: Josh Donaldson.
     
    Donaldson saved 15 runs and posted a 2.4 UZR at third base last year for the Braves. Keuchel started two games in the NLDS and struggled, but that was mostly because he allowed three home runs in eight innings.
     
    Donaldson's 6.1 bWAR in 2019 was higher than Wheeler, Bumgarner and Ryu, and was just shy of Strasburg and Cole. He will also likely demand only a three-year contract because of his age (he turns 34 on Sunday).
     
    Acquiring Keuchel and Donaldson on three-year deals, along with team friendly contracts on Odorizzi, Pineda, and Alex Avila, is hardly a failed offseason. I would consider that haul a slam dunk with Donaldson as the headliner.
     
    What do you think? Enjoy your Sunday!
  7. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from Strato Guy for a blog entry, Plan B: Dallas Keuchel and Josh Donaldson   
    Somewhat expected news dropped on Saturday night when LaVelle E. Neal of the Star Tribune basically removed Hyun-Jin Ryu from the Twins' potential list of targets in his latest Winter Meetings primer article.
     
    Similar to Zack Wheeler, Ryu has a preference to stay on the coast. For Wheeler, the east was most desirable. But for Ryu, he would like to remain in or near Los Angeles, where he has spent his entire career.
     
    With this presumably in mind, Madison Bumgarner has the best resume of the remaining free agent pitchers. Tom Froemming wrote today about why you shouldn't be fooled by Bumgarner's legacy.
     
    There is no doubt that the Twins need to improve their rotation to repeat success, but if Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Ryu are off the board, and Bumgarner isn't as advertised, who is next?
     
    His name may carry ill-advised weight because of the Cy Young Award back in 2015, but former Atlanta Braves hurler Dallas Keuchel could still provide depth to the staff for at least the next two years.
     
    Keuchel is entering his age-32 season and has posted sub-4.00 ERA seasons in back-to-back years. His strikeout numbers don't pop, and his fastball averaged just 87.8 MPH in 2019, so how is he getting outs?
     
    Keuchel posted the highest ground ball rate among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched last year. He did benefit from his defense as his FIP was almost a full run higher than his ERA.
     
    The Twins had one of the worst infield defenses in baseball in 2019, but can improve defensively and help maintain Keuchel's ERA with the common denominator: Josh Donaldson.
     
    Donaldson saved 15 runs and posted a 2.4 UZR at third base last year for the Braves. Keuchel started two games in the NLDS and struggled, but that was mostly because he allowed three home runs in eight innings.
     
    Donaldson's 6.1 bWAR in 2019 was higher than Wheeler, Bumgarner and Ryu, and was just shy of Strasburg and Cole. He will also likely demand only a three-year contract because of his age (he turns 34 on Sunday).
     
    Acquiring Keuchel and Donaldson on three-year deals, along with team friendly contracts on Odorizzi, Pineda, and Alex Avila, is hardly a failed offseason. I would consider that haul a slam dunk with Donaldson as the headliner.
     
    What do you think? Enjoy your Sunday!
  8. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from DocBauer for a blog entry, Pros and Cons: Ryu or Bumgarner?   
    The Twins missed on Zack Wheeler when he signed a 5-year, $118 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine made an offer that Wheeler may have considered had he not been tied so heavily to New Jersey and the National League East.
     
    The good news is that Wheeler is not the only realistic impact pitcher that the Twins can acquire. They took a considerable step forward by resigning Michael Pineda to a 2-year, $20 million contract late Thursday night.
     
    The rotation now consists of their three best starters from 2019 in Pineda, Jake Odorizzi and José Berríos, but there is more work to be done. Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu are out there, and the Twins are reportedly in on both, maybe even more so for Ryu:
     
    https://twitter.com/AaronGleeman/status/1203085438719643648?s=20
     
     
    Pros of Hyun-Jin Ryu:
     
    Ryu is an elite run preventer. He had the lowest ERA in the National League and a 163/24 K/BB ratio in 182 ⅔ innings for the Dodgers in 2019.
     
    The price for Ryu is a huge plus. He should demand a contract in the 3-year, $75 million range. With Falvey and Levine prioritizing clean books, Ryu fits the bill as a shorter-term commitment.
     
    Cons of Hyun-Jin Ryu:
     
    Well, age. Ryu has had considerable health issues throughout his career. Ryu pitched a total of 213 ⅔ innings from 2016-2018 after back-to-back 150+ inning seasons to start his major league tenure.
     
    Ryu has spent his entire career in Los Angeles and may not be looking to move to Minnesota if it is not for a substantial amount of money. The Dodgers may also have mutual interest in retaining the Cy-Young runner-up.
     
    Pros of Madison Bumgarner:
     
    Bumgarner was one of the best starting pitchers of the last decade, winning three World Series titles and pitching in four All-Star games with four top-10 finishes for the Cy Young Award.
     
    He is incredibly consistent, never posting an ERA above 3.90 in 11 seasons. Bumgarner is a workhorse, throwing over 200 innings seven times in his career. He is entering his age-30 season and still seems to have plenty left in the tank.
     
    Cons of Madison Bumgarner:
     
    The price of Bumgarner skyrocketed when Wheeler signed his massive deal. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that MadBum will likely demand $100 million or more himself.
     
    Bumgarner has nearly 2,000 innings on his arm and pitched in only 38 games between 2017 and 2018. He has also benefited from San Francisco’s pitcher-friendly confines, posting a 2.72 ERA at home compared to 3.53 on the road.
     
    Where should they lean?
     
    I do like Ryu, and I think he is effective again in 2020, but I think Bumgarner is the way to go. MadBum is a winner, and I think I would feel very confident with him on the hill in a playoff game.
     
    Who do you want the Twins to sign? Comment below!
  9. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from Oldgoat_MN for a blog entry, Why the Reds and Twins Should Talk About Trevor Bauer   
    As I was pondering about the potential rotation for the Twins in 2020, I remembered something. It had been in the back of my mind but it came to the forefront today.
     
    Thad Levine, in an interview with Aaron Gleeman, proclaimed that the Twins explored a trade during the season for Trevor Bauer. I can not remember the exact quote, but it went something like this: “We are interested in the player (Bauer), but it is unlikely that the Minnesota Twins will make a deal with the Cleveland Indians.”
     
    Of course, a trade between the Twins and Indians is unlikely to take place as they have become bitter division rivals, especially in 2019.
     
    Bauer was instead dealt to the Reds at the deadline in a three-team transaction that sent Yasiel Puig and Padres outfielder Franmil Reyes to Cleveland, while prospect Taylor Trammell moved from Cincinnati to San Diego.
     
    Bauer seemed excited to get out of Cleveland, later deeming that he “did not have fun there.” In 10 starts with Cincinnati, Bauer posted a 6.39 ERA and 2-5 record. The right-hander gave up 12 home runs in 56 ⅓ innings.
     
    Bauer was coming off a phenomenal season in 2018 where his FIP was a miniscule 2.44. Bauer went 12-6 and allowed just 0.5 home runs per nine while making his first All-Star game. He is a proven power pitcher with an average of 9.5 strikeouts per nine in his career.
     
    Cleveland has a surplus of pitchers, and dealing Bauer was a smart move. The irony is that Cincinnati does not need him either. The Reds have 2019 breakout Luis Castillo and another All-Star in Sonny Gray. Both are under team control until 2024. Additionally, the Reds top two (and three of their top four) prospects are pitchers.
     
    The Reds ranked 11th in the National League in team OPS in 2019 and their main priority will be acquiring impact bats this offseason. They are reportedly in on both Yasmani Grandal and Didi Gregorius.
     
    In order for this to happen, they need to shed salary. Bauer is estimated to make $18.6 million in his final year of arbitration. The Reds already have nearly $110 million tied up in 2020, and their total payroll was $128 million in 2019.
     
    They should be salivating at the opportunity to pick up someone like Eddie Rosario, who hit 32 home runs and drove in 109 runs in 2019. For the Twins, Rosario is below average, but for a team like the Reds, he would arguably be their second best bat next to Eugenio Suarez and will cost a manageable $9 million or so in 2020.
     
    That is where the Twins start. As Bauer only has one year of team control remaining, the Reds may not demand too much. Rosario and 24-year-old Nick Gordon, who hit .298/.342/.459 at Triple-A in 2019, should do the trick.
     
    The Reds are losing shortstop José Iglesias to free agency and Gordon seems ready for the big leagues. If Cincinnati misses out on Gregorius, they need a better backup plan than current starter José Peraza, who hit .239/.285/.346 in 2019.
     
    If you are doubting that the Reds would do this, I hear you. Remember though that Cincinnati has a below-average farm system, according to MLB Pipeline, and will lose Bauer next winter regardless. They can cash in now while still looking to compete in 2020. They would and should seriously consider this proposition.
     
    With this deal, the Twins gain an immediate top of the rotation arm in Bauer and do not strip the premier end of their farm system. Rosario, Gordon and a throw in of second baseman Travis Blankenhorn, who posted a .786 OPS at Double-A in 2019, will get this done.
     
    Jake Odorizzi is likely to return in one way or another, and Darren Wolfson confirmed Tuesday that the Twins are talking with Zack Wheeler:
     
    https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/1194376558200406018?s=20
     
    The Twins could potentially start with a rotation of Wheeler, Jose Berríos, Odorizzi, and Bauer in 2020 with Brusdar Graterol on his way to starting soon. Yikes. Good luck, MLB.
     
    Would you want to face this team in the postseason? I sure would not.
  10. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from In My La Z boy for a blog entry, Why the Reds and Twins Should Talk About Trevor Bauer   
    As I was pondering about the potential rotation for the Twins in 2020, I remembered something. It had been in the back of my mind but it came to the forefront today.
     
    Thad Levine, in an interview with Aaron Gleeman, proclaimed that the Twins explored a trade during the season for Trevor Bauer. I can not remember the exact quote, but it went something like this: “We are interested in the player (Bauer), but it is unlikely that the Minnesota Twins will make a deal with the Cleveland Indians.”
     
    Of course, a trade between the Twins and Indians is unlikely to take place as they have become bitter division rivals, especially in 2019.
     
    Bauer was instead dealt to the Reds at the deadline in a three-team transaction that sent Yasiel Puig and Padres outfielder Franmil Reyes to Cleveland, while prospect Taylor Trammell moved from Cincinnati to San Diego.
     
    Bauer seemed excited to get out of Cleveland, later deeming that he “did not have fun there.” In 10 starts with Cincinnati, Bauer posted a 6.39 ERA and 2-5 record. The right-hander gave up 12 home runs in 56 ⅓ innings.
     
    Bauer was coming off a phenomenal season in 2018 where his FIP was a miniscule 2.44. Bauer went 12-6 and allowed just 0.5 home runs per nine while making his first All-Star game. He is a proven power pitcher with an average of 9.5 strikeouts per nine in his career.
     
    Cleveland has a surplus of pitchers, and dealing Bauer was a smart move. The irony is that Cincinnati does not need him either. The Reds have 2019 breakout Luis Castillo and another All-Star in Sonny Gray. Both are under team control until 2024. Additionally, the Reds top two (and three of their top four) prospects are pitchers.
     
    The Reds ranked 11th in the National League in team OPS in 2019 and their main priority will be acquiring impact bats this offseason. They are reportedly in on both Yasmani Grandal and Didi Gregorius.
     
    In order for this to happen, they need to shed salary. Bauer is estimated to make $18.6 million in his final year of arbitration. The Reds already have nearly $110 million tied up in 2020, and their total payroll was $128 million in 2019.
     
    They should be salivating at the opportunity to pick up someone like Eddie Rosario, who hit 32 home runs and drove in 109 runs in 2019. For the Twins, Rosario is below average, but for a team like the Reds, he would arguably be their second best bat next to Eugenio Suarez and will cost a manageable $9 million or so in 2020.
     
    That is where the Twins start. As Bauer only has one year of team control remaining, the Reds may not demand too much. Rosario and 24-year-old Nick Gordon, who hit .298/.342/.459 at Triple-A in 2019, should do the trick.
     
    The Reds are losing shortstop José Iglesias to free agency and Gordon seems ready for the big leagues. If Cincinnati misses out on Gregorius, they need a better backup plan than current starter José Peraza, who hit .239/.285/.346 in 2019.
     
    If you are doubting that the Reds would do this, I hear you. Remember though that Cincinnati has a below-average farm system, according to MLB Pipeline, and will lose Bauer next winter regardless. They can cash in now while still looking to compete in 2020. They would and should seriously consider this proposition.
     
    With this deal, the Twins gain an immediate top of the rotation arm in Bauer and do not strip the premier end of their farm system. Rosario, Gordon and a throw in of second baseman Travis Blankenhorn, who posted a .786 OPS at Double-A in 2019, will get this done.
     
    Jake Odorizzi is likely to return in one way or another, and Darren Wolfson confirmed Tuesday that the Twins are talking with Zack Wheeler:
     
    https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/1194376558200406018?s=20
     
    The Twins could potentially start with a rotation of Wheeler, Jose Berríos, Odorizzi, and Bauer in 2020 with Brusdar Graterol on his way to starting soon. Yikes. Good luck, MLB.
     
    Would you want to face this team in the postseason? I sure would not.
  11. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from Strato Guy for a blog entry, Why the Reds and Twins Should Talk About Trevor Bauer   
    As I was pondering about the potential rotation for the Twins in 2020, I remembered something. It had been in the back of my mind but it came to the forefront today.
     
    Thad Levine, in an interview with Aaron Gleeman, proclaimed that the Twins explored a trade during the season for Trevor Bauer. I can not remember the exact quote, but it went something like this: “We are interested in the player (Bauer), but it is unlikely that the Minnesota Twins will make a deal with the Cleveland Indians.”
     
    Of course, a trade between the Twins and Indians is unlikely to take place as they have become bitter division rivals, especially in 2019.
     
    Bauer was instead dealt to the Reds at the deadline in a three-team transaction that sent Yasiel Puig and Padres outfielder Franmil Reyes to Cleveland, while prospect Taylor Trammell moved from Cincinnati to San Diego.
     
    Bauer seemed excited to get out of Cleveland, later deeming that he “did not have fun there.” In 10 starts with Cincinnati, Bauer posted a 6.39 ERA and 2-5 record. The right-hander gave up 12 home runs in 56 ⅓ innings.
     
    Bauer was coming off a phenomenal season in 2018 where his FIP was a miniscule 2.44. Bauer went 12-6 and allowed just 0.5 home runs per nine while making his first All-Star game. He is a proven power pitcher with an average of 9.5 strikeouts per nine in his career.
     
    Cleveland has a surplus of pitchers, and dealing Bauer was a smart move. The irony is that Cincinnati does not need him either. The Reds have 2019 breakout Luis Castillo and another All-Star in Sonny Gray. Both are under team control until 2024. Additionally, the Reds top two (and three of their top four) prospects are pitchers.
     
    The Reds ranked 11th in the National League in team OPS in 2019 and their main priority will be acquiring impact bats this offseason. They are reportedly in on both Yasmani Grandal and Didi Gregorius.
     
    In order for this to happen, they need to shed salary. Bauer is estimated to make $18.6 million in his final year of arbitration. The Reds already have nearly $110 million tied up in 2020, and their total payroll was $128 million in 2019.
     
    They should be salivating at the opportunity to pick up someone like Eddie Rosario, who hit 32 home runs and drove in 109 runs in 2019. For the Twins, Rosario is below average, but for a team like the Reds, he would arguably be their second best bat next to Eugenio Suarez and will cost a manageable $9 million or so in 2020.
     
    That is where the Twins start. As Bauer only has one year of team control remaining, the Reds may not demand too much. Rosario and 24-year-old Nick Gordon, who hit .298/.342/.459 at Triple-A in 2019, should do the trick.
     
    The Reds are losing shortstop José Iglesias to free agency and Gordon seems ready for the big leagues. If Cincinnati misses out on Gregorius, they need a better backup plan than current starter José Peraza, who hit .239/.285/.346 in 2019.
     
    If you are doubting that the Reds would do this, I hear you. Remember though that Cincinnati has a below-average farm system, according to MLB Pipeline, and will lose Bauer next winter regardless. They can cash in now while still looking to compete in 2020. They would and should seriously consider this proposition.
     
    With this deal, the Twins gain an immediate top of the rotation arm in Bauer and do not strip the premier end of their farm system. Rosario, Gordon and a throw in of second baseman Travis Blankenhorn, who posted a .786 OPS at Double-A in 2019, will get this done.
     
    Jake Odorizzi is likely to return in one way or another, and Darren Wolfson confirmed Tuesday that the Twins are talking with Zack Wheeler:
     
    https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/1194376558200406018?s=20
     
    The Twins could potentially start with a rotation of Wheeler, Jose Berríos, Odorizzi, and Bauer in 2020 with Brusdar Graterol on his way to starting soon. Yikes. Good luck, MLB.
     
    Would you want to face this team in the postseason? I sure would not.
  12. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from Musk21 for a blog entry, Why the Reds and Twins Should Talk About Trevor Bauer   
    As I was pondering about the potential rotation for the Twins in 2020, I remembered something. It had been in the back of my mind but it came to the forefront today.
     
    Thad Levine, in an interview with Aaron Gleeman, proclaimed that the Twins explored a trade during the season for Trevor Bauer. I can not remember the exact quote, but it went something like this: “We are interested in the player (Bauer), but it is unlikely that the Minnesota Twins will make a deal with the Cleveland Indians.”
     
    Of course, a trade between the Twins and Indians is unlikely to take place as they have become bitter division rivals, especially in 2019.
     
    Bauer was instead dealt to the Reds at the deadline in a three-team transaction that sent Yasiel Puig and Padres outfielder Franmil Reyes to Cleveland, while prospect Taylor Trammell moved from Cincinnati to San Diego.
     
    Bauer seemed excited to get out of Cleveland, later deeming that he “did not have fun there.” In 10 starts with Cincinnati, Bauer posted a 6.39 ERA and 2-5 record. The right-hander gave up 12 home runs in 56 ⅓ innings.
     
    Bauer was coming off a phenomenal season in 2018 where his FIP was a miniscule 2.44. Bauer went 12-6 and allowed just 0.5 home runs per nine while making his first All-Star game. He is a proven power pitcher with an average of 9.5 strikeouts per nine in his career.
     
    Cleveland has a surplus of pitchers, and dealing Bauer was a smart move. The irony is that Cincinnati does not need him either. The Reds have 2019 breakout Luis Castillo and another All-Star in Sonny Gray. Both are under team control until 2024. Additionally, the Reds top two (and three of their top four) prospects are pitchers.
     
    The Reds ranked 11th in the National League in team OPS in 2019 and their main priority will be acquiring impact bats this offseason. They are reportedly in on both Yasmani Grandal and Didi Gregorius.
     
    In order for this to happen, they need to shed salary. Bauer is estimated to make $18.6 million in his final year of arbitration. The Reds already have nearly $110 million tied up in 2020, and their total payroll was $128 million in 2019.
     
    They should be salivating at the opportunity to pick up someone like Eddie Rosario, who hit 32 home runs and drove in 109 runs in 2019. For the Twins, Rosario is below average, but for a team like the Reds, he would arguably be their second best bat next to Eugenio Suarez and will cost a manageable $9 million or so in 2020.
     
    That is where the Twins start. As Bauer only has one year of team control remaining, the Reds may not demand too much. Rosario and 24-year-old Nick Gordon, who hit .298/.342/.459 at Triple-A in 2019, should do the trick.
     
    The Reds are losing shortstop José Iglesias to free agency and Gordon seems ready for the big leagues. If Cincinnati misses out on Gregorius, they need a better backup plan than current starter José Peraza, who hit .239/.285/.346 in 2019.
     
    If you are doubting that the Reds would do this, I hear you. Remember though that Cincinnati has a below-average farm system, according to MLB Pipeline, and will lose Bauer next winter regardless. They can cash in now while still looking to compete in 2020. They would and should seriously consider this proposition.
     
    With this deal, the Twins gain an immediate top of the rotation arm in Bauer and do not strip the premier end of their farm system. Rosario, Gordon and a throw in of second baseman Travis Blankenhorn, who posted a .786 OPS at Double-A in 2019, will get this done.
     
    Jake Odorizzi is likely to return in one way or another, and Darren Wolfson confirmed Tuesday that the Twins are talking with Zack Wheeler:
     
    https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/1194376558200406018?s=20
     
    The Twins could potentially start with a rotation of Wheeler, Jose Berríos, Odorizzi, and Bauer in 2020 with Brusdar Graterol on his way to starting soon. Yikes. Good luck, MLB.
     
    Would you want to face this team in the postseason? I sure would not.
  13. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from Wizard11 for a blog entry, Why Jordan Balazovic has the makings of an ace   
    Rightly so, Twins fans are very excited about Brusdar Graterol, the flame-throwing 21-year-old from Venezuela. Graterol was called up to the Twins bullpen last summer and mostly impressed, even touching 102 MPH on his sinker. Graterol will be in the rotation soon enough, and his future partner in crime, the one they call "Jordy Blaze,” is on his way to stardom.
     
    Jordan Balazovic was drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 Amateur Draft out of Mississauga, Canada. Balazovic played in eight Gulf Coast League games as a 17-year-old and posted a 1.97 ERA. Balazovic was mediocre at Class A in 2018 with a 3.94 ERA and 7-3 record. While Balazovic had a pedestrian ERA, his peripherals were outstanding. He struck out 78 batters in 61 2/3 innings and allowed only 5 home runs.
     
    Balazovic massively improved in 2019 with a 2.18 ERA in four starts at Cedar Rapids with 14.4 K/9. It was quickly realized that Balazovic was ready for the next step. He was promoted to Fort Myers and continued his excellence. In 73 innings, Jordy-B struck out 96 batters and allowed just three home runs. Balazovic was an elite strike thrower, walking just 2.4 batters per nine innings.
     
    Balazovic increased his velocity and consistently lived at 95 MPH with his sinker. Balazovic has flashed a plus-slider and at times, a great changeup. With his velocity increasing, his complementary pitches are becoming devastating. Tom Froemming has great analysis here:
     
    The 6 foot 5, 215 pound up-and-comer is developing well-deserved praise and attention. Balazovic is ranked as the 76th overall prospect on MLB Pipeline. Balazovic just turned 21, and figures to start next season in Pensacola at class Double-A. With the developmental system instituted by Derek Falvey and company, Jordy Blaze carries unforeseen upside.
     
    Image Credits:
    Creator:Gordon Donovan
    Credit:Photo: Gordon Donovan
    Copyright:Photo: Gordon Donovan
  14. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from DocBauer for a blog entry, Why Jordan Balazovic has the makings of an ace   
    Rightly so, Twins fans are very excited about Brusdar Graterol, the flame-throwing 21-year-old from Venezuela. Graterol was called up to the Twins bullpen last summer and mostly impressed, even touching 102 MPH on his sinker. Graterol will be in the rotation soon enough, and his future partner in crime, the one they call "Jordy Blaze,” is on his way to stardom.
     
    Jordan Balazovic was drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 Amateur Draft out of Mississauga, Canada. Balazovic played in eight Gulf Coast League games as a 17-year-old and posted a 1.97 ERA. Balazovic was mediocre at Class A in 2018 with a 3.94 ERA and 7-3 record. While Balazovic had a pedestrian ERA, his peripherals were outstanding. He struck out 78 batters in 61 2/3 innings and allowed only 5 home runs.
     
    Balazovic massively improved in 2019 with a 2.18 ERA in four starts at Cedar Rapids with 14.4 K/9. It was quickly realized that Balazovic was ready for the next step. He was promoted to Fort Myers and continued his excellence. In 73 innings, Jordy-B struck out 96 batters and allowed just three home runs. Balazovic was an elite strike thrower, walking just 2.4 batters per nine innings.
     
    Balazovic increased his velocity and consistently lived at 95 MPH with his sinker. Balazovic has flashed a plus-slider and at times, a great changeup. With his velocity increasing, his complementary pitches are becoming devastating. Tom Froemming has great analysis here:
     
    The 6 foot 5, 215 pound up-and-comer is developing well-deserved praise and attention. Balazovic is ranked as the 76th overall prospect on MLB Pipeline. Balazovic just turned 21, and figures to start next season in Pensacola at class Double-A. With the developmental system instituted by Derek Falvey and company, Jordy Blaze carries unforeseen upside.
     
    Image Credits:
    Creator:Gordon Donovan
    Credit:Photo: Gordon Donovan
    Copyright:Photo: Gordon Donovan
  15. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from SF Twins Fan for a blog entry, Why Jordan Balazovic has the makings of an ace   
    Rightly so, Twins fans are very excited about Brusdar Graterol, the flame-throwing 21-year-old from Venezuela. Graterol was called up to the Twins bullpen last summer and mostly impressed, even touching 102 MPH on his sinker. Graterol will be in the rotation soon enough, and his future partner in crime, the one they call "Jordy Blaze,” is on his way to stardom.
     
    Jordan Balazovic was drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 Amateur Draft out of Mississauga, Canada. Balazovic played in eight Gulf Coast League games as a 17-year-old and posted a 1.97 ERA. Balazovic was mediocre at Class A in 2018 with a 3.94 ERA and 7-3 record. While Balazovic had a pedestrian ERA, his peripherals were outstanding. He struck out 78 batters in 61 2/3 innings and allowed only 5 home runs.
     
    Balazovic massively improved in 2019 with a 2.18 ERA in four starts at Cedar Rapids with 14.4 K/9. It was quickly realized that Balazovic was ready for the next step. He was promoted to Fort Myers and continued his excellence. In 73 innings, Jordy-B struck out 96 batters and allowed just three home runs. Balazovic was an elite strike thrower, walking just 2.4 batters per nine innings.
     
    Balazovic increased his velocity and consistently lived at 95 MPH with his sinker. Balazovic has flashed a plus-slider and at times, a great changeup. With his velocity increasing, his complementary pitches are becoming devastating. Tom Froemming has great analysis here:
     
    The 6 foot 5, 215 pound up-and-comer is developing well-deserved praise and attention. Balazovic is ranked as the 76th overall prospect on MLB Pipeline. Balazovic just turned 21, and figures to start next season in Pensacola at class Double-A. With the developmental system instituted by Derek Falvey and company, Jordy Blaze carries unforeseen upside.
     
    Image Credits:
    Creator:Gordon Donovan
    Credit:Photo: Gordon Donovan
    Copyright:Photo: Gordon Donovan
  16. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from mikelink45 for a blog entry, Why Jordan Balazovic has the makings of an ace   
    Rightly so, Twins fans are very excited about Brusdar Graterol, the flame-throwing 21-year-old from Venezuela. Graterol was called up to the Twins bullpen last summer and mostly impressed, even touching 102 MPH on his sinker. Graterol will be in the rotation soon enough, and his future partner in crime, the one they call "Jordy Blaze,” is on his way to stardom.
     
    Jordan Balazovic was drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 Amateur Draft out of Mississauga, Canada. Balazovic played in eight Gulf Coast League games as a 17-year-old and posted a 1.97 ERA. Balazovic was mediocre at Class A in 2018 with a 3.94 ERA and 7-3 record. While Balazovic had a pedestrian ERA, his peripherals were outstanding. He struck out 78 batters in 61 2/3 innings and allowed only 5 home runs.
     
    Balazovic massively improved in 2019 with a 2.18 ERA in four starts at Cedar Rapids with 14.4 K/9. It was quickly realized that Balazovic was ready for the next step. He was promoted to Fort Myers and continued his excellence. In 73 innings, Jordy-B struck out 96 batters and allowed just three home runs. Balazovic was an elite strike thrower, walking just 2.4 batters per nine innings.
     
    Balazovic increased his velocity and consistently lived at 95 MPH with his sinker. Balazovic has flashed a plus-slider and at times, a great changeup. With his velocity increasing, his complementary pitches are becoming devastating. Tom Froemming has great analysis here:
     
    The 6 foot 5, 215 pound up-and-comer is developing well-deserved praise and attention. Balazovic is ranked as the 76th overall prospect on MLB Pipeline. Balazovic just turned 21, and figures to start next season in Pensacola at class Double-A. With the developmental system instituted by Derek Falvey and company, Jordy Blaze carries unforeseen upside.
     
    Image Credits:
    Creator:Gordon Donovan
    Credit:Photo: Gordon Donovan
    Copyright:Photo: Gordon Donovan
  17. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from brvama for a blog entry, Why Jordan Balazovic has the makings of an ace   
    Rightly so, Twins fans are very excited about Brusdar Graterol, the flame-throwing 21-year-old from Venezuela. Graterol was called up to the Twins bullpen last summer and mostly impressed, even touching 102 MPH on his sinker. Graterol will be in the rotation soon enough, and his future partner in crime, the one they call "Jordy Blaze,” is on his way to stardom.
     
    Jordan Balazovic was drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 Amateur Draft out of Mississauga, Canada. Balazovic played in eight Gulf Coast League games as a 17-year-old and posted a 1.97 ERA. Balazovic was mediocre at Class A in 2018 with a 3.94 ERA and 7-3 record. While Balazovic had a pedestrian ERA, his peripherals were outstanding. He struck out 78 batters in 61 2/3 innings and allowed only 5 home runs.
     
    Balazovic massively improved in 2019 with a 2.18 ERA in four starts at Cedar Rapids with 14.4 K/9. It was quickly realized that Balazovic was ready for the next step. He was promoted to Fort Myers and continued his excellence. In 73 innings, Jordy-B struck out 96 batters and allowed just three home runs. Balazovic was an elite strike thrower, walking just 2.4 batters per nine innings.
     
    Balazovic increased his velocity and consistently lived at 95 MPH with his sinker. Balazovic has flashed a plus-slider and at times, a great changeup. With his velocity increasing, his complementary pitches are becoming devastating. Tom Froemming has great analysis here:
     
    The 6 foot 5, 215 pound up-and-comer is developing well-deserved praise and attention. Balazovic is ranked as the 76th overall prospect on MLB Pipeline. Balazovic just turned 21, and figures to start next season in Pensacola at class Double-A. With the developmental system instituted by Derek Falvey and company, Jordy Blaze carries unforeseen upside.
     
    Image Credits:
    Creator:Gordon Donovan
    Credit:Photo: Gordon Donovan
    Copyright:Photo: Gordon Donovan
  18. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for a blog entry, Why Jordan Balazovic has the makings of an ace   
    Rightly so, Twins fans are very excited about Brusdar Graterol, the flame-throwing 21-year-old from Venezuela. Graterol was called up to the Twins bullpen last summer and mostly impressed, even touching 102 MPH on his sinker. Graterol will be in the rotation soon enough, and his future partner in crime, the one they call "Jordy Blaze,” is on his way to stardom.
     
    Jordan Balazovic was drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 Amateur Draft out of Mississauga, Canada. Balazovic played in eight Gulf Coast League games as a 17-year-old and posted a 1.97 ERA. Balazovic was mediocre at Class A in 2018 with a 3.94 ERA and 7-3 record. While Balazovic had a pedestrian ERA, his peripherals were outstanding. He struck out 78 batters in 61 2/3 innings and allowed only 5 home runs.
     
    Balazovic massively improved in 2019 with a 2.18 ERA in four starts at Cedar Rapids with 14.4 K/9. It was quickly realized that Balazovic was ready for the next step. He was promoted to Fort Myers and continued his excellence. In 73 innings, Jordy-B struck out 96 batters and allowed just three home runs. Balazovic was an elite strike thrower, walking just 2.4 batters per nine innings.
     
    Balazovic increased his velocity and consistently lived at 95 MPH with his sinker. Balazovic has flashed a plus-slider and at times, a great changeup. With his velocity increasing, his complementary pitches are becoming devastating. Tom Froemming has great analysis here:
     
    The 6 foot 5, 215 pound up-and-comer is developing well-deserved praise and attention. Balazovic is ranked as the 76th overall prospect on MLB Pipeline. Balazovic just turned 21, and figures to start next season in Pensacola at class Double-A. With the developmental system instituted by Derek Falvey and company, Jordy Blaze carries unforeseen upside.
     
    Image Credits:
    Creator:Gordon Donovan
    Credit:Photo: Gordon Donovan
    Copyright:Photo: Gordon Donovan
  19. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from nclahammer for a blog entry, One Reliever the Twins Should Be Locked in On   
    The Twins bullpen was mostly great in 2019 as they finished with the third best WAR in baseball, per Fangraphs. They had the best second half reliever WAR and watched Tyler Duffey and Trevor May become legitimate weapons along with the great Taylor Rogers.
     
    Starting pitching will be the main focus this offseason, and rightly so. Trade deadline acquisition Sergio Romo is the only impending free agent from the bullpen. One of the other names circling at the deadline was left-hander Jake Diekman. A 32-year-old journeyman, Diekman started his career with the Phillies but found his most success in Arlington. Diekman posted a 3.18 ERA in four seasons with the Rangers, striking out 10.1 per nine and allowing just nine home runs in 124 1/3 innings.
     
    The Rangers moved on from Diekman before the deadline in 2018, trading him to Arizona for minor league pitcher Wei-Chieh Huang. Diekman finished the year horribly with the D-Backs, allowing 12 runs in 14 1/3 innings. Diekman entered free agency as a buy-low option and the Royals inked him to a 1-year, $2.75 million contract with a mutual option for 2020.
     
    Diekman responded to the show-me contract by going 0-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 41 2/3 innings with Kansas City. Some of that is due to the dumpster fire that is the Royals defense as his FIP was a stronger 3.36. The Royals elected to move him to Oakland before the 2019 deadline for two minor league prospects.
     
    Diekman allowed 10 runs in 20 1/3 innings with the A's, walking 16 and striking out 21. Oakland elected not to pick up his option, per Melissa Lockard of the Athletic:
     

     
    Now Diekman enters free agency once again as a buy-low option. Diekman made changes in 2019 that should entice the Twins to fill their left-handed reliever void. For one, he ditched his sinker and relied heavily on an elite slider, throwing it 46.1% of the time in 2019:
     


     
    As can be seen on the graph, Diekman relied on the slider and four-seam fastball. His average fastball velocity is 95.8 MPH, a number that should be salivating for Minnesota. The two-pitch combo helped generate 12.2 strikeouts per nine, Diekman's most since 2014. His slider generated a 45% whiff rate with an expected .176/.257/.246 (.503) line from opposing hitters. The Twins are accustomed to pitchers with devastating sliders and they seem to target them:
     

     
    Walks are clearly Diekman's biggest problem, as he has allowed a whopping 5.0 BB/9 in his career. Minnesota's pitching coach Wes Johnson cut 121 walks from the Twins in 2018, catapulting them from the 7th worst to 6th best in allowing free passes.
     
    Considering his recent struggles and age, Diekman figures to get a one or maybe two year deal at best. The Twins have the luxury of taking this risk, and a $4-5 million investment in Diekman makes all the sense in the world. If anyone can tap into the seemingly lost potential, it is the Twins. Go get him Falvine!
     
    Please comment what you think.
     
    Thanks for reading! Go Twins!
  20. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from bird for a blog entry, One Reliever the Twins Should Be Locked in On   
    The Twins bullpen was mostly great in 2019 as they finished with the third best WAR in baseball, per Fangraphs. They had the best second half reliever WAR and watched Tyler Duffey and Trevor May become legitimate weapons along with the great Taylor Rogers.
     
    Starting pitching will be the main focus this offseason, and rightly so. Trade deadline acquisition Sergio Romo is the only impending free agent from the bullpen. One of the other names circling at the deadline was left-hander Jake Diekman. A 32-year-old journeyman, Diekman started his career with the Phillies but found his most success in Arlington. Diekman posted a 3.18 ERA in four seasons with the Rangers, striking out 10.1 per nine and allowing just nine home runs in 124 1/3 innings.
     
    The Rangers moved on from Diekman before the deadline in 2018, trading him to Arizona for minor league pitcher Wei-Chieh Huang. Diekman finished the year horribly with the D-Backs, allowing 12 runs in 14 1/3 innings. Diekman entered free agency as a buy-low option and the Royals inked him to a 1-year, $2.75 million contract with a mutual option for 2020.
     
    Diekman responded to the show-me contract by going 0-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 41 2/3 innings with Kansas City. Some of that is due to the dumpster fire that is the Royals defense as his FIP was a stronger 3.36. The Royals elected to move him to Oakland before the 2019 deadline for two minor league prospects.
     
    Diekman allowed 10 runs in 20 1/3 innings with the A's, walking 16 and striking out 21. Oakland elected not to pick up his option, per Melissa Lockard of the Athletic:
     

     
    Now Diekman enters free agency once again as a buy-low option. Diekman made changes in 2019 that should entice the Twins to fill their left-handed reliever void. For one, he ditched his sinker and relied heavily on an elite slider, throwing it 46.1% of the time in 2019:
     


     
    As can be seen on the graph, Diekman relied on the slider and four-seam fastball. His average fastball velocity is 95.8 MPH, a number that should be salivating for Minnesota. The two-pitch combo helped generate 12.2 strikeouts per nine, Diekman's most since 2014. His slider generated a 45% whiff rate with an expected .176/.257/.246 (.503) line from opposing hitters. The Twins are accustomed to pitchers with devastating sliders and they seem to target them:
     

     
    Walks are clearly Diekman's biggest problem, as he has allowed a whopping 5.0 BB/9 in his career. Minnesota's pitching coach Wes Johnson cut 121 walks from the Twins in 2018, catapulting them from the 7th worst to 6th best in allowing free passes.
     
    Considering his recent struggles and age, Diekman figures to get a one or maybe two year deal at best. The Twins have the luxury of taking this risk, and a $4-5 million investment in Diekman makes all the sense in the world. If anyone can tap into the seemingly lost potential, it is the Twins. Go get him Falvine!
     
    Please comment what you think.
     
    Thanks for reading! Go Twins!
  21. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from Strato Guy for a blog entry, What will the Twins Opening Day lineup be in 2020?   
    Much of the discussion in the early part of the offseason has understandably been pitching. While the Twins must fill in their rotation, there are still plenty of questions to be answered at the plate. Here is my crack at the 2020 Opening Day lineup:
     
    1. Luis Arraez, 2B
     
    Arraez is the quintessential leadoff hitter. He takes elite at-bats and rarely strikes out.
     
    2. Jorge Polanco, SS
     
    Polanco should again slot in second. Do the Twins prefer to put more power behind Arraez?
     
    3. Nelson Cruz, DH
     
    The ageless wonder will see ducks on the pond often with two elite contact hitters in front of him.
     
    4. Max Kepler, RF
     
    Kepler is an admirable leadoff man and it pains me to take his at-bats. He will thrive in this role as well.
     
    5. Miguel Sano, 3B
     
    The 5th spot will be cut out exclusively for Miggy and 3-4-5 will be a powerful punch.
     
    6. Eddie Rosario, LF
     
    Rosario moves out of the cleanup role and provides much more balance to an already lethal lineup.
     
    7. Mitch Garver, C
     
    This goes to show how good this team will be and obeys Baldelli's approach of alternating handedness.
     
    8. Marwin Gonzalez, 1B
     
    Gonzalez and Cron should switch off at first unless Cron is non-tendered this winter.
     
    9. Byron Buxton, CF
     
    Derek Falvey said Buxton should be ready by March. They are much better with him in the lineup.
     
    Starting Pitcher: Jose Berrios
     
    Unless the Twins sign Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg, Berrios will spearhead the rotation once again.
     
    Of course, a lot of this revolves around the offseason, and there is no better place than Twins Daily for analysis and updates! Go Twins!
     
    Please comment below the changes you would make to this lineup!
  22. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from DocBauer for a blog entry, What will the Twins Opening Day lineup be in 2020?   
    Much of the discussion in the early part of the offseason has understandably been pitching. While the Twins must fill in their rotation, there are still plenty of questions to be answered at the plate. Here is my crack at the 2020 Opening Day lineup:
     
    1. Luis Arraez, 2B
     
    Arraez is the quintessential leadoff hitter. He takes elite at-bats and rarely strikes out.
     
    2. Jorge Polanco, SS
     
    Polanco should again slot in second. Do the Twins prefer to put more power behind Arraez?
     
    3. Nelson Cruz, DH
     
    The ageless wonder will see ducks on the pond often with two elite contact hitters in front of him.
     
    4. Max Kepler, RF
     
    Kepler is an admirable leadoff man and it pains me to take his at-bats. He will thrive in this role as well.
     
    5. Miguel Sano, 3B
     
    The 5th spot will be cut out exclusively for Miggy and 3-4-5 will be a powerful punch.
     
    6. Eddie Rosario, LF
     
    Rosario moves out of the cleanup role and provides much more balance to an already lethal lineup.
     
    7. Mitch Garver, C
     
    This goes to show how good this team will be and obeys Baldelli's approach of alternating handedness.
     
    8. Marwin Gonzalez, 1B
     
    Gonzalez and Cron should switch off at first unless Cron is non-tendered this winter.
     
    9. Byron Buxton, CF
     
    Derek Falvey said Buxton should be ready by March. They are much better with him in the lineup.
     
    Starting Pitcher: Jose Berrios
     
    Unless the Twins sign Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg, Berrios will spearhead the rotation once again.
     
    Of course, a lot of this revolves around the offseason, and there is no better place than Twins Daily for analysis and updates! Go Twins!
     
    Please comment below the changes you would make to this lineup!
  23. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from Melissa for a blog entry, Winning in Dobtober   
    Game one has come and gone. The Twins fell 10-4 in 8 1/2 gut wrenching innings. Manager Rocco Baldelli will send Randy Dobnak to the hill in game two today at Yankee Stadium. Here are the keys to victory for the standout rookie:
     
    1. Get ahead in the count
     
    Dobnak has portrayed an exceptional ability to throw strikes. Dobnak sports phenomenal per-nine numbers: 1.6 BB, 7.3 K, and 0.3 HR. His unique ability to limit fly balls gives him a substantial advantage at Yankee Stadium. When Dobnak gets ahead in the count, he allows a .180/.196/.180 (.376) line to opponents. Like most teams, the Yankees struggle when behind. They hit just .209/.217/.366 (.583) when pitchers have the advantage in the count. The Bronx Bombers look awfully human when they see a few more strikes than balls on the scoreboard. In an 0-2 count, the Yankees have a .138 average and .390 OPS.
     
    2. Win the first pitch
     
    This may be a piggyback of the above, but this start could be a war of the first pitch. Dobnak has held opponents to a .494 OPS on the first pitch. The Yankees have a 1.157 OPS on the first pitch. These are extreme numbers on both ends, and the winner of this battle will have a huge advantage.
     
    3. Be himself
     
    Dobnak is here for a reason. Starting the year at Class A, the rookie has pitched well at every turn. Dobnak has gotten better at almost every level. He posted a 0.40 ERA in Fort Myers (A), 2.57 ERA in Pensacola (AA), 2.15 ERA in Rochester (AAA), and an impressive 1.59 ERA for the Twins. Baldelli trusts him, and Twins Territory should too.
     
    Go Twins! Enjoy the game!
  24. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from twinssporto for a blog entry, ALDS: Bomba Squad vs. Bronx Bombers   
    With just two weeks remaining, the Twins are in firm control of the AL Central.
     
    The real race is happening between the Astros and Yankees, and Houston is closing in on the top seed. This sets up for an ALDS matchup between Minnesota and…The New York Yankees.
     
     
    Minnesota:
     
    The Twins will head to October with one of the most prolific offenses in MLB history. Minnesota ranks first in homers, second in batting average, and third in OPS. On Tuesday, Miguel Sano broke the league record for most players with 30 or more home runs on one team.
     
    The Twins pitching staff has been nothing to scoff at. The team ranks 5th in the American League in ERA, and they have walked the second fewest batters. The bullpen, despite mid-season struggles, is ranked 4th in WAR. While this team loves homers, they are elite at stopping them. The Twins staff has allowed the 7th fewest home runs per nine innings.
     
    Consistency has been the key in 2019. The Twins have never had a winning streak longer than six, and have never lost more than four in a row. They are on pace to finish the season 99-63. That would be their best record since 1965, where they won 102 games.
     
    Here is their lineup:
    Max Kepler (36 HR, .855 OPS)
    Jorge Polanco (22 HR, .853 OPS)
    Nelson Cruz (37 HR, .996 OPS)
    Eddie Rosario (31 HR, .802 OPS)
    Miguel Sano (30 HR, .886 OPS)
    Luis Arraez (.349 AVG, .865 OPS)
    Mitch Garver (30 HR, 1.000 OPS)
    C.J Cron (24 HR, .782 OPS)
    Marwin Gonzalez (15 HR, .744 OPS)

    New York:
     
    The Yankees have faced more adversity than anyone in the American League, and they are still going to win well over 100 games. They lead the league with the most money spent on IL players at $30,568,273. Giancarlo Stanton returned Wednesday after missing almost the entire season with a knee injury.
     
    While the Twins prefer playing New York over Houston, the Yankees are far from a favorable draw. The Yankees are nipping at the heels of the Twins, trailing the home run race by just one heading into Thursday. The Bronx Bombers are second in MLB in OPS, OBP, and rank first in runs scored. Much like the Twins, this lineup is loaded with power and depth:

    DJ Lemahieu (.329 AVG, .893 OPS)
    Aaron Judge (24 HR in 95 G, .889 OPS)
    Edwin Encarnacion (34 HR, .856 OPS)
    Luke Voit (21 HR, .875 OPS)
    Gary Sanchez (34 HR, .849 OPS)
    Gleyber Torres (38 HR, .894 OPS)
    Giancarlo Stanton (306 career HR, .905 career OPS)
    Gio Urshela (20 HR, .915 OPS)
    Brett Gardner (25 HR, .825 OPS)

    The Yankees bullpen ranks first in WAR and their starting rotation is around league average. The lack of a frontline starter has been a concern for New York, but Luis Severino returned from a shoulder injury on Tuesday heaving at 96 MPH. Domingo German is 18-4 but is questionable to be available after the league placed him on Administrative Leave today while investigating for domestic violence.
     
    The matchup:
     
    The ALDS will begin in New York on October 4th. Twins’ ace Jose Berrios seems to be back to form after posting a 7.57 ERA in August. The two-time All-Star has been dominant in his last two starts, allowing just two runs in 14 ⅔ innings pitched. He is the game one go-to for rookie manager Rocco Baldelli.
     
    It is anyone’s guess who will start game one for the Yankees. Masahiro Tanaka could be a candidate. An All-Star this year, Tanaka posted a 3.86 ERA in the first half. Since then, Tanaka has allowed 11 homers in 67 innings. He is sporting a 5.78 ERA in the second half.
     
    Former Mariner James Paxton has been a major disappointment in 2019. The lefty has a 1.3 WHIP and allows 1.4 home runs per nine innings. The Twins also rank first in MLB in OPS against left-handed pitching. Paxton strikes out about 11 batters per nine innings.
     
    If Luis Severino proves to be healthy, I would not be surprised to see him take the hill in game one. The question is whether Severino can be trusted after missing 90% of the season with a serious shoulder injury.
     
    The Twins will likely send All-Star Jake Odorizzi to the mound in game two. Odorizzi has been incredibly consistent with a 3.59 ERA. He is a fly ball pitcher but allows under one home run per nine innings.
     
    The Yankees will turn to one of the aforementioned names in game two. J.A. Happ could be an option, although the Twins tagged him for two homers and six runs in 3 ⅓ innings in July.
     
    The Twins question mark comes in game three. Will Kyle Gibson get an opportunity? Will Rocco Baldelli turn to his top-5 bullpen to handle 27 outs? Should Martin Perez even be considered? The biggest question for Minnesota is who they can trust in a possible elimination game.
     
    What’s gonna happen here?
     
    These are two of the best offenses in baseball, and there is no doubt that fireworks will be flying in this series. The Yankees have home field advantage, but the Twins are confident in their two starters.
     
    The Yankees and Twins had one of the most memorable series’ of the year at Target Field in July. In three games, New York outscored Minnesota 30-27 and took two-of-three games.
     
    This is going to be one of the most energetic and exciting series of the playoffs. There is so much history here and both squads have been tremendous in 2019. It is worth noting that one of these coaches will be winning Manager of the Year.
     
    Both teams have questions in their rotation, but games one and two certainly favor the Twins. However, pitching will likely not win this series. The team that hits more home runs and capitalizes in key spots will head to the American League Championship Series.
  25. Like
    Nash Walker got a reaction from howieramone2 for a blog entry, How will the AL Central finish?   
    MINNESOTA TWINS OPPONENT (# OF GAMES) - SERIES PREDICTION
     
    @ Texas (4) - Twins 3-1
    vs. Chicago White Sox (3) - Twins 2-1
    vs. Detroit (3) - Twins 3-0
    @ Chicago White Sox (3) - Twins 2-1
    @ Detroit (4) - Twins 3-1
    @ Boston (3) - Red Sox 2-1
    vs. Cleveland (3) - Twins 2-1
    vs. Washington (3) - Twins 2-1
    @ Cleveland (3) - Indians 2-1
    vs. Chicago White Sox (3) - Twins 2-1
    vs. Kansas City (4) - Twins 3-1
    @ Detroit (3) - Twins 3-0
    @ Kansas City (3) - Twins 2-1
     
    Final Record: 101-61
     
    CLEVELAND INDIANS OPPONENT (# OF GAMES) - SERIES PREDICTION
     
    @ New York Yankees (4) - Split 2-2
    @ New York Mets (3) - Mets 2-1
    vs. Kansas City (3) - Indians 3-0
    @ Detroit (3) - Indians 3-0
    @ Tampa Bay (3) - Rays 2-1
    vs. Chicago White Sox (4) - Indians 4-0
    @ Minnesota (3) - Twins 2-1
    @ Los Angeles Angels (3) - Indians 2-1
    vs. Minnesota (3) - Indians 2-1
    vs. Detroit (3) - Indians 3-0
    vs. Philadelphia (3) - Phillies 2-1
    @ Chicago White Sox (3) - Indians 2-1
    @ Washington (3) - Indians 2-1
     
    Final Record: 99-63
     
    Conclusion: If the Indians and Twins split their remaining six games, it will be very difficult for Cleveland to win this division. They are tasked with 10 games on the road with the Yankees, Mets and Rays. The Twins toughest road games come against Boston and Texas. The Indians are a good team and I think they continue to show that, but the Twins take care of business and head to October by 2.0 games.
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