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Matthew Taylor

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  • Birthday 02/13/1993

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  1. As a former “old friend” and fan favorite, Nelson Cruz has been a popular name thrown around for a potential reunion. Taking a deeper look, though, Twins fans should re-evaluate their desires to bring back the Boomstick. Image courtesy of Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports It’s “big bat” week at Twins Daily and what bigger bat is there in free agency this offseason than Nelson Cruz? I mean, the guy has 459 career home runs and won a Silver Slugger in his two full seasons in Minnesota. So, should the Minnesota Twins pursue Cruz? Well, Nelson Cruz does fit the bill for some of what the Minnesota Twins need. First, the Twins might be in need of some locker room leadership in 2023. By all accounts, Carlos Correa was the locker room leader for the Twins in 2022, and if the Twins fail to retain him this offseason, that leadership void will need to be filled. Cruz was undoubtedly the veteran leader for the Twins in his years in Minnesota, and he could definitely step in and fill those shoes. Secondly, Cruz does fit the bill for some of what the Minnesota Twins need. The Twins need a right-handed bat as they were terrible against left-handed pitching in 2022, placing 11th in the American League with a .701 OPS against southpaws. While Cruz indeed swung a boomstick during his tenure in Minnesota, he is no longer the same player. Ever since the Twins traded Cruz away, his play has absolutely fallen off of a cliff. In the year-and-a-half since leaving Minnesota, Cruz has posted a lowly .675 OPS, with just 23 home runs across 745 plate appearances. Additionally, Cruz’s OPS, hard hit%, and wOBA have decreased in each of the past four seasons. Cruz will be entering into his age 42 year season. In the expansion era, only three players have qualified for the batting title at the age of 42. Father time is catching up with Cruz quickly, and the Twins would be wise to stay away. More importantly, the Twins really don’t have a strong need for a designated hitter. Last season, the Twins finished with the sixth highest bWAR in Major League Baseball from the designated hitter position. The biggest reasoning for that was that the two leaders in plate appearances for the Twins at designated hitter last season were Luis Arraez and Byron Buxton . The designated hitter was a great tool that the Twins were able to cycle through their oft-injured stars like Arraez and Buxton, and while they still suffered injuries, the DH spot was helpful in their ability to squeeze as many plate appearances out of certain players that they could. We all love Nelson Cruz. But the Minnesota Twins would be best served to stay away from him in free agency. Do you want the Twins to go after Nelson Cruz in free agency? Leave a comment and start the conversation! View full article
  2. It’s “big bat” week at Twins Daily and what bigger bat is there in free agency this offseason than Nelson Cruz? I mean, the guy has 459 career home runs and won a Silver Slugger in his two full seasons in Minnesota. So, should the Minnesota Twins pursue Cruz? Well, Nelson Cruz does fit the bill for some of what the Minnesota Twins need. First, the Twins might be in need of some locker room leadership in 2023. By all accounts, Carlos Correa was the locker room leader for the Twins in 2022, and if the Twins fail to retain him this offseason, that leadership void will need to be filled. Cruz was undoubtedly the veteran leader for the Twins in his years in Minnesota, and he could definitely step in and fill those shoes. Secondly, Cruz does fit the bill for some of what the Minnesota Twins need. The Twins need a right-handed bat as they were terrible against left-handed pitching in 2022, placing 11th in the American League with a .701 OPS against southpaws. While Cruz indeed swung a boomstick during his tenure in Minnesota, he is no longer the same player. Ever since the Twins traded Cruz away, his play has absolutely fallen off of a cliff. In the year-and-a-half since leaving Minnesota, Cruz has posted a lowly .675 OPS, with just 23 home runs across 745 plate appearances. Additionally, Cruz’s OPS, hard hit%, and wOBA have decreased in each of the past four seasons. Cruz will be entering into his age 42 year season. In the expansion era, only three players have qualified for the batting title at the age of 42. Father time is catching up with Cruz quickly, and the Twins would be wise to stay away. More importantly, the Twins really don’t have a strong need for a designated hitter. Last season, the Twins finished with the sixth highest bWAR in Major League Baseball from the designated hitter position. The biggest reasoning for that was that the two leaders in plate appearances for the Twins at designated hitter last season were Luis Arraez and Byron Buxton . The designated hitter was a great tool that the Twins were able to cycle through their oft-injured stars like Arraez and Buxton, and while they still suffered injuries, the DH spot was helpful in their ability to squeeze as many plate appearances out of certain players that they could. We all love Nelson Cruz. But the Minnesota Twins would be best served to stay away from him in free agency. Do you want the Twins to go after Nelson Cruz in free agency? Leave a comment and start the conversation!
  3. Craig Kimbrel In 2019, when Craig Kimbrel was a free agent entering the start of the season, many across Twins Territory were clamoring for the Twins to sign him. At the time he was a flame-throwing reliever, flirting with just about every potential record that existed for relievers. Ultimately the Twins steered clear though, and it appeared that the Twins avoided disaster. In 2019 and 2020, Kimbrel posted a 6.00 ERA in just 36 innings. Since 2020, though, Kimbrel’s numbers have improved. In the two seasons following that disastrous stretch, Kimbrel owns a 3.01 ERA with a 12.9 K/9. Kimbrel hasn’t convinced me, though. While his 3.75 ERA in 2022 is a solid number, that number was as high as 4.57 through mid-October. Additionally, Kimbrel is going to be 35 years old in May. Kimbrel has seen his fastball velocity dip in three consecutive seasons and his K/9 dipped by five from 2021 to 2022. Being the big name that he is, Kimbrel should get big money on the free agency market and the Twins would be prudent to steer clear. David Robertson David Robertson was the top reliever on the trade market at the 2022 trade deadline, and many thought that he would have been a good addition to the Twins at the time. Robertson ended up catching on with the Phillies, but now the Twins have a chance to sign the right-hander this offseason. They would be wise to not do that, though. While Robertson had a great season in 2022, posting a 2.40 ERA to go along with an 11.5 K/9, Robertson will be 38 years old when the 2023 season begins. Additionally, Robertson posted an unsustainable strand rate of 86%. Relief pitchers can be dominant for a long time and suddenly fade away. Given his age and the fortune that he sustained in 2022, the Twins would be best to find other options for the reliever position. Taylor Rogers Not a stranger to anyone in Minnesota, there has already been chatter of the southpaw returning to Minnesota in free agency this offseason. The Twins should avoid signing Taylor Rogers this offseason, though. There are certainly reasons to believe in a rebound season for Rogers in 2023. While Rogers had a rough 4.76 ERA, his underlying stats showed that he was better than that. Rogers posted a FIP of 3.31 and a K/9 of 11.8, right in line with his career K numbers. There are non-statistical reasons that the Twins should avoid Taylor Rogers. First of all, he will likely garner a multi-year contract in free agency. As a 31-year-old, Rogers will certainly be trying to secure his final multi-year deal of his career and will likely receive such a contract. The Twins’ front office has shown time and time again that they don’t want to sign relievers to multiple years, and that is definitely a prudent way to think. Additionally, the Twins really don’t have a need for a southpaw, especially one with the pedigree of Taylor Rogers. With Caleb Thielbar and Jovani Moran in hand, the Twins should be in good shape with left-handed relievers and would be better off attacking righties in free agency. Are there any other free-agent relievers you think the Twins should avoid? Leave a comment and start the conversation!
  4. In hot stove season, we typically talk about free agents that the Minnesota Twins should go after. Here are three free-agent relievers that the Twins need to avoid at all costs. Image courtesy of Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports Craig Kimbrel In 2019, when Craig Kimbrel was a free agent entering the start of the season, many across Twins Territory were clamoring for the Twins to sign him. At the time he was a flame-throwing reliever, flirting with just about every potential record that existed for relievers. Ultimately the Twins steered clear though, and it appeared that the Twins avoided disaster. In 2019 and 2020, Kimbrel posted a 6.00 ERA in just 36 innings. Since 2020, though, Kimbrel’s numbers have improved. In the two seasons following that disastrous stretch, Kimbrel owns a 3.01 ERA with a 12.9 K/9. Kimbrel hasn’t convinced me, though. While his 3.75 ERA in 2022 is a solid number, that number was as high as 4.57 through mid-October. Additionally, Kimbrel is going to be 35 years old in May. Kimbrel has seen his fastball velocity dip in three consecutive seasons and his K/9 dipped by five from 2021 to 2022. Being the big name that he is, Kimbrel should get big money on the free agency market and the Twins would be prudent to steer clear. David Robertson David Robertson was the top reliever on the trade market at the 2022 trade deadline, and many thought that he would have been a good addition to the Twins at the time. Robertson ended up catching on with the Phillies, but now the Twins have a chance to sign the right-hander this offseason. They would be wise to not do that, though. While Robertson had a great season in 2022, posting a 2.40 ERA to go along with an 11.5 K/9, Robertson will be 38 years old when the 2023 season begins. Additionally, Robertson posted an unsustainable strand rate of 86%. Relief pitchers can be dominant for a long time and suddenly fade away. Given his age and the fortune that he sustained in 2022, the Twins would be best to find other options for the reliever position. Taylor Rogers Not a stranger to anyone in Minnesota, there has already been chatter of the southpaw returning to Minnesota in free agency this offseason. The Twins should avoid signing Taylor Rogers this offseason, though. There are certainly reasons to believe in a rebound season for Rogers in 2023. While Rogers had a rough 4.76 ERA, his underlying stats showed that he was better than that. Rogers posted a FIP of 3.31 and a K/9 of 11.8, right in line with his career K numbers. There are non-statistical reasons that the Twins should avoid Taylor Rogers. First of all, he will likely garner a multi-year contract in free agency. As a 31-year-old, Rogers will certainly be trying to secure his final multi-year deal of his career and will likely receive such a contract. The Twins’ front office has shown time and time again that they don’t want to sign relievers to multiple years, and that is definitely a prudent way to think. Additionally, the Twins really don’t have a need for a southpaw, especially one with the pedigree of Taylor Rogers. With Caleb Thielbar and Jovani Moran in hand, the Twins should be in good shape with left-handed relievers and would be better off attacking righties in free agency. Are there any other free-agent relievers you think the Twins should avoid? Leave a comment and start the conversation! View full article
  5. After a second consecutive disappointing season, the Minnesota Twins front office has come under plenty of fire. There is one area in particular, though, where this front office has especially hurt the Twins’ chances. Image courtesy of Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports Matt Shoemaker. J.A. Happ. Alexander Colomé. Chris Archer. Dylan Bundy. Emilio Pagán. Each of these players are veteran pitchers who struggled mightily out of the gate in a Twins’ uniform, yet were given a leash long enough to pitch well into the Summer (in the cases of Matt Shoemaker and J.A. Happ) or for the entirety of the season (for the rest of the players listed). The Derek Falvey-led front office of the Minnesota Twins has repeatedly shown an affinity for signing aging middle-tier pitchers and a hesitancy to move on from those veteran pitchers, even when those pitchers are performing especially poorly. In 2021, this issue was seen all over the roster. J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker were giving up 5+ earned runs per start for months and Alexander Colomé was continuously trotted out to the mound to blow game after game. Rather than learning from those mistakes in 2021, Falvey’s propensity for sticking with veterans too long was even more prominent in 2022. Both Chris Archer and Dylan Bundy somehow made it through the entire season on the roster, despite both of them being terrible all season and each finishing with ERAs in the high 4’s. And then there’s Emilio Pagán. We all know of the struggles that Pagán had in 2022, yet he was continuously relied upon in big moments throughout the season, and the Twins suffered mightily as a result. One would think that after the Alexander Colomé disaster of 2021 that Falvey would have learned his lesson, but things only got worse this season, as Pagán finished third on the team in innings pitched despite having the 8th worst win probability added in the American League. The most common rebuttal that I’ve heard from Twins fans defending Derek Falvey for sticking with his veterans is that there were so many injuries that the Twins had no choice but to stick with these guys. The final months of the 2022 season for the Twins, though, proved otherwise. Over the final months of the season, the Minnesota Twins saw impressive debuts from rookies such as Louie Varland, Ronny Henriquez, and Simeon Woods Richardson. They also had other arms in the minors performing well, namely Evan Sisk, who posted a 2.00 ERA over 63 innings in Double-A and Triple-A. Not only were the Minnesota Twins trotting out pitchers day after day that were actively losing them baseball games, but they proved at the end of the year that they had plenty of talent in the minor leagues that could have performed better and also gotten valuable experience they needed as part of the long-term future of this ball club. Looking ahead to free agency of 2023, let’s hope that the Twins front office has finally learned from their mistakes with trusting middle-tier veteran pitchers. Time and time again, we have learned that veteran-ness does not automatically make you a better player and that by giving an opportunity to younger pitchers, you are unlocking opportunity and ceiling that simply isn’t there with the Dylan Bundy’s and Matt Shoemaker’s of the world. View full article
  6. Matt Shoemaker. J.A. Happ. Alexander Colomé. Chris Archer. Dylan Bundy. Emilio Pagán. Each of these players are veteran pitchers who struggled mightily out of the gate in a Twins’ uniform, yet were given a leash long enough to pitch well into the Summer (in the cases of Matt Shoemaker and J.A. Happ) or for the entirety of the season (for the rest of the players listed). The Derek Falvey-led front office of the Minnesota Twins has repeatedly shown an affinity for signing aging middle-tier pitchers and a hesitancy to move on from those veteran pitchers, even when those pitchers are performing especially poorly. In 2021, this issue was seen all over the roster. J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker were giving up 5+ earned runs per start for months and Alexander Colomé was continuously trotted out to the mound to blow game after game. Rather than learning from those mistakes in 2021, Falvey’s propensity for sticking with veterans too long was even more prominent in 2022. Both Chris Archer and Dylan Bundy somehow made it through the entire season on the roster, despite both of them being terrible all season and each finishing with ERAs in the high 4’s. And then there’s Emilio Pagán. We all know of the struggles that Pagán had in 2022, yet he was continuously relied upon in big moments throughout the season, and the Twins suffered mightily as a result. One would think that after the Alexander Colomé disaster of 2021 that Falvey would have learned his lesson, but things only got worse this season, as Pagán finished third on the team in innings pitched despite having the 8th worst win probability added in the American League. The most common rebuttal that I’ve heard from Twins fans defending Derek Falvey for sticking with his veterans is that there were so many injuries that the Twins had no choice but to stick with these guys. The final months of the 2022 season for the Twins, though, proved otherwise. Over the final months of the season, the Minnesota Twins saw impressive debuts from rookies such as Louie Varland, Ronny Henriquez, and Simeon Woods Richardson. They also had other arms in the minors performing well, namely Evan Sisk, who posted a 2.00 ERA over 63 innings in Double-A and Triple-A. Not only were the Minnesota Twins trotting out pitchers day after day that were actively losing them baseball games, but they proved at the end of the year that they had plenty of talent in the minor leagues that could have performed better and also gotten valuable experience they needed as part of the long-term future of this ball club. Looking ahead to free agency of 2023, let’s hope that the Twins front office has finally learned from their mistakes with trusting middle-tier veteran pitchers. Time and time again, we have learned that veteran-ness does not automatically make you a better player and that by giving an opportunity to younger pitchers, you are unlocking opportunity and ceiling that simply isn’t there with the Dylan Bundy’s and Matt Shoemaker’s of the world.
  7. It’s no secret that Emilio Pagán has been bad for the Minnesota Twins. The good news is that the Twins have four more than capable in-house options to replace him, should the Twins decide to move on from the man they acquired in exchange for Taylor Rogers this offseason. Emilio Pagán has not only been bad this season for the Minnesota Twins, but has been one of the worst relievers in baseball going on three seasons now. Our friend Aaron Gleeman said it best: Continuing to trot out Pagán every few days is actively harming the Minnesota Twins. He continues to harm the team and his upside is certainly not high enough to warrant the catastrophic performances we see from him on a weekly basis. Additionally, the Minnesota Twins have plenty of players just 15 minutes away from Target Field who could fill in for Pagán. There’s a great chance that these players would perform better than Pagán, and would give each of them valuable experience with an eye toward sticking in the bullpen for years to come. These four players are better options for the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen than Emilio Pagán: Jovani Moran Jovani Moran should be a familiar name for Minnesota Twins fans as he has been up with the Twins many times this season. In his time with the Twins, Moran has been more than solid, owning a 1.93 ERA in 23 1/3 innings in 2022. Moran is a left-handed pitcher who possesses a nasty changeup that can neutralize right-handers. Moran is certainly a pitcher who has a future in this Twins bullpen and the fact that Emilio Pagán is getting more play than him isn’t right. Ronny Henriquez Ronny Henriquez was acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Mitch Garver/Isaiah Kiner-Falefa swap early in the 2022 offseason. Henriquez has not been amazing for the Twins in 2022, owning a 5.90 ERA for the AAA affiliate, but he has been better as of late. In 26 innings since June 21, the right-hander owns a 3.12 ERA with a 29/8 K/BB ratio. What makes Henriquez an intriguing option for the Minnesota Twins bullpen is that he has yet to be tested in a true 1-2 inning bullpen role. Henriquez can get to the upper 90s with his fastball and his pitch repertoire might just be one that thrives in a bullpen role rather than the 4-5 inning stretches that he has been pitching with the Saints this season. Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster with the Minnesota Twins. Evan Sisk The Minnesota Twins acquired Evan Sisk in its trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021 for J.A. Happ. Sisk performed extremely well this season in Wichita and was moved up to the St. Paul Saints where he has continued his great pitching out of the bullpen. In 14 innings with the St. Paul Saints in 2022, Sisk owns a 2.57 ERA with a K/9 of 9.6. Sisk is not currently on the 40-man roster for the Twins so would need to be added if he were to be called up to the big-league club. Drew Strotman Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Nelson Cruz trade last summer, Drew Strotman struggled mightily as a starting pitcher with the Minnesota Twins in 2021. Coming into 2022, the Twins opted to convert Strotman into a reliever and he continued to struggle in the early months of this season. Over the past month and a half, though, Strotman appears to have turned a corner and become somewhat of a weapon for the St. Paul Saints. Over his last 10 appearances, Strotman has a 1.32 ERA and opponents are hitting just .180 off of him. On the season, Strotman has demonstrated the ability to miss bats, boasting a K/9 in the double digits. Control can be an issue for Strotman, but when he’s able to locate his pitches, he can be really solid. Strotman is already on the 40-man roster, so no roster finagling would need to be done with a Strotman call-up. Do you agree that these options would be better for the Twins’ bullpen than Emilio Pagán? How would you rank your confidence in these names? Leave a comment below and start the conversation! View full article
  8. Emilio Pagán has not only been bad this season for the Minnesota Twins, but has been one of the worst relievers in baseball going on three seasons now. Our friend Aaron Gleeman said it best: Continuing to trot out Pagán every few days is actively harming the Minnesota Twins. He continues to harm the team and his upside is certainly not high enough to warrant the catastrophic performances we see from him on a weekly basis. Additionally, the Minnesota Twins have plenty of players just 15 minutes away from Target Field who could fill in for Pagán. There’s a great chance that these players would perform better than Pagán, and would give each of them valuable experience with an eye toward sticking in the bullpen for years to come. These four players are better options for the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen than Emilio Pagán: Jovani Moran Jovani Moran should be a familiar name for Minnesota Twins fans as he has been up with the Twins many times this season. In his time with the Twins, Moran has been more than solid, owning a 1.93 ERA in 23 1/3 innings in 2022. Moran is a left-handed pitcher who possesses a nasty changeup that can neutralize right-handers. Moran is certainly a pitcher who has a future in this Twins bullpen and the fact that Emilio Pagán is getting more play than him isn’t right. Ronny Henriquez Ronny Henriquez was acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Mitch Garver/Isaiah Kiner-Falefa swap early in the 2022 offseason. Henriquez has not been amazing for the Twins in 2022, owning a 5.90 ERA for the AAA affiliate, but he has been better as of late. In 26 innings since June 21, the right-hander owns a 3.12 ERA with a 29/8 K/BB ratio. What makes Henriquez an intriguing option for the Minnesota Twins bullpen is that he has yet to be tested in a true 1-2 inning bullpen role. Henriquez can get to the upper 90s with his fastball and his pitch repertoire might just be one that thrives in a bullpen role rather than the 4-5 inning stretches that he has been pitching with the Saints this season. Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster with the Minnesota Twins. Evan Sisk The Minnesota Twins acquired Evan Sisk in its trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021 for J.A. Happ. Sisk performed extremely well this season in Wichita and was moved up to the St. Paul Saints where he has continued his great pitching out of the bullpen. In 14 innings with the St. Paul Saints in 2022, Sisk owns a 2.57 ERA with a K/9 of 9.6. Sisk is not currently on the 40-man roster for the Twins so would need to be added if he were to be called up to the big-league club. Drew Strotman Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Nelson Cruz trade last summer, Drew Strotman struggled mightily as a starting pitcher with the Minnesota Twins in 2021. Coming into 2022, the Twins opted to convert Strotman into a reliever and he continued to struggle in the early months of this season. Over the past month and a half, though, Strotman appears to have turned a corner and become somewhat of a weapon for the St. Paul Saints. Over his last 10 appearances, Strotman has a 1.32 ERA and opponents are hitting just .180 off of him. On the season, Strotman has demonstrated the ability to miss bats, boasting a K/9 in the double digits. Control can be an issue for Strotman, but when he’s able to locate his pitches, he can be really solid. Strotman is already on the 40-man roster, so no roster finagling would need to be done with a Strotman call-up. Do you agree that these options would be better for the Twins’ bullpen than Emilio Pagán? How would you rank your confidence in these names? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!
  9. During a baseball season, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in each individual game that one can miss larger trends in player performance. Let’s take a step back and look at who on the Minnesota Twins has been hot, and who has not. In looking at our hot or not list we will be looking at player performance since July 1. This is a long enough timespan to give a decent sample size of plate appearances and show an actual trend of performance. We’ll look at two Twins hitters who have been “hot” and two who have “not”. HOT: José Miranda .329/.400/.529 (95 plate appearances) 168 wRC+ 5 HR, 25 RBI Jose Miranda has been an absolute stud for the Minnesota Twins since his slow start immediately following his call up. Since the calendar turned to July, Miranda has easily been the best hitter on the Twins and has shown up in the clutch, too, delivering walk off hits on two separate occasions. One area in which Miranda has especially excelled is in limiting strikeouts. Since July 1, Miranda has had a K% of just 15.8, good for second best on the Twins during that span. Nick Gordon .333/.387/.561 (75 plate appearances) 165 wRC+ 2 HR, 9 RBI If you thought Jose Miranda’s hot streak was surprising, then you’re going to need to sit down for this one, because Nick Gordon has been on an absolute scorcher for the Minnesota Twins since July 1, with a team-best OPS of .947 in that span. The slim Gordon may look like a scrappy singles-hitting ballplayer, but he has been demolishing the ball with a high exit velocity and has delivered 11 extra base hits since July 1. NOT: Gary Sanchéz .155/.246/.224 (65 plate appearances) 38 wRC+ 1 HR, 6 RBI After posting a strong month of May, Sanchez had a terrible month of June and has been even worse since the calendar turned to July. To make matters worse, Ryan Jeffers has since hit the injured list, forcing Sanchez to become an everyday player for the Twins. Sanchez has been striking out at a 30% clip and has shown absolutely no power, owning a slugging percentage even lower than his on-base percentage. Carlos Correa .194/.292/.347 (113 plate appearances) 82 wRC+ 4 HR, 13 RBI Going under the radar has been just how pedestrian Carlos Correa has been at the plate over the past five weeks. Since the calendar turned to July, Correa owns the second-lowest OPS on the Minnesota Twins at .639 along with the second-lowest average exit velocity of 87.9 MPH. With a player option following the season, could Correa possibly opt in to return to the Land of 10,000 lakes in 2023? What are your thoughts on the hot/not list above? Do you think the players listed will stick in the same category over the last two months of the season? Leave a comment below and start the conversation! View full article
  10. In looking at our hot or not list we will be looking at player performance since July 1. This is a long enough timespan to give a decent sample size of plate appearances and show an actual trend of performance. We’ll look at two Twins hitters who have been “hot” and two who have “not”. HOT: José Miranda .329/.400/.529 (95 plate appearances) 168 wRC+ 5 HR, 25 RBI Jose Miranda has been an absolute stud for the Minnesota Twins since his slow start immediately following his call up. Since the calendar turned to July, Miranda has easily been the best hitter on the Twins and has shown up in the clutch, too, delivering walk off hits on two separate occasions. One area in which Miranda has especially excelled is in limiting strikeouts. Since July 1, Miranda has had a K% of just 15.8, good for second best on the Twins during that span. Nick Gordon .333/.387/.561 (75 plate appearances) 165 wRC+ 2 HR, 9 RBI If you thought Jose Miranda’s hot streak was surprising, then you’re going to need to sit down for this one, because Nick Gordon has been on an absolute scorcher for the Minnesota Twins since July 1, with a team-best OPS of .947 in that span. The slim Gordon may look like a scrappy singles-hitting ballplayer, but he has been demolishing the ball with a high exit velocity and has delivered 11 extra base hits since July 1. NOT: Gary Sanchéz .155/.246/.224 (65 plate appearances) 38 wRC+ 1 HR, 6 RBI After posting a strong month of May, Sanchez had a terrible month of June and has been even worse since the calendar turned to July. To make matters worse, Ryan Jeffers has since hit the injured list, forcing Sanchez to become an everyday player for the Twins. Sanchez has been striking out at a 30% clip and has shown absolutely no power, owning a slugging percentage even lower than his on-base percentage. Carlos Correa .194/.292/.347 (113 plate appearances) 82 wRC+ 4 HR, 13 RBI Going under the radar has been just how pedestrian Carlos Correa has been at the plate over the past five weeks. Since the calendar turned to July, Correa owns the second-lowest OPS on the Minnesota Twins at .639 along with the second-lowest average exit velocity of 87.9 MPH. With a player option following the season, could Correa possibly opt in to return to the Land of 10,000 lakes in 2023? What are your thoughts on the hot/not list above? Do you think the players listed will stick in the same category over the last two months of the season? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!
  11. Much has been made about the Minnesota Twins trading for Frankie Montas, Tyler Mahle or Kyle Gibson, but there is one pitcher who is better than all of them and might be attainable. It would just take a godfather offer. The Minnesota Twins’ need for a starting pitcher is undeniable. The duo of Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan have been rock solid for the Twins in 2022, but Minnesota needs another top-line starter to help them secure a division title and throw out in a playoff game. Frankie Montas has been talked about extensively as the top trade target, but there is another starting pitcher on a losing team who would be an even better target, right handed pitcher, Zac Gallen. Zac Gallen is a 26-year-old ace starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks who is in his fourth season in the Majors. In his Major League career, Gallen boasts a 3.35 ERA with a 10.1 K/9 and an excellent K/BB ratio of 3.01. In his best season, 2020, Gallen posted a 2.75 ERA and finished ninth in the National League Cy Young voting. As a young starting pitcher, Zac Gallen also brings with him years of control. The Arizona right-hander is currently in the last year of his rookie contract, of $745,600 heading into his first year of arbitration. This means that a team who would acquire him at the trade deadline would get him for the remainder of the 2022 season, along with three additional years of team control at an affordable arbitration cost. So, why might the Arizona Diamondbacks be looking to trade their young, talented, and controllable starting pitcher? Currently, Arizona finds themselves in fourth place, eight games below .500, in the best division in the national league. The Diamondbacks have not made the playoffs since 2017 and do not look poised to do so this year. While Gallen looks to be an ace starting pitcher, it’s fair to wonder just when Arizona might be ready to compete, and if their best course of action would be to cash in on their right-hander now, while his value is at its all-time peak. According to a Jon Heyman article in the New York Post earlier this month, the Arizona Diamondbacks plan to keep Zac Gallen, “unless they get an offer they can’t refuse.” This time of the year it’s always hard to tell how much to believe in these reports versus how much is posturing by teams and/or agents. But taking the post from the New York Post at face value, what would it take for the Twins to offer the Diamondbacks an offer that they couldn’t refuse? In my mind, a great offer like that would involve a Major League player right now, along with future assets. Something along the lines of Trevor Larnach, Austin Martin, Josh Winder and Jordan Balazovic could start the conversation and get the Diamondbacks interested in a potential deal with the Twins. Another piece of the Zac Gallen conversation that might make Twins fans nervous, but might also lessen the cost of Zac Gallen in a trade is his potential injury concerns. Earlier this season, Gallen was placed on the injured list with a UCL strain. Of course, this might bring back some bad memories from Chris Paddack and his UCL issues prior to the Twins trading for him and ultimately losing him to Tommy John surgery. At the same time, though, the injury concerns for both the Diamondbacks as well as other suitors might just lower the cost to the point that his cost of acquisition would be lower than what you would expect from an ace with three and a half years of team control. The Twins should absolutely explore trades for the Frankie Montases and Tyler Mahles of the world, but if Zac Gallen is on the market, the Twins should put together their best offer to bring him to the Twin Cities. Would you be excited about Zac Gallen coming to the Minnesota Twins? Do his elbow issues concern you? Leave a comment below and start the conversation! View full article
  12. The Minnesota Twins’ need for a starting pitcher is undeniable. The duo of Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan have been rock solid for the Twins in 2022, but Minnesota needs another top-line starter to help them secure a division title and throw out in a playoff game. Frankie Montas has been talked about extensively as the top trade target, but there is another starting pitcher on a losing team who would be an even better target, right handed pitcher, Zac Gallen. Zac Gallen is a 26-year-old ace starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks who is in his fourth season in the Majors. In his Major League career, Gallen boasts a 3.35 ERA with a 10.1 K/9 and an excellent K/BB ratio of 3.01. In his best season, 2020, Gallen posted a 2.75 ERA and finished ninth in the National League Cy Young voting. As a young starting pitcher, Zac Gallen also brings with him years of control. The Arizona right-hander is currently in the last year of his rookie contract, of $745,600 heading into his first year of arbitration. This means that a team who would acquire him at the trade deadline would get him for the remainder of the 2022 season, along with three additional years of team control at an affordable arbitration cost. So, why might the Arizona Diamondbacks be looking to trade their young, talented, and controllable starting pitcher? Currently, Arizona finds themselves in fourth place, eight games below .500, in the best division in the national league. The Diamondbacks have not made the playoffs since 2017 and do not look poised to do so this year. While Gallen looks to be an ace starting pitcher, it’s fair to wonder just when Arizona might be ready to compete, and if their best course of action would be to cash in on their right-hander now, while his value is at its all-time peak. According to a Jon Heyman article in the New York Post earlier this month, the Arizona Diamondbacks plan to keep Zac Gallen, “unless they get an offer they can’t refuse.” This time of the year it’s always hard to tell how much to believe in these reports versus how much is posturing by teams and/or agents. But taking the post from the New York Post at face value, what would it take for the Twins to offer the Diamondbacks an offer that they couldn’t refuse? In my mind, a great offer like that would involve a Major League player right now, along with future assets. Something along the lines of Trevor Larnach, Austin Martin, Josh Winder and Jordan Balazovic could start the conversation and get the Diamondbacks interested in a potential deal with the Twins. Another piece of the Zac Gallen conversation that might make Twins fans nervous, but might also lessen the cost of Zac Gallen in a trade is his potential injury concerns. Earlier this season, Gallen was placed on the injured list with a UCL strain. Of course, this might bring back some bad memories from Chris Paddack and his UCL issues prior to the Twins trading for him and ultimately losing him to Tommy John surgery. At the same time, though, the injury concerns for both the Diamondbacks as well as other suitors might just lower the cost to the point that his cost of acquisition would be lower than what you would expect from an ace with three and a half years of team control. The Twins should absolutely explore trades for the Frankie Montases and Tyler Mahles of the world, but if Zac Gallen is on the market, the Twins should put together their best offer to bring him to the Twin Cities. Would you be excited about Zac Gallen coming to the Minnesota Twins? Do his elbow issues concern you? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!
  13. Luis Arraez has been absolutely dominant at the plate all season for the Minnesota Twins. Over 54 games in the 2022 season, Arraez is leading the American League in batting average by nine points with an average of .354. An impressive number in any season, but especially in 2022 when the league average is .240. Further, Arraez is leading all of baseball in on-base percentage with a video game-like number of .436. While he has historically been a second baseman, or even third base/left field, this season Arraez’s primary position has been at first base. Of his 43 non-DH games this season, 29 of them have come at first base, and his only eligibility in all-star voting is at first base. With that in mind, let’s look at his main competition for an all-star start. Player Batting Avg OPS wRC+ fWAR Team Winning % Ty France .322 .893 165 2.3 .444 Jose Abreu .260 .799 134 1.5 .492 Luis Arraez .354 .863 156 1.4 .569 Vlad Guerrero Jr. .259 .837 133 1.1 .597 Trey Mancini .290 .797 131 1.2 .422 As you can see in the chart above, Ty France certainly looks to be the main statistical competitor to Luis Arraez to be an all-star starter. France has a higher OPS, wRC+ and has been worth more fWAR than Arraez in 2022. What Arraez has over France, though, is the allure that comes with being a batting champion. While batting average doesn’t have the same meaning as it used to, the batting average champion still has importance in this league, and the fact that Arraez is hitting .354 in a season where offense has been down, gives him an advantage. Additionally, Arraez has an advantage over France in that he is putting up his statistics for a first place team. While the all-star game is an event that recognizes individual play, when the decision is a close one, the nod should go to the player who is in a tightly-contested division race. Not to mention, France has slowed down quite a bit after his hot start. Since the calendar turned to June, France has hit just .231 with a .764 OPS, while Arraez has hit .364 with a .917 OPS. Numbers in April count the same as numbers in June, but the arrow is pointing up for Arraez while it’s pointing down on France, which should count for something. Finally, Arraez deserves a ton of credit for picking up a Minnesota Twins team that has been absolutely decimated by injuries all season. When Buxton, Correa, Kirilloff, and Larnach have missed games, Arraez has put the Twins team on his back and put up a 2-for-4 performance at the plate every single day. Arraez doesn’t get into slumps and puts the Twins in a position to put together rallies from the top of the lineup without skipping a beat. The other main competitor to Luis Arraez to be named an all-star starter will be Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. While Vladdy has been having yet another stellar year for the Blue Jays, his numbers just aren’t up to the level of Minnesota’s left-hander. Arraez leads Guerrero in batting average, OPS, wRC+, and fWAR. Certainly, Vlad has the name recognition over Arraez, but Arraez has been a better player than Vlad since day one and hopefully, the voters recognize the numbers rather than voting for Vlad on name alone. Luis Arraez has been a menace at the plate all season and he will surely be rewarded with his first all-star appearance. That’s not enough though, Luis Arraez should be an all-star starter.
  14. Luis Arraez is an all-star. That much is undeniable. But with his electric bat on a first-place team, Luis Arraez should be an all-star starter. Luis Arraez has been absolutely dominant at the plate all season for the Minnesota Twins. Over 54 games in the 2022 season, Arraez is leading the American League in batting average by nine points with an average of .354. An impressive number in any season, but especially in 2022 when the league average is .240. Further, Arraez is leading all of baseball in on-base percentage with a video game-like number of .436. While he has historically been a second baseman, or even third base/left field, this season Arraez’s primary position has been at first base. Of his 43 non-DH games this season, 29 of them have come at first base, and his only eligibility in all-star voting is at first base. With that in mind, let’s look at his main competition for an all-star start. Player Batting Avg OPS wRC+ fWAR Team Winning % Ty France .322 .893 165 2.3 .444 Jose Abreu .260 .799 134 1.5 .492 Luis Arraez .354 .863 156 1.4 .569 Vlad Guerrero Jr. .259 .837 133 1.1 .597 Trey Mancini .290 .797 131 1.2 .422 As you can see in the chart above, Ty France certainly looks to be the main statistical competitor to Luis Arraez to be an all-star starter. France has a higher OPS, wRC+ and has been worth more fWAR than Arraez in 2022. What Arraez has over France, though, is the allure that comes with being a batting champion. While batting average doesn’t have the same meaning as it used to, the batting average champion still has importance in this league, and the fact that Arraez is hitting .354 in a season where offense has been down, gives him an advantage. Additionally, Arraez has an advantage over France in that he is putting up his statistics for a first place team. While the all-star game is an event that recognizes individual play, when the decision is a close one, the nod should go to the player who is in a tightly-contested division race. Not to mention, France has slowed down quite a bit after his hot start. Since the calendar turned to June, France has hit just .231 with a .764 OPS, while Arraez has hit .364 with a .917 OPS. Numbers in April count the same as numbers in June, but the arrow is pointing up for Arraez while it’s pointing down on France, which should count for something. Finally, Arraez deserves a ton of credit for picking up a Minnesota Twins team that has been absolutely decimated by injuries all season. When Buxton, Correa, Kirilloff, and Larnach have missed games, Arraez has put the Twins team on his back and put up a 2-for-4 performance at the plate every single day. Arraez doesn’t get into slumps and puts the Twins in a position to put together rallies from the top of the lineup without skipping a beat. The other main competitor to Luis Arraez to be named an all-star starter will be Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. While Vladdy has been having yet another stellar year for the Blue Jays, his numbers just aren’t up to the level of Minnesota’s left-hander. Arraez leads Guerrero in batting average, OPS, wRC+, and fWAR. Certainly, Vlad has the name recognition over Arraez, but Arraez has been a better player than Vlad since day one and hopefully, the voters recognize the numbers rather than voting for Vlad on name alone. Luis Arraez has been a menace at the plate all season and he will surely be rewarded with his first all-star appearance. That’s not enough though, Luis Arraez should be an all-star starter. View full article
  15. Alex Kirilloff has been demolishing the baseball over the last month with the St. Paul Saints, yet the Minnesota Twins still have not called him up. What are they waiting for? Cole Sands, Yennier Cano, Jermaine Palacios, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Ian Hamilton, Mark Contreras, Tyler Thornburg and Elliot Soto, these are just a handful of names that have been called up to the Minnesota Twins since May 12. Over that same time frame, Alex Kirilloff has hit .382 with the St. Paul Saints with an OPS of 1.182, including nine home runs and 15 extra base hits. Yet, Alex Kirilloff has yet to be promoted to the Big League club since his April demotion. There are a few reasons that people will give when explaining why Alex Kirilloff has not yet been promoted back to the Twins. The first reason is that the Twins need pitching. Regarding the starting rotation, absolutely, the Minnesota Twins currently have five starting pitchers on the injured list and names like Chi Chi Gonzalez and Cole Sands are absolutely understandable call ups for the Twins. Getting into the bullpen, though, is when it’s harder to justify Kirilloff not getting a call-up. The Twins currently have ten pitchers in their bullpen, five of the ten pitchers have only thrown once over the past five days. The Twins really value having depth and flexibility in their bullpen, but when arms are getting used so sparingly (and they aren’t exactly golden arms), it doesn’t seem to be completely necessary to carry so many arms. Especially when one of those arms is Tyler Duffey, whose spot on the team is certainly not a warranted one. Since his three-run implosion against the Royals on May 26, a Duffey-for-Kirilloff swap on the roster has seemed so obvious, but the Twins continue to trot out an arm every day that is actively hurting the team, while hiding a dominant bat in Lowertown. Another reason people give for the Twins not calling up Kirilloff is that there aren’t enough at-bats for him with the Twins. With Trevor Larnach mashing in left field and Luis Arraez showing fielding chops at first, Kirilloff might not have a spot in the lineup anyways. In reality, though, there would be plenty of at-bats for Kirilloff in the Majors. Utilizing the DH spot, Baldelli can have Larnach, Kirilloff and Arraez all play at the same time and cycle them through different positions. This will allow the Twins to avoid situations where they play both of their catchers in a lineup against a right-handed hitter, as was the case on Saturday. The addition of Elliot Soto on Monday was the most curious decision yet, though. The Twins are coming off of a game where they were shut out and when adding an offensive player they opt for a AAA journeyman with a .658 OPS, especially when they are already rostering Nick Gordon who has the same defensive flexibility as Soto. Alex Kirilloff has demonstrated that his wrist is healthy. He’s demonstrating that he has the ability to not only make contact but to drive the ball. Alex Kirilloff needs to be up with the Minnesota Twins, and the Twins need to stop waiting and make the call yesterday. What do you think? Should the Twins call up Kirilloff now or are there legitimate reasons not to? Leave a COMMENT below. View full article
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