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Matthew Taylor

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  • Birthday 02/13/1993

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  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. After a surprising win from a depleted roster on Friday night, the Twins team that we expected to see in Canada reared its face as the Twins got crushed by the Blue Jays. Box Score SP: Dylan Bundy: 2 ⅓ IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (67 pitches, 42 strikes (63%)) Home Runs: Polanco (6) Bottom 3 WPA: Dylan Bundy -.463, Byron Buxton -.061, Mark Contreras -.049 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Game Notes The Minnesota Twins’ bats picked up where they left off on Friday night as they got off to a quick start on Saturday afternoon. Luis Arraez kicked off the game with a leadoff single to set up Jorge Polanco for a 2-run home run, his sixth of the 2022 season. Coming into today’s game, José Berríos owned a 5.62 ERA in 2022. The quick damage from the Twins in the first inning made it seem like the old friend’s nightmare start to the 2022 season would continue. Following the first inning, though, Berríos settled down in a big way and quieted the Twins’ bats in a big way. After getting two hits and two runs in the first inning, the Twins were only able to muster one more hit over Berríos’ seven-inning start right-hander turned in one of his best starts of the season, potentially turning around his disastrous start. On the Twins’ side of the mound, Dylan Bundy’s start went about as poorly as possible. Bundy couldn’t even make it through the third inning as the Blue Jays pounded him at every opportunity. In just 2 ⅓ short innings, Bundy allowed eight hits and five earned runs, including home runs to Bo Bichette and Alejandro Kirk. After a stellar night for the Twins’ bullpen on Friday, the reliever group was terrible for the Twins on Saturday afternoon. As a group, the bullpen allowed six earned runs over 5 ⅔ innings, striking out only three batters. Each of Ian Hamilton, Yennier Cano and Juan Minaya were tagged for multiple hits and at least one earned run. Overall it was a day to forget for the Minnesota Twins. Every pitcher who appeared in the game for the Twins looked bad, and after a promising first inning, the bats were completely silent all game (aside from a meaningless run in the 9th), making a poorly performing José Berríos look like prime Johan Santana. In the end the Twins ended up on the losing side, 12-3, dropping their record to 31-24. What’s Next? The beautiful part of baseball is that the Twins get a chance at redemption tomorrow. The Minnesota Twins will wrap up their three game series against the Blue Jays in a rubber match on Sunday afternoon. The Twins will trot Devin Smeltzer out to the mound to face off against AL Cy Young candidate, Kevin Gausman. Game time is 12:37pm central time. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  6. Box Score SP: Dylan Bundy: 2 ⅓ IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (67 pitches, 42 strikes (63%)) Home Runs: Polanco (6) Bottom 3 WPA: Dylan Bundy -.463, Byron Buxton -.061, Mark Contreras -.049 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Game Notes The Minnesota Twins’ bats picked up where they left off on Friday night as they got off to a quick start on Saturday afternoon. Luis Arraez kicked off the game with a leadoff single to set up Jorge Polanco for a 2-run home run, his sixth of the 2022 season. Coming into today’s game, José Berríos owned a 5.62 ERA in 2022. The quick damage from the Twins in the first inning made it seem like the old friend’s nightmare start to the 2022 season would continue. Following the first inning, though, Berríos settled down in a big way and quieted the Twins’ bats in a big way. After getting two hits and two runs in the first inning, the Twins were only able to muster one more hit over Berríos’ seven-inning start right-hander turned in one of his best starts of the season, potentially turning around his disastrous start. On the Twins’ side of the mound, Dylan Bundy’s start went about as poorly as possible. Bundy couldn’t even make it through the third inning as the Blue Jays pounded him at every opportunity. In just 2 ⅓ short innings, Bundy allowed eight hits and five earned runs, including home runs to Bo Bichette and Alejandro Kirk. After a stellar night for the Twins’ bullpen on Friday, the reliever group was terrible for the Twins on Saturday afternoon. As a group, the bullpen allowed six earned runs over 5 ⅔ innings, striking out only three batters. Each of Ian Hamilton, Yennier Cano and Juan Minaya were tagged for multiple hits and at least one earned run. Overall it was a day to forget for the Minnesota Twins. Every pitcher who appeared in the game for the Twins looked bad, and after a promising first inning, the bats were completely silent all game (aside from a meaningless run in the 9th), making a poorly performing José Berríos look like prime Johan Santana. In the end the Twins ended up on the losing side, 12-3, dropping their record to 31-24. What’s Next? The beautiful part of baseball is that the Twins get a chance at redemption tomorrow. The Minnesota Twins will wrap up their three game series against the Blue Jays in a rubber match on Sunday afternoon. The Twins will trot Devin Smeltzer out to the mound to face off against AL Cy Young candidate, Kevin Gausman. Game time is 12:37pm central time. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  7. There is a lot of concern in Minnesota Twins Territory after the Twins four of five games against the Detroit Tigers this week. Don’t sound the alarms, though, there are plenty of reasons not to worry. 1. Reinforcements are on the way A big reason why the Minnesota Twins have struggled over the last couple weeks have been because of the sheer number of players that they have been missing in these games. Just to list the name of players that have hit the injured list over the past two weeks illustrates how dire it has been: Carlos Correa (COVID-19), Joe Ryan (COVID-19), Gilberto Celestino (COVID-19), Josh Winder (Shoulder), Sonny Gray (Pectoral), Royce Lewis (Knee), Danny Coulombe (Hip). The good news for the Twins, though, is that many of these players figure to be back shortly. It’s been just about one week since Ryan, Celestino and Correa hit the COVID-19 list and they figure to be back in the fold in just a few short days. Additionally, Jorge Alcala has already begun his rehab assignment as he reaches the end of his time on the 60-day injured list, and all reports point to his arm looking strong. The return timelines of Josh Winder, Sonny Gray and Royce Lewis are less clear, but all three of these vital players appear to have avoided major injuries and figure to be healthy in turn for the late summer home stretch of the season. Finally, the Twins are close to getting Alex Kirilloff added back onto the squad as well. Kirilloff struggled mightily during his time with the Twins, but since getting sent back down to AAA, Kirilloff has found his groove to the tune of a .863 OPS. Getting Kirilloff back to his expected form would be a big time addition. 2. White Sox Look Terrible For as bad as the Minnesota Twins have looked lately, the Chicago White Sox have looked even worse. The team that everyone expected to run away with the American League Central has not at all looked the part all season. After falling prey to a sweep from the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon, the White Sox now find themselves at 23-26 with a negative-55 run differential, the second-worst run differential in the American League. While true that the schedule is about to get tough for the Twins, the White Sox face an equally tough slate with their next six games coming against the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s hard to envision the Guardians, Tigers, or Royals making any sort of run at the American League Central, and with the White Sox looking as bad as they have looked, there’s still plenty of reason to feel optimistic about the Twins’ chances of making the playoffs. 3. Third Wild Card Spot If the White Sox do figure things out and start playing much better than they have over the first third of the season, the Twins still have a great shot at making the playoffs via the Wildcard. As a part of the new CBA agreement, there are now three Wildcard teams that make the American League playoffs. In an American League where nine teams currently have a record under .500, it shouldn’t take any more than 85 wins to make the playoffs. To put that in perspective, the Twins would just need to play .500 baseball over the balance of the season to lock down a playoff spot. Additionally, all Wildcard teams are now guaranteed an extended playoff series, rather than a one-game playoff. There is certainly reason to be frustrated with how the Minnesota Twins have been playing lately. However, with the reinforcements on the way, along with the way the White Sox have been playing and the fact that three Wild Card teams from the American League will make the playoffs, the Minnesota Twins still find themselves in a good spot to reach the postseason, where anything can happen (even if you’re the Minnesota Twins). Are you worried about the Minnesota Twins? Leave a comment below and start the conversation! View full article
  8. 1. Reinforcements are on the way A big reason why the Minnesota Twins have struggled over the last couple weeks have been because of the sheer number of players that they have been missing in these games. Just to list the name of players that have hit the injured list over the past two weeks illustrates how dire it has been: Carlos Correa (COVID-19), Joe Ryan (COVID-19), Gilberto Celestino (COVID-19), Josh Winder (Shoulder), Sonny Gray (Pectoral), Royce Lewis (Knee), Danny Coulombe (Hip). The good news for the Twins, though, is that many of these players figure to be back shortly. It’s been just about one week since Ryan, Celestino and Correa hit the COVID-19 list and they figure to be back in the fold in just a few short days. Additionally, Jorge Alcala has already begun his rehab assignment as he reaches the end of his time on the 60-day injured list, and all reports point to his arm looking strong. The return timelines of Josh Winder, Sonny Gray and Royce Lewis are less clear, but all three of these vital players appear to have avoided major injuries and figure to be healthy in turn for the late summer home stretch of the season. Finally, the Twins are close to getting Alex Kirilloff added back onto the squad as well. Kirilloff struggled mightily during his time with the Twins, but since getting sent back down to AAA, Kirilloff has found his groove to the tune of a .863 OPS. Getting Kirilloff back to his expected form would be a big time addition. 2. White Sox Look Terrible For as bad as the Minnesota Twins have looked lately, the Chicago White Sox have looked even worse. The team that everyone expected to run away with the American League Central has not at all looked the part all season. After falling prey to a sweep from the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon, the White Sox now find themselves at 23-26 with a negative-55 run differential, the second-worst run differential in the American League. While true that the schedule is about to get tough for the Twins, the White Sox face an equally tough slate with their next six games coming against the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s hard to envision the Guardians, Tigers, or Royals making any sort of run at the American League Central, and with the White Sox looking as bad as they have looked, there’s still plenty of reason to feel optimistic about the Twins’ chances of making the playoffs. 3. Third Wild Card Spot If the White Sox do figure things out and start playing much better than they have over the first third of the season, the Twins still have a great shot at making the playoffs via the Wildcard. As a part of the new CBA agreement, there are now three Wildcard teams that make the American League playoffs. In an American League where nine teams currently have a record under .500, it shouldn’t take any more than 85 wins to make the playoffs. To put that in perspective, the Twins would just need to play .500 baseball over the balance of the season to lock down a playoff spot. Additionally, all Wildcard teams are now guaranteed an extended playoff series, rather than a one-game playoff. There is certainly reason to be frustrated with how the Minnesota Twins have been playing lately. However, with the reinforcements on the way, along with the way the White Sox have been playing and the fact that three Wild Card teams from the American League will make the playoffs, the Minnesota Twins still find themselves in a good spot to reach the postseason, where anything can happen (even if you’re the Minnesota Twins). Are you worried about the Minnesota Twins? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!
  9. The moniker, “old friend”, has been common amongst Minnesota Twins fans when talking about players who used to play for the hometown squad but have since moved on to play for a different team. Whether or not you continue to root for old friends after they leave the Twins, it’s always a fun exercise to see how they are doing. Here are top performing “old friends” thus far in 2022: 5. Josh Donaldson .764 OPS 5 HR 15 RBI 0.9 fWAR While mired in controversy over the past couple of weeks, it’s still hard to deny that Josh Donaldson is having a strong year in pinstripes after being traded to the Yankees this past offseason. Aided by an average exit velocity that ranks in the 89th percentile, the Bringer of Rain owns a 123 OPS+ while continuing to provide above-average defense at the hot corner. For many, Donaldson isn’t much of an “old friend”, but he cracks the top-five for top performing ex-Twins in 2022. 4. Kyle Gibson 48 IP 3.94 ERA 1.1 fWAR Coming in fourth for top performing ex-Minnesota Twins in 2022 is someone who flashed ace potential at times with the Minnesota Twins but never quite put it all together, Kyle Gibson. After earning his first all-star appearance last season, Gibson is having himself another solid year on the mound with the Phillies in 2022. With a FIP of 3.22, Gibson has actually been even better than his surface stats suggest. 3. Taylor Rogers 21 1/3 IP 1.69 ERA 17 Saves 0.6 fWAR It was a controversial trade this offseason when the Twins traded away Taylor Rogers in exchange for Chris Paddack, and has become even more controversial after the start that Rogers has had in 2022. Across 21 appearances this season, Rogers has allowed an earned run in just two of those appearances. Rogers leads all of baseball with 17 saves this season and has quickly become one of the most dominant relievers in all of baseball. 2. C.J. Cron .942 OPS 13 HR 37 RBI 1.5 fWAR C.J. Cron only spent one season with the Minnesota Twins, but since he departed following the 2019 season, he has been excellent. In 2022, though, he is having the best season of his career with an OPS+ of 155. Cron is tied for third in all of baseball with 13 home runs and is tied for sixth with 37 RBI. 1. Martín Pérez 56 1/3 IP 1.60 ERA 1.7 fWAR Martín Pérez was not good as a member of the Twins, posting a 5.12 ERA in his sole season with the club in 2019. In 2022, though, he has pitched like the best starting pitcher in all of baseball. Pérez’s 1.60 ERA leads Major League Baseball, and his 1.7 fWAR ranks third among starting pitchers. He hasn’t been garnering many strikeouts, but he has yet to allow a home run this season and is allowing a career-low 2.2 walks per nine innings. Who do you think has been the best performing ex-Minnesota Twins player in 2022? Which of these players would you add to the current Minnesota Twins roster if you could? Leave a comment and start the conversation!
  10. While we spend most of our time focusing on the players on the current Minnesota Twins squad, it’s fun to check in on our “old friends” every once in a while. The moniker, “old friend”, has been common amongst Minnesota Twins fans when talking about players who used to play for the hometown squad but have since moved on to play for a different team. Whether or not you continue to root for old friends after they leave the Twins, it’s always a fun exercise to see how they are doing. Here are top performing “old friends” thus far in 2022: 5. Josh Donaldson .764 OPS 5 HR 15 RBI 0.9 fWAR While mired in controversy over the past couple of weeks, it’s still hard to deny that Josh Donaldson is having a strong year in pinstripes after being traded to the Yankees this past offseason. Aided by an average exit velocity that ranks in the 89th percentile, the Bringer of Rain owns a 123 OPS+ while continuing to provide above-average defense at the hot corner. For many, Donaldson isn’t much of an “old friend”, but he cracks the top-five for top performing ex-Twins in 2022. 4. Kyle Gibson 48 IP 3.94 ERA 1.1 fWAR Coming in fourth for top performing ex-Minnesota Twins in 2022 is someone who flashed ace potential at times with the Minnesota Twins but never quite put it all together, Kyle Gibson. After earning his first all-star appearance last season, Gibson is having himself another solid year on the mound with the Phillies in 2022. With a FIP of 3.22, Gibson has actually been even better than his surface stats suggest. 3. Taylor Rogers 21 1/3 IP 1.69 ERA 17 Saves 0.6 fWAR It was a controversial trade this offseason when the Twins traded away Taylor Rogers in exchange for Chris Paddack, and has become even more controversial after the start that Rogers has had in 2022. Across 21 appearances this season, Rogers has allowed an earned run in just two of those appearances. Rogers leads all of baseball with 17 saves this season and has quickly become one of the most dominant relievers in all of baseball. 2. C.J. Cron .942 OPS 13 HR 37 RBI 1.5 fWAR C.J. Cron only spent one season with the Minnesota Twins, but since he departed following the 2019 season, he has been excellent. In 2022, though, he is having the best season of his career with an OPS+ of 155. Cron is tied for third in all of baseball with 13 home runs and is tied for sixth with 37 RBI. 1. Martín Pérez 56 1/3 IP 1.60 ERA 1.7 fWAR Martín Pérez was not good as a member of the Twins, posting a 5.12 ERA in his sole season with the club in 2019. In 2022, though, he has pitched like the best starting pitcher in all of baseball. Pérez’s 1.60 ERA leads Major League Baseball, and his 1.7 fWAR ranks third among starting pitchers. He hasn’t been garnering many strikeouts, but he has yet to allow a home run this season and is allowing a career-low 2.2 walks per nine innings. Who do you think has been the best performing ex-Minnesota Twins player in 2022? Which of these players would you add to the current Minnesota Twins roster if you could? Leave a comment and start the conversation! View full article
  11. Thank you for your highly detailed article "Let's Cut Miguel Sanó Some Slack."  I was so happy to read your comments and specifics about the start to his 2022 season.  I would never give up on him, and you, obviously, haven't given up on him, either.  He has been a "VERY UNLUCKY DOMINICAN."  

  12. While he is notoriously a slow starter, Miguel Sanó is off to his slowest start yet in 2022. While it’s tempting to write him off completely, might there be reason to cut Sanó some slack? Miguel Sanó has had an April to forget in 2022 for the Minnesota Twins. Through 15 games, Sanó has just five hits and an abysmal OPS of .380. Sanó has just one extra-base hit and has statistically been the least valuable player in baseball in this early season with an fWAR of -.07. Miguel Sanó having yet another poor start has left Minnesota Twins fans extremely frustrated with the first baseman and questioning whether it is time to cut bait. Sanó is in the final guaranteed year of his contract, and with Alex Kirilloff nearing his way back from injury and Jose Miranda on the doorstep of the Majors, it might make sense to move on from him in favor of youth. I certainly have voiced my own frustrations with Miguel Sanó. Miguel Sanó’s advanced numbers, though, paint a different picture and portend that Sanó’s early struggles are largely fluky and that better days are ahead. Let’s dig deeper into the numbers. First, let’s look at his contact numbers. Through the first handful of weeks, Miguel Sanó ranks 11th in all of baseball with an average exit velocity of 93.2 MPH, right on par with his career average exit velocity of 93.1 MPH. Further, Sanó’s hard-hit percentage is at 50%, tied for 24th in baseball. Finally, his barrel numbers are at his typically high rate, with a barrel percentage of 15.6%, just a tick below his career average. So, if his contact numbers are at their typically high level, then it must be his poor plate discipline that explains his terrible numbers, right? Wrong. Sanó is actually showing better discipline at the plate in 2022 than he ever has in his career. Thus far in 2022, Sanó owns a career-low K% of 29.3 with a BB% of 13.8, the second-highest mark of his career. Additionally, Sanó has a career-low chase rate and whiff rate of just 16.9% and 33.3%, respectively. Just look at Sanó’s statcast percentile numbers. Does this look like someone who should be hitting .083 and worthy of being cut? If Sanó’s contact rates are at his typically-elite levels, and his plate discipline numbers are at career-best levels, why is Miguel Sanó having such a terrible start to the season? Simply put, it’s been bad luck for the Dominican. A simple, yet admittedly not perfect, way to gauge luck in baseball is by looking at batting average on balls in play (BABIP). Over a large enough sample size, the BABIP for most MLB players will settle at around .300. Heading into the 2022 season, Miguel Sanó had a career BABIP of .329. This season, though, Miguel Sanó is sitting at a BABIP of .097, the second-lowest mark in baseball behind Kansas City’s Carlos Santana. Another way to look at bad luck is to compare a player’s actual numbers to his expected numbers and look at the difference. The best numbers to look for this is weighted on-base average (wOBA) versus expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA). wOBA is a catch-all offensive statistic that best encapsulates offensive performance. xwOBA then looks at a player's process statistics such as exit velocity to determine what a player’s numbers should be, as we all know that luck is a big part of the game of baseball. Miguel Sanó currently has a wOBA of .192, compared to a xwOBA of .334. The -0.142 difference between those two numbers is the sixth-largest discrepancy in all of baseball, showing that Sanó has been one of the most snake-bitten players in 2022. On Tuesday night, Miguel Sanó teased what could be the start of some converted luck as he smoked a 108 MPH single over right fielder, Robbie Grossman's, head which (in the wildest way possible) wound up being a walk-off hit for the Twins. It has been extremely frustrating to watch Miguel Sanó bat in 2022, but all of the advanced numbers show that better days are ahead for the right-hander. It can be tempting to want to give up on Sanó and want to move onto other options, but the upside that Sanó brings is sky-high. Let’s cut Sanó some slack as a big summer is coming for the powerful first baseman. View full article
  13. Miguel Sanó has had an April to forget in 2022 for the Minnesota Twins. Through 15 games, Sanó has just five hits and an abysmal OPS of .380. Sanó has just one extra-base hit and has statistically been the least valuable player in baseball in this early season with an fWAR of -.07. Miguel Sanó having yet another poor start has left Minnesota Twins fans extremely frustrated with the first baseman and questioning whether it is time to cut bait. Sanó is in the final guaranteed year of his contract, and with Alex Kirilloff nearing his way back from injury and Jose Miranda on the doorstep of the Majors, it might make sense to move on from him in favor of youth. I certainly have voiced my own frustrations with Miguel Sanó. Miguel Sanó’s advanced numbers, though, paint a different picture and portend that Sanó’s early struggles are largely fluky and that better days are ahead. Let’s dig deeper into the numbers. First, let’s look at his contact numbers. Through the first handful of weeks, Miguel Sanó ranks 11th in all of baseball with an average exit velocity of 93.2 MPH, right on par with his career average exit velocity of 93.1 MPH. Further, Sanó’s hard-hit percentage is at 50%, tied for 24th in baseball. Finally, his barrel numbers are at his typically high rate, with a barrel percentage of 15.6%, just a tick below his career average. So, if his contact numbers are at their typically high level, then it must be his poor plate discipline that explains his terrible numbers, right? Wrong. Sanó is actually showing better discipline at the plate in 2022 than he ever has in his career. Thus far in 2022, Sanó owns a career-low K% of 29.3 with a BB% of 13.8, the second-highest mark of his career. Additionally, Sanó has a career-low chase rate and whiff rate of just 16.9% and 33.3%, respectively. Just look at Sanó’s statcast percentile numbers. Does this look like someone who should be hitting .083 and worthy of being cut? If Sanó’s contact rates are at his typically-elite levels, and his plate discipline numbers are at career-best levels, why is Miguel Sanó having such a terrible start to the season? Simply put, it’s been bad luck for the Dominican. A simple, yet admittedly not perfect, way to gauge luck in baseball is by looking at batting average on balls in play (BABIP). Over a large enough sample size, the BABIP for most MLB players will settle at around .300. Heading into the 2022 season, Miguel Sanó had a career BABIP of .329. This season, though, Miguel Sanó is sitting at a BABIP of .097, the second-lowest mark in baseball behind Kansas City’s Carlos Santana. Another way to look at bad luck is to compare a player’s actual numbers to his expected numbers and look at the difference. The best numbers to look for this is weighted on-base average (wOBA) versus expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA). wOBA is a catch-all offensive statistic that best encapsulates offensive performance. xwOBA then looks at a player's process statistics such as exit velocity to determine what a player’s numbers should be, as we all know that luck is a big part of the game of baseball. Miguel Sanó currently has a wOBA of .192, compared to a xwOBA of .334. The -0.142 difference between those two numbers is the sixth-largest discrepancy in all of baseball, showing that Sanó has been one of the most snake-bitten players in 2022. On Tuesday night, Miguel Sanó teased what could be the start of some converted luck as he smoked a 108 MPH single over right fielder, Robbie Grossman's, head which (in the wildest way possible) wound up being a walk-off hit for the Twins. It has been extremely frustrating to watch Miguel Sanó bat in 2022, but all of the advanced numbers show that better days are ahead for the right-hander. It can be tempting to want to give up on Sanó and want to move onto other options, but the upside that Sanó brings is sky-high. Let’s cut Sanó some slack as a big summer is coming for the powerful first baseman.
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