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Matthew Taylor

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  • Birthday 02/13/1993

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  1. Box Score Ryan: 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Home runs: Donaldson (25), Buxton (17, 18), Rooker (9) Bottom 3 WPA: Ryan -.442, Garver -.085, Polanco -.082 Win Probability Chart (Via FanGraphs In a game that was started by two promising starting pitching prospects, offense ruled the day as both pitchers struggled to keep the opposing bats in check. The scoring started quickly for the Minnesota Twins when in the bottom of the first inning, leadoff man Byron Buxton crushed his 17th home run of the season 426 feet to give the Twins an early 1-0 lead. Not long after, in the top of the third inning, old friend Niko Goodrum hit a solo home run of his own to tie the game. Things looked like they were coming up Twins in the third inning, though, when Josh Donaldson connected with a three-run home run to left field, his 25th home run of the season. The home run marked the sixth time in Donaldson’s career in which he has eclipsed 25 home runs in a season, and it was the 250th home run of his career. While Joe Ryan had limited damage for the Twins through the first three innings of the game, the Tigers got to Ryan and opened up the game in the fourth inning when the Tigers converted an RBI double from Harold Castro and another home run from Goodrum to give the Tigers a 5-4 lead. The Twins offense continued to fight back, though, this time a solo home run from Brent Rooker to tie the game, the ninth of the season for the right-hander. After Jonathan Schoop and Luis Arraez exchanged RBI singles for each team, Byron Buxton hit his second home run of the night in the bottom of the 7th inning to break the tie and give the Twins a 7-6 lead. The Minnesota Twins’ bullpen was unable to hold the lead for the Twins as the Tigers scored four unanswered runs in the final two innings of the game to give the Detroit Tigers a 10-7 win over the Twins. Postgame Interviews What’s Next The Minnesota Twins will head to Kansas City tomorrow night as they begin their final series of the season.
  2. The Minnesota Twins’ offense put on a show on Thursday night, hitting a combined four home runs on the night. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Tigers plated ten runs, handing the Twins their 88th loss of the season. Box Score Ryan: 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Home runs: Donaldson (25), Buxton (17, 18), Rooker (9) Bottom 3 WPA: Ryan -.442, Garver -.085, Polanco -.082 Win Probability Chart (Via FanGraphs In a game that was started by two promising starting pitching prospects, offense ruled the day as both pitchers struggled to keep the opposing bats in check. The scoring started quickly for the Minnesota Twins when in the bottom of the first inning, leadoff man Byron Buxton crushed his 17th home run of the season 426 feet to give the Twins an early 1-0 lead. Not long after, in the top of the third inning, old friend Niko Goodrum hit a solo home run of his own to tie the game. Things looked like they were coming up Twins in the third inning, though, when Josh Donaldson connected with a three-run home run to left field, his 25th home run of the season. The home run marked the sixth time in Donaldson’s career in which he has eclipsed 25 home runs in a season, and it was the 250th home run of his career. While Joe Ryan had limited damage for the Twins through the first three innings of the game, the Tigers got to Ryan and opened up the game in the fourth inning when the Tigers converted an RBI double from Harold Castro and another home run from Goodrum to give the Tigers a 5-4 lead. The Twins offense continued to fight back, though, this time a solo home run from Brent Rooker to tie the game, the ninth of the season for the right-hander. After Jonathan Schoop and Luis Arraez exchanged RBI singles for each team, Byron Buxton hit his second home run of the night in the bottom of the 7th inning to break the tie and give the Twins a 7-6 lead. The Minnesota Twins’ bullpen was unable to hold the lead for the Twins as the Tigers scored four unanswered runs in the final two innings of the game to give the Detroit Tigers a 10-7 win over the Twins. Postgame Interviews What’s Next The Minnesota Twins will head to Kansas City tomorrow night as they begin their final series of the season. View full article
  3. Box Score Pineda: 5 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K Home runs: Gordon (4) Top 3 WPA: Garver .245, Gordon .202, Buxton .180 Win Probability Chart (Via FanGraphs) The Minnesota Twins leaned on Michael Pineda on the mound tonight in what could be one of his final starts as a member of the organization. Big Mike provided a steady start for the Twins, tossing five innings, allowing just eight hits and two runs and striking out two. The first run the Blue Jays scored was right away in the top of the second inning when Lourdes Gurriel knocked an RBI double. The Twins quickly rebounded in the third inning, though, when they got a leadoff double from Byron Buxton followed by an RBI single from Jorge Polanco and later an RBI single from Mitch Garver. The Blue Jays quickly rebounded in the fourth inning when Teoscar Hernandez hit a solo home run off of Pineda to tie the game, his 30th home run of the season. After that, though, it was all Minnesota the rest of the way, highlighted by the bat of red-hot Nick Gordon who smashed a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning and an RBI single in the seventh. The home run was Gordon’s fourth on the season, and his four-RBI game marks a career high for the long-time Twins prospect. Nick Gordon’s batting average is now up to .263 on the season with a respectable OPS of .711. Gordon continues to make a case for a roster spot on the 2022 team. The Twins’ bullpen was nails in relief of Michael Pineda as they received four scoreless innings from a combination of Nick Vincent, Caleb Thielbar, Luke Farrell and Ralph Garza, Jr. In the end, the Twins took the game 7-2 and won their third straight game to move their record to 68-85 on the season. Postgame Interviews What’s Next The Minnesota Twins will continue their four-game home series against the Blue Jays on Friday night, sending Bailey Ober to the mound to face off against former Twins’ ace, José Berríos. Bullpen Usage Chart SAT SUN TUE WED THU TOT Barraclough 32 0 35 0 0 67 Vincent 0 40 0 0 13 53 Thielbar 0 22 16 0 14 52 Minaya 0 36 0 13 0 49 Moran 34 0 0 0 0 34 Farrell 0 34 0 0 19 53 Duffey 0 0 11 12 0 23 Alcalá 0 0 10 10 0 20 Colomé 0 0 7 24 0 31 Garza Jr. 17 0 0 0 16 33 Coulombe 0 0 17 0 0 17
  4. Nick Gordon posted the best game of his young Major League career as the Minnesota Twins scored seven runs to beat the playoff-hopeful Toronto Blue Jays. Box Score Pineda: 5 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K Home runs: Gordon (4) Top 3 WPA: Garver .245, Gordon .202, Buxton .180 Win Probability Chart (Via FanGraphs) The Minnesota Twins leaned on Michael Pineda on the mound tonight in what could be one of his final starts as a member of the organization. Big Mike provided a steady start for the Twins, tossing five innings, allowing just eight hits and two runs and striking out two. The first run the Blue Jays scored was right away in the top of the second inning when Lourdes Gurriel knocked an RBI double. The Twins quickly rebounded in the third inning, though, when they got a leadoff double from Byron Buxton followed by an RBI single from Jorge Polanco and later an RBI single from Mitch Garver. The Blue Jays quickly rebounded in the fourth inning when Teoscar Hernandez hit a solo home run off of Pineda to tie the game, his 30th home run of the season. After that, though, it was all Minnesota the rest of the way, highlighted by the bat of red-hot Nick Gordon who smashed a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning and an RBI single in the seventh. The home run was Gordon’s fourth on the season, and his four-RBI game marks a career high for the long-time Twins prospect. Nick Gordon’s batting average is now up to .263 on the season with a respectable OPS of .711. Gordon continues to make a case for a roster spot on the 2022 team. The Twins’ bullpen was nails in relief of Michael Pineda as they received four scoreless innings from a combination of Nick Vincent, Caleb Thielbar, Luke Farrell and Ralph Garza, Jr. In the end, the Twins took the game 7-2 and won their third straight game to move their record to 68-85 on the season. Postgame Interviews What’s Next The Minnesota Twins will continue their four-game home series against the Blue Jays on Friday night, sending Bailey Ober to the mound to face off against former Twins’ ace, José Berríos. Bullpen Usage Chart SAT SUN TUE WED THU TOT Barraclough 32 0 35 0 0 67 Vincent 0 40 0 0 13 53 Thielbar 0 22 16 0 14 52 Minaya 0 36 0 13 0 49 Moran 34 0 0 0 0 34 Farrell 0 34 0 0 19 53 Duffey 0 0 11 12 0 23 Alcalá 0 0 10 10 0 20 Colomé 0 0 7 24 0 31 Garza Jr. 17 0 0 0 16 33 Coulombe 0 0 17 0 0 17 View full article
  5. Box Score Albers: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K Home runs: Sanó (26) Bottom 3 WPA: Albers -.127, Arraez -.092, Simmons -.089 Win Probability Chart (Via FanGraphs) After an exciting victory on Wednesday night, the Minnesota Twins got on the board first again on Thursday when Miguel Sanó hit a moonshot for the Minnesota Twins in the second inning, his 26th home run of the 2021 season. Unfortunately for the Twins, though, that was the only offense that they would provide for the night. On the night, the Twins were only able to muster four hits, only plating the solo home run from their first baseman. The Sanó home run improved his OPS on the season to .779 as his resurgent second half of the season continued on. On the other side of the plate, Andrew Albers got the call on the mound for the Minnesota Twins and struggled with two areas that you don’t want to see a pitcher struggle with, control and the long ball. Albers, pitching on four days' rest, could not command any of his pitches and threw just 58% strikes while allowing four free passes. Additionally, Albers allowed two home runs to Cleveland hitters, one to Franmil Reyes in the third inning and another to Oscar Mercado in the fourth. In total, Albers only lasted four innings while throwing 98 pitches, following up his incredible start last week with a poor performance today. In the bullpen, the Twins allowed another home run when José Ramirez hit a solo home run off of Ralph Garza Jr. in the seventh inning to give Cleveland an insurance run. Emmanuel Clase closed things down for Cleveland in the ninth inning with a perfect ninth inning securing a 4-1 win for Cleveland over the Minnesota Twins to avoid a four-game sweep. Postgame Interviews What’s Next The Minnesota Twins will travel home and kick off a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals, beginning with Griffin Jax on the mound Friday night against Daniel Lynch. Bullpen Usage Report SUN MON TUE WED THU TOT Farrell 0 0 0 0 32 32 Colomé 23 9 17 0 0 49 Thielbar 28 0 25 8 0 61 Minaya 0 0 21 0 0 21 Alcalá 15 0 19 0 0 34 Garza Jr. 0 0 0 0 19 19 Duffey 10 8 0 17 0 35 Coulombe 0 0 0 0 15 15
  6. The long ball hurt the Minnesota Twins tonight as Cleveland hit three home runs and the Twins lost 4-1, just missing out on a sweep. Box Score Albers: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K Home runs: Sanó (26) Bottom 3 WPA: Albers -.127, Arraez -.092, Simmons -.089 Win Probability Chart (Via FanGraphs) After an exciting victory on Wednesday night, the Minnesota Twins got on the board first again on Thursday when Miguel Sanó hit a moonshot for the Minnesota Twins in the second inning, his 26th home run of the 2021 season. Unfortunately for the Twins, though, that was the only offense that they would provide for the night. On the night, the Twins were only able to muster four hits, only plating the solo home run from their first baseman. The Sanó home run improved his OPS on the season to .779 as his resurgent second half of the season continued on. On the other side of the plate, Andrew Albers got the call on the mound for the Minnesota Twins and struggled with two areas that you don’t want to see a pitcher struggle with, control and the long ball. Albers, pitching on four days' rest, could not command any of his pitches and threw just 58% strikes while allowing four free passes. Additionally, Albers allowed two home runs to Cleveland hitters, one to Franmil Reyes in the third inning and another to Oscar Mercado in the fourth. In total, Albers only lasted four innings while throwing 98 pitches, following up his incredible start last week with a poor performance today. In the bullpen, the Twins allowed another home run when José Ramirez hit a solo home run off of Ralph Garza Jr. in the seventh inning to give Cleveland an insurance run. Emmanuel Clase closed things down for Cleveland in the ninth inning with a perfect ninth inning securing a 4-1 win for Cleveland over the Minnesota Twins to avoid a four-game sweep. Postgame Interviews What’s Next The Minnesota Twins will travel home and kick off a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals, beginning with Griffin Jax on the mound Friday night against Daniel Lynch. Bullpen Usage Report SUN MON TUE WED THU TOT Farrell 0 0 0 0 32 32 Colomé 23 9 17 0 0 49 Thielbar 28 0 25 8 0 61 Minaya 0 0 21 0 0 21 Alcalá 15 0 19 0 0 34 Garza Jr. 0 0 0 0 19 19 Duffey 10 8 0 17 0 35 Coulombe 0 0 0 0 15 15 View full article
  7. There is no denying that the 2021 offseason for the Minnesota Twins went about as poorly as possible. Knowing what we know now, though, what would the ideal offseason have looked like for the Twins? This offseason, the Minnesota Twins made six free agent signings and all of them (save for Nelson Cruz) blew up in their faces. The Minnesota Twins front office misfired badly and the losing season they are going through is the result. But what if things played out differently? In a “hindsight is 20/20” thought exercise, let’s play out what the ideal version of the 2021 offseason would have looked like for the Minnesota Twins and see how the Twins front office could have best spent their offseason dollars. In this thought exercise I am giving the Minnesota Twins the same budget as they spent in their actual offseason, which was approximately $41.75M. Additionally in this exercise, the Twins’ “ideal” offseason signings will need to be signed at a 20% increase over what they actually signed for in the offseason. This 20% increase would account for the the Twins prying away the players from the teams they actually signed with, making this a more realistic scenario of what could have been. Are “what if” games pointless as they have no bearing in reality? Probably. Are they fun? You bet they are! So let’s run through these... Designated Hitter Actual Offseason signing: Nelson Cruz - 1 year, $13MM Ideal Offseason signing: Nelson Cruz - 1 year, $13MM The only of the six offseason signings from the Twins’ offseason that they would redo in our ideal version would be bringing back Nelson Cruz on a 1 year, $13MM deal. In his 214 plate appearances with the Minnesota Twins this season, Cruz posted a .907 OPS, which led the team and was third-best in baseball after Shohei Ohtani and J.D. Martinez. The Twins had a clear need at designated hitter and opted to fill that slot with Cruz which was the right choice, which is why the Twins would make that same move again, if they knew then what they know now. Middle Infield Actual offseason signing: Andrelton Simmons - 1 year, $10.5MM Ideal Offseason signing: Kolten Wong - 2 year, $21.6MM After Nelson Cruz, the Andrelton Simmons signing was the largest investment that the Minnesota Twins made last offseason. The thought was that Simmons’ bat would play well enough and that his glove would completely transform the team. While his glove has been solid (though not spectacular), Simmons is having one of the worst offensive seasons in team history, with his OPS of .565. In our ideal offseason, the Minnesota Twins would have signed Kolten Wong for a 2 year, $21.6MM contract. Wong has been excellent with the Milwaukee Brewers this year and owns a .810 OPS. Wong is only 30-years-old and would be under contract again for the Twins next season. Wong plays second base, which means the Twins would’ve needed to keep Jorge Polanco at shortstop under these circumstances, but at 2.7 fWAR compared to Simmons’s -0.3, signing Wong over Andrelton would’ve made a big difference for the Twins. Starting Pitcher Actual offseason signing: J.A. Happ - 1 year, $8MM Ideal Offseason signing: Robbie Ray - 1 year, $9.6MM The Minnesota Twins signed J.A. Happ last offseason hoping that he could fill the fourth starter role for the Twins in 2022. Instead, Happ completely imploded for Minnesota, posting a 6.77 ERA in 19 starts. What makes the Happ signing hurt even more for the Twins is that southpaw Robbie Ray signed with the Toronto Blue Jays for the identical 1 year, $8MM deal that J.A. Happ signed for. Under this exercise, the Twins would’ve needed to pay a 20% premium to guarantee Ray’s services, but for a 1 year, $9.6MM the Twins could have signed Ray who has a 2.71 ERA on the season and just became the all-time leader in K/9 in MLB history. Starting Pitcher Actual offseason signing: Matt Shoemaker - 1 year, $2MM Ideal Offseason signing: Carlos Rodón - 1 year, $3.6MM While J.A. Happ pitched terribly for the Minnesota Twins during his tenure here, Matt Shoemaker was even worse. In 16 appearances with the Twins, Shoemaker posted a 8.06 ERA and was worth -0.7 fWAR before getting DFA’d and ultimately released. At a 20% premium, the Minnesota Twins could have signed Carlos Rodón for just $3.6MM and gotten a pitcher who has been a revolution for the White Sox this year, with a 2.43 ERA and a 12.8 K/9. Relief Pitcher Actual offseason signing: Alexander Colomé - 1 year, $6.25MM Ideal Offseason signing: Sergio Romo - 1 year, $3MM Moving to the bullpen, Alexander Colomé was yet another disastrous signing for the Minnesota Twins this offseason, as he has a 4.26 ERA, six blown saves and the worst win probability added on the team. In their ideal offseason, the Minnesota Twins would have simply brought back Sergio Romo, who they let walk last offseason, for half of the price of Colomé. Romo has put together a 3.18 ERA in 54 appearances with the Oakland Athletics and has thrived there in a high-leverage role. Relief Pitcher Actual offseason signing: Hansel Robles - 1 year, $2MM Ideal Offseason signing: Collin McCugh - 1 year, $2.16MM Finally, in their ideal offseason the Minnesota Twins would have avoided Hansel Robles and his 4.91 ERA in Minnesota in favor of Collin McHugh for nearly the same price tag. McHugh signed with Tampa Bay this offseason and has been spectacular, featuring a 1.40 ERA and 11.6 K/9. Overall let’s compare the actual offseason for the Minnesota Twins to what the ideal offseason would have looked like: Actual offseason $ spent: $41.75MM Ideal offseason $ spent: $42.16MM Actual offseason fWAR acquired (with Twins): 0.2 fWAR Ideal offseason fWAR acquired: 14.4 fWAR Again, hindsight is always 20/20 and ideal history is always going to be an unfair game to play, but laying out what the ideal offseason for the Twins would have looked like is not only fun, but interesting to look at the types of players that succeeded as we try to find free agent options for the 2022 season. What trends stick out to you from the list of “ideal” free agents above? Which of the above names were you clamoring for the Twins to sign at the time? Leave a comment below and start the conversation! View full article
  8. This offseason, the Minnesota Twins made six free agent signings and all of them (save for Nelson Cruz) blew up in their faces. The Minnesota Twins front office misfired badly and the losing season they are going through is the result. But what if things played out differently? In a “hindsight is 20/20” thought exercise, let’s play out what the ideal version of the 2021 offseason would have looked like for the Minnesota Twins and see how the Twins front office could have best spent their offseason dollars. In this thought exercise I am giving the Minnesota Twins the same budget as they spent in their actual offseason, which was approximately $41.75M. Additionally in this exercise, the Twins’ “ideal” offseason signings will need to be signed at a 20% increase over what they actually signed for in the offseason. This 20% increase would account for the the Twins prying away the players from the teams they actually signed with, making this a more realistic scenario of what could have been. Are “what if” games pointless as they have no bearing in reality? Probably. Are they fun? You bet they are! So let’s run through these... Designated Hitter Actual Offseason signing: Nelson Cruz - 1 year, $13MM Ideal Offseason signing: Nelson Cruz - 1 year, $13MM The only of the six offseason signings from the Twins’ offseason that they would redo in our ideal version would be bringing back Nelson Cruz on a 1 year, $13MM deal. In his 214 plate appearances with the Minnesota Twins this season, Cruz posted a .907 OPS, which led the team and was third-best in baseball after Shohei Ohtani and J.D. Martinez. The Twins had a clear need at designated hitter and opted to fill that slot with Cruz which was the right choice, which is why the Twins would make that same move again, if they knew then what they know now. Middle Infield Actual offseason signing: Andrelton Simmons - 1 year, $10.5MM Ideal Offseason signing: Kolten Wong - 2 year, $21.6MM After Nelson Cruz, the Andrelton Simmons signing was the largest investment that the Minnesota Twins made last offseason. The thought was that Simmons’ bat would play well enough and that his glove would completely transform the team. While his glove has been solid (though not spectacular), Simmons is having one of the worst offensive seasons in team history, with his OPS of .565. In our ideal offseason, the Minnesota Twins would have signed Kolten Wong for a 2 year, $21.6MM contract. Wong has been excellent with the Milwaukee Brewers this year and owns a .810 OPS. Wong is only 30-years-old and would be under contract again for the Twins next season. Wong plays second base, which means the Twins would’ve needed to keep Jorge Polanco at shortstop under these circumstances, but at 2.7 fWAR compared to Simmons’s -0.3, signing Wong over Andrelton would’ve made a big difference for the Twins. Starting Pitcher Actual offseason signing: J.A. Happ - 1 year, $8MM Ideal Offseason signing: Robbie Ray - 1 year, $9.6MM The Minnesota Twins signed J.A. Happ last offseason hoping that he could fill the fourth starter role for the Twins in 2022. Instead, Happ completely imploded for Minnesota, posting a 6.77 ERA in 19 starts. What makes the Happ signing hurt even more for the Twins is that southpaw Robbie Ray signed with the Toronto Blue Jays for the identical 1 year, $8MM deal that J.A. Happ signed for. Under this exercise, the Twins would’ve needed to pay a 20% premium to guarantee Ray’s services, but for a 1 year, $9.6MM the Twins could have signed Ray who has a 2.71 ERA on the season and just became the all-time leader in K/9 in MLB history. Starting Pitcher Actual offseason signing: Matt Shoemaker - 1 year, $2MM Ideal Offseason signing: Carlos Rodón - 1 year, $3.6MM While J.A. Happ pitched terribly for the Minnesota Twins during his tenure here, Matt Shoemaker was even worse. In 16 appearances with the Twins, Shoemaker posted a 8.06 ERA and was worth -0.7 fWAR before getting DFA’d and ultimately released. At a 20% premium, the Minnesota Twins could have signed Carlos Rodón for just $3.6MM and gotten a pitcher who has been a revolution for the White Sox this year, with a 2.43 ERA and a 12.8 K/9. Relief Pitcher Actual offseason signing: Alexander Colomé - 1 year, $6.25MM Ideal Offseason signing: Sergio Romo - 1 year, $3MM Moving to the bullpen, Alexander Colomé was yet another disastrous signing for the Minnesota Twins this offseason, as he has a 4.26 ERA, six blown saves and the worst win probability added on the team. In their ideal offseason, the Minnesota Twins would have simply brought back Sergio Romo, who they let walk last offseason, for half of the price of Colomé. Romo has put together a 3.18 ERA in 54 appearances with the Oakland Athletics and has thrived there in a high-leverage role. Relief Pitcher Actual offseason signing: Hansel Robles - 1 year, $2MM Ideal Offseason signing: Collin McCugh - 1 year, $2.16MM Finally, in their ideal offseason the Minnesota Twins would have avoided Hansel Robles and his 4.91 ERA in Minnesota in favor of Collin McHugh for nearly the same price tag. McHugh signed with Tampa Bay this offseason and has been spectacular, featuring a 1.40 ERA and 11.6 K/9. Overall let’s compare the actual offseason for the Minnesota Twins to what the ideal offseason would have looked like: Actual offseason $ spent: $41.75MM Ideal offseason $ spent: $42.16MM Actual offseason fWAR acquired (with Twins): 0.2 fWAR Ideal offseason fWAR acquired: 14.4 fWAR Again, hindsight is always 20/20 and ideal history is always going to be an unfair game to play, but laying out what the ideal offseason for the Twins would have looked like is not only fun, but interesting to look at the types of players that succeeded as we try to find free agent options for the 2022 season. What trends stick out to you from the list of “ideal” free agents above? Which of the above names were you clamoring for the Twins to sign at the time? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!
  9. In what has become an all-too-familiar trend, the Minnesota Twins followed up an exciting victory with an absolute dud. Box Score Gant: 4 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K Home Runs: Astudillo (7) Bottom 3 WPA: Gant -.193, Garcia -.093, Arraez -.090 Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) Pitching has been the downfall for the Minnesota Twins in 2021, and pitching was their downfall again on Thursday night. The pitching didn’t waste anytime letting the Twins down at Fenway park on Thursday as John Gant was far from sharp. The scoring got started early for the Red Sox, when Bobby Dalbec cashed in on back-to-back walks from John Gant with a three-run blast to give Boston an early 3-0 lead. The Red Sox then cashed in another run off of Gant in the 3rd inning with an RBI single off the right handed bat of Alex Verdugo. In total, Gant only gave the Twins four innings while allowing four earned runs, struggling with command all night to the tune of three walks. His lack of distance turned the game over to the bullpen early, which has been a bad thing all night, and was again a bad thing. After Kyle Barraclough allowed a run in the 5th inning, things completely unraveled for the Twins’ bullpen. In the 6th inning, Edgar Garcia allowed three hits, two walks, hit a batter and threw one wild pitch. He was charged with six runs, highlighted by a home run by Rafael Devers to give the Red Sox their 10th run. The Red Sox tacked on two more runs in the 7th inning off of Edgar Garcia when Bobby Dalbec hit his second home run, this time of the two-run variety. While the Red Sox offense was on fire all night, the Twins’ bats were largely silent, as they were only able to muster three hits on the night. The Twins cashed in their only runs of the night in the 5th inning when Willians Astudillo hit his seventh home run of the season over the Green Monster. Immaculate Inning In what was an otherwise run-of-the-mill blowout game, there was a noteworthy moment in the 3rd inning when Chris Sale threw the first immaculate inning at Fenway Park since Pedro Martinez in 2002. Turtle Time With a blowout game came another chance to watch Willians Astudillo on the mound in mop up duty. He was tasked with pitching for the Twins in the 8th inning. Astudillo didn’t allow a hit or a run in his inning of work. Postgame Interview What’s Next? The Minnesota Twins will return home to kick off a three-game weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers by sending Andrew Albers to the mound to face off against Brewers’ left-hander, Eric Lauer. Bullpen Usage Chart View full article
  10. Box Score Gant: 4 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K Home Runs: Astudillo (7) Bottom 3 WPA: Gant -.193, Garcia -.093, Arraez -.090 Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) Pitching has been the downfall for the Minnesota Twins in 2021, and pitching was their downfall again on Thursday night. The pitching didn’t waste anytime letting the Twins down at Fenway park on Thursday as John Gant was far from sharp. The scoring got started early for the Red Sox, when Bobby Dalbec cashed in on back-to-back walks from John Gant with a three-run blast to give Boston an early 3-0 lead. The Red Sox then cashed in another run off of Gant in the 3rd inning with an RBI single off the right handed bat of Alex Verdugo. In total, Gant only gave the Twins four innings while allowing four earned runs, struggling with command all night to the tune of three walks. His lack of distance turned the game over to the bullpen early, which has been a bad thing all night, and was again a bad thing. After Kyle Barraclough allowed a run in the 5th inning, things completely unraveled for the Twins’ bullpen. In the 6th inning, Edgar Garcia allowed three hits, two walks, hit a batter and threw one wild pitch. He was charged with six runs, highlighted by a home run by Rafael Devers to give the Red Sox their 10th run. The Red Sox tacked on two more runs in the 7th inning off of Edgar Garcia when Bobby Dalbec hit his second home run, this time of the two-run variety. While the Red Sox offense was on fire all night, the Twins’ bats were largely silent, as they were only able to muster three hits on the night. The Twins cashed in their only runs of the night in the 5th inning when Willians Astudillo hit his seventh home run of the season over the Green Monster. Immaculate Inning In what was an otherwise run-of-the-mill blowout game, there was a noteworthy moment in the 3rd inning when Chris Sale threw the first immaculate inning at Fenway Park since Pedro Martinez in 2002. Turtle Time With a blowout game came another chance to watch Willians Astudillo on the mound in mop up duty. He was tasked with pitching for the Twins in the 8th inning. Astudillo didn’t allow a hit or a run in his inning of work. Postgame Interview What’s Next? The Minnesota Twins will return home to kick off a three-game weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers by sending Andrew Albers to the mound to face off against Brewers’ left-hander, Eric Lauer. Bullpen Usage Chart
  11. The Minnesota Twins' bats were quiet and Kenta Maeda left the game with an arm injury in the Twins 7-1 loss to the New York Yankees. In other words, it was just another day in the Bronx for the Twins. Box Score Maeda: 4 1/3 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5K Home Runs: Polanco (22) Bottom 3 WPA: Donaldson -.148, Polanco -.127, Garcia -.100 Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) It was a pitcher’s duel early on in the Bronx on Saturday afternoon with team aces Gerrit Cole and Kenta Maeda exchanging great performances from each dugout. The New York Yankees got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning after a hit-by-pitch by Rougned Odor kicked off a rally for the Yankees, ending with a RBI single by Tyler Wade gave the New York Yankees an early 1-0 lead. The Minnesota Twins had a great chance to get on the board themselves in the top of the 5th inning when they had the bases loaded and Josh Donaldson up to the plate, but Donaldson took a called third strike to end the Twins rally and preserve Cole’s outstanding outing. Things took a turn for the worse for Maeda and the Minnesota Twins in the bottom of the 5th inning, though, when Maeda lost all control of his pitches. Maeda allowed a double and a single before hitting Anthony Rizzo, throwing a wild pitch, and walking Aaron Judge on nine consecutive balls. Following the walk to Judge and a ball to the next hitter, Maeda motioned for the trainers to come out and Maeda was promptly removed from the game with what was called right forearm tightness. Responsible for all three runs on the bases after being removed from the game, Twins reliever Edgar Garcia allowed each of the runs to score on doubles from Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit to give the Yankees a five-run inning and push their lead to 6-0. On the day, Maeda pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed five earned runs on four hits, one walk and two hit batters. Across the diamond, Gerrit Cole was much more effective for the New York Yankees, limiting the Twins to just five hits across scoreless innings while striking out six. While the rest of the Twins’ offense struggled to push runs across the plate, Jorge Polanco stayed on his ridiculous hot streak at the plate, blasting a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the 8th to give the Twins their first (and only) run of the game. The Yankees sure didn’t need any insurance runs, but they got another one in the bottom of the 8th inning on a solo shot from backup shortstop, Andrew Velazquez. The Twins would wind up losing to the New York Yankees 7-1, making it three losses in a row and cementing yet another series loss to the Bronx Bombers. What’s Next? The Twins will look to avoid a 4-game sweep tomorrow afternoon when they send Griffin Jax to the mound to face off against old friend Luis Gil. Editor’s note: It has since been announced that Sunday’s game has been rained out. Bullpen Usage Chart View full article
  12. Box Score Maeda: 4 1/3 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5K Home Runs: Polanco (22) Bottom 3 WPA: Donaldson -.148, Polanco -.127, Garcia -.100 Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) It was a pitcher’s duel early on in the Bronx on Saturday afternoon with team aces Gerrit Cole and Kenta Maeda exchanging great performances from each dugout. The New York Yankees got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning after a hit-by-pitch by Rougned Odor kicked off a rally for the Yankees, ending with a RBI single by Tyler Wade gave the New York Yankees an early 1-0 lead. The Minnesota Twins had a great chance to get on the board themselves in the top of the 5th inning when they had the bases loaded and Josh Donaldson up to the plate, but Donaldson took a called third strike to end the Twins rally and preserve Cole’s outstanding outing. Things took a turn for the worse for Maeda and the Minnesota Twins in the bottom of the 5th inning, though, when Maeda lost all control of his pitches. Maeda allowed a double and a single before hitting Anthony Rizzo, throwing a wild pitch, and walking Aaron Judge on nine consecutive balls. Following the walk to Judge and a ball to the next hitter, Maeda motioned for the trainers to come out and Maeda was promptly removed from the game with what was called right forearm tightness. Responsible for all three runs on the bases after being removed from the game, Twins reliever Edgar Garcia allowed each of the runs to score on doubles from Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit to give the Yankees a five-run inning and push their lead to 6-0. On the day, Maeda pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed five earned runs on four hits, one walk and two hit batters. Across the diamond, Gerrit Cole was much more effective for the New York Yankees, limiting the Twins to just five hits across scoreless innings while striking out six. While the rest of the Twins’ offense struggled to push runs across the plate, Jorge Polanco stayed on his ridiculous hot streak at the plate, blasting a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the 8th to give the Twins their first (and only) run of the game. The Yankees sure didn’t need any insurance runs, but they got another one in the bottom of the 8th inning on a solo shot from backup shortstop, Andrew Velazquez. The Twins would wind up losing to the New York Yankees 7-1, making it three losses in a row and cementing yet another series loss to the Bronx Bombers. What’s Next? The Twins will look to avoid a 4-game sweep tomorrow afternoon when they send Griffin Jax to the mound to face off against old friend Luis Gil. Editor’s note: It has since been announced that Sunday’s game has been rained out. Bullpen Usage Chart
  13. The Minnesota Twins’ bats got off to a quick start and Griffin Jax recorded his first Major League victory as a starter in what was a 5-3 win for the Twins over the Houston Astros. Box Score Jax: 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 0 K Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Larnach .130, Jax .116, Thielbar .071 Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) After a lackluster performance on Wednesday afternoon’s getaway game, the Minnesota Twins were hoping to get off to a quicker start in the first game of their four-game road series against the Houston Astros. The Twins got the start that they were looking for as their offense exploded out to a 4-0 lead in the 2nd inning, thanks to RBI from Willians Astudillo, Trevor Larnach, Andrelton Simmons and Jorge Polanco, who continued his torrid stretch on Thursday evening. The four runs of support turned out to be all that Twins’ starter Griffin Jax needed as he kept the Astros bats quiet all night, allowing just one hit through the first five innings, until “old friend” Jason Castro finally put the Astros on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of the 6th inning. On the night, Jax pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on three hits and one walk. While Jax didn’t accumulate any strikeouts, he had Houston’s talented hitters on their heels the entire night and posted the best start of his young Major League career. After Jax was removed from a 4-1 ballgame, Andrelton Simmons provided the Twins with an insurance run in the top of the 8th inning with an RBI bunt single to score newly called up Rob Refsnyder. The Minnesota Twins’ bullpen was looking strong on the night with scoreless appearances from Caleb Thielbar, Tyler Duffey and Jorge Alcala before reliever Danny Coulombe made things interesting in the bottom of the 9th inning when he allowed Yordan Alvarez to smack a two-run home run to right field to draw the Twins’ lead down to two. Fans were nervous when Baldelli called on Alexander Colomé to close out the game for Coulombe, but he was able to answer the bell and give the Twins the victory. Raising Money For a Good Cause A fun part of the broadcast tonight was the annual Twins’ Community Fund Broadcast Auction that was run to benefit the Twins’ charity. In total, over $84,000 was raised for the Twins’ Community Fund and some pretty cool items were auctioned off. Postgame Press Conference What’s Next? The Minnesota Twins will send rookie Bailey Ober to the mound tomorrow night to face off against veteran right hander, Zack Grienke for a 7:10pm showdown in Houston. Bullpen Usage Chart View full article
  14. Box Score Jax: 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 0 K Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Larnach .130, Jax .116, Thielbar .071 Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) After a lackluster performance on Wednesday afternoon’s getaway game, the Minnesota Twins were hoping to get off to a quicker start in the first game of their four-game road series against the Houston Astros. The Twins got the start that they were looking for as their offense exploded out to a 4-0 lead in the 2nd inning, thanks to RBI from Willians Astudillo, Trevor Larnach, Andrelton Simmons and Jorge Polanco, who continued his torrid stretch on Thursday evening. The four runs of support turned out to be all that Twins’ starter Griffin Jax needed as he kept the Astros bats quiet all night, allowing just one hit through the first five innings, until “old friend” Jason Castro finally put the Astros on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of the 6th inning. On the night, Jax pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on three hits and one walk. While Jax didn’t accumulate any strikeouts, he had Houston’s talented hitters on their heels the entire night and posted the best start of his young Major League career. After Jax was removed from a 4-1 ballgame, Andrelton Simmons provided the Twins with an insurance run in the top of the 8th inning with an RBI bunt single to score newly called up Rob Refsnyder. The Minnesota Twins’ bullpen was looking strong on the night with scoreless appearances from Caleb Thielbar, Tyler Duffey and Jorge Alcala before reliever Danny Coulombe made things interesting in the bottom of the 9th inning when he allowed Yordan Alvarez to smack a two-run home run to right field to draw the Twins’ lead down to two. Fans were nervous when Baldelli called on Alexander Colomé to close out the game for Coulombe, but he was able to answer the bell and give the Twins the victory. Raising Money For a Good Cause A fun part of the broadcast tonight was the annual Twins’ Community Fund Broadcast Auction that was run to benefit the Twins’ charity. In total, over $84,000 was raised for the Twins’ Community Fund and some pretty cool items were auctioned off. Postgame Press Conference What’s Next? The Minnesota Twins will send rookie Bailey Ober to the mound tomorrow night to face off against veteran right hander, Zack Grienke for a 7:10pm showdown in Houston. Bullpen Usage Chart
  15. When the Minnesota Twins traded away José Berríos they gave away their most durable, consistent and talented pitcher they’ve had since Johan Santana. While the Twins will look to their farm system to fill in the gaps of the depleted rotation that Berríos left behind, they should also look to free agency to replace as much of the consistent, veteran arm of Berríos that they can. When looking for a replacement for José Berríos, the Minnesota Twins will need to look for a pitcher who mirrors the age and upside of José Berríos. The Twins should be targeting a pitcher better than impending free agent names like Vincent Velasquez and Aaron Sanchez, but at the same time avoiding aging stars that do not fit the Twins’ timeline such as Clayton Kershaw or Max Scherzer. In looking at replacements for Berríos, let’s look at pitchers aged 30 or younger who have shown flashes of excellence. Acquiring a pitcher in this mold would ideally allow the Twins to replace ~85% of Berríos’s production on a cheaper contract than the Puerto Rican right hander will command after the 2022 season. Let’s get to the list... Marcus Stroman RHP 30 years old 2019 - 2021: 306.1 IP, 3.06 ERA, 7.6 K/9 Marcus Stroman was a name that many Twins fans wanted Minnesota to sign at the 2019 trade deadline and again in free agency last offseason. Stroman ended up being traded to the Mets in 2019 and then signed the qualifying offer last offseason, but will finally be a fully unrestricted free agent this winter. Stroman is currently having the best season of his young career with a 2.80 ERA in 122 innings with the Mets. Stroman is not a lights-out pitcher with top-notch velocity, but he limits damage extremely well with pinpoint control and a sinker that induces ground balls more than 50% of the time. Stroman is still only 30 years old and has the type of profile that figures to age well. Stroman will command some big-time offers in free agency but with numbers similar to José Berríos, the Twins have a unique opportunity to replace their former ace with a new one. Kevin Gausman RHP 30 years old 2019 - 2021: 288.1 IP, 3.81 ERA, 10.7K/9 Kevin Gausman was another name that Twins fans were looking at as a potential free agent option last offseason, only to miss out on him via the qualifying offer. Similar to Stroman, Gausman is in the midst of the best season of his career, with a 2.35 ERA and a 10.6 K/9. Gausman has a nasty pitch arsenal and the type of stuff that could play over the life of a 5 year contract. Noah Syndergaard RHP 28 years old 2019 - 2021: 197.2 IP, 4.28 ERA, 9.2 K/9 Another name that was once linked to the Minnesota Twins, Syndergaard was talked about as a potential trade return for Byron Buxton when the Twins were looking for a starting pitcher at the 2019 trade deadline. Now a free agent, Syndergaard figures to be a name that will draw interest from many clubs. Syndergaard has elite stuff, highlighted by his fastball that can reach triple digits. What has held “Thor” back is injury, as he is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery he underwent at the end of the 2019 season. When healthy, Syndergaard can be one of the premier starting pitchers in baseball, and while his injury presents risk, it could also present an opportunity to get value on a potential contract. Eduardo Rodriguez LHP 28 years old 2019 - 2021: 303.0 IP, 4.40 ERA, 9.9 K/9 Moving to the southpaws, Eduardo Rodriguez has been an underrated starting pitcher with the Boston Red Sox over the past number of years. Rodriguez is having a tough 2021 season, with an ERA of 5.60, but his underlying statistics show that he has been pitching much better than that. Rodriguez would bring a left handed pitcher to a rotation and farm system full of righties, and at just 28-years-old it’s fair to wonder if the Minnesota Twins could add some MPH to his low-90s fastball and unlock even more from the promising lefty. Robbie Ray LHP 29 years old 2019 - 2021: 350.1 IP, 4.21 ERA, 11.7 K/9 After a miserable 2020 season, Robbie Ray has rebounded in 2021 and is having a career year. After always having the strikeout arsenal, Ray has found his control and is walking a career-low 2.4 batters per 9 innings. Ray is only 29 years old, and if he has truly turned a corner in terms of his command, he could be an ace for the next half-decade and a great candidate to replace José Berríos. Which of these impending free agent pitchers would be the best replacement for José Berríos? Which do you think will command the least and most money on the free agent market? Leave a comment below and start the conversation! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
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