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Matthew Taylor

Twins Daily Contributor
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  1. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from ashbury in From Chris Vallimont to Carlos Correa: Ranking Every Player on the 2022 Minnesota Twins from 40 to 1   
    I just ranked the players on the 40-man roster.
  2. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from nicksaviking in Who Will Be the Twins Top Prospect in 2024?   
    I'll guess that the Twins' 2022 draft pick (#8 overall) will be their #1 prospect in 2024.
  3. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from Seth Stohs in Who Will Be the Twins Top Prospect in 2024?   
    I'll guess that the Twins' 2022 draft pick (#8 overall) will be their #1 prospect in 2024.
  4. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from Squirrel in Who Will Be the Twins Top Prospect in 2024?   
    I'll guess that the Twins' 2022 draft pick (#8 overall) will be their #1 prospect in 2024.
  5. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from chpettit19 in Who Will Be the Twins Top Prospect in 2024?   
    I'll guess that the Twins' 2022 draft pick (#8 overall) will be their #1 prospect in 2024.
  6. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from adjacent in Who Will Be the Twins Top Prospect in 2024?   
    I'll guess that the Twins' 2022 draft pick (#8 overall) will be their #1 prospect in 2024.
  7. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from roger in Who Will Be the Twins Top Prospect in 2024?   
    I'll guess that the Twins' 2022 draft pick (#8 overall) will be their #1 prospect in 2024.
  8. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from Dman in Who Will Be the Twins Top Prospect in 2024?   
    I'll guess that the Twins' 2022 draft pick (#8 overall) will be their #1 prospect in 2024.
  9. Like
    Matthew Taylor reacted to Old fox in 3 Realistic Free Agent Targets for the Minnesota Twins' Bullpen   
    M. Givens,  H. Strickland are two who could be added to the list. Their stats are reasonable. Givens has some closing experience. Bradley is another reliever that could be added to the list but may end up to expensive.
  10. Like
    Matthew Taylor reacted to terrydactyls in 3 Realistic Free Agent Targets for the Minnesota Twins' Bullpen   
    With as much money that the Twins haven't spent this offseason, why not sign all three?
  11. Like
    Matthew Taylor reacted to Dman in 3 Realistic Free Agent Targets for the Minnesota Twins' Bullpen   
    I agree all three could be fits with the Twins.  I like McHugh the best but all three look like reasonable options to me.
  12. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from Heiny in What if the Minnesota Twins Go All In on Offense?   
    The Minnesota Twins' need for starting pitching has been well-documented, but what if the Twins pivoted and went all-in on offense?
    The Minnesota Twins have long struggled to acquire top-end starting pitching. This was the case with prior Twins’ front offices and has been the case under Falvey/Levine’s leadership. Whether it is because of injuries (Kenta Maeda) or poor evaluation (J.A. Happ), betting on starting pitchers is extremely risky as the Twins have seen play out season after season.
    After getting largely shut out from the first wave of free agent starting pitchers, the Twins have now found themselves in a spot where they need to sign Carlos Rodón, trade for starting pitching (they shouldn’t), or be in for another long season with a better shot of fighting for the number one pick in the draft than a playoff spot.
    But what if there is another direction that the Twins could go? What if the Twins went all in on offense?
    While there is a shortage of impact starting pitching left on the free agency market, there are no shortage of bats. This surplus of bats on the market could present an opportunity for the Twins to pivot, settle for back-of-the-rotation arms, and instead go heavy on bats to bolster up what is already a strength of the Minnesota Twins. Names like Trevor Story, Kris Bryant, Nicolas Castellanos, and Michael Conforto are all all-star bats and are all still available as free agents.
    Not only is there a nice supply of big bats left on the free agent market, but the Twins have a need to fill multiple holes in their lineup as well, including shortstop, outfield and (potentially) designated hitter.
    The Minnesota Twins committed to Byron Buxton this offseason with a seven year contract. Additionally, the Twins have the young bats of Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Royce Lewis and Austin Martin ready to contribute for the next decade as well. An intriguing path for the Minnesota Twins to take would be for them to sign even more bats, completely lean into their offense and take on the identity of a bat-first team that will out-hit all of its opponents for years to come.
    Assuming that the Twins have $55M to spend this offseason, they would have the funds to bring in two superstar bats this offseason like Trevor Story and Kris Bryant. They could then fill out the rest of their team with fringe starting pitching, or trade Max Kepler and a marginal prospect for a moldable arm.
    Yes, this would leave the Twins with quite the shaky starting rotation, but with a lineup core of Trevor Story, Kris Bryant, Byron Buxton, and Alex Kirilloff, on top of Josh Donaldson, Luis Arraez and Jorge Polanco. John Bonnes could be pitching for the Minnesota Twins and they’d be in good shape with that potent lineup. 
    I mean..just look at this team:

    You hear about football teams that take on an offensive identity and out-score their opponents in order to win games, but you hardly find that in baseball. The Twins are in a position that they could go all in on offense and outscore the rest of the league by producing fireworks all Summer at Target Field.
    What do you think? 

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  13. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from glunn in 5 Takeaways from the Minnesota Twins' 2022 ZiPS Projections   
    Fangraphs released their annual ZiPS projections for the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday morning, one of the most widely-respected computer projection systems in baseball. Here are five takeaways from their projections of the Twins in 2022.
    ZiPS is a computer projection system that was created by senior writer at Fangraphs, Dan Szymborski in the early 2000s. ZiPS uses a mixture of past performance, similar player comparisons as well as aging curve to project out how a player will perform that next season. Important to note, ZiPS does not project playing time for each individual player, but rather gives numbers for what a player's statistics would be if they were named the starter on the team.
    1. Miranda Mania Coming?
    2022 ZiPS Projection: .272/.316/.432
    No. 1 Player Comp: Mike Lowell

    Jose Miranda had one of the best Minor League seasons in Minnesota Twins history in 2021 and the hype for his 2022 season is starting to pick up. While it’s no sure thing that Jose Miranda will start the season with the Twins, these ZiPS projections seem to think that he could hold his own in the Big Leagues. Szymborski’s projections have Miranda projected with an OPS+ of 103, which would have been the 6th best OPS+ on the 2021 Twins. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t even a top-10 prospect heading into last season.
    Miranda’s number one player comp will definitely draw some looks as well, Mike Lowell. Lowell was a four-time all-star and also won a gold glove during his time with the Marlins and Red Sox.
    2. Keep an Eye on Kerrigan
    2022 ZiPS Projection: .221/.272/.373, 14 DRS

    A prospect name that hasn’t been included in many Twins conversations over the past year has been outfielder prospect, Jimmy Kerrigan. In Szymborski’s 2022 projections, Kerrigan was pegged with a defensive projection of 14 defensive runs saved. In the 2021 season just four players in all of baseball accumulated at least 14 defensive runs saved.
    Kerrigan’s glove is real, but the X-Factor in Kerrigan’s development as a prospect will be his bat. ZiPS only pegs Kerrigan as a .645 OPS batter, however that is a number higher than Willians Astudillo, Jake Cave and Andrelton Simmons produced in 2021. In 398 plate appearances with the St. Paul Saints in 2021, Kerrigan posted a .814 OPS with 19 home runs.
    3. Projections Don’t Love Royce Lewis
    2022 ZiPS Projection: .227/.270/.342
    No. 1 Player Comp: Jhonny Perez

    While the ZiPS projections are excited about the potential of Jose Miranda and Jimmy Kerrigan, they are equally down on the potential of Royce Lewis in 2022. Szymborski’s system has Lewis pegged for a lowly .612 OPS and a negative defensive contribution. Royce Lewis is in for a pivotal season in 2022, as he has not truly played baseball since 2019 and hasn’t played well since 2018.
    4. The Computers Are Just As Pessimistic about the Twins’ Starting Rotation as You Are

    Much has been said and written about the Minnesota Twins lack of action on the free agent starting pitching market this offseason. The front office’s lack of activity has left the Twins with a starting rotation featuring Randy Dobnak, Dylan Bundy, and a host of rookies. As a result, the projections for the Twins’s starting rotation are quite poor. While ZiPS is fairly optimistic on both Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober (4.11 and 4.22 ERAs, respectively), not a single pitcher in the Twins’ rotation is projected to eclipse 2.1 WAR in 2022. By comparison, the 2019 Twins had four different pitchers produce an fWAR above 2.1.
    5. Fangraphs Doesn’t Think Jorge Polanco’s 2021 Season Was a Fluke

    The MVP of the 2021 Minnesota Twins unquestionably was Jorge Polanco. In a season where almost nothing went right, Polanco completely dominated the season and put up the best numbers in his career. While it’s natural to think that Polanco might regress in 2022, the ZiPS projections think that Polanco will actually improve at the plate next season. These projections peg Polanco for pacing the Twins in fWAR and posting the second best OPS on the team after Byron Buxton.
    What stands out to you from these ZiPS projections. What player projections are the most promising and worrying? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!

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  14. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from glunn in Note to Falvine: Please DON'T Make a Trade This Offseason   
    The Minnesota Twins largely missed the boat on the big time free agents this offseason, as only a few remain after the pre-lockout frenzy. While the trade market could be the next place to look, the front office would be wise to steer clear.
    The two areas that the Minnesota Twins had an immense need heading into this offseason were starting pitcher and shortstop. Now, the cupboards are all but bare in each of these areas with 13 of Aaron Gleeman’s top 15 free agent starting pitchers and four of Gleeman’s top six free agent shortstops off the board entirely.
    Aside from signing one of the star free agent shortstops (not likely) or Carlos Rodón (possible), the Minnesota Twins will need to utilize the trade market if they want to bring in any difference-making talent this offseason. 
    Doing so, though, would not be wise.
    I’m not breaking any news here, but the Minnesota Twins were not a good baseball team last year. The Twins just had their worst season since 2016, and did not show at any point in the season that they were on the verge of being a successful team. In only one full month in 2021 did the Minnesota Twins finish with a record above .500, when they went 14-13 in the month of August. On top of that, the Twins traded away their best starting pitcher since Johan Santana and their best power hitter since Jim Thome.
    The most likely path for the Minnesota Twins to acquire difference-making talent via the trade market would be by packaging one (or multiple) future prospects to a rebuilding team in exchange for a win-now player. Trade ideas as proposed by Twins Daily writer, JD Cameron, include Trevor Larnach for Chris Bassit or Jordan Balazovic and Ryan Jeffers for Sonny Gray. While the exact prospects that the Twins would need to part with in these trades could be different, the core idea remains the same…the Twins would need to part with key future prospects if they want to acquire top-shelf talent. 
    The problem, and why they should avoid making deals this offseason, is that the Twins have not shown that they are close to competing and that adding a starting pitcher like Bassit or Gray (or both, even!) would suddenly turn the Twins into contenders. The Twins finished last in the American League Central last season and got worse, while the White Sox, Tigers and Royals all figure to improve. Trading away future pieces such as a Trevor Larnach or a Jordan Balazovic only to marginally improve a still-bad baseball team could prove catastrophic in terms of rebuilding efforts down the line.
    The other option that the Twins could look at on the trade market would be to trade away a non-prospect batter for some top-line pitching talent. Names like Max Kepler or Luis Arraez could potentially be expendable on a team with more hitting depth than pitching. While this type of trade would prove more palatable for an underwhelming Twins team, they are very difficult to come by. The teams that are looking to add MLB-ready bats are typically not the teams that are willing to part with MLB-ready arms. While it’s possible, I don’t see the Twins making this kind of trade.
    The best path for the Minnesota Twins to follow in 2022 would be to round out their pitching rotation this offseason with number three or four starting pitchers such as Michael Pineda or Danny Duffy. Then, simply let the season play out. If the Twins’ young arms show that they are the real deal and in turn the Twins prove to be more competitive in 2022 than predicted, Minnesota can then move prospects for win-now arms at the trade deadline. 
    Making a trade now, though, could prove extremely costly.
     

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  15. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from Richie the Rally Goat in Things Twins Players Did Recently   
    These articles are seriously the best!
  16. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from glunn in Game Score: Twins 7, Blue Jays 2   
    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
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  17. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from glunn in What Would the Ideal Offseason Have Looked Like for the Minnesota Twins?   
    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!
     
     

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  18. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from glunn in Game Score: Red Sox 12, Twins 2   
    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


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  19. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from VivaBomboRivera! in Game Score: Red Sox 12, Twins 2   
    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


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  20. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from glunn in Game Score: Yankees 7, Twins 1   
    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


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  21. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from glunn in Game Score: Twins 5, Astros 3   
    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


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  22. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from glunn in 5 Free Agent Options for the Minnesota Twins to Replace José Berríos   
    With José Berríos now north of the border, the Minnesota Twins are faced with an extremely difficult task: replacing their ace of the past five years. There are five impending free agents who could be candidates for the Twins to replace their right hander.
    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!

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  23. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from Squirrel in José Berríos Traded to Blue Jays   
    Multiple reports have confirmed that José Berríos has been traded to the Blue Jays in exchange for Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson.
     
    Jose Berrios has been traded. There have been rumors and now there are confirmations. Jose Berrios will be joining the Toronto Blue Jays as they head back to Canada to play for the first time in a long time. No doubt Berrios will be missed. He is a leader, a two-time All Star, and competitor. 
    In return, the Twins received highly-touted prospects, SS Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson.
    Martin was the #5 overall pick in the 2020 draft out of Vanderbilt. Martin is a consensus Top 25 overall prospect in baseball. He should soon join the Wichita Wind Surge. He is ranked #21 by Baseball America and #16 by MLB Pipeline. 
    Martin made his professional debut this year, and he has played in 55 games for Double-A New Hampshire. He has hit .281/.424/.383 (.807) with ten doubles, two triples and two home runs. He also has nine stolen bases. 
    Woods-Richardson was traded two years ago from the Mets to the Blue Jays in the Marcus Stroman deal. The hard-thrower is currently in Tokyo with fellow newly-acquired Twins prospect Joe Ryan at the Olympics. He is ranked #68 by MLB Pipeline. 
    He was the Mets second-round pick in 2018 out of high school in Texas. The 20-year-old is also at Double-A New Hampshire. He is 2-4 with a 5.76 ERA in 11 starts. Over 11 starts and 45 1/3 innings, he has walked too many (26) and struck out a ton (67, 13.3 K/9). 
    On MLB Network, former GM Dan O'Dowd said, "In surplus value, the Twins won this deal. In present value, the Blue Jays get what they need." 
    Once the Washington Nationals traded Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers on Thursday night, Berrios became the best pitcher on the trade market, and the Twins took advantage. 
    The Blue Jays are working to stay in playoff contention in a division currently led by the Red Sox and Rays. They are also trying to keep up with the Yankees who have added sluggers Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo the past two days. A two-time All Star, Berrios will certainly help Toronto down the stretch and, the reason they got such a big return, will help them in 2022 as well. 
    Are the Twins done??? Don't count on it! 
     
    Story will be updated as we learn more information. You can also add to the story in the comments below.

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  24. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from glunn in Trade Deadline Tracker: Twins' News and Rumor Roundup   
    The midseason hot stove heated up in a big way on Wednesday with trades and rumors galore and the Minnesota Twins continue to stay in the news. Come read about the latest trade deadline news and rumors.
    Below we will review the trades from Wednesday and how (or if) they have any impact on the Minnesota Twins. 
    Oakland Athletics Trade For Starling Marte
    The first trade of the day came from the Oakland Athletics who acquired outfielder Starling Marte from the Miami Marlins in exchange for former top-100 pitching prospect Jesús Luzardo. While Starling Marte is an excellent talent, the overwhelming reaction from experts was that the A’s paid a big price for Marte, who is set to be a free agent at the end of the season. This is a big development for the Minnesota Twins who appear open to moving both Byron Buxton and Max Kepler. If Marte, an impending free agent, was able to fetch a big-time pitching prospect, then Max Kepler and Byron Buxton would seem to be able to fetch even more.
    Milwaukee Brewers Sign Eduardo Escobar
    The next major deal to take place on Wednesday came from the Milwaukee Brewers when they acquired former Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar in exchange for AAA catcher Cooper Hummel. In addition to the obvious Twins connection with Escobar changing teams, the mid-afternoon deal impacted the Twins by removing a potential Josh Donaldson buyer from the trade market. Earlier this week, MLB insider Jon Heyman reported that the Milwaukee Brewers had checked in on Josh Donaldson. Now that the Brewers have acquired their third baseman in Escobar, finding a potential trade partner for the Twins third baseman might be more difficult.
    New York Yankees Sign Joey Gallo
    To cap off a trade-filled day, the New York Yankees made a big move on Wednesday night when they acquired outfielder Joey Gallo from the Texas Ranges in exchange for a hefty package of minor league prospects. The trade had big ripple effects for the Minnesota Twins, as earlier in the day there were multiple reports linking the New York Yankees as a potential trade partner for Twins’ outfielder Max Kepler. Now that the Yankees traded for another outfielder in Gallo, Max Kepler’s odds of remaining with the Twins for the balance of 2022 increased.
    Continued José Berríos Trade Rumor Steam
    The smoke around a José Berríos trade hasn’t slowed down a bit as MLB insiders continue to report on interest and talk between contending teams and the Minnesota Twins for their ace starting pitcher. The big report today came from MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, reporting that the Padres lost out on Joey Gallo, but are prioritizing starting pitchers and speaking with the Twins regarding José Berríos.
    The list of teams interested in Berríos is long, but the Dodgers and Padres seem to be the teams most often linked to Berríos over the past couple of days.
    How do you think today's moves impacted the Minnesota Twins? Do you think José Berríos will be moved ahead of the deadline? How about other Twins players? Who will they trade? Leave a comment and start the conversation!
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  25. Like
    Matthew Taylor got a reaction from glunn in Game Recap: Twins 5, Tigers 3   
    A much needed quality start on the mound along with a pair of blasts at the plate helped the Minnesota Twins get back into the win column on Thursday night as the home team took down the Detroit Tigers 5-3.
    Box Score
    Happ: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
    Home Run(s): Jeffers (6), Sanó (15)
    Top 3 WPA: Sanó .175, Kepler .151, Rogers .079
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) 

    Entering Thursday night with J.A. Happ set to start for the Minnesota Twins, one would have thought that the Twins would need to bring their bats to the park, as Happ has put the Twins in holes all season. Thursday night was different though, as Happ put together one of his best performances of the year, allowing three runs over 7 innings and striking out 8, the second highest number of strikeouts he has recorded in 2021.
    In a similar fashion to how many Twins games have gone in which they received a good start from their pitcher, though, the offense looked like it might not be able to return the favor to their southpaw starter. Through 4 innings the Twins offense looked lifeless at the plate, going 12-up, 12-down to start the game.
    Things changed for the Twins in the 5th inning, though, when a struggling Ryan Jeffers broke through with a home run to the left field bleachers to put the Twins on the board and wake up the bats that had been dormant up to that point. 
     
    After notching a second run in the 6th inning, the Twins really grabbed the game in the bottom of the 7th when they plated 3 runs, started by a massive Sanó shot above the right center field scoreboard to tie the game.
    After taking the lead on a wild pitch and sacrifice fly, the Twins handed the game over to their bullpen to finish the game, and in a shocking turn of events, the bullpen came through. The Twins received perfect innings from Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers to solidify a 5-3 win for the Twins.
    What’s Next
    The Twins’ record now stands at 36-50. They will come back to Target Field on Friday evening to pit Kenta Maeda against Tigers’ rookie, Matt Manning.
    Bullpen Usage Chart


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