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  1. Quite a "whack a mole" exercise. I think if the pitching moves had been better, the defense of Simmons would have been more recognized. I think his signing was done to attract FA pitchers here with our improved D. However, he couldn't field moon shots to the seats. I do think he should have been vetted about his thoughts on vaccination prior to signing. Covid definitely affected his play. It will be interesting to see how the health of Royce Lewis is next spring, as that could affect whether the Twins jump into the market to sign one of the SS biggies. And I hope they can get their pitching targets right this time if they look at FAs again.
  2. Losing Everyday Eddie might have been more of an impact than expected. Nobody has stepped in to pick up the RBI slack except maybe Buxton when he was moved to the 4 hole for a bit. Lack of a legit and consistent cleanup hitter with some fire seems to be the huge issue with lineup.
  3. If he can get to 45-50 dingers this year then he's got a good shot. I think he'd take a WS ring over hitting 500 though.
  4. Rooker's ABs have been far superior to AK's this spring. At a time when games are about to count, the team can't wait for the kid's approach to suddenly click. He'll be up when he is ready. Let's not heap pressure on him by throwing him right into the MLB fire. He needs to find his stroke and confidence. Rooker's bat looks more ready for now, and he is 2 or 3 years older than AK. He's earned the job of trying to help us win some early games. And Arraez will find ABs more easily now as well.
  5. Main thing I wonder about is whether his plus plus speed comes back after rehab. That's arguably his strongest asset. The bat and glove and arm should return with no issues.
  6. I was also on the same Rowson soapbox last year. His arrival in Miami probably contributed to their surprising appearance in the playoffs. That said, it makes perfect sense for the Twins to rely less on hitting "bombas" and more so on defense this year, as the manufacturing of the baseball itself returns to normal. The pitching staff will appreciate great D too. Lefty shy? Not an issue with examining the hitting splits. I can think of a couple more righty-heavy lineups. Blue Jay's, Yankees, White Sox come to mind and they're all looking pretty formidable. Plus we have some good lefty hitting in the minors and ready to contribute.
  7. I wonder what kind of pitches Cruz would see without dangerous lefty Rosario hitting behind him. The projected batting lineup has to be taken into account to fairly assess what Cruz could add to it. Simmons is a back half type of hitter and won't scare anyone. Any rookies are unproven. I am guessing the Twins are carefully considering what to do about the impact of losing their #3 and #4 hitters in the lineup, when nobody else seems obviously ready to replace them. As much as pitching is needed (and they will add more), losing the number 3 and 4 hitters, the proven clutch rbi guys, is worrisome. For that reason alone, I do think Cruz returns. He thrived with a proven hitter behind him in the order, not a rookie. If anything, Cruz would be great protection for a rookie like Kiriloff. There may be a value adjustment for a hitter as being the "protection" rather than the "protected". It will be interesting to see how the projected hitting lineup develops.
  8. Tanaka finished 3rd in Cy Young voting, has a consistent history, and is battle tested in post season. I cannot understand why a team wouldn't have thrown a 2 year/12 million contract offer at him, with the opt out after the first year, unless he is injured. In my uneducated opinion the Twins need a 1 or 2 caliber SP and a couple more helpers in the bullpen. Maeda was admittedly great last year, but seems possible it was an outlier. Berrios still struggles. I like Pineda but he is a 2 pitch pitcher, maybe a bullpen candidate. Happ? Hmm. I guess he's a lefty and just ok. Seems we have a lot of 3-4 types. That won't get it done in post season.
  9. It'll be easier to shop for pitching, free agents at least, if the infield is improved both defensively and health wise. We had issues at all four IF spots plus CF health last year. Not an attractive sight for pitchers..
  10. I like Semien. He is a significant defensive upgrade in the middle and has flashed decent BB and K rates, extra base talent (whether from his swing or his legs), and positional flexibility. I remember him playing 3 or 4 positions while with the White Sox. Anyone's 2019 stats should be regarded skeptically, as the baseball really seemed to behave differently that year for both hitters and pitchers. I am also in the "keep Arraez" camp. Bats and discipline like that are special, and he is young. I wouldn't call him a gold glover at 2B, but I think his metrics would improve with a better defensive SS. Polanco would be very good as a Marwin supersub replacement, and perhaps mid-season trade chip for stretch run relief pitching when Royce is ready. Whichever way the Twins proceed, defensive and health improvements are needed across the whole infield. Doing this might help make MN an even more attractive destination for pitchers.
  11. I think they will look at trade options early on rather than only dealing with free agents to fill spots. For instance, Reds seem to be listening to offers for Castillo. Cincy wouldn't move him unless a larger contract is attached. Maybe Moose fits in MN to protect 2B and 3B and be a rotational DH to balance the inexperience of the rookies coming up if Cruz isn't signed. And I do like the idea of a DH that is capable of playing in the field. Meanwhile, Castillo is a dominating top of rotation guy with 3 years of affordable control - a rare opportunity and just what we need. It would cost a bit, even after being stuck with the Moose contract. But the farm is pretty deep in spots. And Moose has the perfect nickname for Minnesota..
  12. In making an offer for Snell, the needs of the Rays must be considered. They seem to have plenty of infielders. They have plenty of relievers. Maybe they could use an outfielder. But their glaring need is a catcher. Make Garver the centerpiece in a package for a Snell deal? He is a year removed from a monster year. We can hand catcher to Jeffers and sign a good backup.
  13. It is difficult to trade within the division, but I wonder if KC might match up in a Merrifield deal. They need OF help, preferably lefty. We can supply that. Might cost us Arraez too..
  14. You can bet there will be many more suitors for Marlins pitching deals. But I like the potential matchups with Rowson being down in Miami to advocate for certain MN hitters in a deal. So Miami should have more comfort level negotiating with us. Given that, we may be asked to give up Kepler or Polanco or Garver, rather than Rosie, in a deal.
  15. Importantly, he has been a good OBA guy too. He has some plate discipline, and his underachieving teammates might learn through observation. I think he is more than worthy of another year. A designated hitter should have, by definition, well developed and experienced hitting skills. A promoted minor leaguer doesn't seem to be right for that slot. We want the opposing pitcher thinking about our DH and being nervous about the potential damage. Cruz fits.
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