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  1. Santa Claus announced via Twitter (Jeff Passan had it first) late last night his nice list for the year. The Twins Daily managed to snag a copy of the list that some say is the modern-day Magna Carta. We don’t really see it. Here is his eponymous list, where some of the names may surprise you. Byron Buxton The man is the definition of nice. It was nice when St. Pohlad pulled through by resigning Buxton to ten more Christmases. Buxton was a lock for the nice list this year. Joe Ryan During the darkest days of doom and gloom, Joe Ryan’s fastball lit up the room. Without Ryan on the team, we may have burst at the seam. We can’t wait for next season, with Ryan’s continued dominance as the main reason. Thank you for coming to Minnesota, Joe. Our favorite starting pitcher with a sick flow. Bailey Ober Uber is often attached to another Twins’ starting pitcher, but now this term also applies to the savior of the Twins’ starting pitching this season. This young rookie stood up to the test when the entire rotation fell to injury. This made Ober a no-brainer as our Rookie of the Year. Justin Morneau No one said they had to be current Twins. Morneau’s soothing voice of reason pacified the crowds during every blowout. Without Morneau behind the booth, chaos may have erupted among Twins fans. Each game without him felt more like a grind than some of the worst games of the season. Even years after retirement, Morneau continues to be the MVP. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen You may be wondering to yourself, where are the Olsen twins? The notoriously anonymous sisters have been quietly building their fashion empire, Elizabeth and James, behind the scenes. We miss seeing the sisters together on screen, but we respect their wishes for confidentiality. Taylor and Tyler Rogers Tyler isn’t a Twin, but it felt appropriate to include him on the list as well. The warm and fuzzies that fans felt watching Taylor and Tyler support each other throughout the season warranted a spot for both twins. In addition, Taylor’s All-Star season and Tyler’s snubbed All-Star season made them a lock on every baseball fan’s list. Jorge Polanco No explanation needed Ralph Garza Jr. He’s simply Santa’s favorite. (Author's Edit: We’re wondering if there’s some nepotism at play.) Gray Duck Tavern at Target Field Maybe not a Twin on paper, but this is Santa’s list, and he will do whatever he darn pleases. Without Gray Duck Tavern, the Twins Daily staff’s summer get-together would’ve been about 100 bomba juices short, which actually might’ve been a good thing. Thank you all for reading this year. May you all have a wonderful holiday and only receive season’s wishes for baseball purposes. View full article
  2. Byron Buxton The man is the definition of nice. It was nice when St. Pohlad pulled through by resigning Buxton to ten more Christmases. Buxton was a lock for the nice list this year. Joe Ryan During the darkest days of doom and gloom, Joe Ryan’s fastball lit up the room. Without Ryan on the team, we may have burst at the seam. We can’t wait for next season, with Ryan’s continued dominance as the main reason. Thank you for coming to Minnesota, Joe. Our favorite starting pitcher with a sick flow. Bailey Ober Uber is often attached to another Twins’ starting pitcher, but now this term also applies to the savior of the Twins’ starting pitching this season. This young rookie stood up to the test when the entire rotation fell to injury. This made Ober a no-brainer as our Rookie of the Year. Justin Morneau No one said they had to be current Twins. Morneau’s soothing voice of reason pacified the crowds during every blowout. Without Morneau behind the booth, chaos may have erupted among Twins fans. Each game without him felt more like a grind than some of the worst games of the season. Even years after retirement, Morneau continues to be the MVP. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen You may be wondering to yourself, where are the Olsen twins? The notoriously anonymous sisters have been quietly building their fashion empire, Elizabeth and James, behind the scenes. We miss seeing the sisters together on screen, but we respect their wishes for confidentiality. Taylor and Tyler Rogers Tyler isn’t a Twin, but it felt appropriate to include him on the list as well. The warm and fuzzies that fans felt watching Taylor and Tyler support each other throughout the season warranted a spot for both twins. In addition, Taylor’s All-Star season and Tyler’s snubbed All-Star season made them a lock on every baseball fan’s list. Jorge Polanco No explanation needed Ralph Garza Jr. He’s simply Santa’s favorite. (Author's Edit: We’re wondering if there’s some nepotism at play.) Gray Duck Tavern at Target Field Maybe not a Twin on paper, but this is Santa’s list, and he will do whatever he darn pleases. Without Gray Duck Tavern, the Twins Daily staff’s summer get-together would’ve been about 100 bomba juices short, which actually might’ve been a good thing. Thank you all for reading this year. May you all have a wonderful holiday and only receive season’s wishes for baseball purposes.
  3. Randy Dobnak was thankful for beans, rice, Jesus Christ, and Byron Who? BYRON! Byron Buxton surprised us with the best early-Christmas gift No one thought the Twins could get it done. Byron Buxton will remain a Twin for a very long time with his 7-year extension. That means we’ll have some of this in our future: And definitely a little bit of this: Buxton’s athleticism is like a perfectly crafted Thanksgiving plate, with the perfect amount of turkey, stuffing, and a heaping side of taters. Josh Donaldson celebrated his 36th birthday The Bringer of Rain celebrated the big 3-6 presumably in style yesterday. The entire staff of Twins Daily celebrated his birthday by joining hands and watching one of his best moments from last season. Happy birthday Josh! Eduardo Escobar broke ground at Citi Field Despite moving on to his third team after the Twins, Eduardo Escobar remains one of the most beloved Twins of all time. We wish him nothing by the best as he moves on to the NL East. Fogo Power, baby! Miguel Sano Took No Days Off Thanksgiving, shmanksgiving. Sano said no to giving up on his quest to prepping for the year ahead. Lewis Thorpe took his horse to the Old Town Road Max Kepler Continues to Live the Good Life We have no idea where Max Kepler spends most of his days. Wherever he is, there will be no grainy photos with poor lighting for Max. Kepler continues to be, what the kids say, ~*a vibe*~ Don’t ask us what that means. Which other players would you like to hear from in the offseason? Comment below!
  4. This lockout has officially put the nail in the coffin for a slow offseason. Never fear, your local internet stalker is still here. Say it with me, your favorite Twins don’t retreat into a Jake cave until spring training. Here are what your favorite Twins’ players have been up to recently. Randy Dobnak was thankful for beans, rice, Jesus Christ, and Byron Who? BYRON! Byron Buxton surprised us with the best early-Christmas gift No one thought the Twins could get it done. Byron Buxton will remain a Twin for a very long time with his 7-year extension. That means we’ll have some of this in our future: And definitely a little bit of this: Buxton’s athleticism is like a perfectly crafted Thanksgiving plate, with the perfect amount of turkey, stuffing, and a heaping side of taters. Josh Donaldson celebrated his 36th birthday The Bringer of Rain celebrated the big 3-6 presumably in style yesterday. The entire staff of Twins Daily celebrated his birthday by joining hands and watching one of his best moments from last season. Happy birthday Josh! Eduardo Escobar broke ground at Citi Field Despite moving on to his third team after the Twins, Eduardo Escobar remains one of the most beloved Twins of all time. We wish him nothing by the best as he moves on to the NL East. Fogo Power, baby! Miguel Sano Took No Days Off Thanksgiving, shmanksgiving. Sano said no to giving up on his quest to prepping for the year ahead. Lewis Thorpe took his horse to the Old Town Road Max Kepler Continues to Live the Good Life We have no idea where Max Kepler spends most of his days. Wherever he is, there will be no grainy photos with poor lighting for Max. Kepler continues to be, what the kids say, ~*a vibe*~ Don’t ask us what that means. Which other players would you like to hear from in the offseason? Comment below! View full article
  5. Fall/Halloween Roundup Baseball players, they’re just like us, posing in pumpkin patches and dressing up in adorable Halloween costumes. Here’s is a roundup of all of our fall favorites: Cody Stashak is Enjoying the Offseason with his Family and the Cutest Little Pumpkin Kyle Gibson and the Chocolate Factory Josh Donaldson has the Cutest Unicorn Family The Twins’ Uniform is Looking Different Nowadays Byron Buxton watched the Braves in the World Series And spoiler alert, they won! Brent Rooker shared our Daylight Savings woes. Baseball players, they’re just like us And same…. Welcome to Minnesota, Jayce Tingler and David Popkins Jayce Tingler and David Popkins will bring their impressive resumes to Minnesota next season as the Twins’ new bench coach and hitting coach, respectively. They will be replacing the late Mike Bell and Edgar Varela. Tingler comes to Minnesota from the San Diego Padres, where he spent two seasons as their manager. Prior to San Diego, he spent some time as a coach for the Texas Rangers. Popkins comes from the Dodgers organization, where two years coaching for the Arizona Dodgers and the Great Lakes Loons. Check out Aaron & John’s reaction on their latest episode of Gleeman & the Geek. Cody Laweryson is a Fall Star This 22-year-old has had a great Fall League thus far, and he was the sole Twin named on the Fall Star game roster today. In his 13 innings pitched this fall, he has struck out 17 while allowing just one home run. Congrats Cody! Check out the remaining Fall Star game roster below:
  6. ...and last week. Back by popular demand, this local Twins fan (internet lurker) is bringing you another edition of what your favorite current and former Twins did this week in the off-season. You thought that the Twins were going to disappear from your lives until next year? Think again. Contrary to popular belief, your favorite players don’t retreat into a Jake cave until spring training. Fall/Halloween Roundup Baseball players, they’re just like us, posing in pumpkin patches and dressing up in adorable Halloween costumes. Here’s is a roundup of all of our fall favorites: Cody Stashak is Enjoying the Offseason with his Family and the Cutest Little Pumpkin Kyle Gibson and the Chocolate Factory Josh Donaldson has the Cutest Unicorn Family The Twins’ Uniform is Looking Different Nowadays Byron Buxton watched the Braves in the World Series And spoiler alert, they won! Brent Rooker shared our Daylight Savings woes. Baseball players, they’re just like us And same…. Welcome to Minnesota, Jayce Tingler and David Popkins Jayce Tingler and David Popkins will bring their impressive resumes to Minnesota next season as the Twins’ new bench coach and hitting coach, respectively. They will be replacing the late Mike Bell and Edgar Varela. Tingler comes to Minnesota from the San Diego Padres, where he spent two seasons as their manager. Prior to San Diego, he spent some time as a coach for the Texas Rangers. Popkins comes from the Dodgers organization, where two years coaching for the Arizona Dodgers and the Great Lakes Loons. Check out Aaron & John’s reaction on their latest episode of Gleeman & the Geek. Cody Laweryson is a Fall Star This 22-year-old has had a great Fall League thus far, and he was the sole Twin named on the Fall Star game roster today. In his 13 innings pitched this fall, he has struck out 17 while allowing just one home run. Congrats Cody! Check out the remaining Fall Star game roster below: View full article
  7. Spoiler Alert: Your NLCS MVP is Eddie Rosario Unsurprisingly, Eddie Rosario was named the NLCS MVP last Saturday, surrounded by his loved ones including his parents, wife, children, and closest inner circle at Truist Park. Lest we forget that Rosario was DFA’d by the Twins last offseason, signed by Cleveland, and subsequently traded to Atlanta for Pablo Sandoval, who had the third slowest sprint speed of all active players. As Jesse Sanchez of MLB said in his profile of Rosario’s humble upbringing to his MVP honor, Rosario was “born to hit” and “may be the best unknown player in baseball”. Give it up one more time for Ed-die, Ed-die, Ed-die! Nelson Cruz won the Roberto Clemente Award Last night, Nelson Cruz won the coveted Roberto Clemente award for philanthropy, joining the ranks of Clayton Kershaw, Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, and many others. Cruz was awarded this honor for his tremendous philanthropic efforts in his hometown of Las Matas de Santa Cruz in the Dominican Republic throughout the pandemic. Here’s a list of some of Cruz’s philanthropic efforts that he aided in this past year: Provided financial support to over 1,200 families who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Helped feed over 700 struggling families Gifted a firetruck, ambulance, and 80 uniforms to the town after a childhood friend’s home was burned down in a fire Organized dentists and optometrists to provide check-ups, dental services, glasses, and dental services Began construction of an education center And more! Not only is Cruz one of the most beloved players of all time, but he’s also an exemplary human being. Congratulations Nelson! Josh Donaldson watched a LOT of baseball Josh Donaldson was all of us, live-tweeting during every playoff game. Max Kepler snuggled a Frenchie *Googles how to become a bulldog* Randy Dobnak wasn’t a regular mom; he was a cool mom The man induces ground balls and is the biggest hype man on the planet. Everyone needs a friend like Randy. Louie Varland caught a big fish Devin Smeltzer caught an even bigger fish Sorry Louie Brent Rooker missed Jake Cave ....and we all now know where Cave stands on duck, duck, goose. Which other Twins would you like to see here in the future? Let us know down below in the comments!
  8. Back by popular demand, this local Twins fan (internet lurker) is bringing you another edition of what your favorite current, former and future Twins are doing in the off-season. You thought that the Twins were going to disappear from your lives until next year? Think again. Contrary to popular belief, your favorite players don’t retreat into a Jake cave until spring training. Spoiler Alert: Your NLCS MVP is Eddie Rosario Unsurprisingly, Eddie Rosario was named the NLCS MVP last Saturday, surrounded by his loved ones including his parents, wife, children, and closest inner circle at Truist Park. Lest we forget that Rosario was DFA’d by the Twins last offseason, signed by Cleveland, and subsequently traded to Atlanta for Pablo Sandoval, who had the third slowest sprint speed of all active players. As Jesse Sanchez of MLB said in his profile of Rosario’s humble upbringing to his MVP honor, Rosario was “born to hit” and “may be the best unknown player in baseball”. Give it up one more time for Ed-die, Ed-die, Ed-die! Nelson Cruz won the Roberto Clemente Award Last night, Nelson Cruz won the coveted Roberto Clemente award for philanthropy, joining the ranks of Clayton Kershaw, Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, and many others. Cruz was awarded this honor for his tremendous philanthropic efforts in his hometown of Las Matas de Santa Cruz in the Dominican Republic throughout the pandemic. Here’s a list of some of Cruz’s philanthropic efforts that he aided in this past year: Provided financial support to over 1,200 families who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Helped feed over 700 struggling families Gifted a firetruck, ambulance, and 80 uniforms to the town after a childhood friend’s home was burned down in a fire Organized dentists and optometrists to provide check-ups, dental services, glasses, and dental services Began construction of an education center And more! Not only is Cruz one of the most beloved players of all time, but he’s also an exemplary human being. Congratulations Nelson! Josh Donaldson watched a LOT of baseball Josh Donaldson was all of us, live-tweeting during every playoff game. Max Kepler snuggled a Frenchie *Googles how to become a bulldog* Randy Dobnak wasn’t a regular mom; he was a cool mom The man induces ground balls and is the biggest hype man on the planet. Everyone needs a friend like Randy. Louie Varland caught a big fish Devin Smeltzer caught an even bigger fish Sorry Louie Brent Rooker missed Jake Cave ....and we all now know where Cave stands on duck, duck, goose. Which other Twins would you like to see here in the future? Let us know down below in the comments! View full article
  9. Taylor Rogers watched Tyler Rogers Pitch for the First Time Despite a heartbreaking Game 5 loss to the Dodgers, the silver lining was that Taylor finally got to watch Tyler pitch in person for the first time. There’s nothing quite as heartwarming as one brother trolling another. Taylor also had fun playing the Parent Trap on Giants fans by pretending to be Tyler in the stands during Game 1. We knew that we had a talented lefty on our hands, but who knew that Taylor was also a comedian by night. Eddie Rosario was a Postseason Darling There is no question about it: Eddie Rosario has been the star of the NLCS. He’s currently batting .400 in the postseason with a .864 OPS. This is a different Rosario than even the one we saw in the postseason with the Twins. Minnesota’s beloved Eddie has, as they say, “leveled up”. There may be something else to it though. Baseball players, such as Rosario, are just like us. Minnesota may not have a horse in this NLCS race, but this entire state is behind Eddie on his World Series quest. Max Kepler sat on some logs ….and ate some candy Randy Dobnak had some questions Matt Wallner, Zach Featherstone, Michael Helman, Andrew Bechtold, Evan Sisk, Cody Laweryson, and Kody Funderburk, all played for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League The 2021 Arizona Fall League opened last week. Although the Scottsdale Scorpions have started slowly, each prospect has been exciting to watch. We’ve got you on all of the coverage and recaps from the first week that you need on the AFL season.
  10. ....and last week. You thought that the Twins were going to disappear from your lives until next year? Think again. Contrary to popular belief, your favorite players don’t retreat into a cave until spring training. This local Twins fan (internet lurker) will be bringing you a recurring series of what your favorite current and former Twins are doing in the off-season. From fabulous vacations to prepping for another postseason run and the mundane tasks of every day, you’ll find it all here. Taylor Rogers watched Tyler Rogers Pitch for the First Time Despite a heartbreaking Game 5 loss to the Dodgers, the silver lining was that Taylor finally got to watch Tyler pitch in person for the first time. There’s nothing quite as heartwarming as one brother trolling another. Taylor also had fun playing the Parent Trap on Giants fans by pretending to be Tyler in the stands during Game 1. We knew that we had a talented lefty on our hands, but who knew that Taylor was also a comedian by night. Eddie Rosario was a Postseason Darling There is no question about it: Eddie Rosario has been the star of the NLCS. He’s currently batting .400 in the postseason with a .864 OPS. This is a different Rosario than even the one we saw in the postseason with the Twins. Minnesota’s beloved Eddie has, as they say, “leveled up”. There may be something else to it though. Baseball players, such as Rosario, are just like us. Minnesota may not have a horse in this NLCS race, but this entire state is behind Eddie on his World Series quest. Max Kepler sat on some logs ….and ate some candy Randy Dobnak had some questions Matt Wallner, Zach Featherstone, Michael Helman, Andrew Bechtold, Evan Sisk, Cody Laweryson, and Kody Funderburk, all played for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League The 2021 Arizona Fall League opened last week. Although the Scottsdale Scorpions have started slowly, each prospect has been exciting to watch. We’ve got you on all of the coverage and recaps from the first week that you need on the AFL season. View full article
  11. The offensive juices ran dry once again for the Twins, leading to a series split against the playoff-hopeful Blue Jays. Box Score: Griffin Jax: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (83 pitches, 61 strikes) Home Runs: Byron Buxton (16) Win Probability Chart: Top 3 WPA: Mitch Garver (.122) Byron Buxton (.096) Jake Cave (.091) Bottom 3 WPA: Nick Gordon (-.188); Josh Donaldson (-.188) Griffin Jax (-.169) Jax Maxes Out It’s been a tough rookie season for Griffin Jax. After being called up in early June, Jax became a full-time starter almost immediately. He’s shown glimmers of hope, but today was not one of those days. After today’s outing, his ERA rose slightly to 6.78 on the season. Nothing to write home about, per se, but a good outing against the Blue Jays at that. This leaves questions to be asked about his role for next season. Ted Schwerzler took a look at the future of this role (and many others) earlier this week. Lord Byron is Back! Even the mighty need some time to heat up after returning from the IL. Since returning from the IL on August 27th, Byron Buxton hasn’t quite lived up to the bar of his MVP-caliber run in the first half of the season. However, Buxton seems to be heating back up, just in time for the end of the season. Today, he hit his 6th home run of the month, putting him just one less than Jorge Polanco. Since coming back from the IL, the Twins have been 14-14 in games that Buxton plays in. Even though the games don’t matter on paper, Buxton gives hope to all Twins fans for next year on the horizon. In the meantime, enjoy Buxton’s bomb from today. GarvSauce: Good as Gravy Mitch Garver finds himself in a very similar but elongated boat as Byron Buxton. Long IL stint: check. Painful recovery post IL stint: check. The past year hasn’t been kind to Mitch. However, Garver continues to bounce back to his 2019 ways with another double today that almost left the ballpark. Since coming back from this latest stint, Garver has been a gravy train that can’t be stopped with back-to-back multi-hit games before today. If this continues, Garver will finish the season with a line slightly higher than his career numbers, showing that continued improvement is on the horizon. Around the Bases Max Kepler came back to the lineup with two singles under his belt, his first multi-hit game since his undisclosed (but non-COVID) illness. Jake Cave hushed his haters by driving in the first run of the game. Although Miguel Sano later struck out to leave two runners stranded, he produced a big double off of Alek Manoah. Nick Vincent balked. Bullpen Usage WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Vincent 0 13 0 0 33 46 Coulombe 0 0 0 37 0 37 Farrell 0 19 0 18 0 37 Garza Jr. 0 16 0 0 18 34 Barraclough 0 0 0 33 0 33 Minaya 13 0 19 0 0 32 Thielbar 0 14 0 0 17 31 Duffey 12 0 17 0 0 29 Colomé 24 0 5 0 0 29 Moran 0 0 0 19 0 19 Alcalá 10 0 6 0 0 16 Postgame Interviews View full article
  12. Box Score: Griffin Jax: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (83 pitches, 61 strikes) Home Runs: Byron Buxton (16) Win Probability Chart: Top 3 WPA: Mitch Garver (.122) Byron Buxton (.096) Jake Cave (.091) Bottom 3 WPA: Nick Gordon (-.188); Josh Donaldson (-.188) Griffin Jax (-.169) Jax Maxes Out It’s been a tough rookie season for Griffin Jax. After being called up in early June, Jax became a full-time starter almost immediately. He’s shown glimmers of hope, but today was not one of those days. After today’s outing, his ERA rose slightly to 6.78 on the season. Nothing to write home about, per se, but a good outing against the Blue Jays at that. This leaves questions to be asked about his role for next season. Ted Schwerzler took a look at the future of this role (and many others) earlier this week. Lord Byron is Back! Even the mighty need some time to heat up after returning from the IL. Since returning from the IL on August 27th, Byron Buxton hasn’t quite lived up to the bar of his MVP-caliber run in the first half of the season. However, Buxton seems to be heating back up, just in time for the end of the season. Today, he hit his 6th home run of the month, putting him just one less than Jorge Polanco. Since coming back from the IL, the Twins have been 14-14 in games that Buxton plays in. Even though the games don’t matter on paper, Buxton gives hope to all Twins fans for next year on the horizon. In the meantime, enjoy Buxton’s bomb from today. GarvSauce: Good as Gravy Mitch Garver finds himself in a very similar but elongated boat as Byron Buxton. Long IL stint: check. Painful recovery post IL stint: check. The past year hasn’t been kind to Mitch. However, Garver continues to bounce back to his 2019 ways with another double today that almost left the ballpark. Since coming back from this latest stint, Garver has been a gravy train that can’t be stopped with back-to-back multi-hit games before today. If this continues, Garver will finish the season with a line slightly higher than his career numbers, showing that continued improvement is on the horizon. Around the Bases Max Kepler came back to the lineup with two singles under his belt, his first multi-hit game since his undisclosed (but non-COVID) illness. Jake Cave hushed his haters by driving in the first run of the game. Although Miguel Sano later struck out to leave two runners stranded, he produced a big double off of Alek Manoah. Nick Vincent balked. Bullpen Usage WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Vincent 0 13 0 0 33 46 Coulombe 0 0 0 37 0 37 Farrell 0 19 0 18 0 37 Garza Jr. 0 16 0 0 18 34 Barraclough 0 0 0 33 0 33 Minaya 13 0 19 0 0 32 Thielbar 0 14 0 0 17 31 Duffey 12 0 17 0 0 29 Colomé 24 0 5 0 0 29 Moran 0 0 0 19 0 19 Alcalá 10 0 6 0 0 16 Postgame Interviews
  13. Box Score: Michael Pineda: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (68 pitches, 52 strikes) Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (16) Win Probability Chart: Top 3 WPA: Trevor Larnach (.077) Jorge Polanco (.068) Miguel Sanó (.065) Bottom 3 WPA: Michael Pineda (-.179) Max Kepler (-.125) Luis Arraez (-.082) No Offense, The Defense For the second game in a row, Michael Pineda gave up two earned runs. If there is one thing that can be said about Pineda, it’s his consistency. All year, Pineda has hovered around a couple of earned runs and 5 strikeouts, and today was no exception. The brightest spot of his performance today is his high strike percentage of 76.5%. According to Team Rankings, Pineda’s strike percentage in his last 10 games is 67.6%, putting him above the likes of Jose Berrios and Kenta Maeda. Despite the eventual loss, his improved performance and general consistency is a silver lining for Pineda. The bullpen is another story. Once again, the Twins’ relievers were responsible for the ultimate demise, despite the L being placed under Pineda’s name. In his Twins’ debut, John Gant helped the Cardinals add to their lead. To add insult to injury, the Cardinals seem to have already forgotten who he is. Danny Coulombe surrendered one more after Gant, and Beau Burrows closed out the game with the final two Cardinals runs. Marco, Polo! The Twins’ offense were partly to blame for the loss, as they barely made a splash after the two-run second inning. However, in the sixth inning, Jorge Polanco hit his 16th home run from the left side of the plate off of salsa-king Adam Wainwright. He is only six away from his career high from 2019, his All-Star season. He only has one home run less than Miguel Sanó at the moment. Polanco had a monstrous July, only going seven games without a hit recorded, most of which were in the first half of the month. He’s showing no sign of stopping. Without Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson, and Byron Buxton in the lineup, the offense has struggled to push runs across the plate. Polanco has picked up their load and more. It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane. No, It’s Miguel Sanó on Base The departure of mentor Nelson Cruz hasn’t slowed down Sanó. Despite only hitting slightly above the Mendoza Line on paper, Sanó has continued to heat up nicely. His double today increases his OPS has to .746, two hundred points higher than where he started the season. Lately, Sanó seems to be spending more time on base than the dugout. While there are mixed feelings among fans on Sanó as an everyday player, additional playing time has proven to be beneficial for Sanó so far. With Alex Kirilloff on the IL, the Twins need his continued improvement. Bullpen Usage WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Coulombe 0 0 23 0 21 44 Thielbar 0 0 0 14 0 14 Alcala 0 0 0 21 0 21 Gant 24 0 0 0 16 40 Colomé 0 0 0 16 0 16 Minaya 45 0 0 18 0 63 Duffey 0 0 32 0 0 32 Burrows 63 0 0 0 45 108 Around the Bases Andrelton Simmons batted in the first two runs of August after hitting .163 with 4 RBI in the month of July. Josh Donaldson’s hamstring kept him out of action once again. Luis Arraez made a seemingly costly error that didn’t end up as the game decision maker. He also did not make up for it offensively, going 0-4. Trevor Larnach hit his 10th double of the year, tying him with the aforementioned Arraez and Mitch Garver. Garver continues to hit, scoring one of the Twins’ runs.
  14. The Twins looked towards taking the series against the Cardinals after a dazzling offensive performance the night before. However, once again, the errors and pitching couldn’t keep the bottom of the Cardinals’ order at bay. Box Score: Michael Pineda: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (68 pitches, 52 strikes) Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (16) Win Probability Chart: Top 3 WPA: Trevor Larnach (.077) Jorge Polanco (.068) Miguel Sanó (.065) Bottom 3 WPA: Michael Pineda (-.179) Max Kepler (-.125) Luis Arraez (-.082) No Offense, The Defense For the second game in a row, Michael Pineda gave up two earned runs. If there is one thing that can be said about Pineda, it’s his consistency. All year, Pineda has hovered around a couple of earned runs and 5 strikeouts, and today was no exception. The brightest spot of his performance today is his high strike percentage of 76.5%. According to Team Rankings, Pineda’s strike percentage in his last 10 games is 67.6%, putting him above the likes of Jose Berrios and Kenta Maeda. Despite the eventual loss, his improved performance and general consistency is a silver lining for Pineda. The bullpen is another story. Once again, the Twins’ relievers were responsible for the ultimate demise, despite the L being placed under Pineda’s name. In his Twins’ debut, John Gant helped the Cardinals add to their lead. To add insult to injury, the Cardinals seem to have already forgotten who he is. Danny Coulombe surrendered one more after Gant, and Beau Burrows closed out the game with the final two Cardinals runs. Marco, Polo! The Twins’ offense were partly to blame for the loss, as they barely made a splash after the two-run second inning. However, in the sixth inning, Jorge Polanco hit his 16th home run from the left side of the plate off of salsa-king Adam Wainwright. He is only six away from his career high from 2019, his All-Star season. He only has one home run less than Miguel Sanó at the moment. Polanco had a monstrous July, only going seven games without a hit recorded, most of which were in the first half of the month. He’s showing no sign of stopping. Without Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson, and Byron Buxton in the lineup, the offense has struggled to push runs across the plate. Polanco has picked up their load and more. It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane. No, It’s Miguel Sanó on Base The departure of mentor Nelson Cruz hasn’t slowed down Sanó. Despite only hitting slightly above the Mendoza Line on paper, Sanó has continued to heat up nicely. His double today increases his OPS has to .746, two hundred points higher than where he started the season. Lately, Sanó seems to be spending more time on base than the dugout. While there are mixed feelings among fans on Sanó as an everyday player, additional playing time has proven to be beneficial for Sanó so far. With Alex Kirilloff on the IL, the Twins need his continued improvement. Bullpen Usage WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Coulombe 0 0 23 0 21 44 Thielbar 0 0 0 14 0 14 Alcala 0 0 0 21 0 21 Gant 24 0 0 0 16 40 Colomé 0 0 0 16 0 16 Minaya 45 0 0 18 0 63 Duffey 0 0 32 0 0 32 Burrows 63 0 0 0 45 108 Around the Bases Andrelton Simmons batted in the first two runs of August after hitting .163 with 4 RBI in the month of July. Josh Donaldson’s hamstring kept him out of action once again. Luis Arraez made a seemingly costly error that didn’t end up as the game decision maker. He also did not make up for it offensively, going 0-4. Trevor Larnach hit his 10th double of the year, tying him with the aforementioned Arraez and Mitch Garver. Garver continues to hit, scoring one of the Twins’ runs. View full article
  15. To Twins fans, he’s the guy from the Boston Red Sox. To Red Sox fans, he was the Swiss Army knife who couldn’t find a permanent home on the diamond, despite being touted as their 16th-best prospect. To Taiwan, Tzu-Wei Lin is one of the most valued baseball players in history. In 2012, the “Tzunami” received the largest signing bonus for a Taiwanese position player in history from the Red Sox and was touted as the second “Linsanity” after Jeremy Lin. The past decade has been a challenging journey for Lin, with many ups and downs. I had the privilege of spending an afternoon hearing his story and chatting with Lin, one of the most lauded and forgotten players in baseball. Patience is a Virtue When I arrived at the ballpark, Tzu-Wei Lin was in the on-deck circle, quietly waiting for Travis Blankenhorn to complete his home run derby. At a slight 5’9", Lin is not built like his teammate, and this is reflective in his home run statistics (he hit one in four years). However, despite his lack of power, Lin showed his patience in BP, hitting what would’ve been several screaming singles up the middle. Patience is a word that Lin has come to know very well. At age 16, Lin was named the Most Valuable Player, Leading Batter, and had the most runs scored in the 2010 World Junior Baseball Championship. He was also named to the All-Tournament team as the best third baseman, where he was joined by Francisco Lindor and Michael Lorenzen. Although he had to turn down a contract with the Yankees after the tournament due to a rule by the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association to complete his schooling or be banned for life, his patience paid off two years later, when he signed a $2.05M signing bonus with the Red Sox. During the two years between his contracts, Lin started to put in work to prepare for a career in the MLB. He mentioned that his coach recommended that in order to elongate his longevity in America, he needed to become the most valuable version of himself by becoming the most versatile version of himself. Lin started by learning how to catch, one of the most valuable and difficult positions in baseball, and made his way to each base and outfield position. When asked what his favorite was, Lin didn’t hesitate before saying “shortstop”, the first position he ever learned. Unfortunately, he did not enjoy his only pitching appearance in the majors, when he gave up three runs in one inning. Coming to America There are many factors that aren’t considered when a baseball player immigrates to the United States. The biggest is that English is likely not your first language. In Lin’s case, he knew “nothing at all, except hello and goodbye”. Therefore, during the day, Lin grinded in the minor leagues. At night, Lin grinded in ESL courses with several teammates. Given how few members of the clubhouse spoke Mandarin, Lin made it a personal goal to be able to converse in English independently as quickly as possible. In two years, Lin advanced to Class A Greenville Drive and stopped using his interpreter. Flash forward to the present day, where Lin is nervously approaching me for his interview. Although Lin now conducts his interviews solely in English, there are still big challenges that come with using your second language. Lin mentions that he’s “rarely asked for a player interview” and that he’s feeling “rather nervous”. Therefore, we conducted the entire interview in Mandarin, my second language, so that I can get a better understanding of what it’s like for a player to come from another country and carry the expectation of using this new language. And let me just say, it was one of the hardest things I’ve done. Thankfully, Lin graciously and patiently waited for me to express my questions in my questionable at-best Mandarin. Beyond the Red Sox When discussing his career with the Red Sox, Lin was grateful for his experiences. Although the end of his career in Boston was difficult, Lin is optimistic. Both 16-year old Lin and the present day 26-year old know the importance of patience and opportunity in the MLB. Lin told me that you’ll never find him arguing with an umpire, because every at bat is crucial to him. He cannot risk the chance of getting thrown out of a game and missing an opportunity to make a difference for his team. Being at the ballpark and playing the game that he loves is his biggest goal. He’s willing to wait for any opportunity to come his way. In the meantime, fans can find him at CHS Field day after day, staying warm and ready in case the Twins need him at Target Field. In Lin, I see a humble, down-to-earth human, who despite numerous adversities after being touted as the next biggest thing, who just wants to play the game he’s spent his whole life loving. After the interview, he thanked me for my time and for wanting to share his story. Although I’m uncertain of the future, it’s impossible to not root for a player like Tzu-Wei Lin, the Tzunami. If you’d like to learn more about his Lin and his statistics, check out this article by Twins Daily’s Lucas Seehafer PT. In the meantime, stop by CHS Field and check out the Twins' taxi squad. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
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