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Sherry Cerny

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  1. Trey Mancini has been an all-star caliber hitter, but has had his highs and lows since. Last year, those highs made him a big target at the trade deadline, but the lows make him an affordable free agent. That’s just one reason why Mancini could be a perfect fit for the Twins' roster. Image courtesy of Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports Trey Mancini is just coming off the best feeling in the world of baseball: a World Series championship. At the beginning of the season, Mancini was with the Baltimore Orioles, the organization he had played for since they drafted him in 2013. The Orioles were just getting hot as Mancini's bat cooled off, but the Astros still saw something. The 30-year-old was part of a three-team trade that sent him from Baltimore to Houston. Mancini was hitting .268/.347/.404 with ten homers before the trade and was a "high-value" hitter, which would undoubtedly have helped in the postseason. Mancini came in as a veteran player at first base and helped alleviate some pressure from struggling first baseman Yuli Gurriel. He could also serve as a DH, and played 31 games in the corner outfield positions, but his bat was most attractive to the Astros. However, Mancini slumped in Houston, hitting .176/.258/.364, and struggled in the postseason. One could easily blame that on a major trade late in the season and after being with a club for six seasons, but he certainly did not produce like the Astros’ thought he would at the plate. However, he did play great defense, which helped secure game five of the World Series. He snagged a hit off Kyle Schwarber and got his first postseason hit in game six, which resulted in a run. He did both of these coming off the bench. He shared his frame of mind with Michael Shapiro of Chron in a post-game interview. “In a series of this magnitude, you can’t reflect on what’s going on. You have to look forward,” Mancini explained. “You gotta wash [your mistakes], go to the next day and be ready for your team.” The Twins can relate to late-season and postseason struggles. They started hot last season but faltered after the All-Star break, mainly due to injuries. Those injuries forced the organization to bring up many Triple-A players pushed to the big leagues potentially before they were ready, and those injuries leave a lot of question marks in exactly the positions where Mancini played. Twins players cycled through first base and designated hitter last year after Miguel Sano was injured. Luis Arraez will certainly play one of those spots after earning himself the American League batting title and contributing heavily to many of the Twins' wins. But even Arraez's time was limited due to injuries and pain, but still earned his first Silver Slugger Award. Meanwhile, the Twins' corner outfield positions are mostly manned by unproven younger players, many of whom have injury concerns, and almost all of whom hit left-handed. Mancini's veteran right-handed bat is a great compliment to those spots, too. So there are a lot of places where he would be a benefit to the squad. Plus, with Mancini's late-season fade, the Twins could likely offer him a short-term deal. Mancini would be a better overall player than the Twins' Kyle Garlick, who the Twins signed on November 15 to a one-year $750,000 deal to avoid arbitration. Garlick managed to have good numbers in 2022 despite being hurt throughout the season. Garlick has worked out well for the team, particularly his ability to get clutch hits off lefties, but his role has been limited, and he's had trouble staying healthy, too. Mancini's health is also a significant part of his story. After his breakthrough 2019 season, he missed the 2020 season with stage III colon cancer. His return earned him the 2021 AL Comeback Player of the Year award. 2022 was another step forward, and ended in a World Championship. Perhaps 2023 can, too? That would also be a good fit for Mancini and the Twins. What do you think? Do you like Mancini as a pickup for the Twins this offseason? Tell us in the comments below. View full article
  2. Trey Mancini is just coming off the best feeling in the world of baseball: a World Series championship. At the beginning of the season, Mancini was with the Baltimore Orioles, the organization he had played for since they drafted him in 2013. The Orioles were just getting hot as Mancini's bat cooled off, but the Astros still saw something. The 30-year-old was part of a three-team trade that sent him from Baltimore to Houston. Mancini was hitting .268/.347/.404 with ten homers before the trade and was a "high-value" hitter, which would undoubtedly have helped in the postseason. Mancini came in as a veteran player at first base and helped alleviate some pressure from struggling first baseman Yuli Gurriel. He could also serve as a DH, and played 31 games in the corner outfield positions, but his bat was most attractive to the Astros. However, Mancini slumped in Houston, hitting .176/.258/.364, and struggled in the postseason. One could easily blame that on a major trade late in the season and after being with a club for six seasons, but he certainly did not produce like the Astros’ thought he would at the plate. However, he did play great defense, which helped secure game five of the World Series. He snagged a hit off Kyle Schwarber and got his first postseason hit in game six, which resulted in a run. He did both of these coming off the bench. He shared his frame of mind with Michael Shapiro of Chron in a post-game interview. “In a series of this magnitude, you can’t reflect on what’s going on. You have to look forward,” Mancini explained. “You gotta wash [your mistakes], go to the next day and be ready for your team.” The Twins can relate to late-season and postseason struggles. They started hot last season but faltered after the All-Star break, mainly due to injuries. Those injuries forced the organization to bring up many Triple-A players pushed to the big leagues potentially before they were ready, and those injuries leave a lot of question marks in exactly the positions where Mancini played. Twins players cycled through first base and designated hitter last year after Miguel Sano was injured. Luis Arraez will certainly play one of those spots after earning himself the American League batting title and contributing heavily to many of the Twins' wins. But even Arraez's time was limited due to injuries and pain, but still earned his first Silver Slugger Award. Meanwhile, the Twins' corner outfield positions are mostly manned by unproven younger players, many of whom have injury concerns, and almost all of whom hit left-handed. Mancini's veteran right-handed bat is a great compliment to those spots, too. So there are a lot of places where he would be a benefit to the squad. Plus, with Mancini's late-season fade, the Twins could likely offer him a short-term deal. Mancini would be a better overall player than the Twins' Kyle Garlick, who the Twins signed on November 15 to a one-year $750,000 deal to avoid arbitration. Garlick managed to have good numbers in 2022 despite being hurt throughout the season. Garlick has worked out well for the team, particularly his ability to get clutch hits off lefties, but his role has been limited, and he's had trouble staying healthy, too. Mancini's health is also a significant part of his story. After his breakthrough 2019 season, he missed the 2020 season with stage III colon cancer. His return earned him the 2021 AL Comeback Player of the Year award. 2022 was another step forward, and ended in a World Championship. Perhaps 2023 can, too? That would also be a good fit for Mancini and the Twins. What do you think? Do you like Mancini as a pickup for the Twins this offseason? Tell us in the comments below.
  3. As crazy as the season was, the off-season seems even crazier and filled with more drama. While fans want the front office to land Carlos (Correa), bringing in the other Carlos (Rodón) would make the most sense for the club and could solidify the Twins starting rotation. Image courtesy of Stan Szeto, USA Today The jury is still out on the starting rotation for the Twins, but it looks like Sonny Gray is the anchor, with Joe Ryan, Kenta Maeda, Bailey Ober, and Tyler Mahle penciled into spots with question marks. If the team experiences anything like they did last season, injuries always loom heavily with this club. Taking on one more starter would benefit the club immensely, especially with uncertainty about Kenta Maeda's health and how he might pitch following surgery. Even with Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan at the top of the rotation, Carlos Rodon would easily be the team's ace, something that the Twins have not had of late. Jose Berrios was the closest the Twins have come to an ace in a long time, and the fans and club need more at the top of their rotation if they want to compete. With the Giants in 2022, Rodón had a 2.88 ERA and led the majors with a 2.25 FIP. He finished second in the National League with 237 strikeouts and hit double-digits 11 times, a franchise record. Rodón made a career-high 31 starts, putting aside (at least for now) the concerns about his shoulder that limited his market a year ago. 2022 was his best season since entering the majors. At 29 years old, his market this offseason should include a lot of teams. Watching pitchers like Jacob de Grom, Justin Verlander, and C.C. Sabathia, Rodón has the potential to continue for several seasons, provided he can stay healthy. His contract last offseason was a two-year $44 million deal with the Giants, but it included an opt-out clause that he took advantage of after the season. Since 2015, he has outperformed his contract and is worth more than what he made. The team that signs him this offseason will give up a draft pick as San Francisco made him a qualifying offer, which he declined. However, that should not stop him from getting at least four years with an average annual value of over $25 million. He pitched for a long time with the White Sox and knows the AL Central Division. However, it can be assumed that Rodon will be courted by nearly every team that intends to contend for a playoff spot in 2023 and beyond. As the non-tender deadline creeps up, additional players will become available. Several pitchers could potentially fill the Twins need, but Rodón would be a good fit in the league, division, and clubhouse. View full article
  4. The jury is still out on the starting rotation for the Twins, but it looks like Sonny Gray is the anchor, with Joe Ryan, Kenta Maeda, Bailey Ober, and Tyler Mahle penciled into spots with question marks. If the team experiences anything like they did last season, injuries always loom heavily with this club. Taking on one more starter would benefit the club immensely, especially with uncertainty about Kenta Maeda's health and how he might pitch following surgery. Even with Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan at the top of the rotation, Carlos Rodon would easily be the team's ace, something that the Twins have not had of late. Jose Berrios was the closest the Twins have come to an ace in a long time, and the fans and club need more at the top of their rotation if they want to compete. With the Giants in 2022, Rodón had a 2.88 ERA and led the majors with a 2.25 FIP. He finished second in the National League with 237 strikeouts and hit double-digits 11 times, a franchise record. Rodón made a career-high 31 starts, putting aside (at least for now) the concerns about his shoulder that limited his market a year ago. 2022 was his best season since entering the majors. At 29 years old, his market this offseason should include a lot of teams. Watching pitchers like Jacob de Grom, Justin Verlander, and C.C. Sabathia, Rodón has the potential to continue for several seasons, provided he can stay healthy. His contract last offseason was a two-year $44 million deal with the Giants, but it included an opt-out clause that he took advantage of after the season. Since 2015, he has outperformed his contract and is worth more than what he made. The team that signs him this offseason will give up a draft pick as San Francisco made him a qualifying offer, which he declined. However, that should not stop him from getting at least four years with an average annual value of over $25 million. He pitched for a long time with the White Sox and knows the AL Central Division. However, it can be assumed that Rodon will be courted by nearly every team that intends to contend for a playoff spot in 2023 and beyond. As the non-tender deadline creeps up, additional players will become available. Several pitchers could potentially fill the Twins need, but Rodón would be a good fit in the league, division, and clubhouse.
  5. No-hitters and perfect games certainly are some of the most entertaining games to watch in baseball. Pitchers have a stressful job on the mound, but they are complemented by another position that sits behind the plate and helps them to get through those moments and games. The catcher is often the forgotten unsung hero of the no-hitters, perfect games, and game-day preparation. Image courtesy of Brad Rempel; USA Today 2018 The battery is an essential component of the game, and catchers are the magicians who orchestrate it all. Let's look at what a catcher does and which Minnesota Twins catchers were the best at each job that a catcher does behind the plate. Terry Steinbach - The Toughest Catcher It's one of the most demanding positions to play on the baseball field: Catchers are constantly beaten up and hit with bats, balls, and sometimes players. They must squat down on their knees for nine or more innings, catching hundreds of pitches of varying speeds, movements, and breaks. A catcher must be in peak physical shape to stay in the game. MLB made a change to emphasize player safety in 2011 after a collision at home plate that saw star catcher Buster Posey suffer a season-ending ankle injury. Before the rule change where a player could no longer run through a catcher, Terry Steinbach was one of the best but most beat-up-on catchers during his time in MLB. Steinbach was no stranger to catching injuries. In 1988 he was hit by a thrown ball during batting practice, suffering five fractures around his left eye and requiring surgery. He also had a collision with future teammate Kirby Puckett just four days after returning from the injured list. Steinbach took a forearm to the jaw from Hall of Famer Cal Ripken during a collision and, later in the season, was hospitalized after taking a hit to the head from pitcher Bobby Thigpen in a contentious, tied late game. Steinbach, a Minnesota native who started his career on the west coast but ended with the Twins, spent 14 seasons behind the plate. As one of the Twins' best catchers, he also had his best season when he came to join the Twins in 1996 with 34 home runs, and his 100 RBI were the most by an Athletics catcher since Mickey Cochrane in 1932. He also caught Eric Milton's no-hitter in May of 1999 before retiring. Joe Mauer - The Best Defensive Catcher The catcher helps dictate the game because they touch the ball on nearly every pitch. They help set the players before the game and let players know where to stand based on different hitters. Crouched behind home plate, they call and receive pitches from the pitcher, frequently field bunts, and throw out runners trying to steal bases. Catchers frame close strikes, blocks balls in the dirt, and react with lightning quickness as the entire game plays out before them. The position requires a rare combination of spryness, strength, durability, and leadership. Joe Mauer, the best Minnesota Twins catcher in history, won three consecutive gold glove awards from 2008 through 2010. He had a lifetime .995 fielding percentage as a catcher and a caught-stealing percentage of 33%. Mauer led AL catchers multiple times in caught-stealing and fielding percentages. Brian Harper - The Modest Catcher It may seem cruel and unfair, but it's the truth. When watching a game, the focus will always be on the pitcher and their performance. Being able to put aside ego and pride is a huge thing for someone in this position. They have to know that while they contribute heavily in many ways, it's ultimately about the pitcher and helping them succeed. Having humility and the ability to selflessly support the staff, unseen, takes a special person, Brian Harper was that Minnesota Twin. Harper spent six of his 16 MLB seasons with the Minnesota Twins. One of the best catchers in the organization, he was the primary catcher behind the plate for the Twins during the early 90s. He and Jack Morris created a duo in two games that would be integral in the Twins winning the 1991 World Series. In Game 4, Harper stood out when he received a perfect relay throw from Puckett and Chuck Knoblauch and endured a massive collision with Lonnie Smith at home plate. He held on to the ball through the clash to secure the out. In Game 7, Harper not only caught all 10 innings of Jack Morris' legendary shutout but also turned the pivotal 3-2-3 double play with Kent Hrbek to end the eighth inning and squelch the Braves' most dangerous scoring threat of the game. Other catchers that have stood out for the Twins are guys like Mitch Garver and A.J. Pierzynski, rare examples of backstops who can really bring it with the bat. As we get ready for 2023, looking at what is coming up, do you think the Twins will ever have another catcher that can do what any of these three brought to the table? View full article
  6. The battery is an essential component of the game, and catchers are the magicians who orchestrate it all. Let's look at what a catcher does and which Minnesota Twins catchers were the best at each job that a catcher does behind the plate. Terry Steinbach - The Toughest Catcher It's one of the most demanding positions to play on the baseball field: Catchers are constantly beaten up and hit with bats, balls, and sometimes players. They must squat down on their knees for nine or more innings, catching hundreds of pitches of varying speeds, movements, and breaks. A catcher must be in peak physical shape to stay in the game. MLB made a change to emphasize player safety in 2011 after a collision at home plate that saw star catcher Buster Posey suffer a season-ending ankle injury. Before the rule change where a player could no longer run through a catcher, Terry Steinbach was one of the best but most beat-up-on catchers during his time in MLB. Steinbach was no stranger to catching injuries. In 1988 he was hit by a thrown ball during batting practice, suffering five fractures around his left eye and requiring surgery. He also had a collision with future teammate Kirby Puckett just four days after returning from the injured list. Steinbach took a forearm to the jaw from Hall of Famer Cal Ripken during a collision and, later in the season, was hospitalized after taking a hit to the head from pitcher Bobby Thigpen in a contentious, tied late game. Steinbach, a Minnesota native who started his career on the west coast but ended with the Twins, spent 14 seasons behind the plate. As one of the Twins' best catchers, he also had his best season when he came to join the Twins in 1996 with 34 home runs, and his 100 RBI were the most by an Athletics catcher since Mickey Cochrane in 1932. He also caught Eric Milton's no-hitter in May of 1999 before retiring. Joe Mauer - The Best Defensive Catcher The catcher helps dictate the game because they touch the ball on nearly every pitch. They help set the players before the game and let players know where to stand based on different hitters. Crouched behind home plate, they call and receive pitches from the pitcher, frequently field bunts, and throw out runners trying to steal bases. Catchers frame close strikes, blocks balls in the dirt, and react with lightning quickness as the entire game plays out before them. The position requires a rare combination of spryness, strength, durability, and leadership. Joe Mauer, the best Minnesota Twins catcher in history, won three consecutive gold glove awards from 2008 through 2010. He had a lifetime .995 fielding percentage as a catcher and a caught-stealing percentage of 33%. Mauer led AL catchers multiple times in caught-stealing and fielding percentages. Brian Harper - The Modest Catcher It may seem cruel and unfair, but it's the truth. When watching a game, the focus will always be on the pitcher and their performance. Being able to put aside ego and pride is a huge thing for someone in this position. They have to know that while they contribute heavily in many ways, it's ultimately about the pitcher and helping them succeed. Having humility and the ability to selflessly support the staff, unseen, takes a special person, Brian Harper was that Minnesota Twin. Harper spent six of his 16 MLB seasons with the Minnesota Twins. One of the best catchers in the organization, he was the primary catcher behind the plate for the Twins during the early 90s. He and Jack Morris created a duo in two games that would be integral in the Twins winning the 1991 World Series. In Game 4, Harper stood out when he received a perfect relay throw from Puckett and Chuck Knoblauch and endured a massive collision with Lonnie Smith at home plate. He held on to the ball through the clash to secure the out. In Game 7, Harper not only caught all 10 innings of Jack Morris' legendary shutout but also turned the pivotal 3-2-3 double play with Kent Hrbek to end the eighth inning and squelch the Braves' most dangerous scoring threat of the game. Other catchers that have stood out for the Twins are guys like Mitch Garver and A.J. Pierzynski, rare examples of backstops who can really bring it with the bat. As we get ready for 2023, looking at what is coming up, do you think the Twins will ever have another catcher that can do what any of these three brought to the table?
  7. Glad I could bring you a little something you didn't know! I am enjoying learning about these guys! They are hard workers and a lot of fun!
  8. Because it came up under Twins Spring training and I couldn't find any photos of Hammond. I will be taking note of this for next time!
  9. I am keeping this post in my back pocket. Festa never showed up for me because I didn't have as much knowledge of him. But, I do now. I am still learning the minor leagues - there are a lot of guys down there and information like this is super helpful!!!
  10. It SOUNDS weird, but When I went to pull Twins Spring Training, this is the picture it gave me. I have to use USA Today pictures and they didn't have ones I could find of Hammond This was from one of their spring training games tho!
  11. The Twins pitching rotation struggled on and off this season from starters to the bullpen. Injuries early on created a lack of starting pitching for the Club, putting lots of pressure on the bullpen to perform; they also suffered a significant loss with Pitching Coach Wes Johnson leaving mid-way through the season. Because of the pitching woes, Twins fans got a glimpse of what the farm system has in store by bringing up players such as Louie Varland, Simeon Woods-Richardson, and Jordan Balazovic. The arms in the farm system give hope that the Twin's pitching could match the Guardian's deep farm pitching model. Brayan Medina He is focused and driven but has components that will need to improve if he wants to make his appearance in 2023. He was the top Venezuelan pitching prospect in the 2019-20 international class. Medina initially signed with the Padres for $700,000 on July 2, 2019. The Twins acquired him as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Taylor Rogers and Brent Rooker to the Padres. The pandemic canceled the 2020 season, so Medina spent some time in San Diego's fall instructional camp. He had his professional debut in 2021 with the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona Fall League. He has three pitches: slider, fastball, and changeup. His pitches already have good velocity, and as he grows from his 6'1", 180-pound frame, he should be able to add a bit more velocity in the future. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and touches the upper-90s on occasion. He also throws an above-average slider, and his slider continues to improve. Medina has focused delivery and the ability to be aggressive with hitters. In seven starts, he struck out 24 in 23 2/3 innings in 2022 with the FCL Twins. Medina never saw more than three innings in a game in 2022. He posted a 6.46 ERA, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 24-to-20. Medina is only 20 years old and has plenty of room to grow in size and craft. The concern with Medina is the high pitch count due to lack of control, working himself out of the game sooner and putting more pressure on the bullpen. If Medina can garner control of his pitches and perfect them, he is equipped with the proper elements but needs to work heavily on his plate command to bring his ERA and walk down. Steven Cruz If Cruz can harness his control and improve on his strike zone, there is potential for him to make an appearance in 2023. The Twins signed Cruz back in March 2017 for just $30,000 as an international free agent. He spent his first two seasons playing with the Gulf Coast League and Appalachian League, Elizabethton Twins. In 2021 he started in Single-A Fort Myers and, late in the season, was promoted to High-A Kernels. After two starts with the Kernels, he struggled to harness his control, posting an 8.10 ERA in 3 1/3 innings; the Twins sent him back down to focus on improving. He finished the 2021 season with Fort Myers and, in 2022, was sent to AA Wichita Surge posting a 5.14 ERA and 72-to-35 Strikeout to Walk ratio. Finding the strike zone has been Cruz back; the right-hander walked more than six batters per nine innings early in his Minor League career. The 6-foot-7 Cruz has a ton of power and throws his fastball in the 95-101 mph range, and it's a pitch with some riding life. He also has a hard slider, thrown around 89 mph, a potential out pitch that can miss a lot of bats. His walk rate continues to trend down each year, and his strike count over nine innings continues to increase. How much he can refine his control and strike zone will determine whether he can handle a high-leverage role in the future. Marco Raya The 2022 season was the first time Raya pitched in affiliated games since the Twins selected him in the fourth round of the 2020 draft due to a shoulder strain that sidelined him for most of the 2021 season. Raya returned more robust and better after his injury and didn't disappoint, throwing extremely well with Single-A Fort Myers with three wins and two losses. At six feet tall and 165-pounds, what the right-handed pitcher lacks in size, he makes up for with athleticism and pure stuff. He's got a few pitches in his arsenal and relies on a big four-seamer alongside a high-quality curveball, a slider, and a changeup with great pitch profiles. The Twins feel like there's only a little work needed on those. His fastball continued to sit in the high 90s in the 2022 season, hitting 98. If Raya can stay healthy, he will be one of the system's best pitchers. At 19 years old, in his first season with Fort Myers, he posted a 3.05 ERA and had a 76-to-23 Strikeout-to-Walk ratio over 65 innings. With less than four walks per nine innings and over ten strikeouts, Raya doesn't hold back. Raya pitches with a chip on his shoulder. The chip may have helped him make significant strides in his development toward the close of 2021. Like many young pitchers, the Twins hope he'll simplify and attack the strike zone with his quality stuff, which he's done in the past. Moving to Double-A would be a big jump, and with a small sample size, inviting him to spring training would give the organization an opportunity to see if he has the tenacity to jump directly over the Kernels. Do you think these prospects could see action with the Twins in 2023? Probably not, but what are your thoughts on these pitchers and which pitchers do you anticipate breaking out in 2023?
  12. These are three prospects that have the potential to be a part of the long-term solution for the Twins rotation very soon. Image courtesy of Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports The Twins pitching rotation struggled on and off this season from starters to the bullpen. Injuries early on created a lack of starting pitching for the Club, putting lots of pressure on the bullpen to perform; they also suffered a significant loss with Pitching Coach Wes Johnson leaving mid-way through the season. Because of the pitching woes, Twins fans got a glimpse of what the farm system has in store by bringing up players such as Louie Varland, Simeon Woods-Richardson, and Jordan Balazovic. The arms in the farm system give hope that the Twin's pitching could match the Guardian's deep farm pitching model. Brayan Medina He is focused and driven but has components that will need to improve if he wants to make his appearance in 2023. He was the top Venezuelan pitching prospect in the 2019-20 international class. Medina initially signed with the Padres for $700,000 on July 2, 2019. The Twins acquired him as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Taylor Rogers and Brent Rooker to the Padres. The pandemic canceled the 2020 season, so Medina spent some time in San Diego's fall instructional camp. He had his professional debut in 2021 with the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona Fall League. He has three pitches: slider, fastball, and changeup. His pitches already have good velocity, and as he grows from his 6'1", 180-pound frame, he should be able to add a bit more velocity in the future. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and touches the upper-90s on occasion. He also throws an above-average slider, and his slider continues to improve. Medina has focused delivery and the ability to be aggressive with hitters. In seven starts, he struck out 24 in 23 2/3 innings in 2022 with the FCL Twins. Medina never saw over three innings a game in 2022. For every one strike out, he allowed two walks. He posted a 6.46 ERA, 17 earned runs, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 24-to-20. Medina is only 20 years old and has plenty of room to grow in size and craft. The concern with Medina is the high pitch count, working himself out of the game sooner putting more pressure on the bullpen. If Medina can garner control of these pitches and perfect them, he is equipped with the proper elements but needs to work heavily on his plate command to bring his ERA and walk down. Steven Cruz If Cruz can harness his control and improve on his strike zone, there is potential for him to make an appearance in 2023. The Twins signed Cruz back in March 2017 for just $30,000 as an international free agent. He spent his first two seasons playing with the Gulf Coast League and Appalachian League, Elizabethton Twins. In 2021 he started in Single-A Fort Myers and, late in the season, was promoted to High-A Kernels. After two starts with the Kernels, he struggled to harness his control, posting an 8.10 ERA in 3 1/3 innings; the Twins sent him back down to focus on improving. He finished the 2021 season with Fort Myers and, in 2022, was sent to AA Wichita Surge posting a 5.14 ERA and 72-to-35 Strikeout to Walk ratio. Finding the strike zone has been Cruz back; the right-hander walked more than six batters per nine innings early in his Minor League career. The 6-foot-7 Cruz has a ton of power and throws his fastball in the 95-101 mph range, and it's a pitch with some riding life. He also has a hard slider, thrown around 89 mph, a potential out pitch that can miss a lot of bats. His walk rate continues to trend down each year, and his strike count over nine innings continues to increase. How much he can refine his control and strike zone will determine whether he can handle a high-leverage role in the future. Marco Raya The 2022 season was the first time Raya pitched in affiliated games since the Twins selected him in the fourth round of the 2020 Draft due to a shoulder strain that sidelined him for most of the 2021 season. Raya returned more robust and better after his injury and didn't disappoint, throwing extremely well with Single-A Fort Myers with three wins, two losses. At 6-foot, 165-pound, what right-handed pitcher lacks in size; he makes up for with athleticism. He's got a few pitches in his arsenal that rely on a big four-seamer alongside three high-quality curveballs, a slider, and a changeup with great pitch profiles. The Twins feel like there's only a little work needed on those. His fastball continued to sit in the high 90's in the 2022 season, hitting 98. If Raya can stay healthy, he will be one of the system's best pitchers. At 19 years old, in his first season with Fort Myers in 2022, he posted a 3.05 ERA and had a 76-to-23 Strikeout-to-Walk ratio over 65 innings. With less than four walks per nine innings and over ten strikeouts, Raya doesn't hold back. Raya pitches with a chip on his shoulder. The chip on his shoulder may have helped him make significant strides in his mental development toward the close of 2021. Like many young pitchers, the Twins hope he'll simplify and attack the strike zone with his quality stuff, which he's done in the past. Moving to AA would be a big jump, and with a small sample size, inviting him to spring training would give the organization an opportunity to see if he has the tenacity to jump directly over the Kernels. Do you think these prospects could see action with the Twins in 2023, or are they more suited for High-A? View full article
  13. MLB has been working to make changes to the culture of the game to entice a new generation of fans. In that same vein, they have also added a new sponsor: Charlotte's Web, a CBD company. Image courtesy of John Bonnes, Twins Daily Many things in MLB are changing, bigger bases, runners on second in extra innings, and now new sponsorships. In the ever-evolving world of the decriminalization of marijuana, more and more athletes and fans are using non-THC binding supplements. MLB is the first of the “League” sports organizations to use it in a sponsorship role, starting with advertising during the World Series. Charlotte's Web makes CBD products such as gummies and topical sprays. CBD is short for cannabidiol, a compound found in the cannabis plant and touted as a natural remedy for reducing inflammation and stress. MLB will have its logo on a "sport" version of CBD that would show that athletes use it, too. CBD products are easy to acquire in a fully legal state; one could eschew the dispensary in favor of a pharmacy and find products like Charlotte’s Web lining a wall behind the cashiers. Although their effects can vary according to the product (ointment, tincture, and even lip balm), they generally offer a soothing, relaxing feeling that can work perfectly with the post-game de-stressing that athletes (or people in other stressful professions) undergo. Each person will respond differently, however, the result is relief from pain, or to have the ability to relax or sleep. MLB has been entertaining the idea of Charlotte's Web as a sponsor but needed a little more assurance before signing on the dotted line. Aside from Nascar, MLB will be the first of Major League Sports to join CBD companies for sponsorships to sign a league-wide deal. Noah Garden, Chief Revenue Officer a representative from MLB stated in an article with Marijuana Moment, "We've been watching this category for a while and waiting for it to mature to the point where we can get comfortable with it. Our fans are the customers they are looking for, and we like being first. It's a good opportunity for us and the clubs." Baseball is constantly looking for ways to make improvements to the game so that younger fans are more likely to stay interested. From changing the pace of play with pitching clocks to adding CBD as a sponsor. It’s part of several changes in attitude around CBD products. On June 22, 2022, MLB announced that teams could solicit and acquire CBD sponsorships, though players could not individually be sponsored or hold a stake in such companies. In 2019, MLB decided to implement a change to take place in 2020: MLB would not punish players for using it on their off-time or having a positive test, a complete reversal of their previous banned substance, where marijuana would garner a $35,000 fine. There are boundaries for obtaining a sponsorship, with rules and guidelines to be followed. For example, a team could only sell a CBD sponsorship if a prospective company's products were certified by NSF International, a consumer safety and product-testing organization that sports leagues use. The club would also need authorization from the MLB commissioner's office. The CBD must not have any THC, meaning that marijuana products with THC will still fall under the scrutiny of MLB. This new relationship is not a pass for players to engage in activities outside the Major League Drug Policy rules. The rule created in 2020 still stands and states; players can be "subject to discipline" by their team or the MLB "for engaging in certain cannabinoid-related conduct, including violations of federal, state or local laws," such as distributing marijuana or driving under the influence. Cannabis is a large and profitable industry, and with its popularity growing, so has its profit. In 2021 alone, the cannabis industry topped $4.7 billion last year, and now MLB will start to see a cut of those profits. Charlotte's Web has started small with the MLB logo on the side of their "Sport CBD" bottle and is officially known as the "CBD of the MLB." There has been no formal statement from the Minnesota Twins, nor any statements on how it would affect minor league teams. Each state has rules and regulations based on its state's marijuana laws. Sports sponsorships have gotten away from things like cigarettes and alcohol because of the harm they can do when used in excess. Do you think that CBD as a sponsor is smart for the industry and something that will help get younger fans involved in the game? View full article
  14. Many things in MLB are changing, bigger bases, runners on second in extra innings, and now new sponsorships. In the ever-evolving world of the decriminalization of marijuana, more and more athletes and fans are using non-THC binding supplements. MLB is the first of the “League” sports organizations to use it in a sponsorship role, starting with advertising during the World Series. Charlotte's Web makes CBD products such as gummies and topical sprays. CBD is short for cannabidiol, a compound found in the cannabis plant and touted as a natural remedy for reducing inflammation and stress. MLB will have its logo on a "sport" version of CBD that would show that athletes use it, too. CBD products are easy to acquire in a fully legal state; one could eschew the dispensary in favor of a pharmacy and find products like Charlotte’s Web lining a wall behind the cashiers. Although their effects can vary according to the product (ointment, tincture, and even lip balm), they generally offer a soothing, relaxing feeling that can work perfectly with the post-game de-stressing that athletes (or people in other stressful professions) undergo. Each person will respond differently, however, the result is relief from pain, or to have the ability to relax or sleep. MLB has been entertaining the idea of Charlotte's Web as a sponsor but needed a little more assurance before signing on the dotted line. Aside from Nascar, MLB will be the first of Major League Sports to join CBD companies for sponsorships to sign a league-wide deal. Noah Garden, Chief Revenue Officer a representative from MLB stated in an article with Marijuana Moment, "We've been watching this category for a while and waiting for it to mature to the point where we can get comfortable with it. Our fans are the customers they are looking for, and we like being first. It's a good opportunity for us and the clubs." Baseball is constantly looking for ways to make improvements to the game so that younger fans are more likely to stay interested. From changing the pace of play with pitching clocks to adding CBD as a sponsor. It’s part of several changes in attitude around CBD products. On June 22, 2022, MLB announced that teams could solicit and acquire CBD sponsorships, though players could not individually be sponsored or hold a stake in such companies. In 2019, MLB decided to implement a change to take place in 2020: MLB would not punish players for using it on their off-time or having a positive test, a complete reversal of their previous banned substance, where marijuana would garner a $35,000 fine. There are boundaries for obtaining a sponsorship, with rules and guidelines to be followed. For example, a team could only sell a CBD sponsorship if a prospective company's products were certified by NSF International, a consumer safety and product-testing organization that sports leagues use. The club would also need authorization from the MLB commissioner's office. The CBD must not have any THC, meaning that marijuana products with THC will still fall under the scrutiny of MLB. This new relationship is not a pass for players to engage in activities outside the Major League Drug Policy rules. The rule created in 2020 still stands and states; players can be "subject to discipline" by their team or the MLB "for engaging in certain cannabinoid-related conduct, including violations of federal, state or local laws," such as distributing marijuana or driving under the influence. Cannabis is a large and profitable industry, and with its popularity growing, so has its profit. In 2021 alone, the cannabis industry topped $4.7 billion last year, and now MLB will start to see a cut of those profits. Charlotte's Web has started small with the MLB logo on the side of their "Sport CBD" bottle and is officially known as the "CBD of the MLB." There has been no formal statement from the Minnesota Twins, nor any statements on how it would affect minor league teams. Each state has rules and regulations based on its state's marijuana laws. Sports sponsorships have gotten away from things like cigarettes and alcohol because of the harm they can do when used in excess. Do you think that CBD as a sponsor is smart for the industry and something that will help get younger fans involved in the game?
  15. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder 2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (69 pitches, 38 strikes (55%)) Home Runs: Jermaine Palacios (1) Bottom 3 WPA: Josh Winder (-.319), Carlos Correa (-.100), Aaron Sanchez (-.088) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The White Sox offense overpowered the Twins pitching on Tuesday. By the time the fourth inning came around, the White Sox had an 8-1 lead. Josh Winder had his final outing of the season. He struggled with his command early on in the first and second inning and by the third inning and his second time through the lineup, he allowed four earned runs and posted 69 pitches. Not the ideal way to end his season, but with all the injuries, coaching changes and movement in the pitching rotation, the Twins pitching overall struggled throughout the season. Winder pitched 14 games for the Twins this season, missing all but one game in the month of June. He ends the season with a 4.70 ERA, 47 strikeouts, and 17 walks over 67 innings. Aaron Sanchez came out to relieve Winder and struggled heavily in the fourth giving up four runs and 32 pitches. White Sox starter Lucas Giolito also had a rough start to his night on the mound. Early on he hit Nick Gordon, and he followed it by hitting Jose Miranda. The ball hit off his wrist and into his cheek and mouth. Miranda laid on the ground covering home plate until lead trainer Michael Salazar came out and looked him over. Salazar had Miranda do a series of tests verbally and physically to ensure Miranda was okay; however, either not convinced of his ‘feeling okay’ or out of caution, Salazar pulled Miranda from the game. It was later reported that he had a lip and cheek contusion and would be “day-to-day”. Manager Rocco Baldelli replaced him with Jermaine Palacios. The slip from Lucas Giolito, whose command also wasn't the greatest starting out, had him a bit flustered, but he held his composure and moved forward getting the second out of the inning and powered through seven innings to hold the Twins to just two runs before leaving the game. Jake Cave came up to bat, and drove in his 20th run of the season, scoring Gordon and getting the Twins on the board first. The offense remained stagnant through the next few innings, prompting Baldelli to make some changes by pulling out Correa and Urshela, with the exception of Luis Arraez, who is still leading the race for the American League Batting Title. Palacios moved over to short for Carlos Correa from first base where he was covering for Miranda. Caleb Hamilton took over at first base, Billy Hamilton took over at second base, and Nick Gordon moved to third base for Gio Urshela, leaving only two men on the bench: Mark Contreras and Gary Sanchez. The pace of the game certainly slowed down after the first run. In the sixth inning, Caleb Hamilton and Billy Hamilton both walked, Nick Gordon followed with a grounder to center, scoring Caleb Hamilton. The Twins bullpen, Jovani Moran, Emilio Pagan, and Jorge Lopez, brought the game to a close not allowing any more damage to be done. Palacios came to bat in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. He knocked a ball to dead center, 105mph for a home run. It was Palacios' first major-league homer. They may not have won but the home run was fun to see and they have one more chance tomorrow afternoon to go out with a win and for Arraez to add to his batting average before the close of the season. Tune in to see how the batting title finishes! Pitching for Season Finale: Wednesday 3:10 pm CST: RHP Louie Varland (0-2 4.71 ERA) v. RHP Davis Martin (3-5, 3.65 ERA) Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  16. Tuesday night was the penultimate game of the 2022 season. The Twins and White Sox are two teams looking to finish out their seasons. The Twins pitching (and defense) gave up runs early on that made it hard for the offense to bounce back. Image courtesy of Jeff Biggerstaff, USA Today Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder 2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (69 pitches, 38 strikes (55%)) Home Runs: Jermaine Palacios (1) Bottom 3 WPA: Josh Winder (-.319), Carlos Correa (-.100), Aaron Sanchez (-.088) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The White Sox offense overpowered the Twins pitching on Tuesday. By the time the fourth inning came around, the White Sox had an 8-1 lead. Josh Winder had his final outing of the season. He struggled with his command early on in the first and second inning and by the third inning and his second time through the lineup, he allowed four earned runs and posted 69 pitches. Not the ideal way to end his season, but with all the injuries, coaching changes and movement in the pitching rotation, the Twins pitching overall struggled throughout the season. Winder pitched 14 games for the Twins this season, missing all but one game in the month of June. He ends the season with a 4.70 ERA, 47 strikeouts, and 17 walks over 67 innings. Aaron Sanchez came out to relieve Winder and struggled heavily in the fourth giving up four runs and 32 pitches. White Sox starter Lucas Giolito also had a rough start to his night on the mound. Early on he hit Nick Gordon, and he followed it by hitting Jose Miranda. The ball hit off his wrist and into his cheek and mouth. Miranda laid on the ground covering home plate until lead trainer Michael Salazar came out and looked him over. Salazar had Miranda do a series of tests verbally and physically to ensure Miranda was okay; however, either not convinced of his ‘feeling okay’ or out of caution, Salazar pulled Miranda from the game. It was later reported that he had a lip and cheek contusion and would be “day-to-day”. Manager Rocco Baldelli replaced him with Jermaine Palacios. The slip from Lucas Giolito, whose command also wasn't the greatest starting out, had him a bit flustered, but he held his composure and moved forward getting the second out of the inning and powered through seven innings to hold the Twins to just two runs before leaving the game. Jake Cave came up to bat, and drove in his 20th run of the season, scoring Gordon and getting the Twins on the board first. The offense remained stagnant through the next few innings, prompting Baldelli to make some changes by pulling out Correa and Urshela, with the exception of Luis Arraez, who is still leading the race for the American League Batting Title. Palacios moved over to short for Carlos Correa from first base where he was covering for Miranda. Caleb Hamilton took over at first base, Billy Hamilton took over at second base, and Nick Gordon moved to third base for Gio Urshela, leaving only two men on the bench: Mark Contreras and Gary Sanchez. The pace of the game certainly slowed down after the first run. In the sixth inning, Caleb Hamilton and Billy Hamilton both walked, Nick Gordon followed with a grounder to center, scoring Caleb Hamilton. The Twins bullpen, Jovani Moran, Emilio Pagan, and Jorge Lopez, brought the game to a close not allowing any more damage to be done. Palacios came to bat in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. He knocked a ball to dead center, 105mph for a home run. It was Palacios' first major-league homer. They may not have won but the home run was fun to see and they have one more chance tomorrow afternoon to go out with a win and for Arraez to add to his batting average before the close of the season. Tune in to see how the batting title finishes! Pitching for Season Finale: Wednesday 3:10 pm CST: RHP Louie Varland (0-2 4.71 ERA) v. RHP Davis Martin (3-5, 3.65 ERA) Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  17. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (77 pitches, 53 strikes (69%)) Home Runs: Mark Contreras (3) Top 3 WPA: Gio Urshela (0.132), Gilberto Celestino (0.98), Jake Cave (0.54) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Tigers took advantage of Dylan Bundy early and the Twins' defense scoring a run in the first. Matt Wallner was charged with an error when a bounding single from Riley Greene got past him and turned into a single two-base error. The Tigers struck first blood and got a run on the board in the first inning. The Twins shut out the Tigers on Friday night and Saturday's game continued to trend. The two teams battled back and forth through the first few innings. Detroit pitcher Drew Hutchison ran up 72 pitches by the time Gary Sanchez came to bat in the fourth. Jake Cave led the fourth inning off with a single, and as Hutchinson labored through the line-up, a grounder from Sanchez killed the inning with a double-play, and Matt Wallner struck out swinging. The Twins batting with Runners in Scoring Position this season has been frustrating. Leaving Nothing on the Field Both teams are out of the postseason chase. For Carlos Correa, it is the first time since 2016 that he hasn't played in the playoffs. Gio Urshela is another player missing the post-season but, has been a huge asset in the Twins' clubhouse and on the field throughout the season. The best thing about this club is that there is depth and options for next season. The Twins were plagued with injuries throughout the season, but many replacements who came up stepped up. Manager Rocco Baldelli stepped in when the Twins came up against rough games or bad calls. Baldelli spent a lot of time challenging plays this season and in this game, that was no exception. Gary Sanchez, who isn't fast, rocketed to first base on a fielder's choice. Detroit shortstop Ryan Kreidler flipped to second to get Cave out and the throw to first base appeared to get Sanchez out. Baldelli challenged the play, the call was overturned, and Sanchez was safe. Jose Miranda has been another player putting on quite the clinic during his time with the club. Miranda leads the club with 66 RBIs and has been one of the hottest rookies in MLB this season. Dick Bremer mentioned that Miranda will be spending with Correa in Houston in the off-season, which certainly will give Miranda an education. A Fight to the End (of the Night) Bundy gave up his 24th home run of the season when Eric Haase hit his eighth home run to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. That changed when Mark Contreas came up to bat in the top of the fifth frame and hit a bomb into the right field stands just inside the foul pole, Luis Arraez started the night 0-for-2 and ripped a ball into right field for a single. Arraez grabbed at his hamstring as he approached first base, but he remained in the game. During a Detroit pitching change, Arraez walked over to third base coach Tommy Watkins and was still out on second after the commercial break. Urshela came up to bat and hit a single to left, and Arraez took off; not without a grimace and a slight hobble, but he dug deep, found speed, and made it home to tie the game at two! The season may be over for the Twins, but Arraez is still contending for the American League batting title. Hitting .315, he is just edging out Aaron Judge, who is striving for the MVP and a Yankees home run record. The race for the batting title potentially could keep Judge from achieving the Triple Crown. During an earlier interview, Baldelli said, "There is a new calm with Arraez over the past few days." Arraez has stated that he's enjoying the race but wants to win. While everyone loves a good contention, no one deserves the AL batting title more than Luis Arraez (at least in the mind of Twins fans... right?). The Tigers changed their pitcher, and the Twins had bases loaded and two outs with Sanchez up to bat. Sanchez was due for a hit, and with a .323 average with RISP, it would have been beautiful to see a grand slam. Instead, Jose Cisnero saw an opportunity out of the corner of his eye and picked off Urshela at second base to end the inning. Finishing out the Night Ronny Henriquez came in to pitch in the sixth inning. Henriquez came to the Twins in the Mitch Garver trade in spring training and has had two appearances with the Twins. In his previous games, he has posted a 3.12 ERA with seven hits, three earned runs, and six strike-outs. He gave up an unearned run on an error by Arraez on a chopper from Harold Castro. The Tigers held the lead, but the Twins loaded the bases in the eighth inning. Instead of Wallner coming to the plate, the Twins pulled Ryan Jeffers off the bench as a pinch hitter. A smart decision by Baldelli when All-Star lefty Gregory Soto came in. Jeffers had an 0-2 count and hit a hard groundball that was destined for centerfield, but Soto deflected it with his glove and it went right to the shortstop who turned a double play to end the inning and another rally for the Twins. The Twins were only down a run going into the ninth and quickly got the tying run on a single from Arraez. Correa came up to bat and hit a fly-out (liner) to right field, but with two outs and the Twins history of late-inning rallies, the dream was still alive. The rally fell short when Nick Gordon, who had two hits earlier in the game, struck out swinging. Pitching for tomorrow’s game: Thursday 11:10 am CST: RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (MLB Debut, as reported on Friday by Twins Daily) v. LHP Joey Wentz (2-2, 3.54 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  18. Dylan Bundy stepped onto the mound for the final time this season against the Detroit Tigers and the Twins last Saturday night of the baseball season. Image courtesy of David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports Box Score Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (77 pitches, 53 strikes (69%)) Home Runs: Mark Contreras (3) Top 3 WPA: Gio Urshela (0.132), Gilberto Celestino (0.98), Jake Cave (0.54) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Tigers took advantage of Dylan Bundy early and the Twins' defense scoring a run in the first. Matt Wallner was charged with an error when a bounding single from Riley Greene got past him and turned into a single two-base error. The Tigers struck first blood and got a run on the board in the first inning. The Twins shut out the Tigers on Friday night and Saturday's game continued to trend. The two teams battled back and forth through the first few innings. Detroit pitcher Drew Hutchison ran up 72 pitches by the time Gary Sanchez came to bat in the fourth. Jake Cave led the fourth inning off with a single, and as Hutchinson labored through the line-up, a grounder from Sanchez killed the inning with a double-play, and Matt Wallner struck out swinging. The Twins batting with Runners in Scoring Position this season has been frustrating. Leaving Nothing on the Field Both teams are out of the postseason chase. For Carlos Correa, it is the first time since 2016 that he hasn't played in the playoffs. Gio Urshela is another player missing the post-season but, has been a huge asset in the Twins' clubhouse and on the field throughout the season. The best thing about this club is that there is depth and options for next season. The Twins were plagued with injuries throughout the season, but many replacements who came up stepped up. Manager Rocco Baldelli stepped in when the Twins came up against rough games or bad calls. Baldelli spent a lot of time challenging plays this season and in this game, that was no exception. Gary Sanchez, who isn't fast, rocketed to first base on a fielder's choice. Detroit shortstop Ryan Kreidler flipped to second to get Cave out and the throw to first base appeared to get Sanchez out. Baldelli challenged the play, the call was overturned, and Sanchez was safe. Jose Miranda has been another player putting on quite the clinic during his time with the club. Miranda leads the club with 66 RBIs and has been one of the hottest rookies in MLB this season. Dick Bremer mentioned that Miranda will be spending with Correa in Houston in the off-season, which certainly will give Miranda an education. A Fight to the End (of the Night) Bundy gave up his 24th home run of the season when Eric Haase hit his eighth home run to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. That changed when Mark Contreas came up to bat in the top of the fifth frame and hit a bomb into the right field stands just inside the foul pole, Luis Arraez started the night 0-for-2 and ripped a ball into right field for a single. Arraez grabbed at his hamstring as he approached first base, but he remained in the game. During a Detroit pitching change, Arraez walked over to third base coach Tommy Watkins and was still out on second after the commercial break. Urshela came up to bat and hit a single to left, and Arraez took off; not without a grimace and a slight hobble, but he dug deep, found speed, and made it home to tie the game at two! The season may be over for the Twins, but Arraez is still contending for the American League batting title. Hitting .315, he is just edging out Aaron Judge, who is striving for the MVP and a Yankees home run record. The race for the batting title potentially could keep Judge from achieving the Triple Crown. During an earlier interview, Baldelli said, "There is a new calm with Arraez over the past few days." Arraez has stated that he's enjoying the race but wants to win. While everyone loves a good contention, no one deserves the AL batting title more than Luis Arraez (at least in the mind of Twins fans... right?). The Tigers changed their pitcher, and the Twins had bases loaded and two outs with Sanchez up to bat. Sanchez was due for a hit, and with a .323 average with RISP, it would have been beautiful to see a grand slam. Instead, Jose Cisnero saw an opportunity out of the corner of his eye and picked off Urshela at second base to end the inning. Finishing out the Night Ronny Henriquez came in to pitch in the sixth inning. Henriquez came to the Twins in the Mitch Garver trade in spring training and has had two appearances with the Twins. In his previous games, he has posted a 3.12 ERA with seven hits, three earned runs, and six strike-outs. He gave up an unearned run on an error by Arraez on a chopper from Harold Castro. The Tigers held the lead, but the Twins loaded the bases in the eighth inning. Instead of Wallner coming to the plate, the Twins pulled Ryan Jeffers off the bench as a pinch hitter. A smart decision by Baldelli when All-Star lefty Gregory Soto came in. Jeffers had an 0-2 count and hit a hard groundball that was destined for centerfield, but Soto deflected it with his glove and it went right to the shortstop who turned a double play to end the inning and another rally for the Twins. The Twins were only down a run going into the ninth and quickly got the tying run on a single from Arraez. Correa came up to bat and hit a fly-out (liner) to right field, but with two outs and the Twins history of late-inning rallies, the dream was still alive. The rally fell short when Nick Gordon, who had two hits earlier in the game, struck out swinging. Pitching for tomorrow’s game: Thursday 11:10 am CST: RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (MLB Debut, as reported on Friday by Twins Daily) v. LHP Joey Wentz (2-2, 3.54 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  19. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (85 pitches, 55 strikes (66%) Home Runs: Bottom 3 WPA: Jose Miranda (-.220), Gio Urshela (-.098), Jermaine Palacios (-0.095) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Pitching Coach Pete Maki had to come out early in the first inning after Ober had thrown 21 pitches and given up two runs. After the mound visit, Ober calmed down and got the next three hitters out, but not without running his pitch count up to 28. This was Ober’s second game back since coming off the 60-day IL with a groin injury that put him on the shelf on June 1st. Ober has been on restrictions since returning from the IL, but went five innings on September 16th and only allowed one hit and 70 pitches. This game was a little different for the starting pitcher. By the time he hit the third inning, he was up to 62 pitches and three runs allowed. Ober ended up with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings. He retired the remaining seven batters he faced before handing the game over to the bullpen. Aaron Sanchez came for Ober and kept things tight until the wind picked up. The Royals took advantage of mother nature and got another two runs in the seventh inning. Sanchez stayed in through the eighth inning, meaning it was a day off for the remainder of the bullpen. The Twins' offense showed up just as soon as the Royals did, but fell flat as soon as they fired up. In the 2nd inning, Gilberto Celestino got on base on an error which advanced Gary Sanchez to third base. Matt Wallner singled to left, scoring Sanchez and putting the Twins on the board. Wallner was also credited with driving in Nick Gordon in the fourth inning. Wallner has had a hit in all but one of his six games since joining the team and was responsible for two RBI in this game. Wallner has had a lot of fans since coming up. When he got his single to score Sanchez, in the dugout, Carlos Correa and Luis Arraez cheered on the rookie with goofy hand signs and smiles. Correa has been on fire lately at the plate. He has continually boosted his teammates, been a part of mound visits, and ensured that his teammates knew that he was there to help them grow. There have been many endearing moments of him with teammates, but the best relationship has been with fellow 2012 draftee, Byron Buxton. The top two picks that year had time to talk during the Midwest League All-Star Game in Dayton, Ohio in 2013. They played on the same Western Division squad and had time to share the same experiences bonding them for what would be ten years later. It’s hard to imagine that he won’t stay here when he fits in so well, on the field and off. The Twins continued to try and rally every inning getting guys on base, but getting outs just as quickly. The club remained scoreless the remainder of the game unable to overcome mother nature and goofy defensive plays that weren’t errors. The Twins had an opportunity and the upper hand through the fourth with Wallner’s double, but the bats fell asleep after that. Pitching for tomorrow’s game: Thursday 1:10pm CST: RHP Josh Winder (4-4, 4.17 ERA) v. RHP Jonathan Heasley (3-8, 5.09 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Sanchez 0 49 0 0 0 41 90 Henriquez 0 0 0 73 0 0 73 López 0 32 0 34 0 0 66 Moran 40 15 5 0 0 0 60 Pagán 0 31 0 15 0 0 46 Fulmer 0 17 0 0 23 0 40 Thielbar 0 0 0 0 23 0 23 Jax 0 13 0 0 4 0 17 Duran 0 0 17 0 0 0 17 Megill 0 0 0 0 17 0 17
  20. Bailey Ober and the Twins took on the Kansas City Royals tonight in game two of the three-game series. The Royals hosted not only the Twins, but Bark in the Park night, and needless to say, the Twins had another “ruff” night in Kansas City. Image courtesy of Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports Box Score Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (85 pitches, 55 strikes (66%) Home Runs: Bottom 3 WPA: Jose Miranda (-.220), Gio Urshela (-.098), Jermaine Palacios (-0.095) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Pitching Coach Pete Maki had to come out early in the first inning after Ober had thrown 21 pitches and given up two runs. After the mound visit, Ober calmed down and got the next three hitters out, but not without running his pitch count up to 28. This was Ober’s second game back since coming off the 60-day IL with a groin injury that put him on the shelf on June 1st. Ober has been on restrictions since returning from the IL, but went five innings on September 16th and only allowed one hit and 70 pitches. This game was a little different for the starting pitcher. By the time he hit the third inning, he was up to 62 pitches and three runs allowed. Ober ended up with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings. He retired the remaining seven batters he faced before handing the game over to the bullpen. Aaron Sanchez came for Ober and kept things tight until the wind picked up. The Royals took advantage of mother nature and got another two runs in the seventh inning. Sanchez stayed in through the eighth inning, meaning it was a day off for the remainder of the bullpen. The Twins' offense showed up just as soon as the Royals did, but fell flat as soon as they fired up. In the 2nd inning, Gilberto Celestino got on base on an error which advanced Gary Sanchez to third base. Matt Wallner singled to left, scoring Sanchez and putting the Twins on the board. Wallner was also credited with driving in Nick Gordon in the fourth inning. Wallner has had a hit in all but one of his six games since joining the team and was responsible for two RBI in this game. Wallner has had a lot of fans since coming up. When he got his single to score Sanchez, in the dugout, Carlos Correa and Luis Arraez cheered on the rookie with goofy hand signs and smiles. Correa has been on fire lately at the plate. He has continually boosted his teammates, been a part of mound visits, and ensured that his teammates knew that he was there to help them grow. There have been many endearing moments of him with teammates, but the best relationship has been with fellow 2012 draftee, Byron Buxton. The top two picks that year had time to talk during the Midwest League All-Star Game in Dayton, Ohio in 2013. They played on the same Western Division squad and had time to share the same experiences bonding them for what would be ten years later. It’s hard to imagine that he won’t stay here when he fits in so well, on the field and off. The Twins continued to try and rally every inning getting guys on base, but getting outs just as quickly. The club remained scoreless the remainder of the game unable to overcome mother nature and goofy defensive plays that weren’t errors. The Twins had an opportunity and the upper hand through the fourth with Wallner’s double, but the bats fell asleep after that. Pitching for tomorrow’s game: Thursday 1:10pm CST: RHP Josh Winder (4-4, 4.17 ERA) v. RHP Jonathan Heasley (3-8, 5.09 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Sanchez 0 49 0 0 0 41 90 Henriquez 0 0 0 73 0 0 73 López 0 32 0 34 0 0 66 Moran 40 15 5 0 0 0 60 Pagán 0 31 0 15 0 0 46 Fulmer 0 17 0 0 23 0 40 Thielbar 0 0 0 0 23 0 23 Jax 0 13 0 0 4 0 17 Duran 0 0 17 0 0 0 17 Megill 0 0 0 0 17 0 17 View full article
  21. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (82 pitches, 54 strikes (65%)) Home Runs: Nick Gordon (8) Top 3 WPA: Nick Gordon (0.435), Dereck Rodriguez (0.355), Griffin Jax (0.307), Michael Fulmer (0.307) Bottom 3 WPA: Matt Wallner (-0.377), Jermaine Palacios (-0.304), Sandy Leon (-0.286) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Josh Winder and Gary Sanchez started out the first inning finding a rhythm to their game. Winder let a run in immediately in the top of the first but managed to stay in control, finding that stride, and retired the next ten batters through the fourth inning. Winder started his third game against Cleveland this season and his second appearance since coming off the IL for shoulder tightness. The Twins let Winder try and work into the fifth, which was good until a slider to Amed Rosario backed up and didn't break. The red-hot Rosario crushed a three-run home run. Baldelli relieved Winder after Jose Ramirez hit a single and replaced him with Jovani Moran to finish the inning. The bullpen managed to keep the Guardians scoreless after their initial five runs. Even when it got exciting in the ninth and the Guardians made a push with players in scoring position. Steven Kwan was on second when Jorge Lopez uncoiled a wild pitch. Kwan rounded third and slid into home, not realizing that the pitch bounced into a dugout suite. Given another chance, Lopez closed out the inning and sent the game to the tenth. The Twins offense didn't get a hit off of Guardian starter Konor Pilkington until the sixth inning when Jose Miranda recorded a single. That ended the night for the Cleveland lefty. In the seventh inning, they threatened with one out and the bases loaded (after a pitch struck Nick Gordon) but left all three stranded. The Twins haven't been hitting much lately, and when they do get baserunners, they struggle with runners in scoring position. Due to the countless injuries and Triple-A players occupying the roster and line-up, the Twins have the youngest team in MLB. The rookies have received playing time and opportunities. Each has experienced some success to build upon, and each has found plenty of struggles and lessons learned. One player who has really taken advantage of his opportunity in 2022 is Nick Gordon. He regularly played in left of center field most of the season, but with Jorge Polanco on the Injured List and Luis Arraez hobbled, he's been playing a lot of second base of late. Check out this play. Since Terry Francona took over the Guardians coaching position in 2012, the Twins and Guardians have had 194 meetings, with the Twins winning 95 of those and the Guardians winning 99. The Guardians are one of the teams that have consistently given the Twins trouble getting past. The Guardians have been in 25 last-at-bat this season, and seven have been against the Twins. They have also won half of their walk-offs of the season against the Twins (3). Jake Cave came into the game as a pinch hitter and started a five-run eighth inning. After getting to first on an error, the bases loaded up again after Jose Miranda singled and Carlos Correa was hit by a pitch. A Gio Urshela single scored Cave and Miranda and cut the deficit to 5-2. Gary Sanchez scored Correa with a sacrifice fly. With two outs, Nick Gordon crushed a two-run homer that tied the game at five. The Twins managed to stay solid, even bringing back veteran and former Twins farmhand Dereck Rodriguez who had one appearance with the big club back on April 13th against the Dodgers. "Son of Pudge" managed to keep the Guardians at bay, giving the Twins a chance. In the 13th inning, it was Gordon again who gave the Twins a short-lived lead at 6-5 with a sacrifice fly that scored Correa. In 89 2/3 innings this season with Saints this season, he had 88 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP to accompany a 7-4 record. Rodriguez wasn’t even at the stadium when the game started, He was on a plane from Minneapolis to Cleveland and suited up and took the field. Right-handed reliever Trevor Megill was placed on the COVID-IL between games with Rodriguez, who is not on the 40-man roster, taking his spot. The Twins management throughout today's games was fantastic and it showed through the remaining portion of the game, but after 24 innings of baseball, the game ended with a Guardians walk-off in the bottom of the 15th inning due to a Jermaine Palacios error on a hard-hit ball from Amed Rosario (of course) allowing Austin Hedges to score, ending the night. With two games left in the series, the Twins remain in an absolutely must-win situation to stay relevant in the division. Do you think they have it in them, or are they done for the season? Pitching Preview Match-Up Cleveland Series: Sunday 12:40pm CST: Joe Ryan (11-8,3.83 ERA) vs. RHP Cody Morris (0-1,2.79 ERA) Monday 12:10 pm CST: Sonny Gray (8-4, 2.91 ERA) vs. RHP Cal Quantrill (12-5, 3.51 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  22. The Twins have continued to battle themselves and the Guardians for the division. Saturday's second game proved the Twins refuse to go down without a fight. Image courtesy of Ken Blaze, USA Today Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (82 pitches, 54 strikes (65%)) Home Runs: Nick Gordon (8) Top 3 WPA: Nick Gordon (0.435), Dereck Rodriguez (0.355), Griffin Jax (0.307), Michael Fulmer (0.307) Bottom 3 WPA: Matt Wallner (-0.377), Jermaine Palacios (-0.304), Sandy Leon (-0.286) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Josh Winder and Gary Sanchez started out the first inning finding a rhythm to their game. Winder let a run in immediately in the top of the first but managed to stay in control, finding that stride, and retired the next ten batters through the fourth inning. Winder started his third game against Cleveland this season and his second appearance since coming off the IL for shoulder tightness. The Twins let Winder try and work into the fifth, which was good until a slider to Amed Rosario backed up and didn't break. The red-hot Rosario crushed a three-run home run. Baldelli relieved Winder after Jose Ramirez hit a single and replaced him with Jovani Moran to finish the inning. The bullpen managed to keep the Guardians scoreless after their initial five runs. Even when it got exciting in the ninth and the Guardians made a push with players in scoring position. Steven Kwan was on second when Jorge Lopez uncoiled a wild pitch. Kwan rounded third and slid into home, not realizing that the pitch bounced into a dugout suite. Given another chance, Lopez closed out the inning and sent the game to the tenth. The Twins offense didn't get a hit off of Guardian starter Konor Pilkington until the sixth inning when Jose Miranda recorded a single. That ended the night for the Cleveland lefty. In the seventh inning, they threatened with one out and the bases loaded (after a pitch struck Nick Gordon) but left all three stranded. The Twins haven't been hitting much lately, and when they do get baserunners, they struggle with runners in scoring position. Due to the countless injuries and Triple-A players occupying the roster and line-up, the Twins have the youngest team in MLB. The rookies have received playing time and opportunities. Each has experienced some success to build upon, and each has found plenty of struggles and lessons learned. One player who has really taken advantage of his opportunity in 2022 is Nick Gordon. He regularly played in left of center field most of the season, but with Jorge Polanco on the Injured List and Luis Arraez hobbled, he's been playing a lot of second base of late. Check out this play. Since Terry Francona took over the Guardians coaching position in 2012, the Twins and Guardians have had 194 meetings, with the Twins winning 95 of those and the Guardians winning 99. The Guardians are one of the teams that have consistently given the Twins trouble getting past. The Guardians have been in 25 last-at-bat this season, and seven have been against the Twins. They have also won half of their walk-offs of the season against the Twins (3). Jake Cave came into the game as a pinch hitter and started a five-run eighth inning. After getting to first on an error, the bases loaded up again after Jose Miranda singled and Carlos Correa was hit by a pitch. A Gio Urshela single scored Cave and Miranda and cut the deficit to 5-2. Gary Sanchez scored Correa with a sacrifice fly. With two outs, Nick Gordon crushed a two-run homer that tied the game at five. The Twins managed to stay solid, even bringing back veteran and former Twins farmhand Dereck Rodriguez who had one appearance with the big club back on April 13th against the Dodgers. "Son of Pudge" managed to keep the Guardians at bay, giving the Twins a chance. In the 13th inning, it was Gordon again who gave the Twins a short-lived lead at 6-5 with a sacrifice fly that scored Correa. In 89 2/3 innings this season with Saints this season, he had 88 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP to accompany a 7-4 record. Rodriguez wasn’t even at the stadium when the game started, He was on a plane from Minneapolis to Cleveland and suited up and took the field. Right-handed reliever Trevor Megill was placed on the COVID-IL between games with Rodriguez, who is not on the 40-man roster, taking his spot. The Twins management throughout today's games was fantastic and it showed through the remaining portion of the game, but after 24 innings of baseball, the game ended with a Guardians walk-off in the bottom of the 15th inning due to a Jermaine Palacios error on a hard-hit ball from Amed Rosario (of course) allowing Austin Hedges to score, ending the night. With two games left in the series, the Twins remain in an absolutely must-win situation to stay relevant in the division. Do you think they have it in them, or are they done for the season? Pitching Preview Match-Up Cleveland Series: Sunday 12:40pm CST: Joe Ryan (11-8,3.83 ERA) vs. RHP Cody Morris (0-1,2.79 ERA) Monday 12:10 pm CST: Sonny Gray (8-4, 2.91 ERA) vs. RHP Cal Quantrill (12-5, 3.51 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  23. Box Score SP: Chris Archer 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (40 pitches, 24 strikes (60%)) Home Runs: no one Bottom 3 WPA: Max Kepler (-.160), Cole Sands (-.151), Chris Archer (-.130) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Groundhogs Day on the Mound Chris Archer started for the Twins. Two batters into the game, a walk, and a home run from Amed Rosario, the Guardians were ahead 2-0. Archer has rarely completed five innings in a start. Tonight was his shortest start of the year. He pitched just two innings in this game before leaving the game. He was replaced at the top of the third by Cole Sands. Sands just returned from the IL and appeared rushed, unsettled and uncomfortable trying to find the strike zone. In the third inning, his pitches continued to drift out of the strike zone. He walked three and hit two batters to give the Guardians two runs and push the score 4-0. Sands did pitch into the sixth inning and gave up just one more run in his 3 1/3 innings. Pagan and the Bullpen Keep Twins in Games The bullpen continues to step up and set the tone for damage control and give the offense a chance to catch up. Emilio Pagan, who has been known for blowing saves, but he has been absolutely on fire of late. In his past six games, Pagan has a 2.57 ERA, only five hits, and two runs. It is a massive improvement to his earlier season stats. When the starters have been giving up runs early, the bullpen has come in and kept the runs from accumulating. Pete Maki has taken over in the interim as the Pitching Coach, bringing Colby Suggs in as the bullpen coach. Suggs was the run-prevention coordinator, and it seems that his expertise in understanding run defense may be aiding the bullpen. Since Suggs has taken the helm of the bullpen on July 1, it's taken a bit to catch a rhythm, but his techniques seem to be doing the trick. Suggs, certainly understands and pays attention to mechanics and maybe his personality is just what the bullpen needed. New Rules, New…Kepler? MLB has implemented new rules to take place starting in the 2023 season. One of those rules will be not being able to utilize the shift. There must now be two players on either side of second base when the pitch is released, and all four infielders must be inside the infield dirt when the pitcher is on the rubber. No one is probably more relieved about the change to the rule than our own Max Kepler who is extremely well known for hitting into the shift. Tonight, two hits from Kepler were into the shift and the last drive was stopped by acrobatic magic from Andres Gimenez, who was posted far into right field. Kepler has had a great year defensively, but offensively, it’s been one of his worst seasons. Having to recover from Covid in 2021 and a broken toe this season seems to have compounded. Kepler has had a below-normal batting average (.230) than previous seasons. Kepler has been out recently with a hip injury as well. Later in the game, he was robbed of a home run by a leaping Will Benson in left field. Luis Arraez had two doubles tonight, and three hits. It was his 43rd game this season with more than one hit. Arraez and Carlos Correa have been absolutely dominant the past few games, the downfall has been others in the lineup. Twice on Saturday night, Arraez was stranded on base, along with Correa with the guys unable to string together any hits going scoreless until the bottom of the ninth. Just when the collective thought the game was over, veteran Bryan Shaw started handing out hits in the ninth inning, and the Twins came alive. Gio Urshela tagged in on a sacrifice fly from Gary Sanchez to put the Twins on the board, and Jake Cave drove a double into left-centerfield which scored Kyle Garlick with two outs. The Twins offense continued to work Shaw with a rip to right field from Arraez, which scored Cave to push the score 6-3. At that point, Terry Francona came in to make a pitching change. The Twins had forced Emmanuel Clase to come into the game. Clase is a strong closer, but he was not expecting to come in at all. He allowed a run right away when Correa grounded weakly to third base and a bad throw allowed Arraez to score all the way from first. Jose Miranda followed with a line drive single that sent Correa to third base. The intensity rose as Clase as Kepler came up to hit, and after hitting into the shift all night, he hit a hard ground ball to third base (the only defender on the left side of the infield) to end the game. The Twins have their final game of this series with Cleveland on Sunday afternoon. Can the Twins find a way to eek out a win? Do you think there is time to save the season and reach the postseason? Am I a hopeless romantic baseball fan? Let me know in the comments! Pitching Preview Match-Up Cleveland Series: Sunday 1:10pm CST: TBD vs. RHP Shane Bieber (9-8, 2.96 ERA) Post Game Interview Coming soon. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  24. The Twins and Guardians meet in Game 2 of their three-game series. A late-inning rally last night on Friday night was not enough to overcome the pitching woes early in the game. From the first pitch on Saturday night, it felt like Groundhogs day, as the Twins fell short despite another late-inning rally. Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhorn, USA Today Box Score SP: Chris Archer 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (40 pitches, 24 strikes (60%)) Home Runs: no one Bottom 3 WPA: Max Kepler (-.160), Cole Sands (-.151), Chris Archer (-.130) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Groundhogs Day on the Mound Chris Archer started for the Twins. Two batters into the game, a walk, and a home run from Amed Rosario, the Guardians were ahead 2-0. Archer has rarely completed five innings in a start. Tonight was his shortest start of the year. He pitched just two innings in this game before leaving the game. He was replaced at the top of the third by Cole Sands. Sands just returned from the IL and appeared rushed, unsettled and uncomfortable trying to find the strike zone. In the third inning, his pitches continued to drift out of the strike zone. He walked three and hit two batters to give the Guardians two runs and push the score 4-0. Sands did pitch into the sixth inning and gave up just one more run in his 3 1/3 innings. Pagan and the Bullpen Keep Twins in Games The bullpen continues to step up and set the tone for damage control and give the offense a chance to catch up. Emilio Pagan, who has been known for blowing saves, but he has been absolutely on fire of late. In his past six games, Pagan has a 2.57 ERA, only five hits, and two runs. It is a massive improvement to his earlier season stats. When the starters have been giving up runs early, the bullpen has come in and kept the runs from accumulating. Pete Maki has taken over in the interim as the Pitching Coach, bringing Colby Suggs in as the bullpen coach. Suggs was the run-prevention coordinator, and it seems that his expertise in understanding run defense may be aiding the bullpen. Since Suggs has taken the helm of the bullpen on July 1, it's taken a bit to catch a rhythm, but his techniques seem to be doing the trick. Suggs, certainly understands and pays attention to mechanics and maybe his personality is just what the bullpen needed. New Rules, New…Kepler? MLB has implemented new rules to take place starting in the 2023 season. One of those rules will be not being able to utilize the shift. There must now be two players on either side of second base when the pitch is released, and all four infielders must be inside the infield dirt when the pitcher is on the rubber. No one is probably more relieved about the change to the rule than our own Max Kepler who is extremely well known for hitting into the shift. Tonight, two hits from Kepler were into the shift and the last drive was stopped by acrobatic magic from Andres Gimenez, who was posted far into right field. Kepler has had a great year defensively, but offensively, it’s been one of his worst seasons. Having to recover from Covid in 2021 and a broken toe this season seems to have compounded. Kepler has had a below-normal batting average (.230) than previous seasons. Kepler has been out recently with a hip injury as well. Later in the game, he was robbed of a home run by a leaping Will Benson in left field. Luis Arraez had two doubles tonight, and three hits. It was his 43rd game this season with more than one hit. Arraez and Carlos Correa have been absolutely dominant the past few games, the downfall has been others in the lineup. Twice on Saturday night, Arraez was stranded on base, along with Correa with the guys unable to string together any hits going scoreless until the bottom of the ninth. Just when the collective thought the game was over, veteran Bryan Shaw started handing out hits in the ninth inning, and the Twins came alive. Gio Urshela tagged in on a sacrifice fly from Gary Sanchez to put the Twins on the board, and Jake Cave drove a double into left-centerfield which scored Kyle Garlick with two outs. The Twins offense continued to work Shaw with a rip to right field from Arraez, which scored Cave to push the score 6-3. At that point, Terry Francona came in to make a pitching change. The Twins had forced Emmanuel Clase to come into the game. Clase is a strong closer, but he was not expecting to come in at all. He allowed a run right away when Correa grounded weakly to third base and a bad throw allowed Arraez to score all the way from first. Jose Miranda followed with a line drive single that sent Correa to third base. The intensity rose as Clase as Kepler came up to hit, and after hitting into the shift all night, he hit a hard ground ball to third base (the only defender on the left side of the infield) to end the game. The Twins have their final game of this series with Cleveland on Sunday afternoon. Can the Twins find a way to eek out a win? Do you think there is time to save the season and reach the postseason? Am I a hopeless romantic baseball fan? Let me know in the comments! Pitching Preview Match-Up Cleveland Series: Sunday 1:10pm CST: TBD vs. RHP Shane Bieber (9-8, 2.96 ERA) Post Game Interview Coming soon. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
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