Oldgoat_MN reacted to cjm0926 for a blog entry, A Different Idea For Twins Catching
I will start it off by saying, this is just an idea, I am not saying it should or will happen. I am also not saying it is a terrible idea and it could possibly work. With that being said, here we go.
The Twins currently have 2 very good catchers, one being Mitch Garver, a well above average batting catcher who is nearly 31 years old. The other, Ryan Jeffers, a 24 year old catcher who underperformed with his bat this past season. While neither player is an AL MVP candidate Twins are likely set for the coming years with this duo. But I recently had a thought that I will explain below.
Mitch Garver is a beast with the bat, no doubt about it. But he is getting up there in age for a catcher, being 31 years old by next opening day. If I remember right, that is the age that Joe Mauer moved over to 1B full time. Currently, the Twins are set at first base, with Alex Kirilloff, the expected 1st Baseman for the better part of the 2020's, and Miguel Sano, who appeared to have finally figured something out towards the end of the 2021 season, holding down the position. Nobody is saying that Garver will not catch for another 5 years, but the odds are pointing against it. Garver had a career year in 2019, a horrible year in 2020, and looked to have bounced back in 2021, but was injured for a lot of it. Mitch Garver currently has a 10.9 trade rating on baseballtradevalues.com.
Ryan Jeffers was a former highly regarded prospect within the Twins system. He debuted in 2020, hitting .273 with 3 homers in 62 Plate Appearances. However, in 2021 he took a massive step back offensively, hitting below the Mendoza line, although he showed solid power hitting 14 home runs in 293 Plate Appearances. He also struck out at a nearly 37% clip. Jeffers was drafted as a bat first catcher, but has turned into a very good defender, which is more important for a catcher than any other position, being directly involved in every play. Jeffers is rated at 19.2 on baseballtradevalues.com.
Now, we look at the primary catchers for the 2 best teams in their own respective leagues, Travis d'Arnaud and Martin Maldonado. We will start off with d'Arnaud. He hit .220 with 7 homers in the regular season for the eventual World Series champions, the Atlanta Braves, and posted an 0.2 WAR. Maldonado for the Astros hit .172 with 12 bombs, posting a -0.1 WAR. I am not saying that just because these teams had average to below average hitting catchers with very strong defense it improved their World Series odds, but I am saying there could be something to be taken away from that.
Catcher is the most important on the field defensively, calling pitches, controlling baserunners, aligning defense, etc. But offensively they can get away with things that other positions can't like low averages, low power, etc. which makes a lot of sense. Catching puts a lot of wear and tear on the body causing many to eventually move away from the position or retire early, like Posey and Mauer.
The Twins have frankly been spoiled at the position offensively since 2019, and they could try a different approach to fill other holes in 2022. The Twins have a massive need for top of the rotation type pitching, and with many 2022 offseason blueprints being posted on Twins Daily, a catcher is often in a trade to acquire said pitching. I have seen both Garver and Jeffers name thrown around in those blueprints as trade bait for a high end starter. But what if I said the Twins should trade both of them. They both have very good value and could be a solid part of a package to bring back good pitchers. Jeffers has about twice as much value according to a website, but Garver could be a huge addition to almost any team being a veteran and above average hitter. It is better to trade a low risk player away a year too early rather than a year too late. Especially with catchers and freak injuries.
Say the Twins do trade both away, then what would we do? The Twins have Rortvedt making the league minimum and providing stellar defense, even better than Garver and Jeffers. Rortvedt's huge downside is his bat. In 2021 Rortvedt hit .169 with 3 homers in 98 Plate Appearances. He also struck out at around a 30% rate. If Rortvedt can hit around .200 and cut down the strikeouts a bit, he could become a solid catcher for years to come. That solves half of the puzzle, now what do the Twins do about the other catcher? There are many low risk, low reward catchers available in free agency this offseason that could be had for 1 or 2 year deals at very low prices. Possibly a right handed bat to platoon with Rortvedt, a lefty, like the Twins did in 2019 with Castro and Garver. Although Rortvedt and another catcher wouldn't be as nice offensively as Jeffers and Garver, it could be very nice defensively, which is what a catching tandem needs most. For a catcher 3 or 4, they can call on a guy in AAA or AA to fill in for a week or two.
What I have noticed is that an offensive catcher is just a cherry on top, not needed, hence the Astros and Braves making the World Series with their average offensive catchers. Defense is needed much more and strong offense can only overshadow bad defense so much *cough cough Gary Sanchez* I am also not saying the Twins are as talented as Houston or Atlanta at other positions, but filling the holes through trading the catchers could make it much closer. Although this isn't the prettiest or nicest plan to hear as a fan, it could be what is needed for the Twins to jump back into contention and fill the holes. Leave a comment on what you think about this, and don't be afraid to say if you think its garbage, just have some reasoning and I'll happily discuss. Thank you for reading.
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Danchat for a blog entry, 2021 Prospect Rankings: 1-8
#8 - Matt Wallner OF (1st Round 2019, Southern Miss)
Another bat-first prospect, Wallner has some serious power behind his bat after hitting 58 HRs at Southern Mississippi (in just 872 PAs!). He did alright at Elizabethton, and his main concern as a hitter will be limiting the strikeouts. Defensively he's a subpar runner and will be limited to corner OF, if not 1B. He also pitched part-time in college, which means he's got the arm to throw out runners.
#7 - Brent Rooker 1B (1st Round 2017, Miss State)
Rooker's very similar to Sabato and Wallner, but unlike them, he's ready to play in the majors. He did well in his first week of games in the majors before fracturing his wrist on a pitch, and we saw a glimpse into his upside. He's got the power to hit 25+ HRs a season and his batting average did not suffer much in the minors. Strikeouts will be a concern, as he had a dangerously high 33.8% strikeout rate at AAA. Despite that he still hit .928 OPS with a super strong .399 OBP. Defensively, he really shouldn't be playing in the outfield. He hasn't played a ton of 1B, but hopefully he's given plenty of practice there because that would be an ideal place to end up. Otherwise he'll be a DH his whole career.
#6 - Jordan Balazovic RHP (5th Round 2016, HS)
The Twins have gone through a drought of starting pitcher prospects for at least 10 years, and have been desperate to get a guy like Balazovic up and going. He mowed through Fort Myers A+ in 2019 with a strong 2.84 ERA, a phenomenal K/9 rate (11.8) without a bad BB/9 rate (2.6). He uses a strong mix of a 94-95 MPH fastball that acts a sinker, and sprinkles in similar-looking curveballs and sliders. He needs to get more innings under his belt and I don't think he profiles as a #1 or #2 starter, but he has a clean injury history and he'll likely be starting in AA at the young age of 21. Balazovic has a bright future in the big leagues if he continues down the path he's headed.
#5 - Jhoan Duran RHP (International from Dominican Republic, acquired in 2018 trade)
The top pitching prospect, Duran turned his career around once arriving in the Twins organization, going from a #20-30 prospect in Arizona to top-tier prospect. Duran's fastball has sped up the past couple season, sitting in the upper 90s and he'll hit 100 every once in a while. His secondary pitch is a splitter that can hit 94, and consistently fool hitters with its fastball-speed. His command can be a bit shaky at times, but that's even been a huge problem for him. Duran does have the toolset to be a dynamite reliever, but he's successfully pitched a starter's workload in the minors and should land in the rotation. Perhaps he pitches in the Twins' bullpen down the stretch in 2021 as his first dip into the MLB pool.
#4 - Royce Lewis SS (1st Round 2017, HS)
Most prospect rankers won't agree with this, but I'm not as high on Lewis as most are. The first overall draft pick in 2017, Lewis had very strong 2017 and 2018 seasons, but he hit poorly in 2019 at A+ and AA. He was promoted to AA despite hitting .665 OPS, and proceeded to hit .649 OPS there. Critics have pointed out that Lewis' swing does not look good and his approach at the plate needs heavy refinement, and his pitch recognition is currently poor. He's still young, turning 22 this summer, but I don't think he's particularly close to being MLB-ready. There has also been debate about whether he will end up at SS or CF, as he has the raw speed to handle both. This ranking has mostly been negative, but Royce has the potential to become a talented hitter with 60-65 power potential and has the highest ceiling of any prospect on this team. I just get the sense that Lewis will become a hitter whose approach at the plate won't click until Year 4 or 5 of his career.
#3 - Alex Kiriloff OF (1st Round 2016, HS)
The Twins are poised to make Kiriloff their starting LF in 2021, and it's not hard to see why. He has a career .317 batting average in the minors, and that's no fluke. Scouts rave about his ability to make consistent contact on tough pitches, he has has some serious power behind his swing, with the potential for 20+ HRs a year. Kiriloff's focus on contact has kept the number of walks low, but that's not a big concern if he hits > .300. He's had a couple of wrist injuries and missed the entire 2017 season. Defensively Kiriloff is one of the lower prospects on this list, and while he has a good glove and a great arm, he may end up at 1B. Hopefully his bat will end up somehwere in the #2-4 spot in the lineup one day.
#2 - Ryan Jeffers C (2nd Round 2018, UNC Wilmington)
This is probably the highest you've ever seen Jeffers on a prospect ranking, but I am comfortable putting him this high. Good catching prospects are rare, and Jeffers is the entire package. He was yet another 'questionable draft pick' in the 2nd round, but the Twins organization sculpted him into one of the best defensive backstops in the minor leagues after initial scouting reports claimed he wouldn't be able to stay at catcher. He ranked as a top-notch pitch framer, and showed as much in his 26 game debut in 2020. His bat was always his calling card, and it didn't disappoint in the minors with a very strong (.296/.383/.453 .836 OPS). He'll take a lot of walks and has the potential for more power. Jeffers is ready to graduate off this list and will push for the starting role as the Twins' catcher.
#1 - Trevor Larnach OF (1st Round 2018, Oregon State)
I conclude with another bat-first position player, of whom has the best minor league track record to this point. Larnach covered 4 levels of the minor leagues through only two years (2018-19) and held his own at every level, never dipping below a .295 batting average or .840 OPS. In total he's recorded a (.307/.385/.468) triple slash, and that's even with only 18 HRs in that stretch. He's got more power in that bat, no doubt. Larnach will take plenty of walks too, as his K/BB ratio was very healthy too. Defensively he's a bit on the slower side, but I think he will work as a RF with a decent glove and strong arm. Once he figures out the big leagues, Larnach is a hitter whose name should be penned into the #3 spot in the lineup and be let loose to rake to his heart's content.
I will add one more blog post soon going over my formula of how these rankings were calculated. Until then, let me know what you think!
Oldgoat_MN reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, What works with a pandemic?
One of the most interesting thing I have found in researching the virus and the Spanish Flu is this article on the affect of social distancing? https://qz.com/1816060/a-chart-of-the-1918-spanish-flu-shows-why-social-distancing-works/
For baseball fans who like to look at charts and graphs this is a really good study of St Louis and Philadelphia during the 1918 epidemic.
"The extreme measures—now known as social distancing, which is being called for by global health agencies to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus—kept per capita flu-related deaths in St. Louis to less than half of those in Philadelphia, according to a 2007 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."
“I think the critical lesson from both the modeling and the historical work is that the benefits of multiple interventions are greatest if they are introduced early (before 1% of the population is infected) and maintained,” wrote Hatchett, who has also directed medical preparedness in the Obama White House."
The history channel describes a very similar tactic to what the states are trying to do now, "The 1918 flu was first observed in Europe, the United States and parts of Asia before swiftly spreading around the world. At the time, there were no effective drugs or vaccines to treat this killer flu strain. Citizens were ordered to wear masks, schools, theaters and businesses were shuttered and bodies piled up in makeshift morgues before the virus ended its deadly global march."
Should we think 2 weeks or a month is going to take care of us, here is another quote from the History.com, "The first wave of the 1918 pandemic occurred in the spring and was generally mild. The sick, who experienced such typical flu symptoms as chills, fever and fatigue, usually recovered after several days, and the number of reported deaths was low.
"However, a second, highly contagious wave of influenza appeared with a vengeance in the fall of that same year. Victims died within hours or days of developing symptoms, their skin turning blue and their lungs filling with fluid that caused them to suffocate. In just one year, 1918, the average life expectancy in America plummeted by a dozen years."
Why was it called Spanish Flu? "By 11 March 1918, the virus had reached Queens, New York. ... The Allies of World War I came to call it the Spanish flu, primarily because the pandemic received greater press attention after it moved from France to Spain in November 1918. Spain was not involved in the war and had not imposed wartime censorship."
So do we assume that once the summer comes and the seasons change that we are done? No. "The second wave of the 1918 pandemic was much deadlier than the first. The first wave had resembled typical flu epidemics; those most at risk were the sick and elderly, while younger, healthier people recovered easily. By August, when the second wave began in France, Sierra Leone, and the United States, the virus had mutated to a much deadlier form. October 1918 was the deadliest month of the whole pandemic."
Sports Illustrated described - "There’s a face mask on the hitter, the bench and the crowd. Underneath their standard equipment, the umpire and catcher have them, too.
"This is how the Pasadena Merchants and Standard-Murphys played a game in the Southern California Winter League on January 26, 1919."
"The 2016 Marlins-Pirates series in Puerto Rico, which was moved to Miami due to Zika virus."
In 1909 " as typhoid fever spread in California, the San Francisco Examiner ran the front-page headline “Epidemic Threatens to Ruin Ball Team” as the Pacific Coast League saw several players fall sick at once. The illness-related charity games have evolved with the times, too: The St. Louis Cardinals had an annual “Tuberculosis Day” game for more than two decades, and years later, President Eisenhower declared “Baseball Polio Day,” when MLB games were used to raise money for the disease on July 4, 1957."
We think of our athletes as men of good health and conditioning, but we have the following list of players who died during their career - only two from flu. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_baseball_players_who_died_during_their_careers
And finally for Twins fans there is this February 20 LA Times article that tells about Brusdar Graterol overcoming the flu - https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2020-02-20/dodgers-brusdar-graterol-over-flu-100-mph-fastball
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Steven Buhr for a blog entry, Bet On It! Part 3
It has been over a month since we checked in on the MLB “Futures” at the William Hill and Elite sportsbooks and with spring training now well underway, it seems like a good time to see how the betting odds for the Twins (and others) are looking.
Of course, even if I see something really interesting, it won’t do me any good right now since I’m in Florida at least through the end of the month and the Sunshine State has not legalized sports betting, yet. So, while I can look up odds at the two booking sites I subscribe to, I can’t actually place any bets until I get back in Iowa.
Then again, with my inability to accurately predict college basketball games, that’s probably a good thing.
First, let’s take a look at an updated version of the chart outlining the Twins’ odds to succeed at various levels in 2020.
A couple of things jump out at us here and they’re mostly reflective of the folks at William Hill coming around to thinking the Twins might be better than originally thought.
William Hill’s odds on the Twins to win the American League pennant and the World Series have continued to drop.
Before the Twins signed Josh Donaldson, William Hill had the Twins at 12-1 and 22-1 to win the AL and World Series, respectively. Those numbers have improved to where they stand at 7-1 and 14-1 now. Interestingly, while Elite has adjusted their line on a Twins AL pennant from 10-1 to 8-1, they continue to see them as 20-1 longshots to win WS rings.
Overall, I’m feeling pretty good about booking my bets on the Twins to win the AL at 11-1 and the Series at 22-1. Now, all I need is for the guys to actually, you know, win!
Both books have increased the over/under on Twins regular season wins by one win since the end of January, with William Hill still projecting one more win than Elite does.
A few other interesting notes, just glancing at the differences between the two sportsbook sites:
Like everyone, they both like the Yankees to win it all. You get just a little above even money on the Yankees to win the AL pennant and a bit better than 3-1 odds on a bet to win the WS. There are so many other good teams that those odds don’t seem worthwhile to me. Let the Yankee fans feed the rest of us.
If you think the Astros can overcome their issues and ride their “us against the world” mentality into a repeat championship, you want to look at William Hill where you can get 9-1 odds on a Houston title. Elite is offering just 5-1 on the ‘stros. Both are third on the list behind the Yankees and Dodgers (3-1 WmH & 4-1 Elite).
In the last article, we saw a huge discrepancy between the two sites where the Red Sox were concerned. WmH had them at 12-1 to win the AL, while Elite had them at 5-1.
Man, the people who took that 5-1 bet are kicking themselves. They’ve become 18-1 at WmHill and 12-1 at Elite.
We also looked in on the Angels last time, when Elite was offering 17-1 odds on winning the AL and an almost irresistible 35-1 odds to win the Series (at least it was irresistible to me). That’s come down to 14-1 to win the AL and 30-1 on the WS now. The odds have remained at 10-1 (AL) and 18-1 (WS) at WmH.
How about that pesky team in Cleveland? They were getting 7-1 at Elite and 14-1 at WmH to win the AL last we checked in. Today, they’re at 12-1 at Elite, while remaining at 14-1 at WmH.
Looking at the American League Central race, while both sites have the Twins as favorites and the same predicted order of finish, there are some differences in the odds.
Cleveland gets just +120 to win the ALC at Elite, but 3-1 odds at WmH.
The White Sox get nearly identical lines (+350 Elite and +325 WmH). Of note, that puts Cleveland and Chicago in a virtual dead heat for the second spot in the Central, according to WmH.
I had to check the Royals lines several times to believe what I was seeing. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a discrepancy between the two sportsbooks like Kansas City’s odds to win the AL Central.
Elite set the line at +750. That’s 15-2 (or 7 1/2 – 1). But WmH will give you 60-1 odds on a Royals division championship. Now, I don’t see any way in hell the Royals win the AL Central, so maybe the odds don’t matter. But, still, that’s an incredible difference and a prime example of why you always want to shop around. Imaging being the Royals fan who decided to put a few bucks on their favorite team at Elite, only to later find out they could have gotten 60-1 odds at WmH.
The Tigers, of course, pull up the back end of the division, getting 125-1 odds at Elite and 300-1 at WmH.
Interestingly, Elite has Cleveland and Minnesota both at 20-1 to win the World Series (along with Milwaukee and Philadelphia at the same odds, placing them tied for 10th on the list of WS favorites). WmHill likes the Twins twice as much as Cleveland, though. While the Twins are at 14-1, Cleveland is at 28-1.
William Hill has set some additional prop bets that weren’t out there before, such as pitting two teams against one another in a race to see which will win 30 games first.
For instance, you can bet on whether the Twins or Braves will reach 30 Ws first. Braves are even odds, Twins at -120.
When you shift to Twins vs Astros on the same bet, the Astros are favorites at -130, while the Twins get you +110.
The Twins are favored to get to 30 before the A’s. Twins paying -125, while Oakland gets +105.
Are you tired of RBIs not being a meaningful offensive statistic? Put a little money on Nelson Cruz to be the MLB leader in ribbies at 15-1 odds. Or go crazy and take Josh Donaldson at 60-1. Eddie Rosario & Miguel Sano both list at 100-1.
Jorge Polanco will get you 28-1 odds if he finishes as the MLB leader in hits.
What will it take to lead the Majors in home runs this season? Is the ball still juiced or will it be deadened? The over/under is set at 50 1/2 bombas.
Think Jose Berrios is going to become the ace we’ve been waiting for? Go get the 40-1 odds being offered on Berrios being the MLB ERA leader.
So many options. How will I possibly be able to wait three weeks before I can throw my money away on them?
Oldgoat_MN reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, Rating the prospects - ESPN
I just read the ESPN prospect ratings by Kiley McDaniels and is was an interesting look from a new perspective. Riley came over from FanGraphs and he has a different style than Law and others I have read. What interests me is the Twins prospects ratings, of course, and he challenged some ideas. https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/28820713/kiley-mcdaniel-top-100-prospects-2020
First of all he has Royce Lewis rated the highest at number 15 - a surprisingly high rating in my mind, but he also lists him as a CF. "His hitting mechanics still need a little work in terms of timing and quieting his hand movement, but scouts rave about his makeup, and the raw power and speed are still elite. I'm betting on Lewis figuring things out and becoming an above-average everyday player with some chance to become a star, possibly in the infield"
Jhoan Duran was #54 - "The maturity and command look to be in place for a ground-ball-focused rotation workhorse with swing-and-miss stuff." This is really nice to see, I expected Balazovic to be above him.
#58 Trevor Larnach, "He's a slightly better bet in my book than Alex Kirilloff to be an above-average everyday player, but they're in roughly the same area." So the argument about who is number one - Kiriloff or Lewis has a new twist.
#63 is Alex Kiriloff, "Kirilloff's pitch selection leaves a bit to be desired, while he's moving down the defensive spectrum to first base and his wrist has been giving him trouble."
#93 Jordan Balazovic, "He also doesn't have a bunch of plus pitches that he's learning to harness, rather a number of above-average offerings that he already has a good feel for mixing."
It appears on all the lists that the top five prospects is the same (Graterol by the way is #92 "his command might be enough to start, but it's legit closer stuff").
Of course the question remains - who is the not on any list prospect who will be the next Arraez and throw the rankings out of the window. The second question - is it better to suddenly appear on the list and shoot to the top or to start your career with high expectations and high rating and then slowly slide down the list?
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Bashwood12 for a blog entry, Alex Kirilloff vs. Royce Lewis as Twins top prospect
Like many diehard fans, it is easy to get immersed in the potential of young prospects. It can be more intoxicating when those prospects are taken first overall in the draft. Royce Lewis is a fantastic prospect with the potential to be one of the best players in the game. The speed, the power, the makeup; it is easy to see why he is viewed as one of the top prospects in the game. However, I have always thought that Royce Lewis is the second-best prospect in the Twins system.
Recently, Keith Law had Alex Kirilloff as the Minnesota Twins top prospect and the #9 prospect in all of baseball. I have always been of this opinion as well and it is nice to have someone with as much notoriety as Law agree with me on this aspect. It means even more coming from Law, who tends to value players who play premium positions and are plus athletes over other prospects. Royce Lewis fits that mold to a tee, so the fact that Law has Kirilloff as a top ten prospect tells me how much be believes in his hit tool.
The hit tool is the crux of the entire argument of Kirilloff over Lewis. In 2018, Kirilloff hit .333 in in Cedar Rapids with a .391 OBP and a .601 slugging percentage. Once he was promoted to Fort Myers, his average was .362 with a .393 OBP and a .550 slugging. He was 20 years old and hit 20 homers. The fact that Kirilloff had that high of a slugging percentage in the pitcher friendly Florida State League is remarkable. Everyone was expecting Kirilloff to continue to rake in 2019.
However, Kirilloff dealt with a wrist injury that sidelined him for a good portion of the first half of the season and zapped his power when he could play. He hit .283 with a .343 OBP and a .413 slugging, which is still decent considering his age in Double-A. However, it is what Kirilloff did in the second half of the season, specifically the playoffs, that leads me to believe it was mostly the injury to blame for the lack of power. Kirilloff had a huge power spike in the second half and finished the year hitting 4 homers in 5 playoff games. Wrist injuries are a killer for hitters, especially for hitters who generate power via leverage and twitch rather than brute strength. Kirilloff would be described as the former, so it would make sense that his power would return as he gets further removed from the injury.
While Kirilloff will most likely have above average to plus power as a big leaguer, it is his overall hit tool that will be his calling card. Kirilloff has a sweet swing and has fantastic hand-eye coordination. He also does not strike out at rates that are becoming more common place for hitters selling out for power. While Kirilloff’s walk rates are not high, he does take his fair share of walks which will allow him to continue to get to his power and hit tools by not being a free swinger. It is not out of the question that Kirilloff ends up a .310/.370/.500 type of guy with a plenty of doubles and 25-30 homers. That is a player you want, regardless of the position he plays.
This leads us to the main argument of Lewis over Kirilloff as the top prospect, which is positional value. Kirilloff is a guy who ends up as an average right fielder under the best projections. He is an average athlete (compared to other major league baseball players, not people who sit on their couch and write Twins blogs where he would be considered an amazing athlete) with an average to slightly above average arm. He has also spent a fair amount of time at first base already, which is a possibility for Kirilloff as he gets older and fills out more. If Kirilloff ends up a first basemen, the 25-30 homerun power will be something that will deflate his value as a prospect. Lewis on the other hand will either end up a shortstop or, worst case, a premium defender in CF. As we have seen with players like Buxton, getting a premium defender at a premium position has quite a bit of value even if the hitter is average.
This is where you must compare the two players and decide. In my opinion, Kirilloff is a player that has a floor as a hitter that is higher than the ceiling of Lewis as a hitter. On his current trajectory, Kirilloff is a guy who will compete for some batting titles, draw some walks, and hit for plenty of extra bases, even if only 20-30 go over the fence. That is a tremendously valuable player at either first or a corner outfield spot. However, Kirilloff is still growing into his body and could grow into some more power as he gets older. Lewis has a higher overall ceiling when you include the defense, but his floor with the bat is not ideal at this point. Lewis is still young for his competition, and I still believe he will be a great player, but the fact that Lewis hit so poorly in Fort Myers and Pensacola and showed very little plate discipline does concern me.
Ultimately, I do not believe you can go wrong choosing one of these two guys as your Twins top prospect. The Twins are lucky to have both guys in their system and both could make some noise in the majors within the next year or so. That being said, if I had to choose one prospect to keep, Kirilloff is my guy all the way.
Oldgoat_MN reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, Commissioner IQ test
Sunday, Manfred described the Commissioner’s Trophy, the statue awarded to each season’s champion, as a “piece of metal.” Could this errant statement put him in line to be another victim of the scandal?
We have had some good ones like A. Bartlett Giamatti, Fay Vincent, and Peter Ueberroth and we have a mix of mediocre and bad. Here is a summary going to the first commissioner - Landis.
Which brought to mind a question I have long had about sports commissioners - what IQ test do they have to pass?
The World Series trophy is the Commissioners Trophy with a flag for each city in the league. It is like the Lombardi Trophy ( a classier name) and the Stanley Cup. Players careers are focused on winning this trophy but Bleacher Report gave us this insight as he joins Crane, Hinch, and a host of others with foot in their mouth disease, ""In an effort to make a rhetorical point, I referred to the World Series trophy in a disrespectful way," he said. "... It was a mistake to say what I said."
"In an interview with ESPN's Karl Ravech earlier this week, Manfred called the Commissioner's Trophy a "piece of metal" when talking about the possibility of stripping the Houston Astros of their 2017 World Series title amid the ongoing fallout from their sign-stealing scandal."
He is supposed to be above that - right? Bowie Kuhn has been the MLB lawyer before becoming the commissioner and was named defendant in the Flood vs Kuhn antitrust lawsuit. He barred Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays for appearing at a Casino event - even though they did not gamble. Kuhn refused Atlanta's desire to sit Aaron for a three game series so he could break the record at home - Kuhn was not in attendance when Aaron did hit 715. He is in the HOF.
Bud Selig hated to get booed so after the tie all star game where he made the right decision he immediately made the wrong one and said the winner of the All Star Game would be the league that got home field advantage in the World Series. He also worked with Mr Pohlad on something called contraction! You might remember his uneven handling of PEDs, yet he is in the HOF and the players are not.
Lieutenant General Eckert was the fourth commissioner of baseball - he had not seen a baseball game in ten years when he was chosen. He refused to call games when JFK and MLK were assassinated and he was fired because the owners did not think he would handle a possible strike. Writers called him the unknown soldier.
Ford Frick was the third commissioner and had been a sportswriter. "Writer Jerome Holtzman described Frick's term as commissioner by saying that he "sailed a smooth course and seldom descended from his throne. When asked why he absented himself from the many battles below, he often said, 'It's a league matter.'... In retrospect, he understood his role. He was a caretaker, not a czar."" He was named to the HOF (which he helped found) and is the name on the annual writers award.
Happy Chandler, working to avoid a strike and to maintain the reserve clause worked with the Pirates - Chandler worked with Pirates officials. Part of Chandler's intervention included organizing a team of replacement players as a contingency plan; the team would have included Honus Wagner, then 72.
The defections to the Mexican league and the threat of a strike by the Pirates prompted owners to form an advisory committee, chaired by Larry MacPhail, to suggest needed changes that would calm the discontent among the players. The commissioner then stripped the language that said racial bias was the only reason for segregation in the game. He is in the HOF
Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis oversaw the Black Socks scandal, ""Regardless of the verdict of juries," the commissioner said in a statement, "no player that throws a ball game, no player that entertains proposals or promises to throw a game, no player that sits in a conference with a bunch of crooked players and gamblers where the ways and means of throwing games are discussed, and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever again play professional baseball." Overall his reputation is on the Mt Rushmore of commissioners, but he could have risen even higher if he had led the way to integration since his father was a union fighter at Kenesaw Mountain. Yes - he is in the HOF.
Oldgoat_MN reacted to TwinsFan268 for a blog entry, Taking A Look At MLB's Projected 2020 Standings
Yesterday, MLB released their projected standings on Twitter, and while the American League looked very close to last year, the National League was a little different. Since the playoffs are going to be the same next year, I'm going to take a look at what this means for us.
Now, MLB placed the Twins atop the AL Central, 7 games ahead of last year's competition, the Cleveland Indians. Of course I love having distance between us and Cleveland, but I was kind of hoping that we had more projected wins. Here's what the standings for the Central looked like:
White Sox: 83-79
Obviously, the only change here is the Tigers go to fourth and the Royals go to fifth, but they're only one game apart. The Twins and Indians get worse, while the White Sox, Tigers, and Royals improve. The Tigers have vastly improved over their 47-114 season last year.
Now, I know that you're wondering where we place with the other American League teams. So, let's chat the American League East, the division of our biggest postseason rivals, the New York Yankees. Here's what their projected standings look like.
Red Sox: 85-77
Blue Jays: 77-85
These are literally the exact same standings as last year, just with different numbers. The Yankees have as many wins as the Orioles have losses. Same goes with the Red Sox and Blue Jays. The Red Sox have as many wins as the Blue Jays have losses.
Now, I know that you're getting impatient because you want to know who we would play in the playoffs, who's the Wild Card team, all that! But, first let's go over to the AL West.
This is a very close division! The Angels are taking the jump up from 4th and moving into the 2nd place spot. The Astros and Mariners have their same places as 2019, but the middle teams have shifted around.
Now, time to talk about the playoffs. From these standings, the Angels and Rays would face each other in the Wild Card team. The Yankees face whoever wins. The Twins and Astros are the 2nd and 3rd place teams, so they face each other in the ALDS. Yes, you heard me right! No Yankees! As long as the Astros don't have trash cans and TVs, I say we have more of a chance. And I am 100% sure that they learned their lesson from that one.
Let's go over to the National League and just talk about them, not quite in as much detail as we talked about the American League. We'll start with the Central, our division in a different league.
This division is going to have to battle it out, as all the teams are so close to each other. This will be a fun one to watch!
All right, next let's chat about the NL East.
Again, close close close. Nobody historically terrible like the Marlins were last year. Just a lot of average teams.
The last division is the NL West.
Oh, a tie for second! Those are cool. These standings look basically the same as last year except for the Padres improve a bit.
Playoffs. Cubs vs. Nationals for the Wild Card game. Dodgers face whoever wins. Mets vs. Reds in the NLDS as 2nd and 3rd place teams.
What do you think of the projected standings? How do you think it'll turn out? Will teams be better or worse than MLB projected them to be? Please give opinions in the comments!
Oldgoat_MN reacted to samthetwinsfan for a blog entry, 5 Predictions for the 2020 Minnesota Twins
One of the best part of the offseason is the hope every fanbase has for their team in the upcoming year. Twins fans have not had this much hope in quite some time. With high hopes come high expectations from many fans. I am no different so here are 5 of my predictions for the 2020 Minnesota Twins.
1. Byron Buxton will play in 130 games and receive MVP votes.
The boldest part of this prediction is Buxton staying healthy for 130 games. He has played in 130 games in only one season so far with the Twins wwhich was 2017. That year he was a below average hitter with an OPS+ of 93 and he still received some MVP votes. I expect hit to be an above average hitter and with his defensive value the MVP votes are sure to come.
2. Luis Arraez will again bat over .300 and make the All-Star team.
While some may expect some sort of regression with Arraez he is such a pure hitter .300 seems like a definite possibility. With that I think he can be one of the top 2-3 overall second basemen in the American League. Sure Jose Altuve is probably ahead of him but guys like Gleyber Torres and Whit Merrifield are expected to play other positions this year. This leave him having to battle for votes with a lot of unproven guys, decent veterans, and some better guys like DJ Lehmahieu. Based on this I do not see it as unreasonable for Luis Arraez to make the All-Star game if he is batting .300 again.
3. Jose Berrios will become the true ace our starting staff really needs.
Some of you may be thinking Berrios is already at this level as he has made the All-Star game the past two seasons and has been the best starter the Twins have had in a few years. I would agree that he is a top 30 or so starting pitcher but I think this is the year he pushes toward the top 10. It has been well documented that Berrios puts up much better number in the first 4 months of the season than he does in the August and September. This will be the year he figures out how to stay fresh and effective throughout and entire season and make a push for the Cy Young award.
4. The Twins will acquire another starting pitcher that excites the fan base.
I am unsure of who they will target but I do think the front office will make a trade for a decent starting pitcher before the offseason is over. Some realistic targets would be Matthew Boyd, Robbie Ray, Jon Gray, and a handful of others. I like the idea of getting someone with at least two years of team control as Michael Pineda and Jose Berrios are our only starters around past this season. I believe the front office sees the opportunity in front of them and will seize it by trading for a pitcher sooner rather than later.
5. The Twins finally win not only a playoff game but a playoff series!
I know this might be tough to believe but I think it is actually possible for the Twins to win not just a single game in the playoffs but three out of five. I see too few flaws in this team for them not to win at least one game against a team the caliber of the Astros or the dreaded Yankees. On top of this I think once there is smoke there is fire and the Twins will get a series win. After that it is only two more and your the 2020 World Series Champs!
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Lucas Seehafer PT for a blog entry, Byron Buxton is right on track in his recovery from shoulder surgery
Hello all. My name, as you could see from the byline, is Lucas Seehafer and I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy and strength and conditioning specialist working in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area. I've been a fan of the Twins since the early 2000's and figured the Twins Daily community may enjoy some insight into the field of sports rehabilitation and performance. If this is the type of content you enjoy, I can be found on Twitter at @sportkinematics and many other sites, including A Wolf Among Wolves, The Step Back, and (soon) Forbes, where I cover athlete health and performance.
In what can only be seen as encouraging news, Minnesota Twins centerfielder has been cleared to begin swinging again, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribunes' Phil Miller.
Miller reports, "[buxton] will be limited to hitting off a tee or doing other basic drills while his shoulder gains strength, but the Twins expect Buxton to progress to hitting off a pitching machine by early next month. He could be ready to hit live pitching when the Twins hold their first full-squad workout on Feb. 17."
Buxton has not been able to swing since undergoing surgery in early September to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, which he originally injured after crashing into the centerfield wall.
The labrum is a ring of cartilage found in the shoulder - also known as the glenohumeral joint - that serves to deepen the socket; the labrum improves the stability of the shoulder by increasing the surface contact area between the bones of the shoulder - the humerus and the scapula - as well as by creating a vacuum that keeps the head of the humerus in contact with the socket of the scapula.
The labrum is often torn in one of two areas: the superior - or top - aspect or the anteroinferior - or bottom front - aspect.
The first kind of tear is known as a SLAP lesion; SLAP is an acronym for superior labrum anterior to posterior. This type of labrum tear is commonly seen in the dominant shoulder of overhead athletes as the primary mechanism of injury is repeated, forceful throwing.
The second kind of labral tear is known as a Bankart lesion and these are most frequently seen after an anteroinferior dislocation of the shoulder, the most common type of shoulder dislocation. It is likely that Buxton suffered a Bankart tear as his injury was originally - and erroneously - reported to be a partial separation; a separation of the shoulder involves the acromioclavicular joint, whereas a dislocation involves the glenohumeral joint.
Overhead athletes are usually cleared to return to higher-level, sport-specific activities by about four months post-Bankart repair, regardless of which shoulder, their dominant or non-dominant, was operated on; Buxton is almost exactly four months post-op.
The reason for this is pretty simple: the repaired labrum needs to be protected as much as possible while it is healing and the strength of the rotator cuff - the group of four muscles near the shoulder that assist the labrum in stabilizing the shoulder, amongst other things - needs to be sufficiently built up.
Throwing a baseball places a great amount of stress on the labrum of the dominant arm and, depending on the players handedness while batting, so does swinging (see the main image of this article).
All of this is to say that Buxton is right on track in his recovery process, which is good news for the Twins and Twins fans alike. Buxton will be brought along further in his recover program as his rotator cuff strengthens further and the Twins along with Buxton are able to determine how increasing the intensity of his workouts impacts his shoulder. As Miller states, barring any setbacks, Buxton should be able to progress to swinging at full-speed by mid-February and partake in game action during Spring Training or, at the very least, the beginning of the regular season.
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Andrew Luedtke for a blog entry, What History Tells Us About Third Basemen Moving to First Base
Last week I wrote a blog titled 127 Feet where I tried to answer the question "Should Miguel Sano play 1B or 3B in 2020?". Well, that question has been answered in a BIG way by the Twins front office with the news of Josh Donaldson signing with the Twins.
So, I am repurposing some of the points I made in a prior blog to show the history of slugging, right handed 3B, transitioning to 1B.
My focus will be on Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Edwin Encarnacion, and Ryan Zimmerman.
I will be evaluating them in two different ways:
1. Their defensive and offensive metrics in their last season as a full time 3B
2. Their defensive and offensive metrics in their first season as a full time 1B
The defensive metrics I am using are a combination of your typical, pre-analytics, back of the baseball card stats, errors and fielding percentage, and more modern metrics like defensive runs saved (DRS), ultimate zone rating (UZR), and UZR/150 which is just that stat scaled to an average number of chances for a season.
*Note: You can find more info on these stats from Fangraphs. I realize they have their limitations ie. UZR doesn’t factor in shifts and is a "relative positional average" compared to the other players in the league at that position, some positions are obviously harder to play than others as is the case here.
But nonetheless, this is what we are going to use for this exercise.
As a rule of thumb, negative (-) = bad
Let’s start with Miguel Cabrera who Sano drew early comparisons to at the beginning of his career.
Cabrera started as a SS with the Marlins but quickly converted to 3B and stuck there until 2008 - his first year in Detroit. He was a full time first basemen until 2011, then the Tigers moved him back to 3B for the 2012 and 2013 seasons (his back-to-back MVP seasons) before ultimately moving him back to 1B for good in 2014.
He was never a strong defensive 3B (career -58 DRS and -5.6 UZR/150)
Offensively in 2007, his last year on the Marlins, Cabrera was solid, of course, with a .320/.401/.565 and 34 homers.
Defensively however, that was a different story.
In 1,310.2 innings he committed 23 errors, had a fielding % of .941, -19 DRS, and -5 UZR/150.
In 2008, his age 25 season, he moved to first base full time (for the first time). His metrics relative to his 1B peers were much improved from 3B.
In 1,245.2 innings his fielding % was .992, -7 DRS, and a -4.2 UZR/150. Not gold glove worthy but no doubt an improvement from the prior year. Offensively, his stats took a “dip” but he was still a very solid player.
Personally, Fat Albert is one of my favorite baseball players of all time. As I kid, I wore #5 because of him. I know nobody cares - so moving on.
Drafted as a 3B in the 13th (!!!) round in 1999, Pujols quickly made his way to the majors making his debut in 2001. He made the Opening Day roster after H.O.F. 1B Mark McGwire said not putting Pujols on the team “would be one of the worst moves of his (Tony LaRussa’s) career”.
Pujols is a little odd compared to the rest of the group because the Cardinals never really had a true position for Albert until he moved to 1B full time in 2004. In years 2001 - 2003 he played 3B and LF because the Cardinals had *checks notes* 34 year old Tino Martinez at the first sacker in 2002. So, for the data below I combined his 3B metrics from 01 and 02.
In total, he played 96 games, 727.2 innings, committed 16 errors, had a fielding % of .938 and -6.9 UZR/150. (DRS apparently was not tracked prior to ‘03).
In his first year at 1B in 2004, his age 24 season, he made the transition flawlessly. In 1,338 innings he had a positive 7 DRS and 3.7 UZR. Offensively, he was a monster winning a silver slugger, finishing top-3 in the MVP voting, and was an All-Star.
Pujols of course remained at 1B the rest of his career, picking up Gold Gloves in ‘06 and ‘10 before ultimately limping out the rest of his days as the Angels DH.
I think Sano would take even a fraction of Pujols’ career as his ceiling.
*Note a couple things about Pujols and Cabrera: They both transitioned from 3B to 1B at relatively young ages. Miguel Sano will be 27 in May, 2020. He will be older than both these players when they made the switch.
Drafted as a 3B, the Nationals first ever pick in a Major League draft was Ryan Zimmerman.
He made his Major League debut in the year he was drafted (2005) and played 3B until 2013.
Overall, he was a VERY solid 3B (Gold Glove winner in 2009, if you care about those things) where he posted a positive 52 DRS, and 33.5 UZR for his career in 9925.2 innings. Shoulder injuries led to his downfall.
However, we are going to focus on his last year at the position and his subsequent move across the diamond.
In 2013, his aged 28 season, Zimmerman played 1,245.2 innings, committed 21 errors (.945 fielding %), and a -13.7 UZR/150. Offensively, he was solid posting a 124 wRC+ in 633 PA’s. This is all coming off of a shoulder surgery after the 2012 season, mind you.
At the end of the 2013 season, he was having injury issues again to the point where 2014 was basically a wash. His spot at the hot corner was taken by a fella by the name of Anthony Rendon. So in 2014, Zimmerman played in LF. It wasn’t until 2015 he took over at 1B.
His first year at 1B was solid defensively when he played. He only got into 93 games but played 792.1 innings of 1B, only made 4 errors (.995 fielding percentage), -1 DRS, and -.1 UZR/150 - not bad!
Offensively, he was barely above league average. It wasn’t until 2017 where he returned with authority. Again, keep in mind his health.
Overall, a very good transition over to 1B from 3B for Zimmerman.
Last on this list is the parrot-keeper himself, Edwin Encarnacion. Edwin has had an interesting career to say the least. People forget he started as a 3B (albeit a butcher of one, more on that in a minute).
Edwin was drafted in the 9th round by the Reds in the year 2000 as a 3B. Does anyone know who the Twins selected #2 overall that year? Bonus points if you do. It was Twins legend, Adam Johnson (who?) Adam Wainwright and Chase Utley were taken later in the first round. Sorry to pour salt in the wound...
He played there through his 2010 season, his first full one on the Blue Jays. I think they said, uh, yeah, I’ve seen enough.
In 95 games, 841.2 innings he made 18 (!!) errors. But somehow *only* posted -4 DRS and a positive .5 UZR/150.
After that he pretty much was positioned as a part-time DH and 1B.
His first “full” year at 1B was in 2012, his aged 29 season, when he broke out offensively. He played 68 games at first, 583.1 innings and was serviceable despite a -9.2 UZR/150. Note, it is tough to use this stat for less than a full season’s worth of data.
For his career at 1B he played 4,170 innings from 2011 - 2019 and was not awful with -20 DRS across all years and a -3.8 UZR/150.
Comparatively, his 3B career numbers (hold your laughs) were -52 DRS, -48.4 UZR, and 114 errors across 5,751.2 innings. He was much better defensively relative to the 1B in the league than 3B.
Now, you probably are wondering, how does Miguel Sano compare to these players? Here you go.
Across 91 games in 2019 at 3B, Sano committed 17 errors (.926 fielding percentage), -5 DRS, and a -19.9 UZR/150.
Additionally, I looked at Sano’s career defensive metrics at 1B. Again, SUPER small sample size. He’s played 233 innings there, -2 DRS, and a -5.3 UZR/150. That is without dedicating 100% of his focus to the position. From his press conference yesterday, he said he is committed to play wherever the Twins put him. Now, that position is 1B
Sano is young and athletic enough where there is hope that he should be able to transition into an average defensive 1B relative to the rest of the league. It helps he has spent some time there. It's not a completely new position like him playing RF in 2016 (gasps).
In every scenario listed above, each player was a better 1B than 3B relative to their peers at those respective positions. Fans should not worry too much about Sano as there is no doubt Donaldson at 3B and Sano at 1B upgrades the entire Twins infield for 2020 and beyond.
Oldgoat_MN reacted to TwinsFan268 for a blog entry, Matching Each AL Team With It's NL Team
Since the Twins have been so incredibly this offseason, I can't think of too much to write about them. So, I decided to do a fun little thing here, pairing each American League team with its National League team (from its division). This time, I went mostly based on location. Well, kind of entirely based on location. Please write a comment if you don't agree.
Minnesota Twins/Milwaukee Brewers
As I said, this is entirely based on location. So, I put the Twins with the Brewers because of the whole borderline thing.
Cleveland Indians/Cincinnati Reds
They're both in Ohio. This is based on location.
Chicago White Sox/Chicago Cubs
They're both in Chicago.
Kansas City Royals/St. Louis Cardinals
I don't know, seemed closer together than Tigers/Cardinals.
Detroit Tigers/Pittsburgh Pirates
They're just kinda left over here... but they are both in last place.
New York Yankees/New York Mets
They're both in New York. What more can I say?
Tampa Bay Rays/Miami Marlins
They're both in Florida.
Boston Red Sox/Philadelphia Phillies
I got so stuck on this one that I decided to just go with this.
Baltimore Orioles/Washington Nationals
Very close together.
Please help me! This division is tough. I couldn't come up with anything for the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves. I mean, they don't go together, but should I put them together as leftovers? Please help in the comments.
Houston Astros/Los Angeles Dodgers
This division is really hard to do based on location, so I decided to do it in another way. This one I chose because the Astros banged their trash cans hard enough to beat (cheat) the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series.
Oakland Athletics/San Francisco Giants
Location, location, location.
Texas Rangers/Arizona Diamondbacks
I felt like the names and mascots and logos kind of went together.
Los Angeles Angels/San Diego Padres
California teams are put together.
Seattle Mariners/Colorado Rockies
1. They're just leftovers. 2. They kind of get overlooked a lot.
What do you think? Comment and tell me which ones you would pair differently and why!
Oldgoat_MN reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, The White Sox complete their laundry list
Well the White Socks are looking like they have completed their laundry list and the Twins might want to look over their shoulders. Here is there roster http://m.whitesox.mlb.com/roster/ and this is before adding Kuechel for three years and $55m. Yes they began with a catcher and added a pitcher (and then Gonzales too) with Kopech and Giolito on their starting rotations too.
The Chicago Tribune wrote, "The Sox re-signed Jose Abreu, signed switch-hitting catcher Yasmani Grandal, acquired a front-line starter in Keuchel and brought in two smaller and somewhat riskier acquisitions in Gonzalez and Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara, whom they acquired for prospect Steele Walker."
And the paper adds - "The Sox lineup already was solid with defending AL batting champion Tim Anderson, Abreu, Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez at the top. It figures only to get better with Grandal and the the call-ups of center fielder Luis Robert and second baseman Nick Madrigal, both of whom should be on the roster before May, if not sooner."
And then there is this quote, "Believe it or not, the Sox will be considered an American League Central contender in a division with three rebuilds, a slow-motion teardown in Cleveland and the always unpredictable Twins."
And, by the way, the Detroit Tigers signed C. J Cron and Schoop - adding some familiar bats to their flimsy lineup.
Every time players are signed by another team I see posts that list the next ones on the list. But guess what, those players are on the bottom of the list for a reason.
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Dave Overlund for a blog entry, Sounds Like Twins Are Out On Ryu
Ken Rosenthal said on Twitter this morning (I can't figure out how to embed on here):
"Expectation within the industry is Ryu will exceed Bumgarner's $17m aav in deal of at least four years. Two industry people with knowledge of starting pitching market predict minimum 4 years/$80 million. Teams still in need of starter include Blue Jays, Angels, Twins."
Darren Wolfson via Twitter:
"Hear that the MNTwins aren't sure yet if 4-year offer makes sense. His injury history and age suggest it doesn't. But, realistically, the only chance you have to make him think about coming to Minnesota is to go there. Personally, I'd keep exploring the trade market."
Oldgoat_MN reacted to scottz for a blog entry, Remaining Free Agents (and why they won't sign here)
Felix Hernandez RP 34 - Doesn't want to share crown with Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes
Josh Donaldson 3B 34 - Loons kinda freak him out
Jacoby Ellsbury CF 36 - No longer very good at baseball
Dallas Keuchel SP 32 - Concerned that North Stars fans still aren't over it
Edwin Encarnacion DH 37 - Weather too cold for imaginary parrot
Alex Gordon CF 36 - Retro baby blue uniforms clash just a little with all his Royal blue gear
Hyun-Jin Ryu SP 33 - Airport not close enough to the west coast
Ryan Zimmerman 1B - Feels like anyone who has been through Zimmerman, MN might not like him right off the bat
Russell Martin C 37 - Has heard a catcher is more likely to be concussed here
Wei-Yin Chen RP 35 - 6.59 ERA in 2019
Rich Hill SP 40 - He's 40
Ben Zobrist 2B 39 - He's 39
Martin Prado 3B 36 - Keeps alpacas in Texas
Mark Trumbo DH 34 - Isn't Nelson Cruz
Marcell Ozuna LF 29 - Sees how Rosario is treated
Nick Castellanos RF - Unbalanced schedule - doesn't want to have to go back to Detroit that much
Yasiel Puig RF 29 - Keeps fainting goats in 49 other states
Alex Wood SP 29 - Insufficient quantities of chiropractors
Trevor Cahill RP 32 - We've got a shot here
Brian Dozier 2B 33 - Never heard of him
Tommy Hunter RP 34 - Insists on being called Tommy, Lord of the North, and that just doesn't fly
Jason Kipnis 2B 33 - Doesn't like state fairs
Kole Calhoun RF 32 - Doesn't want to change his name to Kole Bde Maka Ska
Ivan Nova SP 33 - Longs to reunite with Pittsburgh
Starlin Castro 2B 30 - Likely to sign him and cash in when in gets to 2000 hits
Juan Nicasio RP 33 - Doesn't realize how many good restaurants we have
Todd Frazier 3B 34 - Would prefer not to be around so many lakes
Corey Dickerson LF 31 - Would prefer many more lakes
Jason Castro C 33 - Number of lakes is fine, but would like less fish
Pat Neshek RP 39 - Homecoming is possible
Andrew Cashner RP 33 - Friend of a friend has heard Minnesota "smells a little"
Jason Vargas SP 37 - Too many Jasons already here
C.C. Sabathia SP 39 - Too many C.C.s already here
Cesar Hernandez 2B 30 - Would never live up to Cesar Tovar's precedent
Jonathan Schoop 2B 28 - Never heard of him
Welington Castillo C 33 - Minnesotans would latch on to the "Beef" nickname too much
Dellin Betances RP 32 - Keeps ostriches in New York
Anthony Swarzak RP 34 - Homecoming is possible
Drew Smyly SP 31 - Look at all these free agents left
Derek Holland RP 33 - I honestly didn't think this bit would be this long
Mitch Moreland 1B 34 - Mitch Moreland? More like Mitch Lessland, huh?
Julio Teheran SP 29 - If he's not good enough for Atlanta
Fernando Rodney RP 43 - If he's still throwing, homecoming is possible
Jordy Mercer SS 33 - Is he related to Bobby Mercer?
Billy Hamilton CF 29 - Is he still fast?
Taijuan Walker SP 27 - Let's give it a try, Taijuan.
Sam Dyson RP 32 - I think this bit is over
Brandon Kintzler RP 35 - Yeah, it's over
C.J. Cron 1B 30 - Definitely over
Eric Thames RF 33 -
Steve Cishek RP 34 -
Steven Pearce 1B 37
Jedd Gyorko 3B 31
Pedro Strop RP 35
Kevin Pillar CF 31
Collin McHugh RP 33
Tyson Ross SP 33
Robinson Chirinos C 36
Arodys Vizcaino RP 29
Juan Lagares CF 31
Travis Shaw 3B 30
Yolmer Sanchez 3B 28
Danny Salazar SP 30
Justin Smoak 1B 33
Hector Rondon RP 32
Wilmer Flores 2B 28
Will Harris RP 35
Steven Souza RF 31
Jon Jay RF 35
Matt Adams 1B 31
Jarrod Dyson CF 35
Jimmy Nelson RP 31
Brock Holt 2B 32
Brian Duensing RP 37
Asdrubal Cabrera 2B 34
Addison Russell SS 26
Chad Bettis SP 31
Yoshihisa Hirano RP 36
Clay Buchholz SP 35
Wade LeBlanc RP 35
Lonnie Chisenhall RF 31
Shawn Kelley RP 36
Matt Duffy 3B 29
Nate Jones RP 34
Tony Cingrani RP 30
Hernan Perez 2B 29
David Phelps RP 33
Matt Albers RP 37
Justin Bour 1B 32
Matt Moore SP 31
Jose Iglesias SS 30
Martin Maldonado C 33
Jonny Venters RP 35
Craig Stammen RP 36
Jared Hughes RP 34
Edinson Volquez RP 36
Logan Forsythe 2B 33
Derek Dietrich 2B 30
Brian McCann C 36
Hunter Pence RF 37
Neil Walker 2B 34
Gio Gonzalez SP 34
Domingo Santana RF 27
Devon Travis 2B 29
J.C. Ramirez SP 31
Kazuhisa Makita RP
Francisco Liriano RP 36
Devin Mesoraco C 32
Tim Beckham 3B 30
Curtis Granderson LF 39
Kyle Barraclough RP 30
Chris Rusin RP 33
Luis Garcia RP 33
John Axford RP 37
Luis Avilan RP 30
Brandon Guyer LF 34
Ryan Tepera RP 32
Daniel Hudson RP 33
Matt Wieters C 34
Tyler Clippard RP 35
Brandon Maurer RP 29
Jerry Blevins RP 36
Robbie Erlin RP 29
Cory Gearrin RP 34
Ryan Buchter RP 33
Aaron Loup RP 32
Steven Wright RP 35
Jeremy Hellickson RP 33
Dominic Leone RP 28
Dan Otero RP 35
Bryan Hoay C 32
Cory Spangenberg 2B 29
Greg Bird 1B 27
Melky Cabrera LF 35
Kevin Plawecki C 29
Caleb Joseph C 34
Josh Phegley C 32
Nicholas Tropeano SP 29
Jose Lobaton C 35
Gorkys Hernandez LF 32
Adam Rosales 2B 37
Ervin Santana SP 37
Logan Morrison DH 32
Erasmo Ramirez SP 30
Matt Joyce LF 35
Adeiny Hechavarria SS 31
Josh Tomlin RP 35
Ryan Goins 2B 32
Jerad Eickhoff SP 29
Bryan Mitchell RP 29
John Ryan Murphy C 29
Xavier Cedeno RP 33
Tyler Saino SS 30
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B 27
Jesus Sucre C 32
Kelby Tomlinson 2B 30
Andres Blanco 3B 36
Tom Koehler RP 34
Josh Fields RP 34
Javy Guerra RP 34
Fernando Abad RP 34
Ronald Torreyes 2B 27
Guillermo Heredia CF 29
Tony Barnette RP 36
Gordon Beckham 2B 33
J.B. Shuck LF 33
Allen Webster SP 30
Michael Blazek RP 31
Cody Anderson SP 29
Josh Thole C 33
Pat Venditte RP 35
Ryon Healy 1B 28
Elias Diaz C 29
Matt Grace RP 31
Jose Pirela 2B 30
Dan Straily SP 31
Jesse Biddle RP 28
Edubray Ramos RP 27
Kevan Smith C 32
Trevor Hildenberger RP 29
Joey Rickard LF 29
Jacob Barnes RP 30
John Hicks C 30
Daniel Stumpf RP 29
Tyler Olson RP 30
J.T. Riddle SS 28
Aaron Brooks SP 30
D.J. Johnson RP 30
Jacob Nix SP 24
Ryan Burr RP 26
Rajai Davis CF 39
Carlos Gomez RF 34
Tyler Austin 1B 28 EDIT: I'm removing Tyler Austin from the list because dex8425 said he signed with a team in Japan, that it was a pretty good deal for Tyler Austin actually, and that dex8425 is taking any and all wagers that Tyler Austin will rake. Also, I read on mlbtraderumors or on a Doogie tweet that Tyler Austin's girlfriend preferred being near an airport in Japan, so we never had a shot anyway.
Kohl Stewart RP 25
Tim Peterson RP 29
Felipe Paulino SP 36
Hector Santiago RP 32
Eric Sogard 2B 34
Mike Morin RP 29
Homer Bailey SP 34
Blake Parker RP 35
Brian Schlitter RP 34
Brooks Pounders RP 29
Danny Hultzen RP 30
Caleb Frare RP 26
Thyago Vieira RP 27
Ryan Feierabend SP 34
Derek Law RP 29
Jim Adduci CF 35
Jason Adam RP 28
Rob Brantly C 30
Wilkin Castillo C 36
Rico Garcia P 26
Isaac Galloway RF 30
Humberto Arteaga SS 26
Oscar Hernandez C 26
Erick Mejia 2B 25
Deven Marrero SS 29
Ian Gibaut RP 26
Peter O'Brien RF 29
Jace Peterson 3B 30
Yadiel Rivera 2B 28
David Hale RP 32
Tom Milone SP 33
Josh Smith RP 32
Drew Gagnon RP 30
Fernando Salas RP 35
Joe Hudson C 29
Francisco Cervelli C 34
Austin Adams P 33
Joe Panik 2B 29
Ross Detwiler RP 34
Aaron Slegers SP 27
Zac Rosscup RP 32
Chris Owings 2B 28
Robby Scott RP 30
Juan Minaya RP 29
Brad Miller 2B 30
Charlie Tilson CF 27
Mike Gerber OF 27
Kris Negron RF 34
Edwin Jackson SP 36
Tyler Lyons RP 32
Buddy hers RP 32
Jonathan Lucroy C 34
Tim Federowicz C 33
Sean Gilmartin RP 30
Cameron Maybin RF 33
Rookie Davis SP 27
Donnie Hart RP 29
Sean Rodriguez 2B 35
Ricardo Pinto RP 26
Gabriel Ynoa SP 27
Yonder Alonso 1B 33
David Carpenter RP 34
Tayler Scott SP 28
Ryan Eades P 28
Matt Kemp LF 35
Pablo Sandoval 3B 33
Bobby Wilson C 37
Rene Rivera C 36
Nick Vincent RP 33
Juan Centeno C 30
Ryan LaMarre LF 31
Gregor Blanco RF 36
Chris Stewart C 38
Marcos Mateo RP 36
Erik Kratz C 40
Tim Collins RP 30
Jeff Bianchi 2B 33
Rubby De La Rosa SP 31
Josh Edgin RP 33
Jemile Weeks 2B 33
Travis Snider RF 32
Kila Ka'aihue 1B 36
Mike Zagurski RP 37
Shane Robinson CF 35
Cliff Pennington SS 36
Alex Wilson RP 33
Danny Espinosa SS 33
Ricky Nolasco SP 37
Logan Kensing RP 37
Dylan Axelrod RP 34
Johnny Giavotella 2B 32
Duane Below RP 34
J.C. can C 40
Chris Withrow RP 31
Nick Franklin LF 29
Rafael Lopez C 32
George Kontos RP 35
Seth Maness RP 31
Alcides Escobar SS 33
Grant Green LF 32
Neftali Feliz RP 32
J.J. Hoover RP 32
Wilin Rosario 1B 31
Chris Hatcher RP 35
Dan Runzler RP 35
Collin Balester RP 34
Brandon Beachy SP 33
Brandon Hicks 2B 34
Henderson Alvarez SP 30
Juan Jaime RP 32
Alex Torres RP 32
Robbie Ross RP 31
Drew Hutchison SP 29
Zach McAllister RP 32
Cole Gillespie LF 36
Stolmy Pimentel RP 30
Michael Martinez 2B 37
Dioner Navarro C 36
Logan Ondrusek RP 35
Stephen Pryor RP 30
Fernando Rodriguez RP 36
Ezequiel Carrera LF 33
Wilkin Ramirez LF 34
Emilio Bonifacio CF 35
Mark Rogers RP 34
B.J. Rosenberg RP 34
Justin Sellers SS 34
Moises Sierra RF 31
Scott Van Slyke LF 33
Josh Zeid RP 33
Zach Putnam RP 32
Shelby Miller SP 29
David Lough RF 34
Brad Boxberger RP 32
Hector Sanchez C 30
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Cody Pirkl for a blog entry, Marco Gonzales: Underrated Target?
Today I'm not going to try to sell you guys a top of the rotation arm that we could trade for. We've seen our fair share of coverage on David Price, Yu Darvish, etc. Instead I wanted to talk about an under the radar move for a valuable pitcher. Despite the criticism among fans for this team's failure to land the big fish, it's the exact kind of move that this front office loves to make. We need arms in this rotation. Not just for Pineda's month plus absence to begin the season, but down the stretch. Enter Marco Gonzales.
Marco Gonzales was acquired from the Cardinals by Seattle in 2017 and didn't have himself a banner year. The soft tossing lefty pitched to the tune of a 6.08 ERA in 40 innings combined between the two teams. However, he rebounded in 2018, throwing 166 innings with an ERA at 4.00 on the nose and peripherals that showed encouraging signs. In truly uncommon fashion in 2019, Marco Gonzales delivers the ball to the plate at just under 90 MPH, sitting at 89.3. Despite this, his sinker was his second best pitch at 3.8 pVAL. He complements this with a cutter, curveball, and his best pitch, the changeup. His 6.52 K/9 won't excite you, but his 1.02 HR/9 and near 41% groundball rate make for an excellent equalizer.
In 2018 and 2019, Gonzales was worth 3.4 and 3.7 wins respectively by Fangraphs measurements. His 2019 fWAR would have slotted him in as our 3rd most valuable pitcher behind Odorizzi and Berrios, and our 7th most valuable player on the roster. He may not push everyone in this rotation down one tier like we'd dreamed of at the beginning of the offseason, but he would likely be our 3rd or 4th best pitcher and has proven over the last two years that he can chew up innings with the best in the league. On top of all of his numbers, Gonzales also is paid $1m in 2020 and is controlled for the next 3 years.
Gonzales via trade may be better value than signing a Dallas Keuchel via free agency given what we've seen from the market, who actually had a worse year in 2019 despite a similar pitching style. The money could be allocated elsewhere whether it be bullpen or position help. Despite Gonzales being on top of the Mariners rotation, he should not cost a king's ransom via trade given his limited upside. We know the Mariners are in a rebuild, and they have Jerry Dipoto at the helm who would likely trade the family dog for AA arm he finds interesting. I think this addition would be unexciting for most, but extremely underrated. The Twins would have years of what appears to be an innings eater with a high floor and low ceiling, and would certainly become better as a team. Plus I would be 100% here for the angry Tommy Milone comps.
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Twins Could Trade for a Former Free Agent Target
After bringing back Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda the Minnesota Twins should be turning their focus solely to the top of their rotation. Madison Bumgarner is the presumed name, but Jon Heyman recently reported that former Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu could be the target. What if Minnesota wanted to go a different route entirely?
There’s no denying that Bumgarner and Ryu are the best (see: only) arms left in the second tier of available starters. Bumgarner has been dissected plenty, and Ryu is essentially the flip side of what he brings to the table. Injury concerns are abundant and could be an immediate issue. He won’t command the same length in a contract, but that may not matter if you get burned on the front end. Ryu is a really nice arm, but there’s plenty of risk regarding how much time he’ll miss.
For a while I’ve contended the Twins plan this winter should be to acquire a top-tier arm through free agency while also dealing for an option with some nice team control. What if it they decided to deal for the top-tier arm as well, and spend by taking on someone else’s contract?
Enter Yu Darvish.
Minnesota came up a year short in signing Darvish before he eventually landed a six-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. Thad Levine has in-depth knowledge of the arm having worked in the front office that originally signed him in Texas, and the parallels with Ryu run pretty deep.
Chicago’s starter is roughly six months older than Ryu. He could be had on a four-year, $81 million contract today assuming the Cubs take on no salary. Although Ryu may not get four years, he’ll probably wind up somewhere between the $60-75 million range. Darvish was injury and bad a season ago, and then started slow in 2019. Across his final 20 starts last year he allowed just a .629 OPS and had a 162/18 K/BB ratio.
When looking at Darvish and Ryu it comes down to what path you prefer (and if Chicago is truly motivated to move him). Ryu costs dollars and brings a strong amount of command while lacking the strikeouts. Darvish would require prospect capital, involves a similar level of injury risk, but brings arguably the best strikeout numbers Minnesota would have ever employed.
If you’re hoarding prospects, and there’s reason to suggest that the Twins should be at least until the deadline this season, then spending money on Ryu or Bumgarner should be the obvious decision. If Darvish is seen as the superior option to Ryu, then engaging the Cubs in meaningful discussion is absolutely a conversation worth having.
We’re at the point in roster construction where big moves are going to involve a certain level of skepticism. Knowing that there’s nothing certain about any of the options involved, a level of belief will be required with any asset acquired. I’m not sure which path the Twins will choose, and I don’t know what the right one is. I am glad we’re at the crossroads where it becomes a necessity, and these are the real discussions that we’re having.
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Oldgoat_MN reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Did Schoop Work for the 2019 Twins?
In early December 2018 the Minnesota Twins found their replacement for Brian Dozier. With the fan-favorite having been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to his free agency, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine needed to find another second basemen. Replacing Dozier’s pop wouldn’t be easy, but they tabbed a former All Star to do so when they inked Jonathan Schoop to a one-year deal. Now with the season behind us we can evaluate how it turned out.
At the time of his signing I wasn’t too terribly interested in the pact. Dozier provided a significant amount of power, but also displayed strong on-base skills. For a Twins team also losing Joe Mauer, getting guys that could fill the basepaths seemed like a must. Schoop owned just a career .294 OBP and he was coming off a poor .682 OPS. After being dealt from the Orioles to the Brewers for the stretch run, things got even worse.
Obviously, it was the goal of Minnesota to rekindle the 25-year-old All Star that picked up MVP votes in 2017. He’d played all but two games from 2016-2017 and could be counted on as an everyday contributor. Although range wasn’t his greatest asset at second base, there was a howitzer attached to his shoulder and the arm would help to substantially upgrade the defense that Dozier brought to the position for the Twins.
We didn’t know that Major League Baseball was going to juice the pill for 2019, but it helped a guy like Schoop to launch dingers at a relatively significant rate. With so many power hitters around him in the lineup however, his skillset became somewhat redundant and the emergence of Luis Arraez made him replaceable. The 23 longballs in just 121 games was plenty respectable, and the .777 OPS checked in as the second highest mark over the course of a full big-league season. At the end of the day though, it was the .304 OBP that likely did him in.
The bulk of his 2019 was spent batting in the final three spots of the lineup. Even outside of run production lineup positioning, Schoop became a punchline due to the times in which he would come through. Late and close situations saw him post just a .658 OPS while he owned just a .618 OPS with runners in scoring position and two outs. By leverage, he was at his best (.813 OPS) in the lowest stress scenarios. If you needed a hollow home run it seemed that Schoop became a lock.
Having just turned 28 there is plenty of runway ahead for the Curacao native. It obviously won’t be with the Twins, and I’m not entirely sure he’s rebuilt his value on the back of his 2019 exploits. Power at second base isn’t exactly guaranteed, but the sport has also shifted much more towards an on-base production model. It was that skill Minnesota appeared to need most, and ultimately that downfall that led to him being replaced.
There’s no reason to categorize the $7.5 million Minnesota handed to Schoop as foolish, but I think we can effectively say it worked out as planned. That’s a bit more than you’d like for a replaceable asset, but given the dollars paid to Arraez it should be considered as a wash. Minnesota’s offense was otherworldly in 2019, and whatever Schoop provided became a relative footnote.
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Oldgoat_MN reacted to Nash Walker for a blog entry, Why the Reds and Twins Should Talk About Trevor Bauer
As I was pondering about the potential rotation for the Twins in 2020, I remembered something. It had been in the back of my mind but it came to the forefront today.
Thad Levine, in an interview with Aaron Gleeman, proclaimed that the Twins explored a trade during the season for Trevor Bauer. I can not remember the exact quote, but it went something like this: “We are interested in the player (Bauer), but it is unlikely that the Minnesota Twins will make a deal with the Cleveland Indians.”
Of course, a trade between the Twins and Indians is unlikely to take place as they have become bitter division rivals, especially in 2019.
Bauer was instead dealt to the Reds at the deadline in a three-team transaction that sent Yasiel Puig and Padres outfielder Franmil Reyes to Cleveland, while prospect Taylor Trammell moved from Cincinnati to San Diego.
Bauer seemed excited to get out of Cleveland, later deeming that he “did not have fun there.” In 10 starts with Cincinnati, Bauer posted a 6.39 ERA and 2-5 record. The right-hander gave up 12 home runs in 56 ⅓ innings.
Bauer was coming off a phenomenal season in 2018 where his FIP was a miniscule 2.44. Bauer went 12-6 and allowed just 0.5 home runs per nine while making his first All-Star game. He is a proven power pitcher with an average of 9.5 strikeouts per nine in his career.
Cleveland has a surplus of pitchers, and dealing Bauer was a smart move. The irony is that Cincinnati does not need him either. The Reds have 2019 breakout Luis Castillo and another All-Star in Sonny Gray. Both are under team control until 2024. Additionally, the Reds top two (and three of their top four) prospects are pitchers.
The Reds ranked 11th in the National League in team OPS in 2019 and their main priority will be acquiring impact bats this offseason. They are reportedly in on both Yasmani Grandal and Didi Gregorius.
In order for this to happen, they need to shed salary. Bauer is estimated to make $18.6 million in his final year of arbitration. The Reds already have nearly $110 million tied up in 2020, and their total payroll was $128 million in 2019.
They should be salivating at the opportunity to pick up someone like Eddie Rosario, who hit 32 home runs and drove in 109 runs in 2019. For the Twins, Rosario is below average, but for a team like the Reds, he would arguably be their second best bat next to Eugenio Suarez and will cost a manageable $9 million or so in 2020.
That is where the Twins start. As Bauer only has one year of team control remaining, the Reds may not demand too much. Rosario and 24-year-old Nick Gordon, who hit .298/.342/.459 at Triple-A in 2019, should do the trick.
The Reds are losing shortstop José Iglesias to free agency and Gordon seems ready for the big leagues. If Cincinnati misses out on Gregorius, they need a better backup plan than current starter José Peraza, who hit .239/.285/.346 in 2019.
If you are doubting that the Reds would do this, I hear you. Remember though that Cincinnati has a below-average farm system, according to MLB Pipeline, and will lose Bauer next winter regardless. They can cash in now while still looking to compete in 2020. They would and should seriously consider this proposition.
With this deal, the Twins gain an immediate top of the rotation arm in Bauer and do not strip the premier end of their farm system. Rosario, Gordon and a throw in of second baseman Travis Blankenhorn, who posted a .786 OPS at Double-A in 2019, will get this done.
Jake Odorizzi is likely to return in one way or another, and Darren Wolfson confirmed Tuesday that the Twins are talking with Zack Wheeler:
The Twins could potentially start with a rotation of Wheeler, Jose Berríos, Odorizzi, and Bauer in 2020 with Brusdar Graterol on his way to starting soon. Yikes. Good luck, MLB.
Would you want to face this team in the postseason? I sure would not.
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Will Twins Double Down on Extension Excellence?
It hasn’t quite been a year, and unfortunately, we aren’t yet to the point of embarking upon Fort Myers for Spring Training, but the Minnesota Twins signed Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco to contract extensions last offseason. Both deals felt incredibly team friendly at the time, but Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. already had preconditioned us for those feelings. Now after the first season into their extensions with the Twins, Kepler and Polanco have already paid for themselves.
For two straight seasons the Twins were looking for Kepler to take the next step forward. First, he didn’t hit lefties, and then he didn’t hit righties. After toiling to the tune of a low .700 OPS for his first three big league seasons, the German native broke out with an .855 OPS in 2019. His 36 home runs nearly surpassed the previous two seasons combined, and he took on a bigger role than one may have ever predicted.
Like his teammate and extension partner, Jorge Polanco finally arrived as well. There were glimpses of the bat, and that was always his calling card, but inconsistent playing time over his first three years didn’t result in ideal production. Getting into 153 games during 2019, Polanco parlayed the exposure into an .841 OPS that was only watered down by some late season slumping. He finished with a .295 average and was in contention for a batting title through June.
When the dust settled Kepler had accumulated 4.4 fWAR which Fangraphs estimates being worth $35.3 million. Polanco posted a 4.0 fWAR, valuing his production at $32.3 million. Both players, in the first years of their $35 and $25 million extensions respectively, outproduced the total contract valuation. It’s that sort of performance that Minnesota was undoubtedly hoping for when offering up both deals, and although Polanco’s sagged in part because of a previous suspension, the reward was an immediate payday in exchange for belief of future production.
This offseason the Twins opportunities are less certain. Miguel Sano looks the part of a star slugger, but his defensive acumen leaves much to be desired. Derek Falvey could instead choose to go year-to-year on that type of player, leaving the flexibility to move on if and when things hit the skids. Eddie Rosario is a power hitter that does little else at the plate, and he looks more destined to be jettisoned than act as a future cog in this wheel. It’s Jose Berrios that’s most desirable to lock down, but does a guy knocking on the door of the upper tier really want to give away his earning potential?
Then there’s the case of Byron Buxton, a transcendent talent that only remains in the way of himself. Injury has cost him time on the field, and that’s really been the only downfall over the course of his career. Even when the offense lagged behind the exceptional fielding, he was so good in center that it allowed for his lackluster production at the plate to be overlooked. If there’s any sort of belief in keeping him on the field consistently, then 2019 was the embodiment of a turned corner and complete player ready to blast off. Like Berrios, Buxton has plenty of future earnings at stake here, but the injury situation could cloud the future before it ever arrives.
Minnesota’s front office made conscious decisions when it came to wrapping up foundational pieces last offseason, and they nailed both. They’ll have similar opportunities this time around, and being flush with cash, there’s little reason for them not to support the belief in their own assessments. These things take two sides to consummate any action, but the Twins certainly would love to come up on the winnings side in year one for the second season in a row.
For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Opening Up the Twins 40 Man Roster
The 2019 Major League Baseball season officially comes to an end tonight as the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros wrap up game seven of the World Series. As the league calendar switches over to 2020 there will be significant roster shuffling. For the Minnesota Twins that already began yesterday, but the front office isn’t close to done when it comes to a 40-man overhaul.
After getting run with the big-league club in September the Twins outrighted a trio of talent off the 40 man yesterday. Outfielders Ian Miller and Ryan LaMarre were jettisoned, and they were joined by utility infielder Ronald Torreyes. With both Byron Buxton and Sean Poppen still on the 60-day IL and needing cleared spots, the Twins effectively have 39 of 40 holes filled. Add in the claiming of Matt Wisler and you’ve got a full boat.
There’s a crop of free agents that will be moving on from Minnesota, and then there’s a handful of arbitration and pre-arbitration guys that decisions will need to be made on. Here’s how they could all turn out:
Free Agents: Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, Sergio Romo, Jason Castro, Jonathan Schoop
The only name missing from this group is Michael Pineda, who is also set to become a free agent. With his suspension however, he was immediately removed from the 40 man, and would not count against it for any acquiring team until he is reinstated. Gibson is obviously the longest tenured of this group, and it’ll be weird for both the organization and the player to part after a decade together. Despite how it ended, there were some significant high points, and no one could have represented Twins Territory better. Castro split time with Mitch Garver under Rocco Baldelli this season, and if his body will hold up, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be looking for a starting gig somewhere.
Both Schoop and Romo made quick cameos for the Twins. The former was acquired at the trade deadline while the latter was had on a one-year deal. Romo has certain appeal to return as both a good pitcher and strong clubhouse presence, while Schoop would seem to be redundant after the emergence of Luis Arraez.
I'd certainly like to see Minnesota hand Odorizzi a qualifying offer and look to work out a two-year deal. If he's the second or third starting rotation piece they add this offseason, then you'd have to feel pretty good about the group as a whole.
Non-Tender: Sam Dyson, C.J. Cron
Of these two one is a guarantee while the other is far from it. Minnesota dealt for the best reliever at the deadline in Dyson, and instead of a shutdown arm, they got a guy who hid injury (or his former team did) and sapped an asset for nothing. Dyson has one more year of arbitration, and while it would have been great to feel his impact, the only thing Minnesota felt is the bomb he dropped on them after coming here.
What happens to C.J. Cron is largely dependent on how the Twins view Miguel Sano. The former Rays and Angels first basemen had a fine year, and especially so considering the sapped power from his thumb injury. If Sano is moving across the diamond or a better third basemen is a target, then there’s no need to tender Cron at something near $8 million. If he comes back, there’s also nothing wrong with going that route, and assuming the thumb is back to 100%, he’s a good bet to put up even better numbers in 2020.
Decline Option: Martin Perez
There was a time in 2019 when Perez’s option for 2020 looked certain to be picked up, then May 30th happened. Going into that start against the Rays Perez owned a 2.95 ERA and appeared to be the poster child for a Twins influenced fix. He was shelled for six runs in 2.2 IP and owned a 6.29 ERA over his final 21 starts. Left off the Postseason roster the Twins will almost certainly pay the $500k buyout as opposed to the $7.5 million salary next season.
Outright: Trevor Hildenberger, Kohl Stewart
When outrighting a player off the 40-man you’re considering a certain level of opportunity cost. Neither Hildenberger nor Stewart need to go anywhere, but there’s a pretty compelling argument that they both should. Once a pen stalwart for Paul Molitor, Hildy seemed to be ridden into the ground and then left for dead. He came back from Triple-A last year but was every bit as ineffective and has now posted a 6.35 ERA in his last 89.1 major league innings. For a sidearmer that isn’t fooling anyone, it’s simply not going to cut it.
Last season the Twins parted ways with former first round pick Tyler Jay. He never made it to the big leagues, and while Stewart has, this appears to be his time. There’s plenty of better internal options, and Minnesota’s focus this offseason is going to be on pitching. Stewart continued down a path his minor league numbers suggested in that he simply can’t strike anyone out, and the stuff wasn’t good enough to play at the highest level.
For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Matthew Taylor for a blog entry, How the Twins Can Sign the Next Justin Verlander
For the first time in a long time the Minnesota Twins are entering the offseason in a prime position to sign top of the market starting pitchers. While Twins fans are (understandably) fantasizing about the prospect of signing Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg, I’m here to discuss another free agent starting pitcher who I believe would be more likely to come to Minnesota, would cost significantly less, and could be the next Justin Verlander...Madison Bumgarner.
When looking at the peripheral career trajectories of Bumgarner and Verlander, the similarities between the two are undeniable - starting pitchers in their 30s who debuted at a young age and are both multi-year all stars with playoff experience. Verlander was 34 years old with 12 years of big league experience when he was traded to the Astros while MadBum is 30 years old with 10 years of big league experience as he enters free agency. The Verlander acquisition obviously worked out wondrously for the Astros, so in this article I’ll be digging deeper into the careers of these two pitchers to find out if there could be some Verlander-type upside with the Twins signing Madison Bumgarner this offseason.
The first thing I wanted to look at when comparing these two star pitchers was where Verlander was at in his career through his first ten full seasons in the MLB, as Bumgarner just finished his tenth full season. If these numbers showed that Verlander was a drastically better pitcher than Bumgarner, then this whole exercise would be moot, but as you can see in the chart above, this is not the case. The numbers actually show that through their first 10 full seasons, Bumgarner has been the better pitcher, according to ERA, FIP and K/9. That this is the case allows us to further dig into this comparison and see if we can continue to project Verlander’s career arc onto Bumgarner.
The next thing that we should look at when comparing Verlander and Bumgarner was their performance in years 8-10 of their careers. At the time of the trade deadline when Twins fans were discussing the prospect of trading for MadBum, the criticism that I heard from many was that Bumgarner is no longer the pitcher that he used to be and that he has now settled into a new phase of his career. While Bumgarner has experienced a dip in his numbers the past three years, the drop is smaller than what most folks made it out to be, and is a very similar drop to Verlander’s in his years 8-10.
Since the past stats for Verlander and Bumgarner that we analyzed seem to follow a similar trajectory, it’s worth giving a look at how Verlander performed in his years 11-14 to get an idea of what the next three years of Bumgarner could look like if everything breaks right, like they did with Justin. As you can see above, Verlander improved in every way in years 11-14 of his career, dropping his ERA a full run and raising his K/9 a full three strikeouts from the previous three seasons.
What changed for Verlander to cause his numbers to improve so much, so late in his career? Changing teams.
Half way through 2017, Verlander was traded to the Houston Astros, an organization that values numbers and analytics and has shown time and time again it’s ability to work with pitchers and get the very most out of their talent. The new regime of the Twins front office has acted in a very similar way, putting a huge priority into analytics and talent development. While the sample size with Wes Johnson as pitching coach has only been one season, I definitely think it’s reasonable to assume that Johnson could have an impact on Bumgarner similar to the impact that Houston’s organization and pitching coach, Brent Strom, had on Verlander.
Justin Verlander is a future hall-of-fame pitcher that the Astros acquired in spite of him having some down years through the middle of his career. They saw his track record and believed that they could get him back to the Cy Young pitcher that he once was. I truly believe that the Minnesota Twins could do a similar job in using their player development and infrastructure to turn Madison Bumgarner back into a star and earn him another World Series MVP honor. This time in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Oldgoat_MN reacted to sethmoko for a blog entry, 2019 and 1969 Division Races
2019 is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and some things that were more of a giant leap for mankind, like the Minnesota Twins winning the first ever American League West Division title. Major League Baseball had just split into divisions so there would be an additional round to the postseason for the first time since the introduction of the World Series.
All summer long, the Twins were in a tight battle with the Oakland A's for the first ever AL West title. After play on September 2, 1969 the Twins held a lead of 6 games over the A's. Coincidentally, in 2019 the Twins hold a 5.5 game lead over Cleveland on September 2 after an up and down (mostly up to be honest) summer. But as Labor Day passes, baseball races get much more serious and numbers up and down become a daily watch if they haven't been before.
This week is a big week for the 2019 Twins with three games in Boston before coming home to Target Field for 3 games this weekend against Cleveland. A big series against Cleveland could go a long way toward putting away the 2019 AL Central Division.
Something very similar happened in 1969. As I said, on September 2, 1969 the Twins led Oakland by 6. On September 3, the Twins beat Cleveland at home while Oakland lost in Boston. This stretched the lead to 7 before a four-game series which saw the Twins visiting Oakland over the weekend. And what happened? On Thursday, the Twins won 10-5 in 10 innings, then lost game 2 5-4. On Saturday, in what could be described as the "nail in the coffin" game, the Twins prevailed in an 18 inning affair by a score of 8-6. Minnesota closed out the 3-1 series victory on Sunday with a 16-4 pounding. That series win essentially ended the 1969 AL West race in much the same way a series win this weekend could change the way we all think about the 2019 Central race. The 1969 team closed out the season by winning 97 games and leading Oakland by 9.
One element that will DEFINITELY not be repeated: the 1969 Twins were swept in the inaugural ALCS by the Baltimore Orioles. I have no predictions about a possible postseason result for the 2019 Twins, but I guarantee they will not get swept by the Baltimore Orioles.
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Patrick Wozniak for a blog entry, Could Jake Cave Bite into Eddie Rosario’s Playing Time (This Year and Beyond)?
With injuries to Byron Buxton and the more recent hamstring injury to Eddie Rosario, Jake Cave has had an extended opportunity with the Minnesota Twins and has made the most of it. After hitting two home runs in the opener against the Detroit Tigers he came back in Saturday's game and hit another dinger, with a double to boot. Buxton is off to a short rehab assignment in Cedar Rapids but he could rejoin the big league club as soon as Tuesday in Chicago. Rosario’s injury is listed as day-to-day but hamstring injuries are tricky, so he could potentially land on the 10-day IL. Either way, with the way Cave has played of late the Twins will have an interesting decision to make when Rosario returns.
Cave was a pleasant surprise for the Minnesota in 2018, as he hit .265/.313/.473 with a wRC+ of 108 and was good for 1.3 bWAR in just 91 games. He filled in for Buxton during Buxton’s disastrous and injury-riddle 2018, spending a lot of time in center field, where he played decently but showed that he was definitely better suited for the corners. Flash forward to 2019 and Cave was slated to be the Twins fourth outfielder, but he struggled out of the gate slashing just .176/.299/.243 for a 52 wRC+ in the first half and Cave was sent down to AAA to figure things out.
And boy did he figure it out in Rochester. Cave hit the cover off the ball (.352/.393/.592) and since returning to the Twins, Cave hasn’t cooled a bit. Since the All-Star break, Cave has hit an unreal .417/.482/.708 for a 209 wRC+. With his second-half surge, Cave’s numbers on the year are now looking quite good as well. Cave has hit .280/.381/.464 on the year for a 125 wRC+. His on-base percentage has risen from .313 in 2018 to a very good .381 in his second season. In watching Cave, he seems to be taking much better at-bats of late, showing an ability to lay off pitches outside of the strike zone. While Cave will probably never have an elite walk rate, he has shown significant improvement in this area, going from a 5.8% walk rate in 2018 to 8.4% in 2019. He is getting better pitches to hit and hitting them hard, with a 52.6% hard hit percentage.
Rosario on the other hand, hadn’t looked particularly good at the plate prior to his injury. Rosario has just a 3.9% walk rate on the year and lately, even when getting into a hitter’s count, he’s been liable to put a weak swing on a pitch outside of the strike zone. On the year he has hit .282/.307/.515 for a wRC+ of 107, which is certainly respectable but not as good as Cave. Rosario started the year off with 11 home runs by the end of April but has hit just 10 in the last three months. In the second half, Rosario’s walk rate is down to an almost non-existent 2.9% with just a 93 wRC+.
Although Rosario and Cave have similar skill sets (hit left-handed, play aggressively, and are streaky), Cave’s ability to reach base gives him a definite advantage over Rosario. Beyond that, Cave has clearly been the hotter hitter of late and it would be really hard to take his bat out of the lineup at such a critical juncture of the season. Although Cave has not looked good defensively in center field, he is probably a better overall outfielder than Rosario. MLB Statcast measures Rosario at a -2.0 jump vs. average with 31.5 feet covered. Cave on the other hand is better than average with a 0.8 jump and 34.5 feet. Both Rosario and Cave are liable to make a few boneheaded mistakes in the field, but Cave seems more athletic overall and better able to make difficult catches.
Of course, Rosario has the longer track record as a major leaguer, is a fan-favorite, and has had his share of big moments in the 2019 season. Cave has slightly better career numbers but has only played 141 games in parts of two seasons. Cave also has a really high batting average on balls in play (BABIP) at .400 for the season, but he has always carried a very high BABIP in both the minors and the majors (though not quite that extreme). Part of this may be due to Cave’s ability to hit the ball hard to all fields, allowing him to beat the shift. Cave’s ability to hit the ball hard brings a lot of swing and miss as well. He is currently striking out in 31.1% of his plate appearances, so there is definitely room for improvement.
Now entering the final stretch of the season and caught in a tight race with Cleveland, it will be imperative for the Twins to run out the players who give them the best chance to win. We have already seen this happen with Luis Arraez taking the second base gig from Jonathan Schoop. The Twins greatest strength may be their overall depth. With players who are ineffective due to injury or other factors, such as Rosario and C.J. Cron, the Twins would be amiss not to take advantage of the depth they have and put their best nine out on the field.
It remains to be seen how much playing time Cave will take from Eddie Rosario this season, but Cave’s success may make Rosario more expendable in the offseason. Minnesota could dangle Rosario as part of a package to obtain starting pitching, knowing that Cave at the very least gives the team a stop-gap in left. The Twins farm system is loaded with corner outfield types who are close to big league ready in Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and Brent Rooker and the MLB team will still have Marwin Gonzalez under contract in 2020. Rosario has been a valuable player for the Twins, but he seems unlikely to improve upon what he already is. With little to no plate discipline and decreasing speed with age, the Twins may be better off moving on from Rosario and getting something in return for him while they still can (Rosario becomes a free-agent in 2022). In the meantime, whether a long-term solution or not, Jake Cave has presented the Twins with a welcome problem.
Oldgoat_MN reacted to Sabir Aden for a blog entry, I think I found out what's wrong with Jose Berrios
“Baseball is a relative sport.”
By nature we often remember the really good or really bad things, and not the okay or decent things that someone does. I bet you can vividly remember the last time you won an award, but perhaps not the last time you went to the grocery store, or who your 10th grade history teacher was.
It’s a core principle to how memories are formed. Those that stand out are often fueled by the emotional context the situation derives from.
Say me for instance, I remember when Adrian Peterson nearly clipped the 2,100 yards or when Jason Zucker beat the Blackhawks in 2013, and conversely when Blair Walsh's epic failure from 27. These were momentous occasions to me personally, and culminated milestones of jubilee and heartbreak with lots and lots of backstory.
Why is that such an important thing to consider when discussing the plight to Jose Berrios? It’s these disaster moments to fans in a season, where we can get way over our heads and make truly outrageous statements, and during the offseason in retrospect be like ---”Did I actually say that?”
He began the season on a pristine pinnacle. Logistically, Jose was exerting his mechanical best in how he was driving through his hips along with his delivery, and keeping his hands back in sync with driving those hips, which was a bad tendency he would commit in his youth.
You can in the video how the different the glove placement is imperative to gaining that 2 to 3 ticks in velocity to the plate. In hardcore pitching circles they call this the kinetic chain, where the components of one’s mechanics are at an equilibrium, where the joints are in a symphonic harmony, making it all a simplistic, clean, and efficiently repeatable delivery.
And Berrios looked really good. He proved with the results to bear, and added a new wrinkle into that much anticipated pitch mix, the changeup. In that 2019 opening unveiling we saw the changeup being fruitfully showcased 12.5% of the time, more than his total the previous season (9.1%) and the cumulative average during his very short career (10.7%).
He wasn’t deliberately delaying his arm speed, and everything in that start was sublime. Pristine. You could say Berrios was perhaps an “ACE” in that start had things not turned sideways and pearshaped just a handful of months later.
Now fast-forward to today. Fresh or perhaps rotten from that second consecutive all-star appearance, Jose Berrios is showcasing his most agonizing and problematic struggle points of his career. He’s been hittable, hit very hard with declining velocity, and to boot; seemingly single-handedly taking baseball’s 3rd best offense (in wOBA and wRC+; .348 and 115 respectively) out of critically important games.
What’s even more frightening? That the strength of the opposition over the past 4 games has sported a 91 wRC+, with 100 being league average. He’s struggling mightily against bad opponents, compounded with the fact that they shouldn’t be hitting him this hard, period.
So far, we as all seperate pitching expert entities haven’t found the culprit to what hindering subset of pitching statistics is responsible for pruning our Johan of today, devoid of the attributes that made us reminisce of Johan, the great killer of men, sheep, and those brave enough to step into the battered boxes of right and left.
But jokes aside, what’s really been the inhibitor to Jose’s velocity and coincidentally his release point since his dynamic beginning?
Let’s zoom into one of his particular starts, this one against the Indians on June 6th as the start to our inquiry.
In that one start, Berrios didn’t feature the curveball that we have become expected of. He would throw a whopping 25.4% changeup, nearly double his career-total and triple his season percentage to that point. But something interesting of note lied in that changeup subgrouping.
In that start he would throw 27 changeups of his entire 107 pitches in those 6 strong innings. Only one ball was hit harder than 85mph, and here’s a mapping of those pitch velocities with their extensions metrics.
Notice anything weird? For a guy throwing from an average release point of 6.5ft away from the pitching rubber, the extensions point were remarkably scattered and the changeup release points also dropped, along with the average pitch velocity.
Increasing extension would typically incite would velocity, (Josh Hader’s extension would come in mind) and it’s a very peculiar trend into Jose’s portfolio.
If we critically analyze even more into Jose’s pitching approach, we wouldn't have anything particularly striking about his movements.
Berrios has a unique windup, something of another other beast where he utilizes his windup as a vehicle to increase the movement and velocity of his pitches. Whereas others use their windup as a balancing point or to find their zen, Berrios uses his windup like a stress ball where he curled himself into a ball, and breaks out of the ball in smooth rhythm to swing his front side and lurch the back end, and launch the pitch.
Looking at the progress he’s made since his debut, where his arms and legs need a lot of refinements, he’s made noticeable and encouraging strides. When he was young he would treat his arms and legs as separate mechanism, and he now manages to keep his core in rhythm and not out of motion with his elbows, knees, and front stridding foot.
So nothing abundantly different with the windup, and not that much difference in the general technique with his hand placement, etc.
Berrios, technically speaking hasn't changed anything with the conducting of his delivery, until Glen Perkins spoke about it during Jose’s latest start. I’m paraphrasing what Roy Smalley said during the game, but here’s what he said:
“This is what Glen Perkins was talking about in the pregame shows, where (Jose) coils up and then has to uncoil and gets way spun around and his arm either lags or he’s gotta really rush to catch up, and that’s what happens when you spike that curveball….. And just you’ve opened up way to quickly and your arm just whips around.”
“They are trying to get (Jose) to alter his mechanics a little bit, but he’s very rotational and he gets really turned around and can’t get his arm back through, so when his hips come way around behind him he coils up, and his arm has to speed up to catch up. That’s why you see so many fastballs up and into lefthanders, and spiked breaking balls.”
You can see that his windup is almost, where he isn’t riding with the energy generated by his windup as much and through that back heel, that the great Parker Hagemen discussed during the offseason as a foundation through building and sustaining velocity. We can see the locked back leg not pulling through, anchored and dragging his weight in a counterproductive direction. It’s slinging and stopping, preventing him from riding through that back leg and pulling in his follow through. It’s a sign of stress and unease to rip through, as young pitching are taught today to rip through with elastic bands at data driven developmental programs. You can see the lazy back leg grappling with the front side and the glove holstered to his side, almost as if he’s more location conscious then ripping the back leg through for the additional ticks of velocity he needs to be at his best.
This looks more like a fatigue and midseason swoon related dilemma than a mechanics dead-gone disaster, but the velocity problems and mechanical technique are very much redeemable.
Additionally I wanted to dive into more of what’s causing the lower arm slot, and perhaps an aggravator of the lower velocity readings and the dropping of the arm slots.
This graphic below shows the release points of all of Jose’s pitches horizontally since the beginning of the season. I postulated the changeup he’s been throwing has played role in why the release point has waned lately, so I consulted with two acute baseball minds to at least minimally come to a conclusion.
Through some research and conspiracy thinking, changeups might play a part in cannibalizing fastball velocity. Now take with a grain of salt, but changeup reduces fastball velocity for youth pitchers, and Paul Nyman theorized that an intentionally manipulated change for sink and drop would lead to fastball velocity dropping.
Coupled with the fact that Jose played with the changeup in the Cleveland start I spoke of, and that his deviation of his velocities are so wide, maybe the changeup is playing with his repetiore and his mehanics. It’s certainly cause for concern given that the more he’s thrown his changeup the more his velocity as dropped.
So I talked with Bill Hetzel, Manager of Mechanical Analysis at Driveline and Analysis, and former pitching coach and Michael O’Neal, former pro-ball pitcher and Driveline pitching trainer, and now SIUE baseball assistant coach about the changeup possibly curtailing Jose’s potential.
ME: Hey Guys. I was recently diving into a pitcher (Jose Berrios), and just wanted to ask that if….. say a righthander where to increasingly lower their arm slot, which just so happened to coincide with an increase in spin rate and decrease in velocity, would you say an increase to using a changeup could be a detriment of this?
I look at some of the side effects of short-arming a changeup (like slinging from the side) and couldn’t find anything, but I did however find that Jose’s changeup spin rate has increased. Do you think that a lowering of the arm slot on a changeup and an increase in spin could lead to decreased velocity? Or perhaps the lowering of arm slot could increase spin in general?
Michael (Former MLB Player); It depends on the guy, but lowering the arm slot would help to create more sidespin on a changeup, which also would increase horizontal movement on the pitch. Jose’s arm slot might also be more natural for him which could be an increase in spin rate.
Bill (Driveline Pitching Analysis Expert); Unfortunately you can’t (increase spin on arm slot) when it comes to increasing spin rate. Raw spin rate that is, there is not anything definitive that has been found to increase it outside of the use of foreign substance.
Michael (Former MLB Player); Me personally, I have the same tendency when I try to “get on top” of my fastball. I laterally trunk-tilt more causing a higher arm slot. This also negatively impacts my spin rate. When I stay taller and don’t tilt so much (unlike what Jose has been doing), my spin rate increases and also causes my arm slot/release point to be lower on the Z axis.
Bill (Driveline Pitching Analysis Expert); Now increasing true spin is different. Pitchers increase true spin all the time by improving spin efficiency. In terms of a change up you ideally and in most cases want to kill or decrease spin. Most changeups, whether it is a circle change or a split type change are trying to kill total spin, kill lift on the pitch to create separation from the heater and kill velocity. I would have to look at Berrios’ pitch metrics to really tell you anything in regards to arm slot changes or spin total changes. Traditionally a change up is predominantly side spin. The spin direction or spin axis for a righty usually needs to shift in the direction of 3:00. Sometimes pitchers won’t have a good feel for how to do that so they will manipulate theirs arm action or arm slot to try to get there instead of pronating the pitch more to create that side spin. In the case of Berrios and knowing how exceptionally good Wes Johnson is with utilizing Trackman data, I’m sure Wes has him trending in the correct direction at the very least.
Michael (Former MLB Player); (It) Depends. A laggy arm could be possible, BUT better changeups have a fast arm speed. Also though, his changeup could play close to the 2 seam fastball, so hows his usage on the 2 seam changed?
So that was the end to this conversation and the article. I hope you enjoyed. As far as what I would expect the Twins to do, we saw earlier in the season when Michael Pineda’s velocity was hitting a rough patch so they placed on the DL. I could conceivably see Rocco buying some time by giving the duo of Lewis Thorpe and Devin Smeltzer a start against the lowly White Sox and Tiger on this coming road trip, and perhaps recharge the rotation (Gibson and Odorizzi velocity has been down lately). Wes Johnson in the splendid piece by Dan Hayes of the Athletic during a makeup interview of his sudden unavailability, said something of significance.
“We’re getting him back on his heel and trying to get him to rotate, get his chest velocity back up,” Johnson said. “It’s not just to get José to survive. We want more of the start against Chicago that he had when he was 94 mph and was dominant. Or even you go to the Miami start when his velocity was down a little bit. The pitch execution was through the roof for seven innings.
“Our focus isn’t to find a way just to get this guy through. We have to try to get him better every time he goes out.”
Which again corroborates with what Wes has done with biomechanics velocity induction. If you want to read more, I would encourage you to read this.
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