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  1. Like
    Oldgoat_MN reacted to LA VIkes Fan for a blog entry, Recommended Coming Changes in Rotation and Bullpen Pre 9/1   
    The time to make changes in the starting rotation is coming with Mahle due off the IL in about a week. Mahle, Gray and Ryan are easy picks, everyone else is in play - pick two of Bundy, Archer, Aaron Sanchez, Smeltzer, Louie Varland, SWR for 5, or should we go to a 6 man rotation and pick 3? Who goes into the bullpen?
    To me, first choice is obvious - Dylan Bundy,  The man has a 2.33 ERA in August and has kept the Twins in every game he's started this month. Rocco needs to try giving him a shot at going  more than 5 innings but he has been an above average 4/5 rotation guy for the last month. The second choice is less obvious but the guy it shouldn't be is pretty clear - Chris Archer. He had a 11.74 ERA in July and has a 5.24 ERA in August. While he was better earlier, he only pitched 19 innings last year and is coming off a potentially career ending injury. He is running out of gas. Either put him in the bullpen or shut him down. 
    That leaves Smeltzer and Sanchez on the roster, and Louie Varland and SWR down in AAA. Smeltzer was exposed while in the rotation before - 1.50 ERA in May, 4.10 in June, 8.76 in July - and actually looks the part of a long reliever with a 1.80 ERA since coming back up. Varland is tempting but he just got to AAA. SWR still has control issues and also just got there, and there isn't anyone else on the Saints roster who looks like anything close to a MLB starter. Those two could come up on 9/1 and still be under the 45 days so retain their rookie status for 2023. Very tempting to try to catch lightning in a bottle but I just don't think either one is ready.  Here's your winner - Aaron Sanchez. Yes, he was bad with the Nats, but his 2 starts with the Twins so far have been a total of 9 innings, 4 runs. He would have gone longer against Houston if Rocco hadn't messed up. His pitches have life and I could see him being very good against weaker teams and holding his own against better ones. If he pitches well Sunday against the Giants I think he's the man for the #5 spot in the rotation. 
    For the bullpen, two changes jump out at me. First, Brad Peacock or Jharel Cotton should come up and replace Megill. Megill has good stuff, but he's been figured out - 1.86 ERA in July, 6.55 in August. Peacock is experienced and can better give us back of the bullpen work. Cotton had a 2.83 ERA when sent down, albeit with a FIP over 5. He's risky, but we could use another multi inning/long man with the shorter starts and he can fill that role. Archer stays and hits the BP or goes on IL. I would also be ok with Moran coming up if Archer goes on the IL. Remember, we get 2 more spots on 9/1 and one of them can be a pitcher so we can add one for a 9 man bullpen.  I say add Peacock and Cotton, move Archer to the bullpen, option Megill and option/DFA Pagan. Moran can come up if there's an injury but remember, once he comes up he's hit his limit for the year and can't be sent back down without exposing him to waivers. 
    That would give us a starting rotation as of 9/1 of Mahle, Gray, Ryan, Bundy, Sanchez. The Bullpen is Duran and Lopez as the late inning guys, Jax, Theilbar, Fullmer, Archer (or Moran) and Peacock for innings 6-8, and Smeltzer and Cotton as the multi inning/long men. Smeltzer and Archer are the emergency starters. That's our best pitching staff for September in my view.
    What say ye?
  2. Like
    Oldgoat_MN reacted to Dave The Dastardly for a blog entry, It Don't Sano in July   
    You're the manager, you've run about 20 reports off your computer, had three statisticians, a data geek and a borrowed nun from St. Francis explain esoteric stuff that went right over your head and had you daydreaming like Goldie Hawn and you've now retreated to your manager's office and are debating about throwing darts at the player's roster, wondering who you're going to start at 1st Base. But Fast Frankie, the team's towel guy, has stuck a purple post-it note on your desk that you can't avoid:
    Arraez   .346   .420   .499   .869
    Miranda  .260   .299   .463   .762
    Kirilloff   .269   .319   .407   .726
    Sano   .093   . 231   .148   .379
    And you wonder why Fast Frankie wants you to know the players' locker combinations.
    Who would you start at 1st?
  3. Like
    Oldgoat_MN reacted to Matt Braun for a blog entry, Matt's Top Prospect List (June) + Explanations   
    Royce Lewis Royce Lewis is still the best prospect in the Twins’ system, but the soul refuses to accept that truth. Lewis will now miss extended time with another ACL surgery, and it’s impossible to feel anything but grief and sympathy for the man; he’s an elite talent that life continues to deal poor hands to maniacally. His major league performance proved that he’s capable of great things, and all we can do is hope that he’ll come back without missing a beat as he did before.                                                                                     
    Austin Martin  .311. That number represents a crappy rock band from the 90s and Austin Martin’s season slugging percentage as of June 29th. It will be impossible for Martin to fulfill his destiny as a high-level number 2 hitter unless he—at the very least—finds his .380s slugging mark from last season. I’m not sure why he’s suddenly trying to put the ball in play with no regard for extra-base damage, but it is failing; he has 11 extra-base hits in 60 games. We knew Martin would never become Sammy Sosa at the plate, but he desperately needs a buoyant power level from which his excellent OBP skills can consistently launch upwards. Martin is also not a shortstop.
    Noah Miller      Now we get to the messy part of the system. I like Noah Miller, but he has cooled off tremendously since his blistering May; this is the danger in trying to rank recently-drafted high school players. I’ll stick with my guns and say that he’s a future star—his defense and on-base abilities are still undeniably elite—but that statement carries less oomph than it did just a month ago. I believe he’ll grow into some power, but he probably will never be Fernando Tatís Jr. out there; instead, I see him as a jack-of-all-trades type of quality shortstop.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
    Emmanuel Rodriguez    Have you ever heard about the tragedy of Emmanuel Rodriguez the wise? Rodriguez was laying waste to low-A pitchers before he tore up his knee, costing him at least the rest of this season. Knee injuries for athletic marvels like Rodriguez are still scary, but Lewis’ success in returning from one proved that it might not be worrisome. It’s a shame, Rodriguez’s play was cartoonishly dominant, but we’ll have to wait a while before seeing him on the field again. The long-term outlook remains sturdy, but the short-term playing time loss hurts.
    Jordan Balazovic Aaron Gleeman recently noted that Jordan Balazovic is dealing with a knee issue that has curtailed his effectiveness this season. Maybe it’s weird to say this, but knowing that fact improves my opinion on Balazovic; his under-performance has to do with injury, not a sudden loss in ability. Still, he’s walking far too many hitters at AAA and gives up contact loud enough to break the sound barrier. I’ve knocked him down a few spots already, and the slide will continue unless he changes something quick.
    Spencer Steer Is Spencer Steer the only top name here with an unimpeachable performance in 2022? The Oregon product is slaying the ball, slashing .277/.360/.577 between AA and AAA with only a slight drop-off in production since his promotion; a low BABIP may be the culprit. He’s no defensive whizz, but he doesn’t need to be with that bat, and he should be firmly implanted in the Twins’ future infield plans. I debated placing him above Balazovic, but since Steer has less overall time as an elite player, I gave the nod to the pitcher for now.
    Simeon Woods Richardson Simeon Woods Richardson was pitching well, and then he got injured because of course he did. I was still deeply suspicious of his performance—4.87 xFIP and all—but he at least had a nice ERA, and that’s better than nothing. I don’t think he has unquestionably shed the narrative that he can’t pitch at AA; Woods Richardson is striking out fewer batters than he did at every other level in the minors before this season. Yet, he’s still just 21 years old, so it would be foolish to write him off yet. It’s strange that that team placed him on the IL with no explanation or announcement. 
    Edouard Julien I’m uncomfortable placing Edouard Julien this high on the list, but I also don’t know who would reasonably overtake him. Julien is positionless, but who cares about that when you walk 20% of the time. He has had a suspicious drop-off in power (.138 ISO this season), which could be an ominous sign of future disappointment; until that shoe drops, he’ll remain a top-10 prospect on my list.
    Cade Povich Cade Povich is probably my new favorite Twins pitching prospect. The lefty has been dominant, striking out hitters at a 32.7% clip with an average walk rate and few homers; that’s a great combination, by the way. Povich has little left to prove at A+ and will be pitching in Wichita sooner than later. Just pray that his arm doesn’t fall off.
    Marco Raya I think the hype train on Marco Raya has accelerated a touch too quickly, but I can understand why. Raya combines the top-dog mentality needed in an ace with top-tier stuff; that’s an excellent combination for a pitching prospect. The drawback remains: Raya has 36 innings over 10 appearances and just recently left a start after netting two outs. Are the Twins using kid gloves to handle him? Probably, but I need a nice, unquestionably dominant run from Raya before I move him up any further; TINSTAAP and all that jazz. 
    Cole Sands Yeah, I’m still too high on Cole Sands. His command needs tweaks that may be beyond his abilities—how many players suddenly drastically improve in their fourth year with a team—but that sweeper is what keeps Sands up here. His breaking ball is ridiculous, mimicking the great American migration of the early 1900s in how it moves from East to West with great efficiency. The rest of his profile is meh, but he’ll always have potential thanks to his vicious breaking ball.
    David Festa David Festa is the most pop-up-y pitching prospect in the system; as a 13th-round pick, he’s punching out hitters at a 30.4% mark over 54 ⅔ innings split between A and A+ ball. His status as an “un-prospect” may benefit him, as the team is less likely to baby him, instead throwing him to the wolves where he can prove his ability. Festa may reach AA this season—he’s pitched that well—and we should know more about him once he does.
    Christian Encarnacion-Strand It’s been a while since CES went berserk in April to the tune of a billion RBIs (at least that’s what it felt like). No, he’s not that good, but he is a solid hitter. Encarnacion-Strand’s beautiful slash line is .291/.357/.567, which will play in any league, which is good because he cannot field even a little bit. Errors are far from the end-all stat they used to be, but he has 21 of them in just over 400 innings at 3rd base this season; that’s bad. Being a future 1st base/DH type player curtails his upside, so his entire prospect pedigree rests on the power of his bat.
    Matt Wallner I think I was too harsh on Matt Wallner last month. I emphatically stated that a player with his strikeout numbers would need to be otherworldly in other aspects to offset the K. His response? Walk a lot. I still hold those reservations, but if his new monstrous walk rate (21.4% in June) is even slightly sticky, he has a solid shot at becoming a major league contributor. Also, he owns an absolute cannon in right field.
    Blayne Enlow Blayne Enlow is dipping his toes into the minor league waters after a missed year, so I find it difficult to evaluate him too harshly. The numbers aren’t great, but that barely matters; him just being on the mound is good enough for the moment. At some point, slack will no longer exist, but I’m okay with punting on criticizing him for now. 
    Louie Varland In a season that has been chaotic for so many players, Louie Varland chugs along like nothing is wrong. The Minnesota native’s under-the-hood stats aren’t the best—he’s walking more batters than he did in his stellar 2021 campaign—but the rest of his profile appears solid. His 68 ⅓ innings leads the entire Twins minor league system.
    Brent Headrick Brent Headrick might be the biggest under-the-radar name in the Twins system. As a late-blooming 24-year-old in A+ ball, Headrick has utterly dominated with a 2.40 ERA and a strikeout rate above 30%. It’s hard to scout prospects in this vein; I give Headrick the benefit of the doubt until/if his numbers reverse.
    Ronny Henriquez What do we make of Ronny Henriquez? Sure, he’s still just 22 years old, but there’s little to latch onto regarding his AAA play so far. It seems that the Twins are okay with letting him die at that level, given that his ERA is 6.95 and his FIP isn’t far behind (6.07). At some point, I need performance to outweigh pedigree; that needs to change soon for Henriquez.                                                                          
    Matt Canterino      I’ll try to be as diplomatic as possible: Matt Canterino has not yet shown the ability to be a consistent, innings-eating top-level arm. He recently set his single-season record for innings pitched as a professional (34 ⅓) before another elbow injury sidelined him for a significant time. I don’t see real reasons for optimism; the Rice background combined with these injuries leaves little faith in him ever becoming the big front-of-the-rotation starter we expected of him. 
    Steve Hajjar Steve Hajjar was following in the Cade Povich breakout mold until a shoulder injury in the middle of June stopped him in his tracks. Shoulder problems are not the death sentence they once were, but that ailment is still something to keep an eye on for the future.
    Sawyer Gipson-Long Sawyer Gipon-Long is shockingly similar to Brent Headrick; he is also an old-for-his-level breakout prospect looking to prove that he isn’t a fluke. The process is farther along for Gipson-Long as he recently enjoyed a promotion to AA Wichita; he has one clunker and two solid starts. The rest of the season will be essential to understand Gipson-Long more as a prospect.
    Kala’i Rosario Kala’i Rosario dropped three points off his strikeout rate since I last wrote about him, but that still leaves him at 36.0%. My view on players with a penchant for whiffing is well known; you must do something extraordinary to offset the Ks. Rosario has good power (.204 ISO) and is still just a teenager, so he still possesses the rare chance to evolve into an elite power threat.
    Michael Helman Not mentioning Michael Helman was probably my last ranking’s worst mistake. The 26-year-old has quietly hit well at every level in the minors and is now knocking on the Major’s door thanks to his 125 wRC+ at AAA. Is this just Brian Dinkelman 2.0? Maybe, and that’s not just because of how similar their last names are. Helman could debut soon if the Twins desperately smash the “break in case of emergency” glass if a few too many infielders suffer injuries.
    Brayan Medina Brayan Medina finally pitched in the Twins system for the first time this month. He’s thrown fewer than 10 innings, so who knows where he’s at in his development, but the stuff descriptions are good, so he’ll stay here until further notice.
    Aaron Sabato Aaron Sabato’s slash line is still not optimal for a great 1st base prospect. The walks are good (14.2%), but he doesn’t neutralize his strikeout tendencies with overwhelming power (.171 ISO). I remain skeptical that Sabato will develop into the type of player the Twins expected when they drafted him.
    Alerick Soularie I didn’t rank Alerick Soularie in my last write-up, but the guy put up a 144 wRC+ in June, and now here he is. His play rounded more into form; he struck out a little less, walked a little more, and ballooned his ISO from .114 to .167. If he’s genuinely backing his elite athletic ability with a more sound game, Soularie could rocket up this list.
    Misael Urbina Misael Urbina just recently popped back up in the Twins system after dealing with visa issues earlier in the year. He’s played a few games in the DSL; he’ll likely rejoin Fort Myers when he’s back in the groove. 
    Keoni Cavaco Keoni Cavaco rebounded a little bit in June (101 wRC+), but his walk and strikeout rates remain heavily lopsided, and his power does not make up for it (.151 ISO). Maybe the play improvement will aid his confidence; he needs to improve his performance before people buy back into his prospect stock.
    Jake Rucker Jake Rucker recently earned a promotion to A+ ball after holding his own with Fort Myers (100 wRC+). He’s 22 years old, so the Twins might accelerate his movement through the system; keep an eye on him in the Michael Helman under-the-radar vein. 
    Travis Adams All Travis Adams has done this season is pitch well for Fort Myers. The former 6th-round pick is crushing with a 3.10 ERA and peripherals to match. There’s still an unknown factor to his game that will only clear once he plays in A+ ball and beyond, which should be soon.
  4. Like
    Oldgoat_MN reacted to TwerkTwonkTwins for a blog entry, The Twins are Bad At Baserunning - But Does It Matter?   
    I know I'm not alone in thinking that the Twins are bad at baserunning this year. It's easy to find that they are terrible at stealing bases, as they rank 30th in both total stolen bases (14) and stolen base percentage (58%).
    After watching Nick Gordon turn errantly around first base only to get thrown out on this play, I decided to look up the numbers to see if there was a quantifiable baserunning metric beyond stolen base percentage that would prove my eyes correct.
    And boy, did the numbers confirm the eye test. According to FanGraphs, the Twins rank 28th in MLB with a -9.7 BSR (baserunning metric). Only the Washington Nationals (-10.6) and the Detroit Tigers (-12.5) have a lower team BSR. 
    The definition of BSR can be found here, but it essentially combines everything that does or doesn't happen on the base paths. These actions can include stolen bases, being caught stealing, grounding into double plays, getting thrown out, taking/not taking an extra base, and more. 
    A BSR of zero is league average, and every ten runs is equal to one additional win. The fact that the Twins have a -9.7 BSR as a team indicates that their baserunning has nearly taken off a win from their record. That's beyond awful, according to this chart. 

    Baseball Reference also has another stat called Runs From Baserunning (Rbaser). The Twins rank 29th with -7, matching what FanGraphs is reporting with BSR. Multiple sources have confirmed the Twins have some work to do when it comes to running the bases this year, and that it is impacting their run scoring.
    This raises the question: How long has baserunning been a problem, and will it hurt the Twins in the standings? 

    The answer is that the Twins' baserunning metrics have been completely random over the last few years.
    Paul Molitor stressed baserunning excellence during his time as a manager, but that didn't reflect well in the standings. The Twins were also awful at baserunning in 2019, but that didn't stop them from recording 103 wins. The 2022 Twins have been absolutely frustrating on the basepaths, but it's not strongly correlated with overall winning percentage. 
    I'm not saying you shouldn't pull your hair out when you see an out on the bases. Stolen bases are incredibly fun. But in the long grind of 162 games, there are many other factors that will contribute more heavily to the end result of a team having a successful season. Rocco and his coaching staff are going to keep rocking on instead of running on. 
  5. Like
    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.
  6. Like
    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!
  7. Like
    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,[93] 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
  8. Like
    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?
  9. Like
    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?
  10. Like
    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.
  11. Like
    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.
  12. Like
    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:
    Twins: 93-69
    Indians: 86-76
    White Sox: 83-79
    Tigers: 69-93
    Royals: 68-94
    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.
    Yankees: 99-63
    Rays: 87-75
    Red Sox: 85-77
    Blue Jays: 77-85
    Orioles: 63-99
    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.
    Astros: 98-64
    Angels: 87-75
    Athletics: 85-77
    Rangers: 73-89
    Mariners: 66-96
    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.
    Reds: 86-76
    Cubs: 85-77
    Cardinals: 80-82
    Brewers: 79-83
    Pirates: 70-92
    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.
    Mets: 88-74
    Nationals: 87-75
    Braves: 83-79
    Phillies: 77-85
    Marlins: 71-91
    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.
    Dodgers: 103-59
    Padres: 79-83
    Diamondbacks: 79-83
    Rockies: 77-85
    Giants: 68-94
    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!
  13. Like
    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!
  14. Like
    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.
  15. Like
    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
    Miguel Cabrera:

    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.
    Albert Pujols:

    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.
    Ryan Zimmerman:

    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.
    Edwin Encarnacion:

    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.
    Miguel Sano:

    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.
  16. Like
    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!
  17. Like
    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.
  18. Like
    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."
  19. Like
    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
  20. Like
    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.
  21. Like
    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.
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  22. Like
    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.
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  23. Like
    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.
  24. Like
    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
  25. Like
    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
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