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Everything posted by Grasslander
I am weary of reading all the baseless optimism on here about Twins pitching prospects. There was a nucleus to build on at the start of this season. With Maeda's injury that foundation -at least the starting pitcher portion of it- is down to nothing. Just lots of wishful thinking, that's it. Period. Ober as the ace? Laughable. He's good but maybe as a 3 or 4. Maeda and Berrios were above average 2 and 3 starters. Now they're both gone for 2022. Buckle up Twins fans. Unless some really terrific and bigtime moves are made in the offseason, 2022 is going to be painful.
Why not try to re-sign Cruz when his contract expires? Why assume you will lose him? He liked it here. Give him a chance to stay. Was that ever a consideration? Retain his value by acknowledging it. The Twins are always looking to the future, looking for prospects to replace established players. The future. The future. Tampa Bay is another deep pockets team, right? Maybe Cruz will end up back on our side for next year? Maybe Twins management loaned him to our manager's pals in Tampa....Ah, the business of baseball.
Ah, the "business" of major league baseball. While ownership tries to keep fans interested as they try to minimize their investment, the fans are expected to understand that this is, afterall, a business. So, yep, they do this to their fans. The rest of the year gets duller and duller. A reason I went to the ballpark was to watch Cruz. Cruz (and a Twins minor league pitcher) to the Rays for a couple AAA pitchers? Joe Ryan attended California State University/Stanislaus. He's 4-3 for AAA Durham, with a 3.63 ERA. That's impressive stuff, eh! Drew Strotman also has a WOW factor track record. Drafted in the 4th round in 2017, he's also in AAA with a 7-2 record and a 3.39 ERA. Yep. WOW. I can easily understand why the Twins pursued this excellent exchange with the Rays. Instead of building for next season, the emphasis now is 2023 or 2024. And that's assuming one of the minor league prospects pans out. I haven't had the courage to look at teh pitcher the Twins gave up. Cruz was about as sure a thing as possible for the next year or two or more. And for many reasons beyond his hitting, as we all know. Moving Donaldson to DH is a downgrade times two. But I'm growing accustomed to watching how Twins leadership squandered the 2019 club and continues to make confounding decisions. This means they are losing me, as a fan.
Here's what I would suggest as next season's opening day lineup: Catcher Mitch G; 1st Alex K; 2nd Luis A; SS Jorge P; 3rd Josh D; Buxton and Kepler in the outfield, and Berrios and Maeda and Ober as starters. DH -- Cruz, fer sure. Go find a left fielder and an ace, Twins. Find another bullpen pitcher or two or three. Delete Sano, Simmons, Happ, Pay more. Pay smarter. This team needs, and has for years, a skid stopper, a bulldog pitcher.
The only redeeming feature during the past handful of games has been the give and take of Bremer and Kaat. Can we keep Kaat as the color guy? Or is he nearing retirement? Ha! The absolute lack of run production in meaningful places during a game has been one of the most distressing aspects of watching the Twins this year. Not to mention pitching, base running, fielding, throwing and run producing rallies. There's no counterpunching.
I'd love to see Mr. Buxton remain a Twin. In the history of the Twins there has been no player, in my estimation, more fun to watch. But how can his health issues be resolved? Sometimes a change in scenery helps. Because Buxton is from Georgia, why not Atlanta? They could use a center fielder. Well, any team in baseball could use a player of Buxton's caliber. But going home might be what it takes for him to get and stay healthy.
Recall the data that helped influence Twins' strategy earlier in the Yankee series. Inexperienced Jax came in to pitch a critical situation. Some felt it was an okay managerial move considering the fact that it's likely Chapman would have come in and mopped up if the Twins kept it close. It's impossible to predict what happened to Twins hitters in the 9th inning last night. That sort of thing is rare and exciting, to be sure, but because we're talking about human beings anything is always possible. If Chapman is in complete command, he dominates. Or he can only throw fastballs and leave them flat and fat. This could have happened in the previous game -- knocking the crap out of Chapman in the bottom of the 9th. But we'll never know.
Like all of you, I am a passionate Twins fan. I am watching the Twins this year with as keen an interest as always, but for a different reason. It is fascinating (and depressing) to watch a team of proud, talented athletes implode. The confusion, the doubt, the lack of energy, the lack of clutch anything...this is weird and intriguing simultaneously. Btw, I am pleased I found this site, as I enjoy and benefit from reading the thoughtful and informed contributors posting here.
Sorry - there is a big difference between the 8th and 9th innings. Nevertheless, the point I would make is that while the metrix might reveal that the Twins' chances of winning at the point Jax entered the game were slim, what is your strategy? Do you stay competitive and do what you can do to try and win the game or do you throw out a genuine first timer and see what he can do? I prefer the former, especially in a two-run game. What do you think Twins' players thought when they watched Jax enter the game? ...That the team was going to fight it out to the bitter end? Every game is critical, and every "next" inning is the most important inning of this season. I'm growing weary of the metrix myopia. So what about Chapman. Competitive athletes wanna take their best shot at anyone. Also -- This injury situation is confounding, as everyone on here knows. I watched Willie Mays play baseball and witnessed his career as a young fan. Did he play with great intensity? During his career he played in nearly every single game. The year the schedule expanded to 162 games -1962, I think- he played in all 162 games. Mays was a special athlete, to be sure, but nowhere as fit and strong as nearly all major leaguers today. Mays was not alone in his generation in playing nearly every game of a season. Some argue that NOT playing nearly every day makes you vulnerable to injury. As a newbie to this board, I apologize for rattling on so long.
Roco Baldelli knows more about baseball in the first five minutes of each day than I have accumulated in all of my fading life, but I cannot understand why he brings in a young man to make his MLB debut in the 8th inning versus the Yanks with the game still up in the air. Injuries to key players have kept this Twins team from finding a team mojo, but in a critical (they're all critical now) game versus the Yanks with lots of momentum at stake, Baldelli seemingly throws in the towel. And why start Austidillo at third in such a momentum game? Is that what the metrix are telling Baldelli? Was it necessary to rest Donaldson?