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Nick Nelson

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  1. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from Melissa in How the Twins Addressed Their Biggest Weaknesses from 2022 This Offseason   
    I would say these have been addressed, mostly. Pagan was basically the de facto closer on Opening Day last year, this year he'll be like 5th in the pecking order. Last year Buxton had no credible backup in CF, this year he has an elite defensive veteran. Switching pitching coaches at midseason is going to have an adverse effect on any team, but now Maki will have a full offseason and spring to run his own plan and approach. He'll also have considerably more talent/depth to work with, which should benefit both him and Baldelli from a game management standpoint.
    The reality is that there was no avoiding a scenario where they were going to be dependent on likely-to-be-injured stars. They can't trade Buxton and they really can't trade guys like Kirilloff or Mahle or Maeda because of their situations. All they can do is try to provide them with the best training support possible and buoy them with plenty of depth, which they did.
  2. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from Melissa in How the Twins Addressed Their Biggest Weaknesses from 2022 This Offseason   
    The Twins hired a new hitting coach just last year (David Popkins) and he's quite highly regarded so I wouldn't expect another change anytime soon.
  3. Haha
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from IndyTwinsFan in Twins Daily 2023 Top Prospects: #16-20   
    Noting here that my originally published list was slightly off, as it had Canterino at #16. He is in fact #15 (spoiler alert) and will be covered in Theo's story tomorrow. I've added in the proper prospect at #20, Misael Urbina, and moved everyone else down a spot.
    Just in case anyone sees the above Canterino comments above and is confused.
    Sorry folks. It's been a long week. I'm cohabitating two feisty cats, I hope you understand. 
  4. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from jrod23 in Twins Daily 2023 Top Prospects: #16-20   
    Noting here that my originally published list was slightly off, as it had Canterino at #16. He is in fact #15 (spoiler alert) and will be covered in Theo's story tomorrow. I've added in the proper prospect at #20, Misael Urbina, and moved everyone else down a spot.
    Just in case anyone sees the above Canterino comments above and is confused.
    Sorry folks. It's been a long week. I'm cohabitating two feisty cats, I hope you understand. 
  5. Haha
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from MN_ExPat in Twins Daily 2023 Top Prospects: #16-20   
    Noting here that my originally published list was slightly off, as it had Canterino at #16. He is in fact #15 (spoiler alert) and will be covered in Theo's story tomorrow. I've added in the proper prospect at #20, Misael Urbina, and moved everyone else down a spot.
    Just in case anyone sees the above Canterino comments above and is confused.
    Sorry folks. It's been a long week. I'm cohabitating two feisty cats, I hope you understand. 
  6. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from Major League Ready in 5 Twins Players with Something Specific to Prove This Year   
    I was wondering about that too. Seems to be in reference to this, I wouldn't really treat it as a sign of much that he has soreness following a surgery like that:
     
  7. Haha
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from mikelink45 in Twins Daily 2023 Top Prospects: #16-20   
    Noting here that my originally published list was slightly off, as it had Canterino at #16. He is in fact #15 (spoiler alert) and will be covered in Theo's story tomorrow. I've added in the proper prospect at #20, Misael Urbina, and moved everyone else down a spot.
    Just in case anyone sees the above Canterino comments above and is confused.
    Sorry folks. It's been a long week. I'm cohabitating two feisty cats, I hope you understand. 
  8. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from Nashvilletwin in 5 Twins Players with Something Specific to Prove This Year   
    I'm curious to see if the Twins are open to Gordon occasionally playing 3B. It'd be very helpful to have a LH option there in addition to Miranda/Farmer, and would be a clear path to more tread for Gordon.
    Thing is, I don't know that we really have any evidence to suggest he's "passable" there. He has made zero career starts in the majors and two in the minors. To my eye, he doesn't really have the skill set to be an asset or even an average defender there. 
     
  9. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from miracleb in Twins Daily 2023 Top Prospects: #16-20   
    Noting here that my originally published list was slightly off, as it had Canterino at #16. He is in fact #15 (spoiler alert) and will be covered in Theo's story tomorrow. I've added in the proper prospect at #20, Misael Urbina, and moved everyone else down a spot.
    Just in case anyone sees the above Canterino comments above and is confused.
    Sorry folks. It's been a long week. I'm cohabitating two feisty cats, I hope you understand. 
  10. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from wabene in 5 Twins Players with Something Specific to Prove This Year   
    I'm curious to see if the Twins are open to Gordon occasionally playing 3B. It'd be very helpful to have a LH option there in addition to Miranda/Farmer, and would be a clear path to more tread for Gordon.
    Thing is, I don't know that we really have any evidence to suggest he's "passable" there. He has made zero career starts in the majors and two in the minors. To my eye, he doesn't really have the skill set to be an asset or even an average defender there. 
     
  11. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from DocBauer in 5 Twins Players with Something Specific to Prove This Year   
    I'm curious to see if the Twins are open to Gordon occasionally playing 3B. It'd be very helpful to have a LH option there in addition to Miranda/Farmer, and would be a clear path to more tread for Gordon.
    Thing is, I don't know that we really have any evidence to suggest he's "passable" there. He has made zero career starts in the majors and two in the minors. To my eye, he doesn't really have the skill set to be an asset or even an average defender there. 
     
  12. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from DocBauer in 5 Twins Players with Something Specific to Prove This Year   
    I was wondering about that too. Seems to be in reference to this, I wouldn't really treat it as a sign of much that he has soreness following a surgery like that:
     
  13. Like
    Nick Nelson reacted to MTV in 5 Twins Players with Something Specific to Prove This Year   
    1. Can Alex Kirilloff stay healthy or is he the next Byron Buxton?
    2. what does a healthy Trevor Larnach look like and what is his ceiling?
    3. can they find 2019 Emilio Pagan?

    4. Will we get the good, the bad, or the ugly Jorge Lopez?
    5. What will Ryan Jeffers look like Offensively?
  14. Like
    Nick Nelson reacted to tarheeltwinsfan in 5 Twins Players with Something Specific to Prove This Year   
    Nick, You have written another outstanding article. Great questions backed by some facts that I was not aware of.  1) Ryan's stats against KC and Detroit vs. "other teams"; 2) Polanco's increased walk rate; 3) the fact that lefty "pitchers' have pummeled Alcala. I only mentioned # 3 because I just wanted you to know that I am the first reader to find your intentionally placed "Hidden Mistake", which you sometimes put in your articles to gage if anyone is really reading your outstanding articles closely.   
  15. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from h2oface in Offseason Status Update: All in a Month's Work   
    A big month of January has redefined the Twins' offseason, generating a sense of excitement that was palpable at TwinsFest and the Winter Meltdown. 
    As spring training fast approaches, let's get up to speed on the action and chart what moves (if any) might still be left on the table.
    Image courtesy of Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports Just after the New Year, we were lamenting the failed pursuit of Carlos Correa and puzzling over Michael Wacha rumors amidst what felt like a very unfulfilling offseason for the Twins. Less than a month later, we can safely call this the splashiest winter in franchise history.
    The highlight of January was the stunning and record-shattering Correa signing. But in the weeks since, there's been more significant activity to round out the roster. The front office followed up its biggest move with perhaps its most controversial.
    Twins Trade Arraez to Acquire López from Marlins
    It's extremely rare for a team to trade away the reigning batting champion – hasn't happened since 1978 – but the Twins did just that (again) when they agreed to send Luis Arraez to Miami in exchange for starting pitcher Pablo López and two prospects. 
    Arraez was coming off a career year that saw him make the All-Star team in addition to winning the AL batting title and taking home a Silver Slugger award. He was the only Twins player to receive MVP votes. Needless to say, his value was at a high point, which made him appealing to the bat-needy Marlins.
    Undeniably a tough price to pay, but that's what it takes to get controllable, young, high-end pitching, and there's a good argument to be made that the Twins were wise to sell high on Arraez. 
    López adds crucial veteran depth to a rotation besieged by question marks, significantly raising both the unit's floor and ceiling. He doesn't quite clear the Sonny Gray Threshold but he reaches it, and that makes him a worthy addition to the Twins rotation mix. 
    Crucially, the 26-year-old right-hander is under control for an additional year, in 2024, which gives the Twins some much-needed ongoing pitching stability with Gray, along with Tyler Mahle and Kenta Maeda, due for free agency next offseason.
    Of course, López's two years of team control equates to one fewer than Arraez, so the pressure is on for the hurler to deliver big returns in order to keep this deal from looming as an unforgivable misstep in the eyes of many fans. The Twins were able to offset their risk a bit by acquiring a pair of teenaged prospects, Jose Salas and Byron Chourio, with considerable upside.
    Michael A. Becomes Plan B in Center Field
    The Twins can and will hope for the best with Byron Buxton this year, but they can't plan for it. And they know that. It's what compelled them to swing yet another trade shortly after completing the Marlins deal, when they acquired outfielder Michael A. Taylor from the Royals in exchange for a pair of unexceptional pitching prospects, lefty Evan Sisk and righty Steven Cruz. 
    It's a modest but meaningful price to pay for a modest but meaningful addition to the Twins roster. While hardly a star, Taylor is an elite defensive outfielder and has been a regular for Kansas City over the past two seasons, posting 3.4 fWAR over 266 games. 
    For reference, Arraez was worth 4.8 fWAR over 265 games in the same span, albeit in the exact opposite fashion: all offensive value, no defense.
    In Taylor's case, fielding prowess is the selling point and it's an appealing one. He won a Gold Glove in 2021 and has consistently rated out brilliantly by defensive metrics. His Statcast sliders from last year pretty much tell the whole story: elite range, reactions, and arm that enable him to cover all three outfield positions extremely well. 

    With Taylor around, the Twins have a veteran starting center fielder lined up right behind Buxton -- a sizable upgrade from a year ago when Nick Gordon and Gilberto Celestino made do in a pinch. Rocco Baldelli can feel much more comfortable writing in Buck as DH frequently knowing that there will be no defensive downgrade in center from doing so. 
    Taylor's righty bat lines up nicely for spelling the lefty-swinging corner outfielders as well, but glovework is the highlight here and I can't wait to watch him work.
    More Moves Left to Come?
    Are the Twins done? Pitchers and catchers report in two weeks. Their roster is in pretty good shape after the January flurry, but there are a few areas that could still stand to be addressed.
    The first is their logjam of lefty-swinging corner outfielders, which was worsened instead of relieved by adding Joey Gallo while Max Kepler (for now) stays put. All offseason we heard that Kepler had more trade value than people perceived, but as things wind down the front office seems to content holding him instead of dealing for an unsatisfactory return. (Maybe his trade value isn't really THAT much higher than perceived.)
    Kepler remains a quality player on a reasonable contract, so keeping him isn't the worst thing in the world, but it sure feels like his roster spots could be better used by, say, a righty-swinging DH/1B type. (The Twins have been connected to Yuli Gurriel, who remains available.)
    The bullpen is one other area that could still benefit from one more addition. Finding one more semi-stable option for the middle innings would be akin to supplementing the rotation with López. (And I don't mean Jorge López, who lends to this unit's volatility factor.) Michael Fulmer is still sitting out there, oddly unsigned...
    Roster & Payroll Projection v. 7
    Unless the Twins make one of the above moves, or another that falls outside of expectations, this might be our last offseason status update and roster projection until we get to spring training and can start mapping things out with increasing confidence.
    As it stands, what you see below is roughly the group they'll be planning to roll with this year. Team payroll is above $150 million, which would set a new franchise record. Meanwhile, the rest of the division has barely done a thing all winter.
    You can't win anything in the offseason, and the Twins are coming from a tough position off a third place finish with all their injury concerns. But there's not much more they could have done to address the weaknesses that pulled them down in 2022. 

     

    View full article
  16. Like
    Nick Nelson reacted to wsnydes in Offseason Status Update: All in a Month's Work   
    I think the Correa saga energized the FO more than many appreciate.  I didn't think they were done before the signing, but I think they were pretty rudderless at that point.  Once Correa was signed, that gave them more of a compass in which to direct the remaining offseason.  I don't think they're done yet either.  They do appear to see that the division is still very weak and ripe for the taking and they are making moves accordingly.  If the roster can stay healthier, that will go a long way towards being competitive in the division.  I don't think they're much of a threat outside of it one way or another though.
    Sports front offices have a lot more patience than fans, as they should.  It often comes across as not wanting to let go and admit a mistake (though there are definitely times when it's exactly that), but they're usually going to be patient enough to let a guy try to work through things.  That's hard to sell to fans.
  17. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from Linus in How the Twins Addressed Their Biggest Weaknesses from 2022 This Offseason   
    I would say these have been addressed, mostly. Pagan was basically the de facto closer on Opening Day last year, this year he'll be like 5th in the pecking order. Last year Buxton had no credible backup in CF, this year he has an elite defensive veteran. Switching pitching coaches at midseason is going to have an adverse effect on any team, but now Maki will have a full offseason and spring to run his own plan and approach. He'll also have considerably more talent/depth to work with, which should benefit both him and Baldelli from a game management standpoint.
    The reality is that there was no avoiding a scenario where they were going to be dependent on likely-to-be-injured stars. They can't trade Buxton and they really can't trade guys like Kirilloff or Mahle or Maeda because of their situations. All they can do is try to provide them with the best training support possible and buoy them with plenty of depth, which they did.
  18. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from jmlease1 in How the Twins Addressed Their Biggest Weaknesses from 2022 This Offseason   
    I would say these have been addressed, mostly. Pagan was basically the de facto closer on Opening Day last year, this year he'll be like 5th in the pecking order. Last year Buxton had no credible backup in CF, this year he has an elite defensive veteran. Switching pitching coaches at midseason is going to have an adverse effect on any team, but now Maki will have a full offseason and spring to run his own plan and approach. He'll also have considerably more talent/depth to work with, which should benefit both him and Baldelli from a game management standpoint.
    The reality is that there was no avoiding a scenario where they were going to be dependent on likely-to-be-injured stars. They can't trade Buxton and they really can't trade guys like Kirilloff or Mahle or Maeda because of their situations. All they can do is try to provide them with the best training support possible and buoy them with plenty of depth, which they did.
  19. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from TopGunn#22 in How the Twins Addressed Their Biggest Weaknesses from 2022 This Offseason   
    I would say these have been addressed, mostly. Pagan was basically the de facto closer on Opening Day last year, this year he'll be like 5th in the pecking order. Last year Buxton had no credible backup in CF, this year he has an elite defensive veteran. Switching pitching coaches at midseason is going to have an adverse effect on any team, but now Maki will have a full offseason and spring to run his own plan and approach. He'll also have considerably more talent/depth to work with, which should benefit both him and Baldelli from a game management standpoint.
    The reality is that there was no avoiding a scenario where they were going to be dependent on likely-to-be-injured stars. They can't trade Buxton and they really can't trade guys like Kirilloff or Mahle or Maeda because of their situations. All they can do is try to provide them with the best training support possible and buoy them with plenty of depth, which they did.
  20. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from TopGunn#22 in How the Twins Addressed Their Biggest Weaknesses from 2022 This Offseason   
    The Twins hired a new hitting coach just last year (David Popkins) and he's quite highly regarded so I wouldn't expect another change anytime soon.
  21. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from DocBauer in How the Twins Addressed Their Biggest Weaknesses from 2022 This Offseason   
    I would say these have been addressed, mostly. Pagan was basically the de facto closer on Opening Day last year, this year he'll be like 5th in the pecking order. Last year Buxton had no credible backup in CF, this year he has an elite defensive veteran. Switching pitching coaches at midseason is going to have an adverse effect on any team, but now Maki will have a full offseason and spring to run his own plan and approach. He'll also have considerably more talent/depth to work with, which should benefit both him and Baldelli from a game management standpoint.
    The reality is that there was no avoiding a scenario where they were going to be dependent on likely-to-be-injured stars. They can't trade Buxton and they really can't trade guys like Kirilloff or Mahle or Maeda because of their situations. All they can do is try to provide them with the best training support possible and buoy them with plenty of depth, which they did.
  22. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from DocBauer in How the Twins Addressed Their Biggest Weaknesses from 2022 This Offseason   
    The Twins hired a new hitting coach just last year (David Popkins) and he's quite highly regarded so I wouldn't expect another change anytime soon.
  23. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from Dman in How the Twins Addressed Their Biggest Weaknesses from 2022 This Offseason   
    The Twins hired a new hitting coach just last year (David Popkins) and he's quite highly regarded so I wouldn't expect another change anytime soon.
  24. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from IndyTwinsFan in How the Twins Addressed Their Biggest Weaknesses from 2022 This Offseason   
    The Twins hired a new hitting coach just last year (David Popkins) and he's quite highly regarded so I wouldn't expect another change anytime soon.
  25. Like
    Nick Nelson got a reaction from Bob Twins Fan Since 61 in How the Twins Addressed Their Biggest Weaknesses from 2022 This Offseason   
    The Twins hired a new hitting coach just last year (David Popkins) and he's quite highly regarded so I wouldn't expect another change anytime soon.
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