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  1. I would take this with a grain of salt given that said team insisted on starting Martin Maldonado over Yainer Diaz for all of their playoff games. Given that there were a ton of criticism about Dusty not using Yainer, but almost none about Rocco not using Vazquez, I think it's clear that the Astros' way of favoring the 'veteran knowledge' is the exception, not the norm.
  2. Before we dive into this, let me just make it clear that this is not my idea. With that out of the way, here is what Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs had to say about the Twins in his article, "40-Man Roster Deadline Reaction and Analysis: American League": "I think Emmanuel Rodriguez, who is a lock to be a top 100 prospect this offseason despite his hit tool issues, has a chance to break camp as the Twins’ starting center fielder given Byron Buxton’s persistent injury issues. He’s a big league-quality defender right now. That would allow Willi Castro (currently the center fielder on our Depth Chart) and Nick Gordon to play dynamic, multi-positional roles, which the Twins sorely lacked in 2023." This idea seems absurd to me, but given that this is stated by Longenhagen, who is the man when it comes to prospect analysis on Fangraphs, maybe he knows something that we don't. To me, this seems like a terrible idea that very much reminds me of how Celestino was thrown into the fire without enough minor-league experience. I would not want to risk stunting the growth of a top prospect by promoting him too early. Do you think there is any chance that E-Rod is on the Opening Day roster in 2024? P.S. The latter part of Longenhagen's statement pointing out the lack of a dynamic, multi-positional role on the 2023 Twins' is head-scratching as well IMO. If Castro wasn't that, then who in the league is?
  3. These are very great ideas and I like that they are backed by some numbers. However, I don't see either happening, and I think the valuation of Castillo and Alcantara are prime examples of the pitfalls when it comes to using BTVs. I think there are a couple of factors that BTVs fails to address, which applies to Castillo and Alcantara. One of those factors is supply and demand. I may be wrong, but from my understanding, BTVs only accounts for the surplus value that a player provides on their contract and doesn't account for the scarcity of the commodity. For example, if a 5 WAR player is paid like a 4 WAR player, they would value it the same as a 2 WAR player being paid like a 1 WAR player. In reality, the former would have more value because it's tremendously rare for teams to have a chance to acquire a 5 WAR player, which creates a bidding war. Another factor is how close teams are to contention. Obviously, teams will value players differently based on where they are in terms of team-building. The Marlins and Mariners are both in the win-now phase, which inflates the player's values from the team's perspective. If either pitcher were on the Athletics, it would be a completely different story. Also, some other factors, such as how the trade may look to the players, fans and owners, should be considered. Trading your ace is tremendously bad for team and fan morale. No matter the situation, the FO is going to get a tremendous amount of backlash, and I don't think most FO are bold enough to make such moves that jeopardizes their reputation. Kepler or Polanco don't even come close to having the name recognition or shine necessary to justify trading your ace for, and that matters. Given all these factors, I think the actual value of Alcantara or Castillo is somewhere around 50, maybe even higher. Brooks Lee and Walker Jenkins are both valued at around that range, and I don't think either is enough to pry Alcantara or Castillo from their respective teams.
  4. It should also be noted that Jonathan India is also rumored to be traded, which means the Twins aren't the only team to be holding a valuable trade chip in a depleted 2B market. India has only put up 1.7 WAR over the past two years compared to Polanco's 3.3, but given that he is 4 years younger and is controlled for one more year at a more reasonable price, I'm afraid India is going to be the more coveted trade target for 2B needy teams. Given that, I think Polanco's trade market is going to be restricted to teams that are completely in win-now mode. One of the main teams thrown around in a potential Polanco trade are the Mariners, but they may prefer to have India than Polanco, especially if they are going to trade one of their young arms.
  5. Thank you for providing this list. I was hoping to see who would be potential targets for the Twins, which surprisingly this article didn't mention. Honestly, that does not look like a thin free agent class at all. There seem to be a ton of bounce back candidates in the short-term deals bucket, and I think the Twins would be thrilled to have any of them as their 4th or 5th starter.
  6. I think as fans we try our hardest to demand that they maintain or even increase their payroll, even while understanding that the team is in a murky financial situation and it's highly unlikely they do so. I see the payroll as something similar to a supply and demand situation. Owners want the team to spend less and the fans want the team to spend more, which results in an equilibrium. Obviously, there are a ton of other factors involved, but I think the aspect of not upsetting fans is something that owners consider when deciding payroll. Once the fans start giving the owners an excuse to spend less, the owners are undoubtedly going to take that opportunity to cut payroll. If the fans keep expectations high for the payroll, even if that expectation may be irrational, the owners will have a harder time decreasing the payroll. I would prefer to deny the Pohlads any chance to justify decreasing payroll, even if the reasons for doing so are perfectly legitimate. Thus, I hope that fans demand we spend money, just like in any other year.
  7. Exactly. At this point it's in the best interest for everybody to have a "believe it when I see it" attitude when it comes to Buxton being healthy. Honestly, if the Twins feel confident about their chances of winning the Central next year ( I certainly do right now), he should be starting his season late regardless of his health. With him it's a matter of when, not if, he's going to get injured, and I would prefer to have him healthy and thriving in October. Obviously, even starting his season late doesn't guarantee he'll be healthy for a playoff run, but I think that maximizes the chances of him being available in the playoffs, which gives the Twins their best shot at winning the WS next year.
  8. Thanks for the fantastic post. Not only is this an excellent analysis, it's probably also very similar to the actual thought process of the FO when they are making their offseason plans. One thing I would like to add is that the FO might actually be planning for something close to 1550 or 1600 IP instead of 1450 IP. I think that is what they tried to do this year when they had Ober start the year in the minors. That allows them to still have quality depth when someone goes down early in the season like Mahle did this year. Given how well that plan worked, I think it's possible that they add another "guarantee" to their staff and start Varland in the minors. I also think they are going to be in the market for 2 average to above average relievers at the level of Pagan. That should add up to 300 or so innings, which would be a little more than the 240 that you proposed.
  9. The offense needs to turn it around very quickly. With Ryan vs Urquidy the matchup tomorrow it's likely going to be a slugfest. I don't like our current chances at all if that's the case. Hopefully the 1st half Ryan shows up. On the bright side, Urquidy's numbers look absolutely atrocious. 6.43 K/9, 3,57 BB/9 and 1.57 HR/9 with a 5.29 ERA. Without looking it up, I think all of those numbers are on the wrong side compared to the league average. If the Twins' bats can't get going against him they have no business going anywhere in the playoffs.
  10. 6, 7 and 8 are interchangeable, they all haven't looked great. But right now I like Jeffers more than Kirilloff because he had the better season. I also recall he stung a ball to left that would have been a sure XBH had it not been right at the left fielder. I don't remember feeling pleased with any one of Kirilloff's at bats, but I may be forgetting. But yes, I really thing the most important thing is batting Correa higher. I would much rather see Correa batting with runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs in the 1st. I would love to bat him 2nd if it weren't for his tendency to ground into double plays.
  11. If my memory is correct, the lineup we saw against Verlander was the exact same one that we ran out against the Blue Jays. But since the Astros don't have any lefties to throw at us, why do we have to alternate lefties and righties? Shouldn't we just be stacking our best hitters in order? I really like Kirilloff long-term, but right now he has no business hitting before Correa. I think the lineup should look something like this. 1. Julien 2. Polanco 3. Lewis 4. Correa 5. Kepler 6. Jeffers 7. Kirilloff 8. Wallner 9. Taylor Thoughts?
  12. It wasn't a very favorable matchup on paper, but given the way Verlander was struggling in the first few innings we really needed to capitalize and win this game. There are games where the opposing pitchers are on their A game and it's hard to place blame on the bats for not producing, but that wasn't the case yesterday. That being said, I like how they fought back in the later innings to make it close, and I think the difference between losing this game 6-4 as opposed to 6-1 or 6-0 is huge. By making this a close game, we succeeded in making the top Astros relievers throw high-leverage innings. They may have come in even if the lead were bigger, but making the innings stressful for them was important both from an emotional and physical standpoint. If they are used in game 2 their performance will very likely not be the same. I also think the 4 runs scored by the offense helped them gain a little confidence. Let's be honest, the bats haven't looked good at all so far in the playoffs, and I think the hitters were starting to press. Scoring those runs off a good reliever should help them regain their confidence and swag and they should be ready to come out with a bang against Valdez. Go Twins!
  13. In order to beat the Astros, at least one of these two things must happen: 1. The Twins beat Justin Verlander at Minute Maid 2. The Twins win both games at home It is mathematically impossible for the Twins to advance if neither is achieved. They get two cracks at Verlander in games 1 and 5, and if they lose both, and lose another at home, that adds up to 3. Honestly, both of these seem like very daunting tasks. I would say that 1. is more likelier to happen, just because the Twins have 2 chances, but given his utter dominance against the Twins it's hard to have confidence. Verlander as an Astro has pitched 42 innings against the Twins in 6 starts, and Twins hitters have a .328 OPS against him. That's not a typo, Twins hitters have a slash line of .102/.146/.182 in 145 PAs. It is unbelievable. Which do you think is more likelier to happen?
  14. I'll be the first to admit that I was one of those people. I just didn't see any formula for success, but I couldn't have been more wrong. As a Minnesota sports fan, most times it works to my advantage when I try to be overly pessimistic, and I think this might be the first time I've been proven wrong. I could get used to this.
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