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Theo Tollefson

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  1. One of the significant speculations among Twins fans and beat writers is that the Twins will likely consider trading utility man Luis Arraez to a team to receive quality starting pitching in return. The main reason for this common speculation is because Arraez does not have a position he can currently play every day with Jorge Polanco at second base and Josh Donaldson at third. Not to mention the likelihood of Jose Miranda being called up to receive more playing time at third if the Twins decide to have Donaldson move into the DH role more often. That leaves left field the last place where Arraez plays comfortably, where he could be penned into the lineup each day. However, two players are everyday outfielders that the Twins hope to give more playing time to in Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff and see improvements from their 2021 season in 2022 in left field. Could the Twins possibly consider playing Arraez at shortstop if they don't end up trading him to start the 2022 season? No. Only if they have everyone else who can play shortstop, injured, or unavailable on a given day. Arraez has only started at shortstop three times and totaled eight games at the position at the Major League level. All of these games took place in 2019 during his rookie season. The Twins may not be willing to take that gamble of starting Arraez at short every day if they believe they can sign one of the everyday shortstops remaining on the market or see a massive breakthrough from Royce Lewis and Austin Martin in the minors this season. That leaves the only possible option of trading Arraez to give him the playing time he deserves with another team. Yet the Twins should not consider Arraez as a trade option to start pitching. He has become one of the best contact hitters in the game over the first three seasons of his career and a valuable asset to the clubhouse culture that started in 2019. But the number one reason why the Twins should not trade Arraez is to keep him around to fill infield voids that could come from player injuries. Every fan or writer knows injuries will happen each season, but there is always the hope going into spring training that their team will be 100 percent healthy for as long as possible. No one likes to predict player injuries at any point in any sports season, but injuries in MLB are more common than ever each season than they ever have been in the history of the sport. Based on the injury history of Donaldson, most Twins fans would expect to see him on the IL at some point during the 2022 season if that does happen. Even though this writer does not hope it will, that will free up more playing time for Arraez at third or DH. Still, Arraez himself has a skeptical injury history, too, with his knees going into his age 25 season. That problem will follow him wherever he is for the longevity of his career, whether it's with the Twins or another team. Without Arraez, the Twins may not have another player who can consistently hit over .300 throughout the season. However, contact hitting is undervalued now in modern MLB, where three true outcome hitting is king. There will be a time again when teams need a player or two they can consistently count on for hitting over .300 and having a high on-base percentage to go along with it without having to hit home runs. Arraez is that guy for the Twins right now, and it's hard to say if they will have another .300 hitter in their lineup for 2022 if they end up trading him. The Twins may not have a position they can play Arraez at consistently right now, but that could change throughout the 2022 season. And even if the likes of Martin and Miranda are raking in the minors to start 2022, who's to say their performance will pan out equally in the majors right away? There is still another reality for the Twins in 2022, where Polanco and Donaldson are relatively healthy all season. If they keep Arraez, his playing time will become secondary to their own. And maybe Miranda if he repeats his 2021 success with the Saints in 2022 in the Bigs. If the Twins do not trade Arraez and the above reality plays out, they will likely rotate Arraez at 2B and 3B a couple of times a week to give either Donaldson or Polanco a day off at their position or time at DH. Arraez will likely be the DH for the Twins on Opening Day if they keep him. With the team's current appearance, that is likely the best spot to pen him in until Miranda arrives. Potential injuries, prospects not panning out in MLB right away, and the need for a .300 hitter in the lineup are undoubtedly good reasons for the Twins to hold off on trading Arraez for the 2022 season, possibly. Arraez could undoubtedly bring back a good starter if the right trade partner is found, but his bat and clubhouse presence might be worth holding onto to see if the Twins can pull together a winning 2022 season.
  2. Whenever the time comes for the MLB lockout to end, a flood of transactions will occur from almost every team across MLB. The Twins may not be the most active team with little time remaining on the Hot Stove market, but they will undoubtedly make a few moves when that time comes. One of the significant speculations among Twins fans and beat writers is that the Twins will likely consider trading utility man Luis Arraez to a team to receive quality starting pitching in return. The main reason for this common speculation is because Arraez does not have a position he can currently play every day with Jorge Polanco at second base and Josh Donaldson at third. Not to mention the likelihood of Jose Miranda being called up to receive more playing time at third if the Twins decide to have Donaldson move into the DH role more often. That leaves left field the last place where Arraez plays comfortably, where he could be penned into the lineup each day. However, two players are everyday outfielders that the Twins hope to give more playing time to in Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff and see improvements from their 2021 season in 2022 in left field. Could the Twins possibly consider playing Arraez at shortstop if they don't end up trading him to start the 2022 season? No. Only if they have everyone else who can play shortstop, injured, or unavailable on a given day. Arraez has only started at shortstop three times and totaled eight games at the position at the Major League level. All of these games took place in 2019 during his rookie season. The Twins may not be willing to take that gamble of starting Arraez at short every day if they believe they can sign one of the everyday shortstops remaining on the market or see a massive breakthrough from Royce Lewis and Austin Martin in the minors this season. That leaves the only possible option of trading Arraez to give him the playing time he deserves with another team. Yet the Twins should not consider Arraez as a trade option to start pitching. He has become one of the best contact hitters in the game over the first three seasons of his career and a valuable asset to the clubhouse culture that started in 2019. But the number one reason why the Twins should not trade Arraez is to keep him around to fill infield voids that could come from player injuries. Every fan or writer knows injuries will happen each season, but there is always the hope going into spring training that their team will be 100 percent healthy for as long as possible. No one likes to predict player injuries at any point in any sports season, but injuries in MLB are more common than ever each season than they ever have been in the history of the sport. Based on the injury history of Donaldson, most Twins fans would expect to see him on the IL at some point during the 2022 season if that does happen. Even though this writer does not hope it will, that will free up more playing time for Arraez at third or DH. Still, Arraez himself has a skeptical injury history, too, with his knees going into his age 25 season. That problem will follow him wherever he is for the longevity of his career, whether it's with the Twins or another team. Without Arraez, the Twins may not have another player who can consistently hit over .300 throughout the season. However, contact hitting is undervalued now in modern MLB, where three true outcome hitting is king. There will be a time again when teams need a player or two they can consistently count on for hitting over .300 and having a high on-base percentage to go along with it without having to hit home runs. Arraez is that guy for the Twins right now, and it's hard to say if they will have another .300 hitter in their lineup for 2022 if they end up trading him. The Twins may not have a position they can play Arraez at consistently right now, but that could change throughout the 2022 season. And even if the likes of Martin and Miranda are raking in the minors to start 2022, who's to say their performance will pan out equally in the majors right away? There is still another reality for the Twins in 2022, where Polanco and Donaldson are relatively healthy all season. If they keep Arraez, his playing time will become secondary to their own. And maybe Miranda if he repeats his 2021 success with the Saints in 2022 in the Bigs. If the Twins do not trade Arraez and the above reality plays out, they will likely rotate Arraez at 2B and 3B a couple of times a week to give either Donaldson or Polanco a day off at their position or time at DH. Arraez will likely be the DH for the Twins on Opening Day if they keep him. With the team's current appearance, that is likely the best spot to pen him in until Miranda arrives. Potential injuries, prospects not panning out in MLB right away, and the need for a .300 hitter in the lineup are undoubtedly good reasons for the Twins to hold off on trading Arraez for the 2022 season, possibly. Arraez could undoubtedly bring back a good starter if the right trade partner is found, but his bat and clubhouse presence might be worth holding onto to see if the Twins can pull together a winning 2022 season. View full article
  3. Curtis Terry, 25, has spent his entire professional career to this point in the Texas Rangers organization. He was drafted in the 13th round (378th overall) of the 2015 draft out of Archer High School in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Terry made his MLB debut with the Rangers in July of 2021 and then played another dozen games.. Although Terry’s numbers in his first 13 MLB games do not stand out (4 hits, 45 at-bats), he had a solid 2021 season in the minors. He hit .275 with 22 home runs and 75 RBI with the Triple-A Round Rock Express. Terry’s best season in the minors came in 2019 when he hit .293 with an OPS of .899. He hit 25 home runs and drove in 80 runs in 129 games between the Rangers' High-A and Low-A affiliates. As of now, Terry is the only infielder listed on the St. Paul Saints roster on their website. That, of course, means very little at this point in the offseason. Terry will likely see plenty of playing time during the start of the minor league season at first base. Last year, the Saints used players like Tomas Telis and Damek Tomscha at first base, and Jose Miranda played there at times in the second half. Along with Miranda, first base in Wichita was manned by Roy Morales and Andrew Bechtold. He will likely be a good player for the Twins to have only 15 minutes away from Target Field if the injury bug finds Miguel Sano this season. Terry’s primary positions are similar to that of Sano’s, and if Alex Kirilloff is seeing more time in the outfield than first base, will allow for Terry to potentially see more playing time in MLB with the Twins than he did with the Rangers. But the Twins signed Curtis Terry for his bat. Also, he will be just 25 years old throughout the entire 2022 season. He's young. He has upside. He has a ton of power potential. He is built like Miguel Sano, though it appears that Sano is the much better athlete. The Twins clearly see potential with Terry in their 2022 plans at some point in the season. Hopefully Terry will repeat his success in the minors in 2021 with the Saints and possibly the Twins in 2022.
  4. Back in November, the Twins signed first baseman Curtis Terry to a minor league deal and added him onto the St. Paul Saints roster. Could he provide some insurance for the Twins offense in 2022? Curtis Terry, 25, has spent his entire professional career to this point in the Texas Rangers organization. He was drafted in the 13th round (378th overall) of the 2015 draft out of Archer High School in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Terry made his MLB debut with the Rangers in July of 2021 and then played another dozen games.. Although Terry’s numbers in his first 13 MLB games do not stand out (4 hits, 45 at-bats), he had a solid 2021 season in the minors. He hit .275 with 22 home runs and 75 RBI with the Triple-A Round Rock Express. Terry’s best season in the minors came in 2019 when he hit .293 with an OPS of .899. He hit 25 home runs and drove in 80 runs in 129 games between the Rangers' High-A and Low-A affiliates. As of now, Terry is the only infielder listed on the St. Paul Saints roster on their website. That, of course, means very little at this point in the offseason. Terry will likely see plenty of playing time during the start of the minor league season at first base. Last year, the Saints used players like Tomas Telis and Damek Tomscha at first base, and Jose Miranda played there at times in the second half. Along with Miranda, first base in Wichita was manned by Roy Morales and Andrew Bechtold. He will likely be a good player for the Twins to have only 15 minutes away from Target Field if the injury bug finds Miguel Sano this season. Terry’s primary positions are similar to that of Sano’s, and if Alex Kirilloff is seeing more time in the outfield than first base, will allow for Terry to potentially see more playing time in MLB with the Twins than he did with the Rangers. But the Twins signed Curtis Terry for his bat. Also, he will be just 25 years old throughout the entire 2022 season. He's young. He has upside. He has a ton of power potential. He is built like Miguel Sano, though it appears that Sano is the much better athlete. The Twins clearly see potential with Terry in their 2022 plans at some point in the season. Hopefully Terry will repeat his success in the minors in 2021 with the Saints and possibly the Twins in 2022. View full article
  5. Thank you for the kind feedback! I'm glad I could help you find another Minnesota born professional ballplayer to root for. I am excited to see what Joey does for 2022 in the Red Sox organization.
  6. Minnesota baseball is a strong community where everyone who gets the chance to play professionally is cheered on by fans all across the state; especially those from the smaller high schools. One of the newest professional ballplayers is from St. John's Prep in Collegeville, Minnesota. His name is Joey Stock, and he is a pitcher in the Red Sox minor league system. Get to know more about him. Everything was ready to go for Joey Stock to move from Cold Spring, Minnesota, to Wisconsin on August 27, 2020. He was set to begin the fall semester at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to start working on his master's degree in Business Communications . This was the day before he would be taking a seven-hour drive to further his career in higher education and have a chance to play with the UW-Milwaukee baseball team in the spring. Then the Boston Red Sox gave Stock a call that day and offered him a deal to become a professional athlete. "I remember like it was yesterday. It's something I'll probably never forget," recalled Stock. The news was not as surprising as the timing of the call from the Red Sox. A week prior, once the Northwoods League's 2020 season concluded, Stock had been given notice by his manager for the St. Cloud Rox that the Red Sox still saw talent in him worth signing. "As I'm literally driving off from the ballpark, my manager stopped me and asked, 'Hey, are you still entertaining any big league contracts? And I said, 'Yeah, I probably would,' and he told me that Boston's interested and to keep my phone nearby. Sure enough, a couple of days later, their head scout called me saying, 'Hey, we like you. We like what we see. We want to fly you out here to Boston to do some physicals and just make sure everything's okay.'” A couple of days after flying to Boston where the Red Sox had made their signing of Stock official, the news spread quickly across Central Minnesota. "That was one of the coolest days of my life. With all of the congratulatory text messages, phone calls, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram messages, that I got from people. Some I hadn't seen in 10 years that somehow found out. It just spread like wildfire. I didn't put my phone down. I'm answering emails, phone calls, texts, voicemails. The support that I got from the entire central Minnesota community was freakin' unbelievable," said Stock. Prior to graduating from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, in May of 2020. Stock had received a couple of offers from MLB teams but turned them down, wanting to complete his undergraduate degree before taking a chance as a professional ballplayer. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2020, Stock had been scouted by the Red Sox as the Johnnie's baseball team prepared for the 2020 season. Stock shared that the team was set up to be one of the best he ever played on but couldn't get the season rolling due to the pandemic. "We had a really good team at St. John's, my senior class. Seven of the nine guys that started on the field, including myself, were seniors. We had an unbelievably good freshman class coming in with pitchers; we had a lot of talent, a lot of experience, and a lot of depth. We were ranked in the top 25 that year to start, and we took that as kind of an insult. We thought we were a heck of a lot better than that. We were ready to prove ourselves to the league, then we never got to play," said Stock. Stock had recently reunited with a good number of his former teammates at St. John's, and they had the chance to reminisce on what could have happened if they had a full season of college ball in 2020. "All of us still haven't really gotten over not being able to play. We put St John's on the map because we truly knew what we had, and we were ready to prove it to the entire country, and we just never got the chance to. That's why I turned down opportunities to sign before graduating, and I don't regret that at all," said Stock. Having signed with the Red Sox in late August of 2020, Stock could not join any of the Minor League teams or camps with the minor-league baseball season canceled by their parent, Major League Baseball. Stock arrived at the Red Sox spring training complex in Fort Myers in February of 2021, and when he did, the reality of starting his professional career hit him almost immediately. “When I got to Fort Myers, the feeling that hit me was overwhelming. I'll be honest. You're around so many talented guys, and they all know what's going on.” Stock continued , "A lot of them have been through at least one instructional league where they have been brought into what spring training is going to be like. I'm coming in wide-eyed. I didn't know about the facility. I didn't know where all the other fields were outside of the facility. I didn't really know a whole lot. Luckily for me, I had a roommate that had been around professional baseball for a very long time. I was able to bounce ideas off of him and just get his stories on spring training experiences because he had been to plenty of them." Stock's spring training roommate Zach Kelly began his professional career in 2017 with the Oakland Athletics organization and spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons in the Los Angeles Angels organization. Kelly, like Stock, entered his first spring training with the Red Sox in 2021 but quickly became one of many mentors to Stock to help him adjust to the minor-league baseball lifestyle. Stock spoke more on Kelly, "He is a Division II guy from South Carolina and didn't sign for very much money. I'm a Division III guy. We were both undrafted free agents, and so he's a guy that you definitely want to root for. He had a great year. He was in Portland with the Sea Dogs. Then halfway through the summer, Zach got called up to Triple AAA, and from there, he's a phone call away from the Red Sox." The organization was welcoming and helpful for Stock's adjustment into professional baseball. Coaches and players at all levels of the organization and additional staff were very approachable for Stock whenever he had any questions, comments, or concerns. The first day in the clubhouse for Spring Training was another surreal moment for Stock of realizing where he was. He was taking his first steps into becoming a major-league pitcher, and when the Red Sox jersey with his name on the back was given to him, it topped many moments for him in 2021. "One of my favorite moments was seeing my jersey and my last name on it. You know, whether you're Chris Sale, Ryan Brasier, or myself, you're wearing the same jersey for Spring Training. That was really cool. And then again, to be able to see Stock right there with the Boston Red Sox font on the back of your jersey, it was really freaking cool," said Stock. Appropriately, Stock's professional debut was against his home state's FCL affiliate, the Twins. Although his debut was not how he hoped it would go, it was still an excellent experience for Stock to start his career against the affiliate of a team he often watched growing up. Stock and his older brother Jake, along with their cousins who also lived in Cold Spring as kids, did not grow up with cable in their households. This made their grandma Joyce and grandpa Dick Stock’s house the place to go to watch Joey’s favorite Twins growing up, Torii Hunter and Joe Nathan. One of Stock’s favorite memories from watching Twins games at grandma and grandpa Stock’s was the iconic game 163 of 2009 when the Twins beat the Tigers in extra innings to win the division. “I got to stay up really late watching that one in my grandparents' house. That was a fun game watching Alexi Casilla hit the walk off to win it for the Twins,” recalled Stock. Going into 2022, Stock has a few goals for himself. He currently has two pitches in his arsenal that may be close to being Major League ready; his fastball and curveball. Stock says that a third pitch will need to come into plan sometime this year but wants to build more speed into his fastball and command with his curveball before adding that third pitch. "I'd say the biggest goal for me right now is to get to Double-A as soon as possible. Obviously, the goal is to play at its highest level, but you gotta take it in stride. What I'm shooting for this season is Greenville, South Carolina, which is our High A affiliate. From what I've seen with professional baseball, especially with the Red Sox, the jump from Single-A to Double-A is the biggest jump in the minors. My goal is to get to Greenville this year, spend the whole year there and continue to strive and continue to keep doing what I did where our pitching staff, including myself, is just throwing strikes. We're not pitching to contact. We're tunneling our pitches and just making the most of our opportunities," said Stock. Stock isn't the first professional athlete from Cold Spring, Minnesota. Eric Decker played in the NFL for eight seasons from 2010-2017. He was drafted by the Twins but wen to the University of Minnesota where he played baseball and football. Some may remember shortstop Steve Huls who played for the Gophers and then spend five seasons in the Twins minor leagues. Justin Stommes played basketball at East Carolina before playing professional basketball in Europe. Stock hopes to become the first MLB player from his hometown, and to represent Minnesota baseball well as he journeys through the minors during 2022. With the mentorship and great organizational care the Red Sox show to their minor leaguers, Stock is confident he is with the right team currently to make that dream come true. View full article
  7. Everything was ready to go for Joey Stock to move from Cold Spring, Minnesota, to Wisconsin on August 27, 2020. He was set to begin the fall semester at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to start working on his master's degree in Business Communications . This was the day before he would be taking a seven-hour drive to further his career in higher education and have a chance to play with the UW-Milwaukee baseball team in the spring. Then the Boston Red Sox gave Stock a call that day and offered him a deal to become a professional athlete. "I remember like it was yesterday. It's something I'll probably never forget," recalled Stock. The news was not as surprising as the timing of the call from the Red Sox. A week prior, once the Northwoods League's 2020 season concluded, Stock had been given notice by his manager for the St. Cloud Rox that the Red Sox still saw talent in him worth signing. "As I'm literally driving off from the ballpark, my manager stopped me and asked, 'Hey, are you still entertaining any big league contracts? And I said, 'Yeah, I probably would,' and he told me that Boston's interested and to keep my phone nearby. Sure enough, a couple of days later, their head scout called me saying, 'Hey, we like you. We like what we see. We want to fly you out here to Boston to do some physicals and just make sure everything's okay.'” A couple of days after flying to Boston where the Red Sox had made their signing of Stock official, the news spread quickly across Central Minnesota. "That was one of the coolest days of my life. With all of the congratulatory text messages, phone calls, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram messages, that I got from people. Some I hadn't seen in 10 years that somehow found out. It just spread like wildfire. I didn't put my phone down. I'm answering emails, phone calls, texts, voicemails. The support that I got from the entire central Minnesota community was freakin' unbelievable," said Stock. Prior to graduating from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, in May of 2020. Stock had received a couple of offers from MLB teams but turned them down, wanting to complete his undergraduate degree before taking a chance as a professional ballplayer. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2020, Stock had been scouted by the Red Sox as the Johnnie's baseball team prepared for the 2020 season. Stock shared that the team was set up to be one of the best he ever played on but couldn't get the season rolling due to the pandemic. "We had a really good team at St. John's, my senior class. Seven of the nine guys that started on the field, including myself, were seniors. We had an unbelievably good freshman class coming in with pitchers; we had a lot of talent, a lot of experience, and a lot of depth. We were ranked in the top 25 that year to start, and we took that as kind of an insult. We thought we were a heck of a lot better than that. We were ready to prove ourselves to the league, then we never got to play," said Stock. Stock had recently reunited with a good number of his former teammates at St. John's, and they had the chance to reminisce on what could have happened if they had a full season of college ball in 2020. "All of us still haven't really gotten over not being able to play. We put St John's on the map because we truly knew what we had, and we were ready to prove it to the entire country, and we just never got the chance to. That's why I turned down opportunities to sign before graduating, and I don't regret that at all," said Stock. Having signed with the Red Sox in late August of 2020, Stock could not join any of the Minor League teams or camps with the minor-league baseball season canceled by their parent, Major League Baseball. Stock arrived at the Red Sox spring training complex in Fort Myers in February of 2021, and when he did, the reality of starting his professional career hit him almost immediately. “When I got to Fort Myers, the feeling that hit me was overwhelming. I'll be honest. You're around so many talented guys, and they all know what's going on.” Stock continued , "A lot of them have been through at least one instructional league where they have been brought into what spring training is going to be like. I'm coming in wide-eyed. I didn't know about the facility. I didn't know where all the other fields were outside of the facility. I didn't really know a whole lot. Luckily for me, I had a roommate that had been around professional baseball for a very long time. I was able to bounce ideas off of him and just get his stories on spring training experiences because he had been to plenty of them." Stock's spring training roommate Zach Kelly began his professional career in 2017 with the Oakland Athletics organization and spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons in the Los Angeles Angels organization. Kelly, like Stock, entered his first spring training with the Red Sox in 2021 but quickly became one of many mentors to Stock to help him adjust to the minor-league baseball lifestyle. Stock spoke more on Kelly, "He is a Division II guy from South Carolina and didn't sign for very much money. I'm a Division III guy. We were both undrafted free agents, and so he's a guy that you definitely want to root for. He had a great year. He was in Portland with the Sea Dogs. Then halfway through the summer, Zach got called up to Triple AAA, and from there, he's a phone call away from the Red Sox." The organization was welcoming and helpful for Stock's adjustment into professional baseball. Coaches and players at all levels of the organization and additional staff were very approachable for Stock whenever he had any questions, comments, or concerns. The first day in the clubhouse for Spring Training was another surreal moment for Stock of realizing where he was. He was taking his first steps into becoming a major-league pitcher, and when the Red Sox jersey with his name on the back was given to him, it topped many moments for him in 2021. "One of my favorite moments was seeing my jersey and my last name on it. You know, whether you're Chris Sale, Ryan Brasier, or myself, you're wearing the same jersey for Spring Training. That was really cool. And then again, to be able to see Stock right there with the Boston Red Sox font on the back of your jersey, it was really freaking cool," said Stock. Appropriately, Stock's professional debut was against his home state's FCL affiliate, the Twins. Although his debut was not how he hoped it would go, it was still an excellent experience for Stock to start his career against the affiliate of a team he often watched growing up. Stock and his older brother Jake, along with their cousins who also lived in Cold Spring as kids, did not grow up with cable in their households. This made their grandma Joyce and grandpa Dick Stock’s house the place to go to watch Joey’s favorite Twins growing up, Torii Hunter and Joe Nathan. One of Stock’s favorite memories from watching Twins games at grandma and grandpa Stock’s was the iconic game 163 of 2009 when the Twins beat the Tigers in extra innings to win the division. “I got to stay up really late watching that one in my grandparents' house. That was a fun game watching Alexi Casilla hit the walk off to win it for the Twins,” recalled Stock. Going into 2022, Stock has a few goals for himself. He currently has two pitches in his arsenal that may be close to being Major League ready; his fastball and curveball. Stock says that a third pitch will need to come into plan sometime this year but wants to build more speed into his fastball and command with his curveball before adding that third pitch. "I'd say the biggest goal for me right now is to get to Double-A as soon as possible. Obviously, the goal is to play at its highest level, but you gotta take it in stride. What I'm shooting for this season is Greenville, South Carolina, which is our High A affiliate. From what I've seen with professional baseball, especially with the Red Sox, the jump from Single-A to Double-A is the biggest jump in the minors. My goal is to get to Greenville this year, spend the whole year there and continue to strive and continue to keep doing what I did where our pitching staff, including myself, is just throwing strikes. We're not pitching to contact. We're tunneling our pitches and just making the most of our opportunities," said Stock. Stock isn't the first professional athlete from Cold Spring, Minnesota. Eric Decker played in the NFL for eight seasons from 2010-2017. He was drafted by the Twins but wen to the University of Minnesota where he played baseball and football. Some may remember shortstop Steve Huls who played for the Gophers and then spend five seasons in the Twins minor leagues. Justin Stommes played basketball at East Carolina before playing professional basketball in Europe. Stock hopes to become the first MLB player from his hometown, and to represent Minnesota baseball well as he journeys through the minors during 2022. With the mentorship and great organizational care the Red Sox show to their minor leaguers, Stock is confident he is with the right team currently to make that dream come true.
  8. Here's a guy that was apart of the 2010 Twins bullpen for 9 games and proved to be effective in them. Brian Fuentes
  9. I’ll be honest, I completely forgot about Moran while writing this piece. That mistake is on me. Stashak on the other hand, I honestly just see him running out of options before he can really reestablish himself as a reliever and getting DFA’d
  10. There is no doubt that bullpens get much more usage in recent years, and that is true of the Twins as well. If the season started today, who would be in the Twins bullpen, and could they be successful? Bullpens have become the most overworked position in baseball in the last five years, and the Twins bullpen was a perfect example of overworked relievers in 2021. Of the 1,419 1/3 innings pitched from the Twins pitching staff in 2021, Twins relievers pitched approximately 617 2/3 innings pitched, or 43.5% of innings pitched. Relief pitchers making up around 40% of an MLB team's innings pitched is not uncommon in baseball today. However, it depends on who is in each team's bullpen which sets the postseason competitors, the tanking teams, and those in-between apart. The 2021 Twins bullpen falls into the in-between category, and how the front office decides to gear up the bullpen for 2022 post-lockout may be a deciding factor for how they sit in the AL Central for 2022. The Closer The Twins bullpen is far from being the worst in baseball. They have an all-star high-leverage reliever with Taylor Rogers. Rogers did miss the final two months of the season due to his finger injury in August, but he expects to be ready to go by the season's start (whenever that may be). Rogers was not the consistent closer for the Twins last season, as many remember the shuffling between him, Alex Colome, and Hansel Robles. Before his thumb injury, Rogers was beginning to see more save opportunities in games than he had earlier in the season, having three of them in his final six appearances. Suppose the Twins front office does not intend to check in on free-agent closers, such as Ian Kennedy or Richard Rodriguez, after the lockout then Rogers will likely get the nod to be the closer again in 2022. Reliable Veterans The Twins had two reliable veteran relievers in 2021 that will carry over into the same roles for 2022. Those pitchers are Tyler Duffey and Caleb Thielbar. Both Duffey and Thielbar posted solid numbers in 2021, even with some shaky outings at the start of the season. Duffey ended the season with a 3.18 ERA, .216 opponents batting average, and 8.8 K per 9. Going into his age-31 season, Duffey still looks to be one of the primary setup men for the Twins bullpen to start the 2022 season. Thielbar was the most reliable left-handed reliever for the Twins throughout the 2021 season and will likely maintain that role alongside Rogers for 2022. Thielbar's return to the big leagues full-time in 2020 was one of the best feel-good stories in a season that was really needed in the year that was. And thanks to his 3.23 ERA, 10.8 K per 9, and 1.17 WHIP from 2021.Thielbar will likely be the go-to lefty for the Twins bullpen in 2022 depending on Rogers’ role.. Bounceback Players If there's one Twins pitcher who would like to put 2021 behind him above all the rest, it would be Randy Dobnak. Dobnak's injuries throughout 2021 were already keeping him off the field. And when he was healthy, Dobnak was not the same pitcher Twins fans became accustomed to seeing from their homes in 2020. As the Twins rotation currently sits, Dobnak is more likely to see time as a starter than a reliever with only one rotation addition in Dylan Bundy. Still, Dobnak could see some time in the bullpen whether the Twins decided to add another starter or not. If he does, it's not only a matter of getting more appearances out of the bullpen when healthy but also proving his 2021 numbers were a temporary fork in the road. Dobnak is not the only pitcher in the Twins bullpen looking for a bounceback in 2022. One of the Twins' new additions, Jharel Cotton, fits into this category too. Cotton returned to the Majors for the first time since 2017, getting time with the Texas Rangers in 2021. Cotton had not pitched back-to-back seasons professionally since 2016-17 because he had Tommy John surgery in 2018 and missed all of 2020 with no minor league season. Cotton's return to MLB in 2021 was not too bad. Cotton posted a 3.52 ERA and 8.8 K/9 in 23 relief appearances with the Rangers. The big question is if he can repeat and improve upon his 2021 numbers in 2022? The Twins claimed him off waivers, believing that he can, and willing to provide him the opportunity. Young Faces Wanting to Prove Themselves Two younger relievers in the Twins bullpen are still wanting to prove themselves as big-league relievers. They are Jorge Alcala and Ralph Garza Jr. Alcala has accumulated just over two years of MLB service time . In that time, he has pitched in 77 games over parts of three seasons. 2021 was Alcala's first full season, and he was streaky. There were times when Alcala was an excellent option for the Twins, and there were others where he struggled. At season’s end, Alcala had 9.2 K/9, a .214 opponents batting average, and 0.97 WHIP. Alcala has the talent to improve in 2022 to become one of the more reliable Twins relievers. Garza Jr. was an unexpected contributor last season who showed moments when he could be a reliable option for the Twins as the 2021 season dwindled. He had nine relief appearances with the Astros before the Twins claimed him off waivers on August 4th. Garza totaled 18 relief appearances as a Twin, putting together a 3.26 ERA, a .186 opponents batting average, and a 1.03 WHIP. Garza Jr. hopes to have his first full season in the majors for 2022 and show that his brief time with the Twins so far won't just be a flash in the pan. Minor League Options Three notable players signed to minor league deals with the Twins are likely to be seen in their bullpen sometime in 2022. Those three players are Danny Coulombe, Jake Faria, and Trevor Megill. All three have an invitation to spring training with the hopes of making the Twins Opening Day roster. If Coulombe pitches in a game for them in 2022, it will be his third season in a row with appearances for the Twins. Coulombe had two relief appearances in 2020 and made 29 more in 2021. He posted a 3.67 ERA and 8.7 K/9 in 2021.. Hours before the lockout, the Twins signed Jake Faria. Faria missed the 2020 season and pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2021, making three starts and 20 relief appearances. In 2021, he had a 5.51 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, and 2.46 K/BB ratio. However, Faria is still a no-risk, high-rewarded signing for the Twins. Finally, there's Trevor Megill. Megill's time with the Twins started oddly as the Twins released him hours after claiming him off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. A few days later, on Megill's birthday, the Twins re-signed him to a minor-league deal. The burly right-hander made his MLB debut in 2021 and struggled in his 28 relief appearances. Megill is big and strong. He throws hard and has a good slider. The Twins will work with him, presumably, on his mechanics and possibly his pitch mix and hope he can make a breakthrough in 2022. How does the Twins Bullpen Stand as of today for 2022? Grading the Twins bullpen as it is right now, they are an average bullpen, and that is assuming health and that generally everyone in their bullpen will be at their peak performance in 2022. Realistically, they're more of a C- bullpen without any further additions after the lockout. As mentioned earlier and in other Twins Daily articles, Richard Rodriguez would be a fine addition to the Twins bullpen. Other names in the reliever free-agent market that might be worth pursuing include Brad Boxberger, Joe Smith, and Joe Kelly. Any reliever who has had postseason experience would be a great addition for the Twins, even if they don't compete in 2022. But having another reliever with that experience with a different to mentor Twins relievers who will be around after 2022 will pay off for the future. So if the season started today, how do you think the Twins bullpen as currently constructed? View full article
  11. Bullpens have become the most overworked position in baseball in the last five years, and the Twins bullpen was a perfect example of overworked relievers in 2021. Of the 1,419 1/3 innings pitched from the Twins pitching staff in 2021, Twins relievers pitched approximately 617 2/3 innings pitched, or 43.5% of innings pitched. Relief pitchers making up around 40% of an MLB team's innings pitched is not uncommon in baseball today. However, it depends on who is in each team's bullpen which sets the postseason competitors, the tanking teams, and those in-between apart. The 2021 Twins bullpen falls into the in-between category, and how the front office decides to gear up the bullpen for 2022 post-lockout may be a deciding factor for how they sit in the AL Central for 2022. The Closer The Twins bullpen is far from being the worst in baseball. They have an all-star high-leverage reliever with Taylor Rogers. Rogers did miss the final two months of the season due to his finger injury in August, but he expects to be ready to go by the season's start (whenever that may be). Rogers was not the consistent closer for the Twins last season, as many remember the shuffling between him, Alex Colome, and Hansel Robles. Before his thumb injury, Rogers was beginning to see more save opportunities in games than he had earlier in the season, having three of them in his final six appearances. Suppose the Twins front office does not intend to check in on free-agent closers, such as Ian Kennedy or Richard Rodriguez, after the lockout then Rogers will likely get the nod to be the closer again in 2022. Reliable Veterans The Twins had two reliable veteran relievers in 2021 that will carry over into the same roles for 2022. Those pitchers are Tyler Duffey and Caleb Thielbar. Both Duffey and Thielbar posted solid numbers in 2021, even with some shaky outings at the start of the season. Duffey ended the season with a 3.18 ERA, .216 opponents batting average, and 8.8 K per 9. Going into his age-31 season, Duffey still looks to be one of the primary setup men for the Twins bullpen to start the 2022 season. Thielbar was the most reliable left-handed reliever for the Twins throughout the 2021 season and will likely maintain that role alongside Rogers for 2022. Thielbar's return to the big leagues full-time in 2020 was one of the best feel-good stories in a season that was really needed in the year that was. And thanks to his 3.23 ERA, 10.8 K per 9, and 1.17 WHIP from 2021.Thielbar will likely be the go-to lefty for the Twins bullpen in 2022 depending on Rogers’ role.. Bounceback Players If there's one Twins pitcher who would like to put 2021 behind him above all the rest, it would be Randy Dobnak. Dobnak's injuries throughout 2021 were already keeping him off the field. And when he was healthy, Dobnak was not the same pitcher Twins fans became accustomed to seeing from their homes in 2020. As the Twins rotation currently sits, Dobnak is more likely to see time as a starter than a reliever with only one rotation addition in Dylan Bundy. Still, Dobnak could see some time in the bullpen whether the Twins decided to add another starter or not. If he does, it's not only a matter of getting more appearances out of the bullpen when healthy but also proving his 2021 numbers were a temporary fork in the road. Dobnak is not the only pitcher in the Twins bullpen looking for a bounceback in 2022. One of the Twins' new additions, Jharel Cotton, fits into this category too. Cotton returned to the Majors for the first time since 2017, getting time with the Texas Rangers in 2021. Cotton had not pitched back-to-back seasons professionally since 2016-17 because he had Tommy John surgery in 2018 and missed all of 2020 with no minor league season. Cotton's return to MLB in 2021 was not too bad. Cotton posted a 3.52 ERA and 8.8 K/9 in 23 relief appearances with the Rangers. The big question is if he can repeat and improve upon his 2021 numbers in 2022? The Twins claimed him off waivers, believing that he can, and willing to provide him the opportunity. Young Faces Wanting to Prove Themselves Two younger relievers in the Twins bullpen are still wanting to prove themselves as big-league relievers. They are Jorge Alcala and Ralph Garza Jr. Alcala has accumulated just over two years of MLB service time . In that time, he has pitched in 77 games over parts of three seasons. 2021 was Alcala's first full season, and he was streaky. There were times when Alcala was an excellent option for the Twins, and there were others where he struggled. At season’s end, Alcala had 9.2 K/9, a .214 opponents batting average, and 0.97 WHIP. Alcala has the talent to improve in 2022 to become one of the more reliable Twins relievers. Garza Jr. was an unexpected contributor last season who showed moments when he could be a reliable option for the Twins as the 2021 season dwindled. He had nine relief appearances with the Astros before the Twins claimed him off waivers on August 4th. Garza totaled 18 relief appearances as a Twin, putting together a 3.26 ERA, a .186 opponents batting average, and a 1.03 WHIP. Garza Jr. hopes to have his first full season in the majors for 2022 and show that his brief time with the Twins so far won't just be a flash in the pan. Minor League Options Three notable players signed to minor league deals with the Twins are likely to be seen in their bullpen sometime in 2022. Those three players are Danny Coulombe, Jake Faria, and Trevor Megill. All three have an invitation to spring training with the hopes of making the Twins Opening Day roster. If Coulombe pitches in a game for them in 2022, it will be his third season in a row with appearances for the Twins. Coulombe had two relief appearances in 2020 and made 29 more in 2021. He posted a 3.67 ERA and 8.7 K/9 in 2021.. Hours before the lockout, the Twins signed Jake Faria. Faria missed the 2020 season and pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2021, making three starts and 20 relief appearances. In 2021, he had a 5.51 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, and 2.46 K/BB ratio. However, Faria is still a no-risk, high-rewarded signing for the Twins. Finally, there's Trevor Megill. Megill's time with the Twins started oddly as the Twins released him hours after claiming him off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. A few days later, on Megill's birthday, the Twins re-signed him to a minor-league deal. The burly right-hander made his MLB debut in 2021 and struggled in his 28 relief appearances. Megill is big and strong. He throws hard and has a good slider. The Twins will work with him, presumably, on his mechanics and possibly his pitch mix and hope he can make a breakthrough in 2022. How does the Twins Bullpen Stand as of today for 2022? Grading the Twins bullpen as it is right now, they are an average bullpen, and that is assuming health and that generally everyone in their bullpen will be at their peak performance in 2022. Realistically, they're more of a C- bullpen without any further additions after the lockout. As mentioned earlier and in other Twins Daily articles, Richard Rodriguez would be a fine addition to the Twins bullpen. Other names in the reliever free-agent market that might be worth pursuing include Brad Boxberger, Joe Smith, and Joe Kelly. Any reliever who has had postseason experience would be a great addition for the Twins, even if they don't compete in 2022. But having another reliever with that experience with a different to mentor Twins relievers who will be around after 2022 will pay off for the future. So if the season started today, how do you think the Twins bullpen as currently constructed?
  12. Growing up in the 2000's, there were five guys that made the Twins the best team to follow and fall in love with baseball. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, and Johan Santana
  13. Couldn't find a photo of him with the Twins, but he only played in 2 games and had 1 at bat with them in 2008. Ryan Jorgensen.
  14. My view on this in short. If I had to allow one of the following into the HoF to ensure no other PED users would get into the HoF. It would be Clemens. He cheated big time and was rewarded for it, but compared to the off field controversy and big diva personalities of Bonds and A-Fraud, he was tamed. I will likely die on the hill of never allowing Alex Rodriguez any good grace for who he was as a player and who he is as a person. The whole man's career both in baseball and business is built on lying and cheating. The fact he is rewarded with things to this day with zero accountability disgusts me. The man was taking steroids before he finished puberty, so no records or awards, aside from the 2009 World Series, should remain standing by MLB. They're all fake.
  15. Thanks for the feedback! You're certainly right on the legends I missed out on becoming the standard modern day players, I use a lot of legends from the 60s and 70s for that standard. Considering we're still going to be in a lockout with MLB for a while, I may just have to write my own top five hitters and pitchers in franchise history piece.
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