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Cody Christie

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  1. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Oldgoat_MN for an article, 2023 Twins Top 10 Prospect Rankings: Where Does Jose Salas Fit?   
    Many national prospect rankings have recently been released, with some debate at the top for the Twins. Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee are considered the team's best prospects, but their order differs depending on which list readers prefer. Emmanuel Rodriguez appears on multiple top 100 lists, so he is another name to watch in 2023. The Marlins included Jose Salas as part of the Luis Arraez trade, and this is where I'd place him in the team's top-10 list:
    10. Matt Wallner, OF
    Age: 25
    2022 Levels: AA, AAA, MLB
    Wallner is coming off his best professional season, which saw him hit .277/.412/.542 (.953) in the upper minors before making his big-league debut. He's in the same age range as Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff, so it will be interesting to see how the organization utilizes these three young players. Wallner will likely start the year at Triple-A if everyone is healthy, but he should be one of the team's first call-ups in 2023. 
    9. Edouard Julien, INF
    Age: 23
    2022 Level: AA
    Julien was one of Minnesota's breakout prospects in 2023. He hit .300/.441/.490 (.931) with 19 doubles, three triples, and 17 home runs. The Twins sent him to the Arizona Fall League, and he continued to rake with a 1.248 OPS in 21 games. Minnesota added him to their 40-man roster, so he should debut in 2023. Julien moved higher on the organizational depth chart after the Twins traded Arraez.
    8. Jose Salas, INF
    Age: 19
    2022 Levels: A, A+
    The Marlins were aggressive with Salas throughout his professional career. Last year, he split time between Low- and High-A, and he was over three years younger than the average age of the competition in the Midwest League. In 109 games, he hit .250/.339/.384 (.723) with 20 doubles, four triples, and nine home runs. He is expected to add more to his frame, and his power numbers should increase. Some believe he can stick at shortstop, but he is comfortable playing multiple defensive positions. Salas should play most of his games in Cedar Rapids, but the team might want him to play in Fort Myers for the season's early months. He's a long way from Target Field, but he is still a prospect to watch in 2023.
    7. Louie Varland, SP 
    Age: 25
    2022 Levels: AA, AAA, MLB
    Varland has been named the team's minor league pitcher of the year in back-to-back seasons. That has yet to happen in the Twins organization since Jose Berrios was a top-100 prospect. In 24 appearances, he posted a 3.06 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP and 10.4 K/9. His strikeout totals dropped at the big-league level, but his sample size was limited to five starts. He projects to start the year in St. Paul's rotation, but he should pitch in important games for the Twins in 2023. 
    6. Marco Raya, SP
    Age: 20
    2022 Level: A
    Raya made his professional debut in 2022 as a 19-year-old in the Florida State League. Only 42 of his at-bats came against younger batters because he was three years younger than the average age of the competition at his level. In 19 appearances (65 1/3 innings), he posted a 3.05 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP and 10.5 K/9. Baseball Prospectus ranks Raya as baseball's 53 overall prospect, which is higher than any other national ranking. Minnesota can let Raya start the year back in Fort Myers, but most of his innings should be in Cedar Rapids. 
    5. Simeon Woods Richardson, SP
    Age: 22
    2022 Levels: AA, AA. MLB
    Woods Richardson bounced back nicely in 2022 after struggling through parts of the 2021 season. In 23 appearances (107 1/3 IP), he posted a 2.77 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP and 9.6 K/9. He has been significantly younger than the median age of the competition throughout his professional career. Minnesota's starting pitching depth will have Woods Richardson continuing to develop at Triple-A this season. His performance and the health of other players will dictate how long he stays in St. Paul.
    4. Connor Prielipp, LHP
    Age: 22
    2022 Levels: N/A
    The Twins took Prielipp with the 48th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. He fell that far after undergoing Tommy John surgery in college, so he should be ready to make his professional debut in 2023. His fastball and slider are both MLB-ready pitches, and his changeup also projects to be above average. The Twins were confident enough in his pre-draft workouts to go over slot value to sign him. Minnesota will work him back slowly in 2023, but he has all the traits necessary to be an ace pitcher.
    3. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF
    Age: 19
    2022 Level: A
    Rodriguez has a chance to be the most exciting prospect in the Twins farm system. Last year, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. The only thing that slowed him down was a knee injury that ended his season in June. Many national prospect lists have taken notice of Rodriguez's performance as he is a consensus top-100 prospect. He has a chance to be a top-25 global prospect entering next season, especially if his power continues to develop. 
    2. Royce Lewis, SS/3B/OF
    Age: 23
    2022 Levels: AAA, MLB
    Lewis surprised many with how strongly he returned from ACL surgery during the 2022 campaign. The Twins sent him to Triple-A, and he hit .313/.405/.534 (.940) with 18 extra-base hits in 34 games. His big-league debut went nearly as well with a .867 OPS with four doubles and two home runs. Unfortunately, his season ended early after he tore his ACL running into the Target Field wall. Lewis should be ready by the middle of the season to help bolster the team's line-up. 
    1. Brooks Lee, SS
    Age: 21
    2022 Levels: Rookie, A+, AA
    Lee was considered the best college bat in the 2022 draft class, so the Twins were thrilled that he fell to them with the eighth overall pick. Two months following the draft, he played in the Double-A playoffs after combining for a .839 OPS at three different levels. Lee likely won't stick at shortstop when he reaches the majors, but the Twins hope Correa can fill that position for multiple years. Minnesota doesn't need to rush him in 2023; he can reach the big leagues in the second half.  

    The Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospect Rankings will be coming in early February with input from all of the site's minor league contributors. Who is ranked too high? Who is ranked too low? Should Austin Martin be in the top 10? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 
  2. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from MN_ExPat for an article, 2023 Twins Top 10 Prospect Rankings: Where Does Jose Salas Fit?   
    Many national prospect rankings have recently been released, with some debate at the top for the Twins. Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee are considered the team's best prospects, but their order differs depending on which list readers prefer. Emmanuel Rodriguez appears on multiple top 100 lists, so he is another name to watch in 2023. The Marlins included Jose Salas as part of the Luis Arraez trade, and this is where I'd place him in the team's top-10 list:
    10. Matt Wallner, OF
    Age: 25
    2022 Levels: AA, AAA, MLB
    Wallner is coming off his best professional season, which saw him hit .277/.412/.542 (.953) in the upper minors before making his big-league debut. He's in the same age range as Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff, so it will be interesting to see how the organization utilizes these three young players. Wallner will likely start the year at Triple-A if everyone is healthy, but he should be one of the team's first call-ups in 2023. 
    9. Edouard Julien, INF
    Age: 23
    2022 Level: AA
    Julien was one of Minnesota's breakout prospects in 2023. He hit .300/.441/.490 (.931) with 19 doubles, three triples, and 17 home runs. The Twins sent him to the Arizona Fall League, and he continued to rake with a 1.248 OPS in 21 games. Minnesota added him to their 40-man roster, so he should debut in 2023. Julien moved higher on the organizational depth chart after the Twins traded Arraez.
    8. Jose Salas, INF
    Age: 19
    2022 Levels: A, A+
    The Marlins were aggressive with Salas throughout his professional career. Last year, he split time between Low- and High-A, and he was over three years younger than the average age of the competition in the Midwest League. In 109 games, he hit .250/.339/.384 (.723) with 20 doubles, four triples, and nine home runs. He is expected to add more to his frame, and his power numbers should increase. Some believe he can stick at shortstop, but he is comfortable playing multiple defensive positions. Salas should play most of his games in Cedar Rapids, but the team might want him to play in Fort Myers for the season's early months. He's a long way from Target Field, but he is still a prospect to watch in 2023.
    7. Louie Varland, SP 
    Age: 25
    2022 Levels: AA, AAA, MLB
    Varland has been named the team's minor league pitcher of the year in back-to-back seasons. That has yet to happen in the Twins organization since Jose Berrios was a top-100 prospect. In 24 appearances, he posted a 3.06 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP and 10.4 K/9. His strikeout totals dropped at the big-league level, but his sample size was limited to five starts. He projects to start the year in St. Paul's rotation, but he should pitch in important games for the Twins in 2023. 
    6. Marco Raya, SP
    Age: 20
    2022 Level: A
    Raya made his professional debut in 2022 as a 19-year-old in the Florida State League. Only 42 of his at-bats came against younger batters because he was three years younger than the average age of the competition at his level. In 19 appearances (65 1/3 innings), he posted a 3.05 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP and 10.5 K/9. Baseball Prospectus ranks Raya as baseball's 53 overall prospect, which is higher than any other national ranking. Minnesota can let Raya start the year back in Fort Myers, but most of his innings should be in Cedar Rapids. 
    5. Simeon Woods Richardson, SP
    Age: 22
    2022 Levels: AA, AA. MLB
    Woods Richardson bounced back nicely in 2022 after struggling through parts of the 2021 season. In 23 appearances (107 1/3 IP), he posted a 2.77 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP and 9.6 K/9. He has been significantly younger than the median age of the competition throughout his professional career. Minnesota's starting pitching depth will have Woods Richardson continuing to develop at Triple-A this season. His performance and the health of other players will dictate how long he stays in St. Paul.
    4. Connor Prielipp, LHP
    Age: 22
    2022 Levels: N/A
    The Twins took Prielipp with the 48th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. He fell that far after undergoing Tommy John surgery in college, so he should be ready to make his professional debut in 2023. His fastball and slider are both MLB-ready pitches, and his changeup also projects to be above average. The Twins were confident enough in his pre-draft workouts to go over slot value to sign him. Minnesota will work him back slowly in 2023, but he has all the traits necessary to be an ace pitcher.
    3. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF
    Age: 19
    2022 Level: A
    Rodriguez has a chance to be the most exciting prospect in the Twins farm system. Last year, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. The only thing that slowed him down was a knee injury that ended his season in June. Many national prospect lists have taken notice of Rodriguez's performance as he is a consensus top-100 prospect. He has a chance to be a top-25 global prospect entering next season, especially if his power continues to develop. 
    2. Royce Lewis, SS/3B/OF
    Age: 23
    2022 Levels: AAA, MLB
    Lewis surprised many with how strongly he returned from ACL surgery during the 2022 campaign. The Twins sent him to Triple-A, and he hit .313/.405/.534 (.940) with 18 extra-base hits in 34 games. His big-league debut went nearly as well with a .867 OPS with four doubles and two home runs. Unfortunately, his season ended early after he tore his ACL running into the Target Field wall. Lewis should be ready by the middle of the season to help bolster the team's line-up. 
    1. Brooks Lee, SS
    Age: 21
    2022 Levels: Rookie, A+, AA
    Lee was considered the best college bat in the 2022 draft class, so the Twins were thrilled that he fell to them with the eighth overall pick. Two months following the draft, he played in the Double-A playoffs after combining for a .839 OPS at three different levels. Lee likely won't stick at shortstop when he reaches the majors, but the Twins hope Correa can fill that position for multiple years. Minnesota doesn't need to rush him in 2023; he can reach the big leagues in the second half.  

    The Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospect Rankings will be coming in early February with input from all of the site's minor league contributors. Who is ranked too high? Who is ranked too low? Should Austin Martin be in the top 10? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 
  3. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, Miranda, Gordon Focused on Health and Winning in 2023   
    The Twins Winter Caravan has been a staple of the Upper Midwest for over 60 years. This annual event sends current and former Twins players, along with broadcasters, to cities throughout Twins Territory. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced the cancellation of the last two Winter Caravans, but the Twins are back on the road this season with a much more limited schedule. 
    Local Twins radio affiliate KFGO sponsored the festivities in downtown Fargo at the Sanctuary Events Center. Fans were treated to highlight videos, a ballpark meal, a question-and-answer session, and autographs from the Twins contingent. Among the attendees were current Twins players Jose Miranda and Nick Gordon and third base coach Tommy Watkins. New Twins Hall of Fame outfielder and radio voice Dan Gladden was supposed to be there, but he stayed back to attend the funeral of Jake Mauer, the father of Jake, Billy, and Joe Mauer. 
    Miranda obviously has the added pressure of his sophomore season and the team handing him the starting third base job. However, Carlos Correa's return is going to help him to continue to improve. Miranda stressed the importance of the Puerto Rico connection between the two players and that he was a teenager when the Astros drafted Correa with the first overall pick. Miranda mentioned, "He gives me a lot of advice on how to get better, especially on how to make it through 162 games."
    During the 2022 season, Miranda started the year at Triple-A, and the coaches had a clear message for him. "They told me to go have fun and play like you are seven years old."
    He focused on working hard so he could finally get the call to the big-league level. It worked, and he ended up leading the Twins in RBI last season and provided one of the team's most dramatic moments. 
    Gordon also faced some challenges during the 2022 season. He played multiple new defensive positions but had some help along the way. "It's challenging playing all the positions, but Tommy and Buck (Byron Buxton) helped me transition to the outfield."
    It was a tough transition, but he stressed the importance of continuing to work through struggles. 
    Family is clearly important to both players. Gordon talked about growing up in a baseball family, with his father and brother being big-league players. He said everything was a competition, from eating dinner to getting ready in the morning. Miranda discussed his father serving as his batting coach throughout his life. "I can go 3-for-4, and he will tell me about the one I missed." Both players have reached this point in their careers because of their strong connection to their families. 
    Miranda couldn't escape answering a question about his famous cousin, Lin Manuel Miranda. He said his favorite production from his famous cousin is the movie Encanto because his two-year-old daughter loves the film. "I have to watch it 100 times per day."
    That number will likely need to decrease with the Twins' season starting in the coming months. 
    Anyone following the Twins last season is aware of how injuries plagued the team. When asked about their goals for the season, both players stressed that staying healthy was the number one goal. Both players want to be able to help the team win every day. They tied staying healthy to the team winning, a clear focus of the players in 2023. Miranda went on to say that they want the team to make the playoffs for the next five to ten years. It's a lofty goal, but this core has a chance to do some damage in the AL Central during the next decade. 
    What are you looking forward to from Miranda and Gordon in 2023? What other stories did you hear at the other Winter Caravan stops? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
     
     
  4. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from DannySD for an article, Miranda, Gordon Focused on Health and Winning in 2023   
    The Twins Winter Caravan has been a staple of the Upper Midwest for over 60 years. This annual event sends current and former Twins players, along with broadcasters, to cities throughout Twins Territory. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced the cancellation of the last two Winter Caravans, but the Twins are back on the road this season with a much more limited schedule. 
    Local Twins radio affiliate KFGO sponsored the festivities in downtown Fargo at the Sanctuary Events Center. Fans were treated to highlight videos, a ballpark meal, a question-and-answer session, and autographs from the Twins contingent. Among the attendees were current Twins players Jose Miranda and Nick Gordon and third base coach Tommy Watkins. New Twins Hall of Fame outfielder and radio voice Dan Gladden was supposed to be there, but he stayed back to attend the funeral of Jake Mauer, the father of Jake, Billy, and Joe Mauer. 
    Miranda obviously has the added pressure of his sophomore season and the team handing him the starting third base job. However, Carlos Correa's return is going to help him to continue to improve. Miranda stressed the importance of the Puerto Rico connection between the two players and that he was a teenager when the Astros drafted Correa with the first overall pick. Miranda mentioned, "He gives me a lot of advice on how to get better, especially on how to make it through 162 games."
    During the 2022 season, Miranda started the year at Triple-A, and the coaches had a clear message for him. "They told me to go have fun and play like you are seven years old."
    He focused on working hard so he could finally get the call to the big-league level. It worked, and he ended up leading the Twins in RBI last season and provided one of the team's most dramatic moments. 
    Gordon also faced some challenges during the 2022 season. He played multiple new defensive positions but had some help along the way. "It's challenging playing all the positions, but Tommy and Buck (Byron Buxton) helped me transition to the outfield."
    It was a tough transition, but he stressed the importance of continuing to work through struggles. 
    Family is clearly important to both players. Gordon talked about growing up in a baseball family, with his father and brother being big-league players. He said everything was a competition, from eating dinner to getting ready in the morning. Miranda discussed his father serving as his batting coach throughout his life. "I can go 3-for-4, and he will tell me about the one I missed." Both players have reached this point in their careers because of their strong connection to their families. 
    Miranda couldn't escape answering a question about his famous cousin, Lin Manuel Miranda. He said his favorite production from his famous cousin is the movie Encanto because his two-year-old daughter loves the film. "I have to watch it 100 times per day."
    That number will likely need to decrease with the Twins' season starting in the coming months. 
    Anyone following the Twins last season is aware of how injuries plagued the team. When asked about their goals for the season, both players stressed that staying healthy was the number one goal. Both players want to be able to help the team win every day. They tied staying healthy to the team winning, a clear focus of the players in 2023. Miranda went on to say that they want the team to make the playoffs for the next five to ten years. It's a lofty goal, but this core has a chance to do some damage in the AL Central during the next decade. 
    What are you looking forward to from Miranda and Gordon in 2023? What other stories did you hear at the other Winter Caravan stops? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
     
     
  5. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, Miranda, Gordon Focused on Health and Winning in 2023   
    The Twins Winter Caravan has been a staple of the Upper Midwest for over 60 years. This annual event sends current and former Twins players, along with broadcasters, to cities throughout Twins Territory. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced the cancellation of the last two Winter Caravans, but the Twins are back on the road this season with a much more limited schedule. 
    Local Twins radio affiliate KFGO sponsored the festivities in downtown Fargo at the Sanctuary Events Center. Fans were treated to highlight videos, a ballpark meal, a question-and-answer session, and autographs from the Twins contingent. Among the attendees were current Twins players Jose Miranda and Nick Gordon and third base coach Tommy Watkins. New Twins Hall of Fame outfielder and radio voice Dan Gladden was supposed to be there, but he stayed back to attend the funeral of Jake Mauer, the father of Jake, Billy, and Joe Mauer. 
    Miranda obviously has the added pressure of his sophomore season and the team handing him the starting third base job. However, Carlos Correa's return is going to help him to continue to improve. Miranda stressed the importance of the Puerto Rico connection between the two players and that he was a teenager when the Astros drafted Correa with the first overall pick. Miranda mentioned, "He gives me a lot of advice on how to get better, especially on how to make it through 162 games."
    During the 2022 season, Miranda started the year at Triple-A, and the coaches had a clear message for him. "They told me to go have fun and play like you are seven years old."
    He focused on working hard so he could finally get the call to the big-league level. It worked, and he ended up leading the Twins in RBI last season and provided one of the team's most dramatic moments. 
    Gordon also faced some challenges during the 2022 season. He played multiple new defensive positions but had some help along the way. "It's challenging playing all the positions, but Tommy and Buck (Byron Buxton) helped me transition to the outfield."
    It was a tough transition, but he stressed the importance of continuing to work through struggles. 
    Family is clearly important to both players. Gordon talked about growing up in a baseball family, with his father and brother being big-league players. He said everything was a competition, from eating dinner to getting ready in the morning. Miranda discussed his father serving as his batting coach throughout his life. "I can go 3-for-4, and he will tell me about the one I missed." Both players have reached this point in their careers because of their strong connection to their families. 
    Miranda couldn't escape answering a question about his famous cousin, Lin Manuel Miranda. He said his favorite production from his famous cousin is the movie Encanto because his two-year-old daughter loves the film. "I have to watch it 100 times per day."
    That number will likely need to decrease with the Twins' season starting in the coming months. 
    Anyone following the Twins last season is aware of how injuries plagued the team. When asked about their goals for the season, both players stressed that staying healthy was the number one goal. Both players want to be able to help the team win every day. They tied staying healthy to the team winning, a clear focus of the players in 2023. Miranda went on to say that they want the team to make the playoffs for the next five to ten years. It's a lofty goal, but this core has a chance to do some damage in the AL Central during the next decade. 
    What are you looking forward to from Miranda and Gordon in 2023? What other stories did you hear at the other Winter Caravan stops? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
     
     
  6. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from PatPfund for an article, Miranda, Gordon Focused on Health and Winning in 2023   
    The Twins Winter Caravan has been a staple of the Upper Midwest for over 60 years. This annual event sends current and former Twins players, along with broadcasters, to cities throughout Twins Territory. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced the cancellation of the last two Winter Caravans, but the Twins are back on the road this season with a much more limited schedule. 
    Local Twins radio affiliate KFGO sponsored the festivities in downtown Fargo at the Sanctuary Events Center. Fans were treated to highlight videos, a ballpark meal, a question-and-answer session, and autographs from the Twins contingent. Among the attendees were current Twins players Jose Miranda and Nick Gordon and third base coach Tommy Watkins. New Twins Hall of Fame outfielder and radio voice Dan Gladden was supposed to be there, but he stayed back to attend the funeral of Jake Mauer, the father of Jake, Billy, and Joe Mauer. 
    Miranda obviously has the added pressure of his sophomore season and the team handing him the starting third base job. However, Carlos Correa's return is going to help him to continue to improve. Miranda stressed the importance of the Puerto Rico connection between the two players and that he was a teenager when the Astros drafted Correa with the first overall pick. Miranda mentioned, "He gives me a lot of advice on how to get better, especially on how to make it through 162 games."
    During the 2022 season, Miranda started the year at Triple-A, and the coaches had a clear message for him. "They told me to go have fun and play like you are seven years old."
    He focused on working hard so he could finally get the call to the big-league level. It worked, and he ended up leading the Twins in RBI last season and provided one of the team's most dramatic moments. 
    Gordon also faced some challenges during the 2022 season. He played multiple new defensive positions but had some help along the way. "It's challenging playing all the positions, but Tommy and Buck (Byron Buxton) helped me transition to the outfield."
    It was a tough transition, but he stressed the importance of continuing to work through struggles. 
    Family is clearly important to both players. Gordon talked about growing up in a baseball family, with his father and brother being big-league players. He said everything was a competition, from eating dinner to getting ready in the morning. Miranda discussed his father serving as his batting coach throughout his life. "I can go 3-for-4, and he will tell me about the one I missed." Both players have reached this point in their careers because of their strong connection to their families. 
    Miranda couldn't escape answering a question about his famous cousin, Lin Manuel Miranda. He said his favorite production from his famous cousin is the movie Encanto because his two-year-old daughter loves the film. "I have to watch it 100 times per day."
    That number will likely need to decrease with the Twins' season starting in the coming months. 
    Anyone following the Twins last season is aware of how injuries plagued the team. When asked about their goals for the season, both players stressed that staying healthy was the number one goal. Both players want to be able to help the team win every day. They tied staying healthy to the team winning, a clear focus of the players in 2023. Miranda went on to say that they want the team to make the playoffs for the next five to ten years. It's a lofty goal, but this core has a chance to do some damage in the AL Central during the next decade. 
    What are you looking forward to from Miranda and Gordon in 2023? What other stories did you hear at the other Winter Caravan stops? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
     
     
  7. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from nclahammer for an article, Miranda, Gordon Focused on Health and Winning in 2023   
    The Twins Winter Caravan has been a staple of the Upper Midwest for over 60 years. This annual event sends current and former Twins players, along with broadcasters, to cities throughout Twins Territory. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced the cancellation of the last two Winter Caravans, but the Twins are back on the road this season with a much more limited schedule. 
    Local Twins radio affiliate KFGO sponsored the festivities in downtown Fargo at the Sanctuary Events Center. Fans were treated to highlight videos, a ballpark meal, a question-and-answer session, and autographs from the Twins contingent. Among the attendees were current Twins players Jose Miranda and Nick Gordon and third base coach Tommy Watkins. New Twins Hall of Fame outfielder and radio voice Dan Gladden was supposed to be there, but he stayed back to attend the funeral of Jake Mauer, the father of Jake, Billy, and Joe Mauer. 
    Miranda obviously has the added pressure of his sophomore season and the team handing him the starting third base job. However, Carlos Correa's return is going to help him to continue to improve. Miranda stressed the importance of the Puerto Rico connection between the two players and that he was a teenager when the Astros drafted Correa with the first overall pick. Miranda mentioned, "He gives me a lot of advice on how to get better, especially on how to make it through 162 games."
    During the 2022 season, Miranda started the year at Triple-A, and the coaches had a clear message for him. "They told me to go have fun and play like you are seven years old."
    He focused on working hard so he could finally get the call to the big-league level. It worked, and he ended up leading the Twins in RBI last season and provided one of the team's most dramatic moments. 
    Gordon also faced some challenges during the 2022 season. He played multiple new defensive positions but had some help along the way. "It's challenging playing all the positions, but Tommy and Buck (Byron Buxton) helped me transition to the outfield."
    It was a tough transition, but he stressed the importance of continuing to work through struggles. 
    Family is clearly important to both players. Gordon talked about growing up in a baseball family, with his father and brother being big-league players. He said everything was a competition, from eating dinner to getting ready in the morning. Miranda discussed his father serving as his batting coach throughout his life. "I can go 3-for-4, and he will tell me about the one I missed." Both players have reached this point in their careers because of their strong connection to their families. 
    Miranda couldn't escape answering a question about his famous cousin, Lin Manuel Miranda. He said his favorite production from his famous cousin is the movie Encanto because his two-year-old daughter loves the film. "I have to watch it 100 times per day."
    That number will likely need to decrease with the Twins' season starting in the coming months. 
    Anyone following the Twins last season is aware of how injuries plagued the team. When asked about their goals for the season, both players stressed that staying healthy was the number one goal. Both players want to be able to help the team win every day. They tied staying healthy to the team winning, a clear focus of the players in 2023. Miranda went on to say that they want the team to make the playoffs for the next five to ten years. It's a lofty goal, but this core has a chance to do some damage in the AL Central during the next decade. 
    What are you looking forward to from Miranda and Gordon in 2023? What other stories did you hear at the other Winter Caravan stops? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
     
     
  8. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, Twins Front Office Testing an Unsustainable Rotation Solution   
    Last week, Minnesota completed a trade that will add Pablo Lopez to a starting rotation that includes Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Tyler Mahle, and Kenta Maeda. None of these pitchers is considered an ace, but all five have shown the ability to be playoff-caliber starters at different points in their careers. Also, the Twins didn't develop any of these pitchers, which might become a problem for the front office.

    Maeda was the first of the group to join the Twins rotation. Minnesota acquired Maeda along with Jair Camargo for Brusdar Graterol and Luke Raley. Graterol was one of the Twins' best pitching prospects at the time of the trade, but it was expected that he would shift to a bullpen role. Now, he has only pitched 106 1/3 innings with a 7.8 K/9. Maeda finished runner-up for the Cy Young during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and will return to the mound in 2023 following Tommy John surgery. He is a free agent following the season and has been limited to 173 innings in a Twins uniform. 

    Ryan was the next pitcher acquired among this group. The Twins traded Nelson Cruz and Calvin Faucher to the Rays for Ryan and Drew Strotman at the 2021 trade deadline. Cruz was integral to Minnesota's success during the 2019 season, but he wasn't on an expiring contract. Tampa is known for its ability to develop pitching, and Ryan was nearly big-league-ready. In two seasons, he has posted a 3.63 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP with 9.4 K/9. Since he debuted at age 25, the Twins have team control over Ryan into his early-30s. 

    The Twins had to give up a substantial amount to acquire Sonny Gray during the last off-season. Minnesota had selected Chase Petty with the 26th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. In his age-19 season, the Reds pushed him to High-A, and he compiled a 3.48 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP and 8.8 K/9. Gray is no stranger to trades because he was traded three times in six seasons. In 2022, he pitched 119 2/3 innings with a 125 OPS+ and 8.8 K/9. Like Maeda, he can be a free agent following the 2023 campaign. 

    Minnesota reengaged Cincinnati at last year's trade deadline to acquire Mahle. This time the cost was significantly more, with the Twins trading multiple top prospects, including Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Steve Hajjar, and Spencer Steer. Mahle was limited to 16 1/3 innings with the Twins due to a shoulder injury, but the Twins hope he's healthy in 2023. This trade may haunt the front office if Mahle's shoulder continues to be an issue. 

    The Lopez trade differed from many others mentioned above because both teams included an established big-league player. Lopez and Ryan are the only two pitchers under team control beyond the 2023 season. Over the last three seasons, Lopez has posted a 3.52 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP while averaging 113 innings per season. Fans will expect a lot from Lopez, mainly since the Twins traded fan favorite Luis Arraez.

    One of the reasons Minnesota hired Derek Falvey was because of the pitching pipeline he helped develop in Cleveland. So far, the Twins have yet to see the results of pitchers developing in the organization's farm system. Every team needs more than five starting pitchers, and the Twins will use homegrown players like Bailey Ober, Josh Winder, Cole Sands, Louie Varland, and Jordan Balazovic. Minnesota's top pitching prospects, Connor Prielipp and Marco Raya don't figure to impact the 2023 roster. Starting pitching depth is critical, but the Twins might not be able to continue to trade for rotational help. 

    Time will tell if the Twins surrendered too much to acquire their projected starting rotation. Minnesota has shown a tendency to avoid long-term contracts for starting pitchers, and that's why the trade market has been their go-to method for acquiring talent. The organization's farm system already ranks in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the league, so it is unsustainable to think the front office can continue to trade prospects to acquire talent. Mid-market teams like the Twins thrive with young players supplementing the big-league roster, and that can't happen if the team continues to trade away prospects. 

    Is this model of building a rotation sustainable for the Twins? Will any of the organization's homegrown pitchers break out in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  9. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Minny505 for an article, Projecting the Twins 2023 Opening Day Roster: Lopez and Taylor Trades Add Depth   
    Last season, the lockout forced MLB to allow teams to begin the year with 28-man rosters. The lockout forced a shortened spring training, and baseball was worried about an increased chance of player injuries. For 2023, teams must narrow their final roster to 26 players. Players listed below with the ** are on the bubble for the final roster spots. 
    Catchers (2): Christian Vazquez, Ryan Jeffers
    Minnesota's catching duo has been set since the club signed Vazquez to a multi-year deal. It was clear from the onset of the off-season that the Twins targeted Vazquez and paid a premium to sign him. The Twins have six catchers among their non-roster invitees to spring training, including veterans Tony Wolters, Grayson Greiner, and Chance Sisco. Teams rarely rely on just two catchers for an entire season, so the Twins will likely need help from these veterans to play at some point during the 2023 campaign. 
    Infielders (5): Carlos Correa, Kyle Farmer, Alex Kirilloff**, Jose Miranda, Jorge Polanco 
    Adding Correa to this group pushed Farmer to a utility role, which might be a better fit for his skill set. Miranda is getting the full-time job at third base after the team traded Gio Urshela earlier this winter. Polanco figures to get most of the playing time at second base, but it will be interesting to see if he feels any pressure from the team's top prospects. Kirilloff will get time at first base, but the team might have another option (see below) if the team wants him to get regular rest at the season's start. Top prospects like Royce Lewis, Brooks Lee, Edouard Julien, and Austin Martin can add depth to this group in the second half. 
    Outfielders (6): Byron Buxton, Gilberto Celestino**, Joey Gallo, Nick Gordon**, Max Kepler, Michael A. Taylor
    By adding Taylor, the Twins have three former Gold Glove winners in the outfield and another Gold Glove finalist. Minnesota's outfield defense has the potential to be one of baseball's best, but all four players can't fit in the outfield at the same time. Gallo has logged over 746 innings at first base, so the team might be comfortable moving him to the infield so Kirilloff can slowly work his way back. Gilberto Celestino can start the year at Triple-A, a level where he has played fewer than 25 games. Nick Gordon is out of minor-league options, so the Twins will keep him based on his breakout performance in 2022. Trevor Larnach and Matt Wallner add depth to the organization's outfield, but they will have to power their way from St. Paul to Minneapolis.  
    Rotation (5): Sonny Gray, Pablo Lopez, Tyler Mahle, Kenta Maeda, Joe Ryan
    Some Twins fans were disappointed the Twins traded Arraez, but Lopez lengthened the Twins' starting rotation. Depth was needed because there are injury concerns surrounding numerous players in the rotation. Since the last projection, Bailey Ober got bumped to Triple-A because of the Lopez addition. Other young pitchers like Louie Varland, Simeon Woods Richardson, and Jordan Balazovic will be waiting for an opportunity. It is one of the deepest rotations the Twins have had in recent memory, and the club will have to rely on that depth if/when the injury bug strikes again. 
    Bullpen (8): Jhoan Duran, Jorge Lopez, Griffin Jax, Caleb Thielbar, Emilio Pagan, Jorge Alcala**, Jovani Moran**, Trevor Megill**
    Minnesota has done little to address the bullpen this winter, but that has been a common theme for a front office that relies on veterans and internal options. Since Twins Daily's initial roster projection, all of the above names have stayed the same. Duran and Lopez should get the bulk of the high-leverage opportunities. Jax and Thielbar will combine to be a bridge to the late-inning arms. Pagan is a wild card, but the Twins are hoping for a better performance from a player with good stuff. ZiPS projects feel like the Twins' bullpen is top-heavy, which makes sense considering the recent track record of players expected to be on the roster. Minnesota will have some decisions at the bullpen's backend with other 40-man roster options like Ronny Henriquez, Cole Sands, and Josh Winder.   

    How do you feel about the team's depth at multiple positions? What changes will happen to the team's roster before Opening Day? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
     
  10. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, Projecting the Twins 2023 Opening Day Roster: Lopez and Taylor Trades Add Depth   
    Last season, the lockout forced MLB to allow teams to begin the year with 28-man rosters. The lockout forced a shortened spring training, and baseball was worried about an increased chance of player injuries. For 2023, teams must narrow their final roster to 26 players. Players listed below with the ** are on the bubble for the final roster spots. 
    Catchers (2): Christian Vazquez, Ryan Jeffers
    Minnesota's catching duo has been set since the club signed Vazquez to a multi-year deal. It was clear from the onset of the off-season that the Twins targeted Vazquez and paid a premium to sign him. The Twins have six catchers among their non-roster invitees to spring training, including veterans Tony Wolters, Grayson Greiner, and Chance Sisco. Teams rarely rely on just two catchers for an entire season, so the Twins will likely need help from these veterans to play at some point during the 2023 campaign. 
    Infielders (5): Carlos Correa, Kyle Farmer, Alex Kirilloff**, Jose Miranda, Jorge Polanco 
    Adding Correa to this group pushed Farmer to a utility role, which might be a better fit for his skill set. Miranda is getting the full-time job at third base after the team traded Gio Urshela earlier this winter. Polanco figures to get most of the playing time at second base, but it will be interesting to see if he feels any pressure from the team's top prospects. Kirilloff will get time at first base, but the team might have another option (see below) if the team wants him to get regular rest at the season's start. Top prospects like Royce Lewis, Brooks Lee, Edouard Julien, and Austin Martin can add depth to this group in the second half. 
    Outfielders (6): Byron Buxton, Gilberto Celestino**, Joey Gallo, Nick Gordon**, Max Kepler, Michael A. Taylor
    By adding Taylor, the Twins have three former Gold Glove winners in the outfield and another Gold Glove finalist. Minnesota's outfield defense has the potential to be one of baseball's best, but all four players can't fit in the outfield at the same time. Gallo has logged over 746 innings at first base, so the team might be comfortable moving him to the infield so Kirilloff can slowly work his way back. Gilberto Celestino can start the year at Triple-A, a level where he has played fewer than 25 games. Nick Gordon is out of minor-league options, so the Twins will keep him based on his breakout performance in 2022. Trevor Larnach and Matt Wallner add depth to the organization's outfield, but they will have to power their way from St. Paul to Minneapolis.  
    Rotation (5): Sonny Gray, Pablo Lopez, Tyler Mahle, Kenta Maeda, Joe Ryan
    Some Twins fans were disappointed the Twins traded Arraez, but Lopez lengthened the Twins' starting rotation. Depth was needed because there are injury concerns surrounding numerous players in the rotation. Since the last projection, Bailey Ober got bumped to Triple-A because of the Lopez addition. Other young pitchers like Louie Varland, Simeon Woods Richardson, and Jordan Balazovic will be waiting for an opportunity. It is one of the deepest rotations the Twins have had in recent memory, and the club will have to rely on that depth if/when the injury bug strikes again. 
    Bullpen (8): Jhoan Duran, Jorge Lopez, Griffin Jax, Caleb Thielbar, Emilio Pagan, Jorge Alcala**, Jovani Moran**, Trevor Megill**
    Minnesota has done little to address the bullpen this winter, but that has been a common theme for a front office that relies on veterans and internal options. Since Twins Daily's initial roster projection, all of the above names have stayed the same. Duran and Lopez should get the bulk of the high-leverage opportunities. Jax and Thielbar will combine to be a bridge to the late-inning arms. Pagan is a wild card, but the Twins are hoping for a better performance from a player with good stuff. ZiPS projects feel like the Twins' bullpen is top-heavy, which makes sense considering the recent track record of players expected to be on the roster. Minnesota will have some decisions at the bullpen's backend with other 40-man roster options like Ronny Henriquez, Cole Sands, and Josh Winder.   

    How do you feel about the team's depth at multiple positions? What changes will happen to the team's roster before Opening Day? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
     
  11. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from The Mad King for an article, Where Are They Now? The Twins Last 10 First-Round Draft Picks   
    Many first-round picks quickly move into the organization’s top prospect lists. Minnesota has seen some successes and failures in recent drafts, with multiple top prospects on the way to Target Field. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have focused on certain types of players in the draft, which might help the team keep its winning window open as long as possible. Here’s a look at the last decade of first-round picks for the Twins. 

    2022: Brooks Lee (8th overall)
    Lee is one of the most exciting hitting prospects to come through the Twins organization in quite some time. Some evaluators thought he could be the number one overall pick, but he fell to the Twins with the eighth pick. Last season, he played at three levels and hit .303/.389/.451 (.839) with six doubles and four home runs. The Twins don’t need to rush things with Lee, and he will probably spend most of the season at Double-A. If he performs well, there is a chance he will make his debut in 2023 and is a top-25 global prospect by this time next year. 

    2021: Chase Petty (26th overall)
    It can take a long time for high school pitchers to develop in the minor leagues. Minnesota thought Petty had enough upside to take on that risk before drafting him late in the first round. Leading into last season, the Twins traded him to the Reds organization for Sonny Gray. In his age-19 season, the Reds pushed him to High-A, and he compiled a 3.48 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP and 8.8 K/9. For 2023, Petty should get a full season at High-A with a chance to pitch over 100 innings for the first time in his career. 

    2020: Aaron Sabato (27th overall)
    The 2020 MLB Draft will be interesting to analyze in the years ahead. College teams saw limited action before the shutdown, and many high school players never stepped on the field that spring. Sabato destroyed the ball in college (1.158 OPS) before being drafted by the Twins. In 2022, he hit .215/.336/.438 (.774) with 17 doubles and 22 home runs while reaching Double-A. Sabato was over a year younger than the average age of the competition in the Texas League, so he should spend most of 2022 at that level. 

    2019: Keoni Cavaco (13th overall)
    Cavaco has spent the last two seasons at Fort Myers while shifting from shortstop to third base. Last season, he hit .231/.275/.397 (.672) with 18 doubles, five triples, and 11 home runs. His OPS jumped 74 points compared to 2021, and he was roughly the same age as the average competition at his level. He will be pushed to Cedar Rapids in 2023 with a chance to reach Double-A by the season’s end. 

    2018: Trevor Larnach (20th overall)
    Larnach has averaged fewer than 80 games per season over the last two years. He’s been a streaky hitter during his big-league career, but some of his performance might be tied to his injury history. He posted a 104 OPS+ in 2022 and destroyed the ball in May with a 1.077 OPS. Minnesota has a plethora of left-handed power-hitting bats, which might make Larnach expendable as part of a trade. 

    2017: Royce Lewis (1st overall)
    It looked like the Twins might be willing to turn shortstop over to Royce Lewis before the team signed Carlos Correa to a long-term deal. Now, Lewis will need to shift to other defensive positions if Correa continues to stay healthy. During the 2023 season, Lewis isn’t expected to return to action until mid-season while recovering from his second ACL tear over the last two seasons. 

    2016: Alex Kirilloff (15th overall)
    Kirilloff has battled through wrist issues during his first two big-league seasons, and the Twins hope his latest surgery helps him in the long term. There have been glimpses of the strong hitter Kirilloff was at the start of his professional career, but his nagging wrist has slowed down his development. He will get regular time at first base and in a corner outfield spot for the 2023 Twins. 

    2015: Tyler Jay (6th overall)
    Jay never made it to the big leagues with the Twins organization. He topped out at the Double-A level in four seasons in the organization. The Twins traded Jay to the Reds organization during the 2019 season for cash considerations, but he only spent part of a season pitching for that organization. Last year, he made 22 appearances with a 1.64 ERA and 9.8 K/9 for the Joliet Slammers in the independent Frontier League. It seems likely that he can get another job in independent baseball if he wants to continue pitching. 

    2014: Nick Gordon (5th overall)
    It may have taken longer than expected, but Gordon found a niche with the 2022 Twins. He became an everyday player for a team struggling through injuries and posted a 113 OPS+ in 136 games. Minnesota has plenty of corner outfield options on the 40-man roster, so it will be interesting to see how the Twins will use Gordon in 2023. He is out of MLB options, so he needs to be kept on the Opening Day roster. 

    2013: Kohl Stewart (4th overall)
    Stewart played eight seasons in the Twins organization and made six appearances at the big-league level. He struggled in the upper minors with a 4.65 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in over 160 innings at Triple-A. For 2023, the Royals signed Stewart to a minor league deal, but he isn’t expected in big-league camp as he continues to rehab from an elbow injury. 

    Which players will have the most significant impact on the 2023 roster? Which player was the biggest disappointment? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 
  12. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Fatbat for an article, 3 Ways Jhoan Duran Can Reach Another Level in 2023   
    It's truly amazing to consider what Jhoan Duran was able to accomplish during his rookie campaign. The Twins used him as a starter throughout his professional career, but he transitioned to reliever last spring. Minnesota surprised many by dealing away Taylor Rogers shortly before Opening Day, but that could be a sign of the front office's confidence in Duran. He went on to lead all AL pitchers in Win Probability Added, but there are still areas for him to improve in 2023. 
    Keep the Ball in the Park
    Every reliever attempts to keep the ball in the park, but Duran's dominant strikeout totals should allow him to do an even better job at limiting home runs. In 67 2/3 innings, Duran allowed 50 hits, with six being long balls. Toronto's Tim Mayza (25.9%) and Minnesota's Emilio Pagan (18.5%) were the only qualified AL relievers to allow more HR/FB than Duran (17.6%).
    Twins fans don't want to see Duran's name on any leaderboard with Pagan. Duran's split-finger fastball was his worst pitch in 2022, as it was responsible for half of his home runs and a .462 SLG. He threw his splitter less than 16% of the time, so it will be interesting to see if the Twins encourage him to use this pitch less often in 2023.  

    Increase Multi-Inning Appearances
    Duran dealt with injury concerns during his minor league, which was one reason Minnesota moved him to a reliever role. There was some thought that Duran may be able to handle multi-inning appearances because of his previous starting experience. In 57 appearances, Duran pitched more than one inning 14 times, including ten appearances of two innings.
    However, only two of his multi-inning appearances came after July 16, corresponding to when the Twins fell out of contention. Duran's second-half numbers were significantly better in the second half with a 1.05 ERA and 13.3 K/9, but he pitched over 16 fewer innings after the All-Star Game. In his sophomore season, Rocco Baldelli should feel more comfortable utilizing him in a multi-inning role throughout the 2023 campaign.  

    Another Player Takes the Closer Role
    Bullpen usage has evolved recently, with some teams not adhering to a traditional closer role. Managers often turn to their best reliever in the highest leverage situations, which is only sometimes in the ninth inning. Last season, Duran was at his best in high-leverage situations. In 39 games, he held batters to a .180/.246/.243 (.489) with six GDPs and a 39 to 6 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
    The Twins added Jorge Lopez at the trade deadline to fill a more traditional closer's role, but he struggled in the second half. The Twins hope that Lopez made some adjustments this winter and he can reestablish himself as a late-inning weapon. Minnesota also hopes relievers like Griffin Jax, Jovani Moran, and Jorge Alcala are prepared to take on more significant roles. 

    Duran will need help to replicate his numbers from his rookie campaign. However, the Twins can put him into some situations that help to boost his overall performance. If he finds a way to improve in 2023, the rest of the American League better watch out. 

    What do you think Duran can do to reach another level in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 
  13. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for an article, 3 Ways Jhoan Duran Can Reach Another Level in 2023   
    It's truly amazing to consider what Jhoan Duran was able to accomplish during his rookie campaign. The Twins used him as a starter throughout his professional career, but he transitioned to reliever last spring. Minnesota surprised many by dealing away Taylor Rogers shortly before Opening Day, but that could be a sign of the front office's confidence in Duran. He went on to lead all AL pitchers in Win Probability Added, but there are still areas for him to improve in 2023. 
    Keep the Ball in the Park
    Every reliever attempts to keep the ball in the park, but Duran's dominant strikeout totals should allow him to do an even better job at limiting home runs. In 67 2/3 innings, Duran allowed 50 hits, with six being long balls. Toronto's Tim Mayza (25.9%) and Minnesota's Emilio Pagan (18.5%) were the only qualified AL relievers to allow more HR/FB than Duran (17.6%).
    Twins fans don't want to see Duran's name on any leaderboard with Pagan. Duran's split-finger fastball was his worst pitch in 2022, as it was responsible for half of his home runs and a .462 SLG. He threw his splitter less than 16% of the time, so it will be interesting to see if the Twins encourage him to use this pitch less often in 2023.  

    Increase Multi-Inning Appearances
    Duran dealt with injury concerns during his minor league, which was one reason Minnesota moved him to a reliever role. There was some thought that Duran may be able to handle multi-inning appearances because of his previous starting experience. In 57 appearances, Duran pitched more than one inning 14 times, including ten appearances of two innings.
    However, only two of his multi-inning appearances came after July 16, corresponding to when the Twins fell out of contention. Duran's second-half numbers were significantly better in the second half with a 1.05 ERA and 13.3 K/9, but he pitched over 16 fewer innings after the All-Star Game. In his sophomore season, Rocco Baldelli should feel more comfortable utilizing him in a multi-inning role throughout the 2023 campaign.  

    Another Player Takes the Closer Role
    Bullpen usage has evolved recently, with some teams not adhering to a traditional closer role. Managers often turn to their best reliever in the highest leverage situations, which is only sometimes in the ninth inning. Last season, Duran was at his best in high-leverage situations. In 39 games, he held batters to a .180/.246/.243 (.489) with six GDPs and a 39 to 6 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
    The Twins added Jorge Lopez at the trade deadline to fill a more traditional closer's role, but he struggled in the second half. The Twins hope that Lopez made some adjustments this winter and he can reestablish himself as a late-inning weapon. Minnesota also hopes relievers like Griffin Jax, Jovani Moran, and Jorge Alcala are prepared to take on more significant roles. 

    Duran will need help to replicate his numbers from his rookie campaign. However, the Twins can put him into some situations that help to boost his overall performance. If he finds a way to improve in 2023, the rest of the American League better watch out. 

    What do you think Duran can do to reach another level in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 
  14. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Richie the Rally Goat for an article, The Twins Continue to Deal in Distressed Assets   
    Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have followed different trends since taking the Twins' front office reins. Those trends include the types of players they target in the draft process, using a patient approach in the offseason, and acquiring players that some may consider distressed assets. Some distressed assets have provided value for the Twins, but others have been unmitigated disasters. Can the Twins find a way to be successful while following this player acquisition trend?

    Reasons for this Trend 
    The current front office has placed a premium value on acquiring players on good contracts or with multiple years of team control. There is risk involved with long-term deals for free-agent players, and the Twins typically aren't swimming in the deep end of the free-agent market. However, there have been multiple instances when a player's value had dropped enough that the Twins were comfortable offering multi-year deals. Minnesota was willing to make the highest offer because the front office felt the player would provide enough value in the contract's early years to make up for the back end. 

    On the pitching side, Minnesota has recently traded for multiple arms, and there have been injury concerns with some of those acquisitions. Trading for any pitching asset comes with some level of trepidation. Last season, Twins fans clamored for the team to acquire Frankie Montas, but he was traded to the Yankees and will start the 2023 season on the injured list because of a shoulder injury. Only some pitchers can perform at a high level after a trade. 

    Also, the Twins value the prospects this regime has accumulated, so they have shown a hesitancy to deal top prospects for pitching assets. That made last year's trade deadline so intriguing because it looked like the front office was putting the team in the best position to win. Unfortunately, recent seasons haven't played out in the team's favor. 

    Distressed Assets: Pitchers
    Sam Dyson was one of this front office's first significant trade deadline deals in 2019. His Twins' tenure was disastrous as he allowed nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings while making multiple trips to the Injured List. Eventually, he revealed that he had been pitching through shoulder discomfort for multiple weeks. The Twins tried to investigate if the Giants knew anything about his injury before the trade. There were no signs of his injury or poor performance before the trade, so this deal looks like bad luck for the Twins. He hasn't pitched in professional baseball since 2019 because of sexual assault allegations and a suspension. 

    Leading into the 2020 season, the Twins traded for Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers. Los Angeles expressed concerns about Maeda's elbow when he initially signed in 2016, and that's why he signed an incentive-laden contract. He pitched nearly 590 innings with the Dodgers before being traded and showed no signs of his elbow being an issue. His first season in Minnesota couldn't have gone much better, as he posted a 2.70 ERA while leading baseball with a 0.75 WHIP. Maeda's performance declined in 2021, forcing him to undergo Tommy John surgery. He pitched over 760 big-league innings before his elbow gave out, so this wasn't a red flag before the trade. 

    Minnesota recently finished an extension with Chris Paddack to keep him with the organization through the 2025 season and delay free agency by one year. The Twins acquired Paddack leading into the 2022 season after he dealt with a sprained UCL at the end of the 2021 season. He pitched well in limited action last season, and the Twins are hoping he can return in 2023 following his second Tommy John surgery. His extension gives the Twins some cost certainty and has the potential for Paddack to provide the team upside over the next three seasons. 

    Tyler Mahle was arguably the Twins' most prominent trade deadline acquisition in 2022. The front office attempted to add a playoff-caliber starter to the rotation, but it came at a cost. Shortly before the trade, Mahle missed time with a shoulder injury, and those issues continued with the Twins. He couldn't help the team down the stretch, and now there are questions about his health entering the 2023 campaign. Mahle is a free agent at season's end, and the Twins hope his off-season regime has built up his shoulder enough to provide value at the rotation's front end. 

    Distressed Assets: Position Players
    Entering the 2020 season, the Twins planned to target free-agent starting pitching, but the market didn't work out in the club's favor. Instead, Josh Donaldson was still available because of lingering injury concerns and the fact that he was in his mid-30s. Minnesota hoped that Donaldson could be an asset to help push the team to postseason success. However, he didn't appear in either playoff game during his Twins tenure. Luckily, the Twins were able to trade Donaldson, which helped pave the way for signing Carlos Correa. 

    Carlos Correa 's free agent journey has been well documented in recent weeks, but there's no question he remains with the Twins because of long-term health concerns. Minnesota offered a front-loaded contract that is very team friendly, but there are risks involved with any free-agent signing. Even Byron Buxton 's extension can be viewed as a distressed asset, because of his long-running injury concerns. The Twins' success is now tied to Correa and Buxton staying healthy. Minnesota's line-up should have two of baseball's best hitters if both players perform up to expectations. 

    Are you concerned with Minnesota's trend of acquiring distressed assets? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
     
  15. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from MN_ExPat for an article, 3 Ways Jhoan Duran Can Reach Another Level in 2023   
    It's truly amazing to consider what Jhoan Duran was able to accomplish during his rookie campaign. The Twins used him as a starter throughout his professional career, but he transitioned to reliever last spring. Minnesota surprised many by dealing away Taylor Rogers shortly before Opening Day, but that could be a sign of the front office's confidence in Duran. He went on to lead all AL pitchers in Win Probability Added, but there are still areas for him to improve in 2023. 
    Keep the Ball in the Park
    Every reliever attempts to keep the ball in the park, but Duran's dominant strikeout totals should allow him to do an even better job at limiting home runs. In 67 2/3 innings, Duran allowed 50 hits, with six being long balls. Toronto's Tim Mayza (25.9%) and Minnesota's Emilio Pagan (18.5%) were the only qualified AL relievers to allow more HR/FB than Duran (17.6%).
    Twins fans don't want to see Duran's name on any leaderboard with Pagan. Duran's split-finger fastball was his worst pitch in 2022, as it was responsible for half of his home runs and a .462 SLG. He threw his splitter less than 16% of the time, so it will be interesting to see if the Twins encourage him to use this pitch less often in 2023.  

    Increase Multi-Inning Appearances
    Duran dealt with injury concerns during his minor league, which was one reason Minnesota moved him to a reliever role. There was some thought that Duran may be able to handle multi-inning appearances because of his previous starting experience. In 57 appearances, Duran pitched more than one inning 14 times, including ten appearances of two innings.
    However, only two of his multi-inning appearances came after July 16, corresponding to when the Twins fell out of contention. Duran's second-half numbers were significantly better in the second half with a 1.05 ERA and 13.3 K/9, but he pitched over 16 fewer innings after the All-Star Game. In his sophomore season, Rocco Baldelli should feel more comfortable utilizing him in a multi-inning role throughout the 2023 campaign.  

    Another Player Takes the Closer Role
    Bullpen usage has evolved recently, with some teams not adhering to a traditional closer role. Managers often turn to their best reliever in the highest leverage situations, which is only sometimes in the ninth inning. Last season, Duran was at his best in high-leverage situations. In 39 games, he held batters to a .180/.246/.243 (.489) with six GDPs and a 39 to 6 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
    The Twins added Jorge Lopez at the trade deadline to fill a more traditional closer's role, but he struggled in the second half. The Twins hope that Lopez made some adjustments this winter and he can reestablish himself as a late-inning weapon. Minnesota also hopes relievers like Griffin Jax, Jovani Moran, and Jorge Alcala are prepared to take on more significant roles. 

    Duran will need help to replicate his numbers from his rookie campaign. However, the Twins can put him into some situations that help to boost his overall performance. If he finds a way to improve in 2023, the rest of the American League better watch out. 

    What do you think Duran can do to reach another level in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 
  16. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Karbo for an article, 3 Ways Jhoan Duran Can Reach Another Level in 2023   
    It's truly amazing to consider what Jhoan Duran was able to accomplish during his rookie campaign. The Twins used him as a starter throughout his professional career, but he transitioned to reliever last spring. Minnesota surprised many by dealing away Taylor Rogers shortly before Opening Day, but that could be a sign of the front office's confidence in Duran. He went on to lead all AL pitchers in Win Probability Added, but there are still areas for him to improve in 2023. 
    Keep the Ball in the Park
    Every reliever attempts to keep the ball in the park, but Duran's dominant strikeout totals should allow him to do an even better job at limiting home runs. In 67 2/3 innings, Duran allowed 50 hits, with six being long balls. Toronto's Tim Mayza (25.9%) and Minnesota's Emilio Pagan (18.5%) were the only qualified AL relievers to allow more HR/FB than Duran (17.6%).
    Twins fans don't want to see Duran's name on any leaderboard with Pagan. Duran's split-finger fastball was his worst pitch in 2022, as it was responsible for half of his home runs and a .462 SLG. He threw his splitter less than 16% of the time, so it will be interesting to see if the Twins encourage him to use this pitch less often in 2023.  

    Increase Multi-Inning Appearances
    Duran dealt with injury concerns during his minor league, which was one reason Minnesota moved him to a reliever role. There was some thought that Duran may be able to handle multi-inning appearances because of his previous starting experience. In 57 appearances, Duran pitched more than one inning 14 times, including ten appearances of two innings.
    However, only two of his multi-inning appearances came after July 16, corresponding to when the Twins fell out of contention. Duran's second-half numbers were significantly better in the second half with a 1.05 ERA and 13.3 K/9, but he pitched over 16 fewer innings after the All-Star Game. In his sophomore season, Rocco Baldelli should feel more comfortable utilizing him in a multi-inning role throughout the 2023 campaign.  

    Another Player Takes the Closer Role
    Bullpen usage has evolved recently, with some teams not adhering to a traditional closer role. Managers often turn to their best reliever in the highest leverage situations, which is only sometimes in the ninth inning. Last season, Duran was at his best in high-leverage situations. In 39 games, he held batters to a .180/.246/.243 (.489) with six GDPs and a 39 to 6 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
    The Twins added Jorge Lopez at the trade deadline to fill a more traditional closer's role, but he struggled in the second half. The Twins hope that Lopez made some adjustments this winter and he can reestablish himself as a late-inning weapon. Minnesota also hopes relievers like Griffin Jax, Jovani Moran, and Jorge Alcala are prepared to take on more significant roles. 

    Duran will need help to replicate his numbers from his rookie campaign. However, the Twins can put him into some situations that help to boost his overall performance. If he finds a way to improve in 2023, the rest of the American League better watch out. 

    What do you think Duran can do to reach another level in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 
  17. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from ToddlerHarmon for an article, The Twins Continue to Deal in Distressed Assets   
    Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have followed different trends since taking the Twins' front office reins. Those trends include the types of players they target in the draft process, using a patient approach in the offseason, and acquiring players that some may consider distressed assets. Some distressed assets have provided value for the Twins, but others have been unmitigated disasters. Can the Twins find a way to be successful while following this player acquisition trend?

    Reasons for this Trend 
    The current front office has placed a premium value on acquiring players on good contracts or with multiple years of team control. There is risk involved with long-term deals for free-agent players, and the Twins typically aren't swimming in the deep end of the free-agent market. However, there have been multiple instances when a player's value had dropped enough that the Twins were comfortable offering multi-year deals. Minnesota was willing to make the highest offer because the front office felt the player would provide enough value in the contract's early years to make up for the back end. 

    On the pitching side, Minnesota has recently traded for multiple arms, and there have been injury concerns with some of those acquisitions. Trading for any pitching asset comes with some level of trepidation. Last season, Twins fans clamored for the team to acquire Frankie Montas, but he was traded to the Yankees and will start the 2023 season on the injured list because of a shoulder injury. Only some pitchers can perform at a high level after a trade. 

    Also, the Twins value the prospects this regime has accumulated, so they have shown a hesitancy to deal top prospects for pitching assets. That made last year's trade deadline so intriguing because it looked like the front office was putting the team in the best position to win. Unfortunately, recent seasons haven't played out in the team's favor. 

    Distressed Assets: Pitchers
    Sam Dyson was one of this front office's first significant trade deadline deals in 2019. His Twins' tenure was disastrous as he allowed nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings while making multiple trips to the Injured List. Eventually, he revealed that he had been pitching through shoulder discomfort for multiple weeks. The Twins tried to investigate if the Giants knew anything about his injury before the trade. There were no signs of his injury or poor performance before the trade, so this deal looks like bad luck for the Twins. He hasn't pitched in professional baseball since 2019 because of sexual assault allegations and a suspension. 

    Leading into the 2020 season, the Twins traded for Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers. Los Angeles expressed concerns about Maeda's elbow when he initially signed in 2016, and that's why he signed an incentive-laden contract. He pitched nearly 590 innings with the Dodgers before being traded and showed no signs of his elbow being an issue. His first season in Minnesota couldn't have gone much better, as he posted a 2.70 ERA while leading baseball with a 0.75 WHIP. Maeda's performance declined in 2021, forcing him to undergo Tommy John surgery. He pitched over 760 big-league innings before his elbow gave out, so this wasn't a red flag before the trade. 

    Minnesota recently finished an extension with Chris Paddack to keep him with the organization through the 2025 season and delay free agency by one year. The Twins acquired Paddack leading into the 2022 season after he dealt with a sprained UCL at the end of the 2021 season. He pitched well in limited action last season, and the Twins are hoping he can return in 2023 following his second Tommy John surgery. His extension gives the Twins some cost certainty and has the potential for Paddack to provide the team upside over the next three seasons. 

    Tyler Mahle was arguably the Twins' most prominent trade deadline acquisition in 2022. The front office attempted to add a playoff-caliber starter to the rotation, but it came at a cost. Shortly before the trade, Mahle missed time with a shoulder injury, and those issues continued with the Twins. He couldn't help the team down the stretch, and now there are questions about his health entering the 2023 campaign. Mahle is a free agent at season's end, and the Twins hope his off-season regime has built up his shoulder enough to provide value at the rotation's front end. 

    Distressed Assets: Position Players
    Entering the 2020 season, the Twins planned to target free-agent starting pitching, but the market didn't work out in the club's favor. Instead, Josh Donaldson was still available because of lingering injury concerns and the fact that he was in his mid-30s. Minnesota hoped that Donaldson could be an asset to help push the team to postseason success. However, he didn't appear in either playoff game during his Twins tenure. Luckily, the Twins were able to trade Donaldson, which helped pave the way for signing Carlos Correa. 

    Carlos Correa 's free agent journey has been well documented in recent weeks, but there's no question he remains with the Twins because of long-term health concerns. Minnesota offered a front-loaded contract that is very team friendly, but there are risks involved with any free-agent signing. Even Byron Buxton 's extension can be viewed as a distressed asset, because of his long-running injury concerns. The Twins' success is now tied to Correa and Buxton staying healthy. Minnesota's line-up should have two of baseball's best hitters if both players perform up to expectations. 

    Are you concerned with Minnesota's trend of acquiring distressed assets? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
     
  18. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Karbo for an article, The Twins Continue to Deal in Distressed Assets   
    Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have followed different trends since taking the Twins' front office reins. Those trends include the types of players they target in the draft process, using a patient approach in the offseason, and acquiring players that some may consider distressed assets. Some distressed assets have provided value for the Twins, but others have been unmitigated disasters. Can the Twins find a way to be successful while following this player acquisition trend?

    Reasons for this Trend 
    The current front office has placed a premium value on acquiring players on good contracts or with multiple years of team control. There is risk involved with long-term deals for free-agent players, and the Twins typically aren't swimming in the deep end of the free-agent market. However, there have been multiple instances when a player's value had dropped enough that the Twins were comfortable offering multi-year deals. Minnesota was willing to make the highest offer because the front office felt the player would provide enough value in the contract's early years to make up for the back end. 

    On the pitching side, Minnesota has recently traded for multiple arms, and there have been injury concerns with some of those acquisitions. Trading for any pitching asset comes with some level of trepidation. Last season, Twins fans clamored for the team to acquire Frankie Montas, but he was traded to the Yankees and will start the 2023 season on the injured list because of a shoulder injury. Only some pitchers can perform at a high level after a trade. 

    Also, the Twins value the prospects this regime has accumulated, so they have shown a hesitancy to deal top prospects for pitching assets. That made last year's trade deadline so intriguing because it looked like the front office was putting the team in the best position to win. Unfortunately, recent seasons haven't played out in the team's favor. 

    Distressed Assets: Pitchers
    Sam Dyson was one of this front office's first significant trade deadline deals in 2019. His Twins' tenure was disastrous as he allowed nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings while making multiple trips to the Injured List. Eventually, he revealed that he had been pitching through shoulder discomfort for multiple weeks. The Twins tried to investigate if the Giants knew anything about his injury before the trade. There were no signs of his injury or poor performance before the trade, so this deal looks like bad luck for the Twins. He hasn't pitched in professional baseball since 2019 because of sexual assault allegations and a suspension. 

    Leading into the 2020 season, the Twins traded for Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers. Los Angeles expressed concerns about Maeda's elbow when he initially signed in 2016, and that's why he signed an incentive-laden contract. He pitched nearly 590 innings with the Dodgers before being traded and showed no signs of his elbow being an issue. His first season in Minnesota couldn't have gone much better, as he posted a 2.70 ERA while leading baseball with a 0.75 WHIP. Maeda's performance declined in 2021, forcing him to undergo Tommy John surgery. He pitched over 760 big-league innings before his elbow gave out, so this wasn't a red flag before the trade. 

    Minnesota recently finished an extension with Chris Paddack to keep him with the organization through the 2025 season and delay free agency by one year. The Twins acquired Paddack leading into the 2022 season after he dealt with a sprained UCL at the end of the 2021 season. He pitched well in limited action last season, and the Twins are hoping he can return in 2023 following his second Tommy John surgery. His extension gives the Twins some cost certainty and has the potential for Paddack to provide the team upside over the next three seasons. 

    Tyler Mahle was arguably the Twins' most prominent trade deadline acquisition in 2022. The front office attempted to add a playoff-caliber starter to the rotation, but it came at a cost. Shortly before the trade, Mahle missed time with a shoulder injury, and those issues continued with the Twins. He couldn't help the team down the stretch, and now there are questions about his health entering the 2023 campaign. Mahle is a free agent at season's end, and the Twins hope his off-season regime has built up his shoulder enough to provide value at the rotation's front end. 

    Distressed Assets: Position Players
    Entering the 2020 season, the Twins planned to target free-agent starting pitching, but the market didn't work out in the club's favor. Instead, Josh Donaldson was still available because of lingering injury concerns and the fact that he was in his mid-30s. Minnesota hoped that Donaldson could be an asset to help push the team to postseason success. However, he didn't appear in either playoff game during his Twins tenure. Luckily, the Twins were able to trade Donaldson, which helped pave the way for signing Carlos Correa. 

    Carlos Correa 's free agent journey has been well documented in recent weeks, but there's no question he remains with the Twins because of long-term health concerns. Minnesota offered a front-loaded contract that is very team friendly, but there are risks involved with any free-agent signing. Even Byron Buxton 's extension can be viewed as a distressed asset, because of his long-running injury concerns. The Twins' success is now tied to Correa and Buxton staying healthy. Minnesota's line-up should have two of baseball's best hitters if both players perform up to expectations. 

    Are you concerned with Minnesota's trend of acquiring distressed assets? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
     
  19. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from davidborton for an article, The Twins Continue to Deal in Distressed Assets   
    Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have followed different trends since taking the Twins' front office reins. Those trends include the types of players they target in the draft process, using a patient approach in the offseason, and acquiring players that some may consider distressed assets. Some distressed assets have provided value for the Twins, but others have been unmitigated disasters. Can the Twins find a way to be successful while following this player acquisition trend?

    Reasons for this Trend 
    The current front office has placed a premium value on acquiring players on good contracts or with multiple years of team control. There is risk involved with long-term deals for free-agent players, and the Twins typically aren't swimming in the deep end of the free-agent market. However, there have been multiple instances when a player's value had dropped enough that the Twins were comfortable offering multi-year deals. Minnesota was willing to make the highest offer because the front office felt the player would provide enough value in the contract's early years to make up for the back end. 

    On the pitching side, Minnesota has recently traded for multiple arms, and there have been injury concerns with some of those acquisitions. Trading for any pitching asset comes with some level of trepidation. Last season, Twins fans clamored for the team to acquire Frankie Montas, but he was traded to the Yankees and will start the 2023 season on the injured list because of a shoulder injury. Only some pitchers can perform at a high level after a trade. 

    Also, the Twins value the prospects this regime has accumulated, so they have shown a hesitancy to deal top prospects for pitching assets. That made last year's trade deadline so intriguing because it looked like the front office was putting the team in the best position to win. Unfortunately, recent seasons haven't played out in the team's favor. 

    Distressed Assets: Pitchers
    Sam Dyson was one of this front office's first significant trade deadline deals in 2019. His Twins' tenure was disastrous as he allowed nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings while making multiple trips to the Injured List. Eventually, he revealed that he had been pitching through shoulder discomfort for multiple weeks. The Twins tried to investigate if the Giants knew anything about his injury before the trade. There were no signs of his injury or poor performance before the trade, so this deal looks like bad luck for the Twins. He hasn't pitched in professional baseball since 2019 because of sexual assault allegations and a suspension. 

    Leading into the 2020 season, the Twins traded for Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers. Los Angeles expressed concerns about Maeda's elbow when he initially signed in 2016, and that's why he signed an incentive-laden contract. He pitched nearly 590 innings with the Dodgers before being traded and showed no signs of his elbow being an issue. His first season in Minnesota couldn't have gone much better, as he posted a 2.70 ERA while leading baseball with a 0.75 WHIP. Maeda's performance declined in 2021, forcing him to undergo Tommy John surgery. He pitched over 760 big-league innings before his elbow gave out, so this wasn't a red flag before the trade. 

    Minnesota recently finished an extension with Chris Paddack to keep him with the organization through the 2025 season and delay free agency by one year. The Twins acquired Paddack leading into the 2022 season after he dealt with a sprained UCL at the end of the 2021 season. He pitched well in limited action last season, and the Twins are hoping he can return in 2023 following his second Tommy John surgery. His extension gives the Twins some cost certainty and has the potential for Paddack to provide the team upside over the next three seasons. 

    Tyler Mahle was arguably the Twins' most prominent trade deadline acquisition in 2022. The front office attempted to add a playoff-caliber starter to the rotation, but it came at a cost. Shortly before the trade, Mahle missed time with a shoulder injury, and those issues continued with the Twins. He couldn't help the team down the stretch, and now there are questions about his health entering the 2023 campaign. Mahle is a free agent at season's end, and the Twins hope his off-season regime has built up his shoulder enough to provide value at the rotation's front end. 

    Distressed Assets: Position Players
    Entering the 2020 season, the Twins planned to target free-agent starting pitching, but the market didn't work out in the club's favor. Instead, Josh Donaldson was still available because of lingering injury concerns and the fact that he was in his mid-30s. Minnesota hoped that Donaldson could be an asset to help push the team to postseason success. However, he didn't appear in either playoff game during his Twins tenure. Luckily, the Twins were able to trade Donaldson, which helped pave the way for signing Carlos Correa. 

    Carlos Correa 's free agent journey has been well documented in recent weeks, but there's no question he remains with the Twins because of long-term health concerns. Minnesota offered a front-loaded contract that is very team friendly, but there are risks involved with any free-agent signing. Even Byron Buxton 's extension can be viewed as a distressed asset, because of his long-running injury concerns. The Twins' success is now tied to Correa and Buxton staying healthy. Minnesota's line-up should have two of baseball's best hitters if both players perform up to expectations. 

    Are you concerned with Minnesota's trend of acquiring distressed assets? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
     
  20. Yikes
    Cody Christie got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, The Twins Continue to Deal in Distressed Assets   
    Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have followed different trends since taking the Twins' front office reins. Those trends include the types of players they target in the draft process, using a patient approach in the offseason, and acquiring players that some may consider distressed assets. Some distressed assets have provided value for the Twins, but others have been unmitigated disasters. Can the Twins find a way to be successful while following this player acquisition trend?

    Reasons for this Trend 
    The current front office has placed a premium value on acquiring players on good contracts or with multiple years of team control. There is risk involved with long-term deals for free-agent players, and the Twins typically aren't swimming in the deep end of the free-agent market. However, there have been multiple instances when a player's value had dropped enough that the Twins were comfortable offering multi-year deals. Minnesota was willing to make the highest offer because the front office felt the player would provide enough value in the contract's early years to make up for the back end. 

    On the pitching side, Minnesota has recently traded for multiple arms, and there have been injury concerns with some of those acquisitions. Trading for any pitching asset comes with some level of trepidation. Last season, Twins fans clamored for the team to acquire Frankie Montas, but he was traded to the Yankees and will start the 2023 season on the injured list because of a shoulder injury. Only some pitchers can perform at a high level after a trade. 

    Also, the Twins value the prospects this regime has accumulated, so they have shown a hesitancy to deal top prospects for pitching assets. That made last year's trade deadline so intriguing because it looked like the front office was putting the team in the best position to win. Unfortunately, recent seasons haven't played out in the team's favor. 

    Distressed Assets: Pitchers
    Sam Dyson was one of this front office's first significant trade deadline deals in 2019. His Twins' tenure was disastrous as he allowed nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings while making multiple trips to the Injured List. Eventually, he revealed that he had been pitching through shoulder discomfort for multiple weeks. The Twins tried to investigate if the Giants knew anything about his injury before the trade. There were no signs of his injury or poor performance before the trade, so this deal looks like bad luck for the Twins. He hasn't pitched in professional baseball since 2019 because of sexual assault allegations and a suspension. 

    Leading into the 2020 season, the Twins traded for Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers. Los Angeles expressed concerns about Maeda's elbow when he initially signed in 2016, and that's why he signed an incentive-laden contract. He pitched nearly 590 innings with the Dodgers before being traded and showed no signs of his elbow being an issue. His first season in Minnesota couldn't have gone much better, as he posted a 2.70 ERA while leading baseball with a 0.75 WHIP. Maeda's performance declined in 2021, forcing him to undergo Tommy John surgery. He pitched over 760 big-league innings before his elbow gave out, so this wasn't a red flag before the trade. 

    Minnesota recently finished an extension with Chris Paddack to keep him with the organization through the 2025 season and delay free agency by one year. The Twins acquired Paddack leading into the 2022 season after he dealt with a sprained UCL at the end of the 2021 season. He pitched well in limited action last season, and the Twins are hoping he can return in 2023 following his second Tommy John surgery. His extension gives the Twins some cost certainty and has the potential for Paddack to provide the team upside over the next three seasons. 

    Tyler Mahle was arguably the Twins' most prominent trade deadline acquisition in 2022. The front office attempted to add a playoff-caliber starter to the rotation, but it came at a cost. Shortly before the trade, Mahle missed time with a shoulder injury, and those issues continued with the Twins. He couldn't help the team down the stretch, and now there are questions about his health entering the 2023 campaign. Mahle is a free agent at season's end, and the Twins hope his off-season regime has built up his shoulder enough to provide value at the rotation's front end. 

    Distressed Assets: Position Players
    Entering the 2020 season, the Twins planned to target free-agent starting pitching, but the market didn't work out in the club's favor. Instead, Josh Donaldson was still available because of lingering injury concerns and the fact that he was in his mid-30s. Minnesota hoped that Donaldson could be an asset to help push the team to postseason success. However, he didn't appear in either playoff game during his Twins tenure. Luckily, the Twins were able to trade Donaldson, which helped pave the way for signing Carlos Correa. 

    Carlos Correa 's free agent journey has been well documented in recent weeks, but there's no question he remains with the Twins because of long-term health concerns. Minnesota offered a front-loaded contract that is very team friendly, but there are risks involved with any free-agent signing. Even Byron Buxton 's extension can be viewed as a distressed asset, because of his long-running injury concerns. The Twins' success is now tied to Correa and Buxton staying healthy. Minnesota's line-up should have two of baseball's best hitters if both players perform up to expectations. 

    Are you concerned with Minnesota's trend of acquiring distressed assets? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
     
  21. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, Anticipating a Breakout for One Twins Prospect   
    Some teams are better than others when it comes to evaluating and signing players from the international market. These players can be as young as 16 years old when they sign, and it takes a long-term development approach for them to reach their full potential. On the Twins' current 40-man roster, there are multiple players the Twins signed from the international market, including Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, and Max Kepler. One prospect attempts to follow those players' footsteps to the big-league level. 

    The Twins signed Misael Urbina on July 2, 2018. At the time, he was considered one of the best prospects in the signing class, and Minnesota gave him a $2.75 million signing bonus. At the time, scouts called him an advanced hitter with an above-average hit tool and plus speed. MLB.com ranked him as the third overall prospect in his international class, and they have plenty of positive things to say about him. He is a "line-drive hitter with a high baseball IQ." They said, "he's already an advanced defender for his age." They praised his instincts and makeup.

    Urbina showcased many tools during his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League. In 50 games, he hit .279/.383/.443 (.825) with 14 doubles, five triples, and two home runs. He went 19-for-27 in stolen base attempts and had more walks (23) than strikeouts (14). He was showcasing all of the tools the Twins saw in him as an amateur. It was a tremendous start to his career, but things have not gone as smoothly since that point. 

    Coming out of the pandemic, the Twins were aggressive with Urbina by sending him to Fort Myers. The 19-year-old struggled in his first taste of full-season ball by hitting .191/.299/.286 (.585) with 82 strikeouts in 101 games. All but four of his plate appearances came against older pitchers, so Minnesota was attempting to see if he could play up to the competition level.  

    It seemed likely for Urbina to start the 2022 season at Fort Myers before hopefully being promoted later in the season. Unfortunately, visa issues delayed his debut until late June. There were some positive signs, even though his season started late. Reports are that his offseason regimen added more weight to his frame, resulting in a .730 OPS, which was 145 points higher than the previous season. He dropped his strikeout rate to 18.7% and collected 26 extra-base hits in 60 games. 

    Two-thirds of his defensive innings have come in center field, but he has played over 500 innings in left field. If he bulks up and loses a step in the outfield, he might be destined for a corner outfield spot. Urbina's offensive improvements last year make it exciting to project what he might be able to accomplish in Cedar Rapids this year, especially since he is still only 21 years old. 

    There was some question about whether or not the Twins would add Urbina to the 40-man roster leading into the 2022 Rule 5 Draft. Minnesota left him unprotected, but no other teams selected him because he was unlikely to stick on a big-league roster for an entire season. MLB Pipeline is still high on Urbina by ranking him the 8th-best prospect in the Twins organization. Twins Daily currently has Urbina ranked 17th. His two seasons in Fort Myers could have been better, but he still has a ton of upside, and he may be destined for a breakout campaign. 

    What are your thoughts on Urbina? Can he take the next step in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 
     
  22. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Heiny for an article, For Better or For Worse: Twins Success Tied to Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa's Health   
    Twins fans can take a breath after the Carlos Correa free-agent saga ended with him returning to Minnesota. There will be fans that feel that Minnesota was Correa's fallback option. Other fans are going to be frustrated by the way the process played out over the last month. Still, Correa is signed with the Twins and will be part of this organization for a minimum of six more seasons. His process of ending up in Minnesota can be an afterthought, especially if it leads to more on-field success for the Twins. 

    Correa and Byron Buxton have been tied to one another since they were amateurs leading into the 2012 MLB Draft. Their bond has grown over the years from the draft process to playing in the Midwest League and culminating with the 2022 season. Now, the Twins superstar duo will attempt to end a playoff losing streak that stretches back to when they were each in elementary school. 

    The elephant in the room is the long-term health of both players. Buxton's health concerns have been well documented in recent years, and it's one of the main reasons Minnesota signed him to a team-friendly deal. Buxton and the Twins did everything they could to keep him on the field last season, resulting in his first All-Star selection and his third season with 4.0 WAR or more. Unfortunately, he was limited to fewer than 100 games and played only 19 games in the second half. Minnesota knew Buxton provides value while playing fewer games, but keeping him on the field will be a focus for the club over the next decade. 

    Correa joined the Twins last winter, and plenty was known about his injury history. During his big-league career, Correa has missed time with hand injuries and back issues. His biggest long-term injury concern has become his lower leg, which was surgically repaired in 2014. Correa's contracts with the Giants and Mets didn't get done because of concerns about how this injury would hold up over the next decade. It is important to note that Correa's guaranteed portion of his contract is significantly fewer years than what was offered by San Francisco and New York. Any long-term deal comes with risks, and the Twins and their doctors are comfortable with the injury risk involved with both of these players because of what they bring to the team. 

    Buxton and Correa show leadership in very different ways. Buxton has become more vocal in recent years, but he has always been a leader by example. He also spends significant time before games getting himself ready, so he can't always be around the other players in the clubhouse. He leads through his play on the field and can only do that if he is preparing his body for the rigors of a 162-game season. 

    Correa's persona is to be front and center because he is a natural-born leader. Many of the players in the Twins clubhouse look up to him, and that trend will continue with younger players being added to Minnesota's roster. Correa won the Twins' "Media Good Guy" Award for his clubhouse leadership and willingness to address the press no matter the circumstances. Together with Buxton, they form a perfect personality duo to lead the Twins into the future. 

    Both players are not getting any younger. Buxton may lose a step in the outfield, and he will eventually need to move to a corner outfield position. Correa will continue to play shortstop, but he will likely move to third base in the back half of his contract. Minnesota sports fans have dealt with heartache in the past, but the Twins hope Buxton and Correa can avoid injury concerns and help the team keep their winning window open as long as possible. 

    Are you worried about injuries with Buxton and Correa? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  23. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from IndyTwinsFan for an article, 3 Twins Prospects that Need Healthy 2023 Seasons   
    Last season, three notable names returned from injury at the top of the Twins' prospect rankings. Royce Lewis was returning from a torn ACL, while Matt Canterino and Jhoan Duran were recovering from strained elbows. Lewis had a tremendous season before tearing his ACL for the second straight season. Canterino was limited to 37 innings before requiring Tommy John surgery. Thankfully, during his rookie campaign, Jhoan Duran became one of baseball's most dominant relievers. Entering the 2023 season, the Twins hope these three prospects can get back on track to prove they are healthy. 

    Royce Lewis, SS
    2022 Injury: Torn ACL
    Lewis didn't want to be on this list in two consecutive off-seasons. However, he has already proven that he can return from this injury and not lose a beat. There was some question last year if Lewis would need time to adjust to the Triple-A level after not appearing in a competitive game since 2019. It certainly didn't look like he missed a beat. He posted a .993 OPS in 24 games before being called up for his big-league debut.
    Then Lewis went 12-for-39 (.308) with six extra-base hits in his first 11 MLB games with the Twins. With Carlos Correa signed, Lewis doesn't need to be rushed back in 2023. He can take his time to prove he is healthy again at Triple-A before being being called up. Still, the Twins need Lewis to become a player that impacts both sides of the ball for the next decade. 

    Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF
    2022 Injury: Torn Meniscus
    Last season, Rodriguez showed why the Twins were so high on him when they signed him in July 2019. He was considered a top-10 international prospect in the class. Unfortunately, the pandemic postponed his professional debut to 2021, where he hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with five doubles, two triples, and ten home runs.
    Rodriguez spent the 2022 season in Fort Myers, where he was over two years younger than the average age of the competition. In 47 games, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with more walks (57) than strikeouts (52). His season ended in June after he tore his meniscus and needed surgery. Minnesota can start Rodriguez in Fort Myers while the weather is colder, but he should spend most of the season in Cedar Rapids. He's out to prove that his breakout season wasn't a fluke. 
    Jordan Balazovic, SP
    2022 Injury: Left Knee Strain
    Balazovic's 2022 season was delayed until mid-May due to a left knee strain, and he went on to have the worst season of his professional career. In 72 2/3 innings, he posted a 7.68 ERA with a 1.97 WHIP with a 77-to-37 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Lucas wrote extensively on ways to fix Jordan Balazovic, saying, "It's possible that the lingering pain caused him to diminish his knee extension after foot plant, impacting his velocity and command."
    The Twins don't need to rush Balazovic to the big leagues with other pitchers ahead of him on the team's depth chart, including Louie Varland and Simeon Woods Richardson. Balazovic can spend the beginning of the season proving he is healthy at Triple-A before a potential mid-season call-up.

    Which has the most to prove this season? Can all three stay healthy? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 
     
  24. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from nclahammer for an article, 3 Twins Prospects that Need Healthy 2023 Seasons   
    Last season, three notable names returned from injury at the top of the Twins' prospect rankings. Royce Lewis was returning from a torn ACL, while Matt Canterino and Jhoan Duran were recovering from strained elbows. Lewis had a tremendous season before tearing his ACL for the second straight season. Canterino was limited to 37 innings before requiring Tommy John surgery. Thankfully, during his rookie campaign, Jhoan Duran became one of baseball's most dominant relievers. Entering the 2023 season, the Twins hope these three prospects can get back on track to prove they are healthy. 

    Royce Lewis, SS
    2022 Injury: Torn ACL
    Lewis didn't want to be on this list in two consecutive off-seasons. However, he has already proven that he can return from this injury and not lose a beat. There was some question last year if Lewis would need time to adjust to the Triple-A level after not appearing in a competitive game since 2019. It certainly didn't look like he missed a beat. He posted a .993 OPS in 24 games before being called up for his big-league debut.
    Then Lewis went 12-for-39 (.308) with six extra-base hits in his first 11 MLB games with the Twins. With Carlos Correa signed, Lewis doesn't need to be rushed back in 2023. He can take his time to prove he is healthy again at Triple-A before being being called up. Still, the Twins need Lewis to become a player that impacts both sides of the ball for the next decade. 

    Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF
    2022 Injury: Torn Meniscus
    Last season, Rodriguez showed why the Twins were so high on him when they signed him in July 2019. He was considered a top-10 international prospect in the class. Unfortunately, the pandemic postponed his professional debut to 2021, where he hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with five doubles, two triples, and ten home runs.
    Rodriguez spent the 2022 season in Fort Myers, where he was over two years younger than the average age of the competition. In 47 games, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with more walks (57) than strikeouts (52). His season ended in June after he tore his meniscus and needed surgery. Minnesota can start Rodriguez in Fort Myers while the weather is colder, but he should spend most of the season in Cedar Rapids. He's out to prove that his breakout season wasn't a fluke. 
    Jordan Balazovic, SP
    2022 Injury: Left Knee Strain
    Balazovic's 2022 season was delayed until mid-May due to a left knee strain, and he went on to have the worst season of his professional career. In 72 2/3 innings, he posted a 7.68 ERA with a 1.97 WHIP with a 77-to-37 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Lucas wrote extensively on ways to fix Jordan Balazovic, saying, "It's possible that the lingering pain caused him to diminish his knee extension after foot plant, impacting his velocity and command."
    The Twins don't need to rush Balazovic to the big leagues with other pitchers ahead of him on the team's depth chart, including Louie Varland and Simeon Woods Richardson. Balazovic can spend the beginning of the season proving he is healthy at Triple-A before a potential mid-season call-up.

    Which has the most to prove this season? Can all three stay healthy? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 
     
  25. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from nclahammer for an article, Ranking the Top 5 Most Likely Trade Chips for the Twins   
    Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have done this before to Twins fans. Their offseason mantra is to show patience before making multiple moves closer to the start of spring training. Last year, the lockout impacted the organization's ability to make moves, but the Twins traded for Sonny Gray and signed Carlos Correa in March. Few top free-agent targets remain available, so the Twins need to make trades to supplement the roster. Here are five players the Twins are most likely to trade in the coming weeks. 

    5. <Insert Utility Infielder Name>
    Correa's signing to a long-term deal means the Twins can afford to move one of their infielders. The Twins traded for Kyle Farmer to add to the shortstop depth chart, but he is now expendable with Correa in the fold. Nick Gordon is out of minor league options, so the Twins might not see a place for him on the 2023 roster. Neither player would warrant a large return, but the club doesn't need both of them on the Opening Day roster.  

    4. <Insert Corner Outfielder Not Named Max Kepler>
    One corner outfielder is the team's most likely trade chip (see below), but the Twins also have plenty of other options at these positions. Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, and Matt Wallner are of similar ages and fit a similar skill set. Larnach and Kirilloff suffered injuries during the 2022 season, which may give Wallner the highest trade value. Teams have also inquired about Gilberto Celestino , but the Twins might need him to be Byron Buxton's insurance. 

    3. Luis Arraez , Utility
    Arraez's name has been tied to trade rumors this winter for various reasons. He's coming off a year where he won the AL Batting Title, and Twins Daily named him the team MVP. His trade value may never be higher based on his 2022 performance. Arraez has dealt with injuries in the past, and the Twins may look to capitalize on trading him for controllable starting pitching. Multiple members of the starting rotation have one year of team control remaining. Reports have Miami open to trading multiple pieces from their starting rotation, so that is a possible landing spot for Arraez. 

    2. Sonny Gray, SP
    It may seem counterproductive for the Twins to trade their best-starting pitcher if the club wants to contend in 2023. However, Gray is entering his final year of team control, and the Twins might not be interested in signing him to a long-term deal. Other members of the starting staff are returning from injury, so it seems more likely for Gray to be traded over Kenta Maeda or Tyler Mahle . If Gray isn't part of the team's long-term plans, this winter might be the best opportunity to maximize his trade value before he hits free agency. 

    1. Max Kepler, RF
    The writing was on the wall when the Twins signed Joey Gallo to a one-year deal; Minnesota will trade Max Kepler . Minnesota has multiple left-handed hitting corner outfield options, and the Twins have two years of team control over Kepler. Offensively, Kepler has failed to replicate his breakout performance from 2019, but he continues to be an elite defensive outfielder. The Twins should be able to get something of value in return for Kepler; surprisingly, he is still on the roster.

    Who else should be included in the rankings? Will Kepler be the only player traded? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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