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Everything posted by jimbo92107

  1. Isn't Varland's promotion to AAA Saints a bigger promotion than Lee's move to Cedar Rapids? Which was the headline referring to?
  2. Went back and watched Cole Sands' three innings of work. Wow. His stuff isn't overwhelming, but Sands was making it look easy to get out the Blue Jay lineup. If this is what Sands looks like when he's relaxed, then I think he's got a good career ahead. Great job tunneling his curve off his fastball down in the zone. This guy is a pitcher, not just a thrower. Very tactical approach, with lots of help from Sanchez, who appears to enjoy working with the young guns.
  3. Shortening an arm bone, my god, that's drastic. Poor kid, he doesn't deserve crap luck like this. Let's hope the surgery and recovery go as well as possible. Good luck, Alex!
  4. Like Drew Butera, Sandy Leon finds other ways than a high average to be useful. Butera was a very good bunter, too. Still looking for another Mike Redmond...
  5. I think it's time to stop avoiding left handed pitchers for Nick Gordon. He doesn't bail out, and his bat has a good power stroke from inside out. I have little doubt he could hit lefty outside pitches to left field, and his bat appears quick enough to pull inside pitches. Now that Gordon is starting to look like a first round draft pick, take off the training wheels and let's watch him go.
  6. Smeltzer appears to be dominant against lesser teams, but gets killed by good ones. Not sure how that pans out in a starting rotation, but he certainly seems to fit in spot starts, so maybe long relief would work. Another possible would be to start a guy like Archer, go once through the lineup, then bring in Smelter, a completely different look. If Archer gets through 3 innings and Smeltzer gets through 4, that gets you to setup / closer territory.
  7. Remember what Aggie and Nathan looked like? Both could peg the corners pretty much at will. Wasn't just the velocity, it was the precision. Neither Lopez nor Duran has that almost monotonous ability to pick corners, 1, 2, 3. Not quite yet. You know what the tell is? Greg Maddux had it, Nathan and Aggie and Rivera had it. It's in the footwork, absolute consistency. Great command comes from finishing exactly the same way on every pitch. I watched a video of Maddux warming up before a start. His drive foot dug one hole, his landing foot dug another hole. Same spot, over and over. No whirling around, no leaning left or right at random. Everything was centered at home plate, same thing every time. Only difference was his grip on the ball. Cutter arm-side, cutter glove-side looked exactly the same out of his hand. Now Lopez has a delivery that's pretty close to monotonous, but not quite. Same with Duran. You see slight differences between pitches, how they finish. Those inconsistencies can be ironed out, with tons of work, just like bowlers and golfers do. An mlb closer has to be even more specialized. He has to throw two pitches just about perfectly - a fastball, and something else, usually a slider. Trevor Hoffman threw a perfect change up. Rivera threw a perfect cutter at 96 + mph. Nathan could pick all four corners at 96, plus a near perfect slider. All the great closers ride their one or two dominant pitches to fame and fortune. Both Duran and Lopez look like they could get to that level, but I'd guess Lopez will get there first.
  8. Depends what team they're facing. I might prefer Duran's overpowering stuff against a good hitting team like the Jays. Even disciplined hitters get flummoxed by his velocity and movement, and if he's not walking anybody, Duran is very tough. Lopez may have earned his reputation against lesser teams, I don't know. However, he shows signs of being a great closer under development...as does Duran. Looks like neither man has quite reached total shutdown level. Both have been hit around a bit. Both probably will get better if they keep doing this. I don't mind wondering which one is better.
  9. Nick Gordon's slide at the end was a thing of beauty. Swooping in along the ground, whipping that oven mitt over the plate... Did you see the ump point when Gordon touched home a second time? I wonder if he missed the initial play... Re-play would have shown it. Cracked a big homer, scored the winning run... not a bad day for Nick Gordon. Lopez was not able to snuff out the Jays in the 9th, but Fulmer showed he's a tough S.O.B. in the 10th. Twins got three good new pitchers.
  10. Lopez is good, but not quite to the Aguilera / Nathan level. He might get there, given another season. He's got the stuff, but the perfect command is not quite there. Still looks better than Duran's command, tho. Also let's note that Blue Jays have a better hitting squad than the Twins do. If Kirilloff and Larnach and Lewis come back healthy next season, then I'd give the hitting edge to the Twins.
  11. I wouldn't count out Tyler Duffey just yet. It's possible he could get back some of his greatness by getting a cruel pilates coach and hardening his soft body into muscles of stone. I remember when Duffey first came up, I dubbed him "Bender" for his curveball hooked so hard almost nobody could touch it. After a while, he started using it more and more, because his heater never was much of a challenge. After Wes Johnson tinkered with his mechanics, Duffey's heater suddenly became a weapon at 94 mph, and for a while, he seemed able to spot that pitch, making it extremely effective. Unfortunately, his old curveball became a so-so offering. Today, after various adjustment and experiments, Duffey has nothing that a good hitter can't smash. Is it just the march of time, his arm and body worn out? That's what I thought about Caleb Thielbar, but look at him now. Wouldn't it be a hoot if all Duffey needed to get his stuff back was to smack the ball into his glove mid- delivery, like Thielbar?
  12. I threw some old chicken bones on the floor. You know what happened? The dog found 'em, that's what. Snapped 'em up before I could get a decent read, and now, I'm all out of chicken bones! That's a bad sign. There isn't a decent chicken-bone store in town, and it takes weeks for the DIY bones to dry out. I feel like I'm going blind! Oh, we were talking about baseball? Heckuva sport. Twins are looking so good, they must be getting ready to sell the team to a billionaire car dealer. Do they have cars in the Tennessee Tri-State? Watch for what they did to the "North Stars." My dad spilled it to me when they dropped "North" from the logo. See if the Twins new logo is just a couple giggling babies. Then you'll know.
  13. Hate to say it... the Pagan Sacrifice strikes again. Been a long time since I saw a pitcher with such "electric" stuff get pounded so often for two or more runs. A team in the playoff hunt simply cannot afford to *hope* that a guy like Pagan will suddenly develop dependable command. I say, experiment over. Trade him to the White Sox, plus cash. No need to send us anybody, we'll be fine. Just promise you'll use him a few times in close games.
  14. Can't wait to see Mahle pitch, but even if he's average, it's a great trade day. Solidifying the bullpen gives the Twins a chance to do a KC-like run, which featured a great pen backing up some average starters, plus a pretty good hitting lineup. Twins now have that strategy in place, which to me means they win the division and maybe even win a playoff series! On the other hand, if Mahle turns into gold..!
  15. We may look back and realize that the luckiest thing about last month was that Matt Wallner's bat fell off the edge of the flat earth in July. Otherwise, we might be saying bye-bye to our future right fielder, too. Meanwhile, good luck to Steer, Strand, and the other guys the Twins traded away. I hope they all have good careers in the Show.
  16. I'd just like to stop for a moment and ask everybody - did you notice how HEALTHY the Twins bullpen seemed? After Ryan exited, we got to see an extremely competent Michael Fulmer mow down a few guys, then Thielbar, then Duran, and finally Lopez. None of them appeared a bit shaky or dubious. Each one dominated for an inning. Especially sweet was Lopez. So efficient, so commanding. Not quite the sheer velocity of Duran, but almost no wasted pitches, no walks, and hardly even any foul balls. Faster than summer love, game over. Even without Mahle, this new pair of RP's will improve things vastly. As for who should be the closer, I see Duran as a young power pitcher whose overwhelming stuff allows him to dominate as a relief pitcher. Lopez is a star closer because his command of the corners with filthy stuff lets him snuff out three hitters in about two minutes. Until Duran can do that, I say Lopez is your closer, unless they want to give him a day off. Then Duran is fine, even if it takes him three times as many pitches to get three outs. In beer units, you could finish half a cup before Duran gets three outs. Lopez lets you have just a few sips. That, friends, is a closer. Jorge "three sips" Lopez.
  17. I agree they should be prepared to swap rolls as setup and closer. However, in his very first appearance Wednesday, Lopez displayed a level of command that we rarely see from Duran. He was picking low corners with both his fastball and his slider to end the game. Those Detroit batters looked absolutely helpless. What do you do when a pitcher can nail the corners at that velocity? Twins should offer this guy a new contract asap. They might just have another Nathan/Aguilera kinda guy (mediocre starter becomes star closer). Too bad they missed on Liam Hendricks, but on the other hand, he really, really wanted to be a starter, so the Twinkies gave him every chance....
  18. New catcher Leon: First game, 2 RBI double, good defensive catcher. New RP Fulmer: Nasty slider/cutter, mowed down three. New RP closer Lopez: Dominated the 9th inning. How does anybody hit that stuff?? Tyler Mahle will have to pitch like a Cy Young candidate to keep up with the other three acquisitions. So far, the FO are looking pretty darn smart.
  19. Great trade day overall because it greatly expands the options for how to use Bundy and Archer. In a playoff series both now can be either a starter or a long reliever if a starter exits early. Before today, your option was Griffen Jax, and then...who? Now they can turn to a couple starters, Jax, or even Duran, knowing that the ninth inning is pretty secure in the hands of Jorge Lopez.
  20. Good trade. Other than Povich, remarkably little bleeding. Cano has a lively arm, but was not reliable. Baltimore's pitching coaches must think they can solve that problem. The other two guys are just throwers at this point. Povich could blossom into a good starter. Good luck to him. Jorge Lopez was one of the prime trade targets, and they got him. If they trade for one good starter, then Twins can move Archer to the pen, where right now he might still contribute. That would largely fix the whole pitching staff with reasonable arms.
  21. Miranda could easily clear 25 homers this season, maybe even 30. Don't trade him. Don't trade him. Don't trade him...
  22. Gordo's lead was too short, his break for home was late...yet he still would have scored. He's faster than the pitcher, he knows he's going to come in spikes first, and the pitcher needs to catch the throw, tag the runner, and avoid a broken ankle. Even if the pitcher gets there slightly before Gordon, he's got to get his feet out of the way of that slide while still trying to apply the tag. Most likely, safe at home, Twins win, dinner will be chicken. I get pretty tired of conservative baserunning.
  23. Bring up Spencer Steer and Matt Wallner. Plug Wallner into RF, see what he's got. Steer becomes another infield super sub. Hot bat gets to play in the field.
  24. Ryan's problem is his lack of command of secondary pitches. He either needs to refine his command of his slider, his curve or his change, or develop a cutter that bends glove-side. He can't rely on his fastball to keep getting guys out, because as he tires, the backspin RPM goes down, allowing hitters to square it up. Boom.
  25. Pitching involves the entire body working in synchronized motion. I think the Twins should look for young guys with a fairly wide athletic background, especially in sports like gymnastics, swimming and rock climbing, where the whole body is involved. They might even include a small rock climbing facility in their training equipment. Training should be eclectic, possibly including soccer ball dribbling drills, basketball passing drills, as well as the usual baseball stuff.
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