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About rationalfan

  • Birthday 01/31/1971

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  • Biography
    Overall sports fan, but Twins are my favorite team.
  • Occupation


  • Interests
    little league coach, movie watcher

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rationalfan's Achievements

  1. I think there's a time and place for manufacturing runs and forcing the action. For example, facing great pitching where hits are hard to come by. We'll get our hits off of Baltimore pitching so why give them the potential free outs? Yes, Kepler had not been caught stealing since 2019 and both runners looked like good slides would have led to runs, but why take the risks? I wonder if it was an emotional response to hitting into 5 double plays the night before. Couple of questions for the elite baseball minds out there. 1) Why didn't the Twins challenge the knuckle shot by Correa? Had they used their challenge? Did they think the replay crew would have ruled it a strikeout (his hands being in the zone) and they preferred the result of the play with a runner on second instead of first? 2) It appeared Kepler cringed when seeing he was going to slide into the catcher head first. Should the catcher have been in that position per the new rules?
  2. I don't see the word "exclusive" used in the actual press release concerning Friday night baseball. Specifically, the article says this: Most notably, "Friday Night Baseball" will be available in all markets—local broadcast restrictions will not apply to Apple's new service. It's certainly possible they are playing legal semantics with their wording or this is how it starts and eventually it will turn into exclusive coverage, but it doesn't look like that's the case now.
  3. Of course I want the Twins to obtain more talent, but I'm not convinced they will be particularly competitive this year. If I had a choice to spend money this year or next year, I'd choose next year after evaluating the younger players in 2022 to determine greatest needs and have a good fresh free agent SP pool to choose from. Using the Red Sox as the example is laughable to me. 1) In 2021 they had a payroll of $180M which was down 10% from the previous year (prorated) which means they didn't do much in the off-season actually. 2)Those big moves are exactly what the Twins get ripped for: Kike and Renfroe were value additions for a whopping $9M in 2021 and commitment for only 2 years. Ottavino was a 1 year commitment. No big names. No significant commitments. 3)Boston always has potential due to the market. That was their lowest payroll in several years and even without those additions would have been a top 10 payroll. Boston should always be in contention at the start of each season.
  4. I wish it wasn't necessary, but players are unwilling to go with a "spirit of the game" mentality. It used to be that we could enjoy the quirky pitchers or hitters that took extra time but now it's the norm and it's just too much. The most common comment of surprise I heard from the experiment in AAA was a sense of rhythm in the game. I look forward to it.
  5. Great question, not just for Twins fans, but for what the HOF should be. I think the greatest players at the various positions/roles in each time frame should be represented. There of course is no magic formula for how long or how great you have to be, but Santana was belatedly promoted to the rotation in summer of '03 (classic Twins move) and pitched so well he finished 7th in Cy Young, then was top 5 the following 6 years with 2 crowns and could easily have had 3 or 4 (look at how comparable his 2008 season with the Mets was to Lincecum). On top of that, he was excellent as a post-season starter with one bad inning (game 4 in 2004) out of 5 starts -unfortunately the rest of the team didn't hold their weight. He and Halladay were the best pitchers of that time with Halladay a first ballot and Santana doesn't get past the first year. So he's the bigger snub to me. That being said, Nathan was one of the very best at his role - relief pitching/closing out games under pressure. Mariano was his own level, but after that Hoffman, Wagner and Nathan were all excellent. Hoffman did it for longer, so he's in. The difference between Wagner and Nathan is so close so why will one get in within the next two years and the other is dropped off the ballot after one year? Also a snub. Right or wrong there are levels of induction: near unanimous, first ballot, inducted years 2-5 gaining momentum each year, made it but was forced to sweat it out, veterans committee, waited until he died. Eventually Johan and Nathan could get in.
  6. Certainly part of the issue is usage rate of the slider. The other part at least as important (and perhaps more important) is location. Notice his change/split had more accuracy and purpose previously with two hot locations at the knees and lower/left quadrant whereas now his location is middle thigh-high...that's a problem. His sinker used to be outer half and now it middle and all over the place...also a problem. It's possible that the slider usage took him out of his comfort zone, hurt his confidence and impacted location of other pitches. We can hope that's the case so that now he'll not only reduce usage of the slider, but pitch more effectively overall. A topic I look forward to post-Berrios trade is the building of a playoff-caliber rotation. I think it's smart to sign for 1 year veterans with rebound potential or injury prone to compete for starts with young guys for the #4/#5 spots in the rotation. However we gotta have 3 spots locked in like we did to start this season. If the FO thinks we're at least a couple of years out then do they let Pineda walk and just promote all the top prospects next year? If things are looking good for a couple of them the Twins then get active after the 2023 season? If that's the case why even keep Maeda - except to prevent STH'ers like me from bailing? Perhaps they think this is a "correction" rather than a recession for the team and instead got very good return on a pitcher they weren't going to be able to sign and will be aggressive in the FA market after the 2022 season to contend in 2023.
  7. The latest batting order analysis is that the two best hitters should be in the #1 and #4 spots. If you have a clear #1 then he goes at the top. The Twins have depth with 9 hitters at 0.800 OPS or higher. With similar production, the player with higher OBP goes leadoff and the higher SLG goes cleanup. This makes it pretty clear that Arraez (0.399/0.439/0.838) should be leadoff and Kepler (0.336, 0.519/0.855) cleanup...if those were the only two options...and if you just go by those stats. I like using the Runs Above Average contribution to bWAR which doesn't include position (because it has no influence on a batting order) and I ignore the Grounding into Double Play part because for most players, especially if they played a half season like Arraez, is pretty random. I also want to adjust for 700 plate appearances which is what Polanco got last year since for a batting order I don't care much about how often the player is in the lineup but rather how he contributes when is playing. I'll follow the latest batting order guidance continuing the above with third best hitter at #2, fourth best at #5, 5th best at #3, and then going in order down from #6 to #9 with breaking virtual ties with slugging higher (to drive in runs) and on-base or baserunning lower to set the table for the top when batting around. Here's the order with stats (OBP/SLG/OPS...Rbat,adj/Rbaser,adj/oRAAadj) and I consider oRAAadj within 5 (which is about 0.5 WAR) to be equivalent: 1. Garver (0.365/0.630/0.995...55/-4/51) 2. Sano (0.346/0.576/0.923...38/-5/33) 3. Polanco (0.356/0.485/0.841...22/4/26) 4. Cruz (0.392/0.639/1.031...55/-4/51) 5. Donaldson (0.379/0.521/0.900...28/-1/27) 6. Kepler (0.336/0.519/0.855...20/-5/15) 7. Arraez (0.399/0.439/0.838...19/-2/17) 8. Buxton (0.314/0.513/0.827...12/7/19) 9. Rosario (0.300/0.500/0.800...4/4/7) When Garver sits then Cruz goes to #1, Sano goes to #4 and everyone else moves up one spot with Avila (0.353/0.421/0.774...-3/0/-3) at the bottom. When Cruz takes a day off Sano again goes to #4, everyone except Rosario moves up a spot, and Cave (0.351/0.455/0.805...12/0/12) goes into the 8 spot. When Adrianza (0.349/0.416/0.765...9/0/9) plays, he would be in the 7-9 area depending on the lineup of the day. Gonzo would be a last choice based on the stats (0.322/0.414/0.736...-9/-3/-12). Of course, this is a purely advanced statistical way of doing things, which I included because I love stats and I don't think anyone else in this thread will go this way (with the stats put in for you to play around with and make your own batting order!). Some don't like/don't trust the advance stats. Some believe in a consistent order (that hitters do better when they're more comfortable and therefore also hitting in the same part of the lineup). Some believe in putting veterans in the pressure spots. Some believe alternating righties and lefties is more important than anything else (this order has only one player who can bat lefty in the top 5 spots). There is also the ego to consider in the real world (would Rosario pout or demand a trade if he was put at the #9 spot?). One more thing: I didn't use projections. For those of us fantasy owners, we know we use stats based on how we THINK players will do not what they've necessarily done in the PAST. I doubt Garver will put up numbers again from 2019, but if you think advanced stats are controversial, just watch when projections (Steamer, ZIPS, etc.) are used.
  8. Eddie's aggressiveness has its pros (able to get a big hit even off a pitcher's pitch and able to get the extra base even inducing some errors by the opponent) and its cons (popping up on one pitch after a pitcher has thrown 6 straight balls and getting thrown out at third with two outs). These are reminiscent of Torii when he was that age and he improved as he matured. The reason I wouldn't wear Eddie's number nor use him as an example to follow is his lack of professionalism. Since the All-Star Break alone we've seen him lolly-gag into the LF corner allowing a double to become a triple, miss a lazy fly, and this weekend admire his well struck ball that was an easy double that he turned into an out by getting stuck in a run down between first and second. The catch to trading him of course is that he's the flashy player that fans have attached to "Eddie!, Eddie!, Eddie!"
  9. Hard to tell if this is meant what the Twins should have done in 2001, what they should have done regardless of contract and money rumors, or what they should have done in hindsight. Seems to dance around everywhere. 1)With no knowledge of hindsight, I think the Twins were wise. The team was rebuilding. So the Twins would get Prior 2.5 years earlier, but the team may not turn the corner for a couple more years. Maybe it was media hype, but there was a question as to whether Prior would willingly come to Minnesota and if he did the bonus could be as much as $18M. It turned out to be $10M for the Cubs but there was the risk that wouldn't be the case. The extra $5M is a lot for a draftee and the Twins have always adhered to sticking to their budget. A hitting catcher within state and being a HS'er they knew he would be signable. 2)Excluding money and signability, I think it would have been almost unanimous to go with Prior. More can happen in a bad way with a high schooler in the path to the Majors. Though the danger is Prior's clock would start right away. If it took untll 2004 for the Twins team to be a contender then he would be one year away from arbitration. The Twins have been very careful about timing of salaries and not paying a lot when the team isn't in contention. 3)Hindsight. Considering the injuries that happen to pitchers including the Twins, I can't say Prior would have been healthy here. I can say the 2002-2004 team would have been better since Prior was very good and Mauer didn't play until 2004 and then hooked his cleat in the carpet and immediately got injured. So the Twins could very well have won it all one of those years with Prior. The Twins would likely not have made the big comeback in 2006 (that was a really good team that I still can't figure out how they got swept by the A's), would not have played in game 163 in 2008 or 2009 and not have made the playoffs in 2009 or 2010. Would I give up first round playoff losses for one championship? Yes. Would I willingly miss the playoffs for the rest of the decade for the chance to advance farther in 2002-04 hopefully including a championship? This is the question that splits Twins fans into different camps every year. After these last 4 years, the answer is probably no because it sucks having a bad team. After 2010, the answer was certainly yes. In the end, this article is interesting, but no I don't regret the Mauer signing.
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