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Everything posted by JLease

  1. Yeah, I'm on the "rogers made a good pitch" train. Not super worried about him. The bigger issue in the bullpen is finding enough guys that can be counted on right now; not sure Waddell is a solution. Lot of walks in the bullpen right now, and a lot of guys looking very hittable. right now there's 3 relievers with the kind of WHIP that makes you comfortable seeing them come out of the bullpen: Rogers, Robles, and Alcala. Duffey is conceding too many BBs in relationship to his Ks. Stashak & Thielbar are getting the Ks, but the former is walking too many and the latter is giving up hits too easily. Colome is a complete mess right now. But it's also still very small samples for all of these guys: we're talking results over 8-11 innings. It wouldn't take much for any or all of them to get on a roll. Good to see Maeda get through it even while not sharp. I think he'll be fine, just needs to keep pitching through it. (Hopefully the warmer weather helps a little?)
  2. Can't really blame Rocco for pulling Big Mike after 5 with him getting a knock on the arm. Too bad, he was really pitching well, with only 1 mistake to Santana. Otherwise he was really rolling and looked set to cruise through 7. Kirilloff showed exactly what we were hoping for from him; he didn't miss the first one by much, either! What, about 8 feet from three dingers? His approach at the plate is great, he's stinging the ball, nice to see him get the results. Amusing to see him try not to crack a smile after that first one, but you could tell he was excited by how fast he ran up on Cruz, lol. Congrats to Ben Rortvedt, a player I've always liked and have been rooting hard for. A little surprised to see him miss that foul pop-up, because he's so sound defensively, but I'm guessing a little unfamiliarity with the park got him. It'll be interesting to see if he can hit enough in MLB. I hope he can, because the defense will play and he's a nice platoon partner for Garver/Jeffers. He had a very nice first game: a walk, a hit, scored a run, knocked in a run and caught a very nice game behind the plate. Hope this is a sign of good things to come! Glad to see Alcala got through 2 innings to wrap this up; he's been a bit HR-happy so far, but otherwise everything else looks good with him and I wouldn'r mind seeing him get some higher leverage usage. but if this is how he's going to go, it's nice to see him take care of two innings easily and save the rest of the 'pen a bit.
  3. It's a lot more fun around here after a win. I liked the Happ signing at the time, but didn't think he'd be this good. Glad to see at least one move that worked! (Simmons worked too) This team has been so incredibly frustrating so far. The talent is still there, but April has been such a mess of screwups and guys just flailing that you had to wonder. I still don't know why exactly the bullpen is such a mess, and until we start seeing consistent production from guys NOT named Buxton, Arraez, Donaldson, and Cruz we're just not gonna be there. But maybe, just maybe we're starting to see them get it together? Maybe some warmer weather, night games, and fans in the stands will start helping this crew get it together before the season implodes.
  4. Nick Gordon has been snakebit. I'm really happy for him that's finally getting a chance, and I think he's a quality player when healthy. There's no doubt in my mind that he can hit well enough to be a viable MLB player. He just needs to stay healthy. The floor on him is a quality utility guy with the potential to be a quality starter. If he doesn't get hurt, I'm convinced we would have seen him in 2019; he was playing as well as Arraez at the time and Arraez seized the opportunity when Gordon went down. But I think Gordon would have been the pick if he'd been healthy. Good break for Arraez, tough beat for Gordon. Looking forward to seeing what he can do.
  5. Alcala has been used for 2 innings a few times already in his young career, so maybe the 2-inning late relief idea is one that's going to be used a bunch? I'm not opposed to it, I think we have some guys with that capacity. Probably not a bad idea to test Colome's comfort/ability early in a low-leverage spot.
  6. Nice win in the home opener. Seattle's a bad team, but you gotta beat up on those too. Still not wild about the bullpen useage; I just think you're wasting a roster spot by carrying 14 pitchers. But happy to see Alcala out there again. I'm a big fan of his and hope he gets consistent use and in some higher leverage situations. Berrios & Buxton. Love seeing those guys carry the team, just hope we can keep both of them for the next 5 years.
  7. Still way too early to know if it was the wrong decision. If Baddoo finishes the season hitting .215 is it still the wrong decision? It's possible that even after that outcome it was the right choice for BOTH teams to have made the right decisions. None of this is made in a vacuum and it can't be assessed based simply off of how well Baddoo does or doesn't do. From the Twins perspective, you have to also consider it against the players they chose to keep. (The most likely candidates to get left off if you protect Baddoo are Celestino and Smeltzer it seems, and I'm absolutely convinced either would have been snapped up; Celestino in Rule 5 and Smeltzer on waivers.) Baddoo had a good chance of not getting drafted in Rule 5, but the Tigers took a flyer on him. Heck, depending on hos the season goes, it's still possible Baddoo ends up back with the Twins: Detroit has to carry him on the 26 man all season or offer him back to the Twins. Who knows what will happen by July? This is a case of the Rule 5 draft working the way it's supposed to be. A guy puts in the time in the minors but hasn't made it on an 40-man roster yet (blocked, injured, struggled, etc) and this draft gives him an opportunity to make a run with another club. It's a challenge with kids who come in at 16-17 and may not be developed enough to really know what you've got when they become eligible, but thems the breaks. Good luck to Baddoo. It will be interesting to see whether he or Celestino has a bigger impact in MLB, because now they're kinda linked.
  8. Hard for me to say they gave up too early on Baddoo; it's just the 40-man is starting to fill up with better prospects and Baddoo missed last year, so the twins didn't have a lot more to go on. From the Tigers perspective this is a smart move: you're going nowhere, take a flyer on a player with some upside in the Rule 5 draft. You can afford to give him 300+ PA in MLB right now to see if you've got something and if it turns out he's not actually ready/able to play at this level (at least right now) you're out very little. He's a lottery ticket. From the Twins perspective not-protecting him was a reasonable risk: he didn't play in 2020 because of the pandemic, the most recent playing year for him wasn't great (injured and not terrible effective), and he's never taken an AB above high A. So there's a decent chance no one takes him, because the only teams that might are ones like the Tigers, who stink and aren't really trying to win this year. While there's more of those teams than there really should be...there's still not that many. I can't blame them for picking Celestino over Baddoo to protect, and that's really where I think it came down to. Celestino is the better fielder and could step in and credibly man CF defensively for the Twins right now if Buxton goes down for a lengthy period. Baddoo probably had the more advanced hit tool and definitely better power projection, but at the time it was unclear which one might end up the better hitter, especially after baddoo's injury-filled season. there's no doubt in my mind that celestino gets taken if left unprotected: it's easier to stash a defensive specialist on a roster for a year. Even a more competitive team might take a flyer on that, especially with a 26-man roster. There's more room to work. Baddoo is making the most of his opportunity so far. good for him. He's not going to hit anywhere near this all year, of course, so check back after he's got 100 ABs or so.
  9. solid start for what should be a good team. Can't say I love having 9 #@$^%#^%@#$# pitchers in the bullpen, though. It's just a waste. Hard to complain too much about a team that's only lost in extra innings so far.
  10. I hate the 8-man bullpen. Even in this day and age where starters get pulled in the 5th or 6th inning, you still end up with a guy in the 'pen who pitches once a week at best in the 8-man bullpen. Thank goodness they expanded the rosters to 26 so you can actually still have a 4-man bench. Nice to start off a Detroit series with a dominant win and nice to see Polanco get off the schnide.
  11. Nice sunday win. It feels weird to say it, but I really hope Buxton had the trots. That's unpleasant and kinda gross, but literally passes quickly. And having had one before I wouldn't wish a migraine on anyone ever. Nice to see a few guys who had been scrabbling a bit to start the season get it going a little, and I loved what I saw out of Alcala. Him being able to lock the Brew Crew down like that was lovely and keeps the bullpen in good shape for monday. Arraez is just a hitter. he'll do great hitting leadoff and made a couple of nice plays in the field at 3B today. funny to hear Bremer & Morneau talk about the MKE radar gun being fast. Sure seemed that way to me too.
  12. Well, it was 84 pitches, not 80 (and as noted elsewhere, it wasn't a perfect game since he drilled Wong), but I'm guessing that doesn't matter to you. What if he had been at 90? or 95? It's his first start of the year. But the true silliness is the idea that this will have any impact on whether Berrios will sign an extension with the Twins or walk when he hits free agency. do you really think this is going to eat at him? "Those bastards, I could have had a no-hitter but they made a priority of my long term health and career!" I think if it's May or later and he's got some starts under him he goes out for the 7th for sure. But they're not going to risk the season for one night in april, and that's fine. That's just the way baseball is played now, and I'm sorry if you're holding on so tight to a notion of "old school" baseball that it's ruining your enjoyment of the game, but the old ways aren't always best.
  13. Because at that point the Twins were going to have to pitch minimum 2 innings to get the win. He drops Dobnak in there to pitch both the 10th and hopefully the 11th. since they knew it was 2 innings to win, he picked a guy he knew could go 2 innings easily. Weird game in watching the D fail like that because two of the bigger eff ups were from guys who are superior defenders (Simmons & Kepler, even though Kepler's was ruled a "double", that's a play he should have made and Morneau said so at the time). Hate to see them kick away a win like that, but good to see the bats look solid against a very good pitcher. Except for Garver.
  14. I thought he was interesting and informative last year but he was still a little flat on his affect. He's sounding a bit warmer and more comfortable so far, but it's still the issue he needs to stay on top of: having the energy and animation in his voice. But I'm happy to have him and Hawkins on the broadcast (I'm less a fan of Smalley, but he's ok)
  15. You're only including one significant asset (Sano, who is coming off a down year) in that package and hoping to either improve 1B (which is the position you're including as the primary asset) or pitching (which everyone needs/wants). Smeltzer's value is unfortunately low. The twins see him as somewhere between 7th-10th as a starter for this year and he's got nothing in his most recent track record to really sell him as a prospect. Would someone take him? Sure, but it'd be to buy low and hope they can unlock something. Rooker has a valuable skill (big power) but the same holes that kept him from beating out Garlick reduce his value significantly in trade. You simply can't expect to upgrade the team without giving up real assets. I'm quite certain the twins FO would package those guys together to upgrade like you've outlined, but I'm also quite certain their not calling around on it because unless you find someone who is deeply in love with Sano's power they're gonna laugh you out of the room or throw scraps back. And trying to dump salary in a sano trade is simply not gonna happen: look at the rotten yield Colorado got for Arenado, a far superior player. Teams aren't taking on salary unless you're the Mets, Dodgers, or Yankees right now.
  16. Rooker's problem is that outside of the huge power, he's got limitations in a number of other areas: poor defense, low contact rates, struggles with pitch recognition, etc. He did everything we could have asked him in his call-up last year, but it was a really small sample. He struggled in ST this year and it looked like his problems with breaking pitches was starting to really bite him. Garlick outplayed him this spring, so it looks like the Twins decided Garlick was a better platoon partner right now for Cave. I do think it's important to realize that Kirilloff wasn't really competing with Garlick: Kirilloff was competing with Cave for the starting spot and they were never going to run Kirilloff out as the backup there. They wanted a RH OF bat to back up the corner spots, which makes a lot of sense. I don't think anyone owes any apologies for moving on from Rosario; it's 100% true they would have had to pay him $10M to keep him and that's an overpay. How do we know? when offered the chance to have him at that price, every other team in the league passed, not once but twice. And then pride gets in the way, which is why Eddie has taken his talents to Cleveland on a contract the Twins probably would have paid.
  17. I probably would have kept Rooker over Garlick, but we'll see how it goes. I like Rooker, but I'm not blind to the fact that he can really struggle against breaking stuff and MLB pitching is going to figure that out quickly. But Garlick seems to be just another guy to me, whereas Rooker does have an elite skill in terms of his power. But it's a move that can be fixed easily if it goes sideways, so not a huge deal and maybe the team sees something I'm not (other than the spring training performance) Astudillo is a really fun player. But he really doesn't have a defensive position; there's about 6 spots you can put him, but he's bad defensively at all of them. But as a 26th man...maybe you can accept that? I do think he's got real value as a pinch hitter in that he's a guy you can count on to put a ball in play. That can be very useful. But he hasn't shown that he can hit consistently in MLB, and needs to show that he can take some pitches. Is it better to have him on the bench or Rooker/Blankenhorn/*insert random SS who can't hit here*? I'll be honest: I'm just happy they didn't carry 14 %$@&%*#%$& pitchers...
  18. what a shame about Mike Bell. That's just horrible and tragic. Seems appropriate that they played the game, though, considering what a baseball family he was part of and the baseball lifer he was. Gotta say, that news makes it a little harder to give a crap whether JA Happ is ready/not ready, washed up/doing veteran pitching things, or any of it. RIP, Mike Bell.
  19. Why? He's a quality player with the worst luck I've seen in a while. Gordon was playing about as well as Arraez in 2019 at AAA when he got hurt and missed a window for a call-up. He got COVID last year and never had a chance to show anything in games for 2020. everything about him shows a floor as a utility guy in MLB with an upside as a hitter. If he's cut off the 40-man, he'll get snapped up immediately. Smeltzer or Anderson at least have a chance to slide through waivers; Smeltzer is a classic back of the 40-man guy (some upside, reasons to have hope he might figure it out, but not a great track record of success in the majors/red flags in his MLB performance), and Anderson is a reliever with control issues who ain't 22 any longer. I'd cut Smeltzer, who right now looks like he's 10th or so in line to start a game for the Twins right now (Donak is currently 6th, followed by some combination of Thorpe, Duran, and Balazovic...but even Ober might jump ahead of Smeltzer if the injury parade really crushed the starters)
  20. Only going to happen if there's an injury, and then you'll see a call up from AAA. I highly doubt the Twins plan to rest Simmons and Donaldson on the same day. A Rooker/Cave platoon could be very productive, and Rooker has earned the chance. Maybe MLB pitching will figure him out and he won't make enough contact to stick, but so far so good, so we'll see what happens when he gets out of SSS territory. And if he fails, guys like Kirilloff and Larnach are waiting in the wings. The best part of this roster projection? It doesn't have us carrying 14 %^$#$%*@#*% pitchers. (we do not need a 9 man bullpen. NO ONE needs a 9-man bullpen.)
  21. I'm kinda bored with the "Twins lost 40% of their bullpen innings from last year!" concept as a cause for concern. They lost 1 arm they wanted to keep: May. Is anyone really mourning the loss of Romo (probably washed up, finally), Wisler (might be a one-hit wonder), or Clippard (ok, I wouldn't have minded bringing him back...but he's not young)? Robles is a veteran guy who either figures out how to get back on track...or is pretty easy to move on from. Colome is a high quality pitcher who perpetually induces weak contact and has plenty of experience in high leverage situations. Alcala looks ready to handle more. So it's awfully hard to say the Twins didn't replace what they lost, while having other options if/when some guys have a bounce in variance. There's a lot of quality arms in the 'pen and the Twins have shown under this regime that they know how to put together a pretty reliable relief corps, and do it without overspending on things like "a proven closer". I'd like to see fewer bullpen games as well; I'm not sure they're really to our advantage and I think we have enough starting pitching to stay out of that zone. I'm hoping it's less likely under a more normal schedule, too, but we'll see what injuries do.
  22. It's been rare that we've had the kind of depth in starting pitching. There have been a lot of Twins squads in the last 20 years or so where we've really been scrambling to have more than a couple of guys that we could really count on. How many years were we relying on a Rick Reed to not fill out the back end of the rotation but to be the #2 starter? Or hoping and praying that Joe Mays would be consistently good? Or when we handed 31 starts to Carlos Silva and he gacked up an ERA of nearly 6? I like the depth here, and I like that guys aren't going to get rotation spots on scholarship. Compared to a lot of years, our 6th guy would have been a fixture as the #3...
  23. Need a different title here: I believe Rocco when he says the Twins don't have a designated closer (and I think that's a good thing). Who will lead the team in saves is a different question than who will be the "closer". Who will be the closer? No one. Who will lead the team in saves? I'd bet on Colome, just because I think he's going to get the 9th more often. Taylor Rogers is going to be deployed in the 7th or 8th inning more often when you see a couple of LH hitters coming up close & late. I don't see any relievers on this team getting 40 saves, though and I'm not sure anyone will clear 30, just because you're not going to see a single guy held back to pitch the 9th in the LaRussa mode of "closers". This is good news to me.
  24. I'm leaning towards starting Kirilloff from Day One, but I wouldn't cry about a short-term platoon of Cave/Rooker. I'd like to be able to keep Rooker's RH bat available. From a defensive perspective would it make more sense to have Kepler take over in LF, since he has significantly better range? (I have plenty of confidence in his ability to figure it out) Or is this one of those deals where in the end it probably doesn't matter that much? With Kepler in RF and Buxton in CF, you certainly could shade Buxton towards LF to protect Kirilloff without really giving up much... They way the hitters are moving up from the minors, the Twins should feel good about where they are at in terms of corner OF bats for a while. Larnach is really close too, but I still think they'll be able to find enough bats for everyone in 2022, since it seems unlikely Cruz comes back again, even if he keeps slappin' around Father Time.
  25. Shoemaker's ability isn't really in question, it's his ability to stay healthy. His biggest inning total was in 2016 with 160...which is basically the sum of his innings pitched from 2017-2020. If he can stay on the bump, he's a very nice 4th starter with a bit of additional upside who should be able to chew through 5-6 innings pretty consistently and give the team a chance to win. And in this rotation he's the 5th guy so maybe the Twins can skip him occasionally to try and keep him healthy? I'm thinking that Kirilloff is going to get the starting nod in LF, which kinda puts the squeeze on Jake Cave. There's just less value in having a backup corner OF who hits the same side as your starters, and I'm not sure this team carries 5 OF. Arraez & Jeffers bench spots locked down. Personally, I'd have a 4-man bench rather than carry 14 freakin' pitchers, but you still have a hot competition between Rooker, Astudillo, Cave, and maybe Blankenhorn for those spots. (It's interesting: Cave & Blankenhorn hit lefty, Rooker & Astudillo hit righty...maybe you take Rooker & Cave and hope two INF don't get hurt in the same game?)
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