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Jamie Cameron

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  1. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K Homeruns: None Top 3 WPA: Sonny Gray .389, Gio Urshela .148, Carlos Correa .116 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) On Tuesday night, the Twins were out to secure another series win against Detroit. Here’s how they lined up against the Detroit Tigers. Sonny Gray came out looking comfortable on Tuesday night. Through his first two innings, he allowed two soft singles to Miguel Cabrera and Spencer Torkelson (66 mph and 71 mph respectively). Gray appeared ‘on’ from the get go, locating well, with Ryan Jeffers stealing plenty of close calls for the Twins pitcher. After a solid first inning, Tigers starter Beau Brieske ran into trouble in the second inning. He walked Max Kepler, who came around to score on a Gio Urshela single. Kepler would have been dead to rights at home plate, had Javy Baez not inexplicably indicated to Tigers’ left fielder Willi Castro to throw to second. The Twins were up, 1-0 after two innings. The Twins increased the lead in the third inning. Byron Buxton, mired in a slump, just missed a home-run to right center-field. The ball had a .970 xBA and was recorded at 105.7 mph off the bat, a promising sign. A Luis Arraez single and Carlos Correa double increased the lead to 2-0. In the top of the fourth inning, Jeimer Candelario scalded a ball into the right center field gap. Byron Buxton made his best catch of the season to prevent extra bases for Detroit. The Twins had a threat in the bottom of the fourth inning. Gio Urshela singled (110 mph) and Jose Miranda doubled (108 mph) to put men on second and third with one out. Ryan Jeffers flew out to center field and Gio Urshela was thrown out at home plate after tagging up at third. At the end of four innings, the Twins led just 2-0 in a game that could have been put on ice. Twins fans have to be encouraged by Miranda, who seems to be driving the ball more consistently in recent games. Meanwhile, Gray was on cruise control. Through five innings, he had given up three hits, one walk, and struck out six Tigers hitters on just 68 pitchers. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Twins threatened again. Luis Arraez missed a home run to right field by a few feet and had to settle for a single. Carlos Correa and Gary Sanchez walked to load the bases with Max Kepler up, fresh off a grand slam on Monday night. Kepler flew out to shallow left field, not deep enough for Arraez to tag. Gilberto Celestino grounded out to end the inning. Through five innings, the Twins had seven hits, three walks, but only two runs to show for it. Gray had retired seven straight hitters when Jonathan Schoop singled in the top of the sixth inning. A rare passed ball by Ryan Jeffers moved Schoop to second base, with no outs. Gray bucked down, striking out two of the next three hitters to escape the inning unscathed, his seventh and eight strikeouts of the game. In the bottom of the inning, Gio Urshela led off with his third hit of the game, before Jose Miranda grounded into a double play to extinguish yet another Twins scoring opportunity. Gray came out to start the seventh inning with a pitch count of 83. He left it at 95 pitches, having retired the side in order and struck out 10 in seven innings of scoreless work. Tyler Duffey relieved Gray in the eighth inning. Duffey struck out two and retired the side in order on just 12 pitches. The Twins offered nothing in the bottom of the eight inning, leaving Jhoan Duran to close the game out for Minnesota. Duran allowed a single to Miguel Cabrera and hit Jeimer Candelario to put runners on first and second base with one out. Duran got Willi Castro to ground into a double play to secure the shutout for the Twins. The Twins have now won six in a row, their second such streak in 2022. They’ve won four series in a row since being swept by Houston and sit 11 games over .500, with a 5.5 game lead over the White Sox. So sound the clubhouse gong, its just like Max Kepler said, ‘vibes over everything.’ Bullpen Usage Chart - FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Jax 18 0 0 33 0 51 Pagán 19 0 0 28 0 47 Duran 16 0 17 0 14 47 Duffey 18 0 14 0 12 44 Cano 0 0 38 0 0 38 Smith 0 21 0 17 0 38 Megill 0 0 31 0 0 31 Thielbar 0 18 0 3 0 21 Stashak 0 18 0 0 0 18 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will conclude their series against Detroit. Dylan Bundy starts for Minnesota, against Rony Garcia of the Tigers. First pitch is 12:10 CT. By the way, the game is on YouTube on Wednesday. Postgame Interviews
  2. The Twins shut out the Tigers 2-0 on Tuesday, running their win streak to six behind a gem from Sonny Gray. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K Homeruns: None Top 3 WPA: Sonny Gray .389, Gio Urshela .148, Carlos Correa .116 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) On Tuesday night, the Twins were out to secure another series win against Detroit. Here’s how they lined up against the Detroit Tigers. Sonny Gray came out looking comfortable on Tuesday night. Through his first two innings, he allowed two soft singles to Miguel Cabrera and Spencer Torkelson (66 mph and 71 mph respectively). Gray appeared ‘on’ from the get go, locating well, with Ryan Jeffers stealing plenty of close calls for the Twins pitcher. After a solid first inning, Tigers starter Beau Brieske ran into trouble in the second inning. He walked Max Kepler, who came around to score on a Gio Urshela single. Kepler would have been dead to rights at home plate, had Javy Baez not inexplicably indicated to Tigers’ left fielder Willi Castro to throw to second. The Twins were up, 1-0 after two innings. The Twins increased the lead in the third inning. Byron Buxton, mired in a slump, just missed a home-run to right center-field. The ball had a .970 xBA and was recorded at 105.7 mph off the bat, a promising sign. A Luis Arraez single and Carlos Correa double increased the lead to 2-0. In the top of the fourth inning, Jeimer Candelario scalded a ball into the right center field gap. Byron Buxton made his best catch of the season to prevent extra bases for Detroit. The Twins had a threat in the bottom of the fourth inning. Gio Urshela singled (110 mph) and Jose Miranda doubled (108 mph) to put men on second and third with one out. Ryan Jeffers flew out to center field and Gio Urshela was thrown out at home plate after tagging up at third. At the end of four innings, the Twins led just 2-0 in a game that could have been put on ice. Twins fans have to be encouraged by Miranda, who seems to be driving the ball more consistently in recent games. Meanwhile, Gray was on cruise control. Through five innings, he had given up three hits, one walk, and struck out six Tigers hitters on just 68 pitchers. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Twins threatened again. Luis Arraez missed a home run to right field by a few feet and had to settle for a single. Carlos Correa and Gary Sanchez walked to load the bases with Max Kepler up, fresh off a grand slam on Monday night. Kepler flew out to shallow left field, not deep enough for Arraez to tag. Gilberto Celestino grounded out to end the inning. Through five innings, the Twins had seven hits, three walks, but only two runs to show for it. Gray had retired seven straight hitters when Jonathan Schoop singled in the top of the sixth inning. A rare passed ball by Ryan Jeffers moved Schoop to second base, with no outs. Gray bucked down, striking out two of the next three hitters to escape the inning unscathed, his seventh and eight strikeouts of the game. In the bottom of the inning, Gio Urshela led off with his third hit of the game, before Jose Miranda grounded into a double play to extinguish yet another Twins scoring opportunity. Gray came out to start the seventh inning with a pitch count of 83. He left it at 95 pitches, having retired the side in order and struck out 10 in seven innings of scoreless work. Tyler Duffey relieved Gray in the eighth inning. Duffey struck out two and retired the side in order on just 12 pitches. The Twins offered nothing in the bottom of the eight inning, leaving Jhoan Duran to close the game out for Minnesota. Duran allowed a single to Miguel Cabrera and hit Jeimer Candelario to put runners on first and second base with one out. Duran got Willi Castro to ground into a double play to secure the shutout for the Twins. The Twins have now won six in a row, their second such streak in 2022. They’ve won four series in a row since being swept by Houston and sit 11 games over .500, with a 5.5 game lead over the White Sox. So sound the clubhouse gong, its just like Max Kepler said, ‘vibes over everything.’ Bullpen Usage Chart - FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Jax 18 0 0 33 0 51 Pagán 19 0 0 28 0 47 Duran 16 0 17 0 14 47 Duffey 18 0 14 0 12 44 Cano 0 0 38 0 0 38 Smith 0 21 0 17 0 38 Megill 0 0 31 0 0 31 Thielbar 0 18 0 3 0 21 Stashak 0 18 0 0 0 18 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will conclude their series against Detroit. Dylan Bundy starts for Minnesota, against Rony Garcia of the Tigers. First pitch is 12:10 CT. By the way, the game is on YouTube on Wednesday. Postgame Interviews View full article
  3. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO Homeruns: Royce Lewis (2), Gary Sánchez (4) Bottom 3 WPA: Josh Winder -.489, Jorge Polanco -.143, Jose Miranda -.131 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) On Tuesday night, the Twins were out to secure another series win in Oakland. The game marked the return of Dylan Bundy from the COVID IL. Bundy had struggled prior to being on the IL. The storyline heading into the game was if he could give the Twins an opportunity to win? Here’s how Minnesota lined up. The Twins came into the game having won the previous four encounters against Oakland despite scoring just 10 runs. Perhaps Oakland was the team to get Bundy back on track? Bundy looked relatively comfortable in the first inning, retiring Oakland on 19 pitches, surrendering only a bloop single to left-field that Nick Gordon couldn’t quite track down. James Kaprielian cruised through his first two innings of work for Oakland. He served Twins hitters a steady diet of mid-90s fastballs up in the zone, and breaking pitches down. Bundy worked around a leadoff walk in the second inning, keeping the game scoreless through two innings. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Coliseum, it was going down. Royce Lewis led off the top of the third inning with a scorching, 111.7 mph double to the left-center-field gap. The Twins failed to capitalize however, as Jose Miranda and Jorge Polanco struck out to extricate Kaprielian from trouble. Tony Kemp singled in the bottom of the third with Josh Winder already warming up. A short start was always likely for Bundy, returning from COVID. Jed Lowrie walked to put runners on first and second base with one out. Jose Miranda bobbled a relatively straightforward grounder to third that should have been an inning-ending double play. He managed to rescue the force at second, putting runners at the corners with two out. Bundy escaped, striking out Seth Brown to throw three scoreless, and encouraging innings in his return from the IL. The Twins continued to struggle to cash in runners in the fourth inning. Gary Sánchez missed home runs on two sliders he crushed down the left-field line by mere feet. Max Kepler singled to left field with one out, but the Twins couldn’t bring him home, despite a hard hit lineout from Nick Gordon to right field. Josh Winder relieved Bundy in he bottom of the fourth inning. With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Kevin Smith crushed a belt-high fastball into the left-field seats to give Oakland a 2-0 lead. The pitch wasn’t a bad one from Winder, it was above the strike zone, Smith just hit it out. The Twins got half of the lead back in the top of the fifth, when Royce Lewis blasted his second home run into the left-field seats, cutting the deficit to one. Lewis has made the Twins forthcoming roster challenge difficult, with Bailey Ober, Carlos Correa, and Trevor Larnach all due back from the IL in short order. One thing is clear, he can’t be sent down right now, he’s on fire. Winder struggled with his command in the fifth inning, with Oakland’s contact continuing to find holes. He loaded the bases with two outs, before escaping the bases loaded jam, to preserve the one-run deficit. Gary Sánchez knocked Kaprielian from the game, launching a game-tying, solo home run to left field after Elvis Andrus took a base hit away from Jorge Polanco in the previous at bat. Max Kepler added a one-out single. Rocco Baldelli pinch hit Kyle Garlick for Nick Gordon. Garlick promptly struck out, before Gilberto Celestino reached on an infield hit to put runners at first and third base with two outs and Royce Lewis due up. Lewis grounded out to second base to end the inning with the game tied at two. Aside from a walk for Luis Arraez, the top of the seventh inning was uneventful for the Twins. In the bottom of the innings, the Athletics broke the game open. Winder walked Lowrie and hit Laureano. There is an argument that Winder should have been pulled, having surrendered five hits and two walks to that point. He stayed in the game. Seth Brown crushed a double and Sean Murphy blooped a single and the Athletics took a 5-2 lead. Winder surrendered two more hits before finally being pulled by Baldelli. He allowed five runs on nine hits with two walks in 3.2 innings of work. It's clear that the Twins had planned on the combination of Bundy and Winder eating the majority of the innings on Tuesday night. Ultimately, Winder's command issues made that plan challenging to execute. The Twins threatened in the top of the eight, managing two base runners, but failed to eat into the lead. The Athletics closed out the game in the ninth to even the series at one game each. In spite of this, the Twins have won the season series, and will look to win the current series on Wednesday. The Twins fell to 21-16 on the season. Bullpen Usage Chart FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Winder 0 0 0 0 78 78 Jax 50 0 0 25 0 75 Pagán 22 9 10 0 0 41 Thielbar 0 15 2 0 16 33 Smith 4 15 9 0 0 28 Cano 0 0 0 25 0 25 Duffey 0 5 0 20 0 25 Duran 10 12 0 0 0 22 Stashak 0 0 13 0 0 13 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will conclude their series against Oakland. Sonny Gray gets the start for Minnesota, against Daulton Jefferies of the Athletics. First pitch is 2:37 CT
  4. The Twins lost to the Athletics, 5-2 on Tuesday night. Royce Lewis delivered another incredible performance, while Oakland knocked around Josh Winder to drop the Twins to 21-16 on the season. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO Homeruns: Royce Lewis (2), Gary Sánchez (4) Bottom 3 WPA: Josh Winder -.489, Jorge Polanco -.143, Jose Miranda -.131 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) On Tuesday night, the Twins were out to secure another series win in Oakland. The game marked the return of Dylan Bundy from the COVID IL. Bundy had struggled prior to being on the IL. The storyline heading into the game was if he could give the Twins an opportunity to win? Here’s how Minnesota lined up. The Twins came into the game having won the previous four encounters against Oakland despite scoring just 10 runs. Perhaps Oakland was the team to get Bundy back on track? Bundy looked relatively comfortable in the first inning, retiring Oakland on 19 pitches, surrendering only a bloop single to left-field that Nick Gordon couldn’t quite track down. James Kaprielian cruised through his first two innings of work for Oakland. He served Twins hitters a steady diet of mid-90s fastballs up in the zone, and breaking pitches down. Bundy worked around a leadoff walk in the second inning, keeping the game scoreless through two innings. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Coliseum, it was going down. Royce Lewis led off the top of the third inning with a scorching, 111.7 mph double to the left-center-field gap. The Twins failed to capitalize however, as Jose Miranda and Jorge Polanco struck out to extricate Kaprielian from trouble. Tony Kemp singled in the bottom of the third with Josh Winder already warming up. A short start was always likely for Bundy, returning from COVID. Jed Lowrie walked to put runners on first and second base with one out. Jose Miranda bobbled a relatively straightforward grounder to third that should have been an inning-ending double play. He managed to rescue the force at second, putting runners at the corners with two out. Bundy escaped, striking out Seth Brown to throw three scoreless, and encouraging innings in his return from the IL. The Twins continued to struggle to cash in runners in the fourth inning. Gary Sánchez missed home runs on two sliders he crushed down the left-field line by mere feet. Max Kepler singled to left field with one out, but the Twins couldn’t bring him home, despite a hard hit lineout from Nick Gordon to right field. Josh Winder relieved Bundy in he bottom of the fourth inning. With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Kevin Smith crushed a belt-high fastball into the left-field seats to give Oakland a 2-0 lead. The pitch wasn’t a bad one from Winder, it was above the strike zone, Smith just hit it out. The Twins got half of the lead back in the top of the fifth, when Royce Lewis blasted his second home run into the left-field seats, cutting the deficit to one. Lewis has made the Twins forthcoming roster challenge difficult, with Bailey Ober, Carlos Correa, and Trevor Larnach all due back from the IL in short order. One thing is clear, he can’t be sent down right now, he’s on fire. Winder struggled with his command in the fifth inning, with Oakland’s contact continuing to find holes. He loaded the bases with two outs, before escaping the bases loaded jam, to preserve the one-run deficit. Gary Sánchez knocked Kaprielian from the game, launching a game-tying, solo home run to left field after Elvis Andrus took a base hit away from Jorge Polanco in the previous at bat. Max Kepler added a one-out single. Rocco Baldelli pinch hit Kyle Garlick for Nick Gordon. Garlick promptly struck out, before Gilberto Celestino reached on an infield hit to put runners at first and third base with two outs and Royce Lewis due up. Lewis grounded out to second base to end the inning with the game tied at two. Aside from a walk for Luis Arraez, the top of the seventh inning was uneventful for the Twins. In the bottom of the innings, the Athletics broke the game open. Winder walked Lowrie and hit Laureano. There is an argument that Winder should have been pulled, having surrendered five hits and two walks to that point. He stayed in the game. Seth Brown crushed a double and Sean Murphy blooped a single and the Athletics took a 5-2 lead. Winder surrendered two more hits before finally being pulled by Baldelli. He allowed five runs on nine hits with two walks in 3.2 innings of work. It's clear that the Twins had planned on the combination of Bundy and Winder eating the majority of the innings on Tuesday night. Ultimately, Winder's command issues made that plan challenging to execute. The Twins threatened in the top of the eight, managing two base runners, but failed to eat into the lead. The Athletics closed out the game in the ninth to even the series at one game each. In spite of this, the Twins have won the season series, and will look to win the current series on Wednesday. The Twins fell to 21-16 on the season. Bullpen Usage Chart FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Winder 0 0 0 0 78 78 Jax 50 0 0 25 0 75 Pagán 22 9 10 0 0 41 Thielbar 0 15 2 0 16 33 Smith 4 15 9 0 0 28 Cano 0 0 0 25 0 25 Duffey 0 5 0 20 0 25 Duran 10 12 0 0 0 22 Stashak 0 0 13 0 0 13 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will conclude their series against Oakland. Sonny Gray gets the start for Minnesota, against Daulton Jefferies of the Athletics. First pitch is 2:37 CT View full article
  5. Loving all these measured, reasonable comments! I agree, not worried at all long term and tend to think adjustments are easier to make at AAA, when the Twins have additional healthy folks to bring back such as Correa. Thank for reading all!
  6. Jose Miranda has struggled in his first month in the majors, why? What are the numbers behind his struggles? What can he do to turn it around? Who cares about 46 plate appearances? Not me. Neither, globally speaking, should you. 46 plate appearances, however, is all we have to judge Jose Miranda on so far in the big leagues, and it hasn't been pretty. After putting together a MiLB season for the ages in 2021 in which he hit 30 HR and a combined 159 wRC+ between AA and AAA, Miranda has struggled in his opening month with the Twins. Over 11 games, he’s put up an 8 wRC+ and has been worth -0.5 fWAR. Obviously not great. What do the numbers say about Miranda? How might he turn his slow start around? Miranda’s 2021 MiLB breakthrough came from the ability to drive the ball well. In 2021, his Line Drive Percentage (LD%) was 24.3% at AA and AAA. For a point of reference, Jorge Polanco, who put up 4.1 fWAR for the Twins, was at 23.1%. Obviously, a different level of competition, but a useful reference point. Fast forward to 2022 and Miranda’s LD% has plummeted to just 2.7%. Essentially, everything he’s hitting is into the ground, or straight up in the air. What gives? The clues come in the form of Miranda’s plate discipline numbers. He doesn’t walk often 4.3% BB%. He also doesn’t strike out very often, something we might expect for someone struggling so mightily at the plate (15.2% K%). Miranda’s low walk and low strikeout totals warrant further investigation, for that, it’s useful to look at his swing and contact rates. Miranda has an O-Swing% of 29.9%, meaning he swings at 29.9% of pitches thrown outside the strike zone. This isn’t an alarming number (Polanco, our contextual comparison for this piece, is at 28.8% here). Miranda, however, swings significantly more in the zone than other hitters (70.2% so far in 2022 to Polanco’s 61.5%). We know that Miranda can crush the ball, no one who hits 30 HR in a season can’t. However, his average exit velocity is 88.2 mph, right at league average with a Barrel% of just 5.4%. If we put these two data points together, here’s what we can glean; Miranda has a tendency to swing at pitches in the strike zone, which is fine. Currently, his swings in the zone are not selective enough, causing him to ground out and pop out frequently. His tendencies are a much scaled-back version of the challenges Willians Astudillo faced in Minnesota, where his ability to put bat-to-ball was negated by the poor quality of contact he produced. I’ll finish with this; who cares? Hitting in the majors is a game of reactivity and constraint adjustments. Whether Miranda continues to work through his struggles in Minneapolis or St. Paul, I remain extremely confident in his ability to hit at the big league level. If he wants to maximize his success, however, he needs to once again hunt for pitches he can drive. View full article
  7. Who cares about 46 plate appearances? Not me. Neither, globally speaking, should you. 46 plate appearances, however, is all we have to judge Jose Miranda on so far in the big leagues, and it hasn't been pretty. After putting together a MiLB season for the ages in 2021 in which he hit 30 HR and a combined 159 wRC+ between AA and AAA, Miranda has struggled in his opening month with the Twins. Over 11 games, he’s put up an 8 wRC+ and has been worth -0.5 fWAR. Obviously not great. What do the numbers say about Miranda? How might he turn his slow start around? Miranda’s 2021 MiLB breakthrough came from the ability to drive the ball well. In 2021, his Line Drive Percentage (LD%) was 24.3% at AA and AAA. For a point of reference, Jorge Polanco, who put up 4.1 fWAR for the Twins, was at 23.1%. Obviously, a different level of competition, but a useful reference point. Fast forward to 2022 and Miranda’s LD% has plummeted to just 2.7%. Essentially, everything he’s hitting is into the ground, or straight up in the air. What gives? The clues come in the form of Miranda’s plate discipline numbers. He doesn’t walk often 4.3% BB%. He also doesn’t strike out very often, something we might expect for someone struggling so mightily at the plate (15.2% K%). Miranda’s low walk and low strikeout totals warrant further investigation, for that, it’s useful to look at his swing and contact rates. Miranda has an O-Swing% of 29.9%, meaning he swings at 29.9% of pitches thrown outside the strike zone. This isn’t an alarming number (Polanco, our contextual comparison for this piece, is at 28.8% here). Miranda, however, swings significantly more in the zone than other hitters (70.2% so far in 2022 to Polanco’s 61.5%). We know that Miranda can crush the ball, no one who hits 30 HR in a season can’t. However, his average exit velocity is 88.2 mph, right at league average with a Barrel% of just 5.4%. If we put these two data points together, here’s what we can glean; Miranda has a tendency to swing at pitches in the strike zone, which is fine. Currently, his swings in the zone are not selective enough, causing him to ground out and pop out frequently. His tendencies are a much scaled-back version of the challenges Willians Astudillo faced in Minnesota, where his ability to put bat-to-ball was negated by the poor quality of contact he produced. I’ll finish with this; who cares? Hitting in the majors is a game of reactivity and constraint adjustments. Whether Miranda continues to work through his struggles in Minneapolis or St. Paul, I remain extremely confident in his ability to hit at the big league level. If he wants to maximize his success, however, he needs to once again hunt for pitches he can drive.
  8. The Astros beat the Twins 5-0 on Tuesday as Justin Verlander was five outs away from a no-hitter. The loss moves the Twins to 18-12 on the season. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Ryan 4 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 3 K Homeruns: None Bottom 3 WPA: Ryan -.209, Urshela -.069, Kepler -.068 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Tuesday’s game was billed as one of the best pitching matchups of the season, as Joe Ryan took on Justin Verlander. Entering the contest, the pitchers had remarkably similar statistics on the year, while the Twins and Astros had identical 18-11 records. The Astros made Joe Ryan work in the first inning. Despite this, he pitched around a walk of Alex Bregman to manage a scoreless frame. Justin Verlander, despite Gary Sanchez's scalding a line drive to left field, managed a hitless first inning of his own. Ryan struggled in the top of the second, surrendering a leadoff hit before walking Kyle Tucker for his second free pass in as many innings. After a fly ball moved Yuli Gurriel to third, a Jeremy Pena groundout gave the Astros a 1-0 lead. Verlander, meanwhile, continued to cruise, retiring the side in order to sit at just 23 pitches after two hitless innings. In the fourth inning, Ryan walked Kyle Tucker with one out. Tucker stole second and came around to score on a bloop single from Pena with two outs. Ryan struck out Martin Maldonado to end the fourth inning trailing 2-0. Ryan had poor command and did not look sharp on Tuesday. It’s perhaps a testament to him that he managed to keep the game close, despite walking four and throwing 83 pitches through four innings. Verlander sat at just 43 pitches through four hitless innings. The Twins produced poor at-bats against the future Hall-of-Famer, but he also threw 81% strikes. A Jose Altuve bloop single and Joe Ryan’s fifth walk of the game led off the fifth inning for Houston. An Alex Bregman double increased the lead to 3-0 with runners of second and third and none out and ended Ryan’s night, undoubtedly his most disappointing outing of the season. Danny Coulombe entered the game and managed to limit the damage to just one more run. The Twins entered the bottom of the fifth inning trailing 4-0. Verlander allowed his first base runner in the fifth inning when Jorge Polanco walked. Gio Urshela promptly grounded into a double play to immediately end any inkling of Twins resistance. In the sixth inning, Coulombe exited the game, the latest in a litany of injured players. He was replaced by Jharel Cotton. The Astros tacked on another run, pushing the score to 5-0. Gilberto Celestino took the Twins' second walk of the game in the sixth inning but he was thrown out trying to take second base on an errant pitch from Verlander, who faced the minimum through six innings. Jharel Cotton continued to pitch admirably for the Twins as he was asked to eat as many innings as possible to preserve the bullpen through the rest of the series. He pitched scoreless seventh and eight innings. Verlander finally lost his no-hit bid with one out in the eighth inning. Gio Urshela punched an opposite field single to give the Twins just their third base runner of the game. The crowd sounded their appreciation, both for Urshela, and Verlander's masterful performance. Tuesday's game was the second time this season the Twins were at risk of being no-hit by a future Hall of Fame pitcher. Royce Lewis grounded into a double play to erase the runner, and get Verlander through eight one-hit innings, striking out five. The Twins managed to get two runners aboard in the bottom of the ninth, advancing a runner to second base for the first time in the game! Jose Miranda flew out to centerfield to complete the shutout for the Astros. the loss dropped the Twins to 18-12 on the season. If nothing else, the Astros effortless swatting of the Twins on Tuesday emphasized the easy ride Minnesota has had with their recent schedule. A lineup without Buxton, Arraez, and Correa looked toothless. The Astros provided the first stern test for a severely undermanned Twins team. Verlander was brilliant. The Twins failed comprehensively. Bullpen Usage Chart FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Cotton 0 0 0 0 58 58 Pagán 28 0 28 0 0 56 Coulombe 0 12 0 0 29 41 Stashak 0 0 34 0 0 34 Duran 0 31 0 0 0 31 Thielbar 0 0 20 0 3 23 Duffey 11 0 9 0 0 20 Jax 0 19 0 0 0 19 Smith 6 0 12 0 0 18 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series against the Astros. Chris Archer will start for Minnesota while José Urquidy starts for Houston. The first pitch is at 6:40 CT Postgame Interviews - Coming Soon View full article
  9. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Ryan 4 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 3 K Homeruns: None Bottom 3 WPA: Ryan -.209, Urshela -.069, Kepler -.068 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Tuesday’s game was billed as one of the best pitching matchups of the season, as Joe Ryan took on Justin Verlander. Entering the contest, the pitchers had remarkably similar statistics on the year, while the Twins and Astros had identical 18-11 records. The Astros made Joe Ryan work in the first inning. Despite this, he pitched around a walk of Alex Bregman to manage a scoreless frame. Justin Verlander, despite Gary Sanchez's scalding a line drive to left field, managed a hitless first inning of his own. Ryan struggled in the top of the second, surrendering a leadoff hit before walking Kyle Tucker for his second free pass in as many innings. After a fly ball moved Yuli Gurriel to third, a Jeremy Pena groundout gave the Astros a 1-0 lead. Verlander, meanwhile, continued to cruise, retiring the side in order to sit at just 23 pitches after two hitless innings. In the fourth inning, Ryan walked Kyle Tucker with one out. Tucker stole second and came around to score on a bloop single from Pena with two outs. Ryan struck out Martin Maldonado to end the fourth inning trailing 2-0. Ryan had poor command and did not look sharp on Tuesday. It’s perhaps a testament to him that he managed to keep the game close, despite walking four and throwing 83 pitches through four innings. Verlander sat at just 43 pitches through four hitless innings. The Twins produced poor at-bats against the future Hall-of-Famer, but he also threw 81% strikes. A Jose Altuve bloop single and Joe Ryan’s fifth walk of the game led off the fifth inning for Houston. An Alex Bregman double increased the lead to 3-0 with runners of second and third and none out and ended Ryan’s night, undoubtedly his most disappointing outing of the season. Danny Coulombe entered the game and managed to limit the damage to just one more run. The Twins entered the bottom of the fifth inning trailing 4-0. Verlander allowed his first base runner in the fifth inning when Jorge Polanco walked. Gio Urshela promptly grounded into a double play to immediately end any inkling of Twins resistance. In the sixth inning, Coulombe exited the game, the latest in a litany of injured players. He was replaced by Jharel Cotton. The Astros tacked on another run, pushing the score to 5-0. Gilberto Celestino took the Twins' second walk of the game in the sixth inning but he was thrown out trying to take second base on an errant pitch from Verlander, who faced the minimum through six innings. Jharel Cotton continued to pitch admirably for the Twins as he was asked to eat as many innings as possible to preserve the bullpen through the rest of the series. He pitched scoreless seventh and eight innings. Verlander finally lost his no-hit bid with one out in the eighth inning. Gio Urshela punched an opposite field single to give the Twins just their third base runner of the game. The crowd sounded their appreciation, both for Urshela, and Verlander's masterful performance. Tuesday's game was the second time this season the Twins were at risk of being no-hit by a future Hall of Fame pitcher. Royce Lewis grounded into a double play to erase the runner, and get Verlander through eight one-hit innings, striking out five. The Twins managed to get two runners aboard in the bottom of the ninth, advancing a runner to second base for the first time in the game! Jose Miranda flew out to centerfield to complete the shutout for the Astros. the loss dropped the Twins to 18-12 on the season. If nothing else, the Astros effortless swatting of the Twins on Tuesday emphasized the easy ride Minnesota has had with their recent schedule. A lineup without Buxton, Arraez, and Correa looked toothless. The Astros provided the first stern test for a severely undermanned Twins team. Verlander was brilliant. The Twins failed comprehensively. Bullpen Usage Chart FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Cotton 0 0 0 0 58 58 Pagán 28 0 28 0 0 56 Coulombe 0 12 0 0 29 41 Stashak 0 0 34 0 0 34 Duran 0 31 0 0 0 31 Thielbar 0 0 20 0 3 23 Duffey 11 0 9 0 0 20 Jax 0 19 0 0 0 19 Smith 6 0 12 0 0 18 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series against the Astros. Chris Archer will start for Minnesota while José Urquidy starts for Houston. The first pitch is at 6:40 CT Postgame Interviews - Coming Soon
  10. Shortly after the lockout ended, the Twins engaged in a frenzied activity to reshape their roster and prepare for the 2022 season. One of the first moves they made, was trading fan favorite Mitch Garver to the Texas Rangers for Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who eventually was flipped to the Yankees to shed Josh Donaldson’s contract. Trading an aging catcher, with a lengthy injury history, made a lot of sense, even if Twins fans didn’t like the move. How the trade would be reflected upon, depended largely on the development of Ryan Jeffers and what he could offer offensively in 2022. Early in the 2022 season, the returns are promising. Jeffers’ development since being taken in the second round of the 2018 draft out of UNC Wilmington has been remarkable. At the time, the pick was immediately labeled a reach from Minnesota. The Twins, however, saw a solid power bat and a cerebral player they felt they could develop defensively, despite not having had a college catching coach. Jeffers was essentially self-taught defensively. Let’s dig into his offensive and defensive production in 2022 to see what’s under the hood. Offense When Jeffers was first called up in 2020, hitting .273/.355/.436 and managed a 120 wRC+ in a small, 26-game sample. 2021 was, by comparison, a disaster. Jeffers lost his strike zone control, walking less and striking out more, and struggled to get bat to ball, managing 0.6 fWAR in 86 games. In 18 games in 2022, Jeffers has already matched his season-long fWAR from 2021, hitting .228/.302/.456 to go along with a 125 wRC+. Looking at Jeffers’ Statcast profile tells its own interesting and encouraging tale. Jeffers ranks in the 96th percentile for Barrel % and 89th percentile for xSLG, those are elite numbers. You may not like the profile of hitter, but Jeffers is settling in on being a slugger that will strike out a lot but make a ton of hard, effective contact. That’s valuable in and of itself, for a catcher, even more so. There are a number of factors that hurt the perception of Jeffers’ offensive profile and production. Firstly, Mitch Garver’s 2019 season. It was a unicorn season, both for Garver and in the history of the position. Combine it with Garver’s approach at the plate, which combined elite power and strike-zone control, and it’s easy to wave away Jeffers’ low OBP as uninteresting and lacking value. Let’s put his numbers early in 2022 in some positional context. Jeffers ranks fifth in fWAR among all MLB catchers, seventh in SLG, seventh in wRC+, and ninth in wOBA. He just doesn't get on base a lot, and that’s OK. If Jeffers maintains his offensive production and a wRC+ of slightly above 100, he’s going to have an incredibly valuable 2022 season for the Twins. Defense Let’s start with the obvious, Ryan Jeffers is not good at throwing out runners. He ranks fifth last in this category among catchers in 2022. Also, who cares? Jeffers has had four bases stolen on his watch in 2022, and has thrown out one runner, for a CS% of 20%. Yadier Molina is at 29%. Base stealing has become such an irrelevant part of the game that this area of weakness is inconsequential. Measuring defense is difficult, for catchers, it’s almost impossible. There are no effective metrics to help understand the effectiveness with which a catcher ‘calls’ a game. Here’s what we do know about Jeffers. Per Statcast, he’s in the 84th percentile for framing among MLB catchers. Per Baseball Prospectus, he’s seventh-best in baseball. Rdrs/yr measures the number of runs above or below average a fielder would save over 1,200 innings (approximately 135 games). Jeffers sits at 36, that’s good for second-best among catchers in baseball. This is reflected in the eye test for Jeffers. How many run-saving blocks has he already made this year? While the defensive numbers can’t paint the full picture, the outline is clear. Jeffers is a defensive standout. All of this, of course, is a relatively meaningless sample of around 20 games. There’s plenty of season left to go right or go wrong. The early indicators point to Ryan Jeffers as an extremely valuable long-term commodity for the Minnesota Twins.
  11. It’s early in the 2022 season, but Ryan Jeffers’ strong start should give Twins fans reason for optimism. He's a top ten catcher in MLB right now. Shortly after the lockout ended, the Twins engaged in a frenzied activity to reshape their roster and prepare for the 2022 season. One of the first moves they made, was trading fan favorite Mitch Garver to the Texas Rangers for Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who eventually was flipped to the Yankees to shed Josh Donaldson’s contract. Trading an aging catcher, with a lengthy injury history, made a lot of sense, even if Twins fans didn’t like the move. How the trade would be reflected upon, depended largely on the development of Ryan Jeffers and what he could offer offensively in 2022. Early in the 2022 season, the returns are promising. Jeffers’ development since being taken in the second round of the 2018 draft out of UNC Wilmington has been remarkable. At the time, the pick was immediately labeled a reach from Minnesota. The Twins, however, saw a solid power bat and a cerebral player they felt they could develop defensively, despite not having had a college catching coach. Jeffers was essentially self-taught defensively. Let’s dig into his offensive and defensive production in 2022 to see what’s under the hood. Offense When Jeffers was first called up in 2020, hitting .273/.355/.436 and managed a 120 wRC+ in a small, 26-game sample. 2021 was, by comparison, a disaster. Jeffers lost his strike zone control, walking less and striking out more, and struggled to get bat to ball, managing 0.6 fWAR in 86 games. In 18 games in 2022, Jeffers has already matched his season-long fWAR from 2021, hitting .228/.302/.456 to go along with a 125 wRC+. Looking at Jeffers’ Statcast profile tells its own interesting and encouraging tale. Jeffers ranks in the 96th percentile for Barrel % and 89th percentile for xSLG, those are elite numbers. You may not like the profile of hitter, but Jeffers is settling in on being a slugger that will strike out a lot but make a ton of hard, effective contact. That’s valuable in and of itself, for a catcher, even more so. There are a number of factors that hurt the perception of Jeffers’ offensive profile and production. Firstly, Mitch Garver’s 2019 season. It was a unicorn season, both for Garver and in the history of the position. Combine it with Garver’s approach at the plate, which combined elite power and strike-zone control, and it’s easy to wave away Jeffers’ low OBP as uninteresting and lacking value. Let’s put his numbers early in 2022 in some positional context. Jeffers ranks fifth in fWAR among all MLB catchers, seventh in SLG, seventh in wRC+, and ninth in wOBA. He just doesn't get on base a lot, and that’s OK. If Jeffers maintains his offensive production and a wRC+ of slightly above 100, he’s going to have an incredibly valuable 2022 season for the Twins. Defense Let’s start with the obvious, Ryan Jeffers is not good at throwing out runners. He ranks fifth last in this category among catchers in 2022. Also, who cares? Jeffers has had four bases stolen on his watch in 2022, and has thrown out one runner, for a CS% of 20%. Yadier Molina is at 29%. Base stealing has become such an irrelevant part of the game that this area of weakness is inconsequential. Measuring defense is difficult, for catchers, it’s almost impossible. There are no effective metrics to help understand the effectiveness with which a catcher ‘calls’ a game. Here’s what we do know about Jeffers. Per Statcast, he’s in the 84th percentile for framing among MLB catchers. Per Baseball Prospectus, he’s seventh-best in baseball. Rdrs/yr measures the number of runs above or below average a fielder would save over 1,200 innings (approximately 135 games). Jeffers sits at 36, that’s good for second-best among catchers in baseball. This is reflected in the eye test for Jeffers. How many run-saving blocks has he already made this year? While the defensive numbers can’t paint the full picture, the outline is clear. Jeffers is a defensive standout. All of this, of course, is a relatively meaningless sample of around 20 games. There’s plenty of season left to go right or go wrong. The early indicators point to Ryan Jeffers as an extremely valuable long-term commodity for the Minnesota Twins. View full article
  12. Kepler was removed as he was under the weather, tested negative for COVID, nothing serious, thankfully.
  13. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Ryan 4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO Homeruns: Jeffers (3) Top 3 WPA: Jeffers .330, Thielbar .133, Polanco .091 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Here’s how the Twins lined up in the second game of their four-game series against the Orioles. In the Twins lineup for the second consecutive day, the news that Jose Miranda made the big league club was making the rounds. The expectations for Joe Ryan have become absurdly high. While he wasn’t as dominant as he was in his last start against Detroit, he continued to impress, working quickly and effectively. His first inning was prolonged by a throwing error from Gio Urshela, allowing Trey Mancini to reach base. Ryan plunked Santander before wriggling out of the inning, despite throwing 25 pitches. The Twins meanwhile, continued their offensive trend from Monday’s game, struggling to put together effective at-bats against Orioles' standout Bruce Zimmerman. The game remained scoreless through three innings, due to some excellent defensive work from Carlos Correa. The Twins finally broke through in the fourth, with Miranda drilling a double into the right-center field gap, to collect his first hit and first RBI as Urshela scored from first base. In the bottom of the fourth, the Twins fell upon some incredibly bad luck. Austin Hays led off the inning with an infield single after drilling a ball into home plate at 77 mph. Rougned Odor followed up with a 42.8 mph double off the end of the bat, that just beat the shift. Tyler Nevin then reached on an error from Correa as the Orioles tied the game at 1-1. Just when it looked like the Orioles were in for a big inning, Anthony Bemboom flew into a double play, with Buxton doubling off Tyler Nevin at second base. Incredibly, Ryan managed to escape with just one run surrendered, taking the game to the fifth inning tied The Twins and Orioles traded one-run fifth innings. The Twins scored in the top of the inning with a Polanco single up the middle, after the Twins had two men on, and none out. The Orioles immediately replied in the bottom of the inning when a Mancini single scored Cedric Mullins, who had doubled to start the inning. Santander grounded into a force-out, blasting a ball at Ryan, who fielded, and threw to second to get Mancini, benefiting from a beautiful stretch and pick by Correa. In the sixth inning, the Twins finally opened up a meaningful lead. Gary Sanchez doubled and Trevor Larnach (who entered the game for Max Kepler) walked, to put runners on first and second with one out. Ryan Jeffers then deposited a three-run home run to left-center field. Jeffers, while not the same caliber of slugger as Mitch Garver, has played extremely well this season. Through the first month, he has put up a 107 wRC+, with excellent defense and framing numbers to boot. Caleb Thielbar worked through five outs of scoreless relief, striking out two. He was followed by Tyler Duffey, who managed five additional outs of scoreless relief. Thielbar and Duffey starting to get back on track will be of great relief to Twins fans, given their early-season struggles. Back-to-back doubles from Gilberto Celestino and Byron Buxton increased the lead to four in the ninth inning. Carlos Correa added another double, moving Buxton to third base with no outs. A Jorge Polanco sacrifice fly scored Buxton, increasing the lead to 7-2 entering the bottom of the ninth inning. Cody Stashak pitched a scoreless ninth to give the Twins the win. Minnesota is 4-1 on their current road trip, has won 11 of their last 12, and has moved to 15-9 on the young season. Winning is fun, and the Twins don't look to be slowing down anytime soon. Bullpen Usage Chart THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Jax 46 0 0 0 15 0 61 Duffey 8 0 0 17 0 18 43 Stashak 18 0 14 0 0 11 43 Coulombe 0 35 0 0 0 0 35 Thielbar 0 0 15 0 0 18 33 Duran 0 0 20 0 10 0 30 Pagán 0 0 0 0 27 0 27 Smith 0 0 9 0 2 0 11 Moran 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series in Baltimore against the Orioles. Dylan Bundy will look to rebound from a poor outing in Tampa. Kyle Bradish goes for Baltimore. The first pitch is at 6:05 CT Postgame Interviews
  14. The Twins are on fire. They beat the Orioles 7-2 on Tuesday to win their eleventh game in their last twelve attempts, moving to 15-9 on the season. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Ryan 4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO Homeruns: Jeffers (3) Top 3 WPA: Jeffers .330, Thielbar .133, Polanco .091 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Here’s how the Twins lined up in the second game of their four-game series against the Orioles. In the Twins lineup for the second consecutive day, the news that Jose Miranda made the big league club was making the rounds. The expectations for Joe Ryan have become absurdly high. While he wasn’t as dominant as he was in his last start against Detroit, he continued to impress, working quickly and effectively. His first inning was prolonged by a throwing error from Gio Urshela, allowing Trey Mancini to reach base. Ryan plunked Santander before wriggling out of the inning, despite throwing 25 pitches. The Twins meanwhile, continued their offensive trend from Monday’s game, struggling to put together effective at-bats against Orioles' standout Bruce Zimmerman. The game remained scoreless through three innings, due to some excellent defensive work from Carlos Correa. The Twins finally broke through in the fourth, with Miranda drilling a double into the right-center field gap, to collect his first hit and first RBI as Urshela scored from first base. In the bottom of the fourth, the Twins fell upon some incredibly bad luck. Austin Hays led off the inning with an infield single after drilling a ball into home plate at 77 mph. Rougned Odor followed up with a 42.8 mph double off the end of the bat, that just beat the shift. Tyler Nevin then reached on an error from Correa as the Orioles tied the game at 1-1. Just when it looked like the Orioles were in for a big inning, Anthony Bemboom flew into a double play, with Buxton doubling off Tyler Nevin at second base. Incredibly, Ryan managed to escape with just one run surrendered, taking the game to the fifth inning tied The Twins and Orioles traded one-run fifth innings. The Twins scored in the top of the inning with a Polanco single up the middle, after the Twins had two men on, and none out. The Orioles immediately replied in the bottom of the inning when a Mancini single scored Cedric Mullins, who had doubled to start the inning. Santander grounded into a force-out, blasting a ball at Ryan, who fielded, and threw to second to get Mancini, benefiting from a beautiful stretch and pick by Correa. In the sixth inning, the Twins finally opened up a meaningful lead. Gary Sanchez doubled and Trevor Larnach (who entered the game for Max Kepler) walked, to put runners on first and second with one out. Ryan Jeffers then deposited a three-run home run to left-center field. Jeffers, while not the same caliber of slugger as Mitch Garver, has played extremely well this season. Through the first month, he has put up a 107 wRC+, with excellent defense and framing numbers to boot. Caleb Thielbar worked through five outs of scoreless relief, striking out two. He was followed by Tyler Duffey, who managed five additional outs of scoreless relief. Thielbar and Duffey starting to get back on track will be of great relief to Twins fans, given their early-season struggles. Back-to-back doubles from Gilberto Celestino and Byron Buxton increased the lead to four in the ninth inning. Carlos Correa added another double, moving Buxton to third base with no outs. A Jorge Polanco sacrifice fly scored Buxton, increasing the lead to 7-2 entering the bottom of the ninth inning. Cody Stashak pitched a scoreless ninth to give the Twins the win. Minnesota is 4-1 on their current road trip, has won 11 of their last 12, and has moved to 15-9 on the young season. Winning is fun, and the Twins don't look to be slowing down anytime soon. Bullpen Usage Chart THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Jax 46 0 0 0 15 0 61 Duffey 8 0 0 17 0 18 43 Stashak 18 0 14 0 0 11 43 Coulombe 0 35 0 0 0 0 35 Thielbar 0 0 15 0 0 18 33 Duran 0 0 20 0 10 0 30 Pagán 0 0 0 0 27 0 27 Smith 0 0 9 0 2 0 11 Moran 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series in Baltimore against the Orioles. Dylan Bundy will look to rebound from a poor outing in Tampa. Kyle Bradish goes for Baltimore. The first pitch is at 6:05 CT Postgame Interviews View full article
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