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Jamie Cameron

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Jamie Cameron last won the day on January 4

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  1. The slow erosion that was the 2022 season has given way to guarded excitement as we enter free agency. The Twins have a true tabula rasa, with around $60 million to spend to get in the ballpark of last year’s payroll total. Much of the focus has centered on shortstop, catcher, and high upside starting pitching, understandably so. I’d argue a right-handed, outfield power-bat should be on the shopping list, too. Enter Mitch Haniger. Twins Need a Viable, Right Handed, Big Bat Haniger would serve several purposes in the Twins lineup; let's address a few. He’d replace the thump that somewhat absorbs losing Carlos Correa. While there are rumblings that the Twins are preparing to offer Correa the largest contract in franchise history, it remains unlikely the Twins will add one of the uber-shortstops this winter, in which case, they need a right-handed power bat. Additionally, the Twins need to bring balance to their outfield. Byron Buxton and Kyle Garlick combined to play 158 games for the Twins in 2022 (many at DH). Beyond these two players, the Twins outfield options (Max Kepler, Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, Matt Wallner) are left-handed. Haniger Doesn’t Break the Bank Let’s deal with some elephants in some rooms. First, Haniger does not have a good health track record. Since 2018, he’s alternated playing close to 160 games, or 60 games in a season. While you may have already stopped reading given the Twins recent track record with injuries, they hired a new athletic trainer and it’s a new season. In 2022, Haniger’s missed time was largely due to a high ankle sprain. Haniger’s injury history also means a more reasonable price point. MLB Trade Rumors projected his contract to be 3 years, $39 million. In the last two seasons in which Haniger has remained healthy, he’s put up 7.3 fWAR. That’s plenty good value. It’s unlikely, but if Haniger didn’t like the offers he received early in the offseason, perhaps he’d take a two-year deal at a higher AAV (2 years, $32 million). At just 31, that seems feasible. Massive Upside Lastly, let’s talk upside. Haniger is a monster when healthy. He’s also a pull side right-handed hitter, which would play well at Target Field. In his major league career, Haniger has shown significant consistency, putting up a career .476 SLG, 122 wRC+, and .811 OPS. If he’s on the field, you know what you’re going to get. In Haniger’s last two full seasons, he’s combined for 60 home runs, so an expectation of 30 in 150 games seems reasonable. Lastly, Haniger adds some experience to an extremely young core. There’s a lot to like. Clearly, much of what the Twins accomplish this offseason will depend on their solution at shortstop. If they fail to land one of the premier options, a pivot to Haniger as a high impact bat, and an elite front of the rotation starter would soften the blow for me. What do you think of Mitch Haniger as a fit for the Twins? Who are other options you’d consider as big bats beyond the elite start shortstops this offseason?
  2. Mitch Haniger is an ideal candidate to add some right-handed thump to a lineup that lost its best right-handed hitter this offseason. Image courtesy of Steven Bisig - USA Today Sports The slow erosion that was the 2022 season has given way to guarded excitement as we enter free agency. The Twins have a true tabula rasa, with around $60 million to spend to get in the ballpark of last year’s payroll total. Much of the focus has centered on shortstop, catcher, and high upside starting pitching, understandably so. I’d argue a right-handed, outfield power-bat should be on the shopping list, too. Enter Mitch Haniger. Twins Need a Viable, Right Handed, Big Bat Haniger would serve several purposes in the Twins lineup; let's address a few. He’d replace the thump that somewhat absorbs losing Carlos Correa. While there are rumblings that the Twins are preparing to offer Correa the largest contract in franchise history, it remains unlikely the Twins will add one of the uber-shortstops this winter, in which case, they need a right-handed power bat. Additionally, the Twins need to bring balance to their outfield. Byron Buxton and Kyle Garlick combined to play 158 games for the Twins in 2022 (many at DH). Beyond these two players, the Twins outfield options (Max Kepler, Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, Matt Wallner) are left-handed. Haniger Doesn’t Break the Bank Let’s deal with some elephants in some rooms. First, Haniger does not have a good health track record. Since 2018, he’s alternated playing close to 160 games, or 60 games in a season. While you may have already stopped reading given the Twins recent track record with injuries, they hired a new athletic trainer and it’s a new season. In 2022, Haniger’s missed time was largely due to a high ankle sprain. Haniger’s injury history also means a more reasonable price point. MLB Trade Rumors projected his contract to be 3 years, $39 million. In the last two seasons in which Haniger has remained healthy, he’s put up 7.3 fWAR. That’s plenty good value. It’s unlikely, but if Haniger didn’t like the offers he received early in the offseason, perhaps he’d take a two-year deal at a higher AAV (2 years, $32 million). At just 31, that seems feasible. Massive Upside Lastly, let’s talk upside. Haniger is a monster when healthy. He’s also a pull side right-handed hitter, which would play well at Target Field. In his major league career, Haniger has shown significant consistency, putting up a career .476 SLG, 122 wRC+, and .811 OPS. If he’s on the field, you know what you’re going to get. In Haniger’s last two full seasons, he’s combined for 60 home runs, so an expectation of 30 in 150 games seems reasonable. Lastly, Haniger adds some experience to an extremely young core. There’s a lot to like. Clearly, much of what the Twins accomplish this offseason will depend on their solution at shortstop. If they fail to land one of the premier options, a pivot to Haniger as a high impact bat, and an elite front of the rotation starter would soften the blow for me. What do you think of Mitch Haniger as a fit for the Twins? Who are other options you’d consider as big bats beyond the elite start shortstops this offseason? View full article
  3. I’d argue that bullpen construction is one of the areas in which Derek Falvey-led Twins front office has consistently failed in executing since taking over in Minnesota. In 2021, the pen was marred by repeated first-half meltdowns from Alexander Colomé. That unit ranked 22nd by fWAR, 21st by FIP, and 16th by K/9 after a second-half recovery. In 2022, Emilio Pagán single-handedly blew a handful of games to eventual AL Central champion Cleveland Guardians. The 2022 unit ranked 20th by fWAR, 14th by FIP, and 12th by K/9. At least a modicum of improvement. Overall, however, this front office has taken the ‘building the plane while flying it approach’ to bullpen construction. While 2022 went as badly as it could for a variety of reasons, most notably player health, here are three trends to look for that might indicate a different approach to bullpen construction in 2023. Shop for Relievers, Earlier than Later This front office has shied away from any spending on relief arms. Prior to 2022, Joe Smith was the lone bullpen addition signed to a major league contract (Pagan was acquired by trade). I’m not advocating for the Twins to put together an Edwin Díaz-type contract for a relief pitcher, but $6-9 million can buy you a lot of arm. This front office typically waits until late in free agency to extract contract value. I’d like to see them add to the bullpen, aggressively, targeting velocity and stuff. The Twins couple easily push toward a top-ten bullpen by raising the floor on what they ran out in 2022, and it shouldn’t cost that much. Stop valuing good contracts over good players. There’s No Such Thing as too Many Options The Twins have several exciting internal options for the bullpen. Matt Canterino, Ronny Henriquez, Blayne Enlow, even Josh Winder. All of these options have something in common, they were either hurt in 2022 or unproven in a bullpen role in 2022. I’d bet that at least one of these names becomes a Griffin Jax type in 2023. That is to say, a solid mid-to-high-end reliever who can work in some mid-to-high leverage situations. If the Twins learned anything in 2023, however, it should be not to count on anyone or anything going to plan. The Twins need to have a semi-established bullpen pecking order by the end of April, not by the All-Star Break. Buy-Low Arms for Depth Only The Twins should never have an arm like Joe Smith in their bullpen if they want to be taken seriously. The best bullpens in MLB are stacked with velocity, movement, and high-caliber arms. The Twins capacity to reach that ceiling is pretty exciting (imagine a back end of Canterino, Alcala, López, and Duran). With that in mind, and learning and building from the best models available (Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, etc.) the Twins should only be bringing in ‘buy-low’ type arms as competition in spring training, and depth throughout the season. If the Twins front office did nothing to the bullpen between now and opening day, the ceiling is high, and the potential is exciting. The observable difference in behavior ahead of 2023 is whether they choose to raise the floor, and account for the unexpected. What changes would you like to see from the front office in how approach building their bullpen ahead of 2023? Join the discussion and leave your thoughts below.
  4. The Twins have struggled in adding effective relief pitchers in the past two off-seasons. Here are three next steps that would indicate a change in approach to bullpen building. Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson, USA Today Sports I’d argue that bullpen construction is one of the areas in which Derek Falvey-led Twins front office has consistently failed in executing since taking over in Minnesota. In 2021, the pen was marred by repeated first-half meltdowns from Alexander Colomé. That unit ranked 22nd by fWAR, 21st by FIP, and 16th by K/9 after a second-half recovery. In 2022, Emilio Pagán single-handedly blew a handful of games to eventual AL Central champion Cleveland Guardians. The 2022 unit ranked 20th by fWAR, 14th by FIP, and 12th by K/9. At least a modicum of improvement. Overall, however, this front office has taken the ‘building the plane while flying it approach’ to bullpen construction. While 2022 went as badly as it could for a variety of reasons, most notably player health, here are three trends to look for that might indicate a different approach to bullpen construction in 2023. Shop for Relievers, Earlier than Later This front office has shied away from any spending on relief arms. Prior to 2022, Joe Smith was the lone bullpen addition signed to a major league contract (Pagan was acquired by trade). I’m not advocating for the Twins to put together an Edwin Díaz-type contract for a relief pitcher, but $6-9 million can buy you a lot of arm. This front office typically waits until late in free agency to extract contract value. I’d like to see them add to the bullpen, aggressively, targeting velocity and stuff. The Twins couple easily push toward a top-ten bullpen by raising the floor on what they ran out in 2022, and it shouldn’t cost that much. Stop valuing good contracts over good players. There’s No Such Thing as too Many Options The Twins have several exciting internal options for the bullpen. Matt Canterino, Ronny Henriquez, Blayne Enlow, even Josh Winder. All of these options have something in common, they were either hurt in 2022 or unproven in a bullpen role in 2022. I’d bet that at least one of these names becomes a Griffin Jax type in 2023. That is to say, a solid mid-to-high-end reliever who can work in some mid-to-high leverage situations. If the Twins learned anything in 2023, however, it should be not to count on anyone or anything going to plan. The Twins need to have a semi-established bullpen pecking order by the end of April, not by the All-Star Break. Buy-Low Arms for Depth Only The Twins should never have an arm like Joe Smith in their bullpen if they want to be taken seriously. The best bullpens in MLB are stacked with velocity, movement, and high-caliber arms. The Twins capacity to reach that ceiling is pretty exciting (imagine a back end of Canterino, Alcala, López, and Duran). With that in mind, and learning and building from the best models available (Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, etc.) the Twins should only be bringing in ‘buy-low’ type arms as competition in spring training, and depth throughout the season. If the Twins front office did nothing to the bullpen between now and opening day, the ceiling is high, and the potential is exciting. The observable difference in behavior ahead of 2023 is whether they choose to raise the floor, and account for the unexpected. What changes would you like to see from the front office in how approach building their bullpen ahead of 2023? Join the discussion and leave your thoughts below. View full article
  5. This offseason, the Twins could go after an upgrade at catcher. Instead, the Twins should enter 2023 with Ryan Jeffers as their primary catcher, here are three reasons why. Image courtesy of Rick Osentoski, USA Today Sports The offseason is nearly among us. Close to the top of the Twins offseason priority list is solidifying their plans for the catcher position. Essentially, the Twins have three options; move forwards with Ryan Jeffers as their primary catcher, sign a free agent to be their primary option, or trade for catching help. I’m for the former of these possibilities. Here’s three reasons why. The Twins have more pressing needs this offseason. Shortly after the conclusion of the World Series, Carlos Correa will opt out of the remaining two years of his deal with the Twins. It remains highly unlikely Minnesota will sign him to the type of extension his performance warrants. Concurrently, Minnesota’s internal options are either not ready (Lee), injured (Lewis), or not shortstops (Martin). The Twins should prioritize getting a long-term option at shortstop under contract this offseason. Additionally, the organization needs to add to the front end of the rotation, depth in the bullpen, and a right-handed power bat. While the offensive addition could also be a catcher, the quantity of injuries in 2022 to the likes of Buxton, Larnach, Kirilloff and co make outfield depth more a pressing need. Ryan Jeffers has shown he can be the primary catcher. Jeffers missed significant time in 2022 due to a broken thumb, an injury not easy to recover from or to account for. In his limited MLB service time, Jeffers has shown the ability to be an MLB starter. In 172 MLB games over three seasons, he’s amassed 2.2 fWAR. While it’s a common refrain to criticize Jeffers inability to throw out potential base stealers, he’s a capable defender. Jeffers typically puts together outstanding framing numbers and calls games expertly, a skill as unknown as it is underappreciated (just look at the numbers of pitchers when El Gary took over in the second half of 2022). Jeffers also has rare power for the position, and although prone to slumps at the plate, it feels like there is more upside and consistency to tap into there. Jeffers’ cost allows the Twins to prioritize payroll elsewhere. Whether we want to acknowledge this as a reality or not, it simply is. Jeffers isn’t arbitration eligible until 2024. On a Twins roster with so little elite upside, cost control is meaningful, and beneficial. Jeffers deserved a full season as the primary option (65% of games) to show what he is fully capable of. If he delivers, it’s a boon that could serve the Twins until 2027. What are your thoughts on how the Twins should move forward at catcher? Is Jeffers the best option? Or is there a better fit via trade or free agency? View full article
  6. The offseason is nearly among us. Close to the top of the Twins offseason priority list is solidifying their plans for the catcher position. Essentially, the Twins have three options; move forwards with Ryan Jeffers as their primary catcher, sign a free agent to be their primary option, or trade for catching help. I’m for the former of these possibilities. Here’s three reasons why. The Twins have more pressing needs this offseason. Shortly after the conclusion of the World Series, Carlos Correa will opt out of the remaining two years of his deal with the Twins. It remains highly unlikely Minnesota will sign him to the type of extension his performance warrants. Concurrently, Minnesota’s internal options are either not ready (Lee), injured (Lewis), or not shortstops (Martin). The Twins should prioritize getting a long-term option at shortstop under contract this offseason. Additionally, the organization needs to add to the front end of the rotation, depth in the bullpen, and a right-handed power bat. While the offensive addition could also be a catcher, the quantity of injuries in 2022 to the likes of Buxton, Larnach, Kirilloff and co make outfield depth more a pressing need. Ryan Jeffers has shown he can be the primary catcher. Jeffers missed significant time in 2022 due to a broken thumb, an injury not easy to recover from or to account for. In his limited MLB service time, Jeffers has shown the ability to be an MLB starter. In 172 MLB games over three seasons, he’s amassed 2.2 fWAR. While it’s a common refrain to criticize Jeffers inability to throw out potential base stealers, he’s a capable defender. Jeffers typically puts together outstanding framing numbers and calls games expertly, a skill as unknown as it is underappreciated (just look at the numbers of pitchers when El Gary took over in the second half of 2022). Jeffers also has rare power for the position, and although prone to slumps at the plate, it feels like there is more upside and consistency to tap into there. Jeffers’ cost allows the Twins to prioritize payroll elsewhere. Whether we want to acknowledge this as a reality or not, it simply is. Jeffers isn’t arbitration eligible until 2024. On a Twins roster with so little elite upside, cost control is meaningful, and beneficial. Jeffers deserved a full season as the primary option (65% of games) to show what he is fully capable of. If he delivers, it’s a boon that could serve the Twins until 2027. What are your thoughts on how the Twins should move forward at catcher? Is Jeffers the best option? Or is there a better fit via trade or free agency?
  7. The signing period for International Free Agency opens on January 15th, 2023. As a team who received a competitive balance pick in Round B of the MLB Draft, the Twins will have a signing bonus pool of $6,366,900. The Twins have a strong history in International Free Agency, both with higher end names (see Emmanuel Rodriguez), and lesser known prospects (see current batting champ, Luis Arraez). Minnesota has been closely tied to, and is expected to sign, three of the top 50 prospects, per MLB.com 11. Ariel Castro, OF, Cuba The White Sox are usually the AL Central players when is comes to Cuban prospects. Not this time. Castro is ranked as the eleventh overall prospect in International Free Agency, per MLB.com. Expect him to command a hefty bonus to reflect this ranking and projection. Castro is already 6’2, 180 lbs at just 16 years old and has one of the better left-handed swings in the class. As with any international free agent, its challenging to project a 16-year-old player, but Castro has the all-round profile that reads similar to Emmanuel Rodriguez, now a consensus top 100 global prospect. Castro has average speed and despite good instincts, is likely a corner outfielder at the professional level. The bat is the selling point here. He has the capability of developing plus hit and power tools, a combination that would make him an extremely valuable commodity at the next level. 31. Carlos Silva, C, Venezuela The Twins have a long, successful history of scouting in Venezuela and Silva is part of an impressive class of catchers in international free agency this year. He is 16, 5’9, listed at 150 lbs, and already has a balanced profile that blends a good approach at the plate with strong defensive skills. Behind the plate, Silva has a strong arm and a quick release and pop time. Offensively, he has good bat speed. Although he currently favors the pull side, he has the potential to develop an all-round offensive approach at the plate. Silva would bolster a position of need organizationally for the Twins. 38. Hendry Chivilli, SS, Dominican Republic Chivilli is one of 32 Dominican players in the top 50 international free agents and one of 20 infielders. Currently 17, Chivilli is 6’3 and 155 lbs. Chivilli fits the Twins mold in 2023, with no one standout tool. (He grades as a future 50 in all areas of his game). What is notable about Chivilli is his athleticism. He will add a ton of weight and muscle in the coming years, giving him a healthy level of projectability to add real offensive upside to his already solid defense as short. Which of these prospects excites you the most?
  8. The International Free Agent signing period opens on January 15th, 2023. The Twins have been linked to signing three of the top 50 prospects. Come and read up on an impressive crop of incoming players for Minnesota. The signing period for International Free Agency opens on January 15th, 2023. As a team who received a competitive balance pick in Round B of the MLB Draft, the Twins will have a signing bonus pool of $6,366,900. The Twins have a strong history in International Free Agency, both with higher end names (see Emmanuel Rodriguez), and lesser known prospects (see current batting champ, Luis Arraez). Minnesota has been closely tied to, and is expected to sign, three of the top 50 prospects, per MLB.com 11. Ariel Castro, OF, Cuba The White Sox are usually the AL Central players when is comes to Cuban prospects. Not this time. Castro is ranked as the eleventh overall prospect in International Free Agency, per MLB.com. Expect him to command a hefty bonus to reflect this ranking and projection. Castro is already 6’2, 180 lbs at just 16 years old and has one of the better left-handed swings in the class. As with any international free agent, its challenging to project a 16-year-old player, but Castro has the all-round profile that reads similar to Emmanuel Rodriguez, now a consensus top 100 global prospect. Castro has average speed and despite good instincts, is likely a corner outfielder at the professional level. The bat is the selling point here. He has the capability of developing plus hit and power tools, a combination that would make him an extremely valuable commodity at the next level. 31. Carlos Silva, C, Venezuela The Twins have a long, successful history of scouting in Venezuela and Silva is part of an impressive class of catchers in international free agency this year. He is 16, 5’9, listed at 150 lbs, and already has a balanced profile that blends a good approach at the plate with strong defensive skills. Behind the plate, Silva has a strong arm and a quick release and pop time. Offensively, he has good bat speed. Although he currently favors the pull side, he has the potential to develop an all-round offensive approach at the plate. Silva would bolster a position of need organizationally for the Twins. 38. Hendry Chivilli, SS, Dominican Republic Chivilli is one of 32 Dominican players in the top 50 international free agents and one of 20 infielders. Currently 17, Chivilli is 6’3 and 155 lbs. Chivilli fits the Twins mold in 2023, with no one standout tool. (He grades as a future 50 in all areas of his game). What is notable about Chivilli is his athleticism. He will add a ton of weight and muscle in the coming years, giving him a healthy level of projectability to add real offensive upside to his already solid defense as short. Which of these prospects excites you the most? View full article
  9. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober 7.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K Homeruns: Matt Wallner (2) Top 3 WPA: Bailey Ober .348, Jose Miranda .169, Jake Cave .029 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Here’s how the Twins lined up to face the White Sox in the opening game of a three game series at Target Field on Tuesday night, their final home series of the 2022 season. Ober and Out With nine games remaining at the end of a 2022 season that has come to a sputtering halt, the Twins are left to look for positives. Bailey Ober stepped up in a big way on Tuesday night. The tall right-hander dominated a feeble White Sox lineup. Ober worked quickly, efficiently, and had pinpoint control. Over seven one-hit innings, he threw 73% strikes, struck out ten hitters, and induced twenty swings and misses. Ober is one of many Twins whose season has been derailed by injuries. Furthermore, Ober’s timeline for return consistently shifted throughout the season as he spent significant portions of the season on the IL with groin problems. He reminded Twins fans what he is capable of on Tuesday and adds his name is a stable of possible starting pitching options for 2023, albeit one in which almost every name is also accompanied by health-related questions. Plenty of Offense, Just Enough Runs The Twins had plenty of traffic on the base paths on Tuesday night, with few early returns. Three consecutive singles from Jose Miranda, Gio Urshela, and Jake Cave gave Minnesota a one run lead in the bottom of the second inning. Doubles from Luis Arraez and Miranda added another run to the lead in the bottom of the third. The Twins had tallied nine hits, producing just two runs, when Matt Wallner stepped to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning. Wallner hit his second home run of the season and first at Target Field. The moon shoot cleared the right field wall, giving Twins fans another exciting glimpse of a promising 2023 season storyline. After surrendering his second hit in the top of the eighth inning, Ober was relieved by Griffin Jax, who made short work of the rest of the inning, striking out both hitters he faced on just ten pitches. Jhoan Duran closed the game for the Twins in the ninth inning, striking out two and bringing the total tally to 14 on the night for the Twins pitching staff. On a brisk, 56 degree night at Target Field, seeing the Twins put together an efficient, excellent performance in all phases of the game will be heartening for fans enjoying the dying embers of the 2022 season. Bullpen Usage Chart FRI SAT SUN MON TUES TOT Henriquez 0 0 68 0 0 68 Megill 28 0 32 0 0 60 Duran 0 24 0 0 15 39 Jax 0 27 0 0 10 37 Thielbar 10 13 0 0 0 23 Pagán 23 0 0 0 0 23 López 0 11 0 0 0 11 Fulmer 0 9 0 0 0 9 Moran 0 0 6 0 0 6 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series against the White Sox. Josh Winder starts for Minnesota, against Johnny Cueto for the White Sox. First pitch is a 6:40 CT. Postgame Interviews
  10. Bailey Ober dominated the White Sox on Tuesday night. The tall right-hander struck out ten in seven innings of one-hit baseball, inducing twenty swings and misses. Matt Wallner hit his first home run at Target Field in the win. Image courtesy of Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports Box Score Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober 7.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K Homeruns: Matt Wallner (2) Top 3 WPA: Bailey Ober .348, Jose Miranda .169, Jake Cave .029 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Here’s how the Twins lined up to face the White Sox in the opening game of a three game series at Target Field on Tuesday night, their final home series of the 2022 season. Ober and Out With nine games remaining at the end of a 2022 season that has come to a sputtering halt, the Twins are left to look for positives. Bailey Ober stepped up in a big way on Tuesday night. The tall right-hander dominated a feeble White Sox lineup. Ober worked quickly, efficiently, and had pinpoint control. Over seven one-hit innings, he threw 73% strikes, struck out ten hitters, and induced twenty swings and misses. Ober is one of many Twins whose season has been derailed by injuries. Furthermore, Ober’s timeline for return consistently shifted throughout the season as he spent significant portions of the season on the IL with groin problems. He reminded Twins fans what he is capable of on Tuesday and adds his name is a stable of possible starting pitching options for 2023, albeit one in which almost every name is also accompanied by health-related questions. Plenty of Offense, Just Enough Runs The Twins had plenty of traffic on the base paths on Tuesday night, with few early returns. Three consecutive singles from Jose Miranda, Gio Urshela, and Jake Cave gave Minnesota a one run lead in the bottom of the second inning. Doubles from Luis Arraez and Miranda added another run to the lead in the bottom of the third. The Twins had tallied nine hits, producing just two runs, when Matt Wallner stepped to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning. Wallner hit his second home run of the season and first at Target Field. The moon shoot cleared the right field wall, giving Twins fans another exciting glimpse of a promising 2023 season storyline. After surrendering his second hit in the top of the eighth inning, Ober was relieved by Griffin Jax, who made short work of the rest of the inning, striking out both hitters he faced on just ten pitches. Jhoan Duran closed the game for the Twins in the ninth inning, striking out two and bringing the total tally to 14 on the night for the Twins pitching staff. On a brisk, 56 degree night at Target Field, seeing the Twins put together an efficient, excellent performance in all phases of the game will be heartening for fans enjoying the dying embers of the 2022 season. Bullpen Usage Chart FRI SAT SUN MON TUES TOT Henriquez 0 0 68 0 0 68 Megill 28 0 32 0 0 60 Duran 0 24 0 0 15 39 Jax 0 27 0 0 10 37 Thielbar 10 13 0 0 0 23 Pagán 23 0 0 0 0 23 López 0 11 0 0 0 11 Fulmer 0 9 0 0 0 9 Moran 0 0 6 0 0 6 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series against the White Sox. Josh Winder starts for Minnesota, against Johnny Cueto for the White Sox. First pitch is a 6:40 CT. Postgame Interviews View full article
  11. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Ryan 7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K Homeruns: Correa (20), Miranda (15), Urshela (12) Top 3 WPA: Ryan .285, Correa .243, Arraez .137 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Here’s how the Twins lined up to face the Kansas City Royals in the opening game of a three game series at Target Field on Tuesday night. Remaining Big Bats Bop The Twins offense rolled against Kansas City on Monday night. Although he runs didn’t come immediately, they kept at it, and were eventually rewarded. The Twins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a double from Carlos Correa and a single from Jose Miranda scoring Gilberto Celestino and Luis Arraez. The Twins added to their lead in the middle innings. Correa continued his torrid hitting, clubbing his 20th home run of the season into the left-field seats. Miranda followed with the second home run of the inning, his 15th overall. Miranda’s production (125 wRC+) and continued health have been one of the few kindnesses Twins fans have experienced in a deflating second half of the season. His performance has surely cemented his standing as an organizational lynchpin for the Twins moving forwards. Gio Urshela added a home run, his 12th, in the sixth inning, taking the Twins tally to 11 hits on the night. Four players had at least two hits, led by Arraez and Correa with three each. Joe Ryan Carries No-Hitter Through Seven Innings Joe Ryan has not been the same pitcher for the Minnesota Twins since an early season bout with COVID. His velocity was down for a time afterwards, his command and control more shaky. Not tonight (insert Kurt Russell Miracle gif). Tonight, Ryan was dominant. Ryan threw seven no-hit innings for the Twins, tallying nine strikeouts on 106 pitches. Ryan showed good command and control throughout his start, generating 13 swings and misses. The crowd let the Twins hear about it when he was pulled for Jovani Moran at the top of the eighth inning. With a 99% win probability, Ryan desperately needed in the next series against Cleveland, and having thrown over 100 pitches, it was a sensible call. While Burnsville armchair GMs were lamenting Rocco Baldelli’s decision to pull Ryan from the game, Jovani Moran struck out two batters on his way to a scoreless eighth inning. The Twins were three outs away from a combined no-hitter. Moran returned in the ninth inning, striking out Drew Waters before walking Hunter Dozier and MJ Melendez. Moran then gave up a double to Bobby Witt Jr to get the Royals on the board and end the no-hit bid with one out in the ninth inning. Moran gave up another two runs, cutting the lead to 6-3, before finally slamming the door with his fourth strikeout. Bullpen Usage Chart FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Sands 0 77 0 0 0 77 Lopez 0 0 18 0 0 18 Duran 0 0 27 0 0 27 Pagán 0 33 0 0 0 33 Moran 17 0 0 0 40 57 Sanchez 46 0 0 0 0 46 Fulmer 0 0 18 0 0 18 Thielbar 0 0 15 0 0 15 Davis 0 0 0 0 0 0 Jax 0 0 8 0 0 8 Megill 0 14 0 0 0 14 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series against the Royals. Sonny Gray starts for Minnesota, against Zack Greinke for the Royals. First pitch is a 6:40 CT. Postgame Interviews
  12. The Twins lost a combined no-hit bid with one out in the ninth inning when Bobby Witt Jr doubled off Jovani Moran. Carlos Correa, Jose Miranda, and Gio Urshela all hit home runs for the Twins in a comfortable 6-3 win. Image courtesy of Brad Rempel - USA Today Sports Box Score Starting Pitcher: Ryan 7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K Homeruns: Correa (20), Miranda (15), Urshela (12) Top 3 WPA: Ryan .285, Correa .243, Arraez .137 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Here’s how the Twins lined up to face the Kansas City Royals in the opening game of a three game series at Target Field on Tuesday night. Remaining Big Bats Bop The Twins offense rolled against Kansas City on Monday night. Although he runs didn’t come immediately, they kept at it, and were eventually rewarded. The Twins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a double from Carlos Correa and a single from Jose Miranda scoring Gilberto Celestino and Luis Arraez. The Twins added to their lead in the middle innings. Correa continued his torrid hitting, clubbing his 20th home run of the season into the left-field seats. Miranda followed with the second home run of the inning, his 15th overall. Miranda’s production (125 wRC+) and continued health have been one of the few kindnesses Twins fans have experienced in a deflating second half of the season. His performance has surely cemented his standing as an organizational lynchpin for the Twins moving forwards. Gio Urshela added a home run, his 12th, in the sixth inning, taking the Twins tally to 11 hits on the night. Four players had at least two hits, led by Arraez and Correa with three each. Joe Ryan Carries No-Hitter Through Seven Innings Joe Ryan has not been the same pitcher for the Minnesota Twins since an early season bout with COVID. His velocity was down for a time afterwards, his command and control more shaky. Not tonight (insert Kurt Russell Miracle gif). Tonight, Ryan was dominant. Ryan threw seven no-hit innings for the Twins, tallying nine strikeouts on 106 pitches. Ryan showed good command and control throughout his start, generating 13 swings and misses. The crowd let the Twins hear about it when he was pulled for Jovani Moran at the top of the eighth inning. With a 99% win probability, Ryan desperately needed in the next series against Cleveland, and having thrown over 100 pitches, it was a sensible call. While Burnsville armchair GMs were lamenting Rocco Baldelli’s decision to pull Ryan from the game, Jovani Moran struck out two batters on his way to a scoreless eighth inning. The Twins were three outs away from a combined no-hitter. Moran returned in the ninth inning, striking out Drew Waters before walking Hunter Dozier and MJ Melendez. Moran then gave up a double to Bobby Witt Jr to get the Royals on the board and end the no-hit bid with one out in the ninth inning. Moran gave up another two runs, cutting the lead to 6-3, before finally slamming the door with his fourth strikeout. Bullpen Usage Chart FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Sands 0 77 0 0 0 77 Lopez 0 0 18 0 0 18 Duran 0 0 27 0 0 27 Pagán 0 33 0 0 0 33 Moran 17 0 0 0 40 57 Sanchez 46 0 0 0 0 46 Fulmer 0 0 18 0 0 18 Thielbar 0 0 15 0 0 15 Davis 0 0 0 0 0 0 Jax 0 0 8 0 0 8 Megill 0 14 0 0 0 14 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series against the Royals. Sonny Gray starts for Minnesota, against Zack Greinke for the Royals. First pitch is a 6:40 CT. Postgame Interviews View full article
  13. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Aaron Sanchez 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO (75-50) Homeruns: None Bottom 3 WPA: Jake Cave -.246, Aaron Sanchez A -.104, Gary Sanchez G -,092 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Life comes are you fast. A week ago, the Twins were in the midst of a 9-0 demolition of the Royals, at the mid-point of an optimism catalyzing four-game win streak. Today, they are spiraling. A series in Houston was never going to be appetizing, no matter the form or health of the roster. The Minnesota Twins’ stars, however, have aligned in a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions, with the illusive ‘TBD’ pitcher to face Justin Verlander being named as Aaron Sanchez. Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer are slated to start game two and three respectively. Inhale, exhale, puke. The Twins star-crossed roster was also reeling from the news that Byron Buxton hit the IL for the first time in 2022 with a hip strain on Tuesday afternoon. Before any twitter bots with binary code in their handles get to say ‘I told you so’, let’s take a moment to commend the Twins on their plan to maximize Buxton’s time on the field so far in 2022. He’s played 92 games in 2022 (100 combined in 2020 and 2021) and has been worth 4.0 fWAR thus far on the season. Get well soon, Byron. Twins Offense Late to Ballpark, Arrives at Minute Maid in the Seventh Inning Carlos Correa singled in the top of the seventh inning. Max Kepler and Gio Urshela had back to back hits in the top of the eighth. No runners scored. The Twins offense finally delivered 'something' in the ninth inning, a walk and three hits plating Luis Arraez and Jorge Polanco to score their first runs of the game. This concludes all relevant updates on the Twins offense in game one of their series in Houston. Baldelli Ejected in Fifth Inning Following Bench Clearance Aaron Sanchez performed solidly against one of the best teams in baseball in his first four innings. He surrendered two runs on a Mauricio Dubon single in the second inning, and back-to-back doubles from Kyle Tucker and Trey Mancini in the fourth, the latter of which Nick Gordon seemed to slightly misjudge in center field. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Jose Altuve was hit by a pitch. Altuve and Sanchez exchanged words, leading to a pedestrian bench clearance. The clearance was apparently designated as a mound visit by home plate umpire Rob Drake. When Pete Maki came out to visit with Sanchez after a Yuli Gurriel walk, the umpires designated it the second visit of the inning, mandating that Sanchez be removed from the game. Rocco Baldelli lost it, and was ejected in the subsequent argument, giving Cole Sands plenty of time to warm up in long relief. Twins Offense Less Futile, Still Pretty Futile Against Astros Pen With eyes on loftier goals, the Astros removed Verlander after six no-hit innings and 10 strikeouts. On another day, I’d be more inclined to compliment the longevity and dominance of one of the best pitchers of his generation, tonight, I was just baffled by how inept the Twins offense looked. Cole Sands, who had pitched effectively in relief, exited the game in the seventh inning after being struck in the arm by a comebacker. Trevor Megill relieved Sands and surrendered a two-run homer to Alex Bregman, extended the Astros lead to 4-0. After a couple of wobbles, the Astros bullpen saw off the Twins for the final three innings. Under normal circumstances, surrendering just four runs away at Houston would give an effective offense a good chance to win a tricky road test. This Twins offense however, is just not effective. Four runs was more than enough, and the Twins fell to 62-59 on the season, losing their fourth game in a row. Bullpen Usage Chart FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Pagán 0 0 39 0 14 53 Megill 24 0 15 0 8 47 Thielbar 17 11 0 12 0 40 Sands 0 0 0 0 38 38 López 20 9 0 0 0 29 Jax 0 11 0 14 0 25 Fulmer 0 0 0 12 0 12 Duran 10 0 0 0 0 10 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series against Houston. Dylan Bundy goes for the Twins against Framber Valdez for the Astros. First pitch is 7:10pm CT Postgame Interviews
  14. Justin Verlander no-hit the Twins through six innings as the Twins were dominated by the Astros. Rocco Baldelli was ejected, Byron Buxton hit the IL, and Cole Sands exited the game after being hit by a comebacker on a rough day for Minnesota. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Aaron Sanchez 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO (75-50) Homeruns: None Bottom 3 WPA: Jake Cave -.246, Aaron Sanchez A -.104, Gary Sanchez G -,092 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Life comes are you fast. A week ago, the Twins were in the midst of a 9-0 demolition of the Royals, at the mid-point of an optimism catalyzing four-game win streak. Today, they are spiraling. A series in Houston was never going to be appetizing, no matter the form or health of the roster. The Minnesota Twins’ stars, however, have aligned in a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions, with the illusive ‘TBD’ pitcher to face Justin Verlander being named as Aaron Sanchez. Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer are slated to start game two and three respectively. Inhale, exhale, puke. The Twins star-crossed roster was also reeling from the news that Byron Buxton hit the IL for the first time in 2022 with a hip strain on Tuesday afternoon. Before any twitter bots with binary code in their handles get to say ‘I told you so’, let’s take a moment to commend the Twins on their plan to maximize Buxton’s time on the field so far in 2022. He’s played 92 games in 2022 (100 combined in 2020 and 2021) and has been worth 4.0 fWAR thus far on the season. Get well soon, Byron. Twins Offense Late to Ballpark, Arrives at Minute Maid in the Seventh Inning Carlos Correa singled in the top of the seventh inning. Max Kepler and Gio Urshela had back to back hits in the top of the eighth. No runners scored. The Twins offense finally delivered 'something' in the ninth inning, a walk and three hits plating Luis Arraez and Jorge Polanco to score their first runs of the game. This concludes all relevant updates on the Twins offense in game one of their series in Houston. Baldelli Ejected in Fifth Inning Following Bench Clearance Aaron Sanchez performed solidly against one of the best teams in baseball in his first four innings. He surrendered two runs on a Mauricio Dubon single in the second inning, and back-to-back doubles from Kyle Tucker and Trey Mancini in the fourth, the latter of which Nick Gordon seemed to slightly misjudge in center field. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Jose Altuve was hit by a pitch. Altuve and Sanchez exchanged words, leading to a pedestrian bench clearance. The clearance was apparently designated as a mound visit by home plate umpire Rob Drake. When Pete Maki came out to visit with Sanchez after a Yuli Gurriel walk, the umpires designated it the second visit of the inning, mandating that Sanchez be removed from the game. Rocco Baldelli lost it, and was ejected in the subsequent argument, giving Cole Sands plenty of time to warm up in long relief. Twins Offense Less Futile, Still Pretty Futile Against Astros Pen With eyes on loftier goals, the Astros removed Verlander after six no-hit innings and 10 strikeouts. On another day, I’d be more inclined to compliment the longevity and dominance of one of the best pitchers of his generation, tonight, I was just baffled by how inept the Twins offense looked. Cole Sands, who had pitched effectively in relief, exited the game in the seventh inning after being struck in the arm by a comebacker. Trevor Megill relieved Sands and surrendered a two-run homer to Alex Bregman, extended the Astros lead to 4-0. After a couple of wobbles, the Astros bullpen saw off the Twins for the final three innings. Under normal circumstances, surrendering just four runs away at Houston would give an effective offense a good chance to win a tricky road test. This Twins offense however, is just not effective. Four runs was more than enough, and the Twins fell to 62-59 on the season, losing their fourth game in a row. Bullpen Usage Chart FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Pagán 0 0 39 0 14 53 Megill 24 0 15 0 8 47 Thielbar 17 11 0 12 0 40 Sands 0 0 0 0 38 38 López 20 9 0 0 0 29 Jax 0 11 0 14 0 25 Fulmer 0 0 0 12 0 12 Duran 10 0 0 0 0 10 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series against Houston. Dylan Bundy goes for the Twins against Framber Valdez for the Astros. First pitch is 7:10pm CT Postgame Interviews View full article
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