Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Ted Schwerzler

Twins Daily Contributor
  • Posts

    3,318
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Ted Schwerzler

  1. The Standings: Cleveland 36-29 Minnesota 39-32 Chicago 33-35 Detroit 26-43 Kansas City 25-43 Chicago continues to be a middling team dealing with a manager the fan base seems to want fired. The Guardians did a good job in Minnesota taking two of three from the Twins, but they have a brutal stretch of games to make up as the year goes on. Looking at current run differentials, it’s clear that the two teams pacing the division are in a league of their own. The Stories: Jorge Polanco was put on the injured list for the first time this week due to back issues, and that led to the promotion of Alex Kirilloff. So far the latter has looked like the slugging corner player he was always dreamed of being, and that’s a nice development given the wrist issues he’s dealt with. Byron Buxton has now missed consecutive games due to his knee injury worsening, and while Minnesota has tried to shield him from danger, this doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. Chicago continues to be hit by the injury bug. Infielder Danny Mendick was placed on the IL alongside outfielder Adam Engel. Mendick is done for the season with a torn ACL. Star closer Liam Hendriks remains out and probably will be until early July. The White Sox face the Twins around that time, which could provide extra motivation for the Australian wanting to play against his former organization. Top-30 prospect Lenyn Sosa got the call to replace Mendick on the active roster and he’s hoping to make the most of an otherwise unexpected opportunity. Sosa was playing well at Double-A. The Guardians played a handful of close games in Minnesota and therefore both clubs burned through their pen. Having pitching limits go down to 13 on the active roster effective Monday, Terry Francona had to shuffle the deck. Yohan Ramirez was recalled taking the place of Anthony Castro. More importantly ,though, star reliever James Karinchak began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus. He hasn’t pitched in a game since October 1, 2021. With Cleveland streaking towards the top, adding that level of arm alongside Emmanuel Clase is a great get for the Guardians. There’s no denying that Javier Baez has been a colossal disaster thus far in Detroit. His average has never been a calling card, but he hasn’t hit for power either. Thankfully he broke out in a big way during a recent series against the Boston Red Sox, going 11-for-27, with seven extra-base hits. Detroit is in the doldrums of the division but they need to see more of that. Top prospect Riley Greene also has made his debut after suffering a foot injury prior to making the Opening Day roster. He’s looked the part and will continue trying to establish himself as a Major League threat in the lineup. Kansas City has brought up the rear in the Central for most of the season, and now they see their leader Salvador Perez injured again. M.J. Melendez was initially afforded opportunity the first time Perez went down, and now a thumb injury has the Royals starting backstop missing games again. They just announced he'll undergo thumb surgery, and that puts him out for quite some time. Looking for bright spots with this team, a series win over the Los Angeles Angels gave the Royals their first winning road trip of the season. They completed a 5-4 run against the Giants, Athletics, and Angels. The Week Ahead: Minnesota gets a weekend series with Colorado prior to a second date with Cleveland. The Twins and Guardians will play five games in four days with a previously scheduled doubleheader taking place on Tuesday. Minnesota will look to return the favor and take a series against their top competition on the road. The White Sox may be looking at one of their easier weeks of the season. Despite dropping the opener against Baltimore, Chicago has three more at home with the Orioles. They then travel to the west coast facing a tumbling Angels team for three before an off day on Friday. Terry Francona’s Guardians return home for a series with the Red Sox before they welcome Minnesota to town. Knowing what’s on tap, they can’t get caught looking ahead and forget how good Boston is right now. A.J. Hinch will look for his Tigers to pick up wins in Arizona against the Diamondbacks before a two game series with the Giants. Detroit has two off days this week. After facing Oakland on the road, Kansas City gets the Athletics at The K to start the weekend. That series is followed by the Rangers coming to town and then an off day. Looking to capitalize on the good run of late, maybe Kansas City can stack a few wins. What are you looking forward to this week? How big is the series between Minnesota and Cleveland?
  2. For the first time since May the Minnesota Twins are not in sole possession of first place atop the AL Central division. After a series with the Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota found themselves in an otherwise unfamiliar position. The two meet later this week, and the jockeying for position has begun. The Standings: Cleveland 36-29 Minnesota 39-32 Chicago 33-35 Detroit 26-43 Kansas City 25-43 Chicago continues to be a middling team dealing with a manager the fan base seems to want fired. The Guardians did a good job in Minnesota taking two of three from the Twins, but they have a brutal stretch of games to make up as the year goes on. Looking at current run differentials, it’s clear that the two teams pacing the division are in a league of their own. The Stories: Jorge Polanco was put on the injured list for the first time this week due to back issues, and that led to the promotion of Alex Kirilloff. So far the latter has looked like the slugging corner player he was always dreamed of being, and that’s a nice development given the wrist issues he’s dealt with. Byron Buxton has now missed consecutive games due to his knee injury worsening, and while Minnesota has tried to shield him from danger, this doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. Chicago continues to be hit by the injury bug. Infielder Danny Mendick was placed on the IL alongside outfielder Adam Engel. Mendick is done for the season with a torn ACL. Star closer Liam Hendriks remains out and probably will be until early July. The White Sox face the Twins around that time, which could provide extra motivation for the Australian wanting to play against his former organization. Top-30 prospect Lenyn Sosa got the call to replace Mendick on the active roster and he’s hoping to make the most of an otherwise unexpected opportunity. Sosa was playing well at Double-A. The Guardians played a handful of close games in Minnesota and therefore both clubs burned through their pen. Having pitching limits go down to 13 on the active roster effective Monday, Terry Francona had to shuffle the deck. Yohan Ramirez was recalled taking the place of Anthony Castro. More importantly ,though, star reliever James Karinchak began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus. He hasn’t pitched in a game since October 1, 2021. With Cleveland streaking towards the top, adding that level of arm alongside Emmanuel Clase is a great get for the Guardians. There’s no denying that Javier Baez has been a colossal disaster thus far in Detroit. His average has never been a calling card, but he hasn’t hit for power either. Thankfully he broke out in a big way during a recent series against the Boston Red Sox, going 11-for-27, with seven extra-base hits. Detroit is in the doldrums of the division but they need to see more of that. Top prospect Riley Greene also has made his debut after suffering a foot injury prior to making the Opening Day roster. He’s looked the part and will continue trying to establish himself as a Major League threat in the lineup. Kansas City has brought up the rear in the Central for most of the season, and now they see their leader Salvador Perez injured again. M.J. Melendez was initially afforded opportunity the first time Perez went down, and now a thumb injury has the Royals starting backstop missing games again. They just announced he'll undergo thumb surgery, and that puts him out for quite some time. Looking for bright spots with this team, a series win over the Los Angeles Angels gave the Royals their first winning road trip of the season. They completed a 5-4 run against the Giants, Athletics, and Angels. The Week Ahead: Minnesota gets a weekend series with Colorado prior to a second date with Cleveland. The Twins and Guardians will play five games in four days with a previously scheduled doubleheader taking place on Tuesday. Minnesota will look to return the favor and take a series against their top competition on the road. The White Sox may be looking at one of their easier weeks of the season. Despite dropping the opener against Baltimore, Chicago has three more at home with the Orioles. They then travel to the west coast facing a tumbling Angels team for three before an off day on Friday. Terry Francona’s Guardians return home for a series with the Red Sox before they welcome Minnesota to town. Knowing what’s on tap, they can’t get caught looking ahead and forget how good Boston is right now. A.J. Hinch will look for his Tigers to pick up wins in Arizona against the Diamondbacks before a two game series with the Giants. Detroit has two off days this week. After facing Oakland on the road, Kansas City gets the Athletics at The K to start the weekend. That series is followed by the Rangers coming to town and then an off day. Looking to capitalize on the good run of late, maybe Kansas City can stack a few wins. What are you looking forward to this week? How big is the series between Minnesota and Cleveland? View full article
  3. The St. Paul Saints won in convincing fashion today thanks to a rebound performance from star prospect Spencer Steer. The Cedar Rapids Kernels and Fort Myers Mighty Mussels both played tight contests on the farm. Pierson Ohl and Aaron Rozek looked great on the bump. Take a look at the other Twins Territory happenings. Transactions: None to report SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Buffalo 1 Box Score Top pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic got the start today for the Saints and worked three scoreless innings. He has put together shorter outings of late, but this one was a good one. He allowed just two hits and struck out three while walking none. Balazovic was lifted after 39 pitches. Roy Morales started the scoring for St. Paul when he singled in Spencer Steer in the top of the 3rd inning. After allowing Buffalo to knot things up in the 4th inning, the Saints came marching in during the 7th inning. A night after going 0-for-4, Steer blasted his 10th homer at Triple-A, a three run shot, to score both Michael Helman and Braden Bishop. Caleb Hamilton then lifted a dinger of his own to plate Jermaine Palacios and Morales, making it a 7-1 game. Steer and Morales were the lone Saints with multi-hit games on the evening. WIND SURGE WISDOM San Antonio 11, Wichita 4 (Resumption of Wednesday’s game) Box Score The Wind Surge resumed the first game tonight following a postponement in the 4th inning on Wednesday. It was played as a nine inning game with the originally schedule tilt being a seven-inning affair afterwards. Wichita 7, San Antonio 4 (F/7) Box Score Southpaw Blayne Enlow was on the bump for the shortened regularly scheduled game and he went 3 2/3 innings. Enlow gave up two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out three. The only damage against Enlow came on a 2nd inning homer. It took a few innings for Wichita to push a run across despite leading in the hit column, but Kevin Merrell tallied the first Wind Surge run when he singled in Cole Sturgeon during the bottom of the 4th inning. Just an inning later, Wichita got their first lead when Sturgeon singled in both Matt Wallner and Austin Martin. After seeing the lead evaporate in the 6th inning, Wichita buckled down and got back to work. With the bases loaded, Martin got plunked and drove in a run the hard way. Edouard Julien singled driving in both Daniel Ozoria and Wallner before a Sturgeon ground out brought in Martin. Pulling away and putting some distance behind them, Wichita was able to ride the three-run lead to a victory. KERNELS NUGGETS West Michigan 3, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score Tonight was Aaron Rozek's turn on the bump for Cedar Rapids and he twirled a good one. Throwing five innings of one hit ball, Rozek kept West Michigan scoreless while allowing just two walks and punching out four. He lowered his ERA to 3.35 on the year. Runs were tough to come by, and that made Will Holland's double in the 4th inning that much more impactful. Scoring both Seth Gray and Yunior Severino, the two runs were enough to fend off a comeback from the Whitecaps. Cedar Rapids tallied just six hits on the evening. The lack of production bit the Kernels when West Michigan pushed two across in the top of the 9th inning. With Cedar Rapids trailing for the first time, Aaron Sabato doubled to lead off their last at bat. Stranded at third base though, that's as close as the comeback attempt came. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Lakeland 4 Box Score Pierson Ohl took the ball tonight for the Mighty Mussels. He pitched six innings of one-run ball allowing just three hits and a walk. Ohl struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 4.70 on the season. Noah Cardenas started the scoring early with a 1st inning single allowing Noah Miller to cross the plate. Miller then followed suit in the 3rd inning when his single drove home Jake Rucker. After giving back a run on a 4th inning wild pitch, Fort Myers grabbed an insurance run in the 8th inning on a Rubel Cespedes single to score Cardenas. With the bases loaded, LaRon Smith drew a walk to score Cespedes, but that's where the scoring ended for the Mighty Mussels. Unfortunately Fort Myers watched their lead evaporate in the bottom of the 8th inning, and no team could push a run across in the 9th inning. Going to extras, Nelson Roberto launched his second homer of the season and gave the Mighty Mussels a two run lead as Cespedes began the inning on second. Things got dicey in the bottom half with Lakeland having runners on 2nd and 3rd and only one out but Matt Mullenbach came on to relieve Malik Barrington and slammed the door. Miller, Cespedes, Cardenas, and Smith all picked up two-hit nights. Smith recorded doubles for both of his. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 6, FCL Pirates 5 Box Score Elpidio Perez pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief work to end this game and got the win. He allowed two hits, no runs, and punched out four. Gregory Duran and Andres Centeno both had two hits for the Twins. Centeno launched his first homer of the season and Alex Rodriguez hit his first dinger as a professional. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Twins 8, DSL Cubs Blue 3 Box Score Roger Duran got the win, improving to 3-0. He worked four innings of relief allowing just a single run. Harold Grant had a 2-for-3 night with a double after coming off the bench and taking over as the designated hitter. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Pierson Ohl (Ft. Myers) - 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer - (St. Paul) - 2-4, 2B, HR(10), 2 R, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-3, R, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-2, BB, K #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-4, 2B, HR(10), 2 R, 3 RBI #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, R , RBI #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-1, 2 R, 3 BB #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2 RBI, K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2 K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Buffalo (6:05PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands San Antonio @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina West Michigan @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Cade Povich Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing. View full article
  4. Transactions: None to report SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Buffalo 1 Box Score Top pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic got the start today for the Saints and worked three scoreless innings. He has put together shorter outings of late, but this one was a good one. He allowed just two hits and struck out three while walking none. Balazovic was lifted after 39 pitches. Roy Morales started the scoring for St. Paul when he singled in Spencer Steer in the top of the 3rd inning. After allowing Buffalo to knot things up in the 4th inning, the Saints came marching in during the 7th inning. A night after going 0-for-4, Steer blasted his 10th homer at Triple-A, a three run shot, to score both Michael Helman and Braden Bishop. Caleb Hamilton then lifted a dinger of his own to plate Jermaine Palacios and Morales, making it a 7-1 game. Steer and Morales were the lone Saints with multi-hit games on the evening. WIND SURGE WISDOM San Antonio 11, Wichita 4 (Resumption of Wednesday’s game) Box Score The Wind Surge resumed the first game tonight following a postponement in the 4th inning on Wednesday. It was played as a nine inning game with the originally schedule tilt being a seven-inning affair afterwards. Wichita 7, San Antonio 4 (F/7) Box Score Southpaw Blayne Enlow was on the bump for the shortened regularly scheduled game and he went 3 2/3 innings. Enlow gave up two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out three. The only damage against Enlow came on a 2nd inning homer. It took a few innings for Wichita to push a run across despite leading in the hit column, but Kevin Merrell tallied the first Wind Surge run when he singled in Cole Sturgeon during the bottom of the 4th inning. Just an inning later, Wichita got their first lead when Sturgeon singled in both Matt Wallner and Austin Martin. After seeing the lead evaporate in the 6th inning, Wichita buckled down and got back to work. With the bases loaded, Martin got plunked and drove in a run the hard way. Edouard Julien singled driving in both Daniel Ozoria and Wallner before a Sturgeon ground out brought in Martin. Pulling away and putting some distance behind them, Wichita was able to ride the three-run lead to a victory. KERNELS NUGGETS West Michigan 3, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score Tonight was Aaron Rozek's turn on the bump for Cedar Rapids and he twirled a good one. Throwing five innings of one hit ball, Rozek kept West Michigan scoreless while allowing just two walks and punching out four. He lowered his ERA to 3.35 on the year. Runs were tough to come by, and that made Will Holland's double in the 4th inning that much more impactful. Scoring both Seth Gray and Yunior Severino, the two runs were enough to fend off a comeback from the Whitecaps. Cedar Rapids tallied just six hits on the evening. The lack of production bit the Kernels when West Michigan pushed two across in the top of the 9th inning. With Cedar Rapids trailing for the first time, Aaron Sabato doubled to lead off their last at bat. Stranded at third base though, that's as close as the comeback attempt came. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Lakeland 4 Box Score Pierson Ohl took the ball tonight for the Mighty Mussels. He pitched six innings of one-run ball allowing just three hits and a walk. Ohl struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 4.70 on the season. Noah Cardenas started the scoring early with a 1st inning single allowing Noah Miller to cross the plate. Miller then followed suit in the 3rd inning when his single drove home Jake Rucker. After giving back a run on a 4th inning wild pitch, Fort Myers grabbed an insurance run in the 8th inning on a Rubel Cespedes single to score Cardenas. With the bases loaded, LaRon Smith drew a walk to score Cespedes, but that's where the scoring ended for the Mighty Mussels. Unfortunately Fort Myers watched their lead evaporate in the bottom of the 8th inning, and no team could push a run across in the 9th inning. Going to extras, Nelson Roberto launched his second homer of the season and gave the Mighty Mussels a two run lead as Cespedes began the inning on second. Things got dicey in the bottom half with Lakeland having runners on 2nd and 3rd and only one out but Matt Mullenbach came on to relieve Malik Barrington and slammed the door. Miller, Cespedes, Cardenas, and Smith all picked up two-hit nights. Smith recorded doubles for both of his. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 6, FCL Pirates 5 Box Score Elpidio Perez pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief work to end this game and got the win. He allowed two hits, no runs, and punched out four. Gregory Duran and Andres Centeno both had two hits for the Twins. Centeno launched his first homer of the season and Alex Rodriguez hit his first dinger as a professional. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Twins 8, DSL Cubs Blue 3 Box Score Roger Duran got the win, improving to 3-0. He worked four innings of relief allowing just a single run. Harold Grant had a 2-for-3 night with a double after coming off the bench and taking over as the designated hitter. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Pierson Ohl (Ft. Myers) - 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer - (St. Paul) - 2-4, 2B, HR(10), 2 R, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-3, R, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-2, BB, K #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-4, 2B, HR(10), 2 R, 3 RBI #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, R , RBI #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-1, 2 R, 3 BB #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2 RBI, K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2 K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Buffalo (6:05PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands San Antonio @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina West Michigan @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Cade Povich Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing.
  5. The Minnesota Twins traded Jose Berrios last July for a package that included Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson. Rather than paying their ace, the Twins opted to capitalize on his value at the trade deadline. Now almost a year later, it’s worth wondering what has happened to the former Twins fireballer. When landing in Toronto, Berrios was largely the same pitcher he has always been. After posting a 3.48 ERA through 20 turns with the Twins last year, he followed up with a 3.58 ERA in 12 starts for the Blue Jays. His strikeout numbers actually rose a bit and the walks dropped a little as well. Given the haul Toronto had to part with, they should’ve found the results pleasing. Toronto knew that acquiring Berrios meant they would need to pay him. In order to make the decision to part with multiple top prospects worth it, a long-term deal had to be reached. In November, the club announced a seven-year extension worth $131 million. Heading into the first full season having the 28-year-old Berrios as their star, both parties were excited. Now 14 games into 2022, and even with what’s been considered a deadened baseball, Berrios owns a career-worst 5.11 ERA (save for his awful 14-game debut during his rookie season). The 9.6 H/9, 1.8 HR/9, and 7.5 K/9 are all career-worst marks. He’s been entirely hot or cold having given up five or more runs four times while holding opponents to two or less on six occasions. For a starter that Minnesota has seen get worse as a season goes on, the poor showing out of the gate is hardly optimal. I’m not intimate enough with the Blue Jays system or plan to know if tweaks have been made to his process, but the analytics paint a less than exciting picture as well. Berrios’ expected ERA sits at an even worse 6.20 despite a slightly better xFIP of 4.20. The largest issue appears to be in the quality, or frequency of optimal contact on balls hit in the air. This season Berrios has allowed a career high 40.9% fly ball rate. That’s over a 5% jump from the past two seasons, and 3% increase on the HR/FB mark as well. Although hard contact has remained consistent, and soft contact has actually increased, the barrel rate is a whopping 12.6%. Putting that into context, only three qualified hitters in Major League Baseball have a higher barrel rate than the average Berrios currently allows: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Mike Trout. That has resulted in an average exit velocity up over 4 mph from his career average, and 3 mph higher than basically anything he’s done since 2017. Hard hit rate can be deceiving as not all quality of contact is created equal. You can hit a ball hard off a suboptimal part of the bat. Barrelling a baseball though, especially with high exit velocities and ideal launch angles, will always result in damage. Toronto has Berrios using his fastball 34% of the time, a mark Minnesota hadn’t come close to since 2019. He’s also entirely abandoned the curveball in favor of a slider, which he never previously utilized. Berrios has always had a couple of different takes on his breaking pitch, but it’s clear that there’s been an adjustment as to which one is favored. There’s been virtually no change in the chase rate for Berrios, but he’s giving up the most contact he’s ever allowed inside the zone. Add in that his whiff rate is a career-low and the fastball velocity has dipped below a 94 mph average for the first time since 2019 and the problem starts to present itself. It’s not as though Berrios forgot how to pitch or that the quality of stuff has fallen off a cliff, but the current pitch mix is allowing batters the ability to hone in on pitches in the zone, and do significant damage when making contact. Rather than hard-hit balls still having the potential to be outs, hard-hit balls are being barrelled with a heightened opportunity to benefit the hitter. We’re still dealing with a pretty small sample size given it’s not even the All-Star game yet, but there’s reason to believe the rest of the way isn’t set up to benefit Toronto’s shiny new arm. Whether he continues a downward trend as the season goes on, the ball changes, or the warm weather helps hitters, Berrios will need to make tweaks on his own if he wants to settle back into the numbers he’s used to putting up. View full article
  6. When landing in Toronto, Berrios was largely the same pitcher he has always been. After posting a 3.48 ERA through 20 turns with the Twins last year, he followed up with a 3.58 ERA in 12 starts for the Blue Jays. His strikeout numbers actually rose a bit and the walks dropped a little as well. Given the haul Toronto had to part with, they should’ve found the results pleasing. Toronto knew that acquiring Berrios meant they would need to pay him. In order to make the decision to part with multiple top prospects worth it, a long-term deal had to be reached. In November, the club announced a seven-year extension worth $131 million. Heading into the first full season having the 28-year-old Berrios as their star, both parties were excited. Now 14 games into 2022, and even with what’s been considered a deadened baseball, Berrios owns a career-worst 5.11 ERA (save for his awful 14-game debut during his rookie season). The 9.6 H/9, 1.8 HR/9, and 7.5 K/9 are all career-worst marks. He’s been entirely hot or cold having given up five or more runs four times while holding opponents to two or less on six occasions. For a starter that Minnesota has seen get worse as a season goes on, the poor showing out of the gate is hardly optimal. I’m not intimate enough with the Blue Jays system or plan to know if tweaks have been made to his process, but the analytics paint a less than exciting picture as well. Berrios’ expected ERA sits at an even worse 6.20 despite a slightly better xFIP of 4.20. The largest issue appears to be in the quality, or frequency of optimal contact on balls hit in the air. This season Berrios has allowed a career high 40.9% fly ball rate. That’s over a 5% jump from the past two seasons, and 3% increase on the HR/FB mark as well. Although hard contact has remained consistent, and soft contact has actually increased, the barrel rate is a whopping 12.6%. Putting that into context, only three qualified hitters in Major League Baseball have a higher barrel rate than the average Berrios currently allows: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Mike Trout. That has resulted in an average exit velocity up over 4 mph from his career average, and 3 mph higher than basically anything he’s done since 2017. Hard hit rate can be deceiving as not all quality of contact is created equal. You can hit a ball hard off a suboptimal part of the bat. Barrelling a baseball though, especially with high exit velocities and ideal launch angles, will always result in damage. Toronto has Berrios using his fastball 34% of the time, a mark Minnesota hadn’t come close to since 2019. He’s also entirely abandoned the curveball in favor of a slider, which he never previously utilized. Berrios has always had a couple of different takes on his breaking pitch, but it’s clear that there’s been an adjustment as to which one is favored. There’s been virtually no change in the chase rate for Berrios, but he’s giving up the most contact he’s ever allowed inside the zone. Add in that his whiff rate is a career-low and the fastball velocity has dipped below a 94 mph average for the first time since 2019 and the problem starts to present itself. It’s not as though Berrios forgot how to pitch or that the quality of stuff has fallen off a cliff, but the current pitch mix is allowing batters the ability to hone in on pitches in the zone, and do significant damage when making contact. Rather than hard-hit balls still having the potential to be outs, hard-hit balls are being barrelled with a heightened opportunity to benefit the hitter. We’re still dealing with a pretty small sample size given it’s not even the All-Star game yet, but there’s reason to believe the rest of the way isn’t set up to benefit Toronto’s shiny new arm. Whether he continues a downward trend as the season goes on, the ball changes, or the warm weather helps hitters, Berrios will need to make tweaks on his own if he wants to settle back into the numbers he’s used to putting up.
  7. This offseason the Minnesota Twins paid Byron Buxton $100 million for a seven-year extension. With free agency looming, they decided to lock up their ultra-talented centerfielder. Despite his injury tendencies, I argued there was never a time where retaining his services wouldn’t have been a good idea. That’s bearing fruit immediately. When Minnesota was pondering whether they should offer Byron Buxton a contract or not, it was likely always a discussion of how much and not should we or should we not. On the open market, if he’d been a pillar of health, someone with Buxton’s talent would’ve seen a payday well over $300 million. The caveat is that he is not often healthy, and that’s where opportunity swung towards the Twins. For a franchise that’s been synonymous with small spending at times, or criticized for allowing their stars to walk, Buxton was only within the realm of possibility because of his injuries. Negotiating solely with the team he knows rather than testing the open market was, in part, because of the worry that injury may play a factor before the discussions got started. There was no point in which an incentive-laden contract would hurt Minnesota’s future spending capabilities, and something as paltry as $14 million annually was bound to be surpassed in short order. Well, welcome to short order. Minnesota is just 67 games into their 2022 season, of which Buxton has played just 49 games. He has an .897 OPS and has already equaled his career-high in homers. He remains a defensive superstar, even while moonlighting as a designated hitter, and is already valued having been worth 2.3 fWAR for the Twins. Fangraphs puts a valuation on WAR and has Buxton at $18.5 million. He’s twice been worth more than $33 million in a season, and even with the decreased workload, it’s conceivable he’ll surpass that value this season. As Buxton's playing time continues to be managed by the Twins, the expectation is that he’ll wind up playing something near 110 games. Although you’d certainly like to see him in the lineup more often than that, a significant contribution is still felt and he could be fresher for the games that matter in the postseason. The incentives Buxton has included in his contract will always push him to get more from himself. They are largely award-based, and votes for an MVP award will likely be hard to come by if he’s not on the field a more significant amount of time. That said, it’s clear that there’s no letdown from the days off, and each time he’s out there he’s making the most of it. In a way, this season is largely reflective of the contract Minnesota gave their superstar. Buxton didn’t land the exorbitant payday because of availability, but he was still rewarded handsomely, and in turn, does so for the Twins each time he’s on the field. There was very little way for the deal to go pear-shaped, and we could be talking about a guy that’s nearly doubling up the value of his paycheck with a few years left on it. View full article
  8. When Minnesota was pondering whether they should offer Byron Buxton a contract or not, it was likely always a discussion of how much and not should we or should we not. On the open market, if he’d been a pillar of health, someone with Buxton’s talent would’ve seen a payday well over $300 million. The caveat is that he is not often healthy, and that’s where opportunity swung towards the Twins. For a franchise that’s been synonymous with small spending at times, or criticized for allowing their stars to walk, Buxton was only within the realm of possibility because of his injuries. Negotiating solely with the team he knows rather than testing the open market was, in part, because of the worry that injury may play a factor before the discussions got started. There was no point in which an incentive-laden contract would hurt Minnesota’s future spending capabilities, and something as paltry as $14 million annually was bound to be surpassed in short order. Well, welcome to short order. Minnesota is just 67 games into their 2022 season, of which Buxton has played just 49 games. He has an .897 OPS and has already equaled his career-high in homers. He remains a defensive superstar, even while moonlighting as a designated hitter, and is already valued having been worth 2.3 fWAR for the Twins. Fangraphs puts a valuation on WAR and has Buxton at $18.5 million. He’s twice been worth more than $33 million in a season, and even with the decreased workload, it’s conceivable he’ll surpass that value this season. As Buxton's playing time continues to be managed by the Twins, the expectation is that he’ll wind up playing something near 110 games. Although you’d certainly like to see him in the lineup more often than that, a significant contribution is still felt and he could be fresher for the games that matter in the postseason. The incentives Buxton has included in his contract will always push him to get more from himself. They are largely award-based, and votes for an MVP award will likely be hard to come by if he’s not on the field a more significant amount of time. That said, it’s clear that there’s no letdown from the days off, and each time he’s out there he’s making the most of it. In a way, this season is largely reflective of the contract Minnesota gave their superstar. Buxton didn’t land the exorbitant payday because of availability, but he was still rewarded handsomely, and in turn, does so for the Twins each time he’s on the field. There was very little way for the deal to go pear-shaped, and we could be talking about a guy that’s nearly doubling up the value of his paycheck with a few years left on it.
  9. This offseason the Minnesota Twins shocked the baseball world when an early-morning deal was reached with superstar Carlos Correa. The three-year contract features an opt-out, but both sides could be amenable to a longer term situation. What would that look like? Carlos Correa’s current contract is a three-year deal for $105.3 million. The deal is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First, the opt-out comes after year one, in which Correa could look for another payday on the open market with a different group of shortstop competition. The other level of intrigue comes from the $35.1 annual amount, which checks in $100,000 more than Anthony Rendon’s deal. That $100,000 put him above the other Scott Boras client and made Correa the highest-paid infielder in Major League history. Of course, the expectation has always been that Correa would opt out with Minnesota and look for a bigger payday. He did indicate there was interest in a long-term deal with the Twins though, and the second ACL tear for Royce Lewis could clear the way for a stable need at shortstop. Assuming both sides are interested in finding a workable future, the one-up of this contract may also come into play. Rendon’s deal was signed with the third basemen at the age of 30. He was paid $245 million for seven years. It’s been a colossal disaster in that he’s played just 155 games over his first three seasons with the Angels. Correa will be just 28 years old next season, a notably younger age than that of Rendon. It would hardly be shocking if the desire was for any extension to be something in the neighborhood of 10 years. Minnesota has not previously gone long term with pitchers under this regime, but they have shown an inclination to spend. Getting the Twins to hand out a ten-year deal to Correa seems unlikely from both a term and financial perspective. Knowing that a deal of that size would be something like $350 million probably takes it off the table. If Correa was open to a seven-year pact, however, this front office may find value in paying a superstar at an integral position something like $250 million. If Correa was open to a $35.5 million annual number, he’d be at $248.5 million over the life of the deal. Maybe that’s not enough of a step up from what Rendon got given the two years of age to his credit, but that’s probably a ballpark worth hypothesizing about. No matter what the eventual number winds up being, it’s hard to wrap your mind around the Twins being the team to dole out that cash. On the flip side, this is a player they will have gotten to know for a full season, and has been lauded for his leadership and ability throughout the organization. With no surefire answer at the shortstop position for 2023, the alternative is likely a much lesser stopgap option. This core of Twins talent is exciting and seems to mesh well together. Putting Lewis and Correa on the same side of the infield for the next handful of years is something everyone in Twins Territory could get behind. Like Buxton before him, Correa would be in a place providing Minnesota sole negotiating opportunity. They aren’t going to get the discount afforded them by their other superstar, but this one stays on the field and should be worth every penny as well. Some deadline additions and a postseason run could continue to help Minnesota make its case as a compelling suitor for Correa. So far they've put the right feet forward. The next one will be to present the bag. View full article
  10. Carlos Correa’s current contract is a three-year deal for $105.3 million. The deal is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First, the opt-out comes after year one, in which Correa could look for another payday on the open market with a different group of shortstop competition. The other level of intrigue comes from the $35.1 annual amount, which checks in $100,000 more than Anthony Rendon’s deal. That $100,000 put him above the other Scott Boras client and made Correa the highest-paid infielder in Major League history. Of course, the expectation has always been that Correa would opt out with Minnesota and look for a bigger payday. He did indicate there was interest in a long-term deal with the Twins though, and the second ACL tear for Royce Lewis could clear the way for a stable need at shortstop. Assuming both sides are interested in finding a workable future, the one-up of this contract may also come into play. Rendon’s deal was signed with the third basemen at the age of 30. He was paid $245 million for seven years. It’s been a colossal disaster in that he’s played just 155 games over his first three seasons with the Angels. Correa will be just 28 years old next season, a notably younger age than that of Rendon. It would hardly be shocking if the desire was for any extension to be something in the neighborhood of 10 years. Minnesota has not previously gone long term with pitchers under this regime, but they have shown an inclination to spend. Getting the Twins to hand out a ten-year deal to Correa seems unlikely from both a term and financial perspective. Knowing that a deal of that size would be something like $350 million probably takes it off the table. If Correa was open to a seven-year pact, however, this front office may find value in paying a superstar at an integral position something like $250 million. If Correa was open to a $35.5 million annual number, he’d be at $248.5 million over the life of the deal. Maybe that’s not enough of a step up from what Rendon got given the two years of age to his credit, but that’s probably a ballpark worth hypothesizing about. No matter what the eventual number winds up being, it’s hard to wrap your mind around the Twins being the team to dole out that cash. On the flip side, this is a player they will have gotten to know for a full season, and has been lauded for his leadership and ability throughout the organization. With no surefire answer at the shortstop position for 2023, the alternative is likely a much lesser stopgap option. This core of Twins talent is exciting and seems to mesh well together. Putting Lewis and Correa on the same side of the infield for the next handful of years is something everyone in Twins Territory could get behind. Like Buxton before him, Correa would be in a place providing Minnesota sole negotiating opportunity. They aren’t going to get the discount afforded them by their other superstar, but this one stays on the field and should be worth every penny as well. Some deadline additions and a postseason run could continue to help Minnesota make its case as a compelling suitor for Correa. So far they've put the right feet forward. The next one will be to present the bag.
  11. During Saturday night’s contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Minnesota Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers stole a strike against Christian Walker to get Dylan Bundy a pivotal punch out. That instance sparked conversation regarding everything from robo umps to poor play. When it comes to framing, similarly to analytics, the word is used as a blanket and largely misrepresented. Ryan Jeffers has been lost at the plate for most of the season. As Matt Braun recently pointed out for Twins Daily, he’s starting to find it, but one thing that has never wavered is his defense. Minnesota has placed an emphasis on receiving for some time, and to the degree that runners largely run wild on the pitching and catching tandems. It’s of the belief by the organization that generating additional strikes over the course of a game is more impactful than nabbing the occasional base stealer. This implementation of focus has been observed in the way Jeffers himself has developed but also is noteworthy in steps forward made by otherwise poor defensive catchers such as Gary Sanchez or Mitch Garver before him. That’s why a play like the one that happened against Walker on Saturday night was such a beautiful sight. Immediately after Tripp Gibson rung up Walker I jumped over to Baseball Savant. The electronic strike zone on the screen indicated the slider was off the plate, and so to did Statcast’s official measurement. From there, Bally Sports North did an amazing job highlighting what had just taken place. In a slow motion replay, it was evident that Jeffers had perfectly received a baseball in an effort to frame it positively for the umpire. It’s in this type of movement that the belief as to what framing is and the accurate understanding of the principle are inconsistent. Jeffers doesn’t move the ball or manipulate his glove at all after the point of contact. What he does is generate motion prior to making connection with the baseball in a way that draws perception back to the strike zone. He is receiving the baseball in a way that he attacks the incoming object, and then presents it within an accepted frame of reference. This instance is a perfect representation of how to play the catcher position at an elite level. Framing a pitch is not about manipulating the landing spot following a point of contact. It’s about presenting a reference point that positively impacts the pitcher and does so without looking at anything but intended to the umpire. Saturday night’s example was evident if you were paying attention to the exact moment, but it’s hardly an outlier for someone like Jeffers. Per Statcast, Jeffers has generated the 8th most catcher framing runs in baseball. His 48.6% strike rate is also 15th among catchers, considered strong in that category as well. For a guy who isn’t going to throw out many runners, he’s caught just three of 27 this season, excelling in an area of focus for the organization is a worthy consolation. Minnesota has to be proud of a backstop so perfectly exhibiting what they’re intending, and until there’s an electronic strike zone, it’s something the best catchers will look to hone in on. Sometimes advancements in baseball are viewed too much through the lens of a definition and not enough from the practicality of implementation. Numbers or quantitative data are less about removing a human element than they are trying to advance how impactful those humans can be. View full article
  12. Ryan Jeffers has been lost at the plate for most of the season. As Matt Braun recently pointed out for Twins Daily, he’s starting to find it, but one thing that has never wavered is his defense. Minnesota has placed an emphasis on receiving for some time, and to the degree that runners largely run wild on the pitching and catching tandems. It’s of the belief by the organization that generating additional strikes over the course of a game is more impactful than nabbing the occasional base stealer. This implementation of focus has been observed in the way Jeffers himself has developed but also is noteworthy in steps forward made by otherwise poor defensive catchers such as Gary Sanchez or Mitch Garver before him. That’s why a play like the one that happened against Walker on Saturday night was such a beautiful sight. Immediately after Tripp Gibson rung up Walker I jumped over to Baseball Savant. The electronic strike zone on the screen indicated the slider was off the plate, and so to did Statcast’s official measurement. From there, Bally Sports North did an amazing job highlighting what had just taken place. In a slow motion replay, it was evident that Jeffers had perfectly received a baseball in an effort to frame it positively for the umpire. It’s in this type of movement that the belief as to what framing is and the accurate understanding of the principle are inconsistent. Jeffers doesn’t move the ball or manipulate his glove at all after the point of contact. What he does is generate motion prior to making connection with the baseball in a way that draws perception back to the strike zone. He is receiving the baseball in a way that he attacks the incoming object, and then presents it within an accepted frame of reference. This instance is a perfect representation of how to play the catcher position at an elite level. Framing a pitch is not about manipulating the landing spot following a point of contact. It’s about presenting a reference point that positively impacts the pitcher and does so without looking at anything but intended to the umpire. Saturday night’s example was evident if you were paying attention to the exact moment, but it’s hardly an outlier for someone like Jeffers. Per Statcast, Jeffers has generated the 8th most catcher framing runs in baseball. His 48.6% strike rate is also 15th among catchers, considered strong in that category as well. For a guy who isn’t going to throw out many runners, he’s caught just three of 27 this season, excelling in an area of focus for the organization is a worthy consolation. Minnesota has to be proud of a backstop so perfectly exhibiting what they’re intending, and until there’s an electronic strike zone, it’s something the best catchers will look to hone in on. Sometimes advancements in baseball are viewed too much through the lens of a definition and not enough from the practicality of implementation. Numbers or quantitative data are less about removing a human element than they are trying to advance how impactful those humans can be.
  13. Minnesota has made it through the AL East swing that was arguably their toughest stretch of the year. Despite winning two straight series, the Twins are now hotly contested by the Guardians who are clearly the Central’s second-best team. Chicago has had another week of turmoil and the bottom remains unchanged. The Standings: Minnesota 37-28 Cleveland 32-27 Chicago 30-31 Detroit 24-39 Kansas City 21-41 Although the Twins are still holding down first place in the AL Central, the lead has dwindled to just two games. Cleveland is among the best teams in baseball right now, and they’re making a hard charge towards the top. Minnesota and Cleveland get together for three games this week and a total of eight times before the end of the month. Some movement is coming when those two match up. The Stories: Health has begun to return for Minnesota. Welcoming back Joe Ryan and Sonny Gray while in Seattle was a massive boost to the starting rotation. Jorge Polanco is dealing with a nagging back issue, but both Josh Winder and Kyle Garlick could return to the active roster this week as well. It remains worth watching as to when the Twins will deem young slugger Alex Kirilloff fit for what they hope is a final promotion to the big leagues. Lance Lynn made his 2022 debut for the White Sox, and it wasn’t good. Being hit around some, the veteran wasn’t sharp but did enough to get Chicago the win. Not long after the White Sox did lose reliever Kyle Crick to right elbow inflammation. He’s been good out of the pen and that would be a disappointing loss should it become long term. Crick’s placement on the injured list came just a day after star closer Liam Hendriks suffered the same fate due to a forearm strain. It’s estimated that Hendriks will be down for three weeks. Tony La Russa’s club did reinforcements with Vince Velasquez rejoining the rotation and Joe Kelly being re-inserted into the bullpen. When things are going your way, they really go your way. Cleveland was in a tough spot against the Rockies this week and Steven Kwan made nothing short of a miraculous catch to preserve the lead. Rolling over their past ten, it’s been big spots like that where the Guardians have risen to the occasion. Slugger Franmil Reyes appears to be nearing a big league return. He’s currently rehabbing with Triple-A Columbus, but could be activated as early as Monday. A.J. Hinch isn’t used to losing, but the Detroit Tigers have done a ton of that this season. Expected to take a step forward, the club held a closed door meeting on Wednesday. Javier Baez was brought in as a flashy free agent signing, and a handful of young contributors were expected to step up. So far that hasn’t happened. This meeting followed a 13-0 drubbing by the Chicago White Sox, but at least Roger Clemens’ son Kody Clemens made an appearance on the bump for Detroit. The Royals have seen Rookie of the Year candidate Bobby Witt Jr. start to turn it on. He’s now got a 108 OPS+ on the season after starting incredibly slow. Andrew Benintendi has cooled some at the plate but his average remains a strong .301. Right now, and most of the season, not much is going right for Kansas City but there are small glimmers of hope for the future. The Week Ahead: Before heading home to welcome the Guardians and Rockies, Minnesota takes a quick trip out west to face the Diamondbacks for three games. That series is sandwiched in between off days. Before getting the bottom-feeding Orioles at home a week from now, Chicago will travel to Houston and then return home for a three-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays. Cleveland can’t afford to look ahead as they’ll face the Dodgers in Los Angeles before coming to Minnesota. The goal would be to keep the deficit close in the Central so the series at Target Field has heightened intrigue. Needing to turn things around, Detroit gets a series against the Rangers at home. They’ll then travel to Boston on Monday, and picking up wins against Texas should be a much more likely opportunity. The Red Sox are currently one of the hottest teams in baseball. The Royals continue their west coast trip as they spend the weekend across the bay in Oakland before heading to Los Angeles for a series against the Angels. What are you looking forward to this week? Can the Twins grab some distance ahead of Cleveland? View full article
  14. The Standings: Minnesota 37-28 Cleveland 32-27 Chicago 30-31 Detroit 24-39 Kansas City 21-41 Although the Twins are still holding down first place in the AL Central, the lead has dwindled to just two games. Cleveland is among the best teams in baseball right now, and they’re making a hard charge towards the top. Minnesota and Cleveland get together for three games this week and a total of eight times before the end of the month. Some movement is coming when those two match up. The Stories: Health has begun to return for Minnesota. Welcoming back Joe Ryan and Sonny Gray while in Seattle was a massive boost to the starting rotation. Jorge Polanco is dealing with a nagging back issue, but both Josh Winder and Kyle Garlick could return to the active roster this week as well. It remains worth watching as to when the Twins will deem young slugger Alex Kirilloff fit for what they hope is a final promotion to the big leagues. Lance Lynn made his 2022 debut for the White Sox, and it wasn’t good. Being hit around some, the veteran wasn’t sharp but did enough to get Chicago the win. Not long after the White Sox did lose reliever Kyle Crick to right elbow inflammation. He’s been good out of the pen and that would be a disappointing loss should it become long term. Crick’s placement on the injured list came just a day after star closer Liam Hendriks suffered the same fate due to a forearm strain. It’s estimated that Hendriks will be down for three weeks. Tony La Russa’s club did reinforcements with Vince Velasquez rejoining the rotation and Joe Kelly being re-inserted into the bullpen. When things are going your way, they really go your way. Cleveland was in a tough spot against the Rockies this week and Steven Kwan made nothing short of a miraculous catch to preserve the lead. Rolling over their past ten, it’s been big spots like that where the Guardians have risen to the occasion. Slugger Franmil Reyes appears to be nearing a big league return. He’s currently rehabbing with Triple-A Columbus, but could be activated as early as Monday. A.J. Hinch isn’t used to losing, but the Detroit Tigers have done a ton of that this season. Expected to take a step forward, the club held a closed door meeting on Wednesday. Javier Baez was brought in as a flashy free agent signing, and a handful of young contributors were expected to step up. So far that hasn’t happened. This meeting followed a 13-0 drubbing by the Chicago White Sox, but at least Roger Clemens’ son Kody Clemens made an appearance on the bump for Detroit. The Royals have seen Rookie of the Year candidate Bobby Witt Jr. start to turn it on. He’s now got a 108 OPS+ on the season after starting incredibly slow. Andrew Benintendi has cooled some at the plate but his average remains a strong .301. Right now, and most of the season, not much is going right for Kansas City but there are small glimmers of hope for the future. The Week Ahead: Before heading home to welcome the Guardians and Rockies, Minnesota takes a quick trip out west to face the Diamondbacks for three games. That series is sandwiched in between off days. Before getting the bottom-feeding Orioles at home a week from now, Chicago will travel to Houston and then return home for a three-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays. Cleveland can’t afford to look ahead as they’ll face the Dodgers in Los Angeles before coming to Minnesota. The goal would be to keep the deficit close in the Central so the series at Target Field has heightened intrigue. Needing to turn things around, Detroit gets a series against the Rangers at home. They’ll then travel to Boston on Monday, and picking up wins against Texas should be a much more likely opportunity. The Red Sox are currently one of the hottest teams in baseball. The Royals continue their west coast trip as they spend the weekend across the bay in Oakland before heading to Los Angeles for a series against the Angels. What are you looking forward to this week? Can the Twins grab some distance ahead of Cleveland?
  15. Transactions: C Jair Camargo placed on IL by Wichita RHP Daniel Gossett assigned to Wichita from St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 10, St. Paul 1 Box Score Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Josh Winder was making another rehab start for the Saints this afternoon. He worked three innings allowing one run on two hits and a walk. Winder threw 46 pitches in this one, so another rehab start to stretch him back out could be on tap. Columbus scored first grabbing a run in the 1st inning, but St. Paul answered in the second when Jermaine Palacios drove in Michael Helman with a single to left field. The Clippers took back the lead with another run in the 4th inning and that’s where things sat until the 7th inning. What was a close game going into the final few frames wound up being a blowout. A trio of St. Paul pitchers including Jordan Balazovic, Jake Petricka, and Drew Strotman all gave up multiple runs. Columbus tacked on three in the 7th inning before putting up a five-spot in the 8th inning. St. Paul couldn’t rally in the 9th inning and they wound up with just five hits on the day, with extra-base hits coming in the form of Jake Cave and Curtis Terry doubles. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 5, Wichita 3 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long made his Double-A debut tonight for the Wind Surge and it was a tough one. Lasting just 4 2/3 innings, he gave up five runs on six hits. The silver lining was just one walk while punching out five. The damage came predominantly on two homers. Down 4-0 after the 2nd inning, Wichita got on the board when Matt Wallner blasted his 13th dinger of the year in the 4th inning. Tulsa wiped that run with a 5th inning homer, but the Wind Surge went back to work in the 6th inning. Anthony Prato drove in DaShawn Keirsey Jr. before Leobaldo Cabrera roped his 5th homer of the season. Down to their last raps in the 9th inning, Wichita made things interesting. Edouard Julien scored on a wild pitch and then Daniel Ozoria advanced to 3rd base on another wild pitch. Down just one with the tying run 90 feet away, Andrew Bechtold stuck out swinging on a 2-2 count. He was the only Wind Surge batter to record two hits on the evening. KERNELS NUGGETS Dayton 10, Cedar Rapids 7 Box Score The Kernels gave the ball to Brent Headrick tonight but it was an abbreviated outing after four runs scored on five hits. Headrick struck out one and walked one but a three-run blast did him in. By the bottom of the 2nd inning, Cedar Rapids trailed 5-0. Dylan Neuse got the good guys on the board with a single to score Seth Gray, but that was the lone production from the inning. Gray continued to drive the ball in the 3rd inning though, with a two-run homer for his 7th on the campaign. Dayton stretched the lead to seven by the 8th inning, but the Kernels mounted a rally. In the bottom half, Yunior Severino drove in Aaron Sabato with a single. Neuse then plated Severino before an error on a Will Holland ball scored Pat Winkel. Cutting the lead to four entering the 9th inning, Kyler Fedko took advantage of another error on Gray’s groundout that put the Kernels within three. Unfortunately, that’s where things ended and Cedar Rapids was on the short end of the stick. Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Neuse were the lone Kernels with multi-hit efforts on the evening. MUSSEL MATTERS Bradenton 12, Fort Myers 8 Box Score Travis Adams got the ball tonight for the Mighty Mussels and worked four innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking none. It was a tougher outing that raised his ERA to 2.94 on the season. Fort Myers scored first when LaRon Smith roped his first double of the season to score Rubel Cespedes and Keoni Cavaco. The Marauders quickly wiped that out, however, when they added three of their own in the 3rd inning. It was 4-2 entering the bottom of the 4th inning and the Mighty Mussels flexed some scoring power. Luis Baez scored Smith despite the ball being grounded back to the pitcher. Mikey Perez then tallied his 14th double to score both Nelson Roberto and Baez. A Cespedes single came in before the inning was done and Perez touched home. When the dust settled, Fort Myers led by a 6-4 tally. From there Bradenton went to work. They added one in the 5th inning, two in the 6th inning, one in the 7th inning, and four in the 8th inning. By the time Fort Myers batted in the bottom of the 8th inning, it was a 12-6 game. Cespedes did come through with a single to score Baez, and then Baez doubled in the 9th inning to score Smith. Despite the answers, it wasn’t enough to close the gap. Fort Myers recorded 10 hits on the day, five shy of Bradenton, but they got multi-hit efforts from Cespedes (3), Cavaco (2), Smith (2), and Baez (2). COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 5, FCL Braves 2 (F/7) Box Score Saints utility man Daniel Robertson continues to rehab with the FCL team. Today he was 2-for-4 with a double and his second homer. Ricardo Olivar also had a two-hit day in the win. Jonathan Lavallee worked three innings of scoreless relief and picked up his first professional win as a result. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Giants Orange 5, DSL Twins 2 (F/7) Box Score Junior Marino and Luis Rodriguez both contributed a pair of hits apiece for the Twins DSL club today. Despite picking up nine hits, the Twins never recorded one of the extra-base variety. Eduardo Soriano made the start and pitched 3 2/3 innings giving up one run on one hit and a pair of walks. He struck out four. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Andrew Cabezas (Wichita) - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-5, R, 2 2B PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-5, 2 K #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, K #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-4, K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, R, RBI, HR(13), BB, K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-2, R, 3 BB #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-5, R, 2 2B FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05PM CST) - RHP Ariel Jurado Wichita @ Tulsa (7:05PM CST) - LHP Blayne Enlow Dayton @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Aaron Rozek Bradenton @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Pierson Ohl Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing.
  16. It was an ugly night on the farm for the Minnesota Twins farm system, but Matt Walner launched his 13th dinger for the Wind Surge, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand was a bright spot for Cedar Rapids. Transactions: C Jair Camargo placed on IL by Wichita RHP Daniel Gossett assigned to Wichita from St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 10, St. Paul 1 Box Score Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Josh Winder was making another rehab start for the Saints this afternoon. He worked three innings allowing one run on two hits and a walk. Winder threw 46 pitches in this one, so another rehab start to stretch him back out could be on tap. Columbus scored first grabbing a run in the 1st inning, but St. Paul answered in the second when Jermaine Palacios drove in Michael Helman with a single to left field. The Clippers took back the lead with another run in the 4th inning and that’s where things sat until the 7th inning. What was a close game going into the final few frames wound up being a blowout. A trio of St. Paul pitchers including Jordan Balazovic, Jake Petricka, and Drew Strotman all gave up multiple runs. Columbus tacked on three in the 7th inning before putting up a five-spot in the 8th inning. St. Paul couldn’t rally in the 9th inning and they wound up with just five hits on the day, with extra-base hits coming in the form of Jake Cave and Curtis Terry doubles. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 5, Wichita 3 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long made his Double-A debut tonight for the Wind Surge and it was a tough one. Lasting just 4 2/3 innings, he gave up five runs on six hits. The silver lining was just one walk while punching out five. The damage came predominantly on two homers. Down 4-0 after the 2nd inning, Wichita got on the board when Matt Wallner blasted his 13th dinger of the year in the 4th inning. Tulsa wiped that run with a 5th inning homer, but the Wind Surge went back to work in the 6th inning. Anthony Prato drove in DaShawn Keirsey Jr. before Leobaldo Cabrera roped his 5th homer of the season. Down to their last raps in the 9th inning, Wichita made things interesting. Edouard Julien scored on a wild pitch and then Daniel Ozoria advanced to 3rd base on another wild pitch. Down just one with the tying run 90 feet away, Andrew Bechtold stuck out swinging on a 2-2 count. He was the only Wind Surge batter to record two hits on the evening. KERNELS NUGGETS Dayton 10, Cedar Rapids 7 Box Score The Kernels gave the ball to Brent Headrick tonight but it was an abbreviated outing after four runs scored on five hits. Headrick struck out one and walked one but a three-run blast did him in. By the bottom of the 2nd inning, Cedar Rapids trailed 5-0. Dylan Neuse got the good guys on the board with a single to score Seth Gray, but that was the lone production from the inning. Gray continued to drive the ball in the 3rd inning though, with a two-run homer for his 7th on the campaign. Dayton stretched the lead to seven by the 8th inning, but the Kernels mounted a rally. In the bottom half, Yunior Severino drove in Aaron Sabato with a single. Neuse then plated Severino before an error on a Will Holland ball scored Pat Winkel. Cutting the lead to four entering the 9th inning, Kyler Fedko took advantage of another error on Gray’s groundout that put the Kernels within three. Unfortunately, that’s where things ended and Cedar Rapids was on the short end of the stick. Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Neuse were the lone Kernels with multi-hit efforts on the evening. MUSSEL MATTERS Bradenton 12, Fort Myers 8 Box Score Travis Adams got the ball tonight for the Mighty Mussels and worked four innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking none. It was a tougher outing that raised his ERA to 2.94 on the season. Fort Myers scored first when LaRon Smith roped his first double of the season to score Rubel Cespedes and Keoni Cavaco. The Marauders quickly wiped that out, however, when they added three of their own in the 3rd inning. It was 4-2 entering the bottom of the 4th inning and the Mighty Mussels flexed some scoring power. Luis Baez scored Smith despite the ball being grounded back to the pitcher. Mikey Perez then tallied his 14th double to score both Nelson Roberto and Baez. A Cespedes single came in before the inning was done and Perez touched home. When the dust settled, Fort Myers led by a 6-4 tally. From there Bradenton went to work. They added one in the 5th inning, two in the 6th inning, one in the 7th inning, and four in the 8th inning. By the time Fort Myers batted in the bottom of the 8th inning, it was a 12-6 game. Cespedes did come through with a single to score Baez, and then Baez doubled in the 9th inning to score Smith. Despite the answers, it wasn’t enough to close the gap. Fort Myers recorded 10 hits on the day, five shy of Bradenton, but they got multi-hit efforts from Cespedes (3), Cavaco (2), Smith (2), and Baez (2). COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 5, FCL Braves 2 (F/7) Box Score Saints utility man Daniel Robertson continues to rehab with the FCL team. Today he was 2-for-4 with a double and his second homer. Ricardo Olivar also had a two-hit day in the win. Jonathan Lavallee worked three innings of scoreless relief and picked up his first professional win as a result. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Giants Orange 5, DSL Twins 2 (F/7) Box Score Junior Marino and Luis Rodriguez both contributed a pair of hits apiece for the Twins DSL club today. Despite picking up nine hits, the Twins never recorded one of the extra-base variety. Eduardo Soriano made the start and pitched 3 2/3 innings giving up one run on one hit and a pair of walks. He struck out four. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Andrew Cabezas (Wichita) - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-5, R, 2 2B PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-5, 2 K #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, K #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-4, K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, R, RBI, HR(13), BB, K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-2, R, 3 BB #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-5, R, 2 2B FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05PM CST) - RHP Ariel Jurado Wichita @ Tulsa (7:05PM CST) - LHP Blayne Enlow Dayton @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Aaron Rozek Bradenton @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Pierson Ohl Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing. View full article
  17. The Minnesota Twins are currently leading the AL Central and are one of the better teams in the American League. Despite having remained at the top for most of the season, it’s largely been the Byron Buxton show on offense and Joe Ryan attributed with the stellar pitching performances. Maybe not so obvious, there’s a trio of contributors being slightly overlooked. It’s hard not to notice what Byron Buxton is doing at the dish this year. Sure, he’s sitting some, but there’s no denying he’s producing at an MVP-like level when out there. Although Joe Ryan has missed time now due to Covid, he’s been Minnesota’s ace from the get-go. You don’t win in this league without supplemental talent, however, and the Twins are getting significant contributions from this trio while they largely go underappreciated. Griffin Jax You could make the argument that Jax is Minnesota’s best reliever not named Jhoan Duran. Sure, that may not be saying much for a bullpen group that has struggled so mightily, but none of that has fallen on the arm of the former starter. Now working exclusively in a relief role, Jax has added over three mph of average velocity to his fastball. He’s got a 2.76 ERA across 29 1/3 innings, and his 10.1 K/9 is a three-strikeout jump from where he was last season. Jax put in a significant amount of work to make baseball feasible. Tasked with shuttling between military commitments and the minor leagues early in his career, the former third-round pick hardly had the deck stacked in his favor. Jax has dramatically reduced the home run bugaboo he dealt with last season, and he’s allowing just 7.4 H/9. For a Twins team in desperate need of capable relief arms, he’s been as good as they come. Max Kepler Maybe somewhat helped by a deadened ball that has played into his approach, Kepler is seeing a breakthrough, unlike anything we’ve experienced save for his 2019 performance. While still playing excellent outfield defense and remaining healthy, Kepler’s 121 OPS+ is just two points shy of his career-high. Although slugging is down across the sport, Kepler has taken his OBP prowess to new heights. The .348 tally is a career-best, and he’s got a very strong 32/25 K/BB across 52 games. While Minnesota has seen injury and ineffectiveness wreak havoc on their outfield at times this season, Kepler has continued to be steady. There was some idea that he could’ve been moved this offseason, or that Alex Kirilloff could push for a shuffling in the grass, but Kepler has done well to hold serve and re-establish value. Although he won’t ever be a world-beater against lefties, it’s been great to see him own a strong .702 OPS this season versus southpaws. Carlos Correa It’s probably pretty hard to fly under the radar as the most significant free-agent signing in franchise history, but I’m here to argue that Carlos Correa has done it. While it appeared to be doomsday following a hit-by-pitch on his hand, Correa has returned and Minnesota’s lineup is better for it. The cameo by Royce Lewis was a nice one, and it’s unfortunate they won’t have him the rest of the way, but the former Astros superstar has transitioned nicely for the Twins. Probably unbeknownst to most, Correa owns a career best 143 OPS+ this season. He’s batting .303 through 39 games, and this would be the first year he’s topped .300 since 2017. Correa’s .372 OBP is near a career high and almost 20 points above the average he’s established during his big league tenure. If the ball is again tweaked as potentially expected this summer, Correa’s process is going to lead to many more than the five home run output he currently has. Who would you say has provided the most unexpected performances from Minnesota this season? Is there a name or two you’d hope for more from? View full article
  18. It’s hard not to notice what Byron Buxton is doing at the dish this year. Sure, he’s sitting some, but there’s no denying he’s producing at an MVP-like level when out there. Although Joe Ryan has missed time now due to Covid, he’s been Minnesota’s ace from the get-go. You don’t win in this league without supplemental talent, however, and the Twins are getting significant contributions from this trio while they largely go underappreciated. Griffin Jax You could make the argument that Jax is Minnesota’s best reliever not named Jhoan Duran. Sure, that may not be saying much for a bullpen group that has struggled so mightily, but none of that has fallen on the arm of the former starter. Now working exclusively in a relief role, Jax has added over three mph of average velocity to his fastball. He’s got a 2.76 ERA across 29 1/3 innings, and his 10.1 K/9 is a three-strikeout jump from where he was last season. Jax put in a significant amount of work to make baseball feasible. Tasked with shuttling between military commitments and the minor leagues early in his career, the former third-round pick hardly had the deck stacked in his favor. Jax has dramatically reduced the home run bugaboo he dealt with last season, and he’s allowing just 7.4 H/9. For a Twins team in desperate need of capable relief arms, he’s been as good as they come. Max Kepler Maybe somewhat helped by a deadened ball that has played into his approach, Kepler is seeing a breakthrough, unlike anything we’ve experienced save for his 2019 performance. While still playing excellent outfield defense and remaining healthy, Kepler’s 121 OPS+ is just two points shy of his career-high. Although slugging is down across the sport, Kepler has taken his OBP prowess to new heights. The .348 tally is a career-best, and he’s got a very strong 32/25 K/BB across 52 games. While Minnesota has seen injury and ineffectiveness wreak havoc on their outfield at times this season, Kepler has continued to be steady. There was some idea that he could’ve been moved this offseason, or that Alex Kirilloff could push for a shuffling in the grass, but Kepler has done well to hold serve and re-establish value. Although he won’t ever be a world-beater against lefties, it’s been great to see him own a strong .702 OPS this season versus southpaws. Carlos Correa It’s probably pretty hard to fly under the radar as the most significant free-agent signing in franchise history, but I’m here to argue that Carlos Correa has done it. While it appeared to be doomsday following a hit-by-pitch on his hand, Correa has returned and Minnesota’s lineup is better for it. The cameo by Royce Lewis was a nice one, and it’s unfortunate they won’t have him the rest of the way, but the former Astros superstar has transitioned nicely for the Twins. Probably unbeknownst to most, Correa owns a career best 143 OPS+ this season. He’s batting .303 through 39 games, and this would be the first year he’s topped .300 since 2017. Correa’s .372 OBP is near a career high and almost 20 points above the average he’s established during his big league tenure. If the ball is again tweaked as potentially expected this summer, Correa’s process is going to lead to many more than the five home run output he currently has. Who would you say has provided the most unexpected performances from Minnesota this season? Is there a name or two you’d hope for more from?
  19. It’s time to start talking about it. We’re over 60 games into the 2022 Major League Baseball season and the Minnesota Twins currently have a contender for the batting title. Rod Carew and his seven batting titles with Minnesota will all be remembered fondly, but Luis Arraez could provide the organization’s first since Joe Mauer in 2009. There’s zero comparison between a Hall of Famer with over 3,000 hits to a lovable utility guy with 300 games under his belt. However, it’s undeniable to see the similarities in style between that of Rod Carew and Luis Arraez. Carew entered the league a year younger than Arraez and won his first batting title during just his third professional season. Minnesota’s current utility man is now in his fourth year and recently turned 25. Like Carew, Arraez is now a second basemen while routinely getting reps at first base with Minnesota in a pinch. Longevity aside, Carew’s career .328/.393/.429 slash line is not far off for Arraez who sits at .322/.387/.409. This season has been especially fun for Arraez who has been virtually unstoppable against right-handed pitching. In an era where power reigns supreme, Arraez is slashing a ridiculous .401/.482/.497 against righties. He’s well below average contributing just a .220/.304/.220 slash line against southpaws, but Minnesota has done well to limit the exposure giving him just 46 plate appearances in those situations. With predominantly more right-handed arms as starting pitchers than left-handed, it stands to reason that Minnesota could continue to see additional output from Arraez as the season goes on. Thus far he’s topped out at a .367 average, that coming just a few games ago. In comparison to Carew, that would rank behind just his .388 season back in 1977. Batting average has long gone away as a stat indicative of true performance in and of itself. For a player like Arraez, or even Carew before him, the metric being so lopsided does explain itself, however. Additionally, Arraez contributes in the more definitive on-base area. With 25 walks to just 18 strikeouts, Minnesota’s utility man has captured the ability to not only hit his way on base, but force the opposition into his plan of attack at the plate. Leading baseball with a .444 OBP, Arraez is currently at a mark north of everything Carew hit save for that 1977 year. Considering the change in how baseball is played, it’s fair to argue that Arraez’s performance today may be more substantial than what Carew did all those years ago. All of this comes with the caveat that we still have a long ways to go, and that Arraez has previously missed time due to injury. Even at a young age, his knees are bulky and no yearly awards are won in June. Trying to extrapolate anything from a one-year sample is also not a fair situation to put Arraez in. Carew is a legendary name both in Minnesota and Major League Baseball, but it’s certainly hard not to see how closely they relate. It’s somewhat a breath of fresh air that we’re seeing a player go against the trends of the sport so heavily. The Twins have largely been shut out in terms of individual awards since the peak of Mauer, and turning the focus back to this organization for that reason is a fun one. Arraez has a long way to go for the rest of 2022, but it’s hard not to look down the path of this coming to fruition. What do you think? How closely do you see Arraez relating to Carew? Does the former win his first batting title this season? View full article
  20. There’s zero comparison between a Hall of Famer with over 3,000 hits to a lovable utility guy with 300 games under his belt. However, it’s undeniable to see the similarities in style between that of Rod Carew and Luis Arraez. Carew entered the league a year younger than Arraez and won his first batting title during just his third professional season. Minnesota’s current utility man is now in his fourth year and recently turned 25. Like Carew, Arraez is now a second basemen while routinely getting reps at first base with Minnesota in a pinch. Longevity aside, Carew’s career .328/.393/.429 slash line is not far off for Arraez who sits at .322/.387/.409. This season has been especially fun for Arraez who has been virtually unstoppable against right-handed pitching. In an era where power reigns supreme, Arraez is slashing a ridiculous .401/.482/.497 against righties. He’s well below average contributing just a .220/.304/.220 slash line against southpaws, but Minnesota has done well to limit the exposure giving him just 46 plate appearances in those situations. With predominantly more right-handed arms as starting pitchers than left-handed, it stands to reason that Minnesota could continue to see additional output from Arraez as the season goes on. Thus far he’s topped out at a .367 average, that coming just a few games ago. In comparison to Carew, that would rank behind just his .388 season back in 1977. Batting average has long gone away as a stat indicative of true performance in and of itself. For a player like Arraez, or even Carew before him, the metric being so lopsided does explain itself, however. Additionally, Arraez contributes in the more definitive on-base area. With 25 walks to just 18 strikeouts, Minnesota’s utility man has captured the ability to not only hit his way on base, but force the opposition into his plan of attack at the plate. Leading baseball with a .444 OBP, Arraez is currently at a mark north of everything Carew hit save for that 1977 year. Considering the change in how baseball is played, it’s fair to argue that Arraez’s performance today may be more substantial than what Carew did all those years ago. All of this comes with the caveat that we still have a long ways to go, and that Arraez has previously missed time due to injury. Even at a young age, his knees are bulky and no yearly awards are won in June. Trying to extrapolate anything from a one-year sample is also not a fair situation to put Arraez in. Carew is a legendary name both in Minnesota and Major League Baseball, but it’s certainly hard not to see how closely they relate. It’s somewhat a breath of fresh air that we’re seeing a player go against the trends of the sport so heavily. The Twins have largely been shut out in terms of individual awards since the peak of Mauer, and turning the focus back to this organization for that reason is a fun one. Arraez has a long way to go for the rest of 2022, but it’s hard not to look down the path of this coming to fruition. What do you think? How closely do you see Arraez relating to Carew? Does the former win his first batting title this season?
  21. We’ve seen the Minnesota Twins dive into the scrap heap when it comes to starting pitching in recent seasons. Last year it was J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker. This year they turned to Chris Archer and Dylan Bundy. Most of it hasn’t worked out, but they are getting a good bit of run from the former Tampa Bay Rays ace. For years it seemed like Chris Archer was the type of arm any team should want to acquire, and Twins fans were of that thinking for a while too. No one wanted him more than the Pittsburgh Pirates piecing out their farm for him, but that’s another story. Fast forward to now and Archer is a few years removed from being healthy, and even further from being effective. The Twins gave Archer a $3.5 million deal this offseason, but incentives can push that to nearly $10 million. He has a mutual option for 2023, and while those largely go unexercised, both parties have to be proud of where they’re at to this point. On the season, Archer has made 11 starts for Minnesota, the most among the group. He’s pitched 44 1/3 innings which averages out to just about four innings per start. In a world where lengthy starts are no longer the norm, that number is significantly below the league average. However, for everyone involved, this is definitely by design. As noted, Archer hasn’t pitched more than 119 innings since 2019, and he hasn’t topped 150 innings since 2017. As a guy that routinely gave Tampa Bay 200 or more innings in a season, he’s coming off of surgery to address Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and had plenty of time off prior to that. As analytically inclined as Archer is, he’s likely a fan of avoiding lineups the third time through. He’s faced lineups twice in each of his 11 starts this season, but made it a third time on just three occasions totaling six plate appearances. The first time through, Archer is allowing a paltry .615 OPS, but that jumps to .828 the second time through the lineup. As a guy who is still trying to build back up in regards to innings, it’s also not surprising that he would wear down as the game goes on. Minnesota is obviously managing the arm while dancing around danger as well. Archer owns a 3.65 ERA but that’s backed by a 4.92 FIP, 5.10 xFIP, and 5.26 xERA. As someone who’s always given up a healthy amount of homers, Archer has avoided additional damage by shaving from his H/9. Unfortunately, his walk rate and strikeout rate are also at career-worst marks. Unquestionably the production from Archer was always going to be a process for Minnesota. Pitching coach Wes Johnson needed to help re-establish velocity, and that’s happened with a one mph gain over last season. He’s still not the 95 or 96 mph pitcher he was in his heyday, but sitting just below 94 mph can work with a revamped repertoire. Minnesota has become one of the most slider-reliant teams in baseball, and Archer is using it more than he ever has. A curveball has been reintroduced sparingly, and the fastball has been cut down substantially. Results aren’t evident of a guy who will again be an ace, and there are plenty of advanced numbers to suggest this could go belly up at any time. However, chase rate trending positive and a hard hit rate lower than anything he’s produced since 2016 are both strong developments. Archer won’t suddenly be some sort of reliable horse for the Twins, but in a season where their pitching staff has largely been in flux, he’s provided a stabilizing presence. Give it to the Twins for coaching up an arm and teaching an established veteran some new tricks. It’d be positive if the bullpen was stronger when covering for his short outings and ideal if the rotation wasn’t constantly needing him to get it done every five days, but so far things have worked out. If another arm can be added to this group, having Archer provide this value at the bottom of it is hardly a negative. View full article
  22. For years it seemed like Chris Archer was the type of arm any team should want to acquire, and Twins fans were of that thinking for a while too. No one wanted him more than the Pittsburgh Pirates piecing out their farm for him, but that’s another story. Fast forward to now and Archer is a few years removed from being healthy, and even further from being effective. The Twins gave Archer a $3.5 million deal this offseason, but incentives can push that to nearly $10 million. He has a mutual option for 2023, and while those largely go unexercised, both parties have to be proud of where they’re at to this point. On the season, Archer has made 11 starts for Minnesota, the most among the group. He’s pitched 44 1/3 innings which averages out to just about four innings per start. In a world where lengthy starts are no longer the norm, that number is significantly below the league average. However, for everyone involved, this is definitely by design. As noted, Archer hasn’t pitched more than 119 innings since 2019, and he hasn’t topped 150 innings since 2017. As a guy that routinely gave Tampa Bay 200 or more innings in a season, he’s coming off of surgery to address Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and had plenty of time off prior to that. As analytically inclined as Archer is, he’s likely a fan of avoiding lineups the third time through. He’s faced lineups twice in each of his 11 starts this season, but made it a third time on just three occasions totaling six plate appearances. The first time through, Archer is allowing a paltry .615 OPS, but that jumps to .828 the second time through the lineup. As a guy who is still trying to build back up in regards to innings, it’s also not surprising that he would wear down as the game goes on. Minnesota is obviously managing the arm while dancing around danger as well. Archer owns a 3.65 ERA but that’s backed by a 4.92 FIP, 5.10 xFIP, and 5.26 xERA. As someone who’s always given up a healthy amount of homers, Archer has avoided additional damage by shaving from his H/9. Unfortunately, his walk rate and strikeout rate are also at career-worst marks. Unquestionably the production from Archer was always going to be a process for Minnesota. Pitching coach Wes Johnson needed to help re-establish velocity, and that’s happened with a one mph gain over last season. He’s still not the 95 or 96 mph pitcher he was in his heyday, but sitting just below 94 mph can work with a revamped repertoire. Minnesota has become one of the most slider-reliant teams in baseball, and Archer is using it more than he ever has. A curveball has been reintroduced sparingly, and the fastball has been cut down substantially. Results aren’t evident of a guy who will again be an ace, and there are plenty of advanced numbers to suggest this could go belly up at any time. However, chase rate trending positive and a hard hit rate lower than anything he’s produced since 2016 are both strong developments. Archer won’t suddenly be some sort of reliable horse for the Twins, but in a season where their pitching staff has largely been in flux, he’s provided a stabilizing presence. Give it to the Twins for coaching up an arm and teaching an established veteran some new tricks. It’d be positive if the bullpen was stronger when covering for his short outings and ideal if the rotation wasn’t constantly needing him to get it done every five days, but so far things have worked out. If another arm can be added to this group, having Archer provide this value at the bottom of it is hardly a negative.
  23. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 4, Rochester 3 Box Score Minnesota Twins Opening Day starter Joe Ryan was making a rehab start tonight for St. Paul as he works his way back after a bout of Covid. He worked three innings allowing a single baserunner on a hit. Ryan punched out four. Rochester was looking for their first win of this series and they took a 2-0 lead on a homer in the 4th inning. Another run scored on a sacrifice fly in the 8th inning. John Andreoli clubbed a two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th inning to score Jermain Palacios, and Alex Kirilloff singled as a pinch hitter. The winning run stepped up to the plate in the form of Spencer Steer. He took a ball, whiffed on the next pitch, and then sent his 8th home run at Triple-A over the center field wall. St. Paul walks off the former affiliate and are now 3-0 in this series. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1: Wichita 7, Arkansas 3 Box Score Playing a doubleheader today the Wind Surge went to Casey Legumina in game one. He turned in five strong innings allowing just three runs on six hits. Legumina didn’t walk anyone but recorded just a single strikeout. Matt Wallner wasted little time to extend his hitting streak to seven games. A first inning triple drove in Anthony Prato and put Wichita on the board. After getting behind in the bottom half, Wichita answered in the 4th inning. Chris Williams singled in Wallner before an Andrew Bechtold home run brought Williams in as well. After doubling up the Travelers total, the Wind Surge added two more in the 5th inning. Prato lifted a sacrifice fly to score Edouard Julien before Kyle Schmidt singled to drive in Austin Martin from third. It was his first hit with the Wind Surge. Arkansas tried to claw back adding one in the bottom half, but DaShawn Keirsey Jr. roped a solo shot, his second of the season, to make it 7-3 in the 6th inning. Evan Sisk turned in two perfect relief innings to slam the door while striking out three. Game 2: Arkansas 3, Wichita 0 Box Score Kody Funderburk got the start in the nightcap and worked three innings of two run baseball. He worked around six hits and a walk, but punched out six to keep his team in it. Arkansas scored the first run of the game on a solo shot in the 1st inning before a 3rd inning double pushed across another run. Joe Rizzo then launched his second dinger of the game, and ninth of the season in the 4th inning to make it 3-0. The Wind Surge, intent on making things interesting, scored on a bases loaded walk from Anthony Prato. As Leobaldo Cabrera came across, the bases remained loaded with no one out. Wichita left the sacks full though, and they went into the bottom of the 6th inning trailing by two. Wichita wouldn't get another run and they avoided being no-hit with Julien's double. KERNELS NUGGETS South Bend 2, Cedar Rapids 0 Box Score David Festa took the ball for Cedar Rapids and continued his dominant 2022 season. Working six innings, he allowed just four hits while striking out eight and walking only one. Both the Kernels and Cubs found themselves scoreless through seven innings. Unfortunately, South Bend added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 8th inning and Cedar Rapids was unable to answer. The Kernels tallied just three hits on the evening and dropped this one in lackluster fashion. MUSSEL MATTERS Daytona 10, Fort Myers 6 Box Score It was Jordan Carr making the start for the Mighty Mussels tonight and he lasted just four innings. Allowing five runs on seven hits, Carr walked no one and punched out four. This was an exciting matchup as former Twins prospect Chase Petty was on the mound for Daytona. He worked 3 2/3 innings giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits. Petty punched out five and walked two. Jake Rucker scored in the top of the first inning on an errant pickoff throw, but Fort Myers gave up the lead in the bottom half. Noah Miller drove in Luis Baez with a single in the 3rd inning to knot things at two. After a three run inning for the Tortugas in the 4th, Noah Cardenas added one back for the Mighty Mussels. He ripped a double, his fifth, to left field, scoring Rucker. A wild pitch then scored Cardenas from third before a bases loaded walk to Nelson Roberto plated Kala’i Rosario. All of a sudden things were even. In the 5th inning Daytona added in a big way, including a two-run double from Willians Astudillo’s brother WIlfred. Down 9-5 when the dust settled, another run in the 6th inning put Fort Myers down by five. Astudillo, a catcher like his turtle-named brother, allowed a passed ball in the 8th inning and Carlos Aguiar came home. That was it for the scoring though, and the Mighty Mussels seven hits were doubled up by Daytona. Rubel Cespedes had the lone two-hit night. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Rays 11, FCL Twins 7 Box Score Veteran Daniel Robertson continue his minor league rehab stint for Triple-A St. Paul with the FLC team today. He went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and tallied five RBI in total. Pitcher Wilker Reyes gave up three runs, all unearned, in 2 2/3 innings of relief work, but struck out six. Intriguing prospect Malfrin Sosa joined Robertson with a multi-hit game. The Twins were leading 7-4 going into the 7th inning but things went pear-shaped when they gave up three in the top half, and another four the following frame. DOMINICAN DAILIES No Game TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, 2 RBI, HR(8), K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-3, R, BB, 2 K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-3, R #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, 2 RBI, HR(8), K #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, RBI, K #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-5, BB, 4 K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-6, 2B, BB, 3 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-2, BB, K #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ St. Paul (7:07PM CST) - RHP Josh Winder Wichita @ Arkansas (7:05PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Travis Adams Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing.
  24. David Festa continues to be one of the best pitchers in the Minnesota Twins farm system this season and was nails tonight for the Kernels. St. Paul trailed all game until their final out and then Spencer Steer called game with a walkoff home run against the former Triple-A affiliate. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 4, Rochester 3 Box Score Minnesota Twins Opening Day starter Joe Ryan was making a rehab start tonight for St. Paul as he works his way back after a bout of Covid. He worked three innings allowing a single baserunner on a hit. Ryan punched out four. Rochester was looking for their first win of this series and they took a 2-0 lead on a homer in the 4th inning. Another run scored on a sacrifice fly in the 8th inning. John Andreoli clubbed a two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th inning to score Jermain Palacios, and Alex Kirilloff singled as a pinch hitter. The winning run stepped up to the plate in the form of Spencer Steer. He took a ball, whiffed on the next pitch, and then sent his 8th home run at Triple-A over the center field wall. St. Paul walks off the former affiliate and are now 3-0 in this series. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1: Wichita 7, Arkansas 3 Box Score Playing a doubleheader today the Wind Surge went to Casey Legumina in game one. He turned in five strong innings allowing just three runs on six hits. Legumina didn’t walk anyone but recorded just a single strikeout. Matt Wallner wasted little time to extend his hitting streak to seven games. A first inning triple drove in Anthony Prato and put Wichita on the board. After getting behind in the bottom half, Wichita answered in the 4th inning. Chris Williams singled in Wallner before an Andrew Bechtold home run brought Williams in as well. After doubling up the Travelers total, the Wind Surge added two more in the 5th inning. Prato lifted a sacrifice fly to score Edouard Julien before Kyle Schmidt singled to drive in Austin Martin from third. It was his first hit with the Wind Surge. Arkansas tried to claw back adding one in the bottom half, but DaShawn Keirsey Jr. roped a solo shot, his second of the season, to make it 7-3 in the 6th inning. Evan Sisk turned in two perfect relief innings to slam the door while striking out three. Game 2: Arkansas 3, Wichita 0 Box Score Kody Funderburk got the start in the nightcap and worked three innings of two run baseball. He worked around six hits and a walk, but punched out six to keep his team in it. Arkansas scored the first run of the game on a solo shot in the 1st inning before a 3rd inning double pushed across another run. Joe Rizzo then launched his second dinger of the game, and ninth of the season in the 4th inning to make it 3-0. The Wind Surge, intent on making things interesting, scored on a bases loaded walk from Anthony Prato. As Leobaldo Cabrera came across, the bases remained loaded with no one out. Wichita left the sacks full though, and they went into the bottom of the 6th inning trailing by two. Wichita wouldn't get another run and they avoided being no-hit with Julien's double. KERNELS NUGGETS South Bend 2, Cedar Rapids 0 Box Score David Festa took the ball for Cedar Rapids and continued his dominant 2022 season. Working six innings, he allowed just four hits while striking out eight and walking only one. Both the Kernels and Cubs found themselves scoreless through seven innings. Unfortunately, South Bend added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 8th inning and Cedar Rapids was unable to answer. The Kernels tallied just three hits on the evening and dropped this one in lackluster fashion. MUSSEL MATTERS Daytona 10, Fort Myers 6 Box Score It was Jordan Carr making the start for the Mighty Mussels tonight and he lasted just four innings. Allowing five runs on seven hits, Carr walked no one and punched out four. This was an exciting matchup as former Twins prospect Chase Petty was on the mound for Daytona. He worked 3 2/3 innings giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits. Petty punched out five and walked two. Jake Rucker scored in the top of the first inning on an errant pickoff throw, but Fort Myers gave up the lead in the bottom half. Noah Miller drove in Luis Baez with a single in the 3rd inning to knot things at two. After a three run inning for the Tortugas in the 4th, Noah Cardenas added one back for the Mighty Mussels. He ripped a double, his fifth, to left field, scoring Rucker. A wild pitch then scored Cardenas from third before a bases loaded walk to Nelson Roberto plated Kala’i Rosario. All of a sudden things were even. In the 5th inning Daytona added in a big way, including a two-run double from Willians Astudillo’s brother WIlfred. Down 9-5 when the dust settled, another run in the 6th inning put Fort Myers down by five. Astudillo, a catcher like his turtle-named brother, allowed a passed ball in the 8th inning and Carlos Aguiar came home. That was it for the scoring though, and the Mighty Mussels seven hits were doubled up by Daytona. Rubel Cespedes had the lone two-hit night. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Rays 11, FCL Twins 7 Box Score Veteran Daniel Robertson continue his minor league rehab stint for Triple-A St. Paul with the FLC team today. He went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and tallied five RBI in total. Pitcher Wilker Reyes gave up three runs, all unearned, in 2 2/3 innings of relief work, but struck out six. Intriguing prospect Malfrin Sosa joined Robertson with a multi-hit game. The Twins were leading 7-4 going into the 7th inning but things went pear-shaped when they gave up three in the top half, and another four the following frame. DOMINICAN DAILIES No Game TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, 2 RBI, HR(8), K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-3, R, BB, 2 K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-3, R #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, 2 RBI, HR(8), K #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, RBI, K #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-5, BB, 4 K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-6, 2B, BB, 3 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-2, BB, K #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ St. Paul (7:07PM CST) - RHP Josh Winder Wichita @ Arkansas (7:05PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Travis Adams Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing. View full article
  25. Dylan Bundy was the first prominent free agent signing for the Minnesota Twins this offseason, coming to an agreement with the club prior to the lockout taking place. He was coming off a lackluster year with the Los Angeles Angels but the hope was he could stabilize the back of the rotation. It hasn’t worked out that way. Early this season Dylan Bundy came out firing. He allowed just a single run through his first 15 1/3 innings this season and posted a dazzling 0.59 ERA. Then came two starts in which he allowed six and nine runs before going on the Covid list. Maybe you could chalk up the performance to effects from the virus, but things haven’t gotten better. Blasted by the Blue Jays in his latest outing, Bundy owns a 5.29 ERA with a 5.44 FIP over his last four starts. If you want to include the two complete blowups prior to that streak, it’s an 8.44 ERA giving up 26 runs in his last 26 2/3 innings. Any way you cut it, and if you could cut it in a positive way I’d love to see it, the results are ugly. What’s problematic for both Bundy and the Twins is that there simply may be no end in sight. Bundy is not a velocity pitcher anymore by any means, and his velocity against Toronto was actually the high point of his season. The stuff simply isn’t playing in any juncture. The chase rate against Toronto was the lowest he’s generated in any game this season, and his zone contact rates the past five games are all at 85% or high with two being at exactly 100%. He’s throwing some of the least amount of first pitch strikes on the season and he’s generating whiffs less as the season goes on. The flip side is what’s being done to the balls put in play. Bundy’s allowing an ever-increasing hard hit rate, and has been over 42% in three of his last five starts after being below 30% in each of his first four starts, with three of them being at 20% or below. Rocco Baldelli and Wes Johnson find themselves in somewhat of a pickle at the moment though. Bundy is healthy and that’s more than can be said for a host of Twins arms. With Sonny Gray on the injured list, Chris Paddack done for the year, and an ever-evolving door of who hits the skids next, it’s tough to put down available starting arms. The emergence of Devin Smeltzer has been a significant positive for the Twins, but more depth hasn’t really taken shape yet on the farm. Cole Sands has come up and been hit around, while Jordan Balazovic looks out of sorts at Triple-A. Maybe the tides turn as the season goes on, but the refrain right now has to be about going to battle with the guys you have. A $5 million deal is hardly a glowing endorsement of Bundy’s expectations or future prognosis in Minnesota. It isn’t negligible as a whole though, and he’ll be given ample opportunity to work through things as long as the Twins remain in the driver’s seat of the division. It’s becoming more clear though, that Bundy is tough to trust any time you run him out there, even if alternative options are not present. How long of a leash should Bundy have at this point? If you’re replacing him, where are you turning to do so? View full article
×
×
  • Create New...