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  1. Following up on Whitey, yes, the loss reflects on some intrinsic weaknesses in Rocco's game-time strategies, including: 1. The Twins lineup is badly depleted now with injuries to Correa, Larnach, and Sano - to name 3. So why is their best hitter remaining, BB, kept out of the lineup, including even PH? Just inexplicable in a close game with one of the 2 major competitors in the Div. This is on Rocco and perhaps the FO if they are, indeed, calling the shots. Quit babying our best player! Games count now just as much as in Sept. 2. Rocco's ineptness is even more apparent in his bullpen usage last nite. He blew thru our arguably 5 best relievers now, to leave Cotton the last arm remaining for extra innings. Are Thielbar(15 pitches), Duffey(5), Smith(15), Pagan(9), and Duran(12) so fragile that they couldn't go longer? With a runner on second to start extra innings, you want your best(and in the Twin's case, only) flamethrower for that inning. I can see using Duran for the 9th with a save opportunity, but not a tie game. Giving Duffey or Thielbar an extra inning would have allowed that, but alas we get Cotton - and the loss. I know there are those on TD will accuse the writer of second guessing but Rocco's mismanagment of the pen last night is not a fluke. We have seen it consistently during his stewardship. He babies his players to the point of absurdity. Not that he is the only one to blame. It was obvious to most of us this team badly needed a second closer alternative this offseason - and that was before trading Rogers!! We got a good pickup in Smith but that was it. While Duran has emerged as a potential closer, Rocco(and maybe the FO) are too risk averse to hand him the job, preferring instead to use the closer by committee. With the current quality of RPs, can we still afford to gamble in every tight game. Annoint Duran the closer and see how that goes. There is no one else on the roster who is even close. With a now winnable Central Division Title possible, does anyone still think Rocco has the smarts to steer this team to playoff territory? To this observer, the clear answer is NO. Replace him with a more demanding, experienced guy with a modicum of baseball savvy.
  2. SSS, but the performance of Bundy and Archer, together with the continued brilliance of Ober and Ryan, both relatively unheralded in their respective orgs, certainly deserves kudos. Much too early to call Wes the "pitching whisperer", at least until a couple more months pass, but the rotation's surprising strong start gives credence to Johnson's creds. I can only wish his touch could be translated to our pen, where as of now, Johnson has failed at any transformation of a Twins minor leaguer into a trustworthy late-inning shutdown reliever. With Duran's touted "stuff", why isn't he ready for closer situations? This is still a major hole in the pen. Why haven't the Twins been able to develop a single minor leaguer into a steady reliever in Falvine's 5+ years in charge? A lot of this weakness should be laid at Falvine's feet., starting with the trade of Pressley when the window of contention was wide open and continuing thru 2022 when they traded Rogers, their only suitable closer going into the season. Joe Smith is likely a solid addition but certainly not the pitcher to stabilize a very shaky pen. The big failing of the FO was not to tap into a very deep FA reliever class to fill the glaring holes so apparent last year. With Duffy and Thielbar so shaky, why were retreads like Stashak, Rhomero, and Coulombe brought up instead of one or two of our top starting minor leaguers? . Is this failure a result of a subpar minor league pitching development staff, poor drafting or a combination of the two? Is Johnson's skill level applicable for only starting pitching.? In a weaker-than-expected Central Div., this team should be a solid contender this year, but their bullpen still looks like their achilles heel.
  3. Guess I was a little late in my comments. Like Tony and Rodney said - WTF! Strengthen the back end of the rotation, severely weaken the pen! Sort of a microcosm of FO's offseason. Unless they have another significant add to the pen, our late inning situation now looks as precarious as our rotation. Duran and Alcala better step up big or look out below!
  4. Nice to see FO still trying to improve what most of us believe is a very iffy rotation. The Pads would seem like a good trade partner with their excess of starters now. And Paddock would probably be an upgrade over either Archer or Bundy, but does he really fill the glaring need of a strong #2? His falloff from his rookie year leaves too many questions to answer. If the FO wants to really move the needle, they should focus on either Snell or Musgrove, particularly the latter. Rocco is very familiar with Snell and should be able to assess whether he is in a downhill trend or a good bounceback candidate. Musgrove would be the ideal choice, but to pry him loose would probably take a Kepler/Rogers combo. As others have mentioned, Lamet would be a nice chip to add to bolster the bullpen. Perhaps by taking on Hosmer's contract, the Twins could land both these guys. No sense in adding another #4 or 5 starter to the long list we already have, especially not for Rogers - our lone closer. Go big or stay home.
  5. Well said, Nick! Their is no plausible explanation for the FO's indecision, except ineptitude. Why get Correa and Gray without further bolstering the rotation, not to mention the pen? I won't rehash all the FA pitchers they took a pass at, any one of whom,e.g., Stroman, Rodriguez, Rodon, et. al.) could have bolstered the top of the rotation. Falvine in 5+ years has not even been able to develop one reliever, no less a starter. Alcala hasn't been consistent. Maybe Duran will break the drought? But so far the pitching whisperers have failed badly. As you say, it should be this year or bust. Hoping for the best is not a strategy for winning a playoff game!
  6. Like Stringer Bell said: let's get back on track here. I'm still worried about the pen. Moran should be released. Alcala's proclivity for the HR ball has continued this spring. This is unacceptable for a late-inning reliever. Duran has earned a spot in the pen with an outstanding ST. Compared to the Sox, our BP looks overmatched, even with trade of Kimbrel and injury to Crochet. Falvey's dumpster diving for minor leaguers has left us with a middlin' pen at best. And we won't even get started on the rotation. Archer's outing today gives little cause for comfort!. How can any responsible FO make a big splash with Correa yet fail to solidify a rotation that was weak even after Gray. Looks like we're down to a hope and a prayer!
  7. Nick, glad you bring up uncertainties about Rogers and Duffy. Rogers was letting a lot of inherited runs scored before the injury. And one might question why the FO brought in Colome as closer to start the season. As for Duffy, he, too, must be a big question mark after his big falloff from previous years. He righted himself later in the season - when all the pressure was off, but to think he can rebound to previous two year levels is just irresponsible. Which brings up a bigger question: why is the FO sitting on their hands as multiple FA relievers are flying off the market? Are they incapable of juggling several balls at a time? Sure, the rotation should take precedence, but the if they fail to add 2 more starters like Gray, they would certainly need to bolster a very shaky pen if they had any hope of improving on 2021. To my mind, bolstering the pen is even more vital than adding a big time SS three weeks from opening day. What are they waiting for??
  8. Now that this FO has finally shown some trading balls, yes, it does make sense to speculate on such a trade. My two cents: 1. No reason to bring in Chapman. I think a lot of TD members are underestimating Urshela. He showed plenty of potential in '19/'20 and with his ability to play both SS/3B, gives the Twins the flexibility needed, as well as the insurance needed in case Miranda isn't ready. NYY blogs rave about his defensive abilities, even at SS. Keep him! 2. The A's will not give up a potential 1 or 2 starter cheaply. The Braves had to give up 3 top 10 prospects to get Olson. The Twins would likely have to do something similar. First, the target should be Montas as he is controllable for 2 years and looks to have higher upside. But the Twins must be ready now to give him an extension beyond the 2 years; otherwise, we wind up with Berrios 2.0. He's worth it! 3. In terms of trade capital, certainly Balazovic or Winder would have to be included. Ditto Lewis or Martin. These latter two seem duplicative - can't play SS, Bux already in CF, talents might be wasted at corner OF. Sure, I'd rather keep Lewis, but in either case, the presence of both allows the trading of one without significant long term loss. I would try to get by with additional surplus players, starting with Arraez, maybe Larnach, and then a fourth 10-20 prospect(probably a pitcher. 4. I would try to expand the trade to get one of A's relievers(Puk or Trevino) and Longeliers. or Sean Murphy. And if a Story signing is not in the cards(certainly a greater than a 50% probability at this juncture), take on Elvis Andrus's salary as an interim solution at short. Yes, all very AJ Prellerish but a blockbuster of this type could certainly move the needle in 2022.
  9. Been on the bandwagon for Gray for last 2 years. Excellent pickup. Should slot in the 2/3 spot for next 2 years which is exactly what they need. Petty is at least 4-5 years away. Nice to see FO give up a high ranking prospect for an established pitcher! Still have two more spots to fill, but this is encouraging in that Fo hasn't yet tanked on 2022. They have more prospects/surplus pitchers they can trade. My hope is Montas. Would package of Larnach/Arraez and top 10 prospect do it. With addition of KF, is it feasible to consider Martin or Lewis a trade option.
  10. Some good points here, Doc! As you say the Garver/KF trade was reasonable. We traded from a position of relative strength(we hope!) for one of need. But what is more interesting, as you point out, is this looks like another sign that 2022 will be a rebuild. The trade, on the surface, does not move the needle much(and might even set it back if Jeffers doesn't step up) for this year. The FO's lack of urgency on the pitching front certainly would lean towards the scenario of 2022 being a test year for the young pitchers. How else can you explain their taking a pass on Rodon and Kikuchi, arguably the 2 best FA starters left? Talking about guys like Pineda/Cueto,et.al certainly points to their failure to push the club back into contention this year, no matter what they said earlier. Grrr! And yes, assuming we are seeing a rebuild, moving Donaldson makes more sense now that we have a surplus of IFs, both on the 40 man and in development. The new DH rule certainly should help demand for JD but what could we get in return.? IMO, the last thing we should do is add to our slew of pitching prospects. By contributing to his salary, FO might pry loose a good(=better than Pineda/Cueto) major league pitcher. Of course, the loss of Cruz, JD, and Garv will weaken the offense but if this is truly a rebuild, then don't stop midway. Nor should they count on a staff filled with prospects a path for contention in next 2-3 years, which is why landing at least two young, major league pitchers is still essential to a sharp upward swing in 2023 and beyond. And if their prospects flame out, the Wonder Boys will be long gone by then, anyway!
  11. Biggest complaint is that Garver, one of the best trade candidates on the current roster, could have been a much more valuable chip in obtaining a more-desperately needed starter! This trade has a very low probability of moving the needle for 2022 prospects. Took away a plus offensive contributor in Garver for a decent offensive upgrade at SS. Not sure they couldn't have found a comparable SS without giving up such a valuable trade piece. If Jeffers continues to develop offensively and K-F does the same, this could be a decent long term move, but it certainly won't improve team's 2022 chances. Looks like "contending in 2022" was a pipedream, at least to date.
  12. Update - Giants sign Rodon for 2yr/$44. Absolutely reasonable for Twins. This FO is a disgrace!!
  13. Oops! Meant Tyler Glasnow on the Rays, not Kevin Gausman. Rumors has him on trade block because of injury.
  14. Nick, you seem to be caught up in the euphoria of the agreement.: http://From the buzz I'm hearing, it sounds like the Twins will be among the teams to strike early with a big move – maybe even by the time you're reading this on Friday morning. http://At the end of January, I laid out three top post-lockout priorities for the Twins: trade for starting pitcher, sign a free agent starting pitcher, and figure out the plan at shortstop. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it plays out in that exact order, and all three are done by Sunday. Wow! I hope you're right but when has this FO(or past ones) ever jumped into the fray with the big boys? We haven't seen a big move, either by trade or FA, since the Falvine boys took over 5+ years ago, Their only "big move" in either category came with the JD signing, at the tail end of the preseason when every other team passed on him. So why would you expect their MO to change now that lockout is over? Do you think there's any more pressure from ownership to win this year after they passed on the pre-lockout agreement? If I were a betting man I would wager maybe one middlin' FA signing(Pineda?) , a C- level SS addition, and maybe a bullpen filler. But if I, too, got caught up in the moment: here is my wish list(in order of positive impact on returning the team to contention: 1. Sign Carlos Rodon! 2. Trade for Gray/Castillo from Reds or Montas from A's. 3. Sign one of Greinke, Pineda, Duffy or Kikuchi. 4. Sign McHugh for the pen 5. Trade for SS - Paul DeJong, Elvis Andrus, Kiner-Falefa, or Nick Ahmed And if there was any money left over(and there should be with $50MM available), take a flyer on Kevin Gausman even if he doesn't play in 2022. This type of move worked well with Pineda. Anyway, let's talk again Monday and see what this FO did accomplish.
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