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MileHighTwinsFan

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  • Birthday 11/01/1965

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    BruceVandal

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  1. The comparisons between Arraez and Carew have been frequent, if a little bit of a stretch, but in this case I think it may be an apt comparison. Carew came up as a hit first, field second second baseman. The Twins worked hard on Carew's fielding, which improved significantly and resulted in multiple outstanding seasons at 2nd. I would expect a similar strategy would be ideal for Arraez. The only problem is that it is clear that second is clearly Polanco's best position? It is not inconceivable that the Twins are forced to make a decision. I think it is fair to say that the Twins' focus on utility players who have strong hitting skills and weaker fielding skills has been a failure. If Gordon can be a consistent fielder, I think the super-utility is his job to keep. Unfortunately, he has also been an unreliable fielder and also slots in best at second. It may be the case that there just isn't room for Gordon, Polanco and Arraez on the 26 man. The team may need to shift to the more traditional utility infielder who can plan short, third and second.
  2. So much of next year depends on Buxton and Berrios and whether they sign extensions or are traded. Until that point, all of this is just a snap shot observation based on current information. I think the piece does suggest some stark realities for this club's prospects for competitiveness next year. Their inability to sign high impact arms through free agency does not bode well for next year. We have learned that the team is not competitive for top end starters and that the relief pitching market is a crap shoot. All of this suggests that the team is really dependent on the development of the arms in their system. Next year may be more about building for 2023 with the hope that their young arms emerge next year - but probably not being high impact contributors until 2023. That reality speaks volumes about how the team will look at the current roster, which in my opinion, means dealing some very valuable assets to get high impact arms that have years of team control ahead. As a result, I don't see Garver, Buxton and Berrios all being on the roster next year. I suspect one or more will be playing elsewhere next April - if not sooner.
  3. The future is now for Randy Dobnak. His extension signaled that he is in the Twins' plans as a member of the Twins' rotation. Maeda's injury gives him the chance to lock-in a rotation spot permanently. I think Shoemaker will need to continue to prove he is worthy of a spot and Happ needs to prove he can be consistent. If the Twins do return to contention - and that is a big if - I would not be shocked to see Maeda get moved to the pen to bolster the bullpen, much like he did for the Dodgers. If the Twins are contenders or pretenders at the All-Star break, either way, I expect Dobnak will be in the rotation moving forward.
  4. It is still way too early. I am fairly certain that over the course of the season Jeffers will get his fair share of ABs vs. lefties. While I hope for real production out of the catcher position this year, I am much more interested in how our two catchers are calling games and getting called strikes for their pitchers. It may be a coincidence, but the two most dominant performances of the season - Berrios' start vs. the Brewers and Pineda's performance vs. Red Sox - have come with Jeffers behind the plate. I think the determining factor of who will get the lion's share of ABs this season will depend on Garver's and Jeffers' defense, not their offense.
  5. I think the answer will be, it depends. I expect a far more fluid lineup from day to day. When Arraez is in the lineup, he is a logical choice. Polanco, who has a career OBP of .335 and OBP above .340 during his last two full seasons could find time there. Kepler will undoubtedly see time there as well. Even Garver, if he returns to 2019ish form, could get a shot in lead off against lefties. If the name of the game these days is flexibility, then I expect it will extend to the lead off spot.
  6. Idea - Twins offer Nelson Cruz a $13M one year deal with a bonus of $2M if MLB goes to a universal DH this season. Twins get their DH and Cruz gets assurance that he is getting proper value as the market for DH remains in flux.
  7. Not to throw a wet blanket on this idea - but Baez had an absolutely abysmal 2020. His 2020 numbers were truly horrendous: BA - .203 OBP - .238 OPS - .599 WAR - .9 There was talk that Javy's struggles had a lot to do with the rule changes that did not allow players to watch in game videos during games. If that rule continues in 2021, it would be a pretty risky to trade away prospects for a one-year rental on a player whose game was devastated by the rule changes.
  8. I love Nelson Cruz and would be happy to have him return to the team. Having said that, I think the team could adapt quite nicely if he does not return. I personally would like the team to get younger and hopefully healthier. I believe the team could use the DH as a way to rest players, add at bats for other players and open a roster slot for one of the young players. I could see a scenario where the DH spot rotates among Sano, Donaldson, and Garver. Giving Sano and Donaldson a day or two off each week from playing defense would keep them fresher. Garver could get at bats at DH when Jeffers is catching. In addition, it would open the opportunity to get Rooker in the lineup regularly with spot starts in both the outfield and first base two to three times a week. The money saved on Cruz could be used to land another starter, reliever or utility infielder. I would welcome back Boomstick with open arms - but I do thing the Twins will be ok.
  9. This may not be a very popular take, but I wonder why Hill did not get the nod over Berrios in the Houston series? Berrios' is a very talented, but extremely inconsistent starter. Meanwhile, as the story points out, Hill brings a depth of experience and frankly has been pitching better than Berrios of late. Berrios' two previous playoff starts were unsuccessful and his high walk percentage could spell trouble in a high stakes game 2. I know that Berrios has been the face of the rotation ever since he joined the big club and at times he has looked every bit the #1 starter we hoped for - but in a very short series, it seems like Hill would have been a safer option. If the thought is that Hill would be the first option in the event of an extremely early exit for either Berrios or Pineda, I can understand having someone with his experience right the ship. On the other hand, having a veteran starting pitcher with an injury history having to quickly warm up is probably not ideal. I suspect Hill's pregame routine is part of his success and the short amount of time available to warm up could be a problem. Conversely, the much younger Berrios would likely be able to get ready faster. I know this is all a moot point given that Hill pitched yesterday. Let's hope Berrios brings his "A" game on Wednesday and make this comment worthy of derision by Twins' Daily nation.
  10. Tiny bit disappointed that Jeffers doesn't get the start. Berrios' two best performances this season were with Jeffers as his battery mate. Given Berrios' control problems this year and Jeffers superior pitch framing skills, I would think Jeffers would get the nod. Nothing against La Tortuga, but I would have loved to see if there is some magic with Jeffers catching La Makina.
  11. MileHIghTwinsFan reporting for duty! I live in Stapleton. I have a buddy from Longmont who is also a big Twins fan as well. I don't know about a MN Twins bar in Denver, but Three Dogs Tavern in the Highlands hosts Gopher Football, Hockey and Basketball watch parties.
  12. I think the Twins' approach is very clear, keep the competitive window open for as long as possible. Falvey and Levine are on the record that staying competitive year in and year out is the goal. I am perfectly comfortable with the approach of the Twins' this off season. They are confident in knowing that they have a competitive team that has a very good chance to be in the hunt in July for a playoff spot. Using the gambling metaphor, it makes little sense to put all your chips in the middle of the table on the first hand. The goal is to stay in the game for as long as you can and then make the big bet when your odds are far better. I would much rather have the team start the season confident that they will compete, then make targeted investments at the deadline to address obvious needs that will improve their odds in the playoffs. Trading top assets for a pitcher in December makes little sense to me if it turns out you are 7 games out on July 31 and have your two top pitchers on the injured list. Those bets can look better if the team is 10 games up and simply retooling for a playoff run. Keeping the team competitive over time means that every season you have more chances to make the deadline deal and make a push. We also know that top notch starting pitching does not come cheap. I would rather the Twins accumulate as much young pitching talent as they can and hope that one or more break out to be the true ace they need. I would hate to sell young pitching talent to acquire an aging, injury riddled veteran with a high price tag. I stand in favor of Twins keeping the window open for as long as possible and making their bets when the payoff is likely the greatest.
  13. I am no expert, but have worked with high school players a little. To me the key issue is where his hands are and how the whipping motion generated from his start will result in a very long swing. Cody Bellinger had a similar problem when he reached the majors. His athleticism allowed him to have some success, but eventually he started to struggle. He made some significant adjustments before last season and became an MVP worthy player. Plenty of time for Royce to make the necessary adjustments to hit at the major league level. I expect big things from him this season now that he will be working with top notch hitting instructors.
  14. If Falvey and Levine are to be believed, I would say it is premature to think that Sano is destined to be the every day first baseman. During the season ticker holder fan forum earlier this week. Falvey and Levine said that they would like to keep Sano at third as long as possible and have asked him to commit to improving his defense there. They like his athleticism and his arm at 3rd. They also said that it is not out of the question that they will bring back Cron on a more team friendly deal. They will continue to monitor his rehab and continue to consider him an option The last piece of information that they shared is that the plan for Garver is for him to catch a bit more than last year, but on off days from behind the plate he would be placed in the field or at DH. With Marwin Gonzalez a viable option over there as well, I would not be surprised if the Twins staff first base by committee with Gonzalez, Garver, Sano, Cron or a similarly priced free agent signing (Eric Thames). My sense is that they are saving every nickel for a big time arm either through free agency or trading for a big name (Darvish, Price, Eovaldi) from a team that is looking to dump payroll. As much as I love Donaldson and Rendon, I don't think it is in the cards.
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