Jump to content
  • Create Account

Andrew Luedtke

Twins Daily Contributor
  • Posts

    133
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Profile Information

  • Location:
    Minneapolis, MN

Social

  • Twitter
    andluedtke

Recent Profile Visitors

375 profile views

Andrew Luedtke's Achievements

  1. When looking at the 2021 Minnesota Twins it is pretty easy to look around the diamond and see positives and negatives for nearly every player. Take Byron Buxton for example. On one side you have a game changing defender who has shown power over the last two years. If things break right, he could be in the MVP conversation. On the other side, you have a guy who is prone to injury and tends to go into extended slumps at the plate. Which player are the Twins going to get in 2021? Now take that line of thinking and apply it to the entire roster. When more things go right than wrong (the 2019 Twins), that’s a very good baseball team. When more things go wrong than right (the 2018 Twins), well, that’s a different story. Like a box of chocolates, you just don’t know what you’re going to get. The Twins front office has done a great job of creating depth up and down the entire roster this offseason. They are 11-12 players deep in their lineup with starting caliber players after the addition of Andrelton Simmons, and they have a scrap heap of arms they can pull from to form the bottom part of their bullpen. The worry is did they do enough to alleviate the risk in case of injuries or ineffectiveness from the team? Let’s dive in. Below you will see an evaluation plus projections on each position group (using Fangraphs Depth Charts projections) for the Twins and the “anxiety factor” - a thing I just made up that rates how risky each position group is with a “boom” or “bust” scenario. It's rated on a 0-10 scale. 10 being the most risk. Catcher: Mitch Garver was a monster in 2019. He won the Silver Slugger and posted a career best .995 OPS with 31 HR’s. In 2020, he battled injuries, landed on the IL for a significant portion of the year, and only appeared in 23 games. In those 23 games he was borderline unplayable with a .511 OPS. He never looked right, due to injury. In a limited sample, Ryan Jeffers was impressive. In 55 AB’s he posted a 118 OPS+ and earned positive marks from his pitching staff and advanced metrics for his pitch framing abilities. Oh ya, and he took Shane Bieber yard. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1304619154054549504 It’s easy to see a scenario where the Twins have a lethal catching combo with two starting caliber players and offensive upside. It’s also easy to question the optimism. Is Garver fully healthy? Can we trust a 55 game sample size from Jeffers or is there a sophomore slump coming? Anxiety factor: 3 I feel the Twins will get good production out of the catching spot. With injury, even Astudillo can sub in for a short period of time. Fangraphs Depth Charts WAR projection: 2.7 (8th) Mitch Garver: .236/.321/.442 - 1.2 fWAR in 294 PA’s Ryan Jeffers: .249/.313/.415 - 1.4 fWAR in 320 PA’s Willians Astudillo: .283/.314/.453 - .1 fWAR in 26 PA’s First Base: Like Buxton, Sano might be one of the most frustrating players for Twins fans. He’s the definition of a roller coaster. In 2015 he looked like Miguel Cabrera in his rookie year. In 2016 he was hurt and put in right field. In 2017 he was an all-star. In 2018 he was overweight and sent down. In 2019 he was one of the best hitters in the league. In 2020, he posted the 2nd lowest OPS+ of his career (104). So, what can we expect out of Sano in 2021? The Twins need him to be closer to his .830 career OPS than the .757 he posted in 2020. Anxiety factor: 6 Sano’s inability to hit fastballs and work the count deep, drawing walks in 2020 was a concern. Despite a .395 OPS in 29 PA’s this Spring, Sano does look to be tracking much better in a small sample and projections expect him to bounce back. If things somehow break really well, he could see his way to a season like PECOTA’s 90th percentile projection for him. https://twitter.com/Nashwalker9/status/1360056481635270657 Also, it should be noted that the Twins have other options that will see time at 1B this season. Kirilloff, Rooker, and Garver can all play here, which alleviates some risk. Fangraphs Depth Charts WAR projection: 1.9 (10th) Miguel Sano: .230/.322/.507 - 1.8 fWAR in 595 PA’s Alex Kirilloff: .279/.326/.449 - .1 fWAR in 49 PA’s Second Base: Jorge Polanco moved to 2B with the Simmons addition bumping Luis Arraez to the utility role. Polanco, who was playing hurt in 2020, posted the worst offensive season of his career (.658 OPS). Now, with a surgically repaired ankle for the second year in a row, will Polanco be able to adjust to a new position and return to form? In 2018 and 2019 combined, Polanco hit .293/.353/.466. He also figures to get some work in at Shortstop. Arraez, who has knee problems of his own, has hit over .300 in back-to-back years and will fill in at times all around the diamond. It’s easy to see a pathway to this duo being a great pair in 2021. But, with injuries a part of both their pasts and neither having defensive prowess, should fans be a bit more concerned? Anxiety factor: 2 This duo projects to be near a top-5 position group among all 2B in baseball. They are covered in case of ineffectiveness or an injury. Not to mention there are other players in the org that could fill in if needed here (JT Riddle, Travis Blankenhorn, and Nick Gordon). It’s hard to see a scenario where Polanco was in fact worse than he was in 2020. Fangraphs Depth Charts WAR projection: 2.7 (6th) Jorge Polanco: .274/.334/.436 - 1.6 fWAR in 448 PA’s Luis Arraez: .311/.370/.410 - 1.1 fWAR in 231 PA’s Shortstop: One of the Twins biggest moves of the offseason was the acquisition of slick fielding SS, Andrelton Simmons. Simmons ranks 1st in DRS and UZR among all shortstops since 2002. Like many Twins, injuries are no stranger to Simmons who suffered ankle injuries in 2019 and 2020. In 551 PA’s between 2019 and 2020, Simmons produced a 84 OPS+, below his career average of 91. The Twins don’t need him to hit in order to be valuable. They just need him to be on the field and continue to do what he does best, play defense. Anxiety factor: 4 With Simmons' injury history, any long term setback could be detrimental to the strength of the 2021 Twins - depth. If Simmons' offense continues on a downward trajectory or he takes a step back defensively, that could also hurt the overall makeup of the team. Luckily, their backup was the starting SS for the American League All-Star game in 2019. Fangraphs Depth Charts WAR projection: 3.4 (10th) Andrelton Simmons: .277/.328/.393 - 2.9 fWAR in 581 PA’s Jorge Polanco: .274/.334/.436 - .4 fWAR in 91 PA’s Luis Arraez: .311/.370/.410 - .1 fWAR in 21 PA’s Third Base: When Josh Donaldson played last season, he was productive. His 131 OPS+ in 28 games was near his career average of 136. The issue was that he only played in 28 G due to calf injury and missed the entire first round of the playoffs. Not ideal. The Twins need Donaldson on the field this season. He has now missed significant time in 2017, 2018, and 2020. The good news is that the backup options seem to be better than they were in 2020. The Twins can give Donaldson days off, when needed and still have a formidable lineup with Arraez, Polanco, and even Sano filling in. Anxiety factor: 4 It’s comforting to know that there are other options to fill in for Donaldson in case of an injury that are better than Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza. However, I’m skeptical of Donaldson's ability to stay healthy. Rocco will have to pull the right levers to maximize rest and recovery. If he’s not out for a prolonged period of time, there are backup measures in place. Fangraphs Depth Charts WAR projection: 4.0 (6th) Josh Donaldson: .242/.363/.468 - 3.0 fWAR in 490 PA’s Luis Arraez: .311/.370/.410 - .6 fWAR in 133 PA’s Miguel Sano: .230/.322/.507 - .3 fWAR in 49 PA’s Jorge Polanco: .274/.334/.436 - .1fWAR in 28 PA’s Left Field The Twins non-tendered Eddie Rosario this offseason because they have lots of depth at the corner OF positions. Alex Kirilloff, who many believe will end up with the starting LF job at some point this year, was sent to the alternate site last week. So, at least to start the year, the Twins will have to mix and match between Luis Arraez, Jake Cave, and Kyle Garlick. Like every position, there’s reason for optimism...and concern. Jake Cave has a career 107 OPS+ and can play all three OF positions. He was great as a 4th OF in 2019 - that’s good! Jake Cave posted a .674 OPS in 2020 across 42 games - that’s bad! Brent Rooker had a nice debut in 2020 playing in 7 G’s, but his season ended with a wrist injury. Will the wrist injury linger and can his offense overcome his defensive limitations? We know the type of hitter Luis Arraez can be, but he’s uh, not a natural outfielder, which could hurt the Twins in the field. Then there’s Kyle Garlick who has mashed at AAA but success hasn’t translated to the pros where he has posted a .691 OPS. He’s 29 and if his offensive surge from Spring Training doesn’t continue, he could be DFA’ed. Kirilloff’s demotion last week split the Twins fanbase. His Spring numbers are not encouraging and with only 415 PA’s above A ball, he’s no slam dunk in 2021. So LF is a bit of a mixed bag. Anxiety factor: 6 Easily the most concerning position group on the Minnesota Twins amongst the hitters. Yes, they have lots of options but as you can see above, there’s equal reasons for optimism and concern. Kirilloff offers the most upside but for now will not be on the Opening Day roster. Trevor Larnach should be mentioned here as a potential option as well. Fangraphs Depth Charts WAR projection: 1.3 (19th) Alex Kirilloff: .279/.326/.449 - .7 fWAR in 329 PA’s Luis Arraez: .311/.370/.410 - .5 fWAR in 147 PA’s Jake Cave: .248/.309/.426 - .1 fWAR in 126 PA’s Brent Rooker: .234/.305/.437 - .1 fWAR in 56 PA’s Kyle Garlick: .218/.272/.399 - -.1 fWAR in 42 PA’s Center Field: Like Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton has had his share of a rollercoaster Twins career. He’s had his injuries and struggles at the plate. However, 2020 was promising. He capitalized on a strong 2019 and led the entire team in bWAR (2.1) over 39 games. He was limited in the playoffs, however, due to injury. Across his last 126 games, Buxton has a .833 OPS with 23 HR’s. The Twins have a .563 winning percentage when Buxton is in his lineup across his whole career. The question mark of course, is can he stay healthy? The Twins have options to backup Buck, but unlike other position groups, any player playing instead of Buxton will hurt elsewhere. For example, if Kepler is in CF, you’re weaker at two spots since Kepler is a downgrade defensively to Buxton and anyone who plays RF is going to be worse than Kepler. A healthy Buxton is a key to success. Anxiety factor: 5 Since Buxton has shown effectiveness across the last two seasons, hopefully some of his offensive woes are behind him and he can be more consistent. However, injuries are a real concern. He’s only played only 100 games once in his career. Will this finally be the year? We’ll see. Fangraphs Depth Charts WAR projection: 3.8 (4th) Right Field: Since 2019 Max Kepler ranks 16th in baseball in bWAR (4.1) for outfielders. His breakout 2019 looked to continue into the first part of 2020, but he went into a slump at various points of the year and basically forgot how to hit left handed pitching, something that helped his overall numbers in 2019. In fact, 2020 was the worst he’s ever been in his career vs. lefties. Meanwhile, in a small sample, 2020 was the best he’s ever been vs RHP. https://twitter.com/andluedtke/status/1374737976480169984 In addition to his own injury history (missed parts of games in 2019 & 2020), his 2021 Spring Training has been discouraging (3-for-43). At his worst, he’s a great defensive platoon player who hits RHP well. At his best, he’s an above average all-around player and a major cog in the Twins lineup. What version are they going to get? Similar to the backup options in LF Garlick, Kirilloff, Rooker, and Cave figure to get playing time. Anxiety factor: 4 There’s concern about Kepler putting it altogether again like he did in 2019. Hopefully this slump in Spring is meaningless. The options defensively without Kepler in RF are a bit frightening. In any case, even if something were to happen there are enough guys in the Twins system that could fill in at the corner. Celestino and Larnach are not too far off. Fangraphs Depth Charts WAR projection: 2.9 (8th) Max Kepler: .248/.337.475 - 2.9 fWAR in 609 PA’s Kyle Garlick: .218/.272/.399 - -.1 fWAR in 42 PA’s Jake Cave: .248/.309/.426 - .1 fWAR in 28 PA’s Designated Hitter: Nelson Cruz was the team MVP in 2019 & 2020. All he’s done in a Twins uniform is hit. The concerns with Nelly of course are his age, wrist injury (are we sure you can just play normally with a ruptured tendon?), and the fact he fell off the map at the end of 2020. In his last 11 games he posted a .256 OPS. Anxiety factor: 2 Fangraphs Depth Charts WAR projection: 2.5 (3rd) Nelson Cruz: .267/.353/.524 - 2.2 fWAR in 574 PA’s Josh Donaldson: .242/.363/.468 - .3 fWAR in 98 PA’s Most teams don’t have a “backup” DH contingency plan in case things go south. If anything were to happen, there’s plenty of options for the Twins to fill in the DH spot to get players like Donaldson off his feet. Rocco may employ this strategy anyways to maximize rest & recovery. Starting Pitching: Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios, and Michael Pineda figure to be a strong 3 in this rotation. Can Kenta repeat close to his runner-up to the Cy Young award numbers from 2020? Will Jose Berrios finally take that step forward we’ve all hoped? Will Pineda be able to continue to be effective in a full season? Barring injury, these three should be pretty safe bets to continue with a strong 2021. It’s the rest of the staff that may be a bit worrisome… Many (myself included), felt the Twins didn’t do enough in free agency to elevate the ceiling of the rotation. The floor, yes. But, they seemingly missed out on that upside move to really take a giant leap forward. They sat idly by as Darvish, Snell, Musgrove, and Taillon were traded. They made offers to Kluber and Morton but obviously, they chose a different path. They ended up with J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker. Happ has been serviceable since 2018 and posted solid numbers last year (ignore his postseason ). You could do worse for a #4 starter but after getting a late start in camp due to COVID, his age, and the fact that the AL Central employs many mashing right handed hitters, could they have done better here? Shoemaker has been effective when healthy. The problem is, he never is. Shoemaker hasn’t thrown more than 80 innings since 2016. That’s a real concern. In a 162-game season, teams can’t operate on a 5-man rotation. The Twins know how important depth is. They will be using their 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th options for starts. I am excited to watch Dobnak now that he has added a pitch and is coming off a strong Spring. Having a healthy Donaldson and Simmons behind him will be a massive plus as he has the 2nd highest GB% since he came into the league. I think there’s enough arms here to create a top-15ish rotation. They can always add at the deadline too. I just wish they aimed higher this offseason. They’re only a move or two away from having a top-5 staff. Hope it doesn’t hurt them come playoff time. Anxiety factor: 3 Fangraphs Depth Charts WAR projection: 11.8 (12th) Bullpen: After losing May, Wisler, Clippard, and Romo the Twins replaced them with a handful of internal guys plus Hansel Robles and Alex Colome. Since 2019, the Twins have the second best ERA as a staff (Tampa is #1). So the front office clearly knows what they are doing. It seems their strategy is to lean on the top-4 guys in the pen (Rogers, Duffey, Colome, and Robles), hope their other guys can take a step forward after a strong 2020 (Alcala, Stashak, Thielbar), and get effectiveness from the scrap heap of guys they picked up this offseason. Maybe there’s another Matt Wisler in there (Law, Waddell, Gibault, Anderson, Hamilton, Sparkman). I think there’s a lot of risk here. I wish they added 1-2 additional veteran arms to really help bolster this group. Each guy in the current pen comes with question marks and you really have no clue what you’re going to unlock, if anything, from the scrap heap guys. Rogers - Is he the 2.61 ERA guy from 2019 or the 4.05 guy from 2020? Colome - He continually outperforms his peripheral stats. Can that continue in 2021? Since 2019, he has posted a 2.27 ERA but a 3.78 FIP Duffey - Should we read anything into his awful 2021 spring? Robles - He posted a 2.48 ERA in 2020 but a 10.26 ERA last year in 18 games. Thielbar - He started the year hurt due to a back injury. Can his 2020 be trusted? Alcala - Very impressive 2020. Hope he can take a step forward in an elevated role in 2021. If any of the top-4 are ineffective for prolonged stretches or injured, the depth in high-end arms gets tested. Unlike other position groups, the backup options are not as strong. If one of the top-4 guys is not useful, this may look more like a bottom-10 bullpen than a top-10. Anxiety factor: 6 Fangraphs Depth Charts WAR projection: 3.0 (9th) Conclusion: Now that we have each position group broken down into parts and risk associated with each, we can draw a few conclusions. If the season goes as Fangraphs projects it to - the team will win ~88 games. If more things break right than wrong, guys are healthy, moves are made to bolster the team at the deadline, and steps forward are taken from certain guys - this team could easily win 94+ games If more things break wrong than right, there are too many injuries and/or some guys regress - this team may end up winning ~83 games. That’s a good sign when your worst case scenario is a borderline playoff time. My prediction: With the over/under set at 88.5 in Vegas, I am taking the under. But barely. I think there’s a chance things go more wrong than right and the team ends up winning 85-87 games but securing a wild card spot. I’m giving the Central to the White Sox. At the end of the day, it may come down to who is healthier and even with their depth issues, their guys have stayed healthier better than the Twins. Like Forrest Gump said, you just don't know what you are going to get. Record: 87-75 Wild Card Twins end up defeating the Angels at Target Field ending the 0-18 streak. From there, it’s anybody’s guess… Go Twins!
  2. The Twins were victorious today over Pittsburgh and the Opening Day roster is set. More details inside today’s Offseason Notebook. We are three days away from regular season baseball, Twins fans!Minnesota 5, Pittsburgh 3 Box Score Twins Takeaways Standout pitcher: Derek Law (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K’s - 18 pitches) Standout hitter: Willians Astudillo (2-for-3 with a HR and 2 RBI) Fastest pitch (mph): Josh Winder (97.5 mph) Fastest exit velo (mph): Jose Miranda (106.4 mph) In the second to last game of the spring, the Twins came out with a “W” and some familiar faces were keys to the victory. Also, Mitch Garver returned to his first game since leaving last week after injuring his finger on a foul tip. Turtle Power: Willians Astudillo got the green light on a 3-0 pitch and mashed it to left-center field to put the Twins on the board 2-0 in the second inning. And he admired this one… Astudillo will be heading north with the Twins to Milwaukee on Thursday. Cave shows off speed: One of the most exciting plays in baseball -- a triple! Jake Cave had an RBI triple in the fourth inning to put the Twins back on top 3-2, and they didn’t give it back from there. Cave has six career triples. More on Jake Cave in just one second … Twins Bullpen Solid: Josh Winder got the start today vs. the Pirates. He allowed four hits over 2 2/3 innings. The only runs he allowed were on a HR in the third to Erik Gonzalez. He touched 97.5 mph today. Cody Stashak and Caleb Thielbar worked back to back scoreless innings. They will be on the Twins Opening Day roster. Derek Law, who impressed all Spring, was untouchable in his inning of work. He walked one but struck out three. Check back for the winner of the #SireofFortMyers crown later this week. It should be noted that Matt Canterino was impressive. He picked up a two-inning save scattering two hits and striking out three. His top speed was 95.1 mph. His slider generated three whiffs. Opening Day Roster set! Well Twins fans, you’ve been following the roster battles all Spring long. Finally, we have a 26-man roster. Baseball is upon us! You can find more details on the roster, here. Clearly, the most interesting development is that Kyle Garlick beat out Brent Rooker for the last corner OF spot. Garlick posted a 1.011 OPS in Spring while Rooker only a .712. On paper, it seems the plan is for Garlick and Jake Cave/Luis Arraez to platoon in LF until there is an injury or they feel one of Alex Kirilloff or Brent Rooker are ready to take the role. Rocco Baldelli made some interesting comments after today’s game about the Rooker decision noting that the Twins want him to be a more “well-rounded player”. As Twins Daily writer Cody Pirkl points out, a platoon of Garlick and Cave should work out just fine. Eddie Rosario has a career 106 wRC+, for what it’s worth. Other notable choices: Fan favorite Willians Astudillo made the team after an impressive Spring (1.235 OPS with 4 HR’s) and Caleb Thielbar was selected as the second LHP over Brandon Waddell. Thielbar posted an impressive 2.25 ERA with a 9.9 K/9 in 20.0 IP in 2020. Following 2020’s rules due to the pandemic shortened season, 2021 also allows for a five-man taxi squad to travel with the team. Those players are: First pitch is three days away! Other News and Notes: Randy Dobnak’s contract details released today: The White Sox make a move: The Sox picked up 1B/3B/DH Jake Lamb today after he was released from the Braves. Lamb figures to slot in as their DH. Lamb posted a 144 OPS+ in a very small sample of 49 PA’s for the Athletics after being traded last year, but hasn’t posted a OPS+ above 100 since 2017 when he was an All-Star in Arizona. That’s a wrap from today. Only one game left on the schedule before the team packs their bags and heads to Milwaukee! Next up: Twins vs. Pirates @ 11:05am CST Tuesday MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Twins Daily Staff Predictions: National League How the Twins Have Hedged Against Injury Risk Twins Finalize Opening Day Roster You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here. Click here to view the article
  3. Minnesota 5, Pittsburgh 3 Box Score Twins Takeaways Standout pitcher: Derek Law (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K’s - 18 pitches) Standout hitter: Willians Astudillo (2-for-3 with a HR and 2 RBI) Fastest pitch (mph): Josh Winder (97.5 mph) Fastest exit velo (mph): Jose Miranda (106.4 mph) In the second to last game of the spring, the Twins came out with a “W” and some familiar faces were keys to the victory. Also, Mitch Garver returned to his first game since leaving last week after injuring his finger on a foul tip. https://twitter.com/dohyoungpark/status/1376573570562846723 Turtle Power: Willians Astudillo got the green light on a 3-0 pitch and mashed it to left-center field to put the Twins on the board 2-0 in the second inning. And he admired this one… Astudillo will be heading north with the Twins to Milwaukee on Thursday. https://twitter.com/Nashwalker9/status/1376592170967240706 Cave shows off speed: One of the most exciting plays in baseball -- a triple! Jake Cave had an RBI triple in the fourth inning to put the Twins back on top 3-2, and they didn’t give it back from there. Cave has six career triples. More on Jake Cave in just one second … Twins Bullpen Solid: Josh Winder got the start today vs. the Pirates. He allowed four hits over 2 2/3 innings. The only runs he allowed were on a HR in the third to Erik Gonzalez. He touched 97.5 mph today. Cody Stashak and Caleb Thielbar worked back to back scoreless innings. They will be on the Twins Opening Day roster. Derek Law, who impressed all Spring, was untouchable in his inning of work. He walked one but struck out three. Check back for the winner of the #SireofFortMyers crown later this week. It should be noted that Matt Canterino was impressive. He picked up a two-inning save scattering two hits and striking out three. His top speed was 95.1 mph. His slider generated three whiffs. Opening Day Roster set! Well Twins fans, you’ve been following the roster battles all Spring long. Finally, we have a 26-man roster. Baseball is upon us! https://twitter.com/AaronGleeman/status/1376634378063781890 You can find more details on the roster, here. Clearly, the most interesting development is that Kyle Garlick beat out Brent Rooker for the last corner OF spot. Garlick posted a 1.011 OPS in Spring while Rooker only a .712. On paper, it seems the plan is for Garlick and Jake Cave/Luis Arraez to platoon in LF until there is an injury or they feel one of Alex Kirilloff or Brent Rooker are ready to take the role. Rocco Baldelli made some interesting comments after today’s game about the Rooker decision noting that the Twins want him to be a more “well-rounded player”. https://twitter.com/dohyoungpark/status/1376644678456578053 As Twins Daily writer Cody Pirkl points out, a platoon of Garlick and Cave should work out just fine. Eddie Rosario has a career 106 wRC+, for what it’s worth. https://twitter.com/CodyPirkl/status/1376635566473809925 Other notable choices: Fan favorite Willians Astudillo made the team after an impressive Spring (1.235 OPS with 4 HR’s) and Caleb Thielbar was selected as the second LHP over Brandon Waddell. Thielbar posted an impressive 2.25 ERA with a 9.9 K/9 in 20.0 IP in 2020. Following 2020’s rules due to the pandemic shortened season, 2021 also allows for a five-man taxi squad to travel with the team. Those players are: https://twitter.com/Brandon_Warne/status/1376634198308626433 First pitch is three days away! https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1376633451730890752 Other News and Notes: Randy Dobnak’s contract details released today: https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/1376552940119334919 The White Sox make a move: The Sox picked up 1B/3B/DH Jake Lamb today after he was released from the Braves. Lamb figures to slot in as their DH. Lamb posted a 144 OPS+ in a very small sample of 49 PA’s for the Athletics after being traded last year, but hasn’t posted a OPS+ above 100 since 2017 when he was an All-Star in Arizona. https://twitter.com/ByRobertMurray/status/1376548164661043201 That’s a wrap from today. Only one game left on the schedule before the team packs their bags and heads to Milwaukee! Next up: Twins vs. Pirates @ 11:05am CST Tuesday MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Twins Daily Staff Predictions: National League How the Twins Have Hedged Against Injury Risk Twins Finalize Opening Day Roster You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here.
  4. The Twins were victorious today over Atlanta as Nelson Cruz crushed his second Spring Training homer and the Twins pitching staff, led by José Berríos, struck out 11. Additionally, the Twins announced how fans can secure tickets to the first 17 games at Target Field this season. Check it out in this edition of the Offseason Notebook!Minnesota 4, Atlanta 2 Box Score Twins Takeaways Standout pitcher: José Berríos (4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K’s - 82 pitches) Standout hitter: Nelson Cruz (1-for-3 with a 2-run HR) Fastest pitch (mph): José Berríos - 95.8 mph Fastest exit velo (mph): Nelson Cruz 107.5 mph Twins fans got a good one today. Not only was the game televised on FOX Sports North, the lineup included many potential Opening Day starters. We are 10 days away from regular season baseball! Berríos Solid: José Berríos pitched well today in what may be his second to last Spring start. He didn’t allow any runs and struck out six. He also had 13 swings and misses, five of them on his changeup. Across four games combined in Florida, José has a 2.63 ERA with 14 K’s in 13 2/3 innings. Nelson Cruz destroyed a baseball: Nelson Cruz was doing Nelson Cruz things this afternoon as he took an 0-1 fastball from Kyle Wright and sent it to the moon. The ball left the bat at 107.5 mph and went a projected 426 feet (seems light). That was Cruz’s second homer of the Spring. Jorge Polanco making plays at 2B Early indications are that Jorge Polanco’s ankle is feeling good. He homered in yesterday’s game vs. the Orioles and roped a 105.2 mph double down the RF line in the first inning turning on a fastball. Something he struggled with last year with his injured ankle. He also made two nice plays today defensively. In the fourth inning he caught a liner off the bat of Cristian Pache (.410 xBA) and in the fifth saved two runs with a nice play up the middle off the bat of Austin Riley (.670 xBA). Polanco has a .899 OPS in 11 games this Spring. Kepler still struggling: Max Kepler’s tough Spring continued today. He went 0-for-3 with two weak groundouts and a strikeout. He is now 2-for-30 this Spring with no walks. The only two hits are singles. During the broadcast today, Twins hitting coach Edgar Varela was interviewed and didn’t sound too concerned about Kepler as he noted he has “had some bad luck and hit some balls hard”. He also preached how Spring training was about “process over results” where Kepler does a great job looking at the positives and will be in a “good spot” come Opening Day. Kepler is historically a good hitter early on in the regular season. He owns a .882 OPS in 264 AB over his career in March/April. Matthew Trueblood wrote a nice piece on Twins Daily about Kepler’s success early in at-bats. Let’s not panic, yet. Bullpen looked strong: After Berríos' day was finished, the Twins bullpen took over. Fans got to see Alex Colomé, Hansel Robles, and Taylor Rogers, which project to be essential in the backend of the Twins ‘pen in 2021. Rogers worked a 1-2-3 inning with two K’s on 14 pitches. Colomé and Robles each had a K in scoreless innings of work. Robles hit 95 mph on his Fastball. Encouraging signs. Twins Regular Season Tickets on Sale! Today, the Twins announced that on Thursday @ 10am CST fans can purchase tickets to the first 17 home games at Target Field. This includes Opening Day. The Twins can have 10,000 fans in attendance each game. Tickets will be available in “pods” of two or four tickets spread out throughout the ballpark to meet state COVID-19 guidelines. That’s a wrap from today. Make sure to check back tomorrow when we recap the Twins vs. Pirates at LECOM Park. First pitch is at 12:05pm CST. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Sire of Fort Myers Update! Who is Derek Law? Road to October: Breakdown of the Twins Schedule The Last Transaction the Twins Should Make Before Opening Day You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here. Click here to view the article
  5. Minnesota 4, Atlanta 2 Box Score Twins Takeaways Standout pitcher: José Berríos (4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K’s - 82 pitches) Standout hitter: Nelson Cruz (1-for-3 with a 2-run HR) Fastest pitch (mph): José Berríos - 95.8 mph Fastest exit velo (mph): Nelson Cruz 107.5 mph Twins fans got a good one today. Not only was the game televised on FOX Sports North, the lineup included many potential Opening Day starters. We are 10 days away from regular season baseball! https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1374005749546954753 Berríos Solid: José Berríos pitched well today in what may be his second to last Spring start. He didn’t allow any runs and struck out six. He also had 13 swings and misses, five of them on his changeup. Across four games combined in Florida, José has a 2.63 ERA with 14 K’s in 13 2/3 innings. Nelson Cruz destroyed a baseball: Nelson Cruz was doing Nelson Cruz things this afternoon as he took an 0-1 fastball from Kyle Wright and sent it to the moon. The ball left the bat at 107.5 mph and went a projected 426 feet (seems light). That was Cruz’s second homer of the Spring. https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1374058640181694467 Jorge Polanco making plays at 2B Early indications are that Jorge Polanco’s ankle is feeling good. He homered in yesterday’s game vs. the Orioles and roped a 105.2 mph double down the RF line in the first inning turning on a fastball. Something he struggled with last year with his injured ankle. He also made two nice plays today defensively. In the fourth inning he caught a liner off the bat of Cristian Pache (.410 xBA) and in the fifth saved two runs with a nice play up the middle off the bat of Austin Riley (.670 xBA). https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1374069956934000641 Polanco has a .899 OPS in 11 games this Spring. Kepler still struggling: Max Kepler’s tough Spring continued today. He went 0-for-3 with two weak groundouts and a strikeout. He is now 2-for-30 this Spring with no walks. The only two hits are singles. During the broadcast today, Twins hitting coach Edgar Varela was interviewed and didn’t sound too concerned about Kepler as he noted he has “had some bad luck and hit some balls hard”. He also preached how Spring training was about “process over results” where Kepler does a great job looking at the positives and will be in a “good spot” come Opening Day. Kepler is historically a good hitter early on in the regular season. He owns a .882 OPS in 264 AB over his career in March/April. Matthew Trueblood wrote a nice piece on Twins Daily about Kepler’s success early in at-bats. Let’s not panic, yet. https://twitter.com/NickNelsonMN/status/1374047516019326986 Bullpen looked strong: After Berríos' day was finished, the Twins bullpen took over. Fans got to see Alex Colomé, Hansel Robles, and Taylor Rogers, which project to be essential in the backend of the Twins ‘pen in 2021. Rogers worked a 1-2-3 inning with two K’s on 14 pitches. Colomé and Robles each had a K in scoreless innings of work. Robles hit 95 mph on his Fastball. Encouraging signs. Twins Regular Season Tickets on Sale! Today, the Twins announced that on Thursday @ 10am CST fans can purchase tickets to the first 17 home games at Target Field. This includes Opening Day. The Twins can have 10,000 fans in attendance each game. Tickets will be available in “pods” of two or four tickets spread out throughout the ballpark to meet state COVID-19 guidelines. https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1374017726423957506 That’s a wrap from today. Make sure to check back tomorrow when we recap the Twins vs. Pirates at LECOM Park. First pitch is at 12:05pm CST. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Sire of Fort Myers Update! Who is Derek Law? Road to October: Breakdown of the Twins Schedule The Last Transaction the Twins Should Make Before Opening Day You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here.
  6. The Twins dropped today’s Grapefruit League contest to Atlanta 5-1. But, J.A. Happ and Caleb Thielbar made their Spring Training debuts and one member of the Twins continues to hit this Spring. That and more from the March 15 edition of the Offseason Notebook.Atlanta 5, Minnesota 1 (9 innings) Box Score Twins Takeaways: Standout pitcher: J.A Happ (2 IP, 1H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K) Standout hitter: Kyle Garlick (1-for-3 with a solo HR) Not much going today for the Twins who were on the road to face the Atlanta Braves. This usually means that a lot of the regulars do not make the trip. Nevertheless, there’s always a few takeaways from any Spring Training game. Here’s how the Twins lined up today against an Atlanta team that had Acuña, Albies, Freeman, Ozuna, Swanson and other potential starters in it’s lineup. Highlights: J.A. Happ made his Twins debut and looked pretty good! Well actually, sounded pretty good. Today’s game wasn’t televised so all fans could do is listen to the Atlanta radio feed. This is an encouraging start as Happ’s Spring was delayed due to COVID-19. It will be interesting to see how the Twins ramp him up prior to Opening Day and when he will make his debut. Nate Palmer details that, here. Caleb Thielbar also made his debut today after missing some time due to a back strain. He faced four players that subbed in for the middle part of the Braves lineup. He retired three of them with a flyout, groundout, and strikeout. He only allowed one hit, a single. Some notables on the offensive side… Luis Arraez went 2-for-3 with two singles. He now has six hits on the Spring, second most on the Twins. He noted after the game today he “feels ready to go”. Arraez hit leadoff today and started at 3B. When he does play in 2021, could Rocco be batting Arraez in the top of the order more often? Check out this piece from Cody Christie. Kyle Garlick continues to mash this Spring. He went 1-for-3 with a solo HR off RHP Jacob Webb. Garlick leads the Twins in hits (7) and homers this Spring (3). Twins send more players to alternate training site: For the second day in a row, the Twins assigned players to the alternate training site as the roster starts to take shape. Blakenhorn and Gordon were contenders to make the club for the second utility spot. Starters to see more playing time? If you haven’t noticed, the Twins played nine innings today for the first time all Spring. Now that there have been some players reassigned, Rocco Baldelli mentioned in his post-game press conference that players should start to see more frequent playing time and stay in games longer. 51 players remain in camp, meaning they have 25 more moves to make before going north with the final 26-man roster in Milwaukee. More from Phil Miller of the Star Tribune, here. Celebrating 40 years of Baseball America If you love prospects (and I know many of you do at Twins Daily), you’ll love this 40 year recap from Baseball America detailing the 40 best prospects in the last 40 years. HINT: I think you will recognize one of Minnesota’s own on this list. That’s a wrap from today. Make sure to check back tomorrow when we recap the Twins vs. Pirates at Hammond Stadium. First pitch is at 12:05pm CST. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Sire of Fort Myers Update! How the Twins Win the 2021 AL Central Kirilloff’s Poise Fits Baldelli’s Mantra You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here. Click here to view the article
  7. Atlanta 5, Minnesota 1 (9 innings) Box Score Twins Takeaways: Standout pitcher: J.A Happ (2 IP, 1H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K) Standout hitter: Kyle Garlick (1-for-3 with a solo HR) Not much going today for the Twins who were on the road to face the Atlanta Braves. This usually means that a lot of the regulars do not make the trip. Nevertheless, there’s always a few takeaways from any Spring Training game. Here’s how the Twins lined up today against an Atlanta team that had Acuña, Albies, Freeman, Ozuna, Swanson and other potential starters in it’s lineup. https://twitter.com/betsyhelfand/status/1371508373347315715 Highlights: J.A. Happ made his Twins debut and looked pretty good! Well actually, sounded pretty good. Today’s game wasn’t televised so all fans could do is listen to the Atlanta radio feed. https://twitter.com/dohyoungpark/status/1371518286421241856 This is an encouraging start as Happ’s Spring was delayed due to COVID-19. It will be interesting to see how the Twins ramp him up prior to Opening Day and when he will make his debut. Nate Palmer details that, here. Caleb Thielbar also made his debut today after missing some time due to a back strain. He faced four players that subbed in for the middle part of the Braves lineup. He retired three of them with a flyout, groundout, and strikeout. He only allowed one hit, a single. Some notables on the offensive side… Luis Arraez went 2-for-3 with two singles. He now has six hits on the Spring, second most on the Twins. He noted after the game today he “feels ready to go”. Arraez hit leadoff today and started at 3B. When he does play in 2021, could Rocco be batting Arraez in the top of the order more often? Check out this piece from Cody Christie. https://twitter.com/dohyoungpark/status/1371542038366326789 Kyle Garlick continues to mash this Spring. He went 1-for-3 with a solo HR off RHP Jacob Webb. Garlick leads the Twins in hits (7) and homers this Spring (3). Twins send more players to alternate training site: For the second day in a row, the Twins assigned players to the alternate training site as the roster starts to take shape. Blakenhorn and Gordon were contenders to make the club for the second utility spot. https://twitter.com/morsecode/status/1371561356890099716 Starters to see more playing time? If you haven’t noticed, the Twins played nine innings today for the first time all Spring. Now that there have been some players reassigned, Rocco Baldelli mentioned in his post-game press conference that players should start to see more frequent playing time and stay in games longer. 51 players remain in camp, meaning they have 25 more moves to make before going north with the final 26-man roster in Milwaukee. More from Phil Miller of the Star Tribune, here. Celebrating 40 years of Baseball America If you love prospects (and I know many of you do at Twins Daily), you’ll love this 40 year recap from Baseball America detailing the 40 best prospects in the last 40 years. HINT: I think you will recognize one of Minnesota’s own on this list. https://twitter.com/BaseballAmerica/status/1371544291839987712 That’s a wrap from today. Make sure to check back tomorrow when we recap the Twins vs. Pirates at Hammond Stadium. First pitch is at 12:05pm CST. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Sire of Fort Myers Update! How the Twins Win the 2021 AL Central Kirilloff’s Poise Fits Baldelli’s Mantra You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here.
  8. With the Twins Home Opener exactly one month from today, it looks optimistic that fans might be able to return to Target Field! Plus, some other news and notes from around the AL Central.Fans back at Target Field this Spring? The Twins were off today Monday, but there were still some meaningful updates for fans who have been patiently (OK, impatiently) waiting for news on if they can return to Target Field this Spring. News Talk 830 WCCO reported this morning the Twins have “quietly gotten the OK” from the state to host 26% capacity. It should be noted that the team nor the State have commented on this report. Either way, with the Twins needing enough lead time to get the stadium ready safely, there should be further clarity on this topic later in the week. How many fans is 26% capacity you ask? Well, Target Field holds just over 39,500 - so 10,271 could be in attendance when the Twins host the Mariners on Thursday, April 8 at 3:10 pm CST. It’s too early to tell what Target Field could look like with fans and safety measures in place, but John Bonnes detailed his account of how Hammond Stadium has been operating in Fort Myers this Spring. KSTP reported tonight that “guidance” will be coming this week on the decision to allow fans. The Twins have even disclosed info on how they would attempt to make Target Field a “contactless” experience for food and drink. In any case, some optimism for the fans looking to get back to watching the Twins in person this year. Does Lewis Thorpe have a fourth Option? It was reported in mid-February (subscription required) that MLB had ruled Lewis Thorpe would receive a fourth option this year. However, Phill Miller of the Star Tribune reported today that may not necessarily be the case. According to this report, the fourth option is not yet official and will be determined by an arbitrator “in the next 10 days or so”. Thorpe has been very impressive in his outings so far this Spring. He struck out the side in his start yesterday vs. the Rays on 13 pitches. But, knowing if Thorpe receives a fourth option or not is essential for how the Twins build their roster for Opening Day and beyond. Cody Pirkl details the options (no pun intended) the Twins face. News and Notes from around the AL Central With the Twins off today, I wanted to point out a couple of interesting stories that happened during Spring Training play today that are worth mentioning as it pertains to the Twins AL Central foes. Royals top prospect continues to impress If you haven’t heard the name Bobby Witt Jr. yet, you may want to get familiar. The #2 overall pick in the 2019 draft figures to be a thorn in the Twins side for many years to come. Today, he hit a 484 ft homer off Oakland A’s reliever, Yusmeiro Petit. He is now hitting .353 with 2 HR this Spring. Do the White Sox have a Kelly Leak problem? Ok, I know it's somewhat of a slow news day in Twins Territory but I did think this was at least interesting. White Sox fans have frequently complained on Twitter about Eloy Jimenez’s outfield ability. They’re worried his ineptitude defensively may cause him to get injured, which has happened already. There have been numerous times where center fielder Luis Robert and Jimenez have collided (or nearly collided). Robert, who is a potential superstar in the making, can cover as much ground as anyone. Maybe someone in the White Sox front office told him to get any ball that he can reach, a la Kelly Leak in Bad News Bears. Cleveland Players violate COVID Protocol Cleveland will be without a few key players for the foreseeable future as the team announced they have violated health & safety protocol over the weekend. Minnesota Twins Home Opener Countdown is ON! We’ve nearly made it, baseball fans. Many Twins players took to social media today to share their excitement for the season kicking off on April 1 in Milwaukee. After a two series road trip to play the Brewers and Tigers on the road, the Twins will return home to host the Mariners on April 8. Be sure to check out Twins Dailyeveryday for news and notes from Fort Myers leading up to the start of the season! You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  9. Fans back at Target Field this Spring? The Twins were off today Monday, but there were still some meaningful updates for fans who have been patiently (OK, impatiently) waiting for news on if they can return to Target Field this Spring. News Talk 830 WCCO reported this morning the Twins have “quietly gotten the OK” from the state to host 26% capacity. https://twitter.com/wccoradio/status/1368906506557677572 It should be noted that the team nor the State have commented on this report. Either way, with the Twins needing enough lead time to get the stadium ready safely, there should be further clarity on this topic later in the week. How many fans is 26% capacity you ask? Well, Target Field holds just over 39,500 - so 10,271 could be in attendance when the Twins host the Mariners on Thursday, April 8 at 3:10 pm CST. It’s too early to tell what Target Field could look like with fans and safety measures in place, but John Bonnes detailed his account of how Hammond Stadium has been operating in Fort Myers this Spring. KSTP reported tonight that “guidance” will be coming this week on the decision to allow fans. The Twins have even disclosed info on how they would attempt to make Target Field a “contactless” experience for food and drink. In any case, some optimism for the fans looking to get back to watching the Twins in person this year. https://twitter.com/thauserkstp/status/1369077597930483712 Does Lewis Thorpe have a fourth Option? It was reported in mid-February (subscription required) that MLB had ruled Lewis Thorpe would receive a fourth option this year. However, Phill Miller of the Star Tribune reported today that may not necessarily be the case. According to this report, the fourth option is not yet official and will be determined by an arbitrator “in the next 10 days or so”. https://twitter.com/StribSports/status/1368919934265221126 Thorpe has been very impressive in his outings so far this Spring. He struck out the side in his start yesterday vs. the Rays on 13 pitches. But, knowing if Thorpe receives a fourth option or not is essential for how the Twins build their roster for Opening Day and beyond. Cody Pirkl details the options (no pun intended) the Twins face. https://twitter.com/CodyPirkl/status/1368965733905018890 News and Notes from around the AL Central With the Twins off today, I wanted to point out a couple of interesting stories that happened during Spring Training play today that are worth mentioning as it pertains to the Twins AL Central foes. Royals top prospect continues to impress If you haven’t heard the name Bobby Witt Jr. yet, you may want to get familiar. The #2 overall pick in the 2019 draft figures to be a thorn in the Twins side for many years to come. Today, he hit a 484 ft homer off Oakland A’s reliever, Yusmeiro Petit. He is now hitting .353 with 2 HR this Spring. https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1369069528148279298 Do the White Sox have a Kelly Leak problem? Ok, I know it's somewhat of a slow news day in Twins Territory but I did think this was at least interesting. White Sox fans have frequently complained on Twitter about Eloy Jimenez’s outfield ability. They’re worried his ineptitude defensively may cause him to get injured, which has happened already. There have been numerous times where center fielder Luis Robert and Jimenez have collided (or nearly collided). Robert, who is a potential superstar in the making, can cover as much ground as anyone. Maybe someone in the White Sox front office told him to get any ball that he can reach, a la Kelly Leak in Bad News Bears. https://twitter.com/ChicagoDugout/status/1369019092800258061 Cleveland Players violate COVID Protocol Cleveland will be without a few key players for the foreseeable future as the team announced they have violated health & safety protocol over the weekend. https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/1368601474763165697 Minnesota Twins Home Opener Countdown is ON! We’ve nearly made it, baseball fans. Many Twins players took to social media today to share their excitement for the season kicking off on April 1 in Milwaukee. After a two series road trip to play the Brewers and Tigers on the road, the Twins will return home to host the Mariners on April 8. Be sure to check out Twins Daily everyday for news and notes from Fort Myers leading up to the start of the season! https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1368927679471321088 You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  10. The Twins win again, a Sire of Fort Myers update, and there's a new reporter on the Twins beat. That and more in today's edition of the Offseason Notebook!The Twins continued their undefeated Spring Training campaign on the road today in Port Charlotte. They defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 in six innings. Twins 6, Tampa Bay 5 (6 innings) Box Score TWINS TAKEAWAYS Standout pitcher: Lewis Thorpe (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 K) Standout hitter: Brent Rooker (1-for-2 with a solo HR and Sac Fly) A stronger, harder throwing, Lewis Thorpe got the start for the Twins today. His performance did nothing to slow down the “Hype Train”. Unlike in the Twins game yesterday at Hammond Stadium, the Rays facility was not equipped with Statcast so fans were unable to reference any of the data. However, it was noted from the Rays radio broadcast that Thorpe was hitting 93 mph. After an adventurous first inning that included a scary moment when Thorpe hit Joey Wendle in the helmet (Wendle was OK), Thorpe settled down and had a 1-2-3 second. He struck out Yoshi Tsutsugo and Taylor Walls. On the other side of the hill for the Rays was Tyler Glasnow and his 100 mph fastball. Glasnow threw 35 pitches and didn’t make it out of the second inning. While working on a new slider grip, Glasnow struck out Cave, Larnach, and Garlick but had three walks. He allowed two runs. One was a home run to Brent Rooker. The other was this very impressive at-bat by Luis Arraez which resulted in a bases loaded walk, leading to a 2-0 Twins lead. For more detail, be sure to check out John’s Report From the Fort feature on today’s game. Other Notable Efforts: Some other notable performances by the Twins today included: Kyle Garlick went 1-for-3 with a go-ahead two run homer. As a right handed hitting corner OF, could him and Rooker be competing for a spot on the roster? He had a 1.057 OPS in 304 PA’s in 2019 at AAA. Luke Farrell threw one inning. He struck out the side. Speaking of Luke Farrell, he would like everyone to know he didn’t give up a HR to Buxton in live batting practice last week He went 0-for-1 today with a BB, but it should be noted that Travis Blakenhorn started at first base. According to Baseball Reference, Blakenhorn has only played 15 innings at 1B in his minor league career. That was in 2015. Clearly, the Twins are trying out some things this Spring. Blakenhorn figures to be in a battle for the second utilityman spot on the Twins roster. Other names in competition include Nick Gordon, Willians Astudillo, JT Riddle, Tzu-Wei Lin, and Andrew Romine. Something to monitor ... Sire of Fort Myers Update! If you’re not following the most coveted award this side of the Mississippi, you’re missing out! More details, here. Speaking of Andrew Romine, he helped his case today in his quest for the #SireOfFortMyers crown. He started at SS and went 2-for-3 at the plate. Bullpen Woes? I couldn’t write this headline without laughing a bit since it’s literally the second game of Spring Training but, another projected piece of the Twins bullpen struggled today. Shaun Anderson made his Spring debut and it wasn’t pretty (1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). He joins Tyler Duffey and Cody Stashak, who pitched yesterday, in tough starts. This means very little, if anything at all. In fact, it’s already been pointed out that Shaun Anderson is working on a splitter. It’s hard to tell without Statcast data which pitches were thrown today, but assuming this was part of his mix. I wouldn’t be too worried because, you know, these games don’t matter. New Twins Beat Reporter! The Star Tribune announced LaVelle E. Neal’s replacement on the beat today. Megan Ryan will be covering the Twins this season and you can follow her here! One less suitor for Jake Odorizzi? Still a free agent, Jake Odorizzi has been linked to several teams this offseason. The Phillies were one of them and it appears they are “holding off” on spending anymore. The Blue Jays and Angels have also shown interest. We’re all curious to see where he ends up. Eddie Rosario in a Cleveland Uniform is Weird Eddie Rosario made his Spring debut today against the Royals. He batted 3rd and went 1-for-3 with a single. Yeah, it’s going to take me a while to get used to seeing this too. That is it from today’s edition of the offseason Notebook. Make sure you are following Twins Daily on Twitter all Spring Training long for exclusive look-in’s and footage of the Twins in Florida. Tomorrow: Twins at Braves at 12:05 pm CST MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Minnesota’s 5 Best Players Under 25 AL Central Rundown: Relievers The Odd Man Out? You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here. Click here to view the article
  11. The Twins continued their undefeated Spring Training campaign on the road today in Port Charlotte. They defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 in six innings. Twins 6, Tampa Bay 5 (6 innings) Box Score TWINS TAKEAWAYS Standout pitcher: Lewis Thorpe (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 K) Standout hitter: Brent Rooker (1-for-2 with a solo HR and Sac Fly) A stronger, harder throwing, Lewis Thorpe got the start for the Twins today. His performance did nothing to slow down the “Hype Train”. Unlike in the Twins game yesterday at Hammond Stadium, the Rays facility was not equipped with Statcast so fans were unable to reference any of the data. However, it was noted from the Rays radio broadcast that Thorpe was hitting 93 mph. After an adventurous first inning that included a scary moment when Thorpe hit Joey Wendle in the helmet (Wendle was OK), Thorpe settled down and had a 1-2-3 second. He struck out Yoshi Tsutsugo and Taylor Walls. On the other side of the hill for the Rays was Tyler Glasnow and his 100 mph fastball. Glasnow threw 35 pitches and didn’t make it out of the second inning. While working on a new slider grip, Glasnow struck out Cave, Larnach, and Garlick but had three walks. He allowed two runs. One was a home run to Brent Rooker. https://twitter.com/dohyoungpark/status/1366455752320237574 The other was this very impressive at-bat by Luis Arraez which resulted in a bases loaded walk, leading to a 2-0 Twins lead. https://twitter.com/twinsdaily/status/1366459170615136257 For more detail, be sure to check out John’s Report From the Fort feature on today’s game. Other Notable Efforts: Some other notable performances by the Twins today included: Kyle Garlick went 1-for-3 with a go-ahead two run homer. As a right handed hitting corner OF, could him and Rooker be competing for a spot on the roster? He had a 1.057 OPS in 304 PA’s in 2019 at AAA. https://twitter.com/Nashwalker9/status/1366478212721647620 Luke Farrell threw one inning. He struck out the side. Speaking of Luke Farrell, he would like everyone to know he didn’t give up a HR to Buxton in live batting practice last week https://twitter.com/Luke_T_Farrell/status/1366519573906923529 He went 0-for-1 today with a BB, but it should be noted that Travis Blakenhorn started at first base. According to Baseball Reference, Blakenhorn has only played 15 innings at 1B in his minor league career. That was in 2015. Clearly, the Twins are trying out some things this Spring. Blakenhorn figures to be in a battle for the second utilityman spot on the Twins roster. Other names in competition include Nick Gordon, Willians Astudillo, JT Riddle, Tzu-Wei Lin, and Andrew Romine. Something to monitor ... Sire of Fort Myers Update! If you’re not following the most coveted award this side of the Mississippi, you’re missing out! More details, here. Speaking of Andrew Romine, he helped his case today in his quest for the #SireOfFortMyers crown. He started at SS and went 2-for-3 at the plate. Bullpen Woes? I couldn’t write this headline without laughing a bit since it’s literally the second game of Spring Training but, another projected piece of the Twins bullpen struggled today. Shaun Anderson made his Spring debut and it wasn’t pretty (1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). He joins Tyler Duffey and Cody Stashak, who pitched yesterday, in tough starts. This means very little, if anything at all. In fact, it’s already been pointed out that Shaun Anderson is working on a splitter. It’s hard to tell without Statcast data which pitches were thrown today, but assuming this was part of his mix. I wouldn’t be too worried because, you know, these games don’t matter. https://twitter.com/dohyoungpark/status/1365853030931968001 New Twins Beat Reporter! The Star Tribune announced LaVelle E. Neal’s replacement on the beat today. Megan Ryan will be covering the Twins this season and you can follow her here! https://twitter.com/StribSports/status/1366518746483933198 One less suitor for Jake Odorizzi? Still a free agent, Jake Odorizzi has been linked to several teams this offseason. The Phillies were one of them and it appears they are “holding off” on spending anymore. The Blue Jays and Angels have also shown interest. We’re all curious to see where he ends up. Eddie Rosario in a Cleveland Uniform is Weird Eddie Rosario made his Spring debut today against the Royals. He batted 3rd and went 1-for-3 with a single. Yeah, it’s going to take me a while to get used to seeing this too. https://twitter.com/renabanena/status/1366499579126980608 That is it from today’s edition of the offseason Notebook. Make sure you are following Twins Daily on Twitter all Spring Training long for exclusive look-in’s and footage of the Twins in Florida. Tomorrow: Twins at Braves at 12:05 pm CST MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Minnesota’s 5 Best Players Under 25 AL Central Rundown: Relievers The Odd Man Out? You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here.
  12. Happy Pitchers & Catchers report week, Twins fans! We've officially made it to the start of Spring Training. In an eventful Monday, Feb. 15 edition of the Offseason Notebook, we have lots to discuss. The Twins sign Matt Shoemaker, announce Minor League invitees to camp, and an update on Big Sexy?Twins sign SP Matt Shoemaker to 1-year/$2M deal Today, the Twins upgraded their rotation by signing Matt Shoemaker. Shoemaker will likely compete with Dobnak for the fifth spot. He’s battled injury issues his whole career and has only thrown 88 innings since 2018, but when on the mound, he has been productive. He owns a career 3.86 ERA and there’s plenty of reason to believe in some upside. Check out an article by Andrew Thares where he dives into this and more, here. TD writer, Matthew Taylor also noted some intriguing numbers on his splitter. Could Wes Johnson and the rest of the staff unlock more potential from Shoemaker? All in all, the Twins rotation depth chart figures to consist of: Maeda Berrios Pineda Happ Shoemaker Dobnak Smeltzer Thorpe A definite improvement from what this looked like just 4 weeks ago. Twins announce list of non-roster invitees to camp The Twins announced that they will be inviting 18 players on minor league deals to Spring Training. You can see the full press release below. If you like prospects, you’re in luck! Seven of the 18 invitees are on the Twins top-10 prospect list. Keep following along as we count down to #1. Nick Nelson just profiled camp invitee and our #9 prospect, Matt Canterino. LHP Justin Wilson signs with the Yankees. Wilson was rumored to be on the Twins radar. Additionally, RHP Keone Kela and Mark Melancon signed with the Padres. Like Wilson, Melancon was rumored to be connected to the Twins. If interested in seeing the up-to-date unsigned free agent relievers, check out this handy tool via Fangraphs. From Dan Hayes of The Athletic (subscription required) article last week, a few names left on the board that the Twins have “checked in” on are RHP’s Tyler Clippard, Ian Kennedy, and Shane Greene. More #OldFriend’s find homes Speaking of former Twins, it looks like some more ex-players found homes today. C.J. Cron agreed to a minor-league with the Colorado Rockies. Blake Parker has signed with Cleveland. And, who doesn’t love a Big Sexy update? Looks like the ageless wonder is going to pitch in 2021. He’s 47. That's a wrap on an eventful Monday night in Twins territory. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Twins Offseason Status Update: All Done? Which Twins Will the Deadend Ball Hurt the Most? Masters of Efficiency You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here. Click here to view the article
  13. Twins sign SP Matt Shoemaker to 1-year/$2M deal Today, the Twins upgraded their rotation by signing Matt Shoemaker. Shoemaker will likely compete with Dobnak for the fifth spot. https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1361442210215063556 He’s battled injury issues his whole career and has only thrown 88 innings since 2018, but when on the mound, he has been productive. He owns a career 3.86 ERA and there’s plenty of reason to believe in some upside. Check out an article by Andrew Thares where he dives into this and more, here. TD writer, Matthew Taylor also noted some intriguing numbers on his splitter. https://twitter.com/MatthewTaylorMN/status/1361445197276733448 Could Wes Johnson and the rest of the staff unlock more potential from Shoemaker? All in all, the Twins rotation depth chart figures to consist of: Maeda Berrios Pineda Happ Shoemaker Dobnak Smeltzer Thorpe A definite improvement from what this looked like just 4 weeks ago. Twins announce list of non-roster invitees to camp The Twins announced that they will be inviting 18 players on minor league deals to Spring Training. You can see the full press release below. https://twitter.com/morsecode/status/1361356064889982982 If you like prospects, you’re in luck! Seven of the 18 invitees are on the Twins top-10 prospect list. Keep following along as we count down to #1. Nick Nelson just profiled camp invitee and our #9 prospect, Matt Canterino. https://twitter.com/dohyoungpark/status/1361359725670117383 If you want a little baseball action on this cold day, check out Tom Froemming’s video highlights of some of the players included on this list. Reliever market continues to thin out Over the weekend and into today we saw some possible Twins bullpen targets come off the free agent board. It’s unknown that even after signing Matt Shoemaker if the Twins are still in the market to upgrade the team, but nonetheless, something to monitor. Here we go: Yusmeiro Petit and #OldFriend, Sergio Romo sign one-year deals in Oakland. https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1361127415699939332 LHP Justin Wilson signs with the Yankees. Wilson was rumored to be on the Twins radar. https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/1361457492849475588 Additionally, RHP Keone Kela and Mark Melancon signed with the Padres. Like Wilson, Melancon was rumored to be connected to the Twins. If interested in seeing the up-to-date unsigned free agent relievers, check out this handy tool via Fangraphs. From Dan Hayes of The Athletic (subscription required) article last week, a few names left on the board that the Twins have “checked in” on are RHP’s Tyler Clippard, Ian Kennedy, and Shane Greene. More #OldFriend’s find homes Speaking of former Twins, it looks like some more ex-players found homes today. C.J. Cron agreed to a minor-league with the Colorado Rockies. https://twitter.com/RockiesClubInfo/status/1361360094764523522 Blake Parker has signed with Cleveland. https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1361482940346224642 And, who doesn’t love a Big Sexy update? Looks like the ageless wonder is going to pitch in 2021. He’s 47. https://twitter.com/hgomez27/status/1361476102674333700 That's a wrap on an eventful Monday night in Twins territory. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Twins Offseason Status Update: All Done? Which Twins Will the Deadend Ball Hurt the Most? Masters of Efficiency You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here.
  14. In today's Offseason Notebook for Monday, Feb. 8, the Twins make several minor league signings, MLB and MLBPA agree on a deal for health and safety protocols for the upcoming season, plus the baseball is changing in 2021?Andrew Albers reunites with the Twins Today, the Twins and Andrew Albers agreed on a minor-league contract which will include an invitation to MLB spring training. Twins fans should remember Albers as he played for them in 2013 and 2016. In 2013 he threw 17 1/3 scoreless innings in his first two starts — a Twins franchise record for longest scoreless streak to start their career with the team. This included a complete game shutout of Cleveland in his second start. From 2018-20, Albers pitched in Japan for the Orix Buffaloes. In 2020, he posted a 3.66 ERA in 96 IP with 70 strikeouts and 24 walks. Albers, now 35, will add some depth to the Twins starting pitching options, but figures to see most of his time in St. Paul with the Saints. Twins sign Keon Broxton, Robinson Leyer, and Chandler Shepherd to Minor League Deals This afternoon, the Twins announced three more minor league signings. The most intriguing of which is OF, Keon Broxton. Broxton, a third-round draft pick by the Diamondbacks in 2009, has played for five major league teams. From 2016-17, Broxton produced a .741 OPS with 29 HR’s in 218 G for the Brewers. Since, Broxton has played for four teams producing a .565 OPS in 151 G combined in 2018 & 2019. He’s a solid defensive player producing 34 OAA (outs above average) in his career. He no doubt would be an intriguing option as a fourth OF and backup for Byron Buxton on the Twins roster. He has played all three OF positions in his career. It also helps that he is right handed as the Twins have plenty of lefty options (Kepler, Cave, Kirilloff, and Larnach). Also, the Twins added 27-year-old RHP Robinson Leyer. Leyer pitched in six games last year for the Red Sox. He posted a 21.21 ERA with nine K’s in 4.2 innings. It should not be a surprise to anyone that he throws a mid-90’s fastball (averages 95 mph) and a slider. Here’s a fun video of him striking out Marcell Ozuna. Additionally, the Twins added Taylor Rogers' former University of Kentucky teammate, Chandler Shepherd. Shepherd, 28, appeared in five G’s for the Orioles in 2019 (starting in three of them). He’s mostly pitched as a starter in the minors. Only Broxton has an invite to Major League Spring Training out of these three. MLB Deadening the baseball? Ken Rothenthal and Eno Sarris of The Athletic reports (subscription required), that the baseballs used in 2021 will “change slightly”. Additionally, five more MLB teams will add humidors to store game baseballs — an obvious attempt by MLB to to reduce the HR rates across the league. The Twins, who led the world in home runs in 2019, stand to be impacted by the change. Also, for anyone who watched the Twins on TV in 2020, it seemed like they were only able to score if a home run was it. But, playing devil’s advocate here, the Twins had six players averaging home runs hit over 400 feet in 2020 (Jeffers, Cruz, Sano, Garver, Kepler, and Buxton), they are not exactly hitting “cheapies”. Check out a fun breakdown written last year by Six Man Rotation that details which players benefited the most from the “ping pong” baseballs used in 2019. Spoiler: there is a Twin mentioned. In any case, it’s frustrating as fans to see the consistent overreaching by the league who, in many people’s opinion, make the game less fun. Who doesn’t love dingers? Grapefruit Schedule Changes for Spring Training MLB is working on a plan to place teams in different “pods” for Spring Training in Florida to eliminate the amount of travel and hopefully help mitigate the opportunity for COVID-19 spread. The Bringer of Rain Opens Baseball Academy Josh Donaldson broke ground today on the “Josh Donaldson Baseball Academy” in Mobile, Alabama. Josh of course is a graduate of Auburn University located in Alabama. MLB and MLBPA Reach Agreement on Health and Safety Protocols It appears MLB/PA have a deal on the protocols for spring training and the regular season. This includes 7-inning double headers, runner starting on 2B in extra innings, and does not include the universal DH. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Am I Still Excited about Willians Astudillo? Dealing With the Dodgers Projecting the 2021 Twins Bullpen You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here. Click here to view the article
×
×
  • Create New...