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  1. I think Josh Donaldson loves going the other way in Toronto... something that doesn't work so well with the wall at Target Field
  2. You're not supposed to spoil the underdogs... I'm torn today, because I want Toronto to get in the Wild Card Game. They are an exciting and young club, with an MVP AND Triple Crown candidate in Vlad Jr., along with our old friend José Berríos. It would be even sweeter to see one of Boston or New York to be booted from the postseason. By winning against the Blue Jays yesterday, the Twins knocked Toronto to a half game below the Yankees for the second Wild Card spot. Now, I love watching Bailey Ober. But I hate the Yankees A LOT, and I'm almost positive you do too. Maybe Ober can have a great start, and Colomé can do his best April impression and make Blue Jays fans happy in the 9th inning. This feels weird to type out on a Twins forum, but this season is so lackluster that it's time to be petty about other teams. Cleveland is going to have to help Toronto as well, if they are going to leap frog the Yankees today. Rob Refsnyder Goes On IL, Drew Maggi Gets The Call The Twins continue their roster merry-go-round, by placing Rob Refsnyder on the injured list with a right elbow impingement. Taylor Rogers was moved to the 60-day to clear 40-man space. They are calling up Drew Maggi, who is 32 years-old and getting his first taste of the majors. Great story here, as Maggi has been with the organization for three years (including the 2020 season without minor league ball). Maggi was originally drafted by Pittsburgh in the 2010 draft (Round 15), and has moved between five total minor league systems. All together, he owns a .709 OPS across 11 seasons in the minors, while playing SS, 3B, and 2B. It hasn't been an inspiring minor league career, but 2021 has been Maggi's best season to date at the ripe age of 32. He currently has a .850 OPS in 332 plate appearances, showing much more pop with a career-high 16 home runs. I've personally seen one of these 16 in Saint Paul, and the power looked legit -- not that I'm a scout or anything. Overall, this is a classy move by the Twins to reward a career minor league journeyman. I'm getting shades of Tommy Watkins, Doug Bernier, etc. As for Rob Refsnyder, I get the feeling he might have injured himself diving for that ball and coming up empty in the second inning yesterday. It's been a tale of two seasons for Refsnyder. Tom Froemming pointed out that Refsnyder had a .321/.371/.500 slash prior to his hamstring strain in June. In his last 33 games, he has struggled with a .193/.295/.229 line. Overall, Refsnyder now has a 86 wRC+ and a flat 0.0 fWAR. I think his status on the 40-man is very much up in the air going forward. Sanó Is At The Correct Position Today - DH Miguel Sanó is an engima, and a lightning rod for criticism. I won't get into ALL of his shortcomings, but one thing that has been clear is that he has been very bad defensively at 1B in 2021. FanGraphs has Sanó as the 12th least valuable player across all MLB teams in terms of fWAR (among qualified hitters) at 0.4 fWAR. That low WAR total is factoring in his above average offensive contributions, as he has a 111 wRC+. However, his defense has been so bad it negates any offensive output - and we know his bat can go missing at any moment for weeks. His defensive ratings ranked across 1B are below: Defensive Runs Saved: -3 (16/19 among FanGraphs' qualified 1B in MLB) UZR/150: -48.3 (19/19 among FanGraphs' qualified 1B in MLB) Outs Above Average: -3 (31/35 among Statcast's qualified 1B in MLB) I'd like to see Kirilloff get the majority of playing time at 1B in 2022. Anyway, the Lineups! Your Minnesota Twins (65-83) 1. Byron Buxton - CF 2. Jorge Polanco - 2B 3. Josh Donaldson - 3B 4. Miguel Sanó - DH 5. Brent Rooker - LF 6. Max Kepler - RF 7. Ryan Jeffers - C 8. Willians Astudillo - 1B 9. Nick Gordon - SS Baily Ober - RHP SP (2-2, 4.12 ERA) Toronto Blue Jays (82-65) 1. George Springer - DH 2. Marcus Semien - 2B 3. Vladdy Guerrero Jr. - 1B 4. Bo Bichette - SS 5. Teoscar Hernández - RF 6. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. - LF 7. Breyvic Valera - 3B 8. Randal Grichuk - CF 9. Reese McGuire - C Steven Matz - LHP SP (12-7, 3.87 ERA)
  3. I love when Rooker goes deep to the opposite field. This has been his first back-to-back starts since August 28th and 29th. There will always be major contacct concerns, but I hope they find a way to mix him into the lineup down the stretch.
  4. Remember when the Twins traveled to Progressive Park in September of 2019 to decide the fate of the AL Central? Oh how these teams have taken a step back. Minnesota more so than Cleveland, but misery doesn't like to live alone. Maybe I need to stop living in 2019, but man - was that a fun season. Gant wait to see how this start goes. The Twins are throwing John Gant at Cleveland today, for his fourth start as a Minnesota Twin. Gant was effective as a reliever in his first few outings since being traded for J.A. Happ: Reliever Gant: 8.2 IP, 13 Ks, 2 BBs, .651 OPS, 4.15 ERA Starter Gant: 12.1 IP, 12 Ks, 4 BBs, .749 OPS, 7.30 ERA While starting pitcher Gant hasn't been as effective, his overall body of work shows that he's been unlucky since being traded. FanGraphs values his time as in Minnesota at 0.4 WAR, despite a 6.00 ERA in 21 total inning pitched. While that's an ugly ERA, the underlying stats are positive. His FIP is 3.50, and xFIP is even lower at 2.99 (the lowest of his career). John Gant will be arbitration eligible in 2022, probably making roughly $3 - $4M, a slight raise from his $2.1M mark. I wouldn't pencil him into the starting rotation, but he's not an immediate cut for me. It's important to build depth beyond 5 guys that an organization pencils into their rotation in March. Gant provides some swingman depth, but at a price that's higher than average for that role. Would you bring back Gant for 2022, at $3.5M? He has a few more starts to plead his case. Civale shows that you can return from a sprained finger Gant's opponent on the mound tonight is Aaron Civale, making his first start since 6/21. Civale was having a stupendous season until that point, accumulating 1.2 fWAR over 15 starts with a 3.32 ERA. Civale has been out with a sprained finger, an injury that has haunted the Twins with Randy Dobnak and Taylor Rogers missing significant time with this diagnosis. Ervin Santana was never the same after his finger injury in 2018. I'll be interested to see how all these pitchers bounce back. Dobnak had an encouraging end to his most recent start, but I'm doubtful we'll see Taylor Rogers until 2022. On the flip side, that gives him plenty of recovery time to properly heal. Fingers crossed! Rocco Papa Baldelli Bill Evers will be managing today, as Rocco and his wife welcomed Louisa Sunny Baldelli. That is an 80-grade name, in my book. Louisa has been added to the human population's active roster. THE LINEUPS Your Minnesota Twins (60 - 77) 1. Luis Arraez - DH 2. Byron Buxton - CF 3. Josh Donaldson - 3B 4. Jorge Polanco - 2B 5. Miguel Sanó - 1B 6. Max Kepler - RF 7. Brent Rooker - LF 8. Ben Rortvedt - C 9. Andrelton Simmons - SS SP - John Gant (4-9, 3.98 ERA) Cleveland Soon-To-Be-Guardians (68 - 67) 1. Myles Straw - CF 2. Andrés Giménez - SS 3. José Ramírez - 3B 4. Franmil Reyes - DH 5. Harold Ramirez - LF 6. Bradley ZImmer - RF 7. Yu Chang - 1B 8. Owen Miller - 2B 9. Austin Hedges - C SP - Aaron Civale (10-2, 3.32 ERA)
  5. Colome allows his first earned run since 7/26. He always makes it entertaining!
  6. No command, and didn't crack 90 mph. Wonder if this injury he was pulled for has been impacting him since Spring Training, or if he's just cooked.
  7. When Sanó hits a HR to CF/Opposite way, that usually means he is about to enter a hot streak. We'll see if that's the case.
  8. Lewis Thorpe has topped out at 89.4 mph on his Fastball, per StatCast. The lowest fastball reading has been 85.9 mph...
  9. I think the Twins have had one of the, if not the largest, Australian presence in the league. I know Howard Norsetter helped bring a lot of the talent into the organization from Australia, but was let go by Falvey/Levine a few years back. https://www.startribune.com/twins-fire-international-scouting-coordinator-howard-norsetter/446164983/
  10. You have to love a summer day game during the week! It's a great day to be unproductive at work. Lewis Thorpe is making his return today, his first appearance with the major league team since May 20th. I'll be hoping his fastball velocity is over 90 mph, but he should have a chance to make-it-or-break-it for the next 1.5 months of the season. He's out of options next year, so this is a pivotal time for the Aussie. The Twins won't be able to send him down under to the minors after 2021. Speaking of Aussies, who is your favorite from the list of ex-Twins below? (Whitefield is still in the Twins org, and still very, very fast) 1. Grant Balfour 2. Luke Hughes 3. Liam Hendricks 4. Aaron Whitefield* 5. James Beresford 6. I'm sure I'm missing a few more! LINEUPS Cleveland Soon-To-Be Guardians Myles Straw (R) CF Amed Rosario (R) SS Jose Ramirez (S) DH Franmil Reyes (R) RF Oscar Mercado (R) LF Owen Miller (R) 1B Yu Chang (R) 3B Austin Hedges (R) C Ernie Clement (R) 2B Zach Plesac (RHP) - SP Minnesota Twins Max Kepler (L) RF Brent Rooker (R) LF Jorge Polanco (S) 2B Josh Donaldson (R) DH Luis Arraez (L) 3B Miguel Sano (R) 1B Nick Gordon (L) CF Ryan Jeffers (R) C Andrelton Simmons (R) SS Lewis Thorpe (LHP) - SP
  11. I'm sure he'll be back, if not this month then certainly in September. But I agree, he has a role on this team if he can play up-the-middle defensive positions. He deserves a longer a look than he's received at the major league level, with the state of the team being so abysmal and nothing to lose.
  12. Good catch, here! I was also ready for JD or Miranda to play 3B over Astudillo. Curious what the FO does with him over the offseason as he approaches Arbitration..
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