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Tyy1117

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  1. Entering July 24th 2017, the Minnesota Twins were 49-48 coming off a 9-6 loss to the Detroit Tigers the night before. The Twins now stood 2.5 games back of Cleveland, and ready to make a push towards claiming the AL Central crown for the first time in 7 years. "Falvine" decided to push the button, making their first major trade during their Twins tenure, and acquire Atlanta Braves starter, Jaime García . Finally, after years of purely terrible baseball, the Twins were back, and the Front Office was willing to go for it. Now, it's July 28th 2017, the Minnesota Twins are in Oakland, and on a 4 game skid as they sit 49-51. Jaime García takes the mound for the first, and only time as a Minnesota Twin. He pitches well, but unremarkably as he leads the Twins to a 6-3 victory ending the losing streak with a decent stat line: 6.2 IP 7 K 3 BB 8 H 3 ER. Flash forward a bit further to July 30th, the Twins are 50-52, Cleveland has gone on a run, and the Twins are 7 games out. Oh, how the turn tables. Falvine decides they're no longer pushing for that first division title in 7 years, so why hold onto the rental they just acquired? So, after spending less than a week as a Twin, Jaime García packs his bags once again and heads to the Bronx to become a Yankee. As the leaves turn from green to wonderful fall colors, the Twins find out it didn't really matter if they bought or sold. Jaime García didn't pitch very well as a Yankee, and the Twins still managed to claw to a 85-77 record, going from the worst team in baseball to a wild card team in just a year. 7 years of terrible baseball. 13 years without a playoff victory, now with a chance to change that. October 3rd 2017, enter: the New York Yankees. We all know how this story goes, there's no point in reliving this one again. So, okay, the trades themselves, what exactly happened? Looking back, I think we can safely consider Jaime García's performance itself a wash and rather insignificant. But what about the prospects involved? Trade 1: The Minnesota Twins receive: SP Jaime García, C Anthony Recker, Cash Considerations. (Recker was soon released and never played for the Twins) The Atlanta Braves receive: SP Huascar Ynoa Trade 2: The Minnesota Twins receive: SP Zack Littell , SP Dietrich Enns The New York Yankees receive: SP Jaime García So essentially, the Twins gave up Ynoa, to get Littell and Enns. Neither Littell or Enns are with the Twins anymore, and only Littell had marginal success. Meanwhile, I have yet to mention the ginormous horse in the room. Huascar Ynoa has been the ace of the Atlanta Braves pitching staff thus far in 2021 pitching 44.2 Innings while garnering 1.8 bWAR. However, he could be out the rest of this year. That being said, the Braves potentially have a really good pitcher for a long time to come, and Falvine essentially gave Ynoa to them for free. Not every trade works out, many work out great, and many don't, and unfortunately this whole saga is the latter. Perhaps the best part of this whole saga for the Twins is that a day after sending Jaime packing to New York, they signed a guy from Utica with a rad mustache who was driving for Uber, fan fave Randy Dobnak. Once again, all stats are thanks to Baseball Reference, and the picture thanks to MLB.com. What trades should we revisit next?
  2. The 2021 Minnesota Twins have a very bad, beyond terrible, no-good bullpen. We all know that. Let's take a break from the 2021 Minnesota Twins Dumpsterfire Bullpen, and talk about something closely related, the Ryan Pressly trade. As part 1 in a series where we'll take a look back at trades "Falvine" made early in their tenure, and re-evaluate them, what's more fitting for right now than this deal that has an impact on Twins' bullpens of past, present, and future? The Trade: Houston Astros Receive: RP Ryan Pressly (MLB) Minnesota Twins Receive: P Jorge Alcala (MiLB), OF Gilberto Celestino (MiLB) Twins' fans weren't fans of this one at first, especially as Pressly went on to be dominant down the stretch in 2018 posting a 1.49 FIP in 23.1 IP after his arrival in Houston. In 2019 he followed that performance up with an All-Star appearance in a season worth 1.7 WAR. All this and Twins' fans had yet to see Celestino or Alcala in the Majors. So at this point some of y'all may be saying "So if we weren't fans of it at first, why would we be fans now?" The answer, Jorge Alcala. He had a 3.79 xFIP in 2020 and has followed it up with a 3.80 xFIP so far in 2021 (although he has had some home-run-itis lately, but that should regress to the mean according to xFIP). He has started to become a quality reliever, and has just barely hit a year of service time. Oh, and don't forget the Twins' number 8 prospect according to MLB.com, and Buxton's heir apparent, Gilberto Celestino. He's not going to be Buxton, but he does profile as an eventual starting center fielder. So let's break down exactly what each team got in terms of production. Houston Astros: --Ryan Pressly 3.1 WAR paying $2,800,000 and eventually the right to overpay him by a LOT. Minnesota Twins: --Jorge Alcala 0.5 WAR paying minimum MLB salary, and 5 more years of team control. --Gilberto Celestino Nothing, yet. However he is the 8th best prospect the Twins have, which holds considerable value for the future Hey, it all seems okay. A trade where the Twins probably got more value, but the Astros got a reliever that helped them hold on to leads given to them by trash cans, leading them deep into the playoffs. All parties involved come away happy, the makings of a wonderful trade. All stats are thanks to Baseball Reference and Fangraphs, photo is thanks to MLB.com
  3. It's a new day in the United States, Joe Biden is now the President. It's also a new day for the back of the Minnesota Twins' rotation, J.A. Happ is now the number 4 starter. 38 year old J.A. (pronounced like "jay" not "j" "a") Happ has signed an $8 Million, 1 year deal to pitch in Minnesota. Happ isn't a particularly sexy signing, but he has been a productive middle/back of the rotation starter for several playoff teams throughout his career. Happ has accumulated 21.3 fWAR throughout his career, and is projected for about 1.5 more this year. Happ has a solid 150+ innings, sub 4 ERA pitcher ever since 2015 with the exception of 2019. Projections for Happ have him at a 4.5 ERA making him a dependable number 4 starter. There's no reason to expect anything worse from Happ than these projections as Happ's underlying numbers also rebounded in 2020, suggesting 2019 is an outlier and Happ is in line to be a more than capable 4 starter, and be serviceable as a number 3 should he need be. The Twins have found their ace in Kenta, which alleviates Jose who is really a 1B, and allows him to be a strong option in a game two in the playoffs. Pineda has been terrific and also capable of handling a game 3. The addition of Happ gives the Twins a number 4 that can take the mound in game 4 of a 7 game series should the Twins get to the ALCS.
  4. With Nelson Cruz reaching free agency, the Twins need to add a impact bat this offseason in order to seriously contend in 2021. The most talked about, and most likely outcome to that problem is that the Twins bring back Nelson Cruz on a one or two year deal with the hopes that Nellie continues to age like a fine wine, rather than most 40 year old baseball players. However, it is a rather big concern that he does fall off the metaphorical cliff in 2021, and almost a certainty that by 2022 he will only be a shell of his former self at the plate. It is the height of this competitive window for the Minnesota Twins, and the risk of depending on a 40 year old to hold back major signs of regression, is just too much. Last year saw Cruz's exit velocity drip from 93.7 in 2019 to 91.6. Not only was the average exit velocity lower, but so was the much more telling, max exit velocity. In both 2018 and 2019 Cruz's max exit velocity was 117.0. In 2020, that fell to 114.4. Cruz also benefited from extraordinarily high BABIP during his time in Minnesota (.351 and .360). Nelson Cruz has a career average BABIP of .309 which is already above average (BABIP on average is .300, and only deviates by luck for hitters). This suggests that Cruz was extremely lucky at the plate in Minnesota, and his rate stats have ought to fall. Nelson Cruz seems primed for a nosedive if not this year, then next year for sure. So what's the alternative? $18 Million a year for 4 years for one Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna is coming off a blazing hot 179 WRC+ for the NL runner-up Atlanta Braves. Ozuna is 10 years younger than Cruz, and thus could be seen being a potent bat in the Twins line-up for the next 4 years. $18 million, is a lot, but it's only a couple million more than Cruz is rumored to get. Could locking down the DH for the next 4 years create a potential log jam of poor fielding, slugging hitters? Sure, but when is too much hitting depth ever a bad thing? Never. Ozuna had a breakout in 2020, and there is no reason to expect him to uphold a 179 WRC+, so let's take a look at other players that have had a breakout season and their regression the following year. Take Max Kepler's 2019 breakout, 121 WRC+ and 123 OPS+. If we use the ever so simple Marcel projection system, which weights the player's 3 most recent seasons and weights them as such: 1*3rd most recent season + 2*2nd most recent season + 3*most recent season. Take that, divide by 6 and you have the projected number (This system is the MOST basic projection system and named "marcel the monkey" because it's so easy a monkey could do it, but as we will see it works). Max Kepler 2017: 95 OPS+ 94 WRC+ Max Kepler 2018: 97 OPS+ 98 WRC+ Max Kepler 2019: 123 OPS+ 121 WRC+ (breakout) Marcel the Monkey's back of the napkin math projection for 2020: 109.66 OPS+ 108.83 WRC+ Max Kepler's actual 2020: 108 OPS+ 107 WRC+ Marcel almost got it dead on, sure this is only one case so let's look at Cuddyer's 2006 too. Michael Cuddyer 2004: 102 WRC+ Michael Cuddyer 2005: 98 WRC+ Michael Cuddyer 2006: 123 WRC+ (breakout) Marcel's Cuddyer prediction for 2007: 111.16 WRC+ Michael Cuddyer's 2007: 111 WRC+ Again, Marcel is dead on. So, let's let Marcel predict Marcell's 2021. Marcell Ozuna 2018: 107 WRC+ Marcell Ozuna 2019: 109 WRC+ Marcell Ozuna 2020: 179 WRC+ Marcel's Marcell Ozuna 2021: 143.66 WRC+ Marcel says that Marcell will have an outstanding 2021 and be in the top 10 hitters in baseball. Other, more sophisticated projections suggest Ozuna will regress a bit further than Marcel says, perhaps to 125 WRC+. However that is still an elite hitter that should be a monster for years to come wherever he lands, hopefully in Minnesota.
  5. Per Dan Hayes the Twins have signed Homer Bailey and Rich Hill. Homer Bailey will be an interesting project 5th starter and Rich Hill will be really solid, when he’s healthy and that won’t be until July at best. These signings don’t fit Falvey’s “impact pitching” he said he’d go get, a quote he probably is wishing he never said now. Homer Bailey Coming off his best year since 2013, Homer Bailey pitched about league average with the Royals and A’s totaling 163 and a third innings with a FIP of 4.11, he also possessed a respectable BB/9 of 2.9 and K/9 of 8.2. When comparing this to Kyle Gibson’s year last year with a FIP of 4.26, BB/9 of 3.2, and a K/9 of 9.0, Homer Bailey looks a lot like Gibby’s replacement in the rotation. Wes Johnson’s black magic abilities here are certainly intriguing adding the hope that Bailey could be more than just Gibby’s replacement. Rich Hill A healthy Rich Hill that can go all season and you’re sure you’ll get 170 IP from, is impact pitching. However, Rich Hill is 40 and coming off injury, so *maybe* *hopefully* come July or August he can be an impact pitcher. But that’s a whole lot of hoping for a 40 year old. Hill has totaled 327 Innings in the last 3 years with FIPs of 3.72 3.97 and 4.10. In that we can already see that Hill has been in a steady decline, so that hope of impact pitching I stated earlier might not even be true at all and he could just end up another guy at the back of the rotation. If that is the case, the Twins really will have a plethora of arms to use in the 4/5 slots with Bailey, Dobnak, Smeltzer, Thorpe and potentially Hill. Spending only $10 Million guaranteed here is really good and leaves room for a potential Donaldson deal which would transform the offseason into somewhat of a success at the least.
  6. During this year's trade deadline, a lot of Twins fans, myself included, thought it was necessary to add a clear No. 2 starting pitcher behind Jose Berrios to bolster our rotation for the playoffs and next year. Odorizzi since coming back from injury has fallen off of a cliff, Gibson and Perez have also had significant struggles, but Pineda has quietly been very good dating back to the beginning of May. While the concern that there's holes in the rotation stands, the Twins have a 1-2 punch that's rarely faltered. Since the beginning of May: Jose Berrios: 16 Games, 102.1 Innings, 22 BB, 92 K, 10 HR, 2.73 ERA, Opponent OPS .650, 4.18 K/BB Michael Pineda: 15 Games, 88.0 Innings. 17 BB, 81 K, 12 HR, 3.48 ERA, Opponent OPS .671, 4.76 K/BB Mike Minor: 16 Games, 99.1 Innings, 37 BB, 102 K, 15 HR, 3.35 ERA, Opponent OPS .733, 2.76 K/BB Robbie Ray: 17 Games, 96.2 Innings, 41 BB, 136 K, 19 HR, 3.82 ERA, Opponent OPS .765, 3.32 K/BB Kyle Gibson: 17 Games, 88.2 Innings, 25 BB, 94 K, 12 HR, 3.86 ERA, Opponent OPS .719, 3.76 K/BB Above you can see the 3 best starters of late that Twins have and 2 of the starters they were tied closely to at the deadline. Clearly Jose Berrios is the best of the bunch. Things get a little fuzzy when you look at Pineda vs Minor, but I like Pineda's control much more and his ability to hold hitters to a very low OPS, and when you add in that Minor hasn't had a quality start since June, whereas Pineda has had four in that time span, I'd gladly take Pineda. Even when it comes down to Gibby v Ray v Minor, Gibby has the best control and holds hitters to the lowest OPS of the bunch. Now I'm not saying I like Gibby in game 3 of the ALDS against Gerritt Cole, I do like Berrios in game 1 and Pineda in game 2, and well hopefully Odorizzi returns to form, but if not Gibby can hold his own for fiveish innings and then we turn it over to our upgraded bullpen. It wasn't worth it to sell the farm on a guy that might be an improvement over what we already have as our number 3 starter, and certainly not when you hear what kind of packages these teams were hoping for in return. While it certainly would've been nice to add an arm for next year, there will be plenty of FA starters, and Berrios/Pineda/Gibby is just fine for now.
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