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nicksaviking

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  1. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Cody Christie for an article, Former Twins Cooperstown Case: Joe Nathan   
    The San Francisco Giants drafted Joe Nathan in 1995 from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was only the second player ever taken from his school, and he was initially drafted as a shortstop. Shoulder surgery forced him to miss the entire 1996 season, and it pushed him to the mound. He spent his first three professional seasons as a starter in the Giants organization, but he struggled with ERAs over 6.00 at Double-A and over 5.50 at Triple-A. It was hardly the perfect start to a Hall of Fame resume. 

    Even with his struggles, the Giants pushed him to the big leagues in 1999. He’d bounce between the majors and the minors for multiple seasons. In his first three big-league seasons, he posted a 4.61 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP in 187 1/3 innings. Nathan wasn’t successful as a starter, so the Giants moved him to the bullpen at age-28. 

    Entering the 2003 season, Baseball Prospectus said, “Nathan continued his comeback from shoulder surgery in 2000, with a year that was impressive only relative to the year before. He was never a great prospect, even before the shoulder woes, but he could be a serviceable innings-eater in middle relief.” During the 2003 season, he made 78 relief appearances and posted a 2.96 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP and 83 strikeouts in 79 innings. It was a marked improvement, and the Minnesota Twins took notice. 

    The Twins acquired Nathan In one of the most famous trades in team history as he was included with Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser for A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski was an All-Star catcher in the prime of his career with multiple years of team control. Nathan, Liriano, and Bonser all had questions surrounding their injury history and previous performance, so it wasn’t initially as lopsided of a trade as it looks in retrospect.
    Following the trade, Nathan immediately became one of baseball’s best closers. He was a six-time All-Star, and he twice finished in the top-five of the AL Cy Young Award voting. He topped the 30-save mark in nine seasons, including accumulating 40 or more saves in four seasons. Among pitchers with at least 900 innings pitched, only Billy Wagner and Nolan Ryan have a lower hits per nine innings ratio. 

    Unfortunately for Nathan, relief pitchers are significantly underrepresented in Cooperstown. The current HOF relievers are Dennis Eckersley, Mariano Rivera, Hoyt Wilhelm, Rich Gossage, Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter, Trevor Hoffman, and Rollie Fingers. Billy Wagner is one player currently on the ballot that might be paving the way for Nathan to be enshrined. Last year, Wagner received 46.4% of the vote, up from the 10.5% he received back in 2017, his first year on the ballot. 
    Nathan compares well to Wagner and other relievers already elected to the Hall. According to JAWS, he ranks better than Sutter, Wagner, and Hoffman. FanGraphs writer and Hall of Fame expert Jay Jaffe developed the JAWS system, but he prefers a different method for measuring relievers. Nathan ranks in the top-7 all-time relief pitchers using a hybrid average of WAR, WPA, and situational or context-neutral wins (WPA/LI).

    Before his age-29 season, Nathan had failed as a shortstop and a starting pitcher. From that point forward, he was one of the most dominant relief pitchers in baseball history. His resume alone should put him into the Cooperstown conversation. 

    Nathan will have an uphill climb to enshrinement, but relievers should have a better chance in the years ahead. Do you think he has a strong enough case for Cooperstown? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

    OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES 
    — David Ortiz

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  2. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Matthew Lenz for an article, Can Twins Level Up to Matt Chapman from Josh Donaldson?   
    Twins Daily's own Cody Christie broached this very topic two years ago when Chapman was coming off monster 2018 and 2019 seasons that earned him MVP votes in each season and an All-Star Appearance in 2019. At that time Cody speculated that the package would start with Byron Buxton and include a couple prospects based on Chapman’s recent performance and four years of team control remaining.
    Since then, Chapman has added a third Gold Glove to his resume, but has regressed a little on the offensive side of the ball coming off a career-low 101 wRC+ in the 2021 season. Furthermore, he’s now only under team control for two more years which diminishes his value a little more. As Forst suggested in the full quote to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, letting other teams hand out big contracts is “the cycle for the A’s”. You might remember current Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson was once an up-and-coming star for the Oakland Athletics before getting shipped to the Toronto Blue Jays for Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman, Brett Lawrie, and Sean Nolin... none of which were Top 100 prospects at the time and none of which have made much of an impact on the field for the A’s. OOF.

    The similarities between 2014 Donaldson and 2021 Chapman are quite surprising. Both players were/are 28 years old. Donaldson had one-year of team control whereas Chapman has two-years. Donaldson had two monster years and so has Chapman. Both were/are considered among the best defenders in the league. Albeit the Donaldson trade was seven years ago, can the Twins really get away with trading for Chapman without giving up a top 100 prospect? To answer that question let's look at a more recent traded involving a star third baseman on a small market team. Back in February of this year, the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Nolan Arenado and $51 million while giving up the following:
    LHP Austin Gomber - never top 100, 219.1 IP, 4.27 FIP, 2.35 K/BB INF Mateo Gil - never top 100, #22 prospect in COL system in 2020, unranked in 2021 INF Elehuris Montero - never top 100, #7 prospect in COL system in 2020, #4 in 2021 RHP Toney Locey - never top 100, #15 prospect in COL system in 2020, unranked in 2021 RHP Jake Sommers - never top 100, unranked in COL system in 2020 & 2021 Looking at that list of names and their resumes, there is definitely some more recent precedent that indicates the Twins may not have to “sell the farm” to acquire Chapman from the A’s, who I think most would rank below Arenado in terms of providing value to a team (not to mention the $51 million toss-in). So with all that said, what does a trade with the A’s look like involving Chapman?

    First thing the Twins would have to do is move on from Donaldson, who was shopped at the trade deadline, or get him to agree to be the primary Designated Hitter and relieve Chapman at third base as-needed. The former seems like a more realistic option than the latter, although the metrics clearly show that Donaldson has lost a step (or multiple steps) at the hot corner. Once we’ve opened third base, then comes working with the A’s on a deal keeping in mind the precedent that has been set and the ongoing CBA negotiations that could make any teams tentative to be aggressive until they have a more clear picture on what the next CBA entails. With that said, here are some names I would shop/include in a deal for Matt Chapman:
    Jose Miranda - yes, he’s coming off a monster 2021 minor league season but was that real or sustainable? Nobody knows. This could be an opportunity to sell high and what better option than giving the A’s their third basemen of the future. Josh Winder, Matt Canterino, Blayne Enlow - you can never have enough pitching but seven of their top ten prospects are pitchers which afford them some flexibility to part with one. You might have to add in another low level prospect or two, but I think it makes a lot of sense to sell high on Miranda if you’re getting a young-ish third basemen in return who you have at least two years of team control over with the ability to negotiate an extension to keep him in a Twins uniform through his prime.

    Are you interested in seeing Matt Chapman as a Twins if it means giving up Donaldson, Miranda, and a couple other prospects?

     
  3. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Ted Schwerzler for an article, Twins Front Office Getting Burnt on Both Ends   
    For years the Minnesota Twins organization has suggested that the goal would be to keep homegrown stars. Yes, they paid Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, and Miguel Sano. None of those deals were substantial, however. Instead of paying Jose Berrios, who was reportedly intent on reaching free agency, they flipped him for two top-100 prospects.
    Now with the Blue Jays handing out a seven-year deal worth $140 million, it’s clear that it wasn’t about paying Berrios, but probably more about how long they would. Despite Berrios suggesting he wanted to reach free agency, he was perhaps more interested in finding a deal that compensated him correctly. That’s where this begins to break down.
    Before getting into what the front office is trying to do, or more appropriately failing to do, we need to look at Buxton. Dan Hayes and Ken Rosenthal reported, “Talks about an incentive-laden extension in July broke down because of the Twins’ unwillingness to push the potential total value to $100 million.” That’s an awful look for the front office as well. Seven years or not, Minnesota is looking to nickel and dime a superstar they are only invited to the table because he’s been injured.
    Assuming Buxton was a free agent, Minnesota wouldn’t be in the realm of his possible destinations, and if an injury bug hadn’t hit him, the price tag would be well north of $250 million. Trying to piece together a salary that goes long on years and short on average annual value for a talent like Buxton is the exact opposite of the message sent to Berrios.
    The needle Falvey and Levine are trying to thread is a seemingly hopeless one. They appear intent on avoiding long-term deals but also are expecting to play at or below market value. There’s no give and take in that negotiating style, and the alternative is one we’ve yet to hear them dabble in. Should you opt to avoid length, the result has to be higher than the market average annual value. No player will take fewer years for the same amount of money, but they might be lured by a more lucrative deal that makes up for the lacking security.
    There’s no denying that this front office has done a great job establishing a strong culture and organizational structure. Minnesota’s farm system may not be as loaded as it’s ever been, but it’s undoubtedly as deep. The developmental talent is there to push players towards realizing their potential, but there has not been a good enough job done supplementing the talent at the top. Now faced with the opportunity to keep some of their best, Falvey already chose to forgo length on one and is seemingly leaning towards passing up on dollars for the other.
    Should Minnesota sign a top-tier pitcher with the money ticketed for Berrios, then the addition of two top prospects makes a ton of sense as an alternative. There isn’t a situation where Buxton will be replaceable at a similar valuation, though, and skimping on dollars to contradict their length stance could be something that looks like a David Ortiz-esque mistake.
    It’s time to stop stepping toes in the water when filling out the roster and make more than one splash move, then suggesting it’s enough.
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  4. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Nick Nelson for an article, Community Blueprints: What Do Twins Fans Want to See This Offseason?   
    We created our Roster & Payroll Creator tool with the hopes that fans would dive in and devise their own blueprints illustrating different approaches to this crucial Twins offseason. I shared my own to kick things off.
    We're thrilled to see that in just a couple weeks since we officially launched the tool alongside the Offseason Handbook, several of you have taken us up on the challenge. In fact, we're kind of blown away. I went through the forums and blogs over the weekend and came across about a dozen submissions, most of them with thoughtful explanations of the decisions and motivations.
    You can click through to view any of them below. Each one has its own comment thread so you can share your thoughts:
    Andrew Mahlke blueprint Cory Engelhardt blueprint  terrydactyls blueprint Greglw3 blueprint  Sconnie blueprint  TheLeviathan blueprint DocBauer blueprint mk blueprint mitcho8 blueprint  sthpstm blueprint  Ian23 blueprint  wildtwinsfan045 blueprint  As I perused these various perspectives on what a successful Twins offseason would look like, here are a few trends and specifics that caught my attention.
    Everyone Wants a Buxton Extension
    Almost every single blueprint submitted includes a contract extension for Byron Buxton, and it was usually the top priority accounted for. I was legitimately impressed by how many people took a stab at laying out their version of a reasonable framework. The particulars varied, but most conceptual deals called for about $15M in annual base salary plus incentives over 5-7 seasons. 
    I don't think I saw a single blueprint proposing a Buxton trade – a little surprising, given the likelihood of such an outcome in real life. (For what it's worth, I tried hypothesizing one in this piece.)
    Basically everyone seems to be reaching the same conclusion. If reports in July were true – that Buxton's camp was comfortable with a deal built largely on incentives – it simply makes no sense for the Twins not to find a way to get it done.
    The Most Popular High-End SP Target Is...
    Blueprinters erred toward the side of realism, as I didn't see any write-ups that suggested signing Max Scherzer, or Clayton Kershaw, or Noah Syndergaard. The most common Tier 1 SP free agent to appear in these plans was Marcus Stroman, which doesn't surprise me because he looks like a fairly natural Twins fit. In the Handbook we noted how similarly he profiles to José Berríos as a fringe #1/2 type in the rotation. As @DocBauer put it succinctly in their blueprint: "He's quality and proven."

    Robbie Ray was the prime choice of those who wanted to dream big, such as @Greglw3 and @Sconnie, and Carlos Rodón showed up in the blueprints from @Andrew Mahlke and @mk. I was a little surprised by the lack of love for Kevin Gausman, who didn't appear in a single one of these blueprints. 
    We Like Big Mike
    The most common free agent signing across all of these different plans was easily Michael Pineda. More than half of the blueprint submissions call for a Big Mike reunion. It's just too logical a fit. He has a known affinity for playing in Minnesota and should come with a reasonable mid-rotation price tag. In the Handbook we project him for an $8M salary – it may wind up coming in a little higher or lower, but that should be in the ballpark. If you have any faith in him staying healthy and keeping his fastball in the 93-MPH range, that's a good value and a rotation spot taken care of.
    What to Do at Shortstop?
    Opinions were very split on how to approach the Twins' biggest positional need. A few users called for going big – @mitcho8 proposed a Trevor Story signing, while @TheLeviathan and @wildtwinsfan045 made Corey Seager their centerpieces –  but many relented to a stopgap like Jose Iglesias or Freddy Galvis. (Notably, Andrelton Simmons was absent from all blueprints.)
    Who Should Close for the Twins?
    It's a key question. Most blueprints advise the Twins to stick with Taylor Rogers in his final year of arbitration. Some call for adding a co-closer to offset some of the injury risk. User @Doctor Gast decided to crowdsource the question in the forums, which created some good discussion.
    Aside from Rogers, the most popular name seems to be Raisel Iglesias. Ryan Tepera and Kirby Yates (on an incentive-laden deal) were also tossed around. @Rosterman wondered if perhaps Jorge Alcalá could become a closer option as soon as 2022. (There may be something to that.) 
    Kenley Jansen and Craig Kimbrel are pretty clearly out of the question, but one name that conspicuously didn't seem to come up was Mark Melancon. The fact that no one seems to be looking at him almost makes me wonder if the Twins will. Rounding out that top tier with Jansen, Kimbrel and Iglesias, Melancon seems to be the unsexy choice given his age (36) and his unspectacular strikeout rate (8.2 K/9 this year, and in his career). But the guy's track record in the closer role is pretty incredible, and he was an All-Star in 2021.
    Some believe the Twins are better off keeping closer as a backburner priority, such as @nicksaviking, who made this comment that's (at least for me) hard to argue with:
    "Unless it's some surprisingly big name who is a year-in year-out reliable stud, I don't want to hand over the closer gig to any free agent. Relievers rarely have similar years back to back. Their small sample sizes, transient nature and lack of a third pitch tend to make them more unpredictable than other baseball players. In 2022 the high leverage relievers should = whomever is currently the hottest pitchers RIGHT NOW; not last year, or whomever is paid the most."
    Manaea Mania!
    There were several different creative trade scenarios outlined in these blueprints. The most frequent player targeted was Oakland's Sean Manaea. Packages used to acquire the lefty starter differed greatly, and illustrated the difficulty of predicting trades – @Cory Engelhardt pitched a return of Matt Canterino, Matt Wallner and Blayne Enlow (a bit much, IMO), while @Ian23 drew up an exchange of Drew Strotman, Keoni Cavaco and Jermaine Palacios for Manaea and shortstop Elvis Andrus (a bit light, although I like the two-birds-with-one-stone execution here).
    The bottom line is that Manaea looks like a very plausible trade candidate as a starter getting expensive in his final year of arbitration for the low-spending A's. (He's projected to make about $10M in 2021.) He's an excellent fit for the Twins and their needs.  
    Mingling with Miami
    Aside from the Manaea trades, there were a few other interesting ideas offered up. 
    For example, @terrydactyls mapped out a blockbuster that involves Minnesota sending Max Kepler, Luis Arraez, Mitch Garver, and Simeon Woods Richardson to Miami in exchange for Sandy Alcantera and Richard Bleier, with Alcantara serving as a young ace-type centerpiece.
    A blueprint from @sthpstm gives another take on a Twins/Marlins trade, proposing the following: Garver, Trevor Larnach, Miguel Sanó, Canterino (or similar), and $4M to Miami for Edward Cabrera, Jesus Luzardo, and Nick Fortes. Another high-scale concept that brings in high-end young pitching talent, this time with a top prospect as the prize rather than an established MLB starter like Alcantara.
    @TheLeviathan's blueprint included a straight swap of Garver for Sixto Sanchez.
    Clearly, people are zeroing in on the Marlins as a trade partner for Minnesota, and that makes plenty of sense: they have a wealth of young pitching and need bats. As Nash Walker wrote in his feature for the Handbook, "No team is a better trade partner for Minnesota than the Miami Marlins."
    Let's See Your Plan
    We've seen a lot of different ideas laid out above, but there are still endless combinations and permutations of what this Twins offseason could look like. We'd love to see yours, so if you haven't put one together yet, we invite you to grab a copy of the Offseason Handbook, pull up the Roster & Payroll tool, and show us what you've got. 
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  5. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Cody Christie for an article, Oliva and Kaat Running Out of Chances to Make the Hall   
    Voting Process
    Back in the summer of 2020, the National Baseball Hall of Fame decided to postpone the Era Committee elections until the winter of 2021. Although there is still uncertainty about the pandemic, these committee votes will take place this winter. Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat are two players featured prominently on the Golden Days Era ballot (candidates who played between 1950-1969). 

    The ballot consists of 10 candidates that the BBWAA's Historical Overview Committee nominates. A 16-person committee of Hall of Famers, veteran baseball executives, and historians/media members is charged with voting on the candidates. Twelve votes are needed for a player to reach the 75% threshold required for induction. Back in 2014, Oliva and Kaat fell just short of election. Oliva and Dick Allen received 11 votes to fall one vote shy of induction, while Kaat ended with ten votes. 

    The Golden Days Committee will meet on December 5, 2021, with the results being announced that night on MLB Network. The ballot includes Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Roger Maris, Minnie Miñoso, Danny Murtaugh, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, and Maury Wills. Along with Wills, Kaat and Oliva are the only other living members on this ballot. 

    Oliva's Hall of Fame Case
    Since 1900, only two hitters have won a batting title in their rookie season, Tony Oliva and Ichiro Suzuki. He was able to lead the league in runs, hits, doubles, and average on the way to winning the AL Rookie of the Year. He'd go on to win the batting title again in his second season as he was in the midst of eight straight All-Star seasons. Overall, he won three batting titles, led the AL in hits five times, and took home a Gold Glove.

    Oliva finished runner-up for the AL MVP in two different seasons, and he was in the top-20 in eight other campaigns. In 1965, he finished behind teammate Zoilo Versalles even though Oliva's OPS was 89 points higher. Oliva had quite possibly his best professional season five years later, but he finished behind Baltimore's Boog Powell. According to Baseball-Reference, Oliva's WAR that season was nearly two points higher than Powell's.

    Kaat's Hall of Fame Case
    Kaat's longevity is something to behold as part of his Cooperstown case. During a 25-year career, he finished with a 3.45 ERA and 2,461 strikeouts in 4,530 1/3 innings. He was an original member of the Twins franchise as he came with the club when they relocated from Washington. His first 15 big-league seasons were spent in the Senator/Twins organization. He was a two-time All-Star with the Twins, and he led the AL in wins, starts, and innings pitched back in 1966. 

    He played with five different organizations by the end of his career and averaged over 180 innings per season. His defensive prowess puts him into rarified air. He won 16 consecutive Gold Glove awards, which is tied with Brooks Robinson for second all-time. Only Greg Maddux and his 18 Gold Gloves rank ahead of Kaat on the all-time list. 

    Do you think Kaat or Oliva finally get the Cooperstown call? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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  6. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Nick Nelson for an article, What Would a Dramatic Roster Upheaval Look Like for the Twins?   
    To be clear, the scenario we're hypothesizing here is not a commitment to a rebuild, which could involve gutting the payroll, trading stars for distant prospects, and letting the kids run. 
    Instead, we're trying to depict what it might look like if the organization says, "We still want to compete, we still want to spend, but the current mix just isn't working." It will involve keeping some core pieces in place, but unloading large or expiring contracts and charting a new, dramatically different course for the franchise. 
    This means starting with...
    THE SUBTRACTIONS
    Trade 1B Miguel Sanó to San Diego Padres for OF Samuel Zavala
    This is mainly a salary dump. The Twins owe Sanó $9.25M in 2022, with a $3M team option for 2023, so I have them picking up that option amount (added to the "Dead Money" section) while San Diego takes on the rest of his salary and exchanges a lotto ticket in 17-year-old Samuel Zavala. He's an athletic rookie-ball outfielder ranked as the organization's #17 prospect.
    This idea presumes that universal DH is implemented, which seems like a safe bet. The championship-minded Padres could use more pop in the lineup, with first baseman Eric Hosmer and the corner outfielders not providing a ton. 
    Trade 3B Josh Donaldson to Washington Nationals for RHP Joan Adon and LHP Matt Cronin
    Another trade aimed more at salary relief than upgrading talent. This swap was proposed by J.D. Cameron in his story for the Offseason Handbook, so I'll just repurpose it here because it seems like a reasonable framework for a Donaldson deal: Washington sends a couple of mid-tier pitching prospects (ranked #12 and #22 in their system) while taking on two-thirds of JD's remaining commitment. The Twins eat the rest of his salary, so $7M gets added to the Dead Money pool.
    Trade OF Byron Buxton to Philadelphia Phillies for RHP Mick Abel and RHP Francisco Morales
    Here the Twins start getting some real value back. If they determine that an extension with Buxton can't be reached, this is the logical path. Philadelphia reportedly expressed interest in Buxton around the deadline, so here the two sides revisit and strike an accord now that the star center fielder is healthy. 
    For a cost-efficient final year of Buxton's control, Philadelphia gives up its #1 pitching prospect in Abel, who was drafted 15th overall in 2020 (10 picks after Austin Martin) and was ranked by MLB Pipeline ahead of this season as the game's #76 prospect. 
    Abel offers plentiful upside, but he's still a ways off (pitched in Single-A this year and turned 20 in August). To round out the package, Philly adds in Morales, their #6-ranked prospect. He's 22 and reached Triple-A this season, and would bring further depth to Minnesota's substantial crop of near-ready arms in the minors. 
    To be clear, I don't personally endorse a move like this – I think failing to retain Buxton would be a colossal mistake – but if they can't make an extension happen, this feels like a reasonable way to soften the blow by acquiring some quality talent in offsetting the loss.
    Non-tender Taylor Rogers
    Of course a trade would be preferable, but in this scenario I'm assuming the Twins (and other teams) don't feel confident enough in his injured finger to tender an offer in the $7M range, because they feel they can make that money stretch further in free agency. (We'll get to the reallocation of these funds in the bullpen shortly.)
    THE ADDITIONS
    A lineup that's lost three key fixtures in Sanó, Donaldson in Buxton now needs an infusion, and of course there are still those three open rotation spots to address – not to mention a closer spot to fill. The good news is that the above moves have left us with about $85M in spending money for 2022 (assuming a steady $130M payroll). 
    Let's take advantage of this flexibility with a free-agent spending spree, led by two landmark signings that radically reshape the franchise's identity.
    Sign SP Robbie Ray to a 5-year, $125M contract
    At long last, the Twins make their long-awaited plunge into the deep end of the pitching market, signing Ray to the largest free agent contract in team history, coming off a spectacular season in Toronto that will likely earn the Cy Young Award. Ray led the league in strikeouts, innings, and ERA. 
    It had the looks of a true breakout for the 30-year-old, but Ray's mediocre previous run (4.53 ERA from 2018 through 2020) should keep him out of the Gerrit Cole range, meaning the Twins could plausibly win a bidding war. 
    So, we've got our rotation-fronter. Now we turn our attention to a big splash at the shortstop position to counteract the significant subtraction of electricity from Buxton and others.
    Sign SS Javier Báez to a 4-year, $88M contract
    Like Ray, Báez is a high-tier prospect in his free agent class, but not quite at the top because he has some warts. Namely, Báez hasn't been all that great the past couple years. But in 2018 and 2019 he broke out as a superstar, finishing as MVP runner-up in the former.
    Báez would be well worth the $22M AAV if he his 2021 performance (3.6 fWAR) becomes his norm, but the Twins are banking on a return to form of sorts from the 29-year-old. He becomes a cornerstone next to Jorge Polanco, while the Twins hope that one of Royce Lewis, Austin Martin, or Gilberto Celestino can emerge in center to solidify their long-term strength up the middle. 
    WIth that, we turn our attention back to the rotation.
    Sign SP Eduardo Rodriguez to a 3-year, $36M contract
    Rodriguez's advanced metrics shine a much more favorable light on him than his ERA, so it'll be interesting to see how the market gauges him. Based on FanGraphs' value calculation, E-Rod's 3.8 fWAR with Boston in 2021 made him worth nearly $30M; his record of durability and his age (only 28) help his case as well. 
    Still, it's hard to see someone signing Rodriguez to a mega-deal coming off a 4.74 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. This looks like the type of opportunistic buy-low play the Twins aspire toward. The framework and approach are not dissimilar to the Rangers' (highly effective) strategy in free agent signings like Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson.
    Sign OF Mark Canha to a 3-year, $30M contract
    Even with Baez added to the mix, the position player group still needs more veteran reinforcements to aid the internally-driven evolution of the lineup. Canha looks like a nice fit – he's a right-handed bat capable of playing left field, center, and first base. On-base skills are his calling card, as illustrated by a .377 OBP over the past three seasons. He's been a steady fixture for the A's. 
    There will surely be some reservations about handing the reins to Jose Miranda and Trevor Larnach as starters. Canha's presence in the lineup mitigates the rookie risk by provide needed experience and leadership.
    Sign RP Raisel Iglesias to a 2-year, $16M contract
    The loss of Rogers obviously leaves a huge hole at the end of the bullpen. To address it, we're signing Iglesias coming off a great year with the Angels. His track record as a closer (134 saves and a 2.87 ERA over the past five years) may have yielded a bigger deal in years past, but I wonder if the league's generally declining fixation on the save statistic – along with a competitive high end of free agency that also includes Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel, and Mark Melancon – might keep Iglesias relatively affordable.
    The FA relief market is notoriously volatile, but Iglesias looks like as much of a sure thing as you're going to find. (Of course, the same could've been said about Addison Reed when they the Twins signed him to a similar deal in 2018.) In case you can't tell, I'm not too enthusiastic about throwing guaranteed money at relievers, which is why this is my only significant move in the bullpen. But in order for this unit to have a fighting chance, we needed at least one.
    Sign SP Corey Kluber to a 1-year, $7M contract
    We've got a bit of money left and one key vacancy to account for: the third rotation spot. Kluber fits the bill as a short-term stopgap with some upside. Since signing his one-year, $11 deal with the Yankees for 2021, Kluber has gotten a year older and dealt with more injuries. His velocity was down, he was limited to 16 starts and 80 innings, and he did not appear in the postseason.
    With that said, the 35-year-old showed enough positive signs while on the field – 3.83 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 9.2 K/9 rate, above-average ratings in many key Statcast metrics – to merit belief that his tank is not yet emptied.
    SUMMARY

    This plan represents a complete change in direction for the Twins, both substantively and stylistically. In Buxton, Donaldson, and Sanó, we're losing our three most established power bats, eschewing the homer-driven Bomba Squad offensive model in search of greater balance and a youth infusion.
    I'd imagine an Opening Day lineup that looks something like this:
    Arraez, 3B Baez, SS Polanco, 2B Kirilloff, 1B Garver, DH Kepler, CF Canha, LF Larnach, RF Jeffers, C On the pitching side, Ray and Rodriguez become veteran building blocks – to be rejoined by Kenta Maeda in 2023 – as the system feeds the rest of the rotation. We're counting on Iglesias to become an anchor in the back of the bullpen, supported by returns of Tyler Duffey, Jorge Alcala, Caleb Thielbar, and Juan Minaya.  
    Would the Twins actually follow a path this drastic during the offseason? I doubt it. But there are signs that a significant shakeup could be at hand. This blueprint shows a semi-extreme version of what this could look like in practice.
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    nicksaviking reacted to RandBalls Stu for an article, Joe Mauer Reviews Dune   
    Twins Daily usually stays between the lines as regards content. However, when the best catcher in team history sends a movie review to our Friday correspondent, we disregard the baseball aspect. What follows is Joe Mauer’s review of the 2021 film Dune, now available on HBO Max and in theaters nationwide.
    Hey guys. I watched the movie Dune at mom’s house. She usually gets sore when me or Jake (Mauer, Joe’s younger brother) watch HBO there because they show S-E-X stuff at night, but I told her this was more like the Star Wars so she let it slide.
    I wasn’t even telling stories to Mom there, I really thought this was a Star Wars movie. Remember when Luke Skywalker was just driving around the desert with his cool grampa and the robots from England? It was a whole bunch of dunes! Easy mistake to make if you’re asking me.
    I was wrong. No funny robots or Han Solo, I tell you what. I guess this movie involves Timothy Huggybear or whatever and the one young woman from Shake It Up on Disney Channel and they’re trying to find a bunch of spices and get into adventures? I’ll be honest, it was real tough to follow.
    The thing is, I knew it was going to be a real weirdo beardo, because my friend Glen (Perkins, former Twins pitcher) told me there was a Dune that came out when I was born with the guy from Twin Peaks and the Police rock band and it was super cool. The thing is Glen always mixes his lies with the truth to mess with me so I knew he was busting my chops lol. Also he might be the devil? Mom’s kinda on the fence about him.
    Anyway, when Timothy Chandelier and Shake It Up Chicago go on their adventure, it’s pretty fun. I couldn’t follow it all that closely because Jake kept hucking wiffle balls at me while I was trying to watch the ding-dang movie. But the parts I could watch before Jake put Bob Seger on the Bluetooth speakers looked really fun.
    Anyway, I guess I’d watch this again. Have a great weekend, guys.
    Stay golden,
    Joe
  8. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Cody Christie for an article, Minnesota Needs to Outbid for an Ace   
    Minnesota will need to hit on some cheaper rotation options to be competitive in 2022, and these buy-low candidates all fit that bill. However, affordable rotation options aren't going to help the team to contend. In recent years, the current front office has targeted some of the top free-agent pitchers, but none have accepted Minnesota's offer.

    Leading into the 2019 season, Minnesota targeted Zach Wheeler and offered him a contract north of $100 million. He eventually signed with Philadelphia for $118 million. Minnesota looked into Madison Bumgarner that same winter, but he took a below-market deal to pitch close to his ranch in Arizona. The Twins had to pivot that winter and ended up signing Josh Donaldson, but that didn't help their starting pitching deficiency. 

    Trading for Kenta Maeda was undoubtedly a move that bolstered the rotation for multiple seasons. Unfortunately, he is likely out for all of 2022 following Tommy John surgery. Minnesota signed Randy Dobnak to a unique contract extension last winter, and he followed that up with the worst season of his career. The front office has tried different avenues to build the starting staff even if they haven't worked out. 

    Some fans may point to Jose Berrios as one player the Twins could have overpaid to stay at the top of the team's rotation. Some of the top-tier starting pitchers this year compare very similarly to Berrios. However, he and his team have gone through the arbitration process with the goal of him hitting free agency and capitalizing on his value. Minnesota was right to trade him away when his value was highest, and they have the same opportunity as the other clubs to sign him following the 2022 campaign. 

    Free-agent starting pitching is something the Twins haven't spent a lot on in the past, and now the timing may be right. Some of the available veteran starting pitchers aren't going to consider Minnesota as a viable option. They see their careers as coming to a close, and there's no guarantee the Twins will be relevant in 2022. This crosses Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Clayton Kershaw off the list, but there are other names to consider. 

    Two other top-tier free agents, Carlos Rodon and Noah Syndergaard have injury concerns that teams will want to avoid. There is certainly the upside potential with these two players, but the risk may not be worth the reward. This leaves players like Kevin Gausman, Robbie Ray, and Marcus Stroman as the remaining top tier starting pitcher targets. 

    Based on Minnesota's previous track record, the only way to get an ace to Minnesota is to overpay. All three of the pitchers mentioned above will cost over $20 million per season, with Gausman and Ray having the potential to make even more. Even if the Twins are out of contention in 2022, these three players can be part of the franchise's next winning window. Other pitching will be needed, but Minnesota needs to outbid other teams to get a name penciled at the top of the rotation. 

    To read more about this year's crop of free-agent pitchers, make sure to order your copy of the 2022 Offseason Handbook. If you order today, it will be sent directly to your email. 

    Which pitcher do you think the Twins are most likely to target? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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  9. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Cody Pirkl for an article, The Twins Don’t Need a High End Utilityman   
    Let's just be upfront about this. The utilityman market isn’t incredibly ripe with players this winter. This is directly referencing Dodgers star Chris Taylor. After years in the October spotlight with Los Angeles, yet another standout postseason performance in 2021 has Twins fans dreaming, and for good reason. It’s a fun idea and Taylor is a great player who would make any team better, but the Twins shouldn’t be chomping at the bit to bring him in.
    Taylor was a marginal minor league player in Seattle before being traded to LA for a guy who wound up throwing 12 MLB innings. Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto later called the trade “clearly the worst deal I’ve ever made”, as Taylor’s current career line sits at .261/.337/.443, 11% above average offensively. That doesn’t even tell the story of Taylor’s ability to play just about any position on the diamond as needed. So why shouldn’t the Twins plan to bring in such a player?
    To state the obvious, the team is an absolute mess. I do believe their needs can be addressed this winter in a way that returns them to contention, but a utilityman is far from the top of the list. There are currently two starting pitchers in the 2022 starting rotation. I’d guess the Twins want to bring in at least 4 candidates to fill those vacancies, which is going to cost a decent amount of money if done correctly.
    In addition, they’ll likely also want at least a proven bullpen arm or two. Taylor Rogers will be a question mark if brought back due to his finger injury and Tyler Duffey’s 2021 made him a much bigger question mark than in years past. You’d have to hope they plan on signing legitimate pieces this winter rather than cheap bounce back candidates and players all 29 other teams have passed on. That’ll cost a good bit of cash as well.
    It could be argued that the vacancy at shortstop could be filled by the versatile Taylor. He was fine defensively there in 2021 to be fair although at 31 he’s nearing a point where shortstop defense tends to decline rapidly. Taylor has surely earned himself a long term deal, however, which may not be in the Twins best interest in the future. The hope is for someone like Royce Lewis to take the reins at shortstop relatively soon, and what becomes of Taylor then? Sure, he can cover most other positions, but that kind of versatility may be less valuable to the Twins than other teams.
    People already raise the concern of Luis Arraez getting enough at bats across a full season due to not having a full time spot. He gets his starts spelling Josh Donaldson, Jorge Polanco or one of the corner outfielders in order to get into the lineup regularly. The only other position Taylor would be truly needed at is backing up in center field, a job that can be filled for much cheaper in free agency.
    To be clear, Taylor would absolutely make the Twins better. They would likely prefer a stopgap type shortstop, but he would be useful at other positions if their plans with Royce Lewis come to fruition. After all, having too many options is a good problem to have. That being said, I think now is the wrong time to sign a player like Chris Taylor. Nobody can say exactly where this team is in their contention window and there are significant question marks around highly impactful players like Byron Buxton. There are gaping holes across the roster and unless ownership is truly willing to throw down some dollars, it’s not worth shortchanging themselves elsewhere for added versatility.
    If they run into a 2019 Marwin Gonzalez situation where come Spring Training he’s still looking for a place to go, there would be nothing wrong with being opportunistic if it’s in the budget. The Twins have bigger needs to address on the front end of free agency, however, and Chris Taylor should be nowhere near priority number one. Now just isn’t the right time.
     
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  10. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Tom Froemming for an article, Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Before we get into those three items, here’s a video that takes a bit of a deeper look at where the Giants and Red Sox were the past couple years and how they re-emerged after quiet offseasons.
    You Don’t Need A Rebuild
    All that recent success makes it easy to forget neither the Giants or Red Sox made the postseason the past two years (four years for the Giants). That’s especially noteworthy since 16 teams qualified for the playoffs in last year’s shortened season.
    With aging rosters and former stars on bloated contracts, both orgs were in the type of position where rebuilding had to have been considered. Yes, Boston traded away Mookie Betts prior to last season, but they never turned it into a full-on tear down, throw in the towel type situation.
    Meanwhile, several of the league’s bottom teams repeat their place in the standings year after year. Some organizations like the Houston Astros have made rebuilds work in the not-so-distant past, but they are looking more like the exception than the rule.
    Re-tooling can work.
    You Don’t Need A Flashy Offseason
    The Twins spent more on free agents this past offseason than both the Giants and Red Sox. The Twins shelled out $41.75 million while the Giants spent $41.35 million and the Red Sox were at $38.95 million. On the flip side, those teams actually acquired a greater number of players (10 signed for the Giants and eight for Boston), choosing to spread the wealth more than the Twins (six players).
    Meanwhile, the top two spending teams last winter (the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies) and three of the top-five spenders (adding the New York Mets) all missed the playoffs. And if there’s any team that “won” the 2020-21 offseason it was the San Diego Padres. That’s where their winning streak ended.
    The offseason most definitely matters — the 2021 Twins are as much proof of that as any team — but big splashes and flashy signings (or lack thereof) still don’t guarantee anything.
    You Don’t Need A Lavish Bullpen
    There are some expensive, big-name bullpens among this year’s playoff participants but Boston and San Francisco are not among them. 
    The Red Sox have a couple of highly-paid members of their bullpen, but Garrett Richards isn’t there by design (he was signed as a starter) and Adam Ottavino was acquired as a salary dump. It’s not as if either of those guys is exactly a difference-maker, either.
    In fact, the Red Sox bullpen leader in WAR was Garrett Whitlock, their Rule 5 pick. They had eight different pitchers record saves in the second half alone, including former Twins great Hansel Robles.
    The Giants have done even more with a great deal less invested. They signed Jake McGee to a modest two-year, $7 million deal, just $2 million of which was paid this season. Oh, and he was their highest-paid reliever. McGee ended up as one of only nine pitchers to save 30 games this season. 
    San Francisco had a handful of underpaid studs in their pen including Tyler Rogers, Jarlin Garcia, Jose Alvarez, Zack Littell (ouch) and Dominic Leone. When McGee went down, however, it was rookie Camilo Doval who stepped up and was the National League reliever of the month for September. He had a 4.99 ERA and a 7.0 BB/9 in 28 games at Triple-A this season!
    Sometimes a reliever just happens. That’s exactly the kind of thing the Twins need next year.
    The Giants ranked sixth in bullpen WAR (per FanGraphs) and the Red Sox were ninth, a spot ahead of the Mets, who ended the year with four of the top-20 paid relievers in baseball (Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz). The Mets also only won four more games than the Twins this year.
    The Twins have a long way to go from 89 losses back to contention, but they don’t need to tear it down, have an extravagant offseason or spend big on risky bullpen arms to do so. The Giants and Red Sox are proof of that.
  11. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Seth Stohs for an article, A 32-Year-Old Rookie, Twins Promote Drew Maggi   
    The road has been long and windy for Drew Maggi. The Phoenix native was drafted out of Brophy College Prep by the hometown Diamondbacks in the 47th round of the 2008 draft. Two years later, he was the Pirates 15th round pick out of Arizona State. And that began his pro journey. 
    Maggi spent five seasons with the Pirates organization. He reached Double-A in 2014. 
    He posted a .606 OPS in 125 games for the Angels Double-A affiliate in Arkansas in 2015. 
    In 2016, he went to the Dodgers organization and split the season between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City. There, he was a teammate of Twins minor league director Alex Hassan. 
    He remained in Oklahoma City in 2017. 
    In 2018, he played for Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate in Columbus. 
    Then in 2019, he signed a minor league deal with the Twins. He began that season with 11 games at Double-A Pensacola. He then played 108 games with Triple-A Rochester and hit .258/.384/.405 (.788) with 19 doubles, four triples and 10 homers. 
    In 2020, he was invited to Twins big-league spring training. As we know, the season was delayed and the minor league season was cancelled, but Maggi was invited and worked out at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul.
    This spring, he was again invited to big-league spring training. He has played in 86 games for the St. Paul Saints. He has hit .261/.364/.486 (.850) with 12 doubles, two triples and 16 home runs. 
    On Saturday morning, he was officially called up to the Twins. 
    Now I know many will ask why I get excited for feel-good stories like this? Many will ask why Maggi instead of top hitting prospect Jose Miranda. I understand that. I initially wondered the same thing, but that dissipated pretty quickly for me. 
    I love feel-good stories. The Twins have done it in the past. All teams have, and I think it's great. Remember five years ago when the Twins called up James Beresford for September. It gave him a chance to make big-league money for a month, but it was also a Thank You from the organization that he called home for ten years. 
    Maggi has only been in the Twins organization for three seasons, but he's been in the game a long time. He's a good player. He's displayed power. He has played wherever he's been asked. He can play all four infield spots and even has spent some time in the outfield. 
    He may rarely play with the Twins. Or, he could come up and get a shot and have a great two-week stretch. 
    Maggi will likely be DFAd at season's end, and that's fine, but forever, he will be able to call himself a big leaguer.  
    From the Twins perspective they have called up several players that they had signed to minor league contracts this year. And, a story like this isn't going to get lost on minor league free agents this offseason, or next offseason. 
    Jose Miranda is a part of the future. He's going to contribute to the Twins for years to come. Drew Maggi is probably playing the final two weeks of his professional career, or maybe he'll be thrilled to come back to the Twins next year because he knows that they have done right by him and others. 
    In a bad season, a dark season, we do need to find the positives. We should be excited for the person, and we should hope for good from Drew Maggi. I know I am happy for him! 
    As mentioned Rob Refsnyder was placed on the Injured List to make room for Maggi on the 28-man roster. Taylor Rogers was placed on the 60-Day IL to make room for Maggi on the 40-man roster. 
     
  12. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Lucas Seehafer PT for an article, Why Get a Second Opinion For an Elbow Injury?   
    Let's begin with a brief anatomy and biomechanics lesson. 
    The ulnar collateral ligament — more frequently referred to as the UCL — is a robust and triangular sheet of tissue that helps support the inner elbow against valgus stress. The elbow experiences the most valgus stress during a baseball game when the arm is driven forward at high rates of speed while throwing a ball.

    Damage to the UCL occurs when the torque produced as the arm is thrust forward — the technical term is internal rotation — is more significant than what the structure can compensate. Injury can occur chronically as well as acutely and is generally described as a sprain. The degree of damage is graded on a scale of 1-3. Grade 1 sprains are usually minor injuries that heal within a week or two. Grade 2 sprains — also referred to as partial tears — cause instability in the joint as some 50% of the ligament fibers have been damaged; the most frequently reported symptoms are pain and swelling. The recovery timeline for grade 2 sprains generally extends into months. Grade 3 sprains — or ruptures — result in significant instability and require Tommy John surgery to address. 
    Grade 2 sprains are where the best route of treatment is murkiest. As the UCL is technically an extension of the joint capsule — a larger sheet of tissue that envelops a joint and provides stability and nourishment — it has a relatively good blood supply, meaning it is technically capable of healing on its own without surgery. (Side note: This is why ACL injuries require surgery in most instances. Although the ACL is inside the knee, it is technically separate from the joint capsule, and, thus, has almost no blood supply.)
    However, the UCL does not have the same blood supply throughout its structure. A recent study found evidence to suggest that the blood supply is best nearer where it connects to the upper arm bone — proximal — and decreases as the ligament extends to the forearm — distal. This finding may suggest that grade 2 sprains of the UCL that occur proximally are more likely to heal without surgery than those that are distal (or, read another way, Tommy John surgeries that treat proximal tears are more likely to be "successful" than their distal counterparts.) (Another side note: Interestingly, a study conducted in 2020 found data to suggest the opposite, though it should be noted that the study had a small sample size and was retrospective; both factors limit the findings' strength.)
    Rest and anti-inflammatory medication are most often the first two steps in treating a grade 2 UCL sprains followed by physical therapy to improve range of motion and increase the strength of the surrounding muscles. While the UCL provides static stability for the inner elbow (i.e., its fibers don't contract and act as a brace), the forearm musculature provides dynamic stability (i.e., its fibers do contract and pull the inner elbow together). Having strong forearm muscles is vital for protecting the healing UCL.
    Another treatment often reported after an athlete is diagnosed with a UCL sprain is platelet-rich plasma (PRP). 
    The theory behind PRP is sound. The process involves drawing blood into a test tube, spinning it around rapidly in a centrifuge to separate the blood into plasma and red blood cells, sucking the plasma into a syringe, and injecting the plasma into the injured tissue. Plasma contains a variety of cells and other substances, one of which are platelets. Platelets help form the foundation on which new tissue grows and secret substances that help aid the healing process.
    Again, theoretically.
    The results surrounding PRP injections and return to play in baseball are … inconclusive, at best. Read one study, and you may come away believing that they work exceptionally well. Read another, and you may think they're just a bunch of hocus pocus. The fact of the matter is this: Despite being relatively well studied, there is little evidence, at this point, to suggest that PRP injections are the medical savior they were once considered to be.
    So, back to the original question. Why should Maeda and the Twins even pursue a second opinion?
    Well, the short answer is "Why not?" If the injury Maeda suffered is a UCL sprain, and if he ultimately undergoes surgery, he'll miss the entirety of the 2022 season anyway. Waiting another week or two to gather more information won't prevent him from playing next year.
    The longer answer is that the most appropriate course of treatment may or may not be surgery, depending on various factors, including grade, location, and, frankly, a specific doctor's training and treatment philosophy. Again, if Maeda is dealing with UCL damage and if it is partial and proximal, it may have a chance to heal on its own. 
    Also, and this bears repeating, what's the harm in trying conservative rehabilitation and waiting on surgery? Best case scenario: Maeda can pitch again in relatively short order and definitely be next season. Worst case scenario: Maeda has to undergo surgery, which, again, would keep him out of 2022 anyway. 
    At this stage, there is minimal downside for the Twins and Maeda in gathering as much information as possible. The team isn't going to the playoffs, he's under contract next year, and he's one of the more critical pitching pieces in the Twins' system.
    I'll pose the question again. Why should Maeda and the Twins seek a second opinion? Because it's the right thing to do.
  13. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Matthew Lenz for an article, Fact or Fiction: The Twins Way Didn't Work for Matt Shoemaker   
    In the article written by Dean Spiros of the Pioneer Press, Shoemaker says he is now pitching "the opposite of how the Twins wanted [him] to pitch." Perhaps this is why in 20 innings with the St. Paul Saints, he has a 1.80/3.82 ERA/FIP with improved strikeout and walk rates compared to the 60 1/3 innings he pitched with the Twins. Although 20 innings is a small sample, he's also keeping opposing hitters in the ballpark, which was a massive problem in his time with the Twins, where he has the third-highest home run per nine innings rate among all pitchers who have thrown 60 or more innings.

    In fairness to Shoemaker, he didn't completely trash the Twins and shouldered some of the blame by saying that "[he] could have said no." He also hopes to be back with the big league club at some point by saying, "I really like the Twins organization," he said. "The guys up top, the staff, that's where it's tough…." Truthfully, I don't think there is anything wrong with what Shoemaker said and how he said it. I believe that some of the headlines generated from these quotes made Shoemaker out to be the bad guy when in reality, he was taking some responsibility for his struggles.

    I'm not here to debate the semantics of what was said and how the media and fans interpreted it. But we can look into his claims that the Twins asked him to make adjustments that ultimately lead to him getting DFA'd, unclaimed, and assigned to the St. Paul Saints on July 1st.
    Pre-Twins Tendencies
    Before coming to the Twins, Matt Shoemaker had thrown more than 600 innings with a 3.86/4.03 ERA/FIP, 3.7 K/BB, and a 1.3 HR/9 over eight injury-riddled seasons. He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2014 and had an excellent 2016 season, but since then, he hasn't thrown 80 innings in a season due to various injuries to his arm, knee, and shoulder. The Twins were undoubtedly taking a risk on him, but most assumed that he would be a suitable piece for the back end of a rotation that had World Series hopes as long as he's healthy. Even the biggest naysayer couldn't have predicted the season that Shoemaker ended up having. Even Jeremy Maschino, who has no affiliation to the Twins or Shoemaker, was optimistic about the signing.
    In the aforementioned Pioneer Press article, Shoemaker claims that he's had success when he works up and down in the strike zone with changing speeds. Being that he's been oft-injured from 2017 to 2020, I decided to go back to his last full season in 2016, which also happens to be the most successful season of his career.

    Reviewing his Statcast Pitch Arsenal on Baseball Savant in that season, you can see that he'd throw his four-seam fastball and sinker up in the zone while Shoemaker threw his change-up and slider down in the zone. Quick note: depending on the year and the source, his change-up can also be classified as a split-finger. That change-up/split-finger, in particular, was about eight miles per hour slower than his four-seam with significantly more vertical movement and, according to Brooks Baseball, hitters slugged just .286 off of the pitch in 2016. These tendencies remained consistent when I looked at his career from 2013 to 2020 and seemingly aligned with what he said in the article. So what does "the opposite" of those tendencies look like for Shoemaker?
    2021 Tendencies with the Twins

    Right away, I'll again point out that what was classified as a "change-up" in 2016 was re-classified as a split-finger in 2017 and every year since. You can also see pretty quickly that Shoemaker did seem to adjust to the "Twins way" by relying more heavily on his slider in 2021 (thrown 24.5-percent of the time) than throughout his entire career (16.5-percent). That change may be what Shoemaker is referring to, which hitters have slugged .484 before the 2021 season. This year hitters are slugging .507 off his slider while his split-finger is still his most effective pitch with an opponent slugging percentage of .392. That said, I think Shoemaker needs to take a little more responsibility than saying, "I could have said no."

    Despite the increase in slider usage, his fastball, sinker, and split-finger tendencies are primarily in line with what he had done throughout his career. He throws his fastball higher in the zone coupled with his split-finger down in the zone, although his sinker heat map appears to be a little more erratic. In general, all of his heat maps are more erratic than those from his 2016, which is where I think he needs to take some responsibility for his struggles. Moreover, he may disagree with the pitch calling, but I can't imagine that the Twins were asking you to throw 92 mile per hour fastballs down the heart of the plate.
    Conclusion
    There is plenty of blame to share here. It's not all on the Twins, and it's not all on Matt Shoemaker. I think the Twins are at fault for asking Shoemaker to increase usage on the least effective pitch in his arsenal. As Shoemaker suggested in the article, what might work for one guy isn't necessarily going to work for the next guy. What's concerning to me is that his career numbers suggested that, yet the Twins went ahead with their heavy slider approach anyway. At the same time, it's clear that Shoemaker isn't as effective with his pitches as he was pre-injuries. Is that something that will improve as he gets more innings under his belt or something that can be fixed with a stint in the Minors? Time will tell, and now that the trade deadline has come and gone, I think it's only a matter of time before we see Shoemaker back in a Twins uniform.

    What were your thoughts on Shoemaker's claims? Were they legit or just a disgruntled player failing to own up to his struggles?

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  14. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Nick Nelson for an article, Letting Byron Buxton Walk Will Haunt   
    In Minnesota baseball lore, David Ortiz is the equivalent of Boston's Bambino, or Wrigleyville's billy goat. The very mention of Big Papi causes a visceral shudder for any Twins fan within earshot, surfacing deep feelings of regret and lament. How differently things might have gone for the Twins had Ortiz stayed in Minnesota. (Aaron Gleeman wrote a fun "what if" article about this last year.)
    Naturally, the Ortiz example is invoked any time a promising Twins player departs unduly – the sports fan's equivalent of a PTSD reaction. Lingering fear of a recurrence envelopes us, clouding our judgment. In most cases, this apprehension proves unwarranted. Nonetheless, the Curse of Papi persists.
    You all know where I'm going with this: Is Byron Buxton the next David Ortiz??
    In some ways, it's a fitting parallel. Ortiz left Minnesota in his late 20s, having shown flashes of standout ability, before immediately blossoming elsewhere. In Boston, he emerged as a perennial MVP contender, postseason legend, and franchise icon. It's all too easy to envision the same path for Buxton, except therein lies the difference: you don't need to imagine it. Buxton already IS that guy. He was the AL Player of the Month in April and has been one of the game's best players on a per-game basis for the last three years. After a long and meandering path, he has finally reached his true potential as a top-shelf elite MLB player. 
    Yes, the injuries have remained a constant. But that's exactly why a long-term extension with Buxton would even be attainable right now for a team like the Twins. If not for the implications and associated risk of his health history, he'd likely be eyeing a deal outside of Minnesota's realistic scope. 
    It might seem odd when you're talking about offering more than $100 million to a player whose track record is as sparse as Buxton's, but the Twins should theoretically be able to secure a relative bargain here due to the circumstances. 
    Alas, the front office seems a tad too ambitious in its hunt for a bargain. The allure of signing Buxton long-term is that he can offer a potential impact on the level of a Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, or Fernando Tatis Jr., but at a fraction of the guaranteed commitment.
    That said, the clear value needs to be there for Buxton, who knows his level of ability, and it is evidently not. His camp rejected Minnesota's offer, which reportedly elevated from $73 million to $80 million in guaranteed money with a "unique incentive package." Sounds like those incentives were the sticking point. At this juncture we don't what was proposed or countered, so analyzing the negotiation is murky.
    Then again, it's also difficult to fathom what kind of request or suggested terms from Buxton's agent would make the Twins balk to the point they're giving up on an opportunity to secure this generational talent, at the precipice of true superstardom.
    A somewhat similar dynamic is at play with José Berríos, who was drafted the same year as Buxton and is also looking ahead to free agency at the end of 2022. One can certainly argue that Berríos is more critical to the Twins' future, given their scarcity of high-quality arms. 
    But in a way, he is the antithesis of Buxton: ultra-reliable with a capped ceiling. Berríos has been one of the most durable and consistent pitchers in the game – steadily very good, just short of great, always available. Meanwhile, Buxton has improved every season in a setback-riddled career that's been full of ups and downs. He's just now reaching his full form, displaying game-changing greatness that is almost unparalleled.
    Yes, Berríos will be difficult to replace, in that arms like his don't come along often. The Twins certainly haven't proven adept at finding or developing them. But Buxton is irreplaceable in a more absolute sense. Athletes and human beings like him almost NEVER come along. His speed, power, and defense are off-the-charts good. He's one of the most entertaining players I've ever seen. And he's still getting better.
    I can see the rationale in moving on from Berríos. He's clearly intent on testing free agency and maximizing his earnings. There will be no discount or bonus-contingent contract in play there. And it's awfully hard for a mid-market team to build balanced contending rosters when paying one of their five starting pitchers $25+ million annually.
    Their everyday center fielder, though? One who's proven to be an MVP-caliber talent while on the field? And who won't even be reaching that salary range unless he's staying on the field enough to trigger incentives? 
    I'm struggling to understand why the Twins aren't stepping up here. Target Field was ostensibly built for the exact purpose of keeping a player like this. From available evidence, it doesn't seem like the team is making a particularly hearty effort to do what it takes to retain him. Whatever Buxton's side is asking for – $30-plus million in annual achievable salary, an early opt-out clause, lower-than-desired bonus thresholds – none of those should be deal-breakers.  
    Maybe there's still a way. Buxton said on Monday "it's not the end," leaving some faint cause for hope. But at this point, the outlook is grim. 
    It's true that signing Buxton long-term would entail some risk. But it pales in comparison to the risk of watching him go elsewhere, shake off the snakebitten injury luck, and emerge as a late-blooming legend while Twins fans spend another decade lamenting the one that got away. In this case, it'd be a much less excusable gaffe than releasing David Ortiz. 
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  15. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to John Bonnes for an article, Three Things to Like (and Hate) about the Nelson Cruz Trade   
    #3 Reason to Like This Deal – The Timing
    Congrats, Minnesota. You're kind of a big deal. Your team just made the biggest trade of the trade deadline so far because Cruz was the best bat on the trade market. That market was a bit limited, given that he can't play in the National League, but he was still the big dog.
    And believe it or not, the question you should be asking was, "Why did they make the deal so early?" The Twins have been out of the postseason race for a month, but often a deal like this is not made until a day or two before the deadline. Sometimes it's not made until the afternoon of the trade deadline. Seeing a deal come together a week early suggests one of two things, both positive for the Twins:
    They got an offer they could not refuse. That's good news. They gave "buyers" a deadline for their best deal. I suspect the latter. The Twins looked at the market and decided to push the first domino. They still have at least Michael Pineda, Andrelton Simmons, and Hansel Robles to move, and they want to start fielding offers.
    It also might be that they saw teams waiting on making offers for someone like Cubs' third baseman Kris Bryant until Cruz had found a landing spot. That's important because the Twins are likely trying to move Josh Donaldson. That's more difficult until Bryant is traded, since Bryant doesn't have $50M attached to him as Donaldson does.
    So even if the Twins insisted on the timing, it's a ploy that suits their needs.
    #3 Reason to Hate This Deal - Beware the Rays
    The Rays have earned the title of the Smartest Team in Any Deal. It's happened over and over, even when the names involved were premier players like Blake Snell or Chris Archer. It's hard to win a trade with the Rays.
    That said, the last deal the Twins made with the Rays has turned out great. Before the 2018 season, the Rays traded Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for prospect Jermaine Palacio. Odorizzi only had one good year with the Twins – but it was a terrific year, posting a 3.51 ERA in 2019 and resurrecting his career.
    Meanwhile, Palacios is back in the Twins organization. He's playing at AA-Witchita this year. He's 24 years old and having a breakout season, posting a 782 OPS as a shortstop after leaving the Rays' farm system. So, at the very least, the Twins weren't fleeced in that deal.
    #2 – Reason to Like the Deal – The Twins NAILED a Need
    Was the Twins' starting pitching the biggest reason for this year's disappointing season? Maybe not. But it's within the top four for sure, and feel free to debate the order in the comments. (Your candidates: starting pitching, injuries, [insert your favorite rant here], Alex Colome).
    But if the Twins want to take advantage of the competitive window they have from 2022-2024, they need major-league ready (and preferably cost-controlled) pitching. That's precisely what they got in this trade.
    The Twins only have two starting pitchers returning next year – Kenta Maeda and Jose Berrios. This year's backup plans - Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, and Lewis Thorpe – have been injured. So have all three of the top pitching prospects in the organization: Jhoan Duran, Matt Canterino, and Jordan Balozovic. Plus, the Twins likely have only about $40M to spend on the free agent market next year.  
    Getting back cost-controlled but solid major league pitching is no easy task in Major League Baseball. Looking at the other players the Twins could trade, very few could field that return. Nelson Cruz was their best (and maybe last) chance to do so, and they pulled it off.
    #2 Reason to Hate It – Nelly's Gone
    Losing Nelson Cruz sucks. He was a perfect fit for this team, and the team ended up being a perfect fit for him. Even though he played for the Twins from when he was 38 to 41 years old, he posted the highest OPS (984) of his career for any team. Read that again. Texas (823 OPS) and Seattle (908 OPS) revere him. But Cruz never played better for any team – unless he does so for the Rays. And I hope he does. Kick some ass, Nelly.
    Plus, of course, the whole leadership thing. Cruz was the MVP for both full seasons he played for the Twins, and while his performance certainly justified it, it was his teammates' testimonials that made that choice a no-doubter. He doesn't call attention to himself with histrionics or conspicuous public displays. He just led. The media didn't hear that from Cruz. They learned about it from his teammates. That's how you know it was real. Which brings us to the best reason to dislike this trade...
    #1 Reason to Hate It – And He Ain't Coming Back
    Sometimes you have to leave the past behind, and I suspect the Twins recognize that. Cruz will turn 42 years old next year, and that presents a significant risk. They also have younger bats, like Brent Rooker and maybe even Mitch Garver or Luis Arraez, that they would like to try as a designated hitter. Plus, he will likely cost any team over $10M to sign, and we've already covered the potential payroll squeeze that awaits this team.
    It's not impossible. The Twins love him, clearly. Cruz loves them right back. So never say never. But this season revealed so many leaks in the Twins' ship that I'll be surprised if they expend resources to bring Nellie back for one more year. It would have been nice to have him around a few more months, given that reality. 
    #1 Reason to Like The Trade – They Did Pretty Good
    If you screw up the players you get back, none of it means a damn thing. We won't know for sure about these guys until their Twins' careers are over, but there are some things to be excited about with the players the Twins got in return.
    The lesser (right now) of the two prospects is Drew Strotman. It's worth noting that he's the higher draft pick of the two, so he was not always second fiddle. He's also on the Rays' 40-man roster, which is a negative to his value in terms of roster management, but shows just how impressed the Rays were with him just last year. He has a mid-90s fastball, a plus slider, and added an impressive cutter last year to complete the package.
    That potential hasn't been displayed yet this year in AAA. He's had decent results (3.39 ERA) but is walking way too many batters. But he's also just 24 years old, and this is his first taste of AAA after skipping AA altogether.
    The more intriguing prospect is Joe Ryan. He wasn't particularly near a top 100 prospect in preseason rankings, but it'll be interesting to see if that has changed given his performance this year in AAA. Tallying 75K in 57 IP, with just ten walks and a 0.789(!) WHIP, can change expectations.
    His profile is funky enough to either cast doubt or raise eyebrows. He has a mid-90s fastball that batters have trouble picking up due to his delivery. The COVID year allowed him to work with the Rays coaching staff on his secondary offerings, which seem to have improved. Plus, he is a bit of a free spirit, based on this profile of his development in Sports Illustrated.
    If Twins fans want a preview of him, check out the US Olympic Baseball team. He's on it. Or make your way to CHS Field in St. Paul in August. Or maybe you won't need to cross the river. He might be ready for a trial at Target Field before the year is over.
    The Twins did reasonably well in their first move of the trade deadline season. They made a solid and aggressive move at a good time, getting quality players and filling a need. It also sets them up nicely for more moves before the July 30th deadline.
    But yeah, it's a shame it had to come to this. And the team will need to wait and see if their move turns out as well as they hope.
  16. Haha
    nicksaviking reacted to RandBalls Stu for an article, Glenwood Man Readies Self For Next Bad Trade   
    With the trade deadline looming, the Minnesota Twins are acknowledged sellers. And for Benjamin Mason, the awful dread of which future former Twin will become an All-Star in 2023 is consuming his every waking moment.
    “I’m resigned to Jose Berrios winning the Cy Young next year for someone else,” said Mason, a Glenwood native and licensed pre-owned pontoon dealer. “But it’s the one you don’t see coming that’s going to hurt more. Who is the Akil Baddoo or LaMonte Wade that we’re going to throw in for three pitching prospects who tear the ulnar nerve in their throwing elbows all at once? That’s the one that keeps me up at night.”
    With a pitching staff in desperate need of, well, everything, Mason is mentally readying himself for the unforeseen kick in the shins that has tormented Twins fans for generations.
    “My grandpa remembers the Graig Nettles deal,” said Mason. “I think the Rod Carew trade is what finally did him in. My dad quit watching baseball after David Ortiz won a World Series and mom left because he wouldn’t stop swearing to himself in the garage. I was minding my own business on Tuesday night, watching the All-Star Game, and there’s Liam Hendriks and Kyle Gibson. It’s the circle of life and you know what, I hate it.”
    While Mason agrees that the team must do something, the fact that everyone knows they’re a seller probably impacts any potential return.
    “We’re not going to get Wander Franco from the Rays,” said Mason. “We’re going to get his roommate. And the Rays will get our 38th best prospect, who will enter Cooperstown in 2047 after leading Tampa to seven straight titles in front of 259 delirious fans at Tropicana Field. He’ll have his own breakfast cereal, videogame, and talk show. I hate baseball, I really do.”
     
     
     
     
     
  17. Like
    nicksaviking reacted to Steve Lein for an article, Twins Minor League Report (7/13): Rooker Smashes! And a Rookie League No-Hitter*   
    To find out who hit all those home runs in St. Paul, how the big innings all went down, and who was responsible for that no-hitter in the FCL, keep reading! 

    TRANSACTIONS
    Catcher Mitch Garver was sent on a rehab assignment to the St. Paul Saints. Good to see him back on the field after his freaky injury. Jake Cave was also activated for a rehab assignment with the Saints. LHP Kody Funderburk and RHP Jordan Gore were promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. LHP Aaron Rozek was assigned to the Mighty Mussels from the Wind Surge, and RHP Jason Garcia was placed on the 7-day injured list. Taking the place of the departing pitchers from Cedar Rapids were RHP Osiris German and RHP Louie Varland from Fort Myers. In addition to Rozek the Mighty Mussels also were assigned RHP Orlando Rodriguez.
    SAINTS SENTINEL
    Columbus 1, St. Paul 19
    Box Score

    With Jake Cave, Mitch Garver, Brent Rooker, and Willians Astudillo in the lineup for the Saints on Tuesday, this one played out just like you might expect when putting a lineup of major leaguers out against one of minor leaguers.

    St. Paul bludgeoned Columbus pitching early with three runs in the first then four more in the third before exploding for 10 runs in the fourth. When they needed a hit, they got them, and big ones in bunches too. Cave led off the game with a homer and Rooker hit another blast in the first. Rooker and Mark Contreras each went yard in the third. Then Rooker again, and Jose Miranda took one out of the park in the big fourth inning.
    The lineup got multiple hits from Miranda (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K), Rooker (4-for-6, 4 R, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 K), Contreras (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K), and JT Riddle (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI). Cave and Rooker each scored four runs. As a team St. Paul was 9-for-13 (.692) with runners in scoring position and left only five men on base. In addition to their 14 hits and six walks, five hitters were hit by pitches leading to their runs outpacing hits for the game.

    Righthander Griffin Jax took the mound for the Saints and went the first five innings, working efficiently. He allowed one run (solo homer) on three hits. He did not walk or strike out a batter, and threw just 63 pitches with 40 going for strikes (63.5%). Reliever Juan Minaya came on for the sixth inning and finished the next three scoreless innings. He allowed three hits, one walk, and struck out four. Joe Harvey finished off the game with a scoreless ninth, allowing one hit and punching out two.

    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Tulsa 7, Wichita 2
    Box Score

    Wichita got on the board first in this one when Trey Cabbage clubbed his third home run of the season, a two run-shot in the second inning. But that was all the offense they would muster on the night as the lineup managed just two other hits on the game.
    They had only one at-bat with a runner in scoring position and left only two men on base for the game. There is not much you can if you never have the opportunities.

    Righthander Austin Schulfer got the start for the Wind Surge and went five solid innings. He allowed three earned runs on two hits and three walks, while striking out six.

    Jovani Moran went the next 1 2/3 and was not his usual knife through butter self, being charged with one run on one hit and three walks, though he still did strike out four. Zach Neff came on gave up three runs of his own in 1+ innings. He allowed four hits and struck out one. Jhonleider Salinas finished the game off for the Wind Surge with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out two.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 8, South Bend 5
    Box Score

    The Kernels too, got on the board early and then often in a single inning on Tuesday as they put up three runs in the first then a five-spot in the fourth that put them ahead 8-1 at the time. The three runs in the first came courtesy of Seth Gray’s seventh home run of the season.

    The lineup got multiple hits from Gray (3-for-6, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, K), Wander Javier (2-for-5, R, 2B, BB, 2 K), and Edouard Julien (2-for-5, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K). Julien’s 2-RBI single in the fourth inning capped the scoring for Cedar Rapids and he continues to lead the minors in walks while sporting a .475 on-base percentage across two levels.
    The eight runs were more than enough to pick up the win as the pitching staff held strong enough as South Bend attempted a comeback. Starter Cody Laweryson went the first four innings for the Kernels, allowing a single earned run on three hits and two walks while punching out six. Tyler Palm allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in his single inning. Ryan Shreve was credited the win after his two innings where he allowed one run on two hits and struck out two. Zach Featherstone pitched the final two innings, allowing a run of his own on one hit and two walks while striking out three.

    The Kernels improved to 35-26 on the year and are firmly in second place of the Midwest League West Division.

    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Jupiter 10, Fort Myers 12
    Box Score

    Fort Myers jumped out to a beg early lead after an eight run second inning, but struggled to keep that lead for the rest of the game and it turned into a back-and-forth contest late.

    Willie Joe Garry Jr. got the scoring started in the second with a two-RBI single. Misael Urbina followed two batters later with a grand slam that made it 6-1. A Jeferson Morales double and Jesus Feliz single would plate the other two runs in the frame.

    Starter Brent Headrick went four innings in total, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks, while striking out six. Matthew Swain came out for the fifth inning but was not able to get out of it before being charged with four runs on three walks. He struck out one. With two in the fifth Carlos Suniaga was summoned and went the next 2 1/3 scoreless innings, keeping the Mighty Mussels within one going into the bottom of the seventh.

    They were able to tie it at nine thanks to an RBI single off the bat of Ruben Santana, but gave it right back in the top of the eighth.

    Righthander Bradley Hanner came into the game and gave up consecutive single to start the inning, that resulted in a run as the first hitter stole second and reached third on a throwing error.

    Now down 10-9, Fort Myers would not give up. Yunior Severino delivered an RBI sac fly in the bottom of the eighth after Aaron Sabato reached base on an error and moved to third on a double from Morales. Feliz then put them up by one with an RBI single and executed a double steal with Justin Washington for another run to make it 12-10 in favor of the home team.

    Back out front for the top of the ninth, the Mighty Mussels brought on Denny Bentley to close out the win. A one out walk and single made it a little interesting, but Bentley buckled down and struck out the final two hitters (and all three outs in the inning) to end the game and pick up his fifth save.

    In addition to Morales and Feliz, Washington (2-for-4, R, 3B, K, SB) and Santana (2-for-2, R, RBI, 3 BB, SB) also multiple hits on the game.

    COMPLEX CHRONICLES
    Game 1:  FCL Braves 5, FCL Twins 1
    Box Score

    The FCL Twins played a doubleheader with their Atlanta Braves counterpart on Tuesday afternoon, and they each picked up a victory.

    In game one the Twins were outhit 8-5 and were not able to mount any rallies in losing 5-1.

    Alexander Pena led the way with a 2-for-3 effort including a double. Kala’I Rosario picked up the only RBI.

    Starter John Stankiewicz went the first two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk while recording all of his outs via the strikeout (six total). Wilker Reyes went the next four innings and allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks. Cole Bellair finished the game with an unearned run on two walks in the seventh, striking out one.

    Game 2:  FCL Twins 8, FCL Braves 0
    Box Score

    The Twins got back at the Braves in game two behind a no-hitter from their starting pitcher. The caveat here is even in the normally shortened 7-inning game of a doubleheader, only 5+ innings were completed in this one as lightning moved into the area.

    The Twins scored two in the first and six in the second to account for all their runs. Rosario had two more RBI in this one thanks to a double. Catcher LaRon Smith had three RBI and his second home run of the season. Pena (2-for-4, R, RBI) and Miguel Vallejo (2-for-2, R, 2 2B) had multiple hits. As a team they were 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left just six on base for the game.

    Pitcher Giovahniey German went five innings and walked just two while striking out four. Quite a performance for the 20-year-old in just his third game pitching in the states! Goes down as a no-hitter in the scorebook no matter who is reading it, congratulations!  (Reliever Zach Goree was meant to start the sixth inning before the game was called)

    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Pitcher of the Day – Giovahniey German, FCL Twins (5 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 4 K)
    Hitter of the Day – Brent Rooker, St. Paul Saints (4-for-6, 4 R, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 K)

    PROSPECT SUMMARY

    Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

    #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL)
    #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain)
    #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch
    #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain)
    #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K
    #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 1-for-2, R
    #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – All Star Break
    #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
    #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, R, BB
    #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (wrist sprain)
    #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery)
    #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – All Star Break
    #13 – Cole Sands Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch
    #14 – Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 4-for-6, 4 R, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 K
    #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 1-for-5, R, GS HR, 4 RBI, BB, K
    #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-4, 3 K
    #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 2-for-5, R, 2B, BB, 2 K
    #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury)
    #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow)
    #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch

    WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Columbus @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – TBD
    Tulsa @ Wichita (12:05PM CST) – TBD
    Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05PM CST) – RHP Tyler Beck (1-1, 1.93 ERA)
    Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (4-2, 5.89 ERA)

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
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