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Matthew Trueblood

Twins Daily Contributor
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About Matthew Trueblood

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    Fort Myers Mighty Mussels
  1. Twins alternate site pitching coach Mike McCarthy is a broad thinker and big doer, but right now, his professional world is very small. Nonetheless, he and the Twins are working hard to continue developing and preparing hurlers at CHS Field.McCarthy, 33, is no more naturally suited to the seclusion and sterilized atmosphere of the alternate site than are his highly competitive charges. However, he and the team have found ways to make the most of the situation. “It’s a really difficult challenge,” McCarthy said of keeping pitchers working at a high level in simulated games that often feature
  2. McCarthy, 33, is no more naturally suited to the seclusion and sterilized atmosphere of the alternate site than are his highly competitive charges. However, he and the team have found ways to make the most of the situation. “It’s a really difficult challenge,” McCarthy said of keeping pitchers working at a high level in simulated games that often feature fewer than six fielders and a small rotation of two or three batters per half-inning. “So we add runners on base, we’ll start them with a dirty inning, we’ll try to give them as game-like an environment as possible.” By calling out various s
  3. The Twins recalled Cody Stashak from the alternate site in St. Paul on Sunday. For Stashak, the time at CHS Field was spent honing his slider and changeup, but the key to his success might be throwing consistent, quality strikes with his fastball.Stashak’s greatest strength, as a pitcher, is the carry on his four-seam heater. With his extremely high arm slot and above-average spin rate, he can miss bats and induce weak contact at the top of the strike zone. However, his raw velocity is below-average, and his short stature and delivery combine for little extension at release. Thus, when Stashak
  4. Stashak’s greatest strength, as a pitcher, is the carry on his four-seam heater. With his extremely high arm slot and above-average spin rate, he can miss bats and induce weak contact at the top of the strike zone. However, his raw velocity is below-average, and his short stature and delivery combine for little extension at release. Thus, when Stashak isn’t elevating that fastball enough, the pitch flattens out and batters can tee off. In Stashak’s career, over 13 percent of the batted balls he has allowed have been classified as Barrels by Statcast, meaning that they result in hits at least h
  5. The Twins are in an indefinite holding pattern as they deal with an outbreak of COVID-19, but at their alternate site, action continued this weekend. Here are five takeaways from their Sunday workouts and simulated game.Blankenhorn Called Up to Taxi Squad; Kirilloff Still in St. Paul The implications of the decision are inscrutable, but the Twins added Travis Blankenhorn to their taxi squad after the postponement of their games against the Angels this weekend. Blankenhorn had not been on the initially reported taxi squad for the road trip to Anaheim and Oakland, so his absence from St. Paul
  6. Blankenhorn Called Up to Taxi Squad; Kirilloff Still in St. Paul The implications of the decision are inscrutable, but the Twins added Travis Blankenhorn to their taxi squad after the postponement of their games against the Angels this weekend. Blankenhorn had not been on the initially reported taxi squad for the road trip to Anaheim and Oakland, so his absence from St. Paul is of some note, especially given the expected roster upheaval whenever the team does take the field again. Meanwhile, however, Alex Kirilloff remains in St. Paul. He took batting practice and participated in the team’
  7. Luis Arraez put his offensive skills on full display on Opening Day, and his defensive home for the first part of 2021 became a bit clearer. Meanwhile, a contract extension 2,000 miles away further clarified what it would take for the Twins to lock up Arraez.Josh Donaldson’s hamstring tightness figures to open up even more playing time for Arraez at that position than the Twins were anticipating, at least in the short term. Manager Rocco Baldelli said even before Donaldson got hurt that he would be looking to slot Arraez into the lineup as often as possible, as the leadoff hitter. In the first
  8. Josh Donaldson’s hamstring tightness figures to open up even more playing time for Arraez at that position than the Twins were anticipating, at least in the short term. Manager Rocco Baldelli said even before Donaldson got hurt that he would be looking to slot Arraez into the lineup as often as possible, as the leadoff hitter. In the first game of the season, Arraez rewarded that profession of faith by collecting two hits (and having a third stolen on a dazzling defensive play) and drawing a walk. If you were dubious that the Twins would find something close to 600 plate appearances for Arra
  9. The Twins’ first series of 2021 finds them in a National League park, facing the NL Central favorites. Here are the probable starters, a few scouting reports, and the keys to winning the series.Probable Starting Pitchers Thursday, 1:10 PM CT: RHP Kenta Maeda vs. RHP Brandon Woodruff After giving spring test drives to some “new” pitches (he already throws them all, but was exploring the potential of increasing their usage), Maeda takes the ball for his first Opening Day start in the United States. His three-pitch mix of four-seam fastballs, sliders, and changeups was more than equal to the
  10. Probable Starting Pitchers Thursday, 1:10 PM CT: RHP Kenta Maeda vs. RHP Brandon Woodruff After giving spring test drives to some “new” pitches (he already throws them all, but was exploring the potential of increasing their usage), Maeda takes the ball for his first Opening Day start in the United States. His three-pitch mix of four-seam fastballs, sliders, and changeups was more than equal to the task of dominating the Brewers last summer, when he famously flirted with a no-hitter and struck out eight Milwaukee batters in a row. This year, the Crew has added two solid left-handed batters
  11. Andrelton Simmons and Byron Buxton missing significant time is more a question of ‘when’ than one of ‘if’. That truth informed several moves the Twins made this winter, and will continue to shape their choices over the coming days and weeks.As I wrote yesterday, Simmons and Buxton rate as the two hitters facing the greatest injury risk, according to new models built by Sports Info Solutions for predicting injuries. It wasn’t the focus of yesterday’s article, but the same model also marks Josh Donaldson (unsurprisingly) as a source of above-average injury risk, thanks to his age, the chronic na
  12. As I wrote yesterday, Simmons and Buxton rate as the two hitters facing the greatest injury risk, according to new models built by Sports Info Solutions for predicting injuries. It wasn’t the focus of yesterday’s article, but the same model also marks Josh Donaldson (unsurprisingly) as a source of above-average injury risk, thanks to his age, the chronic nature of his recent calf injuries, and his hard-nosed defensive style at third base. All three of those guys are talented enough to be worth the roll of the dice, but the Twins couldn’t rely on the trio without giving themselves more than the
  13. According to a new model for injury prediction from Sports Info Solutions, Andrelton Simmons is the position player most likely to miss time due to injury in 2021. Next on the list? Byron Buxton. We talked to a co-creator of the model to find out why.Obviously, it will come as no great shock to Twins fans that Buxton is considered one of the league's biggest injury risks. He's battled concussion issues, shoulder injuries, and wrist trouble. He's suffered from back spasms, had toe trouble, and strained his groin. He's even had migraines, perhaps as a secondary symptom of repeated concussions.
  14. Obviously, it will come as no great shock to Twins fans that Buxton is considered one of the league's biggest injury risks. He's battled concussion issues, shoulder injuries, and wrist trouble. He's suffered from back spasms, had toe trouble, and strained his groin. He's even had migraines, perhaps as a secondary symptom of repeated concussions. Simmons is also known for his fragility, but since he's new in town, Twins fans might be surprised to learn that he is not only more likely to get hurt than Buxton, but more likely than any other big-league regular. Nonetheless, the highly sophistica
  15. In his start Monday, José Berríos had an average spin rate of 2,304 revolutions per minute on his four-seam fastball. That was his highest spin rate in a start since Opening Day 2019. It’s a continuation of an encouraging change he made late last year.Because of his arm action and the other pitches in his repertoire, Berríos has never had an especially consistent feel for spinning his four-seamer at the top of the strike zone. He’s shorter than the average starting pitcher, but even adjusting for that fact, he’s tended to release the ball at a relatively low height, indicating a three-quarter
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