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  1. Major League Baseball is in a bit of a self-made crisis when it comes to pitchers and their use of substances to generate spin. With baseball starting to crack down, are the Twins not using enough spin to try and win? Offense has been down across baseball this year as pitchers have dominated for much of the 2021 campaign. This can be directly related to an increase in pitch velocity, movement, and spin rates. Some of these increases are tied to sticky substances used by pitchers to increase their control and spin rate. Minnesota’s pitchers haven’t been taking advantage of this decrease i
  2. Offense has been down across baseball this year as pitchers have dominated for much of the 2021 campaign. This can be directly related to an increase in pitch velocity, movement, and spin rates. Some of these increases are tied to sticky substances used by pitchers to increase their control and spin rate. Minnesota’s pitchers haven’t been taking advantage of this decrease in offense, so how does spin rate factor into their results? Starting in 2020, Statcast posted an active spin leaderboard, which can also include an active spin %. They offer a longer explanation at their site, but the n
  3. Something went wrong with Minnesota’s offseason blueprint in 2021. There is plenty of blame to be shared, but here are the Twins top three offseason mistakes. 3. Trusting the Bullpen Castoffs Wes Johnson has done some amazing things with bullpen arms in the past and the Twins entered 2021 thinking that he would be able to replicate these results with a new group of bullpen castoffs. Now it’s the beginning of June and Minnesota has rotated through Shaun Anderson, Derek Law, Juan Minaya, and Brandon Waddell. There were some big shoes to fill in the bullpen (see below), but all these n
  4. 3. Trusting the Bullpen Castoffs Wes Johnson has done some amazing things with bullpen arms in the past and the Twins entered 2021 thinking that he would be able to replicate these results with a new group of bullpen castoffs. Now it’s the beginning of June and Minnesota has rotated through Shaun Anderson, Derek Law, Juan Minaya, and Brandon Waddell. There were some big shoes to fill in the bullpen (see below), but all these new additions faced struggles. From season’s start, almost nothing seemed to work when it came to the bullpen. It’s also tough to adequately assess relievers whe
  5. I wrote a few days ago on starting pitchers that we are likely to see in the dog days of summer. This of course assumes that the Twins are going to continue down the horrid path that they've gotten off to in the first 40 games of the season, and expiring deals like Michael Pineda and J.A. Happ are moved. The bullpen also contains two names who were brought in on one year deals, one throwing very well, and the other getting off to a horrid start. If someone told you that one would be good and one would be bad, you may not be shocked, but the fact that Robles has outperformed Colome is surprisin
  6. Break the glass. Sound the alarm. Mash the panic button. The Twins have a full-on crisis in their bullpen. They don't have the benefit of time to sort it out internally, or wait for a favorable upgrade opportunity. They need to go get help, now.Tuesday night's ugly loss felt like a replay of the same episode with a slightly different script. Alex Colomé, the team's 1A closer coming into the season, had been so inconceivably bad in his first 10 appearances that he was deemed off-limits despite being the most well-rested pitcher in the bullpen. And so, when the Twins reached the ninth inning w
  7. Tuesday night's ugly loss felt like a replay of the same episode with a slightly different script. Alex Colomé, the team's 1A closer coming into the season, had been so inconceivably bad in his first 10 appearances that he was deemed off-limits despite being the most well-rested pitcher in the bullpen. And so, when the Twins reached the ninth inning with a two-run lead, it was closer 1B getting the ball. Naturally, Taylor Rogers gave up two runs, allowing the last-place Rangers to tie the game and force extra innings. Rogers has been the team's best reliever this year but has now given up mo
  8. Three offensive explosions became three victories in a week where the Twins finally started to emerge from their profound funk. Much work still lies ahead, but their first series victory in three weeks is a start. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 4/26 through Sun, 5/2 *** Record Last Week: 3-3 (Overall: 10-16) Run Differential Last Week: +12 (Overall: +3) Standing: 4th Place in AL Central (6.0 GB) Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 21 | CLE 5, MIN 3: Twins Fall to 0-5 in Extras as Colomé Takes 3rd Loss Game 22 | CLE 7, MIN 4: Maeda Can't Find Answers, Slump Drags On Game 23 | MIN 10, CLE 2: Buxton Keys Of
  9. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 4/26 through Sun, 5/2 *** Record Last Week: 3-3 (Overall: 10-16) Run Differential Last Week: +12 (Overall: +3) Standing: 4th Place in AL Central (6.0 GB) Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 21 | CLE 5, MIN 3: Twins Fall to 0-5 in Extras as Colomé Takes 3rd Loss Game 22 | CLE 7, MIN 4: Maeda Can't Find Answers, Slump Drags On Game 23 | MIN 10, CLE 2: Buxton Keys Offense in Dominant Victory Game 24 | MIN 9, KC 1: Pineda Rolls as Kirilloff Breaks Out with 2 HR Game 25 | KC 11, MIN 3: Twins Blown Out as Shoemaker Implodes Game 26 | MIN 13, KC 4: Another Big Day fo
  10. Traditional Five-Man Rotation Minnesota is going with a traditional five-man pitching staff to start the 2021 season and they are expected to stick with a five-man rotation for the majority of the season. That doesn’t mean the same five pitchers will occupy the rotation as the innings start to add up. Minnesota signed Matt Shoemaker and J.A. Happ to add rotational depth, and this is only going to help in a season like the current one. The Twins can use multiple strategies throughout the season to keep the starting staff rested. One option is to have a player skip a start. In this situation,
  11. The game outcomes were disappointing in a 3-3 stretch marked by late-game lapses, but the biggest story of the first full week Twins action in 2021 was Byron Buxton and his relentless dominance. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 4/5 through Sun, 4/11 *** Record Last Week: 3-3 (Overall: 5-4) Run Differential Last Week: +14 (Overall: +21) Standing: T-2nd Place in AL Central Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 4 | MIN 15, DET 6: Cruz Leads Trouncing of TigersGame 5 | DET 4, MIN 3: Twins Fail to Execute in ExtrasGame 6 | MIN 3, DET 2: Colomé Holds on for 6-Out SaveGame 7 | MIN 10, SEA 2: Twins Treat Returning Fans
  12. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 4/5 through Sun, 4/11 *** Record Last Week: 3-3 (Overall: 5-4) Run Differential Last Week: +14 (Overall: +21) Standing: T-2nd Place in AL Central Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 4 | MIN 15, DET 6: Cruz Leads Trouncing of Tigers Game 5 | DET 4, MIN 3: Twins Fail to Execute in Extras Game 6 | MIN 3, DET 2: Colomé Holds on for 6-Out Save Game 7 | MIN 10, SEA 2: Twins Treat Returning Fans With Dominant Victory Game 8 | SEA 4, MIN 3: Another Loss in Extra Innings Game 9 | SEA 8, MIN 6: Mariners Score Eight Unanswered Runs NEWS & NOTES It's been a rou
  13. Projected Bullpen: Taylor Rogers, Alex Colomé, Tyler Duffey, Hansel Robles, Caleb Thielbar, Jorge Alcalá, Cody Stashak, Lewis Thorpe Depth: Shaun Anderson, Ian Hamilton, Brandon Waddell, Ian Gibaut Prospects: Jhoan Duran, Edwar Colina, Dakota Chalmers, Josh Winder THE GOOD The top of Minnesota's bullpen is well stocked with proven high-caliber arms. Taylor Rogers (3rd), Tyler Duffey (13th) and newcomer Hansel Robles (19th) all rank among the top 20 major-league relief pitchers in fWAR since 2019. Alex Colomé isn't rated quite as highly by that metric (42nd), but is a more conventionally ap
  14. There's no two ways about it: on paper, Minnesota's bullpen picture is high on risk and low on assurance. Strategizing around a series of rebound performances and coaching-related glow ups, the message being sent to fans by the front office is essentially: trust us, we got this. Frankly, they've earned some faith.Projected Bullpen: Taylor Rogers, Alex Colomé, Tyler Duffey, Hansel Robles, Caleb Thielbar, Jorge Alcalá, Cody Stashak, Lewis Thorpe Depth: Shaun Anderson, Ian Hamilton, Brandon Waddell, Ian Gibaut Prospects: Jhoan Duran, Edwar Colina, Dakota Chalmers, Josh Winder THE GOOD The t
  15. To be clear, the Twins and manager Rocco Baldelli aren’t going to name a closer. As baseball continues to rethink how bullpens can best be utilized, the Twins are going to look at matchups and put their players in the best opportunities to succeed. That being said, the four players below are the likely candidates to be considered the team’s closer. Taylor Rogers, LHP Career Saves: 41 Rogers was one of the most dominant relievers during the 2018 and 2019 seasons as he took over Minnesota’s closer role. Even with struggles last season, his peripheral numbers point to some bad luck leading to h
  16. With pitchers and catchers reporting to camp on Thursday, a new baseball season is upon us. The arrival of 2021 brings a mix of emotions for Twins fans, who are generally heartened by back-to-back division titles and an intriguing offseason, but impatient in the midst of an 0-for-18 postseason slump.An AL Central title is almost table stakes for the Twins this year. It says much about this team that the shortened 2020 season felt somewhat disappointing even though Minnesota took the division with a .600 winning percentage. That's where we were at. Personally, I'm pretty pleased that the fro
  17. An AL Central title is almost table stakes for the Twins this year. It says much about this team that the shortened 2020 season felt somewhat disappointing even though Minnesota took the division with a .600 winning percentage. That's where we were at. Personally, I'm pretty pleased that the front office has built a club that looks well positioned to fend off a credible threat from the White Sox and defend its budding division dynasty, but I get it – for many fans, the proof is in the postseason pudding. While I'm sure Derek Falvey and Thad Levine would agree it's important not to wildly
  18. The Twins front office has proven themselves to be masters of free agent spending efficiency. This offseason, they have spent around $37.5MM, accruing an additional 7.2 fWAR (ZiPS). Baseball is not a salary capped sport, but imagine how effective the Twins would be at managing it if it were. I respect the hell out of how the Twins get their WAR. I decided to dig in and compare the makeup of the 2021 roster with previous seasons. Not Their First Rodeo It’s worth starting before the 2018 season to understand the evolution of the Twins consistent approach to the offseason. Prior to the 2018 sea
  19. The last time I filed one of these status update reports was 10 days ago, although it feels like about 10 months in the pacing of this offseason. Back then, we were breaking down the new J.A. Happ signing and wondering when anything of true substance would come. In less than two weeks since, the Twins have signed Andrelton Simmons, Nelson Cruz, and Alex Colomé, committing $30 million in guaranteed money while furiously crossing off boxes on the front office's checklist. Suddenly, they've already surpassed the $125 million threshold that we had set as a reasonable benchmark (a 10% reduction f
  20. Here was an arm capable of throwing in the mid-90s but favored his biting cutter at a near 3-to-1 pace. Targeting pitchers who have a hard-to-handle non-fastball makes sense as a strategy. From 2010 to 2019, relievers had an expected FIP of 4.83 on all types of fastballs. Opponents posted a .342 weighted on-base average. On breaking balls, on the other hand, relievers had a 2.45 expected FIP and a much more benign .254 weighted on-base average. Theoretically, if some is good then more is probably better. In 2020, the Minnesota Twins put it into practice. Only the Houston Astros bullpen thr
  21. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have landed two more big free agency punches. The intrepid front office duo ended their extended standoff with Nelson Cruz Tuesday night, signing the beloved DH a one-year $13 million deal. Then, they bolstered the bullpen Wednesday afternoon by adding Alex Colomé to an affordable one-year contract with a mutual option for a second season. In Cruz, we know what we’re getting – or at least we hope we do. The 40-year-old slugger has hit for power as well as anybody in the game in his two seasons in a Twins jersey, but he’s just that – a 40-year-old slugger. Father
  22. And there was much rejoicing…Remember when the Chicago White Sox won the AL Central back in December 2020? Unfortunately for them, the Minnesota Twins have a few tricks still up their sleeve. Now days before Spring Training is set to commence, the reigning champs are positioned for a repeat. After signing Nelson Cruz and Alex Colome to deals for the upcoming season, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have all but put a bow on their winter spending. I’d still think a pact with Tyler Clippard or a reliever in the $2 million range could make sense, as does a trade or non-roster invite for some starti
  23. A slow-moving offseason received a major jolt this week as the Twins re-signed beloved DH Nelson Cruz and added former White Sox closer Alex Colomé on back-to-back days. On Offseason Live Wednesday night, we shared our initial reactions and thoughts.On this special episode of Offseason Live, just hours after the Colomé signing came to light, I was joined by Matthew Taylor and David Youngs. We discussed the return of Cruz, the addition of a key bullpen arm, and what the Twins might do yet to address remaining needs. You can watch the episode below: Tune into future live broadcasts on Twi
  24. On this special episode of Offseason Live, just hours after the Colomé signing came to light, I was joined by Matthew Taylor and David Youngs. We discussed the return of Cruz, the addition of a key bullpen arm, and what the Twins might do yet to address remaining needs. You can watch the episode below: Tune into future live broadcasts on Twins Daily's Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube page. It's an interactive show where viewers help steer the conversation via comments and questions. You can also always catch episodes via audio by subscribing to our podcast. Check out previous episodes of
  25. There is no salary cap in baseball, but many teams have a self-imposed limit this winter for a variety of reasons. Revenues were limited in a pandemic shortened 2020 campaign and there are still plenty of questions about how much those revenues will improve in 2021. Minnesota’s current payroll sits around $110-113 million with the team anticipated to spend around $125 million. This leaves room for one more big signing or a pair of smaller additions. Many early reports had Cruz asking for a two-year contract and when looking at his last two seasons, that might seem like a no-brainer. Since jo
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