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  1. August is complete, and we are already handing out awards. Today, we are going to share the Twins Daily choice for Pitcher of the Month. There were several relievers and one starter who were deserving of consideration. Taylor Rogers was the choice for Twins Daily Pitcher of the Month in both May and June, and Kenta Maeda ‘received’ the award in August. Who will take home the prestigious award in their minds (because we haven’t come up with any sort of physical trophy or plaque or piece of paper). Now, before we get too far into this, I will debunk a rumor that was going around the Twitter-sphere on Wednesday afternoon. Sure, he had a 0.00 ERA and just a 1.00 WHIP, and opponents didn’t get a single hit off of him all month, but here are some candidates that finished ahead of La Tortuga in voting. Before even getting to the Honorable Mentions and the Winner, there were several strong pitching performances by the Twins in August, particularly out of the bullpen. Unfortunately, the starting pitching was not as good. First, Andrew Albers posted a 0.96 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in his two appearances and 9 1/3 innings. Jorge Alcala had a 1.50 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP in August, but he pitched in just five games and spent half of the month on the Injured List. Tyler Duffey had a 2.25 ERA and 12 strikeouts but had just eight innings and a 1.75 WHIP. Caleb Thielbar became one of the most reliable arms out of the team’s bullpen. He had 14 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings. His WHIP was just 0.95. Without further ado, here are three honorable mentions, followed by the big winner! Honorable Mention #3: RHP Ralph Garza, Jr. The Twins claimed the 27-year-old right-hander after the Astros DFA’d him on August 1st. He was called up to the Twins on August 14th and has been impressive since. In eight games and 10 1/3 innings, he posted a 1.74 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP. He gave up just two earned runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out nine batters. Opponents hit just .167 against him. The Twins have claimed several players off waivers over the past couple of months and signed a few others to minor league deals. Several have already been DFAd and weren’t claimed by another team, hence, they remain in St. Paul (Beau Burrows, Edgar Garcia, Nick Vincent). However, Garza, with his multiple side-winding arm angles and pitch movement, has made a good first impression. Honorable Mention #2: RHP Alexander Colome Colome hasn’t been good in 2021. It would be tough to argue that he has been. However, he was solid in August. Following the trade of Hansel Robles at the July 30th trade deadline and the season-ending injury to Taylor Rogers, Colome has returned to the closer’s role and generally been good. Of his 13 appearances in August, ten of them provided him with a save opportunity. He converted eight of them. And he had a solid month in Alexander Colome fashion. In his 12 2/3 innings, he had a 1.22 WHIP. He gave up some hits, and he issued five walks to go with just five strikeouts. Honorable Mention #1: Bailey Ober Ober made his big-league debut in May. He had some ups and downs along the way, but overall, the Twins have to be thrilled with his performance. In his five August starts, he went 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. In 27 1/3 innings, he gave up 27 hits, walked just three and struck out 26 batters. As important, Ober has been very consistent and reliable over the past month. He pitched at least five innings in all five starts. His ERA dropped from 4.94 to 3.98 over the course of the month. He hasn’t given up more than three earned runs since July 10. The Twins are now 10-6 in games started by Ober in 2021. The only rookie starters whose teams have a better winning percentage in their games started are Alek Manoak of the Blue Jays and Shane McClanahan of the Rays. Twins Starting Pitcher of the Month: Juan Minaya Minaya has been with the Twins since the beginning of the 2020 season. Before that, he had spent much of the previous four seasons in the White Sox bullpen. He had recorded 142 strikeouts over 128 1/3 innings with Chicago. He signed a minor league signed a minor league deal with the Twins and went to spring training 2020. He then participated at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. In fact, he was called up to the Twins once last year, but a day or two later, he was DFAd without pitching in a game. He went unclaimed and stayed in the organization. He signed back with the Twins in 2021 and began the season in St. Paul. He was called up to the Twins at the end of May and pitched in four games before being DFAd on June 5th to make room for Griffin Jax. He was again unclaimed and returned to St. Paul. However, in mid-July, he was called up one more time, and after sporadic appearances, he got thrown into more proverbial fires following the trade deadline, and he has been very good. In August, Minaya worked in ten games. He went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Opponents hit just .180 off of him. He walked eight, but struck out 16 batters in his 14 innings. Still just 30-years-old, Minaya has a chance to keep himself on the 40-man roster throughout the offseason and in the plans for the team’s 2022 bullpen. August was a good month for that endeavor. Congratulations to Juan Minaya on a great month, as well as the other Honorable Mentions. Do you agree that Minaya is the choice? Should Bailey Ober have been the recipient? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  2. Taylor Rogers was the choice for Twins Daily Pitcher of the Month in both May and June, and Kenta Maeda ‘received’ the award in August. Who will take home the prestigious award in their minds (because we haven’t come up with any sort of physical trophy or plaque or piece of paper). Now, before we get too far into this, I will debunk a rumor that was going around the Twitter-sphere on Wednesday afternoon. Sure, he had a 0.00 ERA and just a 1.00 WHIP, and opponents didn’t get a single hit off of him all month, but here are some candidates that finished ahead of La Tortuga in voting. Before even getting to the Honorable Mentions and the Winner, there were several strong pitching performances by the Twins in August, particularly out of the bullpen. Unfortunately, the starting pitching was not as good. First, Andrew Albers posted a 0.96 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in his two appearances and 9 1/3 innings. Jorge Alcala had a 1.50 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP in August, but he pitched in just five games and spent half of the month on the Injured List. Tyler Duffey had a 2.25 ERA and 12 strikeouts but had just eight innings and a 1.75 WHIP. Caleb Thielbar became one of the most reliable arms out of the team’s bullpen. He had 14 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings. His WHIP was just 0.95. Without further ado, here are three honorable mentions, followed by the big winner! Honorable Mention #3: RHP Ralph Garza, Jr. The Twins claimed the 27-year-old right-hander after the Astros DFA’d him on August 1st. He was called up to the Twins on August 14th and has been impressive since. In eight games and 10 1/3 innings, he posted a 1.74 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP. He gave up just two earned runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out nine batters. Opponents hit just .167 against him. The Twins have claimed several players off waivers over the past couple of months and signed a few others to minor league deals. Several have already been DFAd and weren’t claimed by another team, hence, they remain in St. Paul (Beau Burrows, Edgar Garcia, Nick Vincent). However, Garza, with his multiple side-winding arm angles and pitch movement, has made a good first impression. Honorable Mention #2: RHP Alexander Colome Colome hasn’t been good in 2021. It would be tough to argue that he has been. However, he was solid in August. Following the trade of Hansel Robles at the July 30th trade deadline and the season-ending injury to Taylor Rogers, Colome has returned to the closer’s role and generally been good. Of his 13 appearances in August, ten of them provided him with a save opportunity. He converted eight of them. And he had a solid month in Alexander Colome fashion. In his 12 2/3 innings, he had a 1.22 WHIP. He gave up some hits, and he issued five walks to go with just five strikeouts. Honorable Mention #1: Bailey Ober Ober made his big-league debut in May. He had some ups and downs along the way, but overall, the Twins have to be thrilled with his performance. In his five August starts, he went 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. In 27 1/3 innings, he gave up 27 hits, walked just three and struck out 26 batters. As important, Ober has been very consistent and reliable over the past month. He pitched at least five innings in all five starts. His ERA dropped from 4.94 to 3.98 over the course of the month. He hasn’t given up more than three earned runs since July 10. The Twins are now 10-6 in games started by Ober in 2021. The only rookie starters whose teams have a better winning percentage in their games started are Alek Manoak of the Blue Jays and Shane McClanahan of the Rays. Twins Starting Pitcher of the Month: Juan Minaya Minaya has been with the Twins since the beginning of the 2020 season. Before that, he had spent much of the previous four seasons in the White Sox bullpen. He had recorded 142 strikeouts over 128 1/3 innings with Chicago. He signed a minor league signed a minor league deal with the Twins and went to spring training 2020. He then participated at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. In fact, he was called up to the Twins once last year, but a day or two later, he was DFAd without pitching in a game. He went unclaimed and stayed in the organization. He signed back with the Twins in 2021 and began the season in St. Paul. He was called up to the Twins at the end of May and pitched in four games before being DFAd on June 5th to make room for Griffin Jax. He was again unclaimed and returned to St. Paul. However, in mid-July, he was called up one more time, and after sporadic appearances, he got thrown into more proverbial fires following the trade deadline, and he has been very good. In August, Minaya worked in ten games. He went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Opponents hit just .180 off of him. He walked eight, but struck out 16 batters in his 14 innings. Still just 30-years-old, Minaya has a chance to keep himself on the 40-man roster throughout the offseason and in the plans for the team’s 2022 bullpen. August was a good month for that endeavor. Congratulations to Juan Minaya on a great month, as well as the other Honorable Mentions. Do you agree that Minaya is the choice? Should Bailey Ober have been the recipient? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. Charlie Barnes's third start was the best of his career. Caleb Thielbar came in and got some huge outs after the middle relief coughed up the lead, but as they had all day, Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco came up clutch in the bottom of the ninth. Box Score (add link) SP: Charlie Barnes: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (73 pitches, 44 strikes (60.3%)) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Max Kepler (.327), Caleb Thielbar (.232), Charlie Barnes (.200) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Patience is a Virtue Luis Patino was the key piece the Rays received in return for former Cy Young winner Blake Snell from the Padres in the offseason. A top pitching prospect, he has certainly shown well for the Rays in 2020. Fortunately for the Twins, he was a bit wild on Sunday and the team took advantage. Patino walked Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco in the first inning, and Josh Donaldon singled in Kepler for the game’s first run. After a walk to Luis Arraez, Polanco scored on a Trevor Larnach fielder’s choice. The Twins went scoreless in the second innings, although Kepler had a double and Polanco walked again. There was one more walk in the third inning. Ryan Sherriff came on in the fourth inning. After getting the first two batters out, Kepler and Polanco walked. All Star Andrew Kittredge came on and Donaldson came through again with a big, two-run double to give the Twins a 4-0 lead. Barnes at his Best Lefty Charlie Barnes made his third MLB start on Sunday afternoon, and it’s fair to say that it was his best start to date. The southpaw was generally in control of the game for five innings. He gave up just three hits and only allowed one run, on a solo homer off the bat of Mike Zunino. Overall, his strike percentage was not real good, but instead of just missing over the middle of the plate, he was missing just outside the strike zone. This is definitely a start to build on. Middle Relief Struggles Edgar Garcia came on for the sixth inning. He quickly got the first two outs of the inning, but then issued a walk and a home run off to star rookie Wander Franco. That cut the Twins lead to 4-3. Tyler Duffey got the 7th inning. He started the inning with a walk. Then after a pop-out, he coaxed a potential ground ball double play. However, due to an error, no outs were recorded. Duffey walked another batter to load the bases. Randy Arozarena hit a little infield single to tie the game at four. Duffey did come up big by striking out Nelson Cruz, but bases were still loaded with one out yet to get. Clutch Caleb (Thielbar) Caleb Thielbar came in and, after falling behind 3-0, got All Star Austin Meadows to pop out to end the inning. He has now stranded his last seven inherited runners, a streak that began on June 21. With the game still tied in the top of the eight, Thielbar gave up a leadoff double to Franco. However, after a sacrifice bunt moved Franco to third, Thielbar got an infield pop out and a ground out to first base to keep the game tied. When you take a look below at the names available to Rocco Baldelli and Wes Johnson in the chart below, is Thielbar the team’s best, most-reliable bullpen arm right now? Well, another option for that title right now might be Alexander Colome who pitched a scoreless inning in the ninth. It was his eighth straight scoreless appearance. In that stretch (7 1/3 innings), he is 1-0 with five saves. Klutch Kepler (and Polanco) Max Kepler reached base four times on Sunday. As mentioned above, he walked twice. He also had two doubles including an opposite-field double down the left field line to lead off the ninth inning. Bobbled by Austin Meadows, Kepler scampered to third base. Two pitches later, Jorge Polanco hit a fly ball deep enough to easily score Kepler from third and give the Twins the 5-4 win, and a third-straight series win. It was his fifth career walk-off plate appearance and third this season. The Twins are clearly playing their best baseball of the season as they have reached arguably the toughest part of their season. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Barnes 0 0 0 0 73 73 García 0 0 27 0 21 48 Gant 0 0 41 0 0 41 Vincent 0 0 37 0 0 37 Colomé 14 0 0 0 13 27 Thielbar 20 0 0 0 15 35 Garza Jr. 0 0 0 16 0 16 Duffey 0 0 0 0 27 27 Minaya 15 0 0 0 0 15 Coulombe 0 0 0 10 0 10 View full article
  4. Box Score (add link) SP: Charlie Barnes: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (73 pitches, 44 strikes (60.3%)) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Max Kepler (.327), Caleb Thielbar (.232), Charlie Barnes (.200) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Patience is a Virtue Luis Patino was the key piece the Rays received in return for former Cy Young winner Blake Snell from the Padres in the offseason. A top pitching prospect, he has certainly shown well for the Rays in 2020. Fortunately for the Twins, he was a bit wild on Sunday and the team took advantage. Patino walked Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco in the first inning, and Josh Donaldon singled in Kepler for the game’s first run. After a walk to Luis Arraez, Polanco scored on a Trevor Larnach fielder’s choice. The Twins went scoreless in the second innings, although Kepler had a double and Polanco walked again. There was one more walk in the third inning. Ryan Sherriff came on in the fourth inning. After getting the first two batters out, Kepler and Polanco walked. All Star Andrew Kittredge came on and Donaldson came through again with a big, two-run double to give the Twins a 4-0 lead. Barnes at his Best Lefty Charlie Barnes made his third MLB start on Sunday afternoon, and it’s fair to say that it was his best start to date. The southpaw was generally in control of the game for five innings. He gave up just three hits and only allowed one run, on a solo homer off the bat of Mike Zunino. Overall, his strike percentage was not real good, but instead of just missing over the middle of the plate, he was missing just outside the strike zone. This is definitely a start to build on. Middle Relief Struggles Edgar Garcia came on for the sixth inning. He quickly got the first two outs of the inning, but then issued a walk and a home run off to star rookie Wander Franco. That cut the Twins lead to 4-3. Tyler Duffey got the 7th inning. He started the inning with a walk. Then after a pop-out, he coaxed a potential ground ball double play. However, due to an error, no outs were recorded. Duffey walked another batter to load the bases. Randy Arozarena hit a little infield single to tie the game at four. Duffey did come up big by striking out Nelson Cruz, but bases were still loaded with one out yet to get. Clutch Caleb (Thielbar) Caleb Thielbar came in and, after falling behind 3-0, got All Star Austin Meadows to pop out to end the inning. He has now stranded his last seven inherited runners, a streak that began on June 21. With the game still tied in the top of the eight, Thielbar gave up a leadoff double to Franco. However, after a sacrifice bunt moved Franco to third, Thielbar got an infield pop out and a ground out to first base to keep the game tied. When you take a look below at the names available to Rocco Baldelli and Wes Johnson in the chart below, is Thielbar the team’s best, most-reliable bullpen arm right now? Well, another option for that title right now might be Alexander Colome who pitched a scoreless inning in the ninth. It was his eighth straight scoreless appearance. In that stretch (7 1/3 innings), he is 1-0 with five saves. Klutch Kepler (and Polanco) Max Kepler reached base four times on Sunday. As mentioned above, he walked twice. He also had two doubles including an opposite-field double down the left field line to lead off the ninth inning. Bobbled by Austin Meadows, Kepler scampered to third base. Two pitches later, Jorge Polanco hit a fly ball deep enough to easily score Kepler from third and give the Twins the 5-4 win, and a third-straight series win. It was his fifth career walk-off plate appearance and third this season. The Twins are clearly playing their best baseball of the season as they have reached arguably the toughest part of their season. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Barnes 0 0 0 0 73 73 García 0 0 27 0 21 48 Gant 0 0 41 0 0 41 Vincent 0 0 37 0 0 37 Colomé 14 0 0 0 13 27 Thielbar 20 0 0 0 15 35 Garza Jr. 0 0 0 16 0 16 Duffey 0 0 0 0 27 27 Minaya 15 0 0 0 0 15 Coulombe 0 0 0 10 0 10
  5. Minnesota’s bullpen has been a mess to start the year, but Rocco Baldelli is going to need to rely on arms with some important up-coming series. Who is in the bullpen circle of trust? 1. Taylor Rogers Much like in 2019, Taylor Rogers has been one of the few options Baldelli can trust in the late innings of games. At season’s start, it seemed like Rogers would be used in more of a set-up role with Colomé getting more of the closing opportunities. Until Colomé can figure it out, Rogers will be used as the closer and he has the team’s highest level of trust. 2. Hansel Robles Robles was brought in to help add veteran depth to the bullpen and he has made a good impression so far this year. His xBA ranks in the 82nd percentile and his wOBA ranks in the top 7% of the league. One of the biggest changes for him this season is his pitch usage. From 2015-18, he used his changeup less than 10% of the time. So far in 2021, he has used his changeup over 50% with his fastball usage dropping from 45% in 2020 to 31% in 2021. 3. Tyler Duffey Duffey has been one of the baseball’s best relievers over the last two seasons. In fact, MLB Network had him in their top-10 relievers entering the season. So far this year, he hasn’t looked like his dominating self as he ranks in the 24th percentile or lower in nearly every Statcast metric. Baldelli still shows trust in Duffey with the hope that he can make some adjustments moving forward. 4. Cody Stashak Stashak is striking out batters at the highest rate of his career with a K% north of 36% that ranks him in the top 6% of the league. On the other hand, batters are barreling up the ball against him quite regularly. His 20 barrel% is in the bottom 1% of the league and it is 6.5 percentage points higher than his previous career high. 5. Jorge Alcala Alcala might have the best raw stuff in the Twins bullpen and an argument can be made for him being given more high leverage spots as the season progresses. One of the toughest things for Alcala has been his inability to get left-handed hitters out on a consistent basis. For his career, lefties have a 1.178 OPS against him in 55 plate appearances. If he wants to earn more high leverage appearances, he needs to improve against southpaws. 6. Caleb Thielbar With Rogers moving into the closer role, Thielbar will be critical for when the team is facing lefties before the ninth inning. Since rejoining the Twins last year, he has posted a 2.53 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 32 innings. 7. St. Paul Train (Derek Law, Luke Farrell, Devin Smeltzer) The Twins will likely continue to shuffle through players at the backend of the bullpen, especially if a player pitches multiple innings the previous day. These players aren’t going to be relied on for high leverage situations, so there doesn’t need to be a lot of trust in using them. 8. Alexander Colomé Colomé’s start to the season has been disastrous. Until he shows signs of improvement, the teams should have little trust in him. How would you rank the bullpen by level of trust? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  6. 1. Taylor Rogers Much like in 2019, Taylor Rogers has been one of the few options Baldelli can trust in the late innings of games. At season’s start, it seemed like Rogers would be used in more of a set-up role with Colomé getting more of the closing opportunities. Until Colomé can figure it out, Rogers will be used as the closer and he has the team’s highest level of trust. 2. Hansel Robles Robles was brought in to help add veteran depth to the bullpen and he has made a good impression so far this year. His xBA ranks in the 82nd percentile and his wOBA ranks in the top 7% of the league. One of the biggest changes for him this season is his pitch usage. From 2015-18, he used his changeup less than 10% of the time. So far in 2021, he has used his changeup over 50% with his fastball usage dropping from 45% in 2020 to 31% in 2021. 3. Tyler Duffey Duffey has been one of the baseball’s best relievers over the last two seasons. In fact, MLB Network had him in their top-10 relievers entering the season. So far this year, he hasn’t looked like his dominating self as he ranks in the 24th percentile or lower in nearly every Statcast metric. Baldelli still shows trust in Duffey with the hope that he can make some adjustments moving forward. 4. Cody Stashak Stashak is striking out batters at the highest rate of his career with a K% north of 36% that ranks him in the top 6% of the league. On the other hand, batters are barreling up the ball against him quite regularly. His 20 barrel% is in the bottom 1% of the league and it is 6.5 percentage points higher than his previous career high. 5. Jorge Alcala Alcala might have the best raw stuff in the Twins bullpen and an argument can be made for him being given more high leverage spots as the season progresses. One of the toughest things for Alcala has been his inability to get left-handed hitters out on a consistent basis. For his career, lefties have a 1.178 OPS against him in 55 plate appearances. If he wants to earn more high leverage appearances, he needs to improve against southpaws. 6. Caleb Thielbar With Rogers moving into the closer role, Thielbar will be critical for when the team is facing lefties before the ninth inning. Since rejoining the Twins last year, he has posted a 2.53 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 32 innings. 7. St. Paul Train (Derek Law, Luke Farrell, Devin Smeltzer) The Twins will likely continue to shuffle through players at the backend of the bullpen, especially if a player pitches multiple innings the previous day. These players aren’t going to be relied on for high leverage situations, so there doesn’t need to be a lot of trust in using them. 8. Alexander Colomé Colomé’s start to the season has been disastrous. Until he shows signs of improvement, the teams should have little trust in him. How would you rank the bullpen by level of trust? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. Minnesota didn’t make an offseason splash like the previous winter’s signing of Josh Donaldson. However, the Twins added multiple pieces to supplement the roster. So how have those free agents done so far this year?Andrelton Simmons, SS Contract: 1-year/$10.5 million Minnesota signed Simmons for his elite defensive skills, but he has provided plenty of offensive value so far in 2021. In 10 games, he has hit .355/.474/.452 with three extra-base hits. His 0.6 WAR ranks fourth on the team and that total is already higher than his entire 2020 season. Obviously, his positive COVID test puts a damper on his start to the year, but hopefully he comes out of it healthy, and he can continue to produce at a high level. Alexander Colomé, RP Contract: 1-year/$6.25 million Things haven’t exactly gone smoothly so far during Colomé’s Twins tenure as he has posted a 5.68 ERA. He’s allowed four earned runs and seven runs have scored with him on the mound. Minnesota’s bullpen has struggled through much of the season’s early innings especially in the last week when the bullpen’s ERA was north of 9.00. He has been a very successful closer in the past so Twins’ fans have to hope he finds his former form in the weeks ahead. J.A. Happ, SP Contract: 1-year/$8 million Happ missed time at the beginning of spring training as he tested positive for COVID. This set him back a little in his preparation, but his early results have been good, especially for a back of the rotation starter. Through two starts, he has allowed three runs on seven hits in 8 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and four walks. This is more than adequate for a 38-year-old in his 15th big league season. Happ won’t light the world on fire, but he fills a role nicely for the Twins that can be supplemented by the likes of Randy Donak or Lewis Thorpe at different parts of the season. Matt Shoemaker, SP Contract: 1-year/$2 million Like Happ, Shoemaker was slated to be penciled into the back of the rotation with a hope that he could add some rotational depth. Randy Dobnak had a chance to fill in the final rotation spot, but many teams are struggling with how they will cover innings in 2021. So far in 2021, he has allowed five earned runs across 11 innings, which isn’t terrible for a number five starter. He hasn’t pitched over 78 innings since 2016, so the team will need to continue to monitor his health. Hansel Robles, RP Contract: 1-year/$2 million Robles was a little bit of a wild card when the Twins signed him as he struggled with a 10.26 ERA last year. This year he has made six appearances and allowed three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. His role with the Twins might not yet be fully defined, but the Twins took a flyer on him. If the bullpen continues to struggle, Robles might get an opportunity to pitch in some higher leverage situations. The bullpen has been a mess, so Robles certainly hasn’t been the team’s biggest concern. What have been your impressions of these players so far in 2021? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  8. Andrelton Simmons, SS Contract: 1-year/$10.5 million Minnesota signed Simmons for his elite defensive skills, but he has provided plenty of offensive value so far in 2021. In 10 games, he has hit .355/.474/.452 with three extra-base hits. His 0.6 WAR ranks fourth on the team and that total is already higher than his entire 2020 season. Obviously, his positive COVID test puts a damper on his start to the year, but hopefully he comes out of it healthy, and he can continue to produce at a high level. Alexander Colomé, RP Contract: 1-year/$6.25 million Things haven’t exactly gone smoothly so far during Colomé’s Twins tenure as he has posted a 5.68 ERA. He’s allowed four earned runs and seven runs have scored with him on the mound. Minnesota’s bullpen has struggled through much of the season’s early innings especially in the last week when the bullpen’s ERA was north of 9.00. He has been a very successful closer in the past so Twins’ fans have to hope he finds his former form in the weeks ahead. J.A. Happ, SP Contract: 1-year/$8 million Happ missed time at the beginning of spring training as he tested positive for COVID. This set him back a little in his preparation, but his early results have been good, especially for a back of the rotation starter. Through two starts, he has allowed three runs on seven hits in 8 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and four walks. This is more than adequate for a 38-year-old in his 15th big league season. Happ won’t light the world on fire, but he fills a role nicely for the Twins that can be supplemented by the likes of Randy Donak or Lewis Thorpe at different parts of the season. Matt Shoemaker, SP Contract: 1-year/$2 million Like Happ, Shoemaker was slated to be penciled into the back of the rotation with a hope that he could add some rotational depth. Randy Dobnak had a chance to fill in the final rotation spot, but many teams are struggling with how they will cover innings in 2021. So far in 2021, he has allowed five earned runs across 11 innings, which isn’t terrible for a number five starter. He hasn’t pitched over 78 innings since 2016, so the team will need to continue to monitor his health. Hansel Robles, RP Contract: 1-year/$2 million Robles was a little bit of a wild card when the Twins signed him as he struggled with a 10.26 ERA last year. This year he has made six appearances and allowed three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. His role with the Twins might not yet be fully defined, but the Twins took a flyer on him. If the bullpen continues to struggle, Robles might get an opportunity to pitch in some higher leverage situations. The bullpen has been a mess, so Robles certainly hasn’t been the team’s biggest concern. What have been your impressions of these players so far in 2021? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  9. Aaron and John talk about a very good opening weekend for the Twins that was almost great, Josh Donaldson's latest leg injury, Byron Buxton's scary power, Jose Berrios vs. Corbin Burnes, Luis Arraez the hitting machine, and the state of the bullpen. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Listen Here Now Click here to view the article
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