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  1. Welcome back to my ongoing little thread where my opinions come out to play. I hope to add to the conversation about the Twins. When last I wrote, the Twins were in first place and my attention in the division was the Chicago White Sox. That has changed. Cleveland has climbed into first place, winning three straight series on the road and sits atop the AL Central. I attended the matinee yesterday and saw Cleveland first-hand. They are a pretty good club and playing very well right now. They've da eveloped enough hitters that the top 2/3s of their lineup is good. Their bullpen looks much better than the Twins and they have an abundance of speed, which helps them in the field and on the base paths. Cleveland isn't very deep, but if they avoid injuries, they are a complete team that will have a winning record. Alex Kirilloff is back with the Twins. When I wrote about this team just before Opening Day, I opined that AK's floor was Mark Grace offense and Will Clark defense and his ceiling was Mark Grace defense and Will Clark offense. After his wrist woes, I was worried that he would never be the same player he could have been. Now, I'm back on the bus for Kirilloff. He's going to hit and he is going to be a fine first baseman (IMHO of course). Trevor Larnach meanwhile has hit the skids. Since June 1, his OPS is .429, and he's struck out 24 times in 68 plate appearances. He still looks like a better hitter and ballplayer than the guy who played last year, but he might soon be losing playing time or perhaps he'll be sent back to St. Paul. Speaking of demotion to St. Paul, if all the position players are healthy, the Twins have two too many on the major league roster. Miguel Sano will start his rehab probably in July and the Twins would have 20 days to wait before they have to bring him back to the majors. Most likely, there will be injuries to players that make the unpleasant decisions of demotion or DFA moot. That said, if all of the 15 players are healthy, it is still a tough call as to who should be sent down or DFAed. My vote would be Larnach and Nick Gordon, but my opinion could change. A third choice would be to DFA or trade Sano. I don't think that is out of the realm of possibility. I wish Ryan Jeffers could throw out a few runners. He is a good receiver and seems to synch well with the pitchers and I think the bat will come around. I am running pretty cold on Gary Sanchez these days. Yes, he has power, but he's hitting about .215 and watching him "run" down the first base line probably upsets me more than it should. Luis Arraez is having a great season, but he's not a lock for the batting title. In fact, right now he trails Tim Anderson of the White Sox in BA. Anderson had an injury and is below the plate appearance threshold, but he's hitting .354 to Arraez' .349. Arraez is a .216 hitter with a .534 OPS against lefties. He should get several days off when the Twins face southpaws. It appears that the pitching coach and the manager don't trust Tyler Duffey at all right now. If this is in fact the case, it might be time to bid him farewell. With current pitcher usage, every bullpen arm needs to contribute and currently Duffey isn't contributing. There are bullpen arms on the horizon (returning from injury) and if the Twins are saherious about contending they will pick up at least one late-inning reliever by the trade deadline. Devin Smeltzer has really done a nice job as a soft-tossing lefty in the starting rotation. I hold my breath every time he throws an 88 mph fastball over the plate, but he is getting the job done. He's also thrown more six inning or more starts than anyone on the team except Joe Ryan. I'll close with my continued confusion about Byron Buxton. I am not a doctor, so I don't know if putting him on the IL to work through his knee tendonitis is the right call. What the Twins are getting from Buxton is much, much less than what the Twins got from him in 2021 (in 60 games). He has only played 33 games in the outfield and he is not a threat to steal a base. His value is almost exclusively from hitting home runs. IMHO, the plan isn't working if this is what we will see the rest of the season. According to the Twins web site, Buxton's knee has not improved since suffering an injury in April.
  2. Joe Ryan made the Friday night start for the Twins. Ryan struggled in his previous start, allowing a season-high five walks. Whether he was squeezed or just had a rough game, the rookie pitcher showed resilience and bounced back in this appearance. He and the offense left a fun mark on the night. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (79 pitches, 51 strikes (64.5%)) Home Runs: 0 Top 3 WPA: Luis Arraez (.203), Joe Ryan (.139), Max Kepler (.110) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Minimal Pitchers, Maximum Impact It’s true the pitching staff has been a little beat up, mainly due to a shortened spring training, but one pitcher has been a constant since the season started. Tonight, the Twins won the game only using four pitchers. With all the crazy moves that the pitchers have been experiencing with injuries, Ryan has been a bright spot in the pitching rotation. Ryan has made each of his scheduled starts and continued to work. Right now, Joe Ryan is among five pitchers who have a low Opponent Batting Average so far this season. With 35 innings pitched, he has a .179 Opp BA with Michael Kopech having .137 at number one. The hitters do have a hard time against the rookie. Ryan has given up only 24 hits and 10 runs in his 37 2/3 innings this season, keeping the scoring of the other team at a minimum. His numbers continue to impress. During a mound visit at the bottom of the sixth inning, Wes Johnson appeared to give Ryan an atta-boy, pep talk to get him through the remaining part of the inning. Ryan could not close out the inning giving two of the night's walks to load the bases, but he did leave the game with only one run and the Twins ahead and subsequently lowering his ERA. With bases loaded and two outs, Caleb Thielbar came on to get out of the sixth inning with no damage with a pop-fly caught by Gilberto Celestino. Thielbar managed damage control in the sixth with the bases loaded but gave up a solo home run on a knuckleball on his sixth pitch of the game in the bottom of the seventh. Thielbar had two outs before walking Benintendi, causing Rocco Baldelli to bring in Joe Smith. Smith worked his magic to keep the hitters at bay during the seventh and eighth inning. The Twins kept Smith out longer than normal, putting him in a small bind at the bottom of the eighth inning. He ended the inning with a breaking ball and another scoreless inning for the sidewinder. A Little Help from Our Friends The Twins offense has been hard at work attempting to win games with more than a run or two cushion. After some well-placed insurance runs from Jose Miranda Thursday night, game two is stacked with another round of powerhouses to continue what started last night. Two of the surprises in the line-up have been unexpected, but truly appreciated and officially have been accepted as a Minnesota Twin by the fan base. Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela both came from the Yankees before the season started and have officially earned a place in our hearts and on the field. Both players played a huge part in tonight’s win against the Royals. Sanchez amassed a lot of negativities from the Yankees community while there and initially from Twins fans as well when the trade happened. Sanchez was known for passed balls while catching and an inconsistent hitter at the plate. Since coming to the Twins, Sanchez has been a little slow getting settled, but in his past four games, Sanchez has been responsible for five of the RBI which also included two home runs and three doubles. His batting average may be showing .229, but what doesn’t show is his ability to come through lately in a clutch situation. Urshela has struggled at the plate. Whether out of comfort, change, or just a slump, the third baseman has had a hard time finding his stride at the plate. What Urshela lacked at the plate until recently, he has certainly made up for at defense lately making some insane plays to get players out, including one from the seat of his pants. Urshela’s confidence has certainly increased while making clutch plays at third base has seemed to transfer to his confidence at the plate. As of May 20, versus Kansas City, Urshela has been hitting .238 with five hits, two home runs, and five RBI. Urshela seems comfortable in the five or six spots in the line-up, as opposed to the early part of the line-up. Thanks to a sac bunt tonight from Celestino, Urshela who took a walk at his second plate appearance, made an advance to third base and was the first player to score tonight on a sacrifice from Buxton. Certainly, things are looking up for him on this squad. Certainly, the acquisitions from the Yankees have been fantastic, but the lineup as a whole has been wicked over the past six games. Tonight, Byron Buxton started out by draining ten pitches out of Brad Keller, the starting pitcher for Kansas City, but remained hitless tonight, but he was walked in the ninth contributing to the night of fun and runs he and his teammates had. Another Night of Fun and Runs Twins' fans have been loving the small ball the club has been playing the past two nights. No home runs and a few bunts made a contribution to the excitement of the "small ball" feel. With the exception of Ryan Jeffers, Luis Arraez, Jeffers, and Urshela, the bats stayed relatively quiet after the third inning where both teams got on the board until Brad Keller seemed to lose control of the zone in the sixth even more so than the inning prior and walked Arraez. That walk was just the beginning of the insanity that was the remaining part of the game for the club. With Keller walking Arraez, Polanco grounded out to first, and allowed Arraez to get into scoring position. Kepler followed up quickly with a single scoring Arraez, quickly followed by Sanchez who hit yet another double scoring Kepler, giving the Twins a three-run cushion. There was certainly no sense of urgency from the offense tonight, but they were able to move through the night with minimal hits and nothing from the powerhouses, it was quiet until Arraez ran home and slid headfirst superman style on a wild pitch from Speier after he initially walked (again) to start the inning. Arraez who walked twice tonight, also scored twice for the club. The Twins loaded up the bases in the top of the ninth with only one out left and once again, Arraez comes through for the club hitting a ball to right field bringing home Urshela but keeping the bases loaded for Correa who broke open the game even further with a solid hit to right field scoring two more runs. By the time the ninth inning was over for the Twins, they had another three runs bringing the score to 9-2, a safe cushion as Cody Stashak came out to finish the game for the Twins. The Twins have scored 29 runs in three games, with no homeruns and a three-game winning streak! is this real life!? Do you think the Twins can sweep the Royals? Tune in tomorrow to find out and welcome back Bailey Ober from the IL! What’s Next? The Twins finish out their series with the Royals Sunday at 1:10 pm before returning home to an eleven-game homestand including Detroit and another series with Kansas City. Pitching matchup tomorrow: Sunday 1:10 pm CST: Bailey Ober (1-1, 2.75 ERA) vs RHP Brady Singer (1-0, 2.84 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet - TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Duran 0 23 0 16 0 39 Thielbar 16 0 0 0 18 34 Stashak 0 13 0 0 18 31 Smith 0 0 0 0 21 21 Cano 0 19 0 0 0 19 Pagán 0 0 0 19 0 19 Jax 0 0 0 18 0 18 Duffey 0 0 0 18 0 18 Megill 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  3. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (79 pitches, 51 strikes (64.5%)) Home Runs: 0 Top 3 WPA: Luis Arraez (.203), Joe Ryan (.139), Max Kepler (.110) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Minimal Pitchers, Maximum Impact It’s true the pitching staff has been a little beat up, mainly due to a shortened spring training, but one pitcher has been a constant since the season started. Tonight, the Twins won the game only using four pitchers. With all the crazy moves that the pitchers have been experiencing with injuries, Ryan has been a bright spot in the pitching rotation. Ryan has made each of his scheduled starts and continued to work. Right now, Joe Ryan is among five pitchers who have a low Opponent Batting Average so far this season. With 35 innings pitched, he has a .179 Opp BA with Michael Kopech having .137 at number one. The hitters do have a hard time against the rookie. Ryan has given up only 24 hits and 10 runs in his 37 2/3 innings this season, keeping the scoring of the other team at a minimum. His numbers continue to impress. During a mound visit at the bottom of the sixth inning, Wes Johnson appeared to give Ryan an atta-boy, pep talk to get him through the remaining part of the inning. Ryan could not close out the inning giving two of the night's walks to load the bases, but he did leave the game with only one run and the Twins ahead and subsequently lowering his ERA. With bases loaded and two outs, Caleb Thielbar came on to get out of the sixth inning with no damage with a pop-fly caught by Gilberto Celestino. Thielbar managed damage control in the sixth with the bases loaded but gave up a solo home run on a knuckleball on his sixth pitch of the game in the bottom of the seventh. Thielbar had two outs before walking Benintendi, causing Rocco Baldelli to bring in Joe Smith. Smith worked his magic to keep the hitters at bay during the seventh and eighth inning. The Twins kept Smith out longer than normal, putting him in a small bind at the bottom of the eighth inning. He ended the inning with a breaking ball and another scoreless inning for the sidewinder. A Little Help from Our Friends The Twins offense has been hard at work attempting to win games with more than a run or two cushion. After some well-placed insurance runs from Jose Miranda Thursday night, game two is stacked with another round of powerhouses to continue what started last night. Two of the surprises in the line-up have been unexpected, but truly appreciated and officially have been accepted as a Minnesota Twin by the fan base. Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela both came from the Yankees before the season started and have officially earned a place in our hearts and on the field. Both players played a huge part in tonight’s win against the Royals. Sanchez amassed a lot of negativities from the Yankees community while there and initially from Twins fans as well when the trade happened. Sanchez was known for passed balls while catching and an inconsistent hitter at the plate. Since coming to the Twins, Sanchez has been a little slow getting settled, but in his past four games, Sanchez has been responsible for five of the RBI which also included two home runs and three doubles. His batting average may be showing .229, but what doesn’t show is his ability to come through lately in a clutch situation. Urshela has struggled at the plate. Whether out of comfort, change, or just a slump, the third baseman has had a hard time finding his stride at the plate. What Urshela lacked at the plate until recently, he has certainly made up for at defense lately making some insane plays to get players out, including one from the seat of his pants. Urshela’s confidence has certainly increased while making clutch plays at third base has seemed to transfer to his confidence at the plate. As of May 20, versus Kansas City, Urshela has been hitting .238 with five hits, two home runs, and five RBI. Urshela seems comfortable in the five or six spots in the line-up, as opposed to the early part of the line-up. Thanks to a sac bunt tonight from Celestino, Urshela who took a walk at his second plate appearance, made an advance to third base and was the first player to score tonight on a sacrifice from Buxton. Certainly, things are looking up for him on this squad. Certainly, the acquisitions from the Yankees have been fantastic, but the lineup as a whole has been wicked over the past six games. Tonight, Byron Buxton started out by draining ten pitches out of Brad Keller, the starting pitcher for Kansas City, but remained hitless tonight, but he was walked in the ninth contributing to the night of fun and runs he and his teammates had. Another Night of Fun and Runs Twins' fans have been loving the small ball the club has been playing the past two nights. No home runs and a few bunts made a contribution to the excitement of the "small ball" feel. With the exception of Ryan Jeffers, Luis Arraez, Jeffers, and Urshela, the bats stayed relatively quiet after the third inning where both teams got on the board until Brad Keller seemed to lose control of the zone in the sixth even more so than the inning prior and walked Arraez. That walk was just the beginning of the insanity that was the remaining part of the game for the club. With Keller walking Arraez, Polanco grounded out to first, and allowed Arraez to get into scoring position. Kepler followed up quickly with a single scoring Arraez, quickly followed by Sanchez who hit yet another double scoring Kepler, giving the Twins a three-run cushion. There was certainly no sense of urgency from the offense tonight, but they were able to move through the night with minimal hits and nothing from the powerhouses, it was quiet until Arraez ran home and slid headfirst superman style on a wild pitch from Speier after he initially walked (again) to start the inning. Arraez who walked twice tonight, also scored twice for the club. The Twins loaded up the bases in the top of the ninth with only one out left and once again, Arraez comes through for the club hitting a ball to right field bringing home Urshela but keeping the bases loaded for Correa who broke open the game even further with a solid hit to right field scoring two more runs. By the time the ninth inning was over for the Twins, they had another three runs bringing the score to 9-2, a safe cushion as Cody Stashak came out to finish the game for the Twins. The Twins have scored 29 runs in three games, with no homeruns and a three-game winning streak! is this real life!? Do you think the Twins can sweep the Royals? Tune in tomorrow to find out and welcome back Bailey Ober from the IL! What’s Next? The Twins finish out their series with the Royals Sunday at 1:10 pm before returning home to an eleven-game homestand including Detroit and another series with Kansas City. Pitching matchup tomorrow: Sunday 1:10 pm CST: Bailey Ober (1-1, 2.75 ERA) vs RHP Brady Singer (1-0, 2.84 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet - TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Duran 0 23 0 16 0 39 Thielbar 16 0 0 0 18 34 Stashak 0 13 0 0 18 31 Smith 0 0 0 0 21 21 Cano 0 19 0 0 0 19 Pagán 0 0 0 19 0 19 Jax 0 0 0 18 0 18 Duffey 0 0 0 18 0 18 Megill 0 0 0 0 0 0
  4. For those among us that have seen the earth orbit the sun more than 50 times, the St. Paul paper had a writer named Don Riley who weekly had an item "scattergunning from the catbird's seat". In a similar fashion,I have several thoughts and have thrown them together for comment: 1) Has anyone seen two wackier late inning victories than the Twins 2-1 win on Friday and the 5-4 walk-off on Tuesday? 2) Raise your hand if you thought at the start of the season that the best lineup against a right hander would include Nick Gordon in left field and Luis Arraez at first base. 3) Is it time to move Carlos Correa down in the lineup temporarily? He seems to be fighting himself at the plate. 4) With three of the next four opponent starters left handed and a roster reduction coming, I think Garlick will be getting his chance, but if he doesn't hit soon he could be the roster casualty. 5) Dylan Bundy's stuff doesn't make anyone go "wow", but his command has been beyond excellent and he knows how to pitch. 6) Things are going well for the Twins now, but the bullpen doesn't have enough impact arms. They either need to go outside the box and convert a minor league starter or outside the organization (my preference). 7) Sano, Correa and Polanco are off to miserable starts, but there are dozens of established major leaguers who aren't hitting. I’ll believe that Alex Kirilloff is healed when he starts driving the ball regularly. I'm not convinced he will contribute to this year's team. 9) The schedule in May for the Twins is Charmin soft. They need to take advantage and run of a 20-win month. 10) Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober have been terrific so far. This shouldn't have been taken for granted. Maybe the Twins' staff knows something about developing pitchers after all. Please comment on any of these items or any random thoughts you might have about the 2022 Twins.
  5. Since the Rangers signed two shortstops to long-term deals, maybe the Twins could get Kiner-Falefa from them. I suggest Arraez as the player to be traded. I like Arraez, but trading him for a legit and good defensive shortstop makes sense and also opens a spot for Miranda to make the Opening Day roster.
  6. It’s time to name the best Minnesota Twins hitter of the month! So far, Mitch Garver, Nelson Cruz, and Jorge Polanco have taken home this prestigious award. Will there be a new winner for the month of August? August represented the first month of the season in which Minnesota had a winning record. Curiously enough, according to several metrics, it was also the month in which they had their lowest offensive productivity. This controversy (given that their pitching wasn’t substantially better either) could be explained by the fact that Twins hitters performed very well in clutch situations, making the difference between losing and winning in at least a handful of games. Without further ado, here are three honorable mentions, followed by the big winner! Honorable Mention #3: Luis Arraez This is how good Luis Arraez is: despite having a slight dip in productivity during August, he still had one of the top 15 batting averages in baseball. Also, by slashing .291/.371/.384 (.755), he finished the month with the highest batting average on the team. Unsurprisingly, his power numbers aren’t impressive, but he compensates for that with a ton of plate discipline. Among all qualified batters in August, Arraez’s strikeout rate (8.2%) ranked fourth-best in baseball. He only struck out more than one of his teammates in August: bullpen legend Willians Astudillo (2.9%). It should be brought to your attention that Arraez’s final numbers in August started to drop only during the last week of the month. Until Aug 24, he was slashing .314/.381/.404 (.785) before an 0-for-16 slump. Hopefully, the turn of the calendar will help him get back on track. Honorable Mention #2: Miguel Sanó Miguel Sanó’s mere presence in this Twins lineup was a question mark for quite some time. When he struggles, as he did during April and May, many people are vocal about it. Well, for the past three months, he’s been proving many people wrong, having a very consistent, above league average productivity. His highlight of the month happened last week, when he hit the longest home run in all of baseball this year, sending the poor baseball completely out of Fenway Park. During August, Sanó had his highest number of plate appearances of the season (106), and he was able to sustain a season-best .820 OPS while also having a .344 wOBA and 118 wRC+. It seems as if consistent playing time makes all the difference for the big fellow. Sanó had the team’s second-most extra-base hits (11) and third-highest SLG (.489) in August. Not to mention that he stepped up when the team needed him the most, putting the ball in play 50% of the time in high-leverage situations, the eighth-best BABip in all of baseball in such situations. Honorable Mention #1: Josh Donaldson “The Bringer of Rain” had an incredible month of August, possibly his best in a Twins uniform. Donaldson led the team in batting average for the month, slashing .278/.360/.519 (.878) while also posting .376 wOBA and 140 wRC+, both ranking second-best on the team and considerably above league average. This was the fourth month out of five this year in which he maintained a wRC+ of at least 125. For those who believe the Twins should pursue a trade involving him next winter, his improved second half of the season can seriously increase his trade value. Hitter of the Month: Jorge Polanco For the first time since we’ve established the hitter of the month award, we have a player to be named for a second time. In August, Jorge Polanco was easily the Twins’ best hitter, leading the team in fWAR, with 1.1 and also most of the other relevant offensive metrics, including .945 OPS, .612 SLG, .390 wOBA, and 150 wRC+. But what was even more impressive about Polanco’s August was how clutch and decisive he was! He was responsible for three consecutive walk-off RBI hits for Minnesota this month alone. Check out this video from Twins Daily’s Tom Froemming with every one of his five walk-off hits this season. Given his track record and expected statistics, his current power surge is probably unsustainable over an entire season. He slugged .421 for the first three months of 2021 before jumping to .548 in July and .612 in August. Nonetheless, Polanco’s August was just the icing on the cake of what has been one of his best seasons as a major-leaguer, entitling him to be a front-runner to be named the Twins’ hitter of the year. 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
  7. August represented the first month of the season in which Minnesota had a winning record. Curiously enough, according to several metrics, it was also the month in which they had their lowest offensive productivity. This controversy (given that their pitching wasn’t substantially better either) could be explained by the fact that Twins hitters performed very well in clutch situations, making the difference between losing and winning in at least a handful of games. Without further ado, here are three honorable mentions, followed by the big winner! Honorable Mention #3: Luis Arraez This is how good Luis Arraez is: despite having a slight dip in productivity during August, he still had one of the top 15 batting averages in baseball. Also, by slashing .291/.371/.384 (.755), he finished the month with the highest batting average on the team. Unsurprisingly, his power numbers aren’t impressive, but he compensates for that with a ton of plate discipline. Among all qualified batters in August, Arraez’s strikeout rate (8.2%) ranked fourth-best in baseball. He only struck out more than one of his teammates in August: bullpen legend Willians Astudillo (2.9%). It should be brought to your attention that Arraez’s final numbers in August started to drop only during the last week of the month. Until Aug 24, he was slashing .314/.381/.404 (.785) before an 0-for-16 slump. Hopefully, the turn of the calendar will help him get back on track. Honorable Mention #2: Miguel Sanó Miguel Sanó’s mere presence in this Twins lineup was a question mark for quite some time. When he struggles, as he did during April and May, many people are vocal about it. Well, for the past three months, he’s been proving many people wrong, having a very consistent, above league average productivity. His highlight of the month happened last week, when he hit the longest home run in all of baseball this year, sending the poor baseball completely out of Fenway Park. During August, Sanó had his highest number of plate appearances of the season (106), and he was able to sustain a season-best .820 OPS while also having a .344 wOBA and 118 wRC+. It seems as if consistent playing time makes all the difference for the big fellow. Sanó had the team’s second-most extra-base hits (11) and third-highest SLG (.489) in August. Not to mention that he stepped up when the team needed him the most, putting the ball in play 50% of the time in high-leverage situations, the eighth-best BABip in all of baseball in such situations. Honorable Mention #1: Josh Donaldson “The Bringer of Rain” had an incredible month of August, possibly his best in a Twins uniform. Donaldson led the team in batting average for the month, slashing .278/.360/.519 (.878) while also posting .376 wOBA and 140 wRC+, both ranking second-best on the team and considerably above league average. This was the fourth month out of five this year in which he maintained a wRC+ of at least 125. For those who believe the Twins should pursue a trade involving him next winter, his improved second half of the season can seriously increase his trade value. Hitter of the Month: Jorge Polanco For the first time since we’ve established the hitter of the month award, we have a player to be named for a second time. In August, Jorge Polanco was easily the Twins’ best hitter, leading the team in fWAR, with 1.1 and also most of the other relevant offensive metrics, including .945 OPS, .612 SLG, .390 wOBA, and 150 wRC+. But what was even more impressive about Polanco’s August was how clutch and decisive he was! He was responsible for three consecutive walk-off RBI hits for Minnesota this month alone. Check out this video from Twins Daily’s Tom Froemming with every one of his five walk-off hits this season. Given his track record and expected statistics, his current power surge is probably unsustainable over an entire season. He slugged .421 for the first three months of 2021 before jumping to .548 in July and .612 in August. Nonetheless, Polanco’s August was just the icing on the cake of what has been one of his best seasons as a major-leaguer, entitling him to be a front-runner to be named the Twins’ hitter of the year. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  8. The Twins visit Seattle on the first leg of a two-city road trip. The Mariners are three games under .500 despite having a poorer run differential than the Twins, who are 13 games below the break-even mark. The Mariners started the Twins slide off a cliff in April when they came back from a 6-0 deficit in the middle innings and beat the Twins. The Twins really haven't been the same since. Yesterday's game marked another low point as the Twins gave up 14 runs and 20 hits to a good Houston lineup. The three relievers who followed Pineda to the mound yielded runs in every inning, totaling nine runs and 14 hits in five innings. The way those three pitchers are throwing, they should not be on a big league pitching staff. There will be reinforcements. Kenta Maeda is scheduled to start tonight and the return of position players Luis Arraez and Byron Buxton seems imminent. Max Kepler is rehabbing in St. Paul and probably will be ready before the team returns to Minnesota. A week from today, the roster figures to look considerably different than the squad that faced Houston. Only Maeda can pitch among the returnees and that is where the Twins have fallen apart. Further it looks like there isn't much help available in the minor leagues. There will be a crunch particularly among the outfielders. Adding back Buxton and eventually Kepler will give the Twins a lot of choices to play the corner outfield spots. Given how the season has gone, there probably will be an injury or two to current players. This is not the season I expected, but watching the progress (or lack thereof) of players is about all a fan can do. Go Twins! Lineups to follow. Twins Kenta Maeda (R) 1. Jorge Polanco (S) 2B 2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B 3. Nelson Cruz (R) DH 4. Trevor Larnach (L) LF 5. Ryan Jeffers (R) C 6. Miguel Sano (R) 1B 7. Alex Kirilloff (L) RF 8. Andrelton Simmons (R) SS 9. Gilberto Celestino (R) CF Mariners Marco Gonzales (L) 1. J.P. Crawford (L) SS 2. Jake Fraley (L) DH 3. Ty France (R) 1B 4. Kyle Seager (L) 3B 5. Dylan Moore (R) 2B 6. Jake Bauers (L) RF 7. Tom Murphy (R) C 8. Shed Long Jr. (L) LF 9. Taylor Trammell (L) CF
  9. I have been reading so many lists - the best for the Twins, oh wait, they signed elsewhere. Here are two pitchers who cannot stay healthy, which should we sign? Don't worry they can still get someone. There is still value at the bottom of the list. It is a weekly, if not daily, ritual. But what if they don't sign anyone and look inward? Let me speculate from I love the young guys to a lineup without a trade or a signing: Arraez - 2B Lewis - SS Polanco - U Blankenhorn or Gordon - U Donaldson 3B Sano - 1B Rooker - DH Kiriloff LF Buxton - CF Kepler - RF Cave - 4th OF Larnach - 5th OF/1B/DH Jeffers/Garver - C Berrios Maeda Pineda Duran Dobnak/Balazovic Robles Duffey Rogers Acala Colina Smeltzer Thorpe or a couple of our signings - none of which I know about Overall not bad (I think).
  10. Arraez finished his regular season hitting .334 in 366 Plate Appearances. He turned 22 in April. The entire list of players since 1961 who hit for as high an average over as many plate appearances in their age 22 season (defined by Baseball-reference as still being 22 on June 30): Alex Rodriguez 1996 Vada Pinson 1961 That's it. Continuing the list back to 1901 (formation of AL) -- fun to look at. [And I had forgotten Williams was only in his age 22 season in 1941 when he hit .406. Al Kaline 1955 Stan Musial 1943 Pete Reiser 1941 Ted Williams 1941 Ted Williams 1940 Charlie Keller 1939 Joe DiMaggio 1937 Roy Weatherly 1936 Jimmie Foxx 1930 Mel Ott 1930 Jimmie Foxx 1929 Lloyd Waner 1928 Freddie Lindstrom 1928 Lloyd Waner 1927 Heinie Manush 1923 Tris Speaker 1910 Ty Cobb 1909 Eddie Collins 1909 Ty Cobb 1907 Jimmy Scheckard 1901
  11. There are some people on this site that have preached that Twins players should be flexible. This year with a couple of new players (Arraez and Marwin Gonzalez) and a new manager, the Twins have demonstrated that they have a roster of players who are flexible. Four players have started at at least four positions, and four more players have started at at least two positions. I've followed the Twins since they moved to Minnesota and I've never seen a more versatile position player roster. Marwin Gonzalez--1B (8), 2B (2), SS (1), 3B (32), LF (7), RF (7) Ehire Adrianza--1B (2), 2B (7), SS (11), 3B (11), RF (2) Luis Arraez--2B (7), SS (2), 3B (4), LF (5) Willians Astudillo--1B (4), 2B (1), 3B (8), RF (3), LF (1) C (13) Max Kepler--RF (59), CF (17) Eddie Rosario--LF (69), CF (1) Jake Cave--RF (13), LF (4), CF (2) Miguel Sanó--3B (33), 1B (2)
  12. Okay - I just read that Lewis Thorpe is up and Adrianza is back and Wade is up and Rosario is down and Buxton is still???? This has been a fascinating year - despite being in first place all season, in spite of great production and such a strong showing there has been a tremendous amount of shifting and turn over. Some of it because of injuries, some to give a player a reset and some because we have played such long games and given the MLB roster so many innings they need a break. But who has been here? I am trying to figure that out. And I think I need help. LaMonte Wade is finally getting his chance, something I did not see coming! WIlllians Astudillo has been playing every position except pitcher (please do not put him there again) and providing entertainment for team and fans. And now he is on the IL. Adrianza was on the roster and then suffered a long IL Stint. Now Eddie Rosario is on the IL. Byron Buxton is on the IL again - how many times has that happened in his career? And we are all anxious for him to return. Luis Arraez has come up and shined despite not making past years prospect lists. Hard to look past his batting stats and see him return to the minors. Jake Cave has been up more than once and is still a viable substitute. Lewis Thorpe is up for the first time - after reading the prospect list I wonder how he got to be the new arm of the day. Of Course Zack Littell has to go down for him and that has been a recurring experience. Tyler Austin had two games at 1B for the Twins this year. Chase De Jong had a chance to prove he does not belong. Andrew Vasquez failed - has he flamed out? Fernando Romero was a promising starter, then a promising reliever and now is a minor leaguer. Adalberto Mejia went from fifth position in the rotation to a minor league status Gabriel Moya went from majors to minors to DFA Trevor Hildenberger went from one of our top relievers back to the minors. Ryan Eades made his debut and waved good-bye Devin Smeltzer made an amazing debut and then plunged to Earth and back to the minors. Kohl Stewart went 1 - 1 with a 4.50 ERA and is back in the comfort of the minors. Sean Poppen got a one day - do what you can do we aren't pulling you out game. Austin Adams completes my record of Twin call ups and send down.
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