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  1. We’ll do a lot of looking ahead to this Twins-Yankees ALDS here at Twins Daily over the coming days, but I thought it was also worthwhile to take a quick look back at how these teams have played against each other so far in 2019. There’s no denying the Yankees dominance over the Twins in postseason play, but it’s also completely irrelevant. Rocco Baldelli’s response to whether he was aware of the recent postseason history between the Twins and Yankees was the exact message the entire organization and its fans needed to hear. https://twitter.com/dohyoungpark/status/1177986288194113537 So
  2. I came across a lot of interesting facts and numbers from the time that these now major leaguers were just a bunch of hopeful kids attending classes everyday. Here’s a list that I’ve put together, with a personal experience shared at the end. Kyle Gibson was a vital part of the Twins rotation last year, after struggling for some years in the majors. That story is a bit similar to how his college career went down. He was off to a slow start, coming out of the bullpen during his freshman year for the Missouri Tigers, in 2007. But then, when he started being used as a starter in 2008, he turned
  3. March Madness is upon us. I’m nothing close to a college basketball specialist, but it seems to me that not even the most optimistic Minnesotan believes the Golden Gophers will go far in the Big Ten Tournament -- but, who knows? Either way, with or without the presence of the Gophers, many people will hop on the Bracketology train and go crazy during the month of March. Motivated by the school spirit brought by this event, I decided to look at how some Minnesota Twins did while they were playing in college.I came across a lot of interesting facts and numbers from the time that these now majo
  4. And my oddly specific intuition is mostly correct. Since that year, the Twins have been ranked the 29th, 25th, 4th, 23rd, 23rd, 21st, 19th and 18th best bullpen respectively by fWAR each year from 2011 to now. That comes out to an average of ~20th each year that is propped up massively by the one year it was actually good. Meaning that the bullpen has been near the top of the to-do list during the offseason for quite some time now. This offseason was no different, while the bullpen was technically the best it had been since 2013, it was obvious that they needed to upgrade with some reliever
  5. Assistant General Manager Rob Antony was interviewed by Darren Wolfson earlier this week. When Wolfson asked about Graterol joining the Twins, Anthony made the team’s position clear. “I would say absolutely,” Antony said. “That came into play when we talked about some of these guys some relievers that we talked about. We looked at each other and basically said, ‘Why not bring up Graterol?’” Graterol, the 20-year old righty, is working his way back from a shoulder issue- impingement- that had him on the injured list. In two appearances with the GCL Twins, he has thrown three scoreless innin
  6. Greetings, Twins Territory. While watching the FSN broadcast of Tuesday's 10-inning instant classic between the Twins and Yankees, i.e. what was shaping up to be called the "Miguel Sano game" before quickly being title-hijacked as the "Aaron Hicks Revenge Game", I was dumbstruck to hear Dick Bremer call Blake Parker "the Twins' most consistent reliever lately". You've gotta be kidding me, I thought. Parker makes me nervous every time he's on the mound. And especially today, against the Yankees. (Followed by: 5-pitch walk, line-drive double, Monster Double, strikeout, Monster Double, yieldi
  7. Standings Check-In The Twins enter play on Thursday with a three-game lead in the AL Central. At the beginning of June, the Twins were up 10.5 games as Cleveland had squeaked out a .500 record up to that point. By the end of June, Minnesota still had a comfortable eight game lead, but then Cleveland really turned on the heat. The Indians have gone 13-4 in July with two of their losses coming against the Twins. Some will point to Cleveland’s recent opponents as the reasons for their success, but they are winning the games in front of them. According to Baseball Reference, the Twins have a 96.
  8. Aside from adding Blake Parker, who seemed like a rather marginal upgrade, the Twins really didn’t do much to address the bullpen during the offseason. Instead they extended Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler and made several key offensive additions). Rather than adding any big-named, high-priced relievers, the Twins have chosen to roll with minor league free agent signings and their own internal candidates. In some cases it worked remarkably well (as expected with Taylor Rogers and somewhat surprisingly with Ryne Harper), others have been serviceable but haven’t quite taken the step forward that
  9. Coming into the season, I think it is fair to say that most Twins fans were underwhelmed at best with what the front office did to address the bullpen. With the trade deadline fast approaching fans are anxious for the team to upgrade a few relief arms. Assuming the Twins do add a few arms, is it possible that Derrek Falvey and Thad Levine have actually created a new efficiency in creating a bullpen?Aside from adding Blake Parker, who seemed like a rather marginal upgrade, the Twins really didn’t do much to address the bullpen during the offseason. Instead they extended Jorge Polanco and Max Ke
  10. Box Score Berríos: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 61.1% strikes (55 of 90 pitches) Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K Home Runs: Sanó (9), Cave (1), Cron (17) Multi-Hit Games: Cron (3-for-5, HR, RBI), Cave (2-for-3, HR) WPA of +0.1: Berríos .366, Cron .356, Cave .250, May .142 WPA of -0.1: Kepler -.113, Cruz -.121, Polanco -.155, Astudillo -.161, Rogers -.269 (chart via FanGraphs) Coming into this game, the Twins were having some rather rocky previous few games. After having a winning record in all of its seven, ten-game splits so far in the season, Minnesota had more losses than wi
  11. A rare blown save from Taylor Rogers sent the game to extra innings, but C.J. Cron led the offensive rally in the tenth inning and Minnesota took the third game of the series against the Royals. The Twins become the first team in the American League to reach 50 wins this year.Box Score Berríos: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 61.1% strikes (55 of 90 pitches) Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K Home Runs: Sanó (9), Cave (1), Cron (17) Multi-Hit Games: Cron (3-for-5, HR, RBI), Cave (2-for-3, HR) WPA of +0.1: Berríos .366, Cron .356, Cave .250, May .142 WPA of -0.1: Kepler -.113, Cruz -.121,
  12. Of course this would happen. On the day Craig Kimbrel reportedly reached an agreement to sign with the Cubs, the Twins bullpen blows a two-run lead in the seventh inning. This is pretty much the most Minnesota Sports way this day could have possibly gone.Box Score Perez: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 60.9% strikes (56 of 92 pitches) Home Runs: Buxton (7), Cruz (8), Polanco (10) Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (2-for-4, HR) WPA of +0.1: Buxton .191, Polanco .156 WPA of -0.1: Sano -.137, Perez -.218, Parker -.500 Download attachment: Win65.png (chart via FanGraphs) The Twins held a 6-5 lead t
  13. Box Score Perez: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 60.9% strikes (56 of 92 pitches) Home Runs: Buxton (7), Cruz (8), Polanco (10) Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (2-for-4, HR) WPA of +0.1: Buxton .191, Polanco .156 WPA of -0.1: Sano -.137, Perez -.218, Parker -.500 (chart via FanGraphs) The Twins held a 6-5 lead through six innings, but rain caused this game to be delayed more than an hour and a half. The Twins scratched across an insurance run once play resumed, but Blake Parker was ready to play his role in throwing gasoline on what was already a hot talking point across Twins Territory. I do
  14. On the latest Gleeman and the Geek Parker Hageman noted that, in talking with a Twins official, the feel in the clubhouse is decidedly different in 2019. It’s one thing for that to be the case when you have the best record in baseball, but the reality for this team is that this is how things have been from the beginning. In constructing this roster Derek Falvey and Thad Levine were both calculated and decisive, but maybe there was more to it than a talent overhaul. From an internal standpoint the two linchpins have long been Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. Buxton was the guy who put in all the
  15. If Devin Smeltzer was nervous on the mound as he made his Major-League debut for the Twins on Tuesday night against the Brewers, it didn't show. Smeltzer, who began the season at Double-A Pensacola, provided the first-place Twins with one of the best starts by a pitcher making his MLB debut in Twins history. No, he wasn't awarded with the Win, but the Twins had a big seventh inning against the Brewers bullpen and held on to the lead to split the two-game series with the Crew.Box Score Devin Smeltzer: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 76.8% strikes (53 of 69 pitches) Home Runs: Eddie Rosario (17)
  16. Box Score Devin Smeltzer: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 76.8% strikes (53 of 69 pitches) Home Runs: Eddie Rosario (17) Multi-Hit Games: Jorge Polanco 2-for-4 WPA of +0.1: Devin Smeltzer (.365), Willians Astudillo (.159), WPA of -0.1: Jonathan Schoop (-.110), (chart via FanGraphs) The Devin Smeltzer Show Hey, when a guy makes his MLB debut, it is always going to be a story. But as we know, with Smeltzer, there’s always a bigger story. The fact that he made his major league debut as a 23-year-old when he was diagnosed with cancer as a nine year old is remarkable. The fact that he has
  17. It's been a long time since Twins fans last had the luxury of contemplating things like pennant races and playoff rotations and jockeying for home field advantage. I can't remember ever having any such thoughts before the end of May. But we're at a point where talking about the Twins as likely postseason entrants and World Series contenders is not fanciful. It's almost obligatory. Throughout the entirety of a drawn-out rebuilding process that began with a 99-loss season in 2011, Minnesota has been future-focused. At their best (in 2015 and '17), they straddled the line, scrapping for an unli
  18. By the end of next week, the Minnesota Twins will be more than a third of the way through their 2019 schedule. After completing a dominant sweep in Anaheim, they have the best record and second-best run differential in baseball. Their lead in the AL Central has ballooned to eight games. We're still a week away from June, but it is not by any means too early to start thinking big.It's been a long time since Twins fans last had the luxury of contemplating things like pennant races and playoff rotations and jockeying for home field advantage. I can't remember ever having any such thoughts befor
  19. Box Score Gibson: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 56.8% strikes (50 of 88 pitches) Home Runs: Garver (9) Multi-Hit Games: None WPA of +0.1: Parker .229 WPA of -0.1: None (chart via FanGraphs) With the Twins clinging to a one-run lead, Brian Goodwin sent a solid single into center field. Buxton corralled the in-between hop, set himself and fired a bullet to home plate, right on the money, to nail Shohei Ohtani trying to score the game-tying run. This play … wow. https://twitter.com/twinsbeisbol/status/1128491809896747008 Garver did an excellent job at positioning himself wisely to make the cat
  20. Byron Buxton made a beautiful defensive play — this time with his arm — but it ended with Mitch Garver being assisted off the field, not putting any weight on his left leg. It was the loudest Target Field has been all year, immediately followed by concern for Garver, who hit his ninth home run earlier in the game.Box Score Gibson: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 56.8% strikes (50 of 88 pitches) Home Runs: Garver (9) Multi-Hit Games: None WPA of +0.1: Parker .229 WPA of -0.1: None Download attachment: Win514.png (chart via FanGraphs) With the Twins clinging to a one-run lead, Brian Goodwin sen
  21. Box Score Odorizzi: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 66.3% strikes Home Runs: Adrianza (1) Multi-Hit Games: None WPA of +0.1: Odorizzi .473, Parker .170, Rogers .124, Adrianza .123 WPA of -0.1: Rosario -.100 (chart via FanGraphs) There are certain things, even in the early going, that can give you certain vibes as a fan that your team may be on the verge of something special. Certain events just hit you and let those “this is our year” vibes to start flowing. Jake Odorizzi and the Twins bullpen shutting out the Houston Astros lineup would be one of those things. Ehire Adrianza hitting a home
  22. All across Twins Territory, fans seem to be doing their best to contain their excitement. Their mantra has been it’s only April, it’s only the Orioles, we still don’t know much about this Twins team. That all could change over the course of this week. A big performance against the Astros and the Yankees would make it difficult for even the most reserved Midwesterner to temper excitement. The Twins got things off to a great start Monday evening.Box Score Odorizzi: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 66.3% strikes Home Runs: Adrianza (1) Multi-Hit Games: None WPA of +0.1: Odorizzi .473, Parker .170,
  23. Early Season Results Minnesota’s limited amount of games to start the season has certainly altered the bullpen’s results. Only three pitchers have appeared in double-digits games (Trevor May, Trevor Hildenberger, and Taylor Rogers). Blake Parker and Taylor Rogers have split save situations with both players earning three saves or more. There have been some surprises so far this season. Minus one appearance in Houston, Ryne Harper has been outstanding. There’s reason to believe he could continue this in the weeks ahead. Hildenberger, Rogers, and Parker have also been outstanding. Does that me
  24. It’s amazing how much easier things seem when you get an early lead. Toronto scored a run in the top of the first, but the Twins answered with two runs of their own and never looked back. Jake Odorizzi picked up his first win of the year after holding the Blue Jays to one run over 5 2/3 innings and the bullpen got back on track.Box Score Odorizzi: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 63.3% strikes (64 of 101 pitches) Home Runs: None Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Cruz (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Gonzalez (2-for-3, BB) WPA of +0.1: Odorizzi .211, Cruz .175 WPA of -0.1: Rosario -.120 Download attac
  25. Box Score Odorizzi: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 63.3% strikes (64 of 101 pitches) Home Runs: None Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Cruz (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Gonzalez (2-for-3, BB) WPA of +0.1: Odorizzi .211, Cruz .175 WPA of -0.1: Rosario -.120 (chart via FanGraphs) Odorizzi had an encouraging outing after back-to-back poor starts, Adalberto Mejia recovered from his most recent poor performance with a scoreless outing and Blake Parker, who looked pretty lost over the weekend, got the save in a scoreless ninth inning. Oh, and in between all that Taylor Rogers did his thing in the
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