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  1. Trevor Larnach was front and center for a brief moment in 2021, crushing homers and brightening the future of the offense. But just as quickly as he showed up, he was gone. What can we expect from the slugging left hander moving forward? Fellow first-round picks Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff have been near each other on the Twins prospect lists for years and had similar ETAs to make their debuts at Target Field. It was only natural that when Kirilloff got the call, Larnach made the jump shortly thereafter. Kirilloff showed that a trip back to the minors was unlikely despite his season-ending injury. Larnach’s 2021 however is a bit tougher to piece together. The Good Despite just 13 at-bats in his AAA career, Larnach looked far from overmatched upon his arrival. He posted an .845 OPS through his first month with an incredible eye at the plate. The left-hander was showing off some tremendous power as well with some tape-measure home runs and hit a ball 116 mph, a strong indicator of raw power. In the outfield, Larnach did surprisingly well in some facets. Left field appeared to be a bit of a struggle, but in right field, he played the overhang incredibly well, posting an Outs Above Average of 2 and 4 Defensive Runs Saved. We've heard Larnach isn't the fleetest of foot throughout his minor league career and there's been little in the way of excitement over his defense. That being said, he showed that he not only has the ability to be a difference-maker at the plate, but that he could surprisingly be a plus defender as well. The Bad Despite Larnach’s .845 OPS in his first month, he finished with a final OPS of just .672. It’s not hard to imagine the steep decline it would take for such a drop-off. From June 1 forward, Larnach posted a slash line of .222/.301/.320, a .621 OPS. The issues were completely obvious: Larnach stopped seeing fastballs. He hit .165 and slugged .215 against breaking balls in 2021 as well as .143 and .179 against off-speed pitches. 72% of his strikeouts came against pitches other than fastballs. Further complicating his struggles was an injury sustained after fouling a ball off of his foot. It’s hard to say whether the nagging foot pain contributed to the hitting woes, but after his demotion to St. Paul Larnach struggled mightily and played in just 10 games before being shut down for the season. What’s Next? With his significant struggles fresh in our minds, it’s understandable that the former top prospect has lost some shine in some fans' eyes. He’s shown a very significant weakness that will surely be abused at the Major League level over and over again until he shows he can overcome it. That being said, Larnach is far from the stereotypical slugger. Comparing him to a similarly tremendous slugger in Brent Rooker, for example, Larnach has a much better plate approach and his eye at the plate has held up at every stop of the minor leagues. He’s also been graded as having a far superior hit tool to Rooker, meaning more contact should be expected moving forward. He still has his issues to fix against the soft stuff, but his advanced offensive approach should prevent him from collapsing into the pool of hitters who can crush the ball on the rare occasion they make contact. These adjustments would likely be easier to make if he’s 100% healthy in 2022 as well. Larnach’s early showing defensively, especially in right field, is extremely encouraging. The Twins have a rash of depth in the corner outfield with more on its way in the minors. If Larnach can be more than just a body to put out there to get his bat in the lineup, he could easily grab that job if the necessary adjustments are made at the plate. These results also have to be encouraging for the front office, who will likely have to part with controllable pieces to get the arms needed to fill out the rotation effectively. Max Kepler has long been a rumored trade asset for example. While he’s had his incredible defensive seasons in right field, Larnach being competent at the position with a step up on offense would make Kepler much easier to part with. Larnach has possibly already shown more of a ceiling against left-handed pitching with 15 hits in 90 plate appearances against southpaws in 2021. Like much of the Twins 2021 season, Larnach’s year had an encouraging start only to collapse down the stretch. That being said, such tendencies are not uncommon when it comes to rookies getting their first taste of Major League pitching. He may not be as highly rated as a possibly generational hitter such as Kirilloff, but Larnach is a pure hitter capable of adjusting. Regardless of the teams’ plans to compete in 2022, he should spend a few months in St. Paul before getting another crack at cementing a roster spot for the next six years. Come this time next offseason, we may just be talking about Trevor Larnach as a staple in the heart of the Twins 2023 lineup. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here View full article
  2. Fellow first-round picks Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff have been near each other on the Twins prospect lists for years and had similar ETAs to make their debuts at Target Field. It was only natural that when Kirilloff got the call, Larnach made the jump shortly thereafter. Kirilloff showed that a trip back to the minors was unlikely despite his season-ending injury. Larnach’s 2021 however is a bit tougher to piece together. The Good Despite just 13 at-bats in his AAA career, Larnach looked far from overmatched upon his arrival. He posted an .845 OPS through his first month with an incredible eye at the plate. The left-hander was showing off some tremendous power as well with some tape-measure home runs and hit a ball 116 mph, a strong indicator of raw power. In the outfield, Larnach did surprisingly well in some facets. Left field appeared to be a bit of a struggle, but in right field, he played the overhang incredibly well, posting an Outs Above Average of 2 and 4 Defensive Runs Saved. We've heard Larnach isn't the fleetest of foot throughout his minor league career and there's been little in the way of excitement over his defense. That being said, he showed that he not only has the ability to be a difference-maker at the plate, but that he could surprisingly be a plus defender as well. The Bad Despite Larnach’s .845 OPS in his first month, he finished with a final OPS of just .672. It’s not hard to imagine the steep decline it would take for such a drop-off. From June 1 forward, Larnach posted a slash line of .222/.301/.320, a .621 OPS. The issues were completely obvious: Larnach stopped seeing fastballs. He hit .165 and slugged .215 against breaking balls in 2021 as well as .143 and .179 against off-speed pitches. 72% of his strikeouts came against pitches other than fastballs. Further complicating his struggles was an injury sustained after fouling a ball off of his foot. It’s hard to say whether the nagging foot pain contributed to the hitting woes, but after his demotion to St. Paul Larnach struggled mightily and played in just 10 games before being shut down for the season. What’s Next? With his significant struggles fresh in our minds, it’s understandable that the former top prospect has lost some shine in some fans' eyes. He’s shown a very significant weakness that will surely be abused at the Major League level over and over again until he shows he can overcome it. That being said, Larnach is far from the stereotypical slugger. Comparing him to a similarly tremendous slugger in Brent Rooker, for example, Larnach has a much better plate approach and his eye at the plate has held up at every stop of the minor leagues. He’s also been graded as having a far superior hit tool to Rooker, meaning more contact should be expected moving forward. He still has his issues to fix against the soft stuff, but his advanced offensive approach should prevent him from collapsing into the pool of hitters who can crush the ball on the rare occasion they make contact. These adjustments would likely be easier to make if he’s 100% healthy in 2022 as well. Larnach’s early showing defensively, especially in right field, is extremely encouraging. The Twins have a rash of depth in the corner outfield with more on its way in the minors. If Larnach can be more than just a body to put out there to get his bat in the lineup, he could easily grab that job if the necessary adjustments are made at the plate. These results also have to be encouraging for the front office, who will likely have to part with controllable pieces to get the arms needed to fill out the rotation effectively. Max Kepler has long been a rumored trade asset for example. While he’s had his incredible defensive seasons in right field, Larnach being competent at the position with a step up on offense would make Kepler much easier to part with. Larnach has possibly already shown more of a ceiling against left-handed pitching with 15 hits in 90 plate appearances against southpaws in 2021. Like much of the Twins 2021 season, Larnach’s year had an encouraging start only to collapse down the stretch. That being said, such tendencies are not uncommon when it comes to rookies getting their first taste of Major League pitching. He may not be as highly rated as a possibly generational hitter such as Kirilloff, but Larnach is a pure hitter capable of adjusting. Regardless of the teams’ plans to compete in 2022, he should spend a few months in St. Paul before getting another crack at cementing a roster spot for the next six years. Come this time next offseason, we may just be talking about Trevor Larnach as a staple in the heart of the Twins 2023 lineup. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  3. The 2021 season didn't go precisely as the Twins envisioned, but the calendar will shortly turn to 2022. Here is a look back at some of the biggest stories at Twins Daily over the last year. Below is a rundown of the back half of the top-20 stories here at Twins Daily over the last calendar year. Take a look back at some of the most significant events and stop back later to look at the top-10 stories. 20. José Berríos Traded to Blue Jays Published: July 30 Author: Matthew Taylor After the season went south, the José Berríos trade was one of the biggest stories of the year. Not only did it impact the second half of the 2021 season, but the trade also has ramifications felt into the current off-season as the team looks to rebuild the pitching staff. Minnesota was able to get two top-100 prospects, and the Blue Jays eventually signed Berríos to a long-term deal. 19. Trade Deadline Tracker: Twins' News and Rumor Roundup Published: July 29 Author: Matthew Taylor There's no question that Twins fans were interested in the 2021 trade deadline as Minnesota had multiple big-league assets tied into the rumor mill. One of the day's biggest stories was the Brewers trading for old friend Eduardo Escobar. Rumors also swirled about a potential José Berríos trade that happened the next day. 18. Nelson Cruz Saga Illuminates Shrewdness of Falvine Published: February 5 Author: Nash Walker Last winter, one of the team's most significant decisions was whether or not to bring back Nelson Cruz. Minnesota's front office was patient, and the National League never added the designated hitter. This left few contending teams in need of Cruz's services. Falvine got Cruz to sign on their terms, and he'd be part of another big story later in the year. 17. Potential Trade Packages for José Berríos Published: May 29 Author: Matthew Lenz Even at the end of May, it was clear the Twins would be in sell mode before the trade deadline. Not only did Matthew connect the Blue Jays as a potential suitor for a Berríos trade, but he also hit on one of the prospects the team got as part of the return. 16. Are the Twins About to Build a Radically Unconventional Pitching Staff? Published: November 11 Author: Nick Nelson The Twins didn't sign any of the top-tier free-agent starting pitchers, and this article gives insight into what the team might be planning. Thad Levine and the front office may consider a nontraditional approach to filling the rotation. When the lockout ends, this approach will be something to keep an eye on as the roster comes together. 15. End of the Line for Brent Rooker? Published: September 25 Author: Cody Pirkl Brent Rooker finished his age-26 season, and he has yet to put it all together at the big-league level. He has little left to prove at Triple-A, and now the question remains as to what his future may hold with the Twins moving forward. Can he be a bench option for the Twins in 2022, or has he reached the end of the line? 14. Twins Trade Nelson Cruz to the Rays for Two AAA Starting Pitchers Published: July 22 Author: Seth Stohs Tampa Bay didn't wait around until the trade deadline to make their move as they wanted Cruz on their roster for an extra week and a half. Even with Cruz on an expiring deal, the Twins acquired two pitchers that are close to big-league ready. It was Minnesota's first big trade before the deadline, and it wouldn't be their last move. 13. Do the Twins Already Have the Next Brian Dozier? Published: March 1 Author: Cody Christie Brian Dozier was a late bloomer that came through the Twins system to have some monster seasons at the plate. Nick Gordon made his debut in 2021, and he also fits into the late-bloomer category. He may never develop Dozier's power, but he seemed to fit nicely into a utility role in the season's second half. 12. Twins Finalize Opening Day Roster Published: March 29 Author: Seth Stohs Minnesota was coming off of back-to-back AL Central titles, so there was plenty of hope associated with the Opening Day roster. One of the team's final decisions was to keep Kyle Garlick over Rooker. Garlick led the team in home runs throughout the spring, so it took an impressive showing for him to make the squad. 11. Ranking the Top-5 Remaining Free Agent Starters Published: December 1 Author: Cody Christie Minnesota had yet to acquire any starting pitching outside of Dylan Bundy, with the lockout looming. There were some clear names at the top of the free-agent rankings, but things dropped off in a hurry. One of the players has already signed, but the other four players are still available if Minnesota wants to pursue them for 2022. Stop back and check out the top stories of the year. Which of these stories will you remember the most? 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
  4. Below is a rundown of the back half of the top-20 stories here at Twins Daily over the last calendar year. Take a look back at some of the most significant events and stop back later to look at the top-10 stories. 20. José Berríos Traded to Blue Jays Published: July 30 Author: Matthew Taylor After the season went south, the José Berríos trade was one of the biggest stories of the year. Not only did it impact the second half of the 2021 season, but the trade also has ramifications felt into the current off-season as the team looks to rebuild the pitching staff. Minnesota was able to get two top-100 prospects, and the Blue Jays eventually signed Berríos to a long-term deal. 19. Trade Deadline Tracker: Twins' News and Rumor Roundup Published: July 29 Author: Matthew Taylor There's no question that Twins fans were interested in the 2021 trade deadline as Minnesota had multiple big-league assets tied into the rumor mill. One of the day's biggest stories was the Brewers trading for old friend Eduardo Escobar. Rumors also swirled about a potential José Berríos trade that happened the next day. 18. Nelson Cruz Saga Illuminates Shrewdness of Falvine Published: February 5 Author: Nash Walker Last winter, one of the team's most significant decisions was whether or not to bring back Nelson Cruz. Minnesota's front office was patient, and the National League never added the designated hitter. This left few contending teams in need of Cruz's services. Falvine got Cruz to sign on their terms, and he'd be part of another big story later in the year. 17. Potential Trade Packages for José Berríos Published: May 29 Author: Matthew Lenz Even at the end of May, it was clear the Twins would be in sell mode before the trade deadline. Not only did Matthew connect the Blue Jays as a potential suitor for a Berríos trade, but he also hit on one of the prospects the team got as part of the return. 16. Are the Twins About to Build a Radically Unconventional Pitching Staff? Published: November 11 Author: Nick Nelson The Twins didn't sign any of the top-tier free-agent starting pitchers, and this article gives insight into what the team might be planning. Thad Levine and the front office may consider a nontraditional approach to filling the rotation. When the lockout ends, this approach will be something to keep an eye on as the roster comes together. 15. End of the Line for Brent Rooker? Published: September 25 Author: Cody Pirkl Brent Rooker finished his age-26 season, and he has yet to put it all together at the big-league level. He has little left to prove at Triple-A, and now the question remains as to what his future may hold with the Twins moving forward. Can he be a bench option for the Twins in 2022, or has he reached the end of the line? 14. Twins Trade Nelson Cruz to the Rays for Two AAA Starting Pitchers Published: July 22 Author: Seth Stohs Tampa Bay didn't wait around until the trade deadline to make their move as they wanted Cruz on their roster for an extra week and a half. Even with Cruz on an expiring deal, the Twins acquired two pitchers that are close to big-league ready. It was Minnesota's first big trade before the deadline, and it wouldn't be their last move. 13. Do the Twins Already Have the Next Brian Dozier? Published: March 1 Author: Cody Christie Brian Dozier was a late bloomer that came through the Twins system to have some monster seasons at the plate. Nick Gordon made his debut in 2021, and he also fits into the late-bloomer category. He may never develop Dozier's power, but he seemed to fit nicely into a utility role in the season's second half. 12. Twins Finalize Opening Day Roster Published: March 29 Author: Seth Stohs Minnesota was coming off of back-to-back AL Central titles, so there was plenty of hope associated with the Opening Day roster. One of the team's final decisions was to keep Kyle Garlick over Rooker. Garlick led the team in home runs throughout the spring, so it took an impressive showing for him to make the squad. 11. Ranking the Top-5 Remaining Free Agent Starters Published: December 1 Author: Cody Christie Minnesota had yet to acquire any starting pitching outside of Dylan Bundy, with the lockout looming. There were some clear names at the top of the free-agent rankings, but things dropped off in a hurry. One of the players has already signed, but the other four players are still available if Minnesota wants to pursue them for 2022. Stop back and check out the top stories of the year. Which of these stories will you remember the most? 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
  5. During the 2021 Major League Baseball season, the Minnesota Twins saw little execution in terms of expectations. They did see a minor leaguer in Jose Miranda leap well above his. Nash recently looked at ten breakout candidates, but there’s one guy still not getting his due. In 2017, the Twins selected Brent Rooker 35th overall out of Mississippi State. He was a stud from a strong SEC conference. Rooker was coming off a ridiculous 1.306 OPS and power that was expected to translate. However, he was immediately tabbed as a bat-only prospect, and his greatest path to the big leagues was in being able to hit. We’ve seen him struggle in the outfield, and reports are that his footwork at first base is worse. Rooker may have a future yet, but he’s now 27 and has just 234 plate appearances to the tune of a .713 OPS under his belt. That’s not going to earn time as a regular. This isn’t a piece to knock Rooker though, Minnesota’s hope undoubtedly is that a guy under team control through 2027 will find it. Instead, the player you may have been expecting could instead come from 2019 39th overall pick Matt Wallner. Wallner is a Minnesota native from Forest Lake. He played his college ball at Southern Mississippi, and his 1.127 OPS out of college was plenty impressive in its own right. Wallner both pitched and hit for the Golden Eagles. He has a cannon from the outfield and an arm on the bump that can run it up in the mid-90s. The .810 OPS was a solid start in his 2019 pro-debut, but the pandemic shelved him. Without an invite to the Twins alternate site in St. Paul, Wallner kept himself ready while 2020 was shelved for Minor League Baseball. In 2021, he played at High-A Cedar Rapids and posted an .858 OPS with 15 dingers in just 68 games. Having been placed on the Injured List with a broken hamate bone which required surgery, Wallner missed nearly half of the season. Participating in the Arizona Fall League, he could have been in contention for league MVP with a 1.011 OPS if a hit-by-pitch in the face didn’t limit him to just 18 games. Even with the time on the shelf, production suggests the recently-turned 24-year-old is putting it together. Wallner is much more of an athlete than Rooker before him, and he’s average at worst in the outfield. Pitching could be a fallback option for him, but that’s probably never going to be part of the story. I’d be pretty surprised if Minnesota isn’t aggressive with the former Southern Miss star in 2022. Starting at Double-A wouldn’t be a shock, and making it to Triple-A or better is potentially in the cards. This time last year, Jose Miranda was left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft and became the biggest no-brainer addition. Wallner’s status didn’t necessitate a 40-man roster move this winter, but his production certainly could by next year... or sooner. 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. In 2017, the Twins selected Brent Rooker 35th overall out of Mississippi State. He was a stud from a strong SEC conference. Rooker was coming off a ridiculous 1.306 OPS and power that was expected to translate. However, he was immediately tabbed as a bat-only prospect, and his greatest path to the big leagues was in being able to hit. We’ve seen him struggle in the outfield, and reports are that his footwork at first base is worse. Rooker may have a future yet, but he’s now 27 and has just 234 plate appearances to the tune of a .713 OPS under his belt. That’s not going to earn time as a regular. This isn’t a piece to knock Rooker though, Minnesota’s hope undoubtedly is that a guy under team control through 2027 will find it. Instead, the player you may have been expecting could instead come from 2019 39th overall pick Matt Wallner. Wallner is a Minnesota native from Forest Lake. He played his college ball at Southern Mississippi, and his 1.127 OPS out of college was plenty impressive in its own right. Wallner both pitched and hit for the Golden Eagles. He has a cannon from the outfield and an arm on the bump that can run it up in the mid-90s. The .810 OPS was a solid start in his 2019 pro-debut, but the pandemic shelved him. Without an invite to the Twins alternate site in St. Paul, Wallner kept himself ready while 2020 was shelved for Minor League Baseball. In 2021, he played at High-A Cedar Rapids and posted an .858 OPS with 15 dingers in just 68 games. Having been placed on the Injured List with a broken hamate bone which required surgery, Wallner missed nearly half of the season. Participating in the Arizona Fall League, he could have been in contention for league MVP with a 1.011 OPS if a hit-by-pitch in the face didn’t limit him to just 18 games. Even with the time on the shelf, production suggests the recently-turned 24-year-old is putting it together. Wallner is much more of an athlete than Rooker before him, and he’s average at worst in the outfield. Pitching could be a fallback option for him, but that’s probably never going to be part of the story. I’d be pretty surprised if Minnesota isn’t aggressive with the former Southern Miss star in 2022. Starting at Double-A wouldn’t be a shock, and making it to Triple-A or better is potentially in the cards. This time last year, Jose Miranda was left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft and became the biggest no-brainer addition. Wallner’s status didn’t necessitate a 40-man roster move this winter, but his production certainly could by next year... or sooner. 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. Over the last three seasons, Nelson Cruz has been at the heart of Minnesota's line-up, but it may be time to move in a new direction. So, how do the Twins view the DH spot for 2022? There is a small chance the Twins will consider a reunion with Nelson Cruz, but a few factors will impact his return. First of all, his performance significantly declined after being traded to the Rays. Secondly, there is a good chance the National League adds the DH for 2022, which opens the possibility of Cruz signing with many other teams. Cruz was outstanding during his time in Minnesota, but it seems likely for the Twins to move on for next season. After the Cruz trade, the Twins started using a rotational system at DH for various reasons. "We saw the benefit play through the season, whether it was [Donaldson] -- he was dealing with a couple of things along the way, and if he wasn't feeling the best, he could go DH for a day," Derek Falvey said. "[Jorge] Polanco, right? As well as anybody, maybe go get him a day. Get him off his feet. Maybe not play second today, but go DH. So the benefits are the ability to rotate through." There are obvious benefits to playing Josh Donaldson at DH. In recent years, Donaldson's health has been a concern, but playing him at DH can give his legs a break while still keeping his bat in the line-up. However, in 2021, Donaldson's OPS was nearly 170 points lower when serving as the team's DH. Donaldson isn't the team's only option at DH, especially if they will use a rotational system. Out of players on the Twins, Miguel Sanó best fits the mold of a traditional DH as he is a power-hitting slugger who struggles on the ball's defensive side. Sanó was the second-worst defensive first baseman in 2021, and the Twins have a natural replacement at the position. Alex Kirilloff can see defensive time at first base or in the outfield, with him having a chance to be an above-average defensive first baseman. Throughout his career, Sanó has over 645 plate appearances as a DH, and he has hit .230/.336/.417 (.753). Another potential option is to get Mitch Garver more regular at-bats by using him as a DH. Manager Rocco Baldelli likes to give his catchers regular rest, and that's one of the reasons Garver has only started 18 games at DH throughout his career. Falvey knows it is essential to keep Garver's bat in the line-up, and he said that he could get more time at DH and first base next season. There are plenty of other options for the Twins at DH. Jorge Polanco is coming off his best big-league season, but he has struggled with ankle issues in the past. Brent Rooker has little left to prove in the minor leagues, and there have been questions about his defensive skills in the past. Luis Arraez slid into the utility role last season, and his bat is tough to keep out of the line-up if he is healthy. Because of the players listed above, Minnesota seems destined to use a rotational system at DH next season. There is also a chance the team adds other offensive options in free agency, which would add another bat to the DH equation. How do you think the Twins approach the DH spot next season? 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
  8. There is a small chance the Twins will consider a reunion with Nelson Cruz, but a few factors will impact his return. First of all, his performance significantly declined after being traded to the Rays. Secondly, there is a good chance the National League adds the DH for 2022, which opens the possibility of Cruz signing with many other teams. Cruz was outstanding during his time in Minnesota, but it seems likely for the Twins to move on for next season. After the Cruz trade, the Twins started using a rotational system at DH for various reasons. "We saw the benefit play through the season, whether it was [Donaldson] -- he was dealing with a couple of things along the way, and if he wasn't feeling the best, he could go DH for a day," Derek Falvey said. "[Jorge] Polanco, right? As well as anybody, maybe go get him a day. Get him off his feet. Maybe not play second today, but go DH. So the benefits are the ability to rotate through." There are obvious benefits to playing Josh Donaldson at DH. In recent years, Donaldson's health has been a concern, but playing him at DH can give his legs a break while still keeping his bat in the line-up. However, in 2021, Donaldson's OPS was nearly 170 points lower when serving as the team's DH. Donaldson isn't the team's only option at DH, especially if they will use a rotational system. Out of players on the Twins, Miguel Sanó best fits the mold of a traditional DH as he is a power-hitting slugger who struggles on the ball's defensive side. Sanó was the second-worst defensive first baseman in 2021, and the Twins have a natural replacement at the position. Alex Kirilloff can see defensive time at first base or in the outfield, with him having a chance to be an above-average defensive first baseman. Throughout his career, Sanó has over 645 plate appearances as a DH, and he has hit .230/.336/.417 (.753). Another potential option is to get Mitch Garver more regular at-bats by using him as a DH. Manager Rocco Baldelli likes to give his catchers regular rest, and that's one of the reasons Garver has only started 18 games at DH throughout his career. Falvey knows it is essential to keep Garver's bat in the line-up, and he said that he could get more time at DH and first base next season. There are plenty of other options for the Twins at DH. Jorge Polanco is coming off his best big-league season, but he has struggled with ankle issues in the past. Brent Rooker has little left to prove in the minor leagues, and there have been questions about his defensive skills in the past. Luis Arraez slid into the utility role last season, and his bat is tough to keep out of the line-up if he is healthy. Because of the players listed above, Minnesota seems destined to use a rotational system at DH next season. There is also a chance the team adds other offensive options in free agency, which would add another bat to the DH equation. How do you think the Twins approach the DH spot next season? 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. ...and last week. Back by popular demand, this local Twins fan (internet lurker) is bringing you another edition of what your favorite current and former Twins did this week in the off-season. You thought that the Twins were going to disappear from your lives until next year? Think again. Contrary to popular belief, your favorite players don’t retreat into a Jake cave until spring training. Fall/Halloween Roundup Baseball players, they’re just like us, posing in pumpkin patches and dressing up in adorable Halloween costumes. Here’s is a roundup of all of our fall favorites: Cody Stashak is Enjoying the Offseason with his Family and the Cutest Little Pumpkin Kyle Gibson and the Chocolate Factory Josh Donaldson has the Cutest Unicorn Family The Twins’ Uniform is Looking Different Nowadays Byron Buxton watched the Braves in the World Series And spoiler alert, they won! Brent Rooker shared our Daylight Savings woes. Baseball players, they’re just like us And same…. Welcome to Minnesota, Jayce Tingler and David Popkins Jayce Tingler and David Popkins will bring their impressive resumes to Minnesota next season as the Twins’ new bench coach and hitting coach, respectively. They will be replacing the late Mike Bell and Edgar Varela. Tingler comes to Minnesota from the San Diego Padres, where he spent two seasons as their manager. Prior to San Diego, he spent some time as a coach for the Texas Rangers. Popkins comes from the Dodgers organization, where two years coaching for the Arizona Dodgers and the Great Lakes Loons. Check out Aaron & John’s reaction on their latest episode of Gleeman & the Geek. Cody Laweryson is a Fall Star This 22-year-old has had a great Fall League thus far, and he was the sole Twin named on the Fall Star game roster today. In his 13 innings pitched this fall, he has struck out 17 while allowing just one home run. Congrats Cody! Check out the remaining Fall Star game roster below: View full article
  10. Fall/Halloween Roundup Baseball players, they’re just like us, posing in pumpkin patches and dressing up in adorable Halloween costumes. Here’s is a roundup of all of our fall favorites: Cody Stashak is Enjoying the Offseason with his Family and the Cutest Little Pumpkin Kyle Gibson and the Chocolate Factory Josh Donaldson has the Cutest Unicorn Family The Twins’ Uniform is Looking Different Nowadays Byron Buxton watched the Braves in the World Series And spoiler alert, they won! Brent Rooker shared our Daylight Savings woes. Baseball players, they’re just like us And same…. Welcome to Minnesota, Jayce Tingler and David Popkins Jayce Tingler and David Popkins will bring their impressive resumes to Minnesota next season as the Twins’ new bench coach and hitting coach, respectively. They will be replacing the late Mike Bell and Edgar Varela. Tingler comes to Minnesota from the San Diego Padres, where he spent two seasons as their manager. Prior to San Diego, he spent some time as a coach for the Texas Rangers. Popkins comes from the Dodgers organization, where two years coaching for the Arizona Dodgers and the Great Lakes Loons. Check out Aaron & John’s reaction on their latest episode of Gleeman & the Geek. Cody Laweryson is a Fall Star This 22-year-old has had a great Fall League thus far, and he was the sole Twin named on the Fall Star game roster today. In his 13 innings pitched this fall, he has struck out 17 while allowing just one home run. Congrats Cody! Check out the remaining Fall Star game roster below:
  11. One week ago, Twins Daily discussed the need for the Minnesota Twins to get more out of their first basemen next season if they wish to return to the top of the American League Central. This week, we look at another position that vastly underperformed relative to the rest of MLB: Left field. Left field was one of the Twins’ most noteworthy question marks entering the 2021 season and to say that they experienced a merry-go-round of talent in the left corner would be a bit of an understatement. Unfortunately, the performance of said talent was rather lackluster, to put it lightly. In total, 10 athletes made at least one appearance in left — led by Trevor Larnach’s 60 games — and compiled an fWAR of -0.1, which ranked 28th overall in baseball. Luis Arraez (1.8 fWAR) began the season as the primary position holder — one that he had never played before — driven by the desire to keep his bat in the lineup but lacking a home after Jorge Polanco was transitioned from shortstop to second base. However, myriad injuries — including a Josh Donaldson calf strain prior to the first game of the season -- projected him from the outfield and into more consistent roles at second and third base. Larnach (0.2 fWAR), who took up the mantle left following an Alex Kirilloff injury and subsequent move to first base, displayed great promise during the early portions of his premature rookie campaign before an inability to meet ball with wood reared its ugly head. Brent Rooker (-0.2 fWAR) and Jake Cave (-0.3 fWAR) struggled mightily both at the plate and in the field, leaving their future roles on the team — particularly Cave’s, who is a prime candidate to be cut from the 40-man roster — in question. The Grand Left Field Experiment failed to such a degree that it gave rise to one of the most unproductive positions in all of baseball. The following are a select few statistics that put the Twins’ ineptitude on full display: 32.2% K rate (30th) 23.9% K%-BB% (30th) .658 OPS (28th) 82 wRC+ (t28th) .361 SLG% (27th) Minnesota enters the current offseason in virtually the same position as they did the last: With a big ol’ question mark in left field. Chances are that the position remains Larnach’s to lose, at least in the long-term, despite his continued struggles (33.9% K rate; .696 OPS) in Triple-A following his demotion. Few players in the Twins’ system possess as much raw power as the former Oregon State Beaver, who absolutely mashed fastballs as a rookie (.667 SLG and .362 BA) However, Larnach floundered mightily against any and all pitches with movement. Still, Larnach figures to be a key member of the future and is by all accounts a hard worker who is dedicated to his craft and willing to make adjustments to his approach. The Twins will likely have new hitting coach David Popkins work extensively with Larnach in an effort to cut down on his strikeouts and tap into his full power potential. The Twins could also seek to address their left field woes in either free agency or the trade market. Oakland’s Mark Canha (2.6 fWAR) and New York Mets’ Michael Conforto (0.8 fWAR) are both coming off relatively disappointing seasons and may be open to a change of scenery. Coupled with a trade of Max Kepler — one of the Twins’ most valuable trade pieces, according to FanGraphs — signing either Canha or Conforto would cover for the need in left while maintaining room for Larnach in right (or in the case of Conforto, he could take over in right while Larnach stays in left). Regardless of the path they ultimately take, the Twins need to address their lack of productivity from their left fielders this offseason. Doing so should be right up there with upgrading their production from shortstop, first base, and the starting rotation MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Read more from Lucas here View full article
  12. Left field was one of the Twins’ most noteworthy question marks entering the 2021 season and to say that they experienced a merry-go-round of talent in the left corner would be a bit of an understatement. Unfortunately, the performance of said talent was rather lackluster, to put it lightly. In total, 10 athletes made at least one appearance in left — led by Trevor Larnach’s 60 games — and compiled an fWAR of -0.1, which ranked 28th overall in baseball. Luis Arraez (1.8 fWAR) began the season as the primary position holder — one that he had never played before — driven by the desire to keep his bat in the lineup but lacking a home after Jorge Polanco was transitioned from shortstop to second base. However, myriad injuries — including a Josh Donaldson calf strain prior to the first game of the season -- projected him from the outfield and into more consistent roles at second and third base. Larnach (0.2 fWAR), who took up the mantle left following an Alex Kirilloff injury and subsequent move to first base, displayed great promise during the early portions of his premature rookie campaign before an inability to meet ball with wood reared its ugly head. Brent Rooker (-0.2 fWAR) and Jake Cave (-0.3 fWAR) struggled mightily both at the plate and in the field, leaving their future roles on the team — particularly Cave’s, who is a prime candidate to be cut from the 40-man roster — in question. The Grand Left Field Experiment failed to such a degree that it gave rise to one of the most unproductive positions in all of baseball. The following are a select few statistics that put the Twins’ ineptitude on full display: 32.2% K rate (30th) 23.9% K%-BB% (30th) .658 OPS (28th) 82 wRC+ (t28th) .361 SLG% (27th) Minnesota enters the current offseason in virtually the same position as they did the last: With a big ol’ question mark in left field. Chances are that the position remains Larnach’s to lose, at least in the long-term, despite his continued struggles (33.9% K rate; .696 OPS) in Triple-A following his demotion. Few players in the Twins’ system possess as much raw power as the former Oregon State Beaver, who absolutely mashed fastballs as a rookie (.667 SLG and .362 BA) However, Larnach floundered mightily against any and all pitches with movement. Still, Larnach figures to be a key member of the future and is by all accounts a hard worker who is dedicated to his craft and willing to make adjustments to his approach. The Twins will likely have new hitting coach David Popkins work extensively with Larnach in an effort to cut down on his strikeouts and tap into his full power potential. The Twins could also seek to address their left field woes in either free agency or the trade market. Oakland’s Mark Canha (2.6 fWAR) and New York Mets’ Michael Conforto (0.8 fWAR) are both coming off relatively disappointing seasons and may be open to a change of scenery. Coupled with a trade of Max Kepler — one of the Twins’ most valuable trade pieces, according to FanGraphs — signing either Canha or Conforto would cover for the need in left while maintaining room for Larnach in right (or in the case of Conforto, he could take over in right while Larnach stays in left). Regardless of the path they ultimately take, the Twins need to address their lack of productivity from their left fielders this offseason. Doing so should be right up there with upgrading their production from shortstop, first base, and the starting rotation MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Read more from Lucas here
  13. Here are the 10 longest home runs hit by the Minnesota Twins in 2021. Players featured include Byron Buxton, Nelson Cruz, Brent Rooker, Trevor Larnach and Miguel Sanó.
  14. Here are the 10 longest home runs hit by the Minnesota Twins in 2021. Players featured include Byron Buxton, Nelson Cruz, Brent Rooker, Trevor Larnach and Miguel Sanó. View full video
  15. As the offseason begins, Brent Rooker is certainly a candidate for the Twins DH job in 2022. He can also play in the corner outfield spots and first base in a pinch. Kyle Garlick made the 2021 Opening Day roster, but he's been almost forgotten since he didn't play in a game after June 8th due to injury. The Twins have not been afraid of change. They have not been afraid to move guys up and down from Triple-A St. Paul with regularity. There were copious amounts of injuries and other ailments. There were also a couple of trades. Following the trade deadline trade of Nelson Cruz, Brent Rooker was recalled. The Twins have depth in the outfield still. Kyle Garlick did what he was asked to do, which his produce against left-handed pitching. Rooker provided some power. It was a question last year at spring training, and again it doesn't make sense for both to be on the roster in 2022. There will be some tough decisions and this may be another one. Kyle Garlick came into the season securing a spot on the 26-man roster. He made the Opening Day roster. In April, he landed on the COVID-IL. That was just the start of the issues for the outfielder and pinch hitter. At the beginning of June, Garlick left with a groin injury and eventually needing surgery to repair a hernia and left him out for the remainder of the season. It is unfortunate for him because in his 99 at-bats with the Twins in 2021, he had eight doubles and five home runs. In 63 plate appearances against southpaws in 2021, he hit .271/.302/.576 (.878) with six doubles and four homers. By spring training, Garlick’s injury will presumably be better, but will he still be on the 40-man roster? He will turn 30 in January, but still can provide strong offense against left-handed pitching. That may be important with lefties like Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach and Max Kepler in the outfield rotation. Garlick still has one option year remaining since he did not use one in 2021, so he could be stashed in St. Paul for additional depth. Brent Rooker's value to the team comes in the form of power and production and the plate. He has shown the power. Now he just needs an opportunity for regular playing time. At each minor league level, he initially struggled and within a couple of months he becomes incredibly productive. Can he do that at the big-league level? Rooker will be 27-years-old in 2022, not young, but certainly with room to continue growing. While Rooker is not a good defensive outfielder, his ability to play in the corners, and some first base, does give him value to the team. That said, Rooker has never had the typical lefty-righty splits. However, in 189 at-bats in 2021, he had 10 doubles and nine home runs. That is after he hit 20 homers in 62 games for the Saints. Versatility In March, Do-Hyoung Park wrote an article showing that Rooker may have already been preferred by management. While the two players have similar offensive productivity, Rooker stood out as the younger, more potentially dominant player: Indeed, one option, and the option I think would make sense, would be to try to trade Garlick, if there is any market for him. From a business standpoint (and yes, personal standpoint as a fan), there are better options with younger players who are ready for the big leagues. Rooker is more than able and prepared to remain on the 26-man roster. What do you think? Is Rooker ready, and should he remain on the big-league roster? What should the team do with Kyle Garlick? Could he have a role going forward? Leave a comment. 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
  16. The Twins had their fair share of struggles in 2021, but they remained solid in the home run department. Here’s what their 10 longest homers looked and felt like. 10. April 6th: Byron Buxton off Jose Cisnero Distance: 451 feet, Exit Velocity: 114.1 mph, Launch Angle: 38° On the sixth day of the Twins’ young and (at the time) hopeful season, Byron Buxton came up in the eighth with the Twins trailing the Tigers by a run. He did his thing. This 451-foot blast tied the game, only to set the stage for the Twins’ second of many early season extra-inning losses. Interestingly, this homer has the highest launch angle of this list by far, and was the fifth-highest lofted homer of the Twins season. 9. June 30th: Nelson Cruz off Dylan Cease Distance: 453 feet, Exit Velocity: 110.9 mph Launch Angle: 25° This homer would be a lot cooler if the Twins weren’t getting throttled 11-1 by their division rivals at the time it was hit, but 453 feet is 453 feet. That eventual 13-3 loss was also the middle game of a three-game sweep for the White Sox that was played out over the backdrop of drama surrounding Josh Donaldson accusing Lucas Giolito of cheating. So, yeah, it’s safe to say that this is one of the most forgotten long homers of the year. But 453 feet is 453 feet. 8. April 1st: Byron Buxton off Eric Yardley Distance: 456 feet, Exit Velocity: 111.4 mph Launch Angle: 24° Man, early-season Buxton was a sight to see. Five days before hitting the first homer on this list, he hit this behemoth on Opening Day against the Brewers. The two-run shot came in the seventh with the Twins already leading by one, so it looked like the club was going to start the year on the right foot. Unfortunately, early-season Alex Colome was a sight to see for the opposite reason and blew a three-run lead, leading the Twins to their first extra-inning loss of the young campaign. T-6. June 10th: Nelson Cruz off Aroldis Chapman Distance: 457 feet, Exit Velocity: 112.4 mph Launch Angle: 23° This bomb carries a lot more cachet than Cruz’s first entry on this list. It wasn’t only against the hated Yankees, but it was a walk-off against the hated Yankees. And, Cruz turned around a 98-mph Aroldis Chapman fastball to do it. It did go to potentially the ugliest part of Target—landing somewhere in the vertical waste area between the bullpen and the batter’s eye—but who actually cares. It was a monster shot that made sure the good guys came out on top, at least for that night. (Nash named it the Best Moment for the 2021 season.) T-6. September 10th: Byron Buxton off Daniel Lynch Distance: 457 feet, Exit Velocity: 111.9 mph Launch Angle: 29° So, it turns out that Byron Buxton only hits massive homers in extra-inning losses. In this particular instance, Buxton’s 457-foot poke led off the game for the Twins and this was the first of four first-inning runs that only gave the Twins a one-run lead thanks to three Royals’ runs in the first. Kansas City got that run back and two more in the 11th to seal the Twins’ fate. For Buxton, this homer came amidst his coldest stretch of the season, but of course he got hot again, spawning hundreds of “please pay Buxton” takes from the contributors to this website. 5. July 26th: Brent Rooker off Matt Manning Distance: 460 feet, Exit Velocity: 111.1 mph Launch Angle: 29° As Ted tweeted, Brent Rooker murdered this baseball, and he chose the third deck in left field for its burial site. That’s super interesting and all, but the best part about this is Michael Pineda’s reaction. His extended grimace at watching Matt Manning’s hanger get demolished showed admirable loyalty to his fellow pitcher out there laboring on the mound. 4. May 24th: Trevor Larnach off John Means Distance: 461 feet, Exit Velocity: 112.2 mph Launch Angle: 24° Okay, so balls don’t land here. Larnach’s beautifully struck, 461-foot whopper landed perfectly in the Delta 360 Suite above the batter’s eye. That’s not a part of the park where you’re expecting a home run ball. Anyway, this was only Larnach’s second homer of his MLB career and launched him towards a pretty productive June and early July. Larnach later struggled as pitchers adjusted to him, but he remains a big part of the club’s future, and his 460+ foot power is a big reason why. 3. July 28th: Miguel Sanó off Joe Jimenez Distance: 473 feet, Exit Velocity: 114.8 mph Launch Angle: 30° Welcome to the Miguel Sanó portion of this list. Our favorite three-outcome hitter (only) hit three homers over 450 feet, but they were all over 470 feet. This particular bludgeoning (I’m running out of homer words) traveled 473 feet and was a part of a ridiculous, pitching-optional 17-14 loss to the Tigers. This was also Sanó’s second homer of the game and 17th of the year, reminding us all why we just can’t quit him. 2. August 18th: Miguel Sanó off Zach Plesac Distance: 475 feet, Exit Velocity: 113.9 mph Launch Angle: 27° This ball landed in Section 237, which is interesting for two reasons. First, there’s absolutely no way those green-shirted kids packed into the very cheap group-rate seats were expecting a home run ball, which is kind of cool. And secondly, the ball was hit (just barely) to the opposite field, and a 475-foot Oppo Taco is very cool. Sanó is nothing if not a very strong man. 1. August 25th: Miguel Sanó off Nick Pivetta Distance: 495 feet, Exit Velocity: 116.7 mph Launch Angle: 24° Speaking of balls landing where they’re not supposed to… what even happened here? Balls leave Fenway Park and spill onto Lansdowne Street all the time, but they don’t go to that part of Lansdowne Street. Balls will carry those Green Monster billboards every now and then, but they don’t carry that billboard and certainly not by that much. I mean, this ball might’ve put that famous Citgo sign in danger. Sanó’s nuke travelled 20 feet further than the next-longest Twins homer and was the longest in the majors by nine feet. Ted Williams famously hit a 502-foot blast in Fenway, but you’d be hard pressed to find another ball hit harder in that place's history than Sanó’s moonshot. Which homer from this year was your favorite? Let us know in the comments! 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
  17. 10. April 6th: Byron Buxton off Jose Cisnero Distance: 451 feet, Exit Velocity: 114.1 mph, Launch Angle: 38° On the sixth day of the Twins’ young and (at the time) hopeful season, Byron Buxton came up in the eighth with the Twins trailing the Tigers by a run. He did his thing. This 451-foot blast tied the game, only to set the stage for the Twins’ second of many early season extra-inning losses. Interestingly, this homer has the highest launch angle of this list by far, and was the fifth-highest lofted homer of the Twins season. 9. June 30th: Nelson Cruz off Dylan Cease Distance: 453 feet, Exit Velocity: 110.9 mph Launch Angle: 25° This homer would be a lot cooler if the Twins weren’t getting throttled 11-1 by their division rivals at the time it was hit, but 453 feet is 453 feet. That eventual 13-3 loss was also the middle game of a three-game sweep for the White Sox that was played out over the backdrop of drama surrounding Josh Donaldson accusing Lucas Giolito of cheating. So, yeah, it’s safe to say that this is one of the most forgotten long homers of the year. But 453 feet is 453 feet. 8. April 1st: Byron Buxton off Eric Yardley Distance: 456 feet, Exit Velocity: 111.4 mph Launch Angle: 24° Man, early-season Buxton was a sight to see. Five days before hitting the first homer on this list, he hit this behemoth on Opening Day against the Brewers. The two-run shot came in the seventh with the Twins already leading by one, so it looked like the club was going to start the year on the right foot. Unfortunately, early-season Alex Colome was a sight to see for the opposite reason and blew a three-run lead, leading the Twins to their first extra-inning loss of the young campaign. T-6. June 10th: Nelson Cruz off Aroldis Chapman Distance: 457 feet, Exit Velocity: 112.4 mph Launch Angle: 23° This bomb carries a lot more cachet than Cruz’s first entry on this list. It wasn’t only against the hated Yankees, but it was a walk-off against the hated Yankees. And, Cruz turned around a 98-mph Aroldis Chapman fastball to do it. It did go to potentially the ugliest part of Target—landing somewhere in the vertical waste area between the bullpen and the batter’s eye—but who actually cares. It was a monster shot that made sure the good guys came out on top, at least for that night. (Nash named it the Best Moment for the 2021 season.) T-6. September 10th: Byron Buxton off Daniel Lynch Distance: 457 feet, Exit Velocity: 111.9 mph Launch Angle: 29° So, it turns out that Byron Buxton only hits massive homers in extra-inning losses. In this particular instance, Buxton’s 457-foot poke led off the game for the Twins and this was the first of four first-inning runs that only gave the Twins a one-run lead thanks to three Royals’ runs in the first. Kansas City got that run back and two more in the 11th to seal the Twins’ fate. For Buxton, this homer came amidst his coldest stretch of the season, but of course he got hot again, spawning hundreds of “please pay Buxton” takes from the contributors to this website. 5. July 26th: Brent Rooker off Matt Manning Distance: 460 feet, Exit Velocity: 111.1 mph Launch Angle: 29° As Ted tweeted, Brent Rooker murdered this baseball, and he chose the third deck in left field for its burial site. That’s super interesting and all, but the best part about this is Michael Pineda’s reaction. His extended grimace at watching Matt Manning’s hanger get demolished showed admirable loyalty to his fellow pitcher out there laboring on the mound. 4. May 24th: Trevor Larnach off John Means Distance: 461 feet, Exit Velocity: 112.2 mph Launch Angle: 24° Okay, so balls don’t land here. Larnach’s beautifully struck, 461-foot whopper landed perfectly in the Delta 360 Suite above the batter’s eye. That’s not a part of the park where you’re expecting a home run ball. Anyway, this was only Larnach’s second homer of his MLB career and launched him towards a pretty productive June and early July. Larnach later struggled as pitchers adjusted to him, but he remains a big part of the club’s future, and his 460+ foot power is a big reason why. 3. July 28th: Miguel Sanó off Joe Jimenez Distance: 473 feet, Exit Velocity: 114.8 mph Launch Angle: 30° Welcome to the Miguel Sanó portion of this list. Our favorite three-outcome hitter (only) hit three homers over 450 feet, but they were all over 470 feet. This particular bludgeoning (I’m running out of homer words) traveled 473 feet and was a part of a ridiculous, pitching-optional 17-14 loss to the Tigers. This was also Sanó’s second homer of the game and 17th of the year, reminding us all why we just can’t quit him. 2. August 18th: Miguel Sanó off Zach Plesac Distance: 475 feet, Exit Velocity: 113.9 mph Launch Angle: 27° This ball landed in Section 237, which is interesting for two reasons. First, there’s absolutely no way those green-shirted kids packed into the very cheap group-rate seats were expecting a home run ball, which is kind of cool. And secondly, the ball was hit (just barely) to the opposite field, and a 475-foot Oppo Taco is very cool. Sanó is nothing if not a very strong man. 1. August 25th: Miguel Sanó off Nick Pivetta Distance: 495 feet, Exit Velocity: 116.7 mph Launch Angle: 24° Speaking of balls landing where they’re not supposed to… what even happened here? Balls leave Fenway Park and spill onto Lansdowne Street all the time, but they don’t go to that part of Lansdowne Street. Balls will carry those Green Monster billboards every now and then, but they don’t carry that billboard and certainly not by that much. I mean, this ball might’ve put that famous Citgo sign in danger. Sanó’s nuke travelled 20 feet further than the next-longest Twins homer and was the longest in the majors by nine feet. Ted Williams famously hit a 502-foot blast in Fenway, but you’d be hard pressed to find another ball hit harder in that place's history than Sanó’s moonshot. Which homer from this year was your favorite? Let us know in the comments! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  18. The Twins have not been afraid of change. They have not been afraid to move guys up and down from Triple-A St. Paul with regularity. There were copious amounts of injuries and other ailments. There were also a couple of trades. Following the trade deadline trade of Nelson Cruz, Brent Rooker was recalled. The Twins have depth in the outfield still. Kyle Garlick did what he was asked to do, which his produce against left-handed pitching. Rooker provided some power. It was a question last year at spring training, and again it doesn't make sense for both to be on the roster in 2022. There will be some tough decisions and this may be another one. Kyle Garlick came into the season securing a spot on the 26-man roster. He made the Opening Day roster. In April, he landed on the COVID-IL. That was just the start of the issues for the outfielder and pinch hitter. At the beginning of June, Garlick left with a groin injury and eventually needing surgery to repair a hernia and left him out for the remainder of the season. It is unfortunate for him because in his 99 at-bats with the Twins in 2021, he had eight doubles and five home runs. In 63 plate appearances against southpaws in 2021, he hit .271/.302/.576 (.878) with six doubles and four homers. By spring training, Garlick’s injury will presumably be better, but will he still be on the 40-man roster? He will turn 30 in January, but still can provide strong offense against left-handed pitching. That may be important with lefties like Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach and Max Kepler in the outfield rotation. Garlick still has one option year remaining since he did not use one in 2021, so he could be stashed in St. Paul for additional depth. Brent Rooker's value to the team comes in the form of power and production and the plate. He has shown the power. Now he just needs an opportunity for regular playing time. At each minor league level, he initially struggled and within a couple of months he becomes incredibly productive. Can he do that at the big-league level? Rooker will be 27-years-old in 2022, not young, but certainly with room to continue growing. While Rooker is not a good defensive outfielder, his ability to play in the corners, and some first base, does give him value to the team. That said, Rooker has never had the typical lefty-righty splits. However, in 189 at-bats in 2021, he had 10 doubles and nine home runs. That is after he hit 20 homers in 62 games for the Saints. Versatility In March, Do-Hyoung Park wrote an article showing that Rooker may have already been preferred by management. While the two players have similar offensive productivity, Rooker stood out as the younger, more potentially dominant player: Indeed, one option, and the option I think would make sense, would be to try to trade Garlick, if there is any market for him. From a business standpoint (and yes, personal standpoint as a fan), there are better options with younger players who are ready for the big leagues. Rooker is more than able and prepared to remain on the 26-man roster. What do you think? Is Rooker ready, and should he remain on the big-league roster? What should the team do with Kyle Garlick? Could he have a role going forward? Leave a comment. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  19. Brent Rooker finds himself in no man’s land as he finishes his age 26 season for the Twins. On a team with many questions about their future, Rooker has plenty of his own, and the Twins find themselves with a decision to make. Rooker has had an unbelievably up and down season. In March and April the right handed slugger posted a putrid -5 wRC+. After being sent down to AAA for a good while, he came back up in July and posted a 164 wRC+, only to dip back down to an 82 mark in August. Rooker appears to be finishing strong however, as he’s been 44% above league average in September. Rooker has essentially switched off every other month between looking like an unusable player and being a pitcher’s worst nightmare. His final line of .206/.294/.413 is good for a wRC+ of 114, 14% above league average. The nature of how he got there however isn’t so straightforward and leaves the Twins with a few options to choose from. Business as Usual Rooker has cycled in and out of the lineup all season and at no point has really had a starting position. The Twins could continue to pick their spots to get him in the lineup as they have to try to put him in favorable matchups. This issue with this however is Rooker has historically had reverse splits when it comes to hitting lefties and righties. 7 of his 8 home runs in 2021 have come off of right handed pitching and it’s a bit difficult to slot him into a lineup over someone like Kepler, Kirilloff or at some point Larnach against a right handed pitcher when these other bats have such a stark advantage. Furthermore, it’s fair to wonder whether the inconsistent playing time is partially to blame for Brent Rooker’s hot and cold streaks. For a player who has so much swing and miss with such little plate discipline, consistent reps may be keeping him from unlocking his full potential. Hand him the Keys To combat any kind of concerns with splits or reps, the Twins could simply play Rooker nearly everyday. Larnach will likely begin 2021 in the minors and it could create an opening for him to really get a fair shake at showing what he can do between the DH spot and the corner outfield. The down side of this idea has been well documented, as Rooker is far from an even league average defender. In his brief time in the outfield he’s been worth -2 Outs Above Average in left field and -1 in right. The bat would simply have to be unbelievable to make up for the troubles such a defensive downgrade would create. It’s also difficult to envision anything close to a full time DH role. With Kirilloff back and Sano showing little improvement at first base, it’s easy to see the former filling nearly all of the time at first base, leaving Sano to more often than not fill the DH spot. For as frustrated as the fan base is with Sano, Rooker has a long way to go to prove that he deserves those at bats over him. Find a Trade Partner It’s a strong possibility that the National League will be adopting the designated hitter this winter which would create 15 more suitors for a defensively-challenged slugger such as Rooker. While he likely wouldn’t draw much of a return on his own, it’s easy to see him being a nice peripheral piece to a bigger deal with a team that has no immediate options at their newly opened DH spot. While it’s always nerve-racking to part with a prospect who once had such shine, the Twins need to be realistic this winter. At 27 years old headed into 2022, Brent Rooker still has more questions than answers about his future in Major League Baseball. Those answers won’t be found while playing every 3rd or 4th day, and unless the Twins are prepared to provide a real opportunity, it’s really not even fair to him. So which road should the Twins take? Does Brent Rooker need a fair chance at a full time job or has his window with the Twins closed? Let us know below! — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here View full article
  20. Rooker has had an unbelievably up and down season. In March and April the right handed slugger posted a putrid -5 wRC+. After being sent down to AAA for a good while, he came back up in July and posted a 164 wRC+, only to dip back down to an 82 mark in August. Rooker appears to be finishing strong however, as he’s been 44% above league average in September. Rooker has essentially switched off every other month between looking like an unusable player and being a pitcher’s worst nightmare. His final line of .206/.294/.413 is good for a wRC+ of 114, 14% above league average. The nature of how he got there however isn’t so straightforward and leaves the Twins with a few options to choose from. Business as Usual Rooker has cycled in and out of the lineup all season and at no point has really had a starting position. The Twins could continue to pick their spots to get him in the lineup as they have to try to put him in favorable matchups. This issue with this however is Rooker has historically had reverse splits when it comes to hitting lefties and righties. 7 of his 8 home runs in 2021 have come off of right handed pitching and it’s a bit difficult to slot him into a lineup over someone like Kepler, Kirilloff or at some point Larnach against a right handed pitcher when these other bats have such a stark advantage. Furthermore, it’s fair to wonder whether the inconsistent playing time is partially to blame for Brent Rooker’s hot and cold streaks. For a player who has so much swing and miss with such little plate discipline, consistent reps may be keeping him from unlocking his full potential. Hand him the Keys To combat any kind of concerns with splits or reps, the Twins could simply play Rooker nearly everyday. Larnach will likely begin 2021 in the minors and it could create an opening for him to really get a fair shake at showing what he can do between the DH spot and the corner outfield. The down side of this idea has been well documented, as Rooker is far from an even league average defender. In his brief time in the outfield he’s been worth -2 Outs Above Average in left field and -1 in right. The bat would simply have to be unbelievable to make up for the troubles such a defensive downgrade would create. It’s also difficult to envision anything close to a full time DH role. With Kirilloff back and Sano showing little improvement at first base, it’s easy to see the former filling nearly all of the time at first base, leaving Sano to more often than not fill the DH spot. For as frustrated as the fan base is with Sano, Rooker has a long way to go to prove that he deserves those at bats over him. Find a Trade Partner It’s a strong possibility that the National League will be adopting the designated hitter this winter which would create 15 more suitors for a defensively-challenged slugger such as Rooker. While he likely wouldn’t draw much of a return on his own, it’s easy to see him being a nice peripheral piece to a bigger deal with a team that has no immediate options at their newly opened DH spot. While it’s always nerve-racking to part with a prospect who once had such shine, the Twins need to be realistic this winter. At 27 years old headed into 2022, Brent Rooker still has more questions than answers about his future in Major League Baseball. Those answers won’t be found while playing every 3rd or 4th day, and unless the Twins are prepared to provide a real opportunity, it’s really not even fair to him. So which road should the Twins take? Does Brent Rooker need a fair chance at a full time job or has his window with the Twins closed? Let us know below! — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  21. Minnesota Twins minor leaguer Drew Maggi finally got the call. After 11 seasons in the minor leagues, more than 1,000 games played, the 32-year-old was promoted to the Twins. Stick around to the end of this video to see some of his introductory press session. Also featured in this video are Brent Rooker, Josh Donaldson, Austin Martin, Edouard Julien, Aaron Sabato and Sawyer Gipson-Long. There's also an update on a trio of 2021 draftees, including Chase Petty.
  22. Minnesota Twins minor leaguer Drew Maggi finally got the call. After 11 seasons in the minor leagues, more than 1,000 games played, the 32-year-old was promoted to the Twins. Stick around to the end of this video to see some of his introductory press session. Also featured in this video are Brent Rooker, Josh Donaldson, Austin Martin, Edouard Julien, Aaron Sabato and Sawyer Gipson-Long. There's also an update on a trio of 2021 draftees, including Chase Petty. View full video
  23. The Twins put a dent in Toronto’s wild card run with a four-home run night, combined with a solid start from Michael Pineda and a rock-solid bullpen performance. Minnesota wins their eighth in a row against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Box Score Pineda: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (71.9% strikes) Home Runs: Polanco (31), Donaldson (23), Sanó (29), Rooker (8) Top 3 WPA: Rooker .141, Buxton .117, Donaldson .095 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Minnesota’s first trip to Rogers Centre in almost two and a half years became fun very early. Both starters, Michael Pineda for the Twins and Hyun Jin Ryu for the Blue Jays, pitched economical, scoreless first innings. But then both teams combined for nine runs in the following two innings. Miguel Sanó drew a leadoff walk in the top of the second and scored a couple of at-bats later on a Brent Rooker double, putting the Twins ahead. But an awful defensive mistake in the bottom half of that same inning gave Toronto a couple of runs that put them ahead. With two outs, Pineda induced a weak ground ball that would have ended the inning. However, Jorge Polanco overthrew Sanó, allowing Corey Dickerson to score from second and Danny Jansen to reach first. Then, Jake Lamb doubled to score Jansen, making it 2-1 Toronto. Minnesota makes it ugly for Ryu In a quick “Bomba Squad” flashback, the Twins exploded for five runs on five hits in their half of the third, including three home runs, before Toronto could record a single out! The game was suddenly tied after Ryan Jeffers hit a leadoff single and Byron Buxton pushed him across with a double. Then, Polanco redeemed himself from his previous error and regained the lead for Minnesota with a two-run shot. The party wasn’t over. Josh Donaldson, who got a warm welcome from the Jays fans earlier, made it back-to-back with a bomb to right field, giving the Twins a three-run lead, prompting some Donaldson-jersey-wearing Toronto fans to boo him. That was fun. Not so much for Ryu, who was immediately pulled from the game by Jays’ manager Charlie Montoyo. That was Donaldson’s 64th home run at Rogers Centre, the most by any active player in the majors. Miggy Smalls didn’t want to feel left out, so he followed Donaldson’s homer with a dinger of his own, his 29th of the season. That was also the 160th long ball of his career, putting him even closer to the Twins’ all-time top 10 in total home runs. He needs four more on the year to drop Tom Brunansky from 10th place. In the bottom half of the inning, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got one run back to Toronto, hitting a rocket (111 MPH exit velocity) to left field, his 46th home run of the season. Pineda, bullpen finish off strong Big Mike got in the zone after that Guerrero Jr. home run in the third. Pineda retired eight in a row from that moment on, with a couple of 1-2-3 innings. After throwing 45 pitches to complete 2 1/3 innings, he needed only 30 to complete the next 2 2/3 innings. Rooker gave Pineda even more run support hitting a solo home run in the top of the sixth, making it 7-3 Minnesota. Pineda came back and retired the first two batters of the sixth on only four pitches, making it ten batters in a row retired. But he lost Teoscar Hernández on a ten-pitch walk, causing Rocco Baldelli to take him out of the game. Jorge Alcalá took care of the inherited runner for him, concluding Pineda’s solid line for the evening. Is it possible that tonight’s outing from Big Mike might have changed Twins Daily’s Cody Pirkl’s mind about a possible reunion in 2022? Alcalá came back for the seventh, and he continued his amazing second-half run. By pitching a clean, seven-pitch inning, the Dominican flamethrower has now posted a 1.42 ERA since the start of August. He needed only 13 pitches to get four outs, 10 of which were strikes. He also maxed out at 99.8 MPH. Tyler Duffey was equally brilliant, striking out the side for a 1-2-3 eighth. Alexander Colomé closed out the game with a scoreless inning of his own, securing the win. A fun stat from the Twins bullpen: according to Fangraphs, before tonight's game, the Twins bullpen has ranked 8th in ERA (3.64) since the start of August. Could we be seeing some encouraging signs for 2022? Bailey Ober will try to keep the winning streak in Toronto tomorrow against Steven Matz. With Friday's win, the Twins haven't lost a game at Rogers Centre since Aug 26, 2017. Saturday's first pitch is scheduled for 2:07 CDT. Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Duffey 38 0 0 0 16 54 Colomé 27 11 0 0 14 52 Barraclough 23 16 0 0 0 39 Farrell 34 0 0 0 0 34 Moran 0 0 34 0 0 34 Coulombe 0 27 0 0 0 27 Vincent 0 0 21 0 0 21 Alcalá 0 8 0 0 13 21 Minaya 0 13 0 0 0 13 Thielbar 11 0 0 0 0 11 Garza Jr. 6 0 0 0 0 6 View full article
  24. Box Score Pineda: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (71.9% strikes) Home Runs: Polanco (31), Donaldson (23), Sanó (29), Rooker (8) Top 3 WPA: Rooker .141, Buxton .117, Donaldson .095 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Minnesota’s first trip to Rogers Centre in almost two and a half years became fun very early. Both starters, Michael Pineda for the Twins and Hyun Jin Ryu for the Blue Jays, pitched economical, scoreless first innings. But then both teams combined for nine runs in the following two innings. Miguel Sanó drew a leadoff walk in the top of the second and scored a couple of at-bats later on a Brent Rooker double, putting the Twins ahead. But an awful defensive mistake in the bottom half of that same inning gave Toronto a couple of runs that put them ahead. With two outs, Pineda induced a weak ground ball that would have ended the inning. However, Jorge Polanco overthrew Sanó, allowing Corey Dickerson to score from second and Danny Jansen to reach first. Then, Jake Lamb doubled to score Jansen, making it 2-1 Toronto. Minnesota makes it ugly for Ryu In a quick “Bomba Squad” flashback, the Twins exploded for five runs on five hits in their half of the third, including three home runs, before Toronto could record a single out! The game was suddenly tied after Ryan Jeffers hit a leadoff single and Byron Buxton pushed him across with a double. Then, Polanco redeemed himself from his previous error and regained the lead for Minnesota with a two-run shot. The party wasn’t over. Josh Donaldson, who got a warm welcome from the Jays fans earlier, made it back-to-back with a bomb to right field, giving the Twins a three-run lead, prompting some Donaldson-jersey-wearing Toronto fans to boo him. That was fun. Not so much for Ryu, who was immediately pulled from the game by Jays’ manager Charlie Montoyo. That was Donaldson’s 64th home run at Rogers Centre, the most by any active player in the majors. Miggy Smalls didn’t want to feel left out, so he followed Donaldson’s homer with a dinger of his own, his 29th of the season. That was also the 160th long ball of his career, putting him even closer to the Twins’ all-time top 10 in total home runs. He needs four more on the year to drop Tom Brunansky from 10th place. In the bottom half of the inning, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got one run back to Toronto, hitting a rocket (111 MPH exit velocity) to left field, his 46th home run of the season. Pineda, bullpen finish off strong Big Mike got in the zone after that Guerrero Jr. home run in the third. Pineda retired eight in a row from that moment on, with a couple of 1-2-3 innings. After throwing 45 pitches to complete 2 1/3 innings, he needed only 30 to complete the next 2 2/3 innings. Rooker gave Pineda even more run support hitting a solo home run in the top of the sixth, making it 7-3 Minnesota. Pineda came back and retired the first two batters of the sixth on only four pitches, making it ten batters in a row retired. But he lost Teoscar Hernández on a ten-pitch walk, causing Rocco Baldelli to take him out of the game. Jorge Alcalá took care of the inherited runner for him, concluding Pineda’s solid line for the evening. Is it possible that tonight’s outing from Big Mike might have changed Twins Daily’s Cody Pirkl’s mind about a possible reunion in 2022? Alcalá came back for the seventh, and he continued his amazing second-half run. By pitching a clean, seven-pitch inning, the Dominican flamethrower has now posted a 1.42 ERA since the start of August. He needed only 13 pitches to get four outs, 10 of which were strikes. He also maxed out at 99.8 MPH. Tyler Duffey was equally brilliant, striking out the side for a 1-2-3 eighth. Alexander Colomé closed out the game with a scoreless inning of his own, securing the win. A fun stat from the Twins bullpen: according to Fangraphs, before tonight's game, the Twins bullpen has ranked 8th in ERA (3.64) since the start of August. Could we be seeing some encouraging signs for 2022? Bailey Ober will try to keep the winning streak in Toronto tomorrow against Steven Matz. With Friday's win, the Twins haven't lost a game at Rogers Centre since Aug 26, 2017. Saturday's first pitch is scheduled for 2:07 CDT. Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Duffey 38 0 0 0 16 54 Colomé 27 11 0 0 14 52 Barraclough 23 16 0 0 0 39 Farrell 34 0 0 0 0 34 Moran 0 0 34 0 0 34 Coulombe 0 27 0 0 0 27 Vincent 0 0 21 0 0 21 Alcalá 0 8 0 0 13 21 Minaya 0 13 0 0 0 13 Thielbar 11 0 0 0 0 11 Garza Jr. 6 0 0 0 0 6
  25. The Twins drop the series rubber match and fall to 63-80 on the season with a 5-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. Buxton, Brent, Bailey, and the Bullpen tried their best but the top of the Royals lineup was too much for the Twins. That and more in today's recap! Box Score Bailey Ober: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 6 K (65.3-percent strikes) Homeruns: none Bottom 3 WPA: Sano (-.409), Alcala (-.184), Astudillo (-.154) Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) Another Strong Start from Bailey Ober Take out the first six batters that Ober faced today and you would remove three of the five hits he gave up and both earned runs. Whit Merrifield and Nicky Lopez got things going early for the Royals offense with a double and single, respectively, followed by a Salvador Perez sacrifice fly giving the Royals an early 1-0 lead. Ober got out of the jam with back-to-back flyouts before giving up a 403 foot homerun to Adalberto Mondesi to begin the 2nd inning. He settled in quickly after the homerun, striking out six of the next seven batters he faced and retiring nine consecutive batters total, before giving up a single to Ryan O’Hearn to start the fifth. The O’Hearn single, coupled with a single from Sebastian Rivero in the nine hole, would mark the end Ober’s day as he was slated to face Merrifield with one out and runners on 1st and 2nd. Despite being at just 75 pitches, he was pulled in favor of recent call-up and fellow rookie reliever, Jovani Moran rather than being asked to face the top of the Royals lineup for a third time. Sometimes there is more to strong starts than innings pitched and strikeouts, especially when you’re looking for positives in an otherwise awful year. Ober has been a nice surprise for the Twins rotation as today marks his ninth consecutive starts of three earned runs or less. The naysayers will bring up the lack of the innings, many of those starts are five innings or less, but lest not forget he’s supposed to be in St. Paul right now. Instead, he’s pitching in Minneapolis and generated 16 whiffs today, which is elite when he only threw 75 pitches. Moreover, he’s quietly putting together one of the better rookie campaigns that people outside of Twins Territory have never heard of. Offense Can't Survive on Buxton's Multi-Hit Day Despite being a rookie, this was already Kris Bubic’s fifth appearance (fourth start) against the Minnesota Twins, who he has a 4.76 ERA against, but today would be different. After giving up a lead off double to Byron Buxton and a sacrifice fly to Luis Arraez two batters later, he would shut down the Twins giving up just two additional hits (Buxton again, then Simmons) over the next five innings. The Twins would chase him out in the sixth with a Buxton leadoff single, followed by a Rob Refsnyder single, Luis Arraez lineout, and Josh Donaldson walk to load the bases. Righty reliever Domingo Tapia would come on to strikeout Miguel Sano on just three pitches but wouldn’t come away unscathed after a clutch two-out double from Brent Rooker to knot the game at three runs apiece. Aside from Luis Arraez reaching on a Mondesi error in the eighth and a Kepler single in the ninth, the Twins offense went down quietly in the final three innings of the game. Bullpen Usage Chart Moran came on and immediately christened himself as a Twins reliever by allowing an inherited run to score off of a Whit Merrifield double. He settled in to finish the 5th but couldn’t finish the sixth after loading the bases with a lead off single and back-to-back walks with two outs. Ralph Garza Jr., who’s another rookie putting together a solid season, would need just one pitch to get out of the jam and pitched a clean seventh inning. Jorge Alcala pitched the eighth allowing the first two hitters to reach base and ended up allowing one of those runners to score on a Kyle Isbel single. Juan Minaya did more of the same in the ninth which resulted in the Twins chasing two runs entering the last half inning of the game. Despite the rough finish, it was a decent day overall for the bullpen who pitched 4 2/3 innings giving up just two earned runs. WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Minaya 0 0 40 0 17 57 Thielbar 8 0 0 26 0 34 Farrell 0 32 0 12 0 44 Colomé 0 0 12 0 0 12 Coulombe 0 15 0 23 0 38 Duffey 17 0 11 0 0 28 Alcalá 0 0 9 0 18 27 Garza Jr. 0 19 0 0 11 30 Moran 0 0 0 0 37 37 View full article
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