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  1. For many, Dec. 2 represents scouring the internet on Cyber Monday, trying to find the best deal on an air fryer or a new coffee maker. For MLB teams, that date holds much more weight, as it is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. Nine Twins are eligible, eight decisions are presumed locks. Then there’s C.J. Cron …Cron’s 2019 season was defined by health, and lack thereof, as his performance was directly correlated with the status of his right thumb. Prior to his July thumb injury, Cron had a nifty .821 OPS in 331 plate appearances with a wRC+ of 112 and a solid 19.3 K%. After the injury, though, Cron struggled mightily to the tune of a .700 OPS in 168 plate appearances with a wRC+ of 80 and a 25.6 K%. The chart below really illustrates well just how much his play was impacted by his injured thumb. Download attachment: Cron1.jpg The case for bringing back Cron is betting that he can come back healthy and replicate his early season success from 2019. When healthy, Cron is an above average power hitter with solid defense and a knack for scooping up low thrown balls. With a projected arbitration salary of $7.7M and no commitment beyond the 2020 season, Cron brings the Twins a tremendous amount of salary flexibility by keeping the future books clean in order to make other multi-year contracts more palatable (*cough* Zack Wheeler). Cron was seemingly well-liked in the clubhouse and should the Twins brass have confidence in Cron’s thumb heading into next season, bringing him back in his final year of arbitration makes a lot of sense. Should the Twins have confidence in Cron’s thumb, though? Earlier this month, Cron underwent a surgical debridement to clean out his right thumb. Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time that Cron has undergone this procedure. In October of 2016, after coming off of his most successful season in the big leagues to date, Cron underwent the same surgical debridement, except on his left thumb. Looking at how Cron rebounded from his 2016 thumb debridement might give us an idea of how he might rebound from the thumb debridement he just received. Unfortunately for Cron, the results were not great as he declined in every area in the season following his 2016 thumb debridement procedure. While it’s impossible to know how much of that decline was directly related to the thumb versus general regression after a great season, the stark decline should make the Twins nervous to bring back the first baseman. Below, you can see just how much Cron regressed from 2016 to 2017. Could a similar dip in production be on the horizon for Cron next season? Download attachment: Cron2.jpg Handing out nearly $8M to a first baseman with a history of hand injuries and coming off of a procedure from which he has already shown difficulty coming back seems like a risky proposition for the Twins. Especially when there are enticing alternatives out there. I would prefer they not tender him a contract, make him a free agent and make other plans at first base in 2020. The Twins could look at the free agent market and acquire a first baseman on an affordable contract, like Eric Thames or Mitch Moreland. Additionally, we could look to move Miguel Sano across the diamond and pick up a free agent third baseman, like Josh Donaldson or Mike Moustakas. Finally, the Twins could look to their farm system and replace Cron with a promising prospect like Alex Kirilloff or Brent Rooker. Do you think the Twins should bring back C.J. Cron in his final year of arbitration? If not, how would you like to see the Twins replace him in 2020? We’d love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below! Click here to view the article
  2. Cron’s 2019 season was defined by health, and lack thereof, as his performance was directly correlated with the status of his right thumb. Prior to his July thumb injury, Cron had a nifty .821 OPS in 331 plate appearances with a wRC+ of 112 and a solid 19.3 K%. After the injury, though, Cron struggled mightily to the tune of a .700 OPS in 168 plate appearances with a wRC+ of 80 and a 25.6 K%. The chart below really illustrates well just how much his play was impacted by his injured thumb. The case for bringing back Cron is betting that he can come back healthy and replicate his early season success from 2019. When healthy, Cron is an above average power hitter with solid defense and a knack for scooping up low thrown balls. With a projected arbitration salary of $7.7M and no commitment beyond the 2020 season, Cron brings the Twins a tremendous amount of salary flexibility by keeping the future books clean in order to make other multi-year contracts more palatable (*cough* Zack Wheeler). Cron was seemingly well-liked in the clubhouse and should the Twins brass have confidence in Cron’s thumb heading into next season, bringing him back in his final year of arbitration makes a lot of sense. Should the Twins have confidence in Cron’s thumb, though? Earlier this month, Cron underwent a surgical debridement to clean out his right thumb. Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time that Cron has undergone this procedure. In October of 2016, after coming off of his most successful season in the big leagues to date, Cron underwent the same surgical debridement, except on his left thumb. Looking at how Cron rebounded from his 2016 thumb debridement might give us an idea of how he might rebound from the thumb debridement he just received. Unfortunately for Cron, the results were not great as he declined in every area in the season following his 2016 thumb debridement procedure. While it’s impossible to know how much of that decline was directly related to the thumb versus general regression after a great season, the stark decline should make the Twins nervous to bring back the first baseman. Below, you can see just how much Cron regressed from 2016 to 2017. Could a similar dip in production be on the horizon for Cron next season? Handing out nearly $8M to a first baseman with a history of hand injuries and coming off of a procedure from which he has already shown difficulty coming back seems like a risky proposition for the Twins. Especially when there are enticing alternatives out there. I would prefer they not tender him a contract, make him a free agent and make other plans at first base in 2020. The Twins could look at the free agent market and acquire a first baseman on an affordable contract, like Eric Thames or Mitch Moreland. Additionally, we could look to move Miguel Sano across the diamond and pick up a free agent third baseman, like Josh Donaldson or Mike Moustakas. Finally, the Twins could look to their farm system and replace Cron with a promising prospect like Alex Kirilloff or Brent Rooker. Do you think the Twins should bring back C.J. Cron in his final year of arbitration? If not, how would you like to see the Twins replace him in 2020? We’d love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below!
  3. The 2019 Major League Baseball season officially comes to an end tonight as the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros wrap up game seven of the World Series. As the league calendar switches over to 2020 there will be significant roster shuffling. For the Minnesota Twins that already began yesterday, but the front office isn’t close to done when it comes to a 40-man overhaul. After getting run with the big-league club in September the Twins outrighted a trio of talent off the 40 man yesterday. Outfielders Ian Miller and Ryan LaMarre were jettisoned, and they were joined by utility infielder Ronald Torreyes. With both Byron Buxton and Sean Poppen still on the 60-day IL and needing cleared spots, the Twins effectively have 39 of 40 holes filled. Add in the claiming of Matt Wisler and you’ve got a full boat. There’s a crop of free agents that will be moving on from Minnesota, and then there’s a handful of arbitration and pre-arbitration guys that decisions will need to be made on. Here’s how they could all turn out: Free Agents: Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, Sergio Romo, Jason Castro, Jonathan Schoop The only name missing from this group is Michael Pineda, who is also set to become a free agent. With his suspension however, he was immediately removed from the 40 man, and would not count against it for any acquiring team until he is reinstated. Gibson is obviously the longest tenured of this group, and it’ll be weird for both the organization and the player to part after a decade together. Despite how it ended, there were some significant high points, and no one could have represented Twins Territory better. Castro split time with Mitch Garver under Rocco Baldelli this season, and if his body will hold up, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be looking for a starting gig somewhere. Both Schoop and Romo made quick cameos for the Twins. The former was acquired at the trade deadline while the latter was had on a one-year deal. Romo has certain appeal to return as both a good pitcher and strong clubhouse presence, while Schoop would seem to be redundant after the emergence of Luis Arraez. I'd certainly like to see Minnesota hand Odorizzi a qualifying offer and look to work out a two-year deal. If he's the second or third starting rotation piece they add this offseason, then you'd have to feel pretty good about the group as a whole. Non-Tender: Sam Dyson, C.J. Cron Of these two one is a guarantee while the other is far from it. Minnesota dealt for the best reliever at the deadline in Dyson, and instead of a shutdown arm, they got a guy who hid injury (or his former team did) and sapped an asset for nothing. Dyson has one more year of arbitration, and while it would have been great to feel his impact, the only thing Minnesota felt is the bomb he dropped on them after coming here. What happens to C.J. Cron is largely dependent on how the Twins view Miguel Sano. The former Rays and Angels first basemen had a fine year, and especially so considering the sapped power from his thumb injury. If Sano is moving across the diamond or a better third basemen is a target, then there’s no need to tender Cron at something near $8 million. If he comes back, there’s also nothing wrong with going that route, and assuming the thumb is back to 100%, he’s a good bet to put up even better numbers in 2020. Decline Option: Martin Perez There was a time in 2019 when Perez’s option for 2020 looked certain to be picked up, then May 30th happened. Going into that start against the Rays Perez owned a 2.95 ERA and appeared to be the poster child for a Twins influenced fix. He was shelled for six runs in 2.2 IP and owned a 6.29 ERA over his final 21 starts. Left off the Postseason roster the Twins will almost certainly pay the $500k buyout as opposed to the $7.5 million salary next season. Outright: Trevor Hildenberger, Kohl Stewart When outrighting a player off the 40-man you’re considering a certain level of opportunity cost. Neither Hildenberger nor Stewart need to go anywhere, but there’s a pretty compelling argument that they both should. Once a pen stalwart for Paul Molitor, Hildy seemed to be ridden into the ground and then left for dead. He came back from Triple-A last year but was every bit as ineffective and has now posted a 6.35 ERA in his last 89.1 major league innings. For a sidearmer that isn’t fooling anyone, it’s simply not going to cut it. Last season the Twins parted ways with former first round pick Tyler Jay. He never made it to the big leagues, and while Stewart has, this appears to be his time. There’s plenty of better internal options, and Minnesota’s focus this offseason is going to be on pitching. Stewart continued down a path his minor league numbers suggested in that he simply can’t strike anyone out, and the stuff wasn’t good enough to play at the highest level. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  4. The 2019 season has come to an abrupt end after 101 wins. This means we may have seen some players in a Twins uniform for the final time. With a lot of question marks about the rotation and a few key position players, I take a look at who should come back and who should be on the move.The key Twins who could be moving on to a new team for 2020 are listed here. (* = option or ARB eligible) C Jason Castro1B C.J. Cron*2B Jonathan SchoopSP Kyle GibsonSP Michael PinedaSP Martin Perez*SP Jake OdorizziRP Sergio RomoNelson Cruz was originally on this list, but as expected, the Twins have picked up his option for 2020. C Jason Castro Castro began the season as the starting catcher, but Mitch Garver took Minnesota by storm with one of the Twins best hitting seasons as a catcher. That mixed with Castro’s struggles in the second half (.196/.333/.299) make it unlikely that he will return. He can probably find a starting job somewhere in free agency as a left- handed hitting defensive catcher. The Twins could also bring him back on a one-year deal if he does decide to stay and that wouldn't hurt. 1B C.J. Cron Cron will still be under control next year, but it comes down to if the Twins want to pay for his final season or let him go to a new team like the Rays did last season. He suffered a thumb injury this past season that altered his production a lot. He had a .700 OPS in the second half and a .685 OPS vs RHP on the season. He plays a decent first base and crushes left-handers. With Alex Kirilloff on the horizon, I think Cron comes back for 2020 but could end up in a platoon role at some point. This could also depend on the Twins plan for Sano to either stay at 3B or move to 1B in the future. 2B Jonathan Schoop The emergence of Luis Arraez along with the drop off from Schoop made it fairly clear who the starting second baseman will be next season. The Twins will likely ride with Arraez on Opening Day next season, and Schoop will definitely be able to find a starting job somewhere else in 2020. He was a solid addition and the Twins probably got what was expected from him. SP Kyle Gibson Moving on to pitching, Gibson is one of the longest-tenured Twins after seven seasons that started off rough, but ultimately ended well for him to land a nice deal next season. He had a 3.72 ERA from the 2017 trade deadline until now even with some unfortunate health concerns. He will probably get a multi-year deal with someone other than the Minnesota Twins and all of you who hate Kyle will be extremely happy. SP Michael Pineda Despite having his 2019 success stained by his suspension for a possible PED masking agent, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring Pineda back for next season. His 3.04 second half ERA, as he basically carried the rotation, was extremely impressive so he could be back. The Twins will likely bring two starters from this season back, and Pineda has a good chance to be one of them. SP Jake Odorizzi The Twins acquired Odorizzi before the 2018 season for AA infielder Jermaine Palacios who had a .192 AVG this past season. Odorizzi has produced 6.9 fWAR over those two seasons and was a 2019 All-Star. The Twins will likely send a qualifying offer around $18 million and if a team doesn’t want to lose a draft pick for him then I think Odo could be back. He could also come back on the QO because he can't be offered the QO two years in a row so he may come back to build his free agency stock for 2021. SP Martin Perez With a $7.5 million team option for next season, I don’t expect to see Perez back for the 2020 season. Maybe I can get behind seeing him as a relief pitcher, but the Twins should definitely be moving on from him in the rotation. From June to October he allowed a 5.93 ERA and a .831 OPS so I would hope the Martin Perez experiment has come to an end. RP Sergio Romo I challenge you to find one Twins fan who does not love Sergio Romo. You can’t, so don’t even try. The 36-year-old reliever would be a valuable asset who I believe will be back for 2020. His veteran presence mixed with his playoff/World Series experience and his electric energy on and off the field are all tools that would fit right in on this young team. Plus he is also an effective late inning reliever so that’s a plus. Alright, now that I have finished going through all the players, here are my predictions: Returning for 2020: Cron, Pineda, Odorizzi, Romo Heading to a new team: Castro, Schoop, Gibson, Perez As the off-season progresses, each one of these players will be monitored closely by everyone here at Twins Daily, so follow us on Twitter and be looking out for more in- depth articles about each player. Leave a comment here saying who you would like to see come back for 2020. Click here to view the article
  5. The key Twins who could be moving on to a new team for 2020 are listed here. (* = option or ARB eligible) C Jason Castro 1B C.J. Cron* 2B Jonathan Schoop SP Kyle Gibson SP Michael Pineda SP Martin Perez* SP Jake Odorizzi RP Sergio Romo Nelson Cruz was originally on this list, but as expected, the Twins have picked up his option for 2020. https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1181943343858831360?s=20 C Jason Castro Castro began the season as the starting catcher, but Mitch Garver took Minnesota by storm with one of the Twins best hitting seasons as a catcher. That mixed with Castro’s struggles in the second half (.196/.333/.299) make it unlikely that he will return. He can probably find a starting job somewhere in free agency as a left- handed hitting defensive catcher. The Twins could also bring him back on a one-year deal if he does decide to stay and that wouldn't hurt. 1B C.J. Cron Cron will still be under control next year, but it comes down to if the Twins want to pay for his final season or let him go to a new team like the Rays did last season. He suffered a thumb injury this past season that altered his production a lot. He had a .700 OPS in the second half and a .685 OPS vs RHP on the season. He plays a decent first base and crushes left-handers. With Alex Kirilloff on the horizon, I think Cron comes back for 2020 but could end up in a platoon role at some point. This could also depend on the Twins plan for Sano to either stay at 3B or move to 1B in the future. 2B Jonathan Schoop The emergence of Luis Arraez along with the drop off from Schoop made it fairly clear who the starting second baseman will be next season. The Twins will likely ride with Arraez on Opening Day next season, and Schoop will definitely be able to find a starting job somewhere else in 2020. He was a solid addition and the Twins probably got what was expected from him. SP Kyle Gibson Moving on to pitching, Gibson is one of the longest-tenured Twins after seven seasons that started off rough, but ultimately ended well for him to land a nice deal next season. He had a 3.72 ERA from the 2017 trade deadline until now even with some unfortunate health concerns. He will probably get a multi-year deal with someone other than the Minnesota Twins and all of you who hate Kyle will be extremely happy. SP Michael Pineda Despite having his 2019 success stained by his suspension for a possible PED masking agent, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring Pineda back for next season. His 3.04 second half ERA, as he basically carried the rotation, was extremely impressive so he could be back. The Twins will likely bring two starters from this season back, and Pineda has a good chance to be one of them. SP Jake Odorizzi The Twins acquired Odorizzi before the 2018 season for AA infielder Jermaine Palacios who had a .192 AVG this past season. Odorizzi has produced 6.9 fWAR over those two seasons and was a 2019 All-Star. The Twins will likely send a qualifying offer around $18 million and if a team doesn’t want to lose a draft pick for him then I think Odo could be back. He could also come back on the QO because he can't be offered the QO two years in a row so he may come back to build his free agency stock for 2021. SP Martin Perez With a $7.5 million team option for next season, I don’t expect to see Perez back for the 2020 season. Maybe I can get behind seeing him as a relief pitcher, but the Twins should definitely be moving on from him in the rotation. From June to October he allowed a 5.93 ERA and a .831 OPS so I would hope the Martin Perez experiment has come to an end. RP Sergio Romo I challenge you to find one Twins fan who does not love Sergio Romo. You can’t, so don’t even try. The 36-year-old reliever would be a valuable asset who I believe will be back for 2020. His veteran presence mixed with his playoff/World Series experience and his electric energy on and off the field are all tools that would fit right in on this young team. Plus he is also an effective late inning reliever so that’s a plus. Alright, now that I have finished going through all the players, here are my predictions: Returning for 2020: Cron, Pineda, Odorizzi, Romo Heading to a new team: Castro, Schoop, Gibson, Perez As the off-season progresses, each one of these players will be monitored closely by everyone here at Twins Daily, so follow us on Twitter and be looking out for more in- depth articles about each player. Leave a comment here saying who you would like to see come back for 2020.
  6. Weighted on-base average (wOBA) is a good way to look at how a player’s weighted batting results correspond to run scoring and gives us a number that comes out looking like on-base percentage. MLB Statcast does about the same thing with xwOBA, but instead of using the player’s actual results, it uses the exit velocity and launch angle on a hit ball and predicts the expected result based on previous hit balls with the same specifications (essentially taking defense out of the equation). While Cron’s wOBA wasn’t all that impressive (.328 vs .318 league average) his xwOBA was .366, which puts him in the 87th percentile of MLB hitters. The difference between his xwOBA and wOBA is third amongst hitters with at least 350 plate appearances, which suggests Cron’s output could increase substantially in 2020. His expected slugging percentage (xSLG) was .531 (23rd overall) and the difference between his expected and actual slugging was second in the league. Cron also ranked above the 80th percentile in exit velocity and hard hit % and his 15.0 barrel % was in the top five percent of the league. All in all, pretty impressive considering he spent much of the season playing through the thumb injury. All of this points to the fact the Cron was pretty unlucky with the actual results of his hit balls in 2019. For his career Cron’s xwOBA slightly exceeds his wOBA, but the two were actually even in 2018 at .347, so it is not at all unreasonable to expect Cron’s actual and expected numbers to approach parity next year. Admittedly, the Twins have a lot more than Statcast results to consider with Cron. He is still only 29-years-old and is projected to make between $7-$8 million in arbitration. While Cron’s projected salary probably wouldn’t do much to inhibit Minnesota from spending on much needed starting pitching, the Twins may want to save more to go big. The Twins could also roll with Miguel Sano or some combination of Sano, Mitch Garver, and Marwin Gonzalez at first. Prospects Brent Rooker and Alex Kirilloff could also be ready at some point in 2020, if not out of spring training. And of course, Minnesota could always go out and sign a free-agent to cover first, but the options don’t look all that enticing. Finally, Cron’s thumb injury makes the situation a little murkier. The injury twice landed Cron on the IL and he was not the same hitter after the injury. Earlier this week he had his injured right thumb surgically repaired and should have ample time for rest and rehab prior to spring training. https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/1186725007856148481?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw For Cron to be the hitter that Twins fans saw in the first half of the season, he will need to be at full health, something that Minnesota will undoubtedly contemplate before committing to him. What do you think? Should Minnesota bring Cron back, use internal options, or sign a free agent? Please leave your comments below. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Handbook Preview: Glen Perkins Reviewing Relievers — Twins Can Begin Cashing in on Prospects — Hot Corner Consideration: Potential Third Base Alternatives to Miguel Sano
  7. Three games should hardly form the basis of a team’s offseason mentality, but the particular way these three games unfolded should crystallize a few things as the Twins look toward 2020. Specifically, this five-part series will explore things that seem both clearer and more important now than they did a week ago, and which should inform the Twins’ plans for getting back to the Division Series, at least, next fall. Jake Odorizzi Should Be a Priority For most of baseball history, a pitcher with Odorizzi’s vulnerabilities the third time through an opposing batting order would be significantly less valuable than even a slightly worse pitcher with better durability. In this era, though, Odorizzi is almost the quintessential mid-rotation guy. He might only go five or six innings (as in Game 3, when he allowed two runs to the formidable Yankees lineup in five frames), but he’ll usually leave his bullpen a lead to protect for the balance of the contest. His performance in Game 3 was typical in every way: he got some swings and misses, stayed mostly off the barrels of opponents’ bats, and forced them to defend the entire strike zone. His adjustments this season deepened his repertoire and made him more well-rounded, even if they didn’t eliminate his fundamental shortcomings. As he carried the pitching staff during September and turned in the best performance of any Twins hurler against New York, he asserted himself as the first internal decision the club needs to make. The club should extend a qualifying offer to Odorizzi. Too often, teams get cute with those decisions, and treat it like a game of chicken. They only extend the offer if they feel sure the player will reject it, thereby assuring them of the right to collect draft compensation for him. In this case, Odorizzi might well accept the offer, but that shouldn’t scare Minnesota away from making it. He’ll only be 30 in 2020. He’s a good fit in the clubhouse and for the needs of the team. He’s already proven he can work within the support framework of coaches and analytical staff to maximize his talent. A one-year deal, even for $18 million or so isn’t a bad proposition at all, especially given the Twins’ payroll situation for the coming year. Such a short-term solution would allow them to evaluate their internal options for a more homegrown rotation in 2021 and beyond.
  8. 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 the corner and pitched at a good level in the following two seasons. In his last year in college, when he posted a 3.21 ERA and 11.05 K/9. Gibby and the Tigers played the NCAA Regionals in all of the three years he was there. Kyle Gibson (Missouri, 2007-09) 3.66 ERA 63 games (29 starts) 259.0 IP 304 K (10.48 K/9) 0 HR 61 BB (2.10 BB/9) 1.16 WHIP 9 SV Tyler Duffey was drafted by the Twins in 2012 out of his hometown college, Rice University, in Houston. He spent three full seasons playing for the Owls between 2010 and 2012, helping the school claim its fourth conference championship in 2011. Curiously enough, do you know who was elected the conference MVP that year? That’s right...Duffey. He helped the Owls to finish the regular season in first place (16-8 conference record), with the highest number of wins (42-21 overall record) and to be the No. 24 program in the nation. He shared closing duties with former Twin J.T. Chargois. Tyler Duffey (Rice, 2010-2012) 3.06 ERA 92 games (1 start) 13 SV 152.1 IP 189 K (11.12 K/9) 14 HR (0.82 HR/9) 55 BB (3.24 BB/9) 1.21 WHIP Trevor Hildenberger also spent three seasons in college ball, but his overall numbers weren’t nearly as impressive as Duffey’s nor his stellar minor league totals. Coming out of high school, he pitched for the University of California, Berkeley starting in 2010, but he was redshirted during the 2011 season. His best season was his senior year, in which he posted a 2.83 ERA and tied the school record of 10 single-season saves. On May 10, 2014 he pitched three innings to earn a save, striking out six batters, his career high. Trevor Hildenberger (California, 2010-2014) 4.28 ERA 56 games (5 starts) 11 SV 106.0 IP 95 K (7.97 K/9) 3 HR (0.25 HR/9) 33 BB (2.77 BB/9) 1.34 WHIP Veteran relief pitcher Blake Parker wasn’t always a pitcher. During his three seasons playing for the Arkansas Razorbacks, from 2004 to 2006, Parker played third base. Drafted in 2006, forgoing his senior year, he had a very slow start as a position player on rookie and A-ball and started his transition to the mound in 2007, to never turn back. As a batter in college, his best season was during his sophomore year when he had an .865 OPS and was an extra-base maniac, with a 54.55 XBH%. After maintaining a 2.85 ERA in ten years pitching in the minors, he knew he made the right call for his career. Blake Parker (Arkansas, 2004-06) .266/.344/.417 (.761 OPS) 129 games 504 AB 15 HR 79 RBI 16 SB 51 BB (8.79 BB%) 118 K (20.34 K%) Taylor Rogers is a superstar in the making right now, but his college career was nowhere near an indication of that. After being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of high school in 2009, he decided not to sign with them and to attend the University of Kentucky. He was a starting pitcher for the Wildcats for three seasons and his performance comes as a shock for those of us who have been seeing him thriving at the major league level nowadays. Look at what his Wikipedia page has to say about his college career: “In 2010, he tied for the Southeastern Conference lead in losses (7) and runs allowed (68), as he went 4-7 with a 6.40 ERA. In 2011, he tied for second in the Southeastern Conference in losses (7), and was third-highest in runs allowed (56). In 2012, he was fourth in the Southeastern Conference in runs allowed (45)”. Can you believe this? Taylor Rogers (Kentucky, 2010-12) 5.34 ERA 45 games (42 starts) 249.0 IP 172 K (6.21 K/9) 25 HR (0.90 HR/9) 55 BB (1.99 BB/9) 1.46 WHIP Addison Reed's MLB career is pretty respectable. His college career? It was monstrous. In three seasons pitching for the Aztecs, Reed was one of the best pitchers in the country. During his sophomore year, in 2009, he led the nation with 20 saves in 20 save opportunities, striking out 38 batters in 27.2 IP (12.36 K/9) and finishing with a 0.65 ERA. He was named the 2009 National Stopper of the Year by the NCBWA. Addison Reed (San Diego State, 2008-10) 2.16 ERA 60 games (11 starts) 24 SV 132.0 IP 154 K (10.40 K/9) 10 HR (0.68 HR/9) 31 BB (2.09 BB/9) 1.05 WHIP Another player who had an astonishing college career was C.J. Cron. In three years playing for the Utah Utes, between 2009 and 2011, Cron was acknowledged as one of the best first basemen in the nation. Not only did he have extraordinary individual numbers, but he also helped the Utes reach the regional finals in 2009, his freshman year. During his junior year, he was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America, NCBWA, ABCA, Perfect Game, ESPN and the Collegiate Baseball newspaper (Louisville Slugger). He slashed .434/.517/.803 (1.320 OPS) that season. C.J. Cron (Utah, 2009-11) .396/.459/.713 (1.172 OPS) 157 games 641 AB 46 HR 198 RBI 62 BB (8.46 BB%) 75 K (10.23 K%) When the Twins signed Jason Castro to a three-year, $24,5 million contract in 2017, they did it for his defensive skills. As a major leaguer he hasn’t lived up to his minor league numbers and certainly not for his college numbers. Castro played very well offensively for Stanford, especially during his junior year. Not only did he lead the Cardinal in batting average (.376), hits (105), doubles (18) and RBI (73), he also earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors, second-team All-America accolades from Rivals.com and third-team All-America recognition by Baseball America, ABCA/Rawlings and Ping!Baseball. He was also a finalist for the Johnny Bench award honoring college baseball's top catcher. With Stanford reaching the College World Series that year, Castro was named to the All-College World Series team after hitting 6-for-18 (.333) during the event. Jason Castro (Stanford, 2006-08) .309/.381/.476 (.857 OPS) 162 games 540 AB 18 HR 106 RBI 62 BB (9.94 BB%) 83 K (13.30 K%) 11 SB Last, but not least (especially not for me, but I’ll get to that in a minute), there’s Mitch Garver, who played for four years for the University of New Mexico, in his hometown of Albuquerque. Garver was one of the best catchers in the nation. In his senior year, he slashed .390/.458/.589 (1.047 OPS) and led the team in multiple stats. But not only did he succeed individually, but he’s also led UNM to two of its three Mountain West Conference titles (2011 and 2012), including the very first in school history, making him one of the best Lobos of all time. Garver also takes much pride in his state’s roots. I don’t know if may of you will remember, but during Players Weekend last year, the catcher used a New Mexico flag bat. Mitch Garver (New Mexico, 2010-13) .351/.421/.527 (.948 OPS) 211 games 809 AB 18 HR 167 RBI 88 BB (9.51 BB%) 104 K (11.24 K%) 21 SB .384 BABIP What makes Garver’s college career so special to me? In 2013 I was granted a scholarship from my university in Brazil and I managed to spend six months in the U.S., studying at UNM. At the time, basketball was my main passion and I took every opportunity I had to go watch the Lobos basketball team, which was pretty good at that year (until a tragedy at March Madness…). But I took one chance to go to the Isotopes' park, home field of the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, and attend the very first (and only) baseball game of my life. Back then, I didn’t follow baseball nearly as much as I do today. So I had no idea who any of those players were. It only occurred to me last year, when Garver started to get his first Major League chances, that he was very likely there, behind the plate, during that particular game. I checked, and, yes. He was at that game (check the picture above, which I took on that day). The Lobos trailed 4-2 on that February evening, the ballpark was empty before the game was finished and the pitcher I actually went there to watch, because we took one class together, didn’t even play (I think). But, in retrospect, I can see how meaningful that day was to me, and Garver was a part of that.
  9. 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 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 the corner and pitched at a good level in the following two seasons. In his last year in college, when he posted a 3.21 ERA and 11.05 K/9. Gibby and the Tigers played the NCAA Regionals in all of the three years he was there. Kyle Gibson (Missouri, 2007-09) 3.66 ERA 63 games (29 starts) 259.0 IP 304 K (10.48 K/9) 0 HR 61 BB (2.10 BB/9) 1.16 WHIP 9 SV Tyler Duffey was drafted by the Twins in 2012 out of his hometown college, Rice University, in Houston. He spent three full seasons playing for the Owls between 2010 and 2012, helping the school claim its fourth conference championship in 2011. Curiously enough, do you know who was elected the conference MVP that year? That’s right...Duffey. He helped the Owls to finish the regular season in first place (16-8 conference record), with the highest number of wins (42-21 overall record) and to be the No. 24 program in the nation. He shared closing duties with former Twin J.T. Chargois. Tyler Duffey (Rice, 2010-2012) 3.06 ERA 92 games (1 start) 13 SV 152.1 IP 189 K (11.12 K/9) 14 HR (0.82 HR/9) 55 BB (3.24 BB/9) 1.21 WHIP Trevor Hildenberger also spent three seasons in college ball, but his overall numbers weren’t nearly as impressive as Duffey’s nor his stellar minor league totals. Coming out of high school, he pitched for the University of California, Berkeley starting in 2010, but he was redshirted during the 2011 season. His best season was his senior year, in which he posted a 2.83 ERA and tied the school record of 10 single-season saves. On May 10, 2014 he pitched three innings to earn a save, striking out six batters, his career high. Trevor Hildenberger (California, 2010-2014) 4.28 ERA 56 games (5 starts) 11 SV 106.0 IP 95 K (7.97 K/9) 3 HR (0.25 HR/9) 33 BB (2.77 BB/9) 1.34 WHIP Veteran relief pitcher Blake Parker wasn’t always a pitcher. During his three seasons playing for the Arkansas Razorbacks, from 2004 to 2006, Parker played third base. Drafted in 2006, forgoing his senior year, he had a very slow start as a position player on rookie and A-ball and started his transition to the mound in 2007, to never turn back. As a batter in college, his best season was during his sophomore year when he had an .865 OPS and was an extra-base maniac, with a 54.55 XBH%. After maintaining a 2.85 ERA in ten years pitching in the minors, he knew he made the right call for his career. Blake Parker (Arkansas, 2004-06) .266/.344/.417 (.761 OPS) 129 games 504 AB 15 HR 79 RBI 16 SB 51 BB (8.79 BB%) 118 K (20.34 K%) Taylor Rogers is a superstar in the making right now, but his college career was nowhere near an indication of that. After being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of high school in 2009, he decided not to sign with them and to attend the University of Kentucky. He was a starting pitcher for the Wildcats for three seasons and his performance comes as a shock for those of us who have been seeing him thriving at the major league level nowadays. Look at what his Wikipedia page has to say about his college career: “In 2010, he tied for the Southeastern Conference lead in losses (7) and runs allowed (68), as he went 4-7 with a 6.40 ERA. In 2011, he tied for second in the Southeastern Conference in losses (7), and was third-highest in runs allowed (56). In 2012, he was fourth in the Southeastern Conference in runs allowed (45)”. Can you believe this? Taylor Rogers (Kentucky, 2010-12) 5.34 ERA 45 games (42 starts) 249.0 IP 172 K (6.21 K/9) 25 HR (0.90 HR/9) 55 BB (1.99 BB/9) 1.46 WHIP Addison Reed's MLB career is pretty respectable. His college career? It was monstrous. In three seasons pitching for the Aztecs, Reed was one of the best pitchers in the country. During his sophomore year, in 2009, he led the nation with 20 saves in 20 save opportunities, striking out 38 batters in 27.2 IP (12.36 K/9) and finishing with a 0.65 ERA. He was named the 2009 National Stopper of the Year by the NCBWA. Addison Reed (San Diego State, 2008-10) 2.16 ERA 60 games (11 starts) 24 SV 132.0 IP 154 K (10.40 K/9) 10 HR (0.68 HR/9) 31 BB (2.09 BB/9) 1.05 WHIP Another player who had an astonishing college career was C.J. Cron. In three years playing for the Utah Utes, between 2009 and 2011, Cron was acknowledged as one of the best first basemen in the nation. Not only did he have extraordinary individual numbers, but he also helped the Utes reach the regional finals in 2009, his freshman year. During his junior year, he was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America, NCBWA, ABCA, Perfect Game, ESPN and the Collegiate Baseball newspaper (Louisville Slugger). He slashed .434/.517/.803 (1.320 OPS) that season. C.J. Cron (Utah, 2009-11) .396/.459/.713 (1.172 OPS) 157 games 641 AB 46 HR 198 RBI 62 BB (8.46 BB%) 75 K (10.23 K%) When the Twins signed Jason Castro to a three-year, $24,5 million contract in 2017, they did it for his defensive skills. As a major leaguer he hasn’t lived up to his minor league numbers and certainly not for his college numbers. Castro played very well offensively for Stanford, especially during his junior year. Not only did he lead the Cardinal in batting average (.376), hits (105), doubles (18) and RBI (73), he also earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors, second-team All-America accolades from Rivals.com and third-team All-America recognition by Baseball America, ABCA/Rawlings and Ping!Baseball. He was also a finalist for the Johnny Bench award honoring college baseball's top catcher. With Stanford reaching the College World Series that year, Castro was named to the All-College World Series team after hitting 6-for-18 (.333) during the event. Jason Castro (Stanford, 2006-08) .309/.381/.476 (.857 OPS) 162 games 540 AB 18 HR 106 RBI 62 BB (9.94 BB%) 83 K (13.30 K%) 11 SB Last, but not least (especially not for me, but I’ll get to that in a minute), there’s Mitch Garver, who played for four years for the University of New Mexico, in his hometown of Albuquerque. Garver was one of the best catchers in the nation. In his senior year, he slashed .390/.458/.589 (1.047 OPS) and led the team in multiple stats. But not only did he succeed individually, but he’s also led UNM to two of its three Mountain West Conference titles (2011 and 2012), including the very first in school history, making him one of the best Lobos of all time. Garver also takes much pride in his state’s roots. I don’t know if may of you will remember, but during Players Weekend last year, the catcher used a New Mexico flag bat. Mitch Garver (New Mexico, 2010-13) .351/.421/.527 (.948 OPS) 211 games 809 AB 18 HR 167 RBI 88 BB (9.51 BB%) 104 K (11.24 K%) 21 SB .384 BABIP What makes Garver’s college career so special to me? In 2013 I was granted a scholarship from my university in Brazil and I managed to spend six months in the U.S., studying at UNM. At the time, basketball was my main passion and I took every opportunity I had to go watch the Lobos basketball team, which was pretty good at that year (until a tragedy at March Madness…). But I took one chance to go to the Isotopes' park, home field of the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, and attend the very first (and only) baseball game of my life. Download attachment: MitchGarverLobos.jpg Back then, I didn’t follow baseball nearly as much as I do today. So I had no idea who any of those players were. It only occurred to me last year, when Garver started to get his first Major League chances, that he was very likely there, behind the plate, during that particular game. I checked, and, yes. He was at that game (check the picture above, which I took on that day). The Lobos trailed 4-2 on that February evening, the ballpark was empty before the game was finished and the pitcher I actually went there to watch, because we took one class together, didn’t even play (I think). But, in retrospect, I can see how meaningful that day was to me, and Garver was a part of that. Click here to view the article
  10. The final game of the regular season came right down to the end, but unfortunately the Royals won it by a score of 5-4 on a walk off sacrifice fly. After 162 regular season games, the Twins finished with a 101-61 record and an AL Central title. Oh by the way, THE HOME RUN RECORD BELONGS TO THE TWINS. The Yankees hit one, but the Twins hit three and now the all time record belongs to the team in Minnesota.Box Score Perez: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 62% strikes (63 of 102 pitches) Bullpen: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 2 K Home Runs: Cron (25), Cave (8), Castro (13) Multi-Hit Games: Cave (2-for-4) Bottom 3 WPA: Brusdar Graterol (-.358), Lewis Thorpe (-.340), Jonathan Schoop (-.117) Ehire Adrianza (manager) knows how to make a home run lineup. Rookie manager Ehire Adrianza put together the final lineup of the regular season and they got off to a hot start. The game started with the Twins trailing New York by one in the home run race, but the Twins had something to say about that. The first inning had a pulled home run from C.J. Cron at 115.6 MPH (22nd hardest hit ball in the majors) and then Cave hit an opposite field home run to give the Twins a 3-0 lead. Martin Perez shows some encouraging signs for the playoffs. The playoffs begin on Friday and I think Perez should make the team (don’t ask @Matthew_bTwins on Twitter if Perez should make it). He is excellent against left handed hitters (.233/.292/.301) and the playoffs will be a good time for him to come in and get a few lefties out. He did not have that bad of a start today, going nearly six innings and allowing three runs. Kyle Gibson came on in relief in the middle of an inning thanks to a smart pitching change from rookie manager Arraez. He came in and struck out the lone batter he faced in what was his final audition for a playoff spot. He and Martin Perez will be two of the most interesting decisions made this week. Kohl Stewart took over in the seventh inning. He will not make the playoff roster. Despite that, he pitched an excellent seventh inning that took a total of four pitches to finish off with a 4-3 lead. Royals take the lead and win in the final innings In a game loaded with playoff auditions, Lewis Thorpe did not have an excellent outing. The eighth inning started with a leadoff triple from Hunter Dozier which was followed by an RBI double from Ryan O’Hearn. Thorpe would go on to strike out the next hitter but was then pulled for Fernando Romero. It started to seem like Adrianza’s job was on the line unless he could pull out a win. Luckily for Ehire, Fernando Romero got the next two guys to keep the game tied but the managerial job definitely wasn’t safe at this point. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Brusdar Graterol gave up a double and a single which eventually led to a game-ending walk-off sacrifice fly to cap off the 2019 regular season. I’m hearing rumors that Adrianza is being removed as manager The home run record belongs to the Minnesota Twins The Twins were able to barely pull out the home run title in the final game, hitting 307 total bombas while the Yankees finished with 306. Who would have thought Jason Castro would be the guy to set the record? That means Garver (catcher) broke the original record and now Castro (also catcher) broke the final record. Postgame With Baldelli Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days. Click here to view the article
  11. Box Score Perez: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 62% strikes (63 of 102 pitches) Bullpen: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 2 K Home Runs: Cron (25), Cave (8), Castro (13) Multi-Hit Games: Cave (2-for-4) Bottom 3 WPA: Brusdar Graterol (-.358), Lewis Thorpe (-.340), Jonathan Schoop (-.117) Ehire Adrianza (manager) knows how to make a home run lineup. Rookie manager Ehire Adrianza put together the final lineup of the regular season and they got off to a hot start. The game started with the Twins trailing New York by one in the home run race, but the Twins had something to say about that. The first inning had a pulled home run from C.J. Cron at 115.6 MPH (22nd hardest hit ball in the majors) and then Cave hit an opposite field home run to give the Twins a 3-0 lead. Martin Perez shows some encouraging signs for the playoffs. The playoffs begin on Friday and I think Perez should make the team (don’t ask @Matthew_bTwins on Twitter if Perez should make it). He is excellent against left handed hitters (.233/.292/.301) and the playoffs will be a good time for him to come in and get a few lefties out. He did not have that bad of a start today, going nearly six innings and allowing three runs. Kyle Gibson came on in relief in the middle of an inning thanks to a smart pitching change from rookie manager Arraez. He came in and struck out the lone batter he faced in what was his final audition for a playoff spot. He and Martin Perez will be two of the most interesting decisions made this week. Kohl Stewart took over in the seventh inning. He will not make the playoff roster. Despite that, he pitched an excellent seventh inning that took a total of four pitches to finish off with a 4-3 lead. Royals take the lead and win in the final innings In a game loaded with playoff auditions, Lewis Thorpe did not have an excellent outing. The eighth inning started with a leadoff triple from Hunter Dozier which was followed by an RBI double from Ryan O’Hearn. Thorpe would go on to strike out the next hitter but was then pulled for Fernando Romero. It started to seem like Adrianza’s job was on the line unless he could pull out a win. Luckily for Ehire, Fernando Romero got the next two guys to keep the game tied but the managerial job definitely wasn’t safe at this point. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Brusdar Graterol gave up a double and a single which eventually led to a game-ending walk-off sacrifice fly to cap off the 2019 regular season. I’m hearing rumors that Adrianza is being removed as manager The home run record belongs to the Minnesota Twins The Twins were able to barely pull out the home run title in the final game, hitting 307 total bombas while the Yankees finished with 306. Who would have thought Jason Castro would be the guy to set the record? That means Garver (catcher) broke the original record and now Castro (also catcher) broke the final record. Postgame With Baldelli https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1178436363315601408 Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.
  12. The Minnesota Twins completed the three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox and extended their road winning streak to a season-high seven games. Jose Berrios showed encouraging signs of getting back on track and the potent offense delivered again.Box Score Berrios: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 62% strikes (63 of 101 pitches) Bullpen: 3 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K Home Runs: Jake Cave (2), C.J. Cron Multi-Hit Games: Jorge Polanco (2-for-4), Nelson Cruz (2-for-4), Eddie Rosario (2-for-5), Jake Cave (2-for-5), C.J. Cron (3-for-5), Jonathan Schoop (3-for-4). Top 3 WPA: Cron .139, Polanco .103, Cruz .098 Singles Day in Chicago I cannot confirm nor deny the White Sox were having a singles day promotion but it would have been fitting given the way the Minnesota offense opened the game. Their first eight hits were all singles and the Twins scored six runs before recording their first extra-base hit. That first extra-base hit came courtesy of Jake Cave when he led off the third inning with a solo home run. C.J. Cron followed suit and blasted another solo shot to give Minnesota back-to-back home runs to open the inning. Jake Cave would later add a second home run to his afternoon and C.J. Cron would finish a triple shy of the cycle. Quality Start for Berrios Jose Berrios has pitched very well for the Twins this year but has struggled over his last four starts. He struggled with command throughout his start today but did a good job limiting the damage and earned only his second quality start over his last five outings. With the postseason quickly approaching, it’s important that Berrios is able to get back on track. Postgame With Baldelli Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days. Click here to view the article
  13. Box Score Berrios: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 62% strikes (63 of 101 pitches) Bullpen: 3 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K Home Runs: Jake Cave (2), C.J. Cron Multi-Hit Games: Jorge Polanco (2-for-4), Nelson Cruz (2-for-4), Eddie Rosario (2-for-5), Jake Cave (2-for-5), C.J. Cron (3-for-5), Jonathan Schoop (3-for-4). Top 3 WPA: Cron .139, Polanco .103, Cruz .098 Singles Day in Chicago I cannot confirm nor deny the White Sox were having a singles day promotion but it would have been fitting given the way the Minnesota offense opened the game. Their first eight hits were all singles and the Twins scored six runs before recording their first extra-base hit. That first extra-base hit came courtesy of Jake Cave when he led off the third inning with a solo home run. C.J. Cron followed suit and blasted another solo shot to give Minnesota back-to-back home runs to open the inning. Jake Cave would later add a second home run to his afternoon and C.J. Cron would finish a triple shy of the cycle. Quality Start for Berrios Jose Berrios has pitched very well for the Twins this year but has struggled over his last four starts. He struggled with command throughout his start today but did a good job limiting the damage and earned only his second quality start over his last five outings. With the postseason quickly approaching, it’s important that Berrios is able to get back on track. Postgame With Baldelli https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1167196091781042176 Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.
  14. Box Score Pérez: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 68% strikes (68 of 100 pitches) Bullpen: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K Home Runs: C.J. Cron (21), J.Schoop (18) Multi-Hit Games: None Top 3 WPA: Pérez .214, Garver .154, Schoop .101 Martín Pérez returned to Target Field after a very successful road trip in which he allowed just two runs in 11 innings. The bullpen and bats restricted Pérez to no decisions in both starts. The Twins allowed 8-of-9 leadoff batters to reach base in last night’s victory. On Sunday, Pérez surrendered just one. C.J. Cron assisted Pérez to his first win since before the All-Star break with a three-run blast in the fourth inning. Pérez twirled six strong innings, allowing two runs and striking out five. Pérez has walked 3.8 batters-per-nine this year, but gave a free pass to just one hitter on Sunday. His cutter was extremely effective to right-handed batters, which is an important development after the pitch was dominant during the first half of the season, but not so during the middle part of the schedule. Left-hander Matthew Boyd started for Detroit and allowed seven runs in six innings. Jonathan Schoop had one of the four Twins’ hits, as he laced a two-run homer down the left field line in the sixth. The Twins lead the league in OPS against left-handed pitching (.885). Catcher Mitch Garver doubled off the wall in the third to improve his torrid numbers against lefties. Boyd walked five and struck Max Kepler with a pitch in the fourth. The Twins figure to see Boyd at least once more, as they have seven more head-to-head matchups with Detroit. They have scored 10 runs off him in two starts. Cody Stashak continued to be a reliable low-leverage arm out of the bullpen, pitching two innings of one-hit ball with a strikeout. He was helped out by an outstanding catch in left field by Jake Cave. https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1165726211298848768 Lewis Thorpe entered in the ninth with less luck, surrendering three hits and two runs. Thorpe escaped the jam and finished the job. Stashak and Thorpe saved the arms of Rogers, Dyson and Romo. All of which will receive two days of much-needed rest. The Twins will enjoy an off-day tomorrow before facing Chicago for a three-game series against Lucas Giolito and the White Sox. Postgame With Baldelli https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1165739378594828288 Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.
  15. The Twins recovered after a poor performance on Friday to take the series from Detroit and finish the homestand with a 3-3 record. The 7-4 win increases their lead in the AL Central to 3 1/2 games, as Cleveland fell to Kansas City 9-8.Box Score Pérez: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 68% strikes (68 of 100 pitches) Bullpen: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K Home Runs: C.J. Cron (21), J.Schoop (18) Multi-Hit Games: None Top 3 WPA: Pérez .214, Garver .154, Schoop .101 Martín Pérez returned to Target Field after a very successful road trip in which he allowed just two runs in 11 innings. The bullpen and bats restricted Pérez to no decisions in both starts. The Twins allowed 8-of-9 leadoff batters to reach base in last night’s victory. On Sunday, Pérez surrendered just one. C.J. Cron assisted Pérez to his first win since before the All-Star break with a three-run blast in the fourth inning. Pérez twirled six strong innings, allowing two runs and striking out five. Pérez has walked 3.8 batters-per-nine this year, but gave a free pass to just one hitter on Sunday. His cutter was extremely effective to right-handed batters, which is an important development after the pitch was dominant during the first half of the season, but not so during the middle part of the schedule. Left-hander Matthew Boyd started for Detroit and allowed seven runs in six innings. Jonathan Schoop had one of the four Twins’ hits, as he laced a two-run homer down the left field line in the sixth. The Twins lead the league in OPS against left-handed pitching (.885). Catcher Mitch Garver doubled off the wall in the third to improve his torrid numbers against lefties. Boyd walked five and struck Max Kepler with a pitch in the fourth. The Twins figure to see Boyd at least once more, as they have seven more head-to-head matchups with Detroit. They have scored 10 runs off him in two starts. Cody Stashak continued to be a reliable low-leverage arm out of the bullpen, pitching two innings of one-hit ball with a strikeout. He was helped out by an outstanding catch in left field by Jake Cave. Lewis Thorpe entered in the ninth with less luck, surrendering three hits and two runs. Thorpe escaped the jam and finished the job. Stashak and Thorpe saved the arms of Rogers, Dyson and Romo. All of which will receive two days of much-needed rest. The Twins will enjoy an off-day tomorrow before facing Chicago for a three-game series against Lucas Giolito and the White Sox. Postgame With Baldelli Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days. Click here to view the article
  16. On a night in which the Minnesota Twins honored closer Joe Nathan by inducting him into the Twins Hall of Fame there was no closer needed. Thanks in large part to a bombing barrage courtesy of the Minnesota offense.Box Score Kyle Gibson: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 61% strikes (67 of 110 pitches) Bullpen: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K Home Runs: Nelson Cruz 3 (30), Jorge Polanco (17), C.J. Cron (19) Multi-Hit Games: Nelson Cruz 3-for-4, C.J. Cron 3-for-4, Luis Arraez 2-for-4 Top 3 WPA: Polanco .229, Cruz .221, Cron .113 Bombs Away The Bomba Squad was in full force tonight and Royals pitcher Danny Duffy experienced the full force of it. Before he had recorded six outs, Duffy had surrendered four home runs and seven earned runs. Nelson Cruz got the party started and C.J. Cron joined the party in his first at-bat after returning from the IL. Jorge Polanco also got into the action when he blasted a two-run home run in the second inning. The rout was in full effect early and the Twins never looked back. Aged Like Fine Wine Not many things age well. Among those those that do are fine wine and Nelson Cruz. Being skeptical of the Twins signing a 38-year-old DH in the offseason would have been completely rational. In no other world besides professional sports is 38 considered old, but Nelson Cruz seems to have discovered the fountain of youth in Minnesota. Since July 24, Nelson Cruz has hit .500/.581/1.308 including two three-home run games. All coming after his 39th birthday. With a BABIP of .538 it’s unlikely he continues on this pace for an extended period of time but it sure is fun to watch. Quality Start for Gibson Kyle Gibson had a clean 1-2-3 first inning but ran into some trouble in the second inning. Kansas City slugger Jorge Soler led off the inning with a solo home run. A throwing error from Jonathan Schoop allowed a runner to reach base and he later scored, tying the game at 2-2. After the second inning, Gibby was on cruise control until he ran into trouble in the seventh. He left the game with the bases loaded and two outs. Thankfully Ryne Harper was able to wiggle out of the jam and preserve the 11-3 lead. Postgame With Baldelli Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days. Click here to view the article
  17. Box Score Kyle Gibson: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 61% strikes (67 of 110 pitches) Bullpen: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K Home Runs: Nelson Cruz 3 (30), Jorge Polanco (17), C.J. Cron (19) Multi-Hit Games: Nelson Cruz 3-for-4, C.J. Cron 3-for-4, Luis Arraez 2-for-4 Top 3 WPA: Polanco .229, Cruz .221, Cron .113 Bombs Away The Bomba Squad was in full force tonight and Royals pitcher Danny Duffy experienced the full force of it. Before he had recorded six outs, Duffy had surrendered four home runs and seven earned runs. Nelson Cruz got the party started and C.J. Cron joined the party in his first at-bat after returning from the IL. Jorge Polanco also got into the action when he blasted a two-run home run in the second inning. The rout was in full effect early and the Twins never looked back. Aged Like Fine Wine Not many things age well. Among those those that do are fine wine and Nelson Cruz. Being skeptical of the Twins signing a 38-year-old DH in the offseason would have been completely rational. In no other world besides professional sports is 38 considered old, but Nelson Cruz seems to have discovered the fountain of youth in Minnesota. Since July 24, Nelson Cruz has hit .500/.581/1.308 including two three-home run games. All coming after his 39th birthday. With a BABIP of .538 it’s unlikely he continues on this pace for an extended period of time but it sure is fun to watch. Quality Start for Gibson Kyle Gibson had a clean 1-2-3 first inning but ran into some trouble in the second inning. Kansas City slugger Jorge Soler led off the inning with a solo home run. A throwing error from Jonathan Schoop allowed a runner to reach base and he later scored, tying the game at 2-2. After the second inning, Gibby was on cruise control until he ran into trouble in the seventh. He left the game with the bases loaded and two outs. Thankfully Ryne Harper was able to wiggle out of the jam and preserve the 11-3 lead. Postgame With Baldelli https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1157871692053487618 Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.
  18. Eddie Rosario redeems himself after yesterday’s error with a go-ahead pinch-hit three-run homer in the seventh and Mitch Carver and C.J. Cron add big insurance runs. Gibson helps Twins pick up their second win against Mike Fiers and Taylor Rogers saves the comeback. The Twins continue to be sloppy and it needs to be fixed.Box Score Gibson: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 68.9% strikes (73 of 106 pitches) Bullpen: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K Home Runs: Rosario (21), Garver (16), Cron (18) Multi-Hit Games: None WPA of +0.1: Rogers .160, Sano .210, Rosario .465 WPA of -0.1: Garver -.108 Rosario Redeems and Garver, Cron Solidify A night after Eddie Rosario dropped what would have been an inning-ending fly ball to keep the game within reach, he blasts the first pitch he sees tonight to give the Twins a 4-3 lead. Rosario was most likely not in the lineup tonight as punishment for yesterday’s mishap, but made his presence felt tonight. That was just the second pinch-hit home run for the Twins this season, and of course Rosario was the culprit of the first one as well. In 12 at-bats as a pinch-hitter, Rosario has three hits for three home runs. Mitch Garver and C.J. gave the final punches in tonight’s game by each hitting a solo shot in the eighth for huge insurance runs to give them a three-run lead going into the ninth. The Athletic’s bullpen gave up three hits in tonight’s game, but they were the three biggest hits for the Twins. Pitcher’s Rematch Just over two weeks ago, Kyle Gibson and Mike Fiers faced up against each other, but unlike tonight, neither pitcher picked up a decision in that 12-inning contest. Tonight Gibson got rewarded for his solid outing, and the Twins picked up just their second win against Fiers in 13 games against him. Gibson had another great outing against the Athletics, but this time was actually able to pick up the win. He pitched his deepest into a game and picked up his most strikeouts since June 25th. It was very impressive to see Gibson work around a few errors, not give up any walks, and pick up the win. He struck out three batters with his two-seam, and two batters with each of his changeup and slider. Rogers' Save Taylor Rogers started warming up immediately following Rosario’s go-ahead home run for a six-out save. Rogers has been the Twins’ best reliever, and continued his great season tonight. He gave up two singles in the eighth, but that was nothing to worry about as he retired the next five batters to complete the save and end the Twins’ longest losing streak of the season. Sloppy Play The Twins sloppy play has been pretty apparent since the All-Star break, and it continued tonight. Coming into tonight’s game they had six errors in five games and added two more in the first two innings. A couple of base-running errors also ended Twins’ threat in two different innings. The base-running errors were the ones that hurt the most tonight. The first one came with a man on third base and one out. Max Kepler ripped a line drive to first base, which Olson made a nice grab on, and doubled up Cave who was halfway to home plate. The next one came after a leadoff walk and single, when Arraez thought Cave had been hit by a pitch and was making his way to third only to realize the ball was still in play and proceeded to get thrown out on his way back to second. Though the errors didn’t lead to anything tonight, it still is something that you want to clean up because they usually come back to hurt. Arraez and Sano were responsible for the fielding errors tonight with Arraez picking up a two-base error in the first after misfiring a throw to first, and Sano misfielding a hard hit ball that landed 10 feet in front of him. Postgame With Baldelli Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days. Click here to view the article
  19. Box Score Gibson: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 68.9% strikes (73 of 106 pitches) Bullpen: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K Home Runs: Rosario (21), Garver (16), Cron (18) Multi-Hit Games: None WPA of +0.1: Rogers .160, Sano .210, Rosario .465 WPA of -0.1: Garver -.108 Rosario Redeems and Garver, Cron Solidify A night after Eddie Rosario dropped what would have been an inning-ending fly ball to keep the game within reach, he blasts the first pitch he sees tonight to give the Twins a 4-3 lead. Rosario was most likely not in the lineup tonight as punishment for yesterday’s mishap, but made his presence felt tonight. https://twitter.com/cjzer0/status/1152049149182926853 That was just the second pinch-hit home run for the Twins this season, and of course Rosario was the culprit of the first one as well. In 12 at-bats as a pinch-hitter, Rosario has three hits for three home runs. Mitch Garver and C.J. gave the final punches in tonight’s game by each hitting a solo shot in the eighth for huge insurance runs to give them a three-run lead going into the ninth. The Athletic’s bullpen gave up three hits in tonight’s game, but they were the three biggest hits for the Twins. Pitcher’s Rematch Just over two weeks ago, Kyle Gibson and Mike Fiers faced up against each other, but unlike tonight, neither pitcher picked up a decision in that 12-inning contest. Tonight Gibson got rewarded for his solid outing, and the Twins picked up just their second win against Fiers in 13 games against him. Gibson had another great outing against the Athletics, but this time was actually able to pick up the win. He pitched his deepest into a game and picked up his most strikeouts since June 25th. It was very impressive to see Gibson work around a few errors, not give up any walks, and pick up the win. He struck out three batters with his two-seam, and two batters with each of his changeup and slider. Rogers' Save Taylor Rogers started warming up immediately following Rosario’s go-ahead home run for a six-out save. Rogers has been the Twins’ best reliever, and continued his great season tonight. He gave up two singles in the eighth, but that was nothing to worry about as he retired the next five batters to complete the save and end the Twins’ longest losing streak of the season. Sloppy Play The Twins sloppy play has been pretty apparent since the All-Star break, and it continued tonight. Coming into tonight’s game they had six errors in five games and added two more in the first two innings. A couple of base-running errors also ended Twins’ threat in two different innings. The base-running errors were the ones that hurt the most tonight. The first one came with a man on third base and one out. Max Kepler ripped a line drive to first base, which Olson made a nice grab on, and doubled up Cave who was halfway to home plate. The next one came after a leadoff walk and single, when Arraez thought Cave had been hit by a pitch and was making his way to third only to realize the ball was still in play and proceeded to get thrown out on his way back to second. Though the errors didn’t lead to anything tonight, it still is something that you want to clean up because they usually come back to hurt. Arraez and Sano were responsible for the fielding errors tonight with Arraez picking up a two-base error in the first after misfiring a throw to first, and Sano misfielding a hard hit ball that landed 10 feet in front of him. Postgame With Baldelli https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1152071444949397505 Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.
  20. Check out some of these moonshots! Make sure to add your own ooohs and ahhhhs while watching this highlight reel. Here's some more info on the taters included in that video are below. 10. Max Kepler and Miguel Sano (tied) Kepler: 438 ft., 112.3 mph exit velocity April 26 off Alex Cobb at Target Field Sano: 438 ft., 113.2 mph exit velocity May 23 off Matt Harvey at Angel Stadium 9. Jason Castro 443 ft., 108.5 mph May 11 off Spencer Turnbull at Target Field 8. Jason Castro 443 ft., 110.1 mph exit velocity April 27 off Jimmy Yacabonis at Target Field 7. Nelson Cruz 445 ft., 108.3 mph exit velocity June 6 off Blaine Hardy at Comerica Park 6. C.J. Cron 453 ft., 114.3 mph exit velocity May 16 off Erik Swanson at T-Mobile Park 5. Miguel Sano 454 ft., 108.9 mph exit velocity May 23 off Matt Harvey at Angel Stadium 4. Byron Buxton 454 ft., 111.0 mph exit velocity June 5 off Tyler Olson at Progressive Field 3. Jonathan Schoop 465 ft., 108.1 mph exit velocity May 1 off Collin McHugh at Target Field 2. Jonathan Schoop 467 ft., 110.4 mph exit velocity May 23 off Matt Harvey at Angel Stadium 1. Nelson Cruz 469 ft., 112.4 mph exit velocity June 29 off Jose Ruiz at Guaranteed Rate Field Here’s to more fireworks from our favorite firecrackers. Have a happy and safe 4th of July everybody!
  21. Sure, fireworks are fun, but have you seen the 2019 Twins lineup? The bomba squad has brought plenty of explosive firepower to the park so far this season. To celebrate the 4th of July, let’s kick back and take a look at the 10 longest home runs crushed by Twins hitters so far this season.Check out some of these moonshots! Make sure to add your own ooohs and ahhhhs while watching this highlight reel. Here's some more info on the taters included in that video are below. 10. Max Kepler and Miguel Sano (tied) Kepler: 438 ft., 112.3 mph exit velocity April 26 off Alex Cobb at Target Field Sano: 438 ft., 113.2 mph exit velocity May 23 off Matt Harvey at Angel Stadium 9. Jason Castro 443 ft., 108.5 mph May 11 off Spencer Turnbull at Target Field 8. Jason Castro 443 ft., 110.1 mph exit velocity April 27 off Jimmy Yacabonis at Target Field 7. Nelson Cruz 445 ft., 108.3 mph exit velocity June 6 off Blaine Hardy at Comerica Park 6. C.J. Cron 453 ft., 114.3 mph exit velocity May 16 off Erik Swanson at T-Mobile Park 5. Miguel Sano 454 ft., 108.9 mph exit velocity May 23 off Matt Harvey at Angel Stadium 4. Byron Buxton 454 ft., 111.0 mph exit velocity June 5 off Tyler Olson at Progressive Field 3. Jonathan Schoop 465 ft., 108.1 mph exit velocity May 1 off Collin McHugh at Target Field 2. Jonathan Schoop 467 ft., 110.4 mph exit velocity May 23 off Matt Harvey at Angel Stadium 1. Nelson Cruz 469 ft., 112.4 mph exit velocity June 29 off Jose Ruiz at Guaranteed Rate Field Here’s to more fireworks from our favorite firecrackers. Have a happy and safe 4th of July everybody! Click here to view the article
  22. Box Score Perez: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 60.8% strikes (48 of 79 pitches) Bullpen: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K Home Runs: Cron (16), Sano (8) Multi-Hit Games: Rosario (3-for-5), Kepler (2-for-5), Polanco (2-for-5), Schoop (2-for-4) WPA of +0.1: Rogers .451, Rosario .321, Kepler .205, Schoop .101 WPA of -0.1: Perez -.411 (chart via FanGraphs) Not Exactly How You Draw It Up Minnesota was trailing 3-1 when the fifth inning began. Their lone run came courtesy of a solo home run from C.J. Cron to lead off the second inning. Jonathan Schoop lead off the fifth inning and must have been listening to the FSN broadcast saying “just get on base”, because he did just that when he reached first on a slow roller to shortstop for an infield single. After two quick outs from Polanco and Kepler it looked like Minnesota was going to waste another leadoff base runner. Nelson Cruz and Eddie Rosario had other ideas, however. Cruz drew a walk and set the table for Eddie Rosario with runners on first and second and two outs. Rosie responded by ripping a line drive single to right field, scoring Schoop. Eddie then stole second base and a poor throw from the Kansas City catcher allowed Cruz to scamper home from third and tie the game at 3-3. Martin Perez (Almost) Settles In The first inning of the game was a weird one for Martin Perez and the Minnesota Twins. In the top half of the inning, Minnesota repeatedly squared up the ball but didn’t have anything to show for it. The bottom half of the inning was equally frustrating. Martin Perez issued two walks, Jorge Polanco committed an error and a couple of weakly hit singles allowed Kansas City to score three runs. After the first inning, Marin Perez settled in and pitched very well. He retired eight consecutive batters before Terrence Gore reached on a bunt single in the fourth inning. Perez quickly rebounded and induced a weak fly ball from Billy Hamilton to end the inning. The bottom half of the fifth inning was a rough one for Perez. After issuing a lead off walk and hitting the next batter it looked like he was on the verge of wiggling out of the jam. He recorded his first two strikeouts of the night and he needed to retire Cheslor Cuthbert to end the inning. Unfortunately he threw a cutter that didn’t cut and Cuthbert made him pay, launching a three-run blast to left field and giving Kansas City a 6-3 lead. Better Late Than Never The powerful and potent Minnesota offense we have enjoyed for much of the season appeared to have been missing in their last few games. In the later innings of tonight’s game, the bats woke up — thank you, Jobu. Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco led off the seventh inning with soft line drives to center field. A wild pitch advanced both runners, bringing Nelson Cruz up with runners on second and third and nobody out. Cruz quickly found himself in an 0-2 hole but battled back to a full count and laced a hard-hit ground ball down the first base line, scoring both runners and cutting the Kansas City lead to only one run. The eighth inning was also another strong offensive inning for Minnesota. Sano got the inning started with a home run (see next paragraph), but the Twins did not stop there. Mitch Garver was used as a pinch-hitter for Jake Cave to face the left-handed pitcher, Jake Diekman. Mitch drew a walk and Astudillo was brought in to pinch-run, which is as funny as it sounds. Schoop reached with a single and Max Kepler followed up with a single of his own, scoring Astudillo and giving Minnesota the lead. After two botched contact plays the inning looked to be in jeopardy with two outs. That was until Eddie Rosario came through with the clutch RBI single and extended the lead to 8-6. Miguel Sano Continues to Struggle (Sorta) Miguel Sano has always been strikeout prone, that’s nothing new. When he first arrived back in the big leagues this year he was striking out but still hitting the ball with authority. Lately it’s been a whole lot of striking out and nothing else - 14 strikeouts in 23 at-bats Tonight’s game was no different for Sano. He picked up another hat-trick by striking out in his first three at-bats. One of which came in a key run-scoring opportunity in the second inning. All of that would change for Sano in the eighth inning. After falling behind, he was able to work the count full and hit an absolute rocket to right center. A solo home run to tie the game at 6-6. He would strike out again, for the fourth time, in his final at-bat. Overall, Sano was 1-5 with four Ks and a home run. Taylor Rogers Slams The Door Ryne Harper was brought in to pitch the eighth but was quickly pulled after giving up a home run and a single without recording an out. Taylor Rogers was called upon to record a six-out save. Rogers wasted no time, retiring the next three batters in order and ending the Kansas City rally in the eighth inning. The ninth inning was another stellar one for Rogers. An error by Austidillo in right field put a runner on with only one out but Rogers caught a line drive off the bat of Nicky Lopez and quickly doubled off Merrifield to end the game and earn the save. Postgame With Baldelli https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1142287381069852673 Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
  23. Minnesota looked to once again avoid a three game losing streak and turned to Martin Perez to be the stopper. Perez struggled early, settled in for a bit before falling apart again in the fifth but a late rally gave Minnesota the win and kept their longest losing streak of the season to only two games.Box Score Perez: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 60.8% strikes (48 of 79 pitches) Bullpen: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K Home Runs: Cron (16), Sano (8) Multi-Hit Games: Rosario (3-for-5), Kepler (2-for-5), Polanco (2-for-5), Schoop (2-for-4) WPA of +0.1: Rogers .451, Rosario .321, Kepler .205, Schoop .101 WPA of -0.1: Perez -.411 Download attachment: Win621.png (chart via FanGraphs) Not Exactly How You Draw It Up Minnesota was trailing 3-1 when the fifth inning began. Their lone run came courtesy of a solo home run from C.J. Cron to lead off the second inning. Jonathan Schoop lead off the fifth inning and must have been listening to the FSN broadcast saying “just get on base”, because he did just that when he reached first on a slow roller to shortstop for an infield single. After two quick outs from Polanco and Kepler it looked like Minnesota was going to waste another leadoff base runner. Nelson Cruz and Eddie Rosario had other ideas, however. Cruz drew a walk and set the table for Eddie Rosario with runners on first and second and two outs. Rosie responded by ripping a line drive single to right field, scoring Schoop. Eddie then stole second base and a poor throw from the Kansas City catcher allowed Cruz to scamper home from third and tie the game at 3-3. Martin Perez (Almost) Settles In The first inning of the game was a weird one for Martin Perez and the Minnesota Twins. In the top half of the inning, Minnesota repeatedly squared up the ball but didn’t have anything to show for it. The bottom half of the inning was equally frustrating. Martin Perez issued two walks, Jorge Polanco committed an error and a couple of weakly hit singles allowed Kansas City to score three runs. After the first inning, Marin Perez settled in and pitched very well. He retired eight consecutive batters before Terrence Gore reached on a bunt single in the fourth inning. Perez quickly rebounded and induced a weak fly ball from Billy Hamilton to end the inning. The bottom half of the fifth inning was a rough one for Perez. After issuing a lead off walk and hitting the next batter it looked like he was on the verge of wiggling out of the jam. He recorded his first two strikeouts of the night and he needed to retire Cheslor Cuthbert to end the inning. Unfortunately he threw a cutter that didn’t cut and Cuthbert made him pay, launching a three-run blast to left field and giving Kansas City a 6-3 lead. Better Late Than Never The powerful and potent Minnesota offense we have enjoyed for much of the season appeared to have been missing in their last few games. In the later innings of tonight’s game, the bats woke up — thank you, Jobu. Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco led off the seventh inning with soft line drives to center field. A wild pitch advanced both runners, bringing Nelson Cruz up with runners on second and third and nobody out. Cruz quickly found himself in an 0-2 hole but battled back to a full count and laced a hard-hit ground ball down the first base line, scoring both runners and cutting the Kansas City lead to only one run. The eighth inning was also another strong offensive inning for Minnesota. Sano got the inning started with a home run (see next paragraph), but the Twins did not stop there. Mitch Garver was used as a pinch-hitter for Jake Cave to face the left-handed pitcher, Jake Diekman. Mitch drew a walk and Astudillo was brought in to pinch-run, which is as funny as it sounds. Schoop reached with a single and Max Kepler followed up with a single of his own, scoring Astudillo and giving Minnesota the lead. After two botched contact plays the inning looked to be in jeopardy with two outs. That was until Eddie Rosario came through with the clutch RBI single and extended the lead to 8-6. Miguel Sano Continues to Struggle (Sorta) Miguel Sano has always been strikeout prone, that’s nothing new. When he first arrived back in the big leagues this year he was striking out but still hitting the ball with authority. Lately it’s been a whole lot of striking out and nothing else - 14 strikeouts in 23 at-bats Tonight’s game was no different for Sano. He picked up another hat-trick by striking out in his first three at-bats. One of which came in a key run-scoring opportunity in the second inning. All of that would change for Sano in the eighth inning. After falling behind, he was able to work the count full and hit an absolute rocket to right center. A solo home run to tie the game at 6-6. He would strike out again, for the fourth time, in his final at-bat. Overall, Sano was 1-5 with four Ks and a home run. Taylor Rogers Slams The Door Ryne Harper was brought in to pitch the eighth but was quickly pulled after giving up a home run and a single without recording an out. Taylor Rogers was called upon to record a six-out save. Rogers wasted no time, retiring the next three batters in order and ending the Kansas City rally in the eighth inning. The ninth inning was another stellar one for Rogers. An error by Austidillo in right field put a runner on with only one out but Rogers caught a line drive off the bat of Nicky Lopez and quickly doubled off Merrifield to end the game and earn the save. Postgame With Baldelli Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Pen621.png Click here to view the article
  24. Box Score Odorizzi: 4 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 66% strikes (X of X pitches) Bullpen: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (11) Multi-Hit Games: Cron (2-3) WPA of +0.1: None WPA of -0.1: Schoop -.111, Odorizzi -.223 (chart via FanGraphs) Active First Inning The Twins opened tonight’s scoring with a Jorge Polanco solo home run to right field in the second at-bat of the game. The Royals would answer in their half of the first with three runs off of singles by Whit Merrifield and Nicky Lopez, a double by Alex Gordon, and a single by Lucas Duda, following a very interesting fielder’s choice to put Cheslor Cuthbert on third base. Odorizzi Chased After Four Jake Odorizzi had an uncharacteristically bad start tonight, giving up four runs in four innings. Outside of the first, the Royals scored one more on a single, sac bunt, and double in the fourth. Odorizzi has been the Twins best starter this season and been in talks for the AL Cy Young Award. In his last seven starts before tonight, he had an ERA of 1.77, 47 strikeouts, and has won six without a loss. Tonight may have been a product of the fact that this is the second start in a row that Odorizzi had against the Kansas City Royals. He faced them on Saturday and gave up four over six innings. Defense Has Another Bad Day The Minnesota Twins defense had another bad night with three errors in the field, One throw into the head of Alex Gordon, one ball booted by Willians Astudillo at third, and another grounder missed by Jonathan Schoop at second. This means the Twins have now committed 14 errors in their last 10 games. One bright spot for this defense is the number of double plays turned. They turned four behind Twins pitchers tonight. Also, their errors only resulted in one run as both Astudillo and Schoop’s missed grounders were stranded. Kohl Stewart Pitches Well Out of the Bullpen After the Twins’ marathon 17 inning game on Tuesday, a short start from Jake Odorizzi was the last thing Rocco Baldelli and the Twins wanted, but Kohl Stewart saved the rest of the bullpen by pitching the game after Odorizzi was pulled. Stewart went four innings, surrendered just two hits, and allowed no runs. Offense Only Manages One Run It’s been a year where the Twins have been able to overcome some poor pitching performances, but this is the second time in four days that the offense has squandered a pretty decent pitching performance. On Monday, they were unable to manage even one run against the Red Sox and tonight was not much better. Following Polanco’s home run in the first, the Twins could not manage any extra- base hits and had only one at-bat with runners in scoring position. Their hits were all spread over the innings and when they hit the ball well, they seemed to go right at Kansas City fielders. Of course credit has to go to the Royals pitching, but the Twins offense just didn’t show up for the first game of this road trip. Hopefully they figure it out before tomorrow. Postgame With Baldelli https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1141913180249063424 Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
  25. Jake Odorizzi was chased after four, Jorge Polanco’s home run was the only run scored by the Twins, and the defense had three errors. The pitching may have been enough to win, but the offense and defensive performance certainly weren’t up to snuff. Overall, tonight was a bad game, but the Twins have three more to bounce back with in Kansas City.Box Score Odorizzi: 4 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 66% strikes (X of X pitches) Bullpen: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (11) Multi-Hit Games: Cron (2-3) WPA of +0.1: None WPA of -0.1: Schoop -.111, Odorizzi -.223 Download attachment: Win620.png (chart via FanGraphs) Active First Inning The Twins opened tonight’s scoring with a Jorge Polanco solo home run to right field in the second at-bat of the game. The Royals would answer in their half of the first with three runs off of singles by Whit Merrifield and Nicky Lopez, a double by Alex Gordon, and a single by Lucas Duda, following a very interesting fielder’s choice to put Cheslor Cuthbert on third base. Odorizzi Chased After Four Jake Odorizzi had an uncharacteristically bad start tonight, giving up four runs in four innings. Outside of the first, the Royals scored one more on a single, sac bunt, and double in the fourth. Odorizzi has been the Twins best starter this season and been in talks for the AL Cy Young Award. In his last seven starts before tonight, he had an ERA of 1.77, 47 strikeouts, and has won six without a loss. Tonight may have been a product of the fact that this is the second start in a row that Odorizzi had against the Kansas City Royals. He faced them on Saturday and gave up four over six innings. Defense Has Another Bad Day The Minnesota Twins defense had another bad night with three errors in the field, One throw into the head of Alex Gordon, one ball booted by Willians Astudillo at third, and another grounder missed by Jonathan Schoop at second. This means the Twins have now committed 14 errors in their last 10 games. One bright spot for this defense is the number of double plays turned. They turned four behind Twins pitchers tonight. Also, their errors only resulted in one run as both Astudillo and Schoop’s missed grounders were stranded. Kohl Stewart Pitches Well Out of the Bullpen After the Twins’ marathon 17 inning game on Tuesday, a short start from Jake Odorizzi was the last thing Rocco Baldelli and the Twins wanted, but Kohl Stewart saved the rest of the bullpen by pitching the game after Odorizzi was pulled. Stewart went four innings, surrendered just two hits, and allowed no runs. Offense Only Manages One Run It’s been a year where the Twins have been able to overcome some poor pitching performances, but this is the second time in four days that the offense has squandered a pretty decent pitching performance. On Monday, they were unable to manage even one run against the Red Sox and tonight was not much better. Following Polanco’s home run in the first, the Twins could not manage any extra- base hits and had only one at-bat with runners in scoring position. Their hits were all spread over the innings and when they hit the ball well, they seemed to go right at Kansas City fielders. Of course credit has to go to the Royals pitching, but the Twins offense just didn’t show up for the first game of this road trip. Hopefully they figure it out before tomorrow. Postgame With Baldelli Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Pen620.png Click here to view the article
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