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  1. It was a rough night in every phase of the game for the Minnesota Twins, as they dropped the series finale to Cleveland by a score of 12-3. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Jax 4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K Homeruns: Sano (28) Bottom 3 WPA: Jax (-0.201), Buxton (-0.047), Jeffers (-0.042) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Griffin Jax Gets Blown Up in the Fifth Griffin Jax’s rough first season in the Majors has been especially brutal of late, as he has posted a 7.54 ERA over his last four starts entering play on Wednesday. For a guy that is clearly pitching for a potential spot in the Twins 2022 starting rotation, these last few starts of the season are going to be very important to him. The way things started in this ballgame, it appeared as though Jax was going to have a start that would help him start to right the ship. However, that was not be the case. Jax faced just 10 batters through the first three innings of the game, before giving up a run on a couple doubles in the fourth. Things took a turn for the worse in the top of the fifth inning, which ended with a Twins reliever on the mound (Jovani Moran, to be specific). A single and an error put two runners on base for the Cleveland nine-hole hitter Oscar Mercado, who delivered a three-run blast into the bleachers in left, giving Cleveland a three-run lead. The damage didn't stop there. Cleveland continued to hit up Jax before he was finally pulled with two outs in the inning and the Twins trailing by five. Jovani Moran came in to relieve Jax in just his third Major League appearance, and got Bobby Bradley to strike out looking to end the inning. Moran would stay out and pitch a clean 1-2-3 sixth inning, before things imploded on him as well in the seventh when he gave up three runs on four hits before having to be relieved with just one out in the inning. Andrew Albers came in to relieve Moran, and promptly gave up a two-run blast to Bobby Bradley. One of those runs was charged to Moran, who finished with four earned runs in the inning. Andrew Albers would stay in and pitch the final 2 2/3 innings for the Twins to help give the rest of the bullpen the night off before an off day on Thursday for some additional much-needed rest. He surrendered single runs in both the eighth and ninth innings, the latter of which coming off a solo blast from Franmil Reyes. Twins Position Players Have Rough Night While this game will certainly be looked back on as a rough night for the pitching staff, the position players had an equally-rough night. The defense did the pitching staff no favors as they committed two sloppy throwing errors that helped lead to Cleveland’s two big innings. In addition to the defense, the bats were almost non-existent, at least until the game was well out of reach. The Twins bats mustered just one hit through six innings off of Cleveland starter Cal Quantrill, and it should have stayed that way through seven had it not been for a misplayed pop-up off the bat of Max Kepler that should have ended the inning. Instead, the inning stayed alive long enough for Miguel Sano to deliver a three-run blast to make the Twins offensive woes seem not as bad as they actually were. Twins Bullpen Usage Chart SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Minaya 0 17 0 13 0 30 Coulombe 23 0 0 27 0 50 Colomé 0 0 27 11 0 38 Duffey 0 0 38 0 0 38 Farrell 12 0 34 0 0 46 Barraclough 0 0 23 16 0 39 Moran 0 37 0 0 34 71 Thielbar 26 0 11 0 0 37 Alcalá 0 18 0 8 0 26 Albers 0 0 0 0 40 40 Garza Jr. 0 11 6 0 0 17 What's Next? The Twins are off on Thursday before heading back on the road for a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays beginning on Friday. Postgame Interview View full article
  2. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Jax 4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K Homeruns: Sano (28) Bottom 3 WPA: Jax (-0.201), Buxton (-0.047), Jeffers (-0.042) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Griffin Jax Gets Blown Up in the Fifth Griffin Jax’s rough first season in the Majors has been especially brutal of late, as he has posted a 7.54 ERA over his last four starts entering play on Wednesday. For a guy that is clearly pitching for a potential spot in the Twins 2022 starting rotation, these last few starts of the season are going to be very important to him. The way things started in this ballgame, it appeared as though Jax was going to have a start that would help him start to right the ship. However, that was not be the case. Jax faced just 10 batters through the first three innings of the game, before giving up a run on a couple doubles in the fourth. Things took a turn for the worse in the top of the fifth inning, which ended with a Twins reliever on the mound (Jovani Moran, to be specific). A single and an error put two runners on base for the Cleveland nine-hole hitter Oscar Mercado, who delivered a three-run blast into the bleachers in left, giving Cleveland a three-run lead. The damage didn't stop there. Cleveland continued to hit up Jax before he was finally pulled with two outs in the inning and the Twins trailing by five. Jovani Moran came in to relieve Jax in just his third Major League appearance, and got Bobby Bradley to strike out looking to end the inning. Moran would stay out and pitch a clean 1-2-3 sixth inning, before things imploded on him as well in the seventh when he gave up three runs on four hits before having to be relieved with just one out in the inning. Andrew Albers came in to relieve Moran, and promptly gave up a two-run blast to Bobby Bradley. One of those runs was charged to Moran, who finished with four earned runs in the inning. Andrew Albers would stay in and pitch the final 2 2/3 innings for the Twins to help give the rest of the bullpen the night off before an off day on Thursday for some additional much-needed rest. He surrendered single runs in both the eighth and ninth innings, the latter of which coming off a solo blast from Franmil Reyes. Twins Position Players Have Rough Night While this game will certainly be looked back on as a rough night for the pitching staff, the position players had an equally-rough night. The defense did the pitching staff no favors as they committed two sloppy throwing errors that helped lead to Cleveland’s two big innings. In addition to the defense, the bats were almost non-existent, at least until the game was well out of reach. The Twins bats mustered just one hit through six innings off of Cleveland starter Cal Quantrill, and it should have stayed that way through seven had it not been for a misplayed pop-up off the bat of Max Kepler that should have ended the inning. Instead, the inning stayed alive long enough for Miguel Sano to deliver a three-run blast to make the Twins offensive woes seem not as bad as they actually were. Twins Bullpen Usage Chart SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Minaya 0 17 0 13 0 30 Coulombe 23 0 0 27 0 50 Colomé 0 0 27 11 0 38 Duffey 0 0 38 0 0 38 Farrell 12 0 34 0 0 46 Barraclough 0 0 23 16 0 39 Moran 0 37 0 0 34 71 Thielbar 26 0 11 0 0 37 Alcalá 0 18 0 8 0 26 Albers 0 0 0 0 40 40 Garza Jr. 0 11 6 0 0 17 What's Next? The Twins are off on Thursday before heading back on the road for a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays beginning on Friday. Postgame Interview
  3. Though we’ve spent the last few months hearing about the interest the Twins have in prep power arms, it’s been a new demographic - college pitchers - who have started making their way to the forefront. Some names are ones you many have heard of. Some names might be new.WHO ARE THEY? Same with the high school class, the top of class isn’t likely to be available at #15. Unlike the high school class, only one name, Florida southpaw A.J. Puk, appears to have no chance to be available. The next tier of collegiate arms includes Justin Dunn (RHP, Boston College), Zack Burdi (RHP, Louisville), Dakota Hudson (RHP, Mississippi State), Cody Sedlock (RHP, Illinois) and Cal Quantrill (RHP, Stanford) among others. WHY THE TWINS WILL DRAFT ONE OF THEM With the fluidity of the draft board thanks to recent developments, including bonus demands and drug tests, the college class is the most stable group. With the exception of Quantrill, all are healthy. And all are signable. Burdi was profiled here, so we’ll focus on the other four today. Justin Dunn (6-2, 185) has as much helium coming into the draft as anyone. After converting to the rotation from the bullpen early in the season, Dunn has settled into a mid-90s strike-thrower who also features a slider with a developing curveball and changeup. Dunn is still a relatively fresh arm, with only 120 innings thrown in his three seasons at Boston College Dakota Hudson (6-5, 225) might have the best stuff in the draft. A mid-90s fastball and potentially plus curveball headline his four-pitch mix. Hudson also was working on limited innings after his first two years at Mississippi State (34.0 total), but was successful last summer in the Cape Cod League (56 2/3 innings) before throwing 106 more innings as a junior. Cody Sedlock (6-4, 210) has become a workhorse for the Illini in 2016, proving to be extremely durable. Averaging 118.75 pitches over his last four starts (which doesn’t include a 9 1/3 inning start a month ago that didn’t track his pitches, Sedlock has already endured pitch counts that would make Bert Blyleven proud. Cal Quantrill (6-3, 185) was a legitimate 1-1 candidate before suffering from elbow issues. While healthy, Quantrill has a four-pitch mix that features a low-90s fastball with a plus changeup. His dad, Paul, was an undersized righty who had a 14-year big league career, leading his league in appearances four straight years, making the All-Star game as an 11-win reliever in 2001. WHY THE TWINS WON'T DRAFT ANY OF THEM Depending on who you talk to, you could get many different takes on how these pitchers rank and who to include in this tier. Maybe they’ll go with a college pitcher, but select one that is outside of this group. Maybe the team is confident that their bonus slot can meet the demand of a prep arm. Maybe one of the few bats they like falls into their lap. There’re also some things that could have you look the other way with the pitchers mentioned above. It won’t be a factor with the Twins, but Dunn doesn’t have a long track-record as a starter. Hudson’s biggest question mark is his fastball command. He walked 34, threw 14 wild pitches and hit eight batters this year. Those numbers aren’t always indicative of “command issues”, but they help substantiate the issue. Should there be concerns about Sedlock’s workload? How many MLB pitchers have thrown 10 2/3 innings in a game this season? How many have thrown 132 pitches in a game? Sedlock did both of those in an April start this season. Oh, Sedlock threw between 31 and 32 innings in both of his first two seasons, so this was quite a jump. Quantrill hasn’t pitched in a game since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March of 2015, so there’s a lot of mystery around the pitcher who is said to have a deal in place with the Padres. Names that I’m less high on are T.J. Zeuch (RHP, Pittsburgh), Connor Jones (RHP, Virginia) and Eric Lauer (LHP, Kansas State). All three are getting first-round buzz. Other draft-related articles: Local Profiles Zack Burdi Zack Collins Prep Arms 10-round mock Draft Board Alex Kirilloff Click here to view the article
  4. WHO ARE THEY? Same with the high school class, the top of class isn’t likely to be available at #15. Unlike the high school class, only one name, Florida southpaw A.J. Puk, appears to have no chance to be available. The next tier of collegiate arms includes Justin Dunn (RHP, Boston College), Zack Burdi (RHP, Louisville), Dakota Hudson (RHP, Mississippi State), Cody Sedlock (RHP, Illinois) and Cal Quantrill (RHP, Stanford) among others. WHY THE TWINS WILL DRAFT ONE OF THEM With the fluidity of the draft board thanks to recent developments, including bonus demands and drug tests, the college class is the most stable group. With the exception of Quantrill, all are healthy. And all are signable. Burdi was profiled here, so we’ll focus on the other four today. Justin Dunn (6-2, 185) has as much helium coming into the draft as anyone. After converting to the rotation from the bullpen early in the season, Dunn has settled into a mid-90s strike-thrower who also features a slider with a developing curveball and changeup. Dunn is still a relatively fresh arm, with only 120 innings thrown in his three seasons at Boston College Dakota Hudson (6-5, 225) might have the best stuff in the draft. A mid-90s fastball and potentially plus curveball headline his four-pitch mix. Hudson also was working on limited innings after his first two years at Mississippi State (34.0 total), but was successful last summer in the Cape Cod League (56 2/3 innings) before throwing 106 more innings as a junior. Cody Sedlock (6-4, 210) has become a workhorse for the Illini in 2016, proving to be extremely durable. Averaging 118.75 pitches over his last four starts (which doesn’t include a 9 1/3 inning start a month ago that didn’t track his pitches, Sedlock has already endured pitch counts that would make Bert Blyleven proud. Cal Quantrill (6-3, 185) was a legitimate 1-1 candidate before suffering from elbow issues. While healthy, Quantrill has a four-pitch mix that features a low-90s fastball with a plus changeup. His dad, Paul, was an undersized righty who had a 14-year big league career, leading his league in appearances four straight years, making the All-Star game as an 11-win reliever in 2001. WHY THE TWINS WON'T DRAFT ANY OF THEM Depending on who you talk to, you could get many different takes on how these pitchers rank and who to include in this tier. Maybe they’ll go with a college pitcher, but select one that is outside of this group. Maybe the team is confident that their bonus slot can meet the demand of a prep arm. Maybe one of the few bats they like falls into their lap. There’re also some things that could have you look the other way with the pitchers mentioned above. It won’t be a factor with the Twins, but Dunn doesn’t have a long track-record as a starter. Hudson’s biggest question mark is his fastball command. He walked 34, threw 14 wild pitches and hit eight batters this year. Those numbers aren’t always indicative of “command issues”, but they help substantiate the issue. Should there be concerns about Sedlock’s workload? How many MLB pitchers have thrown 10 2/3 innings in a game this season? How many have thrown 132 pitches in a game? Sedlock did both of those in an April start this season. Oh, Sedlock threw between 31 and 32 innings in both of his first two seasons, so this was quite a jump. Quantrill hasn’t pitched in a game since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March of 2015, so there’s a lot of mystery around the pitcher who is said to have a deal in place with the Padres. Names that I’m less high on are T.J. Zeuch (RHP, Pittsburgh), Connor Jones (RHP, Virginia) and Eric Lauer (LHP, Kansas State). All three are getting first-round buzz. Other draft-related articles: Local Profiles Zack Burdi Zack Collins Prep Arms 10-round mock Draft Board Alex Kirilloff
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