Jump to content
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'caleb thielbar'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Twins
  • Minors
  • Saints
  • Just For Fun
  • Twins Daily

Categories

  • Unregistered Help Files
  • All Users Help Files

Categories

  • Twins & Minors
  • Vintage
  • Retrospective
  • Twins Daily

Forums

  • Baseball Forums
    • Minnesota Twins Talk
    • Twins Minor League Talk
    • Twins Daily Front Page News
    • Other Baseball
    • Archived Game Threads
  • MinnCentric Forums
    • The Sports Bar
    • Minnesota Vikings Talk
    • Minnesota Wild Talk
    • Minnesota Timberwolves Talk
  • Current Affairs's Politics and Human Rights
  • Current Affairs's Non-political current affairs
  • Twins Daily's Questions About The Site

Blogs

  • Blog awstafki
  • The Lurker's Annual
  • Mike Sixel's Blog
  • Twins fan in Texas
  • highlander's Blog
  • Patrick Wozniak's Blog
  • Blog dennyhocking4HOF
  • From the Plaza
  • The Special Season
  • Twins Daily's Blog
  • Blog Twins best friend
  • Kyle Eliason's Blog
  • Extra Innings
  • SkinCell Pro: How Does Remove Mole & Skin Tag Work?
  • Blog Badsmerf
  • mikelink45's Blog
  • MT Feelings
  • Keto Burn Max Benefits
  • Blog crapforks
  • Off The Baggy
  • VikingTwinTwolf's Blog
  • A Blog to Be Named Later
  • Cormac's Corner
  • Blog MaureenHill
  • Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR
  • Road Tripping with the Twins
  • Greg Allen
  • Classic Minnesota Twins
  • The Line of Mendoza
  • BombazoMLB
  • Blog Twins Daily Admin
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • What if the Twins had drafted Prior or Teixeira instead of Mauer?
  • the_brute_squad's Blog
  • Better Baseball Is Ahead
  • Nick's Twins Blog
  • Blog jianfu
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • The PTBNL
  • Levi Hansen
  • SethSpeaks.net
  • Blog leshaadawson
  • Underwriting the Twins
  • Small Sample Size
  • parkerb's Blog
  • Tim
  • TwinsGeek.com
  • Blog Roaddog
  • Mauerpower's Blog
  • SotaPop's Blog
  • Face facts!!!
  • Over the Baggy
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Heezy1323's Blog
  • LA Vikes Fan
  • North Dakota Twins Fan
  • Blog Reginald Maudling's Shin
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Miller1234's Blog
  • Twins Curmudgeon
  • Blog Kirsten Brown
  • if we aint spendin 140 million
  • Boone's Blog
  • Rounding Third
  • Kirilloff & Co.
  • Shallow Thoughts - bean5302
  • The Hanging SL
  • Red Wing Squawk
  • Distraction via Baseball
  • Nine of twelve's Blog
  • Blog Lindsay Guentzel
  • Blog Karl
  • Vance_Christianson's Blog
  • Curveball Blog
  • waltomeal's Blog
  • Knuckleballs - JC
  • Blog jrzf713
  • The Minor League Lifestyle
  • Jason Kubel is America
  • weneedjackmorris' Blog
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog freightmaster
  • Playin' Catch
  • Sethmoko's Blog
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Blog Scott Povolny
  • Blog COtwin
  • Hrbowski's Blog
  • Minnesota Twins Whine Line
  • Bomba Blog
  • Blog Chad Jacobsen
  • Blog ScottyBroco
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Back Office Twins Baseball Blog
  • DannySD's Blog
  • nobitadora's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1812
  • Blog Adam Krueger
  • Hammered (adj.) Heavily inebriated, though to a lesser extent than ****faced.
  • Thegrin's Blog
  • 3rd Inning Stretch's Blog
  • Jeremy Nygaard
  • The W.A.R. room
  • Christopher Fee's Blog
  • Postma Posts
  • Rolondo's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1814
  • Blog Fanatic Jack
  • Dominican Adventure
  • Cory Engelhardt's Blog
  • markthomas' Blog
  • blogs_blog_1815
  • Blog AJPettersen
  • Blog AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS
  • BW on the Beat
  • jfeyereisn17's Blog
  • 2020 Offseason Blueprint
  • Blog TimShibuya
  • Fumi Saito's Blog
  • This Twins Fans Thoughts
  • Long Live La Tortuga
  • Blog TonyDavis
  • Blog Danchat
  • sdtwins37's Blog
  • Thinking Outside the Box
  • dbminn
  • Blog travistwinstalk
  • jokin's Blog
  • Thoughts from The Catch
  • BlakeAsk's Blog
  • Tom Schreier's Blog
  • less cowBlog
  • Hansen101's Blog
  • The Gopher Hole
  • 2020 Twins BluePrint - HotDish Surprise
  • Blog bkucko
  • The Circleback Blog
  • All Things Twins
  • Blog iTwins
  • Drinking at the 573
  • The Thirsty Crow and the google boy from peepeganj
  • Catching Some Zs
  • Blog TCAnelle
  • Singles off the Wall
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • A View From The Roof
  • The Blog Days of Summer
  • Jordan1212's Blog
  • You Shouldn't Have Lost
  • TwinsTakes.com Blog on TwinsDaily.com - Our Takes, Your Takes, TwinsTakes.com!
  • Blog SgtSchmidt11
  • Dantes929's Blog
  • Critical Thinking
  • Blog Matt VS
  • Blog RickPrescott
  • The Dollar Dome Dog
  • Travis M's Blog
  • Diamond Dollars
  • Blog jorgenswest
  • Twinsfan4life
  • Travis M's Interviews
  • whatyouknowtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog righty8383
  • Blog TwinsWolvesLynxBlog
  • Supfin99's Blog
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog glunn
  • Blog yumen0808
  • Unkind Bounces
  • Doctor Gast's Blog
  • One Man's View From Section 231
  • Don't Feed the Greed? What does that mean...
  • Diesel's Blog
  • Blog denarded
  • Blog zymy0813
  • Twins Peak
  • Minnesota Twins Health and Performance: A Blog by Lucas Seehafer PT
  • Blog kirbyelway
  • Blog JP3700
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Ports on Sports Blog
  • Blog Twins Fan From Afar
  • Blog E. Andrew
  • The 10th Inning Stretch
  • Hans Birkleberry's Blog
  • Blog twinsarmchairgm
  • Pitz Hits
  • samthetwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog JB (the Original)
  • soofootinsfan37's Blog
  • You Can Read This For Free
  • One Post Blog
  • Blog Dez Tobin
  • South Dakota Tom's Blog
  • hrenlazar2019's Blog
  • MNSotaSportsGal Twins Takes
  • Blog kemics
  • Blog AM.
  • DerektheDOM's Blog
  • Twins Tunes
  • Blog jtrinaldi
  • Blog Bill
  • Not Another Baseball Blog
  • Down on the Farm
  • Most likely pitchers making their MLB debut in 2021 for Twins.
  • Blog Wookiee of the Year
  • mike8791's Blog
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos: Photo-A-Day
  • Puckets Pond
  • Blog Jim H
  • A trade for the off season
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Kasota Gold
  • The POSTseason
  • Blog guski
  • Blog rickyriolo
  • SgtSchmidt11's Blog
  • Twinternationals
  • Blog birdwatcher
  • Blog acrozelle
  • Axel Kohagen's Catastrophic Overreactions
  • Bashwood12's Blog
  • Spicer's Baseball Movie Reviews
  • Beyond the Metrodome
  • Blog yangxq0827
  • The Pat-Man Saga
  • TheTeufelShuffle's Blog
  • ebergdib's blog
  • Blog Thegrin
  • Zachary's Blog
  • scottyc35
  • Danchat's Aggregated Prospect Rankings
  • Thrylos' Blog - select Tenth Inning Stretch posts
  • Blog taune
  • scottyc35's Blog
  • World's Greatest Online Magazine
  • Blog tweety2012
  • DRizzo's Blog
  • mrtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog asmus_ndsu
  • Otto Gets Blotto
  • Betsy Twins Report
  • Blog shawntheroad
  • Blog David-14
  • Blog Buddy14
  • Blog keithanderson
  • Blog Topperanton
  • Blog lightfoot789
  • Blog Axel Kohagen
  • Blog Lesser Dali
  • Blog Neinstein
  • Blog Bob Sacamento
  • Blog J-Dog Dungan
  • Thoughts of a Bullpen Catcher
  • Blog Dilligaf69
  • blogs_blog_1599
  • Twin Minds
  • My Opening Day Poem
  • Blog Teflon
  • Blog yanking it out...
  • Blog Anare
  • Blog Charlie Beattie
  • Blog Coach J
  • What to do with Morneau?
  • Peanuts from Heaven
  • Blog Physics Guy
  • Twins Adjacent
  • Field of Twins
  • Martin Schlegel's Blog
  • The Long View
  • Blog grumpyrob
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog Jeff A
  • Blog jwestbrock
  • by Matt Sisk
  • Blog Sarah
  • Blog RodneyKline
  • Blog JeffB
  • Anorthagen's Twins Daily Blogs
  • Low Profile MI Trade
  • Blog CC7
  • Blog dwintheiser
  • Blog Docsilly
  • Blog cmathewson
  • Blog mnfireman
  • Blog twinsfanstl
  • Blog dave_dw
  • Blog MN_Twins_Live
  • Standing Room Only
  • Blog gkasper
  • Blog puck34
  • Blog Old Twins Cap
  • Blog diehardtwinsfan
  • Blog Twinfan & Dad
  • Blog LimestoneBaggy
  • Blog Brian Mozey
  • vqt94648's Blog
  • Blog Loosey
  • Blog fairweather
  • World Series Champions 2088
  • Blog Drtwins
  • Blog peterb18
  • Blog LindaU
  • Kevin Slowey was Framed!
  • Blog Christopher Fee
  • Very Well Then
  • Pitch2Contact.com
  • A View from the Slot
  • Blog severson09
  • Blog husker brian
  • Blog Ray Tapajna
  • Sell high?
  • Blog bogeypepsi
  • Blog tshide
  • Blog Gene Larkin Fan Club
  • Blog jimbo92107
  • Blog DefinitelyNotVodkaDave
  • Blog Cap'n Piranha
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Frank Vantur's Blog
  • Blog Ricola
  • Blog AScheib50
  • SamGoody's Blog
  • Blog clutterheart
  • Blog Trent Condon
  • Blog bwille
  • blogs_blog_1635
  • Blog strumdatjag
  • Blog huhguy
  • blogs_blog_1636
  • Blog 3rd Inning Stretch
  • Blog 10PagesOfClearBlueSky
  • blogs_blog_1637
  • Blog Tyomoth
  • SD Buhr/Jim Crikket
  • blogs_blog_1638
  • Blog bear333
  • Blog sln477
  • Blog abbylucy
  • Blog Gernzy
  • Troy's Twins Thoughts
  • Blog OtherHoward219
  • blogs_blog_1642
  • Blog ScrapTheNickname
  • Blog TicketKing
  • Blog sotasports9
  • Twins Rubes
  • Blog goulik
  • Hosken's Blog
  • Blog one_eyed_jack
  • Blog joelindell
  • Blog rikker49
  • Blog nickschubert
  • Blog DreInWA
  • You're Not Reading This
  • Blog Hugh Morris
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Kottke's Cuts
  • Blog Dakota Watts
  • Blog markroehl
  • Blog jjswol
  • Blog Tibs
  • blogs_blog_1654
  • Blog jlovren
  • Blog Boone
  • Puckmen's Blog
  • Minnesota native to attend Twins predraft workout
  • Blog obryaneu
  • Blog JohnFoley
  • Blog TwinsArmChairGM_Jon
  • Bloop Singles
  • Blog Ryan Atkins
  • Blog the blade
  • Blog Lonestar
  • Blog jdotmcmahon
  • Blog WayneJimenezubc
  • Blog Sconnie
  • Blog PogueBear
  • Blog pierre75275
  • cHawk Talks Baseball
  • Blog Paul Bebus
  • flyballs in orbit
  • Blog A33bates
  • Blog lunchboxhero_4
  • lidefom746's Blog
  • Blog coddlenomore
  • Blog Trevor0333
  • Blog lee_the_twins_fan
  • Blog StreetOfFire
  • Blog clark47dorsey
  • Texastwinsfan blog
  • Blog KCasey
  • Blog Joey Lindseth
  • Blog jakelovesgolf
  • Blog mchokozie
  • Thoughts from the Stands
  • cHawk’s Blog
  • Blog best game in the world
  • Heather's thoughts
  • Blog sammy0eaton
  • HitInAPinch's Blog
  • Blog Mauerpower
  • Blog Jdosen
  • Blog twinsfanohio
  • Beyond the Limestone
  • Blog dougkoebernick
  • Get to know 'em
  • 5 Tool Blog
  • Cole Trace
  • Blog Sunglasses
  • Blog CTB_NickC
  • Blog Colin.O'Donnell
  • "And we'll see ya' ... tomorrow night."
  • Blog richardkr34
  • Gopher Baseball with Luke Pettersen
  • Blog KelvinBoyerxrg
  • Blog twinsfan34
  • Blog CaryMuellerlib
  • Blog jtkoupal
  • FunnyPenguin's Blog
  • Blog Sierra Szeto
  • Blog ExiledInSeattle
  • A Realistic Fix to the 2014 Twins
  • Blog naksh
  • Blog bellajelcooper
  • rickymartin's Blog
  • Blog twinsajsf
  • Blog keeth
  • Blog Murphy Vasterling Cannon
  • Twins Winter Caravan
  • Blog tracygame
  • Blog rjohnso4
  • Half a Platoon
  • Blog jangofelixak
  • Blog SirClive
  • tooslowandoldnow's Blog
  • Blog Troy Larson
  • Blog thetank
  • nicksaviking blog
  • Blog iekfWjnrxb
  • Blog SouthDakotaFarmer
  • Bill Parker
  • East Coast Bias
  • Blog tobi0040
  • Lee-The-Twins-Fan's Blog
  • Blog foe-of-nin
  • Blog cocosoup
  • Minnesota Groan
  • Blog wRenita5
  • rgvtwinstalk
  • Major Minnesotans
  • Blog Aaron 12
  • Blog janewong
  • The Twins Almanac
  • Blog boys
  • Blog bennep
  • Hambino the Great's Blog
  • Blog JadaKingg25
  • Jesse Lund's Blog
  • Blog Brabes1987
  • RealStoriesMN
  • Blog sanal101
  • Blog Spikecurveball
  • Blog Devereaux
  • D-mac's Blog
  • Blog tarheeltwinsfan
  • kakakhan's Blog
  • Blog Oliver
  • Blog travis_aune
  • Twins and Losses
  • In My Opinion
  • Blog ieveretgte4f
  • Blog Sam Morley
  • Pinto's Perspective
  • Blog curt1965
  • VeryWellThen's Blog
  • Extcs
  • The Foul Play-by-Play Twins Blog
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog winunaarec
  • Negativity Police's Blog
  • Blog Robb Jeffries
  • Adam Houck's Blog
  • SaintsTrain
  • Loosey's Blog
  • Blog EE in Big D
  • Talkin' Twins with Jonathon
  • Steve Penz's Blog
  • Blog jtequilabermeah
  • The Tenth Inning Stretch
  • Apathy for the Game
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog hmariloustarkk
  • Car detailing
  • Blog Brendan Kennealy
  • Twins Fan From Afar's Blog
  • Visit500
  • Blog totocc
  • SD Buhr's Blog
  • KirbyHawk75's Blog
  • Blog Bark's Lounge
  • huhguy's Blog
  • Blog TwinsFanLV
  • NumberThree's Blog
  • Blog pandorajewelry
  • The Go Gonzo Journal Twins Blog
  • Twinsnerd123's Blog
  • Blog cClevelandSmialekp
  • Talk to Contact
  • Boo-urns
  • Blog silverslugger
  • jtkoupal's Blog
  • Broker's Blog
  • Blog Twinsoholic
  • diehardtwinsfan's Blog
  • Brad's Blog
  • Javier Maschrano - the rising star of Argentina
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • Blog Salazar
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • ThejacKmp's Blog
  • Blog vMaymeHansone
  • stringer bell's Blog
  • Blog brvama
  • AJPettersen's Blog
  • WiscoTwin
  • Rants (not Rantz)
  • iec23966's Blog
  • Blog loisebottorf83
  • CodyB's Blog
  • Staying Positive
  • Target Field of Dreams' Blog
  • Intentional Balk
  • Blog rodmccray11282
  • ReturnOfShaneMack's Blog
  • Blog SksippSvefdklyn
  • A blog about the Twins & more
  • Thome the Moneyball
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Lefty74's Blog
  • USAFChief's Blog
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Tony Nato's Blog
  • Clear's Blog
  • Blog LeeStevensonuuf
  • Waking up the Twins
  • Blog GrahamCharleshqr
  • First Base and the legacy of Kent Hrbek
  • carly148
  • Blog MWLFan
  • Minnie Paul and Mary
  • twinstarheelsfan's Blog
  • This game's fun, OK?
  • Blog TimeAgreell
  • Tsuyoshi's Island
  • NASCAR Steve's Blog
  • Kevin Horner's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1742
  • Blog CDog
  • Hold for the Batter
  • John the Analytics Guy
  • mrmpls' Blog
  • Zlog
  • samberry's Blog
  • nmtwinsfan's Blog
  • Under Teflon Skies
  • Views from the road
  • St. Paul Saints
  • Blog tkyokoperkinsn
  • Alskn's Northern Lights
  • Talkin' Turnstiles
  • Find Stats Elsewhere
  • Blog LaBombo
  • hugelycat's Blog
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • Milldaddy35's Blog Area
  • Blog Fire Dan Gladden
  • Baseball Intelligence
  • framedoctor's Blog
  • Blog Riverbrian
  • Blog Brandon
  • Organizational Depth Chart
  • Left Field Gap
  • gtkilla
  • Hicks' Left-Handed Helmets
  • MauerState7's Blog
  • 80MPH Changeup
  • Twins Pitch Breakdown
  • What you know about that blog
  • Blog DaTwins
  • positive1's Blog
  • rikker49's Blog
  • baxterpope15's Blog
  • Blog ThejacKmp
  • Random Thoughts About Baseball
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Run Prevention
  • Blog ericchri
  • pierre75275's Blog
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Cargo Cult Sabermetrics
  • Blog 81Exposruledbaseball
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • David Howell's Blog
  • Blog daanderson20
  • Twin Billing
  • sorney's Blog
  • TCAnelle's Blog
  • Blog shs_59
  • rikker49's Blog
  • Crackin' Wax's Cardboard Corner
  • Blog jm3319
  • jsteve96's Blog
  • The Always Fashionable; Uncle Charlie
  • Blog stringer bell
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Baseball Good
  • Blog everettegalr
  • twinsfan34's Blog
  • menthmike's Blog
  • Blog Obie
  • B Richard's Blog
  • Brazilian Twins Territory
  • The Hidden Baseball
  • Blog SpinnesotaGirl
  • Marthaler
  • InfieldFlyRuled
  • Coopcarlson3's Blog
  • Blog SoDakTwinsFan5
  • Blog LastOnePicked
  • Bob Sacamento's Blog
  • MnTwinsTalk's Blog
  • Blog Top Gun
  • Twinfan & Dad's Blog
  • Nebtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog TKGuy
  • GLO Blog
  • Ben Fadden's Blog
  • ajcondon's Blog
  • Blog TheMind07
  • Daily Twins Daily
  • TwinkiePower's Blog
  • Blog Michael Blomquist
  • VeryWellThen
  • MN_ExPat's Blog
  • Channing1964's Blog
  • Blog Darin Bratsch
  • Twin's Organizational News
  • Around The Horn
  • Blog beckmt
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • BeantownTwinsFan's Blog
  • Blog YourHouseIsMyHouse
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • Blog jay
  • SF Twins Fan's Blog
  • Morneau
  • TNTwinsFan's Blog
  • Musings from Twins Territory
  • Original Twin
  • Blog El Guapo
  • Doubles' Blog
  • Kirbek's Leaps and Pulls
  • Blog jokin
  • Brandon's Blog
  • A Look Back
  • Science of Baseball
  • Blog IdahoPilgrim
  • Sam Morley's Blog
  • oregontwin's Blog
  • Rounding Second
  • Blog Lyric53
  • The Curse of the Trees
  • gagu's Blog
  • Twins in CA
  • Blog Oldgoat_MN
  • Giant Baseball Cards
  • Blog twinfan49
  • docsillyseth's Blog
  • Kirby O'Connor's Blog
  • dfklgkoc
  • Blog ContinuumGuy
  • Wille's Way
  • Minnesota Sports Statistics Analysis
  • Ryan Stephan's Twinpinions
  • blogs_blog_2805
  • Blog tradingadvantage
  • brvama's Blog
  • Minnesota SSA's Blog
  • Danchat's Strat-O-Matic Blog
  • Blog Chance
  • NoCryingInBaseball's Blog
  • It Takes All Kinds
  • TFRazor's Blog
  • Blog twinslover
  • Sarah's Blog
  • theJemmer's Blog
  • Spikecurveball's Blog
  • Four Six Three
  • blogs_blog_2809
  • 2012 Draft.
  • travistwinstalk's Blog
  • Seth Stohs' Blog
  • Through a Child's Eyes
  • Colexalean Supplement Reviews
  • Blog jiamay
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Fanspeak's Twins and AL Central Blog
  • In Pursuit of Pennants
  • minnesotasportsunlimited's Blog
  • Jacob Booth Blogs
  • Blog stewthornley
  • mickeymental's Blog
  • Baseball Bat's Offseason Blueprint
  • AJswarley's Blog
  • Twins Outsider's Blog
  • Blog h2oface
  • Iowa Twins Fan
  • Twinkie Talk
  • Battle Your Tail Off
  • JackWhite's Blog
  • bikram's Blog
  • Twins Nation Podcast

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Personal Blog Name


Personal Blog URL


Location:


Biography


Occupation


Interests


Twitter

  1. Looking forward to 2022, the Minnesota Twins need some serious roster turnover on the pitching side of things. Their rotation will be entirely new from how it started in 2021, and the bullpen will also have fresh faces. Who survives in relief? For much of the early part of 2021, the relief pitching let Rocco Baldelli’s club down. Alex Colome was no longer close to his career numbers, and Tyler Duffey had seen substantial regression. The guys expected to step up failed to do so, and the Twins were left searching for answers on a near-nightly basis. There are a few givens are going into 2022, but a couple of guys have made cases for themselves to stick around despite potentially being on the outs previously. Derek Falvey has his work cut out for him, but the more he can count on internally, the less turnover the roster will ultimately need to experience. Here’s how I see the group: The Veterans - Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey It looked like a near-certainty that Rogers would be dealt at the deadline. That was before injury put him on the shelf and ended his season. He’ll return in 2022, and Minnesota will undoubtedly be hoping that he returns to form as one of the best lefties in the game. Duffey’s 3.45 ERA is fine on its own, but it’s a far cry from the 1.88 mark he put up just a year ago. Strikeouts are down, and walks are way up. If the Twins have a better unit, they need his best during the final year of arbitration. The Surprises - Caleb Thielbar, Juan Minaya, Luke Farrell, Danny Coulombe Thielbar has been the best of this group. All but retired from baseball and moving onto coaching, he emerged as an option in 2020. This season hasn’t been quite as good, but the 11.2 K/9 is going to play. He’s given up too many dingers, but as a crafty lefty option, there’s plenty to like here. Minaya made his way back to the big leagues this season and has a career-best 2.70 ERA. He’s not dominant by any means, but as a middle-inning guy that’s gotten it done before, he certainly could stick. Both Farrell and Coulombe were depth types for the Twins. Each has seen stretches of effectiveness, and while their ceilings are admittedly limited, one could lay claim to a spot in 2022. The Youth - Jorge Alcala, Ralph Garza, Jovani Moran Minnesota counted on Alcala to take a step forward this season. As a whole, the results have been underwhelming given the 4.20 ERA. However, his last 15 games have resulted in a 1.00 ERA and .501 OPS against. He has a 21/3 K/BB in his last 18 innings pitched. That’s the arm the Twins need out of the gate. Garza was a nice get from the Astros, and he’s been effective with the organization. His strikeout numbers are down some, but he’s looked the part of a middle reliever that can get big leaguers out. Moran isn’t yet established as a future fixture, but he dominated on the farm again this year, and getting a taste going into the offseason should help him prepare to stick in the future. Minnesota used 22 different relievers in 2021, and the pen was often constructed with eight or nine arms. They’ll need better depth and higher ceilings if there’s any interest in being a better unit a year from now. Maybe Alex Colome is asked back as well, but they’ll need to be picky with who is counted upon from a group that severely underwhelmed out of the gate. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  2. For much of the early part of 2021, the relief pitching let Rocco Baldelli’s club down. Alex Colome was no longer close to his career numbers, and Tyler Duffey had seen substantial regression. The guys expected to step up failed to do so, and the Twins were left searching for answers on a near-nightly basis. There are a few givens are going into 2022, but a couple of guys have made cases for themselves to stick around despite potentially being on the outs previously. Derek Falvey has his work cut out for him, but the more he can count on internally, the less turnover the roster will ultimately need to experience. Here’s how I see the group: The Veterans - Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey It looked like a near-certainty that Rogers would be dealt at the deadline. That was before injury put him on the shelf and ended his season. He’ll return in 2022, and Minnesota will undoubtedly be hoping that he returns to form as one of the best lefties in the game. Duffey’s 3.45 ERA is fine on its own, but it’s a far cry from the 1.88 mark he put up just a year ago. Strikeouts are down, and walks are way up. If the Twins have a better unit, they need his best during the final year of arbitration. The Surprises - Caleb Thielbar, Juan Minaya, Luke Farrell, Danny Coulombe Thielbar has been the best of this group. All but retired from baseball and moving onto coaching, he emerged as an option in 2020. This season hasn’t been quite as good, but the 11.2 K/9 is going to play. He’s given up too many dingers, but as a crafty lefty option, there’s plenty to like here. Minaya made his way back to the big leagues this season and has a career-best 2.70 ERA. He’s not dominant by any means, but as a middle-inning guy that’s gotten it done before, he certainly could stick. Both Farrell and Coulombe were depth types for the Twins. Each has seen stretches of effectiveness, and while their ceilings are admittedly limited, one could lay claim to a spot in 2022. The Youth - Jorge Alcala, Ralph Garza, Jovani Moran Minnesota counted on Alcala to take a step forward this season. As a whole, the results have been underwhelming given the 4.20 ERA. However, his last 15 games have resulted in a 1.00 ERA and .501 OPS against. He has a 21/3 K/BB in his last 18 innings pitched. That’s the arm the Twins need out of the gate. Garza was a nice get from the Astros, and he’s been effective with the organization. His strikeout numbers are down some, but he’s looked the part of a middle reliever that can get big leaguers out. Moran isn’t yet established as a future fixture, but he dominated on the farm again this year, and getting a taste going into the offseason should help him prepare to stick in the future. Minnesota used 22 different relievers in 2021, and the pen was often constructed with eight or nine arms. They’ll need better depth and higher ceilings if there’s any interest in being a better unit a year from now. Maybe Alex Colome is asked back as well, but they’ll need to be picky with who is counted upon from a group that severely underwhelmed out of the gate. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. Every team has players that don't get the credit they deserve. Minnesota's season has been tough to watch, but these three players have made things a little more tolerable. "Underrated" can mean slightly different things to different people. Briefly, it's simply defined as - using baseball players in this example - a player who is not rated as highly by people as you think they should be. So, here are three Twins players that I believe are most underrated by Twins fans. Do you agree? Or, feel free to add your most-underrated Twins in the Comments below. 3. Bailey Ober, SP Following the trade deadline, things could have completely fallen apart for the Twins. The front office had traded away two pitchers from the team's Opening Day rotation. By doing this, the team looked to internal options that might fit into the 2022 starting rotation. Enter Bailey Ober and a boost some fans might not have been expecting. Ober has all but solidified his spot in next year's rotation with a tremendous rookie campaign. According to MLB.com, he has a 5.12 strikeout-to-walk ratio that ranks first among rookie seasons in Twins history (minimum 80 innings). Currently, he ranks among baseball's best in walk percentage (93rd percentile) and chase rate (84th percentile). The Twins have played .500 baseball in the second half, and Ober has provided some rotational stability. 2. Caleb Thielbar, RP Minnesota's bullpen was in shambles at the beginning of the season, but Caleb Thielbar has been one of the team's biggest bright spots in a dull year. Pitch selection has been one of the most significant changes for Thielbar in his second stint with the Twins. He uses his slider nearly 35% of the time, and batters have posted a .172 batting average and a .313 slugging percentage. Out of necessity, Thielbar shifted to a set-up role near the trade deadline, and he has been part of a bullpen turnaround. Since then, the Twins bullpen has posted a 3.20 ERA and has the American League's highest Win Probability Added. Among the AL's left-handed relievers, Thielbar ranks third in WPA. His baseball-playing career was supposed to be over, and now the Twins hope he sticks around for a while. 1. Luis Arraez, UTL There have certainly been multiple reasons to turn off the Twins this season, but Luis Arraez hasn't been one of them. Only two Twins players, Jorge Polanco and Byron Buxton, have a higher WAR than Arraez. He is getting on base 36% of the time and hitting close to .300, which has him just outside the AL's top-10. His 106 OPS+ is a career-low, but it also points to a good offensive season, even for a player with minimal power. Defensively, he has also played over 40 games at second base and third base. Minnesota switched Arraez to a utility role because the team wanted to get better defensively. At last check, Arraez ranks as the seventh-best AL third baseman according to SABR's Defensive Index. He likely will never win a Gold Glove, but he has been more than competent at the hot corner. How would you rank these players? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  4. "Underrated" can mean slightly different things to different people. Briefly, it's simply defined as - using baseball players in this example - a player who is not rated as highly by people as you think they should be. So, here are three Twins players that I believe are most underrated by Twins fans. Do you agree? Or, feel free to add your most-underrated Twins in the Comments below. 3. Bailey Ober, SP Following the trade deadline, things could have completely fallen apart for the Twins. The front office had traded away two pitchers from the team's Opening Day rotation. By doing this, the team looked to internal options that might fit into the 2022 starting rotation. Enter Bailey Ober and a boost some fans might not have been expecting. Ober has all but solidified his spot in next year's rotation with a tremendous rookie campaign. According to MLB.com, he has a 5.12 strikeout-to-walk ratio that ranks first among rookie seasons in Twins history (minimum 80 innings). Currently, he ranks among baseball's best in walk percentage (93rd percentile) and chase rate (84th percentile). The Twins have played .500 baseball in the second half, and Ober has provided some rotational stability. 2. Caleb Thielbar, RP Minnesota's bullpen was in shambles at the beginning of the season, but Caleb Thielbar has been one of the team's biggest bright spots in a dull year. Pitch selection has been one of the most significant changes for Thielbar in his second stint with the Twins. He uses his slider nearly 35% of the time, and batters have posted a .172 batting average and a .313 slugging percentage. Out of necessity, Thielbar shifted to a set-up role near the trade deadline, and he has been part of a bullpen turnaround. Since then, the Twins bullpen has posted a 3.20 ERA and has the American League's highest Win Probability Added. Among the AL's left-handed relievers, Thielbar ranks third in WPA. His baseball-playing career was supposed to be over, and now the Twins hope he sticks around for a while. 1. Luis Arraez, UTL There have certainly been multiple reasons to turn off the Twins this season, but Luis Arraez hasn't been one of them. Only two Twins players, Jorge Polanco and Byron Buxton, have a higher WAR than Arraez. He is getting on base 36% of the time and hitting close to .300, which has him just outside the AL's top-10. His 106 OPS+ is a career-low, but it also points to a good offensive season, even for a player with minimal power. Defensively, he has also played over 40 games at second base and third base. Minnesota switched Arraez to a utility role because the team wanted to get better defensively. At last check, Arraez ranks as the seventh-best AL third baseman according to SABR's Defensive Index. He likely will never win a Gold Glove, but he has been more than competent at the hot corner. How would you rank these players? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  5. Caleb Thielbar wasn’t supposed to be here. His big-league career was over, and he was ready to move onto life’s next chapter. He’s back in a big way, and it certainly seems like something has gotten into Thielbar. Caleb Thielbar thought his days as a baseball pitcher were over. Following the 2019 minor league season, he accepted a coaching job at Augustana University in Sioux Falls as he finished up pitching for Team USA in the 2019 Premier12. Baseball had a different plan for him. Multiple teams invited him to spring training in 2020, including the Minnesota Twins. He decided to give pitching one more chance, and the decision has paid off. Before the 2020 season, Thielbar hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2015, but this was a much different pitcher taking the mound. He cut his pitch selection down from five in 2015 to three for his big-league return. Gone were his sinker and changeup while he focused more on his fastball, slider, and curveball. After being called up in 2020, Thielbar made 17 appearances (20 innings) with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP with a 22-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Opponents didn’t get a hit against his curveball in over 90 pitches. Against his fastball, he limited batters a .213 batting average and a .234 slugging percentage. It was a small sample size, but he seemed to be trending in the right direction. Thielbar changed his approach again for the 2021 season, and he has continued to evolve in the season’s second half. His fastball usage has dropped by four percent this year, but the change in his breaking pitches is even more drastic. He’s more than doubled his slider usage from 16.4% in 2020 to nearly 35% in 2021. His curveball usage has dropped by over 10%. Thielbar’s fastball is averaging 91 mph for the season, but he seems to have found another level over the last couple of months. During August, he held batters to a .167 batting average and a .292 slugging percentage when facing his fastball. His slider also caused some difficulties for batters as they went 2-for-15 (.133 BA) against the pitch for the entire month. But August wasn’t his only strong month in the second half. In 19 second-half appearances, Thielbar has a 2.66 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP while posting a 23-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Batters are hitting .197/.275/.394 (.669) against him since the All-Star break. Rocco Baldelli has also shown confidence in using him at various times during games, with the bulk of his innings coming in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. He’s moved from college coach to effective set-up man in less than two years. Thielbar will turn 35-years-old in January, and relief pitching can be fickle. It certainly seems like something has changed with Thielbar this season, but there’s no telling what the future might hold. The Twins need to rebuild their bullpen for 2022, and Minnesota will undoubtedly want to keep Thielbar from focusing too much on his college coaching career. What are your thoughts on Thielbar so far this season? What changes have you noticed? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  6. Caleb Thielbar thought his days as a baseball pitcher were over. Following the 2019 minor league season, he accepted a coaching job at Augustana University in Sioux Falls as he finished up pitching for Team USA in the 2019 Premier12. Baseball had a different plan for him. Multiple teams invited him to spring training in 2020, including the Minnesota Twins. He decided to give pitching one more chance, and the decision has paid off. Before the 2020 season, Thielbar hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2015, but this was a much different pitcher taking the mound. He cut his pitch selection down from five in 2015 to three for his big-league return. Gone were his sinker and changeup while he focused more on his fastball, slider, and curveball. After being called up in 2020, Thielbar made 17 appearances (20 innings) with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP with a 22-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Opponents didn’t get a hit against his curveball in over 90 pitches. Against his fastball, he limited batters a .213 batting average and a .234 slugging percentage. It was a small sample size, but he seemed to be trending in the right direction. Thielbar changed his approach again for the 2021 season, and he has continued to evolve in the season’s second half. His fastball usage has dropped by four percent this year, but the change in his breaking pitches is even more drastic. He’s more than doubled his slider usage from 16.4% in 2020 to nearly 35% in 2021. His curveball usage has dropped by over 10%. Thielbar’s fastball is averaging 91 mph for the season, but he seems to have found another level over the last couple of months. During August, he held batters to a .167 batting average and a .292 slugging percentage when facing his fastball. His slider also caused some difficulties for batters as they went 2-for-15 (.133 BA) against the pitch for the entire month. But August wasn’t his only strong month in the second half. In 19 second-half appearances, Thielbar has a 2.66 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP while posting a 23-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Batters are hitting .197/.275/.394 (.669) against him since the All-Star break. Rocco Baldelli has also shown confidence in using him at various times during games, with the bulk of his innings coming in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. He’s moved from college coach to effective set-up man in less than two years. Thielbar will turn 35-years-old in January, and relief pitching can be fickle. It certainly seems like something has changed with Thielbar this season, but there’s no telling what the future might hold. The Twins need to rebuild their bullpen for 2022, and Minnesota will undoubtedly want to keep Thielbar from focusing too much on his college coaching career. What are your thoughts on Thielbar so far this season? What changes have you noticed? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. There has been much turnover on the Twins' 2021 pitching staff. It is a near certainty that several hurlers who got the ball for the team this year will not be back in 2022. Many have failed--Garcia, Waddell, Burrows--and very few have succeeded. Somewhere in the middle is a subset of relievers who have done "okay", that is an ERA plus of 100 or better, but are over 30 years of age. The chance of a breakout by any of these guys is very small, but as 2021 has shown, even okay relief pitchers are better than sending out arsonists. I've included Caleb Thielbar with this group, he is the most unlike the others in that he's been with the club all season and is nearly certain to get a major league contract from someone in the offseason, as long as there is a bargaining agreement. The rest of the players have not had a full season with the Twins and if they aren't on the team would have to be released or designated for assignment (no options). Here's my list, with my two-minute analysis of each: Derek Law. Derek Law has logged only 15 low-leverage innings with the Twins this year. He impressed many with a good run in spring training, featuring lots of strikeouts. From what I've seen during the regular season, he has average stuff and no one dominating pitch. Law is currently on the major league IL, but is on rehab assignment in St. Paul. Law will have accrued over three years of major league service after this year meaning that he would be eligible for arbitration (under current rules). Danny Coulombe. Lefty Danny Coulombe has been with the Twins since June and has logged a 3-1 record with a 3.04 ERA. Coulombe has given up a majority of his runs as a result of the home run ball. He's fanned more than a batter per inning and his FIP is over a run higher than his ERA. Coulombe hasn't shown any real platoon splits this year (SSS), but in his career has done better against left handed hitters. Coulombe throws a lot of breaking balls and throws a fastball in the low 90s. Coulombe will be 32 in October. Juan Minaya. Minaya was signed by the Twins in 2020 and was on the roster for a few days, but didn't pitch. This season he has been up and down at least a few times and outrighted to St. Paul when sent back. His most recent stint with the Twins has been his most effective. Minaya throws the fastball up to 96 mph, and has a decent slider. Control seems to be his biggest hurdle and thus far this year, he's walked 14 in 25 innings. Under current rules, Minaya would be a Super2, eligible for arbitration this winter. He turns 31 next month. Luke Farrell. The right handed Farrell has good numbers in limited work with the Twins this year. In 15 plus innings, he has a 1.76 ERA, 2.97 FIP and a 1.17 WHIP. Farrell doesn't throw particularly hard (low 90s) but features a lot of breaking balls. He is also currently rehabbing at St. Paul. Farrell wouldn't be eligible for arbitration this offseason. Farrell wouldn't be eligible for arbitration this winter under the current bargaining agreement. Caleb Thielbar. As I mentioned earlier, Thielbar fits less with this list than any of the others. He's been with the Twins all season, except for time on the IL and is now considered one of their high-leverage bullpen arms. Thielbar has thrown over 50 innings this season and has an ERA below 4 (3.18 FIP), he's struck out 64 in 51 innings and has won six games, losing none (FWIW). Caleb features a variety of big breaking balls along with a sneaky low-90s fastball. He'll turn 35 this winter, It doesn't make sense for a team rebuilding their pitching staff to have all of these over-30 arms on the 40-man roster over the winter. That said, a case for each can be made that they could help the Twins in 2022. How many should stay on the roster? Should the Twins attempt to sign any of them to a minor league contract? Are there any who should be DFAed/released with no look back? IMHO, no more than two should be on this winter's 40-man. The lock is Thielbar and the one in doubt is Minaya. I think any of the five who aren't tendered a contract should be offered a minor league deal.
  8. Charlie Barnes's third start was the best of his career. Caleb Thielbar came in and got some huge outs after the middle relief coughed up the lead, but as they had all day, Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco came up clutch in the bottom of the ninth. Box Score (add link) SP: Charlie Barnes: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (73 pitches, 44 strikes (60.3%)) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Max Kepler (.327), Caleb Thielbar (.232), Charlie Barnes (.200) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Patience is a Virtue Luis Patino was the key piece the Rays received in return for former Cy Young winner Blake Snell from the Padres in the offseason. A top pitching prospect, he has certainly shown well for the Rays in 2020. Fortunately for the Twins, he was a bit wild on Sunday and the team took advantage. Patino walked Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco in the first inning, and Josh Donaldon singled in Kepler for the game’s first run. After a walk to Luis Arraez, Polanco scored on a Trevor Larnach fielder’s choice. The Twins went scoreless in the second innings, although Kepler had a double and Polanco walked again. There was one more walk in the third inning. Ryan Sherriff came on in the fourth inning. After getting the first two batters out, Kepler and Polanco walked. All Star Andrew Kittredge came on and Donaldson came through again with a big, two-run double to give the Twins a 4-0 lead. Barnes at his Best Lefty Charlie Barnes made his third MLB start on Sunday afternoon, and it’s fair to say that it was his best start to date. The southpaw was generally in control of the game for five innings. He gave up just three hits and only allowed one run, on a solo homer off the bat of Mike Zunino. Overall, his strike percentage was not real good, but instead of just missing over the middle of the plate, he was missing just outside the strike zone. This is definitely a start to build on. Middle Relief Struggles Edgar Garcia came on for the sixth inning. He quickly got the first two outs of the inning, but then issued a walk and a home run off to star rookie Wander Franco. That cut the Twins lead to 4-3. Tyler Duffey got the 7th inning. He started the inning with a walk. Then after a pop-out, he coaxed a potential ground ball double play. However, due to an error, no outs were recorded. Duffey walked another batter to load the bases. Randy Arozarena hit a little infield single to tie the game at four. Duffey did come up big by striking out Nelson Cruz, but bases were still loaded with one out yet to get. Clutch Caleb (Thielbar) Caleb Thielbar came in and, after falling behind 3-0, got All Star Austin Meadows to pop out to end the inning. He has now stranded his last seven inherited runners, a streak that began on June 21. With the game still tied in the top of the eight, Thielbar gave up a leadoff double to Franco. However, after a sacrifice bunt moved Franco to third, Thielbar got an infield pop out and a ground out to first base to keep the game tied. When you take a look below at the names available to Rocco Baldelli and Wes Johnson in the chart below, is Thielbar the team’s best, most-reliable bullpen arm right now? Well, another option for that title right now might be Alexander Colome who pitched a scoreless inning in the ninth. It was his eighth straight scoreless appearance. In that stretch (7 1/3 innings), he is 1-0 with five saves. Klutch Kepler (and Polanco) Max Kepler reached base four times on Sunday. As mentioned above, he walked twice. He also had two doubles including an opposite-field double down the left field line to lead off the ninth inning. Bobbled by Austin Meadows, Kepler scampered to third base. Two pitches later, Jorge Polanco hit a fly ball deep enough to easily score Kepler from third and give the Twins the 5-4 win, and a third-straight series win. It was his fifth career walk-off plate appearance and third this season. The Twins are clearly playing their best baseball of the season as they have reached arguably the toughest part of their season. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Barnes 0 0 0 0 73 73 García 0 0 27 0 21 48 Gant 0 0 41 0 0 41 Vincent 0 0 37 0 0 37 Colomé 14 0 0 0 13 27 Thielbar 20 0 0 0 15 35 Garza Jr. 0 0 0 16 0 16 Duffey 0 0 0 0 27 27 Minaya 15 0 0 0 0 15 Coulombe 0 0 0 10 0 10 View full article
  9. Box Score (add link) SP: Charlie Barnes: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (73 pitches, 44 strikes (60.3%)) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Max Kepler (.327), Caleb Thielbar (.232), Charlie Barnes (.200) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Patience is a Virtue Luis Patino was the key piece the Rays received in return for former Cy Young winner Blake Snell from the Padres in the offseason. A top pitching prospect, he has certainly shown well for the Rays in 2020. Fortunately for the Twins, he was a bit wild on Sunday and the team took advantage. Patino walked Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco in the first inning, and Josh Donaldon singled in Kepler for the game’s first run. After a walk to Luis Arraez, Polanco scored on a Trevor Larnach fielder’s choice. The Twins went scoreless in the second innings, although Kepler had a double and Polanco walked again. There was one more walk in the third inning. Ryan Sherriff came on in the fourth inning. After getting the first two batters out, Kepler and Polanco walked. All Star Andrew Kittredge came on and Donaldson came through again with a big, two-run double to give the Twins a 4-0 lead. Barnes at his Best Lefty Charlie Barnes made his third MLB start on Sunday afternoon, and it’s fair to say that it was his best start to date. The southpaw was generally in control of the game for five innings. He gave up just three hits and only allowed one run, on a solo homer off the bat of Mike Zunino. Overall, his strike percentage was not real good, but instead of just missing over the middle of the plate, he was missing just outside the strike zone. This is definitely a start to build on. Middle Relief Struggles Edgar Garcia came on for the sixth inning. He quickly got the first two outs of the inning, but then issued a walk and a home run off to star rookie Wander Franco. That cut the Twins lead to 4-3. Tyler Duffey got the 7th inning. He started the inning with a walk. Then after a pop-out, he coaxed a potential ground ball double play. However, due to an error, no outs were recorded. Duffey walked another batter to load the bases. Randy Arozarena hit a little infield single to tie the game at four. Duffey did come up big by striking out Nelson Cruz, but bases were still loaded with one out yet to get. Clutch Caleb (Thielbar) Caleb Thielbar came in and, after falling behind 3-0, got All Star Austin Meadows to pop out to end the inning. He has now stranded his last seven inherited runners, a streak that began on June 21. With the game still tied in the top of the eight, Thielbar gave up a leadoff double to Franco. However, after a sacrifice bunt moved Franco to third, Thielbar got an infield pop out and a ground out to first base to keep the game tied. When you take a look below at the names available to Rocco Baldelli and Wes Johnson in the chart below, is Thielbar the team’s best, most-reliable bullpen arm right now? Well, another option for that title right now might be Alexander Colome who pitched a scoreless inning in the ninth. It was his eighth straight scoreless appearance. In that stretch (7 1/3 innings), he is 1-0 with five saves. Klutch Kepler (and Polanco) Max Kepler reached base four times on Sunday. As mentioned above, he walked twice. He also had two doubles including an opposite-field double down the left field line to lead off the ninth inning. Bobbled by Austin Meadows, Kepler scampered to third base. Two pitches later, Jorge Polanco hit a fly ball deep enough to easily score Kepler from third and give the Twins the 5-4 win, and a third-straight series win. It was his fifth career walk-off plate appearance and third this season. The Twins are clearly playing their best baseball of the season as they have reached arguably the toughest part of their season. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Barnes 0 0 0 0 73 73 García 0 0 27 0 21 48 Gant 0 0 41 0 0 41 Vincent 0 0 37 0 0 37 Colomé 14 0 0 0 13 27 Thielbar 20 0 0 0 15 35 Garza Jr. 0 0 0 16 0 16 Duffey 0 0 0 0 27 27 Minaya 15 0 0 0 0 15 Coulombe 0 0 0 10 0 10
  10. Jorge Polanco and the Minnesota Twins pitchers put on a show today, as the Twins earned a hard fought 1-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox, and claimed the series victory in the process. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Ober 5.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K Homeruns: Polanco (21) Top 3 WPA: Ober (0.284), Minaya (0.188), Polanco (0.154) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Bailey Ober’s Excellent Start After a shaky first month or so of his MLB career, Bailey Ober has settled in nicely since the start of July, as he has posted a respectable 4.23 ERA with solid strikeout and walk numbers in his last six starts coming into today. Those number’s got even better after Ober put up what may have been his best start of the season. Ober had a strong first inning, as he got Cesar Hernandez to strikeout to leadoff the ball game. Then, after an Andrew Vaughn strikeout, he struck out Jose Abreu to end the first. In the second, Eloy Jimenez got a leadoff single to begin the inning, before Brian Goodwin flew out to center field for the first out of the inning. Ober then made a great play on a weak comebacker off the bat of Adam Engel that set up the 1-4-3 double play to end the inning. After two smooth innings to start the game, Bailey Ober found himself in a big spot facing Andrew Vaughn with runners on the corners and two outs. Ober was up for the challenge, however, and got Vaughn to swing and miss on three straight 94 MPH fastballs to get out of the jam. After another strong inning in the fourth, where he gave up just a lone single, Ober found himself in another dicey spot in the fifth. After a leadoff single, followed by one out walk, the White Sox were threatening with the top of their order due up. Pitching coach Wes Johnson came out to settle down his young right-hander. Like many times before it, whatever Johnson said must have worked, as Ober came back with two more strikeouts to get out of the jam once again. Jorge Polanco Goes Deep Again One of the few bright spots for Twins fans this season has been the play of Jorge Polanco, who has returned to his early 2019 form over the past three plus months of this season. Entering play today, Polanco had an OPS of .885 since the start of May. Polanco has taken that to a whole new level so far in August, as he already had five home runs in just nine games entering play today. That hot streak continued again today, as Polanco went deep to the opposite field in the bottom of the sixth to give the Twins the 1-0 lead. He almost followed that up with another home run in the bottom of the eighth, that would have given the Twins a potentially huge insurance run. However, the ball hit right off of the top of the wall in right, and Polanco had to settle for a two out triple. Luis Arraez made a strong bid to drive him in, but his line drive held up just enough to be caught by White Sox center fielder Adam Engel. Twins Bats Were Cold Outside of the Jorge Polanco home run and triple, it was a rough day for Twins hitters at the plate. The other eight hitters in the Twins lineup went just 2-for-23 with 12 strikeouts and four walks. Luis Arraez got one of those two hits, drilled a leadoff double to the left-center field gap to leadoff the second. However, the Twins failed to cash in on the early opportunity. The other hit came from Trevor Larnach who got a two-out threat started with a single in the fifth. Andrelton Simmons followed that with a walk, before a wild pickoff attempt from White Sox pitcher Garrett Crochet allowed both Larnach and Simmons to advance. Unfortunately, that opportunity would not be taken advantage of as Max Kepler struck out to end the inning. The Bullpen Shuts the Door After Bailey Ober’s strong start, it was the bullpen’s job to seal the deal for the Twins win and that is exactly what they did today. Caleb Thielbar, Juan Minaya and Alex Colome all deserve some credit, as they each pitched exceptionally well. Collectively, they combined to go 3 and ⅔ innings, allowing zero runs on zero hits while striking out four and walking two. Bullpen Usage Chart What's Next? After back-to-back series wins against American League division leaders, the Twins will have an off day on Thursday before welcoming another American League division leader in the Tampa Bay Rays to town on Friday. Michael Pineda is scheduled to get the start for the Twins, while the Rays starter is still TBD. View full article
  11. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Ober 5.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K Homeruns: Polanco (21) Top 3 WPA: Ober (0.284), Minaya (0.188), Polanco (0.154) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Bailey Ober’s Excellent Start After a shaky first month or so of his MLB career, Bailey Ober has settled in nicely since the start of July, as he has posted a respectable 4.23 ERA with solid strikeout and walk numbers in his last six starts coming into today. Those number’s got even better after Ober put up what may have been his best start of the season. Ober had a strong first inning, as he got Cesar Hernandez to strikeout to leadoff the ball game. Then, after an Andrew Vaughn strikeout, he struck out Jose Abreu to end the first. In the second, Eloy Jimenez got a leadoff single to begin the inning, before Brian Goodwin flew out to center field for the first out of the inning. Ober then made a great play on a weak comebacker off the bat of Adam Engel that set up the 1-4-3 double play to end the inning. After two smooth innings to start the game, Bailey Ober found himself in a big spot facing Andrew Vaughn with runners on the corners and two outs. Ober was up for the challenge, however, and got Vaughn to swing and miss on three straight 94 MPH fastballs to get out of the jam. After another strong inning in the fourth, where he gave up just a lone single, Ober found himself in another dicey spot in the fifth. After a leadoff single, followed by one out walk, the White Sox were threatening with the top of their order due up. Pitching coach Wes Johnson came out to settle down his young right-hander. Like many times before it, whatever Johnson said must have worked, as Ober came back with two more strikeouts to get out of the jam once again. Jorge Polanco Goes Deep Again One of the few bright spots for Twins fans this season has been the play of Jorge Polanco, who has returned to his early 2019 form over the past three plus months of this season. Entering play today, Polanco had an OPS of .885 since the start of May. Polanco has taken that to a whole new level so far in August, as he already had five home runs in just nine games entering play today. That hot streak continued again today, as Polanco went deep to the opposite field in the bottom of the sixth to give the Twins the 1-0 lead. He almost followed that up with another home run in the bottom of the eighth, that would have given the Twins a potentially huge insurance run. However, the ball hit right off of the top of the wall in right, and Polanco had to settle for a two out triple. Luis Arraez made a strong bid to drive him in, but his line drive held up just enough to be caught by White Sox center fielder Adam Engel. Twins Bats Were Cold Outside of the Jorge Polanco home run and triple, it was a rough day for Twins hitters at the plate. The other eight hitters in the Twins lineup went just 2-for-23 with 12 strikeouts and four walks. Luis Arraez got one of those two hits, drilled a leadoff double to the left-center field gap to leadoff the second. However, the Twins failed to cash in on the early opportunity. The other hit came from Trevor Larnach who got a two-out threat started with a single in the fifth. Andrelton Simmons followed that with a walk, before a wild pickoff attempt from White Sox pitcher Garrett Crochet allowed both Larnach and Simmons to advance. Unfortunately, that opportunity would not be taken advantage of as Max Kepler struck out to end the inning. The Bullpen Shuts the Door After Bailey Ober’s strong start, it was the bullpen’s job to seal the deal for the Twins win and that is exactly what they did today. Caleb Thielbar, Juan Minaya and Alex Colome all deserve some credit, as they each pitched exceptionally well. Collectively, they combined to go 3 and ⅔ innings, allowing zero runs on zero hits while striking out four and walking two. Bullpen Usage Chart What's Next? After back-to-back series wins against American League division leaders, the Twins will have an off day on Thursday before welcoming another American League division leader in the Tampa Bay Rays to town on Friday. Michael Pineda is scheduled to get the start for the Twins, while the Rays starter is still TBD.
  12. The Minnesota-native, drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers, was released in December of 2010 and signed with the Twins on August 19th, 2011, after playing for the St. Paul Saints Much has been made about his return to the big leagues, (after a two-year stint with the Saints) but that’s overshadowed how effective he’s been in a Twins uniform. In the history of the Twins franchise, dating back to the inaugural season in 1961, Thielbar has the tenth best ERA of any pitcher who has thrown at least 150 innings in relief. Moreover, his FIP bumps him up to ninth on the list, yet he doesn’t get nearly the same fanfare of other recent Twins. He’s not the coveted new-age high-velocity pitcher, but he gets the job done and will undoubtedly have value on the trade market. As previously suggested, Thielbar’s fastball sits low 90’s, and he throws the pitch about 50-percent of the time while he flashes a sweeping slider and looping curveball for his second and third pitches, respectively. Thielbar is not an elite arm by any means, and teams won’t be clamoring over him to be their closer or even set up guy. But he brings value as a low to mid leverage reliever that can bridge the gap between the starter and the back end of the bullpen. Due to his age (34) and limited ceiling, teams won’t be giving up a lot for the lefty reliever, but one interesting thing to note is that Thielbar still has three years of team control after 2021. That’s to say that Thielbar isn’t just a rental but could be a solid piece for teams that look to be contenders for the foreseeable future, like the Padres and Dodgers, for years to come. In fact, I think a trade just completed on Thursday is nearly a perfect comp for what the Twins could look to net in a trade involving Caleb Thielbar. The Chicago Cubs sent 33-year-old right-hander Ryan Tepera to the Chicago White Sox for 23-year-old right-handed pitcher Bailey Horn. Horn was a fifth round pick in 2020 with limited success over 38 1/3 minor league innings. I think this is a pretty good idea of what the Twins would be looking at for Thielbar. A low-level, albeit top-30, prospect. Tepera doesn’t have the team control that Thielbar has, but I don’t know how much pull that has with a 34-year-old reliever. All that said, I know some of you are thinking the Twins could use him for years to come. So what do you say...should he stay or should he go?
  13. Caleb Thielbar first became a Twins pitcher nearly a decade ago and is one of the most under-appreciated Twins of recent memory. In short, he’s more than a great story, and in length, let’s take a look at the value he could provide on the trade market. The Minnesota-native, drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers, was released in December of 2010 and signed with the Twins on August 19th, 2011, after playing for the St. Paul Saints Much has been made about his return to the big leagues, (after a two-year stint with the Saints) but that’s overshadowed how effective he’s been in a Twins uniform. In the history of the Twins franchise, dating back to the inaugural season in 1961, Thielbar has the tenth best ERA of any pitcher who has thrown at least 150 innings in relief. Moreover, his FIP bumps him up to ninth on the list, yet he doesn’t get nearly the same fanfare of other recent Twins. He’s not the coveted new-age high-velocity pitcher, but he gets the job done and will undoubtedly have value on the trade market. As previously suggested, Thielbar’s fastball sits low 90’s, and he throws the pitch about 50-percent of the time while he flashes a sweeping slider and looping curveball for his second and third pitches, respectively. Thielbar is not an elite arm by any means, and teams won’t be clamoring over him to be their closer or even set up guy. But he brings value as a low to mid leverage reliever that can bridge the gap between the starter and the back end of the bullpen. Due to his age (34) and limited ceiling, teams won’t be giving up a lot for the lefty reliever, but one interesting thing to note is that Thielbar still has three years of team control after 2021. That’s to say that Thielbar isn’t just a rental but could be a solid piece for teams that look to be contenders for the foreseeable future, like the Padres and Dodgers, for years to come. In fact, I think a trade just completed on Thursday is nearly a perfect comp for what the Twins could look to net in a trade involving Caleb Thielbar. The Chicago Cubs sent 33-year-old right-hander Ryan Tepera to the Chicago White Sox for 23-year-old right-handed pitcher Bailey Horn. Horn was a fifth round pick in 2020 with limited success over 38 1/3 minor league innings. I think this is a pretty good idea of what the Twins would be looking at for Thielbar. A low-level, albeit top-30, prospect. Tepera doesn’t have the team control that Thielbar has, but I don’t know how much pull that has with a 34-year-old reliever. All that said, I know some of you are thinking the Twins could use him for years to come. So what do you say...should he stay or should he go? View full article
  14. The sound of a clanking spoon and jubilant laughs of a child resonate through the waves of Caleb Thielbar’s kitchen over Zoom. “Do I need to repeat anything or is he too loud? My wife’s at work and I got home a bit late so it’s lunchtime.” The 33 year old Randolph, Minnesota native has worn a wealth of hats over the years; St. Paul Saints standout, International League pitcher, DII pitching coach, a prospect that ‘shouldn't have made it,’ and most importantly, husband to Carissa and dad of Joshua. To Twins fans, he’s the pinnacle of feel-good stories in the franchise’s history. Coming off a stellar season in his second stint with his home-state team, baseball and the Minnesota Twins were staples in the Thielbar family since Caleb was a young boy. “Baseball was huge for my parents. Heck, my dad still played until I was 12 or 13 in various leagues,” Caleb recalled. “He was a pitcher.” Young Caleb took after his father Calvin, cementing his place on the mound in the youth leagues of south central Minnesota. Thielbar was a standout for the Randolph Rockets both on the bump and on the basketball court, scoring the second most points in school history. Courtesy of Caleb Thielbar “Growing up in a small town, if you could throw the ball hard and anywhere near the plate you were going to pitch,” Thielbar said. Thielbar and his father weren’t the only ones in the family who spent time on the diamond. Caleb’s mom Janet was the starting shortstop on her high school baseball team as a senior; an opportunity that connected her with assistant coach Calvin, her future husband. “The Greatest Place on Earth” Nestled just half an hour south of the Twin Cities, some of Caleb’s fondest childhood memories came from making the trek up to the Metrodome to watch his favorite team. Calvin would get tickets from work and the family would go to three or four games per year. Like most, Caleb knew that the Dome wasn’t the gold encrusted palace that other teams had to call home. That didn’t matter. “Going to the Metrodome, ears popping (through the doors), getting to the concourse where you couldn’t hear anything. All of a sudden you’d get into the stadium and start to hear the crack of the bat from batting practice.” For the wide-eyed Minnesota boy the Metrodome couldn’t have been more perfect. “I got to play in the Dome in college and we all kind of knew it wasn’t the nicest, but when you’re a kid and you're going to a Major League game you think it’s the greatest thing in the world,” Caleb recalled. Johan and Torii Growing up in the 90’s, the Twins were nothing to write home about. Yet when Caleb was striking out hitters on the bump for Randolph High School in the early 2000’s, Johan Santana was baffling hitters with his changeup and the Dome outfield was where homers went to die thanks to Torii Hunter. “Johan was my favorite pitcher growing up and all of us loved Torii, making those amazing catches,” Thielbar said. “Those were the two players I liked most because in high school when I wasn’t pitching I was playing centerfield.” Things came full circle for Thielbar this spring. Throwing his first bullpen of the year, a familiar face appeared behind the mound to watch and critique the crafty lefty. It was no other than Caleb’s childhood hero, Johan himself. “It was kind of surreal to have him there after growing up watching him your entire childhood,” Caleb said. Lifelong Learner There are few players in baseball that have seen their career evolve the way Thielbar has. From a blue-collar recruit who didn’t necessarily see himself being good enough to compete at South Dakota State to a big league pitcher who’s future seemed uncertain due to arm injuries, Caleb never gave up. “After having some arm problems with the Twins it did take a few years to get it back,” Thielbar said. “Luckily I was able to keep playing, most guys hang it up after that.” In between his time with the Twins, Thielbar spent two seasons across the Mississippi with the St. Paul Saints. He credits his time in the American Association towards where he’s at today. “I enjoyed my time with the Saints and was lucky to have a couple of good years with them,” Thielbar said. “I needed to learn how to stay healthy and the independent league was a really good place to do that.” A firm believer that there is always learning to do, regardless of the level, Thielbar’s grit was rewarded this year by achieving a goal that’s been in his mind since he was a boy in Randolph; winning an AL Central title. “Watching all of those (division titles) growing up, it became a goal of mine,” Thielbar said. “Not just winning it, but getting to do it with a lot of guys that I got to play with in the minors or that I already knew. They're a bunch of really good people and seeing them succeed is great.” MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  15. The Land of 10,000 Lakes has a rich history of cultivating homegrown talent in the sport of baseball. Hear the authentic stories of those who grew up in Minnesota and have had the chance to fulfill the childhood dream of wearing a Twins jersey.The sound of a clanking spoon and jubilant laughs of a child resonate through the waves of Caleb Thielbar’s kitchen over Zoom. “Do I need to repeat anything or is he too loud? My wife’s at work and I got home a bit late so it’s lunchtime.” The 33 year old Randolph, Minnesota native has worn a wealth of hats over the years; St. Paul Saints standout, International League pitcher, DII pitching coach, a prospect that ‘shouldn't have made it,’ and most importantly, husband to Carissa and dad of Joshua. To Twins fans, he’s the pinnacle of feel-good stories in the franchise’s history. Coming off a stellar season in his second stint with his home-state team, baseball and the Minnesota Twins were staples in the Thielbar family since Caleb was a young boy. “Baseball was huge for my parents. Heck, my dad still played until I was 12 or 13 in various leagues,” Caleb recalled. “He was a pitcher.” Young Caleb took after his father Calvin, cementing his place on the mound in the youth leagues of south central Minnesota. Download attachment: Thielbar Randolph.jpg Thielbar was a standout for the Randolph Rockets both on the bump and on the basketball court, scoring the second most points in school history. Courtesy of Caleb Thielbar “Growing up in a small town, if you could throw the ball hard and anywhere near the plate you were going to pitch,” Thielbar said. Thielbar and his father weren’t the only ones in the family who spent time on the diamond. Caleb’s mom Janet was the starting shortstop on her high school baseball team as a senior; an opportunity that connected her with assistant coach Calvin, her future husband. “The Greatest Place on Earth” Nestled just half an hour south of the Twin Cities, some of Caleb’s fondest childhood memories came from making the trek up to the Metrodome to watch his favorite team. Calvin would get tickets from work and the family would go to three or four games per year. Like most, Caleb knew that the Dome wasn’t the gold encrusted palace that other teams had to call home. That didn’t matter. “Going to the Metrodome, ears popping (through the doors), getting to the concourse where you couldn’t hear anything. All of a sudden you’d get into the stadium and start to hear the crack of the bat from batting practice.” For the wide-eyed Minnesota boy the Metrodome couldn’t have been more perfect. “I got to play in the Dome in college and we all kind of knew it wasn’t the nicest, but when you’re a kid and you're going to a Major League game you think it’s the greatest thing in the world,” Caleb recalled. Johan and Torii Growing up in the 90’s, the Twins were nothing to write home about. Yet when Caleb was striking out hitters on the bump for Randolph High School in the early 2000’s, Johan Santana was baffling hitters with his changeup and the Dome outfield was where homers went to die thanks to Torii Hunter. “Johan was my favorite pitcher growing up and all of us loved Torii, making those amazing catches,” Thielbar said. “Those were the two players I liked most because in high school when I wasn’t pitching I was playing centerfield.” Things came full circle for Thielbar this spring. Throwing his first bullpen of the year, a familiar face appeared behind the mound to watch and critique the crafty lefty. It was no other than Caleb’s childhood hero, Johan himself. “It was kind of surreal to have him there after growing up watching him your entire childhood,” Caleb said. Lifelong Learner There are few players in baseball that have seen their career evolve the way Thielbar has. From a blue-collar recruit who didn’t necessarily see himself being good enough to compete at South Dakota State to a big league pitcher who’s future seemed uncertain due to arm injuries, Caleb never gave up. “After having some arm problems with the Twins it did take a few years to get it back,” Thielbar said. “Luckily I was able to keep playing, most guys hang it up after that.” In between his time with the Twins, Thielbar spent two seasons across the Mississippi with the St. Paul Saints. He credits his time in the American Association towards where he’s at today. “I enjoyed my time with the Saints and was lucky to have a couple of good years with them,” Thielbar said. “I needed to learn how to stay healthy and the independent league was a really good place to do that.” A firm believer that there is always learning to do, regardless of the level, Thielbar’s grit was rewarded this year by achieving a goal that’s been in his mind since he was a boy in Randolph; winning an AL Central title. “Watching all of those (division titles) growing up, it became a goal of mine,” Thielbar said. “Not just winning it, but getting to do it with a lot of guys that I got to play with in the minors or that I already knew. They're a bunch of really good people and seeing them succeed is great.” MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  16. This week at Twins Daily, we will be handing out our 2020 Twins Awards. Yesterday, we handed out the award for the Twins Top Rookie in 2020 (Ryan Jeffers). Today, we announce the Twins Most Improved Player during the 2020 season. Upon completion of the season, our panel of 23 Twins Daily writers voted on the four annual Twins Daily Awards. Asked to rank their top three most improved players, ten Twins received votes. However, the choice was clear. The 2020 Twins Most Improved Player is relief pitcher Matt Wisler.Most Improved. It is a difficult award to vote on, and this year that was certainly the case. What does it mean? Well, it could be a guy that had a bad first half of the season and really turned it on and showed great improvement as the season went along. Often, it is a player coming off of a disappointing or injury-plagued season who takes a step forward with a strong season. Matt Wisler is not new to the big leagues. 2020 was his sixth season, and the Minnesota Twins are his fifth organization. He was originally drafted and signed by the Padres out of high school in 2011. He became a top prospect. He was a key piece in the trade that sent Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton, Jr. to San Diego from Atlanta. He was a Top 100 prospect before the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Wisler debuted with the Braves in 2015 and spent two seasons as a starter. He was moved to the bullpen in 2017 and traded to the Reds during the 2018 season. He split 2019 between the Padres and the Mariners. Combined, he was 3-4 with a 5.61 ERA in 51 1/3 over 44 games. At the end of the 2019 season, the Mariners placed him on waivers and the Twins claimed him. Wisler was arbitration-eligible, but he agreed to a guaranteed contract before numbers needed to be exchanged. PITCH-MIX CHANGES Clearly the Twins front office, scouts, analytics group, and/or pitching coaches and coordinators saw something from Wisler. Most likely, they saw his spin rate and that he had started using his slider much more frequently. In 2018, Wisler threw 49.7% fastballs and 46.9% sliders. In 2019, Wisler threw 29.2% fastballs and 70.5% sliders. Turns out, that was just the start. In 2020, Wisler threw just 16.6% fastballs and 83.4% sliders. Here is a quick look at which MLB relievers threw the most sliders in 2020 (with the help of Statcast): Wisler pointed out in September. “The one thing why I think my slider is so effective, talking to catchers, it doesn’t move the same. One pitch it will go straight down and the other one goes more side to side. I have a lot of different movements on my pitch. I don’t do anything different that I can feel.” MATT-OF-ALL-TRADES Wisler began the season by pitching in low-leverage situations. With early success, he soon was working in closer games. In mid-August, he had a stretch of three straight games in which he was used as the Opener. His next appearance, he struck out two batters in a perfect ninth to close out a 3-2 win over the White Sox. The only other Save of his career came in 2015 when he was still a starter. His next appearance was back in the role of Opener. He was being used in higher-leverage situations. He was pitching much more frequently. In a game against the Cubs, he worked two scoreless innings and struck out six batters. Regardless the role he was utilized, Matt Wisler dropped sliders and got the job done! OTHER CANDIDATES You can see who else received votes below, but there was no shortage of players who showed some improvement in 2020. The Twins had one of baseball’s best bullpens. No surprise. Beyond Wisler, several bullpen arms took a step forward. Tyler Duffey finished fourth on this list while Jorge Alcala, Trevor May and Cody Stashak also received votes. Like Wisler, Kenta Maeda came to the Twins from another organization and put up the best season, short as it was, of his career. He made some minor adjustments and went 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA. Arguably the Best Story of the 2020 Twins season could be the return of Caleb Thielbar. The lefty from Randolph returned to the organization after not pitching in the big leagues since 2015. In that time, he spent two more seasons with the St. Paul Saints. He was ready to be done and was hired as a pitching coach at Augustana. The Twins called and said they thought he was a big-league pitcher. He came to spring training and did well. He was invited to Summer Camp. He spent the first trip of the season on the Twins practice squad, and soon after he was promoted back to the big leagues. He responded very well, posting a 2.25 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 20 innings. Others who deservingly received votes: Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Michael Pineda. How would your ballot look? Here are the results from the Twins Daily Twitter poll: THE BALLOTS Here’s a look at the ballots from our 23 voters. Seth Stohs: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Tyler Duffey, 3) Caleb Thielbar Nick Nelson: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Tyler Duffey, 3) Trevor May John Bonnes: 1) Kenta Maeda, 2) Jorge Alcala, 3) Matt Wisler Tom Froemming: 1) Kenta Maeda, 2) Matt Wisler, 3) Caleb Thielbar Andrew Gebo: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Caleb Thielbar, 3) Kenta Maeda AJ Condon: 1) Kenta Maeda, Tyler Duffey, Byron Buxton Cody Christie: 1) Matt Wisler, 2.) Kenta Maeda, 3) Caleb Thielbar Cody Pirkl: 1) Caleb Thielbar, 2) Kenta Maeda, 3) Matt Wisler Cooper Carlson: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Kenta Maeda, 3) Caleb Thielbar Jeremy Nygaard: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Tyler Duffey, 3) Caleb Thielbar Lucas Seehafer: 1) Kenta Maeda, 2) Matt Wisler, 3) Byron Buxton Matt Braun: 1) Kenta Maeda, 2) Matt Wisler, 3) Caleb Thielbar Matt Lenz: 1) Byron Buxton, 2) Matt Wisler, 3) Caleb Thielbar Matthew Taylor: 1) Kenta Maeda, 2) Matt Wisler, 3) Tyler Duffey Matthew Trueblood: 1) Jorge Alcala, 2) Eddie Rosario Nash Walker: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Kenta Maeda, 3) Caleb Thielbar Nate Palmer: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Caleb Thielbar, 3) Cody Stashak Patrick Wozniak: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Eddie Rosario, 3) Michael Pineda Derek Wetmore: 1) Byron Buxton Steve Lein: 1) Tyler Duffey, 2) Trevor May, 3) Jorge Alcala Renabanena: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Byron Buxton, 3) Kenta Maeda Ted Schwerzler: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Caleb Thielbar Thiéres Rabelo: 1) Eddie Rosario, 2) Matt Wisler, 3) Caleb Thielbar POINTS Matt Wisler: 47 Kenta Maeda: 28 Caleb Thielbar: 18 Tyler Duffey: 12 Byron Buxton: 10 Eddie Rosario: 7 Jorge Alcala: 6 Trevor May: 3 Cody Stashak: 1 Michael Pineda: 1 Previous Twins Most Improved Player Award Winners 2015: Aaron Hicks 2016: Brian Dozier 2017: Byron Buxton 2018: Kyle Gibson 2019: Mitch Garver OTHER 2020 AWARD WINNERS Rookie of the Year: Ryan Jeffers Most Improved: Matt Wisler Pitcher of the Year: Coming Tomorrow Most Valuable Player: Coming Soon! Click here to view the article
  17. Most Improved. It is a difficult award to vote on, and this year that was certainly the case. What does it mean? Well, it could be a guy that had a bad first half of the season and really turned it on and showed great improvement as the season went along. Often, it is a player coming off of a disappointing or injury-plagued season who takes a step forward with a strong season. Matt Wisler is not new to the big leagues. 2020 was his sixth season, and the Minnesota Twins are his fifth organization. He was originally drafted and signed by the Padres out of high school in 2011. He became a top prospect. He was a key piece in the trade that sent Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton, Jr. to San Diego from Atlanta. He was a Top 100 prospect before the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Wisler debuted with the Braves in 2015 and spent two seasons as a starter. He was moved to the bullpen in 2017 and traded to the Reds during the 2018 season. He split 2019 between the Padres and the Mariners. Combined, he was 3-4 with a 5.61 ERA in 51 1/3 over 44 games. At the end of the 2019 season, the Mariners placed him on waivers and the Twins claimed him. Wisler was arbitration-eligible, but he agreed to a guaranteed contract before numbers needed to be exchanged. PITCH-MIX CHANGES Clearly the Twins front office, scouts, analytics group, and/or pitching coaches and coordinators saw something from Wisler. Most likely, they saw his spin rate and that he had started using his slider much more frequently. In 2018, Wisler threw 49.7% fastballs and 46.9% sliders. In 2019, Wisler threw 29.2% fastballs and 70.5% sliders. Turns out, that was just the start. In 2020, Wisler threw just 16.6% fastballs and 83.4% sliders. Here is a quick look at which MLB relievers threw the most sliders in 2020 (with the help of Statcast): Wisler pointed out in September. “The one thing why I think my slider is so effective, talking to catchers, it doesn’t move the same. One pitch it will go straight down and the other one goes more side to side. I have a lot of different movements on my pitch. I don’t do anything different that I can feel.” MATT-OF-ALL-TRADES Wisler began the season by pitching in low-leverage situations. With early success, he soon was working in closer games. In mid-August, he had a stretch of three straight games in which he was used as the Opener. His next appearance, he struck out two batters in a perfect ninth to close out a 3-2 win over the White Sox. The only other Save of his career came in 2015 when he was still a starter. His next appearance was back in the role of Opener. He was being used in higher-leverage situations. He was pitching much more frequently. In a game against the Cubs, he worked two scoreless innings and struck out six batters. Regardless the role he was utilized, Matt Wisler dropped sliders and got the job done! OTHER CANDIDATES You can see who else received votes below, but there was no shortage of players who showed some improvement in 2020. The Twins had one of baseball’s best bullpens. No surprise. Beyond Wisler, several bullpen arms took a step forward. Tyler Duffey finished fourth on this list while Jorge Alcala, Trevor May and Cody Stashak also received votes. Like Wisler, Kenta Maeda came to the Twins from another organization and put up the best season, short as it was, of his career. He made some minor adjustments and went 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA. Arguably the Best Story of the 2020 Twins season could be the return of Caleb Thielbar. The lefty from Randolph returned to the organization after not pitching in the big leagues since 2015. In that time, he spent two more seasons with the St. Paul Saints. He was ready to be done and was hired as a pitching coach at Augustana. The Twins called and said they thought he was a big-league pitcher. He came to spring training and did well. He was invited to Summer Camp. He spent the first trip of the season on the Twins practice squad, and soon after he was promoted back to the big leagues. He responded very well, posting a 2.25 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 20 innings. Others who deservingly received votes: Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Michael Pineda. How would your ballot look? Here are the results from the Twins Daily Twitter poll: https://twitter.com/twinsdaily/status/1315818049006690306 THE BALLOTS Here’s a look at the ballots from our 23 voters. Seth Stohs: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Tyler Duffey, 3) Caleb Thielbar Nick Nelson: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Tyler Duffey, 3) Trevor May John Bonnes: 1) Kenta Maeda, 2) Jorge Alcala, 3) Matt Wisler Tom Froemming: 1) Kenta Maeda, 2) Matt Wisler, 3) Caleb Thielbar Andrew Gebo: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Caleb Thielbar, 3) Kenta Maeda AJ Condon: 1) Kenta Maeda, Tyler Duffey, Byron Buxton Cody Christie: 1) Matt Wisler, 2.) Kenta Maeda, 3) Caleb Thielbar Cody Pirkl: 1) Caleb Thielbar, 2) Kenta Maeda, 3) Matt Wisler Cooper Carlson: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Kenta Maeda, 3) Caleb Thielbar Jeremy Nygaard: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Tyler Duffey, 3) Caleb Thielbar Lucas Seehafer: 1) Kenta Maeda, 2) Matt Wisler, 3) Byron Buxton Matt Braun: 1) Kenta Maeda, 2) Matt Wisler, 3) Caleb Thielbar Matt Lenz: 1) Byron Buxton, 2) Matt Wisler, 3) Caleb Thielbar Matthew Taylor: 1) Kenta Maeda, 2) Matt Wisler, 3) Tyler Duffey Matthew Trueblood: 1) Jorge Alcala, 2) Eddie Rosario Nash Walker: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Kenta Maeda, 3) Caleb Thielbar Nate Palmer: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Caleb Thielbar, 3) Cody Stashak Patrick Wozniak: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Eddie Rosario, 3) Michael Pineda Derek Wetmore: 1) Byron Buxton Steve Lein: 1) Tyler Duffey, 2) Trevor May, 3) Jorge Alcala Renabanena: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Byron Buxton, 3) Kenta Maeda Ted Schwerzler: 1) Matt Wisler, 2) Caleb Thielbar Thiéres Rabelo: 1) Eddie Rosario, 2) Matt Wisler, 3) Caleb Thielbar POINTS Matt Wisler: 47 Kenta Maeda: 28 Caleb Thielbar: 18 Tyler Duffey: 12 Byron Buxton: 10 Eddie Rosario: 7 Jorge Alcala: 6 Trevor May: 3 Cody Stashak: 1 Michael Pineda: 1 Previous Twins Most Improved Player Award Winners 2015: Aaron Hicks 2016: Brian Dozier 2017: Byron Buxton 2018: Kyle Gibson 2019: Mitch Garver OTHER 2020 AWARD WINNERS Rookie of the Year: Ryan Jeffers Most Improved: Matt Wisler Pitcher of the Year: Coming Tomorrow Most Valuable Player: Coming Soon!
  18. We all explored Thielbar’s history when he was signed on a minor league deal this winter by the Minnesota Twins. It was a fun story but one with an unsure ending. Afterall, how often do we see the Twins take a flier on a familiar name only to never hear from them again? A quick look into Thielbar’s recent history should have raised an eyebrow. In the last two years, Thielbar split time between Detroit and Atlanta and put up serviceable ratios. In 2019 particularly, he managed a K rate the likes of which hadn’t been seen from him to that point. Despite putting up a 10.85 K/9 in over 76 innings and a 3.30 ERA, Detroit somehow didn’t see Thielbar fit to crack their historically bad roster at any point during the season. They instead dealt him to Atlanta down the stretch for possible bullpen depth where he remained at AAA and continued pitching well. Thielbar was essentially ready to call it quits that winter, signing on as a coach at Augustana University before the Twins coaxed him back with a contract offer and a bullpen that lacked left handed pitching. While he didn’t make the roster out of summer camp, expanded rosters and a taxi squad suggested an opportunity was coming. So here we are. Thielbar has 6 appearances in his return to Minnesota and appears to be doing fantastic. The Twins have used him in relatively high leverage spots, including a 10th inning game with a runner on second and early in Rich Hill’s shortened start before the game got out of hand. In 6.2 innings it’s hard to take anything too seriously, even if his 2.70 ERA is backed up by a 3.01 xERA and 2.72 FIP. There’s more to it however. In Thielbar’s last season in 2015, Statcast had just debuted to afford us the ability to deep dive into a player's raw talent. While he didn’t get much opportunity in 2015, we can still see that Thielbar drastically improved his spin rate across the board since then. Throwing a fastball, slider and curveball in 2020, he’s upped the spin rate of each pitch by about 400 RPMs. While this affects movement, it’s also the likely source behind some of the swings that make Thielbar’s 90 mph fastball look 98. Speaking of the fastball, Thielbar appears to have made it his number one weapon, throwing it 56% of the time and limiting hitters to a .178 expected BA and .314 expected SLG. The 3.4 inches on average of horizontal movement he gets on the pitch is near the tops of the league. This is all the more impressive considering the pitch only averages 89.8 mph. Thielbar’s future is undecided with the Minnesota Twins. While he’s not the type of young high octane arm we so often get excited about, he appears to have a like minded view of analytics with the front office and pitching coach Wes Johnson, and has certainly benefited from it. We’ve seen the Twins start to lean more heavily on Thielbar as the bullpen workhorses have become stretched thin, and he’s only succeeded thus far. A few more strong outings likely cement his spot on the roster for the long haul. Regardless of what the future may hold, the Twins have yet another player on their hands with a tremendous story as well as success to back it up. Years ago it was unbelievable that a local legend from Randolph High School of about 150 students was making his debut for the Twins. It’s all the more unbelievable that in 2020, he’s added to the legend by earning a spot once again. Welcome back to Twins Territory, Meat Raffle. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  19. Last week, Baseball America’s JJ Cooper wrote the following: “There was no 2020 MiLB season, so a legal argument could have been constructed that there was no championship season, which would mean that all players who came into the season with six years of minor league service time compiled would have to wait until after the 2021 season to reach free agency.” So, what does this mean for Minnesota Twins and their players? Well, mostly it means that it will affect them as if there was a season played. If they would have said that it isn’t a ‘championship season’, all players would be one year further from free agency. The team would have had one more year of control. Six-Year Minor League Free Agents Players that the Twins signed in the past offseason on minor league deal will be free agents at season’s end, unless they are on the 40-man roster. So, a player like Calten Daal or Mitch Horacek who are on minor league deals with the Twins will become free agents at the end of the year. Guys like Drew Maggi and Jack Reinheimer and Wilfredo Tovar who are on the current Twins 60-player pool will become free agents at the end of the season, unless they are added to the 40-man roster before then. Caleb Thielbar signed a minor league free agent deal with the Twins. He was practicing in St. Paul. He got added to the 40-man roster to be added to the team’s 28-man roster. If the Twins keep him on their 40-man roster all season, he isn’t a free agent. But if the Twins do take him off of the 40-man roster, he can become a free agent. First-Time Free Agents Players drafted in the 2014 MLB draft are eligible to be free agents at the end of the season. So are the guys who signed as international free agents after the 2013 season and through the 2014 season. Sam Clay - LHP - 27 Clay was the Twins fourth round pick in 2014 out of Georgia Tech. The Twins gave him an opportunity to start and he was an All Star starting pitcher in the Midwest League, but he moved to the bullpen where he has had some ups and downs. However, he is left-handed, and he has allowed just one home run since the 2017 season. He is at the Twins alternate training site. During the Twins recent road trip, he was on the taxi squad. Jake Reed - RHP - 27 Reed was the team’s fifth round pick in 2014 out of the University of Oregon. Reed signed quickly and immediately made a strong impression. After a dominant debut, he went to the Arizona Fall League. In 2015, he was quickly promoted to Double-A. The past four seasons have been split between Double-A and Triple-A. At times, particularly the second half of 2018, he was dominant. However, he has not been given a big-league opportunity. He has not been added to the Twins player pool, though one would hope if that group expands (as has been discussed), he would be in that group. Andro Cutura - RHP - 26 Cutura was the Twins’ seventh round pick in 2014 from Southeastern Louisiana University. After just six starts in 2016, he needed Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2017. He returned in 2018. He spent most of 2020 at Double-A Pensacola and pitched four innings for the Red Wings. Jose Martinez - RHP - 23 Martinez signed from Venezuela with the Twins on August 3rd, 2013. His progression through the organization has been slow. He spent a season each in the Dominican Summer League and the Gulf Coast League. He then spent two years with the Elizabethton Twins. He spent 2018 and 2019 with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Moises Gomez - RHP - 23 The Twins signed Gomez out of Venezuela in April of 2014. They were patient with him early. He spent a year in the DSL before spending two seasons in the Gulf Coast League. He split 2017 between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids. He missed time with injury in 2018 but pitched his nine games in E-Town. In 2019, he was one of the top relief pitchers in the minor league system. Between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, he posted a 2.91 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. He also pitched in the Arizona Fall League. One More To Watch Nick Gordon was added to the Twins 40-man roster after the 2018 season. 2020 is his second option year, so obviously he would have another option after this year. However, if the Twins top pick from that 2014 draft were to be removed from the 40-man roster and unclaimed, the 24-year-old could become a free agent as well. Any thoughts on any of these players and their upcoming free agencies? Which, if any, do you think the organization should prioritize attempting to bring back? Should any be put on the 40-man roster before they become free agents?
  20. From positioning to footwork to jumping, the Twins are doing all they can to help Byron Buxton stay healthy in the field during his blistering run at the plate. And they're not done yet.In The Athletic on Thursday, pro bono Yangtze Restaurant Public Relations Manager Aaron Gleeman wrote about the new approaches the Twins are taking to protect Byron Buxton from himself. Twins Daily dug deeper to see how the team plans to keep their star-crossed center fielder healthy. Remove outfield walls in Target Field. While this might seem controversial, team officials say putting down some painter’s tape where the wall would otherwise be might pass muster. “Can’t run into a wall if there’s no wall,” said a front office source with knowledge of the situation. “Dick Bremer’s brother-in-law is a contractor and he’s volunteered to come in to tape it all up, and we can just put down a bunch of comfortable pillows behind the tape for Byron to land in softly and safe from harm.”Make his uniform out of his sliding glove. Buxton’s oven mitt-sized glove helps prevent hand injuries during the speedster’s head-first slides. “What we’re thinking is, make the jersey, the pants, the stirrups, everything out of that material,” said a source close to the coaching staff. “We built a prototype and had Jake Cave try it on. Unfortunately, it’s very bulky. He was bullied by some local teens who chased him down as he attempted to waddle away and they gave him swirlies and at least one purple nurple. So we’re still a ways off.” Cave is listed as day-to-day (America’s bullying crisis) on the team’s injury report.Russian vaccines. When Vladimir Putin announced that his country had developed an effective COVID-19 vaccine, many were skeptical. The Twins were not. “There’s a chance it might be BS, but what if it works,” asked a clubhouse source. “Let’s just say we’re better safe than sorry with Byron.” Another source revealed that the Pohlad family acquired a vaccine sample in exchange for Bill Pohlad filming his next three musician biopics in Russia. “We gave a test injection to Caleb Thielbar and it’s…well, do you know if he glowed in the dark the first time he was on the team?” Thielbar is listed as day-to-day (early onset Dr. Manhattan-ism) on the team’s injury report, while shooting on the life story of Electric Light Orchestra’s Jeff Lynne begins in Volgograd in mid-2021.The team says it will continue looking to innovate as the season continues. “I know there’s a whiteboard in Thad Levine’s office that just says ‘PARACHUTES’ with a few question marks after it,” said the front office source. “Everything’s on the table.” Image license here. Click here to view the article
  21. In The Athletic on Thursday, pro bono Yangtze Restaurant Public Relations Manager Aaron Gleeman wrote about the new approaches the Twins are taking to protect Byron Buxton from himself. Twins Daily dug deeper to see how the team plans to keep their star-crossed center fielder healthy. Remove outfield walls in Target Field. While this might seem controversial, team officials say putting down some painter’s tape where the wall would otherwise be might pass muster. “Can’t run into a wall if there’s no wall,” said a front office source with knowledge of the situation. “Dick Bremer’s brother-in-law is a contractor and he’s volunteered to come in to tape it all up, and we can just put down a bunch of comfortable pillows behind the tape for Byron to land in softly and safe from harm.” Make his uniform out of his sliding glove. Buxton’s oven mitt-sized glove helps prevent hand injuries during the speedster’s head-first slides. “What we’re thinking is, make the jersey, the pants, the stirrups, everything out of that material,” said a source close to the coaching staff. “We built a prototype and had Jake Cave try it on. Unfortunately, it’s very bulky. He was bullied by some local teens who chased him down as he attempted to waddle away and they gave him swirlies and at least one purple nurple. So we’re still a ways off.” Cave is listed as day-to-day (America’s bullying crisis) on the team’s injury report. Russian vaccines. When Vladimir Putin announced that his country had developed an effective COVID-19 vaccine, many were skeptical. The Twins were not. “There’s a chance it might be BS, but what if it works,” asked a clubhouse source. “Let’s just say we’re better safe than sorry with Byron.” Another source revealed that the Pohlad family acquired a vaccine sample in exchange for Bill Pohlad filming his next three musician biopics in Russia. “We gave a test injection to Caleb Thielbar and it’s…well, do you know if he glowed in the dark the first time he was on the team?” Thielbar is listed as day-to-day (early onset Dr. Manhattan-ism) on the team’s injury report, while shooting on the life story of Electric Light Orchestra’s Jeff Lynne begins in Volgograd in mid-2021. The team says it will continue looking to innovate as the season continues. “I know there’s a whiteboard in Thad Levine’s office that just says ‘PARACHUTES’ with a few question marks after it,” said the front office source. “Everything’s on the table.” Image license here.
  22. This week's Almanac features Minnesotan major leaguers Gary Mielke and Caleb Thielbar, Twins greats Torii Hunter, John Gordon, Scott Erickson, Johan Santana, Rod Carew, and Jeff Reardon, the demolition of Met Stadium, and the coldest day in state history. January 28 Happy 55th Birthday, Gary Mielke It’s the birthday of former Rangers reliever Gary Mielke, born in St. James, MN in 1963. The sidearmer made three appearances with the Rangers in 1987, and another 76 between 1989 and ‘90. David Greisen contributed a thorough entry on Mielke to the SABR BioProject (click here). I’ll paraphrase. Gary went to school in St. James through eighth grade, after which the Mielkes moved to North Mankato, and Gary enrolled in Mankato West High School. He earned three letters in baseball at West, and was All-State his senior season (1981). He was also a starting forward on the basketball team his junior and senior seasons. Despite his success in high school, he received zero scholarship offers. He wound up attending local Division II Mankato State, and even there he didn’t make varsity until the middle of his sophomore season (1983). Greisen’s SABR BioProject entry includes a badass anecdote from Mielke’s junior season. He was hit by a liner in Grand Forks, breaking his nose and fracturing his cheekbone. Nonetheless, he made his next scheduled start five days later vs. the rival Gophers, earning a suspenseful complete-game 3-2 win. He was sensational his senior season, not allowing a single run in North Central Conference play, and putting together a 27-inning scoreless streak overall. The Rangers selected Mielke in the 26th round of the 1985 draft. He made his major league debut on August 19, 1987 at age 24, starting the top of the seventh with the Royals beating the Rangers 10-6 in Texas. The first batter he faced, Frank White, homered. Mielke went on to induce ground outs from the next four Royals hitters. Three of Mielke’s favorite major league memories are being on hand for Nolan Ryan’s 5,000th strikeout in 1989, and his sixth no-hitter and 300th win in 1990. Mielke was such a Ryan fan, in fact, that his son, born three days after Gary’s first major league win, is named Tyler Ryan Mielke. The Mielkes later had a daughter, Chelsea. Gary threw his final major league pitch on September 30, 1990, inducing an inning-ending double play from Mark McGwire. Gary Mielke still lives in North Mankato. He has even done some umpiring there over the years. He was inducted into the Minnesota State Mavericks Hall of Fame in 1999. January 28, 1985 Met Stadium Demolished Bloomington’s Metropolitan Stadium, home of the Twins and Vikings from 1961 to 1981, is demolished. The stadium originally opened in 1956 as the home of the Minneapolis Millers. The final game at Met Stadium was played on December 20, 1981, a 10-6 Vikings loss vs. Kansas City. The game time temperature was 10 degrees with a -8 windchill. Twins official scorer and prolific baseball historian Stew Thornley wrote about Met Stadium for the 2015 book A Pennant for the Twin Cities: The 1965 Minnesota Twins. The book is available on Amazon, but you can read Thornley’s article on the SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) website (here). January 29, 2016 Hunter and Gordon Elected to Twins Hall of Fame Twins President Dave St. Peter announces that Torii Hunter and John Gordon will be the 27th and 28th members of the Twins Hall of Fame. Gordon spent 25 years in the Twins radio broadcast booth, originally joining Herb Carneal in 1987, and retiring at the end of the 2011 season. Torii Hunter spent 12 of his 19 major league seasons with the Twins, originally coming up in August 1997 at age 22. While in a Twins uniform Hunter won seven of his nine career Gold Gloves, made two of his five All-Star appearances, and hit 214 of his 353 home runs (sixth-most in Twins history). Hunter’s three grand slams in 2007 tied the team’s single-season record (Bob Allison '61, Rod Carew '76, Kent Hrbek '85, Kirby Puckett '92). Hrbek and Hunter, incidentally, both hit their third on August 15. Don Mattingly set the MLB record with six grand slams in 1987. January 31 Happy 31st Birthday, Caleb Thielbar It’s the birthday of 2005 Randolph High School graduate and former Twins pitcher Caleb Thielbar, born in 1987. Both of Caleb’s parents lettered in baseball at Randolph HS. His mom, Janet (Johnston), was the Rockets’ starting shortstop in 1976. His dad Calvin was the assistant coach of that team. In addition to baseball, Caleb Thielbar excelled in basketball at Randolph HS. He was the second-leading scorer in school history, and number one in three-pointers and free-throw percentage at the time of his graduation. He went on to pitch four season at South Dakota State University, and was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th round of the 2009 draft. He was released by Milwaukee in December 2010. He pitched for the St. Paul Saints in 2011, striking out 62 batters in just 49 ⅔ innings (43 appearances). On August 18 he became the first-ever Saints player signed by the Minnesota Twins. Thielbar rose rapidly through the Twins system, and made his major league debut on May 5, 2013 at age 26, beginning a historically successful rookie season. He did not allow a run in his first 17 big league appearances. He earned his first win on June 1, pitching a 1-2-3 top of the ninth with the Twins trailing the Mariners 4-2. The Twins mounted a comeback in the bottom of the inning, culminating in Joe Mauer scoring from first on a Ryan Doumit walk-off triple. Thielbar finally allowed his first run on July 8, giving up a solo homer to Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist. He finished the season 3-2 with a 1.76 ERA and 0.826 WHIP over 48 appearances (46 innings pitched). He appeared in 54 ballgames in 2014, posting a 3.40 ERA. He appeared in just 6 games in 2015 before being claimed off waivers by the Padres on August 8. He has not pitched in the majors since. Thielbar returned to the St. Paul Saints in 2016, going 5-2 with a 2.39 ERA over 64 innings (42 appearances). He went 2-1 with a 2.01 ERA and 0.761 WHIP in 22.1 innings (17 appearances) with the Saints in 2017. His contract was purchased by the Detroit Tigers on January 23, 2018. Patrick Reusse wrote a great article about Thielbar prior to his rookie season with the Twins (here). February 2 Happy 50th Birthday, Scott Erickson It’s the birthday of former Twins pitcher Scott Erickson, born in Long Beach, CA in 1968. The Twins drafted Erickson out of Arizona State in the fourth round of the 1989 draft. It was the fourth time he had been drafted. Erickson made it to the majors midway through the 1990 season, finishing strong with a 5-0 record in September. He went 12-2 with a 1.39 ERA in the first half off the 1991 season, and was named starting pitcher of the All-Star Game. Erickson, however, was unable to pitch due to injury, so manager Tony LaRussa handed the ball to fellow Twin Jack Morris in his stead. Morris wore black socks and his pants low in the style of Erickson. Erickson wound up going 20-8 for the ‘91 World Series Champion Twins, tying for the major league lead in wins and finishing second to Roger Clemens for the American League Cy Young Award. After a solid ‘92 season, Erickson lost a major league-worst 19 games in 1993. ‘94 was arguably an even worse season for Erickson, though he did no-hit the Brewers at the Metrodome on April 27th. He rebounded after being traded to the Orioles during the ‘95 season, and would ultimately prove to be one of the more durable pitchers of the ‘90s, pitching an American League-leading 251.1 innings in 1998, and winning 73 games between 1995 and ’99. February 2, 2008 Twins Trade Santana The Twins do the prudent thing and trade 2004 and 2006 Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana to the Mets for outfielder Carlos Gomez and three pitchers, all of whom were duds. Gomez showed sparks but never lived up to his potential in Minnesota, though he did score one of the most exciting runs in team history on October 6, 2009. Less than a month later he was traded to Milwaukee for former and future All-Star J.J. Hardy. Gomez, for his part, would go on to consecutive All-Star seasons for Milwaukee in 2013 and ‘14. After three very good seasons in New York, Santana missed all of the 2011 season. He went 6-9 in 21 starts in 2012, pitching his final major league game on August 17, 2012 at age 33. The Twins announced that Santana had been elected to the team Hall of Fame on January 19, 2018. February 2, 1996 Coldest Day in State History The state record low temperature of -60 is recorded near the town of Tower. I was on a sixth-grade class field trip, staying in pretty rustic cabins just a few miles away at the Laurentian Environmental Center in Britt. Former Pioneer Press sportswriter Jim Caple got married that day in Eagan! Don’t feel too bad for the couple, though; it was only -32 in the Twin Cities, a full two degrees warmer than the metro record of -34 set in January 1936. Caple wrote for the Pioneer Press from June 1989 to February 2000. The temperature in Tower on February 8—six days later—was 48; a swing of 108 degrees! February 3, 1979 Twins Trade Carew The Twins trade seven-time American League batting champ Rod Carew to the Angels for Ken Landreaux, Dave Engle, Brad Havens, and Paul Hartzell. It had become increasingly clear that team owner Calvin Griffith had no intention of ponying up for the future Hall of Famer. And even if Griffith could have afforded him, it was unlikely that Carew would have played for Griffith again after the owner's infamous, off-the-rails ramblings at a Lion’s Club dinner in Waseca on September 28. Griffith was quoted in the Star Tribune as having said "I'll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when we found out you only had 15,000 blacks here ... We came here because you've got good, hardworking white people here." Read Nick Coleman's original October 1, 1978 article (click here). February 3, 1987 Twins Acquire Terminator The Twins trade pitcher Neal Heaton, 1980 first-round draft pick catcher Jeff Reed, 19-year-old future major league pitcher Yorkis Perez, and career minor league pitcher Afredo Cardwood to the Expos for backup catcher Tom Nieto and 1985 and ‘86 All-Star closer Jeff Reardon. Reardon would save 31 regular season games for the ‘87 Twins, plus three postseason games, including Game 7 of the World Series. Reardon surpassed Rollie Fingers as major league baseball’s all-time saves leader in 1992 with his 342nd save. His 367 career saves currently rank 10th all-time. Stupid Jonathan Papelbon passed him in 2016. Joe Nathan is eighth on the list with 377. Heaton, for his part, won a career-high 13 games for the Expos in 1987. The Twins career save leaders are Nathan (260), Rick Aguilera (254), Glen Perkins (120), Eddie Guardado (116), Ron Davis (108), and Reardon (104). Bonus Thome Tidbits Here is some Jim Thome trivia on the occasion of his first-ballot election to the Hall of Fame last week. These are just the nuggets that turn up in my Twins Almanac spreadsheet. Contribute your own Thome trivia in the comments below. Jim Thome hit .314 with 218 hits, 61 home runs, and 156 RBI in 196 career games vs. the Twins. That’s his highest average vs. any team he played at least 30 games against, second-most home runs (66 vs. Detroit), and the most hits and RBI he had against any team. He hit .321 with 28 home runs at the Metrodome, the most he hit at any visiting ballpark. He hit .365 with 11 home runs in 19 games vs. the Twins in 2002. An astonishing seven of those home runs came off Rick Reed. He hit two homers off Reed in 2001, for a total of nine, the most he hit against any pitcher. Next on the list is Roger Clemens (8), and Justin Verlander (7). He hit six off several pitchers, including Eric Milton. The Twins set a club record for margin of victory, beating Cleveland 23-2 on June 4, 2002. Cleveland’s two runs came on solo home runs by Jim Thome in the fourth and seventh innings off none other than Rick Reed. Reed only allowed three hits and no walks in seven innings pitched, improving to 6-2 on the season. He would end up leading the team with a 15-7 record. Thome homered in seven straight games for Cleveland in 2002. The Twins record is five games: Harmon Killebrew (twice in 1970), Marty Cordova (1995, in just his 23rd MLB game), and Brian Dozier (2016). The major league record is eight (Dale Long 1956, Mattingly ‘87, and Griffey Jr. ‘93). Tony Oliva, Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall and Harmon Killebrew went back-to-back-to-back-to-back in the eleventh inning in Kansas City on May 2, 1964. Eight teams in major league history have hit four consecutive home runs, most recently the Nationals on July 27, 2017. The last American League team to do so was the White Sox in 2008 when Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, and Juan Uribe went back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Twins five-hitter Bob Allison struck out five times in five at-bats on September 2, 1965, still tied for the major league record in a nine-inning game. Jim Thome tied that record on April 9, 2000. Thome had 20 four-strikeout games, third most in major league history behind Reggie Jackson (23), and Ryan Howard (27). I suspect that includes extra-inning games, but I’m not sure. Who remembers Game 163? No, not that one; the year before that, when the White Sox beat the Twins 1-0 on September 30, 2008. Chicago’s only run came on a Jim Thome solo home run off Nick Blackburn leading off the seventh. That game was in Chicago by virtue of a coin flip, despite the Twins having the better head-to-head record. Major League Baseball changed the rule, and the very next season the Twins hosted the Tigers in a Game 163 for the ages. Fun Fact: The Twins also played 163 games in 1962. Camilo Pascual pitched a three-hit shutout to become the first 20-game winner in Twins history. Thome had already hit 564 home runs when signed with the Twins on January 26, 2010 at age 39. Thome had the first walk-off hit in Target Field history on August 17, 2010. Obviously it was a home run. It was the first of a three-game series vs. the Chicago White Sox, over whom the Twins held a three-game lead in the Central Division. With the Twins trailing 5-6 in the bottom of the tenth, Delmon Young led off with a single off Matt Thornton. Thome then deposited the All-Star closer’s 1-0 offering, a belt-high fastball, onto the plaza. It was Thome's 12th career walk-off homer, tying Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle and Frank Robinson for the major league record. He broke that record on June 24, 2012 while playing for the Phillies. September 4, 2010 was a day Greg Gagne will never forget. He was inducted as the 22nd member of the team Hall of Fame before a game between the first-place Twins and Rangers. Carl Pavano picked up his 16th win in the 12-4 Twins victory. Matt Tolbert had two triples (very Gagne-esque) and drove in five runs, while Thome hit a pair of homers, passing Mark McGwire for ninth on the all-time list. Just two days later—Labor Day—Thome hit a memorable blast off the flagpole, eventually estimated at 480 feet. On July 17, 2011, Thome hit a staggering three-run 490-foot bomb, still the longest ever hit at Target Field. His 596th career home run helped the Twins to a 4-3 win over Kansas City. Thome hit his 599th and 600th home runs in Detroit on August 15, 2011. Pay attention to this, kids: both were to the opposite field. The Twins sold Thome’s contract to Cleveland 10 days later. In total he hit 37 home runs in a Twins uniform. Thome, whose final season was 2012, officially retired on August 2, 2014 with 612 home runs, eighth-most in major league history. Keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to view the article
  23. January 28 Happy 55th Birthday, Gary Mielke It’s the birthday of former Rangers reliever Gary Mielke, born in St. James, MN in 1963. The sidearmer made three appearances with the Rangers in 1987, and another 76 between 1989 and ‘90. David Greisen contributed a thorough entry on Mielke to the SABR BioProject (click here). I’ll paraphrase. Gary went to school in St. James through eighth grade, after which the Mielkes moved to North Mankato, and Gary enrolled in Mankato West High School. He earned three letters in baseball at West, and was All-State his senior season (1981). He was also a starting forward on the basketball team his junior and senior seasons. Despite his success in high school, he received zero scholarship offers. He wound up attending local Division II Mankato State, and even there he didn’t make varsity until the middle of his sophomore season (1983). Greisen’s SABR BioProject entry includes a badass anecdote from Mielke’s junior season. He was hit by a liner in Grand Forks, breaking his nose and fracturing his cheekbone. Nonetheless, he made his next scheduled start five days later vs. the rival Gophers, earning a suspenseful complete-game 3-2 win. He was sensational his senior season, not allowing a single run in North Central Conference play, and putting together a 27-inning scoreless streak overall. The Rangers selected Mielke in the 26th round of the 1985 draft. He made his major league debut on August 19, 1987 at age 24, starting the top of the seventh with the Royals beating the Rangers 10-6 in Texas. The first batter he faced, Frank White, homered. Mielke went on to induce ground outs from the next four Royals hitters. Three of Mielke’s favorite major league memories are being on hand for Nolan Ryan’s 5,000th strikeout in 1989, and his sixth no-hitter and 300th win in 1990. Mielke was such a Ryan fan, in fact, that his son, born three days after Gary’s first major league win, is named Tyler Ryan Mielke. The Mielkes later had a daughter, Chelsea. Gary threw his final major league pitch on September 30, 1990, inducing an inning-ending double play from Mark McGwire. Gary Mielke still lives in North Mankato. He has even done some umpiring there over the years. He was inducted into the Minnesota State Mavericks Hall of Fame in 1999. January 28, 1985 Met Stadium Demolished Bloomington’s Metropolitan Stadium, home of the Twins and Vikings from 1961 to 1981, is demolished. The stadium originally opened in 1956 as the home of the Minneapolis Millers. The final game at Met Stadium was played on December 20, 1981, a 10-6 Vikings loss vs. Kansas City. The game time temperature was 10 degrees with a -8 windchill. Twins official scorer and prolific baseball historian Stew Thornley wrote about Met Stadium for the 2015 book A Pennant for the Twin Cities: The 1965 Minnesota Twins. The book is available on Amazon, but you can read Thornley’s article on the SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) website (here). January 29, 2016 Hunter and Gordon Elected to Twins Hall of Fame Twins President Dave St. Peter announces that Torii Hunter and John Gordon will be the 27th and 28th members of the Twins Hall of Fame. Gordon spent 25 years in the Twins radio broadcast booth, originally joining Herb Carneal in 1987, and retiring at the end of the 2011 season. Torii Hunter spent 12 of his 19 major league seasons with the Twins, originally coming up in August 1997 at age 22. While in a Twins uniform Hunter won seven of his nine career Gold Gloves, made two of his five All-Star appearances, and hit 214 of his 353 home runs (sixth-most in Twins history). Hunter’s three grand slams in 2007 tied the team’s single-season record (Bob Allison '61, Rod Carew '76, Kent Hrbek '85, Kirby Puckett '92). Hrbek and Hunter, incidentally, both hit their third on August 15. Don Mattingly set the MLB record with six grand slams in 1987. January 31 Happy 31st Birthday, Caleb Thielbar It’s the birthday of 2005 Randolph High School graduate and former Twins pitcher Caleb Thielbar, born in 1987. Both of Caleb’s parents lettered in baseball at Randolph HS. His mom, Janet (Johnston), was the Rockets’ starting shortstop in 1976. His dad Calvin was the assistant coach of that team. In addition to baseball, Caleb Thielbar excelled in basketball at Randolph HS. He was the second-leading scorer in school history, and number one in three-pointers and free-throw percentage at the time of his graduation. He went on to pitch four season at South Dakota State University, and was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th round of the 2009 draft. He was released by Milwaukee in December 2010. He pitched for the St. Paul Saints in 2011, striking out 62 batters in just 49 ⅔ innings (43 appearances). On August 18 he became the first-ever Saints player signed by the Minnesota Twins. Thielbar rose rapidly through the Twins system, and made his major league debut on May 5, 2013 at age 26, beginning a historically successful rookie season. He did not allow a run in his first 17 big league appearances. He earned his first win on June 1, pitching a 1-2-3 top of the ninth with the Twins trailing the Mariners 4-2. The Twins mounted a comeback in the bottom of the inning, culminating in Joe Mauer scoring from first on a Ryan Doumit walk-off triple. Thielbar finally allowed his first run on July 8, giving up a solo homer to Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist. He finished the season 3-2 with a 1.76 ERA and 0.826 WHIP over 48 appearances (46 innings pitched). He appeared in 54 ballgames in 2014, posting a 3.40 ERA. He appeared in just 6 games in 2015 before being claimed off waivers by the Padres on August 8. He has not pitched in the majors since. Thielbar returned to the St. Paul Saints in 2016, going 5-2 with a 2.39 ERA over 64 innings (42 appearances). He went 2-1 with a 2.01 ERA and 0.761 WHIP in 22.1 innings (17 appearances) with the Saints in 2017. His contract was purchased by the Detroit Tigers on January 23, 2018. Patrick Reusse wrote a great article about Thielbar prior to his rookie season with the Twins (here). February 2 Happy 50th Birthday, Scott Erickson It’s the birthday of former Twins pitcher Scott Erickson, born in Long Beach, CA in 1968. The Twins drafted Erickson out of Arizona State in the fourth round of the 1989 draft. It was the fourth time he had been drafted. Erickson made it to the majors midway through the 1990 season, finishing strong with a 5-0 record in September. He went 12-2 with a 1.39 ERA in the first half off the 1991 season, and was named starting pitcher of the All-Star Game. Erickson, however, was unable to pitch due to injury, so manager Tony LaRussa handed the ball to fellow Twin Jack Morris in his stead. Morris wore black socks and his pants low in the style of Erickson. Erickson wound up going 20-8 for the ‘91 World Series Champion Twins, tying for the major league lead in wins and finishing second to Roger Clemens for the American League Cy Young Award. After a solid ‘92 season, Erickson lost a major league-worst 19 games in 1993. ‘94 was arguably an even worse season for Erickson, though he did no-hit the Brewers at the Metrodome on April 27th. He rebounded after being traded to the Orioles during the ‘95 season, and would ultimately prove to be one of the more durable pitchers of the ‘90s, pitching an American League-leading 251.1 innings in 1998, and winning 73 games between 1995 and ’99. February 2, 2008 Twins Trade Santana The Twins do the prudent thing and trade 2004 and 2006 Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana to the Mets for outfielder Carlos Gomez and three pitchers, all of whom were duds. Gomez showed sparks but never lived up to his potential in Minnesota, though he did score one of the most exciting runs in team history on October 6, 2009. Less than a month later he was traded to Milwaukee for former and future All-Star J.J. Hardy. Gomez, for his part, would go on to consecutive All-Star seasons for Milwaukee in 2013 and ‘14. After three very good seasons in New York, Santana missed all of the 2011 season. He went 6-9 in 21 starts in 2012, pitching his final major league game on August 17, 2012 at age 33. The Twins announced that Santana had been elected to the team Hall of Fame on January 19, 2018. February 2, 1996 Coldest Day in State History The state record low temperature of -60 is recorded near the town of Tower. I was on a sixth-grade class field trip, staying in pretty rustic cabins just a few miles away at the Laurentian Environmental Center in Britt. Former Pioneer Press sportswriter Jim Caple got married that day in Eagan! Don’t feel too bad for the couple, though; it was only -32 in the Twin Cities, a full two degrees warmer than the metro record of -34 set in January 1936. Caple wrote for the Pioneer Press from June 1989 to February 2000. The temperature in Tower on February 8—six days later—was 48; a swing of 108 degrees! February 3, 1979 Twins Trade Carew The Twins trade seven-time American League batting champ Rod Carew to the Angels for Ken Landreaux, Dave Engle, Brad Havens, and Paul Hartzell. It had become increasingly clear that team owner Calvin Griffith had no intention of ponying up for the future Hall of Famer. And even if Griffith could have afforded him, it was unlikely that Carew would have played for Griffith again after the owner's infamous, off-the-rails ramblings at a Lion’s Club dinner in Waseca on September 28. Griffith was quoted in the Star Tribune as having said "I'll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when we found out you only had 15,000 blacks here ... We came here because you've got good, hardworking white people here." Read Nick Coleman's original October 1, 1978 article (click here). February 3, 1987 Twins Acquire Terminator The Twins trade pitcher Neal Heaton, 1980 first-round draft pick catcher Jeff Reed, 19-year-old future major league pitcher Yorkis Perez, and career minor league pitcher Afredo Cardwood to the Expos for backup catcher Tom Nieto and 1985 and ‘86 All-Star closer Jeff Reardon. Reardon would save 31 regular season games for the ‘87 Twins, plus three postseason games, including Game 7 of the World Series. Reardon surpassed Rollie Fingers as major league baseball’s all-time saves leader in 1992 with his 342nd save. His 367 career saves currently rank 10th all-time. Stupid Jonathan Papelbon passed him in 2016. Joe Nathan is eighth on the list with 377. Heaton, for his part, won a career-high 13 games for the Expos in 1987. The Twins career save leaders are Nathan (260), Rick Aguilera (254), Glen Perkins (120), Eddie Guardado (116), Ron Davis (108), and Reardon (104). Bonus Thome Tidbits Here is some Jim Thome trivia on the occasion of his first-ballot election to the Hall of Fame last week. These are just the nuggets that turn up in my Twins Almanac spreadsheet. Contribute your own Thome trivia in the comments below. Jim Thome hit .314 with 218 hits, 61 home runs, and 156 RBI in 196 career games vs. the Twins. That’s his highest average vs. any team he played at least 30 games against, second-most home runs (66 vs. Detroit), and the most hits and RBI he had against any team. He hit .321 with 28 home runs at the Metrodome, the most he hit at any visiting ballpark. He hit .365 with 11 home runs in 19 games vs. the Twins in 2002. An astonishing seven of those home runs came off Rick Reed. He hit two homers off Reed in 2001, for a total of nine, the most he hit against any pitcher. Next on the list is Roger Clemens (8), and Justin Verlander (7). He hit six off several pitchers, including Eric Milton. The Twins set a club record for margin of victory, beating Cleveland 23-2 on June 4, 2002. Cleveland’s two runs came on solo home runs by Jim Thome in the fourth and seventh innings off none other than Rick Reed. Reed only allowed three hits and no walks in seven innings pitched, improving to 6-2 on the season. He would end up leading the team with a 15-7 record. Thome homered in seven straight games for Cleveland in 2002. The Twins record is five games: Harmon Killebrew (twice in 1970), Marty Cordova (1995, in just his 23rd MLB game), and Brian Dozier (2016). The major league record is eight (Dale Long 1956, Mattingly ‘87, and Griffey Jr. ‘93). Tony Oliva, Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall and Harmon Killebrew went back-to-back-to-back-to-back in the eleventh inning in Kansas City on May 2, 1964. Eight teams in major league history have hit four consecutive home runs, most recently the Nationals on July 27, 2017. The last American League team to do so was the White Sox in 2008 when Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, and Juan Uribe went back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Twins five-hitter Bob Allison struck out five times in five at-bats on September 2, 1965, still tied for the major league record in a nine-inning game. Jim Thome tied that record on April 9, 2000. Thome had 20 four-strikeout games, third most in major league history behind Reggie Jackson (23), and Ryan Howard (27). I suspect that includes extra-inning games, but I’m not sure. Who remembers Game 163? No, not that one; the year before that, when the White Sox beat the Twins 1-0 on September 30, 2008. Chicago’s only run came on a Jim Thome solo home run off Nick Blackburn leading off the seventh. That game was in Chicago by virtue of a coin flip, despite the Twins having the better head-to-head record. Major League Baseball changed the rule, and the very next season the Twins hosted the Tigers in a Game 163 for the ages. Fun Fact: The Twins also played 163 games in 1962. Camilo Pascual pitched a three-hit shutout to become the first 20-game winner in Twins history. Thome had already hit 564 home runs when signed with the Twins on January 26, 2010 at age 39. Thome had the first walk-off hit in Target Field history on August 17, 2010. Obviously it was a home run. It was the first of a three-game series vs. the Chicago White Sox, over whom the Twins held a three-game lead in the Central Division. With the Twins trailing 5-6 in the bottom of the tenth, Delmon Young led off with a single off Matt Thornton. Thome then deposited the All-Star closer’s 1-0 offering, a belt-high fastball, onto the plaza. It was Thome's 12th career walk-off homer, tying Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle and Frank Robinson for the major league record. He broke that record on June 24, 2012 while playing for the Phillies. September 4, 2010 was a day Greg Gagne will never forget. He was inducted as the 22nd member of the team Hall of Fame before a game between the first-place Twins and Rangers. Carl Pavano picked up his 16th win in the 12-4 Twins victory. Matt Tolbert had two triples (very Gagne-esque) and drove in five runs, while Thome hit a pair of homers, passing Mark McGwire for ninth on the all-time list. Just two days later—Labor Day—Thome hit a memorable blast off the flagpole, eventually estimated at 480 feet. On July 17, 2011, Thome hit a staggering three-run 490-foot bomb, still the longest ever hit at Target Field. His 596th career home run helped the Twins to a 4-3 win over Kansas City. Thome hit his 599th and 600th home runs in Detroit on August 15, 2011. Pay attention to this, kids: both were to the opposite field. The Twins sold Thome’s contract to Cleveland 10 days later. In total he hit 37 home runs in a Twins uniform. Thome, whose final season was 2012, officially retired on August 2, 2014 with 612 home runs, eighth-most in major league history. Keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter and Facebook.
  24. With today's move has the Twins' pitching staff been finalized? How did Josmil Pinto feel about his second game back from the concussion? Read about these and more at today's Report From The Fort.Twins Option Caleb Thielbar To AAA The Twins announced on Wednesday morning that left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar has been optioned to Rochester. The 28-year-old Randolph, MN native had pitched in 103 games for the Twins over the past two seasons, amassing a 5-3 record, 2.59 ERA and a 74/30 K/BB ratio over 93.2 innings. READ: Which Righty Relievers Can Get Lefties Out? Thielbar’s spring was spotty, as he allowed 19 hits over 11 innings which led to seven earned runs. Was the March performance the reason he was optioned? "There were other people performing," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said before Wednesday's game against the Red Sox. "Some different people that came in. There are other people still here who haven't performed quite as well as he did." A day after optioning left-hander Aaron Thompson to Rochester, the Twins continue to purge southpaws from the bullpen, leaving Brian Duensing and Glen Perkins as the left-handed arms. Yesterday, Ryan said that Thompson’s camp was decent and that he along with pitchers like Thielbar could be back in Minnesota quickly. “He threw OK. He came up last September and did OK. We tried to encourage him to keep his head up, it was a disappointing day for him. It should be. But I can see him surfacing with us. He’s left-handed,” said Ryan. “He’ll be down in AAA just a phone call away with a few others down there.” For now, the Twins have their pitching staff that they will begin the season with but Ryan acknowledged that things do change. "You could always adjust whether it is this week or its in the middle of April or as you go through the spring or summer. Right now, this is the way we are headed." Will The Twins Bring The Heat? When asked if hard-throwers like Jake Reed and Nick Burdi will be ready this year, Ryan left that answer up to the players. "That's up to them," Ryan said of the pair of relievers who combined to strike out 77 in 51.1 innings in 2015. "We got people who are farther ahead than those two guys. Those two guys haven't even had a year of pro ball." Josmil Pinto Happy With Performance On Tuesday, catcher Josmil Pinto played five innings of a minor league game at the Twins’ complex. After his first game back where his swing was described as “late” by Terry Ryan, Pinto had a better time of it, finishing the day 1-for-3 with an impressive home run. When asked if he got all of it, Pinto smiled and said “Oh yes.” The Twins are still concerned over his ability to be ready for opening day in Detroit. “He started out with that hamstring and he was doing fine after that,” Ryan said. “Now’s he’s gotten into those concussion symptoms. So he had to sit nine days for that. So it’s been a little bit of an inconsistent, sketchy look. Not that we don’t know him, we do. So we’ll see how he feels after today and we’ll make a decision after tomorrow.” Pinto will play four of five innings in Wednesday's minor league game but will not catch. Clubhouse Sickness Pitcher Kyle Gibson said he felt significantly better after battling a stomach bug that caused him to miss his last start against Boston. The Twins said he will maintain his current schedule and pitch again on Saturday. While Gibson was recovering, the Twins had to make a quick lineup change before Wednesday’s game. Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was slated to play against the Red Sox but was replaced with Eduardo Escobar in left field as Arcia was reportedly ill. Escobar has hit safely in 12 of 16 games this spring and launched his fourth home run of the spring off of Yankees’ starter Masahiro Tanaka on Tuesday. There’s no question that Escobar has had a great spring and Ryan knows his offense will have him playing on a consistent basis in the regular season. “We value his contributions here highly and I know Paul [Molitor] is very interested in make sure he gets his due in terms of at-bats.” The swirling sickness in the clubhouse which crippled numerous players and manager Paul Molitor raised questions regarding the cleanliness of the facilities. Ryan was quick to dispel any notion that the sanitation of the clubhouse played any role in the sickness. “We’re very sensitive about locker room cleanliness and issues that would come about in the locker room. And we do that and we’re very protective of that locker room. Unfortunately we have had a lot of guys who have had flu symptoms this spring. I’m not so sure it is out of the ordinary.” Minor League Coach Riccardo Ingram Passes Long-time minor league coach Riccardo Ingram, 48, passed away in Atlanta, Georgia after a prolonged battle with brain cancer. The News-Press’s David Dorsey wrote an article this week detailing how Ingram would be renewing his battle with cancer which first sidelined him from the game for 12 months from July 2009 to 2010. After coaching and managing at various levels in the organization, Ingram spent the last three seasons as a hitting instructor in Triple-A and Double-A. "It'd be very difficult for me to find a person who didn't have good things to say about Ingram," Ryan said of the news. "He's one of those guys who has a lot of charisma. He can tell a story." Ingram leaves behind his wife, Allison, and daughters, Kacey and Kristen. Click here to view the article
  25. Twins Option Caleb Thielbar To AAA The Twins announced on Wednesday morning that left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar has been optioned to Rochester. The 28-year-old Randolph, MN native had pitched in 103 games for the Twins over the past two seasons, amassing a 5-3 record, 2.59 ERA and a 74/30 K/BB ratio over 93.2 innings. READ: Which Righty Relievers Can Get Lefties Out? Thielbar’s spring was spotty, as he allowed 19 hits over 11 innings which led to seven earned runs. Was the March performance the reason he was optioned? "There were other people performing," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said before Wednesday's game against the Red Sox. "Some different people that came in. There are other people still here who haven't performed quite as well as he did." A day after optioning left-hander Aaron Thompson to Rochester, the Twins continue to purge southpaws from the bullpen, leaving Brian Duensing and Glen Perkins as the left-handed arms. Yesterday, Ryan said that Thompson’s camp was decent and that he along with pitchers like Thielbar could be back in Minnesota quickly. “He threw OK. He came up last September and did OK. We tried to encourage him to keep his head up, it was a disappointing day for him. It should be. But I can see him surfacing with us. He’s left-handed,” said Ryan. “He’ll be down in AAA just a phone call away with a few others down there.” For now, the Twins have their pitching staff that they will begin the season with but Ryan acknowledged that things do change. "You could always adjust whether it is this week or its in the middle of April or as you go through the spring or summer. Right now, this is the way we are headed." Will The Twins Bring The Heat? When asked if hard-throwers like Jake Reed and Nick Burdi will be ready this year, Ryan left that answer up to the players. "That's up to them," Ryan said of the pair of relievers who combined to strike out 77 in 51.1 innings in 2015. "We got people who are farther ahead than those two guys. Those two guys haven't even had a year of pro ball." Josmil Pinto Happy With Performance On Tuesday, catcher Josmil Pinto played five innings of a minor league game at the Twins’ complex. After his first game back where his swing was described as “late” by Terry Ryan, Pinto had a better time of it, finishing the day 1-for-3 with an impressive home run. When asked if he got all of it, Pinto smiled and said “Oh yes.” The Twins are still concerned over his ability to be ready for opening day in Detroit. “He started out with that hamstring and he was doing fine after that,” Ryan said. “Now’s he’s gotten into those concussion symptoms. So he had to sit nine days for that. So it’s been a little bit of an inconsistent, sketchy look. Not that we don’t know him, we do. So we’ll see how he feels after today and we’ll make a decision after tomorrow.” Pinto will play four of five innings in Wednesday's minor league game but will not catch. Clubhouse Sickness Pitcher Kyle Gibson said he felt significantly better after battling a stomach bug that caused him to miss his last start against Boston. The Twins said he will maintain his current schedule and pitch again on Saturday. While Gibson was recovering, the Twins had to make a quick lineup change before Wednesday’s game. Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was slated to play against the Red Sox but was replaced with Eduardo Escobar in left field as Arcia was reportedly ill. Escobar has hit safely in 12 of 16 games this spring and launched his fourth home run of the spring off of Yankees’ starter Masahiro Tanaka on Tuesday. There’s no question that Escobar has had a great spring and Ryan knows his offense will have him playing on a consistent basis in the regular season. “We value his contributions here highly and I know Paul [Molitor] is very interested in make sure he gets his due in terms of at-bats.” The swirling sickness in the clubhouse which crippled numerous players and manager Paul Molitor raised questions regarding the cleanliness of the facilities. Ryan was quick to dispel any notion that the sanitation of the clubhouse played any role in the sickness. “We’re very sensitive about locker room cleanliness and issues that would come about in the locker room. And we do that and we’re very protective of that locker room. Unfortunately we have had a lot of guys who have had flu symptoms this spring. I’m not so sure it is out of the ordinary.” Minor League Coach Riccardo Ingram Passes Long-time minor league coach Riccardo Ingram, 48, passed away in Atlanta, Georgia after a prolonged battle with brain cancer. The News-Press’s David Dorsey wrote an article this week detailing how Ingram would be renewing his battle with cancer which first sidelined him from the game for 12 months from July 2009 to 2010. After coaching and managing at various levels in the organization, Ingram spent the last three seasons as a hitting instructor in Triple-A and Double-A. "It'd be very difficult for me to find a person who didn't have good things to say about Ingram," Ryan said of the news. "He's one of those guys who has a lot of charisma. He can tell a story." https://twitter.com/PatNeshek/status/583243066984792064 Ingram leaves behind his wife, Allison, and daughters, Kacey and Kristen.
×
×
  • Create New...