Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'casey fien'.

  • 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
    • Head 2 Head Debate Forum
    • 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
  • Notes From The Neds
  • Blog Lindsay Guentzel
  • Blog Karl
  • Vance_Christianson's Blog
  • Curveball Blog
  • waltomeal's Blog
  • bronald3030
  • Knuckleballs - JC
  • Blog jrzf713
  • The Minor League Lifestyle
  • Jason Kubel is America
  • weneedjackmorris' Blog
  • Mahlk
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog freightmaster
  • Playin' Catch
  • Sethmoko's Blog
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Lev's Musings
  • Blog Scott Povolny
  • Blog COtwin
  • Hrbowski's Blog
  • Minnesota Twins Whine Line
  • Bomba Blog
  • cjm0926's Blogs
  • Blog Chad Jacobsen
  • Blog ScottyBroco
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Back Office Twins Baseball Blog
  • DannySD's Blog
  • nobitadora's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1812
  • Greg Fransen
  • Blog Adam Krueger
  • Hammered (adj.) Heavily inebriated, though to a lesser extent than ****faced.
  • Thegrin's Blog
  • 3rd Inning Stretch's Blog
  • Mark Ferretti
  • Jeremy Nygaard
  • The W.A.R. room
  • Christopher Fee's Blog
  • Postma Posts
  • Rolondo's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1814
  • Fantasy GM
  • Blog Fanatic Jack
  • Dominican Adventure
  • Cory Engelhardt's Blog
  • markthomas' Blog
  • blogs_blog_1815
  • Un/Necessary Sports Drivel
  • 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
  • Left 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. Right away this morning, we had the following tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale: Now as you know, the Dodgers are in major debt from MLB, but that may actually make Dozier make more sense. As Nightengale followed up: So, let the rumors begin... Julio Urias? We can wish. Jose Deleon? Should be the minimum as a starting point. Cody Bellinger is their top prospect, a left-handed hitting outfielder who can also play first base. But the Twins need pitching, so names like Yadier Alvarez, Walker Buehler and Jordan Sheffield should be in discussions as well. And maybe a shortstop too, like Gavin Lux. Mike Berardino wrote yesterday that Thad LeVine is saying that the team would have to be "inspired" to deal Dozier. In my mind, that means at least two of the names mentioned above, and one of them being Urias or DeLeon. Dozier is obviously the big talker, but the Twins have far more to do than just consider dealing the second baseman. Adding pitching will be the key. Derek Falvey and Thad LeVine, along with a full contingent of Twins front office types, will make the trek to DC today. In case you missed it, LaVelle Neal wrote a really nice piece on Falvey that you should read. In Case You Missed It: Brian Duensing signed a one-year deal with the Cubs. Casey Fien signed a one-year, split contract with the Mariners. In the big leagues, he would make $1.1 million with more available in incentives. Since he has an option remaining, he would make a different amount in AAA. Is Andrew McCutchen going to the Nationals and teaming with Bryce Harper in the outfield? Will Mark Melancon go to the Giants or Nationals? Houston has been very active early. Will that continue? Again, keep tabs of rumors here, and if there is a Twins transaction, we'll soon have an article ready to discuss that too. If you hear a rumor, come back here and post it in the comments!
  2. The Winter Meetings are set to begin later today in Washington D.C. No time during the year, with the exception (maybe) of the July trade deadline, are there more rumors. Some are real. Some are baseless. But it is a fun time of the year for baseball fans. Each day, we'll have an official thread for the day. Use this as an area to discuss any rumors you hear or read, or a place to mention transactions as they happen. Obviously if (or when) the Twins make any transactions, we'll have a full article on it, but this is a good place to discuss moves and rumors from around the league. Be sure to check back frequently. Let's get to the rumors:Right away this morning, we had the following tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale: So, let the rumors begin... Julio Urias? We can wish. Jose Deleon? Should be the minimum as a starting point. Cody Bellinger is their top prospect, a left-handed hitting outfielder who can also play first base. But the Twins need pitching, so names like Yadier Alvarez, Walker Buehler and Jordan Sheffield should be in discussions as well. And maybe a shortstop too, like Gavin Lux. Mike Berardino wrote yesterday that Thad LeVine is saying that the team would have to be "inspired" to deal Dozier. In my mind, that means at least two of the names mentioned above, and one of them being Urias or DeLeon. Dozier is obviously the big talker, but the Twins have far more to do than just consider dealing the second baseman. Adding pitching will be the key. Derek Falvey and Thad LeVine, along with a full contingent of Twins front office types, will make the trek to DC today. In case you missed it, LaVelle Neal wrote a really nice piece on Falvey that you should read. In Case You Missed It: Brian Duensing signed a one-year deal with the Cubs.Casey Fien signed a one-year, split contract with the Mariners. In the big leagues, he would make $1.1 million with more available in incentives. Since he has an option remaining, he would make a different amount in AAA.Is Andrew McCutchen going to the Nationals and teaming with Bryce Harper in the outfield?Will Mark Melancon go to the Giants or Nationals?Houston has been very active early. Will that continue?Again, keep tabs of rumors here, and if there is a Twins transaction, we'll soon have an article ready to discuss that too. If you hear a rumor, come back here and post it in the comments! Click here to view the article
  3. Every outing gets a “grade” of either Yes or No. Yes, he got the job done. No, he did not perform well for the situation he was called into. We have looked at this a couple of times already this month, so I thought a monthly recap would be important. It will also give us a basis for what happens in May, June and beyond. Here are the overall success rates of the relievers in April: Pitcher -- Yes-No (Success Rate) Casey Fien -- 8-4 (66.7%) Trevor May -- 7-5 (58.3%) Fernando Abad -- 11-0 (100.0%) Ryan Pressly -- 8-3 (72.7%) Michael Tonkin -- 7-3 (70.0%) Kevin Jepsen -- 5-5 (50.0%) Ryan O’Rourke -- 5-2 (71.4%) Glen Perkins - 0-2 (0.0%) Taylor Rogers -- 1-0 (100.0%) Alex Meyer -- 0-1 (0.0%) So, in the season’s first month, Paul Molitor has gone to his bullpen 76 times. 52 of those times, or 68.4%, have been successful. As I’ve acknowledged all along, this is subjective number based on my interpretation of what getting the job done is for a reliever. But it does give a good sense of where they are. I’m certain it will be of no surprise to read that Kevin Jepsen has struggled, and since he’s been the closer, his non-successful outings have cost leads and in some cases games. Likewise, if you’ve watched, you’re likely not surprised to see that Fernando Abad has been perfect to this point. In case you were wondering: Fernando Abad - 11 G, 10.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 5 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts. Tony Sipp - 11 G, 8.1 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 10 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts. Antonio Bastardo - 9 G, 10.1 IP, 2.61 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 9 hits, 3 walks, 16 strikeouts. (Note - yes, I realize this is small sample size and could very well be flipped upside down in May which, of course, is the very nature of relief pitching.) I won’t pretend know where these numbers will go, or if 68% success rate is good. What it does show is that four of the seven relievers used most often are within four percent of the average. Trevor May is about 10% below, and Kevin Jepsen is almost 20% below the average. Fernando Abad is 32% above the average. I would not be shocked if the average each month stays in the 67-75% range, and within each month, there will be a couple of outliers. We shall find out. For good or ill.
  4. May is upon us. While the Minnesota Twins lost again on Sunday, May 1, I would certainly assume that they are ready to be done with April. An 0-9 start and an overall record of 7-17 is something that the Twins would like to move past. The Twins’ bullpen wasn’t good in April. I think we can all agree with that, and the number of blown saves alone would illustrate it well. Obviously any time that a late-inning bullpen guy has a bad outing, it is likely to cost the team the game, or at least lessen the odds of the team winning. But one thing I wanted to know going into the season, something I’ve been curious about for years, is how often can the manager call to a guy in the bullpen and that reliever got the job done. In other words, how reliable is the pitcher? If Paul Molitor calls on Ryan Pressly in the 7th or 8th inning how often did Pressly leave the game having done his job?Every outing gets a “grade” of either Yes or No. Yes, he got the job done. No, he did not perform well for the situation he was called into. We have looked at this a couple of times already this month, so I thought a monthly recap would be important. It will also give us a basis for what happens in May, June and beyond. Here are the overall success rates of the relievers in April: Pitcher -- Yes-No (Success Rate) Casey Fien -- 8-4 (66.7%) Trevor May -- 7-5 (58.3%) Fernando Abad -- 11-0 (100.0%) Ryan Pressly -- 8-3 (72.7%) Michael Tonkin -- 7-3 (70.0%) Kevin Jepsen -- 5-5 (50.0%) Ryan O’Rourke -- 5-2 (71.4%) Glen Perkins - 0-2 (0.0%) Taylor Rogers -- 1-0 (100.0%) Alex Meyer -- 0-1 (0.0%) So, in the season’s first month, Paul Molitor has gone to his bullpen 76 times. 52 of those times, or 68.4%, have been successful. As I’ve acknowledged all along, this is subjective number based on my interpretation of what getting the job done is for a reliever. But it does give a good sense of where they are. I’m certain it will be of no surprise to read that Kevin Jepsen has struggled, and since he’s been the closer, his non-successful outings have cost leads and in some cases games. Likewise, if you’ve watched, you’re likely not surprised to see that Fernando Abad has been perfect to this point. In case you were wondering: Fernando Abad - 11 G, 10.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 5 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts.Tony Sipp - 11 G, 8.1 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 10 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts.Antonio Bastardo - 9 G, 10.1 IP, 2.61 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 9 hits, 3 walks, 16 strikeouts.(Note - yes, I realize this is small sample size and could very well be flipped upside down in May which, of course, is the very nature of relief pitching.) I won’t pretend know where these numbers will go, or if 68% success rate is good. What it does show is that four of the seven relievers used most often are within four percent of the average. Trevor May is about 10% below, and Kevin Jepsen is almost 20% below the average. Fernando Abad is 32% above the average. I would not be shocked if the average each month stays in the 67-75% range, and within each month, there will be a couple of outliers. We shall find out. For good or ill. Click here to view the article
  5. The Twins lost again on Wednesday night to fall to 4-11 on the still-young season. After starting 0-9, the team rattled off four straight wins before losing the last two days to Milwaukee. Just over a week ago, I wrote about the Twins bullpen failure during the first week of the season. Today, I am going to update you on how things have been going. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t do it a day earlier probably. And let’s be honest, the bullpen is not the only reason that the Twins are struggling. The offense has at least started hitting for some power of late, but there have been many missed opportunities. Defensively, the team is a mess. Adding to that, the team’s closer, top utility man, and third baseman/clean-up hitter are injured. But let’s get back to the bullpen. I wrote that it was unfortunate that I didn’t write this a day sooner. Why? Because last night, four Twins relievers entered the game and none of them really threw well. They certainly weren’t helped by their defense, but the results for each just isn’t where we, or they, would want them.But let’s take a step back first. I went into last week’s article wanting a stat that would tell me how often a relief pitcher came in and did his job.A simple, yes or no. Yes, there are similar stats such as FanGraphs' Shutdowns and Meltdowns. There may need to be an accounting for leverage. So, this isn’t a perfect stat, but what it does is says that when Paul Molitor calls a guy’s name, he did what was needed in that situation for the team. In theory, it may tell Molitor whether or not the pitcher should be relied upon. THE FIRST SEVEN Let’s start by looking back at the results we showed through seven games. This is through games played April 11. Glen Perkins was 0/2 (0%). Kevin Jepsen was ⅓ (33%) Trevor May was 0/3 (0%). Casey Fien was ⅓ (33%). Ryan Pressly was ¾ (75%) Michael Tonkin was 0/1 (0%) Fernando Abad was 3/3 (100%) Through seven games, the Twins bullpen combined to be 8/19 (42%) successful. I don’t know what a good number is, but I’m certain that 42% is not. We also know that there is enough track record in the above group to know that it wouldn’t stay that bad forever. Even with Perkins going to the disabled list, it couldn’t stay that bad… Or could it? THE NEXT SEVEN So, let’s look at how the bullpen performed games eight through 14. Was it any better? Kevin Jepsen was ¾ (75%). Trevor May was ⅔ (67%) Casey Fien was 2/2 (100%) Ryan Pressly was 3/3 (100%) Michael Tonkin was 3/3 (100%) Fernando Abad was 3/3 (100%) Taylor Rogers was 1/1 (100%) Ryan O’Rourke was 2/2 (100%) That certainly looks a lot better. In the second set of seven games, the Twins bullpen members were successful in 19 out of 21 opportunities. That’s 90.5% which I have to assume is very good. Of course, as I mentioned above, four pitchers who were at 100% in the second week threw in last night’s game and went 0/4. So, here is an update of how the Twins bullpen members have performed through the team’s first 15 games (includes Wednesday’s game too). THROUGH 15 GAMES Glen Perkins is 0/2 (0%) Kevin Jepsen is 4/7 (57.1%) Trevor May is 2/6 (33.3%) Casey Fien is 3/6 (50.0%) Ryan Pressly is 6/8 (75.0%) Michael Tonkin is ⅗ (60.0%) Fernando Abad is 6/6 (100%) Taylor Rogers is 1/1 (100%) Ryan O’Rourke is ⅔ (66.7%) Overall, the team is now 27/44 (61.4%). Again, there is no real context to that number, though I still have to believe that a “good” number should be around 75%, but it may be higher. If you want to factor in for leverage, clearly Perkins, Jepsen and May are being placed in the highest leverage situations, though we have seen Abad, Pressly and Fien in some as well. Last night, Michael Tonkin was placed in a bases-loaded, one out situation and it didn’t go well, but he was very successful when the Twins needed him to get Mike Trout and Albert Pujols out over the weekend. Meanwhile, JT Chargois is sitting in Chattanooga, dominating AA hitters. He has faced 15 batters so far. He’s given up no hits, no walks, hasn’t hit a batter. No base runners through five outings. He’s also struck out nine batters. Nick Burdi is back in Chattanooga looking to get his season started off right. There are some options. Bullpens, and relief pitchers, do have a tendency to be a bit streaky. It is rare to find relievers who are consistently good from year to year. Even within a season, it's normal to have good and bad stretches. It is going to be very interesting to see how this plays out over the season. Who will step up and be more consistent, and how long will Terry Ryan be patient with some of these pitchers? So, what do you think? Any further observations on the Twins bullpen? Do any of the numbers above surprise you? Click here to view the article
  6. But let’s take a step back first. I went into last week’s article wanting a stat that would tell me how often a relief pitcher came in and did his job.A simple, yes or no. Yes, there are similar stats such as FanGraphs' Shutdowns and Meltdowns. There may need to be an accounting for leverage. So, this isn’t a perfect stat, but what it does is says that when Paul Molitor calls a guy’s name, he did what was needed in that situation for the team. In theory, it may tell Molitor whether or not the pitcher should be relied upon. THE FIRST SEVEN Let’s start by looking back at the results we showed through seven games. This is through games played April 11. Glen Perkins was 0/2 (0%). Kevin Jepsen was ⅓ (33%) Trevor May was 0/3 (0%). Casey Fien was ⅓ (33%). Ryan Pressly was ¾ (75%) Michael Tonkin was 0/1 (0%) Fernando Abad was 3/3 (100%) Through seven games, the Twins bullpen combined to be 8/19 (42%) successful. I don’t know what a good number is, but I’m certain that 42% is not. We also know that there is enough track record in the above group to know that it wouldn’t stay that bad forever. Even with Perkins going to the disabled list, it couldn’t stay that bad… Or could it? THE NEXT SEVEN So, let’s look at how the bullpen performed games eight through 14. Was it any better? Kevin Jepsen was ¾ (75%). Trevor May was ⅔ (67%) Casey Fien was 2/2 (100%) Ryan Pressly was 3/3 (100%) Michael Tonkin was 3/3 (100%) Fernando Abad was 3/3 (100%) Taylor Rogers was 1/1 (100%) Ryan O’Rourke was 2/2 (100%) That certainly looks a lot better. In the second set of seven games, the Twins bullpen members were successful in 19 out of 21 opportunities. That’s 90.5% which I have to assume is very good. Of course, as I mentioned above, four pitchers who were at 100% in the second week threw in last night’s game and went 0/4. So, here is an update of how the Twins bullpen members have performed through the team’s first 15 games (includes Wednesday’s game too). THROUGH 15 GAMES Glen Perkins is 0/2 (0%) Kevin Jepsen is 4/7 (57.1%) Trevor May is 2/6 (33.3%) Casey Fien is 3/6 (50.0%) Ryan Pressly is 6/8 (75.0%) Michael Tonkin is ⅗ (60.0%) Fernando Abad is 6/6 (100%) Taylor Rogers is 1/1 (100%) Ryan O’Rourke is ⅔ (66.7%) Overall, the team is now 27/44 (61.4%). Again, there is no real context to that number, though I still have to believe that a “good” number should be around 75%, but it may be higher. If you want to factor in for leverage, clearly Perkins, Jepsen and May are being placed in the highest leverage situations, though we have seen Abad, Pressly and Fien in some as well. Last night, Michael Tonkin was placed in a bases-loaded, one out situation and it didn’t go well, but he was very successful when the Twins needed him to get Mike Trout and Albert Pujols out over the weekend. Meanwhile, JT Chargois is sitting in Chattanooga, dominating AA hitters. He has faced 15 batters so far. He’s given up no hits, no walks, hasn’t hit a batter. No base runners through five outings. He’s also struck out nine batters. Nick Burdi is back in Chattanooga looking to get his season started off right. There are some options. Bullpens, and relief pitchers, do have a tendency to be a bit streaky. It is rare to find relievers who are consistently good from year to year. Even within a season, it's normal to have good and bad stretches. It is going to be very interesting to see how this plays out over the season. Who will step up and be more consistent, and how long will Terry Ryan be patient with some of these pitchers? So, what do you think? Any further observations on the Twins bullpen? Do any of the numbers above surprise you?
  7. Miguel Sano, right field/third base (?) Sano got off to a dreadful start to the season, predictably struggling in his new assignment as a right fielder but also having a disappointing month of April with the bat. With the Twins losing their first eight and Sano sporting a .125/.300/.125 triple-slash line that included a home run drought that would last three more games, many started to question whether or not the move to the outfield had affected Sano mentally; the early returns were a mess. But then things started to turn around. Over the last seven games, Sano is 9-for-27 (.333) with seven walks, two home runs and six RBI. The young slugger has increased his batting line to .243/.371/.392. While he’s off his 2015 pace, Sano is having great at-bats - but still striking out a lot - and is definitely trending toward a return to the nasty run producing threat (52 RBI) that he was during his run in 2015. With the early returns on Joe Mauer as promising as they’ve been, there will be plenty of opportunities for Sano to double the run production he provided last season. Oh, and did I mention that he's been very solid in his handful of games at third base? Casey Fien, relief pitcher Fien has been the target of many Twins fans over the last few season, questioned regularly why he’s even tendered a contract each offseason. He didn’t do much to dispel those complaints as he got roughed up in the season opener against the Orioles and then again by the Royals five days later. Only three outings into the season, Fien had allowed almost as many hits (7) as he had recorded outs (8). Toss in two walks and you have a WHIP in excess of 3.00. And that’s really bad. Fien then started coming into games and asked only to get an out or two and the results started to improve. Over the past seven days (four games), Fien has mostly returned to getting three outs and the results have been positive. Against the Brewers, with a large lead, Fien recorded a 1-2-3 inning to finish the inning. Two days late, against the heart of the Nationals order, Fien struck out Bryce Harper and Stephen Drew (around a single). The following day Fien was summoned to replace Tyler Duffey and gave up a leadoff hit. But he then retired the next three batters he faced. And then on Tuesday night - the most impressive feat - Fien was called in to replace Ricky Nolasco who had just surrendered a double. Fien struck out both Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis with a barrage of mid-90 mph, four-seam fastballs. If Fien can continue to throw strikes at a high rate (39-of-50, 78% in his last four outings) the results will trend in a much more positive direction that early in the season (56-of-96, 58%) when he was struggling to get the ball over the plate and into the catcher’s mitt. Daniel Palka, right field In the last seven days, Palka has 13 hits in 27 at-bats. For comparison sake, Engelb Vielma has the same number of hits on the season in 42 at-bats… and is hitting .310. Palka slashed .280/.352/.532 last year and led his league (high-A) with 29 home runs before the Twins acquired him for backup catcher Chris Herrmann. It seemed a steal at the time and he’s done nothing since then to disappoint. After going 1-for-5 last Wednesday, Palka saw his OPS hit a season-low .655. Then the hits started. Palka did mix an 0-for-4 into his last seven games, but has hit the aforementioned 13-for-27 with four doubles, two home runs, five walks and four strikeouts. He’s increased his line to .338/.405/.563 and put himself in the pole position to win Southern League Player of the Week. But when you reach base safely 14 consecutive times over the course of nearly three complete games, people recognize you. Using his cameo in the big league camp to help people take notice, Palka is definitely trending in the right direction. He’ll have to obliterate AA to force a move into the already-crowded Rochester outfield, but it could certainly happen. Players like Palka, though, tend to run very hot and very cold, so don’t be too surprised if Palka backs up this torrid stretch with a run of strikeouts. Who have you been impressed by over the last week?
  8. Tuesday night is Jose Berrios night and what might be the longest wait of our life is finally over. While you watch his debut - and keep your fingers crossed that the rain stays away - take a look at three players in the organization who had good showings over the last seven days.Miguel Sano, right field/third base (?) Sano got off to a dreadful start to the season, predictably struggling in his new assignment as a right fielder but also having a disappointing month of April with the bat. With the Twins losing their first eight and Sano sporting a .125/.300/.125 triple-slash line that included a home run drought that would last three more games, many started to question whether or not the move to the outfield had affected Sano mentally; the early returns were a mess. But then things started to turn around. Over the last seven games, Sano is 9-for-27 (.333) with seven walks, two home runs and six RBI. The young slugger has increased his batting line to .243/.371/.392. While he’s off his 2015 pace, Sano is having great at-bats - but still striking out a lot - and is definitely trending toward a return to the nasty run producing threat (52 RBI) that he was during his run in 2015. With the early returns on Joe Mauer as promising as they’ve been, there will be plenty of opportunities for Sano to double the run production he provided last season. Oh, and did I mention that he's been very solid in his handful of games at third base? Casey Fien, relief pitcher Fien has been the target of many Twins fans over the last few season, questioned regularly why he’s even tendered a contract each offseason. He didn’t do much to dispel those complaints as he got roughed up in the season opener against the Orioles and then again by the Royals five days later. Only three outings into the season, Fien had allowed almost as many hits (7) as he had recorded outs (8). Toss in two walks and you have a WHIP in excess of 3.00. And that’s really bad. Fien then started coming into games and asked only to get an out or two and the results started to improve. Over the past seven days (four games), Fien has mostly returned to getting three outs and the results have been positive. Against the Brewers, with a large lead, Fien recorded a 1-2-3 inning to finish the inning. Two days late, against the heart of the Nationals order, Fien struck out Bryce Harper and Stephen Drew (around a single). The following day Fien was summoned to replace Tyler Duffey and gave up a leadoff hit. But he then retired the next three batters he faced. And then on Tuesday night - the most impressive feat - Fien was called in to replace Ricky Nolasco who had just surrendered a double. Fien struck out both Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis with a barrage of mid-90 mph, four-seam fastballs. If Fien can continue to throw strikes at a high rate (39-of-50, 78% in his last four outings) the results will trend in a much more positive direction that early in the season (56-of-96, 58%) when he was struggling to get the ball over the plate and into the catcher’s mitt. Daniel Palka, right field In the last seven days, Palka has 13 hits in 27 at-bats. For comparison sake, Engelb Vielma has the same number of hits on the season in 42 at-bats… and is hitting .310. Palka slashed .280/.352/.532 last year and led his league (high-A) with 29 home runs before the Twins acquired him for backup catcher Chris Herrmann. It seemed a steal at the time and he’s done nothing since then to disappoint. After going 1-for-5 last Wednesday, Palka saw his OPS hit a season-low .655. Then the hits started. Palka did mix an 0-for-4 into his last seven games, but has hit the aforementioned 13-for-27 with four doubles, two home runs, five walks and four strikeouts. He’s increased his line to .338/.405/.563 and put himself in the pole position to win Southern League Player of the Week. But when you reach base safely 14 consecutive times over the course of nearly three complete games, people recognize you. Using his cameo in the big league camp to help people take notice, Palka is definitely trending in the right direction. He’ll have to obliterate AA to force a move into the already-crowded Rochester outfield, but it could certainly happen. Players like Palka, though, tend to run very hot and very cold, so don’t be too surprised if Palka backs up this torrid stretch with a run of strikeouts. Who have you been impressed by over the last week? Click here to view the article
  9. The Twins lost their season opener to the Orioles, 3-2 on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth yesterday by Matt Wieters, who up to that point had been 0-4 and left five stranded on base. The game featured a couple of very promising performances, a few discouraging ones, a play that baseball geeks love to debate and weather shenanigans.The Good Eduardo Escobar began the season where he left off last season, with two doubles, the second of which drove in a run and set the table for the Twins tying run. Escobar was both Aaron Gleeman’s and my pick in yesterday’s Gleeman and the Geek podcast to be the Twin who most surprises in a positive way this year. Escobar, you might recall, posted a .952(!) OPS in August and an 816 OPS in September last year, while showing considerably more plate discipline. Eduardo Escobar is for real. The other impressive outing belonged to Trevor May, who pitched two high-leverage innings out of the bullpen, striking out four of the eight batters he faced. May ended last season exactly the opposite of Escobar: struggling and hurt. Seeing him effective and strong enough to throw 31 pitches (with 22 strikes) is a good omen for the bullpen. The Bad And the bullpen could use some good news, because it had its share of bad news, some expected, some not so much. The expected bad news was that Casey Fien gave up two runs before he got an out, though he did stick around for 2/3 inning after. The Twins offered Fien arbitration this year because, in theory, he offers the upside they saw the in first four months of 2014, when he posted a 2.34 ERA and was a reliable eighth inning setup man. But he battled injuries at the end of 2014, battled them again in 2015 and has posted a 4.57 ERA since August 1st of 2014. A team can gamble on a reliever like that during the offseason, hoping that rest will heal what ails the previously reliable arm. But at some point, it doesn’t matter whether a reliever is ineffective because he’s injured or just because he is not that good. The point should be coming within the next month or so for Fien. He’ll need to find that magic again, because the Twins should have other options. The unexpected bad surprise was Kevin Jepsen giving up a walk and two singles to lose the game after getting two quick outs. I don’t know that we need to sound any alarms. It started because he fell behind 3-1 and ball four, which put the (eventually game-winning) runner on base, looked like a strike. The two singles were “diamond cutters,” well hit singles up the middle, but also the sort of hit that relievers just occasionally give up. Finally, it’s worth noting that the Twins lead-off candidates, Brian Dozier and Byron Buxton, were 0-7 combined. Dozier got a couple of high fastballs that were to his liking, but popped them up instead of driving them into the left field seats. Buxton struck out all three times he came to the plate. Each was followed with lots of reassuring tweets that “Buxton WILL hit.” He will, but that isn’t the question. The question is whether or not he’ll require a trip to Rochester before he makes the needed adjustment. The Rest 1. The Twins tying run scored on a play that baseball geeks like to debate. With runners on 2nd and 3rd base and one out, Kurt Suzuki hit a deep fly ball to left field that was foul but in play. The Orioles left fielder, Joey Rickard, caught it in foul ground, which allowed Byung-Ho Park to tag up and score from third base. Had Rickard just let the ball drop, it would have been a 1-2 count on Suzuki but the one-run lead would have been maintained. I suspect the usual logic is that unless it is the game-winning run, that’s exactly how it should be played. But I checked out FanGraph’s Win Probability Play Log to see how that catch affected the game. The answer? It didn’t. With runners one 2nd and 3rd and one out, nursing a one run lead in the top of the seventh, the home team wins the game 52.4% of the time. And with a tie game, two outs and a runner on second, they win…. 52.6% of the time. It’s essentially a wash either way Rickard played it. 2. The other big story of the game was the rain delay, which just ended up weird. The Orioles had their Opening Day festivities, but then delayed the start of the game by one hour and 40 minutes, most of which was dry. Then they started the game which went two innings before it started to rain and the umpires delayed the game. That lasted one hour and 10 minutes, and then the game started again and was played straight through without the starting pitchers. The issue of a rain delay is a little complicated because the person who has the authority to delay the game changes when the first pitch is thrown. Before the first pitch, the home team gets to decide if the game should be delayed. After the first pitch, it’s solely in the umpires’ hands. So it isn’t too surprising that the Orioles, who likely were trying to make sure their fans got to see the game they paid for, didn’t turn it over to the umpires early. What’s weird is that they started it in between storm fronts, where they lost control anyway. Click here to view the article
  10. The Good Eduardo Escobar began the season where he left off last season, with two doubles, the second of which drove in a run and set the table for the Twins tying run. Escobar was both Aaron Gleeman’s and my pick in yesterday’s Gleeman and the Geek podcast to be the Twin who most surprises in a positive way this year. Escobar, you might recall, posted a .952(!) OPS in August and an 816 OPS in September last year, while showing considerably more plate discipline. Eduardo Escobar is for real. The other impressive outing belonged to Trevor May, who pitched two high-leverage innings out of the bullpen, striking out four of the eight batters he faced. May ended last season exactly the opposite of Escobar: struggling and hurt. Seeing him effective and strong enough to throw 31 pitches (with 22 strikes) is a good omen for the bullpen. The Bad And the bullpen could use some good news, because it had its share of bad news, some expected, some not so much. The expected bad news was that Casey Fien gave up two runs before he got an out, though he did stick around for 2/3 inning after. The Twins offered Fien arbitration this year because, in theory, he offers the upside they saw the in first four months of 2014, when he posted a 2.34 ERA and was a reliable eighth inning setup man. But he battled injuries at the end of 2014, battled them again in 2015 and has posted a 4.57 ERA since August 1st of 2014. A team can gamble on a reliever like that during the offseason, hoping that rest will heal what ails the previously reliable arm. But at some point, it doesn’t matter whether a reliever is ineffective because he’s injured or just because he is not that good. The point should be coming within the next month or so for Fien. He’ll need to find that magic again, because the Twins should have other options. The unexpected bad surprise was Kevin Jepsen giving up a walk and two singles to lose the game after getting two quick outs. I don’t know that we need to sound any alarms. It started because he fell behind 3-1 and ball four, which put the (eventually game-winning) runner on base, looked like a strike. The two singles were “diamond cutters,” well hit singles up the middle, but also the sort of hit that relievers just occasionally give up. Finally, it’s worth noting that the Twins lead-off candidates, Brian Dozier and Byron Buxton, were 0-7 combined. Dozier got a couple of high fastballs that were to his liking, but popped them up instead of driving them into the left field seats. Buxton struck out all three times he came to the plate. Each was followed with lots of reassuring tweets that “Buxton WILL hit.” He will, but that isn’t the question. The question is whether or not he’ll require a trip to Rochester before he makes the needed adjustment. The Rest 1. The Twins tying run scored on a play that baseball geeks like to debate. With runners on 2nd and 3rd base and one out, Kurt Suzuki hit a deep fly ball to left field that was foul but in play. The Orioles left fielder, Joey Rickard, caught it in foul ground, which allowed Byung-Ho Park to tag up and score from third base. Had Rickard just let the ball drop, it would have been a 1-2 count on Suzuki but the one-run lead would have been maintained. I suspect the usual logic is that unless it is the game-winning run, that’s exactly how it should be played. But I checked out FanGraph’s Win Probability Play Log to see how that catch affected the game. The answer? It didn’t. With runners one 2nd and 3rd and one out, nursing a one run lead in the top of the seventh, the home team wins the game 52.4% of the time. And with a tie game, two outs and a runner on second, they win…. 52.6% of the time. It’s essentially a wash either way Rickard played it. 2. The other big story of the game was the rain delay, which just ended up weird. The Orioles had their Opening Day festivities, but then delayed the start of the game by one hour and 40 minutes, most of which was dry. Then they started the game which went two innings before it started to rain and the umpires delayed the game. That lasted one hour and 10 minutes, and then the game started again and was played straight through without the starting pitchers. The issue of a rain delay is a little complicated because the person who has the authority to delay the game changes when the first pitch is thrown. Before the first pitch, the home team gets to decide if the game should be delayed. After the first pitch, it’s solely in the umpires’ hands. So it isn’t too surprising that the Orioles, who likely were trying to make sure their fans got to see the game they paid for, didn’t turn it over to the umpires early. What’s weird is that they started it in between storm fronts, where they lost control anyway.
  11. The bullpen has been a primary area of interest for me lately, one that I've written about a few times recently since I view that unit as one where the Twins can make very meaningful and impactful improvements during the offseason. Is bringing Fien back a step in the right direction? He turned 32 last month and his strikeout rate has declined in each of the past two seasons. This year, his 5.8 K/9 rate ranked 125th out of 137 qualified relievers. For a team that ought to have a clear focus on building a more powerful bullpen after finishing 2015 as the only team in the majors with a K/9 rate below 7.0 from its relief corps, bringing back a setup man who has struggled to miss bats like Fien is, on the surface, questionable at best. In fairness, however, there are a few other factors to be taken into account. For one thing, Fien's drop in strikeouts did not coincide with a dip in velocity, reducing concerns that his arm is running out of gas. Indeed, the heightened contact rates appeared to relate to his health, as the strikeouts mostly dried up in the middle of the summer, around the time he was dealing with a shoulder strain. By season's end, he had evidently put those those issues behind him, finishing with a 2.91 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings over his final 20 appearances. And even with the lack of whiffs, Fien had a good season overall. His 117 ERA+ was his best in a full season. His 1.09 WHIP was undeniably excellent, and exactly what you want from a pitcher getting high-leverage chances. His ability to keep runners off the basepaths was driven in part by his elite control; among qualified relievers, only Oakland's Evan Scribner had a walk rate lower than Fien's 1.1 BB/9. It was the third consecutive season in which Fien has ranked near the top of the league leaderboard in that category, and that is not something to be overlooked. Ultimately, when you account for the righty's proclivity for pounding the strike zone, along with his enduring mid-90s velocity, his strong finish, and the relatively low cost of keeping him around (in the Offseason Handbook, we estimated that he'd make $2.5 million in 2016) the decision to tender him a contract is a very defensible one. The downward strikeout trend is troubling, however, especially on a team that desperately needs to find more K's in the bullpen. All things considered, if Fien is the No. 3 right-hander in the bullpen heading into next season, he's nice to have on board. If he's the second option, routinely being called on to pitch the eighth inning, then some of the concerns surrounding him become magnified. So much will depend on what happens with Trevor May and with the remaining offseason moves.
  12. We learned on Wednesday night that the Twins had elected to tender contracts to all six of their arbitration eligible players. Several members of that group were a given, namely: Eduardo Escobar, Tommy Milone, Trevor Plouffe and Kevin Jepsen. Eduardo Nunez was a little iffy but he did fine in his limited role last year and he'll probably cost the least of the bunch. The most noteworthy decision, in my mind, was tendering Casey Fien.The bullpen has been a primary area of interest for me lately, one that I've written about a few times recently since I view that unit as one where the Twins can make very meaningful and impactful improvements during the offseason. Is bringing Fien back a step in the right direction? He turned 32 last month and his strikeout rate has declined in each of the past two seasons. This year, his 5.8 K/9 rate ranked 125th out of 137 qualified relievers. For a team that ought to have a clear focus on building a more powerful bullpen after finishing 2015 as the only team in the majors with a K/9 rate below 7.0 from its relief corps, bringing back a setup man who has struggled to miss bats like Fien is, on the surface, questionable at best. In fairness, however, there are a few other factors to be taken into account. For one thing, Fien's drop in strikeouts did not coincide with a dip in velocity, reducing concerns that his arm is running out of gas. Indeed, the heightened contact rates appeared to relate to his health, as the strikeouts mostly dried up in the middle of the summer, around the time he was dealing with a shoulder strain. By season's end, he had evidently put those those issues behind him, finishing with a 2.91 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings over his final 20 appearances. And even with the lack of whiffs, Fien had a good season overall. His 117 ERA+ was his best in a full season. His 1.09 WHIP was undeniably excellent, and exactly what you want from a pitcher getting high-leverage chances. His ability to keep runners off the basepaths was driven in part by his elite control; among qualified relievers, only Oakland's Evan Scribner had a walk rate lower than Fien's 1.1 BB/9. It was the third consecutive season in which Fien has ranked near the top of the league leaderboard in that category, and that is not something to be overlooked. Ultimately, when you account for the righty's proclivity for pounding the strike zone, along with his enduring mid-90s velocity, his strong finish, and the relatively low cost of keeping him around (in the Offseason Handbook, we estimated that he'd make $2.5 million in 2016) the decision to tender him a contract is a very defensible one. The downward strikeout trend is troubling, however, especially on a team that desperately needs to find more K's in the bullpen. All things considered, if Fien is the No. 3 right-hander in the bullpen heading into next season, he's nice to have on board. If he's the second option, routinely being called on to pitch the eighth inning, then some of the concerns surrounding him become magnified. So much will depend on what happens with Trevor May and with the remaining offseason moves. Click here to view the article
  13. I was going to write up some of my game thoughts from the Twins 6-4 loss last night to the Detroit Tigers. I had some ideas. I jotted them down. But, I thought it might be wise to just wait until morning to actually write them up. After sleeping on it, I arrive at the same conclusion. That was a tough one! Giving up a 4-0 lead in the late innings is certainly not ideal.That might be an understatement. After the last four season in which the Twins lost 90 or more games each year, 2015 has been fun. And, because of that fun, and the fact that the Twins are in contention on September 25th with just nine more games to play makes such a loss even more difficult on fans. Of course, as difficult as the loss was on the fans, it is likely ten-times more difficult on the players in that clubhouse, and particularly on Glen Perkins whose second-half slide may have reached a low point. THREE UP Some questioned the decision to have Mike Pelfrey make the Friday night start because of his road struggles throughout the 2015 season. At Target Field this year, Pelfrey is 4-4 with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 13 starts. Opponents hit just .248/.305/.323 (.628) off of him. On the road, he is 2-6 with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP. Opponents have hit .347/.397/.484 (.881). And yet, Pelfrey came through when his team needed him. The righ-hander threw five innings and gave up just one run on six hits. He walked none and struck out seven. He was at just 85 pitches when Paul Molitor ended his night and went to the bullpen. The game was scoreless through the first four innings. In the top of the fifth, Tigers starter Matt Boyd began with walking the first two batters, Miguel Sano and Trevor Plouffe. After a Nick Castellanos throwing error, the bases were loaded for Eddie Rosario. The rookie has had many great moments in his rookie season, but when he launched a bases-clearing triple, it may have been the biggest moment of his year. It gave the Twins a 3-0 lead. Eduardo Escobar later hit a sacrifice fly, to second baseman Ian Kinsler, for the fourth run. Escobar leads MLB in triples with 15. He also added his 16th outfield assist in the game. THREE DOWN Things started out well for the bullpen as Blaine Boyer worked a scoreless sixth inning. Casey Fien got the seventh inning and it started with a strikeout. Dixon Machado hit a single, but Fien got a flyout from Rajai Davis for the second out. One out from getting out of the inning, he proceeded to walk Anthony Gose, the nine hitter. Ian Kinsler then hit a ground-rule double, a lucky break as Gose may have scored from first base. The Twins still had a 4-2 lead, and Glen Perkins came in. Glen Perkins was amazing in the first half. He was 28-28 in his save opportunities and recorded the final out of the All-Star Game for the second straight season. As Nick wrote yesterday, the second-half has been a huge struggle for the left-hander. With runners on second and third, Miguel Cabrera walked. That brought up Victor Martinez who has not been good against right-handers (.214) while hitting very well against southpaws (.348). Martinez came through with a two-run double to tie the game. Perkins was able to strike out JD Martinez to keep the game tied. Perkins stayed in for the 8th inning. Nick Castellanos led off the inning with a double. However, he struck out the next two batters. That brought up Rajai Davis, and we all know what happened then. On a full-count pitch, Davis launched an opposite field home run to give the Tigers a 6-4 lead. Perkins was going for the backdoor slider to get Davis, but as he said after the game, he just hung the pitch and Davis took advantage. It’s easy to first- or second-guess Molitor’s decisions in the seventh and eighth innings. Bringing in the left-hander to face Cabrera, Martinez and Martinez makes sense with Perkins going well, but how about when he’s struggling? Having Perkins, coming off of injuries, stay in for a second inning can be questioned as well. However, he got the two strikeouts and then just made a really bad pitch to Davis. If he throws the slider the way he throws it 95% of the time, he gets a strikeout or weak contact. If he takes out Perkins and brings in Tonkin at that point, then fans could wonder why he didn’t stick with Perkins. The Twins bullpen woes on Friday night certainly are magnified in a playoff race. Through the course a 162-game season teams are going to cough up leads, even four-run leads, several times. Likewise, teams are going to have tough nights with the bat. Last night, it was a combination. The bullpen melted down, but the offense had just two hits. Matt Boyd, the southpaw rookie, gave up just one hit. That was as big of an issue as the bullpen. Rosario gave the team the big hit after a couple of walks, but aside from that the offense did nothing. WILD CARD WATCH The Twins lost, but the Astros also lost, so the Twins are still just 1.5 games back for the second Wild Card spot. However, the Angels got a win, so they are just 0.5 games behind the Astros. Before the Cleveland series, I thought that the Twins would need to go 10-3 over their final 13 games to make the playoffs. They’ve gone 2-2 in the last four games, so now my thought is that they will need to go 8-1 down the stretch to make the playoffs. Tonight, the Twins will send rookie Tyler Duffey to the mound against Detroit. Along with Ervin Santana, he's been the team's best starter in the last four to five weeks. The Twins are now 78-75. And yes, I only came up with Two Up for the Three Up section. You’ll have to let me know if you can find a third from last night’s game. A good night's sleep didn't make that loss any less tough. Click here to view the article
  14. That might be an understatement. After the last four season in which the Twins lost 90 or more games each year, 2015 has been fun. And, because of that fun, and the fact that the Twins are in contention on September 25th with just nine more games to play makes such a loss even more difficult on fans. Of course, as difficult as the loss was on the fans, it is likely ten-times more difficult on the players in that clubhouse, and particularly on Glen Perkins whose second-half slide may have reached a low point. THREE UP Some questioned the decision to have Mike Pelfrey make the Friday night start because of his road struggles throughout the 2015 season. At Target Field this year, Pelfrey is 4-4 with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 13 starts. Opponents hit just .248/.305/.323 (.628) off of him. On the road, he is 2-6 with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP. Opponents have hit .347/.397/.484 (.881). And yet, Pelfrey came through when his team needed him. The righ-hander threw five innings and gave up just one run on six hits. He walked none and struck out seven. He was at just 85 pitches when Paul Molitor ended his night and went to the bullpen. The game was scoreless through the first four innings. In the top of the fifth, Tigers starter Matt Boyd began with walking the first two batters, Miguel Sano and Trevor Plouffe. After a Nick Castellanos throwing error, the bases were loaded for Eddie Rosario. The rookie has had many great moments in his rookie season, but when he launched a bases-clearing triple, it may have been the biggest moment of his year. It gave the Twins a 3-0 lead. Eduardo Escobar later hit a sacrifice fly, to second baseman Ian Kinsler, for the fourth run. Escobar leads MLB in triples with 15. He also added his 16th outfield assist in the game. THREE DOWN Things started out well for the bullpen as Blaine Boyer worked a scoreless sixth inning. Casey Fien got the seventh inning and it started with a strikeout. Dixon Machado hit a single, but Fien got a flyout from Rajai Davis for the second out. One out from getting out of the inning, he proceeded to walk Anthony Gose, the nine hitter. Ian Kinsler then hit a ground-rule double, a lucky break as Gose may have scored from first base. The Twins still had a 4-2 lead, and Glen Perkins came in. Glen Perkins was amazing in the first half. He was 28-28 in his save opportunities and recorded the final out of the All-Star Game for the second straight season. As Nick wrote yesterday, the second-half has been a huge struggle for the left-hander. With runners on second and third, Miguel Cabrera walked. That brought up Victor Martinez who has not been good against right-handers (.214) while hitting very well against southpaws (.348). Martinez came through with a two-run double to tie the game. Perkins was able to strike out JD Martinez to keep the game tied. Perkins stayed in for the 8th inning. Nick Castellanos led off the inning with a double. However, he struck out the next two batters. That brought up Rajai Davis, and we all know what happened then. On a full-count pitch, Davis launched an opposite field home run to give the Tigers a 6-4 lead. Perkins was going for the backdoor slider to get Davis, but as he said after the game, he just hung the pitch and Davis took advantage. It’s easy to first- or second-guess Molitor’s decisions in the seventh and eighth innings. Bringing in the left-hander to face Cabrera, Martinez and Martinez makes sense with Perkins going well, but how about when he’s struggling? Having Perkins, coming off of injuries, stay in for a second inning can be questioned as well. However, he got the two strikeouts and then just made a really bad pitch to Davis. If he throws the slider the way he throws it 95% of the time, he gets a strikeout or weak contact. If he takes out Perkins and brings in Tonkin at that point, then fans could wonder why he didn’t stick with Perkins. The Twins bullpen woes on Friday night certainly are magnified in a playoff race. Through the course a 162-game season teams are going to cough up leads, even four-run leads, several times. Likewise, teams are going to have tough nights with the bat. Last night, it was a combination. The bullpen melted down, but the offense had just two hits. Matt Boyd, the southpaw rookie, gave up just one hit. That was as big of an issue as the bullpen. Rosario gave the team the big hit after a couple of walks, but aside from that the offense did nothing. WILD CARD WATCH The Twins lost, but the Astros also lost, so the Twins are still just 1.5 games back for the second Wild Card spot. However, the Angels got a win, so they are just 0.5 games behind the Astros. Before the Cleveland series, I thought that the Twins would need to go 10-3 over their final 13 games to make the playoffs. They’ve gone 2-2 in the last four games, so now my thought is that they will need to go 8-1 down the stretch to make the playoffs. Tonight, the Twins will send rookie Tyler Duffey to the mound against Detroit. Along with Ervin Santana, he's been the team's best starter in the last four to five weeks. The Twins are now 78-75. And yes, I only came up with Two Up for the Three Up section. You’ll have to let me know if you can find a third from last night’s game. A good night's sleep didn't make that loss any less tough.
  15. The Minnesota Twins had one of the greatest months in franchise history in May, going 20-7 and putting themselves in the conversation for the American League Central Division. Unfortunately, they've gone 10-16 since then with only a couple games left in June and now see themselves 5.5 games back of the Kansas City Royals in the division and 1 game back of an American League Wild Card spot. The bats have quieted down in June and the bullpen has come back down to earth. A big reason for the 20-win month of May was that everything seemed to be clicking. Starting pitching was very good (3.66 ERA, 1.19 WHIP), the offense was scoring 5.15 runs per game and the relievers were finding ways to get guys out and get the game to closer Glen Perkins. In June, the starting pitching has actually been better (3.43 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) but the offense has only scored 3.38 runs per game and the bullpen has been one of the worst in baseball, 13th in the AL & 27th overall. In May, the bullpen was 8th in the AL & 14th overall. The primary relievers other than Glen Perkins have been Blaine Boyer, Aaron Thompson, Ryan Pressly & Casey Fien when it comes to close games. You can put Brian Duensing in there too but he’s primarily a lefty one-out guy (a LOOGY.) Looking at those names doesn’t bring a lot of confidence in getting the job done for a lot of reasons. The main reason is most of them are not power pitchers with the ability to strikeout hitters when they need to. Ryan Pressly and Casey Fien have that ability but Pressly is still developing at the major league level and Fien has been dealing with injuries most of the season. Aaron Thompson started out great and that curveball was helping him get guys out but it hasn’t been as sharp lately and the hitters have adjusted to his stuff and he’s now getting hit hard, really hard. Blaine Boyer started out terrible and was everyone’s pick to be sent down, released or just shown the door one way or another. Everyone wondered how he was still on the roster but then Boyer the Destroyer showed up and he was lights out in May as the setup man in the 8th inning. Now, he’s getting hit around a little bit again and fans are starting to wonder why the Twins haven’t done anything about it. To me, baseball is not really a game where making quick judgements of players works. You set your lineup, pitching rotation and bullpen and see how it goes for awhile and tweak it as you need to. The bullpen and relievers are probably the hardest to figure out because they could have one bad outing and you don’t know how that will affect them the next time they pitch. Relievers aren’t guaranteed to pitch the next day or even the day after that. They don’t know the next time they’ll get on the mound. A hitter will get in the next game or have another at-bat coming within a few innings. A starting pitcher knows he’s pitching every fifth day so they can prepare for it. How does that change how a relief pitcher pitches when he gets in a game? Nobody could’ve guessed that Blaine Boyer would turn into the Destroyer the way he began the season. You have to give a player some time to play through their struggles and figure things out. We don’t know if there was something wrong with him injury wise or if he was just struggling with command because he’s changing the grip on a pitch or still working on that pitch. Can the Twins do anything to change their bullpen situation? They can look in the minors for some relief (pardon the pun) but there’s really not much in AAA Rochester to help them out. The only option I see is A.J. Achter, who is currently the closer for the Red Wings. In 34.2 innings in AAA this season, A.J. is 3-2 with 12 saves and he’s allowed only 14 hits and 9 runs (5 HRs) with 7 walks and 34 strikeouts. He was up with the Twins at the end of last season as a September call-up. He pitched in only 7 games but got his first major league win in the last game he pitched on September 26th. His fastball only touches 90 but he also has a cutter, a slider and a changeup. There’s the option of trying to pick up a reliever via trade. The starting rotation will start to get crowded pretty quickly with Ervin Santana coming back shortly so what better time to get something from Mike Pelfrey’s great season or Tommy Milone pitching well lately. They could always trade some prospects for something too. There’s also the option of moving one of the starters into the bullpen but that doesn’t usually help the late innings of a game. Starters going to the bullpen usually end up being long relievers so that won’t help. It may be just a wait and see approach for the time being. We’ll find out. That’s my TwinsTake! What’s your TwinsTake? Let us know what you think in the comments, on Facebook, Twitter and/or Google+. Our Takes, Your Takes, TwinsTakes.com!
  16. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/GATG_05312015_final2.mp3
  17. Aaron and John talk about the Twins' pitching depth vanishing with one Ricky Nolasco injury, whether Oswaldo Arcia is even wanted back, Casey Fien's return to the bullpen, Chris Colabello hurting and helping his old team, sending kids off into the world as adults, Trevor May's new approach, Tasseldega Nights, Josmil Pinto not knocking down the door, answering Meatsauce's mailbag questions, and the great corn dog vs. corn-on-the-cob debate. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click the Play button below. Click here to view the article
  18. Tonight we are playing Guess the Starter for the Rochester Red Wings. Don't cheat, here's a clue.... Lester Oliveros came in relief in the second. If you said Casey Fien, award yourself a gold star. I also tagged this thread Jose Berrios and Chih Wei Hu just for laughs. EDIT: Had to edit because answer was in the home page teaser text!
  19. For the Twins, the good news was that the fans showed up. They filled Target Field. They overran every establishment in the warehouse district. They turned the Twins home opener into a state holiday. But there was even better news. They booed. It started as groans in the third inning and escalated to scattered heckles in the sixth as outfielders showed their (well known) defensive limitations. And when it got really ugly in the top of the eighth, Twins Territory booed. Lustily. Robustly. Disgustedly.That was a good sign for the Twins. It shows that maybe they haven’t completely lost their fans after four (plus one week) really crummy seasons. But it is a less good sign for the people at the top of that organization who might be facing a crisis in confidence that I never thought I’d see. This offseason, General Manager Terry Ryan and the Twins doled out three guaranteed contracts and raised expectations with talk of being competitive. But their biggest free agent signing, pitcher Ervin Santana, was caught taking performance-enhancing drugs. The reliever Ryan signed, Tim Stauffer, has a 8.10 ERA despite being limited to mop-up duties. And the beloved veteran leader Torii Hunter, who was brought back to shepherd immature talent, is hitting .130 and keeps being burned defensively. It gets worse. Ryan faces all these challenges with a rookie – not just at the big league level but at any level - manager whose team looks inept defensively and, anemic offensively, but at least they have a disastrous bullpen. Today the Twins lost their home opener by more runs than they had ever lost any other home opener. They are already six games back of the Royals in the AL Central - and they’ve only played seven games. But that general stuff isn’t why the fans booed. They booed because the infield failed to turn double plays to get Trevor May out of an inning. The booed because long fly balls to the gap kept falling just out of the reach of the outfielders and because relay throws dribbled untouched through the infield. And they booed watching reliever after reliever be thrown like so much dry oak onto a pyre. In case you’re wondering if it’s time to panic, it certainly is in regard to the Twins bullpen. They don’t have a single right-hander that rookie Manager Paul Molitor can (or should) trust right now, with the possible exception of Casey Fien who says his shoulder is healthy. Even he is not a sure thing, given last season’s late fade, underwhelming spring training and recent missed games. We’ll see. If he’s injured, we’ll also see just how much damage he does before the Twins shut him down. If Fien is healthy, one of the other three right-handers needs to be a sacrificial lamb for Michael Tonkin or Mark Hamburger or Ryan Pressly or Lester Oliveros or whoever. My best guess now would be Pressly, but far more interesting is which reliever (or two) they demote. The correct answer is “Blain Boyer” who offers little in terms of future impact or historical success. Tim Stauffer offers the latter and JR Graham the former, but both in limited doses, so I’m not sure there is a wrong answer here. The tougher problem (and probably less urgent) is what to do about the outfield defense. Oswaldo Arcia and Hunter are not strong defenders as Monday’s game showed, but the Twins had to know what they were getting with both of them, even if they didn’t want to publicly acknowledge it about Hunter. But the corner outfielders’ limitations are exacerbated by center-fielders who are too mediocre to help in the gaps. They’re further inflamed by substitutes who aren’t outfielders and might actually be worse defensively. If Arcia and Hunter can’t be moved around (and doing so would require pressing the panic button) then maybe this team needs to search for an elite defensive center fielder. Perhaps they can work out a way to get Peter Bourjos from the Cardinals. He can’t hit, but neither can Shane Robinson, and Bourjos can at least reach those bouncing balls in the gap before Hunter or Arcia, which didn’t happen today. And finally, there is the lineup. There are several guys who look lost in the tall weeds right now, but the biggest culprit is Hunter. Hunter has been batting cleanup and entered today’s game 0-11 with runners on base, partly because pitchers seem to recognize they don’t need to throw him strikes. Or maybe the culprit is whoever keeps writing Hunter into the lineup right behind Joe Mauer, who entered today with a .417 on-base percentage. There are several more areas that could be dissected; there are certainly several more that were obvious to the vocal fans at Target Field at Monday. It was also obvious that one inning after the boos rained down, the stadium was only one-third filled with an inning left to play. Beyond the twitter snark and blogger treatises and talk radio rants lies a barren, quiet place called Apathy. This Twins season seems to be hurtling toward that arid wasteland. The best news yesterday was that the Twins haven’t reached that destination. Yet. Click here to view the article
  20. That was a good sign for the Twins. It shows that maybe they haven’t completely lost their fans after four (plus one week) really crummy seasons. But it is a less good sign for the people at the top of that organization who might be facing a crisis in confidence that I never thought I’d see. This offseason, General Manager Terry Ryan and the Twins doled out three guaranteed contracts and raised expectations with talk of being competitive. But their biggest free agent signing, pitcher Ervin Santana, was caught taking performance-enhancing drugs. The reliever Ryan signed, Tim Stauffer, has a 8.10 ERA despite being limited to mop-up duties. And the beloved veteran leader Torii Hunter, who was brought back to shepherd immature talent, is hitting .130 and keeps being burned defensively. It gets worse. Ryan faces all these challenges with a rookie – not just at the big league level but at any level - manager whose team looks inept defensively and, anemic offensively, but at least they have a disastrous bullpen. Today the Twins lost their home opener by more runs than they had ever lost any other home opener. They are already six games back of the Royals in the AL Central - and they’ve only played seven games. But that general stuff isn’t why the fans booed. They booed because the infield failed to turn double plays to get Trevor May out of an inning. The booed because long fly balls to the gap kept falling just out of the reach of the outfielders and because relay throws dribbled untouched through the infield. And they booed watching reliever after reliever be thrown like so much dry oak onto a pyre. In case you’re wondering if it’s time to panic, it certainly is in regard to the Twins bullpen. They don’t have a single right-hander that rookie Manager Paul Molitor can (or should) trust right now, with the possible exception of Casey Fien who says his shoulder is healthy. Even he is not a sure thing, given last season’s late fade, underwhelming spring training and recent missed games. We’ll see. If he’s injured, we’ll also see just how much damage he does before the Twins shut him down. If Fien is healthy, one of the other three right-handers needs to be a sacrificial lamb for Michael Tonkin or Mark Hamburger or Ryan Pressly or Lester Oliveros or whoever. My best guess now would be Pressly, but far more interesting is which reliever (or two) they demote. The correct answer is “Blain Boyer” who offers little in terms of future impact or historical success. Tim Stauffer offers the latter and JR Graham the former, but both in limited doses, so I’m not sure there is a wrong answer here. The tougher problem (and probably less urgent) is what to do about the outfield defense. Oswaldo Arcia and Hunter are not strong defenders as Monday’s game showed, but the Twins had to know what they were getting with both of them, even if they didn’t want to publicly acknowledge it about Hunter. But the corner outfielders’ limitations are exacerbated by center-fielders who are too mediocre to help in the gaps. They’re further inflamed by substitutes who aren’t outfielders and might actually be worse defensively. If Arcia and Hunter can’t be moved around (and doing so would require pressing the panic button) then maybe this team needs to search for an elite defensive center fielder. Perhaps they can work out a way to get Peter Bourjos from the Cardinals. He can’t hit, but neither can Shane Robinson, and Bourjos can at least reach those bouncing balls in the gap before Hunter or Arcia, which didn’t happen today. And finally, there is the lineup. There are several guys who look lost in the tall weeds right now, but the biggest culprit is Hunter. Hunter has been batting cleanup and entered today’s game 0-11 with runners on base, partly because pitchers seem to recognize they don’t need to throw him strikes. Or maybe the culprit is whoever keeps writing Hunter into the lineup right behind Joe Mauer, who entered today with a .417 on-base percentage. There are several more areas that could be dissected; there are certainly several more that were obvious to the vocal fans at Target Field at Monday. It was also obvious that one inning after the boos rained down, the stadium was only one-third filled with an inning left to play. Beyond the twitter snark and blogger treatises and talk radio rants lies a barren, quiet place called Apathy. This Twins season seems to be hurtling toward that arid wasteland. The best news yesterday was that the Twins haven’t reached that destination. Yet.
  21. With Blaine Boyer and Mike Pelfrey both being slotted for roles as middle relievers, only one spot in the bullpen remains. Both J.R. Graham and Caleb Thielbar are in contention for that job, but with Graham enjoying a much more successful spring -- not to mention his status as a Rule 5 acquisition -- things appear to be leaning in the righty’s favor. That puts Paul Molitor in an interesting position as he enters his first season as a manager. Ron Gardenhire almost always had multiple lefties in his bullpens, providing him with added flexibility to play match-ups in the late innings, but Molitor may not have that luxury in his first go. Maybe that's not all that surprising; his reliever usage this spring has suggested that he’s more interested in having his pitchers record multiple outs -- even over multiple innings -- as opposed to utilizing specific arms to face one or two hitters. Still, there will be instances late in a close game where a threatening left-handed hitter like Michael Brantley or Eric Hosmer steps into the box and Molitor’s top weapon, Brian Duensing, is unavailable. If Thielbar’s not around, who’s the go-to guy in such a situation? Is there one? Let’s take a look at the options Molitor will have on hand outside of Glen Perkins, who is obviously not a match-up play. Blaine Boyer: The veteran really isn’t a strong option to match up against left-handed hitters, and in fact should probably be limited almost entirely to righties. As Parker noted Tuesday, Boyer has struggled against batters from the opposite side, though the addition of a changeup to his repertoire could help matters. Mike Pelfrey: Over the course of his career, Pelfrey has been just about equally effective against hitters from either side -- which is to say, not terribly effective (.753 OPS vs. RHB, .784 OPS vs. LHB). As a starter, he didn't really have the secondary stuff to keep lefties in line, but we’ll see how things change with the role switch. Casey Fien: He will probably be tabbed for a pretty strict eighth-inning role, at least initially, though at least he can probably handle hitters from both sides in that duty? Last year, he held lefties to a .255/.294/.400 line, though in his first season with the Twins portsiders slugged .472 with six homers against him. Tim Stauffer: In his career, Stauffer has actually been more effective against lefty batters, holding them to a .712 OPS as opposed to .737 for righties. Last year in San Diego, Stauffer held LHB to a .282/.333/.347 line with zero homers in 135 plate appearances. Interesting. From a strictly statistical standpoint, Stauffer actually appears to be the best match-up choice for left-handed hitters among righties in the bullpen. That may be a key point in his favor, in light of his immense struggles on the hill this spring. Would you be comfortable sending any of the above names (or the completely untested J.R. Graham) against a lefty power threat in a tie game? Or do you think the Twins would be wise to have a second lefty behind Duensing? Sound off in the comments.
  22. The American League Central isn’t filled with as many imposing left-handed hitters as it once was. With Prince Fielder traded to Texas, Adam Dunn retired and Travis Hafner’s dominance a distant memory, Minnesota no longer needs to worry much about game-changing homers from lefty swingers. Because of this, perhaps it makes sense for the Twins to carry only one southpaw specialist among its seven relievers, as they appear poised to do.With Blaine Boyer and Mike Pelfrey both being slotted for roles as middle relievers, only one spot in the bullpen remains. Both J.R. Graham and Caleb Thielbar are in contention for that job, but with Graham enjoying a much more successful spring -- not to mention his status as a Rule 5 acquisition -- things appear to be leaning in the righty’s favor. That puts Paul Molitor in an interesting position as he enters his first season as a manager. Ron Gardenhire almost always had multiple lefties in his bullpens, providing him with added flexibility to play match-ups in the late innings, but Molitor may not have that luxury in his first go. Maybe that's not all that surprising; his reliever usage this spring has suggested that he’s more interested in having his pitchers record multiple outs -- even over multiple innings -- as opposed to utilizing specific arms to face one or two hitters. Still, there will be instances late in a close game where a threatening left-handed hitter like Michael Brantley or Eric Hosmer steps into the box and Molitor’s top weapon, Brian Duensing, is unavailable. If Thielbar’s not around, who’s the go-to guy in such a situation? Is there one? Let’s take a look at the options Molitor will have on hand outside of Glen Perkins, who is obviously not a match-up play. Blaine Boyer: The veteran really isn’t a strong option to match up against left-handed hitters, and in fact should probably be limited almost entirely to righties. As Parker noted Tuesday, Boyer has struggled against batters from the opposite side, though the addition of a changeup to his repertoire could help matters. Mike Pelfrey: Over the course of his career, Pelfrey has been just about equally effective against hitters from either side -- which is to say, not terribly effective (.753 OPS vs. RHB, .784 OPS vs. LHB). As a starter, he didn't really have the secondary stuff to keep lefties in line, but we’ll see how things change with the role switch. Casey Fien: He will probably be tabbed for a pretty strict eighth-inning role, at least initially, though at least he can probably handle hitters from both sides in that duty? Last year, he held lefties to a .255/.294/.400 line, though in his first season with the Twins portsiders slugged .472 with six homers against him. Tim Stauffer: In his career, Stauffer has actually been more effective against lefty batters, holding them to a .712 OPS as opposed to .737 for righties. Last year in San Diego, Stauffer held LHB to a .282/.333/.347 line with zero homers in 135 plate appearances. Interesting. From a strictly statistical standpoint, Stauffer actually appears to be the best match-up choice for left-handed hitters among righties in the bullpen. That may be a key point in his favor, in light of his immense struggles on the hill this spring. Would you be comfortable sending any of the above names (or the completely untested J.R. Graham) against a lefty power threat in a tie game? Or do you think the Twins would be wise to have a second lefty behind Duensing? Sound off in the comments. Click here to view the article
  23. With Michael Tonkin and Ryan Pressly both being optioned in the past two days, the Minnesota Twins' bullpen picture is starting to come into focus, but there are still a lot of relievers in big-league camp. Part of that is the team needs plenty of arms to get them through these exhibition contests, but another part is that they face some tricky decisions. Let's take a shot at handicapping this race as it stands with about two weeks left to go.First, a quick look at the guys who are essentially locks: Glen Perkins, LHP Perkins was slowed early in camp by an oblique strain, but he pitched in a minor-league game on Thursday with no issues, and is expected to make his Grapefruit League debut this weekend. Both he and Terry Ryan have expressed full confidence he'll be ready to roll at the start of the season, barring any setbacks. Casey Fien, RHP Fien is inked in as the setup man presently, and if Perkins were to experience a setback, he'd be first in line to fill the closer role. Fien saw a few key numbers drop last season, causing his xFIP to rise to 3.87 from 2.71 in 2013, but he also added almost two full miles per hour to his average fastball velocity. He's been throwing hard and getting very good results in spring training. Brian Duensing, LHP Entering his seventh season with the Twins, Duensing is in line to be the bullpen's foremost lefty specialist, and it's a role for which he is well suited. In his career, he has held same-sided batters to a .233/.277/.322 slash line, and last year those numbers checked in at .242/.282/.305. Hopefully Paul Molitor can limit his exposure against righties. Tim Stauffer, RHP It's been a rocky spring so far for the veteran, but with a guaranteed $2.2 million contract, he's in as long as he's healthy. The Twins have ruled him out of the rotation race, so he'll be in the bullpen. He's likely to be a guy who will be called upon frequently to pitch multiple innings, with perhaps the occasional spot start as needed -- a la Anthony Swarzak. I don't think he really has the stuff to be an impact late-inning arm. That leaves three spots in a seven-man pen. Two of them are pretty close to being penciled in, though not quite as certain as the above four. Caleb Thielbar, LHP Thielbar is almost a lock, because I think Molitor will want to have multiple lefties at his disposal; Perkins doesn't really count as he's obviously not a match-up guy. Still, Thielbar hasn't had the greatest spring, allowing 10 hits in five innings, and the coaching staff might have confidence in some of the right-handers in the mix to get lefty bats out. Still, he seems very likely. Tommy Milone, LHP/Mike Pelfrey, RHP Whoever loses out in the fifth starter competition probably ends up in the bullpen as a long reliever, capable of being stretched out to join the rotation when a need arises. Ryan has stated strongly that he prefers Pelfrey as a starter, citing the veteran's preparation routine as one reason, so Milone is the leading candidate. Asked about the possibility of a relief role earlier this week, Milone sounded open to the idea: "Wherever they want me to go, I'm going to trust what they want to do and go with it." (If you're wondering whether the southpaw Milone's presence in the bullpen could make Thielbar more expendable, that's possible, but Milone has actually allowed a higher OPS against lefties than righties in his career.) Short of a surprise with one of the names above, that leaves one opening -- likely a middle relief role. Let's take a look at the remaining contenders, ranked in order of how likely they are to win that final spot from my view… J.R. Graham, RHP This year's Rule 5 pick has impressed this spring, flashing surprisingly huge velocity from his smallish frame. The Twins need to keep him on the 25-man roster in order to retain him -- unless they work out a trade with Atlanta -- so there's plenty of incentive to have him rounding out the bullpen if he's healthy and they believe in his ability. Blaine Boyer, RHP The veteran was signed to a minor-league deal after coming out of an injury-prompted retirement and playing for San Diego last year. He has a live fastball that draws rave reviews and has looked good in Grapefruit play for the most part. "He's made a nice impression over here, there's no denying that," Paul Molitor said following another strong outing on Friday. "He's making a run for it." Mark Hamburger, RHP He's a great story, and while he entered camp as somewhat of a long shot, I keep hearing positive things about him from different people. He was pitching extremely well in his first three spring appearances, striking out six with only one hit allowed in five innings prior to coughing up four earned runs against Baltimore this week. Molitor termed that outing a "little hiccup." A.J. Achter, RHP The tall, lanky 26-year-old has somewhat quietly been a tremendous performer in the Twins' minor-league system. Last year he allowed only 44 hits in 72 innings at Rochester, and had a decent September debut for the Twins. Achter has looked good this spring, and he eventually could be quite useful as a guy who can be counted on to get more than three outs, but he has multiple options and I believe he heads back to Rochester. Stephen Pryor, RHP Acquired from the Mariners last July in the Kendrys Morales trade, Pryor has big stuff but has always had a hard time throwing strikes. That hasn't been as much an issue this spring but it's tough see the Twins trusting him over some of the names listed above. He could be a factor at some point this season. Trevor May, RHP The pitching prospect appears to be behind Milone and Pelfrey in the fifth starter race, and could theoretically latch on in the bullpen, but the Twins have consistently downplayed that idea. They want to keep him acclimated to starting. Aaron Thompson, LHP Thompson has had a couple decent seasons at Rochester, and he can get left-handed batters out, but the only way I can see him making the roster is if Duensing or Thielbar gets hurt. Click here to view the article
  24. First, a quick look at the guys who are essentially locks: Glen Perkins, LHP Perkins was slowed early in camp by an oblique strain, but he pitched in a minor-league game on Thursday with no issues, and is expected to make his Grapefruit League debut this weekend. Both he and Terry Ryan have expressed full confidence he'll be ready to roll at the start of the season, barring any setbacks. Casey Fien, RHP Fien is inked in as the setup man presently, and if Perkins were to experience a setback, he'd be first in line to fill the closer role. Fien saw a few key numbers drop last season, causing his xFIP to rise to 3.87 from 2.71 in 2013, but he also added almost two full miles per hour to his average fastball velocity. He's been throwing hard and getting very good results in spring training. Brian Duensing, LHP Entering his seventh season with the Twins, Duensing is in line to be the bullpen's foremost lefty specialist, and it's a role for which he is well suited. In his career, he has held same-sided batters to a .233/.277/.322 slash line, and last year those numbers checked in at .242/.282/.305. Hopefully Paul Molitor can limit his exposure against righties. Tim Stauffer, RHP It's been a rocky spring so far for the veteran, but with a guaranteed $2.2 million contract, he's in as long as he's healthy. The Twins have ruled him out of the rotation race, so he'll be in the bullpen. He's likely to be a guy who will be called upon frequently to pitch multiple innings, with perhaps the occasional spot start as needed -- a la Anthony Swarzak. I don't think he really has the stuff to be an impact late-inning arm. That leaves three spots in a seven-man pen. Two of them are pretty close to being penciled in, though not quite as certain as the above four. Caleb Thielbar, LHP Thielbar is almost a lock, because I think Molitor will want to have multiple lefties at his disposal; Perkins doesn't really count as he's obviously not a match-up guy. Still, Thielbar hasn't had the greatest spring, allowing 10 hits in five innings, and the coaching staff might have confidence in some of the right-handers in the mix to get lefty bats out. Still, he seems very likely. Tommy Milone, LHP/Mike Pelfrey, RHP Whoever loses out in the fifth starter competition probably ends up in the bullpen as a long reliever, capable of being stretched out to join the rotation when a need arises. Ryan has stated strongly that he prefers Pelfrey as a starter, citing the veteran's preparation routine as one reason, so Milone is the leading candidate. Asked about the possibility of a relief role earlier this week, Milone sounded open to the idea: "Wherever they want me to go, I'm going to trust what they want to do and go with it." (If you're wondering whether the southpaw Milone's presence in the bullpen could make Thielbar more expendable, that's possible, but Milone has actually allowed a higher OPS against lefties than righties in his career.) Short of a surprise with one of the names above, that leaves one opening -- likely a middle relief role. Let's take a look at the remaining contenders, ranked in order of how likely they are to win that final spot from my view… J.R. Graham, RHP This year's Rule 5 pick has impressed this spring, flashing surprisingly huge velocity from his smallish frame. The Twins need to keep him on the 25-man roster in order to retain him -- unless they work out a trade with Atlanta -- so there's plenty of incentive to have him rounding out the bullpen if he's healthy and they believe in his ability. Blaine Boyer, RHP The veteran was signed to a minor-league deal after coming out of an injury-prompted retirement and playing for San Diego last year. He has a live fastball that draws rave reviews and has looked good in Grapefruit play for the most part. "He's made a nice impression over here, there's no denying that," Paul Molitor said following another strong outing on Friday. "He's making a run for it." Mark Hamburger, RHP He's a great story, and while he entered camp as somewhat of a long shot, I keep hearing positive things about him from different people. He was pitching extremely well in his first three spring appearances, striking out six with only one hit allowed in five innings prior to coughing up four earned runs against Baltimore this week. Molitor termed that outing a "little hiccup." A.J. Achter, RHP The tall, lanky 26-year-old has somewhat quietly been a tremendous performer in the Twins' minor-league system. Last year he allowed only 44 hits in 72 innings at Rochester, and had a decent September debut for the Twins. Achter has looked good this spring, and he eventually could be quite useful as a guy who can be counted on to get more than three outs, but he has multiple options and I believe he heads back to Rochester. Stephen Pryor, RHP Acquired from the Mariners last July in the Kendrys Morales trade, Pryor has big stuff but has always had a hard time throwing strikes. That hasn't been as much an issue this spring but it's tough see the Twins trusting him over some of the names listed above. He could be a factor at some point this season. Trevor May, RHP The pitching prospect appears to be behind Milone and Pelfrey in the fifth starter race, and could theoretically latch on in the bullpen, but the Twins have consistently downplayed that idea. They want to keep him acclimated to starting. Aaron Thompson, LHP Thompson has had a couple decent seasons at Rochester, and he can get left-handed batters out, but the only way I can see him making the roster is if Duensing or Thielbar gets hurt.
  25. Bud Selig is out as commissioner and Rob Manfred has a variety of issues to tackle as he takes over the reins of America's pastime. One issue at the forefront is trying to find a way to speed up the pace of play for major league games. Last year the average MLB game lasted over three hours. This comes at a time of a steady decrease in run-scoring as baseball adjusts after the steroid spike around the turn of the century.Baseball wasn't meant to be this way. Recent years have seen an increase in the number of pitches batters are taking, pitching changes, mound visits and time between pitches. In just 10 years baseball players have added 29 minutes, 11 seconds of dead time per game while scoring 13.3 percent fewer runs. If that doesn't grab your attention, I don't know what will. How do the Twins rate? FanGraphs tracks "Pace," a pitcher's average time between pitches in seconds. Just four seasons ago, pitchers averaged 21.5 second between pitches. In 2014, only five Twins pitchers (Lester Oliveros, Michael Tonkin, Aaron Thompson, Caleb Thielbar, and Glen Perkins) were below this mark. Phil Hughes just missed the mark with an average of 21.7 seconds between pitches. Top 3 Pace (minimum 20 IP) 1. Caleb Thielbar 21.0 2. Glen Perkins 21.0 3. Phil Hughes 21.7 Bottom 3 Pace (minimum 20 IP) 1. Kevin Correia 25.0 2. Brian Duensing 24.1 3. Casey Fien 23.9 Minnesota's four longest games this season were all extra-inning affairs with these contests averaging four hours and 42 minutes. The club's five fastest games were all under two hours and 30 minutes. The team even had one 10-inning game in Boston that was completed in just over two and a half hours. Twins 3 Longest Games of 2014 1. May 1 vs LA Dodgers (12 innings) 5 hours 11 minutes 2. April 23 @ TB Rays (12 innings) 4 hours 48 minutes 3. September 5 vs LA Angels (10 innings) 4 hours 30 minutes Twins 3 Shortest Games of 2014 1. May 17 vs Seattle Mariners 2 hours 26 minutes 2. August 27 @ KC Royals 2 hours 27 minutes 3. June 28 @ Texas Rangers 2 hours 27 minutes Between 2000 and 2013, the Twins average time have nine inning games has increased from two hours and 56 minutes to three hours and one minute. During that stretch, the shortest average time was two hours and 37 minutes (2005). There were only two seasons during that stretch where Minnesota's average time was above the average time for MLB. Finding Solutions MLB is experimenting with a variety of solutions and the first few of these were rolled out in this year's Arizona Fall League. These included a pitch clock, batter's keeping one foot in the batter's box, no-pitch intentional walks, a 2:30 pitching change/inning change clock, and a three "time out" limit. There were mixed reviews but game times did decrease. MLB's next experimental solution will take place at Double-A and Triple-A this season. The higher levels of the minor leagues will institute pitch clocks this year in an attempt to speed up games. Specifics haven't been ironed out yet but change is in the air. If everything goes smoothly in the upper minors this season, it seems like the first major league move might be the institution of a pitch clock. This sweeping change might take a couple of seasons to make it to the big league level but it seems likely that one of the first changes under the Manfred regime will revolve around pace of play. Click here to view the article
×
×
  • Create New...