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  1. The Minnesota Twins have four catchers in the conversation for the 2022 season that I can see - even if some of those conversations aren’t going to be very long. Let’s start with what I consider one of those quick ones. Willians Astudillo La Tortuga is a folk hero, and we love him. Everyone loves our relief pitching, chubby base-running, helmet losing backup-backup-backup catcher. But at this point, keeping him on the 40 man is pretty much just keeping someone else with more value off of it. He doesn’t have a defensive upside apart from being able to plug a hole at most fielding positions - not any of them particularly well - and batted at .238 in the Majors this year, which really isn’t good enough to leapfrog other waiting catchers with long term defensive upside. I just don’t see a realistic expectation that he is going to play out as an average or better member of the team, and should probably be signed to a Minors deal. The fact that he’s listed on the 40-man as a 1B is a pretty good indicator of how he ranks in terms of Minnesota catchers. 2022 Prediction - Will not break camp with Twins, will not make 40-man roster. Now onto the catchers that I figure will be involved in the plans for the Twins. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that I mean Garver, Jeffers and Rortvedt. I’ve included their stats for the year as a refresher (via FanGraphs). Offensive Stats 2021 Defensive Stats 2021 Mitch Garver Mitch is my Do Not Trade catcher. Whilst he pretty much grades out average in terms of catcher defense, his 2019 season and the mid to latter half of the 2021 season (barring That Injury We Don’t Like To Think About) make him by far - and I mean far - the most productive catcher we have offensively. He ranked 13th amongst catchers in AVG (min 50 PA), 7th in OBP and 5th in slugging, finishing the year on .256/.358/.517. He was definitely struggling at the plate early on, but he did settle in and he was playing pretty darn well before he spent five weeks dealing with that groin injury and another four with back tightness. If someone honestly wants to take Garver off our hands, I see it taking an extremely sizeable haul because at the moment he’s our safest bet. Yes he’s older than the other two and has had some injury, and a veteran catcher to split time with them wouldn’t cost much if we do trade him, but like I’ve said - unless the promised return is huge I don’t see why we’d deal a catcher who hits like that. 2022 Prediction - will not be traded, breaks camp as Opening Day catcher for the Twins. Ryan Jeffers Jeffers actually took the lion’s share of games this year thanks to Garver’s injuries and whilst he is projected to end up as the better defensive catcher (though this year Garver was ranked 93rd percentile in pitch framing per Baseball Savant to Jeffers’ 74), his bat just did not carry this year. To the point where - had we had another catcher ready - I imagine he would have been sent to St Paul to work it out. He managed an average of just .199 across 267 at-bats. I have faith though, that his bat will grade out to average and in my mind, he’s probably the one who will end up taking the most time behind the plate if the Twins attempt to rotate the DH role for the 2022 season (which I think they will). Let’s not forget he had a pretty darn good 2020 season with his bat, finishing with a stat line of .273/.355/.436/, which was a tick above league average. He’s got the goods, I just think he caught a bad case of the sophomore slump. Hard work required, but Jeffers will hang around long term. 2022 Prediction - he will break camp with the Twins and split catching duties with Garver. Ben Rortvedt I’m just going to get this out of the way. He’s got huge arms, okay? We’ve seen them. And defensively, he’s projected to have the highest upside of all four catchers. But in terms of Major League production, he’s just not ready. Batting at .169 for the year (over 87 PA), his OBP was a paltry .227, far below the league average .317, and slugged at just .281. This places him second last in all Twins hitting categories with just Gilberto Celestino ranking lower in AVG and OBP, and Andrelton Simmons ranking last in SLG. His defense has him ranked above Jeffers in terms of overall WPA for the year, but the bat is going to need to improve drastically if he’s going to make league average, or even a low-offense/high-defense combo. There is the chance a team could carry a slightly below average hitter if he has a huge defensive upside (Simmons anyone?) but there’s not many that would take that kind of offensive shortage. He needs to start 2022 in the minors, have a solid spring, and work on his offense. 2022 Prediction - he’ll probably make the 40-man, but will spend the year in St Paul working on his bat skills. Let me talk a minute on a Garver trade. As I already said, I don’t like the idea at all. And honestly, is he valuable enough to another team (apart from the Marlins, who Cody Christie wrote about already) for them to trade with proven, high quality pitching? Because that’s what the return needs to be. The Twins have a whole heap of prospect arms at/about to be tested in the Majors in the upcoming season but we need impact rotation pitching now. I don't know if Garver on his own would bring enough back for us... maybe if he was in a package deal? If the 2022 season includes a universal DH, Mitch Garver becomes more valuable. His average this season was only just above league average, but his slugging percentage - when viewed with his 2019 Silver Slugger - mean he might draw interest from a National League team looking to possibly platoon through the DH, or who struggle to find a bat only DH at good value. He’s still in arbitration, made less than $2M this year, and is projected to make a hair over $3M next year. Compare that to the $13M we paid Nelson Cruz just to hit, and he becomes a much more valuable piece to a broader audience. I like the combo of Garver and Jeffers for next year. They seem to have a decent balance sorted out and provided Jeffers can get his bat to click in 2022, there’s no need to create a problem at catcher when we have enough things we need to address.
  2. At the major league level, catching is a position where lack of offense is accepted in exchange for good defense. The Twins, in the midst of a terrible season, have two catchers who profile as above average hitters for their position, but they don't appear to complement each other. To start the season, Ryan Jeffers and Mitch Garver were basically alternated as the starting catcher and neither player thrived. Garver hit .151 through April 27 with an OPS of .517, while Jeffers struggled mightily to a .147 average with a .393 OPS before he was sent down to Triple A. From April 28 until the end of May, Garver had a great five weeks, hitting over .280 with an OPS above 1.000. Since Garver's injury, Jeffers has hit .292 with an OPS of .992. So, it seems that if one of these guys is the principal catcher, he will hit well above league average, but if they are alternated, it seems to drag both guys down. Both Garver and Jeffers would profile as bat-first catchers who can frame pitches. IMHO, Jeffers looks to be the superior defender, much better at both throwing and blocking low pitches. Garver does have some experience playing other positions, mostly first base, while Jeffers has been only a catcher in his career. Two additional players figure into the Twins plans for the future. Ben Rortvedt is reputedly a fine defensive catcher with a good arm. Rortvedt hits left, which would complement either Garver or Jeffers. As soon as next year, Rortvedt could figure to be the prototypical backup catcher, who wouldn't hurt the club and if he finds a hot steak with the bat, he could be an asset. Willians Astudillo aka La Tortuga is a utility player who is nominally a catcher. In brief spurts, Astudillo has looked adequate behind the plate, but his full body of work is substandard defensively. As a hitter, Turtle is extreme--extreme contact and extreme impatience--his walks yesterday were his first in well over 100 plate appearances, but he seldom strikes out. Astudillo is best suited to being a third catcher who plays the corner infield positions and until he shows some plate discipline, he'll never be a major league regular. All of this information (all IMHO obviously) is prologue to starting a discussion about what should be done with the catching position in 2022. Keep both Jeffers and Garver on the major league roster? Trade Garver for much needed pitching? Perhaps make Garver a swing man (DH, 1B and C) with Jeffers the primary catcher and Rortvedt the backup? Use Astudillo and Garver as backups and utility guys and Jeffers as the primary catcher? I am of the opinion that given Jeffers age and upside both offensively and defensively, he should be the primary catcher in 2022. With the likely exit of Nelson Cruz, there are at-bats to be had for Garver at first base (Sanó at DH or riding the pine) and DH. If the Twins can get sufficient value, perhaps they can trade Garver, if not, he could get a lot of at-bats at first and DH, and this doesn't even begin to allow for injuries. Are there any other scenarios and do you fans on Twins Daily agree with me? Let's start a discussion.
  3. Catch-up The Twins log their 6th shutout as a club, 5th at home, yesterday in a 5-0 victory capped off late by a mammoth 469ft missile by Alex Avila. Tonight the Twins and the White square off with both of their aces, Lucas Giolito and Jose Berrios, set to toot the rubber. Pre-game 6:50pmCT Where to watch. Virtual Twins Network AL Central Standings 1. Twins 31-20 2. Indians 27-25 3. Royals 26-25 4. White Sox 21-29 5. Tigers 19-31 Starting Pitchers Chicago: Lucas Giolito* 4-2, 1.77 ERA, 66.0 IP, 63 K'sMinnesota: Jose Berrios 5-1, 3.93 ERA, 55.0 IP, 58 K's*=Lucas Giolito: 2nd in AL, ERA (1.77) Chicago Batting Order SS Tim Anderson .254 BA, 3 HR, 15 RBI 3B Yoan Moncada .274 BA, 5 HR, 23 RBI 1B Jose Abreu .241 BA, 3 HR, 16 RBI DH Edwin Encarnacion .214 BA,11 HR, 26 RBI C Yasmani Grandal .270 BA, 5 HR, 19 RBI LF Eloy Jimenez* .303 BA, 17 HR, 37 RBI RF Nomar Mazara .265 BA, 6 HR, 15 RBI CF Luis Robert .290 BA, 5 HR, 9 RBI 2B Leury Garcia .222 BA, 5 HR, 18 RBI*=Eloy Jimenez: T-1st in MLB, HR (17). Minnesota Batting Order C Mitch Garver* .337 BA, 17 HR, 34 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .284 BA, 1 HR, 37 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .228 BA, 3 HR, 15 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .296 BA, 16 HR, 34 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .259 BA, 9 HR, 29 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .249 BA, 9 HR, 23 RBI RF Max Kepler .226 BA, 11 HR, 20 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .323 BA, 1 HR, 9 RBI CF Jake Cave .300 BA, 0 HR, 6 RBI*= Mitch Garver: 1st in AL, OPS (1.111) Bomba Tracker - 2020: 85 - 2019 through 51 games: 100 Storylines 1. On paper yesterday's game did not look like a pitcher's duel but it ended up being great performances by both starters. Today, the paper clearly points toward a pitchers duel as the ace of each club toots the rubber for game two of the series, 2. In Chiacgo's last 14 games they have scored over 4 runs only 3 times. And the last time Chicago lost to Minnesota and had a chance to answer this season they beat the Twins 9-2 in Chicago, so expect a hearty pre-game preach from Renteria to try and light a fire in Chicago. 3. For Twins fans, Twingo will be returning Saturday and Sunday if no winners on Saturday.
  4. Catch-UpThe Twins biggest test all year, the Dodgers biggest test all year, and boy was game one worth the price of admission. A back and forth chess-match ballgame yesterday went the way of the Twins in a 3-2 victory but today is the game we've had circled on the calendar all year. It's Clayton Kershaw versus Jose Berrios...need I say more. Pre-game6:45pm Where to watchhttps://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ AL Central StandingsMinnesota: 17-13 Cleveland: 18-15 Kansas City: 16-14 Chicago: 13-18 Detroit: 8-22 Starting PitchersTwins: Jose Berrios 3-1, 5.59 ERA, 29.0IP, 32 K'sDodgers: Clayton Kershaw** 4-0, 2.57 ERA, 42.0IP, 41 K's**= Clayton Kershaw: T-1st in NL, Complete Game Shutouts (2). Twins Batting OrderRF Max Kepler .232 BA, 7 HR, 10 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .286 BA, 4 HR, 19 RBI C Mitch Garver* .292 BA, 7 HR, 14 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .270 BA, 7 HR, 12 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .238 BA, 3 HR, 12 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .280 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .308 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI SP Jose Berrios .143 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI in 14 Career At-Bats. CF Byron Buxton .247 BA, 5 HR, 11 RBI*=Mitch Garver: Leads all AL Catchers in HR,BA (7),(.292) respectfully. Dodgers Batting Order RF Mookie Betts .317 BA, 5 HR, 16 RBI 1B Max Muncy .284 BA, 10 HR, 27 RBI 3B Justin Turner .290 BA, 5 HR, 21 RBI CF Cody Bellinger* .348 BA, 8 HR, 28 RBI SS Corey Seager .222 BA, 5 HR, 23 RBI C Will Smith .221 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI LF Joc Pederson .273 BA, 5 HR, 15 RBI 2B Gavin Lux .352 BA, 1 HR, 12 RBI SP Clayton Kershaw .133 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI*= Cody Bellinger: 2nd in NL, RBI (28). Bomba Tracker - 2019 through 30 games: 52 - 2020: 43 Storylines 1. The Twins handed the Dodgers only their second lose of the year at Dodger Stadium yesterday and today it will be a tall order to make it two in a row. In the Live-Ball Era (since 1920) Clayton Kershaw's home ERA (2.15) is the best by any pitcher with at least 1,000 IP at home. 2. Although it's been a rough start to the season, LaMaKina has had some dazzling starts and he'll need his best stuff if he wants to stay toe to toe with Kershaw tonight. 3. The Twins are 12-12 in the month of April after going 5-1 in March and with this being the final game of April, Rocco's club will look to make it two winning months in a row while the Dodgers have gone 18-6 in the month of April after going 5-0 in March.
  5. Catch-Up After back to back pitcher's duels, we head into game three with the series on the line and another prospective pitcher's duel on our hands as former Twin Martin Perez squares off against Kenta Maeda. Congrats to the winner's of the SotaStick giveaway yesterday with TWINGO and for those who missed out TWINGO will be coming back when the Twins are back at Target Field on May 4th. Pre-game 12:45pm Where to watch https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ AL Central Standings 1. Cleveland 17-13 2. Minnesota 15-13 3. Kansas City 14-13 4. Chicago 11-18 5. Detroit 7-21 Starting Pitchers Boston: Martin Perez 3-1, 2.12 ERA, 34.0IP, 25 K'sMinnesota: Kenta Maeda** 1-1, 2.31 ERA, 23.1IP, 41 K's**= Kenta Maeda: 8th in AL, Strikeouts (41). Boston Batting Order RF Alex Verdugo .286 BA, 0HR, 5 RBI SS Xander Bogaerts* .352 BA, 6 HR, 18 RBI 3B Rafael Devers .253 BA, 5 HR, 18 RBI DH J.D. Martinez** .328 BA, 8 HR, 21 RBI LF Andrew Benintendi .183 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI CF Jackie Bradley Jr. .145 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI 2B Jose Peraza .257 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI 1B Mitch Moreland .149 BA, 2 HR, 10 RBI C Christian Vazquez .155 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI*= Xander Bogaerts: 1st in AL OBP, (.469). 3rd in AL, OPS (1.095) **=J.D. Martinez: T-2nd in AL, Runs Scored, (23). Twins Batting Order C Mitch Garver .273 BA, 6 HR, 13 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .276 BA, 3HR, 16 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .267 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .248 BA, 4 HR, 15 RBI RF Max Kepler* .219 BA, 5 HR, 8 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .250 BA, 6 HR, 11 RBI LF Marwin Gonzalez .281 BA, 1 HR, 2 RBI 2B Ehire Adrianza .250 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI CF Byron Buxton .244 BA, 5 HR, 9 RBI*=Max Kepler: T-3rd in AL, Doubles (9). Bomba Tracker - 2019 through 28 games: 50 - 2020: 38 Storylines 1. Back to back 2-1 ballgames pit the series down to the final game. Although your broadcaster doesn't think this will end 2-1 as well, both starters enter the game with sub 2.32 ERA's and the Twins have shown this year they have been boom or bust against a Lefty on the mound. 2. After Xander Bogaerts lost his 22-Game Hitting Streak, it was prevalent that Boston thus far has leaned on his bat for success. Of the 98 combined RBI's in Boston's starting lineup today, 58.1% of the runs have come from three bats: Devers, Xander, and Martinez. For Boston to come out on top today, they'll need a more balanced distribution of runs out of the lineup card. 3. After today's game the Red Sox begin an ever-important battle with the 17-11 Blue Jays as Boston early in April are trying to claw back into the AL East picture. Meanwhile the Twins have a day off on Monday, and then on Tuesday will begin a two game series with the best team in baseball, the 23-5 Dodgers.
  6. Quick Note I have been reaching out to try and do some good with these streams of Twins "baseball," and back a charity for the games. Whether it be a charity related to COVID-19 relief, feeding families, etc, if anyone knows of a charity we could help out message me directly. Catch-up Tough ballgame yesterday as the Twins drop game two 4-2 against Seattle, but still sit only 3.0 games back of Cleveland and will look to move ahead in the series with Jhoulys Chacin, who went 8 1/3 shutout innings his last start, against the ace of the Mariner rotation in Marco Gonzales. Pre-game 6:25pmCT Where to watch. https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ AL Central Standings 1. Indians 17-9 2. Twins 13-11 3. Royals 13-11 4. White Sox 10-15 5. Tigers 5-19 Starting Pitchers Seattle: Marco Gonzales 2-2. 3.66 ERA, 32.0P, 17 K's Minnesota: Jhoulys Chacin 2-1, 2.22 ERA, 24.1IP, 20 K's Seattle Batting Order2B Dee Gordon .296 BA, 0 HR, 4 RBI CF Mallek Smith .241 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI RF Mitch Haniger .255 BA, 5 HR, 13 RBI 1B Daniel Vogelbach .239 BA, 2 HR, 4 RBI C Tom Murphy .240 BA, 6 HR, 12 RBI 3B Kyle Seager .192 BA, 6 HR, 7 RBI LF Braden Bishop .261 BA, 0 HR, 4 RBI SS J.P. Crawford .184 BA, 4 HR, 12 RBI DH Dylan Moore .193 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI Minnesota Batting OrderDH Max Kepler .231 BA, 5 HR, 8 RBI SS Marwin Gonzalez .296 BA, 1 HR, 1 RBI 3B Miguel Sano .278 BA, 6 HR, 11 RBI RF Nelson Cruz .264 BA, 4 HR, 15 RBI C Mitch Garver .260 BA, 4 HR, 11 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .265 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI CF Byron Buxton .263 BA, 5 HR, 8 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .274 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI 1B Ehire Adrianza .250 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBIBomba Tracker - 2020: 36 - 2019 through 24 games: 47 Storylines 1. Gulp.. Rocco has to shift the lineup card to give some key players days off but someone who will stay in the lineup and play Right Field for the first time since 2018... Nelson Cruz. 2. We mentioned yesterday that the game might be a bullpen game but for now Rocco will go with Chacin to start but expect Dobnak and Romero to come in if needed. Chacin went 8 1/3 scoreless in his last start as Chacin looks for win #2 in front of the home faithful. 3. Last time the Twins faced off against Marco Gonzales, they won on March 31st, 2020 in Seattle in a 6-2 thumping.
  7. Catch-up After a much needed day off for the Twins, they'll come home to Target Field to begin their longest home-stand of the year. Detroit comes in with a four game losing streak while the Twins are at a three game losing streak so as Common would say on KFAN, somebodies O has got to go! Pre-game 6:45pmCT Where to watch https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ AL Central Standings 1. Indians 15-6 2. Twins 10-9 3. Royals 9-10 4. White Sox 9-11 5. Tigers 4-14 Starting Pitchers Detroit: Michael Fulmer 0-1. 4.76 ERA, 17.0IP, 9 K's Minnesota: Jhoulys Chacin 1-1, 3.38 ERA, 16.0IP, 16 K's Detroit Batting Order CF Cameron Maybin .308 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI SS Niko Goodrum .250 BA, 1 HR, 8 RBI DH Miguel Cabrera .194 BA, 0 HR, 5 RBI 1B C.J. Cron .294 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI 2B Jonathan Schoop .132 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI 3B Jeimer Candelario .207 BA, 0 HR, 4 RBI RF Christian Stewart .276 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI C Austin Romine .262 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI LF Victor Reyes .313 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBIMinnesota Batting Order C Mitch Garver .274 BA, 4 HR, 9 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .277 BA, 2 HR, 12 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .288 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .274 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .284 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .207 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI RF Max Kepler .197 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .281 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI CF Byron Buxton .220 BA, 3 HR, 4 RBIBomba Tracker - 2020: 25 - 2019 through 19 games: 34 Storylines 1. The Twins begin a ten game home-stand today and we'll see Detroit, Seattle, and finally the Boston Red Sox before closing out April with the NL leading Los Angeles Dodgers (16-3). 2. It's a reunion tour the likes of which we've never seen. Gardy, Rick Andersen, and Joe Vavra come back to Target Field this time bringing some "player," former Twins! Niko Goodrum (drafted by Twins in 2010), Jonathan Schoop (23 bombas in 121 games for MIN in 19') and finally C.J. Cron (25 bombas in 125 games in 19'). Also we'll see former Tiger Alex Avila in this series for Minnesota. 3. The Twins will turn to their leader in Quality Starts in Jhouyls Chacin (3), while Michael Fulmer will tout the rubber for Detroit looking for his first win in 2020.
  8. Catch-up The broadcaster may have jinxed the team asking for a big game offensively as the Twins muster two hits and lose 3-2 on a walk off single by Bo Bichette. With an off-day Thursday, the Twins will turn to their hottest starter in Kenta Maeda, (28 K's in 15.1IP), to try and win the final game of the series before starting their longest homestand of the year Friday. Pre-game 6:45pmCT, Special Jackie Robinson Day Piece 7:00pmCT Where to watch. https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ Starting Pitchers Toronto: Matt Shoemaker 1-2. 6.75 ERA, 16.0IP, 15 K's Minnesota: Kenta Maeda** 1-0, 1.76 ERA, 15.1IP, 28 K's Minnesota Batting Order 2B Luis Arraez .264 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI SS Jorge Polanco** .278 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .271 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .297 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI C Mitch Garver .293 BA, 4 HR, 9 RBI RF Max Kepler .179 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .290 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .200 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI CF Byron Buxton .232 BA, 3 HR, 4 RBI**= Kenta Maeda: 10th in AL, Strikeouts (28). Toronto Batting Order SS Bo Bichette .278 BA, 1 HR, 7 RBI 2B Cavan Biggio .176 BA, 1 HR, 2 RBI DH Lourdes Gurriel Jr. .279 BA, 4 HR, 7 RBI RF Teoscar Hernandez .356 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI 1B Travis Shaw .269 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI RF Brandon Drury .250 BA, 1 HR, 1 RBI LF Billy McKinney .286 BA, 4 HR, 8 RBI CF Derek Fisher .138 BA, 2 HR, 3 RBI C Danny Jensen .217 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI**= Teoscar Hernandez 8th in AL Batting Average, (.356). Bomba Tracker - 2020: 25 - 2019 through 17 games: 34 Storylines 1. It's Jackie Robinson Day around Major League Baseball and as you'll see during the game all the players will be wearing the only number retired throughout baseball, #42. 2. Toronto's starting pitching this series has been unbelievable, 14IP, 2R, 23K's, and will turn to Matt Shoemaker today going for the sweep. 3. After a superb outing yesterday despite the loss, Homer Bailey gets a much deserved day off and the Twins will go from their pitcher 2nd on the team in K's, Homer Bailey, to Kenta Maeda today. Maeda trying to continue his fantastic month of April where he has only allowed 2R in 15.1IP.
  9. Catch-up Sometimes baseball is a tough customer. The Twins have 9 hits, a walk, and score no runs in a 3-0 win by Toronto. The Twins would ground into FOUR double plays and take themselves out of rallies all game and get shutout for the first time this year. The game wasn't all bad as Odorizzi gets his #1000 career strikeout, but in a season lacking consistent efforts, the Twins are again handed a tough loss. After going on a five game winning streak from March 28th- April 1st, the Twins have gone 4-6 since April Fools day. Pre-game 6:45pmCT Where to watch. https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ Starting Pitchers Toronto: Tanner Roark 3-0. 1.59 ERA, 22.2IP, 14 K's Minnesota: Homer Bailey 0-1, 1.62 ERA, 16.2IP, 12 K's Minnesota Batting Order RF Max Kepler .190 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .293 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .308 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI C Mitch Garver .315 BA, 4 HR, 9 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .269 BA, 2 HR, 10 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .311 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .212 BA, 3 HR, 6RBI 2B Luis Arraez .260 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI CF Byron Buxton .232 BA, 3 HR, 4 RBIBroadcaster Prediction: The Bomba squad has been off to a rough start and I think the tide shifts today. Josh Donaldson after a rough game yesterday will look to have a comeback game against his former club. Toronto Batting Order SS Bo Bichette .284 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI 2B Cavan Biggio .167 BA, 1 HR, 2 RBI DH Lourdes Gurriel Jr. .281 BA, 4 HR, 7 RBI 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. .344 BA, 1 HR, 10 RBI 1B Travis Shaw .261 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI RF Teoscar Hernandez .364 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI LF Billy McKinney .282 BA, 4 HR, 7 RBI CF Derek Fisher .148 BA, 2 HR, 3 RBI C Danny Jensen .211 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI**= Teoscar Hernandez T-2th in AL RBI, (16). Bomba Tracker - 2020: 24 - 2019 through 16 games: 26 Storylines 1. After being shutout for the first time this year, Rocco is bringing all hands on deck. Miguel Sano and Mitch Garver are back in the lineup as the Twins look to even the series in the battle for the north. 2. With Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi off to uncharacteristic starts, the Twins have gotten very good pitching from the back half of the rotation. Namely the newly acquired Jhouyls Chacin, (3 starts, all have been Quality Starts) and Homer Bailey, tooting the teams lowest qualified ERA, have been superb here in April. The Twins will lean on Homer Bailey today to try and give this depleted bullpen a day off. 3. With the bullpen being heavily taxed, the Twins have made their first roster move of the year. Willians Astudillo is being sent down to AAA to bring up the starter Fernando Romero (3.21 ERA in 18IP) in the hopes he can help spell one of the highest used bullpens in baseball early in April.
  10. The Twins visit Detroit in the second game of a three game season with only five games to play. Their magic number is two. Any combination of two Twins wins or Cleveland losses wins the Central for Minnesota, their first division championship since 2010. Detroit is wrapping up a terrible season, they are 46-110 and they have talent commensurate with their record. They have hit pretty well against the Twins, but lack power. The Tigers will face Twins folk hero Randy Dobnak today. Dobnak has climbed from independent minor league to the major leagues and has pitched very effectively, first as an opener and in his last two starts as a legitimate starter. Dobnak started 2019 in Class A Fort Myers and now stands a legitimate chance of starting a postseason game for the Central champions, if the Twins get there. Health. IMHO, is the key element of the Twins hopes in postseason. If they are to compete against either the Astros or Yankees, they must put forward the best possible 25-man roster and currently about a half dozen players are not as full strength. Today's starting lineup features the return of Mitch Garver and another start for CJ Cron. Marwin Gonzalez and Max Kepler are out, as is Ehire Adrianza. The Twins have a rested bullpen, which will be leaned on heavily, most likely. Regarding the aforementioned magic number, Cleveland plays Chicago again and the White Sox are putting out a less-than-stellar starter. I am not counting on the Sox helping the Twins clinch the division. Minnesota 97-60 Garver c Polanco ss Cruz dh Rosario rf Sanó 3b Arraez lf Cron 1b LaMarre cf Schoop 2b Dobnak p Detroit 46-110 Reyes rf Castro, H. cf Cabrera dh Candelario 1b Stewart lf Lugo 3b Mercer 2b Greiner c Castro, W. ss Norris p
  11. "Hot catchers are a lot like goalies standing on their heads in hockey - once you get on a roll in the postseason, you tend to stick with your horse. With his batting average hovering around .300, Garver has a knack for clutch hits in big spots and could absolutely take over a tight game with one swing of his bat. Maybe even a series." Click below for the full article on why the catcher is the most important position in baseball and why that will equare to a Twins Championship https://www.boutdamn.com/blog/twins-world-series-hopes-rest-behind-the-plate
  12. Okay what happens at catcher in the next two years? First we have the veteran – Castro – coming back from his injury. Not a great bat, but we got him for his framing. Is his framing still so important and more important is it still better than Garver? Garver started out with lots of question marks. So many doubted his defense, so much that the team was willing to sacrifice his bat for Bobby Wilson. But Wilson was traded – is Garver better? We added Gimenez who, like Wilson, has a very questionable bat, but supposedly is good at defense and in the clubhouse. BA 260, OBP 330. Then along comes Astudillo – chubby little guy that looks like a lifetime minor leaguer – and he becomes a Minnesota legend. Chubby, smiling, always hustling – kind of like a guy named Puckett. He hits, he does not strike out and he does not walk. The announcers question Molitor’s faith in him behind the plate. I cannot judge that. In 19 games his average is 327 and his OBP is 351. In the minors or best prospect is Rortvedt #24 for the Twins 262AB, 331 OBP. The projection for him is 2021. I cannot find any other prospects that get much of a conversation so I have to conclude that there is no one else ready for MLB. David Banuelos is in A ball and seems like the next on the list. Among FA catchers is Matt Wieters who has disappointed two teams so far and hopefully will not become a Twin. Yasmani Grandal, 30, is another FA. He has 95 hits and a 235 BA for the Dodgers. Jonathon LuCroy is now 33 and has bounced around a lot of teams in recent years. A good batter, but I am not sure he fits the Twins profile. And then there is the Braves – Kurt Suzuki, who had 77 hits and batted 271 for the braves this year – we have already had the Suzuki experience. So who is our catcher – and I know I am asking this with Garver suffering a concussion which could throw all these projections off. • Castro • Garver • Astudillo • Gimenez • Rordvedt Do we trade, do we go with what we have? Does Castro get his starting position back? Help me figure this out.
  13. For some bizarre reason i started thinking about third-string catchers tonight, and in particular, what would the Twins do this coming season if there was an injury to Jason Castro or Mitch Garver? I assume they are not bringing back Chris Gimenez to catch (or pitch) in 2018, so who would be the emergency call-up if they needed an extra catcher early in the season? Someone from their own farm system, or elsewhere? I know it's not a question that will keep anyone awake at night, but I was just curious.
  14. I haven't paid close attention to the goings-on in Chattanooga for much of the season. I checked to see how the catchers were doing, especially Turner since he's reputed to have a major league mitt already. It looks like a lot of good things have been happening lately. The "other" catcher, Mitch Garver was 3-3 today with four runs scores, a homer and two RBI. He's currently hitting .268 with a .774 OPS, not great, but pretty good for a catcher. He also bring positional flexibility, having played first and some outfield IIRC. Stuart Turner had a quick start the first couple weeks, but was hitting below .200 recently, he's up to .229 with a .671 OPS. I'm believing he would be backup material, with as mentioned above, outstanding defense. Others of note with much better season statistics: Zach Granite (love the name!) is hitting .302, playing center field and currently has 32 stolen bases. The OPS is only .724, but with that kind of base stealing speed and center field defense, he has to be on the Twins radar. Daniel Palka hit his 21st homer today, that must be the most in the organization, and his OPS is .909. I don't know what kind of defender he is, but he has some speed as evidenced by his stolen bases (24 last year, seven so far this year). Palka has struck out a ton, but 21 homers in less than 300 ABs is pretty tantalizing. On the pitching front, Aaron Slegers has been pretty effective, Mason Melotakis has been healthy, didn't allow an earned run in June and is fanning almost a hitter per inning. The reclaimed Zack Jones has thrown four scoreless innings for the Lookouts, walking two and fanning seven. Welcome back Zack! Finally, Lookouts closer Trevor Hildenberger has been outstanding--0.67 WHIP, 0.95 ERA, four walks and 31 Ks in 28+ innings.
  15. Mitch Garver Catcher 2015 Assignment: Fort Myers Miracle Status: Active Full Name: Mitchell Lynn Garver Age: 24 (January 15, 1991) Birthplace: Albuquerque, NM Bats/Throws: R/R Ht: 6' 1" Wt: 220 Draft: Round 9 (2013, MIN) School: New Mexico Scouting Scores While Garver may not even be the top catching prospect in the organization, he opened some eyes last year at Cedar Rapids with a .298 BA along with 16 HR and 79 RBI. An offense-first catcher, he's also been getting some time at first base and outfield to help keep that bat in the lineup. He'll likely settle in for the long haul at Fort Myers this year. It will be interesting to see if that bat that clubbed well in college as well as his first year in the minors continues to grow. There is some significant sleeper potential here.
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