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  1. Third and last in my series on the conundrums of protecting players from Rule V, getting rid of deadwood, choosing what to do about free agents and lining up trades. The Outfield and Infield had a lot of names and decisions, but nothing like the pitching staff. Here we have our Ace – Berrios – who has worn down in August as an annual ritual letting others that the Ace spot until he recovers – and hopefully he can. Looking at performance is not just a calendar event – we might also look at who he has been suffering against and it is not an all-star group of teams. So, is he an ACE? We have no one else and we still have him under control. So, do we extend him? Putting an Ace in front of him, adding more quality to the rotation would do a lot. Behind him is Pineda, but he is unsigned after this year and we just paid for two years to get one. Do we resign? Will he resign? Odorizzi was an All Star then he stunk and now he looks good but he is a free agent. Do we resign him? Gibson continues to perform as an underperforming pitcher with potential, but he is too old to have potential anymore. Do we resign him. Perez has an option – do we take it? Great start, horrible middle, is he okay now? Not after his performance with against the Tigers! Smeltzer came in and looked good, then he looked bad, and now he looks like a gimmick that might not have a lot of upside – is he in the rotation next year? Thorpe has stuff, he has looked good. He looks like he should be in the rotation next year. Graterol looks and sounds good because we actually have not seen him. Is he a starter or reliever next year or is he a bust? Stewart has been up and down and frankly he looks like a pitcher who has shown us all he has and it is not great. Littell seems to have risen and looks good, but that is as a reliever. Can he start again? Should he? Poppen has some stuff, but is it enough for the MLB staff? The Pen has Rogers on the top – can he keep it up? Romo has been great – do we keep him? Dyson has done well – is he long range? Duffey and May look like they are ready to settle in to the BP. Who do we keep? And Who do we let go? The starting rotation has the most fluidity. Cody Stashak has debuted – did you like what you saw? Who is Randy Dobnak? Is Gonsalves still a prospect or someone who missed his turn? Did Romero get moved to the pen to be moved to the DFA list? Has Ryne Harper had his fifteen minutes of fame? Can Hildenberger come back or was his strange delivery a short-term success? Marcos Diplan is a name that came in a trade but has not grown into a person of prominence. And can Alcala jump to the pen and be a difference maker? That is a long list. We do not know if there will be a trade – we do not know who will DFA nor do we know the trade scenarios. Is Balazovic ready soon? Is there a FA we can afford and attract from other teams? Is there a trade? Must Keep - Berrios, Rogers, Duffy, May, Littell, Thorpe, Graterol Want to keep - Pineda, Odorizzi, Romo, Dyson Say good-bye - Gibson, Perez, Gonsalves, Harper ???? - Dobnak, Stashak, Romero, Diplan, Hildenberger,
  2. I have been out and about and tried to catch up on the Twins Daily site here at 8:45, I have some thoughts that might spur on conversations. Feel free to comment on any of these thoughts. Minor League Injuries and Disappointments--Today's announcements about a season-ending injury to Akil Baddoo, surgery for Luke Raley plus two of the better starting pitching prospects (Gonsalves and Graterol) are going on the injured list adds to an already long list of missed time due to injuries. Royce Lewis, Wander Javier, Nick Gordon, and Alex Kirilloff, all top prospects, have all missed time and there are others. These injuries sap the depth available and also reduce the number of trade chips available at the trading deadline. In addition, the players named are missing valuable development time. Seth has also written about this in the minor league forum. Adalberto Mejía--When he was placed on the Injured List, it looked to me (and most on TD) that he was being "stashed". It's been two weeks since he went on the IL and according to media reports, Mejía won't begin throwing until next month. I believe the young man has potential and he could be in the starting rotation next year. First of all, maybe the nagging injury caused his ineffectiveness. Secondly, he has three decent pitches and maybe he would be better served to be a starter. If he could be an effective reliever, there is a need for another lefty in the bullpen. Position Players--Two players are on the Injured List and the Twins still have quality players top to bottom. With less than 20 plate appearances, it can't be said that Arraez is a good player, but every indication is that he is. Nominal bench players Adrianza, Astudillo, and super-utility player Marwin Gonzalez are good players and all have stepped up when they have an opportunity. Jake Cave is toiling at Rochester and could be recalled in the event of an injury. I believe this club has enough talent and depth to withstand a normal amount of injuries and ineffectiveness and remain among the very best offenses in MLB. BTW, Astudillo has shown me enough to believe he is a good enough receiver to stay in the majors only as a catcher (another good pitching performance today with the Turtle behind the plate). Kyle Gibson--Since I had a two-minute conversation with him at Spring Training, I've been a Gibson fan. He's received criticism here for being a "nibbler" and not being able to get deep into games. I think some of that is justified, but Gibson can't throw pitches in the middle of the zone, he needs to own the corners. When he's sharp, he gets ahead and gets weak contact and swings and misses. Gibson has morphed from a pitch-to-contact sinkerballer into a guy who uses all his pitches and gets his share of strikeouts. While he probably won't ever be an ace, he is a competent, durable starter who will most likely get paid. I hope the Twins keep him beyond this year. Bullpen--Things haven't exactly gone as planned. Hildenberger flopped in May, Romero wasn't good in the spring, hasn't been good enough to stay in the majors so far, and a couple of other arms have failed to impress in major league auditions, but the bullpen has been okay so far. I don't anticipate that they'll be successful throughout the season. Tyler Duffey and Matt Magill are throwing hard enough to be capable relievers in this day and age. If Magill can keep pitches in the strike zone, I think he can be a valuable high-leverage reliever. I do think the Twins definitely need to upgrade in the bullpen to have success beyond the regular season and probably to help the club make postseason. My, the first 51 games have been fun! It would be great to keep it up all year and beyond that, it would be fun to have a top-tier team for years to come.
  3. It's a sad day in Minnesota. After today, the Twins will be done playing the Baltimore Orioles. So far, the Twins are 5-0 vs. the Birds, with a chance to sweep the season series today. They have averaged more than four homers per game against the Baltimore pitching staff. It is tough to win six straight against anyone, but a loss today would be a disappointment. Today's lineups: Baltimore 10-18 J. Villar2B 31-114 10 3 6 .272 S. WilkersonRF 3-16 1 1 1 .188 D. Smith Jr.LF 27-97 19 5 3 .278 R. NunezDH 29-101 18 6 0 .287 R. Ruiz3B 21-84 10 2 0 .250 A. WynnsC ----- -- -- -- -- C. Davis1B 9-62 10 2 0 .145 J. RickardCF 17-80 6 2 1 .213 R. MartinSS 10-62 1 0 1 .161 Pitching: Dylan Bundy 0-3 6.56 ERA Minnesota 15-9 M. KeplerRF 21-80 15 6 0 .263 J. PolancoSS 31-91 10 5 0 .341 N. CruzDH 22-70 15 5 0 .314 E. RosarioLF 25-95 24 11 0 .263 C.J. Cron1B 19-76 14 5 0 .250 M. Gonzalez3B 12-73 5 2 0 .164 M. GarverC 16-40 10 5 0 .400 J. Schoop2B 21-79 11 4 0 .266 B. BuxtonCF 19-71 9 0 6 .268 Pitching: Kyle Gibson 1-0 6.10 ERA
  4. 
The 22nd pick of the 2009 MLB draft, Kyle Gibson will be making his first start of 2019 on Wednesday against the Royals. After struggling throughout his career he finally seemed to put it all together in 2018. Kyle has been pitching in the majors since 2013. He owns a career 4.47 ERA, 1.406 WHIP and a 2.04 K/BB. He only had one year before 2018 where he finished with an ERA under 4.00 (2015.) Time seemed to be running out for the Twins first rounder to establish himself. Then the 2018 season came.
 In 2018, Gibson finally was able to solve some of his problems. In a July 2018 interview he discussed it saying "I was putting too much stress on myself." Gibson said the key for him was just getting out of his own head. He realized in 2018 that he had to go back to just having fun with the game. This led to a fun comeback story for Kyle Gibson.
Kyle finished the season with an ERA of 3.62 (career best), a WHIP of 1.32 and a K/BB of 2.27 (career best). What did Gibson do differently in 2018 that led to success? Let's take a look.
 His pitch velocity for all five of his pitches went up. The fastball went up from 92.3 in 2017 to 93.3 in 2018. The slider, change up, sinker and curve also all went up by 1+ MPH in 2018. He used the slider 3.1% more and the curve was up 4% from his career usage.
Swing percentages actually stayed relatively the same, but contact%, balls swung at outside the zone, and swinging strike% all went up by a percentage point. These one percents aren't much but they could have led to line drive percentage and Home run/Fly ball ratio being decreased as well. A different key stat that was increased was the percent of soft hits allowed. (19.5% in 2018 compared to 15.4% in 2017). 
Some more numbers that were noticeably better from 2017 were K/9, K/BB, OPP AVG, WHIP, BABIP and LOB%. The K/9 went from 6.89 to 8.19. This translated to the K/BB going from 2.02 to 2.27. Perhaps the most impressive numbers were OPP AVG dropping from .290 to .238 (52 point drop), the WHIP going from 1.53 to 1.30, the BABIP going from .328 to .285 and the LOB% going from 72.3% to 75.5%
. Why do I think he will maintain the success? In 2014 and 2015 we could actually see the pitcher he was becoming, before 2016 got off to a horrible start and he got back into his head. In 2017 when Gibson was still struggling, he was sent to the minors to regain his confidence. He threw 17.1 lights out innings and was called back up. Gibson then threw all of September with a 3.28 ERA, a 1.121 WHIP and a K/BB of 3.88.



 Here are Gibson's batted ball ratios. He is very well set in the GB inducing category (49.8%) when compared to the MLB average and his line drive percent took another dip closer to average to 22%. It is clearly shown that the years Gibson has seen the most success (2014, 2015 and 2018) he has been able to produce a lot more ground balls.
 Gibson carried that success all the way through 2018 and is looking like he has regained his confidence. The key for him is the fast start to the season. In 2016 and '17 the slow start to the seasons derailed the whole thing, while 2014, '15 and '18 All started off much better.
 Expect more of the same from Gibson as he takes the number 2 spot in the rotation behind Berrios. They could be one of the best 1-2 punches in any rotation, especially with both showing improved strikeout capabilities. Berrios struck out 10 in the opener and Gibson had a swinging strike% of 11.5% last year. Thank you for reading my article on Gibson. Go check out my Twitter @MnTwinsTalk18 and my own personal website EverydayTwinsTalk.com
  5. UPDATE (March 4): Jose Berrios has been named the Twins 2019 Opening Day starter The “Opening Day starter” distinction means more than it matters. It is an honor given to a team’s best or longest-tenured starting pitcher, and it is treated by players and managers as just that: an honor. Whether a pitcher starts on Opening Day or in the second game of the season doesn't matter much when it comes to the team's record over a 162-game season, and yet we see a barrage of press releases and quotes during spring training announcing who will take the mound first for each team. At this point, the Twins haven’t announced their Opening Day starter for 2019, but the proclamation will likely come in the next few weeks. That said, there seems to be two front-runners for the job: Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson. While Jake Odorizzi was the Opening Day starter in 2018, he only pitched 164 1/3 innings and posted a 4.49 ERA on the season. Berrios and Gibson, on the other hand (or "on same hand" since they're all righties), both threw 190+ innings and had an ERA in the 3.00s. Of the two, Gibson had the better ERA at 3.62, threw a few more innings, and is projected by Steamer to lead the team in ERA again in 2019. He is the longest-tenured player on the Twins roster as he enters his seventh season pitching for Minnesota, and was also ahead of Berrios in the rotation last year, pitching in second game of the season after Odorizzi’s opening start. Berrios had the edge in the peripheral stats with mores strikeouts and fewer walks than Gibson. His 3.84 ERA was not far behind his teammate, and he was the only Twins player selected to the All-Star game last year. He is projected by PECOTA to be the best pitcher on the Twins’ staff in 2019 and has the edge in “stuff” and future upside. If there's a true ace on this staff, it will likely be him. Michael Pineda and Martin Perez round out the rotation. They have yet to throw a pitch for the Twins and have been either hurt or bad in recent years. They don’t expect to be in the conversation for Opening Day starter. Adding a wrinkle into the discussion is Rocco Baldelli and the Twins late-season experiment using an Opener in 2018. The decision to implement this strategy last September was agreed upon by the front office and former manager Paul Molitor. However, with Molitor’s depature and the addition of Baldelli—who hails from the Tampa Bay Rays organization which introduced and heavily used the Opener last year—there are reasons to believe that the Twins will more aggressive with this strategy in 2019. That said, the Twins continued to allow Berrios, Gibson, and Odorizzi to start without being preceded by an Opener last fall. Likewise, the Rays allowed their better starter pitchers Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow to start their games without an opening act. Beginning the season with an Opener seems unlikely unless this coaching staff really wants to make a splash right out of the gate. Time (and probably the Twins in the next weeks) will tell who will be taking the mound at Target Field on March 28 to face the Cleveland Indians, and their name will be jotted down in Twins history. Even if it doesn’t really matter who gets the start, it certainly means something. Here are some tidbits about Opening Day starters in Minnesota Twins’ history: Since officially becoming the Minnesota Twins in 1961 (after moving from the District of Columbia), there have been 58 Opening Days. A total of 31 different pitchers made Opening Day starts for the Twins. --- Brad Radke leads the pack with nine Opening Day starts followed by Bert Blyleven’s six starts and four for Frank Viola. Dave Goltz tallied three starts on Opening Day while nine other pitchers had two starts apiece. --- The best Twins Opening Day start, using Bill James’ Game Score, was Dean Chance. He threw a complete game shutout in 1968 against the Washington Senators (the team that filled in the void after the Twins moved to Minnesota). Chance struck out eight batters, walked none, and allowed four hits in the contest. --- The worst performance by the same metric came in Brad Havens’ lone Opening Day start for the Twins which took place in the Metrodome in 1983. Havens was ousted after recording just four outs. He gave up eight runs, all earned, against an impressive Detroit Tigers team that went on to win 92 games that season. His brutal outing began: single, single, home run, walk, wild pitch, walk. The Tigers went on to score six runs in the first inning. --- Kevin Tapani, however, proved to be the worst Opening Day starter in the aggregate, as he posted a 19.29 ERA over two starts in 1993 and 1994. In the two games, he totaled seven innings, recorded just three strikeouts, and gave up a massive 15 earned runs on 18 hits. Those starts were the second- and third-worst Opening Day starts in Twins history by Game Score. --- There were only five Opening Days hosted at Metropolitan Stadium. Mudcat Grant had the best start of the bunch allowing one run in a complete game against the Kansas City Athletics. The worst Opening Day performance at the Met belongs to Jim Perry in which he allowed three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings of work in his 1971 start. --- Radke started five of the 15 Opening Day games played in the Metrodome and had the best start under the inflated roof by Game Score. In 1996, Radke struck out eight Detroit Tigers in six innings while allowing just one earned run as the Twins (with newly-signed Paul Molitor) beat the Tigers 8-6. --- Target Field has hosted just two Opening Days since it’s inaugural season. In 2013, Vance Worley braved the 35º weather and limited the then-very-good Tigers to three runs over six innings. He held Miguel Cabrera hitless, but took the loss as the Twins fell 4-2. In 2017, the Twins defeated the Royals behind seven strong innings of one-run ball from Ervin Santana. The Twins will host their third ever Opening Day at Target Field as they take on the Cleveland Indians on March 28th.
  6. Eno Sarris’ top 175 pitchers for the 2019 fantasy baseball season The Twins top five according to Sarris all make it in the top 175! Berrios 18 Above Strasburg, Corbin, Price, Wheeler, Morton and Greinke Kyle Gibson 60 Above Matz, Woodruff, Lucchesi, Quintana Odorizzi 69 Above Jimmy Nelson Pineda 71 Above Stroman, Gonzales, Smith and Gray Fernando Romero 135 Above Valdez, Cease, Gohara, Williams, Lynn Take all those positions and average them out and our rotation comes out in with an average of 70. It is interesting to see how Gibson/Odorizzi/Pineda are all bunched and that they project Romero. Based on 32 teams that is pretty average - a 500 team. 32 teams would have five rotation places or 160 spots. At least Romero keeps us above the 160 mark.
  7. Manager Paul Molitor has not yet named his opening day starter. I have an out-of-the-box suggestion: Fernando Romero. Romero has not yet allowed a run - or a hit - in spring training. He's been nearly perfect. Yes, I know, he's not expected to make the opening day roster. Here's my thinking: • Clearly Ervin Santana cannot be the opening day starter – he's recovering from finger surgery. • Jose Berrios would be the next logical choice, but Molitor wants him to pitch in Puerto Rico, his native land, later in April. That does not line up easily with an opening day start. • Lance Lynn may not be ready by opening day. With the late signing, Lynn may need a few more days to get up to 60-90 pitches. • Jake Odorizzi and Kyle Gibson have not proven enough in spring training or last year to warrant being the opening day starter. • Romero has electric stuff, had a great year last year in the minor leagues, and he's been nearly perfect this spring. Let's see if he's ready for the big show. I realize there are rules about sending a player down who is on the opening day roster. He might have to start two games. But that would give ample time for Lynn to get up to speed. The Twins could carry both Lynn and Romero on the roster at the beginning, and have one less batter. If the Twins were to go with Zack Granite over Robbie Grossman, Granite could start out in Rochester, and be called up when either Romero goes down, or if there's an injury. What do you think?
  8. After seeing Saturday's game, I'm as convinced as ever that Kyle Gibson has the stuff to be a dominant ace in the major leagues. What's missing is Jack Morris's attitude. Sometimes he'll pitch inside, but sometimes he gets passive, too nice. Sometimes he'll throw his change up for strike one, but not enough. You see that beautiful downward plane, that's got to produce tons of ground outs, but he doesn't throw enough strikes to make batters swing. On the other hand, we all wish our pitchers got calls on strike three that were four to six inches outside the zone, as Kluber was getting. What an embarrassing day for that umpire. Does the league make them review their games? I hope so. He should spend the rest of the day with a red face. Meanwhile, Gibson does appear to be rallying from his early-season slump. Why he should need to re-learn the art of pitching at this point in his career, I have no idea. No pitcher can succeed on stuff alone. You have to play the game.
  9. From the album: My stuff

    © Me damnit

  10. How do we keep Trevor and Miguel in the lineup together? How do we find the right catcher? How do we shore up the bullpen? Should Torii Hunter have a role? Do we need another starter, or just swap out some that we have? Can we afford an ace? How do we do all this under a scenario that the F.O. might actually consider, from an economic perspective? I think it can all be done, by next spring, with relatively few moves. But two of them are big. We would trade Brian Dozier and Kyle Gibson. We would not resign Cotts, Boyer, Hunter, Pelfrey, Robinson, or Nunez. We would sign two free agent relief pitchers. The idea is that the combination of Gibson/Dozier brings a cost-controlled young defensive catcher with offensive upside and front-line pitching prospect, perhaps a year away from the bigs. The holes get plugged in a different way than I've seen, as well. It's not Polanco to 2nd, but Rosario. The defensive arrangement would be young stud/Suzuki at catcher (keeping Kurt below his vesting option), Mauer, Rosario, Escobar, and Sano around the infield. Outfield would be Plouffe in left, Buxton in center, and Hicks in right. We would move Hunter to a coaching role. Customary DH is a combination of Arcia/ABWIII/Vargas. Bench is Suzuki, ABW, Santana, and Vargas. We have some pop in our pinch hitters for a change. Rosario/ABW/Arcia would be Plouffe's backup in left, Hicks would be depth in center, Arcia and ABW would be behind Hicks in right. Plouffe, Escobar and Santana would back up third, Santana would back up SS and 2nd, and Plouffe, Vargas, Sano would back up 1B. Max Kepler would start at AAA. Starters would be Hughes, Santana, Nolasco, Duffy, and May with Berrios, Milone, Meyer and the prospect received for Dozier/Gibson in the wings. Bullpen would be Jepson, Perkins, Duensing, Neftali Feliz, Tommy Hunter (both F.A. acquisitions), and some combination of existing relief and starters (thinking right now Milone and Meyer). "A" lineup is Hicks, Mauer, Sano, Arcia (putting a lot of stock in this guy's rebound, no doubt), Plouffe, Rosario, Escobar, catcher, Buxton. But the big keys to this transformation are moving Rosario to second base and Plouffe to left field (and given Plouffe's ability to play SS and 3B, I think he can be an effective LF, though not trying to clone the Alex Gordon experiment and expect the same results). This allows us to trade Dozier, keep Rosario in the lineup at a position where his OBP doesn't hurt you, keep Plouffe and still play Sano, and beefs up the three biggest holes - catcher, potential frontline starter, and relief, all while being cost-controlled and maintaining budget. And the trades are not that substantial - some combination of Gibson and Dozier for a great catcher and starting pitcher prospect. Or it could be simplified, depending on how you want to approach it, and Dozier is traded for a catcher, and Gibson remains. I just feel both are sell-high candidates right now, and this team has not sold high on anyone in a long time - they've looked for other team's castoffs and low-dollar free agents, but this gives them trade chips that will bring back quality in return. How would you shape the roster for next year?
  11. We have a rotation, today, of Santana, Gibson, Pelfrey, Milone, and Duffy. Let's say, theoretically, that we arrive at game 162 and need a game 163, or, better yet, a one-game playoff against the Yankees or Blue Jays (no other scenario seems very plausible right now, at least not one involving the Twins). Santana could pitch a game 163, though I'm not certain I'd want him to unless he starts picking it up a notch or two. I'm assuming Phil Hughes will be ready by then, but not certain I want him pitching in Yankee Stadium or against Toronto with his fly-ball tendencies and the way those lineups are constructed. What's your post-season rotation right now? The more I thought about it, looking at a rotation of Gibson, Milone, Duffy and Hughes, putting Pelfrey into the bullpen, still leaves me wanting. The person in my opinion that I'd most like to see starting a game 163 or Wild Card road game on the East Coast is sitting in AAA right now, and won't be on our playoff roster unless we bring him up before September (something that seems the club has not discussed publicly as being even a possibility). I realize there are other lineup issues to resolve if October baseball is a possibility, and feel free to discuss them all. But specifically, who is your game 163 starter or Wild Card starter, and (assuming for fun we win that or those) your ALDS rotation?
  12. Third thread in three days--hoo boy! I have to give Brian a lot of credit for being able to provide topics every day. There are some talkers going on with the Twins, so I will bring them up along with my own observation. 1) I just heard that Mauer is hitting second tonight. I have no problem with this except that there really isn't a legit #3 hitter. Molitor is going with Plouffe at #3, not my preference, but I guess shaking it up is a good idea. Joe hit like a #3 hitter for about three weeks IMHO. His slump has been longer, but not as deep as Plouffe's. 2) Polanco is in the lineup, batting ninth. I wasn't in favor of him assuming the shortstop position and I'm still not convinced he is a true shortstop. He is a more of a sure thing as a hitter and I doubt he will be overmatched offensively. 3) Iron man Kurt Suzuki is catching again. I have seen more balls get by Zuke in the past couple weeks than he permitted last year. At least two of May's wild pitches (and maybe all three) should have been blocked IMHO. He isn't doing much offensively either. Of all the positions on the team, I believe upgrading the catcher position is the most troubling. The Twins don't have a prospect at catcher that projects as a satisfactory hitter and a good defender behind the plate. If the Twins stay in the race, I think they should consider trading for a catcher (I have been beating the drum for Jonathan Lucroy). 4) Gibson on the mound. Molitor (I don't call a grown man "Molly") moved Gibson in front of Milone, in part because of his success against the Royals. I came away much impressed with his outing last Friday. He allowed three homers for five runs in the first three innings, then completely shut down the Brew Crew, retiring the last 13 hitters, with only one ball leaving the infield. 5) The Royals. Another thread is pointing out the better talent among the position players and the absolute superiority of the Royals' bullpen. True, oh so true. Bullpens come and go, but KC has depth in the 'pen, so even if somebody flames out, the Royals figure to have probably the best bullpen in the majors. I would like to point out where the Twins have really improved--their starters have the fourth-best ERA in the AL. There have been a lot more innings pitched by the starters, protecting the Twins suspect bullpen. Their numbers are far better than the Royals. BTW, the Twins and Royals have scored approximately the same number of runs, so while KC might have the better position players, it hasn't translated like that on offense. I predicted a Twins win both on Monday and Tuesday. No prediction today. Time for some bats to break loose. Here are the lineups: Kansas City Escobar ss Moustakas 3b Cain cf Hosmer 1b Morales dh Gordon lf Rios rf Perez c Infante 2b Volquez p (4-4 3.26 ERA) Minnesota Dozier 2b Mauer 1b Plouffe 3b Hunter rf Suzuki c Vargas dh Robinson lf Hicks cf Polanco ss Gibson p (4-3 3.00 ERA)
  13. Encouraging article about a Kyle Gibson. http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2014/11/9/7176551/expect-a-big-year-from-kyle-gibson-in-2015-twins One comment that struck was the value if his slider and the need to use it more often. They also took a look at a Phil a Hughes http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2014/11/8/7154475/regression-to-the-mean-phil-hughes-walks
  14. This will include a bit of a 2014 blueprint, some prognostication and some thinking outside the box. I would like to see some other predictions for the coming season. 1) The Twins starting rotation will add two free agents. However the most improvement will come from within, with improvement from Kyle Gibson, emergence of Alex Myer, and a bounceback from one of Vance Worley or Scott Diamond. 2) Joe Mauer will be a contender for both a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove. He will exceed .900 for OPS and 20 for home runs. Mauer will be the Twins lone representative at the All-Star game at Target Field. 3) Josh Willingham will be traded after gaining some value with a 2014 that more resembles 2012 than 2013. 4) Josmil Pinto will not make the club out of spring training. He will be in the majors by Memorial Day and play more games at catcher than any other Twins receiver. 5) Aaron Hicks will start the season in Rochester and start somewhat slowly, but will be with Minnesota by the All-Star break. 6) The bullpen will be seen as far less effective in 2014 than 2013. Casey Fien and Caleb Thielbar will regress significantly. 7) Byron Buxton won't be recalled until September at the earliest. 8) Oswaldo Arcia will get demoted to Rochester one more time before he really "gets it" and becomes a force in the middle of the Twins' lineup. 9) Miguel Sano will be promoted before midseason. His batting average will be below .250, but he will show great power and pretty good plate discipline. Trevor Plouffe won't be on the Twins team by September 1. 10) Brian Dozier will follow up his "breakthrough" by increasing his batting average, but not hitting for power. Eddie Rosario will be promoted in Sepember and share time with him at second. My guess is that the team will improve it's record after another slow start and that there will be a lot of optimism for 2015 after a good finish.
  15. Diamond started the season on the DL, but was expected to be the Twins best starter. He has had some good appearances, but his overall numbers are the worst of the current starting rotation in the month of June. Is it possible that the Twins could send him down to Rochester and promote either Albers or Gibson?
  16. Here is Rotation A: Correia, Walters, Deduno, Pelfrey, Diamond Here is Rotation B: Worley, Hernandez, Gibson, Albers, De Vries Which is better? Much like quarterbacks, if you have too many starters who are the same, then you don't have any.
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