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  1. Water is wet, grass is green, and both Mark Contreras and Keoni Cavaco know how to hit a baseball (very well). Dig in for all the info on today's games across the Twins' farm system! TRANSACTIONS No transactions within the Twins organization on Sunday. SAINTS SENTINAL Indianapolis 5, St. Paul 3 Box Score A stellar day at the plate from Mark Contreras wasn't enough to push the Saints to a win against Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon. Contreras crushed two homers in St. Paul's loss, marking his multi-homer game of the season and first game with a home run since July 2 against Omaha. Contreras' first moon shot came in the fourth inning with Jermaine Palacios on base, scoring the Saints' first two runs. Contreras would launch a solo shot to right-center field in the eighth inning to plate St. Paul's final run of the day. Both of Contreras' homers came on the first pitch of the at-bat. That aggressive approach at the plate is only going to benefit him as he continues to develop his offense in hopes of a return to the parent club in Minneapolis. Elliot Soto was the only other Saint with a multi-hit game, tallying a double (11) in the second inning and a single in the fourth. The pair of hits were Soto's first since July 10 at Louisville, where he recorded a pair of singles. Starting pitcher Cole Sands lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six in Sunday's loss. Sands threw 45 of his 70 pitches for strikes and pitched scoreless innings in the first and third innings; ultimately, the talented prospect ran into trouble with a trio of hits in the second and a leadoff walk followed by a homer in the fourth. St. Paul's bullpen was excellent on the day. RHP Ariel Jurado followed Sands with 3 1/3 innings of hitless, scoreless, and walk-less ball while striking out three. Northfield, Minnesota native Jake Petricka pitched a flawless eighth inning for his hometown organization, striking out two while walking none. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 3, Wichita 0 Box Score Like a wind turbine on a still day, the Surge weren't able to propel any momentum, dropping a shut-out loss to Tulsa that resulted in the Drillers taking home the Propeller Series for the first time. Wichita tallied just five hits in the loss, going 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and leaving seven men on base. Two of those hits came from highly-touted prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who laced singles in the first and third innings. Encarnacion-Strand has recorded multi-hit games in four of his last eight games and is slashing an impressive .400/.438/.833 in the month of July. Starting pitcher Kody Funderburk (L, 7-3) didn't have his best outing....but it still wasn't all that bad. Through three innings, the Mesa, Arizona native allowed just one run on two hits and a walk while striking out five. And while accelerating prospect was tabbed with the loss, his performance was far from poor. The Surge used five relievers through five innings following Funderburk; Daniel Gossett allowed two runs on two hits while striking out five through the fourth and fifth innings. Following Gossett's two runs, the bullpen shut out the Drillers. Bryan Sammons, Andrew Cabezas, and Osiris German allowed just one hit through the final three innings while allowing no runs and just one walk while striking out a combined four batters. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 9, Cedar Rapids 7 Box Score There's a first time for everything...including sweeps. Despite a three-hit game from Yunior Severino, the Kernels dropped the series finale to Peoria on Sunday, resulting in their first time being on the wrong side of a sweep through 2022. Severino laced three singles and two RBI alongside a walk in Sunday's matinee, making it his second consecutive game with three hits. The 22-year-old is on a tear, hitting safely in five of his last six games and slashing .292/.433/.583 through July. Aaron Sabato also made some noise for the Kernels at the plate, crushing a three-run homer in the fifth inning to keep Cedar Rapids in the game. Sabato also homered on Saturday against Peoria and has recorded four extra-base hits through eight games in July. Starting pitcher David Festa (L, 6-1) suffered his first loss of the season, allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks through four innings. And while Festa did strike out three hitters, his moment of brilliance came in the third and fourth innings. Allowing three consecutive singles (two in the third, one in the fourth), Festa picked off all three baserunners. While the end result wasn't there, that's pretty incredible. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Dunedin 3 (7 innings) Box Score After a weather delay limiting Saturday's play to just 1/2 of an inning, the Mussels came to play on Sunday, taking down the D-Jays thanks to stellar hitting from Keoni Cavaco and a total team effort from the pitching staff. Crushing an opening inning two-run shot of game one last night, Cavaco brought his bat on Sunday. With Nelson Roberto on base in the fifth, Cavaco punched a single to left field to score Roberto and knot the game at three. Cavaco's RBI served as the ignition for a monster three-run inning in the sixth for Fort Myers. The Mussels were rock-solid on the bump through all seven innings in game one. After Steve Hajjar got the ball rolling in the first, Mike Paredes (W, 6-2) carried the weight through 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits while striking out three. With a three-run lead in the final frame, Anthony Escobar shut down the D-Jays to nab the Mussels' 50th win of the year. Game Two Fort Myers 3, Dunedin 2 (7 innings) Box Score A flat 50 just wasn't enough for the Mighty Mussels on Sunday afternoon. After swiping their 50th win of the season in game one of Sunday's twin bill, Fort Myers earned win number 51 on the season thanks to a multi-hit game from Cavaco and a solid outing from Travis Adams. Cavaco got the first run of the day on the board with a first-inning single that scored Misael Urbina to put the Mussels up 1-0. The 21-year-old's daily dinger derby continued in the third inning when he crunched a solo shot over the left field wall to give Fort Myers a 2-0 lead. Cavaco now has eight home runs on the season and has hit safely in his last four games (three of which have been multi-hit games). Starting pitcher Travis Adams gave up a flurry of hits but locked down when it mattered, allowing just one run through 4 2/3 innings while striking out five. The Mighty Mussel bullpen was just as (if not more) effective. Niklas Rimmel (W, 3-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball followed by a scoreless seventh inning courtesy of Samuel Perez (H, 3) and Johnathan Lavallee (S, 2). TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 4-for-7, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 K Pitcher of the Day: Travis Adams (Fort Myers) 4.2 IP, 6 H, R, ER, 5 K PROSPECT SUMMARY See how our Twins Daily Minor League Top 20 Prospects did on Sunday afternoon. #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-for-5, K #8 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-5, 2B, H, R, BB, 2 K (two games) #12 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, BB, K #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita) - 2-for-4, K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - (L, 1-5), 3.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 6 K #18 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - (L, 6-1) 4.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 0.2 IP, H, BB, K MONDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS FCL Twins @ FCL Rays (11:00am CST) - TBD DSL Twins @ DSL Rockies (11:00am CST) - TBD View full article
  2. TRANSACTIONS No transactions within the Twins organization on Sunday. SAINTS SENTINAL Indianapolis 5, St. Paul 3 Box Score A stellar day at the plate from Mark Contreras wasn't enough to push the Saints to a win against Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon. Contreras crushed two homers in St. Paul's loss, marking his multi-homer game of the season and first game with a home run since July 2 against Omaha. Contreras' first moon shot came in the fourth inning with Jermaine Palacios on base, scoring the Saints' first two runs. Contreras would launch a solo shot to right-center field in the eighth inning to plate St. Paul's final run of the day. Both of Contreras' homers came on the first pitch of the at-bat. That aggressive approach at the plate is only going to benefit him as he continues to develop his offense in hopes of a return to the parent club in Minneapolis. Elliot Soto was the only other Saint with a multi-hit game, tallying a double (11) in the second inning and a single in the fourth. The pair of hits were Soto's first since July 10 at Louisville, where he recorded a pair of singles. Starting pitcher Cole Sands lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six in Sunday's loss. Sands threw 45 of his 70 pitches for strikes and pitched scoreless innings in the first and third innings; ultimately, the talented prospect ran into trouble with a trio of hits in the second and a leadoff walk followed by a homer in the fourth. St. Paul's bullpen was excellent on the day. RHP Ariel Jurado followed Sands with 3 1/3 innings of hitless, scoreless, and walk-less ball while striking out three. Northfield, Minnesota native Jake Petricka pitched a flawless eighth inning for his hometown organization, striking out two while walking none. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 3, Wichita 0 Box Score Like a wind turbine on a still day, the Surge weren't able to propel any momentum, dropping a shut-out loss to Tulsa that resulted in the Drillers taking home the Propeller Series for the first time. Wichita tallied just five hits in the loss, going 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and leaving seven men on base. Two of those hits came from highly-touted prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who laced singles in the first and third innings. Encarnacion-Strand has recorded multi-hit games in four of his last eight games and is slashing an impressive .400/.438/.833 in the month of July. Starting pitcher Kody Funderburk (L, 7-3) didn't have his best outing....but it still wasn't all that bad. Through three innings, the Mesa, Arizona native allowed just one run on two hits and a walk while striking out five. And while accelerating prospect was tabbed with the loss, his performance was far from poor. The Surge used five relievers through five innings following Funderburk; Daniel Gossett allowed two runs on two hits while striking out five through the fourth and fifth innings. Following Gossett's two runs, the bullpen shut out the Drillers. Bryan Sammons, Andrew Cabezas, and Osiris German allowed just one hit through the final three innings while allowing no runs and just one walk while striking out a combined four batters. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 9, Cedar Rapids 7 Box Score There's a first time for everything...including sweeps. Despite a three-hit game from Yunior Severino, the Kernels dropped the series finale to Peoria on Sunday, resulting in their first time being on the wrong side of a sweep through 2022. Severino laced three singles and two RBI alongside a walk in Sunday's matinee, making it his second consecutive game with three hits. The 22-year-old is on a tear, hitting safely in five of his last six games and slashing .292/.433/.583 through July. Aaron Sabato also made some noise for the Kernels at the plate, crushing a three-run homer in the fifth inning to keep Cedar Rapids in the game. Sabato also homered on Saturday against Peoria and has recorded four extra-base hits through eight games in July. Starting pitcher David Festa (L, 6-1) suffered his first loss of the season, allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks through four innings. And while Festa did strike out three hitters, his moment of brilliance came in the third and fourth innings. Allowing three consecutive singles (two in the third, one in the fourth), Festa picked off all three baserunners. While the end result wasn't there, that's pretty incredible. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Dunedin 3 (7 innings) Box Score After a weather delay limiting Saturday's play to just 1/2 of an inning, the Mussels came to play on Sunday, taking down the D-Jays thanks to stellar hitting from Keoni Cavaco and a total team effort from the pitching staff. Crushing an opening inning two-run shot of game one last night, Cavaco brought his bat on Sunday. With Nelson Roberto on base in the fifth, Cavaco punched a single to left field to score Roberto and knot the game at three. Cavaco's RBI served as the ignition for a monster three-run inning in the sixth for Fort Myers. The Mussels were rock-solid on the bump through all seven innings in game one. After Steve Hajjar got the ball rolling in the first, Mike Paredes (W, 6-2) carried the weight through 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits while striking out three. With a three-run lead in the final frame, Anthony Escobar shut down the D-Jays to nab the Mussels' 50th win of the year. Game Two Fort Myers 3, Dunedin 2 (7 innings) Box Score A flat 50 just wasn't enough for the Mighty Mussels on Sunday afternoon. After swiping their 50th win of the season in game one of Sunday's twin bill, Fort Myers earned win number 51 on the season thanks to a multi-hit game from Cavaco and a solid outing from Travis Adams. Cavaco got the first run of the day on the board with a first-inning single that scored Misael Urbina to put the Mussels up 1-0. The 21-year-old's daily dinger derby continued in the third inning when he crunched a solo shot over the left field wall to give Fort Myers a 2-0 lead. Cavaco now has eight home runs on the season and has hit safely in his last four games (three of which have been multi-hit games). Starting pitcher Travis Adams gave up a flurry of hits but locked down when it mattered, allowing just one run through 4 2/3 innings while striking out five. The Mighty Mussel bullpen was just as (if not more) effective. Niklas Rimmel (W, 3-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball followed by a scoreless seventh inning courtesy of Samuel Perez (H, 3) and Johnathan Lavallee (S, 2). TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 4-for-7, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 K Pitcher of the Day: Travis Adams (Fort Myers) 4.2 IP, 6 H, R, ER, 5 K PROSPECT SUMMARY See how our Twins Daily Minor League Top 20 Prospects did on Sunday afternoon. #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-for-5, K #8 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-5, 2B, H, R, BB, 2 K (two games) #12 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, BB, K #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita) - 2-for-4, K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - (L, 1-5), 3.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 6 K #18 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - (L, 6-1) 4.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 0.2 IP, H, BB, K MONDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS FCL Twins @ FCL Rays (11:00am CST) - TBD DSL Twins @ DSL Rockies (11:00am CST) - TBD
  3. Around the time of our last check-in, anticipation was building for a big move to round out the rotation after the splashy addition of Carlos Correa. Such a bold showing of intention had to be followed by a similarly decisive pitching acquisition, right? It turns out, no. The Twins were evidently shut out in the trade market and so they pivoted to fill the last spot in their rotation with a fairly low-wattage signing. The bullpen received a bit more veteran depth with a couple of minor-league signings, but for the most part, it looks like this is the pitching staff Minnesota will roll with. Let's take a look at the last few players brought into this mix. Twins Make a Volatile Upside Play with Chris Archer Signing At one point, Chris Archer ranked among the best and most durable young pitchers in baseball. From 2013 through 2017 in Tampa, he almost never missed a start, piling up nearly 1,000 innings in 156 starts with a 3.60 ERA and 9.7 K/9 rate. Those days are now in the distant past. In four seasons since, the righty has thrown 287 innings with a 4.70 ERA, although the strikeout ability has remained (10.3 K/9). He didn't pitch in 2020 due to thoracic outlet surgery, and was limited to just six appearances last year in his reunion with the Rays. So, obviously a longshot. But that's why he was still available this late in the game, and why he came with such a low guaranteed price tag ($3.5M). Archer will be able to significantly increase his 2022 salary by reaching productivity thresholds, in a deal that is somewhat similar in structure to the one Rich Hill signed with Minnesota two years ago – a "pay-as-you-play" approach, as JD Cameron puts it. It's been a while since we've seen it materialize, but Archer's upside remains, and his debut in a Twins uniform on Friday offered some encouraging signs in terms of his velocity and stuff. Two More Veteran Relievers Join the Bullpen Picture A couple names you might recognize joined the Twins on minor-league deals last week: Jake Petricka and JC Ramirez. Both right-handers have thrown more than 200 innings in the majors and pitched most recently for the Angels. Neither pitcher has a significant recent track record in the majors – Ramirez hasn't appeared since 2019 and Petricka has thrown just 14 total innings since 2018. But the experience could give them a leg up on the depth chart, and Ramirez in particular is interesting because he could become a bridge-type guy capable of providing multiple innings. No More Trades for Pitching? The Twins kept on pushing for one of Oakland's two top starting pitchers known to be available. After the team signed Archer, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reported that "They also have spent the past 2 1/2 weeks attempting to pry either Frankie Montas or Sean Manaea away from Oakland without success. While the Twins have made it clear they’d like to complete a deal — and still have interest in one — the previously wheeling-and-dealing A’s haven’t recently engaged them." On Sunday, the A's finally pulled the trigger on one of these two starters – Manaea, who they were always much more motivated to deal due to his salary and expiring team control. Oakland sent the left-hander to San Diego for a fairly underwhelming return, suggesting there wasn't much of a market for him despite many teams still looking to add starters. It remains possible that the Twins could strike an 11th-hour deal for Montas or another starter. But in all likelihood, the current group is the one they're going to roll into the season with. So let's take a look at how that group shakes out. Twins 2022 Roster & Payroll Projection The team has made a bunch of cuts, narrowing down the final field of players in camp and leaving only a few decisions to be made on the bullpen and bench. Below you can find my stab at projecting the Opening Day roster. A few notes: I've got Brent Rooker filling the fourth outfield spot, if only because it's the most convenient and easy course of action. I actually have a sneaking suspicion that the Twins will choose to go with Kyle Garlick in that spot, possibly DFA-ing Rooker to make room on the 40-man roster. But we'll see. All major-league teams will have two extra roster spots for the month of April, to help offset the shortened spring ramp-up. I'm assuming the Twins will use both on pitchers and carry a 15-man staff (in fact I wouldn't be surprised if they go with 16). I've plugged in Griffin Jax and Josh Winder. I didn't account for those additional fractional salaries in the total payroll. They would increase it modestly. (At the league minimum, paying two extra players for one month equates to about $233K – a little less than Correa will earn for each game. I have the total payroll projected at $128M, which is roughly in line with last year's figure. It's worth noting that the payroll is fluid and can easily rise if Archer or Byron Buxton trigger portions of their ample incentives. Barring something unexpected, the "offseason" is complete and the Twins have assembled their forces for the 2022 campaign. We'll gain clarity on the final roster in the coming days, but it should resemble the above fairly closely. How are you feeling about the state of affairs as we await the impending start of the season?
  4. Given how things have played out, with the lockout causing a major overlap between Hot Stove season and spring training, it's only fitting that our last offseason status update comes just four days ahead of the season opener. Read on for a rundown of the front office's final (we think?) moves and a look ahead at the projected 2022 Twins roster and payroll. Around the time of our last check-in, anticipation was building for a big move to round out the rotation after the splashy addition of Carlos Correa. Such a bold showing of intention had to be followed by a similarly decisive pitching acquisition, right? It turns out, no. The Twins were evidently shut out in the trade market and so they pivoted to fill the last spot in their rotation with a fairly low-wattage signing. The bullpen received a bit more veteran depth with a couple of minor-league signings, but for the most part, it looks like this is the pitching staff Minnesota will roll with. Let's take a look at the last few players brought into this mix. Twins Make a Volatile Upside Play with Chris Archer Signing At one point, Chris Archer ranked among the best and most durable young pitchers in baseball. From 2013 through 2017 in Tampa, he almost never missed a start, piling up nearly 1,000 innings in 156 starts with a 3.60 ERA and 9.7 K/9 rate. Those days are now in the distant past. In four seasons since, the righty has thrown 287 innings with a 4.70 ERA, although the strikeout ability has remained (10.3 K/9). He didn't pitch in 2020 due to thoracic outlet surgery, and was limited to just six appearances last year in his reunion with the Rays. So, obviously a longshot. But that's why he was still available this late in the game, and why he came with such a low guaranteed price tag ($3.5M). Archer will be able to significantly increase his 2022 salary by reaching productivity thresholds, in a deal that is somewhat similar in structure to the one Rich Hill signed with Minnesota two years ago – a "pay-as-you-play" approach, as JD Cameron puts it. It's been a while since we've seen it materialize, but Archer's upside remains, and his debut in a Twins uniform on Friday offered some encouraging signs in terms of his velocity and stuff. Two More Veteran Relievers Join the Bullpen Picture A couple names you might recognize joined the Twins on minor-league deals last week: Jake Petricka and JC Ramirez. Both right-handers have thrown more than 200 innings in the majors and pitched most recently for the Angels. Neither pitcher has a significant recent track record in the majors – Ramirez hasn't appeared since 2019 and Petricka has thrown just 14 total innings since 2018. But the experience could give them a leg up on the depth chart, and Ramirez in particular is interesting because he could become a bridge-type guy capable of providing multiple innings. No More Trades for Pitching? The Twins kept on pushing for one of Oakland's two top starting pitchers known to be available. After the team signed Archer, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reported that "They also have spent the past 2 1/2 weeks attempting to pry either Frankie Montas or Sean Manaea away from Oakland without success. While the Twins have made it clear they’d like to complete a deal — and still have interest in one — the previously wheeling-and-dealing A’s haven’t recently engaged them." On Sunday, the A's finally pulled the trigger on one of these two starters – Manaea, who they were always much more motivated to deal due to his salary and expiring team control. Oakland sent the left-hander to San Diego for a fairly underwhelming return, suggesting there wasn't much of a market for him despite many teams still looking to add starters. It remains possible that the Twins could strike an 11th-hour deal for Montas or another starter. But in all likelihood, the current group is the one they're going to roll into the season with. So let's take a look at how that group shakes out. Twins 2022 Roster & Payroll Projection The team has made a bunch of cuts, narrowing down the final field of players in camp and leaving only a few decisions to be made on the bullpen and bench. Below you can find my stab at projecting the Opening Day roster. A few notes: I've got Brent Rooker filling the fourth outfield spot, if only because it's the most convenient and easy course of action. I actually have a sneaking suspicion that the Twins will choose to go with Kyle Garlick in that spot, possibly DFA-ing Rooker to make room on the 40-man roster. But we'll see. All major-league teams will have two extra roster spots for the month of April, to help offset the shortened spring ramp-up. I'm assuming the Twins will use both on pitchers and carry a 15-man staff (in fact I wouldn't be surprised if they go with 16). I've plugged in Griffin Jax and Josh Winder. I didn't account for those additional fractional salaries in the total payroll. They would increase it modestly. (At the league minimum, paying two extra players for one month equates to about $233K – a little less than Correa will earn for each game. I have the total payroll projected at $128M, which is roughly in line with last year's figure. It's worth noting that the payroll is fluid and can easily rise if Archer or Byron Buxton trigger portions of their ample incentives. Barring something unexpected, the "offseason" is complete and the Twins have assembled their forces for the 2022 campaign. We'll gain clarity on the final roster in the coming days, but it should resemble the above fairly closely. How are you feeling about the state of affairs as we await the impending start of the season? View full article
  5. Each of the names mentioned above has varying amounts of Major League experience, although that comes with a considerable amount of time missed. Since the 2018 season, JC Ramirez and Jake Petricka have combined for just 84 1/3 innings, of which Petricka provided 45 2/3 in 2018. On the other hand, Bashlor has gone up and down between Triple-A and the big leagues since 2018, but he spent the entire 2021 season with Pittsburgh’s Triple-A affiliate. These signings are of the same ilk as Chi-Chi González. The Twins are taking a low-risk flier on guys with experience but aren’t fully committing to them past a minor-league deal. In other words, these signings are not in the same realm as “low-risk” signings from previous offseasons. As it stands now, the three will likely start in St. Paul and will need to earn their trip West on 94. Let’s look at what the three veterans could provide to one or both teams in the Twin Cities metro. Tyler Bashlor was drafted by the Mets in 2013 and was traded to the Pirates in the middle of the 2020 season but was sent to Pittsburgh’s alternate site before throwing 8 1/3 innings for the Pirates towards the end of the season. Although it was with their AAA affiliate, Bashlor had a successful 2021 season throwing 37 2/3 innings over 37 relief appearances and struck out 10.8 K/9 with a 2.39 ERA but also carried a 4.5 BB/9 which has been his Achilles heel throughout his career. His most recent Savant profile from those eight innings in 2021 shows a mid-90s fastball and slider mix with the occasional changeup. (Look at the curveballs in the below video and try not to think about Matt Wisler.) JC Ramirez has only thrown 14 2/3 relief innings since 2018 due to a combination of Tommy John Surgery, costing most of 2018 and 2019, and the cancellation of 2020 spring training due to COVID. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Ramirez has pitched in Mexico and China with some success over the last two seasons. However, the level of competition isn’t nearly what he faced stateside. His Savant profile from 2019 tells us he has a fastball that sits in the low-90s, although it’s worth noting it averaged 96 miles per hour in 2017, and a slider and curveball. Before his injury in 2018, he was just a passable back end of the rotation option, but sometimes those guys can reinvent themselves as effective relievers. I wouldn’t hold my breath but benefit from a minor league deal. A Northfield (MN) native, Jake Petricka might sound familiar as he was a good reliever for the Chicago White Sox from 2013 through 2015. He was with the White Sox until 2017 but has since bounced around the league with the Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He’s avoided Tommy John Surgery, but he also has a history of elbow and forearm injuries which could explain why his career has gone south since that three-year run ending in 2015. Most recently, he provided the Angels organization with some depth with their AAA affiliate so he isn’t as far removed from Major League Baseball as Ramirez and profiles similarly. He throws a low to mid 90’s fastball with a slider and changeup. These three moves won’t move the needle, and to be frank, minor-league deals shouldn’t especially those signed a week before the season starts. Last year, the Twins used a total of 35 pitchers. Depth is good. These pitchers can provide the organization with some relief depth, and, who knows, maybe one will rediscover himself and provide some effective innings in Minneapolis before the season is over.
  6. With the bullpen still in flux a week out from Opening Day, the Twins were busy on Thursday adding much-needed bullpen depth to the organization. The Twins signed veteran right-handed relievers Tyler Bashlor, JC Ramirez and Jake Petricka to minor-league deals. Each of the names mentioned above has varying amounts of Major League experience, although that comes with a considerable amount of time missed. Since the 2018 season, JC Ramirez and Jake Petricka have combined for just 84 1/3 innings, of which Petricka provided 45 2/3 in 2018. On the other hand, Bashlor has gone up and down between Triple-A and the big leagues since 2018, but he spent the entire 2021 season with Pittsburgh’s Triple-A affiliate. These signings are of the same ilk as Chi-Chi González. The Twins are taking a low-risk flier on guys with experience but aren’t fully committing to them past a minor-league deal. In other words, these signings are not in the same realm as “low-risk” signings from previous offseasons. As it stands now, the three will likely start in St. Paul and will need to earn their trip West on 94. Let’s look at what the three veterans could provide to one or both teams in the Twin Cities metro. Tyler Bashlor was drafted by the Mets in 2013 and was traded to the Pirates in the middle of the 2020 season but was sent to Pittsburgh’s alternate site before throwing 8 1/3 innings for the Pirates towards the end of the season. Although it was with their AAA affiliate, Bashlor had a successful 2021 season throwing 37 2/3 innings over 37 relief appearances and struck out 10.8 K/9 with a 2.39 ERA but also carried a 4.5 BB/9 which has been his Achilles heel throughout his career. His most recent Savant profile from those eight innings in 2021 shows a mid-90s fastball and slider mix with the occasional changeup. (Look at the curveballs in the below video and try not to think about Matt Wisler.) JC Ramirez has only thrown 14 2/3 relief innings since 2018 due to a combination of Tommy John Surgery, costing most of 2018 and 2019, and the cancellation of 2020 spring training due to COVID. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Ramirez has pitched in Mexico and China with some success over the last two seasons. However, the level of competition isn’t nearly what he faced stateside. His Savant profile from 2019 tells us he has a fastball that sits in the low-90s, although it’s worth noting it averaged 96 miles per hour in 2017, and a slider and curveball. Before his injury in 2018, he was just a passable back end of the rotation option, but sometimes those guys can reinvent themselves as effective relievers. I wouldn’t hold my breath but benefit from a minor league deal. A Northfield (MN) native, Jake Petricka might sound familiar as he was a good reliever for the Chicago White Sox from 2013 through 2015. He was with the White Sox until 2017 but has since bounced around the league with the Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He’s avoided Tommy John Surgery, but he also has a history of elbow and forearm injuries which could explain why his career has gone south since that three-year run ending in 2015. Most recently, he provided the Angels organization with some depth with their AAA affiliate so he isn’t as far removed from Major League Baseball as Ramirez and profiles similarly. He throws a low to mid 90’s fastball with a slider and changeup. These three moves won’t move the needle, and to be frank, minor-league deals shouldn’t especially those signed a week before the season starts. Last year, the Twins used a total of 35 pitchers. Depth is good. These pitchers can provide the organization with some relief depth, and, who knows, maybe one will rediscover himself and provide some effective innings in Minneapolis before the season is over. View full article
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