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  1. With few moves made before the MLB lockout, the Twins’ current pitching staff is not where it needs to be heading into the 2022 season. Here is one relatively unknown pitcher who could have a bigger role in 2022 than some may think. Who is Jharel Cotton? Earlier this week, Cody Christie wrote an article about Three Twins Pitchers Due to Bounce Back. Today I will dive deeper into one of those three, Jharel Cotton. Since being drafted by the Dodgers in 2012, Jharel Cotton has made his way around Major League Baseball. He spent parts of five seasons in the Dodgers minor league system before getting traded to the Oakland A’s in 2016. Cotton had a rocky tenure with Oakland, bouncing back and forth between AAA and MLB before having Tommy John surgery in 2018. He was 11-10 with a 4.95 ERA for the Athletics in his career with only 7.3 K/9. He spent a season with the Cubs before going to the Texas Rangers in 2021. In 2021, Cotton started the year in AAA-Round Rock. There, he threw 42 innings with a 3.00 ERA. He struck out 57 batters and walked 17. On July 30, Cotton was called up and made his first major-league appearance in nearly four years. Cotton struggled for the first month, allowing a 5.79 ERA in 14 innings through August. He also had a very high 5.8 BB/9 in this time span. After August, Cotton hit his stride. For the last month of the season, Cotton posted a 1.62 ERA. He also lowered his BB/9 to 3.2 in September. Unique Pitch Mix Part of the reason for Cotton’s sudden improvement could have been due to changing his pitch usage. In August, Cotton threw 49 percent fastballs and only nine percent sliders. In September, he threw 42 percent fastballs and 19 percent sliders. Pairing a more diverse pitch mix with an already devastating changeup led to success. Riseball! Cotton has one of the most unique fastballs in Major League Baseball. In the day of velocity, his fastball only averaged 93 miles per hour but remained very effective. This is due to its movement. Among all Major League pitchers in 2021, Cotton had the most vertical movement vs avg on his fastball (4.3 inches more than average). This means his fastball is deceiving and the vertical movement will cause his fastball to stay on its initial plane longer instead of having the normal downward plane. This will cause hitters to swing underneath it. El Cambio Despite having a potentially effective fastball, Cotton can not throw it all the time or he becomes too predictable, like he did for his first month in the big leagues in 2021. Another unique pitch Cotton throws to complement the fastball is his changeup. Cotton has a very effective changeup. Among pitchers with at least 50 batters faced in 2021, Cotton’s changeup had the second lowest xSLG, meaning hitters did not square up the changeup well at all. Part of this could be due to the fact that Cotton’s changeup is so slow, averaging 80 miles per hour. Hitters were 9-for-50 (.180) with only three extra base hits and 17 strikeouts against his changeup in 2021. Slide-Piece In the big leagues, you can rarely get by just throwing two effective pitches. In August, when Cotton struggled, he threw either his fastball or changeup over 80 percent of the time. This made him too predictable. A 10 percent uptick in his slider usage over the last month of the season led to better results. In a limited sample in 2021, his slider had a whiff rate of 37.5 percent. His slider could still use some work but could be a serviceable third pitch, especially out of the bullpen. What role will Cotton play? With Texas, Cotton was a middle reliever. Below is his inning frequency numbers in 2021. The number of games is how many times he pitched in that certain inning. As you can see, Cotton was pretty versatile, mostly pitching in innings six through eight. With Tyler Duffey and Jorge Alcala as the Twins two best right-handed relievers, I see Cotton being more of a sixth or seventh inning guy to start. Closing Remarks Cotton is a promising pitcher that the Twins will only be paying $700K next year. In my opinion it is a good low-risk, high-reward situation. What are your thoughts on Jharel Cotton? Feel free to ask questions and discuss in the comment section. Thank you for reading, and Go Twins! View full article
  2. Who is Jharel Cotton? Earlier this week, Cody Christie wrote an article about Three Twins Pitchers Due to Bounce Back. Today I will dive deeper into one of those three, Jharel Cotton. Since being drafted by the Dodgers in 2012, Jharel Cotton has made his way around Major League Baseball. He spent parts of five seasons in the Dodgers minor league system before getting traded to the Oakland A’s in 2016. Cotton had a rocky tenure with Oakland, bouncing back and forth between AAA and MLB before having Tommy John surgery in 2018. He was 11-10 with a 4.95 ERA for the Athletics in his career with only 7.3 K/9. He spent a season with the Cubs before going to the Texas Rangers in 2021. In 2021, Cotton started the year in AAA-Round Rock. There, he threw 42 innings with a 3.00 ERA. He struck out 57 batters and walked 17. On July 30, Cotton was called up and made his first major-league appearance in nearly four years. Cotton struggled for the first month, allowing a 5.79 ERA in 14 innings through August. He also had a very high 5.8 BB/9 in this time span. After August, Cotton hit his stride. For the last month of the season, Cotton posted a 1.62 ERA. He also lowered his BB/9 to 3.2 in September. Unique Pitch Mix Part of the reason for Cotton’s sudden improvement could have been due to changing his pitch usage. In August, Cotton threw 49 percent fastballs and only nine percent sliders. In September, he threw 42 percent fastballs and 19 percent sliders. Pairing a more diverse pitch mix with an already devastating changeup led to success. Riseball! Cotton has one of the most unique fastballs in Major League Baseball. In the day of velocity, his fastball only averaged 93 miles per hour but remained very effective. This is due to its movement. Among all Major League pitchers in 2021, Cotton had the most vertical movement vs avg on his fastball (4.3 inches more than average). This means his fastball is deceiving and the vertical movement will cause his fastball to stay on its initial plane longer instead of having the normal downward plane. This will cause hitters to swing underneath it. El Cambio Despite having a potentially effective fastball, Cotton can not throw it all the time or he becomes too predictable, like he did for his first month in the big leagues in 2021. Another unique pitch Cotton throws to complement the fastball is his changeup. Cotton has a very effective changeup. Among pitchers with at least 50 batters faced in 2021, Cotton’s changeup had the second lowest xSLG, meaning hitters did not square up the changeup well at all. Part of this could be due to the fact that Cotton’s changeup is so slow, averaging 80 miles per hour. Hitters were 9-for-50 (.180) with only three extra base hits and 17 strikeouts against his changeup in 2021. Slide-Piece In the big leagues, you can rarely get by just throwing two effective pitches. In August, when Cotton struggled, he threw either his fastball or changeup over 80 percent of the time. This made him too predictable. A 10 percent uptick in his slider usage over the last month of the season led to better results. In a limited sample in 2021, his slider had a whiff rate of 37.5 percent. His slider could still use some work but could be a serviceable third pitch, especially out of the bullpen. What role will Cotton play? With Texas, Cotton was a middle reliever. Below is his inning frequency numbers in 2021. The number of games is how many times he pitched in that certain inning. As you can see, Cotton was pretty versatile, mostly pitching in innings six through eight. With Tyler Duffey and Jorge Alcala as the Twins two best right-handed relievers, I see Cotton being more of a sixth or seventh inning guy to start. Closing Remarks Cotton is a promising pitcher that the Twins will only be paying $700K next year. In my opinion it is a good low-risk, high-reward situation. What are your thoughts on Jharel Cotton? Feel free to ask questions and discuss in the comment section. Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
  3. Looking at Minnesota's current pitching staff, many things are going to have to go right for the team to be competitive in 2022. Here are three names that point to bouncing back next season. Two of the names below struggled mightily last season, and the other pitcher missed multiple seasons throughout his career. All three have something to prove in 2022, which can be exciting for a team like the Twins that need big-league pitching depth. Dylan Bundy Bundy was Minnesota's lone free-agent signing before the lockout, but there might be some reasons to hope he can bounce back in 2022. Bundy surprised many during the pandemic shortened 2020 season with a resurgent year, including finishing in the top-10 for the AL Cy Young. He posted a 3.29 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings. It looked like Bundy was finally reaching the ceiling many thought he had as one of baseball's top prospects. Last season, Bundy couldn't replicate his 2020 numbers, and that's one of the main reasons the Twins were able to sign him for such a relatively cheap contract. One of Bundy's most prominent issues in 2021 was his inability to strand runners. Bundy has a 70.8 LOB% for his career, but last season that number dipped to 64.0%. Another change last season was he doubled his sinker usage, and batters posted a .609 SLG against it. Minnesota likely pushes Bundy to throw more sliders and batters combined for a .494 SLG versus that pitch in 2021. Randy Dobnak Dobnak's name will be featured on multiple bounce back lists this winter because he can't be as bad as he was in 2021. Last season, Dobnak was pushed out of the rotation coming out of spring training, but it was clear that he wasn't a reliever. In 14 big-league appearances, he allowed 43 earned runs in 50 2/3 innings. At Triple-A, he made four starts and posted a 3.00 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP. A finger injury caused him issues throughout the season, and he was eventually put on the 60-day IL. His terrible, no good, very bad season came to an end, so things can't go much worse for him in 2022. Minnesota doesn't need Dobnak to be a frontline starter, but he needs to fit into the backend of the rotation. Last season, his slider got plenty of hype during spring training as he looked like a whole new pitcher. Then during the season, his slider was his worst pitch as batters posted an .815 SLG against it. Dobnak needs to prove he is healthy, and then he can be relied on to be more than rotational depth. Fans are understandably low on him, but a healthy Dobnak will be a welcome addition to the team's rotation next year. Jharel Cotton Minnesota claimed Cotton off of waivers from Texas this winter, and he certainly offers some intrigue for a pitcher-hungry team. Previously, Cotton was a top-100 prospect in the Oakland organization, and they gave him opportunities to stick as a starter. Last season, he pitched in the big leagues for the first time since 2017 and compiled a 3.52 ERA with a 1.40 WHIP. All his appearances came as a reliever in 2021, but some believe he might provide some valuable innings for the Twins in 2022. One of the reasons for this optimism is the amount of spin Cotton has added to his fastball. According to FanGraphs, his fastball had the second-highest amount of vertical movement in baseball last year among pitchers with at least 30 innings. He also utilizes a changeup with a lot of movement that is more than 10-mph slower than his fastball. By adding in his average slider and it's easy to see how he might fit into the rotation when needed next season. Minnesota will have starting opportunities, and Cotton has a chance to prove he can be more than a reliever. Which pitcher is most likely to bounce back? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  4. Two of the names below struggled mightily last season, and the other pitcher missed multiple seasons throughout his career. All three have something to prove in 2022, which can be exciting for a team like the Twins that need big-league pitching depth. Dylan Bundy Bundy was Minnesota's lone free-agent signing before the lockout, but there might be some reasons to hope he can bounce back in 2022. Bundy surprised many during the pandemic shortened 2020 season with a resurgent year, including finishing in the top-10 for the AL Cy Young. He posted a 3.29 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings. It looked like Bundy was finally reaching the ceiling many thought he had as one of baseball's top prospects. Last season, Bundy couldn't replicate his 2020 numbers, and that's one of the main reasons the Twins were able to sign him for such a relatively cheap contract. One of Bundy's most prominent issues in 2021 was his inability to strand runners. Bundy has a 70.8 LOB% for his career, but last season that number dipped to 64.0%. Another change last season was he doubled his sinker usage, and batters posted a .609 SLG against it. Minnesota likely pushes Bundy to throw more sliders and batters combined for a .494 SLG versus that pitch in 2021. Randy Dobnak Dobnak's name will be featured on multiple bounce back lists this winter because he can't be as bad as he was in 2021. Last season, Dobnak was pushed out of the rotation coming out of spring training, but it was clear that he wasn't a reliever. In 14 big-league appearances, he allowed 43 earned runs in 50 2/3 innings. At Triple-A, he made four starts and posted a 3.00 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP. A finger injury caused him issues throughout the season, and he was eventually put on the 60-day IL. His terrible, no good, very bad season came to an end, so things can't go much worse for him in 2022. Minnesota doesn't need Dobnak to be a frontline starter, but he needs to fit into the backend of the rotation. Last season, his slider got plenty of hype during spring training as he looked like a whole new pitcher. Then during the season, his slider was his worst pitch as batters posted an .815 SLG against it. Dobnak needs to prove he is healthy, and then he can be relied on to be more than rotational depth. Fans are understandably low on him, but a healthy Dobnak will be a welcome addition to the team's rotation next year. Jharel Cotton Minnesota claimed Cotton off of waivers from Texas this winter, and he certainly offers some intrigue for a pitcher-hungry team. Previously, Cotton was a top-100 prospect in the Oakland organization, and they gave him opportunities to stick as a starter. Last season, he pitched in the big leagues for the first time since 2017 and compiled a 3.52 ERA with a 1.40 WHIP. All his appearances came as a reliever in 2021, but some believe he might provide some valuable innings for the Twins in 2022. One of the reasons for this optimism is the amount of spin Cotton has added to his fastball. According to FanGraphs, his fastball had the second-highest amount of vertical movement in baseball last year among pitchers with at least 30 innings. He also utilizes a changeup with a lot of movement that is more than 10-mph slower than his fastball. By adding in his average slider and it's easy to see how he might fit into the rotation when needed next season. Minnesota will have starting opportunities, and Cotton has a chance to prove he can be more than a reliever. Which pitcher is most likely to bounce back? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  5. The offseason is officially underway, and while the Stove's temperature could hardly be described as Hot, there's been plenty of action percolating in MLB, with some surprising early moves. For the Twins, efforts have largely been geared toward clearing roster space and preparing for the work ahead. But there has been one noteworthy addition, and some intriguing rumors bouncing around. Roster and Payroll Outlook as of Nov 10th, 2021 In each of these "status update" posts, we'll share an up-to-the-moment look at the 40-man roster as well as the projected 2022 roster/payroll. On the 40-man front, we've already seen a cascade of cuts, with the Twins needing to create significant room for new acquisitions, 60-day Injured List activations, and protecting key prospects from the Rule 5 draft. Since season's end, the team has already removed Drew Maggi, Rob Refsnyder, John Gant, Andrew Albers, Kyle Barraclough, Nick Vincent, Ian Gibaut and Luke Farrell. That's in addition to Andrelton Simmons, Alex Colome and Michael Pineda, who all exited via free agency. That's eight cuts to go along with one addition (which we'll cover shortly), leaving the number of spaces currently occupied at 30. However, this doesn't account for players who will need to be re-added from the 60-day IL (Dobnak, Kirilloff and Maeda at the very least) nor the prospects who need to be added (Lewis, Miranda, Sands, Winder -- jury's out on Enlow). Several key questions emerge in looking at this current breakdown. Will any of Smeltzer, Stashak or Thorpe be re-added after totally lost years? Are the Twins going to retain Garlick? Will any prospects other than the aforementioned handful be protected? Regardless, it's clear that there are still cuts yet to come, because one way or another, the front office will need more than 2-3 open spots to work with. Astudillo, Cave, Barnes, and Strotman strike me as players who are especially at risk, on the fringe of the team's plans. Here's a look at the 2022 squad as it currently projects, from my view (courtesy of our Roster & Payroll tool Cotton Claimed Off Waivers The Twins added the former Rangers reliever on Friday, and as you'll notice above, we've now got Jharel Cotton penciled into the 2022 bullpen. That's not a lock by any means, but I don't think Minnesota would've committed a roster spot to him unless they intended to keep him. The right-hander is projected to make around $1.2M in his coming first year of arbitration eligibility. That price tag likely compelled Texas to part ways. Cotton is coming off a solid but shortened season in the majors (30.2 IP, 3.52 ERA, 3.72 FIP) and his track record is riddled with injuries, so he's far from a sure thing. It would be tremendously disappointing if he turns out to be anywhere near the club's biggest bullpen addition, but Cotton's a clear upgrade over much of the flotsam that comprised their relief depth in 2021. It's a bold strategy, Cotton. We'll see if it pays off. Twins Exploring SS Market No surprise here, but Jon Heyman reports that Minnesota is among the 13 teams "at least gauging the SS market." As Heyman notes, the level of early competition for this group is good news for an historically great class of free agent shortstops, but less so for any needy team like the Twins that might've hoped to strike a bargain. Aaron Gleeman has a great new piece at The Athletic analyzing this winter's SS class in depth. Oakland Open for Business Another development that Twins fans should have eyes on: the Athletics appear ready to blow it up. This became somewhat evident when they let their world-class manager leave for San Diego, and quotes from their GM only serve to confirm that an offseason of scaled-back spending and talent-dumping is ahead. For teams like the Twins that are in the market for pitching and possessing robust farm systems, this is a big moment of opportunity. Oakland, as usual, is deep on arms, and there are a few specific names that jump out as candidates for immediate and dramatic impact in the rotation. Per Heyman, Chris Bassitt, Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea are all on the table. Montas and Bassitt bordered on ace status in 2021. Manaea was one step behind, but still very good with a 3.91 ERA, 3.66 FIP and 9.7 K/9 rate. Because he's entering his final year of team control, and will be fairly expensive next year (~$10M), Manaea is someone the A's will be motivated to move, and will come at a lower price than the other two. Regardless of whom they're targeting, it's a no-brainer for the Twins to engage in talks and make a push for at least one of these quality starters. The more they can reduce their reliance on the free agent pitching market, the better. Heaney Comes Off the SP Market There was a sense that free agency would remain in mostly a holding pattern throughout November as teams brace for an expected lockout in December. But while there certainly has been no rush out of the gates, there's already been one significant starting pitcher signing that puts the Twins on notice: Andrew Heaney inked a one-year, $8.5M deal with the Dodgers. I don't know if Heaney was a target of particular interest to the Twins, but he's certainly the type of guy they should be eyeing as a secondary free agent addition for the rotation, given his age and upside. The fact that Los Angeles jumped on him so aggressively hints that it may not be wise to wait on other players in this range, who won't be as inclined to wait out a slow offseason as the top names. Speaking of which, that top tier of potential FA starters might get thinned out a bit more in the coming week. Robbie Ray, Noah Syndergaard, Justin Verlander and Eduardo Rodriguez were among the 14 players to receive qualifying offers. If any of them take it, they'll cease to be options for the Twins and others. Their deadline to make a decision is November 17th. 2 Key Additions to the Coaching Staff Finally, in non-roster news, the Twins have already filled the two biggest needs on their coaching staff, adding a bench coach and hitting coach to replace Mike Bell (R.I.P.) and Edgar Varela. The addition of David Popkins leaked in late October but was made official on Monday, when the Twins also announced the hiring of former Padres manager Jayce Tingler. Tingler, 40, is of a similar ilk to Rocco Baldelli in that he's relatively young (40) and was considered a rising managerial star in the game before things went sideways in 2021. He was NL Manager of the Year runner-up in 2020. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  6. Roster and Payroll Outlook as of Nov 10th, 2021 In each of these "status update" posts, we'll share an up-to-the-moment look at the 40-man roster as well as the projected 2022 roster/payroll. On the 40-man front, we've already seen a cascade of cuts, with the Twins needing to create significant room for new acquisitions, 60-day Injured List activations, and protecting key prospects from the Rule 5 draft. Since season's end, the team has already removed Drew Maggi, Rob Refsnyder, John Gant, Andrew Albers, Kyle Barraclough, Nick Vincent, Ian Gibaut and Luke Farrell. That's in addition to Andrelton Simmons, Alex Colome and Michael Pineda, who all exited via free agency. That's eight cuts to go along with one addition (which we'll cover shortly), leaving the number of spaces currently occupied at 30. However, this doesn't account for players who will need to be re-added from the 60-day IL (Dobnak, Kirilloff and Maeda at the very least) nor the prospects who need to be added (Lewis, Miranda, Sands, Winder -- jury's out on Enlow). Several key questions emerge in looking at this current breakdown. Will any of Smeltzer, Stashak or Thorpe be re-added after totally lost years? Are the Twins going to retain Garlick? Will any prospects other than the aforementioned handful be protected? Regardless, it's clear that there are still cuts yet to come, because one way or another, the front office will need more than 2-3 open spots to work with. Astudillo, Cave, Barnes, and Strotman strike me as players who are especially at risk, on the fringe of the team's plans. Here's a look at the 2022 squad as it currently projects, from my view (courtesy of our Roster & Payroll tool Cotton Claimed Off Waivers The Twins added the former Rangers reliever on Friday, and as you'll notice above, we've now got Jharel Cotton penciled into the 2022 bullpen. That's not a lock by any means, but I don't think Minnesota would've committed a roster spot to him unless they intended to keep him. The right-hander is projected to make around $1.2M in his coming first year of arbitration eligibility. That price tag likely compelled Texas to part ways. Cotton is coming off a solid but shortened season in the majors (30.2 IP, 3.52 ERA, 3.72 FIP) and his track record is riddled with injuries, so he's far from a sure thing. It would be tremendously disappointing if he turns out to be anywhere near the club's biggest bullpen addition, but Cotton's a clear upgrade over much of the flotsam that comprised their relief depth in 2021. It's a bold strategy, Cotton. We'll see if it pays off. Twins Exploring SS Market No surprise here, but Jon Heyman reports that Minnesota is among the 13 teams "at least gauging the SS market." As Heyman notes, the level of early competition for this group is good news for an historically great class of free agent shortstops, but less so for any needy team like the Twins that might've hoped to strike a bargain. Aaron Gleeman has a great new piece at The Athletic analyzing this winter's SS class in depth. Oakland Open for Business Another development that Twins fans should have eyes on: the Athletics appear ready to blow it up. This became somewhat evident when they let their world-class manager leave for San Diego, and quotes from their GM only serve to confirm that an offseason of scaled-back spending and talent-dumping is ahead. For teams like the Twins that are in the market for pitching and possessing robust farm systems, this is a big moment of opportunity. Oakland, as usual, is deep on arms, and there are a few specific names that jump out as candidates for immediate and dramatic impact in the rotation. Per Heyman, Chris Bassitt, Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea are all on the table. Montas and Bassitt bordered on ace status in 2021. Manaea was one step behind, but still very good with a 3.91 ERA, 3.66 FIP and 9.7 K/9 rate. Because he's entering his final year of team control, and will be fairly expensive next year (~$10M), Manaea is someone the A's will be motivated to move, and will come at a lower price than the other two. Regardless of whom they're targeting, it's a no-brainer for the Twins to engage in talks and make a push for at least one of these quality starters. The more they can reduce their reliance on the free agent pitching market, the better. Heaney Comes Off the SP Market There was a sense that free agency would remain in mostly a holding pattern throughout November as teams brace for an expected lockout in December. But while there certainly has been no rush out of the gates, there's already been one significant starting pitcher signing that puts the Twins on notice: Andrew Heaney inked a one-year, $8.5M deal with the Dodgers. I don't know if Heaney was a target of particular interest to the Twins, but he's certainly the type of guy they should be eyeing as a secondary free agent addition for the rotation, given his age and upside. The fact that Los Angeles jumped on him so aggressively hints that it may not be wise to wait on other players in this range, who won't be as inclined to wait out a slow offseason as the top names. Speaking of which, that top tier of potential FA starters might get thinned out a bit more in the coming week. Robbie Ray, Noah Syndergaard, Justin Verlander and Eduardo Rodriguez were among the 14 players to receive qualifying offers. If any of them take it, they'll cease to be options for the Twins and others. Their deadline to make a decision is November 17th. 2 Key Additions to the Coaching Staff Finally, in non-roster news, the Twins have already filled the two biggest needs on their coaching staff, adding a bench coach and hitting coach to replace Mike Bell (R.I.P.) and Edgar Varela. The addition of David Popkins leaked in late October but was made official on Monday, when the Twins also announced the hiring of former Padres manager Jayce Tingler. Tingler, 40, is of a similar ilk to Rocco Baldelli in that he's relatively young (40) and was considered a rising managerial star in the game before things went sideways in 2021. He was NL Manager of the Year runner-up in 2020. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. According to Robert Murray, the Minnesota Twins have claimed RHP Jharel Cotton from the Texas Rangers. Today, the Twins announced that Alexander Colome has become a free agent after his mutual option for 2022 was not picked up. Teams are making roster moves, as they do every year at this time. Players are being removed from the 40-man rosters and teams will be making claims. Cotton has been in the majors since 2016, but underwent Tommy John surgery in May of 2018 and hadn't returned to the majors until this year. The most impressive of his 2021 work happened in AAA-Round Rock, where he pitched in 24 games, and in 42 innings, he walked 17 and struck out 57 batters. That's an eye-popping strikeout rate. He was promoted to the Rangers on July 30th and struggled initially, ballooning to a 6.23 ERA towards the end of August. But he had a September to remember, posting a 1.62 ERA and just a 465 OPS against. Most significantly, he walked fewer batters. He also seemingly changed his third pitch mix from when he last appeared in the majors. He's still throwing his fastball about half the time, but he has completely give up on a cutter to throw a standout changeup more often and .... surprise, surprise ... mix in a slider. He also occasionally throws a curveball. He won't blow batters away with his velocity. Cotton averaged about 93.5 mph on his fastball, and that matches what he did before Tommy John. As mentioned, he had not pitched in the big leagues since 2017 when he made 24 starts for the Oakland A's. He has missed a lot of time due to injuries, mostly to his elbow even after surgery, but the 29-year-old has always had an intriguing arm. Cotton is eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason, with MLB Trade Rumors projecting a $1.2M salary for next year. The increased price tag likely contributed to Texas parting ways. The Twins have also announced the move. In addition, Rob Refsnyder was outrighted. View full article
  8. Today, the Twins announced that Alexander Colome has become a free agent after his mutual option for 2022 was not picked up. Teams are making roster moves, as they do every year at this time. Players are being removed from the 40-man rosters and teams will be making claims. Cotton has been in the majors since 2016, but underwent Tommy John surgery in May of 2018 and hadn't returned to the majors until this year. The most impressive of his 2021 work happened in AAA-Round Rock, where he pitched in 24 games, and in 42 innings, he walked 17 and struck out 57 batters. That's an eye-popping strikeout rate. He was promoted to the Rangers on July 30th and struggled initially, ballooning to a 6.23 ERA towards the end of August. But he had a September to remember, posting a 1.62 ERA and just a 465 OPS against. Most significantly, he walked fewer batters. He also seemingly changed his third pitch mix from when he last appeared in the majors. He's still throwing his fastball about half the time, but he has completely give up on a cutter to throw a standout changeup more often and .... surprise, surprise ... mix in a slider. He also occasionally throws a curveball. He won't blow batters away with his velocity. Cotton averaged about 93.5 mph on his fastball, and that matches what he did before Tommy John. As mentioned, he had not pitched in the big leagues since 2017 when he made 24 starts for the Oakland A's. He has missed a lot of time due to injuries, mostly to his elbow even after surgery, but the 29-year-old has always had an intriguing arm. Cotton is eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason, with MLB Trade Rumors projecting a $1.2M salary for next year. The increased price tag likely contributed to Texas parting ways. The Twins have also announced the move. In addition, Rob Refsnyder was outrighted.
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