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  1. A year ago, the Minnesota Twins were one of the top-10 defensive teams in all of baseball. Looking to take a step forward, that became a focus this offseason. The result has been nothing short of a disaster. In 2020 Minnesota finished the season with 17 DRS (defensive runs saved). That was good for 8th in Major League Baseball. Only 11 teams finished with a double-digit mark, and only the Pirates missed the Postseason among teams performing better than the Twins. Removing Eddie Rosario from left field and swapping Jorge Polanco to the right side of the diamond was supposed to push the ne
  2. In 2020 Minnesota finished the season with 17 DRS (defensive runs saved). That was good for 8th in Major League Baseball. Only 11 teams finished with a double-digit mark, and only the Pirates missed the Postseason among teams performing better than the Twins. Removing Eddie Rosario from left field and swapping Jorge Polanco to the right side of the diamond was supposed to push the needle upwards, but plans haven’t gone as expected. Originally the Twins targeted Marcus Semien for their shortstop vacancy. He ultimately chose to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays and is having a career year. Th
  3. Prior to the 2020 Major League Baseball season the Minnesota Twins signed Josh Donaldson to a four-year deal worth $92 million. Thus far he’s played just 65 games and posted a .788 OPS. The time for more is now. We can give Donaldson somewhat of a pass in 2020. Sure, he was hurt again, and his gargantuan calves didn’t hold up over what was a shortened season. There were comments made that pregame preparation was hardly ideal, and given the circumstances, that’s more than fair to believe. When he did play, 28 games to be exact, an .842 OPS was produced. While that’s not superstar level, i
  4. We can give Donaldson somewhat of a pass in 2020. Sure, he was hurt again, and his gargantuan calves didn’t hold up over what was a shortened season. There were comments made that pregame preparation was hardly ideal, and given the circumstances, that’s more than fair to believe. When he did play, 28 games to be exact, an .842 OPS was produced. While that’s not superstar level, it’s well above average and the 134 OPS+ reflects that mark as well. Fast forward to 2021 and Minnesota has a third basemen posting a .752 OPS across 37 games, and his OPS+ sits at just 115. Take a look at the slas
  5. One of Minnesota’s offseason focuses was on improving the club’s overall defense. As the season is nearly 25% complete, has the team’s defense improved and if so, by how much? Defensive metrics have come a long way in recent years, so there are plenty of ways to judge a team's defensive value. Minnesota’s front office added pieces this winter to improve the team’s overall defense. Andrelton Simmons being signed allowed Jorge Polanco to move to a stronger position. Whichever position he plays, Alex Kirilloff has the potential to be an upgrade over Eddie Rosario in left field and Miguel Sa
  6. Defensive metrics have come a long way in recent years, so there are plenty of ways to judge a team's defensive value. Minnesota’s front office added pieces this winter to improve the team’s overall defense. Andrelton Simmons being signed allowed Jorge Polanco to move to a stronger position. Whichever position he plays, Alex Kirilloff has the potential to be an upgrade over Eddie Rosario in left field and Miguel Sano at first base. Also, a healthy Josh Donaldson adds plenty of defensive value that the club didn’t get to see in 2020. Outs Above Average There are three key players when
  7. 5. Josh Donaldson (0.7 rWAR, 0.5 fWAR) .286/.368/.469 (.838), 2 HR, 3 2B, 7 BB, 5 K There are plenty of candidates to be on the back end of this ballot. Andrelton Simmons put together some strong numbers, but he missed time due to COVID. Taylor Rogers was a one of the lone bright spots in the bullpen, while Michael Pineda and Jose Berrios provided value in the rotation. However, Donaldson gets the nod after getting on base nearly 37% of the time and having more walks than strikeouts. His current 144 OPS+ is his highest total since the 2017 season. Many Twins fans would like to see him leading
  8. Bullpen Blowups Throughout his tenure as Twins manager, Rocco Baldelli has seen some ups and downs when it comes to the team’s relief core. Fans might not remember, but the 2019 bullpen was a mess outside of Taylor Rogers for much of the season. In fact, the club had to go out and acquire multiple relief pitchers at the trade deadline to make sure there was stability heading into season’s final months. For the season, the Twins bullpen has the third highest ERA in the American League. As Nick wrote about in the Week in Review, the bullpen imploded throughout much of last week, which resulted
  9. The Minnesota Twins have now played nine games in the 2021 Major League Baseball season thus far and are scheduled for their tenth today. They haven’t had a fully healthy roster for a full game yet, but batting order positions are starting to take shape. Where and when should we consider questioning them? For most of his tenure as the skipper for Minnesota, Rocco Baldelli has opted to bat lefty Max Kepler in the leadoff hole. He’s a non-traditional fit there as speed isn’t his game, and he is more of a power player than high batting average guy. Through nine games this year Kepler hasn’t bat
  10. Twins baseball is back, and that means so too is our season-long Sunday night tradition of reviewing the week that was. Here's a rundown of the highlights and lowlights from opening weekend in Milwaukee, where the Twins took two of three from the Brewers, as well as a look ahead to what's coming in the season's first full week. Weekly Snapshot: Thurs, 4/1 through Sun, 4/4 *** Record Last Week: 2-1 (Overall: 2-1) Run Differential Last Week: +7 (Overall: +7) Standing: T-1st Place in AL Central Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 1 | MIL 6, MIN 5: Twins Blow 3-Run Lead in 9th InningGame 2 | MIN 2, M
  11. Weekly Snapshot: Thurs, 4/1 through Sun, 4/4 *** Record Last Week: 2-1 (Overall: 2-1) Run Differential Last Week: +7 (Overall: +7) Standing: T-1st Place in AL Central Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 1 | MIL 6, MIN 5: Twins Blow 3-Run Lead in 9th Inning Game 2 | MIN 2, MIL 0: Take a Bow, José Berríos Game 3 | MIN 8, MIL 2: Arraez Reaches 5 Times, Twins Take Series NEWS & NOTES An opening series victory in Milwaukee brought plenty of glowing positives, but also a familiar feeling of dread as Minnesota's two most critical players – Josh Donaldson and Byron Buxton – stil
  12. Aaron and John talk about a very good opening weekend for the Twins that was almost great, Josh Donaldson's latest leg injury, Byron Buxton's scary power, Jose Berrios vs. Corbin Burnes, Luis Arraez the hitting machine, and the state of the bullpen. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Listen Here Now Click here to view the article
  13. Nelson Cruz: 450 Home Runs It’s crazy to think what Cruz has been able to accomplish over his career, especially since he didn’t play over 100 games in a season until he was 28-years old. Over the last 12 seasons, he has averaged 33 home runs to put him at 417 homers for his career. He hasn’t hit fewer than 33 long balls in a full season since 2013, so there’s a good chance for him to cross the 450 home run mark. The real question might be if the ageless wonder can reach 500 home runs before he retires. He is going to have to be one of the best players in baseball history over the age of 40, b
  14. Last season was a difficult one to check in with regarding over under lines put out by major sportsbooks. With the truncated season having goofy projected stat lines, they never made a ton of sense to dive into. Normalcy has begun to return, and there’s some money to be made based on Minnesota performances in the year ahead. I tend to shy away from RBI focused lines, and the Twins have a handful of new subjects being considered big enough names worthy of individual focus for the year ahead. There wasn’t a ton of lines I loved, but there’s some long shots that also seem incredibly juicy. Let’
  15. Minnesota’s Front Office Philosophy Thad Levine and Derek Falvey were brought together in Minnesota four winters ago. In that time, the front office has been able to rebuild an organization that had lost 92+ games in five of the previous six seasons. They have been shrewd to hang on to their top prospects with Brusdar Graterol’s trade being the lone exception and the Twins are likely happy with their return in that deal. Having one of baseball’s best farm systems is a key to sustainable contention. Minnesota’s current crop of regulars was moving through the farm system back in 2015-16, which
  16. Opportunities don’t last forever and in the baseball world success can turn to also-ran status overnight. Minnesota has won back-to-back division titles, but how long can the organization keep open its window of opportunity?Minnesota’s Front Office Philosophy Thad Levine and Derek Falvey were brought together in Minnesota four winters ago. In that time, the front office has been able to rebuild an organization that had lost 92+ games in five of the previous six seasons. They have been shrewd to hang on to their top prospects with Brusdar Graterol’s trade being the lone exception and the Twins
  17. Around this time last year, we were dreaming on what Josh Donaldson might be able to bring at third base. Now, we're fretting over hot corner contingency plans following a first season with the Twins that cast serious doubt on his durability. But Donaldson's towering upside remains.Projected Starter: Josh Donaldson Likely Backup: Luis Arráez Depth: Willians Astudillo, Travis Blankenhorn Prospects: Keoni Cavaco, Jose Miranda THE GOOD A year ago when previewing this position, it was all about the Josh Donaldson hype. The Twins had signed JD to an historic $92 million contract, and fans w
  18. Projected Starter: Josh Donaldson Likely Backup: Luis Arráez Depth: Willians Astudillo, Travis Blankenhorn Prospects: Keoni Cavaco, Jose Miranda THE GOOD A year ago when previewing this position, it was all about the Josh Donaldson hype. The Twins had signed JD to an historic $92 million contract, and fans were still buzzing from this emphatic and unprecedented "all-in" type move coming off a 103-win season. Minnesota's front office went big on the Bringer of Rain, envisioning him as the final piece to put their already upper-tier squad over the top. He still can be that. Donaldson may
  19. FORT MYERS - We thought we knew what was going on in left field. We do not. Which is just SO left field.The English language is full of idioms that have a relationship to baseball. “Out of left field” is one of them. It essentially means “crazy” or at least “unexpected” but its origin is debated. Some point to an early New York ballpark that had a sanitarium beyond the left field wall. Others think it labeled the kids or fans that purchased a (cheaper) ticket to watch Babe Ruth in left field at Yankee Stadium. Except that Ruth played in right field. While they were out in left field. [sad trom
  20. The English language is full of idioms that have a relationship to baseball. “Out of left field” is one of them. It essentially means “crazy” or at least “unexpected” but its origin is debated. Some point to an early New York ballpark that had a sanitarium beyond the left field wall. Others think it labeled the kids or fans that purchased a (cheaper) ticket to watch Babe Ruth in left field at Yankee Stadium. Except that Ruth played in right field. While they were out in left field. [sad trombone sound] Today, its usage transcends the sport, so much that almost nobody recognizes it as being a
  21. First, you can get up to speed on the 'why and how' behind these rankings by reading Monday's introductory post. If you're already hip, proceed to find my choices (and reasoning) for the 16th-through-20th most valuable assets under Minnesota's control as 2021 gets underway. 20. Keoni Cavaco, SS 2020 Ranking: NR The 20th spot in these rankings is one I always wrestle with most. There are so many different players with good arguments to appear on the list; this selection becomes a battle between many semi-critical assets, whose competing qualities are fundamental to this exercise. Which is
  22. As we kick off our countdown of the Minnesota Twins' top 20 player assets, this first batch features a little of everything: from a raw and unproven teenaged prospect to a highly paid MVP-winning veteran. Let us begin.First, you can get up to speed on the 'why and how' behind these rankings by reading Monday's introductory post. If you're already hip, proceed to find my choices (and reasoning) for the 16th-through-20th most valuable assets under Minnesota's control as 2021 gets underway. 20. Keoni Cavaco, SS 2020 Ranking: NR The 20th spot in these rankings is one I always wrestle with mo
  23. A new year brings new focus to what will become the 2021 version of the Minnesota Twins. While the Twins haven’t made many moves so far, there are plenty that peg them to be one of the American League’s best teams. For that to happen, Minnesota is going to need these three players to be performing at their peak.3. Jose Berrios- SP Berrios is in an interesting place entering the 2021 season. He has worked his way through the arbitration process by betting on himself to improve instead of taking a team-friendly extension to stay in Minnesota. Now he has two years left until free agency unless th
  24. 3. Jose Berrios- SP Berrios is in an interesting place entering the 2021 season. He has worked his way through the arbitration process by betting on himself to improve instead of taking a team-friendly extension to stay in Minnesota. Now he has two years left until free agency unless the Twins are able to work out an extension this winter. This type of deal would likely need to be north of $100 million and that might not be something the team wants to consider after a season where revenues were limited. As far as the Twins rotation, Berrios doesn’t have to feel the pressure of being the team
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