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  1. Another brilliant start by Joe Ryan and a dominant performance by the offense propelled the Twins to their third win in their last four games. Minnesota crushes the Tigers in the series opener and keeps their chances of finishing the season at .500 or better alive. Image courtesy of Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports Box Score Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 6 IP, 5H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 8K (91 pitches, 65 strikes, 71.4%) Home Runs: Carlos Correa (22) Top 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (.302), Mark Contreras (.162), Ryan Jeffers (.081) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Already out of playoff contention, the Twins headed for Detroit for their final road trip of the year, with a couple of three-game sets. Tonight, they kicked off the Tigers series, and, without the postseason prospect, the focus turned to a final, unlikely goal: finishing the season at .500 or better. Already with 80 losses, they entered tonight’s game needing to win at least five of their remaining six games to finish at .500. They got off on the right foot, and with some early offense, they were able to jump to a quick three-run lead. Jermaine Palacios snapped a personal 0-for-33 funk dating back to the beginning of the month with a single in the third inning. On the very next at-bat, he scored on a Mark Contreras double, his first in the majors. That was all the offense could garner on that inning, but they would at it again on the next one. After giving up a leadoff single in the first, Joe Ryan went on to retire nine in a row, preserving the lead for the offensive turn in the fourth. Gio Urshela drew a leadoff walk, and a couple of at-bats later, Ryan Jeffers smacked a long ground ball to corner left, which was called a double for fan interference at first. Rocco Baldelli challenged the call, and it got overturned, as the two fans who tried to catch the ball whiffed on it. The call overturn turned Jeffers’ double into a triple, and it scored Urshela. A few moments later, Jake Cave, who’s been having a solid month, particularly as of late (he came into tonight’s game posting a .897 OPS in his previous seven games), hit a grounder to center, allowing Jeffers to score easily from third, making it 3-0 Twins. Ryan allowed a couple of singles in the bottom of the fourth but eventually got out of the jam to keep the shutout going into the fifth. Despite not scoring, the offense continued hot in the fifth, creating a bases-loaded situation against Tigers’ starter Tyler Alexander: walks by José Miranda and Gary Sánchez and a single by Carlos Correa. Ryan finishes off strong; offense puts the game out of reach Making the final start of his first full season in the majors, Ryan was looking for a solid start to wrap up a season full of ups and downs. Struggling against good times more times than not but dominating lesser teams, he came into tonight’s game with the chance to secure a season ERA in the mid-3s. For that, he needed to finish strong, but he looked a bit shaky in the sixth. Riley Greene drew a leadoff walk, and after a strikeout, Ryan lost Harold Castro to a single right before Miguel Cabrera stepped up to the plate representing the tying run. The Tiger legend got ahead on the count 2-0, with Ryan failing to get him to chase down and away, but eventually, Ryan got him to ground into a force out. Greene moved up to third, and Spencer Torkelson had one last chance to ruin Ryan’s start, also representing the tying run, but Ryan fanned him for his eighth punchout of the night, ending the threat. With tonight’s shutout, Ryan brings his September ERA down to 2.19, and he finishes his first full season in the majors with a solid 3.55 ERA over 147 innings of work, which is probably the most exciting start to a big league career from any Twins starter since maybe the 2017 season by José Berríos. Further proof of that is that with his eight strikeouts tonight, Ryan reached 151 punchouts, breaking the record for most strikeouts in a season by a Twins rookie pitcher, surpassing Francisco Liriano’s 144 back in 2006. To thank Ryan for his brilliant start, the offense put together another good inning in the top of the seventh to basically put the game out of reach. Detroit reliever Miguel Díaz did a fine job tossing a 1-2-3 sixth, but he couldn’t keep that same energy. Contreras drew a leadoff walk, his first one in the majors, then added some pressure on Diaz by stealing second, also his first stolen base in the big leagues. So much so that Diaz threw a wild pitch next, allowing him to reach third. Detroit made a pitching change, but it didn’t matter anyway, as Correa took reliever Will Vest deep on his very first pitch, a bomb to left, making it 5-0 Minnesota. The offense didn’t settle for just the two runs, and after Urshela and Jeffers hit a couple of singles, Gilberto Celestino hit a double to bring Urshela home and make this a six-run game. The offense added on in the eighth, with Palacios and Miranda hitting a couple of singles and Urshela pushing Palacios across with a single of his own, scoring the game’s final run. After Emilio Pagán had a hard time getting through the seventh (30 pitches), Jovani Moran slammed the door with a couple of hitless, scoreless innings. Postgame interview What’s Next? To open their version of October baseball, the Twins turn to Dylan Bundy (4.93 ERA) to start game two on Saturday, while the Tigers will try to even the series with Drew Hutchison (4.54 ERA) on the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 pm CDT. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Moran 0 0 12 0 23 35 Thielbar 0 0 15 18 0 33 López 0 0 16 14 0 30 Pagán 0 0 0 0 30 30 Fulmer 0 0 22 5 0 27 Jax 0 10 0 14 0 24 Megill 0 0 0 17 0 17 Duran 0 15 0 0 0 15 Henriquez 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  2. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 6 IP, 5H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 8K (91 pitches, 65 strikes, 71.4%) Home Runs: Carlos Correa (22) Top 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (.302), Mark Contreras (.162), Ryan Jeffers (.081) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Already out of playoff contention, the Twins headed for Detroit for their final road trip of the year, with a couple of three-game sets. Tonight, they kicked off the Tigers series, and, without the postseason prospect, the focus turned to a final, unlikely goal: finishing the season at .500 or better. Already with 80 losses, they entered tonight’s game needing to win at least five of their remaining six games to finish at .500. They got off on the right foot, and with some early offense, they were able to jump to a quick three-run lead. Jermaine Palacios snapped a personal 0-for-33 funk dating back to the beginning of the month with a single in the third inning. On the very next at-bat, he scored on a Mark Contreras double, his first in the majors. That was all the offense could garner on that inning, but they would at it again on the next one. After giving up a leadoff single in the first, Joe Ryan went on to retire nine in a row, preserving the lead for the offensive turn in the fourth. Gio Urshela drew a leadoff walk, and a couple of at-bats later, Ryan Jeffers smacked a long ground ball to corner left, which was called a double for fan interference at first. Rocco Baldelli challenged the call, and it got overturned, as the two fans who tried to catch the ball whiffed on it. The call overturn turned Jeffers’ double into a triple, and it scored Urshela. A few moments later, Jake Cave, who’s been having a solid month, particularly as of late (he came into tonight’s game posting a .897 OPS in his previous seven games), hit a grounder to center, allowing Jeffers to score easily from third, making it 3-0 Twins. Ryan allowed a couple of singles in the bottom of the fourth but eventually got out of the jam to keep the shutout going into the fifth. Despite not scoring, the offense continued hot in the fifth, creating a bases-loaded situation against Tigers’ starter Tyler Alexander: walks by José Miranda and Gary Sánchez and a single by Carlos Correa. Ryan finishes off strong; offense puts the game out of reach Making the final start of his first full season in the majors, Ryan was looking for a solid start to wrap up a season full of ups and downs. Struggling against good times more times than not but dominating lesser teams, he came into tonight’s game with the chance to secure a season ERA in the mid-3s. For that, he needed to finish strong, but he looked a bit shaky in the sixth. Riley Greene drew a leadoff walk, and after a strikeout, Ryan lost Harold Castro to a single right before Miguel Cabrera stepped up to the plate representing the tying run. The Tiger legend got ahead on the count 2-0, with Ryan failing to get him to chase down and away, but eventually, Ryan got him to ground into a force out. Greene moved up to third, and Spencer Torkelson had one last chance to ruin Ryan’s start, also representing the tying run, but Ryan fanned him for his eighth punchout of the night, ending the threat. With tonight’s shutout, Ryan brings his September ERA down to 2.19, and he finishes his first full season in the majors with a solid 3.55 ERA over 147 innings of work, which is probably the most exciting start to a big league career from any Twins starter since maybe the 2017 season by José Berríos. Further proof of that is that with his eight strikeouts tonight, Ryan reached 151 punchouts, breaking the record for most strikeouts in a season by a Twins rookie pitcher, surpassing Francisco Liriano’s 144 back in 2006. To thank Ryan for his brilliant start, the offense put together another good inning in the top of the seventh to basically put the game out of reach. Detroit reliever Miguel Díaz did a fine job tossing a 1-2-3 sixth, but he couldn’t keep that same energy. Contreras drew a leadoff walk, his first one in the majors, then added some pressure on Diaz by stealing second, also his first stolen base in the big leagues. So much so that Diaz threw a wild pitch next, allowing him to reach third. Detroit made a pitching change, but it didn’t matter anyway, as Correa took reliever Will Vest deep on his very first pitch, a bomb to left, making it 5-0 Minnesota. The offense didn’t settle for just the two runs, and after Urshela and Jeffers hit a couple of singles, Gilberto Celestino hit a double to bring Urshela home and make this a six-run game. The offense added on in the eighth, with Palacios and Miranda hitting a couple of singles and Urshela pushing Palacios across with a single of his own, scoring the game’s final run. After Emilio Pagán had a hard time getting through the seventh (30 pitches), Jovani Moran slammed the door with a couple of hitless, scoreless innings. Postgame interview What’s Next? To open their version of October baseball, the Twins turn to Dylan Bundy (4.93 ERA) to start game two on Saturday, while the Tigers will try to even the series with Drew Hutchison (4.54 ERA) on the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 pm CDT. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Moran 0 0 12 0 23 35 Thielbar 0 0 15 18 0 33 López 0 0 16 14 0 30 Pagán 0 0 0 0 30 30 Fulmer 0 0 22 5 0 27 Jax 0 10 0 14 0 24 Megill 0 0 0 17 0 17 Duran 0 15 0 0 0 15 Henriquez 0 0 0 0 0 0
  3. The Twins lost a combined no-hit bid with one out in the ninth inning when Bobby Witt Jr doubled off Jovani Moran. Carlos Correa, Jose Miranda, and Gio Urshela all hit home runs for the Twins in a comfortable 6-3 win. Image courtesy of Brad Rempel - USA Today Sports Box Score Starting Pitcher: Ryan 7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K Homeruns: Correa (20), Miranda (15), Urshela (12) Top 3 WPA: Ryan .285, Correa .243, Arraez .137 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Here’s how the Twins lined up to face the Kansas City Royals in the opening game of a three game series at Target Field on Tuesday night. Remaining Big Bats Bop The Twins offense rolled against Kansas City on Monday night. Although he runs didn’t come immediately, they kept at it, and were eventually rewarded. The Twins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a double from Carlos Correa and a single from Jose Miranda scoring Gilberto Celestino and Luis Arraez. The Twins added to their lead in the middle innings. Correa continued his torrid hitting, clubbing his 20th home run of the season into the left-field seats. Miranda followed with the second home run of the inning, his 15th overall. Miranda’s production (125 wRC+) and continued health have been one of the few kindnesses Twins fans have experienced in a deflating second half of the season. His performance has surely cemented his standing as an organizational lynchpin for the Twins moving forwards. Gio Urshela added a home run, his 12th, in the sixth inning, taking the Twins tally to 11 hits on the night. Four players had at least two hits, led by Arraez and Correa with three each. Joe Ryan Carries No-Hitter Through Seven Innings Joe Ryan has not been the same pitcher for the Minnesota Twins since an early season bout with COVID. His velocity was down for a time afterwards, his command and control more shaky. Not tonight (insert Kurt Russell Miracle gif). Tonight, Ryan was dominant. Ryan threw seven no-hit innings for the Twins, tallying nine strikeouts on 106 pitches. Ryan showed good command and control throughout his start, generating 13 swings and misses. The crowd let the Twins hear about it when he was pulled for Jovani Moran at the top of the eighth inning. With a 99% win probability, Ryan desperately needed in the next series against Cleveland, and having thrown over 100 pitches, it was a sensible call. While Burnsville armchair GMs were lamenting Rocco Baldelli’s decision to pull Ryan from the game, Jovani Moran struck out two batters on his way to a scoreless eighth inning. The Twins were three outs away from a combined no-hitter. Moran returned in the ninth inning, striking out Drew Waters before walking Hunter Dozier and MJ Melendez. Moran then gave up a double to Bobby Witt Jr to get the Royals on the board and end the no-hit bid with one out in the ninth inning. Moran gave up another two runs, cutting the lead to 6-3, before finally slamming the door with his fourth strikeout. Bullpen Usage Chart FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Sands 0 77 0 0 0 77 Lopez 0 0 18 0 0 18 Duran 0 0 27 0 0 27 Pagán 0 33 0 0 0 33 Moran 17 0 0 0 40 57 Sanchez 46 0 0 0 0 46 Fulmer 0 0 18 0 0 18 Thielbar 0 0 15 0 0 15 Davis 0 0 0 0 0 0 Jax 0 0 8 0 0 8 Megill 0 14 0 0 0 14 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series against the Royals. Sonny Gray starts for Minnesota, against Zack Greinke for the Royals. First pitch is a 6:40 CT. Postgame Interviews View full article
  4. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Ryan 7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K Homeruns: Correa (20), Miranda (15), Urshela (12) Top 3 WPA: Ryan .285, Correa .243, Arraez .137 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Here’s how the Twins lined up to face the Kansas City Royals in the opening game of a three game series at Target Field on Tuesday night. Remaining Big Bats Bop The Twins offense rolled against Kansas City on Monday night. Although he runs didn’t come immediately, they kept at it, and were eventually rewarded. The Twins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a double from Carlos Correa and a single from Jose Miranda scoring Gilberto Celestino and Luis Arraez. The Twins added to their lead in the middle innings. Correa continued his torrid hitting, clubbing his 20th home run of the season into the left-field seats. Miranda followed with the second home run of the inning, his 15th overall. Miranda’s production (125 wRC+) and continued health have been one of the few kindnesses Twins fans have experienced in a deflating second half of the season. His performance has surely cemented his standing as an organizational lynchpin for the Twins moving forwards. Gio Urshela added a home run, his 12th, in the sixth inning, taking the Twins tally to 11 hits on the night. Four players had at least two hits, led by Arraez and Correa with three each. Joe Ryan Carries No-Hitter Through Seven Innings Joe Ryan has not been the same pitcher for the Minnesota Twins since an early season bout with COVID. His velocity was down for a time afterwards, his command and control more shaky. Not tonight (insert Kurt Russell Miracle gif). Tonight, Ryan was dominant. Ryan threw seven no-hit innings for the Twins, tallying nine strikeouts on 106 pitches. Ryan showed good command and control throughout his start, generating 13 swings and misses. The crowd let the Twins hear about it when he was pulled for Jovani Moran at the top of the eighth inning. With a 99% win probability, Ryan desperately needed in the next series against Cleveland, and having thrown over 100 pitches, it was a sensible call. While Burnsville armchair GMs were lamenting Rocco Baldelli’s decision to pull Ryan from the game, Jovani Moran struck out two batters on his way to a scoreless eighth inning. The Twins were three outs away from a combined no-hitter. Moran returned in the ninth inning, striking out Drew Waters before walking Hunter Dozier and MJ Melendez. Moran then gave up a double to Bobby Witt Jr to get the Royals on the board and end the no-hit bid with one out in the ninth inning. Moran gave up another two runs, cutting the lead to 6-3, before finally slamming the door with his fourth strikeout. Bullpen Usage Chart FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Sands 0 77 0 0 0 77 Lopez 0 0 18 0 0 18 Duran 0 0 27 0 0 27 Pagán 0 33 0 0 0 33 Moran 17 0 0 0 40 57 Sanchez 46 0 0 0 0 46 Fulmer 0 0 18 0 0 18 Thielbar 0 0 15 0 0 15 Davis 0 0 0 0 0 0 Jax 0 0 8 0 0 8 Megill 0 14 0 0 0 14 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series against the Royals. Sonny Gray starts for Minnesota, against Zack Greinke for the Royals. First pitch is a 6:40 CT. Postgame Interviews
  5. The Twins took a 30-minute break before getting back on the dirt with the Yankees, who they lost to in Game 1 of a two-game day. After battling for 12 innings, the Twins needed to dig deep to still keep the hopes alive of at least getting a split. Image courtesy of Gary Vasquez, USA Today Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K ( 89 pitches, 57 strikes (64%)) Home Runs: Carlos Correa (17) Bottom 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (-0.77), Jose Miranda (-0.65), Gilberto Celestino (-0.50) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Yankees have been floundering for the past six weeks, but Aaron Judge and a gang of "Who's That" swept the Twins and have won all three games of this series. The Yankees had not seen Joe Ryan before, so maybe the advantage was in Ryan’s favor. Ryan started the game with a 13-pitch at-bat against Aaron Hicks before getting a ground out. He left the mound having issued 34 pitches in the first inning. He had two walks and faced six batters, but no runs scored. Ryan has been struggling with his off-speed pitches as of late, not breaking where they should or where he wants them to, leaving hanging sliders in prime territory for hitting. The Twins attempted to get something going in the fourth inning and just like the earlier game, they got on the board first thanks to a solo home run from Carlos Correa, but the score didn’t stay there for long. Ryan managed to gather himself, retiring six hitters in a row in the 2nd and 3rd innings. As he crept toward 70 pitches in the bottom of the fourth, with no outs, he loaded the bases. Isiah Kiner-Falefa stepped up to the plate and on pitch one, a slider, he hit the ball deep into left field for his first career grand slam to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead. The most painful part? According to Aaron Gleeman, with runners in scoring position, IFK has now hit more home runs against the Twins than Correa has hit for the Twins. Jovani Moran came in to relieve Ryan in the fifth inning. The lefty kept things copesetic for the club through the sixth inning. The only threat from the Yankees was Estevan Florial hitting a line drive to Jake Cave in left field and Marwin Gonzalez advanced from third to home, but Cave fired off a cannon to home plate, getting Gonzalez out to end the inning. Moran has been exceptional in the past few games that he has made appearances in. In this game, he didn’t allow a run in the two innings and has only allowed seven runs overall this season (in the big leagues, that is), and has a 2.05 ERA. He is effective and gets the job done despite his ERA of 6+ at St. Paul this year. Even Emilio Pagan had an effective outing, not allowing any runs. The Twins offense has been really bad. The Twins tried to manufacture runs throughout the evening, but couldn’t get past the Yankees pitching, led by Gerrit Cole. The seventh inning showed promise with runners on the corners and Correa back up at bat, but Lucas Luetge went hard on Correa and struck him out swinging. Even if the Twins wanted to try and come back into the game, the bottom of the eighth all but sealed the deal for the team when Austin Davis loaded the bases with three walks after two outs. Aaron Hicks hit a line drive to left field for a double to score Kiner-Falefa, Florial, and Oswald Peraza stretching the lead to 7-1. Five of the seven earned runs in this game came from walks. They are right, walks will haunt, especially five of them. As the Twins finish up the series with the Yankees and move into all divisional games coming up, the fight to stay in the race is going to be brutal. Do you think the Twins can pull out of this and still take the division? Final Pitching Match-Up for this Series: Monday 6:40 pm CST: Sonny Gray (7-4, 3.10 ERA) vs. RHP Nestor Cortes (9-4, 2.68 ERA) Postgame Interview Coming soon Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  6. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K ( 89 pitches, 57 strikes (64%)) Home Runs: Carlos Correa (17) Bottom 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (-0.77), Jose Miranda (-0.65), Gilberto Celestino (-0.50) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Yankees have been floundering for the past six weeks, but Aaron Judge and a gang of "Who's That" swept the Twins and have won all three games of this series. The Yankees had not seen Joe Ryan before, so maybe the advantage was in Ryan’s favor. Ryan started the game with a 13-pitch at-bat against Aaron Hicks before getting a ground out. He left the mound having issued 34 pitches in the first inning. He had two walks and faced six batters, but no runs scored. Ryan has been struggling with his off-speed pitches as of late, not breaking where they should or where he wants them to, leaving hanging sliders in prime territory for hitting. The Twins attempted to get something going in the fourth inning and just like the earlier game, they got on the board first thanks to a solo home run from Carlos Correa, but the score didn’t stay there for long. Ryan managed to gather himself, retiring six hitters in a row in the 2nd and 3rd innings. As he crept toward 70 pitches in the bottom of the fourth, with no outs, he loaded the bases. Isiah Kiner-Falefa stepped up to the plate and on pitch one, a slider, he hit the ball deep into left field for his first career grand slam to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead. The most painful part? According to Aaron Gleeman, with runners in scoring position, IFK has now hit more home runs against the Twins than Correa has hit for the Twins. Jovani Moran came in to relieve Ryan in the fifth inning. The lefty kept things copesetic for the club through the sixth inning. The only threat from the Yankees was Estevan Florial hitting a line drive to Jake Cave in left field and Marwin Gonzalez advanced from third to home, but Cave fired off a cannon to home plate, getting Gonzalez out to end the inning. Moran has been exceptional in the past few games that he has made appearances in. In this game, he didn’t allow a run in the two innings and has only allowed seven runs overall this season (in the big leagues, that is), and has a 2.05 ERA. He is effective and gets the job done despite his ERA of 6+ at St. Paul this year. Even Emilio Pagan had an effective outing, not allowing any runs. The Twins offense has been really bad. The Twins tried to manufacture runs throughout the evening, but couldn’t get past the Yankees pitching, led by Gerrit Cole. The seventh inning showed promise with runners on the corners and Correa back up at bat, but Lucas Luetge went hard on Correa and struck him out swinging. Even if the Twins wanted to try and come back into the game, the bottom of the eighth all but sealed the deal for the team when Austin Davis loaded the bases with three walks after two outs. Aaron Hicks hit a line drive to left field for a double to score Kiner-Falefa, Florial, and Oswald Peraza stretching the lead to 7-1. Five of the seven earned runs in this game came from walks. They are right, walks will haunt, especially five of them. As the Twins finish up the series with the Yankees and move into all divisional games coming up, the fight to stay in the race is going to be brutal. Do you think the Twins can pull out of this and still take the division? Final Pitching Match-Up for this Series: Monday 6:40 pm CST: Sonny Gray (7-4, 3.10 ERA) vs. RHP Nestor Cortes (9-4, 2.68 ERA) Postgame Interview Coming soon Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  7. An early grand slam helped put the Red Sox ahead by five runs. The Twins never gave up, though, and they managed to make this a one-run game and to put the winning run at first base, but they couldn’t capitalize. The winning streak ends at five. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 5 IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, 1BB, 8K (100 pitches, 69 strikes, 69.0%) Home Runs: Luis Arraez (8) Bottom 3 WPA: Carlos Correa (-.335), Joe Ryan (-.263), Luis Arráez (-.137) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Boston burns Ryan early Things didn’t click for Joe Ryan on Wednesday night, and his start was stained pretty early in the game. After a couple of scoreless innings, including a 1-2-3 second, the Twins’ starter was ambushed in the top of the third. Despite getting ahead on the count against all of them, Ryan failed to retire the first four batters he faced, and Boston took advantage of that. Kevin Plawecki and Tommy Pham got back-to-back singles to start the inning, the latter with a tough eight-pitch at-bat. When Alex Verdugo hit a grounder towards first, Jose Miranda decided to throw home to prevent Plawecki from scoring, allowing Verdugo to reach and load the bases with no outs. Xander Bogaerts wasted no time and destroyed a low-hanging slider down the middle for a grand slam. A flyout following the grand slam didn’t help much: despite getting ahead J.D. Martinez 0-2, Boston’s designated hitter took him deep for a second time in the evening, making it 5-0 Red Sox. With Michael Wacha having tossed two perfect innings to start the game, it was hard to imagine Minnesota would have the energy for a comeback. Their only chance would be to do some damage quickly. Twins get two runs back, can’t complete a rally By retiring Nick Gordon and Gilberto Celestino to open the bottom of the third, Wacha made it eight consecutive batters retired to start the game. Sandy Leon broke the streak with a bloop single to center and salvaged the inning, with Luis Arráez stepping up to the plate. He fought hard to turn a 1-2 count into a full count before hitting a liner to right for a two-run shot to put the Twins back in contention. Ryan remained in the game and pitched for two more innings. He got into a jam to begin the fourth, when he gave up a leadoff single and hit a batter, but pitched around those to end the inning. The offense started putting together another potential rally in the bottom of the inning when Kyle Garlick reached on a fielding error from second, and Gio Urshela singled, but Gordon struck out, ending the inning. Ryan also tossed a scoreless fifth to conclude his outing at exactly 100 pitches, his highest-scoring start in over three weeks. Moran has another good outing, maintains great season numbers Making his first big league appearance since August 2, Jovani Moran seemed to have picked up right where he left off when he last appeared in the majors. He couldn’t prevent Boston from scoring, with Plawecki hitting a leadoff double in the sixth and scoring later on a Bogaerts two-out double to right. Outside of those two extra-base hits allowed, Moran’s outing was brilliant. He struck out five batters through the sixth and seventh innings, then induced three groundball outs in a 1-2-3 eighth to complete three innings of one-run ball without any walks. He now has a 2.05 ERA through 21 appearances this season, making up for a fantastic second season in the majors. Too bad the offense couldn’t capitalize on several opportunities they’ve created. They had two men on in the sixth after a Correa walk and a Max Kepler double but came out empty-handed. Then, in the seventh, the Twins had men on the corners with one out after a Gordon leadoff double and a Gary Sanchez one-out walk. However, all they could get was a single run that came on an Arráez sac-fly. Gordon comes through again, but it’s not enough Gordon’s epic display last night was an indicator that this kid is ready for stardom, and he continued to swing the bat brilliantly tonight. His second hit of the night was a huge one in the eighth inning that made things very interesting. Kepler and Urshela both reached with a single each, making Gordon the tying run when he stepped up to the batter’s box. Gordon jumped on the first pitch for a long double that hit the right field wall, deep enough to push both runners across and make this a one-run game. Unfortunately, Gordon was caught at third trying to stretch a double into a triple, and the inning was over. Despite Gordon’s baserunning blunder, his two runs batted in in the eighth proved vital for Minnesota’s chances. After Trevor Megill delivered a scoreless top of the ninth (throwing 12 strikes in 14 pitches), Celestino led off the bottom of the inning with a chopper that Bogaerts couldn’t glove in time. Then, Sánchez drew a five-pitch walk, his second of the night, to put two men on with no outs for Arráez. Sadly, for Minnesota, Arráez flied out, and Correa grounded into a double play next, ending the game. The offense finished the night going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position after Correa's double play. What’s Next? On Thursday, the Twins have a day off that they’ll use to travel to South Side Chicago, where they’ll begin a three-game set against the White Sox. Game one of the series is scheduled for Friday, with first pitch at 7:10 pm CDT. Sonny Gray (3.04 ERA) takes the mound for the Twins, with Davis Martin (4.62 ERA) starting for Chicago. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Megill 35 0 0 23 14 72 Moran 0 0 0 0 52 52 Thielbar 22 0 15 13 0 50 Pagán 0 22 0 21 0 43 Jax 8 0 17 8 0 33 Fulmer 0 15 0 13 0 28 Duran 13 0 14 0 0 27 López 0 0 9 0 0 9 View full article
  8. As rosters can be increased to 28 on Thursday, the Minnesota Twins have added a left-handed reliever to their roster. The Twins claimed 29-year-old Austin Davis from the Red Sox. Learn more about the southpaw. The Boston Red Sox DFAd Austin Davis on Sunday. On the season, the lefty had worked in 54 1/3 innings over 50 appearances. He was 2-1 with a 5.47 ERA. He had 29 walks but also struck out 61 batters. The 29-year-old has pitched in 134 big-league games dating back to his 2018 MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies. He remained with them until 2020 when he was traded to the Pirates. He remained with Pittsburgh until last year's trade deadline when he was traded to the Red Sox for Michael Chavis. Originally drafted in the 12th round of the 2014 MLB draft from Cal State-Bakersfield, he will be arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season. In other works, in theory, the Twins could keep him through the 2026 season. While the numbers haven't been great, it might be clear why the Twins specifically would have interest in him. In three career games against the Twins, Davis has given up just one hit. Twins batters have hit .067/.125/.133 (.258) against him. He has struck out seven Twins batters in 4 2/3 innings (16 batters faced). Davis has thrown his fastball, which has averaged 94.1 mph, 45.4% of the time. He has thrown 39.5% sliders this year which have averaged 90.6 mph. He also has a mid-80s changeup that he'll throw occasionally. As you can see from his StatCast numbers over at Baseball Savant, he hasn't allowed a lot of hard contact, but other than that, he doesn't have any carrying traits. That said, the Twins need a left-hander to team with Caleb Thielbar in the Twins bullpen, and Davis could fill that role. It's a role I'm sure they'd love to just let Jovani Moran take and run with, and frankly, he has while with the Twins. In 23 1/3 innings, he has posted a 1.93 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He has struck out 31 batters. However, he has also walked 15 batters. Hence the concern. In addition, he has posted a 6.00 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in his 24 innings with the Saints this year. However, it is possible that all three will remain on the roster throughout September. With rosters expanding to 28 players on Thursday, the Twins will be able to add one pitcher. Austin Davis will likely be that guy. He won't have to travel far. In fact, he was traveling with the Red Sox and is at Target Field. He just has to pack up a bag and head over to the home clubhouse. A few days ago, Tim Beckham was designated for assignment, so the Twins did not need to make an additional 40-man roster move to clear space for Davis. Speaking of Beckham, he did clear waivers and was outrighted to St. Paul. However, he elected free agency. According to Darren Wolfson, he could be back. In addition, Tyler Duffey has a new home. He opted out of his minor-league deal with the Rangers and has now signed with the New York Yankees. View full article
  9. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 5 IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, 1BB, 8K (100 pitches, 69 strikes, 69.0%) Home Runs: Luis Arraez (8) Bottom 3 WPA: Carlos Correa (-.335), Joe Ryan (-.263), Luis Arráez (-.137) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Boston burns Ryan early Things didn’t click for Joe Ryan on Wednesday night, and his start was stained pretty early in the game. After a couple of scoreless innings, including a 1-2-3 second, the Twins’ starter was ambushed in the top of the third. Despite getting ahead on the count against all of them, Ryan failed to retire the first four batters he faced, and Boston took advantage of that. Kevin Plawecki and Tommy Pham got back-to-back singles to start the inning, the latter with a tough eight-pitch at-bat. When Alex Verdugo hit a grounder towards first, Jose Miranda decided to throw home to prevent Plawecki from scoring, allowing Verdugo to reach and load the bases with no outs. Xander Bogaerts wasted no time and destroyed a low-hanging slider down the middle for a grand slam. A flyout following the grand slam didn’t help much: despite getting ahead J.D. Martinez 0-2, Boston’s designated hitter took him deep for a second time in the evening, making it 5-0 Red Sox. With Michael Wacha having tossed two perfect innings to start the game, it was hard to imagine Minnesota would have the energy for a comeback. Their only chance would be to do some damage quickly. Twins get two runs back, can’t complete a rally By retiring Nick Gordon and Gilberto Celestino to open the bottom of the third, Wacha made it eight consecutive batters retired to start the game. Sandy Leon broke the streak with a bloop single to center and salvaged the inning, with Luis Arráez stepping up to the plate. He fought hard to turn a 1-2 count into a full count before hitting a liner to right for a two-run shot to put the Twins back in contention. Ryan remained in the game and pitched for two more innings. He got into a jam to begin the fourth, when he gave up a leadoff single and hit a batter, but pitched around those to end the inning. The offense started putting together another potential rally in the bottom of the inning when Kyle Garlick reached on a fielding error from second, and Gio Urshela singled, but Gordon struck out, ending the inning. Ryan also tossed a scoreless fifth to conclude his outing at exactly 100 pitches, his highest-scoring start in over three weeks. Moran has another good outing, maintains great season numbers Making his first big league appearance since August 2, Jovani Moran seemed to have picked up right where he left off when he last appeared in the majors. He couldn’t prevent Boston from scoring, with Plawecki hitting a leadoff double in the sixth and scoring later on a Bogaerts two-out double to right. Outside of those two extra-base hits allowed, Moran’s outing was brilliant. He struck out five batters through the sixth and seventh innings, then induced three groundball outs in a 1-2-3 eighth to complete three innings of one-run ball without any walks. He now has a 2.05 ERA through 21 appearances this season, making up for a fantastic second season in the majors. Too bad the offense couldn’t capitalize on several opportunities they’ve created. They had two men on in the sixth after a Correa walk and a Max Kepler double but came out empty-handed. Then, in the seventh, the Twins had men on the corners with one out after a Gordon leadoff double and a Gary Sanchez one-out walk. However, all they could get was a single run that came on an Arráez sac-fly. Gordon comes through again, but it’s not enough Gordon’s epic display last night was an indicator that this kid is ready for stardom, and he continued to swing the bat brilliantly tonight. His second hit of the night was a huge one in the eighth inning that made things very interesting. Kepler and Urshela both reached with a single each, making Gordon the tying run when he stepped up to the batter’s box. Gordon jumped on the first pitch for a long double that hit the right field wall, deep enough to push both runners across and make this a one-run game. Unfortunately, Gordon was caught at third trying to stretch a double into a triple, and the inning was over. Despite Gordon’s baserunning blunder, his two runs batted in in the eighth proved vital for Minnesota’s chances. After Trevor Megill delivered a scoreless top of the ninth (throwing 12 strikes in 14 pitches), Celestino led off the bottom of the inning with a chopper that Bogaerts couldn’t glove in time. Then, Sánchez drew a five-pitch walk, his second of the night, to put two men on with no outs for Arráez. Sadly, for Minnesota, Arráez flied out, and Correa grounded into a double play next, ending the game. The offense finished the night going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position after Correa's double play. What’s Next? On Thursday, the Twins have a day off that they’ll use to travel to South Side Chicago, where they’ll begin a three-game set against the White Sox. Game one of the series is scheduled for Friday, with first pitch at 7:10 pm CDT. Sonny Gray (3.04 ERA) takes the mound for the Twins, with Davis Martin (4.62 ERA) starting for Chicago. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Megill 35 0 0 23 14 72 Moran 0 0 0 0 52 52 Thielbar 22 0 15 13 0 50 Pagán 0 22 0 21 0 43 Jax 8 0 17 8 0 33 Fulmer 0 15 0 13 0 28 Duran 13 0 14 0 0 27 López 0 0 9 0 0 9
  10. The Boston Red Sox DFAd Austin Davis on Sunday. On the season, the lefty had worked in 54 1/3 innings over 50 appearances. He was 2-1 with a 5.47 ERA. He had 29 walks but also struck out 61 batters. The 29-year-old has pitched in 134 big-league games dating back to his 2018 MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies. He remained with them until 2020 when he was traded to the Pirates. He remained with Pittsburgh until last year's trade deadline when he was traded to the Red Sox for Michael Chavis. Originally drafted in the 12th round of the 2014 MLB draft from Cal State-Bakersfield, he will be arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season. In other works, in theory, the Twins could keep him through the 2026 season. While the numbers haven't been great, it might be clear why the Twins specifically would have interest in him. In three career games against the Twins, Davis has given up just one hit. Twins batters have hit .067/.125/.133 (.258) against him. He has struck out seven Twins batters in 4 2/3 innings (16 batters faced). Davis has thrown his fastball, which has averaged 94.1 mph, 45.4% of the time. He has thrown 39.5% sliders this year which have averaged 90.6 mph. He also has a mid-80s changeup that he'll throw occasionally. As you can see from his StatCast numbers over at Baseball Savant, he hasn't allowed a lot of hard contact, but other than that, he doesn't have any carrying traits. That said, the Twins need a left-hander to team with Caleb Thielbar in the Twins bullpen, and Davis could fill that role. It's a role I'm sure they'd love to just let Jovani Moran take and run with, and frankly, he has while with the Twins. In 23 1/3 innings, he has posted a 1.93 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He has struck out 31 batters. However, he has also walked 15 batters. Hence the concern. In addition, he has posted a 6.00 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in his 24 innings with the Saints this year. However, it is possible that all three will remain on the roster throughout September. With rosters expanding to 28 players on Thursday, the Twins will be able to add one pitcher. Austin Davis will likely be that guy. He won't have to travel far. In fact, he was traveling with the Red Sox and is at Target Field. He just has to pack up a bag and head over to the home clubhouse. A few days ago, Tim Beckham was designated for assignment, so the Twins did not need to make an additional 40-man roster move to clear space for Davis. Speaking of Beckham, he did clear waivers and was outrighted to St. Paul. However, he elected free agency. According to Darren Wolfson, he could be back. In addition, Tyler Duffey has a new home. He opted out of his minor-league deal with the Rangers and has now signed with the New York Yankees.
  11. Minnesota's bullpen has been frustrating to watch throughout much of the 2022 campaign. For a player like Jovani Moran, it has to be even more frustrating that he isn't getting a more extended look at the big-league level. The Twins drafted Jovani Moran in the 7th round of the 2015 MLB Draft as a high schooler from Puerto Rico. Arm issues limited him to fewer than 20 innings in his first two seasons, but he had a breakout season in 2017. He put himself on the prospect radar with a dominant performance in the Appalachian League, where he accumulated 45 strikeouts in 24 innings. All those appearances were in a relief role, but his dominant performance earned him the Twins Daily Short Season Pitcher of the Year. Moran hasn't been flawless as he has climbed the organizational ladder. His early included elbow and shoulder injuries like removing bone chips, but he has been able to avoid Tommy John surgery. In six minor league seasons, there has only been one season where he has pitched more than 70 innings. On the field, his 4.3 BB/9 rate is too high, and that trait has followed him to the big-league level. Throughout the 2021 season, Moran has pushed himself into the conversation at the big-league level. Last year, he won the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. Moran posted a 2.54 ERA and a 14.6 K/9 in 35 appearances between Double- and Triple-A. By the season's end, he made his big-league debut, but he surrendered seven runs in eight innings. His small sample size with the Twins didn't take away from him being in the team's long-term bullpen plans. During the 2022 campaign, the Twins have shuffled Moran between St. Paul and Minneapolis. At Triple-A, his appearances haven't been as clean as one would like to see. He has a 5.09 ERA with a 1.52 WHIP, but he has only allowed more than two runs in two appearances. He's posted a 15.8 K/9 which is nearly as high as when he dominated the Appy League as a 20-year-old. Even with time spent at multiple levels, Moran has been nearly flawless at the big-league level this season. Three of the six earned runs he has allowed came in less than an inning against the Tigers. He's allowed one hit or fewer in all but two appearances, and he has multiple strikeouts in half of his appearances. In his professional career, Moran's changeup has been his dominant pitch, and that has continued this year, with 20 of his 31 strikeouts coming on the changeup. However, his fastball has also improved with a .202 xBA and a .278 SLG. The Twins' bullpen has multiple long-term problems, including sticking with veteran relievers too long. Emilio Pagan has been pushed into a low-leverage role even though he has been one of baseball's worst relievers over the last two seasons. Pagan is likely out of the team's plans after this season, and Moran is a 25-year-old with the potential to impact Minnesota's bullpen for the long term. It's time Moran got a more extended look. Do you think Moran deserves a longer look in the Twins bullpen? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  12. The Twins drafted Jovani Moran in the 7th round of the 2015 MLB Draft as a high schooler from Puerto Rico. Arm issues limited him to fewer than 20 innings in his first two seasons, but he had a breakout season in 2017. He put himself on the prospect radar with a dominant performance in the Appalachian League, where he accumulated 45 strikeouts in 24 innings. All those appearances were in a relief role, but his dominant performance earned him the Twins Daily Short Season Pitcher of the Year. Moran hasn't been flawless as he has climbed the organizational ladder. His early included elbow and shoulder injuries like removing bone chips, but he has been able to avoid Tommy John surgery. In six minor league seasons, there has only been one season where he has pitched more than 70 innings. On the field, his 4.3 BB/9 rate is too high, and that trait has followed him to the big-league level. Throughout the 2021 season, Moran has pushed himself into the conversation at the big-league level. Last year, he won the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. Moran posted a 2.54 ERA and a 14.6 K/9 in 35 appearances between Double- and Triple-A. By the season's end, he made his big-league debut, but he surrendered seven runs in eight innings. His small sample size with the Twins didn't take away from him being in the team's long-term bullpen plans. During the 2022 campaign, the Twins have shuffled Moran between St. Paul and Minneapolis. At Triple-A, his appearances haven't been as clean as one would like to see. He has a 5.09 ERA with a 1.52 WHIP, but he has only allowed more than two runs in two appearances. He's posted a 15.8 K/9 which is nearly as high as when he dominated the Appy League as a 20-year-old. Even with time spent at multiple levels, Moran has been nearly flawless at the big-league level this season. Three of the six earned runs he has allowed came in less than an inning against the Tigers. He's allowed one hit or fewer in all but two appearances, and he has multiple strikeouts in half of his appearances. In his professional career, Moran's changeup has been his dominant pitch, and that has continued this year, with 20 of his 31 strikeouts coming on the changeup. However, his fastball has also improved with a .202 xBA and a .278 SLG. The Twins' bullpen has multiple long-term problems, including sticking with veteran relievers too long. Emilio Pagan has been pushed into a low-leverage role even though he has been one of baseball's worst relievers over the last two seasons. Pagan is likely out of the team's plans after this season, and Moran is a 25-year-old with the potential to impact Minnesota's bullpen for the long term. It's time Moran got a more extended look. Do you think Moran deserves a longer look in the Twins bullpen? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  13. It’s no secret that Emilio Pagán has been bad for the Minnesota Twins. The good news is that the Twins have four more than capable in-house options to replace him, should the Twins decide to move on from the man they acquired in exchange for Taylor Rogers this offseason. Emilio Pagán has not only been bad this season for the Minnesota Twins, but has been one of the worst relievers in baseball going on three seasons now. Our friend Aaron Gleeman said it best: Continuing to trot out Pagán every few days is actively harming the Minnesota Twins. He continues to harm the team and his upside is certainly not high enough to warrant the catastrophic performances we see from him on a weekly basis. Additionally, the Minnesota Twins have plenty of players just 15 minutes away from Target Field who could fill in for Pagán. There’s a great chance that these players would perform better than Pagán, and would give each of them valuable experience with an eye toward sticking in the bullpen for years to come. These four players are better options for the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen than Emilio Pagán: Jovani Moran Jovani Moran should be a familiar name for Minnesota Twins fans as he has been up with the Twins many times this season. In his time with the Twins, Moran has been more than solid, owning a 1.93 ERA in 23 1/3 innings in 2022. Moran is a left-handed pitcher who possesses a nasty changeup that can neutralize right-handers. Moran is certainly a pitcher who has a future in this Twins bullpen and the fact that Emilio Pagán is getting more play than him isn’t right. Ronny Henriquez Ronny Henriquez was acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Mitch Garver/Isaiah Kiner-Falefa swap early in the 2022 offseason. Henriquez has not been amazing for the Twins in 2022, owning a 5.90 ERA for the AAA affiliate, but he has been better as of late. In 26 innings since June 21, the right-hander owns a 3.12 ERA with a 29/8 K/BB ratio. What makes Henriquez an intriguing option for the Minnesota Twins bullpen is that he has yet to be tested in a true 1-2 inning bullpen role. Henriquez can get to the upper 90s with his fastball and his pitch repertoire might just be one that thrives in a bullpen role rather than the 4-5 inning stretches that he has been pitching with the Saints this season. Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster with the Minnesota Twins. Evan Sisk The Minnesota Twins acquired Evan Sisk in its trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021 for J.A. Happ. Sisk performed extremely well this season in Wichita and was moved up to the St. Paul Saints where he has continued his great pitching out of the bullpen. In 14 innings with the St. Paul Saints in 2022, Sisk owns a 2.57 ERA with a K/9 of 9.6. Sisk is not currently on the 40-man roster for the Twins so would need to be added if he were to be called up to the big-league club. Drew Strotman Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Nelson Cruz trade last summer, Drew Strotman struggled mightily as a starting pitcher with the Minnesota Twins in 2021. Coming into 2022, the Twins opted to convert Strotman into a reliever and he continued to struggle in the early months of this season. Over the past month and a half, though, Strotman appears to have turned a corner and become somewhat of a weapon for the St. Paul Saints. Over his last 10 appearances, Strotman has a 1.32 ERA and opponents are hitting just .180 off of him. On the season, Strotman has demonstrated the ability to miss bats, boasting a K/9 in the double digits. Control can be an issue for Strotman, but when he’s able to locate his pitches, he can be really solid. Strotman is already on the 40-man roster, so no roster finagling would need to be done with a Strotman call-up. Do you agree that these options would be better for the Twins’ bullpen than Emilio Pagán? How would you rank your confidence in these names? Leave a comment below and start the conversation! View full article
  14. Emilio Pagán has not only been bad this season for the Minnesota Twins, but has been one of the worst relievers in baseball going on three seasons now. Our friend Aaron Gleeman said it best: Continuing to trot out Pagán every few days is actively harming the Minnesota Twins. He continues to harm the team and his upside is certainly not high enough to warrant the catastrophic performances we see from him on a weekly basis. Additionally, the Minnesota Twins have plenty of players just 15 minutes away from Target Field who could fill in for Pagán. There’s a great chance that these players would perform better than Pagán, and would give each of them valuable experience with an eye toward sticking in the bullpen for years to come. These four players are better options for the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen than Emilio Pagán: Jovani Moran Jovani Moran should be a familiar name for Minnesota Twins fans as he has been up with the Twins many times this season. In his time with the Twins, Moran has been more than solid, owning a 1.93 ERA in 23 1/3 innings in 2022. Moran is a left-handed pitcher who possesses a nasty changeup that can neutralize right-handers. Moran is certainly a pitcher who has a future in this Twins bullpen and the fact that Emilio Pagán is getting more play than him isn’t right. Ronny Henriquez Ronny Henriquez was acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Mitch Garver/Isaiah Kiner-Falefa swap early in the 2022 offseason. Henriquez has not been amazing for the Twins in 2022, owning a 5.90 ERA for the AAA affiliate, but he has been better as of late. In 26 innings since June 21, the right-hander owns a 3.12 ERA with a 29/8 K/BB ratio. What makes Henriquez an intriguing option for the Minnesota Twins bullpen is that he has yet to be tested in a true 1-2 inning bullpen role. Henriquez can get to the upper 90s with his fastball and his pitch repertoire might just be one that thrives in a bullpen role rather than the 4-5 inning stretches that he has been pitching with the Saints this season. Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster with the Minnesota Twins. Evan Sisk The Minnesota Twins acquired Evan Sisk in its trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021 for J.A. Happ. Sisk performed extremely well this season in Wichita and was moved up to the St. Paul Saints where he has continued his great pitching out of the bullpen. In 14 innings with the St. Paul Saints in 2022, Sisk owns a 2.57 ERA with a K/9 of 9.6. Sisk is not currently on the 40-man roster for the Twins so would need to be added if he were to be called up to the big-league club. Drew Strotman Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Nelson Cruz trade last summer, Drew Strotman struggled mightily as a starting pitcher with the Minnesota Twins in 2021. Coming into 2022, the Twins opted to convert Strotman into a reliever and he continued to struggle in the early months of this season. Over the past month and a half, though, Strotman appears to have turned a corner and become somewhat of a weapon for the St. Paul Saints. Over his last 10 appearances, Strotman has a 1.32 ERA and opponents are hitting just .180 off of him. On the season, Strotman has demonstrated the ability to miss bats, boasting a K/9 in the double digits. Control can be an issue for Strotman, but when he’s able to locate his pitches, he can be really solid. Strotman is already on the 40-man roster, so no roster finagling would need to be done with a Strotman call-up. Do you agree that these options would be better for the Twins’ bullpen than Emilio Pagán? How would you rank your confidence in these names? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!
  15. The Twins and the Padres started a three-game series Friday night, just the 21st time the two teams have met over their history. With the Twins line-up poised to battle a left-handed pitcher, Joe Ryan took the mound in search of his eighth win of the season. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 4.2 IP, 8 H, 10 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (81 pitches, 57 strikes (70%)) Home Runs: Byron Buxton (25) Bottom 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (-.350), Gilberto Celestino (-.101), Miguel Sano (-.081) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) More Pitching Woes The Twins gave up the lead early in the game when Luke Voit hit a home run to center field after a lead off walk to Jurickson Profar, scoring both players in the bottom of the first. What looked like a fluke early on, spiraled quickly into pitching misery for Joe Ryan. In an uncharacteristic game, Ryan gave up five home runs and had ten earned runs overall. This writer noticed early on that Ryan struggled with command, some of his pitches lacking movement and speed making him extremely hittable for the Padres. Ryan has not given up more than four runs a game this season and was the first Twins since 2003 to give up 10+ runs in a game. Manager Rocco Baldelli finally pulled Ryan after being shelled and going through the order three times by the fifth inning. The fifth inning was the worst for the rookie pitcher. He saw all nine hitters, gave up six runs pushing the lead to ten for the Padres. Needless to say, it was a rough game, one of the hardest we’ve seen for him this season. Jovani Moran came in to relieve Ryan and quickly closed out the inning with four pitches allowing the game to move to the next inning. Moran and Jharel Cotton did a great job keeping their pitch counts low and moving swiftly through the innings. In a complete change of pace, the bullpen managed to move quickly through the game and manage any further damage incurred by the starter. The offense was as dismal as the pitching tonight. Unable to produce any runs, The Twins bats stayed quiet until Byron Buxton hit his 25th home run of the season at the top of the fourth inning, finally getting them on the board, trailing only by two with plenty of game left. Blake Snell, who has had a rough season for the Padres, held the Twins to just one run before being relieved by Dinelson Lamet, a RHP who was recalled from Triple-A El Paso for Mackenzie Gore. Lamet handled business for the Padres keeping the Twins off the board. Twins fans have been seeing Miguel Sano in the line-up since the Milwaukee series. Sano came in as the Designated Hitter again and completed his first full game today, and while he was doing well in Triple-A Saint Paul, the Twins have been easing him back into the game, he’s yet to get a hit, and Twins fans took to Twitter to express their frustration with Sano on top of the already mounting frustration with the pitching. The game overall was dismal, but the eighth inning was entertaining. While the Padres were pitching, the crowd came to a roar and Dick Bremer and Roy Smalley continued to talk about the game, while security wrestled a streaker. To add to the excitement, the Twins brought in Nick Gordon as a relief pitcher. Gordon started the mound appearance with the umpire staff giving him a hard time about his glove. The glove Gordon had evidently looked similar to the color of a baseball masking the pitch. While the staff found Gordon a new glove, the Padres staff loudly blasted “what’s going on” by 4Non Blondes in the background. Gordon went with the flow: smiling during ‘glove gate’, took calls from Sanchez and had a scoreless eighth inning. The Twins were quickly shut down in the ninth inning by Tim Hill, ending the game and the frustration for the evening. After a couple tough losses in Milwaukee, this was not a great way to start a comeback. With the trade deadline looming, the Twins need to make some moves that will benefit the team. Even if the play-offs aren't in the future this season, the pitching core needs help. What’s Next? Pitching matchup for the rest of the series: Saturday 6:15 pm CST: Sonny Gray (5-3, 3.52ERA) vs RHP Joe Musgrove (8-3, 2.63 ERA) Sunday 1:10 pm CST: TBD vs RHP Sean Manaea (5-5, 4.33 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  16. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 4.2 IP, 8 H, 10 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (81 pitches, 57 strikes (70%)) Home Runs: Byron Buxton (25) Bottom 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (-.350), Gilberto Celestino (-.101), Miguel Sano (-.081) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) More Pitching Woes The Twins gave up the lead early in the game when Luke Voit hit a home run to center field after a lead off walk to Jurickson Profar, scoring both players in the bottom of the first. What looked like a fluke early on, spiraled quickly into pitching misery for Joe Ryan. In an uncharacteristic game, Ryan gave up five home runs and had ten earned runs overall. This writer noticed early on that Ryan struggled with command, some of his pitches lacking movement and speed making him extremely hittable for the Padres. Ryan has not given up more than four runs a game this season and was the first Twins since 2003 to give up 10+ runs in a game. Manager Rocco Baldelli finally pulled Ryan after being shelled and going through the order three times by the fifth inning. The fifth inning was the worst for the rookie pitcher. He saw all nine hitters, gave up six runs pushing the lead to ten for the Padres. Needless to say, it was a rough game, one of the hardest we’ve seen for him this season. Jovani Moran came in to relieve Ryan and quickly closed out the inning with four pitches allowing the game to move to the next inning. Moran and Jharel Cotton did a great job keeping their pitch counts low and moving swiftly through the innings. In a complete change of pace, the bullpen managed to move quickly through the game and manage any further damage incurred by the starter. The offense was as dismal as the pitching tonight. Unable to produce any runs, The Twins bats stayed quiet until Byron Buxton hit his 25th home run of the season at the top of the fourth inning, finally getting them on the board, trailing only by two with plenty of game left. Blake Snell, who has had a rough season for the Padres, held the Twins to just one run before being relieved by Dinelson Lamet, a RHP who was recalled from Triple-A El Paso for Mackenzie Gore. Lamet handled business for the Padres keeping the Twins off the board. Twins fans have been seeing Miguel Sano in the line-up since the Milwaukee series. Sano came in as the Designated Hitter again and completed his first full game today, and while he was doing well in Triple-A Saint Paul, the Twins have been easing him back into the game, he’s yet to get a hit, and Twins fans took to Twitter to express their frustration with Sano on top of the already mounting frustration with the pitching. The game overall was dismal, but the eighth inning was entertaining. While the Padres were pitching, the crowd came to a roar and Dick Bremer and Roy Smalley continued to talk about the game, while security wrestled a streaker. To add to the excitement, the Twins brought in Nick Gordon as a relief pitcher. Gordon started the mound appearance with the umpire staff giving him a hard time about his glove. The glove Gordon had evidently looked similar to the color of a baseball masking the pitch. While the staff found Gordon a new glove, the Padres staff loudly blasted “what’s going on” by 4Non Blondes in the background. Gordon went with the flow: smiling during ‘glove gate’, took calls from Sanchez and had a scoreless eighth inning. The Twins were quickly shut down in the ninth inning by Tim Hill, ending the game and the frustration for the evening. After a couple tough losses in Milwaukee, this was not a great way to start a comeback. With the trade deadline looming, the Twins need to make some moves that will benefit the team. Even if the play-offs aren't in the future this season, the pitching core needs help. What’s Next? Pitching matchup for the rest of the series: Saturday 6:15 pm CST: Sonny Gray (5-3, 3.52ERA) vs RHP Joe Musgrove (8-3, 2.63 ERA) Sunday 1:10 pm CST: TBD vs RHP Sean Manaea (5-5, 4.33 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  17. The 2022 Twins bullpen has proven itself to be a minefield capable of turning even the likeliest of wins into embarrassing losses. With most pitchers taking their turn on blowing games, it’s only fair to show appreciation for one quiet breakout the Twins have seen this season. Relief prospects rarely get a whole lot of hype, which may be why Jovani Moran seemed to come out of nowhere in 2021 when he dominated AA and AAA by limiting homers and striking out everyone in sight. As the Twins approach the trade deadline that hopefully brings several acquisitions to their MLB bullpen, Moran has proven to be one of the only current relievers that has proven he needs to stick around for the long haul. Moran is something of a unicorn. Throwing left-handed and averaging around 93 mph with the fastball, he’s not exactly Aroldis Chapman blowing smoke by batters en route to his current 37% K rate. Nor does he attack hitters with a lights-out breaking pitch to take advantage of lefty on lefty matchups. Instead, he just pairs his modest fastball with a changeup of all pitches and has absolutely dominated the majors so far this season. Moran has translated this dominance into a 0.96 ERA. He’s been lucky, although just to a small extent. His xERA is 2.40 and FIP is 1.88, both numbers would be much preferred to any other option in the bullpen aside from Jhoan Duran. His track record of high strikeouts and limiting homers has shone brightly with a 13.50 K/9 and having not allowed a single long ball in 18.2 innings. The common knock on Moran is obviously his walk rate. His 14.7% mark in the MLB thus far is actually one of his better jobs of limiting free passes in recent years. It’s hard to deny that this can be a significant issue. Unlike pitchers such as Emilio Pagan however, Moran doesn’t allow historically high home run rates to pair with it which can only result in disaster. In fact, Moran has allowed less than 4.0 hits per 9 innings so far this season which is why despite the walks, his WHIP is still a fantastic 1.02. Many great relievers get by allowing high home run rates while avoiding free passes to get by. While unusual, it appears Moran is capable of dominating by doing the opposite. In short, Jovani Moran has essentially duplicated what he’s been able to do in most of his MiLB career on the biggest stage. Despite a glaring flaw in his skillset, the rest of his abilities appear to outweigh his deficiency. He was a high-leverage, back-end of games type reliever in AA and AAA, and although it remains to be seen whether he can fill that role against the game's best hitters, it appears he can be an effective and dominant reliever in some fashion as is. In a time where praise is hard to come by in the Twins bullpen, Jovani Moran deserves some attention. Not just for being flat out dominant, but for doing so in such an interesting way. Despite his limited and scattered opportunities, he’s been worth the same amount of Wins Above Replacement (0.4) as Griffin Jax and Caleb Thielbar. He’s been more valuable than several starting pitchers who have thrown many more innings such as Devin Smeltzer, Chris Archer and Josh Winder. This isn’t necessarily a call for Moran to be moved into the 7th or 8th inning. Fill those spots at the deadline with proven options. Instead, it’s worth recognizing him for what he is: One of the few middle relievers who has actually done their job for the Twins this season. If he can stay right where he is and continue his absolute dominance, the Twins just may hold on to win some games in the second half. And that would be pretty cool. View full article
  18. Relief prospects rarely get a whole lot of hype, which may be why Jovani Moran seemed to come out of nowhere in 2021 when he dominated AA and AAA by limiting homers and striking out everyone in sight. As the Twins approach the trade deadline that hopefully brings several acquisitions to their MLB bullpen, Moran has proven to be one of the only current relievers that has proven he needs to stick around for the long haul. Moran is something of a unicorn. Throwing left-handed and averaging around 93 mph with the fastball, he’s not exactly Aroldis Chapman blowing smoke by batters en route to his current 37% K rate. Nor does he attack hitters with a lights-out breaking pitch to take advantage of lefty on lefty matchups. Instead, he just pairs his modest fastball with a changeup of all pitches and has absolutely dominated the majors so far this season. Moran has translated this dominance into a 0.96 ERA. He’s been lucky, although just to a small extent. His xERA is 2.40 and FIP is 1.88, both numbers would be much preferred to any other option in the bullpen aside from Jhoan Duran. His track record of high strikeouts and limiting homers has shone brightly with a 13.50 K/9 and having not allowed a single long ball in 18.2 innings. The common knock on Moran is obviously his walk rate. His 14.7% mark in the MLB thus far is actually one of his better jobs of limiting free passes in recent years. It’s hard to deny that this can be a significant issue. Unlike pitchers such as Emilio Pagan however, Moran doesn’t allow historically high home run rates to pair with it which can only result in disaster. In fact, Moran has allowed less than 4.0 hits per 9 innings so far this season which is why despite the walks, his WHIP is still a fantastic 1.02. Many great relievers get by allowing high home run rates while avoiding free passes to get by. While unusual, it appears Moran is capable of dominating by doing the opposite. In short, Jovani Moran has essentially duplicated what he’s been able to do in most of his MiLB career on the biggest stage. Despite a glaring flaw in his skillset, the rest of his abilities appear to outweigh his deficiency. He was a high-leverage, back-end of games type reliever in AA and AAA, and although it remains to be seen whether he can fill that role against the game's best hitters, it appears he can be an effective and dominant reliever in some fashion as is. In a time where praise is hard to come by in the Twins bullpen, Jovani Moran deserves some attention. Not just for being flat out dominant, but for doing so in such an interesting way. Despite his limited and scattered opportunities, he’s been worth the same amount of Wins Above Replacement (0.4) as Griffin Jax and Caleb Thielbar. He’s been more valuable than several starting pitchers who have thrown many more innings such as Devin Smeltzer, Chris Archer and Josh Winder. This isn’t necessarily a call for Moran to be moved into the 7th or 8th inning. Fill those spots at the deadline with proven options. Instead, it’s worth recognizing him for what he is: One of the few middle relievers who has actually done their job for the Twins this season. If he can stay right where he is and continue his absolute dominance, the Twins just may hold on to win some games in the second half. And that would be pretty cool.
  19. The Twins dropped the opener of their two game series against the Brewers 6-3. Josh Winder struggled, the offense had little to offer, and three rain delays piled on the misery. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder 5.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 2 HR (85 pitches, 55 strikes) Homeruns: Jorge Polanco (13) Bottom 3 WPA: Josh Winder -.349, Gio Urshela -.169, Byron Buxton -.100 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) On Tuesday evening, after an off day, the Twins opened a two-game series against the Brewers, as part of a six-game homestand leading into the All-Star break. Here’s how the Twins lined up behind Josh Winder. Josh Winder, coming off a strong performance last time out, was looking to help the Twins rotation get back on track after significant recent struggles. In the top of the first inning, Andrew McCutchen drilled a two-run home run into the flower boxes in right field, giving the Brewers an early 2-0 lead. Brewers starting pitcher Jason Alexander hardly looked impressive to begin the game, almost beginning the game with back to back walks but being bailed out by some poor Twins at bats. In the second inning, the Twins cut the lead to one, with a solo shot to right field from Jorge Polanco, who has been incandescent since returning from the IL. Rain was the other significant factor early in the game Both of Gio Urshela’s first two at-bats were interrupted for the first two rain delays of the game, in the second and fourth inning respectively. After returning from the second rain delay, Winder ran into trouble. He walked Jace Peterson to lead off the inning, before a Jonathan Davis single scored Peterson from second. Willy Adames then hit his 18th home run of the year, a two run shot, to increase the lead to 5-2. It was a poor inning from Winder to cap what has been a desperate stretch from the rotation. Therein lies the frustration of the 2022 Twins at the moment. One phase of the team always seems to be struggling. After Carlos Correa hit into a double play to quickly cancel out a Luis Arraez walk in the bottom of the fifth inning, the game went into its third rain delay. After a 66 minute break, the teams resumed in the top of the sixth inning, with Trevor Megill relieving Josh Winder. Andrew McCutchen led off with a single before a throwing error from Megill on a pickoff attempt moved him to second base. Megill then threw a middle-middle fastball to Jace Peterson, who singled, extending the lead to 6-2. The Twins had a rally going in the sixth inning, with a two out walk to Jorge Polanco and Alex Kirilloff getting grazed by a pitch. Kyle Garlick pinch-hit for Nick Gordon and was hit to load the bases. Gio Urshela grounded to short to end the threat and keep the lead 6-2. Megill and Jovani Moran combined for a scoreless seventh inning. The Twins clawed a run back in the bottom of the seventh. Luis Arraez just missed a home run to right center field, settling for a double. After a Carlos Correa single and a Byron Buxton fielders choice, the score was trimmed to 6-3 in favor of the Brewers. Moran added a scoreless eight inning before the Brewers bullpen heavy hitters went to work. Devin Williams entered the game and made the Twins look silly, inducing two weak groundouts and striking out Kyle Garlick in the eighth. Josh Hader entered the game in the ninth and that was the game. The loss drops the Twins to 48-41. Cleveland and Chicago split a double header. The Twins lead the AL Central by 3.5 games over Cleveland and 5 over the White Sox. Bullpen Usage Chart THU FRI SAT SUN TUE TOT Duffey 0 0 26 21 0 47 Megill 0 0 22 0 24 46 Cotton 0 42 0 0 0 42 Thielbar 0 13 0 23 0 36 Duran 0 0 14 16 0 30 Jax 0 0 15 11 0 26 Pagan 0 10 0 0 13 23 Moran 0 0 0 0 22 22 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will conclude their series against the Brewers. Joe Ryan goes for Minnesota against Aaron Ashby for Milwaukee. First pitch is 12:10 CT. Postgame Interviews - Coming Soon View full article
  20. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder 5.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 2 HR (85 pitches, 55 strikes) Homeruns: Jorge Polanco (13) Bottom 3 WPA: Josh Winder -.349, Gio Urshela -.169, Byron Buxton -.100 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) On Tuesday evening, after an off day, the Twins opened a two-game series against the Brewers, as part of a six-game homestand leading into the All-Star break. Here’s how the Twins lined up behind Josh Winder. Josh Winder, coming off a strong performance last time out, was looking to help the Twins rotation get back on track after significant recent struggles. In the top of the first inning, Andrew McCutchen drilled a two-run home run into the flower boxes in right field, giving the Brewers an early 2-0 lead. Brewers starting pitcher Jason Alexander hardly looked impressive to begin the game, almost beginning the game with back to back walks but being bailed out by some poor Twins at bats. In the second inning, the Twins cut the lead to one, with a solo shot to right field from Jorge Polanco, who has been incandescent since returning from the IL. Rain was the other significant factor early in the game Both of Gio Urshela’s first two at-bats were interrupted for the first two rain delays of the game, in the second and fourth inning respectively. After returning from the second rain delay, Winder ran into trouble. He walked Jace Peterson to lead off the inning, before a Jonathan Davis single scored Peterson from second. Willy Adames then hit his 18th home run of the year, a two run shot, to increase the lead to 5-2. It was a poor inning from Winder to cap what has been a desperate stretch from the rotation. Therein lies the frustration of the 2022 Twins at the moment. One phase of the team always seems to be struggling. After Carlos Correa hit into a double play to quickly cancel out a Luis Arraez walk in the bottom of the fifth inning, the game went into its third rain delay. After a 66 minute break, the teams resumed in the top of the sixth inning, with Trevor Megill relieving Josh Winder. Andrew McCutchen led off with a single before a throwing error from Megill on a pickoff attempt moved him to second base. Megill then threw a middle-middle fastball to Jace Peterson, who singled, extending the lead to 6-2. The Twins had a rally going in the sixth inning, with a two out walk to Jorge Polanco and Alex Kirilloff getting grazed by a pitch. Kyle Garlick pinch-hit for Nick Gordon and was hit to load the bases. Gio Urshela grounded to short to end the threat and keep the lead 6-2. Megill and Jovani Moran combined for a scoreless seventh inning. The Twins clawed a run back in the bottom of the seventh. Luis Arraez just missed a home run to right center field, settling for a double. After a Carlos Correa single and a Byron Buxton fielders choice, the score was trimmed to 6-3 in favor of the Brewers. Moran added a scoreless eight inning before the Brewers bullpen heavy hitters went to work. Devin Williams entered the game and made the Twins look silly, inducing two weak groundouts and striking out Kyle Garlick in the eighth. Josh Hader entered the game in the ninth and that was the game. The loss drops the Twins to 48-41. Cleveland and Chicago split a double header. The Twins lead the AL Central by 3.5 games over Cleveland and 5 over the White Sox. Bullpen Usage Chart THU FRI SAT SUN TUE TOT Duffey 0 0 26 21 0 47 Megill 0 0 22 0 24 46 Cotton 0 42 0 0 0 42 Thielbar 0 13 0 23 0 36 Duran 0 0 14 16 0 30 Jax 0 0 15 11 0 26 Pagan 0 10 0 0 13 23 Moran 0 0 0 0 22 22 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will conclude their series against the Brewers. Joe Ryan goes for Minnesota against Aaron Ashby for Milwaukee. First pitch is 12:10 CT. Postgame Interviews - Coming Soon
  21. The chart above lists the current options in the Twins bullpen ranked from top to bottom by their measures in three underlying statistics: strike percentage, whiff rate (the fraction of swings that are misses), and average exit velocity. Red circles are good, blue circles are not so good. There's a simple rule of thumb for reading these statistics. A pitcher ought to have strong measures in two of the three statistics to be effective. For example, Jhoan Duran can give up hard contact as shown by his team-average exit velocity. But he pounds the strike zone and hitters rarely catch up to him. That's effective. Using similar assessments, the Twins ought to carve out roles for Caleb Thielbar and Griffin Jax. Jovani Moran may prove to be a bit of a wild card. He has a team-high 38% whiff rate and limits hard contact. If he can keep the ball in the strike zone often enough to avoid costly walks, he would prove valuable. Danny Coulombe may also warrant another shot when he returns to full health. What about Emilio Pagán, Tyler Duffey, and Joe Smith? Have they simply gotten unlucky in big moments despite pitching well? Not exactly. Pagán gets hit harder than any other Twins reliever and doesn't miss bats often enough to hide that. Duffey's numbers paint him as a poor man's Pagán. Smith has a paltry 13% whiff rate, which means he rarely misses bats. That's a big problem since his exit velocities are also quite high. The Twins will surely add to their bullpen through trades. But they can also get more out of their bullpen by redefining roles, tweaking pitcher usage, and perhaps letting go of a few veterans.
  22. With the trade deadline in less than a month, the Twins will be out looking for bullpen help in the trade market. But they can only acquire so many new arms. Some of the in-house options will have to fill important roles down the stretch. Who should they turn to? The chart above lists the current options in the Twins bullpen ranked from top to bottom by their measures in three underlying statistics: strike percentage, whiff rate (the fraction of swings that are misses), and average exit velocity. Red circles are good, blue circles are not so good. There's a simple rule of thumb for reading these statistics. A pitcher ought to have strong measures in two of the three statistics to be effective. For example, Jhoan Duran can give up hard contact as shown by his team-average exit velocity. But he pounds the strike zone and hitters rarely catch up to him. That's effective. Using similar assessments, the Twins ought to carve out roles for Caleb Thielbar and Griffin Jax. Jovani Moran may prove to be a bit of a wild card. He has a team-high 38% whiff rate and limits hard contact. If he can keep the ball in the strike zone often enough to avoid costly walks, he would prove valuable. Danny Coulombe may also warrant another shot when he returns to full health. What about Emilio Pagán, Tyler Duffey, and Joe Smith? Have they simply gotten unlucky in big moments despite pitching well? Not exactly. Pagán gets hit harder than any other Twins reliever and doesn't miss bats often enough to hide that. Duffey's numbers paint him as a poor man's Pagán. Smith has a paltry 13% whiff rate, which means he rarely misses bats. That's a big problem since his exit velocities are also quite high. The Twins will surely add to their bullpen through trades. But they can also get more out of their bullpen by redefining roles, tweaking pitcher usage, and perhaps letting go of a few veterans. View full article
  23. Despite Jose Miranda's clutch double and Tyler Duffey's reemergence, the Twins found another way to lose a game in the series finale against Cleveland on Thursday. Box Score SP: Chris Archer 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 2 K (90 pitches, 45 strikes 50%) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Jose Miranda (.233), Tyler Duffey (.215), Chris Archer (0.92) Bottom 3 WPA: Tyler Thornburg (-.715), Alex Kirilloff (-.114), Byron Buxton, Gilberto Celestino (-.89) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) If you feel like you've seen this movie before, it's because you have. The names may have changed, but a late-inning bullpen implosion occurred yet again on Thursday afternoon in Cleveland. In fact, the Twins lost three games in this five-game series, all because of late-inning bullpen implosions. What could have been a nine-game lead and a sweep is now a one-game lead. Let's jump right to it. The Twins carried a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning. Tyler Thornburg, who had not pitched since Saturday, was finally used. The former Brewers' closer really struggled. He loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter before an infield single coupled with Carlos Correa's second error of the game tied the game at three after eight innings. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Left with few options, Thornburg was back for the ninth frame. He walked Jose Ramirez to lead off the inning. A ground out to second advanced him to second base and brought Andrew Gimenez to the plate. On a 3-2 pitch, he launched a walkoff homer for the Guardians. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== The Twins hit former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber hard in the first two innings but were unable to come away with a run. That changed in the third frame. After failing to convert with a runner in scoring position in the first inning, José Miranda delivered. Just a day after his 24th birthday, the rookie laced a two-out, bases-clearing double to the right-field gap to put the Twins on the board and give them a 3-1 lead. Miranda continues to impress after a rough start with the Twins, batting safely in all five games of the series against the Guardians. Chris Archer showed both mountains and valleys in his four-inning outing on Thursday. Despite allowing just one run and one hit, Archer walked a season-high six batters. Four of those came in the second inning. After recording the first two outs of the inning, Archer walked four consecutive batters to put the Guardians on the board. Archer allowed two more walks in the third inning but escaped the inning with no runs. The outing was uncharacteristic for Archer; the electric righty allowed just three walks in his past three starts and has only walked four-plus batters once this season prior to Thursday. And while the damage wasn't brutal, Archer sat at 90 pitches after four innings. the highest number he's thrown all year. With the Twins monitoring his pitch count adamantly given prior injuries, there was no shot that Archer could go longer. A seasoned veteran and talented arm, Thursday's outing was likely just a spur in the road for Archer. Expect the 33-year-old to make some adjustments and come back strong in his next start. LHP Jovani Moran followed Archer with a 1-2-3 fifth inning with two strikeouts. After Carlos Correa booted a ground ball to lead off the bottom of the sixth, Moran struck out a batter followed by a walk, prompting Rocco Baldelli to bring in Tyler Duffey. Few players have been ridiculed as much as Duffey has in recent weeks. Yet despite the noise, Duffey prevailed in the sixth with runners on first and second, striking out Myles Straw and drawing groundout from Steven Kwan to escape the inning. It got better in the seventh. Facing the top of the Cleveland lineup, Duffey struck out the Amed Rosario, Jose Ramirez, and Josh Naylor, getting ahead of the hitter in all three at-bats. Then came the eighth inning, and we already talked about that and don't want to talk about it any more. Luis Arraez recorded two on the day, bringing his batting average up to .340, just one point behind league leader Paul Goldschmidt. Correa, Max Kepler, and Gilberto Celestino also tallied singles in the game. What's Next? The Twins head home for the Fourth of July weekend against the Orioles. Despite being in the cellar of the AL East, the Orioles just posted their first winning month since 2017 and are playing competitive baseball in the league's strongest division. Coming off a win over the Rockies, RHP Joe Ryan (6-3, 3.20 ERA) will face off against RHP Spenser Watkins (1-1, 5.14 ERA) in tomorrow night's tilt. First pitch at Target Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CST. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SUN MON TUE WED THU TOT Pagan 22 0 22 14 0 58 Duffey 15 0 12 0 28 55 Moran 0 0 34 0 20 54 Duran 18 0 0 33 0 51 Thornburg 0 0 0 0 48 48 Theilbar 19 0 10 11 0 40 Jax 0 0 21 16 0 37 Cotton 0 24 0 8 0 32 View full article
  24. Box Score SP: Chris Archer 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 2 K (90 pitches, 45 strikes 50%) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Jose Miranda (.233), Tyler Duffey (.215), Chris Archer (0.92) Bottom 3 WPA: Tyler Thornburg (-.715), Alex Kirilloff (-.114), Byron Buxton, Gilberto Celestino (-.89) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) If you feel like you've seen this movie before, it's because you have. The names may have changed, but a late-inning bullpen implosion occurred yet again on Thursday afternoon in Cleveland. In fact, the Twins lost three games in this five-game series, all because of late-inning bullpen implosions. What could have been a nine-game lead and a sweep is now a one-game lead. Let's jump right to it. The Twins carried a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning. Tyler Thornburg, who had not pitched since Saturday, was finally used. The former Brewers' closer really struggled. He loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter before an infield single coupled with Carlos Correa's second error of the game tied the game at three after eight innings. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Left with few options, Thornburg was back for the ninth frame. He walked Jose Ramirez to lead off the inning. A ground out to second advanced him to second base and brought Andrew Gimenez to the plate. On a 3-2 pitch, he launched a walkoff homer for the Guardians. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== The Twins hit former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber hard in the first two innings but were unable to come away with a run. That changed in the third frame. After failing to convert with a runner in scoring position in the first inning, José Miranda delivered. Just a day after his 24th birthday, the rookie laced a two-out, bases-clearing double to the right-field gap to put the Twins on the board and give them a 3-1 lead. Miranda continues to impress after a rough start with the Twins, batting safely in all five games of the series against the Guardians. Chris Archer showed both mountains and valleys in his four-inning outing on Thursday. Despite allowing just one run and one hit, Archer walked a season-high six batters. Four of those came in the second inning. After recording the first two outs of the inning, Archer walked four consecutive batters to put the Guardians on the board. Archer allowed two more walks in the third inning but escaped the inning with no runs. The outing was uncharacteristic for Archer; the electric righty allowed just three walks in his past three starts and has only walked four-plus batters once this season prior to Thursday. And while the damage wasn't brutal, Archer sat at 90 pitches after four innings. the highest number he's thrown all year. With the Twins monitoring his pitch count adamantly given prior injuries, there was no shot that Archer could go longer. A seasoned veteran and talented arm, Thursday's outing was likely just a spur in the road for Archer. Expect the 33-year-old to make some adjustments and come back strong in his next start. LHP Jovani Moran followed Archer with a 1-2-3 fifth inning with two strikeouts. After Carlos Correa booted a ground ball to lead off the bottom of the sixth, Moran struck out a batter followed by a walk, prompting Rocco Baldelli to bring in Tyler Duffey. Few players have been ridiculed as much as Duffey has in recent weeks. Yet despite the noise, Duffey prevailed in the sixth with runners on first and second, striking out Myles Straw and drawing groundout from Steven Kwan to escape the inning. It got better in the seventh. Facing the top of the Cleveland lineup, Duffey struck out the Amed Rosario, Jose Ramirez, and Josh Naylor, getting ahead of the hitter in all three at-bats. Then came the eighth inning, and we already talked about that and don't want to talk about it any more. Luis Arraez recorded two on the day, bringing his batting average up to .340, just one point behind league leader Paul Goldschmidt. Correa, Max Kepler, and Gilberto Celestino also tallied singles in the game. What's Next? The Twins head home for the Fourth of July weekend against the Orioles. Despite being in the cellar of the AL East, the Orioles just posted their first winning month since 2017 and are playing competitive baseball in the league's strongest division. Coming off a win over the Rockies, RHP Joe Ryan (6-3, 3.20 ERA) will face off against RHP Spenser Watkins (1-1, 5.14 ERA) in tomorrow night's tilt. First pitch at Target Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CST. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SUN MON TUE WED THU TOT Pagan 22 0 22 14 0 58 Duffey 15 0 12 0 28 55 Moran 0 0 34 0 20 54 Duran 18 0 0 33 0 51 Thornburg 0 0 0 0 48 48 Theilbar 19 0 10 11 0 40 Jax 0 0 21 16 0 37 Cotton 0 24 0 8 0 32
  25. Despite some quality pitching performances, there was a farm-wide drought at the plate across the Twins Minor League System on Sunday. That didn't stop Jake Cave from another impressive performance and the Mighty Mussels from getting a shutout win! TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins recalled LHP Jovani Moran from St. Paul Saints. SAINTS SENTINAL Buffalo 2, St. Paul 1 Box Score Despite a solid outing from Mario Sanchez, the Saints lost their series finale against Buffalo on Sunday afternoon. Sanchez (L, 4-2) struck out six through six innings while allowing two runs on only three hits. The 27-year-old now has a 3.00 ERA and 0.84 WHIP through 12 games and six starts. The Saints scored their lone run on a Jake Cave solo home run (7) in the first inning. Cave has now hit safely in his last eight games and has a monstrous 41-game on-base streak! Cave also singled in the sixth inning to bring his batting average up to .270 and OPS to .831. Curtis Terry and Tim Beckham each knocked two singles, accounting for the only other four hits the Saints tallied all day. WIND SURGE WISDOM San Antonio 2, Wichita 1 Box Score Out-hitting the opposition and a solid start from Sawyer Gipson-Long wasn't enough to propel the Wind Surge to a win against the Missions on Sunday. In a pitching showdown, the Surge tallied six hits but left four baserunners in scoring position and were only able to plate one run on the day. That run came in the second inning when Leobaldo Cabrera drilled an RBI double (3) to center field to score DaShawn Keirsey from second. Keirsey was the only Wichita player to record multiple hits with a pair of singles in the second and fourth innings. Keirsey is now slashing .231/.300/.659 on the season and Sunday's singles were his first hits since the series opener on June 22. A staple for the Surge all season, Sawyer Gipson-Long was solid through five innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out five. The bullpen tandem of Jordan Gore, Bryan Sammons, and Denny Bentley were even more impressive, pitching four combined shutout innings while allowing just two hits. At the end of the day, the Surge just weren't able to get the bats going. KERNELS NUGGETS West Michigan 4, Cedar Rapids 3 (10 Innings) Box Score A pair of extra-inning runs kept the Kernels from the win column on Sunday afternoon in Cedar Rapids. Similar to the Saints and Wind Surge, the Kernels' pitching staff was rock-solid but the team ultimately fell short due to dry bats at the plate. Starting pitcher John Stankiewicz allowed one run on three hits while striking out three through six innings. After Stankiewicz's masterpiece, Derek Molina tossed two innings of one-run ball, allowing just three hits. Bradley Hanner (L, 4-2) pitched a scoreless ninth inning but surrendered two runs in the 10th, ultimately taking the loss. Cedar Rapids scored its first two runs in the 8th inning thanks to a two-run homer from Pat Winkel (3). The Kernels added another run in their final frame when Dylan Neuse punched an RBI single that scored Wander Javier. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Lakeland 0 Box Score A two-hit beauty from the pitching staff and a pair of timely runs drove the Mussels to a shutout victory on Sunday in the Sunshine State. Things didn't look promising right away; after striking out the first two batters of the game prized prospect Marco Raya left the game for undisclosed reasons. That didn't matter to RHP Mike Paredes. Coming in on short notice, the 21-year-old pitched 4 1/3 of perfect baseball, allowing no walks or hits while striking out two. Paredes (W, 3-2) has been stellar all season for the Mussels and now touts an impressive 2.29 ERA and 0.86 WHIP through 13 appearances. Following Paredes' showcase, Josh Wilson (H, 3) and Niklas Rimmel combined for two stellar innings to finish the game, each allowing only one hit. Fort Myers scored their first run in the opening frame when Noah Cardenas grounded into a double play with two men on that allowed Jake Rucker to score. In the fourth inning, Mikey Perez laced his 16th double of the season to left field. Perez would then advance to third on a wild pitch and scored on a failed pick-off attempt to give Fort Myers its second and final run. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Jake Cave (St. Paul)- 2-4, HR, R, RBI, K Pitcher of the Day: Mike Paredes (Fort Myers)- 4.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-1, BB #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-3 BB #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, K #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 0.2 IP, 2 K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-3, K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, K TOMORROW'S STARTERS Mondays are off for the Minor Leaguers! Be sure to check out our Minor League Week in Review tomorrow! View full article
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