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  1. As injuries mount and roster churn happens for the Minnesota Twins, 2021 minor league hitter of the year, Jose Miranda, sees himself eyeing a major league debut. After one of the most offensively dominant seasons in minor league history, what is there to expect at the next level. Miguel Sano is headed to the injured list with a knee issue following his walk-off hit the other night, and Kyle Garlick may land there with a calf strain. Having Sano out has meant that Luis Arraez needed to learn first base on the fly, and no backup exists on Minnesota’s roster. This year, Alex Kirilloff was expected to rotate with the hulking slugger, but he’s currently dealing with a wrist ailment. Enter Jose Miranda. Having primarily played third base throughout his professional career, it’s evident that Minnesota sees Miranda’s versatility as a bonus and can get him into the lineup in multiple different ways. He has played second base, some corner outfield, and a significant amount at first base. You’d be hard-pressed to suggest he’s a Gold Glove candidate anywhere, but he’s a starting option at any of the positions he plays on the dirt. Needing to spell Arraez, considering his lack of significant defensive value, it may be prudent to find Miranda a spot as Rocco Baldelli juggles his players dealing with differing maladies. What can you expect when he’s ultimately called up to the big leagues from a guy who laid waste to the competition a season ago? Miranda was a second-round pick for Minnesota back in 2016. He posted an .824 OPS with Elizabethton as a 17-year-old but then never again topped a .736 OPS until 2021. As a 23-year-old last season, he needed less than 50 games at Double-A to prove he was too advanced for the level. Making it to Triple-A St. Paul last season, he became the main act for a Saints team in their debut year as a Twins affiliate. Across 80 games, he slashed .343/.397/.563 and ripped a whopping 30 total homers. Striking out just 74 times while drawing 42 walks, he’s hardly a slugger that sells out for power. Fast forward to 2022, and Miranda was given plenty of opportunities to showcase his skills this spring. Josh Donaldson was originally going to block him at the hot corner, and then the trade for Gio Urshela accomplished the same thing. Sano is entrenched in the big leagues, so first base was taken, and Jorge Polanco isn’t going anywhere at second. It would take injury to provide an opportunity, and that door has now opened. Through 21 games with St. Paul this season, Miranda has overcome a slow start. A .737 OPS is hardly indicative of the talent that emerged last season, but what he’s done lately will draw attention. Miranda has hits in 10 of his last 11 games, and his last 57 plate appearances have resulted in a .300/.351/.520 slash line. Last week, he blasted his second homer of the season, and it was crushed to deep left-center at CHS Field. While the weather has yet to do so, Miranda is heating up. Starting last season in Kansas, the change to an odd Minnesota spring hasn’t been helpful at all. It doesn’t appear the process has altered, though, as a 14/5 K/BB is still indicative of a guy picking his spots. Should the recent surge provide any substantial evidence, it’s time to call mastery at the highest minor league level a thing. When graduating to Minnesota, there should be plenty of promise. He can play all over the diamond but is a more natural fit at first base than Arraez. He’s a better hitter than Sano but lacks the same level of power. He will put baseballs in the seats, but will do so without the prototypical slugger plan of attack. He’s an adequate defender, and that gives him a leg up on his internal competition for both spots on the right side of the infield. I don’t know that Miranda is an immediate .800 OPS player at the next level given his slow burn on the farm, but if 2021 and beyond are any indication, he should be here to stay when called upon. This is a regular that could have a quicker path to contribution than that of Urshela, but a player in that vein would be a great addition for a team needing depth. We are on the precipice of a long-term run from another prospect out of Puerto Rico, and following in the footsteps of Jose Berrios or Eddie Rosario would be a welcomed reality. View full article
  2. The Twins stretched their winning streak to seven games and then took a short break before returning to business with back-to-back blowouts in Tampa to close out the week. Let's get caught up with the hottest team in baseball! Last Week's Game Results: Game 17 | MIN 5, DET 4: Wild Final Play Extends Win Streak to 5 Game 18 | MIN 5, DET 0: Twins Win Again in Another Great Ryan Start Game 19 | MIN 7, DET 1: Twins Sweep, Correa Comes Up Clutch Game 20 | TB 6, MIN 1: Bundy Roughed Up Early, Win Streak Over Game 21 | MIN 9, TB 1: Garlick Powers Twins to Lopsided Win Game 22 | MIN 9, TB 3: Winder Dominates, Twins Take Series Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 4/25 through Sun, 5/1 *** Record Last Week: 5-1 (Overall: 13-9) Run Differential Last Week: +21 (Overall: +23) Standing: 1st Place in AL Central (3.0 GA) NEWS & NOTES While on his way to another strong outing on Thursday, with one run allowed through 3 ⅔ against Detroit, Bailey Ober was bothered by discomfort in his groin. He exited and headed to the injured list with what is hopefully a minor groin strain. Cole Sands was called up to replace him on the roster and provide length in the bullpen, and debuted on Sunday. Outside of that, it was a week mostly filled with relatively minor injuries and precautionary sittings. Gary Sánchez missed a few games due to soreness, but returned to action with no apparent issues. Byron Buxton was scratched on Saturday after suffering a hand contusion on an HBP Friday night. He returned to the lineup on Sunday and homered. Miguel Sanó played only two games due to knee soreness that first emerged on Tuesday and flared up on Saturday. He was placed on IL after Sunday's game and replaced on the roster by José Godoy. Meanwhile, they'll also need to soon find room for Alex Kirilloff and Sonny Gray, who are both on the comeback trail in the minors. HIGHLIGHTS I'm running out of superlatives for Joe Ryan. Or should I say, Joe Cool? Joe-lan Ryan? What the rookie is doing on the mound has been absolutely incredible for someone of his age and experience level. Calm, cool and collected, he just keeps mowing down opposing lineups. Most recently he matched a career-high with seven innings of shutout, one-hit ball against the Tigers, striking out nine with one walk as the Twins cruised to a 5-0 victory. Ryan continues to unleash a more balanced mix with heavier usage of the slider, to outstanding effect with opponents batting .185 and slugging .239 against the pitch. Ryan was very pleased to get some support in that outing from Carlos Correa, who is finally starting to put a slow start behind him. His defense has consistently been stellar but Correa is now beginning to wake up at the plate, with a three-hit, three-RBI game on Thursday snapping the shortstop out of a 4-for-26 slump. He carried his breakout over into the weekend series at Tampa, where he notched seven hits in 13 at-bats with a pair of RBIs and four runs scored. Joining him in the offensive awakening was Max Kepler, who followed up his strong series against the White Sox with a power display against Detroit, launching three homers and a double with five RBIs to key the lineup. Those three games raised his slugging percentage from .300 to .475, and by week's end it was all the way up to .514 following another strong series at Tropicana (3-for-9, HR, 2B, 4 RBI). Another development that simply must be highlighted is the rapid emergence of Griffin Jax in the bullpen. This was always seen as a hopeful possibility, but the weaponization of Jax as a reliever has occurred much more quickly and smoothly than anyone could've expected. Jax pitched twice in the Detroit series, tossing four scoreless innings with four strikeouts. In five relief appearances he has a 2.00 ERA and 11-to-3 K/BB ratio and 16% swinging strike rate. The elevation of his stuff in shorter stints has made a night-and-day difference. Here's a side-by-side look at his Statcast measurables from last year (as a starter) compared to this year. The increases in whiff rate and chase rate are staggering. Some other noteworthy performances from an absolutely outstanding week for the Twins: Josh Winder dazzled in his first major-league start on Sunday. Handed a big early lead, the rookie was workmanlike as he rattled off six shutout innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. He was efficient and in command while mixing a heavy dose of sharp sliders and curveballs with a fastball that averaged 95 MPH. Winder looks phenomenal. Minnesota's new bullpen kingpin made only one appearance on the week, but it was a brilliant one for Jhoan Duran: two perfect innings with three strikeouts in Saturday's blowout win over the Rays. Duran now has an 18-to-2 K/BB ratio through 11 MLB innings. Chris Paddack continued to show why the Twins targeted him in a pristine outing on Tuesday against Detroit, hurling 5 ⅔ innings of one-run ball to set the stage for a wild walk-off win. Since struggling in his Twins debut against the Dodgers, Paddack has allowed three runs in 10.2 IP with a 10-to-1 K/BB ratio. Drawing four starts in six games against a lefty-heavy slate, Kyle Garlick showed why he's on the roster and why he gets slotted into the heart of the order against southpaws. He went 3-or-8 with three walks and made all of those hits count, including a pair of home runs against a dealing Shane McClanahan on Saturday. Unfortunately, he came out of Sunday's contest with right calf soreness and may be headed to the shelf. LOWLIGHTS Is the clock striking midnight on Caleb Thielbar's cinderella story? He struggled in another outing against Detroit on Tuesday, charged with two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. It was the third time in seven appearances Thielbar allowed a crooked number, which is not what you like to see from a one-inning reliever. Even after rebounding with a scoreless frame on Saturday, his ERA sits at 12.79 on the season. Thielbar's stuff has looked okay, and it's evident some bad luck has been at play (for example, Emilio Pagán coming in and immediately giving up a home run to score both runners Thielbar put aboard). Some patience is warranted based on his performance in 2020 and '21. But still: we're talking about a 35-year-old who was out of the majors for four years prior. And roster spots (both 26-man and 40-man) are at a premium for the team right now. It was otherwise difficult to find many bad performances in such a stellar week of baseball for the Twins. Dylan Bundy hit a speed bump with six earned runs allowed on Friday, but still delivered six innings. A few hitters had quiet runs, but obviously not enough to slow down the offense much overall. The Twins are playing clean, consistent baseball, letting their opponents make the mistakes and capitalizing when that happens. Rebounding after a beatdown in the Rays opener to outscore Tampa 18-4 on Saturday and Sunday was a remarkable showing of resilience. The first month of this 2022 season has felt like a polar opposite of 2021. TRENDING STORYLINE It's a nice problem to have, especially compared to last year, but the Twins are quickly running into a shortage of roster spots for all the players they'd like to have around. MLB teams must reduce their rosters from 28 to 26 on Monday, and the Twins were already facing a coming crunch with Gray and Kirilloff on their way back from IL. Ober seemingly won't be out long so they also need to plan around his return. There's another factor coming into play too: a scorching hot Royce Lewis at Triple-A. He went 7-for-16 last week with a home run, two doubles, two steals, six walks and only three strikeouts. Lewis is absolutely tearing it up in his first real action for more than two years, with a .320/.441/.587 slash line through 21 games in St. Paul. Lewis stated before the season his intention to prove himself ready for the big leagues, and he's doing exactly that. Obviously there is no short-term opening at shortstop for the Twins, but you wonder if they'll start mixing in some looks at other positions to create a path for him. Showing sharpness at third base or in the outfield corners open one up. This idea is not so much fanciful as it is practical – Lewis is already on the 40-man roster and the Twins could potentially use a right-handed bat with both Garlick and Sanó hurting. (Notably, José Miranda would also be a fit...) LOOKING AHEAD With the Rays out of the way, the Twins now rolling into what should – theoretically – be one of their softest stretches of the year. The Orioles and Athletics are barely trying this year so the coming week represents a chance to fatten up before things get considerably tougher with the Astros and Guardians following on the schedule. On Monday, Paddack is scheduled to face off against old friend Tyler Wells in Baltimore. MONDAY, 5/2: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Chris Paddack v. RHP Tyler Wells TUESDAY, 5/3: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Joe Ryan v. LHP Bruce Zimmermann WEDNESDAY, 5/4: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Dylan Bundy v. RHP Kyle Bradish THURSDAY, 5/5: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Chris Archer v. RHP Spenser Watkins FRIDAY, 5/6: ATHLETICS @ TWINS – LHP Cole Irvin v. RHP Josh Winder SATURDAY, 5/7: ATHLETICS @ TWINS – RHP James Kaprielian v. RHP Chris Paddack SUNDAY, 5/8: ATHLETICS @ TWINS – RHP Daulton Jefferies v. RHP Joe Ryan View full article
  3. Miguel Sano is headed to the injured list with a knee issue following his walk-off hit the other night, and Kyle Garlick may land there with a calf strain. Having Sano out has meant that Luis Arraez needed to learn first base on the fly, and no backup exists on Minnesota’s roster. This year, Alex Kirilloff was expected to rotate with the hulking slugger, but he’s currently dealing with a wrist ailment. Enter Jose Miranda. Having primarily played third base throughout his professional career, it’s evident that Minnesota sees Miranda’s versatility as a bonus and can get him into the lineup in multiple different ways. He has played second base, some corner outfield, and a significant amount at first base. You’d be hard-pressed to suggest he’s a Gold Glove candidate anywhere, but he’s a starting option at any of the positions he plays on the dirt. Needing to spell Arraez, considering his lack of significant defensive value, it may be prudent to find Miranda a spot as Rocco Baldelli juggles his players dealing with differing maladies. What can you expect when he’s ultimately called up to the big leagues from a guy who laid waste to the competition a season ago? Miranda was a second-round pick for Minnesota back in 2016. He posted an .824 OPS with Elizabethton as a 17-year-old but then never again topped a .736 OPS until 2021. As a 23-year-old last season, he needed less than 50 games at Double-A to prove he was too advanced for the level. Making it to Triple-A St. Paul last season, he became the main act for a Saints team in their debut year as a Twins affiliate. Across 80 games, he slashed .343/.397/.563 and ripped a whopping 30 total homers. Striking out just 74 times while drawing 42 walks, he’s hardly a slugger that sells out for power. Fast forward to 2022, and Miranda was given plenty of opportunities to showcase his skills this spring. Josh Donaldson was originally going to block him at the hot corner, and then the trade for Gio Urshela accomplished the same thing. Sano is entrenched in the big leagues, so first base was taken, and Jorge Polanco isn’t going anywhere at second. It would take injury to provide an opportunity, and that door has now opened. Through 21 games with St. Paul this season, Miranda has overcome a slow start. A .737 OPS is hardly indicative of the talent that emerged last season, but what he’s done lately will draw attention. Miranda has hits in 10 of his last 11 games, and his last 57 plate appearances have resulted in a .300/.351/.520 slash line. Last week, he blasted his second homer of the season, and it was crushed to deep left-center at CHS Field. While the weather has yet to do so, Miranda is heating up. Starting last season in Kansas, the change to an odd Minnesota spring hasn’t been helpful at all. It doesn’t appear the process has altered, though, as a 14/5 K/BB is still indicative of a guy picking his spots. Should the recent surge provide any substantial evidence, it’s time to call mastery at the highest minor league level a thing. When graduating to Minnesota, there should be plenty of promise. He can play all over the diamond but is a more natural fit at first base than Arraez. He’s a better hitter than Sano but lacks the same level of power. He will put baseballs in the seats, but will do so without the prototypical slugger plan of attack. He’s an adequate defender, and that gives him a leg up on his internal competition for both spots on the right side of the infield. I don’t know that Miranda is an immediate .800 OPS player at the next level given his slow burn on the farm, but if 2021 and beyond are any indication, he should be here to stay when called upon. This is a regular that could have a quicker path to contribution than that of Urshela, but a player in that vein would be a great addition for a team needing depth. We are on the precipice of a long-term run from another prospect out of Puerto Rico, and following in the footsteps of Jose Berrios or Eddie Rosario would be a welcomed reality.
  4. Last Week's Game Results: Game 17 | MIN 5, DET 4: Wild Final Play Extends Win Streak to 5 Game 18 | MIN 5, DET 0: Twins Win Again in Another Great Ryan Start Game 19 | MIN 7, DET 1: Twins Sweep, Correa Comes Up Clutch Game 20 | TB 6, MIN 1: Bundy Roughed Up Early, Win Streak Over Game 21 | MIN 9, TB 1: Garlick Powers Twins to Lopsided Win Game 22 | MIN 9, TB 3: Winder Dominates, Twins Take Series Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 4/25 through Sun, 5/1 *** Record Last Week: 5-1 (Overall: 13-9) Run Differential Last Week: +21 (Overall: +23) Standing: 1st Place in AL Central (3.0 GA) NEWS & NOTES While on his way to another strong outing on Thursday, with one run allowed through 3 ⅔ against Detroit, Bailey Ober was bothered by discomfort in his groin. He exited and headed to the injured list with what is hopefully a minor groin strain. Cole Sands was called up to replace him on the roster and provide length in the bullpen, and debuted on Sunday. Outside of that, it was a week mostly filled with relatively minor injuries and precautionary sittings. Gary Sánchez missed a few games due to soreness, but returned to action with no apparent issues. Byron Buxton was scratched on Saturday after suffering a hand contusion on an HBP Friday night. He returned to the lineup on Sunday and homered. Miguel Sanó played only two games due to knee soreness that first emerged on Tuesday and flared up on Saturday. He was placed on IL after Sunday's game and replaced on the roster by José Godoy. Meanwhile, they'll also need to soon find room for Alex Kirilloff and Sonny Gray, who are both on the comeback trail in the minors. HIGHLIGHTS I'm running out of superlatives for Joe Ryan. Or should I say, Joe Cool? Joe-lan Ryan? What the rookie is doing on the mound has been absolutely incredible for someone of his age and experience level. Calm, cool and collected, he just keeps mowing down opposing lineups. Most recently he matched a career-high with seven innings of shutout, one-hit ball against the Tigers, striking out nine with one walk as the Twins cruised to a 5-0 victory. Ryan continues to unleash a more balanced mix with heavier usage of the slider, to outstanding effect with opponents batting .185 and slugging .239 against the pitch. Ryan was very pleased to get some support in that outing from Carlos Correa, who is finally starting to put a slow start behind him. His defense has consistently been stellar but Correa is now beginning to wake up at the plate, with a three-hit, three-RBI game on Thursday snapping the shortstop out of a 4-for-26 slump. He carried his breakout over into the weekend series at Tampa, where he notched seven hits in 13 at-bats with a pair of RBIs and four runs scored. Joining him in the offensive awakening was Max Kepler, who followed up his strong series against the White Sox with a power display against Detroit, launching three homers and a double with five RBIs to key the lineup. Those three games raised his slugging percentage from .300 to .475, and by week's end it was all the way up to .514 following another strong series at Tropicana (3-for-9, HR, 2B, 4 RBI). Another development that simply must be highlighted is the rapid emergence of Griffin Jax in the bullpen. This was always seen as a hopeful possibility, but the weaponization of Jax as a reliever has occurred much more quickly and smoothly than anyone could've expected. Jax pitched twice in the Detroit series, tossing four scoreless innings with four strikeouts. In five relief appearances he has a 2.00 ERA and 11-to-3 K/BB ratio and 16% swinging strike rate. The elevation of his stuff in shorter stints has made a night-and-day difference. Here's a side-by-side look at his Statcast measurables from last year (as a starter) compared to this year. The increases in whiff rate and chase rate are staggering. Some other noteworthy performances from an absolutely outstanding week for the Twins: Josh Winder dazzled in his first major-league start on Sunday. Handed a big early lead, the rookie was workmanlike as he rattled off six shutout innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. He was efficient and in command while mixing a heavy dose of sharp sliders and curveballs with a fastball that averaged 95 MPH. Winder looks phenomenal. Minnesota's new bullpen kingpin made only one appearance on the week, but it was a brilliant one for Jhoan Duran: two perfect innings with three strikeouts in Saturday's blowout win over the Rays. Duran now has an 18-to-2 K/BB ratio through 11 MLB innings. Chris Paddack continued to show why the Twins targeted him in a pristine outing on Tuesday against Detroit, hurling 5 ⅔ innings of one-run ball to set the stage for a wild walk-off win. Since struggling in his Twins debut against the Dodgers, Paddack has allowed three runs in 10.2 IP with a 10-to-1 K/BB ratio. Drawing four starts in six games against a lefty-heavy slate, Kyle Garlick showed why he's on the roster and why he gets slotted into the heart of the order against southpaws. He went 3-or-8 with three walks and made all of those hits count, including a pair of home runs against a dealing Shane McClanahan on Saturday. Unfortunately, he came out of Sunday's contest with right calf soreness and may be headed to the shelf. LOWLIGHTS Is the clock striking midnight on Caleb Thielbar's cinderella story? He struggled in another outing against Detroit on Tuesday, charged with two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. It was the third time in seven appearances Thielbar allowed a crooked number, which is not what you like to see from a one-inning reliever. Even after rebounding with a scoreless frame on Saturday, his ERA sits at 12.79 on the season. Thielbar's stuff has looked okay, and it's evident some bad luck has been at play (for example, Emilio Pagán coming in and immediately giving up a home run to score both runners Thielbar put aboard). Some patience is warranted based on his performance in 2020 and '21. But still: we're talking about a 35-year-old who was out of the majors for four years prior. And roster spots (both 26-man and 40-man) are at a premium for the team right now. It was otherwise difficult to find many bad performances in such a stellar week of baseball for the Twins. Dylan Bundy hit a speed bump with six earned runs allowed on Friday, but still delivered six innings. A few hitters had quiet runs, but obviously not enough to slow down the offense much overall. The Twins are playing clean, consistent baseball, letting their opponents make the mistakes and capitalizing when that happens. Rebounding after a beatdown in the Rays opener to outscore Tampa 18-4 on Saturday and Sunday was a remarkable showing of resilience. The first month of this 2022 season has felt like a polar opposite of 2021. TRENDING STORYLINE It's a nice problem to have, especially compared to last year, but the Twins are quickly running into a shortage of roster spots for all the players they'd like to have around. MLB teams must reduce their rosters from 28 to 26 on Monday, and the Twins were already facing a coming crunch with Gray and Kirilloff on their way back from IL. Ober seemingly won't be out long so they also need to plan around his return. There's another factor coming into play too: a scorching hot Royce Lewis at Triple-A. He went 7-for-16 last week with a home run, two doubles, two steals, six walks and only three strikeouts. Lewis is absolutely tearing it up in his first real action for more than two years, with a .320/.441/.587 slash line through 21 games in St. Paul. Lewis stated before the season his intention to prove himself ready for the big leagues, and he's doing exactly that. Obviously there is no short-term opening at shortstop for the Twins, but you wonder if they'll start mixing in some looks at other positions to create a path for him. Showing sharpness at third base or in the outfield corners open one up. This idea is not so much fanciful as it is practical – Lewis is already on the 40-man roster and the Twins could potentially use a right-handed bat with both Garlick and Sanó hurting. (Notably, José Miranda would also be a fit...) LOOKING AHEAD With the Rays out of the way, the Twins now rolling into what should – theoretically – be one of their softest stretches of the year. The Orioles and Athletics are barely trying this year so the coming week represents a chance to fatten up before things get considerably tougher with the Astros and Guardians following on the schedule. On Monday, Paddack is scheduled to face off against old friend Tyler Wells in Baltimore. MONDAY, 5/2: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Chris Paddack v. RHP Tyler Wells TUESDAY, 5/3: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Joe Ryan v. LHP Bruce Zimmermann WEDNESDAY, 5/4: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Dylan Bundy v. RHP Kyle Bradish THURSDAY, 5/5: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Chris Archer v. RHP Spenser Watkins FRIDAY, 5/6: ATHLETICS @ TWINS – LHP Cole Irvin v. RHP Josh Winder SATURDAY, 5/7: ATHLETICS @ TWINS – RHP James Kaprielian v. RHP Chris Paddack SUNDAY, 5/8: ATHLETICS @ TWINS – RHP Daulton Jefferies v. RHP Joe Ryan
  5. The Twins seven-game winning streak came to an end in Tampa Bay on Friday night as Dylan Bundy gave up six runs in the first inning and the offense just couldn’t seem to battle back. Chris Archer made his return to Tropicana Field as a Minnesota Twin. Archer, the bullpen, and the lineup all came to play and started a new winning streak. Box Score SP: Chris Archer: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (79 pitches, 46 strikes (58.2%)) Home Runs: Kyle Garlick 2 (3), Max Kepler (5) Top 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (.316), Gilbert Celestino (.73), Carlos Correa (.60) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Chris Archer Returns to Tampa Bay Chris Archer was acquired by the Twins from Tampa Bay on March 28 of this season, Saturday, he pitched against the team that he spent eight seasons with. While the asset for the Twins was knowing that Archer knows what to throw to his former teammates, the Rays also know what he will throw, which caught up to the pitcher in the bottom of the second when Taylor Walls hit a home run into right-center field off Archer’s slider in the second inning but is the only run that he gave up during his return to Tropicana. In Archer’s first start against his former team, the Rays lineup made him work for every pitch that was thrown, but he completed four innings with the help of his defense and certainly calm demeanor. Rocco Baldelli has been limiting his pitches to around 60 during his first three games this season. The Twins are easing Archer into the season after spending most of 2021 injured with right forearm tenderness. Archer’s confidence continued to grow, allowing him to throw a season-high of 79 pitches. He managed to work through four innings and only allowed two hits and one solo-home run before being relieved by Cody Stashak. The Bullpen did an amazing job of going five scoreless innings holding Tampa Bay to just one run for this game. Last Minute Roster Changes Assist in Game Win The further the Twins have gone into April, the more injuries have popped up along the way. This series both Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton missed starting different games due to injuries. In their absence, other players have been stepping up figuratively and literally to get their chance at staying on the roster. Trevor Larnach replaced Buxton today in the lineup. Buxton was a late scratch for today’s game after he received a contusion from being hit in the hand during the game Friday. Larnach’s hitting against lefties has continued to improve and in his first at-bat, he walked, making McClannahan work. The Twins kept Larnach in the line-up even after the McClannahan had retired, allowing him to help the Twins continue to work towards the win, getting a double in the top of the seventh scoring Celestino giving the Twins a little padding with a 4-1 lead. Larnach’s performance has continued to improve substantially over the past two weeks as he puts in the work to show why he should stay after they reduce the roster in May. Sano is back in the lineup after missing games with a sore knee. Batting eighth in the lineup, he wasn’t able to find his stride in the game and struck out with each at-bat. Frustrating, for not only Sano, but for the team as well. Sano typically thrives at Tropicana Field with hits and RBIs, making it one of his more successful parks to play in, but just couldn’t seem to get anything going. Bailey Ober was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday and brought up Cole Sands to take his place. Sands most likely will be making his MLB debut with the team after the Rays series when they travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles. Kyle Garlick was the MVP of the game today as he smashed two home runs, a solo homer in the first inning, and a two-run shot in the sixth inning to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. Garlick had his first career multi-home run game of his career today and after his second home run, the Rays removed McClannahan bringing out JP Feyereisen to finish out the inning. Kyle Garlick was taken out after hitting his second home run. He returned to the dugout and the Twins brought in Max Kepler for defensive purposes, and because they would be facing right-handed pitchers the rest of the game. Kepler wasted no time getting in on the action hitting a single in his first at-bat and joining the player he replaced by hitting a home run deep to right-centerfield. Not Finished YET The Twins used the ninth inning to give Twins fans a show, getting seven hits and four runs before leaving the bases loaded. The Twins have been on a hot streak lately winning eight of their last nine decisions and potentially could close out this series with a win. What’s Next? The Twins have a get-away day game tomorrow to complete the series with the Rays before heading to the east coast for a four-game series against the Orioles at historic Camden Yards. Pitching matchups for tomorrow: Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 5.00) vs Josh Flemming LHP (2-2) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  6. Kyle Garlick hit two home runs off lefty Shane McClanahan as the Twins picked up a victory over the Rays. Chris Archer returned to the Trop and Jhoan Duran helped with an impressive day for the bullpen. Also featured in this video are Royce lewis, Matt Wallner, Alex Isola, Sawyer Gipson-Long and more.
  7. Kyle Garlick hit two home runs off lefty Shane McClanahan as the Twins picked up a victory over the Rays. Chris Archer returned to the Trop and Jhoan Duran helped with an impressive day for the bullpen. Also featured in this video are Royce lewis, Matt Wallner, Alex Isola, Sawyer Gipson-Long and more. View full video
  8. Box Score SP: Chris Archer: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (79 pitches, 46 strikes (58.2%)) Home Runs: Kyle Garlick 2 (3), Max Kepler (5) Top 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (.316), Gilbert Celestino (.73), Carlos Correa (.60) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Chris Archer Returns to Tampa Bay Chris Archer was acquired by the Twins from Tampa Bay on March 28 of this season, Saturday, he pitched against the team that he spent eight seasons with. While the asset for the Twins was knowing that Archer knows what to throw to his former teammates, the Rays also know what he will throw, which caught up to the pitcher in the bottom of the second when Taylor Walls hit a home run into right-center field off Archer’s slider in the second inning but is the only run that he gave up during his return to Tropicana. In Archer’s first start against his former team, the Rays lineup made him work for every pitch that was thrown, but he completed four innings with the help of his defense and certainly calm demeanor. Rocco Baldelli has been limiting his pitches to around 60 during his first three games this season. The Twins are easing Archer into the season after spending most of 2021 injured with right forearm tenderness. Archer’s confidence continued to grow, allowing him to throw a season-high of 79 pitches. He managed to work through four innings and only allowed two hits and one solo-home run before being relieved by Cody Stashak. The Bullpen did an amazing job of going five scoreless innings holding Tampa Bay to just one run for this game. Last Minute Roster Changes Assist in Game Win The further the Twins have gone into April, the more injuries have popped up along the way. This series both Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton missed starting different games due to injuries. In their absence, other players have been stepping up figuratively and literally to get their chance at staying on the roster. Trevor Larnach replaced Buxton today in the lineup. Buxton was a late scratch for today’s game after he received a contusion from being hit in the hand during the game Friday. Larnach’s hitting against lefties has continued to improve and in his first at-bat, he walked, making McClannahan work. The Twins kept Larnach in the line-up even after the McClannahan had retired, allowing him to help the Twins continue to work towards the win, getting a double in the top of the seventh scoring Celestino giving the Twins a little padding with a 4-1 lead. Larnach’s performance has continued to improve substantially over the past two weeks as he puts in the work to show why he should stay after they reduce the roster in May. Sano is back in the lineup after missing games with a sore knee. Batting eighth in the lineup, he wasn’t able to find his stride in the game and struck out with each at-bat. Frustrating, for not only Sano, but for the team as well. Sano typically thrives at Tropicana Field with hits and RBIs, making it one of his more successful parks to play in, but just couldn’t seem to get anything going. Bailey Ober was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday and brought up Cole Sands to take his place. Sands most likely will be making his MLB debut with the team after the Rays series when they travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles. Kyle Garlick was the MVP of the game today as he smashed two home runs, a solo homer in the first inning, and a two-run shot in the sixth inning to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. Garlick had his first career multi-home run game of his career today and after his second home run, the Rays removed McClannahan bringing out JP Feyereisen to finish out the inning. Kyle Garlick was taken out after hitting his second home run. He returned to the dugout and the Twins brought in Max Kepler for defensive purposes, and because they would be facing right-handed pitchers the rest of the game. Kepler wasted no time getting in on the action hitting a single in his first at-bat and joining the player he replaced by hitting a home run deep to right-centerfield. Not Finished YET The Twins used the ninth inning to give Twins fans a show, getting seven hits and four runs before leaving the bases loaded. The Twins have been on a hot streak lately winning eight of their last nine decisions and potentially could close out this series with a win. What’s Next? The Twins have a get-away day game tomorrow to complete the series with the Rays before heading to the east coast for a four-game series against the Orioles at historic Camden Yards. Pitching matchups for tomorrow: Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 5.00) vs Josh Flemming LHP (2-2) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  9. Roster sizes for all MLB teams will be shrinking by two spots come May 2nd. Teams will be limited to 26 players until September. While the Twins have taken advantage of these spots for more pitchers in April, there are hitters on the Twins bench that may be impacted by roster decisions next Monday. The Twins lineup is stacked on paper. Their performance is off to a cold start in April. Even with the slow start from hitters such as Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco, their performances will not cost them a roster spot. The Twins hitters most likely to be sent down are the outfielders on the active roster not named Byron Buxton or Max Kepler. With Alex Kirilloff also entering a rehab assignment with the Saints this week, his return to the Twins roster will also cause the clearance of a roster spot. If one outfielder on the Twins' current roster would benefit from being a 'victim' of the roster downsizing next week, it's Gilberto Celestino. The 23-year-old has been used primarily as a pinch runner and defensive replacement in his ten games with the Twins this season. He has made just three starts, including last night's game against the Tigers. Celestino has only managed one hit in 12 at-bats and one walk. During his time with the Twins last season, Celestino has been on the Twins roster for his running and defensive skills but has struggled to adjust to hitting against major-league arms. Celestino certainly has the talent to be an everyday outfielder or even fourth outfielder for the Twins someday. He is showing he still needs regular playing time at St. Paul to adjust to Major League pitching, and Celestino would be the Twins hitter who would benefit the most from these upcoming roster cuts. In addition to Celestino, Trevor Larnach could benefit from the roster downsizing, especially if Kirilloff returns to the Twins by May 2nd. Larnach has shown signs of improvement at the plate in the 12 games he has played for the Twins this year. Larnach and Kirilloff are still far from playing their 100th career game, and the Twins front office seems to lean toward Kirilloff being the everyday left fielder for the time being. Kyle Garlick is the last outfielder on the Twins roster that could be sent back down to St. Paul following next Monday. The Twins' 30-year-old backup outfielder has only managed two hits in 15 at-bats this season but has been a pinch hitter in crucial spots against left-handed pitching. Garlick certainly looks to be the safest in keeping a roster spot with the Twins when the rosters shrink, but if he continues a cold streak at the plate, will that cost him a trip back down to St. Paul? Jose Godoy is the last hitter on this list, likely sent down when the roster size goes down from 28 to 26. Godoy does not have many of the same questions as Celestino, Larnach, or Garlick. Yes, he would benefit from more consistent playing time with the Saints. However, the main question that hangs over Godoy staying with the Twins after May 2nd is if the front office wants to have three catchers on the roster and not two. With Gary Sanchez day-to-day and emergency catcher Jhon Romero on the ten-day injured list, Godoy's spot on the Twins roster looks to remain for the time being. Before the Twins called him up for his season debut on Sunday, Godoy had caught four games for the Saints, hitting .133 with the team. The Twins are currently carrying 14 pitchers and will likely keep it that way until they need to bring the number of pitchers on their roster down to 13. That date changed on Monday when it was announced that teams will be able to keep 14 pitchers on their 26-man roster until May 29th when they can only have 13 pitchers on the 26-man roster. Celestino is the hitter that makes the most sense to be sent back down out of these four. Celestino has talent that still needs to see consistent playing time, and with how the Twins' everyday lineup currently pans out, he won't be seeing that playing time. Check back later when we look at which pitchers might be candidates to head to St. Paul. Let us know which hitters you would send down and why in the COMMENTS below. View full article
  10. The Twins lineup is stacked on paper. Their performance is off to a cold start in April. Even with the slow start from hitters such as Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco, their performances will not cost them a roster spot. The Twins hitters most likely to be sent down are the outfielders on the active roster not named Byron Buxton or Max Kepler. With Alex Kirilloff also entering a rehab assignment with the Saints this week, his return to the Twins roster will also cause the clearance of a roster spot. If one outfielder on the Twins' current roster would benefit from being a 'victim' of the roster downsizing next week, it's Gilberto Celestino. The 23-year-old has been used primarily as a pinch runner and defensive replacement in his ten games with the Twins this season. He has made just three starts, including last night's game against the Tigers. Celestino has only managed one hit in 12 at-bats and one walk. During his time with the Twins last season, Celestino has been on the Twins roster for his running and defensive skills but has struggled to adjust to hitting against major-league arms. Celestino certainly has the talent to be an everyday outfielder or even fourth outfielder for the Twins someday. He is showing he still needs regular playing time at St. Paul to adjust to Major League pitching, and Celestino would be the Twins hitter who would benefit the most from these upcoming roster cuts. In addition to Celestino, Trevor Larnach could benefit from the roster downsizing, especially if Kirilloff returns to the Twins by May 2nd. Larnach has shown signs of improvement at the plate in the 12 games he has played for the Twins this year. Larnach and Kirilloff are still far from playing their 100th career game, and the Twins front office seems to lean toward Kirilloff being the everyday left fielder for the time being. Kyle Garlick is the last outfielder on the Twins roster that could be sent back down to St. Paul following next Monday. The Twins' 30-year-old backup outfielder has only managed two hits in 15 at-bats this season but has been a pinch hitter in crucial spots against left-handed pitching. Garlick certainly looks to be the safest in keeping a roster spot with the Twins when the rosters shrink, but if he continues a cold streak at the plate, will that cost him a trip back down to St. Paul? Jose Godoy is the last hitter on this list, likely sent down when the roster size goes down from 28 to 26. Godoy does not have many of the same questions as Celestino, Larnach, or Garlick. Yes, he would benefit from more consistent playing time with the Saints. However, the main question that hangs over Godoy staying with the Twins after May 2nd is if the front office wants to have three catchers on the roster and not two. With Gary Sanchez day-to-day and emergency catcher Jhon Romero on the ten-day injured list, Godoy's spot on the Twins roster looks to remain for the time being. Before the Twins called him up for his season debut on Sunday, Godoy had caught four games for the Saints, hitting .133 with the team. The Twins are currently carrying 14 pitchers and will likely keep it that way until they need to bring the number of pitchers on their roster down to 13. That date changed on Monday when it was announced that teams will be able to keep 14 pitchers on their 26-man roster until May 29th when they can only have 13 pitchers on the 26-man roster. Celestino is the hitter that makes the most sense to be sent back down out of these four. Celestino has talent that still needs to see consistent playing time, and with how the Twins' everyday lineup currently pans out, he won't be seeing that playing time. Check back later when we look at which pitchers might be candidates to head to St. Paul. Let us know which hitters you would send down and why in the COMMENTS below.
  11. The Twins lost to Kansas City, 4-3 on Tuesday night. After a hot start, the offense went quiet in the late innings and a Tyler Duffey implosion allowed the Royals a come-from-behind win. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Archer 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO Homeruns: None Bottom WPA: Duffey -.305, Jeffers -.204, Polanco -.177 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) On Tuesday night, the Twins opened up a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. This is the first series against an AL Central opponent in the young season and offers an opportunity to see Bobby Witt Jr. for the first time. With Byron Buxton not yet ready to return to the lineup, much of the pregame banter ahead of the opening game of the series surrounded Luis Arraez and his first career start at first base. Shifting to first base allows the Twins a respite from Miguel Sano’s cold bat while navigating Arraez’s defensive struggles at third base. It also marked the highest Nick Gordon has hit in a lineup at the major league level. The Twins almost struck early, facing Carlos Hernandez, who came in with an ERA north of 8.00. Jorge Polanco reached on a walk and made second base on a Carlos Correa groundout. Max Kepler then flew out to Whit Merrifield on the edge of the warning track on a ball that seemed destined to be a home run before it hung up in the wind. Kepler’s 107 mph fly ball had an xBA of .720. Coming off a strong first start of the season against the Dodgers, Chris Archer struggled to find the zone in the first inning. He threw 10 of his first 22 pitches for strikes, giving up a single to Nicky Lopez and a walk to Salvador Perez, before Hunter Dozier struck out to end the threat after an early mound visit by Wes Johnson. The Twins were in business in the third inning. Gary Sanchez led off with a double. Ryan Jeffers immediately followed up with a single, and Tommy Watkins sent Sanchez home. Sanchez was thrown out by Michael Taylor on a close play at the plate. It was a questionable decision to send Sanchez, with no outs and Arraez up, not the first by Watkins this season. The error would prove costly. Despite an Arraez single, two quick outs resulted in a scoreless inning. The Twins finally broke through in the fourth. Nick Gordon hit a one-out triple after Max Kepler was given out on a questionable bang-bang play at first base (the Twins had used their challenge). A Gio Urshela scored Gordon, and Gary Sanchez’s second double scored Urshela, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead. The Royals cut the lead to 2-1 after a Salvador Perez home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Twins finally chased Hernandez in the fifth, when an Arraez double and a Correa single increased the lead to 3-1. When Hernandez left the game, the Twins had eight hits and nine batted balls over 100 mph, despite just three runs to show for it. Baldelli chose to pinch-hit Garlick for Gordon in the fifth to try and add more insurance, but he struck out to end the inning. Archer ran into trouble in the fifth. A soft Taylor single was followed up by another from Cam Gallagher. Archer then walked Merrifield to load the bases with one out. Archer then walked Lopez scoring a run to cut the lead to 3-2 and force Archer from the game. Mercifully, Joe Smith continued his ability to escape jams, getting Bobby Witt Jr to ground into an inning-ending double play. On the second pitch of the sixth inning, Salvador Perez deposited a Tyler Duffey fastball into the left-field bleachers for his second home run of the day, tying the game at three. Andrew Benintendi was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Hunter Dozier gave the Royals a 4-3 lead, crushing another home run. Duffey gave up exit velocities of 104.9 mph, 104 mph, 109.8 mph, and 105.7 mph to the first four hitters he faced, a second brutal appearance this season, again surrendering a Twins lead. The Twins threatened at the top of the seventh when a Correa walk and Kepler single put two runners on. Garlick flew out to centerfield to end the inning. Jhon Romero pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh and eighth for the Twins. The Twins' bats went quiet in the second half of the game. After recording eight hits in the first five innings the Twins managed one more in the final four. Fans can point to the base-running send error by Watkins or another implosion by Duffey. Either way, they lost another winnable game. Instead of losing to a team making a playoff push, they dropped a game they should have had against a team who should be propping up the AL Central basement at the end of the season. Bullpen Usage Chart THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Winder 28 0 66 0 0 0 94 Romero 34 0 11 0 0 30 75 Jax 0 22 0 0 47 0 69 Duran 0 34 0 0 23 0 57 Thielbar 18 0 0 17 0 0 35 Duffey 0 0 0 18 0 15 33 Pagán 20 11 0 0 0 0 31 Stashak 0 0 0 17 0 0 17 Coulombe 14 0 0 0 0 0 14 Smith 3 0 0 0 6 2 11 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their short series against the Royals. Chris Paddack aims to bounce back from a shaky first start against lefty Daniel Lynch. First pitch is at 7:10 CT. Postgame Interviews View full article
  12. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Archer 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO Homeruns: None Bottom WPA: Duffey -.305, Jeffers -.204, Polanco -.177 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) On Tuesday night, the Twins opened up a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. This is the first series against an AL Central opponent in the young season and offers an opportunity to see Bobby Witt Jr. for the first time. With Byron Buxton not yet ready to return to the lineup, much of the pregame banter ahead of the opening game of the series surrounded Luis Arraez and his first career start at first base. Shifting to first base allows the Twins a respite from Miguel Sano’s cold bat while navigating Arraez’s defensive struggles at third base. It also marked the highest Nick Gordon has hit in a lineup at the major league level. The Twins almost struck early, facing Carlos Hernandez, who came in with an ERA north of 8.00. Jorge Polanco reached on a walk and made second base on a Carlos Correa groundout. Max Kepler then flew out to Whit Merrifield on the edge of the warning track on a ball that seemed destined to be a home run before it hung up in the wind. Kepler’s 107 mph fly ball had an xBA of .720. Coming off a strong first start of the season against the Dodgers, Chris Archer struggled to find the zone in the first inning. He threw 10 of his first 22 pitches for strikes, giving up a single to Nicky Lopez and a walk to Salvador Perez, before Hunter Dozier struck out to end the threat after an early mound visit by Wes Johnson. The Twins were in business in the third inning. Gary Sanchez led off with a double. Ryan Jeffers immediately followed up with a single, and Tommy Watkins sent Sanchez home. Sanchez was thrown out by Michael Taylor on a close play at the plate. It was a questionable decision to send Sanchez, with no outs and Arraez up, not the first by Watkins this season. The error would prove costly. Despite an Arraez single, two quick outs resulted in a scoreless inning. The Twins finally broke through in the fourth. Nick Gordon hit a one-out triple after Max Kepler was given out on a questionable bang-bang play at first base (the Twins had used their challenge). A Gio Urshela scored Gordon, and Gary Sanchez’s second double scored Urshela, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead. The Royals cut the lead to 2-1 after a Salvador Perez home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Twins finally chased Hernandez in the fifth, when an Arraez double and a Correa single increased the lead to 3-1. When Hernandez left the game, the Twins had eight hits and nine batted balls over 100 mph, despite just three runs to show for it. Baldelli chose to pinch-hit Garlick for Gordon in the fifth to try and add more insurance, but he struck out to end the inning. Archer ran into trouble in the fifth. A soft Taylor single was followed up by another from Cam Gallagher. Archer then walked Merrifield to load the bases with one out. Archer then walked Lopez scoring a run to cut the lead to 3-2 and force Archer from the game. Mercifully, Joe Smith continued his ability to escape jams, getting Bobby Witt Jr to ground into an inning-ending double play. On the second pitch of the sixth inning, Salvador Perez deposited a Tyler Duffey fastball into the left-field bleachers for his second home run of the day, tying the game at three. Andrew Benintendi was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Hunter Dozier gave the Royals a 4-3 lead, crushing another home run. Duffey gave up exit velocities of 104.9 mph, 104 mph, 109.8 mph, and 105.7 mph to the first four hitters he faced, a second brutal appearance this season, again surrendering a Twins lead. The Twins threatened at the top of the seventh when a Correa walk and Kepler single put two runners on. Garlick flew out to centerfield to end the inning. Jhon Romero pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh and eighth for the Twins. The Twins' bats went quiet in the second half of the game. After recording eight hits in the first five innings the Twins managed one more in the final four. Fans can point to the base-running send error by Watkins or another implosion by Duffey. Either way, they lost another winnable game. Instead of losing to a team making a playoff push, they dropped a game they should have had against a team who should be propping up the AL Central basement at the end of the season. Bullpen Usage Chart THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Winder 28 0 66 0 0 0 94 Romero 34 0 11 0 0 30 75 Jax 0 22 0 0 47 0 69 Duran 0 34 0 0 23 0 57 Thielbar 18 0 0 17 0 0 35 Duffey 0 0 0 18 0 15 33 Pagán 20 11 0 0 0 0 31 Stashak 0 0 0 17 0 0 17 Coulombe 14 0 0 0 0 0 14 Smith 3 0 0 0 6 2 11 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their short series against the Royals. Chris Paddack aims to bounce back from a shaky first start against lefty Daniel Lynch. First pitch is at 7:10 CT. Postgame Interviews
  13. The third Monday in April every year is a day that is very pro-Boston. A Kyle Garlick two run home run and four RBIs from Polanco led the Twins as they stole some of the joy of Patriots Day away from the Red Sox. Box Score SP: Dylan Bundy: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (71 pitches, 51 strikes (71.8%)) Home Runs: Kyle Garlick (1), Jorge Polanco (2) Top 3 WPA: Dylan Bundy (.162), Kyle Garlick (.160), Jorge Polanco (.126) Game Score: Twins 8, Red Sox 3 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The city of Boston was buzzing with excitement on Monday, also known as Patriots Day. It was the first Patriots Day to feel normal since COVID-19 entered our vocabulary. Just outside of Fenway Park was the running of the Boston Marathon. While Bostonians were looking for a good day, it did not start that way for Red Sox fans as COVID would rear its ugly head. Before game time, Kevin Plawecki was spotted leaving the stadium in street clothes. Later it would be reported that he and two other Red Sox staffers had tested positive for COVID. It will certainly be a development we, as Twins fans, will want to keep an eye on as it could have a ripple effect if any Twins players or staff would also end up testing positive. A Cleanup Spot Garlick Tater Monday morning, as the starting lineup was posted on Twitter, there was plenty of angst surrounding the selection of Kyle Garlick to hit cleanup. Garlick proved his doubters wrong with Carlos Correa on base by placing a Rich Hill pitch right on top of the Green Monster in left field. At first look, there is reason to be initially frustrated that an offensively struggling Twins team would bat a player who wasn’t even on the Opening Day roster cleanup. Garlick also flexed one of the big reasons the Twins front office preferred him over the recently traded Brent Rooker. Garlick rakes against lefties. Entering the day, Garlick, over his career, had slashed .258/.298/.567 with a .865 OPS against southpaws. Bundy Finally Gives Up a Run Even though his velocity seemed to be down, Dylan Bundy pitched very well and was nearly flawless through four innings. That included a stretch in which Bundy sent down ten batters in a row. Bundy ran into trouble in the fifth inning, allowing his first run as a Twin. When the Twins tried to stretch Bundy into the sixth and save the bullpen another inning, everything really went south for Bundy. After getting Hernandez out to start the inning on a strikeout, the next two hits were struck hard and resulted in runners on second and third base with one out. If the Twins did not have a three-run lead, Baldelli might have gone to his bullpen right away to begin the inning. It seemed like a measured gamble worth taking with the lead and how efficient Bundy had been. While the results may have been very similar to Bundy’s first Twins start last Monday, there is one thing to keep an eye on. Last week Bundy kept hard-hit balls to a minimum. Monday morning, the hard-hit rate was up considerably. He gave up ten hard hits and boasted a hard hit % of 66.7%. Where Smith Big in Relief Joe Smith was tasked with cleaning up the mess that was left after Bundy was pulled from the game. He was able to get Martinez to hit an infield grounder that Sano fielded and froze Devers leading to an eventually tag placed on the Red Sox third baseman. Then after an intentional walk to Verdugo, Smith got Arroyo to hit a loud F8 to end the inning. The sixth inning could have turned into an ugly inning, but the veteran Smith was able to come in and save the Twins three-run lead. Polanco Comes Up Big While Garlick got things going on the offensive side of the ball, Jorge Polanco put a big exclamation point on the morning and afternoon. Polanco followed up Garlick’s two-run home run over the Green Monster with one of his own with Gilberto Celestino on base. Then in the eighth inning, with the bases loaded, Polanco came through with a two-RBI single. Polanco’s eight-inning single gave the Twins second baseman a 2-for-5 day and four RBIs, which helped give his team some much-appreciated breathing room. Polanco’s single was part of an excellent eighth inning for the Twins. An inning where they scored four runs on only one hit! Griffin Jax even pitched a scoreless eighth, helping the Twins get past an inning that has not been friendly to them this season. What’s Next? The Twins will move on to Kansas City for their first look at the fellow AL central Royals. Tuesday's game will feature Chris Archer's second start of the season. While the Royals look to send Carlos Hernandez to the mound. Because of the Wild and Wolves, the Twins game will be on the CW. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet THU FRI SAT SUN MON TOT Winder 28 0 66 0 0 94 Jax 0 22 0 0 47 69 Duran 0 34 0 0 23 57 Romero 34 0 11 0 0 45 Thielbar 18 0 0 17 0 35 Pagán 20 11 0 0 0 31 Duffey 0 0 0 18 0 18 Stashak 0 0 0 17 0 17 Coulombe 14 0 0 0 0 14 Smith 3 0 0 0 6 9 View full article
  14. Box Score SP: Dylan Bundy: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (71 pitches, 51 strikes (71.8%)) Home Runs: Kyle Garlick (1), Jorge Polanco (2) Top 3 WPA: Dylan Bundy (.162), Kyle Garlick (.160), Jorge Polanco (.126) Game Score: Twins 8, Red Sox 3 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The city of Boston was buzzing with excitement on Monday, also known as Patriots Day. It was the first Patriots Day to feel normal since COVID-19 entered our vocabulary. Just outside of Fenway Park was the running of the Boston Marathon. While Bostonians were looking for a good day, it did not start that way for Red Sox fans as COVID would rear its ugly head. Before game time, Kevin Plawecki was spotted leaving the stadium in street clothes. Later it would be reported that he and two other Red Sox staffers had tested positive for COVID. It will certainly be a development we, as Twins fans, will want to keep an eye on as it could have a ripple effect if any Twins players or staff would also end up testing positive. A Cleanup Spot Garlick Tater Monday morning, as the starting lineup was posted on Twitter, there was plenty of angst surrounding the selection of Kyle Garlick to hit cleanup. Garlick proved his doubters wrong with Carlos Correa on base by placing a Rich Hill pitch right on top of the Green Monster in left field. At first look, there is reason to be initially frustrated that an offensively struggling Twins team would bat a player who wasn’t even on the Opening Day roster cleanup. Garlick also flexed one of the big reasons the Twins front office preferred him over the recently traded Brent Rooker. Garlick rakes against lefties. Entering the day, Garlick, over his career, had slashed .258/.298/.567 with a .865 OPS against southpaws. Bundy Finally Gives Up a Run Even though his velocity seemed to be down, Dylan Bundy pitched very well and was nearly flawless through four innings. That included a stretch in which Bundy sent down ten batters in a row. Bundy ran into trouble in the fifth inning, allowing his first run as a Twin. When the Twins tried to stretch Bundy into the sixth and save the bullpen another inning, everything really went south for Bundy. After getting Hernandez out to start the inning on a strikeout, the next two hits were struck hard and resulted in runners on second and third base with one out. If the Twins did not have a three-run lead, Baldelli might have gone to his bullpen right away to begin the inning. It seemed like a measured gamble worth taking with the lead and how efficient Bundy had been. While the results may have been very similar to Bundy’s first Twins start last Monday, there is one thing to keep an eye on. Last week Bundy kept hard-hit balls to a minimum. Monday morning, the hard-hit rate was up considerably. He gave up ten hard hits and boasted a hard hit % of 66.7%. Where Smith Big in Relief Joe Smith was tasked with cleaning up the mess that was left after Bundy was pulled from the game. He was able to get Martinez to hit an infield grounder that Sano fielded and froze Devers leading to an eventually tag placed on the Red Sox third baseman. Then after an intentional walk to Verdugo, Smith got Arroyo to hit a loud F8 to end the inning. The sixth inning could have turned into an ugly inning, but the veteran Smith was able to come in and save the Twins three-run lead. Polanco Comes Up Big While Garlick got things going on the offensive side of the ball, Jorge Polanco put a big exclamation point on the morning and afternoon. Polanco followed up Garlick’s two-run home run over the Green Monster with one of his own with Gilberto Celestino on base. Then in the eighth inning, with the bases loaded, Polanco came through with a two-RBI single. Polanco’s eight-inning single gave the Twins second baseman a 2-for-5 day and four RBIs, which helped give his team some much-appreciated breathing room. Polanco’s single was part of an excellent eighth inning for the Twins. An inning where they scored four runs on only one hit! Griffin Jax even pitched a scoreless eighth, helping the Twins get past an inning that has not been friendly to them this season. What’s Next? The Twins will move on to Kansas City for their first look at the fellow AL central Royals. Tuesday's game will feature Chris Archer's second start of the season. While the Royals look to send Carlos Hernandez to the mound. Because of the Wild and Wolves, the Twins game will be on the CW. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet THU FRI SAT SUN MON TOT Winder 28 0 66 0 0 94 Jax 0 22 0 0 47 69 Duran 0 34 0 0 23 57 Romero 34 0 11 0 0 45 Thielbar 18 0 0 17 0 35 Pagán 20 11 0 0 0 31 Duffey 0 0 0 18 0 18 Stashak 0 0 0 17 0 17 Coulombe 14 0 0 0 0 14 Smith 3 0 0 0 6 9
  15. The Twins have completed several rounds of roster cuts this spring with another handful to go. Still, several non-roster invitees remain in camp and have a legitimate shot at making the Opening Day roster. The Twins are down to just six non-roster players remaining on their spring roster. Several players were sent to minor-league camp so that they can head up to Minnesota this weekend. The Saints season starts on Tuesday in Louisville. The six non-roster players remaining in the big-league camp include left-handed pitchers Devin Smeltzer and Danny Coulombe, right-handed pitcher Jake Faria, infielder Daniel Robertson, and outfielders Kyle Garlick and Jake Cave. While there are certainly several good reasons to not add non-roster players to the 40-man roster knowing that the active roster will drop back to 26 players by May 1st. However, here are three players that I think do have a realistic opportunity to make the Twins Opening Day roster. Jake Faria Jake Faria had limited success in Tampa Bay’s rotation all the way back in 2017 when he posted a 3.43 ERA across just under 90 innings in his debut. After bouncing around for a while and not pitching in 2020, the right-hander finds himself as a realistic bullpen option for the Twins on Opening Day. With the lockout leading up to a short Spring Training ramp-up, the Twins are likely to employ some sort of “piggyback” method to start the season to allow the rotation to ramp up and remain healthy. Faria has been used in a multi-inning role this spring which could be a hint that the Twins may be taking a look at him to fill such a piggybacking role. He’s allowed just one run in his five spring innings and his mix of a split-finger and breaking ball could make him more prepared to navigate the entirety of a lineup than a traditional right-handed pitcher with just a fastball and slider. While no sure thing, Faria is a name to watch in the waning days of Spring Training. Kyle Garlick Kyle Garlick could make the 2022 roster again in the same role as 2021 as the backup right-handed masher in the outfield. Ideally the Twins would give him all of Max Kepler’s at bats against left-handers, against whom Garlick posted an incredible .878 OPS in 2021 before being shut down with a core muscle injury. The counter argument is it would come at the expense of Brent Rooker’s roster spot, who is a home--grown talent and some feel still has a ceiling higher than a platoon bat such as Garlick. That said, Rooker hasn't played in a game for a week with a shoulder soreness, so an IL stint is possible. Since the two right-handers are fairly equal on defense, the Twins could easily see Garlick as the obvious option. In addition to his 2021, Garlick has absolutely punished southpaws during his entire career, posting an incredible .865 OPS against them thus far. It may take giving up on Brent Rooker, but the immediate payoff of Garlick being the matchup role player in the outfield seems like a sure bet to provide some value. Jake Cave The Twins just can’t seem to quit Jake Cave. Thus far he’s outlasted Trevor Larnach and Gilberto Celestino in camp with only a few more cuts to make. It’s hard to imagine the squad heading north with the 29-year-old Cave who owns a paltry .202/.263/.332 (.595) slash line since the start of 2020, especially since Nick Gordon’s ability to fill in at center field from the left side of the plate makes him redundant. That being said, the fact that he’s still with the team is worth wondering whether Cave may just stick around. In Cave’s favor, he has logged 144 games in center field in his career, a resume that the Twins may value given Byron Buxton’s injury history. He’s also improved defensively over the years, performing around league average on defense in 2020 and 2021 at the position. Another left handed bat in the outfield may not make much sense on paper, especially one you would expect absolutely nothing from offensively. That being said, Cave’s ability to man center field may be seen as a worthy trade off compared to someone like Kyle Garlick who only fills a very specific role offensively and is confined to the corners. The cuts are likely coming in short order with only a few decisions left to be made. Are there any other remaining non roster invitees that could sneak their way into Target Field on Opening Day? Let us know below! View full article
  16. The Twins are down to just six non-roster players remaining on their spring roster. Several players were sent to minor-league camp so that they can head up to Minnesota this weekend. The Saints season starts on Tuesday in Louisville. The six non-roster players remaining in the big-league camp include left-handed pitchers Devin Smeltzer and Danny Coulombe, right-handed pitcher Jake Faria, infielder Daniel Robertson, and outfielders Kyle Garlick and Jake Cave. While there are certainly several good reasons to not add non-roster players to the 40-man roster knowing that the active roster will drop back to 26 players by May 1st. However, here are three players that I think do have a realistic opportunity to make the Twins Opening Day roster. Jake Faria Jake Faria had limited success in Tampa Bay’s rotation all the way back in 2017 when he posted a 3.43 ERA across just under 90 innings in his debut. After bouncing around for a while and not pitching in 2020, the right-hander finds himself as a realistic bullpen option for the Twins on Opening Day. With the lockout leading up to a short Spring Training ramp-up, the Twins are likely to employ some sort of “piggyback” method to start the season to allow the rotation to ramp up and remain healthy. Faria has been used in a multi-inning role this spring which could be a hint that the Twins may be taking a look at him to fill such a piggybacking role. He’s allowed just one run in his five spring innings and his mix of a split-finger and breaking ball could make him more prepared to navigate the entirety of a lineup than a traditional right-handed pitcher with just a fastball and slider. While no sure thing, Faria is a name to watch in the waning days of Spring Training. Kyle Garlick Kyle Garlick could make the 2022 roster again in the same role as 2021 as the backup right-handed masher in the outfield. Ideally the Twins would give him all of Max Kepler’s at bats against left-handers, against whom Garlick posted an incredible .878 OPS in 2021 before being shut down with a core muscle injury. The counter argument is it would come at the expense of Brent Rooker’s roster spot, who is a home--grown talent and some feel still has a ceiling higher than a platoon bat such as Garlick. That said, Rooker hasn't played in a game for a week with a shoulder soreness, so an IL stint is possible. Since the two right-handers are fairly equal on defense, the Twins could easily see Garlick as the obvious option. In addition to his 2021, Garlick has absolutely punished southpaws during his entire career, posting an incredible .865 OPS against them thus far. It may take giving up on Brent Rooker, but the immediate payoff of Garlick being the matchup role player in the outfield seems like a sure bet to provide some value. Jake Cave The Twins just can’t seem to quit Jake Cave. Thus far he’s outlasted Trevor Larnach and Gilberto Celestino in camp with only a few more cuts to make. It’s hard to imagine the squad heading north with the 29-year-old Cave who owns a paltry .202/.263/.332 (.595) slash line since the start of 2020, especially since Nick Gordon’s ability to fill in at center field from the left side of the plate makes him redundant. That being said, the fact that he’s still with the team is worth wondering whether Cave may just stick around. In Cave’s favor, he has logged 144 games in center field in his career, a resume that the Twins may value given Byron Buxton’s injury history. He’s also improved defensively over the years, performing around league average on defense in 2020 and 2021 at the position. Another left handed bat in the outfield may not make much sense on paper, especially one you would expect absolutely nothing from offensively. That being said, Cave’s ability to man center field may be seen as a worthy trade off compared to someone like Kyle Garlick who only fills a very specific role offensively and is confined to the corners. The cuts are likely coming in short order with only a few decisions left to be made. Are there any other remaining non roster invitees that could sneak their way into Target Field on Opening Day? Let us know below!
  17. The 2021 season didn't go precisely as the Twins envisioned, but the calendar will shortly turn to 2022. Here is a look back at some of the biggest stories at Twins Daily over the last year. Below is a rundown of the back half of the top-20 stories here at Twins Daily over the last calendar year. Take a look back at some of the most significant events and stop back later to look at the top-10 stories. 20. José Berríos Traded to Blue Jays Published: July 30 Author: Matthew Taylor After the season went south, the José Berríos trade was one of the biggest stories of the year. Not only did it impact the second half of the 2021 season, but the trade also has ramifications felt into the current off-season as the team looks to rebuild the pitching staff. Minnesota was able to get two top-100 prospects, and the Blue Jays eventually signed Berríos to a long-term deal. 19. Trade Deadline Tracker: Twins' News and Rumor Roundup Published: July 29 Author: Matthew Taylor There's no question that Twins fans were interested in the 2021 trade deadline as Minnesota had multiple big-league assets tied into the rumor mill. One of the day's biggest stories was the Brewers trading for old friend Eduardo Escobar. Rumors also swirled about a potential José Berríos trade that happened the next day. 18. Nelson Cruz Saga Illuminates Shrewdness of Falvine Published: February 5 Author: Nash Walker Last winter, one of the team's most significant decisions was whether or not to bring back Nelson Cruz. Minnesota's front office was patient, and the National League never added the designated hitter. This left few contending teams in need of Cruz's services. Falvine got Cruz to sign on their terms, and he'd be part of another big story later in the year. 17. Potential Trade Packages for José Berríos Published: May 29 Author: Matthew Lenz Even at the end of May, it was clear the Twins would be in sell mode before the trade deadline. Not only did Matthew connect the Blue Jays as a potential suitor for a Berríos trade, but he also hit on one of the prospects the team got as part of the return. 16. Are the Twins About to Build a Radically Unconventional Pitching Staff? Published: November 11 Author: Nick Nelson The Twins didn't sign any of the top-tier free-agent starting pitchers, and this article gives insight into what the team might be planning. Thad Levine and the front office may consider a nontraditional approach to filling the rotation. When the lockout ends, this approach will be something to keep an eye on as the roster comes together. 15. End of the Line for Brent Rooker? Published: September 25 Author: Cody Pirkl Brent Rooker finished his age-26 season, and he has yet to put it all together at the big-league level. He has little left to prove at Triple-A, and now the question remains as to what his future may hold with the Twins moving forward. Can he be a bench option for the Twins in 2022, or has he reached the end of the line? 14. Twins Trade Nelson Cruz to the Rays for Two AAA Starting Pitchers Published: July 22 Author: Seth Stohs Tampa Bay didn't wait around until the trade deadline to make their move as they wanted Cruz on their roster for an extra week and a half. Even with Cruz on an expiring deal, the Twins acquired two pitchers that are close to big-league ready. It was Minnesota's first big trade before the deadline, and it wouldn't be their last move. 13. Do the Twins Already Have the Next Brian Dozier? Published: March 1 Author: Cody Christie Brian Dozier was a late bloomer that came through the Twins system to have some monster seasons at the plate. Nick Gordon made his debut in 2021, and he also fits into the late-bloomer category. He may never develop Dozier's power, but he seemed to fit nicely into a utility role in the season's second half. 12. Twins Finalize Opening Day Roster Published: March 29 Author: Seth Stohs Minnesota was coming off of back-to-back AL Central titles, so there was plenty of hope associated with the Opening Day roster. One of the team's final decisions was to keep Kyle Garlick over Rooker. Garlick led the team in home runs throughout the spring, so it took an impressive showing for him to make the squad. 11. Ranking the Top-5 Remaining Free Agent Starters Published: December 1 Author: Cody Christie Minnesota had yet to acquire any starting pitching outside of Dylan Bundy, with the lockout looming. There were some clear names at the top of the free-agent rankings, but things dropped off in a hurry. One of the players has already signed, but the other four players are still available if Minnesota wants to pursue them for 2022. Stop back and check out the top stories of the year. Which of these stories will you remember the most? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  18. Below is a rundown of the back half of the top-20 stories here at Twins Daily over the last calendar year. Take a look back at some of the most significant events and stop back later to look at the top-10 stories. 20. José Berríos Traded to Blue Jays Published: July 30 Author: Matthew Taylor After the season went south, the José Berríos trade was one of the biggest stories of the year. Not only did it impact the second half of the 2021 season, but the trade also has ramifications felt into the current off-season as the team looks to rebuild the pitching staff. Minnesota was able to get two top-100 prospects, and the Blue Jays eventually signed Berríos to a long-term deal. 19. Trade Deadline Tracker: Twins' News and Rumor Roundup Published: July 29 Author: Matthew Taylor There's no question that Twins fans were interested in the 2021 trade deadline as Minnesota had multiple big-league assets tied into the rumor mill. One of the day's biggest stories was the Brewers trading for old friend Eduardo Escobar. Rumors also swirled about a potential José Berríos trade that happened the next day. 18. Nelson Cruz Saga Illuminates Shrewdness of Falvine Published: February 5 Author: Nash Walker Last winter, one of the team's most significant decisions was whether or not to bring back Nelson Cruz. Minnesota's front office was patient, and the National League never added the designated hitter. This left few contending teams in need of Cruz's services. Falvine got Cruz to sign on their terms, and he'd be part of another big story later in the year. 17. Potential Trade Packages for José Berríos Published: May 29 Author: Matthew Lenz Even at the end of May, it was clear the Twins would be in sell mode before the trade deadline. Not only did Matthew connect the Blue Jays as a potential suitor for a Berríos trade, but he also hit on one of the prospects the team got as part of the return. 16. Are the Twins About to Build a Radically Unconventional Pitching Staff? Published: November 11 Author: Nick Nelson The Twins didn't sign any of the top-tier free-agent starting pitchers, and this article gives insight into what the team might be planning. Thad Levine and the front office may consider a nontraditional approach to filling the rotation. When the lockout ends, this approach will be something to keep an eye on as the roster comes together. 15. End of the Line for Brent Rooker? Published: September 25 Author: Cody Pirkl Brent Rooker finished his age-26 season, and he has yet to put it all together at the big-league level. He has little left to prove at Triple-A, and now the question remains as to what his future may hold with the Twins moving forward. Can he be a bench option for the Twins in 2022, or has he reached the end of the line? 14. Twins Trade Nelson Cruz to the Rays for Two AAA Starting Pitchers Published: July 22 Author: Seth Stohs Tampa Bay didn't wait around until the trade deadline to make their move as they wanted Cruz on their roster for an extra week and a half. Even with Cruz on an expiring deal, the Twins acquired two pitchers that are close to big-league ready. It was Minnesota's first big trade before the deadline, and it wouldn't be their last move. 13. Do the Twins Already Have the Next Brian Dozier? Published: March 1 Author: Cody Christie Brian Dozier was a late bloomer that came through the Twins system to have some monster seasons at the plate. Nick Gordon made his debut in 2021, and he also fits into the late-bloomer category. He may never develop Dozier's power, but he seemed to fit nicely into a utility role in the season's second half. 12. Twins Finalize Opening Day Roster Published: March 29 Author: Seth Stohs Minnesota was coming off of back-to-back AL Central titles, so there was plenty of hope associated with the Opening Day roster. One of the team's final decisions was to keep Kyle Garlick over Rooker. Garlick led the team in home runs throughout the spring, so it took an impressive showing for him to make the squad. 11. Ranking the Top-5 Remaining Free Agent Starters Published: December 1 Author: Cody Christie Minnesota had yet to acquire any starting pitching outside of Dylan Bundy, with the lockout looming. There were some clear names at the top of the free-agent rankings, but things dropped off in a hurry. One of the players has already signed, but the other four players are still available if Minnesota wants to pursue them for 2022. Stop back and check out the top stories of the year. Which of these stories will you remember the most? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  19. As the offseason begins, Brent Rooker is certainly a candidate for the Twins DH job in 2022. He can also play in the corner outfield spots and first base in a pinch. Kyle Garlick made the 2021 Opening Day roster, but he's been almost forgotten since he didn't play in a game after June 8th due to injury. The Twins have not been afraid of change. They have not been afraid to move guys up and down from Triple-A St. Paul with regularity. There were copious amounts of injuries and other ailments. There were also a couple of trades. Following the trade deadline trade of Nelson Cruz, Brent Rooker was recalled. The Twins have depth in the outfield still. Kyle Garlick did what he was asked to do, which his produce against left-handed pitching. Rooker provided some power. It was a question last year at spring training, and again it doesn't make sense for both to be on the roster in 2022. There will be some tough decisions and this may be another one. Kyle Garlick came into the season securing a spot on the 26-man roster. He made the Opening Day roster. In April, he landed on the COVID-IL. That was just the start of the issues for the outfielder and pinch hitter. At the beginning of June, Garlick left with a groin injury and eventually needing surgery to repair a hernia and left him out for the remainder of the season. It is unfortunate for him because in his 99 at-bats with the Twins in 2021, he had eight doubles and five home runs. In 63 plate appearances against southpaws in 2021, he hit .271/.302/.576 (.878) with six doubles and four homers. By spring training, Garlick’s injury will presumably be better, but will he still be on the 40-man roster? He will turn 30 in January, but still can provide strong offense against left-handed pitching. That may be important with lefties like Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach and Max Kepler in the outfield rotation. Garlick still has one option year remaining since he did not use one in 2021, so he could be stashed in St. Paul for additional depth. Brent Rooker's value to the team comes in the form of power and production and the plate. He has shown the power. Now he just needs an opportunity for regular playing time. At each minor league level, he initially struggled and within a couple of months he becomes incredibly productive. Can he do that at the big-league level? Rooker will be 27-years-old in 2022, not young, but certainly with room to continue growing. While Rooker is not a good defensive outfielder, his ability to play in the corners, and some first base, does give him value to the team. That said, Rooker has never had the typical lefty-righty splits. However, in 189 at-bats in 2021, he had 10 doubles and nine home runs. That is after he hit 20 homers in 62 games for the Saints. Versatility In March, Do-Hyoung Park wrote an article showing that Rooker may have already been preferred by management. While the two players have similar offensive productivity, Rooker stood out as the younger, more potentially dominant player: Indeed, one option, and the option I think would make sense, would be to try to trade Garlick, if there is any market for him. From a business standpoint (and yes, personal standpoint as a fan), there are better options with younger players who are ready for the big leagues. Rooker is more than able and prepared to remain on the 26-man roster. What do you think? Is Rooker ready, and should he remain on the big-league roster? What should the team do with Kyle Garlick? Could he have a role going forward? Leave a comment. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  20. The Twins have not been afraid of change. They have not been afraid to move guys up and down from Triple-A St. Paul with regularity. There were copious amounts of injuries and other ailments. There were also a couple of trades. Following the trade deadline trade of Nelson Cruz, Brent Rooker was recalled. The Twins have depth in the outfield still. Kyle Garlick did what he was asked to do, which his produce against left-handed pitching. Rooker provided some power. It was a question last year at spring training, and again it doesn't make sense for both to be on the roster in 2022. There will be some tough decisions and this may be another one. Kyle Garlick came into the season securing a spot on the 26-man roster. He made the Opening Day roster. In April, he landed on the COVID-IL. That was just the start of the issues for the outfielder and pinch hitter. At the beginning of June, Garlick left with a groin injury and eventually needing surgery to repair a hernia and left him out for the remainder of the season. It is unfortunate for him because in his 99 at-bats with the Twins in 2021, he had eight doubles and five home runs. In 63 plate appearances against southpaws in 2021, he hit .271/.302/.576 (.878) with six doubles and four homers. By spring training, Garlick’s injury will presumably be better, but will he still be on the 40-man roster? He will turn 30 in January, but still can provide strong offense against left-handed pitching. That may be important with lefties like Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach and Max Kepler in the outfield rotation. Garlick still has one option year remaining since he did not use one in 2021, so he could be stashed in St. Paul for additional depth. Brent Rooker's value to the team comes in the form of power and production and the plate. He has shown the power. Now he just needs an opportunity for regular playing time. At each minor league level, he initially struggled and within a couple of months he becomes incredibly productive. Can he do that at the big-league level? Rooker will be 27-years-old in 2022, not young, but certainly with room to continue growing. While Rooker is not a good defensive outfielder, his ability to play in the corners, and some first base, does give him value to the team. That said, Rooker has never had the typical lefty-righty splits. However, in 189 at-bats in 2021, he had 10 doubles and nine home runs. That is after he hit 20 homers in 62 games for the Saints. Versatility In March, Do-Hyoung Park wrote an article showing that Rooker may have already been preferred by management. While the two players have similar offensive productivity, Rooker stood out as the younger, more potentially dominant player: Indeed, one option, and the option I think would make sense, would be to try to trade Garlick, if there is any market for him. From a business standpoint (and yes, personal standpoint as a fan), there are better options with younger players who are ready for the big leagues. Rooker is more than able and prepared to remain on the 26-man roster. What do you think? Is Rooker ready, and should he remain on the big-league roster? What should the team do with Kyle Garlick? Could he have a role going forward? Leave a comment. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  21. The Twins might have a bit of a 40 man roster crunch in 2022. The Rule 5 eligible players are one consideration, but the six players on the 60 day IL are another. Not all of these players should necessarily be back. The 60-Day IL allows teams to stash an injured player away without holding a 40 man spot. The Twins have utilized this six times this season in the way of four pitchers and two hitters. With young players needing 40 man roster spots to be protected from the Rule 5 draft this winter, it’s worth revisiting these players on a case-by-case basis. Alex Kirilloff This is probably the easiest one. The Twins former top prospect should be back with a healthy wrist by Opening Day and likely penciled in at first base. There isn’t anything that would change the Twins minds. Randy Dobnak Despite a nightmare season in which Dobnak put up a 7.83 ERA in 43 innings, he’s an easy add after the Twins extended him through 2026 on a very team-friendly deal. Regarding his role, it’s anyone’s guess at this point how the Twins plan to use him, but he’s been throwing bullpens recently and could even return from a finger injury before the end of 2021. The Twins can’t cut Dobnak loose given their commitment, not to mention his recent success in the MLB. Devin Smeltzer Smeltzer only threw 4 2/3 innings without allowing a run before being put on the IL with an elbow injury. His 2022 may largely depend on the nature of his injury and whether his health can be counted on. Perhaps his lack of ceiling may give the Twins pause, but he has shown to be a competent Major League pitcher and perhaps deserves a little bit of run in a bullpen role. If he’s ready to pitch for opening day in 2022, I’d expect to see Smeltzer get one more look. Edwar Colina Colina got shelled in his lone MLB appearance in 2020 but boasts what some call the best slider in the Twins system to go along with his high-90s fastball. Colina was an arm many were excited to see get some real run this year before he underwent elbow surgery which ended his season before it began. As the Twins look to rebuild a bullpen in 2022, it’s hard to imagine them not gambling on the upside of Edwar Colina assuming his injury appears to be recovering as expected. Cody Stashak It’s possible Stashak was dealing with his back injury longer than the Twins knew, but it was a bit surprising to see him get as much of an opportunity as he did in 2021. With a 91 mph fastball, Stashak’s skillset revolved around his ability to limit walks when he debuted in 2019 which made his 13.3% walk rate this year all the more unacceptable. He upped his strikeout rate to nearly 35% at the expense of every other skill a pitcher could have as he finished with a 6.89 ERA. Stashak will be 28 next year and his ceiling is probably just an okay middle reliever which may make him an easy roster spot to dedicate to protecting another player from the Rule 5 draft. Kyle Garlick Garlick looked like the Twins best offseason acquisition for awhile and slashed .232/.280/.465 before being shut down with a sports hernia. Garlick does one thing well and that’s mash lefties, something the Twins were unable to set him up for consistently as injuries piled up. Unfortunately for Garlick, the Twins just don’t have a lot to gain from keeping a defensively-challenged 30-year-old with such a niche skillset. It’s hard to see the Twins not parting ways with Garlick unfortunately. It’s easy to look at this list of players who haven’t been contributing for quite some time and forget about them, but the Twins do have some solid players coming back off injury next year. The tricky part is trying to balance the roster on who is worthy of a return as they try and protect the necessary players to avoid another Akil Baddoo situation. Should any more of these six be definitively kept or let go this winter? Let us know below. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here View full article
  22. The 60-Day IL allows teams to stash an injured player away without holding a 40 man spot. The Twins have utilized this six times this season in the way of four pitchers and two hitters. With young players needing 40 man roster spots to be protected from the Rule 5 draft this winter, it’s worth revisiting these players on a case-by-case basis. Alex Kirilloff This is probably the easiest one. The Twins former top prospect should be back with a healthy wrist by Opening Day and likely penciled in at first base. There isn’t anything that would change the Twins minds. Randy Dobnak Despite a nightmare season in which Dobnak put up a 7.83 ERA in 43 innings, he’s an easy add after the Twins extended him through 2026 on a very team-friendly deal. Regarding his role, it’s anyone’s guess at this point how the Twins plan to use him, but he’s been throwing bullpens recently and could even return from a finger injury before the end of 2021. The Twins can’t cut Dobnak loose given their commitment, not to mention his recent success in the MLB. Devin Smeltzer Smeltzer only threw 4 2/3 innings without allowing a run before being put on the IL with an elbow injury. His 2022 may largely depend on the nature of his injury and whether his health can be counted on. Perhaps his lack of ceiling may give the Twins pause, but he has shown to be a competent Major League pitcher and perhaps deserves a little bit of run in a bullpen role. If he’s ready to pitch for opening day in 2022, I’d expect to see Smeltzer get one more look. Edwar Colina Colina got shelled in his lone MLB appearance in 2020 but boasts what some call the best slider in the Twins system to go along with his high-90s fastball. Colina was an arm many were excited to see get some real run this year before he underwent elbow surgery which ended his season before it began. As the Twins look to rebuild a bullpen in 2022, it’s hard to imagine them not gambling on the upside of Edwar Colina assuming his injury appears to be recovering as expected. Cody Stashak It’s possible Stashak was dealing with his back injury longer than the Twins knew, but it was a bit surprising to see him get as much of an opportunity as he did in 2021. With a 91 mph fastball, Stashak’s skillset revolved around his ability to limit walks when he debuted in 2019 which made his 13.3% walk rate this year all the more unacceptable. He upped his strikeout rate to nearly 35% at the expense of every other skill a pitcher could have as he finished with a 6.89 ERA. Stashak will be 28 next year and his ceiling is probably just an okay middle reliever which may make him an easy roster spot to dedicate to protecting another player from the Rule 5 draft. Kyle Garlick Garlick looked like the Twins best offseason acquisition for awhile and slashed .232/.280/.465 before being shut down with a sports hernia. Garlick does one thing well and that’s mash lefties, something the Twins were unable to set him up for consistently as injuries piled up. Unfortunately for Garlick, the Twins just don’t have a lot to gain from keeping a defensively-challenged 30-year-old with such a niche skillset. It’s hard to see the Twins not parting ways with Garlick unfortunately. It’s easy to look at this list of players who haven’t been contributing for quite some time and forget about them, but the Twins do have some solid players coming back off injury next year. The tricky part is trying to balance the roster on who is worthy of a return as they try and protect the necessary players to avoid another Akil Baddoo situation. Should any more of these six be definitively kept or let go this winter? Let us know below. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  23. Randy Dobnak Using Randy Dobnak as a reliever didn’t exactly go as planned at season’s start and he was sent to St. Paul to get stretched out as soon as the Triple-A season began. In the last couple weeks, Michael Pineda and Kenta Maeda have both ended up on the injured list so Dobnak’s spot in the rotation looks to be safe. In his first start, he pitched six shutout innings with a five to two strikeout to walk ratio. What might be the most encouraging sign is his 12 groundball outs including inducing a double play. When Dobnak is at his best, he is working quickly and using his sinker to get batters to hit the ball on the ground. Minnesota’s improved defense can certainly help Dobnak especially since he is using his sinker almost 50% of the time, which is a 6% jump from 2020. J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker both have ERAs north of 5.40, so Dobnak has the opportunity to take a rotation spot and run with it. Rob Refsnyder Entering the 2020 season, Refsnyder was an afterthought that bounced around through four different organizations. He was a career .217/.205/.297 (.602) hitter with nearly twice as many strikeouts as walks. The Twins signed him to a minor league deal this winter, but injuries to Byron Buxton and Jake Cave made it necessary for Refsnyder to be added to the roster and he’s taking full advantage of the opportunity. Entering play on Monday, Refsnyder is hitting .375/.429/.542 (.970) in nine games with the Twins. Kyle Garlick has been dealing with a groin injury that may continue to hamper him and this means even more time for Refsnyder. He’s 30-years old and doesn’t exactly fit into the team’s long-term plans, but there’s hope the team can ride his hot streaks as long as possible. Maybe he can turn into the 2004 version of Lew Ford? Luke Farrell Minnesota’s bullpen has struggled through most of the season and Farrell shouldn’t be seen as a savior, but he can certainly add depth. He is being used exclusively as a reliever for the first time in his career and there have been some positive signs. With St. Paul, he pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed one run on two hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. He needs to prove he can translate those strikeout numbers to the big-league level. Guess what Wes Johnson has done with Ferrell? If you said increase his slider usage, you are correct. His slider usage has been increasing each year, but he took a big jump from 41.2% in 2020 to nearly 60% in 2021. His curveball has hardly been used at all as he almost exclusively uses his fastball and slider. His walk rate has been high throughout his big-league career so that will be something to keep an eye on moving forward. Do you think these three players can help the Twins through their recent rash of injuries? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  24. Injuries have hit the Twins hard over the last week and now the club is entering a soft part of their schedule. All teams deal with injuries, but these three players showcase the Twins depth and will be key for the team’s success. Randy Dobnak Using Randy Dobnak as a reliever didn’t exactly go as planned at season’s start and he was sent to St. Paul to get stretched out as soon as the Triple-A season began. In the last couple weeks, Michael Pineda and Kenta Maeda have both ended up on the injured list so Dobnak’s spot in the rotation looks to be safe. In his first start, he pitched six shutout innings with a five to two strikeout to walk ratio. What might be the most encouraging sign is his 12 groundball outs including inducing a double play. When Dobnak is at his best, he is working quickly and using his sinker to get batters to hit the ball on the ground. Minnesota’s improved defense can certainly help Dobnak especially since he is using his sinker almost 50% of the time, which is a 6% jump from 2020. J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker both have ERAs north of 5.40, so Dobnak has the opportunity to take a rotation spot and run with it. Rob Refsnyder Entering the 2020 season, Refsnyder was an afterthought that bounced around through four different organizations. He was a career .217/.205/.297 (.602) hitter with nearly twice as many strikeouts as walks. The Twins signed him to a minor league deal this winter, but injuries to Byron Buxton and Jake Cave made it necessary for Refsnyder to be added to the roster and he’s taking full advantage of the opportunity. Entering play on Monday, Refsnyder is hitting .375/.429/.542 (.970) in nine games with the Twins. Kyle Garlick has been dealing with a groin injury that may continue to hamper him and this means even more time for Refsnyder. He’s 30-years old and doesn’t exactly fit into the team’s long-term plans, but there’s hope the team can ride his hot streaks as long as possible. Maybe he can turn into the 2004 version of Lew Ford? Luke Farrell Minnesota’s bullpen has struggled through most of the season and Farrell shouldn’t be seen as a savior, but he can certainly add depth. He is being used exclusively as a reliever for the first time in his career and there have been some positive signs. With St. Paul, he pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed one run on two hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. He needs to prove he can translate those strikeout numbers to the big-league level. Guess what Wes Johnson has done with Ferrell? If you said increase his slider usage, you are correct. His slider usage has been increasing each year, but he took a big jump from 41.2% in 2020 to nearly 60% in 2021. His curveball has hardly been used at all as he almost exclusively uses his fastball and slider. His walk rate has been high throughout his big-league career so that will be something to keep an eye on moving forward. Do you think these three players can help the Twins through their recent rash of injuries? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  25. Aaron and John talk about one of the weirdest weeks in Twins history, what happens next following multiple positive COVID tests and canceled games, the domino effects of Josh Donaldson's return, why it might be time for Alex Kirilloff's arrival, and the 60/40 nature of baseball decisions. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Listen Here Now Click here to view the article
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