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  1. The Twins were expected all offseason to bring in much needed right-handed outfield help. Now that most of the options are off the board, it’s fair to wonder: Have they already made their right-handed outfield addition for 2023? Image courtesy of David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Kyle Farmer has been an average to good shortstop in every season of his career. He’s moved around the infield a bit and has always been a solid regular no matter where he plays, likely a huge reason the Twins acquired him from Cincinnati this offseason. Now that Carlos Correa becomes the everyday shortstop for the near future, Farmer finds himself in a utility platoon role where he should thrive. Could that role include some time spent in the outfield? Kyle Farmer has spent four total innings in the outfield in his major league career. At 32 years old, it’s somewhat hard to imagine a sudden shift in position, even if it’s just periodically. For as much as the Twins needed depth up the middle for the infield however, Farmer could certainly find himself filling another need in the corner outfield for the Twins. It sure appears the front office is considering this same solution. Farmer is clearly an athlete, gamer, grinder, whatever term you like to use for this brand of utilityman who can do it all while receiving glowing reviews along the way. Long considered a fantastic clubhouse guy and team player despite playing for some disappointing Cincinnati squads, it’s difficult to envision him refusing if the Twins ask him to try something new. While certainly needing time to get acclimated, it’s not uncommon for middle infielders to transition well to the outfield. See Nick Gordon who, just last year, did a fine job of playing in the grass for essentially the first time in his career. It sounds like a tall task for a 32-year-old to jump into a new position, but it’s worth noting that the bar to clear in regards to defense is not very high. The recently DFAed Kyle Garlick has never graded out as above average defensively in his career, and was often well below. He was still a viable player for the limited role he was asked to fill. Kyle Farmer wouldn’t have to be a premier defender in the outfield. If he even slides into the same tier as Garlick defensively it would help the Twins tremendously. He’s likely to still accrue much of his value on the infield, but the added versatility gives the Twins an arsenal of right-handed flexibility. Not to mention the fact that Garlick may be right back up with the MLB squad right away in 2023. Any confidence in Farmer playing outfield would have led to the Twins decision to gamble on losing Garlick to waivers. The noted low bar to clear on defense is the only real concern when it comes to Farmer filling the Garlick role. The two are nearly identical in offensive output. It’s likely that Farmer is capable of being what Garlick was last year, except his recent health paints a much better picture when it comes to availability. And the best part is the Twins gambled and won and still have Garlick waiting in the wings. It may seem like a ridiculous idea to forego a real right-handed outfield acquisition. The high end market was quick however, and it’s entirely possible that a year long combo of Farmer and Garlick could provide just as much value as the Andrew McCutchen and Tommy Pham types. Possibly even more. It’s possible that the Twins still bring in a right-handed outfield option in creative fashion, but the free agency market appears finished. At the end of the day, the Twins may have had their right-handed corner outfield addition way back in November. Kyle Farmer could fill a much different need than we’d have expected. View full article
  2. Kyle Farmer has been an average to good shortstop in every season of his career. He’s moved around the infield a bit and has always been a solid regular no matter where he plays, likely a huge reason the Twins acquired him from Cincinnati this offseason. Now that Carlos Correa becomes the everyday shortstop for the near future, Farmer finds himself in a utility platoon role where he should thrive. Could that role include some time spent in the outfield? Kyle Farmer has spent four total innings in the outfield in his major league career. At 32 years old, it’s somewhat hard to imagine a sudden shift in position, even if it’s just periodically. For as much as the Twins needed depth up the middle for the infield however, Farmer could certainly find himself filling another need in the corner outfield for the Twins. It sure appears the front office is considering this same solution. Farmer is clearly an athlete, gamer, grinder, whatever term you like to use for this brand of utilityman who can do it all while receiving glowing reviews along the way. Long considered a fantastic clubhouse guy and team player despite playing for some disappointing Cincinnati squads, it’s difficult to envision him refusing if the Twins ask him to try something new. While certainly needing time to get acclimated, it’s not uncommon for middle infielders to transition well to the outfield. See Nick Gordon who, just last year, did a fine job of playing in the grass for essentially the first time in his career. It sounds like a tall task for a 32-year-old to jump into a new position, but it’s worth noting that the bar to clear in regards to defense is not very high. The recently DFAed Kyle Garlick has never graded out as above average defensively in his career, and was often well below. He was still a viable player for the limited role he was asked to fill. Kyle Farmer wouldn’t have to be a premier defender in the outfield. If he even slides into the same tier as Garlick defensively it would help the Twins tremendously. He’s likely to still accrue much of his value on the infield, but the added versatility gives the Twins an arsenal of right-handed flexibility. Not to mention the fact that Garlick may be right back up with the MLB squad right away in 2023. Any confidence in Farmer playing outfield would have led to the Twins decision to gamble on losing Garlick to waivers. The noted low bar to clear on defense is the only real concern when it comes to Farmer filling the Garlick role. The two are nearly identical in offensive output. It’s likely that Farmer is capable of being what Garlick was last year, except his recent health paints a much better picture when it comes to availability. And the best part is the Twins gambled and won and still have Garlick waiting in the wings. It may seem like a ridiculous idea to forego a real right-handed outfield acquisition. The high end market was quick however, and it’s entirely possible that a year long combo of Farmer and Garlick could provide just as much value as the Andrew McCutchen and Tommy Pham types. Possibly even more. It’s possible that the Twins still bring in a right-handed outfield option in creative fashion, but the free agency market appears finished. At the end of the day, the Twins may have had their right-handed corner outfield addition way back in November. Kyle Farmer could fill a much different need than we’d have expected.
  3. The Twins failed to secure any of the top right-handed bats on the free agent market. Could they look to a former MVP to marginally improve their offense? He may not be the superstar that he once was, but Andrew McCutcheon does something that this front office loves: he raises the floor. Image courtesy of © Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports At the onset of the off-season, the Minnesota Twins were in dire need of a big, right-handed bat that could be penciled into the middle of the lineup for the 2023 season and beyond. Carlos Correa was their primary target, but all signs seem to indicate he is landing elsewhere. Not only that, but many of their fallback options to fit that role were signed by other teams in the meantime. While Joey Gallo is a solid, albeit misplaced addition from the left-handed side of the batter’s box, the club could still use a reinforcement on the other side of the plate. Enter Andrew McCutchen. He certainly fits this front office’s pattern of finding veteran hitters whose market isn’t developing as fruitfully as they’d like. But could the former MVP make a positive impact if he were to land with the Twins? His 2022 was rather unexciting, but he is only one year removed from a 27-home run season and has had a great clubhouse reputation throughout his career. Is that enough to make unsatisfied Twins fans forget about Correa? Of course not. But the former star shortstop is all but gone. As Ferris Buehler said: you’re still here? It’s over. Go home. The question isn’t whether McCutchen would be better than Correa. But rather, how much of an improvement would he be over their current fourth-outfielder options such as Gilberto Celestino and Kyle Garlick. These two are currently the only other right-handed outfield options beyond Byron Buxton. With the assumption that the star centerfielder will need to see some time at designated hitter and on the bench entirely, their backup plans need to be solidified. Gallo presents a solid defender in center field when that happens, but it would be prudent to have a capable right-handed hitter slide into a corner outfield spot should the opposing pitcher be a southpaw. McCutchen shouldn’t be counted on to hold a majority share of an outfield platoon. After all, he only saw 53 games in the field last season, with his remaining 82 games played coming from the designated hitter slot. However, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to count on him for spot starts in the field. Despite his -11 outs above average over the last three years, he still possessed speed in the 90th percentile in 2022. He may not be the show-stealing, defensive star that he once was, but maybe he could thrive in a supporting role if he’s willing to accept it at this stage of his career. Celestino presents a younger internal option that has had little success offensively so far in his major league career (.222/.292/.300, 71 wRC+) and has been relatively neutral on defense (0 OAA, -2.4 UZR). Those uninspiring numbers mixed with his lapses in judgment that became all too familiar in 2022 signify that he could use more seasoning at Triple-A. Garlick was rather great as a strict, right-handed platoon in the outfield (.243/.305/.500, 128 wRC+ vs. left-handed pitchers). But he too was limited by injuries in 2022, and was slightly worse than Celestino on defense (-3 OAA, -3.3 UZR). Again, McCutchen didn’t have his finest season in 2022, as made evident by his .237/.316/.384 (98 wRC+) slashline on the year. But that overall figure includes a disastrous first eight weeks of the season. From June 5th on, McCutchen had a stellar .252/.343/.427 (118 wRC+) and appeared in nearly every game for the Brewers. That line is spot-on when compared to his combined slashline of .244/.352/.436 (114 wRC+) from 2018-2021. His performance against lefties after getting back on track starting on June 6th was exactly what the Twins could use in 2023 and beyond. He hit a whopping .245/.345/.479 (131 wRC+) against southpaws from that point on. If the Twins could get that version to show up in a potentially more-limited role, it would be a huge boost to the offense. That’s a big if for a player going into their age-36 season. While he’s a fun player to root for with some upside, there’s still plenty of red flags when it comes to his fit with the Twins. Whether it’s his age, diminishing defensive metrics, his inability to hit sliders or lack of true star-level upside, McCutchen is far from a perfect player. Not to mention, the Twins decision-makers have a reputation for sticking with a struggling veteran for far too long in recent years, as was the case for players such as JA Happ, Matt Shoemaker and Andrelton Simmons. Would they be able to pull the plug if McCutchen got off to another horrid start? It’s clear that McCutchen won’t save the Twins after they lost out on re-signing Correa. It’s a huge task to replace a superstar shortstop in the prime of their career. He’s not the big bat that the Twins desperately needed when the off-season began. But there is certainly a lot that the former MVP could do to marginally improve the team on the field and in the clubhouse. Does he do anything for you? View full article
  4. At the onset of the off-season, the Minnesota Twins were in dire need of a big, right-handed bat that could be penciled into the middle of the lineup for the 2023 season and beyond. Carlos Correa was their primary target, but all signs seem to indicate he is landing elsewhere. Not only that, but many of their fallback options to fit that role were signed by other teams in the meantime. While Joey Gallo is a solid, albeit misplaced addition from the left-handed side of the batter’s box, the club could still use a reinforcement on the other side of the plate. Enter Andrew McCutchen. He certainly fits this front office’s pattern of finding veteran hitters whose market isn’t developing as fruitfully as they’d like. But could the former MVP make a positive impact if he were to land with the Twins? His 2022 was rather unexciting, but he is only one year removed from a 27-home run season and has had a great clubhouse reputation throughout his career. Is that enough to make unsatisfied Twins fans forget about Correa? Of course not. But the former star shortstop is all but gone. As Ferris Buehler said: you’re still here? It’s over. Go home. The question isn’t whether McCutchen would be better than Correa. But rather, how much of an improvement would he be over their current fourth-outfielder options such as Gilberto Celestino and Kyle Garlick. These two are currently the only other right-handed outfield options beyond Byron Buxton. With the assumption that the star centerfielder will need to see some time at designated hitter and on the bench entirely, their backup plans need to be solidified. Gallo presents a solid defender in center field when that happens, but it would be prudent to have a capable right-handed hitter slide into a corner outfield spot should the opposing pitcher be a southpaw. McCutchen shouldn’t be counted on to hold a majority share of an outfield platoon. After all, he only saw 53 games in the field last season, with his remaining 82 games played coming from the designated hitter slot. However, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to count on him for spot starts in the field. Despite his -11 outs above average over the last three years, he still possessed speed in the 90th percentile in 2022. He may not be the show-stealing, defensive star that he once was, but maybe he could thrive in a supporting role if he’s willing to accept it at this stage of his career. Celestino presents a younger internal option that has had little success offensively so far in his major league career (.222/.292/.300, 71 wRC+) and has been relatively neutral on defense (0 OAA, -2.4 UZR). Those uninspiring numbers mixed with his lapses in judgment that became all too familiar in 2022 signify that he could use more seasoning at Triple-A. Garlick was rather great as a strict, right-handed platoon in the outfield (.243/.305/.500, 128 wRC+ vs. left-handed pitchers). But he too was limited by injuries in 2022, and was slightly worse than Celestino on defense (-3 OAA, -3.3 UZR). Again, McCutchen didn’t have his finest season in 2022, as made evident by his .237/.316/.384 (98 wRC+) slashline on the year. But that overall figure includes a disastrous first eight weeks of the season. From June 5th on, McCutchen had a stellar .252/.343/.427 (118 wRC+) and appeared in nearly every game for the Brewers. That line is spot-on when compared to his combined slashline of .244/.352/.436 (114 wRC+) from 2018-2021. His performance against lefties after getting back on track starting on June 6th was exactly what the Twins could use in 2023 and beyond. He hit a whopping .245/.345/.479 (131 wRC+) against southpaws from that point on. If the Twins could get that version to show up in a potentially more-limited role, it would be a huge boost to the offense. That’s a big if for a player going into their age-36 season. While he’s a fun player to root for with some upside, there’s still plenty of red flags when it comes to his fit with the Twins. Whether it’s his age, diminishing defensive metrics, his inability to hit sliders or lack of true star-level upside, McCutchen is far from a perfect player. Not to mention, the Twins decision-makers have a reputation for sticking with a struggling veteran for far too long in recent years, as was the case for players such as JA Happ, Matt Shoemaker and Andrelton Simmons. Would they be able to pull the plug if McCutchen got off to another horrid start? It’s clear that McCutchen won’t save the Twins after they lost out on re-signing Correa. It’s a huge task to replace a superstar shortstop in the prime of their career. He’s not the big bat that the Twins desperately needed when the off-season began. But there is certainly a lot that the former MVP could do to marginally improve the team on the field and in the clubhouse. Does he do anything for you?
  5. The shelves in Oakland are bare as the A’s continue to gut their roster. One key piece remains however, and if Billy Beane and company are looking to shed even more payroll, the Twins should be on the phone. Image courtesy of © Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports Ramon Laureano was once a huge name on the trade market before failing a PED test and having a down season in 2022. Still, at 28 years old the talented outfielder has a lot to offer a team that’s trying to contend. Laureano’s peak season came in the juiced ball season of 2019 when he posted a 127 wRC+ and was a 4+ win player. Though failing to match that level of output since, Laureano has been an above average hitter in two of three seasons. His defensive value has taken a bit of a hit, though his outfield jump and arm remain at near elite levels. His days as an everyday centerfield may be behind him, but his four defensive runs saved in right field in 2022 show that he can still be a plus defender in the corner with the ability to slide over in a pinch. Laureano isn’t an elite hitter, but he’s a solid one. His best tool is typically his barrel rate and the right-handed hitter is fantastic against left-handed pitching, slashing .268/.346/.444 against southpaws in his career. Despite a disappointing .663 OPS in 2022, Laureano still carries a .768 OPS in his career. It’s hard to imagine he’s done producing at his age. Ramon Laureano is a fiery player and would provide the Twins with a superior and more versatile right-handed option in the outfield than someone like Kyle Garlick. With news that Joey Gallo will be moving around, sometimes to DH and even in the infield, there should be plenty of at bats to go around in the outfield rotation if the Twins want to consolidate their depth. In regards to cost, the Twins would be buying low on Laureano who was a slightly below average hitter in 2022 and proved that his days as an everyday centerfielder are likely finished. Still, a rebound to some degree is probably in the cards, and him being a plus defender in a corner is likely with his raw skills. He won’t cost as much as he once would have, but given his team control through 2025, he’ll still cost a fair bit. Looking at recent trades the A’s have spun for players such as Sean Murphy and Frankie Montas, they seem to favor quantity on the return to quality. Given their inability to fetch top tier prospects for either of these two, the Twins farm system may be a good match considering we’d prefer to hang onto players at the top of our rankings. It’s entirely likely that prospects such as Austin Martin are options as part of the package. Even someone like Gilberto Celestino could make up a portion of a trade given the disappointing debut of Christin Pache in 2022. It’s hard to say what Oakland would be interested in, though it’s safe to say they’re willing to unload Laureano’s increasing arbitration money, and it’s unlikely his cost would cripple the Twins farm system. Adding another dependable outfielder could also open up players such as Matt Wallner or Trevor Larnach for trade packages to acquire further talent if the Twins chose to go that route. While it seems like they have the outfield squared away, Laureano could shake things up and open up an entire world of possibilities. It’s sounded like the Twins are focused on the position player side in trade talks. They should be, assuming Carlos Correa works out a deal elsewhere. Laureano would be the solid right-handed outfield bat it was long expected they’d be pursuing. It may finally be time for the Twins to get involved in the gross teardown in Oakland by prying their final asset away, View full article
  6. Ramon Laureano was once a huge name on the trade market before failing a PED test and having a down season in 2022. Still, at 28 years old the talented outfielder has a lot to offer a team that’s trying to contend. Laureano’s peak season came in the juiced ball season of 2019 when he posted a 127 wRC+ and was a 4+ win player. Though failing to match that level of output since, Laureano has been an above average hitter in two of three seasons. His defensive value has taken a bit of a hit, though his outfield jump and arm remain at near elite levels. His days as an everyday centerfield may be behind him, but his four defensive runs saved in right field in 2022 show that he can still be a plus defender in the corner with the ability to slide over in a pinch. Laureano isn’t an elite hitter, but he’s a solid one. His best tool is typically his barrel rate and the right-handed hitter is fantastic against left-handed pitching, slashing .268/.346/.444 against southpaws in his career. Despite a disappointing .663 OPS in 2022, Laureano still carries a .768 OPS in his career. It’s hard to imagine he’s done producing at his age. Ramon Laureano is a fiery player and would provide the Twins with a superior and more versatile right-handed option in the outfield than someone like Kyle Garlick. With news that Joey Gallo will be moving around, sometimes to DH and even in the infield, there should be plenty of at bats to go around in the outfield rotation if the Twins want to consolidate their depth. In regards to cost, the Twins would be buying low on Laureano who was a slightly below average hitter in 2022 and proved that his days as an everyday centerfielder are likely finished. Still, a rebound to some degree is probably in the cards, and him being a plus defender in a corner is likely with his raw skills. He won’t cost as much as he once would have, but given his team control through 2025, he’ll still cost a fair bit. Looking at recent trades the A’s have spun for players such as Sean Murphy and Frankie Montas, they seem to favor quantity on the return to quality. Given their inability to fetch top tier prospects for either of these two, the Twins farm system may be a good match considering we’d prefer to hang onto players at the top of our rankings. It’s entirely likely that prospects such as Austin Martin are options as part of the package. Even someone like Gilberto Celestino could make up a portion of a trade given the disappointing debut of Christin Pache in 2022. It’s hard to say what Oakland would be interested in, though it’s safe to say they’re willing to unload Laureano’s increasing arbitration money, and it’s unlikely his cost would cripple the Twins farm system. Adding another dependable outfielder could also open up players such as Matt Wallner or Trevor Larnach for trade packages to acquire further talent if the Twins chose to go that route. While it seems like they have the outfield squared away, Laureano could shake things up and open up an entire world of possibilities. It’s sounded like the Twins are focused on the position player side in trade talks. They should be, assuming Carlos Correa works out a deal elsewhere. Laureano would be the solid right-handed outfield bat it was long expected they’d be pursuing. It may finally be time for the Twins to get involved in the gross teardown in Oakland by prying their final asset away,
  7. Trey Mancini has been an all-star caliber hitter, but has had his highs and lows since. Last year, those highs made him a big target at the trade deadline, but the lows make him an affordable free agent. That’s just one reason why Mancini could be a perfect fit for the Twins' roster. Image courtesy of Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports Trey Mancini is just coming off the best feeling in the world of baseball: a World Series championship. At the beginning of the season, Mancini was with the Baltimore Orioles, the organization he had played for since they drafted him in 2013. The Orioles were just getting hot as Mancini's bat cooled off, but the Astros still saw something. The 30-year-old was part of a three-team trade that sent him from Baltimore to Houston. Mancini was hitting .268/.347/.404 with ten homers before the trade and was a "high-value" hitter, which would undoubtedly have helped in the postseason. Mancini came in as a veteran player at first base and helped alleviate some pressure from struggling first baseman Yuli Gurriel. He could also serve as a DH, and played 31 games in the corner outfield positions, but his bat was most attractive to the Astros. However, Mancini slumped in Houston, hitting .176/.258/.364, and struggled in the postseason. One could easily blame that on a major trade late in the season and after being with a club for six seasons, but he certainly did not produce like the Astros’ thought he would at the plate. However, he did play great defense, which helped secure game five of the World Series. He snagged a hit off Kyle Schwarber and got his first postseason hit in game six, which resulted in a run. He did both of these coming off the bench. He shared his frame of mind with Michael Shapiro of Chron in a post-game interview. “In a series of this magnitude, you can’t reflect on what’s going on. You have to look forward,” Mancini explained. “You gotta wash [your mistakes], go to the next day and be ready for your team.” The Twins can relate to late-season and postseason struggles. They started hot last season but faltered after the All-Star break, mainly due to injuries. Those injuries forced the organization to bring up many Triple-A players pushed to the big leagues potentially before they were ready, and those injuries leave a lot of question marks in exactly the positions where Mancini played. Twins players cycled through first base and designated hitter last year after Miguel Sano was injured. Luis Arraez will certainly play one of those spots after earning himself the American League batting title and contributing heavily to many of the Twins' wins. But even Arraez's time was limited due to injuries and pain, but still earned his first Silver Slugger Award. Meanwhile, the Twins' corner outfield positions are mostly manned by unproven younger players, many of whom have injury concerns, and almost all of whom hit left-handed. Mancini's veteran right-handed bat is a great compliment to those spots, too. So there are a lot of places where he would be a benefit to the squad. Plus, with Mancini's late-season fade, the Twins could likely offer him a short-term deal. Mancini would be a better overall player than the Twins' Kyle Garlick, who the Twins signed on November 15 to a one-year $750,000 deal to avoid arbitration. Garlick managed to have good numbers in 2022 despite being hurt throughout the season. Garlick has worked out well for the team, particularly his ability to get clutch hits off lefties, but his role has been limited, and he's had trouble staying healthy, too. Mancini's health is also a significant part of his story. After his breakthrough 2019 season, he missed the 2020 season with stage III colon cancer. His return earned him the 2021 AL Comeback Player of the Year award. 2022 was another step forward, and ended in a World Championship. Perhaps 2023 can, too? That would also be a good fit for Mancini and the Twins. What do you think? Do you like Mancini as a pickup for the Twins this offseason? Tell us in the comments below. View full article
  8. Trey Mancini is just coming off the best feeling in the world of baseball: a World Series championship. At the beginning of the season, Mancini was with the Baltimore Orioles, the organization he had played for since they drafted him in 2013. The Orioles were just getting hot as Mancini's bat cooled off, but the Astros still saw something. The 30-year-old was part of a three-team trade that sent him from Baltimore to Houston. Mancini was hitting .268/.347/.404 with ten homers before the trade and was a "high-value" hitter, which would undoubtedly have helped in the postseason. Mancini came in as a veteran player at first base and helped alleviate some pressure from struggling first baseman Yuli Gurriel. He could also serve as a DH, and played 31 games in the corner outfield positions, but his bat was most attractive to the Astros. However, Mancini slumped in Houston, hitting .176/.258/.364, and struggled in the postseason. One could easily blame that on a major trade late in the season and after being with a club for six seasons, but he certainly did not produce like the Astros’ thought he would at the plate. However, he did play great defense, which helped secure game five of the World Series. He snagged a hit off Kyle Schwarber and got his first postseason hit in game six, which resulted in a run. He did both of these coming off the bench. He shared his frame of mind with Michael Shapiro of Chron in a post-game interview. “In a series of this magnitude, you can’t reflect on what’s going on. You have to look forward,” Mancini explained. “You gotta wash [your mistakes], go to the next day and be ready for your team.” The Twins can relate to late-season and postseason struggles. They started hot last season but faltered after the All-Star break, mainly due to injuries. Those injuries forced the organization to bring up many Triple-A players pushed to the big leagues potentially before they were ready, and those injuries leave a lot of question marks in exactly the positions where Mancini played. Twins players cycled through first base and designated hitter last year after Miguel Sano was injured. Luis Arraez will certainly play one of those spots after earning himself the American League batting title and contributing heavily to many of the Twins' wins. But even Arraez's time was limited due to injuries and pain, but still earned his first Silver Slugger Award. Meanwhile, the Twins' corner outfield positions are mostly manned by unproven younger players, many of whom have injury concerns, and almost all of whom hit left-handed. Mancini's veteran right-handed bat is a great compliment to those spots, too. So there are a lot of places where he would be a benefit to the squad. Plus, with Mancini's late-season fade, the Twins could likely offer him a short-term deal. Mancini would be a better overall player than the Twins' Kyle Garlick, who the Twins signed on November 15 to a one-year $750,000 deal to avoid arbitration. Garlick managed to have good numbers in 2022 despite being hurt throughout the season. Garlick has worked out well for the team, particularly his ability to get clutch hits off lefties, but his role has been limited, and he's had trouble staying healthy, too. Mancini's health is also a significant part of his story. After his breakthrough 2019 season, he missed the 2020 season with stage III colon cancer. His return earned him the 2021 AL Comeback Player of the Year award. 2022 was another step forward, and ended in a World Championship. Perhaps 2023 can, too? That would also be a good fit for Mancini and the Twins. What do you think? Do you like Mancini as a pickup for the Twins this offseason? Tell us in the comments below.
  9. Mitch Haniger is an ideal candidate to add some right-handed thump to a lineup that lost its best right-handed hitter this offseason. Image courtesy of Steven Bisig - USA Today Sports The slow erosion that was the 2022 season has given way to guarded excitement as we enter free agency. The Twins have a true tabula rasa, with around $60 million to spend to get in the ballpark of last year’s payroll total. Much of the focus has centered on shortstop, catcher, and high upside starting pitching, understandably so. I’d argue a right-handed, outfield power-bat should be on the shopping list, too. Enter Mitch Haniger. Twins Need a Viable, Right Handed, Big Bat Haniger would serve several purposes in the Twins lineup; let's address a few. He’d replace the thump that somewhat absorbs losing Carlos Correa. While there are rumblings that the Twins are preparing to offer Correa the largest contract in franchise history, it remains unlikely the Twins will add one of the uber-shortstops this winter, in which case, they need a right-handed power bat. Additionally, the Twins need to bring balance to their outfield. Byron Buxton and Kyle Garlick combined to play 158 games for the Twins in 2022 (many at DH). Beyond these two players, the Twins outfield options (Max Kepler, Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, Matt Wallner) are left-handed. Haniger Doesn’t Break the Bank Let’s deal with some elephants in some rooms. First, Haniger does not have a good health track record. Since 2018, he’s alternated playing close to 160 games, or 60 games in a season. While you may have already stopped reading given the Twins recent track record with injuries, they hired a new athletic trainer and it’s a new season. In 2022, Haniger’s missed time was largely due to a high ankle sprain. Haniger’s injury history also means a more reasonable price point. MLB Trade Rumors projected his contract to be 3 years, $39 million. In the last two seasons in which Haniger has remained healthy, he’s put up 7.3 fWAR. That’s plenty good value. It’s unlikely, but if Haniger didn’t like the offers he received early in the offseason, perhaps he’d take a two-year deal at a higher AAV (2 years, $32 million). At just 31, that seems feasible. Massive Upside Lastly, let’s talk upside. Haniger is a monster when healthy. He’s also a pull side right-handed hitter, which would play well at Target Field. In his major league career, Haniger has shown significant consistency, putting up a career .476 SLG, 122 wRC+, and .811 OPS. If he’s on the field, you know what you’re going to get. In Haniger’s last two full seasons, he’s combined for 60 home runs, so an expectation of 30 in 150 games seems reasonable. Lastly, Haniger adds some experience to an extremely young core. There’s a lot to like. Clearly, much of what the Twins accomplish this offseason will depend on their solution at shortstop. If they fail to land one of the premier options, a pivot to Haniger as a high impact bat, and an elite front of the rotation starter would soften the blow for me. What do you think of Mitch Haniger as a fit for the Twins? Who are other options you’d consider as big bats beyond the elite start shortstops this offseason? View full article
  10. The slow erosion that was the 2022 season has given way to guarded excitement as we enter free agency. The Twins have a true tabula rasa, with around $60 million to spend to get in the ballpark of last year’s payroll total. Much of the focus has centered on shortstop, catcher, and high upside starting pitching, understandably so. I’d argue a right-handed, outfield power-bat should be on the shopping list, too. Enter Mitch Haniger. Twins Need a Viable, Right Handed, Big Bat Haniger would serve several purposes in the Twins lineup; let's address a few. He’d replace the thump that somewhat absorbs losing Carlos Correa. While there are rumblings that the Twins are preparing to offer Correa the largest contract in franchise history, it remains unlikely the Twins will add one of the uber-shortstops this winter, in which case, they need a right-handed power bat. Additionally, the Twins need to bring balance to their outfield. Byron Buxton and Kyle Garlick combined to play 158 games for the Twins in 2022 (many at DH). Beyond these two players, the Twins outfield options (Max Kepler, Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, Matt Wallner) are left-handed. Haniger Doesn’t Break the Bank Let’s deal with some elephants in some rooms. First, Haniger does not have a good health track record. Since 2018, he’s alternated playing close to 160 games, or 60 games in a season. While you may have already stopped reading given the Twins recent track record with injuries, they hired a new athletic trainer and it’s a new season. In 2022, Haniger’s missed time was largely due to a high ankle sprain. Haniger’s injury history also means a more reasonable price point. MLB Trade Rumors projected his contract to be 3 years, $39 million. In the last two seasons in which Haniger has remained healthy, he’s put up 7.3 fWAR. That’s plenty good value. It’s unlikely, but if Haniger didn’t like the offers he received early in the offseason, perhaps he’d take a two-year deal at a higher AAV (2 years, $32 million). At just 31, that seems feasible. Massive Upside Lastly, let’s talk upside. Haniger is a monster when healthy. He’s also a pull side right-handed hitter, which would play well at Target Field. In his major league career, Haniger has shown significant consistency, putting up a career .476 SLG, 122 wRC+, and .811 OPS. If he’s on the field, you know what you’re going to get. In Haniger’s last two full seasons, he’s combined for 60 home runs, so an expectation of 30 in 150 games seems reasonable. Lastly, Haniger adds some experience to an extremely young core. There’s a lot to like. Clearly, much of what the Twins accomplish this offseason will depend on their solution at shortstop. If they fail to land one of the premier options, a pivot to Haniger as a high impact bat, and an elite front of the rotation starter would soften the blow for me. What do you think of Mitch Haniger as a fit for the Twins? Who are other options you’d consider as big bats beyond the elite start shortstops this offseason?
  11. On Monday Night, news broke that the Twins agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder Kyle Garlick for $750,000. Let’s talk about it. Image courtesy of Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports The Good Lord put Kyle Garlick on this Earth to do one thing: mash left-handed pitching. The 30-year-old isn’t a great fielder, has never taken more than 200 plate appearances in a season at the major league level, and consistently fails to hold a Duolingo streak (allegedly). But, he can put a hurt on a ball thrown from a southpaw like few players in MLB. Garlick’s career slash line against lefties is a lopsided .251/.301/.538, almost a mirror image of Byron Buxton’s .224/.306/.526 total effort in 2022, and a hearty upgrade over the average AL slash line against lefties in 2022 (.246/.315/.399). I tried typing Garlick’s line against right-handers, but the power ominously flicked on and off while a ghastly voice told me the day of my death. For Minnesota, the fit is obvious; the team is 21st in MLB in OPS against lefties dating back to the 2020 season, as core players like Max Kepler and, strangely, Miguel Sanó have found themselves flummoxed when facing southpaws. While other lefty killers like Mitch Garver and C.J. Cron have exited stage right, the Twins have struggled to find replacements, and the team that dominated lefties in 2019 (.872 OPS!!) needs aid against them. This is an aside, but Nelson Cruz hit .361/.438/.730 against lefties while in a Twins uniform. Man, that guy rocked. For Garlick, the deal is a nice safety net; players who break into the league at the age of 27 don’t usually become roster fixtures, and Garlick’s two-year tenure with the Twins has so far represented the heftiest playing time any major-league franchise has offered him. Health has also failed Garlick. The outfielder suffered four separate injuries in 2022 while a sports hernia knocked out most of his 2021 campaign. His new contract worth $750,000 is now a little over the veteran minimum of $700,000, making the deal a slight perk up to his paycheck. Garlick will never be an impact player, but every team needs tertiary specialists, and the Twins have been significantly lacking in players who can thump a lefty. It’s easy to imagine a late-game scenario where Rocco Baldelli pinch-hits Garlick with a lefty reliever stuck on the mound, giving the Twins a better chance to nab an extra-base hit, potentially securing a crucial run. Or, maybe, Garlick starts against a tough lefty, cranking two homers in a rousing effort. You don’t even need to imagine that one because he did it last year against Shane McClanahan. In any case, the deal is a low-stakes buy-in for a player who helps fix a desperate roster need. If healthy, Garlick could be a useful piece against a niche, yet important, variety of pitcher. If he isn't healthy, the team is down a sum of money any good accountant could wipe away with ease. View full article
  12. The Good Lord put Kyle Garlick on this Earth to do one thing: mash left-handed pitching. The 30-year-old isn’t a great fielder, has never taken more than 200 plate appearances in a season at the major league level, and consistently fails to hold a Duolingo streak (allegedly). But, he can put a hurt on a ball thrown from a southpaw like few players in MLB. Garlick’s career slash line against lefties is a lopsided .251/.301/.538, almost a mirror image of Byron Buxton’s .224/.306/.526 total effort in 2022, and a hearty upgrade over the average AL slash line against lefties in 2022 (.246/.315/.399). I tried typing Garlick’s line against right-handers, but the power ominously flicked on and off while a ghastly voice told me the day of my death. For Minnesota, the fit is obvious; the team is 21st in MLB in OPS against lefties dating back to the 2020 season, as core players like Max Kepler and, strangely, Miguel Sanó have found themselves flummoxed when facing southpaws. While other lefty killers like Mitch Garver and C.J. Cron have exited stage right, the Twins have struggled to find replacements, and the team that dominated lefties in 2019 (.872 OPS!!) needs aid against them. This is an aside, but Nelson Cruz hit .361/.438/.730 against lefties while in a Twins uniform. Man, that guy rocked. For Garlick, the deal is a nice safety net; players who break into the league at the age of 27 don’t usually become roster fixtures, and Garlick’s two-year tenure with the Twins has so far represented the heftiest playing time any major-league franchise has offered him. Health has also failed Garlick. The outfielder suffered four separate injuries in 2022 while a sports hernia knocked out most of his 2021 campaign. His new contract worth $750,000 is now a little over the veteran minimum of $700,000, making the deal a slight perk up to his paycheck. Garlick will never be an impact player, but every team needs tertiary specialists, and the Twins have been significantly lacking in players who can thump a lefty. It’s easy to imagine a late-game scenario where Rocco Baldelli pinch-hits Garlick with a lefty reliever stuck on the mound, giving the Twins a better chance to nab an extra-base hit, potentially securing a crucial run. Or, maybe, Garlick starts against a tough lefty, cranking two homers in a rousing effort. You don’t even need to imagine that one because he did it last year against Shane McClanahan. In any case, the deal is a low-stakes buy-in for a player who helps fix a desperate roster need. If healthy, Garlick could be a useful piece against a niche, yet important, variety of pitcher. If he isn't healthy, the team is down a sum of money any good accountant could wipe away with ease.
  13. Kyle Garlick is headed into another offseason having produced admirably while missing a good chunk of games due to injury. As the Twins hopefully head toward a roster shakeup, could they move on from their lefty-mashing specialist? Image courtesy of Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports 2019 seems like a long time ago, back when the Twins’ eyes would light up seeing a left-handed pitcher take the mound. The outfield in particular has become so left-handed heavy that the team’s performance against southpaws as a whole has taken a hit. Trevor Larnach, Max Kepler, Alex Kirilloff, and Nick Gordon all saw significant time in 2022 and the Twins ranked 20th in OPS matching up against lefties. A handful of outfield prospects remain, though not of the right-handed variety. We’ve seen Matt Wallner, and another top outfield prospect, Emmanuel Rodriguez, hits from the left side as well. In other words, help in this department is not on the way internally. For that reason, bringing back the cheap and known commodity Kyle Garlick makes sense… right? Garlick’s overall numbers fail to impress, but the Twins brought him in to hit lefties and he’s done that well. Posting an .805 OPS and 128 wRC+, six of his nine homers came in these matchups. When healthy, Garlick was penciled into the top of most lineups in an advantageous matchup. One issue at this point, however, is Garlick’s health. After playing in just 36 games in 2021 due to a core muscle injury, he again missed significant time, playing 66 games in 2022 before rib and wrist issues shut his season down and limited his effectiveness. Now over the age of 30, is it fair to count on Garlick suddenly becoming healthier? Also, consider the state of the Twins outfield. Byron Buxton is going to miss time. Kirilloff and Larnach have also done so in each of the last two seasons. Max Kepler may be on the outs, but if he remains with the team it seems a foregone conclusion that he’ll be limping his way through September every season. Garlick’s complementary right-handed bat may be canceled out by his inability to stay on the field. Even if healthy, it’s important to keep in mind that Garlick is a one-dimensional player. He was brought in to mash lefties and that’s about where his capabilities end. Though a nice potential role player on a competing team, it’s fair to ask whether a team coming off back-to-back losing seasons can justify giving a roster spot to such a player. Without much defense to provide, Garlick also posted just a .631 OPS against right-handed pitching. On a roster such as the Twins where players are simply going to miss time, Garlick is bound to find himself in inopportune situations as we saw this year. In those cases, the negative impact Garlick has on games begins to overshadow the somewhat rare opportunities he was brought in to fill against lefties. It’s possible the Twins bring Garlick back. He’s cheap and his skillset does complement their roster. Big changes are needed, however, and the Twins days of pretending they have the baseline of a first-place roster capable of carrying one-dimensional role players may be in the past. A roster shakeup may be coming. Many have called for parting ways with Max Kepler. While the Twins have prospects such as Wallner ready, they could also part with someone like Garlick and bring in a right-handed bat with more than just one skill to offer. After parts of two seasons, we know what Kyle Garlick is. While he has his flaws, his career will certainly carry on with another team should the Twins move on. The question is whether they should. Is Kyle Garlick the perfect match for the Twins left-handed heavy outfield, or should they look for an upgraded version of his skillset? View full article
  14. 2019 seems like a long time ago, back when the Twins’ eyes would light up seeing a left-handed pitcher take the mound. The outfield in particular has become so left-handed heavy that the team’s performance against southpaws as a whole has taken a hit. Trevor Larnach, Max Kepler, Alex Kirilloff, and Nick Gordon all saw significant time in 2022 and the Twins ranked 20th in OPS matching up against lefties. A handful of outfield prospects remain, though not of the right-handed variety. We’ve seen Matt Wallner, and another top outfield prospect, Emmanuel Rodriguez, hits from the left side as well. In other words, help in this department is not on the way internally. For that reason, bringing back the cheap and known commodity Kyle Garlick makes sense… right? Garlick’s overall numbers fail to impress, but the Twins brought him in to hit lefties and he’s done that well. Posting an .805 OPS and 128 wRC+, six of his nine homers came in these matchups. When healthy, Garlick was penciled into the top of most lineups in an advantageous matchup. One issue at this point, however, is Garlick’s health. After playing in just 36 games in 2021 due to a core muscle injury, he again missed significant time, playing 66 games in 2022 before rib and wrist issues shut his season down and limited his effectiveness. Now over the age of 30, is it fair to count on Garlick suddenly becoming healthier? Also, consider the state of the Twins outfield. Byron Buxton is going to miss time. Kirilloff and Larnach have also done so in each of the last two seasons. Max Kepler may be on the outs, but if he remains with the team it seems a foregone conclusion that he’ll be limping his way through September every season. Garlick’s complementary right-handed bat may be canceled out by his inability to stay on the field. Even if healthy, it’s important to keep in mind that Garlick is a one-dimensional player. He was brought in to mash lefties and that’s about where his capabilities end. Though a nice potential role player on a competing team, it’s fair to ask whether a team coming off back-to-back losing seasons can justify giving a roster spot to such a player. Without much defense to provide, Garlick also posted just a .631 OPS against right-handed pitching. On a roster such as the Twins where players are simply going to miss time, Garlick is bound to find himself in inopportune situations as we saw this year. In those cases, the negative impact Garlick has on games begins to overshadow the somewhat rare opportunities he was brought in to fill against lefties. It’s possible the Twins bring Garlick back. He’s cheap and his skillset does complement their roster. Big changes are needed, however, and the Twins days of pretending they have the baseline of a first-place roster capable of carrying one-dimensional role players may be in the past. A roster shakeup may be coming. Many have called for parting ways with Max Kepler. While the Twins have prospects such as Wallner ready, they could also part with someone like Garlick and bring in a right-handed bat with more than just one skill to offer. After parts of two seasons, we know what Kyle Garlick is. While he has his flaws, his career will certainly carry on with another team should the Twins move on. The question is whether they should. Is Kyle Garlick the perfect match for the Twins left-handed heavy outfield, or should they look for an upgraded version of his skillset?
  15. The Twins took a 30-minute break before getting back on the dirt with the Yankees, who they lost to in Game 1 of a two-game day. After battling for 12 innings, the Twins needed to dig deep to still keep the hopes alive of at least getting a split. Image courtesy of Gary Vasquez, USA Today Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K ( 89 pitches, 57 strikes (64%)) Home Runs: Carlos Correa (17) Bottom 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (-0.77), Jose Miranda (-0.65), Gilberto Celestino (-0.50) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Yankees have been floundering for the past six weeks, but Aaron Judge and a gang of "Who's That" swept the Twins and have won all three games of this series. The Yankees had not seen Joe Ryan before, so maybe the advantage was in Ryan’s favor. Ryan started the game with a 13-pitch at-bat against Aaron Hicks before getting a ground out. He left the mound having issued 34 pitches in the first inning. He had two walks and faced six batters, but no runs scored. Ryan has been struggling with his off-speed pitches as of late, not breaking where they should or where he wants them to, leaving hanging sliders in prime territory for hitting. The Twins attempted to get something going in the fourth inning and just like the earlier game, they got on the board first thanks to a solo home run from Carlos Correa, but the score didn’t stay there for long. Ryan managed to gather himself, retiring six hitters in a row in the 2nd and 3rd innings. As he crept toward 70 pitches in the bottom of the fourth, with no outs, he loaded the bases. Isiah Kiner-Falefa stepped up to the plate and on pitch one, a slider, he hit the ball deep into left field for his first career grand slam to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead. The most painful part? According to Aaron Gleeman, with runners in scoring position, IFK has now hit more home runs against the Twins than Correa has hit for the Twins. Jovani Moran came in to relieve Ryan in the fifth inning. The lefty kept things copesetic for the club through the sixth inning. The only threat from the Yankees was Estevan Florial hitting a line drive to Jake Cave in left field and Marwin Gonzalez advanced from third to home, but Cave fired off a cannon to home plate, getting Gonzalez out to end the inning. Moran has been exceptional in the past few games that he has made appearances in. In this game, he didn’t allow a run in the two innings and has only allowed seven runs overall this season (in the big leagues, that is), and has a 2.05 ERA. He is effective and gets the job done despite his ERA of 6+ at St. Paul this year. Even Emilio Pagan had an effective outing, not allowing any runs. The Twins offense has been really bad. The Twins tried to manufacture runs throughout the evening, but couldn’t get past the Yankees pitching, led by Gerrit Cole. The seventh inning showed promise with runners on the corners and Correa back up at bat, but Lucas Luetge went hard on Correa and struck him out swinging. Even if the Twins wanted to try and come back into the game, the bottom of the eighth all but sealed the deal for the team when Austin Davis loaded the bases with three walks after two outs. Aaron Hicks hit a line drive to left field for a double to score Kiner-Falefa, Florial, and Oswald Peraza stretching the lead to 7-1. Five of the seven earned runs in this game came from walks. They are right, walks will haunt, especially five of them. As the Twins finish up the series with the Yankees and move into all divisional games coming up, the fight to stay in the race is going to be brutal. Do you think the Twins can pull out of this and still take the division? Final Pitching Match-Up for this Series: Monday 6:40 pm CST: Sonny Gray (7-4, 3.10 ERA) vs. RHP Nestor Cortes (9-4, 2.68 ERA) Postgame Interview Coming soon Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  16. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K ( 89 pitches, 57 strikes (64%)) Home Runs: Carlos Correa (17) Bottom 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (-0.77), Jose Miranda (-0.65), Gilberto Celestino (-0.50) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Yankees have been floundering for the past six weeks, but Aaron Judge and a gang of "Who's That" swept the Twins and have won all three games of this series. The Yankees had not seen Joe Ryan before, so maybe the advantage was in Ryan’s favor. Ryan started the game with a 13-pitch at-bat against Aaron Hicks before getting a ground out. He left the mound having issued 34 pitches in the first inning. He had two walks and faced six batters, but no runs scored. Ryan has been struggling with his off-speed pitches as of late, not breaking where they should or where he wants them to, leaving hanging sliders in prime territory for hitting. The Twins attempted to get something going in the fourth inning and just like the earlier game, they got on the board first thanks to a solo home run from Carlos Correa, but the score didn’t stay there for long. Ryan managed to gather himself, retiring six hitters in a row in the 2nd and 3rd innings. As he crept toward 70 pitches in the bottom of the fourth, with no outs, he loaded the bases. Isiah Kiner-Falefa stepped up to the plate and on pitch one, a slider, he hit the ball deep into left field for his first career grand slam to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead. The most painful part? According to Aaron Gleeman, with runners in scoring position, IFK has now hit more home runs against the Twins than Correa has hit for the Twins. Jovani Moran came in to relieve Ryan in the fifth inning. The lefty kept things copesetic for the club through the sixth inning. The only threat from the Yankees was Estevan Florial hitting a line drive to Jake Cave in left field and Marwin Gonzalez advanced from third to home, but Cave fired off a cannon to home plate, getting Gonzalez out to end the inning. Moran has been exceptional in the past few games that he has made appearances in. In this game, he didn’t allow a run in the two innings and has only allowed seven runs overall this season (in the big leagues, that is), and has a 2.05 ERA. He is effective and gets the job done despite his ERA of 6+ at St. Paul this year. Even Emilio Pagan had an effective outing, not allowing any runs. The Twins offense has been really bad. The Twins tried to manufacture runs throughout the evening, but couldn’t get past the Yankees pitching, led by Gerrit Cole. The seventh inning showed promise with runners on the corners and Correa back up at bat, but Lucas Luetge went hard on Correa and struck him out swinging. Even if the Twins wanted to try and come back into the game, the bottom of the eighth all but sealed the deal for the team when Austin Davis loaded the bases with three walks after two outs. Aaron Hicks hit a line drive to left field for a double to score Kiner-Falefa, Florial, and Oswald Peraza stretching the lead to 7-1. Five of the seven earned runs in this game came from walks. They are right, walks will haunt, especially five of them. As the Twins finish up the series with the Yankees and move into all divisional games coming up, the fight to stay in the race is going to be brutal. Do you think the Twins can pull out of this and still take the division? Final Pitching Match-Up for this Series: Monday 6:40 pm CST: Sonny Gray (7-4, 3.10 ERA) vs. RHP Nestor Cortes (9-4, 2.68 ERA) Postgame Interview Coming soon Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  17. After a contentious game on Friday night, the Twins and the White Sox met up for Game 2 of their three game series. Tyler Mahle returned to the Twins mound. Jermaine Palacios was added to the Twins roster too. And Dylan Cease was remarkable. Box Score SP: Tyler Mahle 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K ( 37 pitches, 22 strikes (60%)) Home Runs: absolutely no one Bottom 3 WPA: Tyler Mahle (-.288), Gary Sanchez (-.058), Carlos Correa (-.026) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) While the White Sox started the day three games back of the division lead, this series could certainly change that. The White Sox have had a rough season and now with manager Tony LaRussa out and interim coach Miguel Cairo in they look like they could be turning it around and making a run for the division. This is what the White Sox have been waiting for and under Cairo the Sox are 4-0. Even with the injuries they have had off and on this season, the team has been waiting to get hot, and unfortunately for the Twins, that time is now. After winning five out of seven games throughout the last week, the Twins looked like they were going to push for first place, but this series is proving to be difficult for the club. Tyler Mahle came back after being on the IL with shoulder fatigue when his last game his velocity dropped to 89-91. Mahle didn’t pitch in a rehab game, but completed a simulated game at Target Field on Thursday to prepare for this game. Mahle struggled in the first inning. He gave up four runs, three came on a home run by Eloy Jimenez. Mahle was on a pitch count, and while the Twins were hoping for some length, it was not to be. Mahle continued to lose velocity on his pitches. It dropped from 91-93 mph to 88-89 mph in the second inning. Manager Rocco Baldelli brought in Aaron Sanchez to start the third inning. In the fourth inning, Romy Gonzales hit his first career MLB homer, a three-run home run off of Aaron Sanchez. However, Sanchez was able to complete four innings. Resting the rest of the bullpen, Nick Gordon came in to pitch the eighth inning. Gordon has come in for the Twins four times this season as a relief pitcher and has recorded three earned runs in his previous three games. On Saturday night, Gordon gave up six runs including a grand-slam to Elvis Andrus to push the White Sox lead to 13-0. Jermaine Palacios came in from shortstop and had a three-pitch strikeout to end the inning. Luis Arraez is still leading the league in batting average at .318 and is fifth in the league in On Base Percentage. He works the pitchers and makes contact, but even with the league leader in the line-up, the Twins offense was kept on a tight leash by Dylan Cease, who is the White Sox best pitcher and in the race for the Cy Young. Cease went 8 1/3 innings with a no-hitter. The game was out of reach by the bottom of the sixth. Rocco Baldelli brought in Jermaine Palacios and Kyle Garlick to rest Carlos Correa and Max Kepler. The Twins remained scoreless and hitless off of Cease. The White Sox no-hitter through the eighth inning. The Twins made contact, but the White Sox defense made the plays, With two outs in the top of the ninth, Luis Arraez (who was 0-for-3 at that point) came up to the plate and drilled a ball into right field for a single. Kyle Garlick followed with a strikeout to end the game. The saving grace is that at least the Guardians have been on a downward slope as well. The Guardians haven’t won a game since August 30th, giving the Twins at least a chance to stay in the second place position though now the White Sox are just a game behind them. A highlight of the game was listening to and watching Twins radio play-by-play man Cory Provus working in the television booth covering the game for Fox along with former Twins catcher AJ Pierzynski, Even as the Twins lost, Provus continued to call an impartial, fun, and electric game. He never ceases to impress whether calling games for Twins Radio or calling college football and basketball on the Big 10 Network. Pitching matchup tomorrow: On Sunday at 1:10 pm CST, Dylan Bundy (7-6, 4.53 ERA) will hope to help the Twins avoid the sweep against White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (10-8, 75.27 ERA) Postgame Interview With the game on Fox, there is not postgame video. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Sanchez 0 0 0 0 70 70 Megill 23 14 0 0 0 37 Fulmer 13 0 0 17 0 30 Jax 8 0 0 20 0 28 Thielbar 13 0 0 13 0 26 Pagán 21 0 0 0 0 21 López 0 0 0 13 0 13 Duran 0 0 0 11 0 11 View full article
  18. Box Score SP: Tyler Mahle 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K ( 37 pitches, 22 strikes (60%)) Home Runs: absolutely no one Bottom 3 WPA: Tyler Mahle (-.288), Gary Sanchez (-.058), Carlos Correa (-.026) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) While the White Sox started the day three games back of the division lead, this series could certainly change that. The White Sox have had a rough season and now with manager Tony LaRussa out and interim coach Miguel Cairo in they look like they could be turning it around and making a run for the division. This is what the White Sox have been waiting for and under Cairo the Sox are 4-0. Even with the injuries they have had off and on this season, the team has been waiting to get hot, and unfortunately for the Twins, that time is now. After winning five out of seven games throughout the last week, the Twins looked like they were going to push for first place, but this series is proving to be difficult for the club. Tyler Mahle came back after being on the IL with shoulder fatigue when his last game his velocity dropped to 89-91. Mahle didn’t pitch in a rehab game, but completed a simulated game at Target Field on Thursday to prepare for this game. Mahle struggled in the first inning. He gave up four runs, three came on a home run by Eloy Jimenez. Mahle was on a pitch count, and while the Twins were hoping for some length, it was not to be. Mahle continued to lose velocity on his pitches. It dropped from 91-93 mph to 88-89 mph in the second inning. Manager Rocco Baldelli brought in Aaron Sanchez to start the third inning. In the fourth inning, Romy Gonzales hit his first career MLB homer, a three-run home run off of Aaron Sanchez. However, Sanchez was able to complete four innings. Resting the rest of the bullpen, Nick Gordon came in to pitch the eighth inning. Gordon has come in for the Twins four times this season as a relief pitcher and has recorded three earned runs in his previous three games. On Saturday night, Gordon gave up six runs including a grand-slam to Elvis Andrus to push the White Sox lead to 13-0. Jermaine Palacios came in from shortstop and had a three-pitch strikeout to end the inning. Luis Arraez is still leading the league in batting average at .318 and is fifth in the league in On Base Percentage. He works the pitchers and makes contact, but even with the league leader in the line-up, the Twins offense was kept on a tight leash by Dylan Cease, who is the White Sox best pitcher and in the race for the Cy Young. Cease went 8 1/3 innings with a no-hitter. The game was out of reach by the bottom of the sixth. Rocco Baldelli brought in Jermaine Palacios and Kyle Garlick to rest Carlos Correa and Max Kepler. The Twins remained scoreless and hitless off of Cease. The White Sox no-hitter through the eighth inning. The Twins made contact, but the White Sox defense made the plays, With two outs in the top of the ninth, Luis Arraez (who was 0-for-3 at that point) came up to the plate and drilled a ball into right field for a single. Kyle Garlick followed with a strikeout to end the game. The saving grace is that at least the Guardians have been on a downward slope as well. The Guardians haven’t won a game since August 30th, giving the Twins at least a chance to stay in the second place position though now the White Sox are just a game behind them. A highlight of the game was listening to and watching Twins radio play-by-play man Cory Provus working in the television booth covering the game for Fox along with former Twins catcher AJ Pierzynski, Even as the Twins lost, Provus continued to call an impartial, fun, and electric game. He never ceases to impress whether calling games for Twins Radio or calling college football and basketball on the Big 10 Network. Pitching matchup tomorrow: On Sunday at 1:10 pm CST, Dylan Bundy (7-6, 4.53 ERA) will hope to help the Twins avoid the sweep against White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (10-8, 75.27 ERA) Postgame Interview With the game on Fox, there is not postgame video. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Sanchez 0 0 0 0 70 70 Megill 23 14 0 0 0 37 Fulmer 13 0 0 17 0 30 Jax 8 0 0 20 0 28 Thielbar 13 0 0 13 0 26 Pagán 21 0 0 0 0 21 López 0 0 0 13 0 13 Duran 0 0 0 11 0 11
  19. Finally! The Twins demolished the Giants with eight early runs and snapped a six-game losing streak. Joe Ryan tossed six shutout innings, allowing only two hits, making up for a perfect Friday night at Target Field. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 6 IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 3BB, 8K (106 pitches, 68 strikes, 64.2%) Home Runs: Carlos Correa (15), Gary Sánchez (12), Kyle Garlick (9) Top 3 WPA: Carlos Correa (.207), Joe Ryan (.156), Kyle Garlick (.095) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Twins get an early lead, nearly lose it The Twins entered tonight’s trying to prevent their losing streak from reaching seven games, which would represent their longest one since April 26, 2018. This current six-game losing streak is the longest one since the shortened 2020 season when they lost six in a row in the final week of August. Furthermore, tonight’s game marked the one-week anniversary since their last win, a week in which they were outscored 29-12. Could tonight finally be the one they would put an end to all of those narratives? Not only had it been a whole week since the last time the Twins won a game, but it had also been a week since they had a two-run lead in a game (seriously, how did we make it through this week without losing our minds?). That changed right from the get-go tonight. After a long but scoreless top of the first by Joe Ryan, the offense decided to show up early: leadoff man Kyle Garlick got hit by Giants’ starter Alex Wood, and, immediately after that, Carlos Correa hit a two-run bomb to deep left field. That was Correa’s first dinger since August 13. Seeing some runs on the board early on might’ve been a relief, but it felt like it would all melt away soon. After a 20-pitch first, Ryan struggled once again to put away batters quickly in the second. Despite facing the bottom half of the San Francisco lineup, he allowed Brandon Crawford (walk) and Austin Slater (double) to reach, and suddenly, the Giants had two men in scoring position with one out. Ryan managed to induce a pop out and a fly out to end the threat, but not before his pitch count had been driven to 45 pitches. Minnesota scores six runs on five hits in the third Ryan settled in nicely in the top of the third, finishing off the top of the Giants’ order on 15 pitches. In retribution, the offense decided to put the game away. They loaded the bases with no outs on three consecutive singles (Sandy León, Garlick, and Correa) for José Miranda. The rookie couldn’t make it four in a row, but he hit a line drive long enough to bring León home from third. When Wood struck out Gio Urshela for the second out, it felt like he would limit the damage to a minimum, but Minnesota’s bats had other plans. Jorge Polanco was hit on the foot, and once again, the bases were juiced. Gilberto Celestino stepped up to the plate and was a few feet away from hitting a grand slam, but he settled for a bases-clearing double off the center field wall to make it 6-0 Twins. And they weren’t done! As former Twin Zack Littell was warming up to replace Wood, Gary Sánchez also went yard for a two-run laser to right, his 12th home run of the season and the first one since August 10. This eight-run lead was the largest one the Twins had built since August 16, when they crushed the Royals at Target Field for a 9-0 win. Such a comfortable lead helped Ryan. He faced the minimum with only 24 pitches in the fourth and fifth innings; to start the sixth, he lost the first two batters he faced by giving up a leadoff walk to Tommy La Stella and hitting Wilmer Flores on the elbow. But after a mound visit, he retired the next three batters, including a couple of punch outs, for a total of eight in the game. Ryan completed six without allowing a run, making this the first time he’s tossed at least six shutout innings in a game since April 27. Also, for only the fifth time this season, he surpassed the 100-pitch mark with 106, his second-lengthiest start of the season. Bullpen is spotless, offense adds on Emilio Pagán took over for Ryan in the seventh, and he delivered two scoreless frames, allowing only one hit. This was his third multi-inning appearance in his last four outings, possibly confirming his new role as a long middle man. After his eighth inning, the offense added another run to this blowout: Garlick jumped on the first pitch of his at-bat for a solo home run. Michael Fulmer came in to pitch the ninth, and he sealed the deal on 12 pitches. Postgame interview What’s Next? Both teams take the field again tomorrow for game two, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:15 pm CDT. Sonny Gray (3.10 ERA) will toe the rubber for Minnesota, while Alex Cobb (3.99 ERA) will try to avoid a series loss for the Giants. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Fulmer 12 0 23 0 12 47 Pagán 0 14 0 0 28 42 Megill 0 8 0 23 0 31 Smeltzer 0 0 27 0 0 27 Duran 0 0 0 20 0 20 Jax 14 0 0 6 0 20 López 0 0 0 18 0 18 Thielbar 12 0 0 0 0 12 View full article
  20. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 6 IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 3BB, 8K (106 pitches, 68 strikes, 64.2%) Home Runs: Carlos Correa (15), Gary Sánchez (12), Kyle Garlick (9) Top 3 WPA: Carlos Correa (.207), Joe Ryan (.156), Kyle Garlick (.095) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Twins get an early lead, nearly lose it The Twins entered tonight’s trying to prevent their losing streak from reaching seven games, which would represent their longest one since April 26, 2018. This current six-game losing streak is the longest one since the shortened 2020 season when they lost six in a row in the final week of August. Furthermore, tonight’s game marked the one-week anniversary since their last win, a week in which they were outscored 29-12. Could tonight finally be the one they would put an end to all of those narratives? Not only had it been a whole week since the last time the Twins won a game, but it had also been a week since they had a two-run lead in a game (seriously, how did we make it through this week without losing our minds?). That changed right from the get-go tonight. After a long but scoreless top of the first by Joe Ryan, the offense decided to show up early: leadoff man Kyle Garlick got hit by Giants’ starter Alex Wood, and, immediately after that, Carlos Correa hit a two-run bomb to deep left field. That was Correa’s first dinger since August 13. Seeing some runs on the board early on might’ve been a relief, but it felt like it would all melt away soon. After a 20-pitch first, Ryan struggled once again to put away batters quickly in the second. Despite facing the bottom half of the San Francisco lineup, he allowed Brandon Crawford (walk) and Austin Slater (double) to reach, and suddenly, the Giants had two men in scoring position with one out. Ryan managed to induce a pop out and a fly out to end the threat, but not before his pitch count had been driven to 45 pitches. Minnesota scores six runs on five hits in the third Ryan settled in nicely in the top of the third, finishing off the top of the Giants’ order on 15 pitches. In retribution, the offense decided to put the game away. They loaded the bases with no outs on three consecutive singles (Sandy León, Garlick, and Correa) for José Miranda. The rookie couldn’t make it four in a row, but he hit a line drive long enough to bring León home from third. When Wood struck out Gio Urshela for the second out, it felt like he would limit the damage to a minimum, but Minnesota’s bats had other plans. Jorge Polanco was hit on the foot, and once again, the bases were juiced. Gilberto Celestino stepped up to the plate and was a few feet away from hitting a grand slam, but he settled for a bases-clearing double off the center field wall to make it 6-0 Twins. And they weren’t done! As former Twin Zack Littell was warming up to replace Wood, Gary Sánchez also went yard for a two-run laser to right, his 12th home run of the season and the first one since August 10. This eight-run lead was the largest one the Twins had built since August 16, when they crushed the Royals at Target Field for a 9-0 win. Such a comfortable lead helped Ryan. He faced the minimum with only 24 pitches in the fourth and fifth innings; to start the sixth, he lost the first two batters he faced by giving up a leadoff walk to Tommy La Stella and hitting Wilmer Flores on the elbow. But after a mound visit, he retired the next three batters, including a couple of punch outs, for a total of eight in the game. Ryan completed six without allowing a run, making this the first time he’s tossed at least six shutout innings in a game since April 27. Also, for only the fifth time this season, he surpassed the 100-pitch mark with 106, his second-lengthiest start of the season. Bullpen is spotless, offense adds on Emilio Pagán took over for Ryan in the seventh, and he delivered two scoreless frames, allowing only one hit. This was his third multi-inning appearance in his last four outings, possibly confirming his new role as a long middle man. After his eighth inning, the offense added another run to this blowout: Garlick jumped on the first pitch of his at-bat for a solo home run. Michael Fulmer came in to pitch the ninth, and he sealed the deal on 12 pitches. Postgame interview What’s Next? Both teams take the field again tomorrow for game two, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:15 pm CDT. Sonny Gray (3.10 ERA) will toe the rubber for Minnesota, while Alex Cobb (3.99 ERA) will try to avoid a series loss for the Giants. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Fulmer 12 0 23 0 12 47 Pagán 0 14 0 0 28 42 Megill 0 8 0 23 0 31 Smeltzer 0 0 27 0 0 27 Duran 0 0 0 20 0 20 Jax 14 0 0 6 0 20 López 0 0 0 18 0 18 Thielbar 12 0 0 0 0 12
  21. First baseman Rowdy Tellez drove in six runs on two home runs and almost single-handedly catapulted the Brewers to another win and the series sweep. Chris Archer struggled with his command and had one of his worst starts of the year. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer, 3 IP, 3H, 6R, 6ER, 6BB, 2K (78 pitches, 36 strikes, 46.1%) Home Runs: Jose Miranda (9), Kyle Garlick (8) Bottom 3 WPA: Chris Archer (-.309), Jharel Cotton (-.191), Luis Arraez (-.067) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Things did not look good at all for Minnesota after the first inning of this game. Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes cruised through the top of the inning on 16 pitches, with the only Twins baserunner coming after a fielding error on the outfield. Then, Chris Archer struggled badly, allowing each of the first four batters he faced to reach. After a Christian Yelich leadoff walk and a single by Willy Adames, Rowdy Tellez crushed the first pitch he saw for a three-run home run. The Twins provided a quick response, though. At the top of the second, José Miranda homered off Burnes in the very first pitch of the inning, putting Minnesota on the board, and starting Burnes’ nightmare inning. The Twins lineup made the All-Star starter work twice as hard to get through the second inning – it took him 32 pitches to complete the frame. After the Miranda home run and an Alex Kirilloff groundout, Minnesota’s bottom third of the lineup got three consecutive hits that scored two more runs and tied the game. Kyle Garlick doubled to right and scored after Nick Gordon did the same thing. Gordon himself scored too on a Gary Sanchez liner to center. The Twins were back at the top of the lineup with only one out and a man on, but they couldn’t capitalize. In fact, Burnes really settled down starting right there, in the second inning. He struck out Luis Arráez and Carlos Correa to get out of the jam, but that wasn’t all. Those two strikeouts began a hot streak for the Crew’s ace, as he went on to retire thirteen straight Minnesota batters. Archer, bullpen give up seven runs on two home runs Archer tossed a couple of scoreless innings, in the second and in the third, but the Brewers ambushed him again in the fourth, and he was done. Despite facing the bottom half of the Milwaukee lineup, he struggled to throw strikes and surrendered three consecutive walks. Jharel Cotton took over, trying to put out the fire, but he ultimately couldn’t do it. After a strikeout, he gave up a loaded bases walk to Yelich that gave the Brewers the lead. Then, Adames hit a sac-fly to left to score Luis Urias from third, making it 5-3 Milwaukee. He was one out away from keeping the game open. Then, Tellez happened. Again. After a hard-fought seven-pitch at-bat, the big man destroyed a changeup at the heart of the plate (111.8 MPH exit velocity) for a three-run dong that blew the game wide open. Making his first appearance since July 14, Yennier Cano took over in relief of Cotton in the fifth. Since being sent down to Triple-A Saint Paul, Cano improved very much, maintaining a 3.85 ERA through eleven appearances and allowing only one earned run in five appearances (six innings) in July for the Saints. He got called up last Friday and got his first look back at majors today. He retired Hunter Renfroe to start the fifth, but he was really shaky for the remainder of the inning. Kolten Wong hit a double off him, and Urías blasted a two-run shot to make it 10-3 Milwaukee, basically putting the game out of reach. Cano continued in the game for the sixth inning, and things looked much smoother for him. He tossed a scoreless frame on 16 pitches, pitching around a leadoff walk to Tellez. Twins get one back but can’t spark a rally Minnesota’s second home run of the afternoon was also leadoff fashion. Garlick took Jake McGee deep in the first pitch of the seventh inning, cutting the Brewers’ lead to six. Following that homer, Gordon drew a four-pitch walk off the same McGee, with the top of the lineup coming up. But the Milwaukee reliever managed to retire the next three batters faced to end the threat. Miranda got his third hit of the afternoon in the eighth inning, making it three-consecutive games with at least three hits. His season numbers are now up to .281 AVG and .799 OPS, but he’s even better in his recent games, slashing .377/.431/.642 (1.073) in his last 15 games. The YouTube broadcast fellows said he doesn’t stand a chance at winning rookie of the year. Could they be wrong? What’s Next? Tomorrow the Twins have their second off day this week as they head for South California, where they’ll start a three-game set against the Padres in San Diego. Game one is scheduled to start at 8:40 pm CDT on Friday, with Joe Ryan (2.89 ERA) taking the mound for Minnesota and Blake Snell (4.75 ERA) toeing the rubber for the Padres. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Moran 28 0 0 0 21 49 Cano 0 0 0 0 46 46 Cotton 0 11 0 0 33 44 Duran 11 0 0 32 0 43 Duffey 11 0 0 25 0 36 Smith 0 16 0 17 0 33 Jax 0 13 0 12 0 25 Pagán 2 0 0 20 0 22 Megill 7 0 0 0 10 17 View full article
  22. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer, 3 IP, 3H, 6R, 6ER, 6BB, 2K (78 pitches, 36 strikes, 46.1%) Home Runs: Jose Miranda (9), Kyle Garlick (8) Bottom 3 WPA: Chris Archer (-.309), Jharel Cotton (-.191), Luis Arraez (-.067) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Things did not look good at all for Minnesota after the first inning of this game. Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes cruised through the top of the inning on 16 pitches, with the only Twins baserunner coming after a fielding error on the outfield. Then, Chris Archer struggled badly, allowing each of the first four batters he faced to reach. After a Christian Yelich leadoff walk and a single by Willy Adames, Rowdy Tellez crushed the first pitch he saw for a three-run home run. The Twins provided a quick response, though. At the top of the second, José Miranda homered off Burnes in the very first pitch of the inning, putting Minnesota on the board, and starting Burnes’ nightmare inning. The Twins lineup made the All-Star starter work twice as hard to get through the second inning – it took him 32 pitches to complete the frame. After the Miranda home run and an Alex Kirilloff groundout, Minnesota’s bottom third of the lineup got three consecutive hits that scored two more runs and tied the game. Kyle Garlick doubled to right and scored after Nick Gordon did the same thing. Gordon himself scored too on a Gary Sanchez liner to center. The Twins were back at the top of the lineup with only one out and a man on, but they couldn’t capitalize. In fact, Burnes really settled down starting right there, in the second inning. He struck out Luis Arráez and Carlos Correa to get out of the jam, but that wasn’t all. Those two strikeouts began a hot streak for the Crew’s ace, as he went on to retire thirteen straight Minnesota batters. Archer, bullpen give up seven runs on two home runs Archer tossed a couple of scoreless innings, in the second and in the third, but the Brewers ambushed him again in the fourth, and he was done. Despite facing the bottom half of the Milwaukee lineup, he struggled to throw strikes and surrendered three consecutive walks. Jharel Cotton took over, trying to put out the fire, but he ultimately couldn’t do it. After a strikeout, he gave up a loaded bases walk to Yelich that gave the Brewers the lead. Then, Adames hit a sac-fly to left to score Luis Urias from third, making it 5-3 Milwaukee. He was one out away from keeping the game open. Then, Tellez happened. Again. After a hard-fought seven-pitch at-bat, the big man destroyed a changeup at the heart of the plate (111.8 MPH exit velocity) for a three-run dong that blew the game wide open. Making his first appearance since July 14, Yennier Cano took over in relief of Cotton in the fifth. Since being sent down to Triple-A Saint Paul, Cano improved very much, maintaining a 3.85 ERA through eleven appearances and allowing only one earned run in five appearances (six innings) in July for the Saints. He got called up last Friday and got his first look back at majors today. He retired Hunter Renfroe to start the fifth, but he was really shaky for the remainder of the inning. Kolten Wong hit a double off him, and Urías blasted a two-run shot to make it 10-3 Milwaukee, basically putting the game out of reach. Cano continued in the game for the sixth inning, and things looked much smoother for him. He tossed a scoreless frame on 16 pitches, pitching around a leadoff walk to Tellez. Twins get one back but can’t spark a rally Minnesota’s second home run of the afternoon was also leadoff fashion. Garlick took Jake McGee deep in the first pitch of the seventh inning, cutting the Brewers’ lead to six. Following that homer, Gordon drew a four-pitch walk off the same McGee, with the top of the lineup coming up. But the Milwaukee reliever managed to retire the next three batters faced to end the threat. Miranda got his third hit of the afternoon in the eighth inning, making it three-consecutive games with at least three hits. His season numbers are now up to .281 AVG and .799 OPS, but he’s even better in his recent games, slashing .377/.431/.642 (1.073) in his last 15 games. The YouTube broadcast fellows said he doesn’t stand a chance at winning rookie of the year. Could they be wrong? What’s Next? Tomorrow the Twins have their second off day this week as they head for South California, where they’ll start a three-game set against the Padres in San Diego. Game one is scheduled to start at 8:40 pm CDT on Friday, with Joe Ryan (2.89 ERA) taking the mound for Minnesota and Blake Snell (4.75 ERA) toeing the rubber for the Padres. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Moran 28 0 0 0 21 49 Cano 0 0 0 0 46 46 Cotton 0 11 0 0 33 44 Duran 11 0 0 32 0 43 Duffey 11 0 0 25 0 36 Smith 0 16 0 17 0 33 Jax 0 13 0 12 0 25 Pagán 2 0 0 20 0 22 Megill 7 0 0 0 10 17
  23. It was the first game following the Twins extended, All-Star break. The fans are ready for the second half of the season, and so were the Twins. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (86 pitches, 57 strikes (66%)) Home Runs: Carlos Correa (12) Top 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (.190), Carlos Correa (.140), Luis Arraez (.116) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Twins came back with a good line-up to start the second half of the baseball season. Notably missing, however, was Byron Buxton who is coming off of his game-winning home run at the All-Star game on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The outfielder did an interview with The Athletic's Dan Hayes and spoke about not being comfortable with the Home-Run Derby and being willing to continue the rest and day-to-day work to stay healthy and in the lineup most nights. Buxton will miss this series against the Detroit Tigers but will be ready to return to action when they travel to Milwaukee early in the week. The Twins started out the series against former teammate Michael Pineda who allowed first-inning singles to Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa. With no outs, Jorge Polanco slapped a ball into center field to load the bases for Max Kepler. Kepler hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Arraez, giving the Twins an early lead. Pineda avoided any further disaster but needed 29 pitches to finish the first inning. Pineda was a lot more composed in the second and third innings before getting pulled after Carlos Correa hit a solo home run to give the Twins a two-run lead. The Twins started the seventh as they had in the first inning, with singles, this time from Alex Kirilloff and Jose Miranda. With a left-hander now pitching, Kyle Garlick pinch hit for Nick Gordon. Garlick is fantastic against the lefties and was again tonight. He drove a ball into the hole between third base and shortstop. The ball went under the glove of Jeimer Candelario for an error to load the bases with no outs. Gio Urshela came up to bat and hit a sac-fly that scored Kirilloff. Arraez thought the inning was over when he hit a high foul ball to the third base side and Candelario slid to make the play but missed the ball, giving Arraez another chance to finish his at-bat. Arraez took advantage of the new life and hit a two-run single, scoring Miranda and Garlick, making it a three-hit game for the All-Star and a 5-1 lead for the Twins. The Twins stayed focused in the eighth inning and loaded the bases again. The lineup took turns hitting singles and scored three insurance runs. Gary Sanchez, who was hitless at to this point, hit a ball into the gap in right field which scored Kirilloff and opened up the Twins' lead to 8-1. Joe Ryan made his 15th start for the Twins. He had struggled in his two previous outings. He came out with the confidence we had seen so many times before he got sick with Covid. In the first two innings, he had quick 1-2-3 inning to keep the Twins ahead and his pitch count down. In the third inning, he faced six batters. He had a prolonged at-bat with Javier Baez which really drove up his pitch count. With two on and two out, Ryan faced another former Twins player, Robbie Grossman. With the Detroit fans cheering for what they hoped would be a chance to get on the board, the defense neutralized the threat when Grossman ground out to end the inning, the shutout still intact. It's Challenging! The sixth inning started out with Ryan giving up a triple to rookie sensation Riley Greene with the first at-bat. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli challenged, arguing that Greene did not touch second base. The call stood on the field after review, much to the Twins' chagrin. Baldelli has been generous with his challenges this season. As of today, he has challenged 29 calls this season and only 14 of them have been overturned. After allowing his first and only run in the sixth inning, Ryan got a fly out and then struck out Miguel Cabrera swinging before he was relieved from the mound with only one out left. An interesting move...two-game writer’s opinion. Do you think the Twins can get a sweep on their first albeit small series tomorrow? What’s Next? The Twins finish up game two of the two game series Sunday with the Tigers before heading to Milwaukee for the early part of the week. Pitching matchup for Sunday: ● Sunday 1:10 pm CST: Sonny Gray (4-3, 3.71ERA) vs RHP Rony Garcia (3-2, 4.28ERA) Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Chart TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Moran 0 0 0 0 28 28 Duran 0 0 0 0 11 11 Duffey 0 0 0 0 11 11 Megill 0 0 0 0 7 7 Pagan 0 0 0 0 2 2 Thielbar 0 0 0 0 0 0 Smith 0 0 0 0 0 0 Jax 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cotton 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  24. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (86 pitches, 57 strikes (66%)) Home Runs: Carlos Correa (12) Top 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (.190), Carlos Correa (.140), Luis Arraez (.116) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Twins came back with a good line-up to start the second half of the baseball season. Notably missing, however, was Byron Buxton who is coming off of his game-winning home run at the All-Star game on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The outfielder did an interview with The Athletic's Dan Hayes and spoke about not being comfortable with the Home-Run Derby and being willing to continue the rest and day-to-day work to stay healthy and in the lineup most nights. Buxton will miss this series against the Detroit Tigers but will be ready to return to action when they travel to Milwaukee early in the week. The Twins started out the series against former teammate Michael Pineda who allowed first-inning singles to Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa. With no outs, Jorge Polanco slapped a ball into center field to load the bases for Max Kepler. Kepler hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Arraez, giving the Twins an early lead. Pineda avoided any further disaster but needed 29 pitches to finish the first inning. Pineda was a lot more composed in the second and third innings before getting pulled after Carlos Correa hit a solo home run to give the Twins a two-run lead. The Twins started the seventh as they had in the first inning, with singles, this time from Alex Kirilloff and Jose Miranda. With a left-hander now pitching, Kyle Garlick pinch hit for Nick Gordon. Garlick is fantastic against the lefties and was again tonight. He drove a ball into the hole between third base and shortstop. The ball went under the glove of Jeimer Candelario for an error to load the bases with no outs. Gio Urshela came up to bat and hit a sac-fly that scored Kirilloff. Arraez thought the inning was over when he hit a high foul ball to the third base side and Candelario slid to make the play but missed the ball, giving Arraez another chance to finish his at-bat. Arraez took advantage of the new life and hit a two-run single, scoring Miranda and Garlick, making it a three-hit game for the All-Star and a 5-1 lead for the Twins. The Twins stayed focused in the eighth inning and loaded the bases again. The lineup took turns hitting singles and scored three insurance runs. Gary Sanchez, who was hitless at to this point, hit a ball into the gap in right field which scored Kirilloff and opened up the Twins' lead to 8-1. Joe Ryan made his 15th start for the Twins. He had struggled in his two previous outings. He came out with the confidence we had seen so many times before he got sick with Covid. In the first two innings, he had quick 1-2-3 inning to keep the Twins ahead and his pitch count down. In the third inning, he faced six batters. He had a prolonged at-bat with Javier Baez which really drove up his pitch count. With two on and two out, Ryan faced another former Twins player, Robbie Grossman. With the Detroit fans cheering for what they hoped would be a chance to get on the board, the defense neutralized the threat when Grossman ground out to end the inning, the shutout still intact. It's Challenging! The sixth inning started out with Ryan giving up a triple to rookie sensation Riley Greene with the first at-bat. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli challenged, arguing that Greene did not touch second base. The call stood on the field after review, much to the Twins' chagrin. Baldelli has been generous with his challenges this season. As of today, he has challenged 29 calls this season and only 14 of them have been overturned. After allowing his first and only run in the sixth inning, Ryan got a fly out and then struck out Miguel Cabrera swinging before he was relieved from the mound with only one out left. An interesting move...two-game writer’s opinion. Do you think the Twins can get a sweep on their first albeit small series tomorrow? What’s Next? The Twins finish up game two of the two game series Sunday with the Tigers before heading to Milwaukee for the early part of the week. Pitching matchup for Sunday: ● Sunday 1:10 pm CST: Sonny Gray (4-3, 3.71ERA) vs RHP Rony Garcia (3-2, 4.28ERA) Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Chart TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Moran 0 0 0 0 28 28 Duran 0 0 0 0 11 11 Duffey 0 0 0 0 11 11 Megill 0 0 0 0 7 7 Pagan 0 0 0 0 2 2 Thielbar 0 0 0 0 0 0 Smith 0 0 0 0 0 0 Jax 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cotton 0 0 0 0 0 0
  25. Box Score SP: Sonny Gray 3 2/3 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (79 pitches, 48 strikes (60.7%) Home Runs: Kyle Garlick (6) Bottom 3 WPA: Sonny Gray (-.369), Luis Arraez (-.197), Alex Kirilloff (-.125) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Sonny Gray started out the game giving up a hit to Tim Anderson on the first pitch. He ultimately scored off a rip to right field from Jose Abreu. Gray battled his command and went to a full count with Gavin Sheets. After several pitches were fouled off, Sheets hit a ball into right field putting runners at the corners for a potentially big first inning. The White Sox had some luck too when the Andrew Vaughn bounced a single off of second base scoring another run and giving the Sox a two-run lead in the first. Sonny Gray has been lacking some command and control over his past few starts. We saw a small glimmer of hope in the second inning, the grunting, the focus, the swagger, and the command appeared to be there, but the pitch count continued to creep up until the fourth inning when it all collapsed under Gray when Luis Robert hit a grand slam. A couple of batters earlier, Gray was hit in the back by a line drive. How much that impacted his performance, we can only guess. Trevor Megill came in for Gray in the fourth inning and managed to keep any more runs from scoring. He returned for the fifth inning and had a beautiful 1-2-3 inning. Three up, three down with only ten pitches thrown and six strikes thrown. Joe Smith made his return to the game after being reactivated from the 15-day Injured List on Wednesday. The Twins now have a nine-man bullpen, after Josh Winder was optioned down to St. Paul to make room for Smith. Smith, who was out with upper-trap tightness, gave up two runs in his 16 pitches, pushing the White Sox lead to 8-1. However, out of the 16 pitches that were thrown, 13 of them were strikes. Smith was only in for one inning and was relieved by Jharel Cotton who has been a bright spot in the Twins bullpen. Cotton worked two innings and threw 34 pitches and only gave up one run. Three of the four pitchers for the Twins gave up at least one run. Cotton, like Smith even though he gave up a run, in his 34 pitches threw 22 strikes. Nick Gordon came in to pitch for the Twins at the top of the ninth. Gordon, who loves having a chance to pitch got through the inning. In his mound appearance, Gordon wasn't throwing strikes, but he was still able to get the hitters to swing, and three hits ended up in the sweet spot giving up a three-run homerun to Seby Zavala, pushing the lead to 12-1. Johnny Cueto went deep into the game only allowing the Twins one run, but early in the game Cueto gave the Twins a chance to answer the White Sox. Many times, they loaded the bases. Jose Miranda drove in Gio Urshela with the Twins lone run of the game. The rookie continues to get hits and get the Twins on the board in clutch situations. There were so many opportunities for the Twins to manufacture runs, they just could not get them home. Each inning was like the one before, the line-up would get hits, get on base and never produce. By the end of the game, the players were tired and frustrated, but gave their all. They never quit swinging. The saddest stranding of the game came in the third inning after Buxton ripped a ball deep to centerfield, dug deep and got a triple only to be stranded by the end of the inning. The All-Star who came under Twitter scrutiny the past few games for his ‘lack of hitting’ silenced the haters and keyed up the crowd after landing on third base cuing the “Buck Truck” horn. Buxton stayed on third base through three hitters and never got a chance to come home. One of the most fun moments of the game was being able to witness the “Buck Truck”, something that Buxton does in honor of his father who was a truck driver and his teammates have joined him in the dugout. To watch it happen as he got a standing triple was something really neat. The Twins, who are usually good for late-game rallies, and in true Twins fashion, that's what happened. Kyle Garlick who came in to pinch hit for Correa took a ball deep to homer. While there were two outs and no one was expecting a miracle, it was fun to watch and gave the fans watching something to cheer about. The game ended with a frustrated Celestino, who was in the game as a replacement for Buxton made a comment to the pitcher and both benches started to clear. The umpires and coaches managed to keep it quick and civil, but tensions certainly are at their boiling point with these two teams. The White Sox have only beat the Twins twice this season, and there are still three games to go this weekend. Do you think the Twins can take this series or are they teetering on giving up their place in the division? What’s Next? The Twins have three games left with the White Sox and I will be covering Friday and Saturday's games! Come hang out with me on Twitter and Twins Daily Forums! The pitching match ups are sure to make the rest of the weekend intense! Pitching matchup for the rest of the series: Friday 7:10 pm CST: Devin Smeltzer (4-2, 3.92 ERA) vs RHP Michael Kopech (2-6, 3.35 ERA) Saturday 1:10 pm CST: Dylan Bundy (5-4, 4.68 ERA) vs RHP Lance Lynn (1-2, 6.97 ERA) Sunday 2:10 pm CST: TBD (X, X ERA) vs RHP Dylan Cease (7-4, 2.45 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
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