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  1. Do you remember where you were on July 27th, 2018? The Twins played the Boston Red Sox in a 4-3 extra innings loss—future former old friend Tyler Thornburg netted the win—and the Twins fanbase was up in arms when Matt Belisle pitched the deciding 10th frame, not Ryan Pressly. Belisle was in a rapid, soon-to-be career-ending decline, while Pressly—always frustrating but still nasty—represented the Twins’ best shot at continuing the game. Mookie Betts crushed a solo homer to win. How could Paul Molitor bungle his bullpen moves so severely? Image courtesy of Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports As it turns out, there are reasons behind decisions like these, as Ryan Pressly soon became a Houston Astro. Shortly after the game, news broke that the well-tattooed righty would re-locate to his home state, signaling the first shoe to drop in an eventful trade deadline for the Twins, one that reverberates into the 2022 World Series. Pressly’s path following the deal is well-known by Twins fans; Houston sprinkled their magic pitching dust over him, eliminating the blow-up outings that plagued his early career while transforming him into one of the more consistent relievers in baseball. Two All-Star games called his name and, without a transition period, Pressly became the final boss in an always-talented Astro bullpen, closing important games with ease as his fastball knocked batters to the ground and his curveball brought them to their knees. So it goes. The Twins are still counting on Gilberto Celestino and Jorge Alcala—the return package in the deal—to embrace their potential. Since 2019, only the Dodgers, Rays, and Guardians have a lower bullpen ERA than Houston’s 3.66 mark; Liam Hendriks is the sole reliever to provide more fWAR than Pressly over that span. The 2018 Twins also shied away from trading away another important player: Kyle Gibson remained on the team following a significant courting process from multiple interested franchises. The Twins front office has never feared holding on to a player if the deal isn’t right—there’s a reason why José De León stayed with the Dodgers during the Great Brian Dozier trade talks of 2016—so Gibson’s staticity wasn’t entirely shocking. That choice seems significant now. Gibson’s path to his current team, the Phillies, is less straightforward; the former first round pick pitched his way out of Minnesota after a brutal sickness-cursed 2019 season before signing a pact with the Texas Rangers. Amid a surprise All-Star campaign in 2021, Texas sent Gibson to Philadelphia in a hearty trade for three players, including top prospect Spencer Howard. The Phillies, so blessed with excellent starting pitching, now utilize Gibson as a tertiary arm, only calling his name once this postseason for a four-out appearance against the Padres in Game 2 of the NLCS. He’s far from a game-changing presence, but Gibson gobbled up nearly 170 innings in the regular season, and one can easily imagine that his veteran status has positively influenced the Phillies clubhouse. What if the Twins trade him at the deadline? Perhaps he nestles in with his new squad long-term, eliminating his future with the Phillies. Maybe the team whiffs on a separate starter, thinning their ranks enough to hold them back from playoff contention in 2022. Although, maybe that doesn’t happen, and baseball continues to be weird and often illogical. These two strings connect to a broad baseball web spun by influential deals and non-deals. The Astros will always be a powerhouse, but precisely how strong would they be without an ace, veteran reliever like Pressly? The Phillies walked a tightrope to make it this far; was Gibson enough of a force to push them into contention? We can only apply conjecture to these questions, but, unquestionably, the Twins' 2018 trade deadline subtlety influenced the upcoming World Series matchup. View full article
  2. As it turns out, there are reasons behind decisions like these, as Ryan Pressly soon became a Houston Astro. Shortly after the game, news broke that the well-tattooed righty would re-locate to his home state, signaling the first shoe to drop in an eventful trade deadline for the Twins, one that reverberates into the 2022 World Series. Pressly’s path following the deal is well-known by Twins fans; Houston sprinkled their magic pitching dust over him, eliminating the blow-up outings that plagued his early career while transforming him into one of the more consistent relievers in baseball. Two All-Star games called his name and, without a transition period, Pressly became the final boss in an always-talented Astro bullpen, closing important games with ease as his fastball knocked batters to the ground and his curveball brought them to their knees. So it goes. The Twins are still counting on Gilberto Celestino and Jorge Alcala—the return package in the deal—to embrace their potential. Since 2019, only the Dodgers, Rays, and Guardians have a lower bullpen ERA than Houston’s 3.66 mark; Liam Hendriks is the sole reliever to provide more fWAR than Pressly over that span. The 2018 Twins also shied away from trading away another important player: Kyle Gibson remained on the team following a significant courting process from multiple interested franchises. The Twins front office has never feared holding on to a player if the deal isn’t right—there’s a reason why José De León stayed with the Dodgers during the Great Brian Dozier trade talks of 2016—so Gibson’s staticity wasn’t entirely shocking. That choice seems significant now. Gibson’s path to his current team, the Phillies, is less straightforward; the former first round pick pitched his way out of Minnesota after a brutal sickness-cursed 2019 season before signing a pact with the Texas Rangers. Amid a surprise All-Star campaign in 2021, Texas sent Gibson to Philadelphia in a hearty trade for three players, including top prospect Spencer Howard. The Phillies, so blessed with excellent starting pitching, now utilize Gibson as a tertiary arm, only calling his name once this postseason for a four-out appearance against the Padres in Game 2 of the NLCS. He’s far from a game-changing presence, but Gibson gobbled up nearly 170 innings in the regular season, and one can easily imagine that his veteran status has positively influenced the Phillies clubhouse. What if the Twins trade him at the deadline? Perhaps he nestles in with his new squad long-term, eliminating his future with the Phillies. Maybe the team whiffs on a separate starter, thinning their ranks enough to hold them back from playoff contention in 2022. Although, maybe that doesn’t happen, and baseball continues to be weird and often illogical. These two strings connect to a broad baseball web spun by influential deals and non-deals. The Astros will always be a powerhouse, but precisely how strong would they be without an ace, veteran reliever like Pressly? The Phillies walked a tightrope to make it this far; was Gibson enough of a force to push them into contention? We can only apply conjecture to these questions, but, unquestionably, the Twins' 2018 trade deadline subtlety influenced the upcoming World Series matchup.
  3. Last season, Eddie Rosario was a key player for the Braves on their way to a World Series title. Can any other former Twins help their club find postseason glory in 2022? Image courtesy of Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports Plenty of former fan favorites populate the rosters of the National League’s best teams this season. Not all of these players have performed admirably this season, but the playoffs allow for players to shine on the biggest stage. Here are eight former Twins to watch on the NL’s playoff teams. Mets: Trevor May, Eduardo Escobar Escobar is in his 12th big league season with his fifth different organization. During the 2022 campaign, he has been the primary third baseman for the Mets in their fight for the NL East title. However, his defense at third ranks among the NL’s worst for third basemen, as only Alec Bohm has a lower SDI. Escobar provides other dynamics to a club as he has an OPS+ above 100 for the fifth consecutive season, where he has played more than 60 games. The Mets haven’t made the playoffs since 2016, so the club has pressure to win in October. May is heading to free agency at the season’s end, so he wants to end his Mets tenure on a high note. In 23 appearances, he has an ERA north of 5.50 with a 1.57 WHIP. He is striking out more than ten batters per nine innings for the sixth consecutive season. He’s had multiple IL stints this year for a stress reaction on the lower portion of his humerus and a COVID situation. In September, he has a 3.14 ERA while holding opponents to a .694 OPS, so the Mets hope this carries over to the postseason. Braves: Jake Odorizzi, Ehire Adrianza, Eddie Rosario, Robbie Grossman Odorizzi was pitching well for the Astros to start the season, but the Braves traded for him at the deadline for reliever Will Smith. Since joining Atlanta, Odorizzi has posted a 5.66 ERA with a 1.67 WHIP in nine starts. Odorizzi isn’t guaranteed to make the playoff rotation with other strong pitchers, but Spencer Strider’s injury may give Odorizzi an opportunity. Adrianza made ten playoff appearances during the Braves’ 2021 World Series run, and the club found a way to bring him back for 2022. He started the year in the Nationals organization, but the Braves traded Trey Harris to Washington for Adrianza. So far in 2022, Adrianza has hit .174/.267/.207 (.473) in limited action. He will likely serve as a bench option for Atlanta as a late-inning defensive replacement. Rosario was a playoff hero for the Braves last season, winning the NLCS MVP before heading to free agency. Atlanta re-signed the outfielder to a 2-year, $18 million contract, and he’s having a career-worst offensive season. In 76 games, he has posted a 69 OPS+ with 18 extra-base hits. Rosario has missed time this season with an eye injury and a hamstring problem. Can Rosario make Braves fans forget his poor season with another October to remember? After leaving the Twins, Grossman revitalized his career in the A’s and Tigers organizations. Since 2019, he has posted a 99 OPS+ while playing strong outfield defense. The Braves acquired Grossman from the Tigers at the trade deadline for Kris Anglin, and he has raised his OPS by 61 points since moving to the NL. Atlanta has multiple outfield injuries that may push Grossman into a more critical role. Dodgers: Brusdar Graterol Graterol is having his best big-league season as he has set career-best marks in ERA, strikeouts, H/9, and ERA+. Los Angeles continued to use him in late-inning situations as he earned the first three saves of his career. His postseason numbers are even better than his regular season totals. In 18 appearances, he has a 2.04 ERA with a 0.62 WHIP and a 13-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. The Dodgers look like one of baseball’s best teams, and Graterol will be asked to get some big outs in October. Phillies: Kyle Gibson The Phillies are fighting for their playoff lives, and Gibson might be one of the players to push them into the postseason. Gibson is heading to free agency this winter, so October is an opportunity for him to shine. Last season, he was a first-time All-Star but struggled after being traded to the Phillies (5.09 ERA). In 2022, he posted a 4.84 ERA with a 1.32 WHIP across 30 starts. Gibson was terrific in August with a 2.30 ERA as he held batters to a .637 OPS. Philadelphia will need that version of Gibson to make a deep October run. Can any of these players have an Eddie Rosario-type October in 2022? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  4. Plenty of former fan favorites populate the rosters of the National League’s best teams this season. Not all of these players have performed admirably this season, but the playoffs allow for players to shine on the biggest stage. Here are eight former Twins to watch on the NL’s playoff teams. Mets: Trevor May, Eduardo Escobar Escobar is in his 12th big league season with his fifth different organization. During the 2022 campaign, he has been the primary third baseman for the Mets in their fight for the NL East title. However, his defense at third ranks among the NL’s worst for third basemen, as only Alec Bohm has a lower SDI. Escobar provides other dynamics to a club as he has an OPS+ above 100 for the fifth consecutive season, where he has played more than 60 games. The Mets haven’t made the playoffs since 2016, so the club has pressure to win in October. May is heading to free agency at the season’s end, so he wants to end his Mets tenure on a high note. In 23 appearances, he has an ERA north of 5.50 with a 1.57 WHIP. He is striking out more than ten batters per nine innings for the sixth consecutive season. He’s had multiple IL stints this year for a stress reaction on the lower portion of his humerus and a COVID situation. In September, he has a 3.14 ERA while holding opponents to a .694 OPS, so the Mets hope this carries over to the postseason. Braves: Jake Odorizzi, Ehire Adrianza, Eddie Rosario, Robbie Grossman Odorizzi was pitching well for the Astros to start the season, but the Braves traded for him at the deadline for reliever Will Smith. Since joining Atlanta, Odorizzi has posted a 5.66 ERA with a 1.67 WHIP in nine starts. Odorizzi isn’t guaranteed to make the playoff rotation with other strong pitchers, but Spencer Strider’s injury may give Odorizzi an opportunity. Adrianza made ten playoff appearances during the Braves’ 2021 World Series run, and the club found a way to bring him back for 2022. He started the year in the Nationals organization, but the Braves traded Trey Harris to Washington for Adrianza. So far in 2022, Adrianza has hit .174/.267/.207 (.473) in limited action. He will likely serve as a bench option for Atlanta as a late-inning defensive replacement. Rosario was a playoff hero for the Braves last season, winning the NLCS MVP before heading to free agency. Atlanta re-signed the outfielder to a 2-year, $18 million contract, and he’s having a career-worst offensive season. In 76 games, he has posted a 69 OPS+ with 18 extra-base hits. Rosario has missed time this season with an eye injury and a hamstring problem. Can Rosario make Braves fans forget his poor season with another October to remember? After leaving the Twins, Grossman revitalized his career in the A’s and Tigers organizations. Since 2019, he has posted a 99 OPS+ while playing strong outfield defense. The Braves acquired Grossman from the Tigers at the trade deadline for Kris Anglin, and he has raised his OPS by 61 points since moving to the NL. Atlanta has multiple outfield injuries that may push Grossman into a more critical role. Dodgers: Brusdar Graterol Graterol is having his best big-league season as he has set career-best marks in ERA, strikeouts, H/9, and ERA+. Los Angeles continued to use him in late-inning situations as he earned the first three saves of his career. His postseason numbers are even better than his regular season totals. In 18 appearances, he has a 2.04 ERA with a 0.62 WHIP and a 13-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. The Dodgers look like one of baseball’s best teams, and Graterol will be asked to get some big outs in October. Phillies: Kyle Gibson The Phillies are fighting for their playoff lives, and Gibson might be one of the players to push them into the postseason. Gibson is heading to free agency this winter, so October is an opportunity for him to shine. Last season, he was a first-time All-Star but struggled after being traded to the Phillies (5.09 ERA). In 2022, he posted a 4.84 ERA with a 1.32 WHIP across 30 starts. Gibson was terrific in August with a 2.30 ERA as he held batters to a .637 OPS. Philadelphia will need that version of Gibson to make a deep October run. Can any of these players have an Eddie Rosario-type October in 2022? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  5. The Minnesota Twins’ bullpen has been struggling all season. The Twins need pitching now to make it to win the division and reach the postseason. With that said, maybe the best way for the Twins to capitalize is to bring Kyle Gibson home. Kyle Gibson , a first-round pick in the 2009 draft (22nd overall). He spent the first nine years of his baseball career with the club. After a challenging 2019 season on and off the field, he signed a three-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Even with the health struggles, in 2018 and 2019, Gibson was among the top 20 pitchers in MLB He became an All Star last year and should again be available at the trade deadline. Veteran Stability Gibson would provide stability for the Twins that they do not have right now. Sonny Gray is one of the Twins’ best pitchers; he went seven innings against Detroit and then struggled for five innings against the Guardians on Wednesday night. Dylan Bundy is the only pitcher this season to pitch through eight innings. The Twins’ bullpen is exhausted. Bringing a veteran pitcher into the rotation would increase the rest time for the key bullpen arms. While the Twins do need bullpen pitchers, they also need pitching that is not on restrictions or struggles once they get past the fourth inning. With Josh Winder being optioned back to St. Paul, Chris Paddack, Bailey Ober, and a handful of relievers not playing right now, the rotation the Twins have is not effective and it shows. Gibson has already seen long games this season and the biggest let down hasn't been his pitching, it's been the Phillies offense, or lack there of. If the argument against bringing Gibson home is his pitching stats, I suggest reviewing how the Twins are doing before turning a nose up at the concept. Gibson can go deep into games, which no Twins pitchers have rarely been able to do. Even some Twins fans agree, it's time to bring Gibson home. Gibson, after ten-plus years in the big leagues, his goal this season was not to reinvent himself or his pitching but to work on trying new things to catch hitters off guard. Gibson already had six pitches in his arsenal, but the pitch he has been working on lately is the cutter. The cutter is all about deception, and it’s a nasty pitch. If he can continue to perfect it, he will be one of the most dangerous pitchers in the league. Gibson’s goal is to perfect the cutter on both the throwing and glove sides. As a righty, the glove side is more manageable. Gibson spent a lot of the lockout working on his cutter and now uses it about 20% of the time. His determination to consistently improve shows on the mound and in the clubhouse. Leadership in the House Gibson is a leader who the Twins need for the remainder of the season. Since his contract ends after 2022 there is no commitment. Gibson is a good person, a leader, and a rally-man when the chips are down. The Rangers manager referred to Target Field as “The House that Kyle Gibson Built,” which tells you a lot. Gibson went to the Rangers and didn’t waste any time bringing his infectious attitude into the clubhouse, becoming a role model for the younger players. A true leader wants everyone on their team to succeed, and that’s what Kyle Gibson wants, no matter where he is. He doesn’t hold the business of baseball against other players or coaches. He sits with the younger guys and hears their concerns, answering their questions and creating dialogue. Most recently, the Phillies have had a rough season and, for the first time since 2020, dipped below .500, and Gibson noticed. Knowing what the team needs, he rallied the guys by reminding them to have fun. In an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer he told reporter Alex Coffey, “You are beating yourself if you are getting bogged down by the losses and not enjoying the wins.” He has told some of the younger hitters, “pretend they are playing backyard Wiffle ball,” meaning have fun and don’t forget why they love playing the game. The Twins hitters are having fun, but the pitchers look like they are going to a funeral every time they step onto the mound. There is a sense of dread and mistrust, not only from the fanbase, but fans also see the struggles and dread on the faces of the players. Low Cost, High Return The cost of bringing Gibson on board is minimal. He has a $7 million payout left on his contract for 2022, making a trade for him one of the best things the Twins could do with minimal financial impact or player loss on the team. The Phillies certainly will want a decent return on one of their best pitchers because the Phillies rely on their starting pitching and offense. Giving away the farm for Gibson would not be wise, but luckily the Phillies like guys they can grow. They are looking for a center-fielder and some bullpen help, and while the Twins are also looking for that additional bullpen help, they do have some outfielders they could part with and some lower-level pitchers that are up and coming. If the Twins mean business and want to sweeten the pot, they could send minor-league pitchers Yennier Cano or Marco Raya as part of a package. The great thing about bringing home Gibson is that for the Twins, it could be an excellent value, much like bringing Gio Urshela and Gary Sánchez, who have both been a part of the Twins’ offense, has been. You can’t put a price on the return of leadership, a solid arm, and rotation relief, but if you could. Should the Twins consider a reunion with Kyle Gibson? View full article
  6. Kyle Gibson , a first-round pick in the 2009 draft (22nd overall). He spent the first nine years of his baseball career with the club. After a challenging 2019 season on and off the field, he signed a three-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Even with the health struggles, in 2018 and 2019, Gibson was among the top 20 pitchers in MLB He became an All Star last year and should again be available at the trade deadline. Veteran Stability Gibson would provide stability for the Twins that they do not have right now. Sonny Gray is one of the Twins’ best pitchers; he went seven innings against Detroit and then struggled for five innings against the Guardians on Wednesday night. Dylan Bundy is the only pitcher this season to pitch through eight innings. The Twins’ bullpen is exhausted. Bringing a veteran pitcher into the rotation would increase the rest time for the key bullpen arms. While the Twins do need bullpen pitchers, they also need pitching that is not on restrictions or struggles once they get past the fourth inning. With Josh Winder being optioned back to St. Paul, Chris Paddack, Bailey Ober, and a handful of relievers not playing right now, the rotation the Twins have is not effective and it shows. Gibson has already seen long games this season and the biggest let down hasn't been his pitching, it's been the Phillies offense, or lack there of. If the argument against bringing Gibson home is his pitching stats, I suggest reviewing how the Twins are doing before turning a nose up at the concept. Gibson can go deep into games, which no Twins pitchers have rarely been able to do. Even some Twins fans agree, it's time to bring Gibson home. Gibson, after ten-plus years in the big leagues, his goal this season was not to reinvent himself or his pitching but to work on trying new things to catch hitters off guard. Gibson already had six pitches in his arsenal, but the pitch he has been working on lately is the cutter. The cutter is all about deception, and it’s a nasty pitch. If he can continue to perfect it, he will be one of the most dangerous pitchers in the league. Gibson’s goal is to perfect the cutter on both the throwing and glove sides. As a righty, the glove side is more manageable. Gibson spent a lot of the lockout working on his cutter and now uses it about 20% of the time. His determination to consistently improve shows on the mound and in the clubhouse. Leadership in the House Gibson is a leader who the Twins need for the remainder of the season. Since his contract ends after 2022 there is no commitment. Gibson is a good person, a leader, and a rally-man when the chips are down. The Rangers manager referred to Target Field as “The House that Kyle Gibson Built,” which tells you a lot. Gibson went to the Rangers and didn’t waste any time bringing his infectious attitude into the clubhouse, becoming a role model for the younger players. A true leader wants everyone on their team to succeed, and that’s what Kyle Gibson wants, no matter where he is. He doesn’t hold the business of baseball against other players or coaches. He sits with the younger guys and hears their concerns, answering their questions and creating dialogue. Most recently, the Phillies have had a rough season and, for the first time since 2020, dipped below .500, and Gibson noticed. Knowing what the team needs, he rallied the guys by reminding them to have fun. In an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer he told reporter Alex Coffey, “You are beating yourself if you are getting bogged down by the losses and not enjoying the wins.” He has told some of the younger hitters, “pretend they are playing backyard Wiffle ball,” meaning have fun and don’t forget why they love playing the game. The Twins hitters are having fun, but the pitchers look like they are going to a funeral every time they step onto the mound. There is a sense of dread and mistrust, not only from the fanbase, but fans also see the struggles and dread on the faces of the players. Low Cost, High Return The cost of bringing Gibson on board is minimal. He has a $7 million payout left on his contract for 2022, making a trade for him one of the best things the Twins could do with minimal financial impact or player loss on the team. The Phillies certainly will want a decent return on one of their best pitchers because the Phillies rely on their starting pitching and offense. Giving away the farm for Gibson would not be wise, but luckily the Phillies like guys they can grow. They are looking for a center-fielder and some bullpen help, and while the Twins are also looking for that additional bullpen help, they do have some outfielders they could part with and some lower-level pitchers that are up and coming. If the Twins mean business and want to sweeten the pot, they could send minor-league pitchers Yennier Cano or Marco Raya as part of a package. The great thing about bringing home Gibson is that for the Twins, it could be an excellent value, much like bringing Gio Urshela and Gary Sánchez, who have both been a part of the Twins’ offense, has been. You can’t put a price on the return of leadership, a solid arm, and rotation relief, but if you could. Should the Twins consider a reunion with Kyle Gibson?
  7. The moniker, “old friend”, has been common amongst Minnesota Twins fans when talking about players who used to play for the hometown squad but have since moved on to play for a different team. Whether or not you continue to root for old friends after they leave the Twins, it’s always a fun exercise to see how they are doing. Here are top performing “old friends” thus far in 2022: 5. Josh Donaldson .764 OPS 5 HR 15 RBI 0.9 fWAR While mired in controversy over the past couple of weeks, it’s still hard to deny that Josh Donaldson is having a strong year in pinstripes after being traded to the Yankees this past offseason. Aided by an average exit velocity that ranks in the 89th percentile, the Bringer of Rain owns a 123 OPS+ while continuing to provide above-average defense at the hot corner. For many, Donaldson isn’t much of an “old friend”, but he cracks the top-five for top performing ex-Twins in 2022. 4. Kyle Gibson 48 IP 3.94 ERA 1.1 fWAR Coming in fourth for top performing ex-Minnesota Twins in 2022 is someone who flashed ace potential at times with the Minnesota Twins but never quite put it all together, Kyle Gibson. After earning his first all-star appearance last season, Gibson is having himself another solid year on the mound with the Phillies in 2022. With a FIP of 3.22, Gibson has actually been even better than his surface stats suggest. 3. Taylor Rogers 21 1/3 IP 1.69 ERA 17 Saves 0.6 fWAR It was a controversial trade this offseason when the Twins traded away Taylor Rogers in exchange for Chris Paddack, and has become even more controversial after the start that Rogers has had in 2022. Across 21 appearances this season, Rogers has allowed an earned run in just two of those appearances. Rogers leads all of baseball with 17 saves this season and has quickly become one of the most dominant relievers in all of baseball. 2. C.J. Cron .942 OPS 13 HR 37 RBI 1.5 fWAR C.J. Cron only spent one season with the Minnesota Twins, but since he departed following the 2019 season, he has been excellent. In 2022, though, he is having the best season of his career with an OPS+ of 155. Cron is tied for third in all of baseball with 13 home runs and is tied for sixth with 37 RBI. 1. Martín Pérez 56 1/3 IP 1.60 ERA 1.7 fWAR Martín Pérez was not good as a member of the Twins, posting a 5.12 ERA in his sole season with the club in 2019. In 2022, though, he has pitched like the best starting pitcher in all of baseball. Pérez’s 1.60 ERA leads Major League Baseball, and his 1.7 fWAR ranks third among starting pitchers. He hasn’t been garnering many strikeouts, but he has yet to allow a home run this season and is allowing a career-low 2.2 walks per nine innings. Who do you think has been the best performing ex-Minnesota Twins player in 2022? Which of these players would you add to the current Minnesota Twins roster if you could? Leave a comment and start the conversation!
  8. While we spend most of our time focusing on the players on the current Minnesota Twins squad, it’s fun to check in on our “old friends” every once in a while. The moniker, “old friend”, has been common amongst Minnesota Twins fans when talking about players who used to play for the hometown squad but have since moved on to play for a different team. Whether or not you continue to root for old friends after they leave the Twins, it’s always a fun exercise to see how they are doing. Here are top performing “old friends” thus far in 2022: 5. Josh Donaldson .764 OPS 5 HR 15 RBI 0.9 fWAR While mired in controversy over the past couple of weeks, it’s still hard to deny that Josh Donaldson is having a strong year in pinstripes after being traded to the Yankees this past offseason. Aided by an average exit velocity that ranks in the 89th percentile, the Bringer of Rain owns a 123 OPS+ while continuing to provide above-average defense at the hot corner. For many, Donaldson isn’t much of an “old friend”, but he cracks the top-five for top performing ex-Twins in 2022. 4. Kyle Gibson 48 IP 3.94 ERA 1.1 fWAR Coming in fourth for top performing ex-Minnesota Twins in 2022 is someone who flashed ace potential at times with the Minnesota Twins but never quite put it all together, Kyle Gibson. After earning his first all-star appearance last season, Gibson is having himself another solid year on the mound with the Phillies in 2022. With a FIP of 3.22, Gibson has actually been even better than his surface stats suggest. 3. Taylor Rogers 21 1/3 IP 1.69 ERA 17 Saves 0.6 fWAR It was a controversial trade this offseason when the Twins traded away Taylor Rogers in exchange for Chris Paddack, and has become even more controversial after the start that Rogers has had in 2022. Across 21 appearances this season, Rogers has allowed an earned run in just two of those appearances. Rogers leads all of baseball with 17 saves this season and has quickly become one of the most dominant relievers in all of baseball. 2. C.J. Cron .942 OPS 13 HR 37 RBI 1.5 fWAR C.J. Cron only spent one season with the Minnesota Twins, but since he departed following the 2019 season, he has been excellent. In 2022, though, he is having the best season of his career with an OPS+ of 155. Cron is tied for third in all of baseball with 13 home runs and is tied for sixth with 37 RBI. 1. Martín Pérez 56 1/3 IP 1.60 ERA 1.7 fWAR Martín Pérez was not good as a member of the Twins, posting a 5.12 ERA in his sole season with the club in 2019. In 2022, though, he has pitched like the best starting pitcher in all of baseball. Pérez’s 1.60 ERA leads Major League Baseball, and his 1.7 fWAR ranks third among starting pitchers. He hasn’t been garnering many strikeouts, but he has yet to allow a home run this season and is allowing a career-low 2.2 walks per nine innings. Who do you think has been the best performing ex-Minnesota Twins player in 2022? Which of these players would you add to the current Minnesota Twins roster if you could? Leave a comment and start the conversation! View full article
  9. Every team makes mistakes, but organizations find long-term success by avoiding poor first-round draft picks. As the Metrodome era ended, Minnesota made some draft mistakes. Drafting baseball players isn’t an exact science as teams employ different strategies. Minnesota missed out on baseball’s best player, and they passed on two players that eventually wore a Twins uniform. 2005 Draft Twins Selection: Matt Garza (25th pick) Left on the Board: Colby Rasmus (28th pick) Seven players from the 2005 Draft have accumulated more than 30 WAR, including four players north of 40 WAR. Garza played in 152 big-league games and helped the Rays to a World Series run. He ended up in Tampa as part of the deal involving Delmon Young. The Cardinals took Rasmus three picks after Garza, and he played in over 1000 big-league games. Other players the Twins passed on include Jed Lowrie and Clay Buchholz, who Boston took in the supplemental first round. Garza wasn’t a terrible pick, but his best playing days came outside the Twins organization. 2006 Draft Twins Selection: Chris Parmelee (20th pick) Left on the Board: Ian Kennedy (21st pick) Parmelee played in over 300 big-league games, ranking in the top-10 out of players in the 2006 first round. During his Twins tenure, Parmelee didn’t provide a lot of value as a corner outfielder with limited defensive skills. Players of his ilk need to mash the ball, and that didn’t happen as he posted a .717 OPS for his career. The Yankees selected Ian Kennedy one pick after Parmelee, and he has the fifth-highest WAR total among 2006 first-round picks. Adam Ottavino and Andrew Miller were still available, so Minnesota had plenty of pitching options with the 20th overall pick. 2007 Draft Twins Selection: Ben Revere (28th pick) Left on the Board: Josh Donaldson (44th pick) It’s certainly intriguing to think the Twins had a chance to add Donaldson at the beginning of his professional career. The Cubs drafted him as a catcher from Auburn, and he has posted the highest WAR total among players in the 2007 first round. That ranks him ahead of players like David Price, Jason Heyward, and Madison Bumgarner. If Minnesota went in a different direction, Todd Frazier was also available with the 28th pick. Revere accumulated nearly 8.0 WAR in over 850 big-league games, but his skill set was limited, and some of the other available players had a higher ceiling. 2008 Draft Twins Selection: Aaron Hicks (14th pick) Left on the Board: Lance Lynn (39th pick) Hicks fit Minnesota’s mold of taking toolsy high school outfielders, and he’s gone on to have a respectable big-league career. Unfortunately, his best seasons have come in a Yankees uniform where his OPS is over 100 points higher than with the Twins. Out of players left on the board, only three players have accumulated more WAR than Hicks, including Lance Lynn, Wade Miley, and Jake Odorizzi. Lynn’s WAR total ranks second to Buster Posey among first-round picks that signed from the 2008 draft. Twins fans likely have a bad taste in their mouth after Lynn was terrible in 20 games for Minnesota. He has finished in the top-6 for the AL Cy Young in the last three seasons, and now he is torturing Twins fans by pitching well for the White Sox. 2009 Draft Twins Selection: Kyle Gibson (22nd pick) Left on the Board: Mike Trout (25h pick) The Twins weren’t the only team to pass over the best player of the current generation, but it doesn’t make it sting any less. Gibson was a solid, safe pick based on his college experience and potential as a starting pitcher. Besides Trout, Minnesota made the correct pick as no other available players have accumulated more WAR. Gibson earned his first All-Star nod last season, and he has pitched over 1300 big-league innings. On some bad Twins teams, he was the lone bright spot in the rotation. Books will be written about Trout’s greatness, and many teams likely wish they had a chance to reevaluate the high school outfielder from New Jersey. Which of these players was the best pick for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — 2010-2015 Drafts MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email View full article
  10. Drafting baseball players isn’t an exact science as teams employ different strategies. Minnesota missed out on baseball’s best player, and they passed on two players that eventually wore a Twins uniform. 2005 Draft Twins Selection: Matt Garza (25th pick) Left on the Board: Colby Rasmus (28th pick) Seven players from the 2005 Draft have accumulated more than 30 WAR, including four players north of 40 WAR. Garza played in 152 big-league games and helped the Rays to a World Series run. He ended up in Tampa as part of the deal involving Delmon Young. The Cardinals took Rasmus three picks after Garza, and he played in over 1000 big-league games. Other players the Twins passed on include Jed Lowrie and Clay Buchholz, who Boston took in the supplemental first round. Garza wasn’t a terrible pick, but his best playing days came outside the Twins organization. 2006 Draft Twins Selection: Chris Parmelee (20th pick) Left on the Board: Ian Kennedy (21st pick) Parmelee played in over 300 big-league games, ranking in the top-10 out of players in the 2006 first round. During his Twins tenure, Parmelee didn’t provide a lot of value as a corner outfielder with limited defensive skills. Players of his ilk need to mash the ball, and that didn’t happen as he posted a .717 OPS for his career. The Yankees selected Ian Kennedy one pick after Parmelee, and he has the fifth-highest WAR total among 2006 first-round picks. Adam Ottavino and Andrew Miller were still available, so Minnesota had plenty of pitching options with the 20th overall pick. 2007 Draft Twins Selection: Ben Revere (28th pick) Left on the Board: Josh Donaldson (44th pick) It’s certainly intriguing to think the Twins had a chance to add Donaldson at the beginning of his professional career. The Cubs drafted him as a catcher from Auburn, and he has posted the highest WAR total among players in the 2007 first round. That ranks him ahead of players like David Price, Jason Heyward, and Madison Bumgarner. If Minnesota went in a different direction, Todd Frazier was also available with the 28th pick. Revere accumulated nearly 8.0 WAR in over 850 big-league games, but his skill set was limited, and some of the other available players had a higher ceiling. 2008 Draft Twins Selection: Aaron Hicks (14th pick) Left on the Board: Lance Lynn (39th pick) Hicks fit Minnesota’s mold of taking toolsy high school outfielders, and he’s gone on to have a respectable big-league career. Unfortunately, his best seasons have come in a Yankees uniform where his OPS is over 100 points higher than with the Twins. Out of players left on the board, only three players have accumulated more WAR than Hicks, including Lance Lynn, Wade Miley, and Jake Odorizzi. Lynn’s WAR total ranks second to Buster Posey among first-round picks that signed from the 2008 draft. Twins fans likely have a bad taste in their mouth after Lynn was terrible in 20 games for Minnesota. He has finished in the top-6 for the AL Cy Young in the last three seasons, and now he is torturing Twins fans by pitching well for the White Sox. 2009 Draft Twins Selection: Kyle Gibson (22nd pick) Left on the Board: Mike Trout (25h pick) The Twins weren’t the only team to pass over the best player of the current generation, but it doesn’t make it sting any less. Gibson was a solid, safe pick based on his college experience and potential as a starting pitcher. Besides Trout, Minnesota made the correct pick as no other available players have accumulated more WAR. Gibson earned his first All-Star nod last season, and he has pitched over 1300 big-league innings. On some bad Twins teams, he was the lone bright spot in the rotation. Books will be written about Trout’s greatness, and many teams likely wish they had a chance to reevaluate the high school outfielder from New Jersey. Which of these players was the best pick for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — 2010-2015 Drafts MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  11. ...and last week. Back by popular demand, this local Twins fan (internet lurker) is bringing you another edition of what your favorite current and former Twins did this week in the off-season. You thought that the Twins were going to disappear from your lives until next year? Think again. Contrary to popular belief, your favorite players don’t retreat into a Jake cave until spring training. Fall/Halloween Roundup Baseball players, they’re just like us, posing in pumpkin patches and dressing up in adorable Halloween costumes. Here’s is a roundup of all of our fall favorites: Cody Stashak is Enjoying the Offseason with his Family and the Cutest Little Pumpkin Kyle Gibson and the Chocolate Factory Josh Donaldson has the Cutest Unicorn Family The Twins’ Uniform is Looking Different Nowadays Byron Buxton watched the Braves in the World Series And spoiler alert, they won! Brent Rooker shared our Daylight Savings woes. Baseball players, they’re just like us And same…. Welcome to Minnesota, Jayce Tingler and David Popkins Jayce Tingler and David Popkins will bring their impressive resumes to Minnesota next season as the Twins’ new bench coach and hitting coach, respectively. They will be replacing the late Mike Bell and Edgar Varela. Tingler comes to Minnesota from the San Diego Padres, where he spent two seasons as their manager. Prior to San Diego, he spent some time as a coach for the Texas Rangers. Popkins comes from the Dodgers organization, where two years coaching for the Arizona Dodgers and the Great Lakes Loons. Check out Aaron & John’s reaction on their latest episode of Gleeman & the Geek. Cody Laweryson is a Fall Star This 22-year-old has had a great Fall League thus far, and he was the sole Twin named on the Fall Star game roster today. In his 13 innings pitched this fall, he has struck out 17 while allowing just one home run. Congrats Cody! Check out the remaining Fall Star game roster below: View full article
  12. Fall/Halloween Roundup Baseball players, they’re just like us, posing in pumpkin patches and dressing up in adorable Halloween costumes. Here’s is a roundup of all of our fall favorites: Cody Stashak is Enjoying the Offseason with his Family and the Cutest Little Pumpkin Kyle Gibson and the Chocolate Factory Josh Donaldson has the Cutest Unicorn Family The Twins’ Uniform is Looking Different Nowadays Byron Buxton watched the Braves in the World Series And spoiler alert, they won! Brent Rooker shared our Daylight Savings woes. Baseball players, they’re just like us And same…. Welcome to Minnesota, Jayce Tingler and David Popkins Jayce Tingler and David Popkins will bring their impressive resumes to Minnesota next season as the Twins’ new bench coach and hitting coach, respectively. They will be replacing the late Mike Bell and Edgar Varela. Tingler comes to Minnesota from the San Diego Padres, where he spent two seasons as their manager. Prior to San Diego, he spent some time as a coach for the Texas Rangers. Popkins comes from the Dodgers organization, where two years coaching for the Arizona Dodgers and the Great Lakes Loons. Check out Aaron & John’s reaction on their latest episode of Gleeman & the Geek. Cody Laweryson is a Fall Star This 22-year-old has had a great Fall League thus far, and he was the sole Twin named on the Fall Star game roster today. In his 13 innings pitched this fall, he has struck out 17 while allowing just one home run. Congrats Cody! Check out the remaining Fall Star game roster below:
  13. The National League isn't the only league with former Twins dotting potential playoff rosters. Some of the names below are fan favorites, and others exited Minnesota under very different circumstances. Division Leaders San Francisco: LaMonte Wade Jr., OF/1B This one hurts for many Twins fans as LaMonte Wade Jr. was traded for Shaun Anderson in February. Anderson appeared in four games for the Twins before being designated for assignment. Wade has posted a 129 OPS+ while being worth 1.8 WAR. Defensively, he has played all three outfield positions and logged over 186 innings at first base. The Giants are a surprise team, and Wade Jr. has been a surprise addition to their success. Milwaukee: Eduardo Escobar, INF Eduardo Escobar was a first-time All-Star this season before being dealt from Arizona to Milwaukee at the trade deadline. His OPS+ has jumped from 107 to 124 since the trade. For the season, his max exit velocity and xSLG rank in the 70th percentile or higher. Milwaukee's starting rotation is built for a deep October run, and Escobar was the team's upgrade for the stretch run. Atlanta: Huascar Ynoa, SP Former Twin Eddie Rosario made some history for the Braves over the weekend by hitting for the cycle, but Huascar Ynoa is more critical for the team's playoff success. Ynoa was traded to the Braves for Jaime Garcia and Anthony Recker in 2017. He has posted a 3.26 ERA and a 1.022 WHIP with a 10.0 strikeout per nine. At 23-years old, he has been a surprise for the Braves as they sit atop the AL East. Wild Card Contenders Los Angeles: Brusdar Graterol Graterol headed to the Dodgers as part of the Kenta Maeda deal, and he helped the Dodgers win the 2020 World Series. He was injured and ineffective in the first half, so his addition to the bullpen has provided a second-half boost. In 23 second-half appearances, he has a 3.24 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP. Any team competing in October needs a good bullpen, and Brusdar Graterol can help the Dodgers on their quest to repeat. St. Louis: J.A. Happ Many were surprised the Twins were able to get anything for Happ at the trade deadline. Now, J.A. Happ has been part of quite the turnaround in St. Louis. The Cardinals seem to do this on an annual basis where the club looks out of the race, and then they fight back into contention. His ERA dropped from 6.77 with the Twins to 4.33 with the Cardinals. He hasn't been outstanding, but he has helped take innings away from their bullpen. Philadelphia: Kyle Gibson Kyle Gibson compiled an impressive first half in Texas on his way to being named an AL All-Star. At the deadline, he was sent to Philadelphia, who now finds themselves fighting for the final Wild Card spot. His time in Philadelphia hasn't been nearly as outstanding as in Texas, but he has pitched six innings or more in six of his ten starts. Which of these players has the most significant impact on the playoff races? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  14. Minnesota isn't going to end the team's playoff losing streak this year, but plenty of former Twins are helping their team fight for the playoffs. Here is one former Twin assisting each NL playoff contender. The National League isn't the only league with former Twins dotting potential playoff rosters. Some of the names below are fan favorites, and others exited Minnesota under very different circumstances. Division Leaders San Francisco: LaMonte Wade Jr., OF/1B This one hurts for many Twins fans as LaMonte Wade Jr. was traded for Shaun Anderson in February. Anderson appeared in four games for the Twins before being designated for assignment. Wade has posted a 129 OPS+ while being worth 1.8 WAR. Defensively, he has played all three outfield positions and logged over 186 innings at first base. The Giants are a surprise team, and Wade Jr. has been a surprise addition to their success. Milwaukee: Eduardo Escobar, INF Eduardo Escobar was a first-time All-Star this season before being dealt from Arizona to Milwaukee at the trade deadline. His OPS+ has jumped from 107 to 124 since the trade. For the season, his max exit velocity and xSLG rank in the 70th percentile or higher. Milwaukee's starting rotation is built for a deep October run, and Escobar was the team's upgrade for the stretch run. Atlanta: Huascar Ynoa, SP Former Twin Eddie Rosario made some history for the Braves over the weekend by hitting for the cycle, but Huascar Ynoa is more critical for the team's playoff success. Ynoa was traded to the Braves for Jaime Garcia and Anthony Recker in 2017. He has posted a 3.26 ERA and a 1.022 WHIP with a 10.0 strikeout per nine. At 23-years old, he has been a surprise for the Braves as they sit atop the AL East. Wild Card Contenders Los Angeles: Brusdar Graterol Graterol headed to the Dodgers as part of the Kenta Maeda deal, and he helped the Dodgers win the 2020 World Series. He was injured and ineffective in the first half, so his addition to the bullpen has provided a second-half boost. In 23 second-half appearances, he has a 3.24 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP. Any team competing in October needs a good bullpen, and Brusdar Graterol can help the Dodgers on their quest to repeat. St. Louis: J.A. Happ Many were surprised the Twins were able to get anything for Happ at the trade deadline. Now, J.A. Happ has been part of quite the turnaround in St. Louis. The Cardinals seem to do this on an annual basis where the club looks out of the race, and then they fight back into contention. His ERA dropped from 6.77 with the Twins to 4.33 with the Cardinals. He hasn't been outstanding, but he has helped take innings away from their bullpen. Philadelphia: Kyle Gibson Kyle Gibson compiled an impressive first half in Texas on his way to being named an AL All-Star. At the deadline, he was sent to Philadelphia, who now finds themselves fighting for the final Wild Card spot. His time in Philadelphia hasn't been nearly as outstanding as in Texas, but he has pitched six innings or more in six of his ten starts. Which of these players has the most significant impact on the playoff races? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  15. We come to the end of our review of the history of the Minnesota Twins by looking at All-Decade teams today by posting the Pitchers of the 2010s. It was a tough decade for the Twins overall, but there were still really strong pitching performances as well.The 2010s were a rough decade for the Minnesota Twins overall, though they have some fair seasons and a couple of playoff appearances. The final season of the decade was a 102-win season that gives fans hope for the coming decade of baseball. Pitching continued to be a huge question mark for the Twins throughout the decade. However, they did draft and develop Jose Berrios who, at 25, has already pitched in two All-Star Games. With Derek Falvey in charge, the hope is that he will help the organization develop pitching the same way he did in Cleveland. For now, take a look at the choices for five starting pitchers and five relief pitchers of the Twins decade. SP - Ervin Santana (2015-2018) 85 games, 85 starts, 30-25 with 0 saves and a 3.68 ERA in 525 1/3 innings. 414 K. 159 BB. The Twins signed Santana in December 2014 after ten MLB seasons, eight with the Angels. He got a four year, $55 million deal. However, before the 2015 season, he was suspended for 80 games. He pitched the second half of that season and made 30 starts in 2016. Though he went just 7-11, his 3.38 ERA was 25% better than league average. He got off to a great start in 2017 and earned his second career All- Star appearance. Overall, he went 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA (35% better than league average). He led the league with five complete games and three shutouts. He hurt a finger late in the season and it just didn’t heal in 2018. He tried to come back but it didn’t work. SP - Kyle Gibson (2013-2019) 193 games, 188 starts, 67-68 with 0 saves and a 4.52 ERA in 1,087 innings. 845 K. 392 BB. Gibson was the Twins first-round pick in 2009 out of Missouri. In 2010, he pitched at Ft. Myers, New Britain and Rochester. He was on his way to debuting in 2010, but his elbow didn’t agree. He had Tommy John and returned late in 2012. He made his debut in June 2013 and spent the rest of the decade in a Twins uniform. Gibson remained mostly healthy and provided over 1000 innings. He fit into a category of “generally kept his team in the game” and because of that, he finished with a record right around .500. He won 10 or more games in five of his six full seasons, winning 13 games in 2014 and 2019. His best season was in 2018 when he went just 10-13 but had a 3.62 ERA, 18% better than league average. He fought with ulcerative colitis in 2019, but he took the mound whenever asked. After a dozen years in the Twins organization, Gibson signed a three-year deal with the Rangers in the offseason. SP - Jose Berrios (2016-2019) 104 games, 103 starts, 43-34 with 0 saves and a 4.21 ERA in 596 2/3 innings. 585 K. 195 BB. Berrios was the 32nd-overall pick in the 2012, draft out of Puerto Rico. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in both 2014 and 2015. At just 21, he made his MLB debut in April 2016. He really struggled in his rookie season, posting an ERA over 8 in 14 starts. In 2017, he went 14-8 with a 3.89 ERA. He made his first All-Star appearance in 2018 when he went 12-11 with a 3.84 ERA in 32 starts. Last season, he returned to the All-Star Game. In 32 starts, he went 14-8 with a 3.68 ERA. He reached 200 innings for the first time in his career. He was set to be the Twins Opening Day starting pitcher again in 2020. SP - Phil Hughes (2014-2018) 92 games, 79 starts, 32-29 with 0 saves and a 4.43 ERA in 489 2/3 innings. 360 K. 63 BB. Hughes was the 23rd overall pick in the 2004 MLB Draft. After parts of seven seasons with the Yankees, he signed a three-year deal with the Twins about a week before they signed Santana. He put together an incredible 2014 season. He went 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA. In 209 2/3 innings, he walked just 16 batters. His 0.7 BB/9 and 11.63 K/BB led the league. The latter was an MLB record. Just one out from reaching 210 innings, and a big incentive, his final start ended when there was a rain delay. The Twins ripped up his three-year deal and made it a five-year deal. He went 11-9 with a 4.40 ERA in 27 games in 2015. After that, he struggled with his shoulder and had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. He was unable to pitch consistently from 2016 until he was traded to the Padres early in the 2018 season. SP - Scott Baker (2010-11) 52 games, 50 starts, 20-15 with 0 saves and a 3.90 ERA in 305 innings. 271 K. 75 BB. While Baker’s best season was in 2009, he was still quite productive the first two years of the next decade. In 2010, he went 12-9 with a 4.49 ERA in 29 starts. In 2011, he went 8-6 with a 3.14 ERA in 21 starts before his season came to an end. He ended up needing Tommy John surgery and missed the 2012 season. Between 2013 and 2015, he pitched for the Cubs, Rangers and Dodgers. RP - Glen Perkins (2010-2017) 342 games, 1 start, 17-14 with 120 saves and a 3.18 ERA in 342 2/3 innings. 359 K. 84 BB. The Twins drafted Gopher great Glen Perkins with the 22nd overall pick of the 2004 draft. He came up through the minor league system as a starter and debuted late in 2006. He was a starter (and went 12-4 with a 4.41 ERA) in 2008. By 2010, he made the move to the bullpen. He took off in 2011. He posted ERAs of 2.48, 2.56 and 2.30 over the next three years, becoming one of the top left-handed relievers in the game. He became the closer midway through the 2012 season. He was an All-Star in 2013, 2014, and 2015, compiling 102 of his 120 saves in those three seasons. RP - Taylor Rogers (2016-2019) 258 games, 0 starts, 13-10 with 32 saves and a 3.04 ERA in 254 1/3 innings. 278 K. 64 BB. Rogers was the Twins 11th-round pick in 2012 out of the University of Kentucky. He climbed the Twins ladder as a starting pitcher. However, early in 2016, Glen Perkins was hurt and Rogers was called up to work out of the bullpen. He’s been there since, and he has continued to get better as his role has gained leverage. In 2017, he posted a 3.07 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. In 2018, he had a 2.63 ERA anda 0.95 WHIP. Last season, he had a 2.61 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. His strikeout rate over the last three seasons has gone from 7.5 K/9 to 9.9 K/9 to 11.7 K/9 in 2019. He began the 2019 season being used in any late-inning, high-leverage situation. As other options struggled, he began getting more opportunities in the closer’s role. He often worked multiple-innings to record saves. He was also named an all-pro after the season. RP - Brian Duensing (2010-2015) 330 games, 52 starts, 36-35 with 2 saves and a 4.20 ERA in 565 1/3 innings. 375 K. 177 BB. Duensing was the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Nebraska. He made his MLB debut in 2009. In 2010, he went 10-3 with a 2.62 ERA in 53 games and 130 2/3 innings. He moved into the starting rotation for the 2011 season, and struggled. By mid-2012, he moved to the bullpen full time and became a reliable left-handed option for the next three seasons. He was called upon to get one out, pitch an inning or even pitch a couple of innings at a time. He left after the 2015 season and pitched one season with the Orioles before pitching in the Cubs bullpen in 2017 and 2018. RP - Ryan Pressly (2013-2018) 281 games, 0 starts, 17-16 with 1 save and a 3.75 ERA in 317 innings. 282 K. 108 BB. Pressly was a starting pitching prospect with the Red Sox when the Twins picked him with their Rule 5 selection in December of 2012. He impressed in spring training 2013 and made the team. He had a 3.87 ERA in 49 games that season. He was able to be sent to Rochester the next year and split the season between AAA and the big leagues. By 2016, he was an oft-used reliever in the Twins bullpen. He continued to show great stuff so as he worked more, he became a high strikeout pitcher. He was traded to the Astros at the July deadline in 2018 and became even more dominant. Before the trade, he had 69 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings. He was an All-Star in 2019. RP - Casey Fien (2012-2016) 257 games, 0 starts, 17-15 with 1 save and a 4.21 ERA in 237 1/3 innings. 209 K. 42 BB. Fien pitched in 11 games for the Tigers between 2009 and 2010. He spent 2011 in the minor leagues. The Twins signed him to a minor league deal before the 2012 season. He began in Rochester, but something clicked for him midway through the season, and he took off and earned a call to the Twins where he finished the season posting a 2.06 ERA in 35 games. He spent three seasons as a reliable reliever for the Twins. He struggled early in 2016 and was claimed by the Dodgers. He pitched for Seattle and Philadelphia in 2018. For more from this series, see below. Previous Installments Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Pitchers) Episode 15: Get t o Know the 1960s Twins (with Dave Mona) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Pitchers) Episode 16: Get to Know the 1970s Twins (with Patrick Reusse) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Pitchers) Episode 17: Get to know the 1980s Twins (with Howard Sinker) Twins All-Decade Team: the '90s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '90s (The Pitchers) Twins All-Decade Team: the '00s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '00s (The Pitchers) Twins All-Decade Team, the '10s (The Hitters) Click here to view the article
  16. The 2010s were a rough decade for the Minnesota Twins overall, though they have some fair seasons and a couple of playoff appearances. The final season of the decade was a 102-win season that gives fans hope for the coming decade of baseball. Pitching continued to be a huge question mark for the Twins throughout the decade. However, they did draft and develop Jose Berrios who, at 25, has already pitched in two All-Star Games. With Derek Falvey in charge, the hope is that he will help the organization develop pitching the same way he did in Cleveland. For now, take a look at the choices for five starting pitchers and five relief pitchers of the Twins decade. SP - Ervin Santana (2015-2018) 85 games, 85 starts, 30-25 with 0 saves and a 3.68 ERA in 525 1/3 innings. 414 K. 159 BB. The Twins signed Santana in December 2014 after ten MLB seasons, eight with the Angels. He got a four year, $55 million deal. However, before the 2015 season, he was suspended for 80 games. He pitched the second half of that season and made 30 starts in 2016. Though he went just 7-11, his 3.38 ERA was 25% better than league average. He got off to a great start in 2017 and earned his second career All- Star appearance. Overall, he went 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA (35% better than league average). He led the league with five complete games and three shutouts. He hurt a finger late in the season and it just didn’t heal in 2018. He tried to come back but it didn’t work. SP - Kyle Gibson (2013-2019) 193 games, 188 starts, 67-68 with 0 saves and a 4.52 ERA in 1,087 innings. 845 K. 392 BB. Gibson was the Twins first-round pick in 2009 out of Missouri. In 2010, he pitched at Ft. Myers, New Britain and Rochester. He was on his way to debuting in 2010, but his elbow didn’t agree. He had Tommy John and returned late in 2012. He made his debut in June 2013 and spent the rest of the decade in a Twins uniform. Gibson remained mostly healthy and provided over 1000 innings. He fit into a category of “generally kept his team in the game” and because of that, he finished with a record right around .500. He won 10 or more games in five of his six full seasons, winning 13 games in 2014 and 2019. His best season was in 2018 when he went just 10-13 but had a 3.62 ERA, 18% better than league average. He fought with ulcerative colitis in 2019, but he took the mound whenever asked. After a dozen years in the Twins organization, Gibson signed a three-year deal with the Rangers in the offseason. SP - Jose Berrios (2016-2019) 104 games, 103 starts, 43-34 with 0 saves and a 4.21 ERA in 596 2/3 innings. 585 K. 195 BB. Berrios was the 32nd-overall pick in the 2012, draft out of Puerto Rico. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in both 2014 and 2015. At just 21, he made his MLB debut in April 2016. He really struggled in his rookie season, posting an ERA over 8 in 14 starts. In 2017, he went 14-8 with a 3.89 ERA. He made his first All-Star appearance in 2018 when he went 12-11 with a 3.84 ERA in 32 starts. Last season, he returned to the All-Star Game. In 32 starts, he went 14-8 with a 3.68 ERA. He reached 200 innings for the first time in his career. He was set to be the Twins Opening Day starting pitcher again in 2020. SP - Phil Hughes (2014-2018) 92 games, 79 starts, 32-29 with 0 saves and a 4.43 ERA in 489 2/3 innings. 360 K. 63 BB. Hughes was the 23rd overall pick in the 2004 MLB Draft. After parts of seven seasons with the Yankees, he signed a three-year deal with the Twins about a week before they signed Santana. He put together an incredible 2014 season. He went 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA. In 209 2/3 innings, he walked just 16 batters. His 0.7 BB/9 and 11.63 K/BB led the league. The latter was an MLB record. Just one out from reaching 210 innings, and a big incentive, his final start ended when there was a rain delay. The Twins ripped up his three-year deal and made it a five-year deal. He went 11-9 with a 4.40 ERA in 27 games in 2015. After that, he struggled with his shoulder and had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. He was unable to pitch consistently from 2016 until he was traded to the Padres early in the 2018 season. SP - Scott Baker (2010-11) 52 games, 50 starts, 20-15 with 0 saves and a 3.90 ERA in 305 innings. 271 K. 75 BB. While Baker’s best season was in 2009, he was still quite productive the first two years of the next decade. In 2010, he went 12-9 with a 4.49 ERA in 29 starts. In 2011, he went 8-6 with a 3.14 ERA in 21 starts before his season came to an end. He ended up needing Tommy John surgery and missed the 2012 season. Between 2013 and 2015, he pitched for the Cubs, Rangers and Dodgers. RP - Glen Perkins (2010-2017) 342 games, 1 start, 17-14 with 120 saves and a 3.18 ERA in 342 2/3 innings. 359 K. 84 BB. The Twins drafted Gopher great Glen Perkins with the 22nd overall pick of the 2004 draft. He came up through the minor league system as a starter and debuted late in 2006. He was a starter (and went 12-4 with a 4.41 ERA) in 2008. By 2010, he made the move to the bullpen. He took off in 2011. He posted ERAs of 2.48, 2.56 and 2.30 over the next three years, becoming one of the top left-handed relievers in the game. He became the closer midway through the 2012 season. He was an All-Star in 2013, 2014, and 2015, compiling 102 of his 120 saves in those three seasons. RP - Taylor Rogers (2016-2019) 258 games, 0 starts, 13-10 with 32 saves and a 3.04 ERA in 254 1/3 innings. 278 K. 64 BB. Rogers was the Twins 11th-round pick in 2012 out of the University of Kentucky. He climbed the Twins ladder as a starting pitcher. However, early in 2016, Glen Perkins was hurt and Rogers was called up to work out of the bullpen. He’s been there since, and he has continued to get better as his role has gained leverage. In 2017, he posted a 3.07 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. In 2018, he had a 2.63 ERA anda 0.95 WHIP. Last season, he had a 2.61 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. His strikeout rate over the last three seasons has gone from 7.5 K/9 to 9.9 K/9 to 11.7 K/9 in 2019. He began the 2019 season being used in any late-inning, high-leverage situation. As other options struggled, he began getting more opportunities in the closer’s role. He often worked multiple-innings to record saves. He was also named an all-pro after the season. RP - Brian Duensing (2010-2015) 330 games, 52 starts, 36-35 with 2 saves and a 4.20 ERA in 565 1/3 innings. 375 K. 177 BB. Duensing was the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Nebraska. He made his MLB debut in 2009. In 2010, he went 10-3 with a 2.62 ERA in 53 games and 130 2/3 innings. He moved into the starting rotation for the 2011 season, and struggled. By mid-2012, he moved to the bullpen full time and became a reliable left-handed option for the next three seasons. He was called upon to get one out, pitch an inning or even pitch a couple of innings at a time. He left after the 2015 season and pitched one season with the Orioles before pitching in the Cubs bullpen in 2017 and 2018. RP - Ryan Pressly (2013-2018) 281 games, 0 starts, 17-16 with 1 save and a 3.75 ERA in 317 innings. 282 K. 108 BB. Pressly was a starting pitching prospect with the Red Sox when the Twins picked him with their Rule 5 selection in December of 2012. He impressed in spring training 2013 and made the team. He had a 3.87 ERA in 49 games that season. He was able to be sent to Rochester the next year and split the season between AAA and the big leagues. By 2016, he was an oft-used reliever in the Twins bullpen. He continued to show great stuff so as he worked more, he became a high strikeout pitcher. He was traded to the Astros at the July deadline in 2018 and became even more dominant. Before the trade, he had 69 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings. He was an All-Star in 2019. RP - Casey Fien (2012-2016) 257 games, 0 starts, 17-15 with 1 save and a 4.21 ERA in 237 1/3 innings. 209 K. 42 BB. Fien pitched in 11 games for the Tigers between 2009 and 2010. He spent 2011 in the minor leagues. The Twins signed him to a minor league deal before the 2012 season. He began in Rochester, but something clicked for him midway through the season, and he took off and earned a call to the Twins where he finished the season posting a 2.06 ERA in 35 games. He spent three seasons as a reliable reliever for the Twins. He struggled early in 2016 and was claimed by the Dodgers. He pitched for Seattle and Philadelphia in 2018. For more from this series, see below. Previous Installments Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Pitchers) Episode 15: Get t o Know the 1960s Twins (with Dave Mona) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Pitchers) Episode 16: Get to Know the 1970s Twins (with Patrick Reusse) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Pitchers) Episode 17: Get to know the 1980s Twins (with Howard Sinker) Twins All-Decade Team: the '90s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '90s (The Pitchers) Twins All-Decade Team: the '00s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '00s (The Pitchers) Twins All-Decade Team, the '10s (The Hitters)
  17. Sometimes narratives, baseball or other, get into circulation, and once they do, it seems that they are hard to get rid of. I have probably (unfortunately) started some, and I am sure that I have passed along some without doing any research. Of course, I think we all agree that a little data to either support or disprove any narrative should help. Today I am going to address one of those narratives and let you decide.The Narrative: The former Twins front office leadership was slow to push pitchers up the ladder, especially in their first full professional season. The 2019 Case: In 2019, Twins right-handed pitcher Cole Sands made his professional debut. He had been the Twins fifth-round draft pick in 2018 out of Florida State. After being drafted, he was shut down. He began the 2019 season in Cedar Rapids. He went 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA. After eight starts and just 41 1/3 innings with the Kernels, he was promoted to Ft. Myers. With the Miracle, he made nine starts and went 5-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 52 innings. He ended the season with one start at Double-A Pensacola in which he gave up two runs in four innings. He threw a total of 97 1/3 innings in his first full season. I have seen it written or spoken about in a few places over the last couple of years that under the previous regime, the Twins would likely not have pushed a college pitcher like Sands quite as quickly. Is that true? Is that a fair critique? Obviously there is no perfect way to analyze this. Pitcher development (like hitter development) is very much dependent upon the individual. However, I wanted to go back several seasons and find out if the previous Twins regime had any (or many, or lots, or no) cases that fit the model that we saw in 2019 with Cole Sands. What are those qualifications to meet? So I went back through all of the Twins drafts from 2001 through 2019. I looked for these two things from each pitcher drafted out of college. If, in his first full professional season, the pitcher did one or both of them, I included him. Did the pitcher reach AA (or AAA)? Sands made one start at AA, orDid the pitcher pitch at three or more levels? Sands pitched at Low-A, High-A and AA.With that, let’s take a look at the Twins history this century. CURRENT REGIME (2017-2019) Cole Sands (5th round, 2019) - Pitched at three levels. Reached AA in 2020.PREVIOUS REGIME Tyler Jay (1st round, 2015) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2016..Nick Burdi (supp 1st, 2014) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2015.Jake Reed (5th round, 2014) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2015.DJ Baxendale (10th round, 2012) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2013.Pat Dean (3rd round, 2010) - Pitched at three levels, Low-A, High-A and AA in 2011.Logan Darnell (6th round, 2010) - Pitched at three levels, Low-A, High-A and AA in 2011.Kyle Gibson (1st round, 2009) - Pitched at three levels, High-A, AA and AAA in 2010.Billy Bullock (2nd round, 2009) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2010.Carlos Gutierrez (supp 1st, 2008) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2009.Matt Garza (1st round, 2005) - Pitched at four levels, High-A, AA, AAA and MLB in 2006.Kevin Slowey (2nd round, 2005) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2006.Brian Duensing (3rd round, 2005) - Pitched at three levels, Low-A, High-A and AA in 2006.Glen Perkins (1st round, 2004) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2005.Scott Baker (2nd round, 2003) - Pitched at three levels, High-A, AA and AAA in 2004.Jesse Crain (2nd round, 2002) - Pitched at three levels, High-A, AA and AAA in 2003.Adam Johnson (1st round, 2000) - Pitched at three levels, AA, AAA and MLB.CONCLUSIONSWhile this doesn’t dispute the studies done five years or so ago stating that the Twins were among the slowest, if not the slowest, to promote pitchers to the big leagues, this does show that the previous Twins regime was not afraid of pushing college pitchers quickly through the lower levels of the minor leagues. In fact, it happened most years. This isn’t a scientific study. I have done nothing more than a quick search of Twins draft picks in Baseball-Reference, so it’s possible that I am missing something. Please feel free to let me know. Click here to view the article
  18. The Narrative: The former Twins front office leadership was slow to push pitchers up the ladder, especially in their first full professional season. The 2019 Case: In 2019, Twins right-handed pitcher Cole Sands made his professional debut. He had been the Twins fifth-round draft pick in 2018 out of Florida State. After being drafted, he was shut down. He began the 2019 season in Cedar Rapids. He went 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA. After eight starts and just 41 1/3 innings with the Kernels, he was promoted to Ft. Myers. With the Miracle, he made nine starts and went 5-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 52 innings. He ended the season with one start at Double-A Pensacola in which he gave up two runs in four innings. He threw a total of 97 1/3 innings in his first full season. I have seen it written or spoken about in a few places over the last couple of years that under the previous regime, the Twins would likely not have pushed a college pitcher like Sands quite as quickly. Is that true? Is that a fair critique? Obviously there is no perfect way to analyze this. Pitcher development (like hitter development) is very much dependent upon the individual. However, I wanted to go back several seasons and find out if the previous Twins regime had any (or many, or lots, or no) cases that fit the model that we saw in 2019 with Cole Sands. What are those qualifications to meet? So I went back through all of the Twins drafts from 2001 through 2019. I looked for these two things from each pitcher drafted out of college. If, in his first full professional season, the pitcher did one or both of them, I included him. Did the pitcher reach AA (or AAA)? Sands made one start at AA, or Did the pitcher pitch at three or more levels? Sands pitched at Low-A, High-A and AA. With that, let’s take a look at the Twins history this century. CURRENT REGIME (2017-2019) Cole Sands (5th round, 2019) - Pitched at three levels. Reached AA in 2020. PREVIOUS REGIME Tyler Jay (1st round, 2015) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2016.. Nick Burdi (supp 1st, 2014) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2015. Jake Reed (5th round, 2014) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2015. DJ Baxendale (10th round, 2012) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2013. Pat Dean (3rd round, 2010) - Pitched at three levels, Low-A, High-A and AA in 2011. Logan Darnell (6th round, 2010) - Pitched at three levels, Low-A, High-A and AA in 2011. Kyle Gibson (1st round, 2009) - Pitched at three levels, High-A, AA and AAA in 2010. Billy Bullock (2nd round, 2009) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2010. Carlos Gutierrez (supp 1st, 2008) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2009. Matt Garza (1st round, 2005) - Pitched at four levels, High-A, AA, AAA and MLB in 2006. Kevin Slowey (2nd round, 2005) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2006. Brian Duensing (3rd round, 2005) - Pitched at three levels, Low-A, High-A and AA in 2006. Glen Perkins (1st round, 2004) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2005. Scott Baker (2nd round, 2003) - Pitched at three levels, High-A, AA and AAA in 2004. Jesse Crain (2nd round, 2002) - Pitched at three levels, High-A, AA and AAA in 2003. Adam Johnson (1st round, 2000) - Pitched at three levels, AA, AAA and MLB. CONCLUSIONS While this doesn’t dispute the studies done five years or so ago stating that the Twins were among the slowest, if not the slowest, to promote pitchers to the big leagues, this does show that the previous Twins regime was not afraid of pushing college pitchers quickly through the lower levels of the minor leagues. In fact, it happened most years. This isn’t a scientific study. I have done nothing more than a quick search of Twins draft picks in Baseball-Reference, so it’s possible that I am missing something. Please feel free to let me know.
  19. There have been plenty of roster projections and free agent discussions from all corners of Twins Territory this winter. Although Gibson has been somewhat of a polarizing pitcher over his tenure with the Twins, he’d have been a solid fit at the back end of a rotation. Dealing with health issues for much of the season he contributed a significant slide last year following the step forward in 2018. Ultimately the Texas Rangers saw the projectable upside and handed him a nice three-year contract. There’s some risk involved for a guy who has pitched more than 160 innings just once since 2015, but the 2018 version was a considerable asset. Gibson came off the board early, and while Minnesota was more focused on the likes of Zack Wheeler, a pivot was forced when the “impact” arms they sought signed elsewhere. Rich Hill was grabbed earlier this week, and is reflective of that definition when healthy, but it’s the other guy who draws all the parallels. Homer Bailey isn’t a sexy name at all, and I’m not yet sure how I feel about it, but I can understand where the Twins saw an opportunity to upgrade on Gibson. Bailey is two years older than the former Twins first-round pick, and he’s pitched nearly double the number of big-league seasons. Even still, the longtime Reds pitcher owns a career 4.57 ERA, 7.4 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9. It’s almost scary how close that is to Gibby’s career 4.52 ERA 7.0 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 numbers. So, if the thought was that Kyle could work at the back of Minnesota’s rotation, and he should be in line for a bounce back with a clean bill of health, why turn here... right? Again, Gibson was off the board early, and Bailey represents Minnesota responding to the situation more than anything. However, he was had on just a one-year $7 million deal and has already shown signs of improvement. For 12 years the Reds miscast Bailey as their ace. He routinely struggled with injury, and 2019 was the first season he topped 145 innings since 2013. After being serviceable in 18 starts for the Kansas City Royals, it was in 13 outings for the Oakland Athletics that things may have clicked. The 4.30 ERA isn’t glowing by any means, but he posted a 3.65 FIP, 8.3 K/9 and a career best 1.8 BB/9. The 2.9 fWAR was a high-water mark since 2013, and it appears that the time in the bay area might have been a turning point. Never a real hard thrower, Bailey has held a 93-mph average velocity since 2015. What he did with the Athletics however was to elevate the use of his splitter. After using it just 12.9% of the time over the course of his career, he more than doubled that mark last season. Batters couldn’t hit it, generating just a .182 average on the pitch, and he had a whiff rate that nearly reached 40%. So, while Gibson’s allure is rooted in the premise of a health-related rebound, Bailey presents the opportunity to expand on something that has already worked. Minnesota, through the eyes of Wes Johnson and other adept coaches in the system, has become significantly more associated with pitching development. Should Bailey be provided even more usable information from within the Twins clubhouse, taking another step forward is hardly out of the question. I’d be hesitant to expect a near-34-year-old to drastically shift from career norms, but a nice uptick isn’t abnormal either. This same think tank may have seen the breakout of Anibal Sanchez coming, and this is an opportunity for them to execute fully on a similar scenario. Much like Kyle Gibson would have been, the acquisition of Bailey wasn’t a well-received one. Although he doesn’t have the upper-echelon name recognition, he draws parallels to the guy he could replace, and has already shown why the gamble is a worthy one. This story will unfold throughout the season, but Rocco Baldelli’s staff is better today because Homer Bailey is in it.
  20. As of Wednesday, the latter is in flux. Gibson signed a 3-year, $30 million deal with the Texas Rangers after spending his entire career with the Twins organization. Your dad’s opinion on the matter was hard to gauge in a brief pre-Thanksgiving phone call. “He was more upset about the city plowing in his driveway after he just got done shoveling,” you told your spouse, who nodded disinterestedly as she watched a Hallmark Christmas movie with Candace Cameron Bure. “I don’t think he’s quite processed what happened.” Gibson’s signing takes one more option off the table for his former team, as the Twins look to build a rotation that can complement a playoff-ready lineup. It also means your dad’s perennial Spring Training opinion may change or go away entirely. “I don’t know where his head is at. These are uncharted waters,” you said to your teenage daughter, who nodded disinterestedly as she browsed TikTok videos. “I don’t think he’s ever said word one about the Rangers, but maybe he’s genuinely invested in Kyle Gibson and his career.” Prior to Gibson’s arrival in 2013, your dad’s most commonly expressed preseason thoughts were wishing Justin Morneau could get healthy and that Phil Cuzzi should be tried in The Hague. “Maybe once they sign somebody, or if they make (Brusdar) Graterol a starter again, that’ll get him focused on 2020,” you said to your dog, who nodded disinterestedly before unleashing another volcanic fart due to the turkey and ham your brother kept feeding him at dinner. “I don’t know where this goes from here. I don’t know if he does either.” Your dad was unavailable for comment on the matter, but he did characterize the potential of another winter storm this weekend as “bullcrap.”
  21. Aaron and John talk about Kyle Gibson's unexpectedly big contract with the Rangers, how the C.J. Cron decision is much bigger than it looks, Derek Shelton and Jeremy Hefner becoming the latest ex-Twins coaches, and giving thanks for a great 2019 on and off the field. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Click here to view the article
  22. Over the weekend, MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman reported that as many as 10 teams were interested in Gibson. He reported that the Cleveland Clinic is treating his colitis and there are no lingering effects. This could certainly alter the Gibson market and his value could rise with increased interest. https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1194062750244229120?s=20 Taking out last year’s injury-ridden season, Gibson pitched to a 4.31 ERA from 2015 through 2018. During that stretch, he posted a 549 to 259 strikeout to walk ratio while closing in on 700 innings. He’s never been what a person would deem an “ace,” but he has put together some respectable numbers while pitching for some very bad teams. During the 2018 campaign, Gibson put himself in elite territory as his ERA, games started, innings pitched, hits, runs and base on balls all ranked in the top-20. Even while dealing with health issues this season, he ranked in the top-20 in wins, hits, runs and earned runs. He will be entering his age-32 season and there might be something left to coax out of Gibson’s right-arm. Gibson’s groundball percentage is one thing that might be attractive to other organizations. A team with the right defensive infield could feast off the groundballs produced by Gibson. Minnesota projects to have Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco, Luis Arraez, and C.J. Cron in the infield and that’s not exactly a top-notch defensive line-up. Gibson could be better served by finding a better defensive line-up. At this point in his career, there’s little that points to him being a front-line starter. With that being said, not every team is looking for a pitcher to lead their rotation. Gibson has served the Twins organization well and he deserves his chance at testing the free agent waters. From there, he might be able to find a team that meets his style, while paying him the salary he has earned. Gibson is getting noticed even in a market that includes multiple top-notch pitchers. He will make some money in the weeks ahead, but the question remains if Minnesota will be offering a contract. He could find greener pastures in another organization. However, Minnesota needs starting pitching and Gibson offers a familiar face with some potential up-side in the years to come. Do you think the Twins should resign Kyle Gibson? Leave a COMMENT and star the discussion.
  23. From the very beginning, Kyle Gibson's career was defined by injury and disappointment. Coming out of the University of Missouri in 2009, he was widely viewed as a likely Top 10 draft selection, but a stress fracture in his forearm caused him to drop to Minnesota at 22nd overall. This would sadly prove to be a harbinger for Gibson's tenure as a Twin, during which the pitcher's tenacity and determination have been overshadowed by a constant plague of misfortune that continues to follow him.When he joined the organization as a first-round draft pick, Gibson looked a fast-track type pitching prospect, especially while rocketing through three levels of the minors in his first full season. While the Twins were making a playoff run in the first season at Target Field in 2010, a 22-year-old Gibson was rapidly climbing through the minors, coasting through Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A with outstanding numbers at each stop. He entered the 2011 season as Baseball America's No. 34 prospect, imminently ready to step in as Minnesota's next rotation centerpiece. But just as he was seemingly knocking on the door around the summer's midpoint, his numbers at Triple-A took a dive. A torn UCL was discovered he went for Tommy John surgery. Gibson's meteoric ascent came to a crashing halt. He spent most of 2012 rehabbing, and came back strong. Gibson reached the majors in 2013 and struggled, as many rookies do. In 2014, he – somewhat surprisingly – made the big-league rotation out of camp, and put together a respectable first full season, with a 4.47 ERA and 3.80 FIP in 180 innings. Gibson took another step forward in 2015, posting a 3.84 ERA and 3,96 FIP in 194 innings, albeit with modest strikeout and swing-and-miss rates. At 27, it looked like he had arrived as a quality mid-rotation piece whose raw stuff might never reach its pre-surgery potential. Then, in 2016, things went south for Gibson, as they did for most of the team. His velocity sagged to career lows and hittability became a major issue. Though his surgically repaired elbow was holding up, Gibson was now afflicted by nagging back and shoulder soreness. He admitted later that he didn't make a start all year without anti-inflammatory medication. In the ensuing offseason, Gibson decided to take radical action with hopes of relieving the pain and turning around his career. He visited the Florida Baseball Ranch, where he embarked on a program designed to develop – in the words of Star Tribune's Phil Miller – "an entirely new way of delivering the baseball, about as fundamental a change as a pitcher can make." The new exercises and drills, Miller wrote, were "meant to retrain Gibson and alter his throwing motion, so he holds the ball more upright, at an angle of less than 90 degrees, which enables him to reach his release point more directly. That, combined with a de-emphasis on extending his arm after releasing the ball, has dramatically reduced the amount of stress on his pitching shoulder." The overhaul did not pay immediate performance dividends, as Gibson scuffled through the first half of 2017 and finished June with a 6.11 ERA. But in the latter half of the year, he began to find it. The velocity was ticking up. The breaking balls gained sharpness. His strikeout rate rose. Posting a 3.55 ERA in August and September, and propelling the Twins to a 9-2 record in his starts, Gibson was a key factor in Minnesota's unlikely post-deadline charge to the wild-card. In 2018 he kept it rolling. With the highest strikeout rate of his career (8.2 K/9), the right-hander turned in a 3.62 ERA over 197 innings, ranked second among Twins pitchers in WAR (2.6), and put his vastly improved arsenal on display with an 11.5% swinging strike rate that shattered his previous watermark. Heading into his final year before free agency, Gibson had come full circle. His path was hardly straight or smooth, but finally the former first-round pick was a valued staple in the rotation, boasting legitimate standout stuff and worthy results. And then – of course – calamity struck again. On a mission trip to Haiti and the Dominican Republic last winter, Gibson contracted E. coli. The illness took a physical toll on him, causing him to drop a ton of weight from an already somewhat slender frame. He showed up to spring training looking gaunt, and by his own admission wasn't quite back to full strength by the start of the season. Nevertheless, he shook off a few bad early starts and pretty much resumed where he left off. As recently as early August, Gibson's ERA sat at 4.02 and he looked like a playoff starter. But in the late stages of this 2019 campaign, the righty has unraveled completely, amidst the revelation he's been dealing with ulcerative colitis and its ravaging effects since spring. At this point, the 31-year-old is a mere shell of what he was even two months ago. His stamina has tanked. His command is gone. His outings have grown increasingly poor, with Thursday night's total meltdown (1.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 BB with 25 of 52 pitches for strikes against the hapless Royals) setting a new low. It would be surprising – and, frankly, upsetting – to see him pitch in a Twins uniform again this year. A role in the playoffs is essentially out the window. It sucks. For him most of all, I assure you. So many fans, for whatever reason, hold a scornful disdain for Gibson. They lament his every misstep, they accuse him of "nibbling," and they dismiss whatever success he's experienced as flukey and fleeting. But let's be clear: Gibson was no flash in the pan. From August 1st, 2017, through July 31st, 2019 – a full two-year span – he logged a 3.75 ERA (to go along with a 4.03 FIP and 3.78 xFIP) over 376 innings, compiling the 22nd-highest WAR among MLB starters. He emerged as a legitimate second-tier pitcher and he did it through a willingness to do whatever it took. “It wasn’t easy at first, because there’s a lot of modern thinking about the throwing motion and I’m more of a traditional baseball guy,” Gibson said in 2017 of his trip to the Florida Baseball Ranch, and his adoption of its unconventional methods. “I had to open up a little bit to accept new ways of thinking. And I’m glad I did.” It paid off until he was completely derailed by circumstances that go beyond baseball. The Twins will face an interesting decision this offseason, as a free agent exodus opens up several vacancies in the rotation. The decline of Gibson obviously comes with bad timing for him, but could create an intriguing opportunity for whatever team is willing to take a chance on him. He's shown when healthy that he can be a force. Even this year, with all the embattlement, his swinging strike rate is tied with Yu Darvish for 13th-best in the majors. Gibson could very well be a bargain for someone. Perhaps familiarity and cost-efficiency will lead to the Twins being that team. Or, perhaps Minnesota's front office will look elsewhere for a fresh start with a more known commodity. If so, this is a somber end to Gibson's time with the organization that drafted him a decade ago. In some eyes, I'm sure his legacy will be viewed poorly, but I think that's really unfortunate. The fairer narrative portrays a very talented pitcher who repeatedly got dealt bad blows, and went above and beyond to overcome them – including a total mechanical overhaul in his late 20s. Through it all, he's been a good organizational soldier, an appreciated teammate, a forthcoming favorite for media interviews, and a generous contributor to the community. The story of Gibson as a Twin (if this is the end) is an inspiring and admirable one. I hope fans won't let the fact that it's ending the same way it began – defined by injury and disappointment – cloud the general traits of resilience and reinvention he has embodied, all the way up until the bitter end. Click here to view the article
  24. When he joined the organization as a first-round draft pick, Gibson looked a fast-track type pitching prospect, especially while rocketing through three levels of the minors in his first full season. While the Twins were making a playoff run in the first season at Target Field in 2010, a 22-year-old Gibson was rapidly climbing through the minors, coasting through Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A with outstanding numbers at each stop. He entered the 2011 season as Baseball America's No. 34 prospect, imminently ready to step in as Minnesota's next rotation centerpiece. But just as he was seemingly knocking on the door around the summer's midpoint, his numbers at Triple-A took a dive. A torn UCL was discovered he went for Tommy John surgery. Gibson's meteoric ascent came to a crashing halt. He spent most of 2012 rehabbing, and came back strong. Gibson reached the majors in 2013 and struggled, as many rookies do. In 2014, he – somewhat surprisingly – made the big-league rotation out of camp, and put together a respectable first full season, with a 4.47 ERA and 3.80 FIP in 180 innings. Gibson took another step forward in 2015, posting a 3.84 ERA and 3,96 FIP in 194 innings, albeit with modest strikeout and swing-and-miss rates. At 27, it looked like he had arrived as a quality mid-rotation piece whose raw stuff might never reach its pre-surgery potential. Then, in 2016, things went south for Gibson, as they did for most of the team. His velocity sagged to career lows and hittability became a major issue. Though his surgically repaired elbow was holding up, Gibson was now afflicted by nagging back and shoulder soreness. He admitted later that he didn't make a start all year without anti-inflammatory medication. In the ensuing offseason, Gibson decided to take radical action with hopes of relieving the pain and turning around his career. He visited the Florida Baseball Ranch, where he embarked on a program designed to develop – in the words of Star Tribune's Phil Miller – "an entirely new way of delivering the baseball, about as fundamental a change as a pitcher can make." The new exercises and drills, Miller wrote, were "meant to retrain Gibson and alter his throwing motion, so he holds the ball more upright, at an angle of less than 90 degrees, which enables him to reach his release point more directly. That, combined with a de-emphasis on extending his arm after releasing the ball, has dramatically reduced the amount of stress on his pitching shoulder." The overhaul did not pay immediate performance dividends, as Gibson scuffled through the first half of 2017 and finished June with a 6.11 ERA. But in the latter half of the year, he began to find it. The velocity was ticking up. The breaking balls gained sharpness. His strikeout rate rose. Posting a 3.55 ERA in August and September, and propelling the Twins to a 9-2 record in his starts, Gibson was a key factor in Minnesota's unlikely post-deadline charge to the wild-card. In 2018 he kept it rolling. With the highest strikeout rate of his career (8.2 K/9), the right-hander turned in a 3.62 ERA over 197 innings, ranked second among Twins pitchers in WAR (2.6), and put his vastly improved arsenal on display with an 11.5% swinging strike rate that shattered his previous watermark. Heading into his final year before free agency, Gibson had come full circle. His path was hardly straight or smooth, but finally the former first-round pick was a valued staple in the rotation, boasting legitimate standout stuff and worthy results. And then – of course – calamity struck again. On a mission trip to Haiti and the Dominican Republic last winter, Gibson contracted E. coli. The illness took a physical toll on him, causing him to drop a ton of weight from an already somewhat slender frame. He showed up to spring training looking gaunt, and by his own admission wasn't quite back to full strength by the start of the season. Nevertheless, he shook off a few bad early starts and pretty much resumed where he left off. As recently as early August, Gibson's ERA sat at 4.02 and he looked like a playoff starter. But in the late stages of this 2019 campaign, the righty has unraveled completely, amidst the revelation he's been dealing with ulcerative colitis and its ravaging effects since spring. At this point, the 31-year-old is a mere shell of what he was even two months ago. His stamina has tanked. His command is gone. His outings have grown increasingly poor, with Thursday night's total meltdown (1.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 BB with 25 of 52 pitches for strikes against the hapless Royals) setting a new low. It would be surprising – and, frankly, upsetting – to see him pitch in a Twins uniform again this year. A role in the playoffs is essentially out the window. It sucks. For him most of all, I assure you. So many fans, for whatever reason, hold a scornful disdain for Gibson. They lament his every misstep, they accuse him of "nibbling," and they dismiss whatever success he's experienced as flukey and fleeting. But let's be clear: Gibson was no flash in the pan. From August 1st, 2017, through July 31st, 2019 – a full two-year span – he logged a 3.75 ERA (to go along with a 4.03 FIP and 3.78 xFIP) over 376 innings, compiling the 22nd-highest WAR among MLB starters. He emerged as a legitimate second-tier pitcher and he did it through a willingness to do whatever it took. “It wasn’t easy at first, because there’s a lot of modern thinking about the throwing motion and I’m more of a traditional baseball guy,” Gibson said in 2017 of his trip to the Florida Baseball Ranch, and his adoption of its unconventional methods. “I had to open up a little bit to accept new ways of thinking. And I’m glad I did.” It paid off until he was completely derailed by circumstances that go beyond baseball. The Twins will face an interesting decision this offseason, as a free agent exodus opens up several vacancies in the rotation. The decline of Gibson obviously comes with bad timing for him, but could create an intriguing opportunity for whatever team is willing to take a chance on him. He's shown when healthy that he can be a force. Even this year, with all the embattlement, his swinging strike rate is tied with Yu Darvish for 13th-best in the majors. Gibson could very well be a bargain for someone. Perhaps familiarity and cost-efficiency will lead to the Twins being that team. Or, perhaps Minnesota's front office will look elsewhere for a fresh start with a more known commodity. If so, this is a somber end to Gibson's time with the organization that drafted him a decade ago. In some eyes, I'm sure his legacy will be viewed poorly, but I think that's really unfortunate. The fairer narrative portrays a very talented pitcher who repeatedly got dealt bad blows, and went above and beyond to overcome them – including a total mechanical overhaul in his late 20s. Through it all, he's been a good organizational soldier, an appreciated teammate, a forthcoming favorite for media interviews, and a generous contributor to the community. The story of Gibson as a Twin (if this is the end) is an inspiring and admirable one. I hope fans won't let the fact that it's ending the same way it began – defined by injury and disappointment – cloud the general traits of resilience and reinvention he has embodied, all the way up until the bitter end.
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