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  1. Lance Lynn, RHP White Sox Twins Career (2018): 5.10 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 100 K, 62 BB, 102 1/3 Innings Lynn’s time in Minnesota was unmemorable as he signed late into spring and never really seemed like he wanted to be in a Twins uniform. MLB.com named him as the player the Twins wish they could have back. He has arguably been one of the baseball’s best pitchers before and after his time in Minnesota. For 2021, he will be in a White Sox uniform, so the Twins should see plenty of their former starter. When the team traded Lynn, they were able to get a small return, but it’s clear he would add depth to the rotation. What’s not clear is how much he’d want to be back in Minnesota after his first stint went so poorly. Liam Hendriks, RHP White Sox Twins Career (2011-13): 6.06 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 100 K, 46 BB, 156 Innings Some bad news for Twins fans is that two of the players on this list are now going to be key contributors for their top division rival. Hendriks has been arguably the best relief pitcher in baseball over the last two seasons and now he will be closing down games on Chicago’s Southside. Minnesota dropped Hendriks from the 40-man roster when he still had options left and the team hadn’t even tried him out in a relief role. He has resurrected his career and he’d be a great addition to put with Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers at the back of the bullpen. However, the White Sox paid him way too much money and it might end up being a contract they regret. Eduardo Escobar, INF Diamondbacks Twins Career (2012-18): .258/.308/.421, 63 HR, 138 2B, 284 RBI, 671 Games When the Twins dealt Escobar, it made sense because the team wasn’t in contention and he was heading towards free agency. Minnesota was able to get quite the haul for Escobar including one of their top pitching prospects and a very good outfielder. Escobar struggled in 2020, but his 2019 season was fantastic, and he brought a lot of positive energy to the team during his Twins tenure. His versatility makes him a potential weapon as he can be penciled in at a variety of positions and still produce. For the 2021 Twins, he had the potential to add some depth to the infield, but Minnesota might have that covered with Andrelton Simmons’ signing last week. Other Options: Aaron Hicks, Eddie Rosario, CJ Cron, Ryan Pressly Pressly has been a tremendous bullpen weapon since leaving the Twins, but the team got back some very good pieces when they traded him away. Minnesota gave up on Hicks and since joining the Yankees, he has accumulated 9.8 WAR over five seasons. Rosario will be back in the AL Central after signing with Cleveland. Will Minnesota miss Rosario’s leadership and energy? If the Twins don’t sign Cruz, CJ Cron can help fill the void at designated hitter. Which of these players do you wish was still in Minnesota? 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
  2. Earlier this offseason the Minnesota Twins started to reconstruct their bullpen. Losing Trevor May was always going to be a big blow, and there hasn’t been much in the form of names yet, but it’s a process the front office has earned trust in. A pair of big-name free agents with Minnesota ties have already come off the board but deals for either Liam Hendriks or Brad Hand always seemed far-fetched for the Twins. It’s not that they don’t have the money to spend, or need in relief, but nothing about either of those players fits the process of what this organization has done of late. Hendriks got $54 million from the White Sox over three years, while Hand got $10.5 million from the Washington Nationals. The last time Minnesota paid big on a reliever was Addison Reed, and it went up in smoke. It would be silly to suggest that every reliever be viewed through the same lens as the failed Reed deal, but more realistically there’s the reality of what Minnesota has done with less. Look at some of the names from recent seasons, and the ERA’s posted by players on deals all at $2.75 million or less. It’s not that the Twins purposely set out to be bargain shoppers, but instead identify outliers very well and get the most out of castoffs from elsewhere. This season Ian Gibault and Brandon Waddell were both claimed off of waivers at the end of October. They each claim a current 40-man spot and feature a slider. It’s a pitch that Wes Johnson and the coaching staff has targeted for some time, and it’s sensible to believe both are currently penciled into the bullpen. Hansel Robles is the lone larger expense thus far, and the former Angels closer was inked to a one-year deal paying him just $2 million. There’s probably at least one more spot open, and you can bet that Minnesota has a type rather than a name in mind. From my vantage point Trevor Rosenthal looks like the best option remaining, and I loved the fit last year as he returned from injury. He’s going to come with a price tag near the upper levels of single digits however, so that may not be the way they go. There should be a solid grouping of guys like Tyler Clippard and Alex Colome left at the end however, and those pacts should fall within the same range as the Colome deal. Dating back to 2015 Major League Baseball has shifted a pitching philosophy to a construction of an elite bullpen. How teams get there or create that though, are all made differently. The reality is that often times the mega deals for relievers go up in smoke (hello Wade Davis), and understanding how to best utilize what’s in front of you is the easiest path to success. There’s no denying that a group including Hand or Hendriks has a safer floor on paper, but it all comes down to execution. On their own the Twins organization has turned Tyler Duffey into one of the best relievers in baseball. Taylor Rogers has looked the part of a lock down piece, and it was his recent seasons in the pen that got Trevor May paid. Edwar Colina could join this group, and Jorge Alcala has already flashed that promise. Sure, Minnesota hasn’t made any big splashes for their bullpen, but it’s probably more about what’s going on behind the scenes and the execution of who the tab, rather than the exciting names, that get the job done. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  3. Hendriks originally signed with the Twins in early 2007 as a teenager out of Australia. He’d make his professional debut with the GCL Twins and post a 2.05 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP while striking out 52 batters in 44 innings. That winter, he pitched for Australia in the final Olympic Qualification Tournament, but then he needed back surgery that cost him the entire 2008 campaign. In 2009, he returned to the mound and the majority of his starts came at Low-A where he was nearly two years younger than the average age of the competition. For the season, he made 14 starts and posted a 3.55 ERA with a 1.29 WHIP. He was limited to fewer than 84 innings, but he struck out 75 and only walked 16 batters. The 2010 season was his coming out party as he dominated both Low- and High-A on his way to flying up Twins prospect lists. He pitched over 100 innings for the first time in his career while posting a 1.74 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP. Hendriks posted career bests in strikeouts per nine, walks per nine, and hits per nine. At season’s end, Seth and I ranked him as the team’s third best pitching prospect even though he had yet to make his Double-A debut. Minnesota didn’t mess around with Hendriks during the 2011 season and that was easy to do when the club was on their way to losing close to 100 games. The bulk of his innings came at Double-A and he was successful at that level by posting a 2.70 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. From there, the Twins pushed him to Triple-A and he allowed 25 earned runs in just over 49 innings. September wasn’t going to be pretty for the Twins, but Hendriks was still pushed to make his big-league debut. In four starts, he allowed 16 runs in 23 1/3 innings with a 16 to 6 strikeout to walk ratio. Hendriks was still only 23-years old, so there was plenty of promise in his right arm. He dominated the next year during his time at Triple-A with a 2.20 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. However, that performance didn’t translate to the big-league level as he struggled to post a 6.43 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. As far as his time as a starter, it was getting close to being sink or swim time. As a 24-year-old, Hendriks was not nearly as successful at Triple-A, but it was going to be hard to live up to his 2012 numbers. The 2013 season wound up being his final year in the Twins organization. He bounced around between Triple-A and the big leagues throughout the season even though the Twins were on their way to losing 96 games. Minnesota’s rotation that year included Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, Scott Diamond, and Sam Deduno. Hendriks struggled, but it’s not like the team had a lot of big names blocking his path. The Twins never gave Hendriks a shot in the bullpen and they designated him for assignment in December 2013 while he still had minor league options remaining. Minnesota was in the midst of a terrible run of baseball where the club lost 92+ games in six out of seven seasons. Maybe the front office thought he would sneak through waivers or maybe they didn’t think he could be successful in the bullpen. Either way it looks like the Twins missed out on one of baseball’s best relievers. It’s not as if the Twins were the only organization that missed the boat on Hendriks. He spent the next few years bouncing between multiple organizations. The Cubs claimed him from the Twins and 10 days later the Orioles claimed him. He didn’t pitch for either of these organizations as he was claimed by Toronto in February 2014. He’d pitch parts of the next two seasons with the Blue Jays and the Royals before finally finding himself, literally and figuratively, in Oakland. It’s hard to predict what path Hendriks would have taken had he stayed in Minnesota. Perhaps being designated for assignment that many times put a chip on his shoulder. He also might have needed to end up in Oakland for that club to find his magic spark on the mound. Either way, it seems like he will be causing headaches for Twins fans in the years to come. What are your thoughts on the way Hendriks was handled by the Twins? 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
  4. Liam Hendriks’ time with the Twins came to an end after the 2013 season, when they designated him for assignment to make room for new free agent signee Phil Hughes. Hendriks spent the next year bouncing around among a number of organizations, and wound up making six combined starts at the MLB level as a member of both the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays. In 2015, the Blue Jays transitioned Hendriks to the bullpen, and that is where his career took off. From 2011 through 2014, Hendriks made 39 appearances (34 starts) at the MLB level. In that time he had a 5.92 ERA (5.05 FIP), with a 1.55 WHIP, 5.87 K/9, 2.53 BB/9, and 1.57 HR/9 in 188 and 2/3 innings. Since his move to the bullpen in 2015, Hendriks has a 3.33 ERA (2.84 FIP), with a 1.21 WHIP, 10.12 K/9, 2.60 BB/9, and 0.69 HR/9 in 259 and 2/3 innings. In 2019, Hendriks has taken his game to a whole new level, as his 1.49 ERA ranks 13th among all qualified relievers in major league baseball. So how was Hendriks able to make such a drastic improvement from the pitcher we saw in a Twins uniform just a few years prior? The first thing Hendriks did was add velocity to his fastball. Here is a chart showing Hendriks average fastball velocity per season. While it is expected for many pitchers to get a velocity jump when moving to the pen, it is rare to see them add more than 3 MPH, like Hendriks did when he made the move. In 2019, Hendriks' average fastball velocity of 95.6 MPH, is in the 87th percentile among all MLB pitchers who have thrown at least 250 pitches this season. That’s a big improvement from the soft throwing righty that he was as a starter. Another thing that Hedriks has done over the last few seasons is phase out his sinker. While he was a starter, Hendriks’ sinker was his primary pitch, throwing it nearly 40 percent of the time, while his four-seamer was a less commonly used pitch, throwing it a little more than 25 percent of the time. In 2017, the Oakland Athletics told Hendriks to move away from that pitch, and in 2019 it is essentially no longer a part of his pitching arsenal (thrown on just 2.4 percent of pitches this year, compared to 64.9 percent for his four-seamer). One thing that will be monitored over the next month is if the Athletics decide to become sellers at the trade deadline. As of Monday morning, the Athletics are just 1.5 games back of the Cleveland Indians for the second Wild Card spot. However, per Fangraphs, their playoff odds stand at just 8 percent. Hendriks is currently pitching on a 1-year deal worth $2.15 million dollars. This means if the Twins acquire Hendriks, he won’t make much of an impact at all to their pocket book or future plans financially. See Also Ty Buttrey, RHP, Angels Ken Giles, RHP, Blue Jays Sam Dyson, RHP, Giants Brad Hand, LHP, Indians Oliver Perez, LHP Cleveland Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds John Gant, RHP, Cardinals Alex Colome, RHP, White Sox Seth Lugo, RHP, Mets Greg Holland, RHP, Diamondbacks Sean Doolittle, LHP, Nationals Kirby Yates, RHP, Padres 10 Relievers Minnesota Could Target
  5. At this point, it is starting to sound like a broken record. You take a starting pitcher who is struggling to get hitters out, move him to the bullpen, and whala, he becomes a new and improved pitcher out of the pen. Well, that is exactly what has happened with Liam Hendriks, who from 2011 through 2013 was a very poor starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins.Liam Hendriks’ time with the Twins came to an end after the 2013 season, when they designated him for assignment to make room for new free agent signee Phil Hughes. Hendriks spent the next year bouncing around among a number of organizations, and wound up making six combined starts at the MLB level as a member of both the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays. In 2015, the Blue Jays transitioned Hendriks to the bullpen, and that is where his career took off. From 2011 through 2014, Hendriks made 39 appearances (34 starts) at the MLB level. In that time he had a 5.92 ERA (5.05 FIP), with a 1.55 WHIP, 5.87 K/9, 2.53 BB/9, and 1.57 HR/9 in 188 and 2/3 innings. Since his move to the bullpen in 2015, Hendriks has a 3.33 ERA (2.84 FIP), with a 1.21 WHIP, 10.12 K/9, 2.60 BB/9, and 0.69 HR/9 in 259 and 2/3 innings. In 2019, Hendriks has taken his game to a whole new level, as his 1.49 ERA ranks 13th among all qualified relievers in major league baseball. So how was Hendriks able to make such a drastic improvement from the pitcher we saw in a Twins uniform just a few years prior? The first thing Hendriks did was add velocity to his fastball. Here is a chart showing Hendriks average fastball velocity per season. Download attachment: 2EF37287-651A-424D-B63F-69F0AC9E44BC.jpeg While it is expected for many pitchers to get a velocity jump when moving to the pen, it is rare to see them add more than 3 MPH, like Hendriks did when he made the move. In 2019, Hendriks' average fastball velocity of 95.6 MPH, is in the 87th percentile among all MLB pitchers who have thrown at least 250 pitches this season. That’s a big improvement from the soft throwing righty that he was as a starter. Another thing that Hedriks has done over the last few seasons is phase out his sinker. While he was a starter, Hendriks’ sinker was his primary pitch, throwing it nearly 40 percent of the time, while his four-seamer was a less commonly used pitch, throwing it a little more than 25 percent of the time. In 2017, the Oakland Athletics told Hendriks to move away from that pitch, and in 2019 it is essentially no longer a part of his pitching arsenal (thrown on just 2.4 percent of pitches this year, compared to 64.9 percent for his four-seamer). One thing that will be monitored over the next month is if the Athletics decide to become sellers at the trade deadline. As of Monday morning, the Athletics are just 1.5 games back of the Cleveland Indians for the second Wild Card spot. However, per Fangraphs, their playoff odds stand at just 8 percent. Hendriks is currently pitching on a 1-year deal worth $2.15 million dollars. This means if the Twins acquire Hendriks, he won’t make much of an impact at all to their pocket book or future plans financially. See Also Ty Buttrey, RHP, Angels Ken Giles, RHP, Blue Jays Sam Dyson, RHP, Giants Brad Hand, LHP, Indians Oliver Perez, LHP Cleveland Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds John Gant, RHP, Cardinals Alex Colome, RHP, White Sox Seth Lugo, RHP, Mets Greg Holland, RHP, Diamondbacks Sean Doolittle, LHP, Nationals Kirby Yates, RHP, Padres 10 Relievers Minnesota Could Target Click here to view the article
  6. Rochester has two statistical standouts, one a pitcher and one a position player. Both guys were on the Opening Day roster, sent down, returned and sent down again. Besides this, both guys really struggled for the Twins. Of course, they are Liam Hendriks (starting pitcher) and Chris Parmelee (1st baseman). Let's look at the raw numbers: Hendriks 9-2 record, 1.99 ERA, <1.00 WHIP, 25 BB, 75 K in just under 100 IP Parmelee .360 BA .471/.703/1.175 OPS slash line 15 HR 41 RBI in just 47 games and about 210 PAs. Those numbers are beyond solid for both guys. Better performance from both would have to be expected on their next trip to Minnesota. Is there any reason (other than this year's MLB numbers) why Hendriks can't be a decent starter and Parmelee a capable hitter? I look forward to both guys getting a chance to reverse their major league numbers. While September success doesn't automatically translate to season long performance (see Parmelee's 2011 September), I think it would do wonders for both player's confidence going forward and help the Twins to decide whether either guy can be counted on for next year.
  7. From Joe C at the STrib... http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/158386405.html?source=error If true (and given that the source is the agent, I don't see how it can't be), this means that Buxton would be able to start with the GCL or E Twins when those seasons start, which is great. Also, a great tidbit on Hendriks' start on Saturday, from the extreme groundball/flyball ratio department.
  8. Well the injury bug struck and he went hard. Bad news for the Twins and Scotty. Hopefully Marquis gets back soon and Hendriks looks good when he finally pitches. It would sure be nice to have Kyle Gibson right about now. Really tough for Baker though. Obviously Twins fan wish him a healthy recovery but he really got the tough end of this one. The Twins obviously won't be picking up an almost 10 million dollar option next year. I wouldn't mind seeing him back with the squad on a small incentive based contract next year though. Get well soon Scott!
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