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  1. We’re nearing the middle of January and there are still plenty of high-caliber free agents on the open market. The Minnesota Twins have committed over $30 million to a foursome of players that should all be expected to help this club. There’s still another $30 million the front office could choose to allocate (more on that here), but the question is whether they’ll fall into advantageous situations like 2018.Both Lance Lynn and Logan Morrison were coming off strong showings during the 2017 season. Any indications that they’d need to settle for bargain basement deals in the final hours of the free agency cycle were not apparent throughout the winter. The Twins were able to take advantage of both players and the market last season, but the deals went poorly for all involved. There’s an opportunity for things to be different this time around, and it’ll be worth monitoring to see what the reaction is. After Lynn and Morrison flopped, story lines down the stretch emerged that the Twins would shy away from one-year deals or rogue agent type players. After being non-tendered, Minnesota’s first two acquisitions, Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron, were both brought in on one-year pacts. All things are not always created equal however, and this is an instance of that. Cron had a career year in 2018 but was sent packing by the Rays. Grabbed by a system owning familiarity with his background, it had to feel like a nice spot for C.J. And Schoop is on a one-year bounce back opportunity after being an All Star in 2017. More with something to prove rather than a level of scorn, guys like Schoop, Cron, and even Parker could funnel that energy into a Twins club that has improved over the course of this offseason. Given the decline in talent that the Indians have seen, any level of motivating factors outside the field of play may serve to close the gap. There’s still just over a month until pitchers and catchers arrive at sunny Fort Myers for spring training. Obviously, the biggest names should have new homes by then, so things will have to start moving sooner or later. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado aren’t taking one-year deals because teams may be waiting them out, but Minnesota could end up striking late again on someone like Dallas Keuchel or Cody Allen. Should the Twins emerge as a landing spot for a bigger name, I’d imagine it would come in the form of a price drop but still a longer-term pact. Allen or another reliever could be acquired on a one-year deal that wouldn’t come with baggage if the money ends up being right. For the former Cleveland closer, there’s probably a good deal of relationship equity in place with this Twins organization. When the dust settles, I’d certainly hope that Minnesota has another move in them. If they learned anything from last year however, grabbing the guys who feel the process did them a disservice isn’t a good bet. The clearance rack is a fun place at Target, but we’ve seen how human commodities work out at Target Field. Jumping in on a market for guys who shouldn’t still be angling for a role, and compensating them at a level that suggests you believe they’ll advance their own and your cause, may be the bow this team needs to place on jumping the gun into relevancy. Click here to view the article
  2. Both Lance Lynn and Logan Morrison were coming off strong showings during the 2017 season. Any indications that they’d need to settle for bargain basement deals in the final hours of the free agency cycle were not apparent throughout the winter. The Twins were able to take advantage of both players and the market last season, but the deals went poorly for all involved. There’s an opportunity for things to be different this time around, and it’ll be worth monitoring to see what the reaction is. After Lynn and Morrison flopped, story lines down the stretch emerged that the Twins would shy away from one-year deals or rogue agent type players. After being non-tendered, Minnesota’s first two acquisitions, Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron, were both brought in on one-year pacts. All things are not always created equal however, and this is an instance of that. Cron had a career year in 2018 but was sent packing by the Rays. Grabbed by a system owning familiarity with his background, it had to feel like a nice spot for C.J. And Schoop is on a one-year bounce back opportunity after being an All Star in 2017. More with something to prove rather than a level of scorn, guys like Schoop, Cron, and even Parker could funnel that energy into a Twins club that has improved over the course of this offseason. Given the decline in talent that the Indians have seen, any level of motivating factors outside the field of play may serve to close the gap. There’s still just over a month until pitchers and catchers arrive at sunny Fort Myers for spring training. Obviously, the biggest names should have new homes by then, so things will have to start moving sooner or later. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado aren’t taking one-year deals because teams may be waiting them out, but Minnesota could end up striking late again on someone like Dallas Keuchel or Cody Allen. Should the Twins emerge as a landing spot for a bigger name, I’d imagine it would come in the form of a price drop but still a longer-term pact. Allen or another reliever could be acquired on a one-year deal that wouldn’t come with baggage if the money ends up being right. For the former Cleveland closer, there’s probably a good deal of relationship equity in place with this Twins organization. When the dust settles, I’d certainly hope that Minnesota has another move in them. If they learned anything from last year however, grabbing the guys who feel the process did them a disservice isn’t a good bet. The clearance rack is a fun place at Target, but we’ve seen how human commodities work out at Target Field. Jumping in on a market for guys who shouldn’t still be angling for a role, and compensating them at a level that suggests you believe they’ll advance their own and your cause, may be the bow this team needs to place on jumping the gun into relevancy.
  3. Eddie Rosario led the Twins with 24 home runs, followed by Max Kepler with 20 and Brian Dozier with 16, but neither of those three are represented among the players who slugged the five longest home runs for the Twins in 2018. Who made the list? Come check it out.Here are the top-five longest home runs hit by Twins batters in 2018, as measured by Statcast’s projected distance: 5. Logan Morrison, 442 feet off Glenn Sparkman on Aug. 4 It’s no surprise to see Sano and Austin top this list, but neither of them led the team in average home run distance this year. That title goes to Cave, whose 13 homers traveled an averaged distance of 419 feet. The runner-up was Mitch Garver, who averaged 408 feet on his seven home runs. Previous installments of the 2018 Highlights Series: Walk-Off Wins | I took a look back at all six of the Twins’ walk-off wins from 2018. Super Rosario and La Tortuga | Eddie Rosario and Willians Astudillo provided excitement in an otherwise down season. Here I reviewed some of their most entertaining moments. Top Pitching Performances | Here’s a look back at the top five outings of the season as rated by Game Score 2.0. Click here to view the article
  4. Here are the top-five longest home runs hit by Twins batters in 2018, as measured by Statcast’s projected distance: 5. Logan Morrison, 442 feet off Glenn Sparkman on Aug. 4 https://twitter.com/TwinsHighlights/status/1053450878412308480 4. Jake Cave, 443 feet off Yovani Gallardo on Sept. 1 https://twitter.com/TwinsHighlights/status/1053451247410442240 3. Eduardo Escobar, 443 feet off Josh Tomlin on June 1 *I used exit velocity as the tiebreaker between this and Cave’s bomb. https://twitter.com/TwinsHighlights/status/1053451482111135745 2. Tyler Austin, 451 feet off Matthew Boyd on Aug. 17 https://twitter.com/TwinsHighlights/status/1053451695194279937 1. Miguel Sano, 455 feet off Mike Fiers on Aug. 25 https://twitter.com/TwinsHighlights/status/1053451938149351424 It’s no surprise to see Sano and Austin top this list, but neither of them led the team in average home run distance this year. That title goes to Cave, whose 13 homers traveled an averaged distance of 419 feet. The runner-up was Mitch Garver, who averaged 408 feet on his seven home runs. Previous installments of the 2018 Highlights Series: Walk-Off Wins | I took a look back at all six of the Twins’ walk-off wins from 2018. Super Rosario and La Tortuga | Eddie Rosario and Willians Astudillo provided excitement in an otherwise down season. Here I reviewed some of their most entertaining moments. Top Pitching Performances | Here’s a look back at the top five outings of the season as rated by Game Score 2.0.
  5. Nick Nelson Short-term planning is hard sometimes. No one could have predicted last offseason that returning core players like Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Ervin Santana — as well as new additions like Lance Lynn, Logan Morrison and Addison Reed — would collectively contribute so little in 2018 after the years they had in 2017. This turn of events completely sabotaged any chance of contention this season, and there's little the front office could have done about it without the benefit of hindsight. I still like the moves they made, especially because they were geared toward big-picture success. The Twins can move on from Lynn and Morrison after this season and managed to reload the pipeline with savvy trades in late July. They've set themselves up for tremendous spending flexibility this winter. Falvey and Levine have shown a penchant for opportunistically acquiring useful talents — such as Tyler Austin, Jake Cave and Gabriel Moya — at low costs. And, crucially, they've also overseen two drafts that look like absolute slam dunks so far, shoring up a sore spot from the latter years of Terry Ryan's tenure. The 2018 season has been a bummer but I feel extremely optimistic about the organization's leadership going forward. Seth Stohs Always a tough question because what's more important, process or results? Obviously results matter, but that's too easy. We all loved the offseason, for the most part, and adding the likes of Lance Lynn and Logan Morrison to one-year deals in spring training was immensely exciting. It didn't pan out. At all. But I think they've continued to add personnel and systems behind the scenes that should have Twins fans excited. In season, I think they've been fine. They've been willing to work and make changes to the 24th and 25th men on the active roster, and they've been willing to grab guys on the back end of the 40-man roster. I may not agree with every single decision, but I do trust the process. I do like what they did at the trade deadline and as they like to say, the way they've developed "waves" of prospects to hopefully put the Twins in a position to compete for playoff spots for the next decade or two! Grade: I don't know. B? Cody Christie Last week’s roundtable revolved around trying to give a grade to Paul Molitor. Managers get too much of the credit when a team wins or loses. For the front office, it takes a long-term approach to revamp an entire organization. The Twins were amid some bad seasons, but the farm system had some good pieces. There are lots of things to consider when looking at the front office as a whole. In their first season leading the organization, Falvey and Levine kept a lot of the previous front office pieces in place to reevaluate everyone. They started overhauling some of the pieces last off-season so it’s hard to know how well those pieces have worked out. Even though the wins haven’t piled up, I’d give the front office an A for last off-season. It helps to have the number one overall pick, but the minor league system has moved from middle of the road to a top-10 system in all of baseball. I’d give them a solid B+ for their drafting so far with the potential of it moving higher based on results in the years ahead. I feel their approach with Sano and Buxton this season was also appropriate. There are few teams that would send a former All-Star all the way down to High-A to “find themselves.” All things considered, I’d give them an A- at this point. Tom Froemming This is a tough question to answer, given that Derek Falvey has only been around since October of 2016. There are a lot of areas where I would give an incomplete grade at this point, but overall, I'd give them a C. Nothing jumps out to me that suggests they're either clearly above or clearly below average. What's really going to make or break this front office in the end is how they draft. So far, they appear to me to be very good at draft strategy, though having the No. 1 overall pick their first year certainly didn't hurt. I liked how decisive they were at this year's deadline, but there have been a number of odd scrap-heap additions while guys performing down on the farm have struggled to find opportunities. The more Falvey and Thad Levine put their fingerprints on the org, the more we'll know. I think the next 12 months could be particularly telling Ted Schwerzler I've considered this as a significantly loaded question at multiple points during this 2018 season. The offseason was one in which the front office hit it out of the park. They aimed high (Darvish), and they shot often (multiple FAs). When the dust settled, they brought in a crop of players that signified a large talent leap and did so by boasting an all-time high payroll. From there, things went downhill. A good number of those new players flopped (which isn't the fault of the front office), and the answers sought seemed less than satisfactory. I haven't found myself a fan of many roster moves made during the season and think more games could've been won with better promotions from the farm. As a whole, it's been a strong step forward from the late years of the Terry Ryan regime, but this duo isn't yet to the point of breaking through. Jamie Cameron It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day minutia of what the front office does and doesn't do, particularly with roster management. While some of the roster decisions have been odd (if not extremely poor), there are so many facets of the organization the front office has excelled at. Early indicators suggest the front office has drafted well in both drafts. Additionally, the Twins offseason was both strong and opportunistic (despite not translating on to the field). Finally, the team worked hard to acquire some exciting pieces at the deadline and took advantage of impending free agents. One other key lever when examining the front office. We tend to give equal weight to all aspects of the work of the front office in evaluating them. In reality, the number -one pick decision is vastly higher leverage than in-season roster management in a season where they were unlikely to reach the playoffs anyway. While the front office has some areas for refinement, their biggest decisions have been huge wins for the organization. Steve Lein Two years into evaluating any long-term “plan” Falvine and company may have is still a bit quick on the trigger, but I am on board with a lot of the things they have done to this point in the short-term sense. I liked that they struck on a colder free agent market to bring in guys like Addison Reed, Zach Duke, Lance Lynn, and Logan Morrison on short deals. On paper they improved some areas that needed it after a playoff appearance, which is what we all asked for. I’ll concede this didn’t work out, but when it didn’t they unloaded those and other short-term assets for future returns. I also approve of how they seem to be running the minor league system. For once, I don’t have the impression prospects are being held back as a whole. Top prospects Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, and Brusdar Graterol were all promoted after a half-season in Cedar Rapids, where such prospects often would spend an entire season no matter how they performed under old leadership. Fernando Romero made his MLB debut after just four starts in Triple-A, as examples. What I haven’t liked is their usage of the 40-man roster, both heading into the season with whom they protected/lost, and who has been bypassed with moves on the waiver wire. Small potatoes here, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with them yet. To assign a letter grade, I’ll say B-minus, trending up. SD Buhr The best “grade” I can give this front office is “Incomplete.” It hasn’t had time to fail, but the results on the field haven’t been anything to get TOO excited about, either. I’m sure some will give them a partial pass simply because they were not allowed to hire their “own man” as manager, instead being required by ownership to retain Paul Molitor. I think that’s a cop out. “Falvine” has only had one full offseason and I think most of us felt they did a decent job assembling a roster over the offseason. I’m also certain that a lot of people are impressed with the way this FO has modernized its approach to everything from scouting to assembling and utilizing advanced data. I just think running a professional baseball organization is about more than that. It’s also about relationship building – with players, agents, other GMs/executives, affiliates, fans, media and, I’m sure, many more stakeholders. It’s just too early for me to give a pass or fail grade at this point. If you missed any of the most recent roundtable discussions, here are the links: Grading Molitor Closing Time Prospect Promotions Hall of Fame Impact Baseball in 2028
  6. Logan Morrison Hip Impingement Q&A Heezy1323 Twins DH/1B Logan Morrison was recently shut down for the remainder of the season and, by reports, is expected to undergo surgery for a hip condition that has been bothering him for much of the year. The problem is being reported as ‘hip impingement’, which is a fairly common diagnosis. Some may recall that the NBA’s Isaiah Thomas dealt with this problem over the past couple seasons and underwent surgery more recently. So what is ‘hip impingement’? And when does it need surgery? And what happens during surgery? Let’s dive in and see what we can find out: Question 1: What is hip impingement? Hip impingement is another term for what orthopedists call ‘femoroacetabular impingement’ or FAI. This term basically means pinching of the hip labrum tissue between the bone of the ball and the bone of the socket of the hip. The hip is a ball and socket joint. Around the rim of the socket is a tissue called ‘labrum’ which acts as a cushion, and also seals the ball into the socket. In an ideal world, the ball is perfectly round and the socket is perfectly hemispherical. In this case, when people move the hip around, there is no pinching. However, in some people, rather than being round the ball is more shaped like a grape or an egg. In these cases the extra bone can cause a pinching of the labrum when the hip is flexed (for example, when seated). Over time, this repetitive minor injury can cause damage to the labrum. There can also be extra bone on the socket side, which can have a similar effect. These two situations are called CAM impingement (extra bone on the ball) and PINCER impingement (extra bone on the socket). In many cases, both CAM and PINCER impingement coexist. Question 2: I don’t remember LoMo getting hurt. When did the labrum get torn? Typically, this is not an injury that results from a single incident (though it can happen that way). It is much more common for this to be the result of an accumulation of ‘microtraumas’ over a long period of time. In addition, the CAM and PINCER deformities are quite common in people who don’t have any pain in their hips. In some studies, >50% of asymptomatic patients have some signs of CAM or PINCER deformity on hip xrays. Simply having the ‘extra bone’ doesn’t automatically mean it is going to be a problem. Our understanding of why people develop these deformities is improving, but we don’t know the cause at this time. It appears to be more common in people participating in athletics (particularly hockey), so we think it has something to do with low-level trauma to the area during growth years. Question 3: Does a labrum tear always need surgery? No. A labrum tear is also a very common finding in patients with no hip pain. In one study of patients between 18-40 years old who had no hip pain, MRI’s of the hip showed a labrum tear about 40% of the time. So clearly not every labrum tear causes pain or requires surgery. There are also a number of conditions that can cause similar pain to hip impingement (ranging from hernias to pinched nerves in the spine to ‘sports hernias’ and many others). Therefore, time is often spent trying to decipher what the actual cause of the pain is in these patients, as it isn’t always as straightforward as we would like it to be. Question 4: How do we tell which labrum tears need surgery and which do not? This can be difficult, but typically rest, anti inflammatory medication, physical therapy and/or injections of cortisone are tried prior to surgery. Many patients can find success with these treatments. However, some do not, and surgery may be warranted. Question 5: What is done during surgery? There has been a significant evolution of techniques in hip surgery over the past decade as surgery for this condition has become more common. It can be done either open (through an incision) or arthroscopically (through the scope). Arthroscopic treatment is much more common, particularly in the United States. The hip is stretched apart by use of a special table that pulls the joint open about 1cm. The scope is put in to the joint and tools are used to examine the joint space. We look at the surface cartilage, labrum and other structures in and around the hip. Once we have looked at everything, any ‘extra’ bone on the socket side is carefully removed with a tool called a burr. The labrum tear is often repaired with small anchors back to the rim of the socket (from where it tore away). The ball is then released back into the socket and we use the burr to reshape the ball, removing extra bone in that area as well. Surgery often takes 2-4 hours depending on the extent of injury. Question 6: How long is the recovery? As with any surgery, the recovery is variable, but most high-level athletes are back to full sports around 6-8 months after the operation. There have been several studies examining the performance of professional athletes in different sports after return from this hip surgery. Most have shown little or no diminished performance after recovery. I’m certain even Morrison would say he didn’t have the season he was hoping to have for the Twins, and this hip issue certainly could’ve been part of the reason. Hopefully he can improve after surgery and get back to his 2017 form, whether for the Twins or elsewhere.
  7. Question 1: What is hip impingement? Hip impingement is another term for what orthopedists call ‘femoroacetabular impingement’ or FAI. This term basically means pinching of the hip labrum tissue between the bone of the ball and the bone of the socket of the hip. The hip is a ball and socket joint. Around the rim of the socket is a tissue called ‘labrum’ which acts as a cushion, and also seals the ball into the socket. In an ideal world, the ball is perfectly round and the socket is perfectly hemispherical. In this case, when people move the hip around, there is no pinching. However, in some people, rather than being round the ball is more shaped like a grape or an egg. In these cases the extra bone can cause a pinching of the labrum when the hip is flexed (for example, when seated). Over time, this repetitive minor injury can cause damage to the labrum. There can also be extra bone on the socket side, which can have a similar effect. These two situations are called CAM impingement (extra bone on the ball) and PINCER impingement (extra bone on the socket). In many cases, both CAM and PINCER impingement coexist. Question 2: I don’t remember LoMo getting hurt. When did the labrum get torn? Typically, this is not an injury that results from a single incident (though it can happen that way). It is much more common for this to be the result of an accumulation of ‘microtraumas’ over a long period of time. In addition, the CAM and PINCER deformities are quite common in people who don’t have any pain in their hips. In some studies, >50% of asymptomatic patients have some signs of CAM or PINCER deformity on hip xrays. Simply having the ‘extra bone’ doesn’t automatically mean it is going to be a problem. Our understanding of why people develop these deformities is improving, but we don’t know the cause at this time. It appears to be more common in people participating in athletics (particularly hockey), so we think it has something to do with low-level trauma to the area during growth years. Question 3: Does a labrum tear always need surgery? No. A labrum tear is also a very common finding in patients with no hip pain. In one study of patients between 18-40 years old who had no hip pain, MRI’s of the hip showed a labrum tear about 40% of the time. So clearly not every labrum tear causes pain or requires surgery. There are also a number of conditions that can cause similar pain to hip impingement (ranging from hernias to pinched nerves in the spine to ‘sports hernias’ and many others). Therefore, time is often spent trying to decipher what the actual cause of the pain is in these patients, as it isn’t always as straightforward as we would like it to be. Question 4: How do we tell which labrum tears need surgery and which do not? This can be difficult, but typically rest, anti inflammatory medication, physical therapy and/or injections of cortisone are tried prior to surgery. Many patients can find success with these treatments. However, some do not, and surgery may be warranted. Question 5: What is done during surgery? There has been a significant evolution of techniques in hip surgery over the past decade as surgery for this condition has become more common. It can be done either open (through an incision) or arthroscopically (through the scope). Arthroscopic treatment is much more common, particularly in the United States. The hip is stretched apart by use of a special table that pulls the joint open about 1cm. The scope is put in to the joint and tools are used to examine the joint space. We look at the surface cartilage, labrum and other structures in and around the hip. Once we have looked at everything, any ‘extra’ bone on the socket side is carefully removed with a tool called a burr. The labrum tear is often repaired with small anchors back to the rim of the socket (from where it tore away). The ball is then released back into the socket and we use the burr to reshape the ball, removing extra bone in that area as well. Surgery often takes 2-4 hours depending on the extent of injury. Question 6: How long is the recovery? As with any surgery, the recovery is variable, but most high-level athletes are back to full sports around 6-8 months after the operation. There have been several studies examining the performance of professional athletes in different sports after return from this hip surgery. Most have shown little or no diminished performance after recovery. I’m certain even Morrison would say he didn’t have the season he was hoping to have for the Twins, and this hip issue certainly could’ve been part of the reason. Hopefully he can improve after surgery and get back to his 2017 form, whether for the Twins or elsewhere.
  8. Twins DH/1B Logan Morrison was recently shut down for the remainder of the season and, by reports, is expected to undergo surgery for a hip condition that has been bothering him for much of the year. The problem is being reported as ‘hip impingement’, which is a fairly common diagnosis. Some may recall that the NBA’s Isaiah Thomas dealt with this problem over the past couple seasons and underwent surgery more recently. So what is ‘hip impingement’? And when does it need surgery? And what happens during surgery? Let’s dive in and see what we can find out: Question 1: What is hip impingement? Hip impingement is another term for what orthopedists call ‘femoroacetabular impingement’ or FAI. This term basically means pinching of the hip labrum tissue between the bone of the ball and the bone of the socket of the hip. The hip is a ball and socket joint. Around the rim of the socket is a tissue called ‘labrum’ which acts as a cushion, and also seals the ball into the socket. In an ideal world, the ball is perfectly round and the socket is perfectly hemispherical. In this case, when people move the hip around, there is no pinching. However, in some people, rather than being round the ball is more shaped like a grape or an egg. In these cases the extra bone can cause a pinching of the labrum when the hip is flexed (for example, when seated). Over time, this repetitive minor injury can cause damage to the labrum. There can also be extra bone on the socket side, which can have a similar effect. These two situations are called CAM impingement (extra bone on the ball) and PINCER impingement (extra bone on the socket). In many cases, both CAM and PINCER impingement coexist. Question 2: I don’t remember LoMo getting hurt. When did the labrum get torn? Typically, this is not an injury that results from a single incident (though it can happen that way). It is much more common for this to be the result of an accumulation of ‘microtraumas’ over a long period of time. In addition, the CAM and PINCER deformities are quite common in people who don’t have any pain in their hips. In some studies, >50% of asymptomatic patients have some signs of CAM or PINCER deformity on hip xrays. Simply having the ‘extra bone’ doesn’t automatically mean it is going to be a problem. Our understanding of why people develop these deformities is improving, but we don’t know the cause at this time. It appears to be more common in people participating in athletics (particularly hockey), so we think it has something to do with low-level trauma to the area during growth years. Question 3: Does a labrum tear always need surgery? No. A labrum tear is also a very common finding in patients with no hip pain. In one study of patients between 18-40 years old who had no hip pain, MRI’s of the hip showed a labrum tear about 40% of the time. So clearly not every labrum tear causes pain or requires surgery. There are also a number of conditions that can cause similar pain to hip impingement (ranging from hernias to pinched nerves in the spine to ‘sports hernias’ and many others). Therefore, time is often spent trying to decipher what the actual cause of the pain is in these patients, as it isn’t always as straightforward as we would like it to be. Question 4: How do we tell which labrum tears need surgery and which do not? This can be difficult, but typically rest, anti inflammatory medication, physical therapy and/or injections of cortisone are tried prior to surgery. Many patients can find success with these treatments. However, some do not, and surgery may be warranted. Question 5: What is done during surgery? There has been a significant evolution of techniques in hip surgery over the past decade as surgery for this condition has become more common. It can be done either open (through an incision) or arthroscopically (through the scope). Arthroscopic treatment is much more common, particularly in the United States. The hip is stretched apart by use of a special table that pulls the joint open about 1cm. The scope is put in to the joint and tools are used to examine the joint space. We look at the surface cartilage, labrum and other structures in and around the hip. Once we have looked at everything, any ‘extra’ bone on the socket side is carefully removed with a tool called a burr. The labrum tear is often repaired with small anchors back to the rim of the socket (from where it tore away). The ball is then released back into the socket and we use the burr to reshape the ball, removing extra bone in that area as well. Surgery often takes 2-4 hours depending on the extent of injury. Question 6: How long is the recovery? As with any surgery, the recovery is variable, but most high-level athletes are back to full sports around 6-8 months after the operation. There have been several studies examining the performance of professional athletes in different sports after return from this hip surgery. Most have shown little or no diminished performance after recovery. I’m certain even Morrison would say he didn’t have the season he was hoping to have for the Twins, and this hip issue certainly could’ve been part of the reason. Hopefully he can improve after surgery and get back to his 2017 form, whether for the Twins or elsewhere. Click here to view the article
  9. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/2018-08-12_FIXED.mp3 Sponsored by Simple Contacts, Casper Mattresses and Bye, Goff & Rohde.
  10. Aaron and John talk about the Twins trading Fernando Rodney, Logan Morrison's season mercifully coming to an end, Kohl Stewart's surprising call-up and MLB debut, Tyler Austin getting his big chance, Ervin Santana's bad pitching and headline-grabbing quotes, and the upcoming event at Target Field with general manager Thad Levine. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Sponsored by Simple Contacts, Casper Mattresses and Bye, Goff & Rohde. Click here to view the article
  11. Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Jose Berrios: 66 Game Score, 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 K, 3 BB, 66.0% strikes Home Runs: Eddie Rosario (20), Max Kepler (14), Logan Morrison (15) Multi-Hit Games: Max Kepler (3-for-3, HR, BB), Logan Morrison (2-for-4, HR) WPA of 0.1 or higher: Kepler .318, Berrios .166 WPA of -0.1 or lower: None. Berrios ran into some control issues in the third inning. He walked three of the first four batters he faced that frame, then surrendered a two-run single to Alex Gordon. That was the only blip on the evening, as Jose went on to give up just those two runs over seven innings. It had to have been pretty cool for Berrios to have the opportunity to perform with Cy-tana in the building, and he stepped up to the occasion. The Twins hit three home runs in support of their ace. Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler and Logan Morrison all went deep, LoMo’s was particularly impressive. https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1025943723631411200 Here are the numbers on that mamoth shot: Recent waiver wire pickup Oliver Drake made his Twins debut, setting a new MLB record by appearing with his fifth different team this season. He struck out one batter over a perfect inning of work. Postgame With Molitor Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Next Three Games Sun vs. KC, 1:10 pm CT: Ervin Santana vs. Danny Duffy Mon at CLE, 6:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Trevor Bauer Tue at CLE, 6:10 pm CT: Adalberto Mejia vs. Carlos Carrasco Last Three Games MIN 6, KC 4: Long Day at the Office CLE 2, MIN 0: Carrasco Stars in Dominant Performance CLE 6, MIN 2: Deadline Day Ends in Defeat
  12. It was a highlight evening at Target Field Saturday night. Johan Santana was enshrined into the Twins Hall of Fame, Jose Berrios had a strong performance and the lineup flexed its muscles en route to victory.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Jose Berrios: 66 Game Score, 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 K, 3 BB, 66.0% strikes Home Runs: Eddie Rosario (20), Max Kepler (14), Logan Morrison (15) Multi-Hit Games: Max Kepler (3-for-3, HR, BB), Logan Morrison (2-for-4, HR) WPA of 0.1 or higher: Kepler .318, Berrios .166 WPA of -0.1 or lower: None. Download attachment: WinChart84.png Berrios ran into some control issues in the third inning. He walked three of the first four batters he faced that frame, then surrendered a two-run single to Alex Gordon. That was the only blip on the evening, as Jose went on to give up just those two runs over seven innings. It had to have been pretty cool for Berrios to have the opportunity to perform with Cy-tana in the building, and he stepped up to the occasion. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Bullpen84.png Next Three Games Sun vs. KC, 1:10 pm CT: Ervin Santana vs. Danny Duffy Mon at CLE, 6:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Trevor Bauer Tue at CLE, 6:10 pm CT: Adalberto Mejia vs. Carlos Carrasco Last Three Games MIN 6, KC 4: Long Day at the Office CLE 2, MIN 0: Carrasco Stars in Dominant Performance CLE 6, MIN 2: Deadline Day Ends in Defeat Click here to view the article
  13. Nick Nelson Sadly it is a pretty long list, but to me the clear answer is Byron Buxton. It doesn't all fall on his shoulders – injuries, bad luck and questionable decision-making from the front office have played their parts – but however you want to apportion the blame, Buxton's season has been a massive letdown. At age 24, and coming off a breakthrough second half that earned him down-ballot MVP votes, Buxton had the looks of a centerpiece. His ceiling was sky-high and the floor seemed to have risen as the rawness dissipated. I think we'd have all been happy with him reproducing the 3.5 WAR he produced in a 2017 campaign marred by prolonged early slumping. Instead, Buxton has delivered -0.4 WAR through the Twins' first 94 games this year. When not on the disabled list or in the minors, he has been a sub-replacement level player, and that's just not something I would've ever imagined. Most alarming: As he continues to whiff at a 30% rate in Triple-A, and now faces another injury-related absence, it's getting harder and harder to see him making any real impact for the Twins in 2018. Tom Froemming I feel like this is a bit of a trick question. Since the specific wording is "underperformed" I'm going to leave out the guys like Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco who just haven't been on the field much. Oh, and toss Ervin Santana and Jason Castro in there ... dang there are a lot of guys who haven't been able to contribute. The free agent addition trio of Logan Morrison, Lance Lynn and Addison Reed immediately stand out as underperformers. Man, even two of those guys are on the shelf right now. Lynn has been pretty frustrating, but he's been pitching better as a whole after a dreadful start. I think there's hope of Lynn at least being a league-average starter from here forward (make sure to blast this out to the other 29 teams in baseball. Wink, wink.) With both Morrison and Reed I have some real concerns they're never going to be assets again. Morrison has been hitting the ball hard and his strikeout rate is down, but the shift is killing him. It feels like the league has figured out how to pitch to him/position against him. Maybe he makes a counter adjustment, but I'm not super optimistic. He also adds no value in the field or on the bases and plays the position that's easiest to replace. No pitcher is going to deal well declining velocity, but a two-pitch guy who loves to pound the zone like Reed is really going to slip. Hopefully he'll rest up, come back refreshed and find those extra couple mph he's been missing, but the fear is that arm has just seen too much wear and tear. He’s been remarkably durable for today's standards, but nobody's immune to aging. Well, except for Fernando Rodney, of course. Final answer: Morrison. Cody Christie There were a trio of players that came to mind when I came-up with this questions. Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, and Logan Morrison have all underperformed but I went into the season with higher expectations for the first two players on the list. Sano and Buxton were supposed to be the heart and soul of the Minnesota Twins for the next decade. Right now, it’s hard to imagine either of them playing in meaningful games at the big league level in 2018. Sano looked utterly lost at the plate this season and he is down in Fort Myers trying to reset his professional career. Buxton has fought through injuries but he has struggled when he has been on the field at the big league level and at Triple-A. Entering the season, I expected Buxton to take the next step especially after the way he played in the second-half of 2017. He has taken multiple steps in the wrong direction and that’s why he is the player who has most underperformed. Andrew Thares There have been many Twins players who have underperformed during the first half, and one would assume that at least one or two of these guys would bounce back and have a big second half. For me I’m looking at Logan Morrison. While we knew going in that it was unlikely Morrison would repeat his success from 2017, it wasn’t exactly like Morrison was a slouch before then either. While his first half numbers haven’t looked all that appealing at .192/.289/.357 with 10 home runs, Morrison has the potential to find his home run stroke and breakout at any second. Logan Morrison’s peripheral numbers also support the case that he will have an improved second half. The first glaring number that sticks out to me is his .212 BABIP. While Morrison is the ideal candidate to have a lower BABIP than most given how often he is shifted against and his lack of speed, but at .212, he is still well below his .268 career average. The Statcast metrics also support the case that Morrison has been hitting the ball better than his results show. Here are what a few of Logan Morrison’s actual stats look like compared to his expected stats via Statcast. AVG: .192 Expected: .249 SLG: .357 Expected: .483 wOBA: .287 Expected: .356 Those are all really big gaps that suggest that Logan Morrison has been hitting the ball much better than his results show. SD Buhr Talk about a question that has an endless list of possible responses! Byron Buxton? Miguel Sano? Ervin Santana? I mean… one of those guys hasn’t played a game so far and the other two arguable hurt the team by playing in the games they DID show up for. If I have to choose just one, I’ll go with Sano. Santana was supposed to be ready to go by May or June, at the latest. It’s almost August and we haven’t seen him anywhere near Target Field. Buxton couldn’t hit his weight in 28 games with the Twins and hasn’t hit a whole lot better in Rochester since supposedly becoming healthy after injuring a toe. Sano didn’t hit his weight either… though, to be fair, his weight has ballooned to the point where not a lot of MLB players CAN hit at that level. He’s hitting .328 at High-A Ft. Myers so I guess at least he’s hitting his weight at that level… probably. But Sano has hit just 2 home runs in 64 at-bats at Ft. Myers and let’s face it, hitting for power is really the ONLY thing this guy brings to the table at this point. If he can’t do that three levels below the big leagues, that’s more than just a little discouraging. I have some hope that Santana will return and contribute in the second half of the season and it looks to me like Buxton could, as well (though with Cave’s work, there may not really be any rush to get Buck back at this point). But Sano? Maybe if I had read something… anything… about his conditioning being significantly improving, I’d have some optimism. Right now I have none. Steve Lein I am resoundingly in the camp of two players for this question, and they are the two whom were expected to propel the Twins into their next level of competitiveness after they reached the playoffs in 2017. They're also both currently playing in the minor leagues because of their struggles. I'm obviously speaking of Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. Buxton followed up his blistering second half of 2017, where hit hit .300/.347/.546 (.893 OPS) with 24 extra-base-hits (11 home runs) and 35 RBI in 56 games, with a 2018 line of just .156/.183/.200 (.383 OPS) in only 28 games. This was before and during, but thankfully not after his foot injury, when he was sent to in Rochester to regroup and has just a .679 OPS in eighteen games. Sano followed up a 2017 season that saw him be selected to his first All-Star Game, where he also finished runner-up in the home run derby, with a miserable 37 games with the Twins before they made the what some might call drastic move, in sending him all the way down to Fort Myers. He hit just .203/.270/.405 (.675 OPS) before that move and his road back may be a long one. If they can get even one of those guys back to playing like they had in 2017, things could look better for the Twins in the second half. If you missed any of the most recent roundtable discussions, here are the links: Second Half Star Sell, Sell, Sell? Fixing the Offense Romero’s Rotation Spot Top Prospect Timelines
  14. Twins Daily Roundtable is a weekly series. As part of this series, a question will be posed to the site’s writers and they will respond in 200 words or less (Some writers don’t like to stick to this limit). This will give readers an opportunity to see multiple points of view and then add their own point of view in the comments section. One year ago the Twins sailed into the All-Star break with two players, Miguel Sano and Ervin Santana, representing the club at the Mid-Summer Classic. Neither of those players and a long list of others haven’t lived up to expectations in the first half. It’s been a roster full of flounders. This week’s roundtable discussion question is: “Which Twins player has most underperformed in the first half?”Nick Nelson Sadly it is a pretty long list, but to me the clear answer is Byron Buxton. It doesn't all fall on his shoulders – injuries, bad luck and questionable decision-making from the front office have played their parts – but however you want to apportion the blame, Buxton's season has been a massive letdown. At age 24, and coming off a breakthrough second half that earned him down-ballot MVP votes, Buxton had the looks of a centerpiece. His ceiling was sky-high and the floor seemed to have risen as the rawness dissipated. I think we'd have all been happy with him reproducing the 3.5 WAR he produced in a 2017 campaign marred by prolonged early slumping. Instead, Buxton has delivered -0.4 WAR through the Twins' first 94 games this year. When not on the disabled list or in the minors, he has been a sub-replacement level player, and that's just not something I would've ever imagined. Most alarming: As he continues to whiff at a 30% rate in Triple-A, and now faces another injury-related absence, it's getting harder and harder to see him making any real impact for the Twins in 2018. Tom Froemming I feel like this is a bit of a trick question. Since the specific wording is "underperformed" I'm going to leave out the guys like Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco who just haven't been on the field much. Oh, and toss Ervin Santana and Jason Castro in there ... dang there are a lot of guys who haven't been able to contribute. The free agent addition trio of Logan Morrison, Lance Lynn and Addison Reed immediately stand out as underperformers. Man, even two of those guys are on the shelf right now. Lynn has been pretty frustrating, but he's been pitching better as a whole after a dreadful start. I think there's hope of Lynn at least being a league-average starter from here forward (make sure to blast this out to the other 29 teams in baseball. Wink, wink.) With both Morrison and Reed I have some real concerns they're never going to be assets again. Morrison has been hitting the ball hard and his strikeout rate is down, but the shift is killing him. It feels like the league has figured out how to pitch to him/position against him. Maybe he makes a counter adjustment, but I'm not super optimistic. He also adds no value in the field or on the bases and plays the position that's easiest to replace. No pitcher is going to deal well declining velocity, but a two-pitch guy who loves to pound the zone like Reed is really going to slip. Hopefully he'll rest up, come back refreshed and find those extra couple mph he's been missing, but the fear is that arm has just seen too much wear and tear. He’s been remarkably durable for today's standards, but nobody's immune to aging. Well, except for Fernando Rodney, of course. Final answer: Morrison. Cody Christie There were a trio of players that came to mind when I came-up with this questions. Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, and Logan Morrison have all underperformed but I went into the season with higher expectations for the first two players on the list. Sano and Buxton were supposed to be the heart and soul of the Minnesota Twins for the next decade. Right now, it’s hard to imagine either of them playing in meaningful games at the big league level in 2018. Sano looked utterly lost at the plate this season and he is down in Fort Myers trying to reset his professional career. Buxton has fought through injuries but he has struggled when he has been on the field at the big league level and at Triple-A. Entering the season, I expected Buxton to take the next step especially after the way he played in the second-half of 2017. He has taken multiple steps in the wrong direction and that’s why he is the player who has most underperformed. Andrew Thares There have been many Twins players who have underperformed during the first half, and one would assume that at least one or two of these guys would bounce back and have a big second half. For me I’m looking at Logan Morrison. While we knew going in that it was unlikely Morrison would repeat his success from 2017, it wasn’t exactly like Morrison was a slouch before then either. While his first half numbers haven’t looked all that appealing at .192/.289/.357 with 10 home runs, Morrison has the potential to find his home run stroke and breakout at any second. Logan Morrison’s peripheral numbers also support the case that he will have an improved second half. The first glaring number that sticks out to me is his .212 BABIP. While Morrison is the ideal candidate to have a lower BABIP than most given how often he is shifted against and his lack of speed, but at .212, he is still well below his .268 career average. The Statcast metrics also support the case that Morrison has been hitting the ball better than his results show. Here are what a few of Logan Morrison’s actual stats look like compared to his expected stats via Statcast. AVG: .192 Expected: .249 SLG: .357 Expected: .483 wOBA: .287 Expected: .356 Those are all really big gaps that suggest that Logan Morrison has been hitting the ball much better than his results show. SD Buhr Talk about a question that has an endless list of possible responses! Byron Buxton? Miguel Sano? Ervin Santana? I mean… one of those guys hasn’t played a game so far and the other two arguable hurt the team by playing in the games they DID show up for. If I have to choose just one, I’ll go with Sano. Santana was supposed to be ready to go by May or June, at the latest. It’s almost August and we haven’t seen him anywhere near Target Field. Buxton couldn’t hit his weight in 28 games with the Twins and hasn’t hit a whole lot better in Rochester since supposedly becoming healthy after injuring a toe. Sano didn’t hit his weight either… though, to be fair, his weight has ballooned to the point where not a lot of MLB players CAN hit at that level. He’s hitting .328 at High-A Ft. Myers so I guess at least he’s hitting his weight at that level… probably. But Sano has hit just 2 home runs in 64 at-bats at Ft. Myers and let’s face it, hitting for power is really the ONLY thing this guy brings to the table at this point. If he can’t do that three levels below the big leagues, that’s more than just a little discouraging. I have some hope that Santana will return and contribute in the second half of the season and it looks to me like Buxton could, as well (though with Cave’s work, there may not really be any rush to get Buck back at this point). But Sano? Maybe if I had read something… anything… about his conditioning being significantly improving, I’d have some optimism. Right now I have none. Steve Lein I am resoundingly in the camp of two players for this question, and they are the two whom were expected to propel the Twins into their next level of competitiveness after they reached the playoffs in 2017. They're also both currently playing in the minor leagues because of their struggles. I'm obviously speaking of Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. Buxton followed up his blistering second half of 2017, where hit hit .300/.347/.546 (.893 OPS) with 24 extra-base-hits (11 home runs) and 35 RBI in 56 games, with a 2018 line of just .156/.183/.200 (.383 OPS) in only 28 games. This was before and during, but thankfully not after his foot injury, when he was sent to in Rochester to regroup and has just a .679 OPS in eighteen games. Sano followed up a 2017 season that saw him be selected to his first All-Star Game, where he also finished runner-up in the home run derby, with a miserable 37 games with the Twins before they made the what some might call drastic move, in sending him all the way down to Fort Myers. He hit just .203/.270/.405 (.675 OPS) before that move and his road back may be a long one. If they can get even one of those guys back to playing like they had in 2017, things could look better for the Twins in the second half. If you missed any of the most recent roundtable discussions, here are the links: Second Half Star Sell, Sell, Sell? Fixing the Offense Romero’s Rotation Spot Top Prospect Timelines Click here to view the article
  15. GLEEMAN AND THE GEEK: EPISODE 378 Sponsored by Bye, Goff, and Rohde, SotaStick, and SeatGeek.
  16. With John Bonnes in San Diego, Parker Hageman joins Aaron Gleeman to discuss the final week of a rough first half, Kyle Gibson's slider-based turnaround, Brian Dozier getting back on track, the enigma of Max Kepler, trade deadline candidates, Logan Morrison and Addison Reed going on the disabled list, and how much longer the Twins can stick with Matt Belisle. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. GLEEMAN AND THE GEEK: EPISODE 378 Sponsored by Bye, Goff, and Rohde, SotaStick, and SeatGeek. Click here to view the article
  17. Aaron Slegers faced 11 Kansas City hitters Tuesday night, seven of them recorded hits. He lasted just 1 1/3 innings and gave up five runs. That doesn’t give a team much of a chance to win a ballgame. The Twins’ bullpen did a nice job getting things pointed in the right direction until Addison Reed had yet another bad outing in the ninth. It was a bad loss to a bad team, but Cleveland may have had an even worse night.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Aaron Slegers: 13 Game Score, 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 0 K, 0 BB, 65.9% strikes Bullpen: 7.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 K, 4 BB Lineup: 2-for-7 w/RISP, 6 LOB WPA of 0.1 or higher: None WPA of -0.1 or lower: Slegers -.381 Download attachment: WinEx710.png Logan Morrison made one of the worst baseball plays you’ll see all year. Down 5-1 in the bottom of the second inning, he hit what appeared to be a leadoff double. Nice, right? Well, LoMo decided he’d try to stretch it into a triple and was thrown out. You just can’t do that. A rookie wouldn’t get a free pass for that kind of a mental error, let alone a veteran like Morrison. You’re down 5-1, there are no outs … honestly, dude what are you doing? Something has to be wrong with Addison Reed. He gave up three runs on three hits; a single, a triple and a home run. Since the start of June, Reed has surrendered 13 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings pitched. Reed’s average velocity on his four-seamer has been holding pretty steady over the past few years. He was right around 93 mph from 2014-2017, but he started out this season sitting more like 92 mph and things have continued to dip. Tonight, he topped out at 91.6 mph per Baseball Savant, but averaged 90.3 mph. Maybe Morrison and Reed need to go down to Single A too. On the plus side, Taylor Rogers was great in an extended appearance. He threw a season-high 37 pitches over 2 1/3 no-hit innings. He struck out two and walked one. Also, Brian Dozier hit his 14th home run. Not a great night for the Twins, but things aren’t exactly going swimmingly for Cleveland either. The led 4-0 heading into the ninth inning of their game tonight. Closer Cody Allen gave up three runs, and then a miscommunication played a part in the Reds scoring four more runs en route to victory. From Cleveland’s reporter from The Athletic: Uff da. That bullpen is a nightmare. Gotta love the AL Central. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Bullpen710.png AL Central Standings CLE 49-41 MIN 40-49 (-8.5) DET 40-54 (-11) CHW 30-61 (19.5) KC 26-65 (-23.5) Next Three Games Wed vs. KC, 12:10 pm CT: Lance Lynn vs. Burch Smith Thu vs. TB, 7:10 pm CT: TBD Fri vs. TB, 7:10 pm CT: TBD Last Three Games MIN 3, KC 1: Minnesota’s All-Star Shines MIN 10, BAL 1: Twins Pick Up First Sweep of 2018 MIN 5, BAL 4: More Baltimore, Please Click here to view the article
  18. Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Aaron Slegers: 13 Game Score, 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 0 K, 0 BB, 65.9% strikes Bullpen: 7.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 K, 4 BB Lineup: 2-for-7 w/RISP, 6 LOB WPA of 0.1 or higher: None WPA of -0.1 or lower: Slegers -.381 Logan Morrison made one of the worst baseball plays you’ll see all year. Down 5-1 in the bottom of the second inning, he hit what appeared to be a leadoff double. Nice, right? Well, LoMo decided he’d try to stretch it into a triple and was thrown out. You just can’t do that. A rookie wouldn’t get a free pass for that kind of a mental error, let alone a veteran like Morrison. You’re down 5-1, there are no outs … honestly, dude what are you doing? Something has to be wrong with Addison Reed. He gave up three runs on three hits; a single, a triple and a home run. Since the start of June, Reed has surrendered 13 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings pitched. Reed’s average velocity on his four-seamer has been holding pretty steady over the past few years. He was right around 93 mph from 2014-2017, but he started out this season sitting more like 92 mph and things have continued to dip. Tonight, he topped out at 91.6 mph per Baseball Savant, but averaged 90.3 mph. Maybe Morrison and Reed need to go down to Single A too. On the plus side, Taylor Rogers was great in an extended appearance. He threw a season-high 37 pitches over 2 1/3 no-hit innings. He struck out two and walked one. Also, Brian Dozier hit his 14th home run. Not a great night for the Twins, but things aren’t exactly going swimmingly for Cleveland either. The led 4-0 heading into the ninth inning of their game tonight. Closer Cody Allen gave up three runs, and then a miscommunication played a part in the Reds scoring four more runs en route to victory. From Cleveland’s reporter from The Athletic: https://twitter.com/ZackMeisel/status/1016868521765232641 Uff da. That bullpen is a nightmare. Gotta love the AL Central. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: AL Central Standings CLE 49-41 MIN 40-49 (-8.5) DET 40-54 (-11) CHW 30-61 (19.5) KC 26-65 (-23.5) Next Three Games Wed vs. KC, 12:10 pm CT: Lance Lynn vs. Burch Smith Thu vs. TB, 7:10 pm CT: TBD Fri vs. TB, 7:10 pm CT: TBD Last Three Games MIN 3, KC 1: Minnesota’s All-Star Shines MIN 10, BAL 1: Twins Pick Up First Sweep of 2018 MIN 5, BAL 4: More Baltimore, Please
  19. If the familiar faces aren’t delivering, why not turn to some fresh faces, right? That plan worked out well Thursday night at Target Field, as Aaron Slegers held Baltimore to one run over six innings and Jake Cave was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and an outstanding leaping catch.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Aaron Slegers: 61 Game Score, 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB, 65.3% strikes Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB Lineup: 2-for-7 w/RISP, 7 LOB WPA of 0.1 or above: Slegers .266, Hildenberger .126, Cave .120 WPA of -0.1 or below: None Download attachment: WinEx75.png This is exactly the type of game we’ve come to expect from Slegers down in Triple A. He doesn’t overpower hitters (just two strikeouts) but he keeps them off balance. The Orioles only got one run off of three hits and a walk against Slegers, who only needed 72 pitches to complete his six frames. The Twins scored their first run in the bottom of the third thanks to a pretty comical error by the O’s. Minnesota took a 3-0 lead, but things tightened up again thanks to a pair of Jonathan Scoop solo homers — one off Slegers and the other off Addison Reed. Clinging to a one-run lead, Trevor Hildenberger pitched a scoreless eighth inning. The Twins added a pair of runs in the bottom half to take some of the excitement out of Fernando Rodney’s night. He pitched a perfect inning with a pair of strikeouts to earn his 18th save. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Bullpen75.png AL Central Standings CLE 48-37 MIN 36-48 (-11.5) DET 38-51 (-12) CHW 30-56 (-18.5) KC 25-61 (-23.5) Next Three Games Fri vs. BAL, 7:10 pm CT: Lance Lynn vs. Dylan Bundy Sat vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Kevin Gausman Sun vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Alex Cobb Last Three Games MIL 3, MIN 2: Pushing Against a Stone MIL 2, MIN 0: Strikeouts Galore MIL 6, MIN 5: Oh, That Rodney Experience Click here to view the article
  20. Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Aaron Slegers: 61 Game Score, 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB, 65.3% strikes Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB Lineup: 2-for-7 w/RISP, 7 LOB WPA of 0.1 or above: Slegers .266, Hildenberger .126, Cave .120 WPA of -0.1 or below: None This is exactly the type of game we’ve come to expect from Slegers down in Triple A. He doesn’t overpower hitters (just two strikeouts) but he keeps them off balance. The Orioles only got one run off of three hits and a walk against Slegers, who only needed 72 pitches to complete his six frames. The Twins scored their first run in the bottom of the third thanks to a pretty comical error by the O’s. Minnesota took a 3-0 lead, but things tightened up again thanks to a pair of Jonathan Scoop solo homers — one off Slegers and the other off Addison Reed. Clinging to a one-run lead, Trevor Hildenberger pitched a scoreless eighth inning. The Twins added a pair of runs in the bottom half to take some of the excitement out of Fernando Rodney’s night. He pitched a perfect inning with a pair of strikeouts to earn his 18th save. https://twitter.com/TwinsHighlights/status/1015092741485801473 There was a huge call overturned that hurt the Twins. Max Kepler hit what originally appeared to be a run-scoring double to put the Twins up 4-2 in the sixth. After a closer look, it was determined it was a ground-rule double. Jorge Polanco, who came around to score from first on the play, was forced to go back to third base, where he was eventually left stranded. Cave was the offensive star of the night, but Logan Morrison was 2-for-4 with his 10th home run and Kepler was 2-for-4 with a double. Postgame With Molitor https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1015070367574978560 Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: AL Central Standings CLE 48-37 MIN 36-48 (-11.5) DET 38-51 (-12) CHW 30-56 (-18.5) KC 25-61 (-23.5) Next Three Games Fri vs. BAL, 7:10 pm CT: Lance Lynn vs. Dylan Bundy Sat vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Kevin Gausman Sun vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Alex Cobb Last Three Games MIL 3, MIN 2: Pushing Against a Stone MIL 2, MIN 0: Strikeouts Galore MIL 6, MIN 5: Oh, That Rodney Experience
  21. John Bonnes Neither. They ARE neither. Because in order to be a buyer or a seller, there needs to be a marketplace. There isn’t. You’re anxious to turn the page on this season. I get it. Believe me, as someone who follows the team obsessively, runs a Twins web site and talks weekly on a Twins podcast, it’s been a frustrating three months. But declaring the season is over provides no practical value. It just makes us feel a little less personally invested in the year. Maybe, in three weeks, when the All-Star break is over, a marketplace will exist, and the Twins will need to choose. If their struggles continue, they’ll be sellers. But even then, don’t expect a cornucopia of prospects to be coming their way. They don’t have any of the premier veterans on the market, so they’re likely to get premier prospects in return. Until then, like it or not, this year is a competitive window for this franchise. I’d encourage you to personally invest another month in this team. I assure you that the management, the coaches and the players certainly are. Seth Stohs In my opinion, the Twins need to make all moves that they think will put them into contention by about July 20th. At that point, you evaluate where they are compared to Cleveland. If they had to make that decision today, and fortunately they don't, they would be sellers. The odds indicate that they will be sellers at the deadline at which point a lot of guys could be on the market. Nick Nelson At this rate, they sure look like sellers, although that could potentially change within the next few weeks. The trouble is that the Twins don't have much at this time in terms of appealing assets to move, so it's hard to envision any major haul coming back even if they're willing to unload anyone nonessential to the big picture. Brian Dozier's sluggish first half has torpedoed his trade value. Lance Lynn will have takers but won't net a ton. Fernando Rodney's been great, but non-elite relievers don't bring back top prospects (Matt Capps notwithstanding). Eduardo Escobar is perhaps the most intriguing candidate, as an All Star candidate on the last year of his deal, but Minnesota is probably best served holding onto him and extending a qualifying offer after the season. Cody Christie The AL Central might be the weakest division in baseball so it’s hard to call the Twins out of the race. That being said, Cleveland seems to have started to figure it out after a slow start. Minnesota hasn’t been able run off a long streak of winning baseball. Cleveland should easily win the division but they have flaws and this could make them vulnerable. If the front office is making the decision today, the club is sellers and the team has a lot of pieces that could be dealt. With many players on one-year deals, Minnesota could reset the roster and restock the farm system for the next decade. There were high hopes at the beginning of the season, so it’s depressing to think the team could be sellers. Flashback to last year, the Twins were in selling mode as the deadline approached. Then the team found a nice groove and ended up in the playoffs. Anything is possible but it seems like it’s time to sell. Ted Schwerzler I don't think it's fair to answer this question with so much time yet before the trade deadline. Realistically Falvey and Levine set the roster up for success this offseason, and it has underperformed as a whole. With the games remaining prior to the deadline, the Twins need to show some consistent life. The Indians have real warts, and I don't believe they're going to run away with anything. Given the amount of one year deals, the Twins are well positioned to act either way. They can let their play in the weeks ahead dictate how they should attack the deadline. Tom Froemming Right now, you'd have to say sellers. The depressing part is most of their obvious pieces to move are having down years. You can't expect guys like Brian Dozier, Lance Lynn or Zach Duke to fetch much of a return right now. The same can be said for Logan Morrison and Fernando Rodney, who both have a team option for 2019. Who does that leave? Taking emotion out of it, Eduardo Escobar could be a great sell high option, but in my heart I want the team to extend him with a 15-year deal. OK, that's an exaggeration, but from a fan's perspective I'd be really bummed if they sent him packing. With those being the options, I'm not expecting the front office to make a move one way or another until the week of the trade deadline. Jeremy Nygaard I can't imagine the Twins buying at the deadline. What would be the point? If they decide not to sell, they should stand pat... but not buy. They should sell. Anyone scheduled to be a free agent should be on the block. Brian Dozier is playing his way out of getting a qualifying offer, so prospect would be better than nothing. Lance Lynn, in my opinion, has to be traded, especially if he continues to work back to his old self. Team needs a lefty reliever? Zach Duke has to be available. I would pay - not personally, but as the Twins - the rest of Joe Mauer's salary to give him a chance to win a title this year (and in return for that money, ask for a decent prospect). And moving any of those guys only give opportunities to other prospects. Moving Dozier allows at-bats for Nick Gordon. Trading Lynn opens a rotation spot for either of Mejia or Gonsalves. Exit Duke, enter Moya. Or Jay. Mauer's at-bats could be absorbed by many players. I'd also look at moving Morrison, Rodney and potentially Santana. In addition to those three with options, the team has only three other players (Castro, Reed, Pineda) under contract for next year. Moving guys now would be more of a reload and less of a rebuild; the nucleus of the team would remain under control. Steve Lein The Cleveland Indians are finally starting to pull away in the division, a wild card is even further off, and the Twins haven’t sniffed a .500 record in over a month. Unless a drastic turnaround happens, like immediately, they should be sellers. Unfortunately, the reason they’re in this position now is a direct result of the performances from some of those whom they should sell. Lance Lynn has rebounded nicely and could fetch something decent for a rental but the other guys with only one year on their deals, like Brian Dozier and Logan Morrison, have fallen flat and Ervin Santana has yet to throw a pitch this season. Fernando Rodney might net enough where selling him makes sense too. If you’re hoping to get anything beyond a B-level prospect though, that’s going to mean selling someone like Eddie Rosario or Eduardo Escobar as part of something bigger. But they’re really the only position players who have earned their money this season and are the types I’d want to keep around. So, while I think they should sell all those rental type pieces to clear the roster space if anything, I’m not holding my breath on any stellar returns. If you missed any of the previous roundtable discussions, here are the links: Fixing the Offense Romero’s Rotation Spot Top Prospect Timelines Minnesota’s All-Star Selection Extension Candidates
  22. *I’m primarily posting this to my blog in order to use it as part of a tutorial video I’m putting together, but I hope there are also a few things in here you find interesting. It would have been difficult to expect Logan Morrison to replicate the excellent numbers he posted last season, that was by far his best year after all, but LoMo has fallen so far behind even his career averages you have to wonder if he’s ever going to turn it around. He’s actually made solid contact, and is putting the ball in play more often than in 2017, but the drop in results is shocking. Here’s a quick glance at his career numbers via Baseball-Reference: I recently dove a little deeper into the numbers for a video I recorded for YouTube. Something I didn’t touch on was the fact that opposing pitchers seem to have figured out how to attack Morrison. Dave Newman of the New Richmond News in Wisconsin shared this on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dmnewman/status/1010644735512449024 Attached below are two heat maps via Baseball Savant, the first shows his average exit velocity. Notice the low numbers on inside pitches up in the zone … … and the second shows his slugging percentage. As you can see, even though he’s had better exit velocity on balls down and away, it’s not translating into much. So what needs to happen for Morrison to turn things around? An adjustment. He somehow needs to alter his approach without completely turning his back on what made him one of the best power hitters in baseball last season. Easier said than done.
  23. Jake Odorizzi didn’t survive the second inning, as the Rangers got to him for six runs, and the Twins couldn’t recover. They did manage to make things interesting in the end, but couldn’t complete what would’ve been an epic comeback as Logan Morrison struck out with the bases loaded.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Jake Odorizzi: 21 Game Score, 1.2 IP, 6 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, 65.0% strikes Bullpen: 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 K, 1 BB Lineup: 2-for-9 w/RISP, 8 LOB Top three per WPA: Rosario .204, Garver .057, Dozier .054 Download attachment: WinEx623.png The Twins jumped out to an early lead thanks to an Eddie Rosario two-run homer in the first, but Texas scored nine unanswered runs. Morrison blasted a two-run homer of his own in the sixth inning, and the Twins actually had the game-tying run on base in the ninth. You don’t give up six runs before you can record six outs all because of bad luck, but the way Texas got to Odorizzi does seem a little fluky. Three of their six hits came on balls that had a hit probability of less than 50 percent, per Baseball Savant. That includes their only extra-base hit, a double. It’s not like Odorizzi pitched himself into trouble, as he had a very strong strike percentage of 65, but the Rangers were racking up hits on pitches outside of the zone. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Bullpen623.png AL Central Standings CLE 41-33 DET 36-40 (-6) MIN 33-40 (-7.5) CHW 25-51 (-17) KC 23-52 (-18.5) Next Three Games Sun vs. TEX, 1:10 pm CT: Jose Berrios vs Bartolo Colon Mon OFF Tue at CHW, 7:10 pm CT: TBD Wed at CHW, 7:10 pm CT: TBD Last Three Games TEX 8, MIN 1: Circling the Drain BOS 9, MIN 2: There Go Those Shiny Pitching Stats MIN 4, BOS 1: For Grossman and Kepler, The Price Was Right Click here to view the article
  24. Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Jake Odorizzi: 21 Game Score, 1.2 IP, 6 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, 65.0% strikes Bullpen: 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 K, 1 BB Lineup: 2-for-9 w/RISP, 8 LOB Top three per WPA: Rosario .204, Garver .057, Dozier .054 The Twins jumped out to an early lead thanks to an Eddie Rosario two-run homer in the first, but Texas scored nine unanswered runs. Morrison blasted a two-run homer of his own in the sixth inning, and the Twins actually had the game-tying run on base in the ninth. You don’t give up six runs before you can record six outs all because of bad luck, but the way Texas got to Odorizzi does seem a little fluky. Three of their six hits came on balls that had a hit probability of less than 50 percent, per Baseball Savant. That includes their only extra-base hit, a double. It’s not like Odorizzi pitched himself into trouble, as he had a very strong strike percentage of 65, but the Rangers were racking up hits on pitches outside of the zone. https://twitter.com/BaseballByTom/status/1010604052554625031 Matt Magill surrendered three runs in his 3 1/3 innings of work, but the rest of the bullpen managed to stop the bleeding. Ryan Pressly, Addison Reed, Zach Duke and Trevor Hildenberger all pitched a scoreless inning. Mitch Garver, Ryan LaMarre and Joe Mauer strung together consecutive one-out singles in the ninth inning and Rosario drove in a pair of runs on a double. Eduardo Escobar struck out on five pitches before Brian Dozier drew a walk to load the bases. Morrison, representing the winning run, went down swinging to end it, but let’s hope that positive offensive finish carries over to tomorrow. Garver had three hits and Mauer, Rosario and LaMarre all had two hits each. Jurickson Profar was hit by a pitch in three of his plate appearances today, causing Texas manager Jeff Bannister to shout across the field over to the Twins dugout. The Rangers did not retaliate, but there’s always tomorrow. UPDATE After the game, it was announced the Twins were sending a pitcher down. No, not Matt Belisle, who's been terrible, or Matt Magill, who threw 60 pitches today. It's Fernando Romero. No corresponding move has been announced at the moment. https://twitter.com/RhettBollinger/status/1010647095169245185 Postgame with Molitor https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1010649895122825216 Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: AL Central Standings CLE 41-33 DET 36-40 (-6) MIN 33-40 (-7.5) CHW 25-51 (-17) KC 23-52 (-18.5) Next Three Games Sun vs. TEX, 1:10 pm CT: Jose Berrios vs Bartolo Colon Mon OFF Tue at CHW, 7:10 pm CT: TBD Wed at CHW, 7:10 pm CT: TBD Last Three Games TEX 8, MIN 1: Circling the Drain BOS 9, MIN 2: There Go Those Shiny Pitching Stats MIN 4, BOS 1: For Grossman and Kepler, The Price Was Right
  25. John Bonnes The bad news is that Brian Dozier has not been good. And I’m not talking about “versus expectations.” I’m talking about straight up “not good”. He isn’t (.223 BA) hitting. He isn’t (.300 OBP) getting on base . He isn’t (.394 SLG) hitting for power. The good news is it’s not unusual for Dozier to pair a pretty mediocre or crummy half season of hitting with a fantastic half season of hitting: Brian Dozier, 2017, 2nd half: 985 OPS (1st half: 745) Brian Dozier, 2016, 2nd half: 990 OPS (1st half: 786) Brian Dozier, 2015, 1st half: 841 OPS (2nd half: 639) You can make a case for a lot of bounceback candidates to give the Twins lineup a surge. Joe Mauer, Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco, Logan Morrison, Byron Buxton – an optimist can foresee a flicked switch on any of them. But the path of least resistance is for Dozier to do what he has done each of the last three years: go on a three-month killing spree. Nick Nelson To me, it's clearly Byron Buxton. If he gets back into the same zone he was in last July-through-October, when he hit .309/.358/.538 with 12 homers while going 16-for-16 on steals, he completely transforms the offense. Not only is that stellar individual production, but it also can infuse a contagious type of energy that reverberates. I think we saw that dynamic play out to some extent in the latter months of 2017 as Minnesota made its run. A healthy and thriving Buxton is exactly what this sleepwalking unit needs. Tom Froemming Lots of valid answers to this question, but I'm going with Brian Dozier for three reasons. 1) The absence of right-handed hitters Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton makes this team even more unbalanced than it already was. Without Dozier being a threat, the offense is susceptible to being shut down by even pedestrian southpaws. 2) It's easier to play with a lead, and when Dozier's hot he's causing damage early. He had a .908 OPS in the first three innings last season. If the runs don't come early, this 2018 team seems to tighten up as the game unfolds. 3) He's a great baserunner. How many outs have the Twins run themselves into over the past few weeks? Brian's not the fastest guy around, but something that sets him apart from some of the other potential answers to this question (Mauer, Morrison) is they're base cloggers. It'd be great to see Dozier go on one of his homer binges, but at this point I'd even settle for him simply sparking some rallies. Cody Christie To me, there are three candidates who could take over this line-up in the months ahead and propel the team towards a division title. Those three names are Byron Buxton, Brian Dozier, and Miguel Sano. In the first half of last season, Sano showed how dangerous he can be if he is making consistent contact. Fast forward to the end of last season and Buxton seemed to have it all figured out at the plate. It wouldn’t surprise me if either of these players impacts the offense in the second half but… Brian Dozier has to be the spark plug. He is the one that needs to get this offense moving in the right direction. There have some signs of life for the club against some good pitching in Cleveland and the first game with the Red Sox. Dozier still has dug himself quite the early season hole but you know he wants to snap out of it. Especially since he is in a contract year. Jamie Cameron For me, it's undoubtedly Brian Dozier. Dozier is remarkably streaky, has had monster second halves in the last two years, and may well do so again in 2018. Currently, he's virtually a non-contributor to the Twins offense. Consider the following numbers comparing Dozier in 2017 to 2018 Dozier: 2017 .359 OBP, .498 SLG, .362 wOBA, 125 wRC+, 5.0 WAR 2018 .309 OBP, .397 SLG, .309 wOBA, 93 wRC+, 0.7 WAR Dozier has carried the Twins offense for much of the last two years. This year he's a 7% below average hitter for his position. His numbers are brutal for someone the Twins expected to rely on and who gets the most at-bats for the entire team. While Dozier may have made the Twins thoughts on extending him to a long term contract much more clear, they have zero postseason hopes unless he gets hot and stays hot the rest of the way. Jeremy Nygaard When the lineup has been as collectively bad as it has been (besides Escobar and Rosario), it would be really hard to put that on one guy. But I will: Brian Dozier. Career low batting average, 19 points below his career average. 17 point below his career OBP. Lowest slugging and OPS since his rookie year. The leadoff hitter sets the tone for the offense and he isn't getting it done. Now Dozier isn't alone when it comes to disappointments. Logan Morrison has been really bad. Miguel Sano has been disgusting at the plate. Byron Buxton could be a spark, but he hasn't been healthy. Jason Castro, before the knee injury, was a disaster. Robbie Grossman provides nothing. But it comes down the Dozier. Unless he gets right, the Twins have no shot (and it's already only a slim shot). Seth Stohs I mean, there are so many pieces to the offense that are important. Coming into the season, the assumption was that the Twins offense would be one of the best in the league. To this point, Eduardo Escobar and Eddie Rosario have been the two that have gone above and beyond expectations. They (probably) can't provide more than what they have done. It would be nice if they kept it up. It's clear that having Joe Mauer around is also important because it seems the quality of at bats up and down the lineup has improved through osmosis. If the Twins are going to make a run, Brian Dozier is the key. We've seen what he can do in the 2nd half. He's done it four straight years. Hopefully it can happen again. The other key might be Jorge Polanco. Almost forgotten since spring training, the Twins could really benefit from Polanco putting up the kind of numbers he put up over the final two months of the 2017 season. Steve Lein Even with Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar hitting at elite levels so far, the rest of the Minnesota Twins lineup has been so lacking that it hasn’t mattered much. Their collective OPS ranks ninth in the American League and they’re scoring only 4.26 runs per game, good for tenth. Even worse is their performance near the end of games, demonstrated by their 3-13 record in one-run contests and that they’ve endured eight walk-off losses already. From the seventh inning on, Twins hitters have managed just a .668 OPS, which is basically Miguel Sano level production this year and he just got demoted all the way to A-ball as he’s seemingly forgotten how to hit a baseball. So, what’s been missing? I’d argue it’s an All-Star caliber #3 or cleanup hitter as those spots in the Twins lineup currently rank in the bottom third of nearly every hitting category in the AL. Know who that guy is? You should, because he was one of their All-Star representatives last year and I’ve already mentioned his name. Sano clubbed 21 home runs and had a .908 OPS in the first half of 2017 and they’re going to need him to step back into that role, and soon, for there to be any hope in 2018. Ted Schwerzler With Miguel Sano out of the picture currently, I think the answer has to be Brian Dozier. Getting Joe Mauer back is great, but he’s more of a defensive asset. Dozier bringing some semblance of his offensive prowess is a must. He’s always been a streaky hitter, but it’s time for him to get going. In a contract year, I’d have hoped for a bit more consistency. After Dozier, I think getting a level of fair production out of Logan Morrison would be nice. He’s flashed reason to be optimistic that things will turn around, but the production hasn’t followed just yet. Steve Buhr I don’t think we can expect much, if anything, from Miguel Sano for a while and it would probably be unfair to load up Byron Buxton with that kind of responsibility before he even shows up for a rehab game. I’d go with Max Kepler. Kepler has been streaky, but the talent is there. I think if he can start consistently contributing some pop and getting on base with regularity, that would do a lot for the Twins’ offense. Andrew Thares The most important player for invigorating the Twins offense remains Brian Dozier. Dozier has been the Twins' offensive leader over the last four seasons and his performance so far this year has been sub-par to put it nicely. However, as Dozier has show in the past, he has the potential to get hot and carry the offense. With Dozier's recent move down to the five spot in the order, it might help him regain his focus and become the All-Star level hitter he has been over the past few years. If you missed any of the previous roundtable discussions, here are the links: Romero’s Rotation Spot Top Prospect Timelines Minnesota’s All-Star Selection Extension Candidates
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