Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'lucas duda'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Twins
  • Minors
  • Saints
  • Just For Fun
  • Twins Daily

Categories

  • Unregistered Help Files
  • All Users Help Files

Categories

  • Twins & Minors
  • Vintage
  • Retrospective
  • Twins Daily

Forums

  • Baseball Forums
    • Minnesota Twins Talk
    • Twins Minor League Talk
    • Head 2 Head Debate Forum
    • Twins Daily Front Page News
    • Other Baseball
    • Archived Game Threads
  • MinnCentric Forums
    • The Sports Bar
    • Minnesota Vikings Talk
    • Minnesota Wild Talk
    • Minnesota Timberwolves Talk
  • Current Affairs's Politics and Human Rights
  • Current Affairs's Non-political current affairs
  • Twins Daily's Questions About The Site

Blogs

  • Blog awstafki
  • The Lurker's Annual
  • Mike Sixel's Blog
  • Twins fan in Texas
  • highlander's Blog
  • Patrick Wozniak's Blog
  • Blog dennyhocking4HOF
  • From the Plaza
  • The Special Season
  • Twins Daily's Blog
  • Blog Twins best friend
  • Kyle Eliason's Blog
  • Extra Innings
  • SkinCell Pro: How Does Remove Mole & Skin Tag Work?
  • Blog Badsmerf
  • mikelink45's Blog
  • MT Feelings
  • Keto Burn Max Benefits
  • Blog crapforks
  • Off The Baggy
  • VikingTwinTwolf's Blog
  • A Blog to Be Named Later
  • Cormac's Corner
  • Blog MaureenHill
  • Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR
  • Road Tripping with the Twins
  • Greg Allen
  • Classic Minnesota Twins
  • The Line of Mendoza
  • BombazoMLB
  • Blog Twins Daily Admin
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • What if the Twins had drafted Prior or Teixeira instead of Mauer?
  • the_brute_squad's Blog
  • Better Baseball Is Ahead
  • Nick's Twins Blog
  • Blog jianfu
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • The PTBNL
  • Levi Hansen
  • SethSpeaks.net
  • Blog leshaadawson
  • Underwriting the Twins
  • Small Sample Size
  • parkerb's Blog
  • Tim
  • TwinsGeek.com
  • Blog Roaddog
  • Mauerpower's Blog
  • SotaPop's Blog
  • Face facts!!!
  • Over the Baggy
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Heezy1323's Blog
  • LA Vikes Fan
  • North Dakota Twins Fan
  • Blog Reginald Maudling's Shin
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Miller1234's Blog
  • Twins Curmudgeon
  • Blog Kirsten Brown
  • if we aint spendin 140 million
  • Boone's Blog
  • Rounding Third
  • Kirilloff & Co.
  • Shallow Thoughts - bean5302
  • The Hanging SL
  • Red Wing Squawk
  • Distraction via Baseball
  • Nine of twelve's Blog
  • Notes From The Neds
  • Blog Lindsay Guentzel
  • Blog Karl
  • Vance_Christianson's Blog
  • Curveball Blog
  • waltomeal's Blog
  • bronald3030
  • Knuckleballs - JC
  • Blog jrzf713
  • The Minor League Lifestyle
  • Jason Kubel is America
  • weneedjackmorris' Blog
  • Mahlk
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog freightmaster
  • Playin' Catch
  • Sethmoko's Blog
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Lev's Musings
  • Blog Scott Povolny
  • Blog COtwin
  • Hrbowski's Blog
  • Minnesota Twins Whine Line
  • Bomba Blog
  • cjm0926's Blogs
  • Blog Chad Jacobsen
  • Blog ScottyBroco
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Back Office Twins Baseball Blog
  • DannySD's Blog
  • nobitadora's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1812
  • Greg Fransen
  • Blog Adam Krueger
  • Hammered (adj.) Heavily inebriated, though to a lesser extent than ****faced.
  • Thegrin's Blog
  • 3rd Inning Stretch's Blog
  • Mark Ferretti
  • Jeremy Nygaard
  • The W.A.R. room
  • Christopher Fee's Blog
  • Postma Posts
  • Rolondo's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1814
  • Blog Fanatic Jack
  • Dominican Adventure
  • Cory Engelhardt's Blog
  • markthomas' Blog
  • blogs_blog_1815
  • Blog AJPettersen
  • Blog AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS
  • BW on the Beat
  • jfeyereisn17's Blog
  • 2020 Offseason Blueprint
  • Blog TimShibuya
  • Fumi Saito's Blog
  • This Twins Fans Thoughts
  • Long Live La Tortuga
  • Blog TonyDavis
  • Blog Danchat
  • sdtwins37's Blog
  • Thinking Outside the Box
  • dbminn
  • Blog travistwinstalk
  • jokin's Blog
  • Thoughts from The Catch
  • BlakeAsk's Blog
  • Tom Schreier's Blog
  • less cowBlog
  • Hansen101's Blog
  • The Gopher Hole
  • 2020 Twins BluePrint - HotDish Surprise
  • Blog bkucko
  • The Circleback Blog
  • All Things Twins
  • Blog iTwins
  • Drinking at the 573
  • The Thirsty Crow and the google boy from peepeganj
  • Catching Some Zs
  • Blog TCAnelle
  • Singles off the Wall
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • A View From The Roof
  • The Blog Days of Summer
  • Jordan1212's Blog
  • You Shouldn't Have Lost
  • TwinsTakes.com Blog on TwinsDaily.com - Our Takes, Your Takes, TwinsTakes.com!
  • Blog SgtSchmidt11
  • Dantes929's Blog
  • Critical Thinking
  • Blog Matt VS
  • Blog RickPrescott
  • The Dollar Dome Dog
  • Travis M's Blog
  • Diamond Dollars
  • Blog jorgenswest
  • Twinsfan4life
  • Travis M's Interviews
  • whatyouknowtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog righty8383
  • Blog TwinsWolvesLynxBlog
  • Supfin99's Blog
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog glunn
  • Blog yumen0808
  • Unkind Bounces
  • Doctor Gast's Blog
  • One Man's View From Section 231
  • Don't Feed the Greed? What does that mean...
  • Diesel's Blog
  • Blog denarded
  • Blog zymy0813
  • Twins Peak
  • Minnesota Twins Health and Performance: A Blog by Lucas Seehafer PT
  • Blog kirbyelway
  • Blog JP3700
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Ports on Sports Blog
  • Blog Twins Fan From Afar
  • Blog E. Andrew
  • The 10th Inning Stretch
  • Hans Birkleberry's Blog
  • Blog twinsarmchairgm
  • Pitz Hits
  • samthetwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog JB (the Original)
  • soofootinsfan37's Blog
  • You Can Read This For Free
  • One Post Blog
  • Blog Dez Tobin
  • South Dakota Tom's Blog
  • hrenlazar2019's Blog
  • MNSotaSportsGal Twins Takes
  • Blog kemics
  • Blog AM.
  • DerektheDOM's Blog
  • Twins Tunes
  • Blog jtrinaldi
  • Blog Bill
  • Not Another Baseball Blog
  • Down on the Farm
  • Most likely pitchers making their MLB debut in 2021 for Twins.
  • Blog Wookiee of the Year
  • mike8791's Blog
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos: Photo-A-Day
  • Puckets Pond
  • Blog Jim H
  • A trade for the off season
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Kasota Gold
  • The POSTseason
  • Blog guski
  • Blog rickyriolo
  • SgtSchmidt11's Blog
  • Twinternationals
  • Blog birdwatcher
  • Blog acrozelle
  • Axel Kohagen's Catastrophic Overreactions
  • Bashwood12's Blog
  • Spicer's Baseball Movie Reviews
  • Beyond the Metrodome
  • Blog yangxq0827
  • The Pat-Man Saga
  • TheTeufelShuffle's Blog
  • ebergdib's blog
  • Blog Thegrin
  • Zachary's Blog
  • scottyc35
  • Danchat's Aggregated Prospect Rankings
  • Thrylos' Blog - select Tenth Inning Stretch posts
  • Blog taune
  • scottyc35's Blog
  • World's Greatest Online Magazine
  • Blog tweety2012
  • DRizzo's Blog
  • mrtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog asmus_ndsu
  • Otto Gets Blotto
  • Betsy Twins Report
  • Blog shawntheroad
  • Blog David-14
  • Blog Buddy14
  • Blog keithanderson
  • Blog Topperanton
  • Blog lightfoot789
  • Blog Axel Kohagen
  • Blog Lesser Dali
  • Blog Neinstein
  • Blog Bob Sacamento
  • Blog J-Dog Dungan
  • Thoughts of a Bullpen Catcher
  • Blog Dilligaf69
  • blogs_blog_1599
  • Twin Minds
  • My Opening Day Poem
  • Blog Teflon
  • Blog yanking it out...
  • Blog Anare
  • Blog Charlie Beattie
  • Blog Coach J
  • What to do with Morneau?
  • Peanuts from Heaven
  • Blog Physics Guy
  • Twins Adjacent
  • Field of Twins
  • Martin Schlegel's Blog
  • The Long View
  • Blog grumpyrob
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog Jeff A
  • Blog jwestbrock
  • by Matt Sisk
  • Blog Sarah
  • Blog RodneyKline
  • Blog JeffB
  • Anorthagen's Twins Daily Blogs
  • Low Profile MI Trade
  • Blog CC7
  • Blog dwintheiser
  • Blog Docsilly
  • Blog cmathewson
  • Blog mnfireman
  • Blog twinsfanstl
  • Blog dave_dw
  • Blog MN_Twins_Live
  • Standing Room Only
  • Blog gkasper
  • Blog puck34
  • Blog Old Twins Cap
  • Blog diehardtwinsfan
  • Blog Twinfan & Dad
  • Blog LimestoneBaggy
  • Blog Brian Mozey
  • vqt94648's Blog
  • Blog Loosey
  • Blog fairweather
  • World Series Champions 2088
  • Blog Drtwins
  • Blog peterb18
  • Blog LindaU
  • Kevin Slowey was Framed!
  • Blog Christopher Fee
  • Very Well Then
  • Pitch2Contact.com
  • A View from the Slot
  • Blog severson09
  • Blog husker brian
  • Blog Ray Tapajna
  • Sell high?
  • Blog bogeypepsi
  • Blog tshide
  • Blog Gene Larkin Fan Club
  • Blog jimbo92107
  • Blog DefinitelyNotVodkaDave
  • Blog Cap'n Piranha
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Frank Vantur's Blog
  • Blog Ricola
  • Blog AScheib50
  • SamGoody's Blog
  • Blog clutterheart
  • Blog Trent Condon
  • Blog bwille
  • blogs_blog_1635
  • Blog strumdatjag
  • Blog huhguy
  • blogs_blog_1636
  • Blog 3rd Inning Stretch
  • Blog 10PagesOfClearBlueSky
  • blogs_blog_1637
  • Blog Tyomoth
  • SD Buhr/Jim Crikket
  • blogs_blog_1638
  • Blog bear333
  • Blog sln477
  • Blog abbylucy
  • Blog Gernzy
  • Troy's Twins Thoughts
  • Blog OtherHoward219
  • blogs_blog_1642
  • Blog ScrapTheNickname
  • Blog TicketKing
  • Blog sotasports9
  • Twins Rubes
  • Blog goulik
  • Hosken's Blog
  • Blog one_eyed_jack
  • Blog joelindell
  • Blog rikker49
  • Blog nickschubert
  • Blog DreInWA
  • You're Not Reading This
  • Blog Hugh Morris
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Kottke's Cuts
  • Blog Dakota Watts
  • Blog markroehl
  • Blog jjswol
  • Blog Tibs
  • blogs_blog_1654
  • Blog jlovren
  • Blog Boone
  • Puckmen's Blog
  • Minnesota native to attend Twins predraft workout
  • Blog obryaneu
  • Blog JohnFoley
  • Blog TwinsArmChairGM_Jon
  • Bloop Singles
  • Blog Ryan Atkins
  • Blog the blade
  • Blog Lonestar
  • Blog jdotmcmahon
  • Blog WayneJimenezubc
  • Blog Sconnie
  • Blog PogueBear
  • Blog pierre75275
  • cHawk Talks Baseball
  • Blog Paul Bebus
  • flyballs in orbit
  • Blog A33bates
  • Blog lunchboxhero_4
  • lidefom746's Blog
  • Blog coddlenomore
  • Blog Trevor0333
  • Blog lee_the_twins_fan
  • Blog StreetOfFire
  • Blog clark47dorsey
  • Texastwinsfan blog
  • Blog KCasey
  • Blog Joey Lindseth
  • Blog jakelovesgolf
  • Blog mchokozie
  • Thoughts from the Stands
  • cHawk’s Blog
  • Blog best game in the world
  • Heather's thoughts
  • Blog sammy0eaton
  • HitInAPinch's Blog
  • Blog Mauerpower
  • Blog Jdosen
  • Blog twinsfanohio
  • Beyond the Limestone
  • Blog dougkoebernick
  • Get to know 'em
  • 5 Tool Blog
  • Cole Trace
  • Blog Sunglasses
  • Blog CTB_NickC
  • Blog Colin.O'Donnell
  • "And we'll see ya' ... tomorrow night."
  • Blog richardkr34
  • Gopher Baseball with Luke Pettersen
  • Blog KelvinBoyerxrg
  • Blog twinsfan34
  • Blog CaryMuellerlib
  • Blog jtkoupal
  • FunnyPenguin's Blog
  • Blog Sierra Szeto
  • Blog ExiledInSeattle
  • A Realistic Fix to the 2014 Twins
  • Blog naksh
  • Blog bellajelcooper
  • rickymartin's Blog
  • Blog twinsajsf
  • Blog keeth
  • Blog Murphy Vasterling Cannon
  • Twins Winter Caravan
  • Blog tracygame
  • Blog rjohnso4
  • Half a Platoon
  • Blog jangofelixak
  • Blog SirClive
  • tooslowandoldnow's Blog
  • Blog Troy Larson
  • Blog thetank
  • nicksaviking blog
  • Blog iekfWjnrxb
  • Blog SouthDakotaFarmer
  • Bill Parker
  • Left Coast Bias
  • Blog tobi0040
  • Lee-The-Twins-Fan's Blog
  • Blog foe-of-nin
  • Blog cocosoup
  • Minnesota Groan
  • Blog wRenita5
  • rgvtwinstalk
  • Major Minnesotans
  • Blog Aaron 12
  • Blog janewong
  • The Twins Almanac
  • Blog boys
  • Blog bennep
  • Hambino the Great's Blog
  • Blog JadaKingg25
  • Jesse Lund's Blog
  • Blog Brabes1987
  • RealStoriesMN
  • Blog sanal101
  • Blog Spikecurveball
  • Blog Devereaux
  • D-mac's Blog
  • Blog tarheeltwinsfan
  • kakakhan's Blog
  • Blog Oliver
  • Blog travis_aune
  • Twins and Losses
  • In My Opinion
  • Blog ieveretgte4f
  • Blog Sam Morley
  • Pinto's Perspective
  • Blog curt1965
  • VeryWellThen's Blog
  • Extcs
  • The Foul Play-by-Play Twins Blog
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog winunaarec
  • Negativity Police's Blog
  • Blog Robb Jeffries
  • Adam Houck's Blog
  • SaintsTrain
  • Loosey's Blog
  • Blog EE in Big D
  • Talkin' Twins with Jonathon
  • Steve Penz's Blog
  • Blog jtequilabermeah
  • The Tenth Inning Stretch
  • Apathy for the Game
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog hmariloustarkk
  • Car detailing
  • Blog Brendan Kennealy
  • Twins Fan From Afar's Blog
  • Visit500
  • Blog totocc
  • SD Buhr's Blog
  • KirbyHawk75's Blog
  • Blog Bark's Lounge
  • huhguy's Blog
  • Blog TwinsFanLV
  • NumberThree's Blog
  • Blog pandorajewelry
  • The Go Gonzo Journal Twins Blog
  • Twinsnerd123's Blog
  • Blog cClevelandSmialekp
  • Talk to Contact
  • Boo-urns
  • Blog silverslugger
  • jtkoupal's Blog
  • Broker's Blog
  • Blog Twinsoholic
  • diehardtwinsfan's Blog
  • Brad's Blog
  • Javier Maschrano - the rising star of Argentina
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • Blog Salazar
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • ThejacKmp's Blog
  • Blog vMaymeHansone
  • stringer bell's Blog
  • Blog brvama
  • AJPettersen's Blog
  • WiscoTwin
  • Rants (not Rantz)
  • iec23966's Blog
  • Blog loisebottorf83
  • CodyB's Blog
  • Staying Positive
  • Target Field of Dreams' Blog
  • Intentional Balk
  • Blog rodmccray11282
  • ReturnOfShaneMack's Blog
  • Blog SksippSvefdklyn
  • A blog about the Twins & more
  • Thome the Moneyball
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Lefty74's Blog
  • USAFChief's Blog
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Tony Nato's Blog
  • Clear's Blog
  • Blog LeeStevensonuuf
  • Waking up the Twins
  • Blog GrahamCharleshqr
  • First Base and the legacy of Kent Hrbek
  • carly148
  • Blog MWLFan
  • Minnie Paul and Mary
  • twinstarheelsfan's Blog
  • This game's fun, OK?
  • Blog TimeAgreell
  • Tsuyoshi's Island
  • NASCAR Steve's Blog
  • Kevin Horner's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1742
  • Blog CDog
  • Hold for the Batter
  • John the Analytics Guy
  • mrmpls' Blog
  • Zlog
  • samberry's Blog
  • nmtwinsfan's Blog
  • Under Teflon Skies
  • Views from the road
  • St. Paul Saints
  • Blog tkyokoperkinsn
  • Alskn's Northern Lights
  • Talkin' Turnstiles
  • Find Stats Elsewhere
  • Blog LaBombo
  • hugelycat's Blog
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • Milldaddy35's Blog Area
  • Blog Fire Dan Gladden
  • Baseball Intelligence
  • framedoctor's Blog
  • Blog Riverbrian
  • Blog Brandon
  • Organizational Depth Chart
  • Left Field Gap
  • gtkilla
  • Hicks' Left-Handed Helmets
  • MauerState7's Blog
  • 80MPH Changeup
  • Twins Pitch Breakdown
  • What you know about that blog
  • Blog DaTwins
  • positive1's Blog
  • rikker49's Blog
  • baxterpope15's Blog
  • Blog ThejacKmp
  • Random Thoughts About Baseball
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Run Prevention
  • Blog ericchri
  • pierre75275's Blog
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Cargo Cult Sabermetrics
  • Blog 81Exposruledbaseball
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • David Howell's Blog
  • Blog daanderson20
  • Twin Billing
  • sorney's Blog
  • TCAnelle's Blog
  • Blog shs_59
  • rikker49's Blog
  • Crackin' Wax's Cardboard Corner
  • Blog jm3319
  • jsteve96's Blog
  • The Always Fashionable; Uncle Charlie
  • Blog stringer bell
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Baseball Good
  • Blog everettegalr
  • twinsfan34's Blog
  • menthmike's Blog
  • Blog Obie
  • B Richard's Blog
  • Brazilian Twins Territory
  • The Hidden Baseball
  • Blog SpinnesotaGirl
  • Marthaler
  • InfieldFlyRuled
  • Coopcarlson3's Blog
  • Blog SoDakTwinsFan5
  • Blog LastOnePicked
  • Bob Sacamento's Blog
  • MnTwinsTalk's Blog
  • Blog Top Gun
  • Twinfan & Dad's Blog
  • Nebtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog TKGuy
  • GLO Blog
  • Ben Fadden's Blog
  • ajcondon's Blog
  • Blog TheMind07
  • Daily Twins Daily
  • TwinkiePower's Blog
  • Blog Michael Blomquist
  • VeryWellThen
  • MN_ExPat's Blog
  • Channing1964's Blog
  • Blog Darin Bratsch
  • Twin's Organizational News
  • Around The Horn
  • Blog beckmt
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • BeantownTwinsFan's Blog
  • Blog YourHouseIsMyHouse
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • Blog jay
  • SF Twins Fan's Blog
  • Morneau
  • TNTwinsFan's Blog
  • Musings from Twins Territory
  • Original Twin
  • Blog El Guapo
  • Doubles' Blog
  • Kirbek's Leaps and Pulls
  • Blog jokin
  • Brandon's Blog
  • A Look Back
  • Science of Baseball
  • Blog IdahoPilgrim
  • Sam Morley's Blog
  • oregontwin's Blog
  • Rounding Second
  • Blog Lyric53
  • The Curse of the Trees
  • gagu's Blog
  • Twins in CA
  • Blog Oldgoat_MN
  • Giant Baseball Cards
  • Blog twinfan49
  • docsillyseth's Blog
  • Kirby O'Connor's Blog
  • dfklgkoc
  • Blog ContinuumGuy
  • Wille's Way
  • Minnesota Sports Statistics Analysis
  • Ryan Stephan's Twinpinions
  • blogs_blog_2805
  • Blog tradingadvantage
  • brvama's Blog
  • Minnesota SSA's Blog
  • Danchat's Strat-O-Matic Blog
  • Blog Chance
  • NoCryingInBaseball's Blog
  • It Takes All Kinds
  • TFRazor's Blog
  • Blog twinslover
  • Sarah's Blog
  • theJemmer's Blog
  • Spikecurveball's Blog
  • Four Six Three
  • blogs_blog_2809
  • 2012 Draft.
  • travistwinstalk's Blog
  • Seth Stohs' Blog
  • Through a Child's Eyes
  • Colexalean Supplement Reviews
  • Blog jiamay
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Fanspeak's Twins and AL Central Blog
  • In Pursuit of Pennants
  • minnesotasportsunlimited's Blog
  • Jacob Booth Blogs
  • Blog stewthornley
  • mickeymental's Blog
  • Baseball Bat's Offseason Blueprint
  • AJswarley's Blog
  • Twins Outsider's Blog
  • Blog h2oface
  • Iowa Twins Fan
  • Twinkie Talk
  • Battle Your Tail Off
  • JackWhite's Blog
  • bikram's Blog
  • Twins Nation Podcast

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Personal Blog Name


Personal Blog URL


Location:


Biography


Occupation


Interests


Twitter

Found 16 results

  1. It's been a long time since the Twins had a primary first baseman not named Mauer or Morneau (save for some short-term fill-ins). Fourteen years, in fact. Now, as they venture into a new era at the right corner of the diamond, the team is taking a frugal yet creative approach to filling the position, seemingly biding time for a more permanent solution.Projected Starter: C.J. Cron Likely Backup: Marwin Gonzalez Depth: Miguel Sano, Tyler Austin, Lucas Duda Prospects: Alex Kirilloff, Brent Rooker, Zander Wiel THE GOOD Tasked with finding a replacement for Joe Mauer at first base, the front office decided to gather up a collection of intriguing low-cost parts rather than invest in a bona fide solution. Those hoping for a Paul Goldschmidt type splash were surely disappointed with the approach this past winter, but the Twins did well in patching together some viable options. Already the front office had acquired Austin from New York, in last July's Lance Lynn trade. The lefty-mashing slugger seemed to profile perfectly as half of a platoon with someone like – say – Duda, whom they added on a minor-league deal just ahead of spring training. Proceeding with those two would've been a sound short-term strategy, and perhaps Minnesota had plans along those lines heading into the offseason. But plans quickly changed when Cron became available on waivers in late November. Seeing a late-20s first baseman, with a solid track record, coming off a career year and available for nothing, was too much for the Twins to pass up at one of their clearest areas of need. Cron seems to offer a reasonably high floor along with a limited ceiling. The first part of that equation is valuable and sets him apart from the alternatives. Owner of a .289/.336/.500 line in the minors, he never posted an OPS below .739 in four MLB seasons prior to breaking out with an .816 mark and 30 home runs last year in Tampa. So even if he regresses a little, he probably won't fall too far. As a reference point, Mauer posted a .746 OPS overall in his five seasons as a first baseman. The Twins have lacked a reliable power bat at first base since Morneau suffered his concussion in 2010, so Cron looks like a breath of fresh air in that regard. And if something should go amiss with the projected starter during spring training, Minnesota is well equipped to absorb the blow. Austin and Duda have become fallback plans, and they're good ones at that. Austin is a muscle-bound, intimidating beast in the batter's box, and he put on a convincing power display after coming over from the Yankees last summer, blasting nine home runs in 35 games as a Twin. In 120 career big-league games, the 27-year-old has 24 jacks and a .469 slugging percentage. Duda has a lengthier track record of hitting with 152 home runs in 919 MLB games. He wasn't great last year between Kansas City and Atlanta, slashing .241/.313/.418, but that's respectable and the prior year he launched 30 homers with an .818 OPS. The 33-year-old has a career OPS+ of 118. One other creative addition from the offseason was Wilin Rosario, signed to play in Rochester after a three-year stint in Korea. Rosario was a quality bat for the Rockies before heading to Asia, and was a monster hitter for two years in the KBO (.961 and 1.060 OPS marks) before taking a step back in 2018. He's a longshot to make any impact but the Twins aren't counting on him for much – only to replace the departed Kennys Vargas as a readily available option in Triple-A. On the prospect front, 1B/OF hybrid Rooker is the most immediate possibility and could be up with Minnesota this summer if things break right for him. Trevor Larnach is more or less in the same boat, though he played only right field after being drafted last year. Sano might stop at first for awhile on his way to inevitably ending up at DH. But I believe the long-term vision is for Kirilloff to take over. He's got the bat, and while he has played outfield exclusively up to this point, he is not considered a special defender out there. With current Twins right fielder Max Kepler now locked up long-term, I expect we'll see the rapidly rising Kirilloff start to break in a first baseman's mitt this year. THE BAD Well, let's start here: The admirable present depth at first base is likely to evaporate by the end of spring training, because Austin is out of options (likely to be claimed on waivers) and Duda will undoubtedly opt out if he doesn't make the team, which he won't unless Cron or Nelson Cruz gets hurt. So then you're down to Cron and Sano probably sharing duties at first. I'd like to see Kepler play there too against the occasional tough right-hander, but that remains to be seen. Gonzalez's presence is helpful in the event of a Cron injury/implosion, as he can either fill in at first, or (more likely) at third with Sano sliding over. But none of these players are the kind of well rounded, dominant sluggers you ideally envision at first base. (Sano could be, but hasn't shown it since early 2017.) The Twins will gain more power at the position with Mauer gone, but they'll also lose two critical strengths – top-tier defensive prowess and strong on-base skills. No one is suited to match #7 in those traits, which are especially valuable on a team that features an iffy left side of the infield defensively, and a lineup already heavy on pop and light on OBP. Yeah, these guys the Twins have brought in can all hit the ball hard. But evidence suggests this isn't widely perceived as being all that valuable on its own. That's why Minnesota was able to get Cron on waivers, Austin as a trade toss-in, Duda on a minors deal, Rosario from Korea. THE BOTTOM LINE As far as stopgaps go, the Twins have done pretty well for themselves. Cron is a serviceable – albeit bland – starting option while Austin and Duda provide quality spring depth. There are also a number of players on Minnesota's roster (namely Sano and Gonzalez) who could become frequent plugs at the position, and possibly even regulars. That's the beauty of first base: it's on the far end of the defensive spectrum, meaning almost any capable hitter can end up there. So while there are no great "first base prospects" in the Twins' system right now, per se, there are plenty who could eventually take on that function as big-leaguers, with Kirilloff leading the pack in my mind. While the future at first is uncertain, it's hardly ominous, and the Twins have set themselves up for comfortable stability in the short-term. *** Twins 2019 Position Analysis: Catcher Click here to view the article
  2. Projected Starter: C.J. Cron Likely Backup: Marwin Gonzalez Depth: Miguel Sano, Tyler Austin, Lucas Duda Prospects: Alex Kirilloff, Brent Rooker, Zander Wiel THE GOOD Tasked with finding a replacement for Joe Mauer at first base, the front office decided to gather up a collection of intriguing low-cost parts rather than invest in a bona fide solution. Those hoping for a Paul Goldschmidt type splash were surely disappointed with the approach this past winter, but the Twins did well in patching together some viable options. Already the front office had acquired Austin from New York, in last July's Lance Lynn trade. The lefty-mashing slugger seemed to profile perfectly as half of a platoon with someone like – say – Duda, whom they added on a minor-league deal just ahead of spring training. Proceeding with those two would've been a sound short-term strategy, and perhaps Minnesota had plans along those lines heading into the offseason. But plans quickly changed when Cron became available on waivers in late November. Seeing a late-20s first baseman, with a solid track record, coming off a career year and available for nothing, was too much for the Twins to pass up at one of their clearest areas of need. Cron seems to offer a reasonably high floor along with a limited ceiling. The first part of that equation is valuable and sets him apart from the alternatives. Owner of a .289/.336/.500 line in the minors, he never posted an OPS below .739 in four MLB seasons prior to breaking out with an .816 mark and 30 home runs last year in Tampa. So even if he regresses a little, he probably won't fall too far. As a reference point, Mauer posted a .746 OPS overall in his five seasons as a first baseman. The Twins have lacked a reliable power bat at first base since Morneau suffered his concussion in 2010, so Cron looks like a breath of fresh air in that regard. And if something should go amiss with the projected starter during spring training, Minnesota is well equipped to absorb the blow. Austin and Duda have become fallback plans, and they're good ones at that. Austin is a muscle-bound, intimidating beast in the batter's box, and he put on a convincing power display after coming over from the Yankees last summer, blasting nine home runs in 35 games as a Twin. In 120 career big-league games, the 27-year-old has 24 jacks and a .469 slugging percentage. Duda has a lengthier track record of hitting with 152 home runs in 919 MLB games. He wasn't great last year between Kansas City and Atlanta, slashing .241/.313/.418, but that's respectable and the prior year he launched 30 homers with an .818 OPS. The 33-year-old has a career OPS+ of 118. One other creative addition from the offseason was Wilin Rosario, signed to play in Rochester after a three-year stint in Korea. Rosario was a quality bat for the Rockies before heading to Asia, and was a monster hitter for two years in the KBO (.961 and 1.060 OPS marks) before taking a step back in 2018. He's a longshot to make any impact but the Twins aren't counting on him for much – only to replace the departed Kennys Vargas as a readily available option in Triple-A. On the prospect front, 1B/OF hybrid Rooker is the most immediate possibility and could be up with Minnesota this summer if things break right for him. Trevor Larnach is more or less in the same boat, though he played only right field after being drafted last year. Sano might stop at first for awhile on his way to inevitably ending up at DH. But I believe the long-term vision is for Kirilloff to take over. He's got the bat, and while he has played outfield exclusively up to this point, he is not considered a special defender out there. With current Twins right fielder Max Kepler now locked up long-term, I expect we'll see the rapidly rising Kirilloff start to break in a first baseman's mitt this year. THE BAD Well, let's start here: The admirable present depth at first base is likely to evaporate by the end of spring training, because Austin is out of options (likely to be claimed on waivers) and Duda will undoubtedly opt out if he doesn't make the team, which he won't unless Cron or Nelson Cruz gets hurt. So then you're down to Cron and Sano probably sharing duties at first. I'd like to see Kepler play there too against the occasional tough right-hander, but that remains to be seen. Gonzalez's presence is helpful in the event of a Cron injury/implosion, as he can either fill in at first, or (more likely) at third with Sano sliding over. But none of these players are the kind of well rounded, dominant sluggers you ideally envision at first base. (Sano could be, but hasn't shown it since early 2017.) The Twins will gain more power at the position with Mauer gone, but they'll also lose two critical strengths – top-tier defensive prowess and strong on-base skills. No one is suited to match #7 in those traits, which are especially valuable on a team that features an iffy left side of the infield defensively, and a lineup already heavy on pop and light on OBP. Yeah, these guys the Twins have brought in can all hit the ball hard. But evidence suggests this isn't widely perceived as being all that valuable on its own. That's why Minnesota was able to get Cron on waivers, Austin as a trade toss-in, Duda on a minors deal, Rosario from Korea. THE BOTTOM LINE As far as stopgaps go, the Twins have done pretty well for themselves. Cron is a serviceable – albeit bland – starting option while Austin and Duda provide quality spring depth. There are also a number of players on Minnesota's roster (namely Sano and Gonzalez) who could become frequent plugs at the position, and possibly even regulars. That's the beauty of first base: it's on the far end of the defensive spectrum, meaning almost any capable hitter can end up there. So while there are no great "first base prospects" in the Twins' system right now, per se, there are plenty who could eventually take on that function as big-leaguers, with Kirilloff leading the pack in my mind. While the future at first is uncertain, it's hardly ominous, and the Twins have set themselves up for comfortable stability in the short-term. *** Twins 2019 Position Analysis: Catcher
  3. https://twitter.com/Hey_Yo_Its_GMan/status/1106268868765462536 Baseball’s new rules are certainly going to take some adjustment time. The three-batter minimum for pitchers is going to be one of the toughest adjustments but there are some ways to avoid the problem. An end of an inning can also signal the end of a player’s time on the mound. This could be helpful for the LOOGY (left-handed one out guy). If there are two outs in the inning, come in and get the out you need, and your day will be done. “I think without question it is the most significant strategic on-field change relative to the changes that were announced,” Falvey said. “That one’s going to be interesting for a subset of players. We’ve all long thought that there might be a player that’s a left-on-left situational guy and you worry a little less about his exposure against right-handed hitters. Well, that will change.” There are going to be situational players that are hurt by this rule. Front offices are going to have to change roster construction and managers are going to have to change what they do on the field. I don’t like that it takes away a strategy from teams. I also don’t think it will save that much time, since the ultimate goal is to speed up the pace of play. https://twitter.com/StevoFromSD/status/1106391527973113858 Minnesota is slowly whittling down the roster. Over the weekend, Tyler Duffey was optioned to Triple-A and Chase De Jong was reassigned to minor league camp. Monday saw Tomas Telis, Brian Navarreto, and Randy Cesar sent to the backfields. This left 41 players in camp including 21 pitchers. There are also 10 non-roster invitees among the 41 remaining players. If I was creating the roster today… Rotation (5): Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda, Martin Perez Bullpen (7): Trevor May, Blake Parker, Taylor Rogers, Trevor Hildenberger, Adalberto Mejia, Matt Magill, Addison Reed Catchers (3): Jason Castro, Mitch Garver, Willians Astudillo Infielders (5): CJ Cron, Jonathan Schoop, Jorge Polanco, Ehire Adrianza, Marwin Gonzalez Outfielders (4): Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jake Cave DH (1): Nelson Cruz This will leave some players like Michael Reed open to waivers. Reed has the possibility of latching on with another team as a fourth outfielder, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he made it through waivers. https://twitter.com/nater79a/status/1106990948133883904 On the offensive side of things, Adam Rosales has been having a great spring. Tom wrote about him as a possible winner of the Sire of Fort Myers. He’s 35-years old and the Twins seem to have some younger options ahead of him on the depth chart. Lucas Duda could have a shot too, but CJ Cron and Tyler Austin are ahead of him. The most likely non-roster choice might be on the mound. Ryne Harper has been outstanding this spring and Minnesota’s bullpen could offer him an opportunity. A player like Trevor Hildenberger has options left. Addison Reed has seen some rough spots this spring. Harper has certainly looked like he has earned a big-league job. https://twitter.com/dwj1965/status/1106987052887928834 Things are definitely going to be different in the Twins clubhouse this season. Spring training already saw some of those changes with workouts and schedules changing. Baldelli is not that far removed from his own career. This should help him relate to his players. He’s also coming from a Tampa organization that was very forward-thinking. As far as leaders in the clubhouse, Nelson Cruz was signed to fill some of that veteran leadership role. He’s been one of the best home run hitters of the last decade and he brings instant credibility. Kyle Gibson is a strong leader in the rotation, and I think he could serve in that capacity for the entire pitching staff. Minnesota is entering the Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano era, so it would be nice to see them take on leadership roles as well. What are your thoughts on this week’s questions? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  4. There are very few spots up for grabs on the 25-man roster, but there are still plenty of players who have a lot to gain from having strong spring showings. This is their chance to not only be seen by top members of the Twins’ staff but also the other 29 MLB teams, overseas and independent leagues. So who is eligible to be named Sire of Fort Myers? Anybody who’s not on the 40-man roster, even guys with several years of MLB service time, and anyone on the 40-man roster who hasn’t made their MLB debut also qualifies. This is not about identifying the player most likely to break camp with the team, or the player who has the highest upside. It’s all about performance. The mantra this time of year is “spring training stats don’t matter.” That’s definitely true in the case of established major leaguers, but there are some players who have something to gain from a strong spring. Top Hitters Ryan LaMarre was crowned the inaugural Sire of Fort Myers after hitting .475/.511/.775 (1.286 OPS) in 45 plate appearances. It’d be crazy to expect anyone to replicate those video game numbers, right? Well … Adam Rosales, 35, IF .385/.429/.962 (1.390 OPS) 10-for-26, 3 2B, 4 HR, 2 BB, 3 K Rosales has been bouncing around as a Quad-A type player for years now. He’s seen major league time with six different teams over the past 11 seasons. He’s shown good power with the Twins, both at the plate and in regard to his throwing arm. Most of his time has been spent at third base, but he’s also played some second and even got a start at shortstop. Get a load of that slugging percentage. Wow. He’s shown almost no pop in the majors (.365 career slugging), but Rosales did hit 18 home runs in 114 games for Cleveland’s Triple-A team last year. The Twins have no shortage of multi-positional players in camp, or whatever Rocco Baldelli prefers to call them, so it’s likely Rosales is playing for an opportunity elsewhere every bit as much as he’s trying to make a good impression on the Twins. But it’s fair to point out that it was almost impossible to imagine Ryan LaMarre making the Opening Day roster at this point last season, so anything’s possible. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1105999332149465094 Lucas Duda, 33, 1B .333/.448/.458 (.907 OPS) 8-for-24. 3 2B, 5 BB, 9 K I tabbed Dude as the hands-down favorite in my Sire of Fort Myers preview, and while he trails a few other players, he has not disappointed. Duda has a lot of pressure on him this spring, a poor performance could have been very damaging to his hopes of landing on a major league roster this season. It’s a bit difficult to see Duda cracking the Twins’ Opening Day roster, but he’s done a nice job at showcasing his skills to other teams that may be searching for a lefty bat. LaMonte Wade, 25, OF .296/.375/.556 (.931 OPS) 8-for-27, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 3 BB, 5 K How great is this to see? After struggling in his first taste of Triple A toward the end of last season, Wade has put a positive spin on the start to his 2019 season. He was optioned to Rochester after Tuesday’s game, but I felt it was still well worth mentioning his efforts to this point. Honorable mentions among hitters include Nick Gordon, Brian Navarreto and Jimmy Kerrigan. Top Pitchers The bullpen is the biggest question mark in terms of the major league club. It seems like the guys on the outside looking in smell blood in the water. Ryne Harper, 29, RHP 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 39.1 K% 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K Harper always put up great numbers in the minor leagues but never could find an opportunity even above Double A for years. He came up in the Braves’ system before being dealt to Seattle in December of 2015. After a great first season in the Mariners’ system, Harper finally appeared to be getting his shot. He was called up May 28, 2017. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to pitch and was sent back to Triple A just three days later. Harper became a minor league free agent after that season and signed with the Twins. In 65 innings between Chattanooga and Rochester, Harper posted a 3.60 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. What really jumps off the page is his sterling strikeout-to-walk ratio of 8.60. He averaged 11.9 K/9 while issuing just 1.4 BB/9. The Twins brought him back on another minors deal this offseason. Including winter leagues, Harper has pitched in more than 300 minor league games in his career. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1105681142596931584 Ryan Eades, 27, RHP 0.00 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 35.0 K% 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K We go from a former 37th-round pick in Harper to the Twins’ second-round pick from the 2013 Draft. Eades has been pitching primarily out of the bullpen the past two seasons and really took a step forward in 2018. Over his final 30 1/3 innings, Eades gave up just three earned runs (0.89 ERA), struck out 34 batters and walked just five (6.8 K:BB ratio). https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1102405680819027969 Preston Guilmet, 31, RHP 1.50 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 39.1 K% 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K Guilmet has 27 big league appearances under his belt, spreading those across six organizations. That’s a lot of cups of coffee. He was drafted twice, traded once and selected off waivers five times. In all, he’s pitched for 22 different teams in his professional career, including one in Japan (2017 with the Yakult Swallows). He had a 1.60 ERA, 0.65 WHIP and 9.9 K/9 in 33 2/3 Triple-A innings last season. Mike Morin, 27, RHP 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 27.3 K% 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K Here’s another reliever who’s bounced around quite a bit. Morin had a great rookie year in 2014 as a 23-year-old with the Angels, pitching to a 2.90 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 59 innings. Things haven’t gone as well since. He was claimed off waivers by the Royals, then again by the Mariners. He made three appearances with Seattle but spent most of the season in Triple A, where he had a 3.86 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Morin was born in Andover but played his high school ball in Kansas before attending the University of North Carolina. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1102314523569074178 For more on Morin, La Velle E. Neal III wrote a nice profile on him and his changeup over at the Star Tribune. Honorable mentions among pitchers include Justin Nicolino, Jake Reed and Tim Collins. So there you have it, the top contenders for 2019 Sire of Fort Myers as we head down the stretch. Coronation day will be in a few short weeks.
  5. We’re only two weeks from Opening Day. Can you believe it? We’ve reached the point of spring training where the rosters are starting to get trimmed down. Now 18 games into the spring slate, it’s a good time to check in and get a pulse on who the top contenders for Sire of Fort Myers are. We have a fun field this year, topped by a couple guys trying to keep the dream alive.There are very few spots up for grabs on the 25-man roster, but there are still plenty of players who have a lot to gain from having strong spring showings. This is their chance to not only be seen by top members of the Twins’ staff but also the other 29 MLB teams, overseas and independent leagues. So who is eligible to be named Sire of Fort Myers? Anybody who’s not on the 40-man roster, even guys with several years of MLB service time, and anyone on the 40-man roster who hasn’t made their MLB debut also qualifies. This is not about identifying the player most likely to break camp with the team, or the player who has the highest upside. It’s all about performance. The mantra this time of year is “spring training stats don’t matter.” That’s definitely true in the case of established major leaguers, but there are some players who have something to gain from a strong spring. Top Hitters Ryan LaMarre was crowned the inaugural Sire of Fort Myers after hitting .475/.511/.775 (1.286 OPS) in 45 plate appearances. It’d be crazy to expect anyone to replicate those video game numbers, right? Well … Adam Rosales, 35, IF .385/.429/.962 (1.390 OPS) 10-for-26, 3 2B, 4 HR, 2 BB, 3 K Rosales has been bouncing around as a Quad-A type player for years now. He’s seen major league time with six different teams over the past 11 seasons. He’s shown good power with the Twins, both at the plate and in regard to his throwing arm. Most of his time has been spent at third base, but he’s also played some second and even got a start at shortstop. Get a load of that slugging percentage. Wow. He’s shown almost no pop in the majors (.365 career slugging), but Rosales did hit 18 home runs in 114 games for Cleveland’s Triple-A team last year. The Twins have no shortage of multi-positional players in camp, or whatever Rocco Baldelli prefers to call them, so it’s likely Rosales is playing for an opportunity elsewhere every bit as much as he’s trying to make a good impression on the Twins. But it’s fair to point out that it was almost impossible to imagine Ryan LaMarre making the Opening Day roster at this point last season, so anything’s possible. For more on Morin, La Velle E. Neal III wrote a nice profile on him and his changeup over at the Star Tribune. Honorable mentions among pitchers include Justin Nicolino, Jake Reed and Tim Collins. So there you have it, the top contenders for 2019 Sire of Fort Myers as we head down the stretch. Coronation day will be in a few short weeks. Click here to view the article
  6. Some quick trivia for you on a Thursday: A show of hands… Yes, raise your hands, even if you’re at the office. #1 - When the Twins and Red Wings announced that they had signed right-handed pitcher Preston Guilmet, had you heard of him? #2 - Ryne Harper is having an incredible spring training for the Twins. Had you heard of him when the Twins announced that he was a non-roster invitation to big league league spring training. Bonus Question: Did you know that he was in the Twins organization in 2018 too? Did you remember that he was a Southern League All Star last year for the Chattanooga Lookouts and spent some time in Rochester?Every spring, every major-league team announces that they have signed a whole bunch of minor league free agents. By definition, most of them have spent at least six or seven years in professional baseball. Many of them have some big-league service time. Sure, there are major-league veterans like 35-year-old infielder Adam Rosales who has played in parts of 11 big league seasons who get minor league deals with spring training invitations. He debuts in 2008 with Cincinnati. He has played for Oakland (two stints), Texas, San Diego, Arizona and Cleveland. He signed with the Twins this year hoping to make it seven teams in 12 big league seasons. He’s done everything he could so far in spring training, hitting .385 and tied for the team lead with four home runs. He has an opt-out before the season starts. Lucas Duda is a 33-year-old first baseman in Twins camp as a non-roster player. He spent a lot of good years with the Mets before spending time with the Rays, Royals and Braves. He’s got nine major-league seasons under his belt and has hit 152 home runs in his career. He has two 30-home runs seasons under his belt, including in 2017. This spring, he is hitting .333 with three doubles for the Twins yet likely finds himself behind CJ Cron and Tyler Austin on the depth chart. -------------------------------------------------------------- That brings us back to Preston Guilmet. Did you raise your hand when I asked if you had ever heard of him? Will it surprise you as much as it surprised me when I looked and saw that he has played in the big leagues for six (SIX) teams. Don’t get me wrong. For those six teams, he has a combined total of 27 games pitched and 33 total innings. But he has received The Call from Cleveland (4 games), Baltimore (10 games), Tampa Bay (3 games), Milwaukee (2 games), and both St. Louis (2 games) and Toronto (6 games) in 2018. Even die-hard fans of those six teams may have to dig into their memories to remember. Guilmet is grateful for each opportunity, “I think there’s value in what I do, which is nice because other teams recognize that because it keeps me in this game and keeps me playing. I’m thankful for all the opportunities. I’ve always just kind of been kind of a keep-my-head-down guy, work hard, be a good teammate, go out there and compete. There’s always positives. Just happy to be able to play this long. Guilmet signed early in the free agent season and hopes to get another big-league opportunity. So far this spring, he has given up one run in six innings (1.50 ERA). He has walked one and struck out eight batters. So why the Twins? Guilmet had several options for where he could have signed, and may have had even more had he decided to wait a little longer in the offseason. “Anytime when you’re in that situation (free agency), you’re looking for the right fit. I think this is a great organization from guys that had been here that I know, everybody speaks highly of the Twins so it sounded like a good place to go and get a solid opportunity. Then the fact that they came after me early in the offseason, means they at least have a plan. That always speaks volumes as well.” His goals for 2019 probably won’t surprise you. “Make it back to the big leagues and find some success there. Getting a shot to get some innings and find some success there.” Mike Morin has pitched a lot in the big leagues, and he’s just 27 years old. He debuted with the Angels in 2014 and pitched in 60 games. The next season he pitched in 47 games, and in 2016, he pitched in another 60 games. The last two seasons, he has pitched in a combined 19 games between the Angels, Royals and Mariners, in large part due to injury. He comes to spring training, hoping to show that he is healthy and ready to get back to a bullpen role in the big leagues. For Morin, there were a number of factors, but a “family” dynamic was a big part of that decision.Morin was born in the Twin Cities and moved to Kansas City when he was very young. His dad is one of seven kids, so he still has a lot of family in the Twin Cities and says it “has always been a home away from home for me.” This is really his first opportunity to be a free agent, and he took the opportunity to heart. “First time being able to control my destiny, per se. I actually wanted kind of a family dynamic. My fiance is from southern California, so when I was the Angels I was able to spend time with her and her family there. The first time I got Designated, I was claimed by Kansas City, which is where I’m from. That was really good to sign a contract to play with the Royals, which was very cool. Then when I got designated, I got picked up by Seattle. So basically it was the first time I was on a team where I was away from people that I knew. I didn’t realize how important that was. So when I was looking this year, some of the offers that I had were pretty good. But when the Twins came, it was a no doubter for me. First and foremost, it is an opportunity to try to help the team out, but then on a deeper level I was born in the Twin Cities. I have some aunts and uncles and my god parents right there.That actually played a pretty big factor for me. As the season approaches, Morin looks toward helping the Twins. “Obviously my goal would be to make the Opening Day roster and have an amazing season, but we’ll see how it shakes out. There is a business side to it. But I’m trying to make that decision as hard on them as possible.” So far, so good. Morin has thrown six shutout innings and given up just two hits. He has walked one and struck out six batters. Most important, however, for Morin right now is to stay healthy and give himself a chance. “I feel like at points in my career, I can really help a team out, so my biggest goal is to be healthy, and I feel healthy, and I think that good things happen when I’m healthy. When I’m healthy, usually good things happen.” And then there is Wynston Sawyer. The catcher/first baseman signed with the Twins before the 2018 season and after splitting 2018 between Chattanooga and Rochester, he re-signed with the Twins and received an invitation to big league spring training. “First off, I like the organization. I’m comfortable here. There are a lot of good people here. Obviously, opportunity. It’s a place where, if you perform, you have a chance to be called up. I knew people here and coming back a second time, and coming into spring, seeing familiar faces was a nice thing.” While he is primarily a catcher, he has played a lot of first base in the past. He noted that he that he played 80 games at first base in 2015. “I actually feel pretty comfortable there. Honestly, I’ll play anywhere, but yes, playing catcher and being able to play other positions is beneficial.” His goal for 2019? “Stay healthy. Number one, stay healthy because when you’re healthy, you’re able to be yourself out there.” For Rosales and Duda, it’s about getting another opportunity in the big leagues. For Preston Guilmet, the goal is to make a Twins uniform his seventh in the big leagues. For Mike Morin, it’s about being healthy and getting back to his old self, as well as getting to play in front of a lot of family. For a guy like Sawyer, who was limited to just 36 games a year ago between Chattanooga and Rochester, it’s about staying on the field and hopefully getting The Call that every minor league player dreams of. Click here to view the article
  7. Every spring, every major-league team announces that they have signed a whole bunch of minor league free agents. By definition, most of them have spent at least six or seven years in professional baseball. Many of them have some big-league service time. Sure, there are major-league veterans like 35-year-old infielder Adam Rosales who has played in parts of 11 big league seasons who get minor league deals with spring training invitations. He debuts in 2008 with Cincinnati. He has played for Oakland (two stints), Texas, San Diego, Arizona and Cleveland. He signed with the Twins this year hoping to make it seven teams in 12 big league seasons. He’s done everything he could so far in spring training, hitting .385 and tied for the team lead with four home runs. He has an opt-out before the season starts. Lucas Duda is a 33-year-old first baseman in Twins camp as a non-roster player. He spent a lot of good years with the Mets before spending time with the Rays, Royals and Braves. He’s got nine major-league seasons under his belt and has hit 152 home runs in his career. He has two 30-home runs seasons under his belt, including in 2017. This spring, he is hitting .333 with three doubles for the Twins yet likely finds himself behind CJ Cron and Tyler Austin on the depth chart. -------------------------------------------------------------- That brings us back to Preston Guilmet. Did you raise your hand when I asked if you had ever heard of him? Will it surprise you as much as it surprised me when I looked and saw that he has played in the big leagues for six (SIX) teams. Don’t get me wrong. For those six teams, he has a combined total of 27 games pitched and 33 total innings. But he has received The Call from Cleveland (4 games), Baltimore (10 games), Tampa Bay (3 games), Milwaukee (2 games), and both St. Louis (2 games) and Toronto (6 games) in 2018. Even die-hard fans of those six teams may have to dig into their memories to remember. Guilmet is grateful for each opportunity, “I think there’s value in what I do, which is nice because other teams recognize that because it keeps me in this game and keeps me playing. I’m thankful for all the opportunities. I’ve always just kind of been kind of a keep-my-head-down guy, work hard, be a good teammate, go out there and compete. There’s always positives. Just happy to be able to play this long. Guilmet signed early in the free agent season and hopes to get another big-league opportunity. So far this spring, he has given up one run in six innings (1.50 ERA). He has walked one and struck out eight batters. So why the Twins? Guilmet had several options for where he could have signed, and may have had even more had he decided to wait a little longer in the offseason. “Anytime when you’re in that situation (free agency), you’re looking for the right fit. I think this is a great organization from guys that had been here that I know, everybody speaks highly of the Twins so it sounded like a good place to go and get a solid opportunity. Then the fact that they came after me early in the offseason, means they at least have a plan. That always speaks volumes as well.” His goals for 2019 probably won’t surprise you. “Make it back to the big leagues and find some success there. Getting a shot to get some innings and find some success there.” Mike Morin has pitched a lot in the big leagues, and he’s just 27 years old. He debuted with the Angels in 2014 and pitched in 60 games. The next season he pitched in 47 games, and in 2016, he pitched in another 60 games. The last two seasons, he has pitched in a combined 19 games between the Angels, Royals and Mariners, in large part due to injury. He comes to spring training, hoping to show that he is healthy and ready to get back to a bullpen role in the big leagues. For Morin, there were a number of factors, but a “family” dynamic was a big part of that decision.Morin was born in the Twin Cities and moved to Kansas City when he was very young. His dad is one of seven kids, so he still has a lot of family in the Twin Cities and says it “has always been a home away from home for me.” This is really his first opportunity to be a free agent, and he took the opportunity to heart. “First time being able to control my destiny, per se. I actually wanted kind of a family dynamic. My fiance is from southern California, so when I was the Angels I was able to spend time with her and her family there. The first time I got Designated, I was claimed by Kansas City, which is where I’m from. That was really good to sign a contract to play with the Royals, which was very cool. Then when I got designated, I got picked up by Seattle. So basically it was the first time I was on a team where I was away from people that I knew. I didn’t realize how important that was. So when I was looking this year, some of the offers that I had were pretty good. But when the Twins came, it was a no doubter for me. First and foremost, it is an opportunity to try to help the team out, but then on a deeper level I was born in the Twin Cities. I have some aunts and uncles and my god parents right there.That actually played a pretty big factor for me. As the season approaches, Morin looks toward helping the Twins. “Obviously my goal would be to make the Opening Day roster and have an amazing season, but we’ll see how it shakes out. There is a business side to it. But I’m trying to make that decision as hard on them as possible.” So far, so good. Morin has thrown six shutout innings and given up just two hits. He has walked one and struck out six batters. Most important, however, for Morin right now is to stay healthy and give himself a chance. “I feel like at points in my career, I can really help a team out, so my biggest goal is to be healthy, and I feel healthy, and I think that good things happen when I’m healthy. When I’m healthy, usually good things happen.” And then there is Wynston Sawyer. The catcher/first baseman signed with the Twins before the 2018 season and after splitting 2018 between Chattanooga and Rochester, he re-signed with the Twins and received an invitation to big league spring training. “First off, I like the organization. I’m comfortable here. There are a lot of good people here. Obviously, opportunity. It’s a place where, if you perform, you have a chance to be called up. I knew people here and coming back a second time, and coming into spring, seeing familiar faces was a nice thing.” While he is primarily a catcher, he has played a lot of first base in the past. He noted that he that he played 80 games at first base in 2015. “I actually feel pretty comfortable there. Honestly, I’ll play anywhere, but yes, playing catcher and being able to play other positions is beneficial.” His goal for 2019? “Stay healthy. Number one, stay healthy because when you’re healthy, you’re able to be yourself out there.” For Rosales and Duda, it’s about getting another opportunity in the big leagues. For Preston Guilmet, the goal is to make a Twins uniform his seventh in the big leagues. For Mike Morin, it’s about being healthy and getting back to his old self, as well as getting to play in front of a lot of family. For a guy like Sawyer, who was limited to just 36 games a year ago between Chattanooga and Rochester, it’s about staying on the field and hopefully getting The Call that every minor league player dreams of.
  8. So this spring, we will set out to identify those players who have the most to gain from posting impressive stat lines and eventually crown one of them Sire of Fort Myers. I know what some of you are thinking, “really, are we that desperate for baseball we’re going to keep an eye on a bunch of has-beens and never-beens?” Well first off, yes. It’s February and the snow piled around my house is taller than Michael Pineda, so I am that desperate for baseball. Secondly, how dare you speak ill of Sire Ryan LaMarre, he who smote the Clevelanders in the Battle of Puerto Rico. Lastly, this is like a really, really serious honor, OK? Show some respect. Last year was really the perfect time to debut this idea. Coming into spring, who could have seen LaMarre heading north with the Twins? Here’s part of what I wrote in my preview last year: “But, just to be clear, these guys' chances of breaking camp with the Twins are anywhere from remote to downright unthinkable.” He did it. Ryan LaMarre dreamed the impossible dream and made the team. That was crazy. So I’m not ruling anything out this time around. Who are the top contenders for this year’s crown? Let's go over who’s eligible first. Anyone who’s not on the 40-man roster is eligible, as well as the few players who are on the 40 man but haven’t made their MLB debut. So before anybody asks, no, Willians Astudillo (a 2018 Sire of Fort Myers honorable mention) is not eligible this year. Just a reminder, this isn't about identifying the player most likely to make the team, it's simply honoring the player who had the most impressive spring training performance. Without further ado, here’s who I think are the top 10 contenders for 2019 Sire of Fort Myers, in alphabetical order: Randy Cesar, 24, 3B/1B This guy seems interesting. Cesar hit .296/.348/.428 (.777 OPS) for Houston’s Double-A team and had a 42-game hitting streak last year. His BABIP dropped from an insane .444 through his first 64 games (which coincided with the end of that impressive streak) to just .277 over his final 52 games. So maybe his success was a complete mirage, but he’s a fun guy to bring in on a minor league deal. Cesar split time between third base and first base last year. Tim Collins, 29, LHP Remember this guy? Collins was a long-time member of the Royals’ bullpen before he had to suffer through not one but two Tommy John surgeries. He worked his way back to the big leagues for the first time since 2014, pitching to a 4.37 ERA in 22 2/3 innings with the Nationals last year. His fastball velocity was pretty much back to where it was when he was with Kansas City, averaging 92.5 mph. Chase De Jong, 25, RHP The Twins removed De Jong from the 40-man roster earlier this offseason, but he cleared waivers. Acquired in the trade that sent Zach Duke to Seattle, De Jong barely hits 90 mph but manages to induce a fair amount of weak contact. He had a 3.57 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Twins, 3.20 ERA in 39 1/3 innings with Rochester and a 3.80 mark in 120 2/3 innings with the Mariners’ Double-A team. Lucas Duda, 33, 1B Duda is hands down the favorite this year. He boasts a career 118 OPS+ and has hit 27 or more home runs three times in the big leagues. They’re trending in two different directions, but Duda’s resume is really even more impressive than that of projected starting first baseman C.J. Cron. The past few years have not been kind to one-dimensional players such as Duda. The fact he had to settle on a minor league deal illustrates that, but he still hit .264/.336/.477 (813 OPS) against right-handers last season. Ryan Eades, 27, RHP Eades was drafted in the second round in 2013 but his prospect shine faded fairly quickly. Last year was his second season pitching primarily out of the bullpen. Something clicked. After averaging 6.7 K/9 previously, Eades posted a 10.4 K/9 in 2018. He finished on a particularly high note, giving up just five earned runs over his final 30 1/3 innings (0.89 ERA) while holding opposing hitters to a .198/.244/.225 line, earning a promotion to Rochester in the process. Nick Gordon, 23, SS/2B Probably the most recognizable name on this list to Twins fans, Gordon’s stock dropped some after an uninspiring first showing in Triple A. In 164 games at Double A, however, Gordon hit .285/.350/.436 (.787 OPS) with 39 doubles, 11 triples and 14 home runs. He also stole 20 bases during his time in Chattanooga, had 86 RBIs and scored 102 runs. Even in a down season, Gordon posted his best OPS against left-handed pitching (.636) since his draft year. Mike Morin, 27, RHP Morin was a mainstay in the Angels’ bullpen from 2014-17, pitching to a 4.49 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 3.42 K:BB ratio over 177 appearances. He spent the majority of last season with Seattle’s Triple-A team, where he had a 3.86 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, though he also pitched in three games for the Mariners. Morin’s fastball sits 91.5 mph but he mixes in a changeup about a third of the time and relies on his slider for roughly a quarter of his pitches. I think he’ll get plenty of looks this spring, making him a strong contender for the crown. Morin was born in Andover but grew up in Kansas. Jake Reed, 26, RHP FREE REED! This guy has a 1.92 ERA in 89 career Triple-A innings. Considering some of the other guys the Twins have trotted out in their bullpen the past few years it’s pretty incredible he hasn’t had an opportunity to make his debut. The 26-year-old right-hander struck out 50 batters in 47 2/3 innings for Rochester last year. In 246 2/3 career innings in the minor leagues, Reed has surrendered just seven home runs. He’s faced 576 right-handed hitters and they’ve taken him deep just four times. That’s crazy. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1099458324037332992 Lewis Thorpe, 23, LHP The 2018 season was a great building block for Thorpe. He reached a career high 129 2/3 innings, excelling in his first regular time in Double-A to the point where he earned a late-season promotion up to Rochester. Altogether, the Aussie lefty had a 3.54 ERA and 1.24 WHIP while averaging 10.9 K/9 against just 2.5 BB/9. That works out to an outstanding 4.36 K:BB ratio. The Twins have, understandably, been a little careful with him, but I wonder if they may loosen the reins a bit this year. LaMonte Wade, 25, OF It was nowhere near the level of Gordon’s drop off, but Wade slumped some in his first shot in Triple-A too. It was the first time he had more strikeouts than walks, which is pretty incredible in today’s age. But allow me to make the same kind of presentation we did with Gordon. In 163 career games in Double-A, Wade hit .294/.396/.418 (.815) with 14 home runs, 102 walks and just 91 strikeouts. He scored 104 times and drove in 94. He’s played all over the outfield, but seems to have settled in as a left fielder. Here are the other non-roster invitees I didn’t include in the top 10: Preston Guilmet, Ryne Harper, Justin Nicolino, Brian Navarreto, Ben Rortvedt, Wynston Sawyer, Tomas Telis, Luis Arraez, Randy Cesar, Royce Lewis, Adam Rosales, Alex Kirilloff, Luke Raley and Brent Rooker. Just a couple quick notes on those included on that list above: I’d expect Lewis and Kirilloff to be among the first cuts. It wouldn’t surprise me if Arraez turned some heads, he just missed my top 10. Harper was another guy who just missed, he had an insane 8.60 K:BB ratio down on the farm for the Twins last year (65 IP, 86 K, 10 BB). Guilmet's another guy who could've very easliy been named in the top 10. He has some ugly MLB numbers but a 2.45 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 9.9 K/9 in 265 career innings at Triple A. Rosales is 35 now, but he’s coming off of somewhat of a power outburst, as he popped 18 home runs for Cleveland’s Triple-A team last year. There will be other minor leaguers who work their way in from time to time, especially on the days where the Twins have split squad games on the schedule, but I wouldn’t anticipate them getting enough playing time to be in contention for this most prestigious honor. So what do you think? I’ve tabbed Duda as the favorite among hitters and Morin among pitchers. Will anybody give either of those guys a run for their money?
  9. The Twins opened spring training play this afternoon, meaning it’s time to start searching for the 2019 Sire of Fort Myers. You generally shouldn’t pay any attention to stats this time of year, but there’s always a population of players who have a ton to gain from putting together an impressive spring. This is their opportunity to show the Twins coaching staff what they can do, not to mention the other teams across baseball.So this spring, we will set out to identify those players who have the most to gain from posting impressive stat lines and eventually crown one of them Sire of Fort Myers. I know what some of you are thinking, “really, are we that desperate for baseball we’re going to keep an eye on a bunch of has-beens and never-beens?” Well first off, yes. It’s February and the snow piled around my house is taller than Michael Pineda, so I am that desperate for baseball. Secondly, how dare you speak ill of Sire Ryan LaMarre, he who smote the Clevelanders in the Battle of Puerto Rico. Lastly, this is like a really, really serious honor, OK? Show some respect. Last year was really the perfect time to debut this idea. Coming into spring, who could have seen LaMarre heading north with the Twins? Here’s part of what I wrote in my preview last year: “But, just to be clear, these guys' chances of breaking camp with the Twins are anywhere from remote to downright unthinkable.” He did it. Ryan LaMarre dreamed the impossible dream and made the team. That was crazy. So I’m not ruling anything out this time around. Who are the top contenders for this year’s crown? Let's go over who’s eligible first. Anyone who’s not on the 40-man roster is eligible, as well as the few players who are on the 40 man but haven’t made their MLB debut. So before anybody asks, no, Willians Astudillo (a 2018 Sire of Fort Myers honorable mention) is not eligible this year. Just a reminder, this isn't about identifying the player most likely to make the team, it's simply honoring the player who had the most impressive spring training performance. Without further ado, here’s who I think are the top 10 contenders for 2019 Sire of Fort Myers, in alphabetical order: Randy Cesar, 24, 3B/1B This guy seems interesting. Cesar hit .296/.348/.428 (.777 OPS) for Houston’s Double-A team and had a 42-game hitting streak last year. His BABIP dropped from an insane .444 through his first 64 games (which coincided with the end of that impressive streak) to just .277 over his final 52 games. So maybe his success was a complete mirage, but he’s a fun guy to bring in on a minor league deal. Cesar split time between third base and first base last year. Tim Collins, 29, LHP Remember this guy? Collins was a long-time member of the Royals’ bullpen before he had to suffer through not one but two Tommy John surgeries. He worked his way back to the big leagues for the first time since 2014, pitching to a 4.37 ERA in 22 2/3 innings with the Nationals last year. His fastball velocity was pretty much back to where it was when he was with Kansas City, averaging 92.5 mph. Chase De Jong, 25, RHP The Twins removed De Jong from the 40-man roster earlier this offseason, but he cleared waivers. Acquired in the trade that sent Zach Duke to Seattle, De Jong barely hits 90 mph but manages to induce a fair amount of weak contact. He had a 3.57 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Twins, 3.20 ERA in 39 1/3 innings with Rochester and a 3.80 mark in 120 2/3 innings with the Mariners’ Double-A team. Lucas Duda, 33, 1B Duda is hands down the favorite this year. He boasts a career 118 OPS+ and has hit 27 or more home runs three times in the big leagues. They’re trending in two different directions, but Duda’s resume is really even more impressive than that of projected starting first baseman C.J. Cron. The past few years have not been kind to one-dimensional players such as Duda. The fact he had to settle on a minor league deal illustrates that, but he still hit .264/.336/.477 (813 OPS) against right-handers last season. Ryan Eades, 27, RHP Eades was drafted in the second round in 2013 but his prospect shine faded fairly quickly. Last year was his second season pitching primarily out of the bullpen. Something clicked. After averaging 6.7 K/9 previously, Eades posted a 10.4 K/9 in 2018. He finished on a particularly high note, giving up just five earned runs over his final 30 1/3 innings (0.89 ERA) while holding opposing hitters to a .198/.244/.225 line, earning a promotion to Rochester in the process. Nick Gordon, 23, SS/2B Probably the most recognizable name on this list to Twins fans, Gordon’s stock dropped some after an uninspiring first showing in Triple A. In 164 games at Double A, however, Gordon hit .285/.350/.436 (.787 OPS) with 39 doubles, 11 triples and 14 home runs. He also stole 20 bases during his time in Chattanooga, had 86 RBIs and scored 102 runs. Even in a down season, Gordon posted his best OPS against left-handed pitching (.636) since his draft year. Mike Morin, 27, RHP Morin was a mainstay in the Angels’ bullpen from 2014-17, pitching to a 4.49 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 3.42 K:BB ratio over 177 appearances. He spent the majority of last season with Seattle’s Triple-A team, where he had a 3.86 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, though he also pitched in three games for the Mariners. Morin’s fastball sits 91.5 mph but he mixes in a changeup about a third of the time and relies on his slider for roughly a quarter of his pitches. I think he’ll get plenty of looks this spring, making him a strong contender for the crown. Morin was born in Andover but grew up in Kansas. Jake Reed, 26, RHP FREE REED! This guy has a 1.92 ERA in 89 career Triple-A innings. Considering some of the other guys the Twins have trotted out in their bullpen the past few years it’s pretty incredible he hasn’t had an opportunity to make his debut. The 26-year-old right-hander struck out 50 batters in 47 2/3 innings for Rochester last year. In 246 2/3 career innings in the minor leagues, Reed has surrendered just seven home runs. He’s faced 576 right-handed hitters and they’ve taken him deep just four times. That’s crazy. Here are the other non-roster invitees I didn’t include in the top 10: Preston Guilmet, Ryne Harper, Justin Nicolino, Brian Navarreto, Ben Rortvedt, Wynston Sawyer, Tomas Telis, Luis Arraez, Randy Cesar, Royce Lewis, Adam Rosales, Alex Kirilloff, Luke Raley and Brent Rooker. Just a couple quick notes on those included on that list above: I’d expect Lewis and Kirilloff to be among the first cuts. It wouldn’t surprise me if Arraez turned some heads, he just missed my top 10. Harper was another guy who just missed, he had an insane 8.60 K:BB ratio down on the farm for the Twins last year (65 IP, 86 K, 10 BB). Guilmet's another guy who could've very easliy been named in the top 10. He has some ugly MLB numbers but a 2.45 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 9.9 K/9 in 265 career innings at Triple A. Rosales is 35 now, but he’s coming off of somewhat of a power outburst, as he popped 18 home runs for Cleveland’s Triple-A team last year. There will be other minor leaguers who work their way in from time to time, especially on the days where the Twins have split squad games on the schedule, but I wouldn’t anticipate them getting enough playing time to be in contention for this most prestigious honor. So what do you think? I’ve tabbed Duda as the favorite among hitters and Morin among pitchers. Will anybody give either of those guys a run for their money? Click here to view the article
  10. We never expect players signings not to work - but some of them just don’t. Last year was a lesson for Twins fans in that sense, with big splashes like Lance Lynn, Logan Morrison and Addison Reed underperforming. A lot of people would include Jake Odorizzi in that category too, though he was acquired via a trade. So, in a way, sometimes it's wise to lower expectations about new players, in order to be pleasantly surprised down the road.Longtime club hero Joe Mauer officially announced his retirement from baseball on Nov. 9, at age 35. Mauer still was a vital part of the team’s lineup, having a .351 OBP, which ranked second on the team. He also slashed .407/.500/.617 with RISP and .333/.443/.468 with men on while playing Gold Glove level defense. And 2018 was, by far, one of the worst years of his career. So talk about big shoes to fill at first base. Less than two weeks after the retirement announcement, the Tampa Bay Rays designated C.J. Cron for assignment, even after his career year in which he hit 30 home runs, while also being a LHP’s nightmare. The Twins claimed him off waivers six days later, making him, at least in theory, the new everyday first baseman. But was his career year enough to give him such big job security? Let’s talk about possible backup plans the club may have, in case Cron doesn’t repeat his last year’s performance. It’s important to explain why my faith in Cron is shaky at this point. Playing for four years with the Angels before heading to the Rays, he had slashed .262/.307/.449 and not once had hit more than 16 home runs in a season. Granted, he had never had more than 445 PA in a season before 2018, so he did make the best when given a real shot. Still, it’s hard to believe that he won’t be back to his old self. Even having the best season of his career so far, Cron’s secondary numbers weren’t so different from the previous seasons. When talking about his plate discipline, there’s even a considerable drop. He had a career-low Contact% of 72.6, which was 2.1% lower than in 2017 and 3.7% lower than his career average. He also struck out more than any time before, having a career-worst 25.9 K%, 3.3% higher than his career average. Are all those numbers indicators that he is bound to fail as a Twin? Absolutely not. I just believe that they are evidence that going all in on Cron, parting ways with good possible replacement or platoon options, could turn out to be too costly later on. If the Twins actually choose to go all in on him, could this threaten Minnesota’s chance to contend? Not necessarily. But I don’t think it would hurt them to be extra cautious here. Before the Cron signing, Tyler Austin was seen as the natural replacement. Now, everything seems to point to the fact that Rocco Baldelli and his staff will have to choose between one or the other, since Austin doesn’t have any minor league options left in his contract. But one thing is absolutely clear as well: if Austin had no chance to at least fight for that position, he would already have been cut. So, why believe in Austin? For starters, we’re talking about a younger, not so much less productive than Cron alternative. Of course, his track record is much smaller, but his .758 career OPS is not too far from Cron’s .772. Last season, with both of them having their breakout seasons, their performance against lefties weren’t extremely different, with Cron having a .930 OPS facing southpaws and Austin .846. Plus, the former Yankee was able to hit 17 home runs in 2018 despite being given only 268 PA (a career high), while the 30 times Cron went yard came with 560 PA, more than twice as much. Like I said before, if the Twins thought Austin didn’t stand a chance against Cron, they would have gotten rid of him long ago. It all comes down to what the club has in mind. Cron is the obvious choice if you want an experienced, low risk bet, that might have turned the corner and should be able to help the team now (but it’s worth remembering that we thought the same about Logan Morrison a year ago). On the other hand, if you have a younger option, with similar production, who could help the team long-term, Austin should be your guy. He’s no kid, but he seems to have more potential. With only 404 career PA, he has produced eight more home runs, 12 more runs batted in and more than twice as many walks as Cron did when he had reached that many PA. One extra piece of information to the mixture. Minnesota’s current contract with Cron has him earning $4.8 million this season. But according to last week’s “Gleeman and the Geek” podcast, if the club were to decide to cut him before Opening Day, they would only owe him 25% of that amount ($1.2 million). Of course, they would not have claimed him off waivers if they didn’t believe he is their guy, but having that exit possibility sure makes things easier if they don’t like what they see from him in spring training. And just when we thought this decision couldn’t get any more complicated, the Twins proved us wrong. Less than ten days ago, the club signed a minor-league contract with LHH and former MVP-candidate Lucas Duda. Ted Schwerzler wrote this great piece analyzing how the 33-year old could help Minnesota. It would be tricky to try to fit him in this packed Twins roster, although the team wouldn’t need a fifth starter until mid-April, allowing the bench to have a fourth player. It’s hard to see him making the Opening Day roster and remaining there for the rest of the year. But if Duda were to accept a job at Rochester for most of the year, he could either become a good option in case of injury or even a trade asset eventually. Since all of their offensive numbers look rather similar, if you’re still undecided on which one is your favorite, you can also look at their defense. But bad news: none of them compares closely to what Joe Mauer was in that department. The future Hall of Famer has had impressive numbers overall in the five full years as a first baseman. Last year wasn’t the best example, but his numbers were still better than the Cron-Austin-Duda trio. Mauer had .996 FP, 3 DRS and 2.7 UZR in 2018, but was even better the year before, posting a.998 FP, 7 DRS and 6.9 UZR. He was shockingly snubbed from the Gold Glove award that year. But let’s steer clear of the Mauer nostalgia and see where do his successor candidates stand in comparison to his defense. Again, we have pretty similar metrics, when looking at their 2018 final numbers, so you will be the judge: C.J. Cron - .993 FP, -2 DRS, 1.3 UZR Tyler Austin - .997 FP, 1 DRS, -1 UZR Lucas Duda - .995 FP, 0 DRS, -0.1 UZR Numbers aren’t everything when talking about defense. You have to take into account experience and athleticism. Duda is obviously the most experienced and his defensive numbers aren’t the worst of the three, but he has the smallest odds of making the team, in theory. Austin, of the three, looks like the most athletic, but he’s by far the least experienced. Of the three, Cron has the worst fielding percentage and defensive runs saved. You make the call on which defender you like best. All we fans can do right now is wait for spring training action. There’s a lot at stake for those three guys. Follow @TwinsBrasil on Twitter. Click here to view the article
  11. Longtime club hero Joe Mauer officially announced his retirement from baseball on Nov. 9, at age 35. Mauer still was a vital part of the team’s lineup, having a .351 OBP, which ranked second on the team. He also slashed .407/.500/.617 with RISP and .333/.443/.468 with men on while playing Gold Glove level defense. And 2018 was, by far, one of the worst years of his career. So talk about big shoes to fill at first base. Less than two weeks after the retirement announcement, the Tampa Bay Rays designated C.J. Cron for assignment, even after his career year in which he hit 30 home runs, while also being a LHP’s nightmare. The Twins claimed him off waivers six days later, making him, at least in theory, the new everyday first baseman. But was his career year enough to give him such big job security? Let’s talk about possible backup plans the club may have, in case Cron doesn’t repeat his last year’s performance. It’s important to explain why my faith in Cron is shaky at this point. Playing for four years with the Angels before heading to the Rays, he had slashed .262/.307/.449 and not once had hit more than 16 home runs in a season. Granted, he had never had more than 445 PA in a season before 2018, so he did make the best when given a real shot. Still, it’s hard to believe that he won’t be back to his old self. Even having the best season of his career so far, Cron’s secondary numbers weren’t so different from the previous seasons. When talking about his plate discipline, there’s even a considerable drop. He had a career-low Contact% of 72.6, which was 2.1% lower than in 2017 and 3.7% lower than his career average. He also struck out more than any time before, having a career-worst 25.9 K%, 3.3% higher than his career average. Are all those numbers indicators that he is bound to fail as a Twin? Absolutely not. I just believe that they are evidence that going all in on Cron, parting ways with good possible replacement or platoon options, could turn out to be too costly later on. If the Twins actually choose to go all in on him, could this threaten Minnesota’s chance to contend? Not necessarily. But I don’t think it would hurt them to be extra cautious here. Before the Cron signing, Tyler Austin was seen as the natural replacement. Now, everything seems to point to the fact that Rocco Baldelli and his staff will have to choose between one or the other, since Austin doesn’t have any minor league options left in his contract. But one thing is absolutely clear as well: if Austin had no chance to at least fight for that position, he would already have been cut. So, why believe in Austin? For starters, we’re talking about a younger, not so much less productive than Cron alternative. Of course, his track record is much smaller, but his .758 career OPS is not too far from Cron’s .772. Last season, with both of them having their breakout seasons, their performance against lefties weren’t extremely different, with Cron having a .930 OPS facing southpaws and Austin .846. Plus, the former Yankee was able to hit 17 home runs in 2018 despite being given only 268 PA (a career high), while the 30 times Cron went yard came with 560 PA, more than twice as much. Like I said before, if the Twins thought Austin didn’t stand a chance against Cron, they would have gotten rid of him long ago. It all comes down to what the club has in mind. Cron is the obvious choice if you want an experienced, low risk bet, that might have turned the corner and should be able to help the team now (but it’s worth remembering that we thought the same about Logan Morrison a year ago). On the other hand, if you have a younger option, with similar production, who could help the team long-term, Austin should be your guy. He’s no kid, but he seems to have more potential. With only 404 career PA, he has produced eight more home runs, 12 more runs batted in and more than twice as many walks as Cron did when he had reached that many PA. One extra piece of information to the mixture. Minnesota’s current contract with Cron has him earning $4.8 million this season. But according to last week’s “Gleeman and the Geek” podcast, if the club were to decide to cut him before Opening Day, they would only owe him 25% of that amount ($1.2 million). Of course, they would not have claimed him off waivers if they didn’t believe he is their guy, but having that exit possibility sure makes things easier if they don’t like what they see from him in spring training. And just when we thought this decision couldn’t get any more complicated, the Twins proved us wrong. Less than ten days ago, the club signed a minor-league contract with LHH and former MVP-candidate Lucas Duda. Ted Schwerzler wrote this great piece analyzing how the 33-year old could help Minnesota. It would be tricky to try to fit him in this packed Twins roster, although the team wouldn’t need a fifth starter until mid-April, allowing the bench to have a fourth player. It’s hard to see him making the Opening Day roster and remaining there for the rest of the year. But if Duda were to accept a job at Rochester for most of the year, he could either become a good option in case of injury or even a trade asset eventually. Since all of their offensive numbers look rather similar, if you’re still undecided on which one is your favorite, you can also look at their defense. But bad news: none of them compares closely to what Joe Mauer was in that department. The future Hall of Famer has had impressive numbers overall in the five full years as a first baseman. Last year wasn’t the best example, but his numbers were still better than the Cron-Austin-Duda trio. Mauer had .996 FP, 3 DRS and 2.7 UZR in 2018, but was even better the year before, posting a.998 FP, 7 DRS and 6.9 UZR. He was shockingly snubbed from the Gold Glove award that year. But let’s steer clear of the Mauer nostalgia and see where do his successor candidates stand in comparison to his defense. Again, we have pretty similar metrics, when looking at their 2018 final numbers, so you will be the judge: C.J. Cron - .993 FP, -2 DRS, 1.3 UZR Tyler Austin - .997 FP, 1 DRS, -1 UZR Lucas Duda - .995 FP, 0 DRS, -0.1 UZR Numbers aren’t everything when talking about defense. You have to take into account experience and athleticism. Duda is obviously the most experienced and his defensive numbers aren’t the worst of the three, but he has the smallest odds of making the team, in theory. Austin, of the three, looks like the most athletic, but he’s by far the least experienced. Of the three, Cron has the worst fielding percentage and defensive runs saved. You make the call on which defender you like best. All we fans can do right now is wait for spring training action. There’s a lot at stake for those three guys. Follow @TwinsBrasil on Twitter.
  12. The reality is that there’s a decision looming on Tyler Austin. Of this trio, he’s the guy out of options and has the shortest track record. Acquired from the Yankees in exchange for Lance Lynn last season, he performed admirably in 35 games with Minnesota down the stretch. The .782 OPS was hardly otherworldly, but it was enough to warrant a longer look. Through three big league seasons, Austin has just 404 plate appearances to his credit and has never gotten consistent playing time. For that to change with the Twins in the year ahead, we’d probably be in for some sort of surprise. C.J. Cron is the expected heir to Joe Mauer at first base. The .816 OPS he posted during 2018 was a career high, and it came during his age-28 season, his first and only with the Tampa Bay Rays. After launching 16 long balls in three consecutive seasons, he turned in 30 over 140 games as a regular. Batting right handed, Cron doesn’t have traditional platoon splits. He owned a .767 OPS vs righties and a .930 OPS vs lefties in 2018. While it’s obvious that he performs better against southpaws, the power was almost entirely skewed the opposite way. Only eight of his 30 home runs came against lefties, though the doubles production was more evenly distributed. As an arbitration player, Cron will make $4.8 million this season. Minnesota’s front office grabbed Duda on a non-guaranteed pact that will pay him $1.75 million if he’s on the big-league roster. Per Jon Heyman, there are incentives in the deal that could push it north of $3 million in total compensation. At 33-years-old, and a traditional platoon player, that could push the Twins bill north of $7 million if they go with this combination. Given the production though, it could be a nice tandem. A down year last year saw Lucas own just a .731 OPS, coming off an .818 mark in 2017. From 2011-2015, he owned an .803 OPS and averaged right around 20 bombs per season. On Rocco Baldelli’s squad there isn’t room for him to be a regular, but the left-handed side of a platoon makes sense. Last season he saw 265 plate appearances vs righties and put up an .813 OPS with 12 of his 14 home runs. Over the course of his big-league career, the split disparity plays out as well. Duda owns an .839 lifetime OPS against righties as opposed to just a .642 OPS against lefties. Should the Twins go this route, it would also need to fit into their current roster construction. Assuming the starting lineup is composed of the usual suspects, we should have a pretty good idea of the bench as well. Mitch Garver is going to be the backup catcher, with Ehire Adrianza acting as the utility infielder and Jake Cave operating as the fourth outfielder. This blueprint leaves only a spot for a fourth bench bat should the Twins begin season with 12 pitchers. Not needing a fifth starter until into April, that seems like a pretty good bet. Garver bats right-handed, while Cave is a lefty, and Adrianza can do both. Garver is the only guy in that trio with any semblance of being a power bat however, so Duda can bring that dynamic as well. If I had to put odds on it right now, I’d imagine that both Cron and Duda are teammates out of the gate. Austin would hurt to lose, so I think the Twins would be best served finding a trade partner, but he’s semi-redundant playing behind C.J. The likelihood of just a three-man bench doesn’t seem like great roster management either, so thinking both players are on the outside looking in would strike me as odd. We’ll see how each player is deployed throughout February and into March. At 33 and off a down year, Duda could be cooked and this all becomes clearer. For now, though, the speculation is all we’ve got.
  13. https://twitter.com/hotts58/status/1094647634290245634 My first thought to this question was I hope so. That being said, the Twins don’t necessarily need him to be what Logan Morrison was supposed to be last year. Morrison was brought in to be the team’s regular designated hitter. Lucas Duda is certainly not going to be give that responsibility with Nelson Cruz on the roster. Plus, Duda isn’t guaranteed any money under his deal with the Twins. He must be on the roster and contributing to get paid. Duda is left-handed so that could help him to find a place on a very right-handed heavy Twins line-up. Last season, he hit .241/.313/.418 with 29 extra-base hits in 107 games between Kansas City and Atlanta. He has a pair of 30 home run seasons under his belt including one as recent as 2017. CJ Cron, Tyler Austin, and Duda will all be battling for time at first base. A platoon with Cron or Austin versus lefties and Duda versus righties could add some power to the Twins line-up. https://twitter.com/MinnFan4Life/status/1094112001775886336 I certainly believe the Twins think they can contend this season especially in a very open AL Central. One of the biggest keys for 2019 is making sure the young core is ready to take the next step. Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano have plenty to prove after last season. Eddie Rosario and Jose Berrios were two of the team’s best players last year but they each could be more consistent this season. Max Kepler destroyed every level of the minor leagues and he hasn’t shown that ability at baseball’s highest level. Prospects don’t always pan out, so the club needs to continue to add depth throughout the minor league system. They were able to do that in last year’s draft and by trading away assets at last year’s deadline. Last year’s club was a good example of why one-year deals don’t typically work. There were a bunch of players with no connection to the club and very little team chemistry. Minnesota is never going to outspend other teams and I doubt many big-name free agents are identifying the Twins as an ideal destination for their talents. As much as fans don’t want to hear it, the Twins need to see what their young core can do this season. Everything could come together and be great or things could crash and burn. We will have to see what players are up to the challenge. https://twitter.com/PaulLovesTacos/status/1094016967755755520 There has been some talk of teams offering Manny Machado and Bryce Harper shorter-term deal with more annual money associated with each contract. I believe both players and their agents are looking for more long-term stability. They are each reaching free agency at a young age so the next contract they sign could take them through the bulk of their formative (and defining) years in the big leagues. They need to make sure the city and team are the right fit and that the contract works for their future. I think there are a few reasons as to why the Twins wouldn’t be interested at four-years and $40 million per season. Adding another $80 million to the payroll seems like quite the jump. Minnesota needs to get into a situation where they can make more money on their television contract and that could help open the coffers for more payroll funding. I also don’t know if these two players want to be on the same team. They both have big egos and each wants to be the face of a franchise. https://twitter.com/gary_pecinovsky/status/1094009443145170944 Nick Gordon is coming off his worst season as a professional. Most of last year, Gordon was playing at Triple-A where he was four and a half years younger than the competition. He struggled mightily with Rochester by hitting .212/.262/.283. His power hasn’t developed, and he doesn’t show much patience in the batter’s box. He’s spent the off-season adding some weight to his frame, which could help him in the power department. He was a consensus top-100 MLB prospect in each of the last four off-seasons, but he didn’t make any top-100 lists this off-season. Here at Twins Daily, he dropped from the organization’s third best prospect to the club’s 12th best prospect. He was added to the 40-man roster this off-season, so I think he will make his big league debut this season. Gordon needs to find his swing at Triple-A and then he will be just a phone call away. https://twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall/status/1093921281458745346 There are certainly some trickle down effects from the big-league level all the way down to Double-A. Players throughout the system are impacted by those already ahead of them on the organizational depth chart. With that in mind, there are a lot of things that will impact who is starting at which level. I believe pitching continues to evolve and organizations are going to start taking a unique approach to the roles of starters. Chattanooga likely starts the year with a six-man rotation, but the organization most assuredly will be using more openers during the season. The Blue Wahoos’ bullpen will be equally important. If I am picking the rotation today, I think it will include Jorge Alcala, Tyler Wells, Sean Poppen, Daniel Camarena, Charlie Barnes, and Clark Beeker. Alcala was acquired from the Astros last season as part of the Ryan Pressly trade. Wells made five starts at Double-A last season and should start the year there again. Poppen spent the majority of 2018 in Chattanooga but there is depth ahead of him that will likely keep him at Double-A. Camarena was signed as a minor league free agent and hasn’t pitched yet in the Twins organization. Barnes pitched all last year at Fort Myers so he should move up a level. Beeker will be 26-years old this season, so he likely starts in Pensacola. What do you think? Leave a COMMENT and answer any of the questions above.
  14. It’s finally here. Our long national nightmare is over with pitchers and catchers reporting at the end of the week. Spring training can finally begin and that means regular season baseball is a little over a month away. It’s crazy to think the Twins are going to host a regular season home game at the end of March but that’s something that needed to happen with the Final Four being held in Minneapolis at the beginning of April. Thanks to everyone for this week’s mailbag questions. Let’s see what’s in the mailbox. My first thought to this question was I hope so. That being said, the Twins don’t necessarily need him to be what Logan Morrison was supposed to be last year. Morrison was brought in to be the team’s regular designated hitter. Lucas Duda is certainly not going to be give that responsibility with Nelson Cruz on the roster. Plus, Duda isn’t guaranteed any money under his deal with the Twins. He must be on the roster and contributing to get paid. Duda is left-handed so that could help him to find a place on a very right-handed heavy Twins line-up. Last season, he hit .241/.313/.418 with 29 extra-base hits in 107 games between Kansas City and Atlanta. He has a pair of 30 home run seasons under his belt including one as recent as 2017. CJ Cron, Tyler Austin, and Duda will all be battling for time at first base. A platoon with Cron or Austin versus lefties and Duda versus righties could add some power to the Twins line-up. I certainly believe the Twins think they can contend this season especially in a very open AL Central. One of the biggest keys for 2019 is making sure the young core is ready to take the next step. Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano have plenty to prove after last season. Eddie Rosario and Jose Berrios were two of the team’s best players last year but they each could be more consistent this season. Max Kepler destroyed every level of the minor leagues and he hasn’t shown that ability at baseball’s highest level. Prospects don’t always pan out, so the club needs to continue to add depth throughout the minor league system. They were able to do that in last year’s draft and by trading away assets at last year’s deadline. Last year’s club was a good example of why one-year deals don’t typically work. There were a bunch of players with no connection to the club and very little team chemistry. Minnesota is never going to outspend other teams and I doubt many big-name free agents are identifying the Twins as an ideal destination for their talents. As much as fans don’t want to hear it, the Twins need to see what their young core can do this season. Everything could come together and be great or things could crash and burn. We will have to see what players are up to the challenge. There has been some talk of teams offering Manny Machado and Bryce Harper shorter-term deal with more annual money associated with each contract. I believe both players and their agents are looking for more long-term stability. They are each reaching free agency at a young age so the next contract they sign could take them through the bulk of their formative (and defining) years in the big leagues. They need to make sure the city and team are the right fit and that the contract works for their future. I think there are a few reasons as to why the Twins wouldn’t be interested at four-years and $40 million per season. Adding another $80 million to the payroll seems like quite the jump. Minnesota needs to get into a situation where they can make more money on their television contract and that could help open the coffers for more payroll funding. I also don’t know if these two players want to be on the same team. They both have big egos and each wants to be the face of a franchise. Nick Gordon is coming off his worst season as a professional. Most of last year, Gordon was playing at Triple-A where he was four and a half years younger than the competition. He struggled mightily with Rochester by hitting .212/.262/.283. His power hasn’t developed, and he doesn’t show much patience in the batter’s box. He’s spent the off-season adding some weight to his frame, which could help him in the power department. He was a consensus top-100 MLB prospect in each of the last four off-seasons, but he didn’t make any top-100 lists this off-season. Here at Twins Daily, he dropped from the organization’s third best prospect to the club’s 12th best prospect. He was added to the 40-man roster this off-season, so I think he will make his big league debut this season. Gordon needs to find his swing at Triple-A and then he will be just a phone call away. There are certainly some trickle down effects from the big-league level all the way down to Double-A. Players throughout the system are impacted by those already ahead of them on the organizational depth chart. With that in mind, there are a lot of things that will impact who is starting at which level. I believe pitching continues to evolve and organizations are going to start taking a unique approach to the roles of starters. Chattanooga likely starts the year with a six-man rotation, but the organization most assuredly will be using more openers during the season. The Blue Wahoos’ bullpen will be equally important. If I am picking the rotation today, I think it will include Jorge Alcala, Tyler Wells, Sean Poppen, Daniel Camarena, Charlie Barnes, and Clark Beeker. Alcala was acquired from the Astros last season as part of the Ryan Pressly trade. Wells made five starts at Double-A last season and should start the year there again. Poppen spent the majority of 2018 in Chattanooga but there is depth ahead of him that will likely keep him at Double-A. Camarena was signed as a minor league free agent and hasn’t pitched yet in the Twins organization. Barnes pitched all last year at Fort Myers so he should move up a level. Beeker will be 26-years old this season, so he likely starts in Pensacola. What do you think? Leave a COMMENT and answer any of the questions above. Click here to view the article
  15. Pitchers and catchers report for the Minnesota Twins in less than a week, yet the pile of free agents looks as picked over as a Thanksgiving buffet after the first pass. In short, there are plenty of leftovers — and primo ones, at that. The Twins have already signed four pitchers to MLB deals, but could still stand to stock up on the remaining goods — all of which are likely to come at a lower price than when the winter started. It also isn’t a perfect roster for the Twins at this point. Sure, it’s a perfectly decent one that prior to the Ervin Santana injury was very similar to the one that won 85 games last year, but there are numerous avenues the team could take to shore up depth across the board. Let us take you down that road. Insurance for the Miguel Sano situation If it wasn’t enough that Sano was sidelined with a stress reaction in his left shin down the stretch last year, the threat of the third baseman missing games from a possible suspension due to sexual assault accusations throws another wrinkle into the situation as well. While Sano has been working out in Fort Myers to get ready for the season for most of the winter, there’s still no guarantee he’ll be 100 percent to start the season, and manager Paul Molitor told MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger in late December that it’s a stretch to believe Sano will play 150 games at the position in 2018. Now with that said, 150 games is a huge bar to clear, and those comments were made the day before the allegations came out. Now it’s a virtual certainty Sano won’t come anywhere close to those numbers for one reason or another, and to that end, it makes sense for the Twins to pick up the pieces in free agency and get some insurance. Eduardo Escobar did a fairly good job replacing Sano down the stretch, hitting .252/.298/.529 with 10 of his 21 homers coming in that 39-game stretch. But expecting anything like that again — or Escobar to be able to outrun a .298 OBP for a long stretch — is a fool’s errand. Escobar is a terrific utility infielder and occasional starter, but there’s a chance for the Twins to make a move here to shore up the infield, and in the meantime make sure there’s as little of a dropoff as possible from Sano. That means signing Eduardo Nunez. The last time Twins fans saw Nunez, he was the team’s only All-Star just before being traded to the San Francisco Giants. The last time the rest of the baseball world saw him, he was being carried off the field in the playoffs after suffering a flare-up to a previous injury to his right knee. He did not need surgery in the offseason, and has since been working out for teams in hopes of signing a new deal. If he’s willing to sign a two-year deal for something like $15 million, the Twins should run, not walk, to him to get it done. He’s great insurance for Sano at third base — not only to start the season, but all year — and gives the team added depth across the infield. That would be very valuable for a team that, in this case, would be leaning heavily on Robbie Grossman at designated hitter. In that case, days where Nunez spells guys like Brian Dozier means the latter could slide into the DH role. Nunez hit a solid .313/.341/.460 between the Giants and Red Sox last year (2.2 fWAR) which is pretty much in line with what he was doing for the Twins in 2016 with a bit more power. He frankly should be starting someplace, but as a utility player starting anywhere from 3-to-5 times per week would be an absolute luxury. This makes too much sense not to be seriously considered. Signing someone to get significant DH at-bats If Thad Levine and Derek Falvey don’t want to go down the Nunez path, there are still plenty of hitters available who can help the team at DH in a fairly regular role. If the Twins prefer to have Grossman in more of a fourth outfielder role while cycling through some at-bats at DH, there is no shortage of options on the market right now who can give the team added thump. The two guys who jump off the page — for different reasons — are Lucas Duda and Logan Morrison. Duda is terrible defensively and can’t hit left-handed pitching, but he absolutely mauls righties. He’s coming off hitting just .217/.322/.496 with the Mets and Rays last year — including fading hard with Tampa (.306 wOBA) — but the power makes up for the low batting average and OBP for the most part, and again, he crushes righties. Duda is a career .249/.356/.486 hitter against righties, and will come extremely cheaply on just a one-year deal most likely. Morrison’s track record is a bit more spotty and he was once the purveyor of a strange Twitter account, but he absolutely crushed for the Rays last year. Morrison hit .246/.353/.516 with 38 homers as he went from a groundball-hitting machine with low strikeout rates and average walk numbers to a fly-ball fiend with more walks, more strikeouts and a heck of a lot more power. What he did was almost identical to Yonder Alonso, who scored a two-year deal at just under $20 million from the Indians. At this point, it doesn’t seem like Morrison will even get that — and he could be a good pickup for the Twins to DH, play some first base and give them insurance after Joe Mauer’s deal expires and before Brent Rooker makes it to the big leagues. Either one of these guys would help the Twins immensely at DH, but another plan could be in the works as well, and….. …this includes perhaps looking at some cheaper right-handed bats, too The prevailing theme from last year was that the Twins did not hit left-handed pitching very well, though they got markedly better as the season went on. By the end of the year, the Twins hit .260/.332/.412 against southpaws for a 96 wRC+ — the 13th-best mark in baseball. In other words, they were about in the middle of the pack, and are bringing back almost exactly the same offense. But there’s certainly room for improvement. The offense will again be pretty lefty-heavy, so adding a right-handed bat — preferably cheap or on a short-term deal — again makes sense. J.D. Martinez can help literally anyone, but we’re not looking that direction at this point. Nor does it really seem like Jose Bautista is a fit — Target Field numbers be damned. Keep in mind that if he did sign with the team, he wouldn’t be feasting on Twins pitching like he did with the Blue Jays. Anyway, the two guys who make some sense who can be had for almost nothing are Mark Reynolds and Mike Napoli. Reynolds hit a ridiculous .267/.352/.487 with the Rockies last year, but that comes out to just a 104 wRC+ due to park factors and that sort of thing. In other words, he hit 30 homers but it wasn’t all that impressive because of the offensive environment he played in. Still, for a couple million bucks he could pop a few homers and see time at first base and DH. Napoli is regarded as solid in the clubhouse — nobody would know this more than Levine — and while he hit just .193/.285/.428 last year with the Rangers, he still provided some (though still not much) value against lefties. He battled some nagging injuries last year, and between the price, fit and a few other factors, it almost seems like a foregone conclusion that Napoli will garner strong consideration from the Twins. Then again, it felt that way last year and he picked the Rangers — a better team at the time that still finished seven games worse in the standings. Additionally, Jayson Werth is no spring chicken and hasn’t put together a good season in what feels like forever, but he can still hit lefties and might be worth a look on a minor-league deal with an eye on the Michael Pineda 40-man spot when the season starts. Higher up on the totem pole would be Matt Holliday, who almost makes too much sense. He’s going into his age-38 season, probably can’t play every day anyway and hit .267/.366/.477 against lefties last year. I believe he’s regarded as a really strong clubhouse presence as well — like Napoli. Please click through to read the rest of this article on Zone Coverage here!
  16. Last year at DH for the Twins looked like this: Player PA R OBP SLG wOBA Robbie Grossman 257 39 .336 .398 .320 Kennys Vargas 129 17 .310 .425 .313 Miguel Sano 100 7 .300 .267 .254 Eduardo Escobar 74 7 .297 .424 .308 Joe Mauer 57 8 .386 .347 .331 Mitch Garver 12 1 .417 .500 .391 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total 629 79 .326 .384 .309 Last year at the plate for Lucas Duda: Player PA R OBP SLG wOBA Lucas Duda 491 50 .322 .496 .341 The 31 year old played 792 innings last season at 1B for the Mets and Rays. Defensive metrics show he's similar to a Chris Davis or Matt Carpenter, but that is not what the Twins need since Joe Mauer is one of the top defensive 1B in the MLB. Here is my pitch for why the Twins should sign Duda: 1. Power (since 2015) Player SLG ISO XBH/100 HARD% Lucas Duda .479 .248 12.6 39.2% Eric Hosmer .463 .169 9.02 32.2% Chris Davis .486 .252 11.2 41.0% Duda has great power numbers comparable to some of the better 1B power bats over the past few seasons, being in the AL where he can DH will definitely boost his numbers since he can take more at-bats. 2. Age At 31, Duda is no spring chicken, but 1B has been on of the most forgiving positions as players age. Other 31 year-old 1B numbers: Player Year ISO OBP SLG wOBA Mike Napoli 2013 .223 .360 .482 .367 Jim Thome 2002 .373 .445 .677 .461 Edwin Encarnacion 2014 .279 .354 .547 .389 Justin Morneau 2012 .149 .333 .440 .330 3. Cost As far as contracts go, the high end Duda would go for is 1-2 years, $10M per season. A lot depends on how the free agent market changes during the off season. If the Twins can sign a defensive catcher in Castro for $8M per, they should be able to spend around the same amount for a power bat, if not more. 4. Ballpark How exciting would it be to see Duda driving balls out over the RF porch onto the concourse? As a lefty, Duda's swing would work perfect at Target Field. He hits 30.3% to CF and 46.2% to RF. 42.1% of his batted balls are hit hard, while less than 20% are hit soft. This combination of hard hit balls being hit to to the right side of the field is a lethal combination at Target Field. Click here for an image of every 2017 Lucas Duda home run with the Target Field dimensions overlaid. Conclusion: The Twins could use Duda as a DH and reliable 1B replacement for Mauer. He would thrive in Target Field and would produce extra pop in the middle of the Twins lineup. I'm a huge Eduardo Escobar fan, and I would love to see him be a key piece for the Twins as well. I believe signing Duda would allow for Escobar to be a full-time utility man at 3B/SS/2B/ My projections: PA R OBP SLG 450 47 .345 .485 500 51 .343 .488 550 64 .340 .490 600 75 .337 .492 650 76 .335 .486 700 81 .333 .482 My 2018 lineup: 1. Dozier 2B 2. Mauer 1B 3. Sano 3B 4. Rosario LF 5. Duda DH 6. Polanco SS 7. Buxton CF 8. Kepler RF 9. Castro C Thanks for reading and please leave a comment if you agree/disagree with anything.
×
×
  • Create New...