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  1. Yes, Berrios wants a hefty payday, and no, he isn’t one of the top 10 pitchers in baseball. The three players he’s most closely tied to in this contract situation are Luis Severino, Aaron Nola, and Lance McCullers. The former two got paid prior to the 2019 season. McCullers just got his payday. They are all 27 years old, save for Nola who just recently had a birthday. None of that trio would qualify as top 10 pitchers in the game either. Nola and Severino took four-year deals at $45M and $40M, respectively. McCullers agreed to a five-year deal that starts in 2022 and is for $85M. Jose reportedly wanted something close to what the Phillies and Yankees did for their starters; that isn’t happening now. He’s going to get something closer to what the Astros paid out, and that’s more than a fair valuation. I don’t think Berrios would find a $17M AAV on the open market, but I’d be shocked if he couldn’t get something in the $12-15M range. Really though, this conversation is less about dollars and more about sense. Over the winter Minnesota paid J.A. Happ $8M and Matt Shoemaker $2M both on one-year deals. That $10M has immediately become a sunk cost as both have been downright terrible, and the stability intended for the back of the rotation has been non-existent. I’d have preferred to see the Twins aim higher when rounding out the group, but we’ve seen that troubles there as guys like James Paxton haven’t even thrown a pitch for their new team. I think the point with Berrios is this, you already have a commodity that you know, he should be entering his prime, and there’s never been a question of his durability. Sure, he’s faltered in August and September, but it hasn’t ever been injury related. He’s not an ace, and he may be a borderline number two at times, but it’s fair to say he’s a top-half of the rotation arm that flashes even more when he’s on. The alternative is one of unknown, or one I think we can bet against. Touching again on the unknown, you’re dealing with bargain bin arms hoping that a middle-of-the-road veteran is enough for the sake of stability. Maybe they’re injured, ineffective, or both. The option we can probably bet against is a big ticket purchase. Trevor Bauer made a good deal of sense from a roster construction standpoint, but he was never going to be interested in Minnesota, and the Twins were never going to drop that kind of coin. Nothing precludes the Twins from spending, but top free agents don’t see this as a destination either. Looking ahead to the upcoming offseason, there’s more than a few veteran arms that should hit the market. Plenty of them will be paid handsomely, and some of them may even be interested in talking with the Twins. Giving Jose Berrios something like $80M over the next five years isn’t going to stop any opportunity to engage those arms either. If development continues to happen, you’d hope this rotation has a desire to include Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran as soon as next season. Maybe one of them turns out to be an ace, and maybe neither do. Either way, pitching being a focus, moving on from Berrios solely to pay someone in hopes of replicating his production seems silly. Finding an ace is among the most difficult things to do in baseball. There’s maybe 10 of those guys in the game, most are developed internally, and if they do ever hit the open market Minnesota isn’t the first choice they’ve got on their list. Building a rotation with guys that all have the ability to pitch like an ace on any given night is a much more attainable goal, and both Kenta Maeda and Berrios fit that bill. Beyond there the Twins don’t have answers. Michael Pineda has been a steadying presence, and maybe they bring him back again this winter, but Berrios should be inked into that future as much as anyone. It's easy to spend someone else’s money, and the Pohlad’s have plenty of it, but the thought process runs deeper than that. Plenty of money comes off the books again this winter, and while 2021 has been a disaster, a new opportunity to reload will be in front of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. Including someone like Berrios as part of that makes more sense than it does finding the next guy discarded from another organization to replace him. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  2. The Minnesota Twins are coming to a crossroads on a few of their cornerstones. When considering what’s next for Jose Berrios, the only answer should be to hand him a blank check. Yes, Berrios wants a hefty payday, and no, he isn’t one of the top 10 pitchers in baseball. The three players he’s most closely tied to in this contract situation are Luis Severino, Aaron Nola, and Lance McCullers. The former two got paid prior to the 2019 season. McCullers just got his payday. They are all 27 years old, save for Nola who just recently had a birthday. None of that trio would qualify as top 10 pitchers in the game either. Nola and Severino took four-year deals at $45M and $40M, respectively. McCullers agreed to a five-year deal that starts in 2022 and is for $85M. Jose reportedly wanted something close to what the Phillies and Yankees did for their starters; that isn’t happening now. He’s going to get something closer to what the Astros paid out, and that’s more than a fair valuation. I don’t think Berrios would find a $17M AAV on the open market, but I’d be shocked if he couldn’t get something in the $12-15M range. Really though, this conversation is less about dollars and more about sense. Over the winter Minnesota paid J.A. Happ $8M and Matt Shoemaker $2M both on one-year deals. That $10M has immediately become a sunk cost as both have been downright terrible, and the stability intended for the back of the rotation has been non-existent. I’d have preferred to see the Twins aim higher when rounding out the group, but we’ve seen that troubles there as guys like James Paxton haven’t even thrown a pitch for their new team. I think the point with Berrios is this, you already have a commodity that you know, he should be entering his prime, and there’s never been a question of his durability. Sure, he’s faltered in August and September, but it hasn’t ever been injury related. He’s not an ace, and he may be a borderline number two at times, but it’s fair to say he’s a top-half of the rotation arm that flashes even more when he’s on. The alternative is one of unknown, or one I think we can bet against. Touching again on the unknown, you’re dealing with bargain bin arms hoping that a middle-of-the-road veteran is enough for the sake of stability. Maybe they’re injured, ineffective, or both. The option we can probably bet against is a big ticket purchase. Trevor Bauer made a good deal of sense from a roster construction standpoint, but he was never going to be interested in Minnesota, and the Twins were never going to drop that kind of coin. Nothing precludes the Twins from spending, but top free agents don’t see this as a destination either. Looking ahead to the upcoming offseason, there’s more than a few veteran arms that should hit the market. Plenty of them will be paid handsomely, and some of them may even be interested in talking with the Twins. Giving Jose Berrios something like $80M over the next five years isn’t going to stop any opportunity to engage those arms either. If development continues to happen, you’d hope this rotation has a desire to include Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran as soon as next season. Maybe one of them turns out to be an ace, and maybe neither do. Either way, pitching being a focus, moving on from Berrios solely to pay someone in hopes of replicating his production seems silly. Finding an ace is among the most difficult things to do in baseball. There’s maybe 10 of those guys in the game, most are developed internally, and if they do ever hit the open market Minnesota isn’t the first choice they’ve got on their list. Building a rotation with guys that all have the ability to pitch like an ace on any given night is a much more attainable goal, and both Kenta Maeda and Berrios fit that bill. Beyond there the Twins don’t have answers. Michael Pineda has been a steadying presence, and maybe they bring him back again this winter, but Berrios should be inked into that future as much as anyone. It's easy to spend someone else’s money, and the Pohlad’s have plenty of it, but the thought process runs deeper than that. Plenty of money comes off the books again this winter, and while 2021 has been a disaster, a new opportunity to reload will be in front of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. Including someone like Berrios as part of that makes more sense than it does finding the next guy discarded from another organization to replace him. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  3. According to mlb.com, Severino is being shut down and his opening day status is in question. That means NY may begin the season without both Severino and James Paxton in the rotation.
  4. I'm sure it's probably been mentioned but looks like Severino is out for the year. TJ surgery strikes again. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2877980-yankees-luis-severino-recommended-to-have-tommy-john-surgery-for-forearm-injury
  5. Right now, the Minnesota Twins sit something like $20 million below the point in which they entered the 2018 season in terms of payroll. A $135 million figure should’ve been expected for 2020 and barring a big acquisition they’ll struggle to get there. Utilizing some of the available cash on Jose Berrios seems like a worthwhile investment. Over at Twins Daily recently, Matthew Taylor touched on what could be ahead for the soon-to-be 26-year-old. Berrios was a dark horse Cy Young candidate going into 2019 and harnessing his ability to the next level could put him squarely in the conversation. Once that takes place, the price for his services will go up, and free agency looms large in 2023. Obviously, any negotiation is going to require both sides to find common ground. In talking with Skor North Contributor Darren Wolfson at multiple different points, he notes the two sides have had extensive dialogue. At this point there hasn’t been a number that makes the Puerto Rican jump at the opportunity, but there’s been groundwork laid. If we’re looking for somewhat of a blueprint, Aaron Nola may have provided that last offseason. Both Nola (4/$45MM) and Yankees Luis Severino (4/$40MM) inked extensions last winter and are the same age as Berrios. Both of those arms had previously garnered Cy Young votes and had appeared in All-Star Games. Minnesota’s man made his first All Star Game in 2018 (and a second last year) but has yet to climb into the Cy Young consideration. Having pushed another year into team control, Berrios landing a four-year deal would buy out two years of his free agency as opposed to one and make him eligible for the first time as an impending 30-year-old. Projected for a $5.4 million payday through 1st year arbitration eligibility, any extension would represent a substantial pay increase. Looking for something north of a $10 million annual valuation, he’d more than double his earnings in 2020. Continuing down this path, or more hopefully taking another step forward in the year ahead, would have him quickly outpacing any deal in yearly raises. I’m not sure what it would take for the Berrios camp to buy in, but the second year of free agency would come at an obvious premium. Minnesota paying 4/$55MM could make both parties happen, and lock in what has the makings of a future ace. There’s less reason for the team to be interested in a three-year deal, but something like 3/$38MM strikes me as reasonable. Without having a ton of foresight into what the financials would look like, using any leftover cash flow to lock down some of the three unsigned cornerstones (Berrios with Buxton and Sano) seems like good business. Buxton may still be looking to increase his footing from a positioning standpoint, and Sano’s ceiling is arguably the most capped. Jose is the logical target, but will all parties dance? For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  6. Despite being the record setting club on the road during the 2019 season, Rocco Baldelli’s Minnesota Twins dropped the first two games to the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. Returning home to play a postseason game in Minneapolis for the first time since 2010 the Bomba Squad is going to need some serious resolve. Jake Odorizzi has come through in some big spots this season, and this collection is counting on him to do that once again.ALDS Game 3 New York Yankees (103-59) @ Minnesota Twins (101-61) Series: 2-0 Yankees Start Time: 8:40 PM ET / 7:40 PM CT Forecast: 60 degrees and sunny Pitching Matchup: RHP Luis Severino vs RHP Jake Odorizzi Lineups: Download attachment: Lineups1007.png Jake Odorizzi posted a sub-2.00 ERA through his first 13 starts for the Twins this season, and he was below 3.00 until the month of July. For the first half of the season Odorizzi established himself as the go-to arm behind Jose Berrios and earned a trip to his first All-Star Game because of it. July was not kind as the former Rays righty posted a 7.43 ERA in five turns and desperately needed to get back on track. Making nine more starts the rest of the way he rebounded with a 3.04 ERA .647 OPS against and 65/16 K/BB. As a fly ball pitcher it always made sense to turn Odorizzi loose in Target Field, but it was actually in New York that Jake fared significantly better than this outfit. His length in a series that has seen Minnesota get just a combined 6.0 IP from starters is a narrative to watch. Yankees Starter Aaron Boone turns to Luis Severino for game three. Had he been healthy in 2019 Severino would’ve likely been the game one choice as a two-time All-Star and Cy Young candidate at age 25. Instead he’s thrown just 12.0 IP this season and he’s yet to be given a leash longer than 80 pitches. Severino is a strikeout pitcher with plenty of velocity, and he’s fanned more than 10 per nine each of the past two seasons. He hasn’t been known to give up the long ball, and command isn’t much of a problem either. Luis does have a 6.26 ERA across 23 postseason IP however, and with the uncertainty of a small runway to get ready for this action, New York may decide to go with a quick hook. Battle Tested Twins There’s no denying that Minnesota is up against it and in a far from enviable position. That being said, this group has veterans sprinkled in that can provide levity during this type of scenario. Baldelli has kept things light and loose for his club all season, and nothing suggests bucking that trend now. Minnesota didn’t suffer a three-game losing streak until their 94th game of the season and surrendered to that fate just twice all season. Including a loss in the final game of the regular season the Twins are riding a three-game skid, but history suggests an ability to put the fire out. All hands will be on deck in an elimination game, and the expectation should be that the usage of Taylor Rogers, Trevor May, and Sergio Romo should be more liberal if the situation presents itself. While pitching has been a downfall, and the management of it, a central focus will be placed on the quality of at-bats and production from the lineup. After breaking records left and right during the regular season, the Twins have been outscored 18-6 in the past 18 innings. Climbing out of a 2-0 hole is hardly an easy task, and looking at it from a big picture view does nothing to minimize the situation. The Twins need to take their opportunities in small chunks at a time and attempt to win each inning on the path to making this a series before it’s over. Click here to view the article
  7. ALDS Game 3 New York Yankees (103-59) @ Minnesota Twins (101-61) Series: 2-0 Yankees Start Time: 8:40 PM ET / 7:40 PM CT Forecast: 60 degrees and sunny Pitching Matchup: RHP Luis Severino vs RHP Jake Odorizzi Lineups: Jake Odorizzi posted a sub-2.00 ERA through his first 13 starts for the Twins this season, and he was below 3.00 until the month of July. For the first half of the season Odorizzi established himself as the go-to arm behind Jose Berrios and earned a trip to his first All-Star Game because of it. July was not kind as the former Rays righty posted a 7.43 ERA in five turns and desperately needed to get back on track. Making nine more starts the rest of the way he rebounded with a 3.04 ERA .647 OPS against and 65/16 K/BB. As a fly ball pitcher it always made sense to turn Odorizzi loose in Target Field, but it was actually in New York that Jake fared significantly better than this outfit. His length in a series that has seen Minnesota get just a combined 6.0 IP from starters is a narrative to watch. Yankees Starter Aaron Boone turns to Luis Severino for game three. Had he been healthy in 2019 Severino would’ve likely been the game one choice as a two-time All-Star and Cy Young candidate at age 25. Instead he’s thrown just 12.0 IP this season and he’s yet to be given a leash longer than 80 pitches. Severino is a strikeout pitcher with plenty of velocity, and he’s fanned more than 10 per nine each of the past two seasons. He hasn’t been known to give up the long ball, and command isn’t much of a problem either. Luis does have a 6.26 ERA across 23 postseason IP however, and with the uncertainty of a small runway to get ready for this action, New York may decide to go with a quick hook. Battle Tested Twins There’s no denying that Minnesota is up against it and in a far from enviable position. That being said, this group has veterans sprinkled in that can provide levity during this type of scenario. Baldelli has kept things light and loose for his club all season, and nothing suggests bucking that trend now. Minnesota didn’t suffer a three-game losing streak until their 94th game of the season and surrendered to that fate just twice all season. Including a loss in the final game of the regular season the Twins are riding a three-game skid, but history suggests an ability to put the fire out. All hands will be on deck in an elimination game, and the expectation should be that the usage of Taylor Rogers, Trevor May, and Sergio Romo should be more liberal if the situation presents itself. While pitching has been a downfall, and the management of it, a central focus will be placed on the quality of at-bats and production from the lineup. After breaking records left and right during the regular season, the Twins have been outscored 18-6 in the past 18 innings. Climbing out of a 2-0 hole is hardly an easy task, and looking at it from a big picture view does nothing to minimize the situation. The Twins need to take their opportunities in small chunks at a time and attempt to win each inning on the path to making this a series before it’s over.
  8. That the Twins locked up Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco to long-term extensions doesn’t give us any clue what it might take to lock up other young, core Twins players. We only know that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have made it clear that there have been other conversations with other players. But also in the last week, two young All-Star pitchers signed long-term extensions which will keep them with their current teams through and potentially beyond their arbitration years. AARON NOLA - PHILLIES The Phillies signed 25-year-old RHP Aaron Nola to a four year, $45 million with an option for a fifth season. It buys out three arbitration seasons, a free agent season and possibly a second free agent season. Nola was the seventh overall pick in the 2014 draft. He debuted with the Phillies in 2015 and went 6-2 with a 3.59 ERA in 13 starts. In 2016, he went 6-9 with 4.78 ERA in 20 starts. However, he took off in 2017. He went 12-11 with a 3.54 ERA. He finished third in National League Cy Young Award voting in 2018 when he went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in 212 1/3 innings over 33 starts. Over 380 1/3 innings in the last two seasons he struck out 408 batters (9.7 K/9). LUIS SEVERINO - YANKEES The Yankees signed RHP Luis Severino to a four year, $40 million with an option for a fifth season. It buys out his four arbitration seasons and provides an option for his first free agent season. Severino made his MLB debut in 2015 when he went 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA. However, in 2016, he went just 3-8 with a 5.83 ERA over 22 games (11 starts). However, in 2017, he made 31 starts and went 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA in 193 1/3 innings. He finished third in the American League Cy Young vote that season. In 2018, he was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 32 starts. Over 384 2/3 innings in the last two seasons, he struck out 450 batters (10.5 K/9). JOSE BERRIOS - TWINS The Twins 2018 All-Star will turn 25 in late May. He made his debut in 2016 and in 14 starts, he went 3-7 with an ERA of 8.02. He came back better in 2017. In 26 games (25 starts), he went 14-8 with a 3.89 ERA. In 2018, he made 32 starts and went 12-11 with a 3.84 ERA. Over these past two seasons, he has thrown a combined 341 strikeouts in 338 innings of work (9.1 K/9). TIMING IS EVERYTHING As you can see from the above, Berrios is essentially one year behind Severino and Nola in terms of service time. 2019 was the first arbitration season for both Nola and Severino. In Severino’s case, it was his first of four arbitration seasons. Berrios will have three arbitration years, starting in 2020. While Berrios has had two straight seasons with sub-4.00 ERAs and an All-Star Game appearance, Severino and Nola each has had a third-place Cy Young finish, better ERAs (in their past two seasons) and a higher strikeout rate. That said, most believe that there is more potential in Berrios’s arm and we all hope to see that in 2019. If that is the case and he puts up a mid-2s ERA instead of a mid-3s ERA, Berrios will be in the same position as Nola and Severino were this year when they signed their extensions. In other words, if we look at the extensions of Nola and Severino on a year-by-year basis, Berrios should be slightly below those numbers, though he should ask for the same type of numbers. What might a potential Jose Berrios extension look like relative to the Nola and Severino deals? In the below chart, we look at the actual year-by-year breakdown of the Nola and Severino contracts. The third column shows how a similarly-built Berrios contract might look. The final column shows how that contract could be front loaded (similar to Max Kepler’s Unique Contract). NOTE: A1 (1st arbitration season), FA (Free Agent), PA (Pre-Arbitration), O$ (Option Year) So what do you think? A five year, $41 million contract for Jose Berrios? If the option was to be picked up, it would be approximately a six year, $53 million contract. Even if Berrios’s option is picked up, he would be a free agent at the age of 30 and able to get another big deal.
  9. The Twins locked up outfielder Max Kepler and shortstop Jorge Polanco to long-term contract extensions this past week. The logical question is: Will there be other more young core players extended before the season starts? Specifically, will they be able to sign All-Star pitcher Jose Berrios to an extension? If so, what might it look like? For that, we may have been given a couple of clues this week of what range a Berrios contract could approach.That the Twins locked up Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco to long-term extensions doesn’t give us any clue what it might take to lock up other young, core Twins players. We only know that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have made it clear that there have been other conversations with other players. But also in the last week, two young All-Star pitchers signed long-term extensions which will keep them with their current teams through and potentially beyond their arbitration years. AARON NOLA - PHILLIES The Phillies signed 25-year-old RHP Aaron Nola to a four year, $45 million with an option for a fifth season. It buys out three arbitration seasons, a free agent season and possibly a second free agent season. Nola was the seventh overall pick in the 2014 draft. He debuted with the Phillies in 2015 and went 6-2 with a 3.59 ERA in 13 starts. In 2016, he went 6-9 with 4.78 ERA in 20 starts. However, he took off in 2017. He went 12-11 with a 3.54 ERA. He finished third in National League Cy Young Award voting in 2018 when he went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in 212 1/3 innings over 33 starts. Over 380 1/3 innings in the last two seasons he struck out 408 batters (9.7 K/9). LUIS SEVERINO - YANKEES The Yankees signed RHP Luis Severino to a four year, $40 million with an option for a fifth season. It buys out his four arbitration seasons and provides an option for his first free agent season. Severino made his MLB debut in 2015 when he went 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA. However, in 2016, he went just 3-8 with a 5.83 ERA over 22 games (11 starts). However, in 2017, he made 31 starts and went 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA in 193 1/3 innings. He finished third in the American League Cy Young vote that season. In 2018, he was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 32 starts. Over 384 2/3 innings in the last two seasons, he struck out 450 batters (10.5 K/9). JOSE BERRIOS - TWINS The Twins 2018 All-Star will turn 25 in late May. He made his debut in 2016 and in 14 starts, he went 3-7 with an ERA of 8.02. He came back better in 2017. In 26 games (25 starts), he went 14-8 with a 3.89 ERA. In 2018, he made 32 starts and went 12-11 with a 3.84 ERA. Over these past two seasons, he has thrown a combined 341 strikeouts in 338 innings of work (9.1 K/9). TIMING IS EVERYTHING As you can see from the above, Berrios is essentially one year behind Severino and Nola in terms of service time. 2019 was the first arbitration season for both Nola and Severino. In Severino’s case, it was his first of four arbitration seasons. Berrios will have three arbitration years, starting in 2020. While Berrios has had two straight seasons with sub-4.00 ERAs and an All-Star Game appearance, Severino and Nola each has had a third-place Cy Young finish, better ERAs (in their past two seasons) and a higher strikeout rate. That said, most believe that there is more potential in Berrios’s arm and we all hope to see that in 2019. If that is the case and he puts up a mid-2s ERA instead of a mid-3s ERA, Berrios will be in the same position as Nola and Severino were this year when they signed their extensions. In other words, if we look at the extensions of Nola and Severino on a year-by-year basis, Berrios should be slightly below those numbers, though he should ask for the same type of numbers. What might a potential Jose Berrios extension look like relative to the Nola and Severino deals? In the below chart, we look at the actual year-by-year breakdown of the Nola and Severino contracts. The third column shows how a similarly-built Berrios contract might look. The final column shows how that contract could be front loaded (similar to Max Kepler’s Unique Contract). NOTE: A1 (1st arbitration season), FA (Free Agent), PA (Pre-Arbitration), O$ (Option Year) So what do you think? A five year, $41 million contract for Jose Berrios? If the option was to be picked up, it would be approximately a six year, $53 million contract. Even if Berrios’s option is picked up, he would be a free agent at the age of 30 and able to get another big deal. Click here to view the article
  10. All About Luis Severino Here’s the stat on Severino that makes me most optimistic: 23. As in, he’s only 23-years-old. Maybe that doesn’t matter, but if you take a look at the rest of his numbers, there’s aren't many things to pick at. He’s been phenomenal. Severino was the third-best pitcher in the AL behind only Chris Sale and Corey Kluber, so this is really grasping for straws, but he has been much worse at home and has not dominated lefties like he has same-sided pitchers. -Severino at Yankee Stadium: 3.71 ERA, 15 homers, .627 OPS. -Severino on the road: 2.24 ERA, six homers, .579 OPS. -Severino OPS Against: LHB: .667, RHB: .550. Current Twins hitters have a .813 OPS against Severino, but that's come in only 14 plate appearances. Not much to really go off there. Another thing about Severino is he’s fairly predictable. He’s a strict three-pitch guy and uses his arsenal as you’d expect. The slider is featured against righties (42.9 percent sliders vs. 7.8 percent changeups) and the change comes out more frequently against lefties (26.6 percent sliders vs. 19.8 percent changeups). He throws his four-seamer 51.35 percent of the time, but leans on that pitch slightly more against lefties. Like most pitchers, that four-seamer is his go-to pitch to open an at bat. He throws that for the first pitch 63.3 percent of the time. His strikeout pitch is the slider, which he throws 65.8 percent of the time when he has two strikes on a right-handed batter. To lefties, the four-seamer is actually is preferred pitch when he gets to two strikes, throwing that 51.5 percent of the time. His fastball averages 97.6 mph, the slider at 88.4 mph and the change is 87.8 mph. All that data is per Brooks Baseball, as are the charts below. One would imagine if right-handed hitters can just focus on pitches middle in, they should give Severino a tough time. That relies a lot on pitch recognition, however, which is much easier said than done against a guy who throws everything this hard. Here's how Severino attacks right-handers: And here's how he pitches to lefties: On the Twins Platoon Advantage Another potential reason to be optimistic is Severino is a right-hander. The Twins were among baseball's best hitting team against righties, finishing fourth in OBP (.355), fifth in wOBA (.322) and sixth in both OPS (.777) and wRC+ (104). That's not much of a surprise, considering how many lefties and switch hitters the Twins rely on in their everyday lineup. That onslaught versus right-handers was led by Eddie Rosario, who had a .906 OPS, .377 wOBA and 135 wRC+. Rosie ranked in the top-15 in the AL in all three of those stats vs. RHP. The Yankees have two very tough lefties in their pen, but they’re in limited roles. Aroldis Chapman is their closer, so it’s not likely he’ll be deployed until the very last innings. Chasen Shreve has actually been even better against lefties than Chapman this year, holding them to a .498 OPS, but he’s a straight LOOGY. Right-handed batters have hit .227/.338/.491 (.829 OPS) off Shreve, accounting for seven of the eight homers he’s allowed. The Yankees also have lefties Jordan Montgomery, CC Sabathia and Jaime Garcia, but none of those three made a single relief appearance this season. Ervin Santana vs. the Yankees Unfortunately, this does not appear to be a great matchup for Ervin. -Career at new Yankee Stadium: 0-5 in six starts, seven HRs allowed, 6.43 ERA, 1.71 WHIP. -Vs. Current Yankee Hitters: .272/.316/.481 (.798 OPS) over 176 PAs. But something interesting about Santana in this one-game format is he actually had reverse platoon splits for the second-straight season. Lefties have hit .228/.284/.372 off Santana over that span, so there’s really no need to try and play matchups as long as he's on the mound. On Yankee Stadium At 51-30, the Yankees had the third-best home record in baseball, but the Twins were tied for the sixth-best road team at 44-37. We know Paul Molitor likes to play small ball, but this is a Yankees team that averaged 5.57 runs per game at home. Giving away outs to gain one run seems like a fool’s errand against this team in this run-scoring environment. The Twins have had the best offense in the AL since the All-Star break. There’s really no need to small ball. Yankee Stadium has the fifth-smallest outfield in baseball, so the Twins defense is not going to be as big a strength as it would be at Target Field. Some balls Max Kepler would easily glide under for harmless outs at home are going to sail over his head for homers at Yankee Stadium. On Roster Construction The two questions that really stick out to me are what to do with Miguel Sano and who do you trust as the second lefty out of the bullpen? Sano managed to return from his shin injury, but was clearly not 100 percent and went 1-for-8 with three strikeouts. Taylor Rogers is the obvious go-to guy to get a tough lefty out, but who would be the second option? Candidates include Buddy Boshers, Glen Perkins, Nik Turley and Gabriel Moya. Adalberto Mejia would be in the mix too, but he’s not accustomed to coming out of the bullpen. With those options, the Twins may be better served to just go with one of their better right-handers if the situation arises and hope for the best. For what it’s worth, lefties hit just .225/.244/.300 (.544 OPS) off Alan Buesnitz, though that's only a sample of 45 plate appearances. Additional Twins-Yankees related content at Twins Daily: Small Miracles: How To Beat The Yankees by Nick Nelson Ep 336: Twins vs Yankees by Gleeman & The Geek A Blueprint For The Bronx by Ted Schwerzler A Gedankenexperiment: Beating The Yankees by John Bonnes Those Damn Yankees by Nick Nelson
  11. No player can have a bigger impact on a single game than the starting pitcher. Go out and throw a gem, you've put your team in excellent position to win. Turn in a clunker and your team may have already been sunk in the early innings. With that in mind, here's a deep look into how Yankee starter Luis Severino likes to attack hitters, Ervin Santana's history against the Yankees and some other notes regarding tomorrow's big game.All About Luis Severino Here’s the stat on Severino that makes me most optimistic: 23. As in, he’s only 23-years-old. Maybe that doesn’t matter, but if you take a look at the rest of his numbers, there’s aren't many things to pick at. He’s been phenomenal. Severino was the third-best pitcher in the AL behind only Chris Sale and Corey Kluber, so this is really grasping for straws, but he has been much worse at home and has not dominated lefties like he has same-sided pitchers. -Severino at Yankee Stadium: 3.71 ERA, 15 homers, .627 OPS. -Severino on the road: 2.24 ERA, six homers, .579 OPS. -Severino OPS Against: LHB: .667, RHB: .550. Current Twins hitters have a .813 OPS against Severino, but that's come in only 14 plate appearances. Not much to really go off there. Another thing about Severino is he’s fairly predictable. He’s a strict three-pitch guy and uses his arsenal as you’d expect. The slider is featured against righties (42.9 percent sliders vs. 7.8 percent changeups) and the change comes out more frequently against lefties (26.6 percent sliders vs. 19.8 percent changeups). He throws his four-seamer 51.35 percent of the time, but leans on that pitch slightly more against lefties. Like most pitchers, that four-seamer is his go-to pitch to open an at bat. He throws that for the first pitch 63.3 percent of the time. His strikeout pitch is the slider, which he throws 65.8 percent of the time when he has two strikes on a right-handed batter. To lefties, the four-seamer is actually is preferred pitch when he gets to two strikes, throwing that 51.5 percent of the time. His fastball averages 97.6 mph, the slider at 88.4 mph and the change is 87.8 mph. All that data is per Brooks Baseball, as are the charts below. One would imagine if right-handed hitters can just focus on pitches middle in, they should give Severino a tough time. That relies a lot on pitch recognition, however, which is much easier said than done against a guy who throws everything this hard. Here's how Severino attacks right-handers: Download attachment: SeverinoZone.gif And here's how he pitches to lefties: Download attachment: SeverinoLHB.gif On the Twins Platoon Advantage Another potential reason to be optimistic is Severino is a right-hander. The Twins were among baseball's best hitting team against righties, finishing fourth in OBP (.355), fifth in wOBA (.322) and sixth in both OPS (.777) and wRC+ (104). That's not much of a surprise, considering how many lefties and switch hitters the Twins rely on in their everyday lineup. That onslaught versus right-handers was led by Eddie Rosario, who had a .906 OPS, .377 wOBA and 135 wRC+. Rosie ranked in the top-15 in the AL in all three of those stats vs. RHP. The Yankees have two very tough lefties in their pen, but they’re in limited roles. Aroldis Chapman is their closer, so it’s not likely he’ll be deployed until the very last innings. Chasen Shreve has actually been even better against lefties than Chapman this year, holding them to a .498 OPS, but he’s a straight LOOGY. Right-handed batters have hit .227/.338/.491 (.829 OPS) off Shreve, accounting for seven of the eight homers he’s allowed. The Yankees also have lefties Jordan Montgomery, CC Sabathia and Jaime Garcia, but none of those three made a single relief appearance this season. Ervin Santana vs. the Yankees Unfortunately, this does not appear to be a great matchup for Ervin. -Career at new Yankee Stadium: 0-5 in six starts, seven HRs allowed, 6.43 ERA, 1.71 WHIP. -Vs. Current Yankee Hitters: .272/.316/.481 (.798 OPS) over 176 PAs. But something interesting about Santana in this one-game format is he actually had reverse platoon splits for the second-straight season. Lefties have hit .228/.284/.372 off Santana over that span, so there’s really no need to try and play matchups as long as he's on the mound. On Yankee Stadium At 51-30, the Yankees had the third-best home record in baseball, but the Twins were tied for the sixth-best road team at 44-37. We know Paul Molitor likes to play small ball, but this is a Yankees team that averaged 5.57 runs per game at home. Giving away outs to gain one run seems like a fool’s errand against this team in this run-scoring environment. The Twins have had the best offense in the AL since the All-Star break. There’s really no need to small ball. Yankee Stadium has the fifth-smallest outfield in baseball, so the Twins defense is not going to be as big a strength as it would be at Target Field. Some balls Max Kepler would easily glide under for harmless outs at home are going to sail over his head for homers at Yankee Stadium. On Roster Construction The two questions that really stick out to me are what to do with Miguel Sano and who do you trust as the second lefty out of the bullpen? Sano managed to return from his shin injury, but was clearly not 100 percent and went 1-for-8 with three strikeouts. Taylor Rogers is the obvious go-to guy to get a tough lefty out, but who would be the second option? Candidates include Buddy Boshers, Glen Perkins, Nik Turley and Gabriel Moya. Adalberto Mejia would be in the mix too, but he’s not accustomed to coming out of the bullpen. With those options, the Twins may be better served to just go with one of their better right-handers if the situation arises and hope for the best. For what it’s worth, lefties hit just .225/.244/.300 (.544 OPS) off Alan Buesnitz, though that's only a sample of 45 plate appearances. Additional Twins-Yankees related content at Twins Daily: Small Miracles: How To Beat The Yankees by Nick Nelson Ep 336: Twins vs Yankees by Gleeman & The Geek A Blueprint For The Bronx by Ted Schwerzler A Gedankenexperiment: Beating The Yankees by John Bonnes Those Damn Yankees by Nick Nelson Click here to view the article
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