Jump to content
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'michael pineda'.

  • 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

Forums

  • Baseball Forums
    • Twins Daily Front Page News
    • Minnesota Twins Talk
    • Twins Minor League Talk
    • 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
  • North Dakota Twins Fan
  • Blog Reginald Maudling's Shin
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Miller1234's Blog
  • Blog Kirsten Brown
  • if we aint spendin 140 million
  • Boone's Blog
  • Rounding Third
  • Kirilloff & Co.
  • The Hanging SL
  • Red Wing Squawk
  • Distraction via Baseball
  • Nine of twelve's Blog
  • Blog Lindsay Guentzel
  • Blog Karl
  • Vance_Christianson's Blog
  • Curveball Blog
  • waltomeal's Blog
  • Knuckleballs - JC
  • Blog jrzf713
  • The Minor League Lifestyle
  • Jason Kubel is America
  • weneedjackmorris' Blog
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog freightmaster
  • Playin' Catch
  • Sethmoko's Blog
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Blog Scott Povolny
  • Blog COtwin
  • Hrbowski's Blog
  • Minnesota Twins Whine Line
  • Bomba Blog
  • Blog Chad Jacobsen
  • Blog ScottyBroco
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Back Office Twins Baseball Blog
  • DannySD's Blog
  • nobitadora's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1812
  • Blog Adam Krueger
  • Hammered (adj.) Heavily inebriated, though to a lesser extent than ****faced.
  • Thegrin's Blog
  • 3rd Inning Stretch's Blog
  • 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
  • Blog
  • 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
  • Spying Some Stats
  • 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
  • blogs_blog_2943
  • 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
  • blogs_blog_2952
  • 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
  • East 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

Product Groups

  • Twins Apparel
  • Vikings Apparel
  • Wild Apparel
  • Wolves Apparel
  • eBooks
  • Events
  • Supporter Levels

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

  1. The trade deadline is fast approaching, and Twins Daily has explored many of the teams that the Twins could potentially trade with. Let's take a shot at putting all of those puzzle pieces together and preview what the organization could look like when the dust settles. The Twins made their first big move sending Nelson Cruz to Tampa Bay in exchange for two pitching prospects. There were reports over the weekend that Byron Buxton won't be signing a contract extension with the club and rumors of willingness to listen on team-controlled players such as Jose Berrios, Taylor Rogers, and Max Kepler. So, where do we go from here? We're going to start with the players on expiring contracts. Trade Andrelton Simmons to the Reds for SS Gus Steiger. Steiger, who is from Minnetonka and played collegiately at South Dakota State, signed with the Reds as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and would provide organizational depth in Fort Myers. The Twins would send no cash in the deal, leaving the Reds on the hook for the remaining $3.5 million on Simmons' contract. Trade Michael Pineda to the Astros for P Misaell Tamarez. Tamarez has less than 75 professional innings under his belt and has a walk rate over six, but he also strikes out more than a hitter per inning and has some ceiling. Tamarez would join the Fort Myers staff, where he could start or relieve. The Twins would get all of next year to evaluate Tamarez before deciding whether or not to add him to the 40-man roster. Pineda has $3.4 million left on his contract, which the Astros would pick up. I'd also expect Big Mike to be back with the Twins on a two-year deal this offseason. Trade Hansel Robles to the Red Sox for RP Durbin Feltman. Boston will give up Feltman, who may help in a bullpen someday, for Robles, who will help them in the bullpen for the rest of the year. Robles is owed less than $700,000 for the remainder of the year. Feltman, who has seen his velocity dip since turning pro in 2018, is the type of prospect on who the Twins could take a chance. If they can unlock some of that lost velocity, there is a chance he could be added to the 40-man when first eligible this upcoming offseason. Trade J.A. Happ to the Phillies for a PTBNL or cash. Happ broke into the big leagues with Philadelphia in 2007 and can provide rotational depth. The return for Happ would likely be a little bit of cash to offset his contract. He's still owed just shy of $3 million. The Twins would stay on the hook for almost all of that. The only other impending free agent is Alex Colome, who has been bad this year. If there's a team interested, he could be had for a meager price. Even if the Twins pay the remainder of his salary, the return will be low… in fact, it would be a win if someone else would be responsible for buying out his option. Before going on to the next - and definitely more debatable - part, one thing that needs to be discussed (because it will get a lot of consideration) is the 40-man roster. Except for Drew Strotman, none of the actual or projected returns to this point include someone on the 40-man roster. The Twins also have five players on the 60-day IL that will need to be activated this offseason. Now, granted, the roster has several fringe-40-man players that can be removed, but the organization has to be very careful about the position they put themselves in with acquiring players. Part of the reason Tampa Bay was ok giving up two of their top prospects for Cruz likely had to do with the crunch they were going to face this offseason. (They probably would have lost Strotman on outright waivers.) Just by my quick estimation, there are eight players (seven pitchers!) that I think are more likely to get added to the 40-man than not either later this season or in the offseason. If the Twins are going to rebuild, they would be wise to acquire prospects who are at least a year away from needing to be added to the 40-man roster. Whatever Taylor Rogers did to his finger last night puts his status on the trade market in question. If healthy - and if I were calling the shots - I would have him very available. But for this exercise, he will remain with the Twins. I'm not going to trade Josh Donaldson either. My stance would be that I would make him available, but I want a fair prospect return. The money complicates that. The Twins, in my opinion, will move Donaldson if someone is willing to take on the remainder of his contract. That will minimize the return. Josh Donaldson is too good of a baseball player just to give away. I'll listen on Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco, but I don't see either getting moved. Kenta Maeda as well. For an overpay, I'd move every one of them. Now for the big dogs… Not only do I think Byron Buxton will not be moved, I believe a whirlwind Trade Deadline Week is going to be capped off with a Byron Buxton extension. Maybe it won't be Friday because the front office will be busy. But soon enough that the fanbase won't be able to check out for the year. Jose Berrios is a different story. Even a week ago, I wasn't convinced that Berrios was going anywhere. Now I've done a complete 180 and think there is no way he's not traded. And there's going to be a market. Take your pick… San Diego is aggressive, has prospects, and is forward-thinking enough to pull off another blockbuster. Would they include any of their four top prospects? Would MacKenzie Gore, who's been a mess lately, even be enough? Or would the Twins shoot for the injured CJ Abrams or Robert Hassell? Could the Twins bring back Eric Hosmer's bad contract to help the Padres out financially and ask for another top prospect too? The Dodgers don't want to share the spotlight. Is it really a possibility that they offer Dustin May? If so, that is a conversation that needs to be had. Maybe the Giants won't want to be outdone, and though they can't offer a top-end pitching prospect, they do have prospect currency, including SS Marco Luciano and C Joey Bart. There should be enough interest that the Twins don't have to settle for prospects that aren't in the top tier. The AL East is also worth watching. Toronto (P Nate Pearson and SS Austin Martin) and New York (P Deivi Garcia) would both be able to move the needle. The NL East is just as interesting. The Mets have the prospects, but all are a few promotions from the major yet. (Plus, Kevin Mulvey is no longer available.) The Braves could be a match. So what would I do….? I'd call Trader Jerry and make a deal with the Mariners. The basic framework would be Jose Berrios for P George Kirby. Kirby is a Top 20 prospect and hasn't reached AA yet (but will soon). The Mariners are also in the market for an infielder. Does expanding the deal to include Jorge Polanco make sense? Would the Mariners have any interest in taking on Josh Donaldson? Does DiPoto want to roll the dice on Taylor Rogers being ready soon and helping out down the stretch? It would be hard to bet against the Mets, Dodgers, Padres, or Yankees in a bidding war, but the Mariners are a longshot who could make the best deal for both teams. Maybe the holes these trades would create would have to be filled internally, which may not seem to scream "we're competing in 2022," but in a season with so many questions and so few answers, do we really want to be tricked into thinking that's possible anyway? View full article
  2. The Seattle Mariners are a surprising wild card contender in a crowded American League full of teams who could all reasonably compete for the two spots. Their shock season so far has put them in a unique position. The team prepared for 2022 or 2023 to be their years for contention, but sudden performances (and quite a bit of good luck) have resulted in a riper basket than anticipated. A possible trade connection between the Twins and Mariners is faint but not invisible. What's Their Situation? When writing the title for this article, I thought to add a question mark after the word "Mariners." Such a thing would have served two purposes. The first would have reflected the surprise some may have when they realize that the Seattle Mariners are in wild card contention (1.0 games out as of Tuesday morning), with the second being the enigmatic future of the team. Will they buy? Will they sell? Quite honestly, I am not even sure that Jerry Dipoto knows. On Tuesday, they swung their first major deal in an odd swap with the Astros that, according to Dipoto, will make sense once all of their planned deals have been completed. The team was also in on Adam Frazier before San Diego, as per usual, swooped in to pick him up. In the dead of night on Tuesday, Tyler Anderson was swiped from under the Phillies nose. Knowing Dipoto’s love of deals, we are in for some truly wild stuff. What Do They Need? Bats, and a lot of them. The team has just a 91 wRC+ as a whole as their team batting average infamously dipped below the Mendoza line for a portion of the year. They have somewhat rebounded as their wRC+ since the start of June is 100, but holes still exist at significant positions. Second base has been a particularly nasty position for them as either Dylan Moore or Shed Long Jr. have participated there this season with little success. They also have no significant prospects at the position. Beyond that, there is no real clear-cut need in the lineup. Many of the Mariners' position players are either in flux due to injuries or are just warming the spot of a significant prospect. Even with their poorly performing players, I find it challenging to put together a trade because the team is in such a major transition. Perhaps they usurp one of those prospects with an unexpected deal, but I do not see that happening. Again, I must stress that nothing is out of question with Dipoto, to the point that them bringing in Miguel Sanó or Max Kepler would not be out of the question. Their starting rotation, however, is more apparent as a point of concern. Yusei Kikuchi has been outstanding, and Logan Gilbert looks to be the real deal, but the rest is uninspiring. Chris Flexen is hilariously overperforming, Marco Gonzales has regressed, and Justin Dunn and Justus Sheffield have been flimsy during their time in the majors. They have prospects to fill these spots, but most of them will not be ready until 2022 or beyond. They did fill a need by acquiring Anderson. Which Twins Are The Best Fit? In a beautiful twist, the best fit may be an ex-Mariner. Michael Pineda would be a consistent presence in a rotation full of youthful arms. He could provide the exact type of 5-6 inning guarantee that few other pitchers on their roster can promise. Depending on the price, the team may add him for a more negligible cost than what other, more major names may net. A shocking trade for José Berríos may not be out of play. The Mariners have well learned that pitching prospects are far from promises, and Jerry Dipoto is an absolute madman, so a move for an established arm could be in their plans. Still, Berríos looks to depart after 2022, and that kind of uncertainty will probably turn off a team looking towards the future. If you squint hard enough, then a surprising deal for Luis Arraez also may be in the cards. The second base position has been a black hole for the team, and they could use a long-term player with the ability to play third as Kyle Seager is unlikely to return following the end of the season. The team knows this as well-they tried to acquire Frazier, as mentioned earlier, and other second baseman have been connected to them Still, the Twins' asking price for Arraez and the Mariners' willingness to meet that mark are probably on two separate continents. Beyond them, the team may look to add a bullpen depth piece like Tyler Duffey. Originally I had written Hansel Robles in here as well, but his performance on Tuesday reflects a player who is anything but valuable. Do you like pitching prospects? Good. Their top 7 or so prospects are likely untouchable, but beyond them, they have: Wyatt Mills: A 26-year-old pure reliever with enough funk to make George Clinton proud. Eric Longenhagen wrote that Mills' "combo of repertoire depth (though he's been exclusively fastball/slider so far in the big leagues) and command are both rare for a reliever." Yes, a pure reliever prospect is not the most exciting option, but he would satisfy a desperate need. Sam Carlson: A 22-year-old Minnesota boy with upside. Carlson is almost entirely unknown as a prospect as a combination of Tommy John surgery and an absent minor league season in 2020 forced him to go four years between throwing a pitch in a professional setting. In any case, Carlson's pedigree as a 2nd round pick reflects an arm with potential. Matt Brash: A more typical hard-throwing righty with quality stuff. Brash is a prototypically modern pitching prospect who possesses great ability with questionable command. If he reigns it in, he's an All-Star; if not, he's a reliever. He can be yet another lotto ticket in the Twins farm. Review: Quite frankly, a trade with the Mariners made much more sense a week ago-when this article was first written. The Cruz trade and the Anderson deal have thrown any predictions out the window. All I can really say now is "be prepared for something weird from this team." The Mariners are genuinely in the great unknown as a team. All signs point towards them selling, but their record so far has gifted them a chance to become soft buyers in the hope that other franchises crash and burn around them. Players like Duffey, Pineda, and potentially Robles may be of interest to them. The partnership is certainly odd, but it would not be all too surprising if the two teams find a way to make a deal with each other. Remember, the Twins did trade Zach Duke to the Mariners in 2018, so a prior relationship does exist. View full article
  3. What's Their Situation? When writing the title for this article, I thought to add a question mark after the word "Mariners." Such a thing would have served two purposes. The first would have reflected the surprise some may have when they realize that the Seattle Mariners are in wild card contention (1.0 games out as of Tuesday morning), with the second being the enigmatic future of the team. Will they buy? Will they sell? Quite honestly, I am not even sure that Jerry Dipoto knows. On Tuesday, they swung their first major deal in an odd swap with the Astros that, according to Dipoto, will make sense once all of their planned deals have been completed. The team was also in on Adam Frazier before San Diego, as per usual, swooped in to pick him up. In the dead of night on Tuesday, Tyler Anderson was swiped from under the Phillies nose. Knowing Dipoto’s love of deals, we are in for some truly wild stuff. What Do They Need? Bats, and a lot of them. The team has just a 91 wRC+ as a whole as their team batting average infamously dipped below the Mendoza line for a portion of the year. They have somewhat rebounded as their wRC+ since the start of June is 100, but holes still exist at significant positions. Second base has been a particularly nasty position for them as either Dylan Moore or Shed Long Jr. have participated there this season with little success. They also have no significant prospects at the position. Beyond that, there is no real clear-cut need in the lineup. Many of the Mariners' position players are either in flux due to injuries or are just warming the spot of a significant prospect. Even with their poorly performing players, I find it challenging to put together a trade because the team is in such a major transition. Perhaps they usurp one of those prospects with an unexpected deal, but I do not see that happening. Again, I must stress that nothing is out of question with Dipoto, to the point that them bringing in Miguel Sanó or Max Kepler would not be out of the question. Their starting rotation, however, is more apparent as a point of concern. Yusei Kikuchi has been outstanding, and Logan Gilbert looks to be the real deal, but the rest is uninspiring. Chris Flexen is hilariously overperforming, Marco Gonzales has regressed, and Justin Dunn and Justus Sheffield have been flimsy during their time in the majors. They have prospects to fill these spots, but most of them will not be ready until 2022 or beyond. They did fill a need by acquiring Anderson. Which Twins Are The Best Fit? In a beautiful twist, the best fit may be an ex-Mariner. Michael Pineda would be a consistent presence in a rotation full of youthful arms. He could provide the exact type of 5-6 inning guarantee that few other pitchers on their roster can promise. Depending on the price, the team may add him for a more negligible cost than what other, more major names may net. A shocking trade for José Berríos may not be out of play. The Mariners have well learned that pitching prospects are far from promises, and Jerry Dipoto is an absolute madman, so a move for an established arm could be in their plans. Still, Berríos looks to depart after 2022, and that kind of uncertainty will probably turn off a team looking towards the future. If you squint hard enough, then a surprising deal for Luis Arraez also may be in the cards. The second base position has been a black hole for the team, and they could use a long-term player with the ability to play third as Kyle Seager is unlikely to return following the end of the season. The team knows this as well-they tried to acquire Frazier, as mentioned earlier, and other second baseman have been connected to them Still, the Twins' asking price for Arraez and the Mariners' willingness to meet that mark are probably on two separate continents. Beyond them, the team may look to add a bullpen depth piece like Tyler Duffey. Originally I had written Hansel Robles in here as well, but his performance on Tuesday reflects a player who is anything but valuable. Do you like pitching prospects? Good. Their top 7 or so prospects are likely untouchable, but beyond them, they have: Wyatt Mills: A 26-year-old pure reliever with enough funk to make George Clinton proud. Eric Longenhagen wrote that Mills' "combo of repertoire depth (though he's been exclusively fastball/slider so far in the big leagues) and command are both rare for a reliever." Yes, a pure reliever prospect is not the most exciting option, but he would satisfy a desperate need. Sam Carlson: A 22-year-old Minnesota boy with upside. Carlson is almost entirely unknown as a prospect as a combination of Tommy John surgery and an absent minor league season in 2020 forced him to go four years between throwing a pitch in a professional setting. In any case, Carlson's pedigree as a 2nd round pick reflects an arm with potential. Matt Brash: A more typical hard-throwing righty with quality stuff. Brash is a prototypically modern pitching prospect who possesses great ability with questionable command. If he reigns it in, he's an All-Star; if not, he's a reliever. He can be yet another lotto ticket in the Twins farm. Review: Quite frankly, a trade with the Mariners made much more sense a week ago-when this article was first written. The Cruz trade and the Anderson deal have thrown any predictions out the window. All I can really say now is "be prepared for something weird from this team." The Mariners are genuinely in the great unknown as a team. All signs point towards them selling, but their record so far has gifted them a chance to become soft buyers in the hope that other franchises crash and burn around them. Players like Duffey, Pineda, and potentially Robles may be of interest to them. The partnership is certainly odd, but it would not be all too surprising if the two teams find a way to make a deal with each other. Remember, the Twins did trade Zach Duke to the Mariners in 2018, so a prior relationship does exist.
  4. In what was perhaps his last start for the Twins, Michael Pineda pitched one of his best games of the season on Monday, leading the Twins to a 6-5 win against the Tigers. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Pineda 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Homeruns: Rooker (3), Donaldson (16) Top 3 WPA: Thielbar .485, Kepler .265, Rooker .198 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) With a bevy of scouts in attendance on Monday, Michael Pineda delivered. He proved he can be a solid stretch contributor for a contending team. Pineda’s recent spate of injuries has obscured the inalienable truth, that, behind Nelson Cruz, he has been the best free-agent signing of Falvey era in Minnesota, and one of the Twins better free-agent starting pitching acquisitions ever. Pineda struck out the first four batters he faced, working his fastball up to 92 mph, throwing strikes with consistency, and mastering his slider and changeup to great effect. Pineda’s outing was reminiscent of Pineda at his best for Minnesota; quick, efficient, and pounding the strike zone. Through the fifth inning, Pineda gave up three hits, just two singles after a leadoff double by Akil Baddoo. Taking the rubber for Detroit was one of their top prospects Matt Manning, who worked consistently with his mid 90s fastball and showed flashes of his tremendous hammer of a curveball. Offense was hard to come by in the first half of the game. The Twins took the lead in the second inning. Mitch Garver barely missed a home run to right field, doubling home Josh Donaldson from first. Garver’s return to something like his 2019 form has been one of the least talked about positive stories for the Twins in a miserable 2021. Garver came home to score the Twins’ second run in the bottom of the fourth, after getting on base by punching a double to left field. Miguel Sano ripped a single down the third-base line to score Garver, whose lack of sleep after the birth of his first child clearly isn’t impacting his approach at the plate. Pineda’s lone egregious mistake came in the sixth inning, leaving a 91 mph fastball over the heart of the plate to Miguel Cabrera, who clubbed it into the flower beds in right field. Still, Pineda showed enough to convince watching scouts and teams he can contribute meaningfully down the stretch to contending teams in need of solid innings. He’ll likely be gone by Friday afternoon. Brent Rooker restored the Twins lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, obliterating a hanging Matt Manning curveball 460 feet into the third deck in left field. Rooker has earned 200 MLB at-bats with his consistency in St. Paul, and the early returns are promising. Manning was pulled after he walked Jorge Polanco, being replaced by Jose Cisnero. Josh Donaldson greeted Cisnero with a two-run blast to left-center field increasing the Twins lead to 5-2 Eric Haase pulled a run back for Detroit in the seventh inning, with a solo shot off Tyler Duffey, but The Doof quickly recovered to retire the side. Hansel Robles relieved Duffey in the eighth inning. He retired the side despite a walk to preserve the Twins lead at 5-3 heading to the bottom of the eighth. After an uneventful bottom of the eighth in which the Twins threatened but failed to score, Taylor Rogers entered to close the game for the Twins in the ninth. Rogers outing began harmlessly, before he lost control of what appeared to be a breaking pitch to Jeimer Candelario which spun and looped puzzlingly away from the Detroit hitter, ending up nowhere near the strike zone. Rogers appeared to be in discomfort after the pitch, clutching and examining a finger on his pitching hand. Twins fans will hope Rogers merely cracked a nail or was suffering from a blister, anything more serious is a major cloud over one of the most appealing relief pitching options for Friday’s trade deadline. The Twins broadcast booth later reported that Rogers left the game with a left middle finger sprain. Next steps for Rogers and a timetable are to be determined. Alexander Colomé relieved Rogers and did what he does, surrendering a single to Candelario before Robbie Grossman clubbed a two-ruin home run to right field to tie the game at 5-5. Gregory Soto walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, but Willians Astudillo struck out swinging to send the game to extra innings. Caleb Thielbar took the top of the tenth for the Twins. He made short work of the Tigers, retiring the side in order to give the Twins a golden opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the tenth. Kenta Maeda started on second base in the bottom of the tenth (the fourth pinch running appearance of his career). Soto managed a much cleaner tenth until Max Kepler dumped a single into right center field to score Maeda from second base and make the Twins 6-5 winners. Bullpen Usage Chart WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON TOT Colomé 22 0 11 0 10 16 59 Coulombe 0 32 0 0 18 0 50 Duffey 38 0 0 0 0 11 49 Thielbar 16 0 0 16 0 13 45 Alcala 0 0 0 10 24 0 34 Rogers 0 0 18 0 0 5 23 Minaya 0 0 20 0 0 0 20 Robles 0 0 0 0 0 13 13 Postgame Interviews Next Up The Twins send Kenta Maeda to the mound on Tuesday to face Tyler Alexander. First pitch is at 7:10 CT. View full article
  5. The San Diego Padres are nearly a lock to make the playoffs, but they need to add some pieces to compete for their first World Series title in their 53 season history, where they've otherwise been primarily bottom dwellers. Can they strike a deal with the Twins to take the next step? What's Their Situation? Coming into the season, everyone expected the Padres and Dodgers to be battling it out for the NL Central crown, which the Padres haven't won since they went back-to-back in 2006 and 2007. To almost everyone's surprise, neither team is in first place, as the San Francisco Giants have been baseball's best team over the first 94 games of the season. And even though they find themselves 5.5 games behind the division leader and in third place, FanGraphs has their odds to make the postseason at 92.3-percent, making them the second Wild Card team and likely facing the Dodgers or Giants in the Wild Card round. Currently, the Padres are tied with the Mets with an 8.0-percent chance to win the World Series, which is 5th best in the league. What Do They Need? Like the Dodgers, but even more so, the Padres need starting and relief pitching. The Padres are 23rd in all of baseball in getting innings from their starters, leading them to use their relievers the most in baseball. Aside from Yu Darvish, who is currently on the IL and has struggled since the MLB cracked down on "sticky stuff," they don't have any top-end arms in their rotation or bullpen. That said, they have gotten good production from Joe Musgrove (SP), Emilio Pagan (RP), Pierce Johnson (RP), and Austin Adams (RP). They could also use a right-handed bat as they are a mediocre team against left-handed pitching. Which Twins Are The Best Fit? It remains to be seen if anyone will be willing to add any of the Twins expiring contracts who are at least partially responsible for the Twins being sellers in 2021. That said, I think the Twins could DFA Alex Colomé, Hansel Robles, J.A. Happ, or Matt Shoemaker on August 1st if they aren't moved the day before. In short, they would likely take anything (PTBNL or cash) as their return on investment rather than just giving up the players for free. Of course, the headliners for the Twins are José Berríos, Taylor Rogers, and Tyler Duffey, but I think Michael Pineda and Caleb Thielbar could be intriguing trade candidates as well. Thielbar is one of the most under-appreciated Twins, and despite being 34-years-old, he still has three years of team control remaining. What Could the Twins Get Back? The Padres have been very active on the trade market in recent years yet boast one of the best farm systems in baseball. They feature four to five top-100 guys depending on the source and two guys in the top-10. Moreover, many of their top prospects are close to getting their crack at contributing in the Major Leagues. You'll notice that shortstop CJ Abrams, a headliner prospect, isn't on this list because he recently fractured his leg, and I don't see the Padres willing to "sell low" on a player with such a high ceiling. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, 22yo - Gore is one the best prospects in all of baseball and would require a haul to acquire from the Padres if he's even available at all. That said, aside from 101 innings in 2019, he's struggled in the Minors, where he has a 5.85 ERA and is issuing 5.4 walks per nine innings. He fits the current Twins mold, high 90's fastball with a slider, and maybe his struggles have the Padres ready to move on. Robert Hassel, OF, 19yo - I'd be remiss if I didn't have Hassel on this list as he's a high-level prospect that would be hard to pass up if he's available, but he is another left-handed hitter of which the Twins are loaded (Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and Matt Walner). That said, with his upside, it could provide a future replacement if they were unable to extend Byron Buxton, although his defense obviously would be a significant downgrade. Ryan Weathers, LHP, 21yo - despite having less than 130 innings in the minors, Weathers has been forced to the Majors, where he has fared pretty well thru 58.2 innings. His xERA (5.29) and FIP (4.54) aren't favorable, but to this point, he has posted a 2.91 ERA and a K/BB of 2.33, which is decent. Like Gore, Weathers has a high-velocity fastball and a slider, although his best secondary pitch is his change-up. He's a step down from the first three prospects mentioned and thus more available and cheaper. Reggie Lawson, RHP, 23yo Justin Lange, RHP, 19yo Anderson Espinoza, RHP, 23yo I grouped these guys because they are intriguing, a tier or two below weathers, and have flaws that would make them cheaper. All would be a risk to take on, especially Lawson and Espinoza, who have battled injuries in their time in the Minors. Lawson, who just recently returned to the mound, has a mid-90's fastball with plus offspeed. Espinoza, who hadn't pitched since 2016, has struggled this year to be expected after such a long layoff and was pumping high 90's in spring training. The risk in adding Lange is that he's only 19-years-old who can hit triple digits, making his health and development a bit of a wild card. View full article
  6. The Twins made their first big move sending Nelson Cruz to Tampa Bay in exchange for two pitching prospects. There were reports over the weekend that Byron Buxton won't be signing a contract extension with the club and rumors of willingness to listen on team-controlled players such as Jose Berrios, Taylor Rogers, and Max Kepler. So, where do we go from here? We're going to start with the players on expiring contracts. Trade Andrelton Simmons to the Reds for SS Gus Steiger. Steiger, who is from Minnetonka and played collegiately at South Dakota State, signed with the Reds as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and would provide organizational depth in Fort Myers. The Twins would send no cash in the deal, leaving the Reds on the hook for the remaining $3.5 million on Simmons' contract. Trade Michael Pineda to the Astros for P Misaell Tamarez. Tamarez has less than 75 professional innings under his belt and has a walk rate over six, but he also strikes out more than a hitter per inning and has some ceiling. Tamarez would join the Fort Myers staff, where he could start or relieve. The Twins would get all of next year to evaluate Tamarez before deciding whether or not to add him to the 40-man roster. Pineda has $3.4 million left on his contract, which the Astros would pick up. I'd also expect Big Mike to be back with the Twins on a two-year deal this offseason. Trade Hansel Robles to the Red Sox for RP Durbin Feltman. Boston will give up Feltman, who may help in a bullpen someday, for Robles, who will help them in the bullpen for the rest of the year. Robles is owed less than $700,000 for the remainder of the year. Feltman, who has seen his velocity dip since turning pro in 2018, is the type of prospect on who the Twins could take a chance. If they can unlock some of that lost velocity, there is a chance he could be added to the 40-man when first eligible this upcoming offseason. Trade J.A. Happ to the Phillies for a PTBNL or cash. Happ broke into the big leagues with Philadelphia in 2007 and can provide rotational depth. The return for Happ would likely be a little bit of cash to offset his contract. He's still owed just shy of $3 million. The Twins would stay on the hook for almost all of that. The only other impending free agent is Alex Colome, who has been bad this year. If there's a team interested, he could be had for a meager price. Even if the Twins pay the remainder of his salary, the return will be low… in fact, it would be a win if someone else would be responsible for buying out his option. Before going on to the next - and definitely more debatable - part, one thing that needs to be discussed (because it will get a lot of consideration) is the 40-man roster. Except for Drew Strotman, none of the actual or projected returns to this point include someone on the 40-man roster. The Twins also have five players on the 60-day IL that will need to be activated this offseason. Now, granted, the roster has several fringe-40-man players that can be removed, but the organization has to be very careful about the position they put themselves in with acquiring players. Part of the reason Tampa Bay was ok giving up two of their top prospects for Cruz likely had to do with the crunch they were going to face this offseason. (They probably would have lost Strotman on outright waivers.) Just by my quick estimation, there are eight players (seven pitchers!) that I think are more likely to get added to the 40-man than not either later this season or in the offseason. If the Twins are going to rebuild, they would be wise to acquire prospects who are at least a year away from needing to be added to the 40-man roster. Whatever Taylor Rogers did to his finger last night puts his status on the trade market in question. If healthy - and if I were calling the shots - I would have him very available. But for this exercise, he will remain with the Twins. I'm not going to trade Josh Donaldson either. My stance would be that I would make him available, but I want a fair prospect return. The money complicates that. The Twins, in my opinion, will move Donaldson if someone is willing to take on the remainder of his contract. That will minimize the return. Josh Donaldson is too good of a baseball player just to give away. I'll listen on Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco, but I don't see either getting moved. Kenta Maeda as well. For an overpay, I'd move every one of them. Now for the big dogs… Not only do I think Byron Buxton will not be moved, I believe a whirlwind Trade Deadline Week is going to be capped off with a Byron Buxton extension. Maybe it won't be Friday because the front office will be busy. But soon enough that the fanbase won't be able to check out for the year. Jose Berrios is a different story. Even a week ago, I wasn't convinced that Berrios was going anywhere. Now I've done a complete 180 and think there is no way he's not traded. And there's going to be a market. Take your pick… San Diego is aggressive, has prospects, and is forward-thinking enough to pull off another blockbuster. Would they include any of their four top prospects? Would MacKenzie Gore, who's been a mess lately, even be enough? Or would the Twins shoot for the injured CJ Abrams or Robert Hassell? Could the Twins bring back Eric Hosmer's bad contract to help the Padres out financially and ask for another top prospect too? The Dodgers don't want to share the spotlight. Is it really a possibility that they offer Dustin May? If so, that is a conversation that needs to be had. Maybe the Giants won't want to be outdone, and though they can't offer a top-end pitching prospect, they do have prospect currency, including SS Marco Luciano and C Joey Bart. There should be enough interest that the Twins don't have to settle for prospects that aren't in the top tier. The AL East is also worth watching. Toronto (P Nate Pearson and SS Austin Martin) and New York (P Deivi Garcia) would both be able to move the needle. The NL East is just as interesting. The Mets have the prospects, but all are a few promotions from the major yet. (Plus, Kevin Mulvey is no longer available.) The Braves could be a match. So what would I do….? I'd call Trader Jerry and make a deal with the Mariners. The basic framework would be Jose Berrios for P George Kirby. Kirby is a Top 20 prospect and hasn't reached AA yet (but will soon). The Mariners are also in the market for an infielder. Does expanding the deal to include Jorge Polanco make sense? Would the Mariners have any interest in taking on Josh Donaldson? Does DiPoto want to roll the dice on Taylor Rogers being ready soon and helping out down the stretch? It would be hard to bet against the Mets, Dodgers, Padres, or Yankees in a bidding war, but the Mariners are a longshot who could make the best deal for both teams. Maybe the holes these trades would create would have to be filled internally, which may not seem to scream "we're competing in 2022," but in a season with so many questions and so few answers, do we really want to be tricked into thinking that's possible anyway?
  7. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Pineda 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Homeruns: Rooker (3), Donaldson (16) Top 3 WPA: Thielbar .485, Kepler .265, Rooker .198 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) With a bevy of scouts in attendance on Monday, Michael Pineda delivered. He proved he can be a solid stretch contributor for a contending team. Pineda’s recent spate of injuries has obscured the inalienable truth, that, behind Nelson Cruz, he has been the best free-agent signing of Falvey era in Minnesota, and one of the Twins better free-agent starting pitching acquisitions ever. Pineda struck out the first four batters he faced, working his fastball up to 92 mph, throwing strikes with consistency, and mastering his slider and changeup to great effect. Pineda’s outing was reminiscent of Pineda at his best for Minnesota; quick, efficient, and pounding the strike zone. Through the fifth inning, Pineda gave up three hits, just two singles after a leadoff double by Akil Baddoo. Taking the rubber for Detroit was one of their top prospects Matt Manning, who worked consistently with his mid 90s fastball and showed flashes of his tremendous hammer of a curveball. Offense was hard to come by in the first half of the game. The Twins took the lead in the second inning. Mitch Garver barely missed a home run to right field, doubling home Josh Donaldson from first. Garver’s return to something like his 2019 form has been one of the least talked about positive stories for the Twins in a miserable 2021. Garver came home to score the Twins’ second run in the bottom of the fourth, after getting on base by punching a double to left field. Miguel Sano ripped a single down the third-base line to score Garver, whose lack of sleep after the birth of his first child clearly isn’t impacting his approach at the plate. Pineda’s lone egregious mistake came in the sixth inning, leaving a 91 mph fastball over the heart of the plate to Miguel Cabrera, who clubbed it into the flower beds in right field. Still, Pineda showed enough to convince watching scouts and teams he can contribute meaningfully down the stretch to contending teams in need of solid innings. He’ll likely be gone by Friday afternoon. Brent Rooker restored the Twins lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, obliterating a hanging Matt Manning curveball 460 feet into the third deck in left field. Rooker has earned 200 MLB at-bats with his consistency in St. Paul, and the early returns are promising. Manning was pulled after he walked Jorge Polanco, being replaced by Jose Cisnero. Josh Donaldson greeted Cisnero with a two-run blast to left-center field increasing the Twins lead to 5-2 Eric Haase pulled a run back for Detroit in the seventh inning, with a solo shot off Tyler Duffey, but The Doof quickly recovered to retire the side. Hansel Robles relieved Duffey in the eighth inning. He retired the side despite a walk to preserve the Twins lead at 5-3 heading to the bottom of the eighth. After an uneventful bottom of the eighth in which the Twins threatened but failed to score, Taylor Rogers entered to close the game for the Twins in the ninth. Rogers outing began harmlessly, before he lost control of what appeared to be a breaking pitch to Jeimer Candelario which spun and looped puzzlingly away from the Detroit hitter, ending up nowhere near the strike zone. Rogers appeared to be in discomfort after the pitch, clutching and examining a finger on his pitching hand. Twins fans will hope Rogers merely cracked a nail or was suffering from a blister, anything more serious is a major cloud over one of the most appealing relief pitching options for Friday’s trade deadline. The Twins broadcast booth later reported that Rogers left the game with a left middle finger sprain. Next steps for Rogers and a timetable are to be determined. Alexander Colomé relieved Rogers and did what he does, surrendering a single to Candelario before Robbie Grossman clubbed a two-ruin home run to right field to tie the game at 5-5. Gregory Soto walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, but Willians Astudillo struck out swinging to send the game to extra innings. Caleb Thielbar took the top of the tenth for the Twins. He made short work of the Tigers, retiring the side in order to give the Twins a golden opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the tenth. Kenta Maeda started on second base in the bottom of the tenth (the fourth pinch running appearance of his career). Soto managed a much cleaner tenth until Max Kepler dumped a single into right center field to score Maeda from second base and make the Twins 6-5 winners. Bullpen Usage Chart WED THU FRI SAT SUN MON TOT Colomé 22 0 11 0 10 16 59 Coulombe 0 32 0 0 18 0 50 Duffey 38 0 0 0 0 11 49 Thielbar 16 0 0 16 0 13 45 Alcala 0 0 0 10 24 0 34 Rogers 0 0 18 0 0 5 23 Minaya 0 0 20 0 0 0 20 Robles 0 0 0 0 0 13 13 Postgame Interviews Next Up The Twins send Kenta Maeda to the mound on Tuesday to face Tyler Alexander. First pitch is at 7:10 CT.
  8. What's Their Situation? Coming into the season, everyone expected the Padres and Dodgers to be battling it out for the NL Central crown, which the Padres haven't won since they went back-to-back in 2006 and 2007. To almost everyone's surprise, neither team is in first place, as the San Francisco Giants have been baseball's best team over the first 94 games of the season. And even though they find themselves 5.5 games behind the division leader and in third place, FanGraphs has their odds to make the postseason at 92.3-percent, making them the second Wild Card team and likely facing the Dodgers or Giants in the Wild Card round. Currently, the Padres are tied with the Mets with an 8.0-percent chance to win the World Series, which is 5th best in the league. What Do They Need? Like the Dodgers, but even more so, the Padres need starting and relief pitching. The Padres are 23rd in all of baseball in getting innings from their starters, leading them to use their relievers the most in baseball. Aside from Yu Darvish, who is currently on the IL and has struggled since the MLB cracked down on "sticky stuff," they don't have any top-end arms in their rotation or bullpen. That said, they have gotten good production from Joe Musgrove (SP), Emilio Pagan (RP), Pierce Johnson (RP), and Austin Adams (RP). They could also use a right-handed bat as they are a mediocre team against left-handed pitching. Which Twins Are The Best Fit? It remains to be seen if anyone will be willing to add any of the Twins expiring contracts who are at least partially responsible for the Twins being sellers in 2021. That said, I think the Twins could DFA Alex Colomé, Hansel Robles, J.A. Happ, or Matt Shoemaker on August 1st if they aren't moved the day before. In short, they would likely take anything (PTBNL or cash) as their return on investment rather than just giving up the players for free. Of course, the headliners for the Twins are José Berríos, Taylor Rogers, and Tyler Duffey, but I think Michael Pineda and Caleb Thielbar could be intriguing trade candidates as well. Thielbar is one of the most under-appreciated Twins, and despite being 34-years-old, he still has three years of team control remaining. What Could the Twins Get Back? The Padres have been very active on the trade market in recent years yet boast one of the best farm systems in baseball. They feature four to five top-100 guys depending on the source and two guys in the top-10. Moreover, many of their top prospects are close to getting their crack at contributing in the Major Leagues. You'll notice that shortstop CJ Abrams, a headliner prospect, isn't on this list because he recently fractured his leg, and I don't see the Padres willing to "sell low" on a player with such a high ceiling. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, 22yo - Gore is one the best prospects in all of baseball and would require a haul to acquire from the Padres if he's even available at all. That said, aside from 101 innings in 2019, he's struggled in the Minors, where he has a 5.85 ERA and is issuing 5.4 walks per nine innings. He fits the current Twins mold, high 90's fastball with a slider, and maybe his struggles have the Padres ready to move on. Robert Hassel, OF, 19yo - I'd be remiss if I didn't have Hassel on this list as he's a high-level prospect that would be hard to pass up if he's available, but he is another left-handed hitter of which the Twins are loaded (Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and Matt Walner). That said, with his upside, it could provide a future replacement if they were unable to extend Byron Buxton, although his defense obviously would be a significant downgrade. Ryan Weathers, LHP, 21yo - despite having less than 130 innings in the minors, Weathers has been forced to the Majors, where he has fared pretty well thru 58.2 innings. His xERA (5.29) and FIP (4.54) aren't favorable, but to this point, he has posted a 2.91 ERA and a K/BB of 2.33, which is decent. Like Gore, Weathers has a high-velocity fastball and a slider, although his best secondary pitch is his change-up. He's a step down from the first three prospects mentioned and thus more available and cheaper. Reggie Lawson, RHP, 23yo Justin Lange, RHP, 19yo Anderson Espinoza, RHP, 23yo I grouped these guys because they are intriguing, a tier or two below weathers, and have flaws that would make them cheaper. All would be a risk to take on, especially Lawson and Espinoza, who have battled injuries in their time in the Minors. Lawson, who just recently returned to the mound, has a mid-90's fastball with plus offspeed. Espinoza, who hadn't pitched since 2016, has struggled this year to be expected after such a long layoff and was pumping high 90's in spring training. The risk in adding Lange is that he's only 19-years-old who can hit triple digits, making his health and development a bit of a wild card.
  9. The good news is that the Twins will not lose more playoff games to the Yankees this season. The bad news is there can be multiple current Twins players that help the Yankees regain their October glory. What's Their Situation? In baseball's toughest division, the Yankees find themselves eight games out of first place, which puts them behind three other teams. New York would need to pass Tampa, Boston and Toronto to claim the AL East crown. They may need to turn their sights to one of the two Wild Card spots and that might be tough with the other teams in front of them. The last time the Yankees missed the playoffs was back in 2016, so to avoid that fate, the Bronx Bombers are going to have to go on a second-half run to get back in the race. At the All-Star break, New York was tied with Toronto and Cleveland at 4.5 games back of a playoff spot. That's a lot of ground to make up, especially with that many teams in contention. What Do They Need? New York's most significant need is clearly in center field after Aaron Hicks suffered a season-ending wrist injury. Brett Gardner and Clint Frazier have struggled to fill in, but outfield help isn't their only need. Starting pitching depth is vital for all contenders, and New York is missing Corey Kluber (shoulder) and Luis Severino (Tommy John). The Twins have a few players that fit these needs. Which Twins Are the Best Fit? Byron Buxton is the player that can best fit the Yankees center field need, but he is still on his way back from a broken hand. Buxton can certainly still be part of a trade, but a team dealing for him likely wants to make sure he is completely healthy before pulling the trigger on a deal, especially since Buxton was bothered by a hip injury before he broke his hand. Buxton has been playing at an MVP level when on the field, which adds to his intrigue. Jose Berrios is Minnesota's most valuable trade target on the starting pitcher front, but the thought of him in a Yankee uniform is tough to swallow. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has been clear that his team will be buyers at the deadline and trading for Berrios keeps him out of other AL contender's rotations. Besides Berrios, Michael Pineda is another starting pitcher option. He is familiar with the Yankee organization, but he will need to put together some strong starts leading into the deadline. Who Could The Twins Get Back? It seems unlikely that any teams will lay a hand on Jasson Dominguez, the Yankees' top prospect, but here are some other names to consider. Clarke Schmidt, RHP, 25yo – Schmidt has yet to appear in a game this year as he rehabs from an elbow strain. He was New York's first-round pick back in 2017, and he is one of their top pitching prospects. His medical records are essential to a trade, but the Twins need starting pitching help next season, and he is close to big-league ready. Deivi Garcia, RHP, 22yo – Garcia has made eight big-league starts and allowed six earned runs in 42 2/3 innings. He is significantly younger than Schmidt, and he might have a higher upside for the long term. Also, there aren't current injury concerns with Garcia like there are with Schmidt. On national prospect lists, he is at the back end of the top-100. Luis Gil, RHP, 23yo – Gil is an intriguing name because he was initially part of the Twins organization. Back in 2018, the Twins traded him to the Yankees for Jake Cave. Gil has developed into a borderline top-100 prospect, and the Twins are familiar with his background from signing him as a teenager. He has yet to make his big-league debut, but he has posted a 3.76 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings this year. Click here to read all of Twins Daily's trade deadline coverage. View full article
  10. What's Their Situation? In baseball's toughest division, the Yankees find themselves eight games out of first place, which puts them behind three other teams. New York would need to pass Tampa, Boston and Toronto to claim the AL East crown. They may need to turn their sights to one of the two Wild Card spots and that might be tough with the other teams in front of them. The last time the Yankees missed the playoffs was back in 2016, so to avoid that fate, the Bronx Bombers are going to have to go on a second-half run to get back in the race. At the All-Star break, New York was tied with Toronto and Cleveland at 4.5 games back of a playoff spot. That's a lot of ground to make up, especially with that many teams in contention. What Do They Need? New York's most significant need is clearly in center field after Aaron Hicks suffered a season-ending wrist injury. Brett Gardner and Clint Frazier have struggled to fill in, but outfield help isn't their only need. Starting pitching depth is vital for all contenders, and New York is missing Corey Kluber (shoulder) and Luis Severino (Tommy John). The Twins have a few players that fit these needs. Which Twins Are the Best Fit? Byron Buxton is the player that can best fit the Yankees center field need, but he is still on his way back from a broken hand. Buxton can certainly still be part of a trade, but a team dealing for him likely wants to make sure he is completely healthy before pulling the trigger on a deal, especially since Buxton was bothered by a hip injury before he broke his hand. Buxton has been playing at an MVP level when on the field, which adds to his intrigue. Jose Berrios is Minnesota's most valuable trade target on the starting pitcher front, but the thought of him in a Yankee uniform is tough to swallow. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has been clear that his team will be buyers at the deadline and trading for Berrios keeps him out of other AL contender's rotations. Besides Berrios, Michael Pineda is another starting pitcher option. He is familiar with the Yankee organization, but he will need to put together some strong starts leading into the deadline. Who Could The Twins Get Back? It seems unlikely that any teams will lay a hand on Jasson Dominguez, the Yankees' top prospect, but here are some other names to consider. Clarke Schmidt, RHP, 25yo – Schmidt has yet to appear in a game this year as he rehabs from an elbow strain. He was New York's first-round pick back in 2017, and he is one of their top pitching prospects. His medical records are essential to a trade, but the Twins need starting pitching help next season, and he is close to big-league ready. Deivi Garcia, RHP, 22yo – Garcia has made eight big-league starts and allowed six earned runs in 42 2/3 innings. He is significantly younger than Schmidt, and he might have a higher upside for the long term. Also, there aren't current injury concerns with Garcia like there are with Schmidt. On national prospect lists, he is at the back end of the top-100. Luis Gil, RHP, 23yo – Gil is an intriguing name because he was initially part of the Twins organization. Back in 2018, the Twins traded him to the Yankees for Jake Cave. Gil has developed into a borderline top-100 prospect, and the Twins are familiar with his background from signing him as a teenager. He has yet to make his big-league debut, but he has posted a 3.76 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings this year. Click here to read all of Twins Daily's trade deadline coverage.
  11. Each contending team has holes to fill as the deadline approaches. Here is how the Twins can help each contending AL team. White Sox, Relief Pitcher Trades within the division can be tough, but every contending team needs bullpen help down the stretch. With the Twins wanting to contend next year, it doesn’t seem likely for the club to send Taylor Rogers or Tyler Duffey to a division rival. This makes Robles more of a logical choice with his late inning work this season. He will need to show he can be back to the player he was earlier this season before a deal can get done. Potential Fit: Hansel Robles Cleveland, Starting Pitcher Derek Falvey came to the Twins from Cleveland’s front office, so he is likely well familiar with many of the players still in their system. Cleveland’s pitching staff has dealt with plenty of injuries, so more starting pitching depth might be at the top of their list. Pineda is on an expiring deal, and he won’t cost that much to acquire. His performance will need to improve now that he is back from injury. Potential Fit: Michael Pineda Red Sox, Left-Handed Bat MLB.com identified first base as a need for Boston, but their bigger need might be adding a left-handed bat. Only two everyday players, Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo, are lefties. There’s no question that Kepler has struggled this season, but lately there have been some signs of life with his bat. Kepler is on a very team friendly deal, and he has some defensive flexibility. The emergence of Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach makes Kepler expendable, but the team can also wait until the off-season to trade him. Potential Fit: Max Kepler Rays, Designated Hitter At the beginning of last month, I wrote about the Twins trading Cruz to the Rays. Tampa has previously been interested in him and he adds a big bat to the middle of their line-up. He’s having one of the best seasons ever for a player over 40 and there is likely a small market of contending teams vying for his services. Tampa has one of baseball’s best farm systems so that makes things even more intriguing. Potential Fit: Nelson Cruz Blue Jays, Relief Pitcher Realistically, Toronto might be interested in multiple players on the Twins roster. Besides relievers, the Blue Jays are likely interested in adding starting pitching (Jose Berrios) or designated hitter (Cruz) This is a team that wants to win now, and the AL East is baseball’s toughest division. It’s not out of the question to think the Twins might ship multiple players to Toronto before the deadline. Potential Fit: Taylor Rogers Astros, Relief Pitcher Minnesota’s current front office has previously completed a trade with the Astros that involved a reliever with team control. Ryan Pressly has gone on to a tremendous career in Houston, but he is currently one of the team’s only late-inning options. Adding Rogers to the mix is the kind of one-two punch teams need for deep October runs. Potential Fit: Rogers Athletics, Designated Hitter Minnesota might be able to create a small bidding war, if they can pit Toronto, Oakland, and Tampa against each other for Cruz’s services. Oakland is very familiar with Cruz from his time in Seattle and their line-up can use the powerful upgrade that he can provide. One of the biggest questions is if teams like Tampa and Oakland can take on the remaining salary on his contract or will the Twins have to send cash to pay down his expiring contract. Potential Fit: Cruz Which of these deals is most likely to happen? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  12. Each contending team has holes to fill as the deadline approaches. Here is how the Twins can help each contending NL team. Mets, Third Base Before his recent injury, reports serviced of the Twins and Mets having some initial discussions about a deal involving Josh Donaldson. There are obviously plenty of things to consider with the amount of money remaining on his contract. How much money do the Twins need to cover? What kind of prospect can they get in return? Donaldson has continued to produce offensively, and he can be an October weapon for a club that is willing to deal with some of his antics. Potential Fit: Josh Donaldson Nationals, Starting Pitcher The Nationals have been riding Max Scherzer at the top of the rotation, but there are plenty of other question marks in the rest of their staff. Realistically, Washington needs to add multiple starters including someone with more upside than Pineda. That being said, the NL East is up for grabs, and they have an opportunity to head back to October with rotational upgrades. Potential Fit: Michael Pineda Brewers, Offensive Upgrade Milwaukee finds themselves at the top of the NL Central thanks in large part to a tremendous pitching staff. If they want to find October success, they are going to need to add more to their offense. Nelson Cruz would look great in the middle of their line-up, but no NL DH means that’s out of the question. Donaldson can add a power bat to their line-up if the Twins are willing to eat most of the contract to send him to their border state rival. Potential Fit: Donaldson Reds, Relief Pitcher Cincinnati’s bullpen is terrible as they rank near the bottom of the NL in many metrics. They likely need to add multiple relievers to find any sort of run to the postseason, but are they going to want to surrender the capital needed to make this happen? Minnesota has multiple relievers that are available including plenty of arms with late-inning experience. Potential Fit: Taylor Rogers Giants, Starting Pitcher San Francisco wasn’t supposed to be at the top of the NL West, but baseball is a funny game. Their line-up doesn’t have many glaring needs, so adding to their starting pitching depth seems like the best way to stay at the top of the division. Jose Berrios might be one of the best starters available at the deadline and he can keep them at the top of their division. Potential Fit: Jose Berrios Dodgers, Starting Pitcher Minnesota’s front office has worked with Los Angeles before as part of the Kenta Maeda deal, so that might make another big trade easier for both sides. The Dodgers want to prove that last year’s shortened season title wasn’t a fluke and adding Berrios means the other contenders in their division won’t have the opportunity to acquire him. Potential Fit: Berrios Padres, Relief Pitcher San Diego spent big this winter and they are clearly in win now mode. They can likely use a starting pitcher and some other offensive help, but the Twins have intriguing bullpen arms. Duffey, like Rogers comes with an extra year of team control and that only increases each player’s value. Minnesota might not want to deal Duffey, but the Padres have prospects that might be tough to turn down. Potential Fit: Tyler Duffey There are also plenty of deals the Twins can make with AL squads including multiple teams interested in Cruz. Which of these deals is most likely to happen? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  13. Mets, Third Base Before his recent injury, reports serviced of the Twins and Mets having some initial discussions about a deal involving Josh Donaldson. There are obviously plenty of things to consider with the amount of money remaining on his contract. How much money do the Twins need to cover? What kind of prospect can they get in return? Donaldson has continued to produce offensively, and he can be an October weapon for a club that is willing to deal with some of his antics. Potential Fit: Josh Donaldson Nationals, Starting Pitcher The Nationals have been riding Max Scherzer at the top of the rotation, but there are plenty of other question marks in the rest of their staff. Realistically, Washington needs to add multiple starters including someone with more upside than Pineda. That being said, the NL East is up for grabs, and they have an opportunity to head back to October with rotational upgrades. Potential Fit: Michael Pineda Brewers, Offensive Upgrade Milwaukee finds themselves at the top of the NL Central thanks in large part to a tremendous pitching staff. If they want to find October success, they are going to need to add more to their offense. Nelson Cruz would look great in the middle of their line-up, but no NL DH means that’s out of the question. Donaldson can add a power bat to their line-up if the Twins are willing to eat most of the contract to send him to their border state rival. Potential Fit: Donaldson Reds, Relief Pitcher Cincinnati’s bullpen is terrible as they rank near the bottom of the NL in many metrics. They likely need to add multiple relievers to find any sort of run to the postseason, but are they going to want to surrender the capital needed to make this happen? Minnesota has multiple relievers that are available including plenty of arms with late-inning experience. Potential Fit: Taylor Rogers Giants, Starting Pitcher San Francisco wasn’t supposed to be at the top of the NL West, but baseball is a funny game. Their line-up doesn’t have many glaring needs, so adding to their starting pitching depth seems like the best way to stay at the top of the division. Jose Berrios might be one of the best starters available at the deadline and he can keep them at the top of their division. Potential Fit: Jose Berrios Dodgers, Starting Pitcher Minnesota’s front office has worked with Los Angeles before as part of the Kenta Maeda deal, so that might make another big trade easier for both sides. The Dodgers want to prove that last year’s shortened season title wasn’t a fluke and adding Berrios means the other contenders in their division won’t have the opportunity to acquire him. Potential Fit: Berrios Padres, Relief Pitcher San Diego spent big this winter and they are clearly in win now mode. They can likely use a starting pitcher and some other offensive help, but the Twins have intriguing bullpen arms. Duffey, like Rogers comes with an extra year of team control and that only increases each player’s value. Minnesota might not want to deal Duffey, but the Padres have prospects that might be tough to turn down. Potential Fit: Tyler Duffey There are also plenty of deals the Twins can make with AL squads including multiple teams interested in Cruz. Which of these deals is most likely to happen? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  14. After splitting the first two games of the series against the Chicago White Sox, the Minnesota Twins had a chance to pick up their first series win against the the White Sox this season, but failed to do so and fell to a brutal 2-10 record against their division foe on the season. Box Score Pineda: 5.1 IP 12 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO Home Runs: Larnach (7) Bottom 3 WPA: Pineda (-.237), Cruz (-.105), Rortvedt (-.097) Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) Michael Pineda Get Hit Around in Return from IL Earlier today, the Twins activated Michael Pineda of the Injured List for him to make a return to the staff. The hope is Pineda could pitch well over the next few weeks and boost his trade value at the deadline, however, today did not go according to plan as the White Sox lineup lit him up for twelve hits and five runs across 5 and ⅓ innings. TIme Anderson and Leury Garcia in particular had strong games against Pineda, as Anderson went 3-for-3 against him, while Garcia hit him even harder, as he also went 3-for-3 against Pineda with a triple and this home run that got the scoring started in the top of the second. Trevor Larnach Provides Only Offense for the Twins As has often been case this year, the Twins bats were quite for most of the game, as they were only able to muster just one run on six hits, with the lone run coming from a Trevor Larnach home run leading off the 4th. In addition to Larnach’s home run, Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez had pretty good games themselves, with Polanco going 2-for-4 with two singles, and Luis Arraez also going 2-for-4 with a double, and made an incredible throw from third to get the final out of the seventh inning. Derek Law Pitches Well in Mop Duty Derek Law has not had the best of showings thus far for the Twins, as he had a 5.40 ERA in 10 innings so far in 2021, though his last two outings entering today’s game were a lot better. He continued that trend, as he only gave up 1 run over 2 and ⅔ innings of work. The lone run that Law surrendered was on a two-out double in the seventh. Overall, Law retired seven of the eleven batters that he faced, including a couple of strikeouts in the eight. Caleb Thielbar then came in and pitched a scoreless ninth inning after giving up a leadoff walk to Tim Anderson. Bullpen Usage Chart What’s Next? The Twins will rap up the first half of the season at home in a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers, with the first game coming Thursday night at 7:10 pm CT. View full article
  15. White Sox, Relief Pitcher Trades within the division can be tough, but every contending team needs bullpen help down the stretch. With the Twins wanting to contend next year, it doesn’t seem likely for the club to send Taylor Rogers or Tyler Duffey to a division rival. This makes Robles more of a logical choice with his late inning work this season. He will need to show he can be back to the player he was earlier this season before a deal can get done. Potential Fit: Hansel Robles Cleveland, Starting Pitcher Derek Falvey came to the Twins from Cleveland’s front office, so he is likely well familiar with many of the players still in their system. Cleveland’s pitching staff has dealt with plenty of injuries, so more starting pitching depth might be at the top of their list. Pineda is on an expiring deal, and he won’t cost that much to acquire. His performance will need to improve now that he is back from injury. Potential Fit: Michael Pineda Red Sox, Left-Handed Bat MLB.com identified first base as a need for Boston, but their bigger need might be adding a left-handed bat. Only two everyday players, Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo, are lefties. There’s no question that Kepler has struggled this season, but lately there have been some signs of life with his bat. Kepler is on a very team friendly deal, and he has some defensive flexibility. The emergence of Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach makes Kepler expendable, but the team can also wait until the off-season to trade him. Potential Fit: Max Kepler Rays, Designated Hitter At the beginning of last month, I wrote about the Twins trading Cruz to the Rays. Tampa has previously been interested in him and he adds a big bat to the middle of their line-up. He’s having one of the best seasons ever for a player over 40 and there is likely a small market of contending teams vying for his services. Tampa has one of baseball’s best farm systems so that makes things even more intriguing. Potential Fit: Nelson Cruz Blue Jays, Relief Pitcher Realistically, Toronto might be interested in multiple players on the Twins roster. Besides relievers, the Blue Jays are likely interested in adding starting pitching (Jose Berrios) or designated hitter (Cruz) This is a team that wants to win now, and the AL East is baseball’s toughest division. It’s not out of the question to think the Twins might ship multiple players to Toronto before the deadline. Potential Fit: Taylor Rogers Astros, Relief Pitcher Minnesota’s current front office has previously completed a trade with the Astros that involved a reliever with team control. Ryan Pressly has gone on to a tremendous career in Houston, but he is currently one of the team’s only late-inning options. Adding Rogers to the mix is the kind of one-two punch teams need for deep October runs. Potential Fit: Rogers Athletics, Designated Hitter Minnesota might be able to create a small bidding war, if they can pit Toronto, Oakland, and Tampa against each other for Cruz’s services. Oakland is very familiar with Cruz from his time in Seattle and their line-up can use the powerful upgrade that he can provide. One of the biggest questions is if teams like Tampa and Oakland can take on the remaining salary on his contract or will the Twins have to send cash to pay down his expiring contract. Potential Fit: Cruz Which of these deals is most likely to happen? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  16. Box Score Pineda: 5.1 IP 12 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO Home Runs: Larnach (7) Bottom 3 WPA: Pineda (-.237), Cruz (-.105), Rortvedt (-.097) Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) Michael Pineda Get Hit Around in Return from IL Earlier today, the Twins activated Michael Pineda of the Injured List for him to make a return to the staff. The hope is Pineda could pitch well over the next few weeks and boost his trade value at the deadline, however, today did not go according to plan as the White Sox lineup lit him up for twelve hits and five runs across 5 and ⅓ innings. TIme Anderson and Leury Garcia in particular had strong games against Pineda, as Anderson went 3-for-3 against him, while Garcia hit him even harder, as he also went 3-for-3 against Pineda with a triple and this home run that got the scoring started in the top of the second. Trevor Larnach Provides Only Offense for the Twins As has often been case this year, the Twins bats were quite for most of the game, as they were only able to muster just one run on six hits, with the lone run coming from a Trevor Larnach home run leading off the 4th. In addition to Larnach’s home run, Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez had pretty good games themselves, with Polanco going 2-for-4 with two singles, and Luis Arraez also going 2-for-4 with a double, and made an incredible throw from third to get the final out of the seventh inning. Derek Law Pitches Well in Mop Duty Derek Law has not had the best of showings thus far for the Twins, as he had a 5.40 ERA in 10 innings so far in 2021, though his last two outings entering today’s game were a lot better. He continued that trend, as he only gave up 1 run over 2 and ⅔ innings of work. The lone run that Law surrendered was on a two-out double in the seventh. Overall, Law retired seven of the eleven batters that he faced, including a couple of strikeouts in the eight. Caleb Thielbar then came in and pitched a scoreless ninth inning after giving up a leadoff walk to Tim Anderson. Bullpen Usage Chart What’s Next? The Twins will rap up the first half of the season at home in a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers, with the first game coming Thursday night at 7:10 pm CT.
  17. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 5/24 through Sun, 5/30 *** Record Last Week: 4-2 (Overall: 21-31) Run Differential Last Week: +2 (Overall: -22) Standing: 5th Place in AL Central (11.0 GB) Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 47 | MIN 8, BAL 3: Rare Late-game Surge Pushes Twins Past O's Game 48 | MIN 7, BAL 4: Lineup Comes Through Again with Seven Runs Game 49 | MIN 3, BAL 2: Michael and Miguel Lead Minnesota to First Sweep Game 50 | KC 8, MIN 3: Royals Cool Off Twins in Deflating Loss Game 51 | MIN 6, KC 5: Twins Fend Off KC Rally and Hold On Game 52 | KC 6, MIN 3: Fading Twins Drop Another Home Series NEWS & NOTES This is the ninth Week in Review column we've filed this season, and it's the first since Week 1 – when the Twins won their season-opening series in Milwaukee, two games to one – that we're reviewing a winning week. As winning weeks ago, however, this one was remarkably uninspiring and unfulfilling. They really needed to go 5-1 at least in these six games at home against bad teams, but instead came away with just four wins, and might've been lucky to get that. The Twins required a late-game rally to beat Baltimore on Monday, and barely eked out a one-run victory on Wednesday to clinch the sweep. In a three-game weekend series against the Royals, Minnesota was twice beaten handily, and scraped out a one-run win in the other. This is not a great team dominating bad competition. This is a bottom-dweller with its hands full facing the same. On the health front, it was another week of bad news and foreboding developments for the Twins. They lost two more key pieces to the Injured List, with Luis Arraez (shoulder) and Max Kepler (hamstring) hitting the shelf after trying to play through their respective ailments. There's a belief that Kepler could return soon after his 10-day window expires, but Arraez is looking at a lengthier absence, as his shoulder injury appears to be more serious than initially thought. Meanwhile, Kenta Maeda is also facing an extended period of unavailability. Rocco Baldelli said on Sunday that the right-hander's groin issue has been resolved, but the team wants to give Maeda extra time off due to "general arm soreness," which may help explain his extremely lackluster results up to this point. Adding to the fun (not): Byron Buxton was not able to start a rehab assignment as hoped this past weekend, because he's still not moving around at 100%. Three weeks removed from suffering his hip strain, Buxton's timetable remains in limbo. On the bright side, the Twins did get Michael Pineda back from IL, and as we'll cover below, he looked great. In the bullpen, Cody Stashak was swapped out for Juan Minaya. Dakota Chalmers was DFA'ed to make room on the 40-man roster for Minaya. HIGHLIGHTS The return of Pineda was more than welcome for a rotation that's been receiving some uneven performances and is now missing Maeda. Pineda's been the underrated steady rock of this unit, and looked the part again on Wednesday. In a series finale against Baltimore where the offense didn't quite show up the way it had in the first two, Minnesota needed a high-quality pitching performance. Pineda delivered, firing six innings of one-run ball. He allowed three hits and a walk while striking out eight. Pineda's 16-7 record with the Twins stacks up as the best winning percentage in franchise history, and it's reflective of the reality that he gives them a good chance to win just about every time he takes the mound. In all but one start this year, he has pitched five or more innings and allowed three or fewer runs. The lineup is getting help from some unlikely sources. Hardly just a novelty act, Rob Refsnyder has been a key contributor; last week he went 7-for-22 with a homer and four RBIs to deliver some much-needed production at the bottom of the order. With Kepler and Buxton both sidelined, Refsnyder is essentially the only center fielder on the roster. Baldelli's made no secret of the fact that he'll be riding Refsnyder hard in the short-term, and the manager will have to hope his opportunistic 30-year-old can stay hot (and healthy). Refsnyder's recent success bodes well in the short-term. But the breakout performance of Trevor Larnach alongside him in the outfield bodes much better for the long-term. He's looking every bit the advanced, impact hitter that his minor-league numbers and top-prospect accolades suggested. Larnach went 5-for-14 with two home runs and five RBIs last week, and while he's shown the ability to absolutely obliterate baseballs, his plate discipline might be the most promising aspect of his early play. Larnach presents a challenging match-up for opposing pitchers because he doesn't chase much outside the zone, and can capitalize once he gets his pitch. As Aaron Gleeman notes, Larnach is tied for third-most walks in Twins history through his first 20 games. His five walks (vs. four strikeouts) last week included one with the bases loaded, forcing in a key run. Alex Kirilloff continues to rake (8-for-23 with two doubles last week), and Jorge Polanco is showing some pop despite the bad wheel (two doubles and a homer in his five starts). But the biggest bright spot on offense right now has got to be Mitch Garver, who suddenly looks like his old Silver Slugger self. Taking on a more regular workload with Ryan Jeffers and (until Sunday) Ben Rortvedt in Triple-A, Garver has rediscovered his rhythm at the plate. In four starts last week and one late-game sub appearance last week, he went 5-for-13 with four doubles, a home run, four walks, and just two strikeouts. Garver was slashing .151/.196/.321 with a 25-to-3 K/BB ratio through his first 17 games before a breakout two-homer night in Cleveland on April 28th. Since then, he is slashing .300/.432/.683 with 18 strikeouts and 14 walks. In 2019, he slashed .273/.365/.630. LOWLIGHTS While young bucks like Larnach and Kirilloff have been stepping up to carry much of the load offensively, the highly-paid veterans that Minnesota depends upon are coming up short. Nelson Cruz is wrapping up perhaps his most underwhelming month in a Twins uniform. Following a 2-for-14 week, he's slashing .232/.315/.378 in May with three home runs and just six RBIs in 23 games. Is age finally catching up with Cruz? He started the season on a scorching tear, but has looked like a very ordinary player for the last five weeks or so. Then again he's still hitting the ball hard as hell, so maybe it's just a matter of time before he catches fire again. Here's hoping so, because the Twins will at the very least be reliant on Cruz as a key trade chip in July. Even more concerning are the ongoing struggles of Josh Donaldson, who for better or worse is going to be around for a while The Twins spent big on Donaldson two offseasons ago, envisioning him is the final puzzle piece for a power-laden lineup with championship aspirations. Donaldson was largely a non-factor in 2020 due to injury, and while he's been able to stay on the field this year, he's making more headlines for his drama-stirring tweets than for his standout play. Last week Donaldson went 3-for-21, dropping his slash line for the season to .226/.325/.394. His double off the right field wall on Sunday was his first extra-base hit in 12 days, and he hasn't had a multi-hit game since May 8th. Donaldson is still taking good ABs and drawing walks at a solid clip, but there's only so much value in having one of the slowest dudes in baseball putting himself on first base a handful of times per week. They need JD crushing drives all over the field. He's mostly just hitting pop-ups when he makes contact, and is on pace to finish with 15 home runs. And then there is the ever-streaky Miguel Sanó, who flipped the switch back from red-hot to ice-cold with a 2-for-21 week that included one walk and 11 strikeouts. Granted, one of those two hits was tremendously impactful – a sixth-inning three-run homer on Wednesday that essentially turned a loss into a win – but he was a black hole otherwise. Between that trio – Cruz, Donaldson, and Sanó – you've got three critical cornerstones of the lineup, all hitting in key spots and providing almost nothing. They're killing rallies, rather than powering the offense with clutch knocks and dramatic blasts (with one exception). The pitching hasn't been very good but ultimately this team is built to outslug opponents and should be mauling staffs like Baltimore and Kansas City. To score only three runs in three of these six games, at home, is reflective of a dysfunctional lineup being let down by its supposed leaders. When I look back on this incredibly disappointing season, I will very likely zero in on this past week, when the Twins desperately needed to go on a run against bad teams to salvage their contention hopes and the three highest-paid players on the roster – Cruz, Donaldson and Sanó make a combined $50 million, accounting for more than a third of the total payroll – went 3-for-19 with runners in scoring position. TRENDING STORYLINE In happier news, the arms are cooking down on the farm. Last week in this space we celebrated the sterling debut of Jhoan Duran for the Saints; in his second start on Thursday, Duran tossed four shutout innings with one hit allowed and eight strikeouts. He's on the fast track and could be a real difference-maker for the Twins' staff this year. But he's not the only pitching prospect making a strong early impression. Josh Winder, whose ascending velocity has opened eyes and earned him a spring training invite, struck out seven over five innings of two-run ball for Wichita on Saturday. He owns a 1.48 ERA and 30-to-6 K/BB ratio through 24 ⅓ frames in his first stint at Double-A. Matt Canterino is currently pitching at Cedar Rapids, but could soon join Winder in Wichita because he's putting up flat-out silly numbers against Single-A hitters. After striking out 10 in four innings on Friday, Canterino has a 1.50 ERA and 35-to-3 K/BB ratio in 18 innings for the Kernels. In another bit of encouraging news pertaining to the pitcher pipeline, Jordan Balazovic plans to throw in Fort Myers on Monday. If that goes well, it sounds like he'll be heading to Double-A, where the rotation could soon feature him, Winder, and Canterino. More like Pitch-ita, amirite. Duran is closest out of these names, but any of them are realistic possibilities to pitch for the Twins this season. LOOKING AHEAD The "Or-royals" segment of the schedule rolls on in the coming week, as the Twins will travel to play both clubs on the road after going 4-2 against them at Target Field. If Minnesota can't find a way to go 6-1 or 7-0 in the upcoming games, they're going to look back at these two weeks as an unaffordable missed opportunity to make up crucial ground. They'll be returning home to face the Yankees and Astros afterward. If they play those opponents the same way they played this past week and, really, for most of the season, it's going to get ugly. MONDAY, 5/31: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Jose Berríos v. RHP Jorge Lopez TUESDAY, 6/1: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Michael Pineda v. LHP Bruce Zimmermann WEDNESDAY, 6/2: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Randy Dobnak v. RHP Matt Harvey THURSDAY, 6/3: TWINS @ ROYALS – LHP J.A. Happ v. LHP Kris Bubic FRIDAY, 6/4: TWINS @ ROYALS – RHP Matt Shoemaker v. TBD SATURDAY, 6/5: TWINS @ ROYALS – RHP Jose Berrios v. RHP Brad Keller SUNDAY, 6/6: TWINS @ ROYALS – RHP Michael Pineda v. LHP Mike Minor
  18. It was a winning week for the Minnesota Twins, but not a particularly impressive one. Once again, a step forward was immediately followed by a regressive stumble, with the weekend's deflating series loss against Kansas City erasing positive vibes and progress from a sweep over Baltimore. At this point, it's hard to escape the conclusion that the perpetually underperforming Twins are what their record says they are. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 5/24 through Sun, 5/30 *** Record Last Week: 4-2 (Overall: 21-31) Run Differential Last Week: +2 (Overall: -22) Standing: 5th Place in AL Central (11.0 GB) Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 47 | MIN 8, BAL 3: Rare Late-game Surge Pushes Twins Past O's Game 48 | MIN 7, BAL 4: Lineup Comes Through Again with Seven Runs Game 49 | MIN 3, BAL 2: Michael and Miguel Lead Minnesota to First Sweep Game 50 | KC 8, MIN 3: Royals Cool Off Twins in Deflating Loss Game 51 | MIN 6, KC 5: Twins Fend Off KC Rally and Hold On Game 52 | KC 6, MIN 3: Fading Twins Drop Another Home Series NEWS & NOTES This is the ninth Week in Review column we've filed this season, and it's the first since Week 1 – when the Twins won their season-opening series in Milwaukee, two games to one – that we're reviewing a winning week. As winning weeks ago, however, this one was remarkably uninspiring and unfulfilling. They really needed to go 5-1 at least in these six games at home against bad teams, but instead came away with just four wins, and might've been lucky to get that. The Twins required a late-game rally to beat Baltimore on Monday, and barely eked out a one-run victory on Wednesday to clinch the sweep. In a three-game weekend series against the Royals, Minnesota was twice beaten handily, and scraped out a one-run win in the other. This is not a great team dominating bad competition. This is a bottom-dweller with its hands full facing the same. On the health front, it was another week of bad news and foreboding developments for the Twins. They lost two more key pieces to the Injured List, with Luis Arraez (shoulder) and Max Kepler (hamstring) hitting the shelf after trying to play through their respective ailments. There's a belief that Kepler could return soon after his 10-day window expires, but Arraez is looking at a lengthier absence, as his shoulder injury appears to be more serious than initially thought. Meanwhile, Kenta Maeda is also facing an extended period of unavailability. Rocco Baldelli said on Sunday that the right-hander's groin issue has been resolved, but the team wants to give Maeda extra time off due to "general arm soreness," which may help explain his extremely lackluster results up to this point. Adding to the fun (not): Byron Buxton was not able to start a rehab assignment as hoped this past weekend, because he's still not moving around at 100%. Three weeks removed from suffering his hip strain, Buxton's timetable remains in limbo. On the bright side, the Twins did get Michael Pineda back from IL, and as we'll cover below, he looked great. In the bullpen, Cody Stashak was swapped out for Juan Minaya. Dakota Chalmers was DFA'ed to make room on the 40-man roster for Minaya. HIGHLIGHTS The return of Pineda was more than welcome for a rotation that's been receiving some uneven performances and is now missing Maeda. Pineda's been the underrated steady rock of this unit, and looked the part again on Wednesday. In a series finale against Baltimore where the offense didn't quite show up the way it had in the first two, Minnesota needed a high-quality pitching performance. Pineda delivered, firing six innings of one-run ball. He allowed three hits and a walk while striking out eight. Pineda's 16-7 record with the Twins stacks up as the best winning percentage in franchise history, and it's reflective of the reality that he gives them a good chance to win just about every time he takes the mound. In all but one start this year, he has pitched five or more innings and allowed three or fewer runs. The lineup is getting help from some unlikely sources. Hardly just a novelty act, Rob Refsnyder has been a key contributor; last week he went 7-for-22 with a homer and four RBIs to deliver some much-needed production at the bottom of the order. With Kepler and Buxton both sidelined, Refsnyder is essentially the only center fielder on the roster. Baldelli's made no secret of the fact that he'll be riding Refsnyder hard in the short-term, and the manager will have to hope his opportunistic 30-year-old can stay hot (and healthy). Refsnyder's recent success bodes well in the short-term. But the breakout performance of Trevor Larnach alongside him in the outfield bodes much better for the long-term. He's looking every bit the advanced, impact hitter that his minor-league numbers and top-prospect accolades suggested. Larnach went 5-for-14 with two home runs and five RBIs last week, and while he's shown the ability to absolutely obliterate baseballs, his plate discipline might be the most promising aspect of his early play. Larnach presents a challenging match-up for opposing pitchers because he doesn't chase much outside the zone, and can capitalize once he gets his pitch. As Aaron Gleeman notes, Larnach is tied for third-most walks in Twins history through his first 20 games. His five walks (vs. four strikeouts) last week included one with the bases loaded, forcing in a key run. Alex Kirilloff continues to rake (8-for-23 with two doubles last week), and Jorge Polanco is showing some pop despite the bad wheel (two doubles and a homer in his five starts). But the biggest bright spot on offense right now has got to be Mitch Garver, who suddenly looks like his old Silver Slugger self. Taking on a more regular workload with Ryan Jeffers and (until Sunday) Ben Rortvedt in Triple-A, Garver has rediscovered his rhythm at the plate. In four starts last week and one late-game sub appearance last week, he went 5-for-13 with four doubles, a home run, four walks, and just two strikeouts. Garver was slashing .151/.196/.321 with a 25-to-3 K/BB ratio through his first 17 games before a breakout two-homer night in Cleveland on April 28th. Since then, he is slashing .300/.432/.683 with 18 strikeouts and 14 walks. In 2019, he slashed .273/.365/.630. LOWLIGHTS While young bucks like Larnach and Kirilloff have been stepping up to carry much of the load offensively, the highly-paid veterans that Minnesota depends upon are coming up short. Nelson Cruz is wrapping up perhaps his most underwhelming month in a Twins uniform. Following a 2-for-14 week, he's slashing .232/.315/.378 in May with three home runs and just six RBIs in 23 games. Is age finally catching up with Cruz? He started the season on a scorching tear, but has looked like a very ordinary player for the last five weeks or so. Then again he's still hitting the ball hard as hell, so maybe it's just a matter of time before he catches fire again. Here's hoping so, because the Twins will at the very least be reliant on Cruz as a key trade chip in July. Even more concerning are the ongoing struggles of Josh Donaldson, who for better or worse is going to be around for a while The Twins spent big on Donaldson two offseasons ago, envisioning him is the final puzzle piece for a power-laden lineup with championship aspirations. Donaldson was largely a non-factor in 2020 due to injury, and while he's been able to stay on the field this year, he's making more headlines for his drama-stirring tweets than for his standout play. Last week Donaldson went 3-for-21, dropping his slash line for the season to .226/.325/.394. His double off the right field wall on Sunday was his first extra-base hit in 12 days, and he hasn't had a multi-hit game since May 8th. Donaldson is still taking good ABs and drawing walks at a solid clip, but there's only so much value in having one of the slowest dudes in baseball putting himself on first base a handful of times per week. They need JD crushing drives all over the field. He's mostly just hitting pop-ups when he makes contact, and is on pace to finish with 15 home runs. And then there is the ever-streaky Miguel Sanó, who flipped the switch back from red-hot to ice-cold with a 2-for-21 week that included one walk and 11 strikeouts. Granted, one of those two hits was tremendously impactful – a sixth-inning three-run homer on Wednesday that essentially turned a loss into a win – but he was a black hole otherwise. Between that trio – Cruz, Donaldson, and Sanó – you've got three critical cornerstones of the lineup, all hitting in key spots and providing almost nothing. They're killing rallies, rather than powering the offense with clutch knocks and dramatic blasts (with one exception). The pitching hasn't been very good but ultimately this team is built to outslug opponents and should be mauling staffs like Baltimore and Kansas City. To score only three runs in three of these six games, at home, is reflective of a dysfunctional lineup being let down by its supposed leaders. When I look back on this incredibly disappointing season, I will very likely zero in on this past week, when the Twins desperately needed to go on a run against bad teams to salvage their contention hopes and the three highest-paid players on the roster – Cruz, Donaldson and Sanó make a combined $50 million, accounting for more than a third of the total payroll – went 3-for-19 with runners in scoring position. TRENDING STORYLINE In happier news, the arms are cooking down on the farm. Last week in this space we celebrated the sterling debut of Jhoan Duran for the Saints; in his second start on Thursday, Duran tossed four shutout innings with one hit allowed and eight strikeouts. He's on the fast track and could be a real difference-maker for the Twins' staff this year. But he's not the only pitching prospect making a strong early impression. Josh Winder, whose ascending velocity has opened eyes and earned him a spring training invite, struck out seven over five innings of two-run ball for Wichita on Saturday. He owns a 1.48 ERA and 30-to-6 K/BB ratio through 24 ⅓ frames in his first stint at Double-A. Matt Canterino is currently pitching at Cedar Rapids, but could soon join Winder in Wichita because he's putting up flat-out silly numbers against Single-A hitters. After striking out 10 in four innings on Friday, Canterino has a 1.50 ERA and 35-to-3 K/BB ratio in 18 innings for the Kernels. In another bit of encouraging news pertaining to the pitcher pipeline, Jordan Balazovic plans to throw in Fort Myers on Monday. If that goes well, it sounds like he'll be heading to Double-A, where the rotation could soon feature him, Winder, and Canterino. More like Pitch-ita, amirite. Duran is closest out of these names, but any of them are realistic possibilities to pitch for the Twins this season. LOOKING AHEAD The "Or-royals" segment of the schedule rolls on in the coming week, as the Twins will travel to play both clubs on the road after going 4-2 against them at Target Field. If Minnesota can't find a way to go 6-1 or 7-0 in the upcoming games, they're going to look back at these two weeks as an unaffordable missed opportunity to make up crucial ground. They'll be returning home to face the Yankees and Astros afterward. If they play those opponents the same way they played this past week and, really, for most of the season, it's going to get ugly. MONDAY, 5/31: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Jose Berríos v. RHP Jorge Lopez TUESDAY, 6/1: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Michael Pineda v. LHP Bruce Zimmermann WEDNESDAY, 6/2: TWINS @ ORIOLES – RHP Randy Dobnak v. RHP Matt Harvey THURSDAY, 6/3: TWINS @ ROYALS – LHP J.A. Happ v. LHP Kris Bubic FRIDAY, 6/4: TWINS @ ROYALS – RHP Matt Shoemaker v. TBD SATURDAY, 6/5: TWINS @ ROYALS – RHP Jose Berrios v. RHP Brad Keller SUNDAY, 6/6: TWINS @ ROYALS – RHP Michael Pineda v. LHP Mike Minor View full article
  19. It’s looking more like the Twins won’t find themselves in contention this season, especially with a difficult part of their upcoming schedule. That means, the team will be looking to deal away players, so here are five possible trade candidates. Nelson Cruz Cruz is on an expiring deal and he hasn’t been back to the World Series since his time in Texas. He is going to have few opportunities left to make a playoff run. It helps that he continues to be ageless as he is one of baseball’s best hitters even in his age-40 season. Unfortunately, the National League didn’t adopt the DH for the 2021 season, so this cuts out half the teams in the market for Cruz’s services. That being said, his leadership is something any contending team would be lucky to have for a playoff run. Michael Pineda Like Cruz, Pineda is on an expiring contract and he’s performing well in 2021. He’s been one of the team’s most reliable starters this year with a 2.43 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. In fact, his number have been strong throughout his Twins tenure when he has been on the field. Injuries seem to be striking teams across baseball at a high rate, so there will likely be a contending team with a starter that is injured. If Pineda can stay healthy, multiple suitors should emerge for Pineda’s services down the stretch. Taylor Rogers Minnesota’s bullpen has been a mess, but Rogers has provided a little stability. There are also some benefits for a potential Roger’s trade suitor. He’s under team control through the end of 2022, he’s left-handed, and he comes with the “proven closer” label. Every contending team needs more pitching depth and Rogers can provide an immediate impact. After agreeing to a $6 million deal this year, he is only going to be more expensive in his final arbitration season. This might be another reason the Twins are willing to part ways with him. Jose Berrios After 2021, Berrios is only under team control for one more season. Minnesota seems out of the running this year and there are no guarantees about 2022. So far in 2021, he has posted a career bests in SO/9 (10.0), WHIP (1.138), HR/9 (0.7), and H/9 (7.0). He seems destined to hit the free agent market and the Twins might not be willing to meet his contract demands since he is like to ask for over $100 million. The front office might be able to get more now for Berrios since he isn’t on an expiring contract. Byron Buxton Twins’ fans saw how great Buxton can be during the first month of 2021, but now he is sidelined with another injury. For him to be a tradeable asset, he’d need to comeback from injury and continue to play well in the weeks leading into the deadline. Like Berrios, Buxton is under team control through the end of 2022, so this control might make more team’s willing to pull the trigger. Gilberto Celestino, one of the organization’s top prospects, is someone that can take over for Buxton in the years ahead. What player do you think is the most likely to be dealt? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  20. Nelson Cruz Cruz is on an expiring deal and he hasn’t been back to the World Series since his time in Texas. He is going to have few opportunities left to make a playoff run. It helps that he continues to be ageless as he is one of baseball’s best hitters even in his age-40 season. Unfortunately, the National League didn’t adopt the DH for the 2021 season, so this cuts out half the teams in the market for Cruz’s services. That being said, his leadership is something any contending team would be lucky to have for a playoff run. Michael Pineda Like Cruz, Pineda is on an expiring contract and he’s performing well in 2021. He’s been one of the team’s most reliable starters this year with a 2.43 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. In fact, his number have been strong throughout his Twins tenure when he has been on the field. Injuries seem to be striking teams across baseball at a high rate, so there will likely be a contending team with a starter that is injured. If Pineda can stay healthy, multiple suitors should emerge for Pineda’s services down the stretch. Taylor Rogers Minnesota’s bullpen has been a mess, but Rogers has provided a little stability. There are also some benefits for a potential Roger’s trade suitor. He’s under team control through the end of 2022, he’s left-handed, and he comes with the “proven closer” label. Every contending team needs more pitching depth and Rogers can provide an immediate impact. After agreeing to a $6 million deal this year, he is only going to be more expensive in his final arbitration season. This might be another reason the Twins are willing to part ways with him. Jose Berrios After 2021, Berrios is only under team control for one more season. Minnesota seems out of the running this year and there are no guarantees about 2022. So far in 2021, he has posted a career bests in SO/9 (10.0), WHIP (1.138), HR/9 (0.7), and H/9 (7.0). He seems destined to hit the free agent market and the Twins might not be willing to meet his contract demands since he is like to ask for over $100 million. The front office might be able to get more now for Berrios since he isn’t on an expiring contract. Byron Buxton Twins’ fans saw how great Buxton can be during the first month of 2021, but now he is sidelined with another injury. For him to be a tradeable asset, he’d need to comeback from injury and continue to play well in the weeks leading into the deadline. Like Berrios, Buxton is under team control through the end of 2022, so this control might make more team’s willing to pull the trigger. Gilberto Celestino, one of the organization’s top prospects, is someone that can take over for Buxton in the years ahead. What player do you think is the most likely to be dealt? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  21. Projected Rotation: Kenta Maeda, José Berríos, Michael Pineda, J.A. Happ, Matt Shoemaker Depth: Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, Lewis Thorpe, Bailey Ober Prospects: Jhoan Duran, Jordan Balazovic, Matt Canterino, Blayne Enlow, Cole Sands THE GOOD Let's start at the top. Kenta Maeda: The long-awaited ace and reigning Cy Young runner-up. Maeda's first year in a Minnesota uniform yielded the best performance we've seen from a Twins starting pitcher since Johan Santana left town. One of the great sadnesses of the shortened 2020 season was that we didn't get to see him do more of it. From his first turn to his last, Maeda was superb. He never gave up more than three runs in a game, or more hits than innings pitched in a start. His whiff rate was third-highest in the game behind Jacob deGrom and Lucas Giolito. Maeda shut down Houston with five shutout innings in the playoffs. A month prior, he came within three outs of no-hitting Milwaukee at Target Field. With an offspeed-heavy mix and impeccable command, he left opposing batters helpless. https://twitter.com/MLB/status/1295914048043786241 This was a different version of Maeda than we ever saw in Los Angeles, where he was more good than great, leading to natural questions about how repeatable the breakout is. Indeed, the righty probably won't be quite so thoroughly dominant in a full-length follow-up, but there's little reason to think he won't be a credible rotation-fronter. The question is whether José Berríos will join him in that category. He's a very good starter, and one of the most reliably durable in the game, but Berríos hasn't quite been able to take that step into the highest tier despite flirting with it frequently. Last season might look like a setback, at a glance – his 4.00 ERA and 1.32 WHIP were both highest since Berríos' rocky debut in 2016. But they're also misleading, and emblematic of 2020's small-sample haziness. He gave up five runs in four innings against Chicago on Opening Day. From that point forward, the righty posted a 3.51 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, holding opponents to a .225 average. Same old Berríos. That's not including his postseason start against Houston, where he allowed one run on two hits in five frames. We'll see if he can find something more, and if he does, the Twins will boast one of the league's best 1-2 punches in the rotation. But they'd also be happy to get that same old Berríos again, because his baseline is a pretty damn good. And also: Minnesota has another underrated starter in the frontline discussion. Michael Pineda is finally coming into a season unhindered by injury rehab or suspension. When on the mound for Minnesota, he has consistently pitched well, and the Twins have played .677 baseball. He's 32 and playing for his next contract with free agency upcoming. As Twins GM Thad Levine put it, Pineda "has put himself in the best position he can to have a robust second chapter to his career.” https://twitter.com/NickNelsonMN/status/1361852125551157250 J.A. Happ is not a super flashy addition at age 38, but he's been basically as good as Berríos over the past handful of seasons, and he's a great asset as your fourth starter. Matt Shoemaker rounds out the rotation as a $2 million flier who probably has a 50/50 shot at lasting until the All-Star break. But as with any signing by this front office, there's upside here that's easy to see. The offseason additions might not have been too exciting, but what does excite about Minnesota's rotation picture this year is the internal depth. Randy Dobnak and Lewis Thorpe both offer plenty of intrigue, especially with their buzz-stirring spring camps. Devin Smeltzer is a better eighth option than most other teams have. And that's before you turn to the farm. The Twins' top three pitching prospects – Jhoan Duran, Jordan Balazovic, Matt Canterino – are verging on big-league ready. It's hard to say for sure since the 2020 minor-league season was wiped out, but had it been played, it's very possible any of those three would now be banging on the door – if not already debuted. Each is capable of a serious impact in short order, and the Twins are quietly counting on that to some degree. THE BAD One might argue the Twins have been extraordinarily lucky with the health of their starting pitchers over the past couple years. (Jake Odorizzi and Homer Bailey would disagree, but they're gone.) Berríos has continued to take the mound every fifth day, as usual. Maeda did the same in 2020, while transitioning from starter-reliever hybrid to relative workhorse. He experienced no issues, even after accruing a career-high 115 pitches in his no-hit bid. Pineda, so often injured before coming to Minnesota, has been perfectly healthy outside of the suspension. (Phantom DL stints not withstanding.) I'm not over here to trying to jinx anything. But it has to be acknowledged that this probably won't last forever. The rigors of being a starting pitcher in the major leagues are immense, and right now these guys are grappling with the transition back to a full-season workload, in the wake of 2020's disruption. If one of those top three starters goes down? Suddenly the Twins rotation doesn't look quite so sturdy anymore. Happ might be a nice luxury in the back half, but he's not necessarily someone you want to be depending on toward the front. Shoemaker, Dobnak, Thorpe and Smeltzer all have their own varying levels of promise and mystique, but also serious hurdles to overcome. The top prospects may well all need more seasoning, These aren't unique problems – all pitchers across the league will be facing the same readjustment challenges this year, and no team has infinite starting depth – but the Twins will need a bit of luck on their side to fulfill their potential in the rotation. They're relying heavily on some internal developments playing out well, because it's questionable whether the free agent talent incoming (Happ, Shoemaker) is better than the talent outgoing (Odorizzi, Rich Hill). Questionable might be putting it kindly. THE BOTTOM LINE This is a deep, well-rounded group with a high ceiling and a number of electrifying wild cards in play. Odorizzi is a significant loss, which should not be discounted, but the fact is, the Twins managed to post the second-best rotation ERA, FIP, and fWAR in the American League last year without him. An important thing to keep in mind is that, by retaining all prospect capital in the offseason, the Twins have positioned themselves nicely for a trade as the deadline approaches. That'll probably be a big storyline this summer, but I'm more eager to see what the system can provide internally after four years of remarkable progression under the new front office. "After four years of assembling the infrastructure and creating a culture of fearless development," wrote Dan Hayes at The Athletic recently, "the Twins front office feels as if its pitching pipeline is finally ready to churn out impressive arms at a more consistent rate." Their exhaustive work will be put to the test in what's certain to be a daunting and discombobulating year for MLB starting pitchers, with workloads thrown askew. READ OTHER 2021 POSITION ANALYSIS ARTICLES Catcher First Base Second Base Third Base Shortstop Left Field Center Field Right Field Designated Hitter
  22. If the Twins have ever fielded a better and deeper rotation than the one they're set to line up this year, I can't remember it. From top to bottom (and beyond) this unit looks stacked.Projected Rotation: Kenta Maeda, José Berríos, Michael Pineda, J.A. Happ, Matt Shoemaker Depth: Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, Lewis Thorpe, Bailey Ober Prospects: Jhoan Duran, Jordan Balazovic, Matt Canterino, Blayne Enlow, Cole Sands THE GOOD Let's start at the top. Kenta Maeda: The long-awaited ace and reigning Cy Young runner-up. Maeda's first year in a Minnesota uniform yielded the best performance we've seen from a Twins starting pitcher since Johan Santana left town. One of the great sadnesses of the shortened 2020 season was that we didn't get to see him do more of it. From his first turn to his last, Maeda was superb. He never gave up more than three runs in a game, or more hits than innings pitched in a start. His whiff rate was third-highest in the game behind Jacob deGrom and Lucas Giolito. Maeda shut down Houston with five shutout innings in the playoffs. A month prior, he came within three outs of no-hitting Milwaukee at Target Field. With an offspeed-heavy mix and impeccable command, he left opposing batters helpless. J.A. Happ is not a super flashy addition at age 38, but he's been basically as good as Berríos over the past handful of seasons, and he's a great asset as your fourth starter. Matt Shoemaker rounds out the rotation as a $2 million flier who probably has a 50/50 shot at lasting until the All-Star break. But as with any signing by this front office, there's upside here that's easy to see. The offseason additions might not have been too exciting, but what does excite about Minnesota's rotation picture this year is the internal depth. Randy Dobnak and Lewis Thorpe both offer plenty of intrigue, especially with their buzz-stirring spring camps. Devin Smeltzer is a better eighth option than most other teams have. And that's before you turn to the farm. The Twins' top three pitching prospects – Jhoan Duran, Jordan Balazovic, Matt Canterino – are verging on big-league ready. It's hard to say for sure since the 2020 minor-league season was wiped out, but had it been played, it's very possible any of those three would now be banging on the door – if not already debuted. Each is capable of a serious impact in short order, and the Twins are quietly counting on that to some degree. THE BAD One might argue the Twins have been extraordinarily lucky with the health of their starting pitchers over the past couple years. (Jake Odorizzi and Homer Bailey would disagree, but they're gone.) Berríos has continued to take the mound every fifth day, as usual. Maeda did the same in 2020, while transitioning from starter-reliever hybrid to relative workhorse. He experienced no issues, even after accruing a career-high 115 pitches in his no-hit bid. Pineda, so often injured before coming to Minnesota, has been perfectly healthy outside of the suspension. (Phantom DL stints not withstanding.) I'm not over here to trying to jinx anything. But it has to be acknowledged that this probably won't last forever. The rigors of being a starting pitcher in the major leagues are immense, and right now these guys are grappling with the transition back to a full-season workload, in the wake of 2020's disruption. If one of those top three starters goes down? Suddenly the Twins rotation doesn't look quite so sturdy anymore. Happ might be a nice luxury in the back half, but he's not necessarily someone you want to be depending on toward the front. Shoemaker, Dobnak, Thorpe and Smeltzer all have their own varying levels of promise and mystique, but also serious hurdles to overcome. The top prospects may well all need more seasoning, These aren't unique problems – all pitchers across the league will be facing the same readjustment challenges this year, and no team has infinite starting depth – but the Twins will need a bit of luck on their side to fulfill their potential in the rotation. They're relying heavily on some internal developments playing out well, because it's questionable whether the free agent talent incoming (Happ, Shoemaker) is better than the talent outgoing (Odorizzi, Rich Hill). Questionable might be putting it kindly. THE BOTTOM LINE This is a deep, well-rounded group with a high ceiling and a number of electrifying wild cards in play. Odorizzi is a significant loss, which should not be discounted, but the fact is, the Twins managed to post the second-best rotation ERA, FIP, and fWAR in the American League last year without him. An important thing to keep in mind is that, by retaining all prospect capital in the offseason, the Twins have positioned themselves nicely for a trade as the deadline approaches. That'll probably be a big storyline this summer, but I'm more eager to see what the system can provide internally after four years of remarkable progression under the new front office. "After four years of assembling the infrastructure and creating a culture of fearless development," wrote Dan Hayes at The Athletic recently, "the Twins front office feels as if its pitching pipeline is finally ready to churn out impressive arms at a more consistent rate." Their exhaustive work will be put to the test in what's certain to be a daunting and discombobulating year for MLB starting pitchers, with workloads thrown askew. READ OTHER 2021 POSITION ANALYSIS ARTICLES CatcherFirst BaseSecond BaseThird BaseShortstopLeft FieldCenter FieldRight FieldDesignated Hitter Click here to view the article
  23. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 4/12 through Sun, 4/18 *** Record Last Week: 1-4 (Overall: 6-8) Run Differential Last Week: -15 (Overall: +6) Standing: 4th Place in AL Central Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 10 | BOS 4, MIN 2: More Missed Opportunities, Another Blown Lead Game 11 | BOS 3, MIN 2: Twins Swept by Red Sox, Slip Deeper Into Slump Game 12 | BOS 7, MIN 1: Twins Swept by Red Sox, Slip Deeper Into Slump Game 13 | MIN 4, BOS 3: Twins Snap Losing Streak Despite Another Blown Lead Game 14 | LAA 10, MIN 3: Upton Slam Sinks Struggling Twins NEWS & NOTES Lest anyone thought we'd moved beyond the dangers and disruptions of a global pandemic, this past week for the Twins served as a sobering reminder that COVID-19 is very much still raging in our society, and pro sports are not immune (especially when partially-distributed vaccinations have yet to take full effect). On Wednesday, Andrelton Simmons tested positive and was placed on the COVID-19 IL. The following two days were both thrown into doubt as chaos ensued with pre-game false positives, and on Saturday, mounting fears came to roost. The Twins registered multiple positive tests in their Tier-1 group (including Kyle Garlick and another as-yet-unnamed player), shutting down the rest of their series against the Angels and leaving the upcoming trip to Oakland in limbo. Outside of the virus outbreak, the Twins had some other high-profile health issues. As soon as Josh Donaldson returned from his hamstring injury, Byron Buxton suffered one of his own, sitting out four straight games from Wednesday through Friday with what was described as a minor strain. So far, in a season where we were all so eager to see those two together in the lineup, it hasn't really happened yet. On the bright side, Buxton was slated to play on Saturday night before the game was axed, so he should be fine once the Twins get going again. Perhaps the extra time off for his legs will be a hidden silver lining of an extremely unfortunate situation. In other roster moves, the carousel at the end of the bullpen is already spinning, as expected. Brandon Waddell was optioned on Wednesday to make room for Donaldson. The next day, Cody Stashak was optioned and replaced for one game by Shaun Anderson, who was himself sent out the following day to make room for Friday night's starter Lewis Thorpe. Thorpe went back down after making his spot start, with Devin Smeltzer arriving to fill in as long reliever. It's probably just gonna be like this all year for the relief corps. Buckle up. HIGHLIGHTS In a week sparse on highlights and happy moments, Michael Pineda came through in a big way. His seven shutout innings against Boston on Thursday helped the Twins secure their only victory of the week, avoiding a sweep at home. In his finest start yet as a Twin, Big Mike cruised through seven frames on 88 pitches, striking out six and walking one with two singles allowed. A red-hot Boston lineup could never really mount a threat against Pineda as he pounded the zone with quality fastballs and then attacked with sharp sliders. https://twitter.com/PitchingNinja/status/1382773544363425792 Through three starts, Pineda has a 1.00 ERA and 17-to-3 K/BB ratio, holding opponents to a .159/.194/.270 slash line. He gave up a pair of solo homers against Seattle in his second start but those are the only earned runs he has allowed. Just phenomenal work on the mound. The Twins are now 23-11 behind him since he joined the team. https://twitter.com/AlexFast8/status/1383048350799441925 Some other highlights to take away from a tough week: While Miguel Sanó's swing still isn't quite dialed in, and he's not quite connecting on pitches he should, he's getting closer. This was evidenced by a big home run in Thursday's win. Narrowly missing the sweet spot is all that's holding Sanó back, because his plate approach is locked in. The first baseman walked (6) twice as much as he struck out (3) in 16 plate appearances. A breakout in production seems imminent. Donaldson's return to the lineup went about as well as one could have hoped. He tested his legs immediately, sprinting from first to third and then subsequently to home plate on a sac fly. JD came out of it fine, and went 3-for-6 with a walk and RBI in his two starts. Thorpe answered the call in Anaheim, delivering four quality innings against a tough lineup, with some notable highlights – including a three-pitch strikeout of Mike Trout. It ultimately wasn't enough, as the bullpen collapsed following his departure, but so far Thorpe's 2021 redemption tour is off to a good start. Even in a very poor week by his own standards (he went hitless in four of five starts), Luis Arraez was a big factor, carrying the offense single-handedly in Minnesota's lone win. Arraez tallied four hits, drove in two, and scored the winning run in a 4-3 squeaker. He also displayed some highly impressive instincts on the basepaths. (His form on the slide, however, could use some work.) https://twitter.com/AaronGleeman/status/1382800822870945801 LOWLIGHTS Aside from the smattering of encouraging developments above, the past seven days were a flurry of almost nonstop bad news for the Twins, both on the field and off it. The gravity of the latter outweighs the former so heavily, it feels pointless to pick apart individual performances in an almost universally ugly 1-4 stretch. Suffice to say that the offense as a whole slashed .228/.316/.282 with five doubles, one home run, and 12 runs scored in five games. With runners in scoring position they put up a putrid .175/.271/.200 line. Meanwhile, the bullpen posted a collective 9.19 ERA, with almost every reliever taking part in a series of poorly-timed implosions. Rocco Baldelli made a number of borderline decisions, and basically every one went the wrong way. With all that's going on, I find it difficult to hold these struggles against the manager or team. Beginning with Simmons on Wednesday, the Twins dealt with an endless onslaught of stress and drama, sparked by positive tests both legitimate and illegitimate. Beyond the mental distractions stemming from all this, the ability of players to prepare for games and go through normal routines was impeded. It's all bad. You just hope they can use this immense challenge as an opportunity to come together, rest up, and hit the ground running as they seek to turn around one of the most confounding team-wide slumps of Baldelli's tenure. More than anything, you hope there's no further spread, and that all who've been affected by this outbreak can recover quickly and fully. TRENDING STORYLINE Obviously, the overarching and all-consuming storyline is: when will the Twins play again? But within that, the status and outlook for Alex Kirilloff becomes a pivotal thread. Kirilloff came and went quickly on Thursday, joining as 27th man for the doubleheader and taking three hitless plate appearances before returning to the alternate site. But there's certainly an argument the Twins could've benefited from keeping him around, given the wavering availability of Buxton and the ongoing struggles of Jake Cave. One way or another, it's only a matter of time. Within the next few days, and perhaps before the team even plays again, Kirilloff will reach the point where it becomes impossible for him to accrue a full year of major-league service this season, meaning there's no reason to keep him down unless the Twins don't think he's ready or don't think he can help. That's becoming a tougher and tougher case to make, especially since they know they'll be without Garlick (at least) for some time. LOOKING AHEAD With Monday's series opener in Oakland already canceled, the tentative plan is for a traditional doubleheader on Tuesday – the second in a weeklong span for the Twins. Keyword: tentative. If they play then, it's anyone's guess how they might handle their rotation. Matt Shoemaker was due up on Saturday but with all the days off, the Twins have the option to skip him and J.A. Happ, starting both José Berríos and Kenta Maeda on five days rest. Then again, everyone needs their work and there's nothing wrong with getting the top two arms a little extra rest here early in the season. So I'd expect Shoemaker and Happ to start on Tuesday. Next weekend the Twins are scheduled to return home for a quick one-off series against the Pirates, but with Minneapolis bracing for the potential fallout of a verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial in the days ahead, that series carries its own cloud of uncertainty. Stay tuned and we'll keep you updated on things as they develop. But be ready for a weird week. TUESDAY, 4/20 (G1): TWINS @ ATHLETICS – TBD v. RHP Jesus Luzardo TUESDAY, 4/20 (G2): TWINS @ ATHLETICS – TBD v. LHP Sean Manaea WEDNESDAY, 4/21: TWINS @ ATHLETICS – TBD v. RHP Frankie Montas FRIDAY, 4/23: PIRATES @ TWINS – RHP Trevor Cahill v. TBD SATURDAY, 4/24: PIRATES @ TWINS – RHP Chad Kuhl v. TBD SUNDAY, 4/25: PIRATES @ TWINS – LHP Tyler Anderson v. TBD MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  24. COVID cancellations, key players sidelined by injuries, and several crushing losses: It was a rough week for Twins baseball. Let's review it, and try to figure out where we go from here. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 4/12 through Sun, 4/18 *** Record Last Week: 1-4 (Overall: 6-8) Run Differential Last Week: -15 (Overall: +6) Standing: 4th Place in AL Central Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 10 | BOS 4, MIN 2: More Missed Opportunities, Another Blown LeadGame 11 | BOS 3, MIN 2: Twins Swept by Red Sox, Slip Deeper Into SlumpGame 12 | BOS 7, MIN 1: Twins Swept by Red Sox, Slip Deeper Into SlumpGame 13 | MIN 4, BOS 3: Twins Snap Losing Streak Despite Another Blown LeadGame 14 | LAA 10, MIN 3: Upton Slam Sinks Struggling TwinsNEWS & NOTES Lest anyone thought we'd moved beyond the dangers and disruptions of a global pandemic, this past week for the Twins served as a sobering reminder that COVID-19 is very much still raging in our society, and pro sports are not immune (especially when partially-distributed vaccinations have yet to take full effect). On Wednesday, Andrelton Simmons tested positive and was placed on the COVID-19 IL. The following two days were both thrown into doubt as chaos ensued with pre-game false positives, and on Saturday, mounting fears came to roost. The Twins registered multiple positive tests in their Tier-1 group (including Kyle Garlick and another as-yet-unnamed player), shutting down the rest of their series against the Angels and leaving the upcoming trip to Oakland in limbo. Outside of the virus outbreak, the Twins had some other high-profile health issues. As soon as Josh Donaldson returned from his hamstring injury, Byron Buxton suffered one of his own, sitting out four straight games from Wednesday through Friday with what was described as a minor strain. So far, in a season where we were all so eager to see those two together in the lineup, it hasn't really happened yet. On the bright side, Buxton was slated to play on Saturday night before the game was axed, so he should be fine once the Twins get going again. Perhaps the extra time off for his legs will be a hidden silver lining of an extremely unfortunate situation. In other roster moves, the carousel at the end of the bullpen is already spinning, as expected. Brandon Waddell was optioned on Wednesday to make room for Donaldson. The next day, Cody Stashak was optioned and replaced for one game by Shaun Anderson, who was himself sent out the following day to make room for Friday night's starter Lewis Thorpe. Thorpe went back down after making his spot start, with Devin Smeltzer arriving to fill in as long reliever. It's probably just gonna be like this all year for the relief corps. Buckle up. HIGHLIGHTS In a week sparse on highlights and happy moments, Michael Pineda came through in a big way. His seven shutout innings against Boston on Thursday helped the Twins secure their only victory of the week, avoiding a sweep at home. In his finest start yet as a Twin, Big Mike cruised through seven frames on 88 pitches, striking out six and walking one with two singles allowed. A red-hot Boston lineup could never really mount a threat against Pineda as he pounded the zone with quality fastballs and then attacked with sharp sliders. LOWLIGHTS Aside from the smattering of encouraging developments above, the past seven days were a flurry of almost nonstop bad news for the Twins, both on the field and off it. The gravity of the latter outweighs the former so heavily, it feels pointless to pick apart individual performances in an almost universally ugly 1-4 stretch. Suffice to say that the offense as a whole slashed .228/.316/.282 with five doubles, one home run, and 12 runs scored in five games. With runners in scoring position they put up a putrid .175/.271/.200 line. Meanwhile, the bullpen posted a collective 9.19 ERA, with almost every reliever taking part in a series of poorly-timed implosions. Rocco Baldelli made a number of borderline decisions, and basically every one went the wrong way. With all that's going on, I find it difficult to hold these struggles against the manager or team. Beginning with Simmons on Wednesday, the Twins dealt with an endless onslaught of stress and drama, sparked by positive tests both legitimate and illegitimate. Beyond the mental distractions stemming from all this, the ability of players to prepare for games and go through normal routines was impeded. It's all bad. You just hope they can use this immense challenge as an opportunity to come together, rest up, and hit the ground running as they seek to turn around one of the most confounding team-wide slumps of Baldelli's tenure. More than anything, you hope there's no further spread, and that all who've been affected by this outbreak can recover quickly and fully. TRENDING STORYLINE Obviously, the overarching and all-consuming storyline is: when will the Twins play again? But within that, the status and outlook for Alex Kirilloff becomes a pivotal thread. Kirilloff came and went quickly on Thursday, joining as 27th man for the doubleheader and taking three hitless plate appearances before returning to the alternate site. But there's certainly an argument the Twins could've benefited from keeping him around, given the wavering availability of Buxton and the ongoing struggles of Jake Cave. One way or another, it's only a matter of time. Within the next few days, and perhaps before the team even plays again, Kirilloff will reach the point where it becomes impossible for him to accrue a full year of major-league service this season, meaning there's no reason to keep him down unless the Twins don't think he's ready or don't think he can help. That's becoming a tougher and tougher case to make, especially since they know they'll be without Garlick (at least) for some time. LOOKING AHEAD With Monday's series opener in Oakland already canceled, the tentative plan is for a traditional doubleheader on Tuesday – the second in a weeklong span for the Twins. Keyword: tentative. If they play then, it's anyone's guess how they might handle their rotation. Matt Shoemaker was due up on Saturday but with all the days off, the Twins have the option to skip him and J.A. Happ, starting both José Berríos and Kenta Maeda on five days rest. Then again, everyone needs their work and there's nothing wrong with getting the top two arms a little extra rest here early in the season. So I'd expect Shoemaker and Happ to start on Tuesday. Next weekend the Twins are scheduled to return home for a quick one-off series against the Pirates, but with Minneapolis bracing for the potential fallout of a verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial in the days ahead, that series carries its own cloud of uncertainty. Stay tuned and we'll keep you updated on things as they develop. But be ready for a weird week. TUESDAY, 4/20 (G1): TWINS @ ATHLETICS – TBD v. RHP Jesus Luzardo TUESDAY, 4/20 (G2): TWINS @ ATHLETICS – TBD v. LHP Sean Manaea WEDNESDAY, 4/21: TWINS @ ATHLETICS – TBD v. RHP Frankie Montas FRIDAY, 4/23: PIRATES @ TWINS – RHP Trevor Cahill v. TBD SATURDAY, 4/24: PIRATES @ TWINS – RHP Chad Kuhl v. TBD SUNDAY, 4/25: PIRATES @ TWINS – LHP Tyler Anderson v. TBD MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  25. Traditional Five-Man Rotation Minnesota is going with a traditional five-man pitching staff to start the 2021 season and they are expected to stick with a five-man rotation for the majority of the season. That doesn’t mean the same five pitchers will occupy the rotation as the innings start to add up. Minnesota signed Matt Shoemaker and J.A. Happ to add rotational depth, and this is only going to help in a season like the current one. The Twins can use multiple strategies throughout the season to keep the starting staff rested. One option is to have a player skip a start. In this situation, the team can call-up a starter from St. Paul or the team can go with a bullpen game, which has become more common in recent years. There’s also a good chance a starter will need some time on the injured list at some point, so this allows the team to utilize some of their pitching depth. Rotating Relievers After signing an extension this spring, Randy Dobnak has struggled to start the 2021 season by allowing five earned runs in three innings. Obviously, this is a very small sample size, and the Twins are confident in Dobnak finding success this season. He is the natural choice to be the team’s sixth starter if needed, but he isn’t the only reliever that will eat innings this season. Last year, only two Twins relievers threw more than 25 innings and both of those players, Matt Wisler and Tyler Clippard, are no longer with the team. Minnesota has used Alex Colomé for multiple innings this year and that might hint at some of Rocco Baldelli’s strategy this season. The team has also switched to a 14-man pitching staff with the addition of Brandon Waddell, who will help cover more innings. He can also occupy a spot that is sent back and forth between Triple-A and the big-leagues. Options Outside the 26-Man Roster Outside the names mentioned above, there is certainly other options not currently on the 26-man roster. Lewis Thorpe and Devin Smeltzer are stretched out to be starters and they can be called on to take over a starting role. Top pitching prospects like Jhoan Duran and Jordan Balazovic are also expected to make their debuts in 2021. Hopefully, they aren’t needed for extended innings, but they are waiting in the wings. Other names on the 40-man roster include Shaun Anderson, Dakota Chalmers and Bailey Ober. Each of these arms can fit into the bullpen picture at some point this season. There are also other options outside the 40-man roster including this year’s Sire of Fort Myers, Derek Law. The Twins have liked to use a steady stream of players from the minors to supplement the big-league relief core in recent years and that trend will likely continue in 2021. Other Teams’ Strategies Last week, MLB.com ran through the different strategies teams will utilize in 2021. Teams like the Angels, Mariners, and Pirates are all planning on using six-man rotations, but none of these clubs are expected to be fighting for a World Series title. Some teams, like the Dodgers, Rangers, and Tigers are going to use a piggybacking strategy where some starters are used in a traditional manner and other appearances they use multiple starters that follow one another. The Rays utilize openers and bullpen games quite often and that expects to be the case again, especially with Blake Snell and Charlie Morton no longer part of the rotation. A lot of teams will be using a revolving five-man rotation which will include skipped starts and other pitchers filling into the rotation’s fifth spot. Minnesota is penciled into another large group of 10 teams that will use a traditional five-man rotation for as long as it will last, but it’s clear the team will be open to using multiple pitching strategies this year. What strategies will the Twins use to cover 1,458 innings this year? Leave COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
×
×
  • Create New...