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  1. While we often find ourselves enamored with the incredible athletic ability of players within the parameters of their sport, we tend to forget other pursuits still exist. The Minnesota Twins employ some really good baseball players, and they are all really interesting people as well. Enter Trevor May and the side hustle that has become a brand.If you Google the Minnesota reliever, the first thing that pops up is a link to his Twitter feed and then it’s his Wikipedia page. There’s a set of questions that starts with “Is Trevor May good at baseball?” and then is quickly followed by “Is Trevor May good at Fortnite?” It isn’t until after those entries that his MLB.com bio makes an appearance. This isn’t some sort of coincidence. The popularity of eSports is into the stratosphere, and May is synonymous with the biggest names in the community. He wore the “IamTrevorMay” moniker on the back of his Player’s Weekend jersey, and it’s certainly his outlet when not at work. I caught up with the Twins fireballer (who did hit 100 mph last season) to talk all things not related to baseball. Twins Daily: Obviously athletes have hobbies off the field, but how did it become gaming for you? Trevor May: I’ve always been a gamer from when I was really young. There were some great games that came out when I had a lot of down time from injuries, so here we are. (Note: May was traded to the Twins prior to the 2013 season. He pitched just 46 innings in 2016 and missed all of the 2017 season rehabbing.) TD: Specifically, what about Fortnite drew you in? TM: All of my friends played it AND I love that it was something completely new to learn and master. Then, factor in that creating content around the game was always fresh and fun; I just couldn’t get enough. TD: Was the goal always to create a brand and generate a business of sorts, or what was your initial goal when hopping on Twitch? TM: I just like to perform and interact with people. Sure, building brands and businesses is also something that I’m really passionate about and like doing, but it began as something just to enjoy doing with my spare time. TD: There’s a ton of big names in the eSports community as well. Do you find yourself getting recognized or approached as Trevor May the pitcher, or the streamer that plays baseball? TM: It’s about 50/50 at this point. That’s so cool to me, that it’s like that now. Best of both worlds, I guess. TD: Was it just natural to gravitate toward some of the other large streamers as your own brand grew? Were those relationships you had previously, or how did you end up meeting some of those guys? TM: Yeah, honestly, the biggest draw was that we’re all very similar. We’re older guys that had a lot of the same gaming experiences through our childhoods. Collaboration is huge in gaming and I’m so happy I met all these great people. TD: Where do you go from here? Is it a look towards the next game, an opportunity to create a revenue stream and business post playing career, or is it all just up in the air and see what happens? TM: I’m more interested in learning to build really great businesses to be honest. I’ll always create content and that is a passion of mine, but my ultimate goal is to build great stuff and be fully my own boss. I’ll podcast, I’ll try radio and broadcast I’m sure, but I really just want to test ideas, try different strategies, and ultimately make a lasting difference in this world. TD: Gaming ends up being a great outlet to step away from whatever else we’re committed to. What about the hobby helps you to release away from the diamond? TM: Well, firstly, my performance doesn’t really matter when I play games. I don’t live or die based on outcomes and that’s just nice sometimes, haha. Also, I get to stay in contact with friends, learn new things, and build that side of my life. Kaizen (Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency) is my motto. It’s all about 1% better, more efficient, every day. You can obviously catch Trevor back on the mound in the coming weeks, but he’ll be hanging out at his Twitch channel in between. Seeing guys like May and former Minnesota pitcher Phil Hughes creating content online is a fun view into the more human side of athletes, and it’s something that the masses are definitely embracing. Next time you’re at Target Field, look and see if you can spot any of May’s new baseball jerseys alongside the #65 with the Twins. 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
  2. If you Google the Minnesota reliever, the first thing that pops up is a link to his Twitter feed and then it’s his Wikipedia page. There’s a set of questions that starts with “Is Trevor May good at baseball?” and then is quickly followed by “Is Trevor May good at Fortnite?” It isn’t until after those entries that his MLB.com bio makes an appearance. This isn’t some sort of coincidence. The popularity of eSports is into the stratosphere, and May is synonymous with the biggest names in the community. He wore the “IamTrevorMay” moniker on the back of his Player’s Weekend jersey, and it’s certainly his outlet when not at work. I caught up with the Twins fireballer (who did hit 100 mph last season) to talk all things not related to baseball. Twins Daily: Obviously athletes have hobbies off the field, but how did it become gaming for you? Trevor May: I’ve always been a gamer from when I was really young. There were some great games that came out when I had a lot of down time from injuries, so here we are. (Note: May was traded to the Twins prior to the 2013 season. He pitched just 46 innings in 2016 and missed all of the 2017 season rehabbing.) TD: Specifically, what about Fortnite drew you in? TM: All of my friends played it AND I love that it was something completely new to learn and master. Then, factor in that creating content around the game was always fresh and fun; I just couldn’t get enough. TD: Was the goal always to create a brand and generate a business of sorts, or what was your initial goal when hopping on Twitch? TM: I just like to perform and interact with people. Sure, building brands and businesses is also something that I’m really passionate about and like doing, but it began as something just to enjoy doing with my spare time. TD: There’s a ton of big names in the eSports community as well. Do you find yourself getting recognized or approached as Trevor May the pitcher, or the streamer that plays baseball? TM: It’s about 50/50 at this point. That’s so cool to me, that it’s like that now. Best of both worlds, I guess. TD: Was it just natural to gravitate toward some of the other large streamers as your own brand grew? Were those relationships you had previously, or how did you end up meeting some of those guys? TM: Yeah, honestly, the biggest draw was that we’re all very similar. We’re older guys that had a lot of the same gaming experiences through our childhoods. Collaboration is huge in gaming and I’m so happy I met all these great people. TD: Where do you go from here? Is it a look towards the next game, an opportunity to create a revenue stream and business post playing career, or is it all just up in the air and see what happens? TM: I’m more interested in learning to build really great businesses to be honest. I’ll always create content and that is a passion of mine, but my ultimate goal is to build great stuff and be fully my own boss. I’ll podcast, I’ll try radio and broadcast I’m sure, but I really just want to test ideas, try different strategies, and ultimately make a lasting difference in this world. TD: Gaming ends up being a great outlet to step away from whatever else we’re committed to. What about the hobby helps you to release away from the diamond? TM: Well, firstly, my performance doesn’t really matter when I play games. I don’t live or die based on outcomes and that’s just nice sometimes, haha. Also, I get to stay in contact with friends, learn new things, and build that side of my life. Kaizen (Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency) is my motto. It’s all about 1% better, more efficient, every day. You can obviously catch Trevor back on the mound in the coming weeks, but he’ll be hanging out at his Twitch channel in between. Seeing guys like May and former Minnesota pitcher Phil Hughes creating content online is a fun view into the more human side of athletes, and it’s something that the masses are definitely embracing. Next time you’re at Target Field, look and see if you can spot any of May’s new baseball jerseys alongside the #65 with the Twins. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. Back in early January Nick Nelson wrote about how the Twins may have been impacted by cheaters. We know that Houston and Boston were involved, but we aren’t sure how far that reach expanded. Thanks to Tony, who Marc Carig did a great job speaking with over at The Athletic, we now can see a pretty direct picture of the tainted Twins happenings. Here’s the thing, it actually appears like the Astros started off the year relatively clean. Maybe they were feeling out their new system, or maybe it was around the time that A.J. Hinch went on his smashing spree. Nonetheless, it was in July that Minnesota traveled to Minute Maid Park, and it was game one that produced the second most egregious results of the regular season. https://twitter.com/tlschwerz/status/1222576191036698627 During the three-game series in Texas, Twins pitchers threw 472 pitches. Of those, there were trash can bangs on 112 pitches, a whopping 24%. In game one, 48 of a total 179 (27%) pitches were tipped off. 84 total pitches thrown that day were not fastballs. That means Houston hitters knew, at a 57% clip, when they’d see a breaking pitch during that specific game. Not surprisingly, the results suggested this was the case as well. Houston scored 10 runs that day, hanging seven on starter Jose Berrios. Phil Hughes came on to get the final out in the second inning but was tagged for three runs on five hits while allowing two dingers on his own. The Astros grabbed 10 runs before Minnesota was able to record nine outs. Good day at the office to be sure, but certainly not as impressive when it’s coming in on a tee. The Twins fared better in game two and three, splitting the affairs, but 64 more Rubbermaid bangs were used over the course of that action. https://twitter.com/PJHughes45/status/1222623675796484096 Hughes had opined when the original story broke that this was a game he thought back to. Knowing it was the one time he pitched against the Astros on the road, and proceeded to get lit up, it isn’t a surprise it would stick in his memory. His tweets today immediately pointed to that performance and give significant credibility to the advantages Houston had. More bad news is that it wasn’t just the 2017 Twins who felt the impact of these exploits. Matthew Trueblood recently wrote how Marwin Gonzalez likely benefitted from Houston’s scheme. He posted a career best OPS, and despite favorable numbers on the road, Nick Nelson pointed out a wOBA that jumped off the page in the friendly confines of Fresh Squeezed Park. What’s more, the analysis provided by Mr. Adams shows that Marwin didn’t only participate, but he may have been a ringleader. No Astros player was given more hints as to what was coming than Gonzalez received. If he knew breaking pitches were coming that often, it’s pretty apparent why he would have posted career bests across the board. https://twitter.com/adams_at/status/1222506722276843527 There’s a ton to unpack here and heading over to signstealingscandal.com will allow you to dig to your hearts' content. It’s interesting that Jose Altuve was the batter at the plate the least when the garbage can rang out, but if he was wearing an electronic device as suggested then there’s probably less of a need to be involved. Former, and very short-term, New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran appears near the top of the leaderboard which isn’t a surprise given his named involvement. At the end of the day, this whole orchestration will go down as one of baseball’s greatest transgressions. A wild card-reaching Twins team was definitely exploited on the arms of Berrios and Hughes, and a current utility man will likely have question marks follow his production wherever he goes. This doesn’t change punishments or make any new ones more likely, but it definitely points to the negative impact on the Twins as being more drastic than on most other teams MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  4. The sign stealing allegations have ran rampant regarding the 2017 Houston Astros, and penalties have already been levied. Lurking in the background was Tony Adams, an Astros fan that did his own digging, and now we have some crosshairs right on how the Twins were impacted.Back in early January Nick Nelson wrote about how the Twins may have been impacted by cheaters. We know that Houston and Boston were involved, but we aren’t sure how far that reach expanded. Thanks to Tony, who Marc Carig did a great job speaking with over at The Athletic, we now can see a pretty direct picture of the tainted Twins happenings. Here’s the thing, it actually appears like the Astros started off the year relatively clean. Maybe they were feeling out their new system, or maybe it was around the time that A.J. Hinch went on his smashing spree. Nonetheless, it was in July that Minnesota traveled to Minute Maid Park, and it was game one that produced the second most egregious results of the regular season. During the three-game series in Texas, Twins pitchers threw 472 pitches. Of those, there were trash can bangs on 112 pitches, a whopping 24%. In game one, 48 of a total 179 (27%) pitches were tipped off. 84 total pitches thrown that day were not fastballs. That means Houston hitters knew, at a 57% clip, when they’d see a breaking pitch during that specific game. Not surprisingly, the results suggested this was the case as well. Houston scored 10 runs that day, hanging seven on starter Jose Berrios. Phil Hughes came on to get the final out in the second inning but was tagged for three runs on five hits while allowing two dingers on his own. The Astros grabbed 10 runs before Minnesota was able to record nine outs. Good day at the office to be sure, but certainly not as impressive when it’s coming in on a tee. The Twins fared better in game two and three, splitting the affairs, but 64 more Rubbermaid bangs were used over the course of that action. Hughes had opined when the original story broke that this was a game he thought back to. Knowing it was the one time he pitched against the Astros on the road, and proceeded to get lit up, it isn’t a surprise it would stick in his memory. His tweets today immediately pointed to that performance and give significant credibility to the advantages Houston had. More bad news is that it wasn’t just the 2017 Twins who felt the impact of these exploits. Matthew Trueblood recently wrote how Marwin Gonzalez likely benefitted from Houston’s scheme. He posted a career best OPS, and despite favorable numbers on the road, Nick Nelson pointed out a wOBA that jumped off the page in the friendly confines of Fresh Squeezed Park. What’s more, the analysis provided by Mr. Adams shows that Marwin didn’t only participate, but he may have been a ringleader. No Astros player was given more hints as to what was coming than Gonzalez received. If he knew breaking pitches were coming that often, it’s pretty apparent why he would have posted career bests across the board. There’s a ton to unpack here and heading over to signstealingscandal.com will allow you to dig to your hearts' content. It’s interesting that Jose Altuve was the batter at the plate the least when the garbage can rang out, but if he was wearing an electronic device as suggested then there’s probably less of a need to be involved. Former, and very short-term, New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran appears near the top of the leaderboard which isn’t a surprise given his named involvement. At the end of the day, this whole orchestration will go down as one of baseball’s greatest transgressions. A wild card-reaching Twins team was definitely exploited on the arms of Berrios and Hughes, and a current utility man will likely have question marks follow his production wherever he goes. This doesn’t change punishments or make any new ones more likely, but it definitely points to the negative impact on the Twins as being more drastic than on most other teams 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
  5. I’ve written about baseball cards in this space previously. There was a post for beginners made back at the beginning of August that you can find here. Expanding upon that a bit, collecting has become so much more than walking into a retailer and picking up a pack. Because of the expansion created through a booming level of interest, we’ve now got a whole new vehicle driving collecting and it takes place entirely online. With breakers opening product and sending out cards to those that purchase spots, YouTube has exploded with content creators doing pack openings to show off what they get. That’s where former Twins pitcher Phil Hughes comes in. A longtime collector on his own, he created Phil’s Pulls, and has also partnered with breakers to expand both his reach and love for The Hobby. I caught up with him recently to ask some questions about baseball cards, and what is driving this for him. Twins Daily: Start at the beginning of the player and card lifecycle. What's it like seeing yourself on a baseball card. How does the contract process work, and how much does your hand hurt after signing that many autographs? Phil Hughes: I thought having cards of myself was the coolest thing and really got me back into collecting around 2004. The card companies typically pay a flat rate to every player to use their likeness on the cards, then the autos are negotiable. Typically $2-$3 for prospects. I used to break it up into about 500 at a time or my hand would start to cramp pretty bad. TD: Were baseball, or sports cards in general, something you always gravitated towards or did your desire to collect them ramp up when you became a subject? PH: I mentioned before that I got back into cards around 2004 but I was always into them as a kid. I remember opening packs of 1992 Topps and writing my name on the backs so kids at school knew who they belonged to. TD: How is the hobby viewed around the league? Is it seen as a way to connect with fans, something guys really get into (a la Josh Donaldson and Brad Ziegler), or just all part of the career path? PH: Cards aren't really too popular amongst players and you never hear much about it. That's part of why I wanted to make videos. Collecting cards is fun and all but I wanted to bring a different kind of content to the hobby and connect with other collectors that I normally wouldn't. TD: When looking back on what came out while you were playing, what are some of your favorite cards or products depicting either yourself or some of your teammates? Anything that got extra attention for maybe being a funny image or really cool offering? PH: I've always been a big fan of Bowman Chrome. I think they do a fantastic job with that set every year both in design and format. I always find the photoshopped cards interesting. I believe my first Twins card from Topps was actually a photo of me playing for the Yankees. TD: The hobby has seemed to experience a significant amount of growth in recent years. Has that sparked your interest in box breaks on YouTube, or is it more about your own personal affection towards collecting? What is the goal of your channel and opening products? PH: I really think this hobby is in for a pretty sustained resurgence. So many people that collected growing up are at the age of having kids that they want to share a hobby with. I was blown away when I got back into it how big online group breaks had become. I watched a few and most felt so impersonal. I got the idea to try and make videos. The cards I open are mine, but I felt like people might enjoy a different perspective and some stories to go along with it. The only goal I have with my channel is to keep making videos people want to see. I don't care about revenue or growth. Just getting better and staying consistent with the uploads. TD: Obviously you're developing a nice following through your new endeavor and it's cool to see someone that has tangible connections to the players depicted talk through things. What's in it for you though. What are you building a personal collection of and what are your favorite aspects of what is offered today? PH: I put almost all of what I open either personally or for videos up for sale. I have a pretty small personal collection. I like to chase high end stuff, big rookies and on card autos are a must. Plus, it keeps my collection small which my wife is pretty happy about. TD: There's probably instances where every hobby or market goes stale. What do you see as the biggest setback for collectors today, and what are you most excited about what it comes to cards? PH: So many of the big products these days are so expensive. That's part of why I feature them in my videos. Gives people a chance to see a box or case opened so they can know what to expect before they commit a bunch of money. I love that the companies seem to be listening to their consumers. Adjusting to what people like. TD: Finally, and without worrying about price, what is the one vintage card and one modern card you are all in on adding to your collection? PH: I know in sports card collecting this wouldn't be considered vintage but it is in Pokemon so I'm going with it. 1st edition base set Shadowless Charizard PSA 10. For new I'm going to say the Tatis Jr. Superfractor out of Topps Chrome Sapphire. Phil continues to be one of the most enjoyable follows on Twitter (@PJHughes45) and his channel continues to see rampant growth. He did his first partnered box break last month with Midwest Box Breaks, and now will be busting open a case of the $30,000 Topps Transcendent in the coming weeks. Give him a follow, and feel free to ask him any card related question each time he poses the question, “You up?”
  6. Former Twins Phil Hughes: https://twitter.com/PJHughes45/status/1061041053153673216 Frank Viola: https://twitter.com/FrankViola16/status/1061042452046462976 Michael Cuddyer on MLB Network: https://twitter.com/MLBNetworkRadio/status/1061078254990360577 AJ Achter https://twitter.com/aj_achter/status/1061043655862112256 Glen Perkins: https://twitter.com/glenperkins/status/1061070819646980096 Danny Valencia: https://twitter.com/dannyvalencia19/status/1061068820574539776 JC Romero: https://twitter.com/JCRome16/status/1061095543852728321 Todd Van Steensel: https://twitter.com/toddvs35/status/1061089065787740160 Luke Hughes: https://twitter.com/lukehughes38/status/1061248267063685123 Denard Span: https://twitter.com/thisisdspan/status/1061278555512979457 Drew Butera: https://twitter.com/drewbutera/status/1061276966274252800 Ervin Santana: https://twitter.com/ErvinSantana_54/status/1061299960031911936 Eduardo Nunez: https://twitter.com/EduardoNunez15/status/1061343744648077312 Johan Santana: https://twitter.com/johansantana/status/1061312935132311552 Brian Dozier: Ben Revere: Current Twins Kyle Gibson: https://twitter.com/kgib44/status/1062121750765412353 Trevor May: https://twitter.com/IamTrevorMay/status/1061040486851342338 Matt Magill: https://twitter.com/magillmlb/status/1061079335166066688 Tyler Duffey: https://twitter.com/TheDoof13/status/1061053045218439168 Dietrich Enns: https://twitter.com/DietrichEnns/status/1061083874795679745 John Curtiss: https://twitter.com/JPickensCurtiss/status/1061103635751464960 Jake Cave: https://twitter.com/JakeCave8/status/1061288083784691713 Tyler Austin: https://twitter.com/T1721Austin/status/1061293434571513856 Chase De Jong: https://twitter.com/ChaseDeJong/status/1061317557720764417 Trevor Hildenberger https://twitter.com/t_hildy/status/1061716154832453632 Mitch Garver: https://twitter.com/MitchGarver/status/1046627354876039169 Stephen Gonsalves: https://twitter.com/TheSGonsalves/status/1047157499600633857 Zack Littell: https://twitter.com/z_littell/status/1046559178641338368 Taylor Rogers Byron Buxton Jorge Polanco: Jose Berrios: Future Twins Tyler Wells: https://twitter.com/TylerW13/status/1061041395996094464 Others Ryan Dempster: https://twitter.com/Dempster46/status/1061039755801038848 Sam Carlson: https://twitter.com/samcarlson33/status/1061042989273731072 Dick Bremer: https://twitter.com/dbremer_pxp/status/1061057785142673410 Cory Provus: https://twitter.com/CoryProvus/status/1061067009369260032 Adam Weber: https://twitter.com/Adam_Weber8/status/1061058301717344256 Michael Young: https://twitter.com/MikeyY626/status/1061054893144895490 Morgan Hawk: https://twitter.com/Morgan_Hawk/status/1061330555533492224 Rocco Baldelli: https://twitter.com/roccodbaldelli/status/1061666224797597696 Jamie Hersch: https://twitter.com/JamieHersch/status/1061364850373337089 Dustin Morse: https://twitter.com/morsecode/status/1061046939658137607 This list will continue to be updated as other online tributes are discovered. If you are aware of one, please include them in the comments below.
  7. When news came out that Joe Mauer was retiring and there would be a Monday morning press conference (11:00 central time), many took to social media to pay tribute to Joe Mauer's career. Fans weren't the only to do so, but several current and former teammates shared their well wishes for Mauer. Many simply retweeted the Twins tribute to Mauer. Below you will find many of these tributes. If you have seen others, please share in the comments below.Former Twins Phil Hughes: Dick Bremer: https://twitter.com/dbremer_pxp/status/1061057785142673410 Cory Provus: https://twitter.com/CoryProvus/status/1061067009369260032 Adam Weber: https://twitter.com/Adam_Weber8/status/1061058301717344256 Michael Young: https://twitter.com/MikeyY626/status/1061054893144895490 Morgan Hawk: https://twitter.com/Morgan_Hawk/status/1061330555533492224 Rocco Baldelli: https://twitter.com/roccodbaldelli/status/1061666224797597696 Jamie Hersch: https://twitter.com/...364850373337089 Dustin Morse: https://twitter.com/...046939658137607 This list will continue to be updated as other online tributes are discovered. If you are aware of one, please include them in the comments below. Click here to view the article
  8. Phil Hughes was traded to San Diego along with cash considerations and the 74th overall pick in June’s Draft. In return, the Twins will receive Janigson Villalobos, a minor league catcher. https://twitter.com/morsecode/status/1000799112546037760 Villalobos will be entering his age-21 season and he has yet to play above rookie ball. Last season in 27 games, he hit .275/.367/.388 with eight extra-base hits. He also posted a 23 to 14 strikeout to walk ratio. Defensively, he’s caught over 415 innings across two seasons. He averages five errors a season and he has a career .977 fielding percentage. Last season, he threw out 11 out of 36 potential base stealers (31% CS). After allowing 12 passed balls during his professional debut, he improved that total to four passed balls in 2017. Minnesota was on the hook for the $22 million still owed to Hughes and no team was going to take on his contract for free. Reports have the Twins getting $6 million off that total from the Padres so they had to give up the 74th pick in order to get someone to take on some of his pay. https://twitter.com/AaronGleeman/status/1000807280877625344 It can be debated if the Twins should surrender a top-100 pick for some salary relief. Some believe this isn't a deep draft and the Twins might like Villalobos better than a player that would be available at 72. Hughes wasn’t coming back to Minnesota and San Diego might be a good landing spot for him. What are your thoughts on the trade? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  9. It’s been a week full of surprises for the Minnesota Twins. Almost a week ago, he was designated for assignment. It looked like the team was going to have to eat over $20 million in salary. For a team and ownership group like the Twins, this was a lot of money left on the table. However, the San Diego Padres came calling this weekend and the Twins were able to strike a deal.Phil Hughes was traded to San Diego along with cash considerations and the 74th overall pick in June’s Draft. In return, the Twins will receive Janigson Villalobos, a minor league catcher. Villalobos will be entering his age-21 season and he has yet to play above rookie ball. Last season in 27 games, he hit .275/.367/.388 with eight extra-base hits. He also posted a 23 to 14 strikeout to walk ratio. Defensively, he’s caught over 415 innings across two seasons. He averages five errors a season and he has a career .977 fielding percentage. Last season, he threw out 11 out of 36 potential base stealers (31% CS). After allowing 12 passed balls during his professional debut, he improved that total to four passed balls in 2017. Minnesota was on the hook for the $22 million still owed to Hughes and no team was going to take on his contract for free. Reports have the Twins getting $6 million off that total from the Padres so they had to give up the 74th pick in order to get someone to take on some of his pay. It can be debated if the Twins should surrender a top-100 pick for some salary relief. Some believe this isn't a deep draft and the Twins might like Villalobos better than a player that would be available at 72. Hughes wasn’t coming back to Minnesota and San Diego might be a good landing spot for him. What are your thoughts on the trade? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Click here to view the article
  10. Doctor, Doctor, Gimme The News Last week when the Twins returned home, Derek Falvey told media members that the team was considering sending Santana to New York City. Dr. Charles Melone, the man who operated on Santana, could perform a follow-up examination to make sure the pitcher was progressing appropriately. “I think having the surgeon review (his recovery) is critical to assessing where he is in that timeline,” Falvey told the Pinoeer Press. “No setbacks. He’s in a good place. He feels good. We just want to make sure the timeline is right.” The Twins have shifted course over the weekend and Santana will head to the Twin Cities to be examined by the team’s doctors. He is scheduled to be in Minneapolis on Tuesday before returning to Fort Myers to continue his rehab. Changing Timeline A few weeks ago, fans were worried on hearing that Santana was unable to grip a baseball. Since then, he has been able to grip a baseball and do some very light throwing. A return in May seems more likely with him now being able to play some light catch. Minnesota’s rotation got off to a good start during the season’s opening week and the team won’t need to fill Santana’s rotation spot until later this week. When Jake Odorizzi was announced as the starter, I projected the starters out through the middle of April. With Minnesota missing a game on Sunday, the projected rotation got pushed back. Friday will be the first time Minnesota will need to utilize a fifth starter. Phil Hughes is working his way back to the mound so the club could use him on April 13th against Chicago. If Hughes isn’t ready to go, another pitcher might have to fill in as the fifth starter. Eye To The Future Santana has some money on the line as well this season. If he pitched over 200 innings, his $14 million option would vest for 2019. He’s only pitched 200 innings once over the last four seasons and that was last year when he tossed 211.1 innings. He likely won’t make enough starts the rest of 2018 to reach the 200 inning mark. Minnesota could still pick up Santana’s option for $14 million or the club would be forced to pay a $1 million buy-out. It’s hard to know what Minnesota’s rotation could look like next season. Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi and Kyle Gibson are all under team control. Other top prospects like Fernando Romero and Stephen Gonsalves should be knocking on the door. There might not be room for Santana. Is it time to start worrying about Santana? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Around Twins Daily Week In Review: We Have Lift-Off Twins Minor League Report (4/8): Cold Weather, Colder Offenses The Twins Almanac for April 8-14
  11. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/Ep_370.mp3?dest-id=74590 Sponsored by Billoto's Sauce, Sota Stick, Rover & Away Travel.
  12. Aaron and John talk about Miguel Sano's return from the disabled list, the Twins trading Phil Hughes in a deal that had very little to do with Phil Hughes, Byron Buxton looking lost and hurt, Fernando Romero's great first five starts, Chris Carter and Nick Gordon joining Triple-A Rochester, and the brutal nature of walk-off losses. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link.http://traffic.libsy...3?dest-id=74590 Sponsored by Billoto's Sauce, Sota Stick, Rover & Away Travel. Click here to view the article
  13. Stated multiple times during his brief tenure with the Minnesota Twins a season ago, Colon noted that he had told his late mother he would pitch until age 45. Despite that seeming somewhat unlikely at points throughout this offseason, the now-Texas Ranges hurler has posted 56 1/3 IP and has reached his 45th birthday. Of course Colon isn’t the pitcher he was when he debuted at the age of 24 in 1997. He doesn’t have the scintillating fastball, and he’s put on a few pounds since then. Even looking back to the middle of his career, a run with the Angels in which he was hucking 93 mph cheddar, Colon’s days of overpowering hitters are long gone. What’s most impressive about the rotund thrower of baseballs is just how good he continues to be at reinventing himself. This season with the Rangers, Colon’s fastball has averaged 90 mph. Despite throwing at a lower velocity, he’s slightly boosted his swinging strike and chase rates. Colon has generally been good at avoiding both hard contact and the longball, both of which have plagued him some this season. He’s throwing his sinker more often than at any point in his career, and his fastball is at a career low usage rate. What’s maybe most important is that Colon isn’t hurting himself. With over one-third of the season in the books, Colon owns the league’s best BB/9 rate at 0.8 and also the best K/BB rate at 7.20. It’s a formula that works, and one that another recently jettisoned Twin hung his hat on as well. If Bartolo Colon is a portrait of longevity, Phil Hughes may end up going down as somewhat the opposite. Nearing his 32nd birthday, the former Twins starter could be looking at the beginning of the end. Thanks to a shoulder injury that forced him to undergo thoracic outlet surgery, a procedure with poor recovery rates across the sport, Hughes never was the same pitcher that Terry Ryan rewarded with an extension back in 2014. It is in 2014 and 2018 though, that Hughes and Colon find themselves intertwined. During his first season with Minnesota, Hughes burst onto the scene as a legitimate Cy Young contender. He would end up finishing seventh in the voting, his first time ever receiving a tally. With a 3.52 ERA and a 16-10 win/loss record for Ron Gardenhire’s squad, the 28-year-old looked incredible. The secondary numbers, as with Colon in 2018, are what set Hughes apart. He completed the year walking just 0.7 batters per nine innings, and his 11.63 K/BB ratio is currently an all-time major league record. Although Hughes didn’t use a blistering fastball (albeit with a bit more bite than that of Colon’s current offering), he too worked on the premise that he was best suited for success by limiting self-inflicted damage. Should you have decided to stick with me this long, I’d like to be fair and offer up that there may be no bigger point to this piece. Both Colon and Hughes’ exploits in these highlighted situations are minor data points in a sea of much larger careers. What I think we see here however, is what a great storyteller the game of baseball can be. Although neither Colon nor Hughes may ever be remembered among the most elite arms in the game, they’ve each given us as baseball fans plenty to be in awe of. For one pitcher, the game isn’t going to be done until he decides that there’s been enough. For the other, the operating table may have been the final blow to an otherwise promising career. No matter how the dust settles or the sun sets, Bartolo Colon and Phil Hughes have provided us with story lines like those that the sport is built upon. To Big Sexy himself, Happy Birthday. To Phil Hughes, thanks for that magical summer.
  14. The year was 1973 and the Dominican Public had already become a breeding ground for baseball players. With the country producing multiple success stories, yet another chapter being written was hardly a far-fetched idea. Fast forward to May 24, 2018 however, and baseball fans have been blessed with 45 years of Bartolo Colon.Stated multiple times during his brief tenure with the Minnesota Twins a season ago, Colon noted that he had told his late mother he would pitch until age 45. Despite that seeming somewhat unlikely at points throughout this offseason, the now-Texas Ranges hurler has posted 56 1/3 IP and has reached his 45th birthday. Of course Colon isn’t the pitcher he was when he debuted at the age of 24 in 1997. He doesn’t have the scintillating fastball, and he’s put on a few pounds since then. Even looking back to the middle of his career, a run with the Angels in which he was hucking 93 mph cheddar, Colon’s days of overpowering hitters are long gone. What’s most impressive about the rotund thrower of baseballs is just how good he continues to be at reinventing himself. This season with the Rangers, Colon’s fastball has averaged 90 mph. Despite throwing at a lower velocity, he’s slightly boosted his swinging strike and chase rates. Colon has generally been good at avoiding both hard contact and the longball, both of which have plagued him some this season. He’s throwing his sinker more often than at any point in his career, and his fastball is at a career low usage rate. What’s maybe most important is that Colon isn’t hurting himself. With over one-third of the season in the books, Colon owns the league’s best BB/9 rate at 0.8 and also the best K/BB rate at 7.20. It’s a formula that works, and one that another recently jettisoned Twin hung his hat on as well. If Bartolo Colon is a portrait of longevity, Phil Hughes may end up going down as somewhat the opposite. Nearing his 32nd birthday, the former Twins starter could be looking at the beginning of the end. Thanks to a shoulder injury that forced him to undergo thoracic outlet surgery, a procedure with poor recovery rates across the sport, Hughes never was the same pitcher that Terry Ryan rewarded with an extension back in 2014. It is in 2014 and 2018 though, that Hughes and Colon find themselves intertwined. During his first season with Minnesota, Hughes burst onto the scene as a legitimate Cy Young contender. He would end up finishing seventh in the voting, his first time ever receiving a tally. With a 3.52 ERA and a 16-10 win/loss record for Ron Gardenhire’s squad, the 28-year-old looked incredible. The secondary numbers, as with Colon in 2018, are what set Hughes apart. He completed the year walking just 0.7 batters per nine innings, and his 11.63 K/BB ratio is currently an all-time major league record. Although Hughes didn’t use a blistering fastball (albeit with a bit more bite than that of Colon’s current offering), he too worked on the premise that he was best suited for success by limiting self-inflicted damage. Should you have decided to stick with me this long, I’d like to be fair and offer up that there may be no bigger point to this piece. Both Colon and Hughes’ exploits in these highlighted situations are minor data points in a sea of much larger careers. What I think we see here however, is what a great storyteller the game of baseball can be. Although neither Colon nor Hughes may ever be remembered among the most elite arms in the game, they’ve each given us as baseball fans plenty to be in awe of. For one pitcher, the game isn’t going to be done until he decides that there’s been enough. For the other, the operating table may have been the final blow to an otherwise promising career. No matter how the dust settles or the sun sets, Bartolo Colon and Phil Hughes have provided us with story lines like those that the sport is built upon. To Big Sexy himself, Happy Birthday. To Phil Hughes, thanks for that magical summer. Click here to view the article
  15. He gave it his all. No one could deny that Phil Hughes did everything in his power to battle through major health woes in efforts to provide some return on Minnesota's investment in him. Ultimately, he couldn't fend off the inevitable. His twice-repaired shoulder just didn't have enough to give anymore. And on Monday night, the Twins announced they have designated the veteran right-hander for assignment, effectively ending his tenure with the team and leaving ownership on the hook for around $20 million still owed through 2019.There's no question. Terry Ryan's extension for Hughes in December of 2014, with two years still remaining on the pitcher's contract, was an ill-advised one. It now will cost the Pohlads, who may be able recoup some of the money through insurance (though I've seen nothing to that effect as of yet). But if ever a guy was deserving of such a leap of faith, it was Hughes. Let's not forget: this was a 27-year-old free agent, a former first-round draft pick and elite young talent coming off a down season, who – rather than taking the usual make-good-and-move-on route – signed for three years at a stunningly reasonable rate in Minnesota. Then, Hughes went on to deliver one of the top three seasons by a Twins starter in the past decade. And at the end of it, when he came one out short of reaching a $500K contract escalator at 210 IP, he turned down the team's offer to pony it up. Said it would set a bad precedent. Even for a millionaire pro athlete, that is a lot of money to walk away from. It added to a respect that I'd already built up for Hughes. I enjoyed watching him early in his career from afar, even as a member of the hated Yankees. I was a huge fan of his contract with the Twins – to this day, I consider it the finest Ryan ever signed (even if the extension negated that brilliant stroke). And watching Hughes pitch in 2014 was a true delight. He was at the pinnacle of his craft, consistently hitting spots with lethal precision while setting the all-time MLB record for K/BB ratio. For what it's worth, according to FanGraphs, Hughes was worth $44.7 million in that season alone, accounting for about two-thirds of the $66 million he'll make in his tenure with the club. And while he's never come close to approximating that performance in four seasons since, he has tried. After throwing a career-high 209 innings in 2014, Hughes saw a serious velocity drop in 2015. He fought through and tossed 155 innings with a respectable 4.40 ERA. We all hoped his arm would rebound the next year; he was still under 30, after all. It didn't. Hughes lost more arm strength in 2016 and his performance became untenably bad. A line drive to the leg ended his season, but only beat to the punch the real culprit: a bum shoulder. He underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome a few weeks later. Hughes rehabbed and came back to spring training in 2017 feeling optimistic. But it quickly became apparent he still didn't have it. The Twins tried him as a reliever for a while and then, realizing the same symptoms were inhibiting him as before, had him go under the knife for a second time to relieve his enduring shoulder condition. The success rate for two-time TOS surgery recipients is very low. Hughes recognized that. Through it all, he kept trying to tinker and find some way to get major-league hitters out. Even in my brief interactions with Hughes while covering spring training in Ft. Myers, it was obvious the man experiments relentlessly to find any kind of edge. No amount of tinkering, however, can offset a nonfunctional shoulder. The decision to move on was sadly long overdue, and allows the new front office leadership to move on uninhibited by his burdensome presence on the roster. Hughes is still only 31 years old. It's very possible he'll find his way back after a lengthy period to rest and strengthen his shoulder. I really hope he does. But it wasn't going to happen here. And now that chapter is closed. As of Monday night, the Twins had not announced a replacement for Hughes on the 25-man roster, though we're hearing it'll likely be Ryan LaMarre. The vacant 40-man spot should soon be filled by Trevor May, eligible to come off the 60-day DL in a week. Click here to view the article
  16. There's no question. Terry Ryan's extension for Hughes in December of 2014, with two years still remaining on the pitcher's contract, was an ill-advised one. It now will cost the Pohlads, who may be able recoup some of the money through insurance (though I've seen nothing to that effect as of yet). But if ever a guy was deserving of such a leap of faith, it was Hughes. Let's not forget: this was a 27-year-old free agent, a former first-round draft pick and elite young talent coming off a down season, who – rather than taking the usual make-good-and-move-on route – signed for three years at a stunningly reasonable rate in Minnesota. Then, Hughes went on to deliver one of the top three seasons by a Twins starter in the past decade. And at the end of it, when he came one out short of reaching a $500K contract escalator at 210 IP, he turned down the team's offer to pony it up. Said it would set a bad precedent. Even for a millionaire pro athlete, that is a lot of money to walk away from. It added to a respect that I'd already built up for Hughes. I enjoyed watching him early in his career from afar, even as a member of the hated Yankees. I was a huge fan of his contract with the Twins – to this day, I consider it the finest Ryan ever signed (even if the extension negated that brilliant stroke). And watching Hughes pitch in 2014 was a true delight. He was at the pinnacle of his craft, consistently hitting spots with lethal precision while setting the all-time MLB record for K/BB ratio. For what it's worth, according to FanGraphs, Hughes was worth $44.7 million in that season alone, accounting for about two-thirds of the $66 million he'll make in his tenure with the club. And while he's never come close to approximating that performance in four seasons since, he has tried. After throwing a career-high 209 innings in 2014, Hughes saw a serious velocity drop in 2015. He fought through and tossed 155 innings with a respectable 4.40 ERA. We all hoped his arm would rebound the next year; he was still under 30, after all. It didn't. Hughes lost more arm strength in 2016 and his performance became untenably bad. A line drive to the leg ended his season, but only beat to the punch the real culprit: a bum shoulder. He underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome a few weeks later. Hughes rehabbed and came back to spring training in 2017 feeling optimistic. But it quickly became apparent he still didn't have it. The Twins tried him as a reliever for a while and then, realizing the same symptoms were inhibiting him as before, had him go under the knife for a second time to relieve his enduring shoulder condition. The success rate for two-time TOS surgery recipients is very low. Hughes recognized that. Through it all, he kept trying to tinker and find some way to get major-league hitters out. Even in my brief interactions with Hughes while covering spring training in Ft. Myers, it was obvious the man experiments relentlessly to find any kind of edge. No amount of tinkering, however, can offset a nonfunctional shoulder. The decision to move on was sadly long overdue, and allows the new front office leadership to move on uninhibited by his burdensome presence on the roster. Hughes is still only 31 years old. It's very possible he'll find his way back after a lengthy period to rest and strengthen his shoulder. I really hope he does. But it wasn't going to happen here. And now that chapter is closed. As of Monday night, the Twins had not announced a replacement for Hughes on the 25-man roster, though we're hearing it'll likely be Ryan LaMarre. The vacant 40-man spot should soon be filled by Trevor May, eligible to come off the 60-day DL in a week.
  17. The Minnesota Twins just finished up a four game set with the Los Angeles Angels. By the time Fernando Romero was done with his five innings against Shohei Ohtani, Paul Molitor was tasked with utilizing a bullpen coming off an extra inning affair and quite a bit of recent work. What the Minnesota skipper was also having to deal with, was being a man short from beyond the outfield fence. Phil Hughes was available, but he isn't an option either. Hughes was jettisoned to the Twins bullpen after flopping in his first two starts of the year. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine likely saw this outcome coming given their decision to start Hughes on the DL out of spring training due to an "injury." Out of the pen, Hughes has been used in only the lowest of leverage situations, and has essentially taken on the role vacated by Tyler Kinley. Unlike the Rule 5 draft pick however, Hughes hums a fastball in at just 91 mph and doesn't really make anyone miss. The obvious elephant in the room here, is the $26.4 million owed to the former New York Yankees pitcher through 2019. Terry Ryan made an unwise decision in extending Hughes less than a third of the way into his first deal with the Twins. Rather than seeing more of a sample size, the veteran pitcher was given a guarantee after posting an MLB record breaking season in 2014. On the flip side, it'll be on both Falvey and Levine to come to grips with that number being a sunk cost. Right now, Paul Molitor and Garvin Alston are playing with a deck a few cards shy of a full set. The Twins have employed eight relievers often in the past few years, and that only highlights the importance placed on having quality options available out of the pen. As of May 14th, there's really only seven usable arms at Molitor's disposal. When going the extra reliever route, a team is suggesting that they're comfortable with a three-man bench. Minnesota has a trio that includes Bobby Wilson, Gregorio Petit, and Robbie Grossman. Outside of Grossman's bat, that group is a combination of journeyman that have more of a scrapiness to them than any distinct characteristics. In short, the lack of another option is a trickle down effect from what is currently taking place in relief. As things stand now, the Twins are leaving themselves short in the bullpen as well as off the bench, solely because a logical decision on Phil Hughes is being delayed. At Triple-A, Alan Busenitz is making the choices at the big league level look even more interesting. The owned of a 95 mph fastball and strikeout stuff, currently owns a 1.13 ERA and a 13/2 K/BB ratio across 8.0 IP. A year ago in 35.1 IP, Busenitz posted a 1.78 ERA and 9.9 K/9 for the Rochester Red Wings. Having made four appearances thus far with the big club in 2018, Busenitz has numbers that need improvement. Allowing three runs in just 4.0 IP, his 6.75 ERA isn't pretty. That small sample size doesn't overshadow the 1.99 ERA he posted in 31.2 IP a season ago however. In fact, I think the realistic performance lies somewhere in between. Busenitz is a better strikeout pitcher than the 6.5 K/9 he tallied in 2017, but he's probably not quite the guy who totaled just a 1.99 ERA either. At any rate, having Busenitz at his disposal would give Paul Molitor another necessary option out of the pen. Rather than subjecting Zach Duke to overuse against righties, or taxing arms like Taylor Rogers and Trevor Hildenberger, Busenitz could be worked into the mix and provide yet another quality option in a relief corps that's been significantly revamped from a year ago. Really what it comes down to is that Phil Hughes is the linchpin holding up multiple more adequate roster scenarios for the Twins. It's a tough pill to swallow when you're talking about that kind of money. Deciding to DFA Hughes isn't admitting defeat however. The reality is that he was trending downwards prior to his TOS surgery, and the list of successful recoveries is not a long one. It's time to thank him for what he's done, and push the water level of the club a bit higher. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  18. Record Breaker Minnesota's original signing of Phil Hughes seemed like a very “Twins-like” move. Over his last three seasons in New York, he started 75 games and posted a 4.82 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP. His 68 home runs could be attributed to pitching with the short porch in the Bronx. The Twins were hoping a new ballpark and a new environment could re-create the younger version of Hughes. During the 2014 season, Phil Hughes was a breath of fresh air for the Twins starting rotation. His 3.52 ERA and 209.2 innings pitched looked Cy Young worthy when compared to the likes of Ricky Nolasco and Kevin Correia. He even set the MLB record for strikeout-to-walk ratio in a season. Minnesota was so starved for starting pitching, the club restructured his contract following 2014 to cover the 2015-2019 seasons. If the Twins were going to get the 2014 version of Hughes, his new contract seemed like a good investment. In hindsight, it has been an injury-ridden deal full of frustration for fans and even more frustration for the player. Frustration Hughes pitched 27 games in 2015 with a 4.40 ERA while allowing the most home runs in the American League. His last two seasons have been cut short by injuries. He was limited to just 26 games in 2016-17. The Twins owe Hughes $26.4 million for 2018 and 2019 and he is being demoted to a bullpen role. Last summer, Hughes was asked by the Pioneer Press if his second season-ending surgery in as many summers was a threat to his career. “I try not to think that way,” Hughes said. “It’s been a rough go the last few years. I try not to let my mind wander that way. I try to take it with what I can do now and focus on that. It has been frustrating, even disheartening a little bit, but I try not to think that way.” One has to wonder if Hughes has started to think that way over the last handful of days. When asked about his transition to the bullpen, Hughes is trying to stay positive. “I can only embrace it,” he said. “If I go down there with a positive attitude and help the team win in whatever role I’m given, that’s all I can do. I think it’s a positive thing.” Fastball Falloff Hughes has been a successful bullpen option but that was early in his career with New York. In fact, he was a critical part of the 2009 Yankee team on their way to the World Series title. Since that campaign, he has never made more than five relief appearances. Those five appearances came last season as he fought through his injury. During his career, Hughes has never been noted for his velocity. The decline in his fastball velocity has been a concern in recent years, especially with all of his mounting injuries. He was averaging over 93 miles per hour through the majority of the 2014 campaign. Through his first two appearances in 2018, his fastball velocity has averaged 90.5, which is over two miles per hour slower than his career mark. It remains to be seen if Hughes will be able to regain some magic in a bullpen role. There are plenty of younger arms in the Twins system waiting to get a shot at the big league level. Since he was signed under the previous regime, the current front office shouldn’t feel an allegiance to the rest of the money owed to Hughes. If the bullpen doesn’t work out, the end might be looming for Mr. Hughes. Around Twins Daily Royce Lewis is Finding His Stroke Can Fernando Romero Spark the Twins? Something Has Clicked with Eduardo Escobar
  19. Phil Hughes had to know his leash was short in the Twins rotation. Minnesota’s Triple-A rotation is full of plenty of major league-ready arms. During his last spring training start, Hughes left the game with an oblique injury that seemed very convenient for the Twins front office. Since his return from that injury, Hughes has allowed six earned runs on 10 hits in seven innings of work. With Fernando Romero making his big league debut on Wednesday, Hughes is headed to the bullpen. Is this the beginning of the end for Phil Hughes?Record Breaker Minnesota's original signing of Phil Hughes seemed like a very “Twins-like” move. Over his last three seasons in New York, he started 75 games and posted a 4.82 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP. His 68 home runs could be attributed to pitching with the short porch in the Bronx. The Twins were hoping a new ballpark and a new environment could re-create the younger version of Hughes. During the 2014 season, Phil Hughes was a breath of fresh air for the Twins starting rotation. His 3.52 ERA and 209.2 innings pitched looked Cy Young worthy when compared to the likes of Ricky Nolasco and Kevin Correia. He even set the MLB record for strikeout-to-walk ratio in a season. Minnesota was so starved for starting pitching, the club restructured his contract following 2014 to cover the 2015-2019 seasons. If the Twins were going to get the 2014 version of Hughes, his new contract seemed like a good investment. In hindsight, it has been an injury-ridden deal full of frustration for fans and even more frustration for the player. Frustration Hughes pitched 27 games in 2015 with a 4.40 ERA while allowing the most home runs in the American League. His last two seasons have been cut short by injuries. He was limited to just 26 games in 2016-17. The Twins owe Hughes $26.4 million for 2018 and 2019 and he is being demoted to a bullpen role. Last summer, Hughes was asked by the Pioneer Press if his second season-ending surgery in as many summers was a threat to his career. “I try not to think that way,” Hughes said. “It’s been a rough go the last few years. I try not to let my mind wander that way. I try to take it with what I can do now and focus on that. It has been frustrating, even disheartening a little bit, but I try not to think that way.” One has to wonder if Hughes has started to think that way over the last handful of days. When asked about his transition to the bullpen, Hughes is trying to stay positive. “I can only embrace it,” he said. “If I go down there with a positive attitude and help the team win in whatever role I’m given, that’s all I can do. I think it’s a positive thing.” Fastball Falloff Hughes has been a successful bullpen option but that was early in his career with New York. In fact, he was a critical part of the 2009 Yankee team on their way to the World Series title. Since that campaign, he has never made more than five relief appearances. Those five appearances came last season as he fought through his injury. During his career, Hughes has never been noted for his velocity. The decline in his fastball velocity has been a concern in recent years, especially with all of his mounting injuries. He was averaging over 93 miles per hour through the majority of the 2014 campaign. Through his first two appearances in 2018, his fastball velocity has averaged 90.5, which is over two miles per hour slower than his career mark. It remains to be seen if Hughes will be able to regain some magic in a bullpen role. There are plenty of younger arms in the Twins system waiting to get a shot at the big league level. Since he was signed under the previous regime, the current front office shouldn’t feel an allegiance to the rest of the money owed to Hughes. If the bullpen doesn’t work out, the end might be looming for Mr. Hughes. Around Twins Daily Royce Lewis is Finding His Stroke Can Fernando Romero Spark the Twins? Something Has Clicked with Eduardo Escobar Click here to view the article
  20. No Puerto Rico hangover. No Yankee Mystique. No excuses at home against the worst team in baseball. Make no bones about it, the Twins are simply playing terribly right now. They were leading 8-4, but the wheels completely fell off in what was a six-run fifth inning for the Reds. The Twins have now lost eighth-straight games.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Download attachment: Snapshot427.png Download attachment: WinEx427.png I honestly don’t know what to say. If you watched this game, you’re either here because you’re glutton for punishment or you just came to voice your frustrations in the comments (if that’s the case, by all means do so). If you didn’t watch the game, first off congratulations. Secondly, it may be best to just pretend like there was no Twins game on April 27, 2018. Ignorance is bliss. Here we go, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Phil Hughes gave up a solo homer in the top of the first, but the Twins’ offense exploded for five runs in the bottom of the inning. Twins Territory was rejoicing to see the bats finally seem to break out. The big hit in that first frame was a Logan Morrison two-run homer, so the positive vibes were really flowing. It was a simpler time. Hughes really struggled to hit his spots and lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks. At this point, I don’t know how management can justify giving Hughes another start. The bats added a few more runs, with Robbie Grossman racking up three hits in the process, but everything came crashing down in the fifth. Everything that could go wrong did. Tyler Duffey gave up a leadoff homer to Joey Votto. The next three Reds batters all got hits and the next man reached on an error committed by Duffey. Ryan Pressly came in and gave up a sac fly, the first out of the inning, and then an RBI triple to Billy Hamilton. He scored on a wild pitch. As bad as that inning was, it may have been even more frustrating to watch the Twins fail to rally back when they only trailed by two runs. Cincinnati scored a run in the seventh and then four more in the ninth. David Hale, making his first and what could be final appearance with the Twins, pitched three innings, giving up four runs on four hits and four walks. He threw 57 pitches and the Twins are going to need some fresh arms, so it would be no surprise to see him removed from the 25-man roster. Poor guy. Positives? Well, LoMo and Grossman both had good games. Eddie Rosario homered. Max Kepler got a single off a lefty. Um … Justin Morneau was really good in his booth debut on Fox Sports North. Really nothing positive to say about the pitching. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Bullpen427.png Next Three Games Sat vs. CIN, 1:10 pm CT Sun vs. CIN, 1:10 pm CT Mon vs. TOR, 7:10 pm CT Last Three Games NYY 4, MIN 3: Rodney Spoils Great Gibby Start, Twins Swept NYY 7, MIN 4: Lance Lynn Is a Dumpster Fire Right Now NYY 8, MIN 3: Resistance is Futile More From Twins Daily Twins Minor League Report (4/27): Friday Night Under The Lights On Ryan Pressly's Release Point, Pitch Mix Searching for Answers on Trevor Hildenberger Rodney Living His Own Experience Click here to view the article
  21. Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) I honestly don’t know what to say. If you watched this game, you’re either here because you’re glutton for punishment or you just came to voice your frustrations in the comments (if that’s the case, by all means do so). If you didn’t watch the game, first off congratulations. Secondly, it may be best to just pretend like there was no Twins game on April 27, 2018. Ignorance is bliss. Here we go, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Phil Hughes gave up a solo homer in the top of the first, but the Twins’ offense exploded for five runs in the bottom of the inning. Twins Territory was rejoicing to see the bats finally seem to break out. The big hit in that first frame was a Logan Morrison two-run homer, so the positive vibes were really flowing. It was a simpler time. Hughes really struggled to hit his spots and lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks. At this point, I don’t know how management can justify giving Hughes another start. The bats added a few more runs, with Robbie Grossman racking up three hits in the process, but everything came crashing down in the fifth. Everything that could go wrong did. Tyler Duffey gave up a leadoff homer to Joey Votto. The next three Reds batters all got hits and the next man reached on an error committed by Duffey. Ryan Pressly came in and gave up a sac fly, the first out of the inning, and then an RBI triple to Billy Hamilton. He scored on a wild pitch. As bad as that inning was, it may have been even more frustrating to watch the Twins fail to rally back when they only trailed by two runs. Cincinnati scored a run in the seventh and then four more in the ninth. David Hale, making his first and what could be final appearance with the Twins, pitched three innings, giving up four runs on four hits and four walks. He threw 57 pitches and the Twins are going to need some fresh arms, so it would be no surprise to see him removed from the 25-man roster. Poor guy. Positives? Well, LoMo and Grossman both had good games. Eddie Rosario homered. Max Kepler got a single off a lefty. Um … Justin Morneau was really good in his booth debut on Fox Sports North. Really nothing positive to say about the pitching. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Next Three Games Sat vs. CIN, 1:10 pm CT Sun vs. CIN, 1:10 pm CT Mon vs. TOR, 7:10 pm CT Last Three Games NYY 4, MIN 3: Rodney Spoils Great Gibby Start, Twins Swept NYY 7, MIN 4: Lance Lynn Is a Dumpster Fire Right Now NYY 8, MIN 3: Resistance is Futile More From Twins Daily Twins Minor League Report (4/27): Friday Night Under The Lights On Ryan Pressly's Release Point, Pitch Mix Searching for Answers on Trevor Hildenberger Rodney Living His Own Experience
  22. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 4/16 through Sun, 4/22 *** Record Last Week: 1-4 (Overall: 8-8) Run Differential Last Week: -16 (Overall: -2) Standing: 2nd Place in AL Central (1..5 GB) HIGHLIGHTS Eduardo Escobar met Nicolas Cage in Puerto Rico and got a photo with him. Pretty hard to top that: https://twitter.com/morsecode/status/986673486851649537 Whitney McIntosh of SB Nation wrote up an article later in the week discussing seven things we know and 10 we don't about the meeting – very amusing read. Also, there was baseball. As far as bright spots on the field over the past week, Wednesday's marathon victory over Cleveland in San Juan is really the only qualifier. That game featured plenty of encouraging developments, namely the third absolute gem this year from Jose Berrios – who is very much pitching like an elite ace – and strong work from seven relievers who followed him. https://twitter.com/ParkerHageman/status/987024391249825792 The offense was quiet for much of the week, scoring once in two games and twice in another, but did show impressive resilience by mounting comebacks against the Rays on Friday and Sunday. One of the few hitters to shine throughout the week was Brian Dozier, who extended his team-record season-opening hitting streak to 16 games on Sunday. Dozier went 9-for-26 for the week and is slashing .310/.372/.535 on the season. Helping drive his success is the fact that he has significantly cut down on the whiffs; the second baseman's 15.4% K-rate is well below last year's 20% mark. He's still producing plenty of power, while also protecting the plate and using all fields. Dozier looks fantastic. LOWLIGHTS The Twins played easily their worst ball of the season in Tampa Bay, where they were swept by the Rays in a series that featured plenty of puzzlement and frustration. A few items of note: * At a time where Robbie Grossman should seemingly be playing his way out of the Twins' plans, he is instead somehow working his way into more critical spots. Grossman's season started on a very positive note, when he delivered a game-tying two-run bloop single as a pinch-hitter in the opener. Since then, it's been ugly. He has looked terrible defensively when in the outfield, and has gone 3-for-33 with 14 strikeouts and two walks since the aforementioned single. With Byron Buxton sidelined by migraines, Grossman started all five games last week, going 2-for-16 at the plate and committing an error in right field on Friday that cost a run. Despite this lack of effectiveness at the plate, Paul Molitor inexplicably had Grossman in as his cleanup hitter on Saturday in Tampa, and then in the No. 3 spot on Sunday. Maybe it was just an attempt to boost his confidence. Whatever the case, it's hard to believe that Grossman – who ranks second-to-last on the team in WAR (ahead of only Logan Morrison) – has a particularly long leash. He needs to hit to have value, and when you combine his poor start with his pedestrian 2017 campaign and a .720 career OPS, there's just not a lot to fall back on. * As expected, Phil Hughes was called up to make Sunday's start with the Twins finally in need of a fifth rotation member. He looked about exactly like one would expect – which is to say, not good enough. He needed 70 pitches to get 10 outs, giving up five hits (including a homer) with two walks and two strikeouts. Molitor pulled him after he gave up two singles in the fourth. Hughes had decent enough command, but there's just no upside in his repertoire at this point. He doesn't have the stuff to consistently get big-league hitters out and while it's commendable that he's doing what he can to reinvent himself, sooner than later the Twins will need to come to grips with the situation and make a decision for the good of the team. As we'll discuss in the "Down on the Farm" section, one starter in particular may be poised to force their hand. * Miguel Sano's struggles were profiled in this space last time around, and the contact-challenged slugger went on to endure another tough week. His solo home run in extra innings against Cleveland, while huge, was one of only three hits in 22 plate appearances. He struck out eight times without drawing a walk, and saw his OPS drop from .908 to .744. Sano has only one multi-hit game this season. * While Grossman, Hughes and Sano took their lumps, the biggest culprit in a 1-4 week that dropped the Twins to .500 was, without question, the bullpen. Gabriel Moya gave up a run on Tuesday, then surrendered three more on Saturday and found himself demoted to make room for Hughes. Tyler Kinley followed Moya in Saturday's game and also allowed three runs, pushing his ERA to 12.00 in three appearances. Fernando Rodney blew his second save on Friday night and Zach Duke followed by losing the game when he failed to touch first base and retire Denard Span as the winning run crossed home. Even Addison Reed, who's been lights-out all year, couldn't avoid the damage, coughing up Carlos Gomez's walk-off homer on Sunday. TRENDING STORYLINE A bad week for the bullpen shouldn't necessarily fling us all into a panic; there's still much to like about the unit. But with games scheduled for the next 16 consecutive days, and the first four of those coming at Yankee Stadium, the Twins will need all the relief help they can get. The luxury of being able to stash their Rule 5 pick Kinley for sporadic usage in inconsequential situations is going to evaporate, especially with a fifth starter now on the roster. Down in Rochester, Tyler Duffey has been pitching like a man on a mission, with 11 scoreless innings and a 14-to-1 K/BB ratio in four appearances. Duffey was solid as the team's long man last year and the decision to carry Kinley over him out of spring training was somewhat dubious. A swap feels imminent. We'll see how long it takes, and whether they can find a way to keep Kinley in the organization. DOWN ON THE FARM Kinley isn't the only one who's being pushed by a strong performer in Triple-A. As mentioned earlier, Hughes doesn't have a ton of ground to stand on in the rotation. Twins Daily's No. 2 prospect Fernando Romero was masterful for the Red Wings on Sunday, allowing one run on two hits over 6 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and two walks. His ERA sits at 1.69. A few more outings like that should quickly put him in the discussion for that fifth starter spot. Meanwhile, No. 1 prospect Royce Lewis lifted his batting average at Cedar Rapids from .222 to .323 on Saturday with a four-hit game. All is going well for the teen phenom in the Midwest League, where he has struck out only three times in 35 plate appearances. Zack Littell, who we ranked as the organization's 11th-best prospect and fifth-best pitcher, has piled up 25 strikeouts in 14 innings at Chattanooga after fanning eight over 5 2/3 on Tuesday. He has induced double-digit swinging strikes in each of his three starts with an eye-popping 17% whiff rate overall. Certainly something to keep an eye on. No. 7 prospect Brent Rooker slumped out of the gates at Chattanooga, entering last week with a .212 average to go along with no walks and no extra-base hits. Not exactly what you like to see out of a highly drafted college player lauded for his advanced bat. But he got it going in six games for the Lookouts last week, posting a 7-for-23 (.304) with his first Double-A homer as well as a double and triple. He still hasn't worked a single walk this season though. LOOKING AHEAD Heading to the Bronx for a four-game series against the Yankees and their loaded lineup isn't exactly the ideal elixir for a slumping team with a beleaguered bullpen, but that is what's what the Twins now face. It could be a rough week for the pitching staff, but the team will at least get a reprieve when they return home for the weekend to host Cincinnati, a team so bad it fired its manager after a 3-15 start. MONDAY, 4/23: TWINS @ YANKEES – RHP Jake Odorizzi v. RHP Masahiro Tanaka TUESDAY, 4/24: TWINS @ YANKEES – RHP Jose Berrios v. LHP CC Sabathia WEDNESDAY, 4/25: TWINS @ YANKEES – RHP Lance Lynn v. RHP Sonny Gray THURSDAY, 4/26: TWINS @ YANKEES – RHP Kyle Gibson v. LHP Jordan Montgomery FRIDAY, 4/27: REDS @ TWINS – RHP Luis Castillo v. RHP Phil Hughes SATURDAY: 4/28: REDS @ TWINS – RHP Sal Romano v. RHP Jake Odorizzi SUNDAY, 4/29: REDS @ TWINS – RHP Tyler Mahle v. RHP Jose Berrios Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps Game 12 | CLE 6, MIN 1: Kluber, Lindor Outshine Twins in Puerto Rico Game 13 | MIN 2, CLE 1: Berrios Stars, LaMarre Plays Hero as Twins Survive 16-Inning Duel Game 14 | TB 8, MIN 7: Playing the Wrong Notes Game 15 | TB 10, MIN 1: Snell Stifles Twins Bats Game 16 | TB 8, MIN 6: Twins Swept on Gomez Walk-off Homer More on Twins Daily "If Joe Mauer retired today, there is a good chance he wouldn’t get the call from Cooperstown." What can he do going forward to change that? Cody Christie explored Mauer's Hall of Fame case and how the first baseman can strengthen it before he retires. Meanwhile, Andrew Thares examined the myth around Mauer's supposed lack of clutch hitting. His findings are worth your time. Jamie Cameron broke down the numerous improvements we've seen from Max Kepler at the plate early on. Luke Albrecht filed a report from his experience Puerto Rico, where he watched both games between the Twins and Indians. Ted Schwerzler wrote about the stunning success of Ryan Pressly, who finally seems to be pulling it all together and turning his stuff into results. Pressly was flat-out nasty on Sunday, striking out four of the five hitters he shut down in order.
  23. The Minnesota Twins played only five games over the past week, though it felt like they got two in on Wednesday when they outlasted the Indians over 16 innings. In a week that unfortunately featured a lot more lowlights than highlights, we'll cover both below while also looking ahead to one of the toughest series on the schedule. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 4/16 through Sun, 4/22 *** Record Last Week: 1-4 (Overall: 8-8) Run Differential Last Week: -16 (Overall: -2) Standing: 2nd Place in AL Central (1..5 GB) HIGHLIGHTS Eduardo Escobar met Nicolas Cage in Puerto Rico and got a photo with him. Pretty hard to top that: The offense was quiet for much of the week, scoring once in two games and twice in another, but did show impressive resilience by mounting comebacks against the Rays on Friday and Sunday. One of the few hitters to shine throughout the week was Brian Dozier, who extended his team-record season-opening hitting streak to 16 games on Sunday. Dozier went 9-for-26 for the week and is slashing .310/.372/.535 on the season. Helping drive his success is the fact that he has significantly cut down on the whiffs; the second baseman's 15.4% K-rate is well below last year's 20% mark. He's still producing plenty of power, while also protecting the plate and using all fields. Dozier looks fantastic. LOWLIGHTS The Twins played easily their worst ball of the season in Tampa Bay, where they were swept by the Rays in a series that featured plenty of puzzlement and frustration. A few items of note: * At a time where Robbie Grossman should seemingly be playing his way out of the Twins' plans, he is instead somehow working his way into more critical spots. Grossman's season started on a very positive note, when he delivered a game-tying two-run bloop single as a pinch-hitter in the opener. Since then, it's been ugly. He has looked terrible defensively when in the outfield, and has gone 3-for-33 with 14 strikeouts and two walks since the aforementioned single. With Byron Buxton sidelined by migraines, Grossman started all five games last week, going 2-for-16 at the plate and committing an error in right field on Friday that cost a run. Despite this lack of effectiveness at the plate, Paul Molitor inexplicably had Grossman in as his cleanup hitter on Saturday in Tampa, and then in the No. 3 spot on Sunday. Maybe it was just an attempt to boost his confidence. Whatever the case, it's hard to believe that Grossman – who ranks second-to-last on the team in WAR (ahead of only Logan Morrison) – has a particularly long leash. He needs to hit to have value, and when you combine his poor start with his pedestrian 2017 campaign and a .720 career OPS, there's just not a lot to fall back on. * As expected, Phil Hughes was called up to make Sunday's start with the Twins finally in need of a fifth rotation member. He looked about exactly like one would expect – which is to say, not good enough. He needed 70 pitches to get 10 outs, giving up five hits (including a homer) with two walks and two strikeouts. Molitor pulled him after he gave up two singles in the fourth. Hughes had decent enough command, but there's just no upside in his repertoire at this point. He doesn't have the stuff to consistently get big-league hitters out and while it's commendable that he's doing what he can to reinvent himself, sooner than later the Twins will need to come to grips with the situation and make a decision for the good of the team. As we'll discuss in the "Down on the Farm" section, one starter in particular may be poised to force their hand. * Miguel Sano's struggles were profiled in this space last time around, and the contact-challenged slugger went on to endure another tough week. His solo home run in extra innings against Cleveland, while huge, was one of only three hits in 22 plate appearances. He struck out eight times without drawing a walk, and saw his OPS drop from .908 to .744. Sano has only one multi-hit game this season. * While Grossman, Hughes and Sano took their lumps, the biggest culprit in a 1-4 week that dropped the Twins to .500 was, without question, the bullpen. Gabriel Moya gave up a run on Tuesday, then surrendered three more on Saturday and found himself demoted to make room for Hughes. Tyler Kinley followed Moya in Saturday's game and also allowed three runs, pushing his ERA to 12.00 in three appearances. Fernando Rodney blew his second save on Friday night and Zach Duke followed by losing the game when he failed to touch first base and retire Denard Span as the winning run crossed home. Even Addison Reed, who's been lights-out all year, couldn't avoid the damage, coughing up Carlos Gomez's walk-off homer on Sunday. TRENDING STORYLINE A bad week for the bullpen shouldn't necessarily fling us all into a panic; there's still much to like about the unit. But with games scheduled for the next 16 consecutive days, and the first four of those coming at Yankee Stadium, the Twins will need all the relief help they can get. The luxury of being able to stash their Rule 5 pick Kinley for sporadic usage in inconsequential situations is going to evaporate, especially with a fifth starter now on the roster. Down in Rochester, Tyler Duffey has been pitching like a man on a mission, with 11 scoreless innings and a 14-to-1 K/BB ratio in four appearances. Duffey was solid as the team's long man last year and the decision to carry Kinley over him out of spring training was somewhat dubious. A swap feels imminent. We'll see how long it takes, and whether they can find a way to keep Kinley in the organization. DOWN ON THE FARM Kinley isn't the only one who's being pushed by a strong performer in Triple-A. As mentioned earlier, Hughes doesn't have a ton of ground to stand on in the rotation. Twins Daily's No. 2 prospect Fernando Romero was masterful for the Red Wings on Sunday, allowing one run on two hits over 6 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and two walks. His ERA sits at 1.69. A few more outings like that should quickly put him in the discussion for that fifth starter spot. Meanwhile, No. 1 prospect Royce Lewis lifted his batting average at Cedar Rapids from .222 to .323 on Saturday with a four-hit game. All is going well for the teen phenom in the Midwest League, where he has struck out only three times in 35 plate appearances. Zack Littell, who we ranked as the organization's 11th-best prospect and fifth-best pitcher, has piled up 25 strikeouts in 14 innings at Chattanooga after fanning eight over 5 2/3 on Tuesday. He has induced double-digit swinging strikes in each of his three starts with an eye-popping 17% whiff rate overall. Certainly something to keep an eye on. No. 7 prospect Brent Rookerslumped out of the gates at Chattanooga, entering last week with a .212 average to go along with no walks and no extra-base hits. Not exactly what you like to see out of a highly drafted college player lauded for his advanced bat. But he got it going in six games for the Lookouts last week, posting a 7-for-23 (.304) with his first Double-A homer as well as a double and triple. He still hasn't worked a single walk this season though. LOOKING AHEAD Heading to the Bronx for a four-game series against the Yankees and their loaded lineup isn't exactly the ideal elixir for a slumping team with a beleaguered bullpen, but that is what's what the Twins now face. It could be a rough week for the pitching staff, but the team will at least get a reprieve when they return home for the weekend to host Cincinnati, a team so bad it fired its manager after a 3-15 start. MONDAY, 4/23: TWINS @ YANKEES – RHP Jake Odorizzi v. RHP Masahiro Tanaka TUESDAY, 4/24: TWINS @ YANKEES – RHP Jose Berrios v. LHP CC Sabathia WEDNESDAY, 4/25: TWINS @ YANKEES – RHP Lance Lynn v. RHP Sonny Gray THURSDAY, 4/26: TWINS @ YANKEES – RHP Kyle Gibson v. LHP Jordan Montgomery FRIDAY, 4/27: REDS @ TWINS – RHP Luis Castillo v. RHP Phil Hughes SATURDAY: 4/28: REDS @ TWINS – RHP Sal Romano v. RHP Jake Odorizzi SUNDAY, 4/29: REDS @ TWINS – RHP Tyler Mahle v. RHP Jose Berrios Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps Game 12 | CLE 6, MIN 1: Kluber, Lindor Outshine Twins in Puerto RicoGame 13 | MIN 2, CLE 1: Berrios Stars, LaMarre Plays Hero as Twins Survive 16-Inning DuelGame 14 | TB 8, MIN 7: Playing the Wrong NotesGame 15 | TB 10, MIN 1: Snell Stifles Twins BatsGame 16 | TB 8, MIN 6: Twins Swept on Gomez Walk-off HomerMore on Twins Daily "If Joe Mauer retired today, there is a good chance he wouldn’t get the call from Cooperstown." What can he do going forward to change that? Cody Christie explored Mauer's Hall of Fame caseand how the first baseman can strengthen it before he retires.Meanwhile, Andrew Thares examined the myth around Mauer's supposed lack of clutch hitting. His findings are worth your time.Jamie Cameron broke down the numerous improvements we've seen from Max Kepler at the plate early on.Luke Albrecht filed a report from his experience Puerto Rico, where he watched both games between the Twins and Indians.Ted Schwerzler wrote about the stunning success of Ryan Pressly, who finally seems to be pulling it all together and turning his stuff into results. Pressly was flat-out nasty on Sunday, striking out four of the five hitters he shut down in order. Click here to view the article
  24. The Twins were haunted by a couple of their old friends this weekend. Denard Span wore out the Twins all weekend, and Carlos Gomez finished the sweep with a walk-off home run on Sunday afternoon. Phil Hughes made his first start of the season and gave up a two-run homer in the first inning. The Twins kept coming back, but the bullpen kept letting this one slip away. Addison Reed is human after all.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Download attachment: Snapshot422.png Download attachment: WinEx422.png Hughes was making his first MLB appearance of the year after a couple rehab outings in Fort Myers. He took Gabriel Moya’s spot on the 25-man roster. Per Baseball Savant, Hughes’ four-seam fastball averaged 90.1 mph and topped out at 91.7. He got six swinging strikes on his 70 pitches, (8.6 percent). For context, Hughes averaged 90.3 mph on the fourseamer and and a 6.9 percent whiff rate last season. Hughes lasted just 3 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on five hits and two walks. He exited the game with runners on the corners, but Ryan Pressly was able to work out of the jam. Pressly was perfect over 1 2/3 innings and struck out four batters. The rest of the bullpen didn’t perform as well. Taylor Rogers gave up a run and left runners at second and third with two outs. Alan Busenitz came in and gave up a three-run homer to the first batter he faced. Trevor Hildenberger recorded the last out of the seventh before Reed took over. The eighth inning started with a single and then a hit by pitch, but Reed got a massive strikeout before inducing an inning-ending double play. Things didn’t work out so well in the ninth. Reed gave up a leadoff single and then Gomez ended in on a pitch he absolutely destroyed. That gave the Rays a walk-off win to sweep the series and set the Twins down to .500. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Bullpen422.png Next Three Games Mon at NYY, 6:05 pm CT Tue at NYY 5:35 pm CT Wed at NYY 5:35 pm CT Last Three Games TB 10, MIN 1: Snell Stifles Twins Bats TB 8, MIN 7: Playing The Wrong Notes MIN 2, CLE 1: Berrios Stars, LaMarre Plays Hero as Twins Survive 16-Inning Duel More From Twins Daily Twins Minor League Report (4/22): Romero Strikes Out 10, Buxton Rehabs The Twins Almanac for April 22–29 Max Kepler Improving His Approach in 2018 Click here to view the article
  25. Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Hughes was making his first MLB appearance of the year after a couple rehab outings in Fort Myers. He took Gabriel Moya’s spot on the 25-man roster. Per Baseball Savant, Hughes’ four-seam fastball averaged 90.1 mph and topped out at 91.7. He got six swinging strikes on his 70 pitches, (8.6 percent). For context, Hughes averaged 90.3 mph on the fourseamer and and a 6.9 percent whiff rate last season. Hughes lasted just 3 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on five hits and two walks. He exited the game with runners on the corners, but Ryan Pressly was able to work out of the jam. Pressly was perfect over 1 2/3 innings and struck out four batters. The rest of the bullpen didn’t perform as well. Taylor Rogers gave up a run and left runners at second and third with two outs. Alan Busenitz came in and gave up a three-run homer to the first batter he faced. Trevor Hildenberger recorded the last out of the seventh before Reed took over. The eighth inning started with a single and then a hit by pitch, but Reed got a massive strikeout before inducing an inning-ending double play. Things didn’t work out so well in the ninth. Reed gave up a leadoff single and then Gomez ended in on a pitch he absolutely destroyed. That gave the Rays a walk-off win to sweep the series and set the Twins down to .500. https://twitter.com/FOXSportsFL/status/988159076092624896 The Twins held a 3-2 lead in the sixth and managed to tie the game up at 6-6 in the eighth inning, so it’s not like the bats didn’t do their job. Brian Dozier extended his team-record hitting streak to open a season to 16 games with a single in the third inning. He added a game-tying, two-run single in the eighth. Eduardo Escobar hit his second home run of the season. Joe Mauer was 1-for-2 with three walks. Postgame With Molitor https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/988167802715422720 Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Next Three Games Mon at NYY, 6:05 pm CT Tue at NYY 5:35 pm CT Wed at NYY 5:35 pm CT Last Three Games TB 10, MIN 1: Snell Stifles Twins Bats TB 8, MIN 7: Playing The Wrong Notes MIN 2, CLE 1: Berrios Stars, LaMarre Plays Hero as Twins Survive 16-Inning Duel More From Twins Daily Twins Minor League Report (4/22): Romero Strikes Out 10, Buxton Rehabs The Twins Almanac for April 22–29 Max Kepler Improving His Approach in 2018
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