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  1. Minnesota’s run of excellent closers stretches over much of the last two decades. From Joe Nathan to Glen Perkins and now Taylor Rogers, Twins fans have been privy to some great late inning arms. Now, one pitch might turn this pitcher into the Twins future closer. Many relief pitchers can be successful by relying on two to three pitches. For instance, Taylor Rogers has found a lot of success at the big-league level by throwing a two-pitch mix with his fastball and a slider. Relievers can use their best pitches, because they don’t have to worry about facing a hitter multiple times in the
  2. Many relief pitchers can be successful by relying on two to three pitches. For instance, Taylor Rogers has found a lot of success at the big-league level by throwing a two-pitch mix with his fastball and a slider. Relievers can use their best pitches, because they don’t have to worry about facing a hitter multiple times in the same game. Some pitchers are forced to adjust their repertoire if they aren’t finding success. Jorge Alcalá was part of one of the biggest trades under the Derek Falvey and Thad Levine regime. He came to the Twins along with Gilberto Celestino as part of the Ryan Pr
  3. I might love the Twins, and defend them even during some of the darkest times, but that also means being honest even when it hurts. That kind of tough love was exactly what came to mind when Tyler Duffey used his relief appearance in a close contest to 'send a message' by throwing behind Yermin Mercedes on only the fourth pitch of his appearance. Everyone seemed to know it was coming. Tony La Russa, fresh from using his media time all but telling the Twins they *should* bean Mercedes, had a conversation with the umpiring crew before the incident, likely warning them what was to come. Rook
  4. The Twins have been wrapped up in a mess of a situation during their series with the White Sox and everything ties back to baseball’s unwritten rules. Unfortunately, these unwritten rules are hurting the game and multiple parties looked foolish at the end of the day. How Did We Get Here? On Monday night, the Twins were getting blown out by the White Sox in the ninth inning. So instead of wasting another bullpen arm, Rocco Baldelli turned to Willians Astudillo to finish out the game. This is the third time La Tortuga has been used as a pitcher and his second time so far in 2021. Fans
  5. Coming into this season the AL Central Division was expected to be a race between the hometown Minnesota Twins and rival Chicago White Sox. Welcome to the plot twist, but that doesn’t change the future. There’s no way of putting this lightly, the Twins have been awful in 2021. After starting 5-2 they have fallen, tripped, and smacked their faces right on the proverbial sidewalk. Rocco, the front office, and players all deserve a differing part of the blame, but the results have been nothing short of terrible. I don’t expect that to continue over a full 162 games, but regardless of what h
  6. If you're expected to win, and then fail to do so in spectacular fashion, people are going to have thoughts. It's also safe to assume that those thoughts don't stay surface level for very long. For the 2021 Twins, the last few weeks have been a long trudge past the acceptance of things as they are, and have begun to approach the next station down the line: Why? "Why" is an important question that has consumed the game of baseball since its creation. It is a question that drives everyone involved in the game and almost everyone that follows it. Careers are made and broken attempting t
  7. There’s no way of putting this lightly, the Twins have been awful in 2021. After starting 5-2 they have fallen, tripped, and smacked their faces right on the proverbial sidewalk. Rocco, the front office, and players all deserve a differing part of the blame, but the results have been nothing short of terrible. I don’t expect that to continue over a full 162 games, but regardless of what happens, this strikes me more as outlier than indicative of the future. Why is that important? Looking at 2022, the Twins will need to decide a path forward. That starts now and the groundwork begin
  8. How Did We Get Here? On Monday night, the Twins were getting blown out by the White Sox in the ninth inning. So instead of wasting another bullpen arm, Rocco Baldelli turned to Willians Astudillo to finish out the game. This is the third time La Tortuga has been used as a pitcher and his second time so far in 2021. Fans that had stuck around until the end gave Astudillo a cheer as he headed to the bump. Yermin Mercedes was one of the players to step in against Astudillo and this is where the unwritten rules come into play. After working the count to 3-0, Mercedes clocked a 47.1 mph p
  9. Once again, the 2021 Minnesota Twins game script played out in Chicago on Tuesday night. Despite a three-run blast by Yasmani Grandal, Kenta Maeda had settled in. Rocco Baldelli pulled him after the 5th inning, only for the bullpen to immediately cough up the lead. Starters, relievers, anyone? Is there anyone the Twins can trust? Rocco Baldelli’s bullpen is hot garbage. The front office brought in Hansel Robles and Alex Colome this offseason. Both are decent signings, but there wasn’t much in the form of additional firepower. Robles had question marks as to whether he could regain previou
  10. Sano’s Slow Start Miguel Sano entered the 2021 season as the team’s first baseman, and he seemed locked into that spot after signing an extension entering the 2020 campaign. Prior to his injury, Sano was trying to find himself at the plate. He is hitting .111/.310/.244 (.555) with two extra-base hits, both home runs. One positive among these numbers is the fact that he has already drawn 13 walks, which is just five fewer than his walk total in 53 games last year. Sano is typically among the league leaders when it comes to average exit velocity, hard hit %, and barrel %. During the 2020 campa
  11. Following a strong rookie campaign, Jorge Alcalá logically had higher expectations entering the 2021 campaign. Things haven’t gone perfectly to start the year, but with a couple of small changes, Alcalá might be the key to turning the Twins bullpen around. Last season, Alcalá appeared in 16 games and posted a 2.63 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP. He struck out nearly 29% of the batters he faced and posted a 163 ERA+. He ranked in the 75th percentile or higher in average exit velocity, hard hit %, barrel %, and K %. Based on those numbers, it was easy to envision Alcalá taking on a high leverage role at
  12. Plenty of things have gone wrong for the Twins so far including some important members of the bullpen struggling mightily out of the gate. While others will be relied on for late innings, one reliever might be the key to turning the bullpen around.Following a strong rookie campaign, Jorge Alcalá logically had higher expectations entering the 2021 campaign. Things haven’t gone perfectly to start the year, but with a couple of small changes, Alcalá might be the key to turning the Twins bullpen around. Last season, Alcalá appeared in 16 games and posted a 2.63 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP. He struck ou
  13. Expectations are sky-high for Alex Kirilloff at the dawning of his big-league career. He made a heralded debut for the Twins in last year’s playoff series against the Astros and put together some strong at-bats after not appearing in a professional game for months. His prospect stock rose significantly based on positive reports of his performance at the team’s alternate site including being named Twins Daily’s top prospect. So far in 2021, his lone big-league appearance was as the team’s 27th man for a doubleheader against Boston. He made appearances in both games and ended the day 0-for-3 w
  14. Bullpen Blowups Throughout his tenure as Twins manager, Rocco Baldelli has seen some ups and downs when it comes to the team’s relief core. Fans might not remember, but the 2019 bullpen was a mess outside of Taylor Rogers for much of the season. In fact, the club had to go out and acquire multiple relief pitchers at the trade deadline to make sure there was stability heading into season’s final months. For the season, the Twins bullpen has the third highest ERA in the American League. As Nick wrote about in the Week in Review, the bullpen imploded throughout much of last week, which resulted
  15. 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 | MI
  16. 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
  17. Entering the offseason, it seemed likely for Dobnak to be penciled into the back end of the Twins’ starting rotation. Minnesota had three pitchers slated to begin the year as starters and Dobnak seemed to be at least guaranteed a shot at the fifth rotational spot. That plan was altered after the club signed J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker. Then the question was raised about whether Dobnak should be pitching out of the bullpen or be sent to the alternate site to continue to be stretched out as a starter. The Twins’ brass felt like Dobnak and his newly signed contract were a better fit as the bul
  18. Things have been complicated from the start with Alex Kirilloff. Under the baseball’s current CBA, it’s in a team’s best interest to keep a young player in the minor leagues so the club can pick up an extra year of service time. As a side note, MLB and the MLBPA will need to work out a new CBA and this issue is likely one that will be addressed and possibly changed. There has been some indication that the Twins were willing to ignore this current practice as they have said that Kirilloff will have every opportunity to make the Opening Day roster, but his performance hasn’t pushed him ahead o
  19. Minnesota’s front office noticed some with Dobnak’s slider and suggest a small change. By keeping his hand in a more supinated position, he can get more break on his slider and keep hitters off balanced. Over the weekend, he threw three scoreless innings and struck out six of the 10 batters he faced. “It plays really well off my sinker, so we’re just trying to kind of get more break in between it,” Dobnak told reporters after the game. “Trying to create the tunnel and have it break apart more. But I threw it pretty well today, so I’m pretty satisfied with where I am with that.” https://twitt
  20. To be clear, the Twins and manager Rocco Baldelli aren’t going to name a closer. As baseball continues to rethink how bullpens can best be utilized, the Twins are going to look at matchups and put their players in the best opportunities to succeed. That being said, the four players below are the likely candidates to be considered the team’s closer. Taylor Rogers, LHP Career Saves: 41 Rogers was one of the most dominant relievers during the 2018 and 2019 seasons as he took over Minnesota’s closer role. Even with struggles last season, his peripheral numbers point to some bad luck leading to h
  21. The pivot point in the Twins' lineup comes early, very early. It’s the leadoff hitter. Go one direction, and the lineup looks one way. Go the other, and it looks very different. For the last two years, that leadoff hitter has mostly been Max Kepler, but coming into the season, there were two significant challenges to that status quo: Luis Arraez Is Healthy Arraez is expected to get a lot of at-bats as a multi-positional player. Arraez isn’t exactly a prototypical leadoff hitter because he doesn’t walk a ton, and doesn’t bring a lot of speed to the bases. But he battles and he gets on base: a
  22. FORT MYERS - There aren’t a lot of meaningful spring training battle in Twins' camp on the field, but there may be one in the lineup.The pivot point in the Twins' lineup comes early, very early. It’s the leadoff hitter. Go one direction, and the lineup looks one way. Go the other, and it looks very different. For the last two years, that leadoff hitter has mostly been Max Kepler, but coming into the season, there were two significant challenges to that status quo: Luis Arraez Is Healthy Arraez is expected to get a lot of at-bats as a multi-positional player. Arraez isn’t exactly a prototypic
  23. Aaron and John talk about the Twins filling out the rotation with Matt Shoemaker, how another option changes Lewis Thorpe's outlook, details of the Saints' first season as a Twins affiliate, Luis Arraez in left field, low-maintenance individuals, and Sergio Romo signing with Oakland. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Listen Here Now Click here to view the article
  24. What does Nelson Cruz dream of during his twenty minute power naps? When he’s stretched out in his lawn chair with the sleep shades pulled over his eyes, is he acquiring a new skill? Is he reviewing every pitch he’s ever seen like Neo learning martial arts in The Matrix? Is he sleeping so deep he’s reversing the aging process? We do know one thing about Cruz. When he wakes up, he’s going to hit.Cruz’s mechanics are impeccably groomed, minimal and sharp, not unlike his well-coiffed facial hair. His simple yet violent swing construction is one of the reasons he has been able to roll out of b
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