Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'rotation'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

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

Categories

  • Unregistered Help Files
  • All Users Help Files

Categories

  • Twins & Minors
  • Vintage
  • Retrospective
  • Twins Daily

Categories

  • Minnesota Twins Trade Rumors & Targets

Forums

  • Baseball Forums
    • Minnesota Twins Talk
    • Twins Minor League Talk
    • Head 2 Head Debate Forum
    • Twins Daily Front Page News
    • Other Baseball
    • Archived Game Threads
  • Other Sports Forums
    • The Sports Bar
    • Minnesota Vikings Talk
    • Minnesota Wild Talk
    • Minnesota Timberwolves Talk
  • Twins Daily's Questions About The Site

Blogs

  • Blog awstafki
  • The Lurker's Annual
  • Mike Sixel's Blog
  • Twins fan in Texas
  • highlander's Blog
  • Patrick Wozniak's Blog
  • Blog dennyhocking4HOF
  • From the Plaza
  • The Special Season
  • Twins Daily's Blog
  • Blog Twins best friend
  • Kyle Eliason's Blog
  • Extra Innings
  • SkinCell Pro: How Does Remove Mole & Skin Tag Work?
  • Blog Badsmerf
  • mikelink45's Blog
  • MT Feelings
  • Keto Burn Max Benefits
  • Blog crapforks
  • Off The Baggy
  • VikingTwinTwolf's Blog
  • A Blog to Be Named Later
  • Cormac's Corner
  • Blog MaureenHill
  • Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR
  • Road Tripping with the Twins
  • Greg Allen
  • Classic Minnesota Twins
  • The Line of Mendoza
  • BombazoMLB
  • Blog Twins Daily Admin
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • What if the Twins had drafted Prior or Teixeira instead of Mauer?
  • the_brute_squad's Blog
  • Better Baseball Is Ahead
  • Nick's Twins Blog
  • Blog jianfu
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • The PTBNL
  • Levi Hansen
  • SethSpeaks.net
  • Blog leshaadawson
  • Underwriting the Twins
  • Small Sample Size
  • parkerb's Blog
  • Tim
  • TwinsGeek.com
  • Blog Roaddog
  • Mauerpower's Blog
  • SotaPop's Blog
  • Face facts!!!
  • Over the Baggy
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Heezy1323's Blog
  • LA Vikes Fan
  • North Dakota Twins Fan
  • Blog Reginald Maudling's Shin
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Miller1234's Blog
  • Twins Curmudgeon
  • Blog Kirsten Brown
  • if we aint spendin 140 million
  • Boone's Blog
  • Rounding Third
  • Kirilloff & Co.
  • Shallow Thoughts - bean5302
  • The Hanging SL
  • Red Wing Squawk
  • Distraction via Baseball
  • Nine of twelve's Blog
  • Notes From The Neds
  • Blog Lindsay Guentzel
  • Blog Karl
  • Vance_Christianson's Blog
  • Curveball Blog
  • waltomeal's Blog
  • bronald3030
  • Knuckleballs - JC
  • Blog jrzf713
  • The Minor League Lifestyle
  • Jason Kubel is America
  • weneedjackmorris' Blog
  • Mahlk
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog freightmaster
  • Playin' Catch
  • Sethmoko's Blog
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Lev's Musings
  • Blog Scott Povolny
  • Blog COtwin
  • Hrbowski's Blog
  • Minnesota Twins Whine Line
  • Bomba Blog
  • cjm0926's Blogs
  • Blog Chad Jacobsen
  • Blog ScottyBroco
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Back Office Twins Baseball Blog
  • DannySD's Blog
  • nobitadora's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1812
  • Greg Fransen
  • Blog Adam Krueger
  • Hammered (adj.) Heavily inebriated, though to a lesser extent than ****faced.
  • Thegrin's Blog
  • 3rd Inning Stretch's Blog
  • Mark Ferretti
  • Jeremy Nygaard
  • The W.A.R. room
  • Christopher Fee's Blog
  • Postma Posts
  • Rolondo's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1814
  • Fantasy GM
  • Blog Fanatic Jack
  • Dominican Adventure
  • Cory Engelhardt's Blog
  • markthomas' Blog
  • blogs_blog_1815
  • Un/Necessary Sports Drivel
  • Blog AJPettersen
  • Blog AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS
  • BW on the Beat
  • jfeyereisn17's Blog
  • 2020 Offseason Blueprint
  • The Hot Corner
  • Blog TimShibuya
  • Fumi Saito's Blog
  • This Twins Fans Thoughts
  • Long Live La Tortuga
  • Baseball Therapy
  • Blog TonyDavis
  • Blog Danchat
  • sdtwins37's Blog
  • Thinking Outside the Box
  • dbminn
  • Proclamations from the Mad King
  • Blog travistwinstalk
  • jokin's Blog
  • Thoughts from The Catch
  • BlakeAsk's Blog
  • Bad Loser Blog
  • Tom Schreier's Blog
  • less cowBlog
  • Hansen101's Blog
  • Musings of a Madman
  • The Gopher Hole
  • 2020 Twins BluePrint - HotDish Surprise
  • Travis Kriens
  • Blog bkucko
  • The Circleback Blog
  • All Things Twins
  • batting 9th and playing right field
  • Blog iTwins
  • Drinking at the 573
  • The Thirsty Crow and the google boy from peepeganj
  • Catching Some Zs
  • Favorite Twins Memory
  • Blog TCAnelle
  • Singles off the Wall
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • Jack Griffin's Blog
  • A View From The Roof
  • The Blog Days of Summer
  • Jordan1212's Blog
  • You Shouldn't Have Lost
  • Jeff D. - Twins Geezer
  • TwinsTakes.com Blog on TwinsDaily.com - Our Takes, Your Takes, TwinsTakes.com!
  • Blog SgtSchmidt11
  • Dantes929's Blog
  • Critical Thinking
  • Old Tom
  • Blog Matt VS
  • Blog RickPrescott
  • The Dollar Dome Dog
  • Travis M's Blog
  • Diamond Dollars
  • Rick Heinecke
  • Blog jorgenswest
  • Twinsfan4life
  • Travis M's Interviews
  • whatyouknowtwinsfan's Blog
  • An Unconventional Trade Target
  • Blog righty8383
  • Blog TwinsWolvesLynxBlog
  • Supfin99's Blog
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • SportsGuyDalton's Blog
  • Blog glunn
  • Blog yumen0808
  • Unkind Bounces
  • Doctor Gast's Blog
  • AmyA
  • One Man's View From Section 231
  • Don't Feed the Greed? What does that mean...
  • Diesel's Blog
  • Blog denarded
  • Blog zymy0813
  • Twins Peak
  • Minnesota Twins Health and Performance: A Blog by Lucas Seehafer PT
  • Blog kirbyelway
  • Blog JP3700
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Ports on Sports Blog
  • Blog Twins Fan From Afar
  • Blog E. Andrew
  • The 10th Inning Stretch
  • Hans Birkleberry's Blog
  • Blog twinsarmchairgm
  • Pitz Hits
  • samthetwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog JB (the Original)
  • soofootinsfan37's Blog
  • You Can Read This For Free
  • One Post Blog
  • Blog Dez Tobin
  • South Dakota Tom's Blog
  • hrenlazar2019's Blog
  • MNSotaSportsGal Twins Takes
  • Blog kemics
  • Blog AM.
  • DerektheDOM's Blog
  • Twins Tunes
  • Blog jtrinaldi
  • Blog Bill
  • Not Another Baseball Blog
  • Down on the Farm
  • Most likely pitchers making their MLB debut in 2021 for Twins.
  • Blog Wookiee of the Year
  • mike8791's Blog
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos: Photo-A-Day
  • Puckets Pond
  • Blog Jim H
  • A trade for the off season
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Kasota Gold
  • The POSTseason
  • Blog guski
  • Blog rickyriolo
  • SgtSchmidt11's Blog
  • Twinternationals
  • Blog birdwatcher
  • Blog acrozelle
  • Axel Kohagen's Catastrophic Overreactions
  • Bashwood12's Blog
  • Spicer's Baseball Movie Reviews
  • Beyond the Metrodome
  • Blog yangxq0827
  • The Pat-Man Saga
  • TheTeufelShuffle's Blog
  • ebergdib's blog
  • Blog Thegrin
  • Zachary's Blog
  • scottyc35
  • Danchat's Aggregated Prospect Rankings
  • Thrylos' Blog - select Tenth Inning Stretch posts
  • Blog taune
  • scottyc35's Blog
  • World's Greatest Online Magazine
  • Blog tweety2012
  • DRizzo's Blog
  • mrtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog asmus_ndsu
  • Otto Gets Blotto
  • Betsy Twins Report
  • Blog shawntheroad
  • Blog David-14
  • Blog Buddy14
  • Blog keithanderson
  • Blog Topperanton
  • Blog lightfoot789
  • Blog Axel Kohagen
  • Blog Lesser Dali
  • Blog Neinstein
  • Blog Bob Sacamento
  • Blog J-Dog Dungan
  • Thoughts of a Bullpen Catcher
  • Blog Dilligaf69
  • blogs_blog_1599
  • Twin Minds
  • My Opening Day Poem
  • Blog Teflon
  • Blog yanking it out...
  • Blog Anare
  • Blog Charlie Beattie
  • Blog Coach J
  • What to do with Morneau?
  • Peanuts from Heaven
  • Blog Physics Guy
  • Twins Adjacent
  • Field of Twins
  • Martin Schlegel's Blog
  • The Long View
  • Blog grumpyrob
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog Jeff A
  • Blog jwestbrock
  • by Matt Sisk
  • Blog Sarah
  • Blog RodneyKline
  • Blog JeffB
  • Anorthagen's Twins Daily Blogs
  • Low Profile MI Trade
  • Blog CC7
  • Blog dwintheiser
  • Blog Docsilly
  • Blog cmathewson
  • Blog mnfireman
  • Blog twinsfanstl
  • Blog dave_dw
  • Blog MN_Twins_Live
  • Standing Room Only
  • Blog gkasper
  • Blog puck34
  • Blog Old Twins Cap
  • Blog diehardtwinsfan
  • Blog Twinfan & Dad
  • Blog LimestoneBaggy
  • Blog Brian Mozey
  • vqt94648's Blog
  • Blog Loosey
  • Blog fairweather
  • World Series Champions 2088
  • Blog Drtwins
  • Blog peterb18
  • Blog LindaU
  • Kevin Slowey was Framed!
  • Blog Christopher Fee
  • Very Well Then
  • Pitch2Contact.com
  • A View from the Slot
  • Blog severson09
  • Blog husker brian
  • Blog Ray Tapajna
  • Sell high?
  • Blog bogeypepsi
  • Blog tshide
  • Blog Gene Larkin Fan Club
  • Blog jimbo92107
  • Blog DefinitelyNotVodkaDave
  • Blog Cap'n Piranha
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Frank Vantur's Blog
  • Blog Ricola
  • Blog AScheib50
  • SamGoody's Blog
  • Blog clutterheart
  • Blog Trent Condon
  • Blog bwille
  • blogs_blog_1635
  • Blog strumdatjag
  • Blog huhguy
  • blogs_blog_1636
  • Blog 3rd Inning Stretch
  • Blog 10PagesOfClearBlueSky
  • blogs_blog_1637
  • Blog Tyomoth
  • SD Buhr/Jim Crikket
  • blogs_blog_1638
  • Blog bear333
  • Blog sln477
  • Blog abbylucy
  • Blog Gernzy
  • Troy's Twins Thoughts
  • Blog OtherHoward219
  • blogs_blog_1642
  • Blog ScrapTheNickname
  • Blog TicketKing
  • Blog sotasports9
  • Twins Rubes
  • Blog goulik
  • Hosken's Blog
  • Blog one_eyed_jack
  • Blog joelindell
  • Blog rikker49
  • Blog nickschubert
  • Blog DreInWA
  • You're Not Reading This
  • Blog Hugh Morris
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Kottke's Cuts
  • Blog Dakota Watts
  • Blog markroehl
  • Blog jjswol
  • Blog Tibs
  • blogs_blog_1654
  • Blog jlovren
  • Blog Boone
  • Puckmen's Blog
  • Minnesota native to attend Twins predraft workout
  • Blog obryaneu
  • Blog JohnFoley
  • Blog TwinsArmChairGM_Jon
  • Bloop Singles
  • Blog Ryan Atkins
  • Blog the blade
  • Blog Lonestar
  • Blog jdotmcmahon
  • Blog WayneJimenezubc
  • Blog Sconnie
  • Blog PogueBear
  • Blog pierre75275
  • cHawk Talks Baseball
  • Blog Paul Bebus
  • flyballs in orbit
  • Blog A33bates
  • Blog lunchboxhero_4
  • lidefom746's Blog
  • Blog coddlenomore
  • Blog Trevor0333
  • Blog lee_the_twins_fan
  • Blog StreetOfFire
  • Blog clark47dorsey
  • Texastwinsfan blog
  • Blog KCasey
  • Blog Joey Lindseth
  • Blog jakelovesgolf
  • Blog mchokozie
  • Thoughts from the Stands
  • cHawk’s Blog
  • Blog best game in the world
  • Heather's thoughts
  • Blog sammy0eaton
  • HitInAPinch's Blog
  • Blog Mauerpower
  • Blog Jdosen
  • Blog twinsfanohio
  • Beyond the Limestone
  • Blog dougkoebernick
  • Get to know 'em
  • 5 Tool Blog
  • Cole Trace
  • Blog Sunglasses
  • Blog CTB_NickC
  • Blog Colin.O'Donnell
  • "And we'll see ya' ... tomorrow night."
  • Blog richardkr34
  • Gopher Baseball with Luke Pettersen
  • Blog KelvinBoyerxrg
  • Blog twinsfan34
  • Blog CaryMuellerlib
  • Blog jtkoupal
  • FunnyPenguin's Blog
  • Blog Sierra Szeto
  • Blog ExiledInSeattle
  • A Realistic Fix to the 2014 Twins
  • Blog naksh
  • Blog bellajelcooper
  • rickymartin's Blog
  • Blog twinsajsf
  • Blog keeth
  • Blog Murphy Vasterling Cannon
  • Twins Winter Caravan
  • Blog tracygame
  • Blog rjohnso4
  • Half a Platoon
  • Blog jangofelixak
  • Blog SirClive
  • tooslowandoldnow's Blog
  • Blog Troy Larson
  • Blog thetank
  • nicksaviking blog
  • Blog iekfWjnrxb
  • Blog SouthDakotaFarmer
  • Bill Parker
  • Left Coast Bias
  • Blog tobi0040
  • Lee-The-Twins-Fan's Blog
  • Blog foe-of-nin
  • Blog cocosoup
  • Minnesota Groan
  • Blog wRenita5
  • rgvtwinstalk
  • Major Minnesotans
  • Blog Aaron 12
  • Blog janewong
  • The Twins Almanac
  • Blog boys
  • Blog bennep
  • Hambino the Great's Blog
  • Blog JadaKingg25
  • Jesse Lund's Blog
  • Blog Brabes1987
  • RealStoriesMN
  • Blog sanal101
  • Blog Spikecurveball
  • Blog Devereaux
  • D-mac's Blog
  • Blog tarheeltwinsfan
  • kakakhan's Blog
  • Blog Oliver
  • Blog travis_aune
  • Twins and Losses
  • In My Opinion
  • Blog ieveretgte4f
  • Blog Sam Morley
  • Pinto's Perspective
  • Blog curt1965
  • VeryWellThen's Blog
  • Extcs
  • The Foul Play-by-Play Twins Blog
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog winunaarec
  • Negativity Police's Blog
  • Blog Robb Jeffries
  • Adam Houck's Blog
  • SaintsTrain
  • Loosey's Blog
  • Blog EE in Big D
  • Talkin' Twins with Jonathon
  • Steve Penz's Blog
  • Blog jtequilabermeah
  • The Tenth Inning Stretch
  • Apathy for the Game
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog hmariloustarkk
  • Car detailing
  • Blog Brendan Kennealy
  • Twins Fan From Afar's Blog
  • Visit500
  • Blog totocc
  • SD Buhr's Blog
  • KirbyHawk75's Blog
  • Blog Bark's Lounge
  • huhguy's Blog
  • Blog TwinsFanLV
  • NumberThree's Blog
  • Blog pandorajewelry
  • The Go Gonzo Journal Twins Blog
  • Twinsnerd123's Blog
  • Blog cClevelandSmialekp
  • Talk to Contact
  • Boo-urns
  • Blog silverslugger
  • jtkoupal's Blog
  • Broker's Blog
  • Blog Twinsoholic
  • diehardtwinsfan's Blog
  • Brad's Blog
  • Javier Maschrano - the rising star of Argentina
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • Blog Salazar
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • ThejacKmp's Blog
  • Blog vMaymeHansone
  • stringer bell's Blog
  • Blog brvama
  • AJPettersen's Blog
  • WiscoTwin
  • Rants (not Rantz)
  • iec23966's Blog
  • Blog loisebottorf83
  • CodyB's Blog
  • Staying Positive
  • Target Field of Dreams' Blog
  • Intentional Balk
  • Blog rodmccray11282
  • ReturnOfShaneMack's Blog
  • Blog SksippSvefdklyn
  • A blog about the Twins & more
  • Thome the Moneyball
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Lefty74's Blog
  • USAFChief's Blog
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Tony Nato's Blog
  • Clear's Blog
  • Blog LeeStevensonuuf
  • Waking up the Twins
  • Blog GrahamCharleshqr
  • First Base and the legacy of Kent Hrbek
  • carly148
  • Blog MWLFan
  • Minnie Paul and Mary
  • twinstarheelsfan's Blog
  • This game's fun, OK?
  • Blog TimeAgreell
  • Tsuyoshi's Island
  • NASCAR Steve's Blog
  • Kevin Horner's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1742
  • Blog CDog
  • Hold for the Batter
  • John the Analytics Guy
  • mrmpls' Blog
  • Zlog
  • samberry's Blog
  • nmtwinsfan's Blog
  • Under Teflon Skies
  • Views from the road
  • St. Paul Saints
  • Blog tkyokoperkinsn
  • Alskn's Northern Lights
  • Talkin' Turnstiles
  • Find Stats Elsewhere
  • Blog LaBombo
  • hugelycat's Blog
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • Milldaddy35's Blog Area
  • Blog Fire Dan Gladden
  • Baseball Intelligence
  • framedoctor's Blog
  • Blog Riverbrian
  • Blog Brandon
  • Organizational Depth Chart
  • Left Field Gap
  • gtkilla
  • Hicks' Left-Handed Helmets
  • MauerState7's Blog
  • 80MPH Changeup
  • Twins Pitch Breakdown
  • What you know about that blog
  • Blog DaTwins
  • positive1's Blog
  • rikker49's Blog
  • baxterpope15's Blog
  • Blog ThejacKmp
  • Random Thoughts About Baseball
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Run Prevention
  • Blog ericchri
  • pierre75275's Blog
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Cargo Cult Sabermetrics
  • Blog 81Exposruledbaseball
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • David Howell's Blog
  • Blog daanderson20
  • Twin Billing
  • sorney's Blog
  • TCAnelle's Blog
  • Blog shs_59
  • rikker49's Blog
  • Crackin' Wax's Cardboard Corner
  • Blog jm3319
  • jsteve96's Blog
  • The Always Fashionable; Uncle Charlie
  • Blog stringer bell
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Baseball Good
  • Blog everettegalr
  • twinsfan34's Blog
  • menthmike's Blog
  • Blog Obie
  • B Richard's Blog
  • Brazilian Twins Territory
  • The Hidden Baseball
  • Blog SpinnesotaGirl
  • Marthaler
  • InfieldFlyRuled
  • Coopcarlson3's Blog
  • Blog SoDakTwinsFan5
  • Blog LastOnePicked
  • Bob Sacamento's Blog
  • MnTwinsTalk's Blog
  • Blog Top Gun
  • Twinfan & Dad's Blog
  • Nebtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog TKGuy
  • GLO Blog
  • Ben Fadden's Blog
  • ajcondon's Blog
  • Blog TheMind07
  • Daily Twins Daily
  • TwinkiePower's Blog
  • Blog Michael Blomquist
  • VeryWellThen
  • MN_ExPat's Blog
  • Channing1964's Blog
  • Blog Darin Bratsch
  • Twin's Organizational News
  • Around The Horn
  • Blog beckmt
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • BeantownTwinsFan's Blog
  • Blog YourHouseIsMyHouse
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • Blog jay
  • SF Twins Fan's Blog
  • Morneau
  • TNTwinsFan's Blog
  • Musings from Twins Territory
  • Original Twin
  • Blog El Guapo
  • Doubles' Blog
  • Kirbek's Leaps and Pulls
  • Blog jokin
  • Brandon's Blog
  • A Look Back
  • Science of Baseball
  • Blog IdahoPilgrim
  • Sam Morley's Blog
  • oregontwin's Blog
  • Rounding Second
  • Blog Lyric53
  • The Curse of the Trees
  • gagu's Blog
  • Twins in CA
  • Blog Oldgoat_MN
  • Giant Baseball Cards
  • Blog twinfan49
  • docsillyseth's Blog
  • Kirby O'Connor's Blog
  • dfklgkoc
  • Blog ContinuumGuy
  • Wille's Way
  • Minnesota Sports Statistics Analysis
  • Ryan Stephan's Twinpinions
  • blogs_blog_2805
  • Blog tradingadvantage
  • brvama's Blog
  • Minnesota SSA's Blog
  • Danchat's Strat-O-Matic Blog
  • Blog Chance
  • NoCryingInBaseball's Blog
  • It Takes All Kinds
  • TFRazor's Blog
  • Blog twinslover
  • Sarah's Blog
  • theJemmer's Blog
  • Spikecurveball's Blog
  • Four Six Three
  • blogs_blog_2809
  • 2012 Draft.
  • travistwinstalk's Blog
  • Seth Stohs' Blog
  • Through a Child's Eyes
  • Colexalean Supplement Reviews
  • Blog jiamay
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Fanspeak's Twins and AL Central Blog
  • In Pursuit of Pennants
  • minnesotasportsunlimited's Blog
  • Jacob Booth Blogs
  • Blog stewthornley
  • mickeymental's Blog
  • Baseball Bat's Offseason Blueprint
  • AJswarley's Blog
  • Twins Outsider's Blog
  • Blog h2oface
  • Iowa Twins Fan
  • Twinkie Talk
  • Battle Your Tail Off
  • JackWhite's Blog
  • bikram's Blog
  • Twins Nation Podcast

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Personal Blog Name


Personal Blog URL


Location:


Biography


Occupation


Interests


Twitter

  1. The Minnesota Twins’ bullpen has been struggling all season. The Twins need pitching now to make it to win the division and reach the postseason. With that said, maybe the best way for the Twins to capitalize is to bring Kyle Gibson home. Kyle Gibson , a first-round pick in the 2009 draft (22nd overall). He spent the first nine years of his baseball career with the club. After a challenging 2019 season on and off the field, he signed a three-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Even with the health struggles, in 2018 and 2019, Gibson was among the top 20 pitchers in MLB He became an All Star last year and should again be available at the trade deadline. Veteran Stability Gibson would provide stability for the Twins that they do not have right now. Sonny Gray is one of the Twins’ best pitchers; he went seven innings against Detroit and then struggled for five innings against the Guardians on Wednesday night. Dylan Bundy is the only pitcher this season to pitch through eight innings. The Twins’ bullpen is exhausted. Bringing a veteran pitcher into the rotation would increase the rest time for the key bullpen arms. While the Twins do need bullpen pitchers, they also need pitching that is not on restrictions or struggles once they get past the fourth inning. With Josh Winder being optioned back to St. Paul, Chris Paddack, Bailey Ober, and a handful of relievers not playing right now, the rotation the Twins have is not effective and it shows. Gibson has already seen long games this season and the biggest let down hasn't been his pitching, it's been the Phillies offense, or lack there of. If the argument against bringing Gibson home is his pitching stats, I suggest reviewing how the Twins are doing before turning a nose up at the concept. Gibson can go deep into games, which no Twins pitchers have rarely been able to do. Even some Twins fans agree, it's time to bring Gibson home. Gibson, after ten-plus years in the big leagues, his goal this season was not to reinvent himself or his pitching but to work on trying new things to catch hitters off guard. Gibson already had six pitches in his arsenal, but the pitch he has been working on lately is the cutter. The cutter is all about deception, and it’s a nasty pitch. If he can continue to perfect it, he will be one of the most dangerous pitchers in the league. Gibson’s goal is to perfect the cutter on both the throwing and glove sides. As a righty, the glove side is more manageable. Gibson spent a lot of the lockout working on his cutter and now uses it about 20% of the time. His determination to consistently improve shows on the mound and in the clubhouse. Leadership in the House Gibson is a leader who the Twins need for the remainder of the season. Since his contract ends after 2022 there is no commitment. Gibson is a good person, a leader, and a rally-man when the chips are down. The Rangers manager referred to Target Field as “The House that Kyle Gibson Built,” which tells you a lot. Gibson went to the Rangers and didn’t waste any time bringing his infectious attitude into the clubhouse, becoming a role model for the younger players. A true leader wants everyone on their team to succeed, and that’s what Kyle Gibson wants, no matter where he is. He doesn’t hold the business of baseball against other players or coaches. He sits with the younger guys and hears their concerns, answering their questions and creating dialogue. Most recently, the Phillies have had a rough season and, for the first time since 2020, dipped below .500, and Gibson noticed. Knowing what the team needs, he rallied the guys by reminding them to have fun. In an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer he told reporter Alex Coffey, “You are beating yourself if you are getting bogged down by the losses and not enjoying the wins.” He has told some of the younger hitters, “pretend they are playing backyard Wiffle ball,” meaning have fun and don’t forget why they love playing the game. The Twins hitters are having fun, but the pitchers look like they are going to a funeral every time they step onto the mound. There is a sense of dread and mistrust, not only from the fanbase, but fans also see the struggles and dread on the faces of the players. Low Cost, High Return The cost of bringing Gibson on board is minimal. He has a $7 million payout left on his contract for 2022, making a trade for him one of the best things the Twins could do with minimal financial impact or player loss on the team. The Phillies certainly will want a decent return on one of their best pitchers because the Phillies rely on their starting pitching and offense. Giving away the farm for Gibson would not be wise, but luckily the Phillies like guys they can grow. They are looking for a center-fielder and some bullpen help, and while the Twins are also looking for that additional bullpen help, they do have some outfielders they could part with and some lower-level pitchers that are up and coming. If the Twins mean business and want to sweeten the pot, they could send minor-league pitchers Yennier Cano or Marco Raya as part of a package. The great thing about bringing home Gibson is that for the Twins, it could be an excellent value, much like bringing Gio Urshela and Gary Sánchez, who have both been a part of the Twins’ offense, has been. You can’t put a price on the return of leadership, a solid arm, and rotation relief, but if you could. Should the Twins consider a reunion with Kyle Gibson? View full article
  2. Kyle Gibson , a first-round pick in the 2009 draft (22nd overall). He spent the first nine years of his baseball career with the club. After a challenging 2019 season on and off the field, he signed a three-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Even with the health struggles, in 2018 and 2019, Gibson was among the top 20 pitchers in MLB He became an All Star last year and should again be available at the trade deadline. Veteran Stability Gibson would provide stability for the Twins that they do not have right now. Sonny Gray is one of the Twins’ best pitchers; he went seven innings against Detroit and then struggled for five innings against the Guardians on Wednesday night. Dylan Bundy is the only pitcher this season to pitch through eight innings. The Twins’ bullpen is exhausted. Bringing a veteran pitcher into the rotation would increase the rest time for the key bullpen arms. While the Twins do need bullpen pitchers, they also need pitching that is not on restrictions or struggles once they get past the fourth inning. With Josh Winder being optioned back to St. Paul, Chris Paddack, Bailey Ober, and a handful of relievers not playing right now, the rotation the Twins have is not effective and it shows. Gibson has already seen long games this season and the biggest let down hasn't been his pitching, it's been the Phillies offense, or lack there of. If the argument against bringing Gibson home is his pitching stats, I suggest reviewing how the Twins are doing before turning a nose up at the concept. Gibson can go deep into games, which no Twins pitchers have rarely been able to do. Even some Twins fans agree, it's time to bring Gibson home. Gibson, after ten-plus years in the big leagues, his goal this season was not to reinvent himself or his pitching but to work on trying new things to catch hitters off guard. Gibson already had six pitches in his arsenal, but the pitch he has been working on lately is the cutter. The cutter is all about deception, and it’s a nasty pitch. If he can continue to perfect it, he will be one of the most dangerous pitchers in the league. Gibson’s goal is to perfect the cutter on both the throwing and glove sides. As a righty, the glove side is more manageable. Gibson spent a lot of the lockout working on his cutter and now uses it about 20% of the time. His determination to consistently improve shows on the mound and in the clubhouse. Leadership in the House Gibson is a leader who the Twins need for the remainder of the season. Since his contract ends after 2022 there is no commitment. Gibson is a good person, a leader, and a rally-man when the chips are down. The Rangers manager referred to Target Field as “The House that Kyle Gibson Built,” which tells you a lot. Gibson went to the Rangers and didn’t waste any time bringing his infectious attitude into the clubhouse, becoming a role model for the younger players. A true leader wants everyone on their team to succeed, and that’s what Kyle Gibson wants, no matter where he is. He doesn’t hold the business of baseball against other players or coaches. He sits with the younger guys and hears their concerns, answering their questions and creating dialogue. Most recently, the Phillies have had a rough season and, for the first time since 2020, dipped below .500, and Gibson noticed. Knowing what the team needs, he rallied the guys by reminding them to have fun. In an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer he told reporter Alex Coffey, “You are beating yourself if you are getting bogged down by the losses and not enjoying the wins.” He has told some of the younger hitters, “pretend they are playing backyard Wiffle ball,” meaning have fun and don’t forget why they love playing the game. The Twins hitters are having fun, but the pitchers look like they are going to a funeral every time they step onto the mound. There is a sense of dread and mistrust, not only from the fanbase, but fans also see the struggles and dread on the faces of the players. Low Cost, High Return The cost of bringing Gibson on board is minimal. He has a $7 million payout left on his contract for 2022, making a trade for him one of the best things the Twins could do with minimal financial impact or player loss on the team. The Phillies certainly will want a decent return on one of their best pitchers because the Phillies rely on their starting pitching and offense. Giving away the farm for Gibson would not be wise, but luckily the Phillies like guys they can grow. They are looking for a center-fielder and some bullpen help, and while the Twins are also looking for that additional bullpen help, they do have some outfielders they could part with and some lower-level pitchers that are up and coming. If the Twins mean business and want to sweeten the pot, they could send minor-league pitchers Yennier Cano or Marco Raya as part of a package. The great thing about bringing home Gibson is that for the Twins, it could be an excellent value, much like bringing Gio Urshela and Gary Sánchez, who have both been a part of the Twins’ offense, has been. You can’t put a price on the return of leadership, a solid arm, and rotation relief, but if you could. Should the Twins consider a reunion with Kyle Gibson?
  3. It's a new day in the United States, Joe Biden is now the President. It's also a new day for the back of the Minnesota Twins' rotation, J.A. Happ is now the number 4 starter. 38 year old J.A. (pronounced like "jay" not "j" "a") Happ has signed an $8 Million, 1 year deal to pitch in Minnesota. Happ isn't a particularly sexy signing, but he has been a productive middle/back of the rotation starter for several playoff teams throughout his career. Happ has accumulated 21.3 fWAR throughout his career, and is projected for about 1.5 more this year. Happ has a solid 150+ innings, sub 4 ERA pitcher ever since 2015 with the exception of 2019. Projections for Happ have him at a 4.5 ERA making him a dependable number 4 starter. There's no reason to expect anything worse from Happ than these projections as Happ's underlying numbers also rebounded in 2020, suggesting 2019 is an outlier and Happ is in line to be a more than capable 4 starter, and be serviceable as a number 3 should he need be. The Twins have found their ace in Kenta, which alleviates Jose who is really a 1B, and allows him to be a strong option in a game two in the playoffs. Pineda has been terrific and also capable of handling a game 3. The addition of Happ gives the Twins a number 4 that can take the mound in game 4 of a 7 game series should the Twins get to the ALCS.
  4. Okay, time to take a look at Lewis Thorpe. This is, afterall, the reason we all woke up this morning, right? Thankfully for all involved, we can skip the lengthy preamble and just get into the analysis. Like Dobnak, whom I covered in this space last week, Thorpe made his MLB debut for the Twins last season (though he started the year off in AAA, whereas Dobnak basically covered every level in the organization in 2019). Let’s take a look at Thorpe’s results from his MLB stint: • 27.2 IP (essentially the same sample as Dobnak) • 10.08 K/9 (yes, please) • 3.25 BB/9 (that’ll play) • 6.18 ERA (yikes) • 3.47 FIP (okay, let’s take a look at the BABIP, HR rates, and other batted ball tendencies) • 4.14 xFIP (so he had a lower than league average HR/FB rate, but honestly ½ of a run isn’t much in this small of a sample, it’s a difference of 1.5 ER allowed in 27 IP) I see a number of things I want to look at here, and we will see where this takes us: • Swinging Strike Rate: 11.8% • Zone Percentage: 44.3% • BABIP: .438 • HR/9: 0.98 • HR/FB: 10.3% • Line Drive Rate: 31.3% Let’s start with his plate discipline numbers to see whether we think these strikeout and walk rates, which are the stuff aces are made of (a quick a dirty thing to do to identify elite skills is to subtract the BB/9 from the K/9; anything over 6 is great). Let’s start off with the walks and underlying control skills. Thorpe was in the strike zone with 44.3% of his pitches in his limited MLB innings. Among qualified starters, he would have ranked 17th, just behind Yu Darvish and just ahead of Lance Lynn. As I mentioned last week, there were 61 qualified starters, so the top 20 is the top 1/3rd. It’s also worth mentioning that his BB/9 in nearly 100 AAA innings was 2.34 in 2019 and in AA and AAA in 2018, he compiled 130 innings with a 2.5 BB/9. I think it’s safe to say Thorpe has great control and can likely be relied upon to avoid free passes. On to strikeouts. Thorpe has consistently delivered a K/9 in the double digits throughout his time in AA, AAA, and MLB in 2017 (10.50), 2018 (10.92 in AA; 10.80 in AAA) and 2019 (11.12 in AAA, 10.08 in MLB). I’m happy to report that his swinging strike rate during his MLB stint backs this up. His 11.8 swinging strike rate would have been 22nd among qualifying starters (again, right around the top 1/3). As I noted with Dobnak, it is not particularly common for the same pitcher to post strong control numbers and miss a lot of bats. Here is the list of pitchers who had a zone percentage of at least 44.3% and a swinging strike rate of at least 11.8% (if you read the Dobnak post last week, this will look familiar). • Gerrit Cole – 16.8%/45.2% • Max Scherzer – 16.4%/45.6% • Justin Verlander – 16.1%/45.2% • Lucas Giolito – 15%/47.2% • Yu Darvish – 13.4%/44.5% • Charlie Morton – 12.9%/45.1% • German Marquez – 12.7%/46.6% • Walker Buehler – 12.1%/46.5% • Joe Musgrove – 12%/45.5% Still good company, just as it was for Dobnak last week (and I’m on board with prying Musgrove away from Pittsburgh). Okay, so he’s in the zone and missing bats. Those skills have consistently translated to strikeouts and walks (for pitchers in general, and for Thorpe since he was promoted to AA in 2017). So if he’s so great why did he post an ERA of more than 6 runs per nine innings? I know a lot of people won’t like to hear this, but he was unlucky. Pitchers cannot control everything that happens, and particularly in small samples some bad luck can really torch your ratios. For starters, he allowed a .438 BABIP. The highest BABIP among qualified starters was .347 – one hundred points lower! That’s a fluke. Thorpe also only stranded 66% of his baserunners. Only three qualified starters had lower strand rates, and none of then posted a K/9 over 8.5 (Musgrove had the lowest strand rate in the major leagues; more evidence that he'd be a great add). He was helped a bit by having a relatively low HR/FB, particularly given the fact that he allowed a lot of hard contact (39.8%), and the BABIP was fueled by a 31.3% line drive rate. It’s likely intuitive to anyone who has read this far, but line drives are by far the most likely type of batted ball to result in a base hit. Again, though, so much of all of this is dependent on such a small sample that it’s hard to know if that’s really who he is. If those line drives turned into fly balls he’d likely see his BABIP come down, but he’d also likely allow more home runs. It’s also feasible that a pitcher who misses bats like he does can figure out how to induce weaker contact, especially if he relies more heavily on his slider. A commenter noted on the Dobnak post that Dobnak had faced some weaker offenses. That’s also true of Thorpe, who faced AL central foes for the majority of his appearances. Something to keep in mind. Honestly, he’s a lot like Dobnak. The biggest difference between the two (aside from pedigree) is that Dobnak had good fortune with batted balls and Thorpe had bad fortune. All-in-all, I’d say Thorpe gives us plenty of reason to be excited about the possibilities for the back end of the rotation in 2020. The Twins don’t need all of the potential starters on the 40-man to be great, and they appear to have put together a system full of high variance, high upside arms. Not a bad place to be.
  5. In his fourth offseason at the head of the Minnesota Twins, there are two words Derek Falvey wishes he could take back, "Impact Pitching". It's all the casual Twins fan has been talking about this offseason, up until the Josh Donaldson signing, of course. The fact of the matter is that the Twins were agressive in pursuing their "Plan A" options for the offseason in free agents Ryu, Bumgarner, and Wheeler. It just didn't work out, mostly because of forces outside of their control. To me, the Josh Donaldson signing signaled that the front office is pushing their chips to the middle of the table in 2020. At 34 years old, Donaldson might only have two years of elite production left. Now might be the time to capitalize in making that final offseason move for "impact pitching" right?; not necessarily. The Twins made a pair of early offseason moves to their staff with Odorizzi accepting their Qualifying Offer, Pineda coming back on a two year deal, and a pair of New Years Eve signings in Rich Hill and Homer Bailey. There is no doubt the Opening Day pitching staff still has some question marks but on paper this is a fine starting 5. The question marks of course come from Pineda who is suspended for the first 39 games of 2020 and Rich Hill, who had "primary and revision" surgery and won't be back until "June or July". Per Fangraphs Team Depth Charts 2020 Projections, the Twins starting staff projects to have a total WAR of 11.6, ranked 21st in MLB. Now, like I mentioned, this is because of the starts that should be made by Pineda and Hill in April - June will have to be made up by the likes of Dobnak, Smeltzer, and Thorpe. Fangraphs projects that this trio will pitch 169 total innings - which may be too many for a team with deep playoff run aspirations. But if things shake out like the Twins hope, they will have a fine starting 5 for the second half of the year, not even factoring in a potential July 31st trade. But they have to get there first. That's the key. As of right now there are two options the Twins have to add to their existing rotation, trade or sign a remaining free agent. Sure, trading for a Robbie Ray, Matthew Boyd, or Jon Gray would be nice. However, it seems that with each day closer to Spring Training, that possibility dwindles. What if they went a different direction... What if they were able to sign a pitcher with starting experience who can bridge the gap in April and May to fill in until Pineda's return? What if once he is not needed in the rotation anymore he can be added to the bullpen to strengthen the back end of baseball games? What if he actually happens to be a very good reliever? Enter, Collin McHugh. Collin McHugh - The Starter In 2016 - 2017, McHugh started 45 games for the Astros. In 248 innings, McHugh posted a 4.14 ERA, 3.92 FIP, and a 8.7 k/9. He missed quite a bit of time in 2017 with right shoulder tendonitis. In 2018 he pitched only in the bullpen (more on that in a minute). In 2019, the Astros put McHugh in the rotation on Opening Day. On the surface his numbers are ugly as a starter. In 8 starts, he posted a 6.37 ERA in 41 innings with a 9.2 k/9 allowing an OPS of .808 (yikes). But let's break this down a bit and only focus on the first six starts he made in 2019, as that really is all the Twins would need out of him before Pineda is back on May 10th. McHugh only had one rough start. If you eliminate that outing, 5 of those 6 starts were very good. He threw 28.2 innings, struck out 36 batters, had three quality starts (one out away from 4), and allowed 8 runs - a 2.51 ERA. That tells a much different story. Collin McHugh - The Reliever As stated earlier, in 2018 McHugh became a full time reliever. He was outstanding posting a 1.99 ERA, 2.72 FIP, a 11.7 k/9 in 72.1 innings. He also pitched in 4 playoff games that year allowing zero runs in 4 innings. After he was done starting in 2019, he went back to the Astros bullpen posting a 2.67 ERA, a 10.7 k/9, in 27 appearances across 33.2 innings. Solid. Do I think the Twins still need an "impact" SP to propel them to postseason success? Sure. Do I think the July 2019 Twins rotation could be very solid? Of course. But, they have to get there. Collin McHugh would help the Twins do that and add depth to an already established bullpen core for the second half of the season. A very hybrid and cost effective approach to bolstering the Opening Day Twins rotation. They can always wait to make their "impact pitching" move until the July 31st deadline. Signing McHugh would allow them the flexibility to do that.
  6. I recently moved to the Anaheim area and was lucky enough to be able to attend Tuesday evenings' game (5/21/19). I also was able to get to a Dodgers' game a few weeks ago against the Nationals. I've been watching the Twins all season on TV (the 5pm start and 8pm finish of the weekday games is glorious), and I am always confident that we are going to end up having a shot to win any game as long as we keep it within 2 or 3 runs because our lineup is beautiful (so deep). The Twins won handedly last night as you all know, but throughout the game something about the team just does not give me that championship edge feel. Especially when I was just able to see a squad like the Dodgers mash the ball around and seemingly always be in control of the game. (I am 'young' and have never seen a Minnesota championship, so I may just be thinking it is never going to occur for any of the teams that I love.) There are so many things to love about the team especially on the offensive side, it feels like runs can be scored at absolutely any part of the lineup with so many great on base percentages and guys mashing balls all over the gaps and out of the park. Maybe this bullpen just doesn't do it for me. Maybe they will clean it up. What do the Twins need to give them that edge? Do you think they already have all of the pieces for a championship run? If we are missing something, what and how do we acquire? GO TWINS GO
  7. The Twins played their 39th game this season yesterday. Their record remains the best in baseball (by percentage points), despite a 5-3 loss to Detroit. While 40 games is closer to the 1/4 mark, there are more than 24 hours between games to consider where the Twins are and what changes (if any) should be made. Obviously, with that good record, the weaknesses aren't too glaring and the strengths are pretty evident. Why are the Twins 25-14? Power and pitching are the easy answers. They are on a club-record pace for long balls, with a lineup that legitimately could have eight or nine 20-homer hitters. Starting pitching has been well above expectations, as well, with José Berríos putting up ace numbers, while probably the two biggest surprises are Jake Odorizzi and Martín Pérez, both of whom have been outstanding. The bullpen has, on balance, gotten the job done. There have been hiccups in the 'pen, especially callups and middle inning guys, but one can only point to a game or two where the bullpen is to blame for a loss. If Marwin Gonzalez is considered part of the bench, the Twins have a deep and versatile group of players to fill in. Gonzalez has gotten over 500 plate appearances every year since 2016 while playing multiple positions. Willians Astudillo and Ehire Adrianza also play multiple positions and either of the two primary catchers are hitting well right now. Garver can also play multiple positions. The team's defense is far better with centerfielder Byron Buxton playing full-time and healthy. The three new defenders in the infield have been very good, as well. Super-utility player Gonzalez has been the principal 3rd baseman and probably will be until third baseman Miguel Sanó returns. Here is one person's thoughts on problems for this club: 1) Bullpen--Blake Parker has gotten the job done as a closer, Taylor Rogers has continued to be an outstanding late-inning arm. Beyond that, there are questions. Trevor May has been OK as a 7th-8th inning guy, but he's been inconsistent. Trevor Hildenberger has faltered recently. It doesn't appear that the manager trusts any of the other bullpen pitchers with high-leverage situations. Another arm or two is needed, if the Twins want to get to October and win games in postseason. 2) Starting depth--The front four starters have been great. Miguel Pineda has struggled, but shows signs of shaking off the rust. Beyond that, it appears the Twins best hopes to bolster their starting rotation are in AA (or just promoted to AAA). Teams almost always need more than five starters and the cupboard is pretty bare beyond #5 for the Twins. 3) Speed and a backup outfielder--Way down the list, but the Twins have only one real threat on the base paths. Buxton has all but two of the teams stolen bases and demonstrates his blazing speed running out extra-base hits and tracking fly balls. Jake Cave is a major league player, but is essentially a backup corner outfielder and he is backing up two left-handed hitting corner outfielders. It would be helpful if the Twins had a speedy, good defensive outfielder who hit right handed and handled LH pitching. These are my thoughts at almost 40 games. I wonder how they'll change after 81, the halfway point.
  8. Here we are on May 9th and the Twins have the best record in Major League Baseball. They have had some low moments, but mostly everything has gone as well as, or better than, expected. Chatter about the Twins has been positive, especially after dominating a bad Baltimore team and then winning a series (and the season series) against the Houston Astros. A 4-2 road trip, including a dominant sweep in Toronto have put the Twins a season-high 11 games over .500. I doubt everything will continue to come up roses for the Twins, it never does. They will suffer injuries and players will slump or disappoint. Even in the best of years, these things happen. However, it appears that in most respects, the team assembled by the relatively new executive team of Falvey and Levine is set up well to handle struggles and snags when they occur. Let's look at what has transpired in the mostly cold and wet months of April and early May. With the exception of Miguel Sanó, the offense has been healthy and rolling. The Twins are in the top tier in the league for run-scoring, home runs, slugging and OPS. They don't walk much (most of the lineup is comprised of aggressive hitters), but they don't strike out much, relative to the rest of the league. The Twins are averaging well over five runs a game, playing many games in poor weather conditions. They appear set to challenge team records in runs scored and home runs this year. The power is well-distributed, with most of the regular lineup already hitting six or more homers. They have endured slumps from regulars and a slow start from Marwin Gonzalez (who has essentially replaced Sanó) without suffering much on the scoreboard. Pitching has been a surprise. The team is in the top half of many key pitching stats, including runs per game, quality starts, shutouts, innings pitched by starters, and opponent's batting average. Three of the five starters have been outstanding, with a fourth (Kyle Gibson) rounding into form in recent starts. The starters good work has taken pressure off of the bullpen. The bullpen hasn't been spotless, but they've gotten the job done. The late-inning quartet of May, Hildenberger, Rogers and Parker has been satisfactory, if not dominating. Defensively, the team is also doing very well. New acquisitions Gonzalez, Schoop and Crom have all played well in the field and the team has mostly been able to keep it's regular outfielders on the field, all of whom are plus defenders. Individual performances of note include José Berríos ascending to ace or near ace status. Jorge Polanco playing good defense and breaking out with the bat, Martín Pérez finding a few mph on his fastball and coming up with a cut fastball to (so far) become an outstanding rotation piece. The catching duo of Mitch Garver and Jason Castro (with a few appearances by Willians Astudillo) has been outstanding with the bat and has been given credit for helping the pitching improve. On the negative side, Marwin Gonzalez hasn't hit much, new rotation member Michael Pineda has struggled mightily in his last four starts and several relievers at the front end of the bullpen have had trouble getting people out. Many more players have stepped it up beyond those mentioned. Basically, the good play to this point has been a team effort. Can this run continue? Well, I think the competition changes with many more games against familiar opponents in the Central Division--three of those teams (KC, Chicago and Detroit) are in one stage or the other of rebuilding--so the schedule figures to be somewhat more favorable. I doubt the Twins can keep hitting so many homers (they are on a pace to hit almost 300!) and I also doubt the pitching will continue to be dominant, but there is no doubt that they are improved. I think the need going forward this year is adding pitching. A starter to perhaps supplant Pineda and a strong bullpen arm would be helpful and when injuries happen, such improvements might be vital. The Twins are now considered favorites to win the Central, but they need to keep doing what they're doing. Credit for this improvement should be given to Falvey and Levine, who also hired rookie manager Rocco Baldelli. They've shown they pay attention to the metrics that are part of the game now and made good decisions in putting together a team for today without breaking the bank or mortgaging the future. There's a long way to go, but the ride this year promises to be fun and it might be magical.
  9. What a rotation I have gone through all but DH in my thought process on next year and I really do not care who is DH since it seems like the Twins like to move it around. But the rotation is the real issue. Bleacher reports had this reflection on Starting Pitching - https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1187854-is-starting-pitcher-the-most-important-position-for-building-a-successful-team . Very seldom do people attend the game because there will be a great match up of closers. We still look at Verlander, Kluber, Severino, Greinke as marquee names for any game. So who starts for the Twins in 2019 and 2020? I can easily write in Berrios. Is there anyone who compares? Gibson has turned the corner and we are still wondering if it is real, but yes, he is number two. Ervin Santana was a wonderful story, but the emphasis is on was! He is gone, I would almost guarantee it, but I guarantee nothing. Jake Odorizzi had a near no-hitter recently so we forget how mediocre he has been. 6 – 10 4.41 ERA 1,32 Whip, 30 games, 155 innings – an average of 5 innings per start. Yes, he will be in the rotation next year. Then there are the September debuts: Kohl Stewart – six games, 24 innings, ERA+ 81, 1.78 Whip, 5.47 ERA. Prospect #28. Aldalberto Mejia – 5 games, 2.01 ERA, 1.16 WHIP Aaron Slegers - 3 games, 5.68 ERA which is lower than his MLB career 6.11, 1.42 WHIP Michael Pineda who benefits from being injured all year and then injured again instead of making a Sep call up He is 40 – 41 with a 4.40 ERA, and a 1.19 WHIP. He will take one of the five spots, even if he has not earned it. Chase De Jong – the FO acquired him so he has a front of the line position and he gave up no runs in his first appearance. His MLB record has him with an ERA of 5.57 and a WHIP of 1.51. Smoke and mirrors so far for MN. Stephen Gonsalves who has dominated the minor league reports for the last four years has stunk in his debut – 9.39 ERA, within 1 of Belisle, and a 2.67 WHIP. Awful. Is it real? He is rated prospect #5. If not for Gonsalves and Belisle Littell would be on the stink listing with 8.44 ERA and 2.06 Whip. Zack was prospect number 20 which was a downgrade from his previous ranking at #11. If not them, who? Among the top 30 prospects – which include the above pitchers is Brusdar Gratol, our number 4 prospect. He is 20 and has proven himself at all the levels he has pitched at. MLB.com says he comes up in 2021. If the above pitchers continue there stink ratings he could be 2020. Blake Enlow is prospect number 9, he is 20, and projected for 2021. He could push 2020. Lewis Thorpe is prospect number 10 and why he did not get a September call up is a mystery to me. He could be in the mix for next year. He was 8 – 7 with an era of 3.54 and a WHIP of 1.24 in 2018. Jordan Balazovic is prospect number 30 and projected for 2021. We also have some pitchers that were acquired in trades this summer, but none seem MLB ready, yet. Then there are the FA. I will not project signing them, but Patrick Corbin of the AZ Diamondbacks hits the market at age 29. His stats look really good. He would be a good signing. Dallas Keuchel of the Astros is a dream, but one I think we should pass on. I am not as convinced as others that he has the ACE potential for the future. Clayton Kershaw – pardon me, I cannot type while I am laughing. With all this information and some experience with seeing how this FO works (or doesn’t) this is my guess. 2019 • Berrios • Gibson • Odorizzi • Pineda • Mejia • DeJong 2020 • Berrios • Gibson • DeJong • Thorpe • Gratol • Wells
  10. The Twins have ridden the roller coaster during the Paul Molitor era. Up in 2015, way down in 2016, a peek at the playoffs in 2017 and now way down in 2018. The roller coaster claimed a front-office victim in longtime GM Terry Ryan two years ago and now there has to be some heat on field manager Molitor after this season's extreme disappointment. The complaints about the old regime included being too "old school", including pitch-to-contact staffs, not using advanced metrics, cookie cutter approaches to hitting, and of course, not spending enough to bring in and keep talent. Fair complaints all, I think. However, in the Levine/Falvey era, we see little real progress and a real lack of talent in the upper minors. This year's crop of September call-ups is among the most uninspiring in recent memory. I believe there are two keys to being competitive and sustaining that competitiveness for a number of years. The first is pitching. Levine and Falvey are supposed to be pitching guys. They have acquired pitching, but with mixed results at best. Their best talent at the top levels of the farm system doesn't have many, if any, outstanding talents. Addison Reed, Zach Duke, Lance Lynn, Jake Odorizzi didn't move the needle much for the big club this year. Perhaps they have suffered from some bad luck and just need to add quality until it sticks and stays. All I can say is this, the Twins rank in the bottom third of almost every meaningful pitching stat. You don't win year after year with far below average pitching. The other component which is missing in my opinion is defense. For the last two years, the Twins have gone with a primary shortstop who is well below average defensively, couple that with a revolving door in center field this year, the trading of the regular second baseman and the season-ending injury to primary catcher Jason Castro, and you have a toxic mess turning outs into outs. Further, and if there is one complaint about Molitor that sticks, it is this. The team has been woeful at executing fundamental baseball. I'm talking about throwing to the proper base, making needless throws, failing to hit cutoff men and the like. Add in that opposing baserunners are taking extra bases like free gifts and this is tough to watch. I think the front office needs to commit to pitching and defense in a big way this offseason. That would include making every effort to keep their most gifted defender (Byron Buxton) in Minnesota and on the field as much as possible. Secondly, I think the Twins need a defensive-minded shortstop, with the idea that Jorge Polanco can move to what I think is his natural position, second base. On the pitching front, more and better arms to augment the so-so rotation (I think Gibson/Berrios/Odorizzi is fine for #2-4) and a questionable bullpen. I like May/Hildenberger/Rogers, but more is needed included a closer. The Twins have been in the baseball wilderness long enough. They need to have a solid plan for improvement, stick with it and stay relevant not for an occasional year, but consistently. I think the long suffering fan base deserves it.
  11. I like Baseball Reference’s similarity scores so I thought we should look at our lineup and see it in an alternative universe – with the most similar players according to the reference (with Sano still in the lineup): Brian Dozier - Earl Williams Eddie Rosario - Yasmany Tomas Eddie Escobar - Jose Castillo Miguel Sano - Michael Conforto Max Kepler - Elijah Dukes Logan Morrison - Garrett Jones Robbie Grossman - Bud Metheny Juan Castro - John McDonald Jorge Polanco - Tim Anderson Since Mitch Garver and Ehire Adrianza have no similarity listed. I went to Juan Castro and Jorge Polanco. Mauer has a similarity score that matches Dustin Pedroia. Byron Buxton has his similarity score match Byron Browne. Look at the similarities and substitute them in your lineup. Would that lineup be one you want to go to the season with? Put in Byron Browne and Dustin Pedroia for Mauer and Buxton and you still have a lineup that has no punch. Most of the equivalents are not names any of us know. Going down the similarity scores you will eventually find current or known entities, but I just wanted to move from our home team bias and see where our players rank within baseball history. We have a ways to go. I think Rosario and Escobar will bring up even better names if they continue like this, but really, somethings need to be done. On the pitching side: Jose Berrios - David Nied Fernando Romero - None Jake Odorizzi - Danny Salazar Lance Lynn - Mat Latos Kyle Gibson - Steve Parris Addison Reed - Chris Perez Fernando Rodney - Jason Isringhausen We do much better, as expected with pitching. Berrios will move up as he continues his development and so will Romero, but I still hope for more from Gonsalves. So this is your Minnesota Twins team by equivalency. How do they look when their masks are off?
  12. The Minnesota Twins top priority this off-season has been pitching. We have made moves to bolster our bullpen (Addison Reed gets me fired up) and there is a lot of talk surrounding big name starting pitchers. Yu Darvish has been on the radar since October, getting Twins fans excited since we haven't had a top arm like his since Johan Santana. Unfortunately, the Darvish scenario is looking less hopeful for the Twins, a lot of teams are interested and can probably offer more money. I have talked about Lance Lynn in previous posts and today I read an article about the possability of signing Lynn and Alex Cobb rather than just Darvish. The article, by Tom Froemming, here on Twins Daily was interesting not only because of the idea, but because of the comments and the Twitter poll. Majority of the comments read something along the lines of "Darvish without question" or "Lynn/Cobb would be a mistake". The Twitter poll also surprised be because it ended up being a perfect 50/50 split. This is my opinion: Lynn and Cobb would be better than Darvish alone...even if Darvish wanted to come here. Yes I know, this is crazy. Why pass on the top SP free agent on the market for a reasonable price? Because Lynn and Cobb combined would be better than Darvish and whoever ends up being the Twins 5th man in the rotation. Yu Darvish would be the ace of our rotation, probably for the next couple of years too, he's a great pitcher that would be fun to watch and help us in the playoffs as well. So why pass on him for Lynn/Cobb? My simple breakdown would be this: would you rather have one great player and one average player or two good players? I take depth 365 days out of the year (366 on leap years) because a baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. Signing one big arm would make sense if we already had a solid rotation but the truth is we have a steady top end and a rocky bottom half. Santana/Berrios are easily guys we can rely on going forward. Gibson/Mejia/Hughes/young guy, not so much. Gibson is the one guy I would give the benefit of the doubt to just because he improved last season, but he's good for a few meltdowns a year. Mejia proved he's not ready and Hughes...well who the hell knows what part of that guy's body will let down next. I like our young arms a lot, but not enough to have them fill the back-end of our rotation long-term. Here is where my argument resides. Having two quality arms would make Gibson our 5th starter. Every Darvish start would equal two starts from unreliable pitchers vs two starts from quality arms and one start from an unreliable pitcher. That unreliable pitcher could also improve into a solid 5th starter, who knows? My second point is about the postseason. If you look at the last three years for example, each World Series team has gotten a rental to boost their roster. 2015 Royals traded for Ben Zobrist, 2016 Cubs traded for Chapman, 2017 Astros traded for Verlander. Granted a lot of teams make trades, but every World Series team has made some kind of move for a rental piece as a metaphorical cherry-on-top. Where am I going with this? If we finish July with a good record and are looking to make a playoff run, we can make a trade for a rental piece. A lot of comments about Darvish helping is the playoffs are true but there are other ways the Twins can be productive in October. Again, this is just my opinion, if you disagree please leave a comment below. I would love to hear some other ideas. Thanks.
  13. At the All-Star break, the Twins sit with a terrible 32-56 record and it is only that good because they've won the last three series against three AL West clubs. For most of the season, the Twins have scored the fewest runs in the AL while allowing the most. I wasn't totally surprised that the Twins pitching staff was bad, but it just doesn't seem right that they would be last in runs scored justifiably because they weren't getting on base and not hitting when they did manage to get runners in scoring position. With good work of late from their offense, the Twins have improved in offensive categories. They rank 10th in runs scored, 8th in OPS and slugging, 9th in OBP and 10th in homers. I would expect those numbers to continue to rise. There's plenty of talent and a lot of them are starting to realize their potential. Certainly, the pitching needs to improve, both the rotation and the back end of the bullpen. However, some guys have stepped up. Fernando Abad was brilliant for the first quarter of the season, but has faded. Brandon Kinzler was signed to a minor league contract, but recalled this spring and has been pretty good. Taylor Rogers looks like he belongs in the bullpen and Ryan Pressly and Michael Tonkin have shown enough to hold spots in the Twins bullpen. There is enough offense to be a good team soon. There isn't enough pitching. The Twins don't have an ace and their most consistent veteran is supposedly on the block. I am of the opinion that every trade made by the Twins from now until they are a true contender has to bring back pitching or catching. It is my belief that the Twins will be good again when their staff is better than average. I'm willing to bet the members of that staff will be homegrown or acquired in minor deals or the Rule V Draft. Signing free agent pitchers is like going against the house in Vegas. You might win once in a while, but long term the house always wins. Ryan has attempted to sign pitchers to eight figure (per year) contracts and it hasn't worked out. I expect the Twins to be more competitive in the second half of the season. I sincerely hope they trade a couple of veterans to allow the kids to play. Chargois and Berrios can cut their teeth in the major leagues. Some of Suzuki, Plouffe, Nuñez, Santana, Nolasco, and Abad should be sold off. I really don't think they are that far away, if they can get middle of the pack pitching. The other factor, which I think is overlooked in the Twins demise this year is defense. The pitching staff has enough trouble getting three outs in an inning and too often, because of misplays, a fourth or fifth out has been donated to the opponent. If the Twins get a new catcher or catching tandem, I would hope they get a solid defender who can limit opponent's running game. Also, another glaring deficiency has been shortstop. Eduardo Nuñez is below average as a shortstop and Eduardo Escobar has had a poor year playing short IMHO. A trade of Nuñez would probably net better defense at short
  14. Yep, the Twins are bad. They almost certainly will lose 100 games and finish last in the AL Central. Management has been trashed regularly on Twins Daily and has deserved the scorn of the fan base. Articles have been written and several threads have discussed trading just about every veteran on the roster. I submit to everyone that the position players aren't that bad and not that much needs to be done. There is enough talent to score plenty of runs. Pitching, on the other hand, is a problem. The only home grown pitcher in the rotation for more than a year is Kyle Gibson. Tyler Duffey has had a couple of moments, but his numbers this year don't inspire confidence. There is talent but I don't know when or if it will ever develop. The bullpen has evolved a bit this year. The supposed end of the bullpen has imploded almost completely--Glen Perkins has a career-threatening injury, Kevin Jepsen was just DFAed, and Trevor May has been both injured and ineffective. I think that reforming the pitching staff is Problem #1 and Problem #2 is defense. All of that has to do with suppressing runs. Last year, for whatever reason, the rotation and bullpen performed much better than it had in all of the 90-loss seasons. They ranked in the middle in runs allowed. This year the Twins are last by a long ways in runs allowed. They are something like 1-34 when they score less than four runs. Too many veterans occupy spots in the rotation and too much money is invested in them. Some of those guys need to go. They are over thirty and most likely will never be better than they are now. The Twins bullpen has traditionally carried several guys who depended on their defense to make plays behind them. The bullpen has evolved somewhat, but isn't that effective. What transactions need to happen? I think at least one of Nolasco/Santana has to go. The live arms in the minors need to be tried, even if they aren't that effective. On the trade front, several players could go. I just saw an article on mlbtraderumors.com that lists Kinzler as a sneaky trade candidate, Abad could be on several team's radar and several position players might be gone--Nuñez, Suzuki, Plouffe (if healthy), perhaps Grossman--and most of this is addition by subtraction or moving on to the next season. The team could get better fast in scoring runs if Sano, Buxton, and Kepler live up to the hype and become solid regulars or better than that. Maybe the pitching and defense can get better fast. IMHO, it's harder to project pitchers than position players. I don't think it's a rebuild, it is a recasting.
  15. After the back-slapping is done at Twins Way, the general manager should have time to take a long, hard look at the season that just played out. The Twins won 83 games and were competitive. The season was highlighted by one fine month (May) and a pluckiness that kept them from sinking too far when times got tough. The Twins pitching improved more than their metrics indicated while offensively the team scored more runs than their numbers indicated. The Twins scored 695 runs, while the league averaged 710. In 2014, the club scored 715 runs, ranking in the top half of most offensive statistics except for home runs. What changed? Plenty. In 2014, the Twins had better than average performance from a player at all nine positions. In 2015, they managed to have players with an OPS+ above 100 at three positions, and only one player (Miguel Sano) whose numbers could be classified as well above average. The team was dead last in on-base percentage and their top hitter had a batting average of .265. The 2014 had more than 100 more walks than the 2015 team, while accumulating 65 more strikeouts. Somehow the 2015 group finished in the middle of the pack in runs scored, but overall offense took a severe downturn. Part of that can be explained by personnel--the Twins got more than 450 at-bats from Eddie Rosario, who provided first-rate defense in the outfield corners instead of playing lumbering DHs and first basemen in the outfield. Regression hit the Twins hard as well. 2014 newcomers Santana and Vargas along with Oswaldo Arcia all struggled and were banished to the minor leagues, with Arcia not even being recalled when rosters were expanded. Full-time regulars Dozier and Plouffe saw their seasons fall off after seeing career bests in 2014. 2014 All-Star Kurt Suzuki came back to earth with a BA 40 points lower and his OPS+ falling from 104 to 67. Pitching was more of a mixed bag. The Twins' rotation wasn't great, but wasn't the embarrassment that previous editions had been. Only Kyle Gibson made it through the season without missing a start, but every starter had good moments. The bullpen, which all along seemed to be a weak link, was aided by the addition of a couple of guys via trade and one guy via demotion from the starting rotation. Also assisting in the staff's improvement was better, more athletic defense, particularly in the outfield. Still, the Twins still ranked last in strikeouts and first in hits allowed while yielding the second-fewest walks, a continuation of the much-maligned "pitch-to-contact" meme from previous seasons. Looking at the roster, it is a combination of veterans and young players with a couple (Dozier and Plouffe) in between. Suzuki, Mauer, and Hunter are all in the second half of their careers, while youngsters handle the other positions. The pitching staff had many over-30 guys pitching, including almost all of the bullpen. In general, the offense needs to improve by getting on base more. Too much of the team's power is concentrated in right handed hitters, and more speed would help. On the mound, more power arms are needed. There are specific questions that need to be answered, as well. Here are five questions that need to be answered in the off-season and my takes on each one: 1) What will Trevor May's role be for the 2016 Twins? May is one of the top arms on the Twins. While he wants to start and profiles to be a good one, I think he should be in the bullpen as the eighth inning guy, and perhaps as the closer. His stuff "played up" in the bullpen and he had several outings that were dominant. 2) How can the Twins augment the catcher position? Kurt Suzuki had a 67 OPS+ and his backups were dreadful at the plate. Suzuki was among the worst at throwing out base stealers (his pitchers didn't help much) and there were too many unblocked pitches. I think there are two options--acquire a backup from outside the organization or get a starting replacement also from outside the organization. I don't know who that player is, but I think a lefty hitter who is respectable defensively. Ideally, Suzuki should either share time or be the backup. 3) What of Torii Hunter? Hunter was a valuable presence who provided 22 homers, but he hit .242 with a .701 OPS at a premium offensive position. Hunter has stated that he doesn't want to be a part-time player and the Twins have top prospect Byron Buxton and minor league Player of the Year Max Kepler perhaps ready to help next year. Oswaldo Arcia also figures in here. 4) Is it time for Trevor Plouffe to be traded? He has led the club in RBIs the last two years, provided steady and improved defense and has become a team leader. However, Miguel Sano looks the part of a superstar and shouldn't be a DH at 22 years of age. I think that it is in fact time. Plouffe is a good player, but he shouldn't stand in the way of Sano. The Twins could perhaps fill the catcher gap by trading Plouffe. 5) Rick Nolasco is still under contract for two more years. He's been a total disappointment for the first two years of his contract. Can the Twins get out from under his contract? It would be great if Terry Ryan could slough off the contract, but I doubt it. I think Nolasco enters the 2016 season as one of the guys in the Twins rotation. That, in my opinion, seals the deal that May starts in the bullpen. It also indicates that JO Berrios and Tyler Duffey will have a mountain to climb in order to make the rotation to start the season. While it seems silly not to have the best arms starting the season, every rotation goes through changes over the course of the season. I see only eight guys on the short list of starters in the Twins' organization, including May. That isn't too much depth and might not be enough.
  16. The Twins will enter 2016 after recording their best record since 2010. They have added several young players, most of whom are here to stay. As of today, they have some gaps, but overall have a decent team returning for next year. Four players are slated to be free agents--Mike Pelfrey, Torii Hunter, Brian Duensing, and Neal Cotts. Perhaps a player or two will be non-tendered. Candidates would be Casey Fien, Eduardo Nuñez, and Blane Boyer. Here is my current projection for the Opening Day 2016 Twins. It will have no rookies making their debuts and no trade acquisitions and I will assume that only one free agent is re-signed, either Cotts or Duensing. Pitchers: (12)--Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco, Tommy Milone, Kyle Gibson, Ervin Santana, Tyler Duffey, Ryan Pressly, Alex Meyer, Cotts or Duensing, Trevor May, Kevin Jepsen, and Glen Perkins. Catchers: (2)--Kurt Suzuki and Chris Herrmann. Infielders: (8)--Kennys Vargas, Danny Santana, Eduardo Nuñez, Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Trevor Plouffe and Miguel Sano Outfielders: (3)--Oswaldo Arcia, Aaron Hicks, and Eddie Rosario Some of these predictions will look pretty silly, I'm sure. I expect Oswaldo Arcia to get a last chance to be a productive player. This along with Byron Buxton's poor offensive showing at the close of 2015 will be enough to get Buxton more AAA time. I would expect he will be patrolling center field before Memorial Day. Another candidate to make the team would be Max Kepler, who probably needs some time in AAA, but before 2016 is over will have a regular spot on the club. The backup outfielders would be the backup infielders and perhaps Escobar and I think it won't be long before an outfielder is promoted. I have Nuñez surviving another spring. He has had a good year in 2015. He's a pretty good hitter, has some speed and defensive versatility. It is very possible the Twins will choose to go another way with that roster spot. I have youngsters Vargas and Santana as bench players. I'm pretty sure Vargas has an option, so he could easily not make the team, but if Trevor Plouffe is traded, current DH Sano becomes the third baseman and Vargas could be the primary DH. Backup catcher is a problem. The usual suspects from this season appear, but perhaps Stuart Turner will hit enough to bring his strong defense to the majors. I don't expect it on Opening Day, but I think it will happen sometime in 2016. Three starting pitchers have long-term contracts. Until and unless they are shown to be ineffective beyond repair when healthy, they are in the rotation. The best starters then are Milone and Gibson. That leaves the heralded JO Berrios to spend some more time in AAA, which would also be a smart business decision. I have listed Duffey as a bullpen option, despite his good work in the last quarter of the 2015 season and Trevor May as a big bullpen arm. Taylor Rogers could convert to to relief and take a spot I've given to Duensing/Cotts. The Twins also could go with O'Rourke, more of a pure LOOGy. I think Ryan Pressly had an underrated season before getting injured and my hope is that Alex Meyer has found it as a relief pitcher--he's been effective for the last several weeks. Meyer, May, Jepsen, and Perkins could be a very effective game-closing combination. I didn't list Casey Fien or Blane Boyer, veterans who have performed quite well this season, and in Fien's case for several seasons. Unfortuanately for them, their stuff doesn't play as well in this high-velocity, high strikeout bullpen era.
  17. With our "rotation" in shambles for the stretch run, how about running out some "bullpen games?" You can start Santana and Gibson, but the others are shaky. Why not get Berrios in here, and move May back into the rotation. For example, if you can get 3 innings out of May, followed by 3 innings of Hughes on one day, then the next get 3 innings out of Milone and 3 from Berrios, and the third start shoot for 3 from Pelfrey and 3 from Duffey. This lets us use the guys who are on innings limits or working back from injuries. It also attempts to stretch out May so we have him ready to start a playoff game if we make it.
  18. The Twins have 40 games remaining and currently sit two behind the Angels, who hold the second wild card at this point. The Twins have games remaining with the Rays, the Orioles and the Angels so they could gain ground by winning head to head against teams that are in competition for the wild card. Here's the math: 25-15. .625 baseball, which I think would net the team a wild card. 24-16. .600 baseball, I think they make postseason with 85 wins, or at least have a play-in to the play-in game. 21-19. Would give the Twins a winning record, but they would be watching the playoffs. 20-20. .500 on the nose, still a success given the expectations. 15-19 wins. Improvement, no 90 loss season, but still a losing record. The team has 21 road games and 19 home games. They play 25 of their remaining games against the Central, with other games against Baltimore (2), Houston (6), Tampa (3) and the Angels (4). I'm saying they have a little spurt here and end up with 82 wins, but end up watching the playoffs. I am probably too optimistic after watching May and Jepsen close yesterday's game. If May could have been the 8th inning guy for a month, I think they might have won a couple more games.
  19. After the bullpen blew two leads in New York in as many days on the way to being swept by the Yankees, the Minnesota Twins’ playoff chances have taken a massive hit. Now with closer Glen Perkins leaving the team to have an MRI on his neck, it looks as though Terry Ryan sitting on his hands at the MLB Trade Deadline and using kid gloves with Byron Buxton, who is raking in Rochester and was Pioneer League Player of the Week, will be the difference between the Twins playing in October and fishing instead. This blog was originally published at GoGonzoJournal.com. If Terry Ryan thought this team would be competitive down the stretch with the addition of Kevin “Call Me Maybe” Jepsen, he doesn't deserve his job. I know he expected this to be a rebuilding year and couldn't believe he'd be battling for a playoff spot, but when you're in a playoff race, you try to win the race. You don't just stand pat and hope for the best. He also has a manager in Paul Molitor who has no idea what he’s doing when his starter gets fatigued, evidenced by his decision to bring in JR Graham to pitch to A-Rod with the bases loaded and none out on Monday night. Well, my F@*k Dick and Bert co-host has a solution for Paul Molitor and the Twins – a 10-man starting rotation. Before you throw your arms up in disgust, let me explain. By 10-man rotation, I don't mean 10 starters. I mean 10 starters swapping starts every five days. With a 10-man rotation, the Twins could pair starters based on ability while providing valuable experience to youngsters. Twins’ starters have been averaging just six innings pitched per start, and that number will fall as the season continues. The Twins also have a surplus of good starters in Rochester, and now with Perkins’ health in question, it would be best to have some arms in the bullpen that aren’t JR Graham, Brian Duensing, and Ryan O'Rourke. The 10-man rotation doesn’t require a closer, but Jepsen and Fien (and Perkins?) would be available in case of an emergency. This also makes Molitor’s job easier, as he can either call in the designated reliever paired with the starter, or call on Jepsen or Fien (or Perkins?) based on match-ups. It will also keep the relievers’ innings down. Righty Trevor May has been the most effective starting pitcher for the Twins this year, with a FIP of 3.26, which just goes to show how clueless Paul Molitor has been in his rookie season as manager. Aaron Gleeman has been saying May didn’t deserve a demotion to the bullpen for quite some time on the Gleeman and the Geek podcast – probably since his implosion in Milwaukee I was unfortunate enough to witness. But a lot of May’s success is due to the fact he’s been moved to a relief role and has experienced an uptick in velocity. He’s the pitcher I'd pair with my most inconsistent starter, Ervin Santana. You could swap spot starts or keep May as strictly a reliever, but each will be stretched out to 70 pitches or so. This way May can step into the starting rotation if the Twins make the playoffs and Santana’s postseason suspension goes into effect. Since Pelfrey (ERA+ of 113) and Milone (ERA+ of 112) have been the most consistent starters, they would be paired with a couple of deserving call-ups — the righty Pelfrey with lefty Pat Dean (nearly a 3:1 K/BB ratio, 1.18 WHIP, 2.92 ERA in 157 AAA IP) and the lefty Milone with righty Michael Bowden (nearly a 3:1 K/BB ratio, 1.13 WHIP, and 2.57 ERA in 98 AAA IP). Then, if you fall out of the race, or just want to take advantage of a team who struggles against lefties or righties, you work Bowden and Dean into the starting rotation that day, with Pelfrey and Milone available in relief. It also provides a structure for unique mentorship. Gibson, who Molitor would call the most consistent starter, has actually been worse than his 3.99 ERA (FIP of 4.20). A good pairing for him would be Tyler Duffey (nearly a 4:1 K/BB ratio, 1.07 WHIP, and 2.53 ERA in 85.1 AAA IP), who’s seen a couple of Major League starts and can also be worked into the starting rotation. Then there’s the injured Phil Hughes, who has discovered how to give up home runs again. Jose Berrios should be pitching in his spot, and when Hughes returns, the Twins can move him to a relief role on days Hughes pitches. You'd swap spot starts between the two in order to protect Hughes and give Berrios experience in both starting and relief roles. Berrios is the best pitcher in the Twins organization, period. He deserves to be called up and should have been weeks ago when Milone went on the disabled list. So here’s your 10-man rotation and three-man bullpen: 1-2) Phil Hughes, Jose Berrios 3-4) Tommy Milone, Michael Bowden 5-6) Mike Pelfrey, Pat Dean 7-8) Kyle Gibson, Tyler Duffey 9-10) Ervin Santana, Trevor May 11) Kevin Jepsen 12) Casey Fien 13) Glen Perkins The only problem with this is if you have a starting pitcher in a groove and you don't want to mess up a good thing. Granted, that doesn't happen too often for the Twins, but when it does, it leaves your other paired pitcher with 10 days between starts, which would require more bullpen sessions in lieu of actual time on the field. So let them throw in the bullpen starting in the fifth inning regardless of the score. Get them good and warm, and if they don’t get into the game, let them throw 70 pitches or so to get stretched out. Eddie Guardado should be able to handle that.
  20. I'm jumping the gun by a day, but the Twins are approaching the All-Star break and they certainly qualify as contenders. After beating Detroit today, they are tied for the second best record in the league at eight games over .500. One can't help but be a little optimistic about the Twins chances for the last 74 games. Today was a high point, not only hammering Detroit's starting pitcher, but also the mid-game announcement that Brian Dozier would indeed make the 2015 All-Star team, all on the heels of the startling comeback the earned the Twins a near miraculous victory on Friday night. However, there are obvious flaws on the team. The leading percentage hitter currently is Joe Mauer, hitting in the mid-.270s and until this home stand the Twins had struggled to score runs for the better part of six weeks. We've seen a bullpen that is far from dominant and still have unsettled and unproductive positions (catcher and shortstop). The starting staff continues to allow far fewer runs than their peripherals would suggest. Since the Twins outstanding month of May, analysis has focused on how the club is winning and also if they can sustain that performance. Most analysts still think the club is suspect. A good example is Baseball Prospectus, which provides a Postseason Probability for each team. They currently peg the Twins at 21.6%, lower than the Tigers (2.5 games behind the Twins) and the Indians (4.5 behind Minnesota). This is supposedly scientific analysis. The team is far different that the one that opened the season in Detroit. Eddie Rosario has claimed an outfield spot, Aaron Hicks appears to be here to stay this year, and several members have changed in the bullpen. The rotation has added Ervin Santana to the rotation. I think more changes are in the offing. Either by trade or promotion, I think the bullpen will continue to be redone. Byron Buxton figures to return to Minnesota after a rehab and perhaps an option to AAA, Oswaldo Arcia has begun to pound the ball at Triple A, I am still not convinced the Twins are a playoff team, but it looks like they could easily be in it for the two and a half months. I'm predicting a couple of moves that will fortify the bullpen (perhaps trading for a lefty reliever and promoting a hard thrower) and also perhaps a trade for a catcher, who could help this year and beyond. I would expect improvement from the offense, combined with a bit of regression from the rotation. I have predicted 85 wins for the club since they broke camp in Florida. I hope that number is reached although I'm not sure if it will be enough to gain admission to the post season.
  21. Okay, we're past the statistical halfway point in the season. Sometimes it takes a while to flesh out who can help a team for the present and the future and sometimes circumstances make that decision. However, the Twins still haven't made decisions about several positions and players. The team is in the race for a wild card and they have not solidified several positions on the team. Here's my take on the key decisions that need to be made. 1-Shortstop. Danny Santana started the season as the regular, got demoted and now is back on the team. He showed some signs in the most recent series that he might start hitting and his tools at short are very good. Eduardo Escobar has started more in left field than short, but played over half the season at short last year and did well. Eduardo Nuñez has also been given several starts presumably in an effort to add offense. Nuñez isn't capable enough defensively, Santana hasn't produced after a standout rookie season, mostly played in center field, and Escobar has regressed from last year's numbers. My pick would be Escobar, who provides the highest floor and least risk going forward. Jorge Polanco also could figure in, but I can't see that he's ready to contribute. 2-Outfield. Eddie Rosario has emerged as a regular outfielder. Torii Hunter has been a solid right fielder for the Twins. That leaves one person. The guy who has the most at-bats after Rosario and Hunter is Escobar. He's a novice in the outfield, but has been acceptable. Aaron Hicks has provided excellent defense in center, hasn't hit much, but seems much closer than he has been in previous trials. Byron Buxton played a week+, showed his tremendous potential, but also showed that he has a long way to go before he's an offensive force. Buxton is currently on the DL, and won't return for at least a few weeks. It is unknown whether he could step in right away or might need rehab. The Twins could also use an option and give him time at AAA. It is probably a no-brainer to go with Hicks until Buxton comes off the DL. The big question is what to do then. My guess is that Buxton goes to Rochester for rehab and unless he tears it up, is optioned there perhaps until September 1st. The other factor is Hicks. If his BA continues to dive and the OPS doesn't get above .600, it might be time to give up on him being a productive everyday player. 3-Rotation. For now the decision has been made, Mike Pelfrey stays in the rotation and Trevor May is in the bullpen. May has a future in the Twins' rotation and this demotion really doesn't change that. I actually think that May can help the struggling Twins bullpen. He has strikeout ability and can get the fastball up to near-dominating numbers. I do believe the leash for Pelfrey can't be that long. His last two starts were failures and his peripherals suggest he isn't as good as his ERA might suggest. Pelf is a free agent after this year. Some have also suggested Tommy Milone should be optioned or put in the bullpen. I think Milone provides a bit too much to be pushed aside. He is still relatively young and under team control. Ricky Nolasco has missed over a month with an ankle issue and so far he hasn't solved the problem. I wouldn't be surprised to see Nolasco get surgery and miss most of or the entire remainder of the season. I agree with the Twins decision, but if Pelfrey gets knocked around in his next start, it might be a short demotion for May. Pelfrey throws hard enough that maybe he also can help the bullpen. 4-Bullpen. This isn't about changing roles, it is about changing faces. Aaron Thompson was a good story and a fine contributor for the first six weeks of the season. He just can't get people out anymore. He needs to be optioned immediately. Blaine Boyer was a surprise, but has done a slow fade for the last month. Boyer probably deserves to stay on the team, but should not be the high-leverage bullpen piece as he has been used thus far. Brian Duensing was miserable, but has shown some signs of improvement lately, no runs and only two hits, one walk and five strikeouts in the last 7.2 innings. The temporary addition of a starter in the bullpen might mean that only one pitcher should be added. I think AJ Achter has pitched well enough to get another start. Lefty Taylor Rogers has shown he can dominate AAA left handed hitters as a starter. I think he should be moved to Rochester's bullpen immediately and if he flourishes, should get a chance to help the big team. If Ryan Pressly is disabled, another name to consider is Mike Tonkin, who seems to be able to dominate in AAA, but hasn't done well enough to stick in the majors. For the record, demote Thompson, move up Achter and see if there is a good bullpen arm available on the trade market.
  22. Ervin Santana’s return to the Minnesota Twins is imminent and this presents an interesting personnel decision for the team. On Twins Radio prior to Wednesday’s game against the Red, manager Paul Molitor did not offer any hints as to the direction the Twins wants to go. “I think everyone is excited that we are going to be adding a pitcher of Ervin’s quality to our staff,” Molitor told Cory Provus on the pregame show. “I haven’t talked to the AAA staff, I just saw the numbers and like everyone else, we’re really happy to see his last start there was good in terms of command and efficiency and results. So we’re gonna get through today and probably the next 24 or 48 hours make an announcement when he’s gonna pitch for us.” As it lays out, the open date in the rotation is Sunday against the Royals in Kansas City but Molitor was mum regarding whether or not that would be Santana’s start.Santana’s post-suspension tune-up with Rochester was impressive. Over the course of three starts, he worked 20.2 innings while allowing 17 hits (.227 batting average) and just four runs resulting in a 1.74 ERA. In his final two outings, both against the Red Sox’s Pawtucket affiliate, Santana faced several Major League caliber bats including Rusney Castillo and Allen Craig. The velocity was reportedly down to the late-80s/low-90s but he mixed in a slider and change to keep hitters off-balanced. With the excitement building within the team about Santana’s impending arrival, Provus asked the question of how the rotation will shape up once Santana returns and if the six-man rotation is on the table. “It’s one of the options we are looking at,” Molitor said regarding the shift to six in the rotation, “We have options but one of them would be to go ahead and insert Ervin there and give everybody an extra day and use all the starters we have until we get to that last game. Obviously the other route would be to take someone out and try to piece it together from there because of the rest that we will be able to have. Once we decide when where we are going to slot those guys in, we will trust it and go with it.” While Molitor seems open to the six-man idea, general manager Terry Ryan seems less receptive and is leaning towards replacing a current member of the rotation. “Things happen, we all know that,” Ryan told the Star Tribune. “Paul is very adept with connecting with players, I can tell you that. Most players will be very receptive. If I went to them, it might be a different story. It will be a tough decision for whoever winds up getting squeezed.” The New York Mets recently switched to the six-man rotation and the St. Louis Cardinals toyed with the idea this spring. Both team’s motivation was predicated on limiting innings to young arms as well as reducing the workload on rebuild arms like Matt Harvey. The Twins do not have the same scenario when it comes to rationing innings like the two NL teams did. Minnesota’s motivation would be to not remove any of the current starters who are performing serviceably across the board. The obvious reasoning is that it allows the Twins to showcase a pitcher as a trade candidate between now and the July 31 deadline but the other factors could be keeping their pitchers healthy and improving their performance. In 2014, Enos Sarris pointed out that the Japanese trend of using six-man rotations might be responsible for why Japan’s pitchers tend to have fewer instances with Tommy John surgery compared to their Major League counterparts. The data blog FiveThirtyEight.com’s Rob Arthur dug further into the hypothesis and found that pitchers who have four days of rest – like the standard five-man rotation have – will have a reported injury risk of one percent over the next two weeks after pitching. However, a shift to a full five days of rest – enjoyed by those in a six-man rotation – have a 0.8 percent chance of injury, a 20 percent decrease in comparison to the four-days of rest. The caveat, Arthur found, was that while the six-man prevented injuries to some degree, the nature of the injuries were comparable to those of the five-man. In short, while longer rest showed the ability to reduce the frequency of injuries, it did not reduce the risk for suffering major injuries such as UCL tears. Still, for a team over a 162-game schedule, keeping their core starting pitching healthy means fewer dead-arm spells that pitchers try to work through far too often before admitting something is wrong. But not everyone in the game is convinced the extra day between starts is better for the arm. Former MLB pitcher and current FOX Sports analyst CJ Nikowski spent time pitching in Asia and says his personal experience tells him that the notion that the six-man rotation saved arms in Japan is hogwash. “The problem with the notion of “they do it Asia” is that in the four years I spent pitching in both Korea and Japan, I saw more arm injuries than I did here,” Nitkowski wrote in February of this year. “I remember one day sitting in the bullpen and looking around at my teammates, every one of them had a significant arm injury at some point in their professional career.” While there are no numbers in Nitkowski’s post to determine if his gut model statement is true, Nitkowski cites the increase – some say even insane, per Twins pitcher Blaine Boyer – amounts of sideline throwing between starts and in spring training negates any effects the six-man rotation rest factor would play. Nitkowski also argued against the six-man structure because it would reduce the number of starts giving to a team’s high-paid ace. The Twins, however, lack any real “ace” caliber pitchers in the current rotation. Distributing the starts among six and keeping arms healthy for the latter portion of the season could ensure that all pitchers are fresh but it could also mean reducing the number of starts for those starters who are clicking. Like the small decrease in limiting the number of injuries, moving from a four-day to a five-day rest period also has a very minor increase in production. According to Baseball-Reference.com’s splits, pitchers who work on a four-day rest cycle have posted a 4.35 ERA since 2000 while those on a five-days of rest have turned in a 4.31 ERA. Over a 30-game span, if that performance maintains, that could be the difference in at least one run. It may be unlikely for the Twins to embrace the idea but If Santana is added to the core of Phil Hughes, Kyle Gibson, Mike Pelfrey, Tommy Milone and Trevor May for the starting six, it might be a very insightful decision by the Twins to maximize their current production…or it could be an innovative way to market a tradable commodity. Click here to view the article
  23. Santana’s post-suspension tune-up with Rochester was impressive. Over the course of three starts, he worked 20.2 innings while allowing 17 hits (.227 batting average) and just four runs resulting in a 1.74 ERA. In his final two outings, both against the Red Sox’s Pawtucket affiliate, Santana faced several Major League caliber bats including Rusney Castillo and Allen Craig. The velocity was reportedly down to the late-80s/low-90s but he mixed in a slider and change to keep hitters off-balanced. With the excitement building within the team about Santana’s impending arrival, Provus asked the question of how the rotation will shape up once Santana returns and if the six-man rotation is on the table. “It’s one of the options we are looking at,” Molitor said regarding the shift to six in the rotation, “We have options but one of them would be to go ahead and insert Ervin there and give everybody an extra day and use all the starters we have until we get to that last game. Obviously the other route would be to take someone out and try to piece it together from there because of the rest that we will be able to have. Once we decide when where we are going to slot those guys in, we will trust it and go with it.” While Molitor seems open to the six-man idea, general manager Terry Ryan seems less receptive and is leaning towards replacing a current member of the rotation. “Things happen, we all know that,” Ryan told the Star Tribune. “Paul is very adept with connecting with players, I can tell you that. Most players will be very receptive. If I went to them, it might be a different story. It will be a tough decision for whoever winds up getting squeezed.” The New York Mets recently switched to the six-man rotation and the St. Louis Cardinals toyed with the idea this spring. Both team’s motivation was predicated on limiting innings to young arms as well as reducing the workload on rebuild arms like Matt Harvey. The Twins do not have the same scenario when it comes to rationing innings like the two NL teams did. Minnesota’s motivation would be to not remove any of the current starters who are performing serviceably across the board. The obvious reasoning is that it allows the Twins to showcase a pitcher as a trade candidate between now and the July 31 deadline but the other factors could be keeping their pitchers healthy and improving their performance. In 2014, Enos Sarris pointed out that the Japanese trend of using six-man rotations might be responsible for why Japan’s pitchers tend to have fewer instances with Tommy John surgery compared to their Major League counterparts. The data blog FiveThirtyEight.com’s Rob Arthur dug further into the hypothesis and found that pitchers who have four days of rest – like the standard five-man rotation have – will have a reported injury risk of one percent over the next two weeks after pitching. However, a shift to a full five days of rest – enjoyed by those in a six-man rotation – have a 0.8 percent chance of injury, a 20 percent decrease in comparison to the four-days of rest. The caveat, Arthur found, was that while the six-man prevented injuries to some degree, the nature of the injuries were comparable to those of the five-man. In short, while longer rest showed the ability to reduce the frequency of injuries, it did not reduce the risk for suffering major injuries such as UCL tears. Still, for a team over a 162-game schedule, keeping their core starting pitching healthy means fewer dead-arm spells that pitchers try to work through far too often before admitting something is wrong. But not everyone in the game is convinced the extra day between starts is better for the arm. Former MLB pitcher and current FOX Sports analyst CJ Nikowski spent time pitching in Asia and says his personal experience tells him that the notion that the six-man rotation saved arms in Japan is hogwash. “The problem with the notion of “they do it Asia” is that in the four years I spent pitching in both Korea and Japan, I saw more arm injuries than I did here,” Nitkowski wrote in February of this year. “I remember one day sitting in the bullpen and looking around at my teammates, every one of them had a significant arm injury at some point in their professional career.” While there are no numbers in Nitkowski’s post to determine if his gut model statement is true, Nitkowski cites the increase – some say even insane, per Twins pitcher Blaine Boyer – amounts of sideline throwing between starts and in spring training negates any effects the six-man rotation rest factor would play. Nitkowski also argued against the six-man structure because it would reduce the number of starts giving to a team’s high-paid ace. The Twins, however, lack any real “ace” caliber pitchers in the current rotation. Distributing the starts among six and keeping arms healthy for the latter portion of the season could ensure that all pitchers are fresh but it could also mean reducing the number of starts for those starters who are clicking. Like the small decrease in limiting the number of injuries, moving from a four-day to a five-day rest period also has a very minor increase in production. According to Baseball-Reference.com’s splits, pitchers who work on a four-day rest cycle have posted a 4.35 ERA since 2000 while those on a five-days of rest have turned in a 4.31 ERA. Over a 30-game span, if that performance maintains, that could be the difference in at least one run. It may be unlikely for the Twins to embrace the idea but If Santana is added to the core of Phil Hughes, Kyle Gibson, Mike Pelfrey, Tommy Milone and Trevor May for the starting six, it might be a very insightful decision by the Twins to maximize their current production…or it could be an innovative way to market a tradable commodity.
  24. While the Twins are still in position to make the playoffs, they have had a poor month of June. They are 9-14 despite playing most of their games at home so far this month. The fault has fallen almost totally on the offense. Starting pitching and the back of the bullpen have been good, and defense has improved. The Twins first face the Brewers, cellar dwellers in the NL Central, then the Reds, also below .500, before facing the Royals for four in KC. They won't have the DH for the next week, but they will have a tall reinforcement in their bullpen. Alex Meyer will make his big league debut sometime in the next week I am sure. The Brewer series is interesting. The Twins will face the same three starters they saw earlier in Minneapolis for this weekend. None of them are having outstanding seasons. However, they were good enough to win two of three in Minnesota in the first weekend of the month. Milwaukee has a decent lineup when everybody is healthy, with quite a bit of right handed power. I expect youngsters Buxton and Rosario to make a big impact in the series, while the veteran core of the lineup also produces. It will be on to Cincinnati from there. I haven't seen much of the Reds, but I do remember the park as being a bandbox. Home runs will be hit, and the Twins must hit their share. The Reds host the All-Star game, so Perkins and Dozier probably will be looking at making return trips soon after they play there. Finally, a trip to Kansas City in July. Odds are good that it will be hot. Odds are slightly less good that the Twins will be within sight of the Royals by that time so that the series could be a battle for first place. The Twins will need to make their hits count early in the game because KC's bullpen remains dominant. Twins pitchers will need to hold the seven (or eight or nine) Royals All-Stars in check. The Twins certainly are in the race right now with June winding down. A 5-5 or better roadie will keep them there. If the trip is disappointing, we might be seeing proof that they really aren't in the race despite a record that says they are. Day to day, we fans complain that no action is being taken, but eventually things happen. Top prospects Rosario, Buxton and now Meyer have been recalled, nobody is going to remember two years from now who started the season in center field and the other premium reinforcements might be on their way before the leaves are turning. It has been fun and there is hope for more fun in the summer of 2015.
  25. The Twins are 23-17. In the "up your predictions" thread, there has been a good discussion of luck, peripherals, and a lot of other factors that have contributed to the good record. I'm not convinced that the Twins will contend given the shakiness of the bullpen, the lack of upside of the current rotation and still rather large holes at key positions. However, they have to proceed as contenders right now, no matter what advanced statistics and believers in a full rebuild would say. Certainly, I concur that Twins have to go forward as if they are contenders. There are factors that indicate that the team can continue to be relevant throughout the summer. First of all, there is much room for improvement from players who have performed well in this decade. Secondly, there is help available in the minor leagues for the Twins soft spots--the pitching staff, center field and maybe catcher. The Twins have a good lineup, surprising strengths in the pitching staff and so far, a bulletproof back end of the bullpen. I guess I will believe until the Twins really hit the skids.
×
×
  • Create New...