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  1. The Twins clearly need to trade for relief help before the upcoming August 2nd deadline arrives. And they're going to How much will it make a difference for the better? The past paints a checkered picture. For the sake of keeping things succinct and semi-relevant, we're going to limit this retrospective analysis to the Target Field years. Which of course means we begin with one of the most infamous deadline deals in franchise history. 2010 July 29: Twins Trade C Wilson Ramos to Nationals for RHP Matt Capps In a classic Minnesota Sports Twist of Fate™, legendary Twins closer Joe Nathan tore his UCL in spring training of 2010 – a season where the Twins would go on to field arguably the best team of their entire run under Ron Gardenhire. As the deadline approached, the team had one glaring need, at least in the eyes of a front office led by general manager Bill Smith: a proven veteran closer to offset the loss of Nathan. Sure, Jon Rauch – acquired in a post-deadline deal the previous season – had been doing a perfectly adequate job, but he didn't have all those precious saves on his résumé. In a display of the backwards thinking that would soon lead the franchise into a complete and sustained collapse, Smith's front office made the outrageous decision to trade away a highly touted, MLB-ready, slugging catcher in 22-year-old Wilson Ramos, to acquire Matt Capps from Washington. Capps was a pretty ordinary reliever who entranced the Twins with his good first half and experience as a closer (even though he'd been terrible the previous year). In fairness, he proved to be a successful acquisition for the 2010 season, posting a 2.00 ERA and converting 16 of 18 saves the rest of the way. But he was inconsequential in the playoffs, as the Twins never had a late lead against New York. Capps was bad the next season, hurt in 2012, and then done as a major-leaguer before turning 30. Ramos went on to finish fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2011, and make two All-Star games in an impressive MLB career that isn't necessarily over yet. He's currently rehabbing from ACL surgery at age 34. His loss became especially painful when Joe Mauer had to move off catcher a year later and the Twins were left with an empty cupboard at catcher. One of the worst trades in Minnesota Twins history, bar none – in large part because it was so obviously a horrendous decision at the moment it was made. 2015 July 31: Twins Trade Pitching Prospects Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia to Rays for RHP Kevin Jepsen This move, like the previous one, was driven by the Twins realizing a need in the late innings due to injuries impacting their star closer. Glen Perkins did not experience a season-ending injury in 2015 -- in fact, he made his third straight All-Star Game -- but as the trade deadline approached, it became clear something was amiss. He blew two saves in the second half of July as his strikeouts evaporated and hitters began to tee off. Finding themselves on the fringe of postseason contention for the first time in five years, Terry Ryan and the Twins knew they needed to shore up the bullpen. They struck a deal on deadline day to acquire Kevin Jepsen from the Rays in exchange for a pair of lower-tier pitching prospects. The Twins actually deserve a lot of credit for this move, even if it didn't pay real dividends as they missed the playoffs by a longshot. Jepsen pitched very well -- much better than he had up to that point in Tampa, or really at any point in his eight-year career, spent mostly with the Angels. In 29 appearances for the Twins, Jepsen posted a 1.61 ERA and 0.89 WHIP over 28 innings, converting 10-of-11 saves. Much like with Capps, it was all downhill from there. Jepsen absolutely bombed for the 2016 Twins, posting a 6.16 ERA in 33 appearances before they cut him loose in July. From there, he was pretty much done as a big-leaguer, posting a 5.80 ERA in 35 ⅔ innings for the Rays and Rangers. Capps was 27 when the Twins acquired him; Jepsen had just turned 31. Both were performing well and at least somewhat highly regarded. And yet both were essentially out of baseball after short, doomed stints with the team. Really something. In any case, the return on this deal never hurt the Twins. Chih-Wei Hu appeared briefly in the majors but fizzled out after 23 innings. He's now pitching in China. Alexis Tapia never got past Single-A. 2019 July 27: Twins Trade 1B Lewin Diaz to Marlins for RHP Sergio Romo Of all trades in this category from the past couple of decades, this is probably the prototype for getting it right. The Twins gave up a decent but hardly indispensable prospect in Lewin Diaz, and got back a veteran rental reliever who was (almost) everything they wanted him to be. A 12-year MLB veteran and three-time World Series champ, Sergio Romo was flat-out excellent down the stretch, posting a 3.18 ERA and 27-to-4 K/BB ratio in 22 ⅔ innings to help stabilize the bullpen and lock up a division crown. They liked him enough that they re-signed him as a free agent in the offseason, although that proved to be perhaps not a great choice. Diaz still has a chance to haunt the Twins, I guess. He's only 25 and has hit well enough at Triple-A to get some chances with James Rowson's Marlins. But even if not for this trade, Minnesota would've likely moved on a while long ago. It should be noted that while this has to be viewed as one of the franchise's most successful trades for a reliever at the deadline, they still didn't really get what they wanted out of it. Part of Romo's appeal was in his postseason track record, but that paid no dividends for the Twins. He gave up two runs in two innings in the 2019 ALDS and then had a meltdown in his lone appearance against Houston in 2020. July 31: Twins Trade 3 Prospects to Giants for RHP Sam Dyson And we conclude with the prototype for getting it wrong. So very, very wrong. The ill-fated trade with the Giants for Sam Dyson went sour almost immediately, with the Twins front office seemingly taking an unfair share of criticism in a situation where they themselves were bamboozled. The announcement of a move for Dyson trickled in just as the 3:00 PM deadline elapsed on the 31st, with the Twins sending a package of three semi-interesting prospects (outfielder Jaylin Davis, pitchers Kai-Wei Tang and Prelander Berroa) to San Francisco in the deal. Dyson was enjoying a very good season, with a 2.47 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 51 innings. Upon arriving in Minnesota, he fell apart right away, coughing up six earned runs while recording two outs in his first two appearances. Demoted instantly to a middle-innings role, the right-hander sputtered through 10 more unimpressive appearances before being shut down and revealing that he'd been dealing with shoulder pain since well before the trade. The Twins, miffed by the transaction of damaged goods, launched an investigation into the Giants, who claimed to unaware of Dyson's non-disclosed injury. It didn't go anywhere, that I know of. To top it all off, Dyson was subsequently outed as an even worse person than pitcher. Allegations by his ex-girlfriend Alexis Blackburn that November led to the reliever receiving the longest-ever suspension under MLB's domestic violence policy. More recently, this past December, Blackburn filed in court for accusations of rape, battery, and infliction of emotional distress against Dyson. He's all but certainly done as a big-leaguer, joining Capps and Jepsen as relatively young and effective relievers (he was 31 when acquired) who came to the Twins and saw their careers end very quickly -- albeit under very different circumstances here. The Twins certainly couldn't have known anything about Dyson's off-field issues, and they also didn't know about his pre-existing injury. That's the nature of last-minute deadline deals ... you don't really have an opportunity to complete in-depth medical evaluations. But maybe that's the lesson that can be taken away from this unfortunate example: when you wait until literally the last moment before the deadline, you leave yourself in a situation where your options become limited and your decisions can become rushed. Maybe it's no surprise that the reliever they acquired four days earlier worked out much better. In other words, it would be good to see the Twins act a bit more quickly on their needs this time around. The trade deadline is 12 days away. View full article
  2. For the sake of keeping things succinct and semi-relevant, we're going to limit this retrospective analysis to the Target Field years. Which of course means we begin with one of the most infamous deadline deals in franchise history. 2010 July 29: Twins Trade C Wilson Ramos to Nationals for RHP Matt Capps In a classic Minnesota Sports Twist of Fate™, legendary Twins closer Joe Nathan tore his UCL in spring training of 2010 – a season where the Twins would go on to field arguably the best team of their entire run under Ron Gardenhire. As the deadline approached, the team had one glaring need, at least in the eyes of a front office led by general manager Bill Smith: a proven veteran closer to offset the loss of Nathan. Sure, Jon Rauch – acquired in a post-deadline deal the previous season – had been doing a perfectly adequate job, but he didn't have all those precious saves on his résumé. In a display of the backwards thinking that would soon lead the franchise into a complete and sustained collapse, Smith's front office made the outrageous decision to trade away a highly touted, MLB-ready, slugging catcher in 22-year-old Wilson Ramos, to acquire Matt Capps from Washington. Capps was a pretty ordinary reliever who entranced the Twins with his good first half and experience as a closer (even though he'd been terrible the previous year). In fairness, he proved to be a successful acquisition for the 2010 season, posting a 2.00 ERA and converting 16 of 18 saves the rest of the way. But he was inconsequential in the playoffs, as the Twins never had a late lead against New York. Capps was bad the next season, hurt in 2012, and then done as a major-leaguer before turning 30. Ramos went on to finish fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2011, and make two All-Star games in an impressive MLB career that isn't necessarily over yet. He's currently rehabbing from ACL surgery at age 34. His loss became especially painful when Joe Mauer had to move off catcher a year later and the Twins were left with an empty cupboard at catcher. One of the worst trades in Minnesota Twins history, bar none – in large part because it was so obviously a horrendous decision at the moment it was made. 2015 July 31: Twins Trade Pitching Prospects Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia to Rays for RHP Kevin Jepsen This move, like the previous one, was driven by the Twins realizing a need in the late innings due to injuries impacting their star closer. Glen Perkins did not experience a season-ending injury in 2015 -- in fact, he made his third straight All-Star Game -- but as the trade deadline approached, it became clear something was amiss. He blew two saves in the second half of July as his strikeouts evaporated and hitters began to tee off. Finding themselves on the fringe of postseason contention for the first time in five years, Terry Ryan and the Twins knew they needed to shore up the bullpen. They struck a deal on deadline day to acquire Kevin Jepsen from the Rays in exchange for a pair of lower-tier pitching prospects. The Twins actually deserve a lot of credit for this move, even if it didn't pay real dividends as they missed the playoffs by a longshot. Jepsen pitched very well -- much better than he had up to that point in Tampa, or really at any point in his eight-year career, spent mostly with the Angels. In 29 appearances for the Twins, Jepsen posted a 1.61 ERA and 0.89 WHIP over 28 innings, converting 10-of-11 saves. Much like with Capps, it was all downhill from there. Jepsen absolutely bombed for the 2016 Twins, posting a 6.16 ERA in 33 appearances before they cut him loose in July. From there, he was pretty much done as a big-leaguer, posting a 5.80 ERA in 35 ⅔ innings for the Rays and Rangers. Capps was 27 when the Twins acquired him; Jepsen had just turned 31. Both were performing well and at least somewhat highly regarded. And yet both were essentially out of baseball after short, doomed stints with the team. Really something. In any case, the return on this deal never hurt the Twins. Chih-Wei Hu appeared briefly in the majors but fizzled out after 23 innings. He's now pitching in China. Alexis Tapia never got past Single-A. 2019 July 27: Twins Trade 1B Lewin Diaz to Marlins for RHP Sergio Romo Of all trades in this category from the past couple of decades, this is probably the prototype for getting it right. The Twins gave up a decent but hardly indispensable prospect in Lewin Diaz, and got back a veteran rental reliever who was (almost) everything they wanted him to be. A 12-year MLB veteran and three-time World Series champ, Sergio Romo was flat-out excellent down the stretch, posting a 3.18 ERA and 27-to-4 K/BB ratio in 22 ⅔ innings to help stabilize the bullpen and lock up a division crown. They liked him enough that they re-signed him as a free agent in the offseason, although that proved to be perhaps not a great choice. Diaz still has a chance to haunt the Twins, I guess. He's only 25 and has hit well enough at Triple-A to get some chances with James Rowson's Marlins. But even if not for this trade, Minnesota would've likely moved on a while long ago. It should be noted that while this has to be viewed as one of the franchise's most successful trades for a reliever at the deadline, they still didn't really get what they wanted out of it. Part of Romo's appeal was in his postseason track record, but that paid no dividends for the Twins. He gave up two runs in two innings in the 2019 ALDS and then had a meltdown in his lone appearance against Houston in 2020. July 31: Twins Trade 3 Prospects to Giants for RHP Sam Dyson And we conclude with the prototype for getting it wrong. So very, very wrong. The ill-fated trade with the Giants for Sam Dyson went sour almost immediately, with the Twins front office seemingly taking an unfair share of criticism in a situation where they themselves were bamboozled. The announcement of a move for Dyson trickled in just as the 3:00 PM deadline elapsed on the 31st, with the Twins sending a package of three semi-interesting prospects (outfielder Jaylin Davis, pitchers Kai-Wei Tang and Prelander Berroa) to San Francisco in the deal. Dyson was enjoying a very good season, with a 2.47 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 51 innings. Upon arriving in Minnesota, he fell apart right away, coughing up six earned runs while recording two outs in his first two appearances. Demoted instantly to a middle-innings role, the right-hander sputtered through 10 more unimpressive appearances before being shut down and revealing that he'd been dealing with shoulder pain since well before the trade. The Twins, miffed by the transaction of damaged goods, launched an investigation into the Giants, who claimed to unaware of Dyson's non-disclosed injury. It didn't go anywhere, that I know of. To top it all off, Dyson was subsequently outed as an even worse person than pitcher. Allegations by his ex-girlfriend Alexis Blackburn that November led to the reliever receiving the longest-ever suspension under MLB's domestic violence policy. More recently, this past December, Blackburn filed in court for accusations of rape, battery, and infliction of emotional distress against Dyson. He's all but certainly done as a big-leaguer, joining Capps and Jepsen as relatively young and effective relievers (he was 31 when acquired) who came to the Twins and saw their careers end very quickly -- albeit under very different circumstances here. The Twins certainly couldn't have known anything about Dyson's off-field issues, and they also didn't know about his pre-existing injury. That's the nature of last-minute deadline deals ... you don't really have an opportunity to complete in-depth medical evaluations. But maybe that's the lesson that can be taken away from this unfortunate example: when you wait until literally the last moment before the deadline, you leave yourself in a situation where your options become limited and your decisions can become rushed. Maybe it's no surprise that the reliever they acquired four days earlier worked out much better. In other words, it would be good to see the Twins act a bit more quickly on their needs this time around. The trade deadline is 12 days away.
  3. The 2019 Twins roster was firing on all cylinders, so the trade deadline offered the team an opportunity to supplement the roster. How would the acquired players help the Bomba Squad? Derek Falvey and Thad Levine took over Minnesota's baseball operations department leading into the 2017 season. Each season has taken on a different feel, but they have a track record of making moves at the trade deadline. This series will look back at each trade deadline under this regime. With the 2019 trade deadline approaching, the Twins were in a much different situation than the previous year as the club won over 100 games. At the 2018 deadline, Minnesota cleaned house and made multiple moves that still impact the 2022 roster. Many fans wanted the Twins to acquire a frontline starting pitcher, but few starters were moved at the deadline. This left Minnesota with holes in the bullpen that needed to be addressed. Trade 1 (July 27, 2019) Twins Receive: P Sergio Romo, P Chris Vallimont Marlins Receive: 1B/DH Lewin Diaz Sergio Romo brought new energy to the Twins clubhouse and veteran leadership to the bullpen. He had been a critical component of three World Championship teams in San Francisco. He posted a 3.18 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP down the stretch while posting a 10.7 K/9. Minnesota liked him so much they brought him back for the 2020 season, where he was a key part of the bullpen that won a second straight AL Central title. Chris Vallimont topped out at Double-A in the Twins' system, and Baltimore claimed him off waivers in May. Lewin Diaz had put himself back on the prospect map leading into the deadline, but he's struggled to stick at the big-league level. In 57 games, he has a 60 OPS+ with 50 strikeouts and 16 extra-base hits. Trade 2 (July 31, 2019) Twins Receive: P Sam Dyson Giants Receive: P Prelander Berroa, P Kai-Wei Teng, OF Jaylin Davis Sam Dyson was having a solid season as a reliever for the Giants before the Twins snagged him in a last-minute deal. Dyson had posted a 2.47 ERA with 0.90 WHIP in 49 appearances. Things didn't go as smoothly after he joined the Twins, as he allowed nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings. Dyson went on the IL twice with the Twins and revealed he had been pitching through discomfort since mid-July. Minnesota even asked the Giants if they knew about the injury at the time of the trade. MLB also began investigating Dyson in 2019 after an ex-girlfriend accused him of multiple forms of domestic violence. MLB suspended Dyson for the 2021 season, but he hasn't appeared in a game since 2019. Prelander Berroa is at High-A in the Mariners organization, with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 12 starts. He's over a year younger than the competition, so he still has a chance to continue developing. Kai-Wei Teng has a 4.96 ERA, and a 1.51 WHIP in 18 Double-A starts in the Giants organization. Jaylin Davis has played 28 big-league games with the Giants and Red Sox. For his career, he has a 40 OPS+ with three extra-base hits in 67 at-bats. The 2019 trade deadline might be similar to what will occur in 2022. It would be great for the team to acquire a frontline starter, but this front office hasn't been willing to pay the high price in the past. Minnesota will likely find multiple bullpen pieces to add to the mix, and hopefully, the results are closer to Romo than Dyson. What do you remember most about the 2019 trade deadline? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES -2017 Trade Deadline -2018 Trade Deadline View full article
  4. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine took over Minnesota's baseball operations department leading into the 2017 season. Each season has taken on a different feel, but they have a track record of making moves at the trade deadline. This series will look back at each trade deadline under this regime. With the 2019 trade deadline approaching, the Twins were in a much different situation than the previous year as the club won over 100 games. At the 2018 deadline, Minnesota cleaned house and made multiple moves that still impact the 2022 roster. Many fans wanted the Twins to acquire a frontline starting pitcher, but few starters were moved at the deadline. This left Minnesota with holes in the bullpen that needed to be addressed. Trade 1 (July 27, 2019) Twins Receive: P Sergio Romo, P Chris Vallimont Marlins Receive: 1B/DH Lewin Diaz Sergio Romo brought new energy to the Twins clubhouse and veteran leadership to the bullpen. He had been a critical component of three World Championship teams in San Francisco. He posted a 3.18 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP down the stretch while posting a 10.7 K/9. Minnesota liked him so much they brought him back for the 2020 season, where he was a key part of the bullpen that won a second straight AL Central title. Chris Vallimont topped out at Double-A in the Twins' system, and Baltimore claimed him off waivers in May. Lewin Diaz had put himself back on the prospect map leading into the deadline, but he's struggled to stick at the big-league level. In 57 games, he has a 60 OPS+ with 50 strikeouts and 16 extra-base hits. Trade 2 (July 31, 2019) Twins Receive: P Sam Dyson Giants Receive: P Prelander Berroa, P Kai-Wei Teng, OF Jaylin Davis Sam Dyson was having a solid season as a reliever for the Giants before the Twins snagged him in a last-minute deal. Dyson had posted a 2.47 ERA with 0.90 WHIP in 49 appearances. Things didn't go as smoothly after he joined the Twins, as he allowed nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings. Dyson went on the IL twice with the Twins and revealed he had been pitching through discomfort since mid-July. Minnesota even asked the Giants if they knew about the injury at the time of the trade. MLB also began investigating Dyson in 2019 after an ex-girlfriend accused him of multiple forms of domestic violence. MLB suspended Dyson for the 2021 season, but he hasn't appeared in a game since 2019. Prelander Berroa is at High-A in the Mariners organization, with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 12 starts. He's over a year younger than the competition, so he still has a chance to continue developing. Kai-Wei Teng has a 4.96 ERA, and a 1.51 WHIP in 18 Double-A starts in the Giants organization. Jaylin Davis has played 28 big-league games with the Giants and Red Sox. For his career, he has a 40 OPS+ with three extra-base hits in 67 at-bats. The 2019 trade deadline might be similar to what will occur in 2022. It would be great for the team to acquire a frontline starter, but this front office hasn't been willing to pay the high price in the past. Minnesota will likely find multiple bullpen pieces to add to the mix, and hopefully, the results are closer to Romo than Dyson. What do you remember most about the 2019 trade deadline? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES -2017 Trade Deadline -2018 Trade Deadline
  5. Minnesota’s relief core has been an unmitigated disaster this season, which has fans clamoring for an upgrade. However, trading for relievers doesn’t always work out perfectly. When examining the Twins roster, it seems simple enough to identify the team’s most prominent trade deadline need. Minnesota’s relievers have blown multiple critical games over the last month, and few bullpen arms can be trusted in late-inning situations. Nearly every contending team will be looking for a bullpen upgrade, so how can the Twins avoid some of their past mistakes? It is crucial to remember that a team is acquiring a reliever with only two months remaining in the season. Relief pitchers acquired at the deadline will only pitch a handful of times during the 2022 season for the team acquiring them. Because of the small sample size, every appearance is magnified for the stretch run. Let’s look back at some of Minnesota’s other big reliever trades and how they panned out. Sergio Romo Trade Minnesota traded for Sergio Romo at the 2019 deadline. The Twins acquired him along with RHP Chris Vallimont for 1B Lewin Diaz. Romo was on an expiring contract and appeared in 27 games following the trade. In 22 2/3 innings, he posted a 3.18 ERA with a 0.93 WHIP and a 27-to-4 strikeout to walk ratio. He pitched well enough that the Twins brought him back for the 2020 season, but age finally started to catch up to Romo. Diaz has played 57 big-league games for the Marlins with a 60 OPS+. Minnesota removed Vallimont from the 40-man roster in May, and Baltimore claimed him. He has a 6.13 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP this season at Double- and Triple-A. Sam Dyson Trade Like Romo, Sam Dyson was acquired to help the Bomba Squad Twins make a playoff run. Unfortunately, multiple things went wrong in this trade. On the field, he was limited to 12 appearances with the Twins due to a shoulder injury. Off the field, Dyson dealt with a domestic violence incident for which he was suspended for the entire 2021 season. Minnesota sent a trio of prospects, including Prelander Berroa, Kai-Wei Teng, and Jaylin Davis, as part of the trade. Berroa topped out at High-A in the Giants organization and is now pitching in the Mariners organization. Teng has a 4.73 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP at Double-A. Davis has 28 big-league games with the Giants and Red Sox while going 12-for-67 (.179 BA) with a 40 OPS+. Matt Capps Trade Minnesota’s trade for Matt Capps is remembered as a poor deal because the Twins gave up catching prospect Wilson Ramos. Ramos went on to multiple All-Star appearances during his 12-year big-league career. Fans may forget how good Capps was down the stretch for the Twins. In 27 games, he posted a 2.00 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP and a 21-to-8 strikeout to walk ratio. His Twins tenure could have ended following the 2010 season, but Minnesota brought him back on a free-agent deal, and that’s when things went poorly. Over the next two seasons, he had a 4.07 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP. He wouldn’t appear in another big-league game after leaving the Twins organization. Overall, relievers can be tricky to analyze due to their baseball role. Small sample sizes and high leverage situations shine a brighter spotlight on their critical spots in the game. Minnesota needs to add to their relief core, but not every reliever trade goes according to plan. Do you think the Twins need to worry about picking up a reliever? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  6. When examining the Twins roster, it seems simple enough to identify the team’s most prominent trade deadline need. Minnesota’s relievers have blown multiple critical games over the last month, and few bullpen arms can be trusted in late-inning situations. Nearly every contending team will be looking for a bullpen upgrade, so how can the Twins avoid some of their past mistakes? It is crucial to remember that a team is acquiring a reliever with only two months remaining in the season. Relief pitchers acquired at the deadline will only pitch a handful of times during the 2022 season for the team acquiring them. Because of the small sample size, every appearance is magnified for the stretch run. Let’s look back at some of Minnesota’s other big reliever trades and how they panned out. Sergio Romo Trade Minnesota traded for Sergio Romo at the 2019 deadline. The Twins acquired him along with RHP Chris Vallimont for 1B Lewin Diaz. Romo was on an expiring contract and appeared in 27 games following the trade. In 22 2/3 innings, he posted a 3.18 ERA with a 0.93 WHIP and a 27-to-4 strikeout to walk ratio. He pitched well enough that the Twins brought him back for the 2020 season, but age finally started to catch up to Romo. Diaz has played 57 big-league games for the Marlins with a 60 OPS+. Minnesota removed Vallimont from the 40-man roster in May, and Baltimore claimed him. He has a 6.13 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP this season at Double- and Triple-A. Sam Dyson Trade Like Romo, Sam Dyson was acquired to help the Bomba Squad Twins make a playoff run. Unfortunately, multiple things went wrong in this trade. On the field, he was limited to 12 appearances with the Twins due to a shoulder injury. Off the field, Dyson dealt with a domestic violence incident for which he was suspended for the entire 2021 season. Minnesota sent a trio of prospects, including Prelander Berroa, Kai-Wei Teng, and Jaylin Davis, as part of the trade. Berroa topped out at High-A in the Giants organization and is now pitching in the Mariners organization. Teng has a 4.73 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP at Double-A. Davis has 28 big-league games with the Giants and Red Sox while going 12-for-67 (.179 BA) with a 40 OPS+. Matt Capps Trade Minnesota’s trade for Matt Capps is remembered as a poor deal because the Twins gave up catching prospect Wilson Ramos. Ramos went on to multiple All-Star appearances during his 12-year big-league career. Fans may forget how good Capps was down the stretch for the Twins. In 27 games, he posted a 2.00 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP and a 21-to-8 strikeout to walk ratio. His Twins tenure could have ended following the 2010 season, but Minnesota brought him back on a free-agent deal, and that’s when things went poorly. Over the next two seasons, he had a 4.07 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP. He wouldn’t appear in another big-league game after leaving the Twins organization. Overall, relievers can be tricky to analyze due to their baseball role. Small sample sizes and high leverage situations shine a brighter spotlight on their critical spots in the game. Minnesota needs to add to their relief core, but not every reliever trade goes according to plan. Do you think the Twins need to worry about picking up a reliever? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  7. Let’s face it, trading for a high-leverage reliever is risky business. Not to mention, it comes with a high price tag. The trade rumors have swirled for some time in Milwaukee regarding Brewers closer Josh Hader. Earlier in the week, MLB Network discussed a fake trade in which the Minnesota Twins would send Royce Lewis, Ryan Jeffers and Brent Rooker to the Brewers for Hader. A Hader trade would require quite the return or as an executive told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic a “bananas price.” The 2020 trade deadline is Monday and from the Rosenthal report it wouldn’t be surprise to see the Brewers trade some bullpen arms. If the team did in fact trade Hader, who is under team control through 2023, past deadline deals have shown a package of Lewis, Jeffers and Rooker may be bananas but not unrealistic. If Hader was a rental and set to become a free agent this winter, then Jeffers and Rooker at the very least might still be the asking price for Hader. Just last season the Brewers traded top-10 prospect Mauricio Duban to the San Francisco Giants for Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black. Furthermore, Pomeranz wasn’t a full-time reliever until acquired by the Brewers. It says a lot about how much value the team with the reliever can get from another. For a player who pitches at most every other day, the risk isn’t always worth it. Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps Since 2010, the Twins have made traded for four relievers before the July deadline and have traded one away. Somehow it’s this one that fans talk about the most. The Twins went for it in 2010 and acquired Capps, a closer who rarely walked anyone, to help with its playoff push. To his credit, Capps allowed six earned runs and struck out 21 in 27 innings as the Twins closer. Unfortunately for Capps though, the next two seasons were marred with injuries and the lack of strikeout ability caught up to him. Ultimately, both caused his downfall. In 2011 and 2012, Capps allowed 43 earned runs, gave up 15 home runs and struck out just 52 in a combined 95 innings of work. Ramos had just seven games to his name in the big leagues when the Twins traded him to the Washington Nationals. He was originally thought to be the heir to Joe Mauer. In 2011, Ramos was named to Baseball America Major League All-Rookie Team. Based on what Ramos has done since the trade and the collapse of Capps, it’s why the trade has such a negative association. Yet, for the 2010 season, it did work. Chih-Wei Hu for Kevin Jepson The playoff hopes the Twins had and the aftermath of this trade arguably could be worse than the Capps deal. Jepsen, who had control issues in the past, actually helped the Twins bullpen. His debut did not go well though. He walked the first two batters he faced, threw a wild pitch, and then struck out Nelson Cruz. He was replaced after that, but both batters he walked later came around to score in what was a 3-run 11th inning for the Mariners. OK, first impression aside, Jepsen turned it around. In his next 15 1/3 innings, he struck out 13, walked three, allowed seven hits and no runs. Altogether, Jepsen was good with the Twins. He kept his walks to a minimum (seven in 28 innings) while opponents were batting .176. Even though Jepsen wasn’t an elite reliever, the Twins gave up Hu. He started the season ranked 24 in the Twins prospect list and ended the season at 15 in the Rays system. Despite Jepsen’s performance, which was much better than anticipated, the Twins missed the playoffs. He pitched terrible in 2016, battled injuries, then released in July with a .333 batting average against. For a pitcher with known control problems, giving up a top-30 prospect stings a little. Especially when the pitcher the Twins traded for didn’t even spend a full calendar year with the team. Lewin Diaz for Sergio Romo It would be extremely hard to find someone who wouldn’t pull the trigger on this trade. In hindsight, it still is benefitting the Twins. Romo gave the Twins bullpen some help in the late innings. He allowed only eight runs in 22 2/3 innings and struck out 27. His attitude, along with how he pitched, is why the Twins resigned for 2020. Diaz, who was quickly gaining attention in the Twins system, wasn’t ranked in the top-30 to start the season but by season’s end ranked 12 among Marlins prospects. Again, all in hindsight, this trade seems to have benefitted the Twins. However, they did give up a top-20 prospect for what was at the time, a 36-year-old rental. Jaylin Davis for Sam Dyson All things considered, Dyson was having a terrific 2019 with the Giants. Opponents were hitting .213 against him. He was pitching effectively late in games and would have strengthened any team’s bullpen. The Twins traded three players, the main piece being Davis, to get Dyson. Right away there were issues. It seemed as though Dyson was pitching hurt and after allowing nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings, he had surgery. He hasn’t pitched since. Davis, on the other hand, didn’t rank in the top-30 prospects with the Giants in 2019. This season he was ranked 13. Kei-Wei Tang, another prospect in the trade, started the season ranked 22. Chalk this one up as a trade that didn’t go well given the cost to get Dyson and the results of the trade. What's left to do As exhausting as it may be to read, or skim, through it all, it takes top-30 prospects to get quality relief pitching before the deadline. It took two top-30 prospects, Jorge Alcala and Gilberto Celestino, for the Houston Astros to land Ryan Pressly in 2018. Hader is by far one of the best in the game currently and would require a massive return package. The Twins could look for cheaper options. Heck, the Brewers could be a trade partner on that front with left-handed Alex Claudio. Or the Twins could go a different route and pursue a major league ready, but still a work-in-progress pitcher. Should the Twins go after a reliever; past trades have shown it takes “more” than what might be perceived to acquire a reliever in the midst of a good season. The only thing left to determine is if there are bargain deals elsewhere, or the team control of someone like Hader is worth trading away top prospects.
  8. In 12 appearances with the Twins, he has struggled to a 7.15 ERA and a 1.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio with multiple trips to the disabled list. His most recent prognosis is that he will miss the rest of the season with shoulder surgery and there’s no guarantee that he will be ready for the start of next season. This would mean the Twins traded three-prospects for 12 appearances from Dyson According to La Velle E. Neal III and the Star-Tribune, the Twins are investigating what San Francisco knew. "According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Twins have investigated whether San Francisco was aware that Dyson had a sore shoulder when the Giants sent him to the Twins in exchange for three minor leaguers, pitchers Prelander Berroa and Kei-Wei Teng and outfielder Jaylin Davis. As standard procedure before trades are finalized, Dyson’s medical information was examined by the Twins. There were no red flags on the records they examined. Dyson, however, informed the Twins shortly after joining them on July 31 that he has been pitching with some discomfort, dating to a July 15-17 series against Colorado. He said he’s had aches before and and pitched through them." He goes on to say, “The situation led to discussions between the Twins and Giants to determine what they knew about Dyson's condition before the deal was made. The Twins have been unable to find any evidence that the Giants had knowledge of an injury.” Back in 2016, the San Diego Padres and general manager A.J. Peller were penalized for a similar situation that changed some of the medical record process for big-league squads. Peller was suspended for 30 days after the league determined the Padres had hidden some health issues regarding left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz. When Minnesota traded Jaylin Davis, Prelander Berroa, and Kai-Wei Teng, they had no idea this was the type of pitcher the club was getting in exchange. Dyson has one more year of team control, but it doesn’t seem likely for the Twins to pick-up his multi-million-dollar arbitration offer if he is going to miss a majority of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. Do you think MLB should step in and deal with this trade between the Twins and the Giants? Were the Giants trying to hide something? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Note from John Bonnes: a paragraph in this original story has been edited as it was not accurate. Originally, the story stated: There seems to be something fishy happening from the Giants perspective and the Twins are trying to prove the Giants were aware of Dyson’s injury prior to their deadline deal. According to La Velle E. Neal III and the Star-Tribune: It is not reported that the Twins are “trying to prove” anything, though one is welcome to try and deduce that. The paragraph was changed to: According to La Velle E. Neal III and the Star-Tribune, the Twins are investigating what San Francisco knew. "According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Twins have investigated whether San Francisco was aware that Dyson had a sore shoulder when the Giants sent him to the Twins in exchange for three minor leaguers, pitchers Prelander Berroa and Kei-Wei Teng and outfielder Jaylin Davis. As standard procedure before trades are finalized, Dyson’s medical information was examined by the Twins. There were no red flags on the records they examined."
  9. Minnesota acquiring Sam Dyson at the trade deadline was one of the team’s highlight moves as the bullpen was conceived to be one of the team’s greatest weaknesses. He was in the middle of a terrific season with the Giants as he posted a 2.47 ERA and a 6.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He was brought into Minnesota to be one of the team’s late inning options, but that certainly hasn’t been the case. Dyson has pitched like he is damaged goods since he put on a Twins uniform and now it seems likely that he will undergo shoulder surgery that will cost him parts of this season and next season.In 12 appearances with the Twins, he has struggled to a 7.15 ERA and a 1.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio with multiple trips to the disabled list. His most recent prognosis is that he will miss the rest of the season with shoulder surgery and there’s no guarantee that he will be ready for the start of next season. This would mean the Twins traded three-prospects for 12 appearances from Dyson According to La Velle E. Neal III and the Star-Tribune, the Twins are investigating what San Francisco knew. "According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Twins have investigated whether San Francisco was aware that Dyson had a sore shoulder when the Giants sent him to the Twins in exchange for three minor leaguers, pitchers Prelander Berroa and Kei-Wei Teng and outfielder Jaylin Davis. As standard procedure before trades are finalized, Dyson’s medical information was examined by the Twins. There were no red flags on the records they examined. Dyson, however, informed the Twins shortly after joining them on July 31 that he has been pitching with some discomfort, dating to a July 15-17 series against Colorado. He said he’s had aches before and and pitched through them." He goes on to say, “The situation led to discussions between the Twins and Giants to determine what they knew about Dyson's condition before the deal was made. The Twins have been unable to find any evidence that the Giants had knowledge of an injury.” Back in 2016, the San Diego Padres and general manager A.J. Peller were penalized for a similar situation that changed some of the medical record process for big-league squads. Peller was suspended for 30 days after the league determined the Padres had hidden some health issues regarding left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz. When Minnesota traded Jaylin Davis, Prelander Berroa, and Kai-Wei Teng, they had no idea this was the type of pitcher the club was getting in exchange. Dyson has one more year of team control, but it doesn’t seem likely for the Twins to pick-up his multi-million-dollar arbitration offer if he is going to miss a majority of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. Do you think MLB should step in and deal with this trade between the Twins and the Giants? Were the Giants trying to hide something? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Note from John Bonnes: a paragraph in this original story has been edited as it was not accurate. Originally, the story stated: There seems to be something fishy happening from the Giants perspective and the Twins are trying to prove the Giants were aware of Dyson’s injury prior to their deadline deal. According to La Velle E. Neal III and the Star-Tribune: It is not reported that the Twins are “trying to prove” anything, though one is welcome to try and deduce that. The paragraph was changed to: According to La Velle E. Neal III and the Star-Tribune, the Twins are investigating what San Francisco knew. "According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Twins have investigated whether San Francisco was aware that Dyson had a sore shoulder when the Giants sent him to the Twins in exchange for three minor leaguers, pitchers Prelander Berroa and Kei-Wei Teng and outfielder Jaylin Davis. As standard procedure before trades are finalized, Dyson’s medical information was examined by the Twins. There were no red flags on the records they examined." Click here to view the article
  10. Not As Bad As They Seem Around the trade deadline, Minnesota knew it would need a bullpen upgrade to have any semblance of a chance in October. Adding Sam Dyson and Sergio Romo has certainly calmed some of the storm, but things haven’t exactly been perfect for the new dynamic duo. Dyson spent time on the injured list and Romo has seen some rough appearances. They might not be perfect, but they are better than some of the team’s other options. Even with the flaws of these two players, the Twins bullpen has been one of the best in baseball this year. Minnesota’s relief corps ranks as the fourth best in baseball according to FIP. The only AL team ahead of them on the list is Cleveland, the team they are fighting with for the AL Central. FIP stands for fielding independent pitching and it converts a pitcher’s outcomes that don’t involve defense (strikeouts, walks, HBP, and home runs) and turns it into an ERA like number. FIP isn’t the only area where Twins relievers shine. According to FanGraphs’ version of WAR, Minnesota’s relievers have accumulated 5.4 WAR, which is tied with Tampa Bay for the second most in baseball. The Yankees have accumulated the most WAR (6.8), but both the Rays and the Yankees have over 530 relief innings. Meanwhile, the Twins had yet to crack the 450 mark, which is the eighth fewest in baseball. Minnesota’s Fearsome Foursome Before acquiring Dyson and Romo, the Twins used a heavy dose of Taylor Rogers. He seemed untouchable in the first half and an argument could be made for him being the American League’s most valuable reliever. Tyler Duffey has also become a much more important part of the bullpen since the All-Star break. In 20 second-half appearances (16.2 IP), he has compiled a 1.62 ERA and a 22 to 8 strikeout to walk ratio. As the Baseball Savant graphics show below, all four of these relievers have posted better than average numbers in exit velocity and hard-hit rate. Rogers and Romo both rank as “great” in hard-hit rate with Romo also ranking there in exit velocity. In Monday’s victory over the White Sox, the Twins might have laid out the blueprint for how this team could be successful in October. Michael Pineda started and was asked to make it through five frames. He did so by limiting a sub-par White Sox line-up to one run on four hits. From there the Fearsome Foursome came in and shut down the Chicago offense. Duffey was the only reliever to allow a baserunner while Romo struck out the side in the eighth inning. Chicago isn’t exactly a playoff caliber team, but the Twins relief corp seems much more prepared for potential playoff matchups with the likes of New York and Houston. Playoff baseball is an entirely different animal than the regular season and each relief outing is magnified because of the importance of each game. That being said, Minnesota fans have to feel more confident in the top four arms coming out of the bullpen. Every team’s bullpen is bad, but Minnesota’s might be just good enough to make some noise in October. What are your thoughts on the Twins bullpen? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Around Twins Daily Stop Throwing the Twins Fastballs The Hazy Future of Fernando Romero 4 Questions the Twins Need to Address Concerning Their Potential Playoff Roster
  11. Box Score Odorizzi: 5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 62.5% strikes (65 of 104 pitches) Bullpen: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K Home Runs: None Multi-Hit Games: None Bottom 3 WPA: Rosario, Arraez and Castro -.055, Sano -.056, Odorizzi -.163 Giolito Sails to Complete Game Giolito absolutely cruised through the Twins offense today after getting some early runs from his offense. He used those first-inning runs and first-pitch strikes to really settle down and go deep into today’s game. Giolito struck out 12 batters, his third straight game with 10+, and got first-pitch strikes on 22 of the 30 batters he faced. The first time through the Twins’ order, Giolito gave up just one hit, which was to Polanco in the first on a bunt, and struck out five batters. The Twins picked up their second hit in the fourth on a rocket by Nelson Cruz that had an exit velocity of 117 MPH, but Giolito got two outs on the next two batters. He worked through the fifth and sixth innings very rapidly, using only eight and nine pitches, respectively, to get two more 1-2-3 innings. In the seventh inning, it took him 12 pitches to get the 1-2-3 mostly because Cruz worked a full count then drilled a ball straight to Engel in center field. He had two very impressive streaks of consecutive batters sent down. After the Polanco bunt single, he set down the next nine batters before Cruz picked up his single. Rosario reached on a fielder's choice the next at-bat and then Giolito sent down the next 11 batters including three straight 1-2-3 innings. It wasn’t until Schoop hit a double with one out in the eighth that the Twins’ had their first runner in scoring position. They failed to do anything with it as Giolito picked up two more strikeouts to end the inning. Giolito completed this game while facing the Twins’ top three hitters picking up two more strikeouts on Kepler and Cruz. Odorizzi’s Bad Luck If you just looked at the box score, you’d get a different view of how today’s game went for Odorizzi. Odorizzi struggled to retire the first batter of innings which helped lead to a short start and the White Sox hitters also seemed to be finding the perfect spots for their hits. But, Odorizzi also was throwing some good pitches that hitters were putting in play for hits. In the first inning, Polanco missed touching second base on a double-play attempt which was originally called a FC, but changed to an error on Polanco, his 17th this season. Jose Abreu reached on 2-2 cutter, poking the ball into left field for the White Sox to score their first run. After a wild pitch, Skole also found himself in a 2-2 count, and a hit a blooper over second with an exit velocity of 67.7 for the Sox's second run of the inning. In the third, Odorizzi again gave up a leadoff single, and two singles later, which included Abreu’s second RBI of the game on a ball that landed perfectly in right field between Cave and Schoop with an expected batting average of .050. After three innings, the White Sox had seven hits, all singles, with only two of them being hard-hit, and three runs. In the fifth inning, Odorizzi gave up another leadoff hit, but this time for a double. After getting a strikeout and a groundout, Odorizzi looked as if he would be able to pitch around this. He threw another wild pitch and Abreu was able to come around to score. Odorizzi was able to strike out Goins to end the inning, but this is definitely a start Odorizzi is going to want to forget. Bullpen Solid Again A night after the bullpen had a perfect two innings to help secure the win, the bullpen again was shut-down today, though Giolito’s very solid outing kept the offense at bay. Ryne Harper was the first one out of the pen and ran into some trouble after a leadoff double, wild pitch and walk, putting himself in a jam. He was able to pick up a huge fly out and strikeout, then Polanco made an amazing snag to end the threat and inning. https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1164257873653710849?s=20 Then it turned to Sam Dyson and Tyler Duffey who each had quick and easy 1-2-3 innings. Dyson looked really solid, and since coming back from injury, has given up just one run in five innings. Duffey came in for the eighth and struck out two hitters and hasn’t given up a run in his past 11 outings. Trevor May got the ninth inning and struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up a single, but got an infield fly out and a fly ball to Arraez to end the inning. May has now only given up one earned run in his last 11 innings. Postgame With Baldelli https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1164281651972587520 Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.
  12. After a huge night from the Minnesota Twins’ offense that was led by Nelson Cruz, and a perfect night from the bullpen, the Twins were set up to win the series today as Jake Odorizzi faced off against Lucas Giolito. Odorizzi ran into trouble early and Giolito sailed through the Twins’ lineup as the White Sox take a series in Minnesota. For the Mets, Marcus Stroman gets his second chance against the Indians in less than a month to help the Twins and keep their lead at three games.Box Score Odorizzi: 5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 62.5% strikes (65 of 104 pitches) Bullpen: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K Home Runs: None Multi-Hit Games: None Bottom 3 WPA: Rosario, Arraez and Castro -.055, Sano -.056, Odorizzi -.163 Giolito Sails to Complete Game Giolito absolutely cruised through the Twins offense today after getting some early runs from his offense. He used those first-inning runs and first-pitch strikes to really settle down and go deep into today’s game. Giolito struck out 12 batters, his third straight game with 10+, and got first-pitch strikes on 22 of the 30 batters he faced. The first time through the Twins’ order, Giolito gave up just one hit, which was to Polanco in the first on a bunt, and struck out five batters. The Twins picked up their second hit in the fourth on a rocket by Nelson Cruz that had an exit velocity of 117 MPH, but Giolito got two outs on the next two batters. He worked through the fifth and sixth innings very rapidly, using only eight and nine pitches, respectively, to get two more 1-2-3 innings. In the seventh inning, it took him 12 pitches to get the 1-2-3 mostly because Cruz worked a full count then drilled a ball straight to Engel in center field. He had two very impressive streaks of consecutive batters sent down. After the Polanco bunt single, he set down the next nine batters before Cruz picked up his single. Rosario reached on a fielder's choice the next at-bat and then Giolito sent down the next 11 batters including three straight 1-2-3 innings. It wasn’t until Schoop hit a double with one out in the eighth that the Twins’ had their first runner in scoring position. They failed to do anything with it as Giolito picked up two more strikeouts to end the inning. Giolito completed this game while facing the Twins’ top three hitters picking up two more strikeouts on Kepler and Cruz. Odorizzi’s Bad Luck If you just looked at the box score, you’d get a different view of how today’s game went for Odorizzi. Odorizzi struggled to retire the first batter of innings which helped lead to a short start and the White Sox hitters also seemed to be finding the perfect spots for their hits. But, Odorizzi also was throwing some good pitches that hitters were putting in play for hits. In the first inning, Polanco missed touching second base on a double-play attempt which was originally called a FC, but changed to an error on Polanco, his 17th this season. Jose Abreu reached on 2-2 cutter, poking the ball into left field for the White Sox to score their first run. After a wild pitch, Skole also found himself in a 2-2 count, and a hit a blooper over second with an exit velocity of 67.7 for the Sox's second run of the inning. In the third, Odorizzi again gave up a leadoff single, and two singles later, which included Abreu’s second RBI of the game on a ball that landed perfectly in right field between Cave and Schoop with an expected batting average of .050. After three innings, the White Sox had seven hits, all singles, with only two of them being hard-hit, and three runs. In the fifth inning, Odorizzi gave up another leadoff hit, but this time for a double. After getting a strikeout and a groundout, Odorizzi looked as if he would be able to pitch around this. He threw another wild pitch and Abreu was able to come around to score. Odorizzi was able to strike out Goins to end the inning, but this is definitely a start Odorizzi is going to want to forget. Bullpen Solid Again A night after the bullpen had a perfect two innings to help secure the win, the bullpen again was shut-down today, though Giolito’s very solid outing kept the offense at bay. Ryne Harper was the first one out of the pen and ran into some trouble after a leadoff double, wild pitch and walk, putting himself in a jam. He was able to pick up a huge fly out and strikeout, then Polanco made an amazing snag to end the threat and inning. Then it turned to Sam Dyson and Tyler Duffey who each had quick and easy 1-2-3 innings. Dyson looked really solid, and since coming back from injury, has given up just one run in five innings. Duffey came in for the eighth and struck out two hitters and hasn’t given up a run in his past 11 outings. Trevor May got the ninth inning and struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up a single, but got an infield fly out and a fly ball to Arraez to end the inning. May has now only given up one earned run in his last 11 innings. Postgame With Baldelli Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days. Click here to view the article
  13. It’s been close to a decade since the Minnesota Twins have been in an honest-to-Pete pennant race. You may not know how to act. Twins Daily is here to help. If, like me, you’ve made the mistake of being on Twitter during a Twins game lately, you’d be forgiven for thinking the team was about to get contracted, and that a few fans would be thrilled were it to happen.Here, then, are a few helpful tips to make it through to October. Get a dog. Rex needs to go out. You need to clear your head when the starter goes 3 2/3 innings. Take him for a good long walk. Don’t check Gameday on your phone. Take in the evening. When you get back, maybe things will be better. If they’re not, hey, you got some cardio and saved yourself some needless stress.Don’t argue with JasonJ56983092. JasonJ56983092 is in your mentions saying that Berrios is a bum and Jake Cave is better in the long term than Byron Buxton. You may have an excellent zinger at the ready, but just…don’t. He doesn’t even have an avatar. His only other tweets are to adult film stars. Be better than JasonJ56983092. Mute him and let him scream into the void if that helps.Check in on Cleveland fans. Chances are, even after their amazing run to get back into the race, they have neurotic fans melting down at a bad inning or a close pitch called incorrectly. They haven’t won a World Series since roughly the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Watch them lose their minds instead. Schadenfreude is a powerful drug.Move. I’m in the process of selling my house and getting ready to move with my family to a new city. It’s incredibly stressful and keeps your mind focused on 87 other things that aren't the Minnesota Twins. Get into the minutiae of purchase agreements and you’ll find you have relatively little time to worry about how much the Giants knew about Sam Dyson’s health prior to the trade.Remember 2016. The Twins won 59 games. They were the worst team in baseball. Nobody cared about anything. Gleeman and the Geek spent all August talking about Aaron’s youth basketball stats. Anything is better than that.Follow any/all of these five steps to healthier, happier you. Until Max Kepler and Taylor Rogers get hurt. Then I’ve got nothing. Click here to view the article
  14. Here, then, are a few helpful tips to make it through to October. Get a dog. Rex needs to go out. You need to clear your head when the starter goes 3 2/3 innings. Take him for a good long walk. Don’t check Gameday on your phone. Take in the evening. When you get back, maybe things will be better. If they’re not, hey, you got some cardio and saved yourself some needless stress. Don’t argue with JasonJ56983092. JasonJ56983092 is in your mentions saying that Berrios is a bum and Jake Cave is better in the long term than Byron Buxton. You may have an excellent zinger at the ready, but just…don’t. He doesn’t even have an avatar. His only other tweets are to adult film stars. Be better than JasonJ56983092. Mute him and let him scream into the void if that helps. Check in on Cleveland fans. Chances are, even after their amazing run to get back into the race, they have neurotic fans melting down at a bad inning or a close pitch called incorrectly. They haven’t won a World Series since roughly the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Watch them lose their minds instead. Schadenfreude is a powerful drug. Move. I’m in the process of selling my house and getting ready to move with my family to a new city. It’s incredibly stressful and keeps your mind focused on 87 other things that aren't the Minnesota Twins. Get into the minutiae of purchase agreements and you’ll find you have relatively little time to worry about how much the Giants knew about Sam Dyson’s health prior to the trade. Remember 2016. The Twins won 59 games. They were the worst team in baseball. Nobody cared about anything. Gleeman and the Geek spent all August talking about Aaron’s youth basketball stats. Anything is better than that. Follow any/all of these five steps to healthier, happier you. Until Max Kepler and Taylor Rogers get hurt. Then I’ve got nothing.
  15. The Minnesota Twins have struggled to find a completely effective bullpen mix in 2019. With all the moving pieces recently and an overused Taylor Rogers, here is an attempt to find a competitive bullpen for the stretch run.Stop me if you have heard this before. The Minnesota Twins could use some better pitching performances. Early in the season all the focus was on the bullpen, and while it has more recently shifted to the starters and a stretch of dismal starts, all the changes with the relievers do cause us to wonder what should the Twins bullpen look like for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs. The good news (if there can be such thing about something you struggle with) about the Twins bullpen struggles is that they are not alone in those struggles. The Dodgers, Cubs, Braves, Padres, and even the Yankees among others have had their own hiccups along the way, whether it be performance or injury related. As a reminder to ourselves, here is what the bullpen looked like coming into Opening Day 2019. RHP Trevor May LHP Taylor Rogers RHP Blake Parker RHP Trevor Hildenberger RHP Ryne Harper LHP Martin Perez LHP Adalberto Mejia IL-RHP Matt Magill Now Perez’s inclusion was obviously the early season luxury of being able to roll with a four-man rotation. Besides Perez’s move to the rotation we have also seen Parker, Mejia, and Magill all let loose and Hildy has been sent down, hurt, and is now trying to make a comeback. The task at hand today is trying to assemble the best bullpen with what is available to the Twins for the stretch run as they try to outpace the Indians once again like they did to begin the season. Constructing the Bullpen for the Rest of 2019 For starters, Taylor Rogers, Sergio Romo, and Ryne Harper will have a place in the bullpen barring any injury. Even after allowing a grand slam to Carlos Santanna Sunday, Rogers is still the best reliever this team has and still one of the best in the league at what he does. As food for thought, there was this informative tweet from Aaron Gleeman regarding Rogers’ usage. This makes it all the more important to find reinforcements for the bullpen so that Rocco can give Rogers some rest. Romo was brought in to be part of the backend of the bullpen and has a 1.59 ERA since coming on the scene. He has only allowed the one run since joining the Twins. Harper has done nothing but get the job done this season holding a 2.96 ERA in 51 games. While he is the third reliever mentioned here, the Twins need Harper to fill a role in the sixth and seventh innings and not end up as the third-best reliever on this list in order for the team to be competitive with playoff caliber teams. The polarizing Sam Dyson will and needs to be part of this bullpen as well for the Twins to be competitive. They went out and traded three prospects for him for a reason. While Rogers is the Twins best reliever and Romo can and has saved out some games, Dyson is really the guy that can help effectively take a load off of Rogers. The good news is Dyson looks ready to come off the IL as soon as Tuesday. Now just hopefully whatever needed to happen during those 10 days happened and he is ready to be the good Sam Dyson the Twins traded for. Tyler Duffey and Trevor May are two that carry baggage of memories with them for fans. It is sometimes hard to shake the memories of bad Duffey from our minds and see that he has continued to pitch well in relief in 2019. His ERA is a respectable 3.23 even if his 4.11 FIP gives a little reason for concern. Duffey has also turned in seven straight scoreless appearances and hasn’t given up multiple runs since July 6. Giving Duffey a run of 13 appearances with one run or less. Right role, Duffey has value for a competitive team. May had us all excited when he pulled back and nearly hit 100 mph on the radar gun. Unfortunately that has been bookended by a stretch toward the end of July where he took a loss, blew a lead, and blew a save and allowed seven runs over three games and on the other end the solo shot he allowed to Tyler Naquin. May is likely the best representation of a power arm this bullpen currently has and his 3.74 ERA and K/9 north of 10 lands him a spot here. That gives us a foundation of Rogers, Romo, Dyson, Harper, Duffey, and May in the bullpen for the stretch run, but this is where I would like to do some searching to see if we can put someone else in that final spot or two for the bullpen. Cody Stashak, Zack Littell, and Randy Dobnak have all had some flashes but when I am looking at the Astros and Yankees come postseason, if I could get a different pitcher in their spot that would be great. Quest for Outside Help The Twins could always look outside of the organization to the waiver wire to see if they could pick up a veteran reliever who has been cast off by his club. I would have been all on board the Twins taking a chance on Kyle Barraclough but he wound up with the Giants on a waiver claim. That leaves at last check relievers like Tony Sipp, Greg Holland, Trevor Rosenthal, and David Hernandez to look at. Obviously none of these guys are having great seasons and come with risk and that is why they were sent through waivers. Sipp and Holland feel like the most likely to gain some attention out of this group (Holland to the Nationals is currently drawing some strong steam). Sipp purely because he is a lefty and Holland because he is a “proven closer.” Neither looks to have much upside as Sipp may just be nearing the end at 36 and Holland looks to have lost velocity and is being hit as hard as ever in his career. I think the Twins should and will pass here. Turning to the Farm That leaves in-house options to round out the bullpen. The safe in-house option is to continue rotating Triple-A arms like the Twins have been and maybe add Ryan O’ Rourke, who was recently brought back into the system. If we are willing to not keep it safe this seems like the spot where we lean on some Rob Antony steam and call on Brusdar Graterol. We are all likely familiar with Graterol as the top arm in the Twins farm system. While he has generally been working as a starter, his shoulder injury will cause him to need to rebuild some strength to regain length to his outings, making a bullpen role perfect for him down the stretch. Graterol would add plenty of velocity to the bullpen since as a starter he can regularly hit triple digits. The shorter appearances out of the pen would also allow him to maintain extra velocity on his slider making it that much more effective of a pitch. At 20-years-old it feels very anti-Twins, but this is a new regime and they seem ready to unleash Graterol if it helps the team compete. It may even be worth taking a look further down the line of Double-A Twins pitchers. Jorge Alcala, who was acquired in the Ryan Pressly trade, has the velocity that is exciting for a bullpen arm as he can also touch triple digits. The problem is, like Fernando Romero who I haven’t included on this list, he hasn’t fully harnessed his pitch arsenal and is struggling with a 5.96 ERA. Another 2018 trade deadline acquisition in Jhoan Duran (Eduardo Escobar trade) could be someone who the Twins could try. Duran joins Graterol and Alcala as someone in the Twins system who can hit triple digits on the radar gun. He has had a solid season as a starter even though he has struggled since being promoted to Double-A Pensacola with his ERA jumping to 5.29 over three games from 3.23 over 16 at High-A Fort Myers. If he can smooth things out in the next couple weeks the No. 9 prospect by both Twins Daily and MLB Pipeline could join Graterol as an aggressive promotion to the major league pen. If I am the Twins, I believe this is the bullpen I am rolling with going forward. CL Taylor Rogers CL Sam Dyson RHP Sergio Romo RHP Ryne Harper RHP Trevor May RHP Tyler Duffey RHP Brusday Graterol (if Twins stay with a three-man bench) RHP Jhoan Duran or Triple-A rotation This obviously hopes for a Dyson return to form to take some pressure off of Rogers, but Taylor is still the shutdown guy whenever that is needed. The biggest weakness in this pen is that there is still only one lefty. So I wouldn’t hate it if someone wanted to try to shift Martin Perez or Devin Smeltzer into the bullpen. I just don’t know if I am convinced about either of them being great bullpen arms. I would also tread very carefully with Duran, but I am very curious to know how the front office views both him and Graterol. I would hate to mess with either of their developments for a handful of bullpen innings. Let me know how you would construct the Twins bullpen moving forward. Nicely call me crazy if necessary, or high fives are always nice as well. Click here to view the article
  16. Stop me if you have heard this before. The Minnesota Twins could use some better pitching performances. Early in the season all the focus was on the bullpen, and while it has more recently shifted to the starters and a stretch of dismal starts, all the changes with the relievers do cause us to wonder what should the Twins bullpen look like for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs. The good news (if there can be such thing about something you struggle with) about the Twins bullpen struggles is that they are not alone in those struggles. The Dodgers, Cubs, Braves, Padres, and even the Yankees among others have had their own hiccups along the way, whether it be performance or injury related. As a reminder to ourselves, here is what the bullpen looked like coming into Opening Day 2019. RHP Trevor May LHP Taylor Rogers RHP Blake Parker RHP Trevor Hildenberger RHP Ryne Harper LHP Martin Perez LHP Adalberto Mejia IL-RHP Matt Magill Now Perez’s inclusion was obviously the early season luxury of being able to roll with a four-man rotation. Besides Perez’s move to the rotation we have also seen Parker, Mejia, and Magill all let loose and Hildy has been sent down, hurt, and is now trying to make a comeback. The task at hand today is trying to assemble the best bullpen with what is available to the Twins for the stretch run as they try to outpace the Indians once again like they did to begin the season. Constructing the Bullpen for the Rest of 2019 For starters, Taylor Rogers, Sergio Romo, and Ryne Harper will have a place in the bullpen barring any injury. Even after allowing a grand slam to Carlos Santanna Sunday, Rogers is still the best reliever this team has and still one of the best in the league at what he does. As food for thought, there was this informative tweet from Aaron Gleeman regarding Rogers’ usage. https://twitter.com/AaronGleeman/status/1160928760255746048 This makes it all the more important to find reinforcements for the bullpen so that Rocco can give Rogers some rest. Romo was brought in to be part of the backend of the bullpen and has a 1.59 ERA since coming on the scene. He has only allowed the one run since joining the Twins. Harper has done nothing but get the job done this season holding a 2.96 ERA in 51 games. While he is the third reliever mentioned here, the Twins need Harper to fill a role in the sixth and seventh innings and not end up as the third-best reliever on this list in order for the team to be competitive with playoff caliber teams. The polarizing Sam Dyson will and needs to be part of this bullpen as well for the Twins to be competitive. They went out and traded three prospects for him for a reason. While Rogers is the Twins best reliever and Romo can and has saved out some games, Dyson is really the guy that can help effectively take a load off of Rogers. The good news is Dyson looks ready to come off the IL as soon as Tuesday. Now just hopefully whatever needed to happen during those 10 days happened and he is ready to be the good Sam Dyson the Twins traded for. Tyler Duffey and Trevor May are two that carry baggage of memories with them for fans. It is sometimes hard to shake the memories of bad Duffey from our minds and see that he has continued to pitch well in relief in 2019. His ERA is a respectable 3.23 even if his 4.11 FIP gives a little reason for concern. Duffey has also turned in seven straight scoreless appearances and hasn’t given up multiple runs since July 6. Giving Duffey a run of 13 appearances with one run or less. Right role, Duffey has value for a competitive team. May had us all excited when he pulled back and nearly hit 100 mph on the radar gun. Unfortunately that has been bookended by a stretch toward the end of July where he took a loss, blew a lead, and blew a save and allowed seven runs over three games and on the other end the solo shot he allowed to Tyler Naquin. May is likely the best representation of a power arm this bullpen currently has and his 3.74 ERA and K/9 north of 10 lands him a spot here. That gives us a foundation of Rogers, Romo, Dyson, Harper, Duffey, and May in the bullpen for the stretch run, but this is where I would like to do some searching to see if we can put someone else in that final spot or two for the bullpen. Cody Stashak, Zack Littell, and Randy Dobnak have all had some flashes but when I am looking at the Astros and Yankees come postseason, if I could get a different pitcher in their spot that would be great. Quest for Outside Help The Twins could always look outside of the organization to the waiver wire to see if they could pick up a veteran reliever who has been cast off by his club. I would have been all on board the Twins taking a chance on Kyle Barraclough but he wound up with the Giants on a waiver claim. That leaves at last check relievers like Tony Sipp, Greg Holland, Trevor Rosenthal, and David Hernandez to look at. Obviously none of these guys are having great seasons and come with risk and that is why they were sent through waivers. Sipp and Holland feel like the most likely to gain some attention out of this group (Holland to the Nationals is currently drawing some strong steam). Sipp purely because he is a lefty and Holland because he is a “proven closer.” Neither looks to have much upside as Sipp may just be nearing the end at 36 and Holland looks to have lost velocity and is being hit as hard as ever in his career. I think the Twins should and will pass here. Turning to the Farm That leaves in-house options to round out the bullpen. The safe in-house option is to continue rotating Triple-A arms like the Twins have been and maybe add Ryan O’ Rourke, who was recently brought back into the system. If we are willing to not keep it safe this seems like the spot where we lean on some Rob Antony steam and call on Brusdar Graterol. We are all likely familiar with Graterol as the top arm in the Twins farm system. While he has generally been working as a starter, his shoulder injury will cause him to need to rebuild some strength to regain length to his outings, making a bullpen role perfect for him down the stretch. Graterol would add plenty of velocity to the bullpen since as a starter he can regularly hit triple digits. The shorter appearances out of the pen would also allow him to maintain extra velocity on his slider making it that much more effective of a pitch. At 20-years-old it feels very anti-Twins, but this is a new regime and they seem ready to unleash Graterol if it helps the team compete. It may even be worth taking a look further down the line of Double-A Twins pitchers. Jorge Alcala, who was acquired in the Ryan Pressly trade, has the velocity that is exciting for a bullpen arm as he can also touch triple digits. The problem is, like Fernando Romero who I haven’t included on this list, he hasn’t fully harnessed his pitch arsenal and is struggling with a 5.96 ERA. Another 2018 trade deadline acquisition in Jhoan Duran (Eduardo Escobar trade) could be someone who the Twins could try. Duran joins Graterol and Alcala as someone in the Twins system who can hit triple digits on the radar gun. He has had a solid season as a starter even though he has struggled since being promoted to Double-A Pensacola with his ERA jumping to 5.29 over three games from 3.23 over 16 at High-A Fort Myers. If he can smooth things out in the next couple weeks the No. 9 prospect by both Twins Daily and MLB Pipeline could join Graterol as an aggressive promotion to the major league pen. If I am the Twins, I believe this is the bullpen I am rolling with going forward. CL Taylor Rogers CL Sam Dyson RHP Sergio Romo RHP Ryne Harper RHP Trevor May RHP Tyler Duffey RHP Brusday Graterol (if Twins stay with a three-man bench) RHP Jhoan Duran or Triple-A rotation This obviously hopes for a Dyson return to form to take some pressure off of Rogers, but Taylor is still the shutdown guy whenever that is needed. The biggest weakness in this pen is that there is still only one lefty. So I wouldn’t hate it if someone wanted to try to shift Martin Perez or Devin Smeltzer into the bullpen. I just don’t know if I am convinced about either of them being great bullpen arms. I would also tread very carefully with Duran, but I am very curious to know how the front office views both him and Graterol. I would hate to mess with either of their developments for a handful of bullpen innings. Let me know how you would construct the Twins bullpen moving forward. Nicely call me crazy if necessary, or high fives are always nice as well.
  17. The Minnesota Twins acted at the deadline and acquired the impact relief help they badly needed. One week later, in the wake of a catastrophic series of events, they are heading into their most important series of the season without their premier addition at their disposal. The fishy circumstances behind this situation reflect poorly on either Sam Dyson, the Twins, the Giants, or perhaps all three parties. Whatever the case, it's very bad news for Minnesota.He wasn't the sexiest pickup in everyone's eyes, but from all available evidence, Dyson was the high-caliber reinforcement this bullpen required at a minimum. He's been a mostly consistent performer at the back end of MLB bullpens for the past five years and was enjoying an excellent season as setup man for San Francisco, ranking among the league's leading relievers in Win Probability Added. Against this backdrop, Dyson's immediate collapse for the Twins was a total shock to the system. He completely imploded in his debut, blowing a three-run save against the Marlins in an eventual loss, which carried the added negative of burning a Taylor Rogers appearance. The following night, he came back out against a similarly bad Royals offense and looked similarly terrible, coughing up three runs on four hits while recording only two outs, endangering a blowout victory. In both games, the performance matched the results. Dyson didn't look as bad as the assortment of Quad-A relief arms who've briefly passed through Minnesota this year – he looked worse. The right-hander's execution was nonexistent as he consistently missed targets and fell behind in counts before serving up beach balls. When news surfaced on Sunday that Dyson was battling biceps tendinitis and would be heading to the injured list, the revelation wasn't surprising, but it was upsetting. And the details we've seen bleed out in the days since cast an ominous cloud over the entire ordeal. To recap... Dyson told reporters on Monday he's been dealing with "an issue" in his shoulder that dates back to around two weeks before he was traded, adding that he was "just grinding through it the whole time" while costing the Twins dearly in his two appearances. As I see it, there are three possible explanations for what happened here. 1: The Giants did in fact know, or suspect, that Dyson was playing hurt before they traded him, and failed to inform the Twins of it. Not unprecedented, but this would be grounds for Minnesota to seek recourse through the league office, and there've been no rumblings of such. 2: The Giants knew or suspected that he was hurt and made it known to the Twins, who traded for him anyway. This isn't unthinkable, because the ailment affecting Dyson – if it's indeed only a routine bout of tendinitis – isn't all that uncommon or concerning on its face. But I find this hard to believe. Is a front office that's known for fiercely protecting its minor-league assets going to trade three prospects for a guy with an aching arm? And even if so, are they going to throw him into a game right off the plane with said bum wing? Then AGAIN the next day after he looked horrendous in his debut?! I find it impossible to believe the Twins were aware of this affliction until after his second appearance. Which leads us to our third and most likely scenario... 3: Dyson did not tell the Giants he was hurting, and also gave the Twins no indications of it until he'd been walloped in two straight outings. This would be fairly typical for a professional ballplayer – gutting it out in the name of "toughness" while hurting yourself and your team in the process. It's a toxic mindset, and one that this new Twins front office has admirably rooted out. The 2019 Twins have largely avoided lengthy absences and setbacks because they seem to foster an open, honest environment where players are forthright about nagging pains and noticeable discomfort. Minnesota's strategy of playing it cautiously at almost every turn has worked out well. So if this is indeed what happened, Dyson is bringing an immediate culture clash that is far more problematic to me than a couple of rough pitching performances. That I can handle. But taking the mound in important spots for a contending team when you know something's wrong (and this wasn't exactly minor; he claims he could feel it when "picking a plate up in the kitchen or putting [his] (expletive) clothes on")? Pretty inexcusable in my eyes. A terrible first impression from a guy who was too stubbornly focused on creating the opposite. Having said all that, I have a hard time letting Derek Falvey and Thad Levine off the hook entirely, even if they weren't made aware of this arm problem. I remarked in my Week in Review column on Sunday, published before Dyson revealed that the issue had been affecting him for half a month, that his "issue actually appears to date back a ways; in his last four appearances with the Giants, he got only one swing-and-miss on 42 pitches after inducing 18 in his first eight July outings (15% rate)." In my mind, when a pitcher who's accustomed to missing bats suddenly stops doing so in such stark fashion, it's one of the clearest indicators something is wrong. One swinging strike on 42 pitches is egregious; by comparison, Ehire Adrianza got two swinging strikes on 14 pitches when he threw an inning against the Mets in July. Now, after pitching twice for the Twins, Dyson has induced two whiffs on his last 80 pitches. He's broken. He was starting to break before he got here. But because he failed to report it and the Twins failed to notice it, he yielded two costly meltdowns on the hill, and is unavailable for the most pivotal stretch of the season. Hopefully the bullpen can get by without him, and a little rest serves as the fix he needs. But for now, this is looking like one of the biggest deadline duds in memory, and a fiasco that – unlike most of Byron Buxton's bad breaks – could've and should've been avoided. Click here to view the article
  18. He wasn't the sexiest pickup in everyone's eyes, but from all available evidence, Dyson was the high-caliber reinforcement this bullpen required at a minimum. He's been a mostly consistent performer at the back end of MLB bullpens for the past five years and was enjoying an excellent season as setup man for San Francisco, ranking among the league's leading relievers in Win Probability Added. Against this backdrop, Dyson's immediate collapse for the Twins was a total shock to the system. He completely imploded in his debut, blowing a three-run save against the Marlins in an eventual loss, which carried the added negative of burning a Taylor Rogers appearance. The following night, he came back out against a similarly bad Royals offense and looked similarly terrible, coughing up three runs on four hits while recording only two outs, endangering a blowout victory. In both games, the performance matched the results. Dyson didn't look as bad as the assortment of Quad-A relief arms who've briefly passed through Minnesota this year – he looked worse. The right-hander's execution was nonexistent as he consistently missed targets and fell behind in counts before serving up beach balls. When news surfaced on Sunday that Dyson was battling biceps tendinitis and would be heading to the injured list, the revelation wasn't surprising, but it was upsetting. And the details we've seen bleed out in the days since cast an ominous cloud over the entire ordeal. To recap... Dyson told reporters on Monday he's been dealing with "an issue" in his shoulder that dates back to around two weeks before he was traded, adding that he was "just grinding through it the whole time" while costing the Twins dearly in his two appearances. https://twitter.com/DaneMizutani/status/1158501551805206530 By all accounts, the Giants were not explicitly aware of Dyson's ailment. Although La Velle doesn't sound entirely convinced in his tweet here: https://twitter.com/LaVelleNeal/status/1158863783265284097 As I see it, there are three possible explanations for what happened here. 1: The Giants did in fact know, or suspect, that Dyson was playing hurt before they traded him, and failed to inform the Twins of it. Not unprecedented, but this would be grounds for Minnesota to seek recourse through the league office, and there've been no rumblings of such. 2: The Giants knew or suspected that he was hurt and made it known to the Twins, who traded for him anyway. This isn't unthinkable, because the ailment affecting Dyson – if it's indeed only a routine bout of tendinitis – isn't all that uncommon or concerning on its face. But I find this hard to believe. Is a front office that's known for fiercely protecting its minor-league assets going to trade three prospects for a guy with an aching arm? And even if so, are they going to throw him into a game right off the plane with said bum wing? Then AGAIN the next day after he looked horrendous in his debut?! I find it impossible to believe the Twins were aware of this affliction until after his second appearance. Which leads us to our third and most likely scenario... 3: Dyson did not tell the Giants he was hurting, and also gave the Twins no indications of it until he'd been walloped in two straight outings. This would be fairly typical for a professional ballplayer – gutting it out in the name of "toughness" while hurting yourself and your team in the process. It's a toxic mindset, and one that this new Twins front office has admirably rooted out. The 2019 Twins have largely avoided lengthy absences and setbacks because they seem to foster an open, honest environment where players are forthright about nagging pains and noticeable discomfort. Minnesota's strategy of playing it cautiously at almost every turn has worked out well. So if this is indeed what happened, Dyson is bringing an immediate culture clash that is far more problematic to me than a couple of rough pitching performances. That I can handle. But taking the mound in important spots for a contending team when you know something's wrong (and this wasn't exactly minor; he claims he could feel it when "picking a plate up in the kitchen or putting [his] (expletive) clothes on")? Pretty inexcusable in my eyes. A terrible first impression from a guy who was too stubbornly focused on creating the opposite. Having said all that, I have a hard time letting Derek Falvey and Thad Levine off the hook entirely, even if they weren't made aware of this arm problem. I remarked in my Week in Review column on Sunday, published before Dyson revealed that the issue had been affecting him for half a month, that his "issue actually appears to date back a ways; in his last four appearances with the Giants, he got only one swing-and-miss on 42 pitches after inducing 18 in his first eight July outings (15% rate)." In my mind, when a pitcher who's accustomed to missing bats suddenly stops doing so in such stark fashion, it's one of the clearest indicators something is wrong. One swinging strike on 42 pitches is egregious; by comparison, Ehire Adrianza got two swinging strikes on 14 pitches when he threw an inning against the Mets in July. Now, after pitching twice for the Twins, Dyson has induced two whiffs on his last 80 pitches. He's broken. He was starting to break before he got here. But because he failed to report it and the Twins failed to notice it, he yielded two costly meltdowns on the hill, and is unavailable for the most pivotal stretch of the season. Hopefully the bullpen can get by without him, and a little rest serves as the fix he needs. But for now, this is looking like one of the biggest deadline duds in memory, and a fiasco that – unlike most of Byron Buxton's bad breaks – could've and should've been avoided.
  19. Assistant General Manager Rob Antony was interviewed by Darren Wolfson earlier this week. When Wolfson asked about Graterol joining the Twins, Anthony made the team’s position clear. “I would say absolutely,” Antony said. “That came into play when we talked about some of these guys some relievers that we talked about. We looked at each other and basically said, ‘Why not bring up Graterol?’” Graterol, the 20-year old righty, is working his way back from a shoulder issue- impingement- that had him on the injured list. In two appearances with the GCL Twins, he has thrown three scoreless innings by allowing one hit and striking out four. His fastball has been in the high-90s with good movement and some radar guns had him top out at 101 mph. He was added back to Pensacola's roster on Wednesday. “His arm feels great.” Antony went on to say. “So, we need to build him up and give him a few more outings and hopefully that continues, and I don’t think we’d be afraid to run him up here and see if he can’t be part of the equation in the bullpen.” In nine starts for Pensacola, Graterol has posted a 1.89 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP to go along with 46 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings. Also, he has a 3.26 FIP, 8.69 K/9, 3.59 BB/9 and a 52.1% groundball rate. So far this season in the Southern League, the average age for pitchers is 24.3 years old. This means Graterol is almost a full month younger than the second youngest pitcher in the league. Even with the time missed because of injury, Graterol is still a consensus top-60 prospect in all of baseball. In their mid-season updates, Baseball America put him as their number 34 prospect, the highest of any major ranking. FanGraphs (52) and MLB.com (58) both had him in their top-60. Here at Twins Daily, he was our number three ranked prospect. Antony also hinted at the possibility of Graterol filling a multi-inning role that could be a big boost to a bullpen that has seemed to have a direct line to Rochester in recent weeks. Minnesota’s bullpen has completely transformed after parting ways with Matt Magill, Adalberto Mejia, Mike Morin and Blake Parker. Sergio Romo and Sam Dyson were added at the deadline, but Dyson is already on the injured list. Entering play on Wednesday, Minnesota’s bullpen had a 4.45 ERA, which ranked 17th in MLB. The Twins also don’t rank favorably when it comes to relievers FIP (23rd), BB/9 (25th), LOB% (23rd) and HR/FB (27th). Graterol’s talent could certainly help these numbers if he is healthy and the Twins feel he is ready to be added to the team’s 40-man roster. Antony didn’t beat around the bush. “I would not be surprised to see him up in Minnesota at some point. Maybe this month…” Do you think Graterol could help the Twins this season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  20. The Twins started a HUGE series against the Indians on Thursday night. We recorded a new podcast just before that series kicked off. In addition to previewing the Indians series, we also discussed Sam Dyson, the future of the rotation and bullpen, and what's going on with the lineup. We also dreamed about a future free agent signing.If you don't have time for all 69 minutes, at least make sure you listen to the discussion around the 45 minute mark. The topic: Did Trevor May really get a plaque for hitting 100 mph? As always, all of our podcasts are available here or you can download directly from iTunes here. Click here to view the article
  21. If you don't have time for all 69 minutes, at least make sure you listen to the discussion around the 45 minute mark. The topic: Did Trevor May really get a plaque for hitting 100 mph? As always, all of our podcasts are available here or you can download directly from iTunes here.
  22. Scroll to the bottom for time stamps. Hey everyone! Click the link below for the iTunes audio of the podcast. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/leading-off-podcast-with-matt-and-cooper/id1474507971#episodeGuid=https%3A%2F%2Fpodcast.rss.com%2Fleadingoff%2F%3Fname%3D2019-08-05_eleventh_full_edited_podcast.mp3 In this link you can find the Spotify audio of the podcast. https://open.spotify.com/episode/6sh8Uj0CexiPTAZOCH3oAB?si=ZogqHjuqRD6UihC2QG1EaQ Please be sure to let us know what you think whether it’s a question, you disagree with us, or you just hate my voice by commenting on this post or heading over to our Twitter accounts below Cooper: Carlson_MnTwins Matt: Matthew_bTwins Time stamps: 7:50 lengthy trade deadline talk (Dyson, so SP trade for the Twins, etc) 27:50 Zack Greinke 31:00 Did Cleveland get better by trading Bauer? 37:20 Should Smeltzer stick around? 44:20 More Injuries… 56:40 Fan questions (when will we see Kirilloff/Graterol) 1:15:40 Looking ahead
  23. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 7/29 through Sun, 8/4 *** Record Last Week: 5-1 (Overall: 69-42) Run Differential Last Week: +16 (Overall: +141) Standing: 1st Place in AL Central (3.0 GA) Willians Watch: Out Indefinitely As the trade deadline counted down to zero on Wednesday afternoon, Twins fans were momentarily led to believe their team had come up empty in its pursuit of upgrades. Minutes after the 3:00PM, however, we got word that they did indeed make another impact addition to the bullpen: https://twitter.com/DanHayesMLB/status/1156660084610613249 Sam Dyson arrived in the clubhouse midway through Thursday's game in Miami, and was called upon to close out a 4-1 victory in the ninth. It... did not go well. In fact it went about as poorly as one could possibly imagine. And sadly things hardly improved in his second Twins appearance. By the time he landed on the injured list with biceps tendinitis on Sunday, Dyson had allowed six runs on six hits and two walks while recording just two outs for Minnesota. Obviously it's a terrible first impression, and not the best look for the front office to be acquiring a guy who was apparently damaged goods. But if you're looking for a silver lining, at least his arm injury – the severity of which is being downplayed by the Twins – may help explain the stark deviation from a strong and consistent track record. Dyson has thrown 38 pitches as a Twin and induced only one swinging strike. This issue actually appears to date back a ways; in his last four appearances with the Giants, he got only one swing-and-miss on 42 pitches after inducing 18 in his first eight July outings (15% rate). The timing here is awful, for multiple reasons, but hopefully a little rest will help Dyson return to his usual form, which is excellent. He has posted an ERA+ of 142 or better in four the past five seasons, and was at 170 this year with the Giants. Dating back to 2014, he has a 3.19 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with just 26 homers allowed in 364 innings. He has experience as a closer and has pitched (well) in the postseason. Importantly, the Twins didn't give up a whole lot to acquire him. Jaylin Davis, who was spotlighted in our "Down on the Farm" report here two weeks ago thanks to his unbelievable power surge at Triple-A, was the headliner, along with lower-tier prospects Prelander Berroa and Kai-Wei Teng. As was the case with Lewin Diaz, traded days earlier to the Marlins for Sergio Romo, it was bittersweet to see Davis leave. Like Diaz, the 25-year-old outfielder was enjoying a breakout season in the minors, but he was hopelessly crowded out of the big-league picture. In San Francisco, he'll have a much clearer path, and could very well be up in the majors before year's end. Adding Dyson and Romo, following the recent subtractions of Blake Parker, Matt Magill, Mike Morin and Adalberto Mejia, equates to a significant upgrade for this wobbly unit. It wasn't the blockbuster shakeup many fans were hoping for – as reflected by a rather inordinate amount of rancor on social media and local radio airwaves – but it was in fact one of the boldest retoolings made by a contender last week. Outside of the Astros, who clearly won the deadline with their bombshell addition of Zack Greinke, few teams made emphatic moves – with both the Yankees and Red Sox among those who conspicuously froze up despite having clear, potentially crippling weaknesses. https://twitter.com/NickNelsonMN/status/1157093910977634307 In my mind, Twins fans should be feeling good about the club's actions. Maybe not great, but the front office did what it needed to do. And with the former August waiver trade period eliminated, these contending rosters are pretty much locked in, so now it's crunch time. Personally, I feel pretty good about the squad Rocco Baldelli is bringing to battle, especially after the way they played over the past week. But in the coming days, they're going to be shorthanded, having placed several important contributors on the shelf: Dyson, as mentioned, was placed on the IL with right biceps tendinitis. Devin Smeltzer was called up to take his spot, and made a start on Sunday, looking very good as usual. Zack Littell was also recalled over the weekend. It doesn't sound like the team expects Dyson to miss much more than his requisite 10 days. Lewis Thorpe and Sean Poppen were optioned to the minors amidst the roster juggling. The biggest gut-punch of the week (and maybe the season) was the placement of Byron Buxton on IL with what's being portrayed as a fairly long-term injury. He partially dislocated his shoulder in a Thursday collision with the outfield wall, and is likely to miss most or all of August. On the bright side, Jake Cave will get an extended opportunity to substantiate his monster production at Triple-A, where he was slashing .352/.393/.592 in 48 games. But there's no replacing what Buxton brings to the field. That much has become painfully obvious. C.J. Cron was activated from the IL and homered in his first game back on Saturday. HIGHLIGHTS When the deadline came and went on Wednesday, there was no Greinke for the Twins. No Madison Bumgarner or Noah Syndergaard, either. What most of us suspected all along is now set in stone: Jose Berrios is going to have to shoulder the load as this team's No. 1 starter down the stretch and – if they get there – its Game 1 starter in the playoffs. He has mostly locked up the part this year, and certainly did in his latest start on Tuesday night. Granted, it was against a miserable Marlins lineup, but Berrios was electric, striking out 11 while cruising through seven shutout innings on just 81 pitches. He walked none and allowed only two singles, tying the Opening Day gem against Cleveland for his top Game Score posted this year (84). Berrios hasn't missed a start, and has pitched at least into the seventh in more than half (14 of 22). He ranks 10th among all MLB starters in innings pitched. The guy's an absolute workhorse. The question, going forward, is how things will shake out behind him. The rest of Minnesota's rotation has been generally healthy and effective (all five Twins starters rank among the AL's top 25 in WAR, which is pretty amazing), but they haven't followed the leader's model of stability. Michael Pineda, on the upswing with a 3.12 ERA since the start of June, is probably the most credible choice as No. 2 starter right now. He reasserted his case on Thursday, holding Miami to one run over six innings after producing seven innings of one-run ball in Chicago the week before. Pineda has issued one or zero walks in 15 of his 20 starts this year, and more than three only once. As a result of this and the coaching staff's careful workload management, the big righty has exceeded 100 pitches only once all year, boding well for his enduring value down the stretch. On that note, the Twins placed Pineda on the IL Sunday, citing a triceps strain, but one wonders if Minnesota isn't just trying to get him a break. That seemed to be the case when they shut him down for a couple weeks at the end of May, and Pineda came back much stronger in that instance. As was the case then, he might only miss one start this time around. Efficiency hasn't been such a strength for Jake Odorizzi, who got back on track with his 12th win on Monday but failed to complete six innings for a seventh consecutive start. His continuing lack of length is an underrated factor in the bullpen's stress test over the past month. But this was nonetheless an encouraging outing for the righty, who managed to keep the ball in the yard after surrendering 10 homers in his previous seven turns. Kyle Gibson also took care of business, holding Kansas City to three runs (two earned) over 6 2/3 innings on Saturday. He struck out six and induced 17 swinging strikes – his highest total since June 8th in Detroit. Meanwhile, Smeltzer continues to make his case for a solidified role with the big-league club. He was absolutely brilliant on Sunday, blanking the Royals over six two-hit innings and lowering his ERA as an MLB pitcher to 2.28. Solid pitching last week was matched by quality work from the Twins lineup, with the ageless Cruz taking control. He turned 39 just over a month ago, on July 1st, and has since launched 14 home runs in 26 games. On Saturday, the DH delivered his second three-homer game in 10 days, and his second straight five-RBI effort. The previous night, he'd gone deep while adding a pair of doubles. Incredibly, Cruz drove in 10 runs in a week that saw him start only three games, having sat out the Miami series. In his past 15 contests Cruz is slugging 1.154 with a dozen home runs and 24 RBIs. It's a remarkable streak even before you factor in his age, which makes it unprecedented. https://twitter.com/AaronGleeman/status/1157849112877785089 By adding four more tallies to the ledger last week, Cruz not only extends his run of 30-HR seasons to six (fourth-highest among active players) but sets a new record for home runs by a Twins DH. What a slam-dunk signing. https://twitter.com/morsecode/status/1157851242527436801 Other offensive standouts for the week included Max Kepler (7-for-21 with two homers, three doubles and six walks), Eddie Rosario (8-for-20 with six RBIs), and Buxton (4-for-12 with a homer, two doubles and a steal in three games before getting hurt). LOWLIGHTS Last time the Twins went through a difficult patch in their schedule, they were without Buxton, and his absence was felt during a tumultuous skid against the Mets, Athletics, and Yankees. Now, they're facing down a very similar scenario. Minnesota will again be missing Buxton for what could very well be a season-defining gauntlet against the Braves, Indians, Brewers and Rangers. The Twins really need Cave to show something here. As mentioned earlier, he was torching Triple-A pitching, and he had an impressive rookie showing at the plate as a rookie. But this year he's been unable to find it with the Twins, slashing .198/.320/.302 in 37 games after going 1-for-3 in his return on Sunday. If Cave can't get rolling, the Twins do have the luxury of Marwin Gonzalez as an option in right field, but he too has quietly fallen into a lull at the plate. Last week he was just 2-for-16, dropping his OPS to its lowest point (.716) since early June. Beyond Dyson's catastrophic debut, the pitching lowlight of last week came from Martin Perez, who was the only rotation member to drop a dud against the lowly Miami and KC offenses. On Friday night, he coughed up three homers and five runs in five innings against the Royals. Keeping the ball in the yard has generally been a strength this year for the groundballer Perez, even when he's scuffled, but of late that's ceased to be the case: In his past four turns, the lefty has surrendered eight homers – one more than in his first 15 starts combined. The downward turn for Perez, who owns a 5.53 ERA in 10 starts dating back to the beginning of June, in combination with another phenomenal performance from Smeltzer two days later is understandably generating some fan sentiment for a swap. I don't think we're quite there yet, especially with Pineda temporarily sidelined, but it's something to keep an eye on. And one way another, the Twins need to keep Smeltzer around. This kid continues to look like he belongs in the majors. TRENDING STORYLINE What's going on with Trevor May? The Twins were going to need him for high-leverage innings in the second half and (hopefully) postseason, regardless of who they acquired at the trade deadline. With their biggest pickup on the shelf for upcoming showdowns against dangerous offenses, that's all the more true. But for now, Baldelli appears to be giving his hard-throwing righty a mental or physical break. Last week, May threw just one pitch, retiring Hunter Dozier on a fly ball to end the seventh inning on Saturday. The previous week, he threw only five pitches, completing a quick inning against the White Sox with Minnesota down 4-1. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1157493222014365696 Since his brutal stretch of three outings in mid-July where he allowed seven very costly runs over 3 2/3 innings, May has pitched only twice in 14 days, throwing six pitches total, with neither appearance coming at a crucial juncture. The Twins will need him to get back on the horse this week, no doubt. May will be well rested. Can he get back into the zone he was in for several weeks before the meltdown? The club's fortunes could greatly hinge on it. DOWN ON THE FARM Some excellent news on the prospect front: Brusdar Graterol is back. The organization's most promising young arm missed more than two months with a shoulder impingement, but returned to the mound last week with a pair of scoreless appearances in the Gulf Coast League. To say he was dominant against these overwhelmed rookie-level hitters would be an understatement. With his customary triple-digit heat back on display, Graterol should work back up to Double-A quickly, at which point he becomes an intriguing late-season bullpen candidate for Minnesota. The 20-year-old has the makings of a difference-maker, and his lengthy time on the shelf this summer has kept his innings in check, which could make the idea of him pitching into October more palatable. In order to have him eligible for the playoffs, the Twins would need to call up Graterol before September 1st. LOOKING AHEAD The Twins have 25 games remaining against teams with records above .500. Thirteen of them come in the next two weeks. This is easily the most difficult remaining stretch of their schedule, and Cleveland will surely be looking to take advantage. The Twins will hope to fend off a very good Braves team at home before welcoming the Indians for a HUGE four-game series. The Twins will be playing at home, and have both of their All-Star starters going twice. They have an opportunity to press the foot down on Cleveland's throat. Can they capitalize? MONDAY, 8/5: BRAVES @ TWINS – RHP Mike Soroka v. RHP Jake Odorizzi TUESDAY, 8/6: BRAVES @ TWINS – LHP Max Fried v. RHP Jose Berrios WEDNESDAY, 8/7: BRAVES @ TWINS – RHP Kevin Gausman v. LHP Martin Perez THURSDAY, 8/8: INDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Adam Plutko v. RHP Kyle Gibson FRIDAY, 8/9: INDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Shane Bieber v. LHP Devin Smeltzer SATURDAY, 8/10: INDIANS @ TWINS – TBD v. RHP Jake Odorizzi SUNDAY, 8/11: INDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Zach Plesac v. RHP Jose Berrios Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps Game 106 | MIN 2, MIA 1: Pitchers Stifle Marlins Bats, Twins Come Out on Top Game 107 | MIN 7, MIA 4: Berrios Throws Gem as Bombas Fly Game 108 | MIA 5, MIN 4: Dyson Implodes In Twins Debut Game 109 | MIN 11, KC 9: Cruz Powers Twins to Another Close Win Over the Royals Game 110 | MIN 11, KC 3: Delayed Start Didn’t Cool Off the Minnesota Offense Game 111 | MIN 3, KC 0: Twins Cap Off The Sweep - Smeltzer Style
  24. The Twins struck an eleventh-hour deadline deal, and their new setup man had an... interesting first week. Minnesota was also hit by an unfortunate rash of key injuries, just as a critical stretch of the schedule looms. It was a hectic week full of big events. But somehow it all paled in comparison to the theatrics of Nelson Cruz, who carried his incredible homer-hitting clinic from July into August, powering the Twins to a 5-1 week as they maintained their three-game lead over the hard-charging Indians. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 7/29 through Sun, 8/4 *** Record Last Week: 5-1 (Overall: 69-42) Run Differential Last Week: +16 (Overall: +141) Standing: 1st Place in AL Central (3.0 GA) Willians Watch: Out Indefinitely As the trade deadline counted down to zero on Wednesday afternoon, Twins fans were momentarily led to believe their team had come up empty in its pursuit of upgrades. Minutes after the 3:00PM, however, we got word that they did indeed make another impact addition to the bullpen: Since his brutal stretch of three outings in mid-July where he allowed seven very costly runs over 3 2/3 innings, May has pitched only twice in 14 days, throwing six pitches total, with neither appearance coming at a crucial juncture. The Twins will need him to get back on the horse this week, no doubt. May will be well rested. Can he get back into the zone he was in for several weeks before the meltdown? The club's fortunes could greatly hinge on it. DOWN ON THE FARM Some excellent news on the prospect front: Brusdar Graterol is back. The organization's most promising young arm missed more than two months with a shoulder impingement, but returned to the mound last week with a pair of scoreless appearances in the Gulf Coast League. To say he was dominant against these overwhelmed rookie-level hitters would be an understatement. With his customary triple-digit heat back on display, Graterol should work back up to Double-A quickly, at which point he becomes an intriguing late-season bullpen candidate for Minnesota. The 20-year-old has the makings of a difference-maker, and his lengthy time on the shelf this summer has kept his innings in check, which could make the idea of him pitching into October more palatable. In order to have him eligible for the playoffs, the Twins would need to call up Graterol before September 1st. LOOKING AHEAD The Twins have 25 games remaining against teams with records above .500. Thirteen of them come in the next two weeks. This is easily the most difficult remaining stretch of their schedule, and Cleveland will surely be looking to take advantage. The Twins will hope to fend off a very good Braves team at home before welcoming the Indians for a HUGE four-game series. The Twins will be playing at home, and have both of their All-Star starters going twice. They have an opportunity to press the foot down on Cleveland's throat. Can they capitalize? MONDAY, 8/5: BRAVES @ TWINS – RHP Mike Soroka v. RHP Jake Odorizzi TUESDAY, 8/6: BRAVES @ TWINS – LHP Max Fried v. RHP Jose Berrios WEDNESDAY, 8/7: BRAVES @ TWINS – RHP Kevin Gausman v. LHP Martin Perez THURSDAY, 8/8: INDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Adam Plutko v. RHP Kyle Gibson FRIDAY, 8/9: INDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Shane Bieber v. LHP Devin Smeltzer SATURDAY, 8/10: INDIANS @ TWINS – TBD v. RHP Jake Odorizzi SUNDAY, 8/11: INDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Zach Plesac v. RHP Jose Berrios Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps Game 106 | MIN 2, MIA 1: Pitchers Stifle Marlins Bats, Twins Come Out on TopGame 107 | MIN 7, MIA 4: Berrios Throws Gem as Bombas FlyGame 108 | MIA 5, MIN 4: Dyson Implodes In Twins DebutGame 109 | MIN 11, KC 9: Cruz Powers Twins to Another Close Win Over the RoyalsGame 110 | MIN 11, KC 3: Delayed Start Didn’t Cool Off the Minnesota OffenseGame 111 | MIN 3, KC 0: Twins Cap Off The Sweep - Smeltzer Style Click here to view the article
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