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  1. Major League Baseball is in a bit of a self-made crisis when it comes to pitchers and their use of substances to generate spin. With baseball starting to crack down, are the Twins not using enough spin to try and win? Offense has been down across baseball this year as pitchers have dominated for much of the 2021 campaign. This can be directly related to an increase in pitch velocity, movement, and spin rates. Some of these increases are tied to sticky substances used by pitchers to increase their control and spin rate. Minnesota’s pitchers haven’t been taking advantage of this decrease i
  2. Offense has been down across baseball this year as pitchers have dominated for much of the 2021 campaign. This can be directly related to an increase in pitch velocity, movement, and spin rates. Some of these increases are tied to sticky substances used by pitchers to increase their control and spin rate. Minnesota’s pitchers haven’t been taking advantage of this decrease in offense, so how does spin rate factor into their results? Starting in 2020, Statcast posted an active spin leaderboard, which can also include an active spin %. They offer a longer explanation at their site, but the n
  3. Minnesota’s run of excellent closers stretches over much of the last two decades. From Joe Nathan to Glen Perkins and now Taylor Rogers, Twins fans have been privy to some great late inning arms. Now, one pitch might turn this pitcher into the Twins future closer. Many relief pitchers can be successful by relying on two to three pitches. For instance, Taylor Rogers has found a lot of success at the big-league level by throwing a two-pitch mix with his fastball and a slider. Relievers can use their best pitches, because they don’t have to worry about facing a hitter multiple times in the
  4. Many relief pitchers can be successful by relying on two to three pitches. For instance, Taylor Rogers has found a lot of success at the big-league level by throwing a two-pitch mix with his fastball and a slider. Relievers can use their best pitches, because they don’t have to worry about facing a hitter multiple times in the same game. Some pitchers are forced to adjust their repertoire if they aren’t finding success. Jorge Alcalá was part of one of the biggest trades under the Derek Falvey and Thad Levine regime. He came to the Twins along with Gilberto Celestino as part of the Ryan Pr
  5. It’s looking more like the Twins won’t find themselves in contention this season, especially with a difficult part of their upcoming schedule. That means, the team will be looking to deal away players, so here are five possible trade candidates. Nelson Cruz Cruz is on an expiring deal and he hasn’t been back to the World Series since his time in Texas. He is going to have few opportunities left to make a playoff run. It helps that he continues to be ageless as he is one of baseball’s best hitters even in his age-40 season. Unfortunately, the National League didn’t adopt the DH for the
  6. Minnesota’s bullpen has been a mess to start the year, but Rocco Baldelli is going to need to rely on arms with some important up-coming series. Who is in the bullpen circle of trust? 1. Taylor Rogers Much like in 2019, Taylor Rogers has been one of the few options Baldelli can trust in the late innings of games. At season’s start, it seemed like Rogers would be used in more of a set-up role with Colomé getting more of the closing opportunities. Until Colomé can figure it out, Rogers will be used as the closer and he has the team’s highest level of trust. 2. Hansel Robles Robles
  7. 1. Taylor Rogers Much like in 2019, Taylor Rogers has been one of the few options Baldelli can trust in the late innings of games. At season’s start, it seemed like Rogers would be used in more of a set-up role with Colomé getting more of the closing opportunities. Until Colomé can figure it out, Rogers will be used as the closer and he has the team’s highest level of trust. 2. Hansel Robles Robles was brought in to help add veteran depth to the bullpen and he has made a good impression so far this year. His xBA ranks in the 82nd percentile and his wOBA ranks in the top 7% of the leag
  8. Nelson Cruz Cruz is on an expiring deal and he hasn’t been back to the World Series since his time in Texas. He is going to have few opportunities left to make a playoff run. It helps that he continues to be ageless as he is one of baseball’s best hitters even in his age-40 season. Unfortunately, the National League didn’t adopt the DH for the 2021 season, so this cuts out half the teams in the market for Cruz’s services. That being said, his leadership is something any contending team would be lucky to have for a playoff run. Michael Pineda Like Cruz, Pineda is on an expiring contrac
  9. Aaron and John talk about the historic ineptitude of the Twins' bullpen, injuries knocking out Byron Buxton and Alex Kirilloff, calling up Trevor Larnach ahead of schedule, and what the future holds for Miguel Sano in Minnesota. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  10. Break the glass. Sound the alarm. Mash the panic button. The Twins have a full-on crisis in their bullpen. They don't have the benefit of time to sort it out internally, or wait for a favorable upgrade opportunity. They need to go get help, now.Tuesday night's ugly loss felt like a replay of the same episode with a slightly different script. Alex Colomé, the team's 1A closer coming into the season, had been so inconceivably bad in his first 10 appearances that he was deemed off-limits despite being the most well-rested pitcher in the bullpen. And so, when the Twins reached the ninth inning w
  11. Tuesday night's ugly loss felt like a replay of the same episode with a slightly different script. Alex Colomé, the team's 1A closer coming into the season, had been so inconceivably bad in his first 10 appearances that he was deemed off-limits despite being the most well-rested pitcher in the bullpen. And so, when the Twins reached the ninth inning with a two-run lead, it was closer 1B getting the ball. Naturally, Taylor Rogers gave up two runs, allowing the last-place Rangers to tie the game and force extra innings. Rogers has been the team's best reliever this year but has now given up mo
  12. Projected Bullpen: Taylor Rogers, Alex Colomé, Tyler Duffey, Hansel Robles, Caleb Thielbar, Jorge Alcalá, Cody Stashak, Lewis Thorpe Depth: Shaun Anderson, Ian Hamilton, Brandon Waddell, Ian Gibaut Prospects: Jhoan Duran, Edwar Colina, Dakota Chalmers, Josh Winder THE GOOD The top of Minnesota's bullpen is well stocked with proven high-caliber arms. Taylor Rogers (3rd), Tyler Duffey (13th) and newcomer Hansel Robles (19th) all rank among the top 20 major-league relief pitchers in fWAR since 2019. Alex Colomé isn't rated quite as highly by that metric (42nd), but is a more conventionally ap
  13. There's no two ways about it: on paper, Minnesota's bullpen picture is high on risk and low on assurance. Strategizing around a series of rebound performances and coaching-related glow ups, the message being sent to fans by the front office is essentially: trust us, we got this. Frankly, they've earned some faith.Projected Bullpen: Taylor Rogers, Alex Colomé, Tyler Duffey, Hansel Robles, Caleb Thielbar, Jorge Alcalá, Cody Stashak, Lewis Thorpe Depth: Shaun Anderson, Ian Hamilton, Brandon Waddell, Ian Gibaut Prospects: Jhoan Duran, Edwar Colina, Dakota Chalmers, Josh Winder THE GOOD The t
  14. To be clear, the Twins and manager Rocco Baldelli aren’t going to name a closer. As baseball continues to rethink how bullpens can best be utilized, the Twins are going to look at matchups and put their players in the best opportunities to succeed. That being said, the four players below are the likely candidates to be considered the team’s closer. Taylor Rogers, LHP Career Saves: 41 Rogers was one of the most dominant relievers during the 2018 and 2019 seasons as he took over Minnesota’s closer role. Even with struggles last season, his peripheral numbers point to some bad luck leading to h
  15. Perhaps it was matchups. Perhaps it was the depth of the bullpen. Or perhaps it was just coincidence. But last year’s Twins’ bullpen spread around the pressure inherent to holding close leads like almost no other Major League team, steering away from the closer-dominated hierarchy we talked about in Part 1. And you can see it using the sabrmetric stat Leverage Index (LI) that we detailed in Part 2. Here are the Twins’ qualified relievers, the average Leverage Index they faced when entering a game, and where they ranked in LI in MLB overall. Name gmLI MLB Rank
  16. Last year’s Twins’ bullpen spread around the most critical innings, and the relievers’ Leverage Index (LI) shows that.Perhaps it was matchups. Perhaps it was the depth of the bullpen. Or perhaps it was just coincidence. But last year’s Twins’ bullpen spread around the pressure inherent to holding close leads like almost no other Major League team, steering away from the closer-dominated hierarchy we talked about in Part 1. And you can see it using the sabrmetric stat Leverage Index (LI) that we detailed in Part 2. Here are the Twins’ qualified relievers, the average Leverage Index they fac
  17. Max Kepler, Right Field MLB Network Rank: NR Right field includes some of baseball’s most notable names like Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge, and Bryce Harper along with young studs like Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna Jr. Since the beginning of 2018, Kepler ranks as one of the best right fielders in all of baseball. According to FanGraphs, Kepler has the eighth highest WAR among right fielders over the last three seasons. This puts him ahead of players on MLB’s list including Mike Yastrzemski, Jorge Soler, Joey Gallo, and Charlie Blackmon. Kepler’s defense helps to separate him from the other players
  18. First, you can get up to speed on the 'why and how' behind these rankings by reading Monday's introductory post. If you're already hip, proceed to find my choices (and reasoning) for the 16th-through-20th most valuable assets under Minnesota's control as 2021 gets underway. 20. Keoni Cavaco, SS 2020 Ranking: NR The 20th spot in these rankings is one I always wrestle with most. There are so many different players with good arguments to appear on the list; this selection becomes a battle between many semi-critical assets, whose competing qualities are fundamental to this exercise. Which is
  19. As we kick off our countdown of the Minnesota Twins' top 20 player assets, this first batch features a little of everything: from a raw and unproven teenaged prospect to a highly paid MVP-winning veteran. Let us begin.First, you can get up to speed on the 'why and how' behind these rankings by reading Monday's introductory post. If you're already hip, proceed to find my choices (and reasoning) for the 16th-through-20th most valuable assets under Minnesota's control as 2021 gets underway. 20. Keoni Cavaco, SS 2020 Ranking: NR The 20th spot in these rankings is one I always wrestle with mo
  20. Aaron and John talk about Fernando Romero going to Japan, Thad Levine not going to Philadelphia, Rocco Baldelli's new plan for Taylor Rogers and the Twins' bullpen, and the odds of a minor-league signing making an impact. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Listen Here Now Click here to view the article
  21. Aaron and John discuss the departure of Eddie Rosario, Trevor May, and Matt Wisler, the retention of Twins' General Manager Thad Levine, and how the Twins might fit into a flush free agent shortstop market. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Click Here Now Click here to view the article
  22. I haven't done one of these Nine Innings bits in awhile... I wasn't sure how I would fill all nine innings, but we've done it. This has topics all across the board. Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments below. First Inning - Eddie Rosario Outrighted Listen. No one thought that the #MNTwins were going to tender Eddie Rosario at the deadline Wednesday evening. But tonight, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Twins have put Rosario on outright waivers. https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/1333948164244647937 I know I held out some hope that some team would be willing to giv
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