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  1. The red-hot Twins saw their fortunes change in a hurry in Baltimore, settling for a split after jumping to a 2-0 series lead. Then they bounced back with three straight one-run victories in a weekend sweep of the Athletics at home. Much more importantly, they seem to have dodged couple more huge injury bullets with star players, as this season continues to follow a polar-opposite course from the last. And Carlos Correa's (hopefully) minor setback did set the stage for a very exciting MLB debut. Last Week's Game Results: Game 23 | MIN 2, BAL 1: Paddack, Bullpen Power Twins in Win Game 24 | MIN 7, BAL 2: Twins Stay Hot Behind Ryan, Bats Game 25 | BAL 9, MIN 4: Bad Start, Bad Defense, Bad Luck Game 26 | BAL 5, MIN 3: Solo Shots Shatter Twins Game 27 | MIN 2, OAK 1: Game of Firsts Ends in Victory Game 28 | MIN 1, OAK 0: Polanco and Pitching Power Another Win Game 29 | MIN 4, OAK 3: Bullpen Completes Sweep of Oakland Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 5/2 through Sun, 5/8 *** Record Last Week: 5-2 (Overall: 18-11) Run Differential Last Week: +2 (Overall: +25) Standing: 1st Place in AL Central (3.0 GA) NEWS & NOTES Things looked grim after Carlos Correa took a pitch off the hand on Thursday night in Baltimore, with post-game X-rays suggesting the potential of a non-displaced fracture. Twins fans couldn't be blamed for their incredulity ... another HBP knocking out a superstar player for an extended period?? But unlike last year, when Byron Buxton's broken hand was just another big ol' drop in the endless bucket of bad luck, the Twins again got some unexpected positive news upon further testing, with a Friday CT scan showing only a bruise. Correa avoided the injured list, just like Buxton did last month after his scary slide into second at Fenway. Even with Correa staying active, the Twins still called up top prospect Royce Lewis to fill in at shortstop over the weekend, adding an extra level of energy to their home series against Oakland. Lewis has gotten his MLB career off to a solid start, with three hits in his first 10 at-bats. Buxton himself appears to have dodged another scary setback. He left Saturday's game due to tightness in his right hip – the same spot where a significant strain cost him six weeks last year – but the the new issue was described as "very low level" and he too avoided an IL trip. The good breaks in the wake of bad news didn't stop there. COVID reared its ugly head in the Twins clubhouse once again, with manager Rocco Baldelli as well as Luis Arraez and Dylan Bundy all testing positive on Thursday. But by the end of the weekend, no one else on the team had registered a positive test, which qualifies as a big relief given the level of contagion we've seen with this virus. It wasn't all happy outcomes, however. Trevor Larnach suffered a groin strain that forced him to IL, which is especially unfortunate because he was really cooking (as we'll cover shortly). The team is confident that his absence will be a short one – hopefully only around the 10-day minimum – but still the Twins will be without one of their most effective hitters of late. Alex Kirilloff has activated after a rehab stint in St. Paul, but the jury is very much out on his ability to make an impact with his balky wrist. And, ss it turns out, Miguel Sanó's balky left knee was serious enough to require a surgical remedy. He underwent a procedure to repair torn meniscus, and figures to be out for a couple of months, though no firm timetable has been established. With top prospect José Miranda called up to replace him and likely to see a bulk of time at first base, it's possible that Sanó will return to find his job taken. He may be reaching the end of the road in Minnesota. Meanwhile, Chris Paddack left Sunday's start with inflammation in his right elbow, which was a big issue last year when he battled a partially torn UCL that required a PRP injection. Very unsettling, but we'll see what comes out from further exams on Sunday. I guess we've learned better than to jump to negative conclusions. HIGHLIGHTS This pitching staff is incredible. What else can you say? Even within the context of a drastic decline in offense across the league, Twins pitchers are simply crushing it. The past week featured four games in which opponents were held to two runs or fewer, including a pair of 2-1 squeakers and a 1-0 victory. A certain amount of good luck is inherently at play when you're scratching out wins like these. But the staff is legitimately winning games, and it's valuable to bank them while the bats continue to lag amidst a league-wide hitting scourge. Great performances are coming from all corners of the rotation and bullpen. Sonny Gray returned from the injured list on Saturday with an electric performance against Oakland, striking out seven over four scoreless innings. The previous day saw Josh Winder obliterate the A's in his second MLB start: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. The combination of he and Joe Ryan, who looked good once again in Tuesday's win over Baltimore and now sports a 1.63 ERA, is almost too much to handle. This franchise has been starved for impact rookie pitchers. Now we've got ALL the impact rookie pitchers. Of course, this conversation wouldn't be complete without a mention of Jhoan Duran, who's been just as uplifting to the bullpen as Ryan and Winder in the rotation. Duran was on his way to an appearance in the Lowlights column this week after allowing two homers and taking the loss on Thursday. Then he went out on Saturday and cemented a 1-0 win with two absurdly dominant innings. He allowed no hits. He struck out five. He got nine whiffs on 32 pitches. I'm not sure prime Aroldis Chapman comparisons are out of bounds at this point. Duran is lighting up the radar gun and flat-out blowing people away. His only weakness so far has been an odd proneness to the long ball – with four of the 10 hits he's allowed in 14 ⅔ leaving the yard – but that seems very flukish to me. The bullpen, in general, has been simply phenomenal. Over the past week Twins relievers allowed just three earned runs in 33 innings, good for a 0.87 ERA with a 38-to-6 K/BB ratio in 31 innings. The shockingly effective relief unit was absolutely pivotal in a weekend sweep of the Athletics. While the offense has been underwhelming overall, it's nice to see some secondary contributors stepping up, especially with Correa and Buxton hobbled. Larnach has been making a very strong impression, and getting plenty of tread. He started five of seven games last week before the groin injury surfaced, going 6-for-15 with a pair of doubles and five runs scored. Jorge Polanco notched nine hits in 25 at-bats, including the decisive solo shot in Saturday's win. José Miranda launched his first career home run and made it count in a 2-1 Friday win. Gilberto Celestino tallied six hits in 15 at-bats to push his average to .324. LOWLIGHTS It was a tough week for Bundy. His positive COVID diagnosis came on the heels of a nightmare outing against his former team in Baltimore. Over 3 ⅔ innings, he was touched up for a career-high nine earned runs, with the Orioles piling up 11 hits, two walks and two home runs in a ballpark that had been suppressing offense to the extreme. Bundy had given up six earned runs over six innings in his previous start, so he's seen his ERA balloon from 0.59 to 5.76 in a span of two outings. No one expected the extraordinarily strong start to sustain, but this is a jarring regression to the mean by any standard. It's the kind of all-out implosion that can put an inexpensive back-of-rotation flier like Bundy on the ropes very quickly in a suddenly crowded rotation. TRENDING STORYLINE Rotation adjustments lie ahead of the Twins. Even with Paddack going down, their starting mix is full between Gray, Ryan, Winder, Bundy, and Chris Archer. Bailey Ober is expected back in relatively short order. An overabundance of starting pitching depth is certainly not a "problem" anyone expected the Twins to deal with, and it's almost funny we're discussing it. Nevertheless, here we are. Even if they're cool to continue rolling with six, what happens when Ober is ready to come back? How many more bad outings can Bundy afford? Is it possible a move to the bullpen might breathe some life into his upper-80s fastball? LOOKING AHEAD Things get a bit more challenging this week with the Astros and Guardians coming to town. The Twins will need to play better ball than they did against Oakland if they want to win these series. How much will Buxton and Correa play? We shall see. TUESDAY, 5/10: ASTROS @ TWINS – RHP Justin Verlander v. RHP Joe Ryan WEDNESDAY, 5/11: ASTROS @ TWINS – RHP Jose Urquidy v. RHP Chris Archer THURSDAY, 5/12: ASTROS @ TWINS – RHP Luis Garcia v. RHP Josh Winder FRIDAY, 5/13: GUARDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Shane Bieber v. RHP Sonny Gray SATURDAY, 5/14: GUARDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Triston McKenzie v. TBD SUNDAY, 5/15: GUARDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Zach Plesac v. RHP Joe Ryan View full article
  2. Last Week's Game Results: Game 23 | MIN 2, BAL 1: Paddack, Bullpen Power Twins in Win Game 24 | MIN 7, BAL 2: Twins Stay Hot Behind Ryan, Bats Game 25 | BAL 9, MIN 4: Bad Start, Bad Defense, Bad Luck Game 26 | BAL 5, MIN 3: Solo Shots Shatter Twins Game 27 | MIN 2, OAK 1: Game of Firsts Ends in Victory Game 28 | MIN 1, OAK 0: Polanco and Pitching Power Another Win Game 29 | MIN 4, OAK 3: Bullpen Completes Sweep of Oakland Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 5/2 through Sun, 5/8 *** Record Last Week: 5-2 (Overall: 18-11) Run Differential Last Week: +2 (Overall: +25) Standing: 1st Place in AL Central (3.0 GA) NEWS & NOTES Things looked grim after Carlos Correa took a pitch off the hand on Thursday night in Baltimore, with post-game X-rays suggesting the potential of a non-displaced fracture. Twins fans couldn't be blamed for their incredulity ... another HBP knocking out a superstar player for an extended period?? But unlike last year, when Byron Buxton's broken hand was just another big ol' drop in the endless bucket of bad luck, the Twins again got some unexpected positive news upon further testing, with a Friday CT scan showing only a bruise. Correa avoided the injured list, just like Buxton did last month after his scary slide into second at Fenway. Even with Correa staying active, the Twins still called up top prospect Royce Lewis to fill in at shortstop over the weekend, adding an extra level of energy to their home series against Oakland. Lewis has gotten his MLB career off to a solid start, with three hits in his first 10 at-bats. Buxton himself appears to have dodged another scary setback. He left Saturday's game due to tightness in his right hip – the same spot where a significant strain cost him six weeks last year – but the the new issue was described as "very low level" and he too avoided an IL trip. The good breaks in the wake of bad news didn't stop there. COVID reared its ugly head in the Twins clubhouse once again, with manager Rocco Baldelli as well as Luis Arraez and Dylan Bundy all testing positive on Thursday. But by the end of the weekend, no one else on the team had registered a positive test, which qualifies as a big relief given the level of contagion we've seen with this virus. It wasn't all happy outcomes, however. Trevor Larnach suffered a groin strain that forced him to IL, which is especially unfortunate because he was really cooking (as we'll cover shortly). The team is confident that his absence will be a short one – hopefully only around the 10-day minimum – but still the Twins will be without one of their most effective hitters of late. Alex Kirilloff has activated after a rehab stint in St. Paul, but the jury is very much out on his ability to make an impact with his balky wrist. And, ss it turns out, Miguel Sanó's balky left knee was serious enough to require a surgical remedy. He underwent a procedure to repair torn meniscus, and figures to be out for a couple of months, though no firm timetable has been established. With top prospect José Miranda called up to replace him and likely to see a bulk of time at first base, it's possible that Sanó will return to find his job taken. He may be reaching the end of the road in Minnesota. Meanwhile, Chris Paddack left Sunday's start with inflammation in his right elbow, which was a big issue last year when he battled a partially torn UCL that required a PRP injection. Very unsettling, but we'll see what comes out from further exams on Sunday. I guess we've learned better than to jump to negative conclusions. HIGHLIGHTS This pitching staff is incredible. What else can you say? Even within the context of a drastic decline in offense across the league, Twins pitchers are simply crushing it. The past week featured four games in which opponents were held to two runs or fewer, including a pair of 2-1 squeakers and a 1-0 victory. A certain amount of good luck is inherently at play when you're scratching out wins like these. But the staff is legitimately winning games, and it's valuable to bank them while the bats continue to lag amidst a league-wide hitting scourge. Great performances are coming from all corners of the rotation and bullpen. Sonny Gray returned from the injured list on Saturday with an electric performance against Oakland, striking out seven over four scoreless innings. The previous day saw Josh Winder obliterate the A's in his second MLB start: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. The combination of he and Joe Ryan, who looked good once again in Tuesday's win over Baltimore and now sports a 1.63 ERA, is almost too much to handle. This franchise has been starved for impact rookie pitchers. Now we've got ALL the impact rookie pitchers. Of course, this conversation wouldn't be complete without a mention of Jhoan Duran, who's been just as uplifting to the bullpen as Ryan and Winder in the rotation. Duran was on his way to an appearance in the Lowlights column this week after allowing two homers and taking the loss on Thursday. Then he went out on Saturday and cemented a 1-0 win with two absurdly dominant innings. He allowed no hits. He struck out five. He got nine whiffs on 32 pitches. I'm not sure prime Aroldis Chapman comparisons are out of bounds at this point. Duran is lighting up the radar gun and flat-out blowing people away. His only weakness so far has been an odd proneness to the long ball – with four of the 10 hits he's allowed in 14 ⅔ leaving the yard – but that seems very flukish to me. The bullpen, in general, has been simply phenomenal. Over the past week Twins relievers allowed just three earned runs in 33 innings, good for a 0.87 ERA with a 38-to-6 K/BB ratio in 31 innings. The shockingly effective relief unit was absolutely pivotal in a weekend sweep of the Athletics. While the offense has been underwhelming overall, it's nice to see some secondary contributors stepping up, especially with Correa and Buxton hobbled. Larnach has been making a very strong impression, and getting plenty of tread. He started five of seven games last week before the groin injury surfaced, going 6-for-15 with a pair of doubles and five runs scored. Jorge Polanco notched nine hits in 25 at-bats, including the decisive solo shot in Saturday's win. José Miranda launched his first career home run and made it count in a 2-1 Friday win. Gilberto Celestino tallied six hits in 15 at-bats to push his average to .324. LOWLIGHTS It was a tough week for Bundy. His positive COVID diagnosis came on the heels of a nightmare outing against his former team in Baltimore. Over 3 ⅔ innings, he was touched up for a career-high nine earned runs, with the Orioles piling up 11 hits, two walks and two home runs in a ballpark that had been suppressing offense to the extreme. Bundy had given up six earned runs over six innings in his previous start, so he's seen his ERA balloon from 0.59 to 5.76 in a span of two outings. No one expected the extraordinarily strong start to sustain, but this is a jarring regression to the mean by any standard. It's the kind of all-out implosion that can put an inexpensive back-of-rotation flier like Bundy on the ropes very quickly in a suddenly crowded rotation. TRENDING STORYLINE Rotation adjustments lie ahead of the Twins. Even with Paddack going down, their starting mix is full between Gray, Ryan, Winder, Bundy, and Chris Archer. Bailey Ober is expected back in relatively short order. An overabundance of starting pitching depth is certainly not a "problem" anyone expected the Twins to deal with, and it's almost funny we're discussing it. Nevertheless, here we are. Even if they're cool to continue rolling with six, what happens when Ober is ready to come back? How many more bad outings can Bundy afford? Is it possible a move to the bullpen might breathe some life into his upper-80s fastball? LOOKING AHEAD Things get a bit more challenging this week with the Astros and Guardians coming to town. The Twins will need to play better ball than they did against Oakland if they want to win these series. How much will Buxton and Correa play? We shall see. TUESDAY, 5/10: ASTROS @ TWINS – RHP Justin Verlander v. RHP Joe Ryan WEDNESDAY, 5/11: ASTROS @ TWINS – RHP Jose Urquidy v. RHP Chris Archer THURSDAY, 5/12: ASTROS @ TWINS – RHP Luis Garcia v. RHP Josh Winder FRIDAY, 5/13: GUARDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Shane Bieber v. RHP Sonny Gray SATURDAY, 5/14: GUARDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Triston McKenzie v. TBD SUNDAY, 5/15: GUARDIANS @ TWINS – RHP Zach Plesac v. RHP Joe Ryan
  3. The winning streak is over. Tampa Bay ambushed Dylan Bundy right out of the gate, building a six-run lead in the first three innings, on their way to blowing out the Twins in the series opener. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (94 pitches, 57 strikes, 60.6%) Home Runs: none Bottom 3 WPA: Dylan Bundy (-.362), Jorge Polanco (-.042), Luis Arráez (-.032) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Tampa roughs up Bundy early, building a six-run lead Before tonight’s game, Dylan Bundy had given up only one earned run in over fifteen innings of work this season. But he had a 6.19 career ERA against Tampa Bay, and, apparently, that track record came back to haunt him in this game. The Rays severely roughed him up before he could record his first out of the evening, building a four-run lead only eight pitches into Bundy’s start. A pair of doubles to open the game, and the home team took a quick one-run lead. That was followed by a Yandy Díaz line drive to right that put men in the corners before Josh Lowe hammered a three-run shot to deep center. Bundy’s struggles continued as he walked the next batter, Randy Arozarena, who almost scored in the next at-bat, but he was caught at home plate by a beautiful Trevor Larnach assist from left. On the other side, Corey Kluber had no trouble early against the Twins lineup. Despite some hard contact from Twins bats early, it took him only 20 pitches to retire the first six Minnesota batters in order. His offense provided him with some more run support in the second, as Bundy, still struggling with his command, gave up a leadoff walk to Taylor Walls, and he was pushed across a couple of at-bats later, making it 5-0 Tampa in the second. Bundy settles down, but the offense can’t rally After Kluber finished his first time through the other with yet a third perfect inning, Bundy started to find some groove. For the first time in the evening, he quickly retired the first two batters of the inning in the third. But Mike Zunino jumped on the first pitch he saw next for another Tampa Bay home run. He came back for the fourth and tossed his first 1-2-3 inning of the night. Bundy's adjustments after the third inning would be pointless unless the offense could back him up. In the fourth, the bats came to life briefly and put the Twins on the board. Kluber hit Byron Buxton to lead off the inning, and a couple of at-bats later, Carlos Correa got Minnesota’s first hit of the night, scoring Buxton from second. After that, Jorge Polanco grounded into a double play, and the Twins had to settle for the one run. Though the offense couldn’t come through and rally, Bundy made sure to eat up some more innings. He threw a couple more 1-2-3 innings, in the fifth and the sixth, before departing the game. Curiously enough, his final line saw him walking only two batters while striking out seven. A couple of positive takeaways Only a miracle could save the Twins offensively, but that didn't come close to happening. The silver lining tonight was Danny Coulombe's solid-as-a-rock outing out of the bullpen. He pitched a couple of scoreless frames, inducing six swinging strikes. He also avoided hard contact really well, limiting Rays batters to an average of only 85.1 mph exit velocity. Despite the horrific night at the plate for Minnesota, another silver lining from tonight might have been another good game from Correa. Minnesota was limited to only three hits in the night, and two of them belonged to him. His overall season numbers still don't look good, but he is now 5-for-9 in the past two games, with a double and four runs batted in. What’s Next? Game 2 of the series is tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 3:10 pm CDT. Former Ray Chris Archer (3.18 ERA) takes the mound for Minnesota, facing lefty Shane McClanahan (2.45 ERA). Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Jax 0 10 0 46 0 56 Coulombe 0 0 20 0 35 55 Duffey 0 19 0 8 0 27 Thielbar 0 27 0 0 0 27 Pagán 0 23 0 0 0 23 Stashak 0 0 0 18 0 18 Smith 0 0 10 0 0 10 Duran 0 0 0 0 0 0 Winder 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  4. Minnesota Twins prospect Matt Canterino delivered three no-hit innings for the third-consecutive outing. Can we award him a no-hitter even if the nine hitless innings stretch over three games? Let's just roll with it. Also featured in tonight's video are Dylan Bundy, Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, Sean Mooney and more.
  5. Minnesota Twins prospect Matt Canterino delivered three no-hit innings for the third-consecutive outing. Can we award him a no-hitter even if the nine hitless innings stretch over three games? Let's just roll with it. Also featured in tonight's video are Dylan Bundy, Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, Sean Mooney and more. View full video
  6. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (94 pitches, 57 strikes, 60.6%) Home Runs: none Bottom 3 WPA: Dylan Bundy (-.362), Jorge Polanco (-.042), Luis Arráez (-.032) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Tampa roughs up Bundy early, building a six-run lead Before tonight’s game, Dylan Bundy had given up only one earned run in over fifteen innings of work this season. But he had a 6.19 career ERA against Tampa Bay, and, apparently, that track record came back to haunt him in this game. The Rays severely roughed him up before he could record his first out of the evening, building a four-run lead only eight pitches into Bundy’s start. A pair of doubles to open the game, and the home team took a quick one-run lead. That was followed by a Yandy Díaz line drive to right that put men in the corners before Josh Lowe hammered a three-run shot to deep center. Bundy’s struggles continued as he walked the next batter, Randy Arozarena, who almost scored in the next at-bat, but he was caught at home plate by a beautiful Trevor Larnach assist from left. On the other side, Corey Kluber had no trouble early against the Twins lineup. Despite some hard contact from Twins bats early, it took him only 20 pitches to retire the first six Minnesota batters in order. His offense provided him with some more run support in the second, as Bundy, still struggling with his command, gave up a leadoff walk to Taylor Walls, and he was pushed across a couple of at-bats later, making it 5-0 Tampa in the second. Bundy settles down, but the offense can’t rally After Kluber finished his first time through the other with yet a third perfect inning, Bundy started to find some groove. For the first time in the evening, he quickly retired the first two batters of the inning in the third. But Mike Zunino jumped on the first pitch he saw next for another Tampa Bay home run. He came back for the fourth and tossed his first 1-2-3 inning of the night. Bundy's adjustments after the third inning would be pointless unless the offense could back him up. In the fourth, the bats came to life briefly and put the Twins on the board. Kluber hit Byron Buxton to lead off the inning, and a couple of at-bats later, Carlos Correa got Minnesota’s first hit of the night, scoring Buxton from second. After that, Jorge Polanco grounded into a double play, and the Twins had to settle for the one run. Though the offense couldn’t come through and rally, Bundy made sure to eat up some more innings. He threw a couple more 1-2-3 innings, in the fifth and the sixth, before departing the game. Curiously enough, his final line saw him walking only two batters while striking out seven. A couple of positive takeaways Only a miracle could save the Twins offensively, but that didn't come close to happening. The silver lining tonight was Danny Coulombe's solid-as-a-rock outing out of the bullpen. He pitched a couple of scoreless frames, inducing six swinging strikes. He also avoided hard contact really well, limiting Rays batters to an average of only 85.1 mph exit velocity. Despite the horrific night at the plate for Minnesota, another silver lining from tonight might have been another good game from Correa. Minnesota was limited to only three hits in the night, and two of them belonged to him. His overall season numbers still don't look good, but he is now 5-for-9 in the past two games, with a double and four runs batted in. What’s Next? Game 2 of the series is tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 3:10 pm CDT. Former Ray Chris Archer (3.18 ERA) takes the mound for Minnesota, facing lefty Shane McClanahan (2.45 ERA). Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Jax 0 10 0 46 0 56 Coulombe 0 0 20 0 35 55 Duffey 0 19 0 8 0 27 Thielbar 0 27 0 0 0 27 Pagán 0 23 0 0 0 23 Stashak 0 0 0 18 0 18 Smith 0 0 10 0 0 10 Duran 0 0 0 0 0 0 Winder 0 0 0 0 0 0
  7. The winning streak now stands at seven games as the Twins topped the Tigers to complete the sweeps of two AL Central competitors at Target Field over the past week. See how Carlos Correa came up big, and Gilberto Celestino played a big part in another win. Box Score SP Bailey Ober: 3.2 IP,6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (73 pitches, 49 strikes (67.1%) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Trevor Larnach (.150), Gilberto Celestino (.141), Cody Stashak (.096) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Pregame Notes/Lineup Decisions (with Results) #1: Facing left-hander Tarik Skubal, Rocco Baldelli started Luis Arraez, Trevor Larnach and Max Kepler. How it went? Against Skubal, Arraez and Kepler each went 0-for-3. Larnach, however, went 2-for-2. #2: After DHing on Tuesday and playing center field on Wednesday, Byron Buxton was not in the starting lineup on Thursday afternoon. Gilberto Celestino, who is certainly a candidate to be sent back to St. Paul when rosters are reduced after Sunday’s games, is making his second start in center field in the past three games. How it went? Celestino reached base in each of his first three plate appearances. He had an RBI infield single in his first at-bat. He laid down a nice bunt in his second plate appearance and reached on a throwing error. In his third at-bat, he hit a 100 mph line drive down the right-field line for a double. With Celestino, the defense is always solid. In addition, he ranged to the gap to make a very nice sliding catch in the 8th inning. #3: There were hopes that Gary Sanchez could start behind the plate on Thursday. He was not quite ready so Ryan Jeffers started his third straight game behind the plate, including the day game after the night game. How it went? Well, Jeffers was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, but he did a nice job behind the plate. Miguel Sano has a minor knee strain. That is why he is not starting against the left-hander and Arraez is back at first base. Ober Labors, Leaves with Injury Bailey Ober clearly didn’t have his best stuff on Thursday afternoon. It’s not that he was bad. He wasn’t. He threw strikes at a good rate (67%). He missed 12 bats. But he really had to work to strand base runners. He gave up six hits and two walks and somehow worked his way out of those situations and gave up just one run. Unfortunately, Ober left the game early. With two outs in the top of the fourth inning, right after a balk, he gave up a single that gave the Tigers their first (and only) run. After the pitch, Ober hobbled off the mound, grabbed his upper right leg, and bent at the waist. Clearly, he was not going to proceed. Cody Stashak came in and stranded another Tigers runner. Tyler Duffey worked a scoreless inning. Griffin Jax ended the game with three strong innings to record the save. The team, a couple of innings later, confirmed that it was right groin tightness for Ober. Correa’s Biggest Hit… So far. Yeah, I know that his home run was crushed and immensely impressive, but Carlos Correa came through with the biggest hit of his short Twins career. Leading 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Correa came up with the bases loaded. In his two previous at-bats, he had exit velocities of 95 and 106 mph. On a 3-2 count, Correa hit a ball 108 mph toward the gap in left-center field, over Willi Castro’s head. With the Tigers’ fourth error of the game tacked on, the bases were emptied and the Twins led 5-1. Gio Urshela followed with a single to left field for a 6-1 Twins lead. To this point, Correa is hitting the ball really hard, as you can see from the top row in the chart below. However, it appears that he is hitting a lot of ground balls. He also came into Thursday’s game having struck out 32.8% of the time. For his career, Correa has struck out just under 21% of his plate appearances. In 2021, he struck out just over 18% of the time. In other words, he's going to be just fine. Three hits and four balls hit over 100 mph on this day should help him relax and start putting up the numbers that he has over his career. In addition, despite his offensive woes early in the season, Correa's defense has been consistently terrific. What’s Next? The Twins will travel to Tampa to take on the Rays this weekend. Pitching matchups for the series include: Friday 6:10: Dylan Bundy (3-0, 0.59 ERA) vs RHP Corey Kluber (0-1, 3.68 ERA) Saturday 3:10: Chris Archer (0-0, 3.18 ERA) vs LHP Shane McClanahan (1-1, 2.45 ERA) Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 3.68 ERA) vs TBD Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage SUN MON TUE WED THUR TOT Winder 61 0 0 0 0 61 Jax 0 0 10 0 46 56 Thielbar 0 0 27 0 0 27 Duffey 0 0 19 0 8 27 Pagán 0 0 23 0 0 23 Smith 13 0 0 10 0 23 Coulombe 0 0 0 20 0 20 Duran 18 0 0 0 0 18 Stashak 0 0 0 0 18 18 View full article
  8. Roster sizes for all MLB teams will be shrinking by two spots come May 2nd. Teams will be limited to 26 players until September. While the Twins have taken advantage of these spots for more pitchers in April, there are hitters on the Twins bench that may be impacted by roster decisions next Monday. The Twins lineup is stacked on paper. Their performance is off to a cold start in April. Even with the slow start from hitters such as Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco, their performances will not cost them a roster spot. The Twins hitters most likely to be sent down are the outfielders on the active roster not named Byron Buxton or Max Kepler. With Alex Kirilloff also entering a rehab assignment with the Saints this week, his return to the Twins roster will also cause the clearance of a roster spot. If one outfielder on the Twins' current roster would benefit from being a 'victim' of the roster downsizing next week, it's Gilberto Celestino. The 23-year-old has been used primarily as a pinch runner and defensive replacement in his ten games with the Twins this season. He has made just three starts, including last night's game against the Tigers. Celestino has only managed one hit in 12 at-bats and one walk. During his time with the Twins last season, Celestino has been on the Twins roster for his running and defensive skills but has struggled to adjust to hitting against major-league arms. Celestino certainly has the talent to be an everyday outfielder or even fourth outfielder for the Twins someday. He is showing he still needs regular playing time at St. Paul to adjust to Major League pitching, and Celestino would be the Twins hitter who would benefit the most from these upcoming roster cuts. In addition to Celestino, Trevor Larnach could benefit from the roster downsizing, especially if Kirilloff returns to the Twins by May 2nd. Larnach has shown signs of improvement at the plate in the 12 games he has played for the Twins this year. Larnach and Kirilloff are still far from playing their 100th career game, and the Twins front office seems to lean toward Kirilloff being the everyday left fielder for the time being. Kyle Garlick is the last outfielder on the Twins roster that could be sent back down to St. Paul following next Monday. The Twins' 30-year-old backup outfielder has only managed two hits in 15 at-bats this season but has been a pinch hitter in crucial spots against left-handed pitching. Garlick certainly looks to be the safest in keeping a roster spot with the Twins when the rosters shrink, but if he continues a cold streak at the plate, will that cost him a trip back down to St. Paul? Jose Godoy is the last hitter on this list, likely sent down when the roster size goes down from 28 to 26. Godoy does not have many of the same questions as Celestino, Larnach, or Garlick. Yes, he would benefit from more consistent playing time with the Saints. However, the main question that hangs over Godoy staying with the Twins after May 2nd is if the front office wants to have three catchers on the roster and not two. With Gary Sanchez day-to-day and emergency catcher Jhon Romero on the ten-day injured list, Godoy's spot on the Twins roster looks to remain for the time being. Before the Twins called him up for his season debut on Sunday, Godoy had caught four games for the Saints, hitting .133 with the team. The Twins are currently carrying 14 pitchers and will likely keep it that way until they need to bring the number of pitchers on their roster down to 13. That date changed on Monday when it was announced that teams will be able to keep 14 pitchers on their 26-man roster until May 29th when they can only have 13 pitchers on the 26-man roster. Celestino is the hitter that makes the most sense to be sent back down out of these four. Celestino has talent that still needs to see consistent playing time, and with how the Twins' everyday lineup currently pans out, he won't be seeing that playing time. Check back later when we look at which pitchers might be candidates to head to St. Paul. Let us know which hitters you would send down and why in the COMMENTS below. View full article
  9. Box Score SP Bailey Ober: 3.2 IP,6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (73 pitches, 49 strikes (67.1%) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Trevor Larnach (.150), Gilberto Celestino (.141), Cody Stashak (.096) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Pregame Notes/Lineup Decisions (with Results) #1: Facing left-hander Tarik Skubal, Rocco Baldelli started Luis Arraez, Trevor Larnach and Max Kepler. How it went? Against Skubal, Arraez and Kepler each went 0-for-3. Larnach, however, went 2-for-2. #2: After DHing on Tuesday and playing center field on Wednesday, Byron Buxton was not in the starting lineup on Thursday afternoon. Gilberto Celestino, who is certainly a candidate to be sent back to St. Paul when rosters are reduced after Sunday’s games, is making his second start in center field in the past three games. How it went? Celestino reached base in each of his first three plate appearances. He had an RBI infield single in his first at-bat. He laid down a nice bunt in his second plate appearance and reached on a throwing error. In his third at-bat, he hit a 100 mph line drive down the right-field line for a double. With Celestino, the defense is always solid. In addition, he ranged to the gap to make a very nice sliding catch in the 8th inning. #3: There were hopes that Gary Sanchez could start behind the plate on Thursday. He was not quite ready so Ryan Jeffers started his third straight game behind the plate, including the day game after the night game. How it went? Well, Jeffers was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, but he did a nice job behind the plate. Miguel Sano has a minor knee strain. That is why he is not starting against the left-hander and Arraez is back at first base. Ober Labors, Leaves with Injury Bailey Ober clearly didn’t have his best stuff on Thursday afternoon. It’s not that he was bad. He wasn’t. He threw strikes at a good rate (67%). He missed 12 bats. But he really had to work to strand base runners. He gave up six hits and two walks and somehow worked his way out of those situations and gave up just one run. Unfortunately, Ober left the game early. With two outs in the top of the fourth inning, right after a balk, he gave up a single that gave the Tigers their first (and only) run. After the pitch, Ober hobbled off the mound, grabbed his upper right leg, and bent at the waist. Clearly, he was not going to proceed. Cody Stashak came in and stranded another Tigers runner. Tyler Duffey worked a scoreless inning. Griffin Jax ended the game with three strong innings to record the save. The team, a couple of innings later, confirmed that it was right groin tightness for Ober. Correa’s Biggest Hit… So far. Yeah, I know that his home run was crushed and immensely impressive, but Carlos Correa came through with the biggest hit of his short Twins career. Leading 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Correa came up with the bases loaded. In his two previous at-bats, he had exit velocities of 95 and 106 mph. On a 3-2 count, Correa hit a ball 108 mph toward the gap in left-center field, over Willi Castro’s head. With the Tigers’ fourth error of the game tacked on, the bases were emptied and the Twins led 5-1. Gio Urshela followed with a single to left field for a 6-1 Twins lead. To this point, Correa is hitting the ball really hard, as you can see from the top row in the chart below. However, it appears that he is hitting a lot of ground balls. He also came into Thursday’s game having struck out 32.8% of the time. For his career, Correa has struck out just under 21% of his plate appearances. In 2021, he struck out just over 18% of the time. In other words, he's going to be just fine. Three hits and four balls hit over 100 mph on this day should help him relax and start putting up the numbers that he has over his career. In addition, despite his offensive woes early in the season, Correa's defense has been consistently terrific. What’s Next? The Twins will travel to Tampa to take on the Rays this weekend. Pitching matchups for the series include: Friday 6:10: Dylan Bundy (3-0, 0.59 ERA) vs RHP Corey Kluber (0-1, 3.68 ERA) Saturday 3:10: Chris Archer (0-0, 3.18 ERA) vs LHP Shane McClanahan (1-1, 2.45 ERA) Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 3.68 ERA) vs TBD Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage SUN MON TUE WED THUR TOT Winder 61 0 0 0 0 61 Jax 0 0 10 0 46 56 Thielbar 0 0 27 0 0 27 Duffey 0 0 19 0 8 27 Pagán 0 0 23 0 0 23 Smith 13 0 0 10 0 23 Coulombe 0 0 0 20 0 20 Duran 18 0 0 0 0 18 Stashak 0 0 0 0 18 18
  10. Behind another fantastic start from rookie Joe Ryan, the Twins extended their winning streak to six, their longest since August 2020. They take the series win and get the chance to sweep another division rival. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K (90 pitches, 58 strikes, 64.4%) Home Runs: Max Kepler, 2 (4), Ryan Jeffers (2) Top 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (.322), Max Kepler (.223), Ryan Jeffers (.078) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Joe Ryan – and his cool turtleneck – picked up where he left off after his previous two outstanding starts. He pitched superbly right from the get-go, tossing four scoreless frames on 54 pitches. The first hit allowed by him came only in the fourth, but by that point, he had already induced nine swinging strikes. Also, in the fourth, he matched his season-high in strikeouts with seven. He did get some help from some excellent fielding, including a great stop from Carlos Correa, but his most important help came from the batter’s box. Max Kepler kept the hottest streak he’s had in a while going. Facing former teammate Michael Pineda, Max provided Ryan with some run support by hitting two early, solo home runs in his first two plate appearances. He now has four homers in the season, something that in 2021 didn’t happen until May 16. His increased productivity could be one of Minnesota’s most significant uplifts for this season, should it carry on. Ryan pitched a couple more 1-2-3 innings to reach six scoreless frames on only 76 pitches. That allowed him to become the first Twins starter this year to make it into the seventh. He did so and tossed yet another 1-2-3 innings, completing the brilliant seven-inning shutout. After giving up that Cabrera single in the fourth, he retired ten consecutive batters, almost effortlessly dominating the Tiger lineup. According to MLB.com's Do-Hyoung Park, Joe Ryan now has 57 strikeouts through his first nine starts, a new club record. Bert Blyleven held that record until tonight, with 50 punchouts. The offense came through with some more breathing room to make Ryan's evening even better with a four-hit fifth. Trevor Larnach opened the inning with a leadoff double and was followed by a rocket (110.9 mph exit velocity) from Ryan Jeffers, a two-run home run. In that same inning, two more batters reached against Pineda, but they were stranded. The offense continued to hit the ball hard, producing another run for the Twins in the bottom of the seventh. Larnach hit yet another leadoff double, and he was pushed across in the very next at-bat by a Jeffers double. Both of those hits surpassed 107 mph exit velocity and gave Minnesota a 5-0 lead. Joe Smith and Danny Coulombe had no trouble whatsoever shredding the uninspired Detroit offense, tossing a couple of clean innings on 30 pitches, making it a memorable, all-around performance by the Twins. What's next? Before heading to the east coast for a seven-game road trip, the Twins close out the series tomorrow with Bailey Ober (2.81 ERA) dueling against lefty Tarik Skubal (2.30 ERA). The first pitch is scheduled for 12:10 pm CDT. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Winder 0 61 0 0 0 61 Thielbar 22 0 0 27 0 49 Coulombe 28 0 0 0 20 48 Pagán 0 0 0 23 0 23 Smith 0 13 0 0 10 23 Stashak 22 0 0 0 0 22 Duffey 0 0 0 19 0 19 Duran 0 18 0 0 0 18 Jax 0 0 0 10 0 10 View full article
  11. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K (90 pitches, 58 strikes, 64.4%) Home Runs: Max Kepler, 2 (4), Ryan Jeffers (2) Top 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (.322), Max Kepler (.223), Ryan Jeffers (.078) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Joe Ryan – and his cool turtleneck – picked up where he left off after his previous two outstanding starts. He pitched superbly right from the get-go, tossing four scoreless frames on 54 pitches. The first hit allowed by him came only in the fourth, but by that point, he had already induced nine swinging strikes. Also, in the fourth, he matched his season-high in strikeouts with seven. He did get some help from some excellent fielding, including a great stop from Carlos Correa, but his most important help came from the batter’s box. Max Kepler kept the hottest streak he’s had in a while going. Facing former teammate Michael Pineda, Max provided Ryan with some run support by hitting two early, solo home runs in his first two plate appearances. He now has four homers in the season, something that in 2021 didn’t happen until May 16. His increased productivity could be one of Minnesota’s most significant uplifts for this season, should it carry on. Ryan pitched a couple more 1-2-3 innings to reach six scoreless frames on only 76 pitches. That allowed him to become the first Twins starter this year to make it into the seventh. He did so and tossed yet another 1-2-3 innings, completing the brilliant seven-inning shutout. After giving up that Cabrera single in the fourth, he retired ten consecutive batters, almost effortlessly dominating the Tiger lineup. According to MLB.com's Do-Hyoung Park, Joe Ryan now has 57 strikeouts through his first nine starts, a new club record. Bert Blyleven held that record until tonight, with 50 punchouts. The offense came through with some more breathing room to make Ryan's evening even better with a four-hit fifth. Trevor Larnach opened the inning with a leadoff double and was followed by a rocket (110.9 mph exit velocity) from Ryan Jeffers, a two-run home run. In that same inning, two more batters reached against Pineda, but they were stranded. The offense continued to hit the ball hard, producing another run for the Twins in the bottom of the seventh. Larnach hit yet another leadoff double, and he was pushed across in the very next at-bat by a Jeffers double. Both of those hits surpassed 107 mph exit velocity and gave Minnesota a 5-0 lead. Joe Smith and Danny Coulombe had no trouble whatsoever shredding the uninspired Detroit offense, tossing a couple of clean innings on 30 pitches, making it a memorable, all-around performance by the Twins. What's next? Before heading to the east coast for a seven-game road trip, the Twins close out the series tomorrow with Bailey Ober (2.81 ERA) dueling against lefty Tarik Skubal (2.30 ERA). The first pitch is scheduled for 12:10 pm CDT. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Winder 0 61 0 0 0 61 Thielbar 22 0 0 27 0 49 Coulombe 28 0 0 0 20 48 Pagán 0 0 0 23 0 23 Smith 0 13 0 0 10 23 Stashak 22 0 0 0 0 22 Duffey 0 0 0 19 0 19 Duran 0 18 0 0 0 18 Jax 0 0 0 10 0 10
  12. The melancholy Minnesota sports fans reeling from Timberwolves and Wild losses earlier in the evening who decided to flip their TVs over to catch the ending of the Twins game were treated to one of the most exciting albeit baffling endings of a game seen in a long time. Hey, a win is a win, right? Here are 3 of my Takeaways from yesterday's wild ending. 1. Twins are in control of the division and this is the time to pull away With two walk-off wins in a row, the bats heating up for players like Max Kepler and (hopefully) Miguel Sanó, Byron Buxton back in the lineup and performing as clutch as ever, and a Twins starting rotation that has an AL-best ERA of 2.60, the Twins appear to be firmly in control of the division and stand to continue to gain ground, especially considering what a mess top rival Chicago White Sox are in. The White Sox are on an 8-game losing streak, including the last 7 losses against 3 division opponents, are plagued by a host of injuries to impact players like Liam Hendriks, Luis Robert, and Eloy Jimenez, and have continued to commit a circus of errors in the field. The Sox lead all the MLB in errors with 20. The Twins, by comparison, have 8. If the Twins can sweep the Detroit Tigers, march into the AL East and play competitively vs the middle-of-the-division Tampa Bay Rays and the bottom-of-the-division Baltimore Orioles, they should hopefully continue to gain some ground. The Twins will go head-to-head with the current second place Cleveland Guardians on May 13-15 when the Twins host them for a 3-game series. I have no doubt that the White Sox will end up being fine in the end and will start wracking up some wins once they get some key players back and can calm things down in the field, but until then, it is important that the Twins put as much ground between the teams as possible. The takeaway here is that the Twins are on a 5-game winning streak, the momentum is with them, and the team is having fun again. That's worth a lot. 2. Miguel Sanó is starting to arrive Despite Sanó having what some seasoned Twins fans will regard as his perennial start-of-season slump, it appears that he might be starting to break out of it. This season, it has been apparent that the Twins have decided to stick with him and “play him into the ground,” so to speak, in hopes that he will work through his slow start at the plate. So far this season, Sanó has played in 16/17 games and has not been pinch hit for, even in situations like Sunday April 24's series finale vs the White Sox in which some fans were screaming for Carlos Correa to pinch-hit for him in a bottom of the 10th inning, down by 1, do-or-die situation. For those who have been in the "just stick with him" camp rather than the "send him down to St. Paul to figure things out" boat, it is gratifying to see him being to experience some degree of success at the plate, even though it has mostly continued to be in the form of singles here and there. His at-bats are becoming better quality, his strikeouts are becoming more infrequent (though, as a hitter he is always a high strikeout hitter, even in good times), and his statistics and specifically plate discipline (chase rate and walk percentage) mirror the profile of a consistent hitter who so far has just had some bad luck. Twins Daily's own Nick Nelson had a great tweet illustrating this fact. As we know, Sanó did not get his first hit until the 7th game of the season at Boston, and his batting average is up to a modest .096, but he has quite the hole to climb out of, and it will take some time before his batting average reflects improvement. Baby steps. But just by watching him (everyone's favorite highly scientific "eye test") he is clearly not as lost at the plate or as frustrated as he was to start the season. When he gets ahold of the ball, he is mashing it. Take a look at that exit velocity- the 9th highest exit velocity in the whole MLB. Of note, Sanó has been nothing but an asset at first base as well. Yes, Tuesday's 9th inning hit could have almost been an error, and his baserunning on the play could have been disastrous. No, the Sanó of a few weeks ago wouldn't have had that hit. The takeaway: Sanó was the hero of yesterday's game and big plays like this will hopefully inspire the confidence he needs to continue to return to form. Stick with him a little longer and he's going to be one of the best power hitters in MLB. 3. We probably need to work on our baserunning a bit It is no question that yesterday's 9th inning walk-off was quite fortunate and arguably even lucky for the Twins. When Sanó singled on a line drive to right field, Trevor Larnach held at third, Gio Urshela kept running when Sanó continued to second, and we all collectively screamed at our TVs. Tigers catcher Eric Haase threw the ball over third base into left field (airmailed it, we would have called that in softball) allowing two runners to score and the Twins received a happy reprieve. That play could have easily turned into a double play, and if Kepler had not struck out before Sanó/Haase did not overthrow it, that play feasibly could have feasibly been a triple play. Rewatching that play with the camera focused on Sanó, it appears his eyes are solely fixed on the ball and he isn't paying attention to what the other baserunners are doing. Somewhat relatedly, the Twins also have had three runners thrown out at home so far, including a memorable and unfortunate play vs the Mariners when Sanó was sent home and was ultimately thrown out by approximately a mile despite the base paths being only 90 feet. The Twins have been caught stealing three times this year, which appears to be about league average. Yesterday worked out in the team's favor, other times might not. As the Metrodome light-up board once said, "Walks Will Haunt," and bad baserunning undoubtably will too. Do you have any other takeaways from this memorable game? Leave a COMMENT below. View full article
  13. 1. Twins are in control of the division and this is the time to pull away With two walk-off wins in a row, the bats heating up for players like Max Kepler and (hopefully) Miguel Sanó, Byron Buxton back in the lineup and performing as clutch as ever, and a Twins starting rotation that has an AL-best ERA of 2.60, the Twins appear to be firmly in control of the division and stand to continue to gain ground, especially considering what a mess top rival Chicago White Sox are in. The White Sox are on an 8-game losing streak, including the last 7 losses against 3 division opponents, are plagued by a host of injuries to impact players like Liam Hendriks, Luis Robert, and Eloy Jimenez, and have continued to commit a circus of errors in the field. The Sox lead all the MLB in errors with 20. The Twins, by comparison, have 8. If the Twins can sweep the Detroit Tigers, march into the AL East and play competitively vs the middle-of-the-division Tampa Bay Rays and the bottom-of-the-division Baltimore Orioles, they should hopefully continue to gain some ground. The Twins will go head-to-head with the current second place Cleveland Guardians on May 13-15 when the Twins host them for a 3-game series. I have no doubt that the White Sox will end up being fine in the end and will start wracking up some wins once they get some key players back and can calm things down in the field, but until then, it is important that the Twins put as much ground between the teams as possible. The takeaway here is that the Twins are on a 5-game winning streak, the momentum is with them, and the team is having fun again. That's worth a lot. 2. Miguel Sanó is starting to arrive Despite Sanó having what some seasoned Twins fans will regard as his perennial start-of-season slump, it appears that he might be starting to break out of it. This season, it has been apparent that the Twins have decided to stick with him and “play him into the ground,” so to speak, in hopes that he will work through his slow start at the plate. So far this season, Sanó has played in 16/17 games and has not been pinch hit for, even in situations like Sunday April 24's series finale vs the White Sox in which some fans were screaming for Carlos Correa to pinch-hit for him in a bottom of the 10th inning, down by 1, do-or-die situation. For those who have been in the "just stick with him" camp rather than the "send him down to St. Paul to figure things out" boat, it is gratifying to see him being to experience some degree of success at the plate, even though it has mostly continued to be in the form of singles here and there. His at-bats are becoming better quality, his strikeouts are becoming more infrequent (though, as a hitter he is always a high strikeout hitter, even in good times), and his statistics and specifically plate discipline (chase rate and walk percentage) mirror the profile of a consistent hitter who so far has just had some bad luck. Twins Daily's own Nick Nelson had a great tweet illustrating this fact. As we know, Sanó did not get his first hit until the 7th game of the season at Boston, and his batting average is up to a modest .096, but he has quite the hole to climb out of, and it will take some time before his batting average reflects improvement. Baby steps. But just by watching him (everyone's favorite highly scientific "eye test") he is clearly not as lost at the plate or as frustrated as he was to start the season. When he gets ahold of the ball, he is mashing it. Take a look at that exit velocity- the 9th highest exit velocity in the whole MLB. Of note, Sanó has been nothing but an asset at first base as well. Yes, Tuesday's 9th inning hit could have almost been an error, and his baserunning on the play could have been disastrous. No, the Sanó of a few weeks ago wouldn't have had that hit. The takeaway: Sanó was the hero of yesterday's game and big plays like this will hopefully inspire the confidence he needs to continue to return to form. Stick with him a little longer and he's going to be one of the best power hitters in MLB. 3. We probably need to work on our baserunning a bit It is no question that yesterday's 9th inning walk-off was quite fortunate and arguably even lucky for the Twins. When Sanó singled on a line drive to right field, Trevor Larnach held at third, Gio Urshela kept running when Sanó continued to second, and we all collectively screamed at our TVs. Tigers catcher Eric Haase threw the ball over third base into left field (airmailed it, we would have called that in softball) allowing two runners to score and the Twins received a happy reprieve. That play could have easily turned into a double play, and if Kepler had not struck out before Sanó/Haase did not overthrow it, that play feasibly could have feasibly been a triple play. Rewatching that play with the camera focused on Sanó, it appears his eyes are solely fixed on the ball and he isn't paying attention to what the other baserunners are doing. Somewhat relatedly, the Twins also have had three runners thrown out at home so far, including a memorable and unfortunate play vs the Mariners when Sanó was sent home and was ultimately thrown out by approximately a mile despite the base paths being only 90 feet. The Twins have been caught stealing three times this year, which appears to be about league average. Yesterday worked out in the team's favor, other times might not. As the Metrodome light-up board once said, "Walks Will Haunt," and bad baserunning undoubtably will too. Do you have any other takeaways from this memorable game? Leave a COMMENT below.
  14. The Twins lineup is stacked on paper. Their performance is off to a cold start in April. Even with the slow start from hitters such as Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco, their performances will not cost them a roster spot. The Twins hitters most likely to be sent down are the outfielders on the active roster not named Byron Buxton or Max Kepler. With Alex Kirilloff also entering a rehab assignment with the Saints this week, his return to the Twins roster will also cause the clearance of a roster spot. If one outfielder on the Twins' current roster would benefit from being a 'victim' of the roster downsizing next week, it's Gilberto Celestino. The 23-year-old has been used primarily as a pinch runner and defensive replacement in his ten games with the Twins this season. He has made just three starts, including last night's game against the Tigers. Celestino has only managed one hit in 12 at-bats and one walk. During his time with the Twins last season, Celestino has been on the Twins roster for his running and defensive skills but has struggled to adjust to hitting against major-league arms. Celestino certainly has the talent to be an everyday outfielder or even fourth outfielder for the Twins someday. He is showing he still needs regular playing time at St. Paul to adjust to Major League pitching, and Celestino would be the Twins hitter who would benefit the most from these upcoming roster cuts. In addition to Celestino, Trevor Larnach could benefit from the roster downsizing, especially if Kirilloff returns to the Twins by May 2nd. Larnach has shown signs of improvement at the plate in the 12 games he has played for the Twins this year. Larnach and Kirilloff are still far from playing their 100th career game, and the Twins front office seems to lean toward Kirilloff being the everyday left fielder for the time being. Kyle Garlick is the last outfielder on the Twins roster that could be sent back down to St. Paul following next Monday. The Twins' 30-year-old backup outfielder has only managed two hits in 15 at-bats this season but has been a pinch hitter in crucial spots against left-handed pitching. Garlick certainly looks to be the safest in keeping a roster spot with the Twins when the rosters shrink, but if he continues a cold streak at the plate, will that cost him a trip back down to St. Paul? Jose Godoy is the last hitter on this list, likely sent down when the roster size goes down from 28 to 26. Godoy does not have many of the same questions as Celestino, Larnach, or Garlick. Yes, he would benefit from more consistent playing time with the Saints. However, the main question that hangs over Godoy staying with the Twins after May 2nd is if the front office wants to have three catchers on the roster and not two. With Gary Sanchez day-to-day and emergency catcher Jhon Romero on the ten-day injured list, Godoy's spot on the Twins roster looks to remain for the time being. Before the Twins called him up for his season debut on Sunday, Godoy had caught four games for the Saints, hitting .133 with the team. The Twins are currently carrying 14 pitchers and will likely keep it that way until they need to bring the number of pitchers on their roster down to 13. That date changed on Monday when it was announced that teams will be able to keep 14 pitchers on their 26-man roster until May 29th when they can only have 13 pitchers on the 26-man roster. Celestino is the hitter that makes the most sense to be sent back down out of these four. Celestino has talent that still needs to see consistent playing time, and with how the Twins' everyday lineup currently pans out, he won't be seeing that playing time. Check back later when we look at which pitchers might be candidates to head to St. Paul. Let us know which hitters you would send down and why in the COMMENTS below.
  15. The Twins offense has been a massive disappointment as a whole. Looking across the lineup, it’s hard to find much to be impressed with. This is also the case for Trevor Larnach, but taking a deeper dive tells a much different story. The tale of Trevor Larnach’s debut is not uncommon among big-time hitting prospects. He came up and punished major-league fastballs until he was fed a steady diet of breaking pitches. At that point not even his hot start could keep Larnach from taking a trip back to St. Paul where his season eventually ended with an injury. In his short stint in AAA to end 2021, Larnach didn’t have much time to get his footing back and work to adjust back to MLB pitching which had pinpointed his Achilles Heel. The left-handed slugger swung and missed at 54% of the breaking balls he saw. Unsurprisingly, he hit just .167 and slugged .218 against such pitches. It was fitting that he was slated to spend a chunk of time in St. Paul to begin the year before Alex Kirilloff landed on the IL. In short, Larnach is once again receiving the “trial by fire” treatment. At first glance, Larnach appears to be failing miserably, as his slash line of .190/.192/.174 appears to fit right in with a Twins 1-9 that ranks as one of the worst offenses in all of baseball. Unlike his lineup mates, however, Larnach is doing everything right to start his second MLB season. Has it felt like Larnach regularly punishes baseballs that just so happen to wind up in a defender's glove? It should, because that’s exactly what’s happening. Statcast data suggests Larnach has been the unluckiest hitter in the Twins lineup. So far he’s increased his barrel rate from 9.5% to 10.5% from last year. His .240 expected batting average is more than acceptable when paired with a .473 expected slugging percentage. Mix in his tremendous eye at the plate and a decrease in his swing and miss rate from 34.6% to 19.2% and the Twins have what looks like a middle-of-the-order bat who’s gotten unlucky across a couple of weeks. So how do we know Larnach isn’t off to just another hot streak that’s destined to crash back down like last year? The early returns on Larnach’s ability to hit breaking balls are unbelievable. Pitchers have continued feeding him spinners as his scouting report likely calls for. According to just about every measurement, Larnach’s ability to not only make contact but to barrel such pitches has made a dramatic improvement. The Twins admittedly don’t have a lot to get excited about in their lineup at the moment as most hitters are either making poor contact or no contact at all. Trevor Larnach is different. After showing a crippling weakness in his MLB debut, the former first-round pick appears to have made a measurable change in approach that simply hasn’t quite paid off yet in this young season. Despite his poor surface numbers, I’d argue Larnach is showing more at the plate than most of the lineup thus far. The Twins are struggling to score any runs at all and even just one player really clicking would really make a world of difference. So far the numbers say Trevor Larnach could be such a player. Do you agree? View full article
  16. The tale of Trevor Larnach’s debut is not uncommon among big-time hitting prospects. He came up and punished major-league fastballs until he was fed a steady diet of breaking pitches. At that point not even his hot start could keep Larnach from taking a trip back to St. Paul where his season eventually ended with an injury. In his short stint in AAA to end 2021, Larnach didn’t have much time to get his footing back and work to adjust back to MLB pitching which had pinpointed his Achilles Heel. The left-handed slugger swung and missed at 54% of the breaking balls he saw. Unsurprisingly, he hit just .167 and slugged .218 against such pitches. It was fitting that he was slated to spend a chunk of time in St. Paul to begin the year before Alex Kirilloff landed on the IL. In short, Larnach is once again receiving the “trial by fire” treatment. At first glance, Larnach appears to be failing miserably, as his slash line of .190/.192/.174 appears to fit right in with a Twins 1-9 that ranks as one of the worst offenses in all of baseball. Unlike his lineup mates, however, Larnach is doing everything right to start his second MLB season. Has it felt like Larnach regularly punishes baseballs that just so happen to wind up in a defender's glove? It should, because that’s exactly what’s happening. Statcast data suggests Larnach has been the unluckiest hitter in the Twins lineup. So far he’s increased his barrel rate from 9.5% to 10.5% from last year. His .240 expected batting average is more than acceptable when paired with a .473 expected slugging percentage. Mix in his tremendous eye at the plate and a decrease in his swing and miss rate from 34.6% to 19.2% and the Twins have what looks like a middle-of-the-order bat who’s gotten unlucky across a couple of weeks. So how do we know Larnach isn’t off to just another hot streak that’s destined to crash back down like last year? The early returns on Larnach’s ability to hit breaking balls are unbelievable. Pitchers have continued feeding him spinners as his scouting report likely calls for. According to just about every measurement, Larnach’s ability to not only make contact but to barrel such pitches has made a dramatic improvement. The Twins admittedly don’t have a lot to get excited about in their lineup at the moment as most hitters are either making poor contact or no contact at all. Trevor Larnach is different. After showing a crippling weakness in his MLB debut, the former first-round pick appears to have made a measurable change in approach that simply hasn’t quite paid off yet in this young season. Despite his poor surface numbers, I’d argue Larnach is showing more at the plate than most of the lineup thus far. The Twins are struggling to score any runs at all and even just one player really clicking would really make a world of difference. So far the numbers say Trevor Larnach could be such a player. Do you agree?
  17. Anchored by another stellar outing from Joe Ryan, the Twins scrapped past the Royals on Thursday afternoon thanks to eight singles. Here's what you need to know. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan. 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (65 pitches, 57 strikes, 67%) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (.383), Emilio Pagan (.181), Joe Smith (.137) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Joe Ryan Experience was in mid-season form on Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. Coming off a stellar start at Fenway on April 15th, the young Twins' ace mirrored his performance in America's Heartland...only better. Ryan notched his first shutout appearance of the season against the Royals, giving up only two hits to a sneaky-good Kansas City offense. The only two hits for the Royals came on a Michael Taylor single in the third inning and a one-out Andrew Benintendi triple in the fourth. And while the fourth inning triple provided a threat, Nick Gordon caught a Salvador Perez pop-out in center field and gunned Benintendi out at the plate to extinguish the fire. Ryan may not have the 'ace aura' that is associated with a team's top arm, but the numbers shun the doubters. Through three starts and 14 innings, the San Francisco native has held hitters to a .168 batting average with 11 strikeouts and just four walks. All signs are pointing towards an incredible 2022 season for the 25-year-old. The Twins' offense was far from perfect but showed great poise after a pair of dry games at the plate. The one through five hitters in the Twins batting order each notched singles along with two from nine-hitter Nick Gordon. Trevor Larnach continued his impressive start to the season when he roped a line-drive single to left field in the seventh inning. Despite an overall offensive slump from the team, Larnach's start to the season has been incredibly promising. Buck BACK! Just one week after a frightening injury while sliding into second base, franchise staple Byron Buxton returned to the lineup in the DH role on Thursday. Buxton laced a single in the fifth inning that sent Nick Gordon to third and reinstated his hitting ways. As noted on the broadcast from Dick Bremer, the combo of Nick Gordon and Buxton as nine-hitter and leadoff man has the potential to be incredibly exciting. Bullpen Rolls While the Twins' offense continues to warm up, the pitching staff has done an incredible job pulling their weight. The bullpen was no exception in the late innings on Thursday afternoon. The legend of Jhoan Duran pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning with a pair of strikeouts on just 15 pitches. There's no doubt that the organization has found Duran's home as a rock-solid, late-inning flame thrower. Submariner Joe Smith followed suit with a scoreless eighth inning while Emilio Pagan garnered his first save of the year with a scoreless ninth inning. What's Next? After a week-long road trip, the Twins head back home to Target Field to take on division-foe Chicago at 7:10 pm CST. Bailey Ober (1-1, 3.27 ERA) will square off against Michael Kopech (0-0, 1.00 ERA) in a matchup between arguably the two best teams in the AL Central. It's also Grateful Dead night..buy those tickets! Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  18. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan. 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (65 pitches, 57 strikes, 67%) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (.383), Emilio Pagan (.181), Joe Smith (.137) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Joe Ryan Experience was in mid-season form on Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. Coming off a stellar start at Fenway on April 15th, the young Twins' ace mirrored his performance in America's Heartland...only better. Ryan notched his first shutout appearance of the season against the Royals, giving up only two hits to a sneaky-good Kansas City offense. The only two hits for the Royals came on a Michael Taylor single in the third inning and a one-out Andrew Benintendi triple in the fourth. And while the fourth inning triple provided a threat, Nick Gordon caught a Salvador Perez pop-out in center field and gunned Benintendi out at the plate to extinguish the fire. Ryan may not have the 'ace aura' that is associated with a team's top arm, but the numbers shun the doubters. Through three starts and 14 innings, the San Francisco native has held hitters to a .168 batting average with 11 strikeouts and just four walks. All signs are pointing towards an incredible 2022 season for the 25-year-old. The Twins' offense was far from perfect but showed great poise after a pair of dry games at the plate. The one through five hitters in the Twins batting order each notched singles along with two from nine-hitter Nick Gordon. Trevor Larnach continued his impressive start to the season when he roped a line-drive single to left field in the seventh inning. Despite an overall offensive slump from the team, Larnach's start to the season has been incredibly promising. Buck BACK! Just one week after a frightening injury while sliding into second base, franchise staple Byron Buxton returned to the lineup in the DH role on Thursday. Buxton laced a single in the fifth inning that sent Nick Gordon to third and reinstated his hitting ways. As noted on the broadcast from Dick Bremer, the combo of Nick Gordon and Buxton as nine-hitter and leadoff man has the potential to be incredibly exciting. Bullpen Rolls While the Twins' offense continues to warm up, the pitching staff has done an incredible job pulling their weight. The bullpen was no exception in the late innings on Thursday afternoon. The legend of Jhoan Duran pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning with a pair of strikeouts on just 15 pitches. There's no doubt that the organization has found Duran's home as a rock-solid, late-inning flame thrower. Submariner Joe Smith followed suit with a scoreless eighth inning while Emilio Pagan garnered his first save of the year with a scoreless ninth inning. What's Next? After a week-long road trip, the Twins head back home to Target Field to take on division-foe Chicago at 7:10 pm CST. Bailey Ober (1-1, 3.27 ERA) will square off against Michael Kopech (0-0, 1.00 ERA) in a matchup between arguably the two best teams in the AL Central. It's also Grateful Dead night..buy those tickets! Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  19. When the Minnesota Twins drafted Trevor Larnach in the first round of the 2018 Major League Baseball draft, much of the allure was due to the quality of contact. His exit velocities remained strong throughout the farm, and we’re seeing it now at the major-league level. When Alex Kirilloff went down with an injury to his wrist, the club was immediately in good hands, having Larnach step in. While the results last season weren’t exactly promising, plenty of the poor production could be attributed to injury. Now back to full health, and despite a slow start with the Triple-A Saints, Larnach is looking the part for Minnesota. Although it’s an extremely small sample size, Larnach’s batted ball events have been a bloodbath of red on the Statcast exit velocity readings. He hits nothing without serious intent, and seven of the first ten balls he put in play have left the bat at more than 95 mph. Expected outcomes have Larnach’s batting average sitting 50 points higher than it is, at .309, with a 150-point bump in wOBA (weight on-base average) at .408. It’s not new for Larnach to be hitting the ball with authority. As mentioned, that was his calling card when the Twins initially drafted him. Last season Larnach posted a 9.5% barrel rate and a 90 mph average exit velocity. Although not exceptional, his 40.5% hard-hit rate was noteworthy, and the launch angle sat at 13.1 degrees. What has been a constant for Larnach and Kirilloff is that opposing pitchers know they can hit velocity. Larnach saw fastballs just 28% of the time last season, and that’s been an even less 24% this year. The idea is to feed him offspeed and slop offerings to keep him off balance while forcing him to generate the power through his swing. Larnach is chasing roughly half the time he did a year ago, just a handful of games into the season, and he’s dropped the whiff rate by six percent. Those numbers are likely too drastic to hold up throughout an entire season, but steps forward there only increase his ability to drive the ball. It should never be seen as a positive when a player goes down with an injury, but if there’s a place that Minnesota has options, it’s in corner outfielders. Larnach was squeezed off the Opening Day roster as there wasn’t a direct path to playing time every day. With plenty of run in front of him, it should be time for him to shine. Like Kirilloff, Larnach gets off a powerful swing while not being loud with his hands and staying within his process. It’s a beautiful sight at contact, and whether the ball leaves the yard or finds a glove, there shouldn’t be many situations where the result isn’t a loud one. A candidate for 30-plus homers in an entire season, Larnach finding regular at-bats for the Twins should be fun for all involved. Take a look at Larnach’s Statcast profile a few months from now, and don’t be surprised if you see many high percentile rankings. If Kirilloff's injury isn't something long-term, then it will be interesting to see how Rocco Baldelli juggles his lineup and talent. The early returns suggest there will need to be playing time found for all. What do you think about how Larnach has looked in the early going this season? Does he stay with the Twins once Kirilloff returns and how would you get him into the lineup on an everyday basis? View full article
  20. When Alex Kirilloff went down with an injury to his wrist, the club was immediately in good hands, having Larnach step in. While the results last season weren’t exactly promising, plenty of the poor production could be attributed to injury. Now back to full health, and despite a slow start with the Triple-A Saints, Larnach is looking the part for Minnesota. Although it’s an extremely small sample size, Larnach’s batted ball events have been a bloodbath of red on the Statcast exit velocity readings. He hits nothing without serious intent, and seven of the first ten balls he put in play have left the bat at more than 95 mph. Expected outcomes have Larnach’s batting average sitting 50 points higher than it is, at .309, with a 150-point bump in wOBA (weight on-base average) at .408. It’s not new for Larnach to be hitting the ball with authority. As mentioned, that was his calling card when the Twins initially drafted him. Last season Larnach posted a 9.5% barrel rate and a 90 mph average exit velocity. Although not exceptional, his 40.5% hard-hit rate was noteworthy, and the launch angle sat at 13.1 degrees. What has been a constant for Larnach and Kirilloff is that opposing pitchers know they can hit velocity. Larnach saw fastballs just 28% of the time last season, and that’s been an even less 24% this year. The idea is to feed him offspeed and slop offerings to keep him off balance while forcing him to generate the power through his swing. Larnach is chasing roughly half the time he did a year ago, just a handful of games into the season, and he’s dropped the whiff rate by six percent. Those numbers are likely too drastic to hold up throughout an entire season, but steps forward there only increase his ability to drive the ball. It should never be seen as a positive when a player goes down with an injury, but if there’s a place that Minnesota has options, it’s in corner outfielders. Larnach was squeezed off the Opening Day roster as there wasn’t a direct path to playing time every day. With plenty of run in front of him, it should be time for him to shine. Like Kirilloff, Larnach gets off a powerful swing while not being loud with his hands and staying within his process. It’s a beautiful sight at contact, and whether the ball leaves the yard or finds a glove, there shouldn’t be many situations where the result isn’t a loud one. A candidate for 30-plus homers in an entire season, Larnach finding regular at-bats for the Twins should be fun for all involved. Take a look at Larnach’s Statcast profile a few months from now, and don’t be surprised if you see many high percentile rankings. If Kirilloff's injury isn't something long-term, then it will be interesting to see how Rocco Baldelli juggles his lineup and talent. The early returns suggest there will need to be playing time found for all. What do you think about how Larnach has looked in the early going this season? Does he stay with the Twins once Kirilloff returns and how would you get him into the lineup on an everyday basis?
  21. The Minnesota Twins lost at Boston 4-0 Saturday but there were a couple bright spots form young guys. After Sonny Gray exited with a hamstring injury in the second inning, Josh Winder took over and was solid in emergency relief. Also, Trevor Larnach collected three hits, all of them to the opposite field. Also featured in this video are Royce Lewis, José Miranda, Austin Martin, Aaron Sabato, Jair Camargo, Sawyer Gipson-Long and more.
  22. The Minnesota Twins lost at Boston 4-0 Saturday but there were a couple bright spots form young guys. After Sonny Gray exited with a hamstring injury in the second inning, Josh Winder took over and was solid in emergency relief. Also, Trevor Larnach collected three hits, all of them to the opposite field. Also featured in this video are Royce Lewis, José Miranda, Austin Martin, Aaron Sabato, Jair Camargo, Sawyer Gipson-Long and more. View full video
  23. A late night finish on Tuesday has been followed up with early Wednesday transactions as Dereck Rodriguez has had his contract selected, Jharel Cotton has been DFA'd, and Alex Kirilloff has been placed on the IL with a recurrence of last year's wrist problems. Taking his place is Trevor Larnach. The assumption is that Larnach will presumably become the Twins new regular left fielder. But maybe the Twins need to take a closer look at the recently-released Justin Upton. Upton was DFA'd by the Angels last week and cleared waivers earlier this week. The Angels are on the hook for the remainder of his contract. If Upton wants to play major league baseball, he could potentially do it for the Twins for the pro-rated league minimum ($700k). It doesn't take a math genius to figure out that Upton isn't particularly good in left field, nearly every number being preceded by a minus sign tells that story. Of course, having Byron Buxton helping patrol the outfield next to him should help. The other issue, of course, is that if Upton isn't great in the field, he should at least make up for it with his bat, right? Well, you'd hope, but that hasn't been great either. Since his age-31 season in 2019, Upton has put together three straight sub-.730 OPS seasons. But they aren't even full seasons, they're more like Byron Buxton seasons, playing in a combined 194 games, with last year's 89 being a three-year high. So what could Upton provide? He could be an option as a right-handed bat in an outfield that needs it. Maybe you believe in Kyle Garlick. Or maybe you think Gilberto Celestino should fill a part-time role instead of going to St. Paul to play every day. But maybe you think Upton can be worth a look, knowing that you can move on at any time without it being a huge loss. Justin Upton slashed .219/.265/.531 (.796 OPS) in 64 at-bats in 2020 and .225/.355/.483 (.838 OPS) in 89 at-bats against lefties in 2021. Both of those are well off his career .259/.359/.493 (.852 OPS) line, but if believing that Gary Sanchez can benefit from the change of scenery by getting out of the bright lights of New York, can't we believe the same thing about Upton getting out from the terrible contract and underwhelming performance in Los Angeles? View full article
  24. The assumption is that Larnach will presumably become the Twins new regular left fielder. But maybe the Twins need to take a closer look at the recently-released Justin Upton. Upton was DFA'd by the Angels last week and cleared waivers earlier this week. The Angels are on the hook for the remainder of his contract. If Upton wants to play major league baseball, he could potentially do it for the Twins for the pro-rated league minimum ($700k). It doesn't take a math genius to figure out that Upton isn't particularly good in left field, nearly every number being preceded by a minus sign tells that story. Of course, having Byron Buxton helping patrol the outfield next to him should help. The other issue, of course, is that if Upton isn't great in the field, he should at least make up for it with his bat, right? Well, you'd hope, but that hasn't been great either. Since his age-31 season in 2019, Upton has put together three straight sub-.730 OPS seasons. But they aren't even full seasons, they're more like Byron Buxton seasons, playing in a combined 194 games, with last year's 89 being a three-year high. So what could Upton provide? He could be an option as a right-handed bat in an outfield that needs it. Maybe you believe in Kyle Garlick. Or maybe you think Gilberto Celestino should fill a part-time role instead of going to St. Paul to play every day. But maybe you think Upton can be worth a look, knowing that you can move on at any time without it being a huge loss. Justin Upton slashed .219/.265/.531 (.796 OPS) in 64 at-bats in 2020 and .225/.355/.483 (.838 OPS) in 89 at-bats against lefties in 2021. Both of those are well off his career .259/.359/.493 (.852 OPS) line, but if believing that Gary Sanchez can benefit from the change of scenery by getting out of the bright lights of New York, can't we believe the same thing about Upton getting out from the terrible contract and underwhelming performance in Los Angeles?
  25. Happy Opening Week of Twins Baseball! As pro baseball gets into the swing of things, the amateur season continues and now starts to share the spotlight. We've got you covered on all things draft-related. For draft lovers, this week is going to be a focus on just a couple pieces of information that came out since our last update. Last Friday, Baseball America published their second mock draft of the spring. If you recall (or to save you from checking), they mocked the Twins selecting James Madison outfielder Chase DeLauter in their first version. DeLauter really struggled in the season’s first series against good competition, though he has seemed to right the ship (against lesser competition). He has dropped in the newest projection. Version 2.0 now has the Twins selecting Jacob Berry, a corner infielder from LSU. That would be an excellent value pick, considering he’s viewed as one of the top two college hitters in the draft (along with Cal Poly’s Brooks Lee). The current regime has placed an emphasis on college bats, so a potential Berry pick - which may frustrate some - would fall in line with what we’ve seen with picks like Aaron Sabato and Trevor Larnach. Speaking of Brooks Lee… Keith Law posted some scouting notes earlier this week at The Athletic. He really likes the aforementioned Lee, calling him “one of the safest bets at the top of the draft this year” though he offers the caveat that Lee doesn’t “offer the upside of the high school players in that same echelon.” Law also writes about Kevin Parada of Georgia Tech. Parada has gotten plenty of pub at Twins Daily in the last month and Law sees him as a “top 10 (pick) if the draft were held today, with a chance to get into the top five.” Jumping into my Top 10 this week are two new names: Jackson Holliday, a prep SS from Oklahoma who’s committed to Oklahoma State. He’s the son of Matt Holliday, the hitting coach at Oklahoma State, under head coach Robin Ventura. Daniel Susac, a catcher from Arizona. Jamie Cameron did a great job introducing him in his college baseball notebook earlier this week. Jeremy's Top 10 MLB Draft Prospects 1.) Druw Jones, OF, Georgia prep (Vanderbilt commit) 2.) Termarr Johnson, 2B, Georgia prep 3.) Elijah Green, OF, Florida prep (Miami commit) (Baseball America breaks down his game.) 4.) Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly 5.) Dylan Lesko, SP, Georgia prep (Vanderbilt commit) (Baseball America breaks down his game.) (previously: 7) 6.) Jacob Berry, 3B, LSU (previously: 5) 7.) Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech (previously: 8.) Jace Jung, 3B, Texas Tech (previously: 6) 9.) Andrew Susac, C, Arizona (previously unranked) 10.) Jackson Holliday, SS, Oklahoma prep (Oklahoma State commit) OUT: Chase DeLauter, cOF, James Madison (previously: 9); Robert Moore, 2B, Arkansas (previously: 10) MOCK DRAFTS / PROSPECT BOARDS Baseball America - v2.0 (4/1/22) / v1.0 (2/10/22) / Top 200 (3/14/22) MLB.com - Callis - Top 10 (12/15/21), Mayo - Top 20 (7/20/21) / Top 100 The Athletic - Law Top 30 (3/10/22) ESPN - Early Draft Rankings (7/26/21) ($$$ - ESPN+) / McDaniel’s Draft Rankings (2/24/22) Fangraphs - The Board / 2022 MLB Draft Rankings and Offseason List Primer (11/30/21) Just Baseball v1.0 (2/10/22) My MLB Draft (1/18/22) Prospects Live v1.0 (1/4/22) View full article
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