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  1. He was the only player the Twins acquired at the trade deadline that was effective. He's also still a free agent, but he is not without red flags. Image courtesy of © Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports The Minnesota Twins bullpen is filling out nicely, projected as a top-five unit by some systems. They have arguably the best relief pitcher in all of baseball in Jhoan Duran and a strong supporting cast behind him, but there is plenty of noise that the Twins add one more right-handed reliever to fill out the bullpen. A popular candidate to re-sign for that last spot is one of their 2022 trade acquisitions, Michael Fulmer. Fulmer was solid for the Twins in the back half of the season, claiming a 3.70 ERA, 4.14 FIP, with a 20.6% K% and 7.5% BB% for Minnesota post-deadline. There has been little noteworthy reporting on a potential landing spot for Fulmer this offseason. Would a reunion in MN make sense for the right-hander? Fulmer sits in the mid-90s with his fastball, but his calling card is his slider. Throwing it more than 60% of the time and averaging over 90 MPH, the pitch laid waste to right-handed hitters, as Fulmer held them to a .188/.287/.257 slash line in 2022. However, as devastating as he is to right-handers, he was quite the opposite versus left-handed hitters. Allowing a .337/.404/.526 slash line, this extreme platoon split limits Fulmer’s value, as he is only useful against one side of the plate. Fulmer toes a very fine line of success. His strikeout rate is just under league average (45th percentile), and he does a good job of limiting hard contact (61st percentile HardHit%), but walks were a problem for Fulmer in 2022. His 10.1% BB% was the 20th percentile, and while you can be an excellent reliever with a high walk rate, it is difficult to do so while missing bats at a below-league-average level. I believe Fulmer allows too many free passes to consistently rely on the variance of balls in play to be a sustainably reliable relief pitcher in the future. In addition to his struggles commanding the strike zone, Fulmer is starting to see deterioration in his pitch arsenal. Fulmer saw his pitch velocities decline by more than a mile per hour for all four of his pitches. The thing that concerns me the most is what happened to his slider. In addition to losing velocity, it started to lose movement. According to Baseball Savant, from 2021 to 2022, his slider lost more than an inch of horizontal break and an inch of vertical break. Given how often he throws this pitch and how critical it is for his success, declining speed and movement on his slider is extremely concerning moving forward. For a pitcher that is going to rely on soft contact for outs while also not throwing a lot of strikes, seeing their best pitch starting to slip is a red flag. I’m not opposed to re-signing Fulmer, but it would be a risky bet, and it would have to be a low-cost signing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Twins decided to fill that final bullpen spot with one of their relief prospects instead of Fulmer. Whether it’s Cole Sands, Ronny Henriquez, Trevor Megill, or another option, it’s not an unreasonable bet that the Twins can generate Fulmer’s value as a righty specialist elsewhere View full article
  2. The Minnesota Twins bullpen is filling out nicely, projected as a top-five unit by some systems. They have arguably the best relief pitcher in all of baseball in Jhoan Duran and a strong supporting cast behind him, but there is plenty of noise that the Twins add one more right-handed reliever to fill out the bullpen. A popular candidate to re-sign for that last spot is one of their 2022 trade acquisitions, Michael Fulmer. Fulmer was solid for the Twins in the back half of the season, claiming a 3.70 ERA, 4.14 FIP, with a 20.6% K% and 7.5% BB% for Minnesota post-deadline. There has been little noteworthy reporting on a potential landing spot for Fulmer this offseason. Would a reunion in MN make sense for the right-hander? Fulmer sits in the mid-90s with his fastball, but his calling card is his slider. Throwing it more than 60% of the time and averaging over 90 MPH, the pitch laid waste to right-handed hitters, as Fulmer held them to a .188/.287/.257 slash line in 2022. However, as devastating as he is to right-handers, he was quite the opposite versus left-handed hitters. Allowing a .337/.404/.526 slash line, this extreme platoon split limits Fulmer’s value, as he is only useful against one side of the plate. Fulmer toes a very fine line of success. His strikeout rate is just under league average (45th percentile), and he does a good job of limiting hard contact (61st percentile HardHit%), but walks were a problem for Fulmer in 2022. His 10.1% BB% was the 20th percentile, and while you can be an excellent reliever with a high walk rate, it is difficult to do so while missing bats at a below-league-average level. I believe Fulmer allows too many free passes to consistently rely on the variance of balls in play to be a sustainably reliable relief pitcher in the future. In addition to his struggles commanding the strike zone, Fulmer is starting to see deterioration in his pitch arsenal. Fulmer saw his pitch velocities decline by more than a mile per hour for all four of his pitches. The thing that concerns me the most is what happened to his slider. In addition to losing velocity, it started to lose movement. According to Baseball Savant, from 2021 to 2022, his slider lost more than an inch of horizontal break and an inch of vertical break. Given how often he throws this pitch and how critical it is for his success, declining speed and movement on his slider is extremely concerning moving forward. For a pitcher that is going to rely on soft contact for outs while also not throwing a lot of strikes, seeing their best pitch starting to slip is a red flag. I’m not opposed to re-signing Fulmer, but it would be a risky bet, and it would have to be a low-cost signing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Twins decided to fill that final bullpen spot with one of their relief prospects instead of Fulmer. Whether it’s Cole Sands, Ronny Henriquez, Trevor Megill, or another option, it’s not an unreasonable bet that the Twins can generate Fulmer’s value as a righty specialist elsewhere
  3. In a four-hour marathon, the Yankees walked off the Twins in 12 innings at the Bronx. Louie Varland had a lovely big-league debut, but the bullpen relinquished the lead twice. Image courtesy of Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports Box Score Starting Pitcher: Louie Varland, 5 1/3 IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 7K (80 pitches, 55 strikes, 68.8%) Home Runs: Jose Miranda (14) Bottom 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (-.570), Griffin Jax (-.254), Gio Urshela (-.201) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Varland is sharp in his major league debut (pulled too early?) There probably isn’t a much tougher way to start your major league career than the one Louie Varland had to. Called up for the first time on Tuesday, the St. Paul native had been the most anticipated Twins prospect since… what? Byron Buxton? Some might go even a little further and say… Joe Mauer? Either way, the amount of expectation this kid had to burden was enormous. Then, you look at all the elements surrounding today’s game. The Twins have been constantly crushed by the New York Yankees for the past two decades; they have been Minnesota’s perennial foes in the postseason in that same span; they haven’t lost a single series against the Twins since 2018, and not one at home since 2014. The list goes on. This game, in particular, is even more crucial short-term, as the Twins started the day a game and a half back from the Guardians for the division first place. Not being competitive in this Bronx series could be the end of the season for the Twins. Is that pressure enough for the 24-year-old Minnesotan? Before Varland even stepped on the Yankee Stadium mound, the offense made a good effort to relieve some of the pressure and perhaps calm him down. Luis Arraez jumped on the game’s second pitch and doubled against starter Domingo German. After a Carlos Correa strikeout, José Miranda hit a laser to the deep left corner for a home run, making it 2-0 Twins early. Whether or not the run support made a difference for Varland at that point, making him less nervous, we’ll never know. But the fact is that he had a nearly perfect first time through the order to begin his big-league career, retiring the first eight batters he faced. He also struck out three of those batters, including American League MVP frontrunner Aaron Judge for his first-ever MLB strikeout. That’s a heck of a greeting card. Varland’s first hit given up was an Oswald Peraza two-out double in the third, but he responded to that with an inning-ending groundout, his third of the game. Then, the offense came through for him again with some more run support. In the top of the fourth, Germán got two quick outs, but the bottom third of Minnesota’s lineup did some two-out damage. Jake Cave, Gary Sanchez, and Gilberto Celestino hit three consecutive singles, and, with that, another run scored, making it 3-0 Twins. The Yankees responded quickly, though, with Judge getting back at Varland in the bottom of the same inning with a leadoff home run, cutting the Twins’ lead to two. Varland displayed some impressive nerves after that, retiring batters three through five of the Yankee lineup, including back-to-back strikeouts following the Judge home run. Varland pitched into the sixth, facing two batters: he lost Peraza for a leadoff single but came back to strike out Oswaldo Cabrera. Before he could face Judge (the tying run) a third time in this game, Rocco Baldelli decided to call it a game for him. Griffin Jax was brought in, and he got Judge to pop out for the second out, but before he could finish the inning, Gleyber Torres hit a two-run home run that tied the game. Baldelli’s decision to pull Varland when he did cause mixed feelings throughout Twins Twitter. Twins Daily’s writers Nick Nelson and Seth Stohs, for example, had opposing views of Baldelli’s call (here and here). Do you think Varland should’ve stayed to face Judge and Torres? Use the comment section to give your opinion. Bats quiet down, bullpen trio takes the game into extras The Twins’ offense couldn’t bother the Yankees again for the better part of the game, with the only exception coming during the eighth inning. Miranda snapped an 0-for-9 skid with a one-out single, and Nick Gordon followed him up with a single of his own, posing the first Minnesota threat since the fourth inning. Unfortunately for the Twins, both runners ended up being stranded. Fortunately for them, though, the bullpen did a fine job maintaining this a tied game for the remainder of regulation. After Jax blew the lead in the sixth, Caleb Thielbar, Jorge Lopez, and Jhoan Duran did a fantastic job preventing New York from scoring. With Duran pitching in the ninth, Sánchez made a huge play catching Tim Locastro trying to steal second with a laser throw for the second out that Jermaine Palacios somehow caught and kept the tag on as Locastro came off the base. Then, after Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled and reached third with a steal and a throwing error, Correa ended the inning with a crucial defensive move. Celestino puts the Twins ahead, but the Yankees tie it, walk it off With Celestino starting the 10th inning at second base, Arráez hit a single to shallow right, and the outfielder was waved around. However, he hesitated a bit heading from third to home and was caught by catcher Jose Trevino with plenty of time. Duran pitched a scoreless 10th, and the game headed for the 11th. After the offense went down in order in the top of the inning, the Yankees loaded the bases in the bottom after an intentional walk to Judge and a walk to Torres. A beautiful 3-2-3 double play prevented the winning run from scoring and paved the way for another inning. Came the 12th inning, the Twins put some pressure on reliever Ron Marinaccio, with Cave drawing a leadoff walk. With a Sánchez strikeout, New York had a double play in order, but Celestino had other plans. He hit a sharp groundball to right, deep enough to score ghost runner Jermaine Palacios from second, snatching the lead back for the Twins. Arráez drew a walk to load the bases before the inning was done, but Correa and Miranda couldn’t take advantage. That lead didn’t last long, though. Kiner-Falefa hit a ground ball off Trevor Megill to lead off the bottom of the 12th, and former Twin Marwin Gonzalez scored from second. Trevino then hit a one-out single that sent Kiner-Falefa to third and, despite getting Peraza to fly out for the second out, Megill couldn’t retire Cabrera, who hit a grounder to short, past a diving Gordon, to bring Kiner-Falefa home and end the game. What’s Next? Game two of the doubleheader is about to start with Joe Ryan (3.88 ERA) on the mound for Minnesota and Gerrit Cole (3.28 ERA) starting for the Yankees. Currently, Minnesota still has the chance to split the series, as both teams are back on the field tomorrow for game four of the series. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Sanchez 70 0 0 0 0 70 Duran 0 20 0 0 28 48 Megill 0 0 27 0 20 47 Fulmer 0 14 0 0 16 30 Thielbar 0 15 0 0 11 26 Pagán 0 0 22 0 0 22 Jax 0 8 0 0 12 20 López 0 0 0 0 15 15 Davis 0 0 11 0 0 11 Moran 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  4. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Louie Varland, 5 1/3 IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 7K (80 pitches, 55 strikes, 68.8%) Home Runs: Jose Miranda (14) Bottom 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (-.570), Griffin Jax (-.254), Gio Urshela (-.201) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Varland is sharp in his major league debut (pulled too early?) There probably isn’t a much tougher way to start your major league career than the one Louie Varland had to. Called up for the first time on Tuesday, the St. Paul native had been the most anticipated Twins prospect since… what? Byron Buxton? Some might go even a little further and say… Joe Mauer? Either way, the amount of expectation this kid had to burden was enormous. Then, you look at all the elements surrounding today’s game. The Twins have been constantly crushed by the New York Yankees for the past two decades; they have been Minnesota’s perennial foes in the postseason in that same span; they haven’t lost a single series against the Twins since 2018, and not one at home since 2014. The list goes on. This game, in particular, is even more crucial short-term, as the Twins started the day a game and a half back from the Guardians for the division first place. Not being competitive in this Bronx series could be the end of the season for the Twins. Is that pressure enough for the 24-year-old Minnesotan? Before Varland even stepped on the Yankee Stadium mound, the offense made a good effort to relieve some of the pressure and perhaps calm him down. Luis Arraez jumped on the game’s second pitch and doubled against starter Domingo German. After a Carlos Correa strikeout, José Miranda hit a laser to the deep left corner for a home run, making it 2-0 Twins early. Whether or not the run support made a difference for Varland at that point, making him less nervous, we’ll never know. But the fact is that he had a nearly perfect first time through the order to begin his big-league career, retiring the first eight batters he faced. He also struck out three of those batters, including American League MVP frontrunner Aaron Judge for his first-ever MLB strikeout. That’s a heck of a greeting card. Varland’s first hit given up was an Oswald Peraza two-out double in the third, but he responded to that with an inning-ending groundout, his third of the game. Then, the offense came through for him again with some more run support. In the top of the fourth, Germán got two quick outs, but the bottom third of Minnesota’s lineup did some two-out damage. Jake Cave, Gary Sanchez, and Gilberto Celestino hit three consecutive singles, and, with that, another run scored, making it 3-0 Twins. The Yankees responded quickly, though, with Judge getting back at Varland in the bottom of the same inning with a leadoff home run, cutting the Twins’ lead to two. Varland displayed some impressive nerves after that, retiring batters three through five of the Yankee lineup, including back-to-back strikeouts following the Judge home run. Varland pitched into the sixth, facing two batters: he lost Peraza for a leadoff single but came back to strike out Oswaldo Cabrera. Before he could face Judge (the tying run) a third time in this game, Rocco Baldelli decided to call it a game for him. Griffin Jax was brought in, and he got Judge to pop out for the second out, but before he could finish the inning, Gleyber Torres hit a two-run home run that tied the game. Baldelli’s decision to pull Varland when he did cause mixed feelings throughout Twins Twitter. Twins Daily’s writers Nick Nelson and Seth Stohs, for example, had opposing views of Baldelli’s call (here and here). Do you think Varland should’ve stayed to face Judge and Torres? Use the comment section to give your opinion. Bats quiet down, bullpen trio takes the game into extras The Twins’ offense couldn’t bother the Yankees again for the better part of the game, with the only exception coming during the eighth inning. Miranda snapped an 0-for-9 skid with a one-out single, and Nick Gordon followed him up with a single of his own, posing the first Minnesota threat since the fourth inning. Unfortunately for the Twins, both runners ended up being stranded. Fortunately for them, though, the bullpen did a fine job maintaining this a tied game for the remainder of regulation. After Jax blew the lead in the sixth, Caleb Thielbar, Jorge Lopez, and Jhoan Duran did a fantastic job preventing New York from scoring. With Duran pitching in the ninth, Sánchez made a huge play catching Tim Locastro trying to steal second with a laser throw for the second out that Jermaine Palacios somehow caught and kept the tag on as Locastro came off the base. Then, after Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled and reached third with a steal and a throwing error, Correa ended the inning with a crucial defensive move. Celestino puts the Twins ahead, but the Yankees tie it, walk it off With Celestino starting the 10th inning at second base, Arráez hit a single to shallow right, and the outfielder was waved around. However, he hesitated a bit heading from third to home and was caught by catcher Jose Trevino with plenty of time. Duran pitched a scoreless 10th, and the game headed for the 11th. After the offense went down in order in the top of the inning, the Yankees loaded the bases in the bottom after an intentional walk to Judge and a walk to Torres. A beautiful 3-2-3 double play prevented the winning run from scoring and paved the way for another inning. Came the 12th inning, the Twins put some pressure on reliever Ron Marinaccio, with Cave drawing a leadoff walk. With a Sánchez strikeout, New York had a double play in order, but Celestino had other plans. He hit a sharp groundball to right, deep enough to score ghost runner Jermaine Palacios from second, snatching the lead back for the Twins. Arráez drew a walk to load the bases before the inning was done, but Correa and Miranda couldn’t take advantage. That lead didn’t last long, though. Kiner-Falefa hit a ground ball off Trevor Megill to lead off the bottom of the 12th, and former Twin Marwin Gonzalez scored from second. Trevino then hit a one-out single that sent Kiner-Falefa to third and, despite getting Peraza to fly out for the second out, Megill couldn’t retire Cabrera, who hit a grounder to short, past a diving Gordon, to bring Kiner-Falefa home and end the game. What’s Next? Game two of the doubleheader is about to start with Joe Ryan (3.88 ERA) on the mound for Minnesota and Gerrit Cole (3.28 ERA) starting for the Yankees. Currently, Minnesota still has the chance to split the series, as both teams are back on the field tomorrow for game four of the series. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Sanchez 70 0 0 0 0 70 Duran 0 20 0 0 28 48 Megill 0 0 27 0 20 47 Fulmer 0 14 0 0 16 30 Thielbar 0 15 0 0 11 26 Pagán 0 0 22 0 0 22 Jax 0 8 0 0 12 20 López 0 0 0 0 15 15 Davis 0 0 11 0 0 11 Moran 0 0 0 0 0 0
  5. The graph above plots the platoon splits for each member of the Twins bullpen. OPS against vs. right-handed batters is on the x-axis, so points further to the left are successful against right-handed batters. OPS against vs. left-handed batters is on the y-axis, so points further toward the bottom are successful against left-handed batters. Points closest to the diagonal line are equally effective (or ineffective) against both types of batters. A few takeaways: Caleb Thielbar is on fire. Among relievers, he is at the 88th percentile for strikeout rate 98th percentile for exit velocity. Does that call for a promotion to a bigger role where he faces more right-handed batters? Perhaps. Right-handed batters own an OPS below 0.700 against Thielbar. In fact, his OPS against opposite-sided batters is better than that of Jorge López, who allows a 0.711 OPS to left-handed hitters. And nobody would call López a specialist against right-handed batters. The Twins deadline acquisitions, López and Fulmer, are death to righties allowing a 0.471 and 0.438 OPS respectively. Fulmer, however, is an absolute liability against lefties, allowing an 0.830 OPS to opposite-sided hitters. He meets the definition of a specialist. Emilio Pagan has insane reverse splits, with righties boasting a debilitating 1.075 OPS against. Pagán has never had significant reverse splits in prior seasons, so that may be an anomaly. But with the way things are going for Pagán, who's to say? Jhoan Duran, Trevor Megill, and Griffin Jax all appear to be matchup independent. And Megill's splits so closely mirroring Duran's suggest he deserves to keep getting chances
  6. Creating favorable matchups is the key to successful bullpen management. Can we get our best southpaw lined up against their left-handed hitters? Which pitchers can be trusted to face both left- and right-handed hitters? Analyzing the platoon splits of each of the bullpen arms will help answer those questions. The graph above plots the platoon splits for each member of the Twins bullpen. OPS against vs. right-handed batters is on the x-axis, so points further to the left are successful against right-handed batters. OPS against vs. left-handed batters is on the y-axis, so points further toward the bottom are successful against left-handed batters. Points closest to the diagonal line are equally effective (or ineffective) against both types of batters. A few takeaways: Caleb Thielbar is on fire. Among relievers, he is at the 88th percentile for strikeout rate 98th percentile for exit velocity. Does that call for a promotion to a bigger role where he faces more right-handed batters? Perhaps. Right-handed batters own an OPS below 0.700 against Thielbar. In fact, his OPS against opposite-sided batters is better than that of Jorge López, who allows a 0.711 OPS to left-handed hitters. And nobody would call López a specialist against right-handed batters. The Twins deadline acquisitions, López and Fulmer, are death to righties allowing a 0.471 and 0.438 OPS respectively. Fulmer, however, is an absolute liability against lefties, allowing an 0.830 OPS to opposite-sided hitters. He meets the definition of a specialist. Emilio Pagan has insane reverse splits, with righties boasting a debilitating 1.075 OPS against. Pagán has never had significant reverse splits in prior seasons, so that may be an anomaly. But with the way things are going for Pagán, who's to say? Jhoan Duran, Trevor Megill, and Griffin Jax all appear to be matchup independent. And Megill's splits so closely mirroring Duran's suggest he deserves to keep getting chances View full article
  7. The Twins dropped the opener of their two game series against the Brewers 6-3. Josh Winder struggled, the offense had little to offer, and three rain delays piled on the misery. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder 5.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 2 HR (85 pitches, 55 strikes) Homeruns: Jorge Polanco (13) Bottom 3 WPA: Josh Winder -.349, Gio Urshela -.169, Byron Buxton -.100 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) On Tuesday evening, after an off day, the Twins opened a two-game series against the Brewers, as part of a six-game homestand leading into the All-Star break. Here’s how the Twins lined up behind Josh Winder. Josh Winder, coming off a strong performance last time out, was looking to help the Twins rotation get back on track after significant recent struggles. In the top of the first inning, Andrew McCutchen drilled a two-run home run into the flower boxes in right field, giving the Brewers an early 2-0 lead. Brewers starting pitcher Jason Alexander hardly looked impressive to begin the game, almost beginning the game with back to back walks but being bailed out by some poor Twins at bats. In the second inning, the Twins cut the lead to one, with a solo shot to right field from Jorge Polanco, who has been incandescent since returning from the IL. Rain was the other significant factor early in the game Both of Gio Urshela’s first two at-bats were interrupted for the first two rain delays of the game, in the second and fourth inning respectively. After returning from the second rain delay, Winder ran into trouble. He walked Jace Peterson to lead off the inning, before a Jonathan Davis single scored Peterson from second. Willy Adames then hit his 18th home run of the year, a two run shot, to increase the lead to 5-2. It was a poor inning from Winder to cap what has been a desperate stretch from the rotation. Therein lies the frustration of the 2022 Twins at the moment. One phase of the team always seems to be struggling. After Carlos Correa hit into a double play to quickly cancel out a Luis Arraez walk in the bottom of the fifth inning, the game went into its third rain delay. After a 66 minute break, the teams resumed in the top of the sixth inning, with Trevor Megill relieving Josh Winder. Andrew McCutchen led off with a single before a throwing error from Megill on a pickoff attempt moved him to second base. Megill then threw a middle-middle fastball to Jace Peterson, who singled, extending the lead to 6-2. The Twins had a rally going in the sixth inning, with a two out walk to Jorge Polanco and Alex Kirilloff getting grazed by a pitch. Kyle Garlick pinch-hit for Nick Gordon and was hit to load the bases. Gio Urshela grounded to short to end the threat and keep the lead 6-2. Megill and Jovani Moran combined for a scoreless seventh inning. The Twins clawed a run back in the bottom of the seventh. Luis Arraez just missed a home run to right center field, settling for a double. After a Carlos Correa single and a Byron Buxton fielders choice, the score was trimmed to 6-3 in favor of the Brewers. Moran added a scoreless eight inning before the Brewers bullpen heavy hitters went to work. Devin Williams entered the game and made the Twins look silly, inducing two weak groundouts and striking out Kyle Garlick in the eighth. Josh Hader entered the game in the ninth and that was the game. The loss drops the Twins to 48-41. Cleveland and Chicago split a double header. The Twins lead the AL Central by 3.5 games over Cleveland and 5 over the White Sox. Bullpen Usage Chart THU FRI SAT SUN TUE TOT Duffey 0 0 26 21 0 47 Megill 0 0 22 0 24 46 Cotton 0 42 0 0 0 42 Thielbar 0 13 0 23 0 36 Duran 0 0 14 16 0 30 Jax 0 0 15 11 0 26 Pagan 0 10 0 0 13 23 Moran 0 0 0 0 22 22 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will conclude their series against the Brewers. Joe Ryan goes for Minnesota against Aaron Ashby for Milwaukee. First pitch is 12:10 CT. Postgame Interviews - Coming Soon View full article
  8. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder 5.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 2 HR (85 pitches, 55 strikes) Homeruns: Jorge Polanco (13) Bottom 3 WPA: Josh Winder -.349, Gio Urshela -.169, Byron Buxton -.100 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) On Tuesday evening, after an off day, the Twins opened a two-game series against the Brewers, as part of a six-game homestand leading into the All-Star break. Here’s how the Twins lined up behind Josh Winder. Josh Winder, coming off a strong performance last time out, was looking to help the Twins rotation get back on track after significant recent struggles. In the top of the first inning, Andrew McCutchen drilled a two-run home run into the flower boxes in right field, giving the Brewers an early 2-0 lead. Brewers starting pitcher Jason Alexander hardly looked impressive to begin the game, almost beginning the game with back to back walks but being bailed out by some poor Twins at bats. In the second inning, the Twins cut the lead to one, with a solo shot to right field from Jorge Polanco, who has been incandescent since returning from the IL. Rain was the other significant factor early in the game Both of Gio Urshela’s first two at-bats were interrupted for the first two rain delays of the game, in the second and fourth inning respectively. After returning from the second rain delay, Winder ran into trouble. He walked Jace Peterson to lead off the inning, before a Jonathan Davis single scored Peterson from second. Willy Adames then hit his 18th home run of the year, a two run shot, to increase the lead to 5-2. It was a poor inning from Winder to cap what has been a desperate stretch from the rotation. Therein lies the frustration of the 2022 Twins at the moment. One phase of the team always seems to be struggling. After Carlos Correa hit into a double play to quickly cancel out a Luis Arraez walk in the bottom of the fifth inning, the game went into its third rain delay. After a 66 minute break, the teams resumed in the top of the sixth inning, with Trevor Megill relieving Josh Winder. Andrew McCutchen led off with a single before a throwing error from Megill on a pickoff attempt moved him to second base. Megill then threw a middle-middle fastball to Jace Peterson, who singled, extending the lead to 6-2. The Twins had a rally going in the sixth inning, with a two out walk to Jorge Polanco and Alex Kirilloff getting grazed by a pitch. Kyle Garlick pinch-hit for Nick Gordon and was hit to load the bases. Gio Urshela grounded to short to end the threat and keep the lead 6-2. Megill and Jovani Moran combined for a scoreless seventh inning. The Twins clawed a run back in the bottom of the seventh. Luis Arraez just missed a home run to right center field, settling for a double. After a Carlos Correa single and a Byron Buxton fielders choice, the score was trimmed to 6-3 in favor of the Brewers. Moran added a scoreless eight inning before the Brewers bullpen heavy hitters went to work. Devin Williams entered the game and made the Twins look silly, inducing two weak groundouts and striking out Kyle Garlick in the eighth. Josh Hader entered the game in the ninth and that was the game. The loss drops the Twins to 48-41. Cleveland and Chicago split a double header. The Twins lead the AL Central by 3.5 games over Cleveland and 5 over the White Sox. Bullpen Usage Chart THU FRI SAT SUN TUE TOT Duffey 0 0 26 21 0 47 Megill 0 0 22 0 24 46 Cotton 0 42 0 0 0 42 Thielbar 0 13 0 23 0 36 Duran 0 0 14 16 0 30 Jax 0 0 15 11 0 26 Pagan 0 10 0 0 13 23 Moran 0 0 0 0 22 22 Next Up On Wednesday, the Twins will conclude their series against the Brewers. Joe Ryan goes for Minnesota against Aaron Ashby for Milwaukee. First pitch is 12:10 CT. Postgame Interviews - Coming Soon
  9. Box Score SP: Devin Smeltzer: 3 1/3 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 2 K (81 pitches, 50 strikes (61.7%)) Home Runs: Jose Miranda (7), Gary Sanchez (10), Bottom 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (-.667), Jhoan Duran (-.330), Nick Gordon (-.174) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Early Slugfest If you would have been asked before the game started what kind of game you would have expected on Saturday, this is probably what you would have assumed. Two powerful lineups that hit a lot of home runs, and a couple of lefties that the other team is familiar with. After a scoreless first inning, Devin Smeltzer gave up a three-run homer to same-sider Kole Calhoun. However, in the top of the fourth frame, the Twins put together a big inning. With Carlos Correa and Jorge Polanco on base, Jose Miranda launched a long, three-run shot to tie the game at three. Gio Urshela followed with a single, and Gary Sanchez gave the Twins a 5-3 lead with a big, two-run, opposite-field homer. Nick Gordon was hit by a pitch which brought a slumping Byron Buxton to the plate. Buxton launched a ball to right-center field that was thisclose to a home run. The double scored Gordon to make the lead 6-3. Given a lead, Smeltzer was unable to hold it. In the bottom of the fourth inning, he got the first batter out, but then a single from Leody Taveras and a line-shot double by Charlie Culberson put runners on second and third. Marcus Semien crushed a three-run homer to tie the game. One batter later, Corey Seager hit one out over the fencing in right-center field. That was the end of the day for Smeltzer, the Twins now behind 7-6. It wasn’t a pretty day for starting-pitcher line scores, but Perez was then able to throw two quick, scoreless innings and complete six innings without any further damage. Big, Not So Bad, Bullpen! I remember thinking it, and typing it above, when it was 7-6 after four innings. Glen Perkins said it on the Bally Sports North broadcast. To paraphrase, “I certainly don’t think that this game will end 7-6.” The assumption was that it was going to be a long game with a ton of runs scored. Instead, the Twins bullpen came on and did a very nice job. (Hey, if we’re going to bash them every time things go bad, we need to praise them on the strong days.) Griffin Jax came on and got the final two outs of the fourth inning. Tyler Duffey came on for the ninth straight time, he gave up zero runs. Over that stretch, he has worked 12 innings and given up nine hits, walked three and struck out 11 batters. The last time Duffey gave up a run was June 12th against the Rays. Trevor Megill had a quick, two-strikeout sixth inning which earned him a second inning. In the seventh frame, he got two slow ground outs before a strikeout to end the inning. Jovani Moran was warming up in the top of the eighth inning when the team was down 7-6, but when Gilberto Celestino’s ground out scored Luis Arraez to tie the game at 7-7, Jhoan Duran came in for the eighth inning. But Then… Of course, Duran has been the Twins’ best reliever pretty much all season, a guy who could hear his name called as an All Star on Sunday. But he did not have his best appearance. Light-hitting Leodys Taveras was late on two fastballs, so they threw a third straight fastball and he slapped the 0-2 pitch to left field for a single (while the Twins shifted him inexplicably to pull). After Josh Smith sacrificed him to second, Marcus Semien came to the plate. Duran hung a slider for him and Semien crushed a liner to left. What should have been a single, hit so hard it likely would not have scored a run, turned into a triple when Nick Gordon dove for the ball and it got by him. Corey Seager was intentionally walked, but #OldFriend Mitch Garver came through again. He was badly jammed by a Duran fastball but muscled a blooper into center field for an RBI single. Fortunately, Adolis Garcia grounded into a double play to end the inning. What’s Next? The Twins will finish their series in Texas with a 1:35 game against the Rangers. They are off on Monday before starting a quick two-game series at Target Field against the Brewers. Back to Sunday, the Twins will send righty Dylan Bundy to the mound. He is 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA on the season. However, over his past four starts, he is 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA. He’s allowed five earned runs on 17 hits and four walks in 24 innings. Those performances came against the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Guardians and White Sox. So, it will be interesting to see how he looks against the potent, powerful Ranger lineup. Texas will counter with right-hander Dane Dunning. The former Nationals first-round pick has been traded in a couple of significant deals. In 2016, about six months after the draft, he was traded to the White Sox in a deal for Adam Eaton. Then after the 2020 season, he was dealt to the Rangers in the Lance Lynn trade. This will be his league-leading 18th start of the season. He is 1-6 with a 4.15 ERA. In 93 1/3 innings, he walked 33 and struck out 82. He also leads the league with eight hit batters. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Cotton 21 0 0 42 0 63 Megill 2 22 0 0 22 46 Duffey 18 0 0 0 26 44 Pagán 0 23 0 10 0 33 Thielbar 11 8 0 13 0 32 Jax 0 17 0 0 15 32 Duran 0 9 0 0 14 23 Moran 0 8 0 0 0 8
  10. The game went back-and-forth a few times. On Friday night, the Rangers used a six-run inning to get the win. On Saturday afternoon, the Twins had a six-run inning, but that proved to not be enough. Box Score SP: Devin Smeltzer: 3 1/3 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 2 K (81 pitches, 50 strikes (61.7%)) Home Runs: Jose Miranda (7), Gary Sanchez (10), Bottom 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (-.667), Jhoan Duran (-.330), Nick Gordon (-.174) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Early Slugfest If you would have been asked before the game started what kind of game you would have expected on Saturday, this is probably what you would have assumed. Two powerful lineups that hit a lot of home runs, and a couple of lefties that the other team is familiar with. After a scoreless first inning, Devin Smeltzer gave up a three-run homer to same-sider Kole Calhoun. However, in the top of the fourth frame, the Twins put together a big inning. With Carlos Correa and Jorge Polanco on base, Jose Miranda launched a long, three-run shot to tie the game at three. Gio Urshela followed with a single, and Gary Sanchez gave the Twins a 5-3 lead with a big, two-run, opposite-field homer. Nick Gordon was hit by a pitch which brought a slumping Byron Buxton to the plate. Buxton launched a ball to right-center field that was thisclose to a home run. The double scored Gordon to make the lead 6-3. Given a lead, Smeltzer was unable to hold it. In the bottom of the fourth inning, he got the first batter out, but then a single from Leody Taveras and a line-shot double by Charlie Culberson put runners on second and third. Marcus Semien crushed a three-run homer to tie the game. One batter later, Corey Seager hit one out over the fencing in right-center field. That was the end of the day for Smeltzer, the Twins now behind 7-6. It wasn’t a pretty day for starting-pitcher line scores, but Perez was then able to throw two quick, scoreless innings and complete six innings without any further damage. Big, Not So Bad, Bullpen! I remember thinking it, and typing it above, when it was 7-6 after four innings. Glen Perkins said it on the Bally Sports North broadcast. To paraphrase, “I certainly don’t think that this game will end 7-6.” The assumption was that it was going to be a long game with a ton of runs scored. Instead, the Twins bullpen came on and did a very nice job. (Hey, if we’re going to bash them every time things go bad, we need to praise them on the strong days.) Griffin Jax came on and got the final two outs of the fourth inning. Tyler Duffey came on for the ninth straight time, he gave up zero runs. Over that stretch, he has worked 12 innings and given up nine hits, walked three and struck out 11 batters. The last time Duffey gave up a run was June 12th against the Rays. Trevor Megill had a quick, two-strikeout sixth inning which earned him a second inning. In the seventh frame, he got two slow ground outs before a strikeout to end the inning. Jovani Moran was warming up in the top of the eighth inning when the team was down 7-6, but when Gilberto Celestino’s ground out scored Luis Arraez to tie the game at 7-7, Jhoan Duran came in for the eighth inning. But Then… Of course, Duran has been the Twins’ best reliever pretty much all season, a guy who could hear his name called as an All Star on Sunday. But he did not have his best appearance. Light-hitting Leodys Taveras was late on two fastballs, so they threw a third straight fastball and he slapped the 0-2 pitch to left field for a single (while the Twins shifted him inexplicably to pull). After Josh Smith sacrificed him to second, Marcus Semien came to the plate. Duran hung a slider for him and Semien crushed a liner to left. What should have been a single, hit so hard it likely would not have scored a run, turned into a triple when Nick Gordon dove for the ball and it got by him. Corey Seager was intentionally walked, but #OldFriend Mitch Garver came through again. He was badly jammed by a Duran fastball but muscled a blooper into center field for an RBI single. Fortunately, Adolis Garcia grounded into a double play to end the inning. What’s Next? The Twins will finish their series in Texas with a 1:35 game against the Rangers. They are off on Monday before starting a quick two-game series at Target Field against the Brewers. Back to Sunday, the Twins will send righty Dylan Bundy to the mound. He is 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA on the season. However, over his past four starts, he is 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA. He’s allowed five earned runs on 17 hits and four walks in 24 innings. Those performances came against the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Guardians and White Sox. So, it will be interesting to see how he looks against the potent, powerful Ranger lineup. Texas will counter with right-hander Dane Dunning. The former Nationals first-round pick has been traded in a couple of significant deals. In 2016, about six months after the draft, he was traded to the White Sox in a deal for Adam Eaton. Then after the 2020 season, he was dealt to the Rangers in the Lance Lynn trade. This will be his league-leading 18th start of the season. He is 1-6 with a 4.15 ERA. In 93 1/3 innings, he walked 33 and struck out 82. He also leads the league with eight hit batters. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Cotton 21 0 0 42 0 63 Megill 2 22 0 0 22 46 Duffey 18 0 0 0 26 44 Pagán 0 23 0 10 0 33 Thielbar 11 8 0 13 0 32 Jax 0 17 0 0 15 32 Duran 0 9 0 0 14 23 Moran 0 8 0 0 0 8 View full article
  11. The Minnesota Twins had a rerun. For the second straight game, they came out flat against the O's starter and for the second straight game they walked off Jorge López.
  12. The Minnesota Twins had a rerun. For the second straight game, they came out flat against the O's starter and for the second straight game they walked off Jorge López. View full video
  13. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (75 pitches, 45 strikes (60%)) Home Runs: None Bottom 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (-0.181), Max Kepler (-0.176), Luis Arraez (-0.071) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Making his first start since May 21, Joe Ryan hoped to mow down the Mariners in a late-night game on the west coast. A pair of middle-inning mistakes and lack of run support stopped that from happening. The Twins managed a meager four hits and were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position in a shutout loss to Seattle in Ryan's return. Ryan had moments of brilliance early on and was far from bad, but paid for a pair of poor pitches in the fourth and fifth innings. After 3 1/3 scoreless innings, the Mariners were able to get to Ryan. Following a double by Julio Rodriguez, Eugenio Suarez launched a 3-1 pitch over the left-field wall to put the Mariners up 2-0. Just an inning later, Ty France put a ball over the left-field wall to double Seattle's lead and end Ryan's night. All in all, Ryan's night was not as bad as the final score may indicate. The star rookie did an excellent job pounding the zone throughout the night, pitching to contact with an occasional strikeout. His only major blunders came on a few poor pitches in the fourth, ultimately leading to the Mariners' first four runs. Despite his velocity being down, expect Joe Cool to come back hot in his next outing as he eases his way back into the rotation as the team's ace. Trevor Megill was rock solid in relief, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings with a walk and a strikeout. It's his second consecutive scoreless appearance and Megill has only allowed two runs through four outings in the month of June. Jovani Moran followed Megill in the bullpen and pitched two innings of one-run ball with two strikeouts and a walk. After struggling to find the zone in the seventh Moran locked in and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Celestino Hits on Anniversary Despite the loss, center-fielder Gilberto Celestino tallied a multi-hit game on the one-year anniversary of his first MLB home run (which he hit off Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales at T-Mobile Park). Celestino punched singles in the third and sixth innings and is now hitting .333 on the season. For a fourth outfielder that sees a fair amount of action due to Byron Buxton's frequency at DH, the 23-year-old has gone above and behind. Carlos Correa also notched a multi-hit game, singling in the fourth and sixth inning. Correa has hit safely in all six games that he's played in June and is now hitting .309 on the season. What’s Next? The Twins square off against the Mariners in the series finale tomorrow afternoon at 3:10 pm CST. After returning from the IL, Sonny Gray (3-1, 2.41 ERA) will make his first start since May 29, squaring off against LHP Marco Gonzales (3-6, 3.63 ERA). Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  14. A few bad breaks on the bump and a dry spell at the plate plagued the Twins in a 5-0 loss to the Mariners on Tuesday night in Seattle. Here's what you need to know about game two of the series. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (75 pitches, 45 strikes (60%)) Home Runs: None Bottom 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (-0.181), Max Kepler (-0.176), Luis Arraez (-0.071) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Making his first start since May 21, Joe Ryan hoped to mow down the Mariners in a late-night game on the west coast. A pair of middle-inning mistakes and lack of run support stopped that from happening. The Twins managed a meager four hits and were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position in a shutout loss to Seattle in Ryan's return. Ryan had moments of brilliance early on and was far from bad, but paid for a pair of poor pitches in the fourth and fifth innings. After 3 1/3 scoreless innings, the Mariners were able to get to Ryan. Following a double by Julio Rodriguez, Eugenio Suarez launched a 3-1 pitch over the left-field wall to put the Mariners up 2-0. Just an inning later, Ty France put a ball over the left-field wall to double Seattle's lead and end Ryan's night. All in all, Ryan's night was not as bad as the final score may indicate. The star rookie did an excellent job pounding the zone throughout the night, pitching to contact with an occasional strikeout. His only major blunders came on a few poor pitches in the fourth, ultimately leading to the Mariners' first four runs. Despite his velocity being down, expect Joe Cool to come back hot in his next outing as he eases his way back into the rotation as the team's ace. Trevor Megill was rock solid in relief, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings with a walk and a strikeout. It's his second consecutive scoreless appearance and Megill has only allowed two runs through four outings in the month of June. Jovani Moran followed Megill in the bullpen and pitched two innings of one-run ball with two strikeouts and a walk. After struggling to find the zone in the seventh Moran locked in and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Celestino Hits on Anniversary Despite the loss, center-fielder Gilberto Celestino tallied a multi-hit game on the one-year anniversary of his first MLB home run (which he hit off Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales at T-Mobile Park). Celestino punched singles in the third and sixth innings and is now hitting .333 on the season. For a fourth outfielder that sees a fair amount of action due to Byron Buxton's frequency at DH, the 23-year-old has gone above and behind. Carlos Correa also notched a multi-hit game, singling in the fourth and sixth inning. Correa has hit safely in all six games that he's played in June and is now hitting .309 on the season. What’s Next? The Twins square off against the Mariners in the series finale tomorrow afternoon at 3:10 pm CST. After returning from the IL, Sonny Gray (3-1, 2.41 ERA) will make his first start since May 29, squaring off against LHP Marco Gonzales (3-6, 3.63 ERA). Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  15. After just two Major League starts in a Minnesota Twins uniform, veteran pitcher Chi Chi González is out the door and headed to The Badger State to pitch for the Milwaukee Brewers. Just minutes after his June 11 start against the Rays, the Twins designated González for assignment. Just two days later, the struggling Brewers signed Gonzalez off of waivers and elevated the right-handed pitcher to the 40-man roster. Gonzalez's tenure in the Twins organization was short, and at times, sweet. Signed to a minor-league contract in March, González pitched eight games for Triple-A St. Paul (five starts) along with two starting pitching appearances for the Twins. There were moments of brilliance for González in St. Paul, finishing his Saints tenure with a 2-2 record and 3.44 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings. Starting the season in the bullpen, González notched both his wins as a long-distance reliever in April with solid appearances against Louisville (4 2/3 innings) and Indianapolis (3 innings). From there he started five games for the Saints, highlighted by a six-inning, no-hit shutout with seven strikeouts and four walks against Columbus on May 11. First called up on June 3 due to a myriad of injuries at the parent club, González tossed three innings of three-run, four-hit ball against the Blue Jays en route to a 9-3 Twins win. Called up under similar circumstances last week, González pitched four innings against the Rays on Friday, giving up three runs on eight hits while striking out three. Minnesota won the game 6-5 and Trevor Megill earned the win for the Twins. So that is correct, the Twins were 2-0 in games started by Chi Chi Gonzalez. The Twins did win both games (against talented opponents) in the pair of games that González started. However, it was not solely because of him. González tabbed a -0.18 WPA (Win Probability Added) in his most recent start and -0.15 WPA in his Twins debut against the Blue Jays; not great. The brutal reality is that there is no space for González on a semi-healthy Minnesota Twins roster. Given his experience, González served as an adequate filler for a starting rotation that has struggled with injuries to five of its six starting pitchers. Yet with Joe Ryan and Sonny Gray back on the bump, the filler role has been eliminated and González's minor league numbers aren't consistent enough to create a need for the Twins. Consider the roster crunch that's about to happen. Last week, the Twins DFAd Gonzalez and Juan Minaya. A day after adding Elliot Soto to the 40-man roster, he was DFAd to add Joe Ryan back to the roster. Someone will have to be optioned or DFAd to bring Sonny Gray off of the Injured List on Wednesday. The life of the journeyman is certainly not always easy. Yet when one door closes, another may open. The Brewers are 2-8 in their last ten games and starting pitchers Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta are on the Injured List along with a number of relievers. With experience as a starting pitcher as well as a reliever, González could serve as a valuable patch for a Milwaukee club that is in a tight battle with St. Louis for top dog in the NL Central. Noted as a great person and clubhouse guy, hopefully, this new opportunity presents González the chance to find his groove in a cutthroat industry that is less than forgiving.
  16. Just hours after pitching in a win against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Minnesota Twins designated starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzales for assignment. 48 hours later the Milwaukee Brewers selected the veteran righty's contract. Here's why the Twins made the move and why the 30-year-old could be valuable for the ballclub on the other side of the river. After just two Major League starts in a Minnesota Twins uniform, veteran pitcher Chi Chi González is out the door and headed to The Badger State to pitch for the Milwaukee Brewers. Just minutes after his June 11 start against the Rays, the Twins designated González for assignment. Just two days later, the struggling Brewers signed Gonzalez off of waivers and elevated the right-handed pitcher to the 40-man roster. Gonzalez's tenure in the Twins organization was short, and at times, sweet. Signed to a minor-league contract in March, González pitched eight games for Triple-A St. Paul (five starts) along with two starting pitching appearances for the Twins. There were moments of brilliance for González in St. Paul, finishing his Saints tenure with a 2-2 record and 3.44 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings. Starting the season in the bullpen, González notched both his wins as a long-distance reliever in April with solid appearances against Louisville (4 2/3 innings) and Indianapolis (3 innings). From there he started five games for the Saints, highlighted by a six-inning, no-hit shutout with seven strikeouts and four walks against Columbus on May 11. First called up on June 3 due to a myriad of injuries at the parent club, González tossed three innings of three-run, four-hit ball against the Blue Jays en route to a 9-3 Twins win. Called up under similar circumstances last week, González pitched four innings against the Rays on Friday, giving up three runs on eight hits while striking out three. Minnesota won the game 6-5 and Trevor Megill earned the win for the Twins. So that is correct, the Twins were 2-0 in games started by Chi Chi Gonzalez. The Twins did win both games (against talented opponents) in the pair of games that González started. However, it was not solely because of him. González tabbed a -0.18 WPA (Win Probability Added) in his most recent start and -0.15 WPA in his Twins debut against the Blue Jays; not great. The brutal reality is that there is no space for González on a semi-healthy Minnesota Twins roster. Given his experience, González served as an adequate filler for a starting rotation that has struggled with injuries to five of its six starting pitchers. Yet with Joe Ryan and Sonny Gray back on the bump, the filler role has been eliminated and González's minor league numbers aren't consistent enough to create a need for the Twins. Consider the roster crunch that's about to happen. Last week, the Twins DFAd Gonzalez and Juan Minaya. A day after adding Elliot Soto to the 40-man roster, he was DFAd to add Joe Ryan back to the roster. Someone will have to be optioned or DFAd to bring Sonny Gray off of the Injured List on Wednesday. The life of the journeyman is certainly not always easy. Yet when one door closes, another may open. The Brewers are 2-8 in their last ten games and starting pitchers Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta are on the Injured List along with a number of relievers. With experience as a starting pitcher as well as a reliever, González could serve as a valuable patch for a Milwaukee club that is in a tight battle with St. Louis for top dog in the NL Central. Noted as a great person and clubhouse guy, hopefully, this new opportunity presents González the chance to find his groove in a cutthroat industry that is less than forgiving. View full article
  17. It is no secret that the Twins' bullpen options are not all trustworthy, as we saw Sunday and Tuesday with Tyler Duffey. Could Trevor Megill be one reliever that the Twins could use in bigger situations and become more comfortable using? The Twins’ bullpen has been better than average this year. As a collective unit, they rank seventh in MLB in bullpen WPA with 1.55 wins added. However, Jhoan Duran, Griffin Jax, and Joe Smith have combined for 3.06 wins added. The rest of the Twins’ bullpen has been worth -1.51 wins. This is primarily due to Tyler Duffey, who has a WPA of -1.32, which is fifth-worst among all major league relievers in 2022. In the major leagues, you can’t just throw the same three bullpen arms every night, so the Twins need to find another bullpen arm that they could use in high leverage situations. Enter Trevor Megill. Megill, who the Twins signed on a minor league deal right before the lockout, has been good in limited innings this year in the bullpen. In ten and ⅔ innings, Megill has only allowed three earned runs on eight hits and four walks. He has struck out 13 hitters, seven with the fastball and six with the curveball. Megill has some of the best stuff on the Twins, and there is data to back that up. Megill’s fastball averages 97.1 miles per hour, which places him in the 95th percentile of all major league pitchers. His fastball also has incredible spin, as his fastball spin rate is 2424 revolutions per minute, which places him in the 91st percentile of all pitchers. Using Pitch Profiler, a tool created by Jeremy Maschino, you can view any major league pitcher and various statistics about their pitch mix. One important metric that many people are starting to use to evaluate a pitcher’s repertoire is Stuff+. Stuff+ gives a pitcher a rating of how good a pitcher’s repertoire is compared to the rest of the league. This rating is based on a variety of things such as pitch velocity, vertical break, horizontal break, arm angle, and release extension. Megill has a Stuff+ rating of 108, putting him in the 78th percentile of all major league pitchers. The average Stuff+ rating is 100, which means Megill’s stuff is eight percent better than the league average. Using Maschino’s tool, Megill’s stuff+ rating on his fastball is 108, meaning he has an above league average fastball in terms of velocity and movement. Megill’s curveball is also an outstanding pitch. According to Baseball Savant, Megill’s curveball has seven more inches of vertical movement than the league average curveball does, good for tenth among all major league pitchers who have thrown at least 50 curveballs. According to Pitch Profiler, Megill’s curveball has a 107 stuff+ rating, which means he has two pitches above league average. A pitcher’s stuff can only take him so far. A pitcher can have good stuff and fail to get outs. Take former Twin Brusdar Graterol, who has a stuff+ rating of 116, in the 95th percentile of all pitchers. His sinker is 99.9 miles per hour, second among all pitchers. However, this doesn’t lead to success, as Graterol has a 4.81 ERA and 3.84 FIP. In Megill’s limited opportunities, he has allowed only three runs in ten and ⅔ innings for an ERA of 2.53, as I noted earlier. Sometimes a pitcher’s success in small samples can be due to luck, but not with Megill. This year, his expected ERA is 2.04, which is the fourteenth-best in the league among pitchers who have allowed at least 25 balls in play. On his fastball, Megill has allowed an expected opponent batting average of .153, which is the best on the Twins. On the curveball, he has allowed a minuscule expected batting average of .196. Between having well above league-average stuff and producing very well in the opportunities he has been given, Trevor Megill should be given more opportunities in high leverage situations here soon, especially as the Twins start to play a more challenging schedule. What other relievers should be given big innings down the stretch? How do you feel about Trevor Megill? Leave a comment or any other questions you may have below, and feel free to start a discussion. Thank you for reading, and Go Twins! View full article
  18. The Twins’ bullpen has been better than average this year. As a collective unit, they rank seventh in MLB in bullpen WPA with 1.55 wins added. However, Jhoan Duran, Griffin Jax, and Joe Smith have combined for 3.06 wins added. The rest of the Twins’ bullpen has been worth -1.51 wins. This is primarily due to Tyler Duffey, who has a WPA of -1.32, which is fifth-worst among all major league relievers in 2022. In the major leagues, you can’t just throw the same three bullpen arms every night, so the Twins need to find another bullpen arm that they could use in high leverage situations. Enter Trevor Megill. Megill, who the Twins signed on a minor league deal right before the lockout, has been good in limited innings this year in the bullpen. In ten and ⅔ innings, Megill has only allowed three earned runs on eight hits and four walks. He has struck out 13 hitters, seven with the fastball and six with the curveball. Megill has some of the best stuff on the Twins, and there is data to back that up. Megill’s fastball averages 97.1 miles per hour, which places him in the 95th percentile of all major league pitchers. His fastball also has incredible spin, as his fastball spin rate is 2424 revolutions per minute, which places him in the 91st percentile of all pitchers. Using Pitch Profiler, a tool created by Jeremy Maschino, you can view any major league pitcher and various statistics about their pitch mix. One important metric that many people are starting to use to evaluate a pitcher’s repertoire is Stuff+. Stuff+ gives a pitcher a rating of how good a pitcher’s repertoire is compared to the rest of the league. This rating is based on a variety of things such as pitch velocity, vertical break, horizontal break, arm angle, and release extension. Megill has a Stuff+ rating of 108, putting him in the 78th percentile of all major league pitchers. The average Stuff+ rating is 100, which means Megill’s stuff is eight percent better than the league average. Using Maschino’s tool, Megill’s stuff+ rating on his fastball is 108, meaning he has an above league average fastball in terms of velocity and movement. Megill’s curveball is also an outstanding pitch. According to Baseball Savant, Megill’s curveball has seven more inches of vertical movement than the league average curveball does, good for tenth among all major league pitchers who have thrown at least 50 curveballs. According to Pitch Profiler, Megill’s curveball has a 107 stuff+ rating, which means he has two pitches above league average. A pitcher’s stuff can only take him so far. A pitcher can have good stuff and fail to get outs. Take former Twin Brusdar Graterol, who has a stuff+ rating of 116, in the 95th percentile of all pitchers. His sinker is 99.9 miles per hour, second among all pitchers. However, this doesn’t lead to success, as Graterol has a 4.81 ERA and 3.84 FIP. In Megill’s limited opportunities, he has allowed only three runs in ten and ⅔ innings for an ERA of 2.53, as I noted earlier. Sometimes a pitcher’s success in small samples can be due to luck, but not with Megill. This year, his expected ERA is 2.04, which is the fourteenth-best in the league among pitchers who have allowed at least 25 balls in play. On his fastball, Megill has allowed an expected opponent batting average of .153, which is the best on the Twins. On the curveball, he has allowed a minuscule expected batting average of .196. Between having well above league-average stuff and producing very well in the opportunities he has been given, Trevor Megill should be given more opportunities in high leverage situations here soon, especially as the Twins start to play a more challenging schedule. What other relievers should be given big innings down the stretch? How do you feel about Trevor Megill? Leave a comment or any other questions you may have below, and feel free to start a discussion. Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
  19. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober, 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (86 pitches, 65 strikes, 75.6%) Home Runs: none Bottom 3 WPA: Bailey Ober (-.173), Trevor Larnach (-.108), José Miranda (-.062) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) In the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader, Minnesota’s offense was a no-show, making up for one of the team’s worst offensive displays of the season. Outside of Trevor Larnach, who hit a double and drew a walk, nothing worked for the Twins lineup, who got only three hits off Tigers pitching. Sadly, things didn’t look a lot different to start tonight’s game. Lefty Tarik Skubal dominated the Twins' offense, tossing five scoreless frames in which he gave up only two hits and a walk. One of the hits and the walk both came in the first inning before he went on to retire nine consecutive Minnesota batters, comprising a couple of 1-2-3 innings. The fifth inning was a divisive moment in this game, as until that point, Bailey Ober was having himself a very solid start and was giving the Twins a real chance to snatch the lead. He did have a shaky first inning, in which he gave up three hits, including a leadoff double. However, he did a fine job preventing Detroit from scoring more than a run. The Tiger lineup went 1-for-11 against Ober starting at the final out of the first and only had a one-run lead to start the fifth. That’s when things went downhill for the Twins’ righty. Detroit scored four runs on five hits in the inning, three of which were extra-base hits – a Jeimer Candelario leadoff triple and back-to-back RBI doubles by Harold Castro and Jonathan Schoop. Weirdly enough, Ober’s outing wasn’t a nightmare, despite the rough fifth innings. Through six innings of work, he threw 20 out of 26 first-pitch strikes and threw 75.6% strikes. Skubal continued to obliterate Twins hitting, now with tons of run support. After giving up a single to Gio Urshela in the fourth, he faced the minimum for the remainder of the game, retiring ten in a row to complete seven shutout innings. Trevor Megill threw two scoreless innings in relief of Ober, but the offense was still ineffective, even after Skubal left the game. Joe Jiménez retired the side on eleven pitches in the eighth, including two strikeouts, making it 13 consecutive Minnesota batters retired. Will Vest had no trouble closing out the game in the ninth, despite allowing a couple of runners to reach. What’s Next? The Twins remain in Detroit, where they close out the five-game series tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 12:10 pm CDT. Minnesota brings Chris Archer (4.19 ERA) to the mound to duel righty Alex Faedo (3.00 ERA). Then, they head to Toronto, where they start a three-game series against the Blue Jays on Friday. Postgame interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Minaya 31 0 0 26 0 57 Megill 0 0 34 0 20 54 Jax 0 20 0 33 0 53 Moran 34 0 0 12 0 46 Thielbar 0 22 0 11 0 33 Duffey 20 0 0 0 0 20 Smith 0 0 16 0 0 16 Pagán 0 12 0 0 0 12 Duran 0 0 0 0 0 0
  20. For the second consecutive night, the Twins’ offense was utterly dominated by Detroit pitching. Tigers starter Tarik Skubal pitched a gem, with seven shutout innings, while Bailey Ober had a rough fifth inning, basically putting the game out of reach. Minnesota has its first series loss in three weeks. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober, 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (86 pitches, 65 strikes, 75.6%) Home Runs: none Bottom 3 WPA: Bailey Ober (-.173), Trevor Larnach (-.108), José Miranda (-.062) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) In the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader, Minnesota’s offense was a no-show, making up for one of the team’s worst offensive displays of the season. Outside of Trevor Larnach, who hit a double and drew a walk, nothing worked for the Twins lineup, who got only three hits off Tigers pitching. Sadly, things didn’t look a lot different to start tonight’s game. Lefty Tarik Skubal dominated the Twins' offense, tossing five scoreless frames in which he gave up only two hits and a walk. One of the hits and the walk both came in the first inning before he went on to retire nine consecutive Minnesota batters, comprising a couple of 1-2-3 innings. The fifth inning was a divisive moment in this game, as until that point, Bailey Ober was having himself a very solid start and was giving the Twins a real chance to snatch the lead. He did have a shaky first inning, in which he gave up three hits, including a leadoff double. However, he did a fine job preventing Detroit from scoring more than a run. The Tiger lineup went 1-for-11 against Ober starting at the final out of the first and only had a one-run lead to start the fifth. That’s when things went downhill for the Twins’ righty. Detroit scored four runs on five hits in the inning, three of which were extra-base hits – a Jeimer Candelario leadoff triple and back-to-back RBI doubles by Harold Castro and Jonathan Schoop. Weirdly enough, Ober’s outing wasn’t a nightmare, despite the rough fifth innings. Through six innings of work, he threw 20 out of 26 first-pitch strikes and threw 75.6% strikes. Skubal continued to obliterate Twins hitting, now with tons of run support. After giving up a single to Gio Urshela in the fourth, he faced the minimum for the remainder of the game, retiring ten in a row to complete seven shutout innings. Trevor Megill threw two scoreless innings in relief of Ober, but the offense was still ineffective, even after Skubal left the game. Joe Jiménez retired the side on eleven pitches in the eighth, including two strikeouts, making it 13 consecutive Minnesota batters retired. Will Vest had no trouble closing out the game in the ninth, despite allowing a couple of runners to reach. What’s Next? The Twins remain in Detroit, where they close out the five-game series tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 12:10 pm CDT. Minnesota brings Chris Archer (4.19 ERA) to the mound to duel righty Alex Faedo (3.00 ERA). Then, they head to Toronto, where they start a three-game series against the Blue Jays on Friday. Postgame interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Minaya 31 0 0 26 0 57 Megill 0 0 34 0 20 54 Jax 0 20 0 33 0 53 Moran 34 0 0 12 0 46 Thielbar 0 22 0 11 0 33 Duffey 20 0 0 0 0 20 Smith 0 0 16 0 0 16 Pagán 0 12 0 0 0 12 Duran 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  21. The Minnesota Twins lost to the Tigers 5-0 but one silver lining was that Trevor Megill continued to impress out of the bullpen. Down in the minors, Jair Camargo hit two home runs for Wichita. He was just recently called up to Double A. Also featured in tonight's video are Tim Beckham, Alex Isola, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Yunior Severino, Alerick Soularie, Kyler Fedko and more.
  22. The Minnesota Twins lost to the Tigers 5-0 but one silver lining was that Trevor Megill continued to impress out of the bullpen. Down in the minors, Jair Camargo hit two home runs for Wichita. He was just recently called up to Double A. Also featured in tonight's video are Tim Beckham, Alex Isola, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Yunior Severino, Alerick Soularie, Kyler Fedko and more. View full video
  23. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober, 3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (61 pitches, 38 strikes, 62.2%) Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (5), Carlos Correa (3) Top 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (.298), Jorge Polanco (.181), Gio Urshela (.163) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Two important players made returns tonight. Since being activated from the injured list on May 21, Bailey Ober made his first start at Target Field, his first home start since April 28. Also, Jorge Polanco was back on the starting lineup after missing the last three games with some soreness in his right ankle. The latter was instrumental for the Twins’ early offensive outburst. After Ober delivered a scoreless top of the first, Minnesota put together a four-run performance in the home half. After a leadoff single by Luis Arráez, Polanco smashed a one-out, two-run home run to deep right, making it 2-0 Twins. This was Polanco’s first extra-base hit since May 13, his fifth homer of the season. That Arráez’s single drove his batting average to .352, which, according to Bally Sports North, is the second-highest average through May among any Twins infielder since 1983. The Twins scored two more runs in that same inning, with four consecutive Minnesota batters reaching safely with two outs. Gary Sánchez grounded to center, and Trevor Larnach drew a walk, allowing Gio Urshela to drive in his old Yankee buddy and send Larnach to third. Next, Nick Gordon singled to left to bring Larnach home. The inning could’ve been even better for Minnesota, for Ryan Jeffers drew a walk next, loading the bases for Arráez, but he struck out. Minnesota’s two-out productivity at the plate continued in the second inning. Although they couldn’t add on any more runs, the Twins loaded the bases with two outs again with a Max Kepler single, another Sánchez single, and a Larnach walk. This is the first time this season in which Sánchez has back-to-back multi-hit games. The Royals end Ober’s night, tie the game After pitching two scoreless innings on 30 pitches, including a 1-2-3 second, Ober struggled in the third, and his start was cut short. After striking out Emmanuel Rivera on three pitches to open the inning, he gave up back-to-back singles to Nicky Lopez and Whit Merrifield. He got the second out by striking out Andrew Benintendi but then saw Bobby Witt Jr. triple and Hunter Dozier single to score three runs. It took Ober 31 pitches to conclude the third, and he was done at only 61 total pitches. Another player returning from injury, Danny Coulombe, who was activated today, took over to pitch the fourth, making his first big-league appearance since May 10. Unfortunately for him, he also struggled, allowing the first three batters he faced to reach and the Royals to tie the game on a Lopez RBI single. Before being removed from the game, he retired only one batter, giving up two hits and two walks. Trevor Megill came in and induced an inning-ending double play on one pitch. Things could’ve been worse for the Twins in the fourth if it wasn’t for a pretty defensive play by Urshela. With one out and men on the corners, he caught a bullet from Merrifield for a lineout that would’ve scored Rivera from third and given the Royals the lead if it had been a base hit. Twins get back on top; bullpen, despite not being brilliant, shuts the door Minnesota didn’t take long to respond. Carlos Correa jumped on the first pitch he saw to hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fourth, making it 5-4 Twins. The offense got some momentum off the Correa home run and followed it with a couple more hits, both singles. Larnach hit a sac-fly deep enough to score Polanco from third, giving the Twins a two-run lead. Both bullpens settled down and shut down the opposing offenses for the next couple of innings. Hats off to Megill, who took over for the struggling Coulombe in the fourth and pitched two more scoreless frames before handing the ball over to Joe Smith in the seventh. On the other hand, Smith didn’t have the best of outings. Failing to throw strikes, he couldn’t even finish an entire inning, which included a leadoff home run to Witt Jr. that brought the Royals within one. After that, he walked a couple of batters, something incredibly rare this season. Before tonight’s game, he had given up two total walks the entire season (17 appearances). Caleb Thielbar came in to get the inning’s final out. Jhoan Duran didn’t have a brilliant outing either, throwing less than 53% strikes and giving up a single and a walk, but he managed to close out the top of the eighth after a mound visit. To be fair, the home plate umpire took a called third strike away from him that maybe extended the inning more than it should. A one-run lead would be too dangerous for a group of relievers that has been struggling in high-leverage situations of late, so the offense once again came through and broke the game wide open. Facing reliever Joel Payamps, the bats scored four more runs in the bottom of the eighth, to provide some insurance. Kepler tripled to deep center in what could just as easily have been an inside-the-park home run, had the Royal defense not been quick enough. Payamps intentionally walked Larnach, and Urshela hit an RBI single next, scoring Kepler. Gordon hit a bases-clearing double to score Larnach and Urshela and scored himself on an Arráez two-out single moments later. A 10-5 lead should be more than enough for Yennier Cano to close out the game with no worries. However, he gave up a solo home run to M.J. Melendez, then a two-out RBI double to Rivera. Suddenly, the Twins’ lead was down to three and Rocco Baldelli didn’t want to risk it. Emilio Pagán was brought in to get the final out, in a save situation. He struck out Lopez on three pitches. What’s Next? Tomorrow at 1:10 pm CDT both teams will be back on the field for game 3. Chris Archer (3.86 ERA) takes on the mound for the Twins facing Brady Singer (1.83 ERA). Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Jax 33 0 23 0 0 56 Pagán 28 0 21 0 3 52 Duffey 0 12 0 31 0 43 Coulombe 0 15 0 0 24 39 Smith 17 0 3 0 18 38 Megill 0 0 8 0 26 34 Thielbar 3 0 30 0 1 34 Duran 0 14 0 0 19 33 Cano 0 0 0 16 17 33
  24. Eight total pitches were needed and the Royals presented a threat until late in the ninth inning, but the Twins held on to win the game behind a great offensive performance. Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela, both with three hits, were two of the six Minnesota batters with a multi-hit game. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober, 3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (61 pitches, 38 strikes, 62.2%) Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (5), Carlos Correa (3) Top 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (.298), Jorge Polanco (.181), Gio Urshela (.163) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Two important players made returns tonight. Since being activated from the injured list on May 21, Bailey Ober made his first start at Target Field, his first home start since April 28. Also, Jorge Polanco was back on the starting lineup after missing the last three games with some soreness in his right ankle. The latter was instrumental for the Twins’ early offensive outburst. After Ober delivered a scoreless top of the first, Minnesota put together a four-run performance in the home half. After a leadoff single by Luis Arráez, Polanco smashed a one-out, two-run home run to deep right, making it 2-0 Twins. This was Polanco’s first extra-base hit since May 13, his fifth homer of the season. That Arráez’s single drove his batting average to .352, which, according to Bally Sports North, is the second-highest average through May among any Twins infielder since 1983. The Twins scored two more runs in that same inning, with four consecutive Minnesota batters reaching safely with two outs. Gary Sánchez grounded to center, and Trevor Larnach drew a walk, allowing Gio Urshela to drive in his old Yankee buddy and send Larnach to third. Next, Nick Gordon singled to left to bring Larnach home. The inning could’ve been even better for Minnesota, for Ryan Jeffers drew a walk next, loading the bases for Arráez, but he struck out. Minnesota’s two-out productivity at the plate continued in the second inning. Although they couldn’t add on any more runs, the Twins loaded the bases with two outs again with a Max Kepler single, another Sánchez single, and a Larnach walk. This is the first time this season in which Sánchez has back-to-back multi-hit games. The Royals end Ober’s night, tie the game After pitching two scoreless innings on 30 pitches, including a 1-2-3 second, Ober struggled in the third, and his start was cut short. After striking out Emmanuel Rivera on three pitches to open the inning, he gave up back-to-back singles to Nicky Lopez and Whit Merrifield. He got the second out by striking out Andrew Benintendi but then saw Bobby Witt Jr. triple and Hunter Dozier single to score three runs. It took Ober 31 pitches to conclude the third, and he was done at only 61 total pitches. Another player returning from injury, Danny Coulombe, who was activated today, took over to pitch the fourth, making his first big-league appearance since May 10. Unfortunately for him, he also struggled, allowing the first three batters he faced to reach and the Royals to tie the game on a Lopez RBI single. Before being removed from the game, he retired only one batter, giving up two hits and two walks. Trevor Megill came in and induced an inning-ending double play on one pitch. Things could’ve been worse for the Twins in the fourth if it wasn’t for a pretty defensive play by Urshela. With one out and men on the corners, he caught a bullet from Merrifield for a lineout that would’ve scored Rivera from third and given the Royals the lead if it had been a base hit. Twins get back on top; bullpen, despite not being brilliant, shuts the door Minnesota didn’t take long to respond. Carlos Correa jumped on the first pitch he saw to hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fourth, making it 5-4 Twins. The offense got some momentum off the Correa home run and followed it with a couple more hits, both singles. Larnach hit a sac-fly deep enough to score Polanco from third, giving the Twins a two-run lead. Both bullpens settled down and shut down the opposing offenses for the next couple of innings. Hats off to Megill, who took over for the struggling Coulombe in the fourth and pitched two more scoreless frames before handing the ball over to Joe Smith in the seventh. On the other hand, Smith didn’t have the best of outings. Failing to throw strikes, he couldn’t even finish an entire inning, which included a leadoff home run to Witt Jr. that brought the Royals within one. After that, he walked a couple of batters, something incredibly rare this season. Before tonight’s game, he had given up two total walks the entire season (17 appearances). Caleb Thielbar came in to get the inning’s final out. Jhoan Duran didn’t have a brilliant outing either, throwing less than 53% strikes and giving up a single and a walk, but he managed to close out the top of the eighth after a mound visit. To be fair, the home plate umpire took a called third strike away from him that maybe extended the inning more than it should. A one-run lead would be too dangerous for a group of relievers that has been struggling in high-leverage situations of late, so the offense once again came through and broke the game wide open. Facing reliever Joel Payamps, the bats scored four more runs in the bottom of the eighth, to provide some insurance. Kepler tripled to deep center in what could just as easily have been an inside-the-park home run, had the Royal defense not been quick enough. Payamps intentionally walked Larnach, and Urshela hit an RBI single next, scoring Kepler. Gordon hit a bases-clearing double to score Larnach and Urshela and scored himself on an Arráez two-out single moments later. A 10-5 lead should be more than enough for Yennier Cano to close out the game with no worries. However, he gave up a solo home run to M.J. Melendez, then a two-out RBI double to Rivera. Suddenly, the Twins’ lead was down to three and Rocco Baldelli didn’t want to risk it. Emilio Pagán was brought in to get the final out, in a save situation. He struck out Lopez on three pitches. What’s Next? Tomorrow at 1:10 pm CDT both teams will be back on the field for game 3. Chris Archer (3.86 ERA) takes on the mound for the Twins facing Brady Singer (1.83 ERA). Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Jax 33 0 23 0 0 56 Pagán 28 0 21 0 3 52 Duffey 0 12 0 31 0 43 Coulombe 0 15 0 0 24 39 Smith 17 0 3 0 18 38 Megill 0 0 8 0 26 34 Thielbar 3 0 30 0 1 34 Duran 0 14 0 0 19 33 Cano 0 0 0 16 17 33 View full article
  25. The Minnesota Twins broke out the bats and flashed some leather, beating the Royals 10-7 Friday night. Trevor Megill delivered a much-needed boost out of the bullpen, stranding all three of the runners he inherited and pitching 2 2/3 shutout innings. Gio Urshela was one of several Twins to have a big night both at the plate and in the field. Also included in tonight’s highlights are Marco Raya, Matt Canterino, Royce Lewis, Jermaine Palacios, Keoni Cavaco, Austin Martin and more.
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