Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'wes johnson'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

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

Categories

  • Unregistered Help Files
  • All Users Help Files

Categories

  • Twins & Minors
  • Vintage
  • Retrospective
  • Twins Daily

Categories

  • Minnesota Twins Trade Rumors & Targets

Forums

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

Blogs

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

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Personal Blog Name


Personal Blog URL


Location:


Biography


Occupation


Interests


Twitter

  1. The date was June 12 and the opponent was Tampa Bay. Tyler Duffey entered a game for the Minnesota Twins tasked with pitching the 8th inning of a 5-0 game. As he had done multiple times before, Duffey served up a dinger and it appeared as though there was no end in sight to his freefall. Maybe now he’s started to turn a corner? There’s no denying that Tyler Duffey was once among the Twins most trustworthy relievers. Across 2019 and 2022, Duffey posted a solid 2.31 ERA in 80 appearances spanning 81 2/3 innings. His 12.5 K/9 was shiny, and it was backed by a curveball that kept hitters guessing even with a fastball that didn’t light up the radar gun. He allowed just 2.2 BB/9 and posted a WHIP below 1.00. His 2.91 FIP across that span also suggested this wasn’t a mirage. Then 2021 happened. After being a primary setup man for former closer Taylor Rogers, Duffey blew up to the tune of a 3.18 ERA with a 3.49 FIP and a 4.19 xFIP. He lost roughly four strikeouts per nine innings, and double the number of free passes he was issuing. The chief concern was a velocity drop that happened in 2020 not rectifying itself. After holding around 94 mph on his fastball at his best, Duffey’s primary offering was down to just 92 mph. Without being able to throw a fastball by hitters, and the inability to locate his curveball, a recipe for disaster was realized. On June 12, when Duffey served up the dinger against the Rays, it capped off a three-appearance run in which he’d allowed a home run every time out. Duffey recorded just 3 2/3 innings during the stretch and gave up a whopping seven runs on seven hits and three walks. His ERA sat at a season-worst 6.38. This wasn’t the first bad stretch either. Duffey took a blown save against the Mariners to end the second game of the season, and then he gave up a pair of homers to blow another game against the Royals a few weeks later. At some point, the definition of insanity was going to be reached here. Everything Duffey was doing wasn’t working. Minnesota had pushed him into the lowest of leverage roles, and even when the moments were inconsequential his stuff didn’t generate outs. Having used a changeup during his days as a starter, and crediting former pitching coach Wes Johnson for urging him to go back to it, Duffey changed things up. Up until June 12, Duffey had used his changeup just 1% of the time being a two-pitch pitcher with the fastball and curveball. He generated just a 10.7% whiff rate and was getting batters to chase 31.1% of the time. Fast forward to where we are now and this is a different pitcher. Sure, the sample size is just 13 innings across 10 games, but that represents roughly one-third of his season. Duffey is still throwing his fastball 50% of the time, but he’s dropped the curveball usage and is pushing his changeup out 12.3% of the time. It’s resulted in a hard-hit rate of only 20.5% and has generated chase swings nearly 5% more often. At some point, pitchers need to reinvent how their arsenal works with one another. It’s beyond clear Duffey’s velocity has been put out to pasture, but while his curveball was no longer the pitch it once was, turning back to a changeup that helped him as a starter made sense. There’s no denying the Twins need all they can get from the bullpen, and Duffey re-establishing himself as a usable piece would be a good thing. There’s still reason for concern as Duffey has given up hits in eight of the ten appearances we’re talking about here, but keeping runs off the board is the larger point. He’s basically switched spots with Emilio Pagan in the pecking order, and the Twins righting Duffey’s bullpen-mate would be another strong step in helping to preserve leads. View full article
  2. There’s no denying that Tyler Duffey was once among the Twins most trustworthy relievers. Across 2019 and 2022, Duffey posted a solid 2.31 ERA in 80 appearances spanning 81 2/3 innings. His 12.5 K/9 was shiny, and it was backed by a curveball that kept hitters guessing even with a fastball that didn’t light up the radar gun. He allowed just 2.2 BB/9 and posted a WHIP below 1.00. His 2.91 FIP across that span also suggested this wasn’t a mirage. Then 2021 happened. After being a primary setup man for former closer Taylor Rogers, Duffey blew up to the tune of a 3.18 ERA with a 3.49 FIP and a 4.19 xFIP. He lost roughly four strikeouts per nine innings, and double the number of free passes he was issuing. The chief concern was a velocity drop that happened in 2020 not rectifying itself. After holding around 94 mph on his fastball at his best, Duffey’s primary offering was down to just 92 mph. Without being able to throw a fastball by hitters, and the inability to locate his curveball, a recipe for disaster was realized. On June 12, when Duffey served up the dinger against the Rays, it capped off a three-appearance run in which he’d allowed a home run every time out. Duffey recorded just 3 2/3 innings during the stretch and gave up a whopping seven runs on seven hits and three walks. His ERA sat at a season-worst 6.38. This wasn’t the first bad stretch either. Duffey took a blown save against the Mariners to end the second game of the season, and then he gave up a pair of homers to blow another game against the Royals a few weeks later. At some point, the definition of insanity was going to be reached here. Everything Duffey was doing wasn’t working. Minnesota had pushed him into the lowest of leverage roles, and even when the moments were inconsequential his stuff didn’t generate outs. Having used a changeup during his days as a starter, and crediting former pitching coach Wes Johnson for urging him to go back to it, Duffey changed things up. Up until June 12, Duffey had used his changeup just 1% of the time being a two-pitch pitcher with the fastball and curveball. He generated just a 10.7% whiff rate and was getting batters to chase 31.1% of the time. Fast forward to where we are now and this is a different pitcher. Sure, the sample size is just 13 innings across 10 games, but that represents roughly one-third of his season. Duffey is still throwing his fastball 50% of the time, but he’s dropped the curveball usage and is pushing his changeup out 12.3% of the time. It’s resulted in a hard-hit rate of only 20.5% and has generated chase swings nearly 5% more often. At some point, pitchers need to reinvent how their arsenal works with one another. It’s beyond clear Duffey’s velocity has been put out to pasture, but while his curveball was no longer the pitch it once was, turning back to a changeup that helped him as a starter made sense. There’s no denying the Twins need all they can get from the bullpen, and Duffey re-establishing himself as a usable piece would be a good thing. There’s still reason for concern as Duffey has given up hits in eight of the ten appearances we’re talking about here, but keeping runs off the board is the larger point. He’s basically switched spots with Emilio Pagan in the pecking order, and the Twins righting Duffey’s bullpen-mate would be another strong step in helping to preserve leads.
  3. Three Twins pitchers stood out with their help keeping the team at the .500 mark over the course of the month. Sonny Gray dominated in his three starts for the month of June with a 1.69 ERA in those starts, but being on the IL for half of the month kept him out of the voting for pitcher of the month. Without further adieu, here are the top two honorable mentions and winner for the Twins Daily Pitcher of the Month. Honorable Mention Two: Jhoan Duran The rookie phenom Jhoan Duran has had another stellar month keeping up his case to make it to the all-star game in July. Duran made ten relief appearances for the Twins in the month of June posting a 1.42 ERA, 10.0 K/9, 1.63 FIP, and 14 strikeouts in 10 relief appearances. The one outing that kept Duran from being placed higher on this list was his first real scuffle with big-league hitting. It came in his June 9th outing against the New York Yankees where he surrendered two runs to the Evil Empire while only retiring one batter. Since that outing, Duran has not given up a run in 8 1/3 innings of work. There’s no telling if Duran will experience burnout next month or continue his dominance as the fastest pitcher in baseball, but Twins fans can take solace in the fact he has been the best reliever for the team during the first three months of the season. Honorable Mention One: Griffin Jax Leading the way for the Twins bullpen in a rocky month of June was sophomore Griffin Jax. In his 12 relief appearances throughout the month, Jax led all Twins relievers in ERA (1.38), opponent AVG (.098), WHIP (0.38), and strikeouts (18). Jax’s month of June alone has shown how far he’s come since he was a rookie starter with the team last year. Where Jax previously struggled just to get through more than three innings, he has now become the Twins most effective long reliever. The Twins bullpen has many fixes needed for the remainder of the season, but both Jax and Duran have proven themselves as the most reliable arms out of the pen. The Twins will not use them every day during the month of July, but Twins fans should be grateful for what these two provided while other members of the bullpen struggled often. Twins Pitcher of the Month: Chris Archer The resurgence of Chris Archer with the Twins has been a great surprise to many in baseball. Now with the man who has turned Archer’s career around, Wes Johnson, leaving Minnesota for Louisiana State University, it’s only fair to dub Archer as the Twins pitcher of the month for June. Archer was the anchor of the Twins rotation when Gray and Joe Ryan were on the IL for the first half of the month. June has been Archer’s greatest month of the season to date, even with his innings still limited as he compiled a total of 27 innings, in six starts for the month. In those six starts, Archer posted a 1.67 ERA, .156 AVG, 1.04 WHIP, and only gave up two home runs. Archer’s best start of the month came on June 8th against the best team in baseball, the Yankees, where he only allowed two hits and one run in five innings of work. Yes, Archer does still have a high walk rate and that was showcased in his final start of the month on June 30 against the Guardians where he walked six batters. But the high walk rate should not be reason to ignore the recognition that Archer deserves for being the stabilizing force of the Twins' starting rotation during a rocky month of pitching. What do you think? Would you vote for Archer for Twins pitcher of the month in June, or would you vote for one of the relievers?
  4. The month of June was a bit of a roller coaster for the Twins pitching staff, but the team maintained their first-place lead in the American League Central even as they had a losing record on the month of 13-15. Three Twins pitchers stood out with their help keeping the team at the .500 mark over the course of the month. Sonny Gray dominated in his three starts for the month of June with a 1.69 ERA in those starts, but being on the IL for half of the month kept him out of the voting for pitcher of the month. Without further adieu, here are the top two honorable mentions and winner for the Twins Daily Pitcher of the Month. Honorable Mention Two: Jhoan Duran The rookie phenom Jhoan Duran has had another stellar month keeping up his case to make it to the all-star game in July. Duran made ten relief appearances for the Twins in the month of June posting a 1.42 ERA, 10.0 K/9, 1.63 FIP, and 14 strikeouts in 10 relief appearances. The one outing that kept Duran from being placed higher on this list was his first real scuffle with big-league hitting. It came in his June 9th outing against the New York Yankees where he surrendered two runs to the Evil Empire while only retiring one batter. Since that outing, Duran has not given up a run in 8 1/3 innings of work. There’s no telling if Duran will experience burnout next month or continue his dominance as the fastest pitcher in baseball, but Twins fans can take solace in the fact he has been the best reliever for the team during the first three months of the season. Honorable Mention One: Griffin Jax Leading the way for the Twins bullpen in a rocky month of June was sophomore Griffin Jax. In his 12 relief appearances throughout the month, Jax led all Twins relievers in ERA (1.38), opponent AVG (.098), WHIP (0.38), and strikeouts (18). Jax’s month of June alone has shown how far he’s come since he was a rookie starter with the team last year. Where Jax previously struggled just to get through more than three innings, he has now become the Twins most effective long reliever. The Twins bullpen has many fixes needed for the remainder of the season, but both Jax and Duran have proven themselves as the most reliable arms out of the pen. The Twins will not use them every day during the month of July, but Twins fans should be grateful for what these two provided while other members of the bullpen struggled often. Twins Pitcher of the Month: Chris Archer The resurgence of Chris Archer with the Twins has been a great surprise to many in baseball. Now with the man who has turned Archer’s career around, Wes Johnson, leaving Minnesota for Louisiana State University, it’s only fair to dub Archer as the Twins pitcher of the month for June. Archer was the anchor of the Twins rotation when Gray and Joe Ryan were on the IL for the first half of the month. June has been Archer’s greatest month of the season to date, even with his innings still limited as he compiled a total of 27 innings, in six starts for the month. In those six starts, Archer posted a 1.67 ERA, .156 AVG, 1.04 WHIP, and only gave up two home runs. Archer’s best start of the month came on June 8th against the best team in baseball, the Yankees, where he only allowed two hits and one run in five innings of work. Yes, Archer does still have a high walk rate and that was showcased in his final start of the month on June 30 against the Guardians where he walked six batters. But the high walk rate should not be reason to ignore the recognition that Archer deserves for being the stabilizing force of the Twins' starting rotation during a rocky month of pitching. What do you think? Would you vote for Archer for Twins pitcher of the month in June, or would you vote for one of the relievers? View full article
  5. With Wes Johnson's departure for LSU following the Twins series in Cleveland, the Twins have officially announced that Pete Maki will take over as the team's pitching coach and Colby Suggs will be the bullpen coach. Less than a week ago, we learned that Wes Johnson was leaving the Twins to take the pitching coach job at Louisiana State University. He remained with the team through their series in Cleveland, but his time with the Twins is now complete. On Friday, the Twins officially named Pete Maki as their pitching coach. He has been working as the Twins bullpen coach since 2020 when Bob McClure was not able to assume the job due to Covid. The 39-year-old joined the Twins organization before the 2018 season as the minor league pitching coordinator. Like Johnson, Maki was hired out of the college ranks. He coached at the University of New Haven for two seasons. Then he became the assistant pitching coach at Columbia University from 2008 through 2015 when he became the pitching coach at Duke University where he remained until the Twins hired him. Luis Ramirez remains the Twins assistant pitching coach. Maki spent time in the Twins dugout the past couple of games to work with Johnson in that location in preparation for taking over the position. Colby Suggs was hired by the Twins before the 2019 season as an advanced scout. Before 2021, he was named the team's coordinator of run prevention. He actually pitched at the University of Arkansas from 2011 through 2013. He became the 73rd overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Marlins and spent four seasons pitching in their organization. He worked and coached at private facilities for a couple of years before being named the bullpen coach at his alma mater, the University of Arkansas where he worked with Wes Johnson. Speaking of Johnson, he took to Twitter to leave a message for Twins fans. View full article
  6. Less than a week ago, we learned that Wes Johnson was leaving the Twins to take the pitching coach job at Louisiana State University. He remained with the team through their series in Cleveland, but his time with the Twins is now complete. On Friday, the Twins officially named Pete Maki as their pitching coach. He has been working as the Twins bullpen coach since 2020 when Bob McClure was not able to assume the job due to Covid. The 39-year-old joined the Twins organization before the 2018 season as the minor league pitching coordinator. Like Johnson, Maki was hired out of the college ranks. He coached at the University of New Haven for two seasons. Then he became the assistant pitching coach at Columbia University from 2008 through 2015 when he became the pitching coach at Duke University where he remained until the Twins hired him. Luis Ramirez remains the Twins assistant pitching coach. Maki spent time in the Twins dugout the past couple of games to work with Johnson in that location in preparation for taking over the position. Colby Suggs was hired by the Twins before the 2019 season as an advanced scout. Before 2021, he was named the team's coordinator of run prevention. He actually pitched at the University of Arkansas from 2011 through 2013. He became the 73rd overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Marlins and spent four seasons pitching in their organization. He worked and coached at private facilities for a couple of years before being named the bullpen coach at his alma mater, the University of Arkansas where he worked with Wes Johnson. Speaking of Johnson, he took to Twitter to leave a message for Twins fans.
  7. In a surprise move, Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson will be leaving the Minnesota Twins to become LSU's pitching coach. D1 Baseball's Kendall Rogers broke news today that LSU has hired Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson as their new pitching coach, resulting in a midseason change of one of the Twins' most important coaches. Johnson was hired prior to the 2019 season from Arkansas, where he was the pitching coach, a trailblazing move for a MLB team. Now he will return to that same conference as a rival team's pitching coach. Losing Johnson during the offseason would be a story in and of itself. The Twins pitching staff ranked 22nd in ERA (4.50) in 2018, the year before Johnson replace Garvin Alston. In 2019, they improved to 8th in the league with a 4.18 ERA. This year, the team ERA is 3.79, ranking 11th in the majors, despite pitching being perceived as the team's Achilles heal heading into the season. At the very least, he's been seen as a cornerstone in the organization's renewed focus on pitching over the last several years. Having the move happen in the middle of the baseball season, especially when the team is in first place in the AL Central, makes it a major story. Per Dan Hayes, the Twins just found out about his talks with LSU on Saturday. He also reports that his talks with the Twins did not include a request for more money. With the news being so unexpected, it is not clear what factors played into this sudden decision. Hayes does add that LSU was very aggressive, so it may be that he is just interested in LSU. They just completed their first season with new coach Jay Johnson, who guided them to a 40-22 record in the SEC, good for third place in the West. Aaron Gleeman reports that Johnson's tenure will end after this week's 5-game series versus the Cleveland Guardians. At that time his role will be filled by bullpen coach Pete Maki, although fully replacing him will be a group effort. Maki has been with the coaching staff since 2020, and been in the organization since 2017 when he joined them as their minor league pitching coordinator. More to come. Feel free to comment as additional news breaks. View full article
  8. D1 Baseball's Kendall Rogers broke news today that LSU has hired Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson as their new pitching coach, resulting in a midseason change of one of the Twins' most important coaches. Johnson was hired prior to the 2019 season from Arkansas, where he was the pitching coach, a trailblazing move for a MLB team. Now he will return to that same conference as a rival team's pitching coach. Losing Johnson during the offseason would be a story in and of itself. The Twins pitching staff ranked 22nd in ERA (4.50) in 2018, the year before Johnson replace Garvin Alston. In 2019, they improved to 8th in the league with a 4.18 ERA. This year, the team ERA is 3.79, ranking 11th in the majors, despite pitching being perceived as the team's Achilles heal heading into the season. At the very least, he's been seen as a cornerstone in the organization's renewed focus on pitching over the last several years. Having the move happen in the middle of the baseball season, especially when the team is in first place in the AL Central, makes it a major story. Per Dan Hayes, the Twins just found out about his talks with LSU on Saturday. He also reports that his talks with the Twins did not include a request for more money. With the news being so unexpected, it is not clear what factors played into this sudden decision. Hayes does add that LSU was very aggressive, so it may be that he is just interested in LSU. They just completed their first season with new coach Jay Johnson, who guided them to a 40-22 record in the SEC, good for third place in the West. Aaron Gleeman reports that Johnson's tenure will end after this week's 5-game series versus the Cleveland Guardians. At that time his role will be filled by bullpen coach Pete Maki, although fully replacing him will be a group effort. Maki has been with the coaching staff since 2020, and been in the organization since 2017 when he joined them as their minor league pitching coordinator. More to come. Feel free to comment as additional news breaks.
  9. If you go back to the reports around the hiring of Wes Johnson, all of them are data analytic-obsessed articles. Not surprising: as late as 2019, signaling that Big Data was the future of everything still seemed like a good bet. The New York Times headline reads: "The Science of Building a Better Pitcher." Often noted, but still somewhat sidelined, is Johnson and his own personality. “He’s so bubbly, and he just bounces off the walls with energy,” described Texas Baseball Ranch found Ron Wolforth. He was as known for his skills as his nickname creator in college ball. And according to Dallas Baptist University head coach Dan Heefner in 2018, where Johnson often worked with the most scrappy of baseball prospects, it was not about simply reading the charts. "He really understands the numbers, but he can communicate it to a player in a way that simplifies it." The ultimate question of data in sports has been one the entire sport has been grappling with since 2002. There was a traditional way of doing things, and then there was the new way. Even in Joe Maddon’s exit interview with Ken Rosenthal, he had a few key words for upstairs management and their thoughts on how to play the game. This is what made Johnson unique and a critical part of this sports team and perhaps how sports teams continue to build from here on out: good data is only as good as its communication. Johnson, who is leaving for Louisiana State University, was an expert communicator and changed pitchers based not just on what he saw, but how they needed to learn. Going forward, the Twins and other sports will need to find ways to keep coaches like Johnson if they truly want to succeed. Johnson was hired in 2019 in retrospect as part of one particular mistake by the former front office. A struggling Twins team sent Ryan Pressly to the Astros, where his WHIP dropped from 1.33 to a 0.58 as the closer for their World Series contending team. In Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik's The MVP Machine, they reveal some critical details about what was happening in both organizations. The Twins data team knew about the effectiveness of Pressly’s curveball, but for one reason or another, could not find a way to explain it to the young pitcher. Pressly remembers that the Astros did at first throw too many charts with too many axises in trying to explain the effectiveness of his pitch, but the book notes the important role of Brent Strom, the oldest coach in the league and a particular joker as well in telling pitchers what they needed to know. Players might not understand MBAs, but when the right person tells them in the right way, it can transform how they develop. Derek Falvey explained in 2019 that he hired Johnson based on the kinds of data and analytical approaches used in college ball and seemingly hired Johnson on that basis. But in repeated articles of those on the ground since joining the team, Johnson is less a coach than a counselor. Having mentored with young guys barely understanding their mechanics much less how to bathe properly, Johnson had to learn how to talk to kids who might be easily erratic to new information. He developed trust first, and information second. During Sunday's broadcast and before he likely knew of the unexpected news, Chris Archer gushed about how much Johnson had essentially saved his career by developing their unexpected program for him despite the limited workload. As one article on 2020’s Spring Training (before COVID shut it down) suggested, “The key [for Twins pitchers] has been having a coaching staff and analytic department that has worked together to identify and deliver the message to the player in ways that can help them understand how it will help them on the field.” Rather than lead by analytics, he acted as a bridge. More so, what Johnson talks about with pitchers feels very different. Take this Twins Daily profile from 2019: Even though Gibson gets the last word, the joke buried inside is actually revealing of how Johnson connects the body rather than the numbers. It’s one thing to tell a player to throw their slider more and give them the expected batting averages; Johnson sticks close to the thing players understand best: what their body is feeling. A continuing anecdote appears in many of the Johnson profiles: he often let other pitchers do the work for him. This isn’t some lazy choice, but again, thinking about how to create effective communication. As Johnson told FiveThirtyEight in 2019: “I can’t always speak the language that gets them to learn the fastest. When [Martin Perez] first started with the cutter, I said, ‘Hey, you gotta go talk to Jake [Odorizzi].’ Your job as a coach is yes, to coach the guys, but it’s also to close the feedback loop and make it as small as possible.” And with this year’s rotation that barely knew each other, Johnson ensured the team fed of each other’s energy and made them into a family (likely leading to the $500 foul out competition) There is no rule against more coaches. Just ask the San Francisco Giants, who outperformed their projections by a stunning 20 games and the dozen or so they employ (according to a recent interview with Fernando Perez on Effectively Wild, he explained they use a log system to avoid contradictory information). Data has changed baseball, in some ways for the better. But replacing Wes Johnson might not be as easy as it looks, particularly during the midstream moment. These players—just like anyone playing baseball at any level—don't need to know the numbers. They need to know their own bodies. And coaching is a skill that might have changed over the last decades of baseball, but Johnson understood the critical skill: knowing how to tell players in the right moment.
  10. Why was Wes Johnson so critical to this team's recent success? A look back at the changing perception of how he was brought on and how he's leaving. If you go back to the reports around the hiring of Wes Johnson, all of them are data analytic-obsessed articles. Not surprising: as late as 2019, signaling that Big Data was the future of everything still seemed like a good bet. The New York Times headline reads: "The Science of Building a Better Pitcher." Often noted, but still somewhat sidelined, is Johnson and his own personality. “He’s so bubbly, and he just bounces off the walls with energy,” described Texas Baseball Ranch found Ron Wolforth. He was as known for his skills as his nickname creator in college ball. And according to Dallas Baptist University head coach Dan Heefner in 2018, where Johnson often worked with the most scrappy of baseball prospects, it was not about simply reading the charts. "He really understands the numbers, but he can communicate it to a player in a way that simplifies it." The ultimate question of data in sports has been one the entire sport has been grappling with since 2002. There was a traditional way of doing things, and then there was the new way. Even in Joe Maddon’s exit interview with Ken Rosenthal, he had a few key words for upstairs management and their thoughts on how to play the game. This is what made Johnson unique and a critical part of this sports team and perhaps how sports teams continue to build from here on out: good data is only as good as its communication. Johnson, who is leaving for Louisiana State University, was an expert communicator and changed pitchers based not just on what he saw, but how they needed to learn. Going forward, the Twins and other sports will need to find ways to keep coaches like Johnson if they truly want to succeed. Johnson was hired in 2019 in retrospect as part of one particular mistake by the former front office. A struggling Twins team sent Ryan Pressly to the Astros, where his WHIP dropped from 1.33 to a 0.58 as the closer for their World Series contending team. In Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik's The MVP Machine, they reveal some critical details about what was happening in both organizations. The Twins data team knew about the effectiveness of Pressly’s curveball, but for one reason or another, could not find a way to explain it to the young pitcher. Pressly remembers that the Astros did at first throw too many charts with too many axises in trying to explain the effectiveness of his pitch, but the book notes the important role of Brent Strom, the oldest coach in the league and a particular joker as well in telling pitchers what they needed to know. Players might not understand MBAs, but when the right person tells them in the right way, it can transform how they develop. Derek Falvey explained in 2019 that he hired Johnson based on the kinds of data and analytical approaches used in college ball and seemingly hired Johnson on that basis. But in repeated articles of those on the ground since joining the team, Johnson is less a coach than a counselor. Having mentored with young guys barely understanding their mechanics much less how to bathe properly, Johnson had to learn how to talk to kids who might be easily erratic to new information. He developed trust first, and information second. During Sunday's broadcast and before he likely knew of the unexpected news, Chris Archer gushed about how much Johnson had essentially saved his career by developing their unexpected program for him despite the limited workload. As one article on 2020’s Spring Training (before COVID shut it down) suggested, “The key [for Twins pitchers] has been having a coaching staff and analytic department that has worked together to identify and deliver the message to the player in ways that can help them understand how it will help them on the field.” Rather than lead by analytics, he acted as a bridge. More so, what Johnson talks about with pitchers feels very different. Take this Twins Daily profile from 2019: Even though Gibson gets the last word, the joke buried inside is actually revealing of how Johnson connects the body rather than the numbers. It’s one thing to tell a player to throw their slider more and give them the expected batting averages; Johnson sticks close to the thing players understand best: what their body is feeling. A continuing anecdote appears in many of the Johnson profiles: he often let other pitchers do the work for him. This isn’t some lazy choice, but again, thinking about how to create effective communication. As Johnson told FiveThirtyEight in 2019: “I can’t always speak the language that gets them to learn the fastest. When [Martin Perez] first started with the cutter, I said, ‘Hey, you gotta go talk to Jake [Odorizzi].’ Your job as a coach is yes, to coach the guys, but it’s also to close the feedback loop and make it as small as possible.” And with this year’s rotation that barely knew each other, Johnson ensured the team fed of each other’s energy and made them into a family (likely leading to the $500 foul out competition) There is no rule against more coaches. Just ask the San Francisco Giants, who outperformed their projections by a stunning 20 games and the dozen or so they employ (according to a recent interview with Fernando Perez on Effectively Wild, he explained they use a log system to avoid contradictory information). Data has changed baseball, in some ways for the better. But replacing Wes Johnson might not be as easy as it looks, particularly during the midstream moment. These players—just like anyone playing baseball at any level—don't need to know the numbers. They need to know their own bodies. And coaching is a skill that might have changed over the last decades of baseball, but Johnson understood the critical skill: knowing how to tell players in the right moment. View full article
  11. News broke Sunday that Wes Johnson will be leaving the Twins after this week and joining the LSU Tigers as their new pitching coach. Unexpected, big news for the first-place Twins.
  12. News broke Sunday that Wes Johnson will be leaving the Twins after this week and joining the LSU Tigers as their new pitching coach. Unexpected, big news for the first-place Twins. View full video
  13. Last Week's Game Results: Game 69 | CLE 6, MIN 5: Pagán Slips Up, Twins Blow Late Lead Game 70 | CLE 11, MIN 10: Bullpen Melts Down Again in Crusher Game 71 | MIN 1, CLE 0: Smeltzer and Gordon Stave Off Sweep Game 72 | COL 1, MIN 0: Lineup No Match for Márquez Game 73 | MIN 6, COL 0: Twins Get Payback in Shutout Win Game 74 | MIN 6, COL 3: Buxton Flirts with Cycle, Scores 3 Times Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 6/20 through Sun, 6/26 *** Record Last Week: 3-3 (Overall: 41-33) Run Differential Last Week: +7 (Overall: +32) Standing: 1st Place in AL Central (2.0 GA) NEWS & NOTES The week ended with a piece of bombshell news, when we learned that Wes Johnson, Twins pitching coach since the 2019 season, will be leaving the team abruptly next week to join Louisiana State University in the same role. Minnesota's assistant pitching coach Pete Maki will step up to take over Johnson's vacant spot. This is a legitimately stunning turn of events, and one we'll surely learn a lot more about in the coming days. For now, I recommend reading John Bonnes' story above to get the details as we know them. Here we'll get aim to catch up on everything else. Just as it ended, the past week could've hardly started in a more deflating way. The Cleveland Guardians arrived in town for a much-anticipated battle atop the division, and the action at Target Field was as advertised – three one-run games full of fireworks, drama, and big swings. Unfortunately, the Twins bore the brunt of those swings in the first two games, with the bullpen twice blowing late leads as Cleveland stormed into sole possession of first place. Adding to the bad vibes was the revelation that Byron Buxton, who sat out the second game of this key series, had in fact been totally unavailable due to overwhelming soreness in his right knee. He remained sidelined for Thursday and Friday, but the Twins kept him active, insisting that consultations with multiple specialists led them to believe they're doing the right thing. It's hard to disagree after Buxton returned with a bang on Saturday and Sunday, legging out two triples among his four hits. He scored three times in a three-run victory to end the week. The turnaround in Buxton's situation – from grimly depressing to relatively encouraging – personified the course of Minnesota's week as a whole. After the crushing setbacks in those first two Cleveland games, the Twins won three of the next four and by the end of Sunday, they were back atop the division by two games. Before we dive into the good and bad more deeply, let's cover a few roster developments that took place over the past week, starting with a potentially significant one: Since hitting his last home run on June 10th, Trevor Larnach had gone 5-for-35 with zero extra-base hits over the next two weeks, with his potent hitting prowess going completely amiss. On Saturday, we got a clue as to why. Larnach was placed on the injured list with a core injury that had evidently been bothering him for some time. Doesn't sound like it'll be a short absence. He was replaced on the roster by Mark Contreras, who got a start and made a really nice defensive play, although he's still looking for his first major-league hit. On Sunday, Joe Smith landed on the IL with Jovani Moran swapping into the bullpen as his replacement. Given that Smith went through a bit of an acrobatic act in his last appearance, loading the bases with no outs in a one-run game before managing to escape unscathed, it seems fitting his injury was announced as upper trapezius tightness. Josh Winder's rehab assignment came to an end and he was optioned to Triple-A, though he's expected to come up and start a game in Tuesday's upcoming doubleheader. His return will be more than welcomed by this pitching staff. HIGHLIGHTS Alex Kirilloff's return has certainly been welcomed by the Twins offense. As hoped, the sweet-swinging lefty has looked like a totally different player this time around, after working to get straightened out in the minors. He didn't deliver a ton of hits last week, but made them count, driving in seven runs on five singles and two doubles. This lineup just has a different vibe with his bat in it. The continued emergence of Carlos Correa also serves to reinforce the legitimacy of the Twins offense. He had another excellent week, notching hits in every game on the way to a 9-for-25 week that included a double and a pair of homers. Correa has raised his OPS by nearly 100 points over the past month, shaking off a so-so start to deliver on the offensive promise that attracted the Twins to him. Oddly, his defensive numbers are way down, but Correa has clearly been a major asset and he's also back to playing everyday after easing back into action following his time on the COVID list. Ryan Jeffers had an excellent week as he revives his bat from the depths of a brutal slump. In four starts behind the plate, he went 5-for-12 with three doubles. Perhaps most impressively, he drew three walks against only three strikeouts, reversing a trend of nonexistent discipline that played a major role in his lack of production in May and the first half of June. We've been here before, and typically Jeffers' brief hot streaks been followed by extended droughts to more than offset them. If he can buck that pattern and keep making noise at the plate with any kind of consistency, it'll be a huge difference-maker for this offense. In the rotation, Devin Smeltzer and Chris Archer have been big difference-makers – unexpected and much-needed ones at that. Smeltzer played the role of stopper in Wednesday's finale against Cleveland, shutting down a lineup that had its way with Twins pitching for two days. A bounce-back showing from the bullpen, along with a solo homer from Nick Gordon, supported Smeltzer's six shutout innings en route to his fourth win of the season. Meanwhile, Archer's reclamation tour continued on Saturday with five innings of one-hit, shutout ball against Colorado. He struck out five and walked one in the tidy outing, lowering his ERA to 3.14. Through 14 starts, Archer has yet to pitch into the sixth inning, but he's been about as good as one could ask for with that caveat. In five June starts, he's posted a 1.57 ERA while holding opponents to a .169 batting average. This at a time where the rotation has largely been without its best two starters. Now, to be clear, the underlying metrics for Archer remain very ugly. The gap between his shiny ERA this month and his mediocre 4.03 FIP illustrate the degree to which he's outperforming expected outcomes. But ... you've got to think the approach being used with him is playing a big part. Statcast numbers aside, the 33-year-old is more than getting the job done, and most importantly, he's healthy after pitching fewer than 20 innings the past two years. "I'm super grateful how Rocco is handling this whole situation," Archer told reporters. "I couldn't be happier with how everything is going." It's noteworthy that the Twins and Archer have a mutual option at $10 million for next season. These are rarely exercised, but in this case? Sure feels possible if things continue as they've gone. But now Archer will have to try and keep it rolling through a sudden change in pitching coach. LOWLIGHTS Nearly one month ago, on May 30th, I wrote that the Twins bullpen was teetering on the brink of disaster, citing the ominous contrast of a Win Probability Added ranking fourth-best in baseball and a Wins Above Replacement ranking second-worst. Since then, Minnesota's bullpen ranks 20th in WPA, with a negative overall impact. The chickens have come to roost. They were flying around everywhere on Tuesday and Wednesday night, with a pair of very winnable games slipping away in highly frustrating fashion. As painfully easy as it was to see this coming, it's all the more painful to recognize a shortage of clear solutions. Want to shout for dismissal of the offending parties? Simple enough. Confidently identifying better options. Much trickier. Emilio Pagán tops that list of offending parties. He came on in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game against Cleveland, just after Luis Arráez electrified the building with a go-ahead three-run homer. Pagán proceeded to put a runner on and then serve an absolute meatball to Franmil Reyes, who promptly erased a two-run deficit. The following day, Pagán seemingly was on track to rebound, striking out the side in a clean eighth. Rocco Baldelli tried to get another inning out of him, and that didn't go well. Pagán opened the following frame by giving up three straight hits, opening the floodgates on a four-run ninth that turned a three-run lead into a one-run loss. Pagán's fastball has actually been pretty effective, holding opponents to a .190 average, and his splitter has been downright excellent, with a 39.4% whiff rate. But for whatever reason he's turned to the cutter more often (29.3%) than the splitter (22.3%), and that cutter has been horrendous. Opponents are slugging .724 against it, with three homers including the above moonshot by Reyes. Also contributing to the bullpen's woes was Jharel Cotton, who gave up three runs as part of the late-game collapse on Wednesday, coughing up a pair of homers. Tyler Duffey pitched twice in relatively low-leverage situations (down a run on Friday, up three on Sunday) and while he didn't give up any runs he didn't look good, allowing two walks and three hits in three innings. He was bailed out by three double plays. As good as Jhoan Duran and Griffin Jax have been – and they were both awesome last week, even if Jax was tagged with both losses against Cleveland – the Twins bullpen cannot sustain with them forced to shoulder so much of the load. You could tell Baldelli was making efforts to protect Jax a bit on Wednesday – he'd thrown 27 pitches the previous night, and 16 two days earlier – by sending Pagán out for another inning. Pagán's failure meant Jax ended up having to pitch again anyway, and the Twins lost anyway. Duran, who pitched 16 total innings last year due to elbow issues, was called upon three times last week, and asked to get more than three outs in two of those. These are important young arms. They need to be protected. Veterans like Pagán and Duffey aren't getting it done and the possible negative impacts go beyond tallies in the loss column. Of course, it would also help if any of the starting pitchers were providing length. Archer's aforementioned workload limitations, much like Buxton's frequent days off, are acceptable as the byproduct of a plan that is delivering its intended results. It's tougher to accept Sonny Gray failing to get an out in the fifth inning on Tuesday, or Joe Ryan losing the groove from his stellar start to the season. Ryan just hasn't looked the same since coming back from a lengthy stint on the COVID list, with 10 earned runs allowed in 15 ⅔ innings over three starts. The poised craftsman who efficiently carved up opposing lineups through mid-May hasn't been present of late as Ryan has labored and missed his spots. On Sunday he needed 102 pitches to get through five innings against Colorado, striking out just one. This rotation needs more from its top two arms. It probably also needs at least one other high-end arm added to that group if championship contention is a true aspiration. TRENDING STORYLINE As we've established, the Twins could really use some impact help in the bullpen. While they're short on potential answers, there are a couple of promising – albeit volatile – possibilities in the pipeline. First, you've got Jorge Alcalá, who is set to restart his rehab assignment next week after pausing due to elbow stiffness. If he can eventually come back throwing like he was in the final two months last year, when he posted a 0.96 ERA and 24-to-3 K/BB ratio over 18 ⅔ innings while throwing pure fire, Alcalá could be a transformative force. But the precarious situation with his arm makes it difficult to get hopes up. Meanwhile, pitching prospect Matt Canterino – himself dealing with elbow issues – is ready to start working back toward game action after a positive visit with a specialist, according to Darren Wolfson. For the most part, there aren't many true game-changing arms within range of the majors occupying the Twins system, unless you're especially optimistic about someone like Yennier Cano or Moran. Alcalá and Canterino are a different story. They have what it takes to dominate in the late innings. Although neither is close to entering the big-league bullpen fold at this moment, it's definitely a relief to hear both are again taking steps in the right direction after some scary hiccups. LOOKING AHEAD If the Twins are feeling sour about the way things went down at Target Field against the Guardians last week, they'll have a fast chance to settle the score as they travel of Cleveland for a five-game series against their (present) closest challenger in the division. These jam-packed stretches of the schedule, made necessary by the delayed start to the season, are challenging to endure – especially when you're traveling. The last time Minnesota experienced such a gauntlet, they dropped four of five in Detroit against the Tigers. Needless to say, a similar result in Cleveland would hurt. The follow-up series back home against Baltimore would ordinarily seem like a nice respite, but the Orioles have actually been playing pretty good ball of late. Eight games and a pitching coach transition (set to take place after the Cleveland series) lie ahead in the next seven days. Buckle up. MONDAY, 6/27: TWINS @ GUARDIANS – RHP Sonny Gray v. RHP Triston McKenzie TUESDAY, 6/28 (G1): TWINS @ GUARDIANS – LHP Devin Smeltzer v. RHP Zach Plesac TUESDAY, 6/28 (G2): TWINS @ GUARDIANS – RHP Josh Winder v. TBD WEDNESDAY, 6/29: TWINS @ GUARDIANS – RHP Dylan Bundy v. RHP Cal Quantrill THURSDAY, 6/30: TWINS @ GUARDIANS – RHP Chris Archer v. RHP Shane Bieber FRIDAY, 7/1: ORIOLES @ TWINS – RHP Spenser Watkins v. RHP Joe Ryan SATURDAY, 7/2: ORIOLES @ TWINS – RHP Jordan Lyles v. RHP Sonny Gray SUNDAY, 7/3: ORIOLES @ TWINS – RHP Tyler Wells v. LHP Devin Smeltzer
  14. On both the offensive and pitching sides, the Twins were either very good or very bad over the past seven days. There wasn't much in between. The end result was another .500 week that saw Cleveland briefly overtake first place while putting the longtime division leaders on notice. On Sunday night, however, that all took a backseat to some explosive news. Last Week's Game Results: Game 69 | CLE 6, MIN 5: Pagán Slips Up, Twins Blow Late Lead Game 70 | CLE 11, MIN 10: Bullpen Melts Down Again in Crusher Game 71 | MIN 1, CLE 0: Smeltzer and Gordon Stave Off Sweep Game 72 | COL 1, MIN 0: Lineup No Match for Márquez Game 73 | MIN 6, COL 0: Twins Get Payback in Shutout Win Game 74 | MIN 6, COL 3: Buxton Flirts with Cycle, Scores 3 Times Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 6/20 through Sun, 6/26 *** Record Last Week: 3-3 (Overall: 41-33) Run Differential Last Week: +7 (Overall: +32) Standing: 1st Place in AL Central (2.0 GA) NEWS & NOTES The week ended with a piece of bombshell news, when we learned that Wes Johnson, Twins pitching coach since the 2019 season, will be leaving the team abruptly next week to join Louisiana State University in the same role. Minnesota's assistant pitching coach Pete Maki will step up to take over Johnson's vacant spot. This is a legitimately stunning turn of events, and one we'll surely learn a lot more about in the coming days. For now, I recommend reading John Bonnes' story above to get the details as we know them. Here we'll get aim to catch up on everything else. Just as it ended, the past week could've hardly started in a more deflating way. The Cleveland Guardians arrived in town for a much-anticipated battle atop the division, and the action at Target Field was as advertised – three one-run games full of fireworks, drama, and big swings. Unfortunately, the Twins bore the brunt of those swings in the first two games, with the bullpen twice blowing late leads as Cleveland stormed into sole possession of first place. Adding to the bad vibes was the revelation that Byron Buxton, who sat out the second game of this key series, had in fact been totally unavailable due to overwhelming soreness in his right knee. He remained sidelined for Thursday and Friday, but the Twins kept him active, insisting that consultations with multiple specialists led them to believe they're doing the right thing. It's hard to disagree after Buxton returned with a bang on Saturday and Sunday, legging out two triples among his four hits. He scored three times in a three-run victory to end the week. The turnaround in Buxton's situation – from grimly depressing to relatively encouraging – personified the course of Minnesota's week as a whole. After the crushing setbacks in those first two Cleveland games, the Twins won three of the next four and by the end of Sunday, they were back atop the division by two games. Before we dive into the good and bad more deeply, let's cover a few roster developments that took place over the past week, starting with a potentially significant one: Since hitting his last home run on June 10th, Trevor Larnach had gone 5-for-35 with zero extra-base hits over the next two weeks, with his potent hitting prowess going completely amiss. On Saturday, we got a clue as to why. Larnach was placed on the injured list with a core injury that had evidently been bothering him for some time. Doesn't sound like it'll be a short absence. He was replaced on the roster by Mark Contreras, who got a start and made a really nice defensive play, although he's still looking for his first major-league hit. On Sunday, Joe Smith landed on the IL with Jovani Moran swapping into the bullpen as his replacement. Given that Smith went through a bit of an acrobatic act in his last appearance, loading the bases with no outs in a one-run game before managing to escape unscathed, it seems fitting his injury was announced as upper trapezius tightness. Josh Winder's rehab assignment came to an end and he was optioned to Triple-A, though he's expected to come up and start a game in Tuesday's upcoming doubleheader. His return will be more than welcomed by this pitching staff. HIGHLIGHTS Alex Kirilloff's return has certainly been welcomed by the Twins offense. As hoped, the sweet-swinging lefty has looked like a totally different player this time around, after working to get straightened out in the minors. He didn't deliver a ton of hits last week, but made them count, driving in seven runs on five singles and two doubles. This lineup just has a different vibe with his bat in it. The continued emergence of Carlos Correa also serves to reinforce the legitimacy of the Twins offense. He had another excellent week, notching hits in every game on the way to a 9-for-25 week that included a double and a pair of homers. Correa has raised his OPS by nearly 100 points over the past month, shaking off a so-so start to deliver on the offensive promise that attracted the Twins to him. Oddly, his defensive numbers are way down, but Correa has clearly been a major asset and he's also back to playing everyday after easing back into action following his time on the COVID list. Ryan Jeffers had an excellent week as he revives his bat from the depths of a brutal slump. In four starts behind the plate, he went 5-for-12 with three doubles. Perhaps most impressively, he drew three walks against only three strikeouts, reversing a trend of nonexistent discipline that played a major role in his lack of production in May and the first half of June. We've been here before, and typically Jeffers' brief hot streaks been followed by extended droughts to more than offset them. If he can buck that pattern and keep making noise at the plate with any kind of consistency, it'll be a huge difference-maker for this offense. In the rotation, Devin Smeltzer and Chris Archer have been big difference-makers – unexpected and much-needed ones at that. Smeltzer played the role of stopper in Wednesday's finale against Cleveland, shutting down a lineup that had its way with Twins pitching for two days. A bounce-back showing from the bullpen, along with a solo homer from Nick Gordon, supported Smeltzer's six shutout innings en route to his fourth win of the season. Meanwhile, Archer's reclamation tour continued on Saturday with five innings of one-hit, shutout ball against Colorado. He struck out five and walked one in the tidy outing, lowering his ERA to 3.14. Through 14 starts, Archer has yet to pitch into the sixth inning, but he's been about as good as one could ask for with that caveat. In five June starts, he's posted a 1.57 ERA while holding opponents to a .169 batting average. This at a time where the rotation has largely been without its best two starters. Now, to be clear, the underlying metrics for Archer remain very ugly. The gap between his shiny ERA this month and his mediocre 4.03 FIP illustrate the degree to which he's outperforming expected outcomes. But ... you've got to think the approach being used with him is playing a big part. Statcast numbers aside, the 33-year-old is more than getting the job done, and most importantly, he's healthy after pitching fewer than 20 innings the past two years. "I'm super grateful how Rocco is handling this whole situation," Archer told reporters. "I couldn't be happier with how everything is going." It's noteworthy that the Twins and Archer have a mutual option at $10 million for next season. These are rarely exercised, but in this case? Sure feels possible if things continue as they've gone. But now Archer will have to try and keep it rolling through a sudden change in pitching coach. LOWLIGHTS Nearly one month ago, on May 30th, I wrote that the Twins bullpen was teetering on the brink of disaster, citing the ominous contrast of a Win Probability Added ranking fourth-best in baseball and a Wins Above Replacement ranking second-worst. Since then, Minnesota's bullpen ranks 20th in WPA, with a negative overall impact. The chickens have come to roost. They were flying around everywhere on Tuesday and Wednesday night, with a pair of very winnable games slipping away in highly frustrating fashion. As painfully easy as it was to see this coming, it's all the more painful to recognize a shortage of clear solutions. Want to shout for dismissal of the offending parties? Simple enough. Confidently identifying better options. Much trickier. Emilio Pagán tops that list of offending parties. He came on in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game against Cleveland, just after Luis Arráez electrified the building with a go-ahead three-run homer. Pagán proceeded to put a runner on and then serve an absolute meatball to Franmil Reyes, who promptly erased a two-run deficit. The following day, Pagán seemingly was on track to rebound, striking out the side in a clean eighth. Rocco Baldelli tried to get another inning out of him, and that didn't go well. Pagán opened the following frame by giving up three straight hits, opening the floodgates on a four-run ninth that turned a three-run lead into a one-run loss. Pagán's fastball has actually been pretty effective, holding opponents to a .190 average, and his splitter has been downright excellent, with a 39.4% whiff rate. But for whatever reason he's turned to the cutter more often (29.3%) than the splitter (22.3%), and that cutter has been horrendous. Opponents are slugging .724 against it, with three homers including the above moonshot by Reyes. Also contributing to the bullpen's woes was Jharel Cotton, who gave up three runs as part of the late-game collapse on Wednesday, coughing up a pair of homers. Tyler Duffey pitched twice in relatively low-leverage situations (down a run on Friday, up three on Sunday) and while he didn't give up any runs he didn't look good, allowing two walks and three hits in three innings. He was bailed out by three double plays. As good as Jhoan Duran and Griffin Jax have been – and they were both awesome last week, even if Jax was tagged with both losses against Cleveland – the Twins bullpen cannot sustain with them forced to shoulder so much of the load. You could tell Baldelli was making efforts to protect Jax a bit on Wednesday – he'd thrown 27 pitches the previous night, and 16 two days earlier – by sending Pagán out for another inning. Pagán's failure meant Jax ended up having to pitch again anyway, and the Twins lost anyway. Duran, who pitched 16 total innings last year due to elbow issues, was called upon three times last week, and asked to get more than three outs in two of those. These are important young arms. They need to be protected. Veterans like Pagán and Duffey aren't getting it done and the possible negative impacts go beyond tallies in the loss column. Of course, it would also help if any of the starting pitchers were providing length. Archer's aforementioned workload limitations, much like Buxton's frequent days off, are acceptable as the byproduct of a plan that is delivering its intended results. It's tougher to accept Sonny Gray failing to get an out in the fifth inning on Tuesday, or Joe Ryan losing the groove from his stellar start to the season. Ryan just hasn't looked the same since coming back from a lengthy stint on the COVID list, with 10 earned runs allowed in 15 ⅔ innings over three starts. The poised craftsman who efficiently carved up opposing lineups through mid-May hasn't been present of late as Ryan has labored and missed his spots. On Sunday he needed 102 pitches to get through five innings against Colorado, striking out just one. This rotation needs more from its top two arms. It probably also needs at least one other high-end arm added to that group if championship contention is a true aspiration. TRENDING STORYLINE As we've established, the Twins could really use some impact help in the bullpen. While they're short on potential answers, there are a couple of promising – albeit volatile – possibilities in the pipeline. First, you've got Jorge Alcalá, who is set to restart his rehab assignment next week after pausing due to elbow stiffness. If he can eventually come back throwing like he was in the final two months last year, when he posted a 0.96 ERA and 24-to-3 K/BB ratio over 18 ⅔ innings while throwing pure fire, Alcalá could be a transformative force. But the precarious situation with his arm makes it difficult to get hopes up. Meanwhile, pitching prospect Matt Canterino – himself dealing with elbow issues – is ready to start working back toward game action after a positive visit with a specialist, according to Darren Wolfson. For the most part, there aren't many true game-changing arms within range of the majors occupying the Twins system, unless you're especially optimistic about someone like Yennier Cano or Moran. Alcalá and Canterino are a different story. They have what it takes to dominate in the late innings. Although neither is close to entering the big-league bullpen fold at this moment, it's definitely a relief to hear both are again taking steps in the right direction after some scary hiccups. LOOKING AHEAD If the Twins are feeling sour about the way things went down at Target Field against the Guardians last week, they'll have a fast chance to settle the score as they travel of Cleveland for a five-game series against their (present) closest challenger in the division. These jam-packed stretches of the schedule, made necessary by the delayed start to the season, are challenging to endure – especially when you're traveling. The last time Minnesota experienced such a gauntlet, they dropped four of five in Detroit against the Tigers. Needless to say, a similar result in Cleveland would hurt. The follow-up series back home against Baltimore would ordinarily seem like a nice respite, but the Orioles have actually been playing pretty good ball of late. Eight games and a pitching coach transition (set to take place after the Cleveland series) lie ahead in the next seven days. Buckle up. MONDAY, 6/27: TWINS @ GUARDIANS – RHP Sonny Gray v. RHP Triston McKenzie TUESDAY, 6/28 (G1): TWINS @ GUARDIANS – LHP Devin Smeltzer v. RHP Zach Plesac TUESDAY, 6/28 (G2): TWINS @ GUARDIANS – RHP Josh Winder v. TBD WEDNESDAY, 6/29: TWINS @ GUARDIANS – RHP Dylan Bundy v. RHP Cal Quantrill THURSDAY, 6/30: TWINS @ GUARDIANS – RHP Chris Archer v. RHP Shane Bieber FRIDAY, 7/1: ORIOLES @ TWINS – RHP Spenser Watkins v. RHP Joe Ryan SATURDAY, 7/2: ORIOLES @ TWINS – RHP Jordan Lyles v. RHP Sonny Gray SUNDAY, 7/3: ORIOLES @ TWINS – RHP Tyler Wells v. LHP Devin Smeltzer View full article
  15. The Minnesota Twins pitching staff was 24th in baseball when combining all arms, and the starters alone were a spot lower at 25th. There’s no denying that the group needs to be much better, and right now, the group is made up of three arms. There’s more depth behind them, and there’s a man in charge that once led a strong rotation. That’s where much of this focus should come. Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober These two need to establish that they are solid major-league starters. They looked the part a year ago, and continuing that growth in 2022 is a must. Ryan made just a handful of starts but held his own, even looking dominant at times. Ober saw teams multiple times and was able to make adjustments. When looking at the farm last winter, both would have been unexpected contributors, and that’s the kind of breakouts any organization loves to have. Dylan Bundy Proving he’s not 2021 bad would be a great start. The former top prospect is not the 3.29 ERA he posted in 2020, but he’s also not the 6.06 ERA he had a season ago. For what Minnesota paid him, and where the Twins need him in the rotation, Bundy being a low 4.00 ERA guy is a must. The strikeouts need to move back up over one per inning and allowing two longballs per nine can’t continue to be a thing. There’s a solid pitcher here and maybe a very good one in terms of a mid-rotation arm. Find that. Wes Johnson Back to the overall numbers of this starting staff. Johnson coached his group last season to the fifth-worst finish in baseball. In 2020, the Twins staff was the third-best. In 2019, the rotation came in fourth. Johnson has shown an ability to work with pitchers and get the most out of them. Michael Pineda became arguably the best version of himself, Kenta Maeda took steps forward, and something was made out of nothing in a couple of situations. Johnson is seen as a velocity savant but can impact much more than that. Minnesota may have the least talented group they’ve had during his tenure when 2022 starts, but Wes getting more out of each of them remains a must. Randy Dobnak You don’t make it to the majors by mistake, and you certainly don’t start a Postseason game by luck. Dobnak’s 7.64 ERA last season was as much his ineffectiveness as it was Minnesota’s indecisiveness. Having worked entirely as a starter during 2020, Dobnak was used as one in less than half his appearances a year ago. The talk of velocity boosts and missed bats in Spring Training was never present, and I’d imagine his confidence was consistently shaken with no set role. Work him back as a starter, implore him to get the job done, and utilize him the same way that bore fruit previously. Stay tuned for the next installment, where the bullpen comes under fire. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  16. In the final week of 2021, it’s time to turn the page. Derek Falvey fell short. Rocco Baldelli fell short. The Minnesota Twins fell short. To set for better outcomes in the year ahead, we can look internally at opportunities for improvement. There’s no better place to start than on the mound. The Minnesota Twins pitching staff was 24th in baseball when combining all arms, and the starters alone were a spot lower at 25th. There’s no denying that the group needs to be much better, and right now, the group is made up of three arms. There’s more depth behind them, and there’s a man in charge that once led a strong rotation. That’s where much of this focus should come. Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober These two need to establish that they are solid major-league starters. They looked the part a year ago, and continuing that growth in 2022 is a must. Ryan made just a handful of starts but held his own, even looking dominant at times. Ober saw teams multiple times and was able to make adjustments. When looking at the farm last winter, both would have been unexpected contributors, and that’s the kind of breakouts any organization loves to have. Dylan Bundy Proving he’s not 2021 bad would be a great start. The former top prospect is not the 3.29 ERA he posted in 2020, but he’s also not the 6.06 ERA he had a season ago. For what Minnesota paid him, and where the Twins need him in the rotation, Bundy being a low 4.00 ERA guy is a must. The strikeouts need to move back up over one per inning and allowing two longballs per nine can’t continue to be a thing. There’s a solid pitcher here and maybe a very good one in terms of a mid-rotation arm. Find that. Wes Johnson Back to the overall numbers of this starting staff. Johnson coached his group last season to the fifth-worst finish in baseball. In 2020, the Twins staff was the third-best. In 2019, the rotation came in fourth. Johnson has shown an ability to work with pitchers and get the most out of them. Michael Pineda became arguably the best version of himself, Kenta Maeda took steps forward, and something was made out of nothing in a couple of situations. Johnson is seen as a velocity savant but can impact much more than that. Minnesota may have the least talented group they’ve had during his tenure when 2022 starts, but Wes getting more out of each of them remains a must. Randy Dobnak You don’t make it to the majors by mistake, and you certainly don’t start a Postseason game by luck. Dobnak’s 7.64 ERA last season was as much his ineffectiveness as it was Minnesota’s indecisiveness. Having worked entirely as a starter during 2020, Dobnak was used as one in less than half his appearances a year ago. The talk of velocity boosts and missed bats in Spring Training was never present, and I’d imagine his confidence was consistently shaken with no set role. Work him back as a starter, implore him to get the job done, and utilize him the same way that bore fruit previously. Stay tuned for the next installment, where the bullpen comes under fire. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  17. 3. Trusting the Bullpen Castoffs Wes Johnson has done some amazing things with bullpen arms in the past and the Twins entered 2021 thinking that he would be able to replicate these results with a new group of bullpen castoffs. Now it’s the beginning of June and Minnesota has rotated through Shaun Anderson, Derek Law, Juan Minaya, and Brandon Waddell. There were some big shoes to fill in the bullpen (see below), but all these new additions faced struggles. From season’s start, almost nothing seemed to work when it came to the bullpen. It’s also tough to adequately assess relievers when they have such a small sample size of work. It also didn’t help that Randy Dobnak was pushed from the rotation and didn’t really find success in a relief role. One light at the end of the tunnel might be Luke Farrell as he is the lone bullpen castoff that has found success. However, it might be too little, too late for Minnesota this year. 2. Signing Alex Colome Minnesota lost multiple bullpen arms during the winter and there needed to be some replacements found for Tyler Clippard, Trevor May, Sergio Romo, and Matt Wisler. None of these players have shined with their new teams. Clippard is on the 60-day injured list with a shoulder issue. Both Romo and Wisler have ERAs north of 5.80. May’s strikeout numbers have dropped, and he has the highest WHIP since his rookie season. Needless to say, relief pitchers can be fickle especially on the heels of a shortened 2020 campaign. Colome looked like a savvy signing at the time as he was coming off two tremendous seasons in Chicago. In 83 1/3 innings, he had a 2.27 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP and 42 saves. Overall, the results were certainly there since he moved to the bullpen fulltime in 2016. Maybe the White Sox knew a little bit more about Colome’s current situation as they let him go after two tremendous seasons. Minnesota certainly hasn’t seen the previous version of Colome this season. He has a -2.24 win probability added (WPA), which means he’s cost the Twins over two wins so far this season. Also, he has the lowest WAR in baseball among relief pitchers. Things have gone better recently as he has posted a 3.09 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings since the start of May. During that stretch, he has still provided negative WPA and it’s not like the Twins have a lot of other bullpen options. 1. Signing Matt Shoemaker The Matt Shoemaker experience has been a rough one and it seems likely that his time with the Twins will quickly be coming to an end. He leads the American League in losses and earned runs. Among AL starters with more than 50 innings pitched, he is the only pitcher with a negative WAR total for the year. Unfortunately, the Twins have six pitchers currently on the IL including starters like Kenta Maeda, Lewis Thorpe, and Devin Smeltzer so the club has to keep him around for depth. Entering the season, he had a 3.86 career ERA, but he had been limited to 18 starts since the end of 2017. His list of injuries including multiple forearm injuries, a torn ACL, shoulder inflammation, and a fractured skull from a line drive off his head. Injuries haven’t been the issue this year as he already pitched more innings than his totals in each of the last three years. It’s not as if a lot was expected from Shoemaker. He was signed for $2 million and was coming of a string of significant injury issues over the last several years. There were signs of hope as his fastball velocity increased last year and his sinker and splitter were improving. Obviously, those things haven’t worked out like the front office had planned. How would you rank the Twins offseason mistakes? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  18. Something went wrong with Minnesota’s offseason blueprint in 2021. There is plenty of blame to be shared, but here are the Twins top three offseason mistakes. 3. Trusting the Bullpen Castoffs Wes Johnson has done some amazing things with bullpen arms in the past and the Twins entered 2021 thinking that he would be able to replicate these results with a new group of bullpen castoffs. Now it’s the beginning of June and Minnesota has rotated through Shaun Anderson, Derek Law, Juan Minaya, and Brandon Waddell. There were some big shoes to fill in the bullpen (see below), but all these new additions faced struggles. From season’s start, almost nothing seemed to work when it came to the bullpen. It’s also tough to adequately assess relievers when they have such a small sample size of work. It also didn’t help that Randy Dobnak was pushed from the rotation and didn’t really find success in a relief role. One light at the end of the tunnel might be Luke Farrell as he is the lone bullpen castoff that has found success. However, it might be too little, too late for Minnesota this year. 2. Signing Alex Colome Minnesota lost multiple bullpen arms during the winter and there needed to be some replacements found for Tyler Clippard, Trevor May, Sergio Romo, and Matt Wisler. None of these players have shined with their new teams. Clippard is on the 60-day injured list with a shoulder issue. Both Romo and Wisler have ERAs north of 5.80. May’s strikeout numbers have dropped, and he has the highest WHIP since his rookie season. Needless to say, relief pitchers can be fickle especially on the heels of a shortened 2020 campaign. Colome looked like a savvy signing at the time as he was coming off two tremendous seasons in Chicago. In 83 1/3 innings, he had a 2.27 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP and 42 saves. Overall, the results were certainly there since he moved to the bullpen fulltime in 2016. Maybe the White Sox knew a little bit more about Colome’s current situation as they let him go after two tremendous seasons. Minnesota certainly hasn’t seen the previous version of Colome this season. He has a -2.24 win probability added (WPA), which means he’s cost the Twins over two wins so far this season. Also, he has the lowest WAR in baseball among relief pitchers. Things have gone better recently as he has posted a 3.09 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings since the start of May. During that stretch, he has still provided negative WPA and it’s not like the Twins have a lot of other bullpen options. 1. Signing Matt Shoemaker The Matt Shoemaker experience has been a rough one and it seems likely that his time with the Twins will quickly be coming to an end. He leads the American League in losses and earned runs. Among AL starters with more than 50 innings pitched, he is the only pitcher with a negative WAR total for the year. Unfortunately, the Twins have six pitchers currently on the IL including starters like Kenta Maeda, Lewis Thorpe, and Devin Smeltzer so the club has to keep him around for depth. Entering the season, he had a 3.86 career ERA, but he had been limited to 18 starts since the end of 2017. His list of injuries including multiple forearm injuries, a torn ACL, shoulder inflammation, and a fractured skull from a line drive off his head. Injuries haven’t been the issue this year as he already pitched more innings than his totals in each of the last three years. It’s not as if a lot was expected from Shoemaker. He was signed for $2 million and was coming of a string of significant injury issues over the last several years. There were signs of hope as his fastball velocity increased last year and his sinker and splitter were improving. Obviously, those things haven’t worked out like the front office had planned. How would you rank the Twins offseason mistakes? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  19. Earlier this offseason the Minnesota Twins started to reconstruct their bullpen. Losing Trevor May was always going to be a big blow, and there hasn’t been much in the form of names yet, but it’s a process the front office has earned trust in. A pair of big-name free agents with Minnesota ties have already come off the board but deals for either Liam Hendriks or Brad Hand always seemed far-fetched for the Twins. It’s not that they don’t have the money to spend, or need in relief, but nothing about either of those players fits the process of what this organization has done of late. Hendriks got $54 million from the White Sox over three years, while Hand got $10.5 million from the Washington Nationals. The last time Minnesota paid big on a reliever was Addison Reed, and it went up in smoke. It would be silly to suggest that every reliever be viewed through the same lens as the failed Reed deal, but more realistically there’s the reality of what Minnesota has done with less. Look at some of the names from recent seasons, and the ERA’s posted by players on deals all at $2.75 million or less. It’s not that the Twins purposely set out to be bargain shoppers, but instead identify outliers very well and get the most out of castoffs from elsewhere. This season Ian Gibault and Brandon Waddell were both claimed off of waivers at the end of October. They each claim a current 40-man spot and feature a slider. It’s a pitch that Wes Johnson and the coaching staff has targeted for some time, and it’s sensible to believe both are currently penciled into the bullpen. Hansel Robles is the lone larger expense thus far, and the former Angels closer was inked to a one-year deal paying him just $2 million. There’s probably at least one more spot open, and you can bet that Minnesota has a type rather than a name in mind. From my vantage point Trevor Rosenthal looks like the best option remaining, and I loved the fit last year as he returned from injury. He’s going to come with a price tag near the upper levels of single digits however, so that may not be the way they go. There should be a solid grouping of guys like Tyler Clippard and Alex Colome left at the end however, and those pacts should fall within the same range as the Colome deal. Dating back to 2015 Major League Baseball has shifted a pitching philosophy to a construction of an elite bullpen. How teams get there or create that though, are all made differently. The reality is that often times the mega deals for relievers go up in smoke (hello Wade Davis), and understanding how to best utilize what’s in front of you is the easiest path to success. There’s no denying that a group including Hand or Hendriks has a safer floor on paper, but it all comes down to execution. On their own the Twins organization has turned Tyler Duffey into one of the best relievers in baseball. Taylor Rogers has looked the part of a lock down piece, and it was his recent seasons in the pen that got Trevor May paid. Edwar Colina could join this group, and Jorge Alcala has already flashed that promise. Sure, Minnesota hasn’t made any big splashes for their bullpen, but it’s probably more about what’s going on behind the scenes and the execution of who the tab, rather than the exciting names, that get the job done. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  20. The 2020 season did not go well for plenty of players as the Twins saw with Jake Odorizzi. With many unique circumstances surrounding a shortened season, it’s going to be tough for teams to evaluate starters on 8-12 appearances. Gray certainly fits that mold as he was limited to eight starts and had a 6.69 ERA and a 5.1 SO/9, both totals were the worst of his career. Gray’s season was cut short after suffering right shoulder inflammation and then he didn’t have time to build back up before season’s end. His 2020 struggles might be tied to him pitching through this injury. Over the last four seasons, he has posted a 4.50 ERA with 1.34 WHIP and 8.9 SO/9, so there have been ups and downs in recent years. Looking into his contract situation, Gray is arbitration eligible for the final time this winter. He made $5.6 million through arbitration last year and MLB Trade Rumors projects him to be in roughly that same range for the coming season ($5.6-6.5 million). To put that in perspective, the Twins paid two members of their rotation more than that last season (Jake Odorizzi, $17.8 million; Michael Pineda, $10 million). Pitching in Coors Field for 50% of a player’s starts can be tough on the overall numbers by the end of multiple seasons. Against Gray, opponents have hit .268/.320/.435 (.755), but within those numbers is a .327 BAbip which means a certain amount of luck might be involved for hitters. His second most starts have come at Petco Park, a pitcher friendly ballpark, and batter’s OPS is over 120 points lower. Putting Gray at Target Field for half his starts likely puts him somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. Another area to consider with Gray is his pitch selection and the possibility of unlocking even more potential. The Twins did this with Kenta Maeda this past season as he saw increased use in his slider and changeup which meant he was using his four seamer less often. Fans saw those positive results as Maeda was the team’s most consistent starting pitcher for the entire season. Gray relies on five pitches, a four seamer (48.3%), a slider (29.2%), a changeup (13.1%), a curve (8.4%) and a sinker (1.1%). His biggest change last season was an increased use of his changeup which increased by over 10% from the 2019 season. His fastball velocity consistently ranks high, but there isn’t a lot of movement on this pitch. Could Wes Johnson work some of his magic and get Gray to rely more on his secondary pitches? Everything with Gray is going to come down to the health of his throwing shoulder. He might be worth the risk if the Twins get a look at his medicals and everything checks out. The cost likely wouldn’t be very high with one arbitration year left and his poor performance in 2020. Do you think the Twins should make a play for Jon Gray? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  21. When headed to Spring Training prior to the 2019 season, the Twins were coming off of two years in which they finished 24th and 18th as a bullpen respectively. Garvin Alston had been shown the door, and so too had skipper Paul Molitor. In an age where rotations had become simply a means to an end, it was the power bullpens that reigned supreme. Breaking camp to head north Rocco Baldelli and Wes Johnson took a relief corps that included Taylor Rogers, Adlaberto Mejia, Trevor May, Blake Parker, Trevor Hildenberger, and Ryne Harper. Just two of those names remain for the 2020 squad, and they’ve now been developed into absolute studs. Coming out of the 2019 season, Johnson and Baldelli had orchestrated a relief group that posted the third best fWAR (7.3) across baseball. Rogers and May were joined by Tyler Duffey in hitting career marks, and Zack Littell was groomed into a solid back end arm. Though this group may not have the names of some other top units, their creating household numbers on their own. Johnson helped Rogers to produce the 11th best single season reliever fWAR (2.1) in Twins history. It was the best single-season performance since 2006 when Joe Nathan recorded the second-best mark (3.1) in club history, and it was a step up from Taylor’s already impressive 2018 season. It isn’t just about what Johnson got out of an already good arm, however. Acquired in the Ben Revere trade with the Philadelphia Phillies, Trevor May never worked out as a starter. Injuries mounted, and after sorting out his back issues, relief work became the way to go. He posted a career best FIP in 2018 and ratcheted up the strikeout numbers. Last year though, he became a true shutdown type while posting 11.1 K/9, and career lows in both H/9 (6.0) and HR/9 (1.1). Joining May in taking a step forward was Tyler Duffey. The former Rice closer went down the starting path and we nearly cast aside after a disastrous 7.20 ERA in 2018. Over 57.2 IP a year ago, he turned in a 2.50 ERA, 12.8 K/9 (nearly double the 2018 number), and a 3.06 FIP. With one of the best curveballs on the staff, the guy known as Doof certainly can mow 'em down in big moments. Minnesota identified Sergio Romo in an astute trade during last year’s deadline, and the fan favorite was brought back this year after posting a 146 ERA+ and 10.6 K/9. Looking great in Cleveland a year ago, 35-year-old Tyler Clippard and his strong career numbers over 13 years were added to the veteran presence. Being able to add Littell, who posted a 0.88 ERA and 27/8 K/BB over his final 30.2 IP, was one of the Twins great accomplishments a season ago. Matt Wisler is a former Top-100 prospect that hasn’t seen big league success, but there’s no denying Johnson sees something he likes there. Minnesota gave him a guaranteed contract, and the slider is a pitch to work with. Then there’s phenom Brusdar Graterol. It’s hardly a death sentence to send a 21-year-old kid to the bullpen (ask Johan Santana). Still looking to develop a complete repertoire, Graterol’s triple-digit heater should be plenty useful when attacking the opposition. Baldelli being able to go there in earlier innings is something a luxury only a pen this good could afford. Maybe his role is tweaked down the line, but there’s something to be said about adding arguably the best available relief arm by simply picking from your own organization. Things never go according to plan, so being able to rest on depth like Cody Stashak and his nutty 25/1 debut K/BB, or Jorge Alcala and his big fastball are certainly realities new to the organization. When hired from the Indians organization it was consistently noted that Derek Falvey’s calling card was developing pitching. It’s not hard to see how powerful the infrastructure he’s blueprinted now is, and the fruit that it continues to bear. Minnesota was topped by the Rays (7.6 fWAR) and Yankees (7.5) last year. Jumping to that top spot isn't at all unlikely. This ain’t your grandad’s Minnesota Twins bullpen. They have to go out and perform, but this is a unit that is going to be an absolute problem in the best way possible. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  22. Rewind a year and the talk around this time was how poor the Minnesota Twins bullpen looked going into 2019. The team was coming off a down year, and relievers looked capable of ceding leads. New pitching coach, new manager, many similar faces, then. The narrative is entirely different for 2020.When headed to Spring Training prior to the 2019 season, the Twins were coming off of two years in which they finished 24th and 18th as a bullpen respectively. Garvin Alston had been shown the door, and so too had skipper Paul Molitor. In an age where rotations had become simply a means to an end, it was the power bullpens that reigned supreme. Breaking camp to head north Rocco Baldelli and Wes Johnson took a relief corps that included Taylor Rogers, Adlaberto Mejia, Trevor May, Blake Parker, Trevor Hildenberger, and Ryne Harper. Just two of those names remain for the 2020 squad, and they’ve now been developed into absolute studs. Coming out of the 2019 season, Johnson and Baldelli had orchestrated a relief group that posted the third best fWAR (7.3) across baseball. Rogers and May were joined by Tyler Duffey in hitting career marks, and Zack Littell was groomed into a solid back end arm. Though this group may not have the names of some other top units, their creating household numbers on their own. Johnson helped Rogers to produce the 11th best single season reliever fWAR (2.1) in Twins history. It was the best single-season performance since 2006 when Joe Nathan recorded the second-best mark (3.1) in club history, and it was a step up from Taylor’s already impressive 2018 season. It isn’t just about what Johnson got out of an already good arm, however. Acquired in the Ben Revere trade with the Philadelphia Phillies, Trevor May never worked out as a starter. Injuries mounted, and after sorting out his back issues, relief work became the way to go. He posted a career best FIP in 2018 and ratcheted up the strikeout numbers. Last year though, he became a true shutdown type while posting 11.1 K/9, and career lows in both H/9 (6.0) and HR/9 (1.1). Joining May in taking a step forward was Tyler Duffey. The former Rice closer went down the starting path and we nearly cast aside after a disastrous 7.20 ERA in 2018. Over 57.2 IP a year ago, he turned in a 2.50 ERA, 12.8 K/9 (nearly double the 2018 number), and a 3.06 FIP. With one of the best curveballs on the staff, the guy known as Doof certainly can mow 'em down in big moments. Minnesota identified Sergio Romo in an astute trade during last year’s deadline, and the fan favorite was brought back this year after posting a 146 ERA+ and 10.6 K/9. Looking great in Cleveland a year ago, 35-year-old Tyler Clippard and his strong career numbers over 13 years were added to the veteran presence. Being able to add Littell, who posted a 0.88 ERA and 27/8 K/BB over his final 30.2 IP, was one of the Twins great accomplishments a season ago. Matt Wisler is a former Top-100 prospect that hasn’t seen big league success, but there’s no denying Johnson sees something he likes there. Minnesota gave him a guaranteed contract, and the slider is a pitch to work with. Then there’s phenom Brusdar Graterol. It’s hardly a death sentence to send a 21-year-old kid to the bullpen (ask Johan Santana). Still looking to develop a complete repertoire, Graterol’s triple-digit heater should be plenty useful when attacking the opposition. Baldelli being able to go there in earlier innings is something a luxury only a pen this good could afford. Maybe his role is tweaked down the line, but there’s something to be said about adding arguably the best available relief arm by simply picking from your own organization. Things never go according to plan, so being able to rest on depth like Cody Stashak and his nutty 25/1 debut K/BB, or Jorge Alcala and his big fastball are certainly realities new to the organization. When hired from the Indians organization it was consistently noted that Derek Falvey’s calling card was developing pitching. It’s not hard to see how powerful the infrastructure he’s blueprinted now is, and the fruit that it continues to bear. Minnesota was topped by the Rays (7.6 fWAR) and Yankees (7.5) last year. Jumping to that top spot isn't at all unlikely. This ain’t your grandad’s Minnesota Twins bullpen. They have to go out and perform, but this is a unit that is going to be an absolute problem in the best way possible. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  23. If you watched Sunday afternoon’s Minnesota Twins intra-squad game, you got to see two innings on the mound for two of the team’s top pitching prospects. And, I think it is fair to say that they both impressed!Before we get too deep into things, let’s step back for a quick reminder of how the Twins acquired pitching prospects Jhoan Duran and Dakota Chalmers. JHOAN DURAN The 22-year-old Duran is from the Dominican Republic. He signed with the Diamondbacks in December 2014 and worked his way up the ladder. In late July of 2018, he came to the Twins organization with outfielders Ernie de la Trinidad and Gabriel Maciel as part of the Eduardo Escobar deal. Twins Bench Coach Mike Bell was the Diamondbacks’ Vice President of Player Development for eight years. He said of trading Duran, “It was a painful trade, being on that side of it, watching him go. I was definitely in the room. I think it was a good trade for both teams. Escy’s a very good player, and a good teammate. I’ll tell you what, Duran is an incredible talent. I think he’s going to do a lot of good things here in the organization.” Get to know Jhoan Duran from this story from January, shortly after he was added to the Twins 40-man roster. At that time, he spoke of his best pitches. ““Obviously I feel most comfortable with my fastball, but I also have another pitch that I really like to use and feel really comfortable with, and that’s my sinker.” DAKOTA CHALMERS Dakota Chalmers was the 3rd round draft pick of the Oakland A’s in 2015 out of high school in Georgia. The highly-touted, hard-throwing prospect showed great stuff, but early in 2018, he had Tommy John surgery. In August of 2018, the Twins traded veteran closer Fernando Rodney to the A’s for Chalmers, knowing he would not be able to pitch until at least the second half of the 2019 season. He began making rehab appearances last July, and on July 30th, he debuted with the Ft. Myers Miracle. After a rough first start, he was really good in his final four starts before the end of the regular season. He then went up to Pensacola and pitched for them in the playoffs. And after that, he went to the Arizona Fall League where he struck out 25 batters in 17 2/3 innings. Like Duran, Chalmers became an easy choice to add to the 40-man roster after the season. We caught up with the 23-year-old at Twins Fest as well for this Get to Know him story. --------------------------------------- Now, back to their performances on Sunday. For each, it was their first appearance in Summer Camp intra-squad games. Hard to know what to expect. As pitching coach Wes Johnson pointed out, they weren’t necessarily looking for results. “I told those guys that it wasn’t, for me, as much about balls and strikes - as crazy as that sounds - it was How was their presence? We gave them some different situations. We started their second innings with runners on.” But it was hard not to notice that they each threw two scoreless innings, despite those situations. Also, Johnson added, “Both of those guys had to go through the heart of our order. That’s not easy. In my opinion, we have the best offense in baseball.” While it is OK to question the plate discipline of Eddie Rosario, just watch the movement of that Jhoan Duran pitch from Sunday again. That’s not a pitch that can be hit, certainly not with any authority. The future is bright for the Twins, and specifically for these high-upside Twins pitchers. Remember that Jordan Balazovic isn’t even in the current Twins 60-player pool. Baldelli thinks this group is going to be special, and more importantly, it really continues to enforce just how much depth the Twins have on the mound. Baldelli noted, "What we're watching is not typical. You could watch some really good major league baseball and not see some of the stuff those guys threw out there today." So while Dakota Chalmers and Jhoan Duran are unlikely to make starts for the Twins in 2020, it’s not impossible to think that they could contribute out of the bullpen for stints if needed. And, it’s exciting to think of what they can become - and what it means for the health of the Twins organization - if they continue to develop and gain consistency moving forward. Their futures are quite bright. Click here to view the article
  24. Before we get too deep into things, let’s step back for a quick reminder of how the Twins acquired pitching prospects Jhoan Duran and Dakota Chalmers. JHOAN DURAN The 22-year-old Duran is from the Dominican Republic. He signed with the Diamondbacks in December 2014 and worked his way up the ladder. In late July of 2018, he came to the Twins organization with outfielders Ernie de la Trinidad and Gabriel Maciel as part of the Eduardo Escobar deal. Twins Bench Coach Mike Bell was the Diamondbacks’ Vice President of Player Development for eight years. He said of trading Duran, “It was a painful trade, being on that side of it, watching him go. I was definitely in the room. I think it was a good trade for both teams. Escy’s a very good player, and a good teammate. I’ll tell you what, Duran is an incredible talent. I think he’s going to do a lot of good things here in the organization.” Get to know Jhoan Duran from this story from January, shortly after he was added to the Twins 40-man roster. At that time, he spoke of his best pitches. ““Obviously I feel most comfortable with my fastball, but I also have another pitch that I really like to use and feel really comfortable with, and that’s my sinker.” DAKOTA CHALMERS Dakota Chalmers was the 3rd round draft pick of the Oakland A’s in 2015 out of high school in Georgia. The highly-touted, hard-throwing prospect showed great stuff, but early in 2018, he had Tommy John surgery. In August of 2018, the Twins traded veteran closer Fernando Rodney to the A’s for Chalmers, knowing he would not be able to pitch until at least the second half of the 2019 season. He began making rehab appearances last July, and on July 30th, he debuted with the Ft. Myers Miracle. After a rough first start, he was really good in his final four starts before the end of the regular season. He then went up to Pensacola and pitched for them in the playoffs. And after that, he went to the Arizona Fall League where he struck out 25 batters in 17 2/3 innings. Like Duran, Chalmers became an easy choice to add to the 40-man roster after the season. We caught up with the 23-year-old at Twins Fest as well for this Get to Know him story. --------------------------------------- Now, back to their performances on Sunday. For each, it was their first appearance in Summer Camp intra-squad games. Hard to know what to expect. As pitching coach Wes Johnson pointed out, they weren’t necessarily looking for results. “I told those guys that it wasn’t, for me, as much about balls and strikes - as crazy as that sounds - it was How was their presence? We gave them some different situations. We started their second innings with runners on.” But it was hard not to notice that they each threw two scoreless innings, despite those situations. Also, Johnson added, “Both of those guys had to go through the heart of our order. That’s not easy. In my opinion, we have the best offense in baseball.” https://twitter.com/HagemanParker/status/1284955121277964296 Johnson said that Nelson Cruz provided the biggest compliment, “Nelson Cruz came up to me and said ‘Hey, both of those guys who just threw, they impressed me. They looked like they belonged, and they were in control.’ And I 100% agree with Nelson obviously.” Following Sunday’s game, Rocco Baldelli excitedly discussed Duran, Chalmers, and also hard-throwing reliever Jorge Alcala. He said, "I think all three of those guys are going to be impacting us at the big league level, and probably soon... The type of stuff we're talking about is the type of stuff that impacts major league games." Duran hit triple digits multiple times in 2019 in Ft. Myers and Pensacola. Chalmers has reached 97 at times. Alcala works 94 to 97 too. But for each of them, they have multiple pitches that could become, and maybe soon, plus pitches. Will that happen in 2020? While Duran and Chalmers have the stuff and the potential to be big league, impact starters, they are young. Also, in 2020, it becomes about opportunity. The Twins have a veteran pitching staff. Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill and Homer Bailey would appear to be the starting five at the beginning of the season. In addition, Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer and Lewis Thorpe all showed something in 2019 in the big leagues and give the team major-league-ready starting pitcher depth. So for 2020, especially the shortened 2020 season, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which they get the call to start this year. However, as Wes Johnson pointed out, “Crazy things happen, as you guys know. It’s crazy times. It’s going to be tough to answer that question. There’s always that possibility. We wouldn't have them here if we didn’t think that if we needed to we could call on them and bring them up.” Maybe even more important, these pitchers indicate that the Twins player development, and specifically, their pitcher development has come a long way. It also speaks to their pro scouting department to tout these guys as targets in that large group of late 2018 trades. Baldelli is excited about what they can be. “Those guys are going to help us win for a very long time.They don't just have pretty good stuff. They don't just have pretty good ability. They have elite traits that are going to allow them to get a lot of outs, a lot of swings and misses.” The reigning AL Manager of the Year specifically mentioned one of Duran’s pitches that he thinks can be great. “I don't even know what anyone wants to call the pitch Duran throws, as well, the splinker pitch, or I don't even know what to call it, but it's coming in hot. It moves and just kind of disappears.” https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/1284997265300566018 While it is OK to question the plate discipline of Eddie Rosario, just watch the movement of that Jhoan Duran pitch from Sunday again. That’s not a pitch that can be hit, certainly not with any authority. The future is bright for the Twins, and specifically for these high-upside Twins pitchers. Remember that Jordan Balazovic isn’t even in the current Twins 60-player pool. Baldelli thinks this group is going to be special, and more importantly, it really continues to enforce just how much depth the Twins have on the mound. Baldelli noted, "What we're watching is not typical. You could watch some really good major league baseball and not see some of the stuff those guys threw out there today." So while Dakota Chalmers and Jhoan Duran are unlikely to make starts for the Twins in 2020, it’s not impossible to think that they could contribute out of the bullpen for stints if needed. And, it’s exciting to think of what they can become - and what it means for the health of the Twins organization - if they continue to develop and gain consistency moving forward. Their futures are quite bright.
  25. The Minnesota Twins are loaded with the latest gadgets and technology. They have the capability of measuring foot pressure into the mound, hip speed, chest speed, arm speed, arm path, release height, release speed, breakdown which fingertip touched the ball last, spin rate, spin direction, velocity and on and on. They have a team dedicated to biomechanical science to sniff out inefficiencies. They have what amounts to a world class pitching lab to isolate the root cause of any abnormalities. There are times, however, when a player requires more than metrics. There are times when a player needs not to be told what is wrong. They need to hear what they did right. This past November Wes Johnson was a presenter at an ABCA pitching clinic. There, the Twins pitching coach shared a story about Berrios’ late season issues and how they addressed them. “He was struggling a little bit,” Johnson said of Berrios. “Struggling mentally, struggling physically. I said ‘Jose that’s it, you are meeting me in the video room today at 2 and we’re gonna go over some stuff.’” As Berrios hit a rough patch, the pitching coach took his star pitcher and showed him a supercut of all his strikeouts. No mechanical talk. No pitch selection talk. It was simply a session for Berrios to be reminded of how dominating he can be. “It spurs the conversation,” Johnson tells the crowd about the video session. “What happened was his own perception of his own potential had fallen because he was struggling. All I did was show him was no, no, you are still pretty good. I didn’t do anything.” Berrios returned to the mound. The loud contact subsided, the walks decreased, and the strikeouts returned. Velocity was ticking northward and he began to execute his pitches with more precision. He had improved. And yet Wes Johnson claimed he did not do anything. He told the coaches at the conference that in the aftermath, reporters would bombard him with questions. They wanted to know what he did with Jose Berrios to get him back on track. What was the secret? “He just got back to who he was,” said Johnson. “Knew that he was pretty good. He watched himself execute pitches. I didn’t do anything with his delivery, I didn’t do anything with his throwing.” Of course Johnson did something. What he is saying is that he didn’t do anything conventional. There were no changes to his weighted ball routine. No messing with his pitch arsenal. No additional pregame hours working through movements on the mound. Nothing that a pitching coach traditionally does. It was all about the headspace. In Trevor Moawad’s book, It Takes What It Takes, the mental skills coach detailed some accomplishments he had with some professional athletes and how they achieved those victories. One of Moawad’s main clients is Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson. When the Seahawks went to Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX, Moawad compiled a video of Wilson’s extraordinary plays to help him prepare. “We started by giving Russell examples of the times when he has been at his most commanding,” Moawad wrote. “As he watched, he allowed himself to relive incredible moments when he was at his best.” The film included some of Wilson’s memorable moments in his college and professional career. It zeroed in on his posture before and after big plays. It captured the language he used on the sidelines to describe how he felt about the execution. Moawad goes further, adding that he included a song from the band The Head & The Heart that would remind Wilson that he is home in these moments. Johnson’s film session likely didn’t include a soundtrack set to an indie folk rock band but the overall intent mirrors what the mental performance coach was trying to accomplish with Russell Wilson: remind Jose Berrios that he is an elite performer. As we know, Wilson went out and threw the game-losing interception that Super Bowl. Berrios had more shaky outings later in the season. It’s not a magic elixir. Studies suggest that reviewing positive imagery before competition has helped athletes elevate their game. Researchers found that using imagery can stimulate various parts of an athletes’ brain, activating recall of a feel. By watching some performance clips the same athletes can experience those moments in great vividness. What’s more, if those images are overwhelmingly positive, such as Berrios throwing a dirty ass hook against one of the league’s better hitters, he may increase his self-confidence which can affect his future performance. He may also trigger the portion of his brain that remembers exactly how that pitch felt. So when Wes Johnson says he did nothing for Berrios, he’s simply being modest. It doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. After all, the Twins have given him a new offseason workout routine, a new shape to his curveball, and have tried to get him to sit in his heel more again this spring. They hope they can continue to build him into the pitcher who can last throughout an entire season -- be it 162 or 60 games. But while there are things to work on physically, sometimes it’s best to have someone in the clubhouse reminding him what he can do right.
×
×
  • Create New...