Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'zach duke'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

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

Categories

  • Unregistered Help Files
  • All Users Help Files

Categories

  • Twins & Minors
  • Vintage
  • Retrospective
  • Twins Daily

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
  • MinnCentric Forums
    • The Sports Bar
    • Minnesota Vikings Talk
    • Minnesota Wild Talk
    • Minnesota Timberwolves Talk
  • Current Affairs's Politics and Human Rights
  • Current Affairs's Non-political current affairs
  • 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
  • Blog TimShibuya
  • Fumi Saito's Blog
  • This Twins Fans Thoughts
  • Long Live La Tortuga
  • Blog TonyDavis
  • Blog Danchat
  • sdtwins37's Blog
  • Thinking Outside the Box
  • dbminn
  • Blog travistwinstalk
  • jokin's Blog
  • Thoughts from The Catch
  • BlakeAsk's Blog
  • Tom Schreier's Blog
  • less cowBlog
  • Hansen101's Blog
  • The Gopher Hole
  • 2020 Twins BluePrint - HotDish Surprise
  • Blog bkucko
  • The Circleback Blog
  • All Things Twins
  • Blog iTwins
  • Drinking at the 573
  • The Thirsty Crow and the google boy from peepeganj
  • Catching Some Zs
  • Blog TCAnelle
  • Singles off the Wall
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • A View From The Roof
  • The Blog Days of Summer
  • Jordan1212's Blog
  • You Shouldn't Have Lost
  • TwinsTakes.com Blog on TwinsDaily.com - Our Takes, Your Takes, TwinsTakes.com!
  • Blog SgtSchmidt11
  • Dantes929's Blog
  • Critical Thinking
  • Blog Matt VS
  • Blog RickPrescott
  • The Dollar Dome Dog
  • Travis M's Blog
  • Diamond Dollars
  • Blog jorgenswest
  • Twinsfan4life
  • Travis M's Interviews
  • whatyouknowtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog righty8383
  • Blog TwinsWolvesLynxBlog
  • Supfin99's Blog
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog glunn
  • Blog yumen0808
  • Unkind Bounces
  • Doctor Gast's Blog
  • One Man's View From Section 231
  • Don't Feed the Greed? What does that mean...
  • Diesel's Blog
  • 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. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/2018-08-05_COMPLETE.mp3 Sponsored by Pick and Shovel, Simple Contacts, Harry's Razors, Seatgeek and Bye, Goff & Rohde.
  2. Aaron and John talk about the Twins trading Brian Dozier, Lance Lynn, and Zach Duke at the deadline, updating the Twins' top prospect rankings to include trade pickups, looking ahead to the 2019 payroll and offseason plans, Free Johan!, and Trevor May's long comeback finally reaching the majors. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Sponsored by Pick and Shovel, Simple Contacts, Harry's Razors, Seatgeek and Bye, Goff & Rohde. Click here to view the article
  3. All right, first thing’s first, here’s where all the players the Twins acquired are headed: Minnesota: Logan Forsythe Rochester: Chase De Jong, Tyler Austin. Chattanooga: Devin Smeltzer, Luke Raley, Jorge Alcala (on the DL) Fort Myers: Ryan Costello, Ernie De La Trinidad Cedar Rapids: Jhoan Duran, Gabriel Maciel Elizabethton: Luis Rijo, Gilberto Celestino So who are the best prospects the Twins acquired? Well 10 of the 12 guys the Twins added (everyone but Forsythe and Austin) still qualify for prospect status. I’m still getting up to speed on a lot of these guys, especially the ones acquired this week, so I’ll defer to another source. Baseball America published a fun list today. They ranked all the prospects dealt at the deadline, and the order they had the new guys in made a lot of sense to me. -Jorge Alcala -Gilberto Celestino -Jhoan Duran -Luke Raley -Chase De Jong -Luis Rijo -Devin Smeltzer -Gabriel Maciel -Ryan Costello -Ernie De La Trinidad Personally, I’d strongly consider putting Celestino on top. I also might put Rijo and Maciel above De Jong. Anyway, BA has capsules written up on those top three guys, and it’s just kind of interesting to see where they have them listed among all the prospects on the move. But, I’m going to make you click the link to go check out the rest of that stuff if you’re interested. All right, so let’s take a look at each trade individually. On each of these, I’m going to provide the link to the Twins Daily article published when the deals broke and also link to the Baseball Prospectus Transaction Analysis piece for each. Friend of the site Aaron Gleeman and the rest of the staff at B-Pro did an excellent job at breaking down each piece of each of these trades, so again, I’ll tip my cap to another outlet and encourage you to check those out. The grades though, those will be all me. Any grade disputes must be taken up with the Dean Friday, July 27 Twins give: Eduardo Escobar Twins get: OF Ernie De La Trinidad, RHP Jhoan Duran, OF Gabriel Maciel Additional info: Twins Daily | Baseball Prospectus Tom’s grade: B Escobar was my favorite Twins player, but it just made too much sense to trade him away. It’s encouraging to hear the Twins approached him about an extension prior to shipping him off, and here’s hoping they engage with his camp again once he becomes a free agent. Eduardo was having a career year and will hit free agency at the end of the season, so it was difficult to envision the Twins netting a huge haul. I think Duran is a nice add, and he already made a great first impression, throwing seven no-hit innings in his Cedar Rapids debut. It sounds to me like he has a better chance at reaching the majors as a starter than Alcala does, though he doesn’t have quite as high of a ceiling. Maciel will skyrocket up prospect lists if he ever develops power. He’s a switch hitter who’s billed as a legit center fielder with elite speed, so even if the power never arrives he could be a fourth outfielder. De La Trinidad was a college draftee taken in the 19th round last year. His upside seems limited, but hitters hit. He’s got a career .874 OPS so far in the minors, so that at least makes him an intriguing throw-in. Friday, July 27 Twins give: Ryan Pressly Twins get: RHP Jorge Alcala, OF Gilberto Celestino Additional info: Twins Daily | Baseball Prospectus Tom’s grade: A I love this deal. Pressly was the only player they moved who was going to still be under team control next season, but in parting with him, they acquired what I consider to be the two most valuable pieces among the dozen players that were acquired. Yes, Alcala was immediately placed on the DL with a right trap strain, but I think it’s a good sign that happened before he threw a single pitch in the Twins’ org. That suggests two things to me: 1) The Twins’ staff was able to uncover something in Alcala’s medicals and is getting out in front of this issue, and 2) I’d be willing to bet they used that information to leverage this deal with Houston. Celestino signed out of the Dominican Republic for a big bonus and he's living up to that billing so far. Not many guys put up the kind of numbers he was in the New York Penn League. He was fourth in batting average, sixth in OBP, seventh in slugging and was 14-for-14 on stolen base attempts in the NYPL. Pressly throws absolute filth and was having a strong season, but bullpen arms are so unpredictable and I feel like there are a lot of different ways the Twins could replace a guy like Pressly. Monday, July 30 Twins give: Zach Duke Twins get: RHP Chase De Jong, 1B/3B Ryan Costello Additional info: Twins Daily | Baseball Prospectus Tom’s grade: C To Twins fans, Duke may not seem like much of a prize, but he is among the best left-handed specialists in baseball. Duke has faced 425 left-handed hitters since the start of the 2014 season, and southpaws have hit just .214/.286/.316 off him. Since he was on an expiring contract, Duke was never going to fetch anything similar to the Pressly haul, and I’m not real impressed with what the Twins netted from Seattle. De Jong might be an interesting candidate to stick in the bullpen and see what happens, but it’s very difficult to see him ever working his way into the picture here as a starter. Maybe Costello is going to make me eat my words someday, but he was a 31st-round pick last year. Despite that underwhelming pedigree, he certainly deserves respect for putting up some of the better power numbers in the Midwest League this season. Again, hitters hit. Monday, July 30 Twins give: Lance Lynn Twins get: Tyler Austin, Luis Rijo Additional info: Twins Daily | Baseball Prospectus Tom’s grade: A I love this deal too, but for very different reasons than the Pressly trade. I just didn’t think Lynn had this kind of value. He fits the profile of exactly the type of pitcher a contending team should be looking to replace. Don’t get me wrong, he did really turn things around from May forward, but in my opinion he’s a second-division big league pitcher even at his best. Maybe the Yankees are onto something in using him in long relief, I don’t know. It’s worth noting that the Twins are paying half of Lynn’s salary, but this is still a really good return in my eyes. Tyler Austin could be a platoon 1B/RF/DH right now. The contact issues are a concern, but he crushes lefties and Target Field has been a pretty kind environment for right-handed power hitters. Honestly, if this was Lynn for Luis Rijo straight up I would have been impressed. Rijo has an insane 8.36 K:BB ratio in 125 ⅓ innings over his minor league career. He also tops out at 93 mph, so it’s not like it’s all just smoke and mirrors. And on top of all that, Lynn’s departure from the team opened up a spot for Adalberto Mejia to get a much-deserved chance in the rotation. Win, win, win, it’s looking all good here to me. Tuesday, July 31 Twins give: Brian Dozier Twins get: 2B Logan Forsythe, OF/1B Luke Raley, LHP Devin Smeltzer Additional info: Twins Daily | Baseball Prospectus Tom’s grade: D I’m certain this was the best deal the Twins could get on July 31, less than an hour before the deadline. What I’m not certain of is if that was the best time to deal him. You never know how these things work out, and both Ian Kinsler and Jonathan Schoop entering the trade market late had to have complicated things, but I suspect the Twins could have gotten a better package if they had made the deal earlier, or may have even been able to find a better waiver trade partner this month. Of course, there was always the option to keep Dozier and extend a qualifying offer to him. Maybe he would have accepted, but I’m of the mind that there’s really no such thing as a bad one-year deal. Why did I think this was the Twins’ worst trade? Mainly because of who they were forced to take back. Logan Forsythe, the only major leaguer the Twins acquired in all these deals, actually has extreme negative trade value. This seems to defy logic, but the business of baseball is funny. His inclusion basically made this deal cash neutral. There was probably never going to be a deal with the Dodgers that didn’t have to include Forsythe, since they’re trying to avoid luxury tax penalties, but that’s exactly why you don’t make a deal with them in the first place. I typically don’t care much what happens to the Pohlad’s money (did you see how I just suggested they give Dozier $18 million?), but you’ve still got to acknowledge that money is an asset to a baseball team. If you get rid of Dozier, I think you need to find a way to get rid of that money too. If Forsythe’s not in this trade, I give it at least a C, maybe even a B. Heck, if I just look at this deal in a vacuum, which is what I originally did yesterday, I might give it a C. But when you zoom out and look at the big picture of what happened across baseball leading up to and on deadline day, it definitely feels like the Twins may have hurt their odds at maximizing a return. Tough thing for me to say from the outside looking in, but that’s how I feel. Raley is putting up really good numbers in Double A, but he’s already 24 and it’s just really hard to break into the bigs as a corner outfield/first base type. On the plus side, Raley also sounds like the type of guy in terms of makeup who goes out and proves idiots like me wrong, so I’m excited to see how this plays out. Smeltzer is left-handed, that’s always a plus. He’s also relatively close to the majors (he’s spent all year in Double A) and his strikeout numbers saw a boost when he recently shifted to the bullpen. However, it sounds like he has a fairly straight, fairly slow fastball, so … All right, so there’s my report card. The front office comes away with a 2.8 GPA. Not exactly Ivy League material, but in my eyes they get a solid passing grade for what was a difficult trade deadline to navigate for them. Maybe they also deserve some extra credit for the non-move they made by keeping Kyle Gibson. So now it’s your turn, how would you grade the Twins’ trade deadline?
  4. What a whirlwind of a week it’s been. Now that the dust has settled on the trade deadline, let’s take a look at which affiliate each of these new pieces is headed to, try to rank the new prospects and hand out individual grades for each of the five deals Derek Falvey & Co. made.All right, first thing’s first, here’s where all the players the Twins acquired are headed: Minnesota: Logan Forsythe Rochester: Chase De Jong, Tyler Austin. Chattanooga: Devin Smeltzer, Luke Raley, Jorge Alcala (on the DL) Fort Myers: Ryan Costello, Ernie De La Trinidad Cedar Rapids: Jhoan Duran, Gabriel Maciel Elizabethton: Luis Rijo, Gilberto Celestino So who are the best prospects the Twins acquired? Well 10 of the 12 guys the Twins added (everyone but Forsythe and Austin) still qualify for prospect status. I’m still getting up to speed on a lot of these guys, especially the ones acquired this week, so I’ll defer to another source. Baseball America published a fun list today. They ranked all the prospects dealt at the deadline, and the order they had the new guys in made a lot of sense to me. -Jorge Alcala -Gilberto Celestino -Jhoan Duran -Luke Raley -Chase De Jong -Luis Rijo -Devin Smeltzer -Gabriel Maciel -Ryan Costello -Ernie De La Trinidad Personally, I’d strongly consider putting Celestino on top. I also might put Rijo and Maciel above De Jong. Anyway, BA has capsules written up on those top three guys, and it’s just kind of interesting to see where they have them listed among all the prospects on the move. But, I’m going to make you click the link to go check out the rest of that stuff if you’re interested. All right, so let’s take a look at each trade individually. On each of these, I’m going to provide the link to the Twins Daily article published when the deals broke and also link to the Baseball Prospectus Transaction Analysis piece for each. Friend of the site Aaron Gleeman and the rest of the staff at B-Pro did an excellent job at breaking down each piece of each of these trades, so again, I’ll tip my cap to another outlet and encourage you to check those out. The grades though, those will be all me. Any grade disputes must be taken up with the Dean Friday, July 27 Twins give: Eduardo Escobar Twins get: OF Ernie De La Trinidad, RHP Jhoan Duran, OF Gabriel Maciel Additional info: Twins Daily | Baseball Prospectus Tom’s grade: B Escobar was my favorite Twins player, but it just made too much sense to trade him away. It’s encouraging to hear the Twins approached him about an extension prior to shipping him off, and here’s hoping they engage with his camp again once he becomes a free agent. Eduardo was having a career year and will hit free agency at the end of the season, so it was difficult to envision the Twins netting a huge haul. I think Duran is a nice add, and he already made a great first impression, throwing seven no-hit innings in his Cedar Rapids debut. It sounds to me like he has a better chance at reaching the majors as a starter than Alcala does, though he doesn’t have quite as high of a ceiling. Maciel will skyrocket up prospect lists if he ever develops power. He’s a switch hitter who’s billed as a legit center fielder with elite speed, so even if the power never arrives he could be a fourth outfielder. De La Trinidad was a college draftee taken in the 19th round last year. His upside seems limited, but hitters hit. He’s got a career .874 OPS so far in the minors, so that at least makes him an intriguing throw-in. Friday, July 27 Twins give: Ryan Pressly Twins get: RHP Jorge Alcala, OF Gilberto Celestino Additional info: Twins Daily | Baseball Prospectus Tom’s grade: A I love this deal. Pressly was the only player they moved who was going to still be under team control next season, but in parting with him, they acquired what I consider to be the two most valuable pieces among the dozen players that were acquired. Yes, Alcala was immediately placed on the DL with a right trap strain, but I think it’s a good sign that happened before he threw a single pitch in the Twins’ org. That suggests two things to me: 1) The Twins’ staff was able to uncover something in Alcala’s medicals and is getting out in front of this issue, and 2) I’d be willing to bet they used that information to leverage this deal with Houston. Celestino signed out of the Dominican Republic for a big bonus and he's living up to that billing so far. Not many guys put up the kind of numbers he was in the New York Penn League. He was fourth in batting average, sixth in OBP, seventh in slugging and was 14-for-14 on stolen base attempts in the NYPL. Pressly throws absolute filth and was having a strong season, but bullpen arms are so unpredictable and I feel like there are a lot of different ways the Twins could replace a guy like Pressly. Monday, July 30 Twins give: Zach Duke Twins get: RHP Chase De Jong, 1B/3B Ryan Costello Additional info: Twins Daily | Baseball Prospectus Tom’s grade: C To Twins fans, Duke may not seem like much of a prize, but he is among the best left-handed specialists in baseball. Duke has faced 425 left-handed hitters since the start of the 2014 season, and southpaws have hit just .214/.286/.316 off him. Since he was on an expiring contract, Duke was never going to fetch anything similar to the Pressly haul, and I’m not real impressed with what the Twins netted from Seattle. De Jong might be an interesting candidate to stick in the bullpen and see what happens, but it’s very difficult to see him ever working his way into the picture here as a starter. Maybe Costello is going to make me eat my words someday, but he was a 31st-round pick last year. Despite that underwhelming pedigree, he certainly deserves respect for putting up some of the better power numbers in the Midwest League this season. Again, hitters hit. Monday, July 30 Twins give: Lance Lynn Twins get: Tyler Austin, Luis Rijo Additional info: Twins Daily | Baseball Prospectus Tom’s grade: A I love this deal too, but for very different reasons than the Pressly trade. I just didn’t think Lynn had this kind of value. He fits the profile of exactly the type of pitcher a contending team should be looking to replace. Don’t get me wrong, he did really turn things around from May forward, but in my opinion he’s a second-division big league pitcher even at his best. Maybe the Yankees are onto something in using him in long relief, I don’t know. It’s worth noting that the Twins are paying half of Lynn’s salary, but this is still a really good return in my eyes. Tyler Austin could be a platoon 1B/RF/DH right now. The contact issues are a concern, but he crushes lefties and Target Field has been a pretty kind environment for right-handed power hitters. Honestly, if this was Lynn for Luis Rijo straight up I would have been impressed. Rijo has an insane 8.36 K:BB ratio in 125 ⅓ innings over his minor league career. He also tops out at 93 mph, so it’s not like it’s all just smoke and mirrors. And on top of all that, Lynn’s departure from the team opened up a spot for Adalberto Mejia to get a much-deserved chance in the rotation. Win, win, win, it’s looking all good here to me. Tuesday, July 31 Twins give: Brian Dozier Twins get: 2B Logan Forsythe, OF/1B Luke Raley, LHP Devin Smeltzer Additional info: Twins Daily | Baseball Prospectus Tom’s grade: D I’m certain this was the best deal the Twins could get on July 31, less than an hour before the deadline. What I’m not certain of is if that was the best time to deal him. You never know how these things work out, and both Ian Kinsler and Jonathan Schoop entering the trade market late had to have complicated things, but I suspect the Twins could have gotten a better package if they had made the deal earlier, or may have even been able to find a better waiver trade partner this month. Of course, there was always the option to keep Dozier and extend a qualifying offer to him. Maybe he would have accepted, but I’m of the mind that there’s really no such thing as a bad one-year deal. Why did I think this was the Twins’ worst trade? Mainly because of who they were forced to take back. Logan Forsythe, the only major leaguer the Twins acquired in all these deals, actually has extreme negative trade value. This seems to defy logic, but the business of baseball is funny. His inclusion basically made this deal cash neutral. There was probably never going to be a deal with the Dodgers that didn’t have to include Forsythe, since they’re trying to avoid luxury tax penalties, but that’s exactly why you don’t make a deal with them in the first place. I typically don’t care much what happens to the Pohlad’s money (did you see how I just suggested they give Dozier $18 million?), but you’ve still got to acknowledge that money is an asset to a baseball team. If you get rid of Dozier, I think you need to find a way to get rid of that money too. If Forsythe’s not in this trade, I give it at least a C, maybe even a B. Heck, if I just look at this deal in a vacuum, which is what I originally did yesterday, I might give it a C. But when you zoom out and look at the big picture of what happened across baseball leading up to and on deadline day, it definitely feels like the Twins may have hurt their odds at maximizing a return. Tough thing for me to say from the outside looking in, but that’s how I feel. Raley is putting up really good numbers in Double A, but he’s already 24 and it’s just really hard to break into the bigs as a corner outfield/first base type. On the plus side, Raley also sounds like the type of guy in terms of makeup who goes out and proves idiots like me wrong, so I’m excited to see how this plays out. Smeltzer is left-handed, that’s always a plus. He’s also relatively close to the majors (he’s spent all year in Double A) and his strikeout numbers saw a boost when he recently shifted to the bullpen. However, it sounds like he has a fairly straight, fairly slow fastball, so … All right, so there’s my report card. The front office comes away with a 2.8 GPA. Not exactly Ivy League material, but in my eyes they get a solid passing grade for what was a difficult trade deadline to navigate for them. Maybe they also deserve some extra credit for the non-move they made by keeping Kyle Gibson. So now it’s your turn, how would you grade the Twins’ trade deadline? Click here to view the article
  5. The Minnesota Twins came into the 2018 Major League Baseball season with postseason aspirations. Coming off of a Wild Card berth a year ago, it was fair to expect this club to challenge the Indians for the American League Central Division title. For a multitude of reasons, things didn't pan out as expected, and that left the club as sellers when it came to the trade deadline. As has often been the case, the front office positioned and executed the endeavor near flawlessly. Having lots of money to spend this offseason, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine bolstered the organization with talent. At the time, all of the acquisitions made a ton of sense, and looked nothing short of great on paper. We know that across the board plenty of players fell flat for Minnesota, and that allowed more shrewd decision making to come into play. Thanks to the short term commitment, and multiple one-year deals handed out, the Twins found themselves with assets able to be moved when their direction took a turn. It's always tough to see a player like Eduardo Escobar leave the organization he broke out in, but the reality is that the Twins maximized his value. Zach Duke and Lance Lynn were set to depart at season's end for nothing, and getting a return helps to stretch their effectiveness for the club into the future. Now a handful of trades in, there's reason to like every one of them. Eduardo Escobar to Arizona for SP Jhoan Duran, OF Gabriel Maciel, and OF Ernie De La Trinidad It's Duran that highlights this package for the Twins. All three prospects are current in Single-A, and given the depth in the Diamondbacks system (or lack thereof), these are three relative lottery tickets. That said, Maciel was highly touted as an International signee and stockpiling some talent that Minnesota may have missed out on when each was available as an amateur is hardly a bad get. Escobar was set to be a free agent at season's end, and now he gets to go be a part of a pennant race. Minnesota could bring him back this offseason (and if they can do so at the right dollar figure, it'd be very appealing), but getting some tangible return for him while they could is a very good move. Ryan Pressly to Houston for SP Jorge Alcala and OF Gilberto Celestino Flipping Pressly stings a bit, as I've been vocal about how good of a pitcher he is for quite some time. In 2018, he truly emerged as one of the best relievers in all of baseball. With another year of team control, it's unfortunate he won't be around to help what should be a competitive Twins team in 2019. That said, the reality is that he's a reliever. With pen arms being fickle, it made sense to flip him for a healthy return at a time when Minnesota had plenty of suitors. Getting a prospect with triple digit velocity in return is a nice piece, and it opens the door for Minnesota to explore some internal options in hops of backfilling Ryan's role. Zach Duke to Seattle for SP Chase De Jong and IF Ryan Costello Here is the first move in which the Twins front office continues to make a one-year deal work for them. Duke was signed for just $2.15 million this offseason and was handed a one-year deal. Having just two months left on his contract and not in a position to provide Minnesota value, the two prospects continue to do so. Although neither piece is a blue chip talent, there's little reason to scoff at the ability to develop and potentially drive major league talent out of players that will be around long after Duke would have left the organization. The Mariners get a lefty killer in return, and Duke's time with the Twins was an effective one. Lance Lynn to New York for 1B Tyler Austin and SP Luis Rijo If you'd ask who among the Twins free agent acquisitions underperformed the most this season, it'd have to be a tossup between Lynn and Logan Morrison. Being able to send the former Cardinals hurler out for a respectable return only highlights the importance of a track record. After missing virtually all of spring training, Lynn has been better since being awful his first month or so. He was striking out batters (and walking them) at career high rates, but there's too much leash there to believe he's cooked. In going to the Yankees, Lynn represents another one-year deal that plays future dividends for the Twins. Austin is out of options, so it would make sense that Minnesota give him ample opportunity to stick down the stretch. Rijo is a lottery ticket that you'd never be wise to turn down. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  6. The Twins acquired starting pitcher Chase De Jong, a 24-year-old, who has started 21 games for the Mariners' AA affiliate. He's 5-5 with a 3.80 ERA. In 120 2/3 innings, he has walked 34 and struck out 89. He has already pitched in the Blue Jays (2012-15), Dodgers (2015-16) systems, as well as the Mariners the last three seasons. He was originally the Blue Jays second-round pick in 2012. Infielder Ryan Costello is the other player acquired for Duke. The 22-year-old has hit .266 with 24 doubles, two triples and 16 home runs for Class A Clinton in the Midwest League where he was managed by Denny Hocking. He was the Mariners 31st round pick last June out of Central Connecticut University in New Britain, Connecticut. Zack Duke will head to the Mariners after a solid season with the Twins. The Twins will pay a small part of the remainder of Duke's 2018 contract. This evening, Duke posted the following to Twitter, thanking Twins fans and looking forward to Seattle. Soon after, Ryan Costello thanked the Mariners and says he's looking forward to joining the Twins.
  7. Jon Heyman of Fancred broke the news that Twins reliever Zach Duke is being traded to Seattle in exchange for two minor leaguers. The Twins will receive RHP Chase De Jong, a 24-year-old in AA, and 22-year-old infielder Ryan Costello.The Twins acquired starting pitcher Chase De Jong, a 24-year-old, who has started 21 games for the Mariners' AA affiliate. He's 5-5 with a 3.80 ERA. In 120 2/3 innings, he has walked 34 and struck out 89. He has already pitched in the Blue Jays (2012-15), Dodgers (2015-16) systems, as well as the Mariners the last three seasons. He was originally the Blue Jays second-round pick in 2012. Infielder Ryan Costello is the other player acquired for Duke. The 22-year-old has hit .266 with 24 doubles, two triples and 16 home runs for Class A Clinton in the Midwest League where he was managed by Denny Hocking. He was the Mariners 31st round pick last June out of Central Connecticut University in New Britain, Connecticut. Zack Duke will head to the Mariners after a solid season with the Twins. The Twins will pay a small part of the remainder of Duke's 2018 contract. Click here to view the article
  8. The Minnesota Twins moved Eduardo Escobar and Ryan Pressly over the weekend. One transaction involved a free agent to be, and the other focused around a return that likely was too good to pass up. With the trade deadline quickly approaching, clearing some extra space should be the goal for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. As things stand currently Minnesota has a handful of guys capable of being flipped to another team. The names include Brian Dozier, Zach Duke, Fernado Rodney, and Lance Lynn. If they really wanted to, and were presented with a solid return, Kyle Gibson could also enter this list. It's hard to see Minnesota being able to move Ervin Santana after just one or two healthy starts, but he could be an August trade candidate through the waiver process. Looking at the list of candidates having a potential to be moved, there's something that should jump out as an opportunity. All of them are impending free agents, and there's a relatively small likelihood that any of them return to the Twins in 2019. With that in mind, it's time to start planning for the year ahead. Giving those innings to players that will be around is a must, and it's something that Paul Molitor only has two months left to capitalize on. While it's uncertain as to whether or not Nick Gordon can start at the big league level a year from now, or if Stephen Gonsalves can continue to limit free passes, it's become time to find out some of those answers. Guys like Alan Busenitz, John Curtiss, and Jake Reed deserve some real run in the Twins pen, while Zack Littell and Adalberto Mejia could benefit from a couple of starts being strung together in succession. When the Twins constructed the 2018 roster each of the pieces now available on the block made sense to bring in. This club was expected to be competitive, and without a lack of production across the board (combined with untimely injuries and bad luck), that was a reasonable expectation. Now with the narrative of the season having changed, the goal should be getting a jumpstart on the 2019 season. It's hard to decipher whether or not Minnesota will be able to move all of their expiring pieces. Duke and Rodney have performed well this season, and should have appeal to some contenders. Dozier hasn't looked like himself, but a late season spark is all he'd need to supply in order to provide value to a postseason run. Lynn has been the worst of the bunch, but he's trended better of late and has a strong track record of success in his corner. What may be most interesting is what Minnesota decides to do if they can't move some of the pieces. Looking at the roster construction as it currently stands, there's plenty of reason to question where the front office is prioritizing playing time. A guy like Matt Belisle has been both bad and ineffective for multiple organizations this season. Unfortunately, he's been given ample opportunity with Minnesota and that's to the detriment of the multiple more viable pen arms for the year ahead. A decision like that would suggest there isn't much care when it comes to preparing for what's next. Lynn could be DFA'd and the leftovers could see themselves passed through the waiver process, but we don't really have much evidence to suggest that's what lies ahead. By my estimation, the most unfortunate way for the final two months of the season to play out would be to see all of these players stick around and no one get any real opportunity from the farm. You can't just cut bait on big league guys that are producing, but clearing the way for those you'll need to rely upon next season has to be of the utmost importance. We should have more clarity in the coming days, but the hope should be that the front office is on board with the train of thought as well. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  9. MLB Trade Rumors released its list of the Top 75 MLB Trade Candidates At The All-Star Break, and quite a few Twins were listed. Here's the methodology: "Essentially, we’re ordering players based upon our assessment of both their trade value and likelihood of being dealt." You'll have to click the link above for the full details, but here's where our guys landed: 18. Eduardo Escobar 19. Brian Dozier 20. Fernando Rodney 21. Zach Duke 29. Jake Odorizzi 72. Lance Lynn Also, Addison Reed got a mention under the disabled list section. No mention of Joe Mauer, I'm guessing they don't see it being very likely that he'll be dealt.
  10. Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Jake Odorizzi: 27 Game Score, 4.1 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, 58.4% strikes Bullpen: 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 K, 1 BB Lineup: 6-for-13 w/RISP, 7 LOB WPA of 0.1 or higher: Grossman .125, Cave .124, Mauer .100 WPA of -0.1 or lower: None Things got off to such a wonderful start. The Twins scored four runs on six hits in the first inning. They added four more runs in the third, with the big blow coming in the form of a Joe Mauer three-run homer. You build an 8-1 lead in the third and it should be easy sailing from there, right? The Rays did not go down quietly. Not. Even. Close. They added a run in the fourth before putting together a four-run inning of their own in the fifth. Another run in the sixth brought them back within a run. The Twins’ lineup just kept on rolling, however, as Brian Dozier hit a leadoff double, was driven in on an Eduardo Escobar single and then Esky scored on a Robbie Grossman double to give Minnesota a three-run cushion. Then, Trevor Hildenberger delivered what the Twins really needed: A clean inning. After Tampa Bay had scored in four consecutive frames, Hildy came in and struck out the side. Obviously this was a night where the offense shined, but Trevor coming in and slamming the door like that really seemed to represent the stomping out of any comeback the Rays were going to mount. Zach Duke followed with a clean eighth. These last three games have reminded me a lot of the 2017 second half Twins. Tons of crooked numbers coming from the bats. They’re not stringing together single runs in innings or just scoring on homers, they’re stringing things together and delivering with runners on. There were a ton of contributors, as you’d expect from a game in which 11 runs are scored on 15 hits, but Jake Cave was particularly impressive. He hit an RBI single over the shortstop in the first, a double to the left-center gap that plated another run in the third and then led off the seventh with a triple he pulled into the right-center gap. He’s now hitting .324 with a .928 OPS. Mauer drove in four and Grossman reached base safely four times, going 3-for-3 with a walk. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: AL Central Standings CLE 51-42 MIN 43-49 (-7.5) DET 40-56 (-12.5) CHW 31-61 (-19.5) KC 26-66 (-24.5) Next Three Games Sat vs. TB, 1:10 pm CT: Jose Berrios vs. Chris Archer Sun vs. TB, 1:10 pm CT: TBD All-Star Break Fri, July 20 at KC Last Three Games MIN 5, TB 1: Who’s the Snub? MIN 8, KC 5: Twins Recover from Rough Start KC 9, MIN 4: Slegers Slayed by Royals
  11. The Twins aren’t dead yet, but they’ve given themselves very little room for error. They can’t afford to do things like, for example, blow seven-run leads. Well, it’s a good thing they didn’t do exactly that Friday, but things were pretty hairy there for a second.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Jake Odorizzi: 27 Game Score, 4.1 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, 58.4% strikes Bullpen: 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 K, 1 BB Lineup: 6-for-13 w/RISP, 7 LOB WPA of 0.1 or higher: Grossman .125, Cave .124, Mauer .100 WPA of -0.1 or lower: None Download attachment: WinEx713.png Things got off to such a wonderful start. The Twins scored four runs on six hits in the first inning. They added four more runs in the third, with the big blow coming in the form of a Joe Mauer three-run homer. You build an 8-1 lead in the third and it should be easy sailing from there, right? The Rays did not go down quietly. Not. Even. Close. They added a run in the fourth before putting together a four-run inning of their own in the fifth. Another run in the sixth brought them back within a run. The Twins’ lineup just kept on rolling, however, as Brian Dozier hit a leadoff double, was driven in on an Eduardo Escobar single and then Esky scored on a Robbie Grossman double to give Minnesota a three-run cushion. Then, Trevor Hildenberger delivered what the Twins really needed: A clean inning. After Tampa Bay had scored in four consecutive frames, Hildy came in and struck out the side. Obviously this was a night where the offense shined, but Trevor coming in and slamming the door like that really seemed to represent the stomping out of any comeback the Rays were going to mount. Zach Duke followed with a clean eighth. These last three games have reminded me a lot of the 2017 second half Twins. Tons of crooked numbers coming from the bats. They’re not stringing together single runs in innings or just scoring on homers, they’re stringing things together and delivering with runners on. There were a ton of contributors, as you’d expect from a game in which 11 runs are scored on 15 hits, but Jake Cave was particularly impressive. He hit an RBI single over the shortstop in the first, a double to the left-center gap that plated another run in the third and then led off the seventh with a triple he pulled into the right-center gap. He’s now hitting .324 with a .928 OPS. Mauer drove in four and Grossman reached base safely four times, going 3-for-3 with a walk. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Bullpen713.png AL Central Standings CLE 51-42 MIN 43-49 (-7.5) DET 40-56 (-12.5) CHW 31-61 (-19.5) KC 26-66 (-24.5) Next Three Games Sat vs. TB, 1:10 pm CT: Jose Berrios vs. Chris Archer Sun vs. TB, 1:10 pm CT: TBD All-Star Break Fri, July 20 at KC Last Three Games MIN 5, TB 1: Who’s the Snub? MIN 8, KC 5: Twins Recover from Rough Start KC 9, MIN 4: Slegers Slayed by Royals Click here to view the article
  12. This is part of a story that appears in full on Zone Coverage here. Please click through to read it in full, and consider subscribing! It’s Father’s Day, and with the Minnesota Twins on the road wrapping up a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians, it can be easy to forget that these guys spent 100-plus days per year away from their families. Think about it; they’re guaranteed 81 days on the road just by virtue of away games, and then factor in six weeks of spring training and well over one-third of the year is spent away from their families. The Twins clubhouse, as one might expect, is full of fathers, and a lot of them have to burn the candle at both ends to be good in their careers and fulfilling their duties as fathers. There’s lots of FaceTime and countless calls and texts back and forth, but there’s no substitute for being with your families, and these guys sure seem to get it. So since I’ve never read a story like this, I decided to write it: What’s it like to be a father in today’s MLB? — Left-handed pitcher Zach Duke “The most challenging part is making sure you create the time in your way, making sure they know they are a priority,” Duke said on the most recent homestand. “Even when I am at the field, (I’m) FaceTiming with them, making sure they know where I am at. I have figured out, when we are together to really block out all distractions, put the phones away, turn the tv off and focus on family time. It helps.” Duke has a seven-year-old girl and a three-year-old, with a four-year-old boy sandwiched in the middle. He feels fortunate to have become a father in the iPhone generation, which has made FaceTime part of the mainstream and allows him to stay close even when he’s far away. “Before (FaceTime) thankfully my oldest was too young to even realize what was going on,” he said. “When facetime came on it was great. My oldest was born in 2011, so iPhones weren’t a big deal to her then. By the time she was able to start remembering, that stuff was all there so that was good.” Living arrangements vary player-to-player — even more so for players on one-year deals like Duke — but he and his wife Kristin try to keep the family together as much as possible. “Yes, as much as we can,” Duke said of this preference. “Because there is one thing we figured out, we don’t operate too well when we are apart for too long. It has become a little more challenging now. My daughter just finished first grade, and so thankfully we have got her in a school in Nashville that is very willing to work with us and very flexible with the schedule. It’s a private school where attendance doesn’t matter too much. But what they will do, they will send the curriculum and we will hire a tutor and make sure she gets the school work and make sure that is a priority but we are able to still have the family time.” Spring training is part of the equation, too. “They were able to be in Florida in March for all of spring training and they came up here in the middle of May,” Duke said. “They were also here for the opening weekend, went back to Tennessee, came up about a month ago and have been the whole time and will be for the rest of the summer. It’s good to be together.” The kids never have to look too far for kinship in their friendship, as other baseball children know the drill. “One of the coolest aspects that I’ve been able to experience in baseball life is that no matter where we go the kids have built-in friends, with the other kids on the team,” Duke said. “Unless there is a situation where there just aren’t a lot of other kids on the team, but nowadays, these organizations are doing such a great job of making these families feel welcome and providing child care for the kids and making sure they are well looked after.” The ballpark experience is unique for the kids, but it works even if they’re a bit too antsy to take in the action that Rob Manfred is working to shorten up. “They have sitters here (at the ballpark),” Duke said. “The wives can go and actually watch the game. My wife will take my son up into the stands because he likes to watch the games too, but the girls can stay down here and play. It’s really nice to have that, and I know that my kids have really benefited from that social aspect even when they are outside of school, getting the social interaction with other kids. “I feel blessed that we get exposed to the baseball life with different backgrounds and different cultures and we have Latin ballplayers and we have you name it, and they get to experience people from all over the world, and the kids get to interact. My daughter has been learning Spanish, and she gets to interact with Eduardo Escobar’s kids and try to speak some Spanish with them. It’s been pretty fun.” All told, Duke has been around the block as a big leaguer. He debuted in 2005 with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a starter, and has spent time with the Diamondbacks, Nationals, Reds, Brewers, White Sox, Cardinals and now Twins. He’s pretty much seen it all. But he says pretty much every team has been good for a ballplaying father. “I’ve seen it in different organizations at different levels,” he said. “The Pirates always had a really good family program. The Diamondbacks did as well, the Brewers did really well. The White Sox had a great setup. I think a lot of organizations do their best to accommodate the families, and it is something that doesn’t go unnoticed by us, and we are very appreciative of it.”
  13. This is an excerpt of an article that appears in full on Zone Coverage. Please click here to read the full story, and please consider subscribing to the site here. Tommy John celebrated his 75th birthday on Tuesday, but the surgery that bears his name is well over 40 years old. In fact, enter a room of pitchers and you’ll find that the sampling of those who’ve had Tommy John surgery is akin to going to a fraternity and trying to find a dude who has ever had a hangover. Orthopedic surgeon Frank Jobe performed the first procedure — also known as ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction — on the Los Angeles Dodgers lefty back in 1974. Ever since, it has not only become more ubiquitous, but also more proven in terms of players returning their previous form after extensive rehab. With a room full of pitchers who’ve had the procedure and a seemingly different story of recovery from each one, I thought why not give each pitcher a chance to explain what their triumphs and tribulations were like as they battled to come back from the surgery. Every pitcher is asked the same questions; every pitcher will almost certainly give different answers. These are the Tommy John Files: Player – Left-handed reliever Zach Duke The surgery — when/where/who performed it? “Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery down in Pensacola, Fla.“ The injury — when/where did it happen? “So for me, I was diagnosed with a partial (UCL) tear back in 2007. I put in some maintenance exercises and things which held everything in place for a while. Finally, throughout the course of the 2016 season, the ligament completely tore. What happened for me, when I knew I had to have surgery, was that I threw a pitch and felt a different pain. What ended up happening was that the flexor tendon had popped off the bone. So my hand kind of seized up on the mound, and I knew there was something bad going on. So, the MRI a few days later obviously said the ligament was completely gone now. There was some stuff in there before, but it’s completely done and now the flexor tendon needs to be repaired quickly.” Was the pain instantaneous, or over time? “It was — because of the flexor tendon coming off — I mean I couldn’t turn a doorknob or squeeze a ketchup bottle without just….pain. When it was just the ligament, there were flare-ups here and there. Some stiffness would creep in. I’d have to manage the pain there. It was just finding a way through managing the range of motion and the pain tolerance. It was kind of always there, though.” Rehab Were there peaks and valleys? What were they like? “So the approach I kind of took was that I wanted there to be a pretty steady feeling of soreness. I didn’t want it to get too intense to where I had to back off, and maybe stop, or take a break and push the timeline back a bit. I tried to keep it at a constant feel of building. It’s a testament to the program that the Cardinals staff had for me, and Dr. Andrews was in constant contact with us as well. I got back to the big-league mound in nine-and-a-half months, which I guess was the fastest in the last decade or whatever. But for me, I just tried to keep that steady feel.”
  14. The Twins desperately needed a solid performance from their starting pitcher this afternoon, and Jake Odorizzi proved to be the man for the job. He held the Reds to one run over six innings, Eduardo Escobar came up with a huge hit and Mitch Garver homered to lift the Twins to their first win since April 18.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Download attachment: Snapshot428.png Download attachment: WinEx428.png Odorizzi wasn’t dominant -- he gave up five hits and two walks while striking out three batters -- but he was efficient and effective. The lone run he surrendered was on a solo homer. Eduardo Escobar, starting at third base today due Miguel Sano being out with a hamstring injury, delivered a huge hit and some nice defense. Escobar hit an RBI double that scored Eddie Rosario to tie the game and he took advantage of a slight miscue by the Cincinnati right fielder to take third base. Robbie Grossman drove him in on a go-ahead sac fly. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Bullpen428.png Next Three Games Sun vs. CIN, 1:10 pm CT Mon vs. TOR, 7:10 pm CT Tue vs. TOR, 7:10 pm CT Last Three Games CIN 15, MIN 9: It Got Even Worse NYY 4, MIN 3: Rodney Spoils Great Gibby Start, Twins Swept NYY 7, MIN 4: Lance Lynn Is a Dumpster Fire Right Now More From Twins Daily Twins Minor League Report (4/27): Friday Night Under The Lights On Ryan Pressly's Release Point, Pitch Mix Click here to view the article
  15. Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Odorizzi wasn’t dominant -- he gave up five hits and two walks while striking out three batters -- but he was efficient and effective. The lone run he surrendered was on a solo homer. Eduardo Escobar, starting at third base today due Miguel Sano being out with a hamstring injury, delivered a huge hit and some nice defense. Escobar hit an RBI double that scored Eddie Rosario to tie the game and he took advantage of a slight miscue by the Cincinnati right fielder to take third base. Robbie Grossman drove him in on a go-ahead sac fly. https://twitter.com/BallparkVids/status/990309675789938696 Entering today, Twins catchers combined for a .465 OPS, which was the second-lowest mark for a catching unit in all of baseball. Along with calling a good game behind the dish, Garver also belted a solo home run, his second of the season, and a double. https://twitter.com/BallparkVids/status/990316200524701696 Things got dicey a couple times late, but the bullpen held it together. Odorizzi was on the mound to open the seventh, but gave up a double to the leadoff man. Zach Duke came in and gave up a single to the first batter he faced, giving the Reds runners at the corners and no outs. Duke worked his way out of the jam with a pop out, strikeout and then a fly out to end the threat. Addison Reed took over in the eighth and walked leadoff man Joey Votto. Luckily, the next batter hit into a double play, which was followed by an inning-ending fly out on which Rosario fought the sun to haul in a nice grab. https://twitter.com/BallparkVids/status/990334063067189248 Fernando Rodney handled the ninth, so you know there were some hairy moments there. He walked the leadoff batter on four pitches and issued a one-out walk, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. Two pop outs later, one on a nice catch by Brian Dozier, and the Twins had the victory in hand. Losing streak over. https://twitter.com/BallparkVids/status/990341134059737089 Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Next Three Games Sun vs. CIN, 1:10 pm CT Mon vs. TOR, 7:10 pm CT Tue vs. TOR, 7:10 pm CT Last Three Games CIN 15, MIN 9: It Got Even Worse NYY 4, MIN 3: Rodney Spoils Great Gibby Start, Twins Swept NYY 7, MIN 4: Lance Lynn Is a Dumpster Fire Right Now More From Twins Daily Twins Minor League Report (4/27): Friday Night Under The Lights On Ryan Pressly's Release Point, Pitch Mix
  16. This offseason, one of the main goals for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine was to reshape the guys Paul Molitor and Garvin Alston have at their disposal. After using a record 36 pitchers a year ago, Minnesota needed more quality to reduce the quantity of arms they’ve have to rely upon. In relief, they accomplished that feat by inking Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke to one-year deals. Coming off a very strong season with the Mets and Red Sox, Reed was able to land himself a two year pact from the Twins. Minnesota didn’t have to look far in 2017 to find a relief corps of envy. Terry Francona and the Cleveland Indians had one of the best groups in all of baseball. Having names like Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen and Andrew Miller will all pose a significant threat to the success of opposing hitters. While Allen is the closer, it’s guys like Shaw and Miller who may find themselves in even higher leverage situations. Really, Miller may be the guy who began to pioneer this movement. Understanding that the save is simply a microcosm of a need to classify the last few outs, he’s become one of the best relief arms in baseball by allowing himself to be deployed when the team needs him most. Having saved 125 games over the course of his career, Reed entered the Twins mix after Rodney had already been signed and promised the closer role. There was some thought that his signing could shift Minnesota’s plans on the back end. In talking with Reed though, he seems to be much more from the Andrew Miller school of thought. “I haven’t cared about saves….I’ll tell you this, I’m glad I got some saves before arbitration. I’ve always said a save can be in the first or second inning, a lot of these games are one or two run games. I’ve always thought the save statistic was overhyped.” Now back in the division, Reed sees the Twins as laying a blueprint along the same lines as the Indians or Yankees. “I told them when we had the one on one innings, hopefully it never happens but I’ll throw the second inning if I have to. I don’t care when I pitch, I’m here to win.” High leverage is something Reed has excelled in across his career, and slamming the door on opposing teams' potential run scoring innings is an opportunity he definitely craves. With a 9.8 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 over the past two seasons, there’s no denying what an asset he can be whenever deployed during a game. When entering free agency this offseason, it was a winning mindset that rose above all else. Despite having worked as a closer and picking up the money- making save opportunities, Reed targeted a place he could be effective and make a difference. While noting that his goal was to stay in the Midwest, he also didn’t want to be in a situation where the check was a bigger draw than the result in the box score. “They (the Twins) shocked a lot of people last year. We aren’t going to shock anyone this year, I can tell you that. I saw they were serious about winning….we only added pieces. I wasn’t after the money; minimum wage in baseball is more than anywhere else. I think a ring on my finger would look much nicer than a check.” The Twins relievers posted the 22nd best fWAR a season ago, they were also 22nd in ERA, and they were 29th in K/9. Adding arms like Rodney, Duke and Reed should drastically improve that situation. Being able to have the pitcher who is arguably the best of that trio available to get outs at whatever point the game dictates it most also won’t hurt. Paul Molitor will have to display an ability to effectively manage his pen within the constructs of each game and will need to move away from a more traditional and rigid thought process. Whether or not that takes some time for the Twins skipper to accomplish or not, he’ll have plenty of setup quality arms available throughout the course of any given game. Trying to advance on their Wild Card berth a season ago, Minnesota will look to take another step forward in 2018. As a newcomer, Reed sees it as a real possibility, and has his sights set even higher. “I’ve been fortunate to play long enough to be comfortable with where I’m at. Right now I want a ring, maybe a couple of rings.” With that, he smirked, and it was apparent that the Twins newest arm is ready to go.
  17. The Twins hit three more home runs, including the first of Mitch Garver’s career, and the bullpen delivered 4.2 shutout innings of one-hit ball to help lift Minnesota to victory on the home opener. It was a day of firsts, as Zach Duke earned his first win as a Twin and Fernando Rodney recorded his first save with the club.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Download attachment: Snapshot45.png James Paxton figured to be a tough draw for the Twins today. He was among the best pitchers in baseball last season, though his season went somewhat underappreciated because he missed some time. Here are the 2017 leaders in FIP, minimum 130 innings pitched: 2.45 Chris Sale 2.50 Corey Kluber 2.61 Paxton 2.71 Stephen Strasburg 2.90 Max Scherzer We learned during the pregame ceremonies that Paxton is also a pretty cool customer. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Bullpen45.png Next Three Games Sat vs. SEA, 1:10 pm CT Sun vs. SEA, 1:10 pm CT Mon vs. HOU, 7:10 pm CT Last Three Games MIN 7, PIT 3: Rosario Sparks Comeback, Inspires Some Head-Scratching PIT 5, MIN 4: Lynn Surrenders Grand Slam in Twins Debut MIN 7, BAL 0: Berri0s More From Twins Daily Twins vs Mariners Series Preview Talented Lookouts Eye Repeat In Southern League Blackmon's Deal With Rockies Sets Precedent For Dozier Click here to view the article
  18. Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) James Paxton figured to be a tough draw for the Twins today. He was among the best pitchers in baseball last season, though his season went somewhat underappreciated because he missed some time. Here are the 2017 leaders in FIP, minimum 130 innings pitched: 2.45 Chris Sale 2.50 Corey Kluber 2.61 Paxton 2.71 Stephen Strasburg 2.90 Max Scherzer We learned during the pregame ceremonies that Paxton is also a pretty cool customer. https://twitter.com/Cut4/status/982003744702435328?s=20 Paxton lived up to the billing, and was cruising right along until Miguel Sano blasted Target Field’s first home run of 2018 to tie the game at 2-2. It was also the Twins’ first homer with runners on this season. https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/982021408510246912?s=20 From there it was all Twins. Garver gave the Twins the lead in the seventh inning with his blast ... https://twitter.com/MLBPipeline/status/982028754737418242?s=20 .. and Eddie Rosario provided a nice insurance run with his first dinger of the year in the eighth. https://twitter.com/TwinsHighlights/status/982051355677413377?s=20 The bullpen was spectacular. Taylor Rogers got a huge inning-ending double play in the fifth and then pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning. Ryan Pressly gave up a leadoff walk and a Texas Leaguer to open the seventh before getting a huge strikeout. He was bailed out of trouble in part by Duke and in part by a suboptimal baserunning play by Seattle. Duke retired both men he faced. Addison Reed came in for the eighth and had about as good of an inning you could hope for. He struck out two batters and only needed 10 pitches, nine of which were strikes. Rodney came in for his first save opportunity of the year. He walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, but retired Jean Segura, Robinson Cano and Mitch Haniger in order to close it out. https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/982036805104033792?s=20 The guy who shoots arrows is playing his home games at Target Field. It just seems like it’s meant to be. The Mariners hit three balls 105 mph or harder off Kyle Gibson and had seven hits over his 4.1 innings pitched. The M’s scored both of their runs off Gibby in the first inning, one was unearned due to a Sano error. Postgame With Molitor https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/982046197153083393?s=20 Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Next Three Games Sat vs. SEA, 1:10 pm CT Sun vs. SEA, 1:10 pm CT Mon vs. HOU, 7:10 pm CT Last Three Games MIN 7, PIT 3: Rosario Sparks Comeback, Inspires Some Head-Scratching PIT 5, MIN 4: Lynn Surrenders Grand Slam in Twins Debut MIN 7, BAL 0: Berri0s More From Twins Daily Twins vs Mariners Series Preview Talented Lookouts Eye Repeat In Southern League Blackmon's Deal With Rockies Sets Precedent For Dozier
  19. Jake Odorizzi turned in an excellent start in his Twins debut, throwing six shutout innings. Unfortunately, he got no run support and fellow new Twins Zach Duke and Fernando Rodney couldn’t hold down the Orioles. The only scoring from the Twins came in the form of a Robbie Grossman two-run pinch-hit single.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Download attachment: Snapshot329.png Duke is a left-handed specialist, not a setup man. Over the past four seasons, he’s averaged less than an inning per outing and only averaged 10.2 pitches per appearance last season and 12.5 the year before that. Paul Molitor decided to give Duke the seventh inning today. Already 16 pitches into his outing, Duke was left in the game to face the right-handed hitting Caleb Joseph with runners on first and second base. Two-run triple. Not the best way to start things off with your shiney new bullpen, Mr. Molitor. To be fair, Duke also racked up four strikeouts in the inning. The leadoff man swung through a wild pitch for strike three, Jason Castro couldn’t keep the ball in front of him and the batter reached safely. The hallmark of the 2017 Minnesota Twins was that they never died. No matter how bad things got, they always bounced back. If Opening Day is any indication, that attribute has carried over to this year’s club. The Twins entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 2-0 and Miguel Sano opened the inning with a strikeout. Eddie Rosario singled and advanced to second base thanks to a passed ball leading to a Logan Morrison walk. Eduardo Escobar struck out, continuing a trend of the Twins struggling to deliver with men on base. It all came down to Max Kepler. With the game on the line, Kepler fell behind 0-2. Over the next nine pitches, he put on about as good a display of professional, tough-as-nails hitting as you’re going to see all season. Max fouled off five pitches and ended up working a walk. That 11-pitch battle had to have worn down Baltimore reliever Brad Brach. Robbie Grossman pinch hit for Byron Buxton and delivered a game-tying bloop single. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days (includes the exhibition at WAS): Download attachment: Bullpen329.png Click here to view the article
  20. Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Duke is a left-handed specialist, not a setup man. Over the past four seasons, he’s averaged less than an inning per outing and only averaged 10.2 pitches per appearance last season and 12.5 the year before that. Paul Molitor decided to give Duke the seventh inning today. Already 16 pitches into his outing, Duke was left in the game to face the right-handed hitting Caleb Joseph with runners on first and second base. Two-run triple. Not the best way to start things off with your shiney new bullpen, Mr. Molitor. To be fair, Duke also racked up four strikeouts in the inning. The leadoff man swung through a wild pitch for strike three, Jason Castro couldn’t keep the ball in front of him and the batter reached safely. The hallmark of the 2017 Minnesota Twins was that they never died. No matter how bad things got, they always bounced back. If Opening Day is any indication, that attribute has carried over to this year’s club. The Twins entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 2-0 and Miguel Sano opened the inning with a strikeout. Eddie Rosario singled and advanced to second base thanks to a passed ball leading to a Logan Morrison walk. Eduardo Escobar struck out, continuing a trend of the Twins struggling to deliver with men on base. It all came down to Max Kepler. With the game on the line, Kepler fell behind 0-2. Over the next nine pitches, he put on about as good a display of professional, tough-as-nails hitting as you’re going to see all season. Max fouled off five pitches and ended up working a walk. That 11-pitch battle had to have worn down Baltimore reliever Brad Brach. Robbie Grossman pinch hit for Byron Buxton and delivered a game-tying bloop single. https://twitter.com/Twins/status/979486309331996673?s=20 In the bottom of the 10th inning, the Orioles had the bases loaded with one out. Rodney induced a double play. It was looking like the never say die Twins were going to find a way to pull out a W. Things didn’t go so well in the 11th. Adam Jones slugged a walk-off homer. https://twitter.com/MLBONFOX/status/979490209157951488?s=20 Odorizzi pitched six scoreless innings, had seven strikeouts and only gave up two hits and a pair of walks. He worked slow and low, high and hot. Here’s a look at his zone profile via Baseball Savant, notice all the green up high in the zone: Addison Reed pitched two perfect innings in his Twins debut. Logan Morrison was 0-for-3 with a walk in his first official game with the club. Postgame With Molitor Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days (includes the exhibition at WAS):
  21. Rogers was drafted by the Twins in the 11th round in 2012 out of the University of Kentucky. He exceeded rookie limits in the 2016 season and is not eligible for arbitration until 2020. With that amount of team control it's important the Twins know what they have, and what they don’t have, in the 27 year old left-hander. MLB Debut Rogers made his MLB debut in 2016, pitching 61 innings and excelled. He managed a 3.96 ERA on the back of a 9.39 K/9, 2.35 BB/9 and GB% of 51%, all really solid numbers. Rogers’ xFIP of 3.47 was indicative that he might be scratching the surface of being an excellent relief option for the Twins. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rogers had pretty dramatic splits in 2016. Against lefties, he put together an excellent .202 BAA, .286 SLG and .281 BABIP. Conversely, Rogers struggled against righties, to the tune of a .291 BAA, .462 SLG and .348 BABIP. This led most to the conclusion that Rogers could be a viable long-term option as a LOOGY. The first half of Rogers 2017, however, would call that conclusion into question. 2017: A Tale of two Halves "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Words from Charles Dickens which are applicable to Rogers’ 2017. First Half: 1.87 BB/9, 0.80 HR/9, .333 SLG Second Half: 5.73 BB/9, 1.23 HR/9, .434 SLG In the first half of the 2017 season, the Twins bullpen was in flux. Not only did the big league club use a record 16 starting pitchers over the course of the season, a slew of Quadruple-A types saw time in the pen. With a stable bullpen, Rogers would likely have faced predominantly LHH. The Twins were struggling, however, and Rogers began to see RHH with increasing frequency. Surprisingly, he delivered in a big way. Prior to the end of June, Rogers managed an incredible 1.35 ERA against RHH, with a stingy .257 SLG, and .227 BAA. For the Twins, this was a boon of Hildenbergian proportions. In the first half of 2017, Rogers threw to 33% more RHH than LHH. That split evened in the second half of the season, but not significantly enough to prevent a major regression against righties, evidenced by his 5.79 ERA, .355 BAA and .581 SLG the rest of the way against RHH. It’s almost a certainty that Rogers’ first half numbers against RHH were an aberration. A return to dominance against LHH (he had been solid but unspectacular against them in the first half) helped mitigate the damage of an awful second half. All in all Rogers finished the season with numbers which would lead most to consider him a left-handed specialist. Rogers offers more than Buddy Boshers, but not a ton more. Pitch Mix Overview Rogers’ pitch mix is important to understanding why he suddenly fell off a cliff against RHH in the second half of 2017. Rogers relies on a sinker, four seam fastball, and a curveball. Additionally, he mixes in a changeup pretty infrequently (only 4% of the time in 2017). Rogers has above average velocity on most of his pitches, his fastball generating a ton of fly balls, and his changeup generating a decent number of groundballs. Rogers decreased his chageup usage as the 2017 season progressed, ditching the pitch altogether in July. Coincidentally, that was his worst month of the year. He got it to the tune of an ERA of 8.18 and gave up a .614 SLG that month. This makes sense. The changeup is an equalizing pitch to throw to opposite handed hitters (that’s why Johan Santana was so dominant). Despite not having a great changeup to begin with, Rogers was continually being put in tough situations against RHH without a weapon to neutralize them. This, in addition to an uncharacteristically high walk rate, led Rogers to an awful second half. Waiting in the Wings On one hand, there is reason for optimism for Rogers in 2018. Despite having a pretty rough spring training, it’s likely that his elevated walk rate from the second half of the season is a mechanical issue which is now resolved (two walks in 11 IP in spring training suggest as much). On the other hand, his splits are real, Rogers might not be a true LOOGY, but he isn’t a pitcher the Twins should be relying on to get out RHH on a consistent basis. Additionally, the Twins have some interesting arms waiting in the wings. Gabriel Moya (owner of an excellent changeup) is a candidate much more likely to be successful against both LHH and RHH due to his pitch mix and deceptive mechanics. Tyler Jay is another candidate to be a back end bullpen option if he can stay healthy throughout the 2018 season. If either of those pitchers have strong seasons, they may challenge for Rogers’ spot. Zach Duke is already a better iteration of a LHP who can dominate LHH due to his ability to generate ground balls instead of fly-balls. With a minor league option remaining, don’t be surprised if Rogers ends up in Rochester if he doesn’t get off to a strong start.
  22. If there is one thing we can all agree on regarding the 2018 Minnesota Twins, it’s that they have a higher floor than their 2017 counterparts. Still, established pieces are going to have to maintain or raise the level of their game in order to keep their jobs. Most notably; Taylor Rogers.Rogers was drafted by the Twins in the 11th round in 2012 out of the University of Kentucky. He exceeded rookie limits in the 2016 season and is not eligible for arbitration until 2020. With that amount of team control it's important the Twins know what they have, and what they don’t have, in the 27 year old left-hander. MLB Debut Rogers made his MLB debut in 2016, pitching 61 innings and excelled. He managed a 3.96 ERA on the back of a 9.39 K/9, 2.35 BB/9 and GB% of 51%, all really solid numbers. Rogers’ xFIP of 3.47 was indicative that he might be scratching the surface of being an excellent relief option for the Twins. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rogers had pretty dramatic splits in 2016. Against lefties, he put together an excellent .202 BAA, .286 SLG and .281 BABIP. Conversely, Rogers struggled against righties, to the tune of a .291 BAA, .462 SLG and .348 BABIP. This led most to the conclusion that Rogers could be a viable long-term option as a LOOGY. The first half of Rogers 2017, however, would call that conclusion into question. 2017: A Tale of two Halves "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Words from Charles Dickens which are applicable to Rogers’ 2017. First Half: 1.87 BB/9, 0.80 HR/9, .333 SLG Second Half: 5.73 BB/9, 1.23 HR/9, .434 SLG In the first half of the 2017 season, the Twins bullpen was in flux. Not only did the big league club use a record 16 starting pitchers over the course of the season, a slew of Quadruple-A types saw time in the pen. With a stable bullpen, Rogers would likely have faced predominantly LHH. The Twins were struggling, however, and Rogers began to see RHH with increasing frequency. Surprisingly, he delivered in a big way. Prior to the end of June, Rogers managed an incredible 1.35 ERA against RHH, with a stingy .257 SLG, and .227 BAA. For the Twins, this was a boon of Hildenbergian proportions. In the first half of 2017, Rogers threw to 33% more RHH than LHH. That split evened in the second half of the season, but not significantly enough to prevent a major regression against righties, evidenced by his 5.79 ERA, .355 BAA and .581 SLG the rest of the way against RHH. It’s almost a certainty that Rogers’ first half numbers against RHH were an aberration. A return to dominance against LHH (he had been solid but unspectacular against them in the first half) helped mitigate the damage of an awful second half. All in all Rogers finished the season with numbers which would lead most to consider him a left-handed specialist. Rogers offers more than Buddy Boshers, but not a ton more. Pitch Mix Overview Rogers’ pitch mix is important to understanding why he suddenly fell off a cliff against RHH in the second half of 2017. Rogers relies on a sinker, four seam fastball, and a curveball. Additionally, he mixes in a changeup pretty infrequently (only 4% of the time in 2017). Rogers has above average velocity on most of his pitches, his fastball generating a ton of fly balls, and his changeup generating a decent number of groundballs. Rogers decreased his chageup usage as the 2017 season progressed, ditching the pitch altogether in July. Coincidentally, that was his worst month of the year. He got it to the tune of an ERA of 8.18 and gave up a .614 SLG that month. This makes sense. The changeup is an equalizing pitch to throw to opposite handed hitters (that’s why Johan Santana was so dominant). Despite not having a great changeup to begin with, Rogers was continually being put in tough situations against RHH without a weapon to neutralize them. This, in addition to an uncharacteristically high walk rate, led Rogers to an awful second half. Waiting in the Wings On one hand, there is reason for optimism for Rogers in 2018. Despite having a pretty rough spring training, it’s likely that his elevated walk rate from the second half of the season is a mechanical issue which is now resolved (two walks in 11 IP in spring training suggest as much). On the other hand, his splits are real, Rogers might not be a true LOOGY, but he isn’t a pitcher the Twins should be relying on to get out RHH on a consistent basis. Additionally, the Twins have some interesting arms waiting in the wings. Gabriel Moya (owner of an excellent changeup) is a candidate much more likely to be successful against both LHH and RHH due to his pitch mix and deceptive mechanics. Tyler Jay is another candidate to be a back end bullpen option if he can stay healthy throughout the 2018 season. If either of those pitchers have strong seasons, they may challenge for Rogers’ spot. Zach Duke is already a better iteration of a LHP who can dominate LHH due to his ability to generate ground balls instead of fly-balls. With a minor league option remaining, don’t be surprised if Rogers ends up in Rochester if he doesn’t get off to a strong start. Click here to view the article
  23. Projected Relievers: Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, Zach Duke, Ryan Pressly, Trevor Hildenberger, Taylor Rogers, Gabriel Moya, Tyler Kinley Depth: Tyler Duffey, Alan Busenitz, John Curtiss, Jake Reed, Zack Jones Prospects: Tyler Jay, Dietrich Enns, Mason Melotakis, Tyler Watson, Tom Hackimer THE GOOD Brandon Kintzler and Matt Belisle, who respectably held down closing duties for the 2017 team (albeit in unimposing fashion), are out. Replacing them are righties Fernando Rodney and Addison Reed, who better fit the traditional mold of dominant late-inning arms. Minnesota has also substantially upgraded its left-handed relief foundation from a year ago, replacing Craig Breslow and Buddy Boshers with the vastly higher upside of Zach Duke and Gabriel Moya, while retaining steady specialist Taylor Rogers. Though it lacks a true long reliever, the Twins bullpen is well constructed, giving Paul Molitor a diverse set of potent options leading up to one of the game's most experienced closers. The quality of this group is such that Tyler Duffey (3.72 FIP in 2017) and Alan Busenitz (1.99 ERA in 28 appearances) were sent down to open the season, and few could quibble with the decisions. Possessing power relievers who can come in and strike people out is critical in today's MLB. Last year's top five finishers in bullpen K/9 were the Yankees, Astros, Dodgers, Indians and Cubs. They were also five of the last teams standing. Minnesota, at 7.7 K/9, ranked 29th out of 30. The eight relievers slated to comprise this year's bullpen combined to average about a strikeout per inning in 2017. That calculation doesn't include Tyler Kinley, who of course didn't pitch in the majors but did average 12.2 K/9 in Single-A and Double-A, and barely accounts for Moya, who has averaged 11.5 K/9 in the minors. This is suddenly a bullpen filled with strikeout pitchers — a remarkable bit of roster wizardly, progressively carried out by the new front office. The first guys in line as call-ups or replacements? Duffey, who struck out 67 over 71 frames in his first season as a reliever. Busenitz, who brings upper-90s heat and has averaged 9.2 K/9 in Triple-A. And finally: John Curtiss, an unheralded prospect who warrants intrigue specifically because of his tremendous ability to miss bats in the Twins system, where he's struck out 245 over 195 frames (including 33 K over 24 IP at Triple-A). So, to summarize all that: Minnesota now has the indisputable makings of a power pen, even if things go amiss with the first wave. That's a status they really haven't been able to claim since 2006, when a unit led by Joe Nathan, Jesse Crain, Juan Rincon and Pat Neshek led the AL in bullpen K/9. That team also won 96 games – most in the franchise's modern history. Coincidence? THE BAD While they've equipped themselves with a bunch of capable new arms, the Twins have also let several promising ones get away. Luke Bard was snagged by the Angels in the Rule 5 draft and it appears he'll stick on their 25-man roster. If his massive improvements in Double-A and Triple-A last year prove legit, he could potentially be closing games for the Halos by midseason. Nick Burdi was also fished away in the Rule 5, by Pittsburgh, and he'll be stashed on the 60-day DL until completing Tommy John recovery. In late February, the Twins lost J.T. Chargois when we was claimed off waivers by the Dodgers. He is in line to make their team. Bard, Burdi and Chargois were all highly drafted stud relievers out of college with premium gas, and despite injury setbacks, each was on track to make an impact in the majors. Now, they're gone, lost to other organizations in exchange for nothing, because the Twins didn't deem them worth protecting. To be sure, these were measured, rational risks. Given the checkered health histories at play here, a reluctance to plan around these volatile fireballers is quite understandable. But elevating other pitchers as priorities – most notably, the Rule 5 pick Kinley, a relatively unaccomplished minor-leaguer who has occupied a 40-man spot since December – does have a cost. We'll have to wait and see whether the Twins made the right calls with all this shuffling, but there's a reasonable case to be made for every pitcher on the roster deserving his spot. And when it comes to evaluating hurlers, Derek Falvey and his crew have earned some trust. THE BOTTOM LINE The 2018 Twins bullpen will have a very different look, both because it features more new arrivals than incumbents and because it might be the most K-heavy unit Minnesota has assembled in over a decade. The front office chose to wager on its free agents and its Rule 5 selection rather than some homegrown arms that many of us expected to play a role at the big-league level. I'll be curious to see if their altogether logical gambles pan out. If so, the Twins will have shored up one of their most persistent disadvantages from years past. ~~~ Catch up on the rest of the series: Twins Daily Position Analysis: Catcher Twins Daily Position Analysis: First Base Twins Daily Position Analysis: Second Base Twins Daily Position Analysis: Third Base Twins Daily Position Analysis: Shortstop Twins Daily Position Analysis: Left Field Twins Daily Position Analysis: Center Field Twins Daily Position Analysis: Right Field Twins Daily Position Analysis: Designated Hitter Twins Daily Position Analysis: Starting Pitcher
  24. We wrap up our position-by-position breakdown of Minnesota's organizational depth today with an examination of relief pitching. I'm excited to dig in here because this reinvented bullpen is a fascinating unit for the Twins, characterized by high-profile additions, unpredictable youth, and bold gambles.Projected Relievers: Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, Zach Duke, Ryan Pressly, Trevor Hildenberger, Taylor Rogers, Gabriel Moya, Tyler Kinley Depth: Tyler Duffey, Alan Busenitz, John Curtiss, Jake Reed, Zack Jones Prospects: Tyler Jay, Dietrich Enns, Mason Melotakis, Tyler Watson, Tom Hackimer THE GOOD Brandon Kintzler and Matt Belisle, who respectably held down closing duties for the 2017 team (albeit in unimposing fashion), are out. Replacing them are righties Fernando Rodney and Addison Reed, who better fit the traditional mold of dominant late-inning arms. Minnesota has also substantially upgraded its left-handed relief foundation from a year ago, replacing Craig Breslow and Buddy Boshers with the vastly higher upside of Zach Duke and Gabriel Moya, while retaining steady specialist Taylor Rogers. Though it lacks a true long reliever, the Twins bullpen is well constructed, giving Paul Molitor a diverse set of potent options leading up to one of the game's most experienced closers. The quality of this group is such that Tyler Duffey (3.72 FIP in 2017) and Alan Busenitz (1.99 ERA in 28 appearances) were sent down to open the season, and few could quibble with the decisions. Possessing power relievers who can come in and strike people out is critical in today's MLB. Last year's top five finishers in bullpen K/9 were the Yankees, Astros, Dodgers, Indians and Cubs. They were also five of the last teams standing. Minnesota, at 7.7 K/9, ranked 29th out of 30. The eight relievers slated to comprise this year's bullpen combined to average about a strikeout per inning in 2017. That calculation doesn't include Tyler Kinley, who of course didn't pitch in the majors but did average 12.2 K/9 in Single-A and Double-A, and barely accounts for Moya, who has averaged 11.5 K/9 in the minors. This is suddenly a bullpen filled with strikeout pitchers — a remarkable bit of roster wizardly, progressively carried out by the new front office. The first guys in line as call-ups or replacements? Duffey, who struck out 67 over 71 frames in his first season as a reliever. Busenitz, who brings upper-90s heat and has averaged 9.2 K/9 in Triple-A. And finally: John Curtiss, an unheralded prospect who warrants intrigue specifically because of his tremendous ability to miss bats in the Twins system, where he's struck out 245 over 195 frames (including 33 K over 24 IP at Triple-A). So, to summarize all that: Minnesota now has the indisputable makings of a power pen, even if things go amiss with the first wave. That's a status they really haven't been able to claim since 2006, when a unit led by Joe Nathan, Jesse Crain, Juan Rincon and Pat Neshek led the AL in bullpen K/9. That team also won 96 games – most in the franchise's modern history. Coincidence? THE BAD While they've equipped themselves with a bunch of capable new arms, the Twins have also let several promising ones get away. Luke Bard was snagged by the Angels in the Rule 5 draft and it appears he'll stick on their 25-man roster. If his massive improvements in Double-A and Triple-A last year prove legit, he could potentially be closing games for the Halos by midseason. Nick Burdi was also fished away in the Rule 5, by Pittsburgh, and he'll be stashed on the 60-day DL until completing Tommy John recovery. In late February, the Twins lost J.T. Chargois when we was claimed off waivers by the Dodgers. He is in line to make their team. Bard, Burdi and Chargois were all highly drafted stud relievers out of college with premium gas, and despite injury setbacks, each was on track to make an impact in the majors. Now, they're gone, lost to other organizations in exchange for nothing, because the Twins didn't deem them worth protecting. To be sure, these were measured, rational risks. Given the checkered health histories at play here, a reluctance to plan around these volatile fireballers is quite understandable. But elevating other pitchers as priorities – most notably, the Rule 5 pick Kinley, a relatively unaccomplished minor-leaguer who has occupied a 40-man spot since December – does have a cost. We'll have to wait and see whether the Twins made the right calls with all this shuffling, but there's a reasonable case to be made for every pitcher on the roster deserving his spot. And when it comes to evaluating hurlers, Derek Falvey and his crew have earned some trust. THE BOTTOM LINE The 2018 Twins bullpen will have a very different look, both because it features more new arrivals than incumbents and because it might be the most K-heavy unit Minnesota has assembled in over a decade. The front office chose to wager on its free agents and its Rule 5 selection rather than some homegrown arms that many of us expected to play a role at the big-league level. I'll be curious to see if their altogether logical gambles pan out. If so, the Twins will have shored up one of their most persistent disadvantages from years past. ~~~ Catch up on the rest of the series: Twins Daily Position Analysis: Catcher Twins Daily Position Analysis: First Base Twins Daily Position Analysis: Second Base Twins Daily Position Analysis: Third Base Twins Daily Position Analysis: Shortstop Twins Daily Position Analysis: Left Field Twins Daily Position Analysis: Center Field Twins Daily Position Analysis: Right Field Twins Daily Position Analysis: Designated Hitter Twins Daily Position Analysis: Starting Pitcher Click here to view the article
  25. Kintzler, Duffey, Pressly, Belisle, Rogers, Hughes, Hildenberger, Gee, Boshers, Busenitz, Breslow, Tonkin, Haley, Turley, Slegers, Wilk, Curtiss, Wimmers, Moya, Perkins, Rucinski, Enns, Melville, Wheeler, Rosario, Tepesch, Heston, and Chris Gimenez. These are the 27 pitchers and one intrepid catcher who made up the Twins relief pitching corps in 2017. By sheer volume alone, the Twins bullpen left a lot to be desired in 2017. There were some bright spots. Brandon Kintzler, who departed to the Nationals via trade, was excellent. Trevor Hildenberger, whose unique approach should make him a staple of the Twins bullpen for the foreseeable future, emerged as a potential bullpen star. The rest of the pen was about as effective as a Matt Asiata run up in middle from inside the five yard line. So where did the Twins stack up against other bullpens when the 2017 season was all said and done? 2017 Bullpen Performance Just for the sake of comparison, the Yankees, whose relievers threw an arsenal of sonic-boom inducing fastballs that blew the Twins straight out of the wild card game, used 19 relief pitchers last season. The Dodgers, who had an exceptional bullpen, also used 19. While the number of relievers used is hardly an important metric, it is indicative of a contrast in stability in some of MLB’s top bullpens, and that of the Twins. Minnesota’s bullpen pen logged the tenth most innings of any bullpen in 2017 (looking at you Kyle Gibson and Adalberto Mejia), struck out the fifth fewest hitters (482), and walked the seventh fewest number of hitters (187). Tale as old as time, right? So far, we’ve established that the pen was overworked, didn’t walk many guys, and didn’t strike a lot out either. What about when opposing hitters made contact? The Twins had a significant issue here, giving up the fourth worst Hard% (hard contact percentage) and generating the second worst Soft% (soft contact percentage, significant because there’s a medium contact %) in the league. Essentially, when the Twins gave up contact to opposing hitters, they made a lot of good contact. The Twins bullpen performance in 2017 was actually similar to 2016 (a difference of 0.1 in bullpen WAR), accomplished in a very different way. In short, the pen needed a significant overhaul before the 2018 season. In an organization with a strong offensive lineup and in a market where high level starting pitching is difficult to attract via free agency, the bullpen was the lowest hanging fruit for the Twins front office to attack during free agency. What was Missing? So what was the Twins bullpen lacking? One area the Twins pen did improve in 2017 was generating groundballs, improving from 23rd in MLB in 2016, to 12th in 2017. This is an area of strength the Twins chose to build upon in 2018, adding Zach Duke and Fernando Rodney to one year deals. In Duke’s last full season before injury, he logged a GB% of 58%, which is elite. Rodney wasn’t too shabby himself, generating GB% of 52% in 2017. Looking at the most effective bullpens of 2017, an even more integral stat is K/9. This makes a ton of sense, not much can go wrong if you’re striking hitters out on a consistent basis. In 2017, there were 9 teams with a bullpen K/9 of at least 9.5. Between them, these clubs averaged a WAR of 6.5 for their bullpen. The Twins bullpen WAR in 2017 was 2.2, not a disaster, good for 22nd in MLB. By K/9, the Twins ranked 29th, with just 7.66 strikeouts per nine innings. Hardly surprising, when you are cycling through nearly 30 relievers over the course of the season. So how do the Twins new additions stack up in generating more strikeouts? In short, pretty darn well. If you average out the K/9 for Duke, Rodney, and Reed over their last two full seasons of pitching (excluding years significantly impacted by injury), they sit at an average K/9 of 10.00. That’s the kind of strikeout power you want sitting at the back end of your bullpen, particularly if you throw Hildenberger’s 2017 K/9 of 9.43 into the mix too. While past performance isn’t necessarily a good indicator of future results, this is certainly an encouraging trend in remedying a weakness Twins fans have bemoaned, and has impeded the team for years. Apples and Oranges? The Twins additions are even more interesting if considered in comparison to another team attempting to ramp up the quality of their bullpen, the Rockies. Colorado spent a Ron Swanson-esque ‘all of the money’ on adding Wade Davis, Jake McGee, and Bryan Shaw this offseason. The Rockies added their relief upgrades for a cost of $30.5 million in 2018. The Twins, by contrast, added Duke, Rodney, and Reed for around $14.65 million in 2018, or around $1.5 million less than it took the Rockies to sign Davis alone for a single year. The average of the Rockies additions K/9 over their last two full seasons pitched is 9.39. While they offer more consistency than a back end containing an ageing Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke returning from Tommy John surgery, the comparison is striking. There are two more avenues which make this comparison interesting. When looking at the cumulative WAR of the three new relief pitching options for each team over the last two seasons, the Twins trio contributed 6.3 WAR, to the Rockies triumvirates 5.2. While WAR has been put through the ringer in the baseball writing community recently, it is, if nothing else, a useful starting point for a comparison. Perhaps the Rockies new additions were so much more highly paid because they pitched in higher leverage situations, earning the moniker of ‘super-reliever’ for their respective 2017 teams? WPA (Win Probability Added) examines changes in win probability and reflects how much a player impacted their team’s chances of winning a game. Duke, Rodney and Reed combined for a WPA of 6.08 in their last full season pitched (using 2016 for Duke as 2017 was lost to injury), compared to Davis, McGee, and Shaw’s combined 5.52 in 2017. While the majority of WPA and WAR added for each team was bound up in Reed for the Twins and Davis for the Rockies, comparing the additions in groups of three offers a glimpse at what their cumulative impact on their new teams might be in 2018 in the highest leverage situations each team will face. This is not to say the Twins signed three better guys than the Rockies, but for a team with their bottom line, they added a significant amount of upside for excellent value, in an area that badly needed to be addressed. As a smaller market team, the Twins don’t have the luxury not to consider short and long term viability when balancing the upside of their free agent signings with the cost it takes to sign them. While the Twins likely won’t have one of the top bullpens in MLB next year, consider the floor significantly raised. If Rodney, Duke, and Reed can maintain a similar level of performance, the Twins will have a much improved pen, cemented by a particularly strong back end that closes the gap between Minnesota and Cleveland.
×
×
  • Create New...