Jump to content
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'zack granite'.

  • 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

Forums

  • Baseball Forums
    • Twins Daily Front Page News
    • Minnesota Twins Talk
    • Twins Minor League Talk
    • 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
  • North Dakota Twins Fan
  • Blog Reginald Maudling's Shin
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Miller1234's Blog
  • Blog Kirsten Brown
  • if we aint spendin 140 million
  • Boone's Blog
  • Rounding Third
  • Kirilloff & Co.
  • The Hanging SL
  • Red Wing Squawk
  • Distraction via Baseball
  • Nine of twelve's Blog
  • Blog Lindsay Guentzel
  • Blog Karl
  • Vance_Christianson's Blog
  • Curveball Blog
  • waltomeal's Blog
  • Knuckleballs - JC
  • Blog jrzf713
  • The Minor League Lifestyle
  • Jason Kubel is America
  • weneedjackmorris' Blog
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog freightmaster
  • Playin' Catch
  • Sethmoko's Blog
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Blog Scott Povolny
  • Blog COtwin
  • Hrbowski's Blog
  • Minnesota Twins Whine Line
  • Bomba Blog
  • Blog Chad Jacobsen
  • Blog ScottyBroco
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Back Office Twins Baseball Blog
  • DannySD's Blog
  • nobitadora's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1812
  • Blog Adam Krueger
  • Hammered (adj.) Heavily inebriated, though to a lesser extent than ****faced.
  • Thegrin's Blog
  • 3rd Inning Stretch's Blog
  • Jeremy Nygaard
  • The W.A.R. room
  • Christopher Fee's Blog
  • Postma Posts
  • Rolondo's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1814
  • Blog Fanatic Jack
  • Dominican Adventure
  • Cory Engelhardt's Blog
  • markthomas' Blog
  • blogs_blog_1815
  • 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
  • Blog
  • 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
  • Spying Some Stats
  • 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
  • blogs_blog_2943
  • 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
  • blogs_blog_2952
  • 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
  • East 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

Product Groups

  • Twins Apparel
  • Vikings Apparel
  • Wild Apparel
  • Wolves Apparel
  • eBooks
  • Events
  • Supporter Levels

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Personal Blog Name


Personal Blog URL


Location


Biography


Occupation


Interests


Twitter

  1. The Twins made the decision to waive Granite after signing Marwin Gonzalez. Drafted in the 13th round in 2013 out of Seton Hall, the speedy Granite played six seasons in the organization, including 40 games with the Twins in 2017, where he hit .237/.321/.290 in 107 plate appearances. A shoulder contusion in spring training limited Granite's play to just 73 games in 2018. An MRI in July revealed a tear in his rotator cuff that ended his season prematurely. A few hours later the Twins made another trade, sending Moore to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for $750,000 in international bonus money.
  2. FORT MYERS, FL - The Minnesota Twins announced that they have acquired a minor-league pitcher, Xavier Moore, and cash from the Texas Rangers in exchange for outfielder, Zack Granite.The Twins made the decision to waive Granite after signing Marwin Gonzalez. Drafted in the 13th round in 2013 out of Seton Hall, the speedy Granite played six seasons in the organization, including 40 games with the Twins in 2017, where he hit .237/.321/.290 in 107 plate appearances. A shoulder contusion in spring training limited Granite's play to just 73 games in 2018. An MRI in July revealed a tear in his rotator cuff that ended his season prematurely. A few hours later the Twins made another trade, sending Moore to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for $750,000 in international bonus money. Click here to view the article
  3. We’re going to assume the starting outfielders for the 2019 Minnesota Twins will be Eddie Rosario in left field, Byron Buxton in center field and Max Kepler in right field. Is that a certainty? No, injuries are always a possibility, but that’s not what we’re discussing today. It appears the fourth spot on the outfield will come down to Jake Cave, Zack Granite and Michael Reed. LIKE BUTTER, ON A ROLE First, we should define the role of a fourth outfielder. Any non-starting position is a completely different role compared to a starting position. You’re not playing every day which makes it difficult to get a feel for your game from an offensive standpoint. Your at-bats are scattered into a pinch-hit here and there and a start once or twice a week. As a fourth outfielder, your defense should be a big and very good part of your game. Fourth outfielders are often late-inning replacements to protect a lead. Role players or bench players are backups, but that doesn’t make them less important. There’s really no way to practice being in a backup role. Players progress through the minors by playing and playing every day. Teams aren’t trying to develop prospects into backups or utility players. Those players end up playing their way into the lineup so they’ll start to focus on playing a or many different positions. Either way, it will take some time for any player to get used to that role. One thing that’s similar to being a starter is you always have to be ready to play. Maybe the better way of describing it for a bench player is you have to figure out how to stay ready while you’re not playing. You have to know how to get your body ready quickly so you can enter the game at any time for any reason. It could be for an injury, as a pinch-hitter or a pinch-runner or as a defensive replacement and it could happen at any point in the game. IN THIS CORNER (OR IN THE CENTER) Jake Cave, Zack Granite and Michael Reed will compete to decide who makes the team out of Spring Training. Jake Cave appears to have the upper hand in this competition because he played every day for the Twins for the last three months of the 2018 season, producing a 1.5 bWAR result. Zack Granite could disagree because if it wasn’t for him injuring his shoulder in Spring Training last season, Twins fans might not even know who Jake Cave is. Michael Reed was claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves on Oct. 31. We don’t know a ton about him since we haven’t seen him play, yet. Looking at his past stats reveals that he has some power, on-base skills and he plays okay defense. A fourth outfielder should be able to play every outfield position and play them all well. The Twins are pretty set with good defensive outfielders and both corner outfielders, Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler, can play center field if the need arises so maybe defense won’t play as big of a role in the fourth outfielder decision but not playing good defense would lower their opportunities for playing time. Most people will put Jake Cave in the lead to win this spot, but the truth is it’s probably a lot closer than people think. TO THE JAKE CAVE Jake Cave is coming off a good season where he was able to show some power with the bat and some ability in center field. He hit .269/.316/.481 (AVG/OBP/SLG) going 76-for-283 with 17 doubles, two triples, 13 home runs, 45 RBIs, two stolen bases (in three attempts) and 54 runs scored while drawing 16 walks and striking out 102 times in 91 games (78 starts.) He was better against right-handed pitching, a lot better at home than away and better in the first half than the second half of the season. The first versus second half is partly due to small sample size (26 vs. 65 games.) He produced very well in high leverage situations, two outs with runners in scoring position (RISP) and when the game was tied. He also did most of this while batting in the bottom third of the lineup. He was given some time hitting third (nine games) by Paul Molitor in the last month of the season and produced well there, too. He does have a leg up in this battle but none of that will matter once spring training begins with the first full workout just 15 days from today on February 18th. REEDING IS FUNDAMENTAL We haven’t seen enough of Michael Reed to have much of an opinion on him, yet. That means we have to Reed the stats. He had a really good year for the Braves AA and AAA teams last season. He hit .341/.450/.515(AVG/OBP/SLG) going 116-for-340 with 26 doubles, 11 home runs, 39 RBIs, 10 stolen bases (in 13 attempts) and 70 runs scored while drawing 62 walks and striking out 101 times in 103 games. He did start the season in AA but was promoted to AAA at the end of May and he didn’t miss a beat. His season did end a little early in September with a back strain. He can play every outfield position with most of his time spent in right field but since 2016, he’s seen more time in center field. He was originally drafted in the sixth round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011 out of a Texas high school. He got a taste of the big leagues in 2015 then struggled in the Arizona Fall League. He got back to the big leagues for another taste in 2016 after playing in AAA all season but didn’t produce much in a small eight-game sample and it looks like he was starting to struggle with the better pitching of the upper levels of the minor leagues. In 2017, he started at AA and only played 54 games dealing with injuries. He eventually elected free agency and signed with the Braves and has now put himself in a position to play for a big league job. If you’ve seen pictures of Mr. Reed, you can tell he likes working out. He looks like he’s a lot more than 215 lbs listed in his bio. DON’T TAKE ZACK FOR GRANITE For Minnesota Twins prospect Zack Granite, it’s what have you done for me lately? A bad season can do serious damage to a prospect’s stock. Zack Granite was up with the Twins late in 2017 and showed his ability with the bat, his on-base skills and on defense. Now, it’s like he’s been completely forgotten because he just hit .211/.282/.245 by going 50-for-237 with eight doubles, four RBI, nine stolen bases (in 13 attempts) and 28 runs scored while drawing 22 walks and striking out 28 times in 68 games at AAA. Obviously, that’s a bad season but it’s largely due to a shoulder injury sustained in Spring Training that never fully healed and actually ended his 2018 season early. He was the Twins Minor League Player of the Year in 2016 (with 56 steals). He took that momentum into 2017, just tearing up the International League by hitting .338/.392/.475 by going 96-for-284 with 16 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 29 RBI, 15 stolen bases (in 21 attempts) and 46 runs scored while drawing 24 walks and striking out 34 times in 71 games. He showed a keen eye in a in only 93 at-bats in that 2017 cup of coffee. That included 22 starts. SO, WHO YOU GOT? Mr. Cave definitely made it look like he belongs in the major leagues. Some of those were home runs were very large and everyone loves power. The problem with power is it usually brings along with it lots of swings and misses and empty plate appearances. Jake doesn’t look as good defensively on paper. Michael Reed is similar to Cave with the power and the strikeouts but he brings better plate discipline in terms of drawing walks and a little better defense. He’s an unknown to Twins fans but the scouts and the front office probably know him pretty well. Zack Granite is a comeback candidate as injuries marred his 2018 season and could just be a speed bump in his baseball career. He also might have the most elite all-around skills. If you look at their baseball tools, Cave has power, defense and arm. Reed has power defense, arm(?) and he draws walks. Granite has hitting, speed, defense and on-base skills (draws walks, doesn’t strike out much.) I’m not sure how Reed’s arm is but considering the size of the man, I suspect it’s pretty good. That would be the same reason for me thinking Granite’s arm isn’t very strong. Also, Jake Cave was given a starting job in the major leagues for two plus months. That’s rare for most prospects. Neither Reed or Granite has had that chance. They’ve been backups when they’ve been in the majors. They all look to have a shot at the spot, though, and that’s why this should be one of the more interesting battles in Minnesota Twins 2019 Spring Training. Research/Notes/Links: https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/market-snapshot https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/10/2018-19-market-snapshot-center-field.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/10/2018-19-market-snapshot-corner-outfield.html https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/mlb/brewers/2017/07/06/brewers-place-eric-sogard-dl-recall-yadiel-rivera/454700001/ https://puckettspond.com/2018/04/20/minnesota-twins-future-zack-granite/
  4. Hopefully you all had a fantastic Fourth of July holiday! After discussion our Twins Daily choices for Twins prospects 31-40 earlier in the week, today we begin diving into our choices for the Top 30 Twins. In Part three of our series, today we look at our choices for prospects 26-30. As you can see, this group has a few players that we have already seen in a Twins uniform. These are guys who have and probably will again play a role with the big league club. But there are a couple of Miracle pitchers with upside that are in this group as well.30. John Curtiss – RH RP Age: 25 ETA: 2017 2018 Stats (AAA): 31.2 IP, 2.56 ERA, 1.1 WHIP, 11.7 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 2.56 K:BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 32 | Tom: 31 | Cody: 28 John Curtiss was called up to the Twins right before September last season. After a couple of rough games, he ended the season strong. This year, he began the season in Rochester but got another call up early in the season. He had two outings, and neither was good. He was sent back down, but he has pitched quite well in late innings for the Red Wings. Curtiss began his career with an opportunity to start, but he was moved to the bullpen and he flew up the organization, pitching at each level from Cedar Rapids to the big leagues between 2016 and 2017. He’s blessed with a mid-90s fastball and a couple of breaking pitches. He has the ability and the mentality to be a quality late-inning reliever for years. 29. Zack Granite – OF Age: 25 ETA: 2017 2018 Stats (Rk): .211/.291/.240 (.531 OPS), 6 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 22 K, 25 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: 16 Seth: 34 | Tom: 32 | Cody: 24 Zack Granite came up midway through the 2017 season and showed glimpses of what he can be on the baseball field. For most of his career, he has exemplified what a team might want from a leadoff hitter. He takes pitches, walks more than he strikes out, steals bases and has a little extra base pop at times. Granite was one of the last players optioned at the end of spring training this offseason, a surprise for many. Unfortunately, he soon hurt his non-throwing shoulder and had to miss about six weeks. He’s struggled to get things going since he’s been back, but that doesn’t take away what Granite can be and the role that he can play on the big league club as a fourth outfielder who will play quality defense at three outfield positions and put together quality plate appearances. 28. Jake Cave – OF Age: 25 ETA: 2018 2018 Stats (AAA): .265/.349/.386 (.735 OPS), 9 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 26 K, 55 BB 2018 Stats (MLB): .233/.267/.488 (.755 OPS), 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 2 K, 14 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 25 | Tom: 23 | Cody: 39 The Twins acquired Cave in a late spring training trade with the New York Yankees. After missing some time in the early part of his career with injury, Cave really took off after being selected by the Reds in the Rule 5 draft. While he was one of their final spring training cuts, he returned to the Yankees with renewed confidence and his career took off. A year ago, Cave hit .324 with a .921 OPS at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. The Yankees added him to their 40-man roster. Of course, they have a pretty strong outfield and Cave was DFAd which allowed the Twins to acquire him. The Twins have called him up three times already this season and he is now getting an opportunity to play every day, at least until Byron Buxton is ready. At 25, he’s still got some upside. 27. Tyler Wells – RHP Age: 23 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (A): 63.2 IP, 2.54 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 3.86 K:BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 18 | Tom: 37 | Cody: 31 The Twins drafted Wells in the 15th round of the 2016 draft out of Cal State San Bernadino. He’s experienced a lot of success during his first two seasons as a professional, pitching in Elizabethton in 2016 and Cedar Rapids in 2017. In the past offseason, Wells went to work and lost 30 pounds from his 6-8 frame. That has really helped him in the Florida State League. While his strikeouts have been down, his control and command of pitches has become much better. Wells has the ability to reach into the 94 mph range with a fastball. His best pitches may be his breaking balls. He throws a 12-6 curveball, but he also has a sharp slider that can get strikeouts. He was the Twins Daily choice for Starting Pitcher of the Month in June. 26. Griffin Jax – RHP Age: 23 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (A): 30.1 IP, 3.26 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 4.7 K/9, 0.9 BB/9, 5.33 K/BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 26 | Tom: 21 | Cody: 37 When the Twins used their third-round draft pick in 2016 on Griffin Jax, he became the highest-drafted player from a military academy. There have been some challenges associated with that, but in mid-April, Jax learned that he would be able to serve the remainder of his active duty while pitching in the Twins system (more specifics here). In 2017, Jax was limited to just five games before returning to duty. He has made five appearances this season. The first four were starts. His most recent appearance came after Ervin Santana’s rehab start went three innings. Jax finished the remaining six innings. He has worked at least six innings in all but his first appearance of the year. Jax profiles as a starter with three good pitches. The strikeouts are low so far, but the walks are very low. PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS: 2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 36-40 2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 31-35 Click here to view the article
  5. 30. John Curtiss – RH RP Age: 25 ETA: 2017 2018 Stats (AAA): 31.2 IP, 2.56 ERA, 1.1 WHIP, 11.7 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 2.56 K:BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 32 | Tom: 31 | Cody: 28 John Curtiss was called up to the Twins right before September last season. After a couple of rough games, he ended the season strong. This year, he began the season in Rochester but got another call up early in the season. He had two outings, and neither was good. He was sent back down, but he has pitched quite well in late innings for the Red Wings. Curtiss began his career with an opportunity to start, but he was moved to the bullpen and he flew up the organization, pitching at each level from Cedar Rapids to the big leagues between 2016 and 2017. He’s blessed with a mid-90s fastball and a couple of breaking pitches. He has the ability and the mentality to be a quality late-inning reliever for years. 29. Zack Granite – OF Age: 25 ETA: 2017 2018 Stats (Rk): .211/.291/.240 (.531 OPS), 6 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 22 K, 25 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: 16 Seth: 34 | Tom: 32 | Cody: 24 Zack Granite came up midway through the 2017 season and showed glimpses of what he can be on the baseball field. For most of his career, he has exemplified what a team might want from a leadoff hitter. He takes pitches, walks more than he strikes out, steals bases and has a little extra base pop at times. Granite was one of the last players optioned at the end of spring training this offseason, a surprise for many. Unfortunately, he soon hurt his non-throwing shoulder and had to miss about six weeks. He’s struggled to get things going since he’s been back, but that doesn’t take away what Granite can be and the role that he can play on the big league club as a fourth outfielder who will play quality defense at three outfield positions and put together quality plate appearances. 28. Jake Cave – OF Age: 25 ETA: 2018 2018 Stats (AAA): .265/.349/.386 (.735 OPS), 9 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 26 K, 55 BB 2018 Stats (MLB): .233/.267/.488 (.755 OPS), 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 2 K, 14 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 25 | Tom: 23 | Cody: 39 The Twins acquired Cave in a late spring training trade with the New York Yankees. After missing some time in the early part of his career with injury, Cave really took off after being selected by the Reds in the Rule 5 draft. While he was one of their final spring training cuts, he returned to the Yankees with renewed confidence and his career took off. A year ago, Cave hit .324 with a .921 OPS at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. The Yankees added him to their 40-man roster. Of course, they have a pretty strong outfield and Cave was DFAd which allowed the Twins to acquire him. The Twins have called him up three times already this season and he is now getting an opportunity to play every day, at least until Byron Buxton is ready. At 25, he’s still got some upside. 27. Tyler Wells – RHP Age: 23 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (A): 63.2 IP, 2.54 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 3.86 K:BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 18 | Tom: 37 | Cody: 31 The Twins drafted Wells in the 15th round of the 2016 draft out of Cal State San Bernadino. He’s experienced a lot of success during his first two seasons as a professional, pitching in Elizabethton in 2016 and Cedar Rapids in 2017. In the past offseason, Wells went to work and lost 30 pounds from his 6-8 frame. That has really helped him in the Florida State League. While his strikeouts have been down, his control and command of pitches has become much better. Wells has the ability to reach into the 94 mph range with a fastball. His best pitches may be his breaking balls. He throws a 12-6 curveball, but he also has a sharp slider that can get strikeouts. He was the Twins Daily choice for Starting Pitcher of the Month in June. 26. Griffin Jax – RHP Age: 23 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (A): 30.1 IP, 3.26 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 4.7 K/9, 0.9 BB/9, 5.33 K/BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 26 | Tom: 21 | Cody: 37 When the Twins used their third-round draft pick in 2016 on Griffin Jax, he became the highest-drafted player from a military academy. There have been some challenges associated with that, but in mid-April, Jax learned that he would be able to serve the remainder of his active duty while pitching in the Twins system (more specifics here). In 2017, Jax was limited to just five games before returning to duty. He has made five appearances this season. The first four were starts. His most recent appearance came after Ervin Santana’s rehab start went three innings. Jax finished the remaining six innings. He has worked at least six innings in all but his first appearance of the year. Jax profiles as a starter with three good pitches. The strikeouts are low so far, but the walks are very low. PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS: 2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 36-40 2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 31-35
  6. First and foremost, the Buxton injury is unfortunate. Back when he first returned from the DL, I was on record as being fine with the decision to skip a rehab stint. Knowing full well that would negatively impact his hitting, the reality was that the outfield was a mess the more often they played without his defense. With the Twins having had the accurate information on the fracture far longer than the public , it’s irresponsible that Buxton was allowed to play despite not being able to swing comfortably. It’s one thing to play through pain, but Minnesota allowing Buxton to jeopardize himself further i\\was silly. What’s done is done at this point however, and Paul Molitor needs to move on with his lineup. The pitching has been there for this club most of the season, and it’s been the lineup that has simply fallen flat. What’s worse is that there aren’t going to be any promotions that immediately spark some sort of a turnaround. Sure, Nick Gordon could’ve (and should’ve) been promoted while Miguel Sano was on the DL. Outside of that though, the Minnesota doesn’t have any offensive impact prospects that present a groundbreaking opportunity. In the wake of Buxton’s injury, there is an opportunity to capitalize on a spark and provide potential future benefits however. Both Zack Granite and LaMonte Wade exist for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. Following a similar thought process as to why Buxton was activated without a rehab stint, defense is obviously of integral importance for the Twins. Understandably, neither Wade nor Granite will be on par with the best defensive outfielder in the world, but they are also (specifically Granite) capable of playing at a high level on their own. The reality is that the Twins current roster construction forces journeyman Ryan LaMarre to either start in center on a regular basis, or pushes one of the corner guys over to accommodate Robbie Grossman playing in LF. The former option isn’t an awful one defensively, but there’s no upside. After a hot start, LaMarre has hit .111/.126/.111 in his last 31 plate appearances. On top of that, he’s 29 and not part of future plans. Looking at the latter option, there’s not much convincing that needs to take place to argue that Grossman doesn’t belong anywhere with a glove on. Both Granite and Wade have recently returned from time on the disabled list this season, and Zack is hardly producing at the level he displayed during 2017 at Triple A. With just a .206/.292/.224 slash line for Rochester, there’s a lot left to be desired from what Granite is currently doing. That said, it’s his approach that gives him a chance (9/13 K/BB), and he displayed an ability to at least handle big league pitching a season ago (40 G .237/.321/.290). Wade’s numbers are much more respectable (.295/.393/.439) but come at the Double-A level. The jump for a mid-tier prospect is a big one, and won’t come without hurdles. Regardless of what stock is put in either of Granite or Wade’s current numbers, future considerations make a move for one of them look so sensible. Either could slot in as a regular contributor on the 25-man roster in the next few years, and allowing them to get regular playing time while Byron is shelved seems like a no- brainer. Molitor’s current options leave a gaping hole in playing time, so neither prospect would be coming up simply to sit. It’d be somewhat foolish to expect Wade with his good numbers or Granite with his poor ones, to provide some sort of fix-it type spark to the Twins. Going forward though, there’s a significant benefit to getting them the reps currently doled out to LaMarre (or Grossman when he’s in RF) and watching them settle in against the best competition. Both players are on-base threats, and if they can push the envelope while Buxton is out, then you’ve got a decision to make on LaMarre or Grossman when Byron returns. At the end of the day, the Twins are doing themselves no favor by hoping Ryan LaMarre changes course on his career, while instead turning away from opportunities to challenge players with a potential future.
  7. The Minnesota Twins had to place Byron Buxton back on the disabled list as of May 30. Playing through a broken toe, the pain was simply too much to bear and the decision needed to be made. With center field now up for grabs at the big league level, there appears to be a set of players that could make a lot of sense.First and foremost, the Buxton injury is unfortunate. Back when he first returned from the DL, I was on record as being fine with the decision to skip a rehab stint. Knowing full well that would negatively impact his hitting, the reality was that the outfield was a mess the more often they played without his defense. With the Twins having had the accurate information on the fracture far longer than the public , it’s irresponsible that Buxton was allowed to play despite not being able to swing comfortably. It’s one thing to play through pain, but Minnesota allowing Buxton to jeopardize himself further i\\was silly. What’s done is done at this point however, and Paul Molitor needs to move on with his lineup. The pitching has been there for this club most of the season, and it’s been the lineup that has simply fallen flat. What’s worse is that there aren’t going to be any promotions that immediately spark some sort of a turnaround. Sure, Nick Gordon could’ve (and should’ve) been promoted while Miguel Sano was on the DL. Outside of that though, the Minnesota doesn’t have any offensive impact prospects that present a groundbreaking opportunity. In the wake of Buxton’s injury, there is an opportunity to capitalize on a spark and provide potential future benefits however. Both Zack Granite and LaMonte Wade exist for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. Following a similar thought process as to why Buxton was activated without a rehab stint, defense is obviously of integral importance for the Twins. Understandably, neither Wade nor Granite will be on par with the best defensive outfielder in the world, but they are also (specifically Granite) capable of playing at a high level on their own. The reality is that the Twins current roster construction forces journeyman Ryan LaMarre to either start in center on a regular basis, or pushes one of the corner guys over to accommodate Robbie Grossman playing in LF. The former option isn’t an awful one defensively, but there’s no upside. After a hot start, LaMarre has hit .111/.126/.111 in his last 31 plate appearances. On top of that, he’s 29 and not part of future plans. Looking at the latter option, there’s not much convincing that needs to take place to argue that Grossman doesn’t belong anywhere with a glove on. Both Granite and Wade have recently returned from time on the disabled list this season, and Zack is hardly producing at the level he displayed during 2017 at Triple A. With just a .206/.292/.224 slash line for Rochester, there’s a lot left to be desired from what Granite is currently doing. That said, it’s his approach that gives him a chance (9/13 K/BB), and he displayed an ability to at least handle big league pitching a season ago (40 G .237/.321/.290). Wade’s numbers are much more respectable (.295/.393/.439) but come at the Double-A level. The jump for a mid-tier prospect is a big one, and won’t come without hurdles. Regardless of what stock is put in either of Granite or Wade’s current numbers, future considerations make a move for one of them look so sensible. Either could slot in as a regular contributor on the 25-man roster in the next few years, and allowing them to get regular playing time while Byron is shelved seems like a no- brainer. Molitor’s current options leave a gaping hole in playing time, so neither prospect would be coming up simply to sit. It’d be somewhat foolish to expect Wade with his good numbers or Granite with his poor ones, to provide some sort of fix-it type spark to the Twins. Going forward though, there’s a significant benefit to getting them the reps currently doled out to LaMarre (or Grossman when he’s in RF) and watching them settle in against the best competition. Both players are on-base threats, and if they can push the envelope while Buxton is out, then you’ve got a decision to make on LaMarre or Grossman when Byron returns. At the end of the day, the Twins are doing themselves no favor by hoping Ryan LaMarre changes course on his career, while instead turning away from opportunities to challenge players with a potential future. Click here to view the article
  8. Keep reading to find out how all of the Twins minor league players did on Tuesday and be sure to add to the discussion in the comments! RED WINGS REPORT Syracuse 1, Rochester 9 Box Score The Red Wings got to the scoring early in this one after a Zack Granite single to lead off the game was followed by a Ryan LaMarre triple and a double from Jack Cave to put them out front 2-0. Cave scored on a Brock Stassi single to make it a three-run lead after the first inning. Syracuse got on the board in the top of the fourth, when starter Aaron Slegers gave up a solo home run to the first hitter of the inning, but retired the next seven men he faced before a single was erased on a double-play ball to end the top of the sixth and his day despite throwing just 73 pitches (47 for strikes). He allowed three hits and a walk in his six innings and struck out one. Nine of his fifteen outs came on ground balls. The game was 4-1 in favor of Rochester at that point as they tacked on a run in the fifth when LaMarre led off with a double and was driven in on a single from Kennys Vargas. Then, in the bottom of the sixth, the Red Wings strung together a barrage of hits to take control of the game 8-1. Five singles and another double from LaMarre accounted for the four runs in the frame. They’d make it 9-1 in the seventh after three singles to load the bases were followed by an RBI groundout from LaMarre. Tyler Duffey came on for the seventh and worked around a couple of two-out singles for a scoreless inning. Back out for the eighth he got a double-play ball as part of another scoreless frame. He allowed three hits and struck out one in his two innings. Gabriel Moya came on for the ninth and finished the game for Rochester. He gave up a double and walked one, but also picked up two strikeouts. The home team got hits from every batter in their lineup, and multiple hit efforts from seven of the nine. LaMarre led the way by going 3-5 with three runs scored, two doubles, a triple, and four runs batted in. Vargas and Stassi each drove in two while Granite singled three times in six trips and scored two runs. Taylor Featherstone also finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored, a double and a walk. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Tennessee 3, Chattanooga 11 Box Score It was a pitcher’s duel in this one for the game's first four innings, as Lookouts starter Randy LeBlanc’s zeroes on the scoreboard were matched by the Smokies’ Oscar De La Cruz. But the offense finally got to De La Cruz in the bottom of the fifth, knocking him out of the game as they took the lead and never looked back. Brian Navarreto and LaMonte Wade drew walks to put the first ducks on the pond in the inning, while Brent Rooker (RBI single), Zander Wiel (two-RBI single), and Edgar Corcino (RBI double) knocked them in to go ahead 4-0. LeBlanc surrendered a solo home run in the sixth that made it 4-1, but finished his outing with his fourth strikeout. He scattered seven hits and one walk over his six innings to pick up his sixth win and lowered his ERA to 2.14 on the season. Chattanooga added a run in the sixth on a sac fly from Rooker, then blew open the game in the seventh with five more. Those five runs came on Chris Paul’s first home run of the season, a two-run shot, an RBI single from Wade, and another base knock from Rooker to score two more for a 10-1 lead. Cody Stashak came on for the seventh and had a one-two-three inning, striking out two. He then got the first two outs of the eighth on strikeouts, but a couple of walks ended his appearance at 1 2/3 innings. Casey Crosby relieved him, and a passed ball scored one before he got a groundout to end the frame. A wild-pitch scored another for the Smokies in the ninth, but Crosby would finish the game with a strikeout. In 1 1/3 innings, Crosby walked three and struck out two. Rooker finished this one 3-for-4 with a run scored and four RBI, while Tanner English (2-4, R, 2B, SB) and Alex Perez (2-5, R, RBI) also added multiple hits to lead the offense. Corcino and Navarreto each drove in two and as a team the Lookouts went 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Chattanooga improves to 25-14 on the season and are in first place in the Southern League North Division. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 1, Jupiter 0 (Game 1, 7 innings) Box Score In the first game of their scheduled doubleheader after their postponement on Monday, the Miracle got one big blast and excellent pitching to take down the Hammerheads. They went ahead 1-0 in the second inning, when Jimmy Kerrigan delivered his fourth home run of the season in the Florida State League, and fifth overall. The lineup as a whole delivered only five hits, with Taylor Grzelakowski finishing the game 2-for-3. Mark Contreras added a double, and Joe Cronin and Brandon Lopez each drew two walks. Fort Myers got a good start from right-hander Sean Poppen, who went the first five-plus innings to pick up his first win of the year. He scattered four hits and two walks, while striking out five. After surrendering a single to the leadoff man in the sixth, Andrew Vasquez was summoned to finish the game and picked up his third save in the process. In two scoreless innings, he struck out two and allowed only a single and a walk. After the completion of game one, rain again moved into the area and game two was postponed. It will now be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow starting at 4:00PM CST. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 5, Cedar Rapids 6 Box Score The River Bandits and Kernels traded blows in the early going, getting through three innings with the score 4-3 in favor of the Kernels. Starter Edwar Colina made it through just three-plus innings as his pitch count was up to 78 after walking the first two batters of the fourth. He allowed three runs on four hits and four walks, but did strike out four. The Kernels scored three runs in the bottom of the first after a two-run home run from Alex Kirilloff, his sixth of the year, and an RBI single from Andrew Bechtold later in the inning. They took the lead back in the third on a Jean Carlos Arias grounder to score Kirilloff, who had singled leading off the frame. Nick Brown came on in relief of Colina and got out of the fourth inning without allowing either of his inherited runners to score, and pitchedinto the sixth. In his 2 1/3 innings, he gave up only a walk, but also a run as that batter scored after he was replaced by Jovani Moran. Moran also went multiple innings, allowing two hits and two walks while racking up four K’s in two innings. Tied 4-4 in the seventh, Kirilloff again was first up in the inning, and this time delivered a triple and scored on a sac fly to put Cedar Rapids in front again 5-4. Kirilloff would finish this one a double shy of the cycle in four trips to the plate, with three runs scored and two RBIs. His hitting streak is now up to 14 games and he has collected multiple hits in five of his last seven. Carlos Suniaga entered the game with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth but got out of the jam with the Kernels lead still intact by striking out one and inducing an infield popup. Jose Miranda added an insurance run for Cedar Rapids in the eighth, with his second home run of the season. Suniaga remained in for the ninth and got two ground ball outs before a solo home run made it a little more interesting, but he got the next batter to ground out as well to end the game and pick up his second save of the season. Although Moran was charged with a blown save, he also earned his first win of the year as the Kernels improved to 17-15. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers, Rochester Red Wings (W, 6 IP, ER, 3 H, BB, K) Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Alex Kirilloff, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-4, 3 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY 3. Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 0-4, R, BB, 2 K 5. Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 3-4, 3 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI 7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 3-4, R, 4 RBI, K 10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 1-3, R, 2 BB 13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 1-3 14. LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) – 1-3, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2 K 17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 0-3, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – LHP Dietrich Enns (1-4, 5.96 ERA) Tennessee @ Chattanooga (10:15AM CST) – LHP Anthony Marzi (0-1, 2.03 ERA) Fort Myers @ Jupiter (DH @ 4:00 PM CST) – RHP Tyler Wells (3-1, 2.96 ERA), TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (Game 1 – 12:05PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (2-1, 3.22 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (Game 2 – 6:35PM CST) – RHP Randy Dobnak (3-1, 4.91 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  9. Minnesota Twins affiliates went undefeated on Tuesday thanks in large part to big performances from a couple of top prospects and another who has spent time in the majors already. One of those top prospects extended his hitting streak and almost got to the plate once more for a chance at the cycle. After a rainout yesterday, a doubleheader was scheduled in Florida but only one of those games was played as the rain couldn’t stay away.Keep reading to find out how all of the Twins minor league players did on Tuesday and be sure to add to the discussion in the comments! RED WINGS REPORT Syracuse 1, Rochester 9 Box Score The Red Wings got to the scoring early in this one after a Zack Granite single to lead off the game was followed by a Ryan LaMarre triple and a double from Jack Cave to put them out front 2-0. Cave scored on a Brock Stassi single to make it a three-run lead after the first inning. Syracuse got on the board in the top of the fourth, when starter Aaron Slegers gave up a solo home run to the first hitter of the inning, but retired the next seven men he faced before a single was erased on a double-play ball to end the top of the sixth and his day despite throwing just 73 pitches (47 for strikes). He allowed three hits and a walk in his six innings and struck out one. Nine of his fifteen outs came on ground balls. The game was 4-1 in favor of Rochester at that point as they tacked on a run in the fifth when LaMarre led off with a double and was driven in on a single from Kennys Vargas. Then, in the bottom of the sixth, the Red Wings strung together a barrage of hits to take control of the game 8-1. Five singles and another double from LaMarre accounted for the four runs in the frame. They’d make it 9-1 in the seventh after three singles to load the bases were followed by an RBI groundout from LaMarre. Tyler Duffey came on for the seventh and worked around a couple of two-out singles for a scoreless inning. Back out for the eighth he got a double-play ball as part of another scoreless frame. He allowed three hits and struck out one in his two innings. Gabriel Moya came on for the ninth and finished the game for Rochester. He gave up a double and walked one, but also picked up two strikeouts. The home team got hits from every batter in their lineup, and multiple hit efforts from seven of the nine. LaMarre led the way by going 3-5 with three runs scored, two doubles, a triple, and four runs batted in. Vargas and Stassi each drove in two while Granite singled three times in six trips and scored two runs. Taylor Featherstone also finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored, a double and a walk. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Tennessee 3, Chattanooga 11 Box Score It was a pitcher’s duel in this one for the game's first four innings, as Lookouts starter Randy LeBlanc’s zeroes on the scoreboard were matched by the Smokies’ Oscar De La Cruz. But the offense finally got to De La Cruz in the bottom of the fifth, knocking him out of the game as they took the lead and never looked back. Brian Navarreto and LaMonte Wade drew walks to put the first ducks on the pond in the inning, while Brent Rooker (RBI single), Zander Wiel (two-RBI single), and Edgar Corcino (RBI double) knocked them in to go ahead 4-0. LeBlanc surrendered a solo home run in the sixth that made it 4-1, but finished his outing with his fourth strikeout. He scattered seven hits and one walk over his six innings to pick up his sixth win and lowered his ERA to 2.14 on the season. Chattanooga added a run in the sixth on a sac fly from Rooker, then blew open the game in the seventh with five more. Those five runs came on Chris Paul’s first home run of the season, a two-run shot, an RBI single from Wade, and another base knock from Rooker to score two more for a 10-1 lead. Cody Stashak came on for the seventh and had a one-two-three inning, striking out two. He then got the first two outs of the eighth on strikeouts, but a couple of walks ended his appearance at 1 2/3 innings. Casey Crosby relieved him, and a passed ball scored one before he got a groundout to end the frame. A wild-pitch scored another for the Smokies in the ninth, but Crosby would finish the game with a strikeout. In 1 1/3 innings, Crosby walked three and struck out two. Rooker finished this one 3-for-4 with a run scored and four RBI, while Tanner English (2-4, R, 2B, SB) and Alex Perez (2-5, R, RBI) also added multiple hits to lead the offense. Corcino and Navarreto each drove in two and as a team the Lookouts went 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Chattanooga improves to 25-14 on the season and are in first place in the Southern League North Division. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 1, Jupiter 0 (Game 1, 7 innings) Box Score In the first game of their scheduled doubleheader after their postponement on Monday, the Miracle got one big blast and excellent pitching to take down the Hammerheads. They went ahead 1-0 in the second inning, when Jimmy Kerrigan delivered his fourth home run of the season in the Florida State League, and fifth overall. The lineup as a whole delivered only five hits, with Taylor Grzelakowski finishing the game 2-for-3. Mark Contreras added a double, and Joe Cronin and Brandon Lopez each drew two walks. Fort Myers got a good start from right-hander Sean Poppen, who went the first five-plus innings to pick up his first win of the year. He scattered four hits and two walks, while striking out five. After surrendering a single to the leadoff man in the sixth, Andrew Vasquez was summoned to finish the game and picked up his third save in the process. In two scoreless innings, he struck out two and allowed only a single and a walk. After the completion of game one, rain again moved into the area and game two was postponed. It will now be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow starting at 4:00PM CST. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 5, Cedar Rapids 6 Box Score The River Bandits and Kernels traded blows in the early going, getting through three innings with the score 4-3 in favor of the Kernels. Starter Edwar Colina made it through just three-plus innings as his pitch count was up to 78 after walking the first two batters of the fourth. He allowed three runs on four hits and four walks, but did strike out four. The Kernels scored three runs in the bottom of the first after a two-run home run from Alex Kirilloff, his sixth of the year, and an RBI single from Andrew Bechtold later in the inning. They took the lead back in the third on a Jean Carlos Arias grounder to score Kirilloff, who had singled leading off the frame. Nick Brown came on in relief of Colina and got out of the fourth inning without allowing either of his inherited runners to score, and pitchedinto the sixth. In his 2 1/3 innings, he gave up only a walk, but also a run as that batter scored after he was replaced by Jovani Moran. Moran also went multiple innings, allowing two hits and two walks while racking up four K’s in two innings. Tied 4-4 in the seventh, Kirilloff again was first up in the inning, and this time delivered a triple and scored on a sac fly to put Cedar Rapids in front again 5-4. Kirilloff would finish this one a double shy of the cycle in four trips to the plate, with three runs scored and two RBIs. His hitting streak is now up to 14 games and he has collected multiple hits in five of his last seven. Carlos Suniaga entered the game with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth but got out of the jam with the Kernels lead still intact by striking out one and inducing an infield popup. Jose Miranda added an insurance run for Cedar Rapids in the eighth, with his second home run of the season. Suniaga remained in for the ninth and got two ground ball outs before a solo home run made it a little more interesting, but he got the next batter to ground out as well to end the game and pick up his second save of the season. Although Moran was charged with a blown save, he also earned his first win of the year as the Kernels improved to 17-15. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers, Rochester Red Wings (W, 6 IP, ER, 3 H, BB, K) Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Alex Kirilloff, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-4, 3 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY 3. Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 0-4, R, BB, 2 K 5. Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 3-4, 3 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI 7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 3-4, R, 4 RBI, K 10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 1-3, R, 2 BB 13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 1-3 14. LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) – 1-3, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2 K 17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 0-3, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – LHP Dietrich Enns (1-4, 5.96 ERA) Tennessee @ Chattanooga (10:15AM CST) – LHP Anthony Marzi (0-1, 2.03 ERA) Fort Myers @ Jupiter (DH @ 4:00 PM CST) – RHP Tyler Wells (3-1, 2.96 ERA), TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (Game 1 – 12:05PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (2-1, 3.22 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (Game 2 – 6:35PM CST) – RHP Randy Dobnak (3-1, 4.91 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! Click here to view the article
  10. On Friday evening, the 2018 version of the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings will kick off their season. After a season in which the club finished 80-62, good enough for third place in the International League, this year’s version will look to expand upon that success. Although it’s some of the lower and middle levels that currently house Twins top prospects, the Red Wings are bolstered by guys capable of being counted on right now at the next level.Joel Skinner takes over as manager after the departure of Mike Quade. Skinner spent time as the Cleveland Indians manager back in 2002, and has had healthy tenures with both the Indians and White Sox managing in their farm systems. After being tabbed by Derek Falvey and Thad Levine to head up the Triple-A level for Minnesota, he is also joined with a fresh face in the form of Mike McCarthy, the new bullpen coach. Both Chad Allen (hitting) and Stu Cliburn (pitching) return to their positions. The roster itself is home to more than a few veterans, and there are a handful of guys who’ve been in professional baseball for some time. Arguably the biggest name of the group is also somewhat of a surprise. Twins top pitching prospect Fernando Romero was ticketed for Triple-A after spending the 2017 season exclusively at the Double-A level. He compiled a 3.53 ERA across 125.0 IP a year ago, and is looked at as being among Minnesota’s best chances to develop into a bona fide ace. The strikeout stuff is there, and the velocity comes easy for the 23 year-old right-hander. After dominating during spring training for the Twins, the focus prior to making a permanent leap to the big leagues will be on the development of his changeup. While down in Florida, Paul Molitor got a first-hand look at Romero out of the big league pen, and the results were more than favorable. For the time being, Falvey still wants Romero developed as a starter, with the intention that he can give the Twins 200 innings on the mound in the not-so-distant future. If things fall apart for Romero, the Dominican native has a very promising career in relief ahead of him. There’s no doubt both he and the big league club are envisioning an impact starter for years to come however. On the offensive side of things, standouts stand in the outfield grass. The duo of Zack Granite and Jake Cave should provide upstate New Yorkers something to get interested in for the early part of the summer. While Granite is a consistent average hitter with significant speed, Cave is more than capable of losing baseballs in the seats. Granite was left off the Minnesota Twins 25-man roster to start 2018, and it may have come as somewhat of a surprise. He owned a .338/.392/.475 slash line for Rochester a season ago, and appeared to have all but mastered the level. Seeking every day playing time however, Granite could benefit from raking just a little bit longer in the International League. There’s no doubt his defense will play at the next level, and if the bat can be substantiated, it’ll be hard to dub him solely a fourth outfielder. Acquired from the Yankees this spring, Cave is familiar with the International League having played there for half a season in 2017. His .921 OPS was a career high, and the former sixth-round draft pick dropped 15 bombs in just 72 Triple-A games. Cave does strike out too much while walking too little (82/18 K/BB at AAA in 2017), but if he can improve his eye at the plate, Minnesota likely has a corner outfield bopper on their hands. Skinner’s pitching staff has plenty of veteran experience both in the rotation and out of the pen. Names like Adalberto Mejia, Jake Reed, Aaron Slegers, and Alan Busenitz are all going to bolster what should be a pretty impressive group. The goal will be in getting the entirety of that group to push for big league playing time early and often, giving the Twins multiple tough decisions to make. All in all, the Rochester Red Wings are going to see a handful of prospects filter through as they are promoted from the lower levels this season. As it stands currently though, there’s a very talented group on this roster, and there’re leaders that should put up some impressive performances right out of the gate. Developing a new wave of depth was a must for the Twins after graduations by players like Jose Berrios and Byron Buxton. If Rochester’s roster is any indication, they’ve put their foot in the right direction. Roster: PITCHERS (14): Nick Anderson, DJ Baxendale, Alan Busenitz, Casey Crosby, John Curtiss, Tyler Duffey, Dietrich Enns, Myles Jaye, Matt Magill, Adalberto Mejia, Mason Melotakis, Jake Reed, Fernando Romero, Aaron Slegers CATCHERS (3): Willians Astudillo, Jordan Pacheco, Bobby Wilson INFIELDERS (6): Jermaine Curtis, Taylor Featherston, Gregorio Petit, Leonardo Reginatto, Brock Stassi, Kennys Vargas OUTFIELDERS (4): Nick Buss, Jake Cave, Zack Granite, James Ramsey Opening Rotation: 4/6 - Aaron Slegers R 4/7 - Adalberto Mejia L 4/8 - Fernando Romero R 4/9 - Dietrich Enns L 4/10 - Myles Jaye R Previous Twins Minor League Opening Day Roster Previews Chattanooga Lookous - Talented Lookouts Eye Repeat In Southern League - Seth Stohs Cedar Rapids Kernels - Class of 2018 “Should Be Pretty Entertaining” - Steve Buhr Ft. Myers Miracle - Miracle Hop Experience Transfers on the Field - Cody Christie Kernels Media Night Highlights - Steve Buhr Click here to view the article
  11. Joel Skinner takes over as manager after the departure of Mike Quade. Skinner spent time as the Cleveland Indians manager back in 2002, and has had healthy tenures with both the Indians and White Sox managing in their farm systems. After being tabbed by Derek Falvey and Thad Levine to head up the Triple-A level for Minnesota, he is also joined with a fresh face in the form of Mike McCarthy, the new bullpen coach. Both Chad Allen (hitting) and Stu Cliburn (pitching) return to their positions. The roster itself is home to more than a few veterans, and there are a handful of guys who’ve been in professional baseball for some time. Arguably the biggest name of the group is also somewhat of a surprise. Twins top pitching prospect Fernando Romero was ticketed for Triple-A after spending the 2017 season exclusively at the Double-A level. He compiled a 3.53 ERA across 125.0 IP a year ago, and is looked at as being among Minnesota’s best chances to develop into a bona fide ace. The strikeout stuff is there, and the velocity comes easy for the 23 year-old right-hander. After dominating during spring training for the Twins, the focus prior to making a permanent leap to the big leagues will be on the development of his changeup. While down in Florida, Paul Molitor got a first-hand look at Romero out of the big league pen, and the results were more than favorable. For the time being, Falvey still wants Romero developed as a starter, with the intention that he can give the Twins 200 innings on the mound in the not-so-distant future. If things fall apart for Romero, the Dominican native has a very promising career in relief ahead of him. There’s no doubt both he and the big league club are envisioning an impact starter for years to come however. On the offensive side of things, standouts stand in the outfield grass. The duo of Zack Granite and Jake Cave should provide upstate New Yorkers something to get interested in for the early part of the summer. While Granite is a consistent average hitter with significant speed, Cave is more than capable of losing baseballs in the seats. Granite was left off the Minnesota Twins 25-man roster to start 2018, and it may have come as somewhat of a surprise. He owned a .338/.392/.475 slash line for Rochester a season ago, and appeared to have all but mastered the level. Seeking every day playing time however, Granite could benefit from raking just a little bit longer in the International League. There’s no doubt his defense will play at the next level, and if the bat can be substantiated, it’ll be hard to dub him solely a fourth outfielder. Acquired from the Yankees this spring, Cave is familiar with the International League having played there for half a season in 2017. His .921 OPS was a career high, and the former sixth-round draft pick dropped 15 bombs in just 72 Triple-A games. Cave does strike out too much while walking too little (82/18 K/BB at AAA in 2017), but if he can improve his eye at the plate, Minnesota likely has a corner outfield bopper on their hands. Skinner’s pitching staff has plenty of veteran experience both in the rotation and out of the pen. Names like Adalberto Mejia, Jake Reed, Aaron Slegers, and Alan Busenitz are all going to bolster what should be a pretty impressive group. The goal will be in getting the entirety of that group to push for big league playing time early and often, giving the Twins multiple tough decisions to make. All in all, the Rochester Red Wings are going to see a handful of prospects filter through as they are promoted from the lower levels this season. As it stands currently though, there’s a very talented group on this roster, and there’re leaders that should put up some impressive performances right out of the gate. Developing a new wave of depth was a must for the Twins after graduations by players like Jose Berrios and Byron Buxton. If Rochester’s roster is any indication, they’ve put their foot in the right direction. Roster: PITCHERS (14): Nick Anderson, DJ Baxendale, Alan Busenitz, Casey Crosby, John Curtiss, Tyler Duffey, Dietrich Enns, Myles Jaye, Matt Magill, Adalberto Mejia, Mason Melotakis, Jake Reed, Fernando Romero, Aaron Slegers CATCHERS (3): Willians Astudillo, Jordan Pacheco, Bobby Wilson INFIELDERS (6): Jermaine Curtis, Taylor Featherston, Gregorio Petit, Leonardo Reginatto, Brock Stassi, Kennys Vargas OUTFIELDERS (4): Nick Buss, Jake Cave, Zack Granite, James Ramsey Opening Rotation: 4/6 - Aaron Slegers R 4/7 - Adalberto Mejia L 4/8 - Fernando Romero R 4/9 - Dietrich Enns L 4/10 - Myles Jaye R Previous Twins Minor League Opening Day Roster Previews Chattanooga Lookous - Talented Lookouts Eye Repeat In Southern League - Seth Stohs Cedar Rapids Kernels - Class of 2018 “Should Be Pretty Entertaining” - Steve Buhr Ft. Myers Miracle - Miracle Hop Experience Transfers on the Field - Cody Christie Kernels Media Night Highlights - Steve Buhr
  12. The Minnesota Twins recently broke camp down in Fort Myers and have since headed to Washington, D.C. to play their last exhibition game of 2018. With the Nationals lined up as the last action before heading to Baltimore, Paul Molitor will have to soon set his 25 man roster in stone. Given that the lineup is all but a guarantee, the bench is really the only area of intrigue. Right now, there's two givens off the bench for the Twins. Both Ehire Adrianza and Mitch Garver are locked in. The former is a slick fielding shortstop, that has real questions with the bat. His .707 OPS across 70 games with the Twins last year was a career high, but it was also his first true big league opportunity. Without any real power, Adrianza keeping his OBP around the .324 mark of a year ago would be a nice tough. The latter is a former Minor League Player of the Year, and has plenty of thump at the dish. In 2017, Garver posted a .928 OPS at Triple-A, which followed up on a .764 OPS split between two levels in 2016. He has home run power and provides a nice platoon option from the right side with Jason Castro. From there, things get more uncertain for both the available options and Paul Molitor. The safest bet would be to suggest both Robbie Grossman and Zack Granite are penciled in. Despite reclaiming Kennys Vargas off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds, the plan appears to again be an attempt at pushing him to Triple-A unclaimed. Ryan LaMarre has been nothing short of a superstar for Minnesota this spring, but the reality is 43 exhibition plate appearances shouldn't outweigh a 2-37 big league sample size bolstered by a career .719 OPS in the minors. So, looking back at Granite and Grossman, the Twins have both a decision and an opportunity. Should both of those players make the club, Minnesota would have a bench of two switch hitters, a lefty, and a righty. Given a lefty heavy lineup, and two of them being corner outfielders, an area of opportunity would come in the form of a right-handed bat that can provide some thump from the corners. Both Grossman and Granite making the club seems like an odd fit to me. Neither of them profile as hitters first, and that leaves Molitor pretty short handed when looking for something to happen in the late innings. Grossman's calling card has been his on-base prowess, but it dipped from .386 in 2016 to .361 a season ago. The last two years he's gone .696 and .994 respectively vs RHP when it comes to OPS. If the Twins believe the 2016 number is more reflective of his ability, then it makes sense to deploy him as the right-handed bat. If there's uncertainty there though, Grossman is a well-below average outfielder, that has average power, and provides no real baserunning asset. Obviously the biggest question in going with Granite is in relation to his health. After making a diving catch and coming up with a shoulder contusion, his status is currently uncertain. If he's able to go however, he does provide the Twins with a different skillset. As a speedster capable of playing all three outfield spots, he's a plus-plus defender, and that speed also plays on the basepaths. He'd be valuable as a late inning pinch-runner and has stolen plenty of bases during his professional career. Despite an .867 OPS in 2017 at Triple-A, Granite is more of an on-base guy as well. A strong average is probably going to be his calling card as opposed to a high slugging percentage. The safest and most expected route for Minnesota to traverse is likely to take both Grossman and Granite with them on the 25 man roster. That plan doesn't rock the boat, and represents the least amount of risk. Should Derek Falvey and Thad Levine be able to find someone either through trade or on the waiver wire, there's an opportunity to be had however. Replacing Grossman with a right-handed bat would allow Molitor to still have a defensive replacement and pinch-runner in the form of Granite, and the Twins would have a true hitting threat at their disposal. Finding the right player to fill that role remains to be seen, but there's no doubt that the 25th man in Minnesota leaves a bit to be desired. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  13. FORT MYERS - On Thursday morning, the Twins announced that right-handed relief pitchers Alan Busenitz and Tyler Duffey were optioned to Rochester. Following the game, outfielder Jake Cave was also optioned to Rochester, and 1B Brock Stassi was sent to minor league camp. Also, the team announced that outfielder Chris Heisey asked for and received his release. In addition, several players, including Erick Aybar, were told they would not make the Opening Day roster. He can opt out of his contract tomorrow. With these roster moves, the Twins Opening Day roster is becoming more clear.Here is a quick look at those players remaining in big league camp: Catchers: Jason Castro, Mitch Garver As expected, it appears that Mitch Garver will be Jason Castro's backup behind the plate. Garver can also provide flexibility with his ability to play first base and left field. Infielders: Joe Mauer, Logan Morrison, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Miguel Sano, Ehire Adrianza, Jorge Polanco (Restricted List) Joe Mauer will play first base. Brian Dozier will play second base. Absent an MLB suspension, Miguel Sano will play third base. With Jorge Polanco suspended, Eduardo Escobar will be given the first opportunity to start at shortstop. Ehire Adrianza will be the lone utility infielder (if there is not a Sano suspension). Obviously that might create other needs. Taylor Featherston and Gregorio Petit remain on the roster for now. Outfielders: Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Robbie Grossman, Zack Granite The "Nothing Falls But Raindrops" outfield remains intact. Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler will start. Robbie Grossman will play the corners and occasional DH and pinch hit. At this point, it appears that Granite will also make the roster. Ryan LaMarre remains on the Twins spring training roster. Starting Pitchers: Ervin Santana (DL), Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Lance Lynn, Phil Hughes, Michael Pineda (60 Day DL) With Tyler Duffey being optioned on Thursday, the starting staff appears to be set. After the game, Paul Molitor announced that the team will start the year with a four-man rotation. Jake Odorizzi will be the Opening Day starter. He'll be followed by Kyle Gibson and Jose Berrios. Lance Lynn will make the team's fourth start of the year. Molitor mentioned April 11th as the date that the Twins might need a fifth starter. Relief Pitchers: Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, Zack Duke, Trevor Hildenberger, Ryan Pressly, Taylor Rogers, Tyler Kinley, Gabriel Moya, Trevor May (60 Day DL), Right now, it appears that one of the only roster decisions needed to be made will be between Rule 5 pick Tyler Kinley and left-hander Gabriel Moya. The team will leave Ft. Myers on Monday and travel to Washington DC to take on the Nationals in an exhibition game. Jose Berrios will start that game. So, to summarize the above, the Opening Day roster is close: Catchers: Jason Castro, Mitch Garver Infielders: Joe Mauer, Logan Morrison, Brian Dozier, Miguel Sano, Eduardo Escobar, Ehire Adrianza Outfielders: Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Robbie Grossman, Zack Granite Starting Pitchers: Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, Jose Berrios, Lance Lynn, Phil Hughes (long relief until needed as a starter) Relief Pitchers: Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, Trevor Hildenberger, Ryan Pressly, Zack Duke, Taylor Rogers (and either Tyler Kinley or Gabriel Moya). Also remaining in camp: Catchers: Bobby Wilson, Willian Astudillo Infielders: Taylor Featherston, Gregorio Petit Outfielders: Ryan LaMarre Click here to view the article
  14. Here is a quick look at those players remaining in big league camp: Catchers: Jason Castro, Mitch Garver As expected, it appears that Mitch Garver will be Jason Castro's backup behind the plate. Garver can also provide flexibility with his ability to play first base and left field. Infielders: Joe Mauer, Logan Morrison, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Miguel Sano, Ehire Adrianza, Jorge Polanco (Restricted List) Joe Mauer will play first base. Brian Dozier will play second base. Absent an MLB suspension, Miguel Sano will play third base. With Jorge Polanco suspended, Eduardo Escobar will be given the first opportunity to start at shortstop. Ehire Adrianza will be the lone utility infielder (if there is not a Sano suspension). Obviously that might create other needs. Taylor Featherston and Gregorio Petit remain on the roster for now. Outfielders: Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Robbie Grossman, Zack Granite The "Nothing Falls But Raindrops" outfield remains intact. Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler will start. Robbie Grossman will play the corners and occasional DH and pinch hit. At this point, it appears that Granite will also make the roster. Ryan LaMarre remains on the Twins spring training roster. Starting Pitchers: Ervin Santana (DL), Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Lance Lynn, Phil Hughes, Michael Pineda (60 Day DL) With Tyler Duffey being optioned on Thursday, the starting staff appears to be set. After the game, Paul Molitor announced that the team will start the year with a four-man rotation. Jake Odorizzi will be the Opening Day starter. He'll be followed by Kyle Gibson and Jose Berrios. Lance Lynn will make the team's fourth start of the year. Molitor mentioned April 11th as the date that the Twins might need a fifth starter. Relief Pitchers: Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, Zack Duke, Trevor Hildenberger, Ryan Pressly, Taylor Rogers, Tyler Kinley, Gabriel Moya, Trevor May (60 Day DL), Right now, it appears that one of the only roster decisions needed to be made will be between Rule 5 pick Tyler Kinley and left-hander Gabriel Moya. The team will leave Ft. Myers on Monday and travel to Washington DC to take on the Nationals in an exhibition game. Jose Berrios will start that game. So, to summarize the above, the Opening Day roster is close: Catchers: Jason Castro, Mitch Garver Infielders: Joe Mauer, Logan Morrison, Brian Dozier, Miguel Sano, Eduardo Escobar, Ehire Adrianza Outfielders: Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Robbie Grossman, Zack Granite Starting Pitchers: Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, Jose Berrios, Lance Lynn, Phil Hughes (long relief until needed as a starter) Relief Pitchers: Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, Trevor Hildenberger, Ryan Pressly, Zack Duke, Taylor Rogers (and either Tyler Kinley or Gabriel Moya). Also remaining in camp: Catchers: Bobby Wilson, Willian Astudillo Infielders: Taylor Featherston, Gregorio Petit Outfielders: Ryan LaMarre
  15. Statcast technology was introduced to all 30 major-league stadiums in 2015, the very same year Byron Buxton made his MLB debut. It's our coolest new toy and already Buxton is threatening to break the dang thing, pushing past hypothetical human limits with his mind-boggling athleticism. But in all seriousness, we are awfully lucky that Buck has arrived in an era where we can – for the first time – tangibly measure the utterly ridiculous things he does on a baseball field.Projected Starter: Byron Buxton Likely Backup: Max Kepler Depth: Eddie Rosario, Zack Granite, Jake Cave Prospects: Granite, LaMonte Wade, Royce Lewis THE GOOD On August 18th of last season, Buxton drove a high fly ball off the right-center field wall at Target Field and sprinted around the bases for an inside the park homer. His total time from home-to-home registered at 13.85 seconds – a new Statcast record that broke (of course) his own, set the previous October. Last year Buxton put up the fastest sprint speed in the majors, which comes into play both on the base paths and in the outfield. At 24, he doesn't seem to be at risk of losing a step anytime too soon. And in fact, Buck's foot speed continues to play up more and more as he improves his reads on fly balls and opposing pitchers. Of course, while Buxton's defense has been elite from the start, his offensive game has been held back by a lack of contact. Strikeout issues carried over into the early part of 2017, when the outfielder dug a deep hole with his voluminous whiffs in April. But he consistently cut down his strikeout rate each month, to the point where he was contributing at an MVP-caliber level down the stretch. Buxton's .298/.342/.541 slash line in August and September, coupled with a perfect 13-for-13 rate on steals and unsurpassed defensive impact, made him arguably the most transformative single player in the game during that stretch. He was instrumental in Minnesota's unlikely sprint to the postseason, earning him some down-ballot AL MVP love (he finished 18th in the balloting). For a guy who was batting .195 with a .550 OPS at the end of June, causing some to wonder if additional minor-league seasoning might be required, that's flat-out incredible. The idea of getting second-half Buxton for a full year in 2018 is exhilarating. The way he can help a pitching staff and propel an offense is unique within today's game. Still only realizing his near-limitless potential, Buxton is the organization's most valuable asset, and fortunately the front office seems fully aware. He's the only young core player with whom they are known to have engaged in extension negotiations. Hopefully they'll get something done and lock him as the long-term centerpiece he should be. I believe they will. But doing so would not eliminate the importance of quality depth behind him. THE BAD There are basically two concerns around Buxton. The first is that he'll relapse and revert to his whiffing ways – certainly possible, but unlikely given the progressive and convincing nature of his evolution in this regard. The second is that the speedster's all-out playing style will lead to injuries, and that's a very legitimate apprehension. I wrote about this last spring when I was in camp, and while Buxton went on to mostly to buck his trend (yes yes pun intended) of missing significant chunks of time – save for a two-week hiatus in July due to a groin strain – his season did end with a hazardous crash into Yankee Stadium's outfield wall. Injuries are always a reality of the game, and in Buxton's case no one could deny that the risk is heightened. He's obviously irreplaceable but the Twins are well served to put multiple solid contingencies in place. Perhaps that factored in to a trade they made on Friday. The Twins acquired outfielder Jake Cave from the Yankees and designated Kennys Vargas for assignment in the process. Although Cave profiles "best in the corners," according to chief baseball officer Derek Falvey, he has mostly played center in the minors and is considered capable there, giving Minnesota another option. His first day after coming over, Cave started in center against Pittsburgh in Bradenton on Saturday. But Zack Granite is clearly contingency No. 1. He was the regular in center while Buxton was sidelined by his groin strain after the All-Star break, and played well. Granite is the only natural center fielder in line behind Buxton at this point. Max Kepler or Eddie Rosario could fill in as short-term plugs but neither is really suited for the position for an extended stretch. Prospect LaMonte Wade, much like Cave, has played primarily center in the minors but will likely end up in a corner. The next impact center fielder in the pipeline might actually be Royce Lewis, the 2017 first overall pick who's currently playing shortstop but could well switch positions as he rises through the ranks. His speed and instinctual savvy would surely make him an asset out there. But if Buxton sticks around for another seven or eight years, he's not getting supplanted by anyone. Should Lewis move off short, I'm sure the Twins won't have much trouble finding something to do with him. THE BOTTOM LINE Buxton is already the best defensive center fielder in baseball and could be fast on his way to challenging Mike Trout as the best all-around. He produced 3.5 WAR in a 2017 campaign marred by a brutal first half at the plate, so that almost feels like his floor going forward if healthy. Granted, that's a bigger "if" than you get with most players in the game today, but the Twins will live with the risks inherent to his aggressive and spectacular playing style. They've got multiple short-term fallback options and hopefully won't be seeking a permanent replacement for a long, long time. ~~~ 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 Click here to view the article
  16. Projected Starter: Byron Buxton Likely Backup: Max Kepler Depth: Eddie Rosario, Zack Granite, Jake Cave Prospects: Granite, LaMonte Wade, Royce Lewis THE GOOD On August 18th of last season, Buxton drove a high fly ball off the right-center field wall at Target Field and sprinted around the bases for an inside the park homer. His total time from home-to-home registered at 13.85 seconds – a new Statcast record that broke (of course) his own, set the previous October. Last year Buxton put up the fastest sprint speed in the majors, which comes into play both on the base paths and in the outfield. At 24, he doesn't seem to be at risk of losing a step anytime too soon. And in fact, Buck's foot speed continues to play up more and more as he improves his reads on fly balls and opposing pitchers. Of course, while Buxton's defense has been elite from the start, his offensive game has been held back by a lack of contact. Strikeout issues carried over into the early part of 2017, when the outfielder dug a deep hole with his voluminous whiffs in April. But he consistently cut down his strikeout rate each month, to the point where he was contributing at an MVP-caliber level down the stretch. Buxton's .298/.342/.541 slash line in August and September, coupled with a perfect 13-for-13 rate on steals and unsurpassed defensive impact, made him arguably the most transformative single player in the game during that stretch. He was instrumental in Minnesota's unlikely sprint to the postseason, earning him some down-ballot AL MVP love (he finished 18th in the balloting). For a guy who was batting .195 with a .550 OPS at the end of June, causing some to wonder if additional minor-league seasoning might be required, that's flat-out incredible. The idea of getting second-half Buxton for a full year in 2018 is exhilarating. The way he can help a pitching staff and propel an offense is unique within today's game. Still only realizing his near-limitless potential, Buxton is the organization's most valuable asset, and fortunately the front office seems fully aware. He's the only young core player with whom they are known to have engaged in extension negotiations. Hopefully they'll get something done and lock him as the long-term centerpiece he should be. I believe they will. But doing so would not eliminate the importance of quality depth behind him. THE BAD There are basically two concerns around Buxton. The first is that he'll relapse and revert to his whiffing ways – certainly possible, but unlikely given the progressive and convincing nature of his evolution in this regard. The second is that the speedster's all-out playing style will lead to injuries, and that's a very legitimate apprehension. I wrote about this last spring when I was in camp, and while Buxton went on to mostly to buck his trend (yes yes pun intended) of missing significant chunks of time – save for a two-week hiatus in July due to a groin strain – his season did end with a hazardous crash into Yankee Stadium's outfield wall. Injuries are always a reality of the game, and in Buxton's case no one could deny that the risk is heightened. He's obviously irreplaceable but the Twins are well served to put multiple solid contingencies in place. Perhaps that factored in to a trade they made on Friday. The Twins acquired outfielder Jake Cave from the Yankees and designated Kennys Vargas for assignment in the process. Although Cave profiles "best in the corners," according to chief baseball officer Derek Falvey, he has mostly played center in the minors and is considered capable there, giving Minnesota another option. His first day after coming over, Cave started in center against Pittsburgh in Bradenton on Saturday. But Zack Granite is clearly contingency No. 1. He was the regular in center while Buxton was sidelined by his groin strain after the All-Star break, and played well. Granite is the only natural center fielder in line behind Buxton at this point. Max Kepler or Eddie Rosario could fill in as short-term plugs but neither is really suited for the position for an extended stretch. Prospect LaMonte Wade, much like Cave, has played primarily center in the minors but will likely end up in a corner. The next impact center fielder in the pipeline might actually be Royce Lewis, the 2017 first overall pick who's currently playing shortstop but could well switch positions as he rises through the ranks. His speed and instinctual savvy would surely make him an asset out there. But if Buxton sticks around for another seven or eight years, he's not getting supplanted by anyone. Should Lewis move off short, I'm sure the Twins won't have much trouble finding something to do with him. THE BOTTOM LINE Buxton is already the best defensive center fielder in baseball and could be fast on his way to challenging Mike Trout as the best all-around. He produced 3.5 WAR in a 2017 campaign marred by a brutal first half at the plate, so that almost feels like his floor going forward if healthy. Granted, that's a bigger "if" than you get with most players in the game today, but the Twins will live with the risks inherent to his aggressive and spectacular playing style. They've got multiple short-term fallback options and hopefully won't be seeking a permanent replacement for a long, long time. ~~~ 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
  17. One of the most pleasant surprises for the 2017 Minnesota Twins literally came out of left field. With newfound discipline at the plate, Eddie Rosario turned the corner and went from frustrating underachiever to fearsome slugger. But with Rosario slowed by injury this spring, the depth behind him could quickly come into play.Projected Starter: Eddie Rosario Likely Backup: Robbie Grossman Depth: Ehire Adrianza, Zack Granite, Nick Buss Prospects: Alex Kirilloff, Akil Baddoo, LaMonte Wade THE GOOD Rosario's approach at the plate improved by leaps and bounds in 2017. Just take a look at how the strikeout and walk rates compare to his previous major-league campaigns: YEAR | K% | BB% --------------------------------------- 2015 | 24.9% | 3.2% 2016 | 25.7% | 3.4% 2017 | 18.0% | 5.9% That walk rate still wasn't good by any means, ranking as the 26th-lowest in the majors, but it was a massive step up from his stagnant bottom-of-the-barrel marks during those first two campaigns. With his quick wrists and outstanding hand-eye coordination, Rosario has always been capable of putting the bat on almost anything thrown his way. But as the Baseball Prospectus Annual 2018 puts it, he "started learning to separate the pitches he can hit from those he should hit." The result was a career-high .290 batting average despite a career-low .312 BABIP. He also slugged .507 with 27 home runs, surpassing his prior cumulative totals of .443 and 23. That might've had something to do with the juiced balls but also speaks to Rosario's highly impressive ability to drive scorching liners with authority from his 6'1", 180 lb frame. And here's the best part: Rosario isn't necessarily done fine-tuning his approach. Keep in mind the kid is only 26, and coming off a revelatory year with a new hitting coach who seems to be getting through. If Eddie can get those K/BB rates trending further in the right direction, continued offensive growth may be yet to come. An enticing proposition for a player who finished with the third-best OPS+ on the team in 2017. Even if those rates remain the same, simply gravitating back toward his .335 BABIP from 2015/16 could push Rosario's average past .300 and his OPS into the 900-range. Finally tapping into his true potential at the plate as he enters his fourth MLB season, Rosario represents one of the biggest reasons to love Minnesota's offensive upside this summer. THE BAD While Rosario has mostly erased any doubts surrounding his outlook with the bat, he still has some work to do defensively. He possesses all the tools to be an excellent left fielder, but brazen aggressiveness continued to lead to questionable decisions that hurt the team in 2017. Hopefully the more disciplined approach at the plate will carry to the outfield this year. Unfortunately, he hasn't had much chance to work at it this spring, with triceps tendinitis keeping him off the field for nearly two weeks. He finally returned to the lineup on Thursday, finishing 0-for-3 against the Rays as designated hitter, but there's no specific target date to get him back in the outfield. Paul Molitor did mention that the outfielder came away from throwing sessions pain-free this week and the manager expects to see him back in left soon. If there are any setbacks or hiccups in Rosario's recovery, Robbie Grossman and Ehire Adrianza would likely consume the balance of reps in left field. That's a major drop-off, both offensively and defensively, but it's not a disastrous fallback plan. In the event of a lengthier absence, Zack Granite would probably be called upon to fill in as a regular, likely providing superior glovework to Rosario with a good approach at the plate (albeit MUCH less power) and speed on the basepaths. THE BOTTOM LINE Though his arm ailment has kept him off the field for much of March, Rosario indicated on Thursday he is now throwing from 90 feet with no issue, so he should be back in the outfield soon and good to go by Opening Day. As things stand now, he is the present and future in left field, with a heightened floor and a lofty ceiling still within reach. Down the line, Alex Kirilloff and Akil Baddoo stand out as the brightest hopes to potentially succeed Rosario, who's four years away from free agency (though many feel Kirilloff profiles better in right). In the shorter-term, one player to watch is LaMonte Wade. Twins Daily's No. 14 prospect has put his signature patience on display this spring; he drew his team-leading seventh walk on Thursday. Click here to view the article
  18. Projected Starter: Eddie Rosario Likely Backup: Robbie Grossman Depth: Ehire Adrianza, Zack Granite, Nick Buss Prospects: Alex Kirilloff, Akil Baddoo, LaMonte Wade THE GOOD Rosario's approach at the plate improved by leaps and bounds in 2017. Just take a look at how the strikeout and walk rates compare to his previous major-league campaigns: YEAR | K% | BB% --------------------------------------- 2015 | 24.9% | 3.2% 2016 | 25.7% | 3.4% 2017 | 18.0% | 5.9% That walk rate still wasn't good by any means, ranking as the 26th-lowest in the majors, but it was a massive step up from his stagnant bottom-of-the-barrel marks during those first two campaigns. With his quick wrists and outstanding hand-eye coordination, Rosario has always been capable of putting the bat on almost anything thrown his way. But as the Baseball Prospectus Annual 2018 puts it, he "started learning to separate the pitches he can hit from those he should hit." The result was a career-high .290 batting average despite a career-low .312 BABIP. He also slugged .507 with 27 home runs, surpassing his prior cumulative totals of .443 and 23. That might've had something to do with the juiced balls but also speaks to Rosario's highly impressive ability to drive scorching liners with authority from his 6'1", 180 lb frame. And here's the best part: Rosario isn't necessarily done fine-tuning his approach. Keep in mind the kid is only 26, and coming off a revelatory year with a new hitting coach who seems to be getting through. If Eddie can get those K/BB rates trending further in the right direction, continued offensive growth may be yet to come. An enticing proposition for a player who finished with the third-best OPS+ on the team in 2017. Even if those rates remain the same, simply gravitating back toward his .335 BABIP from 2015/16 could push Rosario's average past .300 and his OPS into the 900-range. Finally tapping into his true potential at the plate as he enters his fourth MLB season, Rosario represents one of the biggest reasons to love Minnesota's offensive upside this summer. THE BAD While Rosario has mostly erased any doubts surrounding his outlook with the bat, he still has some work to do defensively. He possesses all the tools to be an excellent left fielder, but brazen aggressiveness continued to lead to questionable decisions that hurt the team in 2017. Hopefully the more disciplined approach at the plate will carry to the outfield this year. Unfortunately, he hasn't had much chance to work at it this spring, with triceps tendinitis keeping him off the field for nearly two weeks. He finally returned to the lineup on Thursday, finishing 0-for-3 against the Rays as designated hitter, but there's no specific target date to get him back in the outfield. Paul Molitor did mention that the outfielder came away from throwing sessions pain-free this week and the manager expects to see him back in left soon. If there are any setbacks or hiccups in Rosario's recovery, Robbie Grossman and Ehire Adrianza would likely consume the balance of reps in left field. That's a major drop-off, both offensively and defensively, but it's not a disastrous fallback plan. In the event of a lengthier absence, Zack Granite would probably be called upon to fill in as a regular, likely providing superior glovework to Rosario with a good approach at the plate (albeit MUCH less power) and speed on the basepaths. THE BOTTOM LINE Though his arm ailment has kept him off the field for much of March, Rosario indicated on Thursday he is now throwing from 90 feet with no issue, so he should be back in the outfield soon and good to go by Opening Day. As things stand now, he is the present and future in left field, with a heightened floor and a lofty ceiling still within reach. Down the line, Alex Kirilloff and Akil Baddoo stand out as the brightest hopes to potentially succeed Rosario, who's four years away from free agency (though many feel Kirilloff profiles better in right). In the shorter-term, one player to watch is LaMonte Wade. Twins Daily's No. 14 prospect has put his signature patience on display this spring; he drew his team-leading seventh walk on Thursday.
  19. For the most part, the Minnesota Twins 25 man roster is easy to project. I tried my hand in projection 1.0 at the end of February and feel pretty much the same about that group here at the beginning of March. That being said, I think there remains one position battle of intrigue when it comes to the position players. As Logan Morrison has entered to fill the regular DH role, there's a two man race for the fourth and final outfield spot. The incumbent is none other than Robbie Grossman. Signed off the scrap heap by the Twins back in 2016, he was an answer while Minnesota was having to send out the young Eddie Rosario. In his first 99 games with the club, Grossman put forth the best numbers of his career. An on-base machine, Grossman's .280/.386/.443 slash line in his debut year for the Twins was easily a high water mark. As an encore last season, the .741 OPS was fine for a guy that provided rotational flexibility and assumed DH duties on a semi-regular basis. While nothing jumped off the page in the average or power categories, it was again a .361 OBP that could be noted as the strongest asset. When looking at Grossman's time with the Twins, it's never been his presence at the plate proving to be a deficiency. In the field however, it's been another story altogether. In his first 637.1 innings spanning across 2016, abysmal doesn't even begin to categorize the output. Worth -21 DRS and with a UZR of -15.2, Grossman's performance was bad enough to make even Delmon Young and Josh Willingham blush. Knowing it needed to improve, Grossman made strides a season ago. Despite roughly half the amount of innings (357.0), the numbers checked in at -3 DRS and -3.3 UZR. Robbie isn't ever likely to be above average in the field, but in 2017, he proved he can be better than a black hole as well. That's really what the Twins have to weigh when it comes to filling out their 25 man roster. Grossman leaves an immeasurable amount to be desired in the field, and a potential replacement would be a virtual opposite. Zack Granite is a blazing (albeit not Buxton-like) centerfielder, with the ability to track balls down from well out of his reach. Arm strength isn't anything of note, but it's hardly a downfall either. In just 174 inning sample size, Granite was worth 4 DRS and 1.2 UZR for Minnesota per Fangraphs. At the plate, Zack has just 107 major league plate appearances under his belt. Making his debut a season ago for the Twins, Granite posted a .237/.321/.290 slash line. A .611 OPS isn't ever going to get it done at the highest level, but there's plenty of reason to believe he can acclimate. At Triple-AA Rochester for the first time in his career, Granite played 71 games and grabbed 313 plate appearances in 2017. He turned those opportunities into a .338/.392/.475 slash line. While those numbers are definitely gaudy, they follow the trend of a guy who's posted consistent on-base numbers while being more average than power over the course of his professional career. For Granite to really round into form, he'll need to display a strong level of plate discipline over the course of his big league time. At Triple-A last season, he struck out just 34 times in 284 at bats, while drawing 24 walks. Jumping up a level, he actually posted just nine strikeouts for the Twins while drawing 12 free passes over his 93 at bats. Another good sign is that a strong knowledge of the strike zone has never left him. With just a 1.9% swinging strike rate, and a 95% contact rate, no one in baseball (with at least 100 plate appearances) posted better numbers. Paul Molitor and the Minnesota Twins will likely let the battle run it's course through the end of the spring. Granite has options left, while Robbie Grossman would need to be DFA'd to make room. As things stand currently, that's probably the biggest feather in the cap for the latter. The Twins could certainly opt to go with Grossman out of the gate, and then call upon Granite as soon as they've seen enough. If they're looking at bringing the best or most ideal 25 north however, Zack definitely has a case to be made. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  20. There were rumors last offseason about the Twins interest in Mike Napoli. The Twins reportedly offered Napoli more money, but he chose to sign with the Texas Rangers, believing that he would have a better opportunity to get to the playoffs. Napoli, who could DH and play a little first base, is 36 years old and coming off a season in which he hit just .193/.285/.428 (.713), though he still hit 29 home runs. Could he be an option for the Twins in 2018, and if so, can he be more productive given less playing time? Napoli doesn’t need to be the lone right-handed DH. For instance, Jose Bautista remains a free agent. Like Napoli, Bautista is coming off of a disappointing 2017 season with the Blue Jays. He hit .203/.308/.366 (.674) with 23 home runs. Of course, Twins fans know his track record against the Twins, particularly at Target Field. In 62 career games against the Twins, he has hit .302/.393/.699 (1.092) with 17 doubles and 24 home runs. In 25 games at Target Field, he has hit .324/.410/.794 (.1.204) with six doubles and 14 home runs. The 37-year-old has accumulated over $100 million in his long career, but he’d probably be looking at a one-year, $6-8 million deal from someone in hopes of improving on his 2017 season. Matt Holliday is another veteran with a ton of experience. He played in 103 games in 2017 for the Yankees, primarily as a DH and pinch hitter. The 38-year-old hit 19 homers and hit .231/.316/.432 (.748). He made $13 million in 2017, but he should be available, like Bautista, for something in the $6-8 million range for one season. Another $100 million man, Jayson Werth is coming off of a long-term contract with the Nationals. While he was a very good player from 2007 through 2014. He missed about half of the season in 2015 and 2017, and his OPS has dropped. Could he be convinced to sign and primarily get time as a DH and pinch hitter? He’ll likely get a one year deal in that same $6-8 million range. While he’s not a strong outfielder, he could get some time in the corner outfield positions. Those four veteran options certainly have experience. Napoli is known as a very good teammate and leader. Bautista… isn’t. Holliday and Werth are probably somewhere in between. While they don’t have the name recognition, the Twins currently have Robbie Grossman and Kennys Vargas available internally. Grossman isn’t a great defensive outfielder, though he’s better defensively than the options above. He primarily DHd in 2017 and did well. He traditionally has hit better against left-handed pitching. And, in his first year of arbitration eligibility, he’ll make $2 million (25-40% of what those free agents would cost). And, most likely, while he won’t hit as many home runs, his ability to get on base, play some defense and be accepting of a role on the roster. Vargas has struggled mightily with consistency, but he’s also shown an ability to hit the ball really hard and really far. He is a DH who is capable of playing some first base, if not well. But he’s posted OPS of .833 and .758 the last two seasons. He hit 10 homers in 47 games in 2016, and he had 11 homers last year in 78 games a year ago. And, he will cost somewhere around $600,000 in 2018. In addition, Zack Granite is fully capable of playing all three outfield positions well, including center field. While he bats left-handed, it’s important to note that he had reverse splits in each of his first four seasons of professional baseball. In 2016 in AA, hit hit .296/.348 versus right-handers and .291/.345 against left-handers. In 2017, he hit .312/.379/.443 (.822) against right-handers and .325/.369/.412 (.781) against left-handers between AAA and the big leagues. In fact, his OPS against southpaws in the big leagues last year was .979. His first MLB home came off of lefty Blaine Hardy of the Tigers. In last night’s podcast, Granite said, ““I don’t want to say I focus harder, but I feel like I have to stay in there longer. Honestly, when I face a lefty, I’m always scared that if they open up too soon, they’ll hit me in the head. But I know whenever I face a lefty that I have to stay in there longer. I think it helps me that I don’t try to do too much when I face a lefty. I just try to hit line drives right up the middle or the other way, wherever it’s pitched. I think that helps me because I literally try to be as simple as possible. With lefties, I can keep my game as simple as possible.” There are several other free agent outfielders who are still out there. For instance, JD Martinez is still out there. Then again, he turned down (reportedly) a five-year, $100 million deal from the Red Sox, so I don’t think he makes much sense for the Twins. Andre Ethier’s long, huge contract with the Dodgers is finally complete. He’s a free agent, but he’s struggled for years, and he’s left-handed. Carlos Gomez and Carlos Gonzalez are both likely to get $10 million per year or more. Two other free agent outfielders may make some sense.34-year-old Chris Young has played about half the time, maybe a little less, for the Red Sox the last couple of years. He’s mostly played left field. After posting an .850 OPS in 76 games in 2016, he posted a .709 OPS in 90 games in 2017. He could be available for about $4 million. Cameron Maybin will turn 31 years old shortly after Opening Day. He began last year with the Angels before going to the Astros at the trade deadline and winning a World Series title. He posted an .801 OPS in 2016 in Detroit, but that was way above his career OPS of .693. His value comes from strong defense around the outfield. After making $9 million last year, he should be more in the $5-6 million range in 2018. SUMMARY So, if the Twins feel they need a DH type, there are several options, the most realistic of which are upper-30s guys coming off of long-term contracts and tough seasons. Are those guys better than Kennys Vargas (who is 27). If you want a fourth/fifth outfielder, the decision is whether to add a defensive option like Cameron Maybin who hits right handed, or stand by Zack Granite who has had reverse splits in his career and plays terrific defense at all three outfield positions too. And Robbie Grossman can play the corner outfield spots adequately and DH and pinch hit. How does it all play together? Is signing a veteran hitter important? Should it be? And, how do we value that veteran-ness over giving guys like Vargas and Granite an opportunity? Share your thoughts. In my opinion, I think I’d rather just go with the youth and give a shot to Granite, Grossman and Vargas. You’ll probably get equal production for just $3.25 million. And then spend the money not spent on a bat to a package for Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn (or Yu Darvish, if that works).. What do you think?
  21. As we approach pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training in about two weeks, there are a ton of remaining free agents. The pitchers are understandably getting all of the headlines, but throughout the offseason, there have been a few rumblings about the Twins also looking for a right-handed hitter. Today, let’s take a look at which candidates are out there, and which internal options could flit the bill. Should the Twins target a right-handed hitting fourth outfielder type? Should they go after a right-handed designated hitter type to come off of the bench?There were rumors last offseason about the Twins interest in Mike Napoli. The Twins reportedly offered Napoli more money, but he chose to sign with the Texas Rangers, believing that he would have a better opportunity to get to the playoffs. Napoli, who could DH and play a little first base, is 36 years old and coming off a season in which he hit just .193/.285/.428 (.713), though he still hit 29 home runs. Could he be an option for the Twins in 2018, and if so, can he be more productive given less playing time? Napoli doesn’t need to be the lone right-handed DH. For instance, Jose Bautista remains a free agent. Like Napoli, Bautista is coming off of a disappointing 2017 season with the Blue Jays. He hit .203/.308/.366 (.674) with 23 home runs. Of course, Twins fans know his track record against the Twins, particularly at Target Field. In 62 career games against the Twins, he has hit .302/.393/.699 (1.092) with 17 doubles and 24 home runs. In 25 games at Target Field, he has hit .324/.410/.794 (.1.204) with six doubles and 14 home runs. The 37-year-old has accumulated over $100 million in his long career, but he’d probably be looking at a one-year, $6-8 million deal from someone in hopes of improving on his 2017 season. Matt Holliday is another veteran with a ton of experience. He played in 103 games in 2017 for the Yankees, primarily as a DH and pinch hitter. The 38-year-old hit 19 homers and hit .231/.316/.432 (.748). He made $13 million in 2017, but he should be available, like Bautista, for something in the $6-8 million range for one season. Another $100 million man, Jayson Werth is coming off of a long-term contract with the Nationals. While he was a very good player from 2007 through 2014. He missed about half of the season in 2015 and 2017, and his OPS has dropped. Could he be convinced to sign and primarily get time as a DH and pinch hitter? He’ll likely get a one year deal in that same $6-8 million range. While he’s not a strong outfielder, he could get some time in the corner outfield positions. Those four veteran options certainly have experience. Napoli is known as a very good teammate and leader. Bautista… isn’t. Holliday and Werth are probably somewhere in between. While they don’t have the name recognition, the Twins currently have Robbie Grossman and Kennys Vargas available internally. Grossman isn’t a great defensive outfielder, though he’s better defensively than the options above. He primarily DHd in 2017 and did well. He traditionally has hit better against left-handed pitching. And, in his first year of arbitration eligibility, he’ll make $2 million (25-40% of what those free agents would cost). And, most likely, while he won’t hit as many home runs, his ability to get on base, play some defense and be accepting of a role on the roster. Vargas has struggled mightily with consistency, but he’s also shown an ability to hit the ball really hard and really far. He is a DH who is capable of playing some first base, if not well. But he’s posted OPS of .833 and .758 the last two seasons. He hit 10 homers in 47 games in 2016, and he had 11 homers last year in 78 games a year ago. And, he will cost somewhere around $600,000 in 2018. In addition, Zack Granite is fully capable of playing all three outfield positions well, including center field. While he bats left-handed, it’s important to note that he had reverse splits in each of his first four seasons of professional baseball. In 2016 in AA, hit hit .296/.348 versus right-handers and .291/.345 against left-handers. In 2017, he hit .312/.379/.443 (.822) against right-handers and .325/.369/.412 (.781) against left-handers between AAA and the big leagues. In fact, his OPS against southpaws in the big leagues last year was .979. His first MLB home came off of lefty Blaine Hardy of the Tigers. In last night’s podcast, Granite said, ““I don’t want to say I focus harder, but I feel like I have to stay in there longer. Honestly, when I face a lefty, I’m always scared that if they open up too soon, they’ll hit me in the head. But I know whenever I face a lefty that I have to stay in there longer. I think it helps me that I don’t try to do too much when I face a lefty. I just try to hit line drives right up the middle or the other way, wherever it’s pitched. I think that helps me because I literally try to be as simple as possible. With lefties, I can keep my game as simple as possible.” There are several other free agent outfielders who are still out there. For instance, JD Martinez is still out there. Then again, he turned down (reportedly) a five-year, $100 million deal from the Red Sox, so I don’t think he makes much sense for the Twins. Andre Ethier’s long, huge contract with the Dodgers is finally complete. He’s a free agent, but he’s struggled for years, and he’s left-handed. Carlos Gomez and Carlos Gonzalez are both likely to get $10 million per year or more. Two other free agent outfielders may make some sense.34-year-old Chris Young has played about half the time, maybe a little less, for the Red Sox the last couple of years. He’s mostly played left field. After posting an .850 OPS in 76 games in 2016, he posted a .709 OPS in 90 games in 2017. He could be available for about $4 million. Cameron Maybin will turn 31 years old shortly after Opening Day. He began last year with the Angels before going to the Astros at the trade deadline and winning a World Series title. He posted an .801 OPS in 2016 in Detroit, but that was way above his career OPS of .693. His value comes from strong defense around the outfield. After making $9 million last year, he should be more in the $5-6 million range in 2018. SUMMARY So, if the Twins feel they need a DH type, there are several options, the most realistic of which are upper-30s guys coming off of long-term contracts and tough seasons. Are those guys better than Kennys Vargas (who is 27). If you want a fourth/fifth outfielder, the decision is whether to add a defensive option like Cameron Maybin who hits right handed, or stand by Zack Granite who has had reverse splits in his career and plays terrific defense at all three outfield positions too. And Robbie Grossman can play the corner outfield spots adequately and DH and pinch hit. How does it all play together? Is signing a veteran hitter important? Should it be? And, how do we value that veteran-ness over giving guys like Vargas and Granite an opportunity? Share your thoughts. In my opinion, I think I’d rather just go with the youth and give a shot to Granite, Grossman and Vargas. You’ll probably get equal production for just $3.25 million. And then spend the money not spent on a bat to a package for Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn (or Yu Darvish, if that works).. What do you think? Click here to view the article
  22. Tonight at 8:00 (central time), Episode 4 of Seth's Twins On Deck Podcast will go live. Tonight, he'll be joined by three Minnesota Twins prospects, including one with a strong opportunity to start the season with the big league club, and another senior on the Minnesota Gophers roster. Tonight, he'll also be joined by a gentleman who scouted a lot of Chattanooga Lookouts games in 2017. Tune in at 8:00 tonight to listen live. If you can't listen live, it will be available at the same link shortly following the show's completion. You can also search iTunes and subscribe to it. (search Minnesota Sports Weekly)Tune in live at 8:00 central time tonight when Seth will again be joined by five guests. Leading off will be a guy who could be in the Twins leadoff position at times throughout the 2018 season, Zack Granite. He burst onto the prospect scene when he was the Twins Minor League Player of the Year in 2016. He built upon that success with another strong 2017 which included his MLB debut and a spot on the Twins playoff roster. Baseball in Puerto Rico continues to be very strong. On this show, we'll be joined by infielder Nelson Molina who spent most of the 2017 season in Ft. Myers with the Miracle, though he also got some games in Chattanooga. Lewis Thorpe missed two seasons due to Tommy John surgery and illness, but he made his return in 2017 and pitched very well with the Miracle. Following the season, he was added to the Twins 40-man roster and recently participated in his first Twins Fest. Chris Blessing is a prospect writer for Baseball HQ and USA Today Sports Media. One of the teams he saw most frequently was the Chattanooga Lookouts. We'll discuss some Lookouts players for his thoughts, but also about the art and science of scouting a ballplayer. Finally, we will be joined by another member of the Minnesota Gophers baseball program. (Still awaiting verification and will update with a name at that time. If you have any questions for any of these guests, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I'll ask them during the show. If you are listening during the live show, I will also ask for questions on my Twitter feed, so you can ask questions there as well. You can listen live, or you can listen later. Either way, you'll want to listen and learn more about some Twins minor leaguers and more. PREVIOUS EPISODES Episode 1: Twins (LaMonte Wade, Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Wells), Gophers (Luke Pettersen), MLB.com's prospect guru Jonathan Mayo. Episode 2: Twins (Aaron Slegers, Alex Kirilloff, Brent Rooker, Royce Lewis), Gophers (Toby Hanson) Episode 3: Twins (Bryan Sammons, Ryley Widell, Zack Littell, Travis Blankenhorn), Gophers (Alex Boxwell) Click here to view the article
  23. Tune in live at 8:00 central time tonight when Seth will again be joined by five guests. Leading off will be a guy who could be in the Twins leadoff position at times throughout the 2018 season, Zack Granite. He burst onto the prospect scene when he was the Twins Minor League Player of the Year in 2016. He built upon that success with another strong 2017 which included his MLB debut and a spot on the Twins playoff roster. Baseball in Puerto Rico continues to be very strong. On this show, we'll be joined by infielder Nelson Molina who spent most of the 2017 season in Ft. Myers with the Miracle, though he also got some games in Chattanooga. Lewis Thorpe missed two seasons due to Tommy John surgery and illness, but he made his return in 2017 and pitched very well with the Miracle. Following the season, he was added to the Twins 40-man roster and recently participated in his first Twins Fest. Chris Blessing is a prospect writer for Baseball HQ and USA Today Sports Media. One of the teams he saw most frequently was the Chattanooga Lookouts. We'll discuss some Lookouts players for his thoughts, but also about the art and science of scouting a ballplayer. Finally, we will be joined by another member of the Minnesota Gophers baseball program. (Still awaiting verification and will update with a name at that time. If you have any questions for any of these guests, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I'll ask them during the show. If you are listening during the live show, I will also ask for questions on my Twitter feed, so you can ask questions there as well. You can listen live, or you can listen later. Either way, you'll want to listen and learn more about some Twins minor leaguers and more. PREVIOUS EPISODES Episode 1: Twins (LaMonte Wade, Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Wells), Gophers (Luke Pettersen), MLB.com's prospect guru Jonathan Mayo. Episode 2: Twins (Aaron Slegers, Alex Kirilloff, Brent Rooker, Royce Lewis), Gophers (Toby Hanson) Episode 3: Twins (Bryan Sammons, Ryley Widell, Zack Littell, Travis Blankenhorn), Gophers (Alex Boxwell)
  24. TwinsFest is a great destination for fans to gather, meet the players and maybe score a few autographs, but it’s also the source of a lot of great information. WCCO did an amazing job providing coverage from the event, and made tons of interviews available online. Here’s some of the quotes I found to be most interesting ...I encourage you to check out the full interviews for yourself, there are hours of audio available online. All of the Friday content is available on the Sports to the Max page, Saturday’s interviews are on Steve Thompson and Eric Nelson’s page and the Sunday talks are on Sports Huddle with Sid and Dave. Naturally, there were a lot of common themes that came up, one of which was getting to the playoffs and the team’s goals for next season. Let’s start off with my favorite quote from the entire weekend … Zack Granite on playing the Yankees in the Wild Card game: “It was a really cool moment for me, I had a lot of family there, but I’m tired of them now. I want to kick their ass next year.” Jose Berrios on goals for 2018: “When you taste a game like that – playoffs – you want to be there for the rest of your career. So now, we go to Spring Training with that expectation. We’re going to prepare our bodies and our minds for October.” It was also really interesting to hear some of the pitchers touch on their past struggles, lessons they’ve learned and ways they approach the game Kyle Gibson on his second-half surge: “I really found my fastball. I found some trust in my fastball. I always had trust in the sinker, but I don’t know that I knew exactly what that meant. But then I found some trust in my four seamer as well. I think what that allowed me to do is use four seamers early, just throw the tar out of it all the time, and get ahead of guys with that. Everything played off of that a lot better.” Ryan Pressley on routines: “A lot of big league players will tell you it’s all about setting a routine. I didn’t even know how to set a routine until two years ago and I’ve been up here for a while. It’s finally starting to click and I was finally able to get stuff done. Last year when (Matt) Belisle came in, watching him go about his day was impressive. It was really fun to watch, and that’s why he’s got 12 years in the big leagues. He goes about his business and does it the right way. That’s what I want to learn from these guys (the new free agents) coming in here.” Trevor Hildenberger on adjusting to the majors: “You hear so much about the strike zone and how small it is and how small it can be for rookies. But ( Jason) Castro really made a huge impact stealing strikes for me, framing pitches. He was getting me calls that I thought I had no business getting. So the ability to frame pitches I didn’t realize was such a huge factor until I got to the big leagues.” Trevor May on Tommy John surgery: “(Ryan) Vogelsong, he gave me a really, really detailed rundown of the first couple months … He was like here’s some things you really need to focus on, things that worked for me and are the reason why I’m still going strong.” And May on rejoining the Twins: “If you’re doing your job. and where you need to be, it all shakes out in the end. It doesn't matter how quickly for me it happens, I just want to make sure when I’m here it’s go time and it’s not like ‘you’re rehabbing from Tommy John,’ it’s ’you’re part of the team Tommy John’s behind you.’” J.T. Chargois on his health: “I’m feeling good right now. I think that through spring training last year I developed a little mechanical glitch in my follow through and through a lot of video analysis I’ve broken that done and figured it out. So my arm’s doing well and I’m ready for spring.” Zach Duke on his strengths: “My strength is randomness. I throw from a couple different arm angles, I’ve got about eight different pitches and when I’m on I feel like I can throw any of them at any time” It was also interesting to hear some of the hitters talk about adjustments and their approach at the plate. Byron Buxton on adjustments: “Not really being able to fail back in high school and in little league, it was very tough for me once I got up here. All the negative thoughts start coming, and that was a first for me. That’s what it took for me to realize I’ve got to make adjustments in this game and you’ve got to make some changes. Finally I got strong enough mentally to realize I can handle this and change my swing.” Max Kepler on the mental side of the game: “The mind is powerful, and it can get in the way of baseball, for sure.” Brent Rooker on Brian Dozier: “The whole thing about hitting to me is just trying to make your body work as efficiently as you can to get everything out of your ability and everything out of your strengths. So you look at a guy like Brian who’s maybe not the biggest guy, but who hit 40 something home runs a few years ago, who continually hits 25-plus home runs, he’s got to be doing something right. He’s learned how to use his body and use his swing and his mechanics to get the most out of his athleticism, most out of his strength, most out of his talents, which is something I really respect.” Alex Kirilloff on the type of hitter he is: “I try to be as well-rounded as I can. I’m not a real big mechanical guy. I focus a lot on timing and vision. That’s taken me a long way, I’ve worked on that from a very young age and that’s brought me a lot of success so far.” And, of course, there was some great stuff from the coaching staff. Manager Paul Molitor on dealing with personalities: “We try to make these guys better, but whatever you want to call it — new generations, millennials — you have to try to find what clicks for them and what gets them going. I’ve done more millennial studying than you’d want to know about, to be honest with you, but you try to get in there and certainly the relationships are as important part of today’s game.” Hitting coach James Rowson on the young hitters: “They just need more at bats. The more experience they get, the better they get. So I think last year was a chance to give them a chance to fail, give them a chance to go out there and be themselves and not worry about what they do wrong but try to stay positive with them and let them do what they do right.” And Rowson specifically talking about Buxton: “It was never really about the leg kick in our discussions ... I always say ‘you can’t fire a cannon from a canoe’… If you’re not strong in your lower half, you’re not going to be able to execute that swing consistently. So what we talked about with him was just getting to a point where he was stronger on his legs. He could feel his legs and he could feel like he was grounded when he was going to take a swing. He started to feel that by eliminating the leg kick a little bit at first. It gave him the feeling that he needed … once he got that feeling, I told him ‘go out there and be an athlete and do the best you can. Don’t think about it, just go out there and react.’” Outfield instructor Jeff Pickler on helping players improve: “The neat thing about our outfield group is that it’s not so much what I’m telling them, it’s things they’re coming to us saying they want to do better.” Pitching coach Garvin Alston on how he got into the business: “I wasn’t sure if this was the direction I wanted to go in, or if I wanted to go back into teaching and doing things of that nature. So what ended up happening was a player, Andrew Bailey ... at that time (2008) was struggling through some things and we worked. And we worked hard. And in doing so, I saw him turn a corner and get better. And I said ‘you know what? This is fun, being able to help.’” Third base coach Gene Glynn on Alson: “He’s an up-beat, real positive high-energy guy. Really smart, very intelligent and organized.” Glynn also pointed out that he was Alston's very first professional manager. He as at the helm of the Bend Rockies back in 1992, which also happened to be where Alston made his debut after being drafted in the 10th round earlier that year. There was also some interesting talk of payroll and potential transactions, as you’d expect for this time of year. Brian Dozier, responding to a question from Sid Hartman regarding a potential extension: “I knew you were going to ask me that. I do want to stay here. That stuff takes care of itself. I’m sure we’ll talk in spring training just to see where both sides are at.” Owner Jim Pohlad on the budget: “We set an overall budget, we don’t sit down and just spend all the time just on player payroll … There’s just a number put in there and it’s not like ‘ok this is the number you guys have to spend, go spend it or not.’ We build in I would think a not conservative number for sure, a more aggressive number.” Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press wrote in length about Pohlad and CEO Dave St. Peter's comments regarding Yu Darvish over the weekend. If you went to TwinsFest, please share anything interesting you overheard, or your experiences from the event in the comments. Click here to view the article
  25. I encourage you to check out the full interviews for yourself, there are hours of audio available online. All of the Friday content is available on the Sports to the Max page, Saturday’s interviews are on Steve Thompson and Eric Nelson’s page and the Sunday talks are on Sports Huddle with Sid and Dave. Naturally, there were a lot of common themes that came up, one of which was getting to the playoffs and the team’s goals for next season. Let’s start off with my favorite quote from the entire weekend … Zack Granite on playing the Yankees in the Wild Card game: “It was a really cool moment for me, I had a lot of family there, but I’m tired of them now. I want to kick their ass next year.” Jose Berrios on goals for 2018: “When you taste a game like that – playoffs – you want to be there for the rest of your career. So now, we go to Spring Training with that expectation. We’re going to prepare our bodies and our minds for October.” It was also really interesting to hear some of the pitchers touch on their past struggles, lessons they’ve learned and ways they approach the game Kyle Gibson on his second-half surge: “I really found my fastball. I found some trust in my fastball. I always had trust in the sinker, but I don’t know that I knew exactly what that meant. But then I found some trust in my four seamer as well. I think what that allowed me to do is use four seamers early, just throw the tar out of it all the time, and get ahead of guys with that. Everything played off of that a lot better.” Ryan Pressley on routines: “A lot of big league players will tell you it’s all about setting a routine. I didn’t even know how to set a routine until two years ago and I’ve been up here for a while. It’s finally starting to click and I was finally able to get stuff done. Last year when (Matt) Belisle came in, watching him go about his day was impressive. It was really fun to watch, and that’s why he’s got 12 years in the big leagues. He goes about his business and does it the right way. That’s what I want to learn from these guys (the new free agents) coming in here.” Trevor Hildenberger on adjusting to the majors: “You hear so much about the strike zone and how small it is and how small it can be for rookies. But ( Jason) Castro really made a huge impact stealing strikes for me, framing pitches. He was getting me calls that I thought I had no business getting. So the ability to frame pitches I didn’t realize was such a huge factor until I got to the big leagues.” Trevor May on Tommy John surgery: “(Ryan) Vogelsong, he gave me a really, really detailed rundown of the first couple months … He was like here’s some things you really need to focus on, things that worked for me and are the reason why I’m still going strong.” And May on rejoining the Twins: “If you’re doing your job. and where you need to be, it all shakes out in the end. It doesn't matter how quickly for me it happens, I just want to make sure when I’m here it’s go time and it’s not like ‘you’re rehabbing from Tommy John,’ it’s ’you’re part of the team Tommy John’s behind you.’” J.T. Chargois on his health: “I’m feeling good right now. I think that through spring training last year I developed a little mechanical glitch in my follow through and through a lot of video analysis I’ve broken that done and figured it out. So my arm’s doing well and I’m ready for spring.” Zach Duke on his strengths: “My strength is randomness. I throw from a couple different arm angles, I’ve got about eight different pitches and when I’m on I feel like I can throw any of them at any time” It was also interesting to hear some of the hitters talk about adjustments and their approach at the plate. Byron Buxton on adjustments: “Not really being able to fail back in high school and in little league, it was very tough for me once I got up here. All the negative thoughts start coming, and that was a first for me. That’s what it took for me to realize I’ve got to make adjustments in this game and you’ve got to make some changes. Finally I got strong enough mentally to realize I can handle this and change my swing.” Max Kepler on the mental side of the game: “The mind is powerful, and it can get in the way of baseball, for sure.” Brent Rooker on Brian Dozier: “The whole thing about hitting to me is just trying to make your body work as efficiently as you can to get everything out of your ability and everything out of your strengths. So you look at a guy like Brian who’s maybe not the biggest guy, but who hit 40 something home runs a few years ago, who continually hits 25-plus home runs, he’s got to be doing something right. He’s learned how to use his body and use his swing and his mechanics to get the most out of his athleticism, most out of his strength, most out of his talents, which is something I really respect.” Alex Kirilloff on the type of hitter he is: “I try to be as well-rounded as I can. I’m not a real big mechanical guy. I focus a lot on timing and vision. That’s taken me a long way, I’ve worked on that from a very young age and that’s brought me a lot of success so far.” And, of course, there was some great stuff from the coaching staff. Manager Paul Molitor on dealing with personalities: “We try to make these guys better, but whatever you want to call it — new generations, millennials — you have to try to find what clicks for them and what gets them going. I’ve done more millennial studying than you’d want to know about, to be honest with you, but you try to get in there and certainly the relationships are as important part of today’s game.” Hitting coach James Rowson on the young hitters: “They just need more at bats. The more experience they get, the better they get. So I think last year was a chance to give them a chance to fail, give them a chance to go out there and be themselves and not worry about what they do wrong but try to stay positive with them and let them do what they do right.” And Rowson specifically talking about Buxton: “It was never really about the leg kick in our discussions ... I always say ‘you can’t fire a cannon from a canoe’… If you’re not strong in your lower half, you’re not going to be able to execute that swing consistently. So what we talked about with him was just getting to a point where he was stronger on his legs. He could feel his legs and he could feel like he was grounded when he was going to take a swing. He started to feel that by eliminating the leg kick a little bit at first. It gave him the feeling that he needed … once he got that feeling, I told him ‘go out there and be an athlete and do the best you can. Don’t think about it, just go out there and react.’” Outfield instructor Jeff Pickler on helping players improve: “The neat thing about our outfield group is that it’s not so much what I’m telling them, it’s things they’re coming to us saying they want to do better.” Pitching coach Garvin Alston on how he got into the business: “I wasn’t sure if this was the direction I wanted to go in, or if I wanted to go back into teaching and doing things of that nature. So what ended up happening was a player, Andrew Bailey ... at that time (2008) was struggling through some things and we worked. And we worked hard. And in doing so, I saw him turn a corner and get better. And I said ‘you know what? This is fun, being able to help.’” Third base coach Gene Glynn on Alson: “He’s an up-beat, real positive high-energy guy. Really smart, very intelligent and organized.” Glynn also pointed out that he was Alston's very first professional manager. He as at the helm of the Bend Rockies back in 1992, which also happened to be where Alston made his debut after being drafted in the 10th round earlier that year. There was also some interesting talk of payroll and potential transactions, as you’d expect for this time of year. Brian Dozier, responding to a question from Sid Hartman regarding a potential extension: “I knew you were going to ask me that. I do want to stay here. That stuff takes care of itself. I’m sure we’ll talk in spring training just to see where both sides are at.” Owner Jim Pohlad on the budget: “We set an overall budget, we don’t sit down and just spend all the time just on player payroll … There’s just a number put in there and it’s not like ‘ok this is the number you guys have to spend, go spend it or not.’ We build in I would think a not conservative number for sure, a more aggressive number.” Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press wrote in length about Pohlad and CEO Dave St. Peter's comments regarding Yu Darvish over the weekend. If you went to TwinsFest, please share anything interesting you overheard, or your experiences from the event in the comments.
×
×
  • Create New...