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  1. #331

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    per Sid:

    Depth plays key role

    The Twins also showcased a big part of why they can contend this season: their depth.

    Earlier in the day Wednesday they moved catcher Mitch Garver to the 10-day injured list after he was injured on a play at the plate in the Twins’ 4-3 win Tuesday.

    Nelson Cruz was also out of the lineup while dealing with a sore wrist.

    The Twins used seven pitchers in the contest after Odorizzi, who had been on fire lately and still managed to win his sixth straight start, allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks in 5⅓ innings.

    Trevor May and Trevor Hildenberger, who are expected to be solid relievers, combined to allow four runs on five hits while recording just four outs. But Matt Magill, Ryne Harper, Blake Parker and Morin combined to throw 2⅓ innings of scoreless relief.

    On offense, Jason Castro stepped in at catcher and finished 1-for-3 with a two-run homer and two runs scored.

    The bottom four hitters in the lineup — Jonathan Schoop, Ehire Adrianza, Castro and Byron Buxton — combined to go 6-for-14 with six RBI and five runs scored. The top five hitters — Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Eddie Rosario, C.J. Cron and Willians Astudillo — were 4-for-18 with two RBI and three runs scored.

    Buxton has been incredible lately with his defense and his offense. The former No. 2 overall pick, is hitting .278 with 22 extra-base hits and had his second homer of the season on Wednesday. Over his past five games he’s hitting .471, and if Buxton keeps it up, he’ll be in the MVP conversation.

    http://www.startribune.com/vikings-t...oes/509989712/

    Win Twins!!


  2. #332

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    Quote Originally Posted by BleedGopher View Post
    Buxton has been incredible lately with his defense and his offense. The former No. 2 overall pick, is hitting .278 with 22 extra-base hits and had his second homer of the season on Wednesday. Over his past five games he’s hitting .471, and if Buxton keeps it up, he’ll be in the MVP conversation.
    Settle down, Sid.

  3. #333

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    Shama: Twins’ Sano Seems a Trade Prospect

    Enigmatic Miguel Sano is back in a Twins uniform after missing the first 41 games of the season with a right heel laceration, and it’s worth speculating whether he will finish the year with the organization.

    Before being recalled yesterday, Sano had played in 10 games on his rehab assignment. The goal had been 20 games but an injury to catcher Mitch Garver forced an early recall of Sano, who with Single-A Ft. Myers, Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Rochester, hit .316. He had two home runs and nine RBI.

    The Twins lead the AL Central Division with one of the best records in baseball, 27-15. In the first quarter of the season the club has excelled in various ways including hitting home runs, a Sano specialty. Minnesota is on pace to break the club record for homers in a season, 225.

    Sano has teased both the fans and the front office with his power and potential since signing with the team for a reported $3.15 million bonus as a 16-year-old in 2009 while living in his native Dominican Republic. However, in four seasons with the Twins the 6-foot-4, 270-pound third baseman has struggled with his weight, injuries and consistency. In 2017 he made the AL All-Star team and hit a career high 28 home runs, despite only playing in 114 games.

    The Twins have thrived this spring without Sano, who fell back in his production last year hitting just .199 with 13 home runs in 71 games. When multi-positional newcomer Marwin Gonzalez plays at third he gives the Twins a better fielder than Sano, and since May 2 he is hitting .372.

    It’s conceivable that because of new found success without him, Sano might not become a full time starter and centerpiece with the Twins like in the past. He seems likely—at least initially—to be in and out of the lineup while playing third base, first base and filling in at Designated Hitter.

    During an interview yesterday, Twins GM Thad Levine wouldn’t single out Sano as someone the club is targeting for high expectations this season. Rather, he said it’s a “big season” for a core of younger players who have been around for awhile, including Jose Berrios, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Garver and Sano. “I think we feel like his (Sano’s) future bears a lot of promise,” Levine said.

    http://shamasportsheadliners.com/

    Win Twins!!

  4. #334

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    C'mon Shama. Minnesota isn't just on pace to break the club record for home runs in a season (225)….they mentioned yesterday during the game after Castro hit the second home run of the game (Buxton hit the first)…..that Minnesota was on pace to break the MLB record for home runs (267) set a year or two ago by the Yankees. Currently on pace to hit 293.14. Of course....the Mariners are on pace to hit 298.8 and the Astros are on pace to hit 305.59. Round however you want.

    Brings up the question of whether the MLB truly is "juicing" the baseballs to increase the number of homeruns. You'd think that the steroid era would have been producing the most homeruns. Individual homeruns sure. But....sure enough....ESPN on their front page today has a story about the death of the .300 hitter. About how total bases may be a more important metric than hitting singles and putting up a good average. A reasonable take. I don't think anyone is pining for the days when Mauer was hitting .330 with ten homeruns when we have guys hitting in the mid-250's and already have ten home runs or close to only a little over a quarter through the season. A single scores zero runs if all we have is a bunch of "piranhas" hitting singles. Things are trending in the direction of power as a more important factor.

    Also worth noting however....that pitching velocity has been steadily increasing over the years....and the number of strikeouts is at another record pace this year.

  5. #335

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    Or players have found a new way to "juice" themselves?
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  6. #336

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    Quote Originally Posted by bottlebass View Post
    Or players have found a new way to "juice" themselves?
    See: La Stella, Tommy

    21 career homeruns; 11 of them this season.

  7. #337

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    I do know the popular conspiracy theory that MLB has juiced the ball but honestly I think it's more likely the players are on new growth hormones that are harder to detect.
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  8. #338
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    Quote Originally Posted by bottlebass View Post
    I do know the popular conspiracy theory that MLB has juiced the ball but honestly I think it's more likely the players are on new growth hormones that are harder to detect.
    Maybe. But I think it is just as likely that players are just stronger than ever, pitchers are throwing faster than ever, and the approach of the batters has changed.

  9. #339

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    Quote Originally Posted by GophersInIowa View Post
    Maybe. But I think it is just as likely that players are just stronger than ever, pitchers are throwing faster than ever, and the approach of the batters has changed.
    Yeah it could be, if that was the case I'd expect a more linear increase year after year. Where something like juicing the balls or a new PED could cause a spike in a single season. Who knows maybe these numbers will fall off and be more average.

    I guess it could also just be more teams are embracing "new baseball" or some of the analytics that say hitting home runs is more beneficial than playing small ball so more and more players now are trying to hit home runs more often no matter what.

    Nah, the steroid guys definitely just found something new.
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  10. #340
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    Quote Originally Posted by bottlebass View Post
    Or players have found a new way to "juice" themselves?
    The minor leagues switched to the major league balls this year and their HR's have doubled. I think it's mostly the ball, though it can obviously be both.

  11. #341

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    Quote Originally Posted by howeda7 View Post
    The minor leagues switched to the major league balls this year and their HR's have doubled. I think it's mostly the ball, though it can obviously be both.
    That's another reason why a lot of people are pointing to the baseballs as a reason why homeruns are increasing in frequency. Something about the makeup of the ball has to be doing something.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  12. #342

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    Quote Originally Posted by howeda7 View Post
    The minor leagues switched to the major league balls this year and their HR's have doubled. I think it's mostly the ball, though it can obviously be both.
    Maybe the minor league'rs are also using the same new PED?

    I kid I kid. I didn't know that about the minor leagues. That's some pretty interesting evidence pointing at something changing in the balls then. But if somehting in the balls changed wouldn't we know? How would MLB keep that quiet?
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  13. #343

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    Quote Originally Posted by bottlebass View Post
    Maybe the minor league'rs are also using the same new PED?

    I kid I kid. I didn't know that about the minor leagues. That's some pretty interesting evidence pointing at something changing in the balls then. But if somehting in the balls changed wouldn't we know? How would MLB keep that quiet?
    I was wondering the same thing. Who knows? The company that produces the baseballs for the MLB may have found some extremely subtle ways to change how the balls are produced without changing their composition.

    But again...guys are also focusing more on power than on average. Average is one of the least important batting metrics I guess.....at least that's according to the ESPN article I read today about .300 BA players disappearing. And I'm assuming that the guys who are determining those things are the newer school analytics guys that are sweeping the old school guys out of the league.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  14. #344
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    Quote Originally Posted by bottlebass View Post
    Maybe the minor league'rs are also using the same new PED?

    I kid I kid. I didn't know that about the minor leagues. That's some pretty interesting evidence pointing at something changing in the balls then. But if somehting in the balls changed wouldn't we know? How would MLB keep that quiet?
    This could go all the way to the Deep State. We may never know.

  15. #345

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    Quote Originally Posted by howeda7 View Post
    This could go all the way to the Deep State. We may never know.
    Oh Geezuz, if we drain this swamp we are going to find thousands of soggy baseballs!

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