2019 Minnesota Twins In-Season Thread

BleedGopher

Active member
Reusse: Even playoff flop reflects positively on Rocco Baldelli

The mismatch that occurred in the first two games of the Division Series in New York exposed so many Twins flaws that it left this impression of manager Rocco Baldelli and his coaching staff:

They did better work than had been imagined in getting all that was available from this ever-changing roster.

The 2019 Twins finished 101-61, the second-highest win total in 59 seasons, as Rocco’s crew was building a viable bullpen, maneuvering around what became a woeful shortage of starting pitchers; surviving with fielding that went from mediocre to a liability after the loss in early August of Byron Buxton, a difference-maker in center field; and moving forward to an AL Central title even after Michael Pineda’s suspension for a masking agent left them woefully short of starters.

All teams deal with injuries, none more so than the Yankees, as they won 103 games.

Max Kepler, Marwin Gonzalez and Luis Arraez all came back from injuries to join Baldelli’s preferred lineup for this series. Giancarlo Stanton and Edwin Encarnacion finally made Yankees manager Aaron Boone’s lineup complete for Game 1.

The result were mismatches, 8-2 and 10-4 for the Yankees.

Twins followers were taking to Twitter to question Baldelli’s pitching decisions — bullpen in Game 1, and rookie Randy Dobnak starting over Jake Odorizzi in Game 2.

My reaction in the TV den was different: “This ballclub won 101 games? Yay, Rocco and cohorts.”

Baldelli was hired last Oct. 25 at age 37. Rick Shelton remained as a bench coach and James Rowson and Rudy Hernandez as hitting coaches. Four other coaches were new, including pitching coach Wes Johnson directly from the University of Arkansas.

Outreach and ideas for improvement started immediately. Baldelli went to the Dominican Republic to visit Miguel Sano, after the big man’s wasted 2018. Mitch Garver was given a plan to improve his catching. Tyler Duffey received a visit in Houston from Johnson with a plan to get off the MSP/Rochester, N.Y., shuttle and become a quality reliever.

The hitters were encouraged to enter the launch angle era, with longtime launcher Nelson Cruz joining as the leader of this new attack.

Dustin Morse, Twins communications director, watched some Twins bashing in exhibitions and said one afternoon: “This team is going to score 800 runs.” And then they bashed some more and Morse said to Derek Falvey, the baseball CEO, “We might score 900 runs.”

Falvey said, “Relax.’’

And then the Twins scored 939 runs, with 307 home runs.

Sano might be Example A that talent is slow to be written off in RoccoBall.

http://www.startribune.com/even-playoff-flop-reflects-positively-on-rocco-baldelli/562365192/

Win Twins!!
 

Bad Gopher

A Loner, A Rebel
People keep saying this but no one can ever produce a quote or an article that the Twins said this specifically.

This offseason is a rare one where there could be multiple stud pitchers free agents. That rarely happens. When they signed Lynn a few years ago, he was a Top 10 free agent. Like I just said in the previous post, MN will never be a top destination for top pitchers. They have to develop them.
Nobody said it would be an easy sell, but you have to try. The Twins have more positives to sell than almost every other franchise, including a record breaking offense that just needs some pitching to get to the next level. If you can't sell that...
 

Bad Gopher

A Loner, A Rebel
Everybody is going to be in on Cole. And Strasburg, if he opts out.
When Houston traded for Cole, he was a .500 pitcher with a 4.26 ERA. They bought at the right time, thinking he could regain his previous command. The Twins need to find a guy like that who develops into an ace because they are never going to pay premium free agent money to get one.
The Twins have taken a quantum leap in player development since the new management team came in and subsequently the new coaching team. The Astros are still on a whole 'nother level, though, and the Twins need to aspire to that level. That includes everyone upping their game, including Wes Johnson. Then THEY'LL be the team that coaches someone like Cole to unseen heights, making the Twins the place free agent pitchers want to sign.
 

GophersInIowa

Active member
Nobody said it would be an easy sell, but you have to try. The Twins have more positives to sell than almost every other franchise, including a record breaking offense that just needs some pitching to get to the next level. If you can't sell that...
And I didn’t say they shouldn’t try. Maybe they’ll get lucky but the chances are very slim. More than likely the only way to land a free agent pitcher of this caliber is to significantly outbid everyone else. And then you run the risk of that player not living up to the huge contract (which happens more times than not).

Again not saying they shouldn’t try or shouldn’t take a risk sometimes. I just think some fans act like if they just throw in an extra million they’d land these guys and that they will continue to preform at a high level. It’s usually not nearly that simple.
 

howeda7

Active member
Of course not. The Pohlad boys will never have as much money as Steinbrenner's kids.
They may have as much money, but neither lose $ on their franchises. The Yankees probably make 4 x as much just on local TV alone. The current gap in payrolls ($200 vs $125) is lower than it's been in a while
 

JimmyJamesMD

Active member
Hopefully Odo goes in there and throws strikes tonight. Make the Yankees earn it. Life is easy when you get walked 8 times in a game and hit ahead in the count all game.
 

Bad Gopher

A Loner, A Rebel
They may have as much money, but neither lose $ on their franchises. The Yankees probably make 4 x as much just on local TV alone. The current gap in payrolls ($200 vs $125) is lower than it's been in a while
I for one do not understand the fatalism. If the Royals can do it, the Twins can do it. I think it's excuse making on the part of the fans for the club.
 

dpodoll68

Elite Poster
I for one do not understand the fatalism. If the Royals can do it, the Twins can do it. I think it's excuse making on the part of the fans for the club.
Yup. It's odd how many Twins fans (including especially Howie on this board) want to make excuses for why the Twins won't (not can't) spend more. The "small market" nonsense was never really true at any point and especially isn't true now. The Pohlads and their minions have done a fantastic job over the decades creating and marketing the false impression that the Twins are the "little engine that could" and that we're lucky to even be in the same league as the Yankees and the Dodgers, much less hope to ever compete with them.
 

GophersInIowa

Active member
I for one do not understand the fatalism. If the Royals can do it, the Twins can do it. I think it's excuse making on the part of the fans for the club.
The Royals are actually a bad example of spending to win. They had a middle of the road payroll the year they won it. Most of their team was made up of homegrown guys.
 

howeda7

Active member
I for one do not understand the fatalism. If the Royals can do it, the Twins can do it. I think it's excuse making on the part of the fans for the club.
I'm not being fatalistic. It's easier to win a WS with a $200 million payroll but it's not required. The Royals didn't win by spending big $$.

Our goal should not be to emulate the Royals or Rays or A's anyway. It should be to emulate the Cardinals. A mid-market team that draws well, has a payroll in the upper half, wins consistently and has a legit chance to advance in the play-offs each year. I do think the Twins can/should spend $140-$150 in the years they have a shot.
 
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howeda7

Active member
If anybody's going to stick to the script, it's Jake. Beyond him, though...
If they win tonight they pretty much have to start Berrios on 3 days rest tomorrow. Smelzer was the only other option and he threw a ton of pitches on Saturday. I suppose they could go straight bullpen game, but depending on how it goes today that will be tough. I'd start Berrios and hope he can give you 3-4 innings.
 

GophersInIowa

Active member
Yup. It's odd how many Twins fans (including especially Howie on this board) want to make excuses for why the Twins won't (not can't) spend more. The "small market" nonsense was never really true at any point and especially isn't true now. The Pohlads and their minions have done a fantastic job over the decades creating and marketing the false impression that the Twins are the "little engine that could" and that we're lucky to even be in the same league as the Yankees and the Dodgers, much less hope to ever compete with them.
The numbers say it's true though. Forbes listed them as the 23rd highest value out of 30 teams. Last year the Twins spent 56% of their revenue on player expenses (salary, bonuses, etc). The Yankees spent just 29%. https://www.forbes.com/mlb-valuations/list/#tab:eek:verall

Doesn't mean they shouldn't try to spend at times. Just have to be more selective. My expectations would be to have a top 20 payroll most years except when they're in a complete rebuilding situation. Then be up in the 10-12 range when they're contending.
 

howeda7

Active member
The numbers say it's true though. Forbes listed them as the 23rd highest value out of 30 teams. Last year the Twins spent 56% of their revenue on player expenses (salary, bonuses, etc). The Yankees spent just 29%. https://www.forbes.com/mlb-valuations/list/#tab:eek:verall

Doesn't mean they shouldn't try to spend at times. Just have to be more selective. My expectations would be to have a top 20 payroll most years except when they're in a complete rebuilding situation. Then be up in the 10-12 range when they're contending.
+1. I'm not suggesting they shouldn't spend more. They should, especially for the next 2-3 years when they have a window. It's just impractical to expect it to be up there with the Yankees and Dodgers. The Tigers did that and are paying for it big time and they didn't even get the pay-off.
 
In terms of acquiring pitching, I would think the odds are better of getting a #1 or #2 pitcher in a trade as opposed to free agency.

So far at least, Falvine have shown a real reluctance to sign free agents to long-term, big-buck deals. Maybe that will change.

But, I suspect the blueprint is to build from the farm system, and when they get to the point where they need one more piece to finish the puzzle, then go out and trade for a top pitcher - or possibly sign a free-agent if they can get someone on a 2 or 3-year deal. I just don't think the Twins will ever go out and sign a pitcher to one of these 7-year, $200-million deals. too much risk involved - sign a guy to one of those deals, and if he comes down with arm problems, you're stuck with the contract.

So my guess is that they will target some pitcher in a trade - maybe a guy on the way up who can be acquired without mortgaging the farm system.
 

bottlebass

Main Member
In terms of acquiring pitching, I would think the odds are better of getting a #1 or #2 pitcher in a trade as opposed to free agency.

So far at least, Falvine have shown a real reluctance to sign free agents to long-term, big-buck deals. Maybe that will change.

But, I suspect the blueprint is to build from the farm system, and when they get to the point where they need one more piece to finish the puzzle, then go out and trade for a top pitcher - or possibly sign a free-agent if they can get someone on a 2 or 3-year deal. I just don't think the Twins will ever go out and sign a pitcher to one of these 7-year, $200-million deals. too much risk involved - sign a guy to one of those deals, and if he comes down with arm problems, you're stuck with the contract.

So my guess is that they will target some pitcher in a trade - maybe a guy on the way up who can be acquired without mortgaging the farm system.
I would have believed this post if you posted it back in June.... But we all saw how this season went with trades...
 

GophersInIowa

Active member
I would have believed this post if you posted it back in June.... But we all saw how this season went with trades...
The trade deadline this year was a weird one. A lot of teams needed starting pitching yet very few made moves. My opinion is to see how the next few years turn out before we start saying "same old Twins". I think we're just at the beginning of a good stretch.
 

Bad Gopher

A Loner, A Rebel
The Royals are actually a bad example of spending to win. They had a middle of the road payroll the year they won it. Most of their team was made up of homegrown guys.
Well, that proves it all the more. The ability to augment with free agent star power makes it that much more doable.
 

Bad Gopher

A Loner, A Rebel
I'm not being fatalistic. It's easier to win a WS with a $200 million payroll but it's not required. The Royals didn't win by spending big $$.

Our goal should not be to emulate the Royals or Rays or A's anyway. It should be to emulate the Cardinals. A mid-market team that draws well, has a payroll in the upper half, wins consistently and has a legit chance to advance in the play-offs each year. I do think the Twins can/should spend $140-$150 in the years they have a shot.
Not arguing; totally with you.
 

Bad Gopher

A Loner, A Rebel
In terms of acquiring pitching, I would think the odds are better of getting a #1 or #2 pitcher in a trade as opposed to free agency.

So far at least, Falvine have shown a real reluctance to sign free agents to long-term, big-buck deals. Maybe that will change.

But, I suspect the blueprint is to build from the farm system, and when they get to the point where they need one more piece to finish the puzzle, then go out and trade for a top pitcher - or possibly sign a free-agent if they can get someone on a 2 or 3-year deal. I just don't think the Twins will ever go out and sign a pitcher to one of these 7-year, $200-million deals. too much risk involved - sign a guy to one of those deals, and if he comes down with arm problems, you're stuck with the contract.

So my guess is that they will target some pitcher in a trade - maybe a guy on the way up who can be acquired without mortgaging the farm system.
They threw a good deal of money at Darvish. The word has been that they'd like to build relief pitching from within but are open to free agent starters. So far, that seems to be holding true.
 

howeda7

Active member
The trade deadline this year was a weird one. A lot of teams needed starting pitching yet very few made moves. My opinion is to see how the next few years turn out before we start saying "same old Twins". I think we're just at the beginning of a good stretch.
You hope so. But Cleveland won 90-some games this year while re-building. They're not going anywhere. The White Sox and Royals will be better too. We could be good next year and still miss the play-offs. Which is why punting this year at the trade deadline was so frustrating.
 

GopherJake

Active member
Why in the hell was Odo pulled? He was sitting at 81 pitches. And long rest between starts. WTF?
 
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howeda7

Active member
We cannot catch a break. Gaver is about to walk the bases loaded in the 4th, ump calls a pitch 6 inches high a strike. Sano lines one to right, 7"0" Judge catches it.
 
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