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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Twins to play 2 games in Puerto Rico in 2018

The Minnesota Twins will host the Indians in Puerto Rico for two games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico next season, the team announced Wednesday…..

To be held April 17-18, 2018, the trip will be legitimate “home games” for four Twins players with roots in Puerto Rico. Starting pitcher Jose Berrios, outfielder Eddie Rosario and slugger Kennys Vargas were born there, and left-handed pitcher Hector Santiago’s grandparents hail from Puerto Rico.

All four players suited up for Puerto Rico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, where they made a deep run in the tournament but lost to the United States 8-0 in the championship.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2017 at 04:54 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, puerto rico, twins

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How the Twins are proving the value of defense

I see three reasons they could be a model for other clubs. For one, defense is cheap. The 10 players with the most fielding runs over the past three seasons generated 90.6 wins above replacement in that span, according to FanGraphs. They are earning a total of $70.4 million this year, or about $776,500 per WAR since 2015. The 10 best hitters have 143.8 WAR and are costing their teams $153.1 million in 2017, or 37 percent more per win. Those numbers are skewed, because some of MLB’s best defenders haven’t yet reached free agency. But Rob Arthur of FiveThirtyEight recently studied all open-market contracts for non-catchers since 2006 and found something even more drastic: Front offices paid more than twice as much for offense as for defense. His results were so stark that Arthur wondered whether the “metrics might just be wrong.” But the publicly available stats seem reasonable, rating players like Kevin Kiermaier and Brandon Crawford as defensive wizards. I think it’s more probable that most teams just don’t yet pay for runs prevented the way they’ll pay Nelson Cruz or Edwin Encarnacion for their runs created.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2017 at 06:30 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, twins

Twins pummel Mariners behind club-record 28 hits

This is run support.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2017 at 06:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Twins take California high school shortstop Royce Lewis

With the flatter bonus structure, some analysts have said it will be more difficult to use the extra slot money to make an impact. We’ll see how much the Twins will save with this pick and what they can do with it. Boras gets to add another 1st overall pick to his portfolio.

Lewis becomes the 11th first-overall pick advised by powerful agent Scott Boras. That run started in 1983 with small college right-hander Tim Belcher, who didn’t sign with the Twins, and now includes six of the past 12 top overall picks.

The Twins took Joe Mauer in 2001 the only other time they held the No. 1 pick.

Slot value for the No. 1 overall pick this year is $7.77 million, but the Twins aren’t expected to pay that much to steer Lewis away from a University of California, Irvine commitment. The slot value at No. 35 is $1.94 million, while the 37th pick comes with an approved limit of $1.85 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2017 at 06:45 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft, royce lewis, twins

Monday, June 12, 2017

Explaining the economics behind Twins’ draft indecision

According to Baseball America, a Twins official said signability “will play a significant role.” With Twins general manager Thad Levine already on record as saying there is no “generational talent” in this year’s draft pool — no matter what Sports Illustrated would have you believe about Greene — it stands to reason the Twins will look for value.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:55 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft, twins

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Tyler Duffey has evolved - Twinkie Town

Some interesting analysis of Tyler Duffey.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 07, 2017 at 11:09 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: twins, tyler duffey

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Heyman: Twins expected to pass on Hunter Greene

Word is, barring a late change the Minnesota Twins will pass on prep pitching phenom Hunter Greene, which means there still wouldn’t have been a high school righty ever picked No 1 overall.

Greene has hit 100 mph and he’s seen as an extremely fine and polished young man, as Lee Jenkins wrote in a Sports Illustrated cover story. He also is a very good shortstop, but he’s seen as a pitcher in pro ball and most see a prep pitcher as a gamble at No. 1.

The choice seems to have come down to Vanderbilt pitcher Kyle Wright, Louisville pitcher/first baseman Brendan McKay and San Juan Capistrano Junipero Serra shortstop Royce Lewis, with rivals suggesting they see Wright as the most likely of the three.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 25, 2017 at 02:24 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: draft prospects, hunter greene, twins

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How a Defensive Leap Has Fueled the Twins’ First-Place Run

It’s in the third phase of the game, defense, that the 2017 Twins exhibit signs of a remarkable turnaround. Last year, the Twins supplemented a bad pitching staff with a porous defense, which ranked 28th or 29th in MLB by all three major advanced defensive metrics. This year, the staff is just as poor, but it’s supported by a defense that leads the majors with 27 defensive runs saved — no other team exceeds 17 — and ranks second in fielding runs above average and third in ultimate zone rating. The effect on the Twins’ bottom line is stark: Last year they allowed 5.49 runs per game, just six-thousandths of a decimal point out of last place, but this year they’re allowing 4.58 per game, directly in line with the league average.

The Twins’ transformation from MLB’s worst team to a division leader — albeit one that’s unlikely to maintain its current pace — is attributable mainly to that defensive leap.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 23, 2017 at 02:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, twins

Thursday, May 18, 2017

LaTroy Hawkins says Tommy Kahnle “one of the worst teammates I’ve ever had in my life.”

Former major league reliever LaTroy Hawkins pitched for a lot of teams, two of which were the Twins and Rockies. As it happened, the Twins were in town to visit the Rockies. Hawkins, now a member of the Twins’ broadcast team, told a story on air about he and former teammate Tommy Kahnle got into a fight back in 2014 when the latter was a rookie. Hawkins’ partner, Dick Bremer, tried to create a way for him to sugarcoat what he said, but Hawkins didn’t bite, calling Kahnle “one of the worst teammates I’ve ever had in my life.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:17 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: latroy hawkins, rockies, tommy kahnle, twins

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Twins defense is propping up a staggering pitching staff - Twinkie Town

An interesting comparison using Catch Probability. (Cubs fans should pass by this link.)

Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2017 at 11:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast, twins

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pretty in pink: See Buxton’s gorgeous grab | MLB.com

This guy is pretty, pretty good with the glove.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 15, 2017 at 06:46 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, defense, twins

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Twins’ Byron Buxton shows off blazing speed | MLB.com

This guy is a special player. He just needs to be a more consistent hitter to be a star.

Edit: Aaron Gleeman wrote a little about Buxton today over at BP.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 04, 2017 at 06:51 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, twins

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Former Red Sox player, scout Sam Mele dies at 95

Former Red Sox player and longtime instructor and scout Sam Mele died last night at his home in Quincy. He was 95.

Born Sabath Anthony Mele, he signed as an amateur free agent with the Red Sox prior to the 1946 season. He went on to play 1,046 games over 10 seasons, including parts of five with the Sox (1947-49, 1954-55). He hit .278 for Boston over that span, including .302 as a rookie in 1947.

Mele went into coaching after his playing career and managed the Minnesota Twins for parts of seven seasons (1961-67). He was named the Sporting News’ Manager of the Year in 1965 after leading Minnesota to an AL pennant-winning record of 102-60.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 10:29 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, red sox, sam mele, twins

Mock Draft: Twins grab McKay, Greene to Reds

1. Twins
Callis: Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville. While Minnesota is considering as many as seven candidates, most teams at the top of the Draft believe McKay will be the pick. Whether it’s as a first baseman or a left-handed starter remains to be seen.
Mayo: McKay. It’s still unclear whether he’ll be drafted as a hitter or a pitcher, regardless of what team takes McKay, but it does seem almost certain he’ll go in the top few picks.
2. Reds
Callis: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, Calif.). He may not become the first high school right-hander ever taken No. 1 overall, but Greene won’t get past the first three selections.
Mayo: Greene. He’s still very much in the mix at No. 1 and likely still very much desired by the Padres at No. 3, though it’s hard to see Cincinnati passing up the opportunity to add Greene’s arm and athleticism.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 11:54 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brendan mckay, draft, hunter greene, jim callis, mock draft, reds, twins

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tempers flare in Tigers-Twins; Matt Boyd, Miguel Sano ejected

Tempers flared in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game in Minnesota after Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Boyd threw behind Twins first baseman Miguel Sano.

Sano pointed at Boyd. Tigers catcher James McCann came up and exchanged words with Sano, who reacted by landing a punch to McCann’s protective gear.

Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos came running in, yelling at Boyd. Both teams came into the field before order was restored.

Boyd and Sano were both ejected. It was the first career ejection for Boyd and second for Sano.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 22, 2017 at 05:24 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, tigers, twins

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

MN Twins, Byron Buxton’s struggles mount in Detroit Tigers loss

He needs the day off to get his head in a better place.

“It’s all about trusting the process,” Dozier said of Buxton. “He’s learning that. We all have gone through it. If the stats aren’t there in September, then we’ll talk.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2017 at 11:20 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, twins

Monday, April 10, 2017

Twins considering Louisville lefty Brendan McKay for top pick

A franchise doesn’t get 1/1 in the draft every year.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 10, 2017 at 08:36 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Twins’ CBO Derek Falvey showed initiative, grit from the start

But is it Derek Jeter grit?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: derek falvey, twins

Friday, March 31, 2017

Byung Ho Park is a Red Wing, Not a Twin (at Least For Now) | FanGraphs Baseball

The Twins wanted 8 relievers. Eight. 8. Relievers. One catcher. Two back up position players.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 06:11 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: byung ho park, twins

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

One year later, ByungHo Park settles in as DH for Twins - StarTribune.com

How to lose a job.

Park slugged a cut fastball from Tampa Bay righthander Austin Pruitt several rows deep into the seats in right-center at Hammond Field during the seventh inning, providing all the offense Minnesota would need to win for the first time since last Thursday. It was Park’s fifth home run of the spring, two more than any teammate, and an effective punctuation mark on a solid bounce-back spring.

It also drained any drama out of the battle to be the Twins’ designated hitter. Molitor said roster moves will come Wednesday that will provide “a fair amount of clarity” about the remaining roster competitions, but with Park batting .362 this spring and Kennys Vargas absent for weeks at the World Baseball Classic and now hobbled because of a bruised foot, it’s difficult to imagine Park heading anywhere this weekend but Target Field.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2017 at 07:02 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: byung-ho park, kennys vargas, twins

Monday, March 27, 2017

Twins’ attempt to chart fatigue raises concerns with players union

“I think it’s a very dangerous proposition to start taking data that’s generated internally by an individual player,” Tony Clark, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said this spring. “The value of that data, how that data can be used, is a very dangerous, very delicate conversation to have.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2017 at 12:51 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, twins

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Twins’ option struggling, ‘overthinking’ J.T. Chargois

Updates on the spring.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 25, 2017 at 08:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Twins’ Byron Buxton remembers the fun part of baseball

I’m buying in.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 10:12 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, twins

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Twins pitcher Gibson tossing out traditional training methods - StarTribune.com

The drills are meant to retrain Gibson and alter his throwing motion, so he holds the ball more upright, at an angle of less than 90 degrees, which enables him to reach his release point more directly. That, combined with a de-emphasis on extending his arm after releasing the ball, has dramatically reduced the amount of stress on his pitching shoulder.

And so almost every morning before training camp workouts, Gibson goes through a series of unusual throwing exercises, using a balloon-sized rubber ball, an oversized glove that looks like a stocking cap covering his right hand, and a set of hardballs of varying weights. Keeping pressure on the large ball insures his arm doesn’t extend outward too far. The ball he releases into the giant glove acclimates his shoulder to a shorter post-release extension.

“I know how it looks. I hear about it from the guys,” Gibson said. “It’s not easy, because I’ve pitched the same way for 20 years. But I can feel a huge difference in my shoulder and my back.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 06:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kyle gibson, pitching mechanics, twins

Monday, February 20, 2017

Manny Ramirez gave hitting lessons to Twins’ Kennys Vargas

Now Vargas needs to execute on Manny’s tips.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2017 at 11:11 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: kennys vargas, manny ramirez, twins

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