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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Willians Astudillo Should Be Your New Favorite Player

Just in case you old fogies aren’t aware of this entertaining fellow:

His build can generously be described as “sturdy” and less generously described as “stubby,” all squat and densely packed. Astudillo is 5’ 9” and 225 pounds…

In 20 major league games, Astudillo has been behind the plate scarcely half the time. Otherwise? He’s filled in at second base, third base, left field, and he’s even done a brief stint in center. And, oh, yes, he made a pitching appearance, too…

But there’s something quite remarkable about what he’s done on this path. Astudillo, at every single level, has maintained a weirdly intense approach to plate discipline. He does not walk, and he does not strike out. He has never wavered in that austerity. As baseball becomes increasingly centered on the three true outcomes, Astudillo seeks his truth elsewhere.

PreservedFish Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Monday, September 17, 2018

Twins’ Tyler Austin on nasty spill: ‘The wall kind of snuck up on me’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Twins first baseman Tyler Austin said he was OK after landing on his back as he made a terrific but scary catch on a foul pop-up in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Royals.

Austin, who has been dealing with back soreness that has affected his playing time, was replaced in the lineup an inning after flipping head first over a padded railing and falling about six feet onto concrete in an unoccupied section of sunken seats along the first-base line. Austin easily could have landed on an empty seat, or his head. Teammates and medical staff rushed to his aid, but Austin calmed them down.

“The wall kind of snuck up on me,” Austin said. “I landed straight on my back, and it’s been taking a beating, but I feel good right now. I just wish there had been some people sitting in that section, they might have helped me out a little bit.”

Walls have a nasty habit of doing things like that.

QLE Posted: September 17, 2018 at 09:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: injury, twins, tyler austin

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Twins’ Joe Mauer To Consider Retiring After Season

What could lead Mauer to retire? His slip in production at the plate is one. The plight of the Twins — a roster makeover began at the trade deadline and will continue into the offseason — is another. So is family. He and his wife, Maddie, are expecting their third child around Thanksgiving. Mauer spoke of how busy he has been helping get his twin daughters ready for another school year. The events of May 11 also will be considered. That’s when Mauer, during a game in Anaheim, dived after a foul ball and hit the back of his head on the ground. A sore neck turned into a cervical strain with a concussion. Mauer ended up missing 25 games.

This may wind up being the Joe Mauer farewell tour. What do Minnesotans put in their gift baskets?

caspian88 Posted: September 13, 2018 at 06:07 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, joe mauer, retirements, twins

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Twins hope to ‘make amends’ with Byron Buxton and his agents

At least he’ll only have one option left at the end of the year. With his play this year I can’t see him winning his grievance.

While Buxton, a Platinum Glove Award winner in 2017, will be eligible for salary arbitration for the first time this winter as a so-called “Super 2” player, he will fall 13 days shy of the service time threshold that would give him three full years in the majors. Barring a successful grievance from Buxton’s agents, B.B. Abbott and Al Goetz, the Twins now gain an extra year of club control over Buxton for 2022, his age-28 season.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 02, 2018 at 07:14 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, cba, service time, twins

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Padres acquire Phil Hughes from Twins, but he’s probably not why they made the deal

In all likelihood, the Padres made this deal despite Hughes’s inclusion rather than because of it. In exchange for taking on less than $7 million in 2019 money, the Padres will net the 74th pick in the draft. (Remember, the competitive balance picks are tradeable.) This will again give the Padres four picks in the top-84, beginning with pick No. 7—they’d previously surrendered their second-round pick to sign Eric Hosmer. In addition, the Padres will pick 38th and 84th


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Twins part with Phil Hughes despite owing him more than $22 million

The lingering uncertainty over Phil Hughes’ role on the Twins is finally over. There isn’t one.

The veteran righthander, who hoped to capture a spot in the starting rotation during spring training, then tried to fill a vague, undefined bullpen role when that didn’t work, was designated for assignment following Monday’s game, a reluctant acknowledgement by the Twins that they can wait no longer to figure out how to use him.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Twins special assistant Jim Kaat wants to see baseball go to 7-inning games

Kaat’s primary points about the change include the fact it would restore the importance of starting pitchers, with the starter going five and then the setup man and closer taking over; the size of pitching staffs could be reduced (clearly this has no chance of flying with the union); and teams could bring back four-man starting rotations.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Many Twins players embrace extra-innings rules changes, but not what’s happening in the minors

“Doesn’t seem fair,” said Duffey, the Twins righthander who is currently back at Class AAA. “Doesn’t seem like baseball.”

That’s a common complaint as minor league baseball implements the experimental rules, designed to address what some consider a scourge and others view as a blessing: extra innings.

Interesting to see some feedback on the recent changes.


Hochman: Ex-Cardinal Lynn jaded by free-agency experience

“Maybe I’ll just go on and be a hired gun the rest of my career, I don’t really care,” Lynn said in his monotone voice. “If somebody gives me a chance to pitch, I’m going to go do it, I’m not worried about anything else. It’s kind of been who I’ve been my whole life. I’m going to take the ball and I’m going to try to help the team win.

“That’s kind of the unfortunate business part of baseball now. I was here for seven years and there’s no loyalty in the game. So as players, you’ve noticed players not having the loyalty anymore either. Until some of the things get cleaned up with the way the game’s going, the direction, that’s how it’s going to be.


Friday, May 04, 2018

The history of MLB rocking the blues

Powder blues picked up steam throughout the rest of the 1970s and hit their high-water mark in 1980 and ‘81, when there were 11 blue-clad teams. Two of them—the Phillies and the Royals—faced each other in the 1980 World Series, marking the first time powder blues had appeared in the Fall Classic.


Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Sano ‘not making a lot of progress’; Twins might consider DL

Miguel Sano tried to run in the outfield before batting practice on Monday, “and it didn’t go particularly well,’ Twins manager Paul Molitor said. So the Twins’ third baseman is not in the lineup for a third consecutive game tonight, and a stint on the disabled list is becoming more likely.

Sano felt tightness in his left hamstring on Friday night, and he hasn’t played since. “He’s not making a lot of progress,” Molitor said. “I was hoping by Day 3 we’d be seeing [him] a little bit better, being in a better position to get him back in the lineup.”

Maybe if he lost some of that weight….

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 01, 2018 at 01:39 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: injury, miguel sano, twins

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Twins lose to Reds and are desperately looking for cures

Not even a month of baseball has been played and the Twins already have used 17 pitchers, including outfielder Ryan LaMarre. And a loss like Friday’s, a four-hour 15-9 bludgeoning to the Reds at Target Field, could lead to more changes.

Molitor’s office was closed longer than usual while the Twins discussed changes to the pitching staff. They designated righthander David Hale for assignment and will call up a replacement Saturday.

“We’re looking at a lot of options about what we can do,” Molitor said.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 28, 2018 at 11:22 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: reds, twins

Monday, April 02, 2018

Twins win with 2 Dozier HRs, Berrios shutout | MLB.com

You can’t bunt against the shift?

This is dumb.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 02, 2018 at 10:31 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

OTP 2018 Apr 2: This Opening Day, keep baseball pure—and keep the politics out of it

In a year when American culture seems to be dissolving before our very eyes in the shadow of a political discourse that often seems as turbid as it is abhorrent, there’s always baseball.

I grew up the daughter of a man who loved baseball; over the years my Mom learned to enjoy it just as much. My dad played it, listened to it, watched it, collected cards of players he admired. I can’t even pinpoint my first baseball experience, such is the way the entirety of the game enveloped around and melded into my childhood memories.

 


Sunday, April 01, 2018

Papke: Twins angry after Orioles bunt against shift in 9th

It’s never too early in the season for the “unwritten rules” to rear its ugly head…

We already knew that bunting for a hit with a no-hitter in progress is against baseball’s so-called “unwritten rules.” This, however, was only a one-hitter.

What’s more, the Twins were putting their shift in action against Sisco, meaning they clearly still saw merit in going out of their way defensively to prevent the catcher from getting on base. If Minnesota feels justified in doing that, why is Sisco in the wrong for taking advantage of their defensive alignment and getting himself an easy single? You don’t get to employ a certain strategy in a blowout and then get upset when an opponent exploits it instead of rolling over and playing dead. It’s a silly controversy, and the Twins don’t look good for whining about it afterward.

Stormy JE Posted: April 01, 2018 at 08:44 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: bunting, idiotic philosophies, orioles, shift, twins, unwritten rules

Friday, March 30, 2018


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Orlando Cabrera To Retire From Baseball

OH NO, EXPO!

Last season, Orlando Cabrera batted .238 with the Indians and Giants, posting a 61 OPS+. The season before that, he posted a 76 OPS+. The season before that, he posted an 85 OPS+. Orlando Cabrera has been declining, and just turned 37 years old. As a free agent, Cabrera didn’t drum up much interest, which I’m guessing is why he’s intending to hang ‘em up. Enrique Rojas:

  “Orlando Cabrera to retire from baseball, he said in Colombia radio station. Thanks for memories!”

Cabrera had a long career that’ll be difficult to forget. He debuted with the Expos in 1997, and remained there until the giant Nomar Garciaparra three-way trade in 2004. That year, with the Red Sox, Cabrera won a World Series. He wound up with the Angels, earning the unfortunate nickname “The Wizard of O.C.”, and then he wound up with the White Sox, and the A’s, and the Twins, and the Reds, and the Indians, and the Giants ... He remained a shortstop to the end, and collected 2,055 hits. He will always be remembered as a pest. An absolute pest.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 09:06 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, athletics, expos, giants, indians, red sox, reds, twins, white sox

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Zumaya agrees to deal with Twins

Game on!

The Tigers could end up seeing a lot of Joel Zumaya this year after all. It’ll just be in a different uniform, albeit an awfully familiar one.

After throwing for teams in December and holding out for a roster spot and the right situation, Zumaya has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Twins, the reliever told MLB.com. The two sides spent Saturday putting together a deal that could pay him anywhere from $800,000 to $1.7 million if he reaches incentives.

A Twins official would neither confirm nor deny the deal to MLB.com, but said they’ve been in negotiations since December.

Zumaya weighed what he called “good offers” from three other clubs,  but the Twins included guaranteed money rather than a minor-league deal with a Spring Training invite. If he’s healthy, they’ll bring him to the same mound at Target Field where he last threw a Major League pitch. He fractured his elbow throwing for the Tigers against the Twins on June 28, 2010.

Repoz Posted: January 15, 2012 at 03:00 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers, twins

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Friday, January 13, 2012

BBPro:  Heartburn Hardball - Jack Morris in Motion

Morris, who was the face of the Detroit Tigers’ pitching staff for the entirety of the eighties before spending the early nineties hopping between the Twins, Blue Jays, and Indians, has every right to be thrilled at the news. And the rest of us, especially those who were too young to see him pitch, have every right to ask…why Jack Morris? Why now?

To answer that question, I decide to watch the most famous performance of his career, the game that proved once and for all that he was a true ace and a true winner.

....

The Twins will win 1-0 in the bottom of the 10th, winning the second World Series title in franchise history and solidifying Jack Morris’s place in baseball history.

And when it’s over, I will be more convinced than ever that Jack Morris is not a Hall of Fame pitcher.

 

 

Completely Unbiased 3rd Party Lurker Posted: January 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hall of fame, tigers, twins

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Goldman: Bernie Williams vs. Kirby Puckett

Let’s ask Erardi!...okay, maybe not.

I was watching the Hall of Fame announcement show on the MLB Network on Monday–congratulations to a very deserving Barry Larkin–and something Peter Gammons said as an aside in a discussion of Bernie Williams’ suitability for the Hall of Fame stuck with me: “He wasn’t as good as Kirby Puckett,” the Great Gammo almost muttered, as they cut to a commercial break.

I haven’t been able to put that comment out of my mind, because I’m not certain why Gammons is so sure. Both were excellent hitters with very different skills who nonetheless arrived at similar results. Puckett was short and stout, Williams long and lithe. Puckett reaped a huge benefit from his Metrodome home park, hitting .344/.388/.521 at home, .291/.331/.430 on the road. Williams was about the same hitter everywhere. Both were Gold Glove center fielders who won several of the defensive awards with their bats. Both won a single batting title. Puckett led the AL in hits four times; Williams walked too much to compete in that department.

Career-wise, Williams looks a little worse overall, but that’s because his peak isn’t quite so high and his career is a little longer. Due to glaucoma, Puckett’s career came to an abrupt end, depriving him of a decline phase, whereas Williams got to play until he was no longer useful. If you consider both through their age-35 seasons, it’s a virtual tie: Williams had hit .301/.388/.488 in 1804 games, while Puckett hit .318/.360/.477 in 1783 games.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:52 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, twins, yankees

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Greatest Animated Sports .GIFs of 2011

32. Cliff Lee declines to run out his own grounder

I’m a firm opponent of the designated hitter rule, because just as I love to watch a punter try to scoop up a bad snap and try to throw it, or see a 7’1” center with no range try to chuck up a last-second three, I love watching pitchers hit.

Never will I come closer to seeing what it would be like if someone with my skill set tried to perform on a professional level. I mean, how nuts is this: in the National League, five to 10 percent of all at-bats are taken by men who, by everyone’s admission, are profoundly bad at it! It’s Dada performance art, and the ubiquity of such comical nonsense—over the course of a game, a season, and the history of baseball—is unrivaled by anything in any other sport.

This GIF features a delightful bonus: the catcher starts jogging to the dugout well before the play ends. It’s beautiful.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:33 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, online, phillies, twins

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jason Marquis, Twins agree on deal

Marquis de Target Field?

Gamingboy Posted: December 22, 2011 at 08:46 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Mackey: Don’t laugh, but healthy Mauer, Morneau vault offense near top ?

Leapin’ Lavillenie’s! Good luck with that.

- The team run total projection was derived by using David Smyth’s base runs estimator formula—a formula that is generally accurate within 10-15 runs.

...- The biggest reason for the jump in runs, besides health, would be due to a massive injection of on-base percentage—specifically with Carroll and Willingham. Mauer and Morneau are on-base machines as well, when healthy.

- If any of these players performs better or worse than the numbers listed, the overall run total of the team will obviously be affected. In other words, if Morneau struggles like he did last season, all bets are off—and 771 runs could turn into 720 or fewer, and so on.

- Plate appearances for each player were rough estimates, and they may be optimistic in the cases of Span, Mauer and Morneau.

- It’s highly likely the Twins will use more than the 13 batters listed. In that case, the additional players will cut into the playing time of those listed above (Drew Butera and Joe Benson, for instance). Those additional players may or may not affect the overall end run total.

Scoring 771 runs would have ranked the Twins fourth in baseball last season behind the Red Sox (875), Yankees (867), Rangers (855) and Tigers (787).

But what are the chances Mauer and Morneau are healthy and productive for six months?

 

Repoz Posted: December 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, sabermetrics, twins

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kubel, D-backs reach two-year deal

Heyman says 2 years, $15 million. That is one expensive pinch hitter!

The D-backs have agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder Jason Kubel on a two-year contract with an option, a baseball source confirmed Monday.

The move is somewhat surprising in that the D-backs had not been linked in any rumors to Kubel, nor had they been rumored to be in the market for an outfielder.

Kubel, 29, hit .273 with 12 home runs and 58 RBIs for the Twins in 2011. He was originally drafted by Minnesota in the 12th round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft…

Over his career, Kubel has split his time between the outfield corners. With the D-backs, it would appear that he would become the starting left fielder with Gerardo Parra being shifted to a fourth outfield position, or used in a trade to acquire another position of need.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 19, 2011 at 03:10 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, twins

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