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Friday, April 26, 2019

Twins backup Astudillo’s cult hero status keeps growing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The most popular player on the Minnesota Twins is the third-string catcher and play-him-almost-anywhere everyman Willians Astudillo, whose all-in, all-out style has endeared him to players and fans alike since he made his major league debut last season.

Astudillo’s cult hero status will hit a new high on Friday, when the Twins take on the Orioles. The event is called “An Evening With La Tortuga at Target Field ,” with T-shirts bearing Astudillo’s nickname — meaning the turtle, in Spanish — distributed to fans who pre-purchased a special ticket package. All 3,000 seats designated for the promotion sold out.

“You know, I’m grateful for it. It’s very satisfying to know the fans welcome me here. I just keep playing hard,” Astudillo said recently through team interpreter Elvis Martinez. “It makes me proud, the popularity, but it’s something that I wasn’t expecting. But it’s happening, so I welcome it.”

There’s something to be said about random cult heroes still existing in Major League Baseball, especially given current issues involving player recognition.

 

QLE Posted: April 26, 2019 at 05:57 AM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fans, heroes, willians astudillo

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 26, 2019 at 08:25 AM (#5835561)
Astudio has as many homers as he has strikeouts and walks combined.

Is there a reason the Twins haven't tried to get him on the field more? Seems like he'd be an upgrade as a full-time first baseman or third baseman.
   2. asinwreck Posted: April 26, 2019 at 08:41 AM (#5835565)
In 2018, this man played 2B and CF. In the majors.

I would like to see that happen again.
   3. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 26, 2019 at 09:12 AM (#5835571)
Anyone have a link to a good La Tortuga t-shirt? The ones the Twins sell are pretty lame. I'm hoping for something you'd find a guy selling out of his trunk.
   4. DL from MN Posted: April 26, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5835577)
Here's a link to an alternative Tortuga shirt

https://www.twinkietown.com/2019/4/9/18303662/mlb-minnesota-twins-merchandise-tortuga-power-willians-astudillo-t-shirts-twinkie-town-breaking-t

   5. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 26, 2019 at 09:59 AM (#5835580)
Thanks! This one isn't bad, too:

https://www.google.com/search?q=la+tortuga+t-shirt&tbm=isch&source=univ&client=firefox-b-1-d&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjxx8GJ6-3hAhWhhOAKHXzAAK0QsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1920&bih=916#imgrc=25ELuKypARJ8kM:

I worry that "chubby" people might be offended, though.
   6. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 26, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5835581)
It would be awesome to see him play full time and see what kind of numbers he puts up. What an intriguing skill set.
   7. puck Posted: April 26, 2019 at 10:31 AM (#5835593)
In 2018, this man played 2B and CF. In the majors.

In 2019, Ian Desmond played SS and CF. In the majors.

Seriously, why is this man in the majors?

(I'm sure asiswreck meant to note catcher and CF, which is amazing.)
   8. DL from MN Posted: April 26, 2019 at 10:34 AM (#5835595)
Is there a reason the Twins haven't tried to get him on the field more? Seems like he'd be an upgrade as a full-time first baseman or third baseman.


The Twins have established veterans there (Marwin Gonzalez and CJ Cron). All of the Twins catchers have been hitting well. Astudillo is a good utility guy but he's never caught full time and his speed cratered after a minor league knee injury.
   9. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 26, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5835600)
In 2019, Ian Desmond played SS and CF. In the majors.


They seem to have at least demoted him to being the short side of a platoon, although I don't know if that's been "officially" announced.
   10. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: April 26, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5835603)
I'm not sure that his speed could crater.

I like him best as a catcher but, until you clear the logjam (I think he's worth making time for), move him around - supersub him.
   11. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 26, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5835604)
Astudillo is definitely my favorite player who doesn't play for my team. Everything about him is fun. Can play any position, (almost literally) always puts the ball in play, looks nothing like an athlete.

Here's to many more years of Tortuga-based fun.
   12. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 26, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5835605)
It's impressive that a guy listed at 5'9, 225 was capable of having speed worthy of cratering.
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 26, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5835606)
I worry that "chubby" people might be offended, though.


I'm straight-up fat, and it doesn't bother me. For whatever that's worth.
   14. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 26, 2019 at 11:39 AM (#5835611)
Cron hitting 232/274/406.

Marwin a terrible 169/239/231 in 71 PA.
   15. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 26, 2019 at 11:40 AM (#5835612)
Astudillo 304th out of 335 on sprint speed list.

Names around him include Moustakas, Brandon Crawford, Greg Bird, Robinson Cano, Jesse Winker.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sprint_speed_leaderboard
   16. Sunday silence Posted: April 26, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5835615)
I was just gonna ask about Marwin; other than his 4 WAR season in 2017; he's basically about avg. as I recall. What's going on there ?
   17. DCA Posted: April 26, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5835618)
71 PA
   18. asinwreck Posted: April 26, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5835619)
.
   19. asinwreck Posted: April 26, 2019 at 12:00 PM (#5835621)
La Tortuga STARTED A GAME at 2B last season. Just glorious.

We need to get him into a game at SS.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 26, 2019 at 12:00 PM (#5835622)
I was just gonna ask about Marwin; other than his 4 WAR season in 2017; he's basically about avg. as I recall. What's going on there ?

he had a fluke year. He's actually mediocre. Mediocre players have crappy months all the time.

But, I wouldn't let his presence keep Astudillo off the field.
   21. spycake Posted: April 26, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5835639)
We need to get him into a game at SS.


Outlook not so good:

Baldelli's vow: Versatile Astudillo will not play shortstop for Twins

Again, Baldelli sighed at the question, tongue in cheek. "I can't believe we're talking about Astudillo playing shortstop," he said, shaking his head. "I can say — and you can go right up to him and tell him — that I have no plans of playing him at shortstop. At all. None."
   22. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: April 26, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5835656)
he should do one of those games where you play at all 9 spots if it's late sept and they are already eliminated
   23. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 26, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5835707)
Hold up, Rocco Baldelli is the new Twins manager?
   24. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 26, 2019 at 03:44 PM (#5835716)
hat I have no plans of playing him at shortstop. At all. None.

"no plans" is not the equivalent of "we will not play him at SS."
   25. Cris E Posted: April 26, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5835722)
La Tortuga at SS has all the signs of a decision loosely rooted in whimsy. No plan would end with him at that spot.
   26. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: April 26, 2019 at 04:01 PM (#5835723)
Yeah, decisions should be firmly grounded in whimsy. Play the man at SS.
   27. asinwreck Posted: April 27, 2019 at 10:26 PM (#5835993)
We will wait at least ten days for the much-hoped-for SS appearance, as his hamstring has landed him on the 10-day IL.
   28. Meatwad Posted: April 27, 2019 at 11:18 PM (#5836005)
If is isnt a drinker we can call him Dry Tortuga
   29. asinwreck Posted: May 13, 2019 at 07:44 PM (#5841720)
OK, technically Astudillo is playing 3B tonight, but because of the shift, he just fielded a ball at the shortstop position. I am satisfied with this development.
   30. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 13, 2019 at 10:21 PM (#5841759)
I love La Tortuga. The man is a damned marvel, he's had 155 MLB plate appearances and only 4 strikeouts. Chris Davis has had 108 plate appearances and struck out 35 times already this year.

Astudillo would be an AMAZING cricket player.
   31. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 14, 2019 at 03:45 AM (#5841780)
Hold up, Rocco Baldelli is the new Twins manager?


wait what seriously? I guess that's a sign of getting old, people you remember as prospects are managers now.

Astudillo is the greatest and is a phenomenal choice for cult hero.

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