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The Gnat

Twins Talk - Where Snow Outs Happen

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Poor Vargas, I think he could do well as the DH if he got enough chances up here, hopefully that'll happen soon. If he could get hot, him and Sano would be great if both were mashing it, tow 30+ HR guys.

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Decent double header for the Twins. I wish they had brought up Gonslaves for the first start, think we would have swept the double header.

Buxton, Polanco, and Rosario continued with their hot hitting ways. And the pen is so good. Gee was great in a spot start as well. Hopefully the Twins can continue that playoff push. They are the 2nd wild card team right now. I don't think they'll be able to catch the Indians but the Wild Card is going to be fun to watch through the end of the season. I'll have to go to a game sometime in September to cheer them on.

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Well I finally got the account/password stuff sorted out! There is lots to talk about:

 

- Major team:

1.) Buxton. Polanco and Rosario are red hot right now and really giving us a shot at getting a wild card spot. Buxton focusing solely on putting the ball into play is really moving him towards being an average hitter. It might not be a lot but it'll help. Polanco figuring it out late, even after a slow season is big too. He's young and could anchor our 2B if he can work towards being a consistent hitter.

2.) Our Bullpen might be a weakness this year, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it's a strength going forward. Rogers, Duffey, Hildy, Curtiss and Bus all have the potential to be competent arms out of the pen. They don't all have to be elite, but cheap good arms out of there would be a godsend. A bit more experience wouldn't hurt, but the moment I'm quite enthused about our future there.

3.) Gotta love Falvey's approach to pitching. Weather it's AAA guys, independent leagues or whatnot, we've basically Macguyvered a rotation together that isn't completely horrible. Long term it doesn't fix anything, but right now it helps.

4.) Jose Berrios. Man I love this kid. He's been in a bit of a slump for the last little while, but it's good to see us develop a front line starter. Need a few more around him, but I'm really happy we have atleast him.

- Minors:

1.) We gotta talk about Royce Lewis. 18 years old and promoted to A ball already. Really short sample size but he's not completely lost there either. He's got areas he needs to improve (his walk rate), but man oh man I'm eating crow on him.

2.) I love Falvey's approach at the TDD and overall to fix pitching. We'll never be a team that can afford to pay big money to fix our rotation. We're going to develop it from within. Luckily Falvey has experience from the Tribe in doing that, and thus far is doing it similarly. We're trading for guys who are a year or two out from the majors. Also (and seen in the draft) if the prospects don't have a good FB, they are taking guys with good breaking balls. We'll see how it works, but it's a breath of fresh air trying something other than 'control but low velocity' twins of the old have done.

3.) This draft thus far (and it's incredibly early) is producing some nice results.

 

 

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Royce Lewis has been impressive in the minors. Can't forget about Rooker as well in the minors, hitting .286 between two levels with 17 HR's.

 

Buxton has been amazing as of late. And I like the fact that it doesn't seem to be just a hot streak that is pulling him up, sure it's a hot streak compared to what he did in April, but it isn't like he's hitting .400 over a two week span to get his average up, he hit well in July and now for August, his average is .330, and it isn't like he's had a bad game in a while. Strikeouts can still get lower, but I'll take those K's if he's going to hit around .300.

Also, pitching staff, only April and August have had ERA's below 4 (and August could still go up but hopefully not by that much). Right now August is beating out April by with the staff posting a 3.87 ERA in August.

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Yeah the pitching staff is a little mystifying hey? Or more accurately, how to fix it. Berrios and Meija should be locks, as should Santana. However the problem is, Santana is a year older, we're unsure if he can replicate this season. Apart from that? Gonsalves is looking good in AAA, however relying on a rookie to perform flawlessly for a playoff run. We're improved in our starting rotation for next season, but we still need another impact arm. This leads me to wonder how secure Gordon's future is with us. Currently we have a good SS prospect at nearly every level, especially Lewis, we might consider trading Gordon for a young controllable arm.

With the Bullpen, we have a lot of young pieces. Duffey, Rogers, Hildy, Busy and Curtiss. I still think we need to invest in one veteran arm, but I like the makings of a young and cost controllable bullpen.

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Yeah, with the pen, I'm generally into building up a pen with a piece or two that's veteran, but mainly young pieces, we've tried to build with random pitchers who are veterans in the past, sometimes it's worked, but hasn't worked out that well recently.

I think a rotation with:

Santana, Berrios, Mejia, Gonsalves, and then a veteran pitcher, probably Gibson in the rotation next season. I think that could lead to the playoffs and do well in the playoffs.

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Come on Twins, sweep the White Sox!

If the Twins do manage to, they'll really be putting pressure on the Yankees. Also, I heard that the Twins are in the middle of a 27 game stretch where they don't face a team with a winning record, and they have maybe 10 games left (including this White Sox series) against teams with a winning record.  Now that does include both KC and Tampa Bay who are right around the .500 mark, so that could change, and neither of those teams is a pushover.

Also, how impressive that the Twins have had 3 games in a row with 2+ HR's from a single player. I wouldn't have been surprised with it if it had been Sano, Kepler, Vargas, but Buxton, Polanco, and Rosario (all do have some pop), that's a lot of fun to see.

And Berrios with an amazing start last night, 7 innings, 0 runs, and 11 K's. I want that every time out, but I'll settle for less K's if I need to.

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Definitely the weirdest win I've seen for the Twins. HBP after walking the bases loaded is not a good situation for the White Sox closer. I thought the Twins were going to lose when Belisle gave up the HR in the 9th, I shouldn't doubt this team.

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Massive win. Especially to come back at the HR in the 9th. In a wild card spot in September is fantastic!

The rest of our schedule seems doable too. We play Detroit 6 times, this is after they've basically traded off some key pieces. Blue Jays 4 times. Royals 6 times (who are faltering). Also a key 3 games against the Yankees. Looking ahead, a very good chance that we can come out the other side of this month still a wild card spot. Lots of winnable games. Hopefully we keep going!

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Twins didn't do what they needed to against the Rays yesterday, we really need to win the next two against the Rays. They also didn't do what they needed to against the Royals. With a lot of teams against playoff hunt teams left right now, we need to beat them. If the Twins had taken 2 of 3 instead of losing 2 of 3 against the Royals that would have basically knocked the Royals out of the playoff picture.

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Twins got an important win to get back into the #2 wild card spot. Possibly more important in the win was the fact that the Rays kept coming back and tying it up, but the Twins found a way to take the lead again and that happened several times. To start September they had lost a couple of close games, good to win a tough fought game.

Now we need to start winning some series. We're playing teams that are in the playoff hunt fairly often to end the season, so we really need to win those series.

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Gibson's last few starts:

7 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

6 IP, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

6.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

7 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

He's been good as of late. That works out to 26.2 IP and 5 ER, which is an ERA of 1.72. And for the month of August, his ERA was under 4, and for September, the top two starts in the list, it's under 2. Pre-All Star break, ERA of over 6, Post All Star break, ERA of 3.50. He's helped the Twins maintain this, and if he can pitch even with an ERA of around 4 going 6-7 innings a start for a full year, he'd be a very good #4 starter.

Also, Rosario needs to start hitting again. Polanco is still hitting, Buxton has been doing decently well, but Rosario has dropped off a lot as of late. Rosario is a streaky hitter though, but without Sano's bat in the line-up for at least a little bit longer, having Rosario not hitting in the middle of the line-up is a tough pill.

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So what's our take on keeping Molly for next season as manager?

 

I've been really happy with our coaches. Our hitting coach has really turned around Buxton, Polanco, Rosario(somewhat), turned back the time on Mauer. Neil Allen (our pitching coach) has done pretty well with a patch work of a rotation and a really really young bullpen.

Molly on the other hand is and has driven me nuts. His bunting last night made me want to punch a baby. Making Polanco, the guy who's been hotter than the sun, bunt is ridiculous. Add in his bullpen management and he was the direct cause of our loss last night.

For me, he's a dead manager walking. I really can't fathom Falvine to bring him back this season, as his managerial abilities haven't really been all that impressive. I'm not a huge fan of his line ups in the first place, but his stubborness in bunting has really been a detriment. I really don't think he's the guy to lead us moving forward. I mean, looking at the Cleveland Indians and Tito, and you see what he brings to that ball club. Same with Maddon on the Cubs. With us, I'm not sure Molly is a plus. I hope he's replaced in the offseason.

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I don't mind Molly actually. I wonder if he wouldn't be best served as an MLB bench coach being able to bounce around and help in every area of the game. But I do think that he's improved considerably. And while I wonder some about the bunting at times, the fact that we actually bunt as compared to a lot of teams has helped this team score runs. I think that he's generally done okay with the pen, and the biggest issue is that it's so patchwork and young right now that pitchers like Duffey and Rogers are wearing down at this point because they've been our options in the pen. If we give him a competent pen, I'd be curious to see how that goes. Also, I feel like complaining about bullpen use is something that 75%+ of fans complain about no matter what the team, unless you have spent a lot or traded for a lot in the pen.

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On 9/10/2017 at 10:41 AM, Canadian Saint said:

So what's our take on keeping Molly for next season as manager?

 

I've been really happy with our coaches. Our hitting coach has really turned around Buxton, Polanco, Rosario(somewhat), turned back the time on Mauer. Neil Allen (our pitching coach) has done pretty well with a patch work of a rotation and a really really young bullpen.

Molly on the other hand is and has driven me nuts. His bunting last night made me want to punch a baby. Making Polanco, the guy who's been hotter than the sun, bunt is ridiculous. Add in his bullpen management and he was the direct cause of our loss last night.

For me, he's a dead manager walking. I really can't fathom Falvine to bring him back this season, as his managerial abilities haven't really been all that impressive. I'm not a huge fan of his line ups in the first place, but his stubborness in bunting has really been a detriment. I really don't think he's the guy to lead us moving forward. I mean, looking at the Cleveland Indians and Tito, and you see what he brings to that ball club. Same with Maddon on the Cubs. With us, I'm not sure Molly is a plus. I hope he's replaced in the offseason.

You can certainly complain about some of the moves that have been made, but you can't argue with results.  The reality is that he's gotten more wins out of a 25-man roster than they probably warranted.  

And what I always come back to is this...who would you replace him with that is necessarily better.

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