Welcome to The Minnesota Twins Week in Review. On Access Twins, we’ll take a deep dive into the week that was for your Twins. We will post on Mondays, and look back from the previous Monday to Sunday since that’s how MLB lines up its schedule.
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And now, let’s talk to it:
Record: 2-4, .333 (t-20th) — 2-4 at home, 0-0 on the road
Current Fangraphs Record Projection: 77-85, .474 (t-3rd place, -1 win/+1 place)
Current Fangraphs Division Chances: 0.9 percent (-1.6 percent)
Current Fangraphs Playoff Chances: 1.7 percent (-2.3 percent)
Baseball Prospectus PECOTA Record Projection: 81-81 (3rd place, no change)
Baseball Prospectus Division Chances: 7.5 percent (+0.8 percent)
Baseball Prospectus Playoff Chances: 9.6 percent (-0.1 percent)
Baseball Prospectus Adjusted Playoff Chances: 8.4 percent (-0.3 percent)
FiveThirtyEight Record Projection: 74-88 (t-3rd place, -1 win/+1 place)
FiveThirtyEight Division Chances: 1.0 percent (-2.0 percent)
FiveThirtyEight Playoff Chances: 2.0 percent (-3.0 percent)
Hitting (with rankings)
Batting Average: .265 (t-9th)
On-Base Percentage: .307 (19th)
Slugging Percentage: .495 (7th)
OPS: .802 (9th)
wOBA: .343 (9th)
wRC+: 119 (9th)
K%: 19.9% (4th)
BB%: 4.5% (30th)
Runs Per Game: 4.83 (16th)
Batting Average (w/ RISP): .244 (18th)
Breakdown: None of this seems so bad — rather good, honestly — until one realizes the Twins spent half of the week facing the Houston Astros, who hit .333/.391/.604 over the week with a 172 wRC+. So again, pitching has done in whatever positive direction the offense has taken.
Oh, and they also faced the Yankees — who hit .293/.332/.543 over the week as well (138 wRC+).
So…you probably know what’s coming, pitching-wise.
Five Twins with appreciable at-bats posted wRC+ figures in excess of 150:
Nelson Cruz - 264
Jorge Polanco - 178
Alex Kirilloff - 167
Miguel Sano - 161
Josh Donaldson - 156
Trevor Larnach checked in at 111 and Rob Refsnyder had a 159 in his limited time, so there’s more than enough offense here to make something happen. But unless Kenta Maeda’s imminent return in Seattle on Monday night injects some life into this pitching staff, it’s possibly too little, too late.
It’s going to be great for the offense to get back guys like Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and Luis Arraez in fairly short order — but again, it just doesn’t feel like there’s enough pitching here unless things turn around quickly.
Starting Pitching (with rankings)
IP: 30.0 (15th)
IP/GS: 5.00 (16th)
Pitches/Start: 83.3 (t-16th)
ERA: 6.30 (29th)
FIP: 7.05 (29th)
xFIP: 5.06 (27th)
SIERA: 5.10 (26th)
K/9: 6.00 (30th)
K%: 14.6 percent (30th)
BB/9: 2.70 (13th)
BB%: 6.6 percent (10th)
K-BB%: 8.0 percent (24th)
WHIP: 1.67 (24th)
Groundball Rate: 37.4 percent (23rd)
Opponent Batting Average: .325 (27th)
Opponent On-Base Percentage: .365 (22nd)
Opponent Slugging Percentage: .627 (28th)
Opponent OPS: .992 (28th)
Breakdown: What are we even doing here? How is this unit so irreparably damaged with Matt Shoemaker and J.A. Happ instead of some combination of Rich Hill, Jake Odorizzi and Homer Bailey?
It shouldn’t have been this hard to replace what those guys provided last year, even if it was fairly solid: 3.88 ERA in 60.1 innings, 50-23 K/BB ratio and .682 OPS against.
Instead, the back 40 percent of the team’s rotation has been tattooed more than former big league infielder Ryan Roberts. Shoemaker and Happ have been healthy enough to make a combined 22 starts — and that, in and of itself, is the primary issue.
As a combination, Happ and Shoemaker have posted a 6.65 ERA in 111.0 innings while allowing opponents to hit .283/.343/.512. That’s an .856 OPS, or roughly what Carlos Correa (.868) has done to opposing pitchers all season long.
Shoemaker is out of the rotation, but it’s still bewildering why he’s on the club. What does he provide that Charlie Barnes can’t? Bailey Ober has been inserted into the rotation and shows some promise, but it’s one step forward, two steps back with Michael Pineda now shelved again with forearm tightness.
There are no positives here right now. Jose Berrios can’t do it all himself.
Even with the sliding scale of ERAs this season, the Twins just haven’t come close to keeping up:
Relief Pitching (with rankings)
IP: 24.0 (t-8th)
Innings Per Game: 4.00 (t-11th)
Pitches Per Game: 72.5 (8th)
ERA: 8.25 (30th)
FIP: 4.99 (17th)
xFIP: 4.25 (14th)
SIERA: 4.00 (15th)
K/9: 7.88 (22nd)
K%: 17.9 percent (28th)
BB/9: 2.25 (4th)
BB%: 5.1 percent (2nd)
K-BB%: 12.8 percent (19th)
WHIP: 1.75 (29th)
Groundball Rate: 43.7 percent (15th)
Opponent Batting Average: .346 (30th)
Opponent On-Base Percentage: .371 (26th)
Opponent Slugging Percentage: .587 (30th)
Opponent OPS: .958 (29th)
Inherited Runners: 6 (t-7th)
Inherited Runners Scored: 2 (t-11th)
Inherited Runners Scored Percentage: 33.3 percent (t-15th)
The numbers this week were largely drug down by Shoemaker, Griffin Jax and Randy Dobnak combining to allow 15 earned runs in just 10.1 innings — a 13.06 ERA.
Even still, there’s just not that much to get excited about here. Hansel Robles and Luke Farrell were the only two unscored upon relievers during the week, and they combined to throw four innings.
All research is done via Sportradar’s r360, Baseball-Reference or Fangraphs unless otherwise noted.
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