43 thoughts on “September 20, 2022: thank u, next”

  1. Let's not abandon baseball just yet. There are still two weeks of the regular season to be played, and playoff races to be decided. From a Twins standpoint, I think it will be interesting to see who plays hard the rest of the way and who's just going through the motions. Plus, the playoffs are always fun, even if the Twins aren't in them.

  2. Friend who follows baseball closely (Cubs and Padres fan, mostly) asked for my postmortem on the Twins. My response was based on my own observations (watching games) and informed by then looking at various sources to understand the ‘why’ - both here and via some other Twins/baseball writers I trust. My answer to him:

    “This is a .500 club and the early success tainted the perception. They were winning in a terrible division. See for instance their eventual season series records against the Astros, Yankees, Dodgers, Padres, Guardians, etc.

    Easy - but incomplete - answer is injuries.

    “[Ronny] Henriquez became the 60th player to take the field for the Twins this season, the 37th man to pitch for them, and the 12th rookie to make his major league debut in 2022 — all of them franchise records for a single season.”

    -Strib

    Correa didn’t get hot until late-August or early September.

    Buxton was playing injured all year (shocker) and Polanco, Kepler and Jeffers were hurt or disappointing, Kepler especially.

    Arraez may hold on to win the AL batting title and was generally solid all around. Miranda showed absolute flashes and Urshela was better than I expected. Got almost nothing from Gary Sanchez and the rookies & youth they were counting on are all injured - pitchers and position players.

    The FO leaned too far into the opposition batting average data on a starter’s third time through a lineup. Without at least one ace and a true #2 who can stretch a start here and there, a high quality bullpen is a must when you only allow 5-6 innings per start (and while you piss off your starters). Twins didn’t have that, and the guys they added or traded for were … not good.

    Offense was awful with RISP - some of the worst situational hitting I’ve ever seen. Everyone, generally, had a ton of at bats without a plan, and no adjustments to the approach with or without runners on base.

    Manager & player leadership assessment for the Twins is that Rocco seems to adhere to the FO’s philosophy… and only has the players they provided to carry it out. He doesn’t ‘seem’ to make good in-game adjustments and the loss of Wes Johnson seems to loom large. Buxton and Correa really could be leaders, but Buck can’t stay healthy and Carlos was good-not-great for the majority of the season. Also, those two were the prime examples of not coming through in the clutch:

    Buxton hit .050 with 2 out/RISP, and .145 with RISP.

    Correa hit .154 with 2 out/RISP but a more acceptable .266 with RISP.

    That’s $44M, more than half their offensive payroll.

    Dumb mistakes on the field and on the base paths. Ineffectual in stealing bases or preventing steals don’t help either. This may actually be one of the few things I lay on the coaching. ”

    1. There's going to have to be some deep thinking over the offseason, too -- with the new rules in place, we'd better have improved catching and baserunning. We could (mostly) get away with being lax before, but we're going to be facing a major RISP deficit if nothing is addressed.

      I noticed no mention of Sano. Thank you.

    2. I agree with most of this and I was going to do a post mortem at my last Tuesday game log. Also, somehow I want to get in there the fact that they Twins have a bunch of young players who can rake (Miranda, Gordon, Larnach, Kaprizov), but don't have a natural position in the field. They all can't DH. Maybe not a huge factor this year, but another question on what the organization is doing.

      1. Just want to use my biennial comment to argue that one of those players does have a natural position: left wing (Kaprizov).

        Sorry, that softball was just too tempting as it floated over the plate.

        Here's to great health going forward for Alex Kirilloff and Kirill Kaprizov and all Twins and Wild players.

          1. I don't remember what the product was for, but it reminds me of that old commerical where a cop pulls over Tim McGraw's tour bus and he says "You're Tug McGraw's kid!"

    1. I will tip my cap to that man. He's no Joe Mauer, but a .255 batting average over 15 seasons as a catcher is nothing to sneeze at. We got three good years out of him and his one All-Star season was with the Twins, so there's also that.

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