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View from the other side: Twins questions

MLB: APR 03 Spring Training - Cardinals at Twins Photo by Vincent Muzik/ICON SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

So I sent out some questions to a Twins blogger, but he wasn’t able to get to them. Life happens. And I had no luck finding anyone else to do them. So I figured I’d give it a shot to answer them.

Not a ‘view from the other side’ but a Twins view from this side.

I should ask what Twins fans feel about the Jose Berrios trade. After a couple of poor starts, he’s done a very nice job for us.

Twins fans were thrilled with the trade. In a poll at Twinkie Town (they really should get a better name):

  • 45% graded it an A
  • 31% B
  • 11% C
  • 5% D
  • And 8% F

Both Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson have had a tough time of it since the trade. Martin is hitting .242/.387/.363 in Double-A Wichita. His power seems to have been sapped by a hand injury earlier in the season, and he’s dropped to 36th in Baseball America’s top 100 prospects.

Woods Richardson, also at Wichita, has a 9.00 ERA in 3 starts since the trade. In 6 innings, he’s allowed 5 hits, 6 earned, 6 walks with 9 strikeouts. He pitched in the Olympics, bringing home a Silver Medal. He isn’t on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects.

In both cases, I wouldn’t read much into small sample sizes. They are numbers 2 (Martin) and 4 (Woods Richardson) on MLB’s top 30 Twins Prospects. I’m sure Twins fans are still happy with the return on the trade, but maybe feeling not quite as sure they got two stars back.

I always like to check in on former friends. How has Josh Donaldson been doing this year? How does he look defensively?

Donaldson signed a four-year, $92 million contract with the Twins before the 2020 season. This year he’s hitting .244/.343/.461 with 22 home runs. That's good for a 2.4 bWAR. He is having a rough time of it in September, hitting .164/.233/.273 in 15 games. Everyone has slumps, but I hope he continues slumping for this series.

Defensively, UZR really doesn’t like his defense at third. They have him at a -23.5 UZR/150, which would be the worst in the AL. At the end of his time with the Jays, I felt that he would have to move to first base or DH in the near future. I think that the future is now.

Can you give us a quick scouting report on the starting pitchers the Jays are likely to see?

Friday: Michael Pineda 6-8, 3.87. He throws a low nineties fastball most of the time, a slider 30% of the time, and a change about 20%. He gets by on movement.

Saturday: Bailey Ober 2-2, 4.12 in 18 starts. A rookie RHP. He is better vs. RHB than LHB. He throws a fastball (averaging 92.4 mph) 60% of the time and mixes a change, curve, and slider equally the rest of the time. His last couple of starts haven’t gone well.

Sunday, they are saying TBA. It would be John Gant’s turn, but he came out of his last start against the Yankees with an injury and is now on the IL. Luke Farrell came in and threw 2.2 innings.

The Twins haven’t exactly had the season most of us figured they would. What has gone wrong?

Mostly pitching and defense. The Twins are second-worst in the AL in runs allowed per game at 5.23 (only the Orioles are worse_

Our old friends, J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker, started the season in the rotation for the Twins and were terrible. They are gone now, as is their most consistent starter (now our not quite as consistent starter Jose Berrios). And they have had more than their share of injuries among the pitchers. So they have spent most of the season trying to piece together a rotation.

How do you see the next couple of seasons going, is there a big rebuild in the future, or is it more reload and get back towards the top of the division?

I’d imagine they will be doing some sort of rebuild. Unfortunately, I can’t see them keeping up with the White Sox.

Who do the Twins use in the closer and setup roles? Are Twins fans confident with lead game leads, or can we hope for a big comeback?

Alex Colome is the closer. He has a 3.88 ERA, 14 saves with 7 blown. But he’s been much better lately, with a 0.87 ERA, holding batters to a .211/.250/.289 in his last 10 games.

Caleb Thielbar (3.65 ERA, 11 holds), Tyler Duffey (3.64, 17 holds), and Jorge Alcala (4.44, holds) are the main setup guys.

I’d imagine that Twin fans aren’t exactly counting it as a win if they have a lead in the seventh.

Who is your favorite Twin player to watch, and why?

For me, Byron Buxton would be the answer. Kind of mid-level power, some speed, and excellent defense in CF.

But, for this weekend, my favorite Twin to watch will be the pitcher that gives up the most runs and field that makes the biggest error.

Is there anything else we should know about the Twins?

Well, Andrelton Simmons won’t be with the team in Toronto. He wants permanent residency in the US and can’t leave the country at the moment. So Nick Gordon and Jorge Polanco will be filling in at short. RHP Nick Vincent gets the roster spot.

Beyond that, I enjoyed watching games at Target Field a few years back. I hope to go back one day. But skip the Mall of the Americans. It isn’t worth the time. But there are some nice bars and restaurants within easy walking distance of the ball park.

Oh, and people in Fargo have no sense of humor about the accents that actors used in the movie Fargo.