Twins Back Page News: 4/10/2017

As this blog moves into the tenth year of its existence, and enters its Tenth Year Stretch, its content naturally needs to evolve with the times. I suspect that these days, unlike 2007, there are about fifteen daily write-ups of each Twins game each with varying degrees of critical analysis, and many of them data-based.  Nobody needs a sixteenth.  And those reports are better left to be done by people with access, so we all get the nice quotes that only access can provide.    The Twins Back Page News are all about things that are either important enough, but have slipped between the cracks, or interestingly enough, but nobody cares to cover them or analyze them.  Also expect things out of the left field and less serious.  My goal is for this to be a unique compilation of Twins' things, and I would love your feedback about how it works  (or not) and what else you would like to see here.  You can find the complete series in reverse chronological order here.  This is the piece for 4/10/2017.

  • With their AL-best record 5-1, the Twins are 1.5 games ahead of the Tigers in the division.  The last time the Twins leading the division by 1.5 or more games was Sunday October 3, 2010, the last day of the 2010 season.  The biggest league they managed in the 2015 season was just one game.
  • The Twins lead the AL in team ERA with 2.04 (2.35 for starters and 1.61 for relievers) and are 5th in team OPS with .732, and 2nd in BB taken.  They are also 2nd in the AL in Fielding Percentage 
  • In the first series of the season the Twins swept the Royals and the bullpen did not give up a single run.  Only 2 of the seven pitchers that were in the Opening Day 2016 bullpen are in the opening day 2017, and one of them, Michael Tonkin, is the likely 25th man with 13 pitchers now.   The second one is Ryan Pressly.  In addition, to these 2, the Twins opened 2016 with the following in their pen: Glen Perkins, Kevin Jepsen, Trevor May, Casey Fien, Fernando Abad. The Twins opened 2016 with  only 12 pitchers.  
  • The other players in the 2016 Opening Day roster not in the 2017?  SPs Ricky Nolasco and Tommy Milone and Position Players: Kurt Suzuki, Trevor Plouffe, ByungHo Park, John Ryan Murphy, Eduardo Nunez, and Oswaldo Arcia.  There were complaints that the roster did not change much from the 2016 103 loss team, but the more things look the same, the more they prove different. 13 of the 25 players who opened the 2016 season with the Twins (64%) have been replaced in the 2017 opening day roster.  That is the majority.
  • Minor League prospect guru John Sickels is profiling Twins' Rookie Justin Haley here.
  • It will be a long season for the Fort Myers Miracle.  The highest draft picks on their roster are pitchers Sam Clay (4th Round - 2014) and Dereck Rodriguez (6th round - 2011), along with C Brian Navarreto (6th Round - 2013) and IF Chris Paul (6th Round - 2015) and only LHP Lachlan Wells as a legitimate prospect.
  • After the first week of play the Twins affiliates are:  AAA Rochester 3-0 leading the Internatinal League North , AA Chattanooga 2-2 and 1 game behind the Southern League North leaders, A+ Fort Myers 1-3 and 3 games behind the Florida State League South leaders, A Cedar Rapids 2-2 and 2 games behind the Midwest League Western leaders.
  • Former Twins' manager Tom Kelley has donated a whole lot of his personal memorabilia from the Twins' golden age to the team and will be in display at Target Field.
  • This is an interesting article about the Twins' AAA affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings’ chairman Gary Larder and his philosophy about minor league baseball.
  • Former Twins' RHP Joe Nathan, 42, has signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
  • The Twins swept the Royals 3-0 in the first series of the 2017 season, and the Kansas State Legislature responded accordingly.

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