Twins Back Page News: 4/14/2017

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 4/14/2017.
  • The Twins are entering this weekend at 6-3 on top of the AL Central, tied with Detroit and one and half games ahead of the White Sox, and two ahead of Cleveland.  They are playing all 3 teams, starting with the White Sox and ending with Detroit in a long homestead.   If the Twins keep winning series from division rivals and home and staying close and do not get swept away, it will be a fun spring (and summer.)  Let's see them go 3-0 in their next 3 series. 
  • A word of caution:  The Twins are second in team ERA in the AL with 2.77 (3.66 for starters and 1.44 for relievers), but the team FIP is 4.13, the team BABIP is .217 and they are dead last in the AL with 6.8 K/9.  It looks like a regression might be at works, but as long as they are winning ball games, all will be good.
  • As far as hitting goes, they are first in the AL in walks, which drives them to the 5th best OBP (.335).  With their 10th best batting average (.231) and their 11th best slugging (.378) results to a middle of the road 7th overall OPS (.713).  
  • In addition to Miguel Sano (.310/.459/.793) who has been a monster, Jason Castro (.316/.536/.526), Robbie Grossman (.316/.536/.526) and Chris Gimenez (.333/.538/.444) have been fantastic this early season.  Compared to 2016, the duo of Castro and Gimenez at Catcher is light years ahead.
  • RHP Justin Haley, who averages 9 K/9  and has not allowed a walk in 8 innings pitched this season, has picked his first career save in a 3 inning relief appearance against the Tigers on Thursday.
  • It looks like Twins manager Paul Molitor is regretting his decision to start with 13 pitchers.
  • Twins' 1B/DH ByungHo Park was placed on the AAA 7-day disabled list with a hamstring strain.  He was hitting .375/.444/.563 in the young Rochester season.
  • The Twins are one of nine MLB clubs that have extended safety netting.
  • According to Forbes, the Twins are the 22nd most valuable MLB team, with a value of $1.03B, a 13% increase from last season.   Who would had thought that 103 loses translates to 13% increase in value... 
  • After Jeremy  has been DFA'd by the Nationals, Twins' RHP Brandon Kintzler is one of only three MLB players with Utah connections.
  • As far as the Twins' minor league affiliates go, the AAA Rochester Red Wings are tied for the lead on the International League North with a 5-2 record, the AA Chattanooga Lookouts are third and 3 games behind in the Southern League North with a 3-4 record, The high A Fort Myers Miracle is 6th and last, 6.5 games behind in the Florida State League South with an 1-7 record, and the A Cedar Rapids Kernels are third and 1 game behind in the Midwest League Western with a 5-3 record.         
  • RHP Jose Berrios started two games for Rochester, winning them both, pitching for 14 collective innings, striking out 13, walking just one and allowing just an unearned run.  1B/DH Ben Paulsen is leading the international league in OPS with a .429/.455/.905 line in 6 games while contributing 3 HR.
  • Keith Law updated his top 50 prospect list, and their is only one Twins' prospect on it:  SS Nick Gordon at 44.
  • Former Twins signed to minor league contracts:  RHPs Blaine Boyer (Red Sox) and Vance Worley (Marlins), C Eddy Rodriguez (Yankees)
  • OF Josh Romanski who was signed by the Twins before Spring Training and then released returned to his previous team, while RHP Bo Hellquist became a Canary.
  • For some reason Rod Carew investigated the donor of this heart and kidney and found that it was an NFL player.
  • John Sickels profiles former Twins C Stuart Turner who was selected by the Reds in last winter's Rule 5 draft, and discusses whether he can find success in Cincinnati.
  • A former Twins' player, is having his jersey retired by his College.
  • A former Twins' prospect, and now High School baseball coach, has received a prestigious honor by the  Missouri Sports Hall of Fame 
  • After TK donated his personal memorabilia to the Twins for display at Target Field, a former Twins' trainer, is publicly displaying his collection in Sterling, CO.
  • Sounds like the MLB Commissioner is working with the Indians regarding their logo.

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