Twins Notes: 4/2/2018

Here is the latest installment of Twins Notes:
  • In order for the Twins to compete, they need to win series, and they did that at Baltimore, winning 2-1.  They are second in the AL Central, trailing the White Sox (the only undefeated team in the AL) by half a game.  They are one game ahead of their main competition for the division, Cleveland, which lost their series at the Mariners 1-2.
  • RHP Kyle Gibson pitched like a first round draft pick against Baltimore on Saturday.  He mixed his fastball that he threw up to 94 mph, with a pretty nasty mid 80s changeup and a high 70s slurvy breaking ball to keep the Baltimore hitters off balance and induce strikeouts.  He struck out 6 Orioles in 6 no-hit innings; he walked 5. 
  • RHP Ryan Pressly and LHP Gabriel Moya were serviceable behind him to preserve the win.
  • The long ball helped in that game with Miguel Sano, Jason Castro, and Max Kepler hitting one each.
  • If Gibson pitched like a top of the rotation pitcher on Saturday, RHP Jose Berrios pitched like a true ace on Sunday, completing a shutout allowing only 3 hits and one walk and striking out 6.  All of the sudden, the Twins rotation seems like a strength of the club.  But it is a long season.
  • On Sunday, the Twins hit another whole bunch of home runs:  a couple by Brian Dozier including one in the first pitch of that game, and one each by Sano, and Eduardo Escobar.   Only 1B/DH Logan Morrison who played in all 3 games and C Mitch Garver who appeared only in the Sunday game are hitless, as far as position players go.  Morrison walked twice.
  • The Twins' players were unhappy that on top of the 9th and with Berrios having an one-hitter going, Orioles' catcher Chase Sisco bunted for a hit beating the shift.  Well, if you shift, you better not be unhappy if someone bunts, because you caused it.  If the Twins thought that it were a blow out game, they had no business shifting...
  • The Twins' minor league Spring Training ended last Saturday.  RHP Phil Hughes threw 50 pitches for the AAA Twins' squad in the final day and could pitch again next Thursday in the Fort Myers Miracle opener, with the idea that he will be available to pitch next April 11th when the Twins need a fifth starter.
  • RHP Ervin Santana started playing catch.
  • Twenty nine percent of the players on the MLB Open Day rosters are foreign-born. The Twins are tied for fourth in the MLB with 11 players or 44% of their roster.
  • The Twins, along with the Athletics, Brewers, Marlins, Rays, and Reds, will have the highest 2018-2019 international free agent bonus pool with $6,025,400 allowance. 
  • Mike Berardino has a great piece on the impact of new Twins' pitching analyst Josh Kalk, at the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.
  • Phil Miller has an article in Baseball America regarding last winter's creativity by the Twins' Front Office with their international pool money.
  • If you are planning on driving to a game at Target Field, you might want to check this new Twins' partner, as far as finding and paying for parking goes.
  • John Sickels published his AL Central sleeper prospects list.
  • The Twins' A league affiliate Cedar Rapids Kernels' roster is full of talent.
  • Former Twins' prospect  AJ Pettersen's brother, Luke, is one of the top hitters of the University of Minnesota.  Also a middle infield, he might be drafted by the Twins, like his older brother.
  • If you were ever wondering what were MLB's Qualifications for an MLB Scout, you need to wonder no more.
  • Is the ball "juiced"?  A record thirty three home runs were hit on Opening Day.
  • The parting video today is the highlight video of the Twins' game at Orioles last Saturday:

You can find all the installments of the 2018 Twins Notes series here.  As always feedback is more than welcome.

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