All Things 2023 Minnesota Twins In-Season Thread

Ope3

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I am starting it. The 2022 thread went 136 pages. Let's beat that by playing meaningful baseball into October (or even November perhaps).

Pitchers and Catchers reported to Ft Myers yesterday. I am hearing they threw the ball around though perhaps management did not want the squad on their feet.


Win Twins!
 

BleedGopher

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Hope springs eternal!

This is our year!

Win Twins!!
 



short ornery norwegian

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In the end, I am a Twins fan for better or worse. I'm going to listen to games on the radio or watch them on TV. If they win, great - that's more fun. but I'm still going to watch and listen.

things I'm interested in seeing:
- impact of rule changes. will the Twins actually try and steal some bases?
- players coming back from injury, especially Kirilloff and Larnach.
- how will Rocco handle the pitching staff? will he let some starters go deeper into games?
- what is the pecking order in the bullpen? will there be a conventional 9th inning 'closer'?
- the new balanced schedule. More games vs NL teams.

saw my 1st Twins game in person in 1964. so next year will be my 60th season as a baseball fan.

closing thoughts from Terrance Mann (aka James Earl Jones)

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball.

America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.
This field, this game -- it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.
People will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.
 


GophersInIowa

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Best time of year, everyone’s a contender.

What’s everyone’s guess on their record? I’ll go with 88-74. If they stay pretty healthy, it could be even better.
 

GophersInIowa

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Jax added a cutter that should do well against lefties. He could be a force.

 

Ope3

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The rule changes had me thinking of the Stolen Base.

- Rickey Henderson's 1,406 All Time record is pretty safe. Understatement. There are no Active players in the Top 100. Dee Strange-Gordon has 336, needs to get to 363 to make the list.

- #2 is Lou Brock, whose record he broke (938) and tacked on 468 more.

- Only 9 players stole HALF as many Rickey, and only 2 are living (Tim Raines #5 with 808 & Vince Coleman #6 with 758).

 

BleedGopher

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From penthouses to Paris: Twins outfielder Max Kepler makes offseasons spectacular​


Nothing has changed about Max Kepler's status with the Twins, not really. Which is odd, given that entering the offseason, Kepler was probably the second-most-likely Twin, behind Carlos Correa, to be headed elsewhere.

Call them the unlikely captains of Team Status Quo.

But enough about baseball. The opening of camp also means the resumption of an annual Twins tradition that's worthy of a Netflix limited series: the season premiere of Max Kepler's Offseason, a travelogue and romantic adventure featuring the Luckiest Man in Baseball©.

Previous episodes have featured penthouses in San Francisco, beach mansions and ballplayer roommates in Laguna Beach, his family's efforts to aid Ukrainian refugees, lots of international travel and rumored links to various models, actresses and athletes. Just your basic life of a 20-something European with a $35 million contract.

"I know. I've been really blessed," Kepler said humbly.

So let's have it, Max — where does this year's episode take us?

"I lived with my girlfriend in Paris for two months. Learned some French, ate a lot of baguettes, went to a lot of museums," Kepler obliged. "It was great. The City of Love."


Win Twins!!
 





From the Parkinglot

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82-80. That’s if everyone stays healthy. I don’t trust Kirilloff, Larnach, some of their starting pitchers, or Buxton to stay healthy. Having a balanced schedule and not playing terrible teams in the AL Central is gonna hurt the twins.
 

howeda7

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82-80. That’s if everyone stays healthy. I don’t trust Kirilloff, Larnach, some of their starting pitchers, or Buxton to stay healthy. Having a balanced schedule and not playing terrible teams in the AL Central is gonna hurt the twins.
You'd think, but their record against the Royals and Tigers in recent years is hardly stellar. Yes, they pee themselves against the Yankees/Dogers/Astros, but they generally do fine against Rays/Jays/M's and the NL. I think 85-87 wins takes the division and I give them roughly an equal shot with the Guardians and Sox.
 




Ope3

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82-80. That’s if everyone stays healthy. I don’t trust Kirilloff, Larnach, some of their starting pitchers, or Buxton to stay healthy. Having a balanced schedule and not playing terrible teams in the AL Central is gonna hurt the twins.
The more balanced schedule hurts them in terms of a Wild Card (or 1st Round bye), but the other AL Central Teams are impacted just as much in terms of competing for the Division.

I'm going 81-81.
 

BleedGopher

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Do we think the front office and Rocco are in a "make the playoffs" or else mode this season? I realize there's a lot that goes into it (injuries in particular) but if we don't make the playoffs this season it would be three straight seasons. And of course we haven't won a playoff game since George W's first term in office.

Win Twins!!
 

Breakin' The Plane

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Do we think the front office and Rocco are in a "make the playoffs" or else mode this season? I realize there's a lot that goes into it (injuries in particular) but if we don't make the playoffs this season it would be three straight seasons. And of course we haven't won a playoff game since George W's first term in office.

Win Twins!!
I don't know. It's tough to get a read on the new Pohlad "in charge". If I was in his shoes, I'd want to do things my way, put my people in place and truly put my own stamp on the team. But I kind of get the feeling that he's got that Executive Chair title in name only. Kind of like a deckhand who's sitting in the captain's chair while the captain gets some sleep.
 

From the Parkinglot

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The more balanced schedule hurts them in terms of a Wild Card (or 1st Round bye), but the other AL Central Teams are impacted just as much in terms of competing for the Division.

I'm going 81-81.
Correct. It just means the division winner will be closer to a .500 team vs a 95 win team.
 

short ornery norwegian

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I'm not making any hard predictions before Spring Training even starts.

like others, I want to see how all of the injured players from last season are looking. We all know that the Twins are really two teams: with Buxton and without Buxton. the more games he plays, the better the team will finish. having a healthy Kirilloff at 1B is going to be a key - without him, Rocco has to start shuffling the lineup. and then there are all the pitchers coming back from injury - how will they look during spring training, and do they all start the season healthy?

the new head trainer had better be good!
 

GophersInIowa

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Do we think the front office and Rocco are in a "make the playoffs" or else mode this season? I realize there's a lot that goes into it (injuries in particular) but if we don't make the playoffs this season it would be three straight seasons. And of course we haven't won a playoff game since George W's first term in office.

Win Twins!!
I don't think it's a hard "make the playoffs or you're fired" situation. But I think there needs to be some improvement. If they stay relatively healthy, don't make the playoffs and don't see guys develop then he could be out IMO.

Total speculation of course.
 

forever a gopher

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75-87. The Central winner will get to maybe 85 wins, tops. Balanced schedule will wreak havoc on the Central. The rotation will be better, but I have zero confidence Rocco will be able to manage them properly. Add in the Twins’ severe affliction against stealing bases, and the +/- on stolen bases with the new rules will probably mean opponents will steal 75 more bases than the Twins. At least the new catcher will stem some of that, but it could get ugly in that department. Some teams will really take advantage of the new rules, but the Twins won’t.

Sorry, not trying to be a downer. I’ll be on the radio, listening to Dazzle spin tall tales for at least 100 or so of their games. Hope Buck can stay healthy. Hope Miranda takes the next step. Hope Duran becomes an elite closer. Hope springs eternal.
 

jamiche

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Do we think the front office and Rocco are in a "make the playoffs" or else mode this season? I realize there's a lot that goes into it (injuries in particular) but if we don't make the playoffs this season it would be three straight seasons. And of course we haven't won a playoff game since George W's first term in office.

Win Twins!!
Really good question because it might reflect the change at the top. The Pohlad family has historically been very patient. They don't like to fire their baseball people. Young Joe may or may not be like his elders. My guess is that the Twins need to make the playoffs this year or Rocco, Falvey and Levine are gone.
 




Gophers1992

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75-87. The Central winner will get to maybe 85 wins, tops. Balanced schedule will wreak havoc on the Central. The rotation will be better, but I have zero confidence Rocco will be able to manage them properly. Add in the Twins’ severe affliction against stealing bases, and the +/- on stolen bases with the new rules will probably mean opponents will steal 75 more bases than the Twins. At least the new catcher will stem some of that, but it could get ugly in that department. Some teams will really take advantage of the new rules, but the Twins won’t.

Sorry, not trying to be a downer. I’ll be on the radio, listening to Dazzle spin tall tales for at least 100 or so of their games. Hope Buck can stay healthy. Hope Miranda takes the next step. Hope Duran becomes an elite closer. Hope springs eternal.
There's no strong connection between stolen bases and wins. Top 5 teams in SB last year were Texas, Miami, Clevevland, Chi Cubs, and Arizona, with KC tied for 5th.
 


short ornery norwegian

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on stolen bases - the number of attempts and successful steals were way up in minor league baseball last year. found this stat on rate of SB's pre game in the minors.

Stolen base rates improved from 1.68 in 2017 to 2.36 in 2022, with partial credit attributed to rule changes, which increased base sizes and limited pick-off attempts, that will make their way to the Majors in 2023.
 

GophersInIowa

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Will be interesting to see if these trends continue. Might be time to get a salary floor/cap.

 





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