January 15, 2018

If the Twins’ bullpen moves have you confused, you’re not alone

What a difference a few months make. It was in July that the Twins sent closer Brandon Kintzler and his 28 saves to the Washington Nationals, which left many Twins fans asking: Why? Some thought, including this blogger, that the Twins had thrown in the towel after a difficult, mid-season stretch of games.

Or maybe Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine, otherwise known as Falvey & Co., preferred the group approach. After all, the Twins had 42 saves last season, and after Kintzler’s departure, Tyler Duffey, Matt Belisle, Trevor Hildenberger, Dillon Gee, Justin Haley and Gabriel Moya chipped in with 14 additional saves. That wasn’t so bad, was it? The Twins went 20-10 in August and were on their way to a post-season berth for the first time since 2010.

But now Falvey & Co. appear ready to embrace a No. 1 closer again.

First they signed Fernando Rodney, who had 39 saves for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season, followed by a deal to get left-handed reliever Zach Duke, formerly of the St. Louis Cardinals. To top it off (and the Twins may not be done yet) the team has now signed closer Addison Reed, previously of the New York Mets, to a two-year deal worth about $17 million.

Although Rodney has been known to struggle with his control, that’s not the case with Reed, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

His success has come thanks in part to an aversion to doling out free passes, including in 2017, when he issued 1.78 walks per nine. At the same time, he logged a solid K/9 (9.0) and recorded his highest full-season swinging-strike percentage (13.7).

So, is Rodney the closer? Or will it be Reed? Or is Reed the insurance policy for Rodney if the Fernando Rodney experience gets out of hand? Or perhaps Falvey & Co. want to stick with the bullpen by committee approach, but do it with better players. There are reasons to do so: The Twins bullpen ranked 22nd with an ERA of 4.40 and were 29th in strikeout rate last season.


January 13, 2018

In the mix, a poem

January 11, 2018

The Offseason, a poem

January 10, 2018

Miguel Sano, a poem

December 29, 2017

So I got a big box of baseball cards for Christmas…

My father is downsizing, so for Christmas I received a box filled with baseball cards from the late 1980s and early 1990s. The box contained hundreds of cards and yet very few of them were Twins players, which was surprising given that the late 80s and 90s were some of the best years for the... Continue Reading »

December 24, 2017

Thinking of you and yours this holiday, Fernando Rodney

The holidays have put me in a reflective mood, and now that the Twins have signed closer Fernando Rodney, I can’t help but think of his days in the American League, including his seven seasons with the Detroit Tigers and one fateful afternoon in October 2009. That’s when the Twins and Tigers met at the... Continue Reading »

December 16, 2017

Are the Twins ready for the Fernando Rodney experience?

Closer Fernando Rodney is in the house after the Twins signed him to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million. Here’s the good news: Rodney has 300 career saves, including 39 last season, a career ERA of 3.73 and he struck out 65 batters in 55-plus innings in 2017. Apply that over nine innings and Rodney... Continue Reading »

December 11, 2017

Baseball Hall of Fame doors finally open for pitcher Jack Morris

Despite some recent misgivings about whether pitcher Jack Morris deserved to be enshrined, the former pitcher for the Indians, Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers was elected Sunday to the Baseball Hall of Fame via the Modern Era committee. His former Tiger teammate, Alan Trammell, also was voted in Sunday. Yes, as a longtime Twins fan,... Continue Reading »

December 2, 2017

Is Johan Santana a Hall of Fame pitcher? Yes, he is

Former Twins ace Johan Santana, who last pitched in 2012, is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in 2018. Since the ballot was released, a number of Twins bloggers have argued that Santana deserves to be enshrined due to similarities between his and Sandy Koufax’s Hall of Fame career. Yes, there... Continue Reading »

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.