November 12, 2016

Twins’ Bruno and Butch are gone. So says Falvey & Co.

Falvey & Co. made their first moves of the offseason by firing two of manager Paul Molitor’s coaches: Hitting coach Tom Brunansky and first-base coach, Butch Davis.

I can’t offer an opinion on why Davis was let go, but I have mixed feelings about Bruno being shown the door — especially when the team hits 200 home runs, as they did in 2016.

Brunansky, a former slugger for the Twins who hit a career-best 32 home runs for the World Series winning team in 1987, had been the team’s hitting coach the past four seasons. Despite the improved power numbers — 11 Twins hit 10 or more home runs in 2016 — that wasn’t good enough. Brian Dozier also hit 42 dingers to set a new American League record for second baseman, while rookie Max Kepler chipped in with 17. Slugger-in-the-making, Miguel Sano, hit 25 home runs, but probably should have hit more, although I’m not sure you can pin that on Brunansky. Sano dealt with some injuries during the season and also made one trip to the minors.

Clearly, there were problems: The team struck out a lot and had trouble scoring runs, according to MLB.com.

The Twins scored 722 runs last season, finishing 16th in the Majors. Minnesota scored 696 runs in 2015, which was the 13th most in baseball. Minnesota’s best year with Brunansky came in 2014, when the Twins finished seventh in the Majors with 715 runs.

And yet the Twins will keep pitching coach Neil Allen, who fell off the wagon at one point during the season and then resumed his role after about a month’s absence. In the end, Twins pitching wound up the worst in the AL with a team ERA of 5.08. They also were dead last in wins (no pitcher won more than nine games) shutouts, saves, hits, runs, earned runs and home runs in the AL. Yet Allen is set to return for the 2017 season.

Twinkie Town’s theory boils down to this: Brunansky had his chance, while Allen deserves a second chance.

I suppose that if new Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey couldn’t make a change at manager, he was going to flex his muscles on other parts of the coaching staff. After all, Allen was brand new and I bet he wasn’t going to be blamed for just one year when the Twins have a history of poor pitching staffs.

Extra innings:

-The Twins apparently have some interest in free-agent catcher Jason Castro of the Houston Astros, according to MLB Trade Rumors, citing a report by Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press.

Castro, 29, posted a .210/.307/.377 batting line with 11 home runs in 2016 — sub-par production relative to the league-average hitter but right in line with the park-adjusted output of a league-average catcher.

 

 

 

 

November 8, 2016

35 days after he was hired, Twins finally introduce CBO Derek Falvey

More than a month after the Twins announced that the team had hired Derek Falvey away from the Cleveland Indians to be the club’s first chief baseball officer, the Twins finally introduced him to local media and Minnesota on Monday. Jim Pohlad, Derek Falvey, Thad Levine and Dave St. Peter are ready to meet with... Continue Reading »

November 3, 2016

An open letter to Derek Falvey, Twins chief baseball officer

October 31, 2016

If only the Twins’ Kurt Suzuki played for the Cleveland Indians

There have been plenty of facts and figures bandied about this postseason and World Series, but how about what we learned Sunday night during Game 5? As Cleveland dug in against the Chicago Cubs’ flame-throwing, Aroldis Chapman, Fox broadcaster Joe Buck let it be known that the last person to hit a home run off... Continue Reading »

October 30, 2016

Some second thoughts on former Twins pitcher, Jack Morris

Twenty-five years ago this past week, the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves met in what many have called the greatest World Series of all time. Several of the games were won in the final at bat and Game 7 was no different. Former Twins pitcher Jack Morris blanked the Braves for 10 innings and then... Continue Reading »

October 27, 2016

Chicago’s turn: Cubs pitching evens series with Cleveland Indians

Quality pitching is the name of the game. Cleveland’s ace Corey Kluber did his job on Tuesday, and then it was Chicago’s turn as Jake Arrieta took the mound on Wednesday. He allowed one run over five-plus innings and then handed it off to a bullpen as impressive as Cleveland’s, including Aroldis Chapman, who seemed... Continue Reading »

October 26, 2016

*Derek Falvey’s Cleveland Indians take Game 1 of World Series

Cleveland Indians pitcher Hans Kluber, also known as Corey, struck out nine over six innings and the No. 9 hitter in the lineup smashed two home runs to beat the Chicago Cubs, 6-0, in Game 1 of the 2016 World Series. Both teams feature outstanding pitching, but it was the Indians who showed off those winning... Continue Reading »

October 24, 2016

World Series is set, which means Twins’ chief baseball officer starts soon

Twins’ Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey, who was hired away from the Cleveland Indians earlier this month, is getting closer to officially joining the Twins in that capacity. The Indians are on their way to meet the Chicago Cubs in the World Series, which sets up some possible dates for when Falvey might finally be... Continue Reading »

October 18, 2016

Twins’ new CBO Derek Falvey still not at work — and the media is starting to notice

Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks it’s strange that Twins’ new Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey continues to hang out with his former team — the Cleveland Indians — even though he was hired by the Twins two weeks ago. That’s the thrust of a new story from Phil Miller of the Strib,... 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.