April 8, 2022

We hardly knew ye, Taylor Rogers

Left-handed reliever and one of my favorite players Taylor Rogers is no longer a member of the Twins after he and outfielder Brent Rooker, plus cash, were sent to the San Diego Padres on Thursday in exchange for two pitchers: Chris Paddack and reliever Emilio Pagan, plus a player to be named later.

Falvey & Co. certainly have done plenty to bolster the lineup and deepen a rotation that now features six starters with the addition of Paddack. The bullpen also gets some help in the form of Pagan, but the Twins give up a lot in Rogers, who could be dominant either in a set up role or as a closer.

Over six seasons with the Twins he pitched to an ERA of 3.15 with 50 saves and 361 strikeouts in 314-plus innings, or a strikeout rate per nine innings of 10.3. Last season he had a strikeout percentage of 35.5 versus a walk percentage of 4.8. He will be missed.

Many news outlets evaluating the trade have touted Paddack’s breakout 2019 season, but have been less enthused by what followed.

According to MLB Trade Rumors:

His 2020 campaign resulted in a 4.73 ERA in with a diminished 23.7% strikeout rate. He still worked a “full” slate of 12 starts and 59 innings during the shortened 2020 season, but the results and the underlying metrics weren’t nearly as strong as his 2019 debut. Paddack’s 2021 season represented an even further step back; in 108 1/3 innings, he pitched to a 5.07 ERA with a career-low 21.6% strikeout rate. More concerning, though, was the fact that he ended the season with a low-grade tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.

The notion of “damaged goods” is concerning, but the Twins apparently don’t see it that way.

“The last couple years, we feel like [Paddack has] done some things, when you look underneath the surface on the way he’s thrown, that have been really positive,” president of baseball operations Derek Falvey told MLB.com. “We’ve heard enough good things about the makeup and just a chance to add three years’ control of a young starter who we still see having real upside potential was something we really had wanted to pursue a while ago.”

As for Pagan, like Paddack, there has been less to be excited about recently, but overall his strengths still shine through, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

Pagan has above-average strikeout rates and velocity. And, like Paddack, his command has been nothing short of outstanding (with the exception of the shortened 2020 season). He’s walked just 6.2% of his opponents at the big league level and has yielded only a .210 batting average and .264 on-base percentage in his career. A penchant for serving up home runs has been Pagan’s only real blemish, but if the Twins can clean up that issue — as the Rays did in 2019 and the Mariners did in 2017 — they’ll have a closing-caliber reliever on their hands for the next two seasons.

Extra innings…

-The Twins did not play baseball on Thursday because of the weather. The forecast for Friday is partly cloudy conditions with a high of 43 degrees. That is still pretty cold for baseball.

-Now that Taylor Rogers is in the National League West, he will be seeing his twin brother a lot more. Pitcher Tyler Rogers is a reliever for the San Francisco Giants.

Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, MLB Trade Rumors, MLB.com.


Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

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.