Hey, thanks for joining us for another spirited edition of the #AskBW mailbag. Let’s dive right in:
Odds that the Twins front office "shot" at a top free agent is going to be Arenado? Moving Sano to 1st base.
— Dave Barton (@dj11barton) February 21, 2019
I lean toward no because I think the cool markets the last two years will make him think twice about leaving Colorado, but at the same time, it’s not like the market has been depressed for the top-end guys. Manny Machado still got $300 million, after all.
But if that was the splash, it would be a terrific idea.
Arenado is a terrific defender in addition to being a great offensive player, and would still would be turning just 29 early in the 2020 season.
Plus — how insane would an infield of Sano-Polanco-Lewis-Arenado be?
I’m not saying he’s going to leave the Rockies or that the Twins would even make a play for him, but at this point he’d be a terrific target. I still suspect the Twins might prefer going the route of a pitcher — like Chris Sale or Gerrit Cole.
Curly fries or waffle fries?
— EggsOdorizzi (@EggsOrdorizzi) February 21, 2019
Waffle fries with seasoned sour cream, if I’m forced to make a choice. More surface area for dip = better.
But I’m really not a huge potato guy.
When are you going to Spring Training this year?
— Jake Palmer (@MEJakePalmer3) February 21, 2019
We’re taking the Zone Coverage show on the road this year, heading to Fort Myers from March 8-12. If you’re down there, drop me a line via Twitter DM or whatever other means you wish and we’ll come say hey.
As the current bullpen stands, how high is the ceiling for them?
— EverydayTwinsTalk (@EverydayTwins) February 21, 2019
I’m more optimistic than most, I think. If the season started today, my bullpen would look like this:
- Adalberto Mejia
- Martin Perez
- Trevor Hildenberger
- Blake Parker
- Trevor May
- Addison Reed
- Taylor Rogers
If it’s a seven-man bullpen — and a 12-man staff — that’s about it, with guys like Tyler Duffey, Matt Magill, Gabriel Moya, Kohl Stewart, Andrew Vasquez and Fernando Romero on the outside looking in.
I suspect the Twins might go the route of either Mejia or Perez as the No. 5 starter — with an opener, maybe — which would allow someone like Romero to be in the bullpen. And if they go with an opener, it’ll probably be a 13-man pitching staff, which would allow either Magill or Duffey to make the team as well.
Magill’s secondary numbers weren’t pretty, but he had a swinging-strike rate of 11.4 percent, he throws hard and on a pitch-by-pitch basis, he had double-digit swinging-strike rates over 15 percent on his cutter, curve, changeup and slider. Duffey also isn’t without potential, as his 2017 numbers indicate. The 2018 season was a mess for Duffey, but it was 25 innings at sporadic intervals. It’s hard to read too much into that.
Are you eating carbs yet? I had an apple fritter from that donut place next to Fantasia yesterday.
— david (@schlazor) February 20, 2019
For those unaware, I’m doing the Keto diet — with a few modifications. Basically, all I’m eating is meat, salad, cheese and all those sorts of things. But I’m also eating fruit, and I make a drink every morning in my Vitamix blender to get my day started:
- Two cans of flavored seltzer water
- Two packets of Emergen-C
- One shot of cherry juice concentrate (thanks Gardy!)
- One shot of apple cider vinegar
- One shot of elderberry juice
- One shot of MCT oil
- A handful of ice cubes
It comes out to about 31-32 ounces of pure bliss. The fizz calms my desire to drink soda, and it also allows me to take a lot of different things that are helpful for staying healthy and upright — in addition to the vitamins I take.
So far, I’ve lost 11 pounds since the New Year. I’ll take a cheat meal here or there — including Friday for my birthday — but so far I’ve been disciplined.
But I’m also super jealous of anyone who gets something from the Old Fashioned Donut Shoppe. They’re terrific.
Judge, Kris Bryant, Benintendi, Acuna, Soto, Baez
Mad Bum, Snell, buehler.
I can keep two SP, 2 hitters, and a managers choice, which 5 players would you keep?
— Brandon Kane (@Yo_Boo_Boo) February 20, 2019
I’d keep Snell, Buehler, Acuna, Soto and…..Baez. This is a difficult decision, but the pitchers for me are pretty easy, I think you have to keep the two young studs and then I’d go with Baez because shortstops and guys who can go 30-20 like he did last year are both rarer than really good outfielders or third basemen.
Do the Twins sign anyone else before Opening Day? If so, who would be your best guess?
— Peyton Nuy (@pnuy15) February 20, 2019
You can easily make a compelling case for them to sign Marwin Gonzalez, Dallas Keuchel and/or Craig Kimbrel — and sure, Bryce Harper too — but honestly if they do sign someone, I think it’ll be like Ervin Santana on a minor-league deal. I didn’t think they were done until just recently, but now with spring training in full swing, I just don’t know that I see them making another acquisition that might move the needle.
I should know this but I don’t..how many games do you cover each season at the ballpark?
My secondary question is what is your genre of choice on your trips from Target Field back up 94 West?
— Jared Hines (@Jared_Hines27) February 20, 2019
I recently figured it out for my taxes and I want to say it was in the 60-something range last year. My record is 81 — every home game in 2013.
My driving home listening choices are very mood-based. I have a rotation of three podcasts I listen to regularly — Small Town Murder, Crime in Sports and 83 Weeks — but I also have a podcast of oldies and then year-by-year lists of my “most listened to” songs from that year.
If I go for any sort of individual artist, odds are it’s Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean or Run the Jewels.
What do you expect from Berrios this year? And will Kepler take that next step?
— Total Fantasy Sports (@TFS_sports) February 20, 2019
I’m thinking a strikeout per inning, maybe a few more grounders — maybe up to the league average of 45 percent — and an ERA around 3.60?
I’m really on board with a Kepler breakout this season. The spike in walk rate and the fact that he hit well against lefties are two factors in his favor, and he also started lifting the ball more. I think he’s going to hit 30 homers.
How much of a thrill do professional players experience when they get a new cap? Is every player measured this week to get proper-fitting items when they get called up, or in general? How many bats do guys try out during ST and how many hits does it take to know a "keeper"?
— Scott Lindhólm (@4arlandria) February 20, 2019
These are all good/interesting questions. I think players probably don’t think too much about hats — except Reed, who hates them — but I would guess they get measured in spring training for anyone on the 40-man roster just so they have those handy if/when a player gets called up. They’ll sew up the jersey when the player gets the call — the clubbies do that — but other than that, they’ll usually talk to reps about equipment during the spring and sometime during the season.
I’ll ask some guys these questions when I’m down there, too.
How has your gymnasium football game aged?
— Derek James (@DerekJamesNBA) February 20, 2019
Like most things on me…poorly. So….backstory time. I worked at a fitness center from like 2007-10, and late at night I’d organize flag or two-hand touch football games in the gym. We’d get like 10 guys together and just run up and down the court late into the night, and it was actually a lot of fun.
The gym also had a walkway out of the building that allowed a bird’s-eye view of the actual playing surface, so it was kind of cool that you could walk out of the building and watch the game from a sideline-type view.
I had really, really great hands but uh, didn’t run too well. Imagine Donovan McNabb with great hands but running like a 5.0 40.
Would be fun to get the gang together again.
From David Whitcomb: Byron Buxton
This isn’t a question, but what the heck: .265/.330/.450, 40 steals, Gold Glove and down-ballot MVP votes. Let’s go.
From Chris Schumm: Will the Twins make it to the postseason?
No, but they’ll win 86 games and in general just be really, really entertaining.
From Brad Jerome: When did you make your first million?
From Fred Ontjes: At what temperature are shorts no longer an option?
Zero degrees. (Context: this is my next-door neighbor, who saw me leave the house in shorts to pick up my daughter from daycare on Wednesday).
From Adam Shidla: Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
From Phil Wiese: What is your greatest celebration-related injury?
I cracked the underside of the loveseat in our living room after the Minneapolis Miracle.
From Michael Gasser: With the Padres having the top minor-league system with several top-100 guys, do you think the Machado signing will be good for them to build this young team around, or hurt their ability to keep all that talent together as they start hitting arbitration and free agency in a few years?
I think they’re banking on him opting out — I think that’s after five years — but yeah, that’s the double negative that can happen if a player doesn’t opt out. If he doesn’t, it likely means he’s playing poorly — and thus not earning the money he’s already been paid.
I think it’s great for players to have and use that leverage, but I also understand why teams are hesitant to hand them out.
But at the same time, it’s important to realize that the prospects are just so far away from doing this that we really can’t know for sure — and guys like Machado are only available every so often. It’s a good problem to have.
In a way, I feel like the Cubs were going to have this issue with Baez and a bunch of other youngsters coming up at the same time, and so far it hasn’t been an issue.
From Sheryl Hussey: What can be done with all the cold and snow?
*sigh* For context, we just set a record for most snow in February in the Twin Cities.
From Samuel Joseph: After listening to your latest podcast, you seem intrigued with 2020 FA, Nolan Arenado, as am I. However, with Coors Field being so hitter friendly, are you concerned about his home/always splits?
With superstars I’m less inclined to worry about this, but I think oddly enough, DJ Lemahieu could provide a good litmus test for this. He’s going from Colorado to New York, but since he wasn’t a huge power guy, it’ll be interesting to see how his other attributes — most notably, batting average and BABIP — translate. Now with that said, I know Arenado is a different kind of player, but I don’t think we’ve seen too many great players leave Colorado at this age, either.
When Troy Tulowitzki was traded, he had battled injuries for multiple seasons and was in the midst of one of the worst seasons of his career. Sure, he was 30 — roughly a year older than Arenado will be if he leaves Colorado — but he was a very old 30 physically.
But yes, I think — as noted earlier — an infield of Sano-Polanco-Lewis-Arenado or Kirilloff-Polanco-Lewis-Arenado with Sano DH’ing is a really, really exciting proposition.
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