Monday, August 13, 2018

No Mo Lo Mo and other notes from the weekend

Logan Morrison is now on the disabled list and done for the season, with hip surgery pending.

The Twins could pick up his $8 million option for 2019. My instinct is that they will pay the $1 million buyout and let him hit free agency again.

I will go so far as to say that there's no way both Morrison and Joe Mauer are back in 2019. They are both left-handed hitters, both over 30 and both limited to first base in the field.

My current reading of the Mauer situation is:

  • He wants to play in 2019
  • He doesn't want to go elsewhere to do so

If both those assumptions are accurate, Mauer will be back for his age 36 season. And I think the roster makes more sense if there is a right-handed hitter complementing him for the 1B/DH roles.

The Morrison signing made sense. It didn't work. I don't know how much the hip issue had to do with his struggles this year, but I think the Twins will move on.


Baseball Reference's team pages display mug shots of that team's top 12 players by WAR. For the Twins at this typing, the top 12 includes two guys no longer with with the team (Eduardo Escobar and Brian Dozier), a DL-list pitcher with four starts (Adalberto Mejia), a shortstop still shy of 150 plate appearances (Jorge Polanco) and an outfielder likewise shy of 150 plate appearances (Jake Cave).

Mauer is not among the top 12, even though he leads the team in the most important hitting stat, on-base percentage (150 PA minimum).

It has been a disappointing season for the Minnesota icon, especially after such a solid 2017. He had the lengthy DL stint with concussion symptoms as well, so his return is far from a foregone conclusion. Both parties, the Twins and Mauer, could logically say no. I just think they're both inclined to yes.


Kohl Stewart's debut Sunday matched  the Keith Law scouting report referenced here last week. He throws strikes and lacks an out pitch. That might work if the defense is of genuine high quality, but that's not the 2018 Twins. In his fatal fifth inning, the balls in play turned into hits.

His plus is a lot of ground balls. His minus is that the Twins aren't particularly adept at turning ground balls into outs. Paul Molitor gave him a shortstop at third base to try to help with that, but ... ultimately, it's real tough to be a starting pitcher in the second decade of the 21st century with a below-average strikeout rate.


I see I forgot to do a Pic of the Week. Probably a sign that I should retire that Sunday feature of the blog.

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