Saturday, August 18, 2018

Notes, quotes and comment

Paul Molitor finally walked his talk about a bullpen committee Friday night.

After giving the first three save opportunites since the trade of Fernando Rodney to Trevor Hildenberger, he turned a two-run lead over to Matt Magill. Thirty-some pitches later, Molitor turned a one-run lead over to Taylor Rogers, who got the final out and his first major league save.

We'll see where Molitor goes from here.


Tyler Austin's mammoth homer Friday night prompted a collegue to ask me about him, and I gave him the "Sano light" comp: Right-handed, big power, strikes out a lot, not as athletic as Miguel Sano.

Nobody would play Austin at third base. And Molitor seems reluctant to try him at first base. Having decided to sit Joe Mauer, Molitor played Ehrie Adrianza at first base on Friday (with Sano at third).

Austin, in his limited playing time this year, has an OPS (On-base Plus Slugging) more than 200 points higher against lefties than righties. That sounds like a platoon player, and it's really tough to carry a platoon DH on a 13-pitcher roster.

A better comp for Austin than Sano might be Byung Ho Park, who showed prodigious power in his brief Twins tenure but failed to hit consistently. Part of Park's problem, however, was that he couldn't stay healthy enough to stay in the lineup.


Joe Mauer didn't start Friday night, but he certainly played, pulling a three-run homer while pinch-hitting for Adrianaza. And then he flashed about as much emotion as we've seen from the even-keeled Mauer.

When he stepped out for a curtain call, the thought flashed through my mind: He's going to retire.

As with the stucture of the bullpen, we'll see.

No comments:

Post a Comment