Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Notes, quotes and comment

Jose Berrios didn't fare well Tuesday night. His first pitch was hit about as well as the last pitch on Monday night was -- both blasts hit the limestone above the batter's eye -- and things deteriorated from there.

I shall avoid dwelling on that unpleasantness and find some other things to comment on ...

* I said in Tuesday morning's post that Trevor May hit 98 at times on Monday night. He actually peaked at 100, on the pitch that got the double-play grounder that got him out of the eighth inning. I don't know that I've seen any Twins pitcher hit triple-digits.

It was rather optimal conditions for May. He had thrown exactly one pitch in game conditions in a week, so his arm was about as fresh as it could be in August. It was a warm, humid night, so no chill to contract the muscles. And it was a close game in a pennant race, so the adrenaline was flowing.

If he was going to throw 100, that was a prime opportunity for it.

* Jonathan Schoop has started once in the past six games. I'm starting to suspect that he might be a candidate to be DFA'd if the Twins need a roster spot.

He has been better this year than in 2018, but that's not saying much. And much of his production has come in blowouts. He is, I believe, a better defensive second baseman than Luis Arraez, but not enough to make up for the difference between the two at the plate.

I certainly prefer to see Arraez at the plate in the ninth inning of a tied game than Schoop.

* I've commented before on how much Rocco Baldelli shuffles players around various positions. Marwin Gonzalez, Arraez, Ehrie Adrianza and the injured Willians Astudillo have all started games at at least four different positions.

Deciding where to put them is frequently an interesting puzzle. On Monday Gonzalez, Arraez and Adrianza were all in the infield (with Jorge Polanco at shortstop). Baldelli's alignment had Adrianza at first, Arraez at second and Gonzalez at third. My inclination would have been to flip Adrianza and Gonzalez.

I do sometimes wonder how much of a connection there is between the position shuffling and the misplays and errors we've seen over the past couple of months. The Twins were changed with 77 errors in their first 112 games; the average team had 69.

Of course, there's a lot more to defense than avoiding errors, and the Twins, at least by the defensive metrics available on baseball reference, are solidly above average.

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