Minnesota Twins: Logan Morrison heads to disabled list as Ehire Adrianza comes off of it
The Minnesota Twins just can’t seem to avoid injuries to their starting players. Another one of their offseason free-agent additions, Logan Morrison, is hitting the disabled list with what is being labelled as a left hip impingement.
This news will likely not make very many Twins fans upset as Morrison, a once shiny new exciting free-agent signing has struggled for most of 2018 at the plate. In 80 games and 300 plate appearances, Morrison is slashing an embarrassing .193/.287/.367 with a slightly more respectable 11 home runs. It is that low production that has caused many fans to call for Morrison’s benching or even a DFA.
Bad offensive numbers are bad news for a player like Morrison who doesn’t offer up much more in value other than what he brings to the table with his bat. What has been the most perplexing about Morrison’s batting stats is that there are some measurements that say he should be having much better success than he is having.
As you can see in the tweet below from Twins Daily’s Parker Hageman, Statcast is a much bigger fan of Morrison than many actual fans. In their data for expected outcomes, Morrison should have hit the ball close to a .258 batting average and .512 slugging percentage.
This is also about the worst time that this injury could come for the Twins. If there was any chance of trading Morrison for something in return at the trade deadline he needed to start turning some of those Statcast expected stats into real life on the field stats quickly to be attractive to a contending team.
Ehire Adrianza healthy
As Morrison lands on the disabled list, Ehire Adrianza comes off of it. While Morrison’s injury couldn’t come at a much worst time, Adrianza’s return comes at a very good time. As Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar‘s names are being bounced around in trade rumors it will be good for the Twins to know Adrianza can still produce like he was before his own DL stint.
In the middle of one of his most used and most productive season, Adrianza is slashing .261/.314/.410. Those are very good numbers for a player that was expected to be a bench utility player but instead got thrown into the starting shortstop role after Jorge Polanco‘s suspension and Miguel Sano‘s struggles.
Even though the Twins may turn to a player like Nick Gordon if Dozier or Escobar are ultimately traded. Also knowing they have a healthy and productive Adrianza to shuffle in and out of the lineup will help them feel better about the product they are putting on the field, even in a losing season.
Kyle Gibson helps Minnesota Twins top Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 in rain-delayed series opener
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Nine years after drafting Kyle Gibson in the first round and six seasons into his major league career, the faith the Minnesota Twins have had in the lanky right-hander has finally been rewarded on a consistent basis.
He's gained a greater level of confidence in himself, too.
Gibson struck out nine batters over eight easy innings for the Twins, who handed Tampa Bay ace Blake Snell his shortest start of the season and beat the Rays 5-1 on Thursday night after a two-hour rain delay.
"Just had to add to the caffeine and keep the body loose," Gibson said.
Eddie Rosario hit a two-run homer in the seventh against reliever Chih-Wei Hu for more cushion, but Gibson (4-6) was already well in control on his way to consecutive wins for the
first time this year. He gave up five hits without a walk, and the only run he permitted came on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Kiermaier in the eighth.
"Hopefully he pitches as well in the second half," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said, "and gets a lot more wins to show for it."
Fernando Rodney relieved Ryan Pressly in the ninth to get the last two outs and his 21st save, preserving the seventh victory in eight games for the Twins.
The Rays had their five-game winning streak stopped after a rare clunker from Snell (12-5), who lasted only three innings and threw just 43 of 75 pitches for strikes.
The lefty took the second-lowest ERA in the American League into the game, with just two runs allowed over his last 28 2/3 innings while winning each of his last four turns. But he was in trouble every inning and found himself trailing 3-0 after back-to-back RBI doubles by Robbie Grossman and Jorge Polanco in the third.
"For whatever reason, he just wasn't able to make the pitches that we've seen him make so many times this year," manager Kevin Cash said.
Snell wasn't so upset about the early hook as he was about his own mechanical trouble that he believes he could've prevented.
"It was just a lot of me making mental errors and not correcting them as fast as I should have," Snell said. "They capitalized."
The Twins hustled through that third inning. Brian Dozier singled and took second on a wild pitch. Then as he attempted to steal third, Grossman swung at a high pitch for an awkward-but-effective hit-and-run. Polanco later stole third base, too, though he was ultimately stranded.
"You've got to try to create against him when you get a chance," Molitor said.
Gibson took it from there, continuing his renaissance with his longest start on the 2018 ledger. He dropped his ERA to 3.42, more than a full run lower than his career mark. He also has by far the best strikeout rate of his career, just short of an average of one per inning.
After getting sent down to Triple-A Rochester twice last season, Gibson worked with a sports psychologist. He began to rediscover his fastball command and, more importantly, his self-esteem on the mound. Gibson gave up more than three runs only once in his last 12 starts of 2017.
"I was putting too much stress on myself and putting too much importance on being great or being really good and losing sight of what I needed to do," he said.
The Rays sent rookie shortstop Willy Adames, one of the organization's top prospects, back to Triple-A Durham before the game. There's a playing-time pinch in the infield, and Adames has been struggling at the plate. Cash said the demotion "was a really hard decision" for the team.
"We thought we were going to be able to do a better job of creating a lane," Cash said.
The Rays used the roster spot to recall Hu, acquired in a trade with the Twins for reliever Kevin Jepsen in 2015.
Rays: SS Christian Arroyo wasn't deemed ready to come off the DL to replace Adames. Arroyo is on a rehab assignment for a strained left oblique, and he exited early from his game Thursday night at Durham with an injury to his left hand.
Twins: DH-1B Logan Morrison was put on the DL for a nagging hip problem that he expects won't require more than the minimum 10-day stay. "It's been manageable and still is manageable," he said. "Just need to take a step back and use the break as some time without missing games."
Rays: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (3-3, 3.35 ERA) pitches the second game of the series, coming off a stellar start against the Mets last weekend when he retired his first 18 batters and finished with only one hit allowed, no runs and nine strikeouts in seven innings.
Twins: RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-6, 4.28 ERA) takes the mound on Friday night, facing his former team for the first time. Odorizzi, traded to the Twins in February, pitched six scoreless innings in his last turn against the Orioles for his first win in 11 starts.
Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins end Tampa Rays' five-game win streak
Minnesota Twins snapped the Tampa Bay Rays' five-game winning streak with a 5-1 victory on Thursday night in Minneapolis. Among the twins, Kyle Gibson picks up his second consecutive victory by giving up one run while Eddie Rosario hits a two-run homer registering their win.
Gibson (4-6) struck out nine and didn't walk a batter as the Twins won for the seventh time in eight games. Fernando Rodney summoned with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, got the final two outs for his 21st save.
Brian Dozier extended his hitting streak to seven games, and Robbie Grossman and Jorge Polanco each had RBI doubles for Minnesota. The Twins chased Tampa Bay starter Blake Snell after three innings, his shortest start of the season.
Snell (12-5) allowed three runs on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts, just the fourth time the left-hander allowed three or more runs in a game this year.
Snell, who entered the game second in the American League in wins and ERA, had won four starts in a row while allowing just two earned runs in 28 2/3 innings and striking out 35. He threw 75 pitches, 43 for strikes, and saw his ERA rise from 2.09 to 2.27.
Kevin Kiermaier had a sacrifice fly, Jake Bauers finished with three hits and Wilson Ramos had two hits for the Rays.
Following a two-hour rain delay to start the game, Snell struggled with his control, yielding two walks and a Rosario single to load the bases with one out in the first. However, he bounced back to strike out Polanco and got Willians Astudillo to ground out to end the 30-pitch inning.
Snell wasn't as fortunate in the second inning, issuing a leadoff walk to Max Kepler, who then went to third on a single by Ehire Adrianza and scored on Bobby Wilson's double-play grounder.
The Twins parlayed three consecutive hits into a 3-0 lead in the third. Dozier singled with one out, went to second on a wild pitch and came around to score on a double to right by Grossman. Polanco followed on the next pitch with a line-drive double to left to knock in Grossman.
Rosario made it 5-0 with his 19th homer of the season in the seventh off reliever Chih-Wei Hu, driving in Joe Mauer, who had blooped a single to left.
The Rays cut it to 5-1 in the eighth on Kiermaier's two-out sacrifice fly, driving in Adeiny Hechavarria, who had doubled.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases with one out in the ninth with singles by Bauers and C.J. Cron sandwiched around a walk to Ramos off reliever Ryan Pressly. Rodney then knocked down a comeback liner by Joey Wendle to get a force at home and struck out pinch-hitter Matt Duffy to end the game.