I’m glad I get to write previews, and not recaps; I would just as soon forget the last four games, and focus on the next four. The Minnesota Twins travel to the west coast to face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a four game tilt.
The Angels will be without Mike Trout, as the superstar spends his first career trip to the disabled list recovering from a UCL tear in his thumb. Apparently this is a less-bad sort of UCL tear than the kind Twins fans have become accustomed to. The Angels come into the series in second place in the AL West, behind the hottest-team-in-baseball-who-just-took-a-sledgehammer-to-the-hopes-and-dreams-of-Twins-fans Houston Astros.
Hopefully, getting away from the unfriendly confines of Target Field will allow the Twins a chance to recover from four ugly games, and rebound. The Twins are currently 12-17 at home, and 14-5 on the road. Playing a team that is not quite as hot will definitely help. The Angels hitters bring a team triple slash of .237/.314./.380, and the only team with worse numbers is the Royals. The Angels have been middle-of-the-pack in pitching numbers, generally just slightly above AL average. Las Angeles has a fielding percentage of .982, which puts them in the lower half of the American League.
The Angels have a weird roster of “guys who used to be good,” “guys most people have never heard of,” and “guys who used to be Twins.”
Last year, the Twins came off a 9-game losing streak (to start the season) to sweep the Angels. They ended up winning 4 of 6 on the year. Hopefully the magic continues. Both teams scored 29 runs in the season series, which is roughly as many as the Twins bullpen just gave up to Houston.
“He'd headed west 'cause he felt that a change would do him good” — Maybe it will work for the Twins
Game 1 Thursday, June 1, 2017. 9:07 pm CT. Adalberto Mejia LHP v Alex Meyer RHP
Game 2 Friday, June 2, 2017. 9:07 pm CT. Kyle Gibson RHP v Matt Shoemaker RHP
Game 3 Saturday, June 3, 2017. 9:07 CT. Ervin Santana RHP v Rocky Nabisco (Ricky Nolasco) RHP
Game 4 Sunday, June 4, 2017. 2:37 CT. Jose Berrios RHP v Parker Bridwell RHP
- Old friends Alex Meyer and Ricky Nolasco were exchanged with the Angels last August, for Hector Santiago and Alan Busenitz. Surprisingly, three of the four are on Major League rosters, while Busenitz could very well be on the Twins roster by the end of the year, or by next week, at the rate the Twins are using relief pitchers.
- On the topic of Meyer, he has been on the 10-day DL since May 24th with back spasms, and is projected to return for the first game of this series. Prior to ending up on the DL, he pitched 23 innings in 5 starts for the Angels, to the tune of a 5.79 ERA.
- Another old friend, Ben Revere, has been receiving regular playing time from the Angels. He has rewarded them with a Revere-like stat line of .212/.226/.327 with 1 HR. That means pieces of the three most important trades Terry Ryan made in his 2nd stint as GM will be represented in the Angel’s dugout (Revere for Vance Worley & Trevor May, Denard Span for Meyer, and Meyer & Nolasco for Santiago & Busenitz.) Makes you wonder what Denard is up to these days (30 games for the Giants.)
- Literally the only player with a plate appearance against either game 1 starter is Jason Castro. He is 2-for-3 with a home run against Meyer.
- Kyle Gibson has done relative well against the Angels in his career, holding them to .269/.370/.423 in 78 at-bats. Shoemaker, the nominal ace of their staff, has limited the damage against the Twins batters to .227/.340/.341, but Joe Mauer has hit .400, Jason Castro is 4-of-16 with a double and two RBI’s, and Eddie Rosario has hit .250 with a 2-run home run.
- Cliff Pennington (11-for-25) and Yunel Escobar(8-for-22) have hit really well against Santana. Albert Pujols (3-for-12) and Cameron Maybin (1-for-9) have not. Brian Dozier (0-for-2) and Chris Gimenez (0-for-3) are the only Twins who have faced Nolasco and are not hitting .500 or better against him. Eduardo Escobar, Castro, and Mauer have all done well in limited plate appearances against the former Twin.
- No Twin has ever faced the rookie Bridwell, and only two Angels have seen Berrios. Luis Valbueno has a walk and a strikeout against him, and Maybin has a walk.
- The following Twins notched W’s against the Angels last year: Casey Fien, Ryan Pressly, Michael Tonkin, and Ricky Nolasco. None of those guys are still on the big league team. Kevin Jepsen somehow earned two saves in those games.
- Hector Santiago took a win for Los Angeles last year, in a game that Tyler Duffey ended up on the losing end of.
How Many Wins Do The Twins Get Against The Angels?
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