Before we get into the Out of the Park Baseball update on the fictional Twins, there was one important real world Twins update today: The 60 game schedule has come out for the real, honest to goodness Twins season. I’ll keep up with this OOTP version of the Twins, just in case things go awry with the restart, or perhapst so we can all appreciate what would have happened if things hadn’t gone awry in the first place.
Now, for that trade that still has me scratching my head. Let’s recap the situation the Twins find themselves in. They are 11 games in front of the 2nd place Cleveland Indians. Coasting, for the most part, though one could argue they needed to plumb the trade market for starting pitching, as Michael Pineda and Kenta Maeda are injured, and Rich Hill hasn’t made his way to the majors and is scuffling in Rochester, while Jake Odorizzi has been at his worst.
Of course, the Twins lead the league in starters’ ERA, thanks to the resurgent Homer Bailey, and younger players like Randy Dobnak and Jose Berrios. The real surprise is the efficacy of Matt Wisler, who has a 4.04 ERA in 71 IP, with peripherals that suggest that suggest he might be even better than that.
What nobody was callng for was the move that the Twins did make. I will preface this, I guess, by saying that Jake Cave was hit in the dome by a pitch, and is out for a month. The Twins initially replaced Cave with Daric Barton, but decided to make a move for more outfield depth, particularly since Cave had already usurped Eddie Rosario in left.
So the Twins acquired outfielder Derek Dietrich and cash from the Cincinnati Reds. Dietrich was hitting .196, which is the best average he’s had since 2018 with the Marlins. He only had 1 home run in 38 game played, though,and that was the one asset Dietrich was supposed to provide. In short, Dietrich is an unremarkable player (except for his history with the Pirates) having a down year and playing a deep position that will be bridging what will be a 1-2 week gaps for the Twins.
For that, the Twins sent the Reds Devin Smeltzer. Smeltzer was doing fine in Rochester, and certainly could have made a return to the majors before much longer. The Twins weer already down 3 starters, why not more? But now, he will be part of Cincinnati’s rebuild (they also traded Anthony Desclafani to the Braves for prospects on the same day), perhaps as a key rotation piece, while the Twins probably downgraded at a position while gliding towards the postseason.
To be fair, though, Dietrich has hit 4 homers in his first 9 games with the Twins, and collected a .412 average. Maybe the fake front office does know what they are doing.