Dodgers @ Twins April 9, 2024: Dodgers hope to keep Twins winless at home as series continues

Rebounding from Sunday’s loss to the Cubs, the Dodgers (9-4) opened their three-game series in Minneapolis with a 4-2 victory over the Twins (3-5) on Monday.

That avoided the first pair of back-to-back losses in 2024 as James Paxton and Bailey Ober kept the game relatively uneventful for the first half of the game. Then James Outman and Shohei Ohtani each hit solo homers in the 7th to give the Dodgers a lead and the bullpen closed out the victory quite easily.

However, the Dodgers did strikeout 12 times in the game after also reaching double-digits twice in the series with the Cubs as well as against the Giants.

That, coupled with Daniel’s tweet, got me thinking to check in briefly on the K% of the roster even if we are only 13 games into the season.

2024 K%2023 K%2022 K%
Max Muncy41.2%26.4%25.0%
Teoscar Hernandez38.9%31.1%28.4%
Chris Taylor37.0%32.6%35.2%
James Outman35.7%31.9%N/A
Austin Barnes28.6%21.5%17.5%
Gavin Lux26.3%N/A20.2%
Enrique Hernandez25.0%19.1%17.7%
Shohei Ohtani20.0%23.9%24.2%
Miguel Rojas18.8%11.3%12.0%
Freddie Freeman17.2%16.6%14.4%
Mookie Betts14.8%15.4%16.3%
Will Smith14.3%16.1%16.6%

Obviously, this is ignoring many other factors for some of the guys such as Teoscar Hernandez’s BB% also up to 7.4% from the 5.6% it was last year or Taylor sitting at an 18.5 BB% from last year’s 10.7%. Plus, I am also looking at this in a sample that includes between 20 and 60 PAs this season as opposed o the hundreds everyone will end up with. It just felt like something worth noting now to revisit in a few weeks and see which one of them was sustaining the increase compared to past seasons.

Image Image
4:40 P.M. Minneapolis
SS Betts 2B Julien (L)
DH Ohtani (L) SS Correa
1B Freeman (L) 1B Kirilloff (L)
C Smith CF Buxton
3B Muncy (L) DH Miranda
RF T. Hernandez RF Wallner (L)
CF Outman (L) 3B Castro (S)
LF Taylor C Jeffers
2B Lux (L) LF Martin
P Glasnow (R) P Varland (R)

With a right-handed starter on the mound and Jason Heyward on the injured list, this is about exactly what you would expect from the Dodgers. That’s allowed Hernandez to stick in right field for nine consecutive games now after starting four of five games in left field to start the season.

For the Twins, former Dodgers Manuel Margot is not in the lineup with a right-handed pitcher on the mound. Other former Dodgers Kyle Farmer and Carlos Santana are also not in the lineup as the three left-handed batters and one switch hitter who came in as substitutes yesterday now start today.


Tyler Glasnow is already going to start his fourth game as a Dodger in the first 14 for the team thanks to the trip to South Korea.

In those three games and 17 innings pitched, Glasnow picked backup his four-seamer usage to 55.0% compared to the career-low of 43.5% in 2023. That’s come at the expense of the slider, which is at 26.7% from 34.8% last year, and the curve which is at 15.9% compared to 21.3% in 2023.

Glasnow hasn’t actually used his fastball this often in a single month since August 2020 when it was at 60.2%, though that can easily change as April 2021 is just behind at 54.9%. All of that is really the result of his last outing when he was at 62.0% with the four-seamer while the curveball (22.0%) passed the slider (16.0%) for the first time this year. That was actually the case in his final two games with the Rays in 2023, the only times it happened in 21 games last year.

Through those three games, Glasnow’s curveball is also the lowest it has been by vertical drop at 48.9 inches (the previous low was last season’s 52.6 inches) while its horizontal break is also the lowest in his career at 0.7 inches though 2023 was only at 1.0 inches anyway. The trade off has been an increased rise in velocity from 83.5 mph in 2021 to 83.9 mph last year and currently 84.6 mph on the 41 pitches this season. Maybe it all means nothing, but I really get bored with these threads this early in the year.


Opposing Glasnow will be Louie Varland, the brother of Oklahoma City Baseball Club pitcher Gus Varland who was optioned yesterday as Connor Brogdon was activated.

The Minnesota Varland has started just 16 games in his career with 23 total appearances. Unsurprisingly, none of those games have come against the Dodgers.

In his 2024 debut, Varland lasted 4 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers with 3 runs allowed on 6 hits and 2 walks. Varland struck out 4 during the outing, but did finish with 52 strikes and 37 balls as he had another six 3-ball counts that didn’t result in walks. One of those included the lone home run Varland allowed in the game that came off the bat of Christian Yelich.

Varland’s four-seamer sits at 95.8 mph with an 89.9 mph cutter and 84.6 mph curve as his primary pitches. In that first start of the season, right-handed batters saw the cutter as the primary pitch, coming 44.4% of the time with the four-seamer at 36.1% and the curve at 13.9%. Lefties got the four-seamer at 45.3% with the cutter and curve both at 18.9% and the 87.1 mph changeup at 15.1%.

Last year, Varland was using a sweeper rather than the curve for left-handed batters, but otherwise the usage was not that different. Righties saw the four-seamer and cutter at a nearly identical rate last season, but again the curve has taken over for the sweeper after one start this year.

The Brewers connected for three hits against the four-seamer in Varland’s season debut, including both extra-base hits that accounted for two of the three runs he allowed. Varland also hit a batter and walked another with the fastball in the same inning, which accounted for most of his trouble against Milwaukee.


Designated for assignment a few days ago, Dinelson Lamet cleared waivers and is joining Gus in Triple-A

Mookie could win an Emmy Award.


First pitch is scheduled for 4:40 p.m. PT on SportsNet LA.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree.