Monday, March 12, 2007
Hey everyone! I hope everyone had a good weekend. I didn't write much over the weekend, just some quick notes Friday night, so today will have plenty of "Former Twins" information, but I will try to do more as well. Please take a minute and think about possible contests that I could have for these 1987 DVDs mentioned above. Let's get to some baseball thoughts!
The Twins got two wins in their last two games this weekend. This, of course, means nothing. What is more important is who played well, and how players looked. Since I could not watch the games, I can not really comment on that, but I would say that by the end of this week, looking at the scores and how players are performing will become a little more important, particularly for players on the bubble. The below are some of the highlights from the Saturday and Sunday games, but you will also find some random thoughts throughout it about the players.
On Saturday, the Twins beat the Devil Rays 4-3 in 11 innings. Ramon Ortiz impressed again, giving up only an unearned run in three innings. He struck out four and has been doing very well all spring. Of course, from everything we have heard, Ortiz can be very good, he just has that "one bad inning" in each start. So far, he hasn't had a bad inning in any of his starts. It will be good to see him get to six or seven innings. Obviously things look quite positive right now, and hopefully this is a sign of things to come, but again, enthusiasm must be tempered. Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless inning. Jesse Crain pitched two scoreless innings. JD Durbin came back from a rough first outing to have a scoreless, two strikeout inning. I would really like to see Durbin get healthy and see what he can do. Believe me, if the Twins let him go, someone will claim him. Oswaldo Sosa gave up two runs in the 9th inning, but Jason Miller picked up the even-less-important spring training win by pitching two scoreless innings. Michael Cuddyer and Mike Redmond were each 2-3 with an RBI. Cuddyer had a double. Jeff Cirillo played for the first time in a while! That is good. Again, spring training doesn't matter, but it is good to help players get ready. Injury in spring has to be so frustrating... ask Alejandro Machado! That reminds me though... why are the Twins so against Luis Rodriguez playing SS? He may not have a lot of range, but in the few times that he has played the position, he has not been over his head. Also, he would be Jason Bartlett's backup which should mean that he would only play there about once every other week. To me, that sounds a lot better than bringing up Alexi Casilla and only playing him once a week or so!
On a similar note, Lew Ford will have surgery on his knee and will be out of action for 4-6 weeks. I am sure that it will, but we obviously hope that he recovers well. As much that he has never duplicated his production from the first half of 2004 (when he was almost named an All-Star), Ford does do several things well. He does play a good outfield and he does have a very strong arm. He plays hard and gets a lot of infield hits. Of course, we would all like to see him drive the ball to the gaps again, but infield hits keep rallies going. He is ideal as a fourth outfielder. Does hit injury help the case for Josh Rabe to make the Twins opening day roster? Probably not. It does help Jason Tyner's case though.
On Sunday, the Twins beat the Blue Jays 8-5. Glen Perkins got his first start of the spring. He gave up only an unearned run in three innings. He allowed two hits, walked none and struck out two. Matt Guerrier went the next two innings and gave up a run on two hits and a walk. He struck out two. Dennys Reyes and Mike Venafro each pitched a scoreless inning. Randy Choate then got the first two batters out in the 8th before two walks and three hits and three runs ended his day. But Julio DePaula came in and breezed through the final four outs, striking out three! Very impressive outing for DePaula, and I am sure that Gardy and Rick Anderson noticed and will remember later in the year if need be.
Roy Halladay pitched the first four innings for the Blue Jays and was perfect. Then BJ Ryan got the fifth inning and the Twins jumped all over him. The Twins scored three runs on four hits against the closer. Then in the 7th inning, they scored three more against Brian Tallett. Jason Kubel continues to hit well this spring. He went 2-3 with a double and is now batting .409 this spring. Glenn Williams went 23 with two RBI. Luis Rodriguez went 1-2 with two RBI. In the 9th, Denard Span tripled over the head of the centerfielder for an RBI. Personally, that is what I would like to see more of from Span. I could care less if he hits home runs. It really doesn't matter to me. But if he can drive the ball hard and hit some gaps, Span could remind Twins fans of the 2001 version of Cristian Guzman with all of the triples. I realize that a potential of Cristian Guzman is likely not very exciting for a lot of Twins fans, but if Span can hit a bunch of doubles and triples and maintain a .370+ on-base percentage, I think he can be a game-changing type of player.
Here are some other articles related to the Twins and some of their players:
The Blog-Hater himself, Patrick Reusse did write a nice article on Jason Bartlett and how he doesn't have to worry about being sent down to Rochester for more seasoning this spring.
Joe Christensen wrote a great article on Jason Kubel. I think my favorite thing about it is the fact that he reminds of us just how great a prospect Kubel was in 2004 when he raced through the Twins system. Like he wrote, Kubel was every bit the prospect offensively that Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau were. Hopefully he can get back to that level.
Speaking of Kubel, I was at the Dome for his first big league hit. It was also a big day for Terry Tiffee. Justin Morneau had a big hit. And, it was probably a day that Dennys Reyes would rather forget.
Speaking of Tiffee, he is one of six players competing for one roster spot for the Orioles.
Here is a good article on Corey Koskie regarding his attempt to recover from post-concussion syndrome.
Think Kevin Slowey is excited about that Winthrop basketball team (who got an 11-seed in the NCAA tournament and will play Notre Dame)?
According to this Pioneer Press article, Rondell White has some great motivation to be a great player again! Congratulations!
Here is a good article on Francisco Liriano from the Naples News. It discusses what he is doing, how important it is for him to be patient and trying to just be one of the guys.
By the way, if you haven't already, you should head over to Pat Neshek's site. He has a great message board there, and last Friday, Mike Venafro spent time answering fan's questions. It is very enjoyable..
Former Twins Update (Saturday games):
Terry Tiffee played 3B for a few innings after Melvin Mora and went 0-2. Chris Gomez went 0-2 as the backup at 1B.
Michael Ryan went 0-1 pinch-hitting for the Pirates.
The Reds and Indians played on this day and five former Twins participated. For the Reds, Chad Moeller pinch hit with an RBI double. Javy Valentin went 1-4 and caught. Juan Castro went 2-3 with a double and 2 RBI. For the Indians, Casey Blake played 3B and went 0-3. Luis Rivas started at 2B and then moved to 3B later. He went 1-2 with a double. He was hit by a pitch and stole a base.
Mark Redman got a start for the Braves and went 3 innings. He gave up a run on three hits. He struck out two. His battery mate was Corky Miller who went 0-1.
Ruben Sierra pinch hit for the Mets and went 0-1.
Cristian Guzman DHd for the Nationals and went 0-3.
Dustan Mohr played some RF for the Devil Rays and went 0-4.
Rob Bowen went 0-1 as the Padres catcher.
Augie Ojeda went 0-1 as the Diamondbacks backup SS.
Jacque Jones went 0-3 and played RF for the Cubs. Henry Blanco caught and was 0-2.
AJ Pierzynski went 1-4 but hit his 2nd homer of the spring.
Former Twins Update (Sunday games):
David Ortiz went 0-3 as the Red Sox DH. Alex Ochoa got an at bat as the RF and went 0-1.
Michael Restovich went 2-5 as the Nationals DH.
Joe Beimel gave up an earned run on two hits in one inning.
Brent Abernathy played both 2B and LF for the Phillies and went 0-1.
Michael Ryan was 0-1 pinching hitting for the Pirates.
Juan Castro hit a two run homer in a pinch hit at bat. Chad Moeller was 0-1.
Eric Milton gave up four runs (3 earned) on seven hits and a walk in 3.2 innings. He struck out three.
Ruben Sierra DHd for the Mets and went 1-5 with an RBI.
Scott Tyler pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out two.
Doug Mientkiewicz went 0-3 as the Yankees 1B.
Rob Bowen went 2-3 with a home run and three RBI. Todd Walker went 0-4 with a run scored. Both players committed an error for the Padres.
Alex Romero played LF and RF for the D-Backs. He went 1-2. Augie Ojeda played SS and went 0-2.
Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless inning in relief for the Brewers despite giving up a hit and walking two.
I will be back tomorrow. Have good day and a great week!|
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