Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Good Morning ya'll! Again, I've got a lot of 'stuff' going on these days, so I just don't have a lot of time to write. That said, I do want to be sure to keep posting something because I just don't want to lose readers. So again, please bear with me... and when is Opening Day?!?!?!?!? However, a bit of positive news... my intra-mural volleyball team won twice last night, and we are the Warroad Community Ed. champions!! Yay!?
Tomorrow, I will be sure to be back with my American Idol Thoughts. Hopefully I will have the time and the energy to get to my NL West Pitchers Preview. I have also finally compiled all of the Demographic Surveys that were sent in to me last month and will post some of the results tomorrow. If you would like to have your information added to the list, be sure to e-mail me your Age, Location (state is enough), how you found my site, how often you read my site, what you like about this site, and any improvements you would like to see. Thanks again!
Yesterday, the Twins traveled up to Clearwater to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. Of course, Chris Coste, the subject of a Q&A here, is battling for a roster spot for the team. (Check out the Phillies Phorum, where there is lots of talk about Coste making the Phillies opening day roster) He is just crushing the ball and really making the decision difficult for the coaching staff and the general manager, Pat Gillick.
Anyway, Coste played the final three innings at 1B for the Phillies, replacing 2005 NL Rookie of the Year Ryan Howard. He got one at bat and struck out looking against Henry Bonilla. Our good friend and Ft. Myers native, Travis Brunson, who wrote a Why Baseball article for me this winter, has been to a number of Twins games this spring. He traveled to Clearwater and I asked if he would take a few pictures of Coste if he didn't mind. He didn't mind, and today, I would like to share those pictures with you.
Here are some quick links and Twins Thoughts for you to peruse while I am trying to regain some energy! Is it Opening Day yet???
Kelly Thesier wrote a very nice article on one of my favorite Twins minor leaguers the last two or more years, Luis Maza. The middle infielder can rake, but he is also adequate with the glove at at least three positions. I have said over and over that I am a fan of Terry Ryan. However, to have the futility infield combination of Nick Punto and Juan Castro making about $1.8 million is ridiculous when you have two players, Maza and Luis Rodriguez, who are younger, cheaper, and most importantly better!
We are starting to see a few injuries pop up now. Juan Rincon seems to be on the comeback trail now as he is throwing more bullpens after his elbow surgery in the offseason. Juan Castro is day-to-day with a bad wrist. Ruben Sierra expects to miss a week with a strained quad. And Dave Gassner expects to miss a month with bone spurs in his left elbow.
Boof Bonser, Chris Heintz and Garrett Jones were all sent down to minor league camp. None are surprises. I'm sure Bonser would have liked to have done better this spring. He will need to have a big season this year as he will be out of options next year. Heintz is really just insurance for two things. First, for an injury at the big league level. Second, depth as Rob Bowen is likely to be lost as he is also out of options. He will have to go through waivers or be traded when the Twins send him down. Finally, Jones had some highs and lows through the spring. He showed great strength and power. He seemed more relaxed. However, his strikeout rate really does need to come down.
There is a great analysis of the Twins and the mid-point of spring training over at Twin Killings.
The News Press's Glenn Miller writes about former Twins OF Dustan Mohr. He was signed by the Red Sox this winter as a minor league non-roster invitee. I thought he had a good chance to make the roster and platoon some with Trot Nixon. However, with the Sox acquisition of OF Wily Mo Pena from the Reds yesterday, I don't see Mohr making the team any more.
Nick N. concluded their Twins Position Analyses with the Relief Pitchers.
Jim Souhan writes another woe-is-me article on Torii Hunter. He knows that it is unlikely that he will remain with the Twins. And then he compares himself to Kevin Garnett, Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper. If Torii is saying that 'if those guys can get traded, then so can I' then it is ok. If he thinks he approaches the level of talent, impact or even popularity of those three, then he is greatly mistaken.
Wow! Our friend "Roger" is amazing! He's always thinking prospects, and recently, he posted a 2006 Draft Preview with names of players that the Twins should get!
One Twins player appears on Tim Dierkes's Top 20 Fantasy Sleepers list. Who is it? You'll just have to check it out!
A couple of quick links and thoughts/links:
As I've said, I really enjoyed watching the World Baseball Classic. I was actually happy to see teams other than the United States play. Congratulations to Japan for winning and Cuba for finishing second. But does anyone now think that baseball in Japan is the best in the World? (since Korea beat them two out of three times in this tournament, I be they aren't convinced) Does anyone think that the players from Cuba are the second best in the world? Well, maybe both things are true, but we can't use this tournament to say that. Again, the sample size of games is just too small. The logistics of the tournament take some from it. But again, it was good, competitive baseball. It was fun to watch!
I know that I have really done a poor job of discussing things other than baseball here during the offseason. In previous years, I spent a lot of time talking about the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, it is virtually impossible for me to watch the team this year, even though they have the best all-around player in the world on their roster. However, if you are still interested, Stick & Ball Guy continues to do a nice job of analyzing them.
Alfonso Soriano returned to the Washington Nationals from the WBC. Manager Frank Robinson had him in the lineup, in the OF, and Soriano refused to play. I say... good for him! He has stood by the fact that he does not want to move to the OF. He is smart (or his agent is). If he plays 2B, his offensive production is well above average for the position, maybe the best in baseball. If he is a corner OF, his offensive numbers are only average. He is about to become a free agent in the offseason. Of course he wants to maximize his value. To me, the fault is entirely on GM Jim Bowden for signing him. But maybe on a higher level, we should blame Major League Baseball for not selling the Nationals to a real owner that could put a credible GM in the job! We are talking about the guy who gave Cristian Guzman $17 million for four years and Vinny Castilla a two year contract before last season!
The Vikings were able to acquire guard Steve Hutchinson. A left side of the line that includes Bryant McKinney, Hutchinson and Matt Birk should be very good. Will it be Chester Taylor running through the holes?
And on that note, I will call it a day. Tomorrow, I will have my American Idol Thoughts for the week, and assuming I have the time and energy, I will try to get the NL West Pitchers previewed. If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me.
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