Saturday, March 22, 2008
I heard something interesting today that kind of has me thinking, probably more than I prefer to do on a Saturday. It made me think and then I started thinking about a couple of other things. Bear with me as I ramble some.
I heard that the Twins may be considering keeping both Denard Span and Carlos Gomez on the roster. Is that possible? In one way, I can understand it. I think both have some quality attributes. Gomez is a star in the making, and Span can fill a spot with speed and defense and taking a lot of pitches. Theyíre very different and yet compliment each other well. However, if both make the roster, some things have to be assumed. First, Jason Pridie could not be on the roster. Second, I canít see how they could keep Craig Monroe on the roster. That would then save them about $3 million. Could this all be possible?
And then I started thinkingÖ Clearly the Twins really like Matt Tolbert. He has made an impression. He could make the team at the expense of Brian Buscher. That would leave the Twins with little to no power off the bench. Unless the Twins (meaning Bill Smith) decided to cut his losses and release Nick Punto. They already are paying him $2.4 million, whether he plays or not. So why play him at all? Why take up a roster spot? Your backup infielders could be Tolbert and Buscher, and Punto would be out of the picture. I know that many that read this will agree with ridding the team of Punto, and I donít say it to appease the masses. I just canít help but wonder if it really makes sense to consider?
Reading today that it appears that the Twins are close to a deal with Joe Nathan for ďfour years and somewhere between $11 and $12 million.Ē Now, I am a huge fan of Joe Nathan. He seems to be a great guy and in my mind, he has been the best closer in baseball the last three years. In reality, heís right there with Jonathan Papelbon and JJ Putz as the top closerís in the game today. However, I have always been against a team signing a closer for that much money when he will likely only throw 70-80 innings in a season. He will also come into most games with the bases empty and a lead. Compare that with how often a set up man comes into a game with a couple of base runners in a tie game in the 7th or 8th inning. I think that the Twins do a good job of preparing their set up men to become closers, a philosophy that would mean being able to spend money on other needs. That said, along with the signings of Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer, this is a sign that the Twins are willing to keep many of their core players IF those core players are willing to have the conversation with the team.
Those are some of the things Iím hearing about the Twins these days, and of course, they all get my mind running even further. What do you think, or what are you hearing?
I didnít even get to the pitching situation where Kevin Slowey has certainly solidified his roster spot his last three starts. Glen Perkins appears headed to the bullpen, but will it be with the Twins? Philip Humber and Nick Blackburn have certainly made strong cases too.
On the minor league side, I have had several reports from people who have been going to training camp and sharing their thoughts on some of the Twins minor leaguers. The name that has come up most frequently is Nick Papasan who apparently is hitting the ball all over the field with authority, has hit a couple of home runs and driven the ball consistently. A surprise name that I have heard is Henry Sanchez. People have been impressed not only with his power but with his batting eye and approach at the plate. Apparently Chris Parmelee has hit a lot home runsÖ and struck out a lot. I even heard a report that Loek Van Mil is looking really good this spring. It will be interesting to see if he moves to Beloit and if he starts to show something on the mound!
Finally, Happy Easter to everyone!! Have a great rest of the weekend!!