Thursday, April 13, 2006
Twins Minor League Notes
American Idol Thoughts
Two in a Row...
One more, and we can call it a winning streak!
Good morning everyone!
So yesterday, I went to mlb.com radio to listen to some of their programming. They had an error on their site and instead of allowing me to listen to the show, it took me to a screen saying that I needed to Buy the mlb.tv package. After numerous attempts, thinking I had done something wrong, I finally gave in. I bought one month of the mlb.tv package. It was just $14.95 for a month. Also, they have a new deal called mlb.tv mosaic. With that, you will actually be able to watch six games online at the same time, on your computer monitor. You can then select which game you would like to listen to. I think that is pretty cool, so I don't even feel bad about it. Last night, I kept switching from game to game. So, this is not a promo for mlb.tv, but it is baseball related and something that I think is very neat.
With that, I was able to watch one of the most amazing pitching performances that I have ever seen. Heading into the season, most baseball analysts and fantasy baseball analysts projected that 2006 could be a huge breakout season for the Orioles Daniel Cabrera. Why? Well, my thing is that he is about 6-7 and strong (258 pounds). He throws the ball 98 mph and has a sharp slider. Twins fans saw him throw a complete game shutout last summer. This year, he has another full season under his belt and his new pitching coach is Leo Mazzone. What have the results been? Well, in his first start, he went just 1.1 innings. He gave up seven runs on three hits, and SEVEN walks. So, what did he do last night? Well, in the first two innings, he had four strikeouts. He was looking good. All told, he went five innings and gave up just a run on three hits. He struck out ten Devil Rays batters. Sadly, it would be hard to classify it as a good start. Why? Because he walked NINE Devil Rays batters. He also threw three wild pitches. I have never seen anything like it!
Last night, the Twins fell behind again when Carlos Silva gave up three runs in the second inning. But in the bottom of the second inning, Tony Batista doubled in a run. The big hit for the Twins, however, came off of the bat of Justin Morneau who hit a three run shot in the bottom of the fourth. The Twins had a brief 4-3 lead until Nick Swisher homered to tie the game. But, Joe Mauer came up with a runner on third and just one out, and he hit a deep fly ball to center to score the run. Torii Hunter added an insurance run with a solo homer. That was a good thing since Nick Swisher hit another home run in the 6th. Silva, Juan Rincon and Joe Nathan finished the game without allowing the tying run to score and the Twins had a two game winning streak! Here are some more thoughts.
Nick Swisher hit two home runs last night for the A's. Last year, as a rookie, he hit 21 home runs. He had two homers in a September call up in 2004. He now had three home runs this year. That gives him 26 home runs in a season and a month. His father, Steve Swisher, was a big league backup catcher for the Cubs, Cardinals and Padres for nine years. He hit a total of 20 career home runs.
I know, many say that I am too much of a Justin Morneau apologist. However, when he does get a hold of a ball and knock out a home run, it is a thing of beauty. From a technical standpoint, it is all about proper timing and weight transfer for Morneau. He gets in trouble when he lunges. But when he is able to keep his weight bat, he creates a lot of power, as we have seen in two straight games now and four times in less than a week.
Morneau's most impressive plate appearance may have been his walk against lefty Brad Halsey.
Last year when the Twins played the A's, they had a rookie 1B from Minnesota names Dan Johnson who was tearing the cover off of the ball. After sitting out both Tuesday and Wednesday, Johnson was back in the lineup for Oakland last night. He went 0-4 to drop to 0-23 on the season.
Is this the Carlos Silva we are going to see all season? Was last year just an aberration? In reality, he is not giving up more hits than he did a year ago. He is still throwing strikes. Last night, in seven innings, he walked none, but he also struck out none. Is this going to be a year in which the hard-hit grounders find the hole rather than being hit at fielders?
The Star Tribune's Michael Rand ran a fun Q&A with Lew Ford. It talks about his reputation, his intelligence and his occasional mis-hap.
Tony Batista went 3-4 last night
with a double. That increases his average to .292. There was a fun
discussion about him in yesterday's comments. Some seemed to think that I
was hoping that Batista would fail. That is not really the case. If he's in
a Twins uniform, of course I want him to help the Twins win. I also hope
that he can hit 30 homers and drive in 100 runs. If he does that, he is well
worth the $1.25 million investment. My instincts (along with Batista's
lifetime stats) tell me that he will not hit better than about .245 with an
on-base percentage of less than 28% I think that there are betting options
out there. Yes, even Michael Cuddyer. Let's just say that Batista hits
.240/.280/420. That is a .700 OPS. Cuddyer is fully capable of hitting
.270/.330/.380. Even that is a .710 OPS. However, I also want the Twins to
win, and I want their players to succeed to get there.
Here is another opinion on Tony Batista. Call it an introduction to a debate. Feel free to address Jon's comments in the Comments below:
Discuss amongst yourselves...
The matchup for the series finale with the A's is today at 12:10. It pits Joe Blanton against Kyle Lohse.
If you have any thoughts on the
Twins season, last night's game, or today's game with the
A's, or anything Twins related, please
send me an e-mail, or
post some Comments down below. Were you at the game last night? What
were your impressions of the pre-game show or anything?
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Jason Tyner, Rochester Red Wings
SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Pat Neshek, Rochester Red Wings
Here are the Wednesday night updates for the four Twins full-season affiliates. If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Wednesday - Red Wings 4, Pawtucket 3 (16 innings) – Yes, that is right. 16 innings! With one out in the top of the 16th, Jason Tyner singled in Jason Hart with the go-ahead run. Jason Miller came in for the bottom half of the inning for the Save. Tyner led the offense with a 3-8 day with a double. Josh Rabe went 2-6 with a walk. All together, the Red Wings had ten hits and ten walks. Denny Reyes started for the Red Wings, probably in an attempt to get him to pitch with runners on base so that he can work on holding them on. In five innings, he allowed only three hits and walked none. Ricky Barrett came in and gave up two runs in two innings. Pat Neshek pitched the 8th and 9th innings and gave up just one hit while striking out four. Henry Bonilla pitched a scoreless inning. Kevin Cameron pitched three scoreless innings. Beau Kemp allowed a 14th inning run, but then pitched a scoreless 15th. He got the Win and then Jason Miller got his first save.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Wednesday - Rockcats 2, Portland 1 – Denard Span's batting average dropped again, with a 2-4 game. He also stole a base. Scott Whitrock went 2-3 with his first home run. Glen Perkins started on the mound, but he lasted just two innings. He gave up a run on four hits and two walks and a hit batter. He struck out five. Levale Speigner went the next four innings without allowing a run. Jay Sawatski picked up the Win by pitching 1.2 perfect innings. Bobby Korecky got his second save with the final 1.1 innings.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Wednesday - Miracle 2, Tampa 8 – It was not a good game all-around for the Miracle. On offense, they managed just four hits. Garrett Guzman was 1-4 with the two RBI. Anthony Swarzak started the game for the team. He lasted just 3.1 innings and gave up four runs on six hits and four walks. He struck out three. Next in was Alexander Farfan. He is a guy who throws very hard, but has had a lot of control problems in the past. Last night, he gave up four runs on five hits in 3.2 innings. However, he did not issue a single walk which I think needs to be noted. Julio DePaula then pitched a shutout inning.
Wednesday - Snappers 1, Wisconsin 7 – It was also not a good night for Beloit. A night after scoring 11 runs, they recorded just one run last night. Caleb Moore was the offensive highlight as he went 2-4 with two doubles and the lone RBI. Brian Duensing got the nod on the mound. He went five innings. He gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks. He did strikeout eight though. Alexander Smit came in next and gave up three runs (2 earned) on three hits and a walk in two innings. Danny Vais then pitched two shutout innings.
If you watched the Twins pregame show last night on FSN, you may have seen the story of Eli Tintor and his father. Tintor is the Hibbing, MN, native who was the 18th round draft pick of the Twins in 2003. His father, Rick Tintor, was a 5th round draft pick of the Twins 30 years earlier. It discussed how hard Eli worked during the offseason and much more about his career thus far. He has to be thrilled to have been moved to the outfield as it has meant lots of playing time and at bats for him! He is certainly taking advantage early! Hopefully he can keep it up!
Do you have any further thoughts on any Twins prospects, minor leaguers, or these summaries? I would love any input, or ideas to make it better. Thanks! E-mail me, or also feel free to leave comments below.
AMERICAN IDOL THOUGHTS
Last night, the American Idol finalists fell from eight to seven remaining as Bucky Covington was eliminated. It is really too bad that we have to put up with another week of Ace. Taylor was horrible too, but clearly he has built up quite a following. Like I said yesterday, Bucky has stuck around and in the last two or three weeks, he has actually been decent. He has deserved to be ousted in previous weeks, just not this week. Oh well, let's all just not vote for Ace next week!
From Wednesday: Who do I think will be eliminated tonight?
Ace Young -The time has come. He may be saved by picking a popular song, but signing a popular song really poorly is not good either. Taylor deserves to go just as much, but it is time to rid this competition of Ace.
Again, for further American Idol thoughts, be sure to check out the fine folks of curlio.com for their take on the elimination show.. Leave some comments below, or, if you're shy, send me an e-mail.
Welp, that is it for today. If you have any thoughts, opinions, comments, critiques, or ideas on anything, please e-mail me, or let's get a discussion going in the Comments.|
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