Friday, April 13, 2007
9 Games, 9 Questions
Good morning everyone! Happy Friday the 13th to you! The Twins got a big Michael Cuddyer home run. Juan Rincon came in and allowed the game to be tied, but Pat Neshek saved the day. And Justin Morneau homered to lead off the bottom of the ninth to win the game! Another nice win for our Twins!
Well, can you believe how quickly a baseball season goes? I mean, it seems like just a week and a half ago, we were all excited about opening day. And now, we are already 1/18th of the way through this 2007 season. It is about time to start evaluating where the team is!
OK, the season is just nine games old, and there is a lot of baseball to be played yet, but it is never to early to start asking questions. So, here are nine questions regarding the Twins for us to debate here all weekend long!
1.) Ramon Ortiz has had two great starts. Carlos Silva has had two good starts. Sidney Ponson had a rough start, but showed something, against the Yankees. Boof Bonser has had one good start and one really bad start. Will any of these pitchers remain in the rotation all season long? How long until "reality" sets in?
2.) Johan Santana is typically very human in April. He has been very good this April and is actually 2-0 already. Just how good could he be?
3.) Torii Hunter has six doubles, one single and one home run this season. Is it possible that Hunter will end the season with more extra base hits than singles?
4.) Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau are clearly getting the job done already this year. Do you have any concerns about any of those three? And secondly, just how good could each be?
(Note - take a look at the ubelman post up on Stick & Ball Guy's site this morning showing how good the Twins #3, 4, 5 and 6 hitters have been so far this year. Also, be sure to continue to check out Stick & Ball Guy's site all weekend for updates on Baby SBGs imminent arrival.)
5.) The Twins bench is so weak. With Jeff Cirillo, Rondell White and Lew Ford on the DL, there is no punch on the bench. Even worse, there isn't really an impact bat in waiting at AAA. What can be done if these guys prove to be out for an extended period of time?
6.) How long before Pat Neshek is the official 8th inning guy?
7.) Joe Nathan continues to be the 'best closer in baseball.' Will he ever be recognized as such?
8.) Jason Bartlett is struggling and injured. Will Ron Gardenhire continue to stand behind him, or will Alexi Casilla just take over. I can't imagine seven games overriding the 99 games he played last year.
9.) The pitching has been good for the most part in the season's nine games. Do you feel any better about it? Do you have any more hope for the bottom 60-80% of the rotation, or do you still feel Matt Garza, Glen Perkins and/or Kevin Slowey will be up by May, or at least midseason? That is probably directly tied to the team's success, so have nine games affected your thinking on how the 2007 Twins season will turn out?
So, there you have it. Nine games. Nine Questions. The Twins are off to a good start. With 153 games to go, the nice start is important, but maintaining it over the rest of the year.
Please check out the Minnesota Twins Fan Network. Last night I recorded a two-part segment with Jeff Straub for his podcast. It should be up this morning, or very shortly.
Sunday, baseball and several of its players and coaches (including Torii Hunter, Rondell White and Jerry White from the Twins) will wear Jackie Robinson's entry into baseball 60 years ago. I think it is a nice tribute, but a couple of notes need to be made. First, I think that although Robinson needs to be honored, let's not forget the contributions of Larry Doby, who made his big league debut less than three months later with the Cleveland Indians. Secondly, I know that at least the Houston Astros will have all of their players honor Robinson by wearing #42. Although the initial thought is that is a nice gesture, it also highlights that the team has zero black players on its current roster.
Pat Neshek is signing autographs in Maple Grove on Saturday for free. Secondly, if you are interested in joining the Pat Neshek fan site, please check out his blog today.
Finally, Rochester, New Britain and Beloit's games were all postponed last night due to weather. Hopefully they will all be able to get going this weekend with consistent games! Ft. Myers lost 10-4 last night to Lakeland (and Cameron Maybin, who homered again!). Oswaldo Sosa really struggled. He five runs on nine hits and a walk in just three innings. Josh Hill then gave up another five runs on five hits and a walk in just two innings. Yohan Pino pitched a scoreless inning, and Angel Garcia pitched two shutout innings.
That is enough for today and for this week, right? I believe I am headed to the cities today for the weekend. Maybe I'll be able to get to the Saturday night game. Maybe! Feel free to e-mail me or Comment below.|
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