Friday, May 13, 2005
Twins Minor League Report
Minnesota Twins - 2009
Good Friday the 13th Morning to everyone! I hope that your day is wonderful and free from any strange occurrences! As promised throughout the week, today is a day when you the readers will be able to participate with the website. Earlier in the week, I first asked a Discussion Question. A number of you chose to respond, and today your voices will be heard. Yes, I will through out my two cents on the question, but it will be brief, and I will let you speak your mind.
But first, two quick Media notes.
First, those of you in the Twins radio network region, I will again be the voice behind The Blogger Minute on the Twins Magazine Show before Saturday night's game. I believe that the show will originally air at 4:30 on WCCO and most of the affiliates. If it doesn't appear before the pregame show, it will likely after following the postgame show.
Second, if you happen to be at one of the Twins games this weekend, be sure to pick up your copy of Gameday Magazine. As you may know, Gameday is sold outside of the Metrodome for just $1.50 each. Not only do you get the magazine, but you also get a scorecard in it! The reason I mention that at this time is because in this issue, there is an article reviewing many of the Twins blogs. Included in the article is a review of SethSpeaks:
Mix in minor-league recaps, goings on in the rest of baseball, movie reviews, and scattered pop culture references with standard Twins content and you’ve got Seth Speaks, a blog that hails from the north woods of Warroad. With no shortage of opinions or updates, Seth Speaks is one of the better Twins-related blogs, despite its unappealing appearance. Judging by the photo album found on the site, Seth may not be Brad Pitt, but he is one heck of a chick magnet. In the world of Net-savvy sports geeks, that has to count for something.
Now, some may find it offensive, but I figure all publicity is good publicity. Plus, I've never claimed to be an attractive man. Plus, I am a chick magnet, so I love it!! Anyway, be sure to pick up your copy(ies) outside the Dome on this homestand!
Alright, back to this week's Discussion Question. Here was the question:
We found out last week that the Twins hope for a new stadium rests with the state legislature. Hennepin County has agreed to help fund and build an outdoor stadium for the Twins. The legislative session will go through May 23. If they agree to allow the three cents on ever $20 tax, in Hennepin County only, then work will begin on the new stadium. The estimated time of opening would be Opening Day 2009. Herein lies the basis for this week's Discussion Question:
Who will make up the Twins Opening Day Roster in 2009? I think that is a fun question because you need to think about who is currently with the Twins and how long they will stay around (or the Twins will be willing to pay them). You need to consider that the Twins generally build from within, so which minor leaguers will be contributing to the team in four years. Of course, it is all just guessing. But it is fun to project.
So, there is the question. Who will comprise the Twins roster when they (hopefully) move into their new stadium in 2009? Will it be many of the current Twins? Will it be a new group of your prospects?
Well, obviously, that is almost four years away. The easy answer is, who knows?!!?? There will be injuries. There will be trades. Some top prospects could be traded to other teams for veterans to help the Twins toward a World Series run. So much could happen. But if you're like me, you really enjoy thinking about such things. Earlier in the week, I ran my One-Month Update on the Twins minor league system. The system is loaded with quality arms and bats. I am excited to think about this question and based on many of the responses, you were too. So, let's get to it. Here are my thoughts on the Twins 2009 roster, followed by yours. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to add to the discussion. Even if your thoughts don't appear here today, please e-mail me with your thoughts and I can always add them for future reference.
SETH'S 2009 MINNESOTA TWINS ROSTER
Alright, this is fun. I have not specifically taken salaries into account in this discussion. Yet, I haven't completely discounted them either. For instance, Torii Hunter is set to make about $22 million from the Twins over the next two seasons. By 2009, he could be making $15 million. So, as much as I would love to see him still patrolling centerfield, I just don't see that as a viable fiscal decision. So, here is what I think:
Catcher - Joe Mauer - This is pretty obvious. He will just be approaching free agency. If the Twins do have a new stadium, they will hopefully anticipate increased revenue. With that, they need to keep their most valuable and marketable player. That is Joe Mauer. There are certain players that you 'break the bank' for, and Joe Mauer will be one of them.
First Base - Justin Morneau - Same thing. Morneau is such a power and average hitter that if the Twins want to prove to their fans that they are serious about continuing to contend with their new stadium, they need to sign him to whatever contract they can. I would like to think that they will have signed both Mauer and Morneau to long-term deals to take them beyond their first couple of free agent seasons. Morneau must still be here!
Second Base - Jason Bartlett - On-Base machine Jason Bartlett has since moved from shortstop to 2B. Although he did fine defensively at SS, it is felt that he can help the team more at 2B.
Third Base - Michael Cuddyer - Although many wanted him to move to 2B in previous years, the Twins are thrilled to still have Michael Cuddyer manning the hot corner. He has blossomed into one of the better offensive and defensive 3B in the league and is a key run producer in the middle of the Twins lineup.
Shortstop - Trevor Plouffe - Defense is one of the keys for the Twins, so although he may not be quite ready with the bat, Trevor Plouffe is able to play a very solid defensive shortstop. He has a rocket for an arm and has developed a good eye at the plate to go with the occasional power.
Left Field - Alex Romero - So many thought that he was a questionable future big leaguer, but Romero blossomed into a very solid hitter. And although he is a question mark defensively, he is no worse than Shannon Stewart in the field, with a far better arm.
Center Field - Lew Ford - The team's leadoff hitter is their most veteran contributor. Like Shannon Stewart before him, Ford is an instigator at the top of the Twins lineup. He is starting to get a bit spendy though, so watch out for Denard Span and Trent Oeltjen to take over the job in 2010.
Right Field - Jason Kubel - Many were worried about what would happen to Kubel after he missed the entire 2005 season due to a major knee reconstruction. However, those questions were answered by mid-2006 and Kubel has become an All-Star outfielder. Although he is still not a great fielder, no one is willing to run on Kubel's arm.
Designated Hitter - Matt Moses - Sure, Moses occasionally gives Cuddyer a day off at 3B, but he is simply a great hitter and needs to be in the Twins daily lineup. That means DH for now.
Bench - Garrett Jones is the left-handed pinch hitter and plays 1B once in a while. The team experimented with him in the OF, but it didn't go so well. From the right side, they generate some power from OF Josh Rabe. Denard Span does make the team as a defensive whiz in the late innings, and usually comes in the pinch-run as well. Luis Maza is the utility infielder, as he is able to play all three positions and hit as well. The backup catcher is Javy Sanchez.
Starting Pitchers -
Johan Santana - As with Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, if the state of Minnesota is willing to participate in the construction of a new stadium, the Twins must make a decision to put a quality product on the field. Johan Santana, having won three Cy Young Awards already, is vital to that concept. So, the Twins have actually signed Santana to another four year deal to keep Santana from the Yankees.
Scott Baker - The right-handed starter moved into the rotation full-time in 2006 and immediately paid dividends with an 18 win season. Since then, he has continued to pitch very well, and remains.
Francisco Liriano - Although he was never able to match the success of Santana, Liriano becomes a very consistent contributor for the Twins, even winning 20 games one year.
Jay Rainville - OK, everyone else is picking Anthony Swarzak as the 23 year old to contribute to the Twins 2009 success, but Jay Rainville passes him along the way.
Anthony Swarzak - Alright, Swarzak will be ready too. These two pitchers will pretty much strike out a batter an inning, while walking very few.
The Bullpen -
Closer - Jesse Crain - Crain has been a key cog in the bullpen since late in the 2004 season. However, now that Joe Nathan has bolted via free agency, the Twins are entrusting their closer role to Crain. It is an easy transition for him as he has been pitching in crucial roles for years now.
Righty Relievers -
Travis Bowyer - The hard-throwing Bowyer is dominating the 8th inning, much like Juan Rincon had in previous years. He has added a breaking ball and is making hitters look silly.
Pat Neshek - Speaking of looking silly, Neshek is using is sidearming motion to make hitters look silly.
Jay Sawatski - And Jay Sawatski is dominating the 6th and 7th innings when necessary.
Lefty Relievers -
Ricky Barrett has become the poster child for left-handed relievers. He throws hard with some nasty secondary pitches. Lefties and righties alike are unable to hit him.
Glen Perkins - After numerous attempts in the starting rotation, Perkins is deemed to be better out of the bullpen. He certainly could start for 28 of the other teams in baseball, but on this team, he is perfect in this role.
Summary - So there you have it, my 2009 Minnesota Twins opening day roster. How close will it be? Who knows? Probably not close at all for the reasons I gave above. But, just looking at this roster, it is a team that should compete, but it is also a team that will not cost too much. As long as the owner at the time is smart enough to keep those key members of the roster, there is no reason to believe that the Twins will not continue to compete for years to come.
Alright, those are my thoughts, what about yours. Thanks again to everyone who e-mailed me your thoughts on the 2009 Twins. Again, if you want to add to the conversation, send me an e-mail and I will add it as I receive them.
From Roger -My starters are:C - Mauer*1B - Morneau*2B - Punto*3B - MosesSS - Bartlett*LF - Alex RomeroCF - Ford*RF - KubelDH - Garrett JonesSP - Santana*SP - BakerSP - LirianoSP - PerkinsSP - Waldrop/Rainville/or/Swarzak**Closer - BowyerRRP - BarrettRRP - Crain*LRP - SawatskiLRP - J. MillerRRP - J.D. Durbin/or/Adam Harben (both converted starters)*Current starter or in similar role (Crain), Ford is starter as DH/OF & I believe Punto is the current starter at 2B.**One of these three will begin to separate himself sometime later this year or next spring. I believe one of these will become a "big time" starter, an ace. That pitcher should be on track to be with the Twins sometime in 2008, when he is 22.
From Tony Lasky -
Batting order April 2009
Span (CF), Bartlett (SS) , Mauer (C), Morneau (1B), Kubel (RF) , Ford (LF) Garrett Jones (DH), Tiffee (3B), Maza (2B)
Reserves: Mienkewicz and A.J., Deacon Burns, Plouffe
5th Angel Garcia
Crain, Bowyer, Smit, Durbin, Duguay, Waldrop, Neshek
I'm sure they will add a FA to the mix with the extra income they'll get from the new stadium, but that's pretty impossible to speculate about right now.
From Lee Kofstad
l castillo 2b (washed up florida speed guy to fill in a year.)
I know you'd like to see the big three here but by 2009 ... really. radke older santana after winning 5 straight cy youngs who can afford him & nathan finishing 2nd in the cy young 4 years in a row moves to the national league.
From Greg Gilstad, Germany
Some random cheap journeyman
More random cheap journeymen (do the Giants want to make another trade?)
C - Mauer
Bowen (it's only been a few years, but it seems like he has been around forever. May start the year in AAA in 2009, too.)
1B - Morneau
2B - Rivas (just to spite Aaron)
SS - ??? The middle infield cupboard is still pretty bare. The may want to draft some college SS's in high rounds this year.
3B - Moses
Rincon (lost it)
Durbin (injured/didn't make it)
Stewart ($$ - still hanging on somewhere)
Hunter ($$, body gives out)
Jones ($$ after this year)
Bartlett (still in majors - marginal player)
Tiffee (bumped by Moses - still in majors)
From Gordon Thyberg (Lonestar)
Position Player (Age in 2009 | Salary in millions)
C Mauer (26 | $4.500)
1B Morneau (27 | $4.500)
2B Plouffe (22 | $.400)
3B Cuddyer (30 | $4.500) assumes he is worthy of long-term contract
SS Bartlett (29 | $3.00)
RF Kubel (26 | $1.000) assume he recovers lost year and can handle RF
CF Ford (32 | $3.500) assumes 2004 production is typical, finishing long-term contract
LF Jonny Gomes (28 | $1.000) What I would do, not TR - before 2006 fro RHB balance. I don't think Romero will be ready/satisfactory. If he isn't (and even if he is), the Twins desperately need a RHB to balance Morneau, Mauer, Kubel and possibly Moses.
DH Moses (24 | $.400) Assumes he can't handle 3B or OF. I would like to see the Twins acquire Ryan Shealy before 2006 for RHB balance.
C(2) Bowen (28 | $.600)
MI Punto (31 | $1.500)
UF Winfree (23 | $.400)
OF Romero (25 | $.400)
OF Span (25 | $.400)
SP Baker (27 | $3.500)
SP Liriano (25 | $2.000)
SP Perkins (26 ($2.000)
SP Santana (30 | $16.000) Assumes continued health & dominance as well as discount.
SP Swarzak (23 | $.400)
Starters are in alphabetical order, not ordinal.
Remember: TINSTAAPP = There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.
RP Bowyer (27 | $.750)
RP Harben (25 ($.600)
RP Sawatski (27 | $.600)
RP Romero (32 | $3.000) See Guardado, Eddie.
RP Simonitisch (26 | $.400)
RP Crain (27 | $2.000)
(Total Cost = $57,350,000)
Summary: This team is young and inexpensive. Only Ford, Cuddyer, Punto, Santana, and Romero would be 30 or more. The Twins have [over]emphasized LH hitting in the past due to the Dome, compounded by disappointing performance from Cuddyer, LeCroy and Restovich. They will need more RH hitting presence, especially in the new ballpark.
1. Will Santana give a discount?
2. Will Romero be worth $3 million? Will he be worth it to Twins? Depends in part on Liriano and Barrett among others, but mostly it depends on JC. This slot and salary could go to the post-juice Rincon ...
3. Will Punto settle for a Castro type contract?
4. Will Cuddyer hit like I think?
5. Can Moses satisfactorily learn 3B by 2009? Then Cuddyer [a] moves to 2B, [b] signs a Castro-type contract, or [c] moves on.
1. Silva (30) might be tempting given the new fences, the move to grass, and the room under the Twins' arbitrary salary cap. It may not be a close call for TR. I am concerned about his H/9 and K/9 [as well as the knee]. Only one similar pitcher has lasted 6 years as a starter since 1940. If Silva is healthy and will sign a reasonable contract ($7.000), I guess he's back -- perhaps affecting the future of Liriano, Perkins or Swarzak. We won't know until after 2006. After 2006, the Twins will have room under their arbitrary salary cap assuming they don't re-sign Radke, Stewart, and Hunter [as well as Jones, Mays and Lohse].
What happened to:
* Nathan (34): traded or "lost" in free agency.
* Rincon (30): traded with emergence of Bowyer
* Radke (36): retired or pitching for Tampa Bay
* Balfour (31): discarded in 2006
* Hunter (33): "lost" in free agency after 2006 or 2007 -- likely to Texas. Too old. Too expensive/Not productive enough. That could change if Ford doesn't recover his 2004 productivity.
* Tiffee (30): gone before his 2nd year of arbitration eligibility if not before.
From Del Palmer
I think that the roster will be much different than any of us could imagine . With trades , career-ending injuries, and unfulfilled potential, no one can really say but here is a shot at it. Denard Span, Joe Mauer, Justin Mourneu , Luis Maza, Jason Kubel, Deacon Burns, Garrett Jones, Matt Moses, Trevor Plouffe. as for pitchers .. Glen Perkins, Scoatt Baker, Francisco Liriano, Boof Bonser and for a closer lets say J.D Durbin . This is no real lineup as the positions change and people move around.
From Duane Hanson
Here's my take on the 2009 Twins. I've assumed that, even with a new stadium, the Steinbrunners of the world will continue to raise the stakes to the point that keeping good players will continue to be an issue:
Lew Ford, (the vet, kept around so fans can croon his name "Llleeeewwww.")
Joe Mauer, signed a contract in 2008 that goes through 2011 with a club option for 2012.
Justin Morneau, signed to a contract in 2007 that goes through 2010 with a club option for 2011.
After years of shuffling players through second base -- including Seth Speaks favorite Luis Maza -- the team has finally recognized that this is the one position they have been unable to fill adequately through drafts, trades or free agent signings. Therefore, as a sign to the Baseball Gods that they have given up on second base, the Twins have re-signed a former player, fresh off a mediocre season with the St. Paul Saints -- ladies and gentlemen, may I present... Luis Rivas.
Trevor Plouffe is knocking at the door, but Jason Bartlett holds the job amidst persistent trade rumors.
Matt Moses, with his rookie status behind him, has settled into the job.
Garrett Jones/ Kevin West or similar low-cost option with big power and bigger strikeout numbers.
ADDITIONAL BENCH PLAYERS
The Twins have managed to round up the usual suspects --loyal farmhands and aging veterans trying to hang on. Low cost is the operating principle.
Having lost Johan Santana during the offseason to the New York Yankees (now being run by George Steinbrenner's even more evil clone) the Twins are relying on some other homegrown talent that has been developing over the past few years. The top two starters are Baker and Liriano. Their development has been relatively steady the past few years, and they are now ready to be considered big-time aces. Jesse Crain returns for a second year as closer. The rest of the starters and bullpen consist of other homegrown talent that's made it to the majors over the past four years. Who? Well, not all talented pitchers make it, but there's so much potential in the Twins farm system! I'll cheat a bit here. Pick 7 or 8 from this list: Durbin, Bonser, Perkins, Bowyer, Eyre, Smit, Sawatski, Waldrop, Jones, Harben, Rainville, Simonitch, Neshek, Fox, Swarzak, and probably some I'm missing, because I'm too lazy to look them up. And if that's not enough, the Twins can include some young rookie from the 2005 or 2006 draft, or someone acquired in a trade along the way or or some aging veteran trying to hang on for another year (C.C. Sabathia?).
Kind of any interesting question and there are SO many variables, but I'll give it my best shot
Santana.....Hopefully he holds up that long
Baker...love this kid, consistent 15-18 wins
Liriano....will NEVER be another Santana, but will be serviceable
Perkins...a solid starter with potential for 15 wins every year
Durbin (don't think he'll ever make it big)
Crain ...closer Nathan gets traded after 07 season to replace Rivera and we strip their farm system again
Bonser...too inconsistent to start, but will make a great power arm setting up Crain
Guerrier...could sneak into rotation if given a shot, otherwise will be 5 yr mdl relief guy
Silva...as long as he doesn't get greedy after his current contract
Rincon...will show some Twins loyalty in 2 years and re-up for 4 more
Swarzak my wildcard of the youngsters, it was a toss up between him & Simonitsch
C Bowen...Twins go back to not having any offense behind the plate
C Josh Bard
1B Morneau....first Twin since the Killer to be a consistent 40 hr threat
2B Mauer...knees finally give out
UT Plouffe Doesn't develop in the field like the Twins want, but has a steady bat
SS Bartlett (makes a nice career for himself)
UT Mike Lamb, got to throw a curveball in there
3B Moses...finally a power 3B
OF Hunter ..0n his last legs
OF Kubel....Sheffield potential
OF Span...never liked speed guys, but I guess Coleman was pretty darn good
OF Ford....keeps plugging away and doesn't go for the big FA contract
DH Jim Thome....he always wanted to play in the Dome, but he is a year to late
OF/DH...Juan Encarnacion...on his way to playing for every team in baseball
Obviously there are way too many home grown boys on this team, but it is way too hard to predict trades.
From Eric Goldman
Wow, that's tough. I have way too many current prospects on the team--no way all these guys make it into starting roles with the Twins. And I still can't fill the positions. I assume there will be some low level free agents involved--even with a new stadium, Carl won't be spending on higher ticket items.
C: Joe Mauer
1B: Justin Morneau
2B: Trevor Plouffe
3B: Matt Moses
SS: Jason Bartlett
RF: Jason Kubel
SP: Johan Santana
SP: Scott Baker
SP: Glen Perkins
RP: Jesse Crain
RP: Travis Bowyer
RP: Francisco Liriano
RP: Jason Miller
From The Baseball Savant, David Bergner
(Ed. Note - following this e-mail, David and I discussed that both Mauer and Morneau will be entering free agency following the 2009 season. I hope that the team has already signed both to contract extensions beyond 2009! Secondary Ed. Note - after reading this, you will better understand why I so frequently encourage people to read The Baseball Savant's site!)
This is a lot of fun, and although I know next to nothing of the Twins, I'll give it a shot! I'll only do the starting lineup and the rotation and closer. Trying to guess all 25 players would be HARD for me!
C-Joe Mauer: I'm not sure how it all goes with arbitration and how many years the Twins get him before he's eligible for free agency, but I'm thinking it's 7 years from the time they draft him so they have him through 2007. I'm guessing they lock him up with an extension for a couple years before that, so Mauer should be with the Twins in 2009. The Twins don't seem to have any catching stud prospects in the minors so assuming Mauer's knees hold out, he should be catching for the Twins in 2009.
1B-Justin Morneau: Again, I'm not sure how the whole free agency works, but for some odd reason I think a player is eligible for free agency after 6-years if he doesn't make the majors but it goes up to 7 if he does. This sort of hurts the Twins if this is true with Morneau because it would mean Morneau has been in the Twins system for 7 years after this season. Because of this and nobody is screaming about his free agency at the end of the season, I'm guessing I'm totally wrong on this one! Either way, Morneau should be there in 2009.
2B-Juan Portes: I think this is a stretch here, but Portes will be 23-years old in 2009 and the Twins surely don't want Nick Punto or Luis Rivas still playing 2B or even Cuddyer at that point. Portes supposedly has some tremendous upside with the bat and the chance to get a Marcus Giles at the top of the order will be too hard for the Twins to pass up. Besides, if by the time Portes is 23, he should either be up at 2B or petered out as a prospect.
3B-Matt Moses: Moses had some injury concerns last season but he's putting those to rest as he is obliterating the Florida State League to the tune of 342/395/586 without missing a single game so far this season. He could walk a little more and strikeout a little less but given that this is really his first taste of playing full-time, the 20-year old is back on track. He'll be 24 in 2009, and 3B will all but be his.
SS-Trevor Plouffe: Bartlett will be 29 by the time 2009 rolls around. I'm actually hesitant to not put in Bartlett, but I think it's a testament to how good the Twins system is in that in 2009, they should be extremely young, but extremely good. The only stretch I think I have so far is Juan Portes playing 2B and that could easily be Cuddyer or Rivas I suppose although I would hope not. Plus, maybe Bartlett could move to 2B if Plouffe is ready. At this point I'll stick with Portes though.
LF-Lew Ford: Here is where it gets a little dicey for the Twins. They don't really have any OF prospects to note outside of Kubel being a fixture in RF. I think Jacque Jones is only signed through 2005 and he's putting up a pretty good season so I'll assume the Twins won't afford him nor should they. I'll stick with sweet Lew although, again, I'm unsure of how long the Twins have him for. At this point, it's a wonder why Ford isn't playing LF as it is.
CF-Torii Hunter: The Twins rely on defense and Hunter provides this. I have him being signed through 2006 and then something in 2007 of an option, but right now the Twins have to keep Hunter because in my opinion, I don't think Denard Span is going to work out simply because he's useless defensively. The Twins would probably err on the side of defense I would say, but not on offense when the offense upside is only Denard Span. Of the players the Twins might have to pay for, it might be Hunter and even then it's risky seeing that Hunter might not be that good in a 3 seasons! Maybe the Twins should start looking for a college centerfielder in the draft the next couple of years.
RF-Jason Kubel: Obviously. If Portes develops, can you imagine a lineup featuring Portes, Mauer, Moses, Morneau, Ford and Kubel? Good grief!
DH-Terry Tiffee: Terry has some defensive issues and 2009 the kid will be 30 years old so maybe he'll still be around to DH. In his time as a major leaguer, he's proven he can do some hitting so there is at least some upside to having him around as a DH. He's a big guy so maybe DHing will suit him more and be able to get him into the lineup.
SP1-Johan Santana: Santana is the type of player that the Twins have to keep! He can't go the way of the Yankees and his push for 300 wins should be in the Twins Cities!
SP2-Francisco Liriano: He should be ready by next year possibly. At New Britain this season Liriano has K'd 49 in just 42IP while walking only 15. He's only allowed 4HR and 38 hits. He's easily passed the AA-test and the next test to overcome will be the one in the Show. Huge fastball that touches 97mph with the big change and curveball. He's probably an ace in most organizations, but Johan doesn't pitch for most organizations!
SP3-Scott Baker: Baker only has the ceiling of a #3 starter thinks Baseball America and I can see that as well since he doesn't really have overpowering frontline starter stuff especially when compared to Santana and Liriano. I'm just not sold on JD Durbin at the moment.
SP4-Brad Radke: The old-timer of the rotation, he'll be 36-years old in 2009, and he could easily be the #3 starter over Baker. I can flip-flop Baker and Radke but they should comprise the 3-4 spots in the rotation. He'll probably be the best #4 starter in baseball if he's pushed this far down.
SP5-Anthony Swarzak: This guy is amazing and is doing a great job this season at Beloit despite being just 19-years old. If Swarzak develops correctly, he's likely the #3 behind both Liriano and Santana and could even push Liriano a little bit although he doesn't have the same stuff as Liriano. That would effectively push Baker and Radke in the 4-5 roles which is ridiculous. So far this season in Low-A, Swarzak has given up just 25 hits and 14 walks in 34IP while striking out 43 hitters and giving up just one dinger!
CLOSER-Jesse Crain: His stuff is disgusting and by 2009, we should pencil in Crain for 45-50 saves a season. I don't want to be a homer here, but Neshek has a shot here too. Probably won't ever get the opportunity to close in Minnesota because of Crain and Nathan and possibly Rainville, but it wouldn't be hard to see Neshek having some type of Eddie Guardado type of career in that he goes from being a fantastic set-up man to closer due to some type of roster construction or injury and saves 40-games before getting a big payday. He's already 24 and Everyday Eddie was in Minnesota by the time he was 22-years old, plus Eddie is a lefty. Knowing 2005 is his third go around in AA-ball doesn't help, but he says he's sitting at 94mph so combined with his delivery, it has to amount to something. I'm surprised the Twins aren't pushing him to AAA.
The Twins pitching situation is ridiculous. I picked 5 starters and that isn't even taking into consideration top prospects like Adam Harben, Jay Rainville, JD Durbin, Kyle Waldrop, Glen Perkins, and Justin Jones. Plus, you always have my perennial favorite Grant Balfour when he comes back from TJ surgery. Hopefully by that time the Twins will give him another chance to start.
I don't know if any of this will come true, but I'd much rather see the Reds in this situation than the Twins!!!
From Dave Broekemeier
Boof bonser mid
t. bowyer closer
s baker starter
j durbin starter
g perkins mid
From James Mathewsom
Here is my list
1. Lew Ford (lf)
2. Denard Span (cf)
3. Joe Mauer (c)
4. Justin Morneau (1b)
5. Michael Cuddyer (3b)
6. Jason Kubel (rf)
7. Matt Moses (DH)
8. Jason Bartlett (2b)
9. Trevor Pflouffe (ss)
Util: Nick Punto
Catcher: Rob Bowen
Corner Infielder: Terry Tiffee
Fourth Outfielder: Deacon Burns
Lefty Pinch hitter: Garret Jones
1. Johan Santana
2. Carlos Silva
3. Glen Perkins
4. Scott Baker
5. Anthony Swarzak
Closer: Jesse Crain
8th Righty: Travis Bowyer
8th Lefty: Francisco Liriano
7th Righty: Pat Neshek
7th lefty: Ricky Barrett
Long/swing: JD Durbin
First up: Kyle Waldrop
Second up: Jay Rainville
Third up: Angel Garcia
From Steve Nuessle
Here is my thought on the 2009 lineup...
Soon to be acquired 2B (for Lohse after this season)
3B-SS-2B in Castro mold
Tonight, the Twins start a 3 game home series against the offensive Texas Rangers. They are best known for their offense, especially the offense generated from their infield. 1B Mark Teixeira, 2B Alfonso Soriano, 3B Hank Blalock and SS Michael Young are quite the formidable hitters. But they are more than that. Their pitching, however, leaves much to be desired. Kenny Rogers is still around. Chris Young turned down a NBA contract from the Sacramento Kings to sign a three-year deal with the Rangers. But Buck Showalter brings an impressive lineup to the game each day.
On a great note, Juan Rincon is back. Unfortunately, that means Scott Baker is headed back to Rochester, but then again, it's not like they used him anyway!
Anyway, here are the pitching matchups for the weekend:
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORTS
You can find my one-month Minor League Report here. Aaron Gleeman is reviewing each affiliate separately. Here is the Rochester Redwing report.
Thursday - REDWINGS 1, Columbus 3 (11 Innings) - Jimmy Anderson got another start. He went 5.1 innings and gave up a run on five hits and two walks. He struck out one. Daylon Childress came in and pitched 1.2 perfect innings. Willie Eyre struck out five over the next two innings. Travis Bowyer gave up the two winnings runs in the 11th. In his two innings, he gave up two runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out three. Josh Rabe and Brent Abernathy each went 2-5. Augie Ojeda was 2-4. Corky Miller knocked his 2nd homer for the team's lone run. He's up to .154 now!
NEW BRITAIN ROCKCATS
Thursday - ROCKCATS 7, Norwich 2 - No Game Scheduled
FT MYERS MIRACLE
Thursday - MIRACLE 7, St. Lucie 5 - Scott Tyler had a rocky start. He gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks in 4.1 innings. Tristan Crawford recorded the win with 2.2 innings on one hit ball. Chris Schutt recorded his third save with two scoreless frames. Denard Span led the offense with a 3-4 day. Matt Moses hit hit 6th homer of the season. Scott Whitrock hit his fourth homer and stole his 10th base of the year.
Thursday - SNAPPERS 3, Peoria 5 - Josh Hill started the game with four shutout innings. However, in the fifth, he gave up five earned runs and got just two outs. All told, he gave up five runs on five hits and three walks and 4.2 innings. He did strike out four. Kyle Aselton pitched the next 2.1 innings. He didn't allow a run and gave up just two hits and a walk, while striking out three. Steven Duguay gave up just one hit in his two innings. Seven hitters each had just one hit. Deacon Burns and Jeremy Pickrel each hit a double.
And with that, I am going to call it a day and a week. I hope you have a great weekend! Thanks again for stopping by this site. If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.
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