Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Podcast Notes –Live Chat Today at 1!
I am taking an extra day away from work this weekend. I have plans in the morning, but will be around in the afternoon. I will be hosting a Live Twins Chat at 1:00 central time. I will open up the chat room 15-20 minutes early and take any and all questions you may have. To sign up for an e-mail reminder, to ‘watch’ and participate in the live chat, or to view the transcript after the fact, please Click Here.
I certainly hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day. Since I spent all of Sunday and much of Monday up north at the lake, this is going to be a relatively quick blog posting. I did get home and hosted a SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast. I didn’t prepare any guests, but I am a rambler, so I was able to talk Twins for about 40 minutes straight. Hopefully you have a chance to listen to it, if so, please do. I would love to hear your feedback. Please note that the show will air again next Monday at 9:00 and I promise to have at least a couple of guests. For today, I will share with you some of my notes from the podcast last night:
· Is there a better top five or top six hitters in any lineup in baseball than the Twins? If so, let me know. I can’t think of one.
1. Denard Span is hitting about .300 and getting on base 38% of the time. Just can’t argue with that production from the top of the lineup.
Joe Mauer batting second. After his pinch-hit home run on Monday, he is not batting .444, and he is getting on base over 53% of the time. He also has hit 11 home runs. On Saturday night, Mauer hit his 9th home run. John Meyer (the Twins MVB) read that Mauer hit nine home runs all of 2008, so he hit his 9th home run this year in 459 less at bats. On Sunday, he hit his 10th, and on Monday hit his 11th. He has played in just 23 games, and he has 31 RBI!
2. Justin Morneau has moved up to the #3 spot. He is hitting .341 and getting on base 42% of the time. He has driven in 41 runs on the season, which is very good, but again puts Mauer’s numbers into greater perspective.
3. Jason Kubel will hit fourth most of the time against righties. He is now hitting .340 and getting on base 38% of the time. He has five homers and 24 RBI, but typically when he is batting, Morneau and/or Mauer have already driven in runs. He doesn’t walk a lot, but with those guys on base ahead of him, teams don’t want to put on another runner.
4. Michael Cuddyer is now hitting .286 and getting on base 37% of the time. He had eight home runs and 31 RBI. He’s on pace to put up some very impressive numbers.
5. Joe Crede’s defense has been impressive, and he has shown the ability to hit the long ball. Essentially the Twins are getting from Crede exactly what they should have expect.
· However, the bottom of the lineup hasn’t been good. Carlos Gomez and Delmon Young have been what they are. I made my point about the Twins getting a fair deal with Nick Punto in the offseason, but the one caveat to me liking that deal was that he would not revert back to 2007 Nick Punto. Well, he may be even worse than that.
· It is interesting how the concerns of the bullpen go away when the Starter completes seven innings. Thursday, Nick Blackburn went 7 innings. Twins win. Friday, Kevin Slowey worked 7.1 innings. Twins win. On Saturday, Anthony Swarzak threw seven shutout innings in his big league debut. Twins win. On Sunday, Scott Baker pitches into the 9th inning, and the Twins win. Francisco Liriano gave up five runs on 11 hits in just four innings on Monday. But then R.A. Dickey came in and gave the Twins four innings and gave up just one run. Exactly what you would want from him in that role. Late inning situations go to Joe Nathan, Jose Mijares and Matt Guerrier. The other guys fill in when needed. But again, the key to the Twins success in 2009 is the starting pitching.
· Ubelman has a quick note for those of you who want to compare Matt Weiters to Joe Mauer.
· Here is a request for help from a Twins fan out of state, looking for someone to help him acquire a couple of things at the Twins Autograph Party. If you are interested, send me an e-mail and I will put you in contact with this gentleman:
1. Is there anyone here that is going to (or considering
going to) the Twins Autograph Party on Saturday June 20? I have an item
that I would like to get autographed by Harmon Killebrew
and Rod Carew, and seeing that I live in Philadelphia I am looking for someone
to do the leg-work for me. I would consider flying in for the day, but
since I am out of work at the moment, I won't even try to explain that
frivolous expenditure to my wife.
My proposal would be to find someone who would be willing to commit to going to the event, and standing in the alumni line (2:30-4:00) to (try to) get the two signatures. In exchange I would pay the fee for the autograph card, which you could use to get your own autographs during the Current Twins session (12:30-2:00). I would also pay your driving expenses including parking, plus a reasonable "time and effort" fee, which we will negotiate in advance. I will send the item to you via FedEx and include a prepaid return envelope, as well.
So, if anyone is wanting to go but not sure due to cost, maybe we could help each other out.
Thanks in advance for any assistance that anyone can provide.
MINOR LEAGUE REPORT
Monday - SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Nathan Hanson, Beloit Snappers
Monday - SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Jay Rainville, New Britain Rockcats
OF NOTE -
· Be sure to check out Roger’s Weekly Twins Minor League Update. There are some really great comments in addition to Roger’s always-great article.
· Travis from Travis Talks has started an interesting series, comparing/contrasting Twins prospects. He gives the reasons for each to be considered followed by his take, and then allows for your thoughts. The first was on which reliever has the better future, Rob Delaney or Anthony Slama? The second was who is the Twins top prospect, Aaron Hicks or Ben Revere?
· Andrew Kneeland posted the Twins Organizational Depth Chart.
Monday –Rochester 2, Durham 3 – Jason Jones was much better in this start. In six innings, he gave up just two runs on eight hits. He walked none and struck out three. Juan Morillo got the loss. He gave up a run on two hits and two walks in two innings. Bobby Keppel pitched a scoreless inning. Jason Pridie had a good game against his former team. He went 2-3 with a walk and his seventh double. The Red Wings had just six hits. Trevor Plouffe added his sixth double.
Monday – New Britain 4, Binghampton 5 – Jay Rainville had his best start of the season. He threw six shutout innings and gave up just three hits. He walked three and struck out four. Yohan Pino went one shutout inning despite giving up two hits and a walk. Frank Mata gave up two unearned runs in two innings. Zach Ward went 1.1 innings for the loss. He gave up three runs on four hits and three walks. Whit Robbins led the way, again, by going 3-4. Rene Tosoni had two hits. Danny Valencia was 0-1 with three walks. Jeff Christy went 1-2 with two walks.
What a Lineup – I talked about the impressive top of the Twins lineup, but the Rockcats are pretty impressive too. Brandon Roberts is hitting around .300. Steve Tolleson has been on fire, raising his average from about .140 to .250 in no time. Brian Dinkelman went 3-3 with two walks on Sunday. He is hitting .343. Danny Valencia is hitting .339. Whit Robbins is hitting .326. Sixth hitter Erik Lis is right around .300. Juan Portes is hitting a little over .300. And remember that Wilson Ramos has been out of the lineup. This would be a fun team to watch.
Monday – Ft. Myers – No Game Scheduled.
Monday – Beloit 4, Wisconsin 7 – Michael Allen fell to 0-6 in this game. In five innings, he gave up four runs (2 earned) on six hits. He walked five more. Nathan Hanson went 3-4 with a walk. Ozzie Lewis went 3-5. Jonathan Waltenbury and James Beresford each had two hits. Angel Morales was 1-3 with two walks.