Friday, June 9, 2006
Twins Draft Thoughts
Twins Minor League Reports
Good morning to everyone!
Is anyone else tired of the Jason Grimsley situation yet? I am, and yet it is incredibly interesting. Jeff Passan wrote a great article on the situation and included a link to the affidavit. I have read the affidavit and it is very complete. The one thing is that the names of the players that Grimsley named are blacked out. The problem is that in the near future, those names will come out too. So, right now Jason Grimsley is probably being ostracized by people in baseball. For the same reason that Jose Canseco is not well respected in baseball circles, Grimsley is not going to be liked. There is, however, a huge difference. Canseco voluntarily wrote a book that called players out. Grimsley had federal investigators grilling him. When he was asked to wear a wire-tap in an attempt to get information on Barry Bonds, Grimsley decided not to cooperate anymore, and that is when it all came out. So, I am guessing that there are several players around baseball who are very nervous right now. I also think that with the fact that now fans know that HGH is stronger than steroids and not detectable in a urine test, something will be done about that. However, those who thought about it had to know that HGH would still be a problem. And finally, if you do believe that Barry Bonds was taking illegal substances, maybe he was actually playing on a level playing field. Just a thought. Today, I will again be rather brief. I hope that everyone has a great weekend!
First things first, over at John Sickels' wonderful Minor League site, he has posted a diary asking for people to discuss what they would do if they were the Twins GM. As of last night, there were already several great ideas. Check them out and then add your own.
Here are some more impressive Joe Mauer numbers for you to peruse. With his 3-4 yesterday, he is not hitting .379 on the year.
- He is 12-20 (.600) in his five game hitting streak.
- He has hit in 16 of his last 17 games, and during that period (since May 19), he is 36-71 (.507).
- On May 8, he was hitting .299, since then, he is 46-101 (.455) over 39 games.
- On April 22nd, he was at his season-low average of .265. Since then, he has gone 62-145 (.428)
Mauer's backup, Mike Redmond, was the catcher in yesterday afternoon's game with Joe Mauer as the DH. The night before, the two had reversed roles. Mauer may be hitting .379, but Redmond is hitting .388. That is a good tandem!
A SportsCenter stat told us that Ichiro has had 62 hits in his last 31 games! That is pretty impressive too!
Matt Guerrier got just one out before leaving the game. Richie Sexson drilled a line drive back at the Twins reliever and it hit him on his pitching hand, fracturing a bone. He is expected to miss up to two months of the season now. Some are reporting that the Twins will recall Kyle Lohse to take his roster spot. I assume that would put Lohse in the bullpen. Or, maybe it is Boof Bonser that goes to the bullpen with Lohse getting a couple more starts and the Twins hoping they go well so that they can trade him. Personally, I think that Pat Neshek more than deserves the recall. His dominance of the International League should not go uncelebrated.
I keep hearing and reading people who think that the Twins need to acquire Corey Koskie. Sid Hartman brought it up again yesterday. First, I would have no problem with the Twins acquiring Koskie. I always liked him. But there is no way that the Brewers give him to the Twins for Lohse, and there is no way that the Twins should even consider dealing Lohse for Koskie. And then to hear or read others who think that the Brewers would give up Bill Hall for Lohse, that is laughable!
Fantasy Deal - In one of my leagues, a 16 team, 5x5 roto league, I made a trade last night. I got Francisco Liriano and Jason Kubel in exchange for Ryan Zimmerman, Kendry Morales and Juan Encarnacion. I only acquired Zimmerman a week ago as part of a deal that brought me Danny Haren. Morales was my 5th corner infield option as well (I have Mark Teixeira at 1B, Chipper Jones at 3B and Prince Fielder as my Corner Infielder. My backup option for Corners would be Jorge Cantu who just came off the DL. My pitching staff now consists of Liriano, Justin Verlander, Cole Hamels, Haren, Jeremy Bonderman, Daniel Cabrera and Alay Soler.) But back to the deal itself; how did I do?
Nick N. wrote a wonderful article on the Twins lack of hustle, discipline and passion. He recalls Gardy's promise to Twins fans at the Kirby Puckett tribute saying that as long as he was in charge, the team would play like Kirby did. We just are not seeing it. Nick used just one game worth of examples to show this, but it has been a season full of efforts that Puck himself would not be proud of.
Yesterday's Stick & Ball Guy's posting on the Top 50 Twins seasons showed me a lot. First, Chuck Knoblauch, although we knew he was very good with the Twins, is also incredibly underrated. As interesting as that list was, today's list chronicling the 10 Worst seasons in Twins history is equally interesting. Which Twins player had the worst season? Are any current Twins on the list? Check it out!
This weekend, the Twins will host the Baltimore Orioles in a three game series. Here are the pitching matchups:
Friday - 7:10 - Brad Radke (4-7, 6.42, 1.76, 3.57) vs Rodrigo Lopez (4-7, 6.75, 1.54, .298)
Saturday - 6:10 - Carlos Silva (2-7, 7.76, 1.69, .352) vs Daniel Cabrera (3-2, 4.66, 1.73, .221)
Sunday - 1:10 - Francisco Liriano (4-1, 2.44, 1.24, .248) vs Erik Bedard (5-5, 5.84, 1.67, .309)
Finally, I have been sitting on this for a little while, but today seems like a good day to share it with you. One frequent reader of this site wanted to share some of his thoughts on the Metrodome with my readers. So, please take a few minutes to read these thoughts. He would like to be simply referenced as T-Dog:
NEW BALLPARK / OLD DOME
I've been blindingly, obsessively, pro-ballpark for a decade and am absolutely ecstatic that the blow-combs in the legislature somewhere found enough spine to get this done. A real BallPark! Grass! Blue sky! No teflon! And a revenue stream to keep our stars!
That being said, I don't take kindly to the trashing of the dome. Its too obvious to bare repeating that the dome is and always has been inadequate for baseball. And yet the cranially challenged find it endlessly necessary to rehash that fact as if they were Joe Morgan stumbling onto a thought. Dome-bashing is so unseemly, like noting only the shabbiness of the rented hall when recalling a wedding dance.
Completed in 1982 at a cost of 68 million dollars, it was one of the last of the multi-use facilities. Innovative and cost competitive, it came in ahead of schedule and under budget. The dome is the only sports facility in the world to host to the World Series (twice), the All-Star Game, the Super Bowl, and the NCAA Final Four Basketball Tournament (twice). The dome also served as the first temporary home for the Timbies, and, lest we forget, it admirably served its major purpose - keeping the Vikings in Minnesota.
But more to the point, the dome is home to some incredible baseball memories. The plastic pastures of the dome played host to the talents and exploits of Bruno, The Terminator, The Rat, Sweet Music Frankie, Lombo, Aggie, Dan Gladden, and the second coming of Bert. The first base area will always be Herbie's turf, with echoes of the quick-pick of the one-hoppers, the incredible stretch, the wide-receiver patrolling of foul territory, and the endless, low-percentage hidden ball tricks. Unheralded, Johnny Castino put on many a fielding clinic at third, and absent a road trip, you could only see it at the dome. Centerfield always was and always will be Puckett's Place - not the lot north of the Target Center, but in the bowels of the dome. And who doesn't still get chills at the thought of the spontaneous packed house that October night when the boys returned from Detroit with the Holy Grail? There is only one Homer-Hanky-ville.
The salient fact is that the dome, with all of its pimples, has become a storied part of the lore of the Twins. And my only point is that when we arrive at Nirvana in 2010, there is something special we are leaving behind.
Do you have any thoughts on the Twins, the Mariners, the Orioles or anything else? If so, send me an e-mail, or post some Comments below.
TWINS DRAFT THOUGHTS
Here are just some real brief comments on some of the Twins draft picks:
Patrick Reusse wrote a great column about Twins 5th round pick Garrett Olson. He sounds like a great kid from a small college who is excited for the opportunity. He played college in a wood bat conference and can hit, but it is just a great article.
Finally, although I mentioned yesterday that it is unlikely that any of the Day 2 picks will ever get all the way to Minnesota, I want to post their names here and quick notes. If nothing else, they just deserve to have their name recognized.
19th Round - Daniel Valencia - 3B from U. of Miami
20th Round - Gilberto Buenrostro - C from Cuesta College
21st Round - Eric Santiago - SS from Miami Dade CC
22nd Round - Aaron Tennyson - LHP from U. Kentucky
23rd Round - Thomas Wright - High School RHP
24th Round - Nicholas Papasan- High School SS
25th Round - Dillon Baird - High School 3B
26th Round - Kyle Mitchell - High School RHP
27th Round - Joseph Tribou - High School Catcher
28th Round - Dustin Williams - High School Catcher
29th Round - Braxton Chisholm - High School Catcher
30th Round - Michael Mopas - LHP from Golden West College
31st Round - Kyle Thornton - RHP from Cowley County CC
32nd Round - Andres Diaz - High School Catcher
33rd Round - Alberto Espinosa - High School Catcher
34th Round - Marcel Champagnie - SS from Kaskaskia CC
35th Round - Robby Donovan - High School RHP
36th Round - Julio Martinez - High school outfielder
37th Round - Aaron Baker - High school catcher
38th Round - Randy Boone - RHP from U. of Texas - Austin
39th Round - Anthony Slama - RHP from U. San Diego
40th Round - Thomas Cowgill - 2B from James Madison U.
41st Round - Joan Ortiz - High School Pitcher
42nd Round - Robert Anderson - High School RHP
43rd Round - Francis Berry - High School RHP
44th Round - Isaac Castillo - High School 2B
45th Round - Brandon Trodick - RHP from CC Southern Nevada
46th Round - Richard Breton - High school outfielder
47th Round - Joshua Chester - High school outfielder
48th Round - Steven Vento - RHP from Palm Beach CC
49th Round - Calvin Culver - High School Outfielder
50th Round - Derek McCallum - High School Shortstop
There is Day 2 of the draft for the Twins. Again, most of these guys will not be signed. Sure, the fourth year college seniors likely will sign for a very small signing bonus, but the high school players can either go to a four year college and not be eligible for three more years, or they can got to a Community College and be eligible right away next year. That is great for pitchers who are allowed to develop for another year before the Twins commit any money to them.
Do you have any thoughts on the Twins draft, or the draft process in general? Send me an e-mail, or leave Comments below.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Alexi Casilla, Ft. Myers Miracle
SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Adam Hawes, Beloit Snappers
Last week, we learned that Matt Garza, Kevin Slowey, Kyle Geiger and Alexi Casilla were named to the Florida State League All-Star game. Of course, with Garza's promotion to New Britain, he won't play.
Earlier this week, the Midwest League named its All-Stars and a crazy NINE Beloit Snappers made the team. Not bad for a fourth place team. Paul Kelly and Tarrence Patterson were named starters. Erik Lis, Andrew Thompson, Steven Tolleson and Caleb Moore were named as reserves. How Lis is not a starter is just wrong on so many levels! Eduardo Morlan, Yohan Pino and Brian Duensing also were named to the team. Duensing's promotion to Ft. Myers means he will also not play.
If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Thursday - Red Wings 9, Durham 8 (10 innings) – It took some extra time, but the Red Wings did get another win. The team went with pitching by committee in this game. Jason Miller started and went 3.1 innings. He gave up two runs on four hits and two walks. Henry Bonilla then gave up two runs in 2.1 innings. Beau Kemp gave up a run in 1.1 innings. Pat Neshek got a blown save as he gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in two innings. Ricky Barrett picked up his fourth win by allowing a run in his inning. Glenn Williams went 3-3 with a double. Jason Tyner was 3-6. Kevin West went 2-5 with his first double, his second homer and four RBI. Gil Velazquez was also 2-5.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Thursday - Rockcats 1, Akron 3 – Denard Span and Doug Deeds each went 2-4, but the Rockcats did little on offense. Span stole his 11th base. Adam Harben took the loss. He went 4.2 innings and gave up two runs on five hits and a walk. Julio DePaula got four outs without a run. Jay Sawatski gave up a run in two innings.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Thursday - Miracle 3, Lakeland 2 – Justin Jones made another start, and in six innings, he gave up three runs (2 earned) on three hits and two walks. He struck out seven. Jose Mijares just seems more comfortable coming out of the bullpen. In two innings, he gave up just one hit and struck out four. Alexi Casilla went 2-2 with two walks and stole his 18th base. Brock Peterson was 2-4.
Thursday - Snappers 0, Clinton 1 – It was a good pitching day for the Snappers, but just not enough offense to even grab a run. Adam Hawes started and gave up just two hits and two walks in six shutout innings. He struck out four. David Shinskie gave up the lone run during his two innings stint. Edward Ovalle went 2-3 with a walk for the Snappers.
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.
That is it for today and for this week! Have a great weekend!|