Friday, July 4, 2008
Happy 4th of July!
Hey everyone! I am heading out of town for the weekend. I'm bringing my computer. There is a chance I won't turn it on. I certainly wish you a great holiday. Be safe! Since it is unlikely that the site will be updated throughout the weekend, I am going to make a post with several different areas for commenting, updating and discussion. That way, you can have specific discussions on several topics. I know not many people check out the site on holidays and weekends, but for those that do, at least you will be able to feel that there might be something new to read. So, I hope you enjoy the topics, and at the end, please feel free to add new topics, links or opinions on other topics as well.
Twins Top 10 Pitchers:
The Twins current starting staff consists of Livan Hernandez, Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey and Glen Perkins. There are a couple of guys at AAA or at AA that are worth discussing. I am frequently asked about some different pitchers, so I think it would be interesting to rank the top ten starters right now in the Twins system in terms of a progression of who would be called up in the event of a trade or injury. Your thoughts:
You will notice that Anthony Swarzak and Phil Humber are not on the list. One is/was considered a top prospect. The other is on the 40 man roster. Any thoughts?
Secondly, if you're in charge, what does Francisco Liriano need to do or show to tell you that he is ready to be called up?|
Twins MVP - Who would you call the 2008 MVP to this point in the 2008 season: Joe Mauer? Justin Morneau? Jason Kubel? Alexi Casilla? A pitcher?|
Twins Top Pitcher - Joe Nathan? Livan Hernandez? Kevin Slowey? Nick Blackburn? Scott Baker? Someone else?|
Twins Thoughts - Discuss pitching matchups, or game stories, or Twins blogs or stories. Who had big games? Basically, use this comment area to talk about anything Twins related.|
Rochester Red Wings Thoughts - Discuss the Twins AAA affiliate. How did their games go? Which players do you consider prospects, and who is surprising you either positively or negatively. Discuss anything from Jim Mandelaro's blog or other Red Wings sources.|
New Britain Rockcats Thoughts - Discuss the Twins AA affiliate in Connecticut. How did they do? Are there any players worth watching? Who has impressed? Who has disappointed you? Are there any good blogs on the Rockcats? Discuss anything Rockcats related here.|
Ft. Myers Miracle Thoughts - Someone leave the game stories here, if you have a chance. Then feel free to discuss any topics related to the Miracle. Should Anthony Slama still be there? How much can he learn by being THE MAN at the back end of the pitching staff? Are there other players that intrigue you? Are there others who have disappointed? Discuss the Miracle here.|
Beloit Snappers Thoughts - The Twins Midwest League affiliate has a terrific bullpen and Mike McCardell dominating. Ben Revere is obviously frequently discussed. I would like for people to tell me why it is a negative for him to remain in Beloit. I would enjoy that discussion. Are there others on the team worth discussing? Post game notes and thoughts here as well.|
Elizabethton Twins Thoughts - What are your thoughts on the E-Twins? They have a lot of tremendous hitters, but how much do you make of the stats they put up. Consider... Ozzie Lewis was the league's MVP last year and this year at Beloit, he has really struggled. What does that mean for the likes of Jonathan Waltenbury, Nick Papasan and Evan Bigley? There is a big jump between the short season leagues and the full season teams. Any thoughts on that? Do you consider the E-Twins the "Yankees of the Appy League?" I think there are several things that make that the case. Shooter Hunt should be making an appearance sometime this weekend. What do you think he will be able to do? When will Carlos Gutierrez sign and what do you think he will do in this season?|
GCL Twins Thoughts - Aaron Hicks is there. Reggie Williams is there. Tyler Ladendorf is there. There are players from pretty much every country on this roster. Is it possible that Jake Mauer has the most difficult managing job in the Twins organization? What are you looking for from a player at this level, or do you think of it as a player's first year in pro ball and it's just about learning what minor league life is all about?|
Dominican Summer League Thoughts - I haven't followed this team as much as I probably should, so please feel free to educate me. A lot of these players are from 17-20 and from the Dominican Republic. The Twins sign them and let them play there for a couple of years and then determine which players to bring north. It is a great opportunity for those players. So, name a few players at this level that I should be paying attention to? Do you have a Top 3-5 players that you're watching?|
General Minor League Thoughts - Roger will likely be posting his weekly Minor League update over at Twinkie Town on Saturday morning, so be sure to check that out and would someone please post the link here? Likewise, LaVelle E. Neal's minor league update will likely be posted late Saturday afternoon at the Star-Tribune site. Discuss that here. Any other minor league topics to consider?|
BASEBALL TRENDS - When Moneyball came out several years ago, many people thought that the purpose of the book was to talk about on-base percentage and slugging percentage and drafting college players. In reality, the goal of "Moneyball" was to find the way to most efficiently and effectively use limited resources. At the time, on-base percentage was undervalued. Since that book came out, on-base percentage is no longer undervalued. Since then, Billy Beane has valued defensive metrics. One of the topics of the book was that drafting college players made more sense than drafting high school players because they are closer and there is less risk. Well, did you notice that the Oakland A's out-bid several other teams and signed Michel Inoa to a $4.25 million signing bonus. Inoa is a 16 year old pitcher from Venezuela. Cincinnati is certainly a team that believes that there are economic efficiencies to signing top International talent, considering them in the same class as the top guys in the draft.
Another trend that I believe we are all seeing is that home runs are down in the post-steroids era. Maybe it's a blip on the screen, but the numbers are what they are. So, how will teams adapt to having to go back to scouting and developing players beyond just asking them to hit for power. The Twins never really played into a power game and have not been really able to develop power in the system beyond Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel. However, if you look at their recent drafts, they took the likes of Joe Benson, Ben Revere and Aaron Hicks. They also are thrilled to have acquired Carlos Gomez from the Mets. In my mind, the Twins are going to really try to become a speed team. That could mean base stealing, but more important, it is getting guys who can go from first to third on a single, or score from first on a double, or as we have seen with Denard Span, Gomez and Casilla, generally keep the opposition on their toes and force the issue with their speed. In my opinion, that is a far more interesting brand of baseball.
So what do you think? What are the trends that you expect to see or hope to see over the next couple of years? I think a lot of organizations are following the Twins model. Thoughts?
Twins at the Trade Deadline
Now that we are in July, it is time to start thinking about the trade deadline... if you're GM Bill Smith, what do you do? Do you buy or sell or both? Propose some trades. Who should the Twins be looking at, or at least what positions, and what would you be willing to trade for each? Discuss and comment.
What other stories are you following? Are there other baseball topics to discuss? Any other topics? If so, please feel free to e-mail me and leave Comments below.
Back to Archives Home