Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday Game Notes
I'm back, but jus incredibly busy, so again, this will be quick. I'll have to make up for it with some weekend postings and maybe some pre-work on some quality postings for next week. Bear with me! And please continue to e-mail me the names of Twins minor leaguers that you would like to see me try to do Q&As with. If you like, come up with a name or two from each of the Twins affiliates.
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick asked nine really good questions about the Minnesota Twins of 2008. It's a great read, and he does make some very good points.
The Twins were swept by the Red Sox with a terrible 18-5 loss on Wednesday afternoon. Here are my thoughts:
Shouldn't make too much of the sweep. I don't think this tells us that the Twins can not compete with the top teams. The reality is that Monday and Tuesday's games were coulda/woulda/shoulda games that could have been won with better game managing and better player execution. Thursday's game is just one loss. It was ugly, but as I've said before, it's just one game and it's over.
I know it's easy to be negative about Nick Punto, and I'm as guilty as anyone. But with the Twins current roster make up, I have no problem with him playing shortstop against left-handed pitchers with Brendan Harris shifting over to 3B where he looked fairly comfortable. Against righties, I really have no problem with Punto and Harris sharing the time at shortstop with Brian Buscher manning the hot corner. In his current eight game hitting streak, he is 12-31 (.387, and has raised his average from .262 to .302.
Brian Bass - I've defended him much of the year by saying that he can provide decent innings in situations where the game is out of control early. Unfortunately on Monday night, Gardy put him into another crucial situation and it did not go well. Yesterday, he was again a mess. Now that Boof Bonser is in the bullpen, there really is no use for Bass. I would have no problem with the team sending him through waivers. I can't imagine a team looking at his "stuff" and claiming him, so he could go back down to Rochester. If someone does claim him, oh well. I do think that Bonser would be claimed, and I'm not saying that's a huge deal, but I also think that they could acquire someone for Bonser because he does have enough to think that he could turn things around at some point. The problem is that the Twins need to fill the bullpen with arms and aside from maybe Ricky Barrett, I don't see any help in Rochester right now.
Denard Span has continued to show me improved play. Defensively, he is excellent. Offensively, I really like watching his approach at the plate. He is a perfect leadoff type of hitter. When Michael Cuddyer comes back, I do believe that Span should remain on the roster. However, if he is going to be with the team, he needs to play at last four days a week. How do they do that? One game a week in left field, two in center and one in right field? Delmon Young has to play every day at this point. Carlos Gomez could maybe get two days off a week, but he has to keep playing. And Cuddyer has to play most days. That is the struggle.
Now there was also talk that to keep Span with the club, the Twins might be willing to eat some salary. Does that mean that Craig Monroe could be in trouble? It might. He is an OF option, so it might make sense to drop him especially with his non-impressive batting numbers, including against left-handers. But he is a right-handed power bat, something the Twins don't have much of. That's why I actually think that Mike Lamb is the guy who might be on the spot. I still have to stand behind my thinking that he was an excellent signing and simply hasn't adjusted to the league and new team well. However, with 3B options of Brian Buscher, Matt Macri, Brendan Harris and Nick Punto, they don't need a 3B. I don't know that he would have any value in a trade, certainly nothing to help the 2008 or 2009 or probably even 2010 Twins, but if they can get a team to take him, even if the Twins eat half of three-fourths of the remaining dollars, it makes sense.
Why was Joe Mauer still catching in the 8th and 9th inning of the blowout yesterday? Ridiculous!
Did you see Juan Rincon's contract was purchased by Cleveland?
I know the bullpen gave up 12 runs in 3.2 innings. Not good. But don't overlook the fact that Livan Hernandez gave up six runs on 11 hits in just 4.1 innings.
Delmon Young had three more hits in this game. He is hitting .448 (13-29) in his last seven games.
Joe Mauer went 2-3 with two walks. He's good. Justin Morneau had two hits, including his 13th home run. A couple innings later, Jason Kubel tied him again for the team lead with his thirteenth homer.
The Twins will send the four youngsters to the mound the next four days to face the Detroit Tigers. Kevin Slowey will face Kenny Rogers on Thursday. Glen Perkins and Armando Gallaraga will meet on Friday night. Scott Baker will take on Nate Robertson Saturday evening. On Sunday, Nick Blackburn will go against Justin Verlander. Should be a fun series.
WEDNESDAY GAME NOTES
Twins Minor League Updates
Wednesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Wilson Ramos, Ft. Myers Miracle
Wednesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Cole DeVries, Ft. Myers Miracle
Wednesday - Game 1 – Rochester 1, Charlotte 4 – Trevor Plouffe had two of the Red Wings four hits, including his fourth home run with the team. Kevin Mulvey gave up four runs, but just one was earned, in 4.2 innings. He gave up four hits, one walk and struck out three. He falls to 3-8 on the season despite an ERA of just 3.84. Ricky Barrett got the final four outs, two on strikeouts.
Wednesday - Game 2 – Rochester 0, Charlotte 4 – Randy Ruiz had a single and a double in this game... Those were the Red Wings only hits against Jack Egbert. Brian Duensing gave up three runs on seven hits and three walks in four innings for the loss. Tim Lahey threw a perfect inning. Then Bobby Korecky gave up a run on three hits in his inning.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Wednesday – New Britain 2, Reading 9 – Jeff Manship had a rough start. In five innings, he gave up six runs (just two earned) on 13 hits and two walks. One of the hits was a two run homer to former Twins prospect Garrett Guzman. Ryan Mullins came in and gave up just one hit over two scoreless innings. I have been asked about why Mullins is pitching out of the bullpen. It is because he was sick and not able to do much for about a week. He's just getting some work in and will be starting again soon. Good to see Frank Mata back on the mound after missing some time with a hamstring injury. That said, he gave up three runs on two hits and a walk in one inning. Danny Valencia went 3-4 with two doubles. Matt Moses was 2-4 with his 17th double of the year.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Wednesday – Miracle 6, Vero Beach 1 – The run of Cole DeVries continues! He improved to 7-6 with a complete game. He gave up one run on four hits and a walk. He struck out six. Wilson Ramos went 2-5 with his ninth and tenth home runs and four RBI. Juan Portes hit his 9th homer. Steve Singleton went 2-5.
Wednesday – Beloit 6, Ft. Wayne 7 – Rene Leveret went 3-4 with a walk. Deibinson Romero went 2-4 with a walk. Chris Cates went 2-5. Allen de San Miguel went 2-2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly. Michael Tarsi started and gave up three runs in five innings. He gave up six hits and walked three. Danny Hernandez then gave up five runs on four hits (including two home runs) and a walk in two innings. Chris Anderson then threw a scoreless inning.
Wednesday - Game 1 – E-Twins 5, Kingsport 4 – The struggles of Dan Berlind continued, but the bullpen and the bats came through with a win. Berlind gave up four runs on 11 hits and two walks in 4.2 innings. I guess if there is a positive, he did strike out nine batters. Curtis Leavitt came in and improved to 3-1 with 1.1 scoreless innings. Mark Hamburger came in and got his third save with a scoreless inning. Michael Harrington went 2-3 with his fifth home run. Evan Bigley hit his third homer. Jeff Lanning hit his second.
Wednesday - Game 2 – E-Twins 3, Kingsport 1 – Seven E-Twins had one hit. Alexander Soto hit his sixth home run of the year, in just 34 at bats. Brad Tippett improved to 4-1 with the complete game win. In seven innings, he gave up just one run on two hits. He didn't walk any and struck out four.
GCL TWINS TALK
Wednesday – GCL Twins 4, GCL Pirates 7 – Hyun-wook Choi and Michael Gonzalez were each 2-4 with a home run. It was Choi's first of the year and Gonzelez's second. Jonathan Goncalves went 1-2 with two walks. Jakub Hajtmar went 2-4. Adam Everett, on a rehab assignment, went 1-3. Edgar Ibarra went the first five innings and gave up two runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out five. Mauro Schiavoni then gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in two innings. Jose Mijares struck out three in his scoreless inning. Jean Mijares came in and gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits and one walk in one inning. He struck out two.
Have a good day!