Monday, July 30, 2007
Good Monday Morning everyone!
For all those Chris Coste fans, it was a great weekend for the Fargo native! On Saturday, he went 2-3. With the score tied 5-5 in the 5th inning, he hit a bit, three run homer to give the Phillies the lead. He even got his first curtain call. He added a double and a career high four RBI. On Sunday, with the Phillies already up 3-1, he had a pinch hit two-run single to put the game out of reach.
I had the opportunity to listen to Tony Gwynn's Hall of Fame induction speech on the radio and it was excellent. I enjoyed it because it sounded as if he just had some notes and then he just talked from the heart. I thought it was great that the Brewers let Gwynn's son Tony be at the ceremony. Cal Ripken, well, I didn't really have any interest in hearing his speech. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Mr. Ripken. But, I just had a feeling that his speech would be so choreographed so he didn't say anything wrong. No problem with that, but I do think it is funny. Ripken may be one of the cleanest reputation players in baseball. It is interesting, isn't it? I mean, A-Rod is very careful about what he says to the media, and he is beaten up for it. Also very interesting that Ripken has been able to stay out of the steroid talk. Does anyone suspect Ripken of using during his career? I really don't know anyone who does. I don't. However, one of the biggest reasons for steroid usage is the ability to recover quickly, right? Relief pitchers would theoretically use it to be able to pitch back to back games or as necessary, right? Guys with incredible consecutive games played streaks couldn't use anything to keep themselves able to play, could they. I mean, we know Ripken didn't use anything. The other games played streak that just recently ended was that of Miguel Tejada, and his name has never been mentioned in steroids... oh wait, it has??? Hmmm... Interesting. No, the Orioles aren't a team that has any steroid history, do they? What? Palmiero? Tejada? Grimsley? Hmmm... I'm sure that Ripken's best friend in baseball, Brady Anderson hit 50 home runs in 1996 because of hard work, right?
Again, I'm not saying/claiming that Cal Ripken ever took anything. I don't think he did. He's always been a great guy, great role model for kids. He and his brother Billy have done a lot of work for youth baseball, and I think it's great. I just remember that the writer from the Daily Southtown who voted for no one for the Hall of Fame and said he couldn't because he just doesn't understand the full magnitude of the steroid situation in the '90s and early 2000's. Does anybody? Maybe his 'vote' wasn't as bad as so many people think. Ripken is a great guy and is a great role model and has a great family and an impeccable record in the community. It is likely that he just stayed away from everything mentioned above. But if we (Twins fans) have learned anything about our heroes, the truth is that we really just don't know, do we?
Barry Bonds is not liked by the media. No question about that. He's going after one of baseball's greatest records, the all-time home run record. And he is scrutinized. Another one of those "unbreakable baseball records" was Lou Gehrig's consecutive games played streak. I remember watching that game on TV and getting chills. It was an incredible memory. It was a great celebration. And, it has never been questioned. I have never read anyone question Ripken, and I'm fine with that. But if Ripken is left completely unscathed and unquestioned, I just don't understand.
Any thoughts? Is it sacrilege to question Cal Ripken in this day and age? Hey, I'm sure Lance Armstrong and Roger Clemens were completely clean too! Send me your thoughts.
ENSBERG AVAILABLE - On Sunday, a day after the Houston Astros acquired Ty Wigginton from the Devil Rays for Dan Wheeler, the Astros DFAd (Designated For Assignment) Morgan Ensberg. If you recall a couple of weeks ago, I said that I thought that Ensberg should be brought in next spring to compete with Brian Buscher, Matt Moses and others for the 3B job. I just don't think that the Twins should acquire him right now. First, I would wait until after the 10 day waiting period where the Twins would need to trade a player for him. Second, it's fine at this point to just see how Brian Buscher can do.
WIGGINTON UPDATE - I've been completely against the idea of trading for Ty Wigginton despite hearing of the Twins supposed interest. He's had a solid season. He hasn't played much 3B for the Rays this year, instead splitting most of the time between 1B and 2B. But the main reason is because... despite it all, he remains, Ty Wigginton. That said, even though he was dealt to the Astros, I don't think he will stay there. Why would the Astros trade for him? I think it is to trade him away. Either that or so that they can deal someone like Mark Loretta.
THE DEBUT - Congratulations to Brian Buscher! First on his big league call up. Also for his first career hit, a single in his first career at bat. It was nice to see him follow it up with a second solid single in his second at bat. He got his first big league RBI on Saturday on a ground ball fielder's choice to 2B which proved to be the Twins winning run. I have no problem with the lefty sitting out on Sunday against CC Sabathia. Defensively, his error on the first ground ball hit his direction started the Indians big third inning on Friday night. Later in the inning, a rocket shot hit him in the left shoulder. Nothing he could do about that. After that inning, he looked just fine on defense.
PUNTO WATCH - We wondered if Gardy would be able to keep the replaceable Nick Punto out of the lineup. Well, Friday night, he played SS, Saturday night he played 2B and Sunday afternoon, he was in at 3B.
WHO'S NOW? - I think it is time to start talking about Matt Garza for what he is showing he is. He could seriously become one of the league's dominant starting pitchers. Clearly he needs to continue to improve his control, particularly with the offspeed pitches. However, the 11 strikeouts tell us that he has the stuff, the dominating stuff, that can help him get out of such problems!
JOHAN - Johan Santana is obviously the best pitcher in the league... but he has given up a lot of home runs. The two run 7th inning blast of Travis Hafner was only the latest example.
STREAKIN' - In his last 10 games, Justin Morneau has gone 15-38 (.397) to raise his average from .387 to .397. He has had three homers and 12 RBI in those games.
NOT HELPING - Maybe Torii Hunter really does want to stay with the Twins and will be willing to negotiate with them after the season. If so, he has done a nice job of bringing down his trade value in the past five games by going 1-17. That's a nice .059 average.
LEWWWWW - Speaking of struggling, Lew Ford hit a ninth inning solo home run for the Twins for a little insurance. Prior to that, he had not had a hit since July 7th. He was 0-13 before the homer.
LEFT FIELD - I thought left field was a weak spot for the Twins. In the three Cleveland games, the Twins got home runs from Jason Kubel, Lew Ford and even Jason Tyner. Tyner hit his first career home run after more than 1,200 big league at bats. Good for him!
COMING UP - The Twins traveled to Kansas City from Cleveland. Tonight they will begin a four game series against the Royals. The Royals are a very solid team right now despite the slow start. Youngsters like Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Tony Pena Jr have really played well in the second half. Pitching has been their problem, but Gil Meche has actually almost pitched to the level of his crazy contract. Here are the pitching matchups for this series:
Monday - 7:10 p.m. - Scott Baker (4-4, 5.0, 1.33, .281) vs Gil Meche (7-7, 3.76, 1.29, .267)
Tuesday - 7:10 p.m. - Carlos Silva (8-11, 4.76, 1.40, .295) vs Jorge De La Rosa (8-10, 5.35, 1.60, .299)
Wednesday - 7:10 p.m. - Boof Bonser, 5-7, 4.72, 1.48, .277) vs Brian Bannister (7-6, 3.42, 1.15, .233)
Thursday - 12:10 p.m. - Johan Santana (11-8, 2.92, 1.01, .212) vs Odalis Perez (6-9, 5.73, 1.62, .313)
ROYALS TO WATCH - David DeJesus has a seven game hitting streak during which he has gone 12-29 (.414). Alex Gordon has been really good in the second half. In his last six games, he has gone 10-24 (.417). The guy was the college player of the year two years ago at Nebraska. Last year, he was the minor league player of the year. Had to figure he would figure out how to hit in the big leagues too. Tony Pena Jr., has gone 6-12 (.500) in his last four games. Ross Gload has an eight game hitting streak during which he is 13-27 (.481).
TO TRADE OR NOT TO TRADE - Since the Twins have yet to make a trade, this remains the question. By winning two out of three in Cleveland, the Twins are now just 6.5 out of the AL Wild Card race. That number alone doesn't seem insurmountable. However, they have several teams that they have to bypass to take the lead in that race. Technically, the team is too close to really just give in. However, they also have a lot to do to really be in the race. The problem right now with the Twins is simply consistency. Can this team be consistent enough to really compete? That is the big question. That is why I still am of the belief that the Twins should make a couple of "sell" moves that really shouldn't hurt them in terms of competing for the race:
Luis Castillo to the Mets - This one is so obvious. It really may just be a matter of who Terry Ryan would be willing to accept for him. The fact that Castillo left Friday's game early and didn't play on Saturday didn't help his case. I just can't imagine the Mets being willing to deal Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez or Fernando Martinez to get him. I don't think that Mike Pelfrey or Phil Humber would be available either. So, maybe it would be possible to get two second-tier prospects for him. I would be happy with that. And, Alexi Casilla could step in and be just fine.
Carlos Silva - He too becomes a free agent at the end of the season. He has almost pitched to a league-average level this season. His value is likely as high as it will ever be, which is to say, probably not very high. However, over the past three or four games, the Los Angeles Dodgers have had both Derek Lowe and Brad Penny leave games early with injury. Silva can start if needed, and if those guys come back, he could temporarily pitch out of the bullpen as well. Now, I'm not crazy enough to think that the Twins could get Andy LaRoche for Silva, at least not alone. How about Silva and a minor league pitcher like Ryan Mullins for him? Another potential move would be a return of Silva to the Philadelphia Phillies who also need another starting pitcher.
Juan Rincon - Dan Wheeler got the Astros Ty Wigginton in return. Scott Linebrink got three pitching prospects from the Brewers, including Will Inman, from the Brewers. Could a guy like Rincon maybe get one solid prospect? Just one?
Dennys Reyes - What about a left-handed reliever signed for just one more year at just one million dollars?
Jeff Cirillo - Cirillo is a solid veteran bat that I would think that a team that is close would really like to come off of their bench. Again, low-level prospect at best. This is the kind of guy that Terry Ryan traded a lot in the late '90s to start accumulating prospects.
No one - I am starting to believe that this will be the guy that the Twins deal by Tuesday.
Q&As - I really am trying to line up some more Q&As with Twins minor leaguers. It's all coming along quite slowly. However, Josh's Thoughts has a nice Q&A with Pat Neshek. Also, over at Twins Territory, they have a Q&A with Brian Duensing.
Former Twin Watch - Driving home last night, I was listening to XM Satellite radio and heard the voices of a couple of former Twins. On FoxSports Radio, Denny Hocking is the co-host of a baseball show. He isn't too bad, but his voice becomes rather annoying in a hurry. On ESPN Radio's Baseball Show, Todd Walker become a co-host awhile back, after being released.
Any other thoughts on the Twins? Send me an e-mail.
Twins and their Minor League Updates
Here are the Twins updates from the weekend, including game reports of their minor league affiliates. Each week, you will want to check out Roger's Minor League Report. Click here for this week's report.
Friday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Garrett Guzman, New Britain Rockcats
Friday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Liam Hendriks, GCL Twins
Saturday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Garrett Olson, Beloit Snappers
Saturday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Brian Duensing, Rochester Red Wings
Sunday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Greg Yersich, Elizabethton Twins
Sunday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Matt Fox, Beloit Snappers
Friday - Red Wings 2, Syracuse 4 – Kevin Slowey gave up four runs on nine hits and two walks in six innings. He fell to 8-3 with a 1.87 ERA. Jason Miller went three shutout innings. Darnell McDonald went 2-4 with his fifth home runs and 21st stolen base.
Saturday - Red Wings 3, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 0 – Brian Duensing is certainly making a name for himself in Rochester. On this night, he threw seven shutout innings. He gave up just three hits, walked two and struck out four. He is now 8-2 with the Red Wings. Julio DePaula and Bobby Korecky each pitched a shutout inning. Korecky recorded his 28th save. Jose Morales went 2-3 with a walk. Alexi Casilla went 2-5 with his 23rd stolen base. Doug Deeds hit his seventh home run of the season.
Sunday - Red Wings 0, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 3 – Ryan Mullins actually pitched fairly well, but he fell to 0-2. The lefty gave up three runs on six hits and a walk in six innings. Carmen Cali pitched the next two innings without allowing a run. Alexi Casilla went 1-3 with a walk and his 24th stolen base. Garrett Jones was also 1-3 with a walk.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Friday - Rockcats 6, New Hampshire 8 – Garrett Guzman had a big game. He went 4-5 with two doubles (he has 14 on the season). Trevor Plouffe had two doubles in four at bats (29). Rashad Eldridge was 2-3 with two walks and yes, two doubles (13). Brandon Roberts went 2-5. Luke Hughes hit his fifth home run. Oswaldo Sosa started and gave up four runs on six hits and two walks in five innings. Tristan Crawford took the loss as he gave up four runs on five hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Jose Mijares struck out two in 1.2 shutout innings.
Saturday - Game 1 - Rockcats 3, New Hampshire 0 – David Winfree led the offense in this game. He went 2-3 with his 21st double and eighth home run. Garrett Guzman hit his 15th double. Josh Hill pitched five shutout innings to improve to 2-0. He gave up five hits and a walk. Tim Lahey pitched the final two innings for his eight save.
Saturday - Game 2 - Rockcats 4, New Hampshire 3 (8) – In the second game, Luke Hughes was the offensive story as he knocked his sixth and seventh homers. Kyle Geiger went 2-4 with his fourth homer. Angel Garcia started and went two shutout innings. He gave up a hit and two walks. JP Martinez gave up three runs on three hits and four walks in two innings. Danny Powers struck out three in three shutout innings to improve to 2-4. Tim Lahey pitched another inning and recorded his ninth save.
Sunday - Rockcats 2, New Hampshire 10 – Yohan Pino pitched much better in this game than his previous AA outings. He gave up three runs on four hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out five. Frank Mata gave up five runs on four hits and three walks in 1.1 innings. Tristan Crawford gave up three hits and a run in getting the final two outs of the seventh inning. Jose Mijares went one inning and gave up a run on tow hits and two walks. Garrett Guzman went 2-4 with 16 doubles. Rashad Eldridge and Luke Hughes each went 2-4. Felix Molina went 2-3.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Friday - Miracle 4, Tampa 2 – Juan Portes went 2-3. Brian Dinkelman went 1-2 with two walks. Erik Lis hit his ninth home run. Zach Ward started and went two shutout innings, striking out three, before leaving the game. Errol Simonitsch went the final 4.1 innings (the game was shortened by rain) and gave up two runs on seven hits.
Saturday - Game 1 - Miracle 1, Tampa 4 – Jeff Manship gave up three unearned runs on eight hits and a walk in five innings. He falls to 5-2. Eddie Morlan gave up a run and struck out three over two innings in relief. Steve Tolleson went 2-3 with an RBI.
Saturday - Game 2 - Miracle 4, Tampa 2 – Johnny Woodard provided the offense in this game. He went 2-3 with his fifth home run, a three run shot in the 6th that was the difference in the game. Kyle Aselton struck out three in three shutout innings to start the game. Armando Gabino gave up an unearned run on three hits and two walks in two innings. David Shinskie improved to 6-3 with a scoreless inning. Robert Delaney gave up a run in his inning for his second save.
– No Game Scheduled.
Friday - Snappers 0, South Bend 1 – The Snappers managed just one hit in this game, a single by Steve Singleton, who also stole his seventh base. Alex Burnett fell to 6-6. He gave up a run in the first inning. In all, he went six innings and gave up just the one run on five hits. Jose Lugo went 1.2 innings and did not allow a run. He did give up two hits and walked three. Danny Vais struck out two in the final 1.1 innings.
Saturday - Snappers 7, South Bend 6 – Garrett Olson went 4-4 with two doubles (11) in this game. Eli Tintor went 2-4. Joe Benson hit his fifth home run and drove in two runs. Brian Kirwan had a very rough start. In 3.2 innings, he gave up six runs on nine hits (2 HR) and five walks. Matt Williams then threw 2.1 scoreless frames. Dan Leatherman struck out four in two innings to improve to 7-3. Anthony Slama recorded save number four with two strikeouts in his scoreless inning.
Sunday - Snappers 2, South Bend 3 – Matt Fox had another very solid start. He gave up one run on just two hits and a walk in seven innings. He struck out seven. Danny Vais then came in and gave up two runs on three hits in two innings to take the loss. Eli Tintor went 2-4. Garrett Olson hit his 12th double.
Friday - E-Twins – No Game Scheduled.
Saturday - E-Twins – No Game Scheduled.
Sunday - Game 1 - E-Twins 7, Greeneville 2 – Henry Reyes is 22 years old, so he should do well in the Appy League, but he certainly is doing just that. He improved to 4-2 on the season. He gave up two runs on four hits in five innings. He walked just one and struck out nine. Dan Latham and Blair Erickson each pitched a scoreless inning in relief. Greg Yersich went 2-3 with his seventh double, first homer and three RBI. Rene Tosoni went 2-3 with a walk. Estarlin De Los Santos and Deibinson Romero each went 2-4.
Sunday - Game 2 - E-Twins 6, Greeneville 3 – Mike McCardell went five shutout innings to improve to 2-1. He gave up just two hits, walked one and struck out nine. Mike Rogers got two outs before giving up three unearned runs. That said, he did walk three. Caleb Moore picked up his first save by getting the final four outs. Rene Tosoni went 2-4 with two RBI. Ozzie Lewis went 2-3 with a walk. Greg Yersich went 2-4.
GCL TWINS REPORT
Friday - GCL Twins 5, GCL Red Sox 1 – Ben Revere went 3-4. Adam Schmiesing went 2-4 with two RBI. Liam Hendriks struck out eight over the first four shutout innings. Nelvin Fuentes pitched two shutout innings to record the win. Jakub Toufar gave up two hits in a scoreless inning. Mark Hamburger gave up an unearned run on no hits and a walk over two innings.
Do you have any further thoughts on any Twins prospects, minor leaguers, or these summaries? E-mail me, or also feel free to leave comments below.
That is it for today. Have a great day!|
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