Twitter Mailbag Ė Part 1
As I noted yesterday, the second contest (for two 1991 World Series DVDs) began yesterday afternoon. Itís a simple Twitter contest. On Twitter, ask me a Twins-related (specifically minor league related) question, and be entered into a drawing. I will accept questions through 5:00 p.m. central time on Wednesday. At that time, I will take all of the names, put them into a hat, and pick out the winner.
To be honest, I already have had a lot of questions submitted, so the Twitter Mailbag will be multiple parts. Here is Part 1, and again, to get your question asked and be entered into the contest, follow me on Twitter and send a question to @SethTweets. Enjoy the questions and responses today. And again, I will be back later with Part 2.
Tough first question because there are so many. As far as games I have been at, it is hard to get better than Jim Thomeís walk-off homer off of Matt Thornton at Target Field last August. Getting a Batting Practice foul ball from former Red Sox pitcher John Henry Johnson when I was 8 or 9 years old was pretty cool! And of course, I remember Game 7 of the 1987 World Series. I remember being in my parentís then-unfinished basement, watching it by myself on a snowy, black-and-white TV because I was too nervous to watch it with other people. Game 163s have been great. So many great memories as a Twins fan!
Absolutely not! OK, I wouldnít be 100% shocked, but I think it would be crazy unless they can somehow tell him that he canít accept it (which they canít). He is a Type A free agent which means declining arbitration would mean another team would have to give up a draft choice and pay Capps. That will hurt him. He would accept and that would not be good.
Ben Revere in LF, Denard Span in CF, and Michael Cuddyer in RF.
Good question, but really two very distinct questions too. Personally, I would be shocked if Delmon Young remains with the Twins. If he hits like he did in 2010, the defense isnít a big deal. If he hits like he has through most of 2011, it just isnít acceptable.
Bensonís defense would be a HUGE upgrade over Delmonís. However, I donít think he would be considered as an Opening Day 2012 guy yet. Maybe midseason though. As weíve said, the biggest part of his game that needs to improve to get a good shot is his contact rate. He knows it, and he has improved it somewhat in 2011.
Benson, and itís not even close. I do think that Benson gets to the big leagues in 2012. With Hicks, he will need to be added to the 40 man roster following the 2012 season, and it will be late 2013 at the very earliest that we would see him.
Like I wrote above, I think the starters in 2012 on Opening Day will be Ben Revere in LF, Denard Span in CF and Michael Cuddyer in RF. The Twins love Revere and his speed and his range, even if he canít get on base. I also believe that Revere will improve and be an average OBP guy in time. Span should be around for awhile, and I do think that Cuddyer will come back for multiple years.
Because of multi-year contracts, I think that Span and Cuddyer remain in the OF in 2013 (unless Cuddyer is at 1B, but Morneau will still be under contract). I think we could see some sort of Joe Benson/Ben Revere platoon system in LF or CF (if Span does move to LF in time).
I think Rene Tosoni will be a 4th OF, part time DH, corner OF, pinch hitter type. I donít think Jason Repko will be around next year. Iím curious what happens with Trevor Plouffe going forward. And, would the Twins bring back Jason Kubel to play RF and DH since Jim Thome will not be back.
In previous Augusts, GM Bill Smith has brought in Carl Pavano, Jon Rauch and Brian Fuentes, so I definitely think that the Twins will be watching the waiver wire closely throughout the month for anyone that makes sense. The Twins allegedly had discussions with the Blue Jays about bringing back Rauch, so that is something that could happen in August. The Twins have such a low record in the AL, so they have a great spot in the waiver order. It is possible that the Twins could acquire Heath Bell, although the Padres would likely pull him back unless the Twins made a big offer. Most players get put on waivers in August, so really the Twins could go a number of directions.
As for call ups, the only players that I think could be called up that has not already spent time with the Twins is Liam Hendriks and Kyle Waldrop.
He will start the season (and probably spend the whole season) in Beloit.
That is such a tough question because I donít know that there is a given in the group other than Scott Baker. I canít imagine teams would be terribly excited to acquire Carl Pavano, but he could be traded in August to a contender looking for a veteran. Can the Twins trade Francisco Liriano in the offseason for anything interesting? Nick Blackburn has the bad contract and low strikeout rate, so heís not tradable. Brian Duensing has been a solid big league starter the last three years. So there are five guys, plus until Kevin Slowey is traded, he is still a Twin. Anthony Swarzak has warranted a look.
So, I will guess that the starting rotation out of spring training next year will be Pavano, Baker, Blackburn, Duensing and Slowey. However, I think that by mid-June, we could see any or all of Kyle Gibson, Liam Hendriks and David Bromberg in the Twins starting rotation.
My thoughts on September call-ups is that the Twins will bring up Rene Rivera, Luke Hughes, Rene Tosoni, Jim Hoey and Chuck James. Tosoni is the only prospect in that bunch. If they are way out of contention, I would like to see Deolis Guerra brought up since he is doing a very good job since he was moved to the Rock Cats bullpen. And, I do think there is a chance that we could see Liam Hendriks in September.
High School Pitchers drafted in Round 1 by Twins in last 25 years: Willie Banks (1987), Johnny Ard (1988), Todd Ritchie (1990), Dan Serafini (1992), Kyle Waldrop (2004), Jay Rainville (2004).
Aside from when the Twins drafted Ben Revere in 2007 instead of the big-bonus-demanding Rick Porcello, who else have the Twins passed onÖ and based on where the Twins have drafted, who have they passed on that every other team passed on too?
And, in 2011, the Twins took Hudson Boyd with a supplemental first-round pick. Letís hope they can sign him and his upper-90s fastball.
Let them develop. See, as excited as we get, and I get in prospects, they are prospects because they havenít done it yet. Guys like Span, Kubel and Cuddyer have already done it. Until guys do it at the big leagues, we just donít know what will happen. So, you just let them develop in the minor leagues, and when they get up to AA and AAA, then you start thinking about where they Ďmightí fit in over the next couple of years.
Joe Benson definitely fits into the planning for 2013, but some of that does depend on what happens with Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel in the offseason. Ben Revere hasnít done enough on the field to earn for-sure status in 2012. He would be best served to go back to Rochester and play. However, we know that Gardy loves him, and heís fun to watch and he has the great smile, so we have to assume that he will be in the lineup somewhere in 2012.
I think heís pretty much ready now. But Iím sure getting some more AAA innings under his belt and facing AAA hitters that have been in the big leagues will help him. But Iím convinced from all reports that he is pretty close to ready now. That said, I would say early in the 2012 season.
I donít know if he will be. I think it will be more about where the Twins are in the standings and how many they plan to bring up. Like Ben Revere a year ago, Hendriks has to be added to the 40 man roster in November, so there is no logistical reason not to bring him up in September.
I would think he stands pretty well with that Twins right now. He is hitting for average, along with taking walks and cutting down the strikeouts, and he has a lot of doubles and 11 home runs in AA. I definitely think we will see him. Of course, a big part of that is the future status of Justin Morneau. I think he can be a very solid big league first baseman in the mold of a Lyle Overbay-type.
Again, head over to my Twitter page, follow me, and submit a question to me and be entered into the contest for the two 1991 World Series DVDs. Any thoughts or comments on what youíve read today?? E-mail me, or leave some Comments.