Thursday, August 16, 2007
Good morning everyone! After two days away from computers and such, it was nice to be home, but I am really tired after a couple days of some training. So today is not going to be real long or in-depth, but it is something. Hopefully you will get something out of it!!
Before I hit post to put this page up online, I went to some other Twins blogs... and...
You have to check out the Matthew Lecroy dance as posted on Aaron Gleeman's blog.
Gleeman also posted his #18 Twins player of all-time. See who it is.
Josh's Thoughts are always good, but specifically, he was keeping up with the Twins and their still-unsigned draft picks. They did sign Reggie Williams, but I have not heard if Nathan Striz has signed or not. (that leads me to assume that he didn't).
Stop by Stick & Ball Guy's site. It is the World's Greatest Online Magazine, no doubt! Plus, it is so frequently updated that there is always something new.
Finally, with the Twins celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 1987 Twins World Series championship, there should be a lot of people at the Metrodome this weekend. If you are heading out there, be sure to pick up a copy of Gameday Magazine outside the Metrodome. This month, I have an article featured in the magazine. It's only $2, and the work inside is really excellent.
First I want to thank all of you who took a few minutes and e-mailed me your thoughts on the site, what you like, don't like, would like to see, etc. Here are some things that I noted from those e-mails:
There are a lot of 50+ year olds that read this site.
Minor Leagues - Nearly everyone commented about the minor league coverage that you find here and that you enjoy learning about it. Some don't' care so much about the lower levels but like keeping up with at least the top couple of levels knowing that those are guys who could help sooner.
Design - I know, my site is certainly not visually alluring. I don't claim to be real knowledgeable on that kind of stuff. I guess I prefer to provide content. that said, if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.
RSS Feeds - I have had several tell me that I need to have an RSS Feed on my site. I have wanted one, but again, I'm not smart enough to know how to do it, so if anyone could help by finding me an easy way to add one, please e-mail me and let me know how.
Lists - Another topic that came up in terms of offseason articles was that baseball fans like lists. Top 10, Top 20, Top 50. Lists are fun to debate. Prospect lists, worst trades, most overrated players. Any list will do, just come up with some lists!
Writing Style- My writing was called 'down to earth' and 'lunch-pail.' You may think that I take this is a negative. I really don't. The Twins blogosphere is full of writers that are well, good writers. I like to think that I have a little bit of vocabulary and an understanding of grammar and the English language and such. But I'm not a writer. I just write how I talk or think. Sometimes that means jumbled. Sometimes it may appear pretty random. But that is the site. That is what it is. And I am OK with that.
Twins and their Minor League Updates
Here are the game reports of the Twins and their minor league affiliates from Wednesday's games.
Wednesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Denard Span, Rochester Red Wings
Wednesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Yohan Pino, New Britain Rockcats
I think what I learned most from the last two days is that the Twins win games when I don't watch the games. I actually fell asleep during the 3rd inning of the Tuesday night game. How sad is that? And, of course, the Twins played during work hours yesterday. Hopefully that isn't some sort of strange truth because I just can't not watch the Twins!
Tuesday - Twins 11, Mariners 3
So, I fell asleep in the third inning of this game... but then I woke up just in time to see Jason Bartlett's 5th inning home run. But quickly I fell back asleep. I woke up when it was 6-1, and then just went to bed.
Alexi Casilla, Jason Bartlett and Torii Hunter each had three hits. Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Mike Redmond each had two hits.
Matt Garza was excellent through seven shutout innings. He came out for the 8th inning and didn't get an out and gave up three runs. Garza has been so good, and he picked up his first win in a long time.
Joe Nathan for the first time in eight games. That's ridiculous. I don't care if there wasn't a save situation. Put him into other situations.
Wednesday - Twins 6, Mariners 1
I happened to be able to watch the game from about the fourth inning through the eighth inning while sitting at the airport. Here are a few things I saw:
Rondell White was way in front of an offspeed pitch from Jarrod Washburn and hit it over the left field fence for his first homer of the year. I realize that last week I said that the Twins should DFA him. Since then, Jason Kubel hurt his oblique and the team has no real options left. He obviously has a solid background, and it would be best for the Twins if he can play well down the stretch.
Congratulations (Again!) to Tommy Watkins! Yesterday, I got to see his first big league hit, a single to center off Washburn. In his next at bat, he hit a ball very similarly but it hung up and was caught in center. Watkins later singled again.
Jason Bartlett was 2-3 in the game. His second hit was a grounder to SS that he beat out. However, he stretched to get to the 1B bag and hobbled beyond the base, grasping his hamstring. Joe C is saying that he could wind up on the DL. If so, then what? Do the Twins call up Matt Tolbert? If so, who plays? Does Nick Punto become the starting SS until Bartlett is back? Maybe Alexi Casilla moves over there with Tolbert playing 2B? Or maybe they alternate, as they did at Rochester? Maybe Tommy Watkins gets more playing time. It should be interesting.
We also found out that the Twins traded Ramon Ortiz (and the remaining $800,000 on his deal) to the Colorado Rockies for IF Matt Macri. When the Twins drafted him out of his Iowa high school in 2001, we essentially knew that he was going to Notre Dame. He did, and then the Rockies took him. After struggling to start his career, Macri was having a very good year at AA this year before moving up to AAA where he started out well. This is yet another great deal by Terry Ryan. Trading an unneeded part for someone that could provide the team with good value in the future.
After fitting in with Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer in the not coming through category all day, Torii Hunter came up big with his 9th inning grand slam that put the game out of reach.
What has been Scott Baker's biggest improvement? Well, in my mind it is that he has been able to overcome struggles much better. It seemed in the past that if anything would happen in a game, Baker would not respond well. It was a case of one mistake becoming another. Taking that to the next level, Baker was coming off of a rough outing and yesterday, he had another very solid start. It was actually good to see him in the dugout after being removed from the game. it was the first time I saw him react. He was not happy to be taken out of the game, and I don't blame him. I'm not saying it was the wrong decision, but it was good to see that Baker wanted to stay in the game.
Joe Nathan pitched in back to back games. Pat Neshek looked great for the 1.1 innings he pitched. But he has been pitching so much! They keep talking about how he must have a tired arm, and yet he is pitching all the time!
Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau - Did I mention that both looked completely clueless? I haven't seen so many bad swings since Torii Hunter, circa first half of 2006!
Wednesday - Red Wings 10, Buffalo 4 – The Red Wings got a chance to do something that many in the AL have enjoyed doing all season... hit off of Cliff Lee. The Indians' lefty who signed a $16 million deal in the offseason has not been doing well even back at AAA. In this game, he gave up four runs on four hits and five walks in five innings. Denard Span went 3-5 with his 16th double and four RBI. Darnell McDonald was 3-5 with three RBI. Glenn Williams went 2-5. Matt Tolbert was 1-3 with two walks and his 5th stolen base. Lew Ford was 1-3 with his 10th double and two walks. Jason Miller started and in four innings gave up a run on five hits. Julio DePaula improved to 11-5 with five innings. He gave up three runs on four hits. He struck out five.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Wednesday - Rockcats 2, New Hampshire 3 – I had a little "insider" help in this game. My cousin-in-law, Jason Bain, happened to be traveling in New England. Last night's trip left him in New Britain, Connecticut, and he was fortunate to be able to go to a Rockcats game. We talked a couple of times throughout the game. He said that the stadium is really nice. He was very impressed with the color scoreboard. Before the game, he asked me if I knew any of the Rockcats players. I told him to be sure to say Hi to David Winfree and Trevor Plouffe. Before the game, Jason said that he spent several minutes talking to Winfree. He was quite impressed saying that Winfree "is a very nice guy, a very smiley type." Winfree came through with a very good game. He went 3-4. Brock Peterson hit his 13th home runs. He said that Peterson just looks powerful and hit the ball real hard. He said that Garrett Guzman twisted his ankle and was replaced by Luke Hughes. While on the phone, Brandon Roberts made a catch with runners on 2nd and 3rd and made a very strong throw to the plate to get the runner for the 3rd out of the inning. Yohan Pino started and went eight innings. He gave up three runs on nine hits. He walked three and struck out six. I had told Jason before that Pino is known to top out at about 88 mph. He verified that as true, but he also pointed out that he throws a very good, slow curveball that was about about 67 mph. Great control with the ability to change speeds is a good thing. I also learned that the centerfield fence is 400 feet deep and the fences are 20 feet high all the way around the field. The home runs that Yohan Pino gave up to Dustin Majewski was an absolute blast. Then Jose Mijares came in and struck out two in a perfect inning. I got a phone call at that point saying that Mijares throws gas. He was hitting 93 mph. Other reports have told us that he definitely has the ability to look this dominant and then the next night he will look bad and give up a home run. When the game finished, Winfree came back to the dugout and looked up to Jason, who was in the first row behind the Rockcats dugout, and thanked him for coming to the game and such. Jason looked back into the dugout and Trevor Plouffe was there. Plouffe told Jason to say hi to me, which I thought was pretty cool. I got to hear that the traffic heading out of the stadium is pretty harsh. But all in all, I was told that it was just a great experience. Thanks to Jason Bain for the excellent and informative information!
FT MYERS MEMOS
Wednesday - Miracle 5, Tampa 2 – Jeff Manship improved to 7-3 with the Miracle by throwing six solid innings. He gave up two runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out five. Kyle Aselton, JP Martinez and Eddie Morlan each threw a shutout inning. Martinez struck out two. Morlan picked up his 17th save by striking out the side. He has been really good the last two weeks (since his 5 really bad outings in a row). Erik Lis went 2-5 with his 15th homer. A two-run shot in the 1st inning. Dustin Martin went 2-4 with his 13th steal. Juan Portes went 2-4 with his 22nd double. Eddie Ovalle went 2-4 as well.
Wednesday - Snappers – No Game Scheduled.
Wednesday - E-Twins 6, Kingsport 1 – David Bromberg improved to 8-0 with 5.1 innings of one run ball. He gave up four hits, walked three and struckout five. Spencer Steedley came in and went 2.2 innings, striking out four. Caleb Moore then struckout two in a perfect inning. Greg Yersich went 2-3. Ozzie Lewis was 2-4. Dan Lehmann went 1-2 with two walks. Deibinson Romero hit his 13th double.
GCL TWINS REPORT
Wednesday - GCL Twins 1, GCL Reds 6 – Andres Diaz played in his first game with the GCL Twins and went 2-3 with a walk. Angel Morales went 2-3 with his fifth double. Yangervis Solarte went 1-2 with two walks. Jeanfred Brito hit his third triple. Dan Berlind lost his second decision. In four innings, he gave up four runs (3 earned) on five hits and two walks. Rodney Gessmann gave up two runs (1 earned) on a hit and a walk. Mark Hamburger struckout three in two shutout innings. Lee Martin pitched a scoreless ninth.
Roger's Tuesday Night Minor League Notes
Our good friend Roger posted thoughts on the Twins minor league affiliate's games on Tuesday night. I thought it would be best to post those here in case you didn't see those in the Comments yesterday. Thanks Roger!
Rochester lost 7-3 behind Jerome Williams first start...a bad 7-3 loss. It hurt as they lost to Buffalo while Scranton and Durham both won...they are now a game out in the Wild Card race.
Ryan Mullins struggled at New Britain, 4.1 innings with 9 hits and 5 runs. Garrett Guzman had 3 hits and is hitting .305. Brock Peterson is back off the DL, was 3 for 3 with 2 walks and a home run (12). David Winfree had his second multi hit game of the week...as the Cats won 12-5.
Errol Simonitsch gave up 8 hits and 4 runs in a 4.2 inning rehab start. Rob Delaney got his 5th save as they won 8-6. Erik Lis had another big night, going 2 for 4 with 2 home runs and 5 rbi. He now has 14 homers and 81 rbi on the season. Steve Tolleson, Dustin Martin and Danny Valencia each had 2 hits.
Beloit won 8-7 with Dan Leatherman making a spot start. Chris Parmalee, Joe Benson, Steve Singleton, Eli Tintor and Danny Berg all had 2 hits.
After scoring 22 runs on Monday, E-Ton played two last night and only scored 4 combined...but they were good enough for 2 wins, 1-0 and 3-2. Henry Reyes pitched 6.1 innings of 1 hit ball with 7K/1BB. In the second game (both were 7 innings), Mike McCardell pitched 6.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 10K/0BB. This kid is an absolute strikeout machine.
Glen Perkins got the start for the GCL Twins....pitching 1.0 inning with 2 hits and a run, when the rains came and the game was suspended with the Twins behind 1-0.
I am guessing that you have heard the news about former Twin Jose Offerman and his tirade that landed him in jail? Not a pretty site!
Former Twins farmhand Adam Harben, who reached New Britain with the organization before being traded last August to the Cubs in the Phil Nevin deal, had Tommy John surgery last November. A week ago, he made his first appearance in a minor league game for the Arizona League Cubs (rookie league, comparable to the Twins GCL team). He pitched one inning and struck out all three batters he faced. Four days later, he pitched two innings and gave up no runs on one hit and one walk. Of course, he is very, very early in the comeback so his actual numbers are unimportant. The fact that he is back is what matters. His arm strength and such will continue to improve as long as he and the teams are cautious. Part of that is not throwing any curveballs. But he is coming back and that is great news!
Please feel free to discuss the Twins game, the minor league teams and players and anything in the comments below.|
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