Iím often called the positive or the calm Twins blogger. Not much gets under my skin. And I take pride in that. Kind of the One Game at a Time thing, I guess. Iíve played the game of baseball, and I know how hard it is. When players make errors, it doesnít bother me. Itís part of the game. When players look silly at the plate while striking out, Iíve been there. Obviously not at the big league level, but anyone who has played baseball beyond high school knows that this is a very humbling game by its very nature. It is a hard game to play, and even though these players are big leaguers, they are also playing against big leaguers, which levels that playing field.
With any transaction, I try to think about the deal from all perspectives. I wonít necessarily agree with every move (see Ramos, Wilson for Capps, Matt), but I understood what they were thinking. I can usually find something.
For some reason, when I saw the Twins lineup and the Twins situation yesterday, it set me off, and that happens maybe once a year. Joe Mauer playing right field was an interesting situation, although I have no problem with it. In fact, I donít have a problem with the lineup as it was. But the team had no one available on the bench until Luke Hughes showed up after the game started.
I ranted a bit on Twitter, which actually kind of felt good. I think I may have over-done it in a couple of instances, but I needed it, and now Iím back to my calm self. Here is a quick view of some of my tweets from last night:
SethTweets: Gardy pre-game speech: ďSo, this is our lineup and our defense. Donít get hurt, we have no bench. Now Go Beat CC and those Darn Yankees!!Ē
I blogged yesterday several reasons why Joe Benson should have been promoted yesterday. The team knew that Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel could not play the OF. Against CC Sabathia, Rene Tosoni would have no chance. Maybe Benson wouldnít either, but itís something. Benson was on the 40 man roster. But with the lineup that the Twins played, it is hard to envision having a shot against one of baseballís best teams and one of baseballís best pitchers.
SethTweets: Iím sure someone will. RT @jimmyjammer22 @LaVelleNeal @SethTweets so if mauer runs into the RF wall and breaks a leg, Gardy gets the blame?
There are a lot of Twins fans who blame Gardy for everything, and Iím sure that happening would against be Gardyís fault. This lineup and this situation was a microcosm of the 2011 Twins season. Gardy isnít perfect, but a lot of the issues of this team have nothing to do with the manager.
SethTweets: Now the Rochester Red Wings and New Britain Rock Cats can no longer complain when the Twins leave them short-rostered! #ThisIsRidiculous
Seemingly a couple of times a year, the Twins will leave their AAA or AA affiliate with a very short bench. My typical response has been that it is the role of those teams to help fill the Twins roster when needed. I never imagined seeing a Twins game in which the Twins had no one on the bench. So I understand the frustration now that the Twins have experienced an empty bench.
SethTweets: And, if @MCuddy5 canít play under these circumstances, he clearly isnít coming back any time soon. Why not DL?
Honestly, how long have we heard that Cuddyer is a day away? Span was a day or two away. He was finally put on the Disabled List. Cuddyer is the ultimate team player, and he has shown time and again his willingness to play hurt. Understanding the Twins situation last night, I am of the opinion that Cuddyer could not play, and would not be able to play for at least a few more days. †
SethTweets: And Iím the positive #Twins blogger who can usually find something to make situations understandable. This is pretty pathetic! #HardToAdmit
I donít like being negative. At all.
SethTweets: And there are still people who hold Ron Gardenhire responsible for this mess! Unreal. (But it should be fun to watch)
Again, Gardy had no good options in last nightís game. He has been handcuffed with the roster and the injuries all year. That said, it was fun to see Mauer in RF, and a lineup that included Tosoni, Revere and Plouffe. Itís still a great game!
SethTweets: Ha!! No one down there! RT @DWade @SethTweets is there anyone in Beloit thatís also already on the 40-man?
If the Twins had someone on the 40 man roster in Beloit, he could have been to the Twin Cities in about 5 Ĺ hours!† However, the Twins donít have anyone on their 40 man roster in Beloit. That saidÖ Tommy Watkins is the hitting coach there. Maybe he could have been brought up to the Twins as an extra infielder!
SethTweets: Iím not blaming players, no questioning the toughness & will of @MCuddy5, Morneau, Span or others, but something isnít right w/med. Staff.
We have all had our questions about the Twins medical staff for years. Constant missed diagnosis. How many times has someone been out for ďa dayĒ and gone on the Disabled List 10 days later? How many more Ďrest and rehabsí do they need? Why are there so many injuries this year or in the last couple of years. Why isnít Tolbert on the DL? Itís injury after injury and missed diagnosis.
SethTweets: Must be! @bennyc50 @SethTweets I wonder if the Twins lead the league in retroactive DL stints because they wait so long to put them on?
This is my point. How many times have they waited and called players day-to-day and then put them on the Disabled List eight to twelve days later?
SethTweets: And the beauty of baseball is that this #Twins roster could beat CC and the Yankees tonight cuz baseball is a funny game! #GreatestGameEver
Thereís always fun in baseball. There is always strange things that happen. Even the worst big league players have good days and sometimes even against some of the best pitchers. The Royals beat the Yankees and Red Sox sometimes. The worst teams still generally win about 60 games and some of them against teams that will win 90 or more games. Obviously by now you know that the obvious result of the game occurred (Twins lost 8-4), but you never know.
SethTweets: Finally, I want Bill Smithís explanation for how this happens. Had to know Kubel would be gone. Two guys havenít played for a week.
Like I said, I can typically understand pretty much anything that happens to a baseball team or a teamís roster, but this one, I donít get. Theyíve known for awhile now that Span wasnít coming back anytime soon. I donít know, but I have to assume that they knew before Wednesdayís game that Kubel was going to need a day away from the team for personal family matters. They couldnít have known that Luke Hughes was inexplicably going to be sitting at the wrong gate at the Rochester, NY, airport and not show up until after game time. And again, Matt Tolbert couldnít swing a bat on Wednesday night. No way he was available last night no matter what is said. I get that the Twins arenít competing, but itís a big league club. This should never happen.
SethTweets:Alright, no more whining for meÖ Ranting happens about once a year. Iím good now. Back to positivity. #ItsHappening
Thursday night presented a situation that no big league team should ever have to go through. I still find it inexplicable. But on Friday, Kubel should be back. Cuddyer is probably questionable. Hughes will be there, presumably on time.
The Home Run/Non-Home Run
And then came the Justin Morneau home run. The powerful Canadian hit a long, towering fly ball down the right field line. The 1B umpire called it a home run. I was actually watching it on mute thanks to being on a phone call. I saw two replays that showed it VERY clearly was a foul ball. After the Yankees asked for a replay, the umpires correctly changed the call to a foul ball. Gardenhire came out and argued, which is basically an automatic ejection. But he was adamant, and I didnít understand at all. Maybe it was because I didnít have the volume on. That was one of the stranger things Iíve seen.
MINOR LEAGUE UPDATES
Here are some minor league highlights from the last two days. But be sure to download and listen to last nightís Twins Minor league Weekly podcast.
ROCHESTER RED WINGS
On Wednesday, the Red Wings lost to Lehigh Valley 3-1. Andy Baldwin started and gave up three runs on seven hits. In six innings, they walked one and struck out ten. Cole DeVries struck out two in two scoreless, one-hit innings. Brandon Roberts was 2-4. Aaron Bates was 1-2 with two walks. Toby Gardenhire went 1-3 with a walk and his third home run.
The Red Wings lost to Lehigh Valley 11-1 on Thursday. The Red Wings managed just six hits. Dustin Martin was 1-2 with two walks and his 25th double. Chase Lambin, Aaron Bates and Steve Holm each hit a double. Dennys Suarez gave up seven runs on seven hits and a walk in 3.2 innings. Chuck James then threw 2.1 one-hit innings. Lester Oliveros made his Red Wings debut and gave up a solo homer in his inning. Carlos Gutierrez gave up three runs on four hits in one inning. He struck out three. Jim Hoey walked two in his scoreless innings. ††
NEW BRITAIN ROCK CATS
Wednesday night, the Rock Cats beat Binghamton 7-3. Michael Hollimon went 3-4 with a walk, his second triple and his 14th home run. Joe Benson went 2-5 with his 12th and 13th home runs and six RBI. Chris Parmelee was 2-5. Evan Bigley went 2-3 with a walk. Blake Martin started and gave up three runs on seven hits. In five innings, he walked five and struck out three. Deolis Guerra gave up just one hit in three scoreless innings. He walked none and struck out two. Tyler Robertson pitched a scoreless inning.
Thursday night, the Rock Cats lost 8-7 to Binghamton. Logan Darnell started and gave up seven runs on ten hits and two hit batters in 5.2 innings. He struck out four. Brett Jacobson struck out two of the four batters he got out. Andrew Albers pitched a scoreless inning. Steve Hirschfeld came in for the bottom of the 9th in a tie game. He walked a batter, who advanced on a sacrifice bunt. After a wild pitch, the game ended on a sacrifice fly. Chris Parmelee went 3-5 with his 13th home run. Evan Bigley went 2-4 with two RBI. Nate Hanson went 2-4 with his 13th double. Michael Hollimon hit his 10th double. Joe Benson hit his 26th double. †
FT MYERS MIRACLE
The Miracle beat Jupiter 5-1 on Wednesday night. BJ Hermsen started and recorded his first Florida State League win. He gave up just one run on eight hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out five. Matt Hauser went the final three innings to record his fifth save. He gave up no runs on two hits and a walk while striking out two. Oswaldo Arcia went 3-3 with his 11th double and his sixth home run. Dan Rohlfing went 2-4. ††
On Thursday, the Miracle lost a pitcherís duel 1-0. 2011 42nd round pick, Matthew Tomshaw, started for the Miracle and gave up just one hit in five shutout innings. He walked two and struck out four. Edgar Ibarra went the next three innings and gave up just one run. He gave up three hits, walked one and struck out three. Bruce Pugh struck out two in his scoreless inning. Reggie Williams went 2-4 with his fifth double. He had half of the Miracle hits. The others were the 14th double by Danny Rams and the 12th double of James Beresford. Aaron Hicks was 0-2 with two walks and his 15th stolen base.
Beloit beat Kane County 10-1. Ryan OíRourke gave up one run on seven hits in 5.1 innings. He walked five and struck out one. Adrian Salcedo got five outs. Jose Gonzalez and Pedro Guerra each pitched a scoreless inning too. Guerra struck out the side. Jairo Perez went 2-4 with a walk, his 15th double, his 13th home run and four RBI. Lance Ray, Danny Ortiz and Adam Bryant each went 2-5. Jhonatan Goncalves went 1-3 with two walks.
Beloit managed just four hits in a 2-0 loss to Kane County on Thursday. Jairo Perez led the offense with two walks. Manuel Soliman started and gave up two runs on six hits in seven innings. Sam Spangler threw a scoreless inning.
Elizabethton beat Bristol 7-3 on Wednesday. Derek Christensen went 4.1 innings and gave up three runs on two hits and four walks. He struck out seven. Corey Williams then went 2.2 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and a walk. Cole Johnson struck out two in a scoreless inning. Matt Summers then struck out two in his scoreless inning. Rory Rhodes went 3-3 with a walk and his second steal. Eddie Rosario went 2-3 with a walk and his 12th home run and 15th stolen base. Matej Hejma went 2-4 with his third double. Max Kepler went 2-4 with his tenth double. Miguel Sano knocked his 15th home run (9th HR in last 17 games).
The E-Twins got a big 13-3 win over Bristol on Thursday. Miguel Sano went 3-5 with his 13th and 14th doubles and four RBI. Eddie Rosario went 1-2 with three walks and his 13th home run. JD Williamns went 2-5th his ninth double. Matej Hejma was 2-4. Niko Goodrm went 2-3 with a walk and his seventh stolen base. Tim Atherton started and gave up two runs on five hits for the win. In five innings, he walked two and struck out five. Cesar Ciurcina gave up one run on one hit in an inning. He struck out three. Nick Alloway pitched a scoreless seventh. Recently-signed Tyler Jones made his pro debut and threw a scoreless inning. Steven Gruver pitched a one-hit ninth. †
The GCL Twins beat 3-0 to the GCL Rays in the first of two games on Wednesday. Hein Robb started and threw four scoreless innings. He gave up four hits, walked three and struck out three. Kyle Wahl then threw three perfect innings and struck out four. Candido Pimentel was 3-3 with his first triple. Julio Torres went 2-4. Drew Leachman went 2-3 with a walk.
On Thursday, the GCL Twins lost 4-0 to the GCL Rays. Ricardo Arevalo gave up four runs (3 earned) on four hits in four innings. Gerardo Ramirez pitched a scoreless inning as well before the game was postponed. The offense managed just two hits. Josh Hendricks went 2-2 with his seventh double. †