Thursday, September 7, 2006
Twins Minor League Report
NFL "EXPERT" Picks
The Twins suffered a really tough loss last night to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I will have several thoughts on the game down below. Three Twins affiliates are still in the playoffs, so I will post summaries of those games. But today, the NFL season begins. In each of the past few years, I have been able to get a panel of other bloggers, some friends and even a couple of Twins minor league players the last couple of years. This year, a couple of prominent journalists have been added. I just think it is a fun little thing, just for some bragging rights. It is meant to be in fun, however, if you really want, you can use our picks to help you make your office pool picks as well. One word of advice... don't look at my picks. That probably won't be good for you!
So today, that will be the primary portion of the posting, but there will be other thoughts as well. Be sure to check back tomorrow. I am flying down to the cities this afternoon, but I have already written up my Friday posting. It will not be posted until after 8:30 a.m. central time tomorrow.
Let's get to the football picks! Let's first introduce the panel. But before I do, I need to point out that there are some blanks remaining in the picks. Hopefully each person will be able to get me their picks before game time tonight. As I receive the other picks, they will be posted.
As always, if you have any thoughts, please feel free to e-mail me, or leave Comments below. Have a great day!
Again, the goal for me for this year is to do well, to get as many accurate as possibly, but primarily, I just want to knock The Twins Junkie off of his perch.
Our 2006 panel now consists of 16 players (up from 12 and could possibly increase yet). Here is a very quick bio of each, so be sure to check out their blogs of web sites.
Seth Stohs - Me. I am the writer of this site, www.SethSpeaks.net - Please read the About Me section for a mini-bio of me (that hasn't been updated in three-and-a-half years, since I started the site. One of these days, I will have to update it.
Roger Dehring - Roger has been contributing to this site for a couple of years now. He provides the weekly player and pitchers of the week in the Twins minor league system. He is as knowledgeable of the Twins system as anyone I have talked to. Like myself, he is also writing for Twin Cities Dugout. This is his first year on the panel.
Stick and Ball Guy - writer of the site, you guessed it, Stick and Ball Guy - SBG is one of my favorite writers online. His thoughts and opinions are always smart and sharp and incredibly interesting and thought-provoking. He talks baseball, football and basketball knowledgeably. This is his second year on this panel and will do a good job.
JD Arney - writer of the site, Red Reporter - JD is really a very strong blogger. If you're a fan of the Reds, or a fan of Wayne Krivsky, the former Twins assistant GM, or a fan of any of the former Twins players he keeps bringing in, you will want to check out his site. This is his first year on this panel.
LaVelle E. Neal III - Minnesota Twins beat writer for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. To me, it would be the ultimate job. But, LaVelle is one of the best and obviously works very hard. You can also fairly frequently hear him on KFAN.com. I have to tell people that he is a huge Chicago Bears fan, which is unfortunate, but that's just the way it goes, I guess. This is his first year on this panel.
Jonathan Mayo - Mr. Mayo is the minor league guru at both MLB.com and MiLB.com. He has a radio show (Around the Minors) on mlb.com radio four days a week during the season. He has done a Q&A for this site in March and he and his co-host Lisa Winston co-write the Around the Minors blog. Mayo lives in Pittsburgh, like Kevin Slowey, so I'm sure they will try their best not to be biased in their weekly picks. This is his first year on the panel.
Kyle Waldrop - Twins Starting Pitching Prospect - currently pitching for the Ft. Myers Miracle - Waldrop was the Twins third first round pick (25th overall) in the 2004 draft out of his Tennessee high school. He quickly became known as a control pitcher. He spent all of 2005 in Beloit. He returned to Beloit to start the 2006 season. He pitched well and in July, he was promoted to Ft. Myers where he has continued to pitch great. This is Kyle's first year on this panel. He did a Q&A for this site in May.
Kevin Slowey - Twins Starting Pitching Prospect - Slowey was the Twins 2nd round pick (73rd overall) just this past June after a stellar three year career at Winthrop University. He signed quickly and spent time with both Elizabethton and Beloit. As great as he was in 2005, 2006 was even better. He began at Ft. Myers and completely dominated. He moved up to New Britain at the season's mid-point and did well there. He was just the winning pitcher against Cuba in the championship game of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. This is Kevin's second season doing football picks. He is looking forward to improving upon his last place finish last year. He has done two Q&As for this site.
Will Young - writer of Will's Minnesota Twins Site - Will's site is great. He has really been making use of the Win Probability charts on his site. His incites on the Twins are great. His infamous "Matt LeCroy is my non-sexual man crush" t-shirt got him a few meetings with the former Twins burly righty. Will also updates the Twins Organizational Big Board. This is Will's second year making football picks for this site and I am thrilled that he is doing this again!
Trevor Born - writer of The Twins Junkie - Trevor is a 17 year old high school student who goes to class, plays in a band and writes a lot. He has done an excellent job on his site, particularly in securing some very good interviews. He tells me that football ranks as his third favorite sport behind baseball and basketball. He prefers the Gophers, but is still a rabid NFL fan. Last year, the young'n showed us all how it was done as he won the title.
Bill Ferris - writer of The Detroit Tigers Weblog - Bill is obviously a Detroit native and a fan of the Tigers so be sure to go to his website and wish him and his team well for this four game series. I did a Q&A with Bill early in 2005. Last year, he started a blog for baseball bloggers at BaseBlogging.net.
Al Bethke - writer of Al's Ramblings - Al does a wonderful job writing a blog which primarily discusses the Milwarukee Brewers, but he also touches on all kinds of topics. Like Bill, this is his first year in the contest.
Cory Hepola - Sports Anchor at KTVH-TV in Helena, Montana, also see coryhepola.com - I coached Cory for a few years, from Little League through Babe Ruth. He was one of the good kids. He was also quite the basketball player in high school. After four years at my alma mater, Concordia College, Cory is now a sports anchor. But it does seem that football is Cory's best sport. How much does he know? Last March, when I was vacationing in Florida, Cory wrote a guest column for me in which he discussed the Vikings offseason moves at that time. Well, I guess we'll see how he does this year after finishing 2nd last year. This is Cory's second year on the panel.
Mike Brasel - One of my best friends since we were both about 6. He is listed as the left fielder for my Best Players I’ve Played Ball With team. After serving in the Navy for 6 years, Mike went back to school and became an engineer. He’s also a pretty smart football person, who I turn to for fantasy football advice!!
Melissa Lien - editor, proofreader of www.SethSpeaks.net - Missy is a great friend and big football fan. She was instrumental in the development of this site and originally was the publisher of the site. After finishing eighth out of nine three years ago, Missy came in just one game behind the winner two years ago.
Seth Stohs Roger Dehring LaVelle E. Neal III Jonathan Mayo Kyle Waldrop Kevin Slowey SethSpeaks.net Twins Minor League Expert Minneapolis Star-Tribune mlb.com and milb.com, Around the Minors Twins Pitching Prospect Twins Pitching Prospect Miami @ Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers by 14 Baltimore @ Tampa Bay Buccs Buccs Buccs Buccs Buccs Buccs Atlanta @ Carolina Panthers Panthers Panthers Falcons Panthers Panthers Denver @ St. Louis Rams Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos Buffalo @ New England Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Philadelphia @ Houston Eagles Eagles Texans Texans Eagles Eagles New Orleans @ Cleveland Browns Browns Saints Saints Saints Saints Seattle @ Detroit Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks NY Jets @ Tennessee Titans Titans Titans Titans Jets Titans Cincinnati @ Kansas City Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Chiefs Chicago @ Green Bay Bears Bears Bears Packers Bears Bears Dallas @ Jacksonville Jaguars Cowboys Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Cowboys San Francisco @ Arizona Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Indianapolis @ NY Giants Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Minnesota @ Washington Vikings Vikings Redskins Redskins Vikings Redskins San Diego @ Oakland Chargers Chargers Chargers Chargers Chargers Chargers NFL MVP Brian Urlacher Peyton Manning Ladanian Tomlinson Donovan McNabb Peyton Manning Hines Ward NFL ROY Mike Bell Randy Bush Reggie Bush Reggie Bush Reggie Bush Reggie Bush AFC Champ Bengals Patriots Bengals Eagles Colts Steelers NFC Champ Seahawks Bears Bears Steelers Panthers Panthers Super Bowl Champ Seahawks Patriots Bears Steelers Colts Steelers JD Arney Stick & Ball Guy Will Young Trevor Born Bill Ferris Al Bethke Reds Reporter Stick & Ball Guy Will's Twins Blog Twins Junkie Detroit Tigers Blog Al's Ramblings Miami @ Pittsburgh Dolphins Steelers Steelers Dolphins Steelers Steelers Baltimore @ Tampa Bay Buccs Buccs Buccs Buccs Ravens Buccs Atlanta @ Carolina Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Denver @ St. Louis Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos Rams Rams Buffalo @ New England Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Philadelphia @ Houston Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles New Orleans @ Cleveland Browns Browns Saints Browns Browns Browns Seattle @ Detroit Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks NY Jets @ Tennessee Titans Titans Titans Titans Titans Titans Cincinnati @ Kansas City Bengals Bengals Bengals Chiefs Bengals Chiefs Chicago @ Green Bay Bears Bears Bears Bears Bears Bears Dallas @ Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars San Francisco @ Arizona Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Indianapolis @ NY Giants Giants Colts Giants Colts Colts Colts Minnesota @ Washington Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Vikings San Diego @ Oakland Chargers Chargers Raiders Chargers Chargers Chargers NFL MVP Carson Palmer Peyton Manning Peyton Manning NFL ROY Reggie Bush Laurence Maroney Greg Jennings Reggie Bush AFC Champ Bengals Colts Colts Colts NFC Champ Panthers Giants Seahawks Panthers Super Bowl Champ Bengals Colts Seahawks Colts Cory Hepola Mike Brasel Melissa Lien Seth's Moms Class KTVH-TV Fantasy FB Guru SethSpeaks.net Miami @ Pittsburgh Dophins Dolphins Dolphins Steelers Baltimore @ Tampa Bay Buccs Buccs Buccs Ravens Atlanta @ Carolina Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Denver @ St. Louis Broncos Rams Broncos Broncos Buffalo @ New England Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Philadelphia @ Houston Eagles Texans Eagles Texans New Orleans @ Cleveland Browns Browns Saints Browns Seattle @ Detroit Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks NY Jets @ Tennessee Titans Titans Titans Titans Cincinnati @ Kansas City Bengals Chiefs Chiefs Bengals Chicago @ Green Bay Bears Bears Bears Packers Dallas @ Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Cowboys San Francisco @ Arizona Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Indianapolis @ NY Giants Giants Giants Colts Colts Minnesota @ Washington Vikings Vikings Vikings Redskins San Diego @ Oakland Chargers Chargers Chargers Raiders NFL MVP Peyton Manning Larry Johnson NFL ROY Reggie Bush AJ Hawk Reggie Bush AFC Champ Colts Bengals Dolphins NFC Champ Panthers Seahawks Panthers Super Bowl Champ Panthers Seahawks Dolphins
Looking at the selections of the 16 panelists, here is who the collective "We" think will win each game:
Miami @ Pittsburgh - Steelers 11-5
Baltimore @ Tampa Bay - Buccs 14-2
Atlanta @ Carolina - Panthers 15-1
Denver @ St. Louis - Broncos 12-4
Buffalo @ New England - Patriots 16-0
Philadelphia @ Houston - Eagles 12-4
New Orleans @ Cleveland - Browns 10-6
Seattle @ Detroit - Seahawks 16-0
NY Jets @ Tennessee - Titans 15-1
Cincinnati @ Kansas City - Bengals 11-5
Chicago @ Green Bay - Bears 14-2
Dallas @ Jacksonville - Jaguars 13-3
San Francisco @ Arizona - Cardinals 16-0
Indianapolis @ NY Giants - Colts 12-4
Minnesota @ Washington - Redskins 9-7
San Diego @ Oakland - Chargers 14-2
As always, please feel free to e-mail me, or you could also leave Comments down below.
An upset stomach caused an upset stomach for many Twins fans last night. Here are my thoughts on the game:
Carlos Silva pitched like the Carlos Silva of 2005. In six innings, he threw just 59 pitches. He had given up just one hit and no runs. And the next thing, Pat Neshek is pitching the seventh inning. My first reaction was, Hey, that is pretty smart. In many of Silva's starts, he has been fine for four or even five innings. In this case, he went six innings. To expect him not to melt down at that point was asking a bit much. So, I thought that bringing in Neshek made a lot of sense. Unfortunately, an infield single, a fielder's choice, a two-run homer and a solo shot later and the Twins were down 3-2. So, of course, there will be a lot of second-guessers asking how Silva could have been removed from the game. Well, those are likely the same people who would have been complaining had Silva been left in the game and would have given up the lead. You can't have it both ways!
And then we heard that Silva was taken out of the game because he had an upset stomach. All I know is that if he was pitching that well, he better have been concerned about puking all over the mound to ask out of a game like that in a playoff situation. When the Twins have a guy like Brad Radke, whose arm is almost literally about to fall off, pitching until his arm can no longer, a tummy pain is no excuse. When Francisco Liriano wanted to keep some elbow pain to himself so that he could keep pitching. When Torii Hunter is playing on a broken foot. When Joe Mauer is experiencing several aches and pains. When players are doing what they can to play through pain... an upset stomach is a bit hard to swallow.
The funny thing is that we all know that someone, somewhere will write that Neshek is too 'young and inexperienced to pitch in a September game in a pennant race.' It bugs me when people say stuff like that. He's just fine. It was just one of those games. They wouldn't say the same thing if a veteran like, say, Juan Rincon came in frequently and gave up hits and runs like they were going out of style!
Phil Nevin has now not played in three of the last four games! I'm starting to get less OK with the Twins dealing Adam Harben for him now.
That said, Rondell White really has done a nice job even offensively for short periods when playing in the field. He had another home run last night.
I am hearing reports that Joe Mauer is more hurt than they are letting on, so it was nice to see him hit a home run last night.
Best news of the day was that Francisco Liriano was able to throw 50 pitches in a simulated game before the game. He is scheduled now to start for the Rochester Red Wings on Saturday, and he could be starting for the Twins next week!
So now tonight, the Twins will start a four game series against the Detroit Tigers. The Twins enter the game four games back of the Tigers and a 1/2 game ahead of the Chicago White Sox. Who knows? Things go perfect and the Twins could be tied for the division lead by Sunday afternoon.
Tonight, Scott Baker will get the start at home against Justin Verlander. Verlander is 15-7 with a 3.27 ERA. If I had a vote for AL Rookie of the year, Verlander would get my vote.
Finally, congratulations to Matt Garza who was named the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year for 2006. Francisco Liriano won the same award in 2005.
Any other thoughts on the Twins, Devil Rays, White Sox, Tigers or anything baseball? E-mail me, or leave some Comments below.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
Wednesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Garrett Jones, Rochester Red Wings
Wednesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Yohan Pino, Beloit Snappers
Wednesday - Red Wings 6, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 5 - In Game 1 of the series, the Twins got enough offense from the top of their order and the pitching did just enough to hang on for the win. Andres Torres went 3-4 with a walk and a stolen base. Tommy Watkins was 2-4 with a walk. Quinton McCracken went 2-4 with a walk. Garrett Jones went 3-4 with a double and three RBI. Mike Smith got the Game 1 nod. He gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk in six innings. Beau Kemp gave up one run over the next two innings. Bobby Korecky got the save with a scoreless ninth.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Wednsday - Miracle 2, Dunedin 4 – Dunedin evened the series at a game a piece. Trevor Plouffe continues to hit the ball well. He went 3-5 with a double. Brandon Roberts went 2-4 with a walk. David Winfree was 2-4 with a homer. Oswaldo Sosa started and gave up three runs (2 earned) on four hits and three walks in five innings. Jose Mijares then gave up a run in one inning. JP Martinez threw two scoreless innings.
Wednesday - Snappers 2, Peoria 0 – Last weekend, I wrote an article at scout.com called The Next Johan? It was about Yohan Pino who finished this season with a 14-2 record and a sub-2.00 ERA. He was the Snappers' Game 1 starter and he certainly brought his A-game. Pino worked a complete game, four hit, no walk shutout with six strikeouts. He has now given up just two runs over his last 33 innings pitched. Eli Tintor provided the offense, as he has done most of the season. He hit a two run homer in the sixth inning for all of the game's run scoring.
Thanks again for stopping by this site. If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.
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