Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Hopefully you have all had a chance to listen to last nightís SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast. Danny Valencia led off the show, and we talked about everything from his time in New Britain, his promotion to Rochester, playing winter ball in Puerto Rico, his thoughts on what it would mean to be added to the 40 man roster on Friday, his offseason and much more, including his thoughts on trying to make blogger TT happy! J Next on the agenda was a very good interview with Steve Singleton. We discussed his time down in Arizona, the level of play, what heís learned about himself through playing there, his thoughts on what it would mean to be added to the 40 man roster, fantasy football, and much more. After that, I was able to discuss some other Twins related topics and answer a few questions. So again, if you havenít yet listened to the show, you can listen to it by going here. Itís pretty cool to have two guests on last night who could conceivably both be with the Minnesota Twins sometime in 2010.
Speaking of podcasts, I will be a guest on Twins Talk podcast tonight at 9:00 p.m. central time which is hosted by Jack Steal of Fanatic Jack Talks Twins and also Topper Anton of Curve for a Strike. Also on tonightís show will be Andrew Bryz-Gornia of Off the Mark.
The Twins have eight minor league free agents. According to Baseball America, they are: David Winfree, Brock Peterson, Alejandro Machado, Brian Buscher, Matt Moses, Oswaldo Sosa, Frank Mata and Reid Santos. It is likely that the Twins will try to retain a couple of them, but others they will just let go elsewhere. In my opinion, there are only three that they should try to retain.
∑ The first choice would be David Winfree. He is just 24 years old and had a very solid year in his first AAA season. He is a right-handed bat with some power. He may never hit for average and doesnít get on base at a great clip, but I would think they would be happy to have him stay.
∑ Brock Peterson had a very strong second half in Rochester last year, arguably the teamís top hitter the last few months. He is another right handed bat with a little power. He plays 1B, and the Twins have a guy who plays there. They also have a backup in Michael Cuddyer and may end up signing a bench bat there as well. Also, Erik Lis has spent the last two years hitting well at AA New Britain. He likely will move up to Rochester. Also, Whit Robbins plays an excellent 1B and was an All-Star in AA Eastern League last year. He may have an opportunity to move up to AAA. If not, Peterson could be brought back, especially since Justin Huber is not coming back.
∑ Frank Mata is the third that I would try to bring back. He is a Tommy John survivor from a few year ago, and he throws very hard. He may or may not have a big league future, but I think heís got the kind of stuff that is worth giving another year to.
There are several other former Twins minor leaguers who now find themselves as free agents. Since I follow the Twins minor league system so closely, I still am interested in following the careers of former players. Here are those players and the team that they played with in 2009:
∑ Bobby Korecky (Arizona), Trent Oeltjen (Arizona), Mariano Gomez (Atlanta), Luis Rivas (Cubs), Doug Deeds (Cubs), Michael Restovich (White Sox), Alexander Smit (Reds), Korey Feiner (Reds), Lew Ford (Reds), Levale Speigner (Marlins), Michael Ryan (Marlins), Casey Daigle (Astros), Tim Raines, Jr. (Royals), Henry Bonilla (Dodgers), JD Durbin (Dodgers), Danny Ardoin (Dodgers), Luis Maza (Dodgers), James Tomlin (Dodgers), Mike Lamb (Mets), Tristan Crawford (Phillies), Terry Tiffee (Phillies), Matt Kinney (Giants), Ramon Ortiz (Giants), Julio DePaula (Rays), Rashad Eldridge (Rays), Justin Jones (Nationals).
I apologize for not posting my thoughts on the Twins 2010 uniforms. Maybe Iím weird, but I just donít find that to† be an exciting piece of news. I like them. Theyíre cool. I like the gray ones because theyíre at least a little bit different. I know itís all important, but Iíd much prefer to talk about free agents, trade targets and 40 man roster decisions.
Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times wrote a book called Evaluating Baseball Managers which will be released soon.† He provided a fun excerpt of the book. It was a section on Billy Martin when he was with the Twins in 1969.
As Joe Christensen mentioned in his blog today, the AL Manager of the Year will be announced this afternoon and Ron Gardenhire should receive strong consideration. I know that many blog readers disagree many times with Gardy, but he has to be considered for the award. My personal vote would go to Ron Washington of the Rangers, but then I could make a case for either Mike Scioscia or Gardy for 2nd place. If Gardy finishes second yet again, he could officially be named the Susan Lucci of baseball!