Livan and Liriano, and Ruiz… Oh My!

2 Aug

Sorry everyone, I haven’t been at the computer for about 20-22 hours. I figured some things would happen today. In fact, I mentioned both of the things that happened just yesterday.

Livan Hernandez was Designated for Assignment and Francisco Liriano was called up. Although I am somewhat surprised that the Twins actually DFAd Livan, it was clearly the right decision and it has been analyzed here and many other places for a month. So, I really don’t know what more to say other than… Good Job!

The other move was a little more surprising. But yesterday, I wrote that I have had to eat a lot of crow on Randy Ruiz. He has been really good at AAA Rochester, and he has done everything he can to earn this call. I was a little surprised that they DFAd Craig Monroe, although the .202 average with minimal on-base skill or power and it was certainly deserved. I still wouldn’t put Ruiz on my Top 50 lists or anything. He is 31 years old. But he can play a small role in the remaining two months of the season. Don’t expect him to do much other than DH against left-handed pitching (of which the Twins see a lot), and pinch hit. Like I wrote yesterday, I can’t imagine that they would need to keep him on the 40 man roster after the season, unless we see something. I expect a lot of strikeouts, and hopefully just a few big hits.

So we have the five young starters and two months to go. The safety net is no longer there in Rochester. I mean, if absolutely need be, Kevin Mulvey could come up. Despite his 4-8 record, he does have a sub-four ERA. But again, hope for the best.

Craig Monroe is gone. Adam Everett was almost gone, until the Casilla injury meant he would be kept along for the time being, maybe the remainder of the season.

Mike Lamb has been disappointing. He hasn’t performed to expectations. But to say that Livan and Monroe haven’t performed to expections isn’t true. They performed as their previous record would indicate they would (as did the likes of Sidney Ponson and Ramon Ortiz last year, or Tony Batista the year before). Adam Everett… the injuries have meant that he hasn’t had enough opportunity to performance positively or negatively to make that kind of statement.

So, no trade at the deadline, and yet, the Twins made two moves that will definitely make them better down the stretch. I personally feel that Francisco Liriano will have a bigger impact on the Twins than Ken Griffey will have for the White Sox.

Oh, and the Twins got a great performance from Nick Blackburn tonight and a two-run homer by Joe Mauer to beat Cleveland 4-1. I still can’t get over how young and exciting this team really is!

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16 Responses to “Livan and Liriano, and Ruiz… Oh My!”

  1. Eric Olson August 2, 2008 at 4:54 am #

    No kidding. This was a really great game. I don’t know what the deal is with Jeremy Sowers, but man, can he shut down the lineup until they have seen him a couple times. I think he would be much more effective as a long reliever at this point (at least at the major league level).

    But great game for Randy Ruiz, although I thought he might stroke out between third and home on that Harris double.

    And, by the way… I’m back after a week’s absence from Twinsland.

  2. Eric Olson August 2, 2008 at 5:05 am #

    Hmmm… for some reason my signature didn’t appear as a link. The idiosyncracies of WordPress, I guess.

  3. Andy Darsow August 2, 2008 at 5:50 am #

    A solid win for the Twins, they did what they needed to do. They need to continue to play good baseball and win these next three series against teams they should beat. It would be nice to pick up a sweep or two along the way as well. I was at the game tonight and was impressed by how well Randy Ruiz actually runs for a big guy. One thing I noticed from being at the game (it may have been hard to notice on TV) is how the entire Indians outfield shifted Harris to hit the ball to right field. They absolutely gave up the entire left field line and he burned them twice. They might have been doubles anyway but if they would have been playing him straight up or to left they would have had a chance to cut the balls off. Wedge makes some funny decisions to me sometimes it seems, this one was a no brainer. Harris is a pull hitter and there was no reason to be playing like they did. Just an observation from the game. Man does Ruiz swing hard, granted he was probably a little amped up but he definitely swings to hit the ball out of the ballpark. His hit was a nice ball he took the other way. Nice to see! A real feel good story, can’t imagine what a feeling that was for him, good for him!

  4. Brady August 2, 2008 at 7:33 am #

    The Indians’ lineup tonight was depressing. It was basically the Twins if Mauer and Morneau both got injured. Ouch!

  5. SBG August 2, 2008 at 11:02 am #

    I think WP is the way to go, but you will have to devote yourself to solving problems. Like, for example, spam commenting. Some day, you’ll find a hundred comments advertising some drug or something. Then what to do? I struggled with that for a long time before I added registration as a requirement.

    You can do a ton with WP, but remember it takes time.

  6. Brian August 2, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    Livian is the latest in veteran pickups that havent panned out. Looking back the past few years, could the Twins have been worse at these picks?
    2008 Livian Hernandez, Craig Monroe, Adam Everett, Mike Lamb
    2007 Sidney Ponson, Ramon Ortiz
    2006 Rondell White, Phil Nevin, Tony Batista, Ruben Sierra, Mike Smith
    2005 Bret Boone. Corky Miller

  7. tmils August 2, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    I am not sure when we had an offseason free ageant acquisition that mad an impact. I am excited about Liriano and Ruiz. Even if Liriano struggles and Ruiz is a bust, the Twins had to give them a shot. I think we are going to take the division, and I agree with Seth, the playoffs are a crap shoot, anything can happen. go Twins

  8. Travis Aune August 2, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    i dont know why everyone is so excited about Ruiz because unless he impresses he will be gone in a week. Sounds like Michael Cuddyer will be back next weekend so someone has to go and i dont see it being Everett because how think we are in the middle infield and i dont look for Lamb to go because thats too much salary to eat and i dont look for span or gomez to go because they are too important to the Twins so that leaves Ruiz unless they go down to 11 pitchers which i dont think will happen. The thing is i havent heard much pub about this but something will have to happen next week. Whats everyone else think

  9. Twins Fix August 2, 2008 at 5:46 pm #

    I am simply shocked at how much these Twins are relying on the long ball lately. I hope they figure out how to get runners across the plate the normal, smallball way they used to.

  10. Ryan August 2, 2008 at 6:10 pm #

    Liriano will certainly have a bigger impact on the Twins than Griffey will on the White Sox. I don’t understand that trade for the White Sox–Griffey can hardly play RIGHT field anymore and they have him in center, Nick Swisher isn’t good at 1B, and now Konerko and Thome are going to platoon at DH? The combined outfield of Griffey, Quentin, and Dye might have the worst range ever…

  11. Jim H August 2, 2008 at 6:21 pm #

    I don’t much see how Ruiz fits very well. Clearly it was time to let Monroe go. When you are playing Redmond and Kubel at DH against lefthanders instead of Monroe, there is no reason to keep him around. On the other hand, when Ruiz gets blown away on 3 straight fastballs from Sowers, it is not a good sign. Since it was only his 2nd big league AB you can’t take too much from it. Still, there are a lot of harder throwing lefthanders than Sowers, around.

    The other problem with Ruiz is that he has no real position. What happens if one of your middle infielders comes down with the flu and misses a game or two? All of a sudden your bench consists of Lamb, Redmond and Ruiz. If somebody, really anybody, gets hurt you probably have to have at least one person and maybe 2 playing out of position or even playing a position they haven’t played since little league.

    When you decide to go with a 12 man pitching staff, you really can’t afford to carry just a bat unless he is the full time DH like Ortiz, Hafner or Thome.

    Ruiz is a good story, but I will be surprised if he can produce much at the big league level. It is hard enough to hit big league pitching and it has got to be even harder when you will probably sit on the bench for a week and then get to face a tough lefthander like Buerle, Lee or Danks. It is much harder to be the right hander in a platoon situation. It is tough to keep your timing, especially if you have a longer slow swing.

  12. Nathan Gau August 2, 2008 at 6:35 pm #

    I don’t know if Ruiz will be an answer here, but I’m hoping they let him play for more than a week. I personally think Cuddyer should replace Gomez, who right now is probably more useless than Ruiz. I don’t know how it happened, but we have a real shot at the playoffs. Ruiz fills a roll of a RH power bat off the bench, and can probably do it better than Monroe did. Cuddy, however, should be starting in the OF, not platooning with Kubel…

  13. BD57 August 3, 2008 at 12:43 am #

    Monroe surprised me a bit; Hernandez less so.

    Monroe just wasn’t getting a lot of AB’s, so him struggling wasn’t that big a surprise. I figured the Twins would keep the “good veteran” guy around.

    Livan just obviously has nothing left. IMO, if there wasn’t such a strong desire to let Liriano dominate a few starts in the IL (hoping to get his confidence up), I think Livan would’ve been gone a month ago.

  14. Brian August 3, 2008 at 5:09 pm #

    Seth,
    what you should probably do is have your domain name Sethspeaks.net forwarded to your new web url: http://talkintwinsbb.wordpress.com
    that would seem to be a quick and viable solution..

  15. Greg August 4, 2008 at 1:49 am #

    At AAA, I notice that Humber had another great start. He’s really turned it around in the last few weeks. I would bet we see him in a Twins uni come September…

  16. Seth August 4, 2008 at 4:09 am #

    I think we would have seen Humber either way. Since he will be out of options next season, I am sure the Twins would like to see what he can do up close.

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