Equal Time…

14 Aug

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

Alright, the Twins season is quickly losing hope of meeting the goals we as fans thought were realistic earlier in the season. I am going to again open up the comments for the readers, but it is done with one condition. For every negative thing you say about the Twins, you have to say something positive. Simply put… if you can’t say something nice…

Please leave your Comments here.  

MAUER 4, ROYALS 5

The Twins fell one run short on Thursday afternoon, which meant a series loss at home to the Kansas City Royals. For a team that many believed needed to go 6-0, or at least 5-1, they are going to have to hope for a 4-2 home stand. Carl Pavano gave up one run in the first, then three in the third and a solo home run in the fourth. Yet, he was still able to give the team seven innings. That was a pretty veteran performance by Pavano. I couldn’t help but wonder if any of the Twins other starters would have that in them. Joe Mauer was again very good. He drove in all four runs, one with his 20th double and the other with a three run home run, his 21st of the year.

  • Did You Know:
    • IF you think that the AL Central can be won with 85 wins, the Twins will need to go 30-18 the rest of the season.
    • Of course, the Tigers would have to go 24-24 over their remaining games, or worse, AND
    • The White Sox would have to be worse than 26-21 the rest of the season.
    • Orlando Cabrera’s hitting streak is now at 21 games.
    • Justin Morneau’s batting average (.298) is below .300 for the first time since April 13th.
    • Scott Baker will be making the start tonight against Justin Masterson and the Cleveland Indians.
    • Nick Nelson is one of the best Twins bloggers… odds are, he’s probably the Top Rapping Twins Blogger too. Check it out here!
    • I will be attending the Stick & Ball Guy Convention on Saturday from 11-2 at Minnehaha Falls.  If you’re interested in attending, it will be $5 for a person or $10 for a family. SBG tells me that there will be some extra food there so feel free to attend. If you want to go to the Twins game, you will need to contact him as well.
    • If you want, you can follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SethTweets.

MINOR LEAGUE REPORT

Thursday – SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Danny Valencia, Rochester Red Wings

Thursday – SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Ryan Mullins, New Britain Rockcats

  • One of the Twins 2004 supplemental first round picks, Jay Rainville, has decided to retire from baseball.
  • A Voice from Twins Territory posted a very nice Q&A with Kyle Gibson.
  • Twins 14th round pick this June, Matt Tone, is pitching with the Elizabethton Twins. He is pitching quite well. In fact, he has not allowed a hit in 13 innings!
  • Twins draft pick, John Stilson, their 19th round pick out of Texarkana College has a lot going on right now. He has until Monday to determine if he will sign with the Twins or go to Texas A&M. I talked to him the other day online and he told me that he is currently in Fargo, ND, with his American League team playing in the American League World Series. I have been told that Monday’s deadline for signing is a hard deadline meaning if his Legion team is still playing he will have to decide between continuing to play in the World Series or signing. I think an exemption could be given to the Twins to work with Stilson for 24 or 48 hours from the time his team is eliminated.
  • 11th round pick Ronnie Richardson has told me that unless something drastically changes, he will be heading to Central Florida.

ROCHESTER REPORT

Thursday – Rochester 9, Buffalo 4 – Danny Valencia led a big offensive attack that provided Philip Humber with enough run support to get it to the back of the bullpen. Valencia went 4-5. David Winfree hit his 27th double and 14th home run. Trevor Plouffe was 2-5 with his eight homer and third stolen base. Brock Peterson and Matt Tolbert each had two hits. Humber went the first six innings. He gave up four runs on eight hits. He walked none and struck out four. Rob Delaney threw two shutout innings. Then Anthony Slama came in and pitched a scoreless ninth inning. He walked one and struck out two.  

ROCKCAT RECAP

Thursday – New Britain 1, Erie 0 (12 innings) – As you would imagine, there wasn’t much offense in this game, but there was plenty of pitching. Ryan Mullins started and gave up eight hits and a walk in seven shutout innings. He struck out nine. Frank Mata struck out two in 1.2 innings. Spencer Steedley struck out the lone batter he faced. Kyle Waldrop threw three perfect innings and was credited with the Win. Brandon Roberts went 2-4 with a walk. Rene Tosoni and Toby Gardenhire each went 2-5. Whit Robbins singled in Gardenhire with the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th.

MIRACLE MEMOS

Thursday – Ft. Myers 2, Palm Beach 4 David Bromberg lost for just the second time all season. In six innings, he gave up four runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Matt Williams then threw three shutout innings. He gave up two hits and walked two. Chris Parmelee went 3-4 with his 25th double. Alejandro Machado went 2-4. Estarlin de Los Santos went 2-5.  

SNAPPERS SNIPPETS

Thursday – Beloit 1, Clinton 7 Dan Berlind falls to 3-12 with another rough performance. In 4.2 innings, he gave up five runs on eight hits .He walked one and struck out three. Thomas Wright threw 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk. Winston Marquez then gave up two runs on three hits in two innings. The Snappers’ bats managed just five hits. Ramon Santana went 2-2.  

E-TWINS EXTRAS

Thursday – Elizabethton 4, Bristol 2 Martire Garcia improved to 5-1 with a very good game. He gave up one run on seven hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out four. Dakota Watts then struck out three in two scoreless frames. Tony Davis then recorded his fifth save. He gave up a run on three hits in his inning. Steve Liddle, the Twins 15th round pick in June, made his pro debut and had hits in his first two at bats. He went 2-4. So did Anderson Hidalgo who added his ninth double. Brian Dozier went 2-5. Herbert Lara hit his fourth home run.   

GCL TWINS GOINGS ON

Thursday – GCL Twins 2, GCL Orioles 1 – The Twins got a win despite just three hits. Jhonatan Arias went 1-2 with his sixth double. Rory Rhodes was 1-2 with a walk. Blayne Weller was excellent again. In five innings, he gave up no runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out four. Oswaldo Sosa made his first appearance of the year, recovering from a back injury. He gave up a run on three hits in his inning. Zach See gave up just one hit over three shutout innings. He struck out three.   

Please feel free to Send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or comments here

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23 Responses to “Equal Time…”

  1. Leslie Monteiro August 14, 2009 at 3:02 am #

    It’s all over. I given up on the team long time ago. The Twins lost me after a bad series against the Yankees at the Metrodome few weeks ago.

    The starters stunk in that series, and they sure haven’t gotten better since. I am done with them too. Liriano can go away. I think Blackburn is overrated. Glen Perkins has no business starting for anyone again, and that even includes the Saints.

    The only guy that should stick around in the rotation next year is Scott Baker and Anthony Swarzak. The Twins need to sign starters out of the free agent market next year, and I ain’t talking about guys that are past their prime. I don’t want to see Liriano and Blackburn in the rotation again.

    While I am it, it’s time for a new general manager. Bill Smith is not the right man for this job. His trades have been lousy, and he often falls asleep when other team make moves. The division feature three great general managers so the Twins can’t afford to let Smith learn on the job anymore. Smith is nothing more than an assistant at best like giving coffee or pencils to his boss.

    I hear J.P. Riccardi could be on his way out at Toronto. I would love to have him run the Twins. He has done a great job over there at Toronto. It’s not his fault that he is in a division that feature two teams that spend money. What the Twins need is a David Kahn-type general manager. Wayne Krivisky would be a fine fit.

    If Bill Smith keeps running the show with the Twins, this franchise will be like the Timberwolves from the Kevin McHale error.

    I have to admit I am bored watching this team. I gained much appreciation watching the Twins earlier in this decade. They may not have been talented enough, but at least they won, and they could pitch. This team can’t say the same.

    As far as what’s good about the team, there are couple of good stories. What stands out for me are Mauer and Guerrier.

    Joe Mauer has played well in his time with the Twins, but this year is his career year. He finally hits for power, which is something that we have waited for long. Too bad this might be it for Mauer. I think he will be traded. No way the Twins are going to keep him if he intends to be a free agent or tell the Twins if he is not around.

    Matt Guerrier is a feel-good story of the year. I thought he was finished, but he rebounded quite nicely this year. He has been great everytime he has been on the mound. Good for him because this is a reliever who wants to have the ball every single day even when things were going bad. I also liked how Guerrier never made excuses.

  2. Kunza August 14, 2009 at 5:42 am #

    Dome dogs are good to eat.

    Nick Punto is not good.

    Since I can only say one positive and negative thing, I’ll have to stop there.

  3. TT August 14, 2009 at 8:31 am #

    With all the games that the Tigers, White Sox and Twins play against one another, this if far from over. The key for the Twins is how their pitching does.

  4. mini_tb August 14, 2009 at 8:40 am #

    Leslie, it could always be worse. After coming back from a lengthy stay on the DL with a bum shoulder, free agent to be, Adrian Beltre, is now out with a contused testicle. That sounds really bad!!

    Imagine sitting on the recliner all day with an icepack over your nuts watching the upcoming contract you are going to sign this offseason decline by the day. Sorry for the graphic picture!

    Maybe the Twins can sign Beltre to a smallish 1 year/$5-6 million contract this offseason??? I don’t think Valencia is nearly as safe of a bet to succeed as Seth does, so I think the Twins need to have a plan A (Beltre) with Valencia up maybe in May/June as a plan B backup corner infielder/DH/corner OF/pinch hitter/super utility type next year to see what kind of commodity they have in him.

    Trevor Plouffe has been quietly putting together a solid second half of the season. Yes, he is hitting a very pedestrian .252/.305/.386 this year. However, since July 6th, he is for 32 for 107 – good enough for a .299 batting average with a 9 walks to 8 strikeouts. He has 2 HR, 7 2B, and 2 3B during that span to make his slash line since July 6th .299/.353/.458. That’s an .811 OPS in the last 5-6 weeks for a still only 23 year old in AAA.

    Last season, he struck out once every 5.63 plate appearances. This year, he is striking out only once every 6.85 plate appearances while maintaining essentially the same .050 ISO discipline. His walk rate is the highest it’s been since way back in Fort Myers, and his strikeout rate is the lowest of his career.

    With a little more luck on his batting average on balls in play, a career low .281 this year, Plouffe’s overall numbers this year would be right in line with his thoroughly mediocre, slightly hope inducing because he’s always been your for his league, career numbers.

    I know I’m looking at a small sample size here, but I still maintain hope that Trevor Plouffe can develop into a useful major league player!!

    Hopefully that cancels out some of the negativity!! :)

  5. ChermesZ August 14, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    Kubel has had a really nice season showing we have more than 2 batters.

    Neshek is coming back next year.

    Cuddyer has had a pretty good year.

    Crede has been everything we expected him to be (in a good way.)

    And here are my negatives:
    Punto and Tolbert started several games together. What a joke. A middle infield of Gardy-like hitting hustling-battling their tails off-useless offensive players.

    Gardy’s rotations. Why does he not just come out and say one player is going to get 99% of the rotation instead of saying he’ll rotate the outfield, rotate casilla and punto ect.

    Smith’s inablity to make any useful trades. Cabrera was decent, Pavano was decent. Neither were enough to help us enough. Like bandaiding a gash to the head.

    Punto’s 2 yr, 8 million dollar deal. Trade him before the waiver deadline. And pay part of his salary. We’ll take a blade of grass for him….or is that asking too much.

    There, I had 4 positives to 4 negatives.

  6. TT August 14, 2009 at 8:53 am #

    “I hear J.P. Riccardi could be on his way out at Toronto. I would love to have him run the Twins. He has done a great job over there at Toronto.”

    I don’t remember when Riccardi took over as GM, but Toronto has had a winning record only half the time since 2001. And they haven’t reached the playoffs since 1993. Yeh, they are in a tough division. But that didn’t stop Tampa.

    Its funny that, shortly after Smith took over, the blogsphere was all abuzz with approval of his aggressive trades. Smith was the guy they had been waiting for. Finally, a GM who would trade some of that “surplus” of pitching for offense. Instead he seems to have proven that sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make. And, once again, that traditional baseball is more often right than wrong. You never have too much pitching.

    The addition of Cabrera sure looks like a winning move right now. So does the pickup of Pavano. Crede was a good, cheap addition. If the Twins don’t get to the playoffs, it will be because the young pitching was inconsistent. That is hardly the GM’s fault.

  7. Jeff August 14, 2009 at 8:55 am #

    Negative–Gardy calling out Span in the Strib article, while not calling out Punto for his strike out trying to bunt. Not a new topic I know, but still irritates me to no end!
    Positive–Only 1 more year of Punto stealing money from Twins.
    Negative–My wife has had to put a “mercy rule” in place for when we go to games or watch them on TV. We can leave the game or stop watching when they get down by 7 runs. It has been used alot the last couple of months, unfortunately.
    Positive–Mauer/Morneau/Kubel make at least 12 ab’s a game worth watching.
    Negative–12-15 ab’s a game are virtually unwatchable!
    Positive–Mauer/Morneau might bring triple crown to Twins
    Negative–Anyone remember the last late inning comeback victory?
    Negative-The Keppel/Crain/Dickey trifecta of awfulness the last couple of months. How does Keppel stay in the majors?
    Positive–Dickey-gone (thank god!). Crain-struck out the side yesterday, maybe showing signs of life. Keppel–Has he been sent down yet?

    Seth, I am running out of positives, and still have plenty of negatives!

  8. Doug August 14, 2009 at 8:58 am #

    One negative thing? That’s easy, the Twins are done for the year. If they can’t win a home series against the last place team, they have no chance of reaching the playoffs.
    The one positive thing is also easy if you are a Twins/baseball fan. September first is only two weeks away. We will hopefully get our first look at Valencia, Delaney, Slama etc. That will make the last month of the season interesting to watch.

  9. mike wants wins August 14, 2009 at 9:08 am #

    Negative – The TWin$ have the spin machine going that they won’t be signing Gibson. Ugh.

    Positive – Cuddy has been better than I thought he’d be.
    Positive – Kubel is good, and he’s signed.
    Positive – M&M are really good

    Negative prediction – they’ll sign Mauer, and then declare they have increased their payroll as much as they can in this tough economy, and sign no one else in FA that makes more than $2MM per year.

    Positive – Gomez looked like he was hitting better. Hopefully he’ll be on the field again soon and keep getting better.

  10. armadillo44 August 14, 2009 at 9:24 am #

    Good teams find a way to win one run games but too often the this team finds new ways to loose them. Thanks to our weak division and remaining games against the teams ahead of us however, we’re still one hot stretch away from possibly winning the division. Obviously the key is the starting pitching needs to start doing a better job. What’s sad and at the same time slightly optimistic is that with our offence looking the best it’s been in years, all the starters need to be is mediocre and this team could really be something special.

  11. thrylos98 August 14, 2009 at 9:29 am #

    Here we go:

    Andy cannot help this pitching staff…but the Twins have one of the best in the business in AAA

    Gardy cannot inspire and enthuse his players and trying to play small ball is inane…but the Twins are on pace for the most HRs this millennium

  12. clyde August 14, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    Positive: It looks like our relief pitching will be significantly better in the near future (Delaney, Slama, Burnett, Neshek back)
    Negative: Our starting pitching really took a step back this year, and I doubt the Twins will fork out the dough to bring in the type of quality veteran starter that the team needs.
    Positive: Outdoor baseball in 2010.
    Negative: Twins might not sign Gibson.

  13. mini_tb August 14, 2009 at 10:30 am #

    By the way, I’m sure we all wish Jay Rainville all the best in his future endeavors. It must have been a tough decision to walk away from the game he loves. Hopefully his shoulder issues aren’t something that physically limit him for the rest of his life.

  14. Matt August 14, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Negative: Slowey’s last start of the year came on July 3, and Liriano has struggled to a 5-11 record.

    Positive: The Twins are still in contention.

    Negative: The last three or four spots in the bullpen have been a train wreck as Crain, Dickey, Ayala, Keppel, etc. have not been effective.

    Positive: The top three spots in the bullpen have been excellent with Nathan, Guerrier, and Mijares having very good years. If one or two of Neshek, Morillo, Delaney, or Slama can contribute next year, the pen will be solid.

    Positive: Mauer is having a monster year.

    Negative: He’ll expect to paid accordingly.

    Positive: The Twins are overflowing with young starting pitchers with good potential who are major league ready: Baker, Slowey, Liriano, Blackburn, Perkins, Swarzak, Mulvey, Duensing, Manship, Bonser(?).

    Negative: At this point, none of those guys are reliable #1 or #2 starters, and most of them look like #5 or #6 starters. Next year will probably bring another season of sorting out the starting pitching during the major league season, remaining patient and hoping for the best.

  15. Jeff S August 14, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    It is clear to see the young and immature starting pitchers are weak after the All-Star break. Jack Morris says they need veteran leadership. Some Twins Pitchers frowned at his comments. Only youth see no value in that position. Even Matt Garza has changed somewhat of a field princess to a more respectable player. Now some of the Twins Staff has turned into a Garza wanna be from a couple of years back.

    To the Twins Pitching Staff, “The greatest obstacle to discovery in not ignorance but the illusion on knowledge.” Your knowledge and the way you approach Baseball has taken a great season away for Joe and Justin. Twins do have other problems and you can assign a portion of blame on them however the attitude of the pitching staff will be embarrassing to these players 10 years down the road when reflection is considered.

    A Good Comment: How do you hopefully cure the problems of a young pitching staff? One more year experience in the 2010 season.

  16. roger August 14, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    I am almost to depressed Seth to even find some negatives.

    Other than I am just plain ticked off about Punto last night. If Gardy’s comment is right, he had the bunt sign the entire at bat and chose to swing at strike 2. If Gardy was any kind of manager, he would have benched Punto right there. But no. And those of you who think Punto will be gone after next year, don’t hold your breath.

    Positives, I believe we potentially have an excellent young starting rotation with maybe the exception of Perkins who can’t seem to stay healthy. Unfortunately, I fear that we will jettison to many of them this winter which will prove to be another mistake. As counting on an entire rotation of kids this year in hind sight was a mistake.

    Not signing Gibson will be a huge mistake. You only get a shot at a potential Ace every once in awhile…please don’t blow it for $300-$500,000.

    This team has some very good players which a good GM should be able to supplement with solid players to compete. Unfortunately, I don’t think that an administrator at the helm may have been the right decision…probably is a very good #2.

    As for wanting to see some kids in September…not with this manager! Thanks Seth, gonna go have a 3 martini lunch!

  17. cmathewson August 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    Joe Mauer is the best catcher in the game. Mike Redmond is the worst catcher in the game.

    Justin Morneau is an MVP candidate. Alexi Casilla is the worst player in the game.

    Joe Nathan is the best closer in the game. The Bobby Keppel/Luis Ayala/RA Dickey/ combination is the worst middle reliever in the game.

    Joe Crede is s stud; but he only plays half the time.

    Carlos Gomez is the best defensive outfielder in the game. Delmon Young is the worst defensive outfielder in the game.

    Brendan Harris is a good hitter but a horrible fielder. Nick Punto is a good fielder but a horrible hitter.

    Michael Cuddyer hits great; except in the clutch, when he sucks. His arm is the best in the game, his range is the worst in the game.

    Jason Kubel is a great hitter who should never be allowed to wear a glove.

    Kevin Slowey is a great pitcher, except he’s out for the season.

    Francisco Liriano is great, once every five starts.

    Scott Baker is good, when he pitches his own way and not Andy or Bert’s way. When he listens to the coaches, he sucks.

    Orlando Cabrera is a great fit for this team. Too bad the Twins didn’t sign him in the offseason and singed Punto instead.

    Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett are great players, for another team.

    Add it all up and you have one mediocre team that is below .500 because the manager makes dumb decisions in key spots. On the plus side, Gardy is colorful.

  18. Matt August 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm #

    Roger,

    On the radio broadcast Dazzle and Morris said that on the 2nd pitch (that Punto swung at) the Royals had the 3B charging and SS moving to cover third. In that case a common offensive play is to show bunt and then pull back and swing. I’m not sure if Punto had the freedom to do that or not, but it isn’t an uncommon play.

    Regardless, Punto has to get the bunt down.

  19. Dome Dog August 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    That’s not a common play…

  20. Matt August 14, 2009 at 3:04 pm #

    Gladden and Morris said it’s a common play . . .

  21. greenmachine August 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    “Imagine sitting on the recliner all day with an icepack over your nuts watching the upcoming contract you are going to sign this offseason decline by the day.”

    Ha ha, hilarious.

  22. Alan Harrer August 14, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

    It seems like the Twins really need starting pitchers with a little “POP”.
    So why are they going to drop the ball with Kyle. It really makes no sense to me?
    They drafted him for his value, I hope they follow though, Where’s Kahn when we need him!!!!
    ??????????????????????????????

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Twins Morning Doinks : Baseball Digest - August 14, 2009

    […] more on Gibson, make sure to read the Star-Tribune’s article by Joe Christensen. Stohs also updates us on a few other unsigned players. He also informs us that former first round pick Jay Rainville has […]

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