Twins Notes

18 Nov

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

Hopefully you have all had a chance to listen to last night’s 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 he’s 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 haven’t yet listened to the show, you can listen to it by going here. It’s 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 tonight’s 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 doesn’t 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 team’s 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 he’s 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 I’m weird, but I just don’t find that to  be an exciting piece of news. I like them. They’re cool. I like the gray ones because they’re at least a little bit different. I know it’s all important, but I’d 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!

Alright, that is it for today. Are there any other Twins topics of note? If so, Send me an e-mail, or leave your Comments here.

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8 Responses to “Twins Notes”

  1. Joel Thingvall November 18, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Yeah, I have a tough time getting excited about the uniforms. Just amnother way to separate fans from their dollars…but it does mean that there will be some bargains of current Twins-wear at Twinsfest…maybe. All of the uniform completists will have to have the new one with the “patch.”

    I just wish the Twins were doing soemthing more to celebrate their 50th, besides promoting the heck out of “outdoor baseball” — which should pretty much be selling itself except for the convoluted pricing structure for seats here and there. Ah, well…..

    I sorta wished they would bring back any of the surviving players from 50 years ago. I think there’s 20-25, including the in-hiding in Mexico Jack Kralick. Yes, they are all QUITE OLD — but it would be a treat to see Pedro Ramos, Camilo pscual, Jim Kaat, Rich Rollins and so many more on an outdoor field!?

    Like you, I immediately went to see what former Twins and prospects are now free. Hey, Travis Metcalf is out there. Wasn’t he a hot third base stud…once. I wsa immediately taken by how many catchers and outfielders were available…so if you do need to restock with someone, the bodies are there. Baseball America’s list doesn’t include any of the early-release free agents (like Dickey and Humber, for example). I’m trying to keep things up-to-date on the rosters section at http://www.twinscards.com. Should transfer over minor league bodies for 2010 come December.

    If I were Winfree, I might try to stay with the Twins…since they no longer have a minor-league DH or 1B…Lis might advance, as well as Robbins, but between the three ALL should find playing time. Was looking to see if Eddie Morlan was a free agent…just think he’s a potential Rule 5 guy again. Justin Jones, the only piece the Twins got in the Mientkiewicz trade, is back in the market I see.

    It will be interesting to see who makes the 40-man, who the Twins lose in the major and minor league drafts, plus who they gain. I picture quite a few players will be offered walking papers come arbitration, so don’t expect the Twins to do much on the free agent front…early.

    And keep interviewing these guys, Seth. It’s a joy!

  2. roger November 18, 2009 at 2:31 pm #

    Seth, the Star Tribune reported a short time ago that they had signed three free agents, Lugo, Yancarlos Ortiz and Henry Arias. So Baseball America must have either missed those three or they aren’t mentioning free agents who have signed.

  3. TT November 18, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    “including his thoughts on trying to make blogger TT happy!”

    Making me happy is pretty easy, he just needs to become the Twins regular third baseman. I’m on every Twins player’s “side”. I just put Valentine in the category of over-hyped mediocre prospects along with guys like Macri and Hughes. Of course, I had Tolbert in that category too. I am sure Valencia prefers to hear people talking about his bright future.

    Valencia’s comment about the quality of the infield in Rochester and other minor league fields was also interesting. If the bad field explains their errors, it would be a good sign for both he and Plouffe.

    Singleton was clearly not expecting to make the 40 player roster. He kept talking about the opportunity to be seen by other teams, how baseball was a business and that the decision was already made. His mentioning Parmelee’s and Valencia’s “moonshots” in the same breath startled me. I had not heard that Valencia had that kind of power and his numbers don’t reflect it.

  4. TT November 18, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    That should say “I just put ‘Valencia’ in the category of over-hyped prospects.” Javier Valentine was one of my favorites, although he may have turned out to be over-hyped as well.

  5. roger November 18, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    Seth, as for signing free agents, I would also hope that they sign Mata, Winfree and Peterson.

    • sam November 19, 2009 at 10:32 am #

      twins or not going to resign mata or winfree or peterson.

  6. Tborg November 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm #

    that list of free agents is something. Danny Ardoin is still playing? He must be 40 by now. I also figured that Matt Kinney would have hung them up by now. Have either of those guys seen the major leagues in the past 3 years?

  7. Dan November 18, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    Let’s make it interesting and bring back Terry Tiffee.

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