Twins Minor League Weekly; Pavano Does It Again

23 Jul

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

Last night at 11:00, Travis Aune and I hosted this week’s episode of Twins Minor League Weekly. The show is always fun and based on the number of live listeners and call-ins, maybe it is starting to catch on. We can hope, but even if it doesn’t, you know how much I enjoy discussing the Twins minor league system, even through its struggles this year. So, if you have a chance, please listen to the podcast and let me know what you think.

But even in a blog entitled “Twins Minor League Weekly,” it would be sad if I didn’t at least mention Carl Pavano and his terrific performance last night. He threw yet another complete game and a shutout of the Baltimore Orioles. Shortly after the completion of the game, uber-blogger Aaron Gleeman tweeted, “Carl Pavano has now started 32 games for Twins: 17-10 with 3.72 ERA, 140/35 K/BB ratio in 217.1 IP.” To that, I could only respond, “Definitely worth Yohan Pino!” At the time of the trade, I actually liked the idea of Pavano coming to the Twins, but I thought that giving up Pino, who has been a very solid pitcher throughout his pro career including at AAA last year, was maybe a little much. Well, Pavano has not only stuck around for an extra year, but he has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the league. It was his second straight complete game win, his fifth complete game of the year, and the 15th time in 20 starts that he has completed seven innings.

The front office and the advanced scouts that told the Twins brass that Pavano should be targeted deserve a ton of credit. That’s why, although I am not one willing to give up enough in terms of prospects to go after Roy Oswalt of Dan Haren, I believe the Twins will make a deal for a “lesser known” pitcher, and maybe they can’ find lightning in a bottle. The name that came up during our podcast last night was Paul Maholm of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 28 year old lefty is 6-7 with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP on the season, but he has completed six innings or more in 15 of his 19 starts this season. Just another name to put in the back of your mind as the Trade Deadline approaches. Maholm is in the second year of a three year, $14.5 million contract. He is making $4. 5 million this year and will make $5.75 million in 2011. He also has an option for $9.75 million for 2012 with a $750,000 buyout.

But back to Pavano. He has been everything that the Twins and we as fans could have hoped, and more. The only problem is that he only starts once in every five games. Also on Twitter last night, I asked the question about what the Twins should do with Pavano in terms of contract and the future. I tweeted, “I’d offer Pavano a 2 year, $19 mil deal right now. $9 mil in 2010, $9 mil in 2011, $1 mil buyout of $9 million option for 2012. Thoughts?”

And the comments were excellent, in general. The results were split. There were several that said that the Twins have got to sign him and keep him in the organization. What would they do without him next year?! There are others who essentially said “Take the two draft picks and run.” That’s right, Pavano is pitching at such a level that he is now a Type A free agent meaning that if they offer him salary arbitration and he does not accept it and signs elsewhere, the Twins will receive two draft picks. I typically favor going the way of draft picks in such scenarios. However, I think that the terms of the contract I outlined above are low enough that even if he were to sign it, I would not be upset in the least. Clearly he will be, and should be, looking for a multi-year contract. He says he likes pitching in Minnesota. The off seasons of second-tier Type A free agents the last few years have been difficult because teams are so unwilling to lose draft picks that maybe Pavano would be willing to give up that free agency for comfort and to stay out of that situation. What do you think?   

Tonight, it will be Brian Duensing pitching for the Twins. According to Rick Anderson in his interview with Paul Allen on KFAN yesterday, he will be on a pitch count limit of 60-70. Hopefully that means he can get through five innings, but that’s pretty optimistic probably. It will be interesting to see if Nick Blackburn would be the guy who comes in at that point. (You can listen to the Anderson interview, and my 9:20 segment with The Voice of the Vikings, by going to FAN ON DEMAND and downloading the segments.)  

Here is a quick glance at what happened on Thursday in the Twins minor league system:

SethSpeaks Thursday Minor League Hitter of the Day – Oswaldo Arcia – Elizabethton Twins

SethSpeaks Thursday Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Matt Fox – Rochester Red Wings

Red Wings Report   

Thursday – Rochester 10, Buffalo 0 Matt Fox was excellent in this game. The right-hander threw six shutout innings. He gave up four hits, walked three and struck out four. Alex Burnett made his first AAA appearance and threw 22 pitches, but did not allow a run. Jose Lugo and Rob Delaney each threw a scoreless inning. D’Angelo Jiminez went 3-5 with his seventh double and second triple. Brian Dinkelman went 3-5 with his 23rd double. Trevor Plouffe went 2-5 with a walk, his 18th double and his career-high 15th home run. Brendan Harris hit his 5th and 6th doubles. Wilson Ramos went 2-5.  

New Britain Notes

Thursday – New Britain 10, Harrisburg 11 (10 innings) – Deolis Guerra had another rough start. In five innings, he gave up eight earned runs on six hits and three walks. Cole DeVries gave up a run on two hits and a walk in two innings. Loek Van Mil gave up a run on two hits in his inning. Billy Bullock gave up an unearned run in two innings to take the loss. Juan Portes went 3-4 with a walk and his 12th double. Ben Revere went 2-5 with a walk and his 26th stolen base. Steve Singleton hit his second triple and drove in three runs.   

Miracle Matters

Thursday – Ft. Myers 5, Brevard County 4 – Bruce Pugh gave up four runs (3 earned) on five hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out five. He also committed three of the six Miracle errors. Nick Romero, Angel Morales and Drew Thompson each went 2-4. Morales hit his fourth double, and Romero hit his third triple.  

Snappers Snippets

Thursday – Beloit 3, South Bend 8 Edgar Ibarra started and gave up only an unearned run on four hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out five. Nelvin Fuentes gave up a run on two hits and a walk in two innings. Matt Tone came in and gave up four runs on four hits and a walk in his inning. Peter Kennelly then gave up two earned runs on two hits and three walks in an inning. Michael Gonzales went 2-4 with his 13th double. James Beresford was also 2-4.  

E-Twins Talkers

Thursday – Elizabethton 7, Johnson City 3 – Oswaldo Arcia had another great game. He went 3-4 with a walk, his 12th double, and his ninth home run. He is now hitting .388/.436/.777 on the season. Danny Ortiz went 3-4 with a walk and his third home run. Brian Burke went 3-4 with his sixth double and first home run. Andy Leer hit his third homer. Manuel Solimon improved to 4-2 by giving up three runs on six hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out five. Jose Gonzalez recorded his first save by striking out three in two hitless, scoreless innings.   

GCL Twins Topics

Thursday – GCL Twins 4, GCL Rays 6 – Ricardo Arevalo gave up three runs (2 earned) on two hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out four. Matt Schuld gave up a run on three hits and two walks in two innings. Matt Trau then gave up two runs (1 earned) on one walk in one inning.  Ramon Santana went 3-4 with his second double in his rehab assignment. Fred Hanvi went 2-4 with his second double. Miguel Sano hit 2-4 with his second home run. Jorge Polanco went 1-2 with two walks. Also, the Twins signed draft pick Derek Christensen, a right-handed pitcher from Salt Lake City CC.    

Any thoughts of the Twins or the minor league system? Feel free to leave your questions and comments here.

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7 Responses to “Twins Minor League Weekly; Pavano Does It Again”

  1. gobbledy July 23, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    at this point the pitching cupboard is kind of empty for next yr. rausch, matty, crain, mahay and pavano all could be gone with blackie, slowey and baker in limbo. could be going into next yr with liriano and a lot of question marks and he’s not a sure thing. good idea for the twins and pavano to get a new contract. with the type a and what happened with the yankees he may not find much for long term contracts out there. sign him up billy boy we need him.

  2. Steve Durant July 23, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    I assume that the top starter in the Twins ML system would be K Gibson. Who would be considered the next 2 or 3 and when might you expect them to crack the big league rotation?

    Thanks Steve

  3. Steve Durant July 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Who would you consider the most suprising prospects so far this year in terms of exceeding expectations and also failing short of expectations?

  4. Seth July 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    Gibson ETA – probably June/July 2011.
    Salcedo ETA – 2013 or 2014
    Bromberg ETA – Sept 2011 at earliest, maybe 2012.
    Hermsen ETA – 2013 or 2014

    Swarzak and Perkins have been pitching better or late.

  5. roger July 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    Seth, I would commit to that offer to Pavano in two seconds if I were Mr. Smith. With all the other question marks, I can’t see the Twins starting rotation being good next year without Pavano. I also can’t imagine their being lucky and having Pavano accept arbitration again.

  6. joelthing July 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    Sign Carl if he’d take that 2-year deal with an optional third year. I imagine Carl will be looking for a guaranteed 3-4 years, perhaps. But, hey, he has already banked $40 million alone from the Yankees. Always wonder how much money players really need.

    The sticking point for all the Twins pitchers coming up is arbitration, Would Rauch stick it to the Twins for one-year if no one offers him a multi-year closer contract? Remember, he’d have to be a closer to get big bucks…exxcept via arbitration with the Twins.

    The Twins also have Crain and Guerrier who could command closer-type contrcts. And the Twins need to offer arbitration, which is a gamble, to get the draft picks.

    So many questions for the next year.

    Hey, and isn’t Hudson also arbitration bound…he could nick the Twins for a one-year deal of say $9-10 million if he can’t find money elsewhere?

    It’s a slippery slope.

    Plus the Twins have to make decisions on folks like Tolbert, Casilla, Perkins, Butera,,,all have to stick around in 2011 or be lost via the waiver wire (any other names come to mind…Morales, perhaps?).

    I still hate the arbitration mess. A player can be gone and signed for less by another team, but the hometeam gets stuck with the bill if they wish to keep him around for another year, or forced to negotiate a multi-year contract.

  7. mike wants wins July 24, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Bummer, I was hoping when I was out of the country, the Twins would have traded for a pitcher. Oh well. Third place, and playing badly. Mauer not healthy enough to be great (good is not good enough when he is your face, franchise, and highest paid player – soon).

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