also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -
We’re back with another week of “Friday Links and Thinks.” I hope everyone has a great weekend and it’d be great to see several of you in St. Cloud on Saturday!
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Wednesday is September 1st, the first day that teams can expand their major league rosters beyond 25. Of course, that doesn’t mean that teams will only bring up players on September 1st. My guess is that the Twins will call up a couple on the 1st, and then 2-3 more after the Rochester season ends on Labor Day. The Rochester Red Wings and New Britain Rockcats were both eliminated from playoff contention sometime around Memorial Day, so that’s one less obstacle. So, here are some candidates for consideration:
- Jose Morales – he’s a given if only to help make Gardy more willing to sit Mauer a little bit in the season’s final month. He can also pinch hit.
- Anthony Slama – He came up for two days and was sent back down. I’d expect he’ll be called up sooner rather than later.
- Trevor Plouffe – He’s been up three other times this year, might as well get him back up here.
- Pat Neshek – I think that Neshek is a given or at least he should be.
- Alex Burnett – he spent most of the season with the team until his control caught up to him. He has really struggled since going to AAA. But he definitely fits into the Twins future plans.
- Rob Delaney – he had a bad first half and has really been solid in the second half. How many arms will they want to bring up?
- Brendan Harris – They do owe him money for next year, almost $2 million, but he was already removed from the 40 man roster and would need to be added. Does he have any future with the team?
- Jacque Jones – not on the 40 man roster, not an improvement defensively over even the current Twins outfielders (really!), bats left-handed, provides the Twins nothing but a nice story, which is the only reason he’s a maybe.
- Brock Peterson – he should be considered if only as a right-handed bat off the bench with some power potential. Another great story, he was the Twins 49th round pick in 2002. If Jones is considered, Peterson has to be ahead of him on the list of 1.) more deserving, and 2.) more likely to help the Twins.
THE DOUBTFULS (but don’t be completely shocked)
- Jose Lugo/Tony Davis – These guys are left-handed and breathing. Lugo has been over-worked with the Red Wings and his numbers show, but from a scouting perspective, he’s got the stuff to succeed. 94 mph fastball with a slider in the upper 80s. Lacks control. Davis was a 2009 draft pick who has advanced quickly to AA. He’s left-handed and gets a lot of strikeouts, just too many walks.
- Toby Gardenhire – Just throwing him out there to get a reaction… don’t worry!
- Anthony Swarzak – he is on the 40 man roster and was good for about four starts last June with the Twins, but he’s been bad in 2010.
What do you think? Who would you send? I would bring up Morales, Slama, Plouffe, Neshek, Delaney and Peterson. My guess is that Delaney and Peterson will not be included, but could help.
Delmon Young provided the Twins with the type of jolt they needed early in Thursday night’s game. Young knocked a three-run home run off of Cliff Lee in the second inning. In the third, Michael Cuddyer drove in two more runs with a double. But on this day, the story was Francisco Liriano. Pitching on extra rest, Liriano did a great job early in the game. He got ground balls and he limited base runners. It was exactly what the team needed after losing three games against someone they are fighting for position with. With the win, the Twins took a ½ game lead over the Rangers and remained 3 ½ ahead of the White Sox. The White Sox will face the New York Yankees this weekend while the Twins travel out west to take on the Mariners in Seattle.
Here are the pitching matchups:
- Friday night – Scott Baker (11-9, 4.63, 1.33, .280) vs Jason Vargas (9-6, 3.43, 1.20, .241)
- Saturday night – Nick Blackburn (7-8, 6.49, 1.65, .338) vs Doug Fister (4-9, 3.87, 1.25, .271)
- Sunday night – Carl Pavano (15-9, 3.56, 1.16, .260) vs. Luke French (2-4, 4.57, 1.41, .274)
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTEBOOK
Here is a look at the Thursday night’s minor league scores and highlights:
- Rochester 1, Pawtucket 3 – David Bromberg is quietly putting together another very solid season. In this game, he gave up three runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings. He walked one and struck out five. Jose Lugo got the final two outs of the seventh inning. Anthony Slama got back to the Red Wings quick and threw a scoreless inning. Kyle Waldrop threw a scoreless inning, allowing one hit. The Red Wings had just five hits. Brandon Roberts was 2-4. Danny Lehmann hit his second double.
- New Britain 6, Binghampton 8 – Chris Parmelee led the offense in this game by going 3-4 with a walk and his first triple. Steve Singleton went 2-3 with two walks. Steve Hirschfeld gave up four runs on four hits and four walks in four innings. Guess how many he struck out. That’s right, four. Tony Davis gave up four runs (just one earned) on three hits and two walks in three innings. He did strike out four. Loek Van Mil threw two shutout innings.
- Game 1 – Ft. Myers 4, Palm Beach 1 – Alex Wimmers made his second start and threw three shutout innings. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out four. Dan Osterbrock came in out of the bullpen and gave up one run on two hits and a walk in two innings. Matt Williams and Dakota Watts each threw a scoreless inning. Deibinson Romero had a great game. He went 3-3 with a walk, his 10th and 11th doubles and his fifth triple. Brian Dozier went 2-3.
- Game 2 – Ft. Myers 7, Palm Beach 3 – Kane Holbrooks has been terrific all season. In this game, he gave up one run on four hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out five. Shooter Hunt came in and walked the two batters he faced. Steve Blevins came in and got the final three outs. Yangervis Solarte went 3-4 with his seventh double and first triple. Chris Herrmann hit his second home run.
- Beloit 4, Kane County 3 – The Snappers are still alive in the playoff race in the Midwest League. Aaron Hicks kept them in the running on this night. Hicks went 2-3 with a walk, his 27th double and 19th stolen base in the game, but his sixth home run came in the 8th inning and gave the Snappers the lead. Tom Stuifbergen started and gave up three earned runs on six hits and three walks in 5.2 innings. He struck out six. Andrei Lobanov came in and gave up three hit in 2.1 shutout innings. He struck out two. Miguel Munoz came in for the save opportunity and shut the door, striking out two in the ninth.
- Earlier on Thursday, Oswaldo Arcia was named the Player of the Year in the Appalachian League.
- Elizabethton 2, Pulaski 3 – Andy Leer led the offense by going 3-4 with his fifth home run. Oswaldo Arcia went 2-4 with his sixth triple. Brian Burke went 2-4. It wasn’t enough on this day. Pat Dean started and gave up three runs on four hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out eight. Adam Achter came in and threw two shutout innings. Dallas Gallant struck out four in two scoreless innings.
Here is a look around the Twins blogosphere. A good site to find 66 Twins blogs is Newsbobber’s Minnesota Baseball Blog site., but you can also look on the left side of this page for many. I’ve only included blogs that have been updated in the last few days (let me know if I’m missing any sites that I should add):
- Aaron Gleeman posted his Link-O-Rama for the week.
- Check out Twinkie Town’s Roger Dehring’s Minor League Recap.
- Jeff A updates us on the week for former Twins at The WGOM.
- Twinkie Talk gets in to the highly debated (at least of late) role that advanced stats play in awards discussion.
- Check out Part 1 of Coffeyville Whirlwind’s look at The Franchise 1991.
- Ed Thoma, the Baseball Outsider, writes Stephen Strasburg the inevitable. Sad stuff!
- North Dakota Twins Fan only posted one new blog this week. What the heck!!? You’d think he was busy with other stuff or something… Oh yeah, he got married last weekend and moved… OK, I’ll lay off! But next week, I’m expecting a couple of new postings!! Regarding the Randy Flores signing, Off the Mark writes “At Least He’s Not Glen Perkins.”
- For the Love of the Game offers a stern warning, Don’t Mess with Texas!
- Knuckleballs discusses the Minnesota State Fair and lets us know when Twins alumni will be present at the team’s booth.
- That’s Twins Baseball is about to release a new book, Gardyball.
- On the road with… went to see the Rockcats play in Binghampton and has a good summary of his time, pictures and video. Great stuff!
- Did I mention… Congratulations to Cody, the North Dakota Twins Fan (who no longer lives in North Dakota) on his wedding! Best wishes!
- Last weekend, Kevin from Twin Nation posted a Q&A with Kyle Gibson.
- You can still sign up for a Twins Train trip to Detroit in September! Or a Twins Train trip to Lambeau Field in Green Bay to watch a Sunday night game.
- The Glorious Nation of Hrbekistan played another 9 innings this week with some great Twins notes.
- Check out Judd Spicer’s City Pages Blog called Waiting for Morneau: Drama in need of an end.
- Happy 40th Birthday to the great Jim Thome!!
Here are the links to the StarTribune.com TwinsCentric blog postings for this week:
- Monday – John Bonnes – Surprise Hero
- Tuesday – John Bonnes – Looking for a Bump?
- Wednesday – Nick Nelson – No Place Like Home
- Thursday – John Bonnes – Gratis Flores
- Friday – Parker Hageman – ?
- By the way, the next TwinsCentric (and Sooze) Viewing Party will head out of the Twin Cities Metro and up the road to St. Cloud. The lovely and talented Sooze is running the show on this one. On August 28th from 2:30-6:30 at Howie’s in downtown St. Cloud, there will be drink and appetizer specials as well as some give-aways. Those in the Metro, it’s not too far away, and those in the outstate, come on down! These events have been a lot of fun and a great opportunity to meet some of your favorite bloggers.
- Following the TwinsCentric Viewing Party, I am going to stay in St. Cloud and head over the Joe Faber Field. The St. Cloud River Bats of the Northwoods League (a college wood bat league) are hosting the Minnesota Twins alumni game at 7:05. Several former Twins players, including Corey Koskie, Jim Eisenrich, Juan Berenguer, Al Newman and several others will be playing in a game. There will be a lot going on throughout the night. Following the game, the player’s jerseys will be signed and auctioned off. Proceeds from the evening will be going to the Miracle League of Central Minnesota. Check out the River Bats website for much more information.
- And then you’re also probably reading the other Twins blogs at StarTribune.com: LaVelle E. Neal’s Twins Insider, Joe Christensen’s Around the Majors, and Howard Sinker’s A Fan’s View.
- John Bonnes is on The Power Trip Morning Show on KFAN Tuesdays and Friday’s during the 7:00 hour. (Podcasts available here.) I am on KFAN with Paul Allen each Thursday morning at about 9:20. If you would like to listen, the podcast is available here.
PODCASTS AND MORE
- On Monday night’s SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins Podcast, I discussed the Twins and took a few questions from callers.
- On Tuesday night, Travis Aune and I co-hosted Twins Minor League Weekly. We talked to Wes Sharp from the St. Cloud River Bats, and then talked about the Twins minor leagues throughout the show. It was a really fun podcast.
Any thoughts on the Twins or the Twins blogosphere? Feel free to leave your questions and comments here.