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It was yet another rough day for Twins fans on several levels, and it just gets harder and harder to hold out any hope. Last night, the Twins lost 2-0 to the Blue Jays which in itself is not a big deal. Ricky Romero was tremendous for 8.2 innings. He is one of the better left-handed pitchers in baseball and had a no-hitter into the sixth inning when Denard Span and Trevor Plouffe had soft singles. They got a couple of base runners on in the bottom of the 9th, but Frank Francisco came in and got Michael Cuddyer to check swing at a 96 mph fastball just off the black. On its own, this 2-0 loss to the Blue Jays with a terrific pitcher on the mound is not a big deal. Carl Pavano needed about 1950 pitches to get into the 6th inning, but he kept the strong Jays lineup off the scoreboard. Alex Burnett came on with two of Pavano’s runners on base and nobody out and didn’t allow the runners to score. He went out for the next inning and got a couple of runners on and Jim Hoey was brought in. He gave up a run on a bloop single with a bad Delmon Young throw. He then got a big double play. Glen Perkins was good again. Joe Nathan had a nice battle with Jose Bautista that Bautista won with a solo home run, but I thought Nathan looked much better.
The good news is that Delmon Young was back in the lineup. Again, based on what he did last year, this is a great thing. Trevor Plouffe was back in the lineup as well, and although he’s had just two good games, he at least appears to be a better option than the other options. Jim Thome will hopefully be back next week. Jason Repko will hopefully be back next week.
But, hope is certainly dwindling. Right now, this is a really bad baseball team. No, I don’t believe that it means someone should be fired, or even that anyone needs to be blamed. We’ve discussed all that before. It’s just a bad, bad year. As Aaron Gleeman pointed out after the game, if the Twins play at a 90-win pace the rest of the season, they will end the year with an 82-80 record. 82-80 probably won’t get them to the playoffs (although it could), and frankly, things are not going to just get better overnight, so really, they’ll have to play at an even better level.
And another thing, if Joe Mauer isn’t back in the Twins lineup by Memorial Day, he might as well sit out until the 4th of July. If Joe Mauer isn’t back my Memorial Day, then they need to allow Tsuyoshi Nishioka to use as much rehab time as he needs, and to let him spend time the 20 day rehab schedule playing in the minors and adjusting to American baseball. That is what would be best for his long-term future. If Joe Mauer isn’t back until after Memorial Day, then the Twins should start looking to deal, to be sellers for the first time in over a decade. They might as well start that process right away as many they can get more for guys in June than in late July. At that point, they might as well go with Valencia, Plouffe and Hughes in the Twins infield every single day to see what they have.
I’m not quite ready to discuss all of that, but it likely won’t be long before I start thinking about 2012.
And, that’s why it’s good to keep tabs on what is going on in the Twins minor league system. Yesterday, I posted a bunch of Twins minor league notes, but here are a bunch more:
- There have been some transactions:
- With Delmon Young coming off of the Disabled List, it was Rene Tosoni sent back to Rochester. I think this makes sense. In my mind, Tosoni profiles as a big league starter while Ben Revere profiles as a fourth outfielder… that the Twins will likely make a starter.
- With Tosoni going to Rochester, 2B Steve Singleton was sent back to New Britain (see how he did on Friday night), which of course makes no sense to me.
- Ryan Mullins will go to New Britain.
- Logan Darnell will report to Ft. Myers
- Pat Dean and Ben Tootle are set to go to Beloit.
- Last week, when Matt Parker was promoted to Beloit, it was because Kyle Knudson was put on the Disabled List.
- Want to know what happens in Extended Spring Trainings? Todd Van Steensel is a right-handed pitcher that the Twins signed this offseason from Australia. He has a blog called The Clubhouse Chronicles that is absolutely terrific!
- Allan de San Miguel is heading to Ft. Myers to rehab his elbow. He is not having Tommy John surgery at this time.
- It’s Saturday morning, which means you will want to go to Twinkie Town for Roger’s Minor League Report.
Minor League Notes
Friday SethSpeaks.net Minor League Hitter of the Day– Steve Singleton, New Britain Rock Cats
Friday SethSpeaks.net Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Bobby Lanigan, New Britain Rock Cats
Red Wings Ramblings
Friday – Red Wings 4, Charlotte 6 – Scott Diamond gave up six runs on 11 hits and a walk in 4.2 innings. He struck out three. Carlos Gutierrez came in and threw 2.1 scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out two. Phil Dumatrait pitched one scoreless inning. Ray Chang went 3-4 with a walk. Seven other players had one hit. Dustin Martin had a double and drove in three runs.
Rock Cats Report
Friday – Rock Cats 2, Portland 0 – Bobby Lanigan started and threw eight shutout innings to record his fourth win of the year. He gave up just three hits, walked none and struck out four. Jake Stevens records the same with a scoreless ninth. The offense managed just three hits. Steve Singleton was back from Rochester and went 2-3 with his 12th double and third home run.
Friday – Game 1 – Miracle 2, Dunedin 3 – Andrew Albers started the first game for the Miracle. He went five innings and gave up two runs on seven hits. He also walked none and struck out three. Shooter Hunt came in and in the two innings he threw, he gave up one run. He walked one and struck out one. The team managed just six hits, and Ramon Santana had the only extra base hit, a double.
Friday – Game 2 – Miracle 1, Dunedin 7 – Tom Stuifbergen gave up three uearned runs on three hits in three innings. He walked none and struck out none. Matt Tone then gave up two earned runs on three hits in his two innings. He struck out two. Jhon Garcia gave up two runs on four hits and a walk in one inning. And Dakota Watts threw a scoreless ninth frame. Nick Romero went 2-3. Aaron Hicks was 1-3 with a walk, and Danny Rams hit his sixth double.
Friday – Snappers, Quad Cities – Postponed by Rain.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.