Twitter Mailbag – Part 2

4 Aug

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

We have a winner in the second contest for Twins 1991 World Series DVDs. The Twitter contest winning was Cheets_4. As promised, I would answer each of the questions that I had sent to me. Over 40 people responded, so today, here is part 2 of the Twitter mailbag. But before I get to answering your questions, here are a couple of notes:

  • The Vikings changed their schedule last night, so I will be on the Paul Allen Show this morning on KFAN, its affiliates and www.KFAN.com, but I do not know what time. PA said he would text me a time. It likely won’t be at the normal, 10:20 time, and it could be in the final, 11:00 hour. If that is the case, you can also watch it live at http://www.foxsportsnorth.com. I’ll try to update when I know.
  • Best wishes to Kyle Gibson and Anthony Slama. Both will be headed to the Twin Cities to have MRIs on their elbows and to be seen by Twins doctors. It is always a little scary when the ulnar nerve or ligament is mentioned as often Tommy John surgery is the next step. Hopefully that is not the case with these two pitchers.
  • Mark Dolenc Thursday Update – Since his big 4-5 game on July 25 against New Hampshire, Dolenc has 5 hits in his last 28 at bats, a .179 average, without any an extra base hit and just one RBI.
  • Scott Baker had the 46 pitch third inning, and wisely the Twins took him out at that point. That is just a lot of stress on the elbow that he was having issues just a couple of weeks ago. At that point, the game was getting long and frustrating, but somehow, the Twins were down just 4-3. The Delmon Young hit his second home run to tie it up. Joel Pineiro struggled in the 5th and with the bases loaded and a 1-0 count, Mike Scioscia came out and made a pitching change. Lefty Hisanori Takahashi came in and on his first pitch, Michael Cuddyer launched a grand slam into the rocks beyond the center field wall which gave the Twins an 8-4 lead. Takahashi was still in the game in the 7th inning and Jason Kubel crushed a home run off of him. In the 9th inning, Michael Cuddyer hit his second home run of the game, and 18th of the season. Jason Kubel came up and hit a ball off the center field wall, just missing becoming the third Twins player to hit two home runs in the Twins 11-4 win. The story, beyond the five home runs, had to be Anthony Swarzak who gave up just one hit and one walk in five shutout innings of relief for the win. He has been very impressive in 2011 after a very frustrating season for him in 2010.
  • Rochester had the night off yesterday.
  • New Britain lost 3-2 to Erie. Brian Dozier went 3-4 with a double.
  • Ft. Myers lost 5-4 to Bradenton. Josmil Pinto hit his second home run. Angel Morales hit his first home run of the year and was 2-4.
  • Beloit lost 6-1 to Kane County. Jairo Perez hit his 12th and 13th doubles.
  • Elizabethton beat Kingsport 6-5. Kennys Vargas went 4-5 with two doubles. Nick Lockwood went 3-4 with his first homer. Miguel Sano hit a big three-run homer in the 5th inning, his 8th long ball of the year.
  • The GCL Twins lost two games to the GCL Orioles.  

There will be three parts to this Twitter Mailbag. Scroll down for Part 1. Here is Part 2, and Part 3 will be coming soon. If interested, you can follow me on Twitter. I just passed 3,000 followers yesterday. Next stop 4,000! Enjoy the questions and responses today.

cjacket13 @SethTweets who’s one player that we may not be hearing much about that you think can make an impact in the majors some day?

Due to his unfortunate injury this year, I think too many people have forgotten about David Bromberg. The righty was an easy choice to add to the 40 man roster following last season because he has progressed consistently and successfully in his career. He has worked incredibly hard and has very good stuff. People ask frequently about Kyle Gibson and Liam Hendriks, and rightfully so, but fans shouldn’t forget about Bromberg.

MichaelRHerman @SethTweets Is it preferable for prospects to get MLB exp? Seems Twins pos. players do but pitchers have to wait.

That is a very tough question. Of course, ideally, every time a prospect is called up, you want him to be at the point that he is ready to succeed in his role, pitching or hitting. Sometimes that isn’t possible. One example would be Rene Tosoni earlier this year. He was promoted due to need (and because he is on the 40 man roster), not because he was ready. We saw the struggles. The second time he was promoted, he had that to build off of and was better. Last year, Ben Revere was promoted in September because of his speed. He was ready to run in the big leagues, steal bases, etc. This spring, he was called up because he was needed, and he struggled offensively. He’ll learn from it all. I think it is the same thing with pitchers. You simply don’t want to put anyone in a position where they are over their heads.

trtx84 @SethTweets What role (if any) will Gibson play for the #Twins in September? Does it depend on their status as a playoff contender?

Right now, hopefully his role in September will involve pitching. But even if there were not the injury concern right now, I don’t think that he would have been promoted in September. The numbers weren’t there, and since he doesn’t need to be added to the 40 man roster after this season, there is no reason to bring him up. I think that this question can now be asked of Liam Hendriks, although he will need to be added to the 40 man roster. It definitely does depend on their playoff status.

PatMcEnroe @SethTweets Do you think Alex Wimmers will play in AFL this year to get IP or will they shut him down and he’ll repeat Ft Myers next year?

The Twins have not yet announced who they will send to Arizona for the Fall League. I do think that Wimmers would be a good candidate to make up some innings there if he shows no sign of regression over the final month of the season. He will be a starter again next year. If he does go back to Ft. Myers, it would not be for long.

g_ando721 @SethTweets Should the Twins just hire a fulltime sports psych in Fort Myers?

No.

MNfanfromafar @SethTweets How much more does Joe Benson have to do to earn a promotion to AAA?

He missed a little over a month of playing time. It’s really just about getting more and more at bats. As we’re discussed, it’s all about his strikeout rate. He is hitting for a good average, continues to get on base, and hits for power. He’s terrific defensively and has a very strong arm. I guess the question becomes this: what is the benefit of him playing in AAA for three weeks as opposed to staying in AA and trying to help his team to the Eastern League playoffs? Regardless of where he ends the 2011 season, he will start the 2012 season in Rochester (most likely).

ToddScreamer @SethTweets Do you see anyone in the Twins system that can become a legit #1 Major League starter?

Again, I would ask people what the definitely of a “legit #1 Major League starter” is. Does it mean a starter who can strike out more than a batter an inning? If that is the definition, then I really don’t see that.  If the definition is a very good starter that can be counted on most of the time but doesn’t get a K/IP (like Halladay, Lee, Sabathia), then it’s much harder to project. Then I think Gibson, Wimmers, Hendriks, Salcedo all could fit into that category. But we won’t know until they get here. Of course, Scott Baker is averaging nearly a strikeout an inning this year, plus a great ERA, etc., and I don’t think a lot of Twins fans consider him a “legit #1 Major League starter.” So, this is a tough question for me.

TSteffenson @SethTweets What is the Twins record Aug/Sept last 3 yrs and how does that compare to DET & CLE?

This question required a little work, but thanks to RetroSheet.org, I think I was able to work through this. I went in and got the team’s final records in the previous three years, and then I went and found each team’s record following games played on July 31 of each respective year. Here are the overall records of each of the AL Central teams from August 1 through the end of the season in 2008, 2009 and 2010 combined:

Minnesota             99-74  (.572)

Chicago                 85-88  (.491)

Cleveland              82-90  (.477)

Detroit                    81-94  (.463)

Kansas City          73-98  (.427)

So, I think it is fairly safe to say that the Twins have done pretty well the last few seasons in the season’s final two months, especially compared to the rest of the AL Central.

Mizleplix @SethTweets Is there anyone that has lost their ability to pitch like Wimmers in the minors and then went on to succeed in the mlb?

I am certain that it has happened in other organizations over the course of all these years, but it certainly isn’t easy. I couldn’t give you an example though. With what Wimmers has done since his return a couple of weeks ago, I really have little concern that he will be just fine. If he becomes the first example of a guy to overcome it, I am fine with that too.

DOx80 @SethTweets Hung Yi Chen and Angel Mata have impressive numbers. What do you think about their prospect statuses (any other info on them)?

Here is what I wrote about Chen in April when his signing was announced: “He is an 18-year-old right-handed pitcher who has pitched on Taiwan’s national team in some international competitions. He is just 5-10 and stocky. His fastball is thrown around 87 mph although he has hit 91 on a radar gun. He also throws a sinker, slider and a forkball. He is also working on a changeup that will be very important for him if he wants to move forward.”

In the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2011, I named Angel Mata the top Twins DSL Prospect. Without knowing a ton, here is what I wrote about him:

#1 – Angel Mata – RHP – (12/3/92)

Acquired: Signed as F/A in 2009 from Venezuela

2010 Stats: 1-5, 2.12 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 59.1 IP, 15 BB, 54 K

Here is a good example of why Wins and Losses mean very little when it comes to how well someone pitches. After going 0-1 in three relief appearances, he moved into the starting rotation. In his ten starts, he was 1-4 with a 1.72 ERA. In those ten starts, he went at least five innings seven times. He gave up three runs once and two runs once, and one or less in eight games. He certainly had some terrific games. Against the DSL White Sox, he went six innings (in a loss) and gave up one run. He walked none and struck out eight and just one of the 18 outs came via a fly ball. In an August 3 start, he threw six shutout innings, allowing just one hit, walking one and striking out eight. Mata spent the 2010 season as a 17 year old pitcher, kept his walk total down, and struck out nearly a batter per inning. There is a good chance that he will move to the GCL Twins and be successful going forward.  

glanzerr @SethTweets Rank the Twins minor league affiliated based on logo/colors/uniforms, best to worst.

Ummmm…. 

thisisbeth @SethTweets What prospect has surprised you the most? Which two, actually: better than you thought and not as good as you thought (so far)?

Good question. Jairo Perez has come out of nowhere. After missing all of last year with Tommy John surgery and even the first two months of this season, he has provided a ton of power for the Beloit Snappers. Yangervis Solarte is a guy that I think surprised me a little bit last year. The fact that he has hit over .300 each of this season’s four months is what has surprised me this year. His bat appears to be legit. Where can he play defensively though?

Any thoughts or comments on what you’ve read today?? E-mail me, or leave some Comments.

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6 Responses to “Twitter Mailbag – Part 2”

  1. Shane Wahl August 4, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    Is there a danger of stunting some of these players (I submit that in the past Steve Tolleson, Garrett Jones, Steve Singleton, Anthony Slama, Kyle Waldrop, and even Denard Span suffered from the ultra-conservative view the Twins have about development in the system–likely others I am neglecting to mention as well)? I am thinking generally about players like Gutierrez (when healthy), Michael Gonzalez, Jairo Perez, Hermsen, Salcedo and half the Rock Cats batting order (though I guess it doesn’t matter now in August for them). And maybe even Hicks (who I honestly think would do better right now in NB). I like what the Twins did with Hendriks, Dozier, Arcia, and Darnell (maybe some others too) instead.

  2. mike wants wins August 4, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Thanks for all of the info and opinions Seth. Good stuff.

  3. Sean August 5, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    I’m sure all these minor league guys are ‘good guys’ but I think writing stuff like in this column/chat gives fans a way too inflated idea of what the upside of most of these prospects.. Kyle Gibson projects as a #3 or #4 starter and that was before the elbow injury. Liam Hendricks has +control and solid pitches. He has no ‘out’ pitch for the majors. His upside is a #4 starter. He basically is Nick Blackburn or Kevin Slowey. Alex Wimmers may be the next Shooter Hunt. Adrian Salcedo is still really young so there is more upside to him but he is not a #1 guy. The Twins don’t have that in their system. David Bromberg doesn’t even project as a Major League Player. He could be the next Swarzak perhaps. Swarzak has been solid in middle relief this year but he isn’t anything more. Hitters don’t know enough about him yet. Just look at Brian Duensing if that doesn’t make sense and Swarzak is dominate against lefties. There are 4 guys in the Twins system that project to above average major leaguers. Aaron Hicks, Migel Sano, Joe Benson & Arcia.

    • GreggY August 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

      Bromberg not projected as a Major League Player? Not sure where you get that, typically guys aren’t considered top prospects (he’s been ranked top 15 by many sources) if they are projected as possible Major League guys. And whats wrong with Swarzak, he’s be excelent all year including his starts, not just in middle relief. Let’s not forget he came in after Baker in LA and went scoreless for 5 innings, would not be surprised if he gets a shot next year, either with the Twins or somewhere else. Looks to me as if you only think top draft picks will ever amount to anything, Hicks hasn’t made it in the upper levels of the minors at all, so how can you project him as above average? Guys like Bromberg have at least played at all levels and done well if not excellent. And not sure how you can say Blackburn and Slowey are similar… they are not the same type of pitcher at all. I agree that prospects can be over hyped, but don’t underestimate the pitchers the twins have in the system either, the twins have one of the better farm systems out there, so they must have SOME pitching. It’s at leasr half the battle.

      • Sean August 8, 2011 at 10:01 am #

        Anthony Swarzak has medicore stuff. If you look at his numbers further you can see he is pitching ‘lucky’. This means it won’t last. Good for him that he has done well so far. Aaron Hicks is a 5-Tool Talent and young. He already shows great speed, defense and most importantly the ability to get on base. David Bromberg is not a prospect. If he works hard maybe he will get a shot but his stuff doesn’t translate into an actual full-time starting pitcher. He was a top 15 guy before he got hurt. Now he is probably a top 25 guy which means he should eat up innings in AAA ball for the Twins. I compare Slowey & Blackburn because they are both #4 or #5 starters which has been proven year after year with them.

  4. GreggY August 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Wow, so you break your arm off a comebacker and therefor will never make it?? It’s not like he had TJ. Lemme guess Gibson wount make it either because of injury??

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