Tag Archives: Minnesota Twins

Terry Doyle Stars on SethSpeaks.net Twins Podcast

14 Feb

Twins Rule 5 draft pick Terry Doyle was the star guest on last night’s SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins Podcast. The right-hander comes to the Twins organization after spending the past few seasons in the Chicago White Sox organization. The New Hampshire native went to Boston College where he went four years, was drafted twice and graduated with a math major. He teamed with the Twins prospects on the Mesa Solar Sox roster in the Arizona Fall League where he went 4-0. All told, last season, he passed the 200 innings pitched count. He is certainly excited about his opportunity with the Twins.

Twins pitchers and catchers will report to Ft. Myers (officially) on Saturday and their first workout is on Sunday. Of course, as is always the case, most of the Twins roster, including many minor leaguers, are already working out in Ft. Myers.

Following the 20+ minute interview with the talented right-hander, Fanatic Jack and I discussed/argued several Twins related topics. I also gave a minute or two rant about why I chose to be optimistic and positive despite my ability to be realistic as well. I actually think it went pretty well as it wasn’t an interview session, it was just back and forth Twins banter on a smorgasbord of Twins topics.

If you missed the live show on Tuesday night, be sure to listen to the podcast by clicking here.

Any thoughts? Please feel free to use the Comments Section!

2010 New Britain Rockcats Preview

9 Apr

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

The 2010 Twins minor league roster previews are brought to you by the Minnesota Twins 2010 Prospect Handbook. Get your copy here!

And, by the way, if you’re able to, be sure to join me and the rest of TwinsCentric at Majors Sports Café in Blaine on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until the end of the Twins/White Sox game. Drink and appetizer specials. Lots of prizes to give away. Lots of talk with Twins fans. It’d be fun to meet you!

Jeff Smith will be the Rock Cats’ manager in 2010 after managing the Ft. Myers Miracle last year. Rudy Hernandez will be the hitting coach while Stu Cliburn is the pitching coach. Let’s take a look at players on the Rock Cats roster to start the 2010 season (note – prospect ranking for my choices for Top 30 Twins prospects as updated in the Minnesota Twins 2010 Prospect Handbook):

The Starting Pitchers

Carlos Gutierrez (15), David Bromberg (8), Mike McCardell (25), Deolis Guerra (11), Tyler Robertson (17).

This is the group that I predicted would be the starting five for New Britain. That said, it’s actually strange being right. Gutierrez is going to get another shot as a starter, and I like the decision. He could be a very good relief pitcher today, but if he can develop a second and third pitch, through more innings pitched, it will be best long-term. Bromberg, as you all know, has led his league in strikeouts each of the last three seasons. He has terrific stuff, throws hard, gets good movement and has a good idea of what he is doing on the mound. He should continue to be solid. McCardell ended last season with the Rockcats. In the offseason, he had some bone chips removed from his elbow, and he said that he is back to 100% Deolis Guerra is the one remaining direct piece from the Johan Santana trade. All along, he was the one with the biggest upside. He struggled in 2008, but made great improvement, specifically with his control, in 2009. He has the best changeup in the organization and should be even better this year. Finally, Tyler Robertson was my #1 Twins prospect in 2007. But injury hurt him in 2008, and in 2009, he returned, stayed healthy and pitched well. He moves up a level where his high baseball IQ should really help him adjust.

The Bullpen Arms

Santos Arias (28), Cole Devries, Steve Hirschfeld, Chris Province, Joe Testa, Spencer Steedley, (Loek Van Mil).

This is certainly an interesting bullpen. Province was in the same league in 2009 when he was with the Red Sox organization. He came to the Twins in the Boof Bonser trade. He should be solid. Spencer Steedley impressed me when I saw him in the Arizona Fall League. He mixed some slow curves and change ups, and then suddenly would throw fastballs at 92 mph right by hitters. Joe Testa dominated in Beloit and Ft. Myers last year and gets to start with the Rockcats this year. The undrafted lefty has a chance to move up another level this year. Cole Devries signed in 2006 as an undrafted free agent from the University of Minnesota. He began 2009 in the Rockcats rotation and pitched well in the first half, but he really struggled in the second half. He’s back, but this time he begins in the bullpen. Santos Arias and Steve Hirschfeld both started 2009 in the Ft. Myers bullpen, and by the second half, they were arguably the Miracle’s top two starters. Arias is a big-time sleeper, a little guy who is wiry and throws 95! Hirschfeld is a solid prospect who also pitched in the AFL last spring. Loek Van Mil begins the season on the Disabled List again. At this stage, health is his only concern. He became a legit big league prospect last year when he hit 97 on the radar gun, so it’ll be interesting to see how healthy he is.  

The Catchers

Danny Lehmann, Alexander Soto.

I was a little surprised that Lehmann didn’t start the season in Rochester, but the more I think about it, the more it says about what the Twins think of him. First, they must want him to play. If he was backing up Wilson Ramos in Rochester, he wouldn’t play a lot. By sending him back to AA, he can play more. Secondly, all five of the pitchers in the Rockcats starting rotation, and at least half of the bullpen, are realistically future big leaguers. The Twins are wise to set them up with a great defensive catcher, and a smart catcher who can work with them and help make them better. Soto is a solid defensive catcher. Several pitchers like throwing to him. He doesn’t hit for average, but he has shown glimpses of power in his career.  

The Infielders

Chris Parmelee (14), Whit Robbins, Steve Singleton (26), Estarlin de Los Santos, Yancarlos Ortiz, Juan Portes, Toby Gardenhire.

Chris Parmelee had a very strong year in 2009 in Ft. Myers. He continued to take walks and display some good power, but he also cut down on the strikeouts a little bit. He had a solid performance in the AFL last year too. Whit Robbins was an All-Star in the Eastern League a year ago, and displays a tremendous glove. He will likely play a lot of 1B with Parmelee at DH or in the OF. Singleton is a strong prospect who can play three positions. Now a switch-hitter, he has certainly put himself on the map. Juan Portes surprisingly spent the entire spring camp with the Twins as a non-roster invite. He primarily played in the corner outfield spots, but he is expected to play a lot of 3B for the Rockcats this year. Estarlin de Los Santos was the surprise name added to the 40 man roster, but there is no question that he has a ton of talent and speed. Ortiz was the shortstop quite a bit last year in AA and will likely play significantly up the middle. And Gardenhire is a solid defensive player at all four infield positions, can play the outfield and is even willing to don the tools of ignorance. Having a glove like his on a roster is a good thing for the pitchers.

The Outfielders

Joe Benson (12), Ben Revere (6), Rene Tosoni (9), Mark Dolenc.

This outfield is incredibly talented and incredibly athletic. I’m sure Tosoni was disappointed in the Twins signing of Jason Repko as it means he heads back to the Rockcats where he hit 15 homers a year ago. I actually think that it makes the most sense to send him back to New Britain. Tosoni’s game is pretty well-rounded, but he still needs to figure out how to hit left-handed pitchers. Since he isn’t on the 40 man roster, and there isn’t a need in the Twins outfield, there is zero need to push him when he still has much to improve. Ben Revere had a very good showing in big league camp. He is a very good batting average hitter. He still needs to work on his patience at the plate and has room to improve tremendously. I am still waiting for some power to show, as his power numbers dropped in 2009. Joe Benson is arguably the best athlete in the Twins system (all due respect to Aaron Hicks). He had a very good season in 2009 at Ft. Myers. He is one of the fastest players in the system, but he is also very strong and capable of power. His eye at the plate vastly improved, and he plays a very strong outfield with a strong arm. Dolenc is a guy who is a great athlete. The Minnesota State-Mankato alum has all the tools, but he isn’t young. He is a potential fourth outfielder who should still get some good playing time this year.

SUMMARY

This is an incredibly talented team, probably the most talented in the system. Many of the Twins top prospects are here. The starting five all has high potential. There are two other guys that could be starting that are currently in the bullpen. The lineup should be quite strong as well and improve over the course of the year.

If you have any questions or comments on this preview of the roster, please feel free to ask… Leave your questions or comments.

Weekly Twins Podcast Live at 9:00 Tonight!

15 Dec

SethSpeaks.net Weekly Twins Podcast starts at 9:00 central time. Guests include Kevin Goldstein, from Baseball Prospectus, and Shawn Berg, from On the Road with…, talkin’ Twins Prospects. In between, taking your Minnesota Twins related phone calls at 347-202-0548. Chat room opening soon! Tune in at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SethSpeaks.

Live Twins Chat from Noon to One – NOW!

4 Dec

If you would like to ask Seth your Twins questions, you can do so by clicking here. (http://www.coveritlive.com/index.php?option=com_altcaster&task=siteviewaltcast&altcast_code=0b86d4a5b2&height=550&width=470)

BONUS BASEBALL… AGAIN!

4 Oct

The Twins and Tigers entered the final day of the season tied, and they ended the final day of the season tied. That means that the Twins, and their fans will endure another One-Game Playoff. Last year, the Twins lost a coin-flip and then a ball game in Chicago to the White Sox. This year, the Twins will play host to the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday at 4:00 central time!

Obviously I will write more later, but be sure to tune in to the SethSpeaks.net NIGHTLY Minnesota Twins podcast tonight at 10:00 central time. To listen live (or later) go to http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SethSpeaks. You can submit questions in the chat room, or feel free to call in with your thoughts (347-202-0548).

You’re the GM: The Francisco Liriano Situation

8 Mar

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

On Saturday, the Twins signed Scott Baker to a four year, $15.25 million deal.


On Sunday, Francisco Liriano threw four perfect innings against the Baltimore Orioles regulars. He struck out five and reports indicate that he had all of his pitches working. He stayed healthy in 2008. He had the Tommy John surgery. Is there a chance that he could be one of the pitchers who ends up being even better after that surgery? What if he’s one that ends up being even better!? Scary!

 

So, you are the Twins GM. Channel your inner-Bill Smith, and answer this question for me. (Note – pretend that Bill Smith would actually spill something) It is the question of the day for Twins fans?

 

Would you offer the same long-term contract that Scott Baker signed a day earlier to Francisco Liriano?

 

They are essentially in the same place in terms of big league service time. Baker has been relatively healthy, at least with his shoulder and elbow. Liriano had the Tommy John surgery, but he also had arm problems when he was still with the Giants. Scott Baker’s dedication and work ethic are not questioned. We occasionally hear little pokes about Liriano not working terribly hard. Scott Baker is the team’s Opening Day starter and most fans would call him the team’s #1 pitcher. Most Twins fans acknowledge that when it comes to pure ‘stuff’ and dominance potential, Liriano is as good as anyone in baseball. Both show very good poise and command on the mound.

 

The Twins certainly would take on some risk, but maybe there could be incentives for additional option years which would vest with a certain number of innings pitched. For Liriano, he certainly could make more money by going year to year. But he had Tommy John surgery at a point in his career where he was not set for life yet. Signing a long-term deal would give him some financial security.

 

So what would you do?  Would you offer the same contract? Would you offer more, or less?  Please feel free to send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or discussion points in the Comments here.

 

Minnesota Twins Podcast Live Tonight at 8:00!

30 Dec

It has been a couple of weeks, but tonight, there will be a new SethSpeaks.net Weekly Twins Podcast at 8:00 (central time). You can hear the podcast Live for the first hour at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SethSpeaks.

I will verify the guest list later in the day, but the plan is that there will be two Twins minor leaguers and one of the top Twins bloggers appearing on the show. It should be a good one, so be sure to tune in, join the chat room, and ask plenty of questions.

UPDATE – Alright, here is the show schedule:

8:00 – 8:05 – Seth Introduction

8:05 – 8:22 – Kyle Waldrop – Twins Pitching Prospect

8:22 – 8:40 – Jeff Manship – Twins Pitching Prospect

8:41 – 8:59 – Parker HagemanOver the Baggy

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