Also posted at www.SethSpeaks.net.
Good Monday Morning everyone! As you know, I was again out of town last Thursday and Friday. I really appreciate those who left comments to the Dave Mona Q&A and the many that e-mailed me thoughts on it. It sounds like many of you will be purchasing a copy, and I think you should. For today, I would like to just do a basic Weekend Update to get caught up. If you’re looking for more, I participated in two podcasts online yesterday. The first was with TCSportzone.comT and should be posted shortly. The second was the weekly live podcast with Marty Andrade. You can hear that here. It was fun talking Twins with Marty and Josh Taylor of Taylor’s Twins Talk. Sure, I was mocked a little bit, but I think I came out just fine.
A couple of quick thoughts first:
Pat Neshek posted an update on his rehab in Florida.
Nick Nelson discusses his choice as the biggest disappointment of the Twins season. I disagree in only one way. Injury.
A couple of topics were covered in each podcast and are worth discussing:
I happen to think that the extended loss of Michael Cuddyer hurts the Twins. The team has wanted a right handed bat. Cuddyer could be that. He could hit 5th, behind Morneau and in front of Kubel. I know he’s been hurt and haven’t done a lot when he has come back. But he is a very good player who would get the respect from the opposition.
Who could help the bullpen in the minors? Bobby Korecky may be better than Brian Bass and probably Boof Bonser. He could do a nice job as a 6th or 7th inning reliever. Not a shut-down type, but he could do a nice job of giving Crain and Guerrier time off.
Denard Span needs to play. In talking with my dad, we were talking about his interesting stance in which he starts with the bat straight up, right in front of him. He does a great job of taking the outside pitch to left field. My dad commented that it was reminiscent of Rod Carew. Not bad!
TWINS 4, ROYALS 1
- Kevin Slowey evened his record at 8-8 with 5.2 innings of work. Although he gave up seven hits, he did not hurt himself with any walks. He gave up just one run. Fortunately, Ron Gardenhire didn’t feel the need to make him get through the sixth inning and took him out.
- Craig Breslow, Jesse Crain, Dennys Reyes and Matt Guerrier combined for 2.1 innings of shutout work. That led to a scoreless ninth inning from Joe Nathan. Despite him giving up two hits, he recorded his 31st save. The bullpen has struggled of late, but they came through big in this one.
- Joe Mauer was at the center of the three Twins runs scored in the third inning. First, he singled in Denard Span with the first run. Later, with the bases loaded, Mauer was on second when Jason Kubel grounded to 2B. It should have been a double play, but an errant through to 1B meant Kubel was safe. Mauer scored the third run from 2B.
- Denard Span got on base three times, twice with singles and once via a walk. Justin Morneau was on base three times as well, twice via the walk and once with a single.
- Carlos Gomez stole second and third base against Miguel Olivo. They were his first two stolen bases since June 30th.
TWINS 7, ROYALS 3
- Francisco Liriano made his second start, this one against the Royals top pitcher, Zach Greinke. Liriano, like Slowey the night before, worked 5.2 innings and gave up three runs on six hits and three walks. It was nice to see Boof Bonser come in and give 2.1 scoreless innings of relief, something he and the Twins really needed. Dennys Reyes worked a scoreless ninth.
- Fortunately, Liriano gave up the two sixth inning runs after the offense had put a five-spot on the scoreboard the half-inning before. Brian Buscher started that inning with an RBI single. Another run scored on a Carlos Gomez fielder’s choice. Denard Span knocked in two with a single to left field. With the bases loaded, Justin Morneau flew out to deep CF for a sacrifice fly. He just missed a home run.
- Delmon Young hit a long home run in the second inning to give the Twins a 2-0 lead. Good to see him get home run number four. He was 2-4.
- Jason Kubel was also 2-4 with his fourth triple. Of all of the 2008 Twins statistics, the one the stands out the most to me is… how does Jason Kubel have four triples?
- The craziest stat in this game might be that Carlos Gomez went 0-2… with TWO walks!
TWINS 4, ROYALS 5 (12 Innings)
- Scott Baker gave the Twins something they really needed from a starter… seven innings of work. He gave up two runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out seven. That meant that the bullpen would only have to work two innings… or would they?
- Matt Guerrier’s struggles continued in the 8th inning. He gave up two hits and two runs (1 earned, thanks to an Adam Everett error) and got just one out. Dennys Reyes got one out. Jesse Crain finished up the 8th, and then pitched the ninth as well. Craig Breslow came in and got himself into trouble in the 10th before working out of a tough situation. He also worked a scoreless 11th inning. Unfortunately, he gave up the game-winner to Tony Pena, of all people, in the 12th.
- Denard Span actually went 0-3 in this game. Of course, he also still walked twice so he was on base 40% of the time. Span walked twice. So did Joe Mauer. And Justin Morneau walked three times.
- Adam Everett went 2-4. He still isn’t the defender that he once was, primarily due to his lack of arm. In this game, he went 2-4. He is batting 8th or 9th in the lineup. Meanwhile Nick Punto is batting second. Punto has returned to his 2007 (2005 and all years prior) form which includes strikeouts (many of them looking) and pop ups as well as a complete inability to do ‘the little things’ right. I know this was one series, but at least you know that Adam Everett will put the ball in play, move runners along, get a bunt down and actually ‘do those little things’ right.
The Twins now return home for three games against the New York Yankees. Glen Perkins, Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey will face off against Sidney Ponson, Mike Mussina and Ian Kennedy (Although I see that the Yankees optioned him to AAA on Sunday). I will be at the Monday night game in Section 220.
Twins Minor League Updates
Friday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Eli Tintor, Ft. Myers Miracle
Friday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Brad Tippett, Elizabethton Twins
Saturday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Dominic de La Osa, Elizabethton Twins
Saturday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Dan Osterbrook, Elizabethton Twins
Sunday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Evan Bigley, Elizabethton Twins
Sunday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Edgar Ibarra, GCL Twins
Be sure to check out Roger’s Weekly Minor League Update for this week. Also, LaVelle wrote about the significance of Ben Revere’s quest for .400 in his weekly Minor League report. In this article, he discussed the Rochester bullpen, Loek Van Mil’s return home from the Olympics, Erik Lis’s potential season ending injury and more.
Friday – Rochester 3, Indianapolis 2 – Kevin Mulvey made another solid start. In 6.2 innings, he gave up two runs on six hits (two HR). He walked three and struck out seven. Ricky Barrett got four outs, two on strikeouts. Bobby Korecky recorded his 20th save with a scoreless ninth. Garrett Jones went 3-4. Trevor Plouffe went 2-3 with his 12th and 13th doubles. Jason Pridie and Alejandro Machado each went 2-4. Of course, the most newsworthy story from this game was the injury to Michael Cuddyer. He walked in his first at bat, and when Garrett Jones drilled a line drive, Cuddyer was unable to get out of the way and the ball broke a bone in his foot.
Saturday – Rochester 6, Indianapolis 5 – Jason Pridie played hero in this one. He went 2-4 with a walk and his 23rd stolen base, but his two run triple in the bottom of the ninth was the game-winner. Howie Clark went 2-3 with a walk, his fifth homer and three RBI. Alejando Machado went 2-3 with a walk. Anthony Swarzak had another very good start. He gave up two runs on six hits in seven innings to drop his ERA to 2.37. He walked three and struck out three. Tim Lahey came in and gave up two runs on four hits in his inning. Mariano Gomez got the win. He struck out three in his inning, although he did give up a run as well.
Sunday – Rochester 4, Indianapolis 6 – Luke Hughes continues to impress. He went 2-4 with his third double, second homer and four RBI. Howie Clark went 3-4. Brock Peterson, in his first start since being promoted to the Red Wings, went 0-4 with a strikeout. He played 1B and and batted 8th. Danny Graves was back on the mound to start this game. He went 4.2 innings and gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks. Casey Daigle went the next 3.1 innings and gave up two runs. Julio DePaula threw a scoreless ninth.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Friday – New Britain 1, Bowie 10 – Ryan Mullins started and gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings to fall to 7-9. Frank Mata came in and gave up six runs (4 earned) on four hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Armando Gabino got the final two outs. The Rockcats managed just five hits. David Winfree had an RBI triple. Drew Butera and Brian Dinkelman each had a double.
Saturday – New Britain 7, Bowie 2 – Steve Tolleson is back and had a big game. He went 3-5 with his 23rd double, sixth homer and three RBI. David Winfree went 3-5 with his 15th homer and three RBI. Brian Dinkelman went 2-4 with a walk. Dustin Martin went 2-5. Yohan Pino picked up the win in this one to improve to 5-5. He gave up just an unearned run on six hits and two walks in five innings. Jose Mijares gave up a run on three hits (a solo homer) and two walks in two innings. Rob Delaney went the final two innings without allowing a run, dropping his AA ERA to just 1.38.
Sunday – New Britain 4, Bowie 6 – Brian Dinkelman continues to rake. He went 3-4 with two doubles (his eighth and ninth). Rodolfo Palacios went 2-4 with his second double. Jeff Manship started and gave up six runs on eight hits and three walks in just 4.2 innings. He struck out five. Zach Ward then threw 2.1 shutout innings. He gave up four hits and a walk. Ben Julianel struck out two in a scoreless inning.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Friday – Miracle 11, Sarasota 4 – This game actually started on Friday night and then finished Saturday. Danny Berg went 2-2 with two walks. Eli Tintor went 2-5 with his tenth double and first triple. Edward Ovalle went 2-6 with his eighth double. Wilson Ramos was 2-4 with a walk. Danny Lehmann went 2-4. Alex Burnett worked the first four innings. He gave up three runs on five hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out five. Carlos Gutierrez started on Saturday and worked the next three innings. He gave up two hits and a walk, but no runs, while striking out three to improve to 2-0. Matt Williams then gave up a run on three hits over the final two innings.
Saturday – Miracle 0, Sarasota 8 – Deolis Guerra continues to struggle. In this game, he gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings. Two of the hits were home runs. He struck out just two. Jose Lugo then came in and gave up three runs on three hits and two walks in an inning. The Miracle had just four hits. Whit Robbins went 2-3 with his 18th double. Juan Portes hit his 18th double as well.
Sunday – Miracle 10, Sarasota 11 (11 innings) – Oswaldo Sosa continues to struggle (Where have I heard that before?). In just 4.2 innings, he gave up eight runs (7 earned) on eight hits. He walked five and struck out three. Blair Erickson went 2.1 innings and gave up two runs on three hits. He walked two and struck out five. Anthony Slama went two innings. No hits, but two walks. He struck out four. Jose Lugo went 1.2 innings. He gave up a run on no hits. You see, the problem was the five walks. Steve Singleton went 3-6 with his 11th and 12th doubles. Juan Portes went 3-6 with his 19th double. Danny Berg was 2-5 with a walk and his sixth homer. Whit Robbins went 2-5 with his fifth homer. Garrett Olson went 2-5.
Friday – Beloit 6, Kane County 2 – David Bromberg threw five shutout innings on his way to his seventh win. He gave up five hits and walked four but did not allow a run. He struck out eight. Michael Allen went 1.2 innings and gave up just one hit and one walk. Blake Martin gave up two runs on four hits in 1.1 innings. Santos Arias threw a scoreless inning as well. Estarlin de Los Santos went 3-5. Rene Leveret went 2-3 with his second (yes, second) stolen base. Chris Cates was 1-3 with a walk and his 10th double.
Saturday – Beloit 7, Peoria 2 – Steve Hirschfeld’s quality work as a starter continued on this day. He gave up two runs on four hits and two walks in seven innings for his eighth win. Blake Martin and Charles Nolte each worked a scoreless frame. Ben Revere went 3-5 with his 38th stolen base. Paul Kelly was 3-5. Jeanfred Brito was 3-4. Mark Dolenc went 2-4 with his fifth triple and his 27th stolen base.
Sunday – Beloit 6, Peoria 7 – It was a rough start for Henry Reyes. He gave up seven runs on nine hits (3 HR) and two walks in 4.2 innings. Chris Anderson struck out two in 2.1 scoreless innings. Danny Hernandez and Mike Tarsi each threw a scoreless inning. Ramon Santana went 2-4 with his 11th double. Mark Dolenc and Rene Leveret each had two hits. Jeanfred Brito went 1-3 with two walks.
Friday – E-Twins 11, Burlington 3 – Brad Tippett improved to 7-2 with seven strong innings in this one. He gave up one run on four hits. He walked none and struck out five. Dan Berlind gave up two runs on a hit and three walks, and he got just two outs. Danny Rondon struck out two of the four outs he recorded. Nick Romero went 2-4 with his sixth homer. Evan Bigley was 2-5 with his ninth and tenth doubles. Dominic de La Osa went 2-4 with a walk. Jeff Lanning went 2-3 with a walk. Angel Morales hit his 11th homer.
Saturday – E-Twins 10, Burlington 2 – Dan Osterbrook had another strong start to improve to 5-2. In six innings, he gave up two runs on seven hits. He walked none and struck out eight. So, on the season, in 59.1 innings, he had seven walks and 80 strikeouts. Tom Wright, Steve Blevins and Nathan Fritz each threw a scoreless inning in relief. Dominic de La Osa went 3-5 with his eight double, fifth and sixth homers and three RBI. Nick Romero went 2-3 with two walks, his seventh homer and two RBI.
Sunday – E-Twins 11, Burlington 8 – Evan Bigley and the offense had another big day. Bigley went 3-4 with his third triple. Dominic de La Osa went 2-4 with a walk and his seventh stolen base. Michael Harrington went 2-4 with a walk and his 15th double. Adan Severino went 2-4 with his second homer. Danny Rams was 1-3 with his sixth double and two walks. Curtis Leavitt started and gave up four runs (3 earned) on six hits in six innings. He walked just one and struck out ten. Lee Martin got the win with two shutout innings. He struck out four. Kyle Carr got two outs before giving up four runs on five hits and a walk. Of course, both outs came on strikeouts. Mark Hamburger came in and got a strikeout and his tenth save.
GCL TWINS TALK
Friday – GCL Twins 2, GCL Pirates 5 – Jean Mijares had a very good start. In five innings, he gave up a run on three hits. He walked two and struck out three. Mike Tonkin gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in his inning. Nick Lobanov then struck out two in two scoreless innings. Bruce Pugh gave up two runs on a hit and three walks in an inning. Josmil Pinto went 2-4 with his eighth double and his third triple.
Saturday – GCL Twins 5, GCL O’s 3 – Anderson Hidalgo went 3-5 with his fifth double. Reggie Williams went 3-4 with his sixth double and two RBI. Andres Diaz went 2-4. Martire Garcia went four innings and gave up two runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out seven. Joe Testa struck out the side in his inning. Khol Nanney improved to 3-0 with three scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit. Kelvin Mota gave up a run on two hits and a walk in his inning.
Sunday – GCL Twins 6, GCL Reds 4 – Edgar Ibarra improved to 3-0 in this game. He gave up four runs (just one earned) on three hits and two walks. He struck out six. Mauro Schiavoni threw three scoreless innings. Joe Testa then got the save with one shutout inning. Herbert Lara went 3-4 with his seventh double. Anderson Hidalgo went 2-5 with his first homer. Hyun-wook Choi went 2-4. Aaron Hicks went 1-3 with two walks, his sixth double and 11th stolen base.
Have a great week!