Off Day Notes

23 Apr

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

 

Wednesday was not a good day for the Twins. They got pretty well destroyed by the Boston Red Sox in two games. The first game was a rain-shortened 10-1 loss in which Scott Baker gave up a two-run homer in each of the first three innings. They also lost the second game, 7-3, and Francisco Liriano lasted just four innings and gave up all seven runs. The big hit was a three run homer by Jeff Bailey, who if I recall correctly hit a couple off of Liriano last year in Pawtucket. Justin Morneau did hit a home run, so that’s good. Other than that, there just weren’t a lot of bright spots. That said, rested versions of Matt Guerrier and Luis Ayala really looked good. Ayala, I thought, really looked good. He was throwing hard, and the ball was moving like crazy, so that was encouraging. Now the team gets another day off before starting a three game series in Cleveland against the only team with a worse record in the AL Central.

 

So, a question for you… 16 games into the season, the team is 7-9, and they have been incredibly up and down, each facet of the team has been inconsistent. I want to believe that if and when it all comes together, that this team is still the best in the AL Central, but at what point do we start to wonder? How worried are you about the bullpen struggles? More or less worried than about the starting staff (minus Perkins, of course). What about the offense?

 

Until then, here are a few minor league notes:

·      Rochester 7, Pawtucket 8 (11 Innings)Kevin Mulvey gave up two runs on four hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out five. Bobby Keppel went two scoreless innings, and Sean Henn struck out two in his shutout inning. But Ben Julianel came in and gave up a hit and two walks and all three scored. He got just two outs. Armando Gabino came in and gave up the inherited runs, plus three of his own over the next 1.2 innings. Mike Gosling came in and walked one batter before getting a bases loaded strikeout, but then a second walk ended the game in the 11th. Jason Pridie went 2-4 with two walks. Luke Hughes was 2-4. Trevor Plouffe hit a big three run homer. Matt Macri hit his first homer.

·      New Britain 6, Portland 4Matt Moses… could he be turning a corner? The Twins top pick from 2003 is hitting over .300 so far this season, and in this game he went 2-4 with his second homer and three RBI. Brian Dinkelman went 2-3 with a walk and his second double. Whit Robbins went 2-3 with a walk. Rene Tosoni hit his second home run of the season. Jay Rainville picked up the Win. He gave up three runs on six hits and a walk in five innings. Zach Ward got one out before allowing a run on a hit and a walk. Jose Lugo got an out. Then Rob Delaney got five outs, two on strikeouts. Anthony Slama picked up the save with 1.2 scoreless innings, including three strikeouts. By the way, Erik Lis recorded his first double of the year!

·      Ft. Myers 6, Palm Beach 1David Bromberg threw an excellent game for the win. He went six innings and gave up just one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out three. Spencer Steedley worked two scoreless innings. Henry Arias pitched a scoreless ninth. Deibinson Romero led the offense, going 2-3 with his sixth double.

·      Beloit 2, Quad Cities 4 – The Snappers managed just five hits in this game. Adan Severino went 1-3 with a walk and his third double. Eli Tintor was 1-3 with a walk. Dan Osterbrock fell to 0-2 in this one. He gave up four runs on ten hits and a walk. He struck out five in his six innings. Newly promoted Bruce Pugh struck out four in his two scoreless innings. Matt Williams, who inexplicably was demoted to the Snappers, pitched a scoreless inning.

·      Just to cover those Snappers roster changes – Reliever Danny Hernandez was released. He was very good until the shoulder surgery and Tommy John surgery and just hasn’t been the same since. James Beresford, a middle infielder, is now on the Disabled List. Matt Williams came down from Ft. Myers, while Bruce Pugh came up from Extended Spring Training.

·      At the Twins BaseballDigest.com page, you will want to check out Morning Doinks each and every morning, including Thursday morning’s version from Josh Johnson.

·      You will definitely want to read an incredible article by Parker Hageman that puts Tony Oliva’s Rookie of the Year season into context.

·      LaVelle E. Neal posted some Minor League notes on his blog. Be sure to check out the comments as I made a few points in there.

·      There is a diary on Shooter Hunt over at John Sickels Minor League Ball that you should just peruse.

·      The Twins Geek is the Man! Not only was he on WCCO last night with Dark Star, but he also will be hosting tonight’s edition of the MNGameNight.com podcast. I have the night off, but I’m certain John will put together a great show!  

 

Finally, I wanted to share with you an e-mail I got from a reader that I thought was worth posting and welcoming your comments on. Be sure to add any feedback you would like to:

 

Seth –

I wanted to send a quick note on Deolis Guerra.  It bothers me when people complain that he is in High A ball for a third year.  The response I always gave is that he was rushed into St Lucie by the Mets and he is still pretty young.  But I never really realized how young he really is.  I’ve attached an Excel spreadsheet listing all the pitchers (SP and RP) for the four minor league that are playing right now, plus the pitchers that are listed on milb.com as playing at Elizabethton and the GCL Twins (which I assume are from last season).  This gives me a total of 76 pitchers in the Twins system (77 including Guerra himself) and these are the conclusions.

·         There are only six pitchers out of 76 that are younger than Guerra (all pitched in the GCL last year)

·         Guerra is younger than all the guys who pitched in Elizabethton last  year

·         Guerra is younger than all the pitchers on the Beloit roster as of today

·         Guerra is younger than all the pitchers on the Fort Myers roster as of today by a minimum of 481 days (Tyler Robertson)

·         Guerra is 1,279 days (3.5 years) younger than Jay Rainville, the youngest pitcher at New Britain, his next stop

I’m not even sure what I am trying to prove here, but I think its too soon to give up on him because he is not in AA right now. 

Dick

I don’t disagree at all, but at the same time, I do believe this is an important year in that it would be nice to see progress in his second year with the organization. We were told that the Twins really tweaked his mechanics and over time, it would really pay off. Hopefully we see some of that because at some point “young for level of competition” just isn’t enough.

 

But for now, that’s all I’ve got. Be sure to check out the rest of the Twins blogs, and as always, if you have any comments, leave them here.   

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4 Responses to “Off Day Notes”

  1. thrylos98 April 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    Seth,

    let me take a shot at those:

    at what point do we start to wonder?

    End of May, more than 5 games behind or 8 games behind at any point before that. May is a hard month (BOS, NYY, SEA, TB + AL Central teams + MIL)

    How worried are you about the bullpen struggles?

    More worried with Gardy’s continuation of bad habits than the pitchers themselves. OK Morillo is a project that its lifetime with the Twins may end at the point that Crain comes from the DL. I am in the minority who think that pen will be fine if the pitchers have established roles and used properly.

    More or less worried than about the starting staff (minus Perkins, of course).

    Baker a bit, but I give him a couple more starts and then I would worry, Liriano and Blackburn somewhat less (and it is a good think that Swarzak is pitching really well in Rochester for what 2 games matter)

    What about the offense?
    there are 4 underachievers (in my mind): Cuddyer, Crede, Casilla, Redmond. The Cuddyer situation has bugged the life out of me and I did a bit of analysis to see if he was done (http://tenthinningstretch.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-michael-cuddyer-done.html if anyone cares) and it does not look good. Gardy should use him as a bat out of the bench at this point (I remember we talked about that in your blogradio thingy, taking over the Monroe role of 2008). Crede hopefully will pick it up, the same with Casilla. Redmond will probably give the Twins a hard decision come Mauer activation time: his bat is not there, his arm is not there and his game calling does not appear any better than Mijares. Do the Twins offer him to hang up his cleats lose no money this season and take a coaching job, allowing Mijares who is at least hitting better to be the back up?

    They’ll be fine

  2. thrylos98 April 23, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

    Make that Morales not Mijares…

  3. mike wants wind April 23, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    I worry that Cuddeyer and Young just aren’t any good. I really want to be wrong, but so far I’m not convinced I should change my mind. They can’t have two bad hitting corner OFers if they are going to give up on O from CF until Gomez learns to hit. Crede needs another month before I pass judgement. I thought his signing was a good chance to take. Casilla is just a wildcard that is unpredictable.

    I’d still like to see them trade one of their 4/5 pitchers (blackburn or one of the minor league guys) and something for Wood and put him at SS and Punto at 2B, but I doubt they’d do that.

    I’m more worried about the O than the starting pitching.

  4. Syd April 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    Seth,

    I stood behind the backstop in Spring Training a year ago when Guerra pitched. He topped out at 86 mph. He isn’t going to make it throwing 86 mph. He’s got decent breaking stuff but his velocity needs to improve. Also, I can’t prove it but he appeared to be older than 19 years old at the time. I guessed 21 but again I can’t prove it.

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