also available at www.SethSpeaks.net –
Alright, it was rough week for the Twins and their fans, but on Sunday they were able to get back into the win column. Tonight, the Twins are back home and playing the Chicago White Sox in what has to already be considered a pretty important series. Glen Perkins will be making the start for the Twins opposing John Danks. But again, looming in the background this week will be the July 31st trade deadline. There will be a billion rumors between now and Friday afternoon, but we shall see what will happen.
ORLANDO CABRERA RUMORS
I think we have to start with this because it is the one being discussed everywhere. And the Twins are certainly not hiding their interest in the A’s shortstop. Ron Gardenhire chose his words wisely, but clearly he likes what Cabrera could bring. In this Susan Slusser article, Cabrera was basically saying that Twins players, including Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, were telling him that the team is trying to acquire him. The article goes on to say that the A’s did not like the Twins first offer, but that the Twins will likely increase the offer just because they like him so much.
So, what do I think of Orlando Cabrera? I really, really was a big fan of his back in his days with the Expos. He was such a good defensive SS, got plenty of extra base hits and ran a little bit. But let’s again check the Twins needs, and the big one is for a middle infielder who can hit second. What do you want from a second place hitter? The Twins need guys that will get on base in front of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel. Cabrera has a .313 on base percentage this season. For his 13 year career, his on base percentage is .322. Now, don’t get me wrong, that would be an improvement over what the Twins have been getting out of the #2 spot so far this season, but certainly not an ideal guy for that role.
I would encourage everyone to listen to Twins Weekly last night and some of the discussion between Phil Mackey and Justin Gaard on Cabrera. They brought up some good points including a comparison between Cabrera and Brendan Harris. On the season, Cabrera is hitting .276/.313/.366, a 679 OPS. Brendan Harris is hitting .263/.306/.373. That’s right, his OPS is .679 as well. Now defensively, Cabrera used to be excellent, but most defensive statistics this year show that Cabrera is below average. Harris’s defensive stats actually indicate that he has been very average. Now, the obvious comeback to that is that Gardy obviously will not trust Brendan Harris with the job, so might as well go with Cabrera over Nick Punto. I can’t dispute that. Cabrera would be an improvement. But don’t worry, if Cabrera is the team’s shortstop, rest assured that Punto will still be the team’s 2B.
Finally, the one positive I could think of regarding Cabrera was the silly reality that he could be a Type A free agent again… somehow. But again, stealing directly from Phil Mackey, there is an interesting clause in Cabrera’s one year contract that he signed with the A’s. A clause states that the team he ends the season with can’t offer him arbitration. Obviously after this past offseason, being a Type A free agent proved not to be a great thing for those second tier Type A’s. That said, Cabrera would not be a guy you would want to offer arbitration to anyway because he just might accept it and you’d be stuck with him next year as well.
I guess the hope, if such a move was made, was that Cabrera would somehow find a way to be adequate over the final two months of the season. That can happen with such a small time frame and sample size. He could be a minor improvement over the current roster and provide a spark to a team that desperately needs it. That’s what we could hope for.
Now I do believe that the Twins should be willing to give up something decent to Oakland if it means acquiring reliever Michael Wuertz. The Austin, MN, native just might have the best slider in baseball. After having a very good five year run with the Cubs in Chicago, the 30 year old has been amazing for the A’s this year. In 45.2 innings, he has 62 strikeouts to go with just 13 walks. His WHIP is just 1.06. For Wuertz, I would give up two second tier prospects. Now, this may seem strange, but I would give up more to get Wuertz than I would to get Wuertz and Cabrera. For the two, I would give up one second tier and one third tier prospect.
Looking to baseball-reference.com, Wuertz’s second more similar player is listed as Heath Bell, the Padres closer. That should be another name that the Twins are at least calling about. That said, you have to wonder if the two teams have even talked after Cla Merideth was sent to the Orioles for nothing. Anyway, Bell is 3-1 with a 2.06 ERA and 24 saves for the Padres. He has 46 strikeouts and 15 walks in 39.1 innings.
I’m not quite ready to give up on the Freddy Sanchez dream.
The thinking, in my mind at least, of any trade made this week, is that it should address 2010. That should be the priority. I think that this team has shown too many holes to do a lot in 2009, so all moves should be with the 2010 season in mind. Now, that’s not to say that with each move you aren’t also improving 2009 because that would be even better.
TWINS 10, ANGELS 1
Apparently Anthony Swarzak is the team’s stopper, at least when it comes to being the starter who has the ability to end a losing streak. On Sunday afternoon, Swarzak won his third game of the Twins season. He gave up one run on four hits in 6.2 innings. He walked three and struck out four. Matt Guerrier got four outs. Then Jesse Crain struck out two in his inning. Justin Morneau hit his 25th and 26th home run. Nick Punto went 2-4 with his sixth double and three RBI. Denard Span went 2-4 with his sixth home run and four RBI. Michael Cuddyer and Brian Buscher each went 2-5.
MINOR LEAGUE REPORT
Sunday – SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Jason Pridie/Justin Huber, Rochester Red Wings
Sunday – SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Jason Jones, Rochester Red Wings
Sunday –Rochester 13, Charlotte 10 (11 innings) – Steve Tolleson played hero twice in this game. He came to the plate in the top of the 9th and drove in two runs with a double that tied the game. Then in the 11th inning, he drove in the eventual game winning run with a single. Matt Tolbert then drove in two more to give the cushion. Things definitely did not start out well for the Red Wings. Kevin Mulvey gave up eight runs on eight hits and three walks in just 5.1 innings. He struck out seven. Juan Morillo came in and got just one out. He gave up two more runs on two hits and two walks. Jose Lugo got a strikeout got end the sixth inning. Then Jason Jones came in and pitched terrific. He struck out five in four shutout innings for his third win of the season. Rob Delaney pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 11th, including two strikeouts, for his fourth save. With 13 runs scored, you would rightfully expect a lot of offense. There was! Jason Pridie went 4-7 with his 18th double and 21st stolen base. Justin Huber was 4-5 with his 15th home run. Matt Tolbert went 4-7. Jose Morales went 2-6 with a walk and his first home run of the year. Dustin Martin was 2-3 with three walks. David Winfree and Steve Tolleson each had two hits as well.
Sunday – New Britain 6, Connecticut 10 – Cole DeVries was back on the mound for the Rockcats. He went just 4.2 innings and gave up six runs on seven hits and five walks. Frank Mata got two outs and gave up a run on one hit and two walks. Spencer Steedley made his AA debut. In one inning, he gave up three runs on two hits, an intentional walk and he hit a batter. Alex Burnett got two outs to get out of the seventh inning by getting two outs. Carlos Gutierrez got the eighth inning and struck out one. Rene Tosoni went 3-5 with his 22nd double. Matt Moses and Jeff Christy went 2-4. Luke Hughes went 2-5 with his fourth double. Whit Robbins hit his eighth home run.
Sunday – Ft. Myers 4, Brevard County 8 – Michael Tarsi started this game and got his first FSL Loss. In five innings, he gave up eight runs (3 earned) on eight hits and two walks. Matt Williams struck out three in three one-hit innings in his return to the Miracle. Loek Van Mil pitched a scoreless ninth inning. Joe Benson and Jair Fernandez went 2-4. Rene Leveret hit his third home run. Nick Romero went 1-2 with two walks.
Sunday – Beloit 1, Lansing 3 – Bobby Lanigan started and went six innings. He gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out five. Bruce Pugh struck out three in two shutout innings. Billy Bullock pitched a scoreless ninth. Ramon Santana went 2-3 with a walk. James Beresford went 2-4 with his 12th stolen base of the season. He stole home on the back end of a double steal.
Sunday – Elizabethton 6, Kingsport 3 (11 innings) – Josmil Pinto led the offense by going 4-5. Brian Dozier went 3-6 with his seventh double. Reggie Williams was 2-4. Derek McCallum and Paul-Michael Klingsberg went 2-5 with a walk. Klingsberg hit his fourth double. Buddy Munroe went 2-6 with his first double. Brad Stillings made the start. In 5.2 innings, he gave up three runs (1 earned) on eight hits. He walked two and struck out four. Ramon Acosta got the final out of the 6th inning but not until he gave up a hit and a walk. Matt Tone then struck out five (and walked four) in three shutout innings. Winston Marquez struck out two in two scoreless innings.
GCL TWINS THOUGHTS
Sunday –GCL Twins 0, GCL Red Sox 2 – Mark Grudzielanek made his first in-game appearance with the GCL Twins. He was the DH and went 1-3 with a walk. Nick Lockwood went 2-2. Rory Rhodes went 2-4. Jhon Garcia gave up one run on five hits in six innings. Edison Alvarez went an inning and gave up a run on three hits and a walk. Nelvin Fuentes and Kelvin Mota each threw a scoreless inning.
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