Bullpen Blows Up

31 Jul

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

Top 11th: LA Angels


B. Keppel relieved J. Nathan
M. Cuddyer in right field
D. Span in right field
D. Young in left field
– E. Aybar walked
– G. Matthews Jr. singled to left center, E. Aybar to third
H. Kendrick hit for R. Willits
– H. Kendrick singled to shortstop, E. Aybar scored, G. Matthews Jr. to second
J. Crain relieved B. Keppel
– C. Figgins reached on bunt single, G. Matthews Jr. to third, H. Kendrick to second
– M. Izturis singled to shallow center, G. Matthews Jr. scored, H. Kendrick to third, C. Figgins to second
– B. Abreu singled to shallow right, H. Kendrick and C. Figgins scored, M. Izturis to third
– J. Rivera walked, B. Abreu to second
R.A. Dickey relieved J. Crain
– K. Morales singled to right, M. Izturis scored, B. Abreu to third, J. Rivera to second
– M. Napoli struck out looking
– E. Aybar grounded into fielder’s choice, B. Abreu scored, J. Rivera to third, K. Morales out at second
– G. Matthews Jr. struck out swinging
6 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors
LA Angels 11, Minnesota 5

Nope, the Twins didn’t really NEED any bullpen help. I know. In Gardy’s pre-game presser, he said that he was in Bill Smith’s office from noon on, and he knows that every effort was made to acquire bullpen help. But still. How is Cla Merideth doing for the Orioles so far? (OK, three games and 2.2 innings, but just one hit, no walks, and he was acquired for a 31 year old utility outfielder.) The asking price on Heath Bell was ridiculous. No question. Not sure Jon Rauch was the answer either, but this has been a problem for two seasons.

Who is next? Juan Morillo? How about Rob Delaney? I’m sticking to my guns… my guess is Anthony Slama.

Anyway, sounds like it could be Brian Buscher heading down to Rochester tomorrow to make room for Orlando Cabrera. Joe Mauer hit a LONG three run homer. Matt Guerrier gave up a leadoff, game-tying home run to Mike Napoli, and then he was excellent. Twins lose 11-5, but it shouldn’t have been that bad.  

Please feel free to Send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or comments here.


19 Responses to “Bullpen Blows Up”

  1. Andy July 31, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    I like the Cabrera move but unfortunately the Twins only did half of what they needed to do to contend in my opinion. There biggest weakness showed tonight and that is the bullpen. Bobby Keppel is just like every other recycled reliever we have brought up the last two seasons. I just don’t understand what it takes to figure out that we need a bullpen arm. It has been two years now…what gives? I know a lot of you are higher on the Twins minor league system than I am but I find it hard to believe we couldn’t have added a piece to the bullpen that would have been an upgrade over Keppel. Can you guys shed some insight on this or am I way off base here? I like to remain positive but it has been a frustrating year or two years for that matter.

  2. TT July 31, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

    Almost every team in baseball is looking for bullpen help. Remember Breslow? He was great last year and was released by the Twins this year. He is still pitching in the major leagues. Likewise Ayala.

    If you look at that description, Crain and Keppel didn’t exactly get hit hard. The balls just fell wrong for them.

  3. Jack Steal August 1, 2009 at 12:04 am #


    I figured it would be Brian Buscher going down to the minors because he is terrible and has no future. Alexi Casilla is the future second baseman for this organization and has played better since being called up the second time. He had a very nice game tonight with three good defensive plays and some good at bats. I am not ready to give up on him yet and hopefully Gardenhire feels the same way. I believe this is why the front office did not go after Freddy Sanchez harder.

    With the trade deadline passed are we stuck with this bullpen or do we still have a chance of getting someone to help out?

  4. Andy Darsow August 1, 2009 at 12:19 am #

    I am aware that every team is looking for bullpen help but moves have been made and the price hasn’t been high. Look at a guy like Tony Pena who the White Sox just picked up for who? Cla Meredith? I’m not talking about the Heath Bells of the world. What did the Dodgers give up for Sherril? Those are the examples I am looking at. I realize that every bullpen has it’s Keppels and Breslow’s but not your playoff bullpens and if that is what we hope to be then we can’t settle for that. I think I’ve provided two good examples of guys that would have been good upgrades for us this year over a guy like Keppel and even Crain right now (whom I’m not giving up on). I do think there is a chance the Twins get something through waivers..might even be a better chance than the non waiver deadline.

  5. rosterman August 1, 2009 at 12:54 am #

    Man, arms are out there. Hey, bring back Joe Beimel. You can have one guy taking up space in the bullpen, to lose in those blowout situations, or maybe even give the job to a promising rookie (remember Santana). Dickey is fine, as he can work the innings. But his time ahs basically passed. Keppel…well, they figured him out fast enough. Crain is the hope guy that you keep around for those blowouts. Duensing is the long-lefty for now. So, the Twins basically have four stiffs in a bullpen that should have one (maybe two).

    If there is so much promise with the prospects that a general manager is afraid to trade them, then bring them up and let’s see what we have. Better than retreads, which you can always find, and now anything on the waiver wire is definitely old hat. The Twins had plenty of tradable pitchers in their farm system that might actually become available again (remember Eddie Morlan, Scott Tyler, Levale Speigner…hell, Carman Cali, Juan Padilla, Saul Rivera, WIllie Eyre, Brian Bass are still out there throwing, not to mention Hector Carrasco.) Man, Twins probably could have swung a deal with Cleveland and talked Carl Willis into returning to the mound.

    Disappointed that nothing got done.

    The Twins could have matched or bettered the offers for:

    Felix from Arizona.

    Washburn from Seattle.

    Sherrill from Orioles.

    The could of pitchers from the Pirates.

    Got them all and still had prospects up the wa-zoo.

    And, if youa ren’t going to play Young, trade him. Make your decision now on Liriano and Perkins (botha rbitration eligible) today. Is Casilla the future or not. Start clearing AAAAers out of the way for real prospects. If you truly need a fill in, well we all rememebr the Twins getting Sergio Santos (and Chris Basak eaerlier) and adding them to the 40-man for some ungodly reason!

    Again, how many guys make it to the majors every year. 2-3-5? How many stay, 1-2? How many people fighting for major league jobs…150? Every year 40 or so are cut and 30 or so added via the draft and another dozen from free-agent signings to fill temporary holes.

    Yes, I’m nothing but a fan, but something isn’t right in general manager land!

  6. Brent August 1, 2009 at 7:27 am #

    I am convinced that the Padres wanted Oscar Salazar and used Meredith to get him. I just cannot come up with any logical solution as to why they make that trade. Meridith has enough value where he will land you a decent haul of prospects at the deadline that it makes no sense to practically give him away two weeks prior. Use him as a consolation prize for those that loose out on Heath Bell, I am sure he wouldhave fetched more than Oscar Salazar.

    Maybe I am missing something, but can anyone explain to me what the Padres gained in that trade?

  7. TT August 1, 2009 at 8:20 am #

    Andy –

    My point was that the examples you give are not any better than Ayala or Breslow. They both have had success in the past and Breslow has had success with Oakland. Just like Keppel and Henn did here for a while.

    Moreover with a bunch of teams looking for relievers the teams that are selling can go after the best deal possible based on their own scouting and evaluations. You don’t know who they consider an equivalent player on the Twins.

    Could the Twins make a better offer? Sure – they have Joe Mauer and he’s probably worth more than any player in baseball right now.

  8. PD August 1, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    Losing Neshek, and Boof really hurt this club for 2 years! This relief parade in the Majors is based solely on ephemeral projects. Parting with a good, wait great player is probably a necessity to land anything of value. It can be done but our FO is driving a yugo in a game of chicken. The best hope lies in the minors, everyone should have figured this out by now. Duensing start appeared as an experiment, moving the parts around might get us through the year. You have better knowledge of future moves, we can only hope this weak division continues it’s stumbling. That I wouldn’t count on!

  9. TwinsFix August 1, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    We probably need bullpen help, but we would have had trouble landing a starter. Sure, we could have afforded Washburn, but the Phillies gave up the equivalent of Revere, Ramos, Valencia, and Angel Morales for Cliff Lee.

  10. Jeremy August 1, 2009 at 10:59 am #


    I’d have to think that Armando Gabino would be the next logical choice in line to get a shot in the bullpen. His stats are similar to (even a little bit better than) Delaney’s this year. Plus, now that the 40-man is full, this wouldn’t require any additional moves (besides sending Crain back down). If it were going to be Delaney, I’d expect Keppel would have to DFA’d.

    Heck, maybe both happen…?

  11. peterb August 1, 2009 at 11:44 am #

    I know the bullpoint is weak, but what about taking Blackburn out when the score was 5-2, and go with Gurrrier—why wait? Then go with Nathan. I think Gardi was a factor in last nights loss. Not an impressive performance by the bullpen, or Gardi.

  12. TT August 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    I agree on Blackburn being left in too long. Its not the first time the Twins starters have blown a lead this year after throwing more than 100 pitches.

    For a long time the Twins pitching has had pitch limit of around 100 pitches. Occasionally, that rough limit was violated. But those were exception.

    We heard a lot of whining from the local curmudgeons about “kids these days”. Now, apparently, Gardy has become one of curmudgeons. He is consistently letting the young pitchers go over 100 pitches as long as they are being successful. By the time they stop being successful its too late.

    Last year Blackburn averaged 87 pitches per start, this year he is at 97. That has to start to wear people down.

  13. Juanie August 1, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    I was actually pleased with the way Gardy managed this ballgame (with the exception of the Buscher pinch AB). He gave the team the best chance to win this game by going with Guerrier and Nathan for 3 innings. The lousy ABs after Santana left the game should be blamed for not even putting any pressure on Anaheim’s bullpen. The final four innings, the Twins went 0 for 12 with 4 K’s.

  14. Michael M August 1, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    I wonder what the Pads wanted and how we countered in the Heath Bell discussions. I know we are limited in funds and need to keep the farm producing, but this team really needs to make it a 7 inning game, especially given what we are hitting in the 7-9 hole on most nights. Bell would be the bridge to Nathan and taken so much pressure off of both the starters and the rest of the relief core. I hope the Pads were outlandish in their demands and it was not a case of Smith being unwilling to pay a slight premium.

  15. Joe August 2, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    The Padres were in talks with the Marlins for Heath Bell. They initially offered Jeremy Hermida. Padres said they wanted 2 pitchers, primarily Sean West and Andrew Miller. Very steep for any player in general much less a first time closer. Marlins said no to that but said they would discuss Kyle Vanden Hurk. Padres said they liked Cameron Maybin and conversations pretty much ended there.

    So the Twins equivalent to this I bet would have been names such as Anthony Swarzak and Fransisco Liriano to the Sean West and Andrew Miller. And Aaron Hicks to Cameron Maybin. Not worth it.

  16. Syd August 3, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

    Would somebody please give me a decent explanation as to why Delaney or Slama have not been called up yet. These
    guys are literally rotting down there. I don’t want to hear
    the excuse “The top Twins evaluator’s don’t think their ready”. I want to hear a a specific reason on both of these guys. If we’re not gonna pay the price in a trade to get a good reliever, then let’s see what these guys can do. What do we have to lose? Oh, ya, they might get a little service time. We don’t want to give them that do we? I know their not on the 40 man roster. Let’s move Slowey to the 60 day and admit that Mr. Pridie isn’t going to make it.

    • Joe August 4, 2009 at 6:50 am #


    • TT August 4, 2009 at 7:42 am #

      I suspect the reason Delaney and Slama haven’t been called up is that they are not ready to pitch in the big leagues and the Twins know it. If you think their numbers show otherwise, take a look at Keppel, Henn and Crain’s numbers at AAA.

      Neither one is on the 40 player roster now and its not clear there will be room on the roster for them next winter. Looking at the numbers, I will be surprised if Slama is there. He’s one of the oldest pitchers at New Britain and walking close to one in four batters. That is not the kind of performance that screams to be put in the major league bullpen. Kyle Waldrop and Alex Burnett are both younger and doing as well or better than Slama.

  17. Joe August 4, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    Little off note. Seth tweeted today that Shooter Hunt has been sent home for the summer. Poor kid.

    Also 2009 supplemental 1st round pick Matt Bashore has been shut down for the remainder of the season with soreness in his forearm.

    Good news from the minors comes from New Britian. Deolis Guerra followed up his 2 inning batting practice with a solid 5 innings. Giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits. He walked one and struck out 2 to get his 4th win in Double AA. His numbers are still not great but he has made big strides from last year. In 13 less innings pitched he has 13 more strikeouts and 38 less walks.

    Also from New Britian it looks like 2008 first round pick Carlos Gutierrez looks like he has gotten out of his big time funk since being promoted. He got a 6 day break and in his last 4 appearances has 7 innings 3 hits 3 walks 0 earned runs and 8 strike outs.

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