Answering Questions

21 Aug

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Yesterday, I invited readers to e-mail me some True or False, or Yes or No, questions. Several people took me up on the offer, so here are their questions, with my responses:

From Jay:

What is OPS and how is it figured.

I use it often and really have never taken a step back to explain what it is.  Simply stated, OPS = (On Base Percentage) Plus (Slugging Percentage). Basically it is admitting that Batting Average means very little. What is important are how often you get on base, and when you do get hits, how many total bases are there. This statistic combines those things. It’s a nice summary statistic, but like all other stats, it is just one measure. I still like to look at the slash stats (BA/OBP/SLG) because looking at those three numbers says a lot. For a hitter like Denard Span, I’m not terribly concern about his power output, but I will take most note o his on base percentage.           

From Jay:

If a team, say the Twins, signs a big time free agent.  What is the chance that free agent draws enough extra tickets to cover most of their salary?  Brett Favre is a great example for the Vikings.  But say the Twins had signed Mark Texiera last season for 15 million per, how many more tickets would have been sold and revenue generated by that?  Is it not even measurable?  The Yankees reported that after trading for and extended A-Rod that they sold so many thousand season tickets in a week and that made the contract seem light.  What are your thoughts? 

That is a tough question. I mean, doesn’t Yankees Stadium sell out either way? Where are all these extra fans sitting? Whereas the Vikings have had trouble with blackouts in the past, and the signing of Favre means that should not be a problem again. My personal opinion is that the Twins would not have many more fans with Teixeira on the roster than they do now, so certainly they would not gain an extra $15 million by signing him.

From Topper Anton:

T or F: Nick Punto is the starting shortstop next year.

There is not a worse player in the American League. (Looking at VORP, only Aubrey Huff ranks lower than Punto.) I personally think that the Twins should release Punto and eat the $4 million or so that he is owed for 2010. The reality is that if he is around next year, Gardy will find a way to keep playing himself. That’s why the best thing to do would be to release him and protect Gardy from himself. That said, I will hope False, but I will say True.

From Topper Anton:

T or F: All 5 original starters from this year break camp in the rotation again for 2010.

From Dean:

T or F: True or false:  The Twins rotation for next year will include at least 4 of current starters (Liriano, Perkins, Slowey, Blackburn, & Baker)

Topper, False. Dean, True. I believe that to start the 2010 season, Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Francisco Liriano and Nick Blackburn should get another chance. That leaves the final starting spot open for a veteran, Glen Perkins, Anthony Swarzak, Kevin Mulvey, Jeff Manship or others.

From Brent:

T or F: The Twins rotating outfield of Cuddyer, Gomez, Span, and Young will stay in tact for the 2010 season.

Wow, that is a great question. I am going to say false. I think they need to do something. What? I’m not sure, and frankly, I don’t know that there is really a ‘right’ answer to this dilemma.

From Brent:

T or F: We will see Liriano working from the bullpen going forward.  It’s evident that he still has the stuff (and at rare times, domination) to make him an effective big league pitcher, however his apparent lack of sustained focus and control could have him much better suited for relief work.

False, but I do agree with your reasoning. I think that they need to shut him down for the year, and if he comes back this year, maybe he should be in the bullpen. But I do think that he’s got the stamina to start, and I think you have to give him one more shot. 

From Dean:

I would have thought improbable at the start of the year but are the Yankees going to win the World Series?

I would put their odds at 25% As you know, I believe that the playoffs are kind of a crap shoot. Eight teams make the playoffs, so I would put their odds of winning the World Series at 12.5% However, as they will likely win the AL East, they will probably play the AL Central champion in the first round. That means that they will be in the final four teams, which is why I put their odds at 25% 

From Rick:

Should the Twins acquire Jon Garland?

I’m all for a veteran innings eater, but I would rather have someone who pitches well for those innings. And, I would think the Twins could get two veteran innings eaters for Garland’s 2010 salary of $10 million.


Thursday – Hitter of the Day – Wilson Ramos, New Britain Rockcats

Thursday – Pitcher of the Day – Santos Arias, Ft. Myers Miracle


Thursday – Rochester 5, Pawtucket 3 – The Red Wings got two walks to start the top of the ninth, and those were followed by four runs on four hits to give the Red Wings the lead. Dustin Martin went 2-3 with a walk and his 23rd stolen base. Danny Valencia went 2-4. R.A. Dickey went six shutout innings before giving up two runs (1 earned)  in the 7th. Tim Lahey gave up a run on two hits in the 8th inning. With the lead, Anthony Slama got the ball and recorded his first AAA save with a perfect ninth.


Thursday – New Britain 7, Binghamton 2 – Deolis Guerra improved to 6-2 on this game. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on five hits. He walked none and struck out six. Spencer Steedley went the inal 2.1 innings, allowing no runs on two hits and a walk. Wilson Ramos went 3-4 with a walk. Brian Dinkelman hit his 36th double and his eighth home run. Steve Singleton was 2-4 with his eighth double. Whit Robbins went 1-2 with two walks.


Thursday – Ft. Myers 3, Charlotte 5 Santos Arias had another strong start. He went the first eight innings and gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked none and struck out four. Henry Arias gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in the 9th inning. Evan Bigley went 2-3 with his 22nd double. Alejandro Machado went 2-4.


Thursday – Beloit 5, Kane County 1 – Ramon Santana went 2-3 with a walk, his ninth home run and his sixth stolen base. Aaron Hicks went 2-3 with a walk and his sixth and seventh stolen bases. James Beresford  went 2-4 with his14th steal. Bruce Pugh started and went the first 4.2 innings. He gave up one unearned run on four hits. He walked three and struck out eight. Thomas Wright came in and went 2.1 innings in which he allowed only a walk. Winston Marquez and Steve Blevins each worked a scoreless inning.    


Thursday – Elizabethton, Pulaski – Postponed by Rain.  


Thursday – GCL Twins 2, GCL Red Sox 5 – Adrian Salcedo started and gave up three unearned runs on four hits in 6.2 innings. He walked none and struck out six. Nelvin Fuentes came in and got he final out of the 7th inning, but not until he allowed two more runs to score. Jhon Gonzalez struck out two in a perfect inning. Oswaldo Arcia went 2-4 with his second triple. The G-Twins managed just five hits.  

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


22 Responses to “Answering Questions”

  1. Joe August 21, 2009 at 6:41 am #

    Name 4 guys you would like to see go to the Arizona Fall League. I think you need to be in AA to qualify.

    David Bromberg with a promotion
    Tyler Robertson with a promotion
    Joe Benson with a promotion
    Rene Tosoni

    Bromberg and Robertson are no brainers. You can make a case for Mike McCardell. Carlos Gutierrez need the fall to rest. He has had his most strenuous season since he was a teenager when it comes to innings. Deolis Guerra I think will be heading back to Venezualla. Same goes for Wilson Ramos. Joe Benson broke his hand being a hot head and punching a concrete wall. But if you look at his OBP you can tell his patientce at the plate is great. It is over .400. He deserves to go to AZ to develop the power he has.

    Danny Valencia
    Chris Parmelee
    Jeff Manship
    Eric Lis
    Mike McCardell

  2. peterbb18 August 21, 2009 at 8:25 am #

    Punto is not the problem on this team. Every team needs a good utility man—he is just used the wrong way! The major problem(as we all know) is starting pitching where they have too many control type pitchers—-not enough zip on the ball. Some pitchers like Liriano don’t have the mental make-up for this. They have to just bust the ball in there.
    Probably the biggest problem is ownership(the sons)—-they just don’t have the will to win. A championship team was all set up 2 years ago, and they let the players go. Remember the richest franchise in baseball!

  3. gobbledygookguy August 21, 2009 at 8:33 am #

    it looks like the sept call-ups will just be re-treads like buscher, tolbert ….. instead of guys that could be starters down the road like valencia, tolleson and even plouffe. to me it would make more sense to give these new guys some at bats and a feel for the bigs, it might give them some incentive to work harder over the winter. we know what these other guys are and they aren’t the twins future.

  4. thrylos98 August 21, 2009 at 8:47 am #


    I would have to disagree with your answer about whether a $15 million dollar player can equal his contract by bringing up more fans to the stands.

    Here is the math:

    In 2004 each average Twins’ fan spent $100 in the Metrodome (tickets+food+goodies). This number for sure in higher in 2009 and will be higher in 2010 at Target field, but this is the data I have so I use it as a worse case scenario.

    If the $15M dollar player is a position player, to equal his salary in revenue, 1852 more fans need to come to each home game ($15M/$100/81). To double his salary in revenue, 3704 more fans need to come to a game.

    If the $15M dollar player is a starting pitcher to equal his salary in revenue, 8824 more fans need to come to each home game when he starts ($15M/$100/17). To double his salary in revenue, 17645 more fans need to come to his start.

    In other words, it is very doable with an every day player and close with a starting pitcher, if you consider that the single game record for the metrodome was 8/8/87 (and still holds) in Steve Carlton’s first home start with the Twins. Even though he was not successful, and it was a championship season, Carlton averaged close to 9000 more fans when he started.

    So it is very doable with one player, but it does not extend (i.e. if you sign 2 desirable players, you will not see additive effects, because at some point you will run out of seats to put those butts in).

    Not to consider other factors like jersey sales etc…

    • thrylos98 August 21, 2009 at 8:48 am #

      And one of these days I should not post before I had 2 cups of coffee. Sorry about not closing the tag. The link goes to the reference about the $100 per fan in the dome in ’04

  5. BB-STC August 21, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    Interesting read on Max Kepler.

  6. mike wants wins August 21, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    It doesn’t matter if Punto is the main problem. He’s a problem with this manager. Yes, there are other problems, no doubt. But, since he’s on the roster, a decision needs to be made what to do with him. Cutting him, or firing Gardy, are really your only two options if you don’t want him in 100+ games as a starter.

    As for the starters, I agree with Seth. My hope is they acquire one either as a FA or through trade. I’d expect it, actually. If they don’t, I’ll be accusing them of being cheap (rightly or wrongly).

    thrylos: that is a lot more fans, a lot. Also, I hope DY is finally making me look wrong (though his OBP makes me think otherwise so far).

  7. BB-STC August 21, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    Tonight is the Annual Twins Alumni game with the St. Cloud River Bats. Last year was a blast and you can get some autographs too. This years includes Corey Koskie, Terry Steinbach, Tony Oliva, Steve Lombardozzi, Al Newman, Juan Berenguer and other. For details and full roster go to

  8. ben August 21, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    Gardenhire was advocating bringing in Cabrera before the deadline. I think the ‘Gardy loves Punto’ is largely manufactured by bloggers. He didn’t play Punto over Bartlett. It’s not like there’s been a better option on this team. This year he’s mostly gotten playing time at the expense of Casilla and Tolbert. Not a huge deal.

    Lately he’s been getting playing time over Harris, but Harris hasn’t looked too good these days either.

    • Kunza August 21, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

      That is not true either! Gardenhire has Juan Castro around to steal AB’s away from Bartlett. Then Terry Ryan had to TRADE Castro to Cincy to get him out of the way so Bartlett could play…. BUT……… as we all know, it took one season for Gardenhire to figure out that he didn’t like Bartlett OR Garza, and wohla….. we have Delmon Young

      Gardenhire deserves no credit

  9. armadillo44 August 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    I agree that if Gardy has better middle infielders he’ll play them over Punto. True he likes Punto (and really any good defensive player) but had Casilla been playing all year at level he was last season, I think Punto would be in a utility role only right now.

    Here’s a though on the outfield situation. Tell Young that if he doesn’t want to be a 4th outfielder next year that he needs to learn to play second base. His current numbers would still look bad there compared to league average but would be an upgrade over Punto and Casilla. He’s played better lately and while I’ve given up on Young being an allstar, I do think he is better then the player we’ve seen most of the year. Obviously you can’t trade him (no value) and while Gomez hasn’t shown much more offensively, he is a huge asset roaming the outfield so they need to keep him out there. Second base could be the best case for Young and it’s not like the organization hasn’t tried similar things with Cuddyer. Should they go this route I would really want to see them bring in a better shortstop (JJ Hardey??) but I think it could be the best way to use Young.

  10. Matt August 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm #

    I don’t really think Punto is the problem. The problem is the Twins haven’t had decent infielders settle into their positions for several years. So then Gardy sees Punto as the solution. Rather than release Punto and eat the salary (which has no chance of happening), I’d like to see the Twins find decent players to man 2B and SS and hope Valencia can handle 3B. Then Punto’s playing time will decline.

  11. mike wants wins August 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    Why can’t you trade him? he’s going to cost waaaaaaay more than any other 4th OFer they would have next year (note, I don’t know if they shold trade him or not, but saying you can’t trade him makes no sense. He’ll earn over $1.5MM next year, compared to $400K for other options).

  12. peterb18 August 21, 2009 at 3:19 pm #


    Exactly—–I see it the same way, and I would like your opinion on the starting pitching. See, I think there is too much coaching in trying to make them all the same–a control pitcher. Some aren’t suited to this, like Liriano. When you take too much off the ball you lose some of the movement! Everybody can’t be like Slowey. What about the kid in AA(from the Mets trade)? Soon as the Twins got ahold of him; he went from 95 to 90.

  13. armadillo44 August 21, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    I didn’t mean to state that it would be impossible to trade Young (obviously anyone can be traded), but with the sorry numbers he’s put up the last few years I have a hard time imagining that the Twins would get anyone back for Young. Like MWW said he’ll cost way more then most other 4th outfielders and other teams know that as well. If the Twins can find a taker, great but I think they tried that last year with no luck and so we may be stuck with him.

    So if Young remains on the team then trying him at second could…
    A) get Young and Gomez consistent at bats
    B) keep Punto out of the starting line-up
    C) Elliminate Young’s erratic routs to fly balls

    Of course if Gardy wasn’t happy with Harris’ defense at 2nd so there’s probably a good chance that Young’s wouldn’t be any better.

  14. mike wants wind August 21, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    Young will never be a 2nd baseman. Sorry.

    One of the ESPN baseball chatters said the Twins have been trying to trade him for a year, with no takers at all.

  15. tv August 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm #

    True or False:
    Had the Twins not traded Garza/Bartlett for Young/Harris they would be in first place.

    • thrylos98 August 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm #


      With Gardy at the helm, Garza would be in Rochester and Bartlett behind Punto on the bench.

  16. mike wants wind August 21, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    They didn’t want Garza to use his best pitch as much as he wanted. TB told to use it more.

  17. mike wants wins August 21, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    told him…hahaha, I just noticed my name says wind….funny.

  18. Adam Peterson August 22, 2009 at 6:45 am #

    Regarding the Yankees playing the AL Central champ…that’s only going to happen if Boston or Tampa wins the wild card. If Texas pulls it out, then the AL East champ would play Texas, as the Angels wouldn’t play first round within their own division.

  19. scott August 23, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    What is your take on Orlando Cabrera? It seems like since the trade Gomez and Casilla have played a lot better. Is having him around rubbing off on the guys. Do you think they have played harder since he got here.

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