Game Notes

26 Aug

Alright, I missed a day, so today I will be catching up on game updates. There will be a few other notes as well. It was a nice win for the Twins, their fifth in a row. If there are any Twins topics you would like to discuss or have me write about, please feel free to e-mail me, or leave some comments and get plenty of opinions.


The Twins beat the Baltimore Orioles in the first two games of this current three game series. On Monday night, Scott Baker pitched the Twins to a 2-1 win. Last night wasn’t as crisp a game, but the Twins came away with the 7-6 win when Delmon Young inside-outted an inside pitch for a run scoring single to right field. The Twins remain 4.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.

  • On Monday night, leadoff man extraordinaire Denard Span went 2-2 with two walks. He is 15-36 (.417) over his last eight games. He has had multiple hits in six of those eight games.
  • Joe Mauer was 1-5 on Tuesday night. He is now 6-27 (.222) over his last seven games. He still leads the AL in batting average with a .372 average. Ichiro is sitting at .359. Ichiro is currently suffering from a sore calf. He did not play Monday or Tuesday night, and manager Don Wakamatsu said he will not play on Wednesday.
  • Alexi Casilla has gone 9-17 (.529) over his past five games to raise his average to .209. Just a couple of points to go to surpass Nick Punto (.211). Not only is he hitting, but his defense has been very good.
  • With the win, Scott Baker improved to 12-7 with a 4.47 ERA on the season. On May 29th, he was 2-6 with a 6.32 ERA. Since then, he has gone 10-1 with a 3.50 ERA.
  • Armando Gabino made his major league debut last night and after a scoreless, quick first inning, Gabino struggled. He was pulled with two outs in the top of the 3rd inning. He had allowed four runs on five hits and three walks. Despite the poor outing, I thought that Gabino showed signs of what has made him very good at Rochester this year. He has a decent fastball, and I was impressed by the slider as well. I think that he can be a solid big league pitcher. He typically does not walk hitters, and I think some of that can be easily attributed to nerves once the O’s bats did get to him in the 2nd inning. Now, that said, he has only made a handful of starts  in Rochester this year, so my opinion is that Jeff Manship, not Gabino, should be making starts. Gabino does deserve to be on this Twins team though. Probably in long relief, and preferably in the spot of Philip Humber.
  • After the game, LaVelle tweeted “Not Good. MRI showed post-operative changes in Crede’s back. Will consult with the doctor who operated on him last year.” How can you read/hear something like that and not put him on the Disabled List? That said, how much would you want to bet that instead of calling up Danny Valencia to replace Crede, They would likely bring back either Brian Buscher or Matt Tolbert instead.


Monday – Hitter of the Day – Tobias Streich, Elizabethton Twins

Monday – Pitcher of the Day – Yohan Pino, Rochester Red Wings

Tuesday – Hitter of the Day – Jonathan Goncalves, Elizabethton Twins

Tuesday – Pitcher of the Day – Jhon Garcia, Elizabethton Twins

AFL rosters are set –  On Monday, I made my guesses for who the Twins would be sending to the Arizona Fall league. Well, it came out on Monday night, and I had four out of seven correct. I was right about Alex Burnett, Steve Singleton, Mike McCardell and Rene Tosoni. Teams are now allowed to send up to two players who have not yet reached AA, so the Twins are sending both Chris Parmelee and Steve Hirschfeld. The other player going will be lefty reliever Spencer Steedley.


Monday – Rochester 2, Norfolk 1 – Justin Huber doubled in the game-tying run in the 9th. A few batters later, Danny Valencia hit a hard liner toward the SS who booted the ball for an error that allowed Trevor Plouffe with the winning run. The Red Wings had just three hits in the game. Yohan Pino was excellent yet again. The righty went eight innings and gave up just one run. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out five. Juan Morillo walked two and struck out one in a scoreless ninth frame.

Tuesday – Rochester 5, Norfolk 12 – Someone reported to me that on Monday, Anthony Swarzak didn’t look like he wanted to be back in Rochester. On Tuesday, he pitched as though he didn’t necessarily want to be back in Minnesota either. He gave up six runs on ten hits and a walk in six inning. He struck out just one. Tim Lahey followed and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in one inning. Jason Jones gave up four runs on six hits and a walk in his two innings. Matt Tolbert went 2-4 with his sixth triple. Dustin Martin was 2-4 with his 14th stolen base and 25th stolen base. Jason Pridie hit his seventh home run.   


Monday – New Britain 6, Reading 3 – Ryan Mullins scattered 12 hits over 6.1 innings. He somehow gave up just three runs. He walked one and struck out three. Kyle Waldrop struck out three in two scoreless innings. Spencer Steedley struck out the lone batter he faced. Loek Van Mil threw recorded what he told me was a “cheap save, one pitch, one out.” Erik Lis hit his 16th home run. Juan Portes was 1-2 with two walks.

Tuesday – New Britain 4, Connecticut 5 – Deolis Guerra started and gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk. Carlos Gutierrez struck out two in two perfect innings. Erik Lis went 2-3 with a walk. Brian Dinkelman was also 2-3.


Monday – Ft. Myers 2, St. Lucie 12 David Bromberg lost for just the third time this season. He went six innings and gave up two runs on three hits. He walked four and struck out seven. Michael Allen came in and gave up three runs (1 earned) on three hits and two walks in one inning. Henry Arias then gave up five runs on three hits and two walks in his inning. Matt Williams gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits and a walk in his inning. Ben Revere went 2-4 with a walk and his 41st stolen base. Estarlin de Los Santos went 2-5 with his 11th stolen base. Jair Fernandez was 2-4.  

Tuesday – Ft. Myers, St. Lucie – Postponed by Rain.


Monday – Beloit 3, Kane County 4 Winston Marquez made his first start in almost two years, and he was quite impressive. He threw four shutout innings, allowing just one hit. He walked three and struck out seven. Dan Berlind gave up two runs on two hits and three walks in two innings. Brad Stillings gave up an unearned run on two hits and two walks in two innings. Steve Blevins pitched a scoreless ninth, but he gave up the winnings run with one out in the 10th inning. James Beresford went 3-5 with two RBI. Aaron Hicks was 2-5 with his 12th double.

Tuesday – Beloit 4, Kane County 6 Bruce Pugh started and went five innings. He gave up three runs (2 earned) on three this. He walked five and struck out six. Kyle Carr then gave up three unearned on three hits in two innings. Billy Bullock threw a scoreless inning. Aaron Hicks hit his third home run of the year. James Beresford went 2-5 with his tenth double. Dominic de La Osa, Angel Morales and Ozzie Lewis each went 2-4. De La Osa hit his ninth double.  


Monday – Elizabethton 12, Greeneville 5 (15 innings) – After about nine middle innings of great pitching, the E-Twins exploded for seven runs in the top of the 15th to make it look like a blowout. Tobias Streich led the offense. He went 3-7 with his 11th double, ninth home run and four RBI. Brian Dozier went 3-6 with a walk. Paul-Michael Klingsberg was 2-5 with a walk and his second homer. Chris Herrmann went 2-6 with a walk and his 14th double. Miguel Munoz gave up five runs over the first 5.1 innings. He allowed six hits, walked one and struck out five. Ramon Acosta and Dakota Watts each threw 1.2 scoreless innings. (Watts walked four) Tony Davis then threw 3.1 shutout innings, despite five walks. Peter Kennelly gets the win after throwing three innings of one hit ball.

Tuesday – Elizabethton 10, Greeneville 4 – The E-Twins bats were out again and nearly every hitter contributed. Jonathan Goncalves went 4-5 with his seventh double and four RBI. Michael Gonzalez went 2-5 with a walk and his seventh homer. Anderson Hidalgo went 2-4 with a walk and his sixth home run. Brian Dozier, Josmil Pinto, Dan Rohlfing and Derek McCallum each had two hits. Steve Liddle went 0-2 but walked four times.     


Monday – GCL Twins 5, GCL Reds 1 Blayne Weller improved to 4-1 with six strong innings. He gave up only an unearned run on three hits. He walked none and struck out eight. Zach See pitched well again, striking out three in two one-hit innings. Jose Gonzalez pitched a perfect inning. In Kyun Kang went 2-3 with a walk. Oswaldo Arcia went 2-5 with his fifth home run.

Tuesday – GCL Twins 5, GCL Red Sox 4 Eliecer Cardenas started and gave up two runs on six hits and a walk in three innings. Oswaldo Sosa then gave up an unearned run on two hits and a walk in two innings. Nelvin Fuentes struck out two in two shutout innings. Andrei Lobanov blew the save by giving up an unearned run over two innings, but he also got the Win. He walked one and struck out three. That may seem like a throw-away sentence, but that was the first walk that Lobanov has thrown this season. In 22 innings now, he has walked one and struck out 35. Hyeong-rok Choi went 2-3 with a walk and his sixth double. Jairo Perez went 2-4 with his sixth double. Matej Hejma went 2-4 with his fifth double.  

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


28 Responses to “Game Notes”

  1. Travis August 26, 2009 at 3:50 am #

    at this point is the long term health of Joe Crede. I got to the point a while ago of knowing that he wasn’t going to help the team much more thisw year I just worry about his long term health. He seems like a really good guy and I sincerely hope he doesn’t have to go under the knife again. If he does maybe he should call it a career so he can be pain free to spend time with his kids. If he is done I still think he was a good signing as he gave more time for Danny Valencia to develop and gave him time to get ready to take over 3rd base

  2. brad August 26, 2009 at 7:58 am #

    Isn’t Crede fairly close to some incentives that were pretty much a guarantee a month ago? If I’m the Twins I hold out until Monday and bring up Valencia, in the meantime bring up Plouffe to play SS.

  3. gobbledygookguy August 26, 2009 at 8:09 am #

    chances of valencia coming up, imo about 0. he is a top prospect we couldn’t trade but yet instead of giving him some exp this fall we’ll get the gardy boys buscher or tolbert. if he is the future wouldn’t it be wise to give him a taste of what’s coming see how he does and what he may need to work on?
    let’s hope dy keeps hitting so he has some trade value this winter.

  4. TT August 26, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    I don’t know why they would move someone in order to provide a roster spot for Valencia. He still isn’t hitting AAA pitching all that well since his hot start – .261 since the allstar break. Tolbert has hit .317 over that same period. Buscher is in an 0-15 slump over the past week.

    I wonder what people think of the Twins choices for the Arizona League – Tosoni, Parmalee, Singleton, Burnett, McCardell, Steedley and Hirschfield. All of them played part of the year at Fort Myers. That seems like a lot younger group than the Twins normally send to Arizona. I suspect some of the older prospects, like Valencia and Tolleson, will be encouraged to play winter ball in Venezuela.

  5. Alan Harrer August 26, 2009 at 8:58 am #

    The Twins are really hurting for a 4th and 5th starter. It seems like for the last month they could go to a four man rotation. Four man rotations were quite common in the past.
    That would give them a fighting chance coming down the stretch, plus provide some encouragement for the rest of the team. With an extra arm in the pen guys would not have to go quite so high on their pitch counts. They could go to the pen earlier. To make the pen better they need to bring up Slama, Morillo, and keep Gabino for the pen. Send down Humber and Keppel. Thoughts?

  6. dave August 26, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    Tolbert is hot, Twins inevitably hold up virtually all of their top prospects a minimum of one to two years, so little doubt who will get called up. Humber was wild, but with a decent fastball and a terrific curve I don’t understand why people are so eager to give up on him. (And, of course, Gardy gave him THE STARE last night, providing Humber with that needed boost of confidence a young pitcher needs.) My question is how far removed from the major leagues is Carlos Gutierrez and is Martin really only a Triple A outfielder?

  7. Seth August 26, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    Dave – THE STARE, as you put it, will be part of the subject of a future (hopefully soon) blog posting. I really was impressed by his curveball. I really do think Humber could be OK (at best, maybe), IF he can gain any control of those pitches. It’s there.

    Gutierrez should start (as a starter) again next year in New Britain and see how that goes. he fought through some dead arm time when he moved to the Rockcats bullpen, as you would expect. Best case, he could be up by the end of 2010, that’s probably pushing it a little.

    Dustin Martin may only be a AAA outfielder. I mean, after a very good 2008 in AA and a solid performance in both the AFL and this spring, he looked like a guy who could play a little bit. But reality set in pretty quickly for him That’s not to say he’s not a big league fourth or fifth outfielder. He certainly could be, but I don’t see him as a great starting OF option.

    Four Man Rotation – it sounds great, but how do we know how Baker, Blackburn, Pavano and Duensing would respond to that? Understandably, these guys are pretty programmed into a routine to get them through a full season, and altering that at this point could be worse both short-term and long term. I understand the though, but especially worry about the long term effects, and I don’t think at this stage there would be value in doing that. Others may certainly disagree.

    I’m good with the guys being sent to the AFL. As I pointed out, I thought Tosoni, Singleton, McCardell and Burnett would go. All very deserving and still enough in that prospect status. I think that Steedley is a good guy to send there and give him innings, exposure, and see where he’s at. Hirschfeld has been terrific at Ft. Myers this year, as he was last year in the Midwest League. Parmelee has had a very good year at Ft. Myers. But to your point, there are players that have less experience playing, and really, Tosoni and Parmelee are the two that you could actually consider Top Ten types of prospects. I think Singleton has a chance to surprise a lot of people and am just excited to see what some of these other guys do.

    Your other point, maybe they do encourage Dinkelman, Valencia or Tolleson to go to Venezuela. Valencia and Tolleson went to the AFL last year, and I’m comfortable with them not going again.

    And I completely agree with Travis. Too many times we forget that although baseball is a great career, it is their jobs and it is just a part of their lives. The bigger picture is that Joe Crede has (I believe) three kids, and we can only hope that he is able to play with them and be mobile as they grow up.

    • TT August 26, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

      Seth –

      I agree on Singleton. If he can play shortstop he definitely has a chance. If he is a second baseman, not so much. It sounded like they originally expected his bat to be closer to the AA version than the A-ball version, so that would be a good sign.

      On the four man rotation. Skipping someone when there is a day off to let Baker and Pavano stay on schedule probably makes sense. I am not sure there is much difference between the rest of the rotation (including whoever you want to stick in the number five spot) although I suppose we should give Blackburn the benefit of the doubt after his last outing.

  8. mike wants wins August 26, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    Big shock Gardy wasn’t too good about encouraging Humber. I’m struggling to remember a time when Gardy was good at encouraging a young player….remember Bartlett?

    Nice they keep winning. Hope they keep it up, and make the rest of the year interesting.

    No excuse for anyone other than Valencia to come up at this point, at least no good excuse. That said, I’d predict Buscher or Tolbert also.

    • ScottyB August 26, 2009 at 10:55 am #


      The excuse they will use is that Valencia isn’t on the 40-man roster. With talk of Bonser coming back in September, that would be 2 spots they would have to clear. Personally, I’d rather see Hughes given a chance than Buscher or Tolbert. At least he’s on the 40-man, so there’s no excuse there. Throw him to the lions, he can’t be any worse than Buscher or Tolbert, and he has the ability to play both infield and outfield (although not great defensively).

    • ben August 26, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

      I love the simultaneous criticism of Gardenhire here for favoring Tolbert and Buscher and for not encouraging young players.

      And after Casilla has forced Punto onto the bench, I suppose the second Punto picks up a bat we’ll be complaining that Gardy ALWAYS plays Punto and we need to “protect him from himself”.

      • thrylos98 August 26, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

        Last time I checked, Buscher is 28 (Harris’ age) and Tolbert 27 (Kubel’s age). They are not young, just inexperienced and for a good reason. They are in their primes (a scary thought)

      • ben August 26, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

        Philip Gregory Humber, born December 21, 1982

  9. roger August 26, 2009 at 11:50 am #

    Seth, I expect we will see Valencia either after the 1st of the month or after the Red Wings season ends. Expect we will see Morales on the 1st with a catcher moving form New Britain to Rochester for the last week of their season.

    Valencia needs to be added to the roster by November, makes sense to do it a few months early and get a look. Also, expect to see Tolbert brought back as he is hitting very well once he got a few at bats under his belt. Lets be honest, the guy so no regular playing time with the Twins and a young player cannot be expected to hit well when he gets a handful of at bats each week.

    Like the players going to AFL, and honestly believe that Hirschfield has a huge upside.

  10. TT August 26, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    “makes sense to do it a few months early and get a look.”

    Who do you release to make room for him? You can release Humber or Keppel or Dickey or … but all of those are people who may actually still contribute this year. If the Twins call up Valencia it will indicate they are ready to give up on this season. He has done nothing at AAA to indicate he is ready to contribute at the major league level.

    • Kunza August 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

      Didn’t Denard Span do about the same things in his minor league career? I think you’re thoughts are a little dillusional! Give the kid a chance.

      • TT August 26, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

        Span’s numbers at AAA last year: .340 .434 .481 in 184 plate appearances. So the answer is no, Span didn’t do the same things. He actually started to hit during the 2008 season but his overall numbers were dragged down by a slow start. Thats the exact opposite of what has happened with Valencia, whose hot start masks his mediocre to bad results since.

    • thrylos98 August 26, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

      Valencia’s line at AAA this season: .296/.319/.460
      Buscher’s line at AAA this season: .211/.286/.263

      Who “has done nothing”, again?

      • Brad August 26, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

        Why would you call up guys that have consistently failed in the bigs? If Valencia is our most MLB ready prospect he deserves a chance to help out the big club!

      • TT August 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

        Valencia has somewhere around 250 plate appearances at AAA this year and is hitting .261 .291 .399 post allstar break.

        Buscher AAA Numbers: .299 .375 .479 in 453 plate appearances and he hit around .300 in two different seasons before this year. I think you can make way too much of 65 plate appearances this year.

        I expect the Twins to protect Valencia, just as they did Hughes last year. But I don’t really expect that he will ever make a significant contribution at the major league level. Same with Hughes. The Twins would be stupid to throw away Humber or Dickey just to give Valencia some at bats in September. Especially when they already have Harris who is a better option if they want to make the playoffs.

    • roger August 26, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

      I expect that there is no one in Minnesota that does not believe that Valencia will be added to the 40-man roster by November…at least no one who cares about the Twins. My point is that he may be the best option we have at third base with Crede out, right now today. Bringing him up and letting him prove it certainly doesn’t mean they are throwing in the towel on the season. I believe it is the opposite and may give them some help at third base. As to who do you release…Dickey or Humber work for me. I really like what Humber throws, but like Shooter Hunt, sometime you gotta do it in a game.

  11. Richard August 26, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Why hasn’t Crede been placed on the DL yet. They are once playing again with a bat short on their roster. Valencia needs to be given a shot. He is a very streaky hitter but in the end has always averaged out right around .300 his entire minor league career. I will take a .300 hitter in my lineup anytime.

  12. TT August 26, 2009 at 7:45 pm #

    “He is a very streaky hitter but in the end has always averaged out right around .300 his entire minor league career.”

    With the emphasis on minor league. He has been old for every league has played in. He’s not even young for AAA – he’s essentially the same age as Denard Span and Alex Casilla. Casilla hit .340 this year while he was at AAA and Span put up similar numbers at AAA last year.

    “I will take a .300 hitter in my lineup anytime.”

    Valencia is not going to hit .300 any more than Tolbert is.

  13. Matt August 27, 2009 at 5:43 am #

    In Twins country, Bill Smith is frequently ripped for the Santana trade. But looking at it from the Mets end of the deal, they can’t be happy either. Santana has pitched well, but he couldn’t get them over the hump and into the post-season. Now they are a below .500 team and have to be concerned about Sanatana’s long term health. When you get into those 9 digit contracts, anything short of a World Series appearance has to be considered a disappointment. As for the players the Twins got in return, Guerra and Gomez alone are better than two draft picks.

    • TT August 27, 2009 at 8:47 am #

      On the draft picks you are exactly right. Only about 50% of the first round choices even make it to the big leagues. By that standard, Phil Humber is already a first round success. After the first round, the odds of even that limited success drop. And there is no guarantee Santana would have returned even one first round choice. It could have been a supplementary first round choice and a high second round choice. In any case, even one of the draft choices ever appearing in the major leagues would beat the odds.

      • TT August 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm #

        “In any case, even one of the draft choices ever appearing in the major leagues would beat the odds.”

        That was a brain cramp, its not true. If the chances are 50-50 for each player then the chances both will fail are only 1 in 4.

  14. Sean August 27, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    Kevin Mulvey is really close? Close to what? Being out of Baseball? The guy at best is a 5th starter in the majors and hasn’t shown that he is even that. When he looks in the mirror I see Phil Humber.
    Garlos Gomez is close? He might be the best defensive outfielder in the game which means he should start even with his horrendous offensive numbers. Why? Because Ben Revere isn’t ready and the Twins have nobody else.


  1. The Santana Situation « - August 27, 2009

    […] you have an questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me, or leave some comments […]

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