Twins Win Again

16 Sep

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On Wednesday afternoon, the Twins completed a three game sweep of the Cleveland Indians with a 7-3 win. Michael Cuddyer drove in a run in the 1st inning, 5th inning and 7th inning on a single, a home run and a double to lead the way. Joe Mauer went 2-3 with a walk and drove in two runs. Nick Blackburn got the start and the win. He gave up two runs in the 7th inning after six shutout innings. Joe Nathan recorded his 41st save by getting the final two outs. The win temporarily cut the Twins deficit in the AL Central. 

  • Joe Mauer, in his last four games, has gone 10-13 with three walks. It has raised his batting average from .363 to .374.
  • In his last four games, Michael Cuddyer has gone 8-16 with two doubles and two home runs.
  • Are we able to say, yet, that Jose Morales is the team’s backup catcher? In this game, he went 2-3 with two doubles.
  • Matt Tolbert is apparently now the team’s 3B. But he went 2-4 in the game and plays a solid defense. In his last four games, he is 6-12.
  • The Tigers beat the Royals 4-3 on Wednesday night to put their lead back to 4.5 games over the Twins.

World Cup Update:

  • Wednesday
    • Nelvin Fuentes walked one and struck out one batter in his appearance for Puerto Rico.
    • Rene Tosoni went 2-4 with a double for Canada.

If you have any opinions, comments or updates, please leave them in the Comments section.


16 Responses to “Twins Win Again”

  1. roger September 17, 2009 at 6:14 am #

    Seth, We all know that Tolbert struggled the first part of the season with the Twins. But like Buscher, young players spending a lot of time on the bench will struggle. After getting regular at bats with Rochester, Tolbert hit very well and I suspect he will continue to hit well the next couple weeks. I also believe he should be a part of the Twins next year.

  2. dave September 17, 2009 at 7:00 am #

    Agree with Roger completely. BTW: Valencia is not on the 40 man roster, I read. So…? Does that mean he can’t play in the month of September, or there is some kind of exposure/risk if he does, or what?

  3. mike wants wins September 17, 2009 at 8:13 am #

    Buscher isn’t young.

    Nope, Dave, that is just an excuse. He has to be placed on the 40 man roster in November. Other than money (or them thinking he isn’t ready to be the 3B – meaning why would they think he’ll be ready next year), there is no reason not to add him at this point. It does nothing in terms of risking losing him. Money or talent.

  4. TT September 17, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    Dave –

    Until Morneau was out for the season, the Twins didn’t have any open roster spots. They could open a spot now by moving Morneau to the 60 day DL.

    I think the real reason Valencia isn’t up is that the Twins don’t think he would help. Tolbert is almost certainly a better defender and he hit almost 50 points better than Valencia the last couple months at AAA. I think it is highly doubtful the Twins are looking at Valencia as their third baseman next year. I think that is a blogsphere notion.

    He only needs to be protected this winter if some other team would claim him as a Rule 5 pick. I am not sure that is as likely as some think. His defense is suspect and his bat is not that great. Of course, I suppose the same could be said of Luke Hughes and they protected him last year.

    In terms of money, the cost is a pro-rated minimum major league salary. They could afford to call up Justin Huber, they can afford to call up Valencia.

  5. mike wants wins September 17, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    TT: I have no doubt he’d be claimed.

    As for starting next year, if he’s not, and they keep bad mouthing Hughes (though that somehow got flipped by Gardy this week), they better go out and find someone they believe in. Otherwise they are just saying (to us and Mauer) that 3B isn’t all that important.

  6. Topper September 17, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    I agree with TT completely that Valencia’s defense is suspect at this point, and I don’t think a short stint in Minnesota where he will most likely struggle (and get in Gardy’s doghouse) is a good idea at this point. I’d like him to get a fair shake for next year though, but his defense might not be ready by then either.

    The biggest surprise to me is Brock Peterson, who should be an adequate defender at 1B and at least a valuable bench bat/alternate to Cuddy starting at 1B.

  7. mike wants wins September 17, 2009 at 10:42 am #

    How will he be more ready in Feb/Mar of next year than he is now? I don’t get that.

  8. Dave September 17, 2009 at 11:50 am #

    Thanks to all. BTW, Part Two. In his “2009 Red Wings in Review,” Jim Mandelaro just about obliterated every prospect on the Rochester roster, concluding “The 2009 Red Wings were below average and quite forgettable.” Were they THAT bad?

  9. TT September 17, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    “Were they THAT bad?”

    No. Mandelero is a home town fan who wants to win now. He loves career AAA players who give the team a chance to do that. They are usually good clubhouse guys willing to give a reporters a story.

    He doesn’t have much patience with player development. The comment about Valencia being the only prospect on the team is telling. For instance, you might have noticed that Brian Duensing has been doing pretty well in the major league rotation. That makes him a prospect. Swarzak and Plouffe are both good prospects and Manship may turn out to be decent as well. I wonder how many of those passed balls were knucklers from Dickey.

    “The biggest surprise to me is Brock Peterson, who should be an adequate defender at 1B and at least a valuable bench bat/alternate to Cuddy starting at 1B.”

    I think Brock Peterson is a roster issue. I seem to remember there being a rule that prevents them from removing him from the roster later if they add him now. That would mean leaving a prospect unprotected in the Rule 5 draft.

    • Topper September 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

      Is this still true if he’s a filler for someone on the 60-day DL?

      • rosterman September 17, 2009 at 9:26 pm #

        Rochester had an overabundance of AAA guys this season. Like alst season, it didn’t wrk out.

        And last season, I seem to remember a cry going out about why young prospects weren’t advanced from New Britain.

        Maybe the Twins should pretty much have an all-prospect team next season, think they can do it and just ave 2 or so roster spots for free agent signees (plus demoted guys from the 40-man).

        I would think that if someone like Valencia was truly a prospect, just sitting on the bench and batting a few times would be betetr than not being here in September. I’m sure Gabino will be lucky if he pitches another inning or two, unless the Twins really tank. I mean, with Tolbert playing third (and Harris in the wings) ad Cuddyer at first (with Huber in the wings, or Tolbert or Harris)…why Buscher?

        Bring up someone who ahs a future with the team.

    • TT September 19, 2009 at 7:00 am #

      I don’t remember the details. I am not even certain my memory is correct.

  10. mike wants wins September 17, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    Mandelero does have a small blind spot for long term AAA guys, but I don’t know how anyone can say Rochester was good this year.

    Their defense was pretty bad all year.

    Outside of pitchers, they had almost no one that could come up to MN and help the team this year in a meaningful way.

    That doesn’t mean that some of those prospects (Plouffe among them) can’t be good some day. But, that team was bad this year.

  11. TT September 17, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    Rochester had a 70-74 record so they were not a good team. But they were not that bad either.

  12. Dave September 17, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    Unless Detroit forfeits the rest of the season, why we will inevitably lose. [From Joe Christensen]

    Francisco Liriano warmed up in the late innings Tuesday and Wednesday, and while he wasn’t summoned either time, his chance could be coming.

    Gardenhire said he would have turned to Liriano in the eighth inning of Wednesday’ 7-3 victory if the lefthanded-hitting Michael Brantley had come to the plate.

    Since Liriano is used to starting, the Twins want to give him enough time to get loose, but Gardenhire noted that the phone rang saying Liriano was ready “quicker than it did for other relievers. So he’s anxious to get out there, I think. He feels really good; I’m not afraid to stick him out there. We’re going to throw everything we can to stop them.”

  13. TT September 17, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    One other thing, Rochester was a pretty young team. Of the top 100 players in plate appearances, Plouffe was the 4th youngest player and Winfree was 6th youngest.

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