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Gleeman, Stankevitz Star on Tuesday’s Podcast

8 Dec

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NOTE – Wednesday night, the guest will be 1500espn’s Phil Mackey, live from the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The show is currently scheduled to start at 10:00, but be sure to check back as we might start earlier, especially if the Twins make any moves. If so, Fanatic Jack will be one of the guests, as he normally podcasts on Wednesday night but has decided not to have his normally scheduled show. This is still to be determined, so check back here to see if the show will start at 9:00 or 10:00. Mackey will be on the show starting at 10.  

The Winter Meetings have past its midpoint. As usual, there have been more rumors than transactions. It does appear that the league’s decision to push forward many of the offseason dates has created much more discussions about players than in many years in the past. Despite the lack of Twins transactions, there are plenty of Twins topics to discuss.  At 10:00 last night (and through Thursday night), I will continue hosting a nightly Twins Winter Meetings podcast with guests to discuss what we are hearing and where we go from there. Last night was the weekly Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast, so it was a full hour show. It was a good, thorough show and the guests were JJ Stankevitz, the White Sox blogger for, and Aaron Gleeman of Aaron’s Baseball Blog, Hardball Talk and many other gigs. You can listen to the podcast of last night’s show by clicking here.

(Note – On Sunday night, we started the Winter Meetings podcasts with guests Jim Crikket of Knuckleballs and John Bonnes of TwinsCentric and The Twins Geek. On Monday night, TwinCentric’s Nick Nelson of Nick’s Twins Blog was the guest. On By the way, if you would like to listen to the most recent Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast, with guest Danny Valencia, click here.)

The Twins have tried to stay under the radar, as they typically do, through the Winter Meetings so far. However, they have a lot of balls up in the air right now. Tonight we will discuss many Twins topics including the following potential cycles of events:

  • Carl Pavano – The Twins clearly are interested in bringing Pavano back to their roster, but only at a price and for a length of time that makes sense. The Twins likely wouldn’t finalize any other transactions with big league starting pitchers until the Pavano situation is resolved. If he signs elsewhere, the Twins could move forward with the idea of bringing in a starter via trade or free agency. If he stays with the Twins, it is possible that the Twins would deal one of their current starters. However, Pavano would be wise to wait until Cliff Lee signs because some of the teams that don’t get Lee could target Pavano.
  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka – The Twins have until December 26 to sign the 26-year-old middle infielder from Japan, but I assume they would love to get the deal done quickly. Why? Because signing Nishioka may be the catalyst to ending all of the JJ Hardy discussions. Whether or not we agree with moving Hardy and trusting Nishioka and Casilla to the Twins middle infield, it does appear that either he is being shopped or other teams are asking about his availability.
  • Bullpen – With LaVelle’s note yesterday that neither Nishioka or his wife speak any English, if he is signed, the Twins will have to invest in someone to help them with their transition. Of course, they could just hire a translator for on the field and in the clubhouse, but they could also sign someone like Hideki Okajima or, as Parker wrote early today, Koji Uehara (who may be near a deal to return to the Orioles).
  • Bullpen (Part II) – Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier are free agent relievers with several teams interested in their services. Crain likely priced himself out of the Twins budget, but it’s possible one or both of them could decide to return. Based on those decisions, the Twins will need to determine which minor leaguers they believe are ready to contribute, and they will have to add some depth.

Add to all of those decisions, the Rule 5 draft will take place at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, and that all of the Twins front office will have meetings throughout the week. There are a lot of things up in the air right now, but as a few of them gain some resolution, the Twins will fill in quickly.

And again, if you would, I’d love to hear your feedback on the podcasts. What do you like? Not Like? What would you like to hear on the shows? Whatever you like. Please feel free to e-mail me.

And, in the Comments section, please feel free to consider it an Open Thread of Twins and Baseball discussion for the day! (again, be nice, and be respectful, please)


Winter Meetings Podcasts

7 Dec

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The Winter Meetings podcasts continued last night with a very good show. Nick Nelson of Nick’s Twins Blog and TwinsCentric was the guest, and we spent a half-hour discussing lots of Twins-related, Winter Meetings topics. We discussed Tsuyoshi Nishioka, JJ Hardy, Carl Pavano, Jim Thome, Jesse Crain, Koji Uehara, Brandon Webb and many more players. We discussed the dollars and years that the early-signing free agents have received, and whether it is a trend, or just guys capitalizing early? What does it all mean for the Twins? If you haven’t listened to the podcasts in the past for some reason, why not start now? It’s simple, just click here.

And then if you are able to tonight, at 10:00 central time, I’ll be hosting the normally-scheduled Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast but there will be a definite Winter Meetings slant to it. Aaron Gleeman (of Aaron’s Baseball Blog and Hardball Talk and many other sites) will come on during the show to talk about the day’s news and topics, so it should be a lot of fun. I will try to get one or two other guests as well, so please check it out.

And again, if you would, I’d love to hear your feedback on the podcasts. What do you like? Not Like? What would you like to hear on the shows? Whatever you like. Please feel free to e-mail me.

And, in the Comments section, please feel free to consider it an Open Thread of Twins and Baseball discussion for the day! (again, be nice, and be respectful, please)

I Like This Top 10 List!

10 Mar

I got an e-mail this morning from Bob Ingrassia (he built newsbobber and now works for Minnesota Public Radio) saying that he has posted his list of the Top Twins blogs with brief summaries of the Top 10. I’m grateful to have made the list since there are no fewer than 60 Twins blogs. See where I, and other Twins bloggers, ranked on this list. If there are any that you don’t check out and have bookmarked, it’s also a nice reference for you. Thanks to Bob and to all of the readers. Please feel free to discuss or add other Twins blogs to the list. If you want rank your own Top 10 or Top 60, cool. Leave your comments here.

Pitchers and Catchers Report

21 Feb

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The words we have been waiting for over five months to hear. The Twins are among the last teams to report, but Sunday was reporting day for the Twins. So, spring training is upon us. The Twins hitters will be reporting by the end of the week.

I thought it would be fun to take a look back to the end of last season and see what has happened. Of course, just an hour after the conclusion of the Twins/Yankees ALDS series, the TwinsCentric Offseason GM Handbook was released. And, looking back at it, we are thrilled with how it turned out and how accurate we were (in many cases) throughout the 140+ page document.

  • On November 5th, the Twins traded Carlos Gomez for JJ Hardy. Short thoughts on the deal – Great trade. You take a chance on a guy with Hardy’s track record, especially if it only costs you your fourth outfielder.
  • On November 7th, the Twins picked up the 2011 option for Michael Cuddyer, which despite some dissenting opinions, was an obvious choice at the time that the decision had to be made.

 When the Winter Meetings started in early December, I posted a blog entry saying there were six things that the Twins needed to do. Obviously there are varying degrees of importance in each, but here is the run down.

#1 – Sign Joe Mauer – Well, it is rather well documented that this one is not yet complete. I know many Twins fans are starting to get a little nervous. I’m officially 0.05% nervous. In other words, it’s going to happen. It’s not ‘if’, but ‘when.’ Hopefully it will be by the end of the week. If not, hopefully it will be before Opening Day. If not, Mauer is taking a huge risk. I can’t imagine that his value will be any higher than it is right now. Once the season starts, the risk increases. And what is the gain? He could get $220 million instead of $200 million?  However, if he were to get hurt or something, the amount he could lose would be even more, in both years and dollars. In other words, I still have zero concern that he is going anywhere else. (Let me say this – if you’re looking for any more analysis on potential Mauer contracts. To be honest, I’m bored of the subject. We know that the contract will likely be 8-10 years and somewhere between probably $18-20 million per year. Deferments? No trade clauses? Incentives? I can’t really control what happens, and it’s exhausting to try to keep up with all the rumors which is why I’m not going to (and why I’m really excited to start talking about actual baseball stuff again!). It will happen. I’m not worried.)

#2 – Second Base – Signing Orlando Hudson for one year and $5 million was a great thing. Not only does he fill second base, but he also fits perfectly into the #2 spot in the lineup.

#3 – Add a starting pitcher – They retained Carl Pavano after he accepted arbitration.

#4 – Acquire a True #1/Ace Pitcher – Simply put, there were none available in Free Agency. John Lackey is probably a #2, and he got $80+ million. Josh Johnson signed an extension with the Marlins after they were basically forced to by MLB. Felix Hernandez wasn’t available. The Giants didn’t trade Matt Cain. There weren’t any options available, as would be expected. That said, the reports on Francisco Liriano’s physique, stuff and confidence in the Dominican Republic give Twins fans hope that he can return to a high level of performance.

#5 – Third Base – They signed Brendan Harris for the next two years. Nick Punto has another year left on his contract, plus an option for 2011. Matt Tolbert is still around. And, hopefully Danny Valencia is ready to go by June (if not by Opening Day). Luke Hughes is likely in the picture as well. In other words, there are enough options.

#6 – Veteran Bench for the Bench – I would say that Jim Thome would fit into this category. His track record speaks for itself. It will be intriguing to see how he is used and how much he is used. But for $1.5 million, this is a great signing.

 Add in that the team replaced Bobby Keppel with Clay Condrey, a vast improvement, and that Pat Neshek should be back at some point during the season while guys like Rob Delaney, Anthony Slama, Jose Lugo and Alex Burnett continue to make themselves more big –league ready and this was a terrific offseason. If that Mauer contract gets signed soon, it could be called ‘nearly’ perfect.

Here are a few Twins-related blogs for you to peruse:

 Any other Twins stories or links, include them in the comments. Feel free to leave your comments here.

Where Are We Now?

16 Jul

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Alright, it’s late on Wednesday night and I’m just getting home for the first time since Saturday morning. Quite a bit has happened while I was away, and I was able to blog a few times, but I still feel like I’m way behind even though with the All-Star break for the Major Leaguers, AAA and AA have been going on, so I haven’t been missing much. Getting back so late, and with the Twins 2nd half not starting until Friday, I am going to wait a day to post my thoughts on some Twins awards for the first half. Let’s see, what has happens? Where are we?

  • You may have heard, on Monday, TwinsCentric 2009 July Trade Deadline Primer released, and of course, John, Nick, Parker and I thank you all for your support of that venture, but also just for coming to our sites every day and either just reading or even participating. One of my favorite things about blogging is the interaction with other fans whether you agree or disagree. With the release of the Trade Deadline Primer, there are over 30,000 words that we can all disagree on. Fun! There are still two weeks before the deadline, and for some reason, I truly believe that the Twins will do something, and something of significance. I am in agreement with those who believe that if the Twins do nothing, they will stay right around .500 and likely finish in 3rd (if not 4th) place in the division.
  • If you want to read a little unbiased opinion of the Trade Deadline Primer, fellow Star Tribune Your Voices blogger Doogie Wolfson wrote a review last night. Also yesterday, Aaron Gleeman blogged about the book. Thank you to both of them.
  • Let’s see… Alexi Casilla was promoted after the game on Sunday when Matt Tolbert was sent down. Just yesterday, the Twins sent Jose Morales back to Rochester to bring up a pitcher. The choice was Kevin Mulvey, a starter. Although I was initially surprised somewhat, it isn’t hard to understand. Jesse Crain and Juan Morillo are still walking too many. Rob Delaney has experienced some bumps in Rochester, and Anthony Slama still has not seen AAA. I am very curious how this bullpen will play out, or what this move really signals, if anything.
  • The bigger question I have is who will be starting for the Red Wings now that their top three pitchers (Mulvey, Anthony Swarzak and Brian Duensing) are all with the Twins. Jeff Manship, who has been in Rochester for less than a month, is probably the team’s ace. If pitchers are promoted from AA (Say… Matt Fox, Ryan Mullins or Cole Devries), then who moves up to AA? If Mike McCardell, Tyler Robertson or David Bromberg get moved up from Ft. Myers to New Britain, then who moves up from Beloit? It could be interesting.
  • And with the promotion of Steve Singleton from Ft. Myers to New Britain on Tuesday, there are other questions. One would have to think that there is a chance that Brian Dinkelman could be promoted to Rochester now that the AA All-Star game is complete so that they both can get regular at bats. However, how do you allot playing time in the middle infield in Rochester if you’ve got Dinkelman along with Trevor Plouffe, Steve Tolleson, Matt Macri and now Matt Tolbert? Dinkelman and Tolleson have both played a little bit of LF, so that’s possible. It will certainly be interesting.
  • Back to the trade deadline stuff, I’m normally one to trust the Twins minor leagues system and I still very much believe in the farm system’s depth. But again, I truly believe that a move is needed this year if they truly want to compete. That is the opinion that I have generally heard. But Travis Aune takes a little different perspective, one that I normally have had in the past. I encourage you to read his thoughts.
  • Is it too early to start thinking about which six Twins minor leaguers the Twins will send to the Arizona Fall League? With the promotion of Singleton to AA, he certainly becomes an option. I spent some car time today thinking about this very topic. Typically the Twins haven’t sent a player there in back to back years. Last year, they sent Jeff Manship, Anthony Slama, Rob Delaney, Tim Lahey, Danny Valencia, Dustin Martin and Steve Tolleson. If that holds true, it becomes quite difficult to select which players would be selected. Another rule is that players from countries with Winter League teams can not participate. If healthy, I am sure the Twins would love to send Wilson Ramos there to get him additional at bats, but he will head back to Venezuela. So here are my guesses, and please feel free to agree or disagree with them. I think the three hitters will be: Rene Tosoni, Steve Singleton and Whit Robbins. If I were to name three pitchers today, I think they might send Michael McCardell (who could yet be promoted to New Britain, or go as a A-ball exception), Cole Devries, and Alex Burnett,  
  • Speaking of Alex Burnett, check out the Q&A that Josh Johnson conducted with the Rockcats righty reliever.
  • Nick Nelson ranted on the Madness of Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire… hard to disagree with the evaluation!
  • At Over the Baggy, Parker looks at Three Signings as part of his First Half Review.   
  • I accidentally watched the last few innings of the AAA All-Star game last night. Did You know that former Twin Michael Ryan is still playing? He plays for the New Orleans Zephyrs, the AAA Affiliate of the Florida Marlins. He apparently recently turned 32 years old. He doubles in the 8th inning.
  • Jesse from Twinkie Town investigates which Toronto Blue Jays relievers the Twins might have interest in.
  • Finally, be sure to go to and check out his blog. But be certain to check out his video story on Danny Valencia. Cory has done some really good stories, but this one is right at the top.

Oh, and again, be sure to check back tomorrow when we may be able to let you in on a little information that has been teased here and a couple of other places over the last few days.


Wednesday – Hitter of the Day – James Beresford, Beloit Snappers

Wednesday – Pitcher of the Day – Steve Hirschfeld, Ft. Myers Miracle – Tom Stuifbergen, Elizabethton Twins


Wednesday – Rochester – The AAA All-Star game was played last night in Portland, Oregon. The Twins/Red Wings representative was Justin Huber. He came in to pinch hit for the DH in the 5th inning and hit a sacrifice fly. He went 0-2 in his next two at bats.  


Wednesday – New Britain – The Rockcats sent five players to the Eastern League All-Star game. Rene Tosoni started and played in CF the whole game. He was 0-4 with a walk. Brian Dinkelman entered the game at 2B and went 1-2. Whit Robbins pinch hit for the DH and went 1-2. Matt Fox pitched a perfect second inning, striking out one. It didn’t go as well for Anthony Slama. He started the ninth and got the first two outs. He gave up a run on a hit, a walk and a hit batter before being replaced   


Wednesday – Ft. Myers 13, Sarasota 0 Steve Hirschfeld got plenty of run support early as the Red Wings scored nine runs in the second inning. He didn’t need that much. The righty went the complete game route. He gave up no runs on three hits. He walked just one and struck out just two. He improved to 3-4 and dropped his ERA to 2.17. Ben Revere went 3-5 with a walk and his third triple. Estarlin de Los Santos went 3-6 with his fourth and fifth doubles. Nick Romero and Chris Parmelee were each 2-4. Mark Dolenc went 2-5. Alexander Soto was promoted to the Miracle about a week ago and hit his first home run.     


Wednesday – Beloit 9, Burlington 3 Liam Hendriks picked up his first Midwest League win. He gave up just one run on nine hits over 6.2 innings. He walked one and struck out four. Blake Martin gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Matt Williams struck out three of the four batters he faced. James Beresford went 3-5 with his fourth and fifth doubles, and his ninth stolen base. Danny Rams went 2-3 with a walk and his first home run. Angel Morales was 2-3 with his 11th double and ninth steal. Dominic de La Osa went 2-4 with his seventh double.   


Wednesday – Elizabethton 4, Danville 2 – Danville is the one team in the Appy League that really gives the E-Twins some struggles, so it is good to see this win. Tom Stuifbergen led the way and improved to 3-0. The Dutch righty went all nine innings. He gave up two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out seven. Of the 20 outs that he got on balls in play, 18 of them were ground balls. Derek McCallum went 2-4. Josmil Pinto was 2-4 with his fifth double and two RBI.


Wednesday –GCL Twins 3, GCL Reds 2 BJ Hermsen improved to 3-1 with a 1.54 ERA after giving up just one run on three hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out five. Andrei Lobonov struck out two in two scoreless innings, reducing his ERA to 0.96. Dakota Watts picked up his fourth save. He struck out three but gave up an unearned run in the ninth inning. Oswaldo Arcia went 2-4 with his first home run and three RBI.

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

Podcasts, Drafts and Notes

1 Apr

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Last night was a busy one. After getting home from work, I had to do several things with my computer to try to make it work better. At 7:30, I participated in my third fantasy baseball draft of the year. At 9:00, I still had eight more picks to make, but the Weekly Twins Podcast was set to begin. So, for awhile there, I was doing both things. So that is why today’s posting may be a little shorter than normal.

·         Of course, if you missed it during the day yesterday, I posted my thoughts on the Twins most recent round of cuts.

·         If you weren’t able to listen last night, please be sure to listen to this week’s Weekly Twins podcast. Despite a few minutes worth of technical difficulties, the show was successful. The first guest was Twins pitching prospect Dan Osterbrock. He was followed by the Twins beat writer for, Kelly Thesier, who happens to be rooting strongly for one of the Final Four teams. And finally, we ended the show with Aaron Gleeman. Now I have to tell you that after about ten minutes of speaking with Dan Osterbrock, I had some technical difficulties. Not exactly certain what happened. But you will definitely be able to tell when it goes bad, and for the following six minutes, you hear a lot of incoherent rumbling, until I finally hung up and started over. But Dan was gracious enough to stick around and answer another question or two and the rest of the show seemingly went just fine.  


·         Over at Baseball Digest, our Twins writers continued our predictions of the major baseball awards. The series continued today with our predictions for the Rookie of the Year Awards.

·         Over the Baggy gives us a much more in-depth look at Drew Butera.

·         TwinsMVB was down in Ft. Myers, and this is one of the coolest things ever. I need some of these for my site!

·         The Baseball Savant provide the last word on the White Sox, and I agree!!

·         Phil Miller wrote an interesting article on Craig Breslow, or at least a former college teammate and friend of his at Yale. Matt McCarthy played at Yale before spending one season in the Angels’ minor league system. He kept a journal during that season and recently wrote a book called “Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit” in which he reportedly told a lot of things that maybe shouldn’t be let out of the clubhouse, or some that may not have even been true. If nothing else, now I want to read the book. Miller also shared more in his blog Twins Now.

·         I’m not sure if you noticed, but I have now dropped the price of the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009, for both the hardcopy and the e-book.  


Any other Twins thoughts as the season approaches? Feel free to Comment here.



Again, last night I participated in my third fantasy baseball draft of the spring. It is a ten team, 5×5 roto league. I have another fantasy baseball draft tonight (BB Digest Expert League) and another on Thursday evening. I believe that my final draft will be on Sunday afternoon.  Here are my draft picks. I had the #1 overall pick, which of course meant that I didn’t draft again until #20 (and then 21, and so on).


1.)    Hanley Ramirez – SS – Florida Marlins

2.)    CC Sabathia – SP – New York Yankees

3.)    Carlos Quentin – OF – Chicago White Sox

4.)    Jason Bay – OF – Boston Red Sox

5.)    Kevin Youklis – 1B – Boston Red Sox

6.)    Daisuke Matsuzaka – SP – Boston Red Sox

7.)    Geovany Soto – C – Chicago Cubs

8.)    Jon Lester – SP – Boston Red Sox

9.)    Francisco Liriano – SP – Minnesota Twins

10.)                         Yovani Gallardo – SP – Milwaukee Brewers

11.)                         Jay Bruce – OF – Cincinnati Reds

12.)                         Kevin Slowey – SP – Minnesota Twins

13.)                         Matt Weiters – C – Baltimore Orioles

14.)                         Alex Gordon – 3B – Kansas City Royals

15.)                         Kevin Gregg – RP – Chicago Cubs

16.)                         Jason Motte – RP – St. Louis Cardinals

17.)                         Fausto Carmona – SP – Cleveland Indians

18.)                         Jason Kubel – OF – Minnesota Twins

19.)                         David Price – SP/RP – Tampa Bay Rays

20.)                         Howie Kendrick – 2B – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

21.)                         Billy Butler – 1B – Kansas City Royals

22.)                         Yunel Escobar – SS – Atlanta Braves

23.)                         Tommy Hanson – SP – Atlanta Braves

24.)                         Jed Lowrie – SS – Boston Red Sox

25.)                         Michael Cuddyer – OF – Minnesota Twins

26.)                         Chris Getz – 2B – Chicago White Sox

Weekly Twins Podcast at 9:00 Tonight!

30 Mar

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Tonight is going to be yet another busy night for me. I have yet another fantasy baseball draft which starts at 7:30. I don’t know where we will be in the draft at 9:00, but I will be starting my Weekly Minnesota Twins Podcast at that time. Be sure to tune in if you are able to. The chat room will be open for your questions, and the guest list is full, and I think pretty impressive. Here is the schedule for the show:

·         9:00-9:05 – Seth Introduction

·         9:05-9:20 – Dan Osterbrock, LH Pitching Prospect

·         9:20-9:38 – Kelly Thesier,

·         9:40-9:57 – Aaron Gleeman,


That should be a fun show, so I am looking forward to it. Please listen live if you are able, but if not, be sure to go there later and listen in. I’d love to hear your feedback!




·         Over at Baseball Digest, our Twins writers continued our predictions of the major baseball awards. The series continued today with our predictions for the Cy Young Awards.

·         Nick Nelson previewed each of the American League teams and included a player to watch on each team.

·         Pat Neshek has remained quite busy in updating his blog, including some very impressive autographs received.

·         Josh Johnson took a look at where the four outfielders stand today.


We should be hearing about those final roster cuts and decisions within a day or two. Should be interesting! Any other Twins thoughts as the season approaches? Feel free to Comment here.