Saturday, April 26, 2008
Something to Read with your Coffee
Good Saturday morning everyone... I thought I'd put together some quick notes for you to peruse while downing your Saturday morning cup of coffee. The Twins lost. Three of the four minor league affiliates played last night. In all, the Twins and all three affiliates lost. And today is the NFL draft. I pretty much refuse to watch SportsCenter anymore, and I guarantee that when NFL Draft discussion starts, I flip the channel. I say that, and then when the draft starts this afternoon, I probably will not turn away from the draft until the Twins game starts tonight. I have always been very interested in watching the draft, and not just day one, but day two too. Travis Talks has been doing a Mock Draft pretty much daily the last couple of weeks. Also, another SethSpeaks reader has his own NFL Draft Blog at NFLRoughDraft.com. So, be sure to check them out. Oh, and if you missed it yesterday, be sure to check out the Q&A with Stephanee Neshek below. And be sure to go to On the Road with Pat Neshek for some painful video from his college days at Butler.
TWINS 5, RANGERS 6 (10 innings)
It was weird. We actually decided to watch a movie last night, so I was relegated to "watching" the Twins game via a laptop while watching I Am Legend. Quality movie, but I have to admit, 'seeing' Morneau homered to deep right, C. Gomez, B. Harris and J. Mauer scored was pretty exciting still! Morneau's grand slam gave the Twins a 5-0 lead in the top of the third. With the way that Nick Blackburn has been pitching, you would have thought that was enough. But whatever we like to say about the Rangers, they can hit, and they got to Blackburn right away in the bottom of the third. They tied by putting up a five-spot. The inning began with five straight singles and then a Hank Blalock double tied the game. Then there was a strange double play followed by a strikeout. There were no more runs until the bottom of the 10th when a David Murphy single scored the winning run from second base off of Juan Rincon. I just have a couple of quick things I would like to point out from the game.
Despite the six hit, five run third inning, Nick Blackburn was able to keep his pitch count down. The Rangers were swinging early. Because of that, and likely some mental toughness that he needs to be credited with, Blackburn was able to go three more innings for the Twins. That was very important after the very short start by Francisco Liriano the day before. Then to get three shutout relief innings from Matt Guerrier, Dennys Reyes and Pat Neshek was very good too.
As expected, the Twins optioned Francisco Liriano to AAA Rochester. It was something that had to be done, although I do think that it would have made more sense for him to go to AA New Britain and work with Bobby Cuellar (the former Twins minor league pitching coach who is back in the organization as the Rockcats manager). Late on Thursday night, La Velle reported that the Twins had called up Bobby Korecky, so it was just a matter of completing the transaction with someone being sent down.
Delmon Young went 0-5 and is now hitting .250. He has also shown little power. As I suggested with Carlos Gomez, I really think that a day off would be a good thing for Young too. I know he played in 162 games last year, but sometimes that one game off can be a great thing. I wonder what kind of career Cal Ripken Jr could have had with an occasional day off.
Joe Mauer was 2-3 with two walks. That is right, he did not hit a home run, for those of you who think that matters, but he was on base four out of five times.
Although he went just 1-5, it is nice to have Michael Cuddyer back in the lineup. He did get an outfield assist, throwing out Hank Blalock at home. In a surprise, the Twins had him batting fifth and dropped Young down to #7. Initially it is surprising, but at the same time, it makes some sense. Gomez is the leadoff man with speed. Brendan Harris warrants hitting in the 2nd spot. Mauer is not the typical #3 hitter, but again, nothing wrong with having a strong on-base guy there in front of Justin Morneau. Then Cuddyer, Kubel and Young. And, even though Lamb still has not caught his stride, if he's batting 8th in your lineup. you are just fine. Seriously, there is some offensive talent on this team, and I still have to believe it will all come together at some point. But we are about 1/8th of the way through the season, so it is getting closer to the point where things really have to start happening.
I happened to be looking through my Archives Page a bit last night and looked at an article I wrote late in 2003 when there was a team of Minor Leaguers from the US competing for the opportunity to play in the 2004 Olympics. The team contained Joe Mauer, JD Durbin and Jesse Crain, but there are some other interesting names who played on that team, including Mike Lamb. Justin Morneau competed for Team Canada in that tournament.
By the way, the Rangers announced that Scott Feldman will not make the start for them tonight. Instead, the great Sidney Ponson will be on the mound for the team for the first time this season. This would be a good opportunity for the Twins bats to wake up!
Twins Minor League Updates
Friday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Toby Gardenhire, Ft. Myers Miracle
Friday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Jeff Manship, Ft. Myers Miracle
Be sure to check out Roger's Weekly Minor League Update at Twinkie Town.
Friday - Red Wings 2, Lehigh Valley 6 – The Red Wings helped the IronPigs to their third win of the season last night. Philip Humber started and gave up four runs (3 earned) on eight hits and two walks in 4.2 innings. Casey Daigle went 1.1 shutout innings before Julio DePaula gave up two runs on four hits in his two innings. Heath Totten and Mariano Gomez combined for a scoreless inning in relief. Matt Macri led the offense by adding two more doubles in four at bats. He has nine doubles already on the year. The team had just four more hits, and both runs scored on a Randy Ruiz triple.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Friday - Rockcats 3, Trenton 8 – Luke Hughes connected for his seventh home run of the young season, but it was one of just four Rockcat hits. Hughes drove in two runs, and Steven Tolleson, who had two hits, drove in the other run. Ryan Mullins had his first rough start of the season. The tall lefty went just four innings and gave up five runs, although only three were earned, to fall to 1-2 on the season. His ERA is still just 2.33. Danny Graves then came in and gave up two runs in one inning. Armando Gabino struck out three in his two scoreless innings. Ben Julanel gave up a run in his inning.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Friday - Miracle 2, Tampa 3 – Jeff Manship put together his best start of the season last night. He gave up just one run on three hits and two walks over seven innings. He left with the lead. Zach Day came in and gave up an unearned run on one hit and one walk in just 2/3 of an inning. Rob Delaney allows that eighth inning run to score, and then gave up the winning run in the bottom of the 9th. Toby Gardenhire went 3-4 with his first two doubles of the season. The rest of the team added just four hits. Edward Ovalle had a triple while Danny Valencia and Wilson Ramos each had a double.
Friday - Snappers, Wisconsin – Game Postponed by Rain.
Again, if you haven't already, keep scrolling down and check out the Q&A with Stephanee Neshek. I have already received a lot of great feedback on it, so hopefully you all enjoyed it! Have a great Saturday!|
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