Friday, May 8, 2009
True or False? Over or Under?
Quick Update – I forgot to link to a couple of things for you to check out if you’re able to.
· Also, The Twins Geek and I hosted the MNGameNight.com podcast last night at 10:00. We talked about many Twins topics. We both agreed on what the Twins biggest problem is so far this season… and no, it wasn’t Alexi Casilla. Listen in and let us know what you think. As you know, if you’re not able to listen live, you can always listen online later, or have the episodes automatically downloaded to your iTunes.
Yesterday, I asked people to send me some True or False statements that I would try to answer today. I also asked for you to consider sending me some Over/Under types of questions, and I would answer them too. It is fun to do this because it allows me to provide content that you actually want to read, that you are participating in. One of the most difficult things in blogging is coming up with topics to write about. By answering your questions, the topics you are most interested in, I am able to do that. The other part is that we can always look back on today’s article in a month, or at the end of the season, and see how I did. So don’t hold me too accountable!
With that, let’s get to your questions:
1. From Topper - T/F: Punto plays out the next couple years of his new contract as the primary 2B instead of SS.
a. Seth – False. As long as he makes most of the plays and shows up on web gems and hits over about .200, Gardy will continue to play him as the team’s primary SS. There are other options for 2B.
2. From Topper - T/F: Dan Osterbrock falls off the map after this year
a. Seth – False – He got off to a horrific start this season, but see below. He had a very strong start today. I think he will turn it around this year. I think he’ll pitch well enough to advance to Ft. Myers in 2010. It is pretty clear though that without the impeccable control he showed in 2008, his lack of velocity will become a detriment.
3. From Topper - Over/Under: Joe Mauer's next contract: $70 million
a. Seth – I think it will be Over because I think it will be for five seasons and around $89 million. If it were a four year deal, I think it would be very close to the $70 million range, with a slight possibility of it being even a little lower. But I think he will make some serious money.
4. From Topper - T/F: Kevin Slowey is the next pitcher signed to a long-term contract
a. Seth - False – I think that the Twins will sign both Francisco Liriano and Jesse Crain to long-term contracts before the 2010 season. Slowey is not arbitration-eligible until after the 2010 season, so unless he turns things around and has an incredible season, there is little incentive to signing him next winter.
5. From Topper - T/F: Target Field's opening bullpen will feature Slama, Delaney, Mijares, Crain, and Neshek bridging to Nathan
a. Seth - False – First, I can’t imagine Gardy or Bill Smith being OK with having both Slama and Delaney in the opening day bullpen unless both of them are with the team in late August. I also think Boof Bonser will be there.
6. From Jeff L – Over/Under of Anthony Swarzak making his major league debut-August 1
a. Seth – Over, or whichever would mean After August 1st. I think that the Twins will continue to go with the current starting five and I do believe that they will remind us of why we had so much confidence in them coming into the season.
7. From Jeff L – True/False - Matt Moses will get back to AAA this season.
a. Seth – True – but that is a tough question. It is good to see him getting off to a fast start at New Britain, but I also think that it would require an injury at Rochester. There aren’t other outfielders at AA right now who I would consider ready for AAA.
8. From Jeff L – Over/Under Aaron Hicks debuts in Beloit-June 1 (Can’t happen fast enough for me.)
a. Seth – Under, as in, I think he will debut with Beloit days before June 1. I hope so at least.
9. From Jeff L - Over Under Ben Revere Steals- 55
a. Seth – Over, but barely. He is on pace for about 75 right now (14 in 27 games), and he hasn’t hit as much to this point as we may think he will. When he gets on, he goes, so I think he will go over 55, but obviously the big factor to doing that will be staying healthy.
10. From Jeff L - True or False Drew Butera is Joe Mauers back up in 2010
a. Seth - True – At some point. I think that Morales will likely start the season as the backup, but at some point in the season Butera will be up as the backup.
11. From Andrew - True/False: Shooter Hunt will finally gain some control and start 2010 in Fort Myers.
a. Seth – True – I would think (and certainly hope) that he will be able to work out these control issues now that he has been sent to the bullpen. I think he’ll come on strong at some point, and earn the move to Ft. Myers in 2010.
12. From Andrew - True/False: David Winfree will have at least 25 plate appearances as a Twin in 2010.
a. Seth – True – I don’t think it will happen in 2009, but I think his right-handed, power bat would be a good bench option in 2010;.
13. From Andrew - True/False: Rene Tosoni will remain in New Britain for the duration of 2009.
a. Seth – True – He certainly won’t be moving up to Rochester, but I also don’t think he will be sent back to Ft. Myers. He is now hitting over .200, and he does have three home runs already. The alarming number would the the 26 strikeouts in 80 at bats.
14. From Andrew - True/False: Joe Mauer will be a Twin in five years.
a. Seth – True – I think he wants to stay here. He may take a little discount to stay here, it is his home. However, he is very smart and hired a good agent. Mauer has never given a hometown discount to this point. I do think that it is in each’s best interest to keep him around.
15. True/False: Ben Revere will start 2010 as a Rock Cat.
a. Seth – True, and I believe that to be the case whether he moves up there in a couple of months or next season.
I’ve got more questions to answer, so be sure to check back later in the day. Feel free to send in more questions. What are your thoughts? Leave your questions or comments here.
TWINS 4, ORIOLES 5
Glen Perkins was on the mound, and in the 2nd innings, he gave up a Melvin Mora solo home run, and a second run. Then in the third inning, Aubrey Huff hit a two run homer. It had the looks of a real blowout, but Perkins was able to keep the O’s at just four runs through six innings. Matt Guerrier pitched a scoreless seventh inning. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last seven outings. The Twins battled back. Delmon Young cut the deficit to 4-3 with an RBI single in the sixth frame. In the top of the 7th, Joe Mauer drilled a single up the middle to score the game-tying run. Unfortunately in the 8th inning, Jose Mijares gave up three hits. The third hit was by Lou Montanez, and it wasn’t hit hard at all, but it scored what proved to be the game winning run.
Mauer went 3-4 with a walk. Delmon Young went 3-4 to raise his average to .288. Joe Crede went 2-4 with a double. Matt Tolbert went 2-4 with a sacrifice bunt. Denard Span went 2-5.
Friday night, the Twins will send Scott Baker to the mound to face Chris Jakubauskus who will be making his fifth Major League start. The 30 year old veteran of the independent leagues made his big league debut against the Twins during the first series of the season. Baker has shown signs of improvement his last two starts, but really needs to take a step forward tonight.
On Saturday, it will be a repeat of the Opening Night matchup with Francisco Liriano going against Felix Hernandez.
Sunday afternoon, the Twins will start Nick Blackburn to the mound against Erik Bedard, who is actually pitching like the Mariners probably thought he would when he was acquired for Adam Jones, George Sherrill and three minor league pitchers.
MINOR LEAGUE REPORT
SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Mark Dolenc, Ft. Myers Miracle, Jason Pridie, Rochester Red Wings
SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – David Bromberg, Ft. Myers Miracle
Thursday –Rochester 1, Louisville 6 – Philip Humber was back on the mound and it didn’t go so well for him. In just 3.2 innings, he gave up five runs on eight hits (2 home runs) and two walks. He struck out five. Tim Lahey gave up a run on a hit in 1.1 innings. He struck out two. Armando Gabino struck out two in two perfect innings. Bobby Keppel worked a scoreless eighth inning. The Red Wings managed just seven hits on the game. Jason Pridie went 2-4. Tommy Watkins came into the game late and hit the team’s lone extra base hit, a double.
Thursday - New Britain 0, New Hampshire 12– Jeff Manship had a day reminiscent of last Sunday’s Scott Baker start. Through 6.1 innings, he had given up just one run on four hits. But after getting the first batter out in the 7th inning, it went single, single, triple, double, replaced by Frank Mata, inherited run scores. So his overall line of five earned runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings isn’t as impressive as his outing really was. He walked none and struck out six. Frank Mata game up another run in 1.2 innings. Zach Ward has been struggling. In his inning of work, he gave up six earned runs on five hits and two walks.
Thursday –Ft. Myers 1, Sarasota 0 – David Bromberg was the story in this one. The big righty did not allow a hit until he gave up a two out triple in the 7th inning. He was able to strand that runner. He got two more outs in the eighth inning before leaving the game. Spencer Steedley came in and got the last four outs, three on strikeouts. Bromberg gave up just the one hit in 7.2 innings. He walked four and struck out five. He got a no decision because the Miracle bats only scored one run, and it came in the bottom of the 9th. The Miracle had just five hits, and Mark Dolenc had two of them.
Thursday – Beloit 0, West Michigan 2 – Dan Osterbrock fell to 0-4 in this game, but he had, by far, his best outing of the season. He gave up just one run on five hits over 6.2 innings. He walked just one and struck out six. Danny Rondon then gave up a run on three hits and a walk in the last 1.1 innings. The Snappers managed just four hits in this game. James Beresford had a single and a walk and another stolen base.