Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Twins Minor League Report
Discussion Question of the Week
N "L" 2 the O's
Just a few brief thoughts today and then a discussion question for the week. I would love to get 15-20 responses to the discussion question, so please e-mail me. Enjoy your day!
A couple of quick thoughts first:
Did you see that Rickey Henderson signed with another independent league team yesterday in California? My first reaction, and I'm sure it was the same for many of you, is that he needs to just hang it up and stop playing. But after thinking about it, he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer no matter when he decides to quit playing. Second, it is his decisions, isn't it? He may say it is, but maybe the goal is no longer to get back to the major leagues. Maybe he just really enjoys playing. We have this imagine of seeing our star athletes going out on top, on their own terms and just at a perfect time. Well, Henderson is hanging on, and things are still on his own terms, just not in the league he wanted to be in. So who are we to tell him what to do or how to think?
Did you see this article on the Topps certified autograph card of Pope John Paul II? First, cards are awesome. Second, "inserts" are fun to get. But I have never pulled a card this valuable, even if it is losing value daily.
The Twins were up against a hot pitcher last night as they were shut out 3-0 by Daniel Cabrera, BJ Ryan and the Baltimore Orioles in Game 1 of their three game set. The offense was only able to muster three singles off of Cabrera in eight innings. Below are a few notes about the teams and the game:
Now some of you may ask "How can the Twins score 24 runs in their previous three games, and then get shutout in the next, by a guy who had been skipped for a start and had an ERA approaching six?" Well, that is one of those dumb questions that has so many answers that you almost hate to answer it. First, what the Twins did in the previous three games completely don't matter in this game. Second, what the pitcher had done previously did not matter in this game. Third, it's not like Daniel Cabrera is new to the league. He was fairly successful a year ago already. Fourth, Cabrera is 6-7 and 250 pounds, he has a 99 mph fastball with a sharp slider in the upper '80s, when he's on with his location, no one is going to hit him.
Is there any real doubt that Miguel Tejada is the best hitter in the American League? He hits for average. He hits for power. He drives in runs. He is "Clutch". He actually performs when his team needs it (sorry A-Rod fans!). Last night, Tejada went 3-4 with his ninth double and tenth home run and three more RBI to give him 36 on the season.
BJ Ryan is what Twins fans hope JC Romero could become. Ryan throws hard and has nasty breaking pitches. After years as one of the top set up men, he has been given the closer's role and done well. Now, Romero has 'stuff' that is good as Ryan's, he just needs the consistency. Not just for a month or two at a time, from year to year.
Rough game for Terry Tiffee. 0-3 with three strikeouts and he didn't look particularly good in any of his at bats.
OK, have you ever heard Peter Gammons talk about Joe Mauer? It is almost embarrassing how positive he is about Mauer's swing, his attitude and well, just everything about him. Now he is saying similar things about Justin Morneau. It is really about time that the national media starts to realize that the keys to the Twins success this year are how Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau do. It has nothing to do with Torii Hunter. It has little to do with Jacque Jones, although we would love to see him maintain his current pace throughout the season. Last year, the Baseball Tonight crew, led by Hunter's agent's brother Harold Reynolds, was talking about how Torii Hunter and Jacque Jones and Corey Koskie and Cristian Guzman were the keys to the team. No, last year, it was Morneau and Lew Ford that carried the team into the playoffs. But then again, watch enough Twins broadcasts, and you'll see the Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven frequently will say the same things. They will say that as good as the M&M Boys are, it is the veterans that contribute the most.
I don't think that saying that really negates the importance of the veterans to the team. There is maybe something to be said about 'being there before' and helping out younger teammates through struggles. Hunter is a great team leader. He also is a good hitter who probably will hit about .260 and will hit about 25 home runs and drive in 75 runs. I'm not saying he's not important, just that people need to realize that his value just will not measure up to Mauer and Morneau, and that doesn't make him bad or unimportant, it's just the way it is.
By the way, the Twins stay 4.5 behind the White Sox because the Devil Rays were able to beat the Sox 4-2!
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORTS
Monday - REDWINGS 8, Columbus 11 - David Gassner had entered the game with a record of 3-0 and a 1.45 ERA. He left the game after three innings last night with a record of 3-1 and an ERA of 4.98. OOPS! He gave up nine earned runs on nine hits. He didn't walk anyone though! Daylan Childress was able to come in for his Twins organization debut after being let go by the Reds earlier in the week. He went three innings and gave up a run on two hits and a walk. He did strike out five. Bud Smith went the next 2 1/3 innings. He gave up a run on three hits and a walk. Beau Kemp got the final two outs. There was plenty of offense for the Redwings too though. Josh Rabe went 3-5 with a double and two RBI. Brent Abernathy went 2-3 with two walks and three runs scored. Chris Heintz went 2-4 with his first homer of the season and three RBI. Kevin West seems to be coming on and he hit his third homer. Glenn Williams and Todd Dunwoody each had two hits.
NEW BRITAIN ROCKCATS
Monday - ROCKCATS 6, Norwich 9 - Another rough outing for Francisco Liriano. He falls to 0-4 after giving up five runs in six innings. He gave up ten hits. But he walked none and struck out six. John Thomas gave up two in the next two innings. Pat Neshek gave up two runs in on inning, but he did strike out the side. Luis Maza and Danny Matienzo each went 2-5. Matienzo had two doubles and two RBI. Selwyn Langaigne hit his second homer.
FT MYERS MIRACLE
Monday - MIRACLE 2, Palm Beach 1 - Glen Perkins also made another start in Ft. Myers. He went five innings and gave up just one run on three hits. He didn't walk a batter and struck out an impressive eight. Julio Depaula, Jay Sawatski and Chris Schutt combined to pitch six shutout innings. Matt Moses was 2-5 with his fifth home run. Denard Span and Felix Molina were also 2-5. Omar Burgos and Chris Tolbert each had two hits as well.
Monday - SNAPPERS 12, Fort Wayne 5 - Kyle Waldrop picked up his second win of the season. He gave up a run on five hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out five. Billy Mauer made his 2005 debut and really struggled. He gave up three runs on two hits and three walks in an inning and a third. He did strike out three. Angel Garcia got five outs and gave up a run.
DISCUSSION QUESTION OF THE WEEK
We found out last week that the Twins hope for a new stadium rests with the state legislature. Hennepin County has agreed to help fund and build an outdoor stadium for the Twins. The legislative session will go through May 23. If they agree to allow the three cents on ever $20 tax, in Hennepin County only, then work will begin on the new stadium. The estimated time of opening would be Opening Day 2009. Herein lies the basis for this week's Discussion Question:
Who will make up the Twins Opening Day Roster in 2009? I think that is a fun question because you need to think about who is currently with the Twins and how long they will stay around (or the Twins will be willing to pay them). You need to consider that the Twins generally build from within, so which minor leaguers will be contributing to the team in four years. Of course, it is all just guessing. But it is fun to project.
So please, consider the question, take some time to think it through. Maybe you want to list the 25 man roster? Maybe you just want to name a starting nine alone with five starters and a closer. Feel free to do with the question what you will. Send me an e-mail with your response, and then on Friday, your thoughts will be posted, along with mine.
On that note, I am going to call it a day. I hope you have a great day! Thanks again for stopping by this site. If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.
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