Thursday, May 17, 2007
Good Morning! I am really hoping to have that Kevin Slowey Q&A up in the next day or so. We shall see. I could have another one or two options for Q&As in the next week or two, so be sure to keep coming back for them.
Quick American Idol Thoughts - In a shocker, it was Melinda Doolittle that was eliminated from American Idol last night. That means that Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks are the final two. Melinda was definitely the best singer. No question. But as Roger pointed out in the comments yesterday, the competition really isn't for her. She was a professional singer before the show. The show is about finding new talent. Melinda is going to be just fine and she is going to make a lot of money as a lead singer, a solo artist. But I really don't have a problem with tonight's vote. I look forward to watching the finale next week and just seeing what happens.
Welp, the Twins have been dominated by the Indians in the first two games of the series, 15-7 and 7-1.
The Twins and Indians will finish this series with an afternoon game (and actually a morning start, Minnesota-time). The pitching matchup will be: Johan Santana (4-3, 3.35, 1.18, .237) vs Fausto Carmona (4-1, 3.12, 1.24, .250). Johan Santana needs to start pitching like Johan Santana.
REALLY BAD NEWS - After the game, Ron Gardenhire announced that the MRI on Jesse Crain's revealed a torn labrum and rotator cuff. He will be getting a second opinion, but a labrum surgery would likely cost him the rest of this season. The only positive from this will be to shut up the people who thought that he was a bad pitcher and what he had done in the last two years were meaningless. He has been pitching with a torn labrum!
FINALLY - I was happy to see Chris Heintz in the starting lineup tonight. It is about time. I like Mike Redmond as much as anyone, but seriously, why would he catch that many games in a row? Heintz can hit. He can do an adequate job behind the plate too. I was happy that he got a hit in his first at bat.
KUBEL - I was disappointed to see that Jason Kubel wasn't in the starting lineup, but then again, he really has been most days, including against many lefties, so I don't think it is a major deal that he wasn't in the lineup.
THE WARNING - After CC
Sabathia hit Justin Morneau with a pitch in the early innings,
the home plate umpire gave both teams a warning, which was ridiculous.
However, Bert Blyleven and Dick Bremer kept talking about how
it wasn't intentional, and there was no reason for it. Are they that inept
and naive? Did they not notice the glare that Sabathia gave Jason
Bartlett when he tried to bunt for a hit off of him. Here is what our
friend LaVelle E
Neal III wrote on his blog on Tuesday:
Gardy was talking about bunting on C.C. Sabathia tomorrow. Ive heard that one before. The Twins tried it a few years ago but C.C. starting throwing at people and the Twins stopped. Still, Jerry White had a big presentation on the field early this afternoon about using the bunt as a weapon in general, but especially against lefties like C.C. Well see.
And yes, let's also not forget that when Cleveland came to the Dome, Johan Santana drilled both Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez. Don't think that was forgotten!
Gardy, in his post-game comments started by saying that the MRI on Jesse Crain's shoulder indicated a torn labrum. That is not good. He will be getting a second opinion, but surgery would appear to be imminent. Hopefully they don't wait as long to make that decision (if necessary) as they did in determining that Francisco Liriano needed it last year.
ANOTHER DEBUT - A night after Garrett Jones got a hit in his first big league game, Julio DePaula was a hit in his big league debut. DePaula came in to pitch the bottom of the 8th inning. The team was down 7-1, so it was a great time to get his first appearance. He came in and was excellent. His first batter faced was Josh Barfield. First pitch slider at 80 mph for a strike. Second pitch 92 mph fastball for a strike. Barfield struck out on the third pitch, an 80 mph slider. He then got ahead of Grady Sizemore with a first-pitch 93 mph fastball. He then threw a 92 mph fastball by him. A 94 mph fastball was taken for a ball. Then he got Sizemore to ground out to 1B on a 93 mph fastball. He threw two pitches, both strikes, to Casey Blake. The first was an 80 mph slider. Blake singled to right field on a 93 mph fastball. That brought Travis Hafner to the plate. He threw a 92 mph fastball for a called strike. An 84 mph slider was in the dirt for a ball. Hafner grounded out to 2B on a 93 mph fastball. So, what I see if a good slider and a good fastball. He got several swings-and-misses which tells me that he must have had some movement on his fastball, movement away from a left-handed hitter. A good outing, and I don't think that he will be put in situations that will be too stressful too soon.
NESHEK!! - In his last 5.2 innings, Pat Neshek has 10 strikeouts.
REALITY SETTING IN? - Dennys Reyes has turned back into Dennys Reyes. Is that why the Twins are hesitant to send Glen Perkins to Rochester to start at this point? In his last six outings, Reyes has pitched 2.1 innings and given up four hits and five walks. He has Nick Punto has returned to being Nick Punto... after a career year in which his OPS+ was just 87 (100 is league average). Ramon Ortiz has reverted to being Ramon Ortiz (although I still like him and his energy). Carlos Silva, although arguably the Twins best starter to this point in the season, is still Carlos Silva. How much 'reality' do we want to discuss when it comes to the Minnesota Twins and their current standing in the AL Central. I'm certainly not giving up on this team. The bats should be doing better. A lineup that includes Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, Luis Castillo, Jason Kubel and Jason Bartlett should not be bad. Getting Joe Mauer back and healthy will be important. Putting Jeff Cirillo is as the team's everyday 3B would help. Getting Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker and even Matt Garza up sooner rather than later would be a good thing. Getting good starting pitching would be vital to giving themselves a chance. I am getting tired of hearing some in the media (TV, not newspaper) talk about how the Twins are doing this year and comparing it to last year and how that ended up. Well, this is not last year. The Central division is tougher and falling behind by a bunch is not advisable if the team really wants to contend. Francisco Liriano is not going to comeback this year. So, what is the reality?
Ron Coomer was awfully feisty in the Twins post-game show. It was somewhat refreshing to hear such honesty. Yet, at other times, I thought he was going a bit far.
STREAKING - Here are a couple of streaks through last
- Nick Punto - 4-8 (.500) with two walks in his last three games, all batting 9th (small sample size alert!).
- Luis Castillo - His 0-4 last night ended a seven game hit streak during which he went 13-25 (.520).
- Jason Bartlett - In his last five games, he is 6-19 (.316).
- Michael Cuddyer - since he has returned from his back injury, he is 9-35 (.257) with two home runs.
- Jason Kubel - In his last six games (including the 0-1 last night), Kubel is 8-21 (.381) with three doubles and a homer.
CONGRATS - To former Twins farmhand Levale Speigner who was the Washington Nationals starting pitcher against the Atlanta Braves last night. It was his first big league start. He was taken by the Nationals in the Rule V draft and has done rather well. He gave up four runs on eight hits in four innings.
The affects of the Sidney Ponson DFA finally started to show. Combined with the Jesse Crain injury, there have been several moves throughout the system. Pitchers Nick Blackburn (SP) and JP Martinez (RP) moved from New Britain to Rochester. Kyle Waldrop will miss his start for Ft. Myers on Friday night against Roger Clemens because he was promoted to New Britain. So was reliever Frank Mata. No one moved from Beloit to Ft. Myers... yet... remember that Jeff Manship started tonight for the Snappers, and he did very well (see below). Matt Fox will move up to Beloit from the Extended Spring Training roster.
SPEAKING OF - Why are the Twins waiting to say who will start on Saturday in place of Sidney Ponson? Why the hesitation? I realize that they won't actually be calling that person up and putting them on the roster until right before game time that night, but that is no reason to keep it a secret. I am sure that the Cliburns would like to know (and they probably do) because they will need to make their decisions based upon that. The assumption is it will be Scott Baker, and if that's the case, great! If it is going to be Kevin Slowey, why not make that determination now? If it is Glen Perkins, will a roster move even be needed? Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know!
Twins and their Minor League Updates
Here are the Twins updates from last night, including game reports of their minor league affiliates.
Wednesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day Johnny Woodard, Beloit Snappers
Wednesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day Jeff Manship, Beloit Snappers
Wednesday - Red Wings Rained Out.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Wednesday - Rockcats Rained Out.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Wednesday - Miracle 13, Clearwater 1 The big three-run 10th inning the night before must have carried over into this game. Sometimes it is something like that that jump-starts an offense. The Miracle offense needed a major jump-start. On this night, it was the offense that gets the glory. They got five runs in the first two innings. Then an eight run fourth inning put the game out of reach. That said, I want to start by mentioning that Zach Ward got the start for the Miracle. He went five innings and did not allow a run. He gave up just three hits, walked one and struck out two. The Miracle recorded nine hits and eight walks in this game. Luis Ugueto was 2-4 with a walk and two RBI. Whit Robbins went 2-3 with two RBI. Edward Ovalle went just 1-5, but he had a triple and four RBI. Dwayne White and Javi Sanchez each drove in two runs as well.
Wednesday - Snappers 1, Peoria 0 It was again the Jeff Manship Show. The righty started and went 7.2 shutout innings. He gave up five hits, walked none and struck out eight. He then handed the ball to Robert Delaney who has been a sure-thing of late. He got the final four outs to record his 11th save. Manship improved to 4-1. Johnny Woodard provided the lone run with his third home run of the season. Greg Yersich went 2-4. Danny Valencia and Chris Parmalee each had a double. Yancarlos Ortiz went 1-1 with two walks.
Do you have any further thoughts on any Twins prospects, minor leaguers, or these summaries? E-mail me, or also feel free to leave comments below.
That is it for today. Have a great day!|
Back to Archives Home