Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I'm Back... for a bit
Good morning everyone! I am back at home. I took Friday, Monday and Tuesday off from work and really enjoyed the time off. Every once in awhile, it is just needed. But, as of Wednesday morning, I will be back at work. And, today, I have a new blog posting. However, I have to say that I drove back home from the cities and got home at 11:00 p.m. Now, that isn't bad, it's not like I would be sleeping anyway. But, it is late when you consider I still hadn't written anything. So, today may not be real long, but it is something again. This will be a sort of stream of consciousness posting, so hopefully you will enjoy it!
First, I want to thank all of you who spent some time posting Comments while I was gone. The Twins draft is complete now, and the Twins have already signed their first round pick, Ben Revere. I have a theory on the Revere pick, since it was somewhat controversial. First, it's not worth worrying about too much. He (or anyone they would have taken with the 28th pick) won't be with the Twins for three to five years, so who knows what the Twins needs will be at that time. But, here is my guess as to what happened. I would guess that the Twins took a look at what MLB's 'Suggested' slot value for the 28th pick was. I think they had three or four players that they would have considered taking at that point. I think that the area scouts asked each if they would be willing to sign for $750,000. It is likely that Revere was willing to take the Twins price, and that is why they selected him over others at that spot. Don't get me wrong, I think Revere looks like he has some potential, but I would also guess that signing for what the Twins wanted and willingness to sign quickly were also factors. I'm excited to see whether he is sent to Elizabethton or will stay in Ft. Myers and play for the Twins GCL team.
I have tried to provide minor league updates each day in the Comments section. I knew I wouldn't be able to come back and catch you up on five or six days of minor league updates, so if you missed any of those, be sure to check those out. I will provide the update for Tuesday night's games today.
The Twins lost two out of three to the Washington Nationals. That isn't a good thing on the surface. Add in the fact that the Twins lost to the Nationals on Saturday with Johan Santana facing former Twins farmhand Levale Speigner. As much as I don't want the Twins to lose, as a guy who has followed the Twins minor league system for so long, I had to feel good about Speigner pitching well. The Twins had Monday off and many participated in Kent Hrbek's fishing tournament for ALS research. That would be a fun event to participate in.
Congratulations to Carlos Silva and Juan Rincon, and particularly their wives, who each gave birth to sons on Tuesday. Silva will be on the mound for the Twins tonight against the Braves.
Last night, the Twins topped the Braves 7-3. Kevin Slowey improved to 2-0 as he gave up three runs (2 earned) in six innings. Because I was driving home, I had to listen to the game on the radio. I generally don't mind listening on the radio, primarily because if I can't watch it on TV, that is my only other option. But, I just have to say a couple of things about the Twins radio guys. It is very frustrating listening to them, and maybe some of your might agree:
First, a little pre-game research is a good thing. You would think that Dan Gladden knows absolutely nothing about the players on the other roster. I see Gladden and John Gordon talking to players and coaches from either team before games. I am sure that they get stories and information directly from these people. But some of this information could be found by simply sitting online and reading for 1/2 hour or so before the broadcast. I think it was John Gordon who said that he 'thinks Kelly Johnson is definitely in the Braves plans for the future.' One the surface, not a horrible comment, but thankfully Gladden said, "I think he's in the Braves plans for the present." Do you think? He's been one of the Braves best hitters on season!
OK, I can understand struggling with the pronunciation of Jarrod Saltalamacchia's name. I'm looking at his name and wondering if I even spelled it correctly. However, in their conversations with the Braves players/coaches/media before the game, don't you think that is a name that they would check the pronunciation on? Wouldn't they want to pronounce it correctly?
Saltalamacchia is excusable. It is a difficult name and he is a rookie (although his name has been in prospect circles for at least three years!). Dan Gladden mispronounced Brian McCann's last name the entire game! He was calling him "Brian McCain," the entire game! Seriously, first, it isn't even a difficult name to pronounce, just look at it, a C, followed by an A, and two N's... How do you get a Long A out of that? And, John Gordon was pronouncing it correctly the whole game, so was Gladden listening to his booth mate? Apparently not! and why wouldn't Gordon take a second, during a commercial break, to correct him? The most frustrating part is that McCann is an All-Star. He is generally considered one of the Top 4-5 catchers in baseball. There is no excuse for that.
And, you know I can't take it too easy on John Gordon either. At one point, Macay McBride was warming up in the bullpen and Gordon pointed that out... by referring to him as "Marcie" McBride. I realize that McBride has been up and down from Atlanta to Richmond several times, but I think he pitches a little better than that! When McBride came into the game, Gordon had to spell M-A-C-A-Y and then pronounce it correctly.
Hey, I haven't made fun of Scotty Ullger for a long time. Today, it might just be warranted. As much as teams (and Willie Harris) should know not to run on Michael Cuddyer, everyone should also know that you don't run on Jeff Francoeur. On a Luis Castillo single to right, Nick Punto was thrown out at home.
Kevin Slowey needed just 79 pitches to get through six innings. In that sixth inning, he got a double play ball from Brian McCann, and there were two outs and nobody on. An error by Jason Bartlett kept the inning alive, and he gave up two more singles before getting the third out. In other words, he should have been out of the sixth inning with less than 70 pitches and presumably he would have pitched in the seventh inning as well. He gave up seven hits and walked none in his six innings. He did just have one strikeout. I am starting to see how important finding an out pitch would be for Slowey. There are a lot of at bats where he gets to two strikes quickly and there are a lot of foul balls. Sometimes it leads to a hit. It would be nice to get a couple more strikeouts, but in the end, it is about results and Slowey is definitely getting results so far. Just something to continue monitoring.
Jason Bartlett has gone 5-10 in his last two games to raise his average from .229 to .246. It would be nice to see Bartlett get hot with the bat while his batting average can still fluctuate quickly.
You heard it here first. Joe Mauer will be the first player since Tony Gwynn in 1994 to hit over .380. Due to his injury and time off, he will have less at bats and plate appearances. Combined with his ability to take a lot of walks, I think that .380 is not out of reach for him. I would say .400, but that would be pretty tough!
Is Pat Neshek the best reliever in baseball? If not the best reliever, is he the best middle reliever? I definitely believe that the argument can be made!
Congratulations to Justin Verlander of the Tigers who threw a No-Hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers last night. I like Verlander, and believe that he will be what most thought that Mark Prior would be. The most impressive thing about his no-hitter? He threw one pitch that registered 102 mph to the last batter! The rotation of Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman and Andrew Miller could be best in baseball.
Carlos Silva will take on lefty Chuck James tonight at 7:05.
Blogger Get Together - While I was in the cities, I asked several Twins bloggers in the Twin Cities if they would want to get together. I mentioned it quickly on Monday morning, and we set it up for Tuesday at Joe Senser's Sports Bar in Bloomington. We met there at 12:30 and the last of us left there about 3:10. It was a great time. So, who was there, you ask? Well, when I got there, the Strib's Howard Sinker was there already. Soon after, the Twins Geek and the Twins Junkie walked in. I had met these two before a couple of times, the first time when we were all asked to appear at the State Fair a couple of summers ago. As you know, the Twins Geek (John Bonnes) is also the guy most responsible for Gameday Magazine, the excellent Twins magazine that you can purchase outside the Metrodome at all Twins games. I would encourage anyone who hasn't picked one up to buy a magazine! The Twins Junkie just graduated from high school. Next came Nick Nelson, one of the Nick's of Nick and Nick's Twins Blog. Then Corey Ettinger, a writer for the Minnesota Sports Guys came in. Joel Thingvall, who told us that he has scanned over 11,000 Twins cards and such for Twins Cards also was in attendance. For me, that is such a fun site to visit. They also have trivia on Tuesdays that you should consider participating in. Finally, Aaron Gleeman was there, and it was fun talking to him about where his career has gone. It's quite a story. Basically, we all just sat there for a couple of hours talking baseball. As I've said, it was nice having a conversation about the Twins where the focus wasn't on Nick Punto, Luis Rodriguez and Lew Ford. It was a positive discussion on all kinds of topics. It was just a lot of fun. I wasn't able to attend the first Blogger's Get Together in April. There was talk of putting together another Bloggers Get Together and inviting readers of our sites as well, so be sure to check for more details in the near future for that. I just happened to be in the cities, and I was happy and surprised with the great turnout considering it was a Tuesday at 12:30! I know that isn't exactly a time that works for everyone, and hopefully there are others that I will be able to meet at a later time.
Joe Christensen allowed readers to start making trade proposals and it created almost 400 Comments. Some of it is pretty interesting. Some of it is pretty comical, what people think will get a trade done.
Check out Aaron's excellent posting on Jason Tyner!
Here is the Minor League Update for games played on Tuesday night:
Rochester got a two-run single from Garrett Jones in the top of the 10th to pull out a 3-1 win over Louisville. Alexi Casilla went 3-5 and stole his 15th base. Glenn Williams went 2-3 with two walks and his fifth home run. Jeremy Cummings started for the Red Wings and gave up only an unearned run in seven innings. Bobby Korecky got the Win. He went 2.2 innings and gave up just one hit and walked one. Jose Mijares pitched to one batter and walked him so Brian Bass came in and got the final out and the Save.
New Britain lost 13-3 to Altoona. Tristan Crawford gave up nine runs on 11 hits and a walk in 3.2 innings. In the next 2.1 innings, Danny Powers gave up four runs on five hits. Frank Mata and JP Martinez each threw a shutout inning. Luke Hughes went 2-3 with a walk. Brian Buscher went 2-4. Trevor Plouffe hit his fifth homer, a three run shot.
Ft. Myers topped Clearwater 2-0 thanks to some great pitching. Jay Rainville threw his best game of the year. He went seven innings and gave up just four hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Eddie Morlan went the final two perfect innings for the Save. Eli Tintor led the offense. He went 2-3 with a walk. The Miracle managed just two runs despite seven hits and eight walks.
Jeff Manship improved to 7-1 with a 1.49 ERA in Beloit's 5-2 win over Cedar Rapids. Manship went the first seven innings and gave up just one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out nine. Dan Leatherman gave up a run in the 8th inning. Rob Delaney recorded his 21st save with a scoreless ninth. Danny Valencia went 3-4 with his 11th homer. Johnny Woodard went 2-4 with his 10th homer. Danny Santiesteban went 2-4 with a double.
That is it for today. I'm not exactly sure what my schedule will entail the rest of the week, but we shall see. If you have any ideas for the site, people to try to get Q&As from, article concepts or more, please leave some Comments or send me an e-mail. I would appreciate your help. Have a terrific day!
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