Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Twins Minor League Report
Another Quick Day
Good morning everybody! Welcome to the longest day of the year! OK, the day of the year with the most sunlight. Hopefully it just doesn't feel like the longest day! It probably won't be a real long entry again today. First, I want to remind people that today is the last day that I will be taking questions for Pat Neshek. If you are at all interested in asking Pat a question about himself, Rochester, the Twins minor league system, his thoughts on his potential big league call, anything.
Today, I will also have a few thoughts on last nights great Twins win, their 8th in a row. I also have the updates on the Twins minor league system, so let's get started.
!!!FINAL DAY TO E-MAIL ME YOUR QUESTIONS FOR PAT NESHEK!!!
Have a great day! Please feel free to e-mail me or leave Comments below.
The Twins won a well-fought game against the Houston Astros in the first game of the series. There were plenty of big hits, none bigger than by my man, Morneau. Here are some game thoughts:
From the "Dick and Bert Say Some Really Dumb Things" category - In the 2nd inning, the Astros Roy Oswalt was pitching and Dick Bremer tried to start a conversation by saying something to the affect of: "A lot of comparisons can be drawn between Oswalt and former Twins pitcher Joe Mays." I honestly almost fell over. I was sure I heard that wrong. But no, they continued the conversation and Blyleven even added to it. It took me about two innings to stop thinking about that. Oswalt has won 20 games or more the last two years, and has won about 67% of his decisions. He is still young. Mays had one solid year, a 17 win season. Of course, even that year, he wasn't that good, just got to pitch against the Tigers and other bad teams in the AL Central a lot. He never sustained any success. And once he was injured, he never really recovered. So, again, that is the beauty of blogs. You can hear someone that most Twins fans listening to would have just accepted, and we can look at it a little more honestly!
Speaking of Dick and Bert... they sure do speak the company line, don't they? When Tony Batista and Juan Castro were patrolling the left side of the infield, they would come up with plenty of positive things to say about each of them. They raved about how consistent Batista was, or how "spectacular" Castro was. It was like they wanted their viewers to think that both were good. They also spent plenty of time talking about the negatives of Jason Bartlett. Since Bartlett has come up and Batista was released and Castro was traded, they are now saying nothing but positives about Bartlett and admitting the deficiencies of Batista and Castro.
Fortunately, Bartlett has given the announcers and Twins fans plenty to be happy about. He went 3-4 last night with a walk and a double. He has at least one hit in each of his six games played. He also has not committed an error of yet. My concern about him was his complete lack of walks at AAA this year, but I also attribute that to being uncertain about how he did not make the team and thinking maybe he just needed to be more aggressive at the plate. I am happy that he has shown good plate discipline thus far.
How many home runs would Michael Cuddyer have if he played his home games at Minute Maid Field? With the left center field fence being just 362 feet from home field, I think his power numbers would be huge!
Isn't it just a strange feeling to see Joe Nathan blow a save? He just doesn't do that! We, as Twins fans, have been so spoiled by Nathan. And really, the pitch he made to Preston Wilson was perfect, working right to Joe Mauer's glove, up and away at 97 mph. Wilson just did a nice job of not doing too much and just taking it the other way, just inside the right field four pole. Nathan came back out for the 10th inning and was absolutely dominant again.
Justin Morneau was the hero again. His first-pitch, 10th inning homer off of lefty Trever Miller gave the Twins the lead they didn't give back. The swing that he put on the ball was very much evidence of the transformation he has made in the last three weeks. I know I have been saying for six weeks now that you can just see that he was taking better at bats, regardless of his low batting average at the time. He started laying off bad pitches. He was making solid contact to all parts of the field. In other words, he was making the adjustments to what the league was doing to him. It may have taken a year or more, but he appears to have done it now. He now has an 11 game hitting streak during which time he is 19-46 (.413) with four doubles, six homers and 19 RBI. His batting average has increased from .235 to .270.
Joe Mauer was just 1-4 with a walk last night. However, he may have had the most important play of the game. Down by one and facing Brad Lidge with runners on 1st and 2nd with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Mauer hit a one-hopper to shortstop. It was really a fairly tailor-made double play, but Mauer (sorry Mr. Gardenhire) busted his tail down the first base line and beat the relay throw to prolong the game. With Luis Castillo now at 3B, Lidge's subsequent wild pitch gave the Twins a ninth inning lead. It isn't just about the stat with Mauer. He, unlike some of the veterans, actually does all of the little things right too.
It appears that the M&M Boys are here, and hopefully for good. The problem is that both are eligible for arbitration following the season. I would really, really hope that the Twins would sign both to four year deals, taking them through the arbitration years and one year after they could be eligible for free agency. Most important, it would mean that both would/should still be in Twins uniforms when the team opens its new stadium. If I were Terry Ryan, I might already be starting discussions with the players' agents.
--For Mauer, I would offer him a contract where he would get $1.25 million in 2007, $3 million in 2008, $5.5 million in 2009, $7.5 million in 2010, and $9 million in 2011. First, there is no way that Mauer's agent would accept that 5 year, $26.25 million contract now. It is probably way too low. I think it would probably take closer to $40 million over 5 years to sign him, and I also would guess that they would not accept more than four years.
-- For Morneau, I would offer a contract for $1.25 in 2007, $2.75 million in 2008, $5 million in 2009, $7 million in 2010, and $8.5 million in 2011. Again, I would not imagine that the agents would accept the deal of five years and $24.5 million, at least not now.
-- Both players would likely make significantly more money if they just went year to year in arbitration and then got paid big in free agency. However, the deals would also give them a lot of security in case of injury, or simply not performing. It would be a risk for both sides, but one I think needs to be done, especially in a small market, if they want to keep these types of players.
With the Roger Clemens start on Thursday against the Twins, I am really excited. First, I am anxious to watch the Clemens/Liriano matchup, but also I am excited for Twins fans. Sure, Clemens will be the big story, as he should be. However, I am excited that 'the nation' will get to a close look at Francisco Liriano. I am excited that guys like Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel will get a shot against Clemens. I just believe that a little success could give some of these guys jus a little bit more name recognition. It is good for the organization. Not as good as the current eight game winning streak, but important.
Here are the remaining pitching matchups. I'm not real excited about the Twins chances tonight with Silva going for the Twins in that small ball park.
Wednesday - 7:05 - Carlos Silva (3-8, 7.07, 1.66, .352) vs Wandy Rodriguez (8-4, 3.49, 1.53, .277)
Thursday - 7:05 - Francisco Liriano (6-1, 2.16, 1.10, .277) vs Roger Clemens (341-172, 3.12, 1.17, .229)
Any other thoughts on the Astros or the Twins? E-mail me, or leave some Comments below.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
Monday SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Brock Peterson, Ft. Myers Miracle
Monday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Bobby Korecky, Rochester Red Wings
Here are the Tuesday updates. If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Tuesday - Red Wings 7, Toledo 1 - Shawn Wooten went 3-5. Jason Tyner was 2-4 with a walk. Tommy Watkins, recently promoted, was 1-4 with a three-run homer. Scott Baker picked up the win to improve to 2-0. He gave up no runs on two hits and three walks over six innings. He struck out eight. Beau Kemp gave up a run in his 1.2 inning stint. Bobby Korecky came in for the final four outs to record his first AAA save. (UPDATE - Thanks to those of you who pointed out my error. In looking at the box score, I mistakenly jotted down the stat line of Toledo’s starter Jordan Tata. Baker’s numbers, and the score, have been corrected.)
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Tuesday - Game 1 - Rockcats 5, Bowie 3 – Denard Span appears to be hitting again of late. The speedster went 3-5 with his fifth double and 14th stolen base. Trent Oeltjen was 2-4 with his 14th stolen base a 9th inning sacrifice fly for the go-ahead RBI. Felix Molina was 2-4 with his sixth double. Danny Matienzo went 2-5. Adam Harben started the game in gave up two runs (1 earned) on five hits and a walk. Levale Speigner went the next three innings for the win. He gave up a run on two hits. Tristan Crawford pitched the ninth for the save.
Tuesday - Game 2 – Rockcats 3, Bowie 4 – Doug Deeds went 3-4 with his 17th double. Danny Matienzo was 2-4. John Thomas started and threw five innings. He gave up three runs on six hits and a walk. Julio DePaula took the loss. After two shutout innings, he allowed the Bay Sox winning run with one out in the ninth.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Tuesday - Miracle 11, Lakeland 3 - I was wrong on a couple of things yesterday regarding the Miracle. First, I incorrectly said that they had been eliminated because Tampa had won. Well, Tampa beat Dunedin, the team that the Miracle needed to lose. In fact, Tampa beat Dunedin against last night, coupled with the Miracle win, and it will come down to tonight's games. The Miracle do have Kevin Slowey on the mound, likely for just one more game. Also, I incorrectly said that Alexi Casilla had been sent up to New Britain. That was also incorrect. He just had a minor soreness injury and got the game off. He was back in the Miracle lineup last night. So, what happened last night? Well, Brian Duensing got his first FSL win. The southpaw gave up three runs on six hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out four. Tim Lahey struck out two in his scoreless inning. Colby Miller held Lakeland scoreless for two more innings. Brock Peterson led the offense. He went 3-5 with his eighth double, seventh homer and two RBI. Trevor Plouffe went 2-3 with a walk, his first homer and two RBI. Deacon Burns and Garrett Guzman each had two hits. Korey Feiner went 1-2 with two walks.
Tuesday - Snappers – It was the Midwest League All Star Game last night. Several Snappers represented their team and the Twins organization. Tarrence Patterson led off and went 1-4. Paul Kelly batted second and went 0-2 with two strikeouts. Erik Lis was 0-1 with a strikeout. Drew Thompson was 0-1 with a strikeout. Eduardo Morlan went 2/3 of an inning and gave up a hit and had a strikeout. Oswaldo Sosa went 0.1 inning, allowed a hit, but he got got a strikeout.
Just a couple of quick Baseball Notes, and maybe more:
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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