Friday, July 1, 2005
Twins Minor League Report
MAILBAG: STATE OF THE TWINS
Earlier in the week, I re-asked a Discussion Question that I had really asked just over two weeks ago. Essentially, it was a State of the Twins question. When the question was originally asked, the Twins were creeping up on the White Sox and ready to make their run. Now, the Twins are sitting about ten games behind the Sox, the Indians are fast approaching and the Tigers are not far behind. To summarize, I wanted to know what your take is on the Twins and what needs to be done. I didn't get quite as much response this time around. Could it be that Twins fans are in a funk, much like the team itself? The responses that I got were great though, and I really think that you will not only enjoy them, but they will make you think. After posting your thoughts, I will basically just answer all of the questions that I asked in that question.
So again, I hope you enjoy all of the responses you read below. If you have any questions for me or any of today's responders, send me an e-mail and I will either answer it, or forward it to one of the writers. Also, I will post a couple of thought on the Twins, looking toward their weekend series against the Devil Rays. I will update you on the Twins minor league teams. And I have just a couple of other thoughts as well.
I would also like to point out that there will likely not be a site update until next Wednesday. I am headed out of town for the long 4th of July weekend today and won't be back until Tuesday. But as always, I want to encourage you to e-mail me and say hi, or ask me some questions, or make some comments, or give me some ideas for future postings. Just e-mail me.
Have a great, LONG weekend!
YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TWINS
To summarize this week's Discussion Question:
What is the state of the Twins now and what should be done about it?
Here are your responses:
Terry Ryan needs to evaluate where the Twins are and what is happening...which I suspect he has done. They are in the midst of a change of personnel, one that will see all 8 everyday players and three starting pitchers change from 2003 to 2007. Any moves he makes this summer should be towards the goal of winning in 2007, without regard for the level of success this season. Do we make the playoffs this season? It is unlikely, although with some luck we could slide into the wild card spot. It is more likely we will miss that goal for the first time in 4 years and finish with 85-90 wins.
Unless we turn things around during the next week to ten days, I expect any moves Mr. Ryan makes will be for the future rather than solving this year's problems. Who will not be on this team in 2006...Jones, Mays, Lohse, Cuddyer, Rivas? All could be gone, it is just a question of when and whether by trade or via free agency.
Moves that I suggest he makes over the next few weeks include trading Jones, Rivas and either Mays or Lohse. Rivas needs to go as Williams and LRod deserve to be on this team after Punto returns. I expect they could get a class A prospect similar to the Buchanon/Bartlett deal of a couple years ago. Jones should get a much better prospect as should either Lohse or Mays. Assuming Lohse is traded (I thought he pitched his best game of the year yesterday), Mays would go via free agency in the winter for which we would most likely get a second round pick plus a second round sandwich selection. I doubt they will trade Cuddyer at this time, however, he should also get moved this winter. With all the discussion about trading for a third baseman, is it possible that the third baseman of the future is Glenn Williams? He seems to be playing solid defense and is hitting very well. Every ball he hit in Milwaukee was solid.
As for moving Cuddyer to second, his defense is better at second than at third but not great and he hasn't developed into the hitter everyone has expected. It is time to move Cuddyer as the team needs someone like Punto or LRod doing the little things from the second slot in the order.
Additional moves would include bringing back Bartlett and letting him play about 80% of the games for the second half of the season. Replace either Lohse or Mays with Scott Baker and see how he does. With a half season under his belt, he would become the #4 starter in 2006 with all the other prospects (Liriano, Durbin, Bonser, or even Perkins) battling for next year's #5 slot. That way they wouldn't have two rookies in the 2006 rotation.
We won the division three straight years, it isn't likely we can continue winning championships while turning the team's roster due to payroll restrictions. Lets work towards getting back on top in 2007 or even 2006.
From Andy Hanson
Its Monday, and had it not been for a Twins victory (which our good friend Joe Nathan came one pitch away from blowing), or the fact that the Chicago South Side Never-Have-Beens got one-hit by the brilliant Mark Prior, this Twins fan would be teetering on the edge of reason and frustration beyond all recognition. Two weeks ago we were all glowing about the Twins chances of making the World Series and how Hawk Harrelson's band of upstarts were about to fold. At this point, it doesnt look like either is going to happen. Yes, we can hope for the Wild Card, which at this point will take some optimism.
The Twins play of late can only be described as atrocious. Starting pitching has been serving up gopher balls at an Eric Milton rate. The hitting, which has always been prone to struggles, is in the later stages of anemia. About a week ago, the Twins managed 3 hits off of Darrel May and Brian Lawerence respectively. Both of these guys wouldn't even be considered for most major league rosters. The Twins problems are many, and Seth brings up many good points. Lets start at the root of the recent problems; the pitching staff.
When we got Radke for the "bargain" price of 9 million a year for this season and next, I had mixed feelings. Last year Radke pitched outstanding and was without question the hard-luck pitcher of the year. I hoped he could continue his fantastic command into this season. Much has been said about Radke's control this year, and it is without question very good. Too good. Radke has virtually no movement on his fastball. None. Although he throws a curve, his only other pitch is the change, which is very good. The problem is that any big league hitter, even those venturing towards the Mendoza line, can hit an 88 mph fastball straighter than Billy Graham. When the hitter steps into the box and knows a first pitch meat-ball is coming, the odds are very good that the hide is going to be hit hard somewhere. Radke's best games come when he keeps the ball down and the batters hit it right at someone. If this doesn't happen, he's in trouble.
We all know that Lohse is supposed to have great potential, and for all intensive purposes has pitched well for a good part of the year. I do not think the Twins should offer him any more than a couple million a year, which means he'll be gone next year. No big loss, Scott Baker can replace him in a heartbeat.
I am not concerned about Santana. Although he has not come close to his majestic performance last year, he is still striking out hitters at a high rate, which is exactly what the Twins need. The reason Johan is having problems are that Mauer and Redmond do not call games as well as Blanco did, and hitters are just flat out guessing right on his changeup/fastball combo more often. Johan still has the stuff, and is still worth every penny.
Joe Mays will also be gone, and this Twins fan will have zero issues with that. Right now the Twins have four pitchers who cannot strike anyone out. With the exception of Silva, these four have been maddeningly inconsistent. Bert can talk all day long about the benefits of getting ground-ball outs. There comes a point and time however when the strikeout is badly needed. Mays is incapable of reaching back and dusting somebody when it really matters. Moreover, for a ground ball pitcher his control and location are less than adequate. If his sinker is not completely on, Joe gets lit up like Ted Kennedy at a free mixer. My hope is that Joe is replaced by JD "the Real Deal" Durbin, who also has command issues, but also sports a 95+ heater.
I said three weeks ago that the Twins should trade Joe Nathan, and now his market value is dropping with every atrocious outing. I like Joe, but he is not even a shadow of the dominant closer he was last year. His recent troubles have resulted in a startling lack of confidence, which is written all over his face when he pitches. Lohse used to have the Deer-In Headlights look on the mound. Now that dubious distinction belongs to Joe. I was hoping the Twins could get a Huston Street-like prospect for Joe, but that becomes less likely every day. Trade him now while we still can.
On other bullpen issues, it becomes more clear every year that we need another lefty, and Terry Muhlholland simply does not count. Bert always beams that Terry will do whatever is asked of him. This is because no other major league club would even dream of putting him on the 40 man roster. J.C. Romero has flashes of greatness but simply cannot be trusted. Matt Guerrier has looked solid, and has an outstanding curve. Crain has been fantastic, and should be closing. Rincon looks like he's adjusted from being off the juice. Hopefully Bowyer will be called up this year or the next, and can take over Crain's 7th/Late Inning spots.
I have not given up hope on the Twins, but trading Lohse/Mays or Nathan and letting Browyer/Durbin/Baker or Liriano get some valuable experience could be of huge benefit. I don't know who we could possbily get for any of these guys, but Nathan seems to be the most attractive bait we have. Lohse and Mays are completely expendable.
I will not devote as much time to the hitters as I never expected them to do well anyway. The Twins do not have a single hitter that a number one pitcher will fear. Yes, Mauer and Morneau will be great some-day. Shannon Stewart is a truly professional hitter and probably the only true one on the team right now. Ford, Hunter and Jones all show flashes of brilliance, but can never consistently produce, although Lew is a hustler and seems to come through in the clutch more often than his teammates, with the exception of Stewart.
Aside from Mauer, Morneau, and Stewart, I believe every hitter is expendable, especially Jacque. Kubel should be able to fill his shoes without any difficulty. Cuddyer may benefit from a move to second base, but I wouldn't lose any sleep over him being traded. Bartlett should get the opportunity to start, as Castro is much more serviceable as a defensive substitute. I often dream of the Twins being able to somehow acquire Bobby Crosby, although the chances are minimal. How great would it be to acquire Crosby and Street from the A's?
The bottom line is simply that in order to reach the playoffs, the pitching staff has to carry the Twins. This is something that every Twins fan knows, and has grown increasingly frustrated with as of late. We have enormous potential in the bullpen, but the fact that four of our starters rely completely on the ball being hit to someone makes me nervous. It has become obvious by now that the White Sox are not going to fold, so we need to devote our attention to Baltimore, Texas, New York, and even Cleveland. The Twins have an extremely tough schedule in August and September, so if they are going to start rolling, the time is right now. We have 6 games against Kansas City and Tampa. If we don't win 4, we might as well start packing. I have not yet reached Randy Quaid from Major League 2 status yet, but if the Twins are two more bad series away from being in serious trouble. This isn't the movies, where someone makes a motivational speech, the sports montage kicks in, and we waltz into the playoffs. Baseball is all about streaks, and the Twins are obviously due for a winning set. It needs to happen now, as we still have numerous games against Texas, Boston, Anaheim, and most importantly, the White Sox.
Don't go jumping off any bridges just yet! The Twinks have SUCKED the past 2 weeks, but for whatever reason, this seems normal in June. I am too lazy too research the numbers, but I would be willing to bet that June is there worst month by far the past 2-3 years.
Pitching will be OK. If and it is a big if, they continue this slide for the next 4 weeks and approach July 30 and they are not realistically in the wild card picture, then it is time to start moving some guys.
1. Mays, no way will we re-up him for $8 mill. Maybe we could land a solid AA OF prospect.
2. Mulholland, should be able to bring a solid A ball player.
3. Lohse, sorry...but I think we need to keep him. Even if he makes 4 mill next year, he has that dreaded word.......potential.
Don't even think of trading Nathan or Romero this year.
The hitting STINKS!!!! We have 4 - 5 major league hitters at any one time and something needs to change and change NOW.
1. Lecroy, I love Matty and I truly believe if he were ever truly given a shot he could be a .280 - .300 hitter with 30-35 HRs. Just like we never gave Ortiz a fair shot. But if we are not going to play him, then trade him. Personally I would rather have him at DH than Ford.
2. Rivas, if not for injuries I would say cut his rear. He has shown no improvement over the past 3 years and acts like he doesn't care. Plugging in a AA prospect would be better at this point. Maybe go after a Machowiak from Pitt or Boone from Seattle and move our mighty mites back to the bench.
3. WE NEED POWER and AVERAGE!!!! No one is getting on base regularly and no one can drive them in either. Go out and pay the price for a Sweeney(Mays, Durbin, Swarzak & Garret Jones for Sweeney) or Randa (Durbin & Neshek should get that deal done) or Dunn (even if is just a rent a player) or even a Matt Stairs to DH and PH.
4. If we fall out of the race, trade Rivas, Jones, and maybe....Stewart. I know you are a Stewart lover but listen. Of the 3 he has the highest trade value. He is a great table setter, which a lot of teams need, he has post season experience and he signed beyond this year. We can worry about who leads off next year and we could have an OF of Ford, Kubel, Hunter and some 6-8 yr veteran to fill in. Stewart would bring a GOOD prospect package.
The only way to improve the offense is to go out and pay the price for a hitter. We have no one in our system that is capable of "stepping up" and we are relying too much on young guys (Mauer, Morneau, Ford, Cuddyer, etc.,...) We have stock piled our farm system for many years for a reason and this is one of them.
As far as your comment about recent call up doing well for a few weeks and then falling back, it happens everywhere and only the true MLB players respond. Pitchers and scouting reports find there weak spots and the hitters are unable to adjust.
Keep the faith. The season isn't have over and I guarantee that the Sox will go on at least 2 big loosing streaks. There is also the wildcard and the team to worry about is in the West, not the East. The boys in the East are going to beat each other up all season, with the BoSox taking the division.
From John Welsch
Concerning the Twins:
Record wise, the 2005 team is almost identical to the 2004. The problem comes from everybody else in the division improving while we tread water. Reasons why the Twins haven't improved, or appear to be having problems include; the White Sox unbelievable season, the Twins multitude of injuries, young players not playing up to expectations, and an inability to hit in the clutch. You could include manager's game strategy here as well, but I think that is overrated concerning the Twins problems this year, but shouldn't be totally discounted since it does lead to a loss or two. (or a win or two if things are going well)
People who complain about Brad Radke baffle me. Here is a guy who always takes the ball (only has missed three months of one season, and what is this, his 11th as a Twin?) whenever asked, has remained loyal to his original team by signing for less, works hard, isn't controversial, says all the right things, and steps up his game in the post season (his post-season stats are much better than his career stats). Granted he is a .500 career pitcher, pitching for some horrible teams, and is overpaid (most major leaguers are), and yes, it sucks that he always gives up runs in the first inning, but what does it matter if the opposition doesn't score the rest of the innings? Every starting pitcher gives up runs every game (just about). While Brad could improve his game, I believe he is in a bad rut right now and will eventually right himself.
Johan Santana must be judged on his ENTIRE year in 2004, not just the last 2/3 when he was unhittable. In fact, I think it was around mid-June last year before he started to turn it around. So this year compared to last year at this time, he is a better pitcher. Obviously he is not pitching now the way he did at the end of last year, but let's give him a chance.
Trade Mays and Lohse, neither one should be brought back next year for what they are bringing to the team this year. One of the TwinsTerritory writers had it right when they suggested the Twins should have traded Lohse three weeks ago when he was on a roll. Mays will get hurt again. Let someone else pay for his rehabilitation.
Joe Nathan is fine (as are Crain and Rincon). Every major league pitcher goes through times when he gets hit. Hitters have a job to do to, and sometimes they are going to be successful at it.
JC Romero is a waste of a roster spot. He hasn't had a decent year since 2002, and not in a long time have I seen a player's season stats belie his true abilities. He can't throw a first pitch strike, can't get lefties out with runner on base, and can't pitch in clutch situations. While I agree we need lefties in the pen, we need to get rid of him and find someone else.
Terry Mulholland is an example why teams need to go back to 10 man pitching staffs. You need someone to eat innings in blow out games, but there aren't as many of those now compared to years past. For years teams needed 11(and some 12 and 13); hitting was great, strike zones were small, teams didn't have enough arms. But now that we are seeing starting pitchers begin to dominate more games, we need fewer relievers. (Who knew Mulholland and Guerrier were even on the staff in May and early June?) Mulholland was a good addition last year, not needed this year, although if Gardy is intent on carrying 11, better Mulholland than Bowyer, Baker, or Liriano.
What we have in 2005 on offense is what the Twins pretty much have had the last 15 years, some talented hitters who need to do the little things to score enough runs to win. Stewart is rock steady, Hunter is perhaps having his second best year for the Twins (only 2002 being better). Jones is a little down but at times excelled this season. Mauer and Morneau are slightly below expectations, although not the entire cause for the malaise the Twins are in. They deserve a little slack since both are in their first full seasons. I expected to Cuddyer to struggle at third since he had seldom played there as a major leaguer, but his lack of hitting has surprised me. The middle infield is a mess, Cuddyer might be the answer at second if he can't play third, but now that Williams is hurt, and Tiffee can't hit, we won't find out. There have been so many injuries it is tough to decipher who can play and who can't. Everybody sings the praises of Punto, but like Koskie in previous years, he's always hurt, my patience is running out on Nick. Castro looks like he is just putting in time, he makes some wonderful plays but sometimes his throws leave much to be desired. And his hitting? Other than the occasional hit and run single, it doesn't exist. Rivas is a waste of a million dollars. Why we re-signed him last year I will never know. Abernathy and Rodriguez started the year in the minors for a reason, they aren't good enough to be big leaguers.
Ford has done as expected as DH, but I think we would be better defensively if he and Stewart switched, I don't think Shannon could throw out my 90 year old Grandpa at second on a throw from the left field corner. LeCroy probably should be jettisoned. He can no longer use leather, when he plays regularly he goes into deep hitting slumps. If we can afford Smokey Burgess he can be the 24th or 25th man.
One final thought, there is a lot of talk about the Twins needing a clutch power hitter. (Carlos Lee for example) Yes the Twins need one, but who is available that would take the Twins over the top? These guys aren't growing on trees and most come with baggage. Lee never helped the Sox to a pennant and won't help the Brewers either, word is he is a cancer in the clubhouse besides being a liability in the field (he won't DH). If one becomes available fine, but let's not get rid of our prospects for someone who may not be the answer.
2005 recommendation, stay the course and be patient.
From Gordon Thyberg, aka Lonestar
How is this different than the question we answered on June 13? The Twins have gone from 5.5 games behind the White Sox to 9.5. They have gone from 3 games up in the Wild Card to trailing Baltimore by .5 games and leading Cleveland by 1.5, Texas by 3.5, and the Yankees by 4. Oh, yes -- the Twins have given up on Cuddyer who seems to be getting much of the blame.
The Twins are 42-34 compared to 41-34 after June 29 last year. Of course last year Santana was just beginning his roll. Radke was one of the 5 best starters in the league, and Morneau hadn't come up to stay. Note: The Twin's now annual June Swoon did not begin when Punto went on the DL. They won 4 of their first 5 games without Punto.
Of course the state of the Twins must look past 2005. The Twins will want to sustain competitiveness and the AL Central is increasingly competitive. More than Pitching & Defense will be needed to make the play-offs this year and in the future.
Any discussion of the state of the Twins and moves they can make has to consider next year's budget. Right now the Twins have $52,300,000 committed for next year with minimums at #4 starter, #5 starter, #5 reliever, and #6 reliever (long reliever) as well as 3B and the last 3 spots on the bench as well as DH. That does not include Lohse, Mays, Lecroy, Mulholland or Cuddyer. Any one's guess as to the Twins arbitrary salary cap is as good as mine. I am guessing $58,600,000, so the Twins will have to $6,300,000 to spend next year without shedding some salary.
Assessing the Twins farm system, the Twins seemed well stocked in pitching but bereft of position talent in the upper levels except for Bartlett and Romero.
I think the Twins will be in the heat of the wild card race until after the trade deadline. I compared the strength of schedules for the Twins, Orioles, Rangers and Indians as of Monday a.m. Based on opponents winning percentage alone, the Twins are expected to win 43.79 of their remaining games, the Orioles 43.97, the Rangers 43.45 and the Indians 41.83
I doubt if the Twins give up any major league talent with the exception of Cuddyer. Bonser and/or Durbin are the most likely chits to be cashed in. The Twins will trade for a position player or 2, most likely at 3B. That will not be enough to fix the offense. Then again, if some guys warm up and the pitching regains form, the Twins will be competitive this year.
Given the issues regarding position talent now and in the next two years plus the abundance of relief talent and pitching prospects, the Twins will have to trade in order to fill needs. Obviously when considering trading relievers (other than Guerrier), the deals are mutually exclusive in the short run.
The Twins are looking for major league veterans like Shea Hillenbrand. Given a more intermediate perspective, I would be willing to trade for major league ready bats like Ryan Howard, Wilson Betemit, Carlos Quentin, Conor Jackson, Victor Diaz, Xavier Nady. Prospects are good to complete the deal or in complementary trades.
Joe Mays is at least the 4th best starter. They will get draft pick compensation for him. I think they will keep him for the year. Mays doesn't fit next year's budget unless they trade Stewart, Hunter, or Nathan.
I can see them keeping Kyle Lohse and giving him arbitration next year. He's a young innings eater with potential. That way they only have to break in one 1st-year starter. What could they get for Lohse? I think he could fetch Ryan Howard and Michael Bourn from Philadephia. Is Betemit worth Lohse?
Last year the Twins won with great seasons from Nathan and Rincon and good half-seasons from Romero and Balfour. This year they have Nathan, Rincon, Romero, and Crain with Bowyer in the wings.
Where is the love for JC Romero? His OPS Against is 13th among LH relievers with 25 innings pitched. He is inconsistent, not awful. Reminds me of Nathan and Rincon and most relievers in that regard. I don't see him being traded until Barrett and/or J. Miller and/or Sawitski are ready.
I am very concerned about Nathan's performance. Some like to cite his splits between save and non-save situations. I'm concerned that those splits are the results of small samples. I would definitely consider trading Nathan. Is this reasonable: Nathan to Boston for Youkalis, Pedroia, Shoppach and a prospect.
I have no idea how Rincon will pitch post-substance or what his value is. When Arizona was seriously in the race, Rincon might have brought back a Carlos Quentin or Connor Jackson, at least if his reputation was clean.
I am extremely leery of Crain's K/AB rate. I would shop him also.
In fact the reliever I am least likely to shop is Travis Bowyer. The reservations on him are his BB/AB and his reliance on his fast ball. According to Sickels, he does have complementary pitches. I look at his BB/AB rate as effectively wild. His fastball is reportedly not as straight as Nathan's.
I would trade Guerrier now while his value is peak, either as part of a package or for another part more useful to the Twins.
I would give up Mulholland in a heartbeat. The Twins wrongfully perceive he is likely to have value against LHP's.
The most redundant Twins OF is Stewart. Ford does everything he does better. Jones is an LHB, just as good on offense, a better defender, and a long-time Twin. Trading Stewart allows them to keep Jones next year. It would necessitate getting another OF, preferably RHB. Then again, Jones production against RHP's could be made up at DH by someone like Matt Stairs. Or Ryan Howard.
Hunter is untouchable in 2005, but he costs $10.75 million next year with a $2 million buy-out in 2007. Trade him before 2006, likely to Texas, perhaps for Kinsler and/or Gerald Laird.
Rivas should be sent to Rochester (something that should have happened years ago) to work on his plate discipline, now also to recover his slugging and work on his defense at SS. He might be useful when roster expands and/or when the Twins carry a 15th position player in the playoffs.
Matt LeCroy should be the DH against LHPs and a pinch hitter unless an RHB comes to them in trade. Trade him then or in the off-season.
I hated the Castro signing from Day 1. He should be benched, then disappear next year.
I doubt if Punto can sustain his offense. What will we think of him if his line looks like .275/.333/.375/.708. I think the Twins have concluded he is injury prone. That explains their interest in Hudson.
I think the Twins sent Bartlett down to delay his service clock. They say he's their SS of the future, but I remain unconvinced of their faith in him and his place in their future.
Cuddyer has been league average offensive 3B since April. He was better the second half of last year. He still has had only 803 AB's in the majors. His defense is down where Koskie's was 2000, about the same as last year.
The Twins only need one futility IF until the playoffs. But they do need a super utility player. That could be Cuddyer, but I think he needs a change of scenery. Cuddyer also plays OF which could be a factor if they trady Stewart or Jones.
If I am not mistaken, L-Rod is out of options next year.
I am glad Glenn Williams is no longer distraction. Negligible power and plate discipline.
The Twins still have holes to fill at 3B, 2B, SS, DH, LHB off the bench, 2nd IF. If Kubel is not ready, it gets worse next year without moves when Jones leaves.
1. Fix SS. Replace Castro with Punto. If [When] he gets hurt or if he falters on offense, call up Bartlett. Bartlett will replace Castro on Roster and likely replace Punto in the line-up in 2006.
2. Fix 2B or 3B. Trade JD Durbin or Boof Bonser to Cincinatti for Ryan Freel. Freel can also play OF.
3. Fix 3B. Trade Willy Eyre and Brent Abernathy for Joe Randa, likely in a package with #2.
4. Fix DH. Trade Scott Tyler to Kansas City for Matt Stairs, demoting Ryan. Platoon Stairs with LeCroy (or other RHB).
5. Fix depth and future. Trade Matt Guerrier and Luis Rodriguez to Texas for Marshall McDougall and Estaban German. McDougall could be the super utilitly IF now or workin the AAA outfield as well as the infield if they keep Cuddyer for the rest of the season.
6. Enhance bullpen. Replace Guerrier or Mulholland with Bowyer.
And that's making an omelet without breaking an egg. Now to break some eggs. Cash in Lohse. Consider cashing in Stewart and/or a power reliever, even Nathan. In the off-season, cash in Hunter and Cuddyer.
From Wyl (aka Carter Hayes of Twins Territory)
Brad's been struggling, but he's a gamer and a smart pitcher. The stuff may not be where he wants it right now (all those walks suddenly might just be enough proof of that), and he definitely needs to work on those first innings. Seems to me the biggest worry is that he gives up one big inning. If he can avoid that, I can take the rest.
Is Johan tipping some pitches? I dunno, but Gardy seems to think so. Personally, I'm not too worried about our ace. He's still punching out guys and getting the innings, so I think it's just a little slump that will pass. Hopefully soon, though.
I'd like to see Mays retained, but at a lower salary. If the Twins could buy out his option and resign him to a lower contract like the Pads did with Trevor Hoffman in after the 2003 season, I'd be all for it. Call it a three year deal worth 15m$? Seems reasonable since he got all that free money when he was injured. Hopefully he likes it here and will sign for less than market....
I'm holding out for Lohse to be traded this year for a bat like Kevin Mench or a third baseman like Bill Mueller. At any rate, I don't want to see him here next year.
Keep Nathan. He'll adjust, and closers are hard to find right now. He's worth every penny he's paid right now, plus a lot more.
I'm a little concerned about Rincon simply because the union basically didn't back him. So I'm guessing there was a private admission of guilt or something along those lines, but I think he's over it now and just wants to put it all behind him. Pitching well should be all the remedy he needs.
Re: Romero, Embree is available, but I like him even less than Romero. I'd hold onto JC for now.
Mulholland is worth more to the Twins than he would bring in a trade. If we can get a decent return on Lohse, Mulholland and Guerrier should share the 5th starter role.
I'd trade Hunter now for an impact player. I think Ford could handle center, and Hunter's going to get a lot more expensive than he's worth pretty soon, defense included. I think a lot of NL team would bite, including the Padres and Braves. American League-wise, Texas, Oakland or Orange County could take him on...but would they? I firmly believe his value is as high as it will ever get right now, so if we can get some quality ML-ready guys for him, we should move quickly.
Scott Ullger needs to leave. Now. He's not doing anything for the team, and I'm still steamed that the Twins (specifically McPhail) basically ran off Wayne Terwilliger in favor of Ullger after the 1994 season. I'd take Twig's 1991 jockstrap over Ullger any day. My prime candidates would be Rod Carew, Dave Winfield, or Paul Molitor among former Twins. Maybe Gene Larkin? What's Rob Wilfong doing these days? I think you get my point: I'd take almost anybody over Ullger these days.
Conventional wisdom, maybe, but Cuddyer should move back to the keystone, with Castro remaining at short for the duration. Punto would be great in a Rob Mackowiak/Chone Figgins uber-utility role, as it would cut down on the daily wear and tear but allow him to play enough games to make a significant contribution. The only problem is, who would play third? The defense couldn't get worse than Cuddy's, I don't think. So let's do a trade for Billy Mueller, who is pretty good with the glove, is a doubles machine, and has excellent clubhouse presence and a winner's attitude. His ability to play 2b occasionally and SS in an emergency is an added bonus. Terry Ryan could send Rincon to the BoSox for Mueller and Lohse could move to the pen (unless we deal him, too). I think Crain has the stones to take over Juan's role at this point, though. This trade needs to happen today!
Juan Castro should get most of the regular starts at short, with Punto doing the uber-utility thing and grabbing a few now and then. I'm a little worried that Barlett was never promoted, and yet Rodriguez, Williams, and Abernathy were. Or am I reading too far into this?
If the Twins can score an A-ball outfielder for Luis Rivas, they should jump at the opportunity. Rivas is an injury magnet whose best year was also his first. It's been a downhill ride since then, and the Twins are deep enough in the middle infield to do without him.
Now that Williams is out indefinitely, when Punto comes back the Twins should deal Rivas and slide Rodriguez into his place. I know Gardy likes to carry that extra utility guy, and Rivas doesn't have enough utility to do the job Rodriguez can.
I really like Matty LeCroy, even if most other Twins fans don't. He mashes lefties on a team that struggles against them. That's a valuable asset to have. Ideally, Jacque should sit against lefties, with Ford in right and LeCroy as the DH. But Gardy doesn't platoon...so someone needs to remind him of Pags/Leius back in '91. It worked then, and we've got half a season or so left to reap the benefits of Matty's big stick as DH for a third of the games.
If Morneau hits .280, I'm cool with that. His power stroke should come back, but we need to get that boy some better protection in the lineup than hackers like Torii and Jacque. A patient, professional bat with power would go a long way to giving Morneau that much needed protection. I like Kevin Mench a lot, and Adam Dunn is way too tempting to not make a run at, in my mind. I'd only hold back Liriano in pursuit of Dunn...and Cincy has been rumored to be a little displeased with Sean Casey's production relative to his performance.
A possible move would be to trade Lohse, Garrett Jones (who could be Cincy's new first baseman, allowing them to trade Casey to a team looking for help), and Boof Bonser or JD Durbin to Cincy for Dunn. With the right moves, and lifting the self-imposed salary cap a little, Terry Ryan could probably keep Dunn until at least 2007. If it was possible that we could pick up both Dunn and Mueller this year, we'd be a bit thin on pitching. I'm confidant Mulholland/Guerrier could pick up every fifth start (which go away after the regular season anyway), and one of the AAA guys (Baker or Bowyer?) could move up and fill Crain's current role, while Crain himself moves into Rincon's.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. Love the site, and I'll see you again next time around!
My intention was to write a nice write up answering all of the questions that I initially asked, and I will still do that, but because we got such great, detailed responses from our readers, I will keep my thoughts 'fairly' brief. Let's start with the first question:
Brad Radke is giving up a lot of homers and has returned to a big league average pitcher. He has not been as good this year as last, not that any of us would have expected that. What is the difference?
Yes, Radke is 5-8 and clearly Radke is not the same pitcher he was a year ago. But did we really expect him to be? That is a pretty unfair expectation. First, remember that Radke's ERA this season is just 4.07. That is below league average. Yes, he is giving up runs in the first inning, but as you read above, he isn't giving up much in any of the other innings. In most starts, he will work six or seven innings and give up three runs or so. That is enough to be better that .500 with any run support. Don't forget that Johan Santana's ERA is at 3.86, not exactly light years better than Radke and yet he is 7-4.
Let's be honest, Johan Santana has not been pitching like Johan Santana is capable of yet this year. Sure, we have seen a few glimpses of greatness and plenty of strikeouts, but the consistency has not been there as much as the long-ball. What is wrong?
He will be just fine. He seems to have the persona to come back from rough outings. As we know, he didn't start out well last year either and well all know what happened. No, I don't think he'll have that kind of second half again, but he will likely be a top pitcher in the league in the second half. Now, he was supposedly tipping his pitches. He has made a correction but has since struggled with his control (or that is what we are being told). Once he regains his control, his stuff will be back to what we saw. Maybe I'm just a wishful thinker, but I really believe he will be fine.
Joe Mays is in the final year of his Twins contracts. Mays will become a free agent at the end of the season, for no compensation. The Twins couldn't possibly be interested in bringing him back next year, could they? If not, can they trade him for anything? Maybe a minor league bat?
Since I wrote this question, Mays had his best start in a long time. His ERA is down to 3.94 despite averaging less than 3 strikeouts per nine innings. In other words, I think that Mays is doing fine. However, if the Twins determine that they are out of contention for a playoff spot by the trade deadline, I think the Twins would be wise to trade Mays. He is just 29 years old, but we have also seen what his ceiling is and it isn't worth the money that he will likely get next year. So, unless the Twins can reach an agreement to extend Mays' contract for a couple of seasons at about $1 million a year, I would try to trade him. He has shown in the past and at times this year that he can be a great groundball pitcher. I would think that many teams could be interested in that, and maybe the Twins can get as much as a double A outfielder for him. The truth is that, in Scott Baker, Mays will be replaced next year with equal or better results for a far cheaper price tag.
I just can't imagine the Twins offering Kyle Lohse arbitration. Scott Boras is his agent and you would have to assume that he would accept it and the Twins would have to pay him about $4 million to be poor next year again. So, instead of losing him for nothing, can he be traded? I envision him going to the Braves and working with Leo Mazzone and becoming the star pitcher that we all think he is capable of becoming. I hope for him that that can happen, however, it will never happen with the Twins
After I wrote this question, I started thinking more about this situation. Lohse has been non-good for four years now. However, he is good for 180-200 innings every year. He has never been hurt, at least enough to spend time on the Disabled List. He eats innings. Gardy seems to like throwing him out there. Am I saying that the right thing to do is to keep Lohse on the team this year and beyond? Absolutely not. I think that he should be jettisoned as quickly as possible. Do I think that he will be traded? I really don't, and I really do believe he will be back next year for a couple of reasons. First, he can give that many innings at a market-reasonable cost. Second, I agree with people who have said that Terry Ryan will likely not go with two rookies in the rotation. That said, I think that they can trade him or let him go, and then sign a free agent pitcher of the same, or probably better, quality in the offseason for a quarter of the cost. So my overall thought. If possible, TRADE HIM. There are numerous names with the Cincinnati Reds on the trading block. Maybe the Reds would be interested in Lohse. In all honesty, he would probably be their best starting pitcher if he went there now. Maybe we can get Joe Randa for him!
Joe Nathan is off, and he has been for the last four to six weeks. Is it just inconsistent save chances or is something different with what he is doing? If the Twins fall out of contention, is he worth trading now before he starts getting expensive? The team could give the closer's job to Jesse Crain, or even call up Travis Bowyer to replace him for the league minimum.
Yes, I believe that Nathan's struggles came as a result of a lack of consistent save opportunities. We see this all the time with closers; they're lights-out in clutch, save situations but when they're brought in just to get work in, they really struggle. I think that shows because of his walk totals. Nathan rarely walks people and that is what he has been doing. So, I think that the Twins should keep Nathan through the season. He is still one of the better closers in the game and costs very little. There is one scenario where I can see the Twins trading Nathan. That would be to a team that really needs bullpen help, the Atlanta Braves. Nathan could step into that situation and really help the Braves toward another NL East title. However, to make a trade to the Braves worthwhile, any talks should start with 3B Andy Marte, one of the top hitting prospects in all of baseball. Hey, if they gave up Jose Capellan to get Dan Kolb, they can give up Marte (and maybe a decent AA pitching prospect) for Nathan.
Juan Rincon has been better of late, which is good to see again. He joins Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier as the consistent bullpen options right now. Do you think that his suspension affected his pitching? Physically, or mentally?
I think that Rincon's suspension hurt him mentally and emotionally more than physically. I think it took him awhile to get back into feeling like a part of the team. Seems weird, but I am sure he feels that he let down the team and his teammates and maybe tried to do too much to make up for it. He has been solid again of late and I think he will be just fine.
JC Romero continues to be awful. Pennant contending teams usually like having another lefty out of the bullpen. Maybe the Twins can get something, anything for him!?
You can throw me as many stats to try to convince me that JC Romero is worth keeping and nothing will change my mind on that matter. You hate to let 'gut feeling' come into play in baseball, but think about this for a second; when JC Romero comes into a game with runners on, how do you feel? Me? I just know that the inherited runners will score. I know that if he isn't throwing strikes immediately, he will be a mess. You can almost see it in his eyes. When Jesse Crain comes in with runners on, I get a feeling of excitement just knowing he will find a way to get the team back in the dugout. Same with Rincon. Romero needs to be gone. I would honestly feel better if the Twins brought David Gassner into games to get lefties out at this point. And his contract is too much for next year too. Maybe Atlanta, again a team looking for relief pitchers, would have interest in Romero.
Same thing with Terry Mulholland. He has not been bad and has really done a lot in his roles for the Twins, but he can't be in the Twins plans and trading him would allow someone new to get some pitching time with the Twins.
I am a fan of the veteran pitcher who is mentally strong enough to last in the league for this long. Terry Mulholland still throws 90 mph. He has a decent curveball. He can be very serviceable to a team. I think if the team is in contention, it is important to have him on the roster. However, if the team feels it is out of the race, Mulholland should be traded to a contender. He's left-handed and can get lefties out this year. I would be happy to get a Class A prospect for him.
Right now, it is impossible to say much bad about the offensive performances of a few Twins (Hunter, Stewart, you guys), but others are really struggling.
About six weeks ago, I bashed Hunter. I said that I was waiting for him to "carry the team" as Bert Blyleven so frequently says he is capable of. Well, he and Stewart have really been the lone bright spots in the Twins lineup the last four to six weeks. It is fun to see.
Which of the Twins outfielders is most expendable and should be traded now? The easy answer is Jacque Jones because 1.) he's struggling and 2.)the Twins will get nothing in return for him this offseason. However, Torii Hunter is going to get expensive starting next year, so should the team look to trade their clear leader? Maybe his value is as high as it'll get right now?
I do really like Shannon Stewart. The team does well and he finds a way to help the team. He gets on base plenty. He has added power to his repertoire. He is clutch. That said, I would agree with the reader who said he is probably the most expendable. He will make $6.5 million next season, which is definitely fair. However, I think that Lew Ford is a capable leadoff hitter who is a far better defensive player. I agree that Jacque Jones would be worth keeping if we really thought that Gardy would start platooning him against left-handers. However, that won't happen. So, I do think that Jones is the guy who will not be around next season. I would love to see an outfield of Ford, Hunter and Kubel next season. However, I expect it will be Stewart, Hunter and Ford (with Kubel DHing). And I have no problem with that. Hunter, however, is the guy that the Twins could get the most for. Not only is he the best defensive centerfielder, but he is capable of 25 homers and 90 RBI to go with 25-30 stolen bases in a season. Don't you think that the Yankees would LOVE to have Torii patrolling centerfield? If they were willing to send us Robinson Cano, Carl Pavano and Eric Duncan, the Twins would be wise to jump all over that. Hunter has the personality to thrive in New York too!
Here is an interesting thought. The Twins have done well the last couple of seasons bringing up players from their minor league system who have found a way to contribute right away. Michael Ryan two years ago. Justin Morneau, Terry Tiffee last year. This year, it has been the likes of Luis Rodriguez and Glenn Williams. However, it seems that eventually the league catches up to them and finds ways to get them out. So, who is to blame for that? Is it the player for not making adjustments? Is it the hitting coach for not finding the means to help the player know what the pitchers are trying to do to each hitter so that they can work on those weaknesses? I don't know what the answer is to that question. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I was hoping to get some more thoughts on this question. I think it is a good, and a fair, question. I just don't really know what the job description of a batting coach is. I mean, does that coach watch film and make suggestions to hitters? Does the hitting coach throw extra BP to guys who are struggling? Scott Ullger had anything but a good offensive career in the big leagues, so I am not sure what qualifies him as a big league hitting coach. I say that and yet I don't believe that a manager or a coach has to have a big league history. My theory is that the Twins are at a point where they don't want to trust young players. They want to win and play veterans and guys who have 'done it before.' They don't want to be patient with their young hitters through their struggles and adjustments. Well, except with Joe Mauer (which is good!).
Michael Cuddyer is a big question mark to me. I personally still think that he will hit, and I also think that he will hit for power. However, he has not found a consistency this year, even with consistent playing time. He will show some power at least for doubles, but then he'll go in prolonged slumps. He takes a lot of pitches and some walks, but seems to find himself in 0-2 and 1-2 counts frequently. Do you still see a future for him with the Twins? Also, is it just me, or is Michael Cuddyer far better defensively at 2B? Suddenly his offensive output doesn't look quite as bad if he plays that position.
I really think I answered my question in my (admittedly) long-winded question. I still have complete confidence in Cuddyer. I think that he was hurt by the constant position changes and never really getting a full-time gig and being sent between AAA and the big leagues so many times over the previous four years that it really hurt his development. I think he needs more than three months to really determine what he will be. The strikeouts are a major concern for me personally. I do believe that his best position defensively is 2B and that he would be more comfortable and probably produce better offensively with a full-time change to 2B. However, with the Glenn Williams injury that will likely cost him at least two months, Cuddyer is really the lone 3B option for the Twins. So, unless there is a trade for Randa or Marte, Cuddyer should stay at 3B the rest of the season.
Juan Castro or Jason Bartlett?
I was not happy with how Jason Bartlett was handled. He earned the starting job in spring training and although his batting average was not where he would want it, he was getting on base. And, his defense was far from horrible. But he got just a month as the starter before Castro took over the job. Now, I have to say that watching Castro play shortstop is really something. He makes everything look so easy (reminiscent of the Twins shortstop from a year ago, the difference being that Castro's lazy throws hit the first baseman in the chest). However, he is now hitting where he should be (which is to say he isn't doing much at all) after getting a lot of bloop hits early in his starting role. This is a tough decision for me now. I want Bartlett to be the regular shortstop, but I want him to get a real chance at the job, not a month. If the Twins are in the pennant race and intend on Bartlett being the shortstop, he needs to start playing now, and not wait until August. If they are saying that Castro will be the starting shortstop through the season, the Bartlett should remain in Rochester and play every day. He can be called up on July 31 so that he is on the postseason roster.
What can they do with Luis Rivas? Keep marketing him as a utility infielder and try to get a low Class A outfielder for him? Release him?
I like the idea of marketing him as a utility infielder for the next few weeks. If that means that there is one team out there who would be willing to give the Twins some bad pitching prospect in the Low A affiliate, that would be good enough for me. If not, he should be just released and the Twins will have to just eat the rest of his contract. Brent Abernathy is a far better player. Luis Rodriguez is just as good defensively, plays hard, and puts together good at bats.
With Glenn Williams and Luis Rodriguez playing well, what are their roles, particularly when Nick Punto comes back? Let's not forget that the Twins slump very directly corresponded with the Punto injury.
Williams had the starting job, but then he dove back into first base after extending his hitting streak to 13 games and he will now be out for 6-8 weeks, or the rest of the season. Punto has to be on the team, and should play a lot of SS and 2B, but he appears to be incapable of playing more than a couple of days in a row. But with the current roster set up, that is ok.
What should be done with Matthew LeCroy?
I'm not as positive on LeCroy as some. Yes, he can mash left-handed pitching, but Gardy doesn't use him in that role much. If he isn't, then he really isn't worth a lot to the team. He can't catch. He can't throw. He can't field. He is a DH that can only hit lefties. He has to stay on the roster for the rest of this season, but if he's only going to be a pinch hitter for the team, he is'nt worth the $1 million price tag he will likely have next season.
Will Justin Morneau make the necessary adjustments. I think he'll stay in that .280 range, but when will his power stroke come back?
Justin Morneau will be just fine. He will make the adjustments. He is so strong that the power will come back. Just be patient and keep him playing every day and he will be fine.
Pitching - Radke, Santana and Silva will be just fine. Mays and Lohse will have their moments. Mays will have more. I would love to see Lohse traded, but don't think it will happen. The bullpen is fine too. I would love to see Romero traded, but the right-handers are fine. Replace Mulholland with Travis Bowyer.
Hitting - Mauer, Stewart and Ford will remain consistent and quality. Expect Hunter's numbers to dip following the six great weeks he has now had. I would love to see a big bat in the middle of the lineup.
TRADES - I have an opinion on the Twins minor league system. It is the best in baseball. But it is now strong enough and deep enough that they need to use it to their benefit. How, you ask? Well, they either have to trust the prospects that they have developed when they call them up (Bartlett, Bowyer, Baker, etc.). The other option is to start using some of that depth in an attempt to get some players that can make the big league team better. Now, I say that with a big note; top prospects should only be used to bring really big names that will have a major impact. In other words, don't trade Scott Baker or Francisco Liriano, or even JD Durbin for Joe Randa. If you're going to even take questions on those guys, it better be a BIG, impact player. I have a couple of names and suggestions.
The Twins have made their move because of pitching, both bullpen and starting pitching. Pitching is what wins over the long haul, and pitching is what wins in the playoffs. There is one pitcher that may be available that I think that the Twins should go hard after. The San Francisco Giants are old and without Barry Bonds, they are bad! The Twins should go hard after Jason Schmidt. No, Schmidt has not been quite himself so far this year. Jason Schmidt could team with Johan Santana to give the Twins a 1-2 punch atop their rotation that even the 2001 Diamondbacks would have been proud of. So, what might it take to get Schmidt? Well, as I said, the Giants are old. They need some young players. However, most of their current roster is pretty well set for next year as well. So, I think that Schmidt could be had for three or four players at various levels. I would start the discussion with Kyle Lohse. For the reasons I gave above, I think that he could work with Dave Righetti and in the big park, he could do very well there. Secondly, I would give them Denard Span. The Twins former number one pick is a speed demon who could cover a lot of ground in centerfield. He has made himself a very good leadoff hitter this year. He should be ready for the big leagues in 2007, if not even in mid-2006. Third, I would give up one of the trio of Anthony Swarzak, Jay Rainville or Kyle Waldrop. These guys are just 19 or 20 years old and have so much talent and potential. None of them will be in the big leagues before 2008 probably, but again, the Giants need prospects. The reason I would give up so much is because Schmidt is signed beyond this season. Yes, he will cost a lot to keep, but if the Twins feel he can stay healthy, they can free up salary next year to keep him.
The next trade I would like to propose is with the Cincinnati Reds. Now, you may be thinking that I want Joe Randa. I wouldn't mind getting Randa as long as it didn't cost a Top 10 type prospect. No, I have read that Adam Dunn may be available. Now that would be a big-time slugger in the middle of the Twins lineup. Yes, he's another lefty. Yes he will strikeout about 200 times a year, but he will also hit 40-50 homers a season in the Metrodome. It would cost too much likely to get him, but I would offer Scott Baker and Jacque Jones for Dunn since Dunn would be able to stay with the Twins for a couple of seasons.
The other player that I would want and would probably be much more easily attainable at this point is the Reds OF Austin Kearns. He was hitting just .226 with the Reds when he was sent down to AAA where he is again crushing the ball. The Reds are saying Kearns isn't available, but I would think for the right price, he could be had. I'd offer JD Durbin and Luis Maza. Kearns could then slide in as the Twins RF next season. That would make Shannon Stewart more tradable with Lew Ford taking over in LF and in the leadoff spot next year. Jason Kubel could DH.
Just some ideas. Let me know what you think. E-mail me about my thoughts, any of these thoughts, any trade rumors or suggestions, or anything. I'd love to hear it!
The Twins will send Johan Santana, Kyle Lohse and Joe Mays to the mound this weekend against Casey Fossum, Seth McLung and Hideo Nomo, respectively. The Twins need to win at least two (and preferably three) games this weekend. I hate to worry too much at this point in the season, but the Twins do need to win games against the bad teams. The Rays aren't terrible. OK, they are, but they do have some talent on their team. Carl Crawford, Aubrey Huff, Julio Lugo and Jorge Cantu are good players. But the Twins still need to find ways to win.
Do you have any thoughts on the Twins or the Rays or anything baseball. Feel free to e-mail me.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORTS
The Redwings bats were in full swing (sorry) in their 14-4 win over Indianapolis. It also meant the first AAA win for Francisco Liriano. The lefty gave up two runs in seven innings. He gave up four hits, walked just one and struck out eight. Ricky Barrett then gave up two runs over the final two innings. Kevin West led the offense going 4-5 with his 15th double. Jason Tyner, Nick Punto, Garrett Jones and Chris Heintz each had two hits. Heintz's were both doubles, and he drove in four.
NEW BRITAIN ROCKCATS
New Britain lost to Binghamton 6-4 last night. The Ft. Myers guys came through. Denard Span went 3-3 with a walk and a triple. Glen Perkins went seven innings and gave up just three runs on eight hits and three walks. He struck out six. Unfortunately, Pat Neshek came in and gave up three runs in an inning to blow the save. Danny Matienzo and Alex Romero were also 2-4.
Also, the Eastern League just named its All-Stars. Representing the Rockcats will be Danny Matienzo, Doug Deeds and Jason Miller.
FT MYERS MIRACLE
Ft. Myers got a strong start from Nick Blackburn on their way to a 6-1 win over Tampa. Blackburn went seven innings and gave up just one run for his 7th win. Chris Schutt pitched two shutout innings for his fourth save. Brock Peterson was 2-4 with his 8th homer. Trent Oeltjen went 2-4 with two doubles.
Kyle Waldrop pitched well, but left with a tie game. Kevin Culpepper came in for the 9th and gave up the run that meant that Beloit lost 4-3. Waldrop went eight innings and gave up just three runs on four hits and a walk. Deacon Burns went 2-3 with two walks and a double, his 23rd.
E-Town fell 4-2 to Kingsport last night. Ryan Mullins started and gave up just a run in his six innings of work. He gave up four hits, a walk, and struck out six. Armando Gabino got the loss by giving up two runs in his inning. In four at bats, Juan Portes hit two doubles. He has been on a tear since struggling the first few games. Edward Ovalle was also 2-4. Caleb Moore had an RBI and was 1-1 in his pinch hit appearance. Toby Gardenhire went 0-3 with a walk to drop his average to .125 (2-16).
Finally, the GCL Twins lost 6-1 to the GCL Pirates. 2B Michael Lysaught went 2-3 to jump his average to .500 (5-10). Richard Sojo went 2-3 and is hitting .400 (6-15).
ONE MORE QUESTION AND TWO LINKS
I just need to know something. People sometimes will say, "be sure to mind your Ps and Qs." I think that the "P" stands for "Please," right? What does the "Q" stand for?
Stick and Ball Guy sent me an interesting e-mail today about a confrontation recently between Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. Very interesting!
John Sickels did a Prospect Retrospect on Johan Santana.
On that note, I am going to call it a day and a week! I hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoy your 4th of July Holiday!! As always, please feel free to e-mail me your thoughts on the Twins, the minor leagues, or anything you would like to discuss.
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