Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Good morning everybody! Well, I am back. After a very nice 4th of July at the lake, I made a family trek to Nebraska for a few days. It was nice to be away, but I must admit that this site has become somewhat of an addiction for me so in that way, it is nice to be back. Now, needing to go back to work is the negative side of returning from a vacation. But hey, I got to stay at a hotel in Sioux Falls, SD, which I'm sure you will all be jealous of! I will be in the office for one day before flying out to Orlando for the rest of the week. It is for work purposes, not vacation. Oh well.
Be sure to check out the Minor League Report today. I know I missed the weekend games, so if there are any big highlights, please point them out in the Comments today. However, I should note that Matt Allegra hit two homers yesterday and he wasn't the minor league hitter of the day, so be sure to see who was!
And finally, I will have an Other Thoughts section in which I will just touch on a number of subjects.
Anyway, last week, I asked several people to help me determine the midseason awards in baseball. I was hoping to get a little more participation, but ten people did participate. I asked people to give their choices for first, second and third place in the AL and NL MVP, Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year awards. As most of these things go, I went with a 5-3-1 point system. In other words, a first place vote was worth five points, a second place vote was worth three points and a third place vote was worth one point. People from around the country participated so it isn't like just a bunch of Minnesota fans from this state voted. Here are the voters as well as the sites they are associated with, if any.
Josh Taylor - Taylor's Twins Talk (Colorado)
Peter Abraham - LoHud Yankee's Blog (New York)
Keith Law - ESPN.com baseball analyst (Boston)
Howard Sinker - Star Tribune's View from Section 220 blog (Minnesota)
David Bergner - The Baseball Savant (Indiana)
Wes Holtsclaw - Off the Press... blog - covers the Elizabethton Twins (Tennessee)
Nick Nelson - Nick & Nick's Twins Blog (Minnesota)
Aaron Kalina - Denver Broncos (Colorado)
Rich Lederer - The Baseball Analysts (California)
Seth Stohs - you know (Minnesota)
Each person voted three spots in each category with one exception. One person only voted for his choice for the winner, which is fine with me. Here are the results:
American League MVP
Seth's Vote - 1.) Alex Rodriguez, NYY, 2.) Magglio Ordonez, DET, 3.) Vlad Guerrero, LAA
You can say that the Yankees are not a playoff caliber team. I think that has some meaning, but at the same time, where would the Yankees be without Alex Rodriguez? Magglio Ordonez is really more of a 1b. selection as he is putting together a monster season as well.
National League MVP
Seth's Vote - 1.) Chase Utley, PHI, 2.) Prince Fielder, MIL, 3.) Matt Holliday, COL
As you can see, there are a lot of real quality MVP choices in the National League at this point. None has totally distanced himself at this point from the pack as has happened with the top three choices in the AL. My assumption is that this list will continue to change from week to week the rest of the year.
American League Cy Young
Seth's Vote - 1.) Danny Haren, OAK, 2.) Johan Santana, MIN, 3.) CC Sabathia, CLE
This is a pretty easy choice as well. As much as I'd love to be a homer, if you look at the numbers that matter, Haren has been the best in the league to this point. His ERA is significantly lower than anyone else's. I know that there was some talk of Beckett or Sabathia starting the All Star game, but Haren was clearly the right choice to start the 2007 All Star Game for the AL. Of course, as a homer, I know that Johan will be incredible in the second half of the year and put himself in a position to capture his third Cy Young Award.
National League Cy Young
Seth's Vote - 1.) Jake Peavy, SDP, 2.) Chris Young, SDP, 3.) Brad Penny, LAD
Peavy is the easy choice. So, it's really for 2nd place. I went with Young and his 2.00 ERA. He is that good. Don't forget that Penny started the All-Star game last year for the NL and within short time, he was in the bullpen for the Dodgers. However, this is about the first half of this season, and Penny has been quite good.
American League Rookie of the Year
Seth's Vote - 1.) Dice-K Matsuzaka, BOS, 2.) Jeremy Guthrie, BAL, 3.) Dustin Pedroia, BOS
It appears to me that everyone expected huge things from Dice-K. In my mind, he has done it. He's got the wins, the strikeouts and has been in the rotation all year. Guthrie is certainly the story as he has been incredible for the O's after being dropped by the Indians earlier this year. I think that there are a few good candidates, but to this point, there hasn't been an obvious choice. That's why you've got six guys with a first place vote, five with a second place vote and five with a third place vote. My thought is that although Alex Gordon is about to take off , Dice-K will run away with it in the second half.
National League Rookie of the Year
Seth's Vote - 1.) Hunter Pence, HOU, 2.) Troy Tulowitski, COL, 3.) Josh Hamilton, CIN
Well, I made my choices early last week. I think if I were to vote today, Ryan Braun would certainly be in the top three, probably number two behind Pence. Josh Hamilton is frequently mentioned as a Comeback Player of the Year candidate for his miraculous story in Cincinnati. However, as he never played in the big leagues before, should he really be eligible? Well, he is putting together a remarkable season either way. Braun and Pence and tremendous skills and will likely be battling it out all year for this award.
There you have it. Choices for the six main awards IF the season were to end. What are your thoughts? Who would you pick? And then, when the season ends, who do you think will be the winners?
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Deibinson Romero, Elizabethton Twins
SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Michael Tarsi, Elizabethton Twins
If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Check out Roger's most recent Minor League Update.
Monday - Red Wings – No Game Scheduled. All Star break.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Monday - Rockcats 5, Reading 8 – Matt Allegra had a two-home run game. He was 2-5 and now has 12 homers on the season. Felix Molina was 3-5, and Rashad Eldridge was 2-5. Jesse Floyd started and went the first 3.2 innings. He gave up five runs on just two hits. But he had four walks and struck out three. Josh Hill went the next 1.1 innings. He gave up three runs (2 earned) on two hits and three walks. Frank Mata and Danny Powers each threw two shutout innings.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Monday - Miracle 4, Clearwater 8 - Johnny Woodard had a nice day for the Miracle. He was 2-3 with a walk, a triple and his second Miracle homer. Edward Ovalle went 2-3 with his seventh homer. Alexander Smit had another rough, short start. He gave up three runs on five hits and a walk in two innings. David Shinskie took the loss. He gave up three runs on four hits. Adam Hawes gave up two runs on five hits and two walks in his three innings.
Monday - Snappers – This game was postponed due to lightning.
Monday - E-Twins 18, Greeneville 0 – This team is incredible. They're just too good for this league and should maybe be moved up to the Midwest League. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but they are really dominating the league. Deibinson Romero was the hitting hero of this game. He went 4-5 with three homers (his first three of the year) and 10 RBI. Estarlin De Los Santos went 3-4 with a triple. Ozzie Lewis went 3-4 with two doubles (8 on the year), two walks and three RBI. Mark Dolenc went 2-6 with his 5th doubles. Michael Tarsi went the first five innings and gave up just four hits and a walk. He struck out seven. Omar Alcala, Dan Latham, Michael Rogers and Brad Tippett each threw a shutout inning in relief.
GCL TWINS UPDATE
Monday - GCL Twins – No Game on the schedule.
Do you have any further thoughts on any Twins prospects, minor leaguers, or these summaries? I would love any input, or ideas to make it better. Thanks! E-mail me, or also feel free to leave comments below.
Here are just some quick thoughts on several topics from recent times.
I mentioned it on Comments over the weekend but late on Friday Night, I participated in another interview with Jeff Straub on the Minnesota Twins Fan Network. Later that evening, the interview was posted on the site. I have now listened to it, and it is pretty OK actually. Jeff and I definitely do not agree on everything. But I think that makes for a good listen, so please take a few minutes and listen to it.
While on the road, I was able to listen to the Twins/Yankees game last Thursday. Following the game, Kevin Slowey was sent back to Rochester with Carmen Cali coming up to provide bullpen assistance. As you all know, I'm as big a Slowey fan as their is, so I have received several e-mails asking for my thoughts on the Slowey demotion. Here is my (attempt at an unbiased) opinion. Kevin Slowey was ready for his big league call up. In his month on the Twins roster, I think that he showed a lot for us to believe that he is worthy of being considered a top prospect. In terms of fastball location, Slowey really is excellent. He throws a lot of strikes. Fastball location is one of the things the Twins preach. Here is where his similarity to Brad Radke comes in though. He throws too many strikes, particularly too many two-strike strikes and gets hurt on them. (see the 13 HR allowed) In all the times that I saw him pitch, I didn't see a great changeup. That is the difference at this point compared to Radke. I saw enough of them to know that he can have it and will further develop it, but it didn't show at the big league level. Secondly, I think that Slowey just needs to continue to work on his breaking pitch. He has a slider and a curveball. Personally, I like the slow curve and don't like the slider because I think it is too close to the fastball speed. Big picture though... I have no doubt that Kevin Slowey will have a long and very successful career. It was clear that he has some things to work on yet and maybe it took spending some time in the big leagues to really understand what those were. Now he knows. And, if we've learned anything about Kevin Slowey, it is that he gets it. He is smart. He is humble. He will work hard. He will now go down to Rochester and work on the things that he needs to to get to the big leagues and be successful. Again, I have no doubt that he will do it.
Pat Neshek finished in third place in the vote for the 32nd player on the AL All Star roster. It was fun to keep up with that and vote. I know, there are a bunch of people who don't like lobbying for Neshek, but based on everything that Pat has done for this site in terms of Q&As and such, I had absolutely no problem encouraging people to vote for him. I wish he could have made it and his numbers certainly warranted the opportunity to represent the Twins in San Francisco!
Justin Morneau was the leadoff hitter in this year's Home Run Derby. He hit four home runs in the first round which tied Albert Pujols for fourth at that point. The tie-breaker was a five-swing round. Morneau managed just one homer while Pujols hit homers with his first swing.
Thanks to Howard in Section 220 for the mention on his site last week!
Check out The Baseball Savant's First-Half Pythagorean numbers to see where the Twins rank. He gives team MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year choices for each team and then his picks for the leagues. Oh, and if you're a college football fan, be sure to check out his Big 10 Preview. Gophers fans and Sid Hartman will want to see where their team ranks!
Check out Joe Christensen's Around the Majors blog for interesting stuff on Harmon Killebrew and the about-to-be released old Home Run Derby DVDs. I thought it was interesting!
If you check out the MLB Transactions on ESPN.com, you'll see that Carmen Cali was sent back to Rochester after Sunday's game. Josh Taylor asks if Rondell White could be coming back to the Twins roster. Does it even matter?
By the way, congratulations to Beloit's Robert Delaney who on Saturday picked up his 28th save of the year. That is the new record for the Snappers, and it is early July! I'm not sure why he hasn't yet moved up to Ft. Myers.
To those other Chris Coste fans out there, did you notice that he started at catcher for the Phillies on Thursday, Friday and Saturday?
And finally, a great feel good story. It appears that the Milwaukee Brewers will soon call up right handed reliever Grant Balfour. Twins fans remember him. He had Tommy John surgery and then had to have labrum and rotator cuff surgery within a year. It has been a long comeback trail for Balfour, but it appears the time is near. He started this season for the Brewers AA team and in 11.1 innings, he struck out 21 hitters. He moved up to AAA and has pitched in 30 innings in 22 games. He has eight walks and an incredible 46 strikeouts. He is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA. It is not only a great story, but with his incredible arm, he could play a big role for the Brewers as they try to win the NL Central. If you recall, Balfour participated in the SethSpeaks NFL "Expert" picks a couple of years ago. He has always been real nice to me, so I truly wish him nothing but success and health!!
Let me know what you think. Any other topics you would like to see discussed? Send me an e-mail, or let's talk about it in the Comments here. That is it for today!|
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