Monday, July 23, 2007
Good Monday Morning! Well, the Twins won two out of three from the Angels this weekend leaving their fans still uncertain of whether the team is a buyer or a seller at this time. I really just don't know what to think. But, before we get into the Weekend Update, I do have to mention one other thing.
Yesterday afternoon, I listened to the final inning on the XM radio of the Phillies 9-0 win over the San Diego Padres. Why do I mention this, you might ask? Well, JD Durbin was the starter and finisher for the Phillies, his first career shutout. He went nine innings and gave up just five hits. He walked three and struck out three. So, for the week, JD Durbin went 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA. He gave up just one run on 11 hits and five walks in 15 innings. Congratulations to JD Durbin! Good thing that the Twins decided that they needed a third catcher. Maybe instead they should have made a trade for the catcher that caught Durbin's shutout... Chris Coste!
CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT! - Let's see... sweep a four game series against the Oakland A's. Then... get swept in a three game series at home against the Tigers by a combined three runs. And this weekend, the Twins won the first two games against the AL West leading Angels before falling on Sunday. It is just hard to know which team will show up. As Dan Gladden said in the post game, the Twins really haven't had a long stretch either way, winning or losing. That's why it is so hard to understand what to make of the 2007 Twins.
POWER or PATIENCE - The whole Joe Mauer discussion really is interesting to me on several fronts. I understand that with the Tigers series, there were many people who bashed Mauer for not being a power hitter. Some say he is not a productive hitter, which of course is ridiculous. When will Mauer hit for power? I don't know. I believe that he will, but if he doesn't, is he somehow a worse player? Now, you can argue that he should be more aggressive. If you want. In the game that he took a 2-0 fastball right down the middle in the bottom of the 9th against Todd Jones, I wanted him to be aggressive too. But Joe Mauer is a good, pure hitter. If he doesn't add power, he is still a potential Hall of Fame caliber hitter. I realize that aggressiveness can be good. Sure, at times it can be. However, do we really want nine Torii Hunter's in the lineup? Sure, it's nice when things are going well, but it isn't exactly sustainable and doesn't make for a very good on-base percentage. The Twins don't preach patience. In reality, though, Luis Castillo, Jason Bartlett, Mauer, Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel are the only really patient hitters. Meanwhile Torii Hunter and Justin Morneau are generally more aggressive. I think that having a mix of the two types of hitters is a good thing. However, to somehow think that Joe Mauer should change his approach because some media types or fans don't like him taking pitches? I certainly hope not at least. He has no reason to change his approach at the plate. Maybe he isn't an ideal #3 hitter right now then because of that approach, but don't forget that Mauer does not write up the lineup every day. And finally, I also heard someone say that if Mauer doesn't add power, he will be a disappointment to which I again have to use the word "ridiculous." Now, I'm not saying this to say that Joe Mauer should not be subject to criticism. To criticize his approach in a single at bat is fine (ie - the Tigers/Todd Jones situation last week being a good example). But to criticize his approach in general is a mistake and there is no reason for it.
HE'S BACK!! - After Sunday's game, the Twins announced that Garrett Jones would be sent back to Rochester and Rondell White would be joining the team in Toronto. Although Jones has done very little (2 singles, a double and a triple in 25 at bats), I don't know that adding White is really much of an improvement. Although the team is saying that White will begin by being the team's primary DH, he will eventually play more LF. That is truly unfortunate. Seriously, if he is truly a 'veteran' hitter, he should be able to hit as a DH too. Also, Jason Kubel should remain the team's LF.
NEED A HIT - Darnell McDonald came up on Friday and in the three games this weekend, he went 0-9. It would really be nice to see him have a good game and string together a few hits. His one weakness in looking at his AAA numbers the last several years is the very high number of strikeouts. After seeing just a few of his at bats this weekend, I can see why. If I could figure out how to pitch him, imagine how advanced scouts and even minor league coaching staffs could break him down. He needs to make a quick adjustment, a talent he will need to prove, if he wants to remain in the Twins longer-term plans.
PUNTO STREAKING - Nick Punto has a five game hitting streak. Seriously! You can't make this stuff up! In that time, he is 5-17 (.294). Joe Mauer has an 11 game streak now during which time he is 11-33 (.333). Justin Morneau is 6 for his last 16 (.375). Torii Hunter went 5-12 (.417) in the series.
- The Twins traveled to Toronto where tonight they will begin a three
game series against the Blue Jays. Here are the pitching matchups:
Monday - 6:07 p.m. - Johan Santana (11-7, 2.65, 1.00, .210) vs Shaun Marcum (5-4, 3.73, 1.17, .226)
Tuesday - 6:07 p.m. - Scott Baker (4-3, 5.32, 1.37, .236) vs Dustin McGowan (6-5, 4.84, 1.34, .248)
Wednesday - 11:37 a.m. - Carlos Silva (8-10, 4.60, 1.38, .294) vs Jesse Litsch (2-4, 4.54, 1.65, .317)
TO TRADE OR NOT TO TRADE - That is certainly the question as we approach the final eight days of July and the July 31 trade deadline. Joe Christensen wrote an article talking about trade deadline deals for the Twins, specifically talking about the Shannon Stewart deal in 2003 in which they got Stewart (and later Dave Gassner) for Bobby Kielty. They really haven't had a significant deal since then although Terry Ryan did say that last year's acquisition of Phil Nevin was big. Well, I think it could have been, but Gardy didn't play him very much. Another important part of that deal that wasn't brought up is that that trade was made during the All-Star break. In other words, it was made 3 1/2 weeks before the trade deadline. Basically, had things not gone well during that time frame, the Twins could have dealt Stewart yet. Why do I mention this? Well, right now, I am definitely of the opinion that the Twins should not make a deal for 2007. First, those deals rarely end up worthwhile during that season. Second, the Twins should not even consider dealing any of their top prospects. If they can get Dmitri Young for a mid-level prospect, go for it. But I don't see anyone available that is worth a huge premium, or someone that could help the Twins to win the AL Central or get a Wild Card berth. I think that the Twins should be a seller right now, but in doing so, I don't think that is a sign that they are throwing in the title. I think that they should try to trade Juan Rincon and Luis Castillo right now. Juan Rincon probably would only command a mid-level prospect at most, but ridding themselves of that salary would be good. Luis Castillo shouldn't have much trade value, but I did see that the Mets' Jose Valentin was hurt this weekend, so maybe the Mets would offer something of value for Castillo. How about Phil Humber? I could dream about Lastings Milledge. Those two could be dealt without the Twins feeling their losses. That would then still give them about a week to see how they're doing. If by the deadline they still are not close to contending, then they need to evaluate their trade options, and try to gain as many top prospects as possible.
Any other thoughts on the Twins? E-mail me or leave Comments.
Twins and their Minor League Updates
Here are the Twins updates from the weekend, including game reports of their minor league affiliates. Each week, you will want to check out Roger's Minor League Report. Click here for this week's report.
Friday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Ozzie Lewis, Elizabethton Twins
Friday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Robertson, Beloit Snappers
Saturday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Eli Tintor, Beloit Snappers
Saturday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Alex Burnett, Beloit Snappers/Zach Ward, Ft. Myers Miracle
Sunday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Erik Lis, Ft. Myers Miracle
Sunday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Kevin Slowey, Rochester Red Wings
Friday - Red Wings 3, Ottawa 6 – Doug Deeds got a chance for some more at bats with the recall of Darnell McDonald. In this game, he batted fourth and went 3-4 with his sixth double. Dave Gassner fell to 3-11. The lefty went 4.1 innings and gave up six runs (5 earned) on eight hits and two walks. Carmen Cali then went 2.2 scoreless innings. Brad Baker pitched one scoreless inning.
Saturday - Game 1 - Red Wings 3, Ottawa 2 – Brian Bass got another start and improved to 4-2. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk in 5.1 innings. he struck out four. Carmen Cali walked the lone batter he faced. Bobby Korecky picked up his 24th save by getting the final five batters out. Jose Morales went 2-2 with a walk. Chris Heintz went 1-2 with a walk. Matt Tolbert and Trent Oeltjen each hit a double.
Saturday - Game 1 - Red Wings 4, Ottawa 1 – Chris Heintz led the offense by going 2-4 with his fifth double. Doug Deeds went 1-2 with a walk. Jason Miller started and went just 2.1 innings. He gave up a run on two hits and two walks. Julio DePaula pitched 3.2 scoreless innings and recorded six strikeouts. Bobby Korecky pitched a perfect ninth.
Sunday - Red Wings 2, Ottawa 3 – Kevin Slowey had another solid start. He gave up one run on four hits in six innings. He walked just one and struck out six. Carmen Cali then went the next three innings. He gave up a run on four hits. Brad Baker got two outs in the 10th, but he gave up a run on two hits and a walk. Doug Deeds went 2-3 with a triple and two walks. Tommy Watkins, Trent Oeltjen and Denard Span each went 2-4.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Friday - Game 1 - Rockcats 7, Trenton 1 – Anthony Swarzak appears to be back and he put together an excellent start. He went all seven innings and gave up one run on four hits. He gave up two walks and struck out five. He is now 3-3 with the Rockcats. Trevor Plouffe went 2-3 with a walk. Matt Allegra went 2-3 with four RBI. Felix Molina went 2-3. Garrett Guzman (11), David Winfree (7) and Matt Moses (3) each hit a home run. Much of the offense came against big-time Yankees prospect Joba Chamberlain.
Friday - Game 2 - Rockcats 5, Trenton 4 – Yohan Pino made his first AA start and went just 3.1 innings. He gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked none and struck out three. JP Martinez got the next four outs and gave up a run. Jose Mijares got the next four outs, four of them via the strikeout. Tim Lahey recorded his seventh save with a scoreless seventh. The Rockcats got the Win despite having just three hits. Nine walks certainly helped. Trevor Plouffe, Garrett Guzman and David Winfree each walked twice.
Saturday - Rockcats 4, Trenton 5 – The Rockcats scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth, but it wasn't quite enough for the full comeback. Jesse Floyd started the game and gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings. Frank Mata then struck out two in his two innings. Tristan Crawford struck out two in his two innings. Angel Garcia pitched a scoreless ninth. Felix Molina went 2-5. Brandon Roberts and Trevor Plouffe (26) each hit a double. Brock Peterson went 1-2 with two walks.
Sunday - Rockcats 2, Trenton 7 – Oswaldo Sosa made his AA debut in this game. The righty went five innings and gave up two runs on eight hits and a walk. He struck out three. JP Martinez went two shutout innings, and Jose Mijares followed up with a scoreless inning of his own. Tim Lahey took the loss as he gave up five unearned runs on three hits and two walks in one inning. Brandon Roberts went 2-3 and finally recorded his 10th double. Garrett Guzman went 2-3.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Friday - Miracle 5, Sarasota 8 – Juan Portes is one of the bats that has certainly picked it up since the mass changes earlier this month. In this game, he went 3-5 with two RBI and his sixth stolen base. Toby Gardenhire had two doubles (7) in three at bats. Danny Valencia, Johnny Woodard and Edward Ovalle each hit a double. Jay Rainville had a very nice start. The righty went 5.2 innings and gave up just one run. He allowed six hits, three walks and struck out four. Armando Gabino took the loss though as he gave up five runs on four hits and a a walk in just one inning. Eddie Morlan didn't help as he gave up four hits and two runs in 1/3 of an inning. Adam Hawes pitched a perfect eighth.
Saturday - Miracle 1, Sarasota 2 – I hate to keep saying it, but "Poor Zach Ward." Fortunately people with any intelligence have to realize that he is pitching far, far, far better than his now 2-14 record would indicate. In this game, he gave up just two unearned runs in eight innings. He allowed six hits, walked one and struck out nine. David Shinskie then struck out the side in the 9th, despite two hits. However, as per usual when Ward pitches, the Miracle managed just four hits. Erik Lis hit his 22nd double. Juan Portes went 1-2 with two walks.
- Miracle 13, Sarasota 4
– But the bats sure showed up on Sunday! Erik Lis led the way
going 3-4 with his 23rd double, a walk and three RBI. Brian
Dinkelman went 2-4 with a walk and his sixth steal. Edward
Ovalle was 2-5 with his eighth double. Jeff Christy and
Steven Tolleson each collected two hits. Errol Simonitsch
worked the first 3.2 innings and gave up two runs on four hits. He
walked one and struck out four. Adam Hawes recorded the Win
as he gave up two runs (1 earned) on six hits over the next 4.1
innings. Robert Delaney pitched a scoreless ninth.
Friday - Snappers 2, Wisconsin 0 – Tyler Robertson has really been pitching great since moving up to the Midwest League. He improved to 4-2 with seven shutout innings. He allowed five hits, one walk and struck out ten. Danny Vais pitched a scoreless eighth. Anthony Slama got his second save with a scoreless ninth. The Snappers scored their two runs on two hits and a walk.
Saturday - Snappers 8, Great Lakes 3 – Alex Burnett and Eli Tintor stole the show in this game. Burnett improved to 6-5 with seven shutout innings. He gave up three hits, walked two and struck out eight. Tintor went 3-4 with a double and two homers. Matt Williams came in to relieve Burnett on the mound, and he gave up three runs (2 earned) three hits and a walk in just 0.1 innings. Aaron Craig was perfect in the final five outs, two recorded by the strikeout. Yancarlos Ortiz went 2-3 with a walk. Ben Petsch made his Beloit debut and went 1-3 with two walks.
Sunday - Snappers 4, Great Lakes 6 – Eli Tintor remained hot in this game going 3-5 with his fourth double. Matt Betsill went 3-4 with two doubles and a walk. Ben Petsch played RF in this game and went 2-3 with two walks and a triple. Matt Fox started and went six innings. He gave up three unearned runs on ninth hits and two walks. He struck out three. Dan Leatherman gave up a run on two hits and two walks in 1.2 innings. Jesus Carnevales went 0.2 innings and gave up two runs on two hits. He got the loss. Danny Vais got the final two outs.
Friday - E-Twins 14, Kingsport 0– The E-Twins got the weekend started with plenty of runs! Ben Petsch played his final Appalachian League game and in it, he went 2-3 with two walks and two doubles. Ozzie Lewis went 3-4 with his fourth homer and two RBI. Dan Lehman went 2-5 with a grand slam and five RBI. Estarlin De Los Santos went 2-5 with his seventh double. Eric Santiago was 2-4 with a double. Deibinson Romero hit his fifth. Michael Allen improved to 3-1. He threw six shutout innings, allowing just one hit. He walked three and six strikeouts. Curt Leavitt then struck out three in two shutout innings. Omar Alcala went a scoreless inning as well.
Saturday - E-Twins 12, Bluefield 4 – Deibinson Romero went 3-4 with his fourth double and a walk. Wesley Connor went 2-4 with his fifth double. Matt Lawman hit his first homer. Rene Tosoni went 1-3 with two walks and his second homer. Henry Reyes improved to 3-2 with five very good innings. He gave up only an unearned run and two hits. He walked four and struck out seven. Dan Latham gave up three runs on five hits and two walks in two innings. Mike Rogers struck out four in two scoreless innings.
Sunday - E-Twins 4, Bluefield 8 – Deibinson Romero finished an incredible weekend with a 3-5 game. He hit his fifth double and drove in three runs. Rene Leveret was 2-5, and Dan Lehmann went 2-4. Steve Hirschfeld gave up two runs in two innings. Spencer Steedley gave up two unearned runs in three innings. Loek Van Mil gave up an unearned run in two innings. And then Caleb Moore came in to catch. Moore was sent down from Ft. Myers to become a pitcher. He gave up one hits and struck out one in an inning. The catcher will attempt to transition to pitching as well as Tim Lahey. Curt Leavitt then gave up three runs on three hits in an inning. But he struck out two!
GCL TWINS REPORT
Friday - GCL Twins 6, GCL Pirates 4– Danny Rams went 4-4 with four RBI in this game. James Beresford went 3-4 with his second double and two RBI. Juan Richardson went 2-4 with two stolen bases. Winston Marquez started and gave up three runs on two hits and five walks in just 2.1 innings. He struck out four. Rodney Gessman improved to 2-0 as he gave up one run in 3.1 innings. Charles Nolte then went 1.1 scoreless innings. Dan Rondon picked up his 7th save with two innings of work.
Saturday - GCL Twins – Game Suspended by Rain
Sunday - GCL Twins 3, GCL Red Sox 5 – Rondell White made this his final rehab game and he went 3-4 with his fourth double and an RBI in the game. He was called back up to the Twins after the game. Santiago Arias started and gave up five runs (4 earned) on seven hits and a walk in 4.1 innings. He struck out four. Jarrod Eacott struck out three in the next 2.1 innings. Dominique Rodgers struck out two in a scoreless inning.
Do you have any further thoughts on any Twins prospects, minor leaguers, or these summaries? E-mail me, or also feel free to leave comments below.
That is it for today. Have a great day!|
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