Monday, August 6, 2007
Good Monday Morning everyone!
First of all, I'm such a softy. Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez on his 500th home run. He becomes the youngest to 500. I fully admit that I let out a yelp, a "Yes!" on Saturday night when I Barry Bonds connected off of Clay Hensley (who interestingly was busted and suspended in 2005 for steroids) for his 755th career home run. As soon as he hit it, it was obvious it was gone. The crowd reaction was fair, but generally positive. The cheers far outweighed the boos. And those dumb asterisks signs just looked bad. Of course, nothing looked as bad as Bud Selig's reaction to the home run. He looked legitimately shocked. He stood up, looked around and appeared upset that the crowd cheered history. Oh well. Was it strange that Clay Hensley was sent down to the minors on Sunday? Could the Padres or Selig himself have told the pitchers that there would be punishment to any pitcher allowing the record-tying home run? Interesting!
And, you all know how little the "Win" statistic means to me in today's pitching context. However, if you win 300 ball games in your career, you have to be pretty good! It also means that you were really good for a long time. Last night, Tom Glavine recorded his 300th win in Chicago against the Cubs. He went 6.1 innings for the Win. Of course the big question is whether he will be the last pitcher to 300 wins. It is a very fair question, and of the eight pitchers over 200 career wins, I think that Mike Mussina is the only one with a chance. The way that bullpens are used now, wins for starters are harder to come by, so that is a legitimate reason for believing that there will never be another one. However, ever the optimist, I am going to say that Glavine will not be the last. There are a lot of very good, young pitchers in the big leagues now. I would venture to say that it may be another 18-20 years, but I think that there will be more. For now, I will just say that I believe that Tom Glavine is the best left-handed 'pitcher' in the same way that Greg Maddux is the best right-handed 'pitcher' in baseball.
Any thoughts? Send me your thoughts.
TWO OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD... THREE OUT OF FOUR IS BETTER! - With their wins over Cleveland on Saturday and Sunday, the Twins have made up ground in both the AL Central and the AL Wild Card races. The Twins now have the opportunity to win three out of four against Cleveland as Carlos Silva will take on Paul Byrd tonight in the series finale. It's unfortunate that the Twins played so poorly against the rest of the AL Central early in the season, but it is now imperative to win games against their divisional opponents the rest of the way.
PIAZZA AVAILABLE - It has been rumored the Mike Piazza cleared waivers so he could be traded by the A's. Buster Olney and others seem to think that the Twins have the inside track although the Angels may have some interest too. For the most part, I think acquiring Piazza, who allegedly does not want to play in the Upper Midwest, would be a non-factor. I do, however, think that acquiring Piazza would give the impression that the Twins are making a move to improve. In other words, most baseball fans will think that acquiring Piazza would be a great thing for the Twins. In reality, it is probably a ho-hum deal. As you can see, I would not be terribly excited about Piazza coming to the Twins. However, if he can be acquired for a second and/or third tier prospect, I don't think that it would hurt.
VINDICATION IS MINE - Sunday was a fun game for me. I've been touting and sticking up for Scott Baker for what seems to be about three years. He threw eight shutout innings yesterday and has been excellent for the last six weeks. Jason Kubel went 2-2 with two walks in the game. I know it was in 2004 when I started touting him as a future All-Star. Alexi Casilla has been bashed by way too many people for his early season decision-making and for his two-error game on Friday night. But he came up with the big RBI ground rule double in the game. Now of course, this is just one game and all three will have to prove themselves with consistency. If all three can come through in the season's last two months, the team will be just fine.
MORE ON THE BAKER - Going into his June 20th start against the New York Mets, Scott Baker was 1-2 with a 7.33 ERA. Since then, he has made nine starts. In 60.1 innings, he has gone 5-2 with a 3.13 ERA. If you were to take out his 'win' at Chicago when he gave up seven earned runs in five innings, he would be 4-2 with a 2.27 ERA. His ERA has gone from 7.73 to 4.43. He looks much more confident, and it appears he is looser and maybe throwing a little harder yet doing a great job of changing speeds too. That combination can make him very successful.
FORD DEMOTED - After the game on Saturday night, the Twins optioned Lew Ford to Rochester and recalled lefty Carmen Cali. Matt Garza's four inning start put the Twins in need of some bullpen. With Jason Tyner suddenly the team's everyday leadoff hitter, Jason Kubel and Rondell White, they felt that a sixth outfielder wasn't necessary. Although Ford has not been optioned to the minor leagues in three years, he still has one option remaining making this possible. It may be good for him to get regular playing time down there.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF JASON... TYNER - Jason Tyner took over the Twins leadoff spot on July 30th against the Royals because of the trade of Luis Castillo. In that game, he went 3-4 with a double and a triple. With Gardy as manager, that was enough to make Tyner the leadoff hitter for probably a while, regardless of how he does. Since that game, Tyner has gone 3-19 (.158) with an on-base percentage of just .238. Sounds like a leadoff hitter, huh? The problem isn't only that Tyner is not a good leadoff hitter. The problem is in that three of those games, he started at leadoff against Jorge de la Rosa, CC Sabathia and Aaron Laffey, all left-handed pitchers. Against lefties in 2007, Tyner has hit .222/.317/.250.
Any other thoughts on the Twins? Send me an e-mail.
Twins and their Minor League Updates
Here are the game reports of their minor league affiliates.
Saturday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Dustin Martin, Ft. Myers Miracle
Saturday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Dave Gassner, Rochester Red Wings
Sunday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Steve Tolleson, Ft. Myers Miracle
Sunday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – JP Martinez, Ft. Myers Miracle/Robert Delaney, Ft. Myers Miracle
Saturday - Red Wings 2, Pawtucket 1 (10) – Dave Gassner had a wonderful start and he gets nothing to show for it. He worked eight scoreless innings, giving up four hits and two walks. But Bobby Korecky gave up the tying run in the bottom of the 9th. He got the blown save, but because Denard Span hit a run-scoring single in the top of the 10th, he was able to pitch a scoreless 10th and pick up his third win Span went 2-4 with a walk. Matt Tolbert and Garrett Jones were also 2-4.
Sunday - Red Wings 4, Pawtucket 6 – After Brian Bass gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk in the first four innings, the Red Wings played much better. Unfortunately, they were in too big of a whole. Brad Baker gave up a run over the next two innings. He struckout five. Jay Sawatski pitched two scoreless innings. Glenn Williams went 2-4 with his 8th homer. Gil Velezquez went 2-3 with his fifth double. Matt Tolbert went 1-2 with a walk and his 22nd double. Tommy Watkins hit his 22nd double.
WHO'S HOT? In six games in August, Denard Span has gone 8-21 (.381/.500/.381). He has five walks and just one strikeout. He is also 5 for 6 in stolen base attempts.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Saturday - Rockcats 2, Akron 7 – Anthony Swarzak started and pitched well. In five innings, he gave up a run on four hits and a walk. He struck out five. Danny Powers then gave up three runs (2 earned) on three hits and two walks in one inning. Angel Garcia came in and gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. Frank Mata pitched a scoreless ninth. Rashad Eldridge went 2-4 with a double. David Winfree hit his 9th homer, and Matt Allegra hit his 13th.
Sunday - Rockcats 6, Akron 9 – Garrett Guzman went 3-4 with a walk, his 12th homer and two RBI. Matt Moses went 2-5. Luke Hughes went 1-2 with two walks and his 15th double. Drew Butera went 1-3 with a walk and his 3rd double. Jesse Floyd went the first 5.1 innings. He gave up five runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out four. Jose Mijares took his first loss of the year. He gave up three runs on three hits in 1.2 innings. He struck out four. Tristan Crawford gave up a run on two hits and a walk in two innings.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Saturday - Miracle 7, Lakeland 8 – Dustin Martin is trying to make a name for himself in the Twins system. A 4-4 game that included a walk, his seventh homer, three runs scored and his 12th stolen base is a good way to go about doing that. Brian Dinkelman went 2-4 with a walk. Johnny Woodard was 2-4 with a walk and his fourth double. Kyle Waldrop started and gave up five runs (3 earned) over six innings. He allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out one. Armando Gabino threw two shutout innings. Eddie Morlan blew the save and falls to 4-3. In on inning, he gave up three runs. Two of them were home runs. In his last five appearances, Morlan had give up eight runs on 12 hits and two walks in just 5.2 innings. To be somewhat positive, he did strikeout eight.
- Miracle 5, Daytona 4 (12)
– The Miracle had to work a little overtime on Sunday. Steven
Tolleson had a big all-around game. He went 4-5 with a walk, his
16th double, his fifth homer, two RBI and his 24th stolen base.
Toby Gardenhire went 2-5. Dustin Martin hit his eighth
homer. It was his second straight game, and third in four games with
the Miracle. It was a bullpen game for the team. Kyle Aselton
gave up one run in the first two innings. Then David Shinskie
gave up three unearned runs in three innings.
JP Martinez, back from
New Britain, threw three shutout innings.
Robert Delaney, who recorded the win, threw three
scoreless frames. Adam Hawes
picked up his first save, allowing no runs on two hits.
Saturday - Snappers 3, Dayton 4 – Cole DeVries started and gave up two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out four. Aaron Craig pitched a shutout inning. Anthony Slama blew the save and fell to 1-1. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. He struck out three. Steve Singleton went 2-4 with his 12th double. Chris Parmelee went 1-3 with a walk and two RBI.
Sunday - Snappers – No Game Scheduled.
Saturday - E-Twins 8, Burlington 4 – Deibinson Romero went 3-5 with his seventh double. Rene Tosoni went 2-4 with a walk and his third homer. Rene Leveret was 0-1, but he walked three times. Henry Reyes went the first five innings. He gave up three runs on three hits (but two were homers). He walked none and struck out eight. Brad Tippett blew the save, but then improved to 6-0. He gave up one run on three his over three innings. Caleb Moore pitched a scoreless ninth.
Sunday - E-Twins 15, Burlington 5 – Derek Bromberg is one of several Twins pitchers who will be much higher my Top 50 prospects list following the season. Michael Rogers walked seven in two innings, not exactly great control. He also gave up three hits and two runs (1 earned). Curtis Leavitt came in and struck out all three batters he faced. Offense, definitely, was not the problem. 11 runs in the fifth inning certainly put this one out of reach. Rene Leveret went 4-6. Deibinson Romero went 3-5 with her eighth double and sixth home run (grand slam). Estarlin De Los Santos went 3-5 with a walk, his eighth double and three RBI. Rene Tosoni went 2-5 with his eighth double. Mark Dolenc went 2-5 with a walk. Wesley Connor went 2-6. Matt Lawman went 0-1 with three walks and was hit by a pitch.
GCL TWINS REPORT
Saturday - GCL Twins 7, GCL Pirates 9 – The Twins scored five runs in the top of the 9th, but it wasn't quite enough. Juan Richardson went 2-4. Jon Waltenbury and Danny Rams each hit a double. Winston Marquez started and in 2.1 innings he gave up four runs (1 earned) on two hits. He walked five and struck out two. Dominique Rodgers gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in the next 1.2 innings. Jose Acosta gave up a run in two innings. Nelvin Fuentes gave up two runs in one inning. Jakob Toufar pitched one scoreless inning.
Sunday - GCL Twins 8, GCL Reds 3 – Taiwanese DH Wang-Wei Lin was the hitting hero in this game. He went 2-4 with his fourth double and his first triple. Ben Revere was 2-4 with his eighth triple. Andrew Schmiesing was also 2-4. Thomas Wright went the first five innings to earn his second win of the year. He gave up a run on four hits and two walks. He struck out four. Lee Martin gave up two runs and only recorded two outs. Danny Rondon got the final four outs for his ninth save.
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 and a great week!|
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