Wednesday, August 9, 2006
Roger's Minor League Players of the Week
Twins Minor League Report
WHAT A DAY?!
Good morning everybody! Thank you very much for your patience with me. Although I won't be having a huge entry today, it is a start. Tomorrow, I plan on a large posting, so you will want to come back for that.
Today, I want to discuss which was a strange day, in my opinion, for the Minnesota Twins. It was a day that had me wondering what they were thinking.
Let's start with Monday night. The Twins lost to the Detroit Tigers 9-3. Francisco Liriano started and gave up four runs on ten hits over just four innings. Really, he did very well for himself to only allow the four runs as he was very clearly not himself.
Of course, speculation said that it was his forearm/elbow/muscle injury that had caused such a poor performance. And, in fact, it really was. According to a Joe Christenson article, Liriano was nearly in tears describing the pain he felt while pitching and that he could not throw any of his pitches. So of course, speculation ran rampant that Liriano would be put on the Disabled List and Matt Garza would finally get called up to the big leagues.
Well, by late this morning, we heard that the Twins were calling up Matt Garza and that he will start against Toronto (with one of the league's best offenses) on Friday night. Of course, this is terrific news as some of us have felt he has been ready for this opportunity for awhile now!
However, Garza was not recalled to take the place of Liriano. He was called up to replace Mike Smith who was given just one start. There was no word yet on Liriano.
(Let me cut in here. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an entire blog posting about why the Twins should call up Matt Garza. Also, in May, I was fortunate to run a Q&A with Matt Garza and he answered a lot of questions.)
Finally, by late afternoon, we found out that the Twins will be placing Francisco Liriano on the Disabled List. They will call up either Boof Bonser or Scott Baker to start against the Blue Jays on Saturday.
So, that is the information. You can find all of that at the Star-Tribune or the Twins website. Why am I writing about it? Well, I think that the Twins made several mistakes in this string of activity, and I think it is worth bringing up. Let me know what you think.
The first thing I have to ask is why Francisco Liriano even started on Monday. Obviously something was wrong. I know they skipped one start, but if he was in a position where throwing two innings was going to cause him pain, he should not have started. We are talking about a 22 year old who has arguably been the best pitcher in baseball the last two months. He has a history of arm injuries. Don't push him. I really think that the Twins have been good with him this year. They have kept his innings down. They have given him proper rest. They have encouraged him to throw more fastballs and less of his devastating sliders. I just think that they should have been stronger in this situation.
I always talk about how as much as the Twins have to think about 2006 and trying to win now. However, I always couple that with not doing anything to give up their ability to be competitive over future years. As important as Francisco Liriano is to the 2006 Twins, he is just as important in 2007, 2008, 2009, and you get my drift.
Hopefully the Twins will get at least five different medical opinions on the arm/elbow/forearm of Liriano. I don't want to just hear one opinion. I hope that the team is very diligent in determining the next steps. We can hope that all opinions will be that all he needs is rest and rehabilitation. I know that is what I will be hoping for. Let him sit and rehab as long as necessary. Shut him down for a month, the season, whatever it takes. The worst possible news that we could hear is that he will need surgery. Why? Because the odds are the he will not only miss the rest of this season, but a good majority of next year too. And then what will he be able to do when he comes back? Who knows?
After Mike Smith's three innings start on Sunday, I thought that what Ron Gardenhire said to the media was horrible. From another Joe Christenson article, we read:
"The first three innings, for both sides, felt like watching paint dry, and that's not the way we like to play baseball," Gardenhire said after his team moved a season-high 20 games over .500 at 65-45. "We expect you to attack the hitters. If they hit you, they hit you, but we're not going to sit there and watch ball one, ball two, ball three."
Asked if the 28-year-old Smith would get another start, Gardenhire said, "I haven't even gotten there yet. We'll see where we're at when we get to Detroit."
To me, as true as such a quote might be, that should have been said only in a one-on-one conversation between Gardy and Mike Smith. Smith is a 28 year old with some prior big league time. Do you really think that he doesn't know that he needed to throw more strikes and that 80 pitches in three innings is bad? My opinion is that Gardy should have told Smith that he needed to throw more strikes. I think that Mike Smith should have been allowed to make another start and try to make the adjustments. We are talking about a guy making his first big league appearance in four years. I'm sure he was jittery. I'm he wasn't trying to throw so many balls. I think he deserved another start. He has been Rochester's best pitcher for the last couple of months as well.
Terry Ryan and the Twins had to know that Francisco Liriano was going to go on the Disabled List early on Tuesday, certainly before they called up Matt Garza. This is an addition to #2, but why not allow Smith to make that second start and call up Garza to replace Liriano on the roster? Was what Smith did on Sunday so unforgivable that they are going to go with Scott Baker or Boof Bonser for the third time this year instead of giving Smith that second start?
On a day when the Twins needed it the most, Brad Radke came out and did exactly what we all should have expected of him. He gave the Twins seven strong innings and picked up a big win against the Tigers. I know that Radke is far from an 'ace' in terms of his stuff. However, in a game like last night on a day like yesterday, he was the right guy to have on the mound!
For what it is worth, it was cool to see Matt Garza show up in the Twins dugout during the game last night!
Any news we hear about Francisco Liriano in the coming weeks could potentially be scary. As Twins fans, we have to hope for the best. As human beings, we have to hope for the best. I can only imagine the emotions that Liriano is going through right now.
Any thoughts on the Liriano situation and other situations surrounding the Twins pitchers right now? Send me an e-mail or leave some Comments below.
Just a couple of quick notes and some blogger gems:
So many Twins fans seemed to like the Erubiel Durazo signing thinking that he would be a good guy to help the Twins at DH. In reality, it was a good insurance policy, but he really wasn't a great guy for the big league roster. If he would have been, two other big league organizations would have called him up from AAA rather than release him. He had a deal in his contract that if the Twins didn't call him up, he would be let go. Well, the Twins let him go on Monday.
Last night, the Twins and White Sox won, so the Sox have a 1/2 game lead over the Twins who are a 1/2 game ahead of the Boston Red Sox.
Pat Neshek has been doing a wonderful job of updating his blog On the Road with Pat Neshek lately.
I know that I usually mention Jim Mandelaro's Extra Bases blog in the Twins minor league section, but really, the Rochester and Minnesota rosters have had so many of the same names that it is worth mentioning here.
In his AAA rehab, Lew Ford is hitting .273 with six hits in 22 at bats. He has six walks and four strikeouts.
You can vote for Justin Morneau for the Hank Aaron Award as the league's top hitter!
Joe Nathan was named the DHL Man of the Month as baseball's top reliever. He wasn't any better in July than he was in the previous three months, just had more opportunities for the glorified saves.
I saw this picture awhile ago, but I decided that I was not going to post it here. However, if you want to see Francisco Liriano's mug shot, click here.
Here is another Twins blog. It is called Metrodome Memories.
The Baseball Savant says that the Twins season hinges on Liriano's arm. Can't say I disagree with him.
Any other thoughts on the Twins? E-mail me, or leave some Comments below.
ROGER'S MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Throughout the year, our friend "Roger" will be keeping tabs of the Twins minor leaguers again. This year, he is coming up with a minor league hitter and pitcher each week. Feel free to comment! And don't forget to check out his weekly minor league update at Twinkie Town.
Player of the Week…David Winfree, Ft. Myers Miracle
Last year’s Minor League Player of the Year, David Winfree, continues his comeback from an early season injury and a month long leave for personal reasons. This week Winfree was a big part of the Miracle’s 4-2 week with five multi-hit games, finishing the week with 12 hits in 27 at bats with a walk, double, 2 home runs, 7 runs scored and 8 rbi.
2006 Ft. Myers 144ab 7-2B 6hr 29rbi .278Ave .338OBP .465SLG
2005 Beloit 562ab 31-2B 16hr 101rbi .294Ave .329OBP .452SLG
2004 Elizabethton 217ab 8-2B 8hr 37rbi .286Ave .349OBP .433SLG
2003 GCL Twins 70ab 1-2B 0hr 3rbi .129Ave .164OBP .200SLG
Pitcher of the Week…Matt Garza, Rochester Red Wings
Matt Garza’s first start this week on Sunday, he was limited to 69 pitches following his complete game shutout in which he threw over 120 pitches. The Red Wings lost that game as Matt was limited to 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs and 1K/1BB. Last night, Garza led the Wings to a 8-0 win over a Charlotte team that has the best record in the International League. Garza completed 7.0 innings with 4 hits, 0 runs and 11K/0BB lowering his era to 1.85. For the season, Garza has moved up two levels with numbers similar to those put up by Francisco Liriano last season at New Britain and Rochester.
2006 Rochester 5g 5gs 3W-1L 34.0ip 1.85era 33K/7BB
2006 New Britain 10g 10gs 6W-2L 77.1ip 2.51era 68K/14BB
2006 Ft. Myers 8g 8gs 5W-1L 44.1ip 1.42era 53K/11BB
2005 Beloit 10g 10gs 3W-3L 56.0ip 3.54era 64K/15BB
2005 Elizabethton 4g 4gs 1W-1L 19.2ip 3.66era 25K/6BB
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
Tuesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Erik Lis, Beloit Snappers
Tuesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - David Gassner, Rochester Red Wings
Quickly, I do want to apologize for not keeping up with all of the minor league summaries while I was gone. I just did not have enough time. And to try to get all caught up seemed both time consuming and a little bit much. So, I apologize to the players who had big games while I was out, and I didn't mention them. It was good to see Glen Perkins get a couple of starts again. It was great to see Yohan Pino get moved up to Ft. Myers. Terry Tiffee was sent back to Rochester and he has had some monster games. There are a lot of positives in the Twins organization, and it is fun to follow them. But, for today, I am only going to give the updates from the games played last night.
Tuesday - Red Wings 1, Pawtucket 0 - David Gassner returned to Rochester and had a very nice first start. In five shutout innings, he gave up just one hit. He walked three and hit one to go with five strikeouts. Henry Bonilla and Beau Kemp each went two innings to preserve the shutout. Garrett Jones had two of the Twins five hits. Lew Ford had a double.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Tuesday - Rockcats 6, Erie 5 – Trent Oeltjen had three of the Twins six hits. He also had one of their four doubles. The team scored three in the bottom of the 8th for the win. It took Kevin Slowey off the hook. The starter gave up four runs on six hits and two walks in 4.2 innings. He did strikeout eight. Nick Blackburn struck out three over the next 1.1 innings. Tristan Crawford got the win although he gave up a run in his two innings. Julio DePaula pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his fifth save.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Tuesday - Miracle 7, Vero Beach 9 – Deacon Burns and Caleb Moore both went 3-4. Trevor Plouffe and Luke Hughes each went 2-4. Hughes hit his third homer while Brock Peterson hit his 15th, a three run homer. Colby Miller started and took the loss as he allowed five runs (4 earned) in 4.2 innings. Ryan Callahan then gave up four unearned runs in 2.1 innings. JP Martinez went two shutout innings.
Tuesday - Snappers 5, Wisconsin 6 – The Snappers scored four in the 8th, but it wasn't enough to make up for the six they allowed in the 3rd. Matt Betsill went 2-3. Erik Lis and Edward Ovalle each went 2-5. Lis hit his 37th double and 15th home run. Zach Ward made his second Snapper start since coming to the Twins in the Kyle Lohse deal. He had been 8-0 on the season, but that six run third meant his first loss. He went just 2.2 innings. Dan Leatherman then went the next 2.1 innings without allowing a run. Armando Gabino also went 2.1 innings and Danny Vais got the final two outs without allowing a run.
Tuesday - E-Twins 3, Kingsport 6 – Danny Santiesteban and Danny Valencia went 2-5 with a double. Garrett Olson was 2-4. Steve Singleton went 2-4 with his first home run. Jose Castillo gave up five runs (3 earned) on eight hits and a walk in 6.1 innings. Matt Fox gave up a run on a walk (and a couple of wild pitches) in his 1.2 innings.
GCL TWINS REPORT
Tuesday - GCL Twins 1, GCL Reds 3 – The GCL Twins managed just two hits, both singles. Michael Allen gave up three runs (2 earned) on eight hits in four innings for the loss. Adam Revelette came in and through five shutout innings. He gave up just two hits.
Thanks again for stopping by this site. If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
Hello everyone! Well, it has been awhile, but I am back home. It was an excellent whirl-wind tour of the eastern part of the country followed by good family times in Nebraska. Exhausted would be one word!
I wanted to write real quick and let people know that all is well in Warroad. You may have heard or read that Warroad had a F-3 tornado rip through part of town near the lake on Saturday night. There was a lot of damage, but fortunately no casualties. If you look up Warroad and Tornado on Google or Yahoo, I'm sure you can find some pictures. What such a situation can do is put us all back in our places to realize that we are not in control.
On the Twins front, they had some fairly devastating news too. After his four inning, four run, ten hit outing last night in a loss to the Tigers, it appears Francisco Liriano could be out for a while! That is not good news for the Twins playoff hopes. I guess on a positive, it is being highly speculated that the Twins could finally call up Matt Garza. He may pitch as early as Friday (in place of Mike Smith), but if Liriano is put on the DL, he may come up and pitch on Sunday. That, however, is up to Terry Ryan and Ron Gardenhire.
On the positives, Justin Morneau continues to be amazing. He and David Ortiz should be 1-2 in MVP voting. Pat Neshek had another dominant outing last night. Chris Coste is playing terrific. There are a lot of things to be excited about regardless of how the standings look.
I hope to start back up here again tonight with a posting for tomorrow. I have to keep this short as I am on an abbreviated lunch due to meetings. Uggh! Being out of the office for a week can be a little intimidating to come back to. Please feel free to e-mail me, and check out the site again tomorrow!
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