Thursday, August 12, 2010
Round 2: Twins Flop
As nice of a win as Tuesday nightís 12-6 victory was for the Twins and their fans, Wednesday nightís 6-1 loss was equally brutal. I spent the entire game hosting a Live Chat (read transcript here, lots of good questions) and answering reader questions on the Twins, the minor league affiliates and more. That was at least a nice distraction from what proved to be a very disappointing game. Following the game and the live chat, I helped Fanatic Jack host his Twins podcast, so that was fun for an hour. †
RADIO TODAY Ė On Thursday at 9:20, I will be a guest with Paul Allen on the Nine to Noon Show on KFAN (am1130), its affiliates and www.KFAN.com. Tune in and let me know what you think!
Here are some notes from last nightís game and some discussion on various questions that were brought up in the chat, and more:
∑ The first thing everyone wanted to talk about was Glen Perkins making the start. In AAA this year, the lefty from Stillwater had gone 4-9 with a 6.08 ERA. Through June, he was 1-8 with an ERA over 8.00 in 73.2 innings. However, when the calendar changed to July, Perkins found a new life. In his seven starts since the beginning of July, Perkins had gone 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 43 innings. He deserved the opportunity. Why not Nick Blackburn? They were looking for one guy to pitch on Wednesday night. Blackburn would have been pitching on three days rest, Perkins was on regular rest. Maybe it is an indictment on the Twins pitchers at the upper levels right now, but in my mind, Perkins was the easy choice.
∑ After a tidy, eight pitch first inning, Perkins struggled with efficiency and control, both in and out of the strike zone. His one start is likely a microcosm of his season. Definitely showed some glimpses of still being a quality pitcher, but no consistency and in the end, way too many mistakes. Of course, his defense didnít exactly help him out either with a couple of errors.
∑ Late in the game, Jose Mijares hobbled off the field with what appears to be a knee injury. Following the game, Gardy seemed pretty certain that Mijares would need to go on the Disabled List pending an MRI. So would Glen Perkins stay with the big league club, instead of going back to Rochester, and take over as the second lefty in the bullpen for now? He certainly could. However, in Rochester this year, left-handed batters have hit .329 against Perkins while right-handed bats hit .302. Who are some other names to consider:
∑ Jose Lugo is the only left-hander on the current Rochester roster. (starter Ryan Mullins is out for the year with a back injury) He is a 26 year old who throws hard and has a slider. He has already thrown 74 innings in 47 games this year. He is 0-4 with a 6.20 ERA. He has 70 strikeouts, but left-handed bats have hit .315 off of him this year.
∑ Anthony Slama could be promoted, but since he was just promoted, it would be good for him to get a few innings under his belt.
∑ Alex Burnett has pitched in seven games since he was demoted to Rochester. He has given up at least one run in his last five outings.
∑ Kyle Waldrop should still be considered. He is a ground ball machine. He has been struggling in the second half. In his last ten games, his ERA is 4.20, but that doesnít account for all of the inherited runners that have scored against him.
∑ Pat Neshek has pitched ten innings since the all-star break and has given up just one run. He has walked three and struck out six.
∑ Rob Delaney is right handed. He is on the 40 man roster. His overall numbers this season in Rochester do not inspire confidence. He is 7-6 with a 4.79 ERA in 51 games. However, his walk to strikeout rate is terrific. In 67.2 innings, he has just 18 walks and 79 strikeouts. Right-handers have hit .307 against him, but left-handers have hit just .198 against him. More important, he is pitching really well. In 12 games since the All-Star game, he has given up just three runs in 14 innings. He has walked one and struck out 20! It might be subtle, but I definitely think that the easy choice is Rob Delaney.
∑ JJ Hardy also left the game early. His wrist is still hurting. He says he will be back in the lineup on Thursday night. If itís that minor, I would still give him Thursday night off, just to be sure. Alexi Casilla can cover him for a couple of days. Otherwise, Trevor Plouffe could be back in the Twins lineup in no time.
∑ Never make the first or third out at third base. It is one of those baseball rules that just makes a lot of sense. A runner on second base with nobody out is a great situation. Denard Span led off the game with a double to the right centerfield gap. He attempted to make it to third for a triple, but a perfect relay from Alex Rios to Alexi Ramirez to Omar Vizquel meant Span made the first out at third base. At the time, I liked the hustle. I appreciated the effort. It really did take two good throws to make the play. In retrospect, of course he should have stayed at 2B, and not just because he got out. It was an important night to get an early lead and help Perkins out. It was yet another base running gaffe by Span.
∑ Michael Cuddyer went 2-3 in the game. It was this fifth time in his last eight games that he had a multi-hit game. Ozzie Guillen has said, ďCuddyer, so underrated player. I think Michael Cuddyer's the most underrated player in the game. Michael Cuddyer, most underrated player in the game.Ē
∑ Delmon Young is 2-22 in his last five games. Itís OK, folks, he carried the team for the last two months. He can still prove himself human.
∑ Likewise, since August 2, Danny Valencia is 5-41. Again, nothing to worry about.
Just because it has been a long night of answering Twins questions, enjoying a ball game, podcasting and now blogging, Iím going to cut it off here. Hopefully there is much more to discuss in the chat room. More so, tonightís Francisco Liriano versus Gavin Floyd matchup should be a ton of fun to watch. Liriano is one of baseballís best. Floyd has been the White Sox top pitcher of late.
Here is a quick glance at what happened on Wednesday in the Twins minor league system (plenty of extra baseball:
Red Wings Report†††
Brandon Roberts singled in Brendan Harris, who had doubled to lead off the inning, to give the Rochester Red Wings a 5-4 win in 11 innings. Roberts was 2-6 on the day. Harris was 2-5. Erik Lis went 3-4 with his third home run for the Red Wings, but the first in months. Brian Dinkelman was 2-4 with a walk and his sixth stolen base. Matt Fox started and gave up two runs on four hits and three walks in 3.1 innings. Jose Lugo came in and gave up a run on three hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Kyle Waldrop had a very good outing. He went 2.1 innings and gave up just one hit. Alex Burnett gave up one run on three hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. Pat Neshek struck out three in two shutout innings. Anthony Slama came in and got the final out of the 11th, so he gets credited with the win.
New Britain Notes
The Rockcats gave up three runs in the bottom of the 8th inning and fell 7-6 to Erie. Steve Singleton went 3-4 with a walk and his 36th and 37th doubles. Chris Parmelee went 3-4 with a walk and his 20th and 21st doubles. Chris Cates was 2-3 with his third steal. Evan Bigley was 2-5. Mark Dolenc hit his fourth homer. Joe Benson hit his 19th AA home run (23rd overall). Tyler Robertson started and gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings. Carlos Gutierrez gave up three runs on five hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Billy Bullock got the final two outs.
Nate Hanson had another nice game. He went 1-3 with three walks and his 15th double. His final walk came with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th, so he got credit with the game-winning RBI. Nick Romero went 2-5 with his 18th and 19th doubles. Yangervis Solarte went 2-6. Matt Williams started and gave up one run on six hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out three. Steve Blevins came in and gave up just one run on three hits in four innings to earn the win. †
The Snappers scored three runs in the 13th inning and held on for the 7-4 win. Clinton Dempster started and gave up one run in five hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out three. Zach See pitched a scoreless seventh frame. Miguel Munoz came in and got two outs, but he gave up one run on a hit and a walk. Matt Tone gave up a hit before striking out the final batter of the 8th inning. Eliecer Cardenas went the final three innings. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk, but he improved to 5-0. Most of the offense came from the top two hitters in the lineup. Reggie Williams led off and went 3-5 with a walk. James Beresford batted second and went 4-4. In the 13th, Wang-Wei Lin led off with a double. He scored on a Josmil Pinto single. Pinto came around on a Lance Ray double. Ray later scored on a double play ball.
The E-Twins lost 6-5 in 10 innings. Blayne Weller started and gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks in 4.1 innings. He struck out five. David Gutierrez gave up one run on three hits in 2.2 innings. Jose Gonzales then gave up a run on two hits over the final 2.1 innings. He struck out three. Daniel Ortiz went 3-4 with his 10th double and sixth home run. Kyle Knudson went 2-5 with his seventh double. Andy Leer was 2-5. ††
GCL Twins Topics
The GCL Twins beat the Orioles 8-3. David Deminsky gave up three runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings. Bart Carter struck out two in two scoreless innings. Matt Trau threw a scoreless inning despite giving up a hit and two walks. Rory Rhodes went 2-2 with two walks. Matej Hejma was 2-4 with his fifth double. Kennys Vargas and Niko Goodrum each had two hits. Matt Tolbert went 0-2 with a walk before being replaced by JaDamion Williams, who went 2-2.
Any thoughts on the Twins or the minor league system? Feel free to leave your questions and comments here.