Sunday Night, September 9, 2007
Sunday Night Notes
Good Monday Morning! In order to maintain some sanity, I decided to do a couple of brief postings Saturday morning and Saturday evening so as not to fall too far behind. So, check those out, and also be sure to go back and check out our NFL "Expert" Picks and how we did. With that, Sunday was a good day for the Twins and the Vikings, but also for the Beloit Snappers, so check out the thoughts below and as always, please feel free to e-mail me or leave Comments down below.
Johan Santana gave the Twins exactly what they needed. First, he went seven innings, allowing the over-used bullpen a day off. Second, he gave seven strong innings. One run, five hits, two walks, ten strikeouts. And he got another win to improve to improve to 15-11. I know it's been mentioned too often, but Johan Santana is 0-5 against the Cleveland Indians. But more importantly in my mind is that the Twins have given him a total of eight runs of support in those six games.
Juan Rincon gave up a run in the 8th inning allowing Joe Nathan to record his 30th save with a scoreless ninth inning.
Good to see Matthew Lecroy back in the Twins dugout. The Twins purchased his contract yesterday after putting Jose Morales on the 60 day Disabled List. I'm sure Lecroy was surprised when his phone rang and he was asked if he could get to Chicago to join the Twins, but I am guessing he said YES immediately. He just provides the team with some depth. Worst case, maybe he catches a couple of innings. Best case, maybe he gets a couple of pinch hits. I have a feeling that he will call it a career at the end of the season. In 80 games and 247 at bats with the Red Wings this season he hit .194/.281/.279 with three homers. This gives him the chance to end his career in the big leagues. In my mind, I would like to see Lecroy become the hitting coach of the Ft. Myers Miracle.
Joe Christensen also tells us that Glen Perkins will be activated on Tuesday presumably to be used out of the bullpen (and hopefully cautiously) the rest of the season.
The Twins won 5-2... Jason Kubel provided four of the RBI. In the third inning, he hit a two-out single to give the Twins their first run. Then in the fifth inning, he came up with two on and two out and delivered a long, three-run homer.
Joe Mauer did a nice job in his return to the lineup. He was 1-3 with a walk and clearly was not running hard, and that is good. I think he could have had a double when he drilled a ball down the 3B line. I was a bit nervous when he was on 1B and Justin Morneau hit his triple, but he looked OK running probably at 60% around the bases.
Alexi Casilla was on the bench for the third straight game of this series and for the fifth time in the last seven games. That's a good way to treat your second baseman of the future. (Note sarcasm)
Jim Thome hit a home run in each of the three games of the series. Sunday's was his 498th of his career. I believe 250 of them have come against Twins pitching!
Ubelman took a look at the stats of left-handed hitters against Carmen Cali and Pat Neshek and wonders why Gardy wouldn't have gone to Neshek rather than Cali on Saturday afternoon. He mentioned in there that Gardy used to just go to the likes of LaTroy Hawkins, Juan Rincon and JC Romero for a full inning, regardless of lefty-righty matchups. It definitely seems as though Gardy has gone to the bullpen mid-inning and for lefty-lefty types of situations more this year than in previous years. I always thought he tried to over-manage in Inter-League games and in the playoffs, but this year, he has done it constantly.
The Pioneer Press's Charley Walters had several really interesting bits of rumor in his article today. Of course, the words "Charley Walters" and "rumors" have to be taken for what they are. It is also interesting to me that information this interesting is that far down in the article:
"Pssst: Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who has 101 runs batted in this season, would be interested in a six-year contract if it's agreeable to both sides."
Seth's Thoughts - A six year contract buys out three years of Morneau's free agency. I think it is fine for Morneau to look for a deal of this length. In reality, it probably should make sense to the Twins as well. Now, I would guess that a six year Morneau deal would have to be somewhere between $79 and $85 million. Is that fair market value for Morneau? Absolutely. Is it something that the Twins are prone to do? Not even a little.
"Whether the Twins trade two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana this winter could depend on whether they are willing to give him six years or more on a contract extension rather than the five they're expected to offer.:
Seth's Thoughts - Six years for Santana, huh? I was actually surprised that the Twins seem willing to go to five years with him, but again, we are talking about the best pitcher in baseball, and he's not even thirty. Barry Zito got seven years and $126 million and he's not even good, hasn't been for about four years. By my calculations, $126 million would be the low-ball starting point of a six year deal with Santana. That's $21 million a year. Fair-market value for Santana for six years is probably greater than $150 million. For Santana to accept a five year deal, the per-year average will likely have to be higher, so something like five years, $110 million (average of $22 million per season).
There's little doubt that 2008 will be Twins closer Joe Nathan's last season in Minnesota
Seth's Thoughts - Well, if they are going to sign Santana and Morneau to the above contracts, or anything near it, this one only makes sense. I think the above two contracts also essentially guarantee that Mr. Torii Hunter is in his final three weeks with the Twins as well. Closers are replaceable, even the best ones, as Nathan is.
Next??? Jay Gibbons.
SNAPPERS WIN, ADVANCE
The Beloit Snappers post season run continues and will continue right into the Midwest League championship series. Tonight, the Snappers got a pinch hit RBI double from Rene Tosoni, followed by a Chris Parmelee RBI single, in the 8th inning which gave them a 2-0 win over Clinton. This game was quite the pitcher's dual. Matt Fox, the 25 year old 2004 first round pick, started for the Snappers and went the first five innings. He gave up three hits and three walks and struckout four without allowing a run. Jose Lugo came in and went 2.2 innings. He gave up just one hit and one walk. Aaron Craig came in and got the final out of the 8th inning. The Snappers scored their runs making Craig the winning pitcher. Anthony Slama then finished the game with a scoreless ninth frame. Steve Singleton went 2-4 in the game and scored the team's first run.
The Snappers have won all four of their postseason games to this point, and have now gone through their rotation once. As I wrote yesterday, the team is now in a great situation as their rotation is set up as they would want it for the championship series. I would assume that Alex Burnett will start Game 1. He will be followed by Tyler Robertson and then Cole DeVries.
The Snappers will play West Michigan in the championship series. They beat South Bend in two games.
Is "winning" part of a minor league player's development? I think that it is important for a player in the minor leagues to play the game the same way that they will play it in the big leagues, and that should always be to help your team win games. Sure, development of skills is of equal importance, no doubt. But if you're doing things to help a team win, and the rest of the team is, those players will experience winnings. I ask this because this Beloit team is comprised of several players who were with an Elizabethton team that was the runner up in last year's Appy League championship and won a lot of games during that season. The infusion of Rene Tosoni and Greg Yersich (and to a lesser degree DJ Romero) from this year's Appy League's champion E-Twins team has certainly helped as well.
I have to admit. I am very, very surprised that the Vikings not only beat the Atlanta Falcons, but they crushed them (24-3). Yes, I picked the Falcons even with Joey Harrington being the Falcons quarterback. I figured that the Vikings do have some weak spots, and football is a weird game. So, what did we learn in the Vikings' Week 1 win over the Falcons?
The Vikings defense is good... really good! And not just because they scored two touchdowns. But they can stop the run, and their defensive backs make tackles. I really am thinking that the return of Chad Greenway (after missing all of last season except the opening kickoff of the first preseason game) at linebacker only helps. And yes, any time you get a defensive tackle to score a touchdown on an interception return is pretty impressive. Kevin Williams did that. Antoine Winfield got an interception return for touchdown too, but that was a gift that he just took advantage of. I know that the Falcons offense if horrible, but I do think that this defense can certainly be top ten in the NFL, if not better.
Tarvaris Jackson may not be so bad after all. I think we can all agree that he likely won't be a Pro Bowl QB in 2007, but if he can limit his mistakes, he can help the team be successful. He has a great arm. He can throw the deep ball well. The one interception he had in Sunday's game was an example of throwing a short pass too late and too hard. And it was kind of fluky. His ability to run will help gain plenty of extra first downs and yet you can see that he prefers to throw the ball.
Adrian Peterson may be even better than anyone would have thought. It is unfortunate for Chester Taylor that he was injured early in the game. If he misses any significant playing time, he may not see the field much because Peterson was so impressive in his debut. Peterson carried the ball 19 times for 103 yards. And his first touchdown came on a swing pass that he caught and went 60 yards simply outrunning everyone.
The Wide Receivers, well, it's a little early to tell about them. Bobby Wade seems solid. If Troy Williamson is able to catch the ball, he could be dynamic. Although he had just two catches for 10 yards, I was most impressed by Sidney Rice. Great hands, willing to go over the middle, great height could be used at the goal line. He also provided the key block on Peterson's long TD reception. He could be big time.
I wonder if tight end Visanthe Shiancoe will be recruited to do some advertising/commercials for The Shane Co?
Next week, the Vikings travel to Detroit to take on the Lions. The Lions won their Week 1 game as well. They beat the Raiders 36-21. Jon Kitna was terrific. He was 27-36 for 289 yards and three TDs to three different receivers including rookie Calvin Johnson. Tatum Bell ran for 84 yards and a touchdown. But again, this was against the Raiders, so as is the case with the Vikings, it is hard to know how good the teams really are. Next week, they will get to see how they match up against each other.
That is it for today. Be sure to check back tomorrow when I will be posting a Q&A.|
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