Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Hey everyone. Real quick update today as I just donít have a lot of time, but I did want to touch on a few things.
∑ The Tigers and Braves at least had the decency and respect for the game of baseball that is nice to see. The two teams clearly had a deal in place and waited until Monday to announce it. Edgar Renteria went to the Tigers from the Braves in exchange for Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez. I think this is an example of a good trade for both teams. The Tigers get their shortstop and now Carlos Guillen can move to 1B full time. Renteria is coming off a monster year in Atlanta and should do well for Detroit. But I think that the Braves did well. Jurrjens did a nice job in the final month of the season for the Tigers after doing well much of the season in AA. I think he projects to be a #3 or #4 starter potentially, so the Tigers probably sold high, but if he can be a solid #3, the Braves will be happy. But the big chip in the trade was Hernandez. He was the player of the year in the Midwest League this year and is a centerfielder of the future. Heís probably two years away from the big leagues, but in time, he will be the name to remember.
∑ Torii Hunter and Carlos Silva both declared for free agency on the first day that they could. No surprise whatsoever. I mean, 55 others did on the first day and Iím sure the same number or more will on Day 2. Not really a story at this point, although Torii sure is trying to get away from the Twins, saying pretty much all of the wrong things! But again, the Twins have 15 days to negotiate with Hunter exclusively, but Hunter all but admitted that he has every intent to take full advantage of his right to free agency.
∑ The Twins released several of their minor league players today. As someone who follows the Twins system so closely throughout the season, it is something that I notice that others may not care about, but I think that it deserves to be noted. I think several of these guys will turn up with other organizations:
1. Danny Powers Ė The Twins 8th round pick in 2005 Ė This one surprised me a little bit. Yes, he struggled in New Britain, and was sent back to Ft. Myers. I would have liked to have seen him get another shot at AA next year.
2. Matt Betsill Ė Hit just .155 with Ft. Myers before going back to Beloit. There, he hit just .213, so I think this makes sense, particularly with the Twins options at the corners.
3. Jesse Floyd Ė The Twins took him a year ago from the Giants in the minor league portion of the Rule V draft. He didnít excite the organization the same way Brian Buscher, the other minor league Rule V guy, did.
4. Jesus Carnevales Ė This one surprises me. He went 5-5 with a 4.04 ERA for Beloit after being promoted from extended spring. He was used seemingly every day. He didnít do poorly, so I am surprised.
5. Wesley Connor Ė Not a surprise and yet I think someone will pick him up. He hit .293 in his second year at E-Town, but the outfielder likely would stall because there will be no room in the Beloit outfield (Ozzie Lewis, Rene Tosoni, Matt Dolenc, Ben Revere, Andrew Schmiesing).
6. Michael Rogers Ė Spent the year with E-Town, but he has been hurt most of the time since the team drafted him in 2004.
7. Jose Castillo Ė he went 5-1 with a 2.25 ERA for E-Town. Thatís not bad! Why would he be released?
8. Jose Acosta Ė pitched OK at GCL.
9. Nick Biagini Ė Minnesota native played some for GCL Twins after a college career in which he barely played for the Gophers. Not sure why he was signed in the first place.
∑ Catching up on the Arizona Fall League:
1. Friday was the Rising Stars game. Trevor Plouffe came in to replace Reid Brignac and went 0-1. Ryan Mullins pitched the second inning. He gave up a home run, but he struck out the other three hitters he faced.
2. Also on Friday, Phoenix played Team China. Matt Macri went 0-3. Anthony Swarzak pitched three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out three.
3. Saturday, Phoenix lost to Team USA 3-2. Brian Duensing pitched for Team USA and gave up a run on two hits in his two innings. Matt Macri went 3-4 with an RBI. Drew Butera went 0-3.
4. No Games on Sunday.
5. On Monday, Matt Macri went 1-3 with his 6th double. Trevor Plouffe went 0-3. Eddie Morlan walked one in a scoreless inning.
6. Nick Blackburn continues to dominate the AFL. On Tuesday, he started and went four shutout innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out five.
∑ Catching up on the Venezuelan League:
1. On Friday, Aragua lost 1-0 to Margarita. Brian Buscher went 1-3. Yohan Pino took the loss. He gave up a run on two hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. Jose Mijares went 2/3 of an inning and struck out one.
2. On Saturday, Aragua lost 2-1 to Caracas in 14 innings. Jose Mijares gave up a single to the lone batter he faced. Frank Mata walked three but didnít give up a run in 2.2 innings.
3. Aragua beat Margarita 4-1 on Sunday. Former Twins farmhand Luis Maza was 2-4 with a double. Brian Bass had another excellent start. He went the first 6.1 innings and gave up no runs on three hits and no walks. Bobby Korecky pitched the 8th and struck out two. Yohan Pino came in with the tying run up to bat. He got him out to record the save.
4. No Games scheduled on Monday.
∑ Knowing how much I enjoy following the Twins minor league system, be sure to check out Aaronís posting today showing a different look at how the Twins minor league hitters did this year.
∑ I really didnít write anything about the Twins decision to pick up Joe Nathanís $6 million option for 2008. Why not? It may have been the easiest decision that Bill Smith will ever make in his life as a GM!
∑ Hey, the NBA season starts tonight! Are you excited!? I am in a keeper fantasy basketball league this year with a group of guys that Iím in a fantasy keeper baseball league with. This was the first year, and the draft just concluded today, after more than a week of e-mailed picks. My roster consists of (by round I selected them, 15 teams, 16 rounds, I had the fifth overall pick): Amare Stoudemire, Deron Williams, Luol Deng, Greg Oden, Rajon Rondo, Andre Miller, Richard Jefferson, Chris Wilcox, Joakim Noah, Mickael Pietrus, Desmond Mason, Rasho Nesterovich, Thaddeus Young, Damien Wilkens, Antonio McDyess, Jarvis Hayes. Iím actually happy with the roster, but we shall see how well it goes!
∑ Last week, I said that the obvious choice to replace Joe Torre as Yankees manager was Joe Girardi. Maybe Brian Cashman reads this site. Yeah Right! But the Yankees GM did announce that Girardi would be the teamís new manager. Sounds like Joe Torre could take over for Grady Little with the Dodgers and likely would bring Don Mattingly with him.
∑ Iím not a fan of how the A-Rod news came out the other day. I donít know how anyone could turn town about $230 million. But then again, I havenít had to live under the New York scrutiny that Alex Rodriguez has the last couple of years. And secondly, he was contractually well within his rights to opt out of those final three years, and he decided to do that, so I donít begrudge him in any way.
∑ Jonathan Papelbon is crazy, and thanks to David Ortiz before the teamís parade through Boston, we know that Pap spent a good amount of time on the teamís flight home being, well, sick!
∑ †If youíre interested in knowing what is going on at the Twins Ballpark meeting today, here is a Live Blog from someone there.
∑ Be sure to check out the T-Wolves Blog for news and information on Minnesotaís NBA team. Yes, they still have a team, even with all of the trades. I actually am very interested in seeing how they do and how the youth comes together. Randy Foye being out for awhile with a knee injury (a stress reactionÖ yes, it is a real injury!) certainly is not good news. ††
If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me. Have a great weekend!