Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Trade Deadline

The trade deadline is fast approaching. The Twins are hoping to sneak into 1st place and the playoffs in a year that nobody (but myself) thought they would contend. Now normally the Twins don't do anything big at the trade deadline but maybe they should this year. Usually we just lose players in the offseason, so why not get something back in a trade instead? Players have come and gone over the years and the 2002 squad that first made the playoffs are all gone. Those players have signed with other teams, such as David Ortiz, Johan Santana, Casey Blake, Jason Varitek, Torii Hunter, and even Kyle Lohse. I wouldn't mind having those players back on the Twins, minus Varitek perhaps. Luckily for the Twins they have one of the best farm systems over the years producing players such as Mauer, Morneau, Kubel, Slowey, Blackburn, Garza, Span, Cuddyer, etc. As of today there are currently no Mauers or Morneaus in the minors to help the Twins, with exception of Liriano. All their top prospects are in the lower levels of the minors, players such as Ben Revere, hitting .399 this year, but in lower-A ball. Here are some moves the Twins could and should do:

Trade Cuddyer, Buscher, and Bonser to Mariners for Adrian Beltre.
Trade PTBNL for LaTroy Hawkins, who was demoted by Yankees.
Call up Francisco Liriano, cut Brian Bass.
Trade Livan Hernandez for a bucket of baseballs.
Tell Nick Punto that he won't be resigned.
Cut Adam Everett
Trade Mike Lamb to any takers, call up Matt Macri and Bobby Korecky.

The Twins end up like this:

RF Denard Span
2B Alexi Casilla
C Joe Mauer
1B Justin Morneau
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Jason Kubel
LF Delmon Young
SS Brendan Harris
CF Carlos Gomez

C Mike Redmond
IF Nick Punto
3B Matt Macri
OF Craig Monroe

SP Francisco Liriano
SP Scott Baker
SP Nick Blackburn
SP Kevin Slowey
SP Glen Perkins

CL Joe Nathan
RP Matt Guerrier
RP LaTroy Hawkins
RP Jesse Crain
RP Craig Breslow
RP Dennys Reyes
RP Bobby Korecky

That is a solid team! The Twins are lucky to have 5 great young starting pitchers. The Beltre likely won't happen though.


Kevin Slowey pitched a complete game, shutout against the White Sox last night. That led me to thinking how unfortunate a name "Slowey" is for a pitcher. I don't know which is worse, "Slowey" or "Balfour" as in Grant Balfour, former Twins pitcher who plays for the Rays now.
Here are some Twins with great names:
Boof Bonser
Shooter Hunt (Named after the drunk in Hoosiers)
Anthony Slama (He's a closer, he slams the door shut on the other team)

Other MLB players:
Coco Crisp
Milton Bradley
Tim Spooneybarger
Razor Shines

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Life of a Twins fan

Being a Twins fan definitely has it's ups and downs. It seems like the GM or Ron Gardenhire is like an idiot one moment and a genius the next. Here are just a few moments of countless memories over the past few years that make me love or be frustrated with the Twins.

1. 2008 - Having your best pitcher dominate in AAA (Liriano) while you have the likes of Livan Hernandez in the rotation. How is it possible the Twins don't have room for this kid?
2. 2007 - Playing Nick Punto everyday. In 2007 he put up some of the most atrocious numbers for an everyday player in MLB history. I think Ron Gardenhire likes Punto so much because Punto reminds Gardenhire of the player he once was, a decent glove, terrible batting infielder.
3. 2006 - The first time in 20 years the Twins have a player hit more than 30 HR's (Morneau and Hunter both reach the mark.) Why do the Twins frown on hitting home runs? Even David Ortiz didn't hit 30 HR's while with the Twins.
4. Being infatuated with old veterans and start them over good young players, while giving them way too much money. Examples are not limited but include Livan Hernandez, Rondell (RonDL) White, Juan Castro, Tony Batista, Sidney Ponson, Brett Boone, Phil Nevin, Ramon Ortiz, Henry Blanco, Mike Lamb, Adam Everett. Wow I think I just threw up in my mouth.
5. Never making a trade for a proven big-time player or signing a big-time free agent. I guess the Twins have made some great trades, but never for someone like a Carlos Beltran, a Miguel Tejada, a Adrian Beltre. And who was the last big-time free agent the Twins signed?

1. 2008 - Having nobody think the Twins will do anything worth of note, and then have them be near the top of the division for the season with an excellent chance to make the postseason. Oh and scoring more runs so far than good-hitting teams like the Yankees and White Sox and Tigers.
2. 2007 - Ok there was nothing too exhilarating about last year.
3. 2006 - The only thing that didn't happen was a championship. Morneau - MVP, Mauer - batting title, Santana - Cy Young, Liriano - emerges. And a comeback for the ages.
4. 2004 - The greatest trade ever. The Twins trade clubhouse cancer AJ Pierzynski to the Giants for Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan, and Boof Bonser. Pierzynski leaves the Giants the next year while the Twins get the best young pitcher in baseball who looks like the 2nd coming of Santana and the best closer in baseball over the past 4 years. And the called up some kid named Joe Mauer to take over catching duties.
5. Justin Morneau winning the home run derby. The victory for Morneau kind of epitomizes the whole existence of the Minnesota Twins. Everyone said that he wouldn't win it, he did win it by doing just enough and hitting at the right times, and when it was over people mispronounced his name and said that he didn't deserve it and that his victory would never be remembered. Poor Twinkies.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The All-Mormon Baseball Team

SP Roy Halladay - He's the ace of the Blue Jays, and of this Mormon pitching staff. He has a lifetime ERA of 3.63 and he is a Cy Young winner.
SP Jack Morris - Pitched the most important game in Twins history, a 1-0 shutout in game 7 of the 1991 World Series.
SP Vernon Law - An all-star. He pitched from 1950-1967 and had an ERA of 3.77).
SP Bruce Hurst - Another all-star. Pitched from 1980-1994, career ERA of 3.92
SP Kelly Downs - pitched from 1986-1993, had anERA of 3.86
RP Jeremy Guthrie - 4.11 ERA, is still a young prospect.
CL Dennis Eckersley - a six-time All Star, an MVP, and a Cy Young Award winner.
Setup man - Rick Aguilera, a former Twins pitcher, all-star, and as of this year a member of the Twins hall-of-fame.

Onto the offense-

CF - Jacoby Ellsbury - The speedy rookie and leadoff hitter for the World Champion Boston Red Sox. He stole a base in the World Series last year, earning all the Americans one free taco from Taco Bell.
1B - Wally Joyner.
DH - Harmon Killebrew - 573 career homers. Greatest Minnesota Twin ever with apologies to Puckett, Carew, and Santana.
2B - Jeff Kent - One of the best offensive 2B of all-time. Has 365 home runs and is a six-time All Star.
RF - Dale Murphy - Hit 398 career homers. Two-time MVP, and also played Gold Glove-worthy right field.
LF- Dane Lorg.
3B - Vance Law, former all-star.
SS - Bobby Crosby. 2004 Rookie of the year. Plays for Oakland.
C - Alan Ashby

That is a good team! Halladay, Morris, Eckersley, Aguilera, Ellsbury, Joyner, Killebrew, Kent, and Murphy would be welcome additions to any team in the majors.

Monday, July 7, 2008

50 Wins

The Twins are at it again. They are quieting all their critics with this latest win streak of theirs. Nobody thought the Twins would have 50 wins so early in the season and nobody thought they would do better than Detroit and Cleveland. They are only 1 game behind the White Sox. We are at midseason and to get me back into blogging shape it is time to hand out some midseason grades and predictions:

C Joe Mauer - A. The dude is 2nd in On-Base Percentage and Batting Average in the league. He is starting in the All-Star game. I predict he will win his second batting title, the silver slugger, gold glove, and hit 10 HR. (only has 4 HR right now)
1B Justin Morneau - A. He only has 12 HR but is in 2nd place for RBI in the league. He made the all-star team. Prediction: 135 RBI, 25 HR.
2B Alexi Casilla - A+. 4th in the team in RBI with 35 despite playing in only 45 games. He has cemented himself as the Twins 2B of the future.
SS Brendan Harris - C. Needs more consistency.
3B Brian Buscher - A. Solid since being called up. .333 BA and I predict he is the Twins 3B until Danny Valencia reaches the majors.
RF Michael Cuddyer - C. He has gotten worse every year since his great 2006 year.
CF Carlos Gomez - B. A personal favorite, he is the most exciting player in baseball. Scouts say in 2 years he will be an elite talent.
LF Delmon Young - B. He is heating up lately. He is only 22 and was picked #1 for a reason. Prediction: He will still become one of baseball's best hitters.
DH Jason Kubel - A. He is one of the best hitters on the Twins, tied with Morneau for the team lead with 12.

3B Mike Lamb F
SS Adam Everett F
SS Nick Punto C
3B Matt Macri A-
LF Denard Span A-
SS Matt Tolbert B+

SP Livan Hernandez - C
SP Glen Perkins - B
SP Kevin Slowey - A-
SP Scott Baker - A-
SP Nick Blackburn A-

CL Joe Nathan A
RP Craig Breslow A
RP Matt Guerrier B+
RP Dennys Reyes B
RP Boof Bonser F
RP Jesse Crain B+
RP Brian Bass B