Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mid Market..We Will See

I'm not sure the twins acted "large market" in the offseason. Hardy was in the minors last season. Hudson was benched in the playoffs with the dodgers and didn't find too much interest as a free agent. They only offered arbitration to pavano, its not like they extended him 3 years. By the way, where would they be had he not accepted? Thome came here for no other reason than he wanted to. Yes, they did sign Mauer but only because they absolutely had to. The real test is now that we are almost half way through the season, how will they address their most glaring handicaps? 3rd base, and starting pitching to start. We could use power in the bullpen. We need help there too. Great players will cost cash and talent in return. Fading teams will dump salary in exchange for lower tier players and prospects. There's opportunity there too. Hopefully, the club doesn't panic because they've struggled badly of late. Cliff lee could be a big mistake. If the rumors are true, which they probably are not, duensing, ramos, and another lower tiered prospect would be too much considering their needs extend beyond a starting pitcher.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Where's Joe Crede?

The Twins need to seriously consider another go around with Joe Crede given their offensive inconsistancy. I have no idea if Crede's healthy or interested but it's an option worth exploring. Supposedly Crede's off again-on again availability was considered by the Twins to be a liability but what do they have now? Morneau, Mauer, Hudson, and twice Punto has been unavailable for multiple games. Considering Harris is wasting a roster spot with his inexplicable two year deal he signed last winter it probably wont happen. Valencia seems to have slow hands and lacks quickness at the plate and I seriously doubt his major league contribution potential certainly in the short term. Obviously we haven't seen much of him so my take may be premature but we'll see. He certainly deserves the chance given his track record, age and the Twins 3rd base production.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Twins win 2-1

Twins win their 2nd game in Chicago 2-1. Scott Baker was solid in 7 innings. Jesse Crain had his 3rd great outing in a row. Jon Rauch recorded his 4th save of the season. Jason Kubel's 2 run blast in the 7th inning was the difference. Good to see him get out of the gate with some power.

If the Twins starters keeps getting them to the 7th they're going to win most of the time. In 6 games the Twins have not commited an error. The infield has been excellent! The Twins have stranded a ton of runners in this series. Twice they were bases loaded 0 outs and held scoreless. I never thought I'd live to see the day where Omar Vizquel playing 3rd base in friday nights game.

The Twins went 5-1 the 1st week of 2010. Couldn't hope for a better start. If the pitch like they have they will have a lot of weeks like this. I keep hearing of a comparision of this line-up to the 91 team. To me their is no comparison. The 91 team didn't have a 100rbi man or a 30 homerun man or a player with 100 runs. Hopefully somewhere down the road somebody will emerge as this years Jack Morris.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Twins Win!

Much better results Tuesday for the Twins winning their 1st game of the 2010. Lots of positive stuff for the Twins.

Nick Blackburn had a quality start pitching into the 7th. He allowed 8 hits and 4 walks. Tons of baserunners all night for the Angels but Blacky ultimately made pitches when he needed one.

The bull-pin was exceptional retiring all 7 hitters it faced. Brain Duensing came in with a man on in the 7th to face Hideki Matsui and snapped his bat off in a grounder to 2nd. Matt Guerrier looked sharp in the 8th firing a perfect frame. Finally, Jon Rauch retired the side in order recording his 1st save of the season striking out 2.

Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and J.J. Hardy all hit their 1st homeruns of the year. For Hardy it was his first as a Twin. What a nice arm this guy has! Mauer's blast to center gave the Twins a 2-0 lead the would keep all night. Morneau's swing seems to be fine after a slow spring. Michael Cuddyer had 3 hits including a double.

Great to get the 1st win of the season. Great to get the 1st save of the season. Great to see Morneau regaining his form. He's taking the best at bats on the club right now. Will we see Jim Thome make his Twins debut tonight? Carl Pavano pitches for the Twins vs right hander Ervin Sanatana.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Opening Day Breakdown

Angels 6 Twins 3

Delmond Young got off to a nice start going 2-4 with a homer and 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Weaver hit his spot with an inside fastball but Young turned on it and laced it for a no doubter.

Denard Span was 0-5 with three k's but saw a ton of pitches. Justin Morneau laced a line drive with the bases loaded to the first baseman Morales in the 8th inning. It was a terrific AB fouling off several pitches.

Scott Baker was in typical form Monday night. He walked 2 in the first, struggled to finish off hitters and spent a lot of pitches trying to get out of the 1st frame. After allowing another run in the 2nd he settled and retired 10 in w row. Sound familiar? Were all still waiting for him to exceed expectations in a key spot for his club.

Jose Mirajes was brutal allowing 3 hits and 2 homeruns in 2/3 innings. He struggled with lefties down the stretch last year. Hopefully he's not becoming the Bryant Mcckinnie of the Twins.

Jesse Crain pitched a perfect 1 2/3 innings. Pat Neschek officially made it back working a scoreless 8th.

Tonight the Twins will send out Nick Blackburn opposite left hander Joe Saunders. Certainly the twins will be looking for more innings out of their starter.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Season Prediction

Just to put it on paper I think the Twins will win 89 games. This should put them right in the mix to win the central. I believe that the bull-pin will struggle late in games. This is assuming the starters do their jobs most nights and get them into the 7th inning. They lack dominant pitching, either in the bull-pin or the rotation and I think it will hold them back. Certainly if they make the playoffs.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Game Notes and Observations

Target field seems like a gem! It was surreal to see the twins white's outdoors and not be in Florida. What a monumental night for the originization. Exciting times lay before Twins Nation!

Carl Pavano was excellent tonight. 7 innings, 3 runs.. We'll take it all year long. Lohse was a little better. When did he start throwing the change up so well? Maybe Dave Duncan helped him with that pitch because he kept the twins off balance with it. Ironically it was the change up that he left up to Span that he belted out to right.

Pat Neshek struggled horribly. He recorded one out in the 8th before being taken out. I hesitate to overreact because it is his only poor outing of spring training. In any event he did get hit hard. I still dont think he will consistantly get out lefties.. Now or ever.

It was my first look at Anthony Slama and I was unimpressed. Upper 80's sinker, not much of a slider. He faced only three batters so it's a limited assessment but I think it's obvious why he's taken so long to go through the system. In the minors his K rate has been incredible but I have doubts it will continue to this level. His Twins debut is not far away.