Sunday, March 21, 2010
Early this morning, Joe Nathan played catch in an undisclosed location. He felt soreness in his arm. The decision was made that Nathan will have season ending Tommy-John Surgery. Twins remain in talks with the Padres for closer Heath Bell.
Around 5 PM Central time, Joe Christensen reported that Joe Mauer had signed an 8/184 deal that includes a full no-trade clause. The press conference will be tomorrow at 6PM on Fox Sports North.
Two questions remain with the signing of this deal:
A) Should the Twins trade Wilson Ramos?
Of course not! Ramos adds depth to the backstop. He will both help the team and prolong Joe Mauer's career.
B) What grade do the Twins get this off season?
A!!! In my opinion this may be the best Twins off season ever. Mauer, Span, Blackburn , Thome , Hudson , Hardy and Condrey the team added to an already powerful team. Look for the Twins to win the division and contend in the playoffs.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Tune in to my podcast at 10AM. Feel free to call in with a question or get into the chat room and discuss.
I will have on Patrick Matteson of www.mobydictionary.webs.com , Shawn Berg of ontheroadwithshawn.blogspot.com, John Meyer of twinsmvb.com and Andrew Kneeland from twinstarget.com
Joe Bronk will co host with me again. Check out his new site at http://joeslittlebigleague.blogspot.com/
Call-in Number: 1(646) 727-1345
Saturday, March 13, 2010
That makes me scared, very scared. Micheal Cuddyer has missed many games over the last few seasons with a bevy of injuries. This places Jason Kubel in right field. That is a massive liability. What if Denard Span gets injured? That is as, if not more, scary, as we do not have another player who can play center field. This places Nick Punto or whoever else we can round up in center, which leaves Brendan Harris or Matt Tolbert at the starting third baseman, full time. I'm not saying Punto should be the starting third baseman, but I really don't have the greatest faith in any of the three on their own.
This leads us to finding another outfielder. We are currently projected to have 13 or 12 pitchers, pending Joe Nathan (which looks bleak.) Either way, that's borderline for too many early in the season. We need another outfielder on the roster. But our options are limited. We picked up Jacque Jones, who will be thirty-five this year, and plays right field and can probably play left when called upon. We also have the biggest thing in the farm system waiting to come up in centerfielder Ben Revere who will be 21. As a wild card we also have Rene Tosoni, a right fielder, who will be 23, who just might have a shot.
Any of the three could be brought up if Cuddyer or Young go down. But what if Denard gets injured? Jacque Jones will not be able to play, as Young, Cuddyer, and Kubel will not play center, and neither can Jones. Tosoni can play center, but I don't know if anyone wants to put it in his hands. This leaves Ben Revere, who has the skills to do it, but at 21, I'm not positive he is ready.
Any way you look at it, it's not a great situation. If worse comes to worse, we could go into the free agent pool, as 28 year old RF/LF Wili Mo Pena and 36 year old all around OF Darin Erstad are left without a team, but neither would fill the void left by Denard Span. But who knows? I sure don't.
Hear is being broken on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dwthegreat/2010/03/13/countdown-to-opening-day
Call-in Number: 1(646) 727-1345
I was also on Fanatic Jack's podcast last night. If you are interested you can check it out here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jack-steal/2010/03/13/24-days
The first Twins game that is televised is today. Tune at 12 Noon on FSNorth.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Well, third base, what can I say? There is a lot to say about this "position." I hope we can all remember days when there were these mythical beings still existed. Troy Glaus, Adrian Beltre, Chipper Jones, even Corey Koskie could be included in that mix. But unfortunately, the days of the strong armed, power-hitting, slow, and questionable in the field third basemen are over. I mean just look at the Twins. No third basemen on their projected active roster. Not one. You might say "But we have plenty of third basemen!" What I say to that is, who are you talking about?
Nick Punto? He has no position, and if you want to put him somewhere, you'd say he was a second baseman at his true position. Matt Tolbert? Nope, sorry, shortstop. Micheal Cuddyer? Uh, no, far from it. Yes, he may have started at it for us, but he has also been our starting right fielder,as well as playing left fielde, second baseman, and first baseman. Brendan Harris is probably the closest thing we have to a third baseman; however he is also a second baseman and shortstop.
Now of those four players, none of them is a true third baseman, nor does any play like one. In that group, we have three middle infielders/ utility men and an outfielder/first baseman. Which will play third for us? All of them. Which will play a different position between times they play third? All of them.
But you can't blame them; it's just the way the game has become. Even the top third baseman in the game right now is a shortstop convert. The Twins tried to get a hold of one of the last real third basemen last year with Joe Crede, but that didn't fizzle out. The fact is the third basemen of old are dead and gone. If the Twins wanted to go after a new third baseman, their options would include an aging Adrian Beltre,an aged Aaron Boone, who is past his prime, which was never that great in the first place. They could attempt to snag Troy Glaus, who is very questionable, recovering from an injury.
And with the talk of Joe Mauer possibly leaving the catcher position, people have been speculating either him or Justin Morneau playing third, I'd have to say that it may work, but I have serious doubts about it. It may solve the problems, or it may make it much, much worse. The best bet is to just live with what we've got, because wash-ups almost always never cut it and switching too many positions around is never good. The best thing we have is to ride the trend until we find something in the Twins’ vast farm system that can resolve this.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Here is a Q&A I had with Twins infield prospect Anderson Hidalgo.
When was the first time you played baseball?
I first played baseball when I was 4 years old.
Growing up, did you play any other sport?
I played basketball and soccer.
What do you do when you're not playing baseball?
I run to gym.
When do you start preparing for the season?
Thursday ( March 11)
I'm still here in Venezuela
What are your goals for the season? Where would you like to play, and is there an area you would like to make improvement in?
I like to play in double A. That's my goal and to reach the big leagues
What is the best part of your career in baseball?
Since I have signed
Who was your favorite player to watch when you were growing up? What team did you grow up watching and cheering for?
What is the hardest of your career in baseball?
When the team is losing and when we go through slumps
What is your greatest achievement so far?
Climbing through the minor leagues
What is the hardest part of being a thirdbaseman?
We must be agile
If you weren't a third basemen, where would you play?
Is there a pitch you like to hit?
Fastball and sliders
Is there a player, past or present, which you would compare yourself to?
Why do compare with them?
They play with class and style
Monday, March 8, 2010
The most logical of the choice would be Jon Rauch. Rauch, 6'`11'' (tallest player in the history of the major leagues), is the only one on this list who has had closing experience. Rauch saved a total of twenty-two games while blowing six games. 78% saves % isn't bad, but it isn't good either.
Now let's look at Jesse Crain. The main reason Crain is this mix is because he drafted him. Crain has had his struggles, which he has battle through. Crain is one of those guys that had and still has a lot of potential but hasn't panned out as of yet. He is a great guy for short relief or even setup, but not closer material.
The most intriguing of this is Pat Neshek. This side-armed hurler has been the one of the most consistent guys you will find. He would fit perfectly into the closing roll. The problem with this, Neshek has been plagued with injuries. Neshek will likely start the year down in either Ft. Myers A or extended spring training, due to the weather factor. By the time Pat is ready, Nathan would most likely be ready to give it another try.
Our last option being considered is Matt Guerrier. Just like Crain, Matt is perfect for a short relief or setup roll. Matt IS the most consistent guy you can find. He sports a good ERA and feels very comfortable using his curveball. Matt doesn't like to over-power people with his stuff, which is his downfall. In a closer, you would like to see someone with power.
I think the player best fit for the closer roll is Francisco Liriano, who is currently in the rotation. When Liriano first came up, he thrived, posting a 12-3 record and a 2.13 ERA. Since, his career has been injury plagued and disappointing. Liriano has proven that he is better fit for the bullpen. Take a look at this stat- in his first fifteen pitches, Liriano's opponents bat .203 . That is a tremendous number! The rotation has depth, the bullpen needs a closer, all Minnesota needs is a championship.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Call in Number: 1(646) 727-1345
The reason that most bloggers believe is deferred money. This is money paid after his career is over. For example, if the Mauer made twenty-two million per year, they might defer five million of that till after the contract is done. The Twins have been opposed to the idea. Normally players want their money up front, but not Mauer. Mauer has good people around him, who have showed Mauer how to get the best out of this deal. Mauer saves millions of dollars in income taxes, if he takes deferred money.
Another possible reason is because of the year when he is able to opt out of his contract. I hardly doubt that this is the case because why would Mauer want to leave his home, if he signs a long- term contract.
The most likely reason in my mind is that the Twins are having trouble getting insurance on Mauer's contract. With Catcher being the position that takes the most wear and tear and Mauer’s contract being the most lucrative in Twins history, it would make sense that there would be trouble finding an insurer.
If this is the biggest concern, I think that the Twins will sign Mauer. Mauer is the face of the franchise and it would hurt not only the Twins organization but also baseball if he goes to a team like Boston. The main reason Mauer would leave would to be to win a championship… the Mayor’s Cup.