Monday, August 27, 2012

Mondayne Notes - 8/27/2012

Here is a fun 14 minute version of You Can't Quit Me Baby by Queens of the Stone Age to accompany the notes.

The Games

Monday - Win over Oakland - 7-2

WHOOO!  Monday wins count double right?  Oh, they don't.  Well, at least they stopped the losing streak.  Brandon McCarthy was awful in this game.  He didn't command any of his pitches and he looked to be nibbling a lot.  The Twins took advantage and Brian Duensing gave them a good start.

Tuesday - Loss to Oakland -4-1

Cole DeVries does not have an out pitch, in my opinion.  That is likely why he wasn't a prospect and why he isn't long for the big leagues.  He is a nice story, and he comes from the state that I come from, but I don't see him being successful for multiple years.  He isn't efficient with his pitches and while he can get hitters down 0-2 in counts, he doesn't have a pitch that can put them away.  This leads to high pitch counts and short starts.

Wednesday - Loss to Oakland - 5-1

Liam Hendriks is back and he didn't give up a home run!  He also didn't pitch well.  The offense couldn't get anything going against Tommy Milone.  Did you guys know that there is a lot of foul territory in Oakland?

Thursday - Loss to Texas - 10-6

I am not a fan of the "eye for an eye" code of baseball.  I don't like things that are done just because "that's the way things have always been done."  Diamond likely was tossed because the ball was too close to Hamilton's head.  I think that if he connected in the back or ribs, he would have stayed in the game.  The ump really had no choice when he missed high like that.  It was good that the fireworks stopped after that.  That 8th inning was hard to watch.

Friday - Loss to Texas - 8-0

Well, the Twins were nearly no-hit and gave up a cycle to Adrian Beltre.  It would have been interesting had both happened, instead it was just the 4th straight loss for a team that is starting to look like it might lose 99 games again.  Sam Deduno regressed before our very eyes, although he only walked one batter.  He also did not strike anyone out.  This game could have been worse, as Deduno had 2 double plays turned behind him and a runner picked off of first base.  His WHIP is now 1.667 for the season.  A pitcher cannot be successful when putting 5 batters on base every three innings, just ask Nick Blackburn.

Saturday - Loss to Texas - 9-3

Brian Duensing was not effective at all.  It does seem that in a perfect world, he would be a lefty specialist.  He just doesn't get right handed hitters out.  His OPS against vs. righty handed batters is .856.  That is roughly Carlos Beltran's OPS for his career.  So Duensing basically faces Carlos Beltran every time he faces a right handed batter.  Or something like that (it's actually nothing like that).  He is still better off in the bullpen long term.

Sunday - Win over Texas - 6-5

Cole De Vries was fine.  He really was nothing more than that.  He pitched poorly in the first inning and then settled down.  It took him 98 pitches to get through 19 batters though.  Denard Span and Ben Revere did a great job of setting the table in this game.  Ah, Jeff Gray...  Jeff Gray won't be a Twin much longer, so that is something.  Glen Perkins was great.  His emergence is one of the few obvious bright spots from these past two years.

The Transactions

8/20 - Outrighted Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Nick Blackburn to  AAA.

I covered this in an emergency blog last week.  If you want, check it out

8/21 - Called up Liam Hendriks from AAA.

With the injuries to the starting pitching, and Hendriks' great pitching at AAA, this was a no brainer.  He didn't pitch all that well on Wednesday, but he should be given a shot to work out his MLB struggles when it really doesn't matter much for the team.  He does seem to be the one promising, young starter in the system without major injury issues.  His good control and semi-decent strikeout potential could make him a reasonable 4th or 5th starter down the line. 

8/24 - Optioned Matt Carson to AAA, Recalled Kyle Waldrop

This was done because Scott Diamond was ejected after 2+ innings the previous night.  Waldrop pitched Friday night.  Carson will be back soon, although I don't expect his "good" hitting to continue.

The Injuries

There are no new injuries to report this week, but there are a few updates.

Carl Pavano - out for the season

Pavano has a bone bruise and now will not pitch again this season.  He is almost certainly done with the Twins, unless he will accept a very cheap one-year contract.  He also kind of ripped the Twins' medical staff when asked about this news, which would put him in a non-exclusive club of people who have (perhaps justifiably) questioned the competence of this team's medical experts. 

Denard Span - Back!

Span returned to the lineup on Thursday.  He missed about 10 days with a day-to-day injury.  I guess as long as they measure in days, all injuries are day-to-day.

P.J. Walters - Rehabbing in AAA

Walters pitched his 4th and 5th rehab starts this week.  It seems he should join the rotation sometime in September.  Who do you take out of this historic rotation though?

The Standings
Games Back
Last 10
Chicago Cubs
Kansas City

Well, the Twins are still in line for the 4th pick in next year's draft.  Colorado made some progress toward passing the Twins too.  Cleveland looks awful right now, so they seem like the best bet to knock the Twins out of the bottom 4.  Hopefully next year we can look at the standings the right way.

The Future

Kyle Gibson is back in AAA!  This is actually pretty exciting news.  His rehab has gone well and he should be ready to start next year at AAA.  If he can show the good command that he had before his injury, he should force his way into the rotation by the middle of next year.  It is easy to forget how bright Gibson's future was just a little over a year ago.  Baseball America had him listed as the 34th best prospect in all of baseball before 2011.  He has had a strikeout to walk ratio over 3 in the minors and his strikeout rate might be high enough that he won't simply be another Radke-clone.  He has a chance to be a good 3rd starter for a long time, which is something to get excited about.

The Big Picture

This is obviously the second consecutive lost season for the Twins.  There are some positives though.  Trevor Plouffe has been a pleasant surprise.  I worry that he was almost too hot back in June/July and that expectations are higher than they should be for him.  I do think that he could be a 20 HR, .800 OPS player with a good (if only a little wild) 3B arm.  He might even have some upside from there too.  He is cheap right now and will only get expensive down the line if he continues to develop.  I think that would be a pretty good trade-off.  However, he has been awful since returning from the DL.  His thumb might still be bothering him, and eventually shutting him down in September might be a good idea. 

Fantasy Tip of the Week

Get rid of Wins.  Nothing is more frustrating than having a starter give you 8 dominant innings and then have Matt Capps blow the whole game for you.  Wins are lucky.  Try to find a category that captures the value of a starting pitcher without using wins.  If you figure that out, please let me know.

Have a good week everyone!


  1. First, thanks for the link to Twins Daily. Second, if you ever want to double post - post a story here and also on your blog on Twins Daily, along with a link back to your blog, feel free. The whole point of TD is to help people find writers like you.


  2. John,

    I actually have been posting in both places. I get a lot more views on Twins Daily!

    I love that site by the way. I think it is such a great idea and a really cool place for those aspiring writers. Every team should have a place like Twins Daily.