Monday, September 3, 2012

Mondayne Notes - 9/3/2012

The Games

Monday - Loss to Seattle - 1-0

Felix Hernandez is the Maestro.  I have no problem calling him that.  Roy Smalley was saying that he really has 12 pitches, and I totally agree.  He is truly one of the best pitchers of this generation.  Liam Hendriks was really good too.  He doesn't work quickly, but if he can keep runners off the bases and pitch efficiently, he can be successful.  He has good enough stuff to get hitters out, if he trusts it.  No offense to discuss here.

Tuesday - Loss to Seattle - 5-2

I watched this whole game and I don't remember a thing.  Diamond was neither good nor bad.  When pitchers put a lot of balls in play, sometimes they fall and sometimes they fall over the fence.  Diamond is bound to regress a bit, but hopefully this is just a blip on the radar.  Hisashi Iwakuma owns the Twins.

Wednesday - Win over Seattle - 10-0

When you follow and root for a bad team, games like this are really important.  The Twins have lost so much recently, that you sometimes forget how fun it is to watch winning baseball.  The team hit, pitched and fielded well in this game.  Trevor Plouffe had a big game and hopefully it was a sign that he is going to get back on track and have a strong September.  The Samuel Deduno that pitched in this game can help a team going forward.  It was only one game, but as always, he deserves credit for that one game.   

Thursday - Loss to Seattle - 5-4

I didn't watch this one (day job), but from the box score, it doesn't look like I missed much.  It is 
too bad that Mastroianni couldn't have stolen home in the 9th.  That seems a bit unfair though.  Duensing pitched well for awhile, but couldn't get out of the fifth. 

Friday - Postponed

Saturday - Win over Kansas City - 3-1 and Win over Kansas City 8-7

Considering how hard it has been for the Twins to win one game per day over the last month, two wins in one day is a bonanza.  In game 1, Cole DeVries was a lot more efficient and almost got through 7 innings.  In game 2, Liam Hendriks pitched poorly, after being staked a big lead.  I still like Hendriks more than DeVries, this doubleheader notwithstanding.  Joe Mauer launched a grand slam.  It was the Twins' first grand slam of the season.  Chris Parmelee hit his first home run since being recalled.

Sunday - Loss to Kansas City - 6-4

Chris Parmelee hit his second home run since being recalled.  Esmerling Vasquez didn't pitch particularly well in his first start.  He walked 3 and gave up 7 hits in 5 and 2/3 innings.  Brian Duensing pitched in relief; a role he will likely employ next season.  Oh, Tim Collins pitched like crap and got the win for Kansas City. 

The Transactions

8/29 - Outrighted Jeff Gray and Recalled Chris Parmelee

I had some hilarious and snarky comments about Jeff Gray in my Pitchers that can Contribute post from last Friday, but I had to delete them when Gray was taken off the 40-man roster.  No one will ever read those words.  We all know that Gray was awful and Parmelee needed to be in the majors.  Span seems to still be favoring his shoulder, so maybe Parmelee will get some playing time this go around.  He has certainly earned the opportunity.

8/31 - Recalled Matt Carson from AAA

This is nice for Carson, but I honestly hope he doesn't play much.  With so many younger and more promising outfielders on the roster, I am hoping that Carson is only used on occasion. 

9/1 - Recalled Esmerling Vasquez from AAA, Activated P.J. Walters from the DL

We should all get a decent look at what these two can do over the next month.  I don't expect much from Walters.  His AAA stats over the last few years are very unimpressive.  Vasquez was pretty good at AAA but not great as a reliever for Arizona the previous 3 seasons.  It definitely does not hurt to give him a chance, as the season is lost anyway.

The Injuries

Denard Span - Shoulder - 15 day DL

Time will tell if this injury is more serious than let on, but he certainly is missing a lot of time with this "minor" injury.  Putting him on the DL takes the choice of playing out of his hands.  To me, that is the fairest way to do things.  I hate putting the onus on players to report their injuries.  If they are hurt and don't play, they aren't tough.  If they tough it out when they shouldn't, the can get re-injured.  It is a zero-sum game.  On the bright side, his absence could open up playing time for other outfielders, but that is a pretty morbid way of looking at things.   

Joe Benson - Knee - Needs 3 months of rest

Wow, what an awful season for Benson.  He has been terrible when he has played and injured the rest of the year.  Hopefully, this injury will heal with rest and he will be ready for Spring Training.  I still insist he has a bright future, but the bright spots are certainly not shining right now.

Lester Oliveros - Out - Tommy John Surgery

This is a bummer.  Oliveros likely isn't headed for stardom, but he was young enough to see what he had.  He'll almost certainly miss all of 2013 as well.

Josh Willingham - Day to Day - Hamstring
Doesn't sound serious; we'll see him in 2014.  Just kidding; it was just an excuse to use a semi-colon.

The Standings
Games Back
Last 10
Chicago Cubs
Kansas City

Although they have played better the last 10 games, The Twins seemed destined for a top-5 draft pick next year.  However, if one team can crash the bottom 5 party, it might be Miami.  They are pretty terrible.  The Twins are going to have difficulties winning games with this pitching staff, but you could say that about a lot of these teams.  Everyone points toward this 2013 draft being a weak one.  Which to me is all the more reason that you want a top 5 or higher pick. 

The Future

Arizona Fall League rosters were announced this past week.  I have to say, I am not super excited about the names that the Twins are sending, but I'll get over it.  It will be fun to watch Kyle Gibson pitch.  A lot of the games are broadcast on the MLB Network, if you want to check them out.  There are some very interesting names being sent from other teams though.  Here they are:  Javier Baez (Cubs), Anthony Rendon (Nationals), George Springer (Astros), Kolten Wong (Cardinals), Christian Yelich (Marlins), and Billy Hamilton (Reds) just to name a few.

The Big Picture

2014 could be a huge year for the Twins.  They will be hosting the All-Star game (and the Future's Game by proxy, which is super dope) and it might be the first year in their movement back toward the top of the AL Central.  I have been very clear that I do not see any sort of real contention in 2013.  However, with some smart moves, prospects starting to contribute and a return to the budget that they opened Target Field with, 2014 could be a year that we remember along the same lines of 2001.  There is still a lot of talent in this organization.  Some will need to be traded away, some will need to be retained and others will need to improve and grow.  However, 2014 is a year that I am very excited for.  After the disappointing 2011 and whatever this 2012 is, I know I will be very excited to see what 2014 brings.

Fantasy Tip of the Week

Auction instead of drafting.  Drafting is fascist.  You have to fit these specific slots, you don't have access to all the players, and you just can't build your team the way you want it.  Auctions are more democratic.  Everyone gets to participate in all parts, but they can sit out on players they don't like.  If you want to pursue the American Dream of owning Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, you can do that.  If your American Dream is to buy cheaper players to show off what a huge genius you are, you can do that too.  So, I beg of you, give auctioning a try.  It's the American Way.

Have a nice week everyone!

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