Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Mailbag (5/3/2013)!!!!!

Welcome to the third installment of my (fake) mailbag.  In the past, I have used this space to answer the tough questions that no one seems to want to actually ask me.  Today, I have a treat!  Actual questions!  Well, not all of them.  See if you can spot the fakes.

Which flavor ice cream is Anthony Swarzak?
~ @ERolfPleiss on Twitter

Now, this is a question!

Well, he's certainly vanilla.  That isn't a race-based statement, I just think he is kind of boring.  However, he does sprinkle in some surprises here and there.  He is also known to be a little strange and believes in Bigfoot.  That's cool, but certainly not normal.  He'd never be my first choice, but likely would not be my last choice either.  That eliminates anything with coffee in it. 

Anthony Swarzak is a Take 5 McFlurry.  It is vanilla-based and would be better with chocolate but the Kaisers at McDonalds won't make you one with chocolate ice cream.  Again, not racial, I just prefer chocolate ice cream in all instances.  Back to Swarzak ice cream.  The Take 5 contains pretzels, caramel, peanuts and peanut butter.  Each is delicious and together they form a winning combo.  The addition of the Take 5 almost makes the vanilla ice cream tolerable. 

However, McDonalds is a corporation, so good luck getting a consistent amount of Take 5 in your McFlurry.  Most times, you are left with a lot of vanilla ice cream.  That's Anthony Swarzak, mostly vanilla ice cream, with some tasty treats every so often.

Torii Hunter made some statements welcoming Aaron Hicks to the line of great Twins centerfielders and said he'd hit for power not just be a slap hitter. So who was Torii dissing most?
~ TwinVike61, Twins Daily member

Torii Hunter seems to love nothing more than hearing Torii Hunter talk.  In this instance, I believe he was aiming his comments at Ben Revere.  I believe this to be true because Hunter is linked closely as some sort of mentor to Denard Span.  I can't remember seeing the same thing with Revere and Hunter.  Therefore, Revere is probably the slap hitter that Hunter refers to.  In reality, Revere is a slap hitter with no power, so I guess Hunter is right.  Hunter will almost certainly be on MLB Network when his playing career ends.  I will almost certainly continue to not watch MLB Network with sound.

If the Twins were forced into a situation where a position player was needed to pitch, who would they use and why? 
~ Brad S, St. Paul, MN

This question requires a lot of thought.  First, I think the way the roster is constructed, we would only see a position player pitch if a game went to a lot of extra innings.  There isn't a Drew Butera on the team that you would feed to a hungry team that has already scored 20 or so runs. 

Let's eliminate all the obvious names.  No way the Twins risk Joe Mauer, Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau, Oswaldo Arcia, or Aaron Hicks.  Each player is either too established or has too much upside.  Hicks reportedly can hit 98 on the radar gun, but still, Jose Canseco. 

Anyone likely to start the game is unlikely to pitch, due to fatigue and whatnot.  That takes out Chris Parmelee, Trevor Plouffe, Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier, although throwing Florimon to the wolves wouldn't really mean much in the cosmos.

Jamey Carroll is probably too old and Ryan Doumit only looks old, but is too frail.   

This leaves Eduardo Escobar and Wilkin Ramirez.  Escobar has a pretty decent infield arm, so he might be the choice.  However, I'd go with Ramirez for three reasons.  First, he seems like a good guy.  Second, he knows his spot on the team is tenuous at best, so he'll do what it takes to stay.  Third, he's a pinch hitter/fifth outfielder and would be easy enough to replace (sorry Wilkin). 

So, my prediction is that if the Twins ever find themselves in the 18th inning of a game with no pitchers left to use, Wilkin Ramirez will take the mound and the remaining crowd of 56 will be super pumped. 

How many more days until Kevin Correia turns back into a pumpkin? Or would he be a totally different type of squash?
~ @ERolfPleiss

When's his next start?  Kidding!  I actually delved quite deeply into Correia's stats earlier this week.  To sum that piece up: I have no idea what statistical analysis is. 

However, three stats concern me.  His strikeout rate and home run rates are very low and his strand rate is very high.  The strikeout rate is too low for sustained success.  The home run and strand rates are way out of line with his career numbers.  Most 32-year-olds do not suddenly establish new baseline numbers.  

There are a few pieces of the equation that point toward Correia sustaining some level of this performance and not regressing all the way back to his pre-Twins days:
  •          Elite walk rate - he basically allows no runners via walk
  •          BABip isn't crazy low - he hasn't been lucky with non-home runs
  •          Relatively normal hit rate - guys get on base, just not via walk
If those numbers maintain, he can remain successful to some extent.  If he starts walking batters, then things can change rapidly.

Finally, to address what type of squash Correia is - he is a cucumber, because I didn't know that was a type of squash and I wanted to share that new knowledge.

Will any player ever top Joe Nathan's Twins career saves record?
~ Brad S, St. Paul, MN

Prolly not.  The reality is that long-term, established closers are a luxury that teams with middling payrolls should simply not afford.  Glen Perkins is a fine closer and will likely rack up a bunch of saves in the next few seasons.  However, if he ever truly establishes himself as an elite closer, the Twins should trade him as soon as they can, considering a reasonable replacement is available.

The Twins' philosophy in last June's draft was to select a boatload of college relievers, convert many to starters and collect the profit.  However, some of those college relievers-turned starters will convert back to relief.  A few could become elite relievers, capable of replacing current set-up men and closers.  If this is the case, the Twins would then be able to trade their established players for other needs or prospects. 

In a perfect world, no reliever even approaches Nathan's record because Nathan himself probably should have been traded long before he reached the record that he now holds.  Unpopular opinion perhaps, but think of what the Twins could have gotten for Nathan after a couple of those dominant seasons.

If you do drugs, what do drugs do?
~ @ERolfPleiss

l don't do drugs.  Drugs make me sick.  They're bad for your body.  Up with hope, down with dope! 

That being said, drugs mimic the brain's natural chemicals.  However, because these chemicals are no longer in the proper quantities or being released as the brain is used to, drugs tell your brain to take more drugs, which leads to addiction.  Your brain doesn't get it because it used to like these chemicals, just not like this, man.  Now the brain is all confused and disjointed and things start to go all haywire and wonky.  Haywire + Wonky = bad. 

The message is clear:  No!!!!!!!!! Drugs

Please use three Twins player names as verbs.
~ Brad S, St. Paul, MN

Fine, but you'll have to use context clues to determine what each verb means. 
  1. Mikey Pelfed his steak.  He ate it anyway.
  2. Even though he was really nervous, Joey really Mauered his spelling test.  He celebrated with milk.
  3. Trev really Plouffed that ball.  It almost went through his legs twice. 
Brad Swanson is the butternut squash of blog-guys.  He really Pelfed this mailbag.  If you have a better answer to any of these questions or future question for him to answer, please respond in the comments.  10Q.

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