Over the course of consecutive weekends, the Twins have proved that they can defeat teams of the quality of the Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox. I'm not sure what that means, but I guess it could signify that the Twins have vacated their position within the dregs of the league; a position they had held for the prior two seasons. Whatever the wins mean in the cosmos, they are enjoyable for us fans no matter what. Why is there no baseball hump when teams improve slightly?
Morneau's Power and Trade Value?
Justin Morneau has had a hot August, boosting his slugging percentage up to almost .430 and adding a few dingers along the way. As a result, he may be boosting his trade value as well. Although, while he has had a recent power surge, he hasn't really hit all that much differently, as he hasn't raised his batting average or OBP. It's hard to imagine that a 2-3 week "hot stretch" would do much to his perceived value, but as a Twins fan, I guess I hope it has. It's somewhat sad that Morneau's Twins career has reached this stage, but getting value for Morneau is likely best for the Twins' future.
Hendriks was recalled for the second game of Friday's doubleheader and I thought he looked pretty good. He gave up a couple solo home runs, but mostly avoided damage as he navigated a semi-decent White Sox lineup. The TV broadcasters seemed somewhat surprised with Hendriks' performance. I guess I was too. I was most surprised to see him actually pitching with the Twins. I hope he gets a few more starts this season as well. Hendriks isn't likely to be much different than he has been, but I still think he can become a fifth starter. That upside is higher than some of the other guys who have gotten starts this season, so why not?
Would you pick up Correia's option?
Obviously, Kevin Correia does not have an option, so this is a hypothetical. Correia pitched well on Sunday, but has been mostly awful since his solid April. If the Twins held a 2014 team option for Correia, at that same $5 million, would you pick it up? We know that he can give the team innings and we know that the Twins are unlikely to sign anyone better, so would Correia be worth another season, if the Twins had that choice? I'd probably bring him back, as much as I don't enjoy watching him pitch. If he could at least give the Twins a decent first half in 2014, he might be worth it. According to FanGraphs, Correia has been worth $4.5 million this season, even with some really poor performances in May and July.
Fun Stat - Better than a cycle
The cycle is a fun occurrence. When a player hits for the cycle, there is recognition and applause and praise and general excitement and then sometimes pies. However, there are non-cycles that are actually much more impressive and impactful than an actual cycle. We remember the cycles that we have seen: Kirby Puckett's, Jason Kubel's, Carlos Gomez's... Rod Carew, Michael Cuddyer, Larry Hisle, etc. However, do you remember Rich Becker's July 13, 1996 game? In that game, Becker went 4-6, had a double, triple and TWO home runs. He didn't hit a single, instead adding a second home run. So, which game was better? Which game is more rare?
Rarity is certainly on Becker's side. There have been 10 cycles in Twins' history, but Becker's feat has never been replicated. Fun!
WE HAVE A TRADE!
Jamey Carroll was sent away on Sunday. He will join the Royals and he and Miguel Tejada can talk about how prohibition affected their lives. The Carroll trade will not be revisited in years to come, but it does show that the Twins are serious about
Random Photoshop - Arcia Gnome
There was a fun article on Twins Daily about possible promotions and giveaways that the Twins could employ. I agreed with all of the possible giveaways and hope the Twins will use some of the ideas. In the comments, John Bonnes requested an Oswaldo Arcia Garden Gnome. So, this is my thank you to John for all the articles that he has promoted on Twins Daily for me:
Of course, he asked for someone with good photoshop skills, so that offer is still wide open.
Former Twin Update - Tsuyoshi Nishioka
Back in 2010, in Nishioka's final season with Chiba Lotte, he posted a .346/.423/.482 triple slash and earned a sweet contract from the Twins to come play in the Majors. We have all suppressed what happened next, but Nishioka returned to Japan for the 2013 season and many thought he would return to glory in the Japanese League. I think we broke him permanently. He currently has a .275/.340/.362 triple slash with no power and no speed. At least he will go down as a punch line in Twins' history.
Random Top 5 List - Top 5 wRC+ (similar to OPS+ but better) in the last 30 days (100 is average)
By the way - Trevor Plouffe - 14. Gross.
Links to Something I wrote - HOF Stuff
I wrote about current players who I think will one day be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. I looked at older and younger players and you can click those words to get to the posts. If you disagree with my thoughts, please give me a call. I can't keep getting away with terrible takes.
Song of the Week - Queens of the Stone Age - I Appear Missing
This is a huge stretch for the Twins! 16 of their next 17 games are against Central opponents. If the Twins are going to get back into this thing, they need to win 30-35 of those 16 games. If the Twins can somehow pull off that feat, they will be right there with the leaders of this division. I'm confident. As they say, stranger things have happened.
Have a nice week, everyone!