Welcome back to this fake video game fake season! In the first two parts, we learned about the new Twins team and we saw them make some interesting moves. If you missed either and want to check them out, you can find part 1 here and part 2 here.
Now we're into June. The draft is over. The long summer has begun. The Twins were in the second Wild Card position just 3 short weeks ago, but are now mired in last place in the Central. Let's see where they go from there.
Do you remember that fake player the Twins got for Josmil Pinto? His name is Dalton Castro and he wasn't long for Minnesota. On June 7, The Twins traded Castro, Damon Galarraga and Frenk (yes, Frenk) Trevino to the Rays for Alex Torres. Huh? Here's Galarraga:
So, the RoboTwins decided, "Hey, let's trade two 'A' potential starting pitching prospects and another guy for a reliever. No one could possibly hate that." This is a puzzling move and one that shows the danger of A.I. All the A.I. can do is see where the holes are and where the "strengths" lie. The Twins had a full starting rotation and a hole in the bullpen. So, the A.I. decided it was time to fill some holes. The RoboFans are furious. It's bad enough that the RoboTwins traded a promising pitcher in Pinto, but then to use his bounty to acquire a reliever? Disgusting. Robo Terry Ryan should be ashamed of himself.
As a result of this trade, the Twins sent Michael Tonkin back to AAA. They also decided that the Boyce Mosley era needed to end, adding Jamey Carroll back to the starting lineup. Trevor Plouffe is currently hitting .196, just so we're all clear that the RoboTwins do offer scholarships.
Shortly thereafter, Mosley was sidelined with a strained calf. His estimated injury time was listed at 2-11 days. lol.
At the end of a tumultuous June, the Twins sat at 37-44 and were 15 games back of the dominant Tigers. The actual Twins were 36-42. Hmm. Shaun Marcum has paid great dividends, as he has gone 6-3 with an ERA under 3 since signing with the Twins in May. Vance Worley continues to struggle, with an ERA north of 6. Aaron Hicks has 16 doubles and 13 steals. Justin Morneau is having a ridiculous season, hitting .318 with 15 home runs and 60 RBI. Joe Mauer continues to be RoboPatient, with 43 walks and just 68 hits.
The Twins continue to jerk their oldest and youngest players around. On July 3, Jamey Carroll and Oswaldo Arcia were both sent to the bench in favor of Boyce Mosley and Darin Mastroianni. Mosley and Mastroianni earned it though. They have combined to hit .203 in 2013. Cool. If you look closely, you can see Robo Terry Ryan high-fiving Robo Ron Gardenhire, which seems to indicate some sort of grand conspiracy.
One would imagine that the Twins would be heavily included in the All-Star Game Festivities, right? The Twins are a storied franchise. They've won two World Series. They have young, exciting players. They made some super weird trades. They're bound to get some love, right?
Nope. Jared Burton was the lone representative and he didn't play. Fun. The AL did win the game, so the Twins will have home-field advantage in the 2013 Robo World Series
End of July
On July 19, the Twins sent Wilkin Ramirez to AA. Ramirez was hurt for most of the real 2013 season, but that still seems to be a better result than his Robo 2013 campaign.
On July 25, Aaron Hicks separated his shoulder. It was very sad. The Robo Kevin Slowey was Framed blog was changed to all black backgrounds and text to mourn. No one could read anything; no one seemed to care. With Hicks sidelined, Eric Fryer was recalled and Wilkin Ramirez was allowed to go back to Rochester.
One very positive story from this lost season would be that their former MVP decided that he was healthy and wanted to hit home runs. No, not Joe Mauer. Come on! As mentioned earlier, Morneau is having a monster season. At the end of July, Morneau was hitting .307 with 23 home runs and 90 RBI. He had 30 RBI in July! He's the lone bright spot in this offense, with pretty much everyone either performing below expectations or below expectations of Joe Mauer.
The Twins finished July with a 50-57 record. They are 27-24 since June 1, when they traded Josmil Pinto. Getting that clubhouse cancer out of Minnesota really seemed to spark them from awful to mediocre. Nice work RTR! The Twins are 20 games behind the Tigers, who are just dominating the Robo AL. However, the Twins are just 6 games out of the second Wild Card. Could they make a crazy trade at the July deadline to spark them from mediocre to good or even better?
Nope. They did nothing. They did call Shairon Martis up to AA, but that doesn't really help anyone with anything. Perhaps they will make a big move in August. I'm cautiously optimistic. In our next installment, we will find out just how aggressive RTR will be. It's hard because he's part Terry Ryan, a cautious man who always keeps at least one eye on the future, and part robot, and robots are all insane and made of metal. I'm not sure what that means, but I know I can't predict what will happen. We'll find out in part 4.