We've had more than a week of Spring Training games, so we're fully engaged in "get excited about Spring Training stats mode." We know in our heads that these stats mean less than nothing, but it's nearly impossible to hear about a giant home run or a three-inning scoreless start and not get just a little excited. It's what separates us from the animals. Seriously, go find a goat and tell him about Eduardo Escobar's doubles. That goat won't care at all. We care. Let's rank.
Speaking of stats that don't really matter, Mitchell is currently hitting 4.000. I'm unwilling to cross-check that figure, but it seems that every time Mitchell bats, he hits two home runs. I won't look that up either. Regardless of his actual stats (ed. note - .600/.625/1.400 in 8 PA, as of Saturday night), Mitchell is officially the Luke Hughes of 2014 Spring Training. Mitchell's not a total bum and it would be fun to see him make his MLB debut at age 29, but he obviously isn't this good. That said, he has performed very well and therefore, he's certainly earned his time in the sun.
Guerrier faced real hitters this week, a massive step forward in his recovery from elbow surgery last August. It's hard not to root for Guerrier, as he had some great seasons with the Twins and some really great hair with the Dodgers and Cubs. Since leaving the Twins, Guerrier has had three decent-to-not so decent seasons. He's had just a 93 ERA+ since 2010 and he's 35. Even if he is unlikely to contribute quality innings to the Twins' bullpen in 2014, it would still be very cool to see him successfully complete his comeback. He is a human, you know.
Last week, Colabello ranked 8th because of his hair. This somehow lead to me positing that Joe Mauer would fight Ivan Drago to win back his first base job. Yep. Anyway, now I want to talk about Colabello as a player. He's been great this Spring, flexing his power and getting on base. I'm starting to like the idea of Colabello as a bench bat/back-up first baseman/emergency corner outfielder. The Twins don't have much right-handed power and Colabello certainly has right-handed power.
If the 5th outfielder job comes down to Colabello and Chris Parmelee, I might prefer Colabello. Normally, I like the younger player, but I feel that I've seen enough Parmelee at this point. Of course, Parmelee is out of options, so that actually works in his favor. Parmelee is a far superior defender, so that works in his favor even more. Plus, Parmelee can play first too. You know what? I'm not sure how I feel. Can we keep them both? Can we, Dad?
Guerra may always be haunted by the fact that he was the most enticing piece of the failed Johan Santana trade. He hasn't lived up to the promise he held as an 18-year-old, but then, most of us don't. Last year, Guerra only threw 4 innings, but those 4 innings had to be pretty sweet. Last March, Guerra was diagnosed with a blood clot in his throwing shoulder and it got so bad that he had to be moved to intensive care at one point. However, Guerra worked hard to recover and managed to throw those four innings in August. Going into Sunday, Guerra has made two Spring appearances and looked pretty good. While Guerra will never replace Santana, it would still be great to see Guerra contribute to the Twins' bullpen in 2014. His ceiling has changed, but he could still have a productive MLB career.
6. Kyle Gibson
I'm an idiot. You already know that, but I confirmed it on Friday in a mailbag I created with my wife. She asked me who would have a baby this season and I didn't know. I did some Googling and didn't find anything, so I blindly guessed Gibson because of his age. Turns out, Gibson's wife literally had their first child a day or two before I made my awesome prediction. I'm not sure how I missed this news and how I didn't find it when I Googled "Kyle Gibson having a baby," but I realized my mistake on Saturday and felt like an idiot. Oh well, congratulations to Gibson and his wife on their new baby! In a way, I totally called it.
Vargas is now getting advice from the guy he keeps getting compared to! David Ortiz has taken "Baby Papi" under his mighty wing. It's a fun story, as many hope that Vargas can become the next Ortiz. Obviously, there is only a tiny chance that Vargas becomes the next Ortiz, but in reality, there was a pretty tiny chance that Ortiz would become "Big Papi" as well. Vargas is a big human with massive power, but he might be miles and miles from the Majors. I like prospects because of their promise and the allure of what could be. The idea of getting a second chance at "Big Papi" is pretty alluring. I have a feeling that many Twins fans feel exactly the same way.
If you are not familiar with Taylor, the Prospect Octopus, you might not be aware of my affinity for catching prospects. Well, I'm here to tell you that I love 'em! Turner was the Twins' third-round pick last June and he's a glove-first catcher and I think I love him too. Don't immediately think of Drew Butera just because I said glove-first. Turner is a big man and he hit well in college. He's getting some tutelage from Terry Steinbach this Spring, according to this report. Not a bad mentor. He'll be heading to Low-A Cedar Rapids this Spring. If you want to see some excellent catcher defense, there are worse places to go than Iowa.
3. Eduardo Escobar
Escobar is having a weird Spring. He's hitting for power, but his OBP is actually lower than his batting average, which is not easy to do. Mostly everything else is going in his favor though. Jason Bartlett hasn't hit this Spring and Pedro Florimon hasn't played because of his appendectomy. Thus, Escobar is getting mad playing time and hitting mad doubles. I feel strongly that Escobar would be a more productive hitter than Florimon. I think his defense is roughly as good as Florimon's too. You know where I'm going with all this...
Of course, this middle infielder might be pushing for a #Danny400 campaign. Santana has looked great this Spring. He's been the best hitter of the middle infielders and he's showing off the speed that makes him a natural shortstop and an intriguing prospect. Last season, I remember hearing Paul Molitor say that Santana was still two years away from the Majors. Molitor also raved about Santana and how good he could be. Now, Santana has another fan in Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire. You can read all about it in Mike Berardino's report. We all know how fixated Gardy can get with slappy middle infielders. Of course, Santana could be worth his fixation.
1. Johan Santana
The Orioles signed Santana last week, crushing my little child-like dreams. I really wanted Santana to come back to Minnesota, but it was not meant to be. Santana chose to sign with a "contender" in the Orioles. I don't think they will be contending for much of anything, but I can see why Santana would think they were further along than the Twins. I'm happy for Santana as I just want to see him continue his career. He's one of my favorite players of all-time and it would be a shame if he threw his last game at age 32. I hope he makes a full recovery and the Twins sign him next Winter.
Now that we're all on the same page, we can get back to our Spring Training stats binge. This week, at least one player will have an epic game and we'll all get unreasonably excited. That's why we're fans. Unless you prefer to hang out with that goat we talked about earlier. That's your problem. Have a great week, everyone!