Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Morning Madness: July 7, 2014

I have a truncated version of the Monday Madness for you today.  I had a busy and enjoyable weekend with my family and I didn't get much time to think about the Twins.  I did want to share some thoughts and fun though, as I know that five people really depend on this Monday silliness. 

Weekend Recap

Sources say that the entire 2014 Minnesota Twins season is currently on fire.  While I cannot confirm this report, the weekend series would lead me to believe that this report is accurate.

Obviously, Arcia isn't having a great season.  He was injured for a long stretch and he's been very inconsistent since returning to the Twins.  One positive for Arcia is that he appears to be on the path toward a healthy walk rate.  His current walk rate is 8.5%, slightly above league-average and more than two points higher than in 2013.  If Arcia can continue to take walks, I feel that his overall level of performance will eventually rise significantly.

He obviously has massive raw power and he clearly swings really hard every time at the plate.  He's always going to strike out a ton (I think), but if he can balance out his K:BB ratio a bit, he could overcome those strikeouts. 

Arcia's BABIP is down nearly 50 points from last season, so if you corrected those balls in play to match 2013 (something you shouldn't do because we don't know his true BABIP level yet, but it's fun for arguments' sake), then his batting line would be more in the .260/.360/.430 range.  If that were true, he'd be one of the best young hitters in baseball.  

As it stands, his actual batting average is not pretty, but I think his overall profile as a batter has actually taken a slight step forward in 2014.  Even with a .215 average, he's still posting a 97 wRC+, meaning he is nearly a league-average hitter this season.  Arcia will always be a streaky, frustrating, but lovable and exciting player.  

I stand by the fact that Matt Guerrier should not be on the Twins right now.  I stand by the fact that I think Guerrier will take a major hit in the ERA department if he continues with an anemic strikeout rate and a nearly even strikeout-to-walk ratio.  I'll stand by you.  I'll staaaaaand by you.  Won't let nobody...


I have to give Guerrier credit for what he has accomplished so far this season.  As a 35-year-old coming off a major injury and a few mediocre seasons, it is altogether shocking that he is enjoying this level of success.  His ERA is under 3 and Ron Gardenhire seems to trust him in relatively high-leverage situations.  Perhaps he was added to the roster because of his past with the Twins, but he's earning the right to stay on the roster with good consistently good performances, no matter how many bloggers (including me) doubt him. 

More like ICKY Nolasco, right?

Former Twin Update - Jason Kubel

In a parallel universe somewhere, Jason Kubel accepted his AAA assignment from the Twins and has a .300/.400/.500 line with Rochester.  In that parallel universe, Kubel is getting buzz from fans and members of the Twins' front office.  In that same universe, Kubel's playing career is certainly alive and his MLB career might be just days from resuming.  Weeks at the most. 

Instead, Kubel declined his assignment and chose to become a free agent.  Perhaps he greatly overestimated the market for a 30+ DH who likely already had his best month of the season.  Perhaps he is planning to work out and try again in 2015.  Perhaps he doesn't really want to continue his career.  Regardless, it would certainly be a sad end for a player who I really enjoyed rooting for as a Twin, despite my constant calling for his job about a month ago.

I still feel badly about that.       

Eduardo Escrowbar

This one is dedicated to Eric Pleiss of the Talk to Contact podcast.  You should follow him on Twitter, follow the podcast on Twitter and subscribe/leave a 5-star review on iTunes.  It's a fantastic Twins podcast.  But then, you already know that. 

Obviously, Eddie is a crow because he's kind of always around, but you don't really appreciate him until you take a closer look.  He's a smaller crow, but he packs a wallop.  Plus, he's loud and boisterous, which I like in a player/bird.

Fun Stat

Icky, I mean Ricky Nolasco is on pace to throw about 193 innings.  He currently has a ridiculous .362 BABIP.  No pitcher in MLB history ever thrown 190 or more innings and had a season BABIP higher than .354.  Aaron Sele set that recotd back in 1999, and he had a 4.79 ERA and won 18 games.  Nolasco is not faring that well.  In fact, he's not in Sele's stratosphere. 

There's been talk of moving Nolasco to the bullpen, which would ruin his chances at reaching 190 innings.  If he can somehow reverse his luck a bit, his BABIP will drop and he won't set this record.  In fact, the only way for Nolasco to take this title is to somehow be lucky while continuing to be unlucky.  Now that would be something. 

Quick Plug

If you missed my Friday Thursday mailbag, here you go.  I answered questions about becoming the GM of the Twins, constructing a softball team and trades, trades and trades!  Also, I think my hypothetical office sounds pretty swank, but you'll just have to click the link to find out if you agree.  Intrigue!

Parting Thought

One more week until the All-Star Break and the Twins are really sputtering to the finish line (well, halfway finish line, I guess).  At least they got some good news on Sunday when Glen Perkins and Kurt Suzuki were named to the AL All-Star team. 

Both guys are deserving in their own way, as Suzuki is having his finest season and Perkins is extremely dominant and will make a great ambassador for the Twin Cities.  The 2014 season is falling apart before our very eyes, but watching Suzuki and Perkins play with the best players in the World will be very satisfying.

Have a nice week, everyone!


  1. Really looking forward to seeing Target Field hosting the All Star Game! Excited about Suzuki and Perkins, also - and my next favorite team, the Oakland A's, have six guys going (really seven). One thing I am disappointed about, however, are the All Star jerseys. I remember when the game was in Milwaukee and in Seattle and in Denver that I thought it was really cool that the jerseys used the same script as the host team to spell out "American" and "National." For decades, I've been looking forward to seeing that in the Twins' script. But, it's some other lame thing. Bummer.

    1. That's odd, I wonder why they didn't keep the jerseys the same? Anyway, I guess that will save some cash.