Posted on: May 28, 2009 11:11 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2009 8:07 pm

Where should Go-Go go?

Are the Twins slowing the maturation of Carlos Gomez by not sending him to AAA?

At only 22 years old Carlos Gomez has already shown he is an elite major league center fielder, where so far this year he has a perfect fielding percentage. In his major league career he has more outfield assists then errors. He has also shown the ability to read the ball well off the bat and use his speed to track down hard to get to balls, making several highlight reel catches. He also has a cannon for an arm.

He is showing signs of having excellent base running skills, or at least the raw speed to bunt for base hits, take the extra base, and steal his way into scoring position. In a game against the Red Sox on Wednesday, he attempted to take home in the 7th inning and seeing that Boston catcher George Kottaras was blocking the plate ready to make the tag, Gomez lowered his shoulder and tried to run right through Kottaras. I am not sure how he held onto the ball, but it was great to see the young Twin playing such hard-nosed baseball. It reminded me a lot of former Twins center fielder Torii Hunter. Carlos Gomez has also been compared to A's great Ricky Henderson.

The problem however, is that he has not been able to hit for average at the major league level. Although he has already hit for the cycle in his young career, a sure sign of his raw talent, he has a career batting average of only .250 and a career on base percentage of under .300. So far this year he is hitting just .225, and that leads to the bigger problem...

With the emergence of Denard Span, hitting .317 on the year, Jason Kubel, hitting .340 on the year, and Michael Cuddyer hitting .330 with 7 home runs in May; there just hasn't been much playing time for Gomez. And what he needs is just that, more playing time. He has only started 25 games this year, several of which where as a result of Delmon Young being on bereavement leave for 9 days. Currently Gomez is being used mostly as a pinch runner and defensive replacement.

I believe that the future of the Twins outfield consists of Carlos Gomez, Denard Span, and Delmon Young. The Twins, in my opinion, would be better served sending Gomez down to thier AAA affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings. That way he would get a chance to get a full slate of in game at bats, and continue to work on his excellent potential on the bases. He would then be able work on things like taking pitches and 2 strike hitting with out it costing the big club a win.

As a minor leaguer in the New York Mets system Gomez saw an improvement in batting average every year, at each level. In 2005 playing A ball he has a batting average of .275 and an on base percentage of .331. In 2006 playing AA ball those numbers jumped to a .281 AVG and a .350 OBP. When he played AAA for 36 games in 2007 he got his average up to .286 and his on base percentage to .363. It appears that with work and regular at bats Gomez has shown the ability to make improvements on hitting.

Hopefully the Twins will give their young outfielders all they will need to reach their full potential, because if these emerging stars continue to progress, the Minnesota outfield could be the envy of the bigs for years to come.

Posted on: May 28, 2009 6:49 pm
Edited on: May 28, 2009 6:53 pm

Twins and Red Sox Split 4 game series

The Twins managed to split the series with the Red Sox in the final match up between the two at the Metrodome. At the end of the current home stand, the Twins are now 4 games back of Detroit, the same team they swept just a few series ago. 

In the four games vs. the Red Sox, both Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, have both cooled down a bit. Hitting a combined 7 - 26 with 2 home runs. 







During Wednesday's game, the Red Sox tied a record with 7 wild pitches, by three different pitchers.

In the series finale, the Twins were unable to build off Joe Crede's early home run. In an odd game, Jason Varitek hit two home runs and then was ejected for arguing a called ball 4 when catching; however, that wasn't until after Twins' catcher Mike Redmond was tossed for arguing a play at the plate on a sacrifice fly. Replays show that Redmond was correct. Ron Gardenhire hurried out and was quickly ejected when responding to Redmond's ejection.

The Twins now go to Tampa Bay to play the struggling Rays, losers of 5 straight, in a three game series before returning home to for a 3 game series vs Cleveland.

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 26, 2009 5:39 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2009 12:52 pm

Slama watch 2009

Who is ready for some Slama?

I know I am. Anthony Slama is still playing AA ball for the Twins minor league team The New Britain Rock Cats.

On the season so far he is pitching 3-0, 2.59 era, 9 saves, and 38 strike outs in 24 and a 3rd innings. And that is after a terrible game on 5/23 when he gave up 3 runs in his 1 inning. 

In 2008 he was 4-1 with 25 saves and a 1.01 era and 110 strike outs in 71 innings pitched and was named MLB.com's Class A Adv. Relief Pitcher of the Year. 

I think we all know that Slama is the heir apparent to Joe Nathan and I can't think of a better way to learn the job then setting up for him in the 8th. Not to mention, the Twins need him. They have been looking for a solid 8th inning guy since Pat Neshek went down. So far this year the Twins relievers are carrying a combined earned run average over 4.00.

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 25, 2009 5:57 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2009 5:58 pm

Twins vs Brewers

Three Game Sweep. So much for the hot Brew Crew.

Sorry, I was out of town all weekend, but will provide better coverage on the next series.

Category: MLB
Tags: Brewers, Twins
Posted on: May 21, 2009 5:38 pm
Edited on: May 21, 2009 5:39 pm

Twins @ White Sox Game 3

In which the Twins take out their frustrations on their hated rival.


It is good to see the Twins finally making some line-up changes. I have been saying for weeks, that they can not keep putting Brendan Harris and Matt Tolbert in the two hole. I have been hoping they would give Jose Morales more at bats. I thought they could start him in the two hole. 

Well, Meatloaf has been know to say 2 out of 3 ain't bad. The Twins didn't put Morales in the two spot, but they did start him. And instead of starting Harris or Tolbert in the 2 hole, they dropped Tolbert down to the 8 spot, and moved everyone else up a spot. The result....

The Twins scored 20 runs in the first 7 innings.

Morales went 3 for 4 with two walks and 3 runs. Joe Mauer had 6 rbis. The Twins hit two 3 run homers and a Grand Slam (Mauer's 4th homer of the road trip). Even Tolbert had a big game. It also helped that Nick Blackburn pitched a great 7 innings of shut-out baseball. The final score was 20-1.

After the game Micheal Cuddyer, who hit a three run homer in the 7 run 2nd inning, stated "We needed that one, if there was ever a must win, it was that one." He further went on to say, "... we have been through this before. We've struggled in May for some reason, but going into the National League games we seem to pick up some momentum, and hopefully thats what we have been able to do today going into the series against Milwaukee."

 It was a long and ugly road trip; however, the Twins finished it on a high note. Now they can look to add to their one game winning streak in the comfort of the Metrodome where they are 14-9 on the year.

Posted on: May 20, 2009 12:15 am
Edited on: May 21, 2009 4:12 pm

Twins @ White Sox Games 1 and 2

More of the same In Chicago

Scott Baker and the Twins continue their skid, losing a 5th consecutive game. Baker had one bad inning, giving up 3 earned runs in the second. Including a 2 run homer to Paul Konerko. Mark Buehrle gave up 8 hits, but they were scattered over 7 innings. The Twins had the same problem against the White Sox as they have been having from their #2 hitter. Brendan Harris not only went 0-4, but he also hit into 2 double plays, actually taking away potential runs from Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau

Joe Mauer hit his 7th home run. That is the Twins' 8th of the road trip, and amazingly, they have all been solos.











Category: MLB
Posted on: May 19, 2009 7:53 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2009 7:55 pm

Sean Henn

I was just going to write a blog about calling up Sean Henn, and the Twins go and do it. I love it.
FYI, AAA stats. 24 innings pitched. 1.13 era. 32 K's. 
Category: MLB
Tags: Sean Henn, Twins
Posted on: May 19, 2009 6:00 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2009 6:04 pm

Black hole at the 2 spot

In a year where Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Jason Kubel have been tearing the cover, they seem to be coming up short in the RBI category. That could have a lot to do with the awful play of Twins #2 hitters. Manager Ron Gardenhire has mostly slotted Matt Tolbert, Brendan Harris,  and Alexi Casilla between Span and Mauer. In 161 at bats the 3 have combined for a paltry .192 average, 17 runs, 14 walks, and 36 strike outs. That is more whiffs then walks or hits.


So what needs to be done? Here are a few ideas I have. Play Kubel in left field against righties and Delmon Young against lefties. Kubel is hitting .365 against righties and .179 against righties. Last year Young hit .300 against lefties. That would leave the DH spot open and allow rookie switch hitting catcher Jose Morales to play some games at DH and bat 2nd. Morales is batting .333 in 20 games this year. I hate to say it, but the days of Michael Redmond as a backup catcher for the Twins should be over. It has often been said that he would be a great addition to the coaching staff at some point. I say the sooner the better. His legs are too old, and his throws are 2nd is starting to be abused by opposing base-runners.


Another possibilty is batting Delmon Young in the 2 spot. He has not been hitting for power since he became a Twin, but has a respectable
 on base percentage. Much better then we have seen in the two hole this year.

And finally, bring back Alexi Casilla. Casilla has seemed to be a permanent resident in the Gardenhire doghouse and was sent to the minors on May 6th. Two things have happened since then. Firstly, Casilla is hitting in the minors, he has a batting average of .312 and an on-base percentage of .380. The second, Joe Mauer is back with the team. You can expect the #2 hitter to see better pitches hitting in front of Mauer.


I doubt Morales will stay with the big club for long, and it is too early to give up on Young's power swing, so it seems like it may be time to give Casilla a 2nd chance. He may not deserve it in Gardenhire's eyes, but the Twins sure seem to need it.

Category: MLB
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