Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Monday, September 25, 2006


I'm so incredibly pumped that the Twins have returned from exile and will once again be a part of the playoff picture. I don't care who the Twins end up facing in the first round, but I do hope that they can win 2 more games than the Tigers over the next 6 days and win the division. Division titles are what you play for, not Wild Card berths, so hopefully the Twins can keep things going. Here are some thoughts on the night and what's to come:

1.) Luis Castillo over-running the (rather half-hearted) stop sign from Scott Ullger could have been a huge play. We saw Castillo get thrown out in Baltimore in a situation where he shouldn't have been running. There's a fine line between being aggressive and being foolish, and with the heart of the order coming up, I'd much prefer for Castillo to stop at 3rd and let the hitters drive him in. That said . . . I'd like Nick Punto not to slide head-first into 1st Base, too, but that aggressiveness seems to work out for him. I just hope Castillo doesn't get pegged out at the plate in the playoffs.

2.) Torii Hunter was great tonight, and there's no question he's running much, much better than he was just a few weeks ago. This convinces me that an off-season of rest is going to put him back to where he was before. What do you do with a guy who is the heart of the team, a gold-glove caliber fielder, and a power threat? Three guesses . . .

3.) Justin Morneau is now all alone in 2nd place on the Twins single season RBI list. He's 11 behind the record, with 6 games to go. It would take some pretty impressive mashing, but based on what we've seen this season, I'm not going to discount the possibility.

4.) Boof Bonser should start the second game of the playoffs. I don't care where it is, or who we're playing. The man is a stud.

5.) I strongly suspect Jason Bartlett will get at least one day off between now and the end of the regular season, having started 93 straight games. Calling Alexi Casilla . . .

6.) The Twins should give several guys a chance to play, but there's a fine line between resting your regulars and sitting them too much. The Twins should give 1 or 2 guys off a night, and nobody should get more than 2 days off down the stretch. We might even see Luis Rodriguez and Jason Kubel, who have both disappeared into the void.

7.) Brad Radke is on pace to start on Thursday. It's possible that his start could be pushed back, but I think the Twins would prefer to start him on Thursday to give him the maximum recovery time before any possible start in the playoffs.

8.) Watch the starts by Carlos Silva and Matt Garza very closely; If Radke gets a playoff start, only one of these guys is likely to get a start, assuming the Twins go with a 4-man rotation in the playoffs (as has become the norm). The loser of that battle very well might be left off the post-season roster altogether, with all of the talented arms the Twins have in the bullpen.

9.) Enjoy the next six days, everybody! It's the calm before the playoff storm. Next week is going to be great!


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