Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring Training Report: Game Seventeen

This winning thing is starting to become a regular occurrence, with the Twins rattling off wins in five of their last six ballgames. While I still believe that spring training wins are meaningless, it at least is nice to look at a winning box score. Here are today's notes:

1.) Ramon Ortiz gave up entirely too many hits in his first inning of work, but he wasn't helped at all by Tommy Watkins' and Alexi Casilla's errors. His last three innings were very solid, however, and he continues to churn out workman-like performances that have to encourage Twins fans (not to mention the coaching staff and Terry Ryan). Really, at this point, I'm just looking for him to stretch out to five and maybe six innings so that he's fully ready to go when he makes his first regular season start. If he keeps pitching like this, that could end up being on the second day of the season.

2.) How awesome is it that all of the young guys fighting for a spot on the roster keep stepping up and delivering? Glen Perkins seized another opportunity to prove himself by pitching 2 innings of relief and facing the minimum, striking out three. It will be very interesting to see Matt Garza and Sidney Ponson the next time out - and both are slated to pitch tomorrow. Another bad outing from Ponson probably dooms him, and would really make things interesting as the young guns battle for that precious fifth spot in the rotation.

3.) Randy Choate didn't allow any runs today, but he did give up 2 hits in his inning of work. I don't think that's good enough - he's so far behind Mike Venafro and J.D. Durbin that I expect him to be cut by Monday.

4.) A miracle occurred today in Ft. Myers . . . Jason Tyner entered the day hitting .143 (4-for-28), and Garrett Jones entered the game hitting a woeful .061 (2-for-33). BOTH got a hit today, however, and Jones even picked up a couple of RBI's off his double. Now, if only Tommy Watkins (2-for-18) had pitched in . . .

5.) I'm still reading that Alejandro Machado is just a couple of days away from getting into some games. Assuming that actually happens, he has to be the hands-down favorite to win the backup middle infielder job. No one else has stepped up and won it outright (well, ok, maybe Alexi Casilla - but you all know my preference, and seemingly Terry Ryan's preference, is to have him in AAA playing every day), and Machado just fits much better than the other options. Frankly, I couldn't care less if Machado can hit - as long as he plays a solid SS, I say keep him around.

6.) This is completely unimportant, but how weird is it to see Jeff Cirillo, as the DH, lead off? There are just so many things wrong with that . . .

7.) Brad King has a batting average of .000 halfway through the spring, but he has just two official at-bats. He has, however, drawn 3 walks and scored a couple of runs. Whether the Twins choose to offer him a minor league contract is debatable, but he seems to have good plate discipline and must be an adequate receiver if they've kept him around this long.

Today's Big Winner: Glen Perkins (Deserves a roster spot . . . doesn't mean he'll get one)
Runner-Up: Josh Rabe (3-3 day, .316 for the spring - guess the back is healthy)

Today's Big Loser: Jeff Cirillo (0-3, 2 K's)
Runner-Up: Alexi Casilla (0-3 - not many other candidates)

Labels: ,


  • At Thu Mar 15, 04:39:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Love the blog, and just to pass along the comments. The reports on Brad King is that he is in camp on a NRI, but has signed a contract to head to Rochester with Hientz. So take it for what it's worth, but he is a respectable hitter when he is hitting...

    His career OBP is .350, and he walks about once per strikeout, so yes he is disciplined.

  • At Thu Mar 15, 05:16:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Thanks for the comment - I wouldn't actually mind if King was assigned to AAA along with Heintz - certainly he can't be any worse than Shawn Wooten, who filled that role last year, and there aren't any internal candidates that seem destined to end up in AAA this year either. And really, does anyone think that Matt LeCroy would be an adequate backup catcher?

  • At Thu Mar 15, 06:05:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    .28 correlation is small but not insignificant.

    -Marty (too lazy to sign in today)

  • At Thu Mar 15, 06:17:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    AHH! The Mad Statistical Genius lives! In case anyone has no idea what lazy Marty (or, MSG from now on) is talking about, he (or someone else . . . not sure) calculated the correlation between spring winning percentage and regular season winning percentage. Anyway, I'll have more on this later, but let's just say I don't buy it.

  • At Thu Mar 15, 07:18:00 PM , Blogger WV said...


    Any chance Rabe could make a late push for back-up outfielder?

  • At Thu Mar 15, 07:26:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    WV - It's possible, but I would say highly unlikely, and here's why:

    First, the Twins need a backup middle infielder much more than they need another outfielder. Jason Tyner, Jason Kubel, and, if he makes the team, Alejandro Machado will all be able to backup in the outfield as needed.

    Second, the fact that the Twins took him off the 40-man in November has to be a bad sign. It may have just been to retain a little bit of off-season roster flexibility, but it seems like a waste to have removed him from the roster only to add him again just a couple of months later.

    I suspect that for Rabe to get back to the Majors, he'll have to go to Rochester and have a very solid season, and then hope that a spot on the roster opens up for him.

    I like the question!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home