Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Monday, April 09, 2007

Nightly Notes - Game #6

It had to happen eventually -- the Twins starters certainly weren't going to be brilliant forever. Tonight's 8-2 loss was particularly distasteful since it was to the hated Yankees. Here are tonight's notes:

1.) Ok, it's time. All of you haters out there who have been complaining about the starting rotation since the middle of spring training can finally rejoice that you were right. I missed the first two innings of the game with a late class, and by the time I settled into my chair and turned on ESPN, it was all but over, with the Twins trailing 5-0. Ponson gave up 10 hits, walked 3, and worst of all gave up 8 earned runs. The only good news is that Ponson buckled down in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings and managed to go 5.2 innings, saving the Twins bullpen from overuse. So is it time after one start to throw in the towel on the Ponson experiment? In my opinion, not quite. I've been predicting all spring that Ponson would make the rotation, struggle, and be gone in 6 weeks. That time line still seems accurate to me. There is still an outside chance the Ponson will be better than this his next time out, for several reasons -- (1) he was facing the Yankees, (2) he was a sinkerballer on 8 days rest, which is never good, and (3) he was making his regular season debut. None of those things will be true in his next start, so we'll see how he does then.

2.) Rondell White and Jeff Cirillo both seem to be headed to the disabled list, and Cirillo very well might need surgery, which would probably keep him out for 4-6 weeks. With Juan Rincon also hurting right now, it seems to me that the best thing the Twins could do to replace these two guys on the roster would be to call up Josh Rabe and Mike Venafro. [UPDATE: That was quick . . . La Velle is reporting that Rabe is indeed being called up, but for reasons that are beyond me he's being joined by Alexi Casilla. I'll have more on this later in a separate post, but suffice it to say I'm confused and a little disturbed. Back to the original post.] In my version of reality (and we'll see if it's anything like what the Twins actually end up doing), Rabe would get a chance to start most of the games out in left, with Kubel and Redmond DH'ing against righties and lefties, respectively. That would preserve Tyner's speed for use off the bench, and would give a promising young outfielder a chance to come back to the big leagues. Venafro would give the Twins some additional depth in the bullpen in case there are . . . umm . . . "problems" with the starters over the next couple of weeks. Yes, yes, I know -- I was just making fun of people for being on the Venafro bandwagon because of his struggles in Rochester's opening game, but that really was tongue in cheek. The Twins have certainly proven that they can handle having a somewhat limited bench over the past few days, so I don't think carrying 12 pitchers would hurt them too much. Finally, both Rabe and Venafro would have to be added to the 40-man roster in order to be called up, but that's easy: the Twins roster is currently at 39, so one of them could be added outright with no other moves; meanwhile, to make room for the other player, the Twins could shift Alejandro Machado from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.

3.) Jason Bartlett (.056), Mike Redmond (.000), Nick Punto (.130), Jason Kubel (.200), and Torii Hunter (.227) need to get the bats going, or the Twins aren't going to win many games, no matter how good Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, and Michael Cuddyer play.

4.) The heart palpitations over the rough patch the bullpen went through over the last couple of days can stop for a night -- relievers Matt Guerrier, Dennys Reyes, and Pat Neshek combined to go 3.1 innings, allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk. I didn't think there was a problem before, but if you needed a night like this to calm you down, here ya go.

5.) Boof goes for his first win of the season, supposedly against Andy Pettite. I'm counting on another 6 inning, 2 run performance from Boof, so the Twins can get back on the winning track.

6.) I'm guessing that the Indians/Angels games in Milwaukee from Tuesday to Thursday will draw around 8,000 fans each with a healthy walk-up crowd. That's probably a bit on the high side, but hey, I'm a risk-taker. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on how many folks will show up at these games (and I believe I've heard that around 4,000 tickets for each of the first two games have already been sold, so unless you have a bit of Austin Powers in ya, you probably should go at least that high . . . ).



  • At Tue Apr 10, 12:02:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Ponson, didnt get any favors from Jason K's no error that scored 2 runs. Jason Bartlett made two dumb plays and only one was scored a error. Ponson first inning was a broken bat on the right field line and a seeing eye to the left side. Micheal C base running skill was BAD. It killed an inning sonce again. Poson had very good movement on his sinker and if his fielders played D, it would have been a very diffrent line ...

  • At Tue Apr 10, 06:15:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I don't think anyone played well last night. Let's go to Rick Sutcliff for his take:
    "Jeter, Jeter, Jeter, Jeter, Jeter."


  • At Wed Apr 11, 04:33:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Milwaukee has some true baseball fans and over 19000 showed up to see two very good major league teams play. Cograts Brewer fans for your outstanding support.


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