Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Nightly Notes: Game #26

Great way for me to get back in the groove of the blog, by talking about a solid 9-1 win against the Devil Rays. Here are tonight's notes:

1.) So, Sidney Ponson put up a solid, quality start tonight. It wouldn't surprise me if there were a number of Twins fans out there who are actually a bit disappointed about that fact -- after all, the Twins scored 9 runs, so Sidney could have exploded by allowing 6 or 7 with the Twins still winning, and his Twins career probably would have been over. Instead, he goes 7 innings, allows just 1 run on 5 hits, walks 2 and strikes out 5 -- are we really talking about Sidney Ponson here? To remind you once again of my prediction, I thought (and think) that he'll last 6 weeks. But, we're into the 5th week of the season now, so that would mean just 2 more starts. I think this start bought him at least that much with the team, but I don't think it guarantees him much beyond that. He's still been downright awful for most of the season, and even today he just missed giving up a couple of big fly's that would have totally changed the game. In other words, yes, he pitched pretty well tonight -- but not as well as his line shows, and not well enough to do much more than buy him a couple of more starts. He'll have to continue to deliver the goods if he wants to last beyond May 15th or so.

2.) I didn't get a chance to write up a separate article on Alexi Casilla, so I'm going to put my thoughts on his demotion in this note. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll have a chance to expand these thoughts into a full-fledged article. When Casilla was first called up, I was against the idea because I didn't think he'd be able to get enough playing time. Despite the fact that he had a chance to start a bunch of games while Luis Castillo was out, I still believe that. He played fairly well while he was up, and offered a few tantalizing glimpses into the future, but he also made some poor decisions and bad errors -- leading Gardy to bench him for pretty much the entire Tigers series in favor of Luis Rodriguez. I still think the ultimate reason for sending him down was to get him regular playing time, but certainly his lapses in concentration didn't help matters. It's fairly clear that he can still benefit from some minor league experience, but he's closer to being a Major League ready talent than I thought he was when Spring Training started -- and when it ended, for that matter.

3.) As frustrating as he can be at times, it was great to see Luis Castillo back in the lineup today, simply because he's capable of completely changing the game when he's in there. A 3-for-6 day in his return to the lineup was a great way to start things off.

4.) The record for doubles in a season is 67, by Earl Webb in 1931. I'm not a big believer in looking at a guy's "pace" after just a month of the season, but it's interesting to note that after hitting his 14th double of the year tonight, Torii is on pace to hit 87 this season. He won't hit that many, but he certainly has a great shot at hitting at least 50, and it's not out of the realm of possibility that he could go higher even than that. If he's still on a record-setting pace at the end of May, it may be time to start getting at least a little bit excited about the possibilities.

5.) Joe Mauer is still amazing -- 3-for-6, .378 on the season. Absolutely ridiculous.

6.) Nick Punto and Jason Bartlett are slowly raising the ole' batting average. Punto is "up" to .227, Bartlett is at .243. By the end of May, I'm predicting that Punto will be up to .255, while Bartlett will be at .275. That would require Punto to hit about .300 during the month of May (he had 82 at-bats in April, and I'm assuming 100 at-bats in May, which is probably a smidge on the low side), while Bartlett would have to hit .310 during May (also based on a 100 at-bat May). It's probably overly optimistic, but I'll stick with the prediction, and you can make fun of me at the end of the month if I'm wrong.

7.) The battle over the stadium, and the worry about whether the squabble over the land would scuttle the 2010 opening, is now officially over. There was never, in my mind, any reason to worry about any of this stuff. It was pretty much par for the course for a major construction project at a tricky site. Mistakes were certainly made -- by just about everyone involved. And, of course, it's perfectly legitimate to think that the very idea of building a ballpark where this one is being built is ludicrous, and that the team should have worked harder to get a roof, and all of that. But as far as worrying about this stadium and this plan and this site -- well, it really wasn't worth the effort. There was too much at stake not to get it done.

8.) Lew Ford has played in two games with Rochester on a rehab assignment. These things are pretty much limited to two weeks at most, but this one might not even last that long. I would guess that as soon as Ford convinces the front office that he's 100% (or close to), he'll be activated from the Disabled List, with either Josh Rabe or Glen Perkins being sent down to make room for him. Since Gardy seems to enjoy having the extra pitcher at this point, my guess it will be Rabe going down; but at least it looks like he might not go quietly, after he went 2-for-2 tonight after replacing Michael Cuddyer and finally raised his batting average above the Mendoza line to .217.

9.) It's Boof Bonser time tomorrow, and the Twins need to get the big guy a win. It's important for him to go at least 6 innings tomorrow, or else the "starting pitcher replacement watch" will engulf him as well as Sidney Ponson.



  • At Wed May 02, 09:51:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Since you never get any comments, I just wanted to say I love your summaries and insight.

  • At Wed May 02, 10:25:00 AM , Blogger JST said...

    I appreciate the comment -- and yes, comments are often a bit hard to come by around here. I just tell myself that what I say is perfect, so no one feels the need . . . (just kidding)


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