Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Nightly Notes: Game #60

Didn't get a report up on last night's game -- and probably won't get a lot else up tonight either. That means the DOTF: Low A Report (yet again) is delayed until tomorrow, along with my thoughts on the second round of the draft. But, at least I'm around to post some thoughts on tonight's ballgame -- what a thrill, considering how things turned out. Here are tonight's notes:

1.) Johan looked a lot more like Cy Santana today than he has of late, but of course it ended up not mattering. Still, this was absolutely not his fault, as his 7 innings, 3 run (2 earned), 7 hit, 5 K performance shows. One bad pitch to Ryan Zimmerman, and fughedaboutit. How is he 6-6? Oh, yeah -- the offense.

2.) Speaking of the offense, it was absolutely abysmal today. Well, except for that sweet line-drive homer that Justin Morneau hit in the 2nd (that ball was just destroyed!). Other than that, the only highlight offensively was -- wait, really? -- Lew Ford. Ford went 2-for-3 after replacing an injured Jason Kubel (more on that in a moment). So what to I do now -- compliment him? Oh God. Alright, fine. Congratulations, Lew, for playing alright today. That was painful. Now, the thing that's really embarrassing here is that the Twins were dominated by Levale freakin' Speigner. He came into the game with a 9.10 ERA. He STILL has a 7.79 ERA. My God, you know things are bad when you're getting blown away in games like this.

3.) I can understand going 2-4 on a West Coast road trip against two good teams. In fact, I consider that to be "par." But losing 2 in a row, at home, against a joke of a team? Look, the Nationals have some interesting players. Ryan Zimmerman is certainly legit. Chad Cordero isn't a bad pitcher. But, really, this team is just plain bad (although not as bad as I thought they would be when the season started). You simply cannot, however, justify losing two games in a row to them. A sweep at this point would just be rubbing salt in the wound, because this has already been an embarrassment. I realize this is a little more pessimistic than I normally am, but there is just no way to spin losing two games in a row to the Nats.

4.) Jason Kubel is listed as day-to-day after spraining his right knee tonight. He appears to be scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, and it seems like there is at least a chance that Kubel will be heading to the disabled list. What do the Twins do in the event he goes on the DL? One option would be to replace him with a pitcher. It sounds like Dennys Reyes might be fairly close to returning, so the Twins could simply activate Reyes on Wednesday or so and go short-handed through the first game of the Braves series. But that would leave the Twins with just 4 outfielders -- Hunter, Cuddyer, Ford, and Tyner -- so there's a good chance that the Twins would want to call up somebody who could play in the outfield. The likely answer in my book is Garrett Jones. He's raw as an outfielder, yes -- but they wouldn't have to play him in the outfield. Jones is a left-handed hitter, of course, so against right-handers the Twins could play Tyner in left and DH Jones. The biggest advantage, though, is that he's already on the 40-man roster, so the Twins wouldn't have to mess around too much to get him up. The only other outfielder on the 40-man who is not currently with the team or on the DL is Denard Span -- and if you've read this blog at all this summer, you know that Span is really, really struggling at AAA.

So, who does that leave? Well, the Twins could basically call up Trent Oeltjen or Doug Deeds from Rochester -- and neither of those are probably great options. Oeltjen is another "piranha" type player, and Deeds, like Span, is struggling in AAA. As a result, neither is an ideal option. Just as an aside, if the Twins did need to add someone to the 40-man roster, at this point the only option (other than removing someone from the roster by waiving them) would be to place Rondell White on the 60-day DL. He's already been on the DL for longer than that, so it wouldn't cost the Twins anything -- but they'd really just be delaying a move until he was healthy enough to come back (if that in fact happens). Bottom line -- calling up Jones in the event of a Kubel injury is really the only logical option, unless the Twins go back to 12 pitchers.

5.) I like the fact that the Twins are pushing back Baker's start while giving Slowey a start on regular rest. Pretty much shows you who's where on the pecking order. Let's hope that Baker, even though he's technically "available" for tomorrow's game as a reliever, isn't needed in that role.



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