Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

McDonald Down -- Buscher on the Way?

By now, you've probably heard that Darnell McDonald's stay with the Twins has ended rather prematurely, after he went 1-for-10 since his callup. This means that Lew Ford and Jason Tyner will be playing out in right until Michael Cuddyer returns -- while I'm not terribly enthusiastic about that, I also don't think Darnell McDonald was an adequate solution, so I'm neutral on this move.

I'm much more enthusiastic about the fact that Brian Buscher appears to be on his way to the Twins. As I mentioned earlier tonight, it's time for the Twins to look to the future, and start to give some young guys a chance to prove themselves. Brian Buscher is one of the few great stories amongst Twins minor league position players this season, and I'm ecstatic for him. Buscher is 26, and has steadily worked his way up through the Giants organization. Somehow, he was left unprotected and was taken in the minor league Rule 5 draft by the Twins from the Giants (man, we love to take prospects from the Giants). He's risen from AA to AAA already this year, and has hit .308 and .319 respectively with the Rock Cats and Red Wings, with 13 homeruns between the two. If anyone in the organization has earned a callup, it's Buscher (well, Buscher and Matt Tolbert). With the gaping whole that is 3B for the Twins right now, there's no reason not to call up Buscher and let him play.

Now, there's an interesting question here -- the Twins 40-man roster is full. The most obvious solution to this problem, if the Twins don't want to lose anyone, is to move Glen Perkins to the 60-day DL. My guess is that that's exactly what's going to happen, since Perkins is far, far away from returning from his injury -- and 60 days has already passed since he was injured, so he could be removed whenever the Twins felt the need anyway. Alternatively, the Twins could decide to part ways with someone like Carmen Cali, who is out of options as of next year and is unlikely to be with the team.

Either way, the addition of Buscher is a positive -- but he should be joined by Matt Tolbert, with Luis Rodriguez getting a pink slip. Unfortunately, I doubt that's going to happen.



  • At Wed Jul 25, 10:55:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    why Matt Tolbert??


  • At Thu Jul 26, 01:12:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Am I the only one looking ahead to 2008 with more dread than the upcoming Cleveland series?

    The Twins are going to be short a second baseman, a third baseman (a real one anyway), a center fielder and we're still not going to have anything to fill in at DH (Johan Santana notwhithstanding). I'd also like to see an additional relief pitcher (to make up for the craptitude that was Juan Rincon).

    The Twins aren't going to have the money to buy serviceable parts at DH/3B/2B/RP/OF.

    (not to continue to rain on the parade but Casilla, Tolbert, Jones, McDonald, Span and Buscher are almost all not ML caliber players). Morales might still have a chance but the rest of the bunch are too old and punchless for the majors.

  • At Thu Jul 26, 08:10:00 AM , Blogger JST said...

    Seth -- Tolbert because he essentially could fill the role that Luis Rodriguez fits right now, and is more deserving of a callup than anyone else, recent performance notwithstanding.

    Anon -- I'll be writing a lot more about this later, but I don't dread the 2008 season. I think the Twins pitching is going to be outstanding, and the team will do one of two things -- (1) re-sign Hunter, which would still leave holes but which would give them a chance to win thanks to what I believe will be a great pitching staff, or (2) let Hunter go, which will free up money to pursue some guys who will at least not be HORRIBLE at those positions.

    Either way, 2008 will be tough -- but I think the Twins pitching will give them a chance to win next year. Again, I'll be talking a lot more about this as the season moves closer to the end, and throughout the off-season.

  • At Thu Jul 26, 08:11:00 AM , Blogger JST said...

    Oh, one more thing anon -- I agree that Tolbert, Jones, and McDonald are not likely to be serviceable major leaguers. Buscher and Span have a chance. Casilla will, I think, be a perfectly fine 2B for the Twins for a few years.

  • At Thu Jul 26, 11:21:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    My point is that Luis(!) gets about 15-18 at bats a month with the Twins. he plays solid defense and he walks as much as he strikes out.

    Why bring up Tolbert to play that much? If he has some sort of shot for a full-time gig down the road, why subject him to such limited playing time now?

    Seriously, how much is Luis(!) hurting the Twins right now? In the same playing time, will Tolbert have one more hit a month than Luis(!)? If so, he'll probalby also have one less walk, so that's a draw. Defensively, I would argue that Luis(!) would be far better at 3B and Tolbert would be a little better at SS and 2B. How much PT would Tolbert get at those two positions?

    I would say that Casilla has a chance to be very good. Span will get a chance, deserved or not. Morales could be a solid backup. Buscher, we can hope he is serviceable.


  • At Thu Jul 26, 11:46:00 AM , Blogger JST said...


    Fair point. My desire to bring up Tolbert for Rodriguez is colored by the thought that I don't think Tolbert is ever going to be a full time Major League player. If I thought he was, I would want to take the same approach that I wanted with Casilla, which was to keep him in the minors until he could start at the Majors. So, basically, this is just stemming from a judgment call on Tolbert's future which may be unfairly harsh.

  • At Thu Jul 26, 01:12:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What about the prospects of maybe trading away Joe Nathan and get at least one handy vet to fill a hole along with 1 or 2 prospects...followed by maybe a dump off of luis to the mets (Minaya loves him; Valentine hurt)for a couple prospects...
    With these moves it can free up some more budget space to make a ligitimate run at torii giving him an offer that will acctually make him think. Also, it just gives us a couple more chips on the farm to either keep or trade for another proven player...

  • At Fri Jul 27, 12:19:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Twins Selling:

    Hunter, Nathan, Silva, Rincon, Castillo

    In return save the money for Santana/Cuddyer/Morneau and pick up a few prospects but most importantly, the Twins need an AVERAGE 3rd baseman, and AVERAGE LF, an average 2nd basemen and something that won't embarrass us in the DH spot.

    In that light, Buscher, Tolbert, Casilla might be what the Twins need, average replacement Joes

  • At Sat Jul 28, 01:01:00 AM , Blogger Marty said...

    I take it by the lack of blogging the Twins are now officially "out of it" in the Taylor Book?

  • At Sat Jul 28, 06:58:00 AM , Blogger JST said...

    Well, I said as much in the "Is it Over" post, but actually the lack of blogging is still due to moving issues -- I have to be out of my apartment by the 31st, and it's been a bit crazy.


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