Nightly Notes: Game #12
1.) As expected, Francisco Liriano was less than sharp today against the Royals, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits and 5 walks in 4.2 innings. Opponents of the decision to activate Liriano will no doubt use this start as evidence that Liriano should still be in AAA -- but I don't think it's nearly that simple. Liriano was expected to struggle in his first big league appearance in roughly 18 months, and anyone who thought we'd be getting the Liriano of June 2006 immediately was not thinking things through. The true test of the decision to call Liriano up will come in the next two or three starts, as Liriano either does or does not get back into a groove. I personally don't think that staying in Rochester would have helped Liriano; I think he needs to find his footing against big league hitters. Hopefully we'll see improvement in each of his next few starts.
2.) Nice job by Brian Bass to come in and get 7 outs while allowing just a walk. After a pretty rough first few big league appearances, Bass seems to be settling in and getting a bit more comfortable in his role. As for Juan Rincon -- the homerun was unfortunate, but at least it was the only hit he allowed in his inning of work. Still, it's telling that Rincon was used in the eighth inning of a game that was pretty much out of control; he pretty much seems to be the last option out of the 'pen right now (not counting Bass, who has a very specific job -- inning eater following short starts).
3.) What can you say about the offense when the team picks up only three hits, one of which came from Adam Everett? I guess you could blame it on Joe Mauer and Matt Tolbert being on the bench, but I'd rather give credit to Brian Bannister, who was absolutely in control for the entire game.
4.) Tiger Woods is great, but I don't mind seeing him struggle at The Masters. Things would be no fun at all if he just won every major with ease, and Tiger losing is, at this point, a better story than Tiger winning. However, I have to say that this has been a bit of a boring Masters for me -- no story lines have really stuck out for me (except for Tiger's pseudo-charge yesterday).
5.) Since this was a short notes column, I thought I'd give you a look at a few former Twins to see how they've performed through the first two weeks of the season. They are most definitely in no particular order:
Jason Bartlett (Tampa Bay) - .158/.200 OBP/38 AB's
Matt Garza (Tampa Bay) - 0-0/9.00 ERA/5-5 K-BB (disabled list)
Johan Santana (New York Mets) - 1-2/3.05 ERA/18-4 K-BB
Alex Romero (Arizona) - .667/.500 OBP/3 AB's
Torii Hunter (Los Angeles Angels) - .298/.353 OBP/4 HR/47 AB's
Luis Rivas (Pittsburgh) - .250/.273 OBP/32 AB's
Kevin Cameron (San Diego -- AAA) - 1.69 ERA/5.1 innings/3-2 K-BB
This is just a list of a few guys I thought were interesting -- obviously it isn't intended to be exhaustive. I was particularly interested to realize that Kevin Cameron didn't make the Padres roster after a solid 2007 season. Cameron was drafted by the Padres in the 2006 rule 5 draft, and justified the selection by playing great last year. Unfortunately, he suffered a hamstring and then a thumb injury this spring, and barely pitched in spring training. That resulted in his failing to make the big league roster and being sent to Portland, the Padres AAA club. Of course, the rule 5 obligation of carrying a player on the big league roster only applies for the year after the player is drafted, so with options remaining, Cameron could be sent to AAA with no problems.
I also find it interesting that Johan Santana's start with the Mets seems to have been viewed in some quarters as disappointing. Yes, he's 1-2 -- but his ERA and K-BB numbers are absolutely nothing to sneeze at. It's as if some people expected him to go 28-0 with about 400 K's and an ERA under 1.00. C'mon folks, he's good but he ain't that good.
Labels: Nightly Notes