Nightly Notes: Game #82
1.) Sorry to hear about the Michael Cuddyer injury, but on the plus side this will be yet another opportunity for Denard Span to demonstrate that he can provide some value to the Twins. Span really has been having a very solid season for the Red Wings, and I'm pleased for him that he's going to get another two weeks to show off his skills. I would think that Span has a great shot to fill the roster spot currently filled by Craig Monroe when the 2009 season rolls around. I don't know if he's ideally suited for that role because he doesn't provide the power that Monroe provides, but certainly this year has seemed to demonstrate that Span is only in AAA because there's no where else to stash him at the moment. Be interesting to see what happens during this callup.
2.) I don't really have anything to say about Kevin Slowey's start other than "yippee!". The Twins needed a pick me up after yesterday's typically mediocre Livan Hernandez start, and Slowey's performance today demonstrates why I'm so excited about this team -- I really think that the young Twins starters are up to the task of keeping this team competitive. They're going to have bad days here and there, but overall they're going to be better than veterans like Livan. If I had my way, Livan would be gone and the Twins would either give Francisco Liriano a big league spot again (although he's not been great in AAA recently), or give a shot to guys like Brian Duensing, Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber or even Boof Bonser. I'd rather fail with a young guy than with a (relatively) expensive veteran.
3.) Incidentally, my above point goes somewhat against a position that I've often advocated, wherein I've viewed it as beneficial to keep players in the minor leagues to save service time rather than have them mature in the big leagues. I guess my aversion to signing a guy like Hernandez is high enough to overcome my desire to save service time. This does have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, though. Last year, for instance, I was strongly in favor of starting Matt Garza in the minor leagues because I thought he could still get some value out of an initial trip to Rochester. With what the Twins have right now, I'd rather take a shot on a youngster. I really don't have an easy to articulate, paint-by-the-numbers formula to apply in these circumstances -- I just know that I sort of wish the Twins hadn't felt the need to sign Livan.
4.) Mike Lamb is a stunningly bad 2-for-32 in June, including his hit today.
5.) Delmon Young has quietly raised his batting average to .281 on the season, and pulled a ball with power today. I'm going to make a prediction now that the second half of his season will be markedly better than the first half, especially in terms of power production. I'll say he ends up with 12-15 homers when all is said and done -- not great, certainly, but far better than what he's given us so far. Since you'll all forget I made this prediction, I can brag about it if I'm right and quietly bury it if I'm wrong . . .
6.) About that "Non-No Hitter No Hitter" between the Dodgers and Angels last night -- I'm inclined to agree with those who think the rule applied by Major League Baseball to declare that this wasn't an "official" no hitter is pretty darned stupid. First off, why do we have a rulebook definition of a no hitter? Do we really need one? Wouldn't it just be simpler to look at the scoreboard and glance over to the "hits" column and, if the game is over and counts as official, declare that a no hitter occurred? I realize that I'm going to be a lawyer, so I should absolutely love this lawyerly, absurdly irrational definition. However, while there's a time and a place to get into technical rules-based arguments over "what is" and "what is not," the determination of a no hitter is not one of those times.
7.) This is only marginally related, but I think represents a similar level of absurdity. I'm not going to bore you with the details, but there is a United States law dealing with the disposal of hazardous waste that defines "solid waste" to include solids, liquids, and contained gases. The definition of no hitter employed by MLB strikes me as equally absurd.
8.) The upcoming series with the Tigers is extremely important for the Twins -- if they were to get swept, they'd be just 1/2 game ahead of Detroit in the standings. There's no reason to tempt fate like that, so let's hope instead that the Twins can win the series and put at least an additional game between them and the Tigers.
Labels: Nightly Notes