July 13, 2007

Saturday's Thoughts

Twins Possible Trade Options (Part 3: Designated Hitter)

In order for the Twins to make a run at the division and the wild card, many think they'll need to acquire at least 1 bat. The major weak spots in the batting order are at 3rd Base, Left Field, and Designated Hitter. Jeff Cirillo and Jason Tyner have both played the most games at DH for the Twins in 2007. Both have relatively decent bats, but neither provide the "much needed pop" the Twins are looking for. Jeff Cirillo was penciled in as the starting 3rd Baseman during Nick Punto's skid at the plate, but Cirillo's knees are preventing him from being an everyday player and according to reports, he's "80% sure that he's going to retire at the end of the season", which proves that he's not going to be apart of the future for the Twins. Jason Tyner has never hit a HR in his ML career and only 2 in his minor league/college career. He's a good defensive replacement or pinch runner for late in the games, but he should not have to be used as a starter more than once a week (and that should be to rest a starter). I like Jason Tyner, but his days as DH should be over, I hope Terry Ryan can address this area, if we can't address the other areas.

Here are some Designated Hitter options the Twins may consider at the deadline:

Dan Johnson, Athletics
Salary: $390,000
Age: 27
Bats: Left
Season: .255 avg., 10 HR, 37 RBI, 29 R
Reason: He's a Minnesota guy, who soon could be on the outs in Oakland, due to the fact that the A's are ready to call up "top prospect" Daric Barton to play 1st base. This makes sense for the Twins to trade for this guy for a couple reasons, (1) He's cheap, he's only making $390,000 this season. (B) He's a home town guy, and everyone knows how much Terry Ryan and the Twins love those players. (C) His contract would make him a Twin until 2012, when he hits Free Agency. I think the Twins could/should swing a deal for Johnson, but I don't think I'd give up a ton for him. Something about this guy just doesn't stand out to me as having as much potential as a pitcher like Scott Baker.

Mike Piazza, Athletics
Salary: $8,500,000
Age: 38
Bats: Right
Season: .282 avg., 1 HR, 8 RBI, 14 R
Reason: See Dan Johnson. Also, the Twins (Ron Gardenhire) loves to have a 3rd catcher on the roster, and this would give them both a 3rd catcher and a right-handed DH that can actually hit, and hit for power.

Matt Stairs, Blue Jays
Salary: $850,000
Age: 39
Bats: Left
Season: .288 avg., 14 HR, 36 RBI, 30 R
Reason: The Blue Jays aren't going to make the playoffs, and they know it's highly unlikely that Matt Stairs returns to them next season. They'll try and get whatever they can for him from a contender, before he leaves at the end of the year.

Dmitri Young, Nationals
Salary: $500,000
Age: 33
Bats: Switch
Season: .339 avg., 8 HR, 43 RBI, 41 R
Reason: He was signed to be a pinch hitter/back up 1st baseman off the bench, but he's been much more for the Nationals. The team is currently 13 Games behind the Mets in the NL East, so it's pretty safe to say that they won't be making the "Big Dance" this year, which as a result will mean that they could part with some of the veterens in return for some younger minor leaguers. Dmitiri Young has played very well at the Metrodome in his career, and would provide a switch hitting DH for the Twins.

Johnny Gomes, Devil Rays
Salary: $407,800
Age: 26
Bats: R
Season: .279 avg., 8 HR, 23 RBI, 19 R
Reason: Johnny Gomes has the potential to hit 30-40 HR's some day, but it probably won't happen in Tampa Bay. The Devil Rays are stacked with position players, and since Johnny Gomes is a poor hitter (besides the power), the team may choose to move him for someone that could help their horrible rotation.

Santana, Twins beat A's for 2nd game in a row.

Johan Santana was fantastic on Friday night. The two-time cy young winner went 7 innings of scoreless baseball while striking out 8. He picked up his 11th win (5th in a row) and lowered his ERA to .260.

Luis Castillo had 3 hits and 2 RBI's to lead the Twins, offensively. Jason Bartlett & Michael Cuddyer both had 2 hits each. Torii Hunter, Nick Punto & Jeff Cirillo all had 1 hit and 1 run each. Cirillo hit his 2nd triple of the season.

Pat Neshek came into the game in the 8th and shut down the A's on 10 pitches. Juan Rincon gave the Twins a scare, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits in just 1/3 of an inning. Joe Nathan came in and finished the game on 10 pitches to get his 17th save of the season.

Danny Lehmann to sign with Twins

According to Twins Territory, the 8th round pick for the Twins is set to sign with the team and report to Elizabethton. Lehmann was a standout catcher at Rice. He is known for his stellar defense. He batted .313 with 4 HR's and 40 RBI in his Junior Year.

Minor League Notes

Rochester Red Wings beat the Indianapolis Indians, 4-3.
Brian Duensing won his 6th game in a Red Wings uniform on Friday, going 5+ innings giving up 2 runs, walking 5, and striking out 6. Alexi Casilla went 2-4 with 2 runs scored. Darnell McDonald had 2 hits, as did Matty LeCroy (what a surprise). Brian Buscher went 3-4 with 2 doubles, he's now batting .348 in 21 games (69 AB's) with the Rochester Red Wings.

New Britain Rock Cats lost to the Portland Seadogs, 6-3.
Kyle Waldrop continued his struggles on Friday Night, going 4.2 innings and allowing 4 runs. It was his 6th loss of the year in New Britain. Felix Molina provided most of the offense for the Rock Cats, he hit his 6th HR of the year and also drove in 2 runs. Matt Allegra drove in the other run.

Ft. Myers Miracle beat the Jupiter Hammerheads, 8-3.
Jeff Manship pitched another good game for Ft. Myers, this time going 7+ innings, giving up 3 runs and striking out 5. All of the Miracle starters had hits, including Danny Valencia who had 2 RBI's and 4 hits for the Miracle raising his average to .299. Steven Tolleson had 3 hits (and an RBI). Erik Lis, Jeff Christy, & Brian Dinkleman all had 2 hits.

Beloit Snappers beat the West Michigan Snow Caps, 5-3.
Cole DeVries went 8 1-run innings for the Snappers on Friday night. Unfortunately, (newly promoted) Anthony Slama gave up 2 runs in the 9th, which forced extra innings for the 2nd night in a row. #9 hitter, Yancarlos Ortiz, only had 1 hit on the night, but it proved to be the most important with Garrett Olsen on 3rd and Steven Singleton on 2nd, Ortiz hit a 2-run single to win the game. Eli Tintor had 2 RBI's (with 2 hits), and Chris Parmelee also had an RBI to go along with his 2 hits. Wilson Ramos, Steve Singleton, and Joe Benson also all had 2 hits.

GCL Twins lost to the GCL Orioles, 3-0.
The Twins bats were quiet on Friday. Juan Richardson had 2 hits, Jon Waltenbury had the only extra-base hit of the night for the Twins. Winston Marquez gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in 5 innings of relief. It was his 1st loss of the season. Errol Simonitsch pitched in his first game of the season, going 2 innings with 1 hit and striking out 2.

Elizabethton Twins lost to the Burlington Royals, 13-6.
Steven Hirschfeld and Curtis Leavitt both gave up 6 runs each in the loss. Rene Leveret hit his 5th run of the season and also drove in 3 RBI's. Ozzie Lewis had 3 hits and an RBI. Starling De Los Santos also had 3 hits and scored twice.


conanlovestwinkies said...

Hey, you really know what you're talking about except the idea to trade for Mike Piazza. I think we should go for Gomes or Young. But it sounds like your heart is set on Dan Johnson.

Josh's Thoughts said...

Well, I think Johnson is the most likely of choices (due to the fact that there are "sources" that say that the Twins may swing a deal for him).

It makes sense on both sides to swing that deal, but I'm with you... Gomes or Young would be the best options.