July 12, 2007

Friday's Thoughts

Twins Possible Trade Options (Part 2: Left Field)

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. Jason Kubel still doesn't look recovered (mentally) from his knee injury in Fall, 2004. Rondell White was signed in 2006 to be the DH, but after Rondell White had problems with his offense, he blamed it on not being on the field. So, the Twins played him primarily at LF down the stretch. He had a horrible 2006, and has been injured for the majority of the 2007 season. He's still not ready to come back, which will mean the Twins should not consider him to be of any help down line in their race for their 2nd consecutive division title.

Here are some Left Field options the Twins may consider at the deadline:

Adam Dunn, Reds
Salary: $10,500,000
Age: 27
Bats: Left
Season: .258 avg., 24 HR, 58 RBI, 55 R, 8 SB
Reason: It's only a matter of time before the Reds implode their roster and start new. Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. are both believed to be available, and both would help the Twins out on offense.

Kevin Mench, Brewers
Salary: $3,400,000
Age: 29
Bats: R
Season: .278 avg., 5 HR, 24 RBI, 21 R, 2 SB
Reason: The Brewers have one of the top young teams in the major leagues. They are currently in first place in the NL Central, and they hope to shed some of the older/higher paid players at the deadline. With the emergence of Tony Gwynn, the play of Corey Hart, and the leadership of Geoff Jenkins, Kevin Mench is definitely on the outs in Milwaukee. Bill Hall has struggled this year, but even when he now comes back from the DL, he'll too be ahead of Mench.

Jacque Jones, Cubs
Salary: $5,800,000
Age: 32
Bats: Left
Season: .233 avg., 2 HR, 20 RBI, 24 R, 2 SB
Reason: With the arrival of outfield phenom, Felix Pie, and the salary being paid to Cliff Floyd, Jacque Jones could be the odd man out in Northern Chicago, where the Cubs would like to add some young arms to their bullpen.

Matt Murton, Cubs
Salary: $415,000
Age: 25
Bats: Right
Season: .252 avg., 1 HR, 8 RBI, 16 R, 1 SB
Reason: See Jacque Jones.

Jose Guillen, Mariners
Salary: $5,000,000
Age: 31
Bats: R
Season: .283 avg., 10 HR, 52 RBI, 44 R, 3 SB
Reason: The Mariners have both Wladimir Balentien and Adam Jones in AAA just waiting to be recalled (and both deserve it). Jose Guillen is (and should be) the odd guy out in Seattle. Raul Ibanez & Ichiro Suzuki aren't going anywhere anytime soon, so look for the Mariners to possibly unload him for a young pitcher.

Geoff Jenkins, Brewers
Salary: $7,333,333
Age: 32 (almost 33)
Bats: Left
Season: .265 avg., 13 HR, 37 RBI, 27 R, 0 SB.
Reason: Geoff Jenkins has been the heart and soul of the Brewers through good times and a lot of bad times. He started out the year strong, but with his higher salary it puts the Brewers in a pickle when it comes to signing FA's. And with the developement of both Tony Gwynn and Corey Hart, he may be out the outs in Milwaukee.

Twins beat Athletics, 6-2.

The Twins started the 2nd half off, the right way. Not only with the pitching, but with the offense too. The Twins had 10 hits, 6 of which came off of starter, Chad Gaudin. Michael Cuddyer had 4 hits in the game, including his 4th triple and his 16th double. He also drove in his 54th RBI of the season. Luis Castillo, Justin Morneau, and Jason Bartlett all drove in 1 run each. Torii Hunter drove in two.

Garrett Jones had 2 hits in his first game since being recalled. He almost had his 1st major league home run, but instead it became a double, high off the wall in right field. He could be a major factor for the Twins down the line, and he's definitely an improvement over Jason Tyner at Designated Hitter.

Scott Baker pitched another good game on Thursday. He allowed 2 runs in 6 innings. Matt Guerrier, Dennys Reyes, & Joe Nathan finished the game with 3 innings of scoreless baseball while recording 3 K's.

This is definitely a step in the right direction for Scott Baker. Besides last Friday's fiasco in Chicago, which resulted in a 20-14 win for Scott Baker, he's been very sharp his last 3 starts (4 including last night).

Alex Smit Claimed

According to La Velle E. Neal III, Alexander Smit was claimed by the Cincinnati Reds. Smit was one of the top-rated pitchers in the Twins farm system before the system, but with a 1-4 record with a 5.86 ERA, Terry Ryan wanted to give him a "wake-up call".

Danny Rams Signs

La Velle also reported that the Twins signed 2nd round pick, Danny "Bam-Bam" Rams. He was one of the top rated catchers in the draft, and the Twins were very pleased that the high schooler fell to them in the 2nd round. I know everyone is thinking "but what about Joe?", but finding an offensive catcher is one of the hardest things to find in baseball and the worst case scenario is that the Twins wind up in a situation like the Braves (Brian McCann-Jarrod Saltamacchia). Having a top-rated offensive catcher could net the Twins a big prize if we ever chose to trade him. I know I'm jumping a head, but I'm probably more excited about Rams as I am about Revere (and I'm very optimistic about Revere).

Minor League Scores

Rochester Red Wings beat the Indianapolis Indians, 11-3.
Winner: Kevin Slowey (7-2, 1.79)
Loser: Ricardo Rodriguez (0-2, 11.12)
Notes: Kevin Slowey wasn't the same old Kevin Slowey that the Red Wings saw his first time at AAA, but he was still good. He allowed 8 hits in 6 innings while allowing 3 runs. He also struck out 5. The Wings' bats were on fire on Thursday. Brian Buscher hit 2 solo home runs and scored 3 times. Alexi Casilla went 4-5 with an RBI and 2 runs. Matt Tolbert and Tommy Watkins both had 3 hits each. Glenn Williams, Darnell McDonald, and Jose Morales combined to go 6-13 with 2 RBI's and 3 runs scored.

New Britain Rock Cats beat the Portland Sea Dogs, 4-3.
Winner: Hunter Jones (1-0, 3.48)
Loser: J.P. Martinez (2-5, 3.27)
Notes: Brandon Roberts had 3 hits and an RBI. Matt Allregra drove in 2 more. Ryan Mullins pitched 6 innings and struck out 5 while allowing 1 run.

Ft. Myers Miracle beat the Jupiter Hammerheads, 4-1.
Winner: Oswaldo Sosa (4-5, 2.20)
Loser: Chris Volstad (7-8, 4.11)
Save: Eddie Morlan (11)
Notes: Here's something new, the Miracle actually gave Oswaldo Sosa some run support. With and ERA of 2.20, Oswaldo Sosa does not deserve to be 4-5. He has been great all year, and I believe could/should be promoted to New Britain before the end of the year (same goes for Morlan, Jeff Manship, and the most deserving is probably Yohan Pino). Sosa pitched 7 innings giving up an unearned run, before being relieved by Eduardo Morlan who pitched 2 innings of shutout baseball for his 11th save. Steven Tolleson had 4 singles to raise his avg. to .265. He also drove in his 15th run in a Miracle jersey. Juan Portes hit his 7th HR and picked up 2 RBI's in the process.

Beloit Snappers lost to the West Michigan Whitecaps, 5-4.
Winner: Casey Fien (3-0, 4.05)
Loser: Jose Lugo (2-5, 5.14)
Notes: With 2 outs in the bottom of the 12th, Jose Lugo gave up a single to Scott Sizemore and then gave up a game-winning double to James Skelton. It's been a tough year for Jose Lugo, he'll need to turn it around and do it soon with the way a few pitchers have been pitching in both Elizabethton & for the GCL Twins. Wilson Ramos went 2-5 and picked up his 23 RBI of the season. Steven Singleton had 2 RBI's.

GCL Twins beat the GCL Red Sox, 7-1.
Winner: Danny Berlind (3-0, 0.00)
Loser: Pedro Perez (0-3, 4.03)
Notes: Dan Berlind continued his dominance in the GCL on Thursday. He went 5 innings of scoreless baseball to pick up his 3rd win. The 5 no run innings extended his streak of 20 innings (4 starts) without giving up a run. He also struck out 6 batters. Ben Revere went 2-5 with an RBI triple, he also stole his 6th base. Juan Richardson and two Minnesota grown players, Andrew Schmiesing and Nick Biagini drove in the other runs.

Elizabethton Twins beat the Princeton Devil Rays, 5-4.
Winner: David Bromberg (4-0, 2.08)
Loser: Jeremy Hall (3-1, 2.05)
Save: Blair Erickson (1)
Notes: Ozzie Lewis had 3 hits. Deibinson Romero had 2. Rene Tosoni, Rene Leveret, Greg Yersich, and Matt Lawman all picked up RBI's (the other run came on a passed ball by the catcher).


Kavanj said...

Im hoping you can elaborate on your enthusiasm for Ben Revere, I'd like to be excited for our first round pick but all Ive read is he is going to turn into another Spahn. Good speed, ok OBP and little power. Could you shed some optomism on the subject for me please?

Josh's Thoughts said...

Sure, I feel like him batting .516 in his senior year (.487 HS career average) and having some line drive power, he'll be a bit better than Span. Mike Radcliff said at the draft that Revere is more advanced in his skills than Denard Span at the same age.

I'll admit, I thought Span was going to be a good player (and still could be, he's still very young), but he just needs to go back to the fundamentals of hitting. He has skills, he just needs to use them better.

I see Ben Revere using his speed well, he looks to be a fairly good contact hitter (leadoff hitter potential), and from the look of things he wants to learn (reason for the fast signing).

He reminds me a lot of Juan Pierre, which can be a good thing or a bad thing (depending on who's opinion). Reports say he's an above average fielder, a below average to average arm/accuracy, and doesn't pose much power at the higher levels.

He had 9 HR's in his senior year, which shows he has (some) power, but I don't think he'll ever hit more than a handful per season.

And from the looks of it, he looks to be a good person off the field as well. I think that those players are more willing to learn, and have a better rate to successeed.

I get optimistic about all of our 1st round picks, so this isn't anything new, but I think Ben Revere will be a fine ball player when all is said and done.

I hope that anwers your question. If not, feel free to ask anything else.