April 24, 2008


The Twins sat Carlos Gomez last night, it was the first game in which Gomez was not in center field. And if I'm not mistaken, prior to yesterday's game, he has played every inning of every game this season in center field. That's a lot of playing time, but the Twins know Gomez needs it.
"He needs at-bats more than anything else...The more at-bats the guy gets as a young kid, he's going to get better," said manager Ron Gardenhire.
In the midst of a 1-18 streak in which he's struck out 7 times, many people are starting to wonder what the Twins will do with him. Will they move him down in the order? Will they start sitting him more? Will they send him down to the minors? My advice is to do nothing, yet.

Michael Cuddyer is scheduled to come back on Friday as the Twins start a 3 game series against the Texas Rangers. Cuddyer's been out since April 4th with a dislocated/lacerated finger. With Cuddyer not in the lineup, the Twins moved Joe Mauer (who was previously hitting behind Gomez) to the third spot in the lineup, meaning that Gomez lost the protection that he did have. Although it's a small sample size, here are Gomez's splits with Mauer behind him opposed to him having a different player behind him:
With Mauer behind him: 8-16 (.500)
Without Mauer behind him: 12-71 (.169)
Like I said, it's a very small sample size, although it does make sense. With a guy like Matt Tolbert hitting behind him, it leaves Gomez more vulnerable to better pitching without the threat of a better hitter behind him.

I'm not endorsing that I believe Gomez will flourish with Mauer behind him and hit the way he was earlier in the season, but I do think that he'd be hitting much better if Mauer were still behind him. Jason Kubel last year took off with Joe Mauer hitting behind him, I think that Gomez is not any different and will be better off when Cuddyer returns from the DL.

The one other thing that the Twins might consider is keeping Mauer in the three hole, and moving Jason Kubel to the #2 spot to see if he can also take off like he did in the second half last year. I doubt that the team will consider doing that at this time, however it is something that they might think about down the road. But for now, Kubel's hitting just fine behind Delmon Young.

But really, I think that we should just sit tight and wait with Gomez for a while. If he's still struggling in late May, then I believe we will have to look into something else.

Twins Shutout by Athletics

Not in the best mood to write about the Twins this morning. The team lost 3-0 against the A's and made Chad Gaudin look like Dan Haren.

Boof Bonser had a good outing, but the team just couldn't muster up any runs and as a result he's now 1-4 with a 4.34 ERA.

Jason Kubel was the only hitter to collect more than one hit. All in all, a horrible game by the Twins hitters.

Today, Francisco Liriano will take the mound against Greg Smith. The first pitch is scheduled for around 2:35 pm (CT).

Game Ball
Boof Bonser - Starting Pitcher

6 innings pitched, 3 hits, 2 runs, 4 walk, 2 strikeouts, loss

Down on the Farm

Hitter of the Day
Luke Hughes - Rock Cats - Third Base

Note: Hughes continued his hot hitting with a 4-5 game against the Phillies. The Phillies sent out top prospect Carlos Carrasco to face the Rock Cats, and they made him pay. In Carrasco's previous 3 starts, he allowed a combine 4 runs through 18 innings. Yesterday, the Rock Cats hit him up for 6 runs in just 5 innings. Hughes played a big part of that, going 2-3 against him with 2 home runs and 3 RBI. He finished the game with 5 runs batted in.

Pitcher of the Day
Alex Burnett - Miracle - Starting Pitcher

Note: Burnett picked up his first win of the season for the Miracle as they beat the Yankees, 8-1 on a beautiful night in Tampa. Burnett went 5 2/3 innings and gave up 1 run on 2 hits while walking 4. Burnett, 20, is now 1-1 with a 3.05 ERA in his first season in the Florida State League.

Touch 'Em All!
  • Red Wings - Jon Knott (1)
  • Rock Cats - Luke Hughes 2 (5,6)
  • Miracle - None
  • Snappers - Joe Benson (2)

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