August 14, 2009

Twins Rundown: August 14, 2009

As we all know, the Twins fell to the Royals this week 1-2 and are now 5 games back in the season. I'm not optimistic that the ball club is going to win this division as I still personally believe that the White Sox are a much better team. But, I'm not going to throw in the towel just yet. There's still a lot of baseball left and a sweep can bring us right back in it. And don't forget, we still have 13 games against the White Sox and Tigers including a four game series from Sept. 28-Oct. 1. It obviously doesn't look good, but I still haven't been able to find it within me to pull the plug on the season. I don't care what anyone thinks, I just can't do it yet.

As if you haven't heard, the Twins made a ton of moves on Wednesday. The most exciting to me is obviously the Jeff Manship promotion. Manship will be taking over for Glen Perkins in the bullpen and will likely remain in the long-relief role for the immediate future. He's one of the better pitching prospects in the organization and can hopefully be a reliable arm that can give the Twins multiple innings per appearance. With the way our bullpen has been this season, we really need it.

This move was just the beginning of an entire chain of moves throughout the Minor Leagues. Most notably, Anthony Slama finally got the promotion Twins fans have been calling for all season. He's taking Manship's spot on the Red Wings pitching staff. Slama lead the Eastern league in both appearances and saves prior to the promotion. But at 25-years-old, the reluctance to promote him both this season and last season has made Twins fans go crazy and I personally don't blame them for voicing their displeasure on this one. I usually don't question many of the organizations philosophies, and I understand that they want a player to go through the ups and downs at each stop, but it's almost as though they've completely neglecting the fact that he went to college. They moved him quickly at first and slammed on the breaks when he got in Ft. Myers where he posted nearly identical numbers that he posted in Beloit where he only spent about a 1/3 of the time.

Taking Slama's spot on the Rock Cats roster is Loek Van Mil. Yes, the 7'1'' Van Mil. He needs to be added to the 40-man roster this off-season to protect him from the Rule V Draft and the Twins probably wanted to see him get a few innings in Double-A to justify their decision. Van Mil definitely deserved this promotion. He's posted solid numbers throughout his Minor League career but struggles with his control quite a bit. He's still considered a 'work in progress' but he's definitely got potential. Hopefully he continues to put up good numbers while cutting back on the walks.

With an open roster spot on the Miracle roster, Bobby Lanigan got the promotion to Ft. Myers. Lanigan has been very inconsistent this season but has good control and gets a lot of ground ball outs. I think this is a good promotion, but a case could certainly have been made for Brad Tippett who has been the best pitcher for the Snappers all season, which isn't saying much but at the same time it still is.

And the Twins weren't done. Brad Stillings took Lanigan's roster spot in Beloit and both Kelvin Mota and Jhon Garcia were promoted from the Gulf Coast League to the Appalachian League.

Aaron Gleeman posted a video of Nick Nelson rapping to 'Swee Home Alabama' like Eminem did in '8 Mile'. One word, priceless. And for those wondering, yes, bloggers are that cool.

Seth Stohs posted his updated Top 50 Twins Prospects list. It's awesome looking at prospect lists and Seth's has a lot of interesting names. Most notably, a guy most Twins fans still haven't heard of is Adrian Salcedo who cracked his top 10.

Brian Pietrzak wrote a great book review for Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain by Marty Appel. The book sounds great and it's now on my list of books that I'll be looking to read this fall. But tops on that list is still Joe Posnanski's The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stoppping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds.

And make sure to head over to A Voice From Twins Territory to read a great interview with Kyle Gibson.

And for more on Gibson, make sure to read the Star-Tribune's article by Joe Christensen. Stohs also updates us on a few other unsigned players. He also informs us that former first round pick Jay Rainville has decided to retire from professional baseball. Sad news.

Finally, here's my Quote of the Day:

"Was that catching or missing? He's the third catcher. He says he can do it, and I believe him because he'd be faster running back and picking it up at the backstop than anybody else."

- - Twins manager Ron Gardenhire on Carlos Gomez catching for Jesse Crain and Jose Mijares in the bullpen.