August 27, 2008

September call-ups?

Another disappointing loss to another futile team, just makes you want to pull your hair out doesn't it? The Twins face mediocre (at best) pitchers and are making them look like All-Stars. It's not very fun to watch.

The rosters expand on September 1st, which means that we'll see a few minor leaguers come up and try to help the Twins in any way possible before the end of the season. Unfortunately, the players called up are not eligible for being on the postseason roster unless there is an injury to a player already on the Twins 25-man roster. I believe there will be more hitters than pitchers called up, however the Twins could very well go with more pitchers due to the fact that our bullpen is in need of rest. Here are the players I expect to see called up:

Matt Tolbert - INF - He has been out since May with a thumb injury and should be ready to return within the next couple of weeks. He's a fun player to watch and although he likely won't see a ton of playing time, he will certainly be used as a pinch runner. Ron Gardenhire admires his hustle and we all know what he does with the players who hustle, he starts them. So although I don't believe he'll see a ton of playing time, Gardenhire might have a different agenda.

Bobby Korecky - RHP - He had a good go-around his first time with the Twins earlier in the season. He went 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA in 9 appearances. His season started off great, posting a 0.68 ERA in 10 April appearances before being called up at the end of the month. He then came back to Rochester and slowely progressed as the season went on. So far in August, he is 1-0 with a 0.73 ERA in 10 appearances and 8 saves. He will be a great addition to the Twins bullpen.

Philip Humber - RHP - Unlike Korecky's season, Humber's did not get off to a good start. He was absolutely brutal before the All-Star break posting a 5.92 ERA to go along with his 4-7 record. But since then, he is 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA. He has also had much better control with a 4-1 K/BB ratio opposed to a 1.46 K/BB ratio prior to the All-Star Break. He has definitely turned his season around and since he is out of options next season, the Twins want to see what they have in Humber right now. He seems like a great fit for our bullpen right now as well.

Brian Bass - RHP - He was just assigned to Triple-A to make room for Casilla, and will likely be recalled to help with long-relief. He likely will not be on the team next season, so he may be pushed aside for a guy like Kevin Mulvey if the team doesn't believe he'll contribute enough. Mulvey is younger and has a future on this team. He has also had much more success in the last 2 months compared to May & June. He needs to improve his control, but he's had a great first season in Triple-A. Either Bass or Mulvey would be fine options.

Jason Pridie - OF - Pridie was acquired in the off-season in the Delmon Young-Matt Garza trade and should add some depth to the Twins outfield as he can play any three of the positions with great defense. He is hitting .333 with a .892 OPS after the ASB. He has turned into Denard Span in just a matter of months with a great OBP. He is a left-handed hitter and can help the Twins when they are facing a right-hander and as a defensive replacement in the outfield (likely for Young, as neither Span or Carlos Gomez need one).

Drew Butera - C - He isn't currently on the 40-man roster, however it's likely the Twins will add a 3rd catcher on September 1st. Butera is known as being one of the best defensive catchers in the minors and although he looks lost at the plate, his game calling and defense could make him a possibility to start for some team someday down the road.

Garret Jones - 1B/OF - He too is not on the 40-man roster, but the Twins have room to still add him. He started off April & May hitting just .208 with a terrible OPS. But since the ASB, he is hitting .342 with 12 Home Runs in just 40 games (compared to 9 in 93 games prior to the break). He also has an OPS of 1.060 since then as well. He hit just .208 last year with the Twins, but he is on such a tear right now that he should be able to provide a left-handed bat off the bench that can drive the ball, instead of allowing Gardenhire to use Nick Punto in the 9th inning with 2 outs when you're down by 1 run and the tying runner is at 1st base like last night...

Another player worth noting is Alejandro Machado who may also be a possible callup. He has played in just 49 games but is hitting .347 with an OPS of .859. As a middle infielder, that is a great number to see. He hits left-handers better than right-handers which could be very useful for the Twins.

Just some players to think about with the roster expansion less than a week away.

Game Ball (8/26)
Scott Baker - Starting Pitcher
Line: 6 2/3 innings pitched, 10 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 3 K's

August 26, 2008

(A little) of what I've missed...

Hey everyone, I start class today, so this post isn't going to be as long as I had hoped for.

The Twins acquired Eddie Guardado from the Texas Rangers yesterday afternoon in exchange for relief prospect Mark Hamburger. To make room for Guardado the Twins designated Mike Lamb for assignment. Guardado is set to become the new setup man for the Twins while Matt Guerrier has been inconsistent this season. Guardado was 3-3 with a 3.65 ERA with 4 saves and a 1.11 WHIP for the Rangers this season. Last night he stepped into the game with a 2-1 lead in the 8th inning and set the Mariners down 1-2-3 to preserve the lead. This is a great pickup for the Twins as they're giving up a reliever in Rookie ball for a solid setup man who will help us down the stretch. Hamburger can light up the radar gun, but I think it was still a perfect pickup for the Twins. Great move!

Alexi Casilla returned to the Twins lineup on Thursday and although he hasn't been outstanding at the plate, his defense has been a big help. To make room for him, the Twins outrighted Brian Bass to Triple-A Rochester where he accepted his outright. Casilla missed nearly a month with a thumb injury that was originally thought to be season-ending. So it's great to see Casilla back in the lineup and back out on the field.

Reliever Pat Neshek doubts that he'll be able to return before the end of the season, and although the Twins are not ready to agree, I wish they would. There is no need to try and rush him back from a terrible arm injury like he has and to rush him back to just pitch a month or so of the season is irresponsible. The Twins don't even know if he'll be able to contribute and unless it was a guarantee, there's no need in rushing him back. The Twins need Neshek for the next few years to be an anchor in their bullpen and they cannot afford another year without him, which is what they're risking by rushing him back.

I can (almost) say the same about Michael Cuddyer as well. He has been injured all season and is still trying to come back before the end of the season. I don't mind that, but I don't want to see the Twins bring him back unless he's absolutely 100% which it didn't look like before. The Twins would love to have his bat in the post season, but we need him ready for next season. Although it's slightly different between a pitcher and hitter in terms of rushing them back, I doubt he'll be able to contribute at all this season. I see no problem with him attempting to come back, but he needs to be able to prove he's 100% and can contribute. And I certainly have my doubts he'll be able to do that before the end of the season.

Game Ball (8/25)
Delmon Young - Left Field

2-4, RBI, Walk, Stolen Base
Twins lose to Mariners, 4-2.

August 25, 2008

Game Balls - Wow I Missed A Lot!

Game Ball (8/12)
Delmon Young - Left Field
Line: 3-5, 3 Runs, Double, Home Run, 3 RBI
Twins lose to Yankees, 9-6.

Game Ball (8/13)
Delmon Young - Left Field
Line: 2-4, Home Run, 3 RBI
Twins beat Yankees, 4-2.

Game Ball (8/15)
Jason Kubel - Designated Hitter
Line: 3-4, Home Run, 3 RBI
Twins beat Mariners, 9-3.

Game Ball (8/16)
Joe Mauer - Catcher
Line: 3-4, 3 runs, Home Run, 2 RBI, Walk
Twins beat Mariners, 7-6.

Game Ball (8/17)
Jason Kubel - Designated Hitter
Line: 4-5, 4 Runs, 2 Doubles, 2 RBI
Twins beat Mariners, 11-8.

Game Ball (8/18)
Nick Blackburn - Starting Pitcher
Line: 8 innings pitched, 6 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 2 K's
Twins lost to A's, 3-2.

Game Ball (8/19)
Brian Buscher - Third Base
Line: 3-4, 2 Runs, Home Run, 5 RBI
Twins beat A's, 13-2.

Game Ball (8/20)
Mike Redmond - Catcher
Line: 2-4, 2 RBI
Twins beat A's, 3-1.

Game Ball (8/21)
Scott Baker - Starting Pitcher
Line: 8 innings pitched, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 6 K's, win
Twins beat Angels, 2-1.

Game Ball (8/22)
Glen Perkins - Starting Pitcher
Line: 8 innings pitched, 5 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 3 K's, win
Twins beat Angels, 9-0.

Game Ball (8/23)
Alexi Casilla - Second Base
Line: 1-3, 2 Runs, Home Run, Walk
Twins lose to Angels, 7-5.

Game Ball (8/24)
Justin Morneau - First Base
Line: 3-4, Double, Home Run, 3 RBI
Twins lose to Angels, 5-3.

Still Alive!

Hey everyone! Sorry that it's taken so long to make another post. I have internet now and will be back on sometime this week. I will first make a list of all the "Game Balls" I've missed and then try to give my thoughts on a lot of the Twins notes that I've missed. So bare with me, I will be back sometime early this week with an update. Classes start tomorrow, but I will try getting something up.

Thanks for checking back!


August 15, 2008

Moving Day!

Hey everyone. Like I've been saying all summer long, I'm really busy. And this is the reason I am moving to St. Cloud where I'll be attending school in the fall. I'm not sure when I'll be able to get back on the internet to make a post, but hopefully it won't be too long. I hope you'll check back hopefully sometime next week where I hope to have something up. If all goes well, I could get something up over the weekend, but don't count on it. If you e-mail me or leave a comment and it's not immediately responded to, I'm sorry and I'll try my best to get back to you asap.

Thanks! And go Twins!

August 12, 2008

Tag. You're it!

The Twins beat the Royals in the first two games before losing a heart breaker in the series finale on Sunday. The team then returned home to the Metrodome to beat the New York Yankees 4-0.

The Twins and White Sox have been back and forth in the standings for the last couple of weeks and I realistically see this continuing for the remainder of the season. Both teams have been hit by the injury bug, and both teams have had problems with their pitchers. The White Sox's starters have struggled, while the Twins' bullpen has been very inconsistent. The way this is currently set up, with the Twins and White Sox neck-and-neck, it sets up a very entertaining remainder of the season.

And who would have thought back in March or April that the Twins and White Sox would be the teams in contention, instead of the Tigers and Indians. It certainly is a good story and both of these teams have played great this season. The Twins play the White Sox just once more in a 3-game series at the Metrodome in late September. Both teams are on pace for 90+ wins which is pretty good for two teams that were expected to be bottom dwellers at the beginning of the season. And by no means, am I ready to write off the Tigers. Although their pitchers don't look to be turning around anytime soon.

Alexi Casilla will have the splint on his finger removed on Wednesday and is then expected to begin batting practice on Friday. He is hoping to rejoin the team around the time they leave on their next road trip which is next Friday. Casilla has been out since July 28th with a torn tendon in his thumb. It was orgininally believed to be a season-ending injury, however it has healed very well thus far and although he isn't expected to be 100% when he returns (will likely need the off-season to do that), he does expect to be a major contributor.

It looks as if Brendan Harris is stuck in Ron Gardenhire's 'doghouse' right now. Despite hitting .380 over his last 29 AB's with 6 doubles, a home run and 5 RBI, he's been out of the starting lineup since Friday. Harris' defense is obviously below that of either Nick Punto or Adam Everett's in the middle of the infield, however his bat is much better than either of theirs. Punto continuosly is penciled into the #2 spot despite hitting just .128 with a .228 OBP this month. He has no business hitting in the #2 spot. Delmon Young, Jason Kubel and Harris are all better options to hit in the #2 spot and really, even Everett right now is a better option to hit there as he seems to have a hot bat. Heck put Carlos Gomez in the #2 spot, he can't do any worse than Punto, can he?

Michael Cuddyer is going to do anything he can to get back in the Twins lineup before the end of the season. Even if it's for only the last week, he's determined to return from a broken bone in his foot which is expected to sideline him for up to the next 4-6 weeks. Hopefully he can return, however he has battled injuries all season and I'd be surprised if he can contribute any more than either Denard Span or Carlos Gomez can. Still, having a veteran bat could prove to be useful if the Twins do reach the playoffs, and he could give the offense a much needed boost. I guess we'll have to wait and see...

After three iffy performances in a row, Glen Perkins pitched a gem of a game on Monday night to beat the Yankees. He entering the game 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his previous two starts this season against the Bronx Bombers. And even after becoming a father the day before, Perkins made his start on Monday and threw 8 shutout innings to lead the Twins to a 4-0 victory. Perkins now sits at 9-3 on the season with a 4.07 ERA. His 1.43 WHIP is higher than you'd like, however he's been a good starter for the Twins this season and has handled the transition from starter-reliever-starter-reliever-starter nicely.

Francisco Liriano is 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA since rejoining the Twins rotation. On Saturday, he held threw 5 2/3 innings and gave up 3 runs on 6 hits but still picked up the win against the Royals. Despite giving up 3 runs (opposed to 0 in his first start) Liriano looked even more impressive to me in this start start. He raised his strikes thrown percentage by nearly 6%. He had much more movement on his pitches and got 14 batters to chase a ball this time, compared to just two his first start. He hit 87 MPH on his slider, and was much better at throwing first pitch strikes than in his first appearance. He certianly is improving and is making everyone very optimistic for not just the rest of this season, but what he'll be able to do next year as well.

The man he replaced in the Twins rotation, Livan Hernandez was claimed off of waivers by the Rockies last week and had a horrible debut. The 33-year-old veteran threw just 2 2/3 innings while allowing 7 hits, 4 walks, and 9 runs. Although I do think he played a positive role on this teams success thus far, I am relieved he is doing this for a team other than the Twins.

Game Ball (8/9)
Delmon Young - Left Field
Line: 2-4, 2 runs, Home Run, 2 RBI

Game Ball (8/10)
Scott Baker - Starting Pitcher
Line: 7 innings pitched, 2 runs, walk, 7 K's, ND

Game Ball (8/11)
Glen Perkins - Starting Pitcher
Line: 8 innings pitched, 4 hits, 3 walks, 4 K's, Win

August 9, 2008

Good news, bad news

The Twins beat the Royals last night, but before the game they received some good news and some bad news...

The good news is that Alexi Casilla's injury appears to be improving enough to believe that the 24-year-old infielder may be back with the Twins at some point later this month. What was once believed to be a season-ending injury, this is very encouraging news for the Twins.

Casilla started the season in Triple-A Rochester where he posted a meager .219/.350/.250 line in 96 AB's before being promoted after an injury to Nick Punto. After his promotion to the Twins, Ron Gardenhire gave him a shot at starting and Casilla took that opportunity and made the Twins keep him in the lineup as an everyday player by hitting .313/.351/.424 in 243 AB's as the Twins starting second baseman.

Casilla has always been a high-potential player with raw skills both at the plate and on defense, however he's always lacked motivation. Manager Ron Gardenhire showed confidence in him and he payed him back dearly. Casilla has been a catalyst to our offense and really helped make the Twins' top of the lineup very tough on pitchers due to the fact that he can drop down a bunt, hit a line drive, all while he worked the count each and every time. He was a multi-threat for the Twins and his presence in the lineup has been missed since his injury.

The bad news...

The Twins received crushing news last night that Michael Cuddyer may miss the remainder of the season with a fractured bone in his left foot, which generally needs 4 weeks to heal. After drawing a walk, Cuddyer was struck in the foot off of a Garrett Jones line drive which may in fact end his season. Cuddyer was on a rehab stint in Rochester after being out since June 27th with a strained tendon in his left index finger.

Cuddyer was playing in his 4th game of his rehab and was scheduled to hopefully join the Twins on Monday when the Twins face the New York Yankees to begin a 10-day home stand. He hasn't played a big role this season, however he was a big reason why the Twins didn't make a move for a right-handed bat at the trade deadline because he was due back within the next week or so.

The Twins may look to see who is available on the waiver wire, however it's likely that they'll just keep the team that they have and ride it out the rest of the way. The good news is that Luke Hughes is now in Rochester and he's hit left-handers very well this season and he is a very good possibility to be recalled when rosters expand in September.

Game Ball (8/8)
Denard Span - Right Field

Line: 2-4, 2 runs, walk, stolen base

August 7, 2008

Spider Span!

The Twins had a heartbreaking loss in the first game, a tough loss on Tuesday and then yesterday they were able to salvage the series in Seattle by beating the Mariners 7-3. Nick Blackburn threw his 15th quality start of the season (in 23 starts). He went 6 innings while giving up 3 runs on 9 hits to pick up his 9th win of the season. He struggled in June, giving up 7 home runs in 26 innings while he sported a 5.88 ERA. But through 7 starts in July & August, he is 3-2 with a 2.55 ERA.

However, Blackburn's solid start was not the buzz that everyone is talking about. That goes to Denard Span who made an unbelievable, game saving catch while going 3-5 with 4 RBI at the plate. He was a one-man wrecking crew at Safeco yesterday.

Span hit a 3-run triple in the top of the of the 2nd inning to increase the 1-0 lead to 4-0. He then later hit a bunt single up the first base line which scored Brendan Harris from third base to give him his 4th RBI of the day. He also stole his 6th base in 9 attempts on the season. However, his leap up the right-field wall to grab a two-run home run away from Adrian Beltre (with the game tied 4-3), was the biggest play of the game. To say he's been a spark plug at the top of the lineup would be an understatement. He provides outstanding defense with a great mind at the plate. He knows how to work the count and is very selective with his swing attempts.

He's been a real treat to watch and he's providing the Twins with another strong bat.

Livan Hernandez was claimed off of waivers by the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies will pay his remaining $1.6 million that he's on the hook for the rest of the season, and the Twins are still responsible for $1.5 million which is based on incentives. But $100,000 saved is worth it considering that it gives Francisco Liriano the keys to the rotation, so to speak. Hopefully he can pitch better in the NL than he did for the Twins in the AL.

Michael Cuddyer began his rehab assignment yesterday by playing in a double-header for the Rochester Red Wings. He went 1-6 with a walk and two strikeouts in the two games while playing in right field and DH. If all goes well, the Twins expect him back at some point next week. The only questions are who gets sent down? And what do we do with the outfield situation.

The Twins currently have 4 outfielders capable of starting, and with Cuddyer returning (making it 5), the Twins have to decide who gets the AB's taken away. Jason Kubel and Delmon Young are swinging great bats and since Young is our only threat (with respect to Brendan Harris) from the right side of the plate, I doubt he goes anywhere. Denard Span has played exceptionally well on both offense and defense and is exactly what the Twins need down the stetch.

That leaves Carlos Gomez who despite hitting better since the All-Star Break, is definitely the weakest of the group. He has options which means the Twins can send him down the Rochester for a few weeks, before recalling him when the roster's expand in Septemeber.

Former Twins closer Eddie Guardado is once again a closer, this time for the Texas Rangers. C.J. Wilson was placed on the DL due to bone spurs in his elbow and could be lost for the season. "Everday Eddie" has two saves on the season and has pitched great for the Rangers all season. With Denny Reyes in the last year of his contract, the Twins may be thinking "Eddie" this off-season. Although they do have Craig Breslow and Brian Duensing may be an option for long-relief. At least it's an option for the bullpen-needy Twins

Speaking of Duensing, he is blogging about his experience for pitching for Team USA in the Olympics. Check it out!

Game Ball (8/5)
Jason Kubel - Designated Hitter

4-5, 3 runs, double, 2 HR, 3 RBI

Game Ball (8/6)
Denard Span - Right Field

Line: 3-5, triple, 4 RBI, SB

August 5, 2008

What the...

heck was that?

What an awful game! Just completely awful. Twins blew a 6-1 lead in the seventh inning by allowing 10 runs. Really, it was just a terrible inning from the managing side, pitching side, as well as the defensive side. It's hard to point the finger at just one person in particular, however Ron Gardenhire really made some bad decisions in that inning, and if anyone was to blame it would be him. But the players should not get a free pass for playing bad just because the manager sent them out to do what they should have done. But I really wish I knew what Gardenhire was thinking when Glen Perkins loaded up the bases in two consecutive innings only to allow him to pitch to the best run producer on the Mariners. I just wish I knew what he was thinking in that instance, and to allow Brian Bass (one of, if not our worse reliever) to pitch with the Twins up by just 1. I guess the struggles of Craig Breslow and Matt Guerrier doesn't really help my cause. Overall, just a terrible ball game. And it's tough, because it was going so well until that seventh inning.

Game Ball
Justin Morneau - First Base
Line: 2-3, run, double, 2 RBI, 2 walks

If you want a good post on the game, head over to Seth Speaks. He goes more into depth and also has gives us recaps of all the minor league games played yesterday.

August 4, 2008

The Franchise is back...

In his first start in three and a half months, Francisco Liriano's first start closely resembled his success that he's shown in Rochester since his demotion. Although he was not necessarily sharp with his command, he managed to throw 6 scoreless innings while allowing just 3 hits, 3 free passes and threw only 58% of his pitches for strikes. However, his lack of command could have been from a result in his nerves.

Although the results were similar, Liriano hardly resembled his 22-year-old self back in 2006 when he over powered nearly every hitter with a mid-upper 90's fastball. Now he is a 24-year-old, who tops out in the low 90's (with reports of reaching the mid-90's) however he still induced a 9-5 ground ball ratio which Liriano has always been successful at. So hopefully this is a precursor that suggests he's gained back a lot of the movement on his pitches. 75% of Liriano's first pitches were fastballs, however only 33% of those were thrown for strikes, which suggests that we haven't seen the last of his inconsistency to find the strike zone.

Liriano looked like a night and day difference than what we saw from him back in April. He is much more confident in his pitches - primarily his fastball - and just seemed to not try and do too much on the mound. The last time we saw Liriano, he was over working himself almost looking like he was trying to miraculously re-find his velocity. But right now, he just seemed to be more understanding that he can only do what his arm allows him to do.

The first year after a pitcher returns from Tommy John Surgery is normally a complete wash and if the Twins can get even a league-average starter the rest of the way, the Twins have to be feeling pretty confident about the future of Liriano and the starting rotation.

Next season, unless something unexpected comes up, Liriano should regain more and more of his ace form and could be the Twins #1 starter from the get-go. One thing is for certain, with the starting rotation being so good at such a young overall age, the Twins should be able to shop a few pitching prospects for an upgrade in the field or in the bullpen, which could make this team an even more likely contender next season. That was one of the reasoning's for Terry Ryan's reluctance to trade any pitching prospects last season, and now with the re-arrival of a seemingly healthy Liriano, the team must feel very good about its pitching situation.

But right now, the Twins have to feel very good that they are in first place without having to make any trades. And the team will only get better with Michael Cuddyer set to return from injury within the next couple weeks. Although he's had a down season, he is valuable run producer who could give our team a 'second wind' which will be needed as we get into the 'Dog Days' of August. He could boost our offense, while Liriano boosts our rotation.

Game Ball: 8/3/08
Francisco Liriano - Starting Pitcher
6 innings pitched, 3 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, win
Twins win, 6-2.

Game Balls

Game Ball: 8/1/08
Nick Blackburn - Starting Pitcher
Line: 7 innings pitched, 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, win
Twins win, 4-1.

Game Ball: 8/2/08
Denard Span - Right Fielder
Line: 2-3, double, walk
Twins lose, 5-1.

August 1, 2008

Welcome Back? UPDATE!

Update (3:20 PM): And there we have it. Francisco Liriano is on his way to the Twin Cities and Livan Hernandez has been released. Joe Christensen also reports that the Twins have also cut ties with Craig Monroe and to take his place, Randy Ruiz will be brought up as the right-handed power bat off the bench.

Francisco Liriano may soon be back in Minnesota, La Velle Neal is reporting that there are "strong indications" that the Twins are leaning towards eating the remaining salary on the remainder of Livan Hernandez's $5 million deal that he signed over the off-season.

This move has been long-overdue and it shows just how little interest the Twins could generate from other clubs as they couldn't even find a fit for a second or even third-tier prospect. The Twins probably called around and once they figured out that there wasn't a match, they knew that what should've been done a month ago is the move they'll end up having to make.

The trading deadline came and went and there was little movement around the league. Despite a 3-team blockbuster trade and my favorite player of all time going to my least favorite team (I still can't say it), there was really no even semi-significant trades which makes one think that August could be a very busy month on the waiver wire. The Twins couldn't find a trade worth making at this time, which shouldn't really upset anyone. Although it'd be great to see the Twins finally be apart of a blockbuster mid-season trade, they are in contention with what they have and their recent surge is enough to be optimistic enough to believe that they can make it to the playoffs without any outside help. Also, with the eventual additions of both Liriano and Michael Cuddyer, adding both of those players is good enough in my mind to satisfy my desire for a trade.

The Twins will end up having to make other moves likely before the end of the season, such as what to do when Cuddyer comes back. They could choose to option Span back to Rochester to give him regular at bats before the September callups since other players don't have enough options to be sent down. I'm not going to be thrilled if the Twins choose to do this, since I don't see Brian Bass even making the playoff roster (if we make it), so I don't know why they'd feel the need to continue hanging onto him. But I guess crazier things have happened right? Also, there's a reasonable chance that Bass may slip through waivers this month with so many other players that are going to be placed on waivers possibly making other teams over look Bass. They could also choose to DFA Mike Lamb or Craig Monroe as well.

The Twins also received some good news regarding Alexi Casilla. His thumb doesn't appear to be as badly injured as Matt Tolbert's, which may allow the Twins to at least (for now) postpone surgery and allow him to just take a few weeks off and hopefully rejoin the Twins before the end of the season. This may be great news, however the team won't know for sure until sometime next week.

If the prognoses isn't good then, the Twins may search the waiver wire for a second baseman. Possibly Mark Grudzielanek may be a possibility. And the Nationals just recently announced that they've released Felipe Lopez who is just 28 and was at one time looking like one of the best, young offensive middle-infielders in the league. But since his breakout '05 season, Lopez hasn't been able to regain his power stroke but hopefully leaving Washington will relight a fire under him. He may be a possibility for the Twins, however Matt Tolbert also figures to be around sometime in the next month and the Twins just promoted Luke Hughes to Triple-A Rochester who also could be a September callup.

The Twins have plenty of options and additions that will either be coming from the minors or that are returning from injury to warrant their reasoning for not making a deal at yesterday's deadline. And really, could they (realistically) make a better move besides releasing Hernandez and replacing him with Liriano? I don't think so.

Game Ball vs. White Sox
Joe Mauer - Catcher

3-4, run, 2 RBI, walk
Twins win, 10-6.

What a game, eh?