Sunday, September 2, 2012

Twins 2012 blueprint

Here is my pre-offseason Twins offseason Blueprint. I will do another one after the season as the hotstove season begins. The Twins are looking at their second consecutive 90+ loss season and there needs to be changes done to bring a quality product back to Target field. Even though attendance in down this year I still look for the Twins to have a 90-95 million dollar payroll in 2013. Not only is it important to see what they do with the major league team, but there are 40 man decisions that have to be made. Let me know what you think of my blueprint you can reach me one of three ways. You can email me at, you can leave me a comment in the box, or reach me on twitter at @travistwinstalk. So without any further adieu here is what I would do to bring the Twins back into contention in 2013. Options: Decline Scott Baker’s 2013 option, Decline Matt Capps 2013 option and pay 250,000 buyout, Non Tenders: Alexi Casilla, Drew Butera, Removed from 40 man Roster: Scott Baker(FA), Matt Capps(FA), Carl Pavano(FA), Luis Perdomo, PJ Walters, Matt Carson(FA), Kyle Waldrop, Cole De Vries That leaves 31 men on the 40 man Roster Added to the 40 man Roster: Kyle Gibson, Aaron Hicks, Chris Hermmann, BJ Hermsen, Bruce Pugh, Danny Santana, Trade Denard Span to the Reds for Billy Hamilton and Tony Cingrani. Sell Tsuyoshi Nishioka to a Japanese team for 1m of the 3m he is owed Sign Scott Baker to a 2year 6million dollar contract with another 6 million in incentives for 2nd year. Sign Jeremy Guthrie to a 2 year 14 million dollar deal 2013 Lineup 1. Ben Revere CF 2. Brian Dozier 2b 3. Joe Mauer C 4. Josh Willingham LF 5. Justin Morneau 1b 6. Ryan Doumit DH 7. Chris Parmelee RF 8. Trevor Plouffe 3b 9. Pedro Florimon SS Bench Chris Hermann Jamey Carroll Eduardo Escobar Darin Mastroianni Starting Rotation Scott Diamond Jeremy Guthrie Liam Hendriks Kyle Gibson Sam Deduno Scott Baker- When ready Bullpen Glen Perkins Jared Burton Alex Burnett Deolis Guerra Brian Duensing Anthony Swarzak Cole De Vries

Thursday, May 31, 2012

travistalks minor league weekly last night

Last night I premiered my podcast travistalks minor league weekly on blog talk radio. I talked about all the affiliates and gave out my May Pitcher and Hitter of the year award for each of the affiliates. It will be every Wednesday at 9pm so hopefully if you weren't able to tune in last night not you can download the episode and listen live next week. For those that listened live thank you for the opportunity and hope you will continue to listen to the show. The link for the show is

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Future of TravisTwinsTalk

Well it is time for a new beginning over at Travis Twins Talk. I am revamping what the blog is all about. No longer will blog be strictly Twins and Twins minor leaguers although there will be plenty of that talk as well. I am adding talk about the Vikings, the Wolves, the Gophers, and anything that I find interesting. I will be adding things atleast 2-3 times a week, but you will not know what it is about unless you come check it out. I am not going to totally get away from talking minor leaguers because that is my passion just adding other things to it because that is who I am and that is a sports fan and not just a baseball fan, but all sports. So please give my blog a second look and also the baseball Articles I write can also be found on Twins Daily so check that out as well. A change that is being made is in my podcast schedule. For the last two years I was a Co-host and a founding member of Twins Minor League Weekly with Seth Stohs. We had difference of opinion on some things so we decided to go our separate ways. You can still listen to Twins Minor League weekly with Seth every Thursday night and I know he will do a great job. With that I am bringing back the Travis Talks Minnesota Sports podcast. I am not quite sure the day and time, but it will be like it was where I will talk about all Minnesota sports and will try to have a new and interesting guest every week. I will let everyone know in the near future when they can tune into the show. The way I look at it is when one door closes then another one opens and looking at this as a new beginning at Travis Twins Talk so I look forward to bringing everyone quality content. I just ask that you give me another look and be patient with the information I bring because I really think you will enjoy it if you give me another chance.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Stream of Conciousness

As many can tell I am not a typical Twins blogger in that my posts are very infrequent. That is because I go to school in Texas and am very busy. I know everybody is busy, but for me my blogging is a hobby that I only do if I have time for it. I will blog more in the summer when I don’t have classes, but I felt the need the need to write my feelings with how everything is going with the Twins right now.

As many of you know I was 30 years old when I went back to College and will graduate next spring. When I decided to go back to school there were tons of people that thought I was crazy. They said why would someone give up a job that were you were making a steady income to chase a dream. These people created a chip on my shoulder in that I am determined to prove to each of them including some in my own family that yes I can do this and do it well. I see this same chip on the shoulder of several Twins players. With the departures of Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, and Joe Nathan many have written off the Twins as a hopeless cause in 2012. Every prediction I have seen has the Twins fighting the White Sox and Royals for 3rd place behind Detroit and Cleveland. They say there are too many unknowns with the Twins with the injury situations of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Denard Span along with the lowering the payroll by 13-18 million over 2011. However, when I look at Joe Mauer I see a guy who has a chip on his shoulder much like I do. He is out to prove that people have forgot just who is and that is one of the best players in the game. He is out to prove that 2011 was an aberration, and that he is a catcher first and foremost. I see that same chip on Denard Span’s shoulder who is sick of hearing about how the Twins should trade him, that Ben Revere is a better centerfielder than him. Denard Span is one of the top 5 leadoff men in the major leagues and people will give him the credit he justly deserves.

As a whole I see a team with a huge chip on their shoulder with a manager in Ron Gardenhire who just knows how to win. In case anyone forgot he has won six division titles in ten years as manager. This team will be better than what the so called experts think and those that undersell this team your in for a rude awakening. For those that think that the Twins have no chance to hang with the Tigers you will be wrong. Much like you can’t ever discount Bill Belichek and Tom Brady in a big game, you should also never discount the Twins when expectations are low and the Twins can be the underdogs Gardy loves to be. When they are underdogs the Twins have a tendency of just finding a way of getting it done.

I know many are perturbed that the Pohlad’s cut the Twins payroll and my response is simply who cares. Since when did payroll determine who wins the world series. If that was the case the Yankees would win it all every year. By my Minnesota math I believe the Yankees have only won 1 championship in 11 years while having the highest payroll by a large margin. Teams are build with cohesiveness and working well as a team. I would much rather play the Twins way and that is develop their talent and if that means letting free agents go then so be it. I have come to realize for some people it wouldn’t matter what the Twins payroll is it would be too low. Mr. Pohlad would get crushed no matter what he did as he should have done more. What people need to realize is as much as this is entertainment for us it is a business for him as it should be. In what business do you spend your own money on the product besides at the startup of a company. When your established the business should run on its own and you should get a profit out of it. The fact that he spends 52% on payroll is a credit to him and he should’t be expected to do more even though some people will never give him credit.

Those bitching about the moves Terry Ryan has done this offseason should be ashamed of themselves as he is working inside a budget. There was no way that Michael Cuddyer is worth 10.5 million anymore. He was never a superstar and his defense has slipped to below average. Credit Ryan for knowing that there was no way to sign Cuddyer at that figure so instead he signs Josh Willingham for seven million and to be honest Cuddyer and Willingham are very similar players. To be able to get a similar player for 3.5 million a year is pure brilliance by Ryan. Signing Jamey Carroll was also a good signing if you ask me as the Twins did not have the money to sign Jose Reyes and after last years debacle at SS they needed a steady hand at SS and that is what Carroll is and that’s steady. The coup of the offseason was signing Ryan Doumit for 3 million. Doumit is a .800 ops guy who can catch if something happens to Mauer. So in my mind with the budget they had and the moves he made Terry Ryan should get credit and not get bitched about. For those that say the Twins are not contenders with this roster you are wrong and you will be proven wrong over the next 6 months.

The guy that people are really wrong about is Aaron Hicks who for some reason people are starting to doubt. Seems like your average fan just looks at a few numbers and judge that he is a bust. If you look deeper with his walk rate and his gap power you are looking at a stud. It irritated me when I read Baseball America’s prospect list and saw that Hicks had dropped from 45 before last season to 127 this year. I followed every game that he appeared in and I really don’t get it. He has the chance to be a 6 tool player in that he will hit for average, hit for power, got speed, great range on defense, tremendous arm, and incredible intangibles. I talked to a fellow blogger about Hicks and he asked me on a scale of 1-10 how good he would be with 10 being a hall of famer and I said 8, but I think more of a 9 now. He has all the tools you want in a prospect and I truly believe that he is going to be a stud.
For those worried about the Twins system don’t be they have 15-20 players in their system that I believe will have the chance to be major league players. Then with all the draft picks they have in June the system will get better. It is probably middle of the pack now, but by the end of the year it will be a top 10 system if you ask me.

My biggest peeve with Twins fans is they believe everything they read instead of investigating things themselves. You don’t have to take my word for it think about it yourself and come to your own judgement. Just because something is written doesn’t mean that it is true so form your own opinions is my best advice. I thank you for taking the time to read this and look forward to getting to know all of you much better in the future. If you have any comments or questions you can either leave a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at

Friday, September 16, 2011

2012 Minnesota Twins offseason blueprint

Here is my 2012 Twins Offseason Blueprint with those I feel will be added to the 40 man roster, those that will be signed as free agents, those that will be resigned or let go by the team and finally the Twins payroll for 2012. Let me know what you think and if you agree or disagree with some of my logic in this assessment.

1.) Remove Free Agents Jason Kubel, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Repko, Phil Dumatrait, Matt Capps, Kyle Waldrop, Rene Rivera, and Brian Dinkelman off the 40 man roster to leave the 40 man at 32 players on the 40 man.

2.) Non-Tender Kevin Slowey, Phil Dumatrait and Matt Tolbert to leave your roster at 30.

3.) Reinstate Nick Blackburn off the 60 day disabled list.

4.) Decline Joe Nathan’s 12.5 million option and instead pay him 2 million dollar buyout.

5.) Add minor leaguers Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson,and Yangervis Solarte to 40 man to bring total up to 33

6.) Sign Michael Cuddyer to a 3 year 33million dollar contract

7.) Sign Jason Kubel to 2 year 14 million dollar deal with a team option for 10 million for 2014.

8.) Sign Joe Nathan to a 2 year 16 million dollar deal

9.) Sign Jason Repko to a minor league deal

10.) Sign Matt Capps for 3years 9million

11.) Sign Jose Molina for 1 year 1 million

12.) Trade Denard Span, Angel Morales,and Jose Mijares for James Shields

13.) Sign Mike Cameron to a 1year 3million dollar deal

14.) Sign Frank Francisco to a 1 year 1million dollar deal

16. Sign Mike Redmond to manage in Rochester

17. promote Tom Brunansky to batting coach in Rochester

18. Part ways with Scott Ullger

19. Hire Paul Molitor as Bench Coach

Here is my 2012 team with Salaries

C Joe Mauer 23.0

1b Justin Morneau 15.0

2b Alexi Casilla 1.5

SS Tsyoshi Nishioka 3.0

3b Danny Valencia 800,000

LF Mike Cameron 3.0

CF Ben Revere 500,000

RF Michael Cuddyer 11.0

DH Jason Kubel 8.0


Luke Hughes 500,000

Trevor Plouffe 500,000

Jose Molina 1.0

Jason Repko 1.0

68.8million on offense


James Shields 7.0

Carl Pavano 8.5

Francisco Liriano 5.5

Scott Baker 6.5

Nick Blackburn 4.75


Joe Nathan 8.0

Matt Capps 3.0

Glen Perkins 1.5

Frank Francisco 1.0

Brian Duensing 800,000

Alex Burnett 500,000

Anthony Swarzak 500,000

Total 116.35

Let me know what you think all

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Future of Travis Twins Talk

Anybody that knows me knows that I will be starting school in just over a week and am at the University level now so it is going to be way more intense.  However, I still plan to blog it just will not be as often as it is in the summer.  I will still be doing my minor league player profiles and you can look for them every Monday morning with my next one this coming Monday.  However, that is probably all the blogging I will have time to do during the school year as school is hectic.  I will blog as much as I find time for but I will atleast do the player profiles that everyone has come to expect.  I will continue to cohost Twins Minor League Weekly for the rest of the Minor League Season with Seth Stohs.  So thanks for reading me this summer and keep following me here on here or on twitter @travistwinstalk. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Truth about the Twins minor league system

I get asked this question quite a bit and I feel like it is about time I hit people with some truth on the subject. The question that I am asked repeatedly is has the Twins minor league slipped and if so why. I know everyone likes to blame Bill Smith for all the problems with talent as the Twins had a good farm system when Terry Ryan was the General Manager of the Twins. I have even heard Deron Johnson being blamed as he is head of the draft after Mike Radcliff was promoted when Bill Smith took over as General Manager. Some of the criticism is founded, but a great part of it is unfounded.

There is merit for criticism of the lack of top level prospects in the upper levels of the organization. You had misses like not signing Travis Lee, and busts such as Matt Moses, Ryan Mills, Jay Rainville, and Henry Sanchez. That left a vacuum that led to a watering down of the system. Some of these picks were earlier than would be in system right now. Also the Twins have been downright unlucky with some of these guys as former first round picks Matt Fox, Kyle Waldrop, and Matt Bashore were injured. You have had control issues with former first round picks Shooter Hunt and Alex Wimmers that you could not have see coming.

The bottom line is the Twins had a 2-3 year stretch were they did not do well in the draft as guys like Moses, Rainville, and Sanchez were taken early and did not turn out. That left a void as some of those guys would be in the higher levels right now. When you miss on three or four first round picks that will set your organization back a few years. The percentage of early round picks that make it to the pro’s is so small that I feel that Twins fans were spoiled when they went through a stretch when guys like Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, Joe Mauer, Denard Span, Trevor Plouffe, Glen Perkins and Matt Garza became contributers. Twins fans after seeing all those guys come up and contribute forget about guys like Henry Sanchez, Matt Moses, Adam Johnson, B.J. Garbe, Ryan Mills who never even made the big leagues. Then you have guys that even the most adamant Twins fan has never heard of in Kelcey Mucker, Marc Borcelo, Dan Serifini, Scott Stahoviak, Midre Cummings, and Todd Ritchie. What I am trying to say is the draft is such an inaccurate science on who is going to make it and who is not that it is not an easy job for evaluaters. You hear all the time that in every draft you may have 1-2 players make it to the big leagues. So I don’t think it is fair for the evaluaters to get blamed for the lack of talent in the upper levels.

Another reason that expectations for the Twins minor league system are a little bit too much is the Twins in the 90’s were a bad team. From 1994 to 2001 a eight year stretch the Twins picked in the top ten 7 times. Fair or not most draftst have 5-10 blue chip prospects that are considered a high probibilty of making it to the big leagues. So when they were losing 90-100 games per year the odds of getting one of those top prospects was pretty high. Believe it or not that stretch is when the Twins farm system was considered the best in baseball. It is much like how the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals are considered the best farm systems in baseball right now as they have had some bad teams so they got high draft picks. From 2002-2011 the highest the Twins have drafted is 14th in 2008 with Aaron Hicks. I don’t know if its coincidence or not but Aaron Hicks is the number one prospect on my June prospect list. A big thing is when you draft late you need to be smart about who you take and you have to be willing to spend the money to get the guys signed as there is such competition for signing bonuses so the Twins have had to up the ante and they have done just that.

I also take exception that the Twins don’t have a very good farm system because I think the last 2-3 years the Twins have taken the bull by the horns and improved it immensely. It started in 2009 when they went way over slot to sign pitcher Kyle Gibson a starting pitcher who dropped down to the Twins due to a stress fracture in his forearm. The Twins could have sat and said he was too expensive, but they did what was necessary. They spent way over slot to sign BJ Hermsen. Then in 09 they spent over 3 million to sign the top Dominican prospect in years in Miguel Sano for over 3.15 million. This year they doubled slot to sign Corey Williams a hard throwing lefty from Vanderbilit. I know there is not a lot of talent in Rochester, but look at New Britain and below and there are tons of top end talent such as David Bromberg, Joe Benson, Brian Dozier, Chris Parmelee, and Deolis Guerra who has flourished as a reliever this year. In Fort Myers you have big prospects in James Beresford, Oswaldo Arcia, Aaron Hicks, Angel Morales, Alex Wimmers, and BJ Hermsen. Then in Beloit you have huge upside guys like Adrian Salcedo, and Madison Boer. Then in Elizabethton you got guys like Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler and Niko Goodrum. If anything I would say the Twins minor league system is loaded not the contrary.

Bill Smith gets a lot of guff for not having a lot of top end talent in AAA and I think the Twins need to take responsibility for a few bad drafts that did not produce the type of prospects thatother teams did. However the last 3-4 years have been phenomenal for the Twins minor league system. I believe in the next 2-3 years the Twins will be known as having one of the finest minor league systems in baseball as the lower levels are just loaded with top end prospects. I feel like the Twins should be commended for seeing a problem and fixing it the last few years. For those that feel Bill Smith, Deron Johnson and the whole Twins front office have not done their job producing prospects well I feel you are wrong and the contrary is true as I feel the Twins have just as many top prospects than any other team it is just the Twins do a good job at letting these guys go at their own speed and develop in a way that not only will they make the Twins when they are ready, but will remain with the team for years to come.