Thursday, May 14, 2009

Big Twins win

Twins Today

  • The Twins finished their 6 game homestand today in grand fashion as they defeated the Detroit Tigers today 6-5. It was a very unexpected victory today considering that they trailed 5-0 heading into the bottom of the 7th inning and Justin Verlander was cruising. He had only given up 4 hits and had struck out a very impressive 13 batters. Just look at the 7th inning shows how impressive the comeback was because everyone did their part. Joe Crede finished the comeback with a 2 run single to score Justin Mourneau and Jason Kubel to put the Twins on top.
  • Speaking of Kubel he continued his hot streak of late by going 3-4 and driving in a run in the 6 run 7th inning with a double that would of tied the game had it not jumped the fence for a ground rule double. With the 3 hits it raised his average to an amazing .333 on the season.
  • Scott Baker looked awesome for 5 innings and everything fell apart for him again very similiar to the Kansas City game 2 starts ago. He had runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs and got a strikeout and a popup to get 2 outs. He then gave up a fly ball that Kubel misjudged for a run and then after that all heck broke loose and by the end he had given up 5 runs and ruined an otherwise excellent start.
  • On top of that the bullpen really did a good job today with Craig Breslow picking up his first major league win in relief pitching 1.2 scorless innings, then Matt Guerrier got a big out, and Joe Nathan Picked up his 6th save of the year.
  • The Twins begin a 7 game road trip this weekend with 4 in New York and 3 in Chicago. Here is the Pitching Matchups this weekend

Friday Liriano(2-4 5.75era) vsPhil Hughes(1-2 8.49era)

Saturday Blackburn(2-2 4.32) vsChamberlain(2-1 3.89)

Sunday Slowey(5-1 4.91) vs Burnett(2-1 5.36)

Monday Perkins (1-2 4.27) vs Pettitte(3-1 4.00) Game on ESPN

Top 5 Disappointments thus far this season

For the second part of this series I am going to go with the 5 players in my opinion that have really underperformed what we thought they would do going into the season. Keep in mind its only six weeks into the season and its a long season so they can still have very good years.

  • 5. Alexi Casilla- Going into this season the expectation for Casilla that he would continue to be a table setter for the Twins. Last season he hit .281 with 7 homeruns and 50 rbis in only 98 games. So going into this season I was really expecting more of the same. However, he hit only .167 with 4 rbi's in 24 games. The worst part is he was taking the bad at bats into the field and making mental mistakes. The Twins sent him down to Rochester to try to get him right. He is off to a good start with the Red Wings so hopefully we will see the good Alexi Casilla sometime this year.

  • 4. Deolis Guerra- I really bought into the Deolis Guerra hype when he came over to the Twins in the Santana trade. I even bought into the fact that the reason he had a 5.47 era last season was because the Twins were tinkering with his mechanics so that he would not break down. So I was expecting a breakout season out of Deolis Guerra and he may because its so early. However, so far it has been more of the same as Guerra has went 2-3 with a very bloated 6.09 era. He has improved his walk to strikeout ratio. Last year he had 71walks and 71 strikeouts in 130 innings. So far this year he has 12 walks in 34 innings which is 2 walks/per 9 innings less than least year. To go with that though he has gotten hit harder so its a catch 22 thing. I still have high hopes for Guerra and really hope he can pull it together.

  • 3. Angel Morales- I was really expecting big things out of Morales this year after his awesome season at E-town last year. Last year he hit .301 with 15 homeruns with a .623 slugging percentage. So the expectation was that he would move up to Beloit and build off of that. He just might, but so far he has really struggled. He is hitting only .177 with 2 homeruns and 9 rbi's with only a .333 slugging percentage. I really can't figure out why he has struggled so much this year. However, two reasons could be a lot of guys struggle getting used to a full season being he is from Latin America and probably is not used to the cold weather. Another thing is he is only 19 years old and is one of the younger players in the Midwest League. I am not panicking yet, but I would like to see improvement because I am very high on Morales and think he could be a factor with the Twins in a few years.

  • 2. Steve Tolleson- Now this is a guy that I really can't figure out. Many people including myself thought he deserved to go to AAA after a very solid season last year with the Rock Cats. Last year he hit .300 with 9 homeruns and 50 rbis with 44 walks and a .382 obp playing everywhere. I really thought he was ready for the next level. However, the way he has played this year says that he is not ready. This year he is only hitting .180 with no homeruns and only 5 rbi's and a .274 obp. The only thing I can think of is he is suffering from the Anthony Swarzakitis. Last year Anthony Swarzak struggled bad at New Britain after many people thought he would be in AAA. By Default later in the year he was promoted to AAA and took off and has continued it this year. Thats the only explanation I can come up with for him I am really buffaloed by this. Another problem is Tolleson is 25 years old which is too old to be playing to AA he should be in AAA at his age. The bottom line is if he doesn't pick it up and make the Twins promote him he likely will be a offseason casualty.

  • 1. Shooter Hunt- Now this is a guy that I had very high hopes for coming into the season. He was number 9 prospect in my preseason rankings. That makes it all the more troubling because he has a big league arm and did not have control problems at Tulane which is why the Twins took him with their supplementary pick last year in the draft. Last year they started him in E-town and was awesome only giving up 1 earned run in 19 innings with E-town along with only 6 walks and a awesome 34 strikeouts. That dominance led to a promotion to Beloit where many people including myself thought he would dominate again. He struggled somewhat with Beloit last year going 1-4 with a 5.46era and you started to see the walks come into play as he had 27 walks in only 31.1 innings of work. My explanation for that was he had been pitching since January and was wore out and a winter of training would see him dominate once again. Well that is not what has happened so far, let me also say its early and there is a lot of time for him to rebound. However, he has got to rebound because that is how bad it has been for him this year. Hunt went 0-1 with a 10.34 era with a crazy 30 walks in only 15.2 innings of work. It got so bad that the Twins sent all their top scouts to come watch him pitch to see if there is anything they can do to help. Now they are trying him in the bullpen to try to get him straight. Lets be serious Shooter Hunt is one of the most talented pitchers in the organization and already has a big league curveball, but right now he has no clue where the ball is going. It is totally a mental thing right now so hopefully some time in the bullpen will help him get his confidence back and he can go back to being the pitcher we all believe he can be.