Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

Twins at the break

Well we have reached the all-star break with the twins just 1.5 games behind the white sox. This is surprising because everyone predicted the Twins would be behind not only Chicago, but Cleveland and Detroit as well.  The club really benefited from two weeks of beating up the pathetic national league in June.  We also have a winning record despite a pretty poor run differential, and Livan Hernandez.  He is on pace to have one of the worst seasons by a starting pitcher. I believe he has allowed 1.5 baserunners per inning so far this season. Wow. Also remember Boof made a handful of atrocious starts in the first few months. Despite all these things, we are still in it. Thanks to timely hitting, I believe the Twins lead the AL in batting with RISP.

Some issues I think the team should address for the second half stretch run.  Carlos Gomez. I think he needs to be removed from the leadoff spot due to his inability to actually get on base. He doesn’t work the count, he doesn’t draw walks, he just seems to be a strikeout machine. Not something you want in a leadoff hitter. I say try Casilla there.  Next up, Livan. He has 9 wins, but that is pretty meaningless considering the rest of his stats are just plain awful. It seems like the team is OK with that, so then who will be the odd man out when Liriano comes back this month? Perkins maybe?  There is also a general consensus that we need another relief arm. I’m not sure what we have in rochester, but I would like to have a power reliever to take some of the late inning workload off of Nathan, Guerrier and Crain.  If Liriano takes Perkins’ spot, I’m sure they will just move Perkins into the bullpen, but I like him as a starter, not a reliever.  Brian Bass is not the answer, he is at besta low leverage situation mop-up man. Not a replacement for Neshek. 

There have been rumblings about Adrian Beltre, who I guess is available. He is an OK player, but I don’t know if I want him and his 12MM pricetag. Buscher has been playing well and I don’t think it will help anything to move him to the bench or back to Rochester.

What else does the team need to do to make a playoff run in the second half? Let’s hear (or read I guess) your thoughts.

7 comments

7 Comments so far

  1. sirsean July 14th, 2008 10:14 am

    Gomez should be moved down to 9th, but he won’t. Giving away outs is something a manager can “do,” and Gardy really likes to do it.

    Bass and Boof need to have their hands chopped off so they can no longer pitch. When was the last time Bass came in and didn’t give up a run? Oh, and with that in mind … why does Gardy keep bringing him in in the 8th inning against the middle of the other team’s lineup in 0 or 1 runs games? “Not a replacement for Neshek” is both true and possibly the most flattering thing that can be said about Brian Bass.

    So yes, a good solid relief arm would be nice. That and a shortstop.

    The problem is that all the contenders need/want relief help, so the market is going to be pretty ridiculous there. And there’s a huge shortstop shortage in MLB, so there’s no help coming there any time soon.

    So I’d say the moves we need to make are pretty simple.

    1) Kill Livan Hernandez. 2) Liriano. 3) Keep Perkins in the rotation, for Christ’s sake. 4) More Breslow. (Where did he go? Can someone give him that picture of Gardy and the goat that got Lew Ford and Jason Tyner so much playing time?) 5) Less Bass. 6) Less Boof. 7) Less Lamb. 8 ) Don’t let Everett back onto the team when his arm is “healthy.” 9) Bobby Korecky. 10) Use Nathan more often. 11) Use Span the same way we use Punto — sparingly, to give the good players a rest. 12) Kill Craig Monroe — when the veteran “slugger” you bring in to bash left handed pitching is batting .100 against lefties, you just have to admit it was a bad investment and cut your losses. Those losses being “at bats that could and should have gone to…” 13) Jason Kubel!

    That’s not that many moves, really. What’s the market look like for killing Livan and Monroe?

  2. FunBobby July 14th, 2008 10:23 am

    My guess is they keep Everett on the DL or in AAA until rosters expand in september and/or someone gets hurt. We forgot to mention that the Punto/Tolbert situation needs to be straightened out. Keep one and only one on the 25 man roster. Also, I don’t like how people are saying “Punto is playing like Punto again”. No he isn’t, he is playing like 2006 nick punto which isn’t the real Punto, and he could come crashing back to 2007 NIck Punto at any moment. I don’t want one of our starting infielders to have the potential to return to a 200 hitter overnight. I just wish we would get rid of him and use Tolbert as our utility guy since he is cheaper and younger, and if Nick Punto isn’t on the team, people can’t say “Punto could have made that play” everytime ANY fielder makes an error. The sooner he is out of the organization the better, I am just sick of hearing about him in general. Sorry for the rant.

  3. sirsean July 14th, 2008 12:03 pm

    Playing well solves all ills. So if Punto keeps hitting well, then what the hell? (It basically leaves the only problem with Punto being how incredibly overrated he is by Gardy, DickBert, and the fans. Which isn’t really his fault.)

    If he’s hitting .300 and playing adequate defense at all the infield positions, he’s a pretty valuable player. If he’s hitting .200 as the every day third baseman … he’s worse than useless. So now that he’s hitting a little (lot!) better and is being used correctly, there’s no reason to have a problem with him.

    But you’re definitely right about Tolbert. We only need one of them. So I’d say we let Tolbert dick around in Rochester for the rest of the summer, then let Punto walk in the winter and replace him with Tolbert. But there should be exactly one of them on the 25 man roster at any given time. (Especially if we keep Span as a utility outfielder in favor of the hopefully-soon-to-be-deceased Monroe.)

  4. MarkW July 14th, 2008 1:54 pm

    Agree with all of the above! Ideally they will dump Monroe (and flush the money down the toilet, oh, we did that already)… With Cuddyer coming back after the break, there aren’t many options… Everett should be moved to 60-day DL so we can move Macri up (split time w/ Buscher) Punto should NEVER play 3B (i dont care about his “flashy glove”) Punto should be used to spell Harris at SS and Casilla (rarely) at 2B… and NEVER EVER be used to DH. Lamb move to the bench (since we signed him for 2 years! DOH!), with Redmond and Macri/Span… we need to go to 11 pitchers as well… Maybe I have too many guys, but I haven’t counted yet…

    Bullpen: Nathan Grrreirrrrr Reyes Crain Breslow Bonser

    Starters: Slowey Blackburn Baker Perkins Livan Horrendous (replaced by Liriano – oh, that money thing again)

    14 pos players Mauer Morneau Casilla Harris Buscher Cuddyer Gomez Young Redmond Span Kubel Punto Lamb Macri

    Lamb is wasted space w/ Macri up, so I can see them keeping a pitcher or just adding Liriano to the mix and putting Livan in the pen (ideally to EAT innings in games that dont matter!)

    Lineup:

    Casilla 2B Mauer C Morneau 1B Kubel DH Cuddyer RF Buscher 3B Young LF Harris SS Gomez CF

    2-4, they need more ABs, plain and simple – they ARE the offense (not matter how many times Punto gets a leadoff dbl in the 6th inning, i dont care)

  5. FunBobby July 14th, 2008 2:01 pm

    I guess I don’t have as big a problem with Monroe as everyone else. He plays too much and is paid too much. But if we were paying him less than half of what we currently pay him, and he played way less would everyone be cool with him on the team? I just wish they would treat him as a bench player not as someone who deserves starter-type ABs.

    I like the looks of that lineup.

  6. sirsean July 14th, 2008 3:21 pm

    Forget about Monroe’s contract. Once it’s signed, the money no longer matters. The problem is that we brought him in to do exactly one thing: mash left handed pitching. He’s hitting .122/.217/.216 against left handers. That’s 2 HR in 83 PA. Just 9 HITS.

    That’s why he’s useless and has to go. Do we keep him around and keep throwing him out there against lefties (by the way, those are ABs that Kubel could be getting)? Do we assume that the last 18 months have been a complete aberration and he’s going to wake up all of a sudden and start hitting like he was still in the brief peak of his career? Isn’t that pretty bone headed?

    (For the record, Kubel’s not hitting much better against lefties. But he’s showed that he CAN do it, and his 51 AB this year aren’t really a big enough sample size to say anything.)

    And by the way, I agree about that lineup. It’s optimal for our team right now. (Except I might switch Young and Harris. And kick everyone up a spot when Span comes in, and have him bat in front of Gomez.)

  7. MarkW July 14th, 2008 4:20 pm

    I agree w/ flipping Young/Harris in the order, almost did that, but figured I’d try to match what Gardy would do anyways and keep Young higher in the lineup then he deserves to be, or until he shows some more plate patience and/or power…

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