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Cole Hamels

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:37 PM
Ignoring the no trade clause, if you were the Twins' GM would you trade for Cole Hamels?  If so, what would you give up.  ...
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Who will be the 5th starter?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:46 PM
The venerable Strib posted a Q&A with Terry Ryan. His response to a question on pitching is below. I read it as: - He acknowledges Gi...
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Article: Twins Extend Phil Hughes

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:28 PM
Mark Feinsand from the New York Daily News is reporting this morning that the Twins and Phil Hughes have agreed to a three-year contract...
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Article: Mientkiewicz Draws Key Assignment

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 04:51 PM
It was easy enough to see coming, but the Twins made it official last week that Doug Mientkiewicz will move up and manage the club's Doub...
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Article: Minnesota Twins Sign Reliever Tim Stauffer

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:45 PM
Those Twins fans hoping that the last spot in the Twins bullpen this year might go to a failed ex-starter may have gotten their wish toda...
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Monday Morning Madness: 8-11-14

I'm starting to think the Twins aren't as good as the A's.

— Brad Swanson (@bridman77) August 9, 2014

Well said, me.

Trevor May
I'm not going to dwell on May's debut. He was wild; he was nervous. It wouldn't shock me if we just witnessed one of May's only truly disastrous starts of his career. One start doesn't mean much to me. I still think May can be a good 3rd/4th starter on a good team. I like his durability and the fact that his stuff can play better than a 3/4. I like that he seems to have an affable personality, likely perfect for shrugging off a rocky debut.

It would have been awesome if May had come out and fired off eight shutout innings with a bunch of strikeouts and no walks. Maybe he's saving that performance for Minnesota.
Yeah, that's what he's doing. He's got flair! I just hope the Twins don't overreact to one bad start and send him away. I don't think that's likely, so I'm not even going to address it further.

Trevor Plouffe
I'm not sure when this happened, but I've become a pretty big Trevor Plouffe fan. I've been impressed with him this season. His batting average is still nothing special, but he's improved his walk rate enough to post a respectable OBP. In fact, his .322 OBP is just slightly higher than the AL average (.319). His SLG is better than the AL average, thanks to 31 doubles. He has only eight home runs, but his HR/FB% is down about five percentage points from his career rate.

Most importantly, he's become an adequate defender at third. He doesn't have a ton of range, but he makes routine plays. His arm is no longer a danger to the fans behind first, which is great because his arm has always been very strong, just not very accurate.

I tweeted earlier this week that Plouffe would be on pace for about a 3.5 rWAR season. He did miss some games, so he won't get there. Only 7 third basemen reached 3.5 rWAR or better in 2013. Most likely, Plouffe won't be the Twins' third baseman at this time next season, but he's rounded into a pretty nice player. My question to you: Is Trevor Plouffe, based on his first-round pedigree, a disappointment? I'm curious what everyone thinks. I'll weigh in later. I need a sandwich.

Youth Movement
While May's debut did not go well, it does seem to signify that the Twins are furthering their "youth movement." Kennys Vargas made his debut just a couple weeks back. Ryan Pressley is back on the roster. Danny Santana is basically the starting center fielder. The Twins have even taken looks at Logan Darnell and Jorge Polanco. Eduardo Escobar has proved that he's an MLB player in some capacity. Oswaldo Arcia has awesome hair. Every player in this paragraph is either 25 or younger.

As I wrote last week, I want this movement to continue. I hope to see Alex Meyer, Michael Tonkin, Josmil Pinto and (gasp) Aaron Hicks before the season ends. If the Twins are truly committed to seeing what they have in their young, on-the-cusp players, then those four should be on the MLB team before too many games pass by.

Former Twin Update - Kevin Correia
Well, well, well, the Twins found a taker for Mr. Correia. The Dodgers now employ two of the more maligned former Twins of the past decade in Correia and Drew Butera. I bid Correia a very fond adieu. I was extremely critical of his signing, but I have been very satisfied with his performance over the last two seasons. I could try to explain my feelings with my words, but why do that when someone else nailed it:

Correia did exactly what the #MNTwins signed him to do. Be a reliable 5th starter. Not his fault there weren't 4 better guys in rotation
— Tyler Trimble (@TrimbleTJ) August 10, 2014

Exactly.

Weekly Josmil Pinto Update
I'm adding this section and including it every Monday until Pinto is recalled. Hopefully, there aren't many updates.

Pinto was 0-4 on Sunday, completely justifying this section. However, if you throw out that game, he had hit .357/.444/.643 in five games this week. He had four doubles. He had a sacrifice fly. That kind of selfless play goes a long way with coaches and managers.

I know, there's nowhere to put Pinto right now. He isn't polished enough to catch and Kennys Vargas is about to become the full-time DH with Joe Mauer (remember that guy) coming back this week. I don't care. Find a way. Listen to A Tribe Called Quest (or Amy Grant) for inspiration.

Fun Stat - Doubles
Eduardo Escobar is tied with Jose Abreu for 10th in the AL with 29 doubles. It seems like a good time to remind everyone that he was behind Pedro Florimon on the depth chart when the season started. Pedro Florimon was batting .108/.194/.154 when the Twins finally switched to Escobar on May 7.

Just a reminder -
Posted Image
Some of us were ahead of the curve. Please play this song while you think about that.

Let's Get Excited About a Prospect - Max Murphy

Two Minor League sections? The MLB club isn't too great, I think it's justified. Murphy was so good at Appalachian League Baseball that he was promoted to Cedar Rapids a couple weeks back. He was batting .298/.365/.489 for the Kernels going into Sunday's game. His plate discipline isn't great, as he has 18 strikeouts with just one walk.

Wait, how can his OBP be so much higher than his batting average with just one walk? He's been hit by four pitches in 52 plate appearances. He was hit six times in the Appy League. He's been great at getting hit, which might be a replicable skill, right? Does this guy just have one of those faces? If so, he should probably roll with it. If he can add 40 points to his OBP by being "hit-able," then he could be set.

Plugging My Way

You know that feeling when you're really proud of something and then it takes you 15 seconds to find something better? On Friday, I wrote about the Twins selecting their 5th hot dog. I thought it was pretty clever. Then, I went to Twinkie Town later that morning and read this piece by RandBall's Stu and I realized that I am but a tadpole to his giant, agile frog. Read them both, but I'm going to be honest, I enjoyed the Jade Idol piece more.

Parting Thoughts

The Twins were leading in the 9th inning against the Padres on Wednesday. I had a tweet fired up because that win would have put the Twins on a 75-win pace. Of course, they didn't win that game, then they lost three of four in Oakland.

Now, they're on a 72-win pace. That's still better than the last three seasons, but not the big improvement I was expecting. Plus, the Twins have been known to coast through September. It's looking like another sub-70-win season. Hopefully, it's the last one. Have a great week, everyone!


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3 Comments

My tweet was quoted! I'm famous!

 

Do the royalty checks come in the mail or...?

 

RE: Plouffe - I've always been a big Plouffe fan and was one of his few supporters during the rough defensive seasons. It's nice to see him become league average to slightly above league average this season. I agree, his defense has been one of the biggest "perks" this season. The routine plays are, well...routine for him now and he's even made so tough plays look easy this year. That's impressive.

 

First round picks always carry a lot of pressure to be the next superstar, and while Plouffe certainly isn't that, he is a solid role player who can give league average output to a contending team defensively and offensively. I'd say the pick was still a solid one for the Twins.

I am also not concerned about 1 start from May. Even the best pitchers have clunkers. And top prospects also throw clunkers their first time out. Some toss a great first game, or two, then come video and scouting reports, and they may stink next time out, or so. One game, one start, nobody should have any great angst over it. I am also a Plouffe supporter, and have been a Plouffe hopeful, for some time now. Baseball 1st round picks are the hardest to define and predict of all sports for way too many reasons to even bother to get in to. Overall, I am not disappointed with Plouffe. He's worked very hard to improve himself and his game with obvious results. He's still relatively young, and still has around 1600 AB's is all. Slow but real development is taking place. There are a lot of quality ML players who mature later and have nice solid productive careers without being true stars. My disappointment, if any, is that I believe he has some true HR power available I don't think is out of reach. I like the doubles and other numbers to be sure. But I do think there's more power to be seen yet.
Photo
Paul Pleiss
Aug 12 2014 12:58 AM

Plouffe has more than provided enough value relative his draft position. No complaints. He was Babe Ruth for all of a month, and as you noted, has improved both offensively and defensively the last year+. I like Plouffe. I hope he grows a massive beard between now and next season.

 

DJ MAZR was probably up late dropping sick beats down in the record studio prior to his Twins debut in O.co. You play in a ****-stadium, you throw ****. It happens. I'm not worried about his devlopment, not now, not ever. He's got talent.


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