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Is It Too Early To Start Thinking About Free Agency Moves...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:02 PM
McCarthy is just another guy to block May and Meyer. Assuming Nolasco is healthy....you have him, Hughes, Gibson, May, Meyer, with Berrio...
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Promotions That Did Happen

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 06:57 AM
Hicks is soon gone and will be quickly forgotten. Parmalee could be a big stick for us.  As a Lefty he hits lefty pitchers well....
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Rusney Castillo

Minnesota Twins Talk 21 Jul 2014
Frustrating for sure.  Cuban free agents have been the safest gamble in terms of production the last half decade.  Of the bigge...
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Rusney Castillo

Minnesota Twins Talk 21 Jul 2014
Everybody loves to hate Bill Smith and he really had his faults but he did as promised when Target Field was built and that was spend som...
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Rusney Castillo

Minnesota Twins Talk 21 Jul 2014
If they can throw millions of dollars down a well for multiple years of Mike Pelfrey, why not spend $$ on a Free Agent that's s...
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That's the Ticket: The Birds Return

~~~ sponsored by Ticket King ~~~

Attached Image: Machado_Manny_Showalter_US_720.jpg OK, you can come out now. The bad weather has (mostly) passed. It’s going to be 60 degrees, one of the best young players in baseball will be visiting and Mike Pelfrey will not be pitching. That sounds like a pretty fair weekend to grab some great seats at Target Field. In fact, it sounds like a pretty fair weekend to all the Twins Daily guys, who will be attending Saturday’s game. (Say “Hi.”)

Slogging Along
It’s been a sluggish start for the Orioles who entered May with a .500 record, the first time they’ve started that “poorly” over the last three years. By May 1st last year, they were already five games over .500, just like they were the previous year.

But in the AL East, it hasn’t hurt them. They are in second place in the packed division because the entire division is sluggish. As of Thursday, not a single team in the division had scored as many runs as their opponents. While the records for the teams vary between four games over to five games under .500, the run differential of all the teams are between -6 and -12. None have been good; none have been terrible.

Attached Image: AL East stats.jpg
Slippage
The same can be said about the Orioles pitching and hitting. Neither is necessarily a dire problem, but neither is quite as effective as they were last year. Last year’s offense ranked fourth in the American League with 4.6 runs per game; this year’s lineup has slipped to seventh (4.5 runs per game). Last year’s pitching was sixth overall (4.38 runs against per game) while this year’s arms have slipped to ninth (4.75 runs per game.) And remember: last year’s Orioles didn’t make the playoffs.

The team got a mix of good news and bad news this week offensively. The positive news was the activation of Manny Machado on Thursday. The 21-year-old is a rising superstar in major league baseball, a mix of power, speed, defense and youth that might be the most coveted third baseman in baseball right now. However, on Sunday, slugger Chris Davis was placed on the DL with an oblique injury. Davis crushed 53 home runs last year, including one at Target Field. Barring a postponed game, he won’t go yard here this year; this is the Orioles only scheduled trip to Minnesota.

Sloppy Starts
Attached Image: Nishioka_Tsuyoshi_Error_US_720.jpg Baltimore’s offense could use a boost because a few players in the lineup are really struggling. Twins fans might be surprised to hear that one of them is JJ Hardy, who the Twins traded to the Orioles three years ago to make room for (cringe) Tsuyoshi Nishioka. (And if you think I mentioned Nishi just so I could include this picture on the right, you could not be more correct. Let's admire it again, shall we?)

Anyway, Hardy's hitting just .242 with no home runs and a .258 on-base percentage. He’s also been battling a hamstring strain that kept him out of the lineup last week. He should play this weekend, but hopefully his turnaround will wait until after the Orioles leave town.

Ditto that sentiment for pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez was signed to a $50M contract this offseason to help anchor the top of the rotation. He’s been an anchor alright: 0-4 with a 6.59 ERA entering Friday’s night’s start versus Ricky Nolasco. Jimenez’s control has been brutal this year, walking seventeen batters in 27 innings. That’s also led to relatively early exits: he has yet to get more than six innings of outs.

~~~

If you would like to see Manny Machado up close, I see row 2 and row 3 seats right be third base available for Friday’s game. Saturday you can bake in the sun for the whole game in Section 125. And on Sunday, I’d consider the $17 tickets in Section 240, so I can watch the Twins for two hours and then retire to the nearby Town Ball Tavern to watch the Wild at 3:00. All are an even better deal if you use the promo code DAILYDOUBLE, which will get you 10% off and supports Twins Daily. Whatever your needs, your local ticket supplier, Ticket King, can help.

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