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Game Thread: Twins v Diamondbacks, 9/23 @ 7:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:30 PM
Game-time forecast: Mostly cloudy. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Temperature around 65.   DIAMONDBACKS: SP, Chafi...
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Ozzie Guillen, your thoughts?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:27 PM
Spanish speaking manager, was nemesis that always admired and respected the way the Twins played the game. Has World Series championship...
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Is Aaron Hicks burning bridges, or just on borrowed time...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:29 PM
Minnesota Twins' Aaron Hicks tardy Sunday after injury     As an avid viewer of Gardy post-game pressers, I could tell by his b...
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Article: VIDEO: How Difficult Is It To Frame A 100-Miles-...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:30 PM
Catcher Framing has been the statistic that has been all the rage -- it is the sooper popular thing right now among stat nerds.Catchers w...
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Ryan on Nolasco for 2015

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:05 PM
Apparently Terry Ryan understands the idea of "sunk cost".  From the StarTrib:   “I take exception to that statement. If he’s o...
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Thoughts And Players to Watch

Attached Image: evaluation.jpg The Twins have played the fewest games in the AL (along with the White Sox) and after 66 games they are about what I thought they would be at this point: fourth in their division and are within sight of everyone but Detroit. Big picture: fine with me. I want to see this team sell at the trade deadline, but I don't want them to be dreadful.

What is not fine with me is that the players I want the Twins to sell just aren't performing that well.[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK] Ryan Doumit (.288/.405/.692), Justin Morneau (.341/.379/.720) and Josh Willingham (.352/.411/.763) are all well below last year's results which implies their value has also diminished. It has been discussed all over Twins Daily, but Morneau's lack of power has lowered his OPS from last year, even though his BA is up.

On the pitching side, I think the Twins need to hold on to whatever effective arms they have. Perkins has done well and has a nice team-friendly contract. Despite a couple hiccups lately, Burton is a good late-inning arm. I suppose the club could deal one of those guys while they have good value.

Starters Correia and Pelfrey might have some value. Correia has been the Twins most consistent starter but he epitomizes the mostly discredited "Pitch to Contact" approach and his innings could go to somebody currently toiling in Rochester. If the Twins can get anything of value for him, I say sell. Pelfrey, on the other hand, seems to be getting stronger. He's throwing harder, getting more Ks, and pitching deeper into games. Perhaps the Twins could sign him for another year at a bargain rate rather than selling and seeing him thrive for someone else.

There are several players whose box scores I check no matter what. Mostly I'm looking at players who can help the Twins in the next year or two. That includes some on the major league roster and some in the minors. Also included: any left-hander who can get batters out - there never are enough lefties!

Here's a list of possible keepers, with a thumbnail of their seasons so far and the reasoning why they might stick around:
  • Chris Parmelee--could/should be Morneau's successor at first base. Young enough to be a key player when the next wave arrives. Parm is hitting .223 with a .648 OPS. He failed to secure a position last year and is on his way to ceding a spot in the Twins future. The bright spot has been surprisingly good defense in right field. He might be slotted as a bench player (RF/1B/DH) despite his poor hitting.
  • Brian Dozier--for a franchise with so few good middle infielder options, having a potentially capable middle infielder is important. Dozier had a good game today and currently is hitting .230 with a .624 OPS. Dozier has fielded his new position surprisingly well, but he has to hit more to secure a spot for 2014 and beyond. Dozier's June numbers are encouraging: a .297 BA and an OPS over .800.
  • Pedro Florimon--he is important for the same reasons as Dozier. The bar for Florimon was set very low going into the season and he hit surprisingly well early on. His overall offensive numbers mirror Dozier's--.227 BA with a .632 OPS, but June has not been kind to Florimon. For June, entering today's play, he's hitting .119 with a puny .388 OPS. His defense has slipped as well, so that I don't think Pedro is guaranteed anything more than continued play into next month.
  • Finally on, Trevor Plouffe. Plouffe has had injury issues, but his numbers are ....well, good! Plouffe has an obvious successor playing in the Twins' system, but if he can hit to an .800 OPS, he'll have a job with the Twins, or with someone else. Plouffe has the necessary skills to be a decent 3B and enough hitting prowess to be a regular somewhere in the Twins' lineup. Good health, Trevor!

In the Twins' top two minor league teams, I watch the catchers because I believe it is in the Twins' best interest to have Joe Mauer catch less. Very encouraging numbers from Josmil Pinto give me hope the Twins can have a young receiver splitting time with Mauer behind the plate. Pinto's offensive numbers at New Britain are outstanding: .321 BA and .957 OPS and reports have him being capable as a defender.

"Utility catchers" Chris Herrmann and Dan Rohlfing look like guys who could fill a third catcher role, play in the outfield and perhaps field an infield corner. Herrmann did very well for the Twins in 16 plate appearances and Rohlfing has been outstanding as a C/OF for the Red Wings after putting up OK numbers in New Britain.

Beyond the catchers, I look at AA-New Britain shortstop Danny Santana, who is hitting a low-power low-OBP .280 and has 20 errors at shortstop. Daniel Ortiz, who was a consistent performer early, has also slipped a bit. He's a corner outfielder with a .769 OPS. Finally, right-handed reliever Michael Tonkin has impressed. He started in New Britain, and has moved to Rochester. He has a good WHIP, opponent's BA and strikes out more than one per inning. I think Tonkin will fit in as a late inning option for the Twins as soon as this year.


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