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Article: Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of July 2014

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 02:46 AM
Today I’ll start announcing my choices for the July Minor League Awards. Each month, I like to post which pitchers and hitters had the be...
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Article: Wake Me Up When September Ends: Starting Rotation

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:11 AM
As the season starts to wind down, this is the first in a series of posts looking at different parts of the Twins roster . There have bee...
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THE END IS NEAR: Ron Gardenhire Knows About Fangraphs.com

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:11 AM
According to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger, Minnesota Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire acknowledged that the extensive statistical online wareho...
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Article: Twins Minor League Report (8/19): Stewart Pulled...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 01:11 AM
The big story of the night was star pitching prospect Kohl Stewart being pulled very early in his start by the Cedar Rapids training staf...
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Debating WAR

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:19 AM
I'd love to invite debate and explanation of WAR and it's impact and reality. I'm no expert on advanced metrics, and I admit this freely....
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The Store


Twins Trade Francisco Liriano To White Sox

The Minnesota Twins traded Francisco Liriano to the White Sox tonight for infielder Eduardo Escobar and left-handed pitcher Pedro Hernandez. Liriano was scheduled to start Sunday's game versus the Cleveland Indians. Brian Duensing will take his turn in the rotation.Attached Image: Francisco-Liriano.jpg

Neither prospect the Twins received is highly, or even semi-highly, regarded. Escobar was not in Baseball America's list of the White Sox top 10 prospects prior to the season. He was #7 on Baseball Prospectus' list, but is listed as a 2-star (out of five) prospect.

Escobar is just 23 years old and has spent this year in the majors with the White Sox. It's not clear why; it appears he have two option years left and it's hard to make a case that he's earned that promotion. Last year he hit .266 with a .303 OBP in AAA. In fact, his career OBP through all the levels of the minors is just .315 and he's struck out 100+ times in his last two years. Not too surprisingly, he's hitting .195 in the majors, albeit in just 92 plate appearances.

Pedro Hernandez also did not not make Baseball America's top 10 and ranked 15th on the Baseball Prospectus list. He's pitched at three level this year: 12 starts in AA, two starts in AAA and a single major league start. But he's clearly been rushed through AAA with just six starts. He's 23 years old.

He fits the stereotyped Twins pitcher - good control but not dominating stuff, or at least dominating as measure by strikeouts. His career minor league average is 7.4 K/9, which is below average. This year in AA he posted a 2.06 ERA - but also struck out just 37 batters in 68 IP. That's a lower rate than even Nick Blackburn had in AA.

Hernandez has also never pitcher more than 116 inning in the minors or had more than 18 starts. He has been used as a reliever several time throughout the minors. However, he has shown outstanding control with a K to BB ratio approaching 5:1, although that has suffered as he has made his way up the minor league ladder.

I've made the mistake several times of leaping to conclusions about lower level prospects that Terry Ryan has targeted who have turned out far better than I might have hoped. Jason Bartlett and Alexi Casilla both some to mind, and I'm sure there are more. But at first glance, it looks like Liriano was traded to a division rival for two C prospects that might fill needs but are long shots to have any long-lasting impact on the organization.


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