This has been a few years in the making, and until now I have been completely against it because his value as a starter seemed so immense when he was on, but now it is time to move Francisco Liriano to the bullpen.
Here are the reasons:
1. Aside from 2010, he has been marginally good to pretty bad as a starter for the past 4+ seasons.
2. Starters who move to the bullpen generally throw harder given that they are amped up for one or two innings as opposed to 6-9.
Earlier this spring I listed 10 mid-lower tier prospects to watch this year as I expected breakout seasons from each of them. This is an update on eight of them (Nate Roberts is on the DL and Angel Mata is in extended spring training) as well as an introduction to two more players off to strong starts this season.
JD Williams, OF (Age: 21.5, SH): Williams is off to a slow start with the bat, but is still getting on base. Stats: 26 AB, .115/.324/.154, 1 2B, 0 3B,
This week I will focus on the in-conference games, discussing each series, and how some draft prospects performed.
Minnesota vs. Northwestern:
The Gophers swept the Wildcats 2-1, 2-1, and 6-0 in the weekend series. Friday's game featured the dominance of pitcher T.J. Oakes, who gave up 1 run in 8 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out 7 without giving up a walk. In the second game of the series, D.J. Snelten picked up where Oakes left off. Snelten went 7 2/3 innings, giving up only
Each week leading up to the MLB draft, I will be providing a roundup of how Big 10 teams fared and how notable players are doing. This player list is by no means exhaustive of all the potential draft candidates and there are likely some listed who will fizzle out, but this is a start.
Purdue (4-0 week, 24-5 overall, 7-2 Big Ten, first place)
Updated players-to-watch season stats:
Kevin Plawecki, R, (C) Jr. :
29 games, .373/.470/.618, EBH: 14/2/3, BB/K: 15/5,
Everyone knows to follow the progress of Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Oswaldo Arcia, Levi Michael, Hudson Boyd, Madison Boer and other top 20-25 prospects in the Twins system. There are many others, however, who with strong seasons could jump up into that top 20 range. Here are 10 of them (and thanks to Seth Stohs for roster information):
JD Williams, OF (Age: 21.4, SH): Williams will start with Beloit this year after a fantastic showing at Elizabethon. Three words: Dude is fast. Last
Is it really too much to ask for?
That is, it seems odd to sign a bunch of older AAAA type players who have some significant MLB experience to keep at Rochester while hoping on prospects and young players who aren't even AAA players yet to play with the Twins at the start of 2012. And with the news that Willingham can't make a simple transition to RF as a veteran professional baseball player, I am lumping in Ben Revere here even though he is no longer a prospect.
There are few Twins prospects who frustrate Twins fans as much as Aaron Hicks. He was extremely highly regarded when he was drafted and he has not performed at the level he was expected to, even at a young age. But upon examining Hicks in more detail, it seems clear that people need to hold off on the criticism--he's about right where he needs to be and there is a recent precedent for a breakout career.
Aaron Hicks: switch hitter, 6'2", 185, DOB: 10/2/89 (Age: 22.5)
Updated 03-14-2012 at 12:45 AM by Shane Wahl
Twins fans who have a curiosity about how things are "down on the farm" may look at top 10 prospect lists or maybe merely look at those players who are September call-ups and judge the state of the Twins system accordingly. Seth Stohs does more than enough to provide fans with a wealth of information about minor leaguers, but I thought that I would take things a step further and look at the movement of players, by position, on some select prospect lists for 2011-2012.
One of my fondest memories as a child is the time my dad taught me how to score a baseball game. I was 10 years old and I became obsessed with "keeping the book" while watching the Twins on television (I believe those were the Midwest Sports Channel days). My scorebook had about a dozen or so games in it before the postseason came along. I kept score for every ALCS game without a problem.
Then it was the World Series. I started keeping score for every game of that series
The Twins roster right now seems fairly set outside of 1-2 bullpen spots and one bench spot. But with Luke Hughes perhaps not being fully ready at the beginning of the season, it is possible that two spots will be available. Many think that Nishioka has the inside track for one of those spots, but he also cannot right now be trusted to play second base, so having a backup shortstop who isn't a good defender and has shown nothing at the plate so far would seem to be problematic.
Originally posted on November 10th on my blog. Some things are dated.
Review of the GM Handbook
Twins Centric has released their annual GM Handbook, a 134-page PDF featuring Michael Cuddyer (perhaps a big ? should also be there) on the cover and a wealth of information inside. Here, I am going to review the Handbook and offer a fifth blueprint for the Twins 2012 season.
Some general comments are needed first. John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson,
With last year's ranking in parentheses.
1. Miguel Sano (2)
2. Aaron Hicks (1)
3. Oswaldo Arcia (10)
4. Eddie Rosario (19)
5. Liam Hendriks (7)
6. Joe Benson (8)
7. Kyle Gibson (4)
8. Adrian Salcedo (12)
9. Chris Parmelee (14)
10. Brian Dozier (36)
11. Alex Wimmers (5)
12. Max Kepler (13)
13. Chris Herrmann (35)
14. Angel Morales (5)