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    by 05-17-2012, 05:44 PM

    Back in February, I framed the Twins' rotation as a series of five coin flips. Looking back, it's funny how the worst case scenario seems to have struck in every single situation:
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    by 05-16-2012, 10:37 PM

    The Twins had a big victory tonight, 11-7, over the Tigers. Everyone except Erik Komatsu was involved in the hitting, and that's a great sign. It's tough not to be excited about Brian Dozier. True, it's a small sample size, but he has exceeded expectations so far, including a big 3-run home run early in tonight's game. But enough about the current Twins. Tonight's focus is about the Future Twins. All the minor league affiliates were in action tonight, and here's a recap of what transpired.
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    by 05-16-2012, 10:31 PM

    When spring training opened up in late February, I posted an article called Twins Two-Way Planning in which I said that the Twins 2011 roster was probably built perfectly to go one of two directions. In essence, if things went poorly, they had enough one-year, veteran contracts of guys that other teams might have interest in at the trade deadline. The Twins could get prospects to help push forward the rebuilding process.

    However, the other scenario was, “IF seven or eight of the factors listed above are going positively, AND the Twins are getting positive performances from their minor leaguers and these new players, AND the team is in contention in mid-July, THEN they will have plenty of payroll flexibility to add a significant piece or two at the deadline, if they choose.”

    So, what were the “factors listed above” and how are the Twins doing in those categories… you know, since they barely have double-digit wins on the season.
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    by 05-16-2012, 08:47 PM

    There is no question that umpires have biases. The question is whether we want them or not.


    A couple of years ago I reported on a book that I was reading titled Scorecasting by Tobias J Moskowitz and L. Jon Weerthem. This writeup is going to copy a lot of that story. The book is similar to the book Freakonomics, except that it focuses exclusively on sports. If you have an iPad or iPhone, you can download the first chapter for free – and just that much changed forever how I watch baseball.


    The chapter is about a bias that umpires have because they are, with the possible exception of Joe West, human. And humans are far more willing to forgive an error of omission over an error of commission.
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    by 05-15-2012, 11:35 PM

    Once upon a time, in a land far away on the other side of downtown, covered by a beautiful white bubble – where the weather was always a pleasant 72 degrees – there was a starting pitching staff who understood the intrinsic value of working ahead of opponents.

    In the last decade, from 2000 to 2010, one of the pillars of the Twins Way was to dominate the airspace above the plate. The starters made it their business to pepper the strike zone from the get-go, leading baseball with a 62.8% first-pitch strike rate. Brad Radke paced baseball with a 69% first-pitch strike rate as other members of the team – notably Carlos Silva, Kevin Slowey and Johan Santana - also finishing within the top
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    by 05-15-2012, 10:27 PM

    Much has been made of Twins fans booing Joe Mauer at Target Field this year. Personally, I'm not offended by it. It's how some invested fans choose to express their disappointment and frustration. They paid for the tickets that help pay the players' enormous salaries, so those in attendance should be free to voice their displeasure with what's happening. In this case, it's not totally unjustified.

    Not that I myself would ever boo Mauer. There have been ball players in this game's long history who have been deserving of booing – scumbags, entitled pricks and racists among them – but No. 7 is not (at least to my knowledge) any of those things.

    He's a very handsomely paid athlete who is not currently providing the value that the Twins hoped for and expected when they inked him to a $184 million contract extension three years ago. I doubt it's his fault.
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    by 05-15-2012, 10:07 PM

    The Twins put up a lackluster effort at home in getting swept during a short two-game series with the first place Cleveland Indians. Derek Lowe looked like Cy Young on the mound and the Twins continued to hit ground ball after ground ball to fall further behind the Tribe. Jason Marquis gave up three home runs in the fifth inning and five runs over five innings to put the Twins in a hole they would never be able to get out of in the game.

    Ron Gardenhire shifted up the line-up for this contest and moved Joe Mauer to the second spot in the order. This meant Brian Dozier had to move and he was placed in the fifth spot for the Twins. The move down in the line-up didn't seem to impact Dozier because he ended the contest with half of the team's six hits. Dozier showed some power again by hitting his second double of the year and his batting average continues to climb.

    Besides Dozier, there has to be some good news in other parts of the Twins organization. So let's peruse the minor leagues as we take Tuesday's trip through the Twins farm system.
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    by 05-15-2012, 09:57 PM

    From the Twins Twitter Feed:

    #Twins to reinstate Justin Morneau from 15-day DL prior to tomorrow night's game in Detroit. Option Chris Parmelee to Triple-A Rochester.

    For discussion on this latest move, please click here.
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    by 05-15-2012, 06:58 AM

    The Twins lost again last night to fall to 10-25 on the season. A Ryan Doumit 8th inning home run got Twins fans quite interested, but Matt Capps gave back the run in the top of the ninth. Enough about that, huh?
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    by 05-14-2012, 10:55 PM

    I don’t know if these are questions, or thoughts, of forum topics, but after a 13-hour day, I’m pretty much free associating. Let’s see what happens.

    Because Fourth Place Is Just Five Games Away?
    Why is Carl Pavano pitching? The Twins long term strategy regarding Pavano needs to be to have him demonstrate enough success to get some value for him at the trade deadline, right? What is the purpose of trotting him out there at 80% to look below average? Get him healthy, let him string a strong month or so together and then shop him in July. Doesn’t this have to be the strategy? Why isn’t this the strategy?

    Or Maybe It Was Andy’s Whoopie Cushion.
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    by 05-14-2012, 09:15 PM

    The Twins don’t appear to be playing real inspired (or inspiring) baseball, so let’s get right into the farm.

    A few transactions to sort through:
    The Red Wings released 1B Aaron Bates and recently-signed INF Joe Thurston.
    It was announced that OF Wilkin Ramirez (who has been tearing up AA) and RP Lester Oliveros have been promoted from New Britain to Rochester.

    2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka - you may have heard of him - is expected to be activated before tomorrow’s game. The addition of Nishi, as well as Matt Maloney, pushes 1B/DH Matt Rizzotti from Rochester to New Britain.

    There is no word on any other corresponding moves to fill the other hole in New Britain (and it would be purely speculation to point out that neither Miracle OF Oswaldo Arcia nor INF Levi Michael were in the lineup tonight).

    Let’s take a spin around the farm:
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    by 05-14-2012, 08:35 AM

    Original post from North Dakota Twins Fan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Word came out over the weekend that Carl Pavano underwent an MRI on his right shoulder to see if there was anything wrong with this important area for his throwing arm. The report came back saying he has a strained interior shoulder capsule and he could need a cortisone shot after his start on Monday night. At this point, he is not expected to miss any time for the Twins but he is sending his MRI to another doctor for a second opinion to make sure it is nothing serious.

    The reason for all of this concern around Pavano has been the large decrease in his velocity to start the 2012 campaign. Sometimes it can take pitchers a few starts to ramp up their velocity at the beginning of the year but he has already made seven starts this season for the Twins. Most of the offseason rust should be gone by now and his velocity should be closer to normal. This wasn't the case and the Twins needed to find some answers in relation to Pavano.
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    by 05-14-2012, 06:40 AM

    Originally posted at www.ManCenter.com
    -----
    June 4th marks the 1st round of the MLB Amateur Draft. LSU So P Kevin Gausman figures to be one of the first names called. We had a chance to catch up with him today to talk draft, the season and donuts.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions and letting us get to know a little bit more about you.

    Obviously, the MLB draft is different from other sports in that it happens while many guys are still in-season. How much thought have you given next month’s draft?

    Kevin Gausman: I try not to think about the draft, it is exciting, but I still have all my goals with LSU to achieve first and that is where my priority is.
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    by 05-13-2012, 07:01 PM

    Aaron and John talk about the latest roster shakeup, including Danny Valencia's demotion to Triple-A and Francisco Liriano's move to the bullpen, get a call from Aaron's mom for Mother's Day, marvel at Scott Diamond's unexpected gems, make their PickPointz picks and name last week's winners, and wonder what the future holds for Trevor Plouffe and Joe Benson. Here are:

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    by 05-13-2012, 04:27 PM

    A VERY HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY from TwinsCentric and the Twins Daily staff!!

    Scott Diamond did it again. In a repeat of his first big league start of the season, the left-hander threw seven shutout innings. That he lasted seven innings is most impressive since he was drilled in the left shoulder by a line drive in the second inning. He gave up some hits, and a lot of line drives, but seven shutout innings is always appreciated. Brian Dozier had two hits, including his first big league home run. The Twins had several opportunities to add on to a four-run lead, but did not capitalize. That proved large when Jared Burton gave up three runs in the 8th inning. Burton, who had not allowed a hit to his last 34 batters faced, gave up three straight hits before being replaced by Glen Perkins, who got out of the inning thanks to a great diving play by Joe Mauer. Matt Capps closed out the game with a big strikeout and the Twins won 4-3 to split the series with the Blue Jays.

    Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from Sunday:
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    by 05-12-2012, 09:43 PM

    PJ Walters was terrific in his Twins debut, but the Twins lost by a score of 2-1. He gave up a single run in the fifth inning. In the sixth inning, Walters hung a 3-2 curveball to Jose Bautista who hit a line drive barely over the fence in left field for his tenth Target Field home run in ten Target Field games. The unfortunate thing is that Walters made a 2-2 pitch on the outside corner at the knees, a pitch that had been called a strike all game, but it was called a ball, extending the Bautista at bat. The Twins bullpen was also terrific. Brian Duensing threw two perfect innings, and Jeff Gray pitched a scoreless ninth frame.

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