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Kevin Slowey was Framed!

August Mailbag!

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Originally posted at Kevin Slowey was Framed!

As always, these are actual questions written by someone and answered by me. I may also be that other someone. It's not a big deal.

Justin Morneau recently passed Bob Allison for fourth all-time in Twins' career home runs. Of course, he's still behind Allison in franchise history, but whatever. Morneau has 212 home runs and counting. Who will be the next Twins' player to pass Morneau on the all-time home run list?

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

Great Question! Mauer is only about halfway there, and I don't think he gets to 200 in his career. The next active player on the list is Josh Willingham at 45 and then Trevor Plouffe at 44. I don't think either guy plays long enough to get to 200. 200 is a big number, only Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Allison, Morneau, Kirby Puckett and Gary Gaetti have reached that figure.

However, there is a big powerful man in Connecticut who will need some official Twins jerseys in the very near future. I think Miguel Sano will play long enough and hit many, many bombs. If he averages 30 home runs for the seven years under team control, he'd hit 210. I think that seems reasonable. He might not hit 30 as a rookie, but he might hit more than 40 at his peak. Averages!

Prediction! I catch Sano's 200th home run ball. Instead of giving it to him like a normal person, I go home and tear off the cover. I knit him a tiny sweater from the threads. I head to Target Field to present him with his 200th home run sweater and I am immediately arrested. I represent myself at trial. I'm dynamic. After my sentence ends, I tour the nation speaking of the danger of trying to be thoughtful, but actually being creepy.

Drew Butera was traded on Wednesday. What will you remember most about Butera?

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

For me, I will always remember Butera as the Francisco Liriano whisperer. At least, that was how he was presented by the duo of commentators on FSNorth. They made it seem like Liriano was some wild stallion and that Butera was the guy to say "whoooooooooaaaa buddy" when he would freak out. It was almost as if they thought that Liriano would just turn around and wander into the outfield, or throw the ball straight up into the air instead of toward home plate, or just go to the concourse and grab a hot dog, or just sit down on the mound and take of his shoes. Of course, that was if Butera wasn't there to keep him focused. That always amused me.

The Twins were very quiet at the deadline, only trading away Francisco Liriano's adderall. Were you suprised?

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

See! The Liriano thing is real. Anyway, no, I was not surprised at all. The Twins' three best assets were either unavailable altogether or would have required a blockbuster trade that just seemed too unlikely. Joe Mauer isn't going anywhere, and probably shouldn't. Josh Willingham is hurt. Glen Perkins is likely more valuable as a player than a trade chip. Outside of those guys, who on this team would other teams really want? Justin Morneau and his 40-year-old Ichiro impression? Jared Burton, the guy who couldn't handle the set-up role? Brian Duensing, the lefty who can't get lefties out? Ryan Doumit and his Popsicle stick glove? Casey Fien might be valuable, but who has ever heard of Casey Fien? Perhaps the Twins will make a deal in August. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't either.

By the way, I did live-blog the trade deadline, if you want to experience that memorable day once more. Just click here; I locked myself out of my house at one point. Find out why!

Where you sit right now, what do you think the Opening Day lineup will be in 2014? What do you think it should be?

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

I would not expect wholesale changes and I would not expect a ton of rookies either. That's not really how the Twins do business. So, this is what I think it will look like:

CF - Aaron Hicks
2B - Brian Dozier
C - Joe Mauer
LF - Josh Willingham
RF - Oswaldo Arcia
3B - Trevor Plouffe
DH - Ryan Doumit
1B - Chris Parmelee/Chris Colabello
SS - Pedro Florimon

In other words, a lot of the same. I do think Morneau will be elsewhere and that Arcia will be in the everyday lineup. Hicks in the leadoff spot might seem crazy, but they have to try him there again at some point. As far as what I think it should be? I would probably move Doumit to the bench, Plouffe to DH, Dozier to the 8th spot, everyone else moves up a notch, then use Miguel Sano at third, bat him cleanup. Why not? He'll hit a bunch of home runs and that could be fun.

Of course, this whole exercise is useless because the Twins are going to spend massive money this off-season and completely overhaul the roster, right?

What has been worse for longest: The Mets outfield or the Twins middle infield?

Willihammer, Twins Daily Forum

This comment was inspired by the Matt Lawton trade to the Mets back in 2001. I made fun of the Mets' outfield. I was too lazy to look this up before, so I saved it for today. I made a chart. I used WAR. Save your breath.

Twins' MI Mets' OF Twins/Player Mets/Player Winner?
1998 2.1 2.8 1.05 0.93 Twins
1999 -2.2 1.1 -1.10 0.37 Mets, Geez Guzman…
2000 1.2 5.8 0.60 1.93 Mets
2001 4.6 -0.8 2.30 -0.27 Twins, Hey, Guzman!
2002 1.2 2.9 0.60 0.97 Mets
2003 0 1.2 0.00 0.40 Mets
2004 2 3.1 1.00 1.03 Mets
2005 2.7 8 1.35 2.67 Mets
2006 5.1 8.4 2.55 2.80 Mets, Beltran
2007 5.9 7.9 2.95 2.63 Twins, Bartlett!
2008 3.8 9.6 1.90 3.20 Mets
2009 -1.6 5.5 -0.80 1.83 Mets, yikes
2010 3.9 8.4 1.95 2.80 Mets
2011 -0.4 5.3 -0.20 1.77 Mets
2012 2.8 -1.2 1.40 -0.40 Twins

Winner: Mets, by a score of 11-4. It really was a cakewalk.

What an honor. Of course, this was not a perfect research study. I just picked the players who were listed at those positions on Baseball Reference and I used WAR which has a slight bias toward the middle infield. It does show that each of these teams have had holes in these areas for quite some time. Although, the Mets had more overall success with their weak position. In summary, that was fun.

Hey dummy, remember how upset you were when the Twins released Joe Benson? Yeah, you were all crying and whining and sobbing and what has he done since then? Nothing! You suck.

Brad S's Mom, St. Paul, MN

I deserve that. Benson was hurt for over a month, so his progress stalled out a bit with the Rangers. After his recovery, he crushed rookie ball. Crushed it! Is it possible to be a professional rookie ball hitter? He's doing fine in AA, but he's 25 and has played in the Majors. I guess he could still become something, and I'll always be allured by his power/speed combo. But, I was probably too upset about a player who wasn't worth getting upset about. I'm sorry, I live in the moment. That's what makes me such a bombastic personality.

Thank you for all the questions, they are much appreciated. If you have a question that can wait an indeterminate period of time, please let me know and I will address it at some point in the future.
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Comments

  1. Willihammer's Avatar
    Yeah I guess with Beltran in RF that helped push the Mets over the top probably.

    By the way, Carlos Beltran, HoFamer?
  2. Brad Swanson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer
    Yeah I guess with Beltran in RF that helped push the Mets over the top probably.

    By the way, Carlos Beltran, HoFamer?
    Yes and yes. I actually am writing something about current players who I think should be in the Hall of Fame. Beltran has had a really excellent, underrated career.
  3. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
    Brad, you are amazing.

    I especially like the way you ask yourself a question and start the answer with, "Good question!".

    I laughed out loud. A fun read.
  4. Brad Swanson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN
    Brad, you are amazing.

    I especially like the way you ask yourself a question and start the answer with, "Good question!".

    I laughed out loud. A fun read.
    Haha, thank you! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it!
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