Brad Swanson got a reaction from Williammn in Jeff Niemann
I do a weekly Power Rankings post at my blog and this week there weren't any Twins stories that I cared about. So, I wrote about free agents who are still available. It's here, if you're interested. Of the ten FAs I looked at, nine are still available. I listed Niemann 4th and the more I investigate, the more I like him.
His strikeout and ground ball rates had been increasing, prior to his injury in 2012. He missed all of 2013 with a shoulder issue, but he should be ready to pitch around mid-season this year. The shoulder issue is certainly a problem, but the Twins could easily take a flier on him, let him continue to rehab, replace Kevin Correia with Niemann in July and reap the benefits. Benefits aren't for certain, but I'd want my team reaping them if they are there to be reaped.
I looked at Niemann's BB, K and GB rates from his last three years, all of which were trending in the right direction or just good from the start (BBs). Here are his figures: 45.77% GB rate, 18.48% K rate, 7.53% BB rate. Here are all the pitchers who matched or eclipsed those numbers in 2013 (at least 130 IP):
14 guys and only Porcello had an ERA over 4. Santana had the highest xFIP at 3.69. I'm not 100% certain that Niemann has anything left, but he's only 30 and prior to his injury, he could hit 95 with his fastball. He's interesting, especially with so few starters out there and the Twins still in need. Why not try to grab him on an incentive-laden deal with an option for 2015?
What does everyone else think?
Brad Swanson reacted to Mike Sixel in Bryce Harper disrespecting the "A"
Except it isn't an opinion. No harm was done to any human being, except those that chose to be harmed by feeling dissed. What actual harm was done to anyone that didn't choose t be upset by it.
This is one of the roots of violence among humans, getting upset over things that don't matter, and having it escalate (like, throwing a ball at someone's head). Over smudging a design in the ground that has no effect on any human being.
Brad Swanson got a reaction from Willihammer in Article: Tuesday Morning Madness: 8/5/14
I managed to catch the entire series this weekend, but I also had a pretty nasty fever so I'm not really sure what I did and did not see. I've nearly recovered, but this is still going to be a bit on the short side because I'm all out of cool washcloths. I'm pretty sure I saw a beatdown on Sunday, but that just doesn't seem right. I know the Twins took two of three in Chicago and that's always fun.
My friend sent me a text last week and he was wondering when the last time the Twins had a guy come up from the Minors and completely exceed expectations. I couldn't come up with anyone off the top of my head, but Santana is the obvious answer. He's been outstanding at the plate and he's played a pretty competent center despite being an infielder and inspiring this movie poster:
Over the weekend, Santana had a dynamite series. He went 0-5 on Friday, but I can't blame him because that giant swamp monster in the outfield was really creating havoc for everyone. Then, from Saturday to Sunday, he went gonzo. He went 7-10 with a double, triple, home run, two walks, two stolen bases, five RBI and five runs scored. Santana is an exciting player with game-changing speed. I'm not sure he should be kept in center, but he might just be outstanding regardless of where he plays.
Santana's counterpart in center is a pretty exciting player himself. Adam Eaton was all over the place this weekend. He's a pest, but I respect him. Although, on Saturday, he singled, then ran up a rainbow and punched a hornless unicorn and got thrown out at second. I cannot condone those baseball and non-baseball actions. Just reckless.
Originally posted at Kevin Slowey was Framed!
Josh WillinghamJosh Willingham wasn't terrible this weekend, although he did go 1-7 during Sunday's hit parade. I don't remember his dragon wings from before, but I'm guessing they help him in the field? The Twins weren't able to trade Willingham before the deadline and might not be able to move him before the end of August. If that happens, I think the Twins need to play Willingham sparingly in September.
I appreciate Willingham's contributions to the Twins, but by September, he'll be in the final month of his contract and extremely unlikely to return. Even if he starts breathing fire, I don't think he changes the Twins' fortunes in 2014, so it makes way more sense to get more at-bats for players who will be in Minnesota in 2015 and beyond.
Gibson has taken over as the Twins' best starter, as his ERA is lower than Phil Hughes' and that's the only stat I can look up without getting up. Gibson was good on Sunday and six strikeouts in seven innings is a great recipe for Gibson success. That one pitch he threw that sunk under the plate and then popped back up into Eric Fryer's glove was particularly nasty. I'm not sure if it was completely legal, but it was something to see.
Former Twin Update - Sam Fuld
The Twins were quiet at the trade deadline, disappointing Brad Swanson and likely some other people. I hoped they would make more moves so that I could complain about them on Twitter, but it didn't work out that way. The Twins were able to parlay an early-season waiver claim into a 27-year-old starter with some MLB success. While I am not a huge Tommy Milone fan, even I have to admit that this was a fantastic trade. Fuld appears to be the World Series favorite's starting center fielder, thus nullifying the second part of the first part of this sentence.
Baseball Card from the past?
I really don't remember Will Clark's face being quite so melty, but that's what I see on my screen. In the days before photoshop, you really saw the players' facial imperfections, huh? It seems completely irresponsible and insensitive of Topps to match the background to his face. Just classless; he can't help who he is.
Fun Stat - Sunday's Game
During Sunday's game, the Twins had back-to-back-to-back home runs, an inning when they batted around, a 5-hit game and a giant half lizard-half toad playing first base. I am 100% certain that this combination of events has never happened in an MLB game. If you know whether or not the first three feats are unique on their own, please make sure to leave a comment.
Oswaldo Arcia's hair
I'm pretty sure I'm not hallucinating that hair, right?
Plugging My Way
I wrote a bunch of words about the Hall of Fame last week. I read these posts again this weekend and it seems like I made some pretty outlandish statements. I think I inducted a Yeti into the Hall of Fame, but you'll just have to read to find out. Here's part one and here's part two.
Was it just me or were Joe Mauer's sideburns growing on the field on Saturday?
It was really irritating to have to see all those pink and purple flashes on the screen all weekend. I hope that whatever Fox Sports North was attempting with this new feature is very short-lived. It was impossible to concentrate on the action with those periodic splotches. I turned off the TV for a little while, but then it just turned itself back on. Anyway, I'm feeling a lot better now and I'm looking forward to seeing if the Twins can take a home series against a pretty poor Padres team. Have a great week, everyone!
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Brad Swanson reacted to DocBauer in Article: Monday Morning Madness: July 28, 2014
Fully agree on Arcia with all the above. The talent level is very high. And I've seen enough good plays, and a very good arm most of the time, that I haven't given up on his defense. He is still very young. And he's one of those young players the Twins refuse to promote. (Snicker) I don't believe he'd really gain anything from more AAA time. He's shown too much at this level, despite the streaks and inconsistencies, to not work with him at this level.
Despite slumping some recently, I'm still a big believer in Dozier. I do think an extra day off once in a while would help. And while I don't have stats in front of me, didn't his recent dip in production, more or less, coincide with the injuries to Mauer and Santana? If I'm even close to correct, I'd see a lot more pressure on his as well as teams pitching around him.
Also a huge lover of Thorpe, as well as the somewhat similar Gonsalves. Maybe the hardest thing to find in all of baseball is a hard throwing LHSP who has the ability to be a quality ML SP. Not even a #1 Cy Young player like Santana, or Viola years before him, but just a good 2-3 quality SP who can do the job day in and day out and be a fixture.
Baseball is a game of numbers, numbers we obsess over at times. Numbers that tell a story, sometimes tell a bigger story, and sometimes tell a misleading story. Many of us are obsessed with May and Meyer, and to a lesser extent, Barrios and Stewart. And while all players have their own personal time table for various reasons, we sometimes get impatient for them to arrive and become fixtures. Every year, every other year, some kid is lightning in a bottle and arrives as a quality, if not top, SP at 20 or 21 and we ALL want our team to have a kid just like that! But those are truly rare occurrences. And we sometimes lose track of how young these kids really are at times. In Thorpe, and Gonsalves, we have a couple 19 yo kids pitching in A ball who have some real stuff! Real potential! But most kids this age are in rookie ball, even as top picks, or getting ready for their first season in college, and in a few cases, their redshirt freshman or sophomore seasons. The fact these kids are showing what they are is very exciting! Just be patient and give them time. Both could be in AA in 2016. Wow!
Brad Swanson reacted to JB_Iowa in Article: Monday Morning Madness: July 28, 2014
Really enjoyed this.
And, I also hope to see the young guys for most of the rest of the season.
Why doesn't Mauer just offer to take the rest of the season off to "heal up" and donate the appropriate portion of his salary to charity?
Brad Swanson reacted to Otto von Ballpark in Article: Monday Morning Madness: July 28, 2014
Obviously, I'd feel a lot better about Arcia's poor line if he preceded it with 200 PA of .850 OPS like Dozier did (not to mention Dozier's strong finish to 2013, or his good defense at an up-the-middle position.)
Also, Arcia's BABIP is .295 so there's no way he's just on the bad end of some luck. (Dozier's is .221 in that stretch, although he's probably established himself as a low BA/BABIP kind of guy anyway.) Arcia is K'ing in over 30% of his PA. Dozier is under 20%, even in that cherry picked stretch.
I'm all for continuing to play Arcia, but there is no question he has not performed well to date.