The Twins are still in first place, the offense is still pounding out the hits, and the pitching staff is still doing a pretty good job with run prevention. There are a few surprises this week, but for the most part, I can just copy and paste.
1) Justin Morneau, 17.7. Morneau has been on a tear, homering in four of his past seven games. You know, I should probably just leave the Mountie off the list until August.
2) Joe Mauer, 8.6. Yep, despite taking a couple of days off, Man Muscles is still the second-most valuable player on the team. He’s that good.
3) Jim Thome, 7.4. It’s good to see Ol’ Jimmers on the VORP leaderboard this week. Thome is batting .264/.400/.604 with a 1.004 OPS on the season, and he’s already hit his 569th career home run, tied with Rafael Palmiero for eleventh on the all-time leaders list. He’s just five away from surpassing Harmon Killebrew’s 573 mark. I’m just glad he’s doing all this for the Twins, instead of against them as per usual.
Wilson Ramos, 5.4. The rookie has done a pretty good job increasing his trade value filling in for Mauer, with seven hits in his first two games. He was also the first player since 1998 to collect four hits in his major-league debut, and the fist Twin to do it since Kirby Puckett. ZOMG TRADE THAT BUM MAUER FOR HEATH BELL!!1!
Drew Butera, -2.7. There are a few others, but Butera has been particularly awful at the plate. He’s collected one entire hit in 14 plate appearances, and cost the Twins a chance to sweep the Indians, when he grouned out weakly to short and left the bases loaded in the eleventh.
1) Francisco Liriano, 16.1. F-bomb had his worst outing of the season this week, when he surrendered 3 runs on 3 hits in seven innings. It took him 123 pitches, and he still struck out nine Injuns while only walking three. He is going to get roughed up for real eventually; we’ll see how many “OMG THIS IS THE REEEL LIRIANO” comments I can stand before I bitchslap somebody.
2) Kevin Slowey, 5.7. Slowtime still hasn’t been particularly sharp, lasting only 5.0 innings in his last start against Cleveland, but he didn’t walk anyone and struck out 6. He still seems to have some control issues, but at least his K/BB ratio has improved to 25/9.
3) Carl Pavano, 5.5. Pavano is making his debut on the Leaderboard. He’s been pretty good this season, with a 3.77 ERA and 7.33 K/BB ratio in five starts. Pavano will probably pitch more innings as a Twin than he did in four seasons in New York, so it makes me giggle that his Baseball Prospectus card still has him in a Yankees uniform.
Meh, the pitching staff has actually been pretty good lately, so I’ll give them a pass. No duds this week.