I should not go to Las Vegas. The past week is proof of that. Last week I took a look at the current roster, future call ups and the guys that were coming back from injury and I said that Joe Mauer at 1B was going to be a myth for the rest of the 2011 season. How wrong I was. Since that time Mauer has played at first base at least three times. Such much for that. Then yesterday I suggested that despite facing AL Cy Young candidate, Justin Verlander, that the Twins had a chance to beat the Detroit Tigers. Turns out, that Verlander guy is as good as advertised and the Twins floundered against his mid-upper 90s fastballs. So I am not going to Vegas, and I am going to steer away from making some predictions for a while, let my luck build up.
The good news is that the Twins have an opportunity to face three Detroit pitchers who are not Justin Verlander over the weekend (Max Scherzer, Brad Penny, and Rick Porcello, each of whom is very beatable). The Twins can win the next three games and head to Texas directly in the rear view mirror of the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians.
And here are the links:
Each week over at Seedlings to Stars their staff of writers will be recapping all of the players that made their Major League Debuts. This week, the Twins’ own Scott Diamond made his debut and StS has the coverage.
Seedlings to Stars had another Minnesota Twins related feature this week, this time it was Nathaniel Stoltz providing some insight into one of the Twins next bright stars, Liam Hendricks. (The article has a weird two page format, but just click through for the good stuff on page 2)
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the internet, it turns out that planking is dead. Now, I cannot be sure that planking was ever alive, ever something that we should have paid attention to, but this new craze that is taking it’s place is even cooler. @HippestHipster would be proud.
Mike Moustakas is not a super hero yet, and he doesn’t have his own set of rules like teammate Eric Hosmer, but he’s going to get there. And when he does, look out world. For now though, he’s suffering through some growing pains. Twins fans everywhere only hope he never grows into his big league shoes.
How long has Frank McCourt been in the news? Too damn long. How soon until MLB takes over the Dodgers and McCourt is bounced from MLB? Not soon enough. Just go AWAY!
You know how Twins fans like to joke about how dumb White Sox fans are? NotGraphs is on your team, here is some video evidence to back up those claims.
Last week I had a couple of Shakespeare themed posts up on the Friday Links, Jim Crikket must have been paying attention, Knuckleballs is back this week with a post titled, “Shakespeare was Right,” how could I resist? This post is not exactly about Shakespeare, but if you have a distaste for lawyers, and Roger Clemensand congress going after PED users, then this is definitely worth your time.
Baseball is a funny game, sometimes MLB closers are lights out amazing. Sometimes, unfortunately for Matt Capps, they’re not. Peanuts from Heaven gives Bill Smith a top 10 list of things to trade Matt Capps for, once again reminding us, baseball is a funny game.
If you haven’t blocked it from your memory yet, you might remember that the Twins played a double-header on Monday in the sweltering heat. Unfortunately the Twins lost both games to the Indians before recovering on Tuesday and Wednesday to salvage a series split. But that was not a regularly scheduled double-header, it was the result of an early season rainout. MLB has been reluctant to schedule double headers, and owners have been reluctant to give up 1/82 of their gate revenue. But there was a double header earlier this week. SB Nation gives you some Double Header Trivia.
Twins Fan From Afar loves double headers too. Here, Andrew provides some insights on his take on the MLB and doubleheaders, and provides some pre-doubleheader optimism for Twins fans.
Because the Friday Links are a weekly highlight, we like things that highlight things that happen in a week. Check out Baseball Outsider’s pic of the week.
Alec Baldwin is from down town. Alec Baldwin is from Mitch & Murray. He is responsible for what might be the greatest 7 minutes in cinematic history, with his performance in Glengarry Glen Ross. ”Coffee is for Closers only.” Turns out, Erin from Picked off at First doesn’t think Matt Capps should be having any coffee.
More bullpen related news from Nick Nelson over at Nick’s Twins Blog, but this time with a twist, this time Nelson considers a AAA starter for a spot in the pen.
Everyone wants to weigh in on the Twins’ bullpen situation. Check out Andrew Kneeland’s Relief Wishlist over at Twins Target.
Been picking on Joe Mauer? You’d better stop. I mean it. If you don’t, The Common Man will come and get you. I’m serious. He’s already tackled Mick Garry, and you could be next.
No one likes double plays. Danny Valencia and Michael Cuddyer are tied for the team lead with 12 GIDP’s each. Neither of them made the list of the Three Worst Double Plays over at FanGraphs. They didn’t make the list for the Three Best Double Plays either.
Remember spring training? Twins fans were buzzing with confidence. This team was going to be great. Sure, they bullpen was an unknown, and the starting rotation wasn’t going to knock anyone out, but they had a couple of arms in triple-A ready to step in and showcase their skills as former first round draft choices. Nearly 2/3 through the 2011 season neither Kyle Gibson or Alex Wimmers has appeared for the Twins. Gibson has been toiling in Rochester unable to put together a string of impressive starts. Alex Wimmers, since suffering a case of the yips in his first outing of the year has been working just to get back on the field. The North Dakota Twins Fan chronicles Wimmers summer as he attempts to get back on the fast track to the MLB.
I don’t care who you are, THIS is cool. Thanks to Flip Flop Fly Ballin’ for throwing it out there.
When I was a kid growing up in Minnesota I loved going to baseball games at the Metrodome with my Papa. I loved Kirby Puckett and I loved a lot of those Minnesota Twins teams that were losing nearly 100 games. I also loved Chili Davis. I thought that he had just about the coolest name ever (Charles Theodore Davis, for those of you scoring at home). FanGraphs recently did a Q&A with Mr. Davis, in which Chili raised some interesting issues.
Bert Blyleven is going into the hall of fame this weekend. David Schoenfield over at ESPN’s Sweetspot dives into Blylevens career numbers and reasserts Bert’s greatness, and it has nothing to do with getting circled.
Jim Thome is cruising towards 600. There has not been a lot of fan fare over his quest for this historic baseball milestone. While 600 would put Thome in rarefied air, does it make him a lock for the Hall of Fame? The Bleacher Report dives in.
Do players in today’s game respect a manager if he didn’t spend time playing in baseball’s major league? Does it matter? FanGraphs wrestles with that question and more.
It was just one game in a four game series against the Tigers, but last night Justin Verlander was his regular dominant self. Edward Thoma from Baseball Outsider, in fact, needs just one word to describe Mr. Verlander, pitcher.
Frisbee is pretty cool, so I’ll leave you this week with some of the coolest frisbee shots I’ve ever seen.
Don’t forget to check out Puckett’s Pond on Facebook
Topics: Alex Wimmers, Brad Penny, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Danny Valencia, Detroit Tigers, Eric Hosmer, Jim Thome, Joe Mauer, Justin Verlander, Kansas City Royals, Kyle Gibson, Matt Capps, Max Scherzer, Michael Cuddyer, Mike Moustakas, Roger Clemens, Scott Diamond