Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Thursday Links – Pitchers and Catchers are Coming


Spring Training is just around the corner.  The Seattle Mariners have had their pitchers and catchers in camp for almost a week already, getting a head start on the rest of the MLB.  The Twins’ pitchers and catchers will be in camp and working out with team officials before the end of the weekend.  Excitement.  Early reports are beginning to trickle in as Twins players arrive to camp early, and get in some work on their own and with the exception of Luke Hughes all the news is good (even Hughe’s news is fairly optimistic, as his strained shoulder shouldn’t cause him to miss much more than a couple of weeks of Spring Training before the team begins playing games).  With Spring Training bearing down so quickly, I’ll get right to the links:

This is going to be one of the most useful links of Spring Training.  The Tenth Inning Stretch has a list of all of Minnesota’s Spring Training Invitees including their uniform numbers.  If you’re headed down to Ft. Myers this spring, don’t miss this.

Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press reports that the Twins are bringing plenty of extra pitching to Spring Training this season, just hoping that someone sticks.

On The Road With… is continuing their run down of the 2012 Minnesota Twins Top 50 Prospects.  They’re all the way down to 31, but you can check back to see 50-46, 45-41, and 40-36.  Pat Dean checks in at 32, 11 spots behind where he was listed last year after due to poor performances above Low A Beloit.  I would have Dean listed in my top 25, but after the top 15 guys, a lot of this is just personal preference.

More Twins Prospect rankings here, from Gear up for Twins Baseball.

Target Field is a pitcher’s park.  While Josh Willingham has potential to pull the ball and succeed in Minneapolis, the rest of the lineup doesn’t seem to have much chance to hit the long ball.  Off The Mark doesn’t even think they Twins are trying to Beat the System.

Brandon Warne wonders if Scott Maker is the Most Underrated Hurler in the Bigs.  Ultimately he concludes that while Baker isn’t the MOST underrated, he’s pretty close.  Rob Neyer responds and asks why the Twins are so low on Baker despite his consistently above average performances.

The Platoon Advantage has two brand spankin’ new writers.  Check out Chris St. John and Cee Angi in their inagural TPA posts.

Piggy-backing Seth Stoh’s earlier piece on Ace Pitchers,  Andrew Walters looks at the way that True Aces are acquired, and what Twins fans might be asked to give up for one of the truly elite pitchers in the game.

The WGOM’s  Winterball Whiparound has final Winter League Stats for Twins plays.  Both Batters and Pitchers.

Drawing Penalties is the new market inefficiency in the NHL.

John Swol is peeking in on the Twins in Spring Training before the official reporting date this weekend.  Check out his early thoughts here, here and here.

Old Met Stadium was before my time, but looking at these images, I sure wish I had an opportunity to visit that ballpark.  Other things before my time, these commercials.  Thanks to Coffeyville Whirlwind for digging them up.

The Bench Buddies series continues with Drew Butera at North Dakota Twins Fan. And Luke Hughes, and the rest.

This is just a clever advertisement for FanGraphs+, but thinking about Randy Johnson starring in adult films almost dissuades me from making the $4.99 purchase.

Funky Buttlovin’.  That is all.

MLB Media Blackouts are all well and good, especially when they help bring more fans to the ballpark and lead to lucrative television deals that lead it increased team payrolls.  The other side is that some areas without teams of their own are actually blacked out from multiple teams, and Iowans have it the worst (Not only that, but they’re in Iowa.).

Your favorite team as a beer, or in the case of the Houston Astros, almost a beer.

Looking ahead to the MLB Amateur Player Draft, the Baseball Outsider checks out some potential draft targets.

Joe Posnanski looks at the Aging Curve of MLB players, and how fans, players, and front office types often underestimate the decline in production due to age.

I’m hurt and saddened that I didn’t make this list of real live Minnesota Twins, since I am one.

This shouldn’t be the Video of the Week, but it is.  Kate Upton teaching the Circle Change.

__________________
Check out Puckett’s Pond on Facebook
Follow @ERolfPleiss on Twitter

Tags: Alexi Casilla Drew Butera Featured Josh Willingham Luke Hughes Pat Dean Popular Randy Johnson