It's true, this offseason still is not over.  Cold weather and snow is finally settling ..."/> It's true, this offseason still is not over.  Cold weather and snow is finally settling ..."/>

Thursday Links


It’s true, this offseason still is not over.  Cold weather and snow is finally settling in over much of the Midwest, and Twins fans are longing for a visit to Spring Training to escape the winter temperatures and grey skies.  The Twins have been relatively quiet over the past week.  They invited 25 non-roster players to Spring Training, but other than that the only thing they did is confirmed that they talked to the agent of free agent reliever Dan Wheeler.

With the winter grinding on, I thought that this entry from NotGraphs’ Dayn Perry summed up perfectly everything I’ve ever wanted to say about baseball in January. “This has been a post about putting your hat in the dishwasher. This is the offseason.”

With the Twins’ roster construction turning towards the bullpen, Nick Nelson took at look at Free Agent relievers the Twins could sign, as well as internal options to fill the remaining spots in the pen.  Seth Stoh’s took his turn looking at available relievers as well, rounding up a large group of players that could be available for the remaining $2-$3 million dollars left in the Twins’ 2012 budget.    Twinkie Town’s Jesse does a great job of breaking down many of the advantages and disadvantages of the creme of the free agent relieving crop.

He isn’t a free agent reliever, but he is a free agent, and if the Twins are willing to stretch their budget, they could end up with Roy Oswalt on a one year deal, and if he pitches anywhere near his career numbers, he could help the Twins win another surprise AL Central championship.

More from Baseball Outsider where Edward Thoma continues dissecting the Bill Smith Era, checking in this week on the J.J. HardyJim Hoey trade as well as looking closer at the rest of the trades from 2010.

The Twins Fan From Afar makes a case that signing Francisco Liriano to a long term deal this winter is a smart move and allows the Twins to Buy-Low on a guy with tremendous upside.  When healthy and pitching well, Liriano is one of the 5 best pitchers in the American League.  Even when he isn’t at his best, he can still manage to luck into a no-hitter, right? (Francisco Liriano took the hill last night for the first time this winter, throwing for Escogido.  He threw 1.2 innings, gave up 2 hits, a run, a walk, and struck out two.  Not great, but it’s something.) 

Having a Twins Offseason is now a thing.  Having the Most Twins Offseason is probably not a hotly contested offseason award, but the Twins usually manage to take home the honors.  Usually.

NotGraphs’ Jeremy Blachman is predicting the 2012 All-Injured Team, attempting to select the player at each position to miss the most games in 2012 due to injury.  If 2011 results are predictive at all, I can think of 25 guys on the Twins’ roster worth putting on this list…

Chris Creamer is into the third part of his 2011 Uniform Year-in-Review, and he’s finally dishing on the Twins uniform notes from a season ago, including Ms, 3s, and Throwbacks.

This is the greatest story I’ve ever read about baseball and chocolate and Ken Griffey Jr.*

*Also the only.

This book, A Baseball Winter, sounds as boring as Baseball Winter.  Put your hats in the dishwasher, ladies and gentlemen.

The Tenth Inning Stretch has another non-Garden Variety Top 10 List, this time looking at the Franchise OPS Leaders.  Kirby Puckett just makes the top 25 in single season OPS, but ranks 12th in franchise career OPS.  A model of consistently great hitting.

Delmon Young isn’t known for his great defense.  In fact, he’s known for his bad defense.  Since 2002, he’s the 8th worst defender in all of baseball, with a -21.5 UZR/150.  Who else makes the list?  Jim Breen has the details at FanGraphs.

Buster Olney has been making top 10 lists for most of the past week.  This one, the top 10 lineups in baseball, isn’t trapped behind the ESPN Insider subscription wall.  Spoiler Alert: The Twins didn’t make the list.

Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski is always great, and usually spectacular.  This piece on F.C. Lane is no exception.

What do Sprained Livers, Death Breath and Accidental Polygamy have in common?  They are all listed on MLB’s earliest injury reports.

The Bleacher Report is usually annoying obnoxious with their “Click Next” to see the top 10 things about XYZ lists.  But this week they have a solid entry worth the extra clicks, 10 Things You Don’t Know About Target Field.  (I knew just 4 of them, and for that, I am shamed)

Jim Crikket at Knuckleballs knows a little bit about a lotta things, and he’s willing to share them with you. JC actually knows a lot of things about a lot of things, and the Twins are one of the things.

“The Twins have the most ‘stable’ second base situation in the divison with Alexi Casilla.”  Let that sink in for a moment.  Then head over to FanGraphs to read Matt Klaassen’s explanation.

Calling Rick Anderson.  Please read this: Fixing Nick Blackburn.  Andrew Bryz-Gornia argues that if Blackburn can limit walks in 2012, he can once again be a valuable member of the Twins pitching staff.

If your team leads the league in plate appearances for rookies you’re probably not winning a lot of games.  At least that’s what conventional logic would tell you.  If rookies are playing, it means that veterans haven’t been able to hold down their spots and your teams are in transition.  That was certainly the case in 2011.  But in 2004 the Twins lead the AL in plate appearances by rookies and won the Central.  Go figure.

Rob Neyer posted this as proof that baseball is harder than football.  I’m not sure he wasn’t arguing that point with a grain of salt, but I don’t buy it.

Don’t miss another exciting episode of the Gleeman and the Geek podcast.  This one is  a brief 80 minutes long, and makes for great listening while you spend an evening in the kitchen baking banana bread.

The Video of the Week features the most amazing ball-girl catch ever.  Also, probably the highlight of Brent Johnson‘s Minor League career, for all the wrong reasons.

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