Puddle Jumping: Sulbaran, Guerrero, Pelfrey and Morneau


It’s been a while since we jumped in some puddles here on the Pond so let’s pull on our galoshes, toss on our rain coat and get right to it!

Pelfrey will be a free agent in a few months and I’m hoping a team other than the Twins will be paying for his services in 2014. (Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

Sulbaran’s Place and Ceiling:

In this week’s Ask BA, Jim Callis fielding a question on where recently acquired lefty, Miguel Sulbaran would fit in Minnesota’s prospect hierarchy and what he could become if he were to reach his ceiling. The response is several paragraphs long and worth reading, but the last piece of it is the “money” segment:

"The Twins system may be thinner in lefthanders than at any other position, and Sulbaran can make a case for being as good as any southpaw prospect in the organization. But his ceiling is probably No. 4 starter, and I don’t think he’ll rank in the upper half of BA’s Minnesota Top 30 Prospects list in the 2014 Prospect Handbook."

Whether or not Sulbaran evolves into a #4 starter in the major leagues, the deal will, at worst, wind up being a “push” from the Twins perspective. If they get any big league production, either out of the rotation or the bullpen, from the young lefty the trade scales will tip heavily in Minnesota’s favor. There’s even a case to be made that if Sulbaran helps one of the team’s minor league affiliates to a league title that it would also be a win.

The Pursuit of Guerrero:

ESPN1500’s Darren Wolfson took to twitter on Monday evening to indicate that the Twins are one of four teams still in the running to sign Cuban SS Alexander Guerrero. The Dodgers, Braves and Red Sox were the other teams mentioned. However, other reports have surfaced that the Red Sox are not in the mix while the Braves have confirmed their interest. The Dodgers and Twins have been linked to Guerrero for quite some time so this isn’t so much news as it is reaffirming what we already knew. For more on the 26-year old SS, you can head here to read our piece published August 3rd.

Speeding Up Big Pelf:

Bleacher Reports Tom Schreier offers up some suggestions for Twins starter Mike Pelfrey as we look forward to the 2014 season. Tom’s assessment and conclusions are reasonable and I enjoyed reading the article. However, I still remain skeptical that Pelfrey can ever provide much value to a major league team again, especially in the American League.

People often point to his 2008-2010 seasons but for some reason it gets overlooked that he had a 5.03 ERA in the NL in 2009. In his seven seasons prior to 2013 he had an ERA+ between 78 and 81 four times and has only been above league average (slightly) twice. The one season he was well above league average was 2012 when he threw 19.2 innings over three starts before blowing out his arm. Pelfrey’s ERA+ this season? That would be 78. He might be a little better next year as his 2012 surgery fades further into the background but for the most part he has been who he is in 2013.

In my book, bringing him back in 2014 would be a mistake unless he’s fighting for the #5 spot next spring and signed to an extremely reasonable, low risk contract. Fairness in conversation however, I’ve never been a big believer in Mike Pelfrey and he’s never really given me any reason to change my assessment.

Nowhere to Go for Morneau:

Based on two separate articles Sunday, it appears the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles have little interest in Justin Morneau. That’s just fine with me and I still hope for the unlikely event that the Twins will retain his services beyond 2013.

Brawling Managers:

I’ve intentionally avoided writing anything about the Saturday scuffle between Fort Myers manager Doug Mientkiewicz and his counterpart for Bradenton, Frank Kremblas. However if you’re really into that kind of thing, 1500ESPN posted some video of the tail end of the scrap.