Thursday, March 31, 2005

Guerrier over Nitkowski?

From what I've read on the Twins' website, right-hander Matt Guerrier is out of options and his place on the roster may be just as heavy a debate as Michael Restovich's was. The Twins gave Guerrier a start yesterday against Pittsburgh in which he allowed two hits in three innings and surrendered a solo home-run to Pittsburgh's 2004 Rookie of the Year Jason Bay. The Twins appear to have only one bullpen spot available and it will come to down to a choice between Guerrier and veteran lefty C.J. Nitkowski. "He's definitely in the mix," Manager Ron Gardenhire said of Guerrier. "We're looking at him. If we don't keep him, we lose him. We'll wait and see what happens." This spring, Guerrier has been very impressive with a 2.40 ERA in 15 innings.

Personally, I'd like to see them keep Guerrier. In the end, he will have much better stuff then Nitkowski and the Twins already have two lefties in Terry Mulholland and J.C. Romero. Of course, that rests on the shaky chance that Mulholland and Romero have good seasons, which is by no means a guarantee. Nitkowski has been good this spring, but those are exhibition numbers and he has not come up terribly big in his previous Major League stints. Guerrier has the stuff of a younger Brad Radke if he learns to harvest his stuff, which of course requires time in the Major Leagues. I'd love to see him get that chance with the last spot. Or, hell, lose the whole Corky Miller idea and keep them both.

Other news:

- If you've paid attention, you've noticed that Luis Rivas has been heating and made an outstanding play in yesterday's game. This may decrease any chance of Nick Punto being the team's second baseman as Rivas has been 5 for 9 in his past three games.

-Also, after spending seemingly a decade in the Twins minor league system and being touted for years as a great outfield prospect who would some day take over left or right field for the Twins, hometown hero Michael Restovich has finally moved on. He was claimed off waivers today by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. More on this tomorrow.

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