Monday, April 11, 2005

A Rough Weekend

Well, it hasn't been a very good home-opening weekend for the Twins, and not just because they lost a series to their rivals, the Chicago White Sox. The team gained word that they will likely be losing their third starter, Carlos Silva, for most of (if not all of) the season. I posted more in-depth about this on TwinsTerritory.com. Aside from that bad news, Justin Morneau is struggling to recover from a fastball to the head from Ron Villone that he suffered in the final game of the opening series against the Mariners. Initially it appeared that he would only miss a game or two for precautionary reasons, as scans came up negative for concussion or fracture, but Morneau's headaches and dizziness have persisted, leading to speculation that he might have to spend some time on the DL. It seems that all the hits to the head he took while playing hockey up in Canada might be complicating matters. This team really can't afford to lose Justin for an extended period of time, because to say that Matt LeCroy's defense at first base is bad would be a supreme understatement. They are also really missing Morneau's powerful left-handed bat in the middle of the order. LeCroy doesn't exactly strike fear into the hearts of right-handed pitchers from the clean-up spot.

It seems like as long as I have been a Twins fan, there has been one player on the roster who I have absolutely hated... to the extent that I will actually boo them when they come to the plate. For the past several years, this player has been Luis Rivas. Now, things are changing. I have warmed up to Luis just a little bit... not because I feel he has transformed into a good ball-player but because I am quite sure his time is short and he will have been replaced by next year unless he can finally post decent numbers this year. No, my new most-hated Twin is Mr. Corky Miller, the biggest waste of a roster spot since... well, I can't remember ever seeing such a waste of a roster spot. Since he can't hit worth a damn, I figured he must be a terrific defensive player to warrant a spot on a Major League ballclub, but I learned Sunday night that I was quite wrong. Corky is average at best as a defensive catcher. He has trouble blocking bad pitches and doesn't seem have an outstanding arm.

The only real bits of good news coming out the weekend are that Torii Hunter seems to be getting his bat going, with homers in consecutive games; and Johan Santana appears to be moving back into his form of 2004 post-All Star Break. He struck out 11 on Sunday night and made some of the Chicago hitters look downright silly while cruising to his second victory of the year.