Thursday, June 23, 2005

Saving Grace

The Twins' return to the victory column today wasn't exactly dazzling. Half the runs in their 6-2 win over the Tigers came on a wild pitch and an error. Then again, when you're in a slump like this, you take what you can get. Jacque Jones came up with the bases loaded in the first and struck out swinging, but the third strike sailed past catcher Vance Wilson and allowed both Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau to score. Next, Matt LeCroy would plate 2 on a bloop single to right. The 4 runs would be all they would need (although they added 2 more in 6th when Mauer scored on an error and LeCroy hit a solo home run), as Carlos Silva tossed another impressive complete game victory, needing only 91 pitches to dispose of the Tigers on 9 hits and 2 runs. He struck out two and walked no one.

*Mike Ryan has cooled down considerably since a pretty hot start when he was called up from Rochester. He hit leadoff today and went 0/5, shrinking has average to .211.

*Luis Rodriguez, who has also cooled a bit after a hot start after his call-up, went 0/4, though his average still its at .300.

*Mauer, Morneau, LeCroy, Juan Castro and Glenn Williams all had 2 hits apiece. Williams is hitting .450 since being called up. Probably just a fluke, but he sure looks a lot better than Crappy Cuddyer right now.

*Silva has walked 5 batters in 105 innings this year. That is unbelievable. This guy has become the stopper on this team. He lacks the gaudy strikeout (30) and win (6) numbers, so he might need another good start or two in order to lock up a place on the All Star roster.

In other news, I read an interesting tidbit in ESPN.com's rumor mill today:

"Because they have some young, inexpensive pitchers on the rise, the Twins may deal Kyle Lohse, the St. Paul Pioneer Press speculates, for a hitter, possibly Padres third baseman Sean Burroughs."
When they say, "Pioneer Press speculates", I don't know if they mean some beat writer put it out there as an idea or they actually have a scoop that the Twins are thinking about it. I didn't read the Press yesterday. In any case, I don't see how the move would really benefit the Twins. . Burroughs, a 24 year old, has only 11 career home runs so he wouldn't exactly be the established veteran power-hitter the team desperately needs, although he did hit .298 last year and is steady defensively. He would most certainly be an upgrade over Mr. Cuddyer. Plus, he's relatively cheap at $1.6 mil. Then again, he bats left-handed, and the Twins need another left-handed hitter like they need Joe Mauer's knee to explode. Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan yesterday put out the name of Joe Randa as a potential trade option, and he would make a lot more sense in my opinion. Randa, a righty, is a ten year vet with decent power, a good glove, and a very good career K/BB ratio. He's currently hitting .293 with 11 HR and 39 RBI for Cincinatti, and his $2.1 million price tag would not be crippling. Furthermore, the trade would make sense from both sides because the Reds are badly in need of pitching.