Friday, March 30, 2007

Twinkie Links

* As many of you know, the 25-man roster was finalized yesterday and J.D. Durbin was placed on waivers. He was claimed by the Diamondbacks. Just as I predicted earlier this week, a good arm like Durbin was let go in order to make way for a third-string catcher -- in this case Chris Heintz -- to be kept. It was a repeat of the Corky Miller/Michael Restovich debacle from 2005. Quite frankly, it was ridiculous. Once again I reiterate that, although Durbin may never amount to much, that really isn't the point. It's highly doubtful Heintz will do much of anything for the team, but he will be there instead of a useful arm or even another bat with some semblence of competence like Josh Rabe. Not smart. But, then again, this wasn't much of a race, as Durbin's 11.25 ERA along with 16 hits and five walks in eight innings made the battle for the last spot between Rabe and Heintz.

* Carlos Silva threw five scoreless innings against the Reds last night, giving up two hits and striking out two and walking none. He also induced nine groundball outs. I'm sure that Ron Gardenhire and Terry Ryan might think this vindicates their decision. But, clearly, five innings doesn't make up for what happened last year nor does it erase all the previous awful spring starts. Previously, we were hoping and praying to see as little of Silva as possible. As ridiculous as it sounds, apparently the Twins took five innings last night as a sign, ignoring his previous disaster of a start and deciding that he was so good that they are re-thinking their plan to make him the No. 5 starter. If that happens, some kind of protest movement or boycott needs to be started. This can't be happening.....

* Scot Shields signed a three-year, $14.6 million extension with the Angels. Shields is a good comp for Juan Rincon and what he might possibly get for a contract after he is out from the Twins' control. Rincon will make $2 million this season and has one year of arbitration remaining after this year. Both he and Shields are right-handed setup men who rack up appearances like few other pitcher in the league. They also put up fairly similar numbers, with each generally posting great ERAs and strikeout rates. If the Twins decide to try and negotiate an extension, those are probably the numbers they will be looking at.

* Here's an interesting story on Doug Mientkiewicz from a New York paper. When it comes down to it, Doug is a pretty interesting interview. And, of course, he has interesting things to say about being with the Twins.

* Many popular bloggers (notably SBG and Gleeman) find Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan to be a source of amousement most of the time. However, I'll grant him that his article on Garza being sent down wasn't bad and his most recent one on Joe Nathan deserves some credit. Heck, crazy stats like opposing batting average were even mentioned. Top Jimmy, Shecky Souhan... call him whatever you want. He is showing signs of improvement.

17 comments:

Corey Ettinger said...

If I have to waste my season tickets watching Silva get shelled any more than is absolutely necessary I will indeed be immediately heading up to the Twins office on the main course and demanding to speak to the highest ranking person who happens to be in. (probably VP of ticket sales Steve Smith)

the Dragon said...

"But, clearly, five innings doesn't make up for what happened last year nor does it erase all the previous awful spring starts."

Let me get this straight. Silva ruined the Twins season last year. 66 wins 96 losses, oops...I got my stats from the Joke shop which had the Twins at 96 wins 66 losses. Fine. He single handedly lost the series to Oakland. Fine.

I always thought Spring Training was to get ready for the season, yet I am old and senile. There is obviously a mis-print in my paper, as the standings read 0 wins 0 losses.

Silva was bad or mediocre last year. I have no clue if he will be good, bad or indifferent this year, yet I don't think he owes me or anyone else for last year. It happened. Time to turn the clocks ahead to this year.

You may well be correct. I'll wait until they play a couple of games that count.

Please pardon the sarcasm.

Corey Ettinger said...

Why would we pardon the sarcasm when its so fun to hear!

But let me get this straight... you want us to wait and see what happens before making a judgment... you mean like innocent in proven guilty? I thought that was just a cute idea a couple cuddle bunnies dreamed up a long time ago.

the Dragon said...

Corey,

Baseball is fun, it's stastics based, which leads to arguments/discussions from cosmic to mundane. There are enough random elements, that a 60% success rate puts you at or near the top.

I have been following the sport for almost 50 years (old & senile). I have learned to put modest reliance on the stats ST provides.

If Spring Training is so all fired important, let's count the games. My experience shows me, when I get excited by what I see from ST, I am usually disappointed. When I get dispondent by what I see from ST, I am usually, pleasantly surprised.

Once the games count, the regulars play, there is a basis to judge what we have.

Just remember, I am old & senile, so probably just the ravings of a lunatic.

I continue to be amazed at just how bad the Twins were last year and how good Detriot was. Twins had a horrid 2 month start and a fantastic 4 month finish. Detroit had a fantastic 4 month start and a woeful final 2 months. Interesting how if you start fast your a good team, while if you finish fast, you're quite bad.

Just observations, based on what I read.

Regards,

TheBentKangaroo said...

Interestingly, if you start fast, you're an all-star. If you finish fast, you're an MVP.

Corey said...

El Dragon,

You realize why all the blog writers (myself included) make a big deal out of this type of stuff right? It's because we have nothing relevant to write about yet. That said, it is humerous to dissect the way in which an organization tries to justify the players it keeps and the ones in lets go (Durbin and Hientz) and how Gardy defends Silva (he was working on a new arm angle.... sure...). Certainly we all realize how much spring training stats are worth, as most people who follow the game and the Twins in particular remember the brilliance of Kyle Lohse this time of year last season. So yeah, its relevant and its not. Some people definitely make too big a deal of it but in the end, its our job to provide material that a majority of people want to read and find not only entertaining but also though provoking and useful. If your interested in checking out my blog I'd love to have your thoughts and opinions on our writing too. We're mnsg.blogspot.com

Corey

Nick M. said...

I'm going to agree with Corey here. The point is how the Twins choose to treat Spring Training stats in such an inconsistent fashion. When it comes to Durbin, he didn't look good so they let a good arm go to keep a third-string, 33-year old catcher. When it comes to Silva, they have "seen good things" and despite several terrible Spring starts, including one to a Double-A team, when he suddenly throws five scoreless innings, its time to let him out of the fifth spot.

Its just terrible frustrating and inconsistent. There is no reason Silva should be treated any differently and no defensible reason to let him pitch anywhere but the fifth spot or bullpen. Even those arguments come out bad.

Jason said...

Here's the deal...

Someone said this in the comments of one of the Strib blogs, and I'm inclined to agree.

It's generally a coin flip as to who I'd rather have in that fifth spot, either Ponson or Silva.

Andy seems to have a bit of confidence in the fact that Silva's ball has been sinking quite sufficiently and will work well. And as much as I'm inclined to disagree with this statement, Silva's been saying that "it's just Spring Training, and pitchers use this time to work on their pitches, it's not about winning necessarily"...and we'll just have to wait and see.

and as an aside, Corey...

NO season tickets are a waste. I could care less if the Twins lost 95 games, if I could afford season tickets I would be thanking God that a) I could afford them in the first place and b) whether or not I see the Twins wouldn't be dependent on how much money there was in my wallet.

Nick N. said...

Let me get this straight. Silva ruined the Twins season last year. 66 wins 96 losses, oops...I got my stats from the Joke shop which had the Twins at 96 wins 66 losses. Fine. He single handedly lost the series to Oakland. Fine.

I always thought Spring Training was to get ready for the season, yet I am old and senile. There is obviously a mis-print in my paper, as the standings read 0 wins 0 losses.


Juan Castro and Tony Batista were also technically contributors to a division-winning team last year, let's hand them starting jobs as well.

You'll have to pardon MY sarcasm. :)

Interestingly, if you start fast, you're an all-star. If you finish fast, you're an MVP.

Remember how Chris Shelton hit 10 home runs in April last year and people were talking about how he was going to challenge Bonds' record? Then Hunter hits 9 in September and you barely hear a peep about it. It's funny how crazy people will go over a big first month.

Anyway, I have to agree with Corey's "paying customer" theory. People pay a good amount of money to go out to ballgame and buy a hot dog and a beer. I think the team has a responsibility to put the best players on the field as much as possible and at least make an honest effort to win each night.

Dragon, I agree that spring training numbers are generally irrelevant, but I also believe that major-league players need to earn their big fat paychecks. Silva's 2006 performance did not earn him the $4.35 million he's getting this year, and his spring training performance has not earned him a spot on the roster. Spring results may be irrelevant, but when players are in competition for a spot on the team, their performances can often give indication as to whether they truly want, or deserve, that spot. Garza showed he wanted it. Silva didn't.

the Dragon said...

Nick N.,

First let me say that it is not the criticism per se that annoys me. I have opinions, and they are just as likely to be wrong and the ones I disagree with.

And yes Bautista & Castro were contributors. They were place holders until Bartlett learned what Gardy thought he was missing (Castro). And Bautista proved there was no there there.

Garza v. Silva is also interesting. Garza isn't ready. Just like it took Bonser 2 trips down to AAA last year before he got it.

I read somewhere Garza and Tom Kelly had chat yesterday and afterward Garza stated in essence, that yes maybe he did need to work on ALL of his pitches. I think he'll get it and be back as good as I think he can be.

Sure these guys can learn in the majors, Bonderman did, it only took, what, 3 years?

Silva is different because he has shown in 2004/2005 he CAN pitch effectively. The question is what do you make of 2006. If you look at the total year stats, it's not pretty, yet he WAS NOT consistantly bad, rather consistantly inconsistant. In April he gave up 5,5,8,7,9 ER's in games 1-5. After May 1st he gave up only 6 ER's in 2 games. From May 1st onward his ERA was @5.2 and 10W-11L, not great and still inconsistant. Yet he had a very good 1/3 of the season June 15 - Aug 4/5th. 10 starts of his 31, 6 wins 1 loss 3 ND. During that stretch the Twins went 8-2 when he started.

I can see why Ryan, Gardy & Anderson might think there is something there to work with.

So you have to make a choice, Garza who still tried to get by with his fastball in ST and had nice stats, who could use some seasoning in AAA, or Silva, who is a puzzle which might not be solved.

I personally think the choice is easy, if Silva is really a lost cause, you hopefully get a Garza who has had some time to work on his craft. You choose Garza and he flubbs, you go to the next shiney new bike (Perkins or Slowey or Baker) and hope they have polished some of their rough edges.

I read Nick M's post on Ortiz, another disaster epic, and find his stastical case quite damning. I would have been sold, yet I live in the DC suburbs, and saw a number of National's games last year. Ortiz was about the best they had, which should give you an idea of that team. Maybe a different way to understand the context is that if Santana had been pitching on that team, I would wager a couple hundred (about 10 times my usual wager) that the over/under on wins would be 12, and the over/under on his ERA would be 4.10. That team was abysmal defensively (except 3rd base) and not only errors, worse was field coverage. If the ball didn't hit their glove it was 50/50 that they could get a glove on it to make the error.

As to Silva's 2006 performance not earning his option, maybe yes or no, yet your argument is with the marketplace not with me. If Meche is $11 mil Silva merely breathing is $3+.

All that is opinion, we'll find out soon enough. I have a sneaky suspiscion that if Silva opens 3/4-1 with 4.1 ERA, the blogs will read how bad a mistake it was to keep him because he isn't 4/5-0.

Regards,

Corey said...

If Silva opens 3-1 I'll certainly be writing an article proclaiming his resurgence and assent back into the graces of the baseball gods. I want him to succeed, I do, and the talent is certainly there. I suppose I just saw too many games last year where, and this is especially true once guys got on, he really lost his composure and would start over-throwing and leaving balls up. I for one don't think theres much wrong with his sinker, I think its more with him.

the Dragon said...

Corey,

I guess it's finding an explanation for Silva last year. Excuses some might call it.

I fealt from the beginning last year that the WBC was the culprit for the slow start. I have posted, not sure where, Nolan Ryan, a fair pitcher, stated categorically that Brad Lidges bad year was WBC related. Basically, he could never find his rhythm. That seemed a bit peculiar to me, since Lidge pitches in 60+ games.

Yet, if you accept the premise that the WBC at least caused problems in April, then the rest of the year may be something as simple as basic human nature. I play a bit of tournament poker. If, I get off to a bad start, I play much differently, and usually with very poor results. When you start in a hole, it's very hard to sit and relaz and wait for opportunities, rather I seem to be more emotional and take more idiotic chances.

The poker thing is not a perfect analogy, yet Silva's "head case" make-up seemed far less a problem in 2004/2005 when he was going well. And, Sigmund Freud was my grandfather :-)

If Silva goes 3-1, I will still be watching to see if it is fools gold. I had a whole lot of heartburn from his starts last year, yet while I may be pollyanna in my predictions, I plan for disaster in my expectations.

I think only with Liriano was I placid & serene. I am always waiting for Santana to give up his required home run, Mauer to hit into a double-play when he comes up with a man on first, Nathan to test my heart with those 18-20 pitch 9th innings. In each of these cases, I expect the win, it just seems often enough, as punishment from the BaseBall Gods, they are going to make me sweat it.

Fun to discuss,

Regards,

Nick N. said...

The WBC argument seems flawed to me. Santana pitched in the the tournament and got off to the best start of his career.

the Dragon said...

Nick,

Fair enough.

Although I wonder if there is a difference between being a featured starter and getting consistant work ala Santana; or being a major league starter being used randomly in the bullpen and not getting consistant work, ala Silva.

I think there is a difference in those two paths. Also, that does not seem to be the preferred way to prepare starters in ST on any major league team I am aware of.

Regards,

Nick M. said...

I see the WBC argument and I see that pithcers, hitters, coaches, etc like something they consistently used to excuse bad play. It isn't a new thing, as other things have been blamed before too. But blaming the WBC is just ridiculous. See more on this in tommorow's post.

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,

be said...

酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,