Saturday, April 21, 2007

Third Start Not a Charm For Sir Sid

Early this offseason, the Twins front office took a few chances. One of them clearly was with Sidney Ponson. So far, the deal has worked out terribly. In 15 1/3 innings this year after last night's disaster, Ponson has allowed 28 hits and 16 runs. He's struck out ten hitters, which isn't terrible, but he's also walked seven. Those add up to some stand-out awful numbers: 9.39 ERA, .384 opponent BA, 2.28 WHIP, and four home runs allowed so far. (That adds up to a predicted 38)

Sure, it has only been three starts and one of those against--against the Yankees--is at least somewhat forgivable. However, a mediocre start against Tampa Bay and last night's debacle against the Kansas City inspires absolutely no confidence in Ponson having a decent year. He's hittable, his control isn't there, and there is no way he going to do any better than our minor league options at this point.

The experiment must be ended. The good news is the one minor league starter the Twins aren't concerned about rushing--Scott Baker--had a very good start last night. In that start, Baker gave up only two runs in eight shutout innings while striking out eight and walking none. Baker has clearly mastered Triple-A hitters and has nothing to prove there. As soon as the Twins decide to end the Sir Sid experiment, its time to give Baker another shot.

As for the rest of the game, it was pretty miserable to watch the Twins bullpen give up five runs to relinquish the lead. And though there were no errors, the Twins defense last night was far from inspiring. At least the offense managed some runs, but the ninth inning felt typical up the Twins offense recently: a good at-bat by Joe Mauer ending in a strikeout, a Michael Cuddyer homerun, and then Justin Morneau and Torii Hunter getting out on the first pitch. Against Royal pitchers who often can't even find the strikezone, the need to be a little more patient. Lets hope for some improvement today, when Boof Bonser takes the mound.

9 comments:

twins15 said...

Garza, Baker, Slowey, Perkins... all of them should be starting instead of Ponson. I would think the writing is basically on the wall.

Corey Ettinger said...

Ugh... this is terrible. I don't want Garza up because I want to save the arbitration year, but Perkins has looked equally bad. But I suppose if our fifth starter is going to get shelled, it might as well be Perkins who can learn from it.

kris said...

I was under the impression that Baker had fallen behind both Garza and Perkins on the depth chart. However, I wouldn't be opposed to him getting the job. I just hope the Twins will give him a longer leash than they have in the past.

Nick M. said...

Yeah, Corey, Perkins didn't look too hot last night. I don't really know what to think of him right now. Maybe he's better suited for starting.

Kris - I'd say that's exactly the point. Baker has fallen on the chart, so the team isn't exactly concerned about his arbitration clock, like with Garza or Slowey. So, that's why Baker seems like the likely candidate to get the shot first. They had nothing to lose with Ponson and I figure they think they have less to lose by throwing Baker out there. Anyways, its not like they can claim he needs seasoning at Triple-A.

Nick N. said...

Baker pitching well in the minors is nothing new, so I'm taking his great start with a grain of salt. With that said, I'd like to see the Twins give him another shot if he continues to pitch well at Rochester. It seems like they're getting close to giving up on him anyway, so they've got nothing to lose by giving him another shot.

Corey Ettinger said...

And everything to gain... T.R. has consistently said he wont trade his young arms for hitters, but if he can get enough of these guys going he's going to run into a situation where he has way more arms than rotation spots.

Nick N. said...

This is true. It's also worth noting that of the Slowey/Garza/Perkins/Baker group, at least one of those guys won't pan out. Terry Ryan and his staff need to figure out which ones are the closest to sure things, and hang on to them while being willing to part with the others. I remember when Ryan absolutely refused to trade pitching prospects like Adam Johnson and Brad Thomas.

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