Monday, June 30, 2008
Rather than sulk, Span went down to Class-AAA Rochester and went on a tear. He hit .342/.432/.539 in May, and was hitting .365/.441/.500 in June. As unimpressive as he has been in his minor-league career prior to this year, it seems clear that Span has turned a corner and wants to be a major-league player. He'll get the chance now, with Cuddyer heading back to the disabled list due to another finger injury.
My guess is that Span will be more productive in this stint with the Twins. He was hitting the ball all over the place in Rochester, and he's had a taste of the big leagues already so he shouldn't be overwhelmed. Granted, I think Span has a very limited skill set so his upside is not terribly high, but if he can come up and give the team some good at-bats with a solid batting average, I think we will all be satisfied.
For some thoughts on Kevin Slowey's outing yesterday, feel free to head over to the Daily Dose column at Rotoworld, where I'm once again filling in for Mr. Gleeman today.
Friday, June 27, 2008
The Twins are on an unbelievable roll right now, one which brings back memories of that 2006 season in that the team can't seem to lose. Now, as I wrote earlier this week, this team isn't as stacked as that 2006 unit was and certainly has a ways to go before they match the magnificent
The Twins are now 12-3 against National League competition this year, and 39-12 over the past three seasons. That's some pretty unbelievable domination, and with that in mind it's unfortunate that the Twins will be finishing up their interleague schedule with a series against the Brewers which kicks off at the Metrodome tonight. Here's hoping they can finish strong.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Why did a two-run deficit seem so daunting? Because the bottom of the ninth would clearly belong to Twins closer Joe Nathan, who has been one of the most automatic door-slammers in major-league baseball since he assumed that position in Minnesota back in 2004. At age 40, Hoffman can still get the job done, but he is quite clearly but a shell of his former self. Meanwhile, the 33-year-old Nathan is comfortably in his prime. If Hoffman long held the title of league's most reliable closer, the torch may have been passed to Nathan now. While one can certainly argue that other closers around the league have been more effective than Nathan this season, I think it'd be tough to find a man who has consistently been better at the job over the past four-and-a-half years than the Twins closer.
Since grasping the closer reigns back in 2004, Nathan has accumulated 180 saves while posting a 1.61 ERA and a fantastic 389-to-96 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 314 innings. This past weekend at the Metrodome, there was a pre-game ceremony to induct Rick Aguilera to the Twins Hall of Fame, honoring the team's all-time leader in saves with a banner and plaque. Aguilera was the Twins closer for almost the entire decade of the 1990s, and he saved 254 games over parts of 11 seasons during that span. Certainly, he was a productive player for the Twins for many years, but there is little comparison between him and Nathan. Aguilera never posted an ERA below 2.35 nor did he ever strike out a batter per inning during a full season as the Twins closer. Nathan has posted sub-2 ERAs in three of his four seasons as closer (and appears to be on his way to doing so again this year) and has struck out more than a batter per inning every year. Aguilera was a solid closer who could consistently be counted on to get the job done (unfortunately he was typically doing it for some very bad teams); Nathan is a dominator who goes above and beyond and thrives under pressure.
Since his new contract will keep him with the Twins until at least through the 2011 season, it seems inevitable that Nathan will surpass Aguilera as the team's all-time saves leader as long as he can avoid injury. If all goes to plan, this will probably happen sometime during the 2010 season, in the inaugural year of the new stadium.
Even at that point, Nathan will only be just 35 years old. The fact that he didn't turn into a full-time closer until the age of 29 will probably prevent him from ever having a legitimate shot at challenging Hoffman's save record of 539 (and counting), but if Nathan could pitch to the age of 40, as Hoffman has, while maintaining his current average of 40 saves per year, he would reach a total of 480, which would currently be good for second all-time behind Hoffman.
Of course, it's presumptive to look down the line and anticipate seven more years of injury-free, high-level performance for Nathan, but it's worth noting that he's been quite durable up to this point in his career and has relatively little wear on his arm for a 33-year-old closer. It's a little difficult to believe because he has been so low-key during his career in Minnesota, but if he can stay healthy, Nathan is a good bet to become not only by far the best closer in Twins history, but also one of the great closers in the history of baseball.
On a side note, I'm filling in for the vacationing Aaron Gleeman on his Daily Dose column at Rotoworld today and tomorrow, so feel free to stop by over there and let me know what you think.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
* On Saturday, SBG held his Second Annual SBG Convention at Minnehaha Falls in East Minneapolis. It was a beautiful day in the park, filled with great food and conversation, and attending provided me with the opportunity to match faces to some familiar online monikers (although I'd already met the majority of bloggers in attendance). Naturally, one of the biggest highlights of the day was meeting the imitable ubelmann face-to-face. He has become one of the most respected Twins bloggers out there since taking over the majority of Twins-writing duties over at SBG's place, and it was especially nice to rub shoulders with him for a bit, although his stay was all-too-brief.
You can click on the link above to see some pictures from the convention. I'm only in one of them, which may be a good thing depending on your point of view. I think the best reaction to the series of photos so far came from my friend Luiza, who said that viewing the pictures of us bloggers mulling around was "like a trainwreck I can't look away from" because we "all look so nerdy." That's what friends are for.
* I recently added a new link to the sidebar for Twins Fix, a new blog operated by Andrew Kneeland, who is a frequent commenter on this site. It's looking good so far, be sure to stop by and say hi.
* Twins Geek has been very thin on content this month, but he wrote up a post on Brian Buscher on Sunday night which is absolutely worth a read. Geek draws a potential parallel between the careers of Buscher and another late bloomer in Ron Coomer, which would hardly be a bad thing. As much playful flak as Coomer takes for being one of the worst All-Stars ever, he was a pretty productive player for the Twins for a number of years and I think we'd all be satisfied if Buscher followed a similar path.
* Steve Rudolph makes a series of interesting observations over at Bleacher Bums, one of which makes note of an interesting thought brought up recently by La Velle E. Neal III:
As you may have heard, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was fined $1,500 for violating the league's pace-of-game (POG) requirements. The Strib's La Velle E. Neal raised an interesting question the other day that helped sooth my disappointment over the lack of minor league stats and the lame headline.
Neal wondered why MLB is singling out Ron Gardenhire when Twins games are among the fastest in baseball at an average time of 2:44? Yankees games average 3:03 and the Red Sox usually take 3:01 to play a game.
I'm all for a quick game, but fining the manager of a team that plays at the pace the league want while ignoring the true offenders is just another example of the inherent biases that exist in the game.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
To be clear, this Twins team is highly unlikely to pull off the type of historical four-month winning spree that that 2006 squad pulled off, for a variety of reasons. While it was a great game, yesterday's win represents a few of the reasons that the Twins can hardly be considered a sustainably great team. They scored seven runs while managing only one extra-base hit (a "double" by Delmon Young on a fly ball that the left fielder lost in the lights) and got another strong outing from Livan Hernandez, who allowed only one earned run despite surrendering nine hits and a walk over seven innings of work. The offense is unspectacular, the rotation is inconsistent, and the bullpen is far from dominating. Certainly, this Twins team lacks many of the elements that made that 2006 unit a great one.
Nevertheless, this group holds some similarities to the 2006 team that raise some eyebrows. Back in '06, Nick Punto and Jason Bartlett came onto the scene and replaced dead weight (Tony Batista and Juan Castro) with surprisingly strong performances that gave the team a major boost both offensively and defensively. This year, Alexi Casilla and Brian Buscher are on their way to doing the same thing. In 2006, the Twins got unexpectedly great years from several members of the bullpen, most notably Dennys Reyes and Pat Neshek. This year, hurlers like Jesse Crain and Craig Breslow have been yielding surprisingly impressive numbers -- though it's still quite early to declare either one a success at this point.
Of course, one of the key aspects of that 2006 team's magical run was the emergence of Francisco Liriano as a dominating force in the Twins rotation. There's almost no chance of Liriano repeating that performance this year, but certainly he could return to the rotation and give this team a boost if he can continue to progress in Triple-A.
This isn't an instance where history is likely to repeat itself. But it's not totally unthinkable that the same ingredients which led to success for that 2006 team could manifest this season. And if that happens, who knows what is possible.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Here's how the promotion works: Fans can enter the promotion daily through June 24 (THIS TUESDAY) at www.sfCallYourShot.com/2008. The grand prize winner of Call Your Shot will win:
* All-expense paid trip for four to the All-Star Game and StateFarm Home Run Derby
* First class hotel accommodations in New York
* Tickets to a Broadway show
* $1,000 MasterCard gift card
The grand prize winner will also get the chance to pick a spot to which two of the Home Run Derby players must compete to try to hit a ball. If the first player hits the ball to the called spot, the promotion ends. If either player succeeds, the fan receives a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid vehicle and a 2009 season-ticket package for any team.
Additionally, 10 fans will win first place prizes consisting of a $300 MLB.com gift card and 25 second place prize winners will receive $100 MLB.com gift cards.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Morneau is not hitting the ball out of the park the way he has the past two years -- he's on pace for just 25 homers this season -- but his RBI total of 55 ties him with Carlos Quentin for second in the AL. This makes Morneau a powerful weapon and a crucial component of the Twins lineup.
The Twins rank sixth in the AL in runs scored despite sporting a worse team OPS than five of the teams that rank behind them. In no small part, this can be attributed to Morneau, who has consistently cleaned up in his ample opportunities to drive in runs.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The Twins' struggles against left-handed starters are well-documented, and the fact that the Twins struggled against the southpaw Lannan last night is not as disappointing as the reason they struggled against him. Here's what the Twins seven right-handed hitters in the lineup (including the switch-hitting Alexi Casilla) did against Lannan last night: 2-for-21 (.095) with two singles, a walk and three strikeouts. The only hitters who managed to do anything of consequence against Lannan were the two left-handed batters in the lineup, Joe Mauer (who went 2-for-3 with a walk and a double) and Justin Morneau (whose mammoth blast to right in the sixth inning scored Mauer and put the Twins in front).
Regardless of your feelings about Delmon Young, Craig Monroe and Michael Cuddyer, one thing is certain: these are guys who should be putting up numbers against lefties. The team's struggles against southpaws last year were a big part of the reason the team spent so much in players and money to bring in Young and Monroe, but the two have both failed miserably at this key task thus far. Young has hit .246/.295/.386 against lefties, while Monroe -- who has historically mashed southpaws -- has posted a miserable .106/.176/.106 line against them. That's ZERO extra-base hits in 51 plate appearances against left-handers for a guy who was basically brought in with the specific task of hitting them. Cuddyer, meanwhile, has hit .250/.350/.327 against lefties and has yet to hit a home run off one.
The funny thing is that Mauer and Morneau have both been surprisingly effective against left-handed pitching this year, so this team could actually be a force against southpaws if they were getting reasonably decent production from any of their middle-of-the-lineup right-handed bats. They're not, and it is extremely frustrating. The Twins may have won last night's game, but it still serves as a perfect example of a significant issue that is plaguing this team.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Much to my surprise and delight, Liriano made very quick strides upon his return to Class-AAA Rochester. After an ugly first start back with the Red Wings (4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 BB), Liriano started to make demonstrable adjustments. In nine starts since then, he has pitched 6+ innings eight times, allowed three or fewer runs eight times and issued two or fewer walks seven times. He's throwing more strikes and pitching deep into ballgames. Over his past four starts, he has gone 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA and 26-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 25 2/3 innings. Considering how far away he looked back in April, there's no way I could have anticipated that Liriano would be pitching so well so soon, even if it is just at the Triple-A level. Reports indicate that he has added a few ticks to his velocity and that he's harnessed his fastball, which he struggled mightily to command during his stint with the Twins.
Despite his success, the Twins would probably like to be patient with Liriano. However, just as was the case back in April, circumstances may force the team to move ahead of its desired schedule with the left-hander. Livan Hernandez's performance has spiraled as of late, and with the number of hits and runs he is giving up each time out, it doesn't seem like Ron Gardenhire will be able to continue trotting him out there every fifth day without the players and fans revolting. Even if Gardy elects to keep sticking with Hernandez, it was recently revealed that Nick Blackburn is going to miss his next scheduled start due to muscle soreness in his throwing elbow. The Twins have stated that Blackburn is still on pace to start on Saturday, but these things tend to linger and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Blackburn end up on the disabled list. If that happens and the Twins need another pitcher, it's somewhat difficult to justify calling on anyone other than Liriano.
While Liriano is basically assured to have more success in his next shot with the Twins than he did last time, it's still probably best to keep expectations low. His devastating slider was the main ingredient for his success back in 2006, and by all accounts that pitch is still nowhere near where it was prior to surgery. In all likelihood, it will probably never get back to that point. But Liriano is a good, smart pitcher who can have success if he locates and mixes his pitches, even if those pitches aren't as nasty as they once were. The fact that he's started missing bats down in Rochester is certainly an encouraging sign.
It seems inevitable that Liriano will be getting another shot in a Twins uniform. How soon? At this point, that may be dictated by factors other than his arm.
Monday, June 16, 2008
By letting batters put the ball in play consistently, Hernandez has been living on the edge. After a surprisingly strong start, that strategy has stopped working as of late. There's no reason to believe it will start working again soon. So how long until Hernandez follows Bonser's fate?
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Yet the Twins, mired in their worst slump of the season, would have no more of that business last night. They jumped on Byrd for five runs in the third inning and got a strong start from Nick Blackburn, leading them to a victory to end their six-game skid, in spite of a scare thanks to the bullpen.
Ron Gardenhire gets a lot of credit for the way he manages the bullpen, and deservedly so, but last night I really thought he over-managed. After replacing Blackburn to start the sixth, Boof Bonser put a pair of runners on with a walk and a ground ball base hit. Yet, he came back to get an out on a liner back to the mound and then struck out Jamey Carroll on a nice breaking ball. Bonser seemed on the verge of working out of his sticky situation, but rather than allowing the former starter to try and retire Grady Sizemore and get out of the inning, Gardenhire went to Dennys Reyes. While Sizemore was hitting just .219 against lefties this season, he sported a .367 on-base percentage and 758 OPS, neither of which are really all that far below his overall marks. Admittedly, Reyes was probably a better match-up against Sizemore than Bonser -- and it was certainly tough to predict that Sizemore would rip a three-run homer off the lefty Reyes -- but I think this is a situation where Gardenhire really should have let Bonser finish the inning. The guy isn't a situational middle reliever; he's a converted starter trying to regain confidence.
Alas, Reyes let in both of his inherited runners and Bonser saw his ERA shoot up to 6.19, really through no fault of his own. It's just been that kind of season for Boof.
In any case, the rough patch between Bonser and Reyes ultimately wound up being irrelevant because Jesse Crain and Joe Nathan shut the Indians down the rest of the way while Alexi Casilla and Justin Morneau chipped in ninth inning RBIs to seal a comfortable 8-5 win.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Now, to be fair, Sabathia's 4.81 ERA entering last night's game did not reflect how well he has pitched for the majority of the season. After starting the season 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA and 14-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his first four games, Sabathia had bounced back nicely, going 3-5 with a 2.38 ERA and 68-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in nine starts since. Last night, Sabathia gave up a few hits early, but settled in after giving up a single to Joe Mauer in the third and retired 17 straight batters, cruising through the ninth inning with a shutout and an impressively low pitch count.
The Twins managed just five hits in the game, all singles and none after the fourth inning. Two of the hits came on bunts, and the Twins did not draw a walk in the game. Tonight they will throw Nick Blackburn against Paul Byrd, a pitcher whom they have historically struggled against. Let's hope they can get some better results and worked their way out of this skid.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
I wouldn't say that the White Sox' stadium has a great deal of character, but it's a nice ballpark. It's industrial, it's straightforward, it's huge... essentially, it's very Chicago. The Sox fans were a bit mean-spirited, but for the most part in a good-natured way. Certainly not as amicable as the fans in Milwaukee or Kansas City, but better than Oakland.
The most humorous part of the experience was when the lady next to me, sitting alone and wearing a White Sox shirt, kept asking me questions about White Sox players. "Which one is Swisher?" ... "Which one is Thome?" ... "Who is No. 23?" I'm thinking to myself, You're lucky I'm a pretty big baseball fan so I actually know the answers to these questions, but do you really think a guy wearing a Twins jersey and a Twins cap is the best source for information on Chicago players? Eventually she started asking me questions about the White Sox base coaches, at which point I had to end the conversation.
As for the Twins, well... whew. Bad. They've been outscored 33-9 over three games against the White Sox, getting horrible pitching and mostly terrible offense. It's not over yet, but so far this has been the worst series I can remember since the one in Detroit back in early 2006 where the Twins were swept and outscored 33-1 over three games.
Indeed, the Twins are spiraling. But should we really be surprised? I'll admit that even I had gotten caught up in how well the team was playing, to the extent that I was overlooking how unsustainable that success was. With all the magical comebacks, gutsy pitching performances and big clutch hits, I had come to gleefully ignore the plain facts that were in front of my eyes. Guys like Livan Hernandez, Glen Perkins and Nick Blackburn were not pitching well enough to continue consistently getting the kinds of results they were getting, and the offense was overachieving thanks to some ridiculous numbers with runners in scoring position. It's unfortunate that everything has come crashing down simultaneously, and all during the team's biggest series of the season up to this point. Over these first three games in Chicago, the Twins have ruined an opportunity to move closer to first place in the division, and instead reminded people why they were widely picked to finish fourth or fifth in the division prior to the season.
To draw one positive from the weekend, I'll say this: I was one of a select few Twins fans who actually got to see Delmon's first Twins home run in person! Yay?
Friday, June 06, 2008
With a strong junior season, Hunt has moved himself into serious first-round contention. While the right-hander doesn't always command his pitches well -- he's walked a few too many this year -- he's got terrific stuff, most notably his fastball and curve, both of which are above average. He hasn't needed a changeup much, but he has the feel for one. There might be one or two right-handers who rank ahead of Hunt heading into the Draft, but he's not too far behind them in the pecking order.
At 92, the Twins took right-hander Bobby Lanigan of Adelphi University. Lanigan doesn't throw particularly hard, but has a good mix of pitches that he can locate well. He was ranked by Baseball America as the 129th best draft prospect, and as such seems like a bit of a reach in the third round, but certainly he is the type of pitcher that this organization has had success with in the past (see: Baker, Scott and Slowey, Kevin).
The Twins used their final two picks of the day to grab center fielder Danny Ortiz out of a Puerto Rican high school in the fourth round at No. 126, and third baseman Nicholas Romero out of San Diego State in the fourth round at No. 156.
All in all, this was a fairly typical draft for the Twins. They used their highest picks to get a toolsy high school outfielder and some college arms. They definitely reached on Gutierrez, but made up for that by nabbing Hunt at 31, who easily could have gone somewhere between 10-20. Overall I'm fairly happy with the new players they've acquired and look forward to seeing how the kids handle the rookie leagues in the second half of the season.
* The Twins fell to the Orioles 3-2 yesterday, capping off a series loss in the wake of a solid string of games against the Royals and Yankees. On the plus side, Scott Baker pitched well in his first game back from the disabled list, holding the O's scoreless over five frames outside of a two-run homer off the bat of Nick Markakis.
* Ron Gardenhire's choice to carry 13 pitchers seemed pretty silly to begin with, and it seems all the more misguided after the team had to risk an injury to one of its best starting pitchers yesterday when Kevin Slowey was used as a pinch-runner for Mike Redmond in the eighth inning.
* Matt Macri didn't even board the plane back to Rochester before learning that he'd be sticking with the Twins for the time being, as Nick Punto is headed back to the disabled list with a bad hamstring. Unfortunate timing for Punto, who doubled twice in yesterday's game and currently sports numbers quite similar to the ones he put up in his career year of 2006.
* Francisco Liriano started for Rochester yesterday, going six innings and allowing three runs (all on a home run). His control took a step back, as he walked four and threw just 53 of 96 pitches for strikes, but he did notch seven strikeouts for a second consecutive outing. Liriano seems to be making strides, but don't expect to see him up anytime before the All-Star break.
* I'm heading out to Chicago this weekend, and I'll be taking in the Twins/White Sox match-up at U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday night. I'll be sure to check in with a full recap on Monday. Have a great weekend everyone.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Neal Cotts: 1.94 (4.49)
Cliff Pollitte: 2.00 (4.40)
Dennys Reyes: 0.89 (4.37)
Juan Rincon: 2.91 (3.60)
Pat Neshek: 2.19 (2.91)
Rafael Betancourt: 1.47 (2.98)
Aaron Fultz: 2.92 (4.26)
Rafael Perez: 1.78 (2.59)
In any case, this odd little trend suggests that the team with the ridiculous bullpen will end up winning the division. Does that pattern hold up this year? Well, the first-place White Sox currently rank No. 1 in the AL in bullpen ERA at 2.86. Meanwhile, the second-place Twins rank sixth at 3.48, while the Tigers (4.40) and Indians (4.44) rank 12th and 13th, respectively.
This year, Chicago's crazy bullpen contributions are coming from the likes of Boone Logan (2.29 ERA, 5.03 career), Scott Linebrink (1.50 ERA, 3.12 career) and closer Bobby Jenks (1.54 ERA, 3.06 career). Meanwhile, the Twins have gotten typically great production from Joe Nathan, but have lost their second-best reliever for the year and are getting sub par performances from guys like Juan Rincon and Jesse Crain.
You don't HAVE to have a great bullpen to succeed -- the Tigers sported a 4.40 ERA last season on their way to the World Series -- but as the trends above illustrate, it sure does help. Currently, the Twins' relief corps seems to be heading in the wrong direction. They've fallenf rom the top of the league to the middle of the pack over the past couple weeks, and it's hard to feel comfortable any time a starter hands a small lead to the bullpen in the sixth or seventh inning.
How to improve on this issue? Maybe the answer is to bring in some fresh blood in the form of a Tim Lahey or a Mariano Gomez from Triple-A. Maybe the answer is, as Howard Sinker suggests, parting ways with Rincon, who just can't seem to get anyone out these days.I don't really know what the best solution is. What I do know is that we Twins fans have become accustomed to seeing a stellar bullpen over the past several years, and that the Twins are going to have an extremely difficult time remaining near the top of the standings if the quality of the 'pen continues to deteriorate.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I thought Slowey pitched OK. The offense was probably due for a bit of a letdown since it has been so hot as of late, but it was nice to see the Twins still push a few runs across. I suspect they'll have a hard time doing so tonight against Daniel Cabrera, a pitcher whom they have historically struggled against and whom is having a very good season.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
May Record: 15-13
Overall Record: 28-27 (2nd Place in AL Central)
Essentially, the Twins in May were pretty much exactly the team I was expecting overall this year. Solid offense, inconsistent starting pitching, and a record right around .500. What I didn't anticipate was that that record would put them within a couple games of first place.
A look at three players whose performances were outstanding over the past month, and three who fell bellow expectations.
1. Joe Mauer: .333/.442/.387, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 17 R, 0/0 SB
The lack of power from Mauer is disconcerting, as he managed only five extra-base hits (all doubles) in 93 at-bats and slugged only .387 for the month, but he's certainly contributing in other ways. Mauer drew 19 walks compared to only eight strikeouts in May, good for a fantastic .442 on-base percentage. He also stayed healthy and in the lineup, appearing in 24 of the team's 28 games.
2. Carlos Gomez: .299/.349/.448, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 17 R, 6/10 SB
After posting a ghastly .279 OBP in the season's first month, Gomez raised his batting average considerably in May and, in turn, reached base about 35 percent of the time. While far from ideal, that type of clip makes Gomez a useful leadoff man, especially when he's stealing bases and showing solid power. He's still striking out too much (more than once every four at-bats in May), but it was nevertheless an encouraging month for the young man.
3. Mike Lamb: .302/.340/.407, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 11 R, 0/1 SB
Lamb was one of the worst regulars in baseball in April, but finally started to look more like the hitter the Twins thought they were getting during the month of May. He still didn't show a great deal of patience or power, but he improved his batting average by more than 100 points.
1. Boof Bonser: 30.1 IP, 0-2, 8.60 ERA, 20 K / 11 BB, 1.62 WHIP
Bonser simply could not find his way out of the funk he got himself into. He was frequently the victim of bad luck and poor defense, but there's no denying that he had a poor month on the hill. He'll likely find himself in the bullpen when Scott Baker returns this week.
Just a really bad offensive month for Cuddyer. Could be that he's still being affected by the hand injury that seemingly sapped his power late last year. At the very least, he's off to a better start in June.
PROSPECT OF THE MONTH
Danny Valencia - Ft. Myers Miracle