Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Confessions of a desperate Twins fan

written by Mark Waters

Today is May 8th. This early part of the season is extremely similar to the start of last season. We had pitchers in the rotation who clearly weren't getting the job done, and almost nothing but singles hitters throughout our line up. Our bullpen (including Liriano) was one of the only bright spots.

Something clearly needs to be done if the Twins want to finish within 30 games of the Central lead. Obviously, Ponson is doing nothing but sweating more than Rick Reed (which is alarming), and tallying up losses. Although I am a Boof fan, and believe he has a bright future in the Majors, he might need to get sent back down for a couple months, to collect himself - like what happened last season.

It's clearly time for Slowey to come up, or Perkins to take over in the rotation. Although I don't believe either of the above are nearly as dominating as Liriano, I do believe at least one of the two would provide a shot in the arm, and get some much needed consistency to our rotation.

Last year at about this time, Twins were terrible at scoring runs. No different now. beyond only a couple of real home run hitters, it seems like the only chance they have of scoring is to bunch 3 singles together, or a walk, a bunt/ steal, and another single. There's simply been too many instances of 2 outs and a runner on first, and having a complete absence of faith that the runner will score.

Well, in 2006, Batista and Juan Castro were taken out of the lineup, due to an obvious void at the plate, and were replaced by Nick Punto, and Jason Bartlett. Who would've though Nick Punto and Jason Bartlett would've been a huge factor in the complete 180 degree turn the offense took? Granted Morneau had alot to do with it, but hopefully he'll make a tradition out of starting out ice cold and finishing on a tear.

Most of the time, it only takes one batter to get hot, in order to start a chain reaction of others to heat up as well. Hitting is contagious isn't it? Maybe Mauer and Torii are being quarantined. But I truly believe that if Morneau can get hot again (which isn't that unrealistic), Cuddy will look like another 100 rbi man, Mauer (once he gets back) will still be Mauer, and some pressure will be taken off of Torii. It's very draining to carry an entire lineup on your back.

The changes of 2006, Removing dead skin such as Lohse, Batista, and Castro, and replacing them with a top prospect, and a couple ordinary, average guys, was a big enough stir to wake the team up. I don't believe blockbuster deals are necessary at this point in the season. Just make a few tweaks to the rotation, and lineup, and see where it takes you. Believe me, right now there is nowhere to go but up.


Corey Ettinger said...

Hi and welcome to blogging! Will you be doing a baseball site or Twins specifically? Regardless I'll make sure to link to your site soon.

If you're interested, you can find mine at MNSG.blogspot.com. Also, feel free to e-mail me any time at coreyettinger@gmail.com. I love nothing more than talking baseball and blogging.

Best wishes,


Corey Ettinger said...

You, like many Twins fans I know seem to think the team needs to change pitchers. I couldn't disagree more.

Granted, Ponson hasn't been great, but as fifth starters go, he's about as consistent as they come. Furthermore his last two outing have been just fine. Not great by any means but he's kept his team in games, and thats whats important. I also think Twins fans really need to temper their enthusiasm about the young guys. Remember, this is Slowey's first year above AA, he still has a lot to prove in AAA, even though he's had a great start. Perkins is proving why he's not ready as he's quite homerun prone. Putting him in the rotation would only serve to hurt his confidence. He's clearly not ready and his hit and walk numbers bear that out.

Garza also needs quite a bit more seasoning. He came up to the Majors way too fast last year due to injuries and he hasn't gotten that much better between last fall and now. Its always better to let guys dominate AAA for a while (at least a few months) before putting them into the meat-grinder that is Major League Baseball. Baseball is filled with cautionary tales to that end, one that everyone knows is Rick Ankiel.

Let Ponson keep being every bit as mediocre as he is and allow the kids to develop. Remember, division titles and championships aren't won in April and May. There's a lot of baseball left to be played and we're only 4 games out.

The real problem of this team has been its anemic offense. If Morneau and Cuddyer can start driving in runs (and there have been plenty of guys on base) then this team will be just fine.

the Dutchie said...

I don’t know Corey. I do agree with the fact that Ponson is consistently mediocre, but I am not one to be satisfied with his mediocrity. The way I see it; our abundance of youth could be at least as mediocre as Sydney. Additionally they will be gaining that major league experience they all need and love so much. I am not asking for immediate action, but I am looking forward to be there when those young guns come up and show us what they really got.

With all that being said; I would like to state that my faith in the organization's knowledge of the game, and the athletes they are working with is higher than most people's. Terry Ryan, while frowned upon by some, is number one in my book. I'll go along with whatever he and the others end up doing. We have the potential to do great things; I hope that the fans and people surrounding the sport realize that we are a force to be reckoned with.

Mark said...

Glad to see you on board MNSG.

Clearly the Twins biggest need is some pop in the line up. It's safe to say we all agree on this. But along side of making some moves to get some fresh bats, I believe it would help spring new life, hope, and help ticket sales to have someone like Perkins, Slowey, or Garza to take over for Ponson. Nobody is excited when he pitches. Don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure Metrodome attendance hits rock bottom every fifth day when he takes the mound, and it would add some excitement to replace him. Take a look in that dugout and compare it to last season when they were expecting to win every game. It is a completely different atmosphere.

First things first, Twins desperately need new hitters, but it wouldn't hurt to give Ponson the boot and give one of the huge prospects some big league experience.