Friday, January 30, 2009

Potential 8th Inning Relief

After Pat Neshek went down with an injury, the Twins were without an effective eighth inning pitcher for much of the season. Reyes, Breslow, Crain and Guerrier couldn't do the job consistently. Addressing this problem was one of the top priorities of the offseason for Smith & Co, but no sure-thing reliever has yet been acquired.

Let's take a deeper look at some of the options. First, the new aquisitions.

Something called Sean Henn

Sean Henn was signed to a minor-league deal in December. And you thought the Twins hadn't made moves this offseason! Now you're excited. But one glance at his career stats, and the expectations are quickly tempered. In his four year career, he's struck out 47 while walking 52. One positive: he's due.

Fun Fact: Henn came up in the Yankees organization, and has recently been in the news because of Joe Torre's book. In it, Torre talks about Henn's odd penchant for Civil War-era guns and artillery. But the skipper adored Sean Henn, once asking A-Rod, "why can't you be more like Sean?" Steinbrenner thought he was drafting Sean Penn.

R.A. Dickey has considerably more major league experience, but he's a weirdo knuckleballer. He'll have a shot to make the club out of spring training if his pitches are flatteringly fluttering like they should. I'm not sure what his role would be, but it probably wouldn't be an 8th inning, hold onto the lead situation.

Fun fact: He is really actually missing his Tommy John ligament in his pitching elbow.

After being drafted by the Rangers, Dickey was initially offered a signing bonus of $810,000, before a Rangers team physician saw Dickey's arm hanging oddly in a picture. The Rangers subsequently did further evaluation of Dickey, leading to the discovery of the missing ligament, and reduced their offer to $75,000.
The bad news didn't get to Dickey though, as a combination of prescription drugs and alcohol, helped him through the tough times. Also, he robbed several banks in the florida pan handle to make up the difference in the signing bonus. If he makes the team, he'll have to fight Brad Radke in a fire-ringed death match to win the nickname RAD.

Possible acquisitions:

Speaking of drug users, Eric Gagne has been on the Twins radar. They watched him work out, but have broken off contract talks for the time being. Scott Boras probably scared them off. The consensus seems to be that Gagne had a decent second half of '08, so he'd be worth the risk of signing to a one-year deal with incentives. But he's Canadian and he once had HGH sent to Dodger Stadium.

Fun Fact: He puts dryer sheets in the washing machine.

Luis Ayala is another possibility. The 31 year-old righty had a 5.71 ERA between the Mets and Nationals last season.

Fun Fact: Although Ayala has virtually no upside, he is a genuinely nice guy. Whenever he sees a "how's my driving?" bumper sticker, he calls the number to report a "flawless and gracious driving style." He says it's his way of giving back to the community.

Jose Mijares has been very good in the past six months, coming up in September and helping the Twins embarrass themselves a little less down the stretch. He had been shutting people down in Winter League before he got in a spat with the manager and left the team. It's probably better for it to happen down there than up here. Hopefully he's a bigger man because of it.

Fun Fact: Mijares is studying social psychology in his free time. He has no time to attend formal classes, but he's already written his thesis for when that time comes. It's about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their underlying, but distinct hierarchy. He has also conducted interviews to study the correlation between ones favorite Turtle and their personality type. He believes Leonardo's are dominant and Michelangelo's are goofs.


Daymonster said...

I would have thought that

Leonardo's fans would lead, Donatello's fans would do machines
Raphael's fans would be cool but rude
Michaelangelo's fans would be party dudes

soup said...

How do you just not have a ligament? What a wierdo.

I'm pulling for Boof this year. I think he and Mijares could split the 8th, or have an eating contest to decide who gets it.

I don't want to sign any relief help. For one, none of the remaining guys are that good. But also it would mean either keeping 13 pitchers, which is not likely, or losing Humbner or Boof (assuming Mijares is in the bigs, which he should be). That's not worth it


I have, "You sing into the microphone while the drummer plays along" stuck in my head. Thanks a lot.

TwinsWin83 said...

what, is Steve Bedrosian not available?

bizmarkie507 said...

Daymonster I bet all the dumbasses who try to start the wave at games are Leonardo fans.

whats this about mirajes? is that a joke?

haasertime said...

yes, all the fun facts were made up. besides Dickeys elbow. Say, that'd be a good name for a band.

"Hey man, what are you doin tonight?"

"Oh i'm going to a concert. Dickey's Elbow is playin at First Ave!"

Anonymous said...

One day I was surfing web and suddenly I came across website called I learned how to start my own home business and i was able finally leave my job where i worked one year, now I'm earning 150$/day. I was able to make such kind of cash because I read some very cool home based business reviews. At site called

Anyway seems that website owner at last discovered really good home business program which helped him to start his own internet home business opportunity, so he eventually decided to make site and tell about his own experience about making money online. It seems that he lost so much money before he found winner home based business program which actually work. But which one? Find out at site below!
[url=]home based business reviews[/url]