Thursday, August 14, 2014

666 The number of the beast, and higher than the OPS of about half of the Twins' hitters

In addition to the Iron Maiden song, .666 is the lifetime OPS of Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.  Rumors that he sold his soul to someone to get to the Hall of Fame have not been substantiated.  Interestingly enough, in his case that .666 OPS translated to an 87 OPS+.  Right now for the Twins, Jordan Schafer is just missing the list with a .668 OPS and he has an 88 OPS+.  The more things change...

Here are the (non-pitcher) Twins' hitters whose bats are not quite as hot as Hell (I guess that might be a good assumption) :

Chris Colabello  .662
Eric Fryer .635
Eduardo Nunez  .632
Jason Kubel .607
Aaron Hicks .600
Kendrys Morales .584
Chris Herrmann .343
Pedro Florimon .310
Jason Bartlett  .250
Darin Mastroianni  .083

It is worth mentioning that only two of these guys are with the club right now (Nunez & Fryer) and a few more (Colabello, Hicks, Hermann, Florimon) are still with the organization.  If I were to pick, I'd think that only the 2 previously high ranked prospects with a history of success (Hicks & Herrmann) will see some playing time in the majors next season.



Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Twins Trade Kevin Correia to the Dodgers and get...

...exactly the same when they traded Jim Thome (who was traded the next season for not one but 2 minor leaguers, one of whom looks like a decent reliever) within the division to the Cleveland Indians:

...exactly the same when traded Jamey Carroll within the division to the Kansas City Royals last season:

Absolutely nothing. Nada. Zilch. 

At least he is not taking a spot on the rotation blocking younger pitchers any longer, he was not trading within the division (even though on Correia's case that might had been a good thing) and this move has suggested that Rob Antony does not always say the truth.  (Hopefully Willinghman is next.)

The Twins (who are on pace for about 90 losses in 2014) will recall LHP Tommy Milone (of Sam Fuld trade fame) to take Correia's spot on the 25-man roster and the rotation.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Where is Twins' General Manager Terry Ryan?

The 2014 non-waiver trading deadline passed and went.  There was minimal activity, namely the trade of Sam Fuld, and the only media statements were issued by the latest Twins' titular head, Rob Antony.    And those statements around the deadline were to offer (lame) excuses on why veterans have not moved in a rebuilding team.  Recently, Antony's statements have been of more substance, discussing Kennys Vargas' food and dietary situation, among other things.   Really high priority for a team that is on the way to a fourth season in a row on the bottom of the stands.

Where is this teams' General Manager?  And who is going to answer about the Twins' inactivity at the deadline?  Terry Ryan's last statement was on July 27th (that is 12 days ago), and that was to support Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire and say what a great job he has done (to lead his team to the last place again.)

I hope that there is nothing serious health-wise about Ryan, but his absence from the public eye in trying periods for his team is akin to that of certain late Soviet leaders.

Sounds like business as usual in the Twins' land, since there seem to be about 5 people or so who really care about the Twins and the shape they are in, any more, but something is really wrong and questions need to be asked...  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ron Gardenhire is out as the Twins' manager, now what?

The writing is pretty much on the wall.  From this to this, and everything in between, the biggest question in the Twins' Territory is not if this will be Ron Gardenhire's last season as the Twins' manager, it is when will he be replaced.   Enumerating reasons about Gardenhire's replacement right now will be pointless (it was not after the miserable 2006 post-season, when this place was one of the few week voices suggesting that this team will not go anywhere with Gardenhire and Ryan at its helm.   It took the four most miserable consecutive seasons in franchise history, since the move to Minnesota, to actually have some sort of a majority thinking that this might be the case.)  It did not had to take for Ron Gardenhire to accumulate 1000 losses and be one of only seven managers in baseball history to achieve this feat, for this to happen.

As far as the "when" goes, it looks like it will happen sooner than later.  It might happen as soon as this series is over or it might happen after this season.   I suspect that Gardenhire will be allowed to leave on his own terms and retire riding into the sunset like Clayton Moore, instead of being forced out.  This franchise does things this way (and it is fine.)   For the record, my bet is that Gardenhire does not finish the season and for practical reasons (like not enough bodies to sit in the dugout) they will wait until minor league play is over to do it.  It has a bit more oomph if it is done during the season and that's what I think they will do.  I have never seen so many main press sources either re-iterating how sick and tired Gardenhire is lately, or how sad and "remote" Ryan seems lately.  Something is about to happen, folks, in the land of ten thousand lakes, and it does not involve soaking cod in lye in a bathtub.

The "what" is more important:  What will happen after Gardy is gone?  Potentially, this would be another case of rearranging coaching chairs (c. 2012, when they blamed the lost season on Jerry and Stelly and did a round robin with the rest.)  If Tonto is still around when Kemo Sabe is gone (utterly love the sarcasm of the advertizing copy placement on that shot in so many levels, btw), it will be another failure.   It will also be a failure is Scotty and Vavry and Steiny and Bruno were kept.  They are part of the problem as well.  They need to go.  The jury is still out on Paul Molitor, who has instituted some improvements already, like the defensive shifts, and Bobby Cuellar, who I think has not given an opportunity to do what he can do with this staff in the shade of Anderson.

Fresh thoughts and ideas are needed in this Franchise.  And, of course, this starts in the front office.  I think that Terry Ryan will also retire after this season, and health issues will be sited.  He does have a bigger battle than the Twins' to fight at this point and wishing him the best.  If I were the Pohlads, I would offer someone like Joe Maddon a position similar to what Nolan Ryan had with the Rangers or Tony LaRussa has with the Diamondbacks and give him carte blanche to fix the team (and if he still likes to manage, let him manage as well.)

But this is another long story, better saved for later...


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