Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Twins Takes

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Sorry for the short entry today, but I was at my fantasy football draft last night and didn't get to see much of the game. Just a couple of quick notes:

  • The updates on Francisco “The F-bomb” Liriano are so frequent as to start blending together. (Is he throwing a simulated game without cleats today or is he playing catch at 120 feet in Rochester? I forget.) But while we know exactly how many pitches he’ll throw in his first start on Thursday the 14th, we don’t know who he’s replacing in the rotation.

    The answer isn’t obvious from the schedule. The 14th would have belonged to Boof Bonser, but I think it’s safe to say that he isn’t the odd man out. Carlos Silva and Scott Baker would seem to be the leading candidates, and between them they have three starts this homestand to show they deserve the last two starts. Also, reaplacing one of them would allow Matt Garza to be skipped on Monday the 18th, which will be the Twins last off day before playing 14 straight days to end the season.

    So watch those three starts. Silva and Baker aren’t just pitching for two more chances to pitch this year. Both of their future is up in the air for next year, and they’ll be trying to prove they belong in 2007, too.

  • The PTBNL (that's player to be named later) for Phil Nevin was named and traded. It's Adam Harben. To be honest, I was a little dissappointed, though on further reflection, maybe I shouldn't have been:

    - Harben hasn't been a top 10 prospect for the Twins.
    - He took a step backwards this year.
    - Two years ago, the Twins traded Doug Mientkiewicz for minor league pitcher Justin Jones. Tis is probably comparable. I would rank Harben as higher than Jones, but Nevin was also better to to get than Mientkiewicz, because he doesn't have any salary guaranteed for next year.

    I'm just not sure the Twins really got anything they needed from the Nevin trade, since I (still) think Rondell White will outperform him. So I would have been more comfortable giving up a little less.

    But what it does demonstrate is that Terry Ryan seems to recognize that this organization has some pitching depth, and can probably afford to overpay a bit for some help in the current year. That's a good sign going forward.


JonM in MN said...

Look at it this way ---- we got somebody with as many home runs as our cleanup hitter for a guy I hadn't heard much about --- and wasn't in the Twins plans anyway.

I'll take that trade. He's insurance against Castillo's legs too, in case Punto ends up over there we have a guy that can play third.

ubelmann said...

I would say to think about it this way:

Tyner ought to be platooned in LF because he hasn't hit lefties. White ought to be platooned because he has had a lot of trouble with righties this year compared to lefties. So even with Nevin, there's a place for Rondell to play.

Nevin also gives us someone to spell Morneau at first base, which he's already done, and he allows Gardenhire the security blanket he needs to start Mauer and Redmond in the same day. Plus, if need be, Nevin can stand in at third base should Castillo or Punto get hurt and Lil' Rod needs a pinch hitter.

Nevin gives the Twins options they didn't have before and they gave up a pitcher who has had control issues at every level so far. I'd say that's a pretty good deal.

JimCrikket said...

Agree with ubelmann that Nevin provides all sorts of flexibility that wasn't there before (tho I would probably turn to Heintz to catch in an emergency over Nevin).

Regarding the rotation... as things stand right now, there's no question that Silva has to be the guy Liriano replaces. You're right that both Silva and Baker have a couple of starts to prove who belongs and who doesn't, of course.

Assuming Liriano DOES return to the rotation (knocking wood like crazy), I see the rotation falling in to place like this:

Liriano takes Bonser's spot on the 14th vs Cleveland. Santana goes the next night on his regular 5 day rotation. Bonser falls in behind that on the 16th. Baker goes the 17th. 18t is the last off day. Beginning the 19th vs Boston, the rotation becomes Garza, Liriano, Santana, followed by Bonser, Baker, Garza vs Baltimore. Keeping that rotation order in place results in Garza, Liriano and Santana set up to finish the year vs the White Sox in the Dome.

Of course, if we're going to do some wishing, it would be nice to clinch something before that series so the rotation can be set up to start with Santana in the playoffs.

JMK said...

This hasn't been mentioned by Gardenhire, but in the playoffs I believe Nevin will provide that 3rd catcher that Gardy so covets. Remember, Nevin played catcher as recently as last year for the Padres. With his power potential, in addition to his 3b and 1b eligibilty provides some nice depth + power off the bench, even if he doesn't hit.

JMK said...

i forgot to thank you for linking me the other day. That really helped send readers my way!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am missing something Nevin have played 3rd base in 1 game since 2003. His fielding percentage is .929 and in todays stats it would put him 103rd of of the 138 players that have played 3rd base this year in MLB. Yes he is 4 years older from those stats. Tony Batista or Phil ??? Well Tony is rated 86th for this year. Nevin an option at third. Terry Tiffee is a better option.