By far the most significant development of the weekend was Baker's start on Saturday, brining hope that the perceived abundance of pitching that the Twins have in Rochester is as ready as we hoped. The Twins have been and will continue to be criticized for the way they balanced their young and old pitching.
That's a little ironic, because their ulimtate solution makes everyone feel better about themselves. Those that felt the Twins should have promoted the youngsters early can say "they told you so", and those that felt the kids should start the season in Rochester can attribute Baker's success to how the Twins handled them. Really, it's a win-win for all armchair GMs.
(And the real GM is likely pretty pleased, too).
The contrast between Saturday's and Sunday's starts will likely add some fuel to the calls for examining Ortiz's place in the rotation. He lost yesterday on the two biggest criticisms he's received this year from the sabrementric types: he gave up hits and he gave up homeruns. But looking at his record historically, the home runs and hits he gives up aren't the key to his success.
See how that ERA line goes up and down in step with the K/BB and the BB/9 rate? Home run rate, strikeout rate, hit rate - none of them match the trend in ERA nearly as well as the two metrics above, and those metrics are what we use to deterine a pitcher's control. When Ortiz has his control, he's good. When he doesn't, he isn't.
That's eerily similar to what the Twins have been saying for the last couple of weeks. Ortiz's walk rate is the lowest in his career right now. In yesterday's loss he walked nobody, and he threw 2/3 of his pitches for strikes. Ortiz's performance over the last few weeks has been shaky, but there are plenty of reasons to believe he could return to April's form.
Shoot, I have at least two more I'd like to talk about from the offensive side, but I gotta run. We'll talk about those tomorrow, and don't let me forget to rant about Denys Reyes.