Saturday, June 16, 2007


I didn't get to see a ton of tonight's game, but you don't need to see much more than the expression on Baker's face as he left the mound to figure out what's next. That was the face of someon who is frustrated beyond belief, who is so tired of failing that he isn't sure he wants to try again. It's the face of someone who would be better served in AAA, working on his confidence. Again.

You know the drill - I'm not a Twins insider, this is purely speculative, blah, blah, blah....but this team watches body language, and it especially watches it on prospects, and Baker's said "I just hate where I am right now." And frankly, I don't blame him. I still believe in the kid, but this isn't his time.

The natural question is whether it's Garza's time, and it appears it must be, because it sure isn't Ortiz's time again yet. Garza has been good, but not great in AAA, and let's not forget that he has some baggage from last year that he still hasn't shed.

Even trickier is that the Twins next starter is supposed to pitch on Wednesday against the Mets. A road start is usually a good thing for a youg pitcher, but Garza's next turn in the rotation is supposed to be tomorrow (Saturday) night. If the Twins want him to pitch on Tuesday, they'll need to cancel that start, which means they'll need to make a decision tomorrow morning. That might be a little faster than they want to move.

But they probably should, and I think they will. Judging by nothing more than the stunned look on Baker's prepubescent face, it's the right move.

edit (6/16/07): In today's Strib Twins recap, Gardenhire hints that Baker will get one more start. This makes complete sense given the schedule that Garza is on. Garza pitches on Tuesday (in Rochester). Baker will pitch on Wednesday. Thursday is an off day, which meant the Twins have some flexibility with their other starters for the next time through the rotation. That would allow Garza to pitch on Sunday (after a full four days rest) and it would make his first start on the road (which is generally preferred for younger pitchers.)

1 comment:

SoCalTwinsfan said...

I think Baker's frustration was in that he didn't pitch all that bad and still had the bad line. In the fourth, the leadoff hit was a little dribbler up the middle, then Prince Fielder hit a popup that fell between Kubel and Hunter in no-man's land. After inducing a popup for the first out, He got ahead of the catcher but a pitch got away from him to load the bases for Twins killer Geoff Jenkins. I pretty much knew what was going to happen then.

Baker did get hit hard in the fifth, but before that the only real mistake was to Jenkins. Unfortunately, it came wih the bases loaded.