A few questions that I wondered about and looked up recently…
1. So, who hit for the Twins in May?
Top of the OPS (On-base Plus Slugging) list? Alexi Casilla with a .281/.351/.424 line. Then came Denard Span (.762), Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer (.746), Justin Morneau (.723) and Trevor Plouffe (.715). Nobody had an 800 OPS.
The bottom of the list should be of no surprise to Twins fans. Delmon Young, in 66 AB, had a line of .197/.206/.242 – and still wasn’t the lowest regular. Drew Butera’s 346 OPS (.137/.170/.176) beat him out in a (sigh) not especially close race.
2. Am I right in thinking that Span’s defense has improved?
The defensive metrics imply that he’s getting to more hits. Span’s UZR this year in center field is +10, meaning he’s saved 10 runs over an average center fielder. That puts him on pace to save something like 30 runs over the course of the season, which is Gomezian or even Hunterrific.
Carlos Gomez, by the way, is about six runs better than average. And his on-base percentage has actually dipped this year, to .280. But that may represent progress, as he’s on pace for a career record number of walks with 13 so far. His career high is 25.
3. How soon before I watch a shortstop routinely make routine plays look routine?
This one struck me on Tuesday night at the exact moment that Matt Tolbert’s bone-headed throw to third base sailed over Danny Valencia’s confused head. I consider myself a pretty calm, analytical and detached guy – but that was the straw-brained play that broke this camel’s back. Why could he not make that throw? Why would he try that throw before looking to see if Valencia is on third? Why try that throw at all considering the easy play was at first and it would be the second out? The questions came in waves – and so did the rage.
The answer – and maybe my salve – is that Tsuyoshi Nishioka made it into a rehab game on Monday and Wednesday and will again today. He’ll likely begin a rehab assignment no later than Saturday, the 4th. Which means that barring any injuries (knock, knock) I’ll be seeing him no later than the 25th, if not earlier.
Believe me, I remember how overmatched he looked that first week. But he didn’t look blatantly stupid. And I’ve seen way too much stupid at that position the last couple of weeks. Let the countdown begin.
4. What is it that misery loves again?
Answer: Company. Or alcohol. Fortunately, we can provide you both.
On Friday night, the Twins face the Royals at 7:10 PM. They’ll play in Kansas City, which has a beautiful stadium and fantastic BBQ, but is eight hours (and a whole Iowa) away. So what to do?
Join myself and the rest of the TwinsCentric guys at Smalley’s near Target Field. They’re giving us appetizer specials and (more importantly for people watching the game) drink specials. We’ll have some kind of raffle for some front row Twins tickets and other stuff where the money will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We’ll watch the game, bitch about Casilla, Hoey, Delmon, etc., and you can tell me, Nick, Seth and Parker exactly how stupid we really are. Sounds like a pretty solid Friday night to me.
We’ll see you there. If you have any questions, post ‘em in the comments below.