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9/29/14

The ball is on Terry Ryan's court: The aftermath of the firing of Ron Gardenhire by the Twins.

Today Terry Ryan held a press conference, in absentia Jim Pohlad & Dave St. Peter, who apparently had better things to do, to announce that Ron Gardenhire will not be returning as the Twins manager in 2015.   The news were so unusual that might be the reason that former Twins manager Tom Kelly suffered a minor stroke today (best wishes Tom.)  Ron Gardenhire's dismissal was long overdue.  It should had happened after the 2006 post-season.  And, as I indicated previously,  I felt that it was done deal at least a month ago.

There are a few strange things about this and I don't think that they are coincidental:
  • The Twins' owner and president were not around in the press conference
  • Gardenhire was and allegedly was offered a position within the organization (rumors that it is for the roving grouch instructor are not substantiated.)
  • There was no word about his coaches, however their contacts are all expired and no renewals were announced and it looks like they are all gone, pending new manager's whim.
  • When asked, Ryan said that he knows what type of manager he wants (and went to a great detail describing characteristics) but admitted that he has no list of candidates.
  • The kicker is that Terry Ryan was adamant and on the record as late as 8/22 saying that Gardenhire will be back
This does not seem like a General Manager who a. wanted to do this and was ready to do it,  b. has the support of his bosses (who did not even bother attending) and c. is facing a serious health issue.  If Gardenhire's firing was demanded and imposed by Ryan's bosses recently, several things could be explained (especially his unpreparedness for a replacement.)  However,  no matter what, Ryan looks like a liar right now.  I would not be surprised if Terry Ryan resigns shortly, before he names a manager and this will probably be better for both him and the Twins. 

9/27/14

Rick Anderson is about to get fired Sunday night...

... and it will be the tip of the iceberg of the changes.  As I indicated before, Ron Gardenhire is as good as gone, and Terry Ryan with his inability to be around every day because of health issues, will likely resign.

Here is the sphinx-like words that TR uttered about Anderson.  But what the Twins really need is a baseball man on top.  It is not a coincidence that the Twins have been anchored to the basement starting the season that Jerry Bell retired and David St. Paul, who is more aware and interested in concert acts and food and beverage selections, was promoted on the top of the organization.

Changes are needed, does Jim Pohlad have the fortitude to make them?

We will find out in 3 days.

9/15/14

Chris Tillman Has Turned Into The Ace Baltimore Needs

Guest post by Matt Jenkins
----

With the 2014 MLB playoffs just around the corner, the Baltimore Orioles are pretty much a lock to represent the American League East. Not a lot of people expected them to be at the top of the division at the start of the year, but here they are with a sizable lead. They have quite a few players to thank for their outstanding season so far, but one big surprise has been Chris Tillman on the mound.

The American League Cy Young Award has pretty much been wrapped up by Felix Hernandez. However, if it was not for Hernandez having such a special season on the mound, there is a very good chance that Tillman would come away with the award. He has been able to the very solid on the mound, and he has also been very consistent. His numbers and fantasy baseball illustrate just how valuable he has been for Baltimore.

Among playoff teams, Baltimore certainly looks like a franchise that does not have the same type of top-tier talent on the mound. Most people agree that in order to win a World Series, pitching needs to be the key for any franchise. Tillman is hoping that he can carry over his regular season success to the postseason. He might not have a huge track record, but nothing seems to be holding him back at this time.

Tillman was pretty good at the beginning of the year, but he has been very solid since the beginning of June. In fact, he has not allowed more than 3 earned runs in any of his starts since June 5, and that has put Baltimore in contention every single time he takes the mound. He might only have 12 wins on the year and a slightly bloated 3.36 ERA, but Baltimore will be counting on him quite a bit during the most important part of the year. If he can take his game to another level, Baltimore has a fighting chance to go all the way.

8/14/14

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.



8/10/14

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.


8/8/14

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...  

8/6/14

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...


7/27/14

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...





7/25/14

Twins' weekly organizational transactions: 7/19-7/25/2014

Here are this week's Twins' organization transactions.  All these weekly transaction lists are here.  When transactions involve a Twins top 40 prospect from my most current prospect list (here), that will be indicated next to the player's name by his ranking (see Max Kepler below for example).

The transactions from 7/19 to now were:


 07/25/2014 LHP Jason Wheeler assigned to AAA Rochester Red Wings from AA New Britain Rock Cats.
07/25/2014 A+ Fort Myers Miracle placed RHP D.J. Baxendale (Twins prospect ranking: 37) on the 7-day disabled list.
07/25/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels placed RHP Kohl Stewart (Twins prospect ranking: 7) on the 7-day disabled list.
07/25/2014 LHP Josue Montanez assigned to A Cedar Rapids Kernels from Rk+ Elizabethton Twins.
07/25/2014 LHP Stephen Gonsalves (Twins prospect ranking: 20) assigned to A Cedar Rapids Kernels from Rk+ Elizabethton Twins.
07/24/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins designated RHP Matt Guerrier for assignment.
07/24/2014 MLB  Minnesota Twins traded 1B Kendrys Morales to Seattle Mariners for RHP Stephen Pryor.
07/24/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins recalled SS Jorge Polanco (Twins prospect ranking: 6) from Fort Myers Miracle.
07/24/2014 1B/OF Reynaldo Rodriguez assigned to AAA Rochester Red Wings from AA New Britain Rock Cats.
07/24/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins optioned RHP Stephen Pryor to AAA Rochester Red Wings.
07/24/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins recalled RHP Ryan Pressly from AAA Rochester Red Wings.
07/24/2014 A+ Fort Myers Miracle activated 2B Levi Michael (Twins prospect ranking: 38) from the 7-day disabled list.
07/24/2014 Rk GCL Twins placed LHP Reyson Zoquiel on the 7-day disabled list.
07/24/2014 Rk GCL Twins placed LHP Onas Farfan on the 7-day disabled list.
07/24/2014 Rk GCL Twins placed RHP Miguel Gonzalez on the 7-day disabled list.
07/23/2014    AA New Britain Rock Cats placed LHP Taylor Rogers on the 7-day disabled list.
07/23/2014    2B Rafael P Valera assigned to A+ Fort Myers Miracle from Rk GCL Twins.
07/23/2014    A+ Fort Myers Miracle placed CF Max Kepler (Twins prospect ranking: 12) on the 7-day disabled list.
07/22/2014    MLB Minnesota Twins recalled Yohan Pino from AAA Rochester Red Wings.
07/22/2014    MLB Minnesota Twins optioned Kris Johnson to AAA Rochester Red Wings.
07/22/2014    AAA Rochester Red Wings placed RF/C Chris Herrmann on the 7-day disabled list with Right thumb contusion.
07/22/2014    RHP Alex Wimmers assigned to AA New Britain Rock Cats from A+ Fort Myers Miracle.
07/22/2014    RHP Alex Muren assigned to A+ Fort Myers Miracle from A Cedar Rapids Kernels.
07/18/2014    MLB Minnesota Twins optioned Chris Herrmann to AAA Rochester Red Wings.

7/20/14

Twins' Ron Gardenhire is in a rare company among managers, and not because of the 1000 losses.

Today Ron Gardenhire achieved his 1000 loss as a Twins' manager.   In an interview with Mike Berardino, Gardenhire said that 1000 losses is an indicative of longevity, as is 1000 wins.   Is it so?

Here is a list of all managers who have lost 1000 games in their career, with Gardenhire being the 50th:

1 Connie Mack (HOF) 3948 - 9 AL Championships, 5 World Championships
2 Tony La Russa (HOF) 2365 - 3 AL Championships, 3 NL Championships, 3 World Championships   
3 Bucky Harris (HOF) 2219 - 3 AL Championships, 2 World Championships   
4 Gene Mauch 2037 -----    Minnesota Twins (1976–1980)   
5 Bobby Cox (HOF) 2001 5 NL Championships, 1 World Championship               
6 Joe Torre (HOF) 1997 6 AL Championships, 4 World Championships
7 John McGraw (HOF) 1948 10 NL Championships, 3 World Championships   
8 Casey Stengel (HOF) 1843 10 AL Championships, 7 World Championships   
9 Sparky Anderson (HOF)    1834 4 NL Championsips, 1 AL Championship, 3 World Championships   
10 Jim Leyland 1769 1 NL Championship, 2 AL Championships, 1 World Championship   
11 Bill McKechnie (HOF)    1723 4 NL Championships, 2 World Championships
12 Lou Piniella    1713  1 NL Championship, 1 World Championship   
13 Leo Durocher (HOF) 1709 3 NL Championships, 1 World Championship
14 Walter Alston (HOF) 1613 74 NL Championships, 4 World Championships   
15 Bruce Bochy    1573  3 NL Championships, 2 World Championships
16 Jimmy Dykes    1541 -----
17 Ralph Houk 1531 3 AL Championships, 2 World Championships   
18 Dusty Baker 1504 1 NL Championship
19 Dick Williams (HOF)     1451 3 AL Championsips, 1 NL Championship, 2 World Championships
20 Tom Lasorda (HOF) 1439 4 NL Championships, 2 World Championships
21 Wilbert Robinson (HOF) 1398    2 NL Championships
22 Chuck Tanner     1381 1 NL Championship, 1 World Championship   
23 Clark Griffith (HOF) 1367  1 AL Championship   
24 Joe McCarthy (HOF) 1333 8 AL Championsips, 1 NL Championship, 7 World Championships   
25 Bill Rigney 1321 ------ Minnesota Twins (1970–1972)   
26 Tom Kelly 1244 2 AL Championships, 2 World Championships       
27 John McNamara 1233 1 AL Championship       
28 Lou Boudreau (HOF) 1224 1 AL Championship, 1 World Championship
29 Fred Clarke (HOF) 1181  4 NL Championships, 1 World Championship
30 Frank Robinson (HOF)     1176 -----
31 Mike Hargrove  1173 2 AL Championships,    
32 Bobby Valentine 1165     1 NL Championship   
33 Ned Hanlon (HOF) 1164 5 NL Championships
34 Buck Showalter 1138 -------
35 Art Howe 1137 --------
36 Miller Huggins (HOF)    1134 6 AL Championships, 3 World Championships
37 Whitey Herzog (HOF)    1125 3 NL Championships, 1 World Championship   
38 Jim Fregosi 1094 1 NL Championship       
39 Frankie Frisch (HOF) 1078  1 NL Championship, 1 World Championship
40 Mike Scioscia 1072  1 AL Championship, 1 World Championship    
41 Davey Johnson 1071 1 NL Championship, 1 World Championship    
42 Charlie Grimm 1067 3 NL Championships
43 Earl Weaver (HOF) 1060 4 AL Championships, 1 World Championship    
44 Joe Cronin (HOF)  1055 2 AL Championships
45 Phil Garner 1054 1 NL Championship   
46 Terry Francona 1032    2 AL Championships, 2 World Championships
47 Felipe Alou 1021 -------
48 Billy Martin    1013 2 AL Championships, 1 World Championship
49 Al Lopez (HOF) 1004    2 AL Championships   
50 Ron Gardenhire  1000 ------  

So Ron Gardenhire is the 7th among 50 managers who managed long enough to lose 1000 and have never led their team to a World Series.   This dubious company includes Gene Mauch, Jimmy Dykes, Bill Rigney (along with Mauch, former Twins' managers,) Buck Showalter, Art Howe and Felipe Alou.

For his 1000th win, Ron Gardenhire received a custom humidor as an award.  Being in this select company among the 7 biggest loser managers, Gardenhire deserves another award:

7/18/14

Twins' weekly organizational transactions: 7/12-7/18/2014

Here are this week's Twins' organization transactions.  All these weekly transaction lists are here.  When transactions involve a Twins top 40 prospect from my most current prospect list (here), that will be indicated next to the player's name by his ranking (see Engelb Vielma below for example).

The transactions from 7/5 to now were:

07/18/14 MLB Minnesota Twins activated SS Danny Santana from the 15-day disabled list.
07/18/14  MLB Minnesota Twins optioned C/OF Chris Herrmann to AAA Rochester Red Wings.
07/17/2014 AA New Britain Rock Cats placed OF Lance Ray on the 7-day disabled list.
07/17/2014 AA New Britain Rock Cats activated RHP Matthew Summers from the 7-day disabled list.
07/17/2014 A+ Fort Myers Miracle sent SS Levi Michael (Twins prospect ranking: 38) on a rehab assignment to Rk GCL Twins.
07/16/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels activated SS Engelb Vielma (Twins prospect ranking: 21) from the 7-day disabled list.
07/16/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels released C Bo Altobelli.
07/14/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins sent SS Danny Santana on a rehab assignment to A+ Fort Myers Miracle.
07/13/2014 AAA Rochester Red Wings activated RHP Trevor May (Twins prospect ranking: 4) from the 7-day disabled list.
07/13/2014 AA New Britain Rock Cats placed RHP Matthew Summers on the 7-day disabled list.
07/13/2014 AA New Britain Rock Cats activated C Matt Koch (Twins prospect ranking: 28) from the temporarily inactive list.
07/12/2014 AAA Rochester Red Wings released LHP Scott Diamond. 

7/11/14

Twins' weekly organizational transactions: 7/5-7/11/2014

Here are this week's Twins' organization transactions.  All these weekly transaction lists are here.  When transactions involve a Twins top 40 prospect from my most current prospect list (here), that will be indicated next to the player's name by his ranking (see Fernando Romero below for example).

The transactions from 7/5 to now were:

 07/11/2014 AAA Pino Minnesota Twins optioned RHP Yohan Pino to AAA Rochester Red Wings.
07/11/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins recalled LHP Kris Johnson from AAA Rochester Red Wings.
07/10/2014 AA New Britain Rock Cats placed C Matt Koch  (Twins prospect ranking: 28) on the temporarily inactive list.
07/10/2014 AA New Britain Rock Cats activated 1B Kennys Vargas  (Twins prospect ranking: 5) from the temporarily inactive list.
07/10/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels sent LF Zack Larson (Twins prospect ranking: 29) on a rehab assignment to Rk GCL Twins.
07/10/2014 Rk GCL Twins placed RHP Wilfredy Liranzo on the 7-day disabled list.
07/09/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels activated 2B Logan Wade from the 7-day disabled list.
07/08/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins placed RHP Ricky Nolasco on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 7, 2014 with Right elbow strain
07/08/2014 AAA Rochester Red Wings activated C Josmil Pinto from the 7-day disabled list
07/08/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins recalled C/OF Chris Herrmann from AAA Rochester Red Wings.
07/08/2014  C Jairo Rodriguez assigned to AA New Britain Rock Cats from A+ Fort Myers Miracle.
07/08/2014 A+ Fort Myers Miracle activated SS Aderlin Mejia from the 7-day disabled list.
07/07/2014 AA New Britain Rock Cats placed 1B Kennys Vargas (Twins prospect ranking: 5) on the temporarily inactive list.
07/07/2014 RHP Jose Berrios  (Twins prospect ranking: 9) assigned to AA New Britain Rock Cats from A+ Fort Myers Miracle.
07/07/2014 LHP Mason Melotakis assigned to AA A+ Fort Myers Miracle.
07/07/2014 RHP Todd Van Steensel assigned to A+ Fort Myers Miracle from A Cedar Rapids Kernels.
07/07/2014 RHP Ethan Mildren assigned to A+ Fort Myers Miracle from A Cedar Rapids Kernels.
07/07/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels placed SS Engelb Vielma (Twins prospect ranking: 21) on the 7-day disabled list.
07/07/2014 OF Jeremias Pineda assigned to Rk+ Elizabethton Twins from A Cedar Rapids Kernels.
07/07/2014 RHP Chih-Wei Hu assigned to A Cedar Rapids Kernels from Rk+ Elizabethton Twins.
07/07/2014 RHP Jake Reed assigned to A Cedar Rapids Kernels from Rk+ Elizabethton Twins.
07/07/2014 LHP Matt Batts assigned to Rk+ Elizabethton Twins from Rk GCL Twins.
07/06/2014 RHP Mark Hamburger assigned to AAA Rochester Red Wings from AA New Britain Rock Cats.
07/06/2014 A+ Fort Myers Miracle activated CF Byron Buxton (Twins prospect ranking: 2) from the 7-day disabled list.
07/05/2014 OF Lance Ray assigned to AA New Britain Rock Cats from A+ Fort Myers Miracle.
07/05/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels activated C Mitch Garver (Twins prospect ranking: 17) from the 7-day disabled list.
07/05/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels placed CF Zack Granite on the 7-day disabled list with a left quad strain
07/05/2014 Rk GCL Twins activated RHP Jhon Silva from the 7-day disabled list.

7/6/14

Can the people who are running the Minnesota Twins fall any lower?

This is what has been happening at Target Field this weekend.  The Twins' staff who made that decision and the ones who are running this team should really be ashamed of what they did to an once proud franchise, just to get $100 or so.

I hope that the Twins' fans are paying attention. 


7/4/14

Twins' weekly organizational transactions: 6/28-7/4/2014

Here are this week's Twins' organization transactions.  All these weekly transaction lists are here.  When transactions involve a Twins top 40 prospect from my most current prospect list (here), that will be indicated next to the player's name by his ranking (see Fernando Romero below for example).

The transactions from 6/28 to now were:

07/03/2014 RHP John Curtiss assigned to Rk+ Elizabethton Twins.
07/02/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins recalled 1B/DH Chris Colabello from AAA Rochester Red Wings.
07/02/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins placed 1B Joe Mauer on the 15-day disabled list. Right oblique strain.
07/01/2014 AA New Britain Rock Cats placed OF Corey Wimberly on the 7-day disabled list with a hamstring injury
07/01/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels activated C Michael Quesada from the 7-day disabled list.
07/01/2014 Rk+ Elizabethton Twins activated C Jorge Fernandez from the 7-day disabled list.
06/30/14 MLB Minnesota Twins activated LF Eduardo Nunez from the 15-day disabled list.
06/30/14 MLB Minnesota Twins activated 3B Trevor Plouffe from the 15-day disabled list.
06/30/2014 AAA Rochester Red Wings activated RF Wilkin Ramirez from the 7-day disabled list.
06/30/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins optioned SS Pedro Florimon to AAA Rochester Red Wings.
06/30/2014 A+ Fort Myers Miracle placed SS Aderlin Mejia on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to June 29, 2014.
06/30/2014 A+ Fort Myers Miracle activated LHP Brett Lee from the 7-day disabled list.
06/30/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins optioned SS Jorge Polanco (Twins prospect ranking: 6) to A+ Fort Myers Miracle.
06/30/2014 3B Rafael P Valera assigned to Rk GCL Twins from A+ Fort Myers Miracle. 

6/30/14

Separated at birth: Twins' 3B Trevor Plouffe and...

Separated at birth:   Twins'  3B Trevor Plouffe 






and: 


(Food Network's Star hopeful Ruben Ruiz.) 

6/27/14

Twins' weekly organizational transactions: 6/21-6/27/2014

Here are this week's Twins' organization transactions.  All these weekly transaction lists are here.  When transactions involve a Twins top 40 prospect from my most current prospect list (here), that will be indicated next to the player's name by his ranking (see Fernando Romero below for example).

The transactions from 6/21 to now were:

06/27/2014 AAA Rochester Red Wings placed C Josmil Pinto on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to June 25, 2014. left hip flexor strain
06/27/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins recalled RHP Yohan Pino from AAA Rochester Red Wings.
06/27/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels placed RHP Fernando Romero (Twins prospect ranking: 34) on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to June 24, 2014.
06/27/2014  RHP Nick Burdi (Twins prospect ranking: 14) assigned to A Cedar Rapids Kernels.
06/26/2014 AAA Rochester Red Wings placed RF Wilkin Ramirez on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to June 23, 2014. Illness
06/26/2014  3B Nate Hanson assigned to AAA Rochester Red Wings from AA New Britain Rock Cats.
06/26/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins optioned RHP Yohan Pino to AAA Rochester Red Wings.
06/26/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins sent LF Eduardo Nunez on a rehab assignment to AA New Britain Rock Cats.
06/26/2014 A+ Fort Myers Miracle activated LF Nate Roberts from the 7-day disabled list.
06/26/2014 IF Rafael Valera assigned to A+ Fort Myers Miracle from Rk GCL Twins.
06/26/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins recalled SS Jorge Polanco (Twins prospect ranking: 6) from A+ Fort Myers Miracle.
06/25/2014 RHP Mark Hamburger assigned to AA New Britain Rock Cats from AAA Rochester Red Wings.
06/25/2014 RHP Lester Oliveros assigned to AAA Rochester Red Wings from AA New Britain Rock Cats.
06/25/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins optioned CF Aaron Hicks to AA New Britain Rock Cats.
06/25/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels placed C Mitch Garver (Twins prospect ranking: 17)on the 7-day disabled list. Concussion symptoms.
06/25/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels activated LF J.D. Williams from the 7-day disabled list.
06/25/2014 OF Tanner English assigned to Rk+ Elizabethton Twins.
06/23/2014 OF Tyree Davis assigned to GCL Twins.
06/21/2014 RHP Mark Hamburger assigned to AAA Rochester Red Wings from AA New Britain Rock Cats.

6/24/14

Twins get snubbed in the All-Star Futures game

The rosters for the All-Star Futures game (that takes place at Target Field) were announced and the Twins have only 2 players Kennys Vargas, the Twins' number 5 prospect, and Jose Berrios, the Twins' number 8 prospect, participating in the World Squad. 

No Twins are in the US Team.  Hard to believer that the selecting pitching prospects are more deserving than Alex Meyer and Trevor May, Twins' number 3 and 4 prospects. 

A bit hard to stomach.    


6/21/14

Weekly Twins Organizational Transactions

All three Rookie Leagues are in full play, draft picks get singed and this is a good time to start keeping tract of the Twins' organization transactions in a weekly basis, since a lot of player movement will be occurring in all levels.  I am not going to list the transactions and assignments that formed the Rookie Leagues' Team's Rosters.  You can find the Advanced Rookie Elizabethton Twins' Roster here, the Rookie GCL Twins' Roster here and the Foreign Rookie DSL Twins' Roster here
All these weekly transaction lists are here.  When transactions involve a Twins top 40 prospect from my most current prospect list (here), that will be indicated next to the player's name by his ranking (see Sean Gilmartin below for example).

The transactions from 6/14 to now were:


06/21/2014 RHP Mark Hamburger assigned to AAA Rochester Red Wings from AA New Britain Rock Cats.
06/20/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels sent 2B Logan Wade on a rehab assignment to Rk GCL Twins.
06/19/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins selected the contract of RHP Yohan Pino from AAA Rochester Red Wings.
06/19/2014 C Jairo Rodriguez assigned to A+ Fort Myers Miracle from AA New Britain Rock Cats.
06/19/2014 LHP Jason Wheeler assigned to AA New Britain Rock Cats from A+ Fort Myers Miracle.
06/19/2014 IF Stephen Wickens assigned to AA New Britain Rock Cats from A+ Fort Myers Miracle.
06/19/2014  C Alex Swim assigned to A Cedar Rapids Kernels from A+ Fort Myers Miracle.
06/19/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels placed C Michael Quesada on the 7-day disabled list.
06/19/2014 A Cedar Rapids Kernels sent OF Jeremias Pineda on a rehab assignment to Rk+ Elizabethton Twins.
06/19/2014 RHP Dallas Gallant assigned to A Cedar Rapids Kernels from Rk+ Elizabethton Twins.
06/19/2014 LHP Josue Montanez assigned to Rk+ Elizabethton Twins from A Cedar Rapids Kernels
06/19/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins placed LF Eduardo Nunez on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 15, 2014. Right hamstring strain
06/19/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins transferred RHP Mike Pelfrey from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. June 2014 right elbow surgery
06/18/2014 Minnesota Twins sent CF Aaron Hicks on a rehab assignment to AA New Britain Rock Cats.
06/18/2014 2B Jonatan Hinojosa assigned to Rk+ Elizabethton Twins from A Cedar Rapids Kernels.
06/17/2014 LHP Sean Gilmartin (Twins prospect ranking: 32) assigned to AAA Rochester Red Wings from AA New Britain Rock Cats.
06/15/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins recalled SS Pedro Florimon from AAA Rochester Red Wings.
06/15/2014 MLB Minnesota Twins placed 3B Trevor Plouffe on the 15-day disabled list. Inflammation between the ninth rib and the costal cartilage on the left side.







 

6/9/14

Preliminary Twins mid-season top 40 prospect list (including 2014 draftees)

I released my extensive off-season 2014 Minnesota Twins top 40 prospect list last winter.  You can find the full off-season 1-40 list and links to individual reports on each prospect here.  The 2014 draft is over,  I have seen several Twins' prospects play for the first time last Spring, and the full season 2014 minor league seasons are close to mid-point, so it is time to revisit the Twins' prospects and release my mid-season top 40 list.  This is a preliminary list, which means that there are not full reports about each player, as I do that during the off-season, and several players have not even appeared in a single game.

Housekeeping notes:  in parenthesis there is the off-season prospect ranking.  When a player was with the Twins but not ranked in the top 40, there is (---) and if a player was not with the Twins then, there is the (NEW) indication.   Players who have played in the majors (Danny Santana, Logan Darnell and Mike Tonkin notably) are not included in this list.   Also, as a reminder, my criteria are slightly different that others' (e.g I value actual results at a higher competition level more than most) and the Twins have such a deep system, that some players who are listed in other lists and/or have been drafted in early rounds recently or have received large international signing bonuses will be conspicuously absent from this list.

Without further ado, with some one-liner commentary about my thought process:

1. Miguel Sano 3B (1)
2. Byron Buxton OF (2)

I felt I should not punish these guys for getting hurt.  On the other hand, having Tommy John surgery due to repetitive injury, and re-injuring you wrist sliding and being out because of it, are two different situations.  I did think hard about dropping Buxton to number three because of injury prone-ness and lack of execution in the games he played so far, but I did not.  However, the distance from Sano, which was not much before, is larger now because of those reasons. 

3. Alex Meyer RHP (3)

The best arm in this list and in the organization

4. Trevor May RHP (9)

The second most MLB-ready pitcher in the list and the first starter.  Made the jump up here because he finally broke through to the next level as a pitcher in AAA

5. Kennys Vargas 1B/DH (7)

The most MLB-ready bat in the list, Kennys will likely replace Kendrys as the full time DH in 2015 and his bat can play in the majors right now.

6. Jorge Polanco SS (6) 

Playing full time shortstop and while there are some concerns about his sure-handedness with the glove, he has one of the best contact tools in the organization

7. Kohl Stewart EHP (5) 

He dropped simply because of the strikeout rate decrease and because he has proven that he is touchable in Cedar Rapids.  There is time to remedy that the rest of the season 

8. Nick Gordon SS (NEW)

The 5th overall draft pick for the Twins in 2014.  Good tool set.  If he can stick at SS and show that he can make contact in the pros, he will stay a top prospect

9. Jose Berrios RHP (8)

If anything, Berrios has been better this season.  Just there are others ahead of him in this deep organization at this point.

10. Eddie Rosario OF (4)

The drop is not as much about the suspension, it is mostly about the position change.  A second baseman with his contact skill and speed is much more rare and valuable than an outfielder.  So part on Rosario, bigger part on the Twins. 

11. Amaurys Minier 1B/3B (14)

Fully expect that he will have a monster season coming up

12. Max Kepler OF/1B (16)
13. Adam Walker OF (17)

14. Nick Burdi RHP (NEW)

The Twins' 2014 second round pick, is ["upset"] that he was selected that low and he is the most MLB-ready pitcher in this list.  With an 103 mph fastball and low to mid 90s slider he can probably be as effective (or more) as any RHP in the Minnesota Twins' bullpen today.  If he harness his changeup, he will be a dominant closer for a long time.  I should probably have ranked him higher in the list, and this might happen in the off-season.

15. Lewis Thorpe LHP (18)

Highest LHP in this ranking and in most Twins' prospect lists

16. Travis Harrison OF (13)

Change in position hurts his ranking

17. Mitch Garver C (---)

The Twins' 9th round pick in the 2013 draft was not much on the radar this off-season.  Really impressed my this Spring Break with his bat, his athleticism and his ability to handle pitchers, and is the best position player in Cedar Rapids so far, thus he is my highest ranked catching prospect in the Twins' organization

18. Mike Cederoth RHP (NEW)
The Twins' 3rd round pick in 2014 is another triple digit FB/slider pitcher who has drawn comparisons to Stephen Strausberg.  Unlike Burdi, he has the potential to be a starter, but his stuff is a tick lesser than Burdi's.  Signability is an issue.  If he signs and turns into a starter and develops a third pitch, he will jump up in this list 

19. Ryan Eades RHP (11)
20. Stephen Gonsalves LHP (10)
These guys suffered a sizeable drop because they really did not show me much during Spring Training and Eades has not performed in the Midwest League as expected.

21. Engelb Vielma SS (---)

Another player who was flying under the radar last season who impressed me this Spring.   Excellent speed and great instincts both with the glove and on the base paths.   He can be a starting shortstop in the majors right now, but his bat will look like Florimon's, if not like Deduno's.  He needs to cultivate his hitting ability.  Young and very slim, he can fill in.

22. Nico Goodrum IF (27)

Starting as the every day third baseman for the Miracle, the former 2010 second round draft pick who has disappointed so far, might actually start to show his potential making solid contact and being fine with the glove.  

23. Felix Jorge RHP (12)

Same situation as Eades.  Disappointing season, but his spring was excellent.  Might be a temperature issue.

24. Lewin Diaz 1B (NEW)

The seventeen year old who was signed as an international free agent last July has started his pro career in the DSL and it will be a good one.  A lot like Minier with the bat

25. AJ Achter RHP (---)

Achter has been quietly turning into one of the best arms in the organization and might finish the season in Minnesota.  Better pitcher than Mike Tonkin at this point.

26. Aaron Slegers RHP (---)

Another 2013 draftee (5th round) who impressed me last spring.  Very tall pitcher with potential to add velocity if he works with his mechanics

27. Jose Abreu  RHP (23)
28. Matthew Koch C (22) 

These guys got caught into the numbers game

29. Zach Larson OF (36)

I think that my off-season prospect list was the only one that Zach was in, but I am sure that he has opened a few more eyes with his Midwest League performance.

30. Alexis Tapia RHP (21)

Might jump back up depending on E-town play

31. Zach Jones RHP (19)

Lost season, the emergence and draft of other relievers drop Zach, but the potential is there.

32. Sean Gilmartin LHP (NEW)

When the last list was made, Ryan Doumit was still a Twin

33. Brian Gilbert RHP (20)

Proven hitable in Fort Myers.

34. Argenis Silva RHP (---)

The 18 year old will finally show his ability injury free in his third DSL season

35. Sam Clay LHP (NEW) 

The Twins' 4th round draft pick in 2014 projects as a starter, might end up as a long reliever.

36.  Brandon Peterson RHP (---)

All the 13th round pick in 2013 does is strikes hitters out and does not allow runs to score.  Moved 4 spots in 2 seasons, he is fast-tracked and ready to jump these rankings the off-season

37.  DJ Baxendale (15)

One of the biggest drops in this list. He has not figured out AA or AA has figured him out. The 23 year old is back at Fort Myers for fine tuning.  Needs to prove himself the second half, but hard to give up on him at this point, because I have seen him do amazing things

38. Levi Michael 2B (---)

Is the former first round draft pick figuring it out finally with the stick in his third FSL stint?  He is leading the Miracle in Batting Average and OBP.

39. Fernardo Romero RHP (34)

40. Randy Rosario LHP (---)

Excellent skills have not translated in results in 3 games started at Cedar Rapids, but there is a lot of potential. 


Graduated:

Danny Santana, Logan Darnell

Dropped: 

DJ Hicks (24)
JD Williams (25)
Stuart Turner  (28)
Josh Burris (29)
Mason Melotakis (31)
Deibinson Romero (32)
Mike Gonzales (33)
Logan Wade (37)
Tyler Grimes (38)
Tyler Jones (39)
Alex Wimmers (40)