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12/14/07

Updated lineups after the Everett signing

Lineup:

Jason Pridie CF
Delmon Young LF
Joe Mauer C
Michael Cuddyer RF
Justin Morneau 1B
Jason Kubel DH
Brendan Harris 2B
Brian Buscher 3B
Adam Everett SS

Mike Redmond (Bench)
Nick Punto (Bench)
Alexi Casilla (Bench)
Garrett Jones (Bench)
Craig Monroe (Bench)

Pitching staff:

Johan Santana (SP)
Francisco Liriano (SP)
Scott Baker (SP)
Boof Bonser (SP)
Kevin Slowey (SP)

Joe Nathan (CL)
Pat Neshek (RP)
Jesse Crain (RP)
Matt Guerrier (RP)
Dennys Reyes (RP)
Juan Rincon (RP)

12/13/07

Morgan Ensberg

Found this interview of Morgan Ensberg. One quote:"The entire reason that I play baseball is so that I get a chance to speak about Christ."

12/12/07

Tejada to Houston, would Santana follow?

The Astros' trade would Baltimore for Tejada, introduces holes in their starting rotation, which would be sufficiently filled by Johan Santana. What could Houston give in return? They have 2 centerfielders in Josh Anderson and Hunter Pence,(potentially one of them can be had, especially with Mitch Einertson on the wings) a highly-rated 22 y.o AA reliever in Samuel Gervacio who is a strikeout machine with great control, a very good 23 y.o. AA starter in James Barthmaier (rated higher than Troy Patton, who went to the Orioles for Tejada, and Anthony Swarzak in some places) Jonny Ash, a 24 y.o. rangy 2B with great eye and OBP, Felipe Paulino a 23 y.o. starter with great fastball. Their shortstop / 3B prospects are not that great (Cuddyer should probably fill the 3B hole, see previous post), but Pence and Anderson can be the centrpieces of such a deal and their potential is higher than Ellsbury. Would that get it done?

In other news, Jason Tyner was not tendered today, so there are officially 3 openings in the 40 men roster...

Cuddyer is uncomfortable at 3B, True or False?

There is a conception that a switch of Mike Cuddyer back to 3B would diminish his performance. Several sources indicate that Cuddyer performs worse at 3B. Most recently, MLB.com Twins beat reporter Kelly Thesier, wrote:

Cuddyer has the ability to play a variety of positions, but it's in right field that he has truly thrived, both defensively and offensively. After the unsuccessful experiment at third base, Cuddyer talked about never truly finding a comfort level there.


Here is a more in depth look at Mike's performance at 3B vs. RF:

As a 3B in 502 ABs he hit for .263 BA with a .329 OBP and .442 slugging for a total OPS of .771. At that span he hit 19 home runs with 59 RBI. He had 47 BB and 105 K. His per bat numbers are 26.4 AB/HR and 8.51 AB/RBI. His K/BB ratio was: 2.23

As a RF in 1268 ABs he hit for .275 BA with a .352 OBP and .452 slugging for a total OPS of .808. At that span he hit 40 home runs with 200 RBI. He had 138 BB and 283 K. His per bat numbers are 31.7 AB/HR and 6.34 AB/RBI. His K/BB ratio was: 2.05

Indeed, his RBI numbers improved as did his BB and gap power. His home runs declined. Is that a result of the move to the RF or is a result of maturing as a hitter and/or hitting ofter betweeen Mauer and Morneau while playing a RF vs. in the 7th and 8th hole as a 3B?


As far as his fielding goes, his FP at 3B was .942 (with league average .957) and range factor 2.70 (with league average 2.76). At RF, in 2006, his FP was .981 (league average .984) and range factor 1.87 (league average 2.20). In 2007: FP .986 (league average .985), range factor 2.02 (league average 2.08). Conclusion, his fielding both at 3B and RF is close to (albeit a bit below) league average, which indicates that his fielding does not suffer much at 3B...

It all depends whether the Twins could find a better 3B via free agency or trade. Here are some names and how they may compare (2007 numbers):

Mike Lamb
Batting: .289BA/.366OBP/.453SLG/1.25K/BB/28.3AB/HR
Fielding: FP:.936 (League average .954) RF 2.53 (2.68)

Morgan Ensberg
Batting: .230BA/.320OBP/.404SLG/1.76K/BB/23.5AB/HR
Fielding: FP:.929 (League average .954) RF 2.61 (2.68)

Scott Rolen
Batting: .265BA/.331OBP/.398SLG/1.51K/BB/49AB/HR
Fielding: FP:.969 (League average .954) RF 2.99 (2.68)

Pedro Feliz
Batting: .253BA/.290OBP/.418SLG/2.41K/BB/27.85AB/HR
Fielding: FP:.973 (League average .954) RF 2.91 (2.68)

for comparison purposes, Mike's 2007 Batting stats and 3B fielding stats

Batting: .276BA/.356OBP/.433SLG/1.67K/BB/34.18AB/HR
Fielding: FP:.942 (League average .957) RF 2.70 (2.76)

From the third basemen listed here, only Rolen and Feliz are superior fielders and only Mike Lamb is a superior hitter. Mike Lamb would potentially be an improvement offensively, but his defense suffers so much that the Astro's switched him to 1B. Feliz strikes out too much and his OBP is dismal. Rolen is an interesting situation, since he is superior defensively and a change of scenery might return him to an above average offensive player. The Rolen gamble might pay off if the price is right. Mike Cuddyer is here and free...