This off day I was planning or writing something about the catching situation, but since there were a few new developments on the pitching side, I decided not to ignore those. Since it looks like there will be a rain out tomorrow, I will discuss catching tomorrow.
It is old news by now, but Jesse Crain has been placed at the 15-day DL retroactive to a couple days ago and Jose Mijares has been called up from Rochester to replace him. LEN3 was the first to break that story. Mijares after an awful spring when he showed up in camp looking like Pat Williams and pitching in a way that made Kevin Frederick look like a Cy Young candidate, seems to have found parts of his last September in Rocherster, where in five games he amassed these numbers: 6.1 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 ER (0.00 ERA, 0.47 WHIP.) Crain did get overused so far this season. It was inexcusable for Gardy to put him in the 9th inning to close a blow out game. That is done, it cannot be corrected, but I hope that Gardenhire realizes his mistake and does not repeat it. Speaking of repeating mistakes, when Gardenhire was asked about who the set up man will be now, he answered that everyone who is rested except Morillo who is still "a project". Wrong answer. He should select one (even pull names off a a hat) and go with him. The worse thing about a reliever is not knowing what his role is. Pitchers need to get ready to pitch. I hope that Crain gets healthy soon and that he returns effective because he showed signs of brilliance so far this season.
A lot of people are climbing on Glen Perkins' bandwagon this season and with a good reason: he has been the most effective starter on the staff. Yesterday in the Angels series' review I wrote the following about Perkins:
The Perkins of 2009 so far is different than the Perkins of 2008: He apparently worked on his change up and slider this off-season and unlike last year, he has complimentary pitches to his fastball. His slider still needs work, but his change up is very effective. And when he is down on the count he does not throw fastballs in the middle of the plate like he did in 2008. This allows him to get through innings with fewer pitches and pitch deeper into the games
And because a picture is supposedly worth a thousand words, I will save myself two thousand and present you with these two from one of the great baseball sites out there, Brooksbaseball.net, to illustrate my previous point.
This is a graph of pitch number on the X axis and pitch velocity on the Y axis. This is Perkins pitching in yesterday's game against the Angels. As you can see, it is rare that he is throwing more than 2 fastballs in a row and there is a great mix between fastballs and off-speed pitches.
This is from a typical Perkins' outing in 2008. The 8/14 game in Seattle: He throwed a series of only fastballs four times (red circles-me-Bert), very few off-speed pitches, and when he got in trouble towards the end of his outing he threw 10 straight fastballs. This was not the way to pitch successfully and I had indicated ad noseum last season, that if this continues, Perkins does not belong in a major league rotation.
I am very happy that this has change and I hope that Glen keeps it up and when in trouble does not revert to bad habits.
The general opinion is that the Twins' starters have struggled last season:
here is a little known fact: The Twins (co-lead the majors) with 9 starters going more than six innings. I hope this makes the Twins' fans feel a little better.