Please make your comments to my section 220 guest post here

Howard Sinker of the Minneapolis Star Tribune asked me to be a guest writer in his "A Fan's View from Section 220" blog at the strib. My post appeared there today. Since Howard has disabled comments for that post on his blog, feel free to use this space for commenting to my post there so dialogue can be established.

Housekeeping Notes:

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  • There is not a filter or moderation here (i.e. your comments will appear immediately), but if you are nasty (i.e. write something that you would not want your 10 year old son/daughter/niece/nephew/sibling/grandchild to read), I reserve the right to delete it (believe it or not, kids read this space)

  • Shoot away!

Extending Joe Mauer: looking at the financial context

An extension to Joe Mauer, who is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2010 season is deemed a priority for this team. However, the Twins have other players as well who will demand salary raises at this point, because there are arbitration-eligible. Here is a list of the arbitration-eligible and free agents (in parenthesis the money that would be freed by not re-signing them) for the Minnesota Twins after the 2009 and 2010 seasons. With trading season ahead, this might be a core of players around whom the Twins will look to build a trade.

After the 2009 season:

Free Agents:

Luis Ayala ($1.3M+)
Joe Crede ($2.3M+)
Mike Redmond ($950K)

Arbitration Eligible:

Boof Bonser
Jesse Crain
Carlos Gomez (super 2)
Matt Guerrier
Fransisco Liriano
Pat Neshek
Brendan Harris
Glen Perkins (super 2)
Delmon Young

After the 2010 season:

Free Agents:

Jesse Crain ($1.7M+)
Mike Cuddyer (team option) ($9.4M)
Matt Guerrier ($1.5M+)
Jason Kubel (team option) ($4.1M)
Joe Mauer
Nick Punto (team option) ($4M)

Arbitration Eligible:

Nick Blackburn
Boof Bonser
Brian Buscher
Alexi Casilla
Carlos Gomez
Fransisco Liriano
Pat Neshek
Brendan Harris
Glen Perkins
Kevin Slowey
Matt Tolbert
Delmon Young

Additional money that will come off the payroll after the 2009 season is the $2.6M the Twins are paying Mike Lamb. Furthermore, Phillip Humber is paid $1.15M this season (thanks to a major league contract signed by the Mets). Releasing him will alleviate that cost

The source of most information for his was Cot's Baseball Contracts.


Reaching for new heights?

The tallest pitchers on the Twins' 40 man roster are standing at 6'4" (Baker, Blackburn, Henn, Nathan, Swarzak).

In this draft the Twins drafted:

3 pitchers 6'4" tall (Stillings, Stilson, Zylstra)
4 pitchers 6'5" tall (Encinosa, Light, Sadler, Butler)
4 pitchers 6'6" tall (Gibson, Bullock, Watts, Giovenco)
1 pitcher 6'7" tall (Bryant)
1 pitcher 6'8" tall (Tyler)

Given that a few of the pitchers drafter are very hard throwers (98,99 mph fastballs) is this a signal of a change of Philosophy of the organization as far as pitching goes? Time will tell

MLB Draft Live Coverage - Day II: rounds 31-50

Note: This page will get updated as picks are made. Also will get updated with links to player profiles and information, so make sure you refresh it to get the new information

The draft starts at 11:30 AM EDT and the Twins will probably pick a bit before noon EDT. Actually it is going much faster. Made their pick at 11:37

Here are the Twins' picks in rounds 31-50 (pick number in parenthesis) :


31 (942): Cody Martin, 3B/SS/RHP, LHB, 6'2". 205 lbs, Stevens County HS, GA. One of his claims to fame is that as a pitcher he hit an umpire (video link). Here a brief SI writeup of the incident when he was awarded their turkey of the year award and here is a newspaper article.

32 (972): Aaron Senne, RF, LHB, 6'2", 205 lbs, Junior, Missouri (from Rochester, MN). Here is a batting video and here is an article about this former Minnesota State Player of the Year

33 (1002): (Frank) Nick Freitas CF, RHB, 6'1", 215 lbs, senior, Southern Utah. Power hitter Broke his team's home run record. Here is an interview from scout.com

34 (1032): Ricky Claudio, RHP, 6'2", 195. American Senior HS, FL. Here is a brief scouting report (last paragraph). Ricky has a blog and apparently his favorite team is the Boston Red Sox. I hope this changes now.

35 (1062): David Hurlbut, LHP, 6'4", 190 lbs, Diablo Valley College

36 (1092): Jason Zylstra RHP, 6'4" Jacksonville State (same school as Ben Tootle the Twins' third round pick)

37 (1122): David Gutierrez, RHP, 6'0", 160 lbs, Miami. Carlos Gutierrez' brother

38 (1162): Peter Kennelly, RHP, 6'2", 190 lbs, Senior, Fordham

39 (1192): Ryan Sadler, RHP, 6'5" 210 lbs, Naples HS, FL. Here is an article

40 (1222): Ryan Abrahamson, OF, RHB, 6'3", 200 lbs, Tartan HS, MN Here and here are two articles

41 (1252): Pat Butler, RHP, 6'5", 200 lbs Chatham HS, NJ. here is an article

42 (1282): Marc Bourgeois, OF, LHB, 5'11", 205 lbs, Chipola Junior college

43 (1312): Jon Hedges, 1B, RHB, 6'5" 230 lbs, Olney Central College Here is an article

44 (1342): Tyler Herr, RHP, 6'8", 215 lbs, Katy TX HS

45 (1372): Eddie Ahorrio, RHP, Puerto Rico, HS Here is a scouting video

46 (1402): Jake Kretzer, OF, RHB, 5'11", 205 lbs, Benton, HS, MO

47 (1432): Richard Calcano, RHP, Puerto Rico, HS Here is a scouting video

48 (1462): Cody Dordan, RHP, 6'2", 180lbs, Newport HS, OR

49 (1492): Paul-Michael Klingsberg, 1B, LHB, 6'4", 215 lbs, Cal State Domingos Hills

50 (1522): Alberto Cardenas, RHP, 5'10", 190 lbs, Palm Ridge HS, FL


MLB Draft Live Coverage - Day II: rounds 4-30

Note: This page will get update as picks are made. Also will get updated with links to player profiles and information, so make sure you refresh it to get the new information

Here are the Twins' picks in rounds 4-30 (pick number in parenthesis) :


4 (132): Derek McCallum. RHB, SS/2Bm 6'0", 175 lbs, Junior, University of Minnesota. Here is a scouting video
and here is an article. He was drafted by the Twins in the 50th round of the 2006 draft but did not sign. Here is an article from Pioneer Press and here are his reactions after he was selected by the Twins.

5 (162): Tobias Streich, C, 6'0", 215, RHB, Sophomore, West Virginia U. Here and here are two articles. Here is his reaction after he was selected by the Twins.

6 (192): Chris Herrmann, C/3B, LHB, 6'1", 185 lbs, Junior. U of Miami. Here is a scouting video and here is his personal google profile page, if interested to read some tidbits about him. Here is his-post selection profile from U Miami.

7 (222): Brad Stillings, RHP, 6'4", 210 lbs, Junior, Kent State. Here is an article and here a scouting video. Stillings threw a no-hitter this season

8 (252): Brian Dozier, SS, RHB, 5'11", 190 lbs, Senior, U Southern Miss. Here are his numbers and here is an article.

9 (282): Nick Lockwood, SS, RHB, 5'11", 175 lbs, Jesuit HS, FL. Here is an article.

10 (312): (Michael) Blake Dean, LF/DH, LHB, 6'2", 208 lbs, Junior, LSU. Here is a scouting video and here a page of videos including several of long home runs and here are his numbers.

11 (342): Ronnie Richardson, SH, CF/INF, 5'7", 171 lbs. Lake Region, HS, FL. Here is a detailed scouting report and here a scouting video. Also plays football as a wide receiver

12 (372): Tony Davis, LHP, 5'9", 185 lbs, U Florida

13 (402): Clarence Davis, RHB, SS, 5'11", 160 lbs. Campbell HS, GA

14 (432): Matt Tone, LHP, 6'1", 210 lbs, Junior, SUNY Cortland. Here is an article

15(462): Steven Liddle, OF, LHB, 6'1", 200 lbs, Sophomore. Vanderbilt. Nephew of the Twins' bench coach, Steve Liddle. Here is a video interview, here and here are two articles

16 (492): Dakota Watts, RHP, 6'6", 205 lbs, junior, Cal State Stanislaus

17 (522): Nick Tindall, C, RHB, 6'4", 190 lbs, O' Fallon HS, IL. Here is an article

18 (552): Beau Stoker, SS/3B, LHB, 6'1", 200 lbs, Bishop-Ward HS, KS. Also a Reliever and starting QB and PK in football

19 (582): John Stilson, RHP, 6'4", 190 lbs, Texarcana CC Here is a scouting video

20 (612): Thommy Mackoul, LHP, 6'3", 205, Shophomore UC Riverside. Reliever

21 (642): Kane Holbrooks, RHP, 6'3", 220 lbs, Senior, Texas State

22 (672): Buddy (Stewart) Munroe, C, RHB, 5'11", 195 lbs, Senior, U Florida. Here is a scouting video

23 (702): Eduardo Encinosa, RHP, 6'5", 225 lbs Miami HS. Here is a scouting video

24 (732): Mario Hollands LHP, 6'5", 200 lbs, UC Santa Barbara. Here is a scouting video

25 (762): Anthony Bryant, RHP, 6'7", 210 lbs, Kennewick HS, WA

26 (792): Mike Giovenco, RHP, 6'6", 235 lbs, Junior, North Park U Here is a scouting video

27 (822): Eric Decker, CF, LHB, 6'3", 215 lbs, Junior, Univerity of MN. Probably will return to the U as a senior because he is a top wide receiver update Decker has been quoted (closer to the end of this article) today that he wants to go back to college before he decides his future

28 (852): Pat Light, RHP, 6'5", 190, Christian Brothers Academy, NJ Here is an article

29 (882): (James) Beau Wright, LHP, 6'2", 220 lbs, Los Alamitos HS, CA Here is a scouting video. He had a scare on the field last season from which he recovered.

30 (912): Treyvone Johnson, C, RHB, 6'1", 215 lbs, Los Angeles

I will be doing this again tomorrow starting at 11:30 EDT, covering picks from rounds 31-50.


MLB Draft Coverage - Day I: rounds 1-3

Note: This page will get update as picks are made. Also will get updated with links to player profiles, so make sure you refresh it to get the new information

Here are the Twins' picks in the first three Rounds:

Round 1:

#22: Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri. 6'6", 210 lbs, Junior. Here is his scouting report and a video from mlb.com and here is John Manuel's take from Baseball America. Also, here is a scouting report from Saber Scouting with an additional video. Here is a scouting report from Project Prospect, and here is another from The College Baseball Blog. Here is a page full of videos of Kyle Gibson.

Round 1 supplementary (compensation round; the Twins got that pick because of Dennis Reyes singing as a free agent with another team) :

#46: Matt Bashore, LHP, Indiana. 6'3", 200 lbs, Junior. Here are his numbers, here is a quick report, here is an article by Sporting News and here is a scouting video from mlb.com. He was named as one of the top 3 Big Ten starting pitchers by College Baseball Insider.

Round 2:

#70: Billy Bullock, RHP, U Florida. 6'6", 225 lbs, Junior. Here are his numbers and here is an article from The Gainsville Sun.

Round 3:

#101: Ben Tootle, RHP, Jacksonvile State. Here is a scouting report and video from MLB.com and here is an article and here is another one. He was the ninth best college pitcher available according to the College Baseball Blog.

MLB Draft coverage here

The MLB draft starts tonight at 6:00 PM EDT with the first three rounds, continues tomorrow at noon EDT with rounds 4-30 and concludes on Thursday starting at 11:00 AM EDT with rounds 31-50.

This is the way I am planning on covering the draft here:

  • Have a close to live daily list of the Twins' picks each day of the draft, which will be updated as additional players are drafted and will provide links to high level profiles of the players (I want to get those out as soon as the names are called, so there will be a lot of editing going on: adding picks as they are made, and editing to include the profiles as time permits. Make sure that you refresh to get the additional information.

  • After the draft is finalized, probably around Friday or during the weekend, I will provide an aggregated list of all picks by the Twins, with links to as much information as I can find, including stats, scouting reports, interviews, video etc.

  • As players sign, I will profile them individually. Since about half of the picks will never sign and will not wear a Twins-affiliate uniform, I will wait till they sign before I profile them. The deadline for signing draftees is August 17th, so these profiles will be coming sporadically as draftees are signed.

Please feel free to comment in all posts


Who is hot in the minors V4

This is the fourth version of the list of the best performing players in the Twins' minor league system year to date. A reminder that several players are still in extended spring training since the Elizabethton (Appalachian League) and the Gulf Coast League rookie teams have not started their seasons yet. The numbers are as of 5/25. Some players have dropped from the list either because their performance dropped or because they were promoted (Swarzak, Henn). This version includes players from the DLS (minimum 15 PA for position players or appearing in 2 games from pitchers) :


Brian Dinkelman (LHB, 25, AA) .330/.421/.476 3 HR, 32 RBI, 221 PA
Danny Valencia (RHB, 24, AA) .284/.391/.503 6 HR, 26 RBI, 202 PA
Ramon Santana (RHB, 24, A) .360/.444/.576 5 HR, 22 RBI, 145 PA

(Tolleson is .400/.514/.633 in 36 PA at Rochester, but still has some catching up to do due to his slow start at New Britain)


Rene Tosoni (LHB, 22, AA) .272/.371/.497 8 HR, 32 RBI, 203 PA
Ben Revere (RHB, 21, A) .327/.391/.381 1 HR, 23 RBI, 24 SB, 225 PA
Joe Benson (RHB, 21, A+) .293/.413/.444 3 HR, 14 RBI, 121 PA

1st basemen/DH:

Whit Robbins (LHB, 24, AA) .337/.412/.538, 7 HR, 29 RBI, 211 PA
Rene Leveret (RHB, 23, A+) .336/.430/.448 2 HR, 21 RBI, 135 PA

RH Starters:

Carlos Gutierrez (22, A+, AA) 1.97 ERA, 1.146 WHIP, 5.46 K/9, 1.50 K/BB
Matt Fox (26, AA) 2.83 ERA, 1.291 WHIP, 7.06 K/9, 1.96 K/BB
Mike McCardell (24, A+) 3.75 ERA, 1.059 WHIP, 7.22 K/9, 4.55 K/BB
Brad Tippett (21, A) 3.21 ERA, 1.106 WHIP, 6.29 K/9, 4.10 K/BB
Pedro Guerra(19, Rk/DSL) 0.00 ERA, 0.444 WHIP, 11.00 K/9, inf K/BB
Cesar Ciurcina (18, Rk/DSL) 0.00 ERA, 0.429 WHIP, 2.57 K/9, inf K/BB
Manuel Soliman (19, Rk/DSL) 0.00 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 6.43 K/9, 1.00 K/BB

RH Relievers:

Armado Gabino (25, AAA) 3.18 ERA, 1.059 WHIP, 5.82 K/9, 1.83 K/BB
Bob Keppel (27, AAA) 2.40 ERA, 1.185 WHIP, 4.14 K/9, 1.58 K/BB
Rob Delaney (24, AA,AAA) 2.77 ERA, 1.103 WHIP, 9.69 K/9, 6.00 K/BB
Alex Burnett (21, A+, AA) 1.98 ERA, 1.024 WHIP, 10.54 K/9, 3.20 K/BB
Steve Hirschfield (23, A+) 1.24 ERA, 0.759 WHIP, 6.52 K/9, 3.50 K/BB
Loek, Van Mil (24, A+) 0.00 ERA, 0.800 WHIP, 5.40 K/9, 3.00 K/BB
Eddy Santana (21, Rk/DSL) 0.00 ERA, 0.500 WHIP, 12.00 K/9, inf K/BB
Fransisco Nunez (17, Rk/DSL) 3.00 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 12.00 K/9, 8.00 K/BB
Renzo Reverol (18, Rk/DSL) 0.00 ERA, 0.000 WHIP, 6.00 K/9, inf K/BB

LH Relievers:

Spencer Steedley (24, A+) 0.68 ERA, 0.897 WHIP, 8.89 K/9, 3.71 K/BB
Joe Testa (23, A) 1.75 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 12.00 K/9, 2.82 K/BB


A fashion statement?

By Joe Crede in today's game?

Hard to talk about this series; another loss. 2 games under .500, 5 games behind in the loss column. They almost need to take 4 out of the next 6.