“Thank God that stretch of scheduling is over. Things are bound to turn around now that our guys get to play some ball against a team that can’t seem to get out of its own way.”
Here in Iowa, I seem to be hearing something akin to that comment in stereo… both from Twins fans to my north and Royals fans to the south.
The Royals just recently managed to halt a 12-game losing streak and while the Twins didn’t let things get that consistently out of hand, it wasn’t for lack of trying on their part. They’ve played poorly enough that it COULD have happened. As a matter of fact, while the Twins were letting the Red Sox sweep them out of their own ballpark, the Royals have put together a small (extremely small) winning streak… having won their most recent pair of games over Cleveland.
But the Twins have home field advantage this weekend, right? Well… they’ll play the games at Target Field, but that may not be an advantage. The Royals have a 5-4 road record this season. That’s right, all five of their wins have come on the road. They’re 0-10 in front of their hometown fan(s).
Like the Twins, the Landed Gentry are having a few health issues with their rotation. Tonight’s starting pitcher, left-hander Everett Teaford, has been the team’s long reliever, but he’s standing in for fellow lefty Danny Duffy, who’s dealing with “minor elbow tightness.” Duffy should be damn glad he’s with the Royals and not the Twins. If the Twins’ crack medical staff came up with that as a preliminary diagnosis, it would probably turn out to be a malady that would eventually require amputation.
Pitching hasn’t really been the big problem for the Royals, however. In fact, most of their staff have stat lines that Gardy and pitching coach Rick Anderson can only drool over. No, so far, the Royals’ biggest problem has been that they’ve got a roster of position players who have a reputation for being, “promising, good young hitters,” but many of them have thus far only demonstrated that they are indeed young.
Alex Gordon, Mitch Maier and Eric Hosmer all wish they could start hitting the ball as well as Alexi Casilla does. Think about that.
I’ve been traveling for work most of this week, so I’ve been a little out of touch, but there are a couple of other items I want to touch on this morning.
The Tigers have released Brandon Inge after handing his 3B position to Miguel Cabrera and the experiment of converting Inge to a second baseman made Cabrera look good as a third baseman, by comparison. Of course, Inge hasn’t helped his cause by hitting almost nothing.
The Twins are reportedly having discussions about whether they should look in to bringing him aboard. The Tigers are on the hook for everything above that portion of his salary equal to the pro-rated MLB minimum salary, so financially it wouldn’t be a hit. The theory seems to be that it would also send a message to Danny Valencia.
But what would that message be? “Wake up tomorrow in Rochester, Danny, because your position here isn’t guaranteed. We can find guys who can’t hit and can’t field pretty much anywhere and, unlike you, some of them have lots of tatoos.”? Look, I’ve never been the biggest Valencia fan, so I’m not averse to finding a replacement. I’d just kind of prefer that it be someone… hmmm, what’s the word I’m looking for here?… GOOD?
The Twins do need to do something and do it soon. I’m not generally one to call for action just for the sake of appearing to take action, but sometimes the local fan base does need to be assured that the front office has noticed that things suck on the field. And based on the number of empty seats in Target Field already this season, the Twins may fast be approaching that point. By the end of last season, fans demonstrated that they won’t pay a bunch of money to go to Target Field to watch bad baseball. They already seem to be making the same statement even before the end of the first month of the season this year.
Over at Twins Daily, in case you’ve missed it, they’ve begun an “Adopt a Prospect” program where members are encouraged to “adopt” one Twins minor league prospect and regularly post updates on that player’s activities and performance. It’s really a very cool way to recognize the hard work these young players put in, most of the time for very… very… little pay. They all have a Big League dream, but that road is long and hard and not terribly rewarding except for the lucky few who reach the top.
If you haven’t already adopted a prospect, there’s still time and a lot of hard working players still available. But even if that’s not something you feel inclined to do, you should still stop by the thread and read up on the 60+ players that have been adopted already.
Because I know you’re curious… I’ve adopted infielder James Beresford, currently with the AA New Britain Rock Cats. James is another player out of the Twins’ Australian pipeline.
Finally, if these troubling times make you yearn for memories from a better time in Twins history, it’s not yet too late to enter our “100,000th Visitor Contest,” with a chance to win a very nice framed Kirby Puckett memento. Just give us your guess as to when you think visitor number 100,000 to our site will be stopping by.
That’s enough for this morning… let’s hope the Twins get the ship righted a bit over the weekend and that May is much better for our guys than April has been.