GameChat – Twins @ Angels #2, 9:05 pm

I’m not a negative person by nature even if I have a critical streak… but today, I gotta admit I just don’t see how the Twins couldn’t have come up with a better way to manage their roster.. yet again. Today they DFA’d Burroughs in order to make room for Drew Butera to come up so that Mauer & Doumit had backup. Butera doesn’t bug me so much – in fact, knowing that Gardy’s had both his catchers in the lineup just about every day, with one “day to day” it is actually a good idea. However, since Morneau is off with inflammation and fluid build up in his surgically repaired wrist, it just seems like there were other options… the same options they have been refusing to use all season..  Whoever is in charge of the DL: you won’t reduce your chances of a repeat of 2011 by just refusing to admit that people are getting injured!

*shakes head* I just don’t really understand and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only fan who is confused and frustrated already.

 

Minnesota

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LA Angels
Span, CF Trout, CF
Casilla, A, 2B Callaspo, 3B
Mauer, DH Pujols, 1B
Willingham, LF Hunter, To, RF
Valencia, 3B Trumbo, DH
Doumit, C Kendrick, H, 2B
Parmelee, 1B Wells, V, LF
Thomas, C, RF Aybar, SS
Carroll, SS Iannetta, C
  Liriano, P   Williams, J, P

 

 

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LA Angels

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*sigh* combining these struggles with west coast time zone issues is really making Twins fans grumpy.. at least me if no one else. Chat discussion pointed out that Liriano did better tonight than he ever had this season AND it was one of the better outings anyone in our pitching rotation has pulled off lately.. it’s a glass half full/half empty thing.. because while that is true, it’s a very, very sad truth.

And tonight, no one could hit – except Span… seriously guys, we have to put both out there – pitching AND hitting.. neither is going to give this team a losing record.. oh, wait…

Hendriks vs Trout… I’ve Seen This Before

Barring something unforeseen happening, when Twins starting pitcher Liam Hendriks toes the rubber Wednesday night, he’ll be staring down Angels’ top prospect Mike Trout, who’s been hitting in the leadoff spot for the Halos since being promoted a few days ago.

Talk about déjà vu flashbacks.

Liam Hendriks

Just over two years ago, the Beloit Snappers opened their season against the Angels’ Midwest League affiliate, the Cedar Rapids Kernels, and I sat through a 10-inning 1-0 Snappers win in 37 degree temperatures. You can read all about it and see how photo-happy I was in those days by clicking here to go back to a Knuckleballs post I put up after the game.

You’ll note from the story that Liam Hendriks started that game for the Snappers and pitched five strong innings. What you won’t read in that story, because I focused so much on the Snappers, is that Mike Trout was the starting centerfielder for the Kernels.

Mike Trout

By the way, I’ve already started gathering my Mike Trout collectables… I’ve got a pack of Kernels baseball cards from 2010 with Trout’s card right up there on top and the Kernels gave away Mike Trout bobbleheads at their home opener this season. Yes, I made sure I was there early enough to be one of the first 1,000 in the gate (which I needn’t have done… they were still handing them out to people who came through the turnstiles at game time).

So, yes, I’ve seen Liam Hendriks face Mike Trout already.

If you regularly attend minor league games, you become accustomed to seeing a fortunate few of these kids eventually wear Major League uniforms, but I have to admit that seeing two of them rise to become Big Leaguers in just two years after playing here in Cedar Rapids seems rare. As it turns out, though, maybe it’s not as rare as I think. Three of Trout’s team mates on that 2010 Kernels team have already made their MLB debuts. Trout’s the only position player, but pitchers David Carpenter, Garrett Richards and Patrick Corbin have all already made appearances for the Angels or, in Corbin’s case, the D’Backs.

That Snappers line up on Opening Day 2010 was nothing to sneeze at either. Hendriks is the only 2010 Snapper to make the Big Leagues (unless you count JJ Hardy, who rehabbed with Beloit for three games that season), but it won’t be that way for long. Check out the picture I posted of my scorecard from that game in April, 2010.

See any familiar names? How about… Brian Dozier at SS. He’s still in Rochester, but it shouldn’t be long before he joins his former Snapper team mate Hendriks in Minnesota.

Aaron Hicks and James Beresford were in the line up that day… both have reached AA New Britain now. So has pitcher Dakota Watts, who also was with Beloit at the start of 2010. BJ Hermsen pitched in Beloit that year, as well, but I don’t believe he even began the year there. Now, he’s also a Rock Cat after being promoted recently.

You’ll also see names like Angel Morales, Michael Gonzales, Danny Rams and Anderson Hidalgo on that scorecard. While their former team mate Hendriks is in The Show, they’ve progressed just one rung up the ladder to High-A Ft. Myers since that Opening Day two years ago. But they’re still chasing that dream.

Wednesday night (and likely Thursday and Friday, as well), I’ll be out at Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids again… watching this year’s Beloit Snappers face the current Cedar Rapids Kernels. I’ll have my eyes on the “big names” like Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario, arguably the Twins two top prospects, but who else will stand out? Which of these “kids” will have a chance to live the fairy tale some day and wear a Big League uniform for the Twins or Angels… or maybe another organization if that should be their fate?

For about $10, you can get the best seat in the house at a minor league ballpark like the one we have here in Cedar Rapids. For that price, you get to watch future Major League ballplayers play baseball. How can you beat that?

Man, I love this game.

- JC