St. Paul Saints at Home!

If you’re in Minnesota and want to hit a baseball game while the Twins are on the road – you’re in luck! The St. Paul Saints begin a 7 game home stand TODAY! Given the PERFECT Minnesota August weather we’re having this week, I can’t imagine a better way to spend a couple evenings before the Fair starts than catching some baseball in the great outdoors!

 

Tonight is the Zombie pub crawl. I think that is going to make for an odd and entertaining mix with buck beer night…  wow.

And of course, the MN State Fair starts on Thursday!!

And most of you know that I’m a political junky so I have to admit that this tickles my funny bone!

Summer’s not over yet folks! Let’s get out there and enjoy!

GameChat – Twins @ Mariners #3, 3:10pm

So, Span’s still out and not expected to play tomorrow either.. yeah, isn’t that what the DL is for???? Good news is that Revere is actually back. I think we definitely benefit having him & Span at the start of the lineup. We’ll see what he can do when paired with Lexi.

And I’m sure this shows both my age and maturity levels in contradictory categories but I can’t help but think of Beavis & Butthead when seeing the opposing pitcher’s name. I bet he gets that a LOT.

I won’t be in the room for the majority of the game – still working on home improvement weekend so I’m taking advantage of the perfect weather to do some wood finishing for the new stairwell needs. Enjoy the game without me!

Minnesota

@

Seattle
Revere, CF Ackley, 2B
Casilla, A, 2B Saunders, M, CF
Mauer, DH Seager, 3B
Willingham, LF Jaso, C
Morneau, 1B Montero, DH
Doumit, C Smoak, 1B
Plouffe, 3B Thames, E, RF
Carson, RF Robinson, T, LF
Florimon, SS Kawasaki, SS
  Deduno, P   Beavan, P

 

 

 

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 0
Seattle 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 0 x 5 9 0

The Twins just got swept by the friggin Mariners. Just pause and ponder that fact for a moment.

I don’t know that there’s any better way to point out just how bad this team is right now. – JC

GameChat – Twins @ Mariners #2, 8:10pm

So I was late enough with the post information yesterday that I didn’t choose to cover all the roster actions that took place since Thursday. The Twins did a LOT over the last couple days and you might have missed it. We sent Manship and Perdomo back down to AAA, we brought up Matt Carson which required that we lose a 40 man roster spot so Rene Tosoni was outrighted, and Swarzak was activated. It’s all very confusing but the numbers end up that we’re finally back to 12 pitchers instead of 13 and we now have someone other than Lexi or Butera on the bench.

Of course we still have some issues – both Revere and Span are still out of the lineup. This makes 6 days for Span if my recollection is correct. Let’s hope that Scotty can keep the boys in the game since our offensive production at the top of the order is somewhat diminished.

Minnesota

@

Seattle
Carroll, 2B Ackley, 2B
Mastroianni, CF Robinson, T, LF
Mauer, C Montero, C
Willingham, DH Olivo, DH
Morneau, 1B Seager, 3B
Doumit, LF Smoak, 1B
Plouffe, 3B Wells, C, RF
Carson, RF Saunders, M, CF
Florimon, SS Ryan, SS
  Diamond, P   Vargas, P

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Minnesota

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

2

9

0

Seattle

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

1

3

12

1

I hate losing to a walk off sac fly. We had some great efforts out there on the pitching mound and defensively; offensively, we just didn’t have enough production. Every time we got the lead, they managed to come back and tie it up.

It definitely didn’t end the way we would like. See earlier post: It’s HARD to be a Twins Fan.

Looking at the American League Central Division

There are six teams in the American League with losing records, and three of those teams are in the American League Central.  In fact, the three teams with the worst records in the AL are all in the Central, the Indians 54-65, the Royals 52-66, and the Twins bringing up the rear at 50-68.  While none of the other AL division races are particularly close (Yankees lead the Rays and Orioles by 6 and 7 games respectively, and the Rangers lead the Athletics and Angels by 5 and 7 games respectively), the top two teams in the Central are separated by just a game and a half.  The White Sox are 65-53 while the Tigers 64-55 (and tied with the Orioles for the 2nd Wild Card spot).

Overall the standings in the AL Central look like this:

Chicago White Sox 65-53, 5-5 in their last 10, +72 run differential, 92% chance to make the postseason

The White Sox lead the Central on the strength of their pitchers.  They lead the Central in runs against per game at 4.12 (more than a full run per game ahead of the Twins 5.19) and are the only team in the division with an ERA under 4, despite playing half of their games in the homer-friendly environment at US Cellular Field.

Detroit Tigers 64-55, 1.5 GB, 5-5 in their last 10, +27 run differential, 64.5% chance to make the postseason

Despite having Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer (who are 1-2 in the AL in Strikeouts (180 and 178), the rest of the Tigers pitching staff, combined with a terrible defensive lineup are making it too easy for their opponents to put runs on the board.  Detroit is winning despite their pitching and defense thanks in large part to their offensive performances.  The Tigers lead the AL Central in batting average (.270), On Base Percentage (.338) and Slugging (.428).

Cleveland Indians, 54-65, 11.5 GB, 4-6 in their last 10, -113 run differential, 0.1% chance to make the postseason

The Tribe again started off the 2012 season playing good baseball (44-41 in the first half) as they had a year ago, but just like in 2011, the wheels have fallen off for the Indians are the All-Star Break (10-24).  Cleveland has given up as many runs per game as the Twins (5.19), and they’ve been pretty bad offensively as well, leading to a division and American League worst -113 run differential (in all of baseball, only the Rockies, -114, and the Astros, -154 are worse).

Kansas City Royals, 52-66, 13 GB, 7-3 in their last 10, -51 run differential, 0.1% chance to make the postseason

2012 was supposed to be the year the Royals starting putting everything together, right?  Most of the talent from their loaded farm system was going to making the transition to Major League Baseball and the team was a popular preseason pick to surprise.  Maybe the baby-Royals are still adjusting, they’re one of the worst fielding teams in the American League in terms of Fielding% and have committed to most errors in the Central.  The Royals have struggled to produce front of the rotation starters and once again Royals fans must endure another year of failure and hope for the best in 2013.

Minnesota Twins, 50-68, 15 GB, 3-7 in their last 10, -86 run differential, 0.1% chance to make the postseason

And then there are the Twins.  You know all about their struggles in 2012.  Poor starting pitching, streaky offense, mediocre defense, and the Twins’ 7-8-9 hitters are batting a combined .235.  September is coming, and with the turn of the calendar will come plenty of Minor League prospects hoping to impress down the stretch and captivate Twins fans while the season continues to spiral down the tubes.

The White Sox and the Tigers can realistically both make the playoffs and should still be playing meaningful baseball into the last week of the season.  For the rest of the division, it is time to start looking to the future.

-ERolfPleiss

GameChat – Twins @ Mariners, 9:10pm

sorry guys.. I lost track of time and didn’t realize that the game was going already!

Minnesota

@

Seattle
Mastroianni, CF Ackley, 2B
Mauer, C Saunders, M, CF
Willingham, LF Seager, 3B
Morneau, 1B Jaso, DH
Doumit, DH Smoak, 1B
Plouffe, 3B Olivo, C
Carson, RF Robinson, T, LF
Carroll, 2B Thames, E, RF
Florimon, SS Ryan, SS
  Blackburn, P   Iwakuma, P

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Minnesota

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

2

0

3

6

0

Seattle

2

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

x

5

11

1

*sigh* That hardly seemed staying awake for.

It’s HARD to be a Twins Fan

So, this is definitely outside my normal realm… LOL But given the box scores these days, it just had to be done.. of course, now it’s stuck in my head. This could be a long rest of the season.. I apologize to anyone else now with this in mind each game.

 

FAN:

baseball, you know it’s hella hard for me to love a Twins man
they make me so full of misery and all this anger
I could never turn my cheek and call you a stranger
baseball, you know it’s hella hard for me to love a Twins man

PLAYER:

ball is in the wind, slowly drifting afoul
each and everyday takes away my pow’r ‘til there’s nothin’ left
but memories fillin’ up inside like heavy rain
til it opens up and drizzles down
that’s when you’ll understand my pain
start in the streets with my boys we were base ballin’ even if we unemployed
we all had it rough thru the early years, hit plenty but wasn’t that enough, caught up in LOB
then we didn’t pitch consistently
til your tears streamin’ down your cheeks 
left you heart broken week after week
think about me in dispise and we wonder why 
times change like everything the lineups rearrange
love this game though some people willing to cheat
nothing stranger than the cycle to beat
and I want to give you wins but never knew what it was
if I did I would part the clouds and let the sunshine on the stands appreciate you for being fans

FAN:

baseball, you know it’s hella hard for me to love a Twins man
they make me so full of misery and all this anger
I could never turn my cheek and call you a stranger
baseball, you know it’s hella hard for me to love a Twins man

through no hitting series I have hardly complained
I be happy as you as my man but more runs couldn’t be obtained
but too late now, the season’s as good as dead
I’m praying each day that you won’t just quit instead
but I love a Twins man so that’s the way that it goes
with you in the post season, with you when you choked
no matter the situation, I was there by your side
cried and pushed full of tears from my tight-closed eyes
so what’s is gonna take for you to win more games
keep doing the same things leads to more of the same
it’s hard to love a Twins man, I can clearly see
I leave my boys for a day and yet they still needed me
it’s in the 5th inning and you still aint home
batter out at the plate and you never get to go
something inside is telling me that something might be wrong
no runners, no score, you aint picking good walkup songs
what am I to do when I got a last place team
there’s so many things wrong, I’ve lost the gleam
I know I always wanted baseball in my life
but this pain is killing me like a sharp knife…

baseball, you know it’s hella hard for me to love a Twins man
they make me so full of misery and all this anger
I could never turn my cheek and call you a stranger
baseball, you know it’s hella hard for me to love a Twins man

PLAYER:

livin’ this life in baseball aint easy
hard to find a fan in this world to cheer me
so I give my soul to you, you give your soul to me
even though I’m never around always with the boys on the road
each game out there running bases, I know it’s hard to watch the score
but even though I put you thru all this misery
you’re still here watching me
and sometimes I wonder why all the bullshit I put you through
having you feelin’ the blues and you still always stay true
you have to trust that we will win
thats why you give us your heart
we’re never find another fan like you in this world
you’re our baseball fan, the boys of summer will do what we can
season is short, isn’t life without you, already feels cold
I’m just letting you know I’m always gonna be right here
always trying hard because each run’s so dear
you always show me that you care
that’s why you’re a Twins fan for life
you’re my fan, you’re my pay check, I’ve seen the light

FAN:

baseball, you know it’s hella hard for me to love a Twins man
they make me so full of misery and all this anger
I could never turn my cheek and call you a stranger
baseball, you know it’s hella hard for me to love a Twins man

In case you aren’t familiar with the ‘source’ material: It’s Hard to Love a Gangsta.

Minnesota Twins Debut: Who is Pedro Florimon?

Pedro Florimon, called up to replace the recently demoted Brian Dozier, has played 18 2/3 innings at shortstop in the Major Leagues, appearing in 4 games (two starts) in 2011 for the Baltimore Orioles.  In just 10 career plate appearances he has one hit (a double), one walk, and six strikeouts.

Florimon was signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 2004 out of La Romana, Dominican Republic as a 17 year-old international free agent.  He toiled in the low minors until 2010 until he had his first extended experience at AA Bowie in the Eastern League.  A year later, at the end of 2011 Florimon was hitting .267/.344/.396 (his best offensive year outside of 2006 when he split time between the Rookie League and Low-A) and the Orioles called him up and he made his Major League debut on September 10, going 0-3.  After just 5 more plate appearances the Orioles decided they had seen enough of Florimon to know he was not going to be part of their long term plans and waived him following the conclusion of the 2011 season (Manny Machado was moving quickly through their MiLB system and was ready to take Florimon’s place in AA in 2012).

Pedro Florimon, Twins Media Day (February 26, 2012 – Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins had little very few promising shortstops in the upper minors.  The AAA-affiliate Rochester Red Wings had 8 different players split time at shortstop, with Toby Gardenhire (Ron Gardenhire’s son) leading the way with 46 games at short.  The 2011 AA New Britain Rock Cats split their shortstop duties almost equally between the player Florimon just replaces, Brian Dozier, and Chris Cates.  Dozier hit the ball well enough to ultimately get a look from the Twins in 2012, but Cates played his way out of the Twins system, hitting just .205/258/.245 in his age 26 season, his second full season in AA.  With all of this in mind, the newly re-appointed Twins GM, Terry Ryan, plucked Pedro Florimon off of waivers in early December, just before his 25th birthday.

Florimon failed to impress in Spring Training (.148/.233/.185) and was assigned to AA when the Twins broke camp and headed north.   Florimon built on his successful 2011 MiLB campaign and hit .283/.347/.372 through the first month of the season.  When Brian Dozier (who was having a hot start of his own) was called up to join the Twins, Florimon was called upon to fill his spot in Rochester to get his first chance in Triple-A.  Despite being a switch hitter, Flormon still has sizable platoon splits against LHP and RHP.  He hit fairly well when he initially joined the Red Wings, but he’s fallen off slightly in the second half and is hitting just .232/.273/.293 after the All-Star break.  Despite being a pretty solid defender, Florimon is not a great base stealer, as he’s stolen just 6 bases in Rochester and been thrown out 7 times.

Both the New Britain Rock Cats and the Rochester Red Wings used Florimon exclusively as a shortstop, and I suspect he’ll be used to spell the aging Jamey Carroll.  When September rolls around and the Twins make their September call ups it will be interesting to see what happens to Florimon’s playing time, especially if the Twins bring back Brian Dozier after three weeks in the Minors.

-ERolfPleiss

GameChat – Tigers @ Twins #3, 12:10pm

So we have another day game.. things are looking good right now for the weather but we have more storms moving through today. They had the tarp on the field during the morning showers and here’s hoping that the next round holds off until post game. However, it’s rapidly heating up out there and all that moisture in the air makes it a pretty muggy day. The first thing I think of in such conditions is.. wow, the ball is likely to fly high and long today.

Everyone cross your fingers and wish Cole good luck today! And I’m going to hope that Carroll has his spot over at SS a little more in mind than he did last night – which was definitely unusual but still painful.

Although he’s not in the lineup yet today, I’m kind of excited to see what Florimon is able to do up in the big leagues but I’m also prepared to give him a little time to get the hang of things. I liked what I saw from him in Spring Training but he’s had some injury issues this season and still seemed to be able kick a little backside.

Detroit

@

Minnesota
Jackson, A, CF Revere, CF
Dirks, RF Mastroianni, RF
Cabrera, Mi, 3B Mauer, C
Fielder, 1B Willingham, LF
Avila, C Morneau, 1B
Young, D, DH Doumit, DH
Peralta, Jh, SS Plouffe, 3B
Infante, 2B Carroll, SS
Berry, LF Casilla, A, 2B
  Scherzer, P   De Vries, P

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Detroit

1

0

0

2

1

0

0

1

0

5

12

0

Minnesota

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

6

0

*sigh*

Well, at least we didn’t get swept?

GameChat – Tigers @ Twins #2, 7:10 pm

We’ve been doing these GameChat things where we post the starting line ups for almost three years now. I certainly don’t post the line ups every day or even half the time. But I do it often enough that I can state with certainty that this is the first time I’ve ever posted EXACTLY the same batting order, right down to the positions the players are playing, two nights in a row for the Twins. It was such a shock that I had to check it about three times to make sure I was looking at tonight’s line up on the MLB site.

It makes sense, though. Everything pretty much clicked last night, so why change anything? We can only hope that we get as many innings of solid work out of Brian Duensing as Sam Deduno provided last night and, of course, that Duensing gets similar offensive and defensive support.

TIGERS

@

TWINS
Jackson, A, CF Revere, CF
Infante, 2B Mastroianni, RF
Cabrera, Mi, 3B Mauer, 1B
Fielder, 1B Willingham, LF
Peralta, Jh, SS Morneau, DH
Young, D, DH Doumit, C
Baker, Je, RF Plouffe, 3B
Dirks, LF Carroll, SS
Laird, C Casilla, A, 2B
  _Fister, P   _Duensing, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 2 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 8 13 3
Minnesota 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 6 2

UPDATE: After the game, the Twins announced that SS Brian Dozier has been optioned to Rochester and Pedro Florimon has had his contract purchased by the Twins. Maybe they read Eric’s post here at Knuckleballs?

So much for having all the pieces fall together tonight like they did on Monday, huh?

Brian Duensing wasn’t terribly sharp to start the game and certainly didn’t get a lot of outstanding defensive support. The offense never really showed up and, just to make it an all-round consistent night, the bullpen wasn’t good either.

Wednesday, the Twins will still have a chance to win the series, so let’s cross our fingers while we wait to see which version of this ballclub shows up. – JC