Tagged: Twins

Who Will Win What- A.L. Central- Twins

A.L. Central

2. Minnesota Twins 91-71

The Twins are a dead lock to compete this year. Last year they just missed out on the playoffs and this year they will too. In 2008 catcher Joe Mauer had limited time behind the plate do to injuries. 2009 will be nothing different due to Mauer’s back. In 2009 Mauer will start the season on the D.L. However Michael Cuddyer seems healthy and is projected to bounce back from an injury plagued 2008 and the signing of Joe Crede will help even more. 
The Twins did not do much this offseason besides sign Joe Crede. They signed Luis Ayala who is largely responsible for the Mets collapse last year. That was about it. They made some minor moves here and there but the 2009 Twins are a lot like the 2008 Twins and that is not a good thing. 
The 2009 Twins are a lot like the 2008 Boston Red Sox. Both teams had nearly the same roster the year before and both teams are in a division with a breakout team. The main difference is Minnesota will not make the playoffs. I believe that you must make moves in the offseason no matter what because if you do not then pitchers might figure out your offense.
The Twins have a good bullpen led by closer Joe Nathan. They have two candidates for setup man which also helps. First is Jesse Crain which in my opinion makes it an eight inning game. Some people disagree though and point to the 29 runs he gave up last year in 62.2 innings which means he gave up one run about every two games. If Crain does have a problem being the setup man then have him pitch the seventh and put Craig Breslow in. Breslow pitched 38.2 innings last year and gave up only nine runs. Which means he gave up one run about every four innings.
The Twins have a good offense with Mauer, Cuddyer, and Justin Morneau. Last year though the Twins did not win with offense. Morneau hit only 23 home runs, Cuddyer hit only three, and Mauer hit just nine for a total of 35 home runs. This year Baseball Prospectus projects them to hit a total of 45 home runs however I see them hitting a total of 55 home runs.
The Twins main problem is not really a problem. On most teams it could be good. The Twins do not have an ace. All five of their starters are about at the same skill level. However Francisco Liriano should be the ace. Liriano is the youngest starter for the Twins and the most promising. Francisco Liriano is the next Johan Santana. I see Liriano winning fifteen games this season while having a 2.75 ERA.
An interesting pitcher to look out for this season is Glen Perkins. I now some of you guys might be going “who”? Well after this season every one will no his name. Well first off Perkins has a MLBlog. Second, I am going out on a limb a saying that Glen Perkins will pitch a no-hitter this year. Even so though Perkins will not become an ace this season. Perkins will have a down year and go 6-8 with an ERA close to five an strikeout only fifty.
The Twins have one of the best fielding outfields in baseball led by Denard Span. When Span was a kid he would toss balls into the air a jump, dive, and do whatever he needed to to catch the ball. That has obviously helped him in his carer. Last year while watching ESPN they called Span “Mr. Web-gem”. I do not know if they keep a record of how many web gems players make but last year Span must have set a record.
The Twins will be around for a long time. Just not this year. The main reason for their success is manger Ron Gardenhire. He works great with prospects, stars, veterans, and benchwarmers. Don’t worry Twins fans. Minnesota is not going down the drain their just crashing into a wall.
The Emblem Source Minnesota Twins Final Season HHH Metrodome Commemorative Team Logo Patch  - MLB.com Shop
Photo Credits
1-the1constent.mlblogs.com
2-shop.mlb.com

Baseball Starts Tomorrow!

That is right baseball fans spring training starts tomorrow and MLB Network will be showing two of the games! In the first game it will be. . .
 at the .

This game will be on MLB Network at 3:00 P.M. Eastern. This will be a fantastic game. The starting pitchers have not been set yet but it could be Tim Lincecum vs. Cliff Lee. Thats right Cy Young winner against Cy Young winner. Now I just wish this was a regular season game because it is very likely that each will pitch between one and three innings. Both teams have something to prove this season. For the Giants they need to show every one that the signings of Randy Johnson, Edgar Renteria, and Juan Uribe were so that the Giants could compete and not be second to last in the Nation League West yet again. For the Indians they have to show that last year was just a bump in the road. They have plenty of starting depth and young talent. Ever heard of Grady Sizemore? Both projected starting pitchers have something to prove too. For Cliff Lee it is that he will stay the way he is. In 2005 he won eighteen games. In 2007 he won five games and was sent down. Then in 2008 he won twenty-two games. For Tim Lincecum he has to prove that last year was not beginners luck as many people think it is. In his first twenty-four games he went seven and five. In his second set of twenty-four games he went twelve and three. The second game MLB Network will show is the . . .

Red Sox unveil new 'Hanging Sox' logo

at the

File:ALC-MIN-Logo.png

One of the best things about this game is it is NESN’s coverage at seven P.M. Eastern! In case you do not know NESN stands for New England Sports Network. This game could feature Josh Beckett against Scott Baker. I would not be surprised though if Jon Lester went for the Red Sox though due to Beckett’s injury history. This season the Red Sox and the Twins have something to prove for Boston it is will the low risk high reward signings be able to keep up with the Yankees huge free agent signings and will the shall we say “different” Red Sox offense be able to keep up with the Yankees. I say yes to both. The Yankees signings were out of desperation. They were afraid of the Rays and Red Sox. The line up is different. It does not give an opposing pitcher as much fear without Manny Ramirez. Manny Ramirez could hit one home run all season and pitchers would still be afraid of him. Once you have established yourself as a power hitter your most likely going to stay a power hitter and in Manny’s case it is hard to stop being one with 500 home runs. As for the Twins they need to prove every one wrong again. I think they will finish in a close third with the White Sox, Royals, and Tigers. The Indians will win the division while the White Sox get second by three games, the Twins get third by four, the Royals get fifth by six, and the Tigers get last by ten. As for the starters, Beckett needs to show us he is healthy and in his 2007 form when he won twenty games. Scott Baker must show us that he can be an ace. Last season he was eleven and four with 141 strikeouts. I am sure Francisco Liriano, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins, and Nick Blackburn could be the ace of this young staff and would like to be the ace of this staff. One of the best things about baseball is that every player has to prove them self, in most cases. This season on the Red Sox look out for Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Dice-K, Mike Lowell, Jason Varitex, Jon Smoltz, Clay Buchholz, Brad Peny, Jed Lowrie, Julio Lugo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Bay, Josh Bard, and David Ortiz who all have something to prove this this year.


************************************************************************************************************
All right congrats to Rohan over at King Yankees for getting the answer to the first Eat, Sleep, Baseball baseball trivia. The question was who played the most games for one major league team and the answer was . . . Carl Yastrzemski aka Yaz. Who would have thought, a Yankee fan getting a Red Sox question right. All right now to today’s question. Who was the first man to bat for the American League in an All-Star game?

Hint- Not Joe Cronin

Good luck!

Photos
1- sanfranciscogiants.com
2- clevelandindians.com
3- www1.whdh.com
4- wikipedia.com

Well At Least Crede Isn’t Greedy

Joe Crede signed a one year $2.5 million dollar deal today. He could get an extra $4.5 million dollars if he reaches all of his incentives. In high school Crede was a pitcher. He led Fatima High School to three district championships. Later in 2006 his high school retired his number. Crede was drafted by the White Sox in the fifth round in 1996. Crede made his major league debut on September 20, 2000. Five years later he won a World Series. He was five for seventeen with two home runs against the Houston Astros in 2005. Crede has always been inconsistent. In 2004 he hit .252 and in 2007 he hit .216. In 2006 Crede won a Silver Slugger at third base hitting .283 with 94 RBI’s, 30 home runs, and 154 hits. In 2007 Crede missed a lot of time after having back surgery. In the offseason that year he signed a one year $5.15 million dollar deal avoiding arbitration. Then in 2008 Crede made his first all-star game at Yankee Stadium. He was zero for one in the game.  In 2008 Crede became a free agent after filling for free agency. It would be the first time in his carer that he would be a free agent. Crede could have gotten between seven and ten million dollars easily in a good economy. But either he wanted to earn his money or the economy just dropped his value. On second thought the economy just dropped his value. Crede’s second choice was the San Francisco Giants. The became official after Crede passed his physical. Crede is not a traitor to the White Sox. He was just looking for a job like thousands of Americans. We do not even know if the White Sox gave Crede an offer. If he had signed earlier then he would have been somewhat of a traitor. Right now no one can really be a traitor to a team unless that team gave him an offer. If Jason Varitex had signed with the Yankees before Boston gave him an offer Red Sox Nation would be mad, sad, and upset but he would have been just looking for a job and did not want to be unemployed. So while I know White Sox Nation (if there is such a thing) is sad but do not be mad. You can be upset but do not hate Crede forever like Red Sox Nation hates Manny and Damon. At least Crede is not greedy like Manny, Damon, the Yankees, and Dodgers.

Credediving2_1

Well no one is a bigger traitor then this guy . . .
























That is right Benedict Arnold. See I pay attention in history class.

Photos
1-midwestsportsfans.com
2- brooks.mlblogs.com
3- arkjournal.com

Fantasy Baseball Help- Tip 1

I know Cob is starting a fantasy baseball league so I thought for all you first timers I thought I would give you some tips.

Draft Players on Good Teams

When drafting your team try to draft great players on average or great teams. The Mariners lost 101 games in 2008 year. In 2007 years ago they won 88 games. In 2007 Felix Hernandez won 14 games an in 2008 he won nine and lost 14. For pitchers run support is key. A baseball team with great sluggers and average pitchers will do fine. In 2007 the Tampa Bay Devil Rays won 66 games. In 2008 the Rays won 97 games. Every single one of their pitchers did better because of run support. When drafting sluggers you can afford to break this rule for a really good player. Playing on a better team for a slugger means more runs, RBI’s, and a higher on base percentage. You get more runs because people will drive you in more. You get more RBI’s, because more people will be standing at third base. Lastly you will get a higher on base percentage because if a pitcher walks someone they will then have to face a better hitter next. Lets use the Mariners and the Rays again. In 2007 Ichiro hit had 111 runs, 68 RBI’s, and a .396 on base percentage. In 2008 he had 103 runs, 42 RBI’s, and a .361 on base percentage. Akinori Iwamura, of the Rays had 82 runs, 34 RBI’s, and a .359 on base percentage in 2007. In 2008 he had 91 runs, 48 RBI’s, and a .349 on base percentage. Sure his on base percentage dropped by .010 but he had a much better year. When you drafted players on good teams their confidence is higher which means a better year most of the time. So my list of teams I would draft from are the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, Twins, White Sox, Indians, Angels, A’s, Rangers, Braves, Marlins, Mets, Phillies, Astros, Cubs, Reds, D-Backs, Giants, and Rockies. I don’t plan on drafting any one from the Rays or Yankees though. Also I left the Brewers and Cardinals off for two reasons their pitchers and the fact that their not that heathy.

Boston Has its ‘Tek Back

Jason Varitek resigned with the Red Sox on a $5 million, one year deal with a club option for 2010 worth $3 million. In 2010 he could also earn an extra $2 million if he gets all of his incentives completed. The deal isn’t official yet though and we all remember what Rafael Furcal did this offseason, but I don’t think Varitek would do that. Varitek turns 37 in April. In twelve major league season, all with the Red Sox he has batted .263, with 161 home runs, 654 RBI’s, 1,156 hits, and 25 stolen bases. He is an excellent fielder with a carer .993 fielding percentage and the 2005 Golden Glove award for catchers. He also works very well with pitchers. He has caught four no-hitters in his carer. In 2008 Varitek had a down year batting .220, with 13 home runs, 43 RBI’s, zero stolen bases, and 93 hits. Varitek did however get voted in to his third all-star game as back up to Twins catcher Joe Mauer. Varitek is also a decent hitter. He won the 2005 Silver Sluggers for catchers. Varitek has won two World Series, 2004 and 2007. His postseason stats consist of a .237 batting average, eleven home runs, 33 RBI’s, 54 hits, and zero stolen bases. Varitek has been the Red Sox captain since the 2004 offseason. This is a fantastic move by the Red Sox. Varitek is the heart of Red Sox Nation in the best of times and the worst of times as William Shakespeare would say. Varitek is a Red Sox legend and soon to be a baseball legend. I mean he is the only player ever to catch four no-hitters! While Varitek wasn’t the best slugger he was awesome. Am I saying Varitek will go into the baseball hall of fame? Maybe, I don’t know. I would probably say no but he would come very close. The next thing on the Red Sox to do list is win the 2009 World Series but a few things could be added before that happens, like sighing or trading for a young catcher or trading some guy who “forces” the Red Sox to trade him. cough *** cough *** Manny Ramirez *** cough *** cough

Captain Jason Varitek   "Tek" by garreyf.
flickr.com

Jason Varitek gives Alex Rodriguez a face full of catcher's mitt, setting off a benches-clearing incident July 24.
boston.com

Jason Varitek
examiner.com

Glavine to Boston?!?

Tom Glavine a low risk high reward player said he felt good after throwing of the mound for the first time since elbow and shoulder surgery in August. Glavine is a local guy according to Julia (Julia your “dream” came true) over at Julia’s Rants. Glavine’s longtime teammate John Smoltz recently signed with the Red Sox. Glavine, a free agent, made thirteen starts last season. He went two and four, with 37 strikeouts, and a ERA 5.54. Tom Glavine is 42 years old. Glavine is a sure first ballot hall of famer he has 305 carer wins, an ERA of 3.54, and has 2,607 strikeouts. Glavine has played twenty-two seasons with the Braves on two different occasions and the New York Mets. He has won twenty games five times. While Glavine is a great player and I am sure he would love to go to the Red Sox, but Boston already has eight starters in Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Dice-K, Tim Wakefield, Brad Penny, Smoltz, Clay Buchholz, and Michael Bowden. Smoltz though could come out of the bullpen and I think Clay could too. As for Bowden he’ll come up from AAA in mid-season. He would probably cost a around the amount of Smoltz and is better. Am I saying that I would rather have Glavine then Smoltz? No, Smoltz will not pitch till June but he can be a starter or come out of the bullpen which I wish every pitcher could. Glavine will should sign with a team with young pitchers, the Rays, Twins, A’s, D-Backs, Reds, Pirates, Brewers, Nationals, Marlins, or maybe even the Padres. he also could resign with the Braves who have signed Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami. The Braves also traded for former Chicago White Sox, Javier Vazquez. Vazquez is listed as the Braves ace on Braves.com don’t get that one. I would put my money on the Brewers or the Braves. The Brewers lost C.C. Sabathia to the Yankees. Ben Sheets, the other Brewers ace is still on the market. One game I would love to see, Red Sox vs. Brewers, Jon Smoltz vs. Tom Glavine, at Fenway Park. 

Tom Glavine (left) John Smoltz (center) Greg Maddux (right)

Former Met Tom Glavine retired the final 17 batters he faced during the Braves' 6-1 win in the first game of a day-night doubleheader today.





Hall of Fame Winners and Losers- Part 5

Dale Murphy No, Never



Dale Murphy is on the ballot for the eleventh time. He hit .265, with 398 home runs, drove in 1,266, scored 1,197 times, had 2,111 hits, stole 161 and was caught stealing 68 times. Murphy played for 18 seasons with the Braves, Phillies, and Rockies. If he does go in it will be as a Brave. In just an eight span Murphy won two MVP’s, along with six golden gloves, four silver sluggers, the Lou Gehrig  award, and the Roberto Clemente award. In that same span he was elected to seven all-star games. This year he will get 15% of the vote and at his best 45% of the vote.

Jesse Orosco No, Never


Jesse Orosco is on the ballot for his first time. He has a carer record of 87-80, with an ERA of 3.16, and 1179 strike outs. Orosco, a relief pitcher is the all-time leader in appearances. He played 24 seasons with the Mets, Dodgers, Indians, Brewers, Orioles, Cardinals, Twins, Yankees, and Padres. He played with the Dodgers two different times. He made four errors at pitcher. He had a great .984 fielding percentage. Orosco is my favorite player on the ballot to not play for the Red Sox because in 2003 in 15 games for the Yankees he had a 10.38 ERA. Orosco will get 7% of the vote this year and his high will be 45% of the vote.

Dave Parker, No, Never


Dave Parker is on the ballot for his 13th year. He hit .290, with 339 home runs, drove in 1,493, scored 1,272 times, had 2,712 hits, stole 154, and was caught stealing 113 times. He made 144 errors at first, second, and in the outfield. He has a .966 fielding percentage. Parker played 19 seasons with the Pirates, Reds, A’s, Brewers, Angels, and Blue Jays. Parker if he goes in will go in as a Pirate. He won two batting titles, three golden gloves, three silver sluggers, and a MVP. He also was elected to eight all-star games. I think Parker should go in. He just missed 3,000 hits and had great stats otherwise, but I don’t think he will. Last year he got 15.1% of the vote I think this year he will get 17% of the vote and his best will be 24.5% of the vote back in 1998.