Links of the Day 7/26/14

It’s Hall of Fame induction weekend. Once again, I was left off the ballot.

The Colts are going to be pretty committed to Trent Richardson, it appears.

Even his biggest supporters are turning on Ron Gardenhire. 

Dmitri Young has lost a lot of weight. 

SCOREBOARD
MLB
Chicago 9, Minnesota 5 – Don’t let the score fool you, the Twins were annihilated.

What was your favorite Kendrys Morales memory?

Morales

Ah, Kendrys Morales. Since the Twins added him to the roster, they plummeted to from 3.5 to 11.5 (and now 12.5) games out of first place. This is a coincidence, of course, since his arrival coincided with a slew of injuries and several players slowing way down on the mound and at the plate.

Of course, Morales was hitting .234 in 39 games with only 1 home run and an OPS+ of 62. None of that is very good, and his tenure with the Twins will forever be one of  the most unremarkable, just like that one guy and that other dude.

It wasn’t a bad signing. There is a difference between bad signings and signings that just don’t work out. They sunk 3 million dollars into a chance at contending for the first time in many years. I don’t fault the Twins for it. I just wish it had gone better.

In the mean time, they even turned Morales into a piece that might be used going forward. Stephen Pryor was traded to the Twins the day after his 25th birthday an won’t be a free agent until 2019. He throws some serious cheese and can touch 95 on the gun. He may not always find the strike zone with it, but when he does, he tends to strike guys out. At least that’s been his MO.

If you ask me, at his age, he has the ptential to become a dominant bullpen guy. Start throwing some strikes (a la Hughes, Perkins etc) this year, and it might just happen. Reminds me of Mike MacDougal a little bit (Upon further research, MacDougal is ALSO in Tacoma, Seattles AAA affiliate Pryor was at prior to the trade). Good MacDougal wouldn’t be too bad? Better than any kind of Jim Hoey.

Links of the Day 7/25/14

Hello. Nice to see my post from yesterday was proven wrong within hours.

Kendrys Morales was traded yesterday, causing that post to be wrong.

What will it take to get Trevor May or Alex Meyer to the Majors?

This is a sweet story about Anthony Rizzo.

SCOREBOARD
Europa League
Rosenborg 3, Sligo Rovers 1 – Rosenborg went to Sligo and overcame a 2-1 deficit after the first leg to win and advance to face Kardemir Karabukspor in Turkey next week.
MLB
Chicago 5, Minnesota 2 - I liked this match better the last time when the Twins couldn’t lose.

The trade deadline is a week away, here are some Twins predictions

08^441419 5Twin021814.jpg

I wrote a little while back about Kurt Suzuki and how he was the perfect trade chip for the Twins. The trade deadline is fast approaching, and one would assume that his time with the Twins is drawing to a close. But who from the Twins will be leaving town at the end of the month and who will be saying with the Twins? Let’s look at some candidates and see what might happen with them over the next 7 days.

Pitchers
Jared Burton: Burton has very recently been an effective pitcher for the Twins, though he hasn’t been awesome this year. The name recognition and the fact that he IS a reliever, always in demand, may lead to his being moved. PREDICTION: Not traded.

Kevin Correia: Correia is in the final year of his contract and has, more or less, been effective this year, especially recently. The Twins also have a handful of players, like Trevor May or Alex Meyer to replace him. PREDICTION: Traded to Pittsburgh.

Sam Deduno: The Twins may not have much use for him anymore and have him stashed away in the bullpen, but his 7.15 K/9 rate, and the fact that a lot of his issues are most evident as a starter might play as a bullpen arm somewhere. PREDICTION: Traded to Washington.

Brian Duensing: A lefty bullpen arm with an ERA n the 2s in a walk ear will definitely be traded. I predicted he would be dealt last year, and I predict the same move this year as last. PREDICTION: Traded to Atlanta.

Catchers
Kurt Suzuki: The Twins are actually trying to work out an extension with Suzuki, according to reports. That would blow my mind, if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve followed the Twins for so long. I think the problem will be that there isn’t competition for Suzuki’s services, and the Twins will make the mistake of putting too much emphasis on this season and his defense rather than Josmil Pinto’s offense and future potential.They will also like the idea of Suzuki’s work with the young pitchers coming up the system rather than developing Pinto with them. It pains me. PREDICTION: Not traded.

Infielders
Kendrys Morales: It’s weird, but it seems like Morales is a mercenary taking the current job with the Twins because it was all that out there. It’s weird because I think I want the Twins to keep him. He makes too much money, and it will be a sunk cost if they trade him, because they won’t get great prospects and will have to eat salary. Going forward, I think Morales will be better and healthier, so his value will come next year rather than through the end of this year. The Twins won’t lose out on much if they don’t trade him, but they could try to keep him on the roster for next year. PREDICTION: Not Traded

Outfielders
Josh Willingham: Willingham hasn’t maintained the pace he had his first year with the teams, but he is still a respectable outfield bat. There is always a market for power hitters, and the Twins won’t be asking for much from him. Ultimately, he might go the Jamey Carroll route, and be dealt within the division. In fact, i think he will end up with the same team, even. PREDICTION: Traded to Kansas City.

Nothing dramatic, certainly, but definitely some moves to be made. And just think, giving away an increasingly mediocre Francisco Liriano netted the teams current starting shortstop. Any trade can make a difference.

Links of the Day 7/24/14

Hi! Keep it together, I have some links.

Cheering robots. Really. Cheering robots. Wait for the Andrew Albers cameo!

Yadier Molina made sure his brother had something to eat. 

Jay Harris won a Range Rover. 

SCOREBOARD
MLB
Minnesota 3, Cleveland 1 – The Twins offense is surprisingly bad at this point.
Kansas City 2, Chicago 1 – It’s weird to see 2 AL Central games with a combined 7 runs scored. Who knew the pitching was that good!

Brewers prove patience is paramount

I’ve long said that the key to turning a team around in major league baseball is to build a core internally and then merely patch holes via free agency. It’s definitely frustrating when it isn’t working, but simply paying for free agents means an older roster that costs more money. Older players break down, injuries happen and a small or mid market team is stuck with bigger problems than they started with at the back end of big free agent deals.

The best way to sustainable success is having younger home grown players under team control for a long period of time at a manageable salary. Chemistry is improved and loyalty is a better possibility. A lot of attention has been spend on the A’s and Rays for their low budget maneuvering, but their strategy has been towards statistical anomalies and high upside players at the beginning of their careers.

The Brewers may be sneaking up on the world because of the slow burn of their roster. They don’t have young stars, at least not as young as their counterparts in Oakland or Tampa, with their youngest players generally just now are hitting the traditional prime. The youngest players are Scooter Gennett and Jean Segura who are both 24. Their best players, like All Star stud Jonathan Lucroy, are in their late 20s. And most of their roster has been with the Brewers since they were drafted:

brewerschart

 

They have a couple of arms via free agency, and they did most of the development of Carlos Gomez internally. He’s on his second contract with the team already. The Brewers this year should be a better model for most organizations, rather than the A’s or Rays, who have to constantly tear it down and rebuild and still need to rely on a bit of luck (the missteps of other teams or the overwhelming emergence of star players). Instead, the Brewers stuck with their drafted players or guys added through international free agency, and let them develop naturally, without blocking them when they came to the majors with overpaid free agents or rushing them unnecessarily.

The Brewers have to endure some bumps in the road once in a while, but they are built for the long haul. It might have taken a while to get there, but at least the success will be sustainable and ultimately more reliable. Struggling teams should view THEM as the model.

 

Links of the Day 7/23/14

Went to the Twins game last night. They seem to be getting less and less competitive.

This man might be the next MLB commissioner. 

Christian Ponder named his daughter after Bobby Bowden. 

Cliff Lee was a bit gassy after yesterday’s game.

SCOREBOARD
MLB
Kansas City 7, Chicago 1 – The Royals are still somehow in the race this year. Wild.
Cleveland 8, Minnesota 2 – This was a dumpster fire. I saw it up close and felt the warmth.

Entertainent Roundup: This is why we don’t leave Ryan in charge

I really don’t watch enough TV or see enough entertainment news to be a productive entertainment writer more than once or twice a year. Back to back weeks? My entertainment insight is taxed. Guess what. You get stupid videos.

This isn’t terribly stupid but it is pretty fascinating. This is produced by a Chinese sculptor. I’ll tell you what it is after the video:

It’s paper Freakin’ paper. Amazing.

Second… this is definitely stupid. If you don’t know about the screaming goat phenomenon, or their incorporation into modern music, then go ahead and do a quick Google of both things. No, go ahead. I’ll wait.

Back? Great. Now here is a version of those very same goats that takes the cake. Whitney Houston, featuring some goats.

Yeah… As the propreiotor of this very website, I’ll make sure this type of thing never happens again. Katie should be back next week.

Links of the Day 7/22/14

It’s nice to be wearing shorts, isn’t it?

The Twins considered an extension with Kurt Suzuki. It hasn’t gone well, which is probably fine. 

Thomas Vanek is a witness in a federal investigation. 

Chase Headley was traded today. Here are three other big names on the market. 

SCOREBOARD
MLB
Chicago 3, Kansas City 1 – The White Sox beat the Royals. Can Chris Sale pitch every game?
Minnesota 4, Cleveland 3 - Josh Willingham hit a dinger to snap the Minnesota losing streak. How much longer is he a Twin?

Byron Buxton out with a wrist injury

Buxton

Byron Buxton hasn’t been playing this weekend because his wrist has been bugging him. This may not be a surprise, because Buxton has been dealing with a nagging wrist injury this season, and has missed a lot of time already this year. It’s a frustrating part of any recovery process.

Oh. But wait. It’s his OTHER wrist. Buxton has been trying to recover from a right wrist injury, but his previous issues were in his left wrist. Buxton was hit by a pitch in his right wrist on Friday, and has been left out since then. It sounds like it isn’t anything serious, but it’s just a reminder of the bad luck in player development the Twins have had for the past half a decade. It’s nice that Buxton is getting a good idea of what to expect as a member of the organization as well.

Buxton is scheduled for Tommy John surgery next week.