Sunday, July 10, 2011

Things Moving

It's the All-Star Break. The Twins aren't exactly in the position we all were hoping for when spring training broke. Good thing they're traditionally better in the second half of the season. I'm hopeful that if the Twins continue playing good baseball, we fans will be enjoying meaningful games come September. However, I'm also not delusional.

This doesn't bother me too much; the Twins have overcome this number before.
This, however...this might be asking a lot. This would require a serious alignment of the planets and still need extra luck.
Playing well and winning is one thing. It's not impossible to move up six and half games on one team in just a few weeks. Depending on three teams to stumble is pretty tough.

It should be exciting.


I enjoyed watching Joe Mauer play first base on Thursday night. It kind of looked like he enjoyed it too. It was nice to see him smiling after he made some good plays. I guess I've never noticed him having fun playing; it's pretty hard to tell if he is with his face behind a mask all the time.

It's important to remember, however, that he's not moving to first base. He's a catcher. He will spend most of his playing days catching. For several years. But it's nice that he has the option to play there once in a while to help save his legs and still keep his bat in the lineup.

Of course, the experiment proved what I've suspected all along: he's one of those guys who just does everything extremely well without even really trying hard or knowing what he's doing -- even things he's never done before. I hate those kind of people. I'm sure if someone challenged him to cook fine French cuisine or hang glide, he'd do it perfectly. Like the Most Interesting Man in the World guy, only with less interestingness.


With the All-Star break comes some roster moves for the Twins. Delmon Young has been activated from the DL. He played a few games in Rochester and both DHed and played in the outfield and he's ready to go. Rene Tosoni has been reassigned to Rochester to make room.

Trevor Plouffe has been tearing the cover off the ball in Rochester. So Gardy told him to get some time playing at first base, which he did. And now he's coming back. He'll be a nice addition to the platoon of Hughes, Cuddyer, and Mauer who are currently staffing the position. He can also play some in the outfield. Catcher Rene Rivera has been reassigned to Rochester to make room. We all knew the Twins couldn't keep three catchers around for very long.

The Minnesota Twins: now with 100% less Rene-ness.


DL Watch:

Like I said, Delmon Young has been activated.

Denard Span could be ready to play very soon. He still needs to pass the ImPACT test before he is cleared. When he does, he'll likely spend some time in Rochester in a rehab assignment.

Jason Kubel had a little set back on his sprained foot, but an MRI showed no additional damage. He'll likely resume his rehab play soon.

Kevin Slowey has been pitching in rehab games for Rochester and is likely to come off the DL soon. However, he's likely to remain in Rochester as a starting pitcher.

Justin Morneau's neck surgery went well, and he's already feeling stronger. He fully expects to return sometime in August as originally expected.

We're watching Scott Baker, who missed Sunday's start due to some tenderness in his elbow, and Jim Thome, who sat Sunday with a strained big toe. Hopefully the All-Star break will give them time to heal, and they'll be fine on the other side.

1 comment:

JimCrikket said...

Normally, I'd agree that passing three teams would be very unlikely. But then you consider who these three teams are.

The Tigers fold in the second half of the season pretty much every year. Right now, the Tigers media is already writing about it and you know it's going to be brought up to the players and manager regularly. It becomes self-fulfilling at some point. Until they have a strong second half, I'll continue to expect them to fade.

The Indians have basically playing .500 ball within the AL. They did well in interleague play but that's over with. They will need to make a big trade or two in order to keep up and that just isn't their style. I won't be surprised to see them end up in 4th place.

The White Sox have (a) the worst intradivisional record in the AL Central, at 8-16, and (b) have the most games remaining within the division.

The Twins have 12 straight games within the division after the break... after those games, we'll know better who are contenders and who are pretenders.