Thursday, April 15, 2010

Notes, quotes and comments

Twins win Thursday, raising their record to 7-3.

Seven and three against the Angels, White Sox and Red Sox. Man, I'd take 7-3 against the Royals.


Ron Mahay, who is in the running to be the last "replacement player" from the 1993-94 strike, is back, with Alex Burnett returning to the minors.

This gives the Twins three lefties in the pen. Mahay is clearly a LOOGY. Jose Mijares is talented enough to be more than a LOOGY, but Ron Gardenhire seems more comfortable spotting him against lefties, and so far this spring Mijares hasn't even done that well. And Brian Duensing is nominally the long man, but has done some LOOGY duty as well.

I assume that when Clay Condrey is deemed ready to be activated, he'll assume Duensing's long-man role, with Duensing going back to Triple A to stretch his arm out and be ready to step into the rotation if (when) needed.

For now, at least, Gardenhire has options while pitching coach Rick Anderson tries to get Mijares straightened out.


Jayson Stark of had some Twins items worthy of contemplation in Thursday's Rumblings and Grumblings:

  • Jon Rauch hasn't convinced scouts that he's a top-grade closer
  • Catching prospect Wilson Ramos is unlikely to be traded
  • Rauch, Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain are all to be free agents after this season, suggesting that the Twins will have to rebuild their bullpen for 2011.

I agree with the first evaluation, which leads me to question the wisdom of the second one. Not that I'm saying they should trade Ramos for another B-grade closer. But he shouldn't be in the way of getting a high-end guy for the bullpen.


  1. Makes no sense to hold onto Ramos, with or without a need for a closer. For example, if Boston offered Bard and Ellsbury for Ramos, wouldn't the Twins jump at such a deal? If they continue to win, another outfielder and a bench upgrade is crucial. Ramos is the best bait.

  2. The closer for the Twins to go after is Joakim Soaria. I would trade Ramos for him. It might take more than that, I don't know, but Soaria would be the long-term closer solution for when Nathan's contract is up. I doubt the Twins can really count on Nathan for 2011, although it seems to be easier for relievers than starters to be back in a year. Although, if Neshek's velocity returns in a few months, he could also be the closer in waiting.

    The Twins have never had to "rebuild" a bullpen, just reload. I'm sure they'll re-sign at least one of those relievers, probably Guerrier, and it wouldn't surprise me to see Crain signed as well. If Rauch remains the closer and racks up the saves for a very good team he'll sign a big contract next year to close for someone else. The Twins will still have Neshek and Mijares (although both have their issues right now) and Burnett, Anthony Slama and Rob Delaney. I really don't have much concern about that, plus it's not hard to bring in middle relievers (see Mahay, Ron).