Scott Boras, uberagent, was seen in Terry Ryan's suite with the Twins general manager; the assumption is that they were discussing the No. 2 pick in the draft. The new rules about bonuses installed by the labor deal have sharply decreased the importance of "advisors," but Boras is doubtless still a figure to be reckoned with.
Tony LaRussa put in an appearance. He's delivering World Series rings to players from last year's Cardinals team who aren't still with the Redbirds, and one such is P.J. Walters. Walters got into four games for St. Louis last year, and was long gone before the postseason, but his four innings (all in June) is enough to get a ring.
Walters isn't about to turn it down, of course, but I doubt he views it with as much pride as, let us say, Nick Punto does his. Punto was part of the team all year and played a lot (and well) during the postseason.
I mentioned the draft earlier. Baseball America's Jim Callis on Friday issued his second mock draft. He continues to have the Houston Astros taking Stanford RHP Mark Appel 1/1, with the Twins tabbing high school outfielder Bryon Buxton.
From Callis' subscription-only text:
As much as Minnesota needs pitching, it isn't expected to pass up the opportunity to take Buxton, who has the best all-around package of tools in the draft. If the Astros take Buxton, the Twins might take (San Francisco RHP Kyle) Zimmer over Appel or go with (Florida catcher Mike) Zunino and move Joe Mauer to another position.
Projected Pick: Byron Buxton.
The draft begins a week from Monday.
Anthony Swarzak, Friday's starter, worked despite flu-like symptoms, so his difficult outing might be forgiven. Francisco Liriano, on the other hand ... just not good.
It was being pointed out on Twitter that Swarzak's ERA as a starter this year is 8.34, as a reliever 3.06. We're only talking 18 innings or so in either catagory, but that's the kind of split that can get a guy pigeonholed.
Especially since he came into the game with a career ERA as a starter of 5.50 and as a reliever of 3.70.
I don't know of a specific reason he'd be better out of the bullpen, but the pattern is evident.