Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Home opener: Short-handed, long review, bad trade

I went to the Twins home opener Monday. The weather was good, and the Kramarczuk's bratwurst was even better than I remembered.

But Kevin Correia pitched like Kevin Correia, and Sam Deduno committed another balk (that's two for him already), and the Twins were outmatched by the Oakland A's.

That's not surprising -- the A's have legitimate World Series aspirations this season, and the Twins do not. But there were a number of aspects beyond the score that soured my outlook on this team.

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As it turns out, the Twins didn't put either Oswaldo Arcia or Josh Willingham on the disabled list when they brought up Chris Herrmann. They put Jason Bartlett on the DL instead.

And in the ninth inning, down five runs, Pedro Florimon was allowed to hit for himself to lead off the inning. That's the way to wave the white flag. (He struck out.) Since the A's were using a righty at the moment, why not at least send Herrmann up?

Ron Gardenhire can say the Twins aren't going to play shorthanded this year. What they do, or at least what they're doing, is completely different. Watch -- they'll wait a week or more before DLing at least one of the ailing outfielders.

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The official review time on the non-home run by Jed Lowrie was 4:11. I had it exceeding five minutes.

This was the second marathon replay review involving the Twins this week, and I doubt they've been the only overly-long ones.

I not-so-humbly suggest that if the replay crew in New York can't make up its mind in 90 seconds or less, it's inconclusive and let's get on with the game.

Eduardo Nunez plays third base during a spring
training game for the Yankees.
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The Twins traded Class A lefty Miguel Sulbaran to the Yankees for infielder Eduardo Nunez, who had been designated for assignment last week. Nunez, 26, goes on the 40-man roster and will play at Rochester.

Nunez is a mediocre shortstop (that might be a generous evaluation) and not much of a hitter, and personally I wouldn't trade a lefty who had a 2.96 ERA in more than 100 innings in the Midwest League at age 19 for him. I'm not even sure I'd trade Bartlett for him, and I regard Bartlett's presence on the major league roster as an unamusing joke.

Here's something to chew on: The Yankees cut Nunez loose because he got beat out by Yangervis Solarte for their utility infielder job. Solarte spent six years in the Twins system and was jettisoned after hitting .329/.367/.466 in Double A, presumably because the Twins couldn't stand watching him try to field ground balls.

So the Twins dump Solarte, and the Yankees pick him up to dump Nunez, and the Twins pick up Nunez. Somebody's wrong on this series of moves.

That the Twins made this deal either tells us how dissatisfied they are with their current infield depth and/or starters or how unhappy they were that Sulbaran reported to camp in poor condition. Or both.

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