Saturday, May 30, 2015

Notes, quotes and comment

Tim Stauffer has
a job but not a role
in an eight-man bullpen.
Good: Casey Fien was activated from the disabled list Friday. A healthy Fien is an asset to the Twins relief corps.

Bad: Michael Tonkin, dubbed "the Strand Man" by the Pioneer Press's Mike Berardino, was sent back to Rochester. Tonkin has a rather odd set of stats: just seven innings in 11 appearances, and a 5.14 ERA while stranding 10 of 13 runners. Basically, Paul Molitor was using Tonkin for one or two outs with men on base. Tonkin entered five games in save situations and departed having held the lead all five times. In short, he had a useful role.

Worse: Tim Stauffer remains on the roster, to what purpose none can tell. He came off the disabled list a week ago after several ineffective rehab appearances and went unused until getting a one-out mopup appearance Friday. Which is understandable, since the Twins were winning games, and Stauffer has done nothing -- in spring training, in the regular season, on rehab -- to make anybody believe that he can help.

Keeping Stauffer over Tonkin suggests Terry Ryan and Co. are more concerned with getting something for the $2.2 million the veteran will be paid this year than with giving Molitor a useful relief pitcher. It's a regrettable decision.


Baseball America issued Mock Draft 4.0 on Friday. Unlike the previous three attempts, this one does not project the Twins taking Dez Cameron with the No. 6 overall pick. That's because they now project the Houston Astros to take the son of former Gold Glove center fielder Mike Cameron with the fifth overall pick.

The current projection is another prep outfielder, Kyle Tucker of Tampa.

There have been reports elsewhere that Cameron's asking price has discouraged the Twins, but BA says Cameron remains the team's "chosen target."


I am an unabashed admirer of Mark Buehrle, pitcher of baseballs. Friday he gave up four runs in the first inning and the Twins hit everything hard. Then he faced the minimum in the next eight innings.

Kenny Rogers, another lefty who won far more games than one would imagine possible with so little velocity, pitched one year for the Twins, 2003, going 13-8 in 195 innings. Time and again I heard him say in postgame interviews: I'm not afraid to go out there with nothing. Buehrle could say the same thing.

Buehrle got career win 205 Friday. (Rogers retired with 219.) They didn't all come against the Twins, but it sure feels like it.

1 comment:

  1. While I don't think Stauffer is a particularly useful relief pitcher, calling Tonkin one is overstating his value. This is his third appearance in the majors and in all of them he shows a nice fastball and an inability to reliability throw anything else for strikes. His fastball isn't good enough to get by on that alone. Which tends to be why he is matched up against certain hitters and then removed before he can do too much damage. Until he learns or gains confidence in at least one secondary pitch, he probably won't be an effective big league pitcher.

    He probably needs to do that at AAA. Actually that is the problem. None of the backend of the bullpen or the current cast at AAA are really any more than filler. They aren't going to be dominate big league relievers, though I suppose you can get by with them till something better comes along.