Tuesday, April 5, 2016

One day in

I wrote here Monday about what I see as the single largest issue for the Twins this season: Will they have enough baserunners to make their power effective?

That certainly showed in the opener Monday. The Twins had seven hits in a rainy, windy game in Baltimore.Seven hits and no walks. The Orioles not only had 10 hits, they had five walks. Neither team hit a homer, and that doesn't figure to happen often for either squad.


A few other comments about Monday:

* Miguel Sano looked competent on his plays in right field. No matter the conditions, competent probably exceeds expectations, so I'll certainly take it.

* I offered this tweet just before the second rain delay, after Orioles starter Chris Tillman stuck out his fifth straight Twin:

The Twins fanned 10 times. So the Orioles. A lot of strikeouts is to be expected of both lineups, and especially in a game in which the two bullpens account for 14 innings. (Relief pitchers typically have higher strikeout rates than starters.)

* The Twins left Tommy Milone and Michael Tonkin in Fort Myers last weekend to work long stints in minor league games. Tonkin, the supposed long man, threw 53 pitches on Saturday and Milone 73 on Sunday.. That left them unavailable to pitch Monday. Obviously, had the Twins known they would only get two innings from their opening day starter, they wouldn't have done that, but ,,,

* Bert Blyleven did little broadcasting from spring training, but he's already in midseason Bert form. This is not a complement. He had a nonsensical "cat-like instincts" for a Byron Buxton play Monday that I have to figure he uttered because he couldn't think of anything else to say. And Blyleven remains oddly fixated on the notion that Ryan Pressly should be a starter. Been there, done that; the Red Sox exposed Pressly in the Rule 5 draft because he had failed as a starter and they figured they could afford to lose a relief prospect.


A little housekeeping for those of you who know that I have for two years been making biweekly appearances on Jim Gullickson's KMSU show: It's shifting from Mondays to Thursdays this year, and my first exposure will be this week. KMSU is 89.7 FM in Mankato, 91.3 in Austin, and there's a "listen live" button on the website linked above. I'll be torturing the listeners at 1 p.m. on alternate Thursdays.

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