Saturday, June 10, 2017

Notes, quotes and comment

Pretty impressive game for Ervin Santana on Friday night in San Francisco: A 91-pitch complete game shutout (a "Maddux") plus three RBIs on a "double." A single, certainly, but Denard Span dove for, came up short and knocked it away from himself and right fielder Hunter Pence.

If Span were as good a defensive center fielder as some in Minnesota seem to think he is, he catches that ball. Byron Buxton probably catches that ball. But Span is 33, his defensive metrics are in decline, and he didn't get there.

Twins fans have been blessed with some truly great defensive centerfielders over the past 30-plus years -- Kirby Puckett, Torii Hunter, Buxton, Carlos Gomez. Span, even at his best, was never in their class.


Paul Molitor said after the game that Nik Turley will get Sunday's start, filling in for Hector Santiago, who went on the disabled list after his Tuesday start.

Turley is a left-handed refugee of indy ball who entered the pros as a 50th-round draft pick back in 2008. The draft doesn't go that long anymore. He spent years in the Yankee system, then a year in the Giants organization. He split 2016 between a Red Sox farm club and an independent team.

He's 27 and didn't even get an invite to major league camp this spring, but he has put up a combined 2.05 ERA between AA Chattanooga and AAA Rochester (52.2 innings) this year. Perhaps more impressive, he's struck out 84 men in those 52.2 innings with just 15 walks.

I don't know what to expect from him. His stats for this year say he deserves the opportunity. His track record over the previous nine years doesn't necessarily agree.


No corresponding move has been made yet; my assumption is that Randy Rosario will be demoted, but that remains to be seen. The Twins won't bring Jorge Polanco off the bereavement list until they return to Minnesota after the weekend; the shortstop is in his native Dominican after the death of his grandfather. Kennys Vargas is back with the team for now. So there are roster moves ahead.

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