Too Negative?Published 11:02am Sunday, May 8, 2011
I have been a little hard on the Twins lately and I again may be accused of being too negative but I have to call it like I see it. There have been a few times I have talked about something and then a day or so later one of the Star Tribune writers say the same thing. Could they be reading the Oldtimer’s Blog? Recently I mentioned the once great Twins farm system and how it has declined in recent years. A day or two later Patrick Reusse brought up the same topic. I’m not sure I am excited about thinking on the same terms as Patrick, but I do get a kick out of beating him to the punch even if I don’t have the readership he does. The Twins have a number of players who played for AAA Rochester last year now on their roster. Like I have mentioned before, this is the same Rochester team who was in last place in their league, so it’s hard to expect too much right now. Since I have been a little negative about some of the minor leaguers I will say something positive here. I think bringing Trevor Plouffe is the right move. He was a number one draft choice a few years back and is now at a stage where he needs to play and show if he can play in the big leagues. This is definatly the right time with Casilla playing like he wants to go home and Nishioka on the DL. Plouffe was hitting the ball pretty well down in Rochester this year. Sometimes a player just needs to mature and get a chance and they will do well. I think Plouffe is at that stage right now. I am truly hopeful that Plouffe can be the guy at shortstop and am looking forward to Nishioka coming back. Although Cuddyer is a guy who will do anything the team asks, with him at second base is not the best thing for the team. A comment by Randy on my last post was interesting. He stated that Joe Mauer, on the DL with his .238 batting average, would be the third highest average in the current lineup. Randy was wondering what gives? I just heard on the radio Sunday morning that the hitting is way down throughout baseball. The pitchers seem to be dominating the game and I’m not really sure why. The strike zone hasn’t changed, the mound hasn’t changed, so what is it? The one thing that has changed is the steroid issue. Stronger testing supposedly has all but eliminated steroid or HGH use in the game. So was all the illegal drug use that much of a factor in overall hitting and not just the power angle? I really don’t know. I guess the pitchers are just getting better, except on the Twins. Ok I said something negative again about the pitchers. So something positive, Liriano pitches a no hitter even though he walked 6 hitters. Scott Baker has truthfully pitched like he should be pitching at this stage of his career. He seems to have a lot of confidence on the mound and is attacking hitters which is producing more strike outs. I only hope he can hold onto this new Baker for the rest of the season. As hard as it has been to watch the Twins I do still see some hope. To try and put a positive spin on things the Twins haven’t played much with some of their big guns. Mauer has been hurt and so has Young and Thome and I don’t think we have yet to see what Nishioka can do. The division may not be that strong either. I know it has been asked if anyone thinks Cleveland and Kansas City can keep this going. The odds say no, which is a good thing for the Twins, but you just never know. But it still is a weak division so if the Twins can get everyone back there still is a chance. I have felt for Justin Morneau this season. He is coming back from something I don’t think many of us truly understand. I give him so much credit for trying and playing most every game and for not using this as an excuse. He deserves to turn this around. I though nobody could be worse that Scott Ullger at third base coach. Now with Steve Liddle I’m not so sure. Why not put Jerry White over there. He played for a number of years in the big leagues I would think he would be goo there. But please do something, poor Liddle is over his head at that position.