Notepad Scribbles, 2/5/10

Well, I definitely have not done one of these in a while.

First, something that no one’s pointed out with the signing of Orlando Hudson. Yes, he is a distinct upgrade over Nick Punto, Matt Tolbert, etc. that hit in the 2nd spot of the order last year, and his OBP should discourage some bunting…or will it? Hudson has racked up a fair amount of sacrifice bunts over his career, and we all know that Ron Gardenhire is a bit fond of bunting. I do expect better production from that spot in the lineup in 2010, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Hudson drop a bunt here or there throughout the season as well, courtesy of Gardy’s orders from the dugout.

Second, I see the Twins are now being given the title of “Best ’09-’10 Offseason” by several people. I think we can argue that Seattle is more deserving, but the Twins certainly have done a great job of improving the team this year. Dave Cameron at FanGraphs is even arguing that they could have one of the top rotations in the majors this season if Francisco Liriano returns to his dominant form. I think that’s a bit of a stretch, and I’m disappointed that some people in the comments were using FanGraphs’ Fan Projections in their arguments (4.0 WAR for Derek Lowe? Seriously?). However, I sat down and thought about it for a few seconds. Some people would argue that the Twins do not have any top pitchers (myself included), but they do have several solid mid-rotation starters. All of them are capable of pitching well in spurts throughout the season, so if these spurts line themselves up just right, the Twins would have one of the best rotations in baseball for that period of time. Of course, I’ve also mentioned before that if the bad streaks line up, then just the opposite will occur…

Lastly, some interesting news to report. A 13 year old has verbally committed to USC to play football. No joke. At least the consolation for me is that “verbal commitment” does not mean that he’s required to go to USC when he graduates from high school, but I still find this ridiculous. What says he still wants to play for USC when he’s 18? How about his ability? What if his talent evaporates before he graduates? What about a significant injury? Oh, and why is his middle school calling so many pass plays? Why does he look so similar to one of the twins from the Disney Channel show, The Suite Life of Zach and Cody? How do I know what those twins look like? There are many unanswered questions. I have just one suggestion though: Try to remember the name “David Sills” for 8 years. If he’s earning Heisman talk as a junior for USC or is in the NFL in 2018, then maybe this wasn’t as ridiculous as I thought.


One Response to “Notepad Scribbles, 2/5/10”

  1. Josh Says:

    Perhaps Hudson will bunt every so often, because he is a GIDP machine… luckily Span’s speed is in front of him. Actually, I wonder if they might hit and run a bit more with Orlando’s bat control and propensity to hit ground balls?

    I was really hoping the Twins would have taken a shot at a trade for a true #1 pitcher this offseason. That is their one glaring weakness against teams like the Yanks, Red Sox and Phillies. However, I’d probably rank them in the top 10 or so in the league regardless.

    Last year at this time, people were raving about the wonderful young core of pitchers the Twins had with arguments that they were the Baby Braves of the 90’s. Of course that was a lot to live up to and you could argue that not one of the pitchers of the 5 actually took a step forward last year. Perkins and Slowey got hurt. Liriano was terrible, while Baker and Blackburn were inconsistent.

    So this year, I can see why people are considering the Twins rotation as a possible plus. None of these pitchers had career years in 2009. Some of them had arguably their worst years professionally. Whereas I see slight regressions with players like Kubel, Span and Cuddyer, I actually see improvements from Liriano, Slowey and Baker.

    There are a lot of “ifs,” but the rotation does look good if the players actualize their obvious potential. Liriano is a #1, Baker is a clear #2, Slowey is a #3, Pavano is a solid #4 and Blackburn is the best-looking #5 out there… of course, if they all reach their potential. I believe this might be the biggest question mark coming into the season.

    This team is built to win now and I am personally very excited to see how this rotation plays out. With our offense, I could see the Twins having the luxury of playing ahead more often that not, so it will be important that our pitchers stay loose and focused. There is no reason that all 5 of these guys can’t win 10-15 games this year.

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