After an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the K.C. Royals on Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins have called up SP Jeff Manship from AAA Rochester of the IL and place oft injured lefty Glen Perkins back on the 15D-DL.
I can tell you that Jeff Manship is from Notre Dame and that when he was younger was viewed as having a PLUS curveball. ( I don't know exactly how that pitch as come along to date) I can also tell you that Manship started the year off in AA New Britian and didn't do too particulary well, but since he's been in AAA (short time period) hes done marginally better.... his stats still don't impress me very much..........
Going into the 2009 season the Minnesota Twins were widely regarded as having one of the best pure YOUNG rotations in the game of Baseball today...(And Bill James said the Twins have the most Quality Young players already at the major league level in all of Baseball today.)
Rotation featuring the likes of:
and with Nick Blackburn, Glen Perkins going in the back end.
With prospect(s) Kevin Mulvey, Phillip Humber, Anthony Swarzak, Brian Duesning, and maaaybe Jeff Manship in the Ready for Major-Leagues Minor Leaguers portion all of whom are/were on 40 man roster at one point in time this year...
Well, certainly it Was the Twins plan to feature one or maybe two of that large group of minor leaguers this year on the pitching staff at the MLB level, BUT WHO could have ever imaged that ALL of those names have been called up at some point in the '09 season.
Ridiculous..... ? UnLucky ?
Well, the Twins have had a bit of the injury bug this year with Baker missing most of the first month a la Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins being on and off the DL all year..... and Kevin Slowey being shut down for the year in early July...
But there are no excuses, the staff (both starting-ptiching and Relief Pitching) have been downright awful ....
With the recent teams of the Twins in the early 2000s and even as late as well Last year the Pitching has carried the Twins to A.L. Central titles and into or close to post-season all of the time with the Offense traditionally doing 'just enough' to get by despite having sensational offensive players in Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer for a while now. The Twins offense has always been near or at the bottom in Home-Runs and only middle of the pack in runs scored...in the American League.
Well, this year sure has been a different story hasn't it?
The offense this year doesn't use 'small ball' to score runs, in fac,t it is a very slow team this year, but the Home-Runs are a MUCH bigger part of the Twins offense this year, and FOR ONCE the Offense is a top notch threat. Right now the top 3 teams in the AL -Team batting average are as follows:
1.LAA Angels .288 Ave. (3rd in slg%)
2.NYY Yankees .278 (1st in slg%)
3.MIN Twins .270 (8th in slugging%)
The Teams problem from my view, is that they are a team filled with really good to great/ exceptional hitters and at the same time a team that fills out the rest of the lineup card with horrible, barley managing to stay in the Big Leagues type of hitters (Alexi Casilla, Nick Punto, Delmon Young, at times Carlos Gomez, Redmond and Buscher/ Tolbert too)
But even a bigger issue than that is their pitching.
Sure Nick Blackburn has been great all year long in the rotation and in the 'pen Nathan and Guerrier are as good as it gets but everyone else has struggled at least at some point this season mightily .When RP Bobby Keppell is the 4th to strongest option out of the bullpen for you during any given game - you know you're in big trouble.
How do you fix the Twins going into a brand new stadium in 2010 this offseason ?
sit tight, let everybody re-group, refresh and get healthy...
or do you make a few moves and bring in a veteran guy or two ? Even if this includes cutting loose a Delmon Young or an Alexi Casilla .....