July 2008


Has Livan Hernandez made his last start for the Twins?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

There are strong indications that the Twins will cut loose righthander Livan Hernandez in order to make room for lefthander Francisco Liriano.

Several people with knowledge of the situation have said over the past two days that it’s time for Liriano to join the major league roster and, while he has won 10 games, Hernandez’s recent results indicate that it is time for a change.

Liriano is scheduled to start on Friday for the Red Wings but it looks like that won’t happen. It’s unclear where he would be inserted into the Twins rotation.

Indications are that the Twins are willing to eat the remainder of Hernandez’s $5 million salary. 

Twins Talk, But No Action

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Twins GM Bill Smith and his posse of experts spent part of Thursday huddled in a conference room, then gathered in Smith’s office as they tried to swing a deal before the 3 p.m. no-waiver trade deadline. But they came up empty.

Here’s a little of what I’ve picked up since the deadline.

They weren’t as desperate to make a deal as they have been in recent years. but still tried to land right-handed hitting help and bullpen help.

They were willing to take on payroll, therefore they didn’t feel they needed to give up a lot of prospects as well. That explains the lack of a Adrian Beltre deal.

There was a strong desire to keep Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey and Glen Perkins. They feel they have a quartet that will be a force to be reckoned with – until someone gets too expensive to keep, of course.

I wonder who will go in order to make room for Franchise?

Gotta get ready for Bill Smith’s presser at 4:30. I now return you to my earlier posts on this blog…

Received more indications late last night that the Twins want to get Liriano up here ASAP. So stay tuned for a potentially interesting roster adjustment if the Twins don’t make a trade before the 3 p.m. non-waiver deadline.

And there was a report yesterday about the Twins asking about Rich Aurilia. I was told last night that it was more the other way around, with the Giants dangling him.

The Giants had one of their top scouts at yesterday’s game. Boof Bonser is a former Giants first-round draft pick. Hmmmm. I’m not putting a Bonser-for-Aurilia swap together,  but maybe there could be someone else or a minor leaguer involved.

Was told last night that there was a, `little bit,’ of a market for Bonser, who’s 26 and still has upside. He was an out away from a solid outing last night but couldn’t get Paul Konerko out.

12:43 update: Griffey in the AL Central, can’t believe it.

Now there are reports on what we heard a couple days ago - that reliever J.J. Putz is availale. Also talked to a scout who warned, `buyer beware,’ on Putz because of his elbow.

Just read about Annibal Sanchez being activated from the DL. Wow. Forgot about him. This has nothing to do about a trade, by the way. I just remember the no-hitter he threw.

1:09 update: The San Francisco Chronicle suggests  that Jose Castillo is the player the Twins are interested in.

2:00 update: Just got off the phone with minor league director Jim Rantz. Luke Hughes is being promoted to Class AAA Rochester. Shooter Hunt starts tonight for Beloit. And Liriano is scheduled to start at Rochester on Friday, but we’ll see.

Twins Trade Tidbits

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

There’s more in my story for the ink-on-paper version tomorrow, but here are a few juicy nuggets about what the Twins are up to as the trade deadline nears.

The Twins have been shopping Boof Bonser, perhaps as a way to make room for Francisco Liriano. The Rangers, according to a report out of Arlington, are interested. And the Giants had a scout at Wednesday’s game.

As for Liriano, I heard tonight that he could be called up in a few days. I’m not sure who would come out of the rotation.

The door may not be closed on Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre. I heard that the Twins have had many, many, many conversations with Seattle. But the Mariners have asked for Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins or Denard Span as part of a package, and the Twins won’t go there. It’s a matter of Mariners coming down in their demands but, as I wrote recently , it could be tough for these teams to find common ground.

The Twins have called the Orioles about second baseman Brian Roberts, whom they were interested in during the offseason. Indications are, however, that they’ll be unable to land him.

Some people in the clubhouse tonight were very disappointed that LaTroy Hawkins is an Astro and not a Twin.

The Rays have been scouting Craig Monroe.

Twins-Sox: A thriller on Tuesday

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Reporters note: Last night got crazy, with news about Casilla’s injury and the change in plans for Everett. Frankly, I forgot to correct this blog. Sorry.

Lineups

White Sox (59-45): 1. Orlando Cabrera, SS. 2. Brian Anderson, CF. 3. Carlos Quentin, LF. 4. Jermaine Dye, RF. 5. Jim Thome, DH. 6. Paul Konerko, 1B. 7. Alexei Ramirez, 2B. 8. Josh Fields, 3B. Toby Hall, C. Pitching: Clayton Richard.

Twins (58-47): 1. Denard Span, RF. 2. Nick Punto, 2B. 3. Joe Mauer, C. 4. Justin Morneau, 1B. 5. Delmon Young, LF. 6. Mike Redmond, DH. 7. Brendan Harris, SS. 8. Brian Buscher, 3B. 9. Carlos Gomez, CF. Pitching: Perkins.

Twins-Sox: The, `Beat Mark Buehrle,’ Lineup

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has both Joe Mauer and Mike Redmond in the starting lineup, and for a good reason.

Mike Redmond is batting .480 (12 for 25) against Buehrle, so he’s the DH today while Joe Mauer catches. Craig Monroe is batting .368 (14 for 38) with two homers off the Buehrle-man, so he’s in there too. Buehrle is 21-11 with a 3.78 ERA against the Twins and, in my opinion, has been the biggest pain in the Twins’ necks through the years. 

Carlos Gomez is not in the starting lineup. Denard Span is in center and batting leadoff again.

For Nick Punto fans, he’s batting .321 against Buehrle.

5:55 update: Gomez told Gardenhire that he’s available to play tonight. He went through pre-game with no problems and is expected to start tomorrow.

Michael Cuddyer took 25 soft swings and put an outfielder’s glove for the first time since June 28 as he shagged fly balls and made throws. He needs to be able to grip and rip the bat a few days before the Twins send him out on a rehab program. But it was easy to tell he was glad just to be out on the field with a purpose for a chance.

By the way, Cuddyer had two cortisone injections in his left index finger/hand area.

A crowd of 38,000 is expected tonight. The stars have come out for this one, as Brock Lesnar was on the field before the game. 

Check back here later for updates!

Lineups

White Sox (59-44): 1.Orlando Cabrera, SS. 2. A.J., C. 3. Carlos Quentin, LF. 4.  Jermaine Dye, RF. 5. Jim Thome, DH. 6. Paul Konerko, 1B. 7. Nick Swisher, CF. 8. Josh Fields, 3B. 9. Alexei Ramirez, 2B. Pitching: Mark Buehrle.

Twins (57-47): 1. Denard Span, CF. 2. Alexi Casilla, 2B. 3. Joe Mauer, C. 4. Justin Morneau, 1B. 5. Delmon Young, LF. 6. Red Dog, DH. 7. Craig Monroe, RF. 8. Brendan Harris, 3B. 9. Nick Punto, SS. Pitching: Kevin Slowey.