February 2009


Juan Cruz signs with Kansas City – Updates

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Free agent reliever Juan Cruz has passed a physical and has agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with Kansas City. There’s a $3.5 million option for 2011. Correction: The option year is $4 million with a $500,000 buyout.

And get this: It’s not a sign and trade. The Royals will give up a pick in the June draft (I think their first round pick is protected because they’re  in the top 15 in the draft). The Twins made an offer to Cruz last week but soon felt they would have to give up too much in a sign-and-trade and backed off. Now they get to face him a few times this season.

Update: The Twins offered Cruz a one-year deal. Don’t know the money.

And, yes, it looks like Corey Koskie has  signed a minor league deal with the Cubs. Here’s the link. Warning: Looking at Gordon W.’s face might make you sleep with the light on!!!

Twins-Yanks: Stepping up in class – Lineup change

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Lots of reasons to watch today’s game on the MLB Network.

It will be Francisco Liriano’s spring debut.

Luke Hughes gets the start at third.

Jesse Crain, the key to the bullpen, and newcomer Luis Ayala are scheduled to pitch.

While it’s early in the schedule, I’m sure the Twins want to get on the bus back to Fort Myers after seeing some encouraging signs from these players and others.

The pitchers will be tested in the early innings – because the Yanks didn’t fake the funk with their lineup today.

Lineups

Twins: 1. Span, RF. 2. Punto, SS. 3. Young, LF. 4. Kubel, DH. 5. Buscher, 1B. 6. Luke Hughes, 3B. 7. Tolbert, 2B. 8. Drew Butera, C. 9. Go-Go, cf. Pitching: Franchise, followed by Crain, Ayala, Keppel, Jones, Henn, Gabino.

Yankees: 1. Damon, LF. 2. Captain America, SS. 3. Tex, 1b. 4. A-Rod. 5. Swisher, RF. 6. Cano, 2B. 7. Molina, C.  8. Duncan, DH. 9. Melky, CF. Pitching: Joba.

Update: Posada out. Duncan in. So a tad less funk.,..

Twins-Yankees: Batting third. Joe Crede, DH.

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Warning: Today will be a crazy day as I finish up a Sunday project.

Many of you have sent e-mails recently with questions about the Twins or journalism or places to eat in Fort Myers, but it seems like I’ve been in scramble mode ever since Joe Crede joined the Twins. Don’t think I’m blowing you off, it’s just been real busy. I arrived at the park yesterday at 7 a.m. and didn’t get home until 6:25 p.m. from Sarasota. I did manage to sneak over to Shoeless Joe’s for dinner as I watched the Illini dine on some Gopher meat.

Enough about me. How about Joe Crede? He’ll be in a Twins uniform for the first time today.

He’s batting third in today’s lineup against Ian Kennedy and the Yankees. I haven’t seen the Yanks’ lineup yet, but the Twins’ batting order goes like this:

1. Go-Go, CF. 2. Casilla, 2B. 3. Joe C., DH. 4. MVP ’06, 1B. 5. Cuddy, RF. 6. Young, LF. 7. Red-Dog, C. 8. Harris, 3B. 9. Punto, SS. Pitching: Scott Baker.

Brian Duensing, Kevin Mulvey and Rob Delaney are scheduled to pitch. Can’t wait to see Delaney.

Here’s the Yankees’ batting order:

1. Brett Gardner, CF. 2. Cody Ransom, 2B. 3. Nick Swisher, 1B. 4. Jorge Posada, DH. 5. Xavier Nady, RF. 6. Melky Cabrera, LF. 7. Angel Berroa, SS. 8. Justin Leone, 3B. 9. Francisco Carvelli, C. Pitching: RHP Ian Kennedy, with RHP Eric Hacker, RHP Andrew Brackman,  LHP Wilkin De La Rosa and others scheduled to appear.

Twins-Reds: Notes and Lineups

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Joe Crede told me this morning that he’s ready to make his Twins debut on Friday against the Yankees. Crede reported to camp on Sunday after agreeing to a free agent deal but needed a few days to get game-fit. “I’m just about ready,” he said.

Steve Tolleson’s strained oblique muscle has improved, but the Twins will continue to take it easy with him.

As you saw in today’s ink editions, it doesn’t look like the Twins will land free agent reliever Juan Cruz. I’m getting those indications by people on both sides of the issue right now, so unless there’s an amazing change in approach, the Twins will look elsewhere for bullpen help.

I was almost run over by a Jeep Wrangler in the parking lot this morning as I rushed to make a 7 a.m. interview. That’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but the Jeep did throw some dirt on me as I heard Al Green music blaring. The Jeep stopped…and out came Gardy.

“I could have taken your door off,” Gardy barked at me while grinning. The man is always fired up.

Lineups

Twins: 1. Span, LF. 2., Gomez, CF. 3. Harris. 3B. 4. Buscher, 3B. 5. Matos, RF. 6. Dustin Martin, DH. 7. Tolbert, 2B. 8. Jose Morales, C. 9 .Plouffe, SS. Pitching: Blackburn.

Reds: 1. Wily Taveras, CF. 2. Hariston, SS. 3. Votto, 1B. 4. Phillips, 2B. 5. JAY BRUCE, RF. 6. Twins spring training killer Edwin Encarnacion, 3B. 7.  Laynce Nix, LF. 8. Ramon Hernandez, C.  9. Keppinger, DH. Pitching: Owings.

Twins-Red Sox: Lineups

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

BAWSTON: 1. Ellsbury, CF. 2. Reigning MVP, 2B. Youkilis, 1B. 4. Bay, LF. 5. Brad Wilkerson, RF. 6. Lowrie, 6. 7. Jeff Bailey, DH. Bard, 2.  9. Gil Velazquez, 3B. Pitching: Tim Wakefield/

TWINS:  1. Casilla, 2B. 2. Punto, SS. 3. Former MVP, 3.  4. Cuddy. RF. 5. Kubel, DH. 6. Young, LF. 7. Buscher, 3B. 8. Red-Dog, 2. 9. Pridie, CF.  Pitching: Perkins