By La Velle
But first, how about the Twins pitching staff?
While Joe C. and I tracked the Twins’ search for third base help during the offseason, a few of you were concerned about the search for relief help. Clearly, the Twins weren’t aiming high. The free agent market wasn’t deep. They didn’t look into signing Juan Cruz until the league adjusted it’s sign-and-trade rules, and then only offered a one year contract.
The Twins signed Luis Ayala, who has proven that his best role is to not pitch in the eighth inning. Most staffs have pitchers like that – but problem is that he doesn’t solve the Twins problems.
The eighth-inning problem is as big as ever and threatens to ruin the season – again.
Will the Twins look for help before the trade deadline? I’m sure they will.
They’ll sniff around this guy some more. He’s got his velocity up. Word is that you don’t want to look at the MRI – but that was also the case with Dennys Reyes.
The bullpen could hinge on if the Twins get Juan Morillo to refine his control at Rochester and get back up here. I have absolutely NO confidence that they will be able to deal for credible relief help.
My concern isn’t just with the bullpen. The Twins don’t have a clear No. 1 starter – and might not have a No. 2 Francisco Liriano is the closest thing they have to a No. 2 but he’s still a work in progress. Right now, it looks like the Twins have a bunch of mid-rotation starters trying to keep their heads above water.
And the Twins don’t have anyone in the minors who projects as a front of the rotation stud. Carlos Gutierrez might be the closest they have to one – but he could end up as a reliever. Tyler Robertson? Maybe? Looks like an area that needs to be addressed starting with next month’s draft.
Speaking of the minors – boy, that was a long intro….
Shooter Hunt, the 31st overall pick last year, has been sent to extended spring training with a, ahem, groin injury. This will give him time to work on his control.
Righthander Ben Hendrickson, a St. Cloud native, has been assigned to Class AAA Rochester to replace Anthony Swarzak. He signed with the Twins in spring training and has been working out at extended spring training.
Class A Fort Myers outfielder Ben Revere was named Florida State League player of the week last week after hitting .625.
Ramon Santana, who recently came off the DL, was 3-for-4 yesterday with a homer and 4 RBI as Class A Beloit beat Fort Wayne 14-9.
The Twins have promoted third baseman Nick Romero to Fort Myers. Third baseman Deibinson Romero is already there, which was a head-scratcher. But I was told that Nick Romero also plays shortstop (didn’t know that) and will play some short at Fort Myers since Estarlin De Los Santos is back on the DL.
De Los Santos is supposed to be a pretty good prospect but is struggling with injuries.
Let’s see if Joe C. can get the lads to win one today before I get my hands on this club tomorrow for the first of three against the team from Milwaukee – you know, that Chicago suburb….