Baseball truths and web sites

Posted on June 4th, 2009 – 9:35 AM
By Howard

Remember, I told you a couple of days ago not to get all excited about Anthony Swarzak’s first couple of starts. I didn’t want him to prove me wrong with a blow-up like the one last night and, as I said before, I want to see another half-dozen starts before listening in on the staff meeting where the front office turns up the Clash and starts singing Should he stay or should he go. Kevin Slowey had the same kind of debut in 2007 before getting knocked around a bit.

Today’s impressive Delmon Young statistic: Batting average in the last 11 games — .098 (4 for 41). Strikeout average in the last 11 games — .500 (21 for 42 plate appearances). Strip away everything else and the most amazing part of it is that after 125 plate appearances, Delmon has a higher cruddy on-page percentage (.272) than cruddy slugging percentage (.265). That’s positively Puntonian.

I’m glad Carlos Gomez is in the lineup most every day. But, frankly, he should have shut up and taken whatever abuse Cliff Lee dished out last night after striking out on a two-strike bunt. Cleveland’s Victor Martinez deserves credit for gently moving Gomez toward the dugout after his second at-bat, and keeping a stupid situation from getting stupider. The umpires did a good job on that front, too. I hope the fact that nobody except Gomez really took this deal seriously gets him to think about how silly he looked.

No, the Twins weren’t throwing at Kelly Shoppach last night. The Cleveland catcher has managed to turn a .210 batting average into a .342 on-base percentagedespite walking only 9 times in 110 plate appearances. That’s what happens when you get hit by 11 pitches in the first one-third of the season. Twins batters have been hit 19 times in 2,087 plate appearance

While you’re killing time waiting for this afternoon’s game, here are a few Twins blogs you may not have seen to keep you entertained:

162 Reasons is a philosophical take by a Twins fan in Vermont, where even the cows are philosophical. One recent question: “What would it be like to be Scott Baker, to pitch well a good deal of the time, but not in any way always.”

Josh’s Thoughts offers up lots of detail about the Twins minor-league system, including the news that Carlos Guttierez has been promoted to Class AA New Britain. Guttierez was a closer in college and the Twins have used him as a starter this season. Josh’s incredible statistic: Guttierez had a flyout:groundout ratio of 4.48:1 in Class A ball.

And, finally, there’s Vegetarian Piranha: the Story of Nick Punto, which relates just about everything Twins to… As in… “The Twins could pay Mauer and Morneau $27 million each, and still have enough of their current payroll left to pay 22 players league minimum and Nick Punto the remaining $4 million.”

Enjoy the day.

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