Twins Mid-Season Player Rater

Categories: Sports

 

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                                                                              Images courtesy of Keith Allison

Quadruplets: exceptional performance

Nick Blackburn- $440,000 (2009 salary)
His 8-4 record doesn't dazzle at first blush, but Blackburn has been a stud with his first 3 career complete games and a 3.06 ERA, good for 6th in the A.L.  Also sports 72 percent Quality Starts.

Matt Guerrier - $1.475 million
Workhorse tied for A.L. lead in appearances with 44.  Just 2 earned runs in his last 18 outings, and has gone 13 straight games without allowing an inherited runner to score.

Joe Mauer - $10.5 million

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Returned from injury to lead MLB in batting at .373 and already has a career-high 15 bombs. Behind the dish, Caught Stealing percentage of 30 is 10 percent lower than career clip, but that's just mixing hairs.

Justin Morneau - $10.6 million
Opted to sit out the Derby, but nothing else to rip on.  7th in A.L. batting (.311). , tied for 4th in home runs (21), and 2nd in RBI (70).  Has played in all games but one.

Joe Nathan - $11.25 million
Perennial stud is going for his fifth Twin season (out of six) with 90-plus percent save conversion.  Currently 23-for-25 closing out games.  K-to-BB ratio (6.14) currently best of career.

Jason Kubel - $2.75 million

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My April Twin of the Month probably has deserved more pub herein for the best first-half of his life.  Tied for 4th in DH home runs and tied for 8th in A.L. batting.

 

Triplets: solid season

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Joe Crede - $2.5 million
Deservedly bemoaned for the sorry .234 average, but really, for a .255 lifetime hitter, how much more could we expect.  More importantly, his 14 bombs (including four against Chi Sox) are very solid and he's played as advertised with the glove - just two errors.  Needs to better his 76 percent of games played come the second-half, however.

Brendan Harris - $466,100
My June Twin of the Month has cooled somewhat, dropping over 20-points since reaching a .296 clip on 6/20.  Still, he stepped up at a needed time, and I trust we'll see more of him than Punto in ensuing weeks and months.

Bobby Keppel - $N/A
Unknown quantity surprising with some long-and-strong relief efforts.  His 0.73 ERA just slightly better than the 11.25 mark he posted in four games with the Rockies last year.  Still, much to see with this guy.

Jose Mijares - $400,000

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I'm a big fan of this dude who seems to step up under pressure.  Allowed just 24 percent of inherited runners to score, sports a stellar ERA of 1.88 while tossing 20+ pitches in just 21 percent of outings.

Jose Morales (shipped down yesterday in lieu of pitcher Kevin Mulvey) - $400,000
For a .282 lifetime minor league hitter, Morales' has been crazy good with the stick, batting .343 in 32 games.  We won't see much of him behind the plate, but that's what Red Dog's for.  No power (O HR's, 4 RBI), but there's nothing wrong with coming out of nowhere to hit a boatload of singles.

Denard Span - $435,000

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I trust I'm not alone in finding this guy a true gamer.  Something about him just says "Twin."  Love him at leadoff, where he swing at just 17 percent of pitches outside the strike zone.


 

 

Twin: acceptable performance

Brian Buscher - $412,500
Limited production in limited playing time, yet he's errorless in 27 at first and third.  No pinch-hit pop, which is a problem late in games - just 2 HR's total.

Michael Cuddyer - $6.75 million
Steady if not spectacular, although it's great to see him healthy, having played in 82 games

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(already 11 more than in '08).  HR numbers are solid at 14, and his measured outfield assists (just 2) are more so a reflection of teams scared to run on his cannon.  The .247 with Runner in Scoring Position really needs to improve, however.

R.A. Dickey - $525,000
Solid run for the journeyman in May/June.  The July ERA of 6.35 is worrisome.

Carlos Gomez - $437,500
As the saying goes: you can't steal first.  He'll amaze with the spectacular, but it would be nice to see some more everyday out of the youngster. Hitting .235 with just 7 steals after snaring 33 bags last year.

Glen Perkins - $430,000
A fine April followed by injury and illness - he's proven really streaky, and his record has never usurped .500 all season.

Mike Redmond - $950,000
At 38, Red Dog keeps chugging and cheering and we love 'em for it.  There's some concern over the .236 average, although it's worthy of note he's a career .291 in the second-half.  Zero errors in 29 games behind the dish.

Kevin Slowey - $440,000
Nice and shiny 10-3 record hiding some dirty numbers: 4.86 ERA and 1.412 WHIP.  He's also getting a mammoth 7.3 runs per game while on the hill.  The BB-to-K ratio (1.5) remains stellar.


Lonely Child: sits alone, eats seed

Scott Baker - $750,000
Signed for over $15 mil in the offseason, and has responded with a 7-7 mark and brutal 5.42 ERA - that's two runs higher than '08.  He's giving up way too many HR's (team-leading 18), and has sported just 42 percent Quality Stars.  Time to get going.

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Alexi Casilla - $427,500
Getting second-life after batting just .180 in 34 early-season games while making 5 errors.  His .340 clip at Rochester hopefully portends a glimmer of last season's fine showing.

Francisco Liriano - $430,000
Taking on something of a child-star vibe: we all just want to be what he once was.  With that 5.47 ERA and an MLB-worst (tied) 9 losses it's time for "Silver Spoons" to get "NYPD Blue."

Nick Punto - $4 million
Can't stay healthy (63 games), can't hit (.201), and with Casilla back in the bigs he'll likely be relegated to platoon duty.  We all want this gritty baller to succeed, but he hasn't hit above .240 since 4/26 - tough to cheer for that.

Delmon Young - $1.152 million

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Polarizing or just polar?  He's actually hit .301 in June/July, but the 3 HR's are sorry, as are the 2 steals, as is the ineptitude in left.  He's not signed past this season and while still a kid at just 23, this market would no doubt find little argument is seeing him traded for added bullpen help or a strong second baseman.



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