Twins Mid-Season Player Rater

Categories: Sports

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Image courtesy of Keith Allison
Morneau's speedy return will be key to the Twins' second half.
Quadruplets: exceptional performance

Brian Duensing - $417,500 (2010 base salary)
Terrific first half that offered a razor-thin WHIP of 0.949 in 38 appearances.  Lefties hit just .127 against him, and Duensing allowed just two of his 20 Inherited Runner to score (10 percent).  Showed some wear vs. Detroit before the Break, so hopefully a few days of rest get him right back on track.

Justin Morneau - $14 million
While not as gruesome in appearance as some injuries -- head trauma is the freakiest ailment of all.  Morneau sported MVP-type numbers in the first half, ranking in the AL's top-10 in Batting, Slugging, and Home runs.  His .437 On Base clip is tops in the Bigs and he made just a lone error in 73 games at 1B.  In short: we need him back ASAP.

Carl Pavano - $7 million
Two years ago this guy was nowhere and now -- Pavano is just two cruddy starts away from being a legit Cy candidate.  Our June "Twin of the Month," Pavano has been a workhorse and is the club's staff leader in Wins, ERA, WHIP, and Innings Pitched.  Per the latter two stats: both his WHIP (1.05) and I.P. (125.2) rank third in the AL.

Delmon Young - $2.6 million
A superb start for Delmon, finding his Batting, OBP, and Slugging all above his career averages.  He's already just four HR's shy of usurping his career-high of 13 set back in 2007, and his 58 RBI lead the Twins and are good for 10th (tied) in the AL.

Jon Rauch - $2.9 million
Some may not chart Rauch's start as exceptional, but given the context in which he was provided the closer's role, his 20 saves (tied for 4th in AL) have namely quelled at least one of the club's first half headaches.  The four Blown Saves and three HR's allowed are a slight concern (as are the 34 hits in as many innings), but for a guy that entered the role with 26 lifetimes saves, I don't think we could ask for much more.

Jim Thome - $1.5 million

Thome just seems like a Minnesota guy, and the Midwest-native (and longtime nemesis) has responded to the love-fest with 10 HR's in just 175 plate appearances.  The homer clip is good for one per every 14.5 at bats, which charts as 5th best in the AL for hitters with a minimum at bat mark of 175.  In addition, he's corralling an RBI per every 5 at bats, which is tied for 10th in the AL considering the same minimum.

Triplets: solid season

Michael Cuddyer - $8.5 million
Our April "Twin of the Month," Cuddy has seen a slide in his offensive numbers since his hot start, but his malleability can't be ignored.  He's appeared in a team-high 84 games and has selflessly played five different positions this year -- having made just three errors in the process.

Orlando Hudson - $5 million
O-Dog has pretty much come as advertised: a solid, if not spectacular batsman who plays solid defense and will tack on the occasional bomb, steal, and walk.  His average (.281) and On Base clip (.350) are nearly identical to his career marks and he's made just three errors at second.  A fifth Gold Glove seems unlikely this year, but he's fast cemented his rep as a trusty MLB vet.

Francisco Liriano - $1.6 million
The 6-7 record doesn't speak to the stellar season to date, which is better evidenced by 117 strikeouts, good for 4th in the AL.  Liriano went 3-0 in April and doesn't have a winning month since, however his 1.276 WHIP is markedly improved from last season and he's second on the staff with 12 Quality Starts.  Like Pavano: a few blowups away from a spectacular campaign.  The run support of just 3.8 hasn't helped the cause.

Jose Mijares - $430,000
After a poor start, the Milkshake has found some form, having allowed just one hit and one walk in his last eight appearances.  The three HR's and 1.179 WHIP are a bit bulky, but such numbers are assuaged by an acceptable 29 percent (5 of 17) of his Inherited Runners crossing the plate.

Nick Punto - $4 million
Punto, with his .241 average and .319 OBP, continues to be a detriment at the dish (although

Punto.jpg
Image via Wiki
he did clip .301 for June) -- but offensive prowess is not what we should realistically expect from this guy.  Despite going just 2-for-21 thus far into July, Punto is a needed defensive element for the Twins, who have sported seven different guys at 3B thus far into the year.  Punto leads in games there with 41; to date, he's played the position in error-less fashion while also proving flexible with 32 combined games at both 2B and SS.

Danny Valencia - $N/A
More of an "incomplete" grade with just  20 games played for the 25-year-old rook.  He's displayed none of the power evidenced via 54 minor league HR's in fewer than 500 games at the lower levels, yet the zero bombs, three RBI and mere two doubles are kept balanced by a solid .310 average and .375 OBP.  Like Punto, he's played the hot corner sans error.

Twin: measured production

Scott Baker - $3 million
With 8 Quality Starst, Baker's campaign to date has been average at best.  His 95 K's are respectable, yet he's had just one winning month and has allowed a haughty 17 HR's.  As per the wealth of the staff, he's keep walks to a minimum (1.6 per 9 I.P.), however the 1.312 WHIP reeks of his 124 hits allowed -- bad for 7th among AL starters.

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Image courtesy of Keith Allison
Nick Blackburn- $750,000
Yes, Nick Blackburn has sucked since his 5-0 May, when he was our "Twin of the Month."  Since then, he's gone just 1-6 and has only a lone Quality offering in his last eight starts.  While he's likely another cruddy start or two away from a demotion to the pen, we can still hope that his May form (and two wins vs. the Yanks) finds a necessary return.

Alex Burnett - $400,000
At just 22, Burnett has done a nice job in his mop-up role.  To wit: in his eight appearances of 2 or more innings, he's allowed just a lone run.  And in his 12 games of one of more inning of work, the garbage guy has been a part of nine team losses.  The 1.400 WHIP is bulky and he's had a poor July, but all told just 3 of his 18 Inherited Runners have scored (17 percent) thus far into the season.

Drew Butera - $400,000
For a dude that hit a mere .215 in five minor league seasons, his .157 clip in 51 at bats comes as no surprise.  But that's not why Butera is here.  In spelling Mauer behind the dish he's committed just one error and tossed out 50 percent of would-be base stealers (6 of 12).  His lone bomb hit in the Twins' eventual extra innings win vs. the Phillies back on June 19 serves among the club's most memorable moments of the first half.

Jesse Crain - $2 million
After a brutal beginning to 2010, Crain has rebounded nicely.  Over his last nine appearances, he's allowed just four hits while recording nine K's.  Over his last 11: Crain has seen his ERA decrease in each game.  Righties are hitting him at a mere .226 clip and he's recording 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings pitches.

Matt Guerrier - $3.15 million
Inverse to Crain, Guerrier began with aplomb before accruing this stat line from 6/2-7/7: 15 games, 19 hits, six walks, and nine runs allowed.  His 41 games lead the club and rank as 6th (tied) in the AL.  Long a workhorse, Guerrier had been apt to tire late in the season, so his meshed appearances with Crain should be monitored closely.

J.J. Hardy - $5.1 million
Another "incomplete" of sorts, given Hardy's mere 45 games due to injury.  It's worth noting that this club is 27-18 in those contests, however the record owes nothing to Hardy's bat, which sports just a .226 average and .268 OBP -- both well below his already-measured lifetime marks.  Yet his defense has been excellent, with just one error at SS.  Whether the club holds onto to him as a free agent will eventually become a major point of conversation.

Jason Kubel - $4.1 million
Kubel has traditionally been a slow starter and '10 serves as no exception.  After a few tough months, his season began to find form, however he's got major work to do to equal his career-year of '09.  Still: a third-consecutive 20 HR season seems likely and he's got a crack at hitting the 100 RBI mark again.  Interesting that he's batting nearly 80 points higher while playing RF, in contrast with his DH role.

Ron Mahay - $N/A
The 39 year-old lefty is namely doing what's expected of him.  The 4 HR's in 26 innings of work are a slight concern, however he's allowed just one run in his last nine outings and given up just a lone walk in his last 12.

Joe Mauer - $12.5 million
Joe's bleak All-Star performance echoed the heed herein for him to skip the contest.  While

Mauer 2.jpg
Image courtesy of keith Allison
the numbers are fine for a "good" player, we undoubtedly expect far more from the reigning AL MVP and three-time batting champ.  It's obvious he's playing through some pain and -- should Morneau not be able to return in a speedy fashion to protect him in the lineup -- said pain will continue to be exhibited via lesser numbers.  He's yet to hit an HR at home this year and both his batting and OBP marks are at least 30 points below his career averages. 

Kevin Slowey - $470,000
The 8-5 mark hides some ugly first half numbers, namely that Slowey has gone just 7 or more innings just thrice all season.  He's still the control freak, but a mere 5 Quality Starts is a real concern.

Denard Span - $750,000
His three triple game aside, Span's '10 has yet to meet expectations.  In contrast with last season: his average (.273) and OBP (.348) are 38 and 44 points lower than his '09 marks, respectively.  The 16 steals lead the team (which he should), but Span has meshed his batting slide with three errors to date -- that's already one more error than he made in CF in his two previous season's of work.

Lonely Child: sits alone, eats seed

(No listings in this space for first time in three seasons).



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