Hello Twins fans. It’s been a while since I last blogged, but I’ve been busy helping with a home improvement project around here and finally it was finished last week. Since I’ve not blogged in a while, I think what I’ll do here is covered several topics.
Although most of you already know, closer Joe Nathan is no longer a Twin. While here, he contributed a lot to the success of the club saving 260 games which set a new club record for most saves by a Twins pitcher.
GM Terry Ryan has indicated that the organization was looking outside to fill the closer role and that Glen Perkins was not an option. A possible option that some people have suggested the Twins would go after is Phillies closer Brad Lidge.
Although Lidge’s career ERA is 3.44, his career average of 4.2 walks per 9 innings is of some concern. Plus, he has suffered injuries in recent years which also is of concern, but can also be a benefit for the Twins because his salary may not be as high.
In the past couple of weeks, the Twins have also picked up a couple of free agents which could help their club. One is former Los Angeles dodger infielder Jamey Carroll. Last season, he hit for .290 average with a .359 on base percentage. He scored 52 runs with only 17 RBIs. If Carroll can get on base, more opportunities for hitters like Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau to drive in runs.
The Twins also signed Ryan Doumit as a free agent from the Pittsburg Pirates. Last season, he was limited to 77 games due to injury and batted .303 with 8 home runs and 30 RBIs. He’s an option to catch, play first base and to DH.
As long as we’re on the injury topic, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was interviewed last night on ESPN 1500. Gardy stated that he’d not communicated with Joe Mauer, but he’s exchanged messages with Justin Morneau. Gardy indicated that Morneau has been going back and forth with the doctors to get clearance.
“Morneau has to eventually tell us what’s right for him, or I’ll make the decision for him and we’ll go from there,” Gardy said in reference to where Morneau will be playing on the field next year, whether it’s first base or DH.
It’s also been recently reported that the Twins have been pursuing free agents Matt Capps and Michael Cuddyer. Earlier this offseason, it was reported that Cuddyer had been talking with the Phillies. Since then, it’s been quiet as far as reports of Cuddyer talking to any teams.
Another thing to note is the Twins have hired their new manager for Tripple-A Rochester. I think they picked a good choice in Gene Glynn, who’s from Waseca, Minnesota. From what I’ve heard, he’s good with the media and his baseball coaching and scouting experience should be a help in turning around the Red Wings from two dismal seasons.
One more thing I should bring to your attention. Through twitter, I’ve learned that someone has launched a website dedicated to helping get Tony Oliva elected to the baseball Hall Of Fame. You can check it out here. I think I should mention this fact. Oliva is one of only 10 players to have won 3 or more AL batting titles. Of those, eight are in the Hall Of Fame and one is still active, the active player being Joe Mauer. More to come on Oliva’s stats soon in a future blog.