Okay, so after the Yankees series, I had to take a break. I have said before that I am a law student, and this week was bidding period for Early Interview Week (EIW), which is an incredibly complicated process. For those non-law students among you, EIW is the last week before classes where rising 2Ls (Students who just passed their first (1L) year) interview with seemingly every law firm in the world. And, to make a long story short, preferencing the firms takes a year and a day and a lot of sleep to complete. But I’m not dead, and I’m back.
Yesterday, I was one of those fools that refreshed MLB Trade Rumors about once every fifteen minutes all day in the hope that the Twins would make a big deal. My thoughts were as follows:
- We have a lot of holes right now. Right now, the Twins have holes at second, third, shortstop, and in the bullpen. We don’t have a ton of pitching ready in Rochester. There is only one real outfielder in Rochester right now (Darnell McDonald broke his hand (?) a couple days ago, Garrett Jones is at best a first baseman who can play outfield, which leaves… Jason Pridie. Tommy Watkins is also on the 7-day DL). Rochester needs some serious restocking right now. As Jim Mandelaro says, the Red Wings are thinner than Don Knott right now.
- There were a lot of people available. Teams got a lot of players for almost nothing. Griffey went from Cincinnati to the White Sox for an unreliable reliever and a good prospect. Both Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte went to the Yankees in what essentially became a salary dump for the Pirates. LaTroy Hawkins was scooped up by the Astros for a whole 1 minor league prospect who was not likely to hit the majors in the future. Some of the others that were available, likely for cheap, that weren’t traded: Mark Grudzielanek of the Royals, Adrian Beltre of the Mariners (though the Mariners over-valued him), and Khalil Green of the Padres (See a much more complete list here).
- We had bargaining chips. We had a lot of formerly excellent players and some others that we should have been able to deal. If nothing else, Boof Bonser, who appears to be gaining some of his weight back (no way he is still as (relatively) thin as he was at the beginning of the year). There are a LOT of good prospects in the system right now that the Twins might not miss too badly for a while.
- There is modern technology to connect the dots. Like phones. And Email. And the Interweb. And telegraphs. And snail mail. And… well, you get the picture. About the only two methods not available to the Twins were stagecoaches and carrier pigeons; the first because they were being used to ferry the Indians to town, the second because, well, they all died almost a hundred years ago. The point I am trying to make is that it shouldn’t have been as difficult as the Twins made it.
And the Twins did… nothing. Bill Smith said that he and his team were on the phone all day, but nothing “worthwhile” came up. For an alternate take on why the Twins failed at the deadline, see Those Girls.
Anyway, in part because Smithy (I am taking the Gardy nickname here; feel free to suggest your own) could feel my righteous anger all the way over in MN (I am in DC), he felt the need to do something today. Rather, he did somethings. As in two things, neither of which I thought he would do: he let go of Livan Hernandez, and he brought up Randy Ruiz. The other two things that happened, the recall of Liriano and the release of Craig “Craig” Monroe, were inevitable. As you may (rather painfully) recall, Monroe was called in to hit lefties off the bench; he did just about everything BUT hit lefties off the bench. I was figuring him to be released when Cuddyer comes back, but I don’t mind him coming sooner. Liriano, well, he wouldn’t be denied.
But the other two… wow. Apparently the Twins brain trust has started looking at Sabremetrics, and that opened them to the realization that Livan is not a good pitcher.
That said, I wish both Livan and Monroe only the best for the future. The Twins now have two weeks to either trade or release the two; neither will be traded. After Monroe is released, I expect him to get picked up by one of several teams that need a righty bat off the bench; Tampa Bay is one good example. I also expect Hernandez to go back into the National League as either a starter or a long reliever. Either of them can be signed after their release for a prorated portion of the major league minimum, which by my (admittedly) rough estimation is around $150,000. That shouldn’t be too much for some team that needs someone to finish.
Monroe was a bad trade from the beginning, and it isn’t his fault that he got stuck here batting about twice a week. Livan did what we needed him to do: start off the season when Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, and Boof Bonser had their problems: injuries and ineffectiveness. But, now that the novelty of the Eephus pitch has worn off, it is time for him to move on. He gave us a bunch of wins when they were hard to come by; the Twins are in this race in large part because he was able to spare the bullpen once every five days (okay, so not so much recently) when the young guns were having serious trouble.
But Liriano starts on Sunday, and Ruiz had a good first game. He had exactly what I would have expected from his minor league splits: 1-3 with a strikeout (.320 in Rochester with 133 hits and 116 strikeouts in 111 games). Good job, Randy, and welcome to the bigs!
By the way, the White Sox series was friggin awesome. I found it amusing to read the fatalistic-ness of the Sox blogs. If you’d like, check out South Side Sox and Life in the Cell. South Side Sox reminds me of the Strib blogs, albeit full of homophobia, hatred toward the Twins, and, well, a bunch of offensive and unmoderated comments. Life in the Cell is what I would call an approximation of Josh’s Thoughts or Taylor’s Twins Talk. Check them out too.
Oh, and by the way, I don’t like Manny or Boston anymore now that they have divorced. I will like Manny a bit more once he follows Joe Torre’s rules and cuts off the dreadlocks, but that has yet to happen.
New on my List:
The Twins Fans at the Metrodome on Thursday night. I know you were all mad at the umpire, but come on. You almost caused a forfeit. Booing, which i don’t encourage unless they really deserve it, is fine. Throwing hats, not ok. Throwing baseballs, beer bottles, and Dome Dogs? REALLY not ok. Consider yourself warned.