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Nick's Twins Blog

  1. Reflecting on the Nishioka Experiment

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ID:	2439In assessing the Twins' payroll situation for next year, a depressing reality became clear. Between the contracts of Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Nick Blackburn, along with the $250,000 buyout that will be owed to Matt Capps, the club was set to be on the hook for about $9 million in what appeared to be totally sunk costs all the results of clearly misguided decisions. That's a pretty significant chunk of money for a team with payroll restraints that needs to be putting all ...
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  2. Homer-Happy Hendriks

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ID:	2397It is easy to despair over Liam Hendriks after starts like the one he turned in on Monday night against the Yankees, when he coughed up four homers en route to his eighth loss in 15 tries for the Twins this year.

    Certainly the right-hander has offered little cause for encouragement here in his first extended exposure to the majors, but we shouldn't let these rocky outings completely sour us on his long-term outlook.

    Earlier this month, Aaron ...
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  3. Where Does Carroll Fit In?

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ID:	2382During the first half of the season, Jamey Carroll seemed to be showing his age. By the All-Star break, he was hitting .234 with a brutal .597 OPS, and he had long since lost his job as the team's starting shortstop. He was certainly making his two-year, $6.5 million contract look like a poor investment.

    Since the break, Carroll has looked more like the player the Twins thought they were getting. After finishing 2-for-5 in the nightcap of yesterday's doubleheader, ...
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  4. Span's Last Hurrah?

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ID:	2366Denard Span stepped into the box to lead off Tuesday night's game and turned on the third pitch he saw from left-hander David Huff, driving it into right field for a double, sparking a three-hit night. In six games since returning from the disabled list, the center fielder is now 9-for-25 (.360) with two doubles, a triple and four runs scored.

    His late-season success bodes well for Terry Ryan heading into an offseason where Span will likely be the club's ...
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  5. SP Depth Chart - 9/14

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ID:	2350An updated glance at the Twins' starting pitching depth chart, with a couple weeks remaining in the season. Barring any major developments over the rest of the month, this is how we view the team's SP pecking order heading into the offseason:

    1. Scott Diamond. He's gone through some struggles recently, with a 6.64 ERA over his past four starts, but that was to be expected. In addition to the fact that he was bound for some regression, he might be wearing ...
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  6. Orioles Provide Hope for the Hopeless

    The Baltimore Orioles celebrate after a victoryMany believe there's no way the Twins can possibly turn things around quickly enough to be a competitive team next season. They're on their way to a second straight 90-plus loss season, their starting rotation is an absolute mess and their best prospects are still probably a couple years away from making an impact.

    To those people, I present the 2012 Baltimore Orioles.

    A year ago, the O's finished last in the AL East for a fourth straight season, ...
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  7. In Perk We Trust

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ID:	2310Ron Gardenhire told reporters over the weekend that he would have "no problem" with Glen Perkins assuming closer duties for his club moving forward.

    Well, you'd hope not.

    Since Matt Capps was officially placed on the disabled list on July 17, Perkins has received the lion's share of save chances, converting all seven of his opportunities while registering a 1.74 ERA and holding opponents to a .136 batting average. In 20 2/3 innings during that ...
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  8. Top 10 Prospects: Season in Review

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Size:  9.9 KBPrior to the start of every season, I like to go through the Twins organization and rank my Top 10 prospects, offering a glimpse of the farm system's strength and providing my personal take on the hierarchy of the club's best up-and-coming players.

    Now that the regular seasons of every minor-league affiliate have come to a close, it seems fitting to look back the this year's Top 10 and see how they all fared. Last year, this was a depressing exercise, as ...
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  9. These Call-Ups Are a Downer

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ID:	2257With the Twins on pace to lose nearly 100 games for a second straight year, fans have to derive joy from the little things. In a season that was basically lost from the get-go, relative frivolities like the trade deadline, August waiver moves and September call-ups become focal points of interest.

    Unfortunately, the Twins have been extremely passive on all these fronts, to a degree that is highly disappointing for a rebuilding club. Their deadline activity ...
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  10. Outrage Over Medical Staff is Overblown

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Size:  15.1 KBLast week, Denard Span finally landed on the disabled list one day before rosters expanded and 18 days after initially suffering a shoulder injury back in early August. Not the medical staff's finest hour, probably, but the uproar I saw amongst casual fans and hardcores alike sort of left me dumbfounded.

    My Twitter timeline exploded with rants against the team doctors. Commenters here at Twins Daily vented in similar fashion. Clearly folks are fed up ...
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  11. Mauer's Not Going Anywhere

    Don't buy into the hype. Joe Mauer isn't getting traded.Ask yourself this question, and be honest in your reply: If Joe Mauer were becoming a free agent this offseason, is there any chance ANY chance, whatsoever that he would fetch a six-year, $138 million contract?

    I think the answer is pretty clearly no. That's the prorated remaining portion of the eight-year contract Mauer signed with the Twins after a 2009 season in which he was arguably baseball's best player. He was 26, he was one of the game's most ...
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  12. Beacons of Light

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ID:	2170On the surface, this 2012 Twins campaign seems painfully similar to last season's train wreck. On this date a year ago, the Twins sat with a 56-77 record, which sadly compares favorably to their current 52-77 mark. Both seasons were marked by abysmal starts, midsummer rebounds and late implosions (at least the current squad is headed that way, with an 8-17 record since the start of August).

    Yet, looking beyond the similarly horrible results, this season has ...
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  13. Bullpen Evalutaions

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Size:  66.0 KBThe Twins have been taxing their bullpen lately and are amidst a stretch of 20 games without a day off, so it makes sense that they decided to send down Matt Carson who became the fifth outfielder after Denard Span returned Thursday in exchange for relief help.

    The pitcher they called upon is Kyle Waldrop. This is his second time getting the nod this year, and he only missed a spot on the Opening Day roster because of an injury. It seems clear that the ...
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  14. SP Depth Chart - 8/22

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Size:  61.6 KBThe status and outlook of the rotation is bound to be the biggest storyline for the Twins down the stretch and into the offseason. Clearly, there is no unit on this roster in a greater state of flux.

    As a new feature here on Twins Daily, we thought we'd start taking periodic glances at the starting pitching depth chart to provide a big-picture look at what the club currently has and what's in the pipeline. We'll post updates every few weeks, adjusting for ...
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