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Scott Diamond was going to be the carryover success from a 2012 rotation that completely imploded around him. Aaron Hicks was going to be the rookie phenom who served as a signal of the bright future ahead. The Twins, configured with a mixture of productive vets and talented youngsters, were going to be an improved club that alleviated the doubts formed by two straight years of utterly awful performance.
The best laid plans…
On Thursday, Twins
I've been bullish on Samuel Deduno, and it's been a point of disagreement between myself and some other generally like-minded Twins writers. Aaron Gleeman has repeatedly warned against buying into the right-hander's small-sample success and the Geek recently lamented the idea of a long-term contract.
It's easy to see why any stat-savvy observer would hold reservations. Deduno has performed poorly in a number of key peripheral categories, namely strikeout-to-walk
A slow start in Double-A had suddenly become a distant memory. Miguel Sano was on fire, enjoying his best stretch in what has been an incredible season. Over the course of five days, he had collected nine hits -- including two doubles and four homers -- with five walks and 10 RBI. In less than week's time, the top prospect had raised his OPS in New Britain from .738 to .895.
Following this blistering hot streak, Sano rightfully became the center of discussion
With six innings of one-run ball against the Angels on Wednesday, Mike Pelfrey lowered his ERA to 5.15 ERA, the lowest it has been since April 9. During the first couple months of the season, Pelfrey was pretty clearly the worst starting pitcher in baseball, at least among those to hold onto their jobs. Not surprising in light of the fact that May 1st marked his one-year anniversary from Tommy John surgery.
Looking at historical timelines for recovery from
If it wasn't obvious before his latest poor performance, it certainly seems obvious now that Scott Diamond is in line for a demotion from the Minnesota Twins rotation. Since pitching well in his first five starts back in April and May, the lefty has gone 2-7 with a 6.65 ERA, 1.73 WHIP and 28/24 K/BB ratio in his past 13 turns.
It would be one thing if he were showing signs of improvement, but that's not the case. In his last three outings, Diamond has surrendered 16 hits, 10 walks,
Technically, the actual halfway point in Minnesota's season came and went back in the first week of July, when the Twins played their 81st game at home against the Yankees. Yet, with the All-Star Game and its requisite four-day break falling in mid-July, it's tidier to simply use the Midsummer Classic as a milestone bisecting the MLB season.
So, now that we've passed both the official and unofficial halfway points in what is clearly going to be a losing campaign, where do we go from
Buyers or Sellers
Just 1.5 games behind Detroit in the Central and three out in the Wild Card race, Cleveland has been the American League's biggest surprise. Staring up at a stacked Tigers squad that last year pulled away with a 44-32 record in the second half en route to a World Series berth, you'd better believe that the Indians are looking to add at the deadline.
What They Need
The Indians could use some help at the
I've tried to rationalize my way out of it. I've tried reconciling the deep divide between my heart and my brain. Truly, it has been one of the most difficult instances of my emotions as a fan clashing with my insights as an analyst.
But at the end of the day, I can't escape from what I know deep down to be true: The Twins ought to trade Glen Perkins. And passing on the opportunity to do so could go down as a critical mistake.
It was an excellent article
I can still vividly recall writing up this Prospect Rundown late in the 2011 season. The article recapped the campaigns of each of my Top 10 Twins prospects, and the results were... depressing. While the big-league club was wrapping up one of its worst seasons ever, the farm system was in a state of disarray, with the top name fresh off Tommy John surgery and many of the other prominent prospects saddled by poor performance or injury.
With a few exceptions (most notably Miguel
Buyers or Sellers?
The Reds have all the makings of an aggressive deadline buyer. They entered the season with high expectations and a large payroll, and as we move into mid-July they are within four games of first place in a division that looks winnable. They also have some clear needs that ought to be addressed if they hope to overcome the Pirates and Cardinals in the final months.
What They Need
Unfortunately, the most
Buyers or Sellers
In July of 2012, the Phillies found themselves in a position to sell for the first time in a decade. Running on a string of nine straight 85-plus win seasons, the Phils were 12 games out of first place in the NL East at this time last year, and they ended up unloading Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton and Hunter Pence in the days leading up to the deadline.
By comparison, Philadelphia's current 9-game deficit in the standings doesn't look
Kyle-a-palooza? Gibsanity? Gibsmas?
Whatever you wanted to call it, Kyle Gibson's debut on Saturday generated a palpable buzz throughout Twins Territory. Eagerly awaited and long overdue, the rookie's arrival aids a pitching staff amidst its third straight year of sub-mediocrity.
He doesn't profile as one of the league's elite pitchers, but Gibson is likely the best pitching prospect to graduate from the Twins' system since Matt Garza in 2006,
On Thurdsay, the Twins and Royals kicked off a four-game series at Target Field. The two teams are nearly even in the standings, although the ways they've reached their present records have been drastically different. Kansas City owns the American League's lowest team ERA by a sizable margin, thanks in large part to the additions of James Shields and Ervin Santana, who have both been fantastic. Meanwhile, Minnesota's staff has been among the league's worst.
The Twins needed a big year from Justin Morneau. Not because it was going to help push them over the top, but because a productive Morneau may have yielded a prospect or two at the trade deadline that would have proven helpful toward the rebuilding effort.
Unfortunately, Morneau has done very little this year to make himself an appealing trade chip. While many (including myself) were expecting a return to form of sorts now that the former MVP had seemingly