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Last night saw a near vintage Francisco Liriano carving up his now former team. In six innings of work, the lefty punched out eight Twins batters, showcasing a well-placed 94 mile per hour fastball and a devastating slide piece.
It was this first weapon, the well-placed fastball, which would have been inconceivable in the season’s opening months.
Liriano’s first half of the season was marred by lack of command of his fastball. Unable to get ahead of hitters properly, the
Sam Deduno has a curveball that would be easily classified as “filthy” by baseball jargon standards but his fastball is “crazy” – at least by his own admission.
According to a story from Rochester, the Red Wings pitchers were introducing themselves and speaking about their best pitches. When it was his turn, the 28-year-old right-hander from the Dominican introduced himself by saying “Sam Deduno and I have a crazy fastball.”
Not crazy in the sense of a Aroldis Chapman 100
Last season, the switch-hitting Alexi Casilla had produced at a very good rate against right-handed pitching.
In 247 plate appearances in the left-handed batter’s box, he hit .274/.350/.400 – not too shabby for a middle infielder. This was a significant improvement for someone who had hit .228/.299/.320 from the left-side over the two previous seasons (2009 and 2010) in 314 plate appearances.
Most analysts would likely dismiss his 2011 breakout as a statistical glitch of
So the Kansas City Royals made one of the most lopsided trades when the acquired Jonathan Sanchez for Melky Cabrera since the natives swapped Manhattan Island to the Dutch for about 25 bucks.
After a rebound season in KC, Cabrera is fully rejuvenated in the Bay Area, hitting .353/.391/.514 with 8 home runs for the Giants. Meanwhile, in 12 starts, Sanchez completely soiled the bed so badly that the Royals were recently forced to designate him for assignment.
The Big Picture
At the All Star Break last year, the Washington Nationals were playing .500 baseball (46-46) but were already 11.5 games back behind the National League East leading Phillies.
To be sure, it was just their second non-losing first half of the season since they emigrated from Montreal. Prior to last season, DC had entered just one midseason classic with a winning record. When MLB moved the Expos to the nation’s capital, the newly christen
For Twins fans who were fortunate enough to tune into last night's Twins-Rangers broadcast on FOX, they were treated with the soothing baritone of former pitcher Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams.
Turns out, Williams is the new Joe Morgan of saying semi-crazy things on the air.
In the top of the first, Denard Span on first base and discussing Texas's starter Derek Holland return from the disabled list, Williams said that he "does not believe in the
So far this season Justin Morneau has seemed as comfortable facing lefties as Mitt Romney would as the opening act for a Phish concert.
In spite of performing quite well against right-handed pitchers (hitting .310/.386/.561 and smacking 8 of his 10 home runs), among qualified hitters Morneau’s .100 average off of left-handed pitching (8-for-80 as of Wednesday) is the lowest in baseball. This is not simply a fluky situation; the Twins first baseman is completely lost mechanically at
For the 9-to-5ers in Twins Territory, those who did not attend the game should consider themselves lucky they stayed in the office rather than witness Nick Blackburn’s last start on Wednesday afternoon.
For the second consecutive start, Blackburn was punished across the field, allowing another pair of home runs to Chicago’s Adam Dunn and Alex Rios. The one-time groundball-getter has failed to induce the batted ball types that earned him that label. In those two starts, he managed to
Ever since his demotion to the bullpen, Francisco Liriano has been back to his new-old self.
In 37.1 innings, Liriano has posted a much improved 2.41 ERA, limited hitters to a .157 average against and has struck out 40 while walking just 14 thanks to rekindling his relationship with his dirty, dirty slider.
Nevertheless, even with the improvement, the Twins front office has to be considering moving the enigmatic starter at the upcoming trade
Francisco Liriano’s first six starts of the season were nothing short of disappointing.
With plenty of raw talent, the Twins potential rotation leader failed miserably, throwing 26.2 innings, allowed 37 hits (six of which were home runs), posted a terrible 21-to-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio and failed to pitch into to the sixth inning in all but one start.
In that time, Liriano was drastically out of whack mechanically and the coaching staff had
Aaron and special guest co-hosts Parker Hageman and Joe Nelson talk about Trevor Plouffe's power explosion, Liam Hendriks' long-ball troubles, whether or not the Twins should be looking to trade Denard Span, Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau, and other veterans, why a filthy Twitter is a good thing, the development of power pitchers, and a phone call from a vacationing John Bonnes. Here are:
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No one would blame Liam Hendriks if he wakes up in the middle of the night because of some horrific dreams involving Ryan Braun. After all, the Brewers outfielder tormented Hendriks throughout the afternoon, going 2-for-2 with a pair of home runs and a walk.
Braun has inspired fear in all of baseball’s pitchers - now amassing 19 home runs thanks to his multi-homer day at Target Field - and Milwaukee’s big right-handed bat showed why he’s such a good hitter,
Unquestionably, Trevor Plouffe has been one of the hottest hitters in the month of June, smacking eight home runs and five in the past six games.
Needless to say, it took plenty of work and patience on both the part of Plouffe and the Minnesota Twins to coax this power out. If you review his minor league numbers, he was scarcely a player one would describe as being blessed with raw power. After all, he hit 49 home runs in his first 680 games in the minors, hardly a fountain of clout.
The Twins save $200,000 by locking up their number two overall draft pick, Byron Buxton, to a $6 million dollar bonus, slightly under Major League Baseball’s new slot recommendations, reports Baseball America’s Jim Callis.
As Callis mentions, Buxton’s signing represents a 25% increase over this year’s first pick of the draft, Houston’s Carlos Correa, who signed with the Astros on June 7 for a reported sum of $4.8 million.
Buxton, 18, is