• Monday Morning Madness: July 15, 2013

    If you gave me a list of outcomes from this weekend's series with the Yankees, I would have ordered their likelihood as such:

    1. Yankees sweep.
    2. Yankees spontaneously combust; Yankee dust sweeps Twins.
    3. Yankees win 2 of 3; Twins win game 2 because all Yankees oversleep.
    4. Yankees win 2 of 3 fair and square.
    5. Twins win 2 of 3 because all Yankees lock their keys in their cars.
    6. Twins win 2 of 3 fair and square.
    7. The universe ends abruptly.
    8. Twins sweep.

    Of course, watching the Yankees yesterday, they suck. The Twins still took care of business and it was fun to watch the Yankees look like a Little League team for a magical Sunday. Here are a few more thoughts from the series:

    Brian Duensing

    A couple weeks ago, I posited that if Brian Duensing can't get lefties out, he has no value. Why is Duensing struggling? I looked at his splits versus lefties over the past four seasons:

    2010 153 15.6 .161 .217 .239
    2011 187 20.9 .217 .242 .280
    2012 178 24.3 .250 .294 .384
    2013 83 29.5 .303 .358 .400

    H% is the percentage of batted balls that went for hits. You can see that his four-year trend does not look great. His hit rate has climbed like... like, really tall stairs and his BA/OBP/SLG have climbed alongside. However, here's another chart that tells a slightly different story:

    2010 153 22.2 4.6 4.86 3.13 .204
    2011 187 20.3 3.2 6.33 2.89 .261
    2012 178 15.7 5.1 3.11 4.04 .274
    2013 83 24.4 6.1 4.00 2.63 .400

    Duensing's peripheral stats aren't quite as depressing. In fact, by xFIP, he is actually better against lefties than he has ever been. The increase in his walk rate would be troubling if the sample wasn't so small. His BABIP is sky high and his strikeout rate is higher than ever, so if he has been only unlucky, there is no reason to think he can't return to an being an effective lefty specialist. However, if he is simply getting more hittable, then it might not matter how much his BABIP drops. Again, the sample is small.

    Roster Moves

    Oswaldo Arcia got a couple days off this weekend, and he needed them. It looked like he was trying to hit a home run every time up and he was yanking his head toward right field instead of watching the ball hit his bat. Then, he got optioned to AAA on Sunday. I can't say I hate the move, although I would rather see Arcia make adjustments while facing MLB pitching. I understand why the move was made though.

    I don't really get the Chris Parmelee demotion. Perhaps Parmelee's time to get consistent at-bats with the Twins has passed. He's clearly not in the current plans and he's lost playing time to Clete Thomas of all people. Now, it seems Chris Herrmann and Chris Colabello are coming up and they should both get consistent playing time. Thus, there has to be an odd Chris out. Parmelee may never get a solid two months with the Twins, ever. Things certainly seem to be pointing in that direction.

    I don't really care about Eduardo Escobar. Mostly because...

    I like Pedro Florimon

    I just like him. I know he really isn't a good hitter and he probably isn't a long-term solution at short, but I just like him. He plays great defense and makes some really spectacular plays. He also makes some really tough plays look easy. He's quite streaky at the plate, but he can get some hits here and there. He's second to only Joe Mauer according to Fangraphs' WAR, so he clearly provides value. The Twins will likely look to upgrade at short in the coming seasons, but I wouldn't mind if Florimon is around for a bit longer.

    Enough love, time for Madness!

    Random Plug - Grant Brisbee is at it again

    Brisbee presents a series of images that show what errors look like. It's fantastic. If you read my blog, you probably have noticed that I try to create silly posts like these. However, Brisbee is on a completely different level of silliness and I can't match him. You should just go read/look at this article and have a good laugh.

    Photo Breakdown! - Oswaldo gets gum

    Lost in the shuffle of Michael Tonkin's successful debut was a quest for a specific piece of gum that was caught on camera in the background. Here's the proof:

    If you look, Arcia is pulling out massive quantities of gum. I find it unlikely that he will chew all of them.

    Now, he seems to be sorting through, likely looking for the flavor of his choice. I hope he finds it.

    It looks like he has, as he conscientiously puts the pieces he will not chew back in the bucket for the next guy. What a dude!

    Poll Results!

    Which Twin is most likely to be traded this season? 36 votes

    • Josh Willingham - 10 votes
    • Kevin Correia - 6 votes
    • Mike Pelfrey - 2 votes
    • Ryan Doumit - 7 votes
    • Justin Morneau - 11 votes

    Losing Morneau would be sad, but hopefully the Twins can bolster the farm system at his expense. I support trading all these players, but I love to wheel and deal. I've added a new poll; please vote when you have a moment.

    LOL FSNorth

    Hey FSN, what does Paul Goldschmidt look like? Who does he play for? HAHAHA! lol. It is an impressive list though.

    Link to something stupid I "wrote"

    Speaking of silliness, I created an all bird all-star team. I think there's some dignified subtlety and I hope you enjoy it. Can birds play baseball? You'll find out.

    Links to something good I read

    Twins Daily is dominating the trade deadline talk and speculation. Each MLB team will be featured and sleeper prospects and dream targets are discussed. You can find a new one each day on the front page.

    Twins Daily member Jorgenswest has also posted some great articles looking at what reasonable return would be for some of the Twins players who may be traded. He looked back at deals for similar players and analyzed those returns. If you didn't see these articles already, you should really check them out. The level of research is really helpful and impressive. He has written three as of now:

    Brian Duensing

    Glen Perkins

    Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey

    Parting Chart - All-Stars

    I realized that not only are Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins both from Minnesota, but they both graduated from high school in 2001, as well. Guess who else graduated in 2001? That's right, I did. I played baseball when I was young, too. Now, I'm not going to lie and say I remember playing against Perkins or Mauer or anything like that, but it's certainly possible. Anyway, I created this little chart that highlights our baseball accomplishments, as we will always be linked in baseball history.

    Joe Mauer Glen Perkins Brad Swanson
    High School Cretin-Derham Hall HS Stillwater Area HS Mounds View HS
    Class of 2001 2001 2001
    College None University of Minnesota University of Minnesota
    Position Catcher Closer Left Couch
    MLB Debut 4/5/2004 9/21/2006 4/1/2015
    Salary 23 Million 2.5 Million Less than Mauer made yesterday
    Best Known For Humble Midwestern charm Twitter Presence Putting Twins player heads on bird bodies
    All-Star Selections Six One Zero
    Most Impressive Baseball Feat 2009 AL MVP Pitched for Team USA in 2013 World Baseball Classic Caught a spike on a root in center field; hyper-extended knee
    Endorsements Land O'Lakes Milk Minnesota Twins Ticket Packages Voted for Nader in 2000
    Facial Hair Sideburns Neckbeard Can't grow

    And now you know that we are three completely different people. Have a nice week, everyone!
    This article was originally published in blog: Monday Morning Madness: July 15, 2013 started by Brad Swanson
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Dave T's Avatar
      Dave T -
      Parmalee was sent down for the same reason that Arcia was: Lack of production. As soon as they start crushing AAA pitching again, they'll be back. Meanwhile, Colabello could hardly be worse than these two.
      I think the better question is, what took them so long to do this? The excuse I read in the paper is, they wanted Colabello to play in the AAA all-star game, an honor he richly deserved. Hmmm. Having watched one bad at-bat after another lately, I wish they had promoted Colabello sooner.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      You bring up an important point about Duensing. The idea that he hasn't been effective against LH batters this year is an unfounded myth. I put a lot more stock into the excellent peripherals than the unsustainable .400 BABIP.
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Parmelee should be sent down a while ago. Florimon has been doing all right lately. But he is not really impressing anyone. Escobar has not had much playing time. Actually I like Escobar better because he is younger. I think Escobar is going to take Carroll's job next year.
    1. Snortwood's Avatar
      Snortwood -
      Colabello has a long swing. He's going to K relentlessly against MLB pitching. My guess is he's feasted on "work on it here" off-speed stuff offered up at AAA. TBD, but he didn't show much bat-speed his first go round this season w the Twins. Strictly filler until real talent rises for an extended stay.
    1. Zyax's Avatar
      Zyax -
      What was your left couch doing in center field?
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zyax View Post
      What was your left couch doing in center field?
      It was a lapse in judgment.
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