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  • Monday Morning Madness: June 23, 2014

    SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP!

    Oswaldo Arcia
    On June 4, I declared my desire to legally adopt Arcia. Since that day, he is 4 for 46 with 18 strikeouts. I withdraw my application. Not because I don't want to adopt him, but because it seems to be affecting him adversely. He has been hit by three pitches since that day, likely from jealous pitchers. A 4:3 hit to HBP ratio either means a batter is struggling or has been breaking a ton of unwritten rules. Arcia has been struggling mightily. He was recently benched for Chris Parmelee and that didn't help things whatsoever.

    The Twins could certainly send Arcia back to Rochester. That's how they handled his slumps last year. However, I'd recommend keeping him in the lineup to give him the chance to work though his struggles. Arcia appears to be a pretty streaky hitter, but he's been consistently excellent in AAA. Knowing that, the Twins need to figure out if Arcia can adjust in-season against MLB pitching. I feel pretty confident that he'll be able to get it together if he's allowed to keep swinging through his slump.

    Kendrys Morales
    Speaking of slumps. Morales had just two hits last week. He scored and drove in one run apiece. I'm sure that if I betray myself and look at the Twins' Facebook page, there will be many calling him names and loathing that he was ever signed. Ah, but it's just a slump. In fact, Morales had just four hits from June 16, 2013 to June 22, 2013, proving that he just really hates that week. Morales didn't have a spring training and he's only played a handful of games. He posted a 123 OPS+ last year, despite that one-week stretch in mid-June. He's a good hitter, he'll hit.

    Glen Perkins
    Perkins blew the save on Friday, but managed to find the will to win. He was a little shaky on Saturday, but got the job done. I saw a few individuals questioning whether or not we should be worried about Perkins. Emphatically: no. Perkins currently has the highest strikeout rate and lowest walk rate of his career. His BABIP is thirty points higher than his career figure and his strand rate is nearly ten points lower. Perkins is dominant and there's simply no reason to worry about his performance in the least.

    STOP WORRYING!

    Former Twin Update - Kevin Slowey
    The end of an era! The Miami Marlins DFA'd Kevin Slowey to make room for some super prospect or something. I hate that we live in a world where talent trumps Slowey, but I guess I'll have to learn to live with it. Slowey did that cool thing he does where he put up a much better FIP than ERA. That's so Slowey. His 5.30 ERA wasn't cutting it for a surprisingly good Marlins team. Normally, this is where I'd advocate the Twins taking a look at him, but I don't have the strength for a fake fight right now.

    Random Top Five List
    2014 AL Ground Ball Rate Leaders

    1. Dallas Keuchel - 63.7%
    2. Justin Masterson - 59.8%
    3. Jarred Cosart - 56.7%
    4. Kyle Gibson - 55.8%
    5. Sonny Gray - 55.0%

    Clearly, Gibson owns one elite skill. He has always had the ground ball reputation and it's manifesting in 2014. I'd love to see his strikeout rate jump a tad, but elite ground ball pitchers are able to have some level of success without a ton of strikeouts. However, Gibson's strikeout rate is significantly lower than those on this list and the guys who are in the 6th through 10th positions. Something to keep an eye on.

    Half-Hearted Mini-Rant - West Coast Baseball
    So the Twins are in Anaheim for some baseball this week and I am not pleased! What's with these 9 PM start times? Doesn't baseball know I have a job? Doesn't baseball know I can't stay up past 11pm or I'll be somewhat tired and irritable? Hey baseball, can we try to start these games at a reasonable hour? Hey lawmakers, why not get off your lazy keisters and do something about this problem?

    My solution? Eliminate time zones. If it's 7 PM here, it should be 7 PM everywhere. No one wants to do math to figure out when games start. No one likes to count. The sun won't cooperate? Forget the sun, let's blow it up! We'll be just fine without your heat and light, sun. Look, this is America, we can do anything! I refuse to believe that we can't engineer a better sun right here on our soil. And, we can work on it from 8-5 and it will be super easy to call our friends in Estonia after work because the times will be the same and we can all watch the Twins game together as a culture. This needs to happen.

    New Poll!
    Last month, I put up a poll and asked who would win the Twins' Cy Young Award in 2014. The results are striking, but not shocking:


    I appreciate the irreverence of those voting for Dozier. Hughes appears to be the runaway choice and he also appears to actually be running away with this fake award. Making fun of Correia seems to have inspired him and I'll gladly take full credit for that.

    I have added a new poll and if you respect the democratic process, you will vote. If you don't respect that process, you can still vote. The process respects you.

    Plugging My Way
    Last Friday, I pondered how things would be different if the Twins had drafted Mark Prior instead of Joe Mauer. It's interesting, to say the least. Here's the full text. If you just want the chain of events, here you go:

    1. Twins draft Prior
    2. Twins win 2003 World Series
    3. George Steinbrenner develops cyborg player technology
    4. MLB expands to 90,000 teams
    5. Prior retires

    It's all pretty logical.

    Parting Thoughts
    Watching the Twins beat the White Sox all weekend was very satisfying. Before the season started, I questioned how anyone could think that ratty White Sox team would be better than the Twins in 2014. They're closer than I thought (the Sox are a bit better than "ratty," I guess) but I still think the Twins are better. Oh, and that Adam Eaton is going to annoy the daylights out of me for about a decade. He's scrappy. Have a great week, everyone!

    Originally posted at Kevin Slowey was Framed!


    Twins win and so do you. On Monday, get a half price large or extra-large pizza from PapaJohns.com by using the promo code 'TWINSWIN'.
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Circus Boy's Avatar
      Circus Boy -
      The second Arcia hit his grand slam, I said to myself: "The slump will begin in 3, 2, 1..." And it did. After a big hit like that, young players want that adrenaline surge every time up, and so they go fish. Now, having expected the slump, I now am confident he's enough of a gamer to correct course and start getting good swings.
    1. tarheeltwinsfan's Avatar
      tarheeltwinsfan -
      Regarding the White Sox, I just have two words to say: "They gone!"
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      If you move out to the west coast most Twins games start at 500pm and 700pm is typically the latest start time. I think tonight's game starts at 7:10.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Circus Boy View Post
      The second Arcia hit his grand slam, I said to myself: "The slump will begin in 3, 2, 1..." And it did. After a big hit like that, young players want that adrenaline surge every time up, and so they go fish. Now, having expected the slump, I now am confident he's enough of a gamer to correct course and start getting good swings.
      Not just young players. I would groan every time LNP hit a homer, rare as it was. He would then swing from his heels for a month. It always seemed he was more embarrassed that he didn't hit homers than he was about his batting average. Not a good attribute for an on base guy. It wasn't the fact that Arcia was hitting home runs but how far he was hitting them. Also a sign of swinging too hard. Arcia did have some bad luck as well this week. At least 3 line drives to first caught. Seems to have a little more upper cut to his swing now.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      I was never one of those with East Coast envy. I would rather beat the White Sox than the Yankees so last weekend was good for me.
    1. Circus Boy's Avatar
      Circus Boy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
      Not just young players. I would groan every time LNP hit a homer, rare as it was. He would then swing from his heels for a month.
      Must be getting old. Couldn't think of who LNP was for the longest time. Little Nicky Punto, of course.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Excellent stuff as usual
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
      Excellent stuff as usual
      Thanks, i really appreciate that!

      For the record, I don't care which time zone we use so long as everything I enjoy starts right around the time I get my baby to go to sleep and ends when I get tired. I'm not greedy.
    1. Twins Daily Admin's Avatar
      Twins Daily Admin -
      I've been wondering who to blame about Arcia's slump. I'm glad to hear it's Brad.
    1. tshide's Avatar
      tshide -
      Great article, I look forward to this every week.
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