by, 09-21-2012 at 08:00 AM (526 Views)
A couple of milestones happened for the Twins during the past week. The team won a series against the Indians but as part of that series, Josh Willingham crushed his 35 home run of the season and Liam Hendriks picked up his first victory at the big league level. These might not seem like very important numbers but the story behind those numbers gives a little bit more meaning to these milestones.
For Willingham, he became the first Twins player to hit 35 home runs since Harmon Killebrew in 1970 to knock that many out of the park. Other players like Justin Morneau, Gary Gaetti, and Kent Hrbek have gotten to 34 home runs but the Hammer becomes the first player since Killer to reach this plateau. There is a chance for Willingham to reach the 40 home run mark and that would be a cool milestone to reach in a miserable season.
For Hendriks, the first victory might not seem like that big of a deal. Every pitcher in baseball can usually get lucky and find some way to earn a victory as a starter or as a relief pitcher. It took Hendriks until his 18th MLB start to finally get his first win. That is quite the stretch of bad luck for Mr. Hendriks and it wasn't all related to his bad performance on the field. He pitched a complete game against Seattle at the end of last month and still got the loss by giving up a solo-home run. Going into last start, the Twins were only averaging 3.38 runs of support for Hendriks so it was nice for him to get his first victory out of the way.
But enough about the milestones from the last week, let's jump into this week's edition of "Friday Links-N-Thinks."
- The Twins might have scored a lucky break with the deep pitching market this offseason.
- Denard Span's last hurrah with the Twins could be taking place in the coming weeks.
- Cedar Rapids is going to be the new home of the Twins Low-A affiliate. Bye-bye Snappers.
- With one affiliate moving, it brought up questions of a Twins minor league team in St. Paul.
- Every team in baseball has at least one 35 home run hitter since the last time the Twins accomplished the feat.
- Would a contract extension with Josh Willingham make sense? His value has been outstanding in 2012.
- A deal with Scott Baker could make sense for the club.
- It was the Twins annual rookie dress-up as the team headed to Detroit. Check out Ben Revere's Twitter account for a bunch of pictures.
- Rene Rivera was not happy the Twins called up Chris Herrmann this week.
- Miguel Sano and Oswaldo Arcia were both named to the Baseball America 2012 Minor League All-Star Team.
- The Rochester Red Wings GM Dan Mason was named the International League Executive of the year.
- In a sad bit of news, former Twins player Jack Kralick passed away this week.
- Left-handed pitching prospect David Hulbut of the Twins joined Twitter so everyone should give him a follow.
- Joe Mauer is going to have a tough time going for the batting title if the umps aren't on his side.
- It doesn't matter what your flavor is, Mauer's is better.
- Ever wonder what the lowest-attended home game in Twins history...
- This photo from photographer Brace Hemmelgarn gives a look into Target Field at 4:03 in the morning.
- A bird relieved itself on the cap of Tommy Hunter this week.
- It's new school versus old school in the race for the AL MVP. Will Miguel Cabrera and his Triple Crown stats over take the Trout's rookie year?
- Jim Leyland doesn't like Sabermetrics and he doesn't think they should be used in the MVP race.
- Baseball teams are going to be getting a lot more money because of the new TV deal.
- NBC took away a World Series Championship from the Cubs this week.
- It sounds like Jim Thome is close to returning to the line-up for the Orioles (but I've said that over the last couple weeks...)
- I guess Royals games are getting a little out of hand in the underage drinking department.
My Weekly Rundown:
- Monday: Pedro Florimon lining up to be Opening Day Starter
- Tuesday: Should Scott Diamond be shutdown?
- Wednesday: Joe Mauer racing for fourth batting title
- Thursday: Career of lost opportunities for Alexi Casilla
Video of the Week: Trevor Plouffe had an odd moment the series finale with the Indians. He crushed a ball to deep center field and it looked like the outfielder was going to be able to make a play on the ball. It turns out the ball was well over his head but he faked out Plouffe in the process. Check out the video to see Plouffe's reaction to his "surprise" home run.