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Thread: Article: Position Battle: Fifth Starter

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Let's see....what basis?.....what opinion?....how about just some simple fact-checking:

    "Cole DeVries won a spot in the season-opening rotation last season, but landed on the disabled list with a forearm issue before he could make his 2013 debut."

    http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_2...-cole-de-vries

    Give me something harder to research than this next time, please. And I stand with Thrylos and many others who post here in saying that by the time the Twins had explored every healthy option, Gibson had used up much of his arm strength- a May call-up was warranted on a rebuilding team, not wasting more and more time with guys who not only are not part of the future, but who also had no business on a major league roster as a starter.
    A player NOT playing blocks no one. DeVries on the injured list blocks no one. If DeVries were pitching as he did the previous year he wouldn't have been blocking any one. He did not pitch so one would not know how he would have pitched.
    To assert your claim that he had used up arm strength by the time he was called up is not provable. Velocity charts would hardly be conclusive to loss of arm strength. When he was drafted he was a 89-93 fastball. That is what he threw for the Twins. There were no reports of loss of speed.
    When he went back down, how Gibson pitched before appears to have worked as well as it did before he was called up. SSS a given.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
    Gibson's 2013 season needs to be put in perspective. It was his first season back from Tommy John surgery and I think that the Twins did not call him up early enough. He was called up June 29th after he had already pitched 101.7 innings in the minors (with a 2.93 ERA/3.10 FIP) and had this near no-hitter.

    Here are his game logs with the Twins in 2013. Check out the GameScore (GSc) column. 50 is average. So Gibson had a few average games, one good game, couple bad games and a horrible game. He did not pitch poorly and the "major league level" and I strongly believe that if the Twins got him up to Minnesota in May instead of late June, you'd be happier with Gibson. Like Pelfrey, give him time to heal.
    Yep, give him time to heal. There is no debate on that. What the results are this year matter. Last year was a recovery year. The question is while regaining the strength is which roster was he better off on. His results do not say it was a mistake to keep him in the minors. Is it better for him as a pitcher rebuilding strength to have bad results? If it was about learning what works and what doesn't at the major league level there was no evidence of learning. If it is honing the craft to be more consistent with his pitches and the bad games were a result of an unhoned craft, the question is what level does he play at to hone that? I think someone said mlb was about winning.
    By GSC, Albers pitched 3 gems, PJ Walters pitched a couple of good games.

  3. #83
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Let's see if I can summarize most of the current threads here. The 2014 season is not lost, but it is most important that, contrary to last year, a transition is made towards youth an improvement. All of the roster and transition debates seem to be about what course to take. That is, whether to go with the highest-upside guy right now or to help his development by going with a lower ceilinged guy. I think there are at least two factors at play here and the priority each of us has dictates how we feel about a certain debate. One priority is development--is it better for Gibson, Hicks, Pinto etc. to play every day (take a regular turn) in Triple A or is it better for them to throw these guys into the fire? Another factor is competitiveness--which players acquired or going north will help improve the W/L ledger for the Twins? A third factor is cost--some of us (myself included) are operating on the premise that money "saved" now can be spent later, others say that the Twins have plenty of money to spend to get to their own arbitrary salary budget number. We all would like to see moves that at least do not hurt the 2014 Twins, but helps future teams when Byron Buxton is the center fielder and Miguel Sano is the third baseman.

    There is merit to all sides of the debate. There are, of course, differences of opinion on the upside and usefulness of several players. I think the right course is somewhere in the middle. Ryan, Gardy, and the rest of the Twins brass need to realize that the fan base is sick of their team losing with flawed, inferior players (Joe Mauer and the Washington Generals?). However, to expect this team to turn over the whole roster and win 25 more games is a fantasy. Youth and talent, eventually, must be served. However, not a the expense of development. To me, that means that five exciting guys start their seasons in the minors--Pinto, Gibson, Hicks, Buxton and Sano) but all of them with the possible exception of BB get their chance before the leaves start to turn.

    I don't know if I'm going to be satisfied with the 25 guys that go north. I hope the veteran pitchers and catcher improve the team some and that bouncebacks improve the offense to the point that .500 stays in sight. The reinforcements should be exciting--the five guys I mentioned plus Alex Meyer, perhaps Trevor May, perhaps more.

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  5. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
    Exactly. We disagree. And I cannot as a fan say that I would want my team to have another awful season and that should be the purpose of a major league team.

    My premise is that the Twins should try to be competitive each and every season and if they are not there is something wrong. Also, with the free agent pitcher signings that Ryan did, they better be competitive in 2014.

    If someone wants to watch baseball for the sake of watching baseball and not having his team win but see his team develop players, or be entertained, there are plenty of minor and/or independent league teams to follow.

    Minor League teams' purpose is to develop players.
    Independent League teams' purpose is entertainment.
    Major League teams' purpose is winning.\

    But that is just my opinion.
    I don't think that there's a fan out there that doesn't want their team to win the world series. I do think though that this focus is a bit narrow. We all knew what last year was going to bring, and while I think most of us are expecting a losing season this year as well; I don't think that it's wrong for a fan of a team to also want to see the team set itself up to be competitive long term. Sports teams tend to be cyclical in terms of being good and being bad... and we all know the Twins have been bad. They are moving in the right direction, and I don't see any problem with people being excited about progress.

  6. #85
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wagwan View Post
    Just read a fantasy projection of the top 60 pitchers in baseball.....nary a Twin to be found.... Pretty tough to compete when ALL of your pichers are in the bottom half of the league. So all this talk about a fifth starter seems pretty useless How long will it be til the Twins have a guy ranked in the top 30? Just one pitcher ranked better thanONE other teams best?
    I'd rather have the Twins' pitchers be in the top 30 in after season reality rather than pre-season fantasy
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  7. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
    A player NOT playing blocks no one. DeVries on the injured list blocks no one. If DeVries were pitching as he did the previous year he wouldn't have been blocking any one. He did not pitch so one would not know how he would have pitched.
    To assert your claim that he had used up arm strength by the time he was called up is not provable. Velocity charts would hardly be conclusive to loss of arm strength. When he was drafted he was a 89-93 fastball. That is what he threw for the Twins. There were no reports of loss of speed.
    When he went back down, how Gibson pitched before appears to have worked as well as it did before he was called up. SSS a given.
    You're missing the point. The very fact that a player the likes of DeVries was in the opening day rotation is the point. His body of work over his career is all the evidence we need to know how he would have pitched- he was a classic AAAA player, someone you call up for a spot start, only- everyone knows that- yet the Twins foisted DeVries and the others I've mentioned as legitimate "contenders" for rotation spots, over 2 miserable seasons- before finally admitting how foolish that whole charade was this offseason.

    Gibson never even had a chance to make the opening day roster, so YEAH, he was blocked by "the likes of" DeVries- presumptively because he was coming back from a long layoff from TJ, thus requiring AAA innings. But given his advanced age and the Twins in the midst of rebuilding and not being overly concerned about the W-L record, I would have had no problem starting him out right away in the MLB rotation, if and when he proved not ready, he easily could have continued his real-time-rehab, stating every 5th day in Rochester- exactly the scenario that Pelfrey could have been convinced to pursue.

    Gibson's #1 draft pick status, good minor league career and dominanat 2013 AAA performance is all we need to know that he was wasted in Rochester by keeping him there until the end of June. It really isn't hard at all to infer that a guy on a 130+ innings limit who frequently dominated the IL during the bulk of his time there probably was reaching the end of his effectiveness by the time he was called up- based on his subsequent major league results. A tired arm, a club-imposed innings limit and the major league learning curve all combined to doom his major league numbers.
    Last edited by jokin; 02-23-2014 at 12:32 PM.

  8. #87
    Senior Member All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    You're missing the point. The very fact that a player the likes of DeVries was in the opening day rotation is the point. His body of work over his career is all the evidence we need to know how he would have pitched- he was a classic AAAA player, someone you call up for a spot start, only- everyone knows that- yet the Twins foisted DeVries and the others I've mentioned as legitimate "contenders" for rotation spots, over 2 miserable seasons- before finally admitting how foolish that whole charade was this offseason.

    Gibson never even had a chance to make the opening day roster, so YEAH, he was blocked by "the likes of" DeVries- presumptively because he was coming back from a long layoff from TJ, thus requiring AAA innings. But given his advanced age and the Twins in the midst of rebuilding and not being overly concerned about the W-L record, I would have had no problem starting him out right away in the MLB rotation, if and when he proved not ready, he easily could have continued his real-time-rehab, stating every 5th day in Rochester- exactly the scenario that Pelfrey could have been convinced to pursue.

    Gibson's #1 draft pick status, good minor league career and dominanat 2013 AAA performance is all we need to know that he was wasted in Rochester by keeping him there until the end of June.
    I know it's not my place, but I'm gonna say it anyway. Do you realize how patronizing it is to use bold for emphasis? It's never going to elicit a productive conversation. While somewhat challenging, it is possible to utilize the natural emphasis of language and grammar to embolden your points.


    And to your larger point. If Gibson succeeded at the ML level, the Twins clearly kept him down too long. If Gibson failed at the ML level, the Twins clearly kept him down too long.

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  10. #88
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
    And to your larger point. If Gibson succeeded at the ML level, the Twins clearly kept him down too long. If Gibson failed at the ML level, the Twins clearly kept him down too long.
    I remember the whole Bartlett/Castro discussion like it was yesterday. Half of the people said the Twins were wise to send him down because he was so much better than expected after his recall. The other half said the Twins were stupid to send him down because they just wasted prime playing time for a guy who was clearly more talented in every way than Castro. FWIW, I sided with the latter half.

    Unfortunately, there is just no way to prove a counter-factual. It requires an assumption. Namely, it is better to go with the more talented player rather than the more experienced player, all things considered. In the case of Gibson vs. DeVries (or Hendriks or Hernandez or...) it was obvious after May that he was the more talented player. In fact, he performed better than them at the major league level after dominating in AAA. He wasn't great, but he was better than a half dozen arms the Twins were forcing their customers to suffer through while Gibson was dominating in the minors.

    Based on his performance in the majors last year, he should start the Spring behind only Deduno for the fifth spot. I know options are an issue for the other two, and you certainly don't want to lose them. But lose them you will by the end of 2014 if not the beginning. Gibson is just the start of it. Meyer and May both have higher upside than Gibson, imho. Diamond and Worley don't belong in that group talent-wise.

    In the interim, I really just want the best five guys taking the ball every fifth day. Both Deduno and Gibson belong in that group. I'm sure the Twins will find a way to work it out. But I hope they don't fixate on keeping marginal guys because of sunk costs or other fallacious reasoning. Unlike some, I don't believe they will. This is a team that ate two years of Nick Blackburn's contract rather than letting him pitch in the majors.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  11. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
    Exactly. We disagree. And I cannot as a fan say that I would want my team to have another awful season and that should be the purpose of a major league team.

    My premise is that the Twins should try to be competitive each and every season and if they are not there is something wrong. Also, with the free agent pitcher signings that Ryan did, they better be competitive in 2014.

    If someone wants to watch baseball for the sake of watching baseball and not having his team win but see his team develop players, or be entertained, there are plenty of minor and/or independent league teams to follow.

    Minor League teams' purpose is to develop players.
    Independent League teams' purpose is entertainment.
    Major League teams' purpose is winning.\

    But that is just my opinion.
    I agree with much of your larger point Thyrlos.

    1) If I was the GM I would approach each and every offseason with the intentions to be competitive the next season. I would bring in veterans and prioritize my roster to try to win, for the most part.

    2) Once my team was no longer competitive I would look ahead to next season quickly. Can I move a veteran for prospects? Do I need to bring up a player so they can get some seasoning and help us win in future years? Etc...

    As I said I think the difference between you and I is that when I look at the moves the front office made this offseason I don't think they are even close to making this team a .500 team let alone contending for the playoffs. Ryan did very little to improve this team IMO. So I've already moved past 1 and am looking at #2, how can I make this team competitive long term.

    On the other hand you seem to believe the Twins could be around .500 this season. If I still believed that I would be at step #1 still; put the teams best foot forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
    That's totally bunk. Rookies begin typically begin 23-25, with Twins being the most conservative, so add an extra year of development. As this article shows the prime age for baseball players is anywhere between 27 and 31.
    I have no idea if Mike is right or not but your BP article on age doesn't clarify the matter as it restricts itself to batters (It uses OPS as the dependent variable). Mike can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe he was referring to pitching with his statement since we're in a thread about pitching. It is entirely possible that peak age is different between pitcher and hitter.

  12. #90
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    My, my. When I posted that the Twins should just let the marginals "slug it out" in Spring training then cut the losers--in comes the mod to scold me that the Twins "need options". Is it just me, or has there been a change in philosophy?

    I would have bet $ to doughnuts last April that the Twins would never pop to sign three (3!) free-agents pitchers whose combined annual salaries are in that forbidden zone (or was?) that Smith proposed to "fix the pitching". Yet here we are discussing "who's fifth"? Last year's discussion was more like: " Diamond is #1, Correria for sure, who are the others?" Well, approximately $30MM later--now we digress about #5. Gardy got "his wish"--players who "have won before" (veterans from playoff teams). Last year was about: "I don't need to spend $30MM to fix the pitching". Another season, another plan.

  13. #91
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    Cmath, you said it was obvious after May he was the more talented player. He was brought up sometime just after mid-June. This reminds me of the boards mini-meltdown when Buxton was sent to Ft. Myers a day or so later than some expected. I really don't think a month here and there is all that important and I'm confident our favorite team gets it right alot more often than we do.


    EDIT: I retain this confidence in our favorite team, even though they have lost 90+ games three years in a row.
    Last edited by howieramone; 02-23-2014 at 03:09 PM.

  14. #92
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
    Cmath, you said it was obvious after May he was the more talented player. He was brought up sometime just after mid-June. This reminds of the boards mini-meltdown when Buxton was sent to Ft. Myers a day or so later than some expected. I really don't think a month here and there is all that important and I'm confident our favorite team gets it right alot more often than we do.


    EDIT: I retain this confidence in our favorite team, even though they have lost 90+ games three years in a row.
    I understand keeping him down if the staff was performing. It was not. In fact, it was historically bad in the first half. They desperately needed Gibson and they still refused to do anything. That is not honoring the fans, imho.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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  16. #93
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
    My, my. When I posted that the Twins should just let the marginals "slug it out" in Spring training then cut the losers--in comes the mod to scold me that the Twins "need options".
    What am I missing, I don't see anything like that in this thread?

  17. #94
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    There is a thin line between loyalty and stubborness. The Twins front office flirts with that line often. Not only did the Twins attempt to bring in every ex-twin looking for a job this off-season, they also re-signed Pelfrey, and somehow didn't deal Correia. Yes, the Twins ate 2 years of Blackburn's contract, but only after like 4 failed rehab attempts. I think we carted him out in a wheel chair for his last couple minor league starts. What happened to playing the best player? Rewarding performance guarantees effort.

    Now they're saying that Pelfrey, one of the worst total seasons by a starting pitcher I have ever seen, is guaranteed a spot, but that our far and away best starter last season, Deduno, has to play his way onto the roster. Absurd in my mind, even with the surgery. The 5th spot is his to lose in my mind. He earned it.

    Also, is the International League the worst AAA league in baseball. I've heard it's quite bad. You see guys like Albers, Hendricks, DeVries, Slama, (Gibson?) etc. tear it up down there, then demonstrate a complete inability to be even serviceable in the bigs. Can someone comment on the strength of the IL compared to others around baseball?

    PS. Are we so sure that Diamond, Worley, or Deduno are claimed if they play their way off the 25 man? I think if any of the 3 perform that poorly, there is a good chance they pass waivers.

  18. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by Jham View Post
    PS. Are we so sure that Diamond, Worley, or Deduno are claimed if they play their way off the 25 man? I think if any of the 3 perform that poorly, there is a good chance they pass waivers.
    thanks for jumping in the debate - I am more bullish than you on Pelfrey this year - there is another thread somewhere (or check the blogs maybe) which does discuss the possibility of any of those three guys being claimed from waivers - the overwhelming consensus is that yes each of them would be.

    Howie, you actually make a good point - a month here or there in the context of the past season or two probably wouldn't make much of a difference.

  19. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
    Despite your bolding, lip-service isn't a fact (something you'd use against the organization at your behest, I think). It's easy to say someone won something that they didn't. We call those beauty prizes. That it took so long for DeVrie to earn his way back speaks far more to what the Twins thought of him, than some give-a-way quote in Spring Training. Really.

    You can pretend to know what Gibson would have done if you had this that and the other, but really, no one knows, least of all any of us. Gibson stumbled at the ML level, and it's a surrender of personal responsibility to suggest it's anything but his fault. The Twins, honestly, put him in the best position to succeed. That he didn't suggests something about both the extent of his injury and his development.
    Uhh, it was generally known that DeVries had won a spot in the rotation. This was but one of many articles and media reports that acknowledged that fact- and installing AAAA-types into the rotation had been SOP for 2 seasons running- DeVries was but one of many guys whose only qualification was posessing a pulse who got the "promotion" over Gibson.

    And regarding Gibson, I don't pretend to know what would have happened. But, as I stated, finding out at the major league level was the object and the point for all of the potential prospects n 2013. There was nothing to lose in the W-L column for the major league club last year. Gibson's superior performances were largely wasted in Rochester. Your stating that the Twins put him "in the best position to succeed" is simply your own opinion, one that many disagree with, and as it turns out, was a completely failed strategy. And it's also merely your opinion that it has something to do with the extent of his injury.

    But you're right- in that I share your opinion in this last regard, it did have something to do with the extent of his development... and that's what I've been arguing all along, that his development would have been better served at the major league level, while his arm was still fresh.
    Last edited by jokin; 02-24-2014 at 06:31 PM.

  20. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I understand keeping him down if the staff was performing. It was not. In fact, it was historically bad in the first half. They desperately needed Gibson and they still refused to do anything. That is not honoring the fans, imho.
    Right-O. Gibson's game log in Rochester is illuminating. Gibson had 15 starts in AAA before finally debuting with the Twins on June 29. In his fiirst 4 starts in April, he had 2 very good performances, one so-so, and one clinker, leaving him with an ERA of 4.43 and WHIP of 1.28. Starting in late April, in 11 starts, Gibson had an ERA of 2.61 with a WHIP of 0.99. This string all started on April 27 with 2 Complete Game shutouts (one near no-hitter), an 8-inning shut out and a 7-inning shut out performance combined with 2 totally expected clinkers through May 25.

    This was all happening while the Twins Starting Pitchers put up a 6.26 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in May. Before their demotions:

    Pedro Hernandez contributed 7 starts with a 6.19 ERA.
    PJ Walters in 7 appearances had a 6.03 ERA.
    Vance Worley in 10 appearances had an ERA of 7.21.
    Mike Pelfrey in 14 appearances had an ERA of 6.11.

    Gibson should have been up much sooner.
    Last edited by jokin; 02-24-2014 at 07:15 PM.

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  22. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
    Yep, give him time to heal. There is no debate on that. What the results are this year matter. Last year was a recovery year. The question is while regaining the strength is which roster was he better off on. His results do not say it was a mistake to keep him in the minors. Is it better for him as a pitcher rebuilding strength to have bad results? If it was about learning what works and what doesn't at the major league level there was no evidence of learning. If it is honing the craft to be more consistent with his pitches and the bad games were a result of an unhoned craft, the question is what level does he play at to hone that? I think someone said mlb was about winning.
    By GSC, Albers pitched 3 gems, PJ Walters pitched a couple of good games.
    Why are we even still discussing and defending the use of these AAAA-types? The point was that it was incumbent on the Twins to eliminate these types for legitimate contention for SP spots- particularly when blocking guys who still may fit into the long-term plan. The Twins offseason actions in, finally, signing legitimate major league starters is their admission as such- that foisting these types in a MLB rotation was pure and fanciful folly.

  23. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Why are we even still discussing and defending the use of these AAAA-types? The point was that it was incumbent on the Twins to eliminate these types for legitimate contention for SP spots- particularly when blocking guys who still may fit into the long-term plan. The Twins offseason actions in, finally, signing legitimate major league starters is their admission as such- that foisting these types in a MLB rotation was pure and fanciful folly.
    Why the AAAA veterans you ask? Because shelling-out $30MM for pitching wasn't permitted and/or wasn't claimed to be necessary. Those who were at TD's WinterMeltdown heard that "... got nothing from Worley..."--and that wasn't expected. Last year, watched Diamond turn into graphite and virtually every starter not named Correira get shelled repeatedly. In short, the 2013 plan of "ordinary" starting pitchers blew-up in the Twins face--and they didn't think that would happen! Learning fom experience (and being blessed with many $MMs available from players no longer with the team), money was spent on free-agent veteran pitchers--and the payroll remained in last year's "comfortable" range. We wait for the season to start.

  24. #100
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    I hope that there are so many candidates pitching well that this becomes a real problem.

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