Tagged: twins

The Johan Santana Trade Revisited

On January 29, 2008, the Twins traded LHP Johan Santana to the New York Mets  receiving in return  CF Carlos Gomez, RHP Phillip Humber, RHP Deolis Guerra, and RHP Kevin Mulvey.  I am going to try to analyze this trade without using hindsight, though it probably won’t work.

Johan Santana, was acknowledged as one of, if not the best, pitcher’s in baseball when the Twins opted to trade him, the Twins selected the Mets’ offer of top prospect Carlos Gomez, and three pitcher’s, over offers by the Red Sox, and the Yankees.
In the 2008 season Santana put up ace numbers: 16-7, 2.53 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 234 1/3 IP.  He has put up similar numbers in 2009.
The prospects Minnesota acquired haven’t fared anywhere near that well.  Carlos Gomez looked like baseball’s next young star at the beginning of the ’08 season, but after a torrid start, including hitting for the cycle, it all went downhill, as he finished with a .258/.296/.360 batting line.
 Former first round draft choice Humber gave up 6 runs in 11 2/3 IP in 2008, and was DFA’d by the Twins in April of ’09.  He was demoted to Triple-A, where he is struggling as a starter.
Deolis Guerra has bad control problems, and has failed to impress, he is in his third season in Class A Advanced.
Mulvey, currently a 24-year old pitching at Triple-A, has some minor control issues to work out, he projects as a number 4 starter.
All in all, the Mets are clear winners in this trade, not because of Santana, but because they gave up a minimal amount of talent.  While Santana’s contract would have been up after the ’08 season if he hadn’t been traded, Minnesota certainly could have used him in ’08, and used the draft pick’s he would have netted.  Fire Bill Smith!!!
This Day In Baseball History

1916-At Braves Field, right-hander Tom Hughes no-hits the Pirates, 2-0. ‘Salida Tom’ will finish the season with 16-3 record, the best win-loss percentage in the National League, for the third-place Boston club.

1933-The previous season’s National League batting champ, Lefty O’Doul, and pitcher Watty Clark, a 20-game winner the previous season, are traded by the Dodgers to the Giants for first baseman Sam Leslie.

1957-In a three and two-third innings relief appearance, Dixie Howell hits two home runs helping the White Sox beat the Senators, 8-6.

1964-In a 7-1 victory over the Astros, Cardinal third baseman Ken Boyer hits for the cycle. In the same game, Lou Brock, recently obtained from the Cubs for Ernie Broglio, makes his debut in a St. Louis uniform with two hits, including a triple, and the fleet outfielder also steals a base.

1969-In an effort to return major league baseball to Milwaukee, the Chicago White Sox play a home game at County Stadium where only 13,133 fans show up to see the ‘home’ team beat the Pilots, 8-3. Ironically, the visitors will leave Seattle next season to move to the ‘Cream City’ with the one-year old American League franchise becoming known as the Brewers.

1969-In the bottom of the first inning at Metropolitan Stadium, Tony Oliva and Rod Carew complete a double steal swiping second and third base repectively. On the next pitch thrown by Angels’ starter Tom Murphy , the pair repeat the feat, as Carew steals home for the sixth time this season tying the American League record.

1978-Reds’ right-hander Tom Seaver no-hits the Cardinals, 4-0. It is Tom Terrific’s first no-hitter after coming close three times his 12-year career.

1989-Reds’ right-hander Tom Seaver no-hits the Cardinals, 4-0. It is Tom Terrific’s first no-hitter after coming close three times his 12-year career.

1991-Against the Reds, Phillies’ right-hander Andy Ashby strikes out the side on only nine pitches to become the 12th pitcher in National League history to use the minimum amount of pitches needed to record three strikeouts in one inning. The Philadelphia rookie becomes first in franchise history to accomplished the feat.

1997-At Yankee Stadium, the Mets beat their cross-town rivals, 6-0, in the first-ever regular season game between the two teams. Dave Mlicki throws a complete game shut out blanking the Bronx Bombers on nine hits.

2001-John Olerud becomes the 21st player to hit for the cycle more than once his career. Among all of the players who have accomplished hitting a single, double, triple and home run in the same game, the Mariners’ first baseman has the fewest career triples with just 12 in his 13-year major league stint

2006-In the sixth inning of 9-8 to Linx in Ottawa, Brandon Watson of the Columbus Clippers breaks the 95-year old International League record by extending his hitting streak to 43 consecutive games. The Nationals farmhand, who is batting .360 during this stretch, eclipses the mark set by Jack Lelivelt of the Rochester Hustlers by set in 1912.

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The Indians Are Done

It’s still early in the season, but when your offense can’t score, when your marquee player is injured, and when this happens you’re sunk…

  • Indians demote Fausto Carmona to Rookie League to “Work on his mechanics and mental approach”

What has happened to the 2007 version of Fausto Carmona?  As a quick reminder, that year, Carmona went 19-8, with a 3.06 ERA, and pitched 215 innings, more than he’d ever pitched in a single season.  Carmona’s performance came with an abnormally low BABIP.  What could be so bad in his mechanics to justify sending him down to Rookie league.  Sending a player to Rookie League to work on something, not rehabilitation, but i.e. mechanics, does not motivate a player, to try harder, it makes him feel insulted, and work less.  Back to the main question, what was his mechanical problem?

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  • Grady Sizemore’s injury

Elbow inflammation+possible hamstring injury = bad.  Now he may have surgery and miss six weeks .  I’ts time for Cleveland to sell players like Mark Derosa, and Cliff Lee.

This Day In Baseball History


1920-The Cardinals play their last game at Robison Field (renamed Cardinal Field in 1917), their home field since 1893, beating the Cubs, 5-2. One of new owner Sam Breadon’s first decisions is to agree to a ten-year lease for $20,000 annually allowing his team to move six blocks to share Sportman’s Park with the Browns, and then using the money from selling the aging ballpark to finance Branch Rickey’s idea of establishing a farm system by investing in a club afflilation with a minor league team in Houston, Texas.


1925-White Sox Eddie Collins, at the age of 38, becomes the sixth major leaguer to collect 3000 hits when he doubles off Washington’s Walter Johnson.


1934-Myril Hoag becomes first Yankee in franchise history to collect six hits in one game, a major league record of six singles. The 26-year old outfielder’s 6-for-6 performance helps the Bronx Bombers rout Boston at Fenway Park, 15-3.


1939-Bert and George Bebble and Carl Stotz form the Little League organization in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The three youth teams in the league have uniforms thanks to a $35 donation.


1940-Warren Spahn, who will become the winningest left-hander in baseball history with 363 victories, signs a contract with the Boston Bees (Braves). Due to a clash with manager Casey Stengel and his enlistment in the U.S. Army, the 19-year old southpaw will have to wait six years before he gets his first major league win.


1941-The New York Giants become the first team to wear protective headgear as they don plastic helmets in a game against the Pirates.


1957-After an 86-minute delay, the first fog out in major league history occurs at Ebbets Field when the umpires call off the Dodgers’ game against the Cubs due to poor visibility.


1958-Osvaldo ‘Ossie’ Virgil becomes the first black player to appear in a Tigers’ uniform. The versatile Dominican will eventually play every position but pitcher during his nine major league career.


1965-Tom Tresh hits three consecutive home runs as the Yankees blast the White Sox, 12-0.


1976-After a storm drops seven inches of rain causing floods in Houston, twenty fans canoe to the Astrodome to get rain checks for the canceled game at the enclosed stadium.


1986-Before the game against the Braves, Padres’ skipper Steve Boros tries to give ump Charlie Williams a videotape of a disputed play from the previous night and is ejected prior to the first pitch of the game.


1992-Eddie Murray drives in two runs against the Pirates to surpass Mickey Mantle (1,509) as the all-time switch-hitter RBI leader.


2002-The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission agrees to drop its lawsuit against the Twins and Major League Baseball. The deal settles a lawsuit blocking baseball’s contraction plan and removes the Twins from consideration for elimination for the 2003 season.


2006-When Eric Gagne, who will earn his first save in over a year, throws his first pitch to his receiver Russell Martin, the pair become the first All-French-Canadian battery in major league history. The pitcher and catcher both attended Polyvalente Edouard Montpetit High School, one of the few schools in Montreal which had a baseball program.


2007-At Petco Park, Trevor Hoffman becomes the first reliever to save 500 games. It takes the all-time saves leader 10 ninth inning pitches, including an 87 mph fastball thrown past Russell Martin for the final out, to reach the milestone in the Padres 5-3 victory over the Dodgers.


Early AL MVP Candidates

1. Jason Bay, LF, Red Sox

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Bay has cooled off somewhat as of late, but still is one of the top hitters in the AL.  He’s among the league leaders in .OBP, Total Bases, .SLG, .OPS, Homeruns, Runs, RBI, and Walks.  Bay is a pure hitter, he supports his team in every category, but generally doesn’t stick out in one particular category.  Bay is similar to Baltimore’s Nick Markakis, in many aspects, as a decent power hitter, with a high .OBP, and who leads, (or previously led, in the case of Bay), an underrated team.  However Bay is a better power hitter than Markakis, and now plays for a big market team.  If Bay sticks out in so called “important categories”, such as homers, and RBI’s, he will enthrall voters, if he doesn’t…, then, well he won’t…
2. Justin Morneau, 1B, Twins

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Morneau was somewhat of a suprise MVP winner in 2006, beating out Derek Jeter, and David Ortiz in a close vote.  Morneau then came in second in 2008 to Dustin Pedroia, even though he had a sub-par season.  Morneau is the kind of gritty ballplayer that is always on the field, and is a perennial MVP candidate.  Morneau is at the top of his league in Total Bases, and .SLG, and also is near the top in .OBP, RBI’s, Homeruns, every major hitting category.  This could be the year that he reaches 40 homeruns.  If he keeps this up, he wins the MVP.
3. Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays

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A No. 3 draft pick, and a top prospect, Longoria burst onto the scene in 2008, making the All-Star Game, and winning the rookie of the year.  Longoria leads the AL in doubles, and RBI’s, and is among the leaders in .SLG, Hits, Runs, Total Bases, .OPS, and Homeruns.  I see this MVP race coming down to the underrated Morneau, and Longoria.  The one concern that I see about Longoria, is that he is striking out more than he did last year, almost once a game. He’ll get some bonus publicity if he leads the Rays back for The Miracle Rays 2.
4. Why I am not including Kevin Youkilis

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Youkilis is an on-base +slugging monster, who pounds the ball, but hadn’t discovered power until last season.  While he definetly be in the top 5 on my ballot, his power numbers sadly won’t appeal to the actual voters.

Interleague “Rivalry” Matchups

  • Geographical Interleague “Rivalries”

I understand that MLB is trying to create local rivalries, and some, like the Subway Series, and the Windy City Series are actually interesting, but others, such as the Battle Of The Beltway, the Rays-Marlins Series, and the Rangers-Astros Series are ridiculously one-sided.  For the 2010 season maybe MLB should try something different, perhaps Classic World Series matchups, like Red Sox-Cardinals, Twins-Braves, or Orioles-Pirates.

Yesterday’s Best Games

  • Mets 3  Red Sox 2

What does it take for a injury-depleted team working with a two-man bench to beat one of the best closers in the game?  Answer: A miracle

And that’s what happened last night in Boston… 
In the top of the 9th inning, with left fielder Gary Sheffield on first base after leading off the inning with a walk, and two outs, Mets rookie catcher Omir Santos, an injury replacement for Brian Schneider, crushed a first pitch fastball from Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon just over the Green Monster in left field, his hit was originally ruled a double, but was ruled a 2-run homerun following instant replay, and in the bottom of the inning, J.J. Putz shut down the Red  Sox, sealing the series win for New York.
  • Diamondbacks 8  A’s 7

This game turned out to be a thriller at the Oakland Coliseum, the D-backs scored four runs in the 8th inning on key hits by Eric Byrnes, and Chad Tracy, tying the score at 5-5.  The game went into extra innings, and the D-backs appeared to seal the game when they scored 3 runs in the top of the 11th inning, but Oakland came back in the bottom half, scoring a pair of runs off D-backs closer Chad Qualls, and had runners at the corners with one out, when Jack Hannahan grounded into a double play to end the game.  The Diamondbacks won their third straight, but are still 10 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West.

  • Two More Interleague Shutouts

White Sox 4  Pirates 0

Cardinals 5  Royals 0
Game Of The Day Preview coming soon…