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Minnesota Twins 2009 offseason/2010

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#1 drleather2001

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 09:33 AM


I'm going to try to take the lead on all things Twinkies this off-season. If I'm going to be able to criticize the team to the myriad fans I'm now friends with, I better get cracking on the info.

Let's start with the field.

Newsday's Ken Davidoff paid a visit to Target Field and had nothing but good things to say. Coming from a NY based reporter, I think that's promising.

Here's a picture from a few months ago (not completed) of the view from the 3rd base side:

View at night (again, place is still under construction):

From CF:

From the outside:

In relation to downtown MPLS:

Metrodome Target Field
Approximate capacity 55,300 40,000
Seating in Lower Level 22,289 19,000
Seating in Upper Level 32,445 13,000
Seating in Club Level N/A 7,000
Suites 95 54
Concourse Width (main) 22 feet 40 feet
Concourse Width (upper) 22 feet 2644 feet
Restrooms 256 (w), 192 (m) 401 (w), 266 (m)

L Foul Line: 339
Left Field: 377
Center: 404
Right Field: 367
R Foul Line: 328

Edited by drleather2001, 22 October 2009 - 09:38 AM.

#2 drleather2001

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 09:37 AM

Twins name some new managers in their minor league system.

One of them is Joe Mauer's brother, Jake.

Let the speculation that this is another effort to make Joe go for a "hometown discount" begin.

#3 drleather2001

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 12:06 PM

Nathan has bone chips removed from elbow. Doesn't cite it as a reason for blowing game 2:

Star Trib article

Also, Justin Morneau is on track after his procedure to get a chip removed from his wrist.

#4 drleather2001

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 12:46 PM

JJ Hardy for Carlos Gomez.


#5 drleather2001

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 06:46 PM

Twins offer arbitration to Pavano, and Mauer sets opening day deadline for contract extension. Talks have yet to start (same link).

Edited by drleather2001, 01 December 2009 - 06:47 PM.

#6 Altonjohn329

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 07:30 AM

The other player the Twins have had serious interest in is Joe Crede, who is coming off surgery to repair a herniated disk (a procedure he had once before in 2007), sending a scout to his recent work out in Arizona.How bout a trade of one of your young starters such as Boof Bosner for David Fresse of the Cardinals. We have entirely too many quality 3B prospects and it is starting to get really crowded. He is solid on Defense and has some pop plus he is cheap

#7 mabrowndog

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 07:28 PM

Twins are hosting the Cards right now at Target Field on MLB Network. The new digs look absolutely gorgeous.

#8 drleather2001

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 07:31 PM

QUOTE (mabrowndog @ Apr 2 2010, 07:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Twins are hosting the Cards right now at Target Field on MLB Network. The new digs look absolutely gorgeous.

I have tickets for the 3rd game at Target (against the Sox). I'll give you a first hand account afterwards, but by all accounts it's very impressive.

It's fantastic that it's smack-dab in downtown, too. 10 minute bus ride from my apartment!

#9 Manny ActaFool

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 04:45 PM

Had the privilege of going Friday night. Stadium is pretty spectacular, it was a beautiful night for this time of April, and the wind was a nice reminder how much Twins fans have missed out on the last 30 years. Having open concourses to the field is another thing I never really thought about until I saw this field.

Just a couple of things some friends mentioned - sight lines aren't as good as they expected (2nd row of Right-Center couldn't see much of left field), but I didn't have time to verify for myself. Also the crowds coming out of the stadium will be interesting - this part of downtown hasn't seen a crowd of 40K spill out into the streets (add an extra 2K if the Wolves are playing:). For those of you that haven't been here, it has a pretty decent bar scene in the area and they're looking to upgrade quite a bit in the next few years.

Will be going to the second Sox game next week. If I can get any good pics I'll post them.

#10 drleather2001

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:08 PM

I went on Thursday.

I've been to probably a dozen MLB parks, past and present, and I'd say this is somewhere in the top 3. It's on a very small footprint, so no matter where one sits, you aren't that far from the field. I was sitting in Section 306, the top level above 1st base, and it was just fine. If you can go, try to sit on the 3rd base side, because then you get the view of the city in the background, which is pretty nice.

Getting into and out of the park was incredibly easy, despite arriving just 10 minutes before opening pitch and leaving exactly as the game ended.

The food options are pretty solid, with some Minnesota flair (the "Vincent Burger" is an extra large juicy lucy with shredded beef mixed with the molten cheese, and there are some "State Fair" stands with kettle corn, corn on the cob, turkey legs, and porkchop-on-a-stick).

That being said, and with the caveat that it was a sellout which won't happen all the time once the novelty of the new stadium wears off sometime around June, the concourses were pretty packed. It was tough to get to any place to stand and watch while moving around. This was slightly disappointing, as I found that at the new(ish) stadiums in Detroit, Philly, and Cincinnati it was easy to stake out a place and watch the game from different angles. Again, however, every time I went to those games the park was probably only half full, so it's not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.

Also, Target Field has a leg up on those places because it's not built in the same Open Steel Framework mold which can, to me, feel impersonal if supremely practical. The tan stone is a nice touch, and a clever substitute for the brick that is ubiquitous in the "retro" ballpark fad.

In short, the stadium is much like Minnesota itself: pleasant but not exciting, welcoming but not lavish, and pretty but not awe-inspiring.

I give it an 8/10.

Edited by drleather2001, 17 April 2010 - 12:11 PM.

#11 rembrat

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 04:19 PM

I have a question you might help me with Doc..

How are the Twins planning on handling Kubel and Thome? Both are DHs and LHHs. How will they divide up the PA between the two?

#12 SoxFanSince57

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 10:42 AM

Target Field: Statues of Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew and Harmon Killebrew

#13 PandaSox

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 12:23 PM

Wow, this thread is one of the more dormant ones in Adopt-a-Team. Surprising, since the Twins are one of the best teams in baseball right now. Anyways, the Twinkies locked up the Central Division championship on Tuesday night, beating the Cleveland Indians and then watching as the White Sox lost their eighth straight game out west to the A's. At 92-60, they're fully in the hunt for both the best record in all of baseball and home field advantage throughout the entire American League playoffs (yeah, Selig can go screw himself). But perhaps most intimidatingly, they're playing over .700 ball since the All-Star break. We always give them shit for bending over and spreading their cheeks for the MFYs, but this year they might have a chance. Or not. In any case, it's been a very good year for the Twins, and with payroll at an all-time high (almost $100 million) and a 74-game home sell out streak going, it looks like the first year of Target Field has been successful.

#14 PandaSox

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 12:25 PM

Twins get swept in Detroit - thankfully they clinched earlier this week. In Game 1, Liriano goes only 3+ innings before being pulled for "flu-like symptoms," at the same time as shortstop Alexi Casilla. In the second game, the Twinkies jump out to a 5-0 lead thanks to a Danny Valencia grand slam, but end up losing 11-10 in 13 innings as Carl Pavano struggles and the bullpen falters. Valencia also commits two costly errors that night. And in Game 3, Brian Duensing makes it through a quality start before giving up a 2 run homer to Miggy Cabrera.

Following the Twins is like falling in love with a girl with a bipolar personality. Sometimes they play really, really well (.700 ball since the ASB) but at other times, they look like the backup squad in Spring Training. This weekend, they were definitely the latter.

If the Twins maintain their current position in the standings, they will play the AL Wild Card winner at home while Texas gets the AL East champion on the road. The MFY's/Skankees/Evil Empire have had a lopsided amount of success against the Twins in the past - let's hope that this doesn't repeat itself this year.

#15 PandaSox

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:52 AM

After dropping two more games in jaw-droppingly incompetent fashion to the Royals, of all teams, the Twins got stuff straightened out tonight behind Scott Baker, who went five strong innings, giving up a couple of runs in his audition for the long-relief spot on the Twins' playoff roster. Delmon Young drove in the key go-ahead run off of Gil Meche in the seventh, who took over from Luke Hochevar. The Twins are now 93-65, one game behind both New York and Tampa for best record in the AL.

With the Red Sox eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday night, the Twinkies are officially my "playoff team" this year. Let's hope they do better against the Yankees this year.

#16 drleather2001

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 12:01 AM

Fucking seriously? 0-10 in the last 10 playoff games?

What the fuck?

#17 PandaSox

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:50 AM

Fucking seriously? 0-10 in the last 10 playoff games?

What the fuck?

Major fail.

#18 drleather2001

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 03:53 PM

Twins win bidding war fro Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

Kaz Matsui part 2?

#19 MN Dirt Dog

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 02:49 AM

I was born and raised in Minnesota, and I grew up watching the 1987 and 1991 World Series teams. My family has since relocated to Boston a year and a half ago, so it's been interesting to see the many contrasts between the two teams. Honestly....Twins fans group Red Sox fans with Yankee fans, and many readily admit to chalking it up to an inferiority complex. Many blame "spending" without putting too much thought into the benefits that team gets from MLB's soft salary cap structure. For that, they then blame ownership, even though this year the Twins finally hit the 100M payroll mark.

Many blame Gardenhire, the manager of the year, for the Twins' repeated failures (often at the hands of the Yankees) in the playoffs. Killer thing, they don't just lose and slide off into the sunset. Some of those losses have reeked of epic fail.

There's a very real chance former MVP Justin Morneau doesn't recover from Post-Concussion Syndrome and decides to retire. That they won the Central Division is a testament to a steady Michael Cuddyer, a solid (if not repeat-type MVP numbers) Joe Mauer, a realized-potential year from Delmon Young, and a young but solid starting pitching staff.

Or it could be an indictment on the recently weak AL Central.

So 2011 will be an interesting year. They're set up decently salary-wise. Will be good to have a healthy Joe Nathan return to close games again. A normally solid Twins pen could lose steady 8th inning guy Matt Guerrier, (who I could see the Red Sox pursuing), but the pitching is set.

That team *should* do better in the post-season than it has. It's really a mystery as to why they haven't.

#20 MN Dirt Dog

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 04:34 AM

With the Red Sox eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday night, the Twinkies are officially my "playoff team" this year. Let's hope they do better against the Yankees this year.

Posted Image

#21 PandaSox

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 01:19 AM

After suffering a concussion last year, Justin Morneau is back on the field. He went 1 for 2 today with a three-run double.

The Twins had an interesting offseason, as recapped by MLBTradeRumors:

Major League Signings

Carl Pavano, SP: two years, $16.5MM. Team cannot offer arbitration after 2012 season.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B/SS: three years, $14.3MM. Includes $5.3MM posting fee.
Jason Kubel, OF/DH: one year, $5.25MM. Club option exercised.
Jim Thome, DH: one year, $3MM.
Eric Hacker, P: 40-man roster deal.
Total spend: $39.05MM.

Notable Minor League Signings

Chuck James, Matt Brown, Rene Rivera, Steve Holm, Phil Dumatrait, Jeff Bailey, Justin Huber

Trades and Claims

Acquired RP Jim Hoey and RP Brett Jacobson from Orioles for SS J.J. Hardy, IF Brendan Harris, and $500K
Claimed P Scott Diamond in Rule 5 draft from Braves
Acquired RP Paul Bargas from Rockies for C Jose Morales
Claimed P Dusty Hughes off waivers from Royals

Notable Losses

Orlando Hudson, J.J. Hardy, Nick Punto, Brendan Harris, Jose Morales, Matt Guerrier, Jesse Crain, Jon Rauch, Ron Mahay, Brian Fuentes, Rob Delaney, Randy Flores

While the Nishioka signing has generally attracted a lot of interest, sabre-friendly observers have been somewhat disappointed by the Hardy trade (Jim Hoey, the main piece of that salary dump, throws 97-98 mph regularly but can't find the plate to save his life). From a holistic perspective, Twins GM Bill Smith has basically chosen to return the same product that won 94 games and got swept by the MFY to the field. They may win the Central again (or maybe not, both the Tigers and the White Sox made some hefty upgrades), but they are the same collection of young, strike-throwing command pitchers and veteran presence (Thome, Pavano) that for better or worse represent the best of American League flyover country baseball. And I say the last statement with all due respect, since my parents live in Minnesota and I spent five or six years of my life there.

#22 PandaSox

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 09:39 AM

Twins' rotation and 25-man roster SET to begin the season. They open April 1 against Toronto.

Starting rotation:
Carl Pavano, RHSP
Francisco Liriano, LHSP
Nick Blackburn, RHSP
Brian Duensing, LHSP
Scott Baker, RHSP

Joe Nathan, RHP, CL
Matt Capps, RHP, SU
Jose Mijares, LHP, LOOGY
Glen Perkins, LHP, MR
Jeff Manship, RHP, MR
Dusty Hughes, LHP, MR
Kevin Slowey, RHP, SW

Justin Morneau, 1B
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B
Alexi Casilla, SS
Danny Valencia, 3B
Joe Mauer, C
Drew Butera, C
Matt Tolbert, IF

Denard Span, CF
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, RF/DH
Delmon Young, LF
Jason Repko, OF

Designated Hitter:
Jim Thome

#23 drleather2001

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 11:53 AM

Welp, the season has started pretty poorly for the TC guys.

Facing a sweep in Toronto, Mauer is not in the lineup today because he got dinged up in practice blocking pitches.

#24 MN Dirt Dog

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 03:04 PM

If you thought the Red Sox were having problems hitting.....the Twins are mired in an awful offensive slump.

The team's .203 BA and .262 OBP is good for second worse in the league, and have managed a whole 2 home runs, along with Seattle and Oakland who, not conincidentally, they're playing this weekend. I've caught a couple games, and while they're good for the "pitcher's duel" folks, there's just not much offense happening. Mauer and Morneau are batting .207 and .185 respectively, although Justin's helping his cause with a 3-3 effort today.

check that....Oakland just blew up in the 6th, tagging Scott Baker for 4 runs. That lead probably feels insurmountable.

However to the Twins' credit, they did go into Yankee stadium last week and steal a 5-4 win with a extra-inning comeback against the Yankees, as Gardenhire's record on the road in Yankee Stadium is absolutely abysmal.

#25 PandaSox

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 10:36 AM

The season thus far has been nothing short of a disaster for the Twins. They are 4-10, nearly as bad as the Red Sox. Unlike the Sox, however, team health is already proving to be an issue. New second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka, imported from Japan, had his fibula broken on April 8 when Nick Swisher slid into him trying to break up a double play. Joe Mauer is on the DL with bilateral leg weakness that is supposedly a result of offseason knee surgery combined with a nasty case of the flu. AAA callup Steve Holm has been predictably unimpressive as his replacement.

Add to that the fact that Justin Morneau is hitting .208/.250/.302 with no home runs, and that Joe Nathan has blown two saves in the past three games (spoiling a great eight-inning start by Carl Pavano on Thursday and a seven-inning gem by Scott Baker last night), and the Twins look absolutely terrible right now.

The latest news is that Matt Capps will be replacing Nathan as closer, as Nathan moves into a setup role. Even so, losing four straight has to hurt, and the Twins go into today's game at Tampa facing the distinct possibility of a sweep and a 4-11 record. Times are tough in Minnesota.

#26 MN Dirt Dog

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 01:19 AM

Morneau, Mauer and Delmon Young have all been battling a nasty flu virus....Mauer to the point of the DL stint and eventual weakness. Christ, what's in the walls at TF?

Seriously though....I think here's significant concern about Morneau's ability to return to be the player he was before last year's concussion. In a press conference earlier this week, Gardenhire used the words "it's scary" almost half a dozen times discussing Morneau. He also said it was "not the right thing to do," regarding a late-inning pinch-hit appearance.

Those words should cause worry for the organization.

#27 PandaSox

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 06:57 PM

Twins win two in a row against the first-place Cleveland Indians (yes, you read that right). Brian Duensing goes 7 IP, 1 ER on Saturday to lead the Twins to a blowout 10-3 win, while Carl Pavano gets the benefit of replay on a double high off of the right field wall at Target Field today to soldier through 7 IP while giving up 3 ER.

More encouraging than the solid starting pitching (which has been great for about a week and a half now) is the fact that Kubel, Cuddyer, and Morneau are all starting to hit. Kubel keyed the winning rally today with a double to right field. Until Mauer returns, this remains a fundamentally flawed lineup, but the fact that the bats are at least starting to awaken is encouraging.

Minnesota's next series is a home three-gamer against Tampa. Two weeks ago, Tampa took three of four from Minnesota by forcing both Nathan and Capps to blow saves at Tropicana Field. The bullpen remains a concern for Gardenhire's squad.

Hey, at least Nick Punto isn't around anymore...

#28 PandaSox

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 01:10 PM

Despite Francisco Liriano's no-hitter (an exciting game to watch), the Twins are still in a lot of trouble.

Joe Mauer (bilateral leg weakness/flu), Delmon Young (toe), and Tsuyoshi Nishioka (broken fibula) are all on the disabled list with a variety of ailments. Scott Baker and Brian Duensing (both of whom we will see this weekend at Fenway) remain the team's best starters, as Carl Pavano, Nick Blackburn, and Liriano have all struggled thus far this season.

The Twins lost six games in a row - they were swept by the Rays and then ROYALS, of all teams. The starting pitching was mediocre, the bullpen was atrocious, Alexi Casilla continues to make numerous errors at short, and on top of all of that, they are the worst offense in the American League right now. Then they bucked up and won two in a row against Chicago, earning them the luxury of NOT having the worst record in the AL coming into this four-game series at Fenway.

If there was ever a time to beat up on this team, it is now. They are (aside from the "Sewer Series" earlier this week vs CWS) the weakest defending division champs in all of baseball right now.

#29 PandaSox

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 01:19 PM

Twins were swept by Toronto this weekend. They have lost eight straight: lost 3 to Boston, 2 to Detroit, and 3 to Toronto. Joe Mauer is still not close to returning. Ugly, ugly scene in Minnesota right now.

RHP Jim Hoey optioned to AAA Rochester.
Jose Mijares to the 15-day DL.

Anthony Swarzak and Phil Dumatrait called up to the major league club.

They head out west tonight to play Seattle. Scott Baker will face Michael Pineda.

#30 jon abbey

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 04:15 PM

14-2 since June 2, they're not quite right back in the Central race but they've erased a lot of the deficit. They've been led by pitching, 12 runs total allowed over the last 7 games and four one run wins in a row.

#31 drleather2001

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:50 AM

The Twins are in deep shit, both short term and long term.

They've lost five in a row again, have three starting players with an OPS+ over 100. Their starting pitching is pretty average, as is their bullpen aside from future closer (it seems) Glen Perkins. Mauer appears to be having a lost season, and Morneau (who was likewise lost) is out for 5 more weeks. It seems a given that this season is a bust. But what concerns me is that their future looks pretty bleak.

If Mauer and Morneau, who should be in their primes right now, can't bounce back next year, they are in a world of hurt. Thome will almost certainly retire after this year. In addition, they'll still have to replace/re-sign Cuddyer and Kubel. Cuddy is earning $10MM this year, and Kubel gets $5MM. Delmon Young ($5MM) is also a FA to be.

All of these guys might take a hike. Some probably for better, some for worse:

Nathan, Perkins, and Capps are all up for grabs. That's (arguably) their three best BP guys, although only Perkins will likely get a lot of interest. Swarzak is also a FA.

Liriano, Duensing, and Slowey are all FAs come October.

In short, literally half the starting team is going to need re-signing or replacement at the end of 2011. And any replacements they sign will have to make up for what might be iffy performances from their two superstars.

Looks pretty bad.

Edited by drleather2001, 27 June 2011 - 10:52 AM.

#32 Wake's knuckle

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:59 AM

Yeah, so much for the heroes of the "small" market -- they move into their new digs and start to suck, despite signing the face of the franchise to big buck. Why are they working Mauer out at 1st instead of 3rd, though? As a catcher, he must have the reflexes and arm for 3rd, even with a bum knee...