The Twins announced yesterday that they will have seven players going to the Arizona Fall League Peoria Javelinas this season. The players are catcher Chris Hermann, outfielders Evan Bigley and Nate Roberts along with pitchers Kyle Gibson, Caleb Thielbar, Logan Darnell and Michael Tonkin. Trainer Alan Rail will also be representing the Twins. 13 players on the current Twins roster have participated in the AFL in past years. The roots of the AFL go back to 1992 and that season the Twins participants were Derek Parks, Chip Hale, Jon Henry, Ray Ortiz, Rex Delanuez and Scott Ullger participated as a manager. The reason for the league was to have an easily accessible offseason league where players could be monitored closely and did not have to leave the country. The six clubs in the league are in close proximity to each other so not a lot of travel is required. The rules for participation have changed over the years but currently Major League clubs hold a position draft in August to determine the players who will go to Arizona, most are Double-A or Triple-A players but each club can also send one Single-A player if they wish.
A couple of days ago the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats announced that the team had three players named to the Eastern League Season Ending All-Star Team, first baseman/DH Chris Colabello, outfielder Aaron Hicks and third baseman Deibinson Romero were all named to the team which was announced from the Eastern League office. Congratulations to all three players.
We went to the Twins /Mariners game yesterday and the Twins and Samuel Deduno won 10-0. It was a warm and muggy Wednesday evening game and my wife was playing Twingo and before the first inning was over all she needed was a “base on balls” to be a Twingo winner. With Jason Vargas pitching for Seattle with a 2.3 BB/9 and Samuel Deduno pitching for the Twins with a 7.9 BB/9 I thought that would be the least of her issues but it took her until the third inning before she finally got that BB when Vargas walked Trevor Plouffe in the bottom of the third and she became a Twingo winner for the second game in a row. Who would have thought it would be tough finding a walk with Deduno pitching? Samuel Deduno pitched a superb game last night going 7 innings only allowing 2 hits with no walks. 68 of his 98 pitches were strikes, an amazing number for Deduno. I enjoy watching Deduno pitch, he does not have the best command but he knows how to get out of trouble and I hope he keeps getting better.
Then there is outfielder Denard Span. I used to real enjoy watching Denard Span play baseball but now that Span has been in the big leagues for a couple of years I see him as a malingerer. Span is not making superstar money but he is making $3 million this year, and will make $4.75 million in 2013, $6.5 million in 2014, $9 million in 2015. For that kind of money I expect Span who is still only 28 years of age to play in at least 155 games per season and since he became the full-time center fielder in 2009 he has appeared in 145, 153, 70 games and so far this season in 108 games. That does not cut it for me, if you are my regular center fielder I expect your butt in the line-up day in and day out regardless if the team is winning or losing. You get paid to play, not to sit on the bench belly aching that you are not 100%. Who is ever feeling perfect day in and day out? No one. If you worked for me in a regular job Denard, you would have been put on notice a long time ago and if you didn’t starting showing up ready to work day after day you would find yourself on the unemployment line. If I was one of Span’s teammates I would be pretty unhappy with Span and his lack of desire to play. When he does play, I am not sure that Span is willing to do what it takes to win. In my opinion a player of Span’s ability and experience should be stealing at least 25-30 bases a year and yet when he is on base he stands there and waits for someone to knock him in. Is he afraid that he will get hurt if he tries to steal a base? If I was GM Terry Ryan I would trade Span in a heart beat. Now that I am reasonably sure that Ben Revere can play center field at the big league level I get what I can for Span. I trade Span before the rest of the baseball world realizes that Span only plays when he is feeling great and his team is winning. Denard Span is part of the problem on this Twins team, he is not part of the solution. If I am building a team I want players that want to play day after day, I don’t need someone with a low pain threshold that would rather sit than play if he is not feeling 100%. Now I see that the Twins have recalled Matt Carson and put Span on the DL and there is a chance Span is done for the season. What a shocker…..
Speaking of injuries, who is making the decisions for the Twins on who stays on the roster and who goes on the DL? For the second year in a row we have players that seem to be day-to-day for a week or more. Why should Gardy manage with one hand tied behind his back because he has players sitting on his bench that can’t play that day but claim they will be ready tomorrow? I am tired of tomorrow’s, either you play or you find yourself on the DL, it seems simple enough to me, what am I missing here.