Yesterday the Minnesota Twins announced that they have added Minnesota native and former Twins player Paul Molitor to their major league coaching staff. Molitor will oversee base running, bunting, infield instruction and positioning, plus assist with in-game strategy from the dugout for manager Ron Gardenhire. I don’t consider this as any kind of bold move by the Twins and I don’t see it adding any wins to the Twins victory total but with the way the Twins have run the bases the last few years it can’t hurt. Molitor served as a bench coach under Tom Kelly back in 2000 and 2001 and coached for the Seattle Mariners in 2004. Despite what has been written over the last couple of years, I still don’t see Molitor as a strong candidate to replace Gardenhire when he vacates the managers seat. I don’t think it is a secret that Molitor covets a big league managers job but teams have not exactly been knocking down his door to discuss a possible managers position with him. I find it interesting however; that Molitor has turned up as a coach with the Twins when TK was nearing the end of his tenure and with Seattle in Bob Melvin‘s final season at the helm in Seattle. Molitor isn’t exactly “Mr. Personality” so I will be interested to see how he interacts with the Twins fans in Ft. Myers come February.
Outfielder Wilkin Ramirez was activated from the 60-day disabled list and then outrighted to Triple-A Rochester. Ramirez may exercise his right to declare free agency and determine if anybody else wants him or he can choose to resign with Minnesota as Doug Bernier did recently. The Twins 40 man roster is 36 but is expected to go to 37 when Samuel Deduno is taken off the 60-day disabled list.
The Twins also announced yesterday that Twins closer Glen Perkins underwent arthroscopic surgery two days after the 2013 season ended, but he should be ready for spring training in February. Perkins, who saved 36 games in his first full season as the Twins’ closer, had the procedure to repair the meniscus in his right knee. So why did the Twins wait so long to announce this? What would they have to gain? The Twins continue to keep team medical issues close to the vest.
Outfielder Darin Mastroianni underwent surgery last week to have the pin in his left ankle removed. The hardware, removed last Wednesday, had been inserted during his May surgery to repair the broken bone in his foot, suffered during the final week of spring training. He too also is expected to be fully healed by spring training.
Baseballamerica.com did a nice little piece on Max Kepler about a week or so ago that you can read at Max Kepler Adds At-Bats In Fall League – BaseballAmerica.com.
Minor League Baseball and the Topps Company announced on October 22nd that outfielder Byron Buxton, the second overall pick in the June 2012 Draft by the Minnesota Twins, is the 2013 winner of the 54th annual J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year. Buxton finished among the top 12 MiLB™ players in six offensive categories, including a Minor League-best 18 triples. His 109 runs ranked second.
The San Francisco Giants announced that they have agreed to sign free agent to be RHP Tim Lincecum to a two-year $35 million no-trade deal pending a physical. The 29-year-old Lincecum just completed a $40.5 million, two-year contract that paid him $22 million this past season, that come out to $1.2 million per win this past season. Lincecum has a career record of 89-70 with a 3.46 ERA but that is not the whole story. After posting a 40-17 record with a 2.90 ERA in his first three seasons in the majors, his last four seasons have been a different story. During the last four seasons in which the Giants have won the World Series twice, Lincecum has won 49 games while losing 53 and his ERA has jumped to 3.87 and if you look at the last two years, he has a 4.76 ERA. His KO/9 have dropped from a league leading 10.5 in 2008 to 8.8 in 2013 and his velocity has dropped noticeably. This deal is just plain outlandish and will make this years off season hunt for free agent starters even that much more difficult for teams like the Twins that are desperate for starting pitching. I know Lincecum has won two Cy Young‘s and has thrown a no-hitter but there are many people out there that feel that Lincecum is sliding quickly and he may spend more time in the near future coming out of the bullpen then he will as a starter. This is a bad signing for the Giants and for baseball in general, the only winner here is Tim Lincecum.
The Cardinals and the Red Sox play game 1 of the 2013 World Series starting tonight and I really have no clear cut preference as who wins the Series but it might be an interesting series to watch. I am leaning a bit towards the Red Sox to win but we will have to wait and see how it turns out. Here is a little something fun for you to look at to see how the Cardinals and Red Sox regular season prices compared at the register courtesy of Team Marketing Report FactBook.