In the first game after Luis Castillo was traded, Jason Tyner started leadoff and proceeded to go 3-for-4 with a single, a double, and a triple (which was just feet from clearing the baggie in right). On just the second pitch of the game he lined it to center to start a 2-run inning, which could have been a lot more had Torii Hunter not hit into a double play.
The real story is Scott Baker. He pitched 8 innings (needing just 99 pitches), allowed just 1 run, gave up only 2 hits, didn’t walk anybody and struck out 7. Beyond that: he had seven 1-2-3 innings, with the 4th being the exception. Joe Nathan pitched a perfect 9th, needing just 9 pitches (8 for strikes) to get his 23rd save of the year.
Jason Kubel was a pretty big disappointment, striking out 3 times in 4 at-bats. He almost jacked a 2-run homer, but it was foul by just a few feet. Joe Mauer drove in all 3 runs for the Twins, 2 of them from a double in the first and the third from an 8th-inning single.
Alright, now to the major discussion surrounding the Twins: Did Terry Ryan make the right move by trading Castillo for two low-level prospects when the team is in the middle of the playoff hunt? In short: that can be answered after today’s deadline. If Terry makes another move before 3 PM today that brings a decent bat at 3rd or DH, the move to get rid of Castillo would be good. However, and Gardenhire also said roughly the same thing, Terry thinks that we can win with what we’ve got. Yeah we’ve got a nice little string of wins going, but Boof Bonser and Carlos Silva are struggling, Nick Punto‘s batting average is steadily declining towards .200 and Brian Buscher is doing alright at the plate but seems to be having a hard time defensively. Not to mention that Michael Cuddyer is out until at least Friday, and Jason Kubel has just 3 hits in his last 29 at-bats. If we don’t go after anyone else, it’s still a good move in my eyes (trust me, there are a lot of people that think it was a good move and a lot of people who are furious with what we got in return). Castillo is beyond the back half of his career; I’ll be surprised if he plays 5 more years in the Majors. He’s a free agent at the end of this year and it was widely considered that the Twins would not sign him, instead giving the spot to rookie Alexi Casilla. If we would have let Castillo go at the end of the year, there’s a small chance he would have been a Type B free agent, meaning he’s in the top 20-40% of second basemen. If he wasn’t, he would have been nothing at all and we would have received no compensation for him. The Mets are using him as a rental for the remainder of the season. I trust Terry Ryan to get the maximum talent possible if involved in a trade. These are the two guys we got for Castillo:
|Drew Butera, C||Touted for defense and pitch-calling ability, projected to be a ML backup at best|
|Dustin Martin, OF||Has 22 doubles, 6 triples, and 5 homers in 93 games in the FSL league, widely considered a pitcher’s league so numbers will be deflated. 6’2, 210 pounds should develop 10-15 HR power, projected to be a 4th outfielder in MLB.|
Besides, after Tyner’s homer, Castillo now leads the Majors for longest gone without a homer, at 600-some at-bats.
Tonight’s game starts at 7:10.