Craig Monroe finally showed fans why the Twins are paying him $3,820,000 this season. He went 3-4 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored, including his first homer of the year, to help the team score the 5 runs necessary to beat the A’s. Delmon Young and Jason Kubel helped too, Young collecting 2 hits and scoring a run while Kubel only had one hit but he scored a run and also had an RBI.

 

Mike Lamb also went 3-4 and had an RBI, but his batting average is still just .186. I’m still a believer that he can be a successful and productive 3B for us, and truthfully his slump isn’t as bad as Carlos Gomez‘s. He did have that great diving catch a few days ago, but is 1-18 in his last 4 games. He also has 7 strikeouts and 0 walks in that span (in fact, only has 1 walk all season, and it came in the first game) and hasn’t stolen a base since April 16th. Gomez made his first error last night, too. But Denard Span hasn’t done much, either. Even though he stole his 3rd base of the season last night, he’s hitting .222 in his limited time up here, and all of his hits have been singles.

 

Speaking of stolen bases, Nick Punto picked up his 2nd of the year last night also. But, he also made a fielding error (which I didn’t see.)

 

Livan Hernandez, for lack of a better word, labored last night. He threw 109 pitches in just 6 innings, allowing 7 hits and 4 runs. He walked 2, struck out 3, and gave up a 2-run dinger in the 6th inning.

Luckily, Juan Rincon pitched better than he has and didn’t give up any runs while bridging the gap to Pat Neshek, who also pitched a scoreless inning (it took him just 7 pitches). Joe Nathan got 3 strikeouts to record his 7th save of the season. The team has just 10 wins and if this pace keeps up, Nathan is in line for a career year:

 

Team Wins 65 70 75 80 85
Saves Pace 45.5 49 52.5 56 59.5

 

Nathan has never saved more than 44 games in a season.

 

Notes from other things remotely involving the Twins-

DH Frank Thomas was released by the Blue Jays recently and some Twins fans think the team should make a move to sign him. I’m of the opinion that it’s a horrible idea, and here’s why:

  • Let’s assume he’d be our DH; when Michael Cuddyer gets back, where does Kubel play? Delmon has LF locked up
  • Thomas wants to play for a contender. I’m not saying the Twins suck, but I like to be realistic when thinking that it’d be a shock to everyone if we made the playoffs this year
  • Thomas is on his way down, as far as careers go. The Twins are trying to build for 2010, i.e. the opening of the new ballpark

If anybody has reasons why the team should make a move to sign him, please feel free to put them into a comment.

 

Looking at the 2008 MLB draft, it’s encouraging to see the Twins with 3 picks in the first 31 selections of the draft. Although it’s almost a given they will select a lesser prospect higher than they should, simply due to money issues, it still gives them a chance to get a possible future star and a couple more legitimate ball players. Although I don’t believe I ever posted about it, I kind of liked the idea of not signing Craig Monroe (and still don’t, even after last night’s performance) and instead spending that $3,820,000 on additional draft budget, allowing the team to possibly sign more high-profile players.

 

Today is April 23rd, which just happens to be my birthday. Beyond that, I want to give thanks to the Star Tribune for the 4 following baseball facts:

  • Ted Williams hit his first ML homer on April 23rd, 1939
  • Hank Aaron hit his first ML homer on April 23rd, 1954
  • Hoyt Wilhelm, the pitcher with a 2.52 ERA in 2,254 and 1/3 career innings pitched, hit the only home run of his career in his first ever at-bat
  • Fernando Tatis, the only player ever to hit two grand slams in the same inning, did so on April 23rd, 1999

Needless to say, those are 4 stats I probably won’t ever forget. I also happen to know 3 other people with the same birthday as me: my dentist, my uncle, and a girl from my school (I’m only about 2 hours older than her.)

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