Joe Nathan May Need Tommy John Surgery

Twins closer Joe Nathan has a torn ulnar collateral ligament, tweets Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.  Christensen's colleague La Velle E. Neal III tweets that Nathan will wait a few weeks and try to pitch with it.  If that fails, he'll miss the 2010 season with Tommy John surgery.

As you might expect, the Twins "are considering contingency plans at closer," tweets Christensen.  It's not easy to replace a 2.00 ERA and 40 saves, which is why the Twins are paying Nathan $11.25MM this year.

The Twins have a deep bullpen; I profiled a few backup closer options a week ago.  If they decide to look outside the organization, Jason Frasor, Heath Bell, and Kerry Wood have closing experience and might be available.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports assesses the Twins' situation in this column, suggesting "the loss of Nathan transforms the Twins from AL Central favorites into mere contenders."


183 Responses to Joe Nathan May Need Tommy John Surgery Leave a Reply

  1. ajp13237 5 years ago

    If the Twins lose Nathen for an extended period, the Sox have to become the favorite of the division.

  2. swick 5 years ago

    Would Neshek be a candidate for saves now that he’s apparently healthy?

    • I think so, if we start seeing the Neshek of 2006-07. But it might be hard to give the top bullpen job to a guy coming off TJ.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      I have to think Guerrier, Mijares, and Rauch are all above Neshek for that 9th inning role at this point. I think Matt has the best chance for it to work well for him, and it won’t hurt the Twins TOO much in the regular season. Playoffs, even before this news, is still a huge question mark.

      • mattinglyfan 5 years ago

        They could still trade for a proven closer, George Sherrill perhaps?

        • bjsguess 5 years ago

          You can have Rodney or Fuentes. Your pick. We don’t want anything back either. Just pay the freight and they are all yours :)

          • jphenix2002 5 years ago

            I’m so glad we don’t have Rodney anymore. :)

        • Guest 5 years ago

          Im down!!!

        • bleedDODGERblue 5 years ago

          I actually came to this post to propose a Sherrill trade, what do you guys think the Blew Crew could pull in return?

        • bleedDODGERblue 5 years ago

          I actually came to this post to propose a Sherrill trade, what do you guys think the Blew Crew could pull in return?

          • Right now I think the Twins are going to let some player compete for the spot. But getting closer to July with the Twins not having a consistent lights out guy, and the AL Central being as tight as it has been, and Sherrill posting up ’09 number, his value can go up. Now, the Dodgers are in WIN NOW mode so what piece do we NEED? Or how about, a three team trade? What do you propose we need?

          • bleedDODGERblue 5 years ago

            What do the Dodgers need? In order of most needed to least I’d say..
            1. New ownership
            2. Starting pitching
            3. If our current options struggle, a second basemen, maybe one with some power

      • mattinglyfan 5 years ago

        They could still trade for a proven closer, George Sherrill perhaps?

    • Guest 5 years ago

      I have to think Guerrier, Mijares, and Rauch are all above Neshek for that 9th inning role at this point. I think Matt has the best chance for it to work well for him, and it won’t hurt the Twins TOO much in the regular season. Playoffs, even before this news, is still a huge question mark.

    • CrisE 5 years ago

      When he was healthy and effective Neshek had real trouble with lefties. It was getting better just before his arm blew up, so he could be an option, but he’d need to demonstrate that this wouldn’t be a problem.

      • swick 5 years ago

        While lefties tended to hit for decent power against him, his overall numbers against lefties aren’t bad at all. He’s allowed a batting average less than .210 and an OBP of .290 against lefties. He just needs to work on keeping the ball in the ballpark against them (8 HR in 185 PA).

      • swick 5 years ago

        While lefties tended to hit for decent power against him, his overall numbers against lefties aren’t bad at all. He’s allowed a batting average less than .210 and an OBP of .290 against lefties. He just needs to work on keeping the ball in the ballpark against them (8 HR in 185 PA).

    • CrisE 5 years ago

      When he was healthy and effective Neshek had real trouble with lefties. It was getting better just before his arm blew up, so he could be an option, but he’d need to demonstrate that this wouldn’t be a problem.

  3. $1574266 5 years ago

    Ouch. That really hurts. He is the best closer in the game. I’m still taking them to win the central. None of the other teams are that good.

    • JerseyJohn32190 5 years ago

      It is bad news for the Twins, but another guy comes to mind when I think “best closer in the game”.

      • $1574266 5 years ago

        Who is the best then? I mean in the game right now. You are probably a Yankee fan so you are gonna say Marino Rivera. He is the best of all time, but I would take Nathan over anyone right now.

        • TytheSportsGuy 5 years ago

          Give me #42 anyday over anyone.

        • TytheSportsGuy 5 years ago

          Give me #42 anyday over anyone.

        • JerseyJohn32190 5 years ago

          Probably shouldn’t have posted that because I didn’t feel like getting into a Mo/Nathan argument. However, I could never feel comfortable in the playoffs with Nathan and his 7.88 post season ERA as my closer.

        • JerseyJohn32190 5 years ago

          Probably shouldn’t have posted that because I didn’t feel like getting into a Mo/Nathan argument. However, I could never feel comfortable in the playoffs with Nathan and his 7.88 post season ERA as my closer.

        • lefty58 5 years ago

          I don’t know about “right now”.

          • foxtown 5 years ago

            Hahaha. Yeah, “right now” could be an issue. You might want to take anyone BUT Nathan if he’s having TJ surgery.

          • foxtown 5 years ago

            Hahaha. Yeah, “right now” could be an issue. You might want to take anyone BUT Nathan if he’s having TJ surgery.

        • lefty58 5 years ago

          I don’t know about “right now”.

      • $1574266 5 years ago

        Who is the best then? I mean in the game right now. You are probably a Yankee fan so you are gonna say Marino Rivera. He is the best of all time, but I would take Nathan over anyone right now.

    • ilikebaseball 5 years ago

      I take Mo over any closer in the game with absolutely no second thoughts. And I’m a Red Sox fan.

    • ilikebaseball 5 years ago

      I take Mo over any closer in the game with absolutely no second thoughts. And I’m a Red Sox fan.

  4. mrj171 5 years ago

    At least the Twins have Morneau and Liriano back, maybe the Mets will dump K-Rod when they are out of contention again.

    • You take Krods contract and i’d do that in a sec. Thay 4th year vesting option is unreal.

    • You take Krods contract and i’d do that in a sec. Thay 4th year vesting option is unreal.

    • Ethanator99 5 years ago

      Same goes for the Reds and Francisco Cordero.

    • Ethanator99 5 years ago

      Same goes for the Reds and Francisco Cordero.

  5. DWRedsox 5 years ago

    John Scmoltz a fit?

    • Michael Brown 5 years ago

      I would love to see Smoltz make a team as a closer…He would be a nice fit for the Twins I believe….He could help some of those young starters.

    • Michael Brown 5 years ago

      I would love to see Smoltz make a team as a closer…He would be a nice fit for the Twins I believe….He could help some of those young starters.

  6. disgustedcubfan 5 years ago

    Heath Bell’s price just went up again.
    Kerry Wood to the Twins won’t happen. The Twins don’t have the $$$$, and they don’t want to get stuck with him in 2011, if Wood reaches incentives.
    Maybe Smoltz?

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      Smoltz is an interesting idea.

      • disgustedcubfan 5 years ago

        Smoltz has experience at closer. He won’t get rattled under pressure. I think he could hold down the fort until somebody from within emerges or a trade can be made.

      • disgustedcubfan 5 years ago

        Smoltz has experience at closer. He won’t get rattled under pressure. I think he could hold down the fort until somebody from within emerges or a trade can be made.

    • bleedDODGERblue 5 years ago

      Idk if Smoltz would still have enough to bring the heat needed to be a closer. A closer with only finesse to rely? In the ‘pen maybe but not the guy you want in the 9th i dont think

    • bleedDODGERblue 5 years ago

      Idk if Smoltz would still have enough to bring the heat needed to be a closer. A closer with only finesse to rely? In the ‘pen maybe but not the guy you want in the 9th i dont think

  7. AngeloCerilli 5 years ago

    Anyway you look at it the twins are probably slated to lose 10 more games. I don’t know how you just replace a guy like Joe Nathan and expect to do as good without as you did with him, and the Twins are in A LOT of close ball games. I’m not saying he adds 40 wins to their team every year but he does a workload and has done it consistently for a while. And I feel bad for Joe too, if this is true we may be looking at the beginning of the end of Joe Nathan one of the best closers to ever grace this game, he may not have the stats of Rivera but he is just as good as Rivera I believe.

    • strikethree 5 years ago

      10 more games? By a guy who only pitches 60-70 innings a year? No way.

      10 games is Albert Pujols territory.

      You are looking at about 2-4 wins lost. (depending on who they get to replace Nathan)

      • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

        You’re right, but even 2-4 for a team like Minnesota is potentially huge.

        Closers are generally overvalued imo but this is a case of a guy whose level of performance is very, very important to his team.

        • NL_East_Rivalry 5 years ago

          For a team that has been tied for the Division lead 2 years in a row, those games are more important. Nathan saves 40 games with an ERA of 2? I think you could lose a little more than 4, but not as much as 10… all depends on the closer replacing him.

        • NL_East_Rivalry 5 years ago

          For a team that has been tied for the Division lead 2 years in a row, those games are more important. Nathan saves 40 games with an ERA of 2? I think you could lose a little more than 4, but not as much as 10… all depends on the closer replacing him.

      • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

        You’re right, but even 2-4 for a team like Minnesota is potentially huge.

        Closers are generally overvalued imo but this is a case of a guy whose level of performance is very, very important to his team.

      • markjsunz 5 years ago

        I agree, giving up a late inning lead is critical. The rays lost at least 10 games last year because of a mediocore bullpen. If you are looking to win a championship you have to have a lights out closer. Heath Bell makes the most sense if the twins have some minor league talent that might be close to major league ready.If Nathan has tommy john surgery he is done for the season and maybe next season also or prehaps his career is over. If he some how makes it back he will not be the same. What a shame .

    • 10 games? As strike said that is Mauer/Pujols numbers not a reliever. It will definitely hurt though.

      • whitesoxfan424 5 years ago

        While I do not think it’ll be 10 games, I definitely think it is more than 2-4. A closer can blow a save and lose a game a lot easier than Pujols/Mauer can lose one. If the twins go into the season with a closer by committee, it could work, but more likely it will not as has been seen in the last few years with many teams. I would bet 6 games would be a good over/under.

        • AngeloCerilli 5 years ago

          Your telling me out of all those 1-3 run games of Nathans 40 saves that any other closer they could possibly have a minimum of 36 saves HELL NO. 30 Saves is what I see from any of those replacements. I think you guys underestimate what kind of person it takes to be as of an effective closer as Nathan is. We are going to see a lot more blown saves from the Twins this year than ever. You want proof, the Twins two best internal options, Matt Guerrier has a Carrer ERA of 3.41 thats almost 1 run more than Nathans 2.75. But more accurate its 0.66 more. So lets out of 40 saves the Twins spread it evenly and it was 14 1-run game 13 two run games and 13 Three run games. Your looking at logically blowing 5 of those games. So there goes your max of 4. Now to the 2 run games, some people transition nice from set-up to closers others don’t and if they choose Guerrier who is their best option I believe than you are looking at 5-8. 10 was high sure i’ll give you that but you underestimate how big this injury is for the twins.

          • bjsguess 5 years ago

            I tend to value closers much more than others. As a point of reference Nathan’s WAR has been between 1.9 and 2.2 since 2007. Basically, if the next pitcher in line performs decently (which the Twins have several viable options), the net loss SHOULD only be between 1 and 2 additional games lost (at most). This also assumes that you can call someone up from the minors (or sign) a new guy to take the spot at the bottom of the bullpen ladder (again – something quite simple for the Twins). Good explanation of this over at Fangraphs: link to fangraphs.com.

            I happen to think that the loss will be much more significant. WAR generally underrates closers Unless the Twins have an ace in the hole I would project a loss more in the 4-5 wins range. Nathan is an absolute stud and did his job as good as anyone in baseball. Despite having some nice bullpen arms, I doubt the Twins will find anyone close to as good as Nathan.

            This is a devastating loss.

          • AngeloCerilli 5 years ago

            I guess I am looking at this differently than most people and I can tell, which is fine. The way I look at this is, what has Nathan done for this team, and what can his replacement do. Nathan is a 40 save 2.00-2.50 ERA guy and he usually comes close to leading the league in saves every year. I don’t see his replacement doing this. I see his replacement as an average closer which to me is 25-30 saves of 3.00 ball. A closer may be replaceable but when that closer gives you 40+ saves at under 3.00 ball, thats big to me, and I have a pitchers first mindset so thats where I get my high games. It may not be right however its how I feel as far as the twins go.

        • AngeloCerilli 5 years ago

          Your telling me out of all those 1-3 run games of Nathans 40 saves that any other closer they could possibly have a minimum of 36 saves HELL NO. 30 Saves is what I see from any of those replacements. I think you guys underestimate what kind of person it takes to be as of an effective closer as Nathan is. We are going to see a lot more blown saves from the Twins this year than ever. You want proof, the Twins two best internal options, Matt Guerrier has a Carrer ERA of 3.41 thats almost 1 run more than Nathans 2.75. But more accurate its 0.66 more. So lets out of 40 saves the Twins spread it evenly and it was 14 1-run game 13 two run games and 13 Three run games. Your looking at logically blowing 5 of those games. So there goes your max of 4. Now to the 2 run games, some people transition nice from set-up to closers others don’t and if they choose Guerrier who is their best option I believe than you are looking at 5-8. 10 was high sure i’ll give you that but you underestimate how big this injury is for the twins.

      • whitesoxfan424 5 years ago

        While I do not think it’ll be 10 games, I definitely think it is more than 2-4. A closer can blow a save and lose a game a lot easier than Pujols/Mauer can lose one. If the twins go into the season with a closer by committee, it could work, but more likely it will not as has been seen in the last few years with many teams. I would bet 6 games would be a good over/under.

    • 10 games? As strike said that is Mauer/Pujols numbers not a reliever. It will definitely hurt though.

  8. soxluv 5 years ago

    I feel for Twin fans – well not too much, but a little

  9. whitesoxfan424 5 years ago

    Joe Nathan is a class pitcher who has ridiculous stuff, and that’s just terrible.

    He’ll be 36 after the season, does anyone know what kind of success other pitchers of his age have had post tommy john?

    Baseball is a better place with joe nathan closing (just not necessarily for the w.sox)

    • $1574266 5 years ago

      He will be 35 after the year.

      • whitesoxfan424 5 years ago

        His bday is in november… so he’ll be 35 after this season for a month… he’ll be 36 going into the 2011 season… happy?

      • whitesoxfan424 5 years ago

        His bday is in november… so he’ll be 35 after this season for a month… he’ll be 36 going into the 2011 season… happy?

    • $1574266 5 years ago

      He will be 35 after the year.

  10. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Really could be bad new for twins, either now or down the line if his arm is in bad shape, like a problem that is not going to go away until it gets fixed. Makes you wonder it Takashi Saito’s experimental injection therapy could maybe work for Nathan to get him through this year, depending on how bad it really is though would imagine.

    On a lighter note, Boof Bonser could probably be made available to the twins and reunited with his old teamates again..

  11. bbxxj 5 years ago

    As much as this sucks for the Twins, this won’t hurt them as much as it may other teams. Crain or Rauch should be just fine closing in relief of Nathan but the real strenght of the Twins pen is that when you take a Rauch out of mid-late relief and move everyone else up they have the depth to handle it. On many teams, when you take away the closer, you have to move everyone up a role therefore using the weak links more often but the Twins just have less weak links than other teams’ pens.

  12. bbxxj 5 years ago

    As much as this sucks for the Twins, this won’t hurt them as much as it may other teams. Crain or Rauch should be just fine closing in relief of Nathan but the real strenght of the Twins pen is that when you take a Rauch out of mid-late relief and move everyone else up they have the depth to handle it. On many teams, when you take away the closer, you have to move everyone up a role therefore using the weak links more often but the Twins just have less weak links than other teams’ pens.

  13. lefty58 5 years ago

    This looked like a cake walk year in the division for the Twins if they could avoid significant injuries, this one definitely brings them back to the pack. Let’s see if the minor league system is deep enough to cover for them once again.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      What changes, exactly? Guerrier into the 9th, Mijares/Rauch the 8th, Neshek/Crain the 7th, and two LR and one starter out of Perkins(pending trade)/Duensing/Liriano/etc.

      • lefty58 5 years ago

        “What changes, exactly? Guerrier into the 9th”

        I would say Nathan for Guerrier is a significant change.
        They ought to take a look at Pedro and see if he is willing to close. It might work out for both of them.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          79 appearances last season, with a sub-1.00 WHIP, I’m very confident Matt can fill in that 9th inning role just fine.

          Thoughts of Pedro, Smoltz, Bell, or Wood – it’s unnecessary. Internal guys for cheap prices can and have worked for Minnesota, and in this situation, there isn’t even a need to call anyone up, why feel the need to sign someone?

          • icedrake523 5 years ago

            You don’t know how Guerrier would be in the 9th. Some guys can’t handle it.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Same can be said about you not knowing that he can’t do it in the 9th.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Same can be said about you not knowing that he can’t do it in the 9th.

          • icedrake523 5 years ago

            You don’t know how Guerrier would be in the 9th. Some guys can’t handle it.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          79 appearances last season, with a sub-1.00 WHIP, I’m very confident Matt can fill in that 9th inning role just fine.

          Thoughts of Pedro, Smoltz, Bell, or Wood – it’s unnecessary. Internal guys for cheap prices can and have worked for Minnesota, and in this situation, there isn’t even a need to call anyone up, why feel the need to sign someone?

      • lefty58 5 years ago

        “What changes, exactly? Guerrier into the 9th”

        I would say Nathan for Guerrier is a significant change.
        They ought to take a look at Pedro and see if he is willing to close. It might work out for both of them.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      What changes, exactly? Guerrier into the 9th, Mijares/Rauch the 8th, Neshek/Crain the 7th, and two LR and one starter out of Perkins(pending trade)/Duensing/Liriano/etc.

  14. lefty58 5 years ago

    This looked like a cake walk year in the division for the Twins if they could avoid significant injuries, this one definitely brings them back to the pack. Let’s see if the minor league system is deep enough to cover for them once again.

  15. penpaper 5 years ago

    This is why you don’t draft early in FBB. He’s my only dominant closer at the moment.

  16. penpaper 5 years ago

    This is why you don’t draft early in FBB. He’s my only dominant closer at the moment.

  17. LUVCUBSGO 5 years ago

    LOL HE GONE.

    This isn’t a big deal actually for the Twins. They are still the clear favorite in that division with Nathan out. They could lose the rest of the bullpen and still own the Sox and Tigers. They will b just fine.

    • Heliosphan 5 years ago

      Aren’t you a little high on them? Their starting staff isn’t that special… I’d take Chicago’s every day, and at least Detroit has the high ceiling arms..

  18. LUVCUBSGO 5 years ago

    LOL HE GONE.

    This isn’t a big deal actually for the Twins. They are still the clear favorite in that division with Nathan out. They could lose the rest of the bullpen and still own the Sox and Tigers. They will b just fine.

  19. Drew 5 years ago

    Am I upset that Nathan may not play this year? Most definitely. He’s a great closer. I do think closers are overrated and overhyped, however, and that the Twins will find a way to replace him successfully.

    But what I’m MORE upset about is that in a year where we expand the payroll to pay for a team that can win, we might be dedicating 10% of our payroll to a guy who’s (maybe) out for the year. The Twins have always been a tight-budget team, and we count on almost every dollar helping us buy wins. Losing a huge chuck of our payroll like this is bad news. :(

  20. Drew 5 years ago

    Am I upset that Nathan may not play this year? Most definitely. He’s a great closer. I do think closers are overrated and overhyped, however, and that the Twins will find a way to replace him successfully.

    But what I’m MORE upset about is that in a year where we expand the payroll to pay for a team that can win, we might be dedicating 10% of our payroll to a guy who’s (maybe) out for the year. The Twins have always been a tight-budget team, and we count on almost every dollar helping us buy wins. Losing a huge chuck of our payroll like this is bad news. :(

  21. $1529282 5 years ago

    It’s a loss for the Twins, yes, there’s no question, but it doesn’t cripple the team. There wasn’t a reliever in the game last year worth more than Jonathan Broxton’s 2.9 WAR, and Nathan himself (while having a great overall year) posted a 1.9 mark. Does it hurt? Yes, it hurts the team’s ability and depth, as well as the leadership role and club confidence.

    Is it going to ruin the Twins’ season? Most likely not. People saying that they’re going to lose 10 more games because of this or suggesting that this takes the Twins from clear favorites to neck-and-neck with the White Sox are overreacting.

  22. $1529282 5 years ago

    It’s a loss for the Twins, yes, there’s no question, but it doesn’t cripple the team. There wasn’t a reliever in the game last year worth more than Jonathan Broxton’s 2.9 WAR, and Nathan himself (while having a great overall year) posted a 1.9 mark. Does it hurt? Yes, it hurts the team’s ability and depth, as well as the leadership role and club confidence.

    Is it going to ruin the Twins’ season? Most likely not. People saying that they’re going to lose 10 more games because of this or suggesting that this takes the Twins from clear favorites to neck-and-neck with the White Sox are overreacting.

  23. dickylarue 5 years ago

    Sadly, this is why giving closers big money and long term deals is rough. Relief pitcher is such a volatile position from year to year. A guy can be lights out one year and next year blow his arm out or just lose it.

    Nathan is one of the best and it’s sad this happened to him. I feel for Twins fans, but I know that organization will find a solution that works for this problem one way or another.

    • johnsilver 5 years ago

      Yet another reason why Papelbon will more than likely not be getting another contract with the Sox when he is eligible for FA after the 2011 season, especially when he has a history of arm troubles already.

      Relievers on the open market seemed to have dropped right after Nathan signed his extension. The twins just need to hope that he is one of the short term returnees (10 months or less) if he does have to get the surgery.

  24. dickylarue 5 years ago

    Sadly, this is why giving closers big money and long term deals is rough. Relief pitcher is such a volatile position from year to year. A guy can be lights out one year and next year blow his arm out or just lose it.

    Nathan is one of the best and it’s sad this happened to him. I feel for Twins fans, but I know that organization will find a solution that works for this problem one way or another.

  25. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    even without one of the games most dominant closer, the Twins should still take the AL central. They are just a flat out better team than the White Sox and Tigers. Not sure about Smoltz though. Closers need a certain mindset and I’m not sure if Smoltz still has it. Who is the Twins’ AAA closer? He might be an option.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      The Red Wings (AAA affiliate) didn’t have one closer last year, to my knowledge. They spread saves out across several different players. Their best bet would probably be Anthony Slama, but I would assume they stick with big league options for now, with Slama being the first to get the call to the Majors if they need to let someone (Condrey) go or someone gets injured.

      Slama did recently turn 26, but he’s made a quick rise through the system over the past three years with ridiculous K/9 numbers along the way (14.4 in 2007, 13.9 in 2008, and 12.4 in 2009) and sub-3 ERA over that span.

      Still, the Twins have depth with Rauch, Guerrier, Mijares, Crain, Duensing, Condrey, and Neshek. They’ll likely be the first seven options, with Perkins in the mix too if he’s not traded. From there, Slama would get the first look, I’d guess, but I can’t see them just dropping him into the 9th inning either. He’d likely begin working in the 6th and 7th and have to earn his way to closing duties.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      The Red Wings (AAA affiliate) didn’t have one closer last year, to my knowledge. They spread saves out across several different players. Their best bet would probably be Anthony Slama, but I would assume they stick with big league options for now, with Slama being the first to get the call to the Majors if they need to let someone (Condrey) go or someone gets injured.

      Slama did recently turn 26, but he’s made a quick rise through the system over the past three years with ridiculous K/9 numbers along the way (14.4 in 2007, 13.9 in 2008, and 12.4 in 2009) and sub-3 ERA over that span.

      Still, the Twins have depth with Rauch, Guerrier, Mijares, Crain, Duensing, Condrey, and Neshek. They’ll likely be the first seven options, with Perkins in the mix too if he’s not traded. From there, Slama would get the first look, I’d guess, but I can’t see them just dropping him into the 9th inning either. He’d likely begin working in the 6th and 7th and have to earn his way to closing duties.

    • the_show 5 years ago

      lol no they are not

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      Smoltz mindset is pretty much exactly what you’d want it to be. The questions regard his stuff. I think he’s got a much better shot at being an effective reliever than an effective starter, even if it’s not with the Twins.

  26. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    even without one of the games most dominant closer, the Twins should still take the AL central. They are just a flat out better team than the White Sox and Tigers. Not sure about Smoltz though. Closers need a certain mindset and I’m not sure if Smoltz still has it. Who is the Twins’ AAA closer? He might be an option.

  27. fahlstrome 5 years ago

    What would the Twins have to give up for a Heath Bell? Ramos and Bullock? Ramos and Revere?

    • TwinsTapir 5 years ago

      No way the Twins give up any of those guys for Bell when Smoltz could be had for just $$.

      Perkins and somebody, maybe, but I doubt the Padres would jump at that.

      • AirmanSD 5 years ago

        I don’t see the Twins moving Ramos for Bell, but there is no point to Perkins for SD. High Upside pitchers, or middle of the field players (C/2B/SS/CF) are the biggest needs, and that is what Bell would cost.

      • 0vercast 5 years ago

        Perkins, Casilla, and maybe another.

        • AirmanSD 5 years ago

          Once again, no. Casilla is not an upgrade, and has no options, and the Bench is already full in SD. Perkins would be nice, but is not an upgrade over the options already in SD, and doesn’t help with the rebuilding. The Padres want more upside then that in any deal for Bell. Pitching is something they like, but we lack high upside arms, not back of the rotation arms. Think younger more impact possible arms, or up the middle players that still haven’t made their debut.

          • Mauerneau 5 years ago

            Everyone lacks high upside arms. You don’t give up high upside arms unless your acquiring a franchise player. Heath Bell is not a franchise player. The padres wont get high upside arms.
            Modes Tolens i believe.

        • AirmanSD 5 years ago

          Once again, no. Casilla is not an upgrade, and has no options, and the Bench is already full in SD. Perkins would be nice, but is not an upgrade over the options already in SD, and doesn’t help with the rebuilding. The Padres want more upside then that in any deal for Bell. Pitching is something they like, but we lack high upside arms, not back of the rotation arms. Think younger more impact possible arms, or up the middle players that still haven’t made their debut.

      • 0vercast 5 years ago

        Perkins, Casilla, and maybe another.

    • twins33 5 years ago

      Wilson Ramos? Was that a joke, because I’m laughing hysterically. If I were the Twins, I would only give up Ramos for a stud SP or a stud everyday player. Ramos is Mauer insurance also. His trade value is extremely high.

      That would be an extreme overpay for the Twins.

  28. fahlstrome 5 years ago

    What would the Twins have to give up for a Heath Bell? Ramos and Bullock? Ramos and Revere?

  29. wbruyea 5 years ago

    The Blue Jays have an oversupply of of relief pitchers and too many pitchers without options left. Jason Frasor closed last year, saved 11 games part-time last year and had a strikeout per inning. Frasor, has great stuff, has proven he can close, has a very reasonable contract, and could be acquired without giving up a top prospect as Jays GM is trying to build the farm. He has been on the Cubs radar for some time. Sounds like something Twins should explore too.

  30. wbruyea 5 years ago

    The Blue Jays have an oversupply of of relief pitchers and too many pitchers without options left. Jason Frasor closed last year, saved 11 games part-time last year and had a strikeout per inning. Frasor, has great stuff, has proven he can close, has a very reasonable contract, and could be acquired without giving up a top prospect as Jays GM is trying to build the farm. He has been on the Cubs radar for some time. Sounds like something Twins should explore too.

  31. wbruyea 5 years ago

    The Blue Jays have an oversupply of of relief pitchers and too many pitchers without options left. Jason Frasor closed last year, saved 11 games part-time last year and had a strikeout per inning. Frasor, has great stuff, has proven he can close, has a very reasonable contract, and could be acquired without giving up a top prospect as Jays GM is trying to build the farm. He has been on the Cubs radar for some time. Sounds like something Twins should explore too.

  32. wbruyea 5 years ago

    The Blue Jays have an oversupply of of relief pitchers and too many pitchers without options left. Jason Frasor closed last year, saved 11 games part-time last year and had a strikeout per inning. Frasor, has great stuff, has proven he can close, has a very reasonable contract, and could be acquired without giving up a top prospect as Jays GM is trying to build the farm. He has been on the Cubs radar for some time. Sounds like something Twins should explore too.

  33. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    Forget the WBC, the Mayor’s Cup has got to end, causing injuries like this!

    In all seriousness, this is very unfortunate for the Twins. I do still think they’ll be fine overall, but it was a bit disconcerting when he left the game the other day with soreness. I didn’t think much of the shakiness, as it was his spring debut, but the announcers made it clear he didn’t seem to look too comfortable.

  34. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    Forget the WBC, the Mayor’s Cup has got to end, causing injuries like this!

    In all seriousness, this is very unfortunate for the Twins. I do still think they’ll be fine overall, but it was a bit disconcerting when he left the game the other day with soreness. I didn’t think much of the shakiness, as it was his spring debut, but the announcers made it clear he didn’t seem to look too comfortable.

  35. xaylin 5 years ago

    Maybe this is the solution to the logjam for the 5th starter. Give the 9th to Liriano. Let him go out and let it fly.

  36. xaylin 5 years ago

    Maybe this is the solution to the logjam for the 5th starter. Give the 9th to Liriano. Let him go out and let it fly.

  37. coup 5 years ago

    To me it’s simple. If the Twins want to win this year they go after Bell.

  38. coup 5 years ago

    To me it’s simple. If the Twins want to win this year they go after Bell.

  39. pmc765 5 years ago

    Nathan was the second best closer in the business. There is no internal option remotely comparable: none of these candidates is even the recognized set up man. I think that’s at least a half dozen games off the win total.

    Then you add it the half dozen games not won because of lost late inning fly balls in the absurd dome.

    Were the Twins 12 games better than the rest of the division?

    • Drew 5 years ago

      You’re basing your opinion on two ridiculous things:

      1. Fly balls lost in the Metrodome roof were worth 6 wins for the Twins.
      2. Joe Nathan was worth 6 wins above whoever we replace him with.

      When actually:

      1. Joe Nathan was worth 1.9 WAR.
      2. The roof of the dome at BEST was worth five RUNS. MAYBE one win.

      • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

        I recall watching a game where the Tigers played the Twins at the Metrodome (not game 163, some game in September) and they had Don Kelly playing LF, who had never played in the Metrodome before. He lost a ball in the light, and it definitely cost them the game. You’re underestimating the dome advantage, unless you watched every home game for the Twins you can’t say the roof was worth just one win.

        • twins33 5 years ago

          You think the Twins won six games a year because of the roof? That one with Don Kelly was one, and their was one against the Pirates with another rookie (the Pirates don’t come here much anyway). That’s two total last year. That’s it. There weren’t any others. I like how you can only name one, except there were somehow at least six according to you.

          Hell, Delmon Young said he almost never saw the ball off the bat. How many times do you think that cost us? He isn’t a good fielder, but if he truly had a hard time seeing the ball then that’s a good 81 times a year, if we’re going to be throwing out ridiculous numbers.

          Yes, the roof was an advantage, but it was probably ever so slight. The Twins lost balls in the roof every year too. I’ll give you one or two plays a year, but not six wins. The play against the pirates didn’t even cost the pirates the game.

          I’m guessing you haven’t watched every game..just like you’re saying Drew hasn’t. The Dome wasn’t that big of an advantage, especially the last 10 years or so (for sure with the new turf). It’s been around for 27 years, the roof actually used to be bright white. I can safely say, having watched nearly every Twins game since I’ve been alive, it was less than five plays a year. And that’s for both teams together. The Twins lose and the opposition loses them. And only one out of the two last year, cost a game for the opponent.

          • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

            I didn’t say there were 6. And I see your point that it also effects the Twins. All in all it may have only cost 1 game last year, but it was a game that effected division standings.

          • twins33 5 years ago

            Sorry, it was the other guy that said there were six. My bad.

            But really if you count the one game that was really bad umpiring the outcome was the same anyway. There was a game in Detroit where the Tigers got two runs that they shouldn’t have in one game. Granderson was tagged out on the heel in a rundown but they didn’t call it and he ended up scoring during the rundown. It was hard to see in real time, so I can give them a break there. But, then there was a play where Guillen was out at the plate by a foot from a Mauer tag, clearly visible but the ump called him safe. The Twins lost that game by one run. The Tigers got two free runs in that game.

            So really, there would have been a game 163 anyway because that game canceled it out with the game where the Twins got screwed twice by the umps, one way more blatant than the other.

            And I don’t count Inge being “hit by a pitch” in game 163 and not have it called being a wrong call. That guy wears a jersey that’s at least two sizes too big, the ball wouldn’t have grazed his jersey otherwise. That’s not a hit by pitch.

        • twins33 5 years ago

          You think the Twins won six games a year because of the roof? That one with Don Kelly was one, and their was one against the Pirates with another rookie (the Pirates don’t come here much anyway). That’s two total last year. That’s it. There weren’t any others. I like how you can only name one, except there were somehow at least six according to you.

          Hell, Delmon Young said he almost never saw the ball off the bat. How many times do you think that cost us? He isn’t a good fielder, but if he truly had a hard time seeing the ball then that’s a good 81 times a year, if we’re going to be throwing out ridiculous numbers.

          Yes, the roof was an advantage, but it was probably ever so slight. The Twins lost balls in the roof every year too. I’ll give you one or two plays a year, but not six wins. The play against the pirates didn’t even cost the pirates the game.

          I’m guessing you haven’t watched every game..just like you’re saying Drew hasn’t. The Dome wasn’t that big of an advantage, especially the last 10 years or so (for sure with the new turf). It’s been around for 27 years, the roof actually used to be bright white. I can safely say, having watched nearly every Twins game since I’ve been alive, it was less than five plays a year. And that’s for both teams together. The Twins lose and the opposition loses them. And only one out of the two last year, cost a game for the opponent.

  40. thegrayrace 5 years ago

    George Sherrill is probably the Twins best option for a trade in terms of what they’d have to give up. He wouldn’t cost as much as Bell, partially because Sherrill is being used as a setup man in L.A., partially because he isn’t exactly cheap ($5.5m, I believe?) and the Dodgers probably wouldn’t mind shedding the salary.

    The Dodgers had the best bullpen in baseball last season (statistically), most of that time without Sherrill, and they have some impressive arms in the minors that could step up to replace him (Lindblom in particular). Plus they have a number of Rule 5 and out of option players (Stults, Haeger, Zerpa, Monasterios) that could take a roster spot.

  41. I can see them buying low on Kerry Wood. With the Indians cutting salary, and Chris Perez waiting in the wings, could there really be a better trade partner for the Twins than the Indians?

    • Mauerneau 5 years ago

      Isnt wood due like 11 million this year tho? The Twins are already near their budget limit. I could maybe see a 2-3-4 million addition but 11 seems pretty steep.

  42. cookmeister 5 years ago

    take Fuentes please!!!

  43. the_show 5 years ago

    People on this site really need to wake up, Acquiring Hudson and Thome did not make the twins clear favorites in the central….good grief they have the third best rotation in the central.

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      Finally somebody with a brain…I hate watching ESPN and having them say the Twins will easily win the division. Has everybody forgotten how they struggled to even reach .500 most of last season? They got hot, every team does at some point, and the Tigers got cold at the exact right time for the Twins. And don’t be so confident Mauer is staying, where are Torii and Johan?

      • lefty58 5 years ago

        Nobody is saying the Twins are great, it’s just that the rest of the division is so bad that they should have very little trouble winning it, even without Nathan. I do like what Detroit has done, but my guess is they are a year away.

        • the_show 5 years ago

          I don’t see how anybody can think the Sox are terrible

          • lefty58 5 years ago

            I never said terrible.
            But defensively there isn’t a worse team in baseball, Konerko and Rios are the only guys in the lineup that can play to an average or better level. The pen outside of Thornton has nothing, and yes I am including JJ Putz. The lineup has no one in it willing to take a walk or many pitches, this will make opposing starters happy but will make scoring runs even worse than last year. The starting pitching looks like it could be solid, but if Buehrle picks up where he was for the last half of last year, the season is over in May. We’ll see how Peavy does, the NL West is full of pitchers parks and no park other than Arlington is smaller than the Cell. I am not as convinced that a flyball pitcher will ever be great after he has been around the league a few times pitching there.
            Who knows, the 08 Sox were worse than last years team and they won the division, if there are enough injuries within the division, they could pull off another 08.

          • the_show 5 years ago

            But defensively there isn’t a worse team in baseball, Konerko and Rios are the only guys in the lineup that can play to an average or better level.

            I don’t even know how you can gage this at this point. Tehean has never been able to settle in at a position before, Beckham is moving to a position that is more natural for him, Alexei has the ability to be very good defensively if he can eliminate mental mistakes.

            Putz is going to be a stud he has already looked good early on in spring training. I don’t see any reason that Jenks can’t return to past form now that he has shed 20 pounds.

            You are just assuming the worst without really admitting there can be a lot of possible good scenarios as well.

          • Drew 5 years ago

            Yea, he’s assuming the worst, but you’re assuming the best. For the Twins, it’s just a matter of guys performing average. Mauer needs to be Mauer. Morneau, Morneau. Hardy needs to be Hardy, just not 2009 Hardy. Our only hole is that Punto 3B position, but as long as he plays an average Punto, we can deal with his underproduction…

            You can go down the list of our players. Really only one guy (Hardy) needs to have a “comeback” season. Everyone else just needs to perform adequately. Even down through the pitching staff.

            That’s why people keep picking the Twins. No one needs career years or comebacks (sans Hardy) to make us a great team. They just gotta show up and play ball the way their careers have shown they can.

          • soxluv 5 years ago

            I agree that the Twins have a better offense than the Sox. But their entire starting pitching staff would be competing for the #5 spot on the Sox. I would give the bullpen edge to the Twins before the Nathan injury but not anymore.

          • soxluv 5 years ago

            I agree that the Twins have a better offense than the Sox. But their entire starting pitching staff would be competing for the #5 spot on the Sox. I would give the bullpen edge to the Twins before the Nathan injury but not anymore.

          • soxluv 5 years ago

            Meh – Ramirez was much better at SS the last 8 weeks of the season, and Beckham figured out 3rd near the end. He has all ST to figure out 2B – he’ll be at least average. Quentin was slightly above average in LF when he was healthy (accoring to John Dewan’s Felding Bible).

            The pen looks good with Putz (healthy and pitching well in ST), Thornton and Jenks, who despite all the negative press had 1 bad month last year.

            Buehrle had 3 bad starts in the 2nd half but we should believe the most durable pitcher in baseball will fall apart.

          • soxluv 5 years ago

            Meh – Ramirez was much better at SS the last 8 weeks of the season, and Beckham figured out 3rd near the end. He has all ST to figure out 2B – he’ll be at least average. Quentin was slightly above average in LF when he was healthy (accoring to John Dewan’s Felding Bible).

            The pen looks good with Putz (healthy and pitching well in ST), Thornton and Jenks, who despite all the negative press had 1 bad month last year.

            Buehrle had 3 bad starts in the 2nd half but we should believe the most durable pitcher in baseball will fall apart.

    • Maximus_Mansteel 5 years ago

      I believe the Twins acquisitions will help this year, but the thing that makes the Twins the favorite in most people’s minds is how many pieces the Tigers traded away. With them weakened, only the Sox stand as likely rivals. But they finished 7 games back after 162 games last year. There only acquisition which is likely to have a significant (positive) impact on the Sox is Peavy. Can he add seven or so wins to the Sox? Perhaps, but its a tall order on a team with such a weak offense in the American League. Now, the possible loss of Nathan makes things much more interesting.

      P.S. having the third best rotation in the division didn’t stop them from winning the division last year.

      • Can Peavy who replaces Contreras who had 7 wins for us turn that into 14? No doubt. Especially when he went 3-0 with a 1.5 ERA in his 3 starts for us last year fresh off an injury.

        Quentin coming back healthy is a significant impact. Rios simply resetting this off season will be a plus. I think Rios can do better than the .200 BA both he AND Dye put up in the second half. So that is a big plus too.

        It will definitely come down to the Twins offense and the White Sox pitching. My argument is the White Sox offense has more upside than the Twins pitching, but then again I am bias.

      • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

        It’s not like the Tigers traded away top talent and is starting no name rookies.

        Edwin Jackson – Had a good overall season, but 5.03 ERA in the second half. Replaced by Max Scherzer who should produce around similar results to Jackson’s final line.

        Curtis Granderson – Replaced by Austin Jackson. Won’t match home run totals, but potentially will have more stolen bases and higher OBP and BA. Also said to have superior glove.

        Placido Polanco – Replaced by Scott Sizemore. His glove won’t compare, but said to have more power. Definitely a different player than Polanco in contrast to A. Jackson/Granderson and Scherzer/E. Jackson.

        Fernando Rodney – Replaced by Jose Valverde. Rodney only blew one save, but had horrible peripherals. Valverde hasn’t played in the AL, but the general consensus is he is an upgrade over Rodney.

        Brandon Lyon – Joel Zumaya and Ryan Perry will compete for the set-up role, but Daniel Schlereth was received who could potentially be the future closer.

        Marcus Thames – Power bat off the bench who regressed a little this year. I think he could put up decent power numbers as a full time player, but he’ll be easily replaced internally.

        Am I forgetting anybody? Also factor in the additions of Johnny Damon and Phil Coke. I may be optimistic about the comparisons, but with the younger players improving and $60 mil coming off the books after this season, the Tigers could be a true beast in 2011 with the right signings. They may be good enough in 2010 to win the division, especially with this news about Nathan.

      • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

        It’s not like the Tigers traded away top talent and is starting no name rookies.

        Edwin Jackson – Had a good overall season, but 5.03 ERA in the second half. Replaced by Max Scherzer who should produce around similar results to Jackson’s final line.

        Curtis Granderson – Replaced by Austin Jackson. Won’t match home run totals, but potentially will have more stolen bases and higher OBP and BA. Also said to have superior glove.

        Placido Polanco – Replaced by Scott Sizemore. His glove won’t compare, but said to have more power. Definitely a different player than Polanco in contrast to A. Jackson/Granderson and Scherzer/E. Jackson.

        Fernando Rodney – Replaced by Jose Valverde. Rodney only blew one save, but had horrible peripherals. Valverde hasn’t played in the AL, but the general consensus is he is an upgrade over Rodney.

        Brandon Lyon – Joel Zumaya and Ryan Perry will compete for the set-up role, but Daniel Schlereth was received who could potentially be the future closer.

        Marcus Thames – Power bat off the bench who regressed a little this year. I think he could put up decent power numbers as a full time player, but he’ll be easily replaced internally.

        Am I forgetting anybody? Also factor in the additions of Johnny Damon and Phil Coke. I may be optimistic about the comparisons, but with the younger players improving and $60 mil coming off the books after this season, the Tigers could be a true beast in 2011 with the right signings. They may be good enough in 2010 to win the division, especially with this news about Nathan.

  44. BrianWillsave 5 years ago

    Well at least Joakim Soria will get recongnition he deserves.

  45. TwinsTapir 5 years ago

    I think it’s very unlikely the Twins trade for a closer at this point, and fairly unlikely they sign one. I’m more worried that they might end up unhappy with their options during the season and give up the farm for somebody in July.

    From a financial perspective, the best internal candidate is probably Rauch. Neshek and Liriano both have the problem of a bunch of saves boosting their arb numbers even if they don’t pitch all that well. Though it’s sort of tempting to give Crain the job as a poison pill for the rest of the league, intending to let somebody else pay through the nose for him in free agency.

    If it were me I’d be talking to Smoltz and Pedro today. Not sure I’d necessarily do anything there, but I’d rather look at spending a couple million now than spend Ramos renting a closer in July.

  46. gotts 5 years ago

    The likelihood of Anthony Slama closing is greater than that of a trade.

    I’d be surprised if this situation isn’t settled with personnel internally.

  47. twins33 5 years ago

    I’d honestly rather have the Twins go with Matt Guerrier or Jon Rauch than trade for someone. I believe both of these guys have closer experience, but then again, that’s just a guess I’m making.

    If anything, bring up Slama. He’s close to ready. They can ease him into the bigs and then give him the role sometime later this year.

  48. jphenix2002 5 years ago

    As a Tigers fan its a bummer to see a tough competitor go down like that. Now if Detroit manages to win the division it might feel kinda cheap.

  49. Heliosphan 5 years ago

    Why not try Liriano as the closer? I know you don’t see too many lefty closers, but he has nasty stuff and hasn’t been working out as a starter anyway. A rotation of Baker-Blackburn-Slowey-Pavano-Duensing would still be pretty good..

  50. Gonna be a set back. With the way this procedure goes it could prolong his career. Or end it.

  51. Gonna be a set back. With the way this procedure goes it could prolong his career. Or end it.

  52. 0vercast 5 years ago

    The Twins will be fine, they’ve had a good run of developing closers in the recent past. They still have a good group with Guerrier, Neshek, Mijares, and Rauch. These guys are all excellent 7th and 8th inning pitchers.

    I could see Rauch stepping up and getting 25 saves as the primary closer, but whoever has the hot hand will pitch the ninth. I have full faith that Gardy and Rick Anderson will make the best of this situation and get some good production out of these guys. I look forward to this.

  53. 0vercast 5 years ago

    The Twins will be fine, they’ve had a good run of developing closers in the recent past. They still have a good group with Guerrier, Neshek, Mijares, and Rauch. These guys are all excellent 7th and 8th inning pitchers.

    I could see Rauch stepping up and getting 25 saves as the primary closer, but whoever has the hot hand will pitch the ninth. I have full faith that Gardy and Rick Anderson will make the best of this situation and get some good production out of these guys. I look forward to this.

  54. Twins are in need of a Closer with Nathan out. The Padres need a catching prospect & Bell will be too expensive in 2011. Is there a fit?

    • twins33 5 years ago

      I would say no because the only catchers the Padres would want would be Morales or Ramos. Ramos would be a severe overpayment for the Twins and Morales should be Mauer’s backup, if Mauer stays. Or if he leaves, we’d probably need Morales as the starter. So…I would say no.

      • Mauerneau 5 years ago

        I would give up morales in a heartbeat for Bell. Bell was a very solid closer last year and we have Ramos as well as Butera to compete for the backup spot. Morales is a decent hitter but he couldn’t throw out a grandma in a power wheelchair. I don’t think we would be missing Morales much but I would feel a lot better with an established closer than closer by committee.

        • twins33 5 years ago

          I would if we had Mauer. Right now we only have Mauer for one more year. I don’t want Butera to be our starting catcher and I’d like Ramos to be eased along, not rushed up here.

          • Mauerneau 5 years ago

            They could sign Mauer and trade Morales for Bell all in one day. That would be awesome.

          • twins33 5 years ago

            They could, but I guess we’ll wait and see. I hope Mauer will be signed before opening day, but that’s less than a month away and there’s probably a lot of things to figure out.

    • twins33 5 years ago

      I would say no because the only catchers the Padres would want would be Morales or Ramos. Ramos would be a severe overpayment for the Twins and Morales should be Mauer’s backup, if Mauer stays. Or if he leaves, we’d probably need Morales as the starter. So…I would say no.

  55. nick1538 5 years ago

    The Twins don’t need to overreact. Realistically, Nathan would have been worth 2-3 wins for the Twins in 2010. Baseball Prospectus compiled data from the past 10 years and teams that had a save situation entering the ninth inning converted 87% of those saves at home and 86.1% on the road. Joe Nathan has a career rate of 91%. If the Twins have 50 save opportunities in 2010 Nathan would have converted 45 or 46 of those saves. An average closer (Guerrier or Rauch perhaps) would have converted 43. That is a difference of 2-3 games.

    • The problem with that stat is the 86.5% stat is done primarily we closers. What is the save rate for saves by set up men, closer by committee, etc. I am sure it is lower than 86.5%.

      There are also variables that are not taken into account like different leagues, in the AL you have to face a DH. Too many variables to call that stat relevant to this situation.

      Nathan had a fantastic year with 47 saves and a 2.1 ERA. So lets say a replacement comes in and posts a 3.1 ERA, which would be good as well, but increasing that fantastic ERA from 2.1 to 3.1 accounts for more than just 3 less saves, more like 5.

  56. nick1538 5 years ago

    I think the Twins should see what it would take to get Frasor or Bell, but stick with a Perkins/Casilla/Middle-Level Prospect type package.
    If nothing happens with a pre-season trade, you give Rauch and Guerrier an opportunity in the role. Guerrier is a similar reliever to Ryan Franklin and he saved 38 games for the Cardinals in 2009.
    In addition, Rob Delaney and/or Anthony Slama have to be given an opportunity to break spring training with the Major League team. They both have nothing left to prove in the minors and need to be tested. If their numbers carry over from the minors, they can be in the mix should Rauch and Guerrier fall short.
    If no one develops in the closer role, the mid-season trade market could net you someone like Octavio Dotel, Matt Capps, George Sherrill, Michael Wuertz or the above mentioned Frasor and Bell.

    and now my dream move…
    Acquire Joakim Soria from the Royals for pretty much whatever it takes and plug him into the 9th inning for 2010. If Nathan comes back throwing gas in 2011 or someone else proves capable (Delaney/Slama?), move Soria to the rotation and have a potential ace starter. I can dream can’t I?

  57. Russell210 5 years ago

    Why would someone with the name 2005 White Sox say something like “us Twins fans”… hmm

  58. Russell210 5 years ago

    Hey it wasnt that far fetched. 2005 World Series White Sox fan knocking on the Twins… hmmmm

  59. Russell210 5 years ago

    Hey it wasnt that far fetched. 2005 World Series White Sox fan knocking on the Twins… hmmmm

  60. twinsuck 5 years ago

    LOL I could not be happier that he is gone! When was the last time the Twinkees won?

  61. twinsuck 5 years ago

    LOL I could not be happier that he is gone! When was the last time the Twinkees won?

  62. mnmojo 5 years ago

    Personally, I’d like to see how Rauch would do. Maybe it’s just because he’s fun to watch since he’s 6’11″… I think the top 3 on the major league squad are Rauch, Guerrier, and Neshek. Neshek will probably need some more time to come back from his surgery, even if he is “healthy”.

  63. mnmojo 5 years ago

    Personally, I’d like to see how Rauch would do. Maybe it’s just because he’s fun to watch since he’s 6’11″… I think the top 3 on the major league squad are Rauch, Guerrier, and Neshek. Neshek will probably need some more time to come back from his surgery, even if he is “healthy”.

  64. dwg 5 years ago

    Sleeper for saves – Anthony Slama – minor leagues last year – 81 IP, 112 K’s, 29 saves

  65. Russell210 5 years ago

    Couldn’t tell you. But I could tell you the last time my Yankees won :)

  66. Russell210 5 years ago

    Couldn’t tell you. But I could tell you the last time my Yankees won :)

  67. Donskoy 5 years ago

    just a little bit after the cubs last won

  68. AirmanSD 5 years ago

    Well it might not be all bad news in that regard. Most teams take out insurance against injuries. If that insurance covers his elbow, then they would only pay the premium of the insurance, not the salary of the player (and even if healthy they would pay the premium in addition to the salary). So this could possibly save the Twins 11 million this season in actually payroll, though it would still count against it, the Twins just would not be the ones paying it.

  69. Drew 5 years ago

    Sure hope it was insured. By “count against” you mean in terms of the Luxury Tax, right? I mean, we’re not gonna touch that…

    Because the alternative is eating 11.25MM this year, 11.25MM next year (probably), and then buying him out at 2MM the year after. That would be borderline crippling.

    And I know this is unrelated, but do you wonder why people like myself and TwinsVet think it’s a horrible idea to give Mauer a 10-year contract? 6-8 at the MOST. Knock on wood, but of Joe shatters his femur in his third year, then what?

  70. AirmanSD 5 years ago

    I know the feeling. Its the same reason why the Padres are not going to Adrian 8 years, they will instead move him. By “count against” I meant to say they would have to still pay it or part of it, but would then be reimburse that money from the insurance company. So they would still be paying it, but with the knowledge they would get that money back, so they could then could expand payroll that amount.

  71. AirmanSD 5 years ago

    I know the feeling. Its the same reason why the Padres are not going to Adrian 8 years, they will instead move him. By “count against” I meant to say they would have to still pay it or part of it, but would then be reimburse that money from the insurance company. So they would still be paying it, but with the knowledge they would get that money back, so they could then could expand payroll that amount.

  72. twins33 5 years ago

    The superball floor hasn’t existed since 2004, so anything after that wasn’t that big of an advantage. There was more of a true hop, but that’s it. Again, the roof was a disadvantage for the Twins too. Since they had to play in there 81 games a year, it certainly effected them more than the opponent. They also lost balls in it. I’ll give less then five plays a year effected and most of them weren’t game changers. I’d say it was likely no more than three, but I’ll give you five.

    The vents thing was and is a joke. The “aura” of the Dome was in people’s heads. If they were scared of it then that was their fault, not ours. If you think you’re going to lose then you’re very likely to lose. It’s the managers job to not have his players fear a place, if they do, he’s failed.

    Gardy fails every year against the Yankees because they think it’s “the big bad Yankees” when in reality they could have won at least 4 games against the Yankees last year. They had a shot in all 7 of them. They had a lead in every one but blew it. Most were close games though. The aura is the opponents fault.

  73. twins33 5 years ago

    None of the players who used to floor on the 2006 team are even going to be a factor, and haven’t been since that season. Most aren’t even on the team. Luis Castillo was the really the only one who purposely pounded it into the ground, and he still does it on grass. It’s his style. It’s what I’ve seen him do before he even became a Twin. And there was no superball floor in 2006. The old turf was gone! Yes, it bounced, but it wasn’t a superball floor. Rarely did it bounce over guys heads. You’re still thinking it’s the old turf. I see balls bounce on grass/infield dirt just as high as the Dome turf-Castillo still doin it on grass. 2006 screwed how other fans saw the Twins, because they were getting national attention from Ozzie. I can give you 2006 if you want it so bad, but no other years for sure.

    Yes, the Twins were more used to the roof, but that doesn’t mean that it never effected them or their game. I’ve seen games messed up for us just as often as other teams, which means there was no advantage.

    The aura could happen at Target Field, it could happen anywhere and it does. The only advantage (and it was slight) most (most, not all) of the teams had since 2004 is the roof.

    Checking career stats, only Michael Cuddyer plays significantly worse outdoors. Everyone else is equal or better outdoors. Most of our hitters didn’t have an advantage. Cuddyer, Mauer, Span, Kubel, Morneau, Harris, Young-our core guys never used the turf. Most were actually hurt by it. Gomez didn’t use it, Bartlett didn’t, Casilla did, Castillo did and Punto did. Two are no longer on the team and the other two haven’t really been starters. Like I said, after 2004, there really was no turf advantage. 2006 it was elevated and that was by Castillo, every at bat.

    And yes, the fans who are babies who don’t ever go outside will freak out. I’ve already have had encounters with them.

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