Central Notes: Pirates, Cardinals, Twins

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review chronicles the rise of Pirates prospect Gregory Polanco, who signed in 2009 as a skinny 17-year-old. Polanco is now 6'5" and 230 pounds, and walked as often as he struck out in Double-A last season. The outfielder's speed, despite his tremendous size, stands out, says Pirates Latin American Scouting Director Rene Gayo. "Guys that big don't move that fast," Gayo said. "You're basically looking at a guy the size of Jim Thome running around." Here are more Central notes:

  • In an honest, open interview with ESPN's Jayson StarkCardinals manager Mike Matheny says he regrets not doing more to publicize the dangers of concussions as a player. Concussions ended his career as a big league backstop. "I did a very poor job, at the end of my career, of really telling people how weird and how tough the circumstances were for me after getting that last concussion, how that impacted my life," Matheny said. He's since been one of baseball's loudest voices in arguing for a total ban of home-plate collisions, Stark writes.
  • The Twins are aware that they're among a dwindling group of clubs that are comfortable giving long-term deals to closers, writes Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Glen Perkins' four-year, $22.175 million deal, which guarantees him two years and $14.1MM in new money, ranks him beneath only Craig Kimbrel and Jonathan Papelbon in terms of contract size for an MLB closer.


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11 Comments on "Central Notes: Pirates, Cardinals, Twins"


Daniel Morairity
1 year 5 months ago

This sounds like the twins are not going to extend willing hams contract because of their payroll

gil4
1 year 5 months ago

Payroll is not the issue. Willingham was awful last year and is getting old. If he is good again this year maybe they talk, but right now he has to prove he is still worth a roster spot regardless of salary. You don’t extend guys in that situation.

Anthony
1 year 5 months ago

I recently watched the documentary Pelotero in which Rene Gayo was portrayed as a shady character who acted illegally in his courtship of Miguel Sano. Does anyone know if MLB has investigated the matter? I am surprised he is still doing business, considering how he was portrayed.

Johnny Delancey
1 year 5 months ago

That is how most scouts are portrayed, when they are desperate to sign a player. This is not illegal though, and his actions only cost him the signing, not his job.

Pennsy
1 year 5 months ago

I’m pretty sure MLB tacitly approves of his behavior

PaperLions
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t recall him being portrayed that way, I remember him BEING that way. He was lying to a kid to try to save a billion dollar industry a couple of million bucks.

Of course, his behavior was no worse than that of MLB, who repeatedly threatened and harassed the kid for the same reason. MLB acts just like every other billion dollar corporation trying to exploit poor countries….and the picture is never pretty.

Michael
1 year 5 months ago

As important as having a closer is, I think it’s getting a little silly throwing out huge sums of money to someone who throws 12-15 pitches every 2 or 3 days.

Darrel Nelson
1 year 5 months ago

I’m not a fan of paying closers the kind of money Perk will getting either. Both Caleb Thielbar and Michael Tonkin have demonstrated capability of becoming the ninth inning go-to guy. Closer has become a VASTLY overrated role in the MLB…and in the Twins case: bad teams don’t need established closers. We should’ve traded Perkins when he had top trade value last season, and just went with Thielbar or Tonkin in the 9th. Minnesota is not going to be that competitive this year – oh, they’ll be a bit better…but they’re still a minimum of 2 years away from becoming serious contenders for the division and/or league champions. That money should have been reserved for future use, like retaining one of the up-and-comers from the minors that will put the team over-the-top competitively.

twins33
1 year 5 months ago

I trust Tonkin, but I do not trust Thielbar at all. He was the 2nd worst reliever in allowing inherited runners to score. He inflated everyone else’s ERA but his own. Roenicke was the worst. Now I know if they made him a closer then he likely wouldn’t deal with that much if at all, but the dude was way lucky a lot too.

I expect a 3.50+ ERA from him going forward. I don’t even want him on the team really. I’d rather have Diamond in the pen over him. Diamond is usually good a few times through the order then he gets rocked.

Pennsy
1 year 5 months ago

Twins being willing to pay a steep price for a closer is how the Nats got Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps.

Ron Loreski
1 year 5 months ago

Joe Mauer had a hand in that too. Ramos had no spot in Minnesota.