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Archive for the ‘AL Central’ Category

Monday Mancrush

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Joe Mauer kicks ass. Just sayin’. And he hit a homerun to left-center field, which is the part of Target Field that probably vexes him most. In 2009 he hit a bunch of homers to left center in the Metrodome, but the ball doesn’t carry that way in Target at all. So it’s  nice to see him do that. Really nice. Yeah, I’m mancrushing hard on Joe Mauer again. Adrian who?

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Written by jjvedamuthu

April 15, 2013 at 19:10

Indians Were “Entertaining” on Saturday

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Now this is what I meant when I claimed the Indians would be an entertaining ballclub in 2013. They can’t possibly do this in every games, so I figure them for an “around-.500” team.

Swisher hit a 2-run shot in the first inning, and then Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam as part of a 6-run fifth inning. Good times.

Oh, and Justin Masterson was magnificent on Friday night. Lots of first-pitch strikes. Terry Pluto wrote

Masterson pitching like a throwback to my youth…complete game…shutout…113 pitches, one walk.

Terry Francona managing like they did back when I was a kid, allowing the starter to put the final stroke on his mound masterpiece.

 

Written by jjvedamuthu

April 13, 2013 at 17:34

Indians Rotation Wretched, as Expected

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Wow, with the exception of Justin Masterson, the starting pitching for the Cleveland Indians has been, well, terrible.

This does make them, you know, kind of entertaining, as their offense is decent, and could end up being better that merely decent, so they will play in lots of softball-like games with plenty of scoring. This will, of course, drive the true Indians faithful, a long-suffering lat for sure, crazy, for they will lose a number of games in which they score 6—or even more—runs.

The real lesson out of all this, of course, is that major league teams should stop paying Brett Myers a single penny above the major-league minimum salary, and that might even be too much money as he may well be the poster boy for “below-replacement-level fodder.” But perhaps I’m being too hard on Myers as Ubaldo Jimenez, pictured above, has also been awful.

 

Written by jjvedamuthu

April 12, 2013 at 13:34

No Harang for the Twins

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The Mariners have acquired Aaron Harang from the Rockies thus precluding the Twins from doing the same, something I speculated about here.

On the one hand, showing faith in your youngsters is an essential part of true rebuilding efforts such as the one in which the Twins find themselves. On the other hand, signing guys like Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia, well, let’s just say those acquisitions are in no way exciting for Twins fans.

Aaron Harang would be the same sort of thing, really. Except he’s been better than either Pelfrey or Correia.

Oh well. Here’s hoping that the kids will be readier for the Twins sooner rather than later.

Written by jjvedamuthu

April 12, 2013 at 13:22

Correia vs. Tigers

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Kevin Correia has gotten through 2 IP without allowing any Tiger runs so far.

Actually, Correai should be good for the Twins in Target Field this year. (Which is not to say that he will continue the string of scoreless innings vs. Detroit today.) He is a flyball pitcher, and flyballs don’t easily leave the yard at Target when hit power alley to power alley. And I shouldn’t have to explain this to Twins’ fans: Joe Mauer’s power in 2009 was (a) unsustainable in the long run, but (b) also focused towards left-center field, where, in the Metrodome, he hit a number of homers. Target Field has worked to further dampen Mauer’s diminished power; he’d probably be a 15-18 HR guy in, say, Arizona or Milwaukee or Texas.

Dead pull hitters, like, say, Josh Willingham can have success at Target, but over 70% of all the homeruns that make it out of the big-league ballparks are hit between left-center and right-center. So Target is net-beneficial to pitchers.

Anyway, Correia could be decent in Minneapolis, but not great. He was above-average when with the Padres, back before they moved in the fences and Petco Park was the most extreme thing since Griffith Stadium.

UPDATE: And now the Tigers have struck in the 3rd inning. I still think he’ll be okay over the longer term.

Written by jjvedamuthu

April 3, 2013 at 13:47

Target Field Icebox

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Not real warm for the opener I hear. Pictures of guys in ski masks and baseball uniforms. Brrr. Baseball really sucks in the cold, using wood bats. Brr. Sucks.

Written by jjvedamuthu

April 1, 2013 at 15:39

Posted in AL Central, Twins

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Tiger Bullpen

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Remember what I was saying about the back end of the Tiger bullpen? Well, from a perspective of defined roles in the bullpen, let’s call that the “mainstream” perspective, things have gotten even more unsettled and thus unsettling for Tigers fans.

That the whole “defined closer” thing represents reification on a grand scale–the baseball world’s worship of a concept of bullpen usage* that is merely a convention, not a natural law–is beyond question, but it is not the point at hand.

No, the point at hand is that the Tigers bullpen depth, already questionable, degrades still further with this move. Regardless of who gets “save opportunities,” the person who gets them also becomes unavailable to use in earlier, higher-leverage situations, those whose resolution has a relative higher affect on the outcome of the game.

This means Rick Porcello better be for real, and he better be able to worth six solid innings before Leyland turns to his bullpen. One wonders whether Leyland retains the flexibility to use a bullpen without defined roles well. He talks like it, but we’ll see. If he fails to retain that flexibility, well, the results may be scary.

To conclude, nothing has changed about the status of the back end of the Tigers bullpen: it is still shaky.

*An alternative to the defined role convention of usage appears here, though I am neutral with regard to its efficacy.

**UPDATE: The Detroit News is all over this, the headline declaring the closer job “up for grabs.”

Written by jjvedamuthu

March 28, 2013 at 23:18