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Twins lose fourth straight, lose another player, plus other random thoughts

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • June 25, 2011 - 10:26 PM
I spoke with two former Twins in the Brewers' clubhouse tonight, after the Brewers won, 11-1, to give the Twins their fourth straight loss.
LaTroy Hawkins said the way Delmon Young jammed his foot against the base of the leftfield wall, he wouldn't be surprised if Young has a more serious injury than the Twins suspect.
The Twins said Young has a sprained ankle, and Young said he doesn't think the injury is serious, but let's see if further tests reveal more.
And Carlos Gomez told me he wasn't trying to show up Francisco Liriano after hitting a long home run, even though Gomez tapped his helmet when rounding third.
``I felt good and excited about it,'' Gomez said. ``They know it's nothing personal about it, especially when I have my best friend on the mound, Liriano. He's one of my best friends. And it's tough when you face your best friend, but tha'ts your job.''
Gomez also told me that his recent struggles haven't changed his opinion that he'll someday be a big-league No. 3 hitter.
``Believe it,'' he said. ``I always work every day for the future. I"m not seeing that I'm a leadoff hitter, because I'm not going to be able to run all my life. I have 220 pounds and I think they know I can hit a home run, but this is the last ability you get. I'm 25 years old, I'm going to still learn how to hit, and when I get my approach right, I think I'm going to be a 3-hole hitter.''
For now, Gomez is sharing centerfield with Nyjer Morgan.
 
-While I'm intrigued by the Wolves' talent, wouldn't they be far more exciting if, instead of taking Wes Johnson, they had taken DeMarcus Cousins?
A lineup of Cousins at center, Kevin Love at power forward and Derrick Williams at small forward would be dynamic. Teams would have to consider doubling Cousins, an excellent passer, and Williams, if Williams is as explosive as I expect him to be. Love could hit open jumpers and crash the boards. Ricky Rubio wouldn't have to launch his broken jump shot often playing with those guys, and the Wolves would simply need to add a good shooting guard (and a real coach) to be competitive pretty quickly.
 
-Joe Nathan pitched the bottom of the eighth. His fastball looked straight and was coming it at 91 and 92 mph, and his breaking pitches didn't show a lot of bite. It turns out this is going to be for him what it is for just about everyone else, a year of getting used to pitching again after having Tommy John surgery.
If the Twins can stay close enough to the division leaders to justify trading for help, a righthanded power reliever is going to be at the top of their list.
While we would have considered the loss of Justin Morneau and Delmon Young devastating at the beginning of the season, neither has produced much this year.
So let's call the Twins' ideal lineup for mid-summer this: Denard Span in left, Casilla at 2b, Mauer at catcher, Cuddyer at first, Kubel in right, Valencia at third, Thome at dh, Revere in center and Nishioka or Tolbert at short.
That's not a powerful lineup, but it could be good enough if the Twins' starting pitchers dominate.
 
-The Twins scored eight runs in the first inning of the first game on the road trip. They've scored seven in the 35 innings since.
 
-Nishioka is raising real concerns. He has a terrible approach at the plate. He doesn't keep his legs under him, which is an approach that works for only one person on the planet, Ichiro. He's miles from being a productive big-league hitter.
-Liriano mentioned after the game that he didn't think the pitch he threw to Gomez was the right choice. Another shot at Mauer's pitch-calling?
 
-Upcoming: I'll be in the MIller Park press box for the Gardenhire Show and Sunday Morning Sports Talk tomorrow, from 9:30-noon on 1500ESPN. We're hoping to feature Derrick Williams, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and Milwaukee radio host Drew Olson as guests.
-My twitter name is @Souhanstrib.
 

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