Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.
Follow Randball on Twitter
Kyle Gibson had been effective through two starts this season, allowing just one run in each case and getting a victory both times. Within both starts, though, there were cracks that left plenty of us with "yeah, buts." He went just 11.1 combined innings in the two starts and allowed eight walks, neither of which are signs of sustainable success.
On a blustery Thursday afternoon, though, Gibson continued his trend of great results and reversed the trends of high walks and low innings. He went a career-high eight innings of shutout ball, walking just one and using just 105 pitches. On the postgame radio interview, Gibson said he lobbied to try to pitch the ninth and go for a shutout, but he was overruled -- understandable with a seven-run lead on a chilly day.
Had he gone out and thrown the ninth, however, Gibson would have joined some rare company.
There have only been FOUR complete games pitched all season, which will probably make retired players from previous generations spit and curse. The Twins had just one CG last season, a shutout delivered by Andrew Albers.
If Gibson keeps this up, though, he should get his chance -- maybe on a warmer day in May or June.
In between, it might get as warm as 40.
We were over at Target Field for an announcement this morning on members of the Twins organization being named ambassadors for the All-Star Game, which is being held in a few months at Target Field when it will hopefully be a few dozen degrees warmer.
We went outside near field level right afterwards, around 10 a.m., and not long after manager Ron Gardenhire popped into the dugout, looked around and simply mouthed the word, "wow." Pitching coach Rick Anderson did the same thing. The field itself looked great; at that point, though, there was snow on top of both dugouts and plenty of wet spots along the edges and warning track.
It's somewhere between impressive and crazy that the Twins will likely pull this off today and get both games in. The unbalanced schedule means this is Toronto's only visit to Minnesota this year, so the Blue Jays clearly have an interest in getting in all three games and not having to wedge in an extra game somewhere later in the year. But we have to imagine actual butts in seats will be hard to find.
The 13 position players? Well, as we've discussed at length, this is where the real problem begins. And now that the team has pretty much decided on the 13 it will keep, apathy is reaching record levels.
Granted, the battles for spots were not between Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Any 13 they would have kept probably would have generated this very same post.
But a typical starting lineup of Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel, Josh Willingham, Oswaldo Arcia, Trevor Plouffe, Aaron Hicks, Kurt Suzuki and Pedro Florimon (or something like that), with Josmil Pinto, Chris Colabello, Jason Bartlett and Eduardo Escobar off the bench ... well, we really have no idea how that lineup is going to score runs. No clue. And neither, do we imagine. does Ron Gardenhire know what to do with them.
This is perhaps the most pessimism we have detected over a recent Twins team, which is hard to do when you lose 95 games three years in a row. At the very least, it's the most apathy.
There will still be nice crowds on warm summer nights. But there will be many long, gray days at Target Field as well.
The Twins have already committed $20 million per season over the next three years to pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. This is a clear sign of progress and attention being paid to the starting rotation, even if there are still gobs of Twins fans out there who will never be satisfied with any offseason unless it includes landing the 10 best free agents.
Nolasco and Hughes were definitely among the top 10-15 starters available on the market this offseason. So are Bronson Arroyo and Matt Garza -- the former being around the same slot as Nolasco, perhaps, and the latter being above all of them because of his potential.
That said, even if the Twins have been linked to Arroyo and Garza, this offseason is not a sudden failure if they can't land another top-of-the-rotation pitcher. That leads us to Mike Pelfrey, who pitched here last season in his first year off of Tommy John surgery.
Most Twins fans are treating a possible two-year deal for Pelfrey as some sort of crime.
Listen: Pelfrey is only 29 years old. Pitchers generally get better the further removed they are from that major elbow surgery, and there were even signs last year that Pelfrey was improving as the year went along. Batters had an .837 OPS against him in the first half of the season; it was .731 in the second half. Before getting hurt, he threw at least 184 innings in four consecutive seasons. Two of those years were quite good -- ERA around 3.70 and at least 200 innings in both.
Bottom line: don't get caught up in 2013 Pelfrey when thinking about the Twins possibly re-signing him. As a mid-to-bottom of the rotation starter, he would be more than fine.
We'll buy that. Revenues at Target Field are giant compared to what they were in the Dome, and the team's payroll at Target Field has generally reflected that.
But if Nolasco and the subsequent Phil Hughes signing for $8 million a season were products of that increased internal money, the Twins' pursuit of even more high-priced free agents in an attempt to shore up their pitching staff and other holes is presumably fueled by the sneaky asset all teams have in 2014: a massive increase in TV revenues.
Each team is projected to get about $25 million more in 2014 than in 2013 from national TV money.
Our guy La Velle E. Neal III reports that the Twins are looking at Matt Garza, one of the highest-priced free agents on the market. They have also made runs at A.J. Pierzynski and are looking at some other pitchers and possibly position players, too.
Thanks, TV money.
|Arts (1)||Books (1)|
|Movies (3)||Music (6)|
|Hobbies (1)||Fishing (1)|
|Society (2)||Crime (1)|
|Sports (523)||Baseball (1)|
|Professional baseball (755)||Basketball (8)|
|College basketball (6)||Football (1)|
|College football (118)||Professional football (539)|
|Technology (1)||Food and drink (14)|
|Politics (1)||Transportation (1)|
|Employment (1)||Career development (1)|
|Cooking (2)||Pets (1)|
|Vikings (1047)||Men (3)|
|Games (1)||Gambling (1)|
|Commercial (1)||Animals (3)|
|Dogs (3)||Gripes (1)|
|Newspapers (1)||Beer (6)|
|Minnesota wine retailers (1)||Wine retail + marketing (1)|
|Bad driving (1)||Commuting (1)|
|Family activities (1)||Style (2)|
|Pregnancy (1)||Car buying (1)|
|Retirement (1)||Shopping (1)|
|Chickens (2)||Fruit and berries (1)|
|Weather (1)||Internet (2)|
|Twitter (2)||Video games (2)|
|Web pick (1)||YouTube (1)|
|Birds in the backyard (1)||Business trends (2)|
|Loopholes (1)||Problems on the job (1)|
|The rich get richer (1)||Airlines (1)|
|Midwest getaways (1)||Road trips (1)|
|Skiing (1)||Travel deals (1)|
|Wisconsin (3)||Gopher road games (1)|
|TCF Bank Stadium (1)||NCAA: football (121)|
|Basketball on TV (2)||Gophers coaches (1)|
|Frozen Four (11)||North Dakota (1)|
|College hockey (20)||Fantasy football (12)|
|Golf (84)||Minnesota state tournaments (20)|
|Preps (8)||Soccer (90)|
|WNBA (16)||Wild news (8)|
|Wolves news (363)||NFC (2)|
|Super Bowl (1)||Vikings coaches (1)|
|Behind the scenes (3)||Celebrities (1)|
|Dance (1)||Local TV and radio (2)|
|Ex-players (1)||Injury report (2)|
|Baseball wisdom (1)||Target Field (253)|
|Twins fans (770)||Twins game coverage (17)|
|Twins management (3)||Twins offense (1)|
|Twins pitching (3)||NBA playoffs (1)|
|Wolves draft news (1)||Wolves guards (1)|
|Wolves players (9)||Values and morals (2)|
|Miscreants (1)||Wild coaching (44)|
|Wild game coverage (3)||Wild off-season news (1)|
|Wild player moves (3)||Wild pregame skate (1)|
|Wild trade news (1)||Movies (1)|
|Ortonville (2)||Brad Childress (1)|
|Stillwater (1)||Television (2)|
|NHL news (94)||Outdoors Women (1)|
|Olympics (2)||Olympic hockey (1)|
|Glen Perkins (1)||Health + Beauty (1)|
|Beer (2)||Wine (1)|
|Public safety (1)||Gophers (200)|