Reusse: Few Twins get good grades in 50-game report

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 29, 2014 - 7:19 AM

Twins starter Kyle Gibson pitched six scoreless innings Wednesday night at Target Field. It did him no good. The Twins couldn’t produce a clutch hit in the first three innings against journeyman Joe Saunders, and couldn’t produce a whimper against Shawn Tolleson, Neal Cotts, Jason Frasor and Joakim Soria after that.

Jared Burton gave up a run in the seventh, to the surprise of no one in the announced crowd of 26,472, and the Rangers eased to a 1-0 victory.

The Twins are now 24-26 after 50 games, meaning they are more bad than good.

How would you grade this outfit by position after 50 games? Scratch that. I don’t really care. This is how I rate them:

CATCHER — Kurt Suzuki, backed up by Josmil Pinto. Suzuki is heading back to his normal range as a hitter, but the veteran was a terrific signing to fill the gap when Joe Mauer was moved to first base. Suzuki complained to Ron Gardenhire early this season … when the manager didn’t have him in the lineup for a day game after a night game. Pinto is subpar as a catcher, but he can hit. Grade: B.

FIRST BASE — Brian Dozier led off Wednesday’s game with a double. Mauer was next and hit a bouncer to second, allowing Dozier to get to third with one out. There were hand slaps in the dugout and Mauer was lauded for a “productive out.’’ OK, but as Earl Weaver used to say, “What’s wrong with a double?’’

Later Mauer struck out in the seventh vs. lefty Cotts with a runner on third and two outs. There were loud boos. Whether he’s the highest-paid Twins player of all-time or was a guy making a few million, Mauer is having a wretched season. Grade: D.

SECOND BASE — Dozier has been outstanding in the field. He has 11 home runs. More than that, he gives you sense that he expects something good to happen when he’s at the plate. Grade: B.

SHORTSTOP — Eduardo Escobar was given the job after the Twins spent a month watching Pedro Florimon flail away. Escobar has been serviceable in the field and, so far, a doubles-hitting machine at the plate. Danny Santana could play here, if necessary, and I’m a fan. Grade: C.

THIRD BASE — Fielding is never going to be an asset with Trevor Plouffe, although he’s been moderately improved this season. His average is going down, but his RBI total of 30 is solid. Grade: C.

LEFT FIELD — Jason Kubel has made 33 starts in left. Josh Willingham has returned from a wrist injury for this Texas series. Kubel has hit the skids. Willingham has played little and has done nothing. Grade: D.

CENTER FIELD — Aaron Hicks missed Wednesday’s game because of a sore back. He can play out there but was so overmatched at the plate he gave up switch-hitting. This is going to be a desperate situation all season. Grade: F.

RIGHT FIELD — This will be Oswaldo Arcia’s spot, if he doesn’t encounter maladies that keep him from the lineup. He’s going to be a hitter, but for now … Grade: C.

DESIGNATED HITTER — Pinto is the best option here, but Gardenhire has that two-catcher paranoia. Kubel will be seen here more than Pinto, so … Grade: D.

STARTING PITCHERS — Phil Hughes (A) had a so-so start, then made a quick turnaround. Sam Deduno (C+) has been OK, and he takes the short straw in working with the less-than-smooth Pinto. Gibson (C+) is in his first full season in the big leagues and he’s going to be OK. Ricky Nolasco (D) has offered the lethal mix of throwing a few meatballs per game and not being able to put away hitters. Kevin Correia (F) has been bad in 10 starts; Mike Pelfrey (F), now in Rochester on rehab.

BULLPEN — Glen Perkins (B+) is 14 of 16 in saves, with 31 strikeouts in 23⅓ innings. Brian Duensing (B) and Casey Fien (B) supply confidence as a left-right combination in front of Perkins.

The rest of the bullpen offers less reliability: Caleb Thielbar (C+), Anthony Swarzak (C-), Jared Burton (D) and Matt Guerrier (incomplete).

That’s my 50-game report. If you disagree with this grading, I don’t care.

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Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:T.May(3-4) L:H.Noesi(8-10) S:G.Perkins (34)
HR: MIN- T.Plouffe (14), J.Schafer (1) CWS- J.Abreu (35), A.Nieto (2)

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Tampa Bay - WP: J. McGee 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: B. Morrow 5
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 6
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez 7
Miami - WP: A. DeSclafani 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon 4
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Garza 9
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 4
Minnesota - WP: T. May 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 4
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 4
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 10
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 6 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 4 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: Y. Petit 2
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 6 FINAL
Arizona - WP: Z. Spruill 8
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 4 FINAL
Seattle - LP: C. Young 0
NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: D. O`Day 3
Miami 10 FINAL
Buffalo 29
Jacksonville 10 FINAL
Washington 41
Dallas 26 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Arizona 25 FINAL
NY Giants 14
New England 30 FINAL
Minnesota 7
New Orleans 24 FINAL
Cleveland 26
Atlanta 10 FINAL
Cincinnati 24
Detroit 7 FINAL
Carolina 24
St. Louis 19 FINAL
Tampa Bay 17
Seattle 21 FINAL
San Diego 30
NY Jets 24 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Kansas City 17 FINAL
Denver 24
Houston 30 FINAL
Oakland 14
Chicago 28 FINAL
San Francisco 20
Philadelphia 9/15/14 7:30 PM
Indianapolis
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
Boise State 38 FINAL
Connecticut 21
Indiana 42 FINAL
Bowling Green 45
Ga Southern 38 FINAL
Georgia Tech 42
Syracuse 40 FINAL
Central Mich 3
UCF 10 FINAL
(18) Missouri 38
Massachusetts 31 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
Ohio U 14 FINAL
Marshall 44
West Virginia 40 FINAL
Maryland 37
Kent State 0 FINAL
(23) Ohio State 66
Pittsburgh 42 FINAL
FIU 25
East Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia Tech 21
Louisville 21 FINAL
Virginia 23
Wyoming 14 FINAL
(2) Oregon 48
Air Force 48 FINAL
Georgia State 38
(13) Georgia 35 FINAL
(14) So Carolina 38
Arkansas 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 28
Iowa State 20 FINAL
Iowa 17
Miami-Ohio 10 FINAL
Michigan 34
Kansas 3 FINAL
Duke 41
NC State 49 FINAL
So Florida 17
Arkansas State 20 FINAL
Miami-Florida 41
Miss State 35 FINAL
South Alabama 3
Louisiana 15 FINAL
(10) Ole Miss 56
Minnesota 7 FINAL
TCU 30
Illinois 19 FINAL
Washington 44
Army 0 FINAL
(16) Stanford 35
Western Mich 45 FINAL
Idaho 33
Eastern Mich 3 FINAL
Old Dominion 17
Southern Miss 12 FINAL
(3) Alabama 52
Northern Ill 48 FINAL
UNLV 34
Tulsa 21 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 50
ULM 0 FINAL
(8) LSU 31
Wake Forest 24 FINAL
Utah State 36
Western Ky 47 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 50
TX-San Antonio 13 FINAL
(25) Oklahoma State 43
Purdue 14 FINAL
(9) Notre Dame 30
Kentucky 30 FINAL
Florida 36
New Mexico St 24 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 42
Tennessee 10 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 34
(17) USC 31 FINAL
Boston College 37
Navy 35 FINAL
Texas State 21
(12) UCLA 20 FINAL
Texas 17
Penn State 13 FINAL
Rutgers 10
Rice 10 FINAL
(6) Texas A&M 38
(15) Arizona State 38 FINAL
Colorado 24
(24) Nebraska 55 FINAL
Fresno State 19
Nevada 28 FINAL
Arizona 35
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Montreal 16 FINAL
Edmonton 33
Toronto 33 FINAL
Calgary 40
Winnipeg 9 FINAL
Brt Columbia 26
Saskatchewan 3 FINAL
Hamilton 28
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