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.

 

Patrick Reusse can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on AM-1500. • preusse@startribune.com

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MinnesotaK. Gibson (11-10)000
BaltimoreC. Tillman (11-5)000
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NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs 5 Bottom 9th Inning
St. Louis 1
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Pittsburgh 3
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 6 3rd Qtr 11:35
Massachusetts 0
West Virginia 10 2nd Qtr 6:30
(2) Alabama 10
Rice 10 2nd Qtr 5:51
(17) Notre Dame 14
(10) South Dakota St 10 2nd Qtr 2:19
(24) Missouri 21
Fla Atlantic 7 2nd Qtr 6:29
(22) Nebraska 24
California 24 2nd Qtr 4:35
Northwestern 7
Marshall 21 2nd Qtr 6:29
Miami-Ohio 3
UC Davis 0 2nd Qtr 12:36
(11) Stanford 14
Arkansas 7 2nd Qtr 13:20
(6) Auburn 21
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 1st Half 5:00
Seattle 0
New England 4:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
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