With the Twins getting blown out yet again, seems like a good day to lump several Twins thoughts into one blog and welcome your comments. When I listen to some Twins fans write or speak about their frustration with the Twins play, I can't help but think it's more than a little silly. I will not question the Twins effort. I think that all the players and all the pitchers are trying hard, but maybe lacking some intensity. And to be honest, I don't have a problem with that. It's a long season and you want the team to be able to gain that intensity in the playoffs. I have no doubt that they will. To be fair, since the Twins clinched, I haven't been watching the games as intently. I'll be ready by the playoffs and I'll be watching intensely. Just not right now. I don't think I will have any trouble flipping the switch, and I really don't think that the Twins will either.
With that thought, here are a few more Twins notes:
- Justin Morneau says that he is working hard to come back for the ALCS. No matter how this situation is handled by the team, the manager and Morneau, there will be a ton of second-guessing. If Morneau plays and struggles in the ALCS after not playing in three months, the manager will be bashed. If he plays well, some fans will wonder why he couldn't have played sooner. If they decide not to let him play, some will be upset. In my mind, it makes the most sense to have him available on the bench in the ALCS, even if only as a decoy to keep the opponent on their toes.
- If Morneau is added to the playoff roster at some point, he will need to be removed from the 60 Day Disabled List. That means a 40 man roster move must be made. Estarlin de Los Santos could be removed from the 40 man, as could Luke Hughes. Most likely the Twins would release Randy Flores who has zero chance to make the postseason roster.
- Final point on Morneau before moving on. I really don't want him going down to the Instructional League to get at bats. I would much rather he get some live at bats on the field against the likes of Kevin Slowey (if he's not on the playoff roster), Jeff Manship, Randy Flores, Glen Perkins, Pat Neshek or Alex Burnett. The idea of him stepping into the batter's box against 18 to 20 years olds without control kind of scares me.
- But what about Glen Perkins? The Minnesota native has been pitching adequately, but has it been adequately enough to oust the really-struggling Jose Mijares?
- Twins pitching has been really, really bad for the most part since they clinched the division title. Last night was no different, allowing 13 more runs and six home runs. The Blue Jays seem to attack the ball with one type of swing. They aren't up there to hit singles, for sure. This year, it has been successful for them as they are guaranteed to finish above .500 despite finishing fourth in the AL East.
- There seems to be a lot of angst among Twins fans regarding the Twins current woes and how it will translate into the playoffs. Would it be nice to go into the playoffs playing well? Sure. Does it directly affect what actually happens in the playoffs? Not at all. Since being the first team to clinch, the Twins have done a great job of giving Joe Mauer, JJ Hardy, Jim Thome, Jason Kubel and Denard Span time off to heal. The Twins announcers have reminded us that after clinching the division title in 1987, they went on to lose their last five games. Also, the Twins were hot going into the playoffs in 2006 and last year, and got swept. The regular season ends on Sunday afternoon, and the Twins will host the first game of the playoffs on Wednesday. They will have two full days to forget about the negatives of late and prepare physically and more importantly mentally for the playoffs. They'll be ready.
- Let's get back to a topic that we brought up several times over the past few weeks. Who would Twins fans prefer to play in the first round of the playoffs, the Yankees or the Rays. The Yankees would likely throw lefties CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte in the first two games. Phil Hughes would pitch game three with Sabathia and Pettitte likely coming back for games four and five. Jim Thome and Jason Kubel have really struggled against left-handed pitching, and even Joe Mauer's numbers are a little lower than usual against southpaws.
- It seems to me that many of the same people who seem to think that the Twins should be doing anything and everything to gain home field advantage through the ALCS are the same people who say that the Twins will get swept in the first round of the playoffs.
Any other topics you would like to discuss regarding the Twins over the weekend? Please feel free to do so here.
Check out John on The Power Trip morning show on KFAN on Friday at about 7:20.
Is Nick Blackburn having mechanical issues? Parker investigates the topic at Over the Baggy.