My newest Bleacher Report article–check it out!
My newest Bleacher Report article–check it out!
This is my latest Bleacher Report article–please enjoy!
Hello Twins Fans!
I am sure I am not the only one who is puzzled and, dare I say, annoyed by the quasi-familial atmosphere that seems to slink around the Twins organization like smog. Don’t get me wrong, I think camaraderie is great for a team and especially for a team that is struggling like the Twins are however this is a business, not a family.
I guess what pushed me over the edge on this issue was the article I read in which Alexi Casilla spoke with manager Ron Gardenhire about his lack of playing time. In the article, Gardenhire refers to current third baseman Trevor Plouffe as “Plouffey” and Casilla as “Lexi.” This is just a brief example of his “pet names” he uses for his players. To me, and a lot of other people out there, this is not professionalism. This is a manager trying to be a friend instead of a boss–and this is reflected in the performance of his team and their demeanor. In truth, it is not a mature way to go about things.
As far as nicknames go, you do not hear of other managers referring to their players in such a way. Can you imagine if former Yankees manager Joe Torre or current manager Joe Girardi had referred to Alex Rodriguez as “Lexi?” First of all I can’t believe Joe Torre has ever called anyone “Lexi,” even a girl named Alexis if he knows one. It just isn’t something that should be done in a professional organization. Call them by their real names, please Gardenhire. Even calling Michael Cuddyer “Cuddy” was pushing it.
I know this may sound frivolous and not such a big deal but the larger issue here is how this organization and team is perceived and how it is currently being run. Between the nicknames and Gardenhire’s set of golden children I like to call them (Casilla, Plouffe, Revere, etc.), there is something fundamentally wrong here. I find it hard to take the team seriously from a business standpoint if it is run like a family where we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by letting them go when they need to get the heck out of town. NO. Why does the front office continually keep people around who don’t deserve the roster spot? Why do they let go of the people worth keeping (JJ Hardy for example)?
I will tell you why: it is because the Minnesota Twins do not and cannot think outside of the “Minnesota nice” mentality. They would rather endure mediocrity (oh we would be so lucky if we were even that!) or worse than make some waves within the clubhouse. Newsflash people: the way you have been running this team does not work and won’t work. Time for a new game plan. I was hoping for a fresh approach from Terry Ryan when he returned to the organization but we have gotten more of the same: trading away our consistent players and replacing them with scrap heap “talent.”
The Minnesota Twins will not grow as an organization unless the management style changes. In an earlier blog I talked about pitchers Nick Blackburn and Francisco Liriano and the endless chances they get to prove themselves. I would like to ask this question about multiple players in this organization, mainly the ones I have mentioned in this article. When is Gardnehire or Ryan going to stand up and say “enough is enough” and get rid of the dead weight? Baseball is an industry and a business. It is time the Twins grew up and started acting like it.
Thursday night’s loss to the Blue Jays was down right humiliating–running into a tag for a double play, pop up falling to the ground while three Twins players watch it from two feet away, another four inning stink-fest from a starting pitcher. Need I continue? Any more memories and I might need to pull out my brown paper bag to keep from hyperventilating.
In one of my early blogs, I said that the Twins are giving the term “the Bad News Bears” a whole new meaning. I wish I had saved that for this blog. The Twins have been playing horribly all year but Thursday night took it to a whole new level. Manager Ron Gardenhire said in his post-game comments that “Things happened out there that don’t really happen in high school.” Understatement of the year. The Twins are doing things that even little leaguers know better than to do. For a team that once prided itself on its defensive prowess they sure put on a clinic of how not to take care of business.
The Twins can be described on defense as many things but the biggest thing that stands out seems to be the lack of focus. Not only is that dangerous as a line drive would get to you at third base in a hurry but it makes for one painful game to watch. Alexi Casilla’s gaffe at second base that allowed Yunel Escobar to score from second on a grounder to third was not only pathetic but all too descriptive of the Twins’ season thus far–just when you think something good has happened, the team will find a way to screw it up. Casilla made a nice stretch to catch the throw to second base but fell down and seemed to not realize that Escobar was indeed running home. As a professional baseball player, you must be focused on every play. Especially if there is a runner in scoring position. Escobar should never have made it home from second on an infield grounder. This is just one example from Thursday’s comical defensive play.
Offensively the Twins are atrocious. On Thursday they hit into multiple double plays in a game for the 10th time this season. As a team, the Twins are batting .238 on the season–ranking 28th in the league. They are 28th for home runs hit and 28th for runs scored. Correlation and causation? Oh I think so. It is enough to make you want to run and hide every time the Twins take the field or step into the batter’s box.
In light of the shortcomings of this motley crew of multimillionaires who are playing like they need to revisit the basics we all learned in tee-ball or little league, I have devised a way for us as fans to survive the season.
If you are brave enough to attend a game at Target Field, here are instructions for you to make your own brown paper bag Embarrassment Mask:
1. Go to your local grocery store and buy your favorite brand of antacids. Place in brown paper bag.
2. When you get home and are preparing to leave for the game, take your antacids out of the bag and take prescribed dosage. Place empty bag on table.
3. Place paper bag over your head to measure for where to cut out eye holes. Remove bag and cut out the circles for your eyes. Cut out a nose hole if necessary.
4. Take your new mask to the game and place it over your head. This way no one will recognize you when you are either on TV or if you happen to be on KissCam… or any other fan cam at the game.
Use your new mask out of embarrassment or to make a point to the team, your pick!
If you are going to be watching the game from the comfort of your own home or if you are looking to suffer and go to Target Field, here are instructions for your own brown paper bag Hyperventilation Preventer:
1. Obtain brown paper lunch bag.
2. Grasp with the hand of your choice.
3. Breathe into bag when the Twins begin to step on to the field.
4. Continue as needed.
In all seriousness, Twins fans are going to need to find a way to get through this season since it seems that the organization has already given it up for dead. Some fans will move on to other teams, others will stop watching and some will just wait for the Vikings season to start and hope that they do better. After building Target Field for our beloved team from Minnesota, the fans of the Twins deserve so much more and so much better than what we have been given. I, for one, feel betrayed by the Pohlads and the entire organization after okaying the stadium and then getting nothing in return as far as a team worth watching. I can’t imagine how the citizens of Hennipin County must feel after funding the project.
All one can do when their team is the embarrassment of Major League Baseball is hope for better days ahead and try not to hyperventilate. Keep that paper bag on hand, Twins fans. It is going to be a long season.
PART 1: Nick Blackburn
The 2012 season has gotten off to rocky start for starting pitcher Nick Blackburn. After posting an 0-4 record in 5 starts with a 6.84 ERA, fans are looking for some answers from the six year veteran–answers to questions from “When is he going to turn it around?” to “How many more chances is this guy going to get?”
I am asking the second question as well. As much as I hate to sell a player off down the river, it may be time to part ways with Nick Blackburn. While 2012 has been rough already for the starter, his career statistics indicate that he has not been nor is he capable now of pitching to a record above .500 or to an ERA below 4.00. Looking at his career numbers, Blackburn’s peak came in 2009 when he pitched 205.2 innings while going 11-11 with a 4.03 ERA. 2009 was the only year that Blackburn topped 200 innings in a season. While these numbers are not stellar and pale in comparison to many other starting pitchers around the big leagues, one must look at all six years of Blackburn’s career to see the big picture–there is no improvement whatsoever.
There lies my issue with the Twins keeping Blackburn. He has shown no improvement in his quality of pitching and certainly his stats from the beginning of his career up through this current season. In fact, most of his numbers have gotten worse. Blackburn is now 30 years old, not exactly in the early part of his career anymore. There is nothing to indicate that he will improve. Again, “How many more chances is this guy going to get?”
The first problem with unloading Blackburn is this–what team in its right mind would want to pick up a pitcher who is 0-4 on the year and comes with the price tag of $4,750,000? Blackburn signed a four year deal in 2010 with a club option for 2014. In all honesty, the Twins should not exercise that option.
The second problem is that the Twins have no minor league help available to them. The Twins’ two best minor league pitching prospects in Alex Wimmers and Kyle Gibson are both out with, you guessed it, elbow issues. I swear, the Twins organization injury report is like a broken record that is stuck on repeat.
Even with the problems with getting rid of Blackburn, I still believe he needs to go. He has had more chances to prove himself and has failed to do so, usually to the tune of exiting by the 6th inning and after surrendering more runs than our impotent offense can overcome. The organization may just need to eat his salary and send him packing if no other teams are interested. As of right now, he is wasting a roster spot that could be filled with a minor leaguer ready to prove himself.
PART 2: Francisco Liriano
The 2012 season was supposed to be a comeback year for Francisco Liriano after a less than great 2011 season. Of course, that could be said of any member of the Twins’ 2011 campaign however Liriano has been struggling to regain his pre-Tommy John surgery poise and dominance since he went down with the injury in 2006. Liriano made a nice comeback bid in 2010 by going 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA in 191.2 innings pitched but followed it up with a stagnant 2011 that saw Liriano go 9-10 with a 5.09 ERA in just 134.1 innings pitched. His no hitter that he pitched in Chicago gets lost in the dismal 2011 season.
In seven years at the major league level, we have seen Francisco Liriano go from great to bad, better to worse and everywhere in between. While some may say that variety is the spice of life, variety in a starter’s results is not something to be excited about. Lack of consistency has brought Liriano from being hailed as “the next Johan Santana” to observers asking the question “How many more chances is this guy going to get?”
2012 has seen Liriano get off to an 0-5 start with an astronomical 9.45 ERA in just six starts. His pitching velocity has started to return however the erratic nature of his pitching has apparently led him to having confidence issues. You can fix a pitcher’s mechanics but how do you fix his thoughts? The staff thought skipping a start would help him clear his mind–not so. In his start following the extra time off, the left-hander was pulled after 5.1 innings where he gave up 4 earned runs on 7 hits–two of which were home runs. I guess the time off didn’t help very much.
With Liriano as a head case and the Twins not knowing which version of Liriano will take the mound when he starts next, I believe it may be time to say goodbye to the pitcher once thought to be the future of the team. He has never evolved into that power starter that the Twins so sorely needed and continue to need. Liriano is a free agent after the 2012 season so the Twins may just hold on to him until the end of the 2012 campaign and outright release him. Afterall, who is going to pick up his $5,500,000 price tag?
PART 3: What now?
It seems like we have been asking that question a lot lately with these Twins. What does the team do with these two starters who seem to be dead weight now? The long and the short of it is that the Twins need to part ways with both Blackburn and Liriano. They are no longer assets to the organization but now the quandary of it all is that they will garner little to no trade value. I don’t envy the Twins at all–stuck with two pitchers that no one else will want.
With about $10,000,000 in salary tied up in Blackburn and Liriano, the Twins have their hands tied. Maybe in the future they will be a little wiser with where they invest so much of their money…then again, I wouldn’t bet on it.
MINNEAPOLIS — As the Twins continue to struggle, one can’t help but notice how poorly two pitchers in particular are performing. These two pitchers eat up over $10 million of the Twins’ payroll. One of these pitchers is paid $5.5 million a year to be incredibly unpredictable by showing his All-Star form 15% of the time and a rookie league washout 85% of the time. The other pitcher is average at most, but has been rewarded with $4.75 million a year. Of course I am talking about Francisco Liriano and Nick Blackburn. The $10.25 million the Twins drop on these guys every year has yielded a combined record of 0-8 and a combined 8.37 ERA thus far in 2012. Following are some notable tidbits on two of Minnesota’s most overpaid pitchers (careers stats as of May 7, 2012).
Age 30, 2012 Salary $4.75 million
Best year, 11-11 4.03 ERA
Career, 39-50 4.58 ERA
Like Brad Radtke before him, Nick Blackburn is a perfect example mediocre pitching that Twins reward with a hefty contract. However, unlike Radtke, who had a 20-10 breakout season at age 24, at age 30, Blackburn has nothing comparable. Blackburn’s top performances were back to back 11-11 seasons with a 4ish ERA (2008, 2009). In his so called “best years”, he finished 4th for most hits allowed in 2008 and in 2009, allowed the most hits in of any AL pitcher. Following his “top performances”, Blackburn pitched a 10-12 record with a 5.42 ERA in 2010. The Twins awarded his mediocre performance with $3 million for the 2011 season, in which he went 7-10, ERA 4.49. Now he is paid $4.75 million a year.
Age 28, 2012 Salary $5.5 million
Best year, 12-3 2.16 ERA
Career, 47-46 4.37 ERA
During Liriano’s rookie campaign, he posted an impressive 12-3 record with an unheard of 2.16 ERA. Everyone thought he was the next Johan Santana. However, after off season Tommy John surgery, Liriano missed the 2007 season and spent most of his 2008 year playing Triple-A after starting the year 0-3 with a 11.32 ERA with the Twins. Since 2008, he has gone 28-36.
2006 Season compared to his 2012 pace.
————W L ERA ER IP BB SO
2006 12 3 2.16 29 121 32 144
2012 0 24 9.97 144 126 96 102
Bottom line: Liriano had a one great year (2006), one solid year (2010), two fair years (2008 and 2011), and one horrible year (2009). Since his Tommy John surgery, his seemingly once great skills have been up and down, mostly down as seen in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
ARE THE TWINS THE NEXT 2003 TIGERS?
ANAHEIM – Following their 9-0 loss to Jered Weaver and the Angels’, the Twins have fallen to an atrocious 6-18. Needless to say, the Twins are not only dead last in the AL Central, but the entire league. If the season ended today with their current winning percentage of .250, the Twins would finish 41-121. A record like this would grant them the 2nd worst season in the last 70 years of baseball; placing them ahead of the 1962 New York Mets (40-120) and behind the 1952 Pittsburgh Pirates (42-112). Prior to the 1950s, MLB witnessed 3 or 4 clubs a decade, fall victim to 40 some win and triple digit loss season. In the not too distant past, fellow AL Central team, the Detroit Tigers succumbed to a record of 43-119 in 2003.
The 2003 Tigers were a low to midmarket team, ranked 23rd the league in overall team salaries. Unfortunately for Detroit, their payroll was a mere $6 million less of than the 2003 AL Central Champion Minnesota Twins (90-72). Similarly, other teams such as the Florida Marlins (91-71), Pittsburgh Pirates (75-87), and Toronto Blue Jays (86-76) had similar team salaries to the Tigers, but clearly had much better 2003 seasons. Clearly, money isn’t everything. Players can be disappointing or unlucky. Poor performance, injury, and mismanagement by the front office wreaked havoc on the Tigers’ 2003 season.
So how does this compare to the 2012 Twins? It’s tough to say. From a salary stand point, it bows both better and worse for Minnesota. As of today, the Twins have the 13th largest payroll for the 2012 season, meaning that they have the money to buy or trade for talent that the 2003 Tigers might not have. However, the Twins’ front office has been horrendous with signing talent and rewarding mediocrity in the last 2 years. Despite bringing back shoestring budget miracle worker, Terry Ryan as GM, the Twins look mismanaged. A 6-18 record, $94,085,000, and theoretical payment of $2.29 million per win really puts the 2011 season of 63-99 (.388), $112 million payroll, and payment of $1.69 million per win in perspective. Perhaps it is early to know how well the Twins will fair. However, with the M&M Boys already with acute injuries and a pitching staff that appears to be throwing batting practice, it does not look good. Look at the warning signs below.
*Rankings for entire MLB
+ 3rd for least BB allowed
- 30th for ERA
- 30th for SOs
- 30th for Opponent Batting Average (.293)
- 30th for Homeruns allowed (38)
+Ranked 5th for Doubles
+/-Ranked 15th Batting Average (.250)
-Ranked 3rd in Double Plays Grounded Into
-Ranked 24th for runs scored
-Ranked 24th On Base Percentage
-Ranked 27th for Homeruns
+/-16th Errors committed
-Have allow 50 more runs that they have scored (worst in the league by 20).
-Outbatted by opponents by .043 (.293 versus .250).
“Wake me up when it is over.” I have heard this in reference to bad movies, horrible television shows, lectures in college auditoriums–the list goes on. Add now to the list “wake me up when the Twins game is over.”
After being shutout for two straight games and being no-hit on Wednesday by Jared Weaver, the Minnesota Twins are beginning to give the term “the Bad News Bears” a whole new meaning. From their pitching to their hitting, the Twins are an all-around disaster.
I know that every game I watch, I always hope that today will be the day. Today the Twins will turn it around and start down the right path. This is just a bad dream, isn’t it? The Twins are going to start winning, aren’t they? I am coming to realize that this isn’t going to happen. They are on the road to 100 losses with the pedal to the metal. No cruise control here, just gunning it and speeding towards that dubious distinction as quickly as they can.
Perhaps the team isn’t aware of how dire the situation is–it is possible as manager Ron Gardenhire doesn’t seem to grasp the situation. Maybe the team just doesn’t have the talent to compete at the major league level–unlikely as the team has multiple veteran and proven players on the roster. Another possibility is that the Twins can’t stand the pressure of having the 100 loss mark looming and just want to get it over as quickly as possible. Now I know, that was awfully cynical but the idea is substantiated by the fact that they can’t seem to handle the pressure of leading during a game. They have to give the runs back as quickly as they can, that way the expectation of their play isn’t so high.
Whatever the reason is, the fact remains that the Twins are flying towards another stupifyingly bad season. 2012 was supposed to be full of promise. Where is Terry Ryan now? We haven’t heard much from him lately. What about the Pohlads? Have they had enough of Gardenhire, Joe Vavra and Rick Anderson yet? I know I have. I know many Twins fans have as well.
I have been a die hard Twins fan since the moment I was born and that hasn’t changed but something has to give. How can the Front Office expect fans to sit back and accept this atrocious example of a MLB team? At least when you have a nightmare, you can wake up from it. This is a disaster we have to wake up to each morning and see in our Pioneer Press or the Star Tribune and, Heaven forbid, on SportsCenter for everyone in the country to see.
A shake up needs to happen and fast. The Front Office needs to clean house and cut loose Gardenhire, Vavra and Anderson and start fresh. Gardenhire and Vavra have destroyed the hitting approach of this team. Playing “the Twins way” or playing “small ball” is a load of hoey. These two coaches in particular have ruined the offensive talent of this team. What happened to going out and just giving the ball a ride? Here is a novel idea–pitches thrown in the strike zone aren’t the only hit-able pitches. The Twins need to get aggressive instead of just letting the bat rest on their shoulder every time they are in the batter’s box. Maybe their bats are too heavy if they can’t get them off their shoulders…that was a joke!
The Twins are on their way to losing 120+ games if they continue at the clip they are at. If they have a hope or prayer of salvaging even just a little respect this season, some MAJOR changes need to happen ASAP.
Francisco Liriano needs to miss two starts to clear his head, Carl Pavano needs a couple extra days rest to fix his velocity. Between those two pitchers and the others in the rotation that have had injuries and needed extra time off, the Twins’ rotation has started coming apart at the seams…and it is only April 30th! With the front office not looking (or even pretending they are looking) to bring in some new faces, I am not entirely sure how the rotation expects to survive the season. A few different theories have come to mind…
1. The rotation continues to rely heavily on the bullpen to save their hides. This is the current line of thinking in the clubhouse it seems. Thank goodness the bullpen has been solid in most of their appearances however, it can’t last forever. The bullpen broke down last year after the starting pitchers floundered amidst injuries and putrid pitching. The 2011 Twins bullpen did what they could but their arms could only hold up the starters for so long. The 2012 bullpen has been doing their job but the weight that is placed on them by short starts and poor starts will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back again this year.
2. The front office finally brings in some help. And by that I mean quality help. This, of course, is the most unlikely scenario and is definitely wishful thinking. The Twins rotation as it currently sits is not going to win many games. With an ERA of 7.43 and having surrendered 120 runs already this season, the Twins may need to look outside of their organization. I know, scary proposition for them. Pulling pitchers up from the farm system isn’t going to get the Twins back into contention. The 2012 campaign is already looking dismal as the Twins are on pace to lose 98 games after falling to 6-15 after the series with the Kansas City Royals over the weekend. The front office is going to have to dig into their pockets if they want fans to keep buying tickets. No one wants to see a team that bleeds runs before our team even comes up to bat.
3. When all else fails, fake an injury. Barring no help from a trade and if the pitchers continue to struggle even after their new rest schedule, don’t be surprised if it suddenly comes out that our pitchers are injured. Those announcements seem to come at just the right time from the Twins organization. Here is an idea, stand up and say “Yeah, I’m having a bad year. I still want to go out there and pitch. I want to help my team win.” If you aren’t hurt, why are you asking or accepting more time off from the rotation. This just baffles me. I have no doubt that come season’s end, there will be a handful of announcements about how our starters were hurt so that is why they pitched poorly. Take a cue from Matt Capps’ 2011 season. Yes, he didn’t pitch very well however he kept going out there and taking the ball for the injured pitchers and pitch through some arm problems of his own. Hats off to him, I wish the rest of the pitching staff would see that and follow suit instead of turning tail.
While this post is relatively negative and critical of the Twins pitching situation, I do not see many positive things coming from our starters. I am sure Twins fans are thoroughly aware of this next face but I still want to throw it out there: Do not count on the Twins front office to make any marked improvements over the pitchers we have or even with how the situation is being handled. Their mantra has always been to do just enough to keep the fans buying tickets. Here is a radical idea: send the organization a message that just because they got their new stadium, doesn’t mean they stop caring about the team we put out there. If you feel strongly enough about it, don’t go watch the team that puts less-than-passionate pitchers on the mound and then covers for them when they perform poorly. That’s all for this soapbox.
With pitcher Scott Baker out for the 2012 season with upcoming Tommy John surgery, the Twins are now down to just Carl Pavano, Jason Marquis and Francisco Liriano remaining from their original starting rotation. Marquis is slated to make his Twins debut against the Yankees today after missing the first part of the season so be with his daughter as she recovers from a bicycle accident and Liriano is fresh off a dismal 2.1 inning start that saw the Twins fall 8-3 in New York on Tuesday night. While the Twins do have pitchers to fill the gaps (Anthony Swarzak and Brian Duensing), the problem with the rotation needs more than a temporary fix and I believe it may actually have started back in spring training.
The injury to Scott Baker is just the most recent in a line of Twins pitchers who have been placed on the DL in this short season. Joel Zumaya was lost for the year, also to Tommy John surgery. Nick Blackburn will miss his next start (and who knows how much more time after that) because of shoulder issues and Glen Perkins was recently shelved due to forearm tenderness. This, after an outing in which Perkins surrendered the lead during an 8th inning letdown, seemed somewhat conspicuous considering the outcome of the 4-3 loss to the Rangers but that is another story all on its own.
The moral of the injury story this year for the Twins seems to be the training that the pitchers are receiving. I know that I am not the only fan out there who has considered this fact. Many Twins pitchers seem to experience gnat bite injuries that tend to keep them out of the rotation for much longer than would seem necessary. Stiffness there, tenderness there, throw in a discomfort to keep things interesting. Of the four players currently listed on the disabled list for the Twins, each one is a pitcher. This may beg the question of why our pitchers seem to have a durability problem. The longevity of the starting rotation has been a long documented issue but couple the constantly (and irritatingly) short starts with the seemingly injury prone staff and the Twins have a big problem. Stamina is definitely lacking as is the before mentioned durability. I want to ask the question, and many people have already asked it, what is going on during spring training with these pitchers? Why is the pitching staff having these problems when other teams do not? Something may need to change in the training of our pitchers starting with the mentality that they can go longer than 5 innings without falling apart and in the physical strength training.
Since spring training is over and gone, the “retraining” of the Twins’ pitchers will have to wait until next spring. For now, the Twins need to find a pitcher or pitchers to come into the rotation this year. It is pretty safe to say that the Twins won’t be (shouldn’t be) exercising Baker’s option after this season seeing as he won’t be throwing a single pitch this year. Fans have probably seen Baker in a Twins uniform for the last time. That being said, the Twins really need to seek out a starting pitcher either via trade or the waiver line. Of course, a trade would be preferable. Minnesota has a plethora of outfielders, as always, and prospects in the minors that could be dealt in order to land a solid starter. The problem is, and has been, the unwillingness for the club to spend money to upgrade. One might ask, “what about all the money they spent on Mauer and Morneau?” Yes, the team did spend a good deal on those two however the Twins have never really been willing to spend the money it would take to bring in someone from outside the organization to make an immediate impact.
In past seasons, the Twins have made a show of “going after” some free agents. Showing just enough to the fans to make us think that they are trying and to give us hope that they’ll do it. I stopped believing those headlines years ago. I do think this is the time to go out and get a good starting pitcher. Yes, it will probably cost money, money the Twins’ organization grips with a tenacity equaling an alligator’s grip on it’s prey. The Twins’ pitching rotation has lacked a true ace since Johan Santana departed for New York and truly needs someone who can be counted on as a work horse. Carl Pavano was that pitcher before he left the Marlins for the Yankees. He still pitches a good amount of innings each year but he lacks the punch and pizzazz that the rotation sorely needs. Liriano shows flashes of brilliance but he can’t replicate his results with any consistency. Minnesota needs some new blood in the rotation.
If it were in my ability, I would ask Terry Ryan to consider looking to make a trade. I won’t even begin to venture an opinion as to who they could shop but his team needs this. The offense for the Twins will come along. There have been some great innings put together by the bats but the pitching can’t hold the lead. Looking within the organization isn’t enough any more, not with the revamped American League Central. The Twins are going to need to dig deep and bring in some help.