Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I've written about the difference between the White Sox and Twins before, and now I'll do it again.
Last year around the trade deadline the Sox traded their pre-season top pitching prospect, Daniel Hudson, to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Edwin Jackson.
In 32 games as a starter for the D'Backs Hudson is 17-7 with a 2.99 era. He averages just barely over one runner per inning pitched, and for every walk he's issued he's thrown 3.81 strikeouts. Oh and he's 24 years old and makes $419,000 this season.
Jackson has now been traded more times (5) than career shutouts (4.) So far this season Jackson is 7-7 with a 3.92 era. 2.49 k:bb ratio. He's 27 and making $8.35 million this year.
Today Jackson was traded to the Blue Jays for middle relievers Jason Frasor and Zack Stewart and will be immediately flipped to the St. Louis Cardinals so the Blue Jays can acquire Cards outfielder Colby Rasmus.
So let me ask you. Would you have traded Edwin Jackson for Daniel Hudson? Who would you rather have tomorrow? Daniel Hudson in your rotation or Stewart and Frasor in your 'pen?
The Twins would never trade their top pitching prospect, Kyle Gibson, for Edwin Jackson.
Sox General Manager Kenny Williams pushed for the trade last Summer and Ozzie G uillen pushed to have this trade today. Ozzie was right all along and Peter Gammons says it best: "When managers make trades, general managers often trade jobs."
PS: let's ignore the following things concerning the Twins: The Santana trade, the Garza trade, trading JJ Hardy for Jim Hoey, signing Tsuyoshi Nishioka, trading Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps and possibly trading Denard Span.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Three thoughts I have during baseball's extended vacation.
The Twins have played really solid ball over the last six weeks or so and it's astonishing to see. Their bullpen is still not good, especially with closer Matt Capps recent struggles and doesn't seem fit to get much better. The lineup should only get better. With Delmon Young set to rejoin the team after the break he needs to step up his game ASAP, not just because he's trade bait at either the trade deadline or this Winter, but because it looks like Trevor Plouffe will be used in the corner outfield spots and Denard Span is going to come back sooner or later. This team's quest for an incredible turnaround this season might depend on how the outfield situation is handled.
It was really nice to see the Twins take three of four from the Whitey's over the weekend and are now 31-8 against them since May of 2009. But at the end of the day who gets the last laugh? The White Sox won the World Series in 2005 and beat the Twins in game 163 in 2008. So what would you rather have? A .795 win percentage versus your rival in a regular season stretch or a World Series title and a pivotal win over your rival to give you a chance to win the World Series? I know what I'd pick...
Much is being talked about all the players sitting out of the All-Star game and I understand that. A total of 84 players have been named to both squads combined (some of that has to do with no pitcher who started Sunday can't play in the game) which is waaayyy to much and a sad addition to the "everyone gets a medal" society that we live in. ESPN's Buster Olney is proposing an idea that during spring training MLB should ask EVERY player whether they would play in the game if they were selected and if not don't put them on the ballot. Well if you did that stupid people would still write in votes for Derek Jeter anyways so don't waste the time. A lot of this outcry is over the fact that the game now decides home field advantage. With the AL team missing Jeter and Alex Rodriguez there's been this whining that the game matters and they need to play. Newsflash: Jeter's batting .270 with a .330 on base percentage (53 points lower than his career average), three home runs and gets worse at defense by the hour. Him not showing up BENEFITS the American League. Same with Rodriguez, he's got a tear in his knee. How would he help? It does hurt that the (smart) rule of no Sunday pitchers making the trip keeps Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, Dan Haren and James Shields out of the game. All those guys would be top-7 guys in CY Young voting.
Either don't make the game matter or if you want to, don't let the fans vote. Figure it out.
I would not be shocked if the Milwaukee Brewers are representing the National League in this year's World Series. Yes, the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves are playing better, but unless Philadelphia can get a right-handed outfield bat and the Braves can land another legit hitter, their lineups don't match up with Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. The Brewers need to add a bullpen arm, get more out of third baseman Casey McGehee and no, they don't play defense, but I wouldn't want to face Zack Grienke, Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf in the playoffs. Those starters match up well with Philly's staff, and if it comes down to the lineups I like Milwaukee. I don't want to get ahead of myself, the Cardinals and Reds are still tough teams they have to beat in their own division, but looking forward I fear what the Brewers are capable of. With Fielder's pending free agency there's also a sense that this might be their shot.
After a Badger Rose Bowl appearance and Packer Super Bowl win, I sure hope I'm wrong.