Sunday, March 16, 2008

...And Bad News

Listened to TRN again today.

Good day at the plate for Mauer, Morneau, and Monroe. Span took advantage of the hole on the right side in his 1 AB, raising his Sense from Center Adjusted hitting line to .323/.432/.452. Nathan and Crain pitched a scoreless inning each.

Gomez got another bunt single in his first AB, stole second, moved to 3rd on a throwing error from the catcher (needlessly diving head-first into the bag), and scored on a single by Mauer. In his next AB, he failed to advance Punto from 2nd with nobody out, striking out swinging on 4 pitches. He knocked himself out of the game in the top of the 5th, crashing into the CF wall while making a terrific running catch. Sounds like he's going to be OK.

Buscher and Harris each hit the ball hard in their first ABs, but ended the day with nothing to show for themselves. Harris twice failed to drive anyone in with the bases loaded.

Randy Keisler and Juan Rincon got themselves into trouble with walks. Though Keisler didn't give up any runs, I wouldn't be surprised to see him cut soon. This was Rincon's first bad inning - hopefully it's a fluke.

The really disconcerting thing about this game was the performance by Livan Hernandez. He managed to give up 6ER on 9H and a BB to a Blue Jays lineup consisting entirely of backups and minor leaguers. I can't say I'm looking forward to him facing starters! He isn't going to be an "innings-eater" if he has to leave the game in the 5th inning because he can't get anybody out. He's got two more spring starts to try and put things together. Right now, I can't believe that either Slowey or Blackburn will have to start the season in Rochester so Livan can make the opening day start. Yikes!

The broadcast today featured some thoughts from Twins president Jerry Bell and former manager Tom Kelly. TK said he would be inclined to give the CF job to Gomez, despite the mistakes he would expect, because of his game-changing speed. Dan Gladden feels (as I do) that Span is the better choice because he is more polished and would make all the plays. Gardy has acknowledged that Span has been playing more consistently well, while Gomez is far more explosive and exciting. It will be interesting to see which he ultimately values more.

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