Monday, June 07, 2004

Twins Fact or Fiction

Today is the first installment of what may become a semi-regular feature of this site. You have seen it on TV with the experts and now here fact or fiction is at this blog. We are not experts but we are knowledgeable, insightful and often opinionated Twins fans. What else do you really need?

1. Luis Rivas deserves to start at second when he comes of the disabled list today.This is tough question to answer. I have been in love with the potential of Michael Cuddyer since the first time I've seen him hit. He just looks like a hitter at the plate. Unfortunately the numbers have not been there. He is mediocre at best in the field with the results being arguably better at second then at third. He has also began to heat up at the plate and despite everything is capable of driving in runs and hitting for power. Rivas was the starting second baseman and can expected to be rusty in his return. He wasn't hitting that well before he went down and that slump goes all the way back to last year. He turns a better double play better than Cuddyer but is not head and shoulders above him in any other area. I'm disappointed that neither have stepped up this year and taken the position. Cuddyer promises more potential but has not done enough to usurp the position. His recent hot hitting, while encouraging, could easily be a slump next week if he follows the pattern has developed in his major league career.
It is a fact that Luis Rivas is still the teams starting second baseman for now. He has been given ample opportunity to succeed but you can expect this to be his last chance. I want to see him provide offense and speed while being solid in the field. The chances of that are slim but at this point he slightly gives the team a better chance to win by bringing back a semblance of stability.

2. Joe Roa would be a better fifth starter then Seth Greisinger.
This is a fact. Joe Roa was a starter in the minors and began last year in the Phillies rotation. He has answered the call this year throwing 29 and a third bullpen innings while posting a 2.76 ERA. He has proved himself for a shot at the rotation. It would be a loss for the bullpen but the role he occupies at the moment is not necessarily that important. The fascination by the staff with Greisinger is troubling. He is not that good. They claim he has pitched better then his numbers indicate but for the whole year? I haven’t seen it. He has looked like just another AAAA pitcher. I'm sure the name Seth Greisinger doesn't spark fear in the hearts of any opponents. Neither does Joe Roa but both are holding down roster spots. The 12 man pitching staff is a luxury the Twins can't afford to have much longer. Roa is more useful and has pitched better. Greisinger or Muholland are the obvious choices to go. Muholland is more versatile then Greisinger. Grant Balfour has not gotten a long enough look since coming off injury to make a determination. It's time to cut bait on Seth Greisinger and go with option Joe.

3. Lew Ford deserves to be an all-star.This is fiction for now. The guy has played his heart out for the team and is a big reason they are only a game out in the standings. To be an all-star, from a good team, in the outfield you have to do almost everything. You can either hit lots of homeruns or steal many bases. Lew can do both but not enough. Even his .328 average is impressive but not nothing special. The Twins who deserve all-star consideration are Joe Nathan, Brad Radke and Carlos Silva. Torii Hunter might be a borderline pick because he is a fan favorite and for his defense. These players have excelled at their positions compared to others in the league. For the Twins to get all-star respect they need to have a good month between now and the game. It helps to be in first place. Guys need to emerge and take their spot on the team. It is hard to say what more Lew can do but he has yet to earn it.

4. Interleague play adds excitement to a long summer.It is a fact. It does take a little bit away from the World Series but adds a completely new element to the game. By the time the Series is played much of interleague play has long since been forgotten anyways. What is remembered is the crazy swings from American League pitchers or the Joe Mauers of the world getting to play with Mike Piazza. National League baseball is a lot of fun and American League fans should get to see it and its stars. The stars come out to play. The intriguing match up comes later this week when the Twins play the Phillies. Both teams were winners in last winters trade. It's too bad Eric Milton is not scheduled to pitch in the series but hopefully Silva manages to pull out a win for the home team.

Thank you for stopping by Twinschatter on what is our two month anniversary. If you agree or disagree with any of my opinions feel free to leave a comment below as always or email me at Anything that leads to Twins chatter is what we are all about here. If you feel like you have more to say feel free to write a column and send it to us. We might publish it and make you one of our guest columnists. All are welcome to take part in the chatter surrounding our favorite team.

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