Friday, April 4, 2008

Royals/Twins Preview

The undefeated first place Royals roll into the Metrodome to begin a three game swee.....series with the Twins tonight. We get our first look at lefty John Bale as he takes on Royals killer Scott Baker. Baker went 3-0 versus the R's last season so he will take the mound with all kinds of confidence.
This has the makings of a letdown series. After sweeping one of the best teams in the division and then to take on a 1-3 team it would be understandable for KC to lose a little focus. But I have a feeling that Trey will not let that happen. The bats will have to come alive though because even though they swept Detroit they had a team OBP of just .311.

Royals 3-0
.257/.311/.389 3 HRs 4.3 R/G
1.55 ERA 29 IP 24/9 K/BB

Twins 1-3
.238/.290/.310 1 HR 2.0 R/G
3.75 ERA 36 IP 23/6 K/BB

Tomorrow Gil Meche takes on Livan Hernandez and Sunday Brett Tomko takes on Boof Bonser.
I'm not real confident about the Sunday game but I really like our chances tonight and tomorrow. But with the way the season has started would it be surprising if Tomko went out and pitched a no hitter? Yeah, probably so but even though I was against the signing I'll withhold criticism until it is warranted. And when it is I'll have plenty to say.
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I asked our favorite Twins blogger John Meyer a few questions about his team and he was gracious enough to answer and I returned the favor and answered a few questions for his blog.

What one player on the Royals would you want to play for the Twins?

The one player I'd love to see in a Twins uniform is Alex Gordon. The Twins are undoubtedly building for the future, specifically 2010, and Gordon would be a great player to have at the hot corner. With the young players like Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, and Carlos Gomez, Gordon's bat as well as his glove would be a welcome addition. We signed Mike Lamb to a 2-year $6 million deal but I'm not sure he's the solution. As a Husker sports fan, I've followed Gordon ever since Nebraska's great run at the College World Series. A team that included not only Gordon, but Joba Chamberlain and Brian Duensing and Jeff Christy (both players in the Twins minor league system).

What one player for the Twins would you like to see playing elsewhere?

I think I would most like to see Craig Monroe wearing a different uniform and for two reasons. 1) He is taking at bats from Jason Kubel. In 2004, Jason Kubel was a better hitting prospect than both Mauer and Morneau. After a terrible knee surgery stole nearly two season, Kubel started to show a return to his ability in 2007. He needs the at bats to develop for the Twins. 2) The Cubs basically handed us Craig Monroe and we're paying him $3.82 million. I feel like for small market team with a lot of needs, this money could have been better spent. Plus, there were cheaper bat options out there like Emil Brown, Tony Clark, Mike Sweeney, Bobby Kielty, et. al. Monroe has always hit well at the Metrodome, so lets hope he proves me wrong.

How do you feel about the Santana trade?

The Johan Santana trade was a tough situation to be in for a Twins fan (and a Twins blogger). For months Santana was staying, going, staying, going. The Twins were getting Phil Hughes, then Jacoby Ellsbury, then Jon Lester. It was especially tough when the trade with the Mets went down and immediately all media outlets claimed the Mets made a great heist. The Twins traded the best pitcher on the planet and didn't even get Fernando Martinez, the Mets #1 prospect. However, with time I've tried to remain positive about the trade. I believe the distraction of Santana needed to be taken care of before the season started whether by trade or a long-term deal. In the early going, Carlos Gomez appears to be a special spark at the top of the lineup. Young pitcher Deolis Guerra has a very high ceiling but is only 18 and won't be seen in the majors for a few years. I think if Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey become contributors to the team in the next couple years the trade can be looked back on as a success. But all this remains to be seen.

Thanks John.
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I am not sad to see Santana out of our division. Yeah I know he's the best pitcher in the game and I should enjoy watching him pitch but screw that, let him torment another fan base or fifteen.

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