Posted at 11:20 AM on May 16, 2005
by David Zingler
Smith suffers another setback
One of the more interesting stories in the Twins minor league system is that of reliever Bud Smith. As a rookie phenom with St. Louis back in 2001, Smith hurled a no-hitter against the Padres in September. Since then however, nothing has gone right for the left-hander. After beginning the 2002 season in Triple A, Smith was dealt to Philadelphia in the Scott Rolen trade. A series of shoulder problems however, prevented him from ever pitching for the Phillies.
Now 25, Smith is attempting to resurrect his once promising career in the Twins organization. After going 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA in three appearances with Triple A Rochester, he was sent back to extended spring training in Ft. Myers, FL.
Speedy outfielder Denard Span, the Twins top pick in 2002, is currently hitting .348 with a .422 on-base-percentage and 7 steals at Single A Fort Myers. Teammate Matt Moses, a first rounder in 2003, is manning third base and batting .339 with 6 homeruns in 33 games. Last years’ top pick, shortstop Trevor Plouffe, meanwhile is struggling at Single A Beliot, hitting just .151 in 33 games.
Had Justin Morneau not come back so strong after his beaning, Garrett Jones may have been breathing down his neck. The Rochester first baseman recently had an eleven game hitting streak and is currently batting .328 and slugging .569.
Reliever Francisco Liriano, acquired in the A.J. Pierzynski trade, wowed many during spring training with his high 90s fastball, but so far he’s been inconsistent at Double A New Britian, posting a 1-4 record and 3.78 ERA.
The nuggets of sports news are informative, but we MPR types also would appreciate stories about attendance, Metrodome concessions offerings, and comparing team owners to Mr. Burns. Less pique, more cheek!