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The Bleacher Bums: May 1, 2007 Archive

Torrid Torii

Posted at 10:53 AM on May 1, 2007 by Chris Dall

It’s been an eventful month for Torii Hunter. There was the Jackie Robinson controversy. The KC champagne fiasco. Getting beaned by Royals pitcher Zach Greinke. But through it all, Torii has gotten off to a great start. His .326 batting average is well above his career average of .270, and his .352 obp is nearly 30 points higher than his career average. With Morneau and Mauer performing as expected, and Michael Cuddyer continuing to blossom, the middle of the Twins lineup is looking more like sharks than piranhas.

If Torii can keep this pace up, he’ll likely have a career year, fitting for a guy who’ll be 32 in July. Oh, and there’s also the fact it’s his contract year. So what do you do if you’re Twins GM Terry Ryan? Let’s just throw out the possibility that the team may look to deal Hunter at the trading deadline. I doubt that will happen. But do they resign him for a Johnny Damon-type contract, which he’ll most likely want? It’s difficult to see that as well.

I’ve never considered Torii an elite player, at least not offensively, but with his defense and leadership, he’s clearly an important figure on this team. The Twins need to decide just how important he is.

One last dance for Ponson?

Posted at 1:04 PM on May 1, 2007 by David Zingler

Sidney Ponson enters tonight’s start in Tampa with an ugly stat line: 1-3, 8.44 ERA, .368 BAA and a WHIP of 2.06. Is his job on the line tonight? While I always like seeing the Twins win, it may be best in the long run for Ponson to get rocked early and released tomorrow. We all know this experiment won’t end well, so why not sooner rather than later?

In case you were wondering, down in Rochester, Kevin Slowey is 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA, Scott Baker is 2-0/1.57 and Matt Garza is 0-1/2.84.

Twins activate Cirillo and say bye to Casilla

Posted at 4:54 PM on May 1, 2007 by Tom Scheck

From the AP:

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The Minnesota Twins activated infielder Jeff Cirillo from the 15-day disabled list today. Cirillo had surgery to repair a cartilage tear in his left knee back on April 11th. He played in one minor league game rehab game, last night with Class-A Fort Myers.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Cirillo likely will start tomorrow at Tampa Bay as the designated hitter.
To make room for him, the Twins optioned infielder Alexi Casilla to AAA Rochester.
Casilla hit .233 with two R-B-Is and four stolen bases in 14 games. But he struggled in the field, making several key mistakes in Twins losses.

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