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The Bleacher Bums: July 6, 2007 Archive

Midterms, Part I: The Position Players

Posted at 12:18 PM on July 6, 2007 by David Zingler

Here are my midterm grades for Twins position players, stay tuned for the hurlers...

Luis Castillo, 2B (.296/.342/.329, 7-10 SB)
Castillo hits for a high average thanks for his uncanny ability to pick up infield hits. His defense is top notch too, but he isn’t a huge threat to steal anymore and is injury prone. I like him at the top of the line-up, but he needs to get his OBP up another 20 points or so.
Grade: B

Jason Bartlett, SS (.254/.338/.323, 17-18 SB)
Bartlett did not enjoy the hot start he did a year ago. His defense has been a little shaky as well, but he has shown tremendous improvement in the stolen base department. In addition, his bat is showing signs of life. He will need to step up if the Twins want to play in October.
Grade: C

Joe Mauer, C (.302/.396/.455, 53 games)
When healthy, Mauer has been his usual steady self. He has to stay in the line-up and hit for more power to be the superstar we all know he can be.
Grade: B-

Michael Cuddyer, RF (.280/.366/.438, 9 HR, 52 RBI)
Cuddyer is the unsung hero of the line-up and the team’s most consistent all around hitter. He’ll end up with around 20 HRs and 100 RBI again.
Grade: B

Justin Morneau, 1B (.283/.355/.546, 20 HR, 63 RBI)
The Canadian is showing his MVP season was no fluke. That being said, I’d like to see his average around .300 and his OPB around .380 by season’s end.
Grade: B+

Torii Hunter, CF (.295/.335/.538, 17 HR, 63 RBI)
If this is Hunter’s last season in Minnesota, he’s going out in style. He’ll never draw as many walks as we’d like, but the CF has the rest covered.
Grade: A

Jason Kubel, LF (.246/.297/.395, 6 HR, 30 RBI)
Kubel has to be one of the most frustrating Twins. He shows flashes with the bat and his defense has been surprisingly good, but the former top prospect is prone to extended slumps. The Twins have shown a lot of patience with Kubel, how much longer will it last?
Grade: C-

Nick Punto, 3B (.205/.307/.261)
The Twins need to get a real third baseman, make Punto the utility man and release Luis Rodriguez.
Grade: F

Jeff Cirillo, IF-DH (.273/.336/.372): C
Lew Ford, OF (.236/.292/.360): D
Mike Redmond, C (.283/.328/.348): A
Luis Rodriguez, IF (.185/.265/.272): F
Jason Tyner, OF (.279/.327/.331): C+


Posted at 10:36 PM on July 6, 2007 by Chris Dall

That's about all you can say about the Twins sweep of today's doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox. The Twins won the two games by a combined score of 32-14. To put that in some perspective, the 32 runs scored today was the same amount the team had produced in it's previous six games. Who needs Rondell White?

Game 1 was epic, and I'm not sure if I mean that in a good way. The Twins scored 20 runs (the most they've scored in a game since June 4, 2002) and pounded out 20 hits. That's good. They also gave up 14 runs and 18 hits. That's not so good. The look on Ron Gardenhire's face when he came out to get Carmen Cali in the 9th with the bases loaded told you all you needed to know about how he felt about the team's pitching. It was like parks & recreation league softball, except with better uniforms. The baseball must have looked like a melon coming out of the pitchers' hands. It was the highest scoring game since this tilt in 1999. Overall, the two teams combined to throw 405 pitches.

The 12-0 victory in game 2 should leave Gardy feeling a bit more satisfied. Matt Garza pitched 6 solid innings, Justin Morneau hit three home runs (to give him 102 for his career), and the manager got his 500th major league victory. To boot, the 12 runs were scored despite the fact that Garza had to sub as the DH after catcher Mike Redmond was whacked in the temple by Jim Thome's bat. Redmond required stitches but was not taken to the hospital.

If I'm a sports radio host in Chicago, I'm getting Ozzie Guillen on the phone right now, because whatever comes out of his mouth is going to be great radio. That much talked about firesale in Chicago should be starting any minute now.

As for the Twins, let's hope they can keep this up. But the all-or-nothing pattern they've followed this year has me fearing they might get shut out the next two games.

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