Monday, April 30, 2007

Links for 5/1

What a crazy weekend. After struggling to hit pitchers no one had ever heard of, the Twins put up 19 runs against the Tigers while taking two of three in Detroit. Torii Hunter returned with a vengeance after taking a pitch in the grill (possibly inspiring the team), Carlos Silva picked up his third win by turning in his third quality start, Russ Ortiz notched his fifth consecutive quality start and Jessie Crain gave up a run in each of his two appearances, but won one game and lost the other. And to top it all off, Johan Santana turned in the second best April of his career (only bested by his 2005 numbers).

So where do the Twins stand after an up and down April? Aside from the obvious answer of "Better than last year", there's still a lot up in the air. Last year's 9-15 start also afforded the Twins a chance (as well as forced them) to cut their ineffective veterans and try out the young talent. While they'll have the opportunity to discard Sidney Ponson, Ramon Ortiz and Carlos Silva have more than earned an opportunity to continue pitching. After all, it's hard to cut the two starters who have the best ERA in your rotation. And oddly enough, the only real starter (Ponson doesn't count) that's struggling is Boof!, the only non Johan starter people expected to pitch well. Monsieur Bonser has been up and down all year, and no one is quite sure what's wrong with him, or if we should be worried.

At the plate, the Twins inconsistency continues (and will most likely do so unless Kubel and Ron-DL can add some power to the lineup). Jason Bartlett and Nick Punto have improved, but that was almost guaranteed, considering how poorly they started. The question still remains as to whether they'll get back to their 2006 levels and the answer is an important one--if they aren't both getting on base, the Pirhana offense doesn't work.

Last year, the Twins didn't start to dig themselves out of their early hole until Mid-May. Luckily, we don't have to worry about that this year. That being said, they still need to turn in a solid May, or else they may find themselves in yet another hole.

But for now, it's time for the Quick Links:

  • Coffeyville Whirlwind has used the 20th anniversary of the Twins first World Series Championship to take a look back at that miraculous season.
  • There are some who think that Joe Mauer would have been the #1 pick in more than one sport.
  • "New cars with automatic transmissions are not built with a clutch. New cars with automatic transmissions are now built with a Mike Redmond."
  • Will Leitch memorializes Josh Hancock
  • The Hall of Could Have Been
  • Harmon Killebrew takes a look back

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