Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota Twins’

You Mean There’s ANOTHER Man Muscles?

The Minnesota Twins shook up their minor league coaching assignments today, shuffling three managers up the minor league ladder into new positions. Tom Nieto moves from Double-A New Britain to Triple-A Rochester, Jeff Smith moves from Class A-Advanced Fort Myers to New Britain, and Jake Mauer moves from the Gulf Coast League Twins to Fort Myers.

Mauer’s name jumped off the screen when I first saw the story this afternoon, and as I poked around a bit it became clear why: his younger brother, Joe, is good at baseball.  Jake was drafted the same year (2001) as Joe and played with him at his first couple minor league stops, but never got higher than Double-A before suffering a career-ending injury.  He went right into coaching with the Twins, eventually ending up as the manager of the GCL team this season.

The Twins finished 34-21 under Mauer, losing in the first round of the GCL playoffs (I say “first round”; it was actually just one game).

So who knows: Ron Gardenhire is only 52 (well, his birthday is Saturday).  Maybe he gets bored in another couple of years, the Boy Wonder steps in to take his place, and leads the Twins to glory.  I just hope that if that happens, somebody checks on Sooze.  She might not be able to handle the reality of two Mauers in the same dugout.

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Average Distance From Majors To Affiliates: American League Central

Cleveland Indians (average: 501 miles)
Cleveland to…
…Columbus Clippers (AAA): 143 miles
…Akron Aeros (AA): 39 miles
…Kinston Indians (A): 650 miles
…Lake County Captains (A): 19 miles
…Mahoning Valley Scrappers (A): 72 miles
…GCL Indians (Rookie): 2,081 miles

Detroit Tigers (average: 572 miles)
Detroit to…
…Toledo Mudhens (AAA): 58 miles
…Erie Seawolves (AA): 270 miles
…Lakeland Tigers (A): 1,177 miles
…West Michigan Whitecaps (A): 165 miles
…Oneonta Tigers (A): 586 miles
…GCL Tigers (Rookie): 1,177 miles

Kansas City Royals (average: 756 miles)
Kansas City to…
…Omaha Royals (AAA): 184 miles
…Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA): 227 miles
…Wilmington Blue Rocks (A): 1,119 miles
…Burlington Bees (A): 300 miles
…Surprise Royals (A): 1,258 miles
…Burlington Royals (A): 1,018 miles
…Idaho Falls Chukars (Rookie): 1,183 miles

Chicago White Sox (average: 833 miles)
Chicago to…
…Charlotte Knights (AAA): 778 miles
…Birmingham Barons (AA): 662 miles
…Winston-Salem Dash (A): 758 miles
…Kannapolis Intimidators (A): 799 miles
…Bristol White Sox (Rookie): 623 miles
…Great Falls Voyagers (Rookie): 1,377 miles

Minnesota Twins (average: 1,172 miles)
Minneapolis to…
…Rochester Redwings (AAA): 1,010 miles
…New Britain Rock Cats (AA): 1,291 miles
…Fort Meyers Miracle (A): 1,690 miles
…Beloit Snappers (A): 316 miles
…Elizabethton Twins (Rookie): 1,034 miles
…GCL Twins (Rookie): 1,690 miles

Welcome Back, Francisco

It’s official: The Cisco Kid, Francisco Liriano, is returning to the Bus Leagues.

Liriano was sent to Triple-A Rochester before Friday night’s game at Texas, and it was not a surprise. He gave up six runs and got only two outs on Thursday against Oakland, his latest failure to find the strike zone in a return from reconstructive elbow surgery.

“He knew he needed to improve. It wasn’t a shocker to him,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He saw where he was at and he knows he’s got work to do. Maybe he can clear his head, get after it down there and get back up here.”

Eleven days was all it took for the Twins to realize that Liriano was not progressing as well as they had hoped following his 2006 elbow surgery.  He failed to work more than five innings in any of his three starts, capped by an awful outing on Thursday: 2/3 of an inning, six runs, five hits, three walks, no strikeouts.  For the season, half of the batters he has faced (28-of-56) have reached base via hit or walk.  His ERA+ stands at 37.

As seen above, Minnesota’s management doesn’t seem to feel that this is a physical problem, but a mental one.  In all likelihood, Liriano is just having some trouble shaking off the rust that accumulates during a lengthy rehab such as the one he endured in 2007.  It takes some time to get everything working in concert again, including the physical AND mental approach.  In Rochester, he’ll have the opportunity to figure it all out.