March 1, 2009
Twins Notes: Shoulders, Signings, and Scars
Arm problems can go from annoyance to surgery in a hurry, but so far at least there's no reason to think Nathan's shoulder injury is especially serious. "I'm not worried about it being a major concern," Nathan said. "I guess it's news because of the World Baseball Classic tournament going on and I'm not able to attend. Staying here allows me to kind of get this thing calmed down and strengthened back up kind of at our pace."
LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Twins "offered Cruz a one-year deal," but doesn't say whether they were willing to lose the first-round pick or only made the proposal as part of a potential sign-and-trade deal with the Diamondbacks. Either way, signing Cruz for just one season seems odd if you're giving up a draft pick or prospects to acquire him. Why give up that much for just one year of a player? And if you like Cruz that much, why would you only want him for one season?
Cruz would have been a huge upgrade for the Twins' bullpen and came at a bargain rate after posting a 2.95 ERA, 183-to-80 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and .192 opponent's batting average in 134.1 innings as a reliever over the past three seasons. However, refusing to lose a first-round pick to sign a 30-year-old reliever is a perfectly acceptable stance for the Twins to take. Unfortunately, the Twins had numerous chances to sign solid setup men without giving up draft picks and ended up with just Luis Ayala.
Baker thankfully took his demotion in stride and pitched his way back to Minnesota, taking advantage of his second chance by going 20-13 with a 3.82 ERA and 243-to-71 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 316 innings since rejoining the rotation in mid-2007. Growing pains along the way had some people questioning Baker's ability to succeed as an extreme fly-ball pitcher who worked up in the strike zone, but in the end he's settled in as exactly the type of solid major-league starter that his minor-league resume predicted.
Last month Seth Stohs took a crack at what the Rochester roster will look like this season. I'm thinking Drew Butera's call-up would make for a Sopranos-like series finale.
A behind-the-scenes look at the Wings, with unprecedented access. Three videographers will follow the team around Rochester and the 13 other cities in the International League. Cameras will roll as players are called into manager Stan Cliburn's office for promotions and demotions, as they spend countless hours walking malls and eating in food courts and as they sit around their apartments, waiting for that call to the major leagues that will change everything.
In simple terms they take a tendon from either your wrist or leg, drill a couple holes in the elbow and tie the tendon through the holes. In a couple months the tendon turns into a ligament. Recovery time varies from about 9 months to 15 months. I had my tendon removed from my left wrist, notice the 3 notches ... one on my wrist, another one about 2.5 inches away and the final one 2.5 inches away from the last one.
Neshek going under the knife and being lost for the entire season is a shame on a number of different levels, but the one nice thing about the surgery is that it apparently leaves him lots of time for blogging. As a bad actor in a terrible sports movie once said: "Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever."