April 8, 2014

Twins acquire Eduardo Nunez from Yankees for Miguel Sulbaran

eduardo nunez yankees

Just a few years ago a not-insignificant number of people in New York talked up Eduardo Nunez as the Yankees' heir apparent to Derek Jeter at shortstop, but that was always pretty far-fetched and now that Jeter is actually ready to retire it looks downright delusional. Nunez's stock dropped so much that last week the Yankees designated him for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot and yesterday the Twins acquired him for their No. 28 prospect, Miguel Sulbaran.

Nunez proved to be a horrible defensive shortstop when filling in for Jeter, making 30 errors in 1,150 innings (including 124 starts) at the position while Ultimate Zone Rating pegged him as an astounding 31 runs below average. New York also played him occasionally at third base, but his glove rated nearly as poorly there and as a career .267/.313/.379 hitter with even worse numbers at Triple-A his bat is hardly good enough to be an asset at a corner spot.

So what exactly do the Twins want with Nunez? Well, for one thing the price was right. Sulbaran isn't totally without upside, but he's also a Single-A pitcher they acquired from the Dodgers nine months ago in exchange for Drew Butera. Beyond that Nunez is still relatively young at 26 and under team control through 2017, so while he's really only a "middle infielder" like I'm a "radio broadcaster" there's some chance he could be not-horrible at second base or third base.

Mostly, though, the Twins' infield depth is so lacking and the MLB-wide standard for a serviceable backup infielder is so low that it wouldn't take much for Nunez to capably fill the role. He also has a minor-league option remaining, which means for now the Twins can stash him at Triple-A while deciding if they'd rather have Nunez on the roster than, say, the hollowed out remains of Jason Bartlett's skill set.

Nunez isn't a player I'd have given up anything to acquire--can't hit, can't field, and base-stealing isn't worth much on its own--but in general the Twins should be looking to add infield depth and clearly they think his speed and athleticism can still translate into something useful. If the Twins think Nunez represents a viable alternative to Pedro Florimon at shortstop they're likely to be disappointed upon closer inspection, but searching for a viable alternative is a good idea.


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April 7, 2014

Gleeman and The Geek #140: Opening Week and Radio Return

"Gleeman and The Geek" returns to the radio for a third season on KFAN 100.3-FM and topics for this week's episode included the Twins' opening week surprises, Ron Gardenhire's milestone win and place in history, Chris Colabello's great story and big opportunity, choosing Derek Jeter's career, Twitter slap fights, trading producers, the changing bullpen roles, college tours, and The Church Of Mase.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 140

In addition to the direct download link above you can also subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

My view during the podcast-only portion of the show:

bonnes studio

Our new producer, Kate Butler, attempting to teach John Bonnes how things work in radio:

bonnes and butler1

April 4, 2014

Link-O-Rama

• "Gleeman and The Geek" returns to KFAN this Sunday at 4:00 pm for our third season on the radio. You can listen to us live on 100.3-FM, stream us online at KFAN.com, or simply continue listening to the show via podcast like nothing has changed.

"This American Bro: A Portrait Of The Worst Guy Ever."

Mase is on TMZ because he's a pastor now and people at his church are revolting against him.

• Tried to keep this under wraps, but Randball's Stu revealed details about my new FSN show.

Ginuwine can still (mostly) get the job done when he sings "Pony" in front of a female crowd.

• Here's the final installment of my annual Twins prospect rankings, featuring the best prospect in the world and the best top-five prospect group in baseball.

• I finally ditched my BlackBerry for an iPhone, which means I'm now occasionally posting pictures to Instagram (and also on Tinder, but that's more of a warning than anything).

• Next month the St. Paul Saints are hosting "Tinder Night" at Midway Stadium and they've invited me to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

• There are a whole bunch of people getting married after meeting on Tinder.

Jason Isbell's music career must not be going as well as I thought.

• Really enjoying my old school blogging buddy Tony Pierce telling stories about Uber driving.

• We recorded this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode at Freehouse in North Loop and they refused to stop bringing us food and alcohol.

• I always address people with "hey yo" on Twitter and this is the inspiration behind it:

Sadly it's not always effective.

Richard Pitino's best friend is the brother of Kate Mara and Rooney Mara, and he says "we used to torment them at a younger age."

• While the Twins television broadcast sticks to batting average, homers, and RBIs, the Astros are showing stuff like batting average on balls in play and Wins Above Replacement.

Chelsea Fagan wrote an interesting article about not wanting to hang out at a bar alone. I feel the exact same way and, hard as it may be to believe, I've never done it.

• I want to host a speed-dating night for the next Twins Daily event, so Amanda Bullock's article full of speed-dating observations was fascinating.

• I wrote the Twins preview for NBCSports.com and tried to be as optimistic as possible.

Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune called me "in general, highly entertaining" in an interview with friend of AG.com Maggie LaMaack, so I printed it out and framed it.

Lauryn Hill is one of my 10 favorite musicians of all time, but what are the odds that she'll put on a show at First Avenue in 2014 worth $65? I'd gladly pay $500 to see her in 1998.

• Rye Deli in Lowry Hill hosted several "Gleeman and The Geek" episodes and quite a few more of my first dates, so I was very sad to see it close suddenly this week.

• Sounds like a James Beard Award-winning chef is opening a restaurant three blocks from me.

• I tried Hammer and Sickle in Uptown and liked it. Good vibe, weird vodka shoes, and tasty food.

• I paid $5 for Todd Barry's crowd-work special on Louis C.K.'s website and loved it.

• Netflix recommendation: "Blue Is The Warmest Color" is one of the best foreign movies I've ever seen and reminded me of all the stuff I love about one of my top 10 movies, "Blue Valentine."

• Some of this week's weird and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "David Kahn baseball scout"
- "OKCupid Minnesota geek nerd"
- "Otis Redding tattoo"
- "Fat left-handed hitters with high socks"
- "Talk show socks"
- "Brunch ideas in Minneapolis"
- "Steven Van Zandt shirtless"
- "Scott Erickson and Inga Hammond"
- "Aaron Gleeman right swipe"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video of "Oh Boy" by Cam'ron and Juelz Santana:

April 3, 2014

At least Aaron Hicks is off to a good start

Aaron Hicks

I've been slacking on the blogging front recently due to a focus on the podcast and various other stuff, but my plan is to get back into a near-daily Twins writing groove again now that the season has started. With that said, I'd like them to actually win a game first or at least not lose a game in stomach-churning fashion. Until that happens, some tiny reason for optimism:

Aaron Hicks after two games this season: 4-for-7.

Aaron Hicks after 16 games last season: 4-for-55.

He's still very young and still very talented, and boy would it be nice to see Hicks have a big bounceback season.


If you haven't yet, check out this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode for our official preview of the Twins' season. Starting this weekend the show returns to KFAN-100.3 on Sunday afternoon, so you can listen to us live on the radio, stream us live on KFAN.com, or continue downloading us via podcast.

March 31, 2014

Gleeman and The Geek #139: Baseball Is Back!

Topics for this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode included reviewing the Twins' Opening Day roster, going back on KFAN, Scott Diamond and Chris Parmelee passing through waivers, Old Man Gleeman hurting his knee, Byron Buxton's injury, selling Vance Worley, jumping into the Tinder pool, Jason Bartlett's "super" role, losing Alex Presley, over/under predictions for Twins position players, finally getting an iPhone, and podcasting from Freehouse.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 139

In addition to the direct download link above you can also subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

My view as the podcast started:

photo 1

Oysters and French toast:

photo 2

Cheese curds, roto chicken, and chocolate cake:

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.41.57 PM

My struggle:

photo 3

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