February 4, 2013

Twins Notes: MLB Network, Capps, Correia, Saunders, and Waldrop

"Clubhouse Confidential" on MLB Network is a really good, sabermetrically inclined show hosted by Brian Kenny and Friday's episode focused on the Twins. They had me on as a guest and then immediately after my segment they interviewed Terry Ryan. You don't see a whole lot of shows that feature a blogger and a general manager, which is why "Clubhouse Confidential" and Kenny are so fun to watch. Here's the opening segment, which includes my appearance:

And here's the interview with Ryan that followed:

I asked them to use the picture of me drinking from Twitter as the headshot, but it was a no-go.

• Two years ago the Twins paid $7.15 million to avoid arbitration with Matt Capps and last year they paid $4.5 million to re-sign him while also forfeiting a draft pick, but after a season in which he was limited to 29 innings by arm problems Capps could manage only a minor-league deal with the Indians. Capps was overpaid and overrated by the Twins at every turn for three years, but as a low-cost middle relief candidate he's a very solid pickup for the Indians.

• Fun facts: Capps has the 10th-most saves in Twins history despite converting just 79 percent of his save chances. Among the 31 pitchers with at least 40 saves from 2010-2012 he was second-to-last in strikeout rate, home run rate, and opponents' batting average. In two-and-a-half years with the Twins he threw 122 total innings, for which they gave up $13 million, Wilson Ramos, and a first-round draft pick. It was a bad trade then and they kept making it even worse.

Kevin Correia has spent his entire career in the National League, posting a 4.54 ERA in 1,066 innings through age 31, which is among the many reasons why it was a bad idea for the Twins to give him a two-year, $10 million contract. Tyler Mason of FOXSportsNorth.com asked Correia about the league switch--which has long been considered unfavorable for pitchers--and got an interesting response:

I think in the National League your innings get cut short because you get pinch-hit for in certain situations. So I'm looking forward to seeing how many innings I can put up in the American League for the first time in my career.

Which sounds good until you think about it. There have no doubt been times when Correia was pulled from a game because his spot in the lineup was due up, but that's hardly an every-start occurrence and is more than balanced out by getting to face the opposing pitcher multiple times per game. Last season NL and AL pitchers averaged an identical 5.9 innings per start. For his career Correia has allowed a .400 OPS to opposing pitchers and a .790 OPS to everyone else.

• It sure sounds like the Twins have a one-year offer on the table to free agent left-hander Joe Saunders, but he'd rather return to the Orioles if he can't get a multi-year deal. On last week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode Twins president Dave St. Peter made it pretty clear that they still have plenty of payroll space for 2013 but don't want to commit any additional money for 2014 or 2015, so while I'm hardly a Saunders fan overpaying him for one season would make sense.

Kyle Waldrop signed a minor-league deal with the Pirates after the Twins dropped him from the 40-man roster in October. He's been in the organization since 2004, when the Twins drafted him 25th overall with the compensatory pick for losing LaTroy Hawkins as a free agent, but injuries forced Waldrop to switch to the bullpen and at age 27 his upside is limited. Waldrop induces tons of ground balls, but managed just 5.4 strikeouts per nine innings at Triple-A.

Jeff Sullivan of Fan Graphs wrote an interesting article about Ryan Doumit and the impact of catcher defense on perceived value.

• I usually post the new "Gleeman and The Geek" episode here on Mondays, but we're recording later than usual this week because John Bonnes goes out of town for Super Bowl weekend every year and I didn't want to subject the world to another "Gleeman Without The Geek" episode like last time. When we do record this week's episode I'd like to include a mailbag segment, so if you have any questions post them in the comments section or send them to me via Twitter.


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October 28, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Don't worry: I'll continue working from bed.

Nick Punto got robbed of a hit and tried to break his bat, Bo Jackson-style. It didn't go well.

• After reading this story it's hard to believe I was the one expelled from Hebrew school.

• The kid from Jerry Maguire turned 21 years old and his name was spelled wrong on the cake.

Josh Hartnett is stealing my look again.

• Behold: Easily the worst column you'll read this week.

• MLB Network is launching a new sabermetrics show and I'm actually sort of optimistic about it because host Brian Kenny is always great.

Zooey Deschanel might be the only person I'll forgive for leaving a World Series game early.

• I'll be wearing this costume for Halloween. For the past 10 years I've gone as a fat blogger.

• Google's new television commercial features the story of a music teacher from Louisiana who won $1 million by tossing a perfect game with Roy Halladay on "MLB 2K11." My favorite part? Brian Kingrey knew little about baseball before buying the video game, so he studied stats on Baseball-Reference.com and got scouting reports on Rotoworld:

Presumably our check is in the mail.

• I was all set to star in this before the weight loss.

• My favorite couple is having another kid.

Johnny Depp seems weird, but at least he has a pretty good sense of humor about himself.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook, looking all classy and everything.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" podcast went so long we broke it into two episodes. Part 1 has talk of Joe Nathan's future, Jim Thome's choices, the Twins' medical staff, and blog comments. Part 2 has talk of John Bonnes' offseason blueprint, Ron Gardenhire's stance on platooning hitters, and my "sexiness levels." Oh, and they closed down the bar around us.

• Her new show is kind of unwatchable, but thankfully Mrs. Coach is still very adorable.

• I'd love to see a similar picture of the Twins' general manager.

• Hopefully the upcoming Playboy issue featuring Lindsay Lohan will come with a time machine.

• I'm no longer involved with The Hardball Times after co-creating the site back in 2004, but their annual book is always a must-read and looks better than ever this year.

• If even a fraction of the allegations are true Chris Cook is an awful human being.

• Game 6 of the World Series was crazy and the Win Probability graph is hilarious.

• This commercial is almost as good as the NBA lockout is bad:

I liked it so much that I bought this shirt. And this kid is my new favorite person ever.

Michael Beasley's publicist annoyingly sent 20 e-mails promoting his charity game, but oddly enough there were no follow-ups after the event. And coincidentally nothing about this either.

• I'm apparently one of the few people who still loves Netflix.

• As someone who hates to talk to anyone on the phone I sympathize with Tony La Russa.

Albert Pujols prepared for Game 6 of the World Series by putting on a sleeveless shirt and hanging out at Best Buy.

Jerry Kill finally signed his seven-year contract and it has a $50,000 bonus for the Gophers winning a national championship, which will come in handy in the post-apocalyptic world.

• Next time you feel embarrassed about something, remember this: Thousands of people own a Donovan McNabb Vikings jersey.

• Hopefully comedian Patrice O'Neal recovers from his stroke as well as my mom did in 2002.

• My condolences to Roy Smalley, whose father passed away this week. Roy Smalley II was also a longtime shortstop in the majors and it's one helluva baseball family.

• I'll be tweeting lots of commentary, analysis, and snark during Game 7 tonight, so follow me.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Black Keys' new song "Lonely Boy":