September 14, 2005

Liriano Goes Today

  • Comedic genius Adam Carolla has a funny bit he does about people denying that they are drunk or high. For instance, if someone is slurring their speech and you ask them if they've had anything to drink, they'll inevitably say no. But really, isn't it worse for them if they are acting like that and they're not drunk? As Carolla says, you're either drunk or you've got a brain tumor.

    All of which brings me to Justin Morneau. Seriously. Tuesday's Minneapolis Star Tribune had the following note about Morneau from the Official Twins Beat Writer of, LaVelle E. Neal:

    First baseman Justin Morneau, who has played with a bone chip in his left elbow for much of the season, will have an MRI exam Thursday to check the extent of the injury.

    Morneau might need offseason surgery to remove the chip. There is some concern that the chip is affecting a nerve in his arm.

    Ask anyone whether they'd rather their elbow contained a painful bone chip affecting a nerve in their arm or not and they'll probably tell you "not." However, considering Morneau's struggles at the plate this season, wouldn't it make you a little more optimistic about his long-term potential if we learned that a bone spur had been hurting him for most of the year?

    In other words, if the bone spur has been a major problem it might explain the fact that Morneau is hitting .240/.307/.433 on the year and just .219/.299/.404 since the end of April. But if the bone spur hasn't been a major problem, he's just been really bad for five months.

  • Speaking of Morneau, here's something I just noticed:
                           AVG      OBP      SLG
    Justin Morneau .240 .307 .433
    Doug Mientkiewicz .240 .323 .412

    If you'd have told me before the season that Doug Mientkiewicz would be neck and neck in OPS with Morneau, I'd have thought Mientkiewicz was about to hit around .320 while having a great season for the Mets. Turns out, not so much.

  • How does everyone like Travis Bowyer so far? Two strikeouts in a perfect inning of work last night after putting up the following numbers at Triple-A Rochester:
      IP      ERA     SO     BB      H
    74.1 2.78 96 40 51

    Yeah, I know, like the Twins need more pitching. Still, he looks like another power arm out of the bullpen, and Grant Balfour may also be back next season. Plus, can you imagine how good Bowyer can be if a little of Carlos Silva's and Brad Radke's control wears off on him?

    I already have dreams of this pitching staff in my head for 2006:

    SP   Johan Santana
    SP Brad Radke
    SP Carlos Silva
    SP Scott Baker
    SP Francisco Liriano

    CL Joe Nathan
    RP Juan Rincon
    RP Jesse Crain
    RP Travis Bowyer
    RP Grant Balfour

    Give me that group to begin next season and I don't care whether the 11th guy is J.C. Romero, Terry Mulholland or Jesse Orosco.

  • And last but not least, Johan Santana's next start has been pushed back to this weekend because he has a blister on his left middle finger. Normally this would be horrible news, but the Twins are out of it and Santana's chances of winning a second straight American League Cy Young vanished along with the team's offense.

    Plus, in Santana's place this afternoon Francisco Liriano makes his first big-league start. It's like if Jessica Alba called you at the last minute to cancel your date with her, but sent along Elisha Cuthbert in her place. Or not, whatever.

  • Today at The Hardball Times:
    - Just How Good Are These Rookies? (by Aaron Gleeman)
    - Business of Baseball Report (by Brian Borawski)

    Today's Picks (100-88, +$1,145):
    Minnesota (Liriano) -120 over Detroit (Douglass)

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