February 14, 2010

Twins Notes: Perkins, Morales, Butera, and Snow

  • Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune penned a lengthy, well-done article detailing Glen Perkins' strained relationship with the Twins stemming from his arm injury and the team's subsequent service-time shenanigans. While the two sides officially settled the grievance filed on Perkins' behalf by the players' union, the 25-year-old left-hander is clearly still upset about the whole thing costing him as much as $500,000 and sounds like someone who expects to be traded:

    I guess I really found out the hard way that it's a business. I spent my life cheering for that team. I got drafted by them and got to the majors quick, and two weeks later we're in the playoffs. I had a really good year in '08, and everything was rosy. You find out the hard way that it doesn't really matter.

    I think I'm more prepared for this year than I ever have been. I feel like I'm going into an uphill battle [for a roster spot], but I'm fine. My arm's healthy, and I feel like I'm a major league pitcher. I'm sure if they don't think that, then someone else does.

    I'm hardly plugged into the Twins' front office, but have heard from multiple sources "with knowledge of the situation" (as reporters so often phrase it) that the team is basically just waiting for Perkins to show that he's healthy this spring before trading him. Perkins simply isn't good enough for the combination of injuries, inconsistent performance, and an off-field grievance not to cause a team to sour on him and the Twins apparently tried to trade him to the Padres for Kevin Kouzmanoff earlier this offseason.

  • Last week the Twins had to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Orlando Hudson, and presumably one of the reasons for dropping Jason Pridie rather than Drew Butera is that Jose Morales sounds less and less likely to be ready for Opening Day following wrist surgery. Morales began experiencing wrist problems in September, but waited until last month before deciding on surgery and then for some reason delayed actually going under the knife for another two weeks.At best he'll be cleared to resume baseball activities in mid-March and even a slight setback would rule him out for Opening Day, so the Twins will likely need a third catcher to begin the season. Butera was seemingly placed on the 40-man roster for just this type of situation and the Twins previously talked him up as a great defender behind the plate, but now LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reports that "there are some concerns about Butera's catching skills."

    Butera has hit .214/.296/.317 in the minors, including .211/.268/.292 in 99 games at Triple-A last year, so if his "catching skills" are anything less than amazing he's essentially a worthless player. His place on the 40-man roster was a mistake to begin with and now the Twins are hesitant to even let him fill in for Morales, with Ron Gardenhire beginning to stump for Wilson Ramos. Butera is awful, but I'd hate to interrupt Ramos' development and start his service time just to back up Joe Mauer for a couple weeks.

  • Early on this offseason there was speculation about the Twins re-signing Orlando Cabrera, mostly because Gardenhire repeatedly made it obvious that he'd love to have him back. Instead the front office dealt for J.J. Hardy to replace him at shortstop and then signed Hudson to start at second base, which is the only other position Cabrera has played. Cabrera ended up signing with the Reds for a one-year deal that guarantees him $3 million and includes a mutual option for 2011. Twins were smart to pass.
  • Dave Cameron of Fan Graphs wrote an intriguing article about Mauer's unique, opposite field-driven hit chart and suggests that teams should employ separate infield and outfield shifts to neutralize him.
  • Whoever runs the Twins' official Twitter account posted two photos of a snow-covered Target Field:
    Click the picture to see the full-sized versions. I bet at least half that snow will be gone by Opening Day.
  • Unfortunately my day job precluded me from actually being involved in the project, but that won't stop me from recommending that anyone who likes this blog should get the recently released Twins Annual 2010 from Maple Street Press. I've previously worked with Maple Street Press on a couple of non-Twins publications and know that they always put out high-quality products, and their inaugural Twins offering is spearheaded by John Bonnes and features a great writing lineup from the blogosphere and beyond.In addition to the Twins Geek, the list of contributors also includes Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, Phil Miller, Howard Sinker, Parker Hageman, Phil Mackey, Darren Wolfson, Judd Spicer, Josh Johnson, Stew Thornley, Jim Thielman, Andrew Kneeland, Dan Wade, and Adam Peterson. You get 128 pages full of great Twins writing, full-color photographs, and top-notch design work for just $12.99, all while helping to support a blogosphere that churns out so much great content for absolutely free all year. Go buy it.

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