Sunday, February 15, 2009

Twins Notes (Pitchers and Catchers Report Edition)

  • La Velle E Neal mentions in his blog that there is development towards adjusting some of the Type A regulations in order to allow for a player like Diamondbacks reliever, Juan Cruz, to be resigned by his current team and then assemble a trade with another team thereby avoiding the need to lose a June draft pick.  This is an intriguing proposition but will probably end up fruitless for the Twins.  Logistically, it feels too complicated.  In order for something like this to work, the Twins would have to wait for the Diamondbacks to sign Cruz to a reasonable contract.  According to the Arizona Republic, Diamondbacks GM, Josh Byrnes said "A solution that works for us and works for him is unclear.  We're at least trying to see how to make this a favorable outcome."  Following that, the Twins would have to negotiate an exchange of players that the Diamondbacks would accept  -- all the while bidding against other franchises that would love his power arm without the lost draft pick associated with him.  Only if the Twins are confident that they would A) receive Cruz at a market or below-market rate and B) not have to give up players that they value, would this adjustment of the Type A regulations lead to a favorable result.  Though the loosened regulation might make it more plausible that the Twins could acquire Cruz, it hard to envision this actually happening.   
  • The most recent LASIK success story is, of course, Denard Span.  Span was joined by Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer as two more alumni of the LASIK procedure as well this offseason.  Add prospect Steven Tolleson's name to the growing list of Twins players that have gotten LASIK recently.  Following a full season at Ft Myers (A+) in which he hit .285/.388/.382 in 571 plate appearances, Tolleson advanced to AA where an injury-segmented season had him hitting .300/.382/.466 in 397 plate appearances where he emerged as a hot Twins prospect.  Though a small sample, Tolleson witnessed his production spike in the Arizona Fall League this past offseason, hitting .383/.449/.543 in 94 at-bats.  “There’s a huge difference in the way that I see and that’s got to equate in continued consistency on the baseball field,” said Tolleson.  Josh Johnson has Tolleson ranked at #21 for his top Twins prospects while Aaron Gleeman slotted him at #20. Le Valle reaffirmed Tolleson's non-quantifiable quality of a ballplayer by writing "Steven Tolleson looks like a player. Sometimes its easy to tell the prospects from the major leaguers during these workouts. Tolleson fits right in. I’m sure it helps that his father played in the majors. He’s coming off of a nice Arizona Fall League stint during which he batted .383 and is moving up the list of the Twins’ top prospects. He’s one player I want to see in spring games."  To me, Tolleson is just an impressive spring and progress in Rochester away from finding himself in Minnesota if either Nick Punto or Alexi Casilla are injured. 
  • The Mets have signed the remnants of Livan Hernandez to a minor league contract.  "I just feel that we need to have numbers. I think you guys know my philosophy on this: You just never have enough pitching, and starting pitching," Mets GM Omar Minaya said. "Livan can give you innings, he can pitch in different roles." Hernandez stands to make $1 million if he is added to the 25-man roster and another $1 million in incentives.  His time in New York might come sooner rather than later as manager Jerry Manuel indicated that Hernandez has the opportunity to win the vacate 5th starter's spot. 
  • Oh yeah.  Welcome, pitchers and catchers