Fantasy and Reality
Reality: Work, Family, and Church really make that hard.
Fantasy: The Twins 3-2 victory on Monday shows that this team can still compete!
Reality: Tuesday night. 9-1.
Monday night featured two new Twins who really contributed to the Twins victory. Carlos Gomez, who was picked up in the Santana deal (I miss him), and Livan Hernandez who was hired as a semi replacement.
Hernandez went 7 innings giving up only 2 runs. One article compared his line to Santana. Both went 7 innings and gave up 2 runs. The report called them very similar. But that's only if you ignore the rest of the line. Santana had 8 K's, Hernandez 1. Hernandez gave up 7 hits, Santana 3. Sure, Hernandez didn't walk anyone while Santana walked 2, but these lines hardly make them similar. If anything, Hernandez looked more like Carlos Silva on a good day, than Johan Santana. Unfortunately, I think the rest of the season will play that out.
Gomez dazzled with speed and hitting. I was not able to watch the game, but looking at the comments on SBG's site, a lot of people were impressed with him. Except for the head-first slide.
Delmon Young has started off well too. He is 5 for 8 with a double and 2 runs scored in the first two games. If one thing, it appears that our outfield is starting off in the right direction.
Our infield on the other hand... ouch. Morneau is hitless. Mauer only has 2 hits, and our new left-side infielders only have one each. Say what you want about Lamb and Everett, I only see them as replacement-level players. Will Everett do as well as Bartlett? I'll be curious to compare their stats this year.
The pitching rotation is a shell of it's former self without Santana. Hernandez did well, but I'm expecting no better from him than another Silva. If he proves me wrong I will be a happy man. With Slowey's strong spring, I'll be curious to see how he'll translate that into regular-season success. Blackburn also intrigues me as I'm not too familiar with him, but to get a nod to start the season, he had to have been good. Baker is Baker, and Bonser is Bonser. Neither have been consistently impressive, but have had their share of good games.
The one thing I take from this is that our Ace is still up our sleeve. Liriano is starting the season in the minors, developing and refining his arm so that he can be at his best when he comes up. He could make a huge difference for this team, and I hope he's ready by late April, early May.
The Twins have come out and said this is NOT a rebuilding season. Okay, sure. If you say so. There's a lot of work to be done on this team. A lot of fresh, unfamiliar faces. It will take a while to find the groove, and more than likely it will take longer than a few months. However, I see some real promise in players like Young, Gomez, and Slowey. And as many know, the Twins are always a better threat when no one is expecting them to do well.