We (John Bonnes, Nick Nelson, Seth Stohs and myself) are putting the finishing touches on the second TwinsCentric offering that should be available shortly after the season ends. This will be a beast of a book, encompassing all the decisions and pratfalls of being in the Twins GM position this offseason. As opposed to the first foray into the e-book market, the TwinsCentric Trade Deadline Primer, this publishing will be available in both tree-saving e-book form as well as an easily transportable hard-copy made only from evil trees. Check in over at TwinsCentric website or the TwinsCentric Facebook page for further details on the forthcoming book. Because of this project, content here has been sparse. For now, gnaw on some links and tidbits until tonight's game three showdown:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dejan Kovacevic says that the Pirates can on a little strong in their efforts to sign Dominican super-prospect, 16-year-old shortstop Miguel Angel Sano, that Pittsburgh's aggressive courtship drove Sano right into the arms of the Minnesota Twins. "I'm very thankful to get this chance to sign with the Twins," Sano said. "I'm going to work very hard to try to get to the majors in two years." With the current lack of system depth at short, Sano does have the opportunity to make a meteoric rise, however, with $3.5 million invested, the Twins will handle him with care. Nick Nelson takes an in-depth look at what the signing means to this organization.
Those of us watching at home would notice that the turnover at Comerica appeared a little light. Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp questioned Tigers' fans fortitude during this October-like baseball in September.
ESPN's Jerry Cransick fawns all over Justin Verlander's 129-pitch outing last night. Taking a look at his speed graph, you'll notice that Verlander was not only very good at altering his velocity, able to go from a low of 78 to a high of 99-mph:
I do believe in the use of flexible yet moderate pitch counts prevent injuries. In the same way you wouldn't red-line your engine on a cross-country vacation, pitchers need the throttle taken up every so often. Verlander has had three-straight starts with at least 126-pitches and a minimum of 120 in six of his last ten outings. Yes, Jim Leyland likes to elude to Verlander's strong frame and conditioning however that does not necessarily shield from overuse and throwing when tired. The Twins' manager was certainly in awe as well. "There were innings where we didn't have much of a chance," Ron Gardenhire said. "And, he was still winging it at 98 after 120-some pitches. That guy's a stud." What is frequently mistaken as being studily, is known as a pitcher's "dead cat bounce". The dead cat bounce is a finance term that means as something approaches a decline or recession, there will be a quick uptick before dropping back down. If that doesn't help, imagine dropping a cat out of a skyscraper and then seeing the feline smash the ground, only to bounce back up a few feet before coming to rest in a bloody heap. Got it? Applying that theory to a pitcher, we find that around 100-pitches, a his velocity declines. Likewise, at the 96-pitch mark, Verlander was no longer throwing as hard has he did from pitch number 50 forward. Then around pitch number 120, he's rearing back and firing 98-mph peas. Verlander was most likely fatigued. His arm was no longer able to sustain an effortless fastball like he did from 50-100, but was now reaching back to gain that added velocity, working against his muscles natural instincts that say he should be finished. It is under these circumstances that shoulder and arm injuries begin to occur.
The debate between whether Ron Gardenhire is a legit candidate for Manager of the Year or the largest impediment to becoming the a post-season lock (personally, I believe it is the former rather than the latter) but Yahoo!Sports Jeff Passen undoubtedly believes that Gardy's command has been a central reason why the Twins are still in this race.
During the Twins visit to Canada a few weeks ago, you may have noticed two Umpires sitting in the front row in Toronto emulating all of the motions of a real umpire on the FSN broadcast. Baseball Digest Daily's Matt Sisson reports that the duo, Tim Williams and Joe Farrell, have had quite a bit of success with their bit. As a day job, the pair work as traders on the Toronto Stock exchange but acquired the official umpire equipment after running into real umpires at a steakhouse. Since then, they've been guests at Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium and now, Fenway.
Strib columnist Jim Souhan is right, the Twins are right back were we started from but with fewer games.
At SI.com, Joe Posnanski looks at the Twins-Tigers series and declares "m'eh."
John Dewan releases his MVP winners based upon Total Runs. (Spoiler: It's not Joe.)
Charley Walters informs us that Ron Coomer is potential yet another former Twins first baseman to own a pub-restaurant in the Target Field neighborhood.