July 28, 2015: C.W. Swappigans

It feels like it's been a few years since teams were so active at the trade deadline. Maybe that's because Twins baseball was always boring by this point of the season.

90 thoughts on “July 28, 2015: C.W. Swappigans”

  1. Welp, for the second time in less than a year the company I work for has been sold. This particular merger could be much worse for us, although I hate to jump to any conclusions this early. We are now owned by a Minnesota-based company, though, so there is that...

          1. Heh, nice.

            (but not totally in their face: NG 6-pack (72 oz.) = $7.49, Surly 4-pack (64 oz.) = $9.99.)

            1. (Beating a dead horse I really don't want to, but... I can't help myself)(I'll stop after this, I swear.)
              You know... from that fact, it seems like NG could totally raise their prices, cover the cost of selling out of state, and still compete if their product is really good enough...

            2. I drove to WI a few weeks ago, specifically for a sampler of NG. The only one I hadn't tried was the Yokel, but I liked it a lot (and the Spotted Cow, Moon Man and Two Women are always good).

    1. I've completed my first day of training my new boss. First comment out of the bag, "usually if I were in the position I would have already been part of the crew. Seems like something happened here."

  2. I love the company I work for, but there is one person who seriously needs to go. I think she's partly responsible for part of the turnover as she's so socially incompetent that nobody wants to work for her. Two weeks ago we agreed on a course of action regarding a client. Then her boss tells me I made a mistake and needed to do X. Then the person who originally agreed with me on the original plan is wondering why I didn't do X all along. The sad thing is I don't think she's just trying to cover her ass; I think she just has no recollection of what we talked about two weeks ago and believes she told me to do X all along.

    1. I would say take notes at all meetings and say it is for your own benefit to make sure you stay organized and are clear on your course of action. Then, if this were to come up again, you could say, "well, in my notes from this date..."

      1. I do take copious notes, just I didn't document that conversation. Either way, her boss isn't upset at me and I don't think this will affect the company's opinion of me. It's just so aggravating because I know some of my coworkers get treated the same way and they are affected by her.

        1. "just didn't that conversation"

          It's always the ones you don't document. I made many notes of various issues at my last employer, and never were any of them relevant. Other things that seemed totally beyond attention would be picked up and highlighted... such a frustrating experience.

          On another note, I've heard from a few other people in your field that an individual who is bad with fellow employees can absolutely ruin an entire organization. I hope it's not like that for you, but... in an industry that serves people, you'd think basic people-skills would be more common sometimes.

          1. The organization is still strong, but I'd like to think it would be stronger without her. She got promoted seven years ago due to the fact that she's smart and hard-working. Peter Principle at work.

      2. I have kept emails and brought them out to reveal someone's poor memory. I have found that it can backfire and that person can do even more harm after you've called him/her out.

        1. I didn't do this on purpose, but my wife was ... err ... unhappy with the cost of a recent entertainment expenditure, claiming I hadn't informed her. I said it'd been included in an email I sent outlining the event, and she dismissed that as wishful thinking.
          I later returned to the house from running an errand and she apologized. She'd checked her email and, sure enough, the cost had been clearly laid out in the email. I just said, "Not a problem."

  3. Things I Learned on My Summer Vacation: Hummingbirds are not the only birds that feed at hummingbird feeders. Orioles do as well. I think this is the first time I've seen orioles up close.

    1. They sell "Oriole Feeders" and "Oriole Nectar", the primary difference being that they are orange, not red.
      Oriole feeders also have better perches for non-hovering birds.

      Two oriole species in MN.
      Baltimore Orioles, which are most common and visible, males have bright orange plumage with black heads. Females and juveniles have orangish feathers and less-bold patterning.
      Orchard Orioles can be common, but only sporadically. Mostly found in the south of the state, their range extends further north as one travels further west in the state. These are smaller than Baltimores. Males look a lot like Baltimore males, except the orange is replaced with deep chestnut red (the birds can appear completely black in poor light). Females and the young are yellow-green with variable patterns.

      1. Our oriole feeders were getting raided by a raccoon, so we bought a new one. They could not figure this new feeder out for the life of them. They would keep looking under the feeder for the juice.

        The hummingbirds, on the other hand, loved it.

        1. I had a problem with raccoons and squirrels until I bought a bigger arm to hang it from. Now they can't reach it.

  4. In lighter news, I noticed that the Royals are on pace to have the best bullpen of all time (relative to the league). And the Cardinals are on pace to have the best overall pitching staff of all time (relative to the league). And by all-time I went back to 1927.

    While I was looking that up, I noticed that the 93 Braves are the best overall pitching staff of the past 30 years (followed closely by the 96 Braves, 97 Braves, and 98 Braves). How many pitchers did they use that season? 13. Thirteen! All season! They used a mostly four-man rotation with Pete Smith and Kent Mercker pitching on the 5th day when it popped up. One of their 13 pitchers, Pedro Borbon, only pitched in 3 games, so they essentially had just 12 pitchers. This years Cardinals have already used 26 pitchers.

    1. I believe 13 more than I believe 26. If you have 4 top-level starters that stay healthy all year, then you rarely need to use your bullpen. It's just good luck with health that allowed the team to be at such a high level. For the Cardinals to continue to have such success with so many pitchers is just mind-boggling. I'm guessing it has a lot to do with defense and using pitchers with very good walk rates.

  5. The non-waiver trade deadline is this Friday. The Twins have been much better than I anticipated this season. It's nearly the 1st week of Aug, and the club has built a record worthy of a real shot at post-season play.

    Both teams the Twins are chasing have made a trades to improve their clubs and the team directly behind the Twins in the WC standings has also made a trade to improve their club. Worse, the Jays did so by picking up a piece coveted (by some) in Twins Territory.

    I know they're eight games behind the Royals and unlikely to catch them for the Central.
    I also know that there are six teams within five games of the Twins for the 2nd WC spot.
    I now know that the Twins face four of those teams in August, and also see a division leader (Yankees) and the first WC team (Astros).

    In July, the Twins faced all three current division leaders and went 4-6 (but only lost two of those by more than three runs). They also faced a team chasing them for the 2nd WC spot (Orioles) and swept them.

    They have prospects that could be used to improve the club, but the list of available, impact-type players at positions of need is shrinking daily. Furthermore, their "best" pitcher is ineligible for post-season play and their best pitchers from the first half have come back to earth.

    I'm glad I'm not in charge, because I have no idea what they should be doing.

    1. The only "big" player I'd like them to go after is Lucroy. He'd probably cost a king's ransom, but he's cost controlled and Suzuki is a black hole at catcher. I am far more on board with that kind of trade than trading for a reliever (call up some of the kids instead!) or a shortstop (have Escobar start and hope Santana is better next year and/or Polanco is more ready) at this point. I'm just scared they're going to trade Arcia for flotsam. Please don't do that. We might need a RF with a good bat and terrible defense if the FOTF retires!

      1. The way Hicks is playing, I would love to see an outfield of Hicks, Buxton and Rosario. At this point, I'm more concerned about Rosario and his K/BB rate. What would make most sense is convincing Hunter to extend his career by being a fulltime DH. If anyone could convince Torii of that, Molitor could.

        1. If you're assuming that another year of Hunter is a given, I agree that would be better. To me, though, that also means trading Plouffe, because I don't want Hunter taking the DH at-bats from Sano.

        2. I expect him to be on the team, but I hope it's as a bench player and if things go well he can play himself into more playing time. Or maybe he'll decide to go out on top after finally getting a ring.

          1. I see no scenario in which Hunter agrees to be a bench player unless he should play so poorly that even he can't deny that he's done.

        1. This is where I'm at. If they're going to do something, the addition of a quality catcher (see: track record of league-average offense or better) would be great. Especially if you can get one with a few years of club control. There are internal options for the bullpen and SS.

            1. Matt Capps appears to be a free agent. He was released by the Braves on 4/2 and signed to a minor-league contract with them on 4/6.
              MiLB.com lists him as "released" and has no stats for him this year.

              1. To be fair, this one is a little milder since Ramos hasn't been really good for a couple of years.

    2. When May went out there for the 8th inning of a one-run game vs. the Yankees, I think it became obvious what the Twins need. I think what really hurt the Twins was when Pressly got hurt. He's had occasional wildness, but he's really improved his secondary pitches and consequently his K rate and I think had become the Twins' second-best reliever. Setup men are usually pretty easy to get this time of year (see 2010), so I think that would be the best plan of action. I also think Molly should stick with Escobar at shortstop. If not, then the Twins need to promote Jorge Polanco.

      1. Polanco is being promoted to replace Plouffe, who's going on the paternity list. Hopefully, Polanco will be allowed to start at short and will be given a chance to stay up here when Plouffe returns.

    3. Who's ineligible for post-season play?

      I don't have a problem with them standing pat this year. In the grand scheme of things, the success this year is gravy, it's something that was unexpected, and came much earlier than anticipated. Even if they get to the second wild-card spot, and lose in that game, I will be proud of this team and what they accomplished. I'll be disappointed to be sure, but still proud.

      I'm kinda glad they didn't go after Tulo, because I'm not sure I would've wanted to give up someone like Santana, May, Meyer, and Duffey to do it (I have no idea if those are equivalents to the deal that was struck, but I'm throwing them out there). I'm a little curious what a Zobrist or Rollins might look like. Or maybe a Shields. Not expecting Hamels or Price.

      One article I read mentioned the A's last year, who went all out and got Lester and Samardzjia, then stumbled into the playoffs and lost the wild card game. This team has a lot of good solid pieces that I think will blossom into a great championship-caliber team quite possibly even next year if not 2017. Be patient, and make moves that don't kill our future.

      1. Ervin Santana can't pitch in the postseason. It's a new rule that they implemented after Melky Cabrera's suspension ended just before the end of the season and then he went off in the postseason and there was a lot of speculation it was because he was "fresh." Of course, if he had sucked, it would be because he was rusty.

        1. so if a player is suspended at any time during the year, they can't go post-season... interesting
          what if time is split between seasons?

      2. I fully agree with you, punman. We have no way of knowing what might be available, but if I was in charge, I'd still be building for the future. It'd be great to make the playoffs, of course, but I still believe better things are coming if Twins management doesn't mess them up.

        1. I don't think you have to worry too much about that. When's the last time the Twins traded any prospects of any significance at the trade deadline with TR as GM?

            1. Bill Smith was the GM then. I don't know the answer to socal's question, but I would point out a) that this is the first time the Twins have been anywhere near contention since TR came back, and b) there are other ways for Twins management to mess things up besides trading prospects at the deadline.

        2. Good points for sure, but I also don't want to take the playoffs for granted in 2016, '17 or beyond when they're in actual contention right now.

          1. I don't think it would be taking them for granted at all, but I'm of the mind that doubling down on the future to make sure they're more likely in '16, '17 and beyond wouldn't be a bad move. Maybe from a PR standpoint, but not an actual baseball standpoint.

    4. This won't happen, but imagine if we put Mauer back at catcher, put Sano at 1B (or Plouffe at 1B with Sano at 3B), and called up Vargas to go back to DH?
      And whatever happened to Pinto?

      1. Pinto is still out with a concussion. I'd call up Arcia before Vargas. Arcia has always been a better hitter in the minors and had better numbers at the majors. The only reason he didn't get called up when healthy was because he didn't hit at all on his rehab assignment and then the Twins decided Sano was ready.

        1. Pinto has started taking batting practice, and for whatever it's worth he's looked good there. I'd be surprised if we see him in Minnesota before September, though.

          1. Yes, and I doubt he would do anything more than be the backup catcher during a pennant race since the Twins wanted him to work on his catching skills and he hasn't been able to do that for a couple of months.

      2. My brother brought the Mauer back to catcher thing up a few weeks ago. Considering what made him move away from catcher, I cannot in any way blame Mauer for not wanting to even contemplate it.

    1. Apparently, that's one of the upsides of being terrible for 2+ decades: you have a fully-stocked farm system with which to make moves.
      Also, where will he play? Wasn't Infante nearly an All-Star!?!

  6. Big HoF voting change:

  7. It's not often a team trades for a player three times in 24 hours. The Angels have traded for Shane Victorino, David Murphy and David DeJesus. It's hard to imagine a team trading for three players in 24 hours that are this similar. All light-hitting aging corner outfielders. I assumed that Victorino was replacing Matt Joyce in left field, but the Davids have both been better than Victorino. Obviously, Trout is not going anywhere. Kole Kalhoun has been better than any of those acquired. Maybe they'll take some ABs away from C.J. Crohn at DH? I don't know. It just seems odd for a team to trade for three players like this in quick succession.

    1. How is he still employed after his laughably wrong legal analysis repeatedly during the Bonds case?

      With the glut of lawyers, surely the four-letter can find one who isn't a complete idiot.

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