Series Preview: Seattle Mariners @ Minnesota Twins

Seattle: 46-74
Twins: 67-53

GAMES

Game 1: Carlos Silva vs Francisco Liriano*
Game 2: Ryan Rowland-Smith* vs Scott Baker
Game 3: Ryan Feierabend* vs Glen Perkins*

Despite tearing apart the minor leagues, Francisco Liriano has only made two starts in the bigs since being recalled and in neither one did he really blow away the opposing lineup. He still has some adjustments to make in order to start missing bats with the frequency that he did back in 2006.

Hey look, Baker and Perkins switched spots in the rotation. We also just faced them about a week ago. Here's what I said then (it's all still true)

Glen Perkins is one of Minnesota's many young pitchers. He made some appearances in relief the past two years but stepped into the rotation full time this season and has performed at a back end level. He doesn't miss many bats or get many strikeouts, but like all Minnesota pitchers, he throws strikes. If he kept the ball on the ground a bit more he'd approach league average, but as it stands, his tRA sits at 5.09.
Scott Baker is in his third year in the Twins rotation and has seen some improvement and regression from 2007. He has been steadily missing more bats each year and his strikeout rate reflects that, now up to a very healthy 21.4% and he continues to pound the zone, offering up strikes on nearly 70% of his pitches and keeping his walk rate around 5%. His problem has been with the long ball. Never one to keep the ball on the ground, Baker has been bit this year with more of those many fly balls landing over the fence. Nevertheless, his tRA is settling in the 4.4 range.

Sorry I don't have more to say, this pair has taken the bump twice since I wrote that so there's not really anything more to add and I'm writing this well in advance since I'll be in Chicago this weekend.

Likely Starters:
C Joe Mauer*
1 Justin Morneau*
2 Nick Punto
3 Brendan Harris/Brian Buscher*
S Adam Everett
L Delmon Young
C Carlos Gomez
R Denard Span*
D Jason Kubel*

I still don't get how this lineup is that good.

CONTEXT

Clairvoyant? This is what I wrote on my first draft of this post Wednesday morning.

Oh my god does Jarrod Washburn need to go away. Not for anything at all, just for payroll flexibility. We have several reasonable facsimiles for Washburn's performance available for dirt cheap and his $10+ million owed next year would bring us in any number of major improvements.

I'd rather this happen as soon as possible both so that I know for sure he is gone and so that the burden of dealing with him is not pushed onto the new GM when he or she is hired. Whomever that new GM is, he or she will have to move quickly because this needs to be a winter of transition.

If they decide to try and compete in 2009 then you need to find upgrades at SS and 1B plus replace Raul's bat and figure out the OF. If they decide to rebuild then you have to deal Adrian Beltre, possibly Erik Bedard and J.J. Putz as well and see if there's anything you can do with Kenji Johjima.

Not three hours later came the first inkling of news that Washburn had been claimed off waivers. And they passed on making a deal, even a salary dump. Yet again the Mariners Coug'd it.

Fired. All of them. Anyone who had a hand in thinking Washburn should stick around.

THIS SERIES BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Goose Island Beer Company. Chicago, IL

I've never had it, but it's listed among RateBeer's best beers in the world and though I haven't been able to find it available in Seattle, I think I will be able to find time to head to Wrigley Field and hit up the Goose Island brewery located one block away.

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