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Series Preview: Minnesota Twins @ Seattle Mariners

Seattle: 42-69
Twins: 62-49


Game 1: Miguel Batista vs Glen Perkins*
Game 2: R.A. Dickey vs Scott Baker
Game 3: Jarrod Washburn* vs Nick Blackburn

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 hte 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.

Like Perkins above, this is Nick Blackburn's first year in the rotation but he's taken to it better. Again, he throws strikes, 68.6%, and misses around an average number of bats, 7.3%. But Blackburn also has a an average groundball rate, something not usually seen in Minnesota. The whole package comes in at a touch worse than Scott Baker above, but he's more than quality at a 4.43 tRA and at the low cost of basically nothing. The Twins just have a clone farm for these guys.

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*

Surprisingly, it's not the pitching driving the Twins success, but their hitting. The Twins pitching staff checks in right around league average and their defense, while below average, is only a touch so. However, the Twins are scoring 4.92 runs a game against a league average of 4.68 despite below average OBP and SLG.


I'm not sure how long the Mariners are going to wait to put Jarrod Washburn on waivers. The closer it gets to September, the more likely teams are going to find other solutions. I have a sinking feeling that the Ms are going to try and wait until the winter to deal off Washburn in the hope that if he continues pitching like he did over that 11 start stretch they'll actually be able to unload him and get a meaningful prospect back. Which may be true, but is pretty moot since there's no way he continues to pitch that way as we already started seeing. Release us from this prison already. Please.

In all the full years that Carlos Silva has spent in the rotation he has never thrown fewer strikes, garnered fewer groundballs or allowed more line drives than he is doing now. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Thanks Bill.


The Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale
Avery Brewing Company. Boulder, CO

It earns its imperial title checking it around 10% ABV which is quite strong for a hop-heavy beer.