Here are some notes from Ryan's appearance on the Chad Hartman show on 1130 AM, KFAN.
- Phil Nevin can fill in at third base every once in a while, now that Punto is over at second base filling in for Castillo. In addition he will spell Morneau on occasion at first base, allowing Justin to have his first day off in 12 years. If Gardenhire isn't comfortable with removing him completely from the game, Morneau can get a partial rest with a few games as a DH.
- Ryan had interest in David Wells, but didn't claim him because of how Boston was doing when Wells cleared waivers. If Boston had set him on waivers more recently, when the Red Sox were stumbling, Ryan says he would have placed a bid on him.
- In regards to Brad Radke, TR says Bradke himself believes he'll pitch again this season. Ryan said he hopes Brad is right in his assumption. As long as Brad gets some rest and continues to exercise and get some maintainance done on his shoulder, Ryan says he should be fine.
- On Saturday, Francisco Liriano will throw in spikes, from a mound. He'll throw all of his pitches, including the slider. If Liriano feels fine with no pain, especially on Sunday, then he'll likely face live batters in New York or Tampa Bay. If he still feels okay after facing live hitters, it's a real possibility that he'll go to Rochester to stretch his arm and get back into the game atmosphere. TR is confident that Liriano will be back for the playoffs and will start, but he'll be "piggybacked" by long relievers like Willie Eyre or Matt Guerrier.
- Luis Castillo is fine, he'll probably play this weekend. Nothing is broken or sprained too badly, he just needs to take it easy for a couple of days.
- TR says Joe Mauer is just in a slump. It happens. He's been a littel jumpy, has faced lots of southpaws recently, and fatigue in general have all been playing a role. He's just been getting himself out with bad at-bats, and swinging at balls out of the strike zone. Fatigue happens, it's a long season, but Ryan says he expects Mauer to break out of it.
- As for all the conversations regarding pushing Santana back to face the Yankees instead of the Royals, Ryan almost scoffed at the idea, and rightfully so. You don't move your starters around just to move them around--they're on a schedule for a reason, you pitch him when his turn comes up. If the schedule allows you to skip a guy, that's different than just moving a guy forward or back. Besides, who's to say Santana would be any better against the Yankees and beat them? Getting a win that final day in Kansas City was big enough, and Santana did his job.
- TR isn't concerned with the number of innings Matt Garza has thrown in his first full year out of college. Currently around 160 innings between the minors and the Twins, it's still less than the roughly 180 innings he threw last season. Ryan says Garza is physical and maintains his strength, and these things keep him healthy and ready to go. Garza's arm doesn't worry Ryan.
- Silva's issues do concern Ryan, however, and he says the Twins need Silva to be closer to he was 2005. Some pitches are sinking, others aren't, and it's disconcerting. Ryan was disapopinted when Silva's emotions got the best of him on a Bartlett error his last time out, and says sometimes you have to pick your position players up and just get back after it.
- The original plan for Alexi Casilla was for him to pinch run, get some play late in games and maybe get some multiple-AB games in extra innings. Now that Castillo is out, even if it's just for a couple more days, Casilla will probably see more time. He can play a number of infield positions, giving the team some additional versatility. TR also mentioned that Casilla has much more of a live bat than he expected.
- While talking more about Nevin and the possibility of him playing catcher, Ryan says the playoff roster (if there is to be one) will carry 11 pitchers and 14 position players. Right now it's just a matter of deciding who those players will be.
- TR knows who the PTBNL is, but he's waiting for the minor league playoffs to finish before he moves the player. He didn't give any names or drop any hints as to who it could be.
- If the Twins can get to 93/94 wins, Ryan believes that will be enough to get them into the playoffs. The Twins, Tigers, White Sox and Yankees all play each other down the stretch, making for tough schedules all around. Ryan believes the Twins can go 18-12 in their last 30 games, and that those 18 wins should be enough to boost them into October.
Did anyone else hear the interview? Feel free to post any additional thoughts or insights of your own into what Ryan had to say.