'Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone
- R.E.M., Everybody Hurts -
It's becoming easier to make a list of who's healthy as opposed to who isn't. Danny Valencia and Rene Tosoni were unavailable today, and then Jason Repko was hit in the head in the sixth inning and had to be taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. CT scans have shown that he'll be fine, but it was a scary moment. Justin Masterson clearly wasn't looking to hit Repko in the head, and after Jason you know Justin feels worse about it than anyone else.
For most of the game it looked like the Twins were on the verge of snapping this latest losing streak. Carl Pavano was racking up strikeouts and allowed just three hits through six, when Minnesota led 3-0. Naturally things completely fell apart. A lost opportunity to end the seventh on a close call on a could-have-been double play, and then bases loaded walks from Jose Mijares and Alex Burnett completely blew it. The fourth run of the inning was a broken-bat, dribbing, infield single from Jim Thome.
Here's the thing, though. We know the Minnesota bullpen is astonishingly terrible. We know that everyone and their mother is hurt or sick or otherwise unavailable. And we also know that this season is lost. So after the jump, we'll focus on the positive.
Parmelee was 2-for-5 with a run scored and a double today, meaning that after his first ten games he's batting .364/.447/.515. Nine of those ten games have been starts, and he's collected hits in eight of them. And it's not like they're all coming off fastballs, either. His first five hits came off a curveball, two cutters, a sinker and a slider. In that order. Since then he's picked up another seven hits (five fastballs, two changeups, not in that order).
He's tallied a couple of doubles, and his home run yesterday was the lone bright spot in a world of suck. Just as interesting as all those hits and flashing a little bit of power, is the fact that he's struck out four times...and walked five.
I'm not trying to tell anyone that Parmelee is the next great thing, but in his first ten games he's looked pretty good. And depening on what happens this winter between signings, trades, and health of one or two key players, we just might see Parmelee make an impact very early next year.
Dinkelman's batting average on balls in play may be a bit over his head, but he's shown a willingness to wait for a good pitch. He picked up a big RBI single today on the eighth pitch of his third plate appearance. His most valuable asset may be his ability to play a number of positions both in the infield and outfield.
On this team, where on any given day any seven players may be staving off death, being able to plug him into the lineup where he's needed is one of the few luxuries available to Ron Gardenhire.
He doesn't have the sexy triple slash that Parmelle has, and he continues to make his share of mistakes, but more importantly he doesn't look like he's being railroaded. At times he does look overmatche, but you expect that from rookies. Since going hitless in his first three games, Benson is 10-for-27 (.370)...albeit with eight strikeouts and no walks.
What is impressive about Benson is what's clearly some developing power. He looks like he can hit the ball, and he has twice as many extra base hits as Parmelee. Five doubles in ten games? I'll take that. Plus a triple. He's also shown flashes of the speed and range we've heard about. The Twins could do worse defensively next season than having Ben Revere, Denard Span, and Benson roaming the outfield.
DINKELMAN, Parmelee, Nathan, Dumatrait