Game 16: Twins @ Rays

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First Pitch: 12:40pm CDT
TV: FS-N
Radio: Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy: DRaysBay

If you were around here last night, or were on Twitter, you no doubt saw that a former Twins minor league player made some offensive remarks on Twitter. It's unfortunate, because the player's Twitter profile still said he was in the organization, resulting in his remarks reflecting upon the on the Twins. Had he still been a part of the team his comments certainly would have gone against the MLB (and MiLB) Social Media Policy.

He publicly apologized to Twinkie Town on Twitter last night, and as a result I've taken the post down. He's opened up his own can of worms, and while he remarks were offensive I don't want them unnecessarily tied to the Twins organization. It's a lesson hard learned. Hopefully no Twins player ever makes a similar mistake through social media.

Now that's all behind us: let's get to the game! Our Twins have an opportunity to take the weekend series from the Rays this afternoon. Notes on Francisco Liriano and Jeff Niemann after the jump.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Jeff Niemann 0-2 2 2 0 0 0 0 10.0 7 8 5 2 3 11 4.50 1.00

Niemann's two starts haven't been bad, it's just that he's only lasted five innings on both occasions. The strikeouts are there, he's not allowing a great deal of base runners. But he's a bit of an enigma. Nearly half of his balls in play are grounders, with his line drive percentage around league average (roughly 18%), but his batting average on balls in play is just .200. And yet he's only stranded 37% of his base runners.

If this pattern holds true (it won't but it'd be fun if it did because it's so bizarre), the Twins won't get many base runners today so they'll need to take advantage of every opportunity they have.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Francisco Liriano 0-2 3 3 0 0 0 0 11.1 22 17 15 2 9 8 11.91 2.74

Liriano didn't get out of the second inning in his last start, his worst of what's been a bad start to the year. The Twins don't really have anyone to replace him, so if they want to stay competitive this season they'll need him to start stringing together some decent outings. Here's hoping he can put it together this afternoon.

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