Monday Breakfast & Baseball: Buxton's a Cheater, Sano's Elbow, Gardy's Losers, Joe Saunders

Otto Greule Jr

Happy frozen Monday, Twins fans.

Just a quick spin around the block this morning. Here's New Politics with Harlem.

Buxton's a cheater

It turns out that Byron Buxton reads what the catcher is doing on each pitch in order to give him an extra step on the baseball.

"I usually try to guess with each pitch," Buxton said. "It’s hard to tell what pitch is called, but you can usually see by the way the catcher shifts which way we’re going to pitch him. I might take a step to the right or the left with the pitch. If that’s where it’s hit, it helps me get there a little faster. If it’s hit the other way, then I have to readjust my body to go back the other way."

Check out the full write-up over at Twinsights, from Mike Berardino.

The Sano hangover

It was a rough weekend, finding out that Miguel Sano will miss the entire season thanks to Tommy John surgery. Regardless of when he went under the knife - back in December or in the next few weeks - he would have missed the entire season anyway, so in that sense there's little loss based on when the decision for surgery was made. But that doesn't make losing out on his development time or an eventual 2014 debut any easier to take.

Recovery time for a position player isn't as long as it is for a pitcher, meaning that Sano will begin to swing the bat in a four or five months, and eventually begin throwing as well. He'll be on track to be ready for Opening Day 2015. As Berardino notes, Paul Molitor was the first position player to undergo Tommy John surgery, and things worked alright for him.

Excluding the season he went down with his own issue, prior to Tommy John Molitor was a .292/.349/.421 hitter across 3430 Major League plate appearances through 1983. From 1985 through the end of his career, 1998, Molitor's triple slash was .313/.378/.460. His surgery wiped out his age-27 season. Sano will lose his age-21 season, but it's little more than a hiccup in his career's bigger picture.

Good luck, Miguel. We'll see you in 2015.

Gardy wants some attitude

For years, Twins fans have been looking for an emotional leader on the field. As great as guys like Brad Radke, Justin Morneau, and Joe Mauer have been in terms of leadership behind closed doors, it's far more gratifying sometimes to have emotion between the white lines. Gardy, apparently, is done with the nice guy routine, too.

"  ‘How are you, Mr. Gardenhire. How are you, sir?’ You know what, kiss my a–. Let’s go kick somebody’s a–," he said. "I’d rather have that all day long. I want a little attitude. We need attitude. Attitude wins baseball games, too.

"You be sure you don’t want anybody to kick your a– and you don’t like it when they do. That’s OK with me. This, ‘Oh, we’ve got a bunch of really nice guys.’ Nice guys? That’s all good and fine, too, but I’ll take a few (jerks) every once in a while too."

So, that's fun.

The Twins still want another starter?

Apparently, yes, provided "the price is right." What would taht price be? I'm guessing a minor league deal.

Right now, the Major League rotation has more than enough arms for the job, and Saunders isn't better than any of them. But as a veteran who could plug innings if something goes awry, sure, you could do worse. Bringing Saunders into the mix on a minor league offer would give the Red Wings at least one more arm to rely on, since Minnesota could lose any or all of Vance Worley, Scott Diamond, or Sam Deduno should the Twins try to assign them to Triple-A.

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