Twins Notes: Willingham, Nicknames, Fuld, Clement, Harris, State-of-Play

Jason O. Watson

Happy Monday!

We'll be posting one final prospect vote later this morning, simply because of last week's trade that sent Miguel Sulbaran to New York in exchange for Eduardo Nunez. Everybody moves up a slot, and that leaves room for one last player. In the meantime...

  • The Minnesota Twins have the longest winning streak in the American League. I'm not sure when we'll get to say that again, so...
  • Josh Willingham has a small fracture in his wrist. The team still hopes it won't be a long-term issue, but they won't have a timetable for his return until he's consulted with specialists. The wrist doesn't need to be restrained, which is good, but Assistant GM Rob Antony is hopeful that "when the 15 days are up, he'll be ready to go." Hammer's move to the DL is retroactive to April 7, so decision time will be in eight days: April 22.
  • Did you know that you can Gardy-Ize a nickname for yourself? I'm not sure how it works and the process seems quite complicated, but you should try it out for yourself. I'm Lundsy. Bad news for those of you with names that end in "sy" - your nickname will be your actual name.
  • Derek Wetmore thinks the Twins could pursue Sam Fuld, now that the A's have designated him for assignment. Fuld is cleanly into the "plus" category for a defender and would provide the team with a true late-game asset with the potential for speed on the bases. Would he be an upgrade over Darin Mastroianni? Defensively, he's probably a slight improvement. Offensively he looks like a marginal upgrade, outpacing Maestro in career OBP (.312 vs .293) and wOBA (.291 vs .267). But neither will get bulk playing time and their potential is low anyway, so the cumulative improvement over the course of 100 or even 200 plate appearances would be negligible.
  • Jeff Clement is retiring. He spent all of 2013 in Rochester, hitting .220/.291/.388 with 16 home runs, 45 walks, and 106 strikeouts in 495 plate appearances. He finishes with a career minor league line of .272/.349/.475 in 2999 plate appearances; his Major League triple slash saw him go just .218/.277/.371 in 421 plate appearances. It's a disappointing career considering both Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America pegged him as a Top 50 prospect prior to the 2008 season. He made the Top 100 for BP twice (2007, 2008) and BA three times (2006-2008).
  • Brendan Harris has been released by the Dodgers. At 33 and without a chance to get onto the Major League roster, I wonder whether this is one last attempt to catch on with a team that could give him an opportunity in the right circumstances. He'd hit .333/.474/.400 in six games for LA's Triple-A affiliate.
  • State of Play: the Twins will continue to go with a 13-man pitching staff and three-man bench in the near term. Gardy is happy with his team's versatility and the situation will obviously be revisited if somebody else gets dinged up, but for now the long bullpen and short bench is the way forward.
  • State of Play: the Twins do not have a player on the active roster born in the 1970s.
  • State of Play: the Twins' 40-man roster is currently full.
  • State of Play: the Twins are off today, but tomorrow start a mid-week series hosting Toronto.
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