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Player Ratings: 19.1358% of the season complete!

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One of the things you'll find in the papers following just about every important soccer match in Great Britain is player ratings, an apparent tradition across the pond.  These generally do nothing but cause hilarity to ensue; one paper will give a player a 9 while another will rate him a 5, or a paper will rate everyone on the team a 6, or the accompanying article will talk up a player as a major contributor while the ratings do nothing but criticize.  These ratings are extremely subjective.

What could be better, then, than to pick an incredibly arbitrary point in the season (31 games complete) and rate everyone on their performances so far?  Here's one fan's opinion on ratings out of ten for the 2007 Minnesota Twins.

Jason Bartlett - Compared to last year, he's been a disappointment at the plate, hitting only .264.  Is it fair to compare him to last year?  I'm not exactly sure.  The galling thing might be the six errors, although he's picked it up lately.  Rating: 6

Boof Bonser - I think this might be the most telling stat about Boof: he's started six games, same as everyone else, and yet he's the only guy on the starting staff that hasn't thrown enough innings to qualify for league awards.  He's averaging just over five innings per start.  He's yet to throw more than six innings, and he's only made that mark twice.  He's got a 4.55 ERA, he's allowing over a baserunner and a half every inning, the league is hitting .359 against him, he's walked everybody but the dog... Boof is living on the edge, and he's putting a great strain on the bullpen.  Rating: 4

Alexi Casilla - He pitched in around the office while Castillo was out and while Jason Bartlett couldn't field a ground ball, but ultimately, he just needs some more time in the minors.  That .256 slugging percentage tells me so.  Rating: 5

Luis Castillo - Can you remember the last time Luis hit the ball out of the infield?  Yeah, me neither - I think he's possessed by the soul of Cristian Guzman.  He missed a few games to injury, as well, which unfortunately subjected everyone to the hacking of Alexi Casilla.  He hasn't been bad, but like a lot of Twins, he hasn't been that good, either.  Rating: 5

Jeff Cirillo - He got hurt early and has only played in six games.  I suppose you can hardly blame him, given that he's 76 years old, but four total bases for the season and the fact that he has to be pinch-run for in clutch situations makes him less than valuable so far this year.  Rating: 4

Jesse Crain - My gut says he's pitching horribly.  But the stats don't back me up - he's allowing 1.03 baserunners per inning, he's struck out 7 while walking only 2 in 12.2 innings, the league's hitting only .271 against him.  About all that he's done poorly is give up three home runs, which has been enough to give him a 5.68 ERA.  I wanted to give him a 2, but even Will Young's WPA stats have him as a positive force (9.2 this year).  Rating: 6

Michael Cuddyer - If he could run the bases without falling down and hurting himself, he'd be dangerous.  He's leading the team in strikeouts, not a good sign, but otherwise he's been fine, and he's leading the league in outfield assists with six.  Rating: 7

Matt Guerrier - He's once again been the bullpen's long man (17.1 IP, more than any other reliever), and he's been one of the best in the pen.  He's allowing less than one runner per inning, guys are hitting only .239 against him, and he has a 2.60 ERA.  This is good work.  Rating: 8

Chris Heintz - He's played one inning, hasn't batted, and has taken up a valuable roster spot.  This isn't his fault, but still, he's the definition of worthless.  Rating: 0

Torii Hunter - The Twins center fielder is probably the only guy on the roster that's actually exceeding expectations at the plate.  He has a 21-game hitting streak going, he's hit six home runs, leads the team with 21 RBI, and is sitting with an OPS of 1.021.  That's outstanding.  If he could learn not to make outs on the basepaths, he'd be having a virtually perfect year so far.  Rating: 9

Jason Kubel - We all hoped that Kubel could step into the DH role, maybe start a few games in the outfield, and hit about .280 with a bunch of power.  Thanks to Rondell White's injury, though, Kubel' s had to play 19 games in left, and it's been ugly - he hasn't been driving the ball (no home runs in 90 at-bats), hasn't really been hitting for average either (.244), and has proven to run like he's eighty years old, field like he needs a helmet, and throw like Johnny Damon.  That, friends, is a no-tool ballplayer.  Rating: 1

Joe Mauer - He hasn't hit for power, a flaw given that he's part of a lineup that includes several guys who may never hit a home run.  But beyond that, you can hardly complain about a guy that's hitting .353 with an on-base percentage of .446.  Rating: 8

Justin Morneau - His struggles at the plate are well-documented.  He hasn't hit for the power we'd all like to see (1 HR every 20 at-bats), and he's hitting .095 with runners in scoring position and two outs.  Personally, I think it's the Vancouver Canucks shirt - somebody get him a Sabres shirt, quick.  Rating: 3

Joe Nathan - The Twins closer is another guy that's just not pitching real well right now.  He's lost a game, he's blown a save, batters are hitting .379 against him with a .410 slugging percentage.  Like I said, not real good.  Rating: 3

Pat Neshek - Leads the bullpen with 17 strikeouts.  Allowing less than one baserunner per inning.  Opponents are hitting only .239 against him, and what's more, he's having success against lefties and righties (.261 OBA vs. .222 against righties).  1.76 ERA.  I could cite more stats, but I'll sum up: we like Pat Neshek.  Rating: 9

Ramon Ortiz - I'll be honest - I thought he was going to stink out loud.  Instead, he's 3-2, has five quality starts in six games, and owns a 3.23 ERA.  And you could make an argument that he's been Minnesota's best starter - yes, even including Johan Santana.  Rating: 7

Glen Perkins - The former Gopher has been pretty good out of the bullpen, allowing only four runs in 13.1 innings.  His only blemish is seven walks in that span; if he can stop doing that, he'll be the first guy into the rotation after we finally get wise to the next guy on this list.  Rating: 6

Sidney Ponson - We're going to take a page out of SBG's book, and compare Player A to Player B:  Player A has a 6.14 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.  Player B has a 6.42 ERA and a 1.87 WHIP.  But who is who?  Give up?  Well, Player A is Matt Garza and Scott Baker combined in 2006, and Player B is Sidney Ponson in 2007.  Lucky for Sidney that his birth certificate says he's 30 years old, or Ron Gardenhire would have sent him to Rochester long ago.  Need more?  The league is hitting .413 against Ponson.  The guy's a disaster.  Rating: 2

Nick Punto - Remember 2006, when Punto hit .290 over 135 games?  Yeah, I think we all dream about that from time to time.  Throw out last year, and Punto is a career .237 hitter.  He's hitting .229 this season, and has only seven extra-base hits in 105 at-bats.  But he does lead the league in needlessly sliding into first base.  Rating: 2

Josh Rabe - Someday, Josh Rabe might be a serviceable major league baseball player.  Today is not that day.  .214 / .214 / .214 is his line, and he doesn't have an extra-base hit in 28 plate appearances.  Not exactly the kind of stats that scream, "Play me instead of one of the other mediocre backup outfielders!"  Rating: 3

Dennys Reyes - Last year, Reyes posted a 0.89 ERA.  This year: 6.48.  He's already allowed more earned runs this year than he did all of last season.  And over half the guys he's faced have reached base, with opponents batting .488 against him.  I'm pretty sure things could get worse, but I'm not sure how.  Rating: 1

Mike Redmond - Still leads the league in stingers, visits from the trainer, and tough.  Has an average that's 258 points higher when there are runners on base (.393 with runners on, .135 with the bases empty.)  When you look up "backup catcher" in the dictionary, it says, "See Mike Redmond, you idiot."  It's just too bad that he's going to have to be the regular catcher for awhile.  Rating: 8

Juan Rincon - "Yes."  Ah, his famous line in the newest batch of Twins commercials.  ("Is he pitching tonight?" "Yes.")  Here's a few other questions that he can use that line to answer: is he allowing 1.7 baserunners per inning?  Is the league hitting .362 against him?  Is he just having a lot of trouble getting guys out right now? Rating: 4

Luis Rodriguez - Luis is another of Ron Gardenhire's invisible bench players - serving no role and providing little service, no small feat on a team with a thin bench where everybody's hurt.  He's hitting .171 in 41 at-bats, and has one extra-base hit.  But at least he provides more value than Chris Heintz.  Rating: 2

Johan Santana - He hasn't been dominating - only three quality starts in seven tries, over one baserunner per inning, a 3.40 ERA.  Right now, he's on pace for a season that is (the horror!) merely above-average, instead of Cy Young-worthy.  Rating: 6

Carlos Silva - Verdict: not bad.  Seriously, everyone expected Silva to have given up approximately 4,758 runs by this point in the season, so a 2-2 record with four quality starts in six outings isn't that bad.  He's walking a lot more guys, but he's got a 2.75 ERA to show for it, so maybe it's a good thing.  Rating: 5

Jason Tyner - What do you do with a guy who hasn't hit a home run since before he shaved?  Well, if you're the Twins, you put him at DH, but that's not the point.  He's pretty much the league's average player - OBP of .333, OPS of .706, nothing to set him apart from anybody else.  As a DH, he's horrible, but given that nobody expects him to hit home runs, he's been okay.  Rating: 6

Rondell White - He played in three games and got one hit.  We'll have to dock him for being hurt.  Rating: 3