Welcome to this weekend's edition of Breakfast & Baseball. A lot's been happening this week, with the Twins ramping up to TwinsFest, Jim Perry's Twins Hall of Fame election and all kinds of prospect lists coming through. So this edition might be slightly longer than the rest. Go dish up an extra helping of hashbrowns, or flop an extra omelet on your plate.
- He's no longer an option for the Twins now that Jim Thome is under contract, but Troy Glaus is considering sitting out the 2011 campaign. Or at least the start of it. It sounds like he's had multiple contract offers, although we don't know with whom, but none of them were enough to make it worth playing baseball instead of spending time with his family. At some point in most players' careers this becomes a pretty heavy decision to make, although Glaus hasn't said he's retiring.
- The Twins claimed southpaw Dusty Hughes off waivers this week, designating minor league strikeout machine Rob Delaney for assignment in the process to make room on the 40-man roster. Hughes had a pretty good season with the Royals last year, in spite of some red flags in terms of peripherals (base runners allowed, for one), and while it's not much of a surprise that the Twins were looking for another left-handed reliever (read: alive and breathing) there is some surprise that it was Delaney who was given the heave-ho. Delaney will be just 26 in 2011, and while he's unlikely to become a major factor for the Rays, who claimed him off waivers, he certainly looked serviceable enough. But Hughes has some Major League experience, at least, and I can only rationalize this by thinking the Twins believe a mediocre lefty is better than a potentially plus righty out of the bullpen. I know I wouldn't have done it. At least Delaney will have a real shot to contribute somewhere this season, because it obviously wasn't going to be happening in Minnesota.
- As we carry out our own prospect rankings here at Twinkie Town, the rest of the baseball world is catching up pretty quickly. Keith Law ranked the Twins' system as seventh best in baseball, and that was just before he released his Top 100 list which included five of our own: Aaron Hicks (10), Miguel Angel Sano (29), Kyle Gibson (32), Ben Revere (71) and Oswaldo Arcia (74). If you want to know how much things have changed in the Twins' farm system over the last few years, take note that just one of those five players is a pitcher.
- FanGraphs takes a look at their top ten Twins prospects list, and it's a pretty good read. All five of Law's Twins in his top 100 are there, along withAlex Wimmers (4), Adrian Salcedo (6), Liam Hendriks (7), Max Kepler-Rozycki (9) and Joe Benson (10). Definitely take a look.
- Over at MLB.com, Aaron Hicks (39) and Kyle Gibson (40) are back-to-back in their top prospect list for 2011. Meanwhile, Miguel Sano is fifth among third base prospects, and Hicks and Revere come in fifth and ninth respectively for outfielders.
- To honor Bert Blyleven and his induction into Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame, the Twins will retired number 28, which Bert wore for his 11 seasons in Minnesota. Be early to the July 16th game to catch the festivities.
- Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn both sound like they're coming along after having their elbows cleaned up after the season. With Baker you hope he's able to be able to lead the staff and simply be more consistent with how effective he can be, while with Blackburn you just hope his sinking fastball works and he can keep getting ground balls and, hopefully, not get hit as hard as he did the first half of 2010.
- Joe Mauer is on track as well. While he insists he'll be ready for spring training, his number one priority is to "be smart about it" and focus on being ready by Opening Day. Probably pretty smart. Having him healthy and feeling good is all you can ask for.
- Michael Cuddyer has made a career out of being dinged up, and last season was no different. Hopefully with healthy legs under him he can generate a little more power this season, and of course he doesn't have to worry about another appendix going rogue.
- While Mauer is trying to get him to take it slow, Joe Nathan is "chomping at the bit" and ready to get into the full swing of things. At any rate, he feels good and there haven't been any set-backs in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Even if he's 80%, that's better than most relievers at 100%.
- There's been nothing new on Justin Morneau in the last few days. He was told to skip TwinsFest, and to continue his workouts so that everything is focused on Opening Day. While all we can do is wait for him to do his thing, there will be classics like this from Yard Barker or Tweets like this from angry and uninformed fans, but none of that really matters or changes the situation. We just have to hope for the best.
- Slightly less interesting: trees from the batter's eye are being moved. Looks like the Target Field on my MLB '10 The Show is now out of date.
- One last thing: if you were at TwinsFest and have some cool pics or stories to share, be sure you put them down in your own FanPost! Some of us, like yours truly, weren't lucky enough to make it back this year, and I know I'd love to hear all about it.
Enjoy your Sundays, Twins fans.