Results tagged ‘ Twins ’
Buy low, sell high. That’s exactly what the Nationals did Thursday night when they traded closer Matt Capps and cash considerations to the Minnesota Twins for catcher Wilson Ramos and left-handed pitcher Joe Testa. The Twins struck out in their pursuit for a starter like Cliff Lee or Roy Oswalt so they turned their attention to the back end of the bullpen. Capps will be the Twins closer. The Twins solved a short term problem while the Nats could have a catcher for the future.
The void left by Capps will likely be filled by a closer by committee with Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen who collectively have two careers saves. They say if you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have one. The same could be said for closers but it might not be long before the Nats settle in on a specific closer.
Ramos is a defensively sound, power-bat backstop and was the Twins best trade chip due to some guy named Joe Mauer. Ramos is regarded as one of baseball’s top prospects and entered 2010 rated as the Twins’ best power hitter, best defensive catcher and No. 2 prospect according to industry-insider Baseball America.
The soon-to-be 23-year-old (Aug. 10) Ramos has struggled this season batting .241 with 14 doubles, five home runs and 30 RBI in 71 games with Triple-A Rochester. Last season, Ramos’ first at the Double-A level, he paced all Twins full-season farmhands in batting average (.317), threw out 42 percent of would-be basestealers and was subsequently named the Eastern League’s No. 8 prospect.
Ramos–who stands 6-foot-0, 220 lbs.–made his Big League debut with Minnesota in May and batted .296 (8-for-26) with three doubles and one RBI in seven games. He went 4-for-5 in his Major League debut and followed it up going 3-for-4 the next night.
The Nationals optioned Ramos to Triple-A Syracuse and assigned Testa to Single-A Potomac.
Capps joins a Twins team in the midst of a playoff race–1.5 games behind the White Sox–and enters a division that has required a one game playoff to determine the division champion the past two seasons. He has been lights-out since Strasburg made his debut–probably coincidence more than anything else. Since June 8, Capps is 3-0 and is 8-for-8 in save opportunities with a 1.45 ERA (3 ER/18.2 IP), 13 punch outs and only two walks in 19 games.
In his 10 outings before Strasburg’s debut, Capps blew four saves and went 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA (9 ER/ 8.0 IP) and a .467 BAA.
It is still uncertain when Stephen Strasburg will pitch in the Majors but there is little doubt that he seems ready. He made his eighth Minor League start last night–five with Double-A Harrisburg and three with Triple-A Syracuse–and he continued to prove he is ready for The Show. He pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings of three hit ball with two walks and nine strikeouts. He threw over 90 pitches for the first time in the Minors. Strasburg is 6-1 with a 0.89 ERA (4 ER/ 40.1 IP), 49 strikeouts and just 10 walks. He is 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA (0 ER/ 18.1 IP) with 22 strikeouts and four walks in three starts at Syracuse.
Here are a few headlines from last night’s start:
Joe Posnanski from Sports Illustrated writes Nats phenom Stephen Strasburg has nothing left in Minors.
“Strasburg almost certainly won’t pitch in the Big Leagues until June 4 because the Nationals, understandably, don’t want him to be eligible for arbitration in two years. And they wouldn’t mind him pitching twice on that early June home stand. Of course, that’s not what the Nationals say — they might not even be allowed to say that. Instead, they will say that he still has a few things he could work on. Perhaps his walk to and from the dugout could use a little tightening up. He could improve on the tilt of his baseball cap. Something. Anything. He won’t pitch until June 4.”
Dave Sheinin from the Washington Post writes as major league debut draws nearer, Washington Nationals prospect Stephen Strasburg shines again
“By the end, Strasburg was as overpowering as he has ever been in the minors, striking out six of the final eight batters he faced — three on curveballs (two of them swinging), two on fastballs and one on a change-up. Red Wings swung at curveballs in the opposite batter’s box, fastballs at their eyes and change-ups in the dirt.”
Kevin Oklobzija from the Rochester Democrat writes Fans flock to Frontier Field to see Stephen Strasburg.
The large majority of fans bought tickets to see Strasburg, however. “This guy is the real deal,” said Andrew Harrison of Rochester. “It’s always fun to come to the ballpark but it’s always interesting to see a No. 1 draft pick.”
Jim Mandelaro from the Rochester Democrat writes Stephen Strasburg as good as advertised.
“Reaching 99 mph four times with an effortless delivery, Strasburg wowed a standing-room-only crowd of 12,590 with a masterful performance Wednesday night at festive Frontier Field.”
Shawn Krest from MLB.com writes Strasburg continues Triple-A scoreless streak.
“In the early going, Strasburg wasn’t as dominant as in his first two starts for the Chiefs, as he struggled to find the strike zone with consistency. He threw first-pitch balls to his first five batters and had his two highest pitch counts of his brief Triple-A career in the first two innings of the game.”