Tag Archives: Josh Willingham

2013 Minnesota Twins Team Preview

What the hell is this?

 

 

Not sure what picture I’m showing you above, but it appears to be friendly Minnesotans(?) – possibly twins, smiling and giving each other a hand hug.  Bad news guys, the Twins are not going to give you much to smile about, except the overwhelming flavor bomb you’ll get when you shove a jucy lucy in your cold weather thickened body.  Outside of Joe Mauer and (maybe) Josh Willingham, this team is void of any star power.  It feels like the Twins were on the verge several years and were trying to hang on too long in hopes of making a run.  It’s hard when a seriously tradeable chip is a homegrown hero who is impossible to trade.  This team is a long way away from the team that  stole won the 1991 World Series.

Let’s take a closer look at the Twins.

Major Off-Season Moves:

  • Acquired Vance Worley

The Twins traded their highest WAR player player in Denard Span and another talented OF in Ben Revere for what they hope will be a deep starting rotation of the future.  The only SP of note for this season is Vance Worley, who has been the “other” pitcher in Philadelphia behind Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels.  Worley is no doubt talented and we’ll touch on the other pitchers later.  All small market teams will go through this rebuilding process, but it’s unfortunate when their “up” cycle doesn’t produce more than a spattering of playoff appearances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s take a look at the details after the jump. Continue reading

Josh Willingham’s Sobering Sunday Swing

So much can change with one moment. An entire season’s emotion can be directed in just one week. With Josh Willingham’s soul-crushing bomb off Aroldis Chapman yesterday (a 4-3 loss), the Reds dropped five of six contests this past week. I think for the first time I’ve started to question my beliefs in the 2012 Reds, if only just a little bit.

Baseball really has a way of sobering you. This was supposed to be a series that really got the Reds back on track. I saw the club exploding for offense at home against the patchwork Twins pitching staff. A sweep could easily have been hoped for but at worst I saw the Reds taking two of three and heading into another home series against the Brewers beginning today.

The Baseball Gods had other ideas.

What seems to be both funny and ironic about Willingham destroying a Chapman pitch into the seats is there’s probably no other guy around baseball that should be wearing a Reds uniform than Willingham. The Reds bypassed him in the off-season, allowing him to sign with a non-contender in Minnesota. He and Jay Bruce share the same agent, Sosnick & Cobbe. Tell me right now that Josh Willingham couldn’t have fit in beautifully in this current Reds lineup playing the outfield.

Instead, he stepped to the plate on Sunday to play the part of Darth Vader in baseball cleats. No one should have been shocked. And perhaps my cocky and invincible feelings about this Reds team were based too much off high-running emotions when things were going well.

A Major League baseball season is so much like life. While there are both high and low moments it’s important to never feel too comfortable. You never want to feel like too much is guaranteed or certain until you’re sure you’ve reached the end. Right now, I’ll admit that I don’t know what is going to happen with these Reds and while all along I’ve promised anyone who will listen that the Reds are going to the postseason, the truth is right now I really don’t know.

Dusty Baker is making managerial moves like he would like to be terminated. I walked into my house Friday night just in time to see Scott Rolen held at third base rather than scoring. I quickly received a barrage of text messages from friends watching the game berating Dusty’s lack of forethought to pinch run for the aging Rolen. That move cost us that game.

Don’t be surprised if the Reds get back on track tonight with a big win. It’s the way things go. But if they don’t, more doubt starts to creep in. If the Reds don’t deliver this season, they’ll waste the finest season of Joey Votto’s career just as they wasted an incredibly clutch two-run home run that should have went down as the game winner yesterday.

We can’t make time speed up so we can know how each chapter end. We just have to patiently see how it all plays out, with the characters taking on a different role in the novel each week and each night. As we ride along with them, it’s important to never allow ourselves to get too high. We can’t control anything, despite what outcomes we wish for.

Walt Jocketty is Having Problems Improving the Reds

Frustrated by this Reds off-season? You have no idea.

I’ve felt all along that based on the nucleus the Reds have in place, and relative MLB experience; 2012 would be the Reds ‘all in’ year. I’ve stated it multiple times. With Albert Pujols leaving St. Louis and Prince Fielder leaving Milwaukee–along with the problems that may arise from Ryan Braun’s 50-game suspension–this should be the Reds time to emerge as the frontrunner in the NL Central and really kick the door down.

Their biggest off-season move thus far (and by biggest we mean ‘only’)? Signing former local product Andrew Brackman to replace Dontrelle Willis.

The Reds have been beaten to the punch on absolutely everyone. Huston Street to Josh Willingham. Willingham was the guy in particular who I wanted, because he’s productive and affordable and shares the same agent as Jay Bruce. He was virtually a perfect guy for the Reds.

Now Jocketty has his sights set on Michael Cuddyer, Ryan Theriot, and Joe Saunders. Yuck!

I don’t know what is going on in Cincinnati’s front office; but since the moment they won the 2010 NL Central crown by default they’ve operated like they don’t have a clue what is going on in the game of baseball.

Ryan Theriot? Joe Saunders? I need to finish this post or it’s going to turn into a rant.