If you follow this blog, you know I haven't really posted this week save one quick update from California, and if you follow the comments on this blog, you know the natives are getting pretty restless, so here I am. Seriously you guys, I really didn't have the opportunity to write anything. I had no computer the entire time I was out in California, and I didn't get back until last night after 10pm so there wasn't really any chance to get to the writing. But now I'm back, and I'm ready to write some stuff.
- First off, yes, losing Joe Nathan for the year really sucks, but we'll live. And not because he sucks now or something. Everybody needs to calm down about his blown save in the playoffs, and stop talking about how the Twins should have traded him - something I heard noted huge idiot Pat Reusse say on the radio when I was accidentally listening to that channel. He's a fantastic, fantastic closer, and you know exactly what you're getting - 40 or so saves with a 90% conversion rate, an ERA under 2.00, a WHIP under 1.00, and shit ton of strikeouts. He won't easily be replaced, and, actually, is pretty much irreplaceable.
But the good news that even if whatever direction the Twins' decide to go in - naming a replacement or closer by committee - ends up being a disaster, it's only going to cost them about three games. Aaron Gleeman breaks down the math, but the difference between a 90% save rate (Nathan) and an 80% save rate (a horrible closer) is only 5 blown saves over the course of a season, and if the Twins' bullpen ends up being average, it's only 2 extra blown saves.
If I had to make a guess, I'd say the Twins' will spread the save opportunities out between Guerrier, Mijares, and Rauch and they'll do just fine, like an average bullpen. I think that when they flame out, they'll flame out spectacularly and we might end up watching some ugly, ugly ninth innings, but overall this isn't the kind of thing that is going to hurt enough to make the differences between playoffs or second place.
There are plenty of other problems with this team that should take care of that.
- Secondly, you're probably wondering how Carlos Gomez is doing. Well I'll tell you. He's hitting .278/.316/.389 with two doubles, a walk, two Ks, and three steals in 18 at bats. That means he's getting more hits and showing the same amount of gap power while striking out about half as often and he's gotten better at stealing bases. He's also still not walking at all. It's Spring Training and all so that basically means those numbers are meaningless, but I just thought you'd like to know how Captain 5-Tool was doing so far.
- I don't know if I've mentioned this in this space, but you should all know I HATE St. Patrick's Day. I can't stand it. I hate it almost as much as I hate Wisconsin, although this hate has nothing to do with geography - I have no beef with the Irish. I just hate you people who go out and use that day as an excuse to act like total morons. If New Year's Eve is known as amateur night, St. Patrick's should be called I've never ever drank before but I'm going to chain-swallow a bunch of Irish-sounding shots to try to look cool night.
- Oh, you're probably here to read about the Gopher game. I laugh at you. Who cares? It means nothing. Well, not nothing. It does give the team the chance to play a game that might give them a chance to be on the bubble if they win. If that sounded convoluted, well, that's your team's chances to make the NCAA Tournament. A win tomorrow over Sparty at least puts them in the conversation depending on what other teams do. With UAB and Memphis both losing in the C-USA quarters, Arizona State losing early in the Pac, and Wake on a tremendous slide there are spots coming available. Somebody is going to step up and take those spots, why not the Gophers?
I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE
Gophers 70, Michigan State 65.