Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Danny Boy Valencia

Or should I say, "boy, how about Danny Valencia?!?" In another Twins rout of the Royals last night, Valencia did something no other Twins rookie has done in franchise history by collecting 4 hits in two consecutive games. On Monday night, he became the first Twins rookie to ever hit a grand-slam as their 1st major league home run, and if you want a truly mind-boggling stat, Valencia now has 14 hits in his last 19 at-bats (.736) with 6 runs scored and 8 knocked in over that 4-game stretch. If somebody skilled in baseball-reference (and a subscription) could work the searching magic, I bet they wouldn't find too many similar hot streaks in the history of the Twins, if not the history of baseball. Valencia now owns an inflated .400/.449/.511 line through his first 90 Major League at-bats and he's given Gardenhire absolutely no reason to take him out of the lineup, especially in July where he is hitting .500/.542/.705 in 44 at-bats. Valencia was nothing special offensively in the minors so this must be a pleasant surprise for the coaching staff and after the game last night, Valencia himself said, "This is rare. It's definitely rare, it's great to have, but it's something that probably could never come again." No pressure on young Danny Boy, but if he manages to get 3 hits today, he will be the first player to have 5 consecutive 3+ hit games in almost 20 years, and it will also be only the 10th time in baseball history that a player has collected 3+ hits in 5 or more consecutive games.

As Twins fans we're just getting spoiled now with 47 runs and 72 hits in the past 4 games. It's been both fun and somewhat relaxing. The only downside to it all is that the White Sox keep winning which hasn't allowed the Twins to tie for or overtake 1st place. If they keep playing on the pace they are right now though, it won't be long.

There was some talk yesterday about the Twins being interested in current Washington Nationals closer Matt Capps. The background on Capps is that he's a fairly reliable reliever who would certainly help to stabilize the bullpen, but if the Twins have to give up anything substantial, I don't think he's worth it. Here are Capps 2010 numbers so far:

2.80 ERA
3.51 FIP
3.58 xFIP
25 SVs

For a guy with a career 3.50 ERA, he's having a good season, but given what the Twins have now, he would only be a marginal improvement. The MLBTR piece also mentioned Scott Downs from the Blue Jays, another guy who is having a good season but hasn't been all that dominant over his career. I remained unconvinced that the Twins will make a move before midnight on Saturday, but we'll see.


  1. Yeah, I wouldn't give up what the Nats are currently asking for a closer who profiles as pretty much a Rauch type (fairly reliable but not a power arm or elite K guy). Downs I like a little better, but he doesn't miss a ton of bats either. Better GB rate though.

  2. That picture is of Joe Crede, not Danny Valencia.

  3. embarrassing. Fixed it, thanks for the heads up...don't know how I messed that up.