Ok, in lieu of my previous post where I called for Bill Smith and Ron Gardenhire to bring up at least Brock Peterson and hopefully Danny Valencia to fill out our roster, La Velle posted an update that the Twins have no plans on bringing up reinforcements of any kind.
That was discouraging. Primarily because I don't agree with the reasoning behind this. From the sounds of the article, Gardy asked for help and Bill Smith said "No". This is further elaborated in two points:
1. Gardy explained that a couple players he had in mind, infielders Luke Hughes and Trevor Plouffe, are playing in the World Cup in Europe. Others, like third baseman Danny Valencia and first baseman Brock Peterson (.344 post All-Star break) are not on the 40-man roster.
40 man roster? The obvious solution here is putting both Joe Crede and Justin Morneau on the 60-day DL to free up space, as neither will be able to contribute this year anyway. Valencia needs to be added in the offseason regardless. This can't be the problem.
The problem, is that adding them to the roster and calling them up means a significant pay raise as they'll need to be given the major league minimum (prorated) over the course of their stay. We all know that the Twins are a frugal (cheap) team. Bill Smith has already eaten money for Jon Rauch, Ron Mahay, Orlando Cabrera and Carl Pavano in an attempt to improve the team, but the fact that he won't eat some prorated salary for two rookies is a little odd in my opinion. The Twins have been putting up runs and -- more importantly -- wins recently, but I can't help but feel like they're playing above their heads right now.
2. I spoke to Bill Smith. who said he’s staying in contact with Gardy about the roster. “Right now, we are going to sit tight and see how the rest of the club plays out over the next few days,” he said.
The second opposition that Bill Smith apparently is presenting is that he wants to see how it "plays out" the next few days. Well, those next few days are most likely the upcoming series with Detroit, the team that currently sits ahead of us in the standings for the post-season berth.
From what I can see, this team can "play out" one of three ways over the series, and I'm curious which way would give Bill Smith the motivation to bring in those reinforcements:
- The Twins sweep the Tigers and valiantly pull back into contention. This leads Bill Smith to smugly sit on his hands and gloat that this team doesn't need any help, they can win on their own. This might be true, it might not, because the Twins could be playing over their heads, and the Tigers could simply continue their woeful play.
- The Twins are swept by the Tigers and fall out of any realistic contention. This leads Bill Smith to sit on his hands and think that now that the Twins are out of it officially, there is no reason to spend any further cent of salary to help a lost cause. Peterson and Valencia lose out on valuable experience and playing time before they audition for next year.
- The Twins and Tigers muddle about and no one is a clear winner. The standings don't change. Bill Smith has wasted 3 valuable games where we could have had reinforcements in place, but maybe this is the only scenario that he thinks the team needs an injection of fresh blood.
(Side note: Why is this the only picture anyone ever uses of Bill Smith?)
Of those scenarios, I can only think the last one might lead him to pick up the phone and get Peterson and Valencia on the first flight out to join the team. That's because the Twins will still remain as a big question mark. Either they make a statement and pummel Detroit and nothing needs to be done, or they fall on their face and nothing deserves to be done, or nothing significant happens and Smith is forced into action, albeit too late to help them in this valuable series.
*Oh, and kudos to the boys for their sweep of Cleveland. Of course, if they didn't sweep Cleveland they would have been shooting themselves in the foot. Every win keeps us in contention now, and every loss kills our chances. I hope they don't feel too much pressure...