Today we’ll continue checking out former Twins in their new digs, this time in the National League. FYI: These posts aren’t meant to be overly articulate like a column, but rather just informative.
After five odd seasons in Philadelphia, J.C. Romero finally pitched his way out of the city of Brotherly Love. This year’s 3.86 ERA (and quite frankly, his overall ERA of 2.73 while with the Phils) was undermined a miserable 0.8 K/BB ratio (1.14 overall), and a K/9 rate of 5.5 (7.3 overall). At 35 years old, this probably means he has about 5 years left as a pro, thanks to guys like Ron Mahay and other lefties who can hang on due to their port-sidedness. Over in Queens with the Mets, Jason Pridie has hit .241/.305/.379 while backing up at all three outfield posts. On the pitching side, Johan Santana is still sidelined with arm issues, but R.A. Dickey has again been solid this season despite his 4-7 record, posting a 3.77 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, and 6.2 K/9. Wilson Ramos, the catcher that everyone lives to lament, is hitting only .238/.317/.389 in the nation’s capital, a fact that seems to be lost on about 85% of Twins fans. Rounding out the complement of NL East former Twins, Randy Choate, who was briefly a Twin during the 2007 Spring Training schedule, is blistering through the competition to the tune of a 1.23 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and staggering 12.3 K/9. Choate has been complete and utter death to LHH, holding them to a triple-slash of .122/.163/.146. For the record, against RHH he’s allowing a .273/.556/.636 line. LOOGY, indeed.
Over in the NL Central we see Carlos Gomez up to his usual antics. He’s hitting .220/.271/.361 while somehow swiping 15 bags. I thought at one point he’d be a poor man’s Carlos Beltran if he could get it together a bit, but I think now he’s only a Frank McCourt’s Carlos Beltran. Jeremy Reed, prior to joining the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate in Rochester, went 0-7 with the Brewers, then promptly went 0-18 with the Red Wings as well befeore he landed on the DL. On the pitching side for the Brew Crew, LaTroy Hawkins has been very stout for the bullpen, checking in with a 0.44 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and a scant 4.8 K/9. He’s likely due to regress before too long. Over with the Cardinals, the polarizing Nick Punto has had a rough go of it health wise, having spent a couple times on the DL, but he’s actually hit quite well, triple-slashing .275/.363/.420 with three triples over his first 83 PA with the club. Kyle Lohse is also more than holding his own under the big arch, with an 8-4 record, 2.78 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 4.7 K/9. He also is likely due to regress a fair amount, but it’s hard to deny that he doesn’t enjoy pitching under Dave Duncan’s watchful eye. Compared to his time in Minnesota, Lohse has shaved 0.60 off his ERA, 0.11 off his WHIP, and has actually boosted his K/BB rate by 0.26 with the Redbirds. Joe Beimel, who was a Twin for just the shortest time in 2004, is still hanging on as a LOOGY in Pittsburgh, with a 5.40 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and a 6.8 K rate. The last former Twin that we’ll cover from the NL Central, Matt Garza is pitching more than capably on the North Side for the Cubs, with a 4-6 record, 4.07 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and an excellent 9.4 K/9 rate.
The NL West is much like the AL West in the sense that not many of the former Twins have migrated that direction. Henry Blanco is acting as the backup catcher with the Snakes, and has stroked four home runs to power his .212/.281/.481 slash-line. Jose Morales is another backup catcher who is making his hay in the West division, as he’s hitting .267/.352/.317 in the Mile High city. Former farmhand Trent Oeltjen homered against the Twins the other night; he’s small-sample sizing his way to a sizzling .350/.462/.650 line in 27 PA with the Dodgers. He’s joined by the venerable Juan Castro, who at 39
is still somehow holding down a major league job was DFA’d by the Dodgers a couple weeks ago after hitting .286/.333/.286 over 15 plate appearances. He’s said to be mulling retirement. On the pitching side, Matt Guerrier has been his typical solid, yet unspectacular self as he’s posted a 4.38 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, and 6.2 K/9. Rounding out today’s entry is a trio of San Diego Padres in middle infielders Orlando Hudson and Jason Bartlett, and middle reliever Pat Neshek. Hudson has struggled out of the gates to a .233/.337/.300 triple-slash, but it’s certainly fair to wonder how much Petco has suppressed his SLG. Bartlett isn’t doing any better, checking in at .249/.317/.309 with 15 stolen bases. Neshek has been up-and-down with the Friars this season, literally. He’s spent some time down in Triple-A, but has compiled a 3.43 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, and 7.7 K/9 mark in 21 innings pitched. Particularly noteworthy on Neshek is that he’s fanned 18 hitters, but also walked 17. If he can get that into order, there’s a good chance he’ll be just another product of that bullpen that seems to mass produce quality relievers.