Wetmore: 5 thoughts on Arcia's bat snap, a Willingham suitor, Pino
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The Twins ended a dreadful 10-game homestand on a positive note Sunday, when Glen Perkins walked a tightrope to save his 25th game and the Twins avoided a four-game sweep at the hands of the White Sox. The Twins won, 4-3.
This column presents 5 thoughts from Sunday's game.
As always, feel free to ask questions or make observations in the comments. If you have a unique baseball observation during a game, feel free to share it with me on Twitter (@DerekWetmore).
1. Yohan Pino had six strikeouts Sunday, including four in the first two innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio in 39 Major League innings is a solid 30:8.
The White Sox have struck out more than all but two teams this season. Only the Marlins (938) and the Astros (925) have struck out more times than the White Sox (900).
2. Pino had a no-hitter through 4 2/3 innings, when Alejandro De Aza singled. De Aza was then caught stealing second, so Pino got through five having faced just one batter more than the minimum (he walked Jose Abreu in the first inning).
3. In the sixth inning, Adam Eaton was credited with an infield single on a ball on which he probably should have been out.
With a runner on third base and the infield playing in (to cut down a potential run at the plate), Eaton grounded to first baseman Chris Parmelee. Parmelee went to the ground to field it and popped back up and readied himself for a throw to home. But the runner, Gordon Beckham, held at third base. So Parmelee's only play was to first base. Two problems with that: Eaton is fast enough that he would beat Parmelee in a foot race to the bag; and Pino stayed on the mound as a spectator on the play, rather than covering first base. Eaton reached safely.
Ordinarily, pitchers are taught to run to first base on any ball hit on the ground to the right side of the infield, because you never know when you'll be in a better position than the first baseman to get the out. In this case it could have simply been because Pino expected a throw to the plate and didn't want to get in Parmelee's throwing path.
Beckham and Eaton both scored in the inning.
4. Oswaldo Arcia snapped his bat over his thigh in the sixth inning after his third swinging strikeout of the day. That's a display of an awful lot of pent up frustration for Arcia, who has struck out in more than 30 percent of his plate appearances this season.
Arcia has mimicked the motion for the bat-snapping trick before, but this is the first time this season I've seen him actually break a bat. In my opinion, you've got to keep a cooler head than that and I'd be upset with Arcia's public display of anger if I were Twins management. I certainly can understand his frustration, but I'd be concerned about the chance he injures himself by attempting to snap a bat.
I received some reaction on Twitter that said some would rather see Arcia "show he cares" by breaking the bat rather than just sulk back to the dugout. I disagree and think the injury risk mitigates any imagined positive gains by the 23-year-old showing fans he cares by busting his lumber.
I still prefer to watch players who exhibit emotion.
I still like his potential as a middle-of-the-order bat for the Twins in the future.
I still believe, though, that it crosses a line to break a bat over your leg, or punch a water cooler, or any other act of frustration that could cause injury. Is it likely he hurts himself? Maybe not. But it's a nonzero chance and that's too much for my preference.
The Yankees, according to Heyman, are looking to upgrade their offense. Here's more from the report:
The Yankees may actually prefer Willingham to Marlon Byrd or Alex Rios, perhaps partly because of Willingham's reasonable $7 million salary and status as a free agent after the season, though Byrd and Rios haven't been ruled out.
If the Twins can get anything for Willingham before Thurday's nonwaiver trade deadline, they should. Each of these reasons still applies.
Additional reading: Judd Zulgad writes that the Twins should make sweeping changes.