Wetmore: 5 thoughts on Correia and the Padres, no DH, and Stephen Drew
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The Twins began their west coast road trip with a win Tuesday against the San Diego Padres. It's a two-game series, before moving on to San Francisco, and then returning home after a brief California tour.
This column presents 5 thoughts from Tuesday's game.
As always, feel free to ask any questions or make any 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. Kevin Correia had perhaps his second-best start of the season Tuesday. He limited the Padres to three earned runs on four hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked only one batter.
Earlier Tuesday I wrote about Correia's low strikeout rate, and how batters make contact with his pitches more than any other qualified starter.
It was a good sign for the Twins that Correia pitched respectably. Then again, he did it against ...
2. The Padres entered Tuesday as the worst hitting team in the Major Leagues. As a team, they entered Tuesday's game hitting .222/.280/.353.
Last in weighted on-base average (.282).
Last in weighted runs created-plus (79).
Last in on-base percentage (.280).
Next to last in slugging percentage (.353).
Last in batting average (.222).
It's also worth noting that they have the lowest batting average on balls in play (BABIP) and .268. And they play half their games in Petco Park, which was one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in 2013.
3. National League play means no DH spot, which means Josmil Pinto likely will see limited playing time this week. He pinch-hit Tuesday for Kevin Correia and drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly to right field.
He can start at catcher, but otherwise his options in the field are limited.
4. Officially, Kurt Suzuki hit the first inside-the-park home run for the Twins since Joe Mauer did it in 2007. But it looked like the ball actually cleared the fence. Suzuki lifted a fly ball to left field in the eighth inning, with the Twins leading, 4-3. Left fielder Seth Smith pursued the ball, but couldn't catch it. He apparently saw it clear the wall and kick back into the playing field. Assuming it was a home run, Smith stood idly and did not chase the ball. By the time the center fielder gathered the ball and relayed it into the infield, Suzuki had rounded the bases.
5. The Red Sox signed shortstop Stephen Drew on Tuesday, about 2 1/2 weeks before the June 5 First-Year Player Draft. It's reportedly a one-year deal for a prorated amount of the roughly $14 million qualifying offer the Red Sox offered Drew (and he declined) in the offseason.
His market never materialized this offseason because any team that signed him would have had to part ways with a compensatory draft pick. The Twins' first-round pick would have been protected, so they would have given up the No. 46 pick in the draft if they signed Drew.
Despite the Twins not having a great option at shortstop in the Majors, it's tough to blame them for valuing that pick more than three-quarters of a season of Drew. The Red Sox, of course, won't have to give up a pick to re-sign Drew.