Tag: Ramon Troncoso

Justin Morneau

Justin Morneau powers Twins to win with two homers


This “just in” — Justin Morneau can still hit dingers. The Twins first baseman hit two of them this afternoon against the White Sox: a grand slam in the seventh off of Ramon Troncoso to give the Twins a 5-3 lead, and a solo shot in the eighth to remove the save opportunity for closer Glen Perkins by bumping the score to 7-3. Perkins gave up two runs in the ninth on an Alexei Ramirez single, but held on for the 7-5 victory in game one of the day-night doubleheader.

August has been kind to Morneau thus far. In 36 trips to the plate, he has hit five home runs and has only struck out five times. He entered the afternoon 8-for-11 with the bases loaded, but with no grand slams. The slam is his first since July 20, 2009 when he took Gio Gonzalez of the Athletics deep in a wacky 14-13 loss.

The Twins and White Sox match up again shortly as Liam Hendriks is scheduled to face off against Charles Leesman, making his Major League debut for the White Sox.

Jason Giambi is the oldest player to hit a walk-off homer

Jason Giambi

Last night Jason Giambi became the oldest player in baseball history to hit a walk-off home run when he took White Sox reliever Ramon Troncoso deep in the ninth inning to turn a tie game into a 3-2 win for the Indians.

The previous oldest walk-off hitter? Hank Aaron at 42 years and 157 days (it was his second-to-last career homer). Giambi was 42 years and 202 days.

Position player Casper Wells outpitches White Sox pitching staff in blowout

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Chicago White Sox

The Indians and White Sox are slated to play two games tonight, but they may have exhausted all their weapons in game one. The two clubs combined for 29 runs over a nine-inning affair, hanging up crooked numbers in seven different innings as the Indians won 19-10. All but two members of the Indians’ starting lineup (Asdrubal Cabrera, Mark Reynolds) had at least two runs batted in and Reynolds was the only one not to have multiple hits.

White Sox hurlers Hector Santiago, Brian Omogrosso, Ramon Troncoso, and Matt Lindstrom combined to allow 19 runs. They were then shown up in the ninth inning when Casper Wells, an outfielder by trade, held the Indians scoreless in the top of the ninth. Wells worked around a one-out walk of Mike Aviles, striking out Cabrera and getting Jason Kipnis to fly out to end the frame. Craig noted on Twitter that Wells was hitting the low 90’s with movement on his fastball.

Running down the rosters: Los Angeles Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp

Quantity over quality was the theme of the Dodgers’ winter. The team signed nine free agents for this year’s roster, none of whom will cost more than $4 million in 2012. Let’s dig right in…

Clayton Kershaw
Chad Billingsley
Ted Lilly
Aaron Harang
Chris Capuano

Javy Guerra
Kenley Jansen
Matt Guerrier
Todd Coffey
Mike MacDougal
Scott Elbert
John Grabow

Disabled list: Blake Hawksworth (R)
SP next in line: Nathan Eovaldi (R), John Ely (R), Chris Withrow (R)
RP next in line: Josh Lindblom (R), Ramon Troncoso (R), Jamey Wright (R), Fernando Nieve (R)

The Dodgers allowed Hiroki Kuroda to walk as a free agent, replacing him with Harang and Capuano on two-year deals. It’s the second year in a row the Dodgers have tried signing a Petco pitcher. Jon Garland didn’t work out, though that was injury related, and it seems unlikely that Harang will either, given that he had a 4.70 road ERA last year. One would think they would have been quite a bit better off with Kuroda behind Kershaw and Eovaldi in the fifth spot, but at least now they have Eovaldi in reserve awaiting the inevitable Capuano injury.

The bullpen figures to be a strength, though that should have more to do with the youngsters than the vets. Jansen is one of the game’s best young relievers and will likely replace Guerra in the closer’s role before too long. Elbert had a 2.43 ERA in 33 1/3 innings after coming up last year, and Lindblom came in at 2.73 in 29 2/3. They’re further down the depth chart at the moment, but they’ll move up.

SS Dee Gordon – L
2B Mark Ellis – R
RF Andre Ethier – L
CF Matt Kemp – R
1B James Loney – L
LF Juan Rivera – R
3B Juan Uribe – R
C A.J. Ellis – R

C Matt Treanor – R
INF-OF Jerry Hairston Jr. – R
INF Adam Kennedy – L
OF Tony Gwynn Jr. – L
OF Trent Oeltjen – L

Next in line: C Tim Federowicz (R), C Josh Bard (S), 1B-3B Josh Fields (R), INF Ivan De Jesus (R), INF Justin Sellers (R), OF Alex Castellanos (R), OF Jerry Sands (R), OF Scott Van Slyke (R), OF Cory Sullivan (L)

Things aren’t very encouraging here. The Dodgers boasted the NL’s best position player last year and still finished just ninth in the league in runs scored. A healthy Ethier will help, but Kemp can’t possibly be quite so good again and Ellis, the biggest acquisition of the bunch, is going to be a downgrade offensively from the departed Jamey Carroll.

I’d like it a little better if I could pencil in Sands, but it’s hard to imagine that the Dodgers committed $4.5 million to Rivera to become a bench player. Sands should be a starter eventually, whether it’s in left field or at first base.

Unfortunately, that’s the only infusion the team is likely to get this summer. No other minor leaguer figures to make much of an impact. If the Dodgers were particularly high on any of them, they wouldn’t have needed to bring in so many veterans over the winter.

It’d be a shame if the best years of Kemp and Kershaw are essentially wasted thanks to Frank McCourt’s money woes and GM Ned Colletti’s bumbling. But that’s what we’re looking at right now. The Dodgers were an 82-79 team last year and don’t figure to improve from there this season.