Major League News and Transactions – Scott Baker and Travis Metcalf

TravisMetcalf got called up to replace Hank Blalock (shoulder surgery) and went
0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout before being pinch hit for. Metcalf, an 11th
round college pick in 2004,  had a .780 career
OPS in 325 minor leagues coming into 2007, but started better this year posting
a .294/.363/.507 performance at Double-A Frisco, noting he’s old for the level
at 24.

 

He has
some power potential and is one of the better fielding third basemen in the
minors, but his bat has been slower to come around with many believing he doesn’t
have enough offense to excel in the majors at the position. In some fashion he
reminds me of Mark Teahen who I wasn’t high on coming up. I’ll call Metcalf “Teahen-lite,”
mentioning I’m not always correct. I didn’t see Teahen excelling in the majors and
missed the boat on the Brewers’ Billy Hall at around the same time.

 

Scott
Baker had a good beginning pitching for the Twins on Saturday. I discussed the
reasons why Baker should have gotten the call over Matt Garza early in the week
at the quononbaseball.com Blog. Eric Mack over at CBS Sportsline had been
touting Garza or Kevin Slowey over Baker, as he did Homer Bailey earlier in the
month. Sometimes things are not as you wish them and the Twins are in the
business of baseball, a team that needs to develop prospects to succeed.

 

Baker did
the needful things in the minors to get him back to the majors, limiting the
hits yielded and the home runs. While the line was solid the two runs against
were via the longball. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for the
moment as he gave the first home run up to J.J. Hardy, the second batter he faced,
the second not coming until the ninth inning. Fatigue could have been a factor.

 

As to
Garza, I feel he’s out of whack at the moment and not excelling at Triple-A the
way he should. The stats and scouting reports suggest he’s far from dominant, something
you’d expect to see from a top prospect before a permanent call up is
considered. The Twins made the right call on Baker over Garza; time will tell
if the 25-year-old has sufficiently addressed the issues that plagued his 2006
season.

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