Monday, July 14, 2008

All-Star Break Update

Here are Kubel's numbers at the All-Star Break.

.262/.331/.461, 13 HR, 44 RBI

Those numbers are mostly reflective of a strong June, in which Kubel hit:

.312/.409/.636, 6 HR, 15 RBI

However, the most striking thing about June is his 12:14 K:BB ratio, which is a great sign that he is recovering from his slow start. Assuming he has a second half similar to last year, I could see Kubel winding up with these final numbers:

.285/.360/.500, 22 HR, 82 RBI

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Well....'s been a month, and Kubel has only gotten better. Here are his numers for June:

.326/.423/.674 for an OPS of 1.097

4 HR, 10 RBI, and, most importantly, a K:BB of 6:8.

That is incredible. After his so-so start, here's how his numbers are as of today:

.263/.315/.461 for an OPS of .776

10 HR, 38 RBI, and a K:BB of 41:18.

If he keeps up this level of play, he should enter the ASB with solid numbers, and if he has a second half like he did last year, we could see his greatest year yet, and hopefully it will be an indication that his knee problems are behind him.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Twins Red Sox Series

Kubel got Wednesday and Thursday off because the Twins faced lefties. Lester starts tonight, and I don't think Gardy will start Kubel at DH, but I think Kubel will play Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Here's Kubel's track record against these pitchers.

Matsuzaka (Saturday): 2-for-3 with a BB
Wakefield (Sunday): 1-for-5 with a HR and a BB
Buchholz (Monday): No ABs against

Let's hope that three days off will remind Kubel that he's at his best when he takes pitches, and he can work on bettering that awful K:BB --currently sitting at 23:3

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Kubel Struggling

Well, it's all relative. Compared to the rest of the Twins, Kubel has been fairly productive. After the Twins 11-1 taming of the Tigers yesterday, here's where Kubel stands:

.255/.274/.412, 4 HR, 17 RBI

However, an ugly, very ugly, K:BB of 21:3

Not particularly good numbers, which brings up this question: Is this a product of Kubel's own approach, or is he falling for the organizational push to be "aggressive" at the plate? Hopefully it's the latter, and he'll soon realize how idiotic it is to be told to go up there and "take his hacks."

On a non-Kubel note, the Twins really have two definitions of a walk. If you're a Twins pitcher, the worst thing you can do, according to the Twins coaching staff and organization, is to give up a walk. That is why Twins pitching has given up the fewest walks in all of baseball this year.

Now, if you're a Twins hitter, the worst thing you can do is to take pitches, work the count, or draw a walk. I cannot believe the things that Gardy has said about Delmon Young and that he should just go up there and "take his hacks" and not be concerned about working the count. Does he know how Pujols, Utley, Wright, Lee, Abreu, Fielder, Cabrera, Ramirez, Ortiz, et al are successful? They work the count in the favor, and wait for a pitch they can drive. If they do not get one, they don't swing at the crap, they take a walk! What do you think most pitchers in the league are going to through on a 2-0, 3-1, or 3-0 count? Exactly. And if the fastball isn't there, you can take the pitch and no harm done.

Apparently, this is too complicated a concept for the Twins organization to grasp.

Tonight the Twins go against Verlander and tomorrow they go against Rogers. Here's Kubel's numbers against them:

Verlander: 1-for-4, but in those four plate appearances, Kubel has seen 22 pitches.

Rogers: Never faced. I'm guessing that Ulger will start Monroe on Sunday against Rogers, and Redmond will start over Mauer as well, because no catcher can start a day game after a night game.

*FJK offers its condolences to the Gardenhire family over the loss of Mike Gardenhire.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weekend Preview

The Twins play the Rangers this weekend in Arlington. Here are Kubel's stats entering the series:


Kubel appears to be suffering from the same thing affecting the rest of the Twins offense: they are having trouble drawing walks. Kubel has just 3 walks to 17 strikeouts. Some other Twins:

Gomez: 2 BB, 24 K
Young: 3 BB, 14 K
Morneau: 9 BB, 14 K
Harris: 5 BB, 17 K
Monroe: 3 BB, 13 K

Most of these guys are going to put up a similar ratio throughout the year. Kubel is the one Twins who has the best chance at drastically increasing his walks, decreasing his strikeouts, and therefore increasing his OBP.

Part of this may be the organizations philosophy of being aggressive--if you've read any of Gardy's comments regarding Delmon Young and how he's "paid to drive in runs so he needs to take his hacks," then you know that the ability to draw a walk is not valued in the Twins system, unless it's a natural ability like Mauer. Kubel has an above-average eye, and I believe it will show itself as the season progresses.

As for the Twins as a whole--they are currently last in all of baseball in walks. Coincidentally, they are one of the worst offenses in all of baseball as well. I wonder if management is smart enough to connect the two.

Here's how Kubel fairs against the pitchers on Friday and Sunday (Saturday is TBD):

3-for-4, 2 doubles

0-for-4, with a walk

Best of luck, Kubes.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hope Springs

Perhaps Gardy has seen the light:

"DH Frank Thomas was once pursued by the Twins, but manager Ron Gardenhire said Minnesota is not interested now that the former Blue Jays slugger is available again. 'I'm happy with Jason Kubel," Gardenhire said. 'I don't know how I'd get (Thomas) at-bats because I plan on letting Jason Kubel have all of these at-bats."

No mention of Monroe. Excellent.

Of course, I'll believe it when I see it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Twins in Oakland

The Twins are off today and begin a series out in Oakland tomorrow. Yesterday Kubel, hitting 3rd in the lineup, went 2-for-4 with a walk. His two-out single in the 10th sent Harris to 3rd and set up the game-winning single by Morneau.

In the Oakland series, the Twins will face Joe Blanton on Tuesday, Chad Gaudin on Wednesday, and Gerg Smith on Thursday. Kubel has never faced Smith, but here's how he has hit against Blanton and Gaudin:

Blanton: 0-3
Gaudin: 3-5, HR

I'm hoping for a big series from Kubel to bring up that average and OBP.