===>In addition to releasing Livan Hernandez, the Twins have done the same with Craig Monroe! At this point, I am really shocked--in a good way. I never thought they'd get rid of one, let alone both, of them. They are certainly both good moves (with Hernandez's being necessary), but I am just so thrilled that the Twins actually made them. Randy Ruiz has replaced Craig Monroe on the roster, and made his Major League debut last night at the age of 30. He started at DH and went 1-3 with a run scored. Hopefully, he can provide some semblance of a right-handed power bat at DH. I really think he has a chance to be very helpful to the team, at least until Michael Cuddyer comes back.
===>I am into full mockery mode with Adam Everett. I've started making comments like "it's hard to score with only eight hitters in your lineup" and "Oh, it looks like Everett went up to bat, and the ump told him not waste everyone's time and called him out". I thought he might show some resurgence after having all that time off, but his bat appears to be as horrible as ever. Granted, I can't watch the games, so I can't judge his fielding, but if he continues to be this bad on offense, there's no caliber of defense to make up for it. I mean, I really was rooting for him on Thursday, when he was 0-4 and came up with 2 outs and the bases loaded... but he proceeded to ground out. At some point, a guy has had all his chances.
===>As it turns out, it looks like there is a chance, albeit very small, that Alexi Casilla will not miss the rest of the season. We'll know for sure in about a week, but that would certainly be a huge boost for the Twins. They really need to get somebody else if he is out for the season, because a lineup that includes Everett, Nick Punto, and Brendan Harris will be really pushing the Twins' luck to make the playoffs. Well, really just one that includes Everett. I'd be willing to give Alejandro Machado a chance if Everett doesn't have a sudden turnaround; or, if they're okay with Harris at short and Punto at second with really no other middle infielders, they could bring Matt Macri back up. Maybe they'd get rid of Mike Lamb and do both? I would still be betting heavily against it happening, despite the Twins' recent transactions.
===>For the record, Machado is a career .294/.364/.360 minor league hitter and is now 26 years old. He had five at bats a few years ago with the Red Sox, collecting one hit. In his Triple-A career (2005, 2006, and 2008), he's batted .300/.359/.379, .260/.356/.346, and .338/.346/.525 with 85 walks and 104 strikeouts. This year's stats have been accumulated in just 80 at bats, his first at bats since 2006 due to an injury that cost him all of 2007.
===>I do not understand the White Sox trading for Ken Griffey Jr. I'd say more about, but firejoemorgan.com wrote all that can be said about it. Be sure to read their analysis of the trade, as it's one of their best posts I've read, and their stuff is usually very funny.