Unfortunately, only Nick Nelson could join us this week for the Roundtable. His opinions are very interesting, though, so everyone should be entertained.
Going into the long 14-day road trip, how many games do/did you think the Twins needed to win, and how many did you think they would win? Where do you think they will be in relation to the White Sox after this trip?
Nick Nelson: I would have been happy with a 7-7 road trip to be honest. They are still in line to do that (at least) now that they've split the most difficult series of the stretch. I think they'll still be within a game or two of the White Sox at the end of this trip -- these teams just can't seem to separate from one another.
Matt Guerrier is on pace (as of Friday) to go six less innings than he did in 2007. There is a huge difference in performance, however. Is this really all a result of his transition into more of a set-up role, or is something else to blame?
NN: He may be on pace for fewer innings than last year, but that's only because he had an extremely high workload last year as well. He still ranks fourth in the AL in appearances at 60, and few middle relievers have racked up more than his 64 innings of work. I think that his high workload this year, combined with last year, has left him worn down and beat up.
Brian Bass is no longer with the Twins, and the bullpen is one man shorter. Because of how little Bass was used, what is the significance of his not being there? What would you have done regarding Bass and the bullpen?
NN: Not having Bass around matters very little; he was barely being used anyway because Gardenhire had clearly lost faith in him. The fact that Bobby Korecky hasn't been brought up to help this fledgling bullpen is mind-boggling, however.
What is your favorite part of the baseball season: spring training, random game, stretch run, or postseason?
NN: It all depends. Spring training probably generates the most excitement. I love the stretch run. But the playoffs are my favorite if the Twins are involved.