And the best part is, he's a young and unpolished rookie, who theoretically will only get better. Here's the AL ERA leaders so far (of pitchers that qualify)
1. Mike Mussina - 2.42
2. Jose Contreras - 2.53
3. Barry Zito - 2.87
4. Roy Halladay - 2.88
5. Mark Buehrle - 2.89
6. Justin Verlander - 3.13
7. Scott Kazmir - 3.15
8. Johan Santana - 3.24
9. John Lackey - 3.36
10. Nate Robertson - 3.42
As far as young (prospective) Twins players go, it's about time the Twins bring up Jason Barlett and insert him at SS. Third Base Line has a "Free Jason Bartlett" Countdown (66 days and counting), while Aaron Gleeman points out a little Gardenhire hypocrisy:
Castro dropped a routine pop up the other night and I couldn't help but think back to when Bartlett did the same thing in a spring training game. Gardenhire criticized him to anyone who would listen, turning the mistake into an indictment of Bartlett's leadership ability, and then Ryan quickly shipped him back to Rochester and handed Castro the job for a second straight season. Not only didn't Castro receive a fraction of that response, no one even acknowledges that he's been sloppy defensively all year.
Meanwhile, Barlett continues to bat over .300 in AAA, while Castro plugs away in the low .200s with no power and no patience at the plate. But he brings plenty of veteran leadership! (note the sarcasm)
On a final note, will someone inform Tony Batista that he can move from side to side when he's playing defense? Anyone?