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Derek Falvey Interview on 1500 ESPN

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:32 PM
Falvey discusses Sano, payroll, etc. http://www.1500espn....an-mackey-judd/
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Non-Twins Off-season news, tidbits and transactions

Other Baseball Today, 10:29 PM
We had a thread for items around the baseball world that were worth sharing but not worth a thread of their own. Now that the 2018 season...
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CJ Cron or Justin Bour?

Other Baseball Today, 10:28 PM
I really wished the Twins would have not jumped right away and signed Cron. They would have been better served signing either Justin Bour...
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Article: Standing Pat as a Strategy

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:21 PM
'As we speak cruel time is fleeing. Seize the day, believing as little as possible in the morrow.' – HoraceBy all appearances, this is go...
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Buxton: "Pissed" at Twins for No Call-Up Decision...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:12 PM
According to the Star Tribune, Byron Buxton is displeased with the Twins after not being called up in September of 2018. According to Byr...
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103!

On Friday night, the Minnesota Twins lost to the Chicago White Sox. The loss was their 103rd of the season, “besting” their 102-loss season in 1982.

So what do you think? Is this the worst team in Minnesota Twins history?

I mean, if you go by record alone, then the answer became “Yes” on Friday night. There are two games left. They could still lose two more games and end with 105 losses.
Image courtesy of Denny Hedley, USA Today
I always like to go back and say that this team is way too talented to really be the worst team in Twins history. Brian Dozier has had an elite year. Ervin Santana was very good. Young players like Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Kennys Vargas, Taylor Rogers, JT Chargois, Jose Berrios - guys with a lot of talent - took lumps, had successes and learned.

The offense was middle of the pack and still has some chance at hitting 200 home runs.

The pitching, however, was horrible. I’m a positive guy, and that’s probably the nicest word I can use to describe the Twins pitching in 2016. There were injuries. Glen Perkins pitched two games in the season’s first week before his season came to an end with shoulder surgery. Phil Hughes struggled and eventually learned that he had thoracic outlet syndrome and he needed surgery. Last year’s Twins pitcher of the year, Kyle Gibson, missed six weeks of the season with a shoulder injury and when he returned didn’t return to his 2015 form.

A quick look at that 1982 season shows some of the same fatal (and sometimes encouraging) flaws. They had some young talent. players like Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky, Gary Gaetti, Tim Laudner and Frank Viola.

If the Twins pitchers give up 14 runs in the final two games, they will have given up 900 runs, tying the 1996 Twins for most in team history.

When that 1982 Twins team went 60-102, they followed it with a 70-92 season in 1983. They then had that surprise 81-81 season in 1984. Manager Billy Gardner stuck around until the middle of the 1985 season. In 1985, they won 77 games and followed it with 71 wins in 1986. Then came 1987. In the World championship season, they went 85-77.

Is it the organization’s worst team? Maybe.

Is this this most disappointing season in Minnesota Twins history? I don’t know, but for me it is. Without question.

Think about it. Coming into this season many of us thought that the team would be competitive again after an exciting 2015 season in which the Twins weren’t officially eliminated from playoff contention until the second-to-last game. I said I thought that the young players would continue to have ups and downs and that the team would win about the same number of games in 2016.

The Twins failed to get 2 million fans for the first time in Target Field history. Can’t help but wonder how much more that number will come down in 2017.

When I was at Target Field a couple of weekends ago, I was talking to a Twins player. He told me that he had finally come to the reality that this team just wasn’t very good. There was the bad start. Then there was the 80-game run in which they played at and slightly above .500. But they have been really bad the final 40 games again.

We reached an agreement. In a 162-game season, a team generally is what it is. At 57-103, the only real conclusion at this point is that the Minnesota Twins 2016 is a bad baseball team. Is it the worst? I don’t know. Close enough that it really doesn’t matter. And if you want to say it’s the worst, I won’t be able to make much of an argument in disagreement.
Best wishes to Derek Falvey! Things can only get better.... right?

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26 Comments

I believe in that assessment were not good and it's not even close Atlanta is 10 games better than us yuck! We need to stop pretending that Kyle Gibson is good or going to be good because he isn't period. We need so much help and that's sad when a player tells you we aren't good wow that says alot about the team and maybe Paul Molitor shouldn't be leading the team just maybe it should of been dougie fresh how sad
    • Jerr and jimmer like this
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EddieMatthews
Oct 01 2016 04:31 PM

I agree that this is the worst Minnesota Twins team.  Injuries were a factor, but not the determining one.  There was an expectation that Jepsen could fill Perkins' shoes and that didn't happen.  Hughes was a disappointment, but a larger breakdown happened with Gibson, Nolasco, Milone and Duffey not able to pitch at a Major League level.  Except for Santana the other starters in 130 games averaged over 6.00 ERA.  Some of the starters were barely AAA level.  Others were flat out disappointing (Berrios and Meyer).  By September the relievers couldn't hold anybody.

 

The field players did not come to Spring Training ready to compete.  Sano is a good example.  Several players made the team for reasons other than their playing ability.  "Out of options" is no excuse for playing someone.  

 

Dozier placed himself in the "leader" role and fell on his face in the first two months.  Mauer and Nunez were the only competitive players in April.  The lack of a consistent line-up and defensive players put added pressure on the pitching.

 

The biggest problem is the players offered up by the front office.  Park was a long-shot in overstaffed positions of DH / 1B.  Sano in RF was a joke.  Plouffe should have been dealt in the off-season.  A reliever should have been signed.  Most importantly, Molitor as a new manager should have hired seasoned coaches to work with the youth coming up from Chattanooga and Rochester.

 

It was very difficult to watch this team as the veterans struggled and the youth floundered.  I am hoping that a couple of pitchers and a couple of coaches can turn the ship around in 2017.

    • Platoon and jimmer like this
You could make some subjective arguments to make this crew look slightly better than the 2011 or 1982 versions. Or any of the other terrible teams they've put together.

The most objective way to measure a team's historical ineptitude is the win-loss record.
    • Broker likes this
The worst. It is funny to read those in denial. Talent? When .230 hitters are called talent, fans have been numbed by futility.
    • Jerr, EddieMatthews and Jordan1212 like this
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Halsey Hall
Oct 01 2016 07:53 PM

It is one of the worst, but the pitching is the worst ever.

    • messed up likes this

This has to be as bad as it gets. If I didn't believe this was rock bottom... There'd be little reason to look up. 

 

 

 

 

The twins have to be on a historic pace this decade right? What is the worst win percentage in a decade? Let's shoot for the stars boys.
103 losses and we get to keep the manager.
    • h2oface, joemama and Jordan1212 like this

This is where historically bad pitching brings you. It is a stinky place with no toilet paper.  

    • h2oface likes this
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theBOMisthebomb
Oct 02 2016 02:01 AM
They were brutal and the worst team in Twins history.
There is not even a question about this. As my dad used to tell me, "Son, it's only results that count." This team was the worst team in MLB by 10 games. We secured the first draft pick with 2 weeks left in the season.

The real question to ask is whether this team will be the hardest to turn around and it will not be. We have the basis for a very good offense. And we need to develop, beg, borrow or steal 3 good starting pitchers. Relievers can be found.

Thank goodness we have someone coming in who seems to understand pitching staffs.
    • Jerr, adjacent and whosafraidofluigirussolo like this
There is a difference between talent and 'worst'. And disappointment. This team didn't disappoint me, as any successes would be from youth, an unreliable segment to rely on. The pitching, defense, and roster construct were borderline atrocious. The team may have been the worst, or one of, but the talent level, pitching excluded, wasn't. It was just too young and the manager was too (you may fill in the blank, there are so many choices). Needless to say, pitching and defense were the reasons for the record, but the reasons for the pitching and defense being subpar were based on decisions the FO made beginning a couple years ago with extensions to players who ran a hot streak, to the Hunter return, to roster decisions based on offense, and a pie in the sky view of the pitching staff. Throw in a manager who I firmly believe was pushed unto Ryan, a manger with little time or patience to develop what should have been an emerging roster, and you have 103, and counting. A new GM, versed in metrics will have an interesting take on this bunch. But there are some things you don't need metrics for. And haven't since Abner decided to play kitty corner across a square. If you don't pitch well, and catch the ball, you won't win consistently. For some reason Terry Ryan forgot that. And we ended up with some talent, but few wins.
    • DocBauer likes this

WORSE is not a strong enough word! So, much highly rated talent coming up and no break out players of that group, all have struggled.

 

And the follies and blunders on the field? OHHHHH MY!!!!!

 

I am glad to see this season mercifully end :jump:

 

And WORSE? NOT enough, so I suggest "worserestist"........

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TheBoofIsLoose
Oct 02 2016 10:38 AM

Obviously record-wise this team takes the title of the worst Twins team. Talent wise you could make a reasonable argument that this year was better than some of the teams from a few years ago. What puts this team in this conversation is the atrocious pitching. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say this is the worst put together pitching staff the Twins have ever tried to roll out. 

 

 I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say this is the worst put together pitching staff the Twins have ever tried to roll out. 

AL Ranks for rotation:

 

15th in FIP

15th in Ks

13th in IP

14th in HR/9

15th in BAA

15th in QS

15th in OBP against

15th in SLG% against

 

 

    • TheBoofIsLoose likes this

Yes, this is the worst team in Twins history.

 

The 1982 Twins had a terrible May when they only won three games (3-26). By the end of the year they were playing near .500 ball:

 

July:14-13

August:13-15

September:12-16

 

This year's Twins started bad, played well in the middle (for a mere 6 weeks), and then collapsed.We are not seeing an improvement with this team.

 

The 1982 Twins had a terrible bullpen and a terrible manager.This team has both of those plus a terrible starting rotation.

 

 

I don't want any of these pitchers next year except berrios and I guess santana blah it makes us die hard fans upset that Terry Ryan never signed a good pitcher in 20 years ever not a Zack Greinke or David price heck he even bailed when it was time to trade Johan santana which was a joke so we got nothing for the best pitcher in the game at the time this falvey has his work cut out for him it's not a over night fix and I read in star Tribune deron Johnson talking about prospects at number 1 thank God he won't be around to make that pick it's just embarrassing to realize the truth that we all knew when they made there moves I was never like yes Ricky nolasco or Kyle Gibson or Jason marquis or the rest of the list I was like great 5+ Era and sure enough.....
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DAM DC Twins Fans
Oct 02 2016 01:28 PM
Probably the worst...definitely the worst pitching team...but most importantly one of the worst defenses in MLB history which allows extra bases and outs hurting the pitching. Somewhere (except for maybe Torii last year) Terry Ryan forgot about looking at defense when resigning/signing/trading players.
Forget worst pitching staffs in Twins history, this has to be one of the worst pitching staffs in the history of major league baseball.

 

Somewhere (except for maybe including Torii last year) Terry Ryan forgot about looking at defense when resigning/signing/trading players.

FTFY

The talent wasn't the worst, but the performance was. And for that I blame the manager and coaching staff. Moli may be smart, but it sure looks like he cannot motivate. Thank you Torii for carrying that torch last year. The lack of energy over the past two months has been appalling. And then Moli's position as Manager becomes 'non-negotiable' for the new GM? No wonder so many highly respected candidates declined interest. Falvey may have a bright future, but he has one year of experience as an assistant GM. I'm prepared for more rough years ahead. Pull your head out, Jim, and stop mixing family with business.

OK, so let me say that for me it was bad. I live in Oregon and had tickets to 7 Twins games this year, without seeing a win. That said, I do not believe they are that bad. Offensively they are middle of the road with room for improvement with the talent on hand. Defensively, potentially costing some offense, some people have to suck it up or go elsewhere. For the first time in years the outfield shows promise of being outstanding, which will help whatever pitchers they can come up with. Pitching being a subject hard to talk about. What happened to pitchers who started a game with the idea of finishing it? Who cares if you throw 97 mph but can only go 4 innings? How about some guys with the moxy and guts to go deeper? Is this a catching or pitching problem? A great pitcher makes the entire team look good. A great catcher can make the pitcher look good. I'm not sure where that balances out. We are not the worst Twins team ever, but we do need to solve the defensive problems, and instill a winning mindset to our pitching staff; which may require a pitching overhaul and a lower level change in development.

    • joemama likes this
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EddieMatthews
Oct 02 2016 07:21 PM

At the end of the season we got a sample of what could be in 2017.  Buxton, Sano, Berrios.  Maybe the rotation will be an easier fix than we had thought.  Santana, Berrios, Santiago, and two days rain.  Put the sophomore jinx behind the young guys, and get a catcher.  Voila!

AL Ranks for rotation:

15th in FIP
15th in Ks
13th in IP
14th in HR/9
15th in BAA
15th in QS
15th in OBP against
15th in SLG% against


So middle of the pack.

Oh.....these are just AL.
    • jimmer likes this

At least this team was watchable for most of the year. Some of the teams from 2011-2014 were borderline unwatchable. There was always something worth checking in for and actually, a lot of the young hitters had relatively positive seasons. Buxton struggled but ended strong. Kepler had his amazing week and held his own. Rosario fell back to earth but rebounded enough that you can see a future for him with the club. Kennys Vargas is in much better prospect shape than I expected. Sano didn't have the insane year we hoped for but that was a nice sophomore slump year.

 

Yeah these guys have to take a step next year but that's the way it is with young guys. People had too high of expectations for this year and will likely have too low of expectations for next year. Last year's Twins were a smoke and mirrors playoff contender but this year's Twins are better than a 103 loss team.

 

I'm excited for next year. So excited that last night I was trying to find a way to bet $20 in Vegas on the Twins as 2017 World Series champs. I figured the odds had to be spectacular :-)


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