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Nick Nelson
06-10-2012, 11:50 PM
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.php?645-How-Good-Are-the-Twins

glunn
06-11-2012, 12:23 AM
The Twins have been fairly lucky this year in terms of avoiding injuries (other than the total loss of Scott Baker). And there is not a lot of bench depth. I will be happy with some solid, watchable baseball.

TwinsGuy55422
06-11-2012, 12:49 AM
I am realistic enough to know that the starting pitching isn't good enough for the Twins to truly contend. However, as mentioned previously, I would definitely take some overall competitive baseball while seeing some progess from guys who will be part of the future of Twins baseball. I think will have a summer of interesting baseball ahead of us.

travistwinstalk
06-11-2012, 05:35 AM
Why do you have to throw water on good baseball. who knows if this can continue but can't we just enjoy the good baseball instead of saying they can't do this or do that. Just bothers me that instead of enjoying good baseball we feel the need to be skeptical if it continues just doesn't make sense to me.

stringer bell
06-11-2012, 06:19 AM
Short term and long term, the Twins need to rebuild their rotation. It looks like they may have found one starter this year (Diamond), but there are vacancies for several more. The schedule favors the Twins for the remainder of the month. If they can get close to .500 and no one runs away, I suppose they have to hang on to their productive players. If they stay 6+ back and stay well below .500, they have pieces to sell.

twinswon1991
06-11-2012, 07:16 AM
This is still a 90+ loss team just like they have been the last 2 years.

mhanson93
06-11-2012, 07:35 AM
This is still a 90+ loss team just like they have been the last 2 years.

Agreed, the biggest reason for the "turnaround" is the fact that they are playing other teams that are just as bad as they are. Once they start playing more contenders, reality will return..

jlovren
06-11-2012, 08:03 AM
If the pitching goes from a 6 plus ERA to a 4 plus ERA than we could be contending for the AL Central title. That's a huge if, though. This kind of reminds me of 2000. Terrible team, but you see some signs of life from a few young guys and terrible pitching. Let's hope that 2013 reminds us of 2001. I really don't think we are as far away as most people on the site say we are (based on gut feeling)

JB_Iowa
06-11-2012, 08:25 AM
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

I'm content to watch. If by some chance they can win at that .600 clip, it will make for a more enjoyable summer of watching baseball.

BUT -- and this is a huge BUT for me -- I do not want them to be caught up in that "neverland" that THEY thought they were in last summer at the trade deadline.

Fortunately there is a lot of time before decisions have to be made. Let's revisit this discussion in another month.

Steve Penz
06-11-2012, 08:40 AM
I agree that we should enjoy the good baseball and we have to stay humble per travistwinstalk. Last week Gleeman said our runs/game had gone up by 2 during this successful stretch. Likely that will take a hit when we go back to playing better squads. And, the trade deadline is approaching and moves need to be made. Can anybody say who our pitching staff will be in one year? Please don’t say Gibson like that is a lock. He has been throwing from the mound for one week; there are no guarantees. Even with him, there are still many holes. I think we are still preparing for 2014 and beyond. Randy Bush joined the radio broadcast yesterday for an inning. Talking about his Cubs he said they need to look at every short-term option and looking trading them for long-term options and so they will entertain all discussions on that topic. I hope our team is thinking the same way.

One extra comment- Joe Benson’s performance and injury makes me sad. I would very much like to see him get a handle on things, get healthy and turn it around.

mike wants wins
06-11-2012, 08:41 AM
Still a 90 loss team, agreed. They should 100% still be sellers. Howard has a nice blog post this am about this very topic.

chuchadoro
06-11-2012, 09:45 AM
Why do you have to throw water on good baseball. who knows if this can continue but can't we just enjoy the good baseball instead of saying they can't do this or do that. Just bothers me that instead of enjoying good baseball we feel the need to be skeptical if it continues just doesn't make sense to me.

Go read a Sid column if you're looking for fellatious drivel.

TJW
06-11-2012, 09:53 AM
I haven't run the stats from strength of schedule, but my memory is that the pre-June schedule was not as tough as this year's. They had games against the diamond backs and mariners that were replaced with some tougher teams, like the rangers. In essence, this year's team has done about the same as last year's against a little tougher schedule. While there will be a drop-off, especially after they sell off whatever assets they can around the trade deadline, I think this year's team is a little better than last year's. Morneau and Mauer seem to be healthier, and that takes pressure off of others. If Diamond can mature and stay reasonably solid and they get another pitcher out of Hendricks, Gibson or Waters - then they have two pitchers they can build around.

birdwatcher
06-11-2012, 10:10 AM
My wish list:
1. The team is NEVER a buyer, and ALWAYS a seller.
2. Selling is for prospects ONLY.
3. Sales happen ONLY when a team will overpay.
4. Every player is ALWAYS on the trading block.

DAM DC Twins Fans
06-11-2012, 10:44 AM
The Phillies may be a better test of this team--but yes, we always do well during the June interleague schedule (this is last year for that with 2 15 team leagues starting 2013). The lineup shows potential--the pitching staff not much. We need to sell off pieces (my choice Span or Revere and Morneau) and pick up A level pitching prospects to go with Hendrix, Diamond and maybe Gibson in 2014.

Paul
06-11-2012, 12:03 PM
"Go read a Sid column if you're looking for fellatious drivel."

Not sure if this is a typo or not. But it sure paints an interesting picture. And gave me a nice chuckle that I appreciate.

Loosey
06-11-2012, 12:19 PM
My problem with selling is that often the Twins just sell to sell. Use the Denard Span trade talk for example, why trade a very good leadoff hitter and Center Fielder who is under contract for two more seasons and is still young and very much a part of this team's future for some mid-tier prospects they are likely to get in return. The only way the Twins should trade a guy like Span is if his replacement is ready to at the Major League level, and at this point that guy is not ready.

savvyspy
06-11-2012, 12:42 PM
My problem with selling is that often the Twins just sell to sell. Use the Denard Span trade talk for example, why trade a very good leadoff hitter and Center Fielder who is under contract for two more seasons and is still young and very much a part of this team's future for some mid-tier prospects they are likely to get in return. The only way the Twins should trade a guy like Span is if his replacement is ready to at the Major League level, and at this point that guy is not ready.

It seems like General Managing 101. Only sell guys who are free agents at the end of the year (Capps) or guys who have value but not close to their salary (Morneau, Mauer) and keep productive guys under team control for reasonable money (Span, Willingham). Unfortunately I never have thought the Twins front office knows anything about what it takes to manage a roster properly. I'm not confident this trade deadline will be much different than the past few. They probably sit on their hands to avoid getting fleeced.

TwinVike61
06-11-2012, 12:49 PM
I'm not confident this trade deadline will be much different than the past few. They probably sit on their hands to avoid getting fleeced.

I guess I'd rather have them sit on their hands...with the exception of our Capital C Closer for any potential pitching prospect.

Nick Nelson
06-11-2012, 12:50 PM
I don't consider anyone to be off limits, per se, but I am admittedly a little nervous about the front office's ability to bring back sufficient talent in a trade. Dealing away a one-year guy like Capps or Doumit carries little downside, but when you're talking about getting rid of a quality player under contract for multiple years at a reasonable price, the pressure to bring back useful pieces increases dramatically. Considering their talent evaluation in recent years, can we trust the Twins to make a Span trade worthwhile?

nicksaviking
06-11-2012, 12:55 PM
It seems like General Managing 101. Only sell guys who are free agents at the end of the year (Capps) or guys who have value but not close to their salary (Morneau, Mauer) and keep productive guys under team control for reasonable money (Span, Willingham). Unfortunately I never have thought the Twins front office knows anything about what it takes to manage a roster properly. I'm not confident this trade deadline will be much different than the past few. They probably sit on their hands to avoid getting fleeced.

Unfortunately you don't get much value back that way. Other clubs wont be giving up any promising youngsters for a rental player, particularly a bullpen rental. They also wont give up much for guys who are under-performing and carry a large contract. If you want to score quality prospects you do have to trade the productive players under team control.

Nick Nelson
06-11-2012, 12:56 PM
Why do you have to throw water on good baseball. who knows if this can continue but can't we just enjoy the good baseball instead of saying they can't do this or do that. Just bothers me that instead of enjoying good baseball we feel the need to be skeptical if it continues just doesn't make sense to me.
It's called "analysis" Travis. That's what I do here.

mike wants wins
06-11-2012, 12:58 PM
Nick, we have no choice though. Do you trust them to sit on their hands and rely only on the minors?

jharaldson
06-11-2012, 01:25 PM
Unfortunately I never have thought the Twins front office knows anything about what it takes to manage a roster properly. I'm not confident this trade deadline will be much different than the past few. They probably sit on their hands to avoid getting fleeced.

No matter what people think of Terry Ryan you have to admit that he is reasonably skilled at taking a good major league player and trading him away for quality prospects (AJ trade, Knoblauch trade, Milton trade, ect....) I expect that if he does make a trade he will not get fleeced and the players we get will impact the team in coming years.

Winston Smith
06-11-2012, 03:25 PM
I'm not real sure about the "good baseball" thing. Most nights it's been which team is worse not which team is good. Lots of bad pitching, baserunning and fielding along with poor hitting. Its just that the last couple weeks the Twins are less worse.

one_eyed_jack
06-11-2012, 05:09 PM
This is still a 90+ loss team just like they have been the last 2 years.

---2011 may have felt like it lasted twice as long as most others, but I'm pretty sure it was still only 1 season.

Thrylos
06-11-2012, 05:19 PM
I think that every team has peaks and valleys during the season. At this point the Twins are in a peak. Still they are on a pace for 96 losses, so we have to look at the big picture and not focus on this temporal peak. They absolutely have to be sellers at this point and start getting new blood (esp. arms here because 2013 is starting to look fairly futile as well...)

On the other hand, here are a cuople of fairly encouraging stats: At this point NOBODY other than middle infielders has an OPS+ of less than 100 and the only RP who allowed more hits than IPs is Swarzak and lots of those hits came on his starts.

This indicates that this might be a fairly decent core to build on. But, again, this rotation needs major overhaul to the rhyme of 3 plus pitchers in addition to Hendriks and Diamond in 2013. How do you do that? By trades...

one_eyed_jack
06-11-2012, 05:20 PM
"In light of these parallels, fans are now wondering whether the team's current improvement is legitimate or another painful mirage. Fortunately, there are plenty of indications that a similarly dramatic drop-off is not on the horizon."

---Yep, that's the question. No reason to think this is the start of the unstoppable second-half freight train a la the 2006 team. But I expect better than the second-half train wreck of 2011.

Hopefully we'll see some consistently competent baseball with youngster like Dozier, Diamond and Plouffe showing progress and Mauer and Morneau showing signs of returning to their former greatness.

Pradesh
06-11-2012, 11:50 PM
Historically, the reasoning of many posters here regarding "Should He Stay or Should He Go?" leaves a bit to be desired. Most previously asked that Lohse and Pierzynski not let the door smack them in the ass on their way out. Dickey's departure as barely noticed. Some pined for Thome to stay. Many still lament the loss of Gomez, Bartlett,and Ramos, although the latter will likely rebound.. Pavano, up until recently, had surpased expectations, as has Capps.

Having signed Santana, Hunter, Cuddy, Kubal and Nathan would have been nice. Wouldn't all of us want to be blessed with a mid-market sized team with a payroll up there with the Yankees?

Compared to most other teams, I'd say that the Twins' front office has done a respectful job keeping the team competative this year. And that we'll see more of that competativeness in the last half of the season.

kemics
06-12-2012, 08:38 AM
I don't consider anyone to be off limits, per se, but I am admittedly a little nervous about the front office's ability to bring back sufficient talent in a trade. Dealing away a one-year guy like Capps or Doumit carries little downside, but when you're talking about getting rid of a quality player under contract for multiple years at a reasonable price, the pressure to bring back useful pieces increases dramatically. Considering their talent evaluation in recent years, can we trust the Twins to make a Span trade worthwhile?

Agree, somewhat. I think we all knew that pitching would be a problem this season. The bats didn't come around right away and the 6+ era didn't help that. If the twins can muck their way through this season, get away from the Pavano contract, get Baker and Gibson healthy, use this season to build off of success for Diamond, Walters and Hendricks. Use the 1 year guys to get some Bullpen depth in the future. Put the twins in a position to at least be competitive so when The Sanos, and Buxtons are ready in 2014-2015 it pushes them over the top.

I despise when teams sell off everything for a guess on a prospect that might materialize in 3 years. The twins have the offense now, they need the pitching. Get to within a few games and make a move.

Prediction: Twins are within 3 games of first by the ASB and are NOT sellers.

Nick Nelson
06-12-2012, 10:12 AM
Prediction: Twins are within 3 games of first by the ASB and are NOT sellers.
That would be awesome. I'm just not sure they have the pitching to pull it off.

jokin
06-12-2012, 11:54 AM
Agree, somewhat. I think we all knew that pitching would be a problem this season. The bats didn't come around right away and the 6+ era didn't help that. If the twins can muck their way through this season, get away from the Pavano contract, get Baker and Gibson healthy, use this season to build off of success for Diamond, Walters and Hendricks. Use the 1 year guys to get some Bullpen depth in the future. Put the twins in a position to at least be competitive so when The Sanos, and Buxtons are ready in 2014-2015 it pushes them over the top.

I despise when teams sell off everything for a guess on a prospect that might materialize in 3 years. The twins have the offense now, they need the pitching. Get to within a few games and make a move.

Prediction: Twins are within 3 games of first by the ASB and are NOT sellers.


1) Scott Baker- Probably less than 50-50 that Baker comes back: 1)healthy, 2)as effective previously when healthy AND 3) still in a Twins uniform.
2) Kyle Gibson- Probably comes back healthy but it usually takes at least 1.5 years of playing to begin to return to previous level of effectiveness.
3) Scott Diamond- Compelling story about his success, but need more than 7 starts to demonstrate proven level of success.
4) PJ Walters- Less compelling story about his success.
5) Liam Hendricks- Non-compelling story about his success. He had an ERA of 9.00 on his first tour, AAA numbers outstanding, he'll figure it out sooner or later.
6) The Sanos- Wish there were two. Still learning to hit a breaking ball and field a ground ball. By 2015 when he's 22, we'll see how different his numbers are from Hicks.
7) Byron Buxton- Tabula rasa.

8) Your prediction is possible but maybe not desirable if the Twins repeat last year's Buyer?/Seller? fiasco. It is important to note that the easier part of the schedule ends this weekend. Counting the next two series, the combined records of the Twins opposition since May 16 is 187-233, that's playing at a .445 clip. Upcoming, the records of the teams the Twins play into the ASB is 184-173, a more respectable .515 rate.

James Richter
06-12-2012, 01:31 PM
This indicates that this might be a fairly decent core to build on. But, again, this rotation needs major overhaul to the rhyme of 3 plus pitchers in addition to Hendriks and Diamond in 2013. How do you do that? By trades...
Shedding the salaries of Pavano, Liriano, Baker and Marquis saves the Twins $23.5M. There are an abundance of plus pitchers available on the FA market this offseason. Could 2 of those pitchers be signed for $10-12M each? Absolutely. Unfortunately, the Twins are stuck with Blackburn, but with good 2nd halves from Diamond and Hendriks 4 of the 5 rotation spots could be solid. Gibson will be working his way back in the event of Blackburn falling apart. League average lineup, decent rotation, good bullpen, crappy division - would they really be out of it next year?

mike wants wins
06-12-2012, 01:46 PM
The Twins largest FA signing ever is Willingham for $21MM. They shed salary this year, and are likely to see a decline in attendance. You really think they'll sign two front line starters next year?

CDog
06-12-2012, 02:07 PM
1) Scott Baker- Probably less than 50-50 that Baker comes back: 1)healthy, 2)as effective previously when healthy AND 3) still in a Twins uniform.
2) Kyle Gibson- Probably comes back healthy but it usually takes at least 1.5 years of playing to begin to return to previous level of effectiveness.

1) My feeling is that all of those is WELL less than 50-50 based mostly on the third condition. With the uncertainty and the timing, I feel like it would be very hard for them to pick up the option. Once the option isn't picked up--and this is based on nothing but feeling--it seems unlikely/uncommon that someone will then sign with the team that did the non-picking-up of the option.

2) I've poked a very very little bit to try to get facts rather than feelings about when guys get back to full strength (or close) after TJ surgery. I've never gotten far enough to feel like I have a good sense of it. Anyone have anything other than anecdotal evidence? There was recently some thread(s) here that even linked to some information about how common the surgery has gotten, and I think that even commented on how successful it was from a "come backs to pitch" perspective, but I don't think it got into the timing aspect. That Gibson will have 17 months from surgery to the actual season starting next year has been reason for optimism for me, but I don't know if it actually should be or if that's just hopes and dreams.

James Richter
06-12-2012, 02:18 PM
It is important to note that the easier part of the schedule ends this weekend. Counting the next two series, the combined records of the Twins opposition since May 16 is 187-233, that's playing at a .445 clip. Upcoming, the records of the teams the Twins play into the ASB is 184-173, a more respectable .515 rate.
Texas Rangers (last 3 games before the ASB): 35-26 (.574)
Other teams after this weekend (17 games): 149-147 (.503). And even though the Pirates are 5 games over .500, they've got a -17 run differential. So, sure, the schedule is getting tougher, but it's still not tough.

James Richter
06-12-2012, 02:26 PM
The Twins largest FA signing ever is Willingham for $21MM. They shed salary this year, and are likely to see a decline in attendance. You really think they'll sign two front line starters next year?
They will if they don't want to see a decline in attendance again next year.

DAM DC Twins Fans
06-12-2012, 02:36 PM
Prediction: Twins are within 3 games of first by the ASB and are NOT sellers.

Thanks for the chuckle...just checked the Twins schedule...last 7 games before the ASB are Tigers (4) and Texas (3). Texas is simply the best team in MLB right now and I expect Tigers just about ready to turn it around...if Twins win 2 of those 7 I will be shocked.

jokin
06-12-2012, 02:42 PM
Texas Rangers (last 3 games before the ASB): 35-26 (.574)
Other teams after this weekend (17 games): 149-147 (.503). And even though the Pirates are 5 games over .500, they've got a -17 run differential. So, sure, the schedule is getting tougher, but it's still not tough.

Agreed, but in this case, "tough" is a relative term for a team performing like the Twins, who have a -67 run differential. Even with their recent awakening from the early-season slumbers, they are still the worst team in the AL, playing at a .407 pace. They are 9th in the AL in OPS and are in last place in AL pitching stats in virtually every category (except in BB, where they are in first place in fewest walks allowed--- a hearty hoo-yah to pitch-to-contact!).

jokin
06-12-2012, 02:50 PM
Thanks for the chuckle...just checked the Twins schedule...last 7 games before the ASB are Tigers (4) and Texas (3). Texas is simply the best team in MLB right now and I expect Tigers just about ready to turn it around...if Twins win 2 of those 7 I will be shocked.

Sadly, that sounds about right, the Tigers are due for a run here as they just got Jackson back and their team power numbers are climbing rapidly, but I disagree- 2-5 won't be shocking, just a strong close for a team "out there battling" going into the break.

mike wants wins
06-12-2012, 02:52 PM
james, you base that on how the Pohlads and Ryan have acted in the past, or do you think they are changed people?

jokin
06-12-2012, 03:05 PM
james, you base that on how the Pohlads and Ryan have acted in the past, or do you think they are changed people?

Not sure how much change occurred and Ryan wasn't directly involved with the club during the transition to the new park, but, the Pohlads did expand the payroll once the stadium was approved and it had been stated publicly that the GM had more wiggle room with the payroll if there were proposed moves available that could help put the Twins over the top. At this point in the new park's history, isn't it soon becoming incumbent on the owners to insure that years like 2011 are an anomaly? Sadly right now, the actions of the club speak louder than the words, it appears the payroll will continue shrinking for the next few years until all the high-priced contracts are fully shed- with Willingham-like and Carrol-like deals acting as transitional Band-Aids, rather than sincere reloading efforts.

dwintheiser
06-12-2012, 03:43 PM
It seems like General Managing 101. Only sell guys who are free agents at the end of the year (Capps) or guys who have value but not close to their salary (Morneau, Mauer)

Look at it from the other GM's perspective.

If you don't think Mauer is worth $23M a year, why trade good value prospects to get him into your organization?

Even more to the point, why give up good value to get a player for three months who you're going to end up paying through the nose for at the end of the year, when you could just wait until the end of the year and pay through the nose and just give the other team a low first-round draft pick?

Criticizing GMs for not making deals like 'your best prospect for my backup shortstop who I wasn't planning to re-sign in the off-season anyway' assumes that there are GMs out there who would make those deals. Short of assuming every other GM is an idiot, I'm not seeing it.

James Richter
06-12-2012, 04:16 PM
james, you base that on how the Pohlads and Ryan have acted in the past, or do you think they are changed people?
Based on how they've acted in the past, I think the Pohlads like making money. Fielding a competitive team next year will help them make money. Ryan has historically addressed the team's needs pretty well within the constraints of the budget and the available players on the market. I don't take it as a foregone conclusion that the payroll is going down next year. But even if it drops by another $13M, and Ryan only has $22M available to sign free agents, I can't think of any better way to spend it than on two $11M SPs. Now if they kid themselves into thinking that Diamond is an ace and they can get away with signing Joe Blanton, I'm sure they'll do that. But if they're honest about what they've got, and what they need, they'll be bidding on #2 starters next winter.

mike wants wins
06-12-2012, 04:37 PM
James, I hope you are right, and I am wrong. Really, really hope it.

jokin
06-12-2012, 05:07 PM
Based on how they've acted in the past, I think the Pohlads like making money. Fielding a competitive team next year will help them make money. Ryan has historically addressed the team's needs pretty well within the constraints of the budget and the available players on the market. I don't take it as a foregone conclusion that the payroll is going down next year. But even if it drops by another $13M, and Ryan only has $22M available to sign free agents, I can't think of any better way to spend it than on two $11M SPs. Now if they kid themselves into thinking that Diamond is an ace and they can get away with signing Joe Blanton, I'm sure they'll do that. But if they're honest about what they've got, and what they need, they'll be bidding on #2 starters next winter.

Based on Twins history, they won't do it, makes too much sense, and making sense is too risky for a club still in denial at the state of the club and still a club that always does things the same way as before. Blanton it is then(whoopee), the best we could hope for is they split the difference and go for a #3SP like Bedard...and Blanton (Sigh...)