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alarp33
02-22-2012, 12:08 PM
The lineup that most people expect to start the season (and Gardenhire has even hinted at) includes the following players:

Jamey Carroll
Alexi Casilla
Joe Mauer
Denard Span
Ben Revere

Is it a bit concerning to anyone else that more than half the lineup will not hit the ball out of the ballpark (I do think Mauer will hit 10 or so)? I dont know what the market would be for Span coming off his injuries, and don't endorse trading him for a relief pitcher, but is having a lineup with such little power really viable?

If Plouffe looks ready to hit and play right field, do you look into moving Span or Revere? Do you wait for the inevitable Casilla injury and hope Hughes can provide a little pop at 2B?

Todd G
02-22-2012, 12:14 PM
Power is expensive . . . coincidence?

Nick Nelson
02-22-2012, 01:15 PM
I agree that it's a little alarming, but you've just got to hope that Plouffe can hit his way into a bigger role, Hughes can provide some pop off the bench, Mauer puts a few over the fence and the Twins plays to their home park (hitting for high average, playing defense and pitching well). They've succeeded without a ton of power in the past.

LimestoneBaggy
02-22-2012, 01:37 PM
Are Two Doubles Greater Than or Equal To A HR? Before I get beat to the curb on the rhetorics, I'm a believer that this lineup is being constructed for defense and on-base ability. If all the "ifs" work out, we'll have some power, but if not, its piranha ball. Somehow, I like that idea (many probably won't). Might sneak up on certain teams with little defense (not naming anyone specifically).

Kanonen80
02-22-2012, 01:42 PM
While they won't be hitting a ton of home runs, the will be getting on base and slashing doubles. That formula seems to have been successful for the Twins in the past and I think they are making a conscious effort of going back to that style of offense. Then again, it's exactly that style of offense that failed to come up with big hits in the play-offs (while being downed by Yankee home runs). So I think it will be okay during the regular season.

Esoteric Ball Guy
02-22-2012, 01:54 PM
Willingham represents a big power upgrade over Cuddyer as he is a pure pull guy which plays much better at Target Field than gap to gap power types (Mauer, Morneau, Cuddy, Kubel, etc). Not saying the rest of the lineup isn't lacking in the power dept but it's possible the Twins are slowly purging themselves of guys who were bettered adapted to hit at the Dome and replacing with guys they think will play better at TF.

Twins Fan From Afar
02-22-2012, 01:55 PM
You're right, they won't be hitting a ton of home runs, but we should be able to count on the following guys for a good slugging percentage, as well as decent home run power: Willingham; Doumit; Valencia; Morneau (if healthy, of course); and Mauer is going to have to better than 3. I don't think any of these guys are going to have a 35 HR season, but 25 isn't too much to expect from some.

TwinsTakes-RD
02-22-2012, 02:06 PM
The Twins made the decision to go the way of speed for some reason. I like speed but it's more fun and exciting to see the ball go over the fence especially if it's Jim Thome hitting it further than anyone else has ever hit it in a particular ballpark! Our Twins decided to get rid of a decent hitting SS that can play pretty good defense in Hardy for what will most likely amount to nothing to get more speed in the lineup. Will more speed equal more wins? Better defense? More stolen bases? More singles extended to doubles? More doubles extended to triples? More triples extended to being thrown out at home (Benny on the Jets)?

Triples can be exciting especially if you do a somersault between 2nd and 3rd!

At least they went out and got Willingham and Doumit who have the ability to hit it over the fence!

sam.ekstrom
02-22-2012, 02:10 PM
I keep thinking of the 2008 Twins as a doppelganger for the 2012 version. Keep in mind that the '08 Twins only had three established power hitters on their roster: Justin Morneau (who was coming off two straight 30+ HR seasons), Craig Monroe (who had maxed at 28, but only hit 12 the year before; didn't finish the season with them), and Michael Cuddyer (hit 24 in 2006). Other than that, Mauer, Kubel, and Delmon all had maxed at 13 HRs in a single season. Their lineup was full of no-pop guys like Adam Everett, Carlos Gomez, Mike Redmond, Brian Buscher, Brendan Harris, Span, Punto, Tolbert, Casilla, etc... and they still came within a game of the postseason. That 2008 team was 4th in average, but 29th in home runs.

This season is about the same for returning power. Mauer, Morneau, and Willingham all have had big HR seasons, with Valencia, Plouffe, and Doumit providing power-potential. Obviously we're going to struggle hitting 150 home runs, but it's not a completely hopeless lineup. There are enough run-producers to carry the weight.

alarp33
02-22-2012, 02:40 PM
I agree with most of the responses, and think a guy like Carroll is a huge obp improvement over previous 2 hole hitters in this lineup.

I think the main concern is, the defense isn't that good anymore, and the pitching staff is pitch to contact. The team is going to need to score more runs than maybe the '08 version did.

nmoline
02-22-2012, 03:17 PM
From 2002-2006 when the Twins won the central 4 of 5 times they were not a power hitting team. They were usually middle of the road in AL in total HRs, and in 2006 they were 13 of 14 teams.

The Twins have historically been successful without hitting the long ball. They need span and revere to get on base consistently, advance with their speed and Mauer to hit .320 and Morneau to be the long ball hitter.

Shane Wahl
02-22-2012, 04:37 PM
Not all power is homerun power. With Target Field being so spacious in the gaps, there is a lot of potential for doubles and triples on speed alone from Casilla, Revere, and Span. Even Carroll had 5 or 6 triples last year. I get the sense that Willingham is going to be hitting a lot of homers at Target Field down the left field line as well. Parker had a good blog post about this awhile back.

spideyo
02-22-2012, 04:55 PM
Between Casilla, Revere, and Span there is the potential for a LOT of singles stretched into doubles and triples if they hit it in the right spots, not to mention a lot of stolen bases. I will be disappointed if I don't see at least one inside the park homer from one of those guys.

Now Revere just needs some Willy Mays-Hays batting lessons, Casilla needs to make sure is head is screwed on right, and Span needs his head clear and healthy.

James Richter
02-22-2012, 05:13 PM
I think the main concern is, the defense isn't that good anymore, and the pitching staff is pitch to contact. The team is going to need to score more runs than maybe the '08 version did.
They don't need score any more than that. The 2008 Twins (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2008.shtml) gave up 745 runs. The difference between that number and the 804 runs the pitching and defense coughed up last year can be entirely made up with a combination of more sure-handed defense and league average luck on BABIP, strand rate and HR/FB. Though the Twins' ERA in 2011 was 4.60, their FIP last year was 4.30 and their xFIP was 4.33. A pitching staff exactly as awful as last year's - which this year's staff may very well be - could still be expected to allow about 45 fewer ER. Jamey Carroll's career .987 Fielding% at SS applied to the team's 745 total chances at the position would have resulted in 19 fewer errors, and a corresponding 13 fewer unearned runs. 804 R - 45 ER - 13 UER = 746 RA. If they can score as many runs as they did in 2008, we're in business.

BeefMaster
02-23-2012, 09:07 AM
Now Revere just needs some Willy Mays-Hays batting lessons, Casilla needs to make sure is head is screwed on right, and Span needs his head clear and healthy.

I'm looking forward to seeing Revere do push ups on the field after hitting an infield popup.

diehardtwinsfan
02-23-2012, 10:29 AM
Revere needs to avoid hitting it to the pitcher.... I don't mind a punchless lineup so long as everyone in it maintains a high OBM and is a hard out. I'm not quite convinced that everyone fits that mold and I'm holding out hope that either Parmalee or Ploufe forces their way into the linup thus relegating Revere to the bench a bit more often. That, I think, would go a long way (assuming of course that Morneau and Mauer are healthy). I don't think you can call Span powerless either. He does hit a lot of extra bases when healthy. The guys that concern me are Nishi, Casilla, and Revere. They need to get on base much more if they are not going to hit long bombs.

Dilligaf69
02-23-2012, 01:21 PM
They never have been so I guess I'm used to it, but in TF not sure it matters much, not many go out anyway for either team.

Auggie1313
02-23-2012, 06:06 PM
It has somewhat been said already but power is not just the ability to hit home runs. It also includes doubles and triples which the speed we have will help. With that said however this team will not be that great in that regard eather in my opinion. In the past the only guys on your list above that hit alot of doubles and triples are Mauer (mostly doubles and only when healthy), and Span. Guys like Casilla, and Revere are speedy guys and may stretch out a few hustle doubles but they are not guys that drive the ball well enough to get doubles or triples consistantly.

BD57
02-25-2012, 08:33 AM
It's been a long time since the Twins were a legit power team & Target seems to play pretty big. IMO, this is a team that needs to work counts, get on base & hit enough singles & doubles to move guys around.

daan4786
02-25-2012, 12:43 PM
I think it'll depend on how well they hit with runners on, especially with runners in scoring position. Home runs are guaranteed runs, but you need another hit to bring a double or triple in. Nick Nelson also wrote about the 2008 team, with little power, had a ridiculous line with runners in scoring position, batting like 300. Because of this, I think it'll be hard to replicate the 2008 season; we'll need some clutch hitting and its kind of hard to count on clutch hitting.

Zach
02-25-2012, 02:10 PM
Its refreshing to see that so many others are feeling like there may be potential for an upside suprise with this year's line-up--even if its a shakey sort of potential.

I am wondering about what we think about Nishiyoka this year. I have heard some reports that he may be working for a roster spot, but then others are completey disregarding his potential contributions. Nishiyoka was obviously disappointing last year, but should we write him off yet? Maybe he needed a year to adjust. It seems that he might be a nice fit for the doubles and high on-base style ball the Twins seem to be embracing again. I rememer listening on the radio to alot of early last season talk, and hearing of Nishiyoka's ability to, "slap the ball" for a good number of base hits or more.

Thanks for your thoughts..