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John Bonnes
01-28-2013, 10:18 AM
Ever the contrarian, Patrick Reusse finds himself more optimistic than the fan base this offseason:Reusse's Reality Script: Episode 8 (Twins) | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities ? Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Twins (http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Reusses_Reality_Script_Episode_8_Twins012713)


This is my anticipated Opening Day rotation: Pelfrey, Worley, Gibson, holdover Scott Diamond and journeyman Kevin Correia. As journeymen go, I'd take Correia over last year's trial horse and error, Jason Marquis.
That five would be far better than anything the Twins offered up as a rotation the past two seasons.

East Coast Twin
01-28-2013, 10:42 AM
Ever the contrarian . . . .

Exactly my thought when I read the thread title.

gunnarthor
01-28-2013, 10:51 AM
Ever the contrarian, Patrick Reusse finds himself more optimistic than the fan base this offseason:Reusse's Reality Script: Episode 8 (Twins) | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities ? Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Twins (http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Reusses_Reality_Script_Episode_8_Twins012713)

Well, he is right. I've posted it many times now but simply replacing the 88 starts that amassed -8 WAR last year, the Twins are a lot better.

nokomismod
01-28-2013, 10:59 AM
Wow, I don't see it. The biggest piece I see totally differently is how he feels about the starting rotation going into last season compared to this one. Last season we had:
Pavano (who we thought would be an innings eater and compete)
Liriano (who we thought might have a bounce back year)
Baker (who we thought could have a really good year)
Blackburn (who because he had an injury healed we thought he might be okay)
Marquis (who I thought would be an okay 5th starter).

This year, there isn't a single one of the starters who I feel confident will go 180 innings and be effective. I am concerned about injuries with Worley and Diamond. Pelfrey and Gibson are both coming back from serious surgery, and Correria (sp?) is similar to Marquis. Plus our offense and defense will take a step back based on the losses of Revere and Span.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer.

Badsmerf
01-28-2013, 11:00 AM
Hendriks will go north with the team over Gibson IMO. The Twins would be making a huge mistake not to allow Gibson some time at AAA and get an extra year of team control. If there was a chance the Twins would compete I could see it, but bringing Hicks and Gibson north would be stupid stupid stupid stupid.

Nick Nelson
01-28-2013, 11:09 AM
I don't know that the rotation is better on paper than it was a year ago, but they'll almost certainly perform better.

Badsmerf
01-28-2013, 11:20 AM
Wow, I don't see it. The biggest piece I see totally differently is how he feels about the starting rotation going into last season compared to this one. Last season we had:
Pavano (who we thought would be an innings eater and compete)
Liriano (who we thought might have a bounce back year)
Baker (who we thought could have a really good year)
Blackburn (who because he had an injury healed we thought he might be okay)
Marquis (who I thought would be an okay 5th starter).

This year, there isn't a single one of the starters who I feel confident will go 180 innings and be effective. I am concerned about injuries with Worley and Diamond. Pelfrey and Gibson are both coming back from serious surgery, and Correria (sp?) is similar to Marquis. Plus our offense and defense will take a step back based on the losses of Revere and Span.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer.

Every one of those starters failed. That is the difference. We felt going into the year last year that the Twins could be competitive with those starters, maybe a bubble playoff team. Things fell apart pretty quickly. It's almost a guarantee this rotation will outperform last season. That is what Reusse is suggesting.

Oldgoat_MN
01-28-2013, 11:23 AM
Good point Nick. The bar is set pretty low.
Good chance the starting rotation will out-perform last year's stats.

nokomismod
01-28-2013, 11:39 AM
Yes, good point guys. Almost everything went wrong that could regarding last year's starting rotation. This year hopefully everything will go well that can go well.

Brandon
01-28-2013, 11:53 AM
I am optimistic that at least one pitcher will improve and that 3 starting pitchers will be solid and give the staff at least 3 12 game winners Worely, Diamond and ???. I also think the bullpen will be solid again. the big question is whether CF, SS and 2B will we be able to have at least 2 decent seasons from the 3 lineup spots. beyond that its just a matter of health and how will the other 2 spots in the rotation fare? will we get 2 suprise pitchers and an adequate Correia? That will allow the Twins to be competetive. Can they do that? Sure but the odds are not in their favor on paper at the moment.

Alex
01-28-2013, 01:15 PM
I don't know that the rotation is better on paper than it was a year ago, but they'll almost certainly perform better.

Absolutely. Hard to argue that the rotation won't be better (even if some of us would have liked to see more done with it than was). A lot of people focus on that and think the team will be better overall just for that, but that assumes the lineup is going to be at least the same and that too often defense is getting ignored.

The big lineup/defense question for me is will the CF/RF combo of Hicks(?)/Parmelee not only match Span/Revere offensively but do enough with the bat to make up for their definitely weaker defense? For me, it's very likely a downgrade overall but even just offensively unless Hicks is more than ready.

For me, because of shifts like that and other questions (no real backup plan at SS, for example), the team might not be better overall than last year.

mnfanforlife
01-28-2013, 01:26 PM
No real reason for optimism until 2015 when we have a deeper pitching staff. BUT, I am very optimistic about the farm system as it stands now with another top-5 pick to be added.

mike wants wins
01-28-2013, 01:30 PM
Two more top 5 picks....since they were historically bad, pitching wise, it almost has to be better. Does not mean it will be good, or adequate......

ThePuck
01-28-2013, 01:39 PM
No real reason for optimism until 2015 when we have a deeper pitching staff. BUT, I am very optimistic about the farm system as it stands now with another top-5 pick to be added.

IF we have a deeper pitching staff in 2015...

jokin
01-28-2013, 01:52 PM
Ever the contrarian, Patrick Reusse finds himself more optimistic than the fan base this offseason:Reusse's Reality Script: Episode 8 (Twins) | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities ? Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Twins (http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Reusses_Reality_Script_Episode_8_Twins012713)

Not only a contrarian, this is a Reusse's Reality-esque satiristic "Modest Proposal" of the likes that would almost make Jonathan Swift blush.

Either that, or the Reusse-Reality is early onset senility rearing its ugly head.

drjim
01-28-2013, 03:08 PM
Not only a contrarian, this is a Reusse's Reality-esque satiristic "Modest Proposal" of the likes that would almost make Jonathan Swift blush.

Either that, or the Reusse-Reality is early onset senility rearing its ugly head.

Wow. You're a pretty miserable person aren't you?

jokin
01-28-2013, 03:10 PM
Wow. You're a pretty miserable person aren't you?

I think it's fair to say that Reusse has that market cornered.

FrodaddyG
01-28-2013, 03:18 PM
"That five would be far better than anything the Twins offered up as a rotation the past two seasons."

And the next time the dog craps on the carpet it might be a solid turd instead of diarrhea. Doesn't make it a good or acceptable situation.

TheLeviathan
01-28-2013, 04:02 PM
Improving this rotation wasn't exactly challenging, the problem is that the lineup and defense have been significantly downgraded. What will be interesting is to see how much the VERY modest improvements to the rotation offset the fact that we have a bunch of plodding oafs playing defense for them.

PseudoSABR
01-28-2013, 04:10 PM
Improving this rotation wasn't exactly challenging, the problem is that the lineup and defense have been significantly downgraded. What will be interesting is to see how much the VERY modest improvements to the rotation offset the fact that we have a bunch of plodding oafs playing defense for them.The infield defense should be better, shouldn't it? Yes the OF defense certainly took a hit. Span/Revere = Hicks/Parmelee in the lineup, IMO. In any case, I don't see 'significant' downgrades for lineup and infield defense, in fact, I think we could argue that each could improve.

drjim
01-28-2013, 04:13 PM
I think it's fair to say that Reusse has that market cornered.

But even Reusse occasionally lifts himself out of the muck for a ray of sunshine.

TheLeviathan
01-28-2013, 04:17 PM
The infield defense should be better, shouldn't it? Yes the OF defense certainly took a hit. Span/Revere = Hicks/Parmelee in the lineup, IMO. In any case, I don't see 'significant' downgrades for lineup and infield defense, in fact, I think we could argue that each could improve.

How exactly are you arguing the infield defense improves? Plouffe is still a wild card, Florimon's rep is that he's good but I wasn't impressed at the end of last year, and second base is....Carrol? I guess he's ok, but there is a solid chance Dozier is in that spot at some point and he hardly wowed anyone either.

I'd also suggest that "took a hit" is way too nicely phrased for comparing Span/Revere to Willingham/Parmalee. Hard to count Hicks until he's actually there and we see him play. I'm optimistic, but right now we have to look at things for what they are. I'm praying to whatever Baseball God has smote us with Drew Butera that they show mercy and have Benson ready to take over CF and stick in RF when it comes to Hicks, but that's hard to count on too.

Also, replacing their OBP could be difficult from their replacements.

jokin
01-28-2013, 04:21 PM
But even Reusse occasionally lifts himself out of the muck for a ray of sunshine.

When the sun actually shines, as it even rarely does in Twinsland, we all register our approval. It just seems odd that the perpetual optimists can't understand that the sunshine scale is severely out of whack these last 3 years and with the exception of 2 moves (the 2nd move of Revere being quite accidental), more of the same-old, same-old simply isn't acceptable.

FrodaddyG
01-28-2013, 04:24 PM
The infield defense should be better, shouldn't it? Yes the OF defense certainly took a hit. Span/Revere = Hicks/Parmelee in the lineup, IMO. In any case, I don't see 'significant' downgrades for lineup and infield defense, in fact, I think we could argue that each could improve.
The infield defense could be decent or terrible. Plouffe may settle in and get better at third, but given his history elsewhere on the infield, he could just as easily be a trainwreck. Florimon, Escobar, Carroll all could be acceptable, but they aren't really "upgrades", seeing as they represent the majority of what the infield was running out there the end of last year. They just are what they are, and what you got the last few months of last year (which was neither great nor terrible on defense) is probably what you'll get this year, unless Carroll's age finally caught up to him. Morneau should be fine at first, but that's easily the least important aspect of the discussion.

As for the lineup, I don't think there's any way to expect any kind of upgrade. Willingham is likely due for some kind of regression. It may be small, but he had a career year last year, and it would be hard to expect those numbers again. Mauer should do Mauer things. Morneau could improve back towards his All Star numbers which would help.

The problems arise when you consider that you are going to be giving a couple thousand ABs to these three groups:

Black holes like Butera, Florimon, and Escobar.

Guys who need to stay on the MLB roster and prove their role as part of the long-term plan like Mastro, Parmelee, and Plouffe.

Young guys like Hicks, Benson, or Arcia, depending on who is up and playing at any given point in the year.

Now, the last two groups could be acceptable, or could completely Plouffe the bed. It likely lies somewhere in the middle, with group 2 being the more likely to hold their own at the dish. Group 3 could also be decent, but some serious struggles are to be expected if this is the first go-round for Hicks/Arcia, or the first long-term run with the MLB club for Benson. When this much of the roster is made up of unproven or proven-to-be-poor-offensively players, it's hard to think the smart money lies with betting on improvement in the lineup.

PseudoSABR
01-28-2013, 04:31 PM
How exactly are you arguing the infield defense improves? Plouffe is still a wild card, Florimon's rep is that he's good but I wasn't impressed at the end of last year, and second base is....Carrol? I guess he's ok, but there is a solid chance Dozier is in that spot at some point and he hardly wowed anyone either.Plouffe year 2 at 3b > Plouffe year 1 at 3b Florimon at SS >> Dozier at SS (by all accounts) Dozier/Carrol at 2b = Cassila/Carrol at 2b. I also imagine firstbase defense will improve with a healthier Morneau and a more experienced Mauer. At worse it's a draw, but it's far from a downgrade in any case.

Look, you're taking the half-empty approach to any ambiguous outcome, so of course, you're going to see downgrade everywhere, but I don't think that's particularly honest or realistic assessment.

S.
01-28-2013, 04:40 PM
So, you're saying Dozier is just as good defensively at 2b as Casilla? Where are you drawing this conclusion from?


Edit: Also, in terms of Florimon being a >> defensive upgrade over Dozier at SS...

Florimon:
Minors at SS: 715 games played, 183 errors
Majors at SS: 47 games played, 8 errors

Dozier:
Minors at SS: 289 games played, 48 errors
Majors at SS: 82 games played, 15 errors

I'm not some defensive metric wiz, so if you have some stats to prove that Florimon is so much better at SS by all accounts, I'd like to see them. However, nothing I've seen from stats or watching him play has exactly inspired great confidence in Florimon to be any sort of upgrade at SS.

ThePuck
01-28-2013, 04:47 PM
last year, according to baseball-reference, the Twins ranked just below league average in defensive efficiency.

2012 Major League Baseball Standard Fielding - Baseball-Reference.com (http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2012-standard-fielding.shtml)

according to baseball prospectus, we ranked 18th

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=1091208

..and we lost our two best defenders in the offseason...

jokin
01-28-2013, 04:48 PM
Plouffe year 2 at 3b > Plouffe year 1 at 3b Florimon at SS >> Dozier at SS (by all accounts) Dozier/Carrol at 2b = Cassila/Carrol at 2b. I also imagine firstbase defense will improve with a healthier Morneau and a more experienced Mauer. At worse it's a draw, but it's far from a downgrade in any case.

Look, you're taking the half-empty approach to any ambiguous outcome, so of course, you're going to see downgrade everywhere, but I don't think that's particularly honest or realistic assessment.

1) Plouffe and a year's experience might make him better, but his career still suggests Valencia-like Wild Card.

2) Florimon greater than Dozier by "all accounts?" Then why was Dozier given the job first by the FO? Flori got the job by default. Dozier's minor league slash line: .298/.370/.409/.779. Florimon's: .249/.321/.354/.675 An OPS over 100 points higher suggests Dozier projects higher, even with an edge to Florimon on defense.

3) Cassila was a much better defender and base-stealer, but I agree overall that this is probably a wash.

Maybe not a downgrade overall, but when you're not moving ahead and are content with "a draw", and not far removed from last year's mediocrity, net effect is you're moving behind.

Even you are discerning enough to acknowledge that you at least see severe downgrade elsewhere in the OF and top of the lineup, doesn't seem to merit a lot of positivity about the 2013 overall outcome.

70charger
01-28-2013, 04:48 PM
Every single one of our starting rotation wasn't pitching with club come the deadline. Every. Single. One. 2 went down with injuries, 1 got traded with a 5.3 ERA, and 2 were so sucky they were DFA'd. 2/3 of the innings pitched by our team were pitched by pitchers with ERAs above 5.00, which means that 2/3 of our innings were pitched by people who were #5 starters or worse on normal teams. Is it really that hard to think that maybe things will be better this year?

I guess that since I'm not bitching about everything the Twins have done lately, I'm just drinking the kool-aid. Whatever. Flame away.

jokin
01-28-2013, 05:01 PM
Every single one of our starting rotation wasn't pitching with club come the deadline. Every. Single. One. 2 went down with injuries, 1 got traded with a 5.3 ERA, and 2 were so sucky they were DFA'd. 2/3 of the innings pitched by our team were pitched by pitchers with ERAs above 5.00, which means that 2/3 of our innings were pitched by people who were #5 starters or worse on normal teams. Is it really that hard to think that maybe things will be better this year?

I guess that since I'm not bitching about everything the Twins have done lately, I'm just drinking the kool-aid. Whatever. Flame away.

Do the Twins have a decent shot at having a sub-5.00 SP ERA from last year's 5.40?

Absolutely.

Given the defensive holes hollowed out of the lineup and huge projected drop in offensive production, would a highly implausible, semi-miraculous, everything-goes-perfect, American League average 4.37 SP ERA make a material difference in the W-L column?

Nope.

70charger
01-28-2013, 05:07 PM
Do the Twins have a decent shot at having a sub-5.00 SP ERA from last year's 5.40?

Absolutely.

Given the defensive holes hollowed out of the lineup and huge projected drop in offensive production, would a highly implausible, semi-miraculous, everything-goes-perfect, American League average 4.37 SP ERA make a material difference in the W-L column?

Nope.

Then we'll see you back here in 2014?


Hey, a man can dream...

jokin
01-28-2013, 05:10 PM
Then we'll see you back here in 2014?


Hey, a man can dream...

Sorry, as a lifelong Twins fan, I'll be here per usual, pointing out imcompetence and hypocrisy and demanding that changes be made.

Now go back, shut your eyes real tight, and start in again on your Make-A-Wish dreaming campaign.

TheLeviathan
01-28-2013, 05:14 PM
Plouffe year 2 at 3b > Plouffe year 1

That's an awfully big assumption. Shall I suggest Danny Valencia as reason to not be so sure that defense will improve with time. In any case, this isn't any "better" than last year considering we had Carrol/Plouffe (who I thought played it pretty well overall) there last year.


Florimon at SS >> Dozier at SS (by all accounts) Dozier/Carrol at 2b = Cassila/Carrol at 2b.

I heard that about Florimon last year and from what I saw, he wasn't nearly the wizard we've heard about. Given the flashes we saw of the skillset I'm not ruling this out as an upgrade, but I need to see the hype matched first because a month of observations were not encouraging. Dozier was pretty terrible in his stretch so it's possible.

Again, you argued it was "better" - to start sniping about honest takes and being glass half-empty is skewing the argument. Congrats on shifting the argument so you could take some sort of high ground, but that was never what I claimed. The OF has taken a massive downgrade and, as you said, the infield is probably a wash. (And it wasn't very good last year) It's worth noting that it could be a very big problem for our pitching staff, enough even to offset these meager upgrades.

gunnarthor
01-28-2013, 05:27 PM
I'd also suggest that "took a hit" is way too nicely phrased for comparing Span/Revere to Willingham/Parmalee. Hard to count Hicks until he's actually there and we see him play. I'm optimistic, but right now we have to look at things for what they are. I'm praying to whatever Baseball God has smote us with Drew Butera that they show mercy and have Benson ready to take over CF and stick in RF when it comes to Hicks, but that's hard to count on too.

Also, replacing their OBP could be difficult from their replacements.

I'm concerned about the MI defense but not that concerned about the OF. Span/Revere were great but Revere made Span a better CFer, something the Nats will learn. Maestro, Hicks or Benson should be better than Span in CF. I think Hicks gets the nod for opening day and every scouting write up on him thinks he'll be a great defensive CFer. There might be questions about his bat but his defense should make him pretty good. Parmelee in right isn't great but Maestro will probably be a defensive replacement for him most games which will minimize it somewhat. And if Parmelee isn't hitting, the team won't keep him out there.

I think by the end of the season, we'll have traded Willingham and you'll see an OF of Benson/Hicks/Arcia in Aug/Sept.

ThePuck
01-28-2013, 05:30 PM
I'm concerned about the MI defense but not that concerned about the OF. Span/Revere were great but Revere made Span a better CFer, something the Nats will learn. Maestro, Hicks or Benson should be better than Span in CF. I think Hicks gets the nod for opening day and every scouting write up on him thinks he'll be a great defensive CFer. There might be questions about his bat but his defense should make him pretty good. Parmelee in right isn't great but Maestro will probably be a defensive replacement for him most games which will minimize it somewhat. And if Parmelee isn't hitting, the team won't keep him out there.

I think by the end of the season, we'll have traded Willingham and you'll see an OF of Benson/Hicks/Arcia in Aug/Sept.

Revere made Span a better CFer? How so?

snepp
01-28-2013, 05:33 PM
Revere made Span a better CFer? How so?

Big smiles raise morale.

mcrow
01-28-2013, 05:35 PM
I think on paper the Twins are better going into this ST than they peformed last season. However, it seems like the rotation always seems to under perform expectations so I'm being very cautious about it at this point. Joe Saunders might help if they get him but I don't really see him make that huge of a difference.

PseudoSABR
01-28-2013, 06:12 PM
That's an awfully big assumption [that Plouffe will improve at 3b ths year].No it's not. It's a reasonable assumption. Valencia played exclusively thirdbase and, evidently, had attitude issues that may have impacted his lack of improvement.

I heard that about Florimon last year and from what I saw, he wasn't nearly the wizard we've heard about. Given the flashes we saw of the skillset I'm not ruling this out as an upgrade, but I need to see the hype matched first because a month of observations were not encouraging. Dozier was pretty terrible in his stretch so it's possible. The Twins seem to be giving the job to Florimon based soley on his defensive ability, so it's clear they see an improvement even if you don't.


Again, you argued it was "better" - to start sniping about honest takes and being glass half-empty is skewing the argument. Congrats on shifting the argument so you could take some sort of high ground, but that was never what I claimed. The OF has taken a massive downgrade and, as you said, the infield is probably a wash. (And it wasn't very good last year) It's worth noting that it could be a very big problem for our pitching staff, enough even to offset these meager upgrades.Look, when you state that it's an "awfully big assumption" for a player to improve at a position he's ostensible still learning, people are going to wonder if you're being honest in your assessment. Maybe I'm being unfair, but lately it seems that you'll spin any contentious point so that it paints the Twins FO negatively. If there's any ambiguity, you (like a train of others posting lately) will argue tooth-and-nail that such ambiguity proves how stupid the Twins have been.

And for the record, I always have the higher ground. :cool:

Joe A. Preusser
01-28-2013, 06:20 PM
Do the Twins have a decent shot at having a sub-5.00 SP ERA from last year's 5.40?

Absolutely.

Given the defensive holes hollowed out of the lineup and huge projected drop in offensive production, would a highly implausible, semi-miraculous, everything-goes-perfect, American League average 4.37 SP ERA make a material difference in the W-L column?

Nope.

Sorry, I'm not buying an automatic downgrade in the offense. You put an All-Star calibur Morneau into the middle of last year's lineup, replace Span and Revere with reasonable replacements, and you hold steady in runs scored right there. Forget the possibilities that Plouffe and Hicks/Benson and Doumit and even Mauer could ALL have better years. More than anything else, this season's offense will hinge on whether or not Morneau can round back into All-Star form. And I'd rate that proposition better than even money.

Nick Nelson
01-28-2013, 06:20 PM
I'm hearing a lot about how the Twins shouldn't be expected to improve offensively this year. Point me to a position other than LF where they are unlikely to improve or maintain. I'm not seeing it.

Brandon
01-28-2013, 06:24 PM
The Twins do have 4 potential 25-30 hr bats in the lineup this year. Mauer batting in front of all of them and Doumit somewhere in there too. As long as either Mastroianni or Hicks and one of the MI can get on base at a reasonable clip the offense should score enough. the defense will likely let a few more hits in RF but thats about it. Maybe Plouffe improves enough to offset that some. I believe we will have at lease 3 decent starters out of the bunch now if 2 more are atleast .500 record then we can compete. the bullpen will be likely average or slightly above. IMO there are more ifs than certainty on paper but that doesn't mean the talent isn't there to compete this year.

FrodaddyG
01-28-2013, 06:27 PM
Sorry, I'm not buying an automatic downgrade in the offense. You put an All-Star calibur Morneau into the middle of last year's lineup, replace Span and Revere with reasonable replacements, and you hold steady in runs scored right there. Forget the possibilities that Plouffe and Hicks/Benson and Doumit and even Mauer could ALL have better years. More than anything else, this season's offense will hinge on whether or not Morneau can round back into All-Star form. And I'd rate that proposition better than even money.
Define "reasonable replacements"? For better or worse, Revere and Span were two of the Twins' best hitters last year. Those ABs will now be going to less-known quantities. As I stated in a much more thorough post elsewhere, there will be an awful lot (likely thousands) of ABs going to either proven-poor hitters or complete question marks. Without hitting on huge years from all of the established MLB-level hitters on the roster, it's going to be awfully hard to even maintain the middle of the pack offense they had last year, before their two primary table setters were dealt.

iastfan112
01-28-2013, 06:39 PM
I'm hearing a lot about how the Twins shouldn't be expected to improve offensively this year. Point me to a position other than LF where they are unlikely to improve or maintain. I'm not seeing it.

Lots of question marks in CF, could see a slip there. Doumit was unusually healthy last year, could be the fact he could DH but I wouldn't count on him for 500+ PA again which could lead to some slippage at C. Plouffee is still very much a wildcard to me, wouldn't surprise me if his injury held him back but it could have just been one really hot streak of hitting for him. Carroll is old and could keep slipping like he did last year.

Now this would be very much a pessimists view if I thought all this would happen but some of it probably will. Actually, going back to the health point, no one in the lineup dealt with an injury that kept them out for long periods, will that luck hold?

FrodaddyG
01-28-2013, 06:43 PM
I'm hearing a lot about how the Twins shouldn't be expected to improve offensively this year. Point me to a position other than LF where they are unlikely to improve or maintain. I'm not seeing it.
The two spots vacated by Revere and Span stand out. If he gets 500 PAs, is Parmelee replacing Revere's RF numbers (while not overly impressive) with the .229 hitter he was last year or something more closely resembling his minors numbers?

CF depends entirely on who gets the call out of the gate. Mussolini may not produce if called upon every day, and Hicks and Benson would most likely take some serious lumps in their first go-round on the big league squad.

Plouffe would be my other biggest question mark. Was his crazy 40 game stretch where he mashed a real indicator, or lightning in a bottle? He'll get a chance to prove himself this year, but even with his hot quarter season, he still struggled to get his average into the .260 range before tapering off. Maybe it was the injury that dragged him back down, but bear in mind that he only hit in the .235 range the year before as well.

And the MI, as you have pointed out, is a mess. When the thought "Boy, they're going to miss Casilla's production" crossed my mind, I took it as a terrible sign. Some combination of bad players that combined for about 500 ABs last year is instead going to get 1000-1200 PAs in the middle infield. It may be "maintaining" in that they'll have equally awful rate stats, but since WAR is an accrued stat, technically it could make the team worse. (In the WAR sense.)

TL;DR I have some doubts.

Nick Nelson
01-28-2013, 06:54 PM
For better or worse, Revere and Span were two of the Twins' best hitters last year. Those ABs will now be going to less-known quantities.
It's easy to not notice this because Span had a solid year, but the Twins were way below-average in CF -- .682 OPS vs. AL avg of .757. Right field was also hardly a strength, as they cycled through various lousy options early in the year before settling on Revere, whose production was fine for a great defensive CF but paltry for RF.

Parmelee is an unknown quantity, to be sure, but at the very least he's a guy whose asset is his bat. He fits in RF. And while I admit I'm taking a bit of a leap of faith on Hicks, the bar was not set high by last year's .267/.325/.357 line in CF.

Losing Span and Revere hurts the defense more than anything. I don't see them being huge losses for the offense given what the Twins have in terms of replacements.

Nick Nelson
01-28-2013, 06:58 PM
If he gets 500 PAs, is Parmelee replacing Revere's RF numbers (while not overly impressive) with the .229 hitter he was last year or something more closely resembling his minors numbers?
Parmelee is a better hitter than Revere. I don't know how you could argue otherwise. Their offensive value might be a little closer when you consider Revere's base-stealing ability but still. Parmelee was better in the minors and has been better in early MLB exposure. He's certainly a better fit in an offensive position like RF.


And the MI, as you have pointed out, is a mess.
Par for the course.

Riverbrian
01-28-2013, 07:06 PM
Offensively... I worry about the top of the order. Who will bat in front of Mauer, Willingham and Morneau. That's the sore spot... I think Morneau will rebound and I think Plouffe can bang out 30 dingers.

There is some offense here.

Florimon can hit .220 at the bottom of the order. He just has to settle in. I saw the flashes on defense... He can be special and the point made earlier that Florimon is starting 2013 over better potential hitters tells me that the Twins think so as well.

The Wise One
01-28-2013, 07:15 PM
Glass 3/4 full of Koolaid kind of guy
Ploufe stays healthy and streaky
Dozier plays like he did in 2011 with the Rock Cats
Paramalee hits for a .750 OPS
Spilled the 1/4 of a glass on whater position Dozier doesn't play.
I did not even have to count on Hicks or Benson for 3 upgrades from last year

No Koolaid
Last June was a fluke
Last year wasn't a fluke
Parmalee is a AAAA guy
Benson and Hicks are busts

FrodaddyG
01-28-2013, 07:21 PM
It's easy to not notice this because Span had a solid year, but the Twins were way below-average in CF -- .682 OPS vs. AL avg of .757. Right field was also hardly a strength, as they cycled through various lousy options early in the year before settling on Revere, whose production was fine for a great defensive CF but paltry for RF.

Parmelee is an unknown quantity, to be sure, but at the very least he's a guy whose asset is his bat. He fits in RF. And while I admit I'm taking a bit of a leap of faith on Hicks, the bar was not set high by last year's .267/.325/.357 line in CF.

Losing Span and Revere hurts the defense more than anything. I don't see them being huge losses for the offense given what the Twins have in terms of replacements.
I won't argue it's a pretty low bar. But with what could very well be 130+ games of (essentially) rookies in CF between, (my best guess) primarily Benson and Hicks, even replicating an upper 600s OPS could be a tall order for 2013. I hope they prove me wrong, as I really like both of them as all-around prospects. I'm just not sure if 2013 is anything but a "get your MLB reps in" year for either of them, with an eye towards 2014 and beyond.

I'm also not arguing that Parmelee isn't the superior hitter to Revere. (I think my Revere stance has been well established over the years.) I've held out hope for Parmelee since he was drafted if for no other reason than it may inspire the FO to roll with more raw power hitters in the draft if he succeeds. I hope he evolves into the 800+ OPS masher he has the tools to become, but as a three true outcomes guy, if the K portion of the three remains skewed high it could marginalize his one plus asset. (Although as a 1B, his glove is far less of a liability.) However, I think by midseason he's the everyday 1B guy, (I think Morneau gets dealt) most likely opening up RF for one of either the Hicks/Benson leftover or possibly a flourishing-in-AAA Arcia, bringing about a similar CF-like question mark there.

Thrylos
01-28-2013, 07:24 PM
Hendriks will go north with the team over Gibson IMO. The Twins would be making a huge mistake not to allow Gibson some time at AAA and get an extra year of team control. If there was a chance the Twins would compete I could see it, but bringing Hicks and Gibson north would be stupid stupid stupid stupid.

They already have 6 years of control. He is 25. So they control up to his age 31 season, which is just past his prime. No need to control post prime years.

BrentMpls
01-28-2013, 07:31 PM
Ever the contrarian, Patrick Reusse ...


Exactly my thought when I read the thread title.

Well he's been doing that forever. That way he can take either side of an issue and claim the other stance was just a joke or to get people riled up.

snepp
01-28-2013, 07:37 PM
Florimon can hit .220 at the bottom of the order.

Not only "can" he hit like **** at the bottom of the order, he most likely will.


Yay!

Joe A. Preusser
01-28-2013, 07:37 PM
They already have 6 years of control. He is 25. So they control up to his age 31 season, which is just past his prime. No need to control post prime years.

I can't agree. What if he's a perennial All-Star by that time? Wouldn't you want that year of control then vs. ~ 4-5 starts at the beginning of this season? Cost/benifit is off the charts.

Joe A. Preusser
01-28-2013, 07:38 PM
Not only "can" he hit like **** at the bottom of the order, he most likely will.


Yay!

Can anyone tell me (without looking it up) what Tim Laudner hit for the '87 twins?

Kwak
01-28-2013, 07:47 PM
I seem to remember quite a lot of games where the Twins were basically KO'd by the 5th inning, and then slightly reduce the deficit making the final score not quite so lop-sided. My point is that a solid improvement in the rotation could occur but still lose as many games--though by one run instead of several. This would qualify as improving the rotation, the team, and yes to a degree fan entertainment ("...hey they're down only one, who knows?") but not materially affect the season's W-L record. That is my projection for 2013.

snepp
01-28-2013, 07:48 PM
If I had to do it without looking it up, I'd say something like a .670 OPS.

'87 also was, if I recall correctly, one of (if not the worst) offensive seasons of his career.

BrentMpls
01-28-2013, 07:51 PM
Can anyone tell me (without looking it up) what Tim Laudner hit for the '87 twins?

Not much that is for sure, but I think most remember him the Evans pickoff fondly!

crarko
01-28-2013, 07:51 PM
Can anyone tell me (without looking it up) what Tim Laudner hit for the '87 twins?

A buck-98. I remember it well, because we nicknamed a dog Bucky in his honor. Harper hit like .325 in 1991 but TK would cry every time he was behind the plate.

Everything's a tradeoff.

Brock Beauchamp
01-28-2013, 07:53 PM
They already have 6 years of control. He is 25. So they control up to his age 31 season, which is just past his prime. No need to control post prime years.

There is always a reason to try to extend a good player's cost-controlled years. Or do you not think Tampa would really like one more cost-controlled year of Shields right now (not saying Tampa did anything wrong with Shields, just saying that he got a relatively late start as a 24 year old)?

TheLeviathan
01-28-2013, 08:20 PM
No it's not. It's a reasonable assumption. Valencia played exclusively thirdbase and, evidently, had attitude issues that may have impacted his lack of improvement.

So to back up your assumption you base Valencia's regression on attitude issues? Here's the deal, every year, across the league, we hear the "It's his first full season playing a position so no question he'll be better!" and we could come up with a multitude of examples to the contrary. Hell, just a few years ago we heard that Nishioka going back to his natural position would fix things. Plouffe couldn't make a simple throw to first just two seasons ago, I'm far from convinced about anything with him at this point.


The Twins seem to be giving the job to Florimon based soley on his defensive ability, so it's clear they see an improvement even if you don't.

Or maybe they gave him the job because they have absolutely nothing else? Just throwing that out there.


Look, when you state that it's an "awfully big assumption" for a player to improve at a position he's ostensible still learning,

We could teach Mauer CF and he might "get better" and still not be any good. My point originally was that the OF defense is going to be worse....MUCH worse. And it is. How much "better" the infield is minimal at best and doesn't address the largest step back.

TheLeviathan
01-28-2013, 08:25 PM
I'm hearing a lot about how the Twins shouldn't be expected to improve offensively this year. Point me to a position other than LF where they are unlikely to improve or maintain. I'm not seeing it.

First, this team has all but abandoned any speed in its game. Given the home ballpark plays best to right-handed slugging and gap-and-run players - the team has only two hitters that fit well into either of those categories. (One of which, in Plouffe, remains with question marks)

Just position by position - LF is likely a dip, CF doesn't even have someone manning it at this point and at least had a quality player there last year, RF is probably a wash with different skill sets and a dramatic defensive drop-off, SS/2B is at least as bad with minimal hope to improve, Plouffe is a huge mystery, Doumit was unusually healthy, and we got a lot of ABs from Morneau and Mauer which could be seen as good fortune.

I like Parmalee and I'd be a betting man Benson pulls a Span on us, but even then I have serious doubts about a slow-footed team in a big stadium.

ThePuck
01-28-2013, 08:45 PM
First, this team has all but abandoned any speed in its game. Given the home ballpark plays best to right-handed slugging and gap-and-run players - the team has only two hitters that fit well into either of those categories. (One of which, in Plouffe, remains with question marks)

Just position by position - LF is likely a dip, CF doesn't even have someone manning it at this point and at least had a quality player there last year, RF is probably a wash with different skill sets and a dramatic defensive drop-off, SS/2B is at least as bad with minimal hope to improve, Plouffe is a huge mystery, Doumit was unusually healthy, and we got a lot of ABs from Morneau and Mauer which could be seen as good fortune.

I like Parmalee and I'd be a betting man Benson pulls a Span on us, but even then I have serious doubts about a slow-footed team in a big stadium.

Benson has some speed...he's quite fast...covers a lot of ground. Just sayin'

Riverbrian
01-28-2013, 09:04 PM
Not only "can" he hit like **** at the bottom of the order, he most likely will.


Yay!

Alright... Let's go with... .225... Let's live a little!!!

snepp
01-28-2013, 09:09 PM
Alright... Let's go with... .225... Let's live a little!!!

You optimists and your silly half-full glasses.


.223, that's as high as I'll go!

Riverbrian
01-28-2013, 09:13 PM
You optimists and your silly half-full glasses.


.223, that's as high as I'll go!

Deal... Let's call Florimon tell him his batting average is set so he can focus on D.

God that was so easy.

old nurse
01-28-2013, 09:17 PM
I don't know that the rotation is better on paper than it was a year ago, but they'll almost certainly perform better.

On paper the staff that finished 2011 and was expected to pitch in 2012 is probably better than the 2013 staff on paper. Old age and injuries took a toll. I will never understand what happened to Liriano. As the season plays out the fans will learn what improvewments and return to health. A real optimist could think that at the end of the year, Worley, Diamond, Pelfrey and Gibson are pretty darn good pitchers. Harden could be a bonus. Hendricks a bonus

Riverbrian
01-28-2013, 09:25 PM
On paper the staff that finished 2011 and was expected to pitch in 2012 is probably better than the 2013 staff on paper. Old age and injuries took a toll. I will never understand what happened to Liriano. As the season plays out the fans will learn what improvewments and return to health. A real optimist could think that at the end of the year, Worley, Diamond, Pelfrey and Gibson are pretty darn good pitchers. Harden could be a bonus. Hendricks a bonus

Liriano doesn't understand what happened to Liriano.

TheLeviathan
01-28-2013, 09:28 PM
Benson has some speed...he's quite fast...covers a lot of ground. Just sayin'

Yeah, but first he has to make the team and get on base. I think anyone projecting rookies is just taking a wild guess, good or bad. I like Benson a lot, really looking forward to seeing his at-bats, even in ST.

ThePuck
01-28-2013, 09:34 PM
Yeah, but first he has to make the team and get on base. I think anyone projecting rookies is just taking a wild guess, good or bad. I like Benson a lot, really looking forward to seeing his at-bats, even in ST.

Yeah, I'm a fan of his as well.

Alex
01-28-2013, 10:03 PM
I'm hearing a lot about how the Twins shouldn't be expected to improve offensively this year. Point me to a position other than LF where they are unlikely to improve or maintain. I'm not seeing it.

My point was overall whether or not the improvements in the lineup would be able to replace what was lost both defensively and offensively. I'd agree that the Twins should be better offensively next year, but as many pointed out, there are question marks.

Just offensively, though, The two biggest are Parmelee and whomever plays CF. Parmelee should definitely be a plus, but I don't think it's unreasonable to assume CF won't be an upgrade offensively.

Florimon's career minor league OPS is 100 points less than Dozier and even Doziers awful season was better than Florimon's MLB at bats.

So, I don't think it's too big of a jump to say Dozier/Carrol/Casilla getting most of the at-bats might actually be better than Florimon/Carroll/Escobar (especially if Escobar is getting more ABs than Carroll) as frightening as that sounds.

In total that leaves 4 of 8 positions (both MI spots, CF, and LF) which, at least IMO, have a good chance to be worse than last season. If Parmelee has the season everyone hopes, he'll likely make up for a good chunk of that, provided they're not too far behind last year's numbers.

On the other hand if CF ends up being better then this year's lineup is dramatically improved.

You did a great article last season on the starting pitching involving coin tosses, and while I think the offense will improve it does rest on some coin tosses. If a couple come up heads, the offense could be dramatically better.

jokin
01-28-2013, 11:42 PM
Parmelee is a better hitter than Revere. I don't know how you could argue otherwise. Their offensive value might be a little closer when you consider Revere's base-stealing ability but still. Parmelee was better in the minors and has been better in early MLB exposure. He's certainly a better fit in an offensive position like RF.


Par for the course.

The extended thread about the top of the order and possibly moving Mauer up in the order, examines the Twins 2013 alternatives to last year's 9,1 and 2 hitters. The Twins had the the third-best number 9 slot numbers (.303 OBP) and were in the upper half to upper third when especially emphasising Span and Revere's numbers, respectively, in the 1 and 2 slots. I see little to no evidence that the club's replacements this year that can come anywhere close to matching the 2012 numbers.

I further suggested that it was well worth the experiment to go all AL East-style and experiment with Parmelee in the #2 hole. This is really the only shot that this team has at matching even close to the performance that the club got in just one of the three plate-setting spots in the order.

The Wise One
01-28-2013, 11:55 PM
Sorry, as a lifelong Twins fan, I'll be here per usual, pointing out imcompetence and hypocrisy and demanding that changes be made.

Now go back, shut your eyes real tight, and start in again on your Make-A-Wish dreaming campaign.

This from the person who stated they could get Bogaerts from the Red Sox for a Twins veteran and a prospect. Are you really that two faced? Are you any relation to EOR from Winne the Pooh?

jokin
01-29-2013, 12:27 AM
A real optimist could think that at the end of the year, Worley, Diamond, Pelfrey and Gibson are pretty darn good pitchers.

I think I saw what you did there...

shs_59
01-29-2013, 12:27 AM
Well going off strictly fangraphs from 2012 / (2011) for Pelfrey, Harden.

They think Diamond is a #2 starter, Joe Saunders (if we sign him) a #3 starter and Worley and Correa #4 types. Worley could be a #3.

Plug in Pelfrey/ Gibson/ Harden / Hendriks into the 5th spot. and suddenly The Twins could approach winning 70-75 games, maybe ehh. ?

Problem is to get to .500 or better you need an ace (J. Shields, healthy S. Baker, A. Sanchez, 2008 Liriano, R. Dempster, R.A. Dickey) things the Twins simply just do not have. (Gibby, Meyer, May, Berrios? maybe one day)

plus i don't trust our entire middle of the field CF, SS, 2B enough to be too excited for 2013, come 2014 and certainly 2015 i'll be much more enthusiastic. Mastro in CF with Boggs as 4th OF'er, Escobar/ Florimon at SS and Carroll at 2b. (to start with in April)

I think AAA should look something like this come April:

OF : Joe Benson, Aaron Hicks, and Evan Bigley
INF : Diebinson Romero, Brian Dozier, Dinkelman/ Beresford , Collabello
C : Lehhman or Herrmann. or whoever really.

SP: Hendriks, Harden, Hermsen, Deduno, DeVries.

with Arcia, May and Meyer in AA. Assuming Arcia jumping to AAA sometime in May or June. & Hopefully I pray every night long and hard Hicks doesn't get called to majors untill late July/ August/ September.

jokin
01-29-2013, 12:29 AM
This from the person who stated they could get Bogaerts from the Red Sox for a Twins veteran and a prospect. Are you really that two faced? Are you any relation to EOR from Winne the Pooh?

Don't put words in my mouth. I never said what you said I said.

Boagaerts was only gettable in a Mauer trade, Genius, oops, I mean, WiseOne... (BTW, you mispelled Eeyore, your brainship)

The point was. and still is.... that there were 3 other viable options on the Red Sox depth chart obviously available for much less in trade.

shs_59
01-29-2013, 12:34 AM
I should say i expect Willingham to regress from 2012.

possibly Doumit and Maestro also.

Mauer and Morny are kind of wild-cards

but hopefully Plouffe, Dozier, and maybe Parmelee all contribute a little more consistently in 2013.

for pitching we should all pray to our lord and savior neither Diamond, Burton or Perkins regresses.

Nick Nelson
01-29-2013, 12:53 AM
Problem is to get to .500 or better you need an ace (J. Shields, healthy S. Baker, A. Sanchez, 2008 Liriano, R. Dempster, R.A. Dickey
? 2008 Liriano was an ace? He threw 76 innings in the majors, and a good chunk of them were horrible. The ace of that staff was... I dunno, Blackburn? Sort of seems to disprove your whole point here.

old nurse
01-29-2013, 08:18 AM
Don't put words in my mouth. I never said what you said I said.

Boagaerts was only gettable in a Mauer trade, Genius, oops, I mean, WiseOne... (BTW, you mispelled Eeyore, your brainship)

The point was. and still is.... that there were 3 other viable options on the Red Sox depth chart obviously available for much less in trade.

Nice changing what you say and want. Nowhere in the other thread did you say Mauer. Do you also want the Twins to have a $20 million payroll and Butera as the starting catcher? What happened to win as many games as you can? Lower minor leaguers in the Boston system ready to play this year? And you call what other people post Make-a-Wish. LOL

old nurse
01-29-2013, 08:28 AM
I think I saw what you did there...

Note that there were only 4 starters mentioned. It would be holding out too much hope that Harden will be all the way back. The other guy will probably be a pretty darn pitcher

ScottyB
01-29-2013, 10:26 AM
What shocked me coming from Ruesse was in the discussion he had with Mackey about the article. The one tidbit that surprised me was a statement about Arcia. I knew he had potential, but Ruesse said he had talked to several scouts who projected Arcia's potential to Albert Pujols. I couldn't believe that - now that would be a nice addition to the lineup.

sorney
01-29-2013, 10:39 AM
Lots of commentators sure seem to be putting a lot of faith in Diamond...
Wish I had the same faith.

mcrow
01-29-2013, 10:44 AM
Lots of commentators sure seem to be putting a lot of faith in Diamond...
Wish I had the same faith.

Yeah, I'm not conviced Diamond will be as good as last year much less better. Hopefully he is and I'm wrong but I didn't see anything last year that leads me to believe he will be better this year.

jokin
01-29-2013, 04:29 PM
Nice changing what you say and want. Nowhere in the other thread did you say Mauer. Do you also want the Twins to have a $20 million payroll and Butera as the starting catcher? What happened to win as many games as you can? Lower minor leaguers in the Boston system ready to play this year? And you call what other people post Make-a-Wish. LOL

I know your moniker says "old" but you can't be that detached from reality in forgetting that we had one of the biggest all-time thread lengths on the topic of Mauer and Red Sox just a month ago with many of us, including myself wanting to explore what basket of talent could be pried from a club hotter on Mauer than a guy in the backseat of his car with his date on prom night.

Look, all the level-headed realists are saying has been obviously clear for some time. The Twins have 2 former MVPs at top dollar and a brand new stadium and they can't decide if they are rebuilding or getting up off the 2011 canvass to take advantage of their 2 special core players for a quick reload back to relevancy. Playing the "big-picture" game on the fence rarely, if ever works. I've loudly and constantly advocated for full rebuild, but since the Twins are going to play it in the middle, I've recommended moves that help in the long run and keep the team economically viable until the next wave is firmly ensconced. The Red Sox are where the Twins were a year ago and look at what they've done, I'd just like to see the Twins attempt a similar though admittedly-restriced and smaller economic model along the same lines. It really isn't that difficult to comprehend.

I never once uttered "win as many games as you can", I have no idea where that came from.



Lower minor leaguers in the Boston system ready to play this year?


Brock Holt and Iglesias are on the Saux 40-man roster now and I would be happy with either or both of them over what the Twins have. I also don't mind getting higher-ceiling guys that project to make an impact in 2014 or 15 and getting a better placeholder until then.

ashburyjohn
01-29-2013, 04:46 PM
The other guy will probably be a pretty darn pitcher

I see what you there.

Riverbrian
01-29-2013, 04:48 PM
I hear ya Jokin... I'm not convinced that Mauer with 23 Million hanging on him will fetch much. I don't know for sure... But I gotta think that 23 Million a year will lower the return significantly.

I kinda lean toward the rebuild you are talking about but I think that rebuild would have to be done with Mauer on the roster.

old nurse
01-29-2013, 10:52 PM
I the topic of Mauer and Red Sox j

I never once uttered "win as many games as you can", I have no idea where that came from.




Brock Holt and Iglesias are on the Saux 40-man roster now and I would be happy with either or both of them over what the Twins have. I also don't mind getting higher-ceiling guys that project to make an impact in 2014 or 15 and getting a better placeholder until then.

Mauer has a no trade contract. You can blow all the air in the world about trading him but there is no report yet that says he even wants to move. To blast someone else for unreality in posting and come back with proposals that have no no basis in any reality should leave you open to criticism. Bogaerts by any account coming out of Boston is untouchable. Brock Holt was recently rated by Sickles as a C+ player. Igleseas couldn't hit mlb pitching last year in extended playing time. Where is the high ceiling.