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2019/20 Off-season Manager Openings

Other Baseball Today, 02:08 AM
With the season winding down, let's talk about what manager spots will be open this winter. Already open: Kansas City - Ned Yost retirin...
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Front Page: Twins Daily 2019 Awards: Most Valuable Player

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The 2019 Twins were propelled to 101 victories by a wide range of contributions, and that dynamic was reflected in our polling for team M...
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Front Page: Dealing with Wheeler Gets Minnesota an Ace

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:37 PM
This offseason the Minnesota Twins chief focus is going to be on acquiring impact pitching. The front office has suggested as much, and w...
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Front Page: Cody Stashak Was More than Just a Command Wiz...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:37 PM
An unusual event occurred on Sept. 8. No, it wasn’t that the Vikings won their season opener. No, it wasn’t the fact that it was National...
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Front Page: Twins Daily 2019 Award: Pitcher of the Year

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:33 PM
For most of the past decade, the Minnesota Twins have had one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. Pick a meaningful statistic for p...
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AL Central Preview: Twins Rising, Indians Still Kings

Cleveland has been at the top of the AL Central for two consecutive seasons and things seem to be trending that way again in 2018. By season's end, the AL Central might end up being the easiest division in baseball. Besides Minnesota and Cleveland, there are a lot of young, rebuilding clubs. This could help both the Indians and the Twins to separate themselves from the pack in the American League.

Will Minnesota be able to catch Cleveland, the Kings of the AL Central?
Image courtesy of David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
I was on 670 The Score out of Chicago last week to help them preview the AL Central. TAKE A LISTEN HERE.

Cleveland Indians
2017: 102-60, first place, lost to New York in ALDS
Manager: Terry Fancona (sixth season)
New Faces: 1B-DH Yonder Alonso, LF Rajai David, RHP Alexi Ogando
Key Losses: 1B Carlos Santana, OF Jay Bruce, RHP Bryan Shaw

Outlook: Cleveland hasn’t won the World Series since 1948 and they’ve suffered through some postseason heartaches over the last two years. In the 2016 World Series, they blew a 3-1 to the Cubs. Last year, they were up 2-0 on the Yankees before losing in the divisional round. Cleveland might have the best pitching staff in all of baseball, including the reigning AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber. Offensively, Jose Ramirez led the AL in doubles and Francisco Lindor smashed 33 home runs. Veteran players Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley need to stay healthy. It might be World Series or bust for Cleveland this year.

Minnesota Twins
2017: 85-77, second place, lost to New York in Wild Card game.
Manager: Paul Molitor (fourth season).
New Faces: RHP Lance Lynn, RHP Jake Odorizzi, DH-1B Logan Morrison, RHP Fernando Rodney, RHP Addison Reed, LHP Zach Duke, RHP Michael Pineda.
Key Losses: C Chris Gimenez, LHP Hector Santiago, LHP Glen Perkins

Outlook: Minnesota surprised the baseball world by becoming the first team to finish in the playoffs one year after losing 100 or more games. Now the Twins will need to try to surprise again as they attempt to hunt down the Indians. With a core of players under the age of 25, the Twins seem to rising at the right time. Adding Jake Odorizzi and Lance Lynn to the rotation helps to address a weakness and there are plenty of other arms populating the Rochester staff. While the American League looks a little top heavy, the Twins should have enough to fight for a Wild Card spot. Thankfully, the Twins are scheduled to play each of the teams listed below 19 times in 2018.

Kansas City Royals
2017: 80-82, third place.
Manager: Ned Yost (ninth season).
New Faces: RHP Jesse Hahn, CF Jon Jay, 1B Lucas Duda, RHP Wily Peralta, RHP Justin Grimm.
Key Losses: 1B Eric Hosmer, CF Lorenzo Cain, RHP Joakim Soria, LHP Mike Minor, OF Melky Cabrera, DH Brandon Moss.

Outlook: Out with the old and in with the new. Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain are off to greener pastures, which is going to put more pressure on new additions Jon Jay and Lucas Duda. Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar didn’t get great offers on the free agent market so they returned to Kansas City. Even with them back in Royals blue, it could be tough for this club to be around the .500 mark. There are holes in nearly every part of their roster. Look for them to be busy at the trade deadline as they might be forced to go into full rebuilding mode.

Chicago White Sox
2017: 67-95, fourth place.
Manager: Rick Renteria (second season).
New Faces: RHP Miguel Gonzalez, C Welington Castillo.
Key Losses: LHP Derek Holland, RHP Mike Pelfrey, RHP Al Alburquerque, C Geovany Soto.

Outlook: While the Royals haven’t hit full rebuild mode yet, Chicago traded away plenty of pieces last season. This means the White Sox have a nice young core with players like Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Miguel Gonzalez. There are other top prospects on the way but that could mean Chicago is still a year or two away from making a playoff push in the AL. A completely rebuilt bullpen makes it hard to know what to expect in late game situations. Chicago will likely continue to take its bruises this year while the young guns try to figure it all out at the big league level.

Detroit Tigers
2017: 64-98, fifth place.
Manager: Ron Gardenhire (first season).
New Faces: OF Leonys Martin, RHP Mike Fiers, LHP Francisco Liriano, OF Victor Reyes.
Key Losses: 2B Ian Kinsler, RHP Anibal Sanchez, INF Andrew Romine, RHP Bruce Rondon.

Outlook: Ron Gardenhire’s return to managing doesn’t seem exactly like a dream job. He will have to piece together a roster that traded away Justin Verlander, Justin Upton, J.D. Martinez and Ian Kinsler over the last calendar year. Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez are still part of this roster but no one is sure how much they have left in the tank. Gardy is very familiar with the AL Central but he is going to have his hands full in a division that looks top heavy entering 2018.

What are your predictions for the AL Central? What will it take to catch the Indians? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.


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42 Comments

KC is in trouble this season. Cain and Hosmer both gone? Bleed half the air out of that tire right now. 

 

Twinkies are poised to make a run at the division with a hugely improved pitching staff. This team already had great defense and good offense. Now, they have the potential to keep opposing batters to a reasonable average. Are they as good as Cleveland? Not the pitching, but everything else is slightly better. If any of Romero, Gonsalves, May or Mejia arrives with gifts, that could tip the balance in the division. 

    • birdwatcher, bluechipper, howieramone2 and 2 others like this

"Key Losses: C Chris Gimenez, LHP Hector Santiago, LHP Glen Perkins"

 

You know, I think we can probably shrug that off...

    • Brock Beauchamp, birdwatcher, Thrylos and 23 others like this

 

KC is in trouble this season. Cain and Hosmer both gone? Bleed half the air out of that tire right now. 

 

I think PECOTA had KC tied with Miami for the most projected losses.

 

Ouch.

    • birdwatcher, jimbo92107 and bluechipper like this

 

I think PECOTA had KC tied with Miami for the most projected losses.

 

Ouch.

By my eyeballs, every time the Twins played KC, seemed like half the damage was done by Cain and Hosmer. I don't know how they could let these guys go, unless the money situation was truly dread. 

    • birdwatcher likes this

 

By my eyeballs, every time the Twins played KC, seemed like half the damage was done by Cain and Hosmer. I don't know how they could let these guys go, unless the money situation was truly dread. 

 

Grains of salt, faulty memory, etc, etc, but I recall a fair bit about them pushing payroll well beyond where they wanted to (and/or could maintain) the last few years while their "window" was open, with a purge being unavoidable.

    • birdwatcher, jimbo92107 and beckmt like this
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terrydactyls1947
Mar 26 2018 08:58 PM

"Key Losses: C Chris Gimenez, LHP Hector Santiago, LHP Glen Perkins"
 
You know, I think we can probably shrug that off...


I thought that list was pretty amusing too. What a horrible offseason.
    • birdwatcher and Vanimal46 like this

I think PECOTA had KC tied with Miami for the most projected losses.

Ouch.


I don't doubt it. Their pitching, specifically SP, is brutal. They sacrificed everything, including the farm, for that title in 2015.

Now it's going to be a loooong road to respectability for our friends down I-35.
    • birdwatcher likes this

The Twins still lack that dynamite 1-2 in the rotation, and Rodney could be suspect as a closer. But they do have depth, and if Paul Molitor can figure out the perfect lineup, they may be an offense juggernaut.

    • Platoon likes this

 

I don't doubt it. Their pitching, specifically SP, is brutal. They sacrificed everything, including the farm, for that title in 2015.

Now it's going to be a loooong road to respectability for our friends down I-35.

 

I'd take one of those in 2018.

 

:)

    • Jerr likes this
Gimenez, Santiago, Perkins equals addition by subtracting. I'm sorry folks I didn't mean to go all math.
    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, Dantes929 and 7 others like this

 

Gimenez, Santiago, Perkins equals addition by subtracting. I'm sorry folks I didn't mean to go all math.

 

That's OK, it's not a game thread, math is allowed.

    • ashbury, birdwatcher, beckmt and 9 others like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Mar 27 2018 06:27 AM

 

"Key Losses: C Chris Gimenez, LHP Hector Santiago, LHP Glen Perkins"

 

You know, I think we can probably shrug that off...

 

My first thought on reading this article was something along those lines. I don't think Cleveland wins 100 games this season, and I think we have every reason to believe Minnesota can win a lot more than 85.

    • Twins33, tarheeltwinsfan and MN_ExPat like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Mar 27 2018 06:57 AM

 I don't remember a better winter for the Twins. It wasn't perfect. For example not signing Darvish was disappointing...but the Twins did try with a reasonable offer.The loss ofsome minor league players with potential was disappointing. The losses of Shaggy, Vielma, and Burti are stillmysteries to me.. But overall, it was an extremely positive off season. You must admit that this past winter was very interesting for Twins fans. Thanks TD writers for keeping us informed and thanks TD moderators for keeping us civil. 

    • ashbury, Jerr, USNMCPO and 2 others like this

 

"Key Losses: C Chris Gimenez, LHP Hector Santiago, LHP Glen Perkins"

 

You know, I think we can probably shrug that off...

 

Hey, Gimenez was far and away our best mop up duty pitcher last year. Don't know how we're going to replace him.

    • USAFChief likes this

 

My first thought on reading this article was something along those lines. I don't think Cleveland wins 100 games this season, and I think we have every reason to believe Minnesota can win a lot more than 85.

 

They've lost some folks as well.  

Tigers all the way. Gardenhire wins manager of the year. TwinsDaily explodes.

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Thebigalguy
Mar 27 2018 12:35 PM

Of course, every team is tied right now, but the more I read, the more I get revved up for the season. We had the best offseason in the division, by far, and the new pitching staff combined with the outfield defense should more than make up for the half-season loss of Polanco and Santana's late arrival. If Buxton starts up sooner than later at the plate and Kepler hangs in strong against lefties, I think we're in for one heck of a ride. The league decision on Sano was huge, in my opinion, assuming he can stay healthy. Can't wait for Thursday.

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TheLeviathan
Mar 27 2018 12:46 PM

The Indians deserve to be favorites, but the Twins are not far behind.

 

I think the margin here is slim enough that injuries are going to make a huge difference.  

    • Twins33 and TFRazor like this
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Nine of twelve
Mar 27 2018 06:49 PM

But they do have depth, and if Paul Molitor can figure out the perfect lineup, they may be an offense juggernaut.

The perfect lineup starts by replacing Dozier with Buxton in the leadoff spot.
The Indians underacheived more than half the year. They showed how important pitching depth is. Still, their line up isn't better than ours. Interesting battle of top end arms vs depth and balance.
    • Doomtints likes this
Last year Cleveland scored more runs than we did and had a better BA, OBP, SLG% and wRC+. And they have most of their players back.

Their rotation was and still is way better than ours as is their relief core.

Their defense was also better.

Can we win the division? Sure, cause this is sports; however, most of the time, 162 game schedules tell us the story if who the best teams are.
    • Twins33 likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 28 2018 09:52 AM

 

"Key Losses: C Chris Gimenez, LHP Hector Santiago, LHP Glen Perkins"

 

You know, I think we can probably shrug that off...

Beat me to it.

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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 28 2018 09:53 AM

 

The Indians deserve to be favorites, but the Twins are not far behind.

 

I think the margin here is slim enough that injuries are going to make a huge difference.  

I think Cleveland has a solid 6-8 game advantage right now. Injuries can certainly whittle that away but they'll have to be significant injuries and there will probably have to be more than one of them.

    • Twins33 likes this
The Sox are the real variance team. If the time players come on fast, or slowly, that is the question. But, they are coming.

The Cleveland team is probably 8-10 wins better, given equal health, imo. That is makeupable, but they are the clear favorites.

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