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  • January Mailbag? !!!!!

    My one resolution for 2014 is to answer more fake questions. If someone (me) is going to go to the trouble of asking a question, the least I can do is answer it. In addition, I'm going to answer the really tough questions that others are too scared to tackle.

    In fact, 2014 is the year of answering the tough questions. I won't be afraid of what the answers reveal. I intend to get to know myself better through this exercise. It's going to be quite cathartic and important, really. Most important, we need to get off on the right foot with a really important question.

    What type of food is each Twins player?
    ~ Brad S., St. Paul, MN

    We're off! I'll flesh this out in more detail in the future. I might even devote a full post to it and possibly create some stupid photoshops. That said, I'll provide some of the easier answers:

    • Joe Mauer: Wonder Bread. Kind of goes without saying.
    • Brian Dozier: Penne Arrabiata. Spicy, good-looking, complex, yet traditional and non-threatening.
    • Glen Perkins: Tremendous Twelve. Just outstanding, lots of variety, affordable, very filling.
    • Mike Pelfrey: Burnt Popcorn. Some people actually like it; the result of taking too much time.
    • Sam Deduno: McRib. Bounces between available and not available, saucy, incites excitement, makes some people crazy, not really very good.


    Hi-yo. What do you think the lineup will look like at the beginning of next season? How about 2015? Thanks, I'm a huge fan.

    ~ Brad S., St. Paul, MN

    That's a very excellent and timely question. It's possible that the Twins could still add one more position player who could weasel his way into the starting lineup. Of course, I'm not sure the Opening Day lineup will change much, as our current skipper tends to err on the side of sentimentality/tradition. Therefore, here is what I expect in 2014:

    Alex Presley, CF
    Brian Dozier, 2B
    Joe Mauer, 1B (still looks weird)
    Josh Willingham, LF
    Oswaldo Arcia, RF
    Trevor Plouffe, 3B
    Josmil Pinto, DH
    Kurt Suzuki, C
    Pedro Florimon, SS

    Nothing shocking, and I could see Plouffe hitting ahead of Arcia for those sentimental reasons. Pinto and Suzuki are in the lineup because I think the Twins like Pinto's bat, but won't trust his defense initially. Florimon's there, but I don't think he'll be there for long (more on that later). Presley should hold off Aaron Hicks for a couple months, but I expect Hicks to tear up AAA because I am very irrational about him. As for 2015, I foresee a couple of changes:

    Aaron Hicks, CF
    Brian Dozier, 2B
    Joe Mauer, 1B
    Oswaldo Arcia, LF
    Miguel Sano, 3B
    Josmil Pinto, C
    Trevor Plouffe, DH
    Alex Presley, RF
    Eduardo Escobar, SS

    Obviously, I prefer Escobar to Florimon, Hicks to Presley and Sano to Plouffe. Unless the Twins sign some free agents, these are the guys who should be on the Opening Day roster in 2015. I believe Sano will be ready but Byron Buxton will be a midseason entry. Sano is a better defender than Plouffe and Hicks has better range than Presley (Hicks has a vastly superior RF arm too, but range > arm). If Eddie Rosario plays like gangbusters upon return from his suspension (and plays in the outfield), he could supplant Presley, but I don't see that happening.

    Originally posted at Kevin Slowey was Framed!

    Which player do you want to see more of in '14?
    ~ Brad S., St. Paul, MN

    Take a look at my starting shortstop in 2015. I want to see much more of Eduardo Escobar next season. In fact, I'm starting "The Eddie 400" and I won't stop writing/talking about it until it is apparent that Escobar has no chance of getting 400 at-bats. I'm not really sure that he's good, but I am quite certain he can hit at least as well as Pedro Florimon. Plus, he's two years younger and might be an even better defender. Even if the Twins are happy with Florimon, I'd love to see Escobar get some starts at 3rd and enhance the team defense.




    Next week, I plan to fully outline "The Eddie 400." I'll outline all of the reasons why I'm smitten with Mr. Escobar. I just really hope that someone calls him "Eddie" or this whole thing is quite loony.

    There are rumors that the Twins are interested in Johan Santana. How does that make you feel?
    ~ Brad S., St. Paul, MN




    Don't ruin my New Year, Twins. Make this happen.


    What is the core of the Twins team?

    ~ Brad S., St. Paul, MN

    The core has to contain the players who will lead the team to glory. Guys like Brian Dozier and Glen Perkins are great and nice and super, but they aren't really core players. Dozier is good, but not great. Perkins is great, but fills a role that can be filled much more easily than other roles. So, the Twins core is Joe Mauer, Oswaldo Arcia, Miguel Sano, Bryon Buxton and Alex Meyer.

    Obviously, only two of those players have MLB experience. There is a lot riding on Buxton, Sano and Meyer. If all three reach their ceilings, the Twins will have an insane core. If two of three pan out, the core will still be great. Perish the thought, but if all three crap out, well...let's just not think that way. That core is excellent, but one more pitcher would be nice. I'm actively wooing Masahiro Tanaka in my weekly POWER RANKINGS. Check out my Ranking's here. Tanaka would be a nice sixth in that core.


    What's your Pelfrey problem?

    ~ Brad S., St. Paul, MN

    Ah, nothing really. He seems very nice and he'll be great at the back of the rotation. Calling him burnt popcorn will be my final jab at Pelfrey. At least until he starts pitching. Then, I might have to start in on him, just to pass the time between pitches.

    Have a great weekend, everyone!
    This article was originally published in blog: January Mailbag? !!!!! started by Brad Swanson
    Comments 26 Comments
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Mike Pelfrey: Burnt Popcorn. Some people actually like it; the result of taking too much time.
      I would have nominated Nutraloaf. Cruel and unusual punishment, for anyone bothered by his pace.
    1. Marta Shearing's Avatar
      Marta Shearing -
      2015:
      1. CF Buxton
      2. LF Rosario
      3. 1B Mauer
      4. 3B Sano
      5. DH Arcia
      6. RF Hicks
      7. 2B Dozier
      8. C Pinto
      9. SS I have no idea.
    1. VandyTwinsFan's Avatar
      VandyTwinsFan -
      Even if the Twins are happy with Florimon, I'd love to see Escobar get some starts at 3rd and enhance the team defense.
      I'm also an Escobar fan. I hope he continues to hit like he did at AAA at the end of last year. However, I'm not so sure he's who I'd want at 3rd base. I didn't actually like his D at 3rd. He didn't look as comfortable as at SS (best) or 2nd. I won't use stats since the sample size is small, but they're aren't favorable for him at 3rd. My views are just from watching him closely as a fan of his. Plus, I'd prefer it if Plouffe was given every opportunity there until Sano is ready. A low average Plouffe with chance of power is better than a low average Escobar with no power (as a 3rd baseman).
      I do hope he comes into spring training and gives Florimon a run for the starting SS position. I have no problems with the defensive "loss" and I think he has a better chance at becoming a better hitter. Florimon never looked like he was seeing pitches late, just guessing at what they were out of the hand. Escobar seemed to try and adjust as he was swinging to go get those breaking balls. Neither was particularly successful though...

      Fun article! Thanks.
    1. alphanumeric's Avatar
      alphanumeric -
      Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
      2015:
      1. CF Buxton
      2. LF Rosario
      3. 1B Mauer
      4. 3B Sano
      5. DH Arcia
      6. RF Hicks
      7. 2B Dozier
      8. C Pinto
      9. SS I have no idea.
      Although highly unlikely, this is my dream also.
    1. SpitefulRabbit617's Avatar
      SpitefulRabbit617 -
      Sam Deduno: McRib. Bounces between available and not available, saucy, incites excitement, makes some people crazy, not really very good.
      EPICLY TRUE! Who would be a White Castle Cheeseburger?
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      I would like to see Hicks be the new #2, flipping places with Rosario. Could the Twins move Dozier back to short, perhaps? When is Kepler really due, and Kenny Vargas.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Guys like Brian Dozier and Glen Perkins are great and nice and super, but they aren't really core players. Dozier is good, but not great.
      I think it's too soon to say Brian Dozier is only good. He hasn't had more than 1,000PAs yet and in his 3rd season, even at age 26, I think he still has the ability to improve his game by a legitimate margin. So he's not going to be Robinson Cano, Jason Kipnis, or Pedroia, but he could still be a vital piece to a core of players. I view the 'core' as the team's 4-5 best players and I feel like it may be possible to be competitive with Dozier being the #4/5 overall if he does make some improvements.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Kipnis and Dozier both had short rookie seasons, but if we go off year 2:
      Dozier: .244/.312/.414 (.726) 18HRs; 14/7 SB:CS in 623PAs for 3.8 WAR
      Kipniis: .257/.335/.379 (.714) 14HRs; 31/7 SB:CS in 672PAs for 4.0 WAR

      If you go off of WAR per Plate Appearance that is EXTREMELY close value and it is Actually Dozier who comes out ahead. But the age difference though, right?? Well, Kipnis was 25 in his 2nd year and Dozier was 26. I'm just thinking that they are pretty similar players. Dozier has the better glove and Kipnis has more speed, however.

      And we all saw what Kipnis did year 3.
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      Obviously, I like Dozier. I did call him penne arrabiata, didn't I? Overall, he had a good 2013 season. He had two excellent months, two good months and two bad months. The order of when the bad and excellent months occurred is encouraging. I'm not ready to say he can be a core member of a championship team just yet. If he improves in 2014, I'll admit that I'm wrong.

      As for who is a white castle cheeseburger - I'd say Ryan Doumit is a pretty good fit. Simple, pretty good, you'd like to have more than one, but it's no one's favorite and sometimes it makes you really sick. It's just too bad the Twins traded him away.
    1. Monkeypaws's Avatar
      Monkeypaws -
      Deduno McRib is brilliant!
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Sam Deduno: McRib. Bounces between available and not available, saucy, incites excitement, makes some people crazy, not really very good.

      Killed it. Absolutely perfect.
    1. rogrulz30's Avatar
      rogrulz30 -
      Nice, fun article to read, I thought at first the food bit was going to be dumb, but I laughed a few times, and liked it. Nice job!
    1. Arcia_LETS_GO's Avatar
      Arcia_LETS_GO -
      Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
      2015:
      1. CF Buxton
      2. LF Rosario
      3. 1B Mauer
      4. 3B Sano
      5. DH Arcia
      6. RF Hicks
      7. 2B Dozier
      8. C Pinto
      9. SS I have no idea.
      I'm thinking it will more than likely be danny Santana

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/mi...d=santan001dan

      He had a pretty strong year last year behind the plate, however, committed way too many errors and had a pretty bad fielding %.. If he can keep it up in the batters box and get his game together defensively, We have definitely found Florimons replacement.
    1. oldguy10's Avatar
      oldguy10 -
      Wouldn't Polanco be considered ahead of Santana amongst the young shortstop/middle infielders? And there is also Goodrum to consider.
    1. Paul Pleiss's Avatar
      Paul Pleiss -
      I love Mike Pelfrey and I don't know why. He's not very good at baseball (compared to competent starting pitchers) but I irrationally expect him to be better than average in 2014. Please help.
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10 View Post
      Wouldn't Polanco be considered ahead of Santana amongst the young shortstop/middle infielders? And there is also Goodrum to consider.
      Yeah, I'd say in the long-run, say 5-6 years, Polanco is ahead of Santana. But, since Santana has AA experience and Polanco hasn't reached Fort Myers, Santana has the upper-hand for 2015.

      I love Goodrum. I still think he has a major breakout in the very near future.
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pleiss View Post
      I love Mike Pelfrey and I don't know why. He's not very good at baseball (compared to competent starting pitchers) but I irrationally expect him to be better than average in 2014. Please help.
      I'm right there with you, on the 2014 part at least. I think he will be much better next season and I think that signing him will look very intelligent after the next two seasons. Watching him pitch is gross though.
    1. lee_the_twins_fan's Avatar
      lee_the_twins_fan -
      Nice story. As for SS, I'm thinking Polanco in 2015. Polanco's only hitting .294 in the Dominican Winter League, with a .744 OPS. (FYI - Oswaldo Arcia is hitting .262 with an OPS of .882 in Venezuela).

      Yes, 2015 is looking almost promising. Unfortunately, we have to endure 2014 first.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      I don't know if Aaron Hicks is in my ideal lineup for 2015. My fondest hope is for Hicks to be recalled early, establish himself, and be traded for value as were Span and Revere. I think one of the outfield corners should be manned by Arcia. He has the tools (range/speed & arm) to be a competent outfielder and he's only 22. I am also not sold on Rosario returning to the outfield. In the next year to year and a half, one of he and Dozier could also go for power or pitching.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
      I don't know if Aaron Hicks is in my ideal lineup for 2015. My fondest hope is for Hicks to be recalled early, establish himself, and be traded for value as were Span and Revere. I think one of the outfield corners should be manned by Arcia. He has the tools (range/speed & arm) to be a competent outfielder and he's only 22. I am also not sold on Rosario returning to the outfield. In the next year to year and a half, one of he and Dozier could also go for power or pitching.
      Who is your third outfielder if not Hicks?
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