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Offensively, Twins Remain Uneven

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"We have holes. And some of it is pitching, and some of it is not. There are other areas we need to address."
- Terry Ryan as reported by Phil Mackey


The Twins rotation currently ranks 29th in the majors in ERA and 28th in innings pitched. But Ryan is right – they aren’t the only sore spot that will need to be addressed this offseason.

The decision to promote and play Tsuyoshi Nishioka at second base highlights one such area. The Twins rank 29th in the majors in OPS(On Base Plus Slugging) from that position. Even if their best option, Jamey Carroll, had played there the entire season, his OPS would only rank 25th. Similarly, the shortstop position ranks 27th overall.

The Twins are likely to use the rest of the year to further evaluate this offseason’s priorities. They might start be looking at where each position ranks offensively versus the rest of the league:

OPS MLB Rank
Left Field 938 2
Catcher 822 5
Designated Hitter 845 8
Third Base 765 11
Center Field 718 17
First Base 749 19
Right Field 692 25
Shortstop 575 27
Second Base 571 29

2B – Let’s start with the worst and get more optimistic. Most of the damage has been done by Alexi Casilla whose overall OPS is 580, which is one hundred points below his OPS last year and 50 points below his career OPS. He’ll likely get better, if he hasn’t already played himself out of the picture. (Again.)

SS – Either you believe Brian Dozier will get better or you don’t. I think he will. He certainly needs to.

RF – Even if Ben Revere had all the at-bats here, his 738 OPS would only rank 22nd. However, according to Ultimate Zone Rating, he has also saved another 10 runs with his glove. Using WAR, which tries to include defensive value, he ranks 12th overall.

1B – Parmelee (667 OPS) and Mauer (752 OPS) are responsible for about 40% of the at-bats here.

CF – The Twins have only given 15 at-bats to players other than Revere and Denard Span in center field. Those players have gone 0 for 15, which drags down the number about 20 points.

3B – Imagine where the Twins would rank if Danny Valencia and his 522 OPS hadn’t eaten up about 1/3 of the at-bats this season.

DH – The at-bats have been split four ways, but Ryan Doumit gets most of the credit. His OPS is 939 as a designated hitter, just 766 as a catcher.

C – Not that the Twins two-headed catching monster isn’t working well. They only rank behind St. Louis (Yadier Molina), Milwaukee ( Jonathan LuCroy), San Francisco (Buster Posey) and Philadelphia (CHOOOOCH!)

LF – Speaking of monsters, ladies and gentlemen, Josh Willingham, version 2012.

Certainly, the Twins pitching has been an issue. But Ryan is correct to not overlook the uneven production from the lineup, too.
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Comments

  1. Brandon's Avatar
    I believe Dozier will get better next year. I believe they need a new 2b with Carroll as the utility player. I am fine with Revere's production especially at his cost. I am more convinced that Morneau has it figured out more than Parmelee does so I hope they keep Morneau. Doumit is doing the job and doing it cheep.

    I think this exercise also poiints out the need for a professional bat off the bench. With a bench of Mastroianni, Carroll and Butera and Doumits versatity, can the Twins now bring back THome to PH and DH for one more season next year?
  2. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    I appreciate this kind of research because it's the kind of thing I wonder about but not enough to research it myself. But here's the follow-up question I generally have... don't most teams have similarly uneaven offenses? Or at least most teams that aren't the Yankees? Maybe since the teams the Twins have to contend with primarily are within their own division, what do the other divisional rivals' positional ranks look like?

    Also, am I wrong to feel that, assuming you are bound to be ranked near the bottom in SOME positions, I'd rather it be 2B and SS than most other positions? Sure the team OPS at those positions is bad, but how much worse is it than average for that position? Point being, I'd rather be 29th at 2B than 29th at 1B, where there'd likely be a significant spread.
  3. glunn's Avatar
    [QUOTE=Jim Crikket;bt3521

    Also, am I wrong to feel that, assuming you are bound to be ranked near the bottom in SOME positions, I'd rather it be 2B and SS than most other positions? Sure the team OPS at those positions is bad, but how much worse is it than average for that position? Point being, I'd rather be 29th at 2B than 29th at 1B, where there'd likely be a significant spread.[/QUOTE]

    I share Jim's desire to hear the answer to his question.

    I also would like to know where Revere would rank if he was playing his natural position of CF.
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