My beliefs about what the Twins should look like in 2013
by, 08-24-2012 at 12:11 AM (1108 Views)
The Twins have several needs this offseason. Pitching is the big one, getting a few MI's who can consistently hit is another. Also, don't expect me to analyze contracts, because that is currently beyond my limited baseball intellect, just FWI.
They currently have two-three big trade chips that they are willing to listen on: Willingham, Span, and Morneau. If they are to trade Morneau or Willingham, one team they should focus on is the Rays of Tampa. They have the pitching we need, we have the offense (and 1B/LF) that they would die for. While they (the Rays) have done a great job developing pitching, they could clearly use some offense, and I think Morneau could provide them with that. Span has been most consistently tied with the Nationals, who do need a CF'er/lead-off hitter, and kinda have the pitching we need, if they are willing to deal either one of their prospects or one of their starters (none of which are Strasburg.) Out of the three players on this list, I see Morneau and Span as the most likely to be dealt.
Now then, the rest of the team. While for a long time I haven't been a big fan of Nishioka, only recently have I decided that Nick Blackburn isn't major league worthy either, and I was really happy that they were demoted from the Bigs and cut from the 40-man roster.
So let's start with the starting pitching side of things.
I fully expect the Twins to trade one of Morneau and Span for SP. The question is is how good the pitcher is/will be. The problem for the Twins is that not only do they need one starting pitcher, I believe that they need at least one more that they can pick up in FA (but looking at the FA list on MLBTR, not seeing many guys under 32 on the list. Yikes). I believe that they will buy out Baker's option, and make at least a lukewarm attempt to sign him to a smaller deal to try and get him back on his feet. Another pitcher that I could see the Twins going after is a Brandon McCarthy/Edwin Jackson type (with McCarthy's somewhat low profile, I could see the Twins trying to acquire both of them; I think they will have the money to do so.)
I believe this is what the Twins rotation will look like in 2013:
1. Edwin Jackson? for sure a FA pitcher
2. Scott Diamond
4. Scott Baker
5. Pedro Hernandez/AAAA guys stored down in AAA
On the relief pitching side, the Twins are a little more secure. They resigned Perkins to a multi-year deal, they have uncovered Jared Burton as a reliable set-up man, Alex Burnett is starting to show flashes of the talent that people have been expecting from a guy who has held a 25-man roster spot for the last several years, Fien hasn't been terrible, Capps has been all right when available, and Duensing, Swarzak and other guys have been all right in long-relief spot start roles. Unfortunately, Twins Territory has still been deprived of large doses of Anthony Slama. So, barring any major pickups over the trade wire/FA market, this is what I predict the 2013 bullpen to look like (assuming a 12-man pitching rotation, so 7 bullpen guys and in no particular order):
1. Glen Perkins
2. Jared Burton
3. Brian Duensing
4. Casey Fien
On to the Starting Lineup. With the assumed departures of Denard Span and Justin Morneau, I am assuming several things beyond that. One, Ben Revere becomes one of the best center fielders the Twins have ever had. Two, Parmelee would take over for Morneau at first. Three, their RF spot could be filled by guys like Arcia, Mastroianni (although he seems like more of a prototypical 4th-OF kinda guy), Hicks, or possibly even Carson. Also a possibility is Carroll being dealt to a team with a need for a veteran presence in their infield to give guys like Eduardo Escobar, Pedro Florimon, and Dozier a chance in the Bigs. Fourth, the Twins non-tender Alexi Casilla, given his extreme inconsistency at the plate, although if they did, they would probably keep Carroll around so he could handle 2B. I also see the Twins keeping Drew Butera around to handle catching duties when Doumit and Mauer aren't available. Therefore, I see a starting lineup, while not perfect by any means, looking something like this, and again, not in any order:
1. Ben Revere CF
2. Chris Parmelee 1B
3. Joe Mauer C
4. Ryan Doumit Wherever the heck we need him to stand for a day
5. Josh Willingham LF
6. Trever Plouffe 3B
7. Carroll 2B
8. Dozier SS
9. RF-Don't have any guesses; could stick Parmelee here if they keep Morneau till the NW-trade deadline next year, could be a platoon of AAAA/4th outfielder types, or could even be Arcia, if the Twins are feeling he is ready.
Guys I think are done with the Twins
Nishi; Not even going to get started
Gray; hasn't been great, hasn't been (too) awful
Robertson; might deserve a second chance next year, but wouldn't be on any playoff team's roster
Capps; been fun, bro, but it's time to leave. We really hope the Twins don't overspend on you again.
Pavano; good veteran presence, but probably not worth the money we are spending on you
Casilla; hasn't done enough at the plate, like, ever, to deserve to be with the Twins next year.
Blackburn; again, most certainly not worth the money we threw at you.
Liriano; yeah, you're already gone; the equivalent feeling of you being gone is like not having to deal with the drama that was constantly surrounding Brett Favre when he was with the Vikings
Maloney; yeah, you kinda threw away a great chance to be one of the lefty relievers for this team
Marquis; didn't entirely agree with your signing, so glad we got rid of you after watching (and throwing up) every time you took the mound for us.
Valencia; again, not even going to get into it
Clete Thomas; made quite the initial impression with us, then your reputation went south from there
Sean Burroughs; I really wanted you to make the team, but I am not sure you impressed enough people to warrant a return next year. Although you might warrant a September call-up and I would be interested in seeing how you perform in that.
I wait to be impressed/unimpressed by the moves Ryan will make this offseason/next year.