Back after 2 months, Lots of thoughts!!
by, 07-10-2013 at 11:50 PM (315 Views)
If you can see the video, I am hoping that my 7 month old daughter strike a deal with the Twins, as they obviously need some starting pitching. The pitching has frustrated me so much I have to build for the Twins future. J/K
First off, being a dad takes some time away from a lot of things, and one of those things was enjoying writing/ranting/blogging about the Twins. It is almost All Star/Midway point of the season and there are a lot of things I just wanted to write about over the last 2 months watching the Minnesota Twins.
After softball every Tuesday I go to the Rustic Bar and finish watching the Twins games with what I call are pretty good knowledgeable Twins/baseball fans. I remember last year complaining about the same thing as this year starting pitching, it was a circus last year, and the same this year. I rarely get to watch the starting pitcher by the time we get to the bar. Terry Ryan knew the number one thing to address in the off season is starting pitching. #1, think about it, if you were the GM of any business and you wanted to put your stamp on the #1 opportunity, would your boss be happy with this line::
4.54 ERA, 2nd worst in the AL
0 Complete Games, only 3 teams don't have a complete game
.284 Batting average against, by far worst in the league
32 Quality starts, Toronto has 36, which is 2nd worst.
I know we added some arms in the minors, which we needed as well, and we needed it!! As an overall fan perspective though, if you are going to put your stamp on something, I think I would want to at least see improvement. The Twins have shown no improvement this year to be competitive, and it is frustrating that you hear that we are going to compete in August and September, and you don't improve on the problems you had last year and expect a different result. I really like and trust Terry Ryan, I also believe he needs to take the heat for not improving the #1 issue, but telling fans that we are still going to be competitive.
#2 Joe Mauer vs Ryan Doumit behind the plate.
So after reading this article http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...rticleid=15093 I have really been fascinated by the way catchers work behind the plate. It is very interesting watching every pitch in a way the catcher works the glove and his feet and how he catches the pitch and frames it. I challenge everybody to watch the difference in work, and you can see why Ryan Doumit is a -66 in runs allowed due to pitch framing. The way Mauer catches every pitch and how quickly he turns the glove before it hits his glove is quite remarkable, compared to how Ryan Doumit catches. There is such a huge difference in how a pitcher works when it is 0-1 vs 1-0, or 1-2 vs 2-1. Ryan Doumit has been injured a lot of the year, I get it, he has been a very bad player this year, and watching this part of his game has made me very frustrated that I was a big fan of having him on the team when we signed him. I got fooled at some of his batting stats, and didn't look in depth of the scope of work that Doumit brings. Joe Mauer I will talk about later.
#3 Joe Mauer- Man I have been so up and down on Joe Mauer since he has signed with the Twins. The Twins obviously had to sign Joe Mauer to a big contract, I have said before I was a fan of the signing, I thought it was something that helped create one of the best ballparks in the United States. Joe Mauer is the best catcher in the AL. Is he worth $23 million a year? Is anybody worth $23 million a year on one baseball team? It is a relative question to how much you spend, if you spend $200 million than you can make it work, if it is $84 million, that is tough to process. I love his OBP%, I love his defense, I would love his power in the Dome, unfortunately that difference made us overpay for Mauer. Is Joe Mauer tradeable? I would at least garner offers to see what could happen. I have at least 4 Joe Mauer jerseys, his swing is something everyone should mimick, his defensive mechanics are the same. I would still look at ways to move him and open up payroll to upgrading SP, and SS.
#4 Miguel Cabrera: What can I say, this guy is really, really good!!! I am not a fan, but you can't deny how good this guy is. Here is my one rant about watching Cabrera vs the Twins, or any team the Tigers play. What happened to the bunt? I wish there was at least a stat I could look at the would help my theory. If they guy is going to bat .370 vs you, why not try and get him off his game one way shape or form, my form, bunt to him at least 3 times a game. The starting pitching for the Tigers has a .250 BA against, I am just throwing it out there, if the 1, 2, 9 hitters all attempted bunts vs him, #1 you may improve the OB%, #2 you may get Cabrera off his game mentally. I get soooo irritated when the Twins don't bother Cabrera, or at least give it a shot.
#5 Watching the rookies:
Oswaldo Arcia- I was able to be at the game for his 1st MLB hit. He has been fun to watch ever since. He has his flaws and pitchers are starting to pitch to those flaws, and that flaw is aggressiveness. Pitchers can start moving up the ladder with fastballs against him and he swings, and swings hard at those pitches. He could be the exciting (Carlos Gomez) type player I think the Twins need.
Aaron Hicks- Becoming much more of a stable player than the beginning of the year. He is starting to take more pitches, becoming a better hitter which is what you hope for. Hell he came from Double A, with no MLB experience, did we expect him to hit .280, no, but take out the first month of the year he is holding his own. I am starting to become sold on Hicks for our future
Chris Parmelee- Man is he frustrating to watch, I think he was oversold to me, after torching AAA pitching, we assumed he was going to continue. The guy only has a little over 500 ML AB's in his career, I started getting really frustrated watching him. My issue is I have a tough time finding a position that he is going to be an above avg player at that position. RF I think will be his only future option.
Kyle Gibson- Jury is still out, the fans got oversold on him for sure, I just hope he turns out to be a solid #3 guy in the rotation.
#6 After just watching the Twins lose again in extra innings to the Rays, I, and other Twins fans either in the media, or friends the Twins are becoming unwatcheable. Yes I say that as I came home after work excited that the game was in extra innings and I could watch it. Fact of the matter is I watched all games in the '90's, and I will watch all games today, reality is I love baseball, and I love the Twins. Problem, not all fans are like me. In fact most of the casual fan doesn't care about the rest of the year, they don't care about watching Arcia, Parmelee, Hicks, Gibson grow. The Twins are 12th in the league in attendance, which is surprising, due to weather, and a 10 game losing streak. 12th in the league is going to dwindle fast after the All Star game. The Twins are so predictable right now. How many times in the last 14 games has there been a guy on 2nd base nobody out, and the Twins score a run? Very, very rarely is the answer. My guess every time is the next batter is going to strike out. It is worse if there is 1 out, 1st and 3rd, then I hope for a K, because the other option is rolling a 2 hopper for a double play. We don't have a homerun hitter, we don't have a veteran player that you hope is up to bat to find a pitch to drive. Very frustrating watching my favorite team play baseball right now.
#7. We keep getting sold on the future!! When does this get old? Think about this, the Twins would have more interest watching Sano, Buxton, Gibson struggle at the ML level, than the team we have playing right now. Attendance would be better watching our future struggle now. We get sold on this future state of the Twins. 1 of 2 things are going to happen. 1, Our future "stars" come up, we play them while they are cheap, they produce, we have to pay them, then build stars around them, which would cost money. The Pohlads pocket books shrivel up again and the cycle starts again. I am not saying you have to spend all the money the big markets spend, but at some point you have to go all in. When was the last time the Pohlads went all in? 2, Gibson, Meyer, May, Buxton, Sano don't turn out, and the Twins are looking into the future of the Houston Astros. I will say this if you are going to sell us into 2016, which you are really trying to do that, I think it is time to go all in with signing these players and set up some SP that can go with it.