Speedboat To a C-Note?...
by, 05-05-2014 at 11:43 PM (448 Views)
(Originally posted on twinsandlosses.com)
#IfTheTwinsWereWWE (CC: Phil Mackey, Dana Wessel), Joe Mauer would be "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels. Joe has had more back and knee problems than Kurt Angle, Hulk Hogan, and The Undertaker combined. **
Alas, this post is not about Joe, nor is it an article where I tear my shirt ala Hulk Hogan when I finish writing. No, this post is to compare the 2013 Twins versus the 2014 Twins. We'll look at team stats to see: A) If the Twins are on pace to avoid 100 losses, B) In a better place than 2013, and C) Slowly turning the franchise for the better.
Through May 1st, the Twins were 12-14 in 2014. They were last at .500 on 4/30. The Twins are 4-4-1 in series wins, losses, and spilts. The 2013 Twins were 12-12 through May 1st, and last at .500 on 5/13/2013. The Twins were 4-3-2 in wins, losses, and splits. Let that sink in for a moment. The 2013 Twins were NEVER at or above .500 after May 13th.
The Twins pitching staff currently holds a 4.78 ERA. They've given up 147 runs, 141 of them earned. They've thrown 170 strikeouts, to 102 walks. The 2014 pitching staff is on pace for 821 strikeouts, and 570 walks. That's, uh...that's not so good. Especially when you put R. Nolasco ($12 mil) and P. Hughes ($8 mil) into the mix.
Meanwhile, the 2013 Twins had a team ERA of 4.55, 985 SOs, and 458 BBs. They did all of that with guys like P.J. Walters and "Shining" Scotty Diamond (#FreeScottDiamond). Vance Worley never pitched in the majors for the Twins past May, and we were saddled with many innings of "Pelf" and "Corre-dog." ***
Let's take a look at hitting, seeing as I'm a glutton for punishment. 2014 has a .248 BA, to .343 OBP. In comparison, the 2014 Red Sox are .244, and .337. The Twins have 268 SOs, to 141 BBs. The Likes of Dozier, Plouffe, Colabello have helped the Twins to 250 Hs, 149 Rs, and 135 RBIs. That would put the 2014 Twins on pace for:
- 1497 strikeouts.
- 788 walks.
- 1397 hits.
- 832 runs
- 754 runs-batted-in.
Here's the 2013 Twins in comparison:
- 1430 strikeouts.
- 533 walks.
- 1346 hits.
- 614 runs.
- 590 runs-batted-in.
...the Twins are currently on pace to score more runs (+218), RBIs (+164), hits (+51), and BBs (+255). And the Twins got big name free agents, such as Jason Kubel, Jason Bartlett, and Kurt Suzuki. Not exactly Murderer's Row, but the Twins have always found ways to win with many Not-Ready-For-Primetime Players. Josmil Pinto, Bull-Dozier, Chris Colabello, and Trevor Plouffe have been the heart and soul of this team 29 games into the season.
When you look at the stats, the players, and their record, it's hard to say that the Twins are over-achieving. Dozier and Plouffe have seemed to figure out how to play at the major league level, while guys like Mauer, Nolasco, and Hughes will (hopefully) get better as the season goes along. The Twins spent money on pitching, and somehow ended up with better hitting out of the deal. That makes sense.
I predict the 2014 Twins will stay around .500 rest of the way. My quick math has the Twins at 75-87 should they continue to play at the same pace. The Twins are finding pieces that fit the style Ron Gardenhire manages best, and doing so while keeping the payroll well below the $120 million spent in 2010. Time well tell if the Twins will regain their AL Central dominance, but they look to be headed in the right direction.
** Slight exaggeration. Those three combined have had more injuries than Vikings have had quarterbacks.
*** I don't know what Gardy has dubbed Correia. Kevy? Corry? Reia-y?