Think the Twins suck? You shoulda seen ‘em in 2006!
by, 05-05-2012 at 06:58 PM (2349 Views)
Through 25 games:
Year W L GB RS RA Diff BA OBP SLG ERA WHIP HR/9 2006 9 16 9.0 99 156 -57 .251 .309 .366 6.35 1.64 1.56 2012 7 18 7.5 90 139 -49 .246 .312 .362 5.61 1.41 1.59
Nearly identical offensive performances - the 9 extra runs the 2006 team had were due to some combination of more HR and fewer GIDP. The pitching was even worse back then. As tough as last week’s series in Anaheim was to swallow, how about the sweep the ’06 team suffered in Detroit at the about the same time of year: they were outscored 33-1! Though they had 2 more wins than the current squad, they were buried 1.5 games deeper in the standings thanks to a hot start by the defending champion White Sox.
Changes would come to that roster, but not right away. Even while Tony Batista and Juan Castro continued to occupy the left side of the IF and Rondell White took his swings every day, things improved markedly. Over their next 25 games, they went 14-11, hitting .288/.347/.429 with a 4.12 ERA and 1.39 WHIP, outscoring their opponents 137-114. Despite that, they dropped to 11.5 GB as Detroit surged to the top of the standings.
Two things I’d like people to think about when they see this comparison:
1) The 2012 Twins are no worse than the team that broke camp in 2006, and that team managed to recover to a .460 Win% given a large enough sample of games. This team can do that, too. 25 games is only 15% of the season.
2) Though the sort of upgrades that eventually carried the 2006 team on a historic 71-33 run to finish the season don’t appear to be within reach now, they don’t need to be. 2006 was the toughest AL Central ever, with three teams winning 90 or more games. I’d be surprised if even one team reaches that level this year. The top run differential in the division right now is +2. 6 games under .500 is within 5 games of first place, and that’s close enough to be in the division race and buying at the trade deadline.
I don’t think the current is roster is necessarily a contender, but they’re better than they’ve shown, and this is a terrible division. Could we give it another 4 weeks before we start thinking about how to blow this team up?