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Where are we now?

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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 09:18 PM

The Twins have played 36 games, that is 2/9ths of their schedule. They've won 17 games and would project to win about 76.5 games, a nice little improvement. The team has been without two of their projected sluggers--Willingham and Arcia--and suffered through a disastrous run of starting pitching early.

The team relied on a reclamation project (Kubel), a journeyman catcher, a rookie, and whatever Trevor Plouffe is for key hits. It worked great early, but these guys, except for the catchers have fallen off the cliff of late.

From what I can tell, the Twins have played a really tough schedule. They've played mostly teams with winning records last year and spent a lot of time on the road. Their home schedule has been highlighted by lousy weather and good teams.

Given their tough schedule and the concentration of injuries to corner OFs, I am satisfied that there is improvement. I don't think they are a .500 team, but there should be improvement over the last three years' dismal performance. While there isn't much help available in the minors, there are a few live arms in the upper minors. It could be that the Twins could flip some arms in their pitching staff for future help and still put out a representative team.

#2 Brandon

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 10:17 PM

The Twins have veteran place holders who are solid (Suzuki, Mauer, Willingham, Kubel, Nolasco, Hughes, most bullpen members, Corriea as a 5th starter, . The key to this point and more so through out the season will be how the younger players produce as they start coming up. (Colabello, though not young, Tonkin, Thielbar, Logan, Santana, Pinto, Escobar, Dozier, and soon to come Meyer and Vargas)

#3 kab21

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 10:25 PM

they are better than last year but still not very good.

I can't wait for next year's offseason debate when the Twins end up with the 11th/12th pick and would have to forfeit it to sign any notable FA.

#4 Fatt Crapps

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:06 AM

11th/12th? I'm still predicting top 5.

The Stros and Cubs are locks to finish worse than the Twins. Otherwise it should be a barn burner...Mets, Marlins, Padres, and the Chi Sox should contend.

Edited by Fatt Crapps, 12 May 2014 - 12:17 AM.


#5 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 06:13 AM

I'm still comfortable with my "under" pick for the Twins.

#6 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 06:44 AM

I had them placed in the 71-73 win area and nothing has really changed my opinion. They'll be better than last season but still pretty bad.

#7 Gernzy

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:07 AM

I don't think 75-80 wins is out of the question. With how weak out division is it's a possibility.
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#8 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:12 AM

I don't think 75-80 wins is out of the question. With how weak out division is it's a possibility.


It's definitely a possibility, though it will require better play from Gibson and Corriea/May/Meyer to get there. Right now, the team isn't good enough to crack .500 for an entire season.

#9 Kirby_Waved_At_Me

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:20 AM

The team seems to me to be right on the edge of being great. They've got several players that overperformed in the early going, but are now showing their age (both versions - old age for guys like Kubel and inexperience for some of the young players). The old guys are just getting older, and the young guys aren't there yet.

They've been fun (if a bit frustrating) to watch this year.

It's not ideal to be stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for the prospects to develop and fielding a roster of spare parts, but compared to the last few seasons, it's been an encouraging season.

#10 mike wants wins

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:31 AM

Sticking with the 72 or so wins (I think) I predicted pre-season. Meyer/May aren't coming up soon, and Gibson/KC have been meh. They essentially have zero OF on the 25 man roster right now. At some point, that is going to catch up to a team. The Sano/Buxton/Rosario situations this year have been total buzz kills to my hopes for the 2nd half.
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#11 iTwins

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:46 AM

I liked my mid 70's win projection before the season and I haven't seen much to make me deviate from that number. They're playing an absolutely brutal early schedule and haven't been blown off the map yet. So long as they keep treading water at or near (within 3 games or so) .500 during this tough opening stretch, I think they'll finish at 75 wins.

#12 kab21

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:30 AM

11th/12th? I'm still predicting top 5.

The Stros and Cubs are locks to finish worse than the Twins. Otherwise it should be a barn burner...Mets, Marlins, Padres, and the Chi Sox should contend.


They are better than 66 wins which is needed for top 5. 75 wins gets them to the 11th/12th pick. that's in reach but I feel more comfortable predicting a few wins lower.

#13 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:34 AM

If you look past the surface, it's hard not to see 17-19 as borderline miraculous. Especially given some of their own self-imposed problems to go with a few injuries. (Which happens to everyone by the way)

The key to me is how much longer they can keep picking up wins like yesterday. I can think of a handful of games already that I thought they didn't deserve to get a W but were given one by the opposing team's incompetence. Kudos to the Twins for getting those wins (that's the Twins Way TM, afterall) but I'm not sure how much longer that will keep happening.

#14 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:41 AM

If you look past the surface, it's hard not to see 17-19 as borderline miraculous. Especially given some of their own self-imposed problems to go with a few injuries. (Which happens to everyone by the way)


Well, they're 5th in the AL in runs scored and 13th in ERA. That sounds a lot like a 17-19 record overall and their expected pythag is indeed 17-19.

But... It's unlikely they remain anywhere near 5th in runs scored as the year progresses. On the other hand, it's also unlikely that they remain 13th in team ERA given that Deduno, Hughes, and Nolasco are now in the rotation and pitching well enough to stay in games.

I think the team is a low 70s win team, just as I did before the season. Whether they drop below or rise above that depends on injuries and how much Meyer and/or May contribute this season.

#15 halfchest

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:46 AM

This has just been a much more entertaining team to watch this year. Last year was just awful. Consider we've only used 6 starters (not counting Kris Johnson's double header start). The arms have stayed relatively healthy and even the ones with higher ERA's have had enough good starts mixed in to make them useful. I'm confident that Nolasco and Hughes will keep it up and anchor this rotation. Still hopeful that Gibson can get that K rate up at some point here. If he does that he could really settle into a nice groove. If not, he may be the return of Nick Blackburn. (hopefully the 4.00 ERA version, not the I can't handle AA bats one). I like that we have young guys that are hopefully more than just AAAA arms at AAA in Meyer, May and Darnell this year. Makes me more confident that we can replace guys.

#16 Kirby_Waved_At_Me

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:48 AM

If you look past the surface, it's hard not to see 17-19 as borderline miraculous. Especially given some of their own self-imposed problems to go with a few injuries. (Which happens to everyone by the way)

The key to me is how much longer they can keep picking up wins like yesterday. I can think of a handful of games already that I thought they didn't deserve to get a W but were given one by the opposing team's incompetence. Kudos to the Twins for getting those wins (that's the Twins Way TM, afterall) but I'm not sure how much longer that will keep happening.


Incompetence is a two-way street, though, so I do have to give the Twins credit for not giving away as many games as their opposition has. Especially last week when the Twins were fielding injury-necessitated lineups that had no business being competitive. The fact that they won any of those games is impressive to me.

#17 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:58 AM

Well, they're 5th in the AL in runs scored and 13th in ERA. That sounds a lot like a 17-19 record overall and their expected pythag is indeed 17-19.


Sure, but they've also had unusual luck with their opponents making ridiculous plays in the field and handing them wins. Again, it's a credit to the Twins that they won those games, but that doesn't diminish the fact that those sorts of wins aren't to be counted on.

This is a team that does deserve a little good luck, but it could easily be 15-21 right now and we're talking a 67 win team projecting. (And this is completely bias probably, but I don't feel like I'm watching anything close to a .500 team. The record just feels like an illusion)

#18 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:05 AM

This is a team that does deserve a little good luck, but it could easily be 15-21 right now and we're talking a 67 win team projecting. (And this is completely bias probably, but I don't feel like I'm watching anything close to a .500 team. The record just feels like an illusion)


They could also be 19-17 if they reversed just two or three few idiotic plays in the field. That's just baseball. They've looked bad at times (the Dodgers and Cleveland series) and then they turn around and play the Tigers straight-up in Detroit. They're a middling-to-bad team and to me, that's exactly how they've looked thus far. They've looked entirely incompetent and then turned around and looked like an 85 win team the next day.

#19 spycake

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:06 AM

But... It's unlikely they remain anywhere near 5th in runs scored as the year progresses. On the other hand, it's also unlikely that they remain 13th in team ERA given that Deduno, Hughes, and Nolasco are now in the rotation and pitching well enough to stay in games.


But... that 13th ERA rank (actually 14th this morning?) already includes Hughes pitching very well, as well as Deduno at 75% of a starting role, and a fair amount of Gibson pitching above his K/BB peripherals. The rank already reflects that. How much will the overall rank improve with just Nolasco's improvement (and Correia's, hopefully)?

Still, should be better, but how much? Could we stabilize around ~10th rank in both runs scored and runs allowed?

#20 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:37 AM

But... that 13th ERA rank (actually 14th this morning?) already includes Hughes pitching very well, as well as Deduno at 75% of a starting role, and a fair amount of Gibson pitching above his K/BB peripherals. The rank already reflects that. How much will the overall rank improve with just Nolasco's improvement (and Correia's, hopefully)?

Still, should be better, but how much? Could we stabilize around ~10th rank in both runs scored and runs allowed?


I think the Twins will end up somewhere just south of mediocrity. Probably 8-11th in ERA. In May, they're 9th in the AL in ERA. I think that's close to what we can expect for the season if the rotation stays somewhat healthy.

Pelfrey was absolutely atrocious. He has been replaced by Deduno, who posted slightly above average numbers last year and looks like the same guy this year. Nolasco was awful and has since turned it around and looked like Ricky Nolasco in his past two starts. Hughes was punished early and has now started looking like an above average pitcher, which is what I expected from him.

Gibson needs to turn it around or he'll be well below average after getting lucky in early starts. He's the big regression candidate. How he and Correia (or whomever replaces one of them) pitches is the difference between a 70 win team and a 75 win team, in my opinion.

#21 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:24 AM

They could also be 19-17 if they reversed just two or three few idiotic plays in the field. That's just baseball. They've looked bad at times (the Dodgers and Cleveland series) and then they turn around and play the Tigers straight-up in Detroit. They're a middling-to-bad team and to me, that's exactly how they've looked thus far. They've looked entirely incompetent and then turned around and looked like an 85 win team the next day.


Except we've been, by far and away, the beneficiary of bad defense more than the victim of it. Yes, we lost a game in Cleveland from it most likely, but we've also had a ridiculous number of unearned runs.

My point with the 15-21 was just to show how small the margin for error is and this is not a roster, or a team playing well enough, to give the benefit of the doubt that they can keep avoiding that margin.

#22 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:28 AM

Except we've been, by far and away, the beneficiary of bad defense more than the victim of it. Yes, we lost a game in Cleveland from it most likely, but we've also had a ridiculous number of unearned runs.

My point with the 15-21 was just to show how small the margin for error is and this is not a roster, or a team playing well enough, to give the benefit of the doubt that they can keep avoiding that margin.


Sure. Right now, there's a lot of white noise in pythag records. The Twins could be 19-17 or they could be 15-21 with the same runs scored/allowed ratios. I was just pointing out that they're currently in line with their expected win-loss record.

#23 gunnarthor

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:35 AM

I think low 72-90ish sounds about right. Going into the season I thought that the record wasn't as important as the development of several players. So far Dozier, Hughes, Pinto, Perkins and Mauer (and Nolasco lately) look more or less ok as future parts. Hicks and Florimon have been horrible. Arcia, Gibson, Meyer, May, Polanco, Buxton and Sano are all somewhere in between. Willingham's injury is killing any trade value he might have had.

I was also hoping that the Twins would get a positive longterm surprise or two - Danny Santana might be one. Trevor May might be one.

#24 cmathewson

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:44 AM

I'm taking the over. Last year at this time, there was no Hughes, no Nolasco, and Deduno was on a rehab assignment. Gibson was a possible reinforcement. Otherwise, starting pitching was grim. This year I see a brighter future with the starters. How many series have the Twins won in Detroit the last few years? They won that series because they got two quality starts against a great lineup. Reason for optimism.
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#25 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:47 AM

Going into the season I thought that the record wasn't as important as the development of several players. So far Dozier, Hughes, Pinto, Perkins and Mauer (and Nolasco lately) look more or less ok as future parts. Hicks and Florimon have been horrible. Arcia, Gibson, Meyer, May, Polanco, Buxton and Sano are all somewhere in between.


I was right there with you. The upside is that the Twins are flirting with .500 with guys like Hicks and Florimon providing TONS of empty at bats. Arcia, thought to be a major cog in our offense, has barely played. Gibson has had many "rookie" looking moments, but he has also looked like a guy that will continue to improve and can be a part of the rotation in the future. Polanco, Buxton and Sano will still be a foundation to be built upon with veterans like Dozier and Plouffe.

#26 Dave T

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:53 PM

It has been a lot of fun watching the Twins misfits take it to the other team, when no rational person would give them a chance. These guys are playing hard, I'd say maybe playing over their heads a little bit, but they seem to pull it off as often as not. Escobar hitting a walk-off home run to win a game? I never saw that one coming. Hughes out-pitching Verlander? (Yes he did -- did you watch the game?). I never saw that one coming. Twins taking the series from Detriot on the road, with Danny Santana and J. Pinto coming up with key hits? What is this, the Rochester exhibition game? I don't know about you, but these guys have me glued to my TV set.

#27 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 05:50 PM

I keep seeing posts about this year being more fun to watch than last year. Yes, we're scoring more runs, but remember that the 2013 club was at .500 the middle of May too. The real issue with the club the last couple years has been the way they tanked the last 4-6 weeks of the season. The club might well keep a 75 win pace going till the break, but a disastrous couple weeks and a September collapse could see the club looking at another team flirting near with 100 losses.

That being said, I'm feeling good about this team. I dont' know how they're going to "rebuild" with a bunch of wiley veterans getting called up and prospects breaking down left and right, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the run scoring and utterly perplexed by the pitching. Even if both normalize a bit, I think anything over 75 wins is a pipe-dream. That would require the addition of a SS who can both hit and play defense, and probably depend on the eventual MLB success of guys like Meyer and May. Having a competent compliment of OF types would also help.

#28 Sconnie

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 06:12 PM

I'm taking the over. Last year at this time, there was no Hughes, no Nolasco, and Deduno was on a rehab assignment. Gibson was a possible reinforcement. Otherwise, starting pitching was grim. This year I see a brighter future with the starters. How many series have the Twins won in Detroit the last few years? They won that series because they got two quality starts against a great lineup. Reason for optimism.

Hate to be the wet blanket, but there is no outfield, and first base has been ugly. Plouffe has been ok, but good pitching becomes much less effective with poor fielding behind it.