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The American League and the .500 divide

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#1 minn55441

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:12 AM

I consider myself a pretty optimistic fan. I always approach opening day with the view that "this is the year". Every team starts out equal and has a shot at a world championship. Even in 2011 and 2012, I had hope that the pitching would come around and that Gardy would guide the boys to another division championship. I am having a hard time ramping up my excitement this off-season. Granted it is only early January and we still have 3 weeks before we even hit Twinsfest, but with our current off-season roster moves and faint hope of any additional meaningful acquisitions, I don't see much reason for optimism this time around. In fact the exact opposite view is starting to creep in. Will we finish with the worst record in the American league?

There is a pretty severe divide between the have's and the have not's in the American league. As you can see 10 games separate Chicago's 85 wins in 2012 and the 75 wins posted by Seattle. Objectively looking at the American league, who in the losing bracket do you see moving up to an above .500 club? What team will finish with the worst record in the American league in 2013? Will it be the Twins?

Team Wins 2012 Payroll
New York 95 196
Oakland 94 49
Baltimore 93 81
Texas 93 121
Tampa 90 65
LA Angels 89 155
Detroit 88 119
Chicago 85 98

Seattle 75 82
Toronto 73 75
Kansas City 72 61
Boston 69 146
Cleveland 68 66
Minnesota 66 94
Houston 55 61

I think that Toronto, Kansas City and Boston will all move in the above .500 category for 2013. When you look at Houston's 55 wins last year, it is hard to imagine that they will improve much with the move to the American league. I'm picking them to finish with the worst record. At this point, I don't see any way the twins can win 80 games this year. With out Houston, I think the Twins would be a favorite to finish with the worst record in the American league.

#2 minn55441

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:15 AM

It looks like my table didn't format properly, but I think you will get the idea. First column is team, second column is 2012 wins and the final column is 2012 Payroll.

#3 darin617

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:39 AM

Billy Beane just shows what a great GM can do with such a limited payroll.

#4 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

Biily Beane's team has great young pitching.
I agree that it is difficult to be optimistic about the Twins 2013 season.
2014, with Hicks and Arcia looks more promising, but still need some of those pitchers to be above average.

#5 jokin

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

I consider myself a pretty optimistic fan. I always approach opening day with the view that "this is the year". Every team starts out equal and has a shot at a world championship. Even in 2011 and 2012, I had hope that the pitching would come around and that Gardy would guide the boys to another division championship. I am having a hard time ramping up my excitement this off-season. Granted it is only early January and we still have 3 weeks before we even hit Twinsfest, but with our current off-season roster moves and faint hope of any additional meaningful acquisitions, I don't see much reason for optimism this time around. In fact the exact opposite view is starting to creep in. Will we finish with the worst record in the American league?

There is a pretty severe divide between the have's and the have not's in the American league. As you can see 10 games separate Chicago's 85 wins in 2012 and the 75 wins posted by Seattle. Objectively looking at the American league, who in the losing bracket do you see moving up to an above .500 club? What team will finish with the worst record in the American league in 2013? Will it be the Twins?

Team Wins 2012 Payroll
New York 95 196
Oakland 94 49
Baltimore 93 81
Texas 93 121
Tampa 90 65
LA Angels 89 155
Detroit 88 119
Chicago 85 98

Seattle 75 82
Toronto 73 75
Kansas City 72 61
Boston 69 146
Cleveland 68 66
Minnesota 66 94
Houston 55 61

I think that Toronto, Kansas City and Boston will all move in the above .500 category for 2013. When you look at Houston's 55 wins last year, it is hard to imagine that they will improve much with the move to the American league. I'm picking them to finish with the worst record. At this point, I don't see any way the twins can win 80 games this year. With out Houston, I think the Twins would be a favorite to finish with the worst record in the American league.


Defeatist (just wanted to jump in ahead of the "Speak No Evil" guys).

Actually, I can see every team below .500 last year improving and/or maturing significantly enough to making a run at mediocrity, or better- in the Red Sox and Blue Jays cases. (except the Twins and Astros, of course). The Yankees are quickly becoming decrepit and after their defections in the offseason, are a couple catastrophic injuries away from a .500 record or worse. Texas is due for nearly as significant a fall, with the division rivals all stealing more wins from them over last year, but their win totals will be artificially inflated from taking 15 wins or so from the Astros. The Tigers can make a strong case for 100+ wins and running away from the rest of the league as in '84.

Edited by jokin, 06 January 2013 - 03:01 PM.


#6 Chance

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

The twins continue to spend 5 mil. On below average pitchers instead of 7-10 mil. On above average pitchers. It is a fatal flaw in their roster assembly. It really doesn't make sense to me. When we get enough solid pitchers in the minors to arrive at the same time like Oakland we can compete. (If that ever happens) my only hope is that they are stashing money to pay to keep pitchers like Meyer may Gibson.

#7 Chance

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:57 PM

This year I think that the AL is a lot more evenly spread out talent wise. It may not play out that way, but almost every team, apart from the Astros and twins, have a chance of above .500.

#8 old nurse

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

The twins continue to spend 5 mil. On below average pitchers instead of 7-10 mil. On above average pitchers. It is a fatal flaw in their roster assembly. It really doesn't make sense to me. When we get enough solid pitchers in the minors to arrive at the same time like Oakland we can compete. (If that ever happens) my only hope is that they are stashing money to pay to keep pitchers like Meyer may Gibson.

Other than Dempster signing with Boston, Jackson signing with Chicago, no above average pitcher has signed with a below average team. Marcum and Lohse are all that are left.

#9 old nurse

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:58 PM

The love fest for Oakland will be interesting. Second year pitchers, was the first year a fluke ? Colon off steroids, McCarthy off the team. There is no certainty. Interesting that A.J. Griffin is the only starter they developed. The rest were acquired through trades. If, when, Mays, Meyers and Worley works out Ryan will get the love Beane does.
Tampa Bays ships two pitchers off. Baltimore far exceeded expectations. The top of the list well could be in the middle.

#10 jokin

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

Other than Dempster signing with Boston, Jackson signing with Chicago, no above average pitcher has signed with a below average team. Marcum and Lohse are all that are left.


As Rocco Lampone said: "Difficult, not impossible."

Brandon McCarthy signed with a mediocre team at a small premium over Correia (D-Backs). You do have to make a strong case to the agent and then overpay. All three pitchers (Dempster, Jackson and McCarthy) were unlikely, but at least signable possibilities with an aggressive approach from a Twins FO that actually believed in what they're pitching to the public. Marcum (ranked #10 by cbssports) is still gettable with said approach. Jeff Francis (ranked as No. 11 FA SP by cbssports) re-signed with the Rockies for one year at $1.5M, don't laugh, his WAR was 1.8 versus Correia's 0.9. The Twins can still go after Joe Saunders, as well. The bargain bin still contains Jurrjens and Bedard, both guys that fit the theme of having bounce-back trade value with a strong showing from April into July.

Speaking of As pitchers, is anyone else considering FA Dallas Braden? He seems like a better chance at a comeback than Brandon Webb.

#11 jokin

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:12 PM

The love fest for Oakland will be interesting. Second year pitchers, was the first year a fluke ? Colon off steroids, McCarthy off the team. There is no certainty. Interesting that A.J. Griffin is the only starter they developed. The rest were acquired through trades. If, when, Mays, Meyers and Worley works out Ryan will get the love Beane does.
Tampa Bays ships two pitchers off. Baltimore far exceeded expectations. The top of the list well could be in the middle.


The AL East is wide-open with the Toronto shot-in-the-arm, the Red Sox new look and the Yankees somewhat fading. Never count out what the Rays have waiting in the wings and the top-notch-strategic talents of Maddun, the Orioles are indeed a wild card, but not likely to repeat their 2012 numbers.

#12 Shane Wahl

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:19 PM

If the Tigers run into injury problems (Verlander, Cabrera, or Fielder) then I think the division is wide open. I could see a Hicks/Arcia/Benson/Gibson led charge that makes one remember 2006 a bit. I just want the Twins to bring forth the best 25 players who are ready out of spring training. That would mean Chris Herrmann and not Drew Butera. It would mean Chris Colabello and not Eduardo Escobar. It means Diamond-Worley-Correia-Hendriks-Deduno out of the gates. It should mean selling Swarzak for whatever can be had (someone would like him over some low-A baller). The Twins need to trade away replacement level guys for a bunch of questionable low minors players. If even one of them develops into a good player if will be more than worth it. The Twins have a BUNCH of players in the organization who are replaceable in this way.

#13 minn55441

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:25 PM

The AL East is wide-open with the Toronto shot-in-the-arm, the Red Sox new look and the Yankees somewhat fading. Never count out what the Rays have waiting in the wings and the top-notch-strategic talents of Maddun, the Orioles are indeed a wild card, but not likely to repeat their 2012 numbers.


Last year, the Yankees finished with 26 more wins than the Red Sox. I wouldn't be surprised that from top to bottom, we only see a 10-15 game spread. I don't see that much of a separation in 2013. The best have gotten worse and the bottom of the division with be improved. As old nurse pointed out the interesting race will be in the west. Texas has been the best for a while and is due to regress if last seasons collapse is any indication. I too, am thinking that they A's may turn out to be a one shot wonder. I can't see them winning the division again in 2013.

#14 jokin

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:29 PM

If the Tigers run into injury problems (Verlander, Cabrera, or Fielder) then I think the division is wide open. I could see a Hicks/Arcia/Benson/Gibson led charge that makes one remember 2006 a bit. I just want the Twins to bring forth the best 25 players who are ready out of spring training. That would mean Chris Herrmann and not Drew Butera. It would mean Chris Colabello and not Eduardo Escobar. It means Diamond-Worley-Correia-Hendriks-Deduno out of the gates. It should mean selling Swarzak for whatever can be had (someone would like him over some low-A baller). The Twins need to trade away replacement level guys for a bunch of questionable low minors players. If even one of them develops into a good player if will be more than worth it. The Twins have a BUNCH of players in the organization who are replaceable in this way.

I agree with every one of your personnel proposals. In other words, none of it's going to happen with the current braintrust at the helm.:banghead:

I especially agree with your last sentence. The lack of recognition of the true value of the majority of the current mix- by both Twins management and the so-called keyboard experts is disconcerting.

#15 jokin

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

Last year, the Yankees finished with 26 more wins than the Red Sox. I wouldn't be surprised that from top to bottom, we only see a 10-15 game spread. I don't see that much of a separation in 2013. The best have gotten worse and the bottom of the division with be improved. As old nurse pointed out the interesting race will be in the west. Texas has been the best for a while and is due to regress if last seasons collapse is any indication. I too, am thinking that they A's may turn out to be a one shot wonder. I can't see them winning the division again in 2013.


I gotta think the Angels have bought themselves the West pennant and set up yet another playoff choke job since 2004, this time against the Tigers. As I said before, the introduction of the Astros into the division is going to seriously skew the true drop-off of at least the Rangers, if not the A's, as well.

#16 twinsnorth49

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:05 PM

[quote name='jokin']I agree with every one of your personnel proposals. In other words, none of it's going to happen with the current braintrust at the helm.:banghead:

I especially agree with your last sentence. The lack of recognition of the true value of the majority of the current mix- by both Twins management and the so-called keyboard experts is disconcerting.[/QUOTE]

Who?

#17 jokin

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:09 PM

[quote name='twinsnorth49'][quote name='jokin']I agree with every one of your personnel proposals. In other words, none of it's going to happen with the current braintrust at the helm.:banghead:

I especially agree with your last sentence. The lack of recognition of the true value of the majority of the current mix- by both Twins management and the so-called keyboard experts is disconcerting.[/QUOTE]

Who?[/QUOTE]

Do we really want another Frasor thread?

#18 twinsnorth49

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:24 PM

[quote name='jokin'][quote name='twinsnorth49']

Do we really want another Frasor thread?[/QUOTE]

That's what I thought you meant, I'm all for trading away replacement level guys for low A maybe's, never stated anywhere that I wasn't. Not sure where Jason Frasor fits in with that plan.

#19 Riverbrian

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:29 PM

Defeatist (just wanted to jump in ahead of the "Speak No Evil" guys).



LOL... Jokin... You know that we "Speak No Evil Guys" are necessary right?

Kinda like Batman to the Joker... A Ying to the Yang... If all this board had was doom and gloomers... The Core of this board would collapse on itself from the weight of gravity and explode like a Supernova leaving a black hole.

#20 old nurse

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:37 PM

As Rocco Lampone said: "Difficult, not impossible."

All three pitchers (Dempster, Jackson and McCarthy) were unlikely,


Speaking of As pitchers, is anyone else considering FA Dallas Braden? He seems like a better chance at a comeback than Brandon Webb.


Unlikely is not quite stong enough.
Beddard's year for bounceback from injury was last year. He was not good.
Saunders will sign with any team for a three year deal. Twins need to have luck with signing one of their own pitchers to a three year deal to convince the Pohlads that it is a sound investment..
Francis had a lot of good years in Colorado, bad once he left. He had a good year when he returned. I don't think he wanted to go elsewhere. His year in the AL. was bad.
Jurrgen's velocity keeps dropping. He might be an injury waiting to happen. He might just need a different training staff than Atlanta.
Braden had capsule surgery then more work late last year. Probably why there is no news is rehab could still be ongoing and he still is not even thinking of pitching. Probably a great pickup for 2014.

#21 jokin

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:13 PM

Unlikely is not quite stong enough.
Beddard's year for bounceback from injury was last year. He was not good.
Saunders will sign with any team for a three year deal. Twins need to have luck with signing one of their own pitchers to a three year deal to convince the Pohlads that it is a sound investment..
Francis had a lot of good years in Colorado, bad once he left. He had a good year when he returned. I don't think he wanted to go elsewhere. His year in the AL. was bad.
Jurrgen's velocity keeps dropping. He might be an injury waiting to happen. He might just need a different training staff than Atlanta.
Braden had capsule surgery then more work late last year. Probably why there is no news is rehab could still be ongoing and he still is not even thinking of pitching. Probably a great pickup for 2014.


Given the Twins miserly approach and self-esteem issues, unlikely probably isn't quite strong enough.

Bedard actually had a good year going until he ran into some bad luck in the second half of the season, masking underlying stronger peripherals, still would rather take him than Correia any day.

I'd still take a flyer on Francis for peanuts over Correia.

Jurrjens is an injury waiting to happen as are most of the new Twins acquisitions in the same boat. If he has dropped to the level of a prove-it deal, it might be worth the risk. I have a feeling that you're being just the slight bit facetious about your comparison of the Braves and Twins training staffs....:o

Thanks for the update on Braden, there's a guy like Harden, perhaps even a better low-risk high reward option, that I hope the Twins carefully keep monitoring on their radar. 2 years younger and potentially a lot more tread left on the tire.

#22 jokin

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:22 PM

LOL... Jokin... You know that we "Speak No Evil Guys" are necessary right?

Kinda like Batman to the Joker... A Ying to the Yang... If all this board had was doom and gloomers... The Core of this board would collapse on itself from the weight of gravity and explode like a Supernova leaving a black hole.


I actually don't mind being the Joker to your Batman, we all have to find ways to entertain ourselves while most of the rest of the League and Central Division get fat. Glunn and Seth are actually the 2 voices of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm-esque sanity that skew the Ying more favorably to the balance point of positivity and negativity, their efforts don't go unappreciated by me.

I do think for the sake of Gotham City and the surrounding TDaily territory, it might be best to bring in Superman to re-rout that Jason Frasor Black Hole Thread to another dimension in time and space.

#23 jokin

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:39 PM

[quote name='twinsnorth49'][quote name='jokin']

That's what I thought you meant, I'm all for trading away replacement level guys for low A maybe's, never stated anywhere that I wasn't. Not sure where Jason Frasor fits in with that plan.[/QUOTE]

Please take that across the hallway.:th_alc: Let me just reiterate that there were a myriad (and still are a few) of Frasor-like RPs available that would all represent a significant upgrade to a bullpen chock full of replacement-level guys that I scratch my head over why they keep getting invited back year after year. The continued shaky nature of the Starting Rotation kind of demands more than the Twins apparent stand-pat mode for the RPs (Diamond, Correia and Worley are your 3 principal guys that you hope to get you 30 starts apiece through ~6+ innings, really?) . This just seems like common sense at Burton-lite money and shorter contract time, I still don't understand why this was such a controversial point of view.

#24 old nurse

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:11 PM

Given the Twins miserly approach and self-esteem issues, unlikely probably isn't quite strong enough.

Bedard actually had a good year going until he ran into some bad luck in the second half of the season, masking underlying stronger peripherals, still would rather take him than Correia any day.

I'd still take a flyer on Francis for peanuts over Correia.

Jurrjens is an injury waiting to happen as are most of the new Twins acquisitions in the same boat. If he has dropped to the level of a prove-it deal, it might be worth the risk. I have a feeling that you're being just the slight bit facetious about your comparison of the Braves and Twins training staffs....:o

Thanks for the update on Braden, there's a guy like Harden, perhaps even a better low-risk high reward option, that I hope the Twins carefully keep monitoring on their radar. 2 years younger and potentially a lot more tread left on the tire.


On Bedard, 9/14 games after the first of June. were bad starts. Most of the good starts were in PNC Park. Creepy high FB/HR radio. Did look good beating the Twins.

Francis wan't going to go anywhere when he played better in Colorado. In terms of pitchers and payroll, I am sure Ryan would swap Francis for Correia in a minute.

Jurrgens went from having a 92-93 FB to an 88. Something is wrong. Somebody differently medically needs to see that guy or Parker needs to get out his video and analyze like he did for Blackburn. If it is mechanics, Twins have two "mechanics" for pitchers. They better start him with the bullpen guy first.

#25 Danchat

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:13 PM

The .500 line? Are you kidding me? We are going to go under the Mendoza line.

#26 Kobs

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:07 AM

Other than Dempster signing with Boston, Jackson signing with Chicago, no above average pitcher has signed with a below average team. Marcum and Lohse are all that are left.


Can identify the massive pool of good starting pitching that signed with good teams that would make this statement actually aid the argument you seem to be making, rather than contradict it?