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Article: 2013 Spring Training Preview

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:40 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...raining-Preview

#2 Grady Kruse

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:44 AM

Good take, but I'd put Dozier in the two hole. Mauer is too good of a hitter to feel the need to pull the ball to move Hicks to third with nobody out. Let someone who is less of a hitter sacrifice to move the runner.

#3 Nate Haseman

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:28 AM

If I'm Kevin Correia, I've got a huge chip on my shoulder about all the negativity my signing has caused and I've got something to prove. I bet he puts up career numbers this year. I like this rotation a whole lot better than last year's. I think all of those young guys who put up pedestrian numbers in 2012 come out and show what they are capable of in 2013. If we go at least .500 in April, I think this team has a shot to do some things. GOD I LOVE SPRING!

#4 jmlease1

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:21 AM

Mauer is very well suited to be the #2 hitter, but Gardy won't put him there. History tells us he'd rather have one of his middle INF at the spot. But the lineup posted above is very strong 2-7. But if Hicks or Dozier can't hit/get on-base there's going to be a pretty nasty gap over 8-9-1.

I agree the odds of the Twins succeeding this season aren't high. There are enough pieces there to make it happen, but as we saw last season when you have too many question marks the odds aren't good. I believe this lineup will end up scoring runs roughly equivalent to last season (which is good) and the bullpen should be dependable and reasonably strong. But there are loads of question marks all over the rotation.

#5 LewFordLives

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:02 PM

I wouldn't shed a tear if they cut ties with Burnett and/or Swarzak and gave a shot to one of the new guys they acquired (Pressley, Roenicke, Wood). I assume you included Perez only because you believe Gardenhire will insist on another lefty.

#6 cmathewson

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:29 PM

Good work. It will be interesting to see what happens when Diamond is ready. Probably Hendriks goes down until Gibson runs out of innings. But what if Hendriks, Gibson, Worely and Pelfrey shine, Correia tanks and Diamond is ready?

#7 Nick Nelson

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

I assume you included Perez only because you believe Gardenhire will insist on another lefty.

Basically I just wanted to take a little bit of a leap since most of my picks were on the safe side. I think Perez will impress people and force his way into the picture. And yes, I do think Gardy will want an extra lefty, especially since Perkins is going to be a match-up guy.

Good work. It will be interesting to see what happens when Diamond is ready. Probably Hendriks goes down until Gibson runs out of innings. But what if Hendriks, Gibson, Worely and Pelfrey shine, Correia tanks and Diamond is ready?


An interesting question and a very plausible scenario.

#8 Riverbrian

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:13 PM

Good work. It will be interesting to see what happens when Diamond is ready. Probably Hendriks goes down until Gibson runs out of innings. But what if Hendriks, Gibson, Worely and Pelfrey shine, Correia tanks and Diamond is ready?


If anyone tanks... They should be placed in the bullpen or AAA or cut... It's that simple. I'm hoping that Gardy and Ryan don't try to complicate it by letting players work through the tankings.

#9 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:34 PM

Cannot really see Hicks or Gibson on the opening day roster.
For a team that isn't going to threaten for the division championship it just doesn't seem like losing a year of control is worth it.
Still, I suppose it could happen...

#10 twinsfan214

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:36 PM

The starting lineup doesn't look tooo bad but that bench makes me cringe.

#11 Rosterman

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:44 PM

I see Wood and Roiencke pushing out Brunett (has options) and Swarzak (opens season on DL). Pressly is the dark horse. If those first two, of Fein, falters, look to DeVries to be a long man in the bullpen. Of course, if Perez becomes the 5th starter..... Would almost like to see a Thome on the bench, with Doumit getting more time in right and first.

#12 CDog

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:42 PM

If anyone tanks... They should be placed in the bullpen or AAA or cut... It's that simple. I'm hoping that Gardy and Ryan don't try to complicate it by letting players work through the tankings.


I would argue that it SHOULD matter who is doing the tanking, the nature of the tanking, and the severity of the tanking. There are guys I'd be more willing to let work through some things on the big league roster than others. (I'm thinking of a younger guy who may just need the experience of figuring out major leaguers as opposed to someone who's doing something mechanically wrong that could be fixed elsewhere.)

#13 CDog

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:45 PM

Good work. It will be interesting to see what happens when Diamond is ready. Probably Hendriks goes down until Gibson runs out of innings. But what if Hendriks, Gibson, Worely and Pelfrey shine, Correia tanks and Diamond is ready?


I think some of that will work itself out with Gibson's innings limit (and I haven't seen anything that makes it really clear to me when Diamond will be ready). But as Nick said, it's a pretty interesting question if you get possibly six or seven (or more) guys all performing at about the same level as starters.

#14 cmathewson

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:41 PM

Cannot really see Hicks or Gibson on the opening day roster.
For a team that isn't going to threaten for the division championship it just doesn't seem like losing a year of control is worth it.
Still, I suppose it could happen...


The Twins are coming off consecutive 90+ loss seasons. Ticket sales are luke warm at best. They need to get off to a good start. It makes no sense to come north with anything less than their best roster.

#15 CDog

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:39 PM

Mauer is very well suited to be the #2 hitter, but Gardy won't put him there.


Should be noted that Mauer got nearly a quarter of his plate appearances batting second as recently as 2009. Obviously some things have changed since then, but I don't think it's out of the question given the likely roster construction.

#16 frightwig

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

The Twins are coming off consecutive 90+ loss seasons. Ticket sales are luke warm at best. They need to get off to a good start. It makes no sense to come north with anything less than their best roster.


The better of the two projections currently at Fangraphs has Hicks hitting .249/.329/.404 this season; the other projects .217/.298/.340. Aside from the possibility of a flukey hot start, we probably should expect about league-average on-base skill + light pop if things go well for him this year, but there's also a strong possibility that he's just going to look in over his head.

Meanwhile, the same projections for Mastroianni have him between .256/.325/.350 and .235/.307/.329. If you plug him into CF for one month, instead of Hicks, how much of a difference to the team record is it likely to make?

#17 Riverbrian

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:48 PM

I would argue that it SHOULD matter who is doing the tanking, the nature of the tanking, and the severity of the tanking. There are guys I'd be more willing to let work through some things on the big league roster than others. (I'm thinking of a younger guy who may just need the experience of figuring out major leaguers as opposed to someone who's doing something mechanically wrong that could be fixed elsewhere.)


Yeah... Context is always a trump card.

However... The only way that average pitching can work for a club is if everyone in the rotation is at least average.

If starts are gobbled up by pitchers throwing up numbers like Blackburn and Marquis did last year. Any depth of potentially average pitchers that we have is marginalized.

I'd hate to be the one to make that call... Who is just momentarily stumbling and who is in a deep i'm having issues funk. It's a thin line.

#18 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:33 PM

The better of the two projections currently at Fangraphs has Hicks hitting .249/.329/.404 this season; the other projects .217/.298/.340. Aside from the possibility of a flukey hot start, we probably should expect about league-average on-base skill + light pop if things go well for him this year, but there's also a strong possibility that he's just going to look in over his head.

Meanwhile, the same projections for Mastroianni have him between .256/.325/.350 and .235/.307/.329. If you plug him into CF for one month, instead of Hicks, how much of a difference to the team record is it likely to make?


cmathewson had a reasonable business-based counter to my original post, but I agree with you, frightwig. In 2019 (or whenever it comes to be an issue) it will look pretty stupid that they gave up a year of control to try to salvage something out of the 2013 season.
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#19 Thrylos

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:54 PM

Beyond these three, there are a number of fringe contenders – such as Brian Duensing, Nick Blackburn, Rich Harden, Sam Deduno and Cole DeVries – that cannot be discounted.


kind of a detail but Blackburn will not be ready until June.

I just hope that Harden is healthy and ready and he got it, so he can be this team's ace. Otherwise these Twins are not going anywhere
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#20 cmathewson

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:18 PM

The better of the two projections currently at Fangraphs has Hicks hitting .249/.329/.404 this season; the other projects .217/.298/.340. Aside from the possibility of a flukey hot start, we probably should expect about league-average on-base skill + light pop if things go well for him this year, but there's also a strong possibility that he's just going to look in over his head.

Meanwhile, the same projections for Mastroianni have him between .256/.325/.350 and .235/.307/.329. If you plug him into CF for one month, instead of Hicks, how much of a difference to the team record is it likely to make?


Offensively, they might be comparable. But defensively, Hicks is the far better player.

#21 Mauerpower

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:49 AM

I would start De Vries, Hendriks, and Deduno over Correia.Correia has had one decent season in the national league. I hope he proves me wrong. I just wouldn't take the risk without seeing what these young guys have first. Aslo, Escobar over Florimon

#22 bcntwinsfan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:19 AM

Good take, but I'd put Dozier in the two hole. Mauer is too good of a hitter to feel the need to pull the ball to move Hicks to third with nobody out. Let someone who is less of a hitter sacrifice to move the runner.


Dozier batting second? He's shown no on base skills in the majors. Carroll should bat second and start at second. Dozier needs regular playing time at AAA. And if anybody thinks that Hicks is going to be on the opening day roster and thus become a super 2, stop drinking the Kool Aid. Mastroianni and AAAA filler til June in center. They are punting on this season and we all know it. That being said, I'd go huge on the over of 64.5.

#23 bcntwinsfan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:49 AM

Hicks will not be called up til June. Super 2 sound familiar? Anybody who thinks that the Twins will give up an extra year of control, in a season they're punting on anyway, got past the security check points coming back from their recent trip to Jamaica.

#24 grover738

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:51 AM

That looks like a 65 win roster to me. I hope they keep Hicks down for a few months to gain another year of service from him, no need to lose that year of control when he probably won't be that huge of an upgrade over Mastroianni. That bench is awful. I too think Pelfry will be one of the five starters. The 2-7 lineup is ok, should score some runs, but with those starters combined with that defense (weak in LF, RF, 3B) look out.

Hopefully they can trade some combo of Morneau / Willingham / minor league outfielder for a decent young middle infielder that can come up with the 2014/15 youth movement.

#25 Nick Nelson

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:13 AM

Hicks will not be called up til June. Super 2 sound familiar? Anybody who thinks that the Twins will give up an extra year of control, in a season they're punting on anyway, got past the security check points coming back from their recent trip to Jamaica.


Guess Gardy must have gotten some of the good stuff then.

#26 Steve Lein

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:41 AM

The Twins are coming off consecutive 90+ loss seasons. Ticket sales are luke warm at best. They need to get off to a good start. It makes no sense to come north with anything less than their best roster.


I'm in the camp that you should always go north with the "best roster," regardless of where the player's are on their Arbitration timeclock. I have never understood this thought process, and frankly, it should only weigh on penny-pinching franchises, which the Twins are not anymore, or at least shouldn't be operating as such (that's another debate). If a player is ready and seizes the opportunity, let him play and sort it all out later. It's a disservice to fans everywhere to keep any player held back when you know, or he's shown, that he can contribute more than what you have on the MLB roster.

And to everyone who is going to say "why would you want a guy on the MLB roster at age 23, when you could have him for an extra year during his peak at age 29." Well...

Look at the Twins history, if a player is brought up and he contributes a good amount to the MLB team, they extend him before the Arbitration years run out anyway. Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Denard Span, Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker... I'm sure there's plenty more examples. Also, if a guy is kicking ass and taking names at the MLB level, using Arbitration isn't exactly a good option to keep a player's contract costs down.

Frankly, to me, Arbitration is designed for players like Alexi Casilla. They've shown something, but not enough yet to warrant a long-term commitment, and if the price gets too high, you just let them go. I'd say it's pretty rare for a good player to make it to that last year of Arbitration without at least having extension talks, their arbitration prices just get too high. Take Mike Trout for example, you really think he's even going to go through the arbitration process once? I don't.

If Hicks takes the CF job on day 1 and runs with it, the same thing will happen with him (in addition to the fact you might have the best player available for your MLB CF job). If he falters, then what happens you ask? He gets sent back down to AAA and likely misses the MLB service time cutoff for Super 2 status anyway. Then, in 2014/15/16, If he ends up middling in the Majors like Casilla, are you really gonna be worried about having him around that age 29 season?!

It's all a moot point in Hicks' case if he doesn't show enough to win the job right out of ST, but I don't see why there is such a big issue with this. If a Span vs. Gomez ST situation plays out with Hicks vs. Mastroianni/Benson/etc... though, I'll be nonplussed, as will Gardy from the sounds of it.
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#27 ThePuck

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:55 PM

Should be noted that Mauer got nearly a quarter of his plate appearances batting second as recently as 2009. Obviously some things have changed since then, but I don't think it's out of the question given the likely roster construction.


...and only 2009. In that one season he also got almost about 40% of his plate appearances as a #2 hitter for his career.

#28 nicksaviking

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:40 PM

Correia is getting the first Grapefruit League start. I wonder if this is an early indication of where they are leaning come opening day.

#29 CDog

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:43 PM

...and only 2009. In that one season he also got almost about 40% of his plate appearances as a #2 hitter for his career.


True. I don't think that changes my point which was: The notion of Mauer hitting 2nd is in play to some extent. Not that it's likely or anything, just that there is some precedent. I don't expect it to happen. I get a morsel of hope from the fact that 2009 was a fairly good year for him (understatement intentional) and that he absolutely RAKED from the 2-spot that year, even compared to his more familiar slots.

#30 CDog

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

Correia is getting the first Grapefruit League start. I wonder if this is an early indication of where they are leaning come opening day.


I think it was made fairly clear that they were doing it for scheduling purposes to try and get him and extra turn before he leaves for the birth of his child. I feel like it's unlikely he'll be repeating that less than two months down the road!