Can the Twins compete with the Tigers in 2012?
Posted 15 January 2012 - 02:28 AM
That's the title of an article in the Detroit Free Press. In the article which includes several quotes from Twins GM Terry Ryan, they talk about the incoming free agents (Willingham, Carroll, Doumit and Marquis) and what each does for the team. THe term "high character" is uttered. Ryan also says that the process that has made the team successful in the past decade didn't need a complete overhaul. And the key of the article is the health of Mauer and Morneau, which we've been saying all along.
Posted 15 January 2012 - 06:32 PM
Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:00 AM
If the Twins get productive Mauer, Morneau, Liriano and Pavano they might finish 2nd in the division. If not, then this team will be slightly better than last year.
Scenario 1: 83 wins
Scenario 2: 70 wins
Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:04 AM
I was born and raised in the Detroit area, so I always keep one eye on the Tigers, as do most Twins fans anyway. No, I don't think the Twins, on paper, should compete with the Tigers this year. Even without Fielder, you have a pitching staff anchored by Cy Young & MVP Justin Verlander, a much better bullpen, and a lineup from top-to-bottom that destroys ours.
But before people get too depressed, I think people should think back to the 2008 Tigers.
History in these parts seems to forget about the '08 Tigers because it was such a transitional year for the Twins, and all anyone remembers is Game 163 and the Thome HR to lose 1-0 to the White Sox. But that was the year that Dombrowski/Illitch made their FIRST huge spending spree, swinging the trade for Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, and then giving them both huge deals. People thought the Tigers would be unstoppable that year. IIRC, their payroll had blown up to something like $140 million. But if you look up and down that lineup at the average ages, they were old and slow, and this was exacerbated by the fact that Jim Leyland is a very power-oriented manager and he was stubborn and slow to adapt. I don't think a Tigers infielder took 2 steps in either direction to successfully field a groundball all year. And they ended up being a 74-win team. By the end of the year, they actually looked better giving significant time in the field to Santiago, Raburn, and Inge than the high-priced veteran sluggers who ended up at DH or being hurt.
I'm not saying the same thing will happen in 2012, but I am just recommending that everyone slow down. The decision to move Cabrera to 3B reminds me of some of those same mistakes. I think their pitching is too good to let that happen again, not just Verlander but Fister and Scherzer (and Jacob Turner looks like a future star). But if they were a 95-win team last year, and everyone expects them to be even better this time, I don't think their defense will allow them to be anywhere near as good as they seem on paper. Perralta's an OK shortstop, but Austin Jackson is about the only "plus" defender they have. And if they end up with Cabrera at 3B and Inge learning a new position at 2B (or Raburn there)...yikes.
Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:05 PM
Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:26 PM
Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:38 PM
Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:54 PM
"And we'll see ya tomorrow night!!!!"