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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:40 PM

Since that dud first series in Baltimore, the Twins are now 4-5. They won a series against a pretty good Angels team, got swept by the Rangers who have basically been unstoppable, and are now guaranteed at least a split against the Yankees in New York. Considering how bad they've looked at times, that's pretty good. Offense is looking legit. Really wish they had more pitching.

#2 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:52 PM

Since that dud first series in Baltimore, the Twins are now 4-5. They won a series against a pretty good Angels team, got swept by the Rangers who have basically been unstoppable, and are now guaranteed at least a split against the Yankees in New York.

Considering how bad they've looked at times, that's pretty good. Offense is looking legit. Really wish they had more pitching.

Should have at least won one game against the Rangers, Perkins was clearly not himself, and they seemed to have left 30+ people on base over that series.

Offense will be fine, and could be one of the better ones in the league if everyone stays somewhat healthy. Pitching.....errr....will be interesting to say the least. Blackburn getting healthy, and Liriano pulling his head out of his ass would be a nice start to getting the rotation in a place where people could count on them.

#3 Kneelb4zerg

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:56 PM

Harrison Ford is 1/4 Jewish...Not too shabby!

#4 Ultima Ratio

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:59 PM

Yes, pitching will be the ruin of this team with mere 'serviceable' starters and one of the worst bullpens in recent memory.
Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.

#5 Top Gun

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:05 PM

Don't need great pitching, Capps and sp can get the job done.

#6 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:10 PM

This was a nice win. Real happy to see Marquis get a W after what he's been through with his daughter, and thrilled to see Justin Morneau look like, well, Justin Morneau. The bats are coming alive, but yeah, it's hard to see how we have enough pitching to really go anywhere. Being at best average defensively doesn't exactly help that cause either. This team is at least 1 top-of-the-rotation starter and 1 quality arm in the bullpen away from being truly dangerous but I think a 15-20 win improvement over last year and a second-place finish in a weak division are achievable.

Edited by one_eyed_jack, 18 April 2012 - 09:22 PM.


#7 John Bonnes

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:19 PM

Getting Liriano straightened out could honestly be the difference this season. The difference between him being dominant every fifth day and him being absolutely horrible (and chewing up the bullpen) could be huge. I'll admit, I have almost no faith he'll turn it around, but boy, it seems like this team is THIS close.

#8 TwinsFanLV

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:34 PM

Getting Liriano straightened out could honestly be the difference this season. The difference between him being dominant every fifth day and him being absolutely horrible (and chewing up the bullpen) could be huge. I'll admit, I have almost no faith he'll turn it around, but boy, it seems like this team is THIS close.


John, I'm new to this and Ive respected your posts until reading this one. This team is NOT close. At best, this team is ANNOYING in that on a good day, they may string enough hits to beat a real team. This team has three very good full time players and no good pitchers. Thinking that Liriano could "Straighten out" is like thinking that (insert absurd comparison here).

#9 Riverbrian

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:37 PM

(insert absurd comparison here).



There is no way I will pass this by without giving it a shot!!!

(Justin Morneau is the Carnival Barker of Canadian Power)
(Jamey Carroll is the Orangle Julius of 38 Year old Shortstops)
(Josh Willingham is the Beagle of Journeyman Power Hitters)
(Joe Mauer is the Steve Buscemi of Baseball)

OK... I tried and failed.

#10 stringer bell

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:39 PM

John, I'm new to this and Ive respected your posts until reading this one. This team is NOT close. At best, this team is ANNOYING in that on a good day, they may string enough hits to beat a real team. This team has three very good full time players and no good pitchers. Thinking that Liriano could "Straighten out" is like thinking that (insert absurd comparison here).

The offense will be better than last year, probably a lot better. The defense will be better because they have competent defenders through the middle of the field. I think there are way too many question marks to consider the Twins "this close", but there is more talent there than TwinsFanLV is saying. I know that it is almost unknowable who will pitch well and who will wash out. The Twins look to have a bunch of 4th and 5th starters in their rotation and unknows in the bullpen. However, given good health to the back end of the 'pen, I think there are some guys who can step in and be proficient--Burton looks like he might be pretty good, Maloney had a nice spring and despite a high ERA, his WHIP is good, Waldrop looked pretty good in the spring and Burnett has been very good so far in low leverage situations. Will all of the new guys come through? Really doubtful, but there is also some help at Rochester, so I think the bullpen will be OK.

#11 minn55441

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:58 PM

Although we trail the Tiger's by 5 games already, we are only 2 out of the wild card race. I hope I can repeat that in July.

#12 scottz

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:05 PM

Getting Liriano straightened out could honestly be the difference this season. The difference between him being dominant every fifth day and him being absolutely horrible (and chewing up the bullpen) could be huge. I'll admit, I have almost no faith he'll turn it around, but boy, it seems like this team is THIS close.


I love the Twins, too, but I can't see this team as "this close" either. I think the offense classifies as "this close", assuming this close means being a playoff-ready offense. But even if Liriano got straightened out - and that seems like a big if right now - what else is getting us close? Baker is out, Blackburn is ache-y and even if he weren't, the improvements he seemed to be making would turn him into a #2-3 pitcher at best (compared to the #4-5 that he historically has been). Pavano is an innings eater and nice to have around, but also not a true #1. Hendriks? Swarzak? I just don't see where they are close on the pitching side.

#13 spideyo

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:24 PM

Hendriks was solid in his debut, hopefully he can keep that up

#14 Shane Wahl

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:05 AM

A pitching staff of: Pavano-Blackburn-Hendriks-Marquis-Diamond and Swarzak, Manship, Burnett, Duensing, Liriano, Perkins, Capps might be able to be good enough. Maybe Bowden and Slama are involved too.

#15 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:08 AM

A pitching staff of:
Pavano-Blackburn-Hendriks-Marquis-Diamond and Swarzak, Manship, Burnett, Duensing, Liriano, Perkins, Capps might be able to be good enough. Maybe Bowden and Slama are involved too.


The problem with that rotation is that the best case scenario you have 1 #3 and 4 #4's. I think Hendriks can become a #2/#3 guy eventually, but he's still pretty young/raw.

I think they'd have a hell of a time catching the Tigers no matter what, but who knows, maybe if a few teams struggle they could stay in the WC #2 hunt for a while.

#16 whydidnt

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:19 AM

I'm going to be contrarian on the offense. Despite a few outbursts, the offense this year has been pathetic. There is only 1 team in the league that has scored fewer runs than the Twins so far, the budget strapped A's. They are still extremely vulnerable to lefties, as they have been it seems forever. Isn't it strange to see lefties that have no pedigree coming into high leverage situations over and over again, like you've seen against the Twins (Ross, Rapada, Boone)? The Twins need another guy that can hit lefties in the top part of their order to keep teams honest. At least Gardenhire FINALLY put a RH between Mauer and Morneau, it's been good to watch the Yankees burn through a couple guys early as they deal with that, something not too common against the Twins over the few years.

#17 StormJH1

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:43 AM

I'm going to be contrarian on the offense. Despite a few outbursts, the offense this year has been pathetic. There is only 1 team in the league that has scored fewer runs than the Twins so far, the budget strapped A's. They are still extremely vulnerable to lefties, as they have been it seems forever. Isn't it strange to see lefties that have no pedigree coming into high leverage situations over and over again, like you've seen against the Twins (Ross, Rapada, Boone)? The Twins need another guy that can hit lefties in the top part of their order to keep teams honest. At least Gardenhire FINALLY put a RH between Mauer and Morneau, it's been good to watch the Yankees burn through a couple guys early as they deal with that, something not too common against the Twins over the few years.


All good points. However, if Mauer and Morneau continue to hit like this, I think the rest of the lineup will hit. And the cool thing about Willingham as the "new guy" is that he seems to be the one guy that can swim across the current and hit even if nobody else is.

I'd love to see them take this series from the Yankees tonight. But let's not get too excited if they do. This Yankees club has issues of their own - their core is getting old, Kuroda has not figured it out this year so far, and Hughes has been mostly terrible as a starter.

#18 jeffk

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:12 AM

Pretty much all of the individual players are hitting (in terms of OPS+) average or way above average (with the exception of Doumit and Valencia). This leads me to believe that if they're scoring fewer runs that other teams it's because they have an unsustainably low BA with runners in scoring position. I was at the game where they must have stranded 15 runners. At this early point I would look more at the individual hitting prowess we're seeing rather than the number of runs scored.

#19 mattsaari

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:38 AM

The interesting thing so far is that they're hitting with one runner on.
1st: .278/.309/.444
2nd: .406/.486/.750
3rd: .455 /.538/.455

The trouble so far has come with multiple runners on. 0 For 7 With bases loaded, 1 run has scored. 2nd & 3rd: 9 Plate appearances, 2 runs scored, 1 hit (probably both runs on it). So on, etc. Unsustainably low is right.

#20 SweetOne69

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:54 AM

Should have at least won one game against the Rangers, Perkins was clearly not himself, and they seemed to have left 30+ people on base over that series.

Offense will be fine, and could be one of the better ones in the league if everyone stays somewhat healthy. Pitching.....errr....will be interesting to say the least. Blackburn getting healthy, and Liriano pulling his head out of his ass would be a nice start to getting the rotation in a place where people could count on them.


Considering that they left 15 guys on base for Saturday's game, 30 is probably not to far off.

#21 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:47 AM

I'm going to be contrarian on the offense. Despite a few outbursts, the offense this year has been pathetic. There is only 1 team in the league that has scored fewer runs than the Twins so far, the budget strapped A's. They are still extremely vulnerable to lefties, as they have been it seems forever. Isn't it strange to see lefties that have no pedigree coming into high leverage situations over and over again, like you've seen against the Twins (Ross, Rapada, Boone)? The Twins need another guy that can hit lefties in the top part of their order to keep teams honest. At least Gardenhire FINALLY put a RH between Mauer and Morneau, it's been good to watch the Yankees burn through a couple guys early as they deal with that, something not too common against the Twins over the few years.


I have to disagree here. If Span, Mauer and Morneau remain healthy, there's no reason the Twins' top 5 hitters can't be extremely dangerous, simply in the sense of clogging bases. And with baseball being a game of averages, get enough guys on base, and the hits will come, and you'll score runs. Top 5 batters by OBP (this year/career).

Span--.380/.361
Carroll--.327/.355
Mauer--.385/.403
Willingham--.431/.362
Morneau--.340/.353

Now, compare these career OBP's with the top OBP's from last year. Only 48 players in all of baseball had OBP's above .353 last year, which means if all 5 of those players match or exceed their career OBP's, we would theoretically have 5 players in a category that the average ML team would have 1.6 players. What's more, if those 5 players all match or exceed their career OBP's, the cumulative OBP for our top 5 hitters would be around .367, which only 27 hitters in all of baseball exceeded last year. The Twins offense will be good, the question will be can it be great? For that to happen, Valencia, Doumit, Plouffe/Parmelee/Thomas and Casilla will need to step it up. If they do, this could very well be a top 5 offense, which I don't think anyone expected coming into the year.

#22 TwinsFanLV

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:56 AM

I have to disagree here. If Span, Mauer and Morneau remain healthy, there's no reason the Twins' top 5 hitters can't be extremely dangerous, simply in the sense of clogging bases. And with baseball being a game of averages, get enough guys on base, and the hits will come, and you'll score runs. Top 5 batters by OBP (this year/career).

Span--.380/.361
Carroll--.327/.355
Mauer--.385/.403
Willingham--.431/.362
Morneau--.340/.353

Now, compare these career OBP's with the top OBP's from last year. Only 48 players in all of baseball had OBP's above .353 last year, which means if all 5 of those players match or exceed their career OBP's, we would theoretically have 5 players in a category that the average ML team would have 1.6 players. What's more, if those 5 players all match or exceed their career OBP's, the cumulative OBP for our top 5 hitters would be around .367, which only 27 hitters in all of baseball exceeded last year. The Twins offense will be good, the question will be can it be great? For that to happen, Valencia, Doumit, Plouffe/Parmelee/Thomas and Casilla will need to step it up. If they do, this could very well be a top 5 offense, which I don't think anyone expected coming into the year.


Your use of statistics is impressive, but you forgot some key numbers in which the Twins manage to lead the league EVERY yeay:

6-4-3
4-6-3
5-4-3
3-6-3

Until Mauer changes the combinmation on his bicycle lock, or learns to bunt, the Twins will never be a serious offensive threat.

Gardenhire could help by sending the runner(s) on base, with Mauer batting, more often

#23 CDog

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:44 PM

Your use of statistics is impressive, but you forgot some key numbers in which the Twins manage to lead the league EVERY yeay:


Not to step on Mark Twain's toes, but I'd say it would be better to use statistics than lies. Twins were 14th in GDP last year. 1st the year before that and did not lead the league before that until 2005. Of course...there's the other issue that the teams that do hit into a lot are teams that put a lot of people on base (amazing, right!?!?), so if they did lead the league every year, it wouldn't mean what you think it means. Or pretend to think it means.

#24 mattsaari

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:52 PM

GDIP Twins / LG AVG (Runs per game for Twins) 2011 115/117 (3.82) 2010 159/124 (4.82) 2009 147/127 (5.01) 2008 142/129 (5.09) 2007 149/133 (4.43) 2006 163/132 (4.94) 2005 155/130 (4.25) 2004 130/126 (4.81) 2003 139/128 (4.94) 2002 121/128 (4.77) As you can see in the Gardy era, they have grounded into more than league average double plays. What you can also see is that's had basically no impact on their run production. The only year they hit into more DP than games played they averaged nearly 5 runs a game. The year they hit into the fewest? Also the lowest offensive number in Gardy-era Twins. Double plays are annoying, and impact the game, but they are not really an indicator of offensive futility. League leader in GDIP last year: Adrian Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz. (ETA: Torii was tied with Cabrera and Ortiz)

Edited by mattsaari, 19 April 2012 - 01:55 PM.


#25 twinsnorth49

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:54 PM

Your use of statistics is impressive, but you forgot some key numbers in which the Twins manage to lead the league EVERY yeay:

6-4-3
4-6-3
5-4-3
3-6-3

Until Mauer changes the combinmation on his bicycle lock, or learns to bunt, the Twins will never be a serious offensive threat.

Gardenhire could help by sending the runner(s) on base, with Mauer batting, more often


Yep, that's what we need, our best hitter bunting from the 3 hole, no wonder the Twins are losing! It would have been much better last night if Joe had bunted Carroll to 3rd and let Morneau drive him in. That way we could have scored 2 runs instead of 3.

I usually defend Gardy but now I can see why so many people want him fired.

#26 John Bonnes

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:55 PM

The glass half full guys would note that the Twins are now 4-5 versus 3 90+ win teams, and they could easily be 6-3 if they hadn't stranded the world in Game 2 or Perkins had fessed up about his arm prior to blowing that 3rd game versus the Angels. Of cours,e they could be 4-12 by this time next week. I wouldn't be shocked if they were.

#27 whydidnt

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:06 PM

Not to step on Mark Twain's toes, but I'd say it would be better to use statistics than lies. Twins were 14th in GDP last year. 1st the year before that and did not lead the league before that until 2005. Of course...there's the other issue that the teams that do hit into a lot are teams that put a lot of people on base (amazing, right!?!?), so if they did lead the league every year, it wouldn't mean what you think it means. Or pretend to think it means.

Mattsaari may have better details about the meaning of this, but you should pay attention to your own quotes. These are the OBP and GDP stats for the Twins over the last 7 years (your selection criteria not mine) and using AL only since that's where they play.
Yr. OBP GDP
2011 13 10
2010 4 1
2009 5 1
2008 9 7
2007 10 3
2006 5 3
2005 10 1

So the Twins have let the league in GIDP 3 of the last 7 years, they have been in the top 1/2 of the league in all but 1 of those years, and have only been in the top of the league in OBP 3 of the 7 years, NEVER finishing higher in OBP than GIDP in the entire time. There maybe some correlation between OBP and GDP, but it's not as clear as implied. The Twins are clearly DP machines when it comes to offense, any argument otherwise just proves you're a shill for the Twins. There is a lot more that goes into scoring runs than OBP an GDP though. I think it's save to say getting on base is a lot more important than not grounding into DPs as far as that goes.
Further to mattsaari's point though: Using guys like Gonzalez and Cabrera aren't great comparables, the last I checked we didn't have anyone with their power potential on our team, their value is obviously enhanced by their power. I'm not statisically inclined enough to be able to dig deep enough to see if your numbers have any meaning since the number of runs the Twins scored would have to be compared to the league average to see if the GIDP had any impact on production. I think the fact that they typically hit into more DPs than average, but aren't on base more than average tends to support your assumption though. Enough number crunching for me for now, though, the game's about to start!

#28 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:24 PM

GIDP is a silly way to judge a team. It's a meaningless stat when looked at in isolation. St. Louis led the league in that category last year with 169. That's 15 more than the next closest team and 54 more than the Twins. But their season didn't turn out too badly, did it?

#29 whydidnt

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:53 PM

GIDP is a silly way to judge a team. It's a meaningless stat when looked at in isolation.

St. Louis led the league in that category last year with 169. That's 15 more than the next closest team and 54 more than the Twins.

But their season didn't turn out too badly, did it?


Agreed, it's not a great way to judge a team, but it's also not completely meaningless, just really insignificant. I couldn't find recent numbers, but studies in the 90s showed that runners on 1st usually score between 25-30% of the time (depending on the year in question). I'm taking the 25% number because it's easier for my purposes...but if you hit into 1 DP a game you are essentially preventing your team from scoring 40 runs over the course of a season. That sounds like quite a few runs to me, of course it matters a lot more if you only scored 600 times in the season to begin with than if you scored 800, and it matters more if you are in a very tight playoff race where 1 win matters. Of course, every other team is also hitting into double plays, even in a bad year you probably won't hit into 40-60 more than any opponent, meaning the actual "cost" in runs compared to the best in the league is probably no more than 10-15 runs over the course of the season. That really doesn't seem like it's a number that would have much of an impact on too many teams, especially when you consider a lot of those double plays occur in games you lose by more than a couple runs anyway. HOWEVER, if you're the Minnesota Twins and you seem to end up playing in game 163 more often than most mortal teams, that 1 game you lost because you hit into so many dang double plays could matter. But, it's real slim odds of that being the case.

#30 Riverbrian

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:32 PM

Double Plays... The pitchers best friend are a consequnce of putting the ball in play... Part of the game... I'm sure someone will prove me statistically wrong... But... you can factor in OBP and factor in Contract rate and I'm guessing(i'm too lazy to look it up) that it will get you closer to explaining GIDP for the year and yet still not explain it. Baseball is crazy that way. They happen... This is why you gotta cash in... When the cash is in scoring position. Cuz... Next Inning you could be a double play waiting to happen.