07-30-2012, 05:24 PM #1
Looking on the bright side of life
I have always been a Twins fan, and I hopefully always will be.
Since I feel really umcomfortable when people are negative about something that I enjoy talking about, I think I will start a list of things that has gone right for the Twins this year, no matter how few or (unlikely) many there may be. Feel free to add on any you think of.
1. Health: Coming into this year, health was a big problem for the Twins. Mauer, Morneau, and Span were all coming-off seriously injury-plagued years. Except for Morneau's quick trip to the disabled list because of his wrist, all three have been healthy and fairly productive. Unfortunately, Scott Baker and Joel Zumaya were both put on the DL at the beginning of this year and won't pitch at all.
2. Off-season signings: Not counting Marquis (because I refuse to go there in a positive post), Terry Ryan did a very good job of picking up guys that will help us for what seems to be a long time. Jared Burton has been a gold-mine strike coming out of the bullpen. When healthy, Capps has been a lot more productive than last year. Ryan Doumit has been the true backup catcher that the Twins have been missing since Drew Butera took over the position (and even before that). Josh Willingham has been 220% of advertised on the offensive side, but exactly as advertised when it comes to defense. Jamey Carroll has brought veteran leadership and the ability to play three infield positions at will, and he already has more RBI's than last year with the Dodgers (not that his average is anything to jump for joy about.)
3. Offensive production-While some people may be getting down on the Twins for the low number of runs they have been averaging, when they do score, they score a F*(*$($% lot. Willingham already is nearing his HR total from all of last year, and we haven't even hit the Trade Deadline yet. He is also tied for 6th in the Majors with 27 HR, and is 3rd in the Majors with 78 RBI's. Joe Mauer is currently tied for 8th in BA in the Majors with a .328 mark and all alone at 4th in OBP with a .418 mark. Justin Morneau has been having his struggles against lefties, but not only has it seemed like he has been having an easier time against them recently, he has also been pounding righties to the tune of .311 and 11 HR all year long. Doumit has been a fairly solid presence in the lower half of the order for the Twins. Ben Revere, while not having the # of AB's to qualify for anything right now, would be sitting with the 15th best average in the Majors @ .315, and he also has 24 SB's. Man, I almost forgot about Trever Plouffe turning into a good impression of Albert Pujols, at least while he was healthy.
4. Bullpen-All right, the bullpen hasn't been perfect, but a few of the men in there are having very good years. Perkins has been almost as solid as last year, and will be in high demand if the Twins ever offer him up on the trade block. Burton has been almost as good, with just a few bad outings marring his stats. Capps, while certainly not worth the salary the Twins gave him this year, has been all right when healthy, notching 14/15 saves. Casey Fien hasn't been horrible, but hasn't had much of a chance to show what he has. Alex Burnett seems to finally be turning into the reliable bullpen arm that Gardy and Andy thought he was two years ago. Swarzak and Duensing have been serviceable, with both making spot starts as well as pitching out of the bullpen. Also, for the second year in a row, we have had to have a position player make a spot relief appearance, with Butera only giving up a walk in one shutout inning of work.
5. Starting Pitching- Again, I ain't gonna talk about Marquis. Yeah, there ain't much to be happy about here, but for certain, Scott Diamond is saving the Twins from actually being the worst team out there right now. While he may not be an ace in most teams, he has been ours since joining the Twins from AAA. While most of the rest of the current pitching staff, including Deduno, DeVries, Walters, and Hendriks, are more of AAAA pitchers on any other staff. However, while they have been up here, Deduno, DeVries and Walters, while having struggles like all pitchers do, have shown that they have promising features that might keep them around in the Majors.
6. Guys who were already here-Well, I have already talked about most of them, but the guys that have been kept around from previous years haven't done too badly. Mauer is having another Mauer year, Morneau is steadily raising his BA and HR totals, Span and Morneau appear to have fully recovered from their concussions (or so it seems), Parmalee has been up and down, literally between AAA and the Majors as well as his performance in both and appears to be a lot better than what his stat line says. Danny V. has been demoted to AAA and called up only because Plouffie got hurt, not because he has been playing well (oops, that isn't quite positive, but then again, I ain't a big fan of Danny V.)
After last year, it really seems like the pain of having a very bad team has made me look on the bright side of life and be numb to the pain that they cause me. So if you have suggestions or arguments, feel free to post and I will haggle it out with you.
P.S. Looking at the length of this, it probably should have been a blog, but I felt more like this was a topic for discussion under the forum.
07-30-2012, 05:37 PM #2
Even an misrable ******* like myself can endorse this thread...nice post.
07-30-2012, 05:38 PM #3
Thanks for posting this thread. Nice counter-balance to the (warranted) negativity that has run rampant this season. In the future, I would definitely recommend turning it into a blog... this is the kind of conversation-starter that will get bumped to the front page.
You touch on some key points. Even though this season has been just about as bad as last from a results standpoint, I'm feeling a lot more optimistic about the club's long-term outlook, even if I'm a bit more indifferent to what's happening on the field. (At this point last year, they were at least on the fringe of contention still.)
Health is a really big thing. The fact that Willingham and Doumit have been so durable thus far – reversing well established career trends – is an underrated storyline. Mauer is a big one as well; guy is on pace for career highs in Games Played and Plate Appearances. After last year, that's pretty unbelievable.
It's unfortunate that these super-healthy seasons are going to waste for a lost cause, especially when you look at Willingham who's having a career year. Still, knowing that these guys are all locked in for years to come, it's a big positive.
07-30-2012, 05:41 PM #4
I would add that, while they have been inconsistent, there have been spells when they have played quite well and have been fun to watch - that victory over Cincinnati and Aroldis Chapman, with Mauer's classic at-bat followed by Willingham's homer, keeps me going through many down spots, as has a couple of nicely pitched complete games by Diamond and Walters.
07-30-2012, 05:46 PM #5
I think the Twins can still be a fun team to watch. We watch to see which players struggle and which players excel and we make the best team we have. At the beginning of the season, we saw the Twins "try out" many players, and we saw Valencia, Burroughs, Marquis, Maloney, Thomas, and Komatsu struggle and DFA'd or sent down. We've seen Plouffe, Revere, Burnett, and Burton make some positive impacts too.
Many things have gone right since last year, and we're just a starting rotation (ableit that's a huge task) away from being competitive (for the division).
It's good to be positive, you just have to be realistic too.
07-30-2012, 05:48 PM #6
If were going to look at this thing through a positive set of binoculars then here is what I will give you. I think the twins could be a playoff team next year with the signing of one big Ace type pitcher. For me it would be Grienke. Starting pitching is by far our weakest link. So more then anything else this needs to be fixed. If we do this we could have a respectable rotation next year assuming we get help from Gibson, Hendricks still could come around, and perhaps Baker will return to respectability of we keep him. If your rotation goes
1. Grienke (Maybe Josh Johnson IDK, Im not the GM of a major league baseball team)
5. Probable Nlackburn just cause of the contract
Plus any of the following could contribute and give us depth, which we need. ( Deduno, Devries, Duensing, Hendricks, Pedro Hernandez, PJ Walters, or a free agent)
Assuming we have a similar lineup and Terry Ryan STEALS another free agent acquisition such as a Willingham, or Doumit we could be competitive in the AL central as early as next year. One thing is for sure the team that I just presented above would certainly be worth following and competitive over the course of 162 game season. Lets play.
Last edited by won4themoney; 07-30-2012 at 05:50 PM.
07-30-2012, 05:56 PM #7
There have been a lot of things go right.....which one could easily make a negative about the future. (an opinion I hold) But lets hope these good things maintain!
07-30-2012, 06:05 PM #8
1. Mauer getting back to normal. Dude is a class act and a great ball player. As someone who was too young to remember when Kirby made the team (but old enough to goto game 7 in 91!!) I am thrilled to follow Joe Mauer from the draft to now putting together a hall of fame career.
2. Morneau being healthy. It would have been very sad if he never would have came back.
3. Diamond and Plouffe busting onto the scene. Reminds us that even if a player isn't a top 100 prospect (or even close) they still can turn into a very nice player ( or even more)
4. Willingham, best FA signing of the off season in all of baseball? Gives me hope for a Ryan lead team moving forward and he has a shot to be the 2nd 40 HR guy in club history.
5. butera- there are prob 3000 people in the country who could our hit him, but he is making a living playing the game the "right way" I think he gets to many starts and to much credit for things, but it's still nice to see someone without the most natural talent making a few bucks.
6.Revere- I was a critic no doubt, but he has put together a nice season with great defense, great speed and an ability to put the ball in play. "when you put the ball in play good things can happen" I still think he can become a Juan Pierre which in no way is a bad thing.
7. Perkins-looked like a lost cause for awhile, now looks like he could be a solid closer for the next 2 years.
8. Doumit- fills a hole (part time catcher) and wants to stay in Minnesota.
9. Deduno-lifetime minor leaguer more or less. At age 29 when many would have given up having a few nice starts.
10. Top prospects overall have been kicking some ass!
07-30-2012, 06:55 PM #9
07-30-2012, 07:22 PM #10
07-30-2012, 07:34 PM #11
Notice every player is a position player, thus the desperate need for some pitching prospects via trade.
07-30-2012, 07:40 PM #12
07-30-2012, 08:29 PM #13
Twins are leading the AL in scoring in the month of July. That's positive.Papers...business papers.
07-30-2012, 08:45 PM #14
They were down 4-0 tonight and came back and tied it. That's positive.
Been a fan since 61 and watched the good, the bad, and the ugly.
There are many good things this year, but starting pitching isn't one of them.
07-30-2012, 10:55 PM #15
As a follow-up blog to this, I would probably do one about improvements that I think the Twins could make over the offseason as well as the free agents that they might want to chase, and pitching will take up about the first 5 slots.
07-30-2012, 11:18 PM #16
Heres something positive. We've lived though Calvin Griffith. This is a piece of cake. The Twins are not moving to San Antonio. They are our club and will always be.
Minnie and Paul will be shaking hands over the river tonight... Tomorrow and in 2020.
07-30-2012, 11:21 PM #17
07-30-2012, 11:23 PM #18
Tonight's game was a perfect example of the optimism i presented. The offense was stellar, Major props for responding the way they did in the top of the 1st. Improve our starting pitching and were in good shape."Lets Play"