01-15-2012, 02:28 AM #1
Can the Twins compete with the Tigers in 2012?
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.
01-15-2012, 06:32 PM #2
Thanks for the story. It's every bit the softball you hint it is.
One the one hand, the Tigers won 95 game last year.
On the other: on August 17th they were only 7 games above .500, two games and heading into a three game series at Cleveland. They swept the Tribe and racked up a bunch of late season wins in a divisional race that was already over. Their second best starting pitcher has a 4.53 ERA last year. And their biggest offseason move was signing Dotel as a setup man. I think there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about somebody catching them.
01-17-2012, 02:43 PM #3
01-17-2012, 04:28 PM #4
Plenty of free agent options available to replace him -- Carlos Pena, Derrek Lee, Casey Kotchman, et al.
02-20-2012, 08:00 AM #5
Simple answer is No. The more detailed answer has everything to do with the health of M&M boys and our Starting (yawn!) rotation...
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
02-20-2012, 09:04 AM #6
(Haha, this looks like it started as some type of test forum BEFORE the Tigers shocked the world and signed Fielder...)
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.
02-20-2012, 09:53 AM #7
On paper, it looks like the Tigers are the team to beat, but on paper it looked like the 2011 race would be between the Twins and White Sox. So who really knows?
02-20-2012, 03:05 PM #8
While I never doubt the Tigers ability to implode, it seems to me that their prime competition isn't the Twins. Can Cleveland or Kansas City put it together this year? Great opportunities for them should the Tigers manage to do a number on themselves.
Does that mean the Twins have NO chance? Of course not but an awful lot of things have to go right for the Twins to be a contender.
02-23-2012, 02:26 PM #9
The Tigers are pinning alot of hope on Prince. I am more than willing to bet that Prince's numbers this year are much closer to his road numbers that his home numbers. Your looking at a .280 hitter with around 30 hr's and 100 rbi's , that is defensively awful.
02-23-2012, 02:38 PM #10
I do think they should be the favorite, but by no means do I think they are unbeatable. Just last year they were not even in the picture, now they suddenly are. Their 95 wins was a figure inflated by luck and by the fact that the two big players in the central royally sucked... I see KC being a lot tougher to beat this season, and I think Cleveland might be a bit better as well. Likewise, a healthy Mauer and Morneau suddenly makes the Twins a very tough team to beat. The WhiteSox raised the white flag already, so I think this team is going to be in the basement. The Tigers could easily find themselves in the middle of a three or four team race where no team really distinguishes itself... I know this, a healthy Twins team won't roll over like last year on any of those teams.
In terms of the roster, it isn't as special as you'd think. They replace Martinez with Prince so this year they aren't seeing as much of an improvement as you'd think. Defensively, they've always been bad and they might have gotten worse. Fast players like Casilla, Span, and Revere shoudl be fined if they aren't dropping bunts every time they are up to bat, as I highly doubt that Cabrera, Prince, and eventually Martinez are going to be able to consistently stop them... they are just too slow. Verlander is awesome, but he's going to need to strike out 15 a game with this defense. In all, they are the rightful favorites, but it would be ridiculously stupid to think this one is sewn up. The central could easily be a 3 or 4 team race where the winner only has 85-90 wins.
02-23-2012, 08:54 PM #11
It doesn't appear that the Twins could genuinely challenge the Tigers for the division. However, a lot of times these teams that look dominant on paper don't end of putting things together on the field due to injuries, under-performing players, or lack of chemistry. One great example of this would be the Philadelphia Eagles from this past season. I know this is a different sport, but on paper the Eagles were supposed to go to the Super Bowl this year. I am not saying the Twins are going to win the division but it is quite possible we are going to look back on this season and say the Tigers didn't live up to expectations.TwinsGuy55422
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