You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?22...o-Way-Planning
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?22...o-Way-Planning
You have written many great articles but this is not one of them. The Twins could have all the above factors break right and would still only win 75-80 games in 2012. The reason is obvious Pitching, Pitching, and more Pitching!!! This would seem to be pretty obvious but for some reason fans are blinded by optimism instead of facing reality. Let’s look at this roster from my (reality) viewpoint. It does not matter if Mauer, Morneau, or Span stay healthy because the starting rotation is awful and the bullpen is even worse. The Twins went on a 15-2 stretch last year and picked up 6 games in the A.L. Central to cut the deficit from 15 games back to 9. During this run none of the above players were even in the lineup. They won because the starting pitching went deep into games and the bullpen stayed well rested. Now in a 162 game season everybody at some pointis going to have a few good games. However, to count on five starters who have been very inconsistent throughout their careers and are unable to go deep into games on a regular basis, is a big issue. Take into account a bullpen that will be much worse than last year (Is that possible? Yes). Here is the disaster the Twins call a bullpen;
Matt Capps- He will rebound but how much?
Glen Perkins- He was awesome last year but probably won’t be as dominant.
Brian Duensing- Good against LH hitters but otherwise struggles.
Anthony Swarzak- Had a really nice season as a long reliever butprobably will regress.
Alex Burnett- Everybody is willing to welcome him back withopen arms thinking he will improve. Hehas been terrible and just because he is 23 does not mean he will get better.
Joel Zumaya- Nice signing but can he stay healthy? Aftermissing two years my guess is “No Way.” However team is banking on it.
Terry Doyle/JaredBurton/Lester Oliveros/Kyle Waldrop- The only one of these guys who might be serviceable is Kyle Waldrop and he will never get a fair shot. Doyle,Burton, and Oliveros are just not very good.
So the Twins need about 4-6 players to step up and have career years which of course NEVER HAPPENS!! This coupled with the fact they have no pitchers in the minors ready to help out, makes for another long season. There is a the reason why the Twins brought in 33 pitchers this spring and it’s not because they like competition. Hell Gardy does not believe in competition orhe would of never named his starting rotation and lineup for 2012 already. They brought in this many minor league playersbecause they are a CHEAP way of improving their roster. Do the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, or Tigers bring in 33 pitchers to camp? The answer is "No" they spend money. They tried the same exact thing last year and how did that work out for them.
The best teams the Twins have put together over the last decade have been "on the cheap" so I don't see how that could be a bad thing. The Twins spent a massive wad of money last year and got the shaft. However, I will cautiously agree with FJ on the one point that they have a tremendous hill to climb to do well this year. I do not agree with the belief that everyone and their brother who may have done good last year is going to regress into A ball players like he suggests. In fact, I am of the sort that would save that post for the end of the season so I can remind him of where he was wrong.
The plan you laid out, Seth, appears to be a prudent business plan for the Twins. If it falls together as you suggest then they will be able to shift from buyer to sellers or vice-verse quite easily.
I believe the point Seth is getting at is the Twins have so many question marks and holes to fill that it doesnt make any sense to throw another 20 million at it without first seeing how the list of "if's" falls in the first half. Even if the Twins had signed Edwin Jackson, Dan Wheeler, etc., etc., if Mauer, Morneau, Span, Baker, Lirano, Capps, Valencia, and Casilla dont all rebound to at least some level of acceptable performance and health the Twins have no hope of competeing and that is what tied the Twins hands this off season. Edwin Jackson or Roy Oswalt, while nice pitchers, can not carry a rotation if the the rest of our rotation continues to flounder. Any of the cheap veteren bullpen guys who signed that I wish the Twins had signed where not sure fire lock down relievers, otherwise they would not have been available for 1m or a minor league deal. I agree with Seth's thoughts that the right move, no matter how frustering to the fan base, is to wait and see how all these if's play out the first couple of months and then adjust accordingly. That is the reality facing the Twins and us as fans this offseason.
Jack, It's pretty obvious you are a "glass half empty" kind of guy. While I am not looking at this team through rose-colored glasses and would admit that there are plenty of question marks, your viewpoint seems to assume that no one will be any better (and you suggest many will be worse) than they were last year. And yet pretty much the same starting pitchers that sucked last year took them to 94 wins in 2010. While they certainly lack a true #1 starter, if healthy, they will certainly be better than 2011. Of course, there bullpen is full of question marks. But I would guess that half the teams in the league would say the same thing for their bullpens. And as Terry Ryan just told LEN, even the Red Sox have 34 pitchers in camp to start! So this is not unique to the Twins.
In my mind, the biggest question mark is the health of Morneau. I think Mauer and Span will bounce back fine (I'm predicting Mauer will have a "show-you-critics" monster year), but Morneau brings something to the table that no one on this roster can replace. So we'll just have to wait and see. But this "nothing but doom and gloom, the sky-is-falling" mentality always seems to show up after a disasterous season. I'm not ready to predict a 90+ win season, but even if just a few things go better than last year's "everything-that-could-go-wrong-did-go-wrong" season, this team will be 10-20 games better - and maybe more.
Seth, I agree with Eagle Eyes. You said in your post, "If seven or eight of those factors wind up positive for the Twins, they have a chance to compete." I strongly believe that, if both the M&M brothers get back to reasonable form, that this team will compete. A healthy tandem of Mauer and Morneau will make a world of difference to this team, and they will carry the Twins on their strong shoulders. If those "seven or eight" factors work out, I think this team will more than just compete!
I agree with the two pronged approach. If 7 or 8 guys bounce back, they contend. If 3 or 4 do, you've got some fungible assets to trade (I'm looking at you, Matt Capps--you were once traded for Wilson Ramos and whose to say you couldn't be traded again for a prospect that profiles better than the 65th pick in a weak draft.)
If nobody bounces back or steps up, you have another unmitigated disaster, but at least you didn't waste another 10 million bucks. I know the cynics would claim the Twins would just permanently pocket that money, but maybe, just maybe, if the starts align they will prudently "go for it," and spend some money "over budget" in the future.
This is preposterous. If ALL of those factors work out positively for the Twins, there is no way they don't win 90 games, man.
I agree completely with Seth. As for pocketing the money, most of it has already been spent. When announcing that the Twins allocation for the first ten rounds of the draft is about $12.4mm, that is about $6+ million more than last year.
My "this is preposterous" line was meant towards Fanatic Jack, not Seth.
I'm not that pessimistic offensively. If Mauer comes back and Morneau gives you anything, the offense should be better than worst in the AL. I Like Willingham and Doumit. Doumit tends to get hurt but anything that keeps Butera off the field is a positive.
The question that many of the "optimists" have failed to address is pitching and defense. Fanatic Jack is right when he points out that the Twins bullpen isn't just bad it might be the worst bullpen in baseball in maybe 20 years. Perkins is basically the only guy that would ever be counted on for a .500 team. The starting rotation is bottom 5 in the league and even if you think Liriano gives you solid innings, 10-12 wins, and an ERA under 4.00 they are, at best, a bottom 10 starting staff. There is no metric that you can trot out to make this pitching staff look anything but horrible. You have a bunch of light throwing guys who don't miss bats that give up ground balls to the worst defensive infield (Carroll should help) in the AL. They give up way too many hits and don't really minimize the walks as much as they used to.
I don't blame management for not spending money (they are) but I do blame them for not calling it what it is, a complete rebuilding year. The $100 million roster is a complete failure and needs to be rebuilt. They are in a good position to trade a bunch of people not in the long range plans. They have zero chance at competing for a division title this year and that's OK. It shouldn't even be the goal. The roster needs to be rebuilt so they can legitimately compete in the next couple of years.