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Thread: What would be a successful 2014 for the Twins?

  1. #1

    What would be a successful 2014 for the Twins?

    I do not even know if wins-losses are the biggest thing this year..

    * Improvement in every aspect(pitching, defense, offense)

    * Brian Dozier, Oswaldo Arcia, and Josmil Pinto continue to improve and become key building blocks for the Twins.

    * Aaron Hicks either wins the center field position either in Spring or in May/June. He then keeps the position warm for Buxton in 2015. Hicks will than move to LF and give us a young and exciting outfield.

    * Josh Willingham will bounce back and allow us to trade him for a nice prospect or two.

    * Nolasco, Pelfrey, and Hughes prove to be worth the money by being solid inning eating pitchers.

    * Miguel Sano and Alex Meyer are called up sometime in the summer and stay on the team for the next decade or so.

    * Jason Kubel makes the team.

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    Senior Member All-Star crarko's Avatar
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    If most of those come to pass, it will be a great success, regardless of the 2014 standings.

    I'd like to add Kyle Gibson and Michael Tonkin to that first bullet point.

  4. #3
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    Wins and losses are the biggest things to me. I'm tired of watching losing baseball, it's gone on long enough and time for improvement.

    You list a bunch of stuff there that goes back to the word being thrown around alot this off season, "hope". That doesn't win games, we flat out need improvement in alot of areas or different players.

  5. #4
    Senior Member All-Star Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
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    Right on. If many or most of those things happen, the wins will follow.

    Also, we struck out too much last year and I trust Terry Ryan & Co. will implement a hitting program this year that reverses that.

  6. #5
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosken Bombo Disco View Post
    Also, we struck out too much last year and I trust Terry Ryan & Co. will implement a hitting program this year that reverses that.
    Strikeouts by themselves don't bother me. Houston's hitters led the league in that stat, KC's hitters had the fewest; both teams posted OPS+ of under 90. The teams that led the league in OPS were generally in the middle of the pack in strikeouts.

    I'm more interested in what the hitters do when they put the ball in play.

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    I am hoping this is the last transition year, with 2015 as the year the Twins break out of the doldrums. June, July and August of 2014 will be the key. Here are the keys:
    1. Have the Twins developed or acquired at least one staff quasi-ace (ERA under 3.90 and over 180 innings), one other above-average starter, a developed prospect able to join the staff and contribute in 2015 and the ability to fill out the rotation with something better than total stiffs (I'm not asking for much)?
    2. Can Aaron Hicks, and Oswaldo Arcia prove themselves worthy of starting in an outfield with Buxton, and if one or both can't, then can the Twins acquire or develop some (Rosario?) who will?
    3. Can Pinto prove himself to be a reliable and productive MLB catcher and if not, can the Twins find someone who can?
    4. Can the Twins find at least an average shortstop SOMEWHERE?
    5. Can Dozier maintain or improve his level of play?
    6. Can Mauer stay healthy?
    7. Can they pleasantly surprise us with something very good and unexpected (a vast improvement in Worley, Plouffe or Parmalee - something like that - Willingham bouncing back is just a short-term euphoria but could make this season a little more bearable)?
    If the Twins answer 5 out of 7 of these questions positively by October, this year will be a successful year, even if they lose 88 games (my prediction). And then the positivity will flow in 2015 and hopefully beyond!!!

  8. #7
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    success = making the postseason and getting deep into the post season.

    Nothing else. And if that does not happen, the Pohlads should make wholesale changes, starting with the GM.

    (Some) Twins' fans & press called the mediocrity of the 00s (after the awfulness of the late 90s) "success". Better does not mean great. And if you are ok with mediocrity, you will never see real greatness. No incentive.
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  9. #8
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    I, too, measure success by the W/L column. A successful season to me means games that matter, all the way through the regular season. A playoff chase deep into September would be a successful season.

    Obviously, young players will have to come up and contribute for that to happen. But I would not call watching young players develop on another losing team a success.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

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    Success is - of course - subjective. You cannot expect to go into the post season with this group. Success, in this instance, is quality performances from Nolasco and Hughes, Mauer solidly transitioning to 1B, Meyer and Sano making debuts, Gibson, Arcia, Hicks, and Pinto developing, and Dozier taking another step forward. That's success for me. Oh, and Buxton finishing the last half of the year in AAA.

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    It's called reasonable expectations (like Rocky in his first film setting the goal of going the distance, and then having the goal of winning in the rematch). You're setting yourselves up for disappointment, if you think "success" for this year's club is defined as playing meaningful games in September. This Twins team has a big climb back. They appear to be making strides in improving, both with free agent signings and a great stable of prospects. But they are just starting to climb the ladder. If they gain significant altitude this year, and they appear to still be climbing higher, then this year should be declared a success. Then in 2015 and 2016 and beyond, we can talk about playing meaningful games in September, getting into the playoffs, winning a playoff series (remember when that was the goal) and then becoming a World Series winner.

  13. #11
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    I also measure by the W/L column. Many of the other factors mentioned above are a measure of progress but to me, they don't indicate success.

    I'd consider 75 or more wins to be progress. I'd consider 81 or more wins to be a successful 2014.

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    A better record and a farm system that will produce quality players after Sano and Bruxton are called up i.e. Depth.

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    Definitely. I just want progress at this point. Things like Arcia hitting 20 bombs, Hicks with an OPS of .750, and Gibson with sub-4.00 ERA. That's the kind of things I'm looking for.

  17. #14
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    I just want there to be a point in the summer where if we sweep a home series we could be tied for first. A lot of guys on or potentially on this team that we have no business expecting much out of that could turn out to be difference makers. Willingham Hicks Sano Kubel Pinto Arcia Plouffe and Doizer. If somehow 3 of those guys turn out, and the pitching does it's job we should have at least a few fun summer evenings at the ballpark

  18. #15
    Taking a slightly different approach, here would be my thoughts on a successful 2014 by position.

    C--Pinto shows he can hit at the major league level, handle the pitching staff, and a starter for years to come

    1B--Mauer stays healthy and hits for a little more power without the wear and tear of catching.

    2B--Dozier proves the 2nd half of last year wasn't a fluke and he's going to be an average to above average major league 2B. Rosario comes back from his suspension and continues to progress defensively at 2B. We enter 2015 with 2 guys capable of playing that position.

    SS--Florimon and Escobar play good defense and show enough at the plate that we can compete with them hitting in the 8 or 9 hole in the line-up

    3B--Plouffe starts to show some consistency, especially in the power department. It would be great if he could take hold of playing time at 3B/1B/DH once Sano is ready. Sano's arm is healthy and he either breaks camp in MN or is up by June. Once up, he can handle 3B defensively and shows some power even if he struggles with his BA/OBP early on.

    LF--Willingham is healthy and has a season close to 2012 so we can get something significant in a trade in July.

    CF-Presley develops into a solid 4th outfielder. Hicks earns a spot in MN out of spring training or by mid-season and shows enough at the plate that he is someone we can count on for years to come. Buxton continues his fast rise and the Twins have to seriously consider a September call-up.

    RF--Arcia is able to be more consistent at the plate and adequate in the field. Becomes someone we can slot in the middle of the line-up for the future. Parmalee shows something at the plate that forces the Twins to keep him in the line-up.

    DH--Some combo of Kubel, Parmalee, Colabello, and Ploufee provides the Twins with a solid lefty/righty combo.

    SP--Nolasco provides solid innings, Hughes flashes the ability that made him a top prospect now that he's away from New York, Corriea is solid and brings something back in July, and Pelfrey continues work back to pre-Tommy John levels and has some trade value. Gibson forces the Twins to find a rotation spot for him. Deduno, Worley, and Diamond pitch well in spring training and either head north or bring back some low level prospects. Meyer starts in AAA, but is ready for the rotation by July when Corriea is traded. Trevor May shows he can stick as a starter and gets as September call-up. Berrios, Stewart, and Thorpe continue to develop and progress in the system.

    RP--Almost everyone here just needs to pitch as well as they did last year. Starters pitch better so we don't see as much of the middle relievers and more of Fien, Burton, and Perkins. Tonkin finds a spot in the bullpen and continues to progress.

    If 75% of those things happen, the Twins win at least 75 games and everyone on this board smiles more by next February!
    Last edited by TwinsTerritory; 02-09-2014 at 03:04 PM.

  19. #16
    Senior Member All-Star Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
    Strikeouts by themselves don't bother me. Houston's hitters led the league in that stat, KC's hitters had the fewest; both teams posted OPS+ of under 90. The teams that led the league in OPS were generally in the middle of the pack in strikeouts.

    I'm more interested in what the hitters do when they put the ball in play.
    You have a point. The guy I had in mind was Arcia, who apparently desires to destroy every water cooler in the dugout after a routine 2nd inning strikeout. If Arcia can be coached into being a 25+ home run .800+ OPS guy this year, then he should feel okay with his strikeouts. We will need to find some power if we want to tolerate another record season of K's this year. Or something like that.

  20. #17
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Monkeypaws's Avatar
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    Seeing that so much of my attention to the Twins is devoted to their prospects and younger players, if key prospects continue at their current rate of success as they advance, I'd be pretty happy with that for starters.

    Hopefully, a MLB staff can help the big club escape the Central cellar and maybe even approach .500.

    So, prospects keep kicking butt + free agents pan out = success.

  21. #18
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinsTerritory View Post
    If 75% of those things happen, the Twins win at least 75 games and everyone on this board smiles more by next February!
    an 87 loss season (after 3 96+ loss seasons) should cost Ryan and Gardenhire & Co their jobs; it will not cause smiles...
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  22. #19
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    I like JB_Iowa's distinction between progress and success.

    Progress to me will be continued player development and roster refinement such that they can put a team on the field in September that can reasonably contend in 2015, to which I mean C Pinto, 1B Mauer, 2B Dozier, SS Florimon(?), 3B Sano, LF Arcia, CF Buxton, RF Hicks, DH Plouffe plus a rotation of Nolasco, Hughes, Meyer, Gibson and Pelfrey.

    I'll consider it a success if in doing the above they get enough out of the developing players and tradeable/expendable vets (Willingham, Correia) to win >81 games.

  23. #20
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    I'll just echo most people's thoughts and say that the development of the young future foundation - Gibson, Meyer, May, Arcia, Hicks, Buxton, Sano, Dozier, etc - is the most important thing. I hope that Ryan swings a few more good trades and he should have a few assets in Hammer, Correa, Perkins and maybe Plouffe.
    Last edited by ChiTownTwinsFan; 02-09-2014 at 06:33 PM. Reason: Unnecessary inflammatory comment deleted

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