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Thread: Will this team be the worst of the last four years?

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Yep. The atrocious play is bound to abate a bit if only through dumb luck.

    It's a logical fallacy to predict that players will underperform simply because different players in the past have underperformed and happened to be wearing the same laundry.

    At some point, the Twins are bound to get career-level performances from a handful of players which is enough to propel them above their 2011-2013 levels.
    I agree with you in general, but first of all, a lot of the players ARE the same:

    - Suzuki for Morneau might be the only real difference in our starting position players from last year (in addition to the AAAA DH du jour subbing for Doumit, I guess)

    - 3/5 of the starting rotation was here last year too, and 2 of them performed poorly (and the other is a fair regression candidate, coming off a career best ERA+ at age 32). And one of the new "improved" starters (Hughes) was among the worst regular starters in all of MLB last year, performing around Scott Diamond level. There's still plenty of room for this group to improve on 2012-2013 and STILL be below average.

    - Bullpen is likely the same too, which is actually a positive for this club, but it also means there isn't likely to be any "unexpected" improvement from this area

    And like the past few seasons, there still isn't a surplus of talent anywhere on the roster, or surplus assets anywhere in the system, lowering the odds of gaining wins through trade.

    Also, it's not just players. The coaches and front office are basically unchanged, and they were responsible for the acquisition and development (or lack thereof) of the above players. Also, past evidences suggests that this front office is willing to tolerate a fair amount of losing (90+ losses, 4+ years) in the name of rebuilding, so there isn't much impetus for major in-season changes (even if the surplus was there to make it happen).
    Last edited by spycake; 03-24-2014 at 01:00 PM.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    And looking at the original post, notoriousgod wasn't necessarily defining it in terms of W-L either when he/she starts looking at how many plate appearances younger players get, etc.

    This is one of those seasons where a team has to decide what is more important: trying to get enough wins to (hopefully) stop the bleeding in terms of season ticket sales and make watching this season's games more palatable or trying to get younger players experience at the ML level to try to hasten better days in the future.

    Each poster gets to decide what his/her priority would be and to decide whether this season will be better/worse in meeting that goal.
    Just to clarify... he would be the correct term!

    While I didn't necessarily specify wins/losses, I would rather lose 120 games with rookies that have some potential than 95 with a roster of guys that won't be with the team in a year. But I think giving ABs to Kubel, Willingham, Suzuki hurt us in both regards. We have completely tanked the past three Septembers, so it's not just a 2013 problem.

    The Twins go through starting pitchers at a ridiculous rate due to injuries/ineffectiveness/trades. I'm assuming our opening day rotation will be Nolasco, Hughes, Correia, Pelfrey, Gibson. Who is the second wave when someone gets injured or Correia is salary dumped at the deadline? Meyer, Diamond, Deduno?

    If Deduno starts the year in the pen, I think it's less likely that he be summoned into the starting rotation mid-season as he will need to rebuild his endurance which is a difficult thing to do mid-season. Who is 4th in line? 5th in line?

    I really wish I was more of an optimist, but in this case I am unable to have any positive feelings about this roster (outside of Arcia's hopeful development).
    Last edited by notoriousgod71; 03-24-2014 at 01:09 PM.

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  4. #123
    Senior Member Triple-A mcrow's Avatar
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    I think that the Twins will have a better team than they have had in the last few years but by how much is a question. Really depends on what they get out of the lineup because the rotation is definitely better.

  5. #124
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    I don't think the 2014 Twins are going to be the worst of the past 4 years but this article from Mackey lingers in my mind as I consider that:

    http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/M...n_record032613

    For anyone who still clings to the notion that the Twins' pitching staff will somehow be worse than last year's historically bad crew, consider this -- Diamond returns to the rotation in mid-April, Worley owns a 3.50 ERA in two years with the Phillies, and Gibson could be called up as soon as late-April or May.

    Plus, Nick Blackburn (23 home runs allowed in 98 innings last year), Carl Pavano (6.00 ERA in 11 starts with a bum shoulder) and Francisco Liriano (5.31 ERA and 55 walks in 100 innings) are all addition by subtraction.

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  7. #125
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    Well, if it is not just about wins and losses, then yes, I think this year they will finally start to see some guys come up from the minors that contribute. Maybe not as fast as I'd want, but I think it is inevitable.
    Lighten up Francis....

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  9. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Brian Dozier
    Josamil Pinto
    Aaron Hicks
    Oswaldo Arcia
    Kyle Gibson

    That's five players who have not had a full year of success and have decent odds of doing so in 2014. You are free to anticipate their collective failure. It is your unsubstantiated opinion. But you can't deny that it is three more than they had at this time last year.
    Add Meyer to that list. He could get 18-20 starts if he is up in June. Not a full year, but exciting and a lot more to look forward to. I would argue the last time we had a pitching prospect come up that was this talented was 2006.

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  11. #127
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    - 3/5 of the starting rotation was here last year too, and 2 of them performed poorly (and the other is a fair regression candidate, coming off a career best ERA+ at age 32). And one of the new "improved" starters (Hughes) was among the worst regular starters in all of MLB last year, performing around Scott Diamond level. There's still plenty of room for this group to improve on 2012-2013 and STILL be below average.
    And that's just it... The rotation can be worth several wins more than 2013 and still be below average. I don't expect anything better than mediocrity from the rotation and that is still miles above the 2013 squad, which was several wins below replacement level.

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  13. #128
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    -4 offensive WAR is still far shy of the +8 or so WAR we should see from the starters just through them not being completely awful. Steamer has the four starters (excluding Correia) pegged for about a 5 WAR, which is a whopping +9 WAR over 2013 according to BBRef (excluding Deduno's starts, as he is not likely to be a starter out of Florida but should provide solid production through the season and help ensure that your predicted bullpen regression isn't particularly impactful).
    Even if you stick with the +9 and the -4 for the offense we're talking about a wash when you factor out the good luck from last year.

    And, in my eyes, it's perfectly fair to talk about probabilities about aging and health. Especially when you are citing the performance of a multitude of injury replacements or other dreck that was called up because we had no other choice. As if this team will march through 162 games without having to dip down into the dreck just below the current dreck. It's completely unfair to say "Well let's not talk injuries....but just wait until these guys that won't get injured replace the injury replacements of last year!"

    The realist in my pegs them for a wash....the depth chart and the reality of injuries pegs them for worse.

  14. #129
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Also, all these arguments sound the same:

    Nolasco/Hughes/Pelfry/Gibson just HAVE to be better than Hendricks, Hernandez, Albers,Worley

    vs.

    Correia/Pelfrey/Diamond/Deduno/Worley just HAVe to be better than Devries, Vasquez, Hendricks, Blackburn, and Liriano

    How'd that turn out? 4.77 vs. 4.55 - technically right and utterly meaningless.

  15. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    And that's just it... The rotation can be worth several wins more than 2013 and still be below average. I don't expect anything better than mediocrity from the rotation and that is still miles above the 2013 squad, which was several wins below replacement level.
    I guess that's the silver lining on being so bad in 2013. On the other hand, 3 of our 5 projected starters need to significantly improve over 2013 even to reach that modest "below average" point. And the other 2 projected starters have multiple recent seasons below average too.

    It still has to rank as one of the worst rotations in baseball, right? That fits with the Vegas 70.5 forecast too.

    And you could improve the rotation to that mediocre level and still lose ~96 games just on offensive/defensive stagnation, or even just Pythag (un)luck. Nothing catastrophic needed.

  16. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    Add Meyer to that list. He could get 18-20 starts if he is up in June. Not a full year, but exciting and a lot more to look forward to. I would argue the last time we had a pitching prospect come up that was this talented was 2006.
    Meyer excites me too, but he's going to be on an innings limit, no? That, plus the veteran SP under contract, I feel like best case, Meyer gets Gibson 2013 treatment (10 GS).

  17. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    And, in my eyes, it's perfectly fair to talk about probabilities about aging and health.
    Mauer is the elephant in the room that no one seems to be talking about. Dude is still coming back from a concussion, and he's not getting younger. Would not be surprised to see him fall short of his recent performance, which would be another difference the 2014 would have to make up.

  18. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Also, all these arguments sound the same:

    Nolasco/Hughes/Pelfry/Gibson just HAVE to be better than Hendricks, Hernandez, Albers,Worley

    vs.

    Correia/Pelfrey/Diamond/Deduno/Worley just HAVe to be better than Devries, Vasquez, Hendricks, Blackburn, and Liriano

    How'd that turn out? 4.77 vs. 4.55 - technically right and utterly meaningless.
    And there is no correlation other than uniform.

    Past underperformance by players has no bearing on potential future underperformance by different players.

  19. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    And, in my eyes, it's perfectly fair to talk about probabilities about aging and health. Especially when you are citing the performance of a multitude of injury replacements or other dreck that was called up because we had no other choice. As if this team will march through 162 games without having to dip down into the dreck just below the current dreck. It's completely unfair to say "Well let's not talk injuries....but just wait until these guys that won't get injured replace the injury replacements of last year!
    Absolutely. Except that in 2014, the next starter in line was the Twins' second best starter of 2013 by WAR.

    Unless disaster strikes, the Twins shouldn't have to dip below Diamond or Meyer on the depth chart. That's a big step up from De Vries and Albers and a few others who should remain nameless.

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  21. #135
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    And there is no correlation other than uniform.

    Past underperformance by players has no bearing on potential future underperformance by different players.
    No, but it sure destroys the "well they just HAVE to be better" meme. Three years running, I need to see it first.

    Also, this team doesn't need some Cusackian apocalypse for the dam to break as you keep suggesting. The margin is far thinner than that.

  22. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Absolutely. Except that in 2014, the next starter in line was the Twins' second best starter of 2013 by WAR.

    Unless disaster strikes, the Twins shouldn't have to dip below Diamond or Meyer on the depth chart. That's a big step up from De Vries and Albers and a few others who should remain nameless.
    That's the clincher. Guys will struggle. Guys will get hurt. But the 6-10 slots on the depth chart are significantly better: Deduno, Diamond, Meyer, Johnson, and May.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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  24. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Well, at least we're not being unreasonable in our representation of the other side right? Yeesh.

    A bullpen regression could cost several of those wins in and of themselves. Zips has Mauer losing at least 2 wins off his WAR. Pelfrey is projected as .1 vs. 2.1 last year. 6 wins can get chewed up pretty quick when you have no depth and limited starting talent.

    So to address that unfair hyperbole above - the pitching staff may make up those 6 wins. (MAY) So right there, we could assume an improvement. We could also see a regression from the bullpen that creates a team closer to it's Expected w/l and eat up 4-5 wins of that 6 right there. Then you throw in the drop from Morneau to Suzuki, the drop from Doumit to Kubel (as it stands today), and you're right back where you were.

    That isn't every single player and it doesn't even factor in many projections expecting a dip from Mauer. Or expecting Willingham sidelined again. Or any number of very possible scenarios that aren't pessimistic but just reasonable. (Any injuries to this offense could get VERY ugly, VERY fast) So when you factor in an almost total lack of depth to go with these shaky scenarios it isn't hard to see them taking a step backward.

    Before spring training I thought 75 wins was a reasonable #. That might not happen but I still don't see this team being the worst of the last 4 years.

    Nolasco & Hughes are a big jump from the guys they are replacing. Getting 60 starts from them alone will make a big difference.

    I don't know why ZIPS is projecting Mauer to have such a big dip. He missed a lot of games last year & if he stays healthy I don't see any reason for such a large regression. They have Pelfrey going from 2.1 down to 1.1(not .1) which is possible but he could also improve. I like Gibson's chance of turning into a solid pitcher.

    I think the bullpen should be ok & they have some good arms in AAA for depth.

    The offense is going to suck..no question about it but the optimist in me is hopeful that Willingham will rebound & Hicks will make a big jump forward. Arcia & maybe Pinto are the only other players that could make a big difference since I don't have hope that Parmelee/Plouffe/Florimon will ever improve much & they are just placeholders at this point.

    As someone else mentioned, I think the whole division will be weaker so that might factor into them winning a few more games than they otherwise would. They are still going to suck...just not as much as the last few years. (IMHO)

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  26. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Brian Dozier
    Josamil Pinto
    Aaron Hicks
    Oswaldo Arcia
    Kyle Gibson

    That's five players who have not had a full year of success and have decent odds of doing so in 2014. You are free to anticipate their collective failure. It is your unsubstantiated opinion. But you can't deny that it is three more than they had at this time last year.
    Nowhere did I say anything about the odds of their failing, at least that I can remember. Just pointed out that if guys like Hicks, Arcia, and Gibson don't produce this year that the Twins shouldn't be counting on getting much from them in the future.

    Oddly enough, though I'm part of the bearish, 'bad fan' crowd, I consider Dozier's 2013 a success, and won't be terribly disappointed if he doesn't improve on it. And Pinto doesn't belong in the group of young players I was referring to either, because he didn't do anything last year to raise concerns about his future ceiling. He did just the opposite.

    As for the other three, Gibson pitched well in AAA and Arcia hit righthanders enough to have value in that role, so anticipating better seasons from them seems reasonable. Still not sure why people would feel more optimistic about Hicks this year compared to the start of last season; he gained valuable experience last year but looked bad doing it, so that seems like a wash at best to me.

  27. #139
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Mauer is the elephant in the room that no one seems to be talking about. Dude is still coming back from a concussion, and he's not getting younger. Would not be surprised to see him fall short of his recent performance, which would be another difference the 2014 would have to make up.
    Had thought about bringing that up earlier, but decided it would make me an even worse fan...

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  29. #140
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    I've seen enough spring training a to be highly skeptical of drawing conclusions from practice games. We really won't know what we have until June.

    On the plus side, we start the season against the White Sox and Cleveland rather than rather than the Tigers and Red Sox. Maybe we'll get off on the right foot.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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