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

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    Then it really comes down to Hicks, Meyer, Gibson, Pinto, and a few young relievers and whether they establish themselves.
    As JB_Iowa said, ones opinion about whether they'll be better or worse all depends upon how you look at it. I personally don't begrudge anyone their more pessimistic view from my own, and actually enjoy and respect those views unless they're whiney or venemous, but I happen to see things like tobi0040 is describing it.

    If 73 wins in 2013 is optimism, I'm guilty. My more serious crime is in being successively more optimistic the further I look down the road, because of the guys who may or may not establish themselves this year ( add Arcia, Tonkin and maybe Herrmann, May and even Buxton to the above names). The Sano and Rosario buzzkills aside, we're very close to actually having a surplus of talent, albeit not especially high-end talent yet, for the first time in more than two decades. If it wasn't for this, the 2013 season would be close to unbearable for me, because I dislike watching about half the players on the roster.

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  3. #102
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
    If it wasn't for this, the 2013 season would be close to unbearable for me, because I dislike watching about half the players on the roster.
    Totally agree. The realist in me sees little improvement, but the optimist in me hopes Gibson and Arcia absolutely dominate and that we get to see Meyer and others join that pair later. It's really all I feel like I have to hold on to looking at this roster.

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  5. #103
    The replies to the question are sounding like a bunch of Minnesotans. You know Vikings suck; Twins suck; Wild sucks; Wolves Suck - well maybe they do. Having lived in Blaine and opened up some Home Depots in the area I am always amazed at how nice the people are and how they tend to view their teams in a negative light - even if they are having good years. Maybe this year's Twins team will lose more games, but it does not mean they suck. Take a look at the 1982 Twins. They had all of those young players that eventually won two World Series titles. When the season started they were on track to lose 120 plus games. It was painful watching them play. However, each day under Kelly's guidance you could see them improve. I believe their record in the second half of the season was around .500 and they ended up with 102 losses. This year we will see a number of veterans like Willingham sent to greener pastures. We will see Burton disappear sometime in July. Coreia as well. We will see Hicks, Arcia, Gibson, Pinto, Plouffe, Florimon grow in experience, skills and over all baseball ability. We will see Meyers added to the rotation and he will cut his teeth and struggle a bit. Tonkin will be back and I have no doubt that some of the hard throwing relief prospects will be on the team later in the year as well. Growth is the issue and if we see it, then it is a good year. We know Buxton will make an appearance this year and lets hope for a fast start in AA so we can see an outfield of Arcia, Buxton and Hicks sooner than later. Sano's injury is a bummer and we have to wait until next year, but this year is not lost and, as I enjoyed watching the 1982 team mature, I will enjoy watching this team do so as well. We have more potential on the team and coming up than that team and our pitching will be far superior, as well. I am looking for a win range of 71 to 75. If we get it and the kids grow we will have done well.
    Last edited by dakotanative; 03-24-2014 at 10:38 AM.

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  7. #104
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    I don't think this is a fair comparison.

    A) Pinto will get 40-50% of the reps or he would not have made the team. You won't find 15 better bats at this position than Pinto.

    B) If you look at it this way, Mauer then replaces Morneau and his .741 OPS last year. With a career .871 OPS, certainly you agree that Mauer should surpass Justin's production? Logic would suggest Mauer gets more than 113 games as well. Not a lock, but you would think.....
    As I acknowledged in another thread, some of the massive dropoff from Mauer to Suzuki is offset by the extra offense Mauer represents compared to Morneau.

    But most of the visions of equal or improved offense compared to last year include not only more at bats for Mauer thanks to the position shift, but also better ones. If I were the Twins, I would treat that as a welcome bonus, not an expected outcome. They appear to be going with the latter.

  8. #105
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Brad Swanson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    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.
    I'm asking this with genuine honesty and no intended aggression, but why do you keep citing a bullpen regression? Who do you expect to regress?

    Perkins looks unlikely. His dominance looks real to me.

    Duensing was really unlucky against lefties last season, so he could actually get a little better.

    I think Fien and Burton already regressed to some extent, but I see no reason why they will be worse in 2014 than they were in 2013.

    Swarzak seems like a reasonable candidate to get worse, but even that I am not sure of.

    Thielbar I can see, he was above his head last year.

    Personally, I think Tonkin joins the bullpen at some point and does well.

    I'm not sure what to think of Deduno but I've been consistently wrong about him for the past two years, so he'll probably be outstanding.

    In all genuine curiosity, which prominent bullpen arms do you expect to get worse in 2014?
    Last edited by Brad Swanson; 03-24-2014 at 10:40 AM.
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  9. #106
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    Honestly I think the TEAM is improved because the pitching staff is actually major league worthy. Maybe not excellent but Hughes, Nolasco, Correia, and Pelfrey are professional arms. This isn't the days of DeVries and Albers and the like out there.

    Unfortunately I would bet the farm they score even fewer runs than in any of the previous 3 seasons. This lineup is atrocious. I think they've surpassed the Astros for worst in the league.


    Can their pitching make up for this step backwards? Maybe but, I would say the over/under on wins is 68 at the end of spring training. I would have gone into the year saying it was closer to 72-73.

  10. #107
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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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.
    FG WAR is not a good metric for this argument and Pelfrey, as it is based on what "should" have happened, not what actually happened.

    And we're talking about what actually happened. Pelfrey was an awful pitcher last season and BBRef WAR grades him as such.

    Of course, we're not even mentioning the fact that he was bad coming back from surgery and decent once he got his feet under him...

    Quickly adding up Mauer+Doumit+Morneau+Pinto in 2013 versus expected production from Mauer+Pinto+Suzuki+Kubel, the team looks to lose ~4 WAR, which I think is a pretty fair assessment, provided Kubel doesn't step up in any way (and there is no reason to expect him to do so). It should also be noted that Pinto is only graded at a 1.0 WAR right now. Should Kubel falter (and I think he will), Pinto should be able to make up a lot of ground there.

    -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).

    And I'll note here that despite my supposed optimism, I'm not using numbers that predict any significant improvement outside of what Steamer uses for their 2014 modeling. No mention of rebounds by Plouffe or Willingham, no improvement from Arcia or Hicks.

    I cannot see how the offense will be bad enough to erase the huge gains found in healthy seasons from Nolasco, Pelfrey, Hughes, and Gibson versus last year's Pelfrey, Gibson, Albers, Hendriks, De Vries, et al and the numbers back me up.

  11. #108
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    The way I look at it, Nolasco, Hughes, Pelfrey and Gibson just need to be better than the likes of DeVreis, Hernandez, Worley, Diamond, etc. That seems practically certain.

    I think the analysis of the offense is also somewhat flawed. A healthier year from Willingham's, a full season of Arcia and Pinto, a better season form their center fielders, first baseman and third baseman will more than offset the losses of Doumit and Morneau, who both managed to hit about replacement level last year. It won't be a great offense, but it will be a bit better, not worse.

    I will take the over.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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  13. #109
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    dakotanative, yours is a good post. And I think that if many of the changes you believe will happen take place, a lot of the people who are viewing this thread as something other than the W-L record will be pretty happy because some of them see this season as being about development.

    The problem is that a lot of people don't have a lot of faith that those changes will take place and that makes people a bit snarky.

    As for me, its spring, so generally I prefer to be optimistic but as I said in my first post on this thread, very few people who post here will have any influence on what happens during the season. We all just have to see how it plays out.

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  15. #110
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    My argument is technically semantics but it's not a misrepresentation of the point of this thread, which is titled:

    "Will this team be the worst of the last four years?"
    It's a discussion, not a poll, so there's more on the table than wins and losses, which the OP plainly stated when he said he didn't care if the Twins lose 120 games this year.

    My point, and his I think, was that in a losing season the actual number of losses is mostly secondary to what the franchise accomplishes in terms of improving itself. And in that respect, there is certainly reason to believe that 2014 could be a disappointing season compared to last year, since the lineup is comprised almost entirely of either guys over 30 or young players who, if they don't cut it this year, you need to start not counting on to be a part of the nucleus of a contender.

    In other words, 90 losses in 2014 and more, rather than fewer, concerns about the core of the future is definitely a worse season than 2013.

    Also, while it's clearly relevant within this thread to compare the 2014 rotation to its predecessor, it's also setting the bar so low as to be almost without worth as an evaluation or even a discussion.

    A broader and more useful perspective on where the rotation stands would be that the 2013 rotation featured zero starters who would make the cut for the Tigers rotation. The Twins (by their standards) spent free agent pitcher money like drunken sailors in the offseason while the Tigers traded away Doug Fister.

    The net result is that the Twins 2014 rotation again features zero starters who would make the Tigers rotation.

  16. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    As I acknowledged in another thread, some of the massive dropoff from Mauer to Suzuki is offset by the extra offense Mauer represents compared to Morneau.

    But most of the visions of equal or improved offense compared to last year include not only more at bats for Mauer thanks to the position shift, but also better ones. If I were the Twins, I would treat that as a welcome bonus, not an expected outcome. They appear to be going with the latter.
    Roger that. I missed the other post then.

    To sum up the various approaches.

    W-L approach. I think logic suggests pitching should be meaningfully better, with a caveat of we are still not league average. The lineup should be about the same, with a little room for upside. Still not a league average offense in the AL. More things would need to go wrong for us to be worse than right for us to be better.

    Prospect approach - we have Pinto, Buxton, Arcia, Meyer, Gibson, and Tonkin to potentially be excited about. Last year we had Dozier and Arcia. We should have more to be excited about.

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  18. #112
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    It's a discussion, not a poll, so there's more on the table than wins and losses, which the OP plainly stated when he said he didn't care if the Twins lose 120 games this year.

    My point, and his I think, was that in a losing season the actual number of losses is mostly secondary to what the franchise accomplishes in terms of improving itself. And in that respect, there is certainly reason to believe that 2014 could be a disappointing season compared to last year, since the lineup is comprised almost entirely of either guys over 30 or young players who, if they don't cut it this year, you need to start not counting on to be a part of the nucleus of a contender.
    And that's fair... I simply don't believe "worst" is interchangeable with "disappointing".

    2011 was both the worst season and the most disappointing season, in my opinion. 99 losses following a playoff season in Target Field's inaugural year. It's going to be mighty difficult to top that season as a fan.

    This season could be mighty disappointing, I won't argue that. Lots can go wrong with few guarantees from anyone outside of maybe Mauer and Nolasco.

    If either one of them goes down, all hell could break loose on this season... But one can't predict injury so why bother?

    On the other hand, something has to break right for the team sooner or later. Last year, Arcia and Dozier were the only real positives (Deduno and Pinto didn't log enough time to matter). Hicks, Gibson, Hendriks, Willingham, Plouffe, Parmelee, Morneau, Pelfrey, and Worley were all massive disappointments.

    I just listed over 1/3rd of a MLB roster as disappointments. Ugh.

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  20. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twins Daily Admin View Post
    FWIW, Vegas set the number at 70.5, which is 4.5 games more than they have won any of the last three years. So it seems there are plenty more believers than pessimists.
    Looking at some Vegas over/unders, they have every team in MLB pegged between 69.5 and 90.5 save for Houston at 62.5. That's also the range of most projection systems. Basically, if you're projected around 70 wins, you're one of the worst teams in baseball, and 65 wins is well within the realm of possibility.

    I don't know that we will be worse this year than the previous 3, but I don't like the odds of us being appreciably better either.

    CORRECTION EDIT: actually the Dodgers are the outlier on the high end at 93 wins -- FWIW, I like the under there...
    Last edited by spycake; 03-24-2014 at 12:36 PM.

  21. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    You can edit your picks through the end of the month.
    Where's the link for this?

    Thx.

  22. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Looking at some Vegas over/unders, they have every team in MLB pegged between 69.5 and 90.5 save for Houston at 62.5. That's also the range of most projection systems. Basically, if you're projected around 70 wins, you're one of the worst teams in baseball, and 65 wins is well within the realm of possibility.

    I don't know that we will be worse this year than the previous 3, but I don't like the odds of us being appreciably better either.
    I think this discussion has been in the context of us being a bad team, relative to a very bad team last year. For example, I haven't seen a single person suggest we could be .500. I think we have all been realistic.

  23. #116
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsfan34 View Post
    Where's the link for this?
    http://www.twinsdaily.com/showthread...t!!11!-Win-BIG!

  24. #117
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    On the other hand, something has to break right for the team sooner or later. Last year, Arcia and Dozier were the only real positives (Deduno and Pinto didn't log enough time to matter). Hicks, Gibson, Hendriks, Willingham, Plouffe, Parmelee, Morneau, Pelfrey, and Worley were all massive disappointments.

    I just listed over 1/3rd of a MLB roster as disappointments. Ugh.
    I believe Bill James called it the Plexiglass Principle. Really good teams usually regress a bit, and really bad ones tend to improve. So they're not just due, they're overdue. And your 33 % fail rate looks about right.

    Yes, is bummer, dude. Maybe the Twins can make up for slow season ticket sales by cashing in on a Byron Buxton reality show or 24/7 webcam.

  25. #118
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    I believe Bill James called it the Plexiglass Principle. Really good teams usually regress a bit, and really bad ones tend to improve. So they're not just due, they're overdue. And your 33 % fail rate looks about right.

    Yes, is bummer, dude. Maybe the Twins can make up for slow season ticket sales by cashing in on a Byron Buxton reality show or 24/7 webcam.
    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.

  26. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    I think this discussion has been in the context of us being a bad team, relative to a very bad team last year. For example, I haven't seen a single person suggest we could be .500. I think we have all been realistic.
    I think the Vegas 70 win over/under was specifically invoked as evidence of optimism around the Twins and that the Twins are expected to (modestly) improve. But it's not, really -- it's just the general low end for team win totals in projection systems (outliers like the Astros notwithstanding).

    For perspective, it's the second worst over/under in the AL (ahead of only the Astros -- who are still an NL team in my mind anyway ), fourth worst in MLB (only 1 win ahead of the Cubs and Marlins), and a full 5 wins behind the next worse AL team (White Sox). In other words, in relative terms it is almost identical to the 2013 results, and probably pretty close to our 2012-2013 preseason projections too.

    The 2014 Twins are basically forecast to repeat their 2011-2013 results, as much as any projection system can allow (minimal regression to the mean).

  27. #120
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    It's a discussion, not a poll, so there's more on the table than wins and losses, which the OP plainly stated when he said he didn't care if the Twins lose 120 games this year.

    My point, and his I think, was that in a losing season the actual number of losses is mostly secondary to what the franchise accomplishes in terms of improving itself. And in that respect, there is certainly reason to believe that 2014 could be a disappointing season compared to last year, since the lineup is comprised almost entirely of either guys over 30 or young players who, if they don't cut it this year, you need to start not counting on to be a part of the nucleus of a contender..
    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.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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