03-31-2014, 10:25 AM #41
I was going to get all serious about this, but my mind began to wander, first to "Bartlett reminds me a little of Mark DeRosa" and then to "this is all VodkaDave's fault. After TR & co. read this: http://www.twinsdaily.com/showthread...ghlight=derosa they discovered DeRosa had retired so they are trying to make a new DeRosa out of Bartlett. (Dishonorable mention to Rick Blaine for linking the two names in post #19 of that thread.)
My serious point was that the Bartlett move indicates that the front office still hasn't learned about maximizing assets and squeezing the last bit of value out of every roster spot. Alex Presley didn't have a lot of value, but a 28 year old who can actually play CF and get on base a little has more value than a 34 year old "superutility" who missed all of last year and hasn't been good for several years.
03-31-2014, 11:05 AM #42
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Put another way, few get called on projecting negative regression that turns out inaccurate in reality. But when you project positive regression (like I'm predicting with Hicks), you get labeled a Pollyanna."If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."
03-31-2014, 11:26 AM #43
As for the pollyanna thing, your argument belies the problem you have. You look at this as an "all or nothing" type of thing. My outlook says the Twins might be even worse this year, but, for example, I'm still predicting a much better Hicks and Gibson. (Among others as well) It's not Pollyanna to say that.
What borders on Pollyanna is the refusal to acknowledge injuries. Or projecting the entire rotation to be better than career norms. Or expecting all the good from last year to maintain but none of the bad or all the bad to reverse and none of the good to reverse. Or all of the similar arguments tossed around lately.
03-31-2014, 11:30 AM #44
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I thought Sizemore would have been worth a chance but he did not look nearly as appealing prior to spring training. Obviously, MLB GMs felt he was a bit of a long shot given the terms of his deal. This is where being realistic comes into play. If your Sizemore taking a one year deal, the departure of Ellsbury makes Bostom look like a pretty good option. Plus, they have good bats around him making his job easier.
I also thought Corey Hart was a good option and I was a big supporter of Morales until it became obvious we had other players that needed those ABs. (Willingham, Pinto, and perhaps Collabello) Add to this giving up a draft choice at he was no longer as appealing, especially for a short-term deal.
03-31-2014, 11:36 AM #45
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What happened to the optimism? Before Saturday the Twins had lost 10 games in a row.
10 game losing streaks will dry up optimism of any a fanbase, even if it is only spring training.
03-31-2014, 11:59 AM #46
I guess I'm lucky in that I just enjoy having a team in Minnesota. Winning championships was an unbelievable high, but the lows are just baseball to me. There is always a point of interest to me, even with a losing team.
I save my pessimism and angst for real life problems. Maybe it's a product of age. I sure didn't used to take the losses so easily in my youth.
03-31-2014, 12:09 PM #47
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Thanks Twins Daily, Seth and all the rest for this awesome site and the great work you do.
Seth's What happened to the optimism is so true. I made my annual trip to ST last week, watching the Twins and of course the Minor Leaguers (I love going over there and watching all that talent). The Twins really have an awesome complex, impeccable fields and work out facility, the Dormitory is really taking shape, B Buxton was working out on the agility hill. You mill around, watching 3 games at once, shooting the breeze with the players and coaches. I just don't know of another complex that has that exposure. We are really spoiled. I haven't heard if Jet Blue is set up the same for Minor Leaguers (anybody know?).
Now to the Twins; Hammond Stadium improvements are terrific. The walk around is fantastic. Beer rails all over the outfield, great views, see the bullpen and guys working out. This is where it becomes the mixed bag;
Defensively, we look good up the middle. Hicks is smooth out there and Dozier and Florimon can really slap the leather. They made some beautiful double plays. I can see why Gardy doesn't want to break them up. Then there's Plouffe, yikes; he had a simple grounder, spunned around to tag a runner, missed, threw to 1st and too late. He should have just thrown to 1st for the 3rd out. Instead, Pirates keep the rally going and win. Gardy stared him down pretty good.
Pitching wise, we looked good. I sat behind Home and Nolasco was calm and cool, getting a lot of movement on his pitches. Batters couldn't square him up. Theilbar looked good, threw harder then I thought, with decent movement and Fien was terrific. The heater was leaving his hand great and diving in last minute. struck out the 1st two batters faced.
Now the offense. Everybody looked blah except Arcia. He's worth the price of admission. I loved it. He take a big cut, miss, strut out the box with chest out, back in and repeat. Hit a high foul ball the catcher missed, stepped back in to the box, pounded his thigh couple of times, then clobbered a ball for homerun. Next time up, repeated the same, pounded his thigh, blasted a ball to dead center wall for out. His homer was the only run Twins scored. If the rest of these guys would show the same emotion as Arcia, then they might have something. It was the same when I saw them last summer playing the Rays in Tampa. No emotion, all seemed listless and beat, except for Arcia.
From what I saw, there will be no margin for error with this team. They need to play tight defense, pitching will keep them in the game because I just can't see them scoring but a few runs a game. Hopefully I'm wrong (I'm worried about Willingham).
My next post will be on the minors, now that was fun to watch. Thanks guys
03-31-2014, 12:09 PM #48
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I was shocked almost into optimism when TR actually signed free agents before March who other teams were interested in.
Unfortunately I did not have the feeling that we were signing top of the rotation guys. Then we signed 3 pitchers. Hmmm.
I realize 'you can never have too much pitching', but something is missing for me.
Do we expect Gibson to do well? How about Deduno?
And isn't Meyer in the wings?
It started looking like TR kind of said to the Pohlads, "OK, you want me to sign some free agents? I'll sign some free agents".
And nothing to address the offense.
And as Willihammer so succinctly put it, losing 10 in a row takes a toll, even if they are Spring Training games.
In spite of my frustration I have tickets to the home opener. I'm not much the type of fan who boos my team. I'll be cheering for these kids.
Sure hope that gets easier in the next couple of years.I'm on a whiskey diet. I've lost 3 days already.
03-31-2014, 12:10 PM #49
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03-31-2014, 12:13 PM #50
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1. I agree with this - I think the moves they made were well with reason.
2. The cuts for the Roster were the right moves - Hicks, Arcia, Gibson, and Pinto all made the roster. Those are top 100 propects from last year and Pinto (many of this year's top 100). All seemingly will end up being able to make contributions as starters. And likely could going into 2015, 2016, and beyond.
3. Just how good will those 4 guys be? What if we got, even 2 WAR out of each of them? That's 8 Wins...how many wins did they replace (subtract that value)...then add the Twins pitchers (Nolasco, Hughes)...again, WAR added, WAR replaced.
I haven't been to Ft. Myers...I don't know the attitude part.
Tigers are getting old...some injuries, new contracts might affect Scherzer's attitude as they have money it seems for Cabrera, but not for him?
Indians lost Ubaldo Jimenez...and everything went right for them last year to win 92 games.
Royals are getting better...and honestly, I'm happy for them.
White Sox...I don't know what to expect. They keep adding power bats. Twins K/9 numbers will go up...as long as we can keep the HR/9 down, we probably can win some games there.
4. The minor leagues...how many 'new developments' or pleasant surprises did we have from our system last year? Well, how much better will those guys do? AND how about the class of 2013 and our guys that are 17, 18, 19 years old. If some of them start killing A/A+ and knocking on the all of AA ball. That's hope.
I live in Texas...and even when I lived in MN...I was never a big attend the games in person guy. I attended 3-8 games a year on average. I watched parts of 100 games...and read every boxscore.
I'll still follow the Twins. I make at least one if not both of the series they play down here in Texas for at least 2 of the 3 games each series.
I don't see much of that changing for me.
I admit, I'm more of a fair weather fan of the Vikings and the Timberwolves. As when they suck, I don't really watch them much. Timberwolves are especially tough to watch...I think Basketball quality in general is down, but that's another post.
I think the Twins made good moves this year with what was in front of them. Looking forward to seeing the 4 young guys play.
03-31-2014, 12:14 PM #51
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03-31-2014, 12:44 PM #52
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Seems like the ventilation is taking effect... good! Deep breath, everyone!
A week or two ago, where would you have put the Braves, Rangers, and A's?
I thought so... and now?
162 is a hell of a slog, and anything can- and does- happen. Even before you get out of the gates. What goes on in between- numbers be damned- is a crapshoot. Anybody want to project DL time for specific players?
2012-2013 BoSox repeated Twins worst-to-first WS title. It can happen, it just did! Likely? Not so much, but still...
To make the playoffs, things need to break right. Dodgers 42-9 run? Where's that, in the math, especially after their crap start? Random really means random, and that includes bizarre happenings. Think about streaks. They happen all the time, but explain them with math.
On balance, Twins pitching looked very good in ST, while the hitting and running games (my pet peeve) sucked. I miss the Carew/Oliva mayhem-on-the-basepaths style of play... seems like Gardy is stuck in that era, but doesn't have the players to pull it off.
My cause for optimism this season is Dozier, Hicks, Arcia, and Pinto. Anything else is gravy.
For those down on Gardy, the reason for hope might be seeing Molly take the helm at the end of the season. Even odds. Baseball: the Great Leveler.
Last edited by BigTrane; 03-31-2014 at 12:48 PM.Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.
03-31-2014, 12:45 PM #53
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I am more negative then previous years just because the things that drive me crazy about the management of my favorite team haven't changed one iota. Add on Sano's injury, Buxton's injury and the fact the Kubel and Bartlett are going to get significant amount of plate appearances. Its kind of depressing. and holy crap, I know Kurt Suzuki is going to get a bunch of at bats in the 2 slot???
Also have you looked at the first 45 games of the schedule or so? Holy crap..
Listen, I HOPE Kubel and Bartlett do great and I HOPE Suzuki gets on base a bunch and scores 100 runs but is there any reason to think that could happen?
My optimistic predictions. Plouffe, Dozier Hicks and Arcia all perform above replacement level. Mauer does exactly what he does but for 30 more games. The starting staff goes from painful to just embarrassing and a bullpen that isn't beat death actually performs pretty damn well.
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03-31-2014, 12:45 PM #54
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I haven't said anything about what I expect. I'm particularly concerned about CF depth in that regard, as I've posted elsewhere. I'm concerned about Willingham's and Kubel's bats. I'm concerned that Plouffe might never become the guy we all hoped he would be when he had those two magical months in 2012. I think Florimon could regress, and not in a good way. Arcia seems a bit too prone to striking out for my taste. Suzuki is not much of a hitter. Even Mauer and Dozier seem vunerable to regression.
On the plus side, it's hard for me to imagine Willingham and Kubel being as bad as they were last year. Hicks is also bound to be better. Arcia should benefit from a more consistent venue. Pinto should get more at bats as the year goes along. Mauer should hit better and certainly get more plate appearences than he ever has. Dozier seemed to turn a corner last year. And Florimon still has some offensive upside.
The trick is balancing the negative against the positive and coming up with a reasonable projection. I'm not saying I have that figured out yet. But I think the offense will actually be a little better this year."If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."
03-31-2014, 01:29 PM #55
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03-31-2014, 02:25 PM #56
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It could be argued that almost every blog or post about what to expect from the 2014 Twins has been inherently optimistic by omission of any concern or debate about Mauer, other than how much more he contributes at the plate with the switch to first.
In a vacuum, extra Mauer offense just from increased PA's alone does seem like almost a foregone conclusion. But he's coming off an injury so devastating that the organization felt compelled to lower him from the top to the bottom of the defensive spectrum. That's not only a serious blow to his value, it's also a reminder what a terrible toll concussions have taken on the careers of Koskie and Morneau.
In a discussion about how many wins Nolasco and Hughes add to the rotation or what Hicks, Arcia, and Pinto contribute, or what the bleep Kubel and Bartlett are doing here again, or whether Josh Willingham is actually, really alive or not, it's tempting to see those as some of the larger factors that will determine how the next season or two unfold.
But compared to the health and effectiveness of Mauer and the massive financial commitment he represents, each of those things is secondary to Mauer's ability to contribute at least as much offensively at first as he did at catcher, and for the next several years.
Bearing that in mind, it could be argued that there is generally an inherent, unspoken optimism here at TD, however we may differ on what happens with the team and all its non-Mauer players. He'll probably be fine, but even speculation that he may not makes even the most dire of other scenarios regarding other players seem mildly pessimistic at worst.
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03-31-2014, 02:35 PM #57
03-31-2014, 03:13 PM #58
I've got Gibson and Hicks primed for huge improvements and I think Dozier stays steady. I think Arcia is going to have an adjustment period but by June he's going to be everything we hoped for. I even think that bullpen is largely going to be pretty darn good and have some trade value.
The problem is injuries, Suzuki/Florimon/Plouffe/Bench/Kubel and how awful they might be, a lot of question marks in the starting staff, and little impact talent expected for at least most of the year.
At the end of the day I don't let this drag me down, I still love the Twins - I'm just boarding up the windows for another rough one to ride out.
03-31-2014, 03:31 PM #59
What would you have done differently that was realistic?
03-31-2014, 04:46 PM #60
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Twins still a good 2 years away from even being competitive. Buxton & Sano are the future. Mauer will still be there. Kubel & bartlet will not be on the team by the all star break. Another 90 loss season. Does any one think Gardy will be there in 2 years? i do not