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Thread: #1 in the AL

  1. #1
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    #1 in the AL

    With the Twins 9-7 win against Tampa, they are first in the American League in three important offensive categories: Runs per game (5.52 just ahead of Chicago), walks, and on-base percentage.

    We are nearing a month into this season and the sample sizes are getting larger. Certainly, the positive numbers are a surprise and it's not likely that the Twins will maintain their pace. However, there seems to be real improvement in their offense. They are nearing the middle of the pack in home runs, but almost all of their homers have been solos. The run scoring has been predicated on getting a lot of runners on and then getting some key hits with runners on. They have been pretty good with runners on base and patience at the plate is producing big dividends.

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    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    After this month a lifetime contract for Bruno seems called for.

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    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    After this month a lifetime contract for Bruno seems called for.
    The exact same suspects that struck out 1430 times all the sudden are showing consistently good zone judgement now. Pretty remarkable really. Credit where credit's due - the coaches.

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    Senior Member Triple-A
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    I'd give credit to the players who are performing well. But regardless, it's still very, very early.

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    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
    I'd give credit to the players who are performing well. But regardless, it's still very, very early.
    It's early and, in my opinion probably unsustainable, but to me the coaches get the bulk of the credit and the players get some for executing it. There is a very clear difference in the approach our lineup is taking this year. The days of "swing like a man" appear to have given way to patience.

    It's a welcome and wise change.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
    I'd give credit to the players who are performing well. But regardless, it's still very, very early.
    Yup, it is. And I figure this can't be sustained. So I'm going to not look the gift horse in the mouth and enjoy the moments while I can. Yay Twins!

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    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Can anyone dig up more info on Bruno's potential work done with Dozier, Plouffe, and Colabello? Is there something there, or is it more a matter of individual player adapting on their own? Imagine the possibilities for Hicks and Arcia.

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    And in June, when the rotation is Meyer, Gibson, Hughes, May, and Nolasco, the Twins will have a chance to actually make some noise this year.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    I don't know if the results are sustainable, but the approach certainly is. The big thing I see is that I'm not seeing out of norm expectations for a lot of guys besides Suzuki and Colabello... and on Cola, his minor league track record says he can keep this up. Will definitely be interesting.

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    Senior Member Triple-A
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    Can anyone dig up more info on Bruno's potential work done with Dozier, Plouffe, and Colabello? Is there something there, or is it more a matter of individual player adapting on their own? Imagine the possibilities for Hicks and Arcia.
    If I recall correctly, Bruno was the coach when Plouffe, Dozier and Parmelee all had big (monster) stretches in the minors, and he was given credit.

    By the way, striking out 1430 times, swinging like a man, and having great patience are necessarily unrelated events. In fact, a strong argument could be made that they are keys parts of the same overall approach/overall development.

  15. #11
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
    And in June, when the rotation is Meyer, Gibson, Hughes, May, and Nolasco, the Twins will have a chance to actually make some noise this year.
    Let's see if the scoring can keep up. When you look at the total picture of offensive statistics and play the "which of these is not like the others" - it's clearly the runs scored. They've had a ton of unearned runs and all of their other significant stats trail the other top scoring teams significantly. That implies a lot of good fortune.

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Let's see if the scoring can keep up. When you look at the total picture of offensive statistics and play the "which of these is not like the others" - it's clearly the runs scored. They've had a ton of unearned runs and all of their other significant stats trail the other top scoring teams significantly. That implies a lot of good fortune.
    Yep. While I can't believe the rotation will continue to be this bad, this April is looking a lot like last April. Crazy hitting performances that can't possibly be sustainable while the rotation crumbles and we see a lot of 9-7 victories.

    And we all know what happened last May. This could easily be "second verse, same as the first".

  17. #13
    What is really encouraging to me is that Plouffe's hitting looks sustainable. It appears to be a result of preparation and approach and that is encouraging. He will be a great utility player when Sano arrives. If his defense continues to be good, he might be too valuable as a trade asset to keep which would be even better.

    Colabello needs to show he can handle whatever adjustments pitchers are going to make. However, his minor league stats would suggest he might be able to pull that off.

    Pinto's plate discipline is also very encouraging. Players with that kind of pitch recognition tend to be good for a very long time.

    Dozier is proving his power is for real.

    These players emerging are much more important IMO than if Willingham would have started hot. These players will be important assets in the future.

    I am starting to get concerned about Mauer. Him going downhill would be a real blow to this team for the next 5 years. I am not ready to panic just yet but the potential impact has a few layers and they are all bad.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Yep. While I can't believe the rotation will continue to be this bad, this April is looking a lot like last April. Crazy hitting performances that can't possibly be sustainable while the rotation crumbles and we see a lot of 9-7 victories.

    And we all know what happened last May. This could easily be "second verse, same as the first".
    I don't disagree, but one thing that is different than last year is that there appears to be pitching depth ready to step in if the rotation continues to crumble. That doesn't mean Meyer, May, Johnson, et al, will be lights out when they get their chances, but I feel better about their chances than I did about their options a year ago.

    Covering the Cedar Rapids Kernels for
    MetroSportsReport.comwhile my alter-ego, Jim Crikket, opines about the Twins and Kernels at Knuckleballsblog.com.

    ~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~

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    I'm really enjoying watching the Twins at bats this year. Remember what some of those Yankee teams in the last decade would do to our pitching? You just couldn't get them to swing at a bad pitch. The count was always 3-1, and our pitchers had 80 pitches by the 3rd inning.

    Well, that's what we seem to be doing this year! Dozier has never been my idea of an ideal leadoff guy, but he looks like Jeter to me this year. How many times have we seen him go 8-10 pitches leading off the game, and before you know it, the opposing pitcher has 20-30 pitches in the first inning? And Mauer, Plouffe and Cola have seen everything the pitcher has by the time they come up. It changes the whole complexion of the game. I credit Bruno, but I also give Dozier a lot of credit for how he starts the game.

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  21. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Yep. While I can't believe the rotation will continue to be this bad, this April is looking a lot like last April. Crazy hitting performances that can't possibly be sustainable while the rotation crumbles and we see a lot of 9-7 victories.

    And we all know what happened last May. This could easily be "second verse, same as the first".
    Agreed! You just can't say "Look how nicely the offense is out-performing expectations so far" and then say "Imagine how good we'll be when the pitching quits under-performing expectations". Odds are, they will both trend toward their expectations, and wash each other out.

    Hopefully, though, if they offset each other fairly evenly, we can maintain our current ~.500 level of performance for a while.

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
    I don't disagree, but one thing that is different than last year is that there appears to be pitching depth ready to step in if the rotation continues to crumble. That doesn't mean Meyer, May, Johnson, et al, will be lights out when they get their chances, but I feel better about their chances than I did about their options a year ago.
    Oh, for sure... I have a lot more faith in the rotation holding their own this season than I did last year after Worley completely collapsed.

    Even more so considering how May has started out in Rochester. If his curve has matured a bit and he can keep the fastball under control, he has a legitimate shot at being a #3 pitcher, maybe even a #2 if things really work out.

  23. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
    I don't disagree, but one thing that is different than last year is that there appears to be pitching depth ready to step in if the rotation continues to crumble. That doesn't mean Meyer, May, Johnson, et al, will be lights out when they get their chances, but I feel better about their chances than I did about their options a year ago.
    Yeah, that's my thought. (Side note: Anyone hear how it went with Buxton yesterday? Supposedly played in an extended spring training game?)

  24. #19
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    Right now the Twins are scoring 5.5 runs per game. The Fangraphs projection based on Zips & Steamer was for around 4.0 per game. The MLB average will probably wind up around 4.25 per game. The gap between expected & actual runs allowed is much smaller - around 5.2 so far compared to 4.7 projected.

    So while the offense will likely outperform expectations, there is still a lot of regression ahead. The pitching though was expected to be bad and has just been somewhat worse. There will be some positive regression there, but the numbers still don't add up to a .500 team.

  25. #20
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Agreed! You just can't say "Look how nicely the offense is out-performing expectations so far" and then say "Imagine how good we'll be when the pitching quits under-performing expectations". Odds are, they will both trend toward their expectations, and wash each other out.

    Hopefully, though, if they offset each other fairly evenly, we can maintain our current ~.500 level of performance for a while.
    Right, if things to normalize it could still be a good thing for the team. The worrisome thing for repeating last year (nose dive in May) is that the pitching has to completely turn around, while the hitting could see a serious step backward just by no longer being lucky.

    If the luck runs out before the pitching turns around, things could get ugly.

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