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Thread: Article: Twins Reversing Some Ugly Trends

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    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Article: Twins Reversing Some Ugly Trends


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    Twins have reversed the stolen base problem as they are tied for 3rd with only 26 attempts against & 8th in CS w/35%
    Dozier/Florimon have played great defense also, big difference from past 2 yrs. Not a fan of looking @ errors for defensive tracking but their UZR is far improved.
    I say they've almost done it with mirrors as nobody other than Mauer has been impressive. Bullpen as a whole has been solid but how long wil that last at the rate they're bein used/overused by Gardy's reluctance to let pitchers go deeper.

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    You've invited and illustrated the danger of drawing meaningful trends from small sample size over-performances. Just a week ago today, Sunday, the Twins were on pace to just about match last season's 66 total wins.

    But then, playing 7 games against 2 of the worst teams in baseball changes the whole outlook. Milwaukee is 7-22 since May 1, that's a .241 clip, by contrast, Miami is actually BETTER, 8-21 over the same period. Seattle is a little better than these 2, but the Twins were very fortunate to miss King Felix and draw 2 alleged SP guys who are hanging on by their fingernails just at staying in the league.

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    Extend Gardy!
    After the 10 game losing streak I was ready to write him off as a causality of the rebuild. But the team keeps believing and seeming to care about each-other. As long as the team keeps playing good ball, they are fun to watch and relevant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    You've invited and illustrated the danger of drawing meaningful trends from small sample size over-performances. Just a week ago today, Sunday, the Twins were on pace to just about match last season's 66 total wins.

    But then, playing 7 games against 2 of the worst teams in baseball changes the whole outlook. Milwaukee is 7-22 since May 1, that's a .241 clip, by contrast, Miami is actually BETTER, 8-21 over the same period. Seattle is a little better than these 2, but the Twins were very fortunate to miss King Felix and draw 2 alleged SP guys who are hanging on by their fingernails just at staying in the league.
    I think this is the premise of the article. Last year the team would lost these games. And really, when you look at where this team was just a few weeks ago, its amazing we can say the Brewers and the Mariners are OVERMATCHED by the mighty Twins.

    They are not the dregs of the league. And this is an improvement. - Sure, its not a great standard, but in the season of low expectations, I'll take it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
    Twins have reversed the stolen base problem as they are tied for 3rd with only 26 attempts against & 8th in CS w/35%
    Dozier/Florimon have played great defense also, big difference from past 2 yrs. Not a fan of looking @ errors for defensive tracking but their UZR is far improved.
    I say they've almost done it with mirrors as nobody other than Mauer has been impressive. Bullpen as a whole has been solid but how long wil that last at the rate they're bein used/overused by Gardy's reluctance to let pitchers go deeper.
    Disagree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
    I think this is the premise of the article. Last year the team would lost these games. And really, when you look at where this team was just a few weeks ago, its amazing we can say the Brewers and the Mariners are OVERMATCHED by the mighty Twins.

    They are not the dregs of the league. And this is an improvement. - Sure, its not a great standard, but in the season of low expectations, I'll take it.
    Baby steps are a good thing. But, I think the premise was taken a bit too far. First off, the ugliest trend of all, Starting Pitching, is also the most critical change to making the team successful. And that trend is WORSE, not better.

    And then there's this:

    This year, although they've been far from great, the Twins have been able to offset their bad stretches by bunching victories. Few would call them contenders in the AL Central, but then again, they are only 4.5 games out of first place.

    Terry Ryan said he wanted his team to be playing meaningful games in September, and at this point they're on track to do so.

    The same things were written as late as June 25th last year when the Twins were only 7.5 games out. "Buyer or Seller at the Deadline?" headlines were quite commonplace. As last year, that just is not realistic given the current Starting Rotation, lack of reliable SP depth, Gibson on an "almost-used-up-already" innings limit and a near-certainty that one or more of the current SP crew will have a break down of some kind. That, in turn, cascades over to the 'Pen, which will end up suffering statisically under the overuse issues and regression to the mean concerning the unsustainable HR/FB rate, same as it ever was.

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    The dramatic improvement in run differential is what stands out to me. The team is competing game to game this year on a fairly consistent basis. My eyes tell me that the main reasons for this are better execution, better starting pitching, and better depth. The ERAs and batting averages are ugly, but the baseball has been better than last year.

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    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    You've invited and illustrated the danger of drawing meaningful trends from small sample size over-performances. Just a week ago today, Sunday, the Twins were on pace to just about match last season's 66 total wins.
    And you've illustrated the same thing by using as your basepoint a Twins record following a period of small sample size under-performance (10 game losing streak). Recall that before that streak they were above .500, including a decent road trip that included Boston and Detroit.

    Bottom line is that the Twins don't suck this year. They're not a good team, and there are clearly areas which need to be addressed in the off-season, but they are a better team than last year, which is what the whole point of this article is and which deserves to be recognized and given credit.

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    Twins starting pitching is 2nd to last in the AL in WAR, 4th worst overall. Like ERA better? 2nd worst in the AL, 3rd worst overall. Like xFIP better? 3rd worst in the AL, 3rd worst overall.

    I'm not sure how the pitching "trend" is better.

    As for meaningful games in September, at this rate, they'd be 10 games back entering September, right? Would that make their games meaningful to them?

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    After 54 games...

    team OPS+ is 93 (2012 was 98)
    team ERA+ is 94 (2012 was 85)

    Maybe Gibson and Arcia can help boost those numbers a little in then next 54.

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    Park factor trends after 54 games...

    2013 1.055 (11th)
    2012 1.044 (10th)
    2011 0.944 (21st)
    2010 0.962 (19th)

    Do we still think Target Field is a pitcher's park?

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    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Twins starting pitching is 2nd to last in the AL in WAR, 4th worst overall. Like ERA better? 2nd worst in the AL, 3rd worst overall. Like xFIP better? 3rd worst in the AL, 3rd worst overall.

    I'm not sure how the pitching "trend" is better.

    As for meaningful games in September, at this rate, they'd be 10 games back entering September, right? Would that make their games meaningful to them?
    To be fair, he says right up front at the start of the article that the starting pitching is still brutal. The title of the article refers to other areas where he does see improvement, in each case I think justifiably.

    I concur that we are not going to be contending in September, so "meaningful" is a stretch. Personally I'd be happy hovering at or slightly under .500, which is still entirely possible.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Monkeypaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
    Twins have reversed the stolen base problem as they are tied for 3rd with only 26 attempts against & 8th in CS w/35%
    Dozier/Florimon have played great defense also, big difference from past 2 yrs. Not a fan of looking @ errors for defensive tracking but their UZR is far improved.
    I say they've almost done it with mirrors as nobody other than Mauer has been impressive. Bullpen as a whole has been solid but how long wil that last at the rate they're bein used/overused by Gardy's reluctance to let pitchers go deeper.
    4 times this season Pelfrey has had the wheels come off in the 6th inning after 5 very good innings. Sometimes Gardy leaves them in too long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeypaws View Post
    4 times this season Pelfrey has had the wheels come off in the 6th inning after 5 very good innings. Sometimes Gardy leaves them in too long.
    This has been my impression as well- Pelfrey and Corriea have both been left in games long enough to see things collapse. Whether that made sense at the time or not, I have not thought that refusing to extend pitchers was the problem.

    At this point I think Pelfrey's only role with the team is long relief, if that. He's a five-inning pitcher at best. Given that he only has a one-year contract, how long should the team continue letting him go six and build up his strength when the results tend to be brutal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbknudson View Post
    To be fair, he says right up front at the start of the article that the starting pitching is still brutal. The title of the article refers to other areas where he does see improvement, in each case I think justifiably.

    I concur that we are not going to be contending in September, so "meaningful" is a stretch. Personally I'd be happy hovering at or slightly under .500, which is still entirely possible.
    Bah, you are right. I must have been actually paying attn to my work call when I read the opening.....

    I think the big issue, for the future, is that the Twins is still a team made up of old guys that will not be part of the future (in key roles), and young guys that don't look all that good (some are not bad, but none look really good). I think that's part of why they beat up on Seattle, they don't have any of those older, good players that MN does. Milwaukee is pitching free, frankly. They look a lot like what I expect this team to look like in a couple of years. Four or five really good hitters, 10 bad hitters, and only one or two good starting pitchers. Let's hope Ryan and team are right about May and Meyer.....

    *edited for speeeeling and other various typos
    Last edited by mike wants wins; 06-03-2013 at 08:47 AM.
    Lighten up Francis....

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    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Only 4.5 games out. If there had been a guy available this past offseason who A. filled the Twins need for starting pitching and B. was coveted by the Tigers, they might have made a direct, albeit "marginal" dent in that gap. A shame no such free agent pitcher fit both of those criteria.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by sbknudson View Post
    And you've illustrated the same thing by using as your basepoint a Twins record following a period of small sample size under-performance (10 game losing streak). Recall that before that streak they were above .500, including a decent road trip that included Boston and Detroit.

    Bottom line is that the Twins don't suck this year. They're not a good team, and there are clearly areas which need to be addressed in the off-season, but they are a better team than last year, which is what the whole point of this article is and which deserves to be recognized and given credit.
    Exactly. Is the original poster trying to argue that his smaller sample size is more representative than the current larger sample? Stop trying to sound smarter than everyone else and enjoy some wins already people!
    Last edited by SDTwinkie; 06-03-2013 at 09:29 AM.

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    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    With the exception of the big first baseman, I'm liking the power being displayed by this club. I should also add that I expect Plouffe to hit a lot of homers in the second half. Mauer, Doumit, the middle infield, Parmelee, and Hicks all look like double digit producers. Eventually, some of those long balls will come with runners on base and turn around some games that have been hopeless cases previously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post

    As for meaningful games in September, at this rate, they'd be 10 games back entering September, right? Would that make their games meaningful to them?
    Ask the 2011 Cardinals or Rays if they are playing meaningful games if they are 10 games back in September.

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