It's 2014. Wha' da ya think?
Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:11 AM
lKubel, Bartlett and Willingham, each has a major role to play with the Twins this year as our favorite team makes an attempt to once again be able to hit its way out of a paper bag. Each is past their prime and is coming off one or more very disappointing years. What is the likelihood of a turnaround for any of these players? Probably not very high. But I am hoping.
In addition the remainder of the lineup has demonstrated an inability to be productive. No one on the roster hit 20 HR's last year in the majors. There are three hopes for production on the team. Pinto, Collabello and Arcia. But each if these is effectively a rookie and, of these, only Arcia is likely to start.
It will be very interesting, if the offense is as bad as it could very well be, to see how the team reacts. Do they drop experienced players who demonstrate that they are not getting "IT" back? Do they make a move to youth? Do they make a move at the skipper level? I certainly do not have any recommendations, but our beloved Twins have the potential to get off to a very bad start.
Perhaps we should hope that our revised starting rotation can each have a Cy Young year. Yeah, that's the ticket. Maybe we enjoy our move toward another top 5 draft pick and burn up our MILB subscription enjoying our great prospects in the Minors.
Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:16 AM
-Mauer plays everyday.
-Either Kubel or Willingham returns to form.
-Hughes and Nolasco are above average.
-Someone not named Arcia needs to be a surprise.
Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:11 AM
Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:25 AM
I think one of the two Jasons proves he still has something in the tank and the other one washes out. Not gonna attempt a guess at which.
We see Meyer in MN at mid-season, Rosario in MN late in the season and Buxton topping out at AAA for this year.
Hicks will be a lot better and will deserve to keep a starting job this year, but his on-base skills won't make the transition quickly enough for him to merit being at the top of the order yet.
We won't trust the starting rotation to give the team a chance to win every time out, but they will be significantly better than last year. Nolasco will look like the team's fourth-best starter, behind Hughes, Meyer and Gibson, by year's end.
I think we've put a lot of hopes on the strong minor leagues that'll re-infuse the team's core over the next couple years, but Sano and Rosario's setbacks are a good reminder that the ETA of great prospects don't represent the year or the month when all the problems get solved. The talent pipeline coming up is good, but this will be one more year of incremental progress on rebuilding, 2015 will be "when it gets interesting," and 2016 is likely when the window of contention opens. But of course there are always surprises and (all together): that's why they play the games.
With the above in mind, I have a feeling that this team will probably need to add one more position player from outside the system to really complete a reliable offense. Maybe another corner bat for the middle of the order, maybe an offensive upgrade for the infield. It won't need to happen this year, but it'll be interesting to see.