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Article: Heated Observations: Game #2

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 07:32 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...rvations-Game-2

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#2 Sconnie

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:06 AM

Really early, but I think Hicks looked good at the dish, and so has Kubel and Plouffe. Bad team, but the hitting might be a bit better than we thought it would be.

#3 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:09 AM

That's something else we haven't really talked about. If Kubel is anything close to his pre-2013 self, this offense is loads better than we predicted.

Still far from good but not awful.

And no, I'm not overreacting to two good games... Kubel and Hicks have not looked lost at the plate, which was a real concern going into the season. Simply by not looking lost, they have a good shot at being much better than they were last season. That doesn't mean either will be good, it just means they probably won't be terrible.

#4 savvyspy

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:11 AM

For $25 million a year you should be able to hit CHRIS EFFIN SALE occasionally.

That said, Mauer will be hitting .300 eventually. It sort of always evens out for him.

#5 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:22 AM

For $25 million a year you should be able to hit CHRIS EFFIN SALE occasionally.


And Miguel Cabrera has a .700 OPS against Mark Buerhle, of all people.

Mauer has a .558 OPS against Sale. Meh. Good pitching beats good hitting and guys just have blind spots against some pitchers.

Sale is a tough pitcher overall and he's brutal against lefties. Nothing to see here.

#6 sandbun

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:50 AM

For those who went to spring training, did they have Mauer face live pitching against the shift that teams are doing to him, or did they just decide it was fine and not do that? I'm sure hits will start falling in for him, but I'd feel better if it was something they actively worked on.

#7 Winston Smith

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:51 AM

I can't help but think Mauer isn't right. He didn't look good in the spring and hasn't looked good in the first two games. Small sample size, still early, rusty and all that but I hope he doesn't have lingering Morneau like poor timing issues from the concussion.

May all our prospects be All Stars and the beer be free.


#8 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:53 AM

Sale is a tough pitcher overall and he's brutal against lefties. Nothing to see here.


Our "weak hitting" lineup did generate three earned runs on five hits off Sale over 7.1 innings. That won't happen every time he takes the mound (career 2.98 ERA). All the same, he was better than Nolasco, and that was the difference.

In game 2 it was the relievers (Perkins & Deduno) who blew it, although that "weak hitting" lineup did generate six runs over 11 innings.

Mauer (and Dozier) will come around.

#9 MileHighTwinsFan

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:06 AM

How is it possible to be optimistic after being 0-2 against the team they will likely battle for last place? The losses were the result of elements we considered a team strength, but the performance of those who we were concerned about has been positive.

Perkins had a bad day and Mauer and Dozier are off to slow starts. We have confidence they will bounce back. Meanwhile, Suzuki, Plouffe, Kubel and Hicks have been impressive.

I'm just glad it's baseball season and we are talking about games and actual player performance, bring on game 3.

#10 deanlambrecht

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:32 AM

For $25 million a year you should be able to hit CHRIS EFFIN SALE occasionally.

That said, Mauer will be hitting .300 eventually. It sort of always evens out for him.


Your second sentence is quite right. Against Sale he's only had 21 PA's and overall is batting .238 against him. That's more than 100 basis points higher than the average lefty, as reported by Parker in the original post. Here's his line vs. White Sox pitchers: http://espn.go.com/m.../5378/joe-mauer

Regarding Perkins, guess who else blew as save yesterday? Joe Nathan. It cost us far less money to blow that save than it did the Tigers. :P

Papelbon blew a save yesterday, too. Not surprised by that, but it was apparently a bad day for closers.

In any event, it was the third full day of the season, and it's kind of depressing to see people getting all worked up already. In our case, we've got 160 games left. Things will be much clearer down the line.

#11 Smcginnity

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:53 AM

My problem isn't his stats but his lack of clutch hitting. The guy clearly does not deserve $25 million but we are now stuck with that monstrosity of a contract. When you are the face of the team, do something special. 4 for 4 with 4 singles doesn't do anything for me. Mix in some extra base hits and big hits in clutch situations! Just gets so frustrating with him

#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:56 AM

My problem isn't his stats but his lack of clutch hitting.


You mean his career OPS of .933 with RISP, compared to his overall career line of .872?

Or maybe you mean his career OPS of .988 with 2 out, RISP.

This is why we have statistics, folks. Observation is so often tainted by what one wants to see, not what actually happened.

#13 tobi0040

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:21 AM

You mean his career OPS of .933 with RISP, compared to his overall career line of .872?

Or maybe you mean his career OPS of .988 with 2 out, RISP.

This is why we have statistics, folks. Observation is so often tainted by what one wants to see, not what actually happened.


It is amazing how often this line of thinking comes up, when as you point out it has no validity at all. I think we gave the guy 23M a year so a batting average of .800 is what some expect with runners on.

#14 Intramural Legend

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:36 AM

It is amazing how often this line of thinking comes up, when as you point out it has no validity at all. I think we gave the guy 23M a year so a batting average of .800 is what some expect with runners on.


Even if that was the case, more people would complain about the 2/10 times he didn't get a hit...

#15 Beezer07

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:43 AM

Even if that was the case, more people would complain about the 2/10 times he didn't get a hit...


Confirmation bias at its finest (unless I misunderstand what confirmation bias means...which is totally possible)

#16 Marta Shearing

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:44 AM

I can't help but think Mauer isn't right. He didn't look good in the spring and hasn't looked good in the first two games. Small sample size, still early, rusty and all that but I hope he doesn't have lingering Morneau like poor timing issues from the concussion.

I think not picking up a bat the entire offseason, and not doing much of anything to stay in shape october-february has more to do with his struggles than lingering concussion issues. He even admitted before ST he hadnt picked up a bat all offseason. Eventually I hope he learns he has to work at it and not rely soley on his amazing talent.

#17 deanlambrecht

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:46 AM

You mean his career OPS of .933 with RISP, compared to his overall career line of .872?

Or maybe you mean his career OPS of .988 with 2 out, RISP.

This is why we have statistics, folks. Observation is so often tainted by what one wants to see, not what actually happened.


:clapping:

Edited by deanlambrecht, 03 April 2014 - 10:47 AM.
Trying, failing, to find "clapping" emoticon...


#18 70charger

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:20 AM

Can we also talk about Plouffe for a second here? In the spring, and in the first couple of games, he's been smacking balls the other way, which it seems like he almost never did last season. (Or even the season before, but in 2012 I don't think pitchers were pitching him away as much.)

If he's got an improved approach at the plate and can take balls the other way, I can see his batting average up over .250 with an improved OBP. That means that even if he can't launch 30 bombs like we hoped, he'll be a nice, valuable 3B for Sano's convalescence. Last year, he was fairly middling for a 3B, which perhaps speaks to the lack of good players at that position. This year, he could find himself solidly above average.

I just hope I'm not speaking too soon.

#19 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:44 AM

Plouffe's spray chart from last season:

plouffe.PNG


He went opposite field a lot, it just wasn't successful.

#20 BigTrane

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:51 AM

Where's the Suzuki spray chart?
Seems like he's accounted for 90+% of the Twins OF so far.
That's at least as *interesting* as the CB Bucknor balk call.