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Week One

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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 09:15 PM

The Twins finished 3-3 in six road games. They lead the AL in runs scored and allowed. Six games prove one thing--don't trust Spring Training stats. Kubel has swung the bat well after being nearly unwatchable in the spring. Willingham has been okay after being dreadful.

Meanwhile, the pitching has been very poor. They are allowing over six runs per game and oodles of baserunners. The ball is going over the fence with too much regularity and there have been plenty of walks and long counts.

Five positives:

5) Kubel is hitting very well. He got some help from Kipnis this weekend, but .412 with a 1.033 OPS is more than luck.

4) Hitting from the catchers has been very good. Suzuki has played four games and is (like Kubel) above .400 with more and 1.000 OPS. Pinto has two pretty big hits in the two games he's played.

3) The club has (so far) been pretty efficient scoring runs. Despite a mediocre .722 team OPS, they are getting hits in bunches and big hits with runners in scoring position.

2) Trevor Plouffe has started out very well. He had by far his best road trip ever for a trip where he didn't hit a home run. He's working the count better, hitting much better with runners on, and actually seems more comfortable at third base.

1) Chris Colabello is getting his chance and thriving. He's driving the ball (even to his pull field) and has unloaded the bases twice with extra base hits. He isn't going to continue to hit .391, but if he can be a real threat as a DH, it changes the Twins' lineup considerably.

Five negatives:

5) Home run differential--I believe the Twins lead the league in HRs allowed, despite conditions that would be better for slap shots than moonshots. The Twins have only three long balls--one each for Colabello, Pinto and Dozier.

4) Four starters are below the Mendoza line--Dozier (although he has a .333 OBP), Arcia, Florimon, and Hicks (who went 0 for Cleveland).

3) Leaky and poor fundamental defense. Even though they have only been charged with two errors, there have been plenty of screwed up plays, miscommunication and balls that should have been played falling in.

2) Bullpen--almost no one has been unscathed. Perkins blew a save, Deduno wild pitched and balked his way to a loss, Swarzak, Thielbar, and Fien have been touched up.

1) The free agent investment has thus far not been worth much. Nolasco, Hughes, and Pelfrey have neither eaten many innings nor pitched well in four total starts. Nolasco has been the main culprit in his two starts.

#2 whydidnt

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 07:40 AM

Very well put. Things have been about as opposite as possible, compared to what I thought would happen. It's just one week, but I can't help but be a bit nervous that the pitching seems to look the same as the last couple of years. Really hoping that Colabello continues to be a source of offense. It seems like once you have one two guys mashing in the middle of a lineup, other guys also seem to hit better.

All in all, 3-3 is probably what they deserve, and considering how bad they looked in Chicago, better than expected.

Edited by whydidnt, 07 April 2014 - 07:41 AM.
clarification


#3 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 08:05 AM

I'm not sure spring shows nothing, anymore than I am that 6 games shows something (other than Bartlett should not be in the OF, which only seems to be a surprise to the Twins).
Lighten up Francis....

#4 Willihammer

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 08:39 AM

I'm encouraged too but the Twins will never see a top of the 3rd like we saw yesterday. Hit and run with Mauer shooting to the 6 hole and the SS covering? 9/10 times Mauer rolls over to the 2nd baseman for a 4-6-3 double play.

Then Gomes throws to nobody at 2nd on a Colabello swinging bunt.

Plouffe hits a seeing eye ground ball that scores another runner.

I'm afraid this team doesn't have any karma left after this weekend. Oh well, at least they were division games.

#5 Kyle Gibson

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 11:05 AM

Very good post, SpringerBell.

I don't think the Twins will see much success this season. I just don't think they have the team that can pull off a miracle season. I just wonder how long can Colabella and Plouffe go being the leaders on offense? Surly, they are running on limited time?

Either way, the success in baseball is to go .500 on the road and do damage at home. The Twins, so far, have done so.

#6 jharaldson

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 11:40 AM

I am personally watching 4 guys on offense:

Name/OPS
Pinto/.778
Dozier/.667
Hicks/.546
Arcia/.380

Pinto is doing well in very limited AB's (9) but I am very disappointed that the other 3 are not contributing more to this effort.

#7 stringer bell

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 11:59 AM

I am personally watching 4 guys on offense:

Name/OPS
Pinto/.778
Dozier/.667
Hicks/.546
Arcia/.380

Pinto is doing well in very limited AB's (9) but I am very disappointed that the other 3 are not contributing more to this effort.

Dozier had a bad series in Chicago, but was very good in Cleveland. I'd like to see him hitting down in the order, but he has reached 33% of the time, so that isn't bad at all. I am interested and curious what happens to Hicks. Still not a fan of not having a true backup for him. Maybe it'll be Nyjer Morgan?

#8 ericchri

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 12:05 PM

A couple things somehow caught my eye when I pulled up the Twins stat page today. We have 6 players on the team with at least 4 walks right now. That would put each of them in the vicinity of 100 walks on the season (Joe Mauer's career high in walks is 90 in 2012, to give an idea) if they maintained that pace. The other was Dozier with 3 steals already. If he keeps walking and lowers his strikeouts (9 already? Yikes!) it'll be interesting to see what kind of steal numbers he may end up with.