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Rand and the .500 Record

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20 replies to this topic

Poll: Which is most likely to improve? (23 member(s) have cast votes)

Which is most likely to improve?

  1. The team's 4/5 spot production (2 votes [8.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.70%

  2. Joe Mauer's production (14 votes [60.87%])

    Percentage of vote: 60.87%

  3. The staff ERA (6 votes [26.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.09%

  4. Lineup consistency (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. Rally Monkey (1 votes [4.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.35%

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#1 TheLeviathan

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 07:30 PM

Michael Rand posted the following video about the Twins and their current record. He even cited our own Nick Nelson and his most recent blog entry. So here's my question after watching it:

Which of his obstacles are the Twins most likely to see reverse itself?

A) The .197 cleanup hitting (.596 OPS. The fifth spot is managing only a .630 OPS. An sOPS+ of 58 and 68)

B) Mauer's production.

C) The team's league worst ERA

D) Lineup consistency

#2 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:22 AM

I'd say the first 3 should all improve... they can't exactly get worse.

#3 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:35 AM

I also agree about the first three. Since I could only choose one, I went with Mauer.

#4 kdrupp09

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:49 AM

Like Brock said, I thought the first 3 too, however because of the requirement to pick one, had to go Mauer.

#5 Halsey Hall

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:53 AM

I'll go with a. We may be seeing the new Mauer.

#6 Mauerpower

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 07:19 AM

C if they swap out correia for either May or Meyer or basically any of our aaa guys except pelf.

#7 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 07:26 AM

The team's ERA has been considerably better in May. The pitching staff is 24th in MLB over that period.

Still not good, much better than their overall line looks.

#8 TheLeviathan

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:23 AM

I'll go with a. We may be seeing the new Mauer.


I think that's the point of discussion that becomes the most difficult thing for Twins fans to accept. This may be what Mauer is - a 23 million dollar, inferior hitting first baseman.

And if that's the case, does that change the outlook for this team?

#9 mike wants wins

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:25 AM

Yes, yes it does. If he isn't getting on base at his normal rate, he is a big black hole compared to other teams. But I think he'll turn it around.
Lighten up Francis....

#10 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:26 AM

I think that's the point of discussion that becomes the most difficult thing for Twins fans to accept. This may be what Mauer is - a 23 million dollar, inferior hitting first baseman.

And if that's the case, does that change the outlook for this team?


Drastically. I'm at the point where I'm mildly concerned about Joe. Something isn't right. It could be a prolonged slump. It could be aging. It could be the concussion. Hard to say at this point.

I thought he was just rusty and missing the ball, hence the absurd strikeout rate. Then he stopped striking out and still hasn't performed. He's the type of hitter that *should* age well but that's hardly a given.

It's a strange situation. Time will tell how it plays out. If he finishes the season "healthy" and an OPS under .800, alarm bells should be going off in Twins territory.

#11 TheLeviathan

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:28 AM

People are citing a sore back, but he's also talked openly about the concussion being difficult to recover from. He just seems like a trainwreck of physical issues.

Remember when people said moving him would increase his numbers and that would justify the position change? Well now he's not even playing a premium position and has seen a slash in his production. I think I'm into full-blown concerned.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 29 May 2014 - 08:32 AM.


#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:31 AM

Remember when people said moving him would increase his numbers and that would justify the position change. Well now he's not even playing a premium position and has seen a slash in his production. I think I'm into full-blown concerned.


I thought the increase in numbers argument was misguided and overly hopeful. Sure, there's less chance Joe will break down late in the season at first base but Joe hasn't had steep declines in production later in the season. There was a chance he's perform better in counting stats but per-PA production wasn't going to spike noticeably, IMO.

But it's been worse than that. Much worse. Hopefully it's just an off year for Joe.

#13 mike wants wins

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:32 AM

It has been 50 games.....in a long, successful career. I won't really judge him until next year.
Lighten up Francis....

#14 Tibs

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:34 AM

Why is Rally Monkey so tempting to choose?
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#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:40 AM

It has been 50 games.....in a long, successful career. I won't really judge him until next year.


My feeling as well.

#16 Tibs

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:42 AM

I went with the staff ERA improving. Ricky Nolasco isn't a 6+ ERA pitcher, and I think changes will be made in the near future if guys don't improve. At least a handful of starters and bullpen guys at AAA and AA are pitching well enough for changes to not be made.
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#17 ChiTownTwinsFan

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:55 AM

What is the most likely to improve? I can't say Mauer, because I am at a point with that, as Brock suggests, that something more serious is going on, so I don't see that changing. I'd like it to improve, and we need it to, but I just wonder if a number of issues are at play here, most specifically, concussion recovery. Look how long it took Morneau? So far this season he seems to be doing great; and most of last year many used the phrase 'a shell of his former self' in regards to him. So I wonder if the more serious the concussion, the longer the effects and recovery. And on top of that ... back issues? Maybe a psychological issue? Don't know, but I don't necessarily think Mauer will be the 'most likely obstacle' to improve. At least not this year.

#18 Jdosen

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 09:08 AM

The only thing on that list that I could reasonably expect to improve based on any type of analysis is the Mauer thing, so that's what I chose. He's been too good for too long to keep this up forever. I think at some point, he's going to have one of those Mauer months where he's scorching hot. Maybe not to the extent of June 2006 or all of 2009, but he will get hot at some point this year and I'll feel stupid for ever considering thinking he may be done. His track record is too long not to.
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#19 70charger

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 10:13 AM

There's probably a whole other thread to be had on this topic, but I'm thinking more and more that Joe Mauer is still affected by his concussion.

Take Justin Morneau for an easy comparison. He had a terrible concussion that kept him out for months, just like Mauer did last summer. He came back the next couple of years and OPS'ed around .750 or so. It went on for long enough for all of us to assume that his goose was basically cooked. Now? Oh, just OPS'ing about .920.

I'm completely open to other theories about Mauer's (hopefully quite temporary) decline. Is his back an issue? Was it the long layoff and prolonged rust? Is it bad luck? Is it competent defensive shifting? Most likely it's a combination of all of these things, but if I had to pick what I think is the weightiest cause, I'd probably say it's that damn concussion.

#20 gil4

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 10:24 AM

Why is Rally Monkey so tempting to choose?


I have no idea. The rally monkey is evil and only getting worse.

#21 gil4

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 10:45 AM

It has been 50 games.....in a long, successful career. I won't really judge him until next year.


He has enough small stuff going on right now that it could be any combination of them - the back, the shift, the rust from the extended layoff, the concussion, the cumulative effects of past injuries.

The numbers are still small enough so far that it could just be a random statistical deviation (a slump). In 202 PA (177 AB) he's short 8 H+BB to match his career OBP and 19 TB to match his career SLG%. The number of times I've heard "that would have been a double without the shift" account for at least half of that. He may need to adjust some. I think he probably can and will.