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At the Quarter Pole

contention bullpen rotation
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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 09:30 PM

The Twins are 23-17.In the "up your predictions" thread, there has been a good discussion of luck, peripherals, and a lot of other factors that have contributed to the good record.I'm not convinced that the Twins will contend given the shakiness of the bullpen, the lack of upside of the current rotation and still rather large holes at key positions. 

 

However, they have to proceed as contenders right now, no matter what advanced statistics and believers in a full rebuild would say.Certainly, I concur that Twins have to go forward as if they are contenders.There are factors that indicate that the team can continue to be relevant throughout the summer.First of all, there is much room for improvement from players who have performed well in this decade.Secondly, there is help available in the minor leagues for the Twins soft spots--the pitching staff, center field and maybe catcher.The Twins have a good lineup, surprising strengths in the pitching staff and so far, a bulletproof back end of the bullpen. 

 

I guess I will believe until the Twins really hit the skids.

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#2 twinsnorth49

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 09:59 PM

The team finally has some much needed depth, it's refreshing for them to be able to bring in effective pieces to the 25 man when someone is struggling, and for the 40 man to not be completely cluttered with driftwood.

As long as they properly use what is available to them I think they can continue to move forward.
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#3 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 10:02 PM

It's been a nice run here so far.  I don't know if they're going to go pumpkin on us or not but so far so good.  They are a very gritty team - other than the team's relative age they remind me a lot of our last renaissance in the early 2000s.  

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#4 DaveW

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 10:03 PM

Bullpen is gonna be the big key moving fwd IMHO. Key will be Tonkin stepping up and fien coming back healthy, if those guys can prove to be a solid 7th and 8th inning bridge to Perkins....I like our chances on staying in the wild card hunt into September
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<p>Aaron Hicks 2017 stats so far (5/17/17): .326 BA .464 OBP .616 SLG 1.080 OPS 7 HR 19 RBI 6 SB 22 BBs 1.8WAR

#5 Danchat

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 10:17 PM

Now that we're at the quarter pole, at least Mauer is on pace to hit 4 HRs.:roll:

 

 

I'm surprised at how we don't have that many players performing at a top level but we're still getting it done. Our starting pitching is soooo much better than it was in the previous 4 years. If they can sustain the quality starts and get the bullpen into better shape, then this team might just compete.

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#6 twinsnorth49

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 10:18 PM

Maybe one of the most encouraging things is that we have yet to see the best 25 the club can assemble, yet they still manage to be 6 games on the good side of the ledger.
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#7 Thegrin

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 10:18 PM

It was a surprise that the Twins won both the Pittsburgh games.They showed both their strengths and their weaknesses in the short 2-game series.When the next quarter is done, we will be getting a fresh arm, in Santana.2015 is shaping up to be an interesting season.:)

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#8 USAFChief

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 10:37 PM

I think they need to shore up the bullpen to stay relevant.

Other than that, it seems to me they've earned their record.
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#9 DarrenVahtra

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 10:47 PM

I'll believe this team is serious about winning when Ricky nolasco doesn't have a starting job. And that has to, for the love of god, be before Ervin Santana comes back.

#10 jimmer

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 10:53 PM

I'm just enjoying the winning.  I hope that, somehow, the clock doesn't strike midnight next month.  IMO the Orioles wasn't the most talented club the last couple years but they won.  It can happen even if you look at the team and wonder how it's possible.  

 

Again, I'm just going to enjoy it and hope it continues.  Even if we manage to finish .500, it'll be a big improvement over the last 4 seasons and we know the kids are still filtering up to the MLB club which gives us even more hope.

Edited by jimmer, 20 May 2015 - 10:54 PM.

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#11 MileHighTwinsFan

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 11:26 PM

Wow! The negativity.

If the team is still in it a month from now, they get Santana back and they are buyers at the trade deadline. They have many chips available for a top end arm, a veteran bat and/or glove.

#12 Dantes929

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:00 AM

 

Bullpen is gonna be the big key moving fwd IMHO. Key will be Tonkin stepping up and fien coming back healthy, if those guys can prove to be a solid 7th and 8th inning bridge to Perkins....I like our chances on staying in the wild card hunt into September

Screw wild card.  Odds be damned. I am hoping every one of the guys is thinking division championship rather than wild card. Only real flaw in the season so far is 2-7 against Detroit. Lineup is ok especially if Hicks can be solid. Starting rotation has been good with good depth.Milone right now for Nolasco would make it look even better.  Bullpen gets ripped a lot but it is a lot like the Jesse Crain dynamic. They blow up a couple times and everyone writes them off and doesn't notice the half dozen solid performances in between.  Blow up a couple times in big losses and hold tight in close games is a decent recipe.

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#13 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 05:55 AM

 

I'll believe this team is serious about winning when Ricky nolasco doesn't have a starting job. And that has to, for the love of god, be before Ervin Santana comes back.

You have to have somebody to replace him with.Is anybody ready to come up and fill that spot?

 

I do think that Nolasco is future bullpen (ala Edwin Jackson) but we have to wait for Santana to come back for that to happen.


#14 brvama

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 06:13 AM

It's interesting that so far there hasn't been that one individual that has carried this team. It's been a team effort. I'm not sure if there is anyone that has been an all-star player, outside of Perkins and Boyer. I have to give Molitor much credit for that. I like the way he doesn't overthink the game and allows the players to play. Also, how he and Allen handle the pitching staff.
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#15 Blackjack

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 06:27 AM

 

Our starting pitching is soooo much better than it was in the previous 4 years. If they can sustain the quality starts and get the bullpen into better shape, then this team might just compete.

 

I think the starting pitching is the key, thats why Terry Ryan brought in Hughes, Nolassco, Pelfrey, and Santana. They don't have to be great but if they can just go 6-7 innings and keep the Twins in the game, it makes the bullpen better.And with Santana coming back in July, it could be fun!!!

 

Also have to also give Molitor a lot of credit, the players have really responded to his calm demeanor.

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#16 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 06:40 AM

Not really sure how they've been winning.A little of everything:timely hitting, a good play here or there, relievers squeaking by, decent starting pitching, veteran moxie from Hunter, Plouffe and Mauer, a steady hand from Molitor, plus, duct tape, smoke and mirrors.

 

Baseball is a mysterious game, made up of 3-run singles, fortuitous bounces, playing teams at the right time, injuries -- things that just happen.

 

From 5 under to 6 over .500 in little more than a month.Gotta take that.But, you are never as good as you think when things go well;never as bad when they go poorly. 

 

Probably, the Twins are a .500 team.Or, just a hair under.In the best division in baseball that's pretty fun baseball overall.

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#17 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 06:47 AM

I can't wrap my head around this team being six games over .500 right now. This feels like, at best, a .500 squad based on their play.

 

Whatever. I'll take it. If they can somehow keep it up, this season will be a lot of fun.

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#18 REPETE

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 07:17 AM

 

Also have to also give Molitor a lot of credit, the players have really responded to his calm demeanor.

I believe it's a combination of Molitor's calm, plus Torii's got them having fun.  It's nice to see the guys jumping in the outfield after a win (for that matter, it's nice to see a win!).  This team was missing a spark plug.  As TK said when they brought in Dan Gladden, "you need a guy like that on your roster."

Bill Parcells said, "you are what your record is."  That means right now, the Twins are 6 games better than 500.  Will they end up there at the end of the season?  Who knows.  But right now, they are 6 games over 500, and I'm enjoying the ride, and looking forward to the roster still being turned over at mid season, due to injuries, poor performance, or young guys performing so well in the minors they can't be ignored any longer.  

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#19 JB_Iowa

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 07:29 AM

It's a TEAM game .....

 

and this has been the ultimate TEAM effort.

 

So much fun to see who will come through in the clinches.  A 13th inning HR from Mr. Mauer?  Who'd have thunk it?

 

I do hope a couple of players emerge who can put the team on their shoulders if it starts going bad but i love that the team has a lot of different "heroes".

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#20 Mike Sixel

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 07:50 AM

Other than CF (which may be fixedish).....the team has less black holes than the last two years. IMO, this shows the value of even average players. Not completely giving away multiple positions is huge. This is, imo, especially true about the pitching on this team. Ryan deserves credit for the that.
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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 




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