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Article: Baseline: How bad are the 2012 Twins?

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#1 James Richter

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:49 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...-the-2012-Twins

#2 Teflon

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 03:46 PM

Their pitching staff was last in the Majors in K/9, 29th in ERA and 29th in WHIP. But they were also last in BABIP, suggesting that things might bounce better for them this year. Their FIP (4.30), xFIP (4.33) and SIERA (4.27), though still among the worst in the league, indicate the pitchers deserved better than their 4.60 team ERA. Were they to pitch precisely as poorly in 2012, they could be expected to allow 45 fewer ER over the same number of innings.


I would suggest that the robust opponent's batting average on balls in play versus the Twins last season was not so much a factor of where the balls happened to fall as much as an indictment of who was attempting to field them - especially in the corner outfield spots. LF has been upgraded (no matter who the Twins put out there) but RF looks to be manned by a large slow person again this year again - albeit a different large slow person.

Carroll should be more consistent at SS than the Twins options last year, but at 38, he's the closest Twin on the roster chronologically to rascal scooter ownership.

#3 James Richter

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:35 AM

I hear you, Teflon. I assumed that the defensive metrics would rate the Twins' range as badly as everything else. But that doesn't seem to be the case. Check out the team defense page on Fangraphs. On comprehensive stats like DRS they look terrible, but just about all of it can be explained by the errors. Where it's broken down by type of defensive play, the Twins look OK. They're within 1% of the median in OOZ. RngR gives them +9.3, but then ErrR takes most of that back. I'll be the first to tell you that the defensive metrics aren't perfect, but I checked a few different systems and they all rated the Twins as decent - except for the errors, of course.

Another thing to note on that link is the comparison of the Twins' defense with that of the Tigers. The metrics didn't rate Detroit much better than the Twins, and their range ratings were considerably worse in some cases. And yet their pitchers enjoyed a basically league average .292 BABIP - considerably better than the Twins' .307 mark. Did the Tigers give up fewer line drives? Yes, but the differences in the two teams' batted ball data are pretty insignificant.

Sometimes, BABIP is just about whether the ball was hit right at somebody or not. There's no reason to think the Twins will do as poorly on that score in 2012, particularly when Revere and Carroll are factored in.