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Contention 2019?

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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:16 AM

I've not followed this season as closely as I would have liked, but it has been disappointing for sure. In reading the posts after the Twins traded a quarter of their roster, mostly for prospects, it seemed that the back channel conversation was about when the Twins would be good enough to contend.

 

I think they can as soon as next year. First of all, the lineup has a lot of young veterans who could (and should) make a step forward next year. Sano and Buxton have had high expectations, but only about a season and a half of good results between the two of them--Sano's rookie year and first half of 2017 and Buxton's second half of '17--Kepler hasn't become even a good player despite excellent tools and a great swing, Rosario has broken out, Polanco missed half a season with a suspension. I think three or four of those five could be All-Stars or near All-Stars next year. I'm thinking that an acquisition or two of pitchers with what is coming back next year will make the mound corps pretty good. Berrios has a ways to go, but he's had a handful of dominant starts, Gibson has been very good, and even when he doesn't have his best stuff, he's given the team a chance to win. Add a solid starter and then pick from Meija, Pineda, Gonsalves, Odorizzi, maybe Stewart and Slegers to fill out the rotation. In the bullpen, a veteran arm or two with Rogers, Moya,  Hildy, a perhaps revitalized Reed are the start of a good pen. There is money to spend so that shouldn't be a problem. Catching should be better with Castro and an improved Garver manning that duty.

 

There seem to be three or four "super teams" and Cleveland is also very good, but things can change pretty quickly. I certainly hope that the FO approaches 2019 with the idea of contending. I'm too old to wait for rebuilds lasting several years!

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#2 Sconnie

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:25 AM

In my mind, First Base (or third if you shift Sano) Second Base (or SS if you shift Polanco) Catcher and Bullpen are my areas of concern, but 3 of the 4 can be well resolved with the Salary room and prospect capital that the FO has for 2019. Not likely Catcher gets resolved this off-season, but relying on Castro seems risky. 

 

It's not often a team has 30-50 mil to spend and one of the best farm systems in baseball, AND can be considered a contender for their division. 

 

I think they are in a place to contend for a while. 

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#3 mazeville

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:30 AM

I think they absolutely can contend next year.

 

They still have the makings of a strong rotation, led by Berrios and Gibson, and assuming Fernando Romero step up. Then you have Odorizzi and probably Gonsalves (but also perhaps a number of other options).

 

Byron Buxton appears, for now, to be figuring things out at AAA again. He alone could help lift the Twins into something resembling contention, especially if we keep getting the Sano we're getting now, plus Rosario continues to play well. We'll also have Polanco for a full year.

 

The team will have to rebuild the bullpen, preferably starting from within. But there's the makings of a good team here.

 

Or maybe I'm too optimistic. 

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#4 SQUIRREL

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:38 AM

Could they contend next year? Yes, depending on what the FO does.
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#5 Loosey

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:40 AM

I absolutely think they can contend in 2019.If healthy I think they would have still been in contention for the division this year.  

 

As bad as they have played at times this team is only 5 games below .500. The back breaker of this season in my opinion is when they got within striking distance of Cleveland late June after taking 2 of 3 from Boston, then immediately lost 11 of their next 13 games.  

 

With health, experience and consistency I think this team definitely is in the mix for the division next year and for at least a few years beyond that with this core.  

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#6 gunnarthor

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:07 AM

If the FO isn't planning on contending next year, they should be fired.

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#7 Mike Sixel

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:45 AM

 

If the FO isn't planning on contending next year, they should be fired.

 

This. they have money, they have prospects, and they have some good players. This team can contend next year, and should be trying to contend next year. IMO, they won't by standing still or only using their current internal options, though.

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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#8 Blackjack

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:49 AM

Yes I think they can contend in 2019 BUT it will be up to the starting pitching. Theres a lot of question marks. Has Gibson really turned the corner? Can Berrios reach the next level or will he continue to have a couple of good games and then a couple of clunkers?? THOSE ARE YOUR TWO MOST RELIABLE STARTERS!!! Everybody else is a question mark. The more I write, the more doubtful I am.

Edited by Blackjack, 20 August 2018 - 10:51 AM.

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#9 SF Twins Fan

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:58 AM

They very well could contend next season. They have a solid rotation with plenty of prospects that are going to be in either AA or AAA to start the season. To really take a step to WS contention they will either need some of these players improve or they will need to trade from the very deep farm system for a top 1 or 2 type pitcher. I wouldn't want the Twins to trade for or sign a bottom half of the rotation pitcher as it seems like they have plenty of those.

 

Rotation:

1. Berrios

2. Gibson

3. 

4. Odorizzi

5. Romero / Gonsalves / Mejia / Stewart / Littell / Thorpe / Graterol

 

Lineup:

C - Garver / Castro

1B - Mauer / Austin

2nd - Maybe Escobar? Maybe Forsythe? I don't see Gordon being ready, at least to start the season.

3rd - Sano / Adrianza

SS - Polanco - Adrianza

OF - Rosario / Buxton / Kepler / Cave / Wade

 

Bullpen:

LHR - Rogers / Moya

RHR - May / Hildenberger / Reed / Busenitz

 

If the Twins can resign Escobar to play 2nd and add at least one good bullpen piece (There should be 5 or 6 very good FA's this offseason) I believe they should be in good shape. If they can make a trade that nets a very good starting pitcher I believe they should be a WS contender. The Twins were hit hard by injuries / suspensions this year. Add in some better health and the Twins should be in a good spot.

C. Castro miss most of the season

1st. Mauer missed a month and didn't look great when he came back.

3rd. Sano missed significant time and wasn't in great shape after not being able to work out in the Winter

SS. Polanco missed the 1st half with a suspension and has looked great in his return

CF. Buxton has basically missed the entire season with migraines or injuries

SR. Sanatana has basically missed the entire season with injuries.

 

Edited by SF Twins Fan, 20 August 2018 - 11:01 AM.

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#10 howieramone2

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:59 AM

Who would have guessed Sano and Buxton would crap the bed at the same time? All but 1 or 2 of our writers predicted we would make the play-offs. Going into next season, it will be the same.

 

The core of 4, plus Rosario and Polanco are still here. Our farm system will be in the top 5, and the new regime seemingly has no qualms about moving prospects. We have as much money available as any team in baseball and I have no doubt they will spend, before the fat lady sings. 

Edited by howieramone2, 20 August 2018 - 11:02 AM.

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#11 gunnarthor

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:52 AM

 

We have as much money available as any team in baseball and I have no doubt they will spend, before the fat lady sings. 

This part I have doubts on but let's see what happens first.


#12 yarnivek1972

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:22 PM

They very well could contend next season. They have a solid rotation with plenty of prospects that are going to be in either AA or AAA to start the season. To really take a step to WS contention they will either need some of these players improve or they will need to trade from the very deep farm system for a top 1 or 2 type pitcher. I wouldn't want the Twins to trade for or sign a bottom half of the rotation pitcher as it seems like they have plenty of those.

Rotation:
1. Berrios
2. Gibson
3.
4. Odorizzi
5. Romero / Gonsalves / Mejia / Stewart / Littell / Thorpe / Graterol

Lineup:
C - Garver / Castro
1B - Mauer / Austin
2nd - Maybe Escobar? Maybe Forsythe? I don't see Gordon being ready, at least to start the season.
3rd - Sano / Adrianza
SS - Polanco - Adrianza
OF - Rosario / Buxton / Kepler / Cave / Wade

Bullpen:
LHR - Rogers / Moya
RHR - May / Hildenberger / Reed / Busenitz

If the Twins can resign Escobar to play 2nd and add at least one good bullpen piece (There should be 5 or 6 very good FA's this offseason) I believe they should be in good shape. If they can make a trade that nets a very good starting pitcher I believe they should be a WS contender. The Twins were hit hard by injuries / suspensions this year. Add in some better health and the Twins should be in a good spot.
C. Castro miss most of the season
1st. Mauer missed a month and didn't look great when he came back.
3rd. Sano missed significant time and wasn't in great shape after not being able to work out in the Winter
SS. Polanco missed the 1st half with a suspension and has looked great in his return
CF. Buxton has basically missed the entire season with migraines or injuries
SR. Sanatana has basically missed the entire season with injuries.



Injuries are part of baseball. Any of the above players could easily get injured again - or any host of others - and the Twins have Adrianza at 3b instead of the bench. Teams that win championships have sufficient depth to overcome injuries.

Sure, IF everyone stays pretty healthy and IF the younger core players step up the Twins have a chance to contend with the Indians. They are still 4-5 players short of championship contention IMO.
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#13 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:38 PM

Of course this the “worst case scenario”, but even if the FO trades both Gibson and Sano in the offseason, and doesn’t sign a FA, I still don’t see how we’re not contending for the WC, if not the weak AL Central, in 2019. I mean, there’s just too much “raw talent” on this roster, “raw talent” that “could” be signed to very affordable extensions (Berrios, Rosario, Buxton, Romero, Kepler). In turn, these cost-effective extensions would then set the stage for more extensions (Lewis, Graterol, Kirilloff), along with a couple of huge FA splashes down the road as well.

But this is the worst case scenario...
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#14 SF Twins Fan

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:42 PM

 

Injuries are part of baseball. Any of the above players could easily get injured again - or any host of others - and the Twins have Adrianza at 3b instead of the bench. Teams that win championships have sufficient depth to overcome injuries.

Sure, IF everyone stays pretty healthy and IF the younger core players step up the Twins have a chance to contend with the Indians. They are still 4-5 players short of championship contention IMO.

 

 

So most teams have four of their starting lineup miss basically half a season and all at the same time? That's doubtful. They might have four or even five miss time throughout the season and but most teams can't overcome that many players out for 80 plus games.

 

Castro will have played 19 games and some of those were him trying to play through pain. He's by no means an amazing catcher but he's head and shoulders above Wilson.

 

Polanco missed 80 games with a suspension and has looked the part since his return.

 

Sano played 37 games in the first half of the season but was basically playing on one leg since he wasn't able to workout at all Winter. He's looked much more like his old self since coming back after he lost 20 plus pounds.

 

Buxton has played 28 games and played some of those on one foot after being brought back too soon. 

Edited by SF Twins Fan, 20 August 2018 - 12:43 PM.

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#15 yarnivek1972

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:51 PM

You are conveniently ignoring that if Polanco and Sano played in the first half they take at bats away from Eduardo Escobar, one of the most productive bats the team had in the first half. Maybe Morrison sits more, but knowing MOY, my guess is no.

Indeed, with out the regular playing time he was forced into, who is to say Escobar would have done as well?

Edited by yarnivek1972, 20 August 2018 - 12:53 PM.

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#16 DocBauer

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:04 PM

Having money to invest in your roster is tremendous. But attempting to "buy" a winning team in FA has very seldom proven to be a successful approach. Keeping a roster intact, and adding additional pieces via FA and trades is a much better and more proven formula.

Hate to use the word "potentially", but the rotation looks pretty good with Berrios, Gibson, Pineda, Odorizzi with Romero, Gonsalves and Mejia the top 3 challengers. How awesome if TWO of then could step forward! (Thorpe probably leads the pack of remaining depth).

The pen has Rogers, May, Reed (good or bad) and Hildenberger pretty much all set. There's at least something to work with there. But even with Moya looking solid, and some AAA arms to consider, the team really needs at least one quality addition here.

Re-sign Escobar for 2B and bring in another infielder for depth and competition. Maybe a utility guy, maybe a veteran looking for another year or two in the sun

I like the rest of the team otherwise and would count on health and development.

Another 1B/DH is where I'm a little unsure.
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#17 Mike Sixel

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:10 PM

So most teams have four of their starting lineup miss basically half a season and all at the same time? That's doubtful. They might have four or even five miss time throughout the season and but most teams can't overcome that many players out for 80 plus games.

Castro will have played 19 games and some of those were him trying to play through pain. He's by no means an amazing catcher but he's head and shoulders above Wilson.

Polanco missed 80 games with a suspension and has looked the part since his return.

Sano played 37 games in the first half of the season but was basically playing on one leg since he wasn't able to workout at all Winter. He's looked much more like his old self since coming back after he lost 20 plus pounds.

Buxton has played 28 games and played some of those on one foot after being brought back too soon.


I've posted the link before, the twins were not even league median in WAR lost to injury. That was some time ago, so it may be worse now, but half way thru the year, more than half the teams had lost more projected WAR.
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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#18 Mike Sixel

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:12 PM

Having money to invest in your roster is tremendous. But attempting to "buy" a winning team in FA has very seldom proven to be a successful approach. Keeping a roster intact, and adding additional pieces via FA and trades is a much better and more proven formula.

Hate to use the word "potentially", but the rotation looks pretty good with Berrios, Gibson, Pineda, Odorizzi with Romero, Gonsalves and Mejia the top 3 challengers. How awesome if TWO of then could step forward! (Thorpe probably leads the pack of remaining depth).

The pen has Rogers, May, Reed (good or bad) and Hildenberger pretty much all set. There's at least something to work with there. But even with Moya looking solid, and some AAA arms to consider, the team really needs at least one quality addition here.

Re-sign Escobar for 2B and bring in another infielder for depth and competition. Maybe a utility guy, maybe a veteran looking for another year or two in the sun

I like the rest of the team otherwise and would count on health and development.

Another 1B/DH is where I'm a little unsure.


Is anyone saying buy a team? I'm not sure what that line means. They have a few openings, they should try to close at least a couple externally.

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#19 SF Twins Fan

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:19 PM

 

I've posted the link before, the twins were not even league median in WAR lost to injury. That was some time ago, so it may be worse now, but half way thru the year, more than half the teams had lost more projected WAR.

 

I'm assuming those are based on projected WAR, which can be subjective no? 


#20 Riverbrian

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:23 PM

 

So most teams have four of their starting lineup miss basically half a season and all at the same time? That's doubtful. They might have four or even five miss time throughout the season and but most teams can't overcome that many players out for 80 plus games.

 

Castro will have played 19 games and some of those were him trying to play through pain. He's by no means an amazing catcher but he's head and shoulders above Wilson.

 

Polanco missed 80 games with a suspension and has looked the part since his return.

 

Sano played 37 games in the first half of the season but was basically playing on one leg since he wasn't able to workout at all Winter. He's looked much more like his old self since coming back after he lost 20 plus pounds.

 

Buxton has played 28 games and played some of those on one foot after being brought back too soon. 

 

https://www.rosterre...d-list-tracker/

 

Take a look... Injuries happen to every team. Multiple Injuries... Lots of Injuries every single year. The Twins went through nothing like the Nationals or Dodgers suffered through. What the Twins experienced this year was routine and it wasn't the injuries that sunk us... It was terrible performance from the healthy that they couldn't survive. 

 

Actually... Our injuries made us better at times. 

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