Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email
Photo

Reusse: Optimistic About 2013 Twins

  • Please log in to reply
85 replies to this topic

#21 drjim

drjim

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 8,783 posts
  • LocationSt. Paul

Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

I think it's fair to say that Reusse has that market cornered.


But even Reusse occasionally lifts himself out of the muck for a ray of sunshine.

#22 TheLeviathan

TheLeviathan

    Twins News Team

  • Members
  • 14,043 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:17 PM

The infield defense should be better, shouldn't it? Yes the OF defense certainly took a hit. Span/Revere = Hicks/Parmelee in the lineup, IMO. In any case, I don't see 'significant' downgrades for lineup and infield defense, in fact, I think we could argue that each could improve.


How exactly are you arguing the infield defense improves? Plouffe is still a wild card, Florimon's rep is that he's good but I wasn't impressed at the end of last year, and second base is....Carrol? I guess he's ok, but there is a solid chance Dozier is in that spot at some point and he hardly wowed anyone either.

I'd also suggest that "took a hit" is way too nicely phrased for comparing Span/Revere to Willingham/Parmalee. Hard to count Hicks until he's actually there and we see him play. I'm optimistic, but right now we have to look at things for what they are. I'm praying to whatever Baseball God has smote us with Drew Butera that they show mercy and have Benson ready to take over CF and stick in RF when it comes to Hicks, but that's hard to count on too.

Also, replacing their OBP could be difficult from their replacements.

#23 jokin

jokin

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 11,212 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:21 PM

But even Reusse occasionally lifts himself out of the muck for a ray of sunshine.


When the sun actually shines, as it even rarely does in Twinsland, we all register our approval. It just seems odd that the perpetual optimists can't understand that the sunshine scale is severely out of whack these last 3 years and with the exception of 2 moves (the 2nd move of Revere being quite accidental), more of the same-old, same-old simply isn't acceptable.

#24 FrodaddyG

FrodaddyG

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 536 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

The infield defense should be better, shouldn't it? Yes the OF defense certainly took a hit. Span/Revere = Hicks/Parmelee in the lineup, IMO. In any case, I don't see 'significant' downgrades for lineup and infield defense, in fact, I think we could argue that each could improve.

The infield defense could be decent or terrible. Plouffe may settle in and get better at third, but given his history elsewhere on the infield, he could just as easily be a trainwreck. Florimon, Escobar, Carroll all could be acceptable, but they aren't really "upgrades", seeing as they represent the majority of what the infield was running out there the end of last year. They just are what they are, and what you got the last few months of last year (which was neither great nor terrible on defense) is probably what you'll get this year, unless Carroll's age finally caught up to him. Morneau should be fine at first, but that's easily the least important aspect of the discussion.

As for the lineup, I don't think there's any way to expect any kind of upgrade. Willingham is likely due for some kind of regression. It may be small, but he had a career year last year, and it would be hard to expect those numbers again. Mauer should do Mauer things. Morneau could improve back towards his All Star numbers which would help.

The problems arise when you consider that you are going to be giving a couple thousand ABs to these three groups:

Black holes like Butera, Florimon, and Escobar.

Guys who need to stay on the MLB roster and prove their role as part of the long-term plan like Mastro, Parmelee, and Plouffe.

Young guys like Hicks, Benson, or Arcia, depending on who is up and playing at any given point in the year.

Now, the last two groups could be acceptable, or could completely Plouffe the bed. It likely lies somewhere in the middle, with group 2 being the more likely to hold their own at the dish. Group 3 could also be decent, but some serious struggles are to be expected if this is the first go-round for Hicks/Arcia, or the first long-term run with the MLB club for Benson. When this much of the roster is made up of unproven or proven-to-be-poor-offensively players, it's hard to think the smart money lies with betting on improvement in the lineup.

#25 PseudoSABR

PseudoSABR

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 3,917 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

How exactly are you arguing the infield defense improves? Plouffe is still a wild card, Florimon's rep is that he's good but I wasn't impressed at the end of last year, and second base is....Carrol? I guess he's ok, but there is a solid chance Dozier is in that spot at some point and he hardly wowed anyone either.

Plouffe year 2 at 3b > Plouffe year 1 at 3b Florimon at SS >> Dozier at SS (by all accounts) Dozier/Carrol at 2b = Cassila/Carrol at 2b. I also imagine firstbase defense will improve with a healthier Morneau and a more experienced Mauer. At worse it's a draw, but it's far from a downgrade in any case.

Look, you're taking the half-empty approach to any ambiguous outcome, so of course, you're going to see downgrade everywhere, but I don't think that's particularly honest or realistic assessment.

#26 S.

S.

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 714 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

So, you're saying Dozier is just as good defensively at 2b as Casilla? Where are you drawing this conclusion from?


Edit: Also, in terms of Florimon being a >> defensive upgrade over Dozier at SS...

Florimon:
Minors at SS: 715 games played, 183 errors
Majors at SS: 47 games played, 8 errors

Dozier:
Minors at SS: 289 games played, 48 errors
Majors at SS: 82 games played, 15 errors

I'm not some defensive metric wiz, so if you have some stats to prove that Florimon is so much better at SS by all accounts, I'd like to see them. However, nothing I've seen from stats or watching him play has exactly inspired great confidence in Florimon to be any sort of upgrade at SS.

Edited by S., 28 January 2013 - 04:51 PM.


#27 ThePuck

ThePuck

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,232 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:47 PM

last year, according to baseball-reference, the Twins ranked just below league average in defensive efficiency.

2012 Major League Baseball Standard Fielding - Baseball-Reference.com

according to baseball prospectus, we ranked 18th

http://www.baseballp...php?cid=1091208

..and we lost our two best defenders in the offseason...

Edited by ThePuck, 28 January 2013 - 04:50 PM.


#28 jokin

jokin

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 11,212 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:48 PM

Plouffe year 2 at 3b > Plouffe year 1 at 3b Florimon at SS >> Dozier at SS (by all accounts) Dozier/Carrol at 2b = Cassila/Carrol at 2b. I also imagine firstbase defense will improve with a healthier Morneau and a more experienced Mauer. At worse it's a draw, but it's far from a downgrade in any case.

Look, you're taking the half-empty approach to any ambiguous outcome, so of course, you're going to see downgrade everywhere, but I don't think that's particularly honest or realistic assessment.


1) Plouffe and a year's experience might make him better, but his career still suggests Valencia-like Wild Card.

2) Florimon greater than Dozier by "all accounts?" Then why was Dozier given the job first by the FO? Flori got the job by default. Dozier's minor league slash line: .298/.370/.409/.779. Florimon's: .249/.321/.354/.675 An OPS over 100 points higher suggests Dozier projects higher, even with an edge to Florimon on defense.

3) Cassila was a much better defender and base-stealer, but I agree overall that this is probably a wash.

Maybe not a downgrade overall, but when you're not moving ahead and are content with "a draw", and not far removed from last year's mediocrity, net effect is you're moving behind.

Even you are discerning enough to acknowledge that you at least see severe downgrade elsewhere in the OF and top of the lineup, doesn't seem to merit a lot of positivity about the 2013 overall outcome.

#29 70charger

70charger

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,501 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:48 PM

Every single one of our starting rotation wasn't pitching with club come the deadline. Every. Single. One. 2 went down with injuries, 1 got traded with a 5.3 ERA, and 2 were so sucky they were DFA'd. 2/3 of the innings pitched by our team were pitched by pitchers with ERAs above 5.00, which means that 2/3 of our innings were pitched by people who were #5 starters or worse on normal teams. Is it really that hard to think that maybe things will be better this year?

I guess that since I'm not bitching about everything the Twins have done lately, I'm just drinking the kool-aid. Whatever. Flame away.

#30 jokin

jokin

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 11,212 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:01 PM

Every single one of our starting rotation wasn't pitching with club come the deadline. Every. Single. One. 2 went down with injuries, 1 got traded with a 5.3 ERA, and 2 were so sucky they were DFA'd. 2/3 of the innings pitched by our team were pitched by pitchers with ERAs above 5.00, which means that 2/3 of our innings were pitched by people who were #5 starters or worse on normal teams. Is it really that hard to think that maybe things will be better this year?

I guess that since I'm not bitching about everything the Twins have done lately, I'm just drinking the kool-aid. Whatever. Flame away.


Do the Twins have a decent shot at having a sub-5.00 SP ERA from last year's 5.40?

Absolutely.

Given the defensive holes hollowed out of the lineup and huge projected drop in offensive production, would a highly implausible, semi-miraculous, everything-goes-perfect, American League average 4.37 SP ERA make a material difference in the W-L column?

Nope.

#31 70charger

70charger

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,501 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:07 PM

Do the Twins have a decent shot at having a sub-5.00 SP ERA from last year's 5.40?

Absolutely.

Given the defensive holes hollowed out of the lineup and huge projected drop in offensive production, would a highly implausible, semi-miraculous, everything-goes-perfect, American League average 4.37 SP ERA make a material difference in the W-L column?

Nope.


Then we'll see you back here in 2014?


Hey, a man can dream...

#32 jokin

jokin

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 11,212 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

Then we'll see you back here in 2014?


Hey, a man can dream...


Sorry, as a lifelong Twins fan, I'll be here per usual, pointing out imcompetence and hypocrisy and demanding that changes be made.

Now go back, shut your eyes real tight, and start in again on your Make-A-Wish dreaming campaign.

#33 TheLeviathan

TheLeviathan

    Twins News Team

  • Members
  • 14,043 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:14 PM

Plouffe year 2 at 3b > Plouffe year 1


That's an awfully big assumption. Shall I suggest Danny Valencia as reason to not be so sure that defense will improve with time. In any case, this isn't any "better" than last year considering we had Carrol/Plouffe (who I thought played it pretty well overall) there last year.

Florimon at SS >> Dozier at SS (by all accounts) Dozier/Carrol at 2b = Cassila/Carrol at 2b.



I heard that about Florimon last year and from what I saw, he wasn't nearly the wizard we've heard about. Given the flashes we saw of the skillset I'm not ruling this out as an upgrade, but I need to see the hype matched first because a month of observations were not encouraging. Dozier was pretty terrible in his stretch so it's possible.

Again, you argued it was "better" - to start sniping about honest takes and being glass half-empty is skewing the argument. Congrats on shifting the argument so you could take some sort of high ground, but that was never what I claimed. The OF has taken a massive downgrade and, as you said, the infield is probably a wash. (And it wasn't very good last year) It's worth noting that it could be a very big problem for our pitching staff, enough even to offset these meager upgrades.

#34 gunnarthor

gunnarthor

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 8,763 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:27 PM

I'd also suggest that "took a hit" is way too nicely phrased for comparing Span/Revere to Willingham/Parmalee. Hard to count Hicks until he's actually there and we see him play. I'm optimistic, but right now we have to look at things for what they are. I'm praying to whatever Baseball God has smote us with Drew Butera that they show mercy and have Benson ready to take over CF and stick in RF when it comes to Hicks, but that's hard to count on too.

Also, replacing their OBP could be difficult from their replacements.


I'm concerned about the MI defense but not that concerned about the OF. Span/Revere were great but Revere made Span a better CFer, something the Nats will learn. Maestro, Hicks or Benson should be better than Span in CF. I think Hicks gets the nod for opening day and every scouting write up on him thinks he'll be a great defensive CFer. There might be questions about his bat but his defense should make him pretty good. Parmelee in right isn't great but Maestro will probably be a defensive replacement for him most games which will minimize it somewhat. And if Parmelee isn't hitting, the team won't keep him out there.

I think by the end of the season, we'll have traded Willingham and you'll see an OF of Benson/Hicks/Arcia in Aug/Sept.

#35 ThePuck

ThePuck

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,232 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:30 PM

I'm concerned about the MI defense but not that concerned about the OF. Span/Revere were great but Revere made Span a better CFer, something the Nats will learn. Maestro, Hicks or Benson should be better than Span in CF. I think Hicks gets the nod for opening day and every scouting write up on him thinks he'll be a great defensive CFer. There might be questions about his bat but his defense should make him pretty good. Parmelee in right isn't great but Maestro will probably be a defensive replacement for him most games which will minimize it somewhat. And if Parmelee isn't hitting, the team won't keep him out there.

I think by the end of the season, we'll have traded Willingham and you'll see an OF of Benson/Hicks/Arcia in Aug/Sept.


Revere made Span a better CFer? How so?

#36 snepp

snepp

    Curve Hanger

  • Twins Mods
  • 5,994 posts
  • LocationSioux Falls

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:33 PM

Revere made Span a better CFer? How so?


Big smiles raise morale.

Member VP of the "Baseball Player Positional Flexibility" Club


#37 mcrow

mcrow

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 277 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:35 PM

I think on paper the Twins are better going into this ST than they peformed last season. However, it seems like the rotation always seems to under perform expectations so I'm being very cautious about it at this point. Joe Saunders might help if they get him but I don't really see him make that huge of a difference.

#38 PseudoSABR

PseudoSABR

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 3,917 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:12 PM

[quote name='TheLeviathan']That's an awfully big assumption [that Plouffe will improve at 3b ths year].[/QUOTE]No it's not. It's a reasonable assumption. Valencia played exclusively thirdbase and, evidently, had attitude issues that may have impacted his lack of improvement.
[QUOTE]I heard that about Florimon last year and from what I saw, he wasn't nearly the wizard we've heard about. Given the flashes we saw of the skillset I'm not ruling this out as an upgrade, but I need to see the hype matched first because a month of observations were not encouraging. Dozier was pretty terrible in his stretch so it's possible. [/QUOTE]The Twins seem to be giving the job to Florimon based soley on his defensive ability, so it's clear they see an improvement even if you don't.

[QUOTE]Again, you argued it was "better" - to start sniping about honest takes and being glass half-empty is skewing the argument. Congrats on shifting the argument so you could take some sort of high ground, but that was never what I claimed. The OF has taken a massive downgrade and, as you said, the infield is probably a wash. (And it wasn't very good last year) It's worth noting that it could be a very big problem for our pitching staff, enough even to offset these meager upgrades.[/QUOTE]Look, when you state that it's an "awfully big assumption" for a player to improve at a position he's ostensible still learning, people are going to wonder if you're being honest in your assessment. Maybe I'm being unfair, but lately it seems that you'll spin any contentious point so that it paints the Twins FO negatively. If there's any ambiguity, you (like a train of others posting lately) will argue tooth-and-nail that such ambiguity proves how stupid the Twins have been.

And for the record, I always have the higher ground. :cool:

#39 Joe A. Preusser

Joe A. Preusser

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,147 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:20 PM

Do the Twins have a decent shot at having a sub-5.00 SP ERA from last year's 5.40?

Absolutely.

Given the defensive holes hollowed out of the lineup and huge projected drop in offensive production, would a highly implausible, semi-miraculous, everything-goes-perfect, American League average 4.37 SP ERA make a material difference in the W-L column?

Nope.


Sorry, I'm not buying an automatic downgrade in the offense. You put an All-Star calibur Morneau into the middle of last year's lineup, replace Span and Revere with reasonable replacements, and you hold steady in runs scored right there. Forget the possibilities that Plouffe and Hicks/Benson and Doumit and even Mauer could ALL have better years. More than anything else, this season's offense will hinge on whether or not Morneau can round back into All-Star form. And I'd rate that proposition better than even money.

#40 Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 3,336 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:20 PM

I'm hearing a lot about how the Twins shouldn't be expected to improve offensively this year. Point me to a position other than LF where they are unlikely to improve or maintain. I'm not seeing it.