Basically it stresses the importance of a bullpen and going for average starting pitchers. To make the starters better or to give them a better chance to succeed the Twins stress 2 things, do not walk anyone and do not make defensive mistakes. While there is plenty of statistics out which are able to help determine who is good defensively and who isn't. There is no statistic developed yet to determine how each defensive play affects the outcome of the game. The closest one to that is the one Twinsgeek has written about more than once regarding runs scored in these situations with runners on base and number of outs. (I can see that as being one of the major stats the Twins use too as we'll talk about that more on offense). (Also if Twinsgeek is reading this can you provide a link to your study below in comments) If there is a runner on 1rst and the batter hits a ball to right CF and Hicks is able to make a running grab with an outstretched dive and get the 2nd out vs being an ave defensive CF who misses the ball and it turns into a 2b with runners at 2nd and 3rd and one out. How will that affect the pitcher and how will that affect the hitter coming to bat, this is how a team falls into a hole they cant get out of with that next hit they give up, which could turn into another.....or with the catch we now have the 2nd out and a runner on first.
The Twins have always been known as being a good defensive team. That is a big part of the term "doing things the Twins way" that has been attributed to them. In the early 2000's when the team started winning we had Torri Hunter in CF and Jacques Jones in LF, Koskie at 3rd who went from being below average to near elite, Mientkewicz who probably should have won a gold glove, Guzman and Rivas weren't bad either. then we added Punto who was great defensively, Morneau replaced mientkewicz and became above average defensively until his injury. Crede who was signed as a FA was excellent defensively if he could play. Looking forward there is real promise as we have Buxton for CF and hopefully Hicks for LF, Dozier and Florimon are both above average and borderline elite at 2nd and SS. The Twins are really pushing defense on Sano in the minors with the hope he can be average to slightly above average with the glove as he already has a game changing bat, imagine his value if he was elite defensively too. Mauer is also gold glove candidate the question seems to be will he still be behind the plate when the Twins are restructured to win again? That gives the future Twins 5 potential gold glove candidates on the field all at premium defensive positions (Mauer C, Buxton CF, Hicks LF, Florimon SS, and Dozier 2B) 1b is still a major ? moving forward so we don't know how the defense is going to play out. same with RF will it go to Arcia? will he move to 1b or DH and will Rosario be in RF?
The overall point is that a strong defense will convert more batted balls into outs thus limiting runs scored further. This plus limiting walks will help make average starting pitchers better. This also makes it more likely that the average starter will succeed when he pitches, and that validates the 1 rule on pitching. And now you know how and why Ryan goes after the pitchers he does. Whether you agree with it or not this is his philosophy based off of his actions of play acquisitions . But there are more rules to building a winning team to come....
Edited by Brandon, 13 October 2013 - 09:03 AM.