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James Richter

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About James Richter

  • Birthday 02/04/1976

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    Original Music and Sound Design

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  1. As far as contact authority and plate discipline, what we've seen in the first 10 games is pretty similar to what he showed in Spring Training, too. Comparing his spring stats with 2014-15 there are hopeful signs of improvement.
  2. Everything is magnified this early. "Winless through 7 games" can overstate how close most of these games were. The fundamental issues Nick raises are definitely a concern. But we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that there has been some unsustainable un-clutchness so far: -The team has about half the BABIP and 30% more Ks with RISP than they do overall. -Our best bullpen guys have all blown at least one high-leverage situation. It's maddening, but better times are ahead.
  3. All of this makes sense. Berrios will be called on soon enough. How many other teams in the league can actually improve their rotation by having one of their "Top 5" starters go down?
  4. IIRC, the laugher of that season was a 23-2 drubbing of the Indians, in which Reed was totally in control... apart from the 2 dingers he served up to Thome.
  5. I also liked Bremer's call on the one Thome hit off the top of the flagpole - "Oh my goodness gracious!" as it left the bat, wasn't it?
  6. And yet Fangraphs somehow has Buxton projected to provide negative value on defense.
  7. It may be splitting hairs, but I think this is the more apt way to think about it. Complacency would be not caring at all how good the team on the field is, or what the fans think about it. Like the Marlins, or the Cubs for most of the last century. The Bill Smith era was a time of uncharacteristic risk taking for the franchise. Lengthy extensions for Mauer, Moreau, Cuddyer, Nathan, Baker and (gulp) Blackburn. Trading Santana, Garza, Gomez, Hardy and Ramos. Expensive international signings like Sano, Kepler and (gulp) Nishioka. Only in the draft did they play it safe, probably because they so rigidly held to recommended slot values. 4 years of riskier transactions, at the end of which a team that had been successful for a decade was in shambles. Being risk averse to begin with, I'm not surprised that the Twins have had a reaction back toward "safer" moves, especially in the midst of the rebuild. But, like Bill, Mike and some other posters, I hope they'll have the guts to pay what it takes to fill roster holes with impactful additions now that their window of contention is opening again.
  8. At Catcher as much as with the rotation and bullpen, the Twins' potential for 2016 depends on how quickly they pivot away from middling veterans to up-and-coming youngsters. The time share in April should be no more than 60/40 Suzuki, and Murphy will hopefully earn more time by summer.
  9. While we can't correlate the increase in Ks to the concussion, there does seem to be a significant drop-off in contact authority since the injury. According to Fangraphs, Mauer's only seasons from 2004-2013 with a hard-hit average below 30% were his rookie year & 2011. From 2007-2013 it was typical for his hard-hit average to be around 37% - 3 out of every 8 BIP. 2014 & 2015 have each been below 30%, however, as well as having fly ball percentages well off his career norms.
  10. This is the trap the Twins have to avoid this season. The talent level at the upper minors is rising to the point that "fine" isn't good enough, particularly by midseason. I will be following Nolasco's first 4 spring training appearances with particular interest. If he can impress scouts during the first half of March, he suddenly becomes tradeable. By mid-March, multiple teams will have had a projected starter get hurt, and will be looking for a solid veteran to fill in. He could be an option for them, especially if the Twins throw in some money in the deal. Short & long term, I think the Twins are best off recouping what they can for Nolasco and moving him out of the way.
  11. Personally, I wouldn't characterize less than 2.0 WAR as an optimistic projection for Park at all. While they certainly may choose to give Suzuki the lion's share of the playing time this season, I'll be very surprised and disappointed if that turns out to be the case. As for the floor, another big factor I see holding it up is the quality depth they have in the upper minors. The Twins' top 25 players aren't so outstanding that their production can't be replaced by Berrios, Burdi, Chargois, Polanco, Kepler, etc. They're much better positioned to sustain injuries to "key starters" than the other teams in the division.
  12. How about if we say "higher upside than the presumed veteran incumbent?" It seems to me that May is only a long-shot for the rotation because there are so many tenured guys on the roster. I also want to point out that, though the projections have the Twins at the bottom of the standings, they're only 6 games behind the leaders. And while I think most of their rate stat projections are plausible, there's a lot to quibble with in Fangraphs' current depth chart. They have Suzuki getting 100 more PA than Murphy, Escobar only making half the starts at SS, Dozier, Plouffe and Buxton all providing negative defensive value. I'm certainly expecting things to go differently in those areas, which is mainly why I see 78 wins as more of a floor.
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