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It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be?

Posted: 1/2/2013 7:54 AM

It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


OK--its time to get down to business now. Right now, the last place Twins, are still positioned to stay in the basement for the 3rd straight year. They have done nothing to change that eventuality. They have traded away two significant regulars for one suspect starting pitcher and a couple of prospects (who despite the requisite press clippings promising greatness...are still only that--prospects)
They have major holes in most infield positions. They need a major league center fielder. They need some power beyond Willingham (if he isn't traded) Morneau can no longer be counted on for power. It is hoped he can remain healthy enough to legitimately yield some quality players at the trade deadline...if not sooner.

Joe Mauer is who he is. He is a costly decent catcher, who is not a team leader, and who will get you a .300 BA by slap hitting opposite field singles. Not to completely minimize his contributions because he still is a quality ballplayer, he is not as useful to the team as he used to be....at least not with the current cast of very suspect players.

It is hoped Terry Ryan is a very busy GM in the coming weeks. Either that or we must all be resolved to basically toss 2013 into the can and hope that the farm produces enough legitimate talent to make the big club competitive again in a year or two.
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Posted: 1/2/2013 3:47 PM

Re: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


The season hinges on a few positions in my opinion when you compare us to the 2012 team.  First of all, the starting rotation is probably already better.  What?! Really?!  Well, think about it, Liriano was the best guy but he wasn't really that good.  Diamond wasn't with us the entire season but looked the best.  We moved journeyman arms and young arms in and out of the rotation.  This coming year, we have 3 guys pretty much set to start the rotation.  Diamond is going to be pretty much the same guy, strong control pitcher, pitch to contact and should eat some innings.  Worley has been good before, should be better than anyone else we had last year.  Correia, who knows, at least he has a history of being average.  Should eat some innings.  I don't know, then again probably better than what he had last year.  The last two spots are open for the guys we auditioned last year plus Gibson and maybe even May.  Hendriks looked much better the end of last year so he seems to have learned something.  Deduno has a live arm and wicked silly movement.

So, overall the starting rotation goes from an F or D to maybe a D+ to a C-. 

Bullpen probably still ranks as a solid B.

Outfield, probably downgraded in CF but I think less than most think as I believe Mastroianni is really pretty good.  Willingham can't possibly duplicate what he did last year but Parmalee should be better.  Hicks and Arcia will be interesting to watch.  I'm giving up on Benson as having any real shot at ever becoming a major leaguer but I don't think that really matters much.  Lets call it a B to B-

Infield, Morneau is healthy, I think this guy will still be good.  Second base is either Carroll or Dozier.  It wasn't anyone's position all year in 2012 so I think that is a wash, SS is probably the same but I think Florimon will be as good as we've had in a long time (not saying a lot) so I'll call that a slight improvement.  3rd is a toss up and probably a wash because we just don't know if Plouffe can ever repeat his monster months mid season last year.  If he can't do 80 percent of what he did, then it will be an improvement. 

C to B (mostly because Morneau will be better and Florimon will solidify SS).

Catcher - Mauer is the same guy, and Doumit is a capable backup.  There are two guys in the minors who look like solid prospects in Pinto and Hermann.

B+

Bench was solid in 2012 and I think it's pretty much the same.

B

I do think we'll compete, games will be interesting and following the progress of Sano, Rosario, Meyer, May, Gibson, Buxton, Berrios, Nate Roberts, Hermann and Pinto will be fun.

No championship but I think we will beat out the Indians and maybe the White Sox.  KC is still young so you can't call them locks to beat us but they probably will.  Detroit has too good a rotation and offense to be beaten by anyone in our division or the league for that matter.  But remember the adage, they might win it all on paper, but you still have to play the games. 

Final prediction 3rd place.
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Posted: 1/2/2013 4:25 PM

Re: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


World Series Champions in late October 2013!

biggrin
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Posted: 1/2/2013 7:08 PM

Re: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 



ETCDelawareTwinsFan wrote: The season hinges on a few positions in my opinion when you compare us to the 2012 team.  First of all, the starting rotation is probably already better.  What?! Really?!  Well, think about it, Liriano was the best guy but he wasn't really that good.  Diamond wasn't with us the entire season but looked the best.  We moved journeyman arms and young arms in and out of the rotation.  This coming year, we have 3 guys pretty much set to start the rotation.  Diamond is going to be pretty much the same guy, strong control pitcher, pitch to contact and should eat some innings.  Worley has been good before, should be better than anyone else we had last year.  Correia, who knows, at least he has a history of being average.  Should eat some innings.  I don't know, then again probably better than what he had last year.  The last two spots are open for the guys we auditioned last year plus Gibson and maybe even May.  Hendriks looked much better the end of last year so he seems to have learned something.  Deduno has a live arm and wicked silly movement.

So, overall the starting rotation goes from an F or D to maybe a D+ to a C-. 

Sorry Amigo, I love your optimism and your seeing our Twins thru rose-tinted glasses, but going into campaign 2012, our rotation was looking a ton more solid than it is today.

Here is what we had:
1.)  Carl Pavano
Carl Pavano was a proven workhorse for the Twins, having thrown for 220 innings in 2011 and 2010.  He gave us a lot of credible innings in 2009 after we plucked him up from the Indians in 2009.  Guy simply did a job and kept us in games and I say he's better than anything we'll put out there in 2013, Diamond included.  The End.

2.)  Scott Baker
Again, better than any other projected starter that we have in 2013.  Baker looked likely to be considered our "ace" in 2012 and was better than any other MLB pitcher at home, going 5-1 at Target Field with a 2.34 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 57 K's in 57 IP.
Baker had a career high in K/9 with 8.22, ahead of Cole Hamels and Jered Weaver and earned the title of "Big Spot Scott", finding his rising fastball, which proved to be one of the best swing/miss pitches in all of baseball.  Absolute HUGE mistake not to give Baker his one year, 5.5 mil in 2013... stupid, stupid, stupid.

3.)  Francisco Liriano
Eh, loved the guy (when he was on) and hated the guy when he couldn't find the plate.  Certainly not our "best guy" though there was a ton of hope that he could be "the guy" coming into 2012, having played in the World Games and a dominant spring training.  In 2010, he posted a K/9 rate of 9.44, had a career-high 14 wins and produced a ground-ball percentage of 53.6.  He thru a no-hitter in May, 2011 and had patches of complete dominance.  Yes, reason why you and I both wanted to retain his services for 2013 and beyond, but who knows - maybe Deduno, a poor-man's/RH'ed version of Liriano, may proved to be a better option and cheaper, but there was plenty of optimism heading into 2012.

4.)  Nick Blackburn
Enigmatic, no doubt.  When his sinker is "on" and he's hitting his spots, he was very good for us.  Similar to Liriano, he had a great 2012 spring training and all reports were positive that he could return to the guy who was very good for us in his first two seasons.  As we found out, it wasn't to be.

5.)  Jason Marquis...
sucks huevos, but, but, but, but = Kevin Correia.  Both absolute terrible TR signings and I know I shared my feelings regarding our signing Marquis prior to 2012 Season.

6.)  Now, throw in Brian Duensing, who looked to be a solid back-up plan should one starter fail or go down due to injury...

 

All in all, prior to the start of 2012, I was feeling pretty positive about our chances to be competitive in 2012 from a starting pitching perspective, which completely contrasts the feeling I have going into 2013 (and of course, I hope I'm wrong).  However, we all know what happened and take out your top two pitchers on any team and the results simply will not be good.

Last edited 1/2/2013 7:45 PM by brian450

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Posted: 1/2/2013 9:18 PM

RE: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


I'd say we could be a third place team in 2014 with the promotion of several of the blue chip prospects that hopefully won't flame out. No way the team, as currently positioned can beat anyone in our division. Way too many 'ifs' IMO.
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Posted: 1/3/2013 6:03 PM

Re: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


I thought both Baker and Pavano were pretty much injured going into 2012.
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Posted: 1/3/2013 10:20 PM

Re: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


I did say 'going into season 2012' and basically, since we're in January, the same time last year.

Having said that, Pavano was our Opening Day pitcher and there was no reason to think he would not be able to give us what he was able in his previous and consistent tenure with the Twins (2009 - 2011)

Baker shut himself down in April, and again, there was no reason to think (this time last year) that he wasn't going to be one of our top pitchers... (who knows - maybe someone that we're counting on for campaign 2013). 

Remember Gardy kind of calling out Scott Baker during spring training because Baker didn't feel right??  Oh man, instead of trusting the guy a bit, he made a couple snide remarks thru the press - I thought that was so damned weasely and instead of seeing Baker go, I'd have loved to see Gardy sent packin'... (one could same obvious non-Gardy favs:  Bartlett, Neshek, Balfour, Garza, Lohse - who am I missing?  etc...

Happy New Year, btw!  biggrin 

We can all hope 2013 proves to be better than expected for our Minnesota Twins (but no, I won't be placing any wagers this year).
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Posted: 1/4/2013 8:04 PM

Re: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


If you're making me compare what we started with in 2012 and with what we are starting with in 2013, that doesn't really make sense if you really think about it.  We're not improving on our theoretical performance of 2012, we actually played through that season.  For almost the entire season, we suffered through either Marquis and AAA pitchers with Diamond showing success.  I think it is a comparison with what we used in 2012 and whether we've improved the rotation on paper for 2013.  If there would be any point to compare the season after 2013 is done, fine.  There is no other way to legitimately compare Ryan's current performance other than as I noted above.  It does require a little logic application to come to this conclusion but I do believe it is correct.
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Posted: 1/4/2013 8:29 PM

Re: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


Eh, let me put it this way and simplify things:

I liked where were positioned this time last year with regards to starting pitching significantly more than what I like this year.

Comparing 'apples to apples' here...the post is aptly titled, 'It's 2013 Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be?'... of course, no one knows, just like last year at this time, but my best guess looking at these "shrewd" maneuvers, is we'll suffer similar results with garbage pick-ups like Correia and Pelfrey.
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Posted: 1/5/2013 2:27 PM

Re: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


Thus far Ryan has, at best, marginally improved the rotation.  As such, unless he makes some more moves to bolster the rotation, I sadly see another last place finish in the cards for the Twins.  After Diamond and Worley (who, let's face it;  would be 3rd and 4th starters in just about any other rotation), I just don't see any hope for a good starting rotation.

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Posted: 1/5/2013 5:23 PM

RE: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


TR has obtained some new blood for the rotation. Whether its any good or not remains to be seen. sometimes pitchers surprise everyone...for example, Diamond was a lot better than anyone expected. Liriano and Hendriks were pretty much awful...and a lot more was expected of them. So you never know.

Overall, at this very moment, I believe the Twins are actually weaker than they were last year. And that can't be good.
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Posted: 1/5/2013 10:18 PM

Re: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 



TwinsFaninVT wrote: .  After Diamond and Worley (who, let's face it;  would be 3rd and 4th starters in just about any other rotation), I just don't see any hope for a good starting rotation.
yep.  TR has backend starting pitching covered, doesn't he? 

Now, throw in Correia at #5 and who are two guys that are pitching for us at the top? 

Honestly, I hear crickets...
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Posted: 1/6/2013 11:46 AM

RE: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


This team is dead in the water. Trading not one...but two of our starting outfielders, and not doing anything to fill those holes is gonna hurt. We have holes in the middle infield, the starting pitching is still suspect. We'll be lucky to crawl out of the cellar this year.

I will say this.....we will not be the worst team in the American League. That will be the Astros IMO.
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Posted: 1/6/2013 1:00 PM

Re: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


You have to still play the games.  Historically, Twins teams have played better than most.  Frequently surpassing pre-season predictions.  I'm hoping the coaching staff moves get these players playing the right way.  Fundamental team baseball can turn a mediocre team into a good team.  The overall makeup of our players from young to old seem solid.  Hard work and sound fundamentals.  No real head cases.  Florimon can anchor a solid defensive infield.  I'm inclined to have Carroll play second everyday to solidfy a strong double play tandem.  Plouffe is the wild card.  He needs strong coaching help to improve his positioning and making a good first step.  I do believe he's an improvement over Valencia but he still needs to get better.  I realize everyone is missing Revere already but it's not where we're going to be weakest.  Third base has been and will still be our weak link with second base and shortstop close behind.  At least we have some prospects coming up but unfortunately they are strong offensively and weak defensively.
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Posted: 1/6/2013 7:42 PM

RE: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


center field is as weak (or as iffy) as 3rd base...Mastrianni is hardly someone to build you team around. While I agree you do have to play the games, right now Twins are coming off back to back terrible seasons. Not just oh well seasons, but honest to goodness trainwreck seasons. And so far they have done nothing to change that.

I submit, if suddenly everyone has that proverbial career year...they could make some noises. But thats a real stretch IMO. Things at AA and AAA are not as dismal. Our GM DAn Mason was interviewed yesterday and he believes the Wings will be very strong in 2013. Thats encouraging for sure...because Red Wings and very strong have not appeared together in the same sentence in a long time.

We still have some time to find some missing pieces...but I maintain that right now, the team is still a mess and definitely will compete with Houston for worst in the majors.
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Posted: 1/6/2013 11:33 PM

RE: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 



insagt1 wrote: center field is as weak (or as iffy) as 3rd base...Mastrianni is hardly someone to build you team around. While I agree you do have to play the games, right now Twins are coming off back to back terrible seasons. Not just oh well seasons, but honest to goodness trainwreck seasons. And so far they have done nothing to change that.

I submit, if suddenly everyone has that proverbial career year...they could make some noises. But thats a real stretch IMO.
IF every positional player had "CAREER YEARS" it still wouldn't be enough, because, as you've said, TR hasn't done anything to significantly to improve our horrid starting pitching (unless Harden somehow inexplicably defies recent history and is able to return to 2008 form)...

I'd also say CF is actually WEAKER than 3rd base - we had a great solution in place out there and had our lead-off man, now we have a glaring hole, while Plouffe should be able to give us what we had in 2012 or maybe even be slightly better...
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Posted: 1/7/2013 9:56 AM

RE: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


To simply answer this question, they will not be where I want them to be a.k.a. they will be the laughingstock of the league (even worse than the Royals, who have made moves to get better!).
 Meyer and May will be top of the rotation starters by 2015. 
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Posted: 1/7/2013 12:05 PM

RE: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


Yes, the Royals are really trying hard to be relevant again. as are the Blue Jays. Houston is now in our league and they are also laughingstocks. I really don't care to be lumped in with them...but the records of the past two seasons would suggest we belong there.

That must change.
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Posted: 1/7/2013 5:52 PM

RE: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 



brian450 wrote: I'd also say CF is actually WEAKER than 3rd base - we had a great solution in place out there and had our lead-off man, now we have a glaring hole, while Plouffe should be able to give us what we had in 2012 or maybe even be slightly better...
CF is definitely weaker than 3rd base.   Darrin Mastroianni is not an everyday outfielder.  Throw in the fact they have an untested youngster patrolling left field and the outfield in general is weaker than it was last year.

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Posted: 1/14/2013 6:34 PM

RE: It's 2013! Anyone Know Where Your Twins Will Be? 


Given the fact that we're either weaker or same at each position and our starting pitching hasn't been significantly improved (unless Harden makes a miraculous comeback and STAYS healthy), it's reasonable to guess that we're destined for the cellar again (*yawn).

Oh, combine the above with the fact that the other teams in our division have made strides in the off-season to actually IMPROVE their talent, it does not bode well for us this year, despite TR's saying we'll be 'competitive.'rolleyes
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