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stringer bell

Reflection on the first Twins' game in 2013.

I DVRed the game yesterday and watched most of it last night. While I didn't see some key events, I heard about them on the radio.

The Twins had a chance to beat the Tigers but came up short in key at-bats. They also were hurt by bases advanced by the plodding Tigers.

What went right: 1) Worley outlasted Verlander. Even though he was the losing pitcher he managed to go six innings and reached the threshold for a "Quality Start". 2) Fien struck out the side in the seventh and it was the heart of the order. 3) The offensive approach allowed the Twins to only face Verlander for five innings. 4) Worley had the Tigers hitting the ball on the ground recording something like 15 ground ball outs, including one outstanding play from Florimon.

What went wrong: 1) Four Twins came up in a game situation and only one (Doumit) brought in a run. Plouffe and Parmelee had a great chance to knot the game or put the Twins ahead in the 7th inning and failed. 2) Duensing and Roenicke combined to yield a key insurance run in the 8th, after the Twins had closed to within one run. 3) Defensive misplays and failure to make plays cost the Twins dearly--a) Peralta was a dead duck with a good throw and tag, Mauer's throw tailed and Florimon failed to catch the ball. b) Two wild pitches allowed runners to advanced and each scored as a result of that. Mauer blocked a low pitch, but couldn't locate it (I still haven't seen Roenicke's WP) c) Florimon booted a fairly routine grounder and Dozier might have left too early on Torii's hit and run roller in the first inning. d) Worley allowed too many baserunners, which put pressure on the defense and never allowed Vanimal to get in rhythm.

  1. Thoughts and Players to Watch

    The Twins have played the fewest games in the AL (along with the White Sox) and after 66 games, they are about what I thought they would be at this point: They are in fourth in their division and are within sight of everyone but Detroit. Big picture: Fine with me, I want to see this team sell at the trade deadline, but I don't want them to be dreadful.

    What is not fine with me is that the players I want the Twins to sell just aren't performing that well. Doumit (.288/.405/.692), ...
  2. Defense! It Saved Two Jobs and Solidified One.

    If Brian Dozier played second base this year like he played shortstop last year, is there any chance he'd still be on the big league roster? If Chris Parmelee played right field with the proficiency of Ryan Doumit and (so far) Osvaldo Arcia, would he be in Minneapolis or Rochester (NY)? Finally, if Pedro Florimon played shortstop like he did last year and the first couple weeks of this year, would the fans be calling for Escobar, Carroll and Danny Santana?

    I think the answer to ...
  3. Black Holes--Part III

    I've blogged about the disappointing offense for the 2013 Twins and pointed out three guys who are offensive tail enders. Brian Dozier--limited ceiling middle infielder, Chris Parmelee--right fielder/first baseman who has teased the Twins with good stretches, but has failed once and is failing again to secure a spot from the start of the season and now Aaron Hicks.

    Aaron Hicks ranks fifteenth of fifteen center fielders in OPS. He started the season as the Twins' leadoff hitter and ...
  4. Black Holes--Part II

    I introduced my thoughts on the Twins' failings on offense and pointed out three players who are toward the bottom of the statistical pile--Brian Dozier, Chris Parmelee and Aaron Hicks. I profiled Dozier as a low-ceiling guy in a position of need and optimistically said that he is capable of a .675-.700 OPS, which would be good enough to keep his job going forward. Chris Parmelee is my next topic.

    Chris Parmelee was a #1 draft choice for the Twins in 2006. He progressed slowly ...
  5. The "Black Holes"--Part I

    As the season approaches the one-third mark, the Twins have slipped well below .500 and are now in a logjam of teams (a half game ahead of Toronto and Seattle, tied with KC, a half game behind the Angels) that has to look up to see respectability and only solidly ahead of one team (the woebegone Astros). Starting pitching is the main culprit, but the team hasn't produced offensively either. The Twins are 10th in runs per game, 14th (next to last) in OPS and homers and last in slugging. The offensive ...
  6. All the Right Moves?

    After a period of stability, the Twins have made a rash of moves. Many of the moves have been panned by the denizens of Twins Daily for being shortsighted, cheap, stupid or all of the above. Some are calling out the GM for saying the team was trying to compete when, in fact, they are rebuilding and focusing on next year or the year after.

    News flash! The team isn't going to contend this year. Ryan's "contention" talk was predicated on miraculous performances by pitchers ...
  7. 20 Games and Potential Logjams

    The Twins have hit the 20 game milestone and are a breakeven 10-10. Considering the pessimism going into the season, we Twins fans should be happy with the results. Some raw numbers: Run differential is -6. Team ERA is 3.92, the Twins have scored 83 runs despite only 13 homers and a league-worst slugging percentage. They are 5-2 in one-run games and have allowed only 11 homers, second best in the AL. Many of these stats can't be sustained--they will allow more homers and win fewer close games--but ...
  8. A Really Bad Week

    Since the Twins won last Sunday to go 4-2, they have lost five consecutive games and fallen to the basement of the AL Central. More to the point, they now have one of the worst run differentials in the AL and their offensive, defensive, and pitching stats are among the worst, as well.

    There haven't been many positive surprises and there have been disappointments throughout the roster. The #1 disappointment has to be Aaron Hicks, hitting a microscopic .057 with an OPS of .155. Vanimal ...
  9. Fun So Far

    Six games is only the first step in a marathon, but the Twins have been more entertaining than I though they would be. I don't think any of the question marks have been answered, but they have managed to be in every game and managed to squeak out three one-run wins out of the first six games.

    I am not getting my hopes up, but there are a lot of things that make this club worth watching. In no particular order, here are some observations I have after one week of baseball.
    ...
  10. Runaway Optimism

    Yes, I heard the postgame show which pointed out the Twins were above .500 for the first time since 2010. I have seen the positive comments about the starting pitchers and their success so far this season. I do believe this team is improved and I think they are due for better luck after two disastrous seasons where any luck they had was bad luck.

    This is a club that will be hard-pressed to exceed 70 wins without more than one positive surprise. Three full games have yielded 17 ...
  11. A review of the Season Opener

    I DVRed the game yesterday and watched most of it last night. While I didn't see some key events, I heard about them on the radio.

    The Twins had a chance to beat the Tigers but came up short in key at-bats. They also were hurt by bases advanced by the plodding Tigers.

    What went right: 1) Worley outlasted Verlander. Even though he was the losing pitcher he managed to go six innings and reached the threshold for a "Quality Start". 2) Fien struck out the side ...
    Tags: defense, fien, risp, worley Add / Edit Tags
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  12. Ex-Twins in the Majors

    Here is a list of ex-Twins who have made Opening Day rosters in the major leagues. Long on pitchers and outfielders, short on infielders and starting pitching quality. Sound familiar?

    Denard Span--Nationals
    Ben Revere--Phillies
    Jason Kubel--Diamondbacks
    Carlos Gomez--Brewers
    Torii Hunter--Tigers
    Michael Cuddyer--Rockies
    Garrett Jones--Pirates
    Alexi Casilla--Orioles
    JJ Hardy--Orioles
    Nick Punto--Dodgers
    Henry Blanco--Blue ...

    Updated 04-03-2013 at 12:51 PM by stringer bell

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