We’ve reached that time of year, just before camps in Florida and Arizona officially get underway, where many publications release their annual top prospect lists. Since he was recently in town for TwinsFest and his name has appeared near the top of many of these lists, Miguel Sano has been buzzing in local baseball circles.
La Velle E. Neal III recently remarked with some astonishment about Sano’s size when he saw him, noting that the 19-year-old (!) will be listed
Will the Twins’ de facto ace retain his label as the club’s top starter or descend into mediocrity this year? Let us take a deeper look.
Diamond gained little consideration for a big-league job in spring training after going 5-19 with a 5.44 ERA between Triple-A and the majors in his first year with the organization. So, he reported to Rochester and started his season on a tear, going 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA while flashing much improved control
"What in the hell is a Pedro Florimon?" -- professional baseball writer, doing research on projected starting lineups
— Grant Brisbee (@mccoveychron) January 25, 2013
The above tweet from the wise-cracking and hilarious SB Nation scribe Grant Brisbee was undoubtedly written after he glanced over projected starting lineups across the majors and did a triple-take when he came to Minnesota's shortstop position.
He's hardly the first. I've had multiple national
He’s still lurking out there.
As the offseason nears its close and spring training rapidly approaches, Matt Capps remains a free agent. Since the Twins bought out his 2013 option back in October, there has been very little buzz surrounding the right-handed reliever. At this point, one would have to believe that he could easily be signed to a fairly cheap one-year deal.
Should the Twins be the ones to give it to him?
At the beginning
Stability at third base and right-handed power have been in short supply for the Twins over the past decade or so. Trevor Plouffe has developed into one of the team’s most interesting commodities because he has the potential to fill both needs, and could do so at a relatively low cost for the next several years.
As a homegrown talent, Plouffe is precisely the type of player the Twins want to structure their rebuild around, but clearly they still hold reservations
There is little debate over the fact that the Twins' moves this offseason haven't done much to help ensure significant improvement in 2013. This club seems to have its sights set fully on a target somewhere further down the line. Among fans and media, there seems to be a split between people who question this approach and those who accept it.
Whatever your feelings on the matter, it's important to be realistic about the timeline for building a contending
Justin Morneau presents a paradox for the 2013 Twins. If the club is truly in full rebuild mode and is more interested in saving money than taking financial risks in a meaningful effort to compete -- as appears to be the case -- then why hang on to an expensive veteran with one year left on his contract? Surely some team out there would be willing to take on Morneau, although there probably wouldn't be much of a return in the swap.
The answer, I believe,
In less than four weeks, a sizable contingent of pitchers will report to Ft. Myers for spring training, with eyes on claiming a spot in Minnesota's rebuilt rotation. Rarely has it been so unclear at this point in the offseason who would comprise this vital unit.
We can safely assume that, barring injury, three of the five spots will be occupied by Scott Diamond, Vance Worley and Kevin Correia. Beyond them, the situation becomes much murkier.
In his latest column for ESPN 1500, Phil Mackey opens with the following statement: "Unlike in the previous two offseasons, there will be no over-promising and under-delivering by the Minnesota Twins in 2013."
Incidentally, that's pretty much exactly how I would describe this offseason for the Twins. Over-promising and under-delivering. Terry Ryan talked at length in the early days of winter about moving aggressively to upgrade the club's beleaguered pitching
The past two seasons have been filled with disappointment and negative outcomes, but one of the few resoundingly encouraging developments has been the emergence of Glen Perkins at the back end of the bullpen. After fizzling as a starter, Perkins made a supremely successful transition to relief duty and, after signing a contract extension last year, he's in position to provide the Twins with stability at the closer spot for years to come, as long as he can stay
The Twins have taken a "quantity, not quality" approaching in assembling their starting rotation this winter, piling up numerous pitchers with limited upside and low price tags. Several of the hurlers that will be in the mix for starting jobs in the spring happen to be tagged with question marks due to recent health issues.
Kyle Gibson returned late last year from Tommy John surgery and hasn't yet pitched in the majors. Mike Pelfrey is returning from
A new year is upon us, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine the Twins' resolution for 2013: Get better. After consecutive putrid seasons that were essentially over by the All-Star break, the club is aiming to field a more competitive group in the coming campaign and beyond.
Certainly they've made some nice moves to address the "beyond" part, but what about the short-term? As I discussed with Aaron on the Gleeman and the Geek podcast
With Mr. Bonnes still out of town, I stood in as the geek of the week with Aaron Gleeman for the latest GATG podcast. We spent about 100 minutes babbling about baseball and the Twins, discussing our favorite free agent pitching deals thus far and talking big picture for the local nine. Check out the latest episode via any of these channels:
the podcaststhe rss feed if you want to subscribe andthe podcast on iTunes.
Through free agent signings and trades, the Twins have added three names to their 2013 starting pitching mix, along with a couple prospects who can help down the line.
As we assess the progress of this rebuilding unit, can we say with assurance that the three MLB pitchers they've added – Vance Worley, Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey – are significantly better than the three that just exited as free agents – Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano and Scott Baker?