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  • I'll Say It

    The Twins spring schedule kicks off tomorrow. I know many are looking forward to it, even without the belief that the Twins will be competing for an AL Central crown this fall. That doesn't make this spring any less interesting.

    So with that in mind, I'm going on record and making predictions... some bold, some not.

    TEAM

    *The Twins will finish in last place in the AL Central. They'll win between 69-72 games.
    *The Twins will be sellers at the deadline. Justin Morneau, Josh Willingham and Mike Pelfrey will bid farewell before the end of July.

    HITTERS

    *The battle to start in CF is already over. After trading Span and Revere, we've been led to believe Darrin Mastroianni, Aaron Hicks and Joe Benson are in a three-way battle to be the everyday centerfielder. Benson, who is far removed from a successful minor league year and not as far removed from microfracture surgery, has no shot at being the Opening Day centerfielder. Hicks, for both service reasons and having taken zero at-bats at AAA, will get sent down until a) he absolutely proves he's ready or b) Mastroianni proves he absolutely isn't the answer.

    *The opening-day 4th OF will be a guy not currently on the 40-man roster. Clete Thomas, who blew our mind for about two at-bats last year, before making us want to blow our brains out, is the likely frontrunner. (I think the bigger question is, when Thomas gets DFA'd and clears waivers, does he accept his assignment to Rochester or elect free agency?)

    *Chris Parmelee will be the everyday rightfielder... until it's Oswaldo Arcia. It's going to be an interesting first couple of months. Parmelee isn't best-suited to play the outfield. He's likely good enough to keep the seat warm for Arcia, and that's likely - hopefully, in the Twins mind - going to happen when Morneau is traded away and Parmelee moves to first base. But what happens if Parmelee can't get it done offensively or defensively? Who knows...

    *Oswaldo Arcia will have more impact on the 2013 Twins than Aaron Hicks. Arcia will hit and play serviceable D. Hicks will play a solid D but struggle to hit. Next year at this time, I see discussions being the same... is Hicks ready to be a leadoff hitter at the major league level? While the right field job is not up-for-grabs in spring training (because Arcia has a stranglehold on it).

    *Chris Colabello will be a major-league player this year. Another guy that just rakes. Sign him up.

    *Trevor Ploufee will be frustratingly hot-and-cold both offensively and defensively, but TwinsDaily readers will rejoice that he's not Danny Valencia.

    *Drew Butera will spend less time in the major leagues in 2013 than any season since debuting in 2010... and TwinsDaily readers will still complain!

    *Jamey Carroll's option will vest with 401 plate appearances despite the Twins making an effort to see that it doesn't happen.

    *Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier will leave the fan base wishing for Luis Rivas and Cristian Guzman. Or Orlando Hudson and J.J. Hardy. Or basically any 2B/SS combination you can think of.

    *Joe Mauer will be Joe Mauer. Many will be unhappy.

    PITCHERS

    *The rotation will be better than last year.
    Hardly went out on a limb there...

    *One year from now we'll feel really good about the rotation. 2014 will include Kyle Gibson (who won't compete for ROY, but be solid amid a limited-innings year), Scott Diamond (who will regress, but still be a solid lefty), Vance Worley (who fans will love because he goes after hitters and works quick), Liam Hendriks (who will actually look like he belongs in the major leagues this year) and Kevin Correia (who was signed to be a #5 pitcher). This isn't mentioning any of the prospects who could be knocking on the door.

    *The bullpen will be good - again. Glen Perkins and Jared Burton will be fantastic in their late-inning roles.

    *Brian Duensing will continue to thrive and/or make strides as a left-handed reliever.

    *Tim Wood will absolutely be in the Opening Day bullpen. This isn't the second coming of Jeff Gray. Tim Wood signed a $675,000 contract with the Twins. He has less than a year of service. Anthony Swarzak, who has over 2 years of service, got $502,500. No Twin who had their contract renewed got over $530,000. That makes Tim Wood, who has had no MLB success - and almost as little experience - the 12th highest-paid Twins player this year. Crazy? Just a little bit.

    *Sam Deduno will figure something out this year. Either, "Hey, I do know how to throw it through the zone" or "You know what, this baseball thing isn't for me."

    *Trevor May makes his September debut coming out of the bullpen.

    *Ryan Pressly doesn't make the team... and the Red Sox will not be willing to work out a trade, unfortunately.

    Go ahead, be bold... or not bold.
    This article was originally published in blog: I'll Say It started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 39 Comments
    1. Chance's Avatar
      Chance -
      Loved it.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      This is an immensely entertaining post. If half of it comes true, then you are prescient. I just hope that it's the good half that comes true. In particular, I am praying for good performances from Plouffe, Deduno, Parmelee and Dozier.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Entertaining article. Parmelee is presented just as I expected. Rest is about what I believe. Morneau's future here is tied to how Parmelee produces. Have many reservations on that front. Hope our starting pitching will be resolved by next year, but I have predicted that the Twins will win 72, but if midseason firesale it could be less.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Fun. But hold it for one thing:
      If Arcia will have more of an impact than Hicks and Thomas will make the team, does this mean that Thomas ( who almost killed Meyer btw) will be the Twins starting CF?
      An OF of Willingham-Thomas-Parmelee would be very very interesting
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Thomas will be up for a month, then Hicks comes up and struggles. Mastro will still be up. Thomas goes down. Arcia may be up if Hammer gets hurt or Parmelee struggles, but comes up for good when Morneau or Hammer gets traded. Hicks will still get a lot of at-bats, but will struggle offensively. I don't think Arcia will, whether that's at RF, LF or DH.

      An OF of Willingham-Thomas-Parmeless isn't interesting. It's both bad and sad.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post

      An OF of Willingham-Thomas-Parmeless isn't interesting. It's both bad and sad.
      well.. do you remember the OF of Delmon-Cuddyer(CF)-Kubel?



      That would be a fun comparison
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Totally unrelated with the topic, because I just saw the pic posted with this...

      Do you all realize that only Mauer and Morneau are left from the players in that game? (Perk was in AAA - begrudgingly- and Duensing did not make the team until the season after)
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Totally unrelated with the topic, because I just saw the pic posted with this...

      Do you all realize that only Mauer and Morneau are left from the players in that game? (Perk was in AAA - begrudgingly- and Duensing did not make the team until the season after)
      Duensing actually pitched an inning in game 162 and then got the starting nod in game 1 of the ALDS. But yeah, surprising how few guys are left. I was at game 162 and they seemed to try to drag every Twins who played in the Metrodome out on the field and remember thinking it was kind of a shame that the local kid Perkins was the only no show from the current team (the AAA season was over by then) and it was because he and the team were actively trying to cut each others throats. Amazing fences were mended after that dust-up.
    1. scottz's Avatar
      scottz -
      Good stuff!! Time will tell how accurate you are, but solid predictions.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      If this team starts out with Drew Butera, Clete Thomas, and say, Eduardo Escobar on the roster, I might shoot myself. NONE of them should be on the roster. But I would actually accept Butera at the beginning. Clete Thomas is NOT good. He just isn't. He never has been. At all. If that is their decision than good lord and a half. Brandon Boggs and Wilkin Ramirez are better options.

      I generally think that Tim Wood is also pretty terrible. I have no idea what this team is thinking with bringing in bad-to-mediocre older players. Tim Wood over Anthony Slama. Really?
    1. tjsyam921's Avatar
      tjsyam921 -
      I must say after seeing the picture of the Twins celebrating a big walk off win it had me excited for twins baseball until I read the article. I to believe the twins will be better this year and most of your predictions will come true. Should still be a fun summer to see how the youngsters do in the bigs and throughout the system.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Totally unrelated with the topic, because I just saw the pic posted with this...

      Do you all realize that only Mauer and Morneau are left from the players in that game? (Perk was in AAA - begrudgingly- and Duensing did not make the team until the season after)
      Clete Thomas was in the other dugout. Does that count?
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      Clete Thomas is NOT good. He just isn't. He never has been. At all. If that is their decision than good lord and a half. Brandon Boggs and Wilkin Ramirez are better options.
      I agree wholeheartedly with the first half of the quote.

      The reason I think Thomas gets the nod has more to do with his ability to fill in at Center Field. In the last two seasons, he's played 150 minor league games in CF. Boggs has played 6 and Ramirez 4.

      If two of Mastorianni, Hicks and Benson make the roster, then Thomas won't. But if Hicks and Benson start in the minors who is the backup CF? It could be someone that ends up on the waiver-wire and I'd be absolutely be ok with that.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      If this team starts out with Drew Butera, Clete Thomas, and say, Eduardo Escobar on the roster, I might shoot myself. NONE of them should be on the roster. But I would actually accept Butera at the beginning. Clete Thomas is NOT good. He just isn't. He never has been. At all. If that is their decision than good lord and a half. Brandon Boggs and Wilkin Ramirez are better options.
      Well, I wont go as far as shooting myself...but I agree Clete Thomas has NO PLACE on a MLB roster--neither does Butera. If Hicks doesnt start in CF and goes to minors--keep Benson as 4th OF until Hicks/Arcia is ready. As for Butera, we can do better,

      I keep hoping for a spring trade to get CF--maybe trade Morneau now and move Parmalee to 1B.

      I do think Twins will win between 75 and 79 games and finish above last in AL Central.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      If this team starts out with Drew Butera, Clete Thomas, and say, Eduardo Escobar on the roster, I might shoot myself. NONE of them should be on the roster. But I would actually accept Butera at the beginning. Clete Thomas is NOT good. He just isn't. He never has been. At all. If that is their decision than good lord and a half. Brandon Boggs and Wilkin Ramirez are better options.

      I generally think that Tim Wood is also pretty terrible. I have no idea what this team is thinking with bringing in bad-to-mediocre older players. Tim Wood over Anthony Slama. Really?
      Ok Ted Nuggent we will hold you to it =)
    1. Paul 1's Avatar
      Paul 1 -
      You seemed to have danced around the biggest question, what will happen to Gardy?
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Unless there is a player added during spring training , it seems to me that Joe Benson makes the team as the 4th outfielder as long as he is healthy.
      If it comes down to Clete or Benson why not take a chance on a guy who may have more upside?
      Joe already is on the outside looking in as far as Prospects are concerned, so lets give him a chance and see what he does with it?
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul 1 View Post
      You seemed to have danced around the biggest question, what will happen to Gardy?
      Gardy and Ryan are here at least through 2014 ... If not Ron would be tossing Terry under the bus already
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul 1 View Post
      You seemed to have danced around the biggest question, what will happen to Gardy?
      Hmmm... that would have been a good one to include.

      I think Grady and his whole staff make it through the year, regardless of record. If there are changes next offseason, they will happen just like they did this offseason. (For the record, I think Gardy will leave on his own if they suffer through another 90-loss season.)
    1. Mave's Avatar
      Mave -
      I have been wondering this for a while, realistically speaking... what can we expect from Chris Parmelee defensively? How will this bode for the overall team defense? Willingham on one side and a first baseman on the other side?
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