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  • Series Preview: Tigers @ Twins, 4/1

    Twins vs Tigers Opening SeriesIt's Opening Day!

    In a rare Opening Day homestand, Target Field looks to be blustery and cold for the home opener as baseball begins anew in 2013.

    Several questions linger from Spring Training... How will the Twins pitching staff hold up amidst several injuries? How will the new pick-ups Vance Worley, Kevin Correia, and Mike Pelfrey perform in this opening set against the reigning division champs?

    Game one will pit trade acquisition Vance Worley against former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.

    Game two will see free agent acquisition Kevin Correia line up against Anibal Sanchez.

    Game three has Tommy John recipient Mike Pelfrey square off against Rick Porcello.

    2012 Team Statistics:

    Twins:
    Joe Mauer 147 545 81 174 31 4 10 85 243 90 88 8 .319 .416 .446 .861 4.9
    Ben Revere 124 511 70 150 13 6 0 32 175 29 54 40 .294 .333 .342 .675 1.7
    Denard Span 128 516 71 146 38 4 4 41 204 47 62 17 .283 .342 .395 .738 2.8
    Ryan Doumit 134 484 56 133 34 1 18 75 223 29 98 0 .275 .320 .461 .781 2.1
    Jamey Carroll 138 470 65 126 18 1 1 40 149 52 65 9 .268 .343 .317 .660 1.8
    Justin Morneau 134 505 63 135 26 2 19 77 222 49 102 1 .267 .333 .440 .773 1.1
    Josh Willingham 145 519 85 135 30 1 35 110 272 76 141 3 .260 .366 .524 .890 4.4
    Darin Mastroianni 77 163 22 41 3 2 3 17 57 18 45 21 .252 .328 .350 .678 0.4
    Alexi Casilla 106 299 33 72 17 2 1 30 96 16 52 21 .241 .282 .321 .603 0.4
    Trevor Plouffe 119 422 56 99 19 1 24 55 192 37 92 1 .235 .301 .455 .756 1.8
    Brian Dozier 84 316 33 74 11 1 6 33 105 16 58 9 .234 .271 .332 .603 0.5
    Chris Parmelee 64 192 18 44 10 2 5 20 73 13 52 0 .229 .290 .380 .671 -0.2
    Matt Carson 26 66 3 15 1 0 0 4 16 2 21 0 .227 .246 .242 .489 -0.3
    Eduardo Escobar 14 44 4 10 0 0 0 6 10 2 8 1 .227 .271 .227 .498 -0.1
    Pedro Florimon 43 137 16 30 5 2 1 10 42 10 30 3 .219 .272 .307 .579 0.1
    Tigers:
    Hernan Perez 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0.0
    Miguel Cabrera 161 622 109 205 40 0 44 139 377 66 98 4 .330 .393 .606 .999 7.5
    Andy Dirks 88 314 56 101 18 5 8 35 153 23 53 1 .322 .370 .487 .857 1.9
    Avisail Garcia 23 47 7 15 0 0 0 3 15 3 10 0 .319 .373 .319 .692 -0.1
    Prince Fielder 162 581 83 182 33 1 30 108 307 85 84 1 .313 .412 .528 .940 5.0
    Austin Jackson 137 543 103 163 29 10 16 66 260 67 134 12 .300 .377 .479 .856 4.9
    Gerald Laird 63 174 24 49 8 1 2 11 65 14 21 0 .282 .337 .374 .710 0.6
    Delmon Young 151 574 54 153 27 1 18 74 236 20 112 0 .267 .296 .411 .707 -0.7
    Quintin Berry 94 291 44 75 10 6 2 29 103 25 80 21 .258 .330 .354 .684 0.9
    Omar Infante 64 226 27 58 7 5 4 20 87 9 23 7 .257 .283 .385 .668 0.4
    Bryan Holaday 6 12 3 3 1 0 0 0 4 0 2 0 .250 .250 .333 .583 0.0
    Alex Avila 116 367 42 89 21 2 9 48 141 61 104 2 .243 .352 .384 .736 1.7
    Brennan Boesch 132 470 52 113 22 2 12 54 175 26 104 6 .240 .286 .372 .659 -0.4
    Jhonny Peralta 150 531 58 127 32 3 13 63 204 49 105 1 .239 .305 .384 .689 1.1
    Danny Worth 43 74 9 16 3 0 0 3 19 13 23 0 .216 .330 .257 .586 0.1
    Ramon Santiago 93 228 19 47 7 1 2 17 62 20 39 1 .206 .283 .272 .555 -0.6
    Jeff Baker 15 35 1 7 2 0 0 4 9 2 10 0 .200 .243 .257 .500 -0.1
    Brad Eldred 5 16 1 3 1 1 0 1 6 1 6 0 .188 .235 .375 .610 -0.1
    Don Kelly 75 113 14 21 2 1 1 7 28 14 22 2 .186 .276 .248 .523 -0.6
    Ryan Raburn 66 205 14 35 14 0 1 12 52 13 53 1 .171 .226 .254 .480 -1.6
    Comments 293 Comments
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      Yeah but it ranks way down on the list of bad. Morneau's at bat when we needed a base runner was 10 times worse.

      But the play behind the plate... Is worse yet. That's fundamentals... Ball in the dirt... Get down and block...

      Standing up is something a third grade catcher does and I'm not exaggerating. 3-2 game bases loaded... Two outs.

      He should seriously be docked a million from his salary for that.
      The first wild pitch wasn't nearly as bad, but probably preventable by better fundamentals, particularly with a slow runner on base at the time.

      But Mauer was not alone out there in the failure to execute department by any means. IE, Florimon's drop on the SB attempt could have easily been scored an error. It looked like a team that might benefit from a 20 degree temperature increase.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      So, how did the team do on the little things? Not well, again. So sad.
      Keep in mind that it was their first game and freezing cold.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Honestly, I'm pretty happy about Mauer hitting second, Gardy pinch hitting for Florimon in the 6th with the bases loaded, the recovery by Worley after a rocky start, and the bullpen's competence.

      However, the Twins really came up empty in big moments--that at bat by Parmelee with the bases loaded bothered me just as much as the passed ball by Mauer.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      However, the Twins really came up empty in big moments--that at bat by Parmelee with the bases loaded bothered me just as much as the passed ball by Mauer.
      That was just an awful AB. He didn't swing at the only pitch in the zone (it can be argued if it was in the zone or not) and flailed away at two pitches in the dirt.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
      Keep in mind that it was their first game and freezing cold.
      they make millions, well on most teams players do, they should be ready for game one. I was happy for Worley, that is about what I expected from him all year. I approve.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Honestly, I'm pretty happy about ... Gardy pinch hitting for Florimon in the 6th with the bases loaded
      I think Gardy pretty much spelled out his plan, when he said a couple of weeks ago he wanted a bat with some pop on the bench. He'll augment one very weak spot in the lineup with a better bat at a strategic moment. The game went according to script in this respect.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      The first wild pitch wasn't nearly as bad, but probably preventable by better fundamentals, particularly with a slow runner on base at the time.

      But Mauer was not alone out there in the failure to execute department by any means. IE, Florimon's drop on the SB attempt could have easily been scored an error. It looked like a team that might benefit from a 20 degree temperature increase.
      First game... Something to build on...

      Here's a Florimon positive... I saw the highlight on his play on the Cabrera grounder.

      Oh my. Not many SS's can make that play... Ranging that far and throwing that well across his body against momentum.

      Now if he can just make the routine play with that.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      I think Gardy pretty much spelled out his plan, when he said a couple of weeks ago he wanted a bat with some pop on the bench. He'll augment one very weak spot in the lineup with a better bat at a strategic moment. The game went according to script in this respect.
      I just think that's a boon. Something we haven't had Gardy do for a decade. The hot seat might be good for Gardy, actually.
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      I "downplayed" OPS (which I really didn't do) and Mauer's OPS is still .920 with men on base. If you weight it properly, he looks even better as a hitter.

      Joe went 2-4 and walked once. You need to reevaluate what you expect from the man. Jesus.

      How about we lay some blame on the other eight guys in the lineup who combined for a fearsome five hits over nine innings?
      Mauer can't win with some people. You are dead on when you said people would have complained if he rolled over trying to turn on one and they would have complained if he would have let it go. It's ridiculous.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      To reiterate Mauer's game for those who think he should have "tried harder" or whatever in that last AB...

      The only out Mauer made all game was that horrible, awful AB where he flied out to left.

      That's it. That was the only out recorded on Mauer all day.

      Meanwhile, Willingham, Plouffe, and Parmlee all left four guys on base in that game. Mauer? He left one. From that AB that was so horrible. Eight guys combine for 26 outs, Joe Mauer hits into a single out, and somehow Joe is still at fault for what happened in that game.

      Honestly, people. What the hell do you expect from this guy? I'm so sick and bloody tired of hearing people whine about Mauer when it's so blatantly obvious that he is far and away the best hitter on the team and one of the top hitters in all of baseball. Cut the guy some slack once in awhile. He's not going to post an .800 OBP all season.

      With that said, his defense was absolutely suspect in that game and a complete disappointment. We should all expect better from Joe than that botched "wild pitch" and that throw to second. He's a better player than that.
    1. Gernzy's Avatar
      Gernzy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      To reiterate Mauer's game for those who think he should have "tried harder" or whatever in that last AB...

      The only out Mauer made all game was that horrible, awful AB where he flied out to left.

      That's it. That was the only out recorded on Mauer all day.

      Meanwhile, Willingham, Plouffe, and Parmlee all left four guys on base in that game. Mauer? He left one. From that AB that was so horrible. Eight guys combine for 26 outs, Joe Mauer hits into a single out, and somehow Joe is still at fault for what happened in that game.

      Honestly, people. What the hell do you expect from this guy? I'm so sick and bloody tired of hearing people whine about Mauer when it's so blatantly obvious that he is far and away the best hitter on the team and one of the top hitters in all of baseball. Cut the guy some slack once in awhile. He's not going to post an .800 OBP all season.

      With that said, his defense was absolutely suspect in that game and a complete disappointment. We should all expect better from Joe than that botched "wild pitch" and that throw to second. He's a better player than that.
      This +500. People need to realize he's not going to go 5-5 with 5HR every night
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      One guy on the thread, I think, complained about him. I merely said you can criticize one at bat (and I did not say if that guy was right to criticize that particular at bat), w/o it being an indictment of an entire season or career. I've seen him have bad at bats, and I've criticized those particular at bats. That is NOTHING like criticizing his every at bat. I'm not sure how that is hard to understand.

      And, not one person, ever, has expected him to go 5-5 with a HR every night. Sorry.

      But, Brock is right, the other guys were the issue yesterday. Parmalee swinging on 2-0 is a brutal mental error, the kind the coaches are responsible for. It is their job to coach and teach, and if players are not learning, well, that is partly on the teacher/coach. That's why these guys make the money they make as coaches.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      One guy on the thread, I think, complained about him. I merely said you can criticize one at bat (and I did not say if that guy was right to criticize that particular at bat), w/o it being an indictment of an entire season or career. I've seen him have bad at bats, and I've criticized those particular at bats. That is NOTHING like criticizing his every at bat. I'm not sure how that is hard to understand.

      And, not one person, ever, has expected him to go 5-5 with a HR every night. Sorry.

      But, Brock is right, the other guys were the issue yesterday. Parmalee swinging on 2-0 is a brutal mental error, the kind the coaches are responsible for. It is their job to coach and teach, and if players are not learning, well, that is partly on the teacher/coach. That's why these guys make the money they make as coaches.
      And my point is that baseball is a game of failure. Outside of Barry Bonds, how many guys have actually had seasons where they were more successful in avoiding outs than getting on base?

      It was one at-bat in a game that was, overall, very solid offensively for Joe. He walked, hit a single and a double. Instead of complaining about Joe, we need to look squarely at the rest of the lineup, which was basically a miserable failure the entire game (particularly Parmelee's absolutely atrocious at-bat with one out). And even Chris had a decent game compared to the rest of the team, taking two walks without a hit.

      Also, two people complained about that AB by Mauer.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      But, and I don't agree with bashing Mauer as a general rule, in a game thread, aren't people reacting to the immediate at bat? And complimenting or bashing one guy has nothing to do with the other guys. I've never understood that part either. I complimented Worley, but that comment ONLY had to do with Worely, no one else. Just as ripping 1 AB by Mauer is ONLY about Mauer, not about if anyone else was to blame for anything or not. It is pretty hard to comment on every aspect of the game, in every post.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      But, and I don't agree with bashing Mauer as a general rule, in a game thread, aren't people reacting to the immediate at bat? And complimenting or bashing one guy has nothing to do with the other guys. I've never understood that part either. I complimented Worley, but that comment ONLY had to do with Worely, no one else. Just as ripping 1 AB by Mauer is ONLY about Mauer, not about if anyone else was to blame for anything or not. It is pretty hard to comment on every aspect of the game, in every post.
      Chief used that at-bat as reasoning for why Mauer isn't one of the top hitters in baseball. It was more than just that at-bat... It was an indictment of Mauer as a player.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Ah, well, then we are talking past each other, my bad.

      I'm not sure he's one of the top 20 or 30 players in baseball anymore. But that's a different discussion.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I'm not sure he's one of the top 20 or 30 players in baseball anymore. But that's a different discussion.
      Until his OBP drops well below .400 on a regular basis, I'd have a hard time not putting him in the top ten hitters in the game. People weigh slugging percentage far too heavily compared to OBP when it should be the inverse. Getting on base is the most important thing a hitter can do, period.

      And it's not as if Mauer is completely devoid of power, either. If the Twins were still in the Metrodome, he'd almost surely hit 5-7 more homers a year. If Mauer was playing 81 games in Fenway, he'd be hitting 50 doubles a year and people wouldn't be questioning his ability in the slightest.

      On the other hand, it's getting harder to ignore his growing defensive deficiencies. He's just not the catcher he was 3-5 years ago. Yesterday was just sloppy. Hopefully it was a fluke because of the cold weather and rust from Spring Training but it was a pretty miserable performance.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I did not say hitter, I said player. His defense has really dropped, and he's a DH 25% of the time. I also do not value catcher defense nearly as much as other positions that actually have to field batted balls, and I know many people on the planet do not agree with me on that. I do agree, the ability to not make outs is super, super important. But, I think discounting SLG is not good either. With no one on base late in the game and two outs, I want a home run, not a walk.

      And, he does play in TCF, so it does not matter to me that he's in the wrong stadium, because this is the stadium he is in and that is not changing any time soon. I also think that discounting his salary as not part of the discussion, for a team that absolutely refuses to have a big payroll is ignoring a very large part of the issue. He's 25% of the payroll, and its only going to be worse next year probably. That does have an effect on the roster, and if he's going to be paid $23MM per year, he literally needs to carry the team, or he's not worth the money. BBTN had him 33rd, so it's not like I'm alone in this.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I did not say hitter, I said player. His defense has really dropped, and he's a DH 25% of the time. I also do not value catcher defense nearly as much as other positions that actually have to field batted balls, and I know many people on the planet do not agree with me on that. I do agree, the ability to not make outs is super, super important. But, I think discounting SLG is not good either. With no one on base late in the game and two outs, I want a home run, not a walk.

      And, he does play in TCF, so it does not matter to me that he's in the wrong stadium, because this is the stadium he is in and that is not changing any time soon. I also think that discounting his salary as not part of the discussion, for a team that absolutely refuses to have a big payroll is ignoring a very large part of the issue. He's 25% of the payroll, and its only going to be worse next year probably. That does have an effect on the roster, and if he's going to be paid $23MM per year, he literally needs to carry the team, or he's not worth the money. BBTN had him 33rd, so it's not like I'm alone in this.
      The reason a good hitting catcher has more value is not necessarily tied to how much value that position has defensively. It has more value because someone is required to play that position, and on average it's the hardest position to fill with a good hitter.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      What does that have to do with the relative value of catcher defense compared to other positions?
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