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  • Former Twins Litter All-Star Rosters

    The Minnesota Twins will host the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field but a plethora of their former players will gather a year early for the Mid-Summer Classic. Seven former members of the organization will join current Twins players Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins. It would be great to see all nine men on the field in Minneapolis next year, so maybe they can all continue playing well for the next 162 games.

    Many Twins fans are familiar with the years being put together by Perkins and Mauer. Here's a look at the seasons being produced by the men that used to call Minnesota home:

    American League

    Starting SS: JJ Hardy, Baltimore Orioles (2nd Appearance)

    .251/.290/.432, 15 HR, 16 2B, 46 RBI, 2.0 WAR
    Hardy gets the start at a relatively weak position in the AL. Frequent All-Star starter Derek Jeter has been on the disabled list for most of this season; this opened up a spot for a different starter. His defense continues to be strong and he has shown a good power stroke since joining the Orioles. He is one of three Orioles voted into the starting line-up so he might have gotten a bump from some ballot stuffing in the Baltimore area. He won a Gold Glove last season and he leads all shortstops with 52 home runs from 2011-2012.

    Starting DH: David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox (9th Appearance)
    .313/.399/.595, 17 HR, 19 2B, 61 RBI, 2.2 WAR
    Ortiz has gone on to quite the career with the Red Sox. This will be his fourth consecutive All-Star Game and his ninth overall appearance. The only member of the AL All-Stars with more appearances is Mariano Rivera with 13 trips to the Mid-Summer Classic. Last season, the Red Sox were a disappointment and the club ended up finishing last in the AL East. This season there has been a resurgence and Ortiz has helped his club to one of the best records in the AL.

    Relief Pitcher: Jesse Crain, Chicago White Sox (1st Appearance)
    0.74 ERA, 1.145 WHIP, 36.2 IP, 46 SO, 11 BB, 2.5 WAR
    Set-up men don't usually make the All-Star Game but Crain has been that good this season. The 32-year old pitcher has been in the big leagues for 10 seasons and this could be his only opportunity to take part in the All-Star festivities. Players in the AL voted Crain in and that speaks volumes to his season. Earlier this year Crain made headlines by breaking the White Sox franchise-record of 29 straight appearances without allowing a run. He is though now on the disabled list with a shoulder injury and current Twins closer Glen Perkins filled his spot.

    Relief Pitcher: Joe Nathan, Texas Rangers (6th Appearance)
    1.40 ERA, 0.776 WHIP, 38.2 IP, 40 SO, 10 BB, 2.0 WAR
    Nathan has made it to All-Star Games in the past but this one will be special since he is from the New York area. It is the second straight year he will represent the Rangers in the Mid-Summer Classic. He first four All-Star appearances came with the Minnesota Twins. For his All-Star career, he has pitched five innings, striking out four and walking one. He has given up one run on three hits. This year his 29 saves are tied for second in the American League behind the Orioles Jim Johnson. The 38-year old continues to be effective even as he gets further into his career.

    Outfielder: Torii Hunter, Detroit Tigers (5th Appearance)
    .309/.348/.443, 6 HR, 22 2B, 42 RBI, 0.9 WAR
    It seems as if more players on the Tigers roster made the All-Star Game than those that didn't. Hunter is one of six players making a trip to New York City. Detroit's manager Jim Leyland is also the AL manager but he only added Justin Verlander as a managerial pick. Hunter has seemed to find a second life in the twilight of his career. Last season was his first year hitting over .300 and the 37-year old outfielder is hitting above that mark again this year. It doesn't look like the 17-year veteran is going to slow down and it will be his first All-Star Game since 2010.

    National League

    Outfielder: Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies (2nd Appearance)

    .337/.392/.583, 15 HR, 18 2B, 52 RBI, 1.5 WAR
    Cuddyer made his first All-Star appearance in his last season with the Twins organization. He left the team in free agency and he suffered through some injury issues in his first year in Colorado. This season has been a rebirth for Cuddyer. The players elected Cuddyer after he made national news with a 27-game hit streak. He broke the franchise record for consecutive games with at least one hit. One other remarkable streak from Cuddyer was his streak of reaching base safely in 46 consecutive games. After his hot hitting, Cuddyer's batting average is near the top of the National League.

    Outfielder: Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers (1st Appearance)
    .312/.353/.559, 13 HR, 20 2B, 41 RBI, 5.4 WAR
    It will be something of a homecoming for Gomez who made his big league debut with the Mets. Since then, he has bounced to the Twins and Brewers before getting this All-Star nod. At the end of last season, there were some positive signs from Gomez and the Brewers rewarded him with a contract extension. He shot out of the gate in 2013 with a hot start and he has been one of the most valuable NL players. According to both FanGraphs and Baseball Reference, Gomez has the highest WAR in the National League. There were high hopes surrounding Gomez at the beginning of his career and he finally seems to be living up to those lofty expectations.
    This article was originally published in blog: Former Twins Litter All-Star Rosters started by Cody Christie
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Cuddyer is a former teammate to each of the All-Stars. No one else played with all of these current All-Stars. Ortiz left after 2002 and Hardy was only here for 2010.
    1. strumdatjag's Avatar
      strumdatjag -
      Ortiz, Gomez: Didn't blossom until after they were here - Gomez taking several years to reach this level. Who knows if either would have ever excelled without the proverbial change of scenery.
      JJ Hardy: His numbers are very good this year, but not All-Star caliber. Hardy has a better present, Florimon has more potential for the future. On this current team, I go with Florimon.
      Nathan, Cuddyer and Hunter: All have done remarkably well, but each had issues where their age made it a big risk to give a big contract. Would you really trade Glen Perkins for Nathan straight up??? Torii Hunter, however, would have been nice to keep around. However, the Twins have a lot of outfield talent waiting in their farm system. If either Torii or Michael had been here, Oswaldo Arcia would still be at AAA (or maybe even AA under certain scenarios). Then again, Hicks may have been there too, and getting ready for success in major leagues versus his anemic production so far (although improving)
      Jesse Crain: too expensive to pay for a reliever. Risk/reward is a tough thing to consider when signing relievers
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      Liriano could have made the team as well.

      For Johan the Twins got two All Stars--Gomez, turned into Hardy. Too bad the Twins chose Nishioka.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Grant Balfour is being tabbed as the replacement All Star for one of the starters who pitches next Sunday.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      What's depressing about this list is most of these guys left via Free Agency.
      I think Cuddy was turned into Berriors which was a decent exchange. But besides that these all stars were lost for no return.
      Is Morneau on this list next year?
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Rand did a fun little exercise showing that while we'd have a better lineup and (more) elite bullpen today, the kids wouldn't be getting experience. Meanwhile, our payroll would be $130M and the rotation... well, it'd be the exact same. I guesstimate we'd maybe be .500.

      "The lineup: If the Twins had all three of those outfielders, they wouldn’t have signed Josh Willingham. Aaron Hicks or Oswaldo Arcia might be here as a fourth outfielder, but not both. Ryan Doumit wouldn’t have a regular spot in the lineup with Ortiz here, so signing him would not have made much sense. And Hardy would be in at short instead of Pedro Florimon. So we’ll go with: 1) Gomez, CF 2) Joe Mauer, C 3) Cuddyer, RF 4) Ortiz, DH 5) Hunter, LF 6) Justin Morneau, 1B 7) Hardy, SS 8) Trevor Plouffe, 3B 9) Brian Dozier, 2B. • The bullpen: A back end of the ’pen featuring Crain, Nathan and Glen Perkins would be mighty nice.
      • The rotation: Completely unchanged, which is unfortunate.
      • The money: Here’s where things get tricky. The Twins would be spending almost $100 million on 10 players based on 2013 salaries, per baseball-reference.com: Cuddyer ($10.5 million); Gomez ($4.3 million); Mauer ($23 million); Hunter ($12 million); Hardy ($7 million); Ortiz ($14 million ); Crain ($4.5 million); Nathan ($7 million); Perkins ($2.5 million); Morneau ($14 million).
      [+$30M for the remaining 15 active roster spots]
      So Minnesota would have had a $130 million payroll, with the exact same starting rotation."
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Grant Balfour is being tabbed as the replacement All Star for one of the starters who pitches next Sunday.
      He just set an Oakland As record for consecutive saves.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
      I guesstimate we'd maybe be .500.
      Okay, I take it back.

      Putting their offensive stats into this Lineup Analysis and shaving off 10 points from OBP and SLG for missed games (played by replacement players) still results in a projection of 5.410 runs/game. We've scored 358 so far this year, while that lineup would have paced at 465. We're talking 107 runs.

      It's much more of a guesstimate with the bullpen, but if we shave off 13 runs, we end up with a bullpen ERA that leads the AL. So, we'd have given up 395 runs instead of the 408 we have allowed now.

      Plug those numbers into Pythagorean and, voila, we'd be on pace for 93-69 instead of 71-91 that our current numbers show.

      That would be quite the ideal scenario, but it's not quite fair to just pluck out the former Twins that are having career years in several cases. We'd have to consider all the others that have been passed on, how they're doing, and what they would've cost. RA Dickey's $12.5M isn't so hot this year. Johan's $24M wouldn't be getting any production. Matt Guerrier would be another $5M. It's easy to keep going and see how we could have a $200M payroll.

      We could probably paint a picture from the other end of the spectrum and show how bad we could be if we had kept all the wrong players and have a seriously bloated payroll.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Not sure the pen would be quite as good if they were backing up the current front 5... just a thought.
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