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grumpyrob

Some thoughts

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As this season comes to an end, I look back at how the season played out. Sad to say, there was only one ray of light, and that was Brian Dozier. The kid worked hard over the off season, weathered a tough patch at the beginning of the season, and in my opinion, has captured second base for years to come. But still, I remain cautiously optimistic that the turnaround will stay for many years. Scott Diamond did nothing but regress, and in all reality, was probably never fully recovered from the injury and pushed to the starting job. We saw free agent pitching that turned out to be what we expected. The hammer could not stay healthy, and could not contribute. But most of all, the starting pitching never improved to the point where it really made a difference when it came to winning games.

But should we really blame them for all the losses? The inability for the Twins bats to hit in the runners who were on base was atrocious. Placing 29th in runners left in scoring position left on is not something to be proud of and tells us we need some hitters. But, it seems like they are on their way with Sano and Bucton getting close. Hopefully we see them next year sometime.

Comming into this season, we all knew it would not be something special, and as it got underway, this was apperant. But the little bit of improvement that was needed, never got here. I am not a big stats man, and admittedly, I often do not post on here, but I got bored at work and looked up ESPN stats. I am sure there are other, better sites, but I stuck with them for the stats. This is what I found; last in strike outs in 9 innings, 29th in earn runs against, 29th in earned runs, 22nd in home runs allowed, and 30th in hits allowed per 9 innings.

Now like I said, I donít know much about stats, but this outlines a team that needs to see serious improvements. I have read on this site about giving other pitchers another chance and how we need to pick up a free agent pitcher because we will have more than enough money for at least two free agents. We can sit here and make arguments on both sides of this. We can believe the owner when he said the team would pick up some free agents, or we can believe TR when he said we would not. I tend to believe TR, the owner was most likely telling us what we want to hear. And deep down inside, just like most of the readers here, we know there will be no big splashes made in the free agent market this off season. If there is, it will most likely be the resigning of Pelfrey. Hell, I can even see them going after Baker again. I love the Twins, and believe they can turn the team around. And we did have some setbacks this year. but how much longer do we watch them pick up mediocer pitchers and hope the defense helps them out?

The point of this was not to complain and bitch. Do I have any solutions in my mind? Yah, but picking up two starting pitchers in free agency will not happen. Moving Mauer to 1st will not happen. And even though I see and agree with the points of view from both sides, I also agree that we signed him to be a catcher, and that is what he is, and will be. We cannot protect all of our players by just moving them to a different position. We need to realize that every position has the potential for injury. As a first baseman, he poses a risk of sprained ankles while chasing a grounder, ball bouncing up out of the the dirt hitting him causing injuries, or injuries sustained from diving for a ball. So while we can protect him from injuries as a catcher, he is a better catcher than Josmil or any other catcher on our roster and it would be best to keep him in this position. Unlike many DHs, this man can contribute to more than just being a bat. The man can play baseball, we should let him play.

We have to look at like this. We all know he is the best player we have. But once we get better than we are now, and we compete for a world series, if he gets injured, we will have other players on the team who will be capable of winning. If we donít, then we donít have a good team. One man does not make a team, many do. And they are on the way. From Sano to May and then back to Buxton. One day this team will field a team of all stars. And then there will be more to this team than just Mauer.

So it seems, I wrote something, but then, I wrote nothing. I hope that Gardy gets that elusive 1,000th win and that we have a great off season of free agent signings. But in the end, we both will not happen this year. So please leave your comments, but do me a favor and try to be gentle. I dont know who the up and coming free agent pitchers are, but who do you think would be a realistic choice to come to Minnesota? And anothe question is are there any trades out there to be made? Do we have any players that could bring in a return? And no, Mauer would not be on the block?
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  1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
    Like Terry Ryan has said, I think the answer will come from within, not free agency. Already our double play combo is among the best. Hard as it was to stomach, in pure baseball terms the Morneau/Presley trade was a good one. We have great outfield prospects. Maybe both Hicks and Presley will be in the outfield next year.

    Pitching. It was odd to see Albers and Pinto struggle against each other last night, while Albers and Herrmann seem to work great together. Next year I think there's room for both Herrmann and Pinto -- and of course Mauer as you say. I liked Butera the way he handled pitchers. I would have been happy seeing Florimon/Butera bat 8th and 9th every day, but alas, talking about Butera is just looking backwards.

    I'm looking forward to Gardy's last win too but I also think we need to find some pitching coaches who can make a personal connection with our prospects and get them figured out. Because like Yogi said, 90% of the game is half mental and there's a lot a coach can do to help a pitcher -- film them in warmups, read opponent scouting reports, make in game adjustments, etc. Also to know when to leave them alone. We need to get Gibson and Diamond straightened out before even thinking about Meyer coming up. Lets hope Deduno can keep it going. It will be worthwhile signing a big name pitcher once we got those guys on track. When that happens we will be contending again in no time. Stay positive!
  2. grumpyrob's Avatar
    I disagree with TR. You cant wait all the time for young arms to develop. It relies to much on probabilities. I am patient when it comes to this team, I think most of us are, and I know just bringing in free agents is not the answer either, but there has to be a happy medium. A starting rotation of Gibson, Correa, Palfry, Diamond, and Deduno is not to scary. You have to at least get someone who has been more successful than those listed above to lead the rotation. And if you dont have that, I think a new pitching coach who can lead would be good to have. Though unfortunately, I cannot think of any right now.
  3. goulik's Avatar
    Are there Two Aces to sign and a home run hitting big time 1B? If you sign those three and the prospects rise, I think this team transforms next year. Unfortunately I think you need all three for any hope before 2015... I think we will be better next year but nothing exciting without a free agent dive
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