Arbitrary +/- Redux: 2014
by, 03-17-2014 at 01:57 PM (357 Views)
I recently started responding to a forum post, realized my post was growing ever-larger and mostly revolved around the topic of, "I think this guy will be better, but this guy, not so much...", and realized I was heading down the exact same path which caused me to create a questionable blog last year. And what's the best thing to do with questionable blogs? Pile on more, of course, making it into a "yearly" questionable blog topic (which assumes I may remember in future years).
As with last year's 'The Completely Arbitrary +/- System to Predict "Something" About the Twins', http://twinsdaily.com/entry.php/2534...bout-the-Twins, I need to offer the following statement:
The biggest assumption being made in this is one player manning the position for the majority of the season, which of course completely nullifies most of the value from predicting anyway. Many players will suffer injuries, many will be replaced/traded mid-season, and various other things can happen to make that a truly horrible assumption. But it's easier than the alternative, and therefore is perfect for my arbitrary system.
Last year's post turned out to be incredibly (along the lines of, "... broadside of a barn") accurate, so I guess I'm ready to make arbitrary and mostly unsupportable "predictions" about the Twins upcoming season to prove why I shouldn't write blogs. Here goes...
Left Field: Umm, who played LF for us last year? I had to check baseball-reference on this, and it shows Willingham played 72 games there, so I guess he was our primary left fielder even though that's less than half a season. The rest were covered by Clete Thomas, Darin Mastroianni, Chris Herrmann, Ryan Doumit, Oswaldo Arcia, Wilkin Ramirez, and even Eduardo Escobar. Interestingly, Chris Parmelee didn't get any time in left even with that motley collection of others who did. But wait, I'm supposed to be predicting how this year's player will be compared to last year's, not waxing nostalgic over the amazing talent displayed last year. So, yeah, LF this year will be Josh Willingham, I guess. He'll hopefully be healthy this year and able to produce, I predict (WAG, whatever) better offense and comparable defense (puke) to last year. Offense+, Defense=.
Center Field: Hmmm, left field already sent shivers down my spine and now I get to consider what we ran out into center field last year. It's starting to look like Aaron Hicks will get the job again this year, but of course he managed to lose it last year. Regardless, I don't want to think about who else played large numbers of games in CF last year not named Hicks or Presley. I think Hicks will put last year behind him and settle into the role adequately this year. His defense started out shaky but got better, including some highlight grabs and throws. I think he'll be more consistently good this year, and he's better than the guys who replaced him so Defense is improved. Offense, hopefully it can't help but be improved. Offense+, Defense+.
Right Field: Bleh, this blog is now reminding me of how incredibly awful our outfield was last year. I mean, shouldn't outfield be one of the easier positions to be able to fill with borderline competent players. How was ours so consistently awful? Parmelee couldn't hit but played okay defense, Arcia hit okay but played terrible defense, backup catchers Ryan Doumit and Chris Herrmann got a lot of games in RF, just, uggh. Arcia gets the job this year. He should be better offensively, but how does a full season of him compare to what we had last year defensively? My guess is a wash, Parmelee didn't get enough games there for the defense to be significantly downgraded over a healthy heaping of Arcia and Doumit last year. Offense+, Defense=.
Third Base: Trevor Plouffe takes over from Trevor Plouffe. Much as I hope we see more of June 2012's "Good Trevor", I suspect we're going to see lots of the usual mediocre Trevor. In the words of Miguel Sano, er make that Brad Swanson, "Ligaments are stupid." Offense=, Defense=.
Shortstop: I guess we're in for more Pedro Florimon. I thought he'd play his way out of the majors last year, but he sure showed me, didn't he (.611 OPS)? He was better on offense and defense than I expected, but I still want someone who can legitimately hit to get this job. It looks like I'll be waiting a while for a real solution here. I don't see much reason to believe we'll see anything different from Florimon this year. Offense=, Defense=.
Second Base: Finally, this blog post was getting depressing, I can finally feel happy about something. I can feel happy, right? June-September Brian Dozier is the real one, right, not the guy we saw before that? One of very few hunches my ever-expanding gut has had that hopefully turned out correct, Dozier was pretty good last year. I doubt his defense can be better than last year, honestly, but hopefully his bat is better over the course of a full season. Offense+, Defense=.
First Base: We replaced a previously-concussed former MVP with a previously-concussed former MVP. Hopefully the current version isn't hampered by post-concussion problems. I think Mauer has the potential to be pretty good defensively, but I was always a fan of Morneau's, so I'm guessing the defense gets a little worse this year with Mauer. He's capable of being good, but he needs more time there to get fully comfortable with it. Offensively, it's a pretty good upgrade, though. I wanted to go with a double-bump for the offense from Morneau to Mauer, but Morneau was actually one of our better hitters last year, sad as that is, and I couldn't quite do it, not knowing if Mauer will have any concussion issues. I hope he doesn't, and I hope my offensive predicition is too light. Offense+, Defense-.
Catcher: Errr, I said I'm predicting one player with the majority of the time at the position for the season, didn't I? Well, good thing this system is fake and I can change it whenever the heck I want to. I predict a relative 50-50 split for Kurt Suzuki and Josmil Pinto this year, slanted for Suzuki early and Pinto late. Now, compared to Mauer, yeah, this won't be pretty. Offense--(I figured there'd be a double somewhere), Defense-.
Designated Hitter: Well, DH was bad last year. Doumit was sort of the DH, I guess, but I don't think anyone could really be considered the DH last year. Pretty much everybody who was on the roster got a chance to DH last year, I think. I could have sworn I saw Mike Pelfrey lobbying for the chance at one point, thinking he could do it as well as anybody else who did. Since I already broke my own rule at catcher, I can now calmly put Chris Colabello and Chris Parmelee in at DH this year. Jason Kubel should have been able to grab this job, and instead we get a platoon of AAA mashers that can't hit in the majors. Parmelee will probably get more AB's, being a lefty hitter. Boy do I hope he swings his bat instead of trying to be Joe Mauer. I get angry when Mauer stares at cookies, and he has a career .323/.405/.468/.873 batting line, Parmelee needs to swing at that stuff. I'm not sure we got any better or worse here, and that frightens me. Offense=.
Bench: Do we actually have a bench? Backup infielder (must be able to play short, hitting optional), backup outfielder (must be able to play center, hitting optional), backup catcher (hitting optional). Last year's was terrible, this year's will hold up the standard. Wash.
Bullpen: Last year's was pretty good overall, but then bullpens are pretty much unpredictable. I like our chances for this year's to remain a little above-average. Wash.
Starters: As last time, I use a scale to rate the starters as a whole:
I was tempted to add a couple more layers, as I didn't think last year's rotation could get worse than 2012's Putrid, but boy did they try to prove me wrong. I'll try to adhere to at least one standard in my system, and pretend last year's rotation ranked in at Putrid. I learned my lesson though, and I'm only predicting the same improvement I did last year, up to mediocre. If we'd made the same offseason additions before last year as we did this year I would have predicted we'd make it to average, but I should never overestimate our Twins' ability to have horrible starting pitching. Thus an automatic downgrade by one rank over what I think they should be.
So, that all added up to +4. As we established last year, every plus of my prediction leads to another 6 wins, thus the reason last year's Twins won 90 games exactly as predicted...
Hmmm, that seems familiar. Wait, that's the same rank I had last year. This system is clearly bogus. Somebody shut this guy up.