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Twins 2014 Season Predictions Part 2

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It's time for the predictions for the Twins pitching staff!
Here's the format of my stats:
ERA/K per 9/ BB per 9

Ricky Nolasco 2013: 3.70/7.4/2.1
2014: 4.53/6.0/1.7

Nolasco had a career year and cashed in with the Twins. His career ERA is 4.37 and that's 100% in the national league, and that's gonna go up with the Twins. He does have the capability to go past 6 innings, so in the end he will make the Twins more competitive.

Phil Hughes 2013: 5.19/5.7/1.9
2014: 4.07/4.9/1.8

If the ballpark factor comes into play, Hughes will be our best pitcher. He's given up 59 HRs over the last two years, but hopefully that will shrink at Target Field. I am concerned about his strikeout rate, and it'll probably drop thanks to our pitching staff, but either way, Hughes will be a huge step forward from what we saw in 2013.

Mike Pelfrey 2013: 5.19/6.0/3.1
2014: 4.98/6.4/3.1

Odd. Pelfrey had the exact same ERA of 5.19. Very odd. Coincidences aside, Pelfrey is now on year 2 of his recovery from TJ surgery, meaning he should be better. If you read my first blog, you know I turned off the TV whenever Pelfrey pitched. Ironically, the one game I saw at Fort Myers this year was watching Pelfrey pitch. He isn't spectacular, but I think he will improve.

Kevin Correia 2013: 4.18/4.9/2.2
2014: 4.80/4.9/2.7

Everyone was surprised when Correia pitched well last year. Looking at his K/9, I'd say he won't be able to keep up his 4.18 ERA. But I'm no sabermetrics wizard, so I can't guarantee you anything. Expect he'll be mediocre, of course.

Kyle Gibson 2013: 6.53/5.1/3.5
2014: 2.97/6.7/3.0

Yes. That's right. 2.97 ERA. Are you taking me seriously? No?
My big prediction of the year is Gibson's emergence as our best pitcher. I wouldn't bet money on this, but I just have that feeling. He's got over his anxiety of being a rookie under pressure. He's further removed from TJ surgery. The stars have aligned. My predictions may look grim at times, but here is a shining light for all to see! (please, Gibson, prove me right. I will look like an idiot if you pitch as bad as last year.)

Sam Deduno 2013: 3.83/5.6/3.4
2014: 3.61/7.7/4.0

Let's face it. When one of the five guys above gets injured, it's probably Deduno time. I predict he will start half of the games in the season, so maybe 16 starts. In the bullpen, his strikeouts should increase, but I fear his walks will grow too high. I'm worried for his health, but other than that, he will kick butt. Here's to hoping he won't fizzle out like Scott Diamond did.

Anthony Swarzak 2013: 2.91/5.8/2.9
2014: 3.91/6.1/2.6

Compare Deduno's 2013 numbers with Swarzak's. Pretty similar, right? Well, Swarzak was in the bullpen, but their numbers are freaky close. Clearly the bullpen is the place to be, but he will regress after a fantastic 2013. He's going to be moving to the 7th inning role, which he won't be as good at. Still, don't worry about him.

Brian Duensing 2013: 3.98/8.3/3.2
2014: 3.55/8.0/3.3

Duensing is still a bit of a mystery. After flaming out as a starter, Duensing found his value as a reliever. He's unpredictable, but his 8.3 K/9 was pretty radical. He won't get over 8.3 again but he's a solid lefty in the bullpen.

Glen Perkins 2013: 2.30/11.1/2.2
2014: 3.00/9.2/2.4

Just gaze at those 2013 numbers. Keep looking. Man, what a year. He'll never be that good again, however, he'll live up to his new extension. At Fort Myers, he blew away the batters with his pitches. I couldn't help but smile. Perkins might just be my favorite current Twin right now. (Until Buxton makes the roster.)

Jared Burton 2013: 3.82/8.3/3.0
2014: 2.73/8.1/2.5

Burton regressed last year, and in the setup role, blew every tie game he had. He won't do that again this year, and he'll return to his 2012 form. He is getting to the age where he could decline permanently, but let's not talk about that. His 8.3 K/9 clip looks pretty good and should remain there.

Caleb Thielbar 2013: 1.76/7.6/2.7
2014: 3.66/7.9/2.6

I hate agreeing with the consensus, but Thielbar cannot possibly be as good as last year. That won't prevent him from having an overall postitive year, as a 3.66 ERA isn't bad for a former St. Paul Saint pitcher.

Casey Fien 2013: 3.92/10.6/1.7
2014: 3.15/9.8/2.4

It just isn't right when you have a SO/BB of 6.08 (that's high) and your ERA balloons up almost 2 points. ERA is not the greatest stat and it's not close, and I don't believe it's super-accurate. However, if Fien pitches like he did last year, it will go down. I'm a fan of Fien and I hope he continues his dominant run in the bullpen. He could become the setup man.

Michael Tonkin 2014: 2.37/10.9/3.7

Tonkin will come into the big leagues exactly how Thielbar did. He will dominate everyone and have a basement-deep ERA. He won't repeat these stats in 2015 but he's on his way to one day becoming the closer.

That should be it, but I have one more bold prediction, and it's not pretty. Look away, optimists.




Alex Meyer 2014: 6.73 ERA/8.5/4.5

I'm sorry if I upset someone. Just think about it. Nobody thought Kyle Gibson would have an ERA north of 6. And nobody thinks Meyer will struggle this bad... except me, the pessimist. I like him, but knowing our luck, he'll get hurt and keep pitching.

I'm sorry if I poisoned your mind with grim predictions, but our pitching staff is getting much better. Please, leave a comment and I will respond back.
I will analyze my predictions at the end of the year. Let's see if my big 2 predictions will come true!
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