Better at Every Position?
by, 04-03-2012 at 01:01 AM (846 Views)
I was thinking today that it's possible that the Twins could be better or at least as good at every position this year compared to last. So I started thinking it over and tried to come up with some rough estimates and comparisons to see if it really was possible.
Carl Pavano becomes Carl Pavano. Pretty much steady Eddie. Can we assume he'll perform this year about the same as last? Difference: -0 wins.
Scott Baker becomes Scott Baker. He performed great last year, but got limited starts due to health. Should we expect much else? Difference: 0 wins.
Francisco Liriano becomes Francisco Liriano. One of the toughest guys to project this year, but I think we have to have hope he'll be better than last, or at least no worse, right? Difference: +3 wins.
Nick Blackburn becomes Nick Blackburn. Supposedly healthy. Without even matching his two decent years before the last two he's an improvement over himself. Difference: +1.5 wins.
Brian Duensing becomes Jason Marquis. BD didn't have a great year as a starter. Marquis should be able to at least replicate that. Difference: +0 wins.
Closer versions of Capps and Nathan become Matt Capps. Even if he's bad, he should be better. Don't forget how bad Nathan was to start the year, too. Difference: +1 win.
Glen Perkins becomes Glen Perkins. Hard to expect him to replicate his '11, but he's the same guy so we can hope he's just as good. Difference: -0 wins.
Jose Mijares becomes Brian Duensing. Looking at BD's numbers as a reliever and how bad Mijares was last year, have to think it's an upgrade. Difference: +1.5 wins.
Setup versions of Capps and Nathan becomes Burton. Gotta hope he can at least be replacement level (or someone else can be). Difference: 0 wins.
After that, last year was a mish mash of anybody they could try. This year will start out Swarzak, Maloney, and others. Has to be an upgrade, even if small. Difference: +0.5 wins.
Mauer/Butera/Rivera/Holm becomes Mauer and Doumit. Umm...Improvement? I might actually be going conservative with this large number when you consider what happened last year. Difference: +4.5 wins.
Morneau/Cuddyer/Parmalee/Hughes/ugh...becomes Parmalee with pitch-in from Morneau/Mauer/everyone else. Hard to figure out how much of his value Cuddyer acheived at 1B and all that, but can we hope for a push here (especially when you figure just how bad Morneau was when he gave it a go)? Difference: 0 wins.
Casilla/Nishi/Hughes/etc become Casilla/Hughes. Nishi took value away, Hughes may be a year better, Casilla could be healthier. Maybe a bit optimistic but... Difference: +1 win.
Danny Valencia becomes Danny Valencia. Even getting part way back to his rookie year makes this an easy upgrade in the same body. Difference: +2 wins.
Casilla/Nishi/Plouffe/etc become Jamey Carroll. Again this seems like a pretty easy upgrade. Difference: +2 wins.
Delmon Young becomes Josh Willingham. Even with a bad year by his history, this is an easy upgrade. Difference: +2 wins.
Span/Revere becomes Span. Span was really good for the first half last year and Revere did a better job than could be expected. Difference: 0 wins.
Cuddyer/Kubel/etc become...I don't even know! I can't see the revolving door being quite as good as what was out there last year, but mostly I don't even know who will playing out there for how much. And the dream of the "as good or better at every spot" goes out the window! Difference: -1 wins.
Thome and whoever else DH'd when he wasn't in the lineup (a lot) become Justin Morneau with pitch in from Doumit/Mauer/etc. Thome didn't play enough to make this as close as it could be. Should be an upgrade even if Morneau doesn't continue his late spring surge. Difference: +1 win.
I'll take the bench as a whole since I think 73 people occupied the bench at some point last year. Gotta be better this year. Difference: +1 win.
That all comes out to +19.5 wins (I think...it's late), which gets them to right around 0.500. I feel like before I started this breakdown, that's where my gut said they'd finish. So what are your thoughts? Where was I too optimistic or too pessimistic? I have some top candidates even in my own mind now that I have gone back and re-looked at some!