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Chasing Offense

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Let me count the ways in which the Twins focused on adding offense this year:

  • Of the ~$18M the Twins spent this offseason, $14M were spent on adding hitters. The only exceptions were bargain-shopping acquisitions of Jason Marquis and Joe Zumaya.
  • Jamey Carroll was one of the first free agents signed this offseason, and he was given a 2-year deal, despite being limited defensively and being 38 years old? Why? Because he could get on base. He doesnít have a hit this year.
  • Ryan Doumit has a long history of injuries and is known as a poor defensive catcher. He was added because his career OPS is 774.
  • Chris Parmelee was added to the roster despite never playing at AAA.
  • Ben Revere was moved to fourth outfielder and most of the outfield realliged to add offense, just a couple of weeks before the season began.
  • Morneau was moved to designated hitter to allow him to remain healthy, so the Twins could have more offense.
  • Mauer, even when heís not catching, has been in the starting lineup every game playing another position, because he should be able to provide more offense.
  • Danny Valencia is starting at the hot corner despite his managers concerns about his defense because at least he can provide some offense against southpaws.
  • The last spot on the roster didnít go to a utility infielder or a third catcher Ė it went to Sean Burroughs to act as a left-handed pinch hitter.

There have been any number of moves that I have been critical of the Twins this offseason: re-signing Matt Capps, gambling on Joel Zumaya, signing Ryan Doumit given his injury history, cutting payroll, etc. But the one thing I could not say is that the Twins undervalued the impact of offense. Indeed, the exact opposite has been true. Almost every decision they have made this offseason was made to maximize their ability to score runs.

And yet, four games (and six runs) into the season, thatís exactly what is killing them.
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