Accounting for 200 Runs
To have a chance at 81 wins in 2012, the Twins have to improve their run differential by 200 runs. (They scored 619 last year and allowed 804) I'm interested in your opinions on how many runs you think the various player changes and returns to health can account for. I'll start by saying that I think having Ben Revere in left field instead of Delmon Young accounts for 10 fewer runs allowed simply based on the number of additional fly balls that Revere will get to. I think it will be more than that but am accounting for some of the exta bases Young's arm may have limited that Revere's will not. 190 runs to go...
How about 250 plate appearances from Joe Mauer that aren't going to Drew Butera?
How about an additional 300 plate appearances from Denard Span?
How about a dream scenario where you get 500 plate appearances of Justin Morneau?
The pitching staff underperformed its FIP and xFIP by nearly 1/3 of a run. Hitting their FIPs (normal luck on BABIP, stranding runners, HR/FB) would have resulted in about 45 fewer ER allowed.
The 80 unearned runs the defense allowed were by far the worst of the Gardy era. There were some exceptionally good seasons in there, as well, but a typical Gardy team allows a UER total between 50-60. Let's say that normal (not necessarily rangy, but pretty sure-handed) Twins defense would have subtracted 25 UER.
By combining the FIP with ordinary defense, the Twins could have shaved about 70 R off their total. That would probably include the 10 Teflon already suggested, though.
While I'm not a big fan of defensive statistics to begin with (or trying to say things like "I can predict 10 fewer runs over the course of a 162-game season because of _______ player in the lineup"), I don't view this as an above average defensive team. Where are the "plus" defenders?! Yes, the combination of Span/Revere in left and center should be "rangey". Willingham is OK. I do not buy that Jamey Carroll will be an asset as a 38-year old at a position he's never held for a full season. Valencia and Casilla may be average at best. Mauer hit a point around the 2010 All-Star Game (where he missed a throw to 2nd by about 20 feet) after which he has NOT been a great defensive catcher. And who even knows if it will be Mauer, Morneau, Doumit, or Parmalee at 1B this year.
The best thing we did for run differential this year was add Willingham, and hopefully will get more out of the M & M boys. But Willingham/Span is not going to be offensively more productive than Cuddyer/Kubel.
I just feel like 80-85 wins is the upside of this team. I hope to hell I'm wrong.
I think I'd be pretty thrilled if this team won 85 games in 2012!
I can see saving ten runs from Revere's defense and maybe ten runs with Carroll (only because last year's shortstop defense was horrid). Unfortunately I don't see the pitching staff saving any runs from last year's total. The pitching staff has not improved and it may actually give up more runs this year. That leaves 180 runs for the offense to make up just to reach 81 wins.
I am usually very optomistic at the beginning of the year but I am afraid we are in for a long season. I would rather the Twins go into rebuilding mode than try to marginally contend with cheap veterans. If the Twins trade off what pieces the can for prospects and add this year's draft class to the farm system, I could at least see hope for the future.
I'm guessing a full season of a healthy Revere and Span is gonna earn us an extra 15-20 runs from them stealing their way into scoring position. Willingham's style of hitting will probably get us a few more runs than we got from Kubel or Cuddy.
If your psyche is brimming with spring training optimism, then you believe the Twins can cut that run differential down through:
* A mediocre Marquis being an improvement over last year's atrocious Duensing performance
* Liriano pitching as well as he seems to in even-numbered years
* Getting a full injury-free year from Baker.
* Not being forced to give 250 plate appearances to a .167 hitting catcher
* Aforementioned improvements from Mauer, Morneau, Span
* Getting a full season of Casilla playing like he did pre-injury.
And, hey, simply not having those 13 innings of 2.13 WHIP from Dusty Hughes ought to be worth something.
Not saying that this team is anywhere near a 90-win roster, but spring is for unfettered optimism.
@Storm, Mauer is 9th among active catchers in CS% with 35.23% and he has 3 Gold Gloves.
I agree with Seth Stohs and TwinsFarinMaryland, however, the pitchers need to do their part on not giving up runs. Liriano needs to throw strikes, Carroll needs to be steady at SS, otherwise I feel we are above-average defensively (barring injuries). You guys covered it above, I'm feeling optimistic and saying the twins will win 79-81 games and will be fun to watch, at times.
There is almost no way the Tigers will not win the AL Central and the Twins would have to win 90-92 games to win the Wild Card, so making the playoffs is all-but-out of the equation.
If we win more than 75 games and have less health concerns with our "star" players AND have an emergence of a young pitcher/position player, it will be a success. I am excited to follow ST and am really excited to watch until the Tigers pull away.
Terry Doyle is the answer...
Unless 2 of the other division members lose close to 100 games, there is no way that the Twins will not win the division over the Tigers if they have 90-92 wins. Some of those wins would equate to Tigers' losses. Very rare to see 2 90+ win teams in recent history in the same division, unless you also have 2 90+ loss teams in the same division (AL East is the exception). So I think that about 90 wins will win the Central this season. Can the Twins do it? Of course. Remember 1991 :) Will they do it? We'll see...
Originally Posted by wblmayo24
the twins lost over 100 hrs in cuddyer,young,kubel and thome and replaced it with willingham,doumit and carrol. even if mauer and morneau play a full season are they going to hit 35-40 each? the defense has improved with carrol but is that enough? speedy OF with revere and span. is that enough? ground ball pitcher marquis will that help? a starting pitching staff with a #2 (baker?) a 3 (Liariano?) and 3 5s (the rest of the starters)? casilla and valencia need to step up along with a WAY better defense(as compared to last years) in order for the twins to improve over last years total wins. im hoping for a minimum of 70 wins but i dont think they improve over last years totals. smith traded away the future (prospects) with nothing to show. bullpen is going to be overworked by the pitching staff hope they are up to it. I HOPE IM WRONG!
Wha? Those four departed players combined for 48 home runs with the Twins last year. Willingham and Doumit combined for 37.
Originally Posted by dadawg41
Unfortunately, I think you're probably right.
Originally Posted by StormJH1