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Thread: Will this team be the worst of the last four years?

  1. #161
    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beezer07 View Post
    I'm just really, really excited that Twins baseball is almost here again!
    Me too!

  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I'm not one to entertain highly unlikely scenarios. The odds of one of those players failing are decent. The odds of all those players failing in the same year are slim.
    Agree 100%. A ton of things need to go wrong for this rotation to have a 5.25 ERA. Nolasco and a non-Yankee stadium Hughes are hands down better pitchers than anything we had last year. Pelfrey will either be better than his 5.19 ERA or not get starts.

    And we will likely replace one of five guys that threw 89 mph with no movement with Alex Meyer, who throws 97-98 with an 89 mph wide out slider.

    This rotation will allow at least 50 fewer runs, and to me that is a dire scenario (average ERA of about 4.75). We were in 49 1 run games last year, so 50 fewer runs would be huge.

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  4. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Meyer excites me too, but he's going to be on an innings limit, no? That, plus the veteran SP under contract, I feel like best case, Meyer gets Gibson 2013 treatment (10 GS).
    I think Meyer gets a green light on June 1. He is too good to keep in the minors any longer. It makes no sense to keep him in AA or AAA and have KC pitching up here when he will be traded. Regarding an innings limit, it is tough to say. He didn't have TJ, he had shoulder soreness. If we are on track to win 75 games maybe they put him on a limit to be safe.

    2012 in low and high A - 129 IP, 2.86 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 139 K, 9.7 K/9
    2013 in AA - 78 IP, 2.99 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 100K, 11.7 K/9.
    2013 Fall League 26 IP, 3.12 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 28K, 9.7 K/9.

  5. #164
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    Giving up 50 less runs is certainly not out of the realm of possibility. OTOH, if you are going to use runs scored to project more wins (i.e., pythag), you should acknowledge they over achieved their pythag last year.....


    I think they'll win a few more games than last year, the pitching was so bad last year than a marginal improvement just puts in them in the bottom 5-10, not the bottom of the league. The real question for me this year is about youth. Will this team finally commit to youth and learning what these prospects have or don't, or will we see old guys with no future trotted out there instead? To me, the issue is about their commitment to their own stated strategy, building through the minors. Kubel, Suzuki, Pelfrey, Willingham....those names don't make you think they are committed to their own strategy at all. Add in Tonkin sitting in AAA, and maybe Arcia going back down, and you wonder.....what exactly is their strategy?
    Lighten up Francis....

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    If Meyer is on an innings limit, I can't see how it'd be lower than 170 or so, which makes it (mostly) a moot point. He might miss September, which is no big deal as the Twins will almost surely be out of contention at that point anyway.

    Let's just hope that he doesn't throw 120 IP in the minors so that he only gets a handful of MLB starts.

  7. #166
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Add in Tonkin sitting in AAA, and maybe Arcia going back down, and you wonder.....what exactly is their strategy?
    I agree that the kids need to play but I don't see it being an issue.

    Gibson is probably the fifth starter. Arcia is almost surely on the roster. Hicks looks to be on the roster.

    That leaves Tonkin... It's unfortunate that the team doesn't have space for such a promising arm but I can't fault the team for holding on to Deduno/Swarzak/Diamond for a bit at the expense of Tonkin staying in the minors for a month or two.

    After the last three seasons, the Twins need as many backup plans for the rotation as possible. It will sort itself out quickly enough.

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  9. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I haven't denied that the rotation is likely a little better, but it's hardly a given. Those two things are very different statements.

    Even after you gave virtually every starter a full season projection (no injuries) and better than career-norm performances (certainly better than the previous few years in almost all cases) - you still barely account for the team's luck last year. I don't know how that can lead to optimism unless you believe the team will be 5 games lucky again next year.

    You're entitled to that, maybe their bullpen is the key to that, but I wouldn't bank on it.

    I think the rotation should be significantly better. Nolasco is better than anyone they have had in the last 3 years. Hughes stats from pitching in the AL East, in a hitter friendly park( in a down yr) are still better than the starters he is replacing. I don't think it's out of the question that Gibson will step forward & Meyers(& others) are a possibility down the road.

    I don't see much @ AAA for hitting so the current guys like Arcia, Pinto, Hicks are going to have to come thru for the offense to be even average. I don't know who is capable of leading off & we have about 4 guys who should be batting 9th.

    I think you are overstating last years team luck. The were 3 games above their Pythagoreon W-L, not 5. That doesn't seem like much of a factor to me since they have been above the last 4 or 5 yrs. Hey, maybe Gardy has been managing the h### out of the team the last few years!

    It's been interesting reading this thread to see everyone's opinion. I'd like to state that even though we may disagree I realize we are all Twins fans or we wouldn't even be on this board. Hopefully, this will be the last really crappy team for awhile

  10. #168
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    Out of curiosity, I found a few other over/under lines from different sportsbooks: 71, 69, and 65.5 in addition to the 70.5 mentioned on this thread. (The 65.5 also carried a "-115u" note, which means you would win less money taking the under. Talk about pessimists!)

    FWIW, I think all of these odds were posted before Sano's injury too. To be honest, between that, Rosario's suspension, and Meyer getting pushed back by his injury last year, a considerable amount of wind has left my 2014 opening day sails, even if they wouldn't have factored in the W/L record that much anyway.

    We should still be better this year, but we're definitely still more "old look" than "new look" Twins.

  11. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Giving up 50 less runs is certainly not out of the realm of possibility. OTOH, if you are going to use runs scored to project more wins (i.e., pythag), you should acknowledge they over achieved their pythag last year.....


    I think they'll win a few more games than last year, the pitching was so bad last year than a marginal improvement just puts in them in the bottom 5-10, not the bottom of the league. The real question for me this year is about youth. Will this team finally commit to youth and learning what these prospects have or don't, or will we see old guys with no future trotted out there instead? To me, the issue is about their commitment to their own stated strategy, building through the minors. Kubel, Suzuki, Pelfrey, Willingham....those names don't make you think they are committed to their own strategy at all. Add in Tonkin sitting in AAA, and maybe Arcia going back down, and you wonder.....what exactly is their strategy?

    In reality I think it will be closer to 80-90 runs.

    Unfortunately, I have to question the strategy as well. I am excited about Pinto, Hicks, Meyer, etc. But you can rattle off 10 names of guys that aren't part of the 2015 team. This is year 3-4 of a rebuilding team, so you wonder why more of an investment was not made 2-3 years ago in free agents, international signings of guys in the mold of Puig, etc. The DH battle should not be between Kubel/Parmelee/CC and SS battle between Florimon/Bartlett/Escobar.

  12. #170
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfboy1 View Post
    I don't see much @ AAA for hitting so the current guys like Arcia, Pinto, Hicks are going to have to come thru for the offense to be even average. I don't know who is capable of leading off & we have about 4 guys who should be batting 9th.
    I think this is an important point. Last year when there were struggles/injuries we called up Arcia and slid Doumit around. This year it's what? Hermann and Bernier and Wilkin Ramirez? Look at AAA and tell me there is ANY injury which can be substituted with even a semi-competent replacement.

    It won't take this silly disaster talk for this offense to be in a lot more trouble than it already is. Any injury and you just put 5 number 9 hitters in the lineup rather than 4. Two injuries and you bring it to 6. This is a team with a putrid lineup and putrid depth behind it and that could derail things in a hurry with even a modicum of injury issues.

    I think you are overstating last years team luck. The were 3 games above their Pythagoreon W-L, not 5.
    ESPN had them at 61-101 though I see Bref has them at 3. So fair enough..it's in that range. Looking at the details makes me believe even more the bullpen is largely to credit for that "luck". The team was 24-25 in 1-run games and 9-7 in extra inning games - both far higher percentages than their overall W/L.

    I think, moreso than the lineup or the rotation, the bullpen is going to have the largest impact on whether this team is a 70ish win team or a 60ish win team. I don't buy for a second that less of a workload is going to make them better - they had a helluva workload last year and were brilliant. So let's do away with colloquialism...better starters pitching more innings doesn't impact the performance of the relievers. If the bullpen had been bad last year and you wanted to cite overwork....maybe. Even then these are different things.

    Now you could argue that every bullpen guy last year outperformed realistic expectations apart from maybe Duensing, but even he was alright. The key is what kinds of arms are Theilbar, Fien, Burton, Swarzak, Pressley, and even Perkins to an extent. Those guys were all anywhere from good to brilliant, but bullpen performance is easily the hardest thing to predict year to year. In my eyes, their ability to bring us "luck" is the most telling thing. Most of us can agree the rotation will show some improvement (how much is a very big question mark IMO) and the lineup is likely as bad or slightly worse than last year. This is really the lynchpin of the discussion - can the bullpen salvage enough close games for us to boost the W/L total.

    I honestly don't know the answer to that and I think it would be wild guessing either way. But to the Twins credit they often generate this sort of luck with their bullpens, so maybe they will.
    Last edited by TheLeviathan; 03-25-2014 at 08:43 AM.

  13. #171
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I think, moreso than the lineup or the rotation, the bullpen is going to have the largest impact on whether this team is a 70ish win team or a 60ish win team. I don't buy for a second that less of a workload is going to make them better - they had a helluva workload last year and were brilliant. So let's do away with colloquialism...better starters pitching more innings doesn't impact the performance of the relievers. If the bullpen had been bad last year and you wanted to cite overwork....maybe. Even then these are different things.
    I agree that the bullpen won't be better through a smaller workload but it *should* be easier to manage at a decent level of performance. It's easier to piece together 3-4 good relievers out of a crop of 6-7 guys than be in a situation where all 6-7 guys are needed on a regular basis.

    For example, Burton crashes and burns. Slide Tonkin in his place as the setup man. That makes the manager's life a lot easier if Tonkin is in the minors and isn't already slated to pitch 60+ innings in the sixth and seventh innings because starters are lasting an average of 5 innings a start.

    I don't see the bullpen getting better but I see Nolasco, Hughes, and Pelfrey helping to make sure the best guys get used in later innings instead of constantly scrambling to throw warm bodies on the mound for 4+ innings a night.

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  15. #172
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I don't see the bullpen getting better but I see Nolasco, Hughes, and Pelfrey helping to make sure the best guys get used in later innings instead of constantly scrambling to throw warm bodies on the mound for 4+ innings a night.
    Very true, but the tricky part with bullpens is sometimes the guy you think is going to be one of your "best guys" ends up being a total dud. And a guy like Swarzak (an afterthought) is a borderline team MVP...sad as that may be.

    The benefit the Twins have there is a lot of depth in case guys do flop, so that does help.

  16. #173
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    Levi, I guess I'm not buying the notion of an over-worked bullpen resulting in reduced performance being a colloquialism. What I saw last year was long, oppressive stretches where not a single starter gave the pen a day off, and you had the same relievers warming up and coming in night after night. The pitchers themselves were occasionally commenting on coming into games with tired arms. I think an argument can be made that the bullpen was very ngood last year and would have performed even better had Andy been in a position to more effectively manage their workloads with days off and in some cases fewer innings.

  17. #174
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    But I agree with you that the performance of the bullpen may be the single most important determinant in whether we have a 60ish win or 70ish win team in 2013, and part of my own optimism stems from a belief that we have enough bullpen depth to overcome the inevitable breakdowns.

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    TheLeviathan;206353]I think this is an important point. Last year when there were struggles/injuries we called up Arcia and slid Doumit around. This year it's what? Hermann and Bernier and Wilkin Ramirez? Look at AAA and tell me there is ANY injury which can be substituted with even a semi-competent replacement
    .

    The only guy at AAA who might make a difference is Santana & maybe Rosario later but otherwise it's pretty barren.

    My counter argument is... they can't get much worse than last year. They gave a lot of AB to Hicks, Thomas, Florimon, an injured Willingham & several other ineffective players. If Willingham is healthy I think he will do much better & Hicks & Florimon (to a lesser extent) had better improve or they are running out of chances.


    I think, moreso than the lineup or the rotation, the bullpen is going to have the largest impact on whether this team is a 70ish win team or a 60ish win team. I don't buy for a second that less of a workload is going to make them better - they had a helluva workload last year and were brilliant. So let's do away with colloquialism...better starters pitching more innings doesn't impact the performance of the relievers. If the bullpen had been bad last year and you wanted to cite overwork....maybe. Even then these are different things.
    The bullpen might not be better but there were a lot of games when Worley, Hendriks, Diamond, etc, put the Twins in a 5 run hole after several innings. I fully expect the Twins to be competitive in the early innings far more times this year. The are still going to lose plenty of games since their pitching is still only going to be average & the offense will suck but it should be better than last year.

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  20. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
    Levi, I guess I'm not buying the notion of an over-worked bullpen resulting in reduced performance being a colloquialism.
    I'm unconvinced that group could have been better with less innings. The bulk of those mop-up innings were pitched by guys that performed very, very well. I do agree that one could argue SP improvements would help after a year in which a bullpen performed very poorly and many guys were asked to perform in roles they are unaccustomed to...but that's not what we're talking about here.

    We overtaxed our middle and long relief and they performed incredibly. So I'm not sure that line of reasoning works for this team.

    Now the SP improvements may allow the Twins to better tailor their bullpen usage, but there is still a high (IMO) risk that the bullpen takes a step backward. The reasoning is simply the degree to which the entire bullpen overperformed expectations and career norms. Could this group be establishing a new norm? Very possible, but hard to say.

    Either way, with an offense not looking to put up flashy numbers, those one run games are going to be huge difference makers to our record.

  21. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfboy1 View Post
    =.My counter argument is... they can't get much worse than last year. They gave a lot of AB to Hicks, Thomas, Florimon, an injured Willingham & several other ineffective players. If Willingham is healthy I think he will do much better & Hicks & Florimon (to a lesser extent) had better improve or they are running out of chances.
    1) I think it would be hard for Hicks not to improve on last year, but he's a wildcard that's hard to predict other than he should be better by some degree 2)Willingham's health is always going to be dubious now because the guy is clearly broken down and we may be looking at Presley as his replacement when he goes down. 3) We're still giving Florimon at-bats

    Imagine any scenario in which a starting infielder goes down for a month - that's 30 games of Escobar replacing that player. Any OF goes down and you're likely looking at Wilkin Ramirez or Presley or Hermann. You don't even have to imagine Mauer gets hurt to start cringing at this lineup's depth.

  22. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Correia- 4.25 ERA 1 fWAR (Contract year, 4 months w/ Twins)
    A systematic contract year boost has been proven to be mostly fiction, right? Plus, how did Correia do in his previous two "contract years"?

    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    2014 SP totals- 980 IP/162 GS/~4.25 ERA/12 WAR

    2013 SP totals- 871 IP/162 GS/5.26 ERA/4.6 WAR
    Your projections: +109 IP, -1.00 ERA, +7.4 fWAR
    Royals SP, 2012 to 2013: +97 IP, -1.14 ERA, +4 fWAR

    The 2013 Royals SP turnaround was one of the most dramatic in recent memory, featuring the addition of TWO near-peak performances by two of the most durable SP in the game today (Shields and Santana), PLUS a full season from Guthrie, and also a great half-season renaissance from Bruce Chen too.

    You expect the 2014 Twins to basically match that IP/ERA improvement, and double the fWAR improvement? And that's not a rosy, best case forecast?

    Also, you have 6 starters making 20+ starts, with a 4.50 or less ERA. Since 1985, only the 2012 Phillies (another pretty good starting staff) had 6 20+ GS starters with ERAs even under 5. The Twins franchise has never had 6 20+ GS starters in a season, period. Furthermore, you project every single one of those starters to beat his career ERA in 2014. (Although admittedly some are probably closer by ERA+, given league-wide trends in scoring.)

    While individual best cases may be even better than the numbers you posted, calling this anything other than a best case scenario from a team perspective is highly misleading, and it's not terribly different from similar exercises performed before the 2013 season (5 out of 7 names are even the same!). A far more likely team outcome includes more starts missed to injury, and at least one or two SP whose performance falters (or in the case of Pelfrey/Hughes/Gibson, fails to rebound).

    Still should be better than 2012-2013, largely thanks to Nolasco's stability and perhaps Meyer's upside, but probably not +8 wins better as a mean projection. Not saying +8 isn't possible, but it's the team best-case scenario, no matter how you divvy up the individual performances.

  23. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    It won't take this silly disaster talk for this offense to be in a lot more trouble than it already is. Any injury and you just put 5 number 9 hitters in the lineup rather than 4. Two injuries and you bring it to 6. This is a team with a putrid lineup and putrid depth behind it and that could derail things in a hurry with even a modicum of injury issues.
    Not true! There is 4 in 9 odds that the injury would affect one of our current number 9 hitters, in which case the quantity of number 9 hitters stays constant with his replacement.

    It's one of the benefits of having so many number 9 hitters in your lineup!

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  25. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    that's 30 games of Escobar replacing that player.
    You say that like it's a bad thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    the bullpen is going to have the largest impact on whether this team is a 70ish win team or a 60ish win team.
    You're looking for 10ish WAR from the bullpen? That seems largish.

    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    It's one of the benefits of having so many number 9 hitters in your lineup!
    Hey, I just thought of a swell strategy to make the team invulnerable to the injury bug!

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