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Thread: #1 in the AL

  1. #21
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    Don't hold your breath

    Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
    And in June, when the rotation is Meyer, Gibson, Hughes, May, and Nolasco, the Twins will have a chance to actually make some noise this year.
    The chances that they will replace, even one of their starters in June, is slim, at best. If they do, it will be just one. If they don't think Meyer is ready, they would probably stretch out Deduno and add him. Any major change in the starters would probably not happen till the end of summer and only then, if things were out of control.

  2. #22
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Kubel, Pinto and Colabello were not around last year at this time. Plouffe was battling wrist injuries. I think this team is a better hitting team than last year, and it hasn't received anything from Arcia or Willingham yet. Count me as encouraged.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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  4. #23
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Kubel, Pinto and Colabello were not around last year at this time. Plouffe was battling wrist injuries. I think this team is a better hitting team than last year, and it hasn't received anything from Arcia or Willingham yet. Count me as encouraged.
    Not to mention Mauer has been slow out of the gates as well, Arcia/Hammer and Mauer will make up for a lot of the regression out of the Suzukis and maybe Cola.

    I don't think they can maintain top offense in the AL, but if they can keep it in the top 5 and the pitching can be league average they will have a shot.
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"- L. Harvey Oswald


  5. #24
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Joe A. Preusser's Avatar
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    This team has shiwn a great approach at the plate thus far. They aren't just getting lucky out there. By my eye test, the luck has been even for the Twins and their opponents.

  6. #25
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    For some context, the Twins batters current 12.9 BB% would be an expansion era (1961+) MLB record, by far. Next highest is the 2000 Seattle Mariners at 12.1%. Most of the high teams are from the sillyball era (1993-2000) or 1969-1971 following the lowering of the mound, when the league BB% was 1+ percent higher than today; otherwise, the absolute max team high is closer to 11%:
    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.asp...s=0&sort=9%2cd

    Out of our 10 "regulars" (the current 9 plus Willingham), 4 of them have basically doubled their established walk rates, AND 5 more are posting career highs to boot. The only one who isn't posting a career-best walk rate, and he's actually dropped interestingly enough, is Colabello.

    Also, as a team we are +.017 in BABIP over 2014 league BABIP and our yearly team BABIPs since moving to Target Field. 4 of the above 10 regulars are about 100 points better than their established BABIP levels so far in 2014, and Suzuki is about 60 points better too. We've also got a few BABIP underperformers, but they've been dwarfed by the overperformers so far.

    Looking in the Plate Discipline section at Fangraphs, we're now 2nd best in out-of-zone swing percentage... but we were already a very respectable 6th last year, behind only 4 AL playoff teams (and, inexplicably, the Cubs). In 2014, we have the lowest in-zone swing percentage, notably lower than last year's (which was already second-lowest in baseball). I guess that means we're being more selective even in the zone, which is good, but given our crazy walk rates, it also suggests that maybe we've been the beneficiaries of a poorly called strike zone thus far? Like we're getting away with not swinging at strikes?

    I'll take it, but this just screams fluke. I'd like to see some improvement in ISO (we currently rank 21st, with a slightly lower figure than last year). So far, we have made modest gains in AVG (up 8 points from last year, even as the league is down 5 -- we're basically league average at the moment).

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  8. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Kubel, Pinto and Colabello were not around last year at this time. Plouffe was battling wrist injuries. I think this team is a better hitting team than last year, and it hasn't received anything from Arcia or Willingham yet. Count me as encouraged.
    Well, the first 3 guys you mention were basically the replacements for Arcia and Willingham. Even if they are all hitting well, there's no way they are all in the lineup at the same time. Heck, right now, there isn't really a spot for either Arcia or Willingham, performance-wise -- the one guy they might "replace" is either Pinto or Suzuki (pushing them out of the DH spot), and you'd be hard-pressed to improve upon what either of them has hit thus far.

    Not that it won't be nice to have more options, but I highly doubt the offense improves (or even maintains this crazy pace) even with Arcia and Willingham back.

    Also, from my post above, Pinto and Plouffe are in the group that has doubled their established walk rates thus far; Kubel (and Willingham) "only" has a career high in that rate. Kubel, Colabello, and Plouffe are also 3 of the group who have added 100 points to their established BABIP levels.

  9. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe A. Preusser View Post
    This team has shiwn a great approach at the plate thus far. They aren't just getting lucky out there. By my eye test, the luck has been even for the Twins and their opponents.
    No doubt they've been doing some good work at the plate, but their unsustainable walk rates and BABIP is almost the definition of some luck. Not all luck, hopefully/probably, but a fair amount of it.
    Last edited by spycake; 04-25-2014 at 10:39 AM.

  10. #28
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    No doubt they've been doing some good work at the plate, but their unsustainable walk rates and BABIP is almost the definition of some luck. Not all luck, hopefully/probably, but a fair amount of it.
    Throw in 14 unearned runs on that tally and the evidence is overwhelming that this is flukey production so far.

    The approach can be maintained and that's the encouraging part, but there is simply no way you can look at the peripherals of this offense and suggest the Twins have been anything other than extremely lucky.

  11. #29
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Well, the first 3 guys you mention were basically the replacements for Arcia and Willingham. Even if they are all hitting well, there's no way they are all in the lineup at the same time. Heck, right now, there isn't really a spot for either Arcia or Willingham, performance-wise -- the one guy they might "replace" is either Pinto or Suzuki (pushing them out of the DH spot), and you'd be hard-pressed to improve upon what either of them has hit thus far.

    Not that it won't be nice to have more options, but I highly doubt the offense improves (or even maintains this crazy pace) even with Arcia and Willingham back.

    Also, from my post above, Pinto and Plouffe are in the group that has doubled their established walk rates thus far; Kubel (and Willingham) "only" has a career high in that rate. Kubel, Colabello, and Plouffe are also 3 of the group who have added 100 points to their established BABIP levels.
    I agree. Obviously, there are only nine spots in the lineup. But when those first three guys regress, there will be more options, and that will make the lineup more sustainable. That was my point.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  12. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Throw in 14 unearned runs on that tally and the evidence is overwhelming that this is flukey production so far.
    Actually the Twins lead MLB with 17 unearned runs scored. And to give some context, the average team has scored 9 unearned runs so far, and the 2nd place total is 14:
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/le...14#oppon_extra

    Last year the Twins were almost precisely average in scoring unearned runs.
    Last edited by spycake; 04-25-2014 at 12:04 PM.

  13. #31
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Throw in 14 unearned runs on that tally and the evidence is overwhelming that this is flukey production so far.

    The approach can be maintained and that's the encouraging part, but there is simply no way you can look at the peripherals of this offense and suggest the Twins have been anything other than extremely lucky.
    I wouldn't say extremely. They lead the league in walks and OBP, two indicators of offensive sustainability. They're about a standard deviation above the typical for unearned runs. That's not sustainable, but it's not extreme.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  14. #32
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    This could easily be "second verse, same as the first".
    "Oi',m losing in the eighth, Oi am. Losing in the eighth Oi am Oi am."

    Hope not, though.

  15. #33
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I wouldn't say extremely. They lead the league in walks and OBP, two indicators of offensive sustainability. They're about a standard deviation above the typical for unearned runs. That's not sustainable, but it's not extreme.
    Ok, but walks and OBP are strongly related. They're 19th in slugging. 13th in BA. 10th highest SO total. Their BaBIP is .316.

    Fangraphs projects that if all things stayed the same they'd go from scoring 5.5 runs a game to 4.01 runs per game. It's a very sizable bit of luck they are having.

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