04-27-2014, 04:34 PM #1
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Given the weather forecast, the Twins might be done playing for the month of April. Oh sure, they probably will get a couple of games in vs. the Dodgers, but there's going to be a lot of rain the in next four or five days.
Anyway, we've had several surprises in the first month. Colabello has been a revelation, Kubel has been more than competent both at bat and in the field, Plouffe has played at an All-Star level. The starting pitching has not improved overall despite many millions of dollars thrown at the problem. The entire team has shown immensely improved plate discipline. Here's some predictions for the remainder of this month and the month of May:
1) There will be a new regular shortstop. I think it will be Eduardo Escobar, who seems at least passable offensively and better than that defensively. Florimon is in an offensive rut and he's not a good hitter to start with. Other candidates include Nuñez and Santana, but Nuñez presents substandard defense and Santana so far hasn't mastered his abundant tools.
2) April stars Colabello and Plouffe will fade. It really is happening already. Kubel has gone through a high-strikeout funk and Colabello, despite hitting cleanup has struggled since a big game in St. Petersburg.
3) Starting pitching will improve. Nolasco has been disappointing, but he has a history of struggling out of the gate, we've seen Hughes come up with two back-to-back quality starts, and either Pelfrey or his replacement will be better in May.
4) Joe Mauer will have a better month of May than April. Mauer has struggled and if he's healthy, he'll hit. Are there lingering effects from his 2013 concussion? I don't know, but his long history shows he will hit. I think Joe has to adjust a bit, and he's never had to do that. However, he's just too talented of a hitter to fall off dramatically for a season and his numbers in April represent a dramatic falloff.
5) There will be a lot of roster moves. The Twins currently have two disabled players nearing activation. They have a few players at AAA who have been outstanding, probably meriting promotion to Minnesota. Further, they have two black holes in their regular lineup. The Twins seem to want to be more aggressive with their roster and there should be moves to be made.
04-27-2014, 04:56 PM #2
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I have tickets for the Thursday game. It better stop raining!!
My guess is Nunez will get plenty of ABs. Colabello, Kubel, and Plouffe fall into the .270s. Either Pelfrey or Correia gets booted out of the rotation for Deduno. Perhaps Pelfrey will be the new long reliever.
I am really impressed by how the Twins have played so far. We have had the hardest schedule so far and we've kicked some behinds. The batting doesn't look sustainable but hey, as long as we keep hitting, we are in the mix for the postseason.
04-27-2014, 05:38 PM #3
04-27-2014, 06:30 PM #4
The Twins aren't the only surprise team to play to .500 if you count the White Sox, Mets, Marlins, Padres, etc. Most of our guys who had torrid starts are now cooling off a little, as you mentioned. Let's hope it's not a three week fluke. I predict a change of shortstop soon. I can't figure out the bad starting pitching but we can hope it will improve with the warm weather (except that the ball travels farther when it's warmer and Gibson's best game was on a 40 degree day).
04-27-2014, 07:53 PM #5
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The Twins regression of the notable few is definitely already happening, and the League is going to make severe pitching adjustments to the Twins patient approach at the plate, but I expect that some of the hitting slackers thus far, plus the starting pitching, are going to improve markedly in May, so hopefully, this year's Twins edition can hang around and make the season interesting into July, at least.
04-28-2014, 01:37 PM #6
How many games will they actually play this week at Target Field ? Seems like it will be rainy until Saturday according to the most recent forecast I saw.
I'm sure they will try to get as many games in as possible.
I had this series circled as one to see (Puig, the Dodger pitching, etc.), but with the days and days of rain, I might skip trying to go to the games until the weekend.
04-28-2014, 01:40 PM #7
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Just think if Pelf, Nolasco, and Hughes were performing better.
04-28-2014, 01:42 PM #8
04-28-2014, 01:49 PM #9
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Not only are the Marlins doing a classsic tear down, they are one of the younger teams in MLB. The Twins, OTOH, are one of the older teams....
Two predictions that really say "these guys will be what we thought they were":
I would bet a lot of money that Mauer is better next month.
Similarly, I have no doubt Plouffe and Collabello will be worse.
Willingham will come back up, and be bad. And we'll watch him for weeks before he goes back on the DL.
They will continue to carry three catchers, and these boards will continue to hate that.
Nolasco will be better, but that's not saying much.....I don't know how much better.
They won't win as many games in May as April.Lighten up Francis....
This user likes mike wants wins's post and wants to buy him/her a steak dinner:
04-28-2014, 06:22 PM #10
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I think Plouffe is for real, though I would be surprised to see the average drop a bit and the power numbers spike. I'm not sold yet on Cola yet.
04-28-2014, 08:54 PM #11
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I predict the Twins will have 5 people start at least 5 games at SS before the season is out. and 4 will start at least 10. Florimon, Nunez, Escobar, Santana, and Bernier.
Colabello will knock in at least 90 RBI on the season. He will regress but still be a solid hitter.
Suzuki will be the RBI ninja on the team and surprise everyone with 90 RBI.
The Twins will be a contender if Meyer comes up and pitches well and Nolasco and Hughes and Gibson continue to improve. Especially if we sign Drew to balance out the offense at SS.