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Thread: Kahrl: Twins Could Jump Up

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    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    Kahrl: Twins Could Jump Up

    ESPN's and Baseball Prospectus' Christina Kahrl just penned a story about how the Twins could surprise much like the Indians did last year. There's a lot she likes about the Twins, including the free agent signings this offseason....

    Coming to Target Field’s tough environment for left-handed hitters should help both right-handers: Nolasco’s career righty/lefty OPS+ split is 90-110, while Hughes’ is 97-103 but was especially rough last year (90-108). Add in some hope that Hughes thrives outside of the media glare in the Big Apple, and you might wind up with a decent one-two punch.
    She's also high on Pinto, finds a historical benefit to moving Maur to first, and doesn't want us to forget Aaron Hicks:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/po...e-team-of-2014

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    I never realized Nolasco's lefty/righty split was so dramatic. A good sign going into Target Field, for sure.

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    The Twins rotation will have around a league average ERA...Not necessarily for a rotation but for a pitching staff as a whole. the bullpen will be above average netting the Twins a slightly better than average pitching staff. So the Question of contention rests solely on the offense to be able to put up slightly better than average numbers. For that to happen several things need to go the Twins way. The article also leans heavily on Sano coming up and producing right away. a return to health and form for Wilingham and Kubel, Hicks to rebound and develop, Arcia to continue developing and Pinto to come in hitting solid similar to what he did in AA although probably with a little less results maybe something closer to a .770-.800 OPS. That's 6 questions that need to be answered along with will Dozier at least remain status quo and the likely improvement from Mauer no longer Catching. I can see 3 or 4 of those questions going in the Twins favor but will that be enough to make them competitive. At least at this point we can legitimately belive they could be close to a .500 team with the possibility of contending.

  5. #4
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    The author is correct -- there are a lot of question marks on this team.

    If many things go well, there could be a significant improvement. If not so many things go well, the improvement will be minimal. At least I don't look for regression.

    The season will be interesting .... let's just hope it is still interesting in July and August.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    Might be a tad optomistic, but I think the general consensus is that the team is trending upward.

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    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    The offense has to start playing baseball...

    The Pitching is hopefully much improved... But... I do not believe that the Starting rotation can carry this club.

    So if the Pitching can just be average and keep us in games... It will be up to the offense to do enough to get the job done.

    Based on what I saw last year... It's going to take a huge dose of "I think we can" to change directions from the "I don't think we can" that infected the bats last year.

    The Twins will have to "Man UP" in 2014.
    A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

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    Next year will be a nice way to see what areas can be addressed in house. I think to me the most interesting story will be to follow Hicks/Arcia. Mainly because I think both will have some success this year. I'd love to have Hicks and Arcia manning the corners for the next 5-6 years (this is assuming Buxton comes up and takes over center in the next 2 years). Should also provide great defense as well. I dont' think Arcia is as bad as he looked this year defensively and Hicks is solid in Center and would be great in a corner, especially with that arm.

    story number two for me will be watching Dozier/Florimon at the keystone. While I don't think Florimon is a long term answer at all if our other pieces come around we can probably deal with a light hitting defensive minded SS for a couple years. If Dozier can put up around a .700-.750 OPS with stellar defense and 15 homers per year, that will look great.

    If these young guys can put together nice years, it will be fun to see what the Twins do next offseason. They'll have a ton of cash, with nowhere to spend it on the position players. A lot of potential stud pitchers coming out and the Twins could be in a position to go all in and grab that missing Ace in the rotation. Even if it means cutting Pelfrey lose or trading him for a bag of balls.

    Sorry got a little pie in the sky off topic. I'm excited for this season to see how some things shake out. not expecting playoffs but hoping we at least develop a core of contributors out of this group.

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    Yep, saw this and agree it's a best case/all reasonable expectations for all needed rebounds to happen at the same time kind of scenario. Lightning in a bottle, anyone?

    Still, given the persistent rumors of Twins pursuing Arroyo, Tanaka, and even Johan begs the question: if we're really not done yet signing SP's, then what's the plan?

    If we wind up with either a #1-2 type (Tanaka) or solid innings-eater #3 (Arroyo) or a rebounding Johan (the ultimate lightning in a bottle) then what effect does that have on the rest of the SP candidates we've been assuming for #4 and #5 spots?

    Turns 'em into trading chips. Is that the logic?

    Also, is anyone working on a GM Psychoanalysis metric here?
    Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

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    You would think the law of averages would catch up to this team and they would start catching some breaks in the optimism department..

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    Yep, saw this and agree it's a best case/all reasonable expectations for all needed rebounds to happen at the same time kind of scenario. Lightning in a bottle, anyone?

    Still, the persistent rumors of Twins pursuing Arroyo, Tanaka, and even Johan begs the question: if we're really not done yet signing SP's, then what's the plan?

    If we wind up with either a #1-2 type (Tanaka) or solid innings-eater #3 (Arroyo) or a rebounding Johan (the ultimate lightning in a bottle) then what effect does that have on the rest of the SP candidates we've been assuming for #4 and #5 spots?

    Turns 'em into trading chips. Is that the logic?

    Also, is anyone working on a GM Psychoanalysis metric here?
    Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

  13. #11
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Monkeypaws's Avatar
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    I'm not as optimistic as she is about the offense; no speed, questionable power, few clutch hits, lots of Ks.

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    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm not nearly as high on the offense. I think it drags the team down this year, but they should still trend up a nice notch from last year.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    The starting rotation was terrible last year. Upgrading that to average will go a long way towards trending up, though I'm not sure it's going to suddenly put them in contention. The offense definitely needs to improve, though I think there's good reason to think it will do that on it's own.

    Dozier second half was a completely different guy. If he's that guy in 2014, there will be a nice bump.
    Arcia should improve simply b/c of another year.
    I would think that Presley will be far better than Hicks, even if he's bad.
    Willingham should also have a decent bounce back season.
    Mauer is Mauer.
    With Pinto, offensive improvement will depend on whether or not he can out produce Morneau/Parmelee.
    Plouffe and Parmelee are the big question marks in my opinion. If they put it together, the offense could be good. If I was a betting man, I'd bet that one of them finally clicks and the other falls flat on his face.

  17. #14
    Ok, pitching wise, if the starters avg. 6+ per start, and if the offense is any better then the twins should be around .500, also, I wouldn't be surprised if the twins were the only team to challenge Detroit for the division!

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    Aaron Hicks should bounce back. He got into a funk or something. There's nothing in his history that would suggest he'd have any sort of season like he had last season, except last season. I just can't see him being a flame in the pan, one try .192 hitter in MLB. His hit tool and BB/SO patience would suggest he's more than that.

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Still lots of off-season left and I am optimistic that the Twins will add a couple of position players by March. The way this off-season has been going for the Twins, it almost seems that there were "or else..." type meetings behind closed doors early October...
    -----
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    http://tenthinningstretch.blogspot.com/
    twitter: @thrylos98

  20. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsfan34 View Post
    Aaron Hicks should bounce back. He got into a funk or something. There's nothing in his history that would suggest he'd have any sort of season like he had last season, except last season. I just can't see him being a flame in the pan, one try .192 hitter in MLB. His hit tool and BB/SO patience would suggest he's more than that.
    While he does still have potential, his inability to hit righties could really put a damper on his stock.

    I wouldn't be opposed to have him start pitching again

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    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    That's not an optimistic take. Want an optimistic take?

    Mauer is MVP
    Hammer hits 35 dingers again
    Kubel hits 30 dingers again
    Arcia hits 30 dingers
    Dozier hits 25 dingers
    Sano hits 25 dingers

    Gibson wins Cy Young

  22. #19
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    Also, I don't think the part on Sano is "optimism''...it didn't say he'd start the season at 3B...but rather "he shouldn't need much seasoning."

    Here's a look at the game's two most recent 80 power grade prospects (Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper). Both made the jump from a 'mediocre' AA performance the year before into 100+ games at the ML level the following year. Sano actually had better numbers than both of them at AA (see pink highlighted area).

    So based on the performances of Harper and Stanton, albeit a very small sample size, we should expect 22+ HR this season. Incidentally, both Harper and Stanton had exactly 22 HR and 59 RBI their rookie season.



    Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
    Last edited by twinsfan34; 12-30-2013 at 12:55 PM.

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  24. #20
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    And because Thrylos and Willihammer are learking nearby, the advanced metrics.

    (though, they could surely provide more)

    Sano's BABIP is the lowest of the bunch. And it's quite low.



    Stats courtesy of Fangraphs.
    Last edited by twinsfan34; 12-30-2013 at 12:55 PM.

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