Excuses or Reality?

21 Apr

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

  • At about 10:20 today, I’ll be on KFAN with Paul Allen to talk about the Twins. Listen on am1130 in the Twin Cities, or on one of their affiliates, or even at www. KFAN.com.

The Twins lost 5-4 last night to the Baltimore Orioles. Nick Blackburn gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk in seven innings. Take away the two big home runs (to Matt Weiters and Vlad Guerrero) and he pitched well. Offensively, the Twins scored four runs. The first came on a Michael Cuddyer home run. It was his first home run and first RBI of the year. Danny Valencia drove in three runs. Two on a single up the middle with runners on 2nd and 3rd, and one later in the game on an 0-2 pitch that he singled sharply into left field.

With the loss, the Twins are now 6-12 on the early season. We expected the team to struggle early in the season. The bullpen was expected to take awhile to mesh. The middle infield was new. They had to play just five of their first 20 games at home. So, it is no surprise that the team is not playing great baseball right now. However, if they were 9-9 right now, it would probably have been a little better than expected.

Things that could not have been assumed were that the bullpen would be completed altered this early in the season. The two bright spots have been Matt Capps and Glen Perkins. Alex Burnett, Jim Hoey and Eric Hacker have already been called up. No surprise that Tsuyoshi Nishioka didn’t look great early in the season, but it is unfortunate that he broke his fibula and lost that development time. As much as most Twins fans didn’t believe in Alexi Casilla, I don’t think anyone could have anticipated he would be this terrible.

Joe Mauer is already on the disabled list with a virus that has made him lose a dozen pounds. Justin Morneau’s flu has cost him the last four games. Delmon Young has now missed two games with the flu and an injury to his side which hopefully is not an oblique injury because that would mean he would go on the disabled list too.

And, it’s normal for some players to get off to a slow start at the plate. It’s normal for guys to go through slumps throughout the season. But for pretty much everyone but Denard Span and Jason Kubel to be hitting can’t be expected.

I hear people talking about this stuff being the fault of the manager. I say that is crazy. Look at the lineups the last three or four games and consider the guys who were able to play that were on the bench? The manager doesn’t have many choices right now. After the games, some people don’t like that he says that we need to get some guys back. I think that’s a fair statement.

In my opinion, it is a testament to Ron Gardenhire that this team is even 6-12 right now. There were concerns that many wanted the front office to address this offseason, and all of these injuries and illnesses are really speaking volumes to the team’s lack of depth. However, the team basically has the same bench as it had last year. It just never had to go through a stretch like this.

When a team loses its opening day 2, 3, 4 and 5 hitters, and they’re being replaced by the likes of Jason Repko, Drew Butera, Steve Holm, Matt Tolbert and Luke Hughes, there is no surprise that they aren’t putting together wins. People can say that the Mauers and Morneaus and Youngs weren’t hitting anyway. That is true, but based on their track records, they will. No worries about that.

Imagine how the Red Sox would be doing if they had to go a week without Carl Crawford, Kevin Youklis, David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez. Imagine the Yankees lineup if it didn’t have Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano for a week. The Tigers lost Victor Martinez to the DL, but imagine if they also lost, well, whoever their 2-3-4-5 hitters are. No team in baseball would be able to win consistently with that against them.

Are those excuses? Sure. Of course. But they are, right now unfortunately also the reality. The team struggled for the first few games of the season with some of those players. Take them away, and frankly, this isn’t a very good baseball team. The starting pitching has probably been a little better than I expected. And, the bullpen, for all its transitions, really hasn’t cost the team more than a couple of games to this point.

Like I said, I think that the manager deserves a lot of credit right now for this team even being 6-12 because he doesn’t have much to work with.

Feel free to comment.

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39 Responses to “Excuses or Reality?”

  1. DB April 21, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Great post, Seth, and I’m with you on this one. The Twins are 6-12, and 6 of those games were played in Toronto, and in New York. We actually won a game in each of those cities, that doesn’t happen every year. Sure it would have been nice to pull one more out from the A’s, Royals, and Rays, but what do we expect from these guys? Mauer, Nathan, and Morneau haven’t been 100% at all this year. Liriano forgot he was a professional baseball player in the offseason, and showed up to spring training completely unprepared. We knew all of this before the regular season even started. How could we expect them to come out of the gate on fire?

  2. Jeff Olson April 21, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    “In my opinion, it is a testament to Ron Gardenhire that this team is even 6-12 right now.”

    Not true. The team is 6-12. Bullpen issues have lost them a couple of those games, but they also got fairly lucky to beat the Yankees. Maybe that puts them at 7-11. Gardy decided on his team out of ST on February 1. That meant Blackburn in the rotation, Nathan closing, Tolbert on the roster, no competition for Repko or Butera. Gardy wanted “speed in the middle infield” and just gave Casilla the SS job. Twins’ fans knew that was a mistake, but supposedly Gardy knew better. Sure, the team has injuries, but by not getting a better alternative for Butera, Repko, and Tolbert, the team has no bench. And with all the injury speculation with Morneau and Mauer in the spring, and a weak MI, shouldn’t we have gotten a better bench? OCab and Felipe Lopez just sat there as FA’s. Benji Molina or Greg Zaun would have looked good here backing up Mauer. I still like Lastings Milledge better than Jason freaking Repko as the 4th OF. Bill Smith blew it by not making some serious changes after the playoff debacle last year. But I think Gardy also had some input into those decisions.

  3. TT April 21, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    Seth,

    You are right. No team would be producing runs minus their 2-5 hitters. That is the reason the Twins are last in the major leagues in runs scored. But they have also are 8th in runs given up. So the problem has not only been offense, their pitching and defense are in the bottom third of the league as well.

    Where I think Gardy is open to criticism is his decision to replace Capps with Nathan as closer to start the season. That probably cost the Twins at least one game and may have actually set Nathan back by destroying his confidence. The bullpen meltdowns may also have starters looking to do to much and contributed to some of the rotation’s big innings.

    That said, it is way too early to panic. If the Twins get the middle of their order healthy and hitting, a lot of other things will fall into place. If those guys don’t produce, the quality of the bench isn’t going to make much difference.

  4. Ed Bast April 21, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    If there’s one thing I’m completely sick of in regards to our favorite club it’s the excuse making. Good lord there’s an excuse for every single thing for this team. Excuses enable poor performances. It stems from the front office, seeps down to the players (TF is too hard to hit in, the trees need to move, etc.), and down to the fans (Yankees payroll, injuries, etc). We need to stop making excuses for this team. Gardy deserves zero credit for this start – he coddled his players so much in spring training that the vast majority of them were simply not ready to begin the season. When we start lauding our manager for a 6-12 start, it just shows how little we expect out of our $115 million, fan-financed team. We are not a small market team any more. 6-12 is completely unacceptable. Injuries? Gee, Mauer and Morneau have been hurt every season for the past, what, 3? Hmm. Maybe we should have better Plan Bs than Steve Holm and Luke Hughes. Every team goes through injuries; not every team is forced to start Repko, Holm, Tolbert, and Hughes in the same major-league game.

    Why do we have to always make excuses? I just don’t understand it. Call a spade a spade. The front office did a terrible job this offseason; the manager didn’t prepare his team for the season and isn’t getting the best out of his players; the players have been categorically awful. Things will get better, I still think they’ll be there in September. Why can’t we just be honest and say the team has performed terribly and move on?

  5. mike wants wins April 21, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    Tampa Bay lost Crawford and their 1B and their 3B has been out, what is their record? They traded away Garza (how’s that Garza vs Slowey argument going the last two years….). They lost their entire bullpen. So, pretty much the same situation as the Twins. They moved their SS.

    Are only Twins’ players capable of starting slowly? How is that not an excuse?

    How do you trade Morales, and not try to pass him through waivers on the chance you may need him?

    How does anyone look at the first 1000+ plate appearances of Casilla, and think he’s a legit everyday MLB player?

    They made 1 move to get better, bringing in Nishi. Everything else was standing still or getting worse from a who was on the team perspective.

    I am sticking by 86 wins, but even that is looking iffy right now.

  6. Jack Steal April 21, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    I respectfully disagree with your analysis. Don’t the excuses ever get old for Twins fans…They had Morneau, Mauer, and Young for the first 10-12 games and absolutely sucked…I have never heard of a player missing a week of playing time because he had the flu. I have never missed a week of work because of that. Honestly, don’t you think the manager of the year has babied his players for so long that they have turned into under-achieving $@$^!^$. To prove me wrong name the lasy player to stand up to Gardy and say “No, coach I’m playing.”.

    Like last night Morneau wanted to pinch hit for Holm or Tolbert and Gardy said “No.”. I gues last night’s game was not important. I would feel more positive if Gardy ever held anybody accountable. His player and coaches included..Scott Ulger should have been fired years ago but because him and Gardy have a few drinks together after the game he does nothing. Our best power hitters are not driving the baseball anymore..We can’t use Target Field as an excuse anymore. Joe Vavra needs to go but Gardy refuses to do it. Pitching coach Rick Anderson continues to preach throw the ball over the plate and give up gopher balls. Anderson needs to go as well. I was wondering what kind of major league experience these two guys have anayways. I think Torri Hunter said it best when Vavra was hired “How is this guy going to help me.”. We need sweeping changes if we are going to save the season..I can guarantee you one thing it won’t happen..It all equals a
    long season of excuses and failed execution.

    • mike wants wins April 21, 2011 at 9:51 am #

      I don’t often agree with some of Jack’s details….but the loyalty to the ineffective coaches and players is odd. It’s no way to run a successful business. People that are bad at their jobs should lose their jobs, not get new ones that they are also bad at.

    • Ed Bast April 21, 2011 at 10:30 am #

      Jack, glad to hear I’m not alone in being sick of all these excuses. I don’t know if this is unique to the Twins or what, but it’s just baffling that smart baseball minds excuse and actually praise the team for a 6-12 start.

      Contrast this with the Wild – fans do have expectations for the Wild, the owner has expectations, the owner flat out said it’s not good enough, fired the coach while admitting it’s not all the coach’s fault but we need to shake something up. Two of the team’s best players got hurt down the stretch, and another was hurt most of the year – but I didn’t hear anyone in the organization point to injuries as the reason they didn’t make the playoffs. Sure, it didn’t help, we know this, but at least they seem to understand that injuries happen to every single team, and it’s the good teams that manage to overcome them and still perform at a high level.

      With the Twins, it’s a welcomed excuse. Don’t get it.

      • Kunza April 21, 2011 at 10:38 am #

        Perfect post.

        The Wild do get it right when talking strategies with their fan base.

      • mike wants wins April 21, 2011 at 11:29 am #

        The Wild talk a good game, but they are not so good at building a team. I think the Wolves more recently won a playoff series than the Wild did. I’m more concerned about performance than talk.

      • Ed Bast April 21, 2011 at 11:43 am #

        Well Mike no offense but the Wolves have won a playoff series more recently than the Twins, too. But the Twins have had more sustained regular season success than the Wild, yes. I just don’t want what is happening to the Wild happen to the Twins. Fans were so excited to have that awesome arena (Xcel) and a competitive team that we were blind to the fact that our general manager was absolutely running the franchise into the ground via awful contracts and terrible drafting. By the time folks woke up to it, the damage had been done. Two years later and the team is still 5 years away, at least, from being a factor. It’s astonishing. You can see the parallels with the Twins – new stadium, fans wearing the rose-colored glasses, questionable front office competence. Not sayin, just sayin.

      • mike wants wins April 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

        Some fans saw that the Wild GM was awful at drafting and developing players, but they were called negative, and not listened to in the excitement of having the NHL back in town at a great arena. I get your point, I really do. But I was responding to the “they talk the right way to fans” comment.

      • Kunza April 22, 2011 at 8:22 am #

        Do you follow the Wild? Are you a casual fan?

        The Wild clearly have stated publicly the last few years that are unsatisfied with their product and want to improve! It is very clear that saying it and being able to do it are two different things. The Wild just fired Todd Richards because they are not happy and the owner once again just said publicly that he wants to win.

        When have you ever heard the Twins come out and talk about improving enough to win a championship?

    • Cap'n Piranha April 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

      Terrible post, just terrible. Do you really think your job equates to getting 95 MPH pitches thrown within 18 inches of your head? Do you think maybe you’d want to feel physically all there before facing that, or do you really think sitting at a desk sucking down cough syrup is the same as what Justin’s going through. I also think it’s hilarious that you whined about no one standing up to Gardy when he won’t play them…and promptly listed an example of someone standing up to Gardy and asking to play.

      The fact of the matter is that Justin, Joe and Joe Nathan all have stood up to Gardy and demanded to play this year–how’s that working out? Maybe, just maybe, Gardy has an idea about what he’s doing, and knows the physical capabilities and limitations of his players on any given day better than us out here in the blog world.

      Your reference to Torii Hunter is great too; I’m assuming this is the same Torii Hunter who’s hitting .208/.253/.325, with nearly 4 times as many strikeouts as walks, and has already ground into 7 DP’s. Perhaps Torii could learn something from Vavra.

      • mike wants wins April 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

        Torii is old and past his prime. This isn’t about Torii today….but that doesn’t make him wrong or right about Vavra.

      • Kunza April 22, 2011 at 8:25 am #

        Yeah, once again your’e right. Torii’s past 3 years

        2008 – .278 average 21 hr, 78 rbi, .466 slg
        2009 – .299 average, 22 hr, 90 rib, .508 slg
        2010 – .281 average, 23 hr, 90 rib, .464 slg

        That’s really crappy

      • mike wants wins April 22, 2011 at 9:06 am #

        I never said crappy….and your quote from Torii is years old. He also retracted teh quote after working with Vavra. Vavra is not the reason that Casilla or Tolbert suck. He’s not. He’s not the reason Delmon isn’t what we all thought he’d be. He’s not the reason their horrible hitters with no power swing on 2-0 counts.

  7. gobbledy April 21, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    rolling over and making excuses is easy, playing through adversity and overcoming it is what champions do. maybe part of the reason this team is always 3 and out in the playoffs is that they aren’t tuff enough and looking for reasons not to win. maybe it’s the same with every team but the twins have always used the bad stuff as a ready excuse to cover bad play. no fault gardy should stop all the whining, when they win he’s moy when they lose there is always a string of excuses.

  8. mike wants wins April 21, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    I can’t believe Morneau or Young didn’t pinch hit in the 9th. NO CHANCE Tolbert or Holm wins those games…tiny chance one of those guys do.

  9. Kunza April 21, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    This team will not rebound. And no, it is not early. We are already pushing the 20 games played mark. Historically teams that start out this bad continue to play bad.

    We’re in big trouble.

    Cuddyer sucks. He is flat out horrible. I would bet my house that the Twins find out a way to extend him this offseason and pay him more than $7 or $8 million a year. He is at the point in his career when he should be making $2 or $3 million. He is not a versatile player. He isn’t good at any one position any more. The Twins are force feeding us that he is versatile.

    Repko absolutely sucks. He should be no where near a MLB roster.

    Casilla is a joke. How long is this going to go on? Claim Brandon Wood right now and hand him the job -if he can’t do it by the All-Star break, give Plouffe a shot until the end of the year.

    Thome suddenly looks old. How many 87 mph fastballs are getting pumped by him right now.

    Drew Butera stinks. You can find a thousand catchers in baseball that are great defensively. We needed an upgrade big time over Butera.

    Denard Span is not a center fielder. He is a corner OF. How many bonehead plays has he continued to make the past 2 years. He just isn’t that fast and can’t cover that much ground to make up for our other two bad OF fielding positions.

    Mauer fleeced the Twins. It sure is good that we’re paying him $23 million to hit .320 with 7 home runs for the next 8 years. And now we’re already talking about moving him from behind the plate. Holy crap – give me Aaron Roward instead – he only costs about $3 million and provides just as much power

    Morneau is not right. Corey Koskie?

    Nick Blackburn is who he thought he was. He’s horrible.

    Scott Baker is lights out at the Grand Canyon and gets killed everywhere else.

    I’m starting to think that this team might need a complete overhaul. The Twins have the golden egg right now and could quickly lose that. I have been saying for years that this team has fleeced the Minnesota sports fan. They are PERFECTLY content with contending for division titles because they can say they are trying.

    • Cap'n Piranha April 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

      Completely agree with your Cuddyer take–his only useful asset anymore is that he’s capable of being below average defensively and offensively at a number of positions on the field. However, but most of the rest of what you wrote is ridiculous.

      Repko is the fifth outfielder, the only requirement for which is that he has one or two plus skills. He has two–his speed, and his defense, which is all-world (UZR/150 thus far of 55.2).

      Casilla is not acceptable as a starting shortstop, but its questionable if there’s anyone in the system that is that big of an upgrade (perhaps Plouffe, but he was not exactly Cal Ripken Jr. last year. He certainly deserves a shot right now though). The hope with Casilla was that he would provide string defense, and by hitting ninth in a stacked line-up, it wouldn’t matter if he really contributed offensively. Unfortunately, he’s playing bad defense, and horrific offense.

      Thome had an outlier year last year, and it was foolish of us to expect that again. His K rate is the highest of his career, but not by a lot. The biggest problem is that he’s no longer hitting line drives, but rather a bunch of flyballs. Given that we’ve been playing in some cold weather thus far, it will be interesting to see what happens as summer comes on, and the ball starts carrying better.

      Butera is exactly what he’s supposed to be, a catcher who plays good defense and can throw guys out; any offense from him is a plus. Furthermore, there are only 10 catchers hitting north of .300 right now; and only 19 catchers have enough PA’s to qualify right now. That means there are 11 teams out there who can’t find even one catcher good enough to trot out every day–you think we should have two?

      Denard had a sub-par year defensively last year, but he is playing spectacular right now. His UZR/150 is 29, good for 5th in all of MLB. It’s hard to take you seriously when you write things like that.

      Mauer in no way fleeced the Twins, he simply happened to be in the EXACT right spot at the EXACT right time. Hometown player, arguable the most popular player in franchise history, coming off the greatest offensive season ever posted at his position at the exact same time his team was opening a taxpayer-funded stadium the team had sworn was necessary to keep home-grown talent. The Twins had no choice but to sign Mauer, and for less than he would have made on the free agent market this year. Unless you think the Twins should have played hardball with him, and watched him hit against us a couple weekends ago in New York.

      Morneau needs time. Hitting is timing, and it’s too early to tell if he’s Corey Koskie part deux (certainly possible), or just struggling a little bit. Right now he’s just getting on top of the ball a little bit, as his groundball rate is way up. However, his K rate is down, so you can argue that he’s either pressing (swinging at too many bad pitches), or just missing the ball by a bit.

      Blackburn is not horrible, he’s just not being helped by his teammates. His K rate is up to both 2008 and 2009, as is his GB% and LOB%, while his BB rate and BABIP are about even. The two big differences are his HR/9 (up this year) and his xFIP, which is a career low of 3.79, much better than either 2008 or 2009.

      Baker is also having problems only with the HR ball (which does seem to be his calling card), however, if you take into account his LOB% and GB% are at career-high levels, and his xFIP is a respectable 4.13, I woudl argue he’s made mistakes, and if he limits those, is a perfectly acceptable 3rd/4th starter, same as Blackburn.

      If you’re tired of being a fan of a team you don’t think is trying hard enough to win the world series because they’re not throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at free agents every offseason, I suggest you go live on the East Coast, and follow one of the teams there.

  10. Brian April 21, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    I agree that injuries have hurt and really limited the team but Gardenhire has cost the team as well. If a team has a bullpen they cannot trust why pull a starting pitcher that is pitching well. In a 2 or 3 day period Gardy pulled Pavano and Baker to get to the bullpen. Are pitch counts that much more important than actually watching the game and seeing how a pitcher is throwing? Why cant the starter prove he is out of gas first rather than go to a guy that may or may not have it.

  11. Matt April 21, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    I can’t fault the manager too much. But there’s definitely some blame to be placed on the front office for the severe lack of depth at 2B, SS, and C.

  12. rghrbek April 21, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Seth, your eternal optimism, and excuse making, is somewhat sickening and naive for a well established blogger like yourself.

    I couldn’t agree more with ED, Jack and most of the rest of these posts.

    The Twins did not address depth in our weakest areas (up the middle, and catcher), position wise, and there is no way Nathan should’ve come north with this club.

    Gardy continues to make head scratching moves (bunting in the first inning, which has to drive TK nuts, and not pinch hitting for auto outs late in the game last night).

    In addition, they don’t run well, play defense well, and execute the fundamentals well. How is Gardy not responsible for that?

    Normally I would be just as critical, but would note that when we get healthy we will get better…but our depth is so thin everywhere, that if we lose Mauer or Morno (the old Morno that is) for a long chunk of the year we are done.

    • Seth April 21, 2011 at 11:58 am #

      Optimism in sentences like, “frankly, this isn’t a very good baseball team.”

      • gobbledy April 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

        i can agree with that!

      • mike wants wins April 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

        I saw that part, Seth. It was a pretty stark comment from you.

        I think they need to make a decision on Thome after about another 20 games. If his bat is this slow, they need to cut bait.

        I think they need to send Casilla down, though I’m not sure I like that idea either, as it takes away development time from guys that have not proven to be awful in over 1000 ABs. Not sure what to do with him, other than to not have him on the MLB roster right now.

        Hughes has been disappointing. His one tool was supposed to be hitting. I still maintain he’s best off the bench, as a PH and occassional starter.

        Cuddy is what he is. An overpaid, sometimes good, sometimes bad, OFer. He’s not a cornerstone player.

        Not sure what I’d do with the bullpen right now.

        I’d like Tosoni up as soon as they determine he’s healthy. He’s better than Repko, I think. But, I don’t see that happening.

        I stil see 86 wins somehow….

    • rghrbek April 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

      Seth, yes that was a stark question, but even when we get the M and M boys back, and their production is good, is that enough? You suggest it is, and that Gardy has been exceptional so far this season to be 6 and 12….hence my comment..thanks for responding though

    • rghrbek April 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

      I meant to say “stark comment” as the poster above me state, for you…

  13. mini_tb April 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Like everyone, I am concerned with the Twins’ lackluster/complacent play and injuries/illnesses, but the Twins are still only 1 game back of the Sox in the standings. The Twins will get healthier soon, and hopefully that’ll spark something. I think they are pretty capable of gaining a game on the Sox over the next 144 games.

    • mike wants wins April 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

      Agreed, but are they capable of beating very good and great teams? Because if not, they are spending too much money.

  14. ClarkAddison April 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    The problem is the trees! Bring back the trees! http://www.cafepress.com/bringbackthetrees

    • mike wants wins April 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      +1

  15. morts April 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Basically I agree with you Seth. When you lose the core of your batting order and get nothing from Liriano, you aren’t going to win many games.

    The baseball season is a long haul. If you go into hysterics and demand to fire the entire coaching staff and blow up the team every time you have a 6-12 stretch, then you will have an eternally crappy team.

    And if you find Seth’s FREE hard work, insight, and opinion “sickening” and “naive” then go away. It’s usually July or August before this much negativity and spite bubbles to the surface.

    • mike wants wins April 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

      morts, but it is ok to disagree and discuss civilly, right?

      I wouldn’t panic based on 18 games, but some of this isn’t about 18 games (Casilla and his pefromance before now, for example).

  16. roger April 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    OK Seth, what are your thoughts about Souhan’s article and the other article in today’s Strib about Mauer staying behind the plate. If being a catcher is going to cost Mauer 15-30 or more days a year on the disabled list and playing beat up and less than 100% another month plus of the season, can the Twins keep him behind the plate? They have $23mm a year tied up in him for the next eight years. With that type of commitment, they have to get close to 100% out of him most of the season. If that means he moves to a corner outfield spot, I don’t think they have any choice. What do you think?

  17. TT April 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    “Historically teams that start out this bad continue to play bad.”

    No, they don’t. Not if they are good teams to begin with. The Twins started out slow in 2006 and won the division. Its actually pretty common for teams to have bad stretches and sometimes one will be at the start of the season. Its no different than a bad 20 game stretch in June.

  18. TT April 22, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    Mauer as a catcher is one of the best players in baseball. He transforms the lineup by turning a position that usually sacrifices offense for defense into an asset. As an outfielder, he will likely be a defensive liability and his offense would not be all that outstanding compared to other corner outfielders.

    The Twins don’t need Mauer to play every day. They need him to play enough for them to win 90+ games it takes to win the division. In the playoffs, as a catcher, he is the kind of player that transforms a good team into a great one. As an outfielder he really isn’t, at least not to the same effect.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Big Spot Scott Pitches Big « SethSpeaks.net - April 21, 2011

    [...] Oh, and if you want to read some sky-is-falling, blame the manager, blame everyone, call everyone wimpy insight on the Twins, be sure to read yesterday’s comments section. [...]

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