Second Half Predictions

15 Jul

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Depending upon how late I get home tonight, I hope to do an interesting posting giving some awards for the first half, with the help of many Twins related bloggers, writers and more. But today, I thought it would be fun to come up with some predictions for the second half. I’ll make a few predictions and then encourage you to leave your second half predictions as well. So here are nine from me:

  • The Twins WILL make a trade at or before the July 31st deadline for a middle infielder.
  • Joe Mauer will NOT hit .400. In fact, I am going to go out on a limb and say that he will not even win the batting title.
  • Justin Morneau will be vastly underrated and only because he plays first base.
  • Denard Span will get the OBP up to and slightly over .400.
  • Scott Baker will be the team’s top starting pitcher in the second half.
  • Jose Mijares will be better in the 2nd half than he was in the 1st half.
  • Jesse Crain and Alexi Casilla will not be with the Twins on August 1st.
  • Anthony Slama will be.
  • Twins edge out Detroit to win the AL Central by one game.

Alright, your turn. What are your big predictions for the second half of the season?


18 Responses to “Second Half Predictions”

  1. Dome Dog July 15, 2009 at 10:35 am #

    1. Mauer will not reach 20 homeruns, but will win the batting title again.
    2. Morneau will set a new personal season high in homeruns.
    3. Cuddyer will set a new personal season high in getting picked off the bases.
    4. Nathan will be perfect in save opportunities in the 2nd half.
    5. The Twins will tease throughout the 2nd half, eventually losing the division by 3 games to the White Sox.

    Here’s hoping I’m way off base on a couple of these. Good to see the boys give a good account of themselves in the All-Star game last night.

  2. Bill in Sarasota July 15, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    Which pitcher should be called up tomorrow?
    I don’t know if Gabino is ready yet, but he’s my guess.
    I think Crain needs more time to regain his confidence.
    Morillo needs more work on his control.

    Another note – Duensing should only pitch vs LH Batters. Righties bat .332 and lefties bat .210 in AAA vs him.

    Let Dickey be the long relief – he’s perfect for it

  3. Topper July 15, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    Seth, I can see most all of your predictions being very plausible.

    1. Slowey struggles to return to form after getting back from his injury and eventually lands on the 60day DL and becomes a big question mark going into spring training.

    2. Joe Crede hurts his back from playing too often, instead of calling up Valencia, Gardy platoons Harris/Buscher at 3rd while playing Punto every day at SS.

    3. Joe Mauer breaks his silence about wanting to play for a real contender, we all fret about things until Bill Smith steps down, Terry Ryan returns and saves the day with some aggressive front office moves in the offseason.

    (Sorry, just depressed from having no Twins games until Friday)

  4. mike wants wins July 15, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    Mauer will hit .320 with 22 homeruns, but become more public in vocalizing his leaderhsip.

    Morneau will hit 42 homeruns, drive in 128 runs, and still won’t get any pub in MN, leading to him to wonder if he ever will with Maer in town.

    Nathan will be used for 1+ innings once, be ineffective in his next appearance, and we’ll never see him before the 9th again. They will sign Nathan to an extension, and say, “see, we care about winning”.

    They will deal for a middle infielder, but it won’t be Sanchez. It won’t be enough for them to be in the playoffs, as Slowey goes on the 60 day DL (saving the Twins money next year). Casilla will be in the deal and gone.

    Liriano will continue to be great 1 out of 4 games, good 1 out of 4 games, and mediocre to bad 2 out of 4 games, leading to posters on blogs to whine and complain that he should be in the bullpen.

    Blackburn and Baker will be very good to great in the 2nd half.

    Slama and Delaney will be on the roster, but not until september 1. They’ll just continue to cycle through guys that have “earned it” by being in AAA longer.

    Hicks will start to hit in A ball on July 23 or so, and not stop.

  5. mike wants wins July 15, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    Mike will start checking his posts for grammar issues, before posting them….:)

  6. NorthStar July 15, 2009 at 11:11 am #

    1. The power supply from Mauer, Cuddy, and Kubel will wane in the second half, and as a result runs will be harder to come by.

    2. Blackburn will finish with an ERA in the mid-3’s, but the other starters will remain as they are – consistently inconsistent.

    3. There will be two new relievers in the bullpen by Aug. 1; one via trade and one from the minors. The one from the minors will NOT be Delaney or Slama.

    4. There will not be a trade for a middle IF; we will continue to see a maddening rotation of Casilla, Punto, and Harris, and Gardy will insist on keeping one of these in the 2-hole.

    5. Gardy will continue to “platoon” Gomez and Young in the OF, and as a result both will end the season with decreased numbers from last year.

    6. All of which will lead to the Twins struggling to be a .500 team the rest of the year; they will finish in 3rd, 7-10 games out of first and 5-7 games above 4th.

  7. Bill July 15, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    Mike- assuming Mauer gets 280 AB in the second half (just a random guess), he’d have to hit .275 to get his average all the way down to .320. Do you really see that happening?

    Seth- how does (or can) playing 1B make Morneau underrated? Sorry if you’ve explained before–I try to read every post, but I’m sure I missed something…I tend to think Morneau is overrated, in a way, because he plays 1B.

  8. mike wants wins July 15, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    Maybe, but probably not. I think he’ll hit around .300 in the 2nd half, so you can adjust my prediction based on that I guess. Thanks for the catch.

  9. Seth July 15, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    Maybe people judge ‘value’ by VORP (Value over replacement player), and that’s certainly one way to do it. Joe Mauer is loved because he is a catcher and he is light years ahead of all other catchers. Justin Morneau, as a 1B, has his numbers compared to the likes of Mark Teixeira, Carlos Pena, Kevin Youklis and Miguel Cabrera, so his numbers, although often better in some cases, get undervalued (my opinion) because of the position he plays.

  10. mike wants wins July 15, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    I agree, Seth. Morneau shouldn’t be “punished” just because there are also other great players at 1B, and it is “easier” to find a great hitting 1B. I think you have a good point here.

  11. Joe Twinsfan July 15, 2009 at 12:20 pm #

    1. Blackburn will not be as good, but will still finish the year with an ERA in the 3.8-4 range and lead the team in wins, leading people to mistakenly refer to him as the Twins’ “Ace”, despite Baker being a better pitcher.

    2. Along those lines, Baker’s K/9 and BB/9 will improve leading to a better second half. The home runs will still lead to some big innings though.

    3. Mauer finishes second in the batting race to Ichiro!. It will be within 5 points and come down to the last weekend.

    4. Morneau reaches a new career high in home runs, but still finishes short of 40.

    5. The middle infield situation will continue to be a source of great frustration, with Gardy still insisting Tolbert and Punto can play. The Twins will then attempt and fail to solve the problem with yet another washed-up veteran. Think O-Cab, Eckstein, or Hairston JR.

    6. Aaron Hicks will separate himself from the rest of the pack and become the clear #1 prospect in the organization, and one of its few rising stars.

    7. The outfield logjam continues, with all 4 staying put.

    8. Crede stays healthy/productive enough to get Type B status, cementing his signing as the smartest move Bill Smith has made so far. Damning with faint praise indeed.

    9. Sano slips away to the Orioles, much to Twins fan’s chagrin.

    10. Final record: 83-79, 5 out of first.

  12. Heineken July 15, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    1. Mauer will win the batting title, with a .345 avg.
    2. Swarzak will be called up and be a solid contributer.
    3. The Twins will trade for a middle infielder and/or middle relief bullpen help.
    4. Delmon Young will have his typical second-half improvment, hitting around .290 and 13 hr.
    5. Twins squeek into the playoffs, losing to either NY or Boston.

  13. thrylos98 July 15, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    1. Cuddyer and Punto go to the DL allowing the team to recall Tolleson from AAA and start Delmon Young daily in the OF. Tolleson earns the 2B job and he and Young go on a tear hitting at about .850 OPS each for the remaining of the season

    2. Casilla and Crain are packaged for a reliever who takes over the 8th inning.

    3. Morillo replaces Keppel in August and sets a new Twins K/9 record for August and September

    4. Perkins gets traded for a veteran starter who propels the team in August and September

    5. The Twins finish 9 games over .500, first in the division

    6. In the post season, despite the team shining without them, Gardenhire starts Cuddyer and Punto when off the DL. Twins lose the ALDS and Smith fires Gardenhire

  14. gobbledygookguy July 15, 2009 at 1:12 pm #

    1. they stink on the coming road trip and trade crede and delmon before the deadline for propects, removing any chance of mauer re-signing.
    2. punto gets his ss job back as harris plays 3b only against lh pitching, buscher gets most of the starts.
    3. after the trades the 3 all-stars all make it clear they are ready to move on to a winner.
    4. the front office doesn’t care because next season is nearly sold out and it’s all about the profits (money)!
    5. smith signs gardy to a life time contract for being a gutsy manager getting his team to play hard even with the crappy talent he has been provided.
    6. mauer starts dating jessica simpson and doesn’t hit worth 2 cents because he’s distracted the rest of season. he eventually gets traded to the red sox this winter for a bunch of “stiffs” as sid would call them.
    7. morneau signs with the cancuks as a back up goalie and quits baseball.
    8. i ran out of worst case thoughts!

  15. Bill July 15, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    I guess I disagree re. Morneau being underrated, mostly. Because the thing is, it’s no accident that all those other great hitters also play 1B–it’s the easiest position to play, and none of them (except Youk) could play another position if they wanted to. So hopefully he gets a fair shake vis-a-vis all those guys — if he hits better than they do, he probably is better.

    But whether you use VORP or WAR or anything else you want to, a Mauer or Utley who can hit as well as Morneau (or better) AND play great defense at a key position are just more valuable players. Morneau has a #1 and #2 in MVP voting to his credit, and both years, Mauer was, IMO, just VERY clearly the more valuable player. That to me smacks of being wildly overrated, not underrated.

    Put another way, even if you can argue that his position makes him underrated, I think that the high RBI numbers Mauer’s on-base skills allow him to rack up do a lot more than just balance that out.

  16. Pootie July 15, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    1) Delmon Young will be dealt in the trade bringing the Twins middle infield help.
    2) Swarzak will be dangled and possibly traded in this deal as well.
    3) Liriano will finish the season with an ERA around 4.
    4) The Twins will post a record of 19-9 for August.
    5) Both Mauer and Kubel will finish the season with 25+ HR’s. Cuddyer will not hit more than 18.
    6) Guerrier implodes again in September to finish with another season with a 5+ ERA.
    7) Slowey shows brilliance in September, posting an ERA around 2 and nearly a K/inning for the month.
    8) Twins finish 2nd in the Central, and we will blame the bullpen for many games blown toward the end of the season.

  17. roger July 15, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    Crain and Casilla will not be with the Twins and Anthony Slama will? Wow, that takes you know what! Acutally, I kind of hope you are right…cause what you are saying is that the Twins went out and got a middle infielder, short reliever, or both. Now if Bill Smith can only negotiate better than his first big deal that put Tampa Bay over the top!

  18. Kunza July 15, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    Why make any predictions? The Twins never make any significant moves. Never had and never will. So I think we all should quit wishing!

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