Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trade High!

One thing my dad and I noted about the Twins when we were at the game on Sunday is how the Twins turned it around when they lost the hero of the first couple of months, Jason Kubel. In fact, Kubel went down on May 30th. Since the beginning of June, the team has gone 14 and 3, the best record in baseball.
The offense got better because it almost had to. Players that were struggling are starting to hit, and that's no doubt a major component to the team's success. More to do with the success, however, is the improved pitching staff. There have been two 1-0 wins in the past week. That says pitching a lot more than it says offense.
One thing that dramatically improved for the rotation was the walk rate, which is entirely the doing of the pitching staff. Something that also drastically improved is the batting average for balls in play. After having a BABIP of .291 (which is still around league average) through the first 2 months of the season. With Ben Revere or Jason Repko or Michael Cuddyer having to play the outfield, it is down to .271. Fewer hits and fewer walks lead to better pitching and more wins. More specifically, Scott Baker, one of the biggest fly ball pitchers the team has has seen his BABIP drop from .329 in May to .268 in June.
So what am I saying? The Twins offense, if playing well, doesn't need Kubel. The Twins defense (and by extension, the pitching staff) is much, much better without Kubel.
I don't have anything against Kubel, I really don't. He is having his best season in his career, it's a walk year, and frankly, he just doesn't fit. Target Field is doom for left handed bats, and the team has nothing but. He isn't good in the field, and there are players in the system who are. He can definitely be a great addition for someone out there, and I hope he is. And I hope he brings back a little depth.

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