Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mounting frustration.

The Twins are blessedly fortuitous that they play in the awful AL Central. It helped them win their first couple of divisional titles, and this year, it has kept them in contention, despite the fact that they suck.
Yes, I have to break down and admit it. This year's iteration of the Twins sucks. Sure, they are 50-56 right now, just 6 games under .500 and 6 games out of the race for the AL Central. If you dig deeper, however, 50-56 is far to good for this team.
As much as the bullpen has been panned (rightfully so) the offense has also been anemic. They Pythagorean win percentage (a measure of runs scored vs runs against, equating that to an expected win/loss) puts them at 44-62. If they had won and lost at apace with what they had scored and allowed, they would be last in the AL Central. They would be tied for last in the AL East with the Orioles. They would be a half game back of the Mariners, and the Mariners just got off of a 17 game losing streak. It's not a good team, the Twins. (If you would like to delve deeper into 2nd and 3rd order wins, which nobody wants me to try to explain, the picture gets even murkier for Minnesota. And don't worry, the
And please, don't try to convince me that they are that much better since any given date, because the underlying stats haven't really changed. It's late July. This is the team the Twins have. A bad bullpen doesn't mean you get outscored by 100 runs in a season.
That out of the way, what do you do? Any other team this bad is beginning plans for next year. If you have been following me lately, you obviously know my opinion on the matter, because I have expressed it ad nauseum, and to the annoyance of many others. (sorry). My thoughts are these: The Twins have a good core, if oft injured moving forward. Joe Mauer, Denard Span and Scott Baker are three pieces that the Twins should be comfortable building around. The Twins also have several component pieces that should be back next year, and are no slouches in Justin Morneau, Danny Valencia, Alexi Casilla, Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano and good Delmon Young. They are also flush with cash, thanks to their new stadium, so key free agents can be added.  They should be moving pieces this year that will bring back a return, rather than pretending they can compete. Draft picks at the end of the year don't help. They can be competitive next year, so why not add some pieces that will be ready to play? Any player that I didn't list here should certainly be on the block. Even players I did list here should be available for the right price. Barely sneaking into the playoffs shouldn't be enough for this team any more.
And you know what, if you get rid of some of players this year, the AL Central is so bad, the Twins will still probably keep it close.

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