FanIQ AL Central Preview

The Tigers Once Again Look Like the Class of the AL Central [FanIQ AL Central Preview]

3/12/13 in MLB   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Minnesota TwinsBlog Photo - FanIQ AL Central Preview
 
Projected Lineup
 
CF Darin Mastroianni
2B Jamey Carroll
C Joe Mauer
LF Josh Willingham
1B Justin Morneau
DH Ryan Doumit
RF Chris Parmelee
3B Trevor Plouffe
SS Pedro Florimon Jr.
 
Projected Rotation
 
RHP Vance Worley
RHP Kevin Correia
RHP Mike Pelfrey
RHP Liam Hendricks
LHP Brian Duensing
 
Closer: LHP Glen Perkins
 
Key Losses: CF Denard Span, CF Ben Revere, SP Scott Baker, RP Matt Capps, SP Carl Pavano, IF Alexi Casilla
 
The long-time organizational philosophy of preferring pitchers who pitch to contact and don’t walk or strikeout anybody bit the Twins last year, when they were one of three teams to give up more than 5 runs a game while being the only team not to strike out at least 1000 batters. It appears GM Terry Ryan got the message, and in trading both of his centerfielders, picked up pitching prospects (Alex Meyer, Trevor May) who can miss bats, as well as Vance Worley, who is a solid pitcher with a decent strike out rate. By default, Worley will be the Twins’ #1 starter. Unfortunately, their other pitching moves go back to their old ways. Kevin Correia struck out less than 5 batters per 9 his two years in Pittsburgh, while Mike Pelfrey (recovering from Tommy John surgery) has a 5.1 K/9 ratio his entire career. The incumbents Hendricks and Duensing obviously aren’t much better. Long story short, except more of the same from Minnesota’s pitching staff.
 
According to OPS+, the Twins’ top hitter was actually Willingham (.260/.366/.524, 144 OPS+). That might be a tough ask to repeat, but Willingham should be fine at the plate again. Twins fans have had a weird relationship with Joe Mauer since he signed his big deal, but 147 games of a .416 OBP is valuable even if he can’t catch all the time anymore. The good news about Morneau last year is that he played 134 games; the bad news is he hit a just OK .267/.333/.440 with 19 homers. Doumit and Carroll are also useful pieces. After that, it’s mostly flotsam with the possible exception of Parmelee. Mastroianni is a stopgap, Plouffe was awful last year save for that weird June when he went off, and Florimon can’t hit for beans.
 
Overall, the best thing for the Twins this year would be a rebound from Morneau and further development of a burgeoning farm system. The pitching just isn’t there for the team to do much of anything.
 
Projected Record: 64-98
 
Down on the Farm: The one plus for the Twins organization is a very good and deep farm system that’s among the best in the game. The biggest prize is 3B Miguel Sano, an international signing who raked as a teenager last year in his first taste of full season ball. Last year’s number two pick CF Byron Buxton also has a ton of talent, but like Sano is it a ways away. For this year, CF Aaron Hicks is the guy that allowed Minnesota to trade Span and Revere. He has an intriguing combination of OBP skills, defense, and base running ability and will probably be on the big club at some point this year, and could very well go up north with them. RHP Kyle Gibson should also see Target Field before the year is out. He can strike guys out, but is still getting back to full strength following 2011 Tommy John surgery.
 
Those are my picks and predictions for the AL Central this year. What are yours?
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3/16/13   |   huskerdoug2009   |   2790 respect

Nebraska has announced after a "healthy" donation that they are changing the name of their practice facility to the Alex Gordon Training Facility.
http://journalstar.com/sports/huskers/life-in-the-red/husker-extension-with-adidas-ok-d-by-regents/article_d81aad6c-8da4-11e2-8713-0019bb2963f4.html

3/13/13   |   Sharp Square   |   11936 respect

huskerdoug2009 wrote:
Interested to see how close to 100% Victor Martinez will be when the season starts.  Like the Tigers need more offense, however adding him to Miguel and Prince will make it hard to pitch around all of them.  I also am waiting for Alex Gordon to live up to the hype he had here at Nebraska.  He has been a good player, but wouldn't exactly say great since making it to the Royals everyday lineup in 2007.   



If Vic Martinez is indeed healhy all season that Tigers offense could be real real scary !  Talk about a middle of the order murderers row surprise

3/13/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

huskerdoug2009 wrote:
Interested to see how close to 100% Victor Martinez will be when the season starts.  Like the Tigers need more offense, however adding him to Miguel and Prince will make it hard to pitch around all of them.  I also am waiting for Alex Gordon to live up to the hype he had here at Nebraska.  He has been a good player, but wouldn't exactly say great since making it to the Royals everyday lineup in 2007.   

The "Alex Gordon is the next George Brett" thing will never happen. However...

In 2011, he broke out and hit .303/.376/.502 and won a Gold Glove. In 2012, he backed that up with a .294/.368/.455, led the league in doubles, and won another Gold Glove. By WAR, he's been a 4-5 win player these last two seasons, and at 29, he's right in his prime. He's a damn good player, and when I said he was "solid" in the piece, I was probably underrating him.

3/13/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Sharp Square wrote:

Well done gearhead was a solid read.

I think Cleveland has a real good shot to finish ahead of the wsox this year.  Stubbs has a nice speed/power mix if he can just make a little more contact and the kid Chisenhall is a nice bat who could end up bringing some solid numbers to lineup , if they can get even some moderately consistent starts from Masterson and Jimenez this year with Bauer pitching in some mid season on they could put together a nice season. Plus i can see the wsox maybe backing up some this season as they have a lot of question marks. 

For some reason the Royals seem like an interesting team to watch this season to me. The mix of good young talent at the plate and now some veteran arms gotta figure they could get in a few solid winning streaks and at least be somewhat of a scrappy team to watch even if they dont break .500. 

Yeah, I had a whale of time picking between Chicago, Cleveland, and KC in those 2-4 spots. There's something about the White Sox I don't like, and I decided to be conservative with the other two. That's how I ended up where I ended up. I doubt I'll get any of them right.

The Royals are fascinating. I would like to see them play well and get in contention.

3/13/13   |   SusanVette   |   8510 respect

 The Detroit Tigers today have released Brennan Boesch. Ugh. That didn't make my day.

3/13/13   |   huskerdoug2009   |   2790 respect

Interested to see how close to 100% Victor Martinez will be when the season starts.  Like the Tigers need more offense, however adding him to Miguel and Prince will make it hard to pitch around all of them.  I also am waiting for Alex Gordon to live up to the hype he had here at Nebraska.  He has been a good player, but wouldn't exactly say great since making it to the Royals everyday lineup in 2007.   

3/12/13   |   Sharp Square   |   11936 respect


Well done gearhead was a solid read.

I think Cleveland has a real good shot to finish ahead of the wsox this year.  Stubbs has a nice speed/power mix if he can just make a little more contact and the kid Chisenhall is a nice bat who could end up bringing some solid numbers to lineup , if they can get even some moderately consistent starts from Masterson and Jimenez this year with Bauer pitching in some mid season on they could put together a nice season. Plus i can see the wsox maybe backing up some this season as they have a lot of question marks. 

For some reason the Royals seem like an interesting team to watch this season to me. The mix of good young talent at the plate and now some veteran arms gotta figure they could get in a few solid winning streaks and at least be somewhat of a scrappy team to watch even if they dont break .500. 

3/12/13   |   mcleodglen   |   32 respect

so far so good, but i won't get excited for too long.