Minnesota Twins Predictions
After winning six division titles in nine years, the Minnesota Twins are clearly a team in transition after a 66-96 campaign in 2012. In fact, they’ve now lost a combined 195 games over the past two seasons. The crowds are slowly dwindling inside Target Field these days and the organization needs to do something to turn it around. However, some of the moves they made this offseason suggest that they are more focused on 2014 rather than 2013. General manager Terry Ryan insists that fans will see more immediate improvement.
The Twins traded Denard Span and Ben Revere just over a week apart this offseason, which leaves a hole in center field. They did net three starting pitchers out of the deal, which was their biggest need heading into the winter. Span went to Washington for former first-round pick Adam Meyer, while Revere went to Philadelphia for Vance Worley and Trevor May. The farm system is loaded with talent, headlined by former first-round pick Aaron Hicks, the center fielder of the future in Minnesota.
Aaron Hicks (CF) – The former first-round pick will be given every chance to win the starting center field job in the spring. If he isn’t able to run with it, then the position will likely go to Darin Mastroianni, who posted a .238 on-base percentage and was 21-for-24 in stolen base attempts over 77 games as a rookie last year.
Jamey Carroll (2B) – After a slow start last year, Carroll battled .295 with a .365 OBP over his final 86 games. He’ll be battling Brian Dozier, a career. 298 hitter in the minors, for the starting job at second through the spring.
Joe Mauer (C) – Led the majors with a .416 OBP while playing in a career-high 147 games last year, including 74 behind the plate. While his power numbers are down over the last few years, Mauer remains one of the best hitters in the game and the face of the franchise.
Josh Willingham (LF) – Even at age 33 last year, Willingham posted career highs in games played (145), home runs (35) and RBIs (110). He was one of the biggest surprises in the entire league in 2012 and has proven to be a huge addition to the roster.
Justin Morneau (1B) – Played in 134 games last year and appears to be recovered from the concussion-like symptoms have plagued him in 2011. However, Morneau’s .773 OPS last year was 78 points below his career average.
Ryan Doumit (DH) – Set career highs for games played (134), home runs (18) and RBIs (75) last season at age 31. Like Willingham, Doumit proved to be a solid offseason addition last year.
Chris Parmelee (RF) – Hit .338 with a 1.1022 OPS for Class AAA Rochester last year before plummeting to .229 with a .671 OPS in the majors last season. Parmelee needs to find a happy medium in between those numbers to keep his job in Minnesota.
Trevor Plouffe (3B) – Made 17 errors in just 95 games last season, but the organization is excited about his power potential. Plouffe hit 24 homers in 422 at-bats last year.
Pedro Florimon (SS) – After hitting just .219 over 43 games for the Twins last season, Florimon must improve at the plate, especially from the left side. The .272 OBP he posted over six weeks in 2012 is simply unacceptable.
Vance Worley (RHP) – Acquired from the Phillies in the Ben Revere trade. Worley went 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA over 23 starts in Philadelphia last season.
Brian Duensing (LHP) – Posted a 3.47 ERA over 44 relief appearances last season. However, Duensing was just 2-8 with a 6.92 ERA in 11 starts.
Scott Diamond (LHP) – Clearly the bright spot in Minnesota’s rotation in 2012, Diamond went 12-9 with a 3.54 ERA as a rookie last year. He appears to be the future of the franchise.
Kevin Correia (RHP) – Has averaged 11.5 wins over the past four years with the past two coming in Pittsburgh. Correia went 12-11 with a 4.21 ERA for the Pirates last season.
Liam Hendriks (RHP) – Went 1-8 with a 5.59 ERA over 16 starts last season. Hendriks will be battling several wild-card rotation candidates including Nick Blackburn, Sam Deduno, Cole De Vries, P.J. Walters, Anthony Swarzak and newcomer Rich Harden.
Glen Perkins (LHP) – Had 78 strikeouts over 70.1 innings while converting 12-of-13 save chances to close out last season. Setting Perkins up will be Alex Burnett (4-4, 3.52 ERA) and Jared Burton (3-2, 2.18 ERA).
5th Place AL Central & OVER 64.5 Wins – This team was 30 games below .500 last year and still lost 66 games. I don’t believe the Twins will be as poor as they were a year ago, thus I am predicting them to win OVER 64.5 games in 2013. However, this team will not come close to competing for the division title as it will battle it out with the Royals and Indians for last place in the AL Central. I do like what they did with their rotation with the additions of Worley and Correia. They have about 10 arms that will be battling it out for a spot in the rotation through the spring, and competition breeds success. Aside from Mauer, Willingham and Morneau, this line-up lacks consistency throughout. The Twins will struggle to score runs once again in 2013, and the rotation is only slightly better than it was a year ago.
|2013 Minnesota Twins Odds|
|Total Regular Season Wins||O64.5 (-115)|