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Dadawg_77
07-19-2004, 01:20 PM
From Will Carrol at baseball prospectus.

Things are not looking good for Twins catchers. Joe Mauer (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/MAUER19830419A.php) is headed back to Minnesota for a consultation with team doctors. Mauer's surgically repaired knee is once again swollen and painful. As I noted after Mauer's early-season surgery, the removal of a meniscus portended bad things, but I didn't anticipate it would happen this quickly. If Mauer has bone-on-bone, it's possible that he would need further surgery or even start a Synvisc regimen. Staying at catcher is only going to do more damage and will have to be dealt with in the near future. This isn't a problem that Twins expected at the start of the season. Worse, Matt LeCroy (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/lecroma01.php) is also dealing with knee pain of his own; Ron Gardenhire will likely have to keep him at DH or first to ease the strain on LeCroy. Justin Morneau is hitting for power at the major league level, but Doug Mientkiewicz (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/mientdo01.php) will come off the DL later this week, with the Twins expected to send Morneau down again. The Canadian Olympic team's needs continue to overshadow the likelihood of Morneau sticking with the big club, though General Manager Terry Ryan has hinted (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=3069) that Morneau could use more minor league seasoning anyway. Mientkiewicz is still having some pain in his injured wrist, but he's responding well to treatment and should be able to play at an acceptable level. Wrist injuries usually sap power, but that isn't Mientkiewicz's game anyway, so he should look the same out of the box.
Some good news for us White Sox fans.
And the Twins triple play

last month's Triple Play ("]
Minnesota Twins

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Fire of Unknown Origin: At this writing, the Twins are in fourth place in the AL Central, victims of their anemic offense, six games behind the White Sox, 60 fewer runs scored than the second-place Tigers and 80 fewer than the third-place Indians. Nothing has changed for the Twins since [url="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2990)...OK, you caught me: the runs scored are accurate, but the standings are courtesy of our Adjusted Standings (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/standings.html) report. The Twins are, in fact, only a half-game behind the White Sox, despite being swept at home by Chicago at the end of June and dropping three-of-four to the Tigers just before the All-Star break. How do they keep it up? It's certainly not thanks to the offense (AL only, minimum 100 AB) and in particular that infield:

Player Pos PMLVr Rank VORP RankMientkiewicz 1B -.124 20 2.7 16Jones RF -.044 17 5.5 15Rivas 2B -.032 12 6.5 12Guzman SS -.002 13 9.4 11Koskie 3B .054 13 11.8 11LeCroy DH .066 8 7.4 8Hunter CF .070 13 12.3 12Ford LF .100 9 21.8 5Stewart LF .115 6 10.3 10Mauer C .371 4 13.2 7

(PMLVr = Positional MLV rate = runs/game contributed by a batter beyond what an average player at the same position would hit, in a team of otherwise league-average hitters.)


Doug Mientkiewicz (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/mientdo01.php) has been absolutely brutal this year, with an isolated slugging of .120--the only starting 1B with less power is Darin Erstad (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/erstada01.php) (.113 ISO). (Class act but ineffective John Olerud (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/olerujo01.php) would also have made this list if not for Bill Bavasi's stumbling over BuckyBackers.com (http://www.buckybackers.com/) recently.) Mientkiewicz hasn't hit this poorly--.244/.332/.364--since 1999. This level of productivity is far below his PECOTA projection and he is currently on the DL; more on the Twins' 1B situation follows.

Luis Rivas (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/rivaslu01.php) is batting .265 and has on-base percentage of .288; now that's hacktastic! At least Rivas has a little bop in his bat, slugging .413, which is ahead of his mid-line PECOTA projection, and more than can be said for backup Nick Punto (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/puntoni01.php) (.234/.329/.281). Before the season, the Twins were considering having former prospect and current utility man Mike Cuddyer (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/cuddymi01.php) spend some time at second. So far this year his bat hasn't made this seem necessary; Cuddyer has batted .241/.305/.398. Still, it's clear the Twins have a sucking sound at second.

Cristian Guzman (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/guzmacr01.php)...what to say...he's had one year (2001) where he showed any power, and that year looks more and more like an outlier: AGE OBP SLG1999 21 .267 .2762000 22 .299 .3882001 23 .337 .4772002 24 .292 .3852003 25 .311 .3652004 26 .307 .388

It's a little unfair to group Corey Koskie (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/koskico01.php) with the previous three since he was on the DL with a strained sternum earlier this year and has had right hamstring problems since then. Yes, his batting average (.247) and on-base percentage (.333) are significantly off his usual pace, but part of his low ranking is due to surprising productivity from players like Brandon Inge (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/ingebr01.php), Chone Figgins (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/figgich01.php), and David Newhan (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/dt/newhada01.shtml).

Honorable Mention goes to Jacque Jones (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/jonesja04.php), batting .259/.312/.435 this year. This is in the neighborhood of his 25th percentile PECOTA forecast and looks more like his platoon numbers against left-handed pitching.


Dominance and Submission: A large part of the Twins' success is due to their bullpen, and in particular to the team's lone All-Star, closer Joe Nathan (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/nathajo01.php), who seems to have picked up where he left off last year, despite moving from a pitcher-friendly park to the Metrodome: Year IP H/9 BB/9 K/9 HR/9 K/BB WHIP ERA2003 79.0 5.8 3.8 9.5 0.8 2.51 1.06 2.962004 39.7 5.9 3.9 10.7 0.5 2.76 1.06 1.13Nathanís the fifth-best reliever in the AL and the eighth-best overall according to our reliever report (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/rrereport04.html#best) (using Adjusted Runs Prevented). His ARP of 15.8 is slightly higher than that of their other positive contributors (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/rrereport04.html#MIN) (Juan Rincon (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/rincoju01.php), Grant Balfour (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/balfogr01.php), Aaron Fultz (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/fultzaa01.php), Matt Guerrier (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/GUERRIER19780802A.php), and J.C. Romero (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/romerjc01.php)) added together:

Rincon 10.6Balfour 2.7Fultz 1.4Guerrier 0.5Romero 0.3TOTAL 15.5Of course, no conversation about dominant Twins pitchers is complete without checking in on BP favorite Johan Santana (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/SANTANA19831128A.php)... IP H/9 BB/9 K/9 HR/9123.7 7.4 2.3 9.9 1.3 ERA GS IP H HR BB KJune 2.39 5 37.2 21 5 6 46July 1.09 4 33 9 2 10 45Yes, he seems to have recovered from his slow start.

Transmaniacon M.C.: Doug Mientkiewicz's DL trip, due to soreness in his left wrist, led the Twins to bring Justin Morneau up to the big club from Triple-A Rochester. Morneau has done nothing but hit (http://www.sports-wired.com/players/profile.asp?ID=6356) in the minor leagues. If he can maintain his 50th percentile projection of .255/.321/.440, it would represent a substantial power upgrade at first base.

soltrain21
07-19-2004, 01:22 PM
I don't wish injuries on players, but I won't complain.

OurBitchinMinny
07-19-2004, 01:24 PM
Most twins fans up here are gonna be livid if morneau is sent down again. Mientkiewicz is quickly falling out of favor here. Morneau is like a slightly more talented version of Joe Borchard. Power hitter who K's too much. He projects to be much better than doug (im sick of typing his last name). He is also younger than borchard.

delben91
07-20-2004, 01:02 PM
I looked in the clubhouse, here, and the parking lot and didn't see this anywhere. My apologies if it's a duplicate thread, but I thought it important.

Joe Mauer of the Twins went back on the DL with a "sore knee."

Story. (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1842647)

Looks like it's the same knee as before, a disturbing trend at the least, though perhaps it's no big deal. Either way, his DL stay means he won't play in the Twins/Sox series at the cell next week.

Dadawg_77
07-20-2004, 01:06 PM
I looked in the clubhouse, here, and the parking lot and didn't see this anywhere. My apologies if it's a duplicate thread, but I thought it important.

Joe Mauer of the Twins went back on the DL with a "sore knee."

Story. (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1842647)

Looks like it's the same knee as before, a disturbing trend at the least, though perhaps it's no big deal. Either way, his DL stay means he won't play in the Twins/Sox series at the cell next week.
See my thread on Twins News, it might be buried in here.

delben91
07-20-2004, 01:10 PM
See my thread on Twins News, it might be buried in here.

Yep, I figured it was big enough Twins news that it must've been mentioned, I didn't read it that carefully though.

My bad all.