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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2009 ZiPS Projections - Minnesota Twins

With no dominating teams in the Central, the Twins, like everyone outside the Royals, have a realistic shot at winning the division (and even the Royals having a good season wouldn’t be a huge out-of-the-world shock).

Denard Span suddenly drawing walks has left the Twins with an interesting dilemma.  If 2008 wasn’t a fluke, the team has a centerfielder clearly better than Gomez.  Trying to win now, Span’s the better bet in centerfielder and the team’s offense is top-heavy enough that they can’t really risk playing Span in a corner.  That the Twins looked at the glut of free agent hitters still around and went after Joe Crede while not doing anything to keep Bobby Abreu or Pat Burrell from going to other possible playoff teams is a serious miscalculation.  Despite finishing 3rd in the league in runs scored, the Twins are extremely reliant on their two big stars to move the offense.  From an “actual replacement” standpoint, Joe Mauer’s probably the most valuable player in baseball.

The rotation should be solid with Liriano-Slowey-Baker, though the team would still benefit from another starter, though you can say that about almost any team.

Don’t be alarmed by the Ben Revere projection; it’s a 2009 projection and the Midwest League is a long way from the American League.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
HITTERS
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS   OPS+
Justin Morneau*      1b 28 .297 .370 .523 159 599 94 178 39 3 30 125 69 86 2 2   136
Joe Mauer*          c   26 .313 .403 .452 146 540 91 169 33 3 12 82 83 56 6 2   130
Jason Kubel*        dh 27 .273 .335 .468 127 417 59 114 24 3 17 69 41 79 2 1   113
Michael Cuddyer       rf 30 .265 .345 .433 110 400 62 106 23 4 12 62 44 81 5 1   107
Delmon Young         lf 23 .291 .331 .423 160 619 79 180 34 3 14 84 35 114 13 5   101
Brendan Harris       ss 28 .261 .325 .400 129 445 58 116 28 2 10 54 40 95 3 1   94
Brian Buscher*        3b 28 .270 .329 .396 130 444 50 120 21 1 11 62 36 72 3 3   94
Luke Hughes         3b 24 .258 .306 .410 95 368 53 95 15 1 13 44 24 101 5 1   90
Denard Span*        cf 25 .270 .337 .369 141 529 81 143 21 5 7 54 51 100 27 12   90
Joe Crede           3b 31 .250 .303 .416 92 320 35 80 17 0 12 45 21 44 0 2   91
Brock Peterson       1b 25 .241 .298 .395 127 478 55 115 22 2 16 61 34 134 2 2   84
Carlos Gomez         cf 23 .258 .304 .369 131 461 63 119 19 4 8 48 25 114 31 8   79
Alexi Casilla#        2b 24 .267 .327 .341 135 502 73 134 19 0 6 46 44 75 19 8   80
Nick Punto#          ss 31 .255 .322 .344 121 404 50 103 20 5 2 31 40 70 13 5   79
Mike Redmond         c   38 .284 .326 .327 48 162 15 46 7 0 0 19   8 14 0 0   76
Daniel Valencia       1b 24 .253 .291 .391 133 514 58 130 24 1 15 59 30 134 4 4   81
Alejandro Machado     2b 27 .257 .317 .340 83 268 33 69 12 2 2 24 22 38 11 4   77
David Winfree         rf 23 .240 .284 .391 131 491 52 118 22 2 16 64 28 122 2 3   79
Matt Macri           ss 27 .244 .293 .389 91 311 31 76 16 1 9 34 19 81 3 3   81
Matt Tolbert#        2b 27 .251 .300 .354 79 271 34 68 13 3 3 26 18 42 8 3   75
Jose Morales         c   26 .264 .305 .347 70 242 21 64 11 0 3 19 12 40 1 2   75
Wilson Ramos         c   21 .243 .283 .368 111 424 37 103 17 0 12 56 21 110 1 1   73
Trevor Plouffe       ss 23 .250 .286 .372 128 508 63 127 28 2 10 50 25 108 6 4   75
Steve Tolleson       ss 25 .242 .307 .346 106 396 45 96 18 1 7 34 36 87 12 8   75
Jason Pridie*        cf 25 .245 .283 .369 147 555 70 136 18 6 13 50 29 142 22 7   74
Dustin Martin*        cf 25 .238 .294 .349 117 453 46 108 20 3 8 48 33 128 15 8   72
Ben Revere*          cf 21 .271 .308 .314 83 354 34 96 10 1 1 24 16 43 35 14   68
Chris Parmelee*      1b 21 .201 .268 .353 96 348 33 70 12 1 13 45 30 129 4 3   65
Deibinson Romero       3b 22 .200 .228 .271 37 140 13 28 4 0 2 10   4 47 1 2   34

* - Bats Left
# - Switch Hitter

Name           CThr 1b 2b 3b ss lf cf rf
Morneau*          Av            
Mauer*        Vg                
Kubel*                    Pr   Pr
Cuddyer           Av           Fr
Young                     Fr Pr Av
Harris               Av Fr Pr      
Buscher*          Av   Fr        
Hughes               Pr Fr   Av    
Span*                      Av Ex
Crede                 Vg        
Peterson           Av            
Gomez                       Ex  
Casilla#            Av   Fr      
Punto#              Av Av Av   Av  
Redmond         Av                
Valencia               Vg        
Machado             Av   Av Vg Av  
Winfree                       Fr
Macri               Av Av Fr      
Tolbert#            Av Av Fr      
Morales         Av                
Ramos         Vg                
Plouffe             Fr Av Fr      
Tolleson             Vg   Fr   Av  
Pridie*                    Vg Vg Vg
Martin*                    Av Av Av
Revere*                    Av Av  
Parmelee*          Fr           Fr
Romero                 Vg        

OFFENSIVE MATRIX

Name             PO   EX   VG   AV   FR   PO         COMP 1           COMP2           COMP3
MorneauJustin       1B   54%  29%  10%  6%  1%    PalmeiroRafael       HeltonTodd       DavisAlvin
MauerJoe         C     93%  7%  0%  0%  0%    SciosciaMike     CochraneMickey       DickeyBill
KubelJason         DH     5%  32%  29%  27%  7%    McCarthyJohnny         BreamSid         BondWalt
CuddyerMichael     RF     6%  28%  25%  23%  17%        CowensAl     ChristopherJoe     BautistaDanny
YoungDelmon       LF     2%  17%  23%  27%  31%      LeeCarlos       VosmikJoe         RudiJoe
HarrisBrendan       SS   18%  27%  29%  19%  7%    ScutaroMarco       AlfaroJason       LorettaMark
BuscherBrian       3B     2%  15%  22%  25%  35%        LambMike       MooreRandy     AspromonteBob
SpanDenard         CF     7%  11%  25%  29%  28%    EllsburyJacoby     GathrightJoey       GwynnTony
HughesLuke         3B     2%  12%  21%  28%  37%      FreeseGene       CruzEnrique     MartinezCarlos
CredeJoe         3B     1%  9%  21%  31%  39%    CastillaVinny       BellDavid     LarsonBrandon
GomezCarlos       CF     3%  5%  15%  27%  51%      MoranJavon       HunterTorii       SansoeMike
CasillaAlexi       2B     2%  5%  12%  23%  58%    WimberlyCorey       TorresEider     ThomasDerrel
PetersonBrock       1B     0%  1%  4%  20%  75%      BankstonWes     LiuzzaMatthew     EveridgeTommy
PuntoNick         SS     1%  7%  25%  39%  28%      UribeJose     StockerKevin       PenaElvis
MachadoAlejandro     2B     0%  1%  5%  23%  71%      GriffinDoug       HughesRoy       OrdazLuis
ValenciaDaniel     3B     0%  3%  10%  20%  67%      BertoiaReno       HodgesWes     HamiltonJeff
RedmondMike       C     0%  1%  16%  60%  24%      FerrellRick     HaselmanBill       CeroneRick
MacriMatt         SS     2%  8%  26%  39%  26%      BatisteKim       McNairEric       UribeJuan
TolbertMatt       2B     0%  0%  3%  16%  81%    CastroBernie     MilbourneLarry     HairstonJerry
PridieJason       CF     2%  4%  11%  19%  63%    BurnsGregory DickersonChristopher     TimpnerClay
WinfreeDavid       RF     0%  2%  4%  9%  85%    PattersonRyan       CorleyBrad     CollaroThomas
RevereBen         CF     0%  0%  1%  12%  87%    WatsonBrandon       GwynnTony       SimonKeanon
PlouffeTrevor       SS     2%  6%  15%  27%  50%    ThomasAndres       BrinkmanEd       DonaldJason
MoralesJose       C     0%  1%  8%  42%  50%      KluttzClyde       TaylorZack       HeathMike
RamosWilson       C     0%  4%  12%  29%  55%      TatumCraig   CastilloWelington     SchmidtKonrad
TollesonSteven     SS     0%  2%  14%  34%  50%      DonaldJason     PlouffeTrevor     SullivanJohn
MartinDustin       CF     1%  2%  7%  17%  72%      ThomasClete   PresleyAlexander     NegronMiguel
ParmeleeChris       1B     0%  0%  1%  5%  94%    WoodardJohnny     FerrisMichael         RickAlan
ButeraDrew         C     0%  0%  0%  1%  98%  KennellyTimothy       BouchieAndy       OchoaBlake
RomeroDeibinson     3B     0%  0%  0%  0%  100%    LawhornTrevor       SotoLeance     MiddletonCory

—————————————————————————————————————————————
STARTERS
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+

Francisco Liriano*      25   3.76   8   6 24 24   139.0 130   58 14   49 123 114
Kevin Slowey         25   3.96 11   8 25 25   147.2 151   65 18   26 109 108
Scott Baker           27   4.27 10   9 28 28   170.2 180   81 22   40 128 100
Nick Blackburn         27   4.73   8 10 31 26   161.2 189   85 20   35   77   90
Boof Bonser           27   4.91   7   9 37 21   146.2 158   80 21   52 119   87
Jeff Manship         24   5.06   9 11 26 26   142.1 164   80 18   45   72   84
Kevin Mulvey         24   5.12   8 10 27 27   142.1 160   81 19   53   76   83
Ben Hendrickson       28   5.36   7 11 27 24   136.0 154   81 16   68   59   80
Glen Perkins*        26   5.43   5   8 28 21   122.2 141   74 22   49   74   79
R.A. Dickey           34   5.73   7 12 29 19   141.1 167   90 23   56   66   74
Phil Humber           27   5.76   6 10 27 21   118.2 129   76 26   53   98   74
Anthony Swarzak       23   5.92   5   9 24 24   127.2 152   84 22   52   68   72
Brian Duensing*        26   6.00   6 11 26 25   144.0 176   96 28   44   69   71
Jason Jones           26   6.18   6 14 27 23   137.0 170   94 25   48   57   69

—————————————————————————————————————————————
RELIEVERS
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+

Joe Nathan           34   2.25   3   1 64   0   64.0   48   16   4   17   74 190
Craig Breslow*        28   3.60   3   2 50   0   60.0   56   24   4   26   49 118
Pat Neshek           28   3.86   4   2 45   0   49.0   45   21   8   16   58 111
Robert Delaney         24   4.00   3   2 50   0   63.0   64   28   7   15   45 107
Jesse Crain           27   4.13   4   3 52   0   52.1   53   24   6   18   41 103
Matt Guerrier         30   4.40   5   4 65   0   75.2   79   37 10   28   57   97
Mike Gosling*        28   4.66   4   4 57   0   65.2   69   34   7   31   51   92
Ben Julianel*        29   4.89   2   2 38   2   53.1   56   29   6   28   38   87
Luis Ayala           31   5.18   4   5 69   0   64.1   72   37   8   22   41   82
Sean Henn*          28   5.19   1   2 20   3   34.2   38   20   3   20   22   82
Armando Gabino         25   5.28   4   5 48   0   73.1   83   43   9   32   37   81
Jose Mijares*        24   6.23   2   3 35   0   43.1   46   30   9   30   33   68

* - Throws Left

PITCHING MATRIX

Player         PO   TOP   MID   BOT           Comp1           Comp2           Comp3
HumberPhilip     SP     2%  14%  84%    TrachselSteve         GagneEric       BonserBoof
SwarzakAnthony   SP     0%  10%  90%    GutierrezJuan         SmithSean         HartKevin
DuensingBrian   SP     1%  13%  86%      AlvarezAbe       TraversBill     RheineckerJohn
KeppelBob       SP     0%    3%  97%      TalbotFred     JacobsenLandon       WhiteSteven
DickeyR.A.      SP     0%  11%  88%      DietrichBill       GenewichJoe       LisenbeeHod
JonesJason     SP     0%    5%  95%        MurphyTom       WaechterDoug     GothreauxJared
PerkinsGlen     SP     2%  24%  73%        CyrEric       KoronkaJohn     Van HekkenAndy
MijaresJose     RP     1%    6%  93%      LeiperDave       CapellanJose       RitchieWally
BonserBoof     SP     6%  37%  56%        GreifBill         AshbyAndy       LatmanBarry
MulveyKevin     SP     4%  32%  64%        PreskoJoe       StaffordBill         SlatonJim
BakerScott     SP   28%  54%  18%      BoydOil Can     SandersonScott   MonbouquetteBill
ManshipJeffrey   SP     5%  35%  60%        MurphyTom     AlexanderDoyle       JonesJimmy
BlackburnNick   SP     9%  52%  39%        LongBill       SorensenLary       ReitsmaChris
SloweyKevin     SP   46%  44%  11%    FernandezAlex       ValdezIsmael       MussinaMike
GuerrierMatt     RP   10%  44%  46%    GronkiewiczLee       ChulkVinnie       MathewsT.J.
AyalaLuis       RP     2%  24%  73%      HetkiJohnny       LamabeJack       GrangerWayne
NeshekPat       RP   36%  42%  23%      RisleyBill     LigtenbergKerry       RiskeDavid
HendricksonBen   SP     2%  26%  72%
GabinoArmando   RP     1%  20%  78%    ClaggettAnthony         KlineBob       FitzmorrisAl
JulianelBen     RP     6%  30%  64%      MohlerMike       StantonMike       HerediaFelix
GoslingMike     RP     5%  35%  60%      StantonMike     RadinskyScott       RogersKenny
DelaneyRobert   RP   23%  50%  27%      LohrmanBill         DavisRon       GumpertRandy
CrainJesse     RP   20%  51%  30%      HoytLa Marr       ClontzBrad     WickershamDave
LirianoFrancisco SP   59%  37%    4%      BurnsBritt       MatlackJon       PolletHowie
HennSean       RP     6%  22%  72%    RobertsonRich       EischenJoey         MunozMike
NathanJoe       RP   96%    3%    0%    RiveraMariano     MontgomeryJeff       JacksonMike
BreslowCraig     RP   37%  46%  17%      AgostoJuan       KlineSteve         HollandAl

——————————————————————-

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

OPS+ 140+

Morneau   47
Mauer     26
Kubel     3

OBP .400+

Mauer     61
Morneau   13
Cuddyer     2

SLG .550+

Morneau   32
Kubel     2

BA .325+

Mauer     34
Morneau   15
Young     8

2B 45+

Morneau   26
Young     12
Mauer     6

3B 5+

Pridie     68
Span     54
Punto     46

HR 30+

Morneau   48
Winfree     2
Pridie     1

SB 50+

Span       5
Revere     5
Gomez     2

ERA+ 140+ (Starters)

Liriano   13
Slowey     8
Baker     2

ERA+ 140+ (Relievers)

Nathan     89
Breslow   24
Delaney   13

K/9 9+ (Starters)

Liriano   12
Humber     7
Bonser     5

K/9 9+ (Relievers)

Nathan     86
Breslow     9
Crain     8

BB/9 1.5- (Starters)

Slowey     53
Blackburn   14
Baker     8

BB/9 1.5- (Relievers)

Delaney   19
Nathan     10
Crain     2

HR/9 0.7- (Starters)

Liriano   38
Hendrickson 23
Slowey     15

HR/9 0.7- (Relievers)

Breslow   76
Nathan     72
Crain     36

All figures in % based on projection playing time - Min. 300 PA/50 IP for inclusion

Disclaimer:  ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. 
Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors -
many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2009. 
ZiPS is projecting equivalent production - a .240 ZiPS projection may end up
being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example.  Whether or not a player will play
is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting
the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. 
This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in
the offseason. 

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.44 ERA and the NL having a 4.38 ERA.

Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected.  More information
is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting
the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

Positional offense is ranked by RC/27 and divided into quintiles based on what the
most frequent starting players at each position did in 2006-2008.  Excellent is the top
quintile, Very Good the 2nd quintile and so on. 

ZiPS Frequently Asked Questions

 

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Dan Szymborski Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:48 PM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Run Joe Run Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:04 PM (#3085928)
They should have held on to Johan. He would have made the difference in making the playoffs. Once you are in, anything could happen
   2. David Cameron Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:10 PM (#3085941)
Dan,

Are you really arguing that Young's 50 point advantage over Gomez in OPS outweighs the defensive difference between the two? Really, over a full season, a .754 OPS versus a .696 OPS is going to add up to 15-20 runs. Gomez gets an EX in center field, while Young gets a Fr in LF.

.700 OPS with Ex CF defense < .750 OPS with Fr LF defense? Sorry, but no. That's significantly undervaluing the run prevention side of things.
   3. JMPH Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:11 PM (#3085944)
They should have held on to Johan. He would have made the difference in making the playoffs. Once you are in, anything could happen

Hindsight is 20/20, of course.
   4. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:16 PM (#3085953)
Are you really arguing that Young's 50 point advantage over Gomez in OPS outweighs the defensive difference between the two?

I think he just sorts the Hitters list by RC/27 or something - it's not intended as an overall player rating.

I very much like Mauer's #2 and #3 comps.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:21 PM (#3085969)
How can you not cheer for Pat Neshek and Craig Breslow?
   6. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:22 PM (#3085976)
I don't think the Twins ever doubted that they are a better baseball team with Johan Santana.
   7. JMPH Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:25 PM (#3085982)
How can you not cheer for Pat Neshek and Craig Breslow?

With Neshek, the most you can cheer for is a strong 2010.
   8. RJ in TO Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:36 PM (#3086004)
So how many more years like the last five does Joe Nathan need before he starts getting discussed as a potential Hall of Famer?
   9. David Cameron Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:37 PM (#3086009)
I'm referring to this comment:

Denard Span suddenly drawing walks has left the Twins with an interesting dilemma. If 2008 wasn't a fluke, the team has a centerfielder clearly better than Gomez. Trying to win now, Span's the better bet in centerfielder and the team's offense is top-heavy enough that they can't really risk playing Span in a corner.

If the team is better (offense+defense) with Gomez on the field than Young (and ZIPS is projecting that very scenario), then they can and should "risk" playing Span in a corner in lieu of Delmon Young.

I'm just saying that Dan's comment here doesn't really match up with what ZIPS is saying.
   10. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3086067)
I'm not arguing that Young is better than Gomez or Span would be in leftfield, I'm an arguing than an actual good leftfielder would be better than Gomez or Span would be in leftfield.
   11. Daryn Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:25 PM (#3086095)
I'll take the 50 to 1 odds on Gomez swiping 50. If he plays, he can do that easily.
   12. DL from MN Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:29 PM (#3086105)
Johan wouldn't be a Twin this season regardless. I think the pitching projections are a bit pessimistic for Baker and the innings projections are all goofy because the Twins have been playing with arb clocks.
   13. DL from MN Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:32 PM (#3086108)
I'd say Nathan needs about 10 more seasons like that, minimum 8. That means he has to stay productive until age 42-44. He's Tom Henke - no Hall of Famer but damned good in his prime.
   14. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:33 PM (#3086109)
If Morneau or Mauer get hurt this season, this team goes from contender to non-contender overnight.
   15. DL from MN Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:41 PM (#3086124)
Easier to handle a Morneau injury than a Mauer injury. They can slide Cuddyer to 1B and play the other outfielders everyday. It hurts but I'm assuming Morneau isn't going to suffer a season ending injury. I agree that if they lose a perennial MVP candidate in Mauer they're going to have a hard time winning.
   16. It's a shame about Athletic Supporter Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:52 PM (#3086145)
Wow, not a very inspiring small-comp-set for Liriano there...
   17. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:59 PM (#3086161)
Easier to handle a Morneau injury than a Mauer injury. They can slide Cuddyer to 1B and play the other outfielders everyday.

True, but from an opposing perspective, the lineup gets a lot less scary without Morneau in it. Other than Morneau, the Twins lack a legitimate power threat.
   18. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 25, 2009 at 07:07 PM (#3086177)
I'd say Nathan needs about 10 more seasons like that, minimum 8. That means he has to stay productive until age 42-44. He's Tom Henke - no Hall of Famer but damned good in his prime.

I wouldn't go quite that far - but I'd think he'd need five more REALLY good seasons.
   19. Banta Posted: February 25, 2009 at 07:32 PM (#3086221)
Hey Dan, nice work as always. Just doing some fantasy baseball preparation and wondering if you are gonna release the complete 2009 Zips in spreadsheet format?
   20. Craig in MN Posted: February 25, 2009 at 07:51 PM (#3086260)
I'd say Nathan needs about 10 more seasons like that, minimum 8. That means he has to stay productive until age 42-44. He's Tom Henke - no Hall of Famer but damned good in his prime.
-------------
I wouldn't go quite that far - but I'd think he'd need five more REALLY good seasons.


Five more good seasons and you can start to talk about it. That's still only maybe 400 saves, which won't be a guarantee by any means. A couple of ok seasons after that and he'll have a shot. Unfortunately, Nathan started too late to get there. It might be 100 to 1 shot to be an effective closer at age 40 without a major injury in his career.
   21. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: February 25, 2009 at 09:53 PM (#3086441)
Oof. Apparently there's a good chance that Boof Bonser's out for the year. Who's next in line here?
   22. JMPH Posted: February 25, 2009 at 09:58 PM (#3086448)
Oof. Apparently there's a good chance that Boof Bonser's out for the year. Who's next in line here?

I'd imagine Humber will slide into Bonser's role, since he's out of options.
   23. WillYoung Posted: February 25, 2009 at 10:01 PM (#3086452)
Twins projected pitching staff:
SP-"Light Rail" Baker
SP-Francisco Liriano
SP-Kevin Slowey
SP-Nick Blackburn
SP-Glen Perkins
Closer-Joe Nathan
RP-Jesse Crain
RP-Shaggy Guerrier
RP-Craig Breslow
RP-Luis Ayala
RP-Philip Humber/Jose Mijares

Dan, can you explain why Baker's ERA is projected to be much higher than Slowey's despite better peripherals? Light Rail Baker is really one of the most reliable, underrated pitchers around - a perfect successor to Brad Radke in poise and anonymity.
   24. andrewberg Posted: February 25, 2009 at 10:47 PM (#3086521)
Does this mean we can look forward to a Scott Baker comeback in 2025? It's funny that he compares to Boyd when they are two of the skinniest players this side of Juan Cruz.

I'm still worried about the bullpen. This is going to be a run-prevention team if it is going to win. Having young pitching leaves open the hope that they will improve enough to make up for Punto, Span, and Casilla not hitting as well as last year. But if the bullpen is as inconsistent as it was last year, I would worry that the optimism is unwarranted.

Every year I think, "not having that drag on the lineup will inevitably cause a nice bounce." Batista was so bad, that I assumed having him out of the lineup would add 20 runs. Then Rondell replaced his crater. Then Lamb replaced Rondell's crater. If they can avoid playing anyone this year long enough to put up a -30 VORP, they will be getting somewhere. Obviously, Punto is a prime candidate, but we'll see how it plays out.

Delmon's projection doesn't really show any growth. Those are essentially the numbers he put up after the first month of the season. After he bottomed out, he was about a .290/.330/.420 hitter, which is not good for a lead-gloved corner OF. I like seeing Carlos Lee as a comp, because he's at least a useful player, but I'm afraid that he'll be long gone by the time he reaches that level if he doesn't start showing growth quickly. He has not made friends on high places on this team.
   25. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 25, 2009 at 10:53 PM (#3086531)
Twins projected pitching staff
Baseball Prospectus projects their top 5 starters to ALL have higher ERAs this year than last year. So... I gotta think ZIPS is a little closer to accurate.
   26. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 25, 2009 at 10:59 PM (#3086536)
Dan, can you explain why Baker's ERA is projected to be much higher than Slowey's despite better peripherals?

Given the projected peripherals (including hits), Baker's peripherals suggest an ERA 0.42 runs worse than Slowey's.
   27. DL from MN Posted: February 25, 2009 at 11:31 PM (#3086569)
It would be great if Luis Ayala was replaced with Juan Cruz in that bullpen. I'm going to say that if the Twins lose Nathan for the year they're probably as hurt as if they lose Morneau. The Twins can dump Ayala in spring training and not owe him anything so his $1.1M can be transferred to a Juan Cruz contract.
   28. JMPH Posted: February 25, 2009 at 11:37 PM (#3086575)
The Twins can dump Ayala in spring training and not owe him anything so his $1.1M can be transferred to a Juan Cruz contract.

That's not true.
   29. Craig in MN Posted: February 26, 2009 at 03:05 AM (#3086727)
It would be great if Luis Ayala was replaced with Juan Cruz in that bullpen.

I agree, but I think Ayala has a pretty good chance to have a nice rebound year, and that he'd be really nice to have around. Maybe that's only a 1 in 3 chance that he's anything special next year, but that's better odds than I'd give Guerrier or Humber. With Boof out, they could still sign Cruz if they wanted. Nathan, Cruz, Crain, Ayala, Guerrier, and Breslow, with Humber and Mijares fighting for the 12th spot or injury replacements. Actually to put it another way, who would you rather have as the 25th guy on the team, Juan Cruz, Buscher, Tolbert, or the lesser of Humber or Mijares? Cruz would be my choice any day of the week, but I'm not sure they can acquire him.
   30. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 26, 2009 at 04:48 AM (#3086791)
Delmon's projection doesn't really show any growth.


That's because since partway into his 2005 season with Montgomery when he abandoned his patience completely he hasn't shown any real growth. For the past three and a half seasons he has more or less been the same player.

His top 5 PECOTA comparables are pretty fun:

1. Jeff Francouer
2. Shawn Green
3. Sean Burroughs
4. Darin Erstad
5. Nick Markakis

His similarity index is very low though.
   31. limozeen Posted: February 26, 2009 at 07:30 AM (#3086841)
Hey Dan, would you mind doing a projection for Anthony Slama? Thanks.
   32. Mike Green Posted: February 26, 2009 at 02:09 PM (#3086896)
Jason Kubel has had enough troubles. Listing Walt Bond as a comparable is a Bunning-esque (Bunnesque?) move, Dan. :)
   33. Saberseams Posted: February 26, 2009 at 05:43 PM (#3087080)
Baker and Span are going to completely destroy those projections, especially Span.
   34. DL from MN Posted: February 26, 2009 at 05:59 PM (#3087094)
I'm optimistic that Casilla and Perkins will outperform those projections also. I don't think either will be a star but an OBP heavy 85 OPS+ for Casilla and an 85 ERA+ for Perkins seem more likely than the projections.
   35. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 27, 2009 at 01:12 AM (#3087546)
I like seeing Carlos Lee as a comp, because he's at least a useful player


Joe Rudi was a pretty good player, too.

Delmon - along with Elijah Dukes and BJ Upton - pretty much ran over John Tamargo at Durham in his last full minor league season. Those three and Darnell McDonald were basically a team unto themselves. It wasn't just the bat-throwing incident (Delmon), the DUI in the wee hours in Chapel Hill (Upton) and fighting a coach (Dukes) - it was a season-long pattern of behaviorial issues for all of them. None of them listened to ANYONE in authority - and you could see it on the field. Bascially, Delmon needs a wakeup call. The talent is definitely there; he made as much hard contact as any minor league hitter I have seen. But the self-discipline isn't.

-- MWE
   36. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 27, 2009 at 01:17 AM (#3087554)
I'd imagine Humber will slide into Bonser's role, since he's out of options.


Probably not a bad way to break Humber in, either, throwing mostly low-leverage relief. Bonser didn't pitch very often in high-leverage situations once he came out of the rotation at the end of May. In the long run, I see Humber as being a late-inning reliever, probably a 7th-inning or 8th-inning guy.

-- MWE
   37. Mark S. is bored Posted: February 27, 2009 at 08:20 PM (#3088313)
In the long run, I see Humber as being a late-inning reliever, probably a 7th-inning or 8th-inning guy.


Good thing the Twins picked Humber instead of Pelfrey otherwise they would would have been stuck with a 2/3 starter instead of having a late-inning reliever
   38. HGH Positive Posted: February 27, 2009 at 10:10 PM (#3088517)
Good thing the Twins picked Humber instead of Pelfrey otherwise they would would have been stuck with a 2/3 starter instead of having a late-inning reliever

Pelfrey was never an option. Minaya made it clear neither FMart or Pelfrey were available.
   39. Mark S. is bored Posted: February 27, 2009 at 10:31 PM (#3088537)
Good thing the Twins picked Humber instead of Pelfrey otherwise they would would have been stuck with a 2/3 starter instead of having a late-inning reliever

Pelfrey was never an option. Minaya made it clear neither FMart or Pelfrey were available.


Most reports I saw said Pelfrey was offered, but the Twins didn't want him.
   40. HGH Positive Posted: February 28, 2009 at 12:15 AM (#3088607)
Most reports I saw said Pelfrey was offered, but the Twins didn't want him.

There were a ton of BS reports, I could have remembered it wrong, but I thought Metsblog kept saying they would not include Pelfrey in a deal.
   41. HGH Positive Posted: February 28, 2009 at 12:28 AM (#3088612)
Most sources began with the Twins needing a "MLB-Ready" player along the lines of Ellsbury, Hughes or Reyes.

It was a story when the Twins changed their demands so Reyes didn't have to be involved. It then moved to FMart needing to be included among Guerra, Mulvey, Humber and Gomez.

Not seeing a whole lot else mentioned. It is amusing to see all the ESPN analysts say the Mets don't have the farm system, and they lack a stud like Hughes.
   42. Mike Emeigh Posted: March 08, 2009 at 11:01 PM (#3096115)
Most reports I saw said Pelfrey was offered, but the Twins didn't want him.


I don't know where you saw those reports, but the folks I know in the Mets' organization have been saying all along that FMart and Pelfrey (along with Niese) were untouchable.

-- MWE
   43. schruender Posted: March 19, 2009 at 07:52 PM (#3108775)
Liriano is going to be much better than people think. He is still in his mid 20s. The biggest concern with this team is that they don't have enough bats. Crede wasn't the answer and it will show up when he's on the DL in May.
   44. sunil sahal Posted: March 24, 2009 at 09:54 AM (#3112622)
Minnesota Twins news, commentary, baseball stats, player profiles and MLB team matchups and standings, from spring training to the last game.
Deferred Fixed Annuity
   45. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2009 at 10:51 AM (#3112623)
#### off

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