Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Twins 2009 Preview – Doc Style

First and foremost, Russel is already questioning my opening day lineup, and I say go blow yourself. Not that I need to defend my decision, but I will anyways. I’m going to assume that most people, including Russel, would hit either Cuddy or Crede in the 5 hole. The only other person on the roster who would fit in as a number 5 hitter is Kubel, but that won’t work here. So, our three options for protecting the M&M’s are Delmon, Cuddy, and Crede. I can see all three of them in there at one point or another this season, but my biggest argument for giving Delmon the nod to start the season is health. Cuddyer is coming off a year where he played only 9 games after June and Crede played just 11 games after the all star break. Cuddy’s injury doesn’t appear to be anything that will carry over to this season, but you never know. Crede on the other hand could go either way with his back. He had surgery over the off season and only time will tell if it’s healed this time or if it’s just an on-going problem. Plus they’re both old. Old for baseball, not old for the earth. Delmon meanwhile was hitting .297 after the break including heating up in September with a .330 batting average. In other words, it would appear the sophomore slump ended early for him, if you can call it that. But if you take a look back, turns out he was just three at bats shy of using up his rookie status in 2006 and therefore was technically still a rookie in 2007. If you break his career down into 162 game sections, he finished up his second season last year towards the end of August. In games after that (start of his 3rd season) he batted .337. Keep in mind this kid is only 23 years old and a former first overall draft pick. I’m pretty sure he’s going to surprise the hell out of everyone this year; I’ll say batting over .300 with 15-20 dingers and should close in on 100 RBI as well. So blow me.
One concern I have with the Twins is the determination to pencil Nick Punto into the lineup every fucking day. This guy is probably a good clubhouse guy and services Gardy for playing time, but in reality should never see the field unless the Twins have a lead in the 8th inning and need to put him in as a defensive replacement or a pinch runner or some shit like that. He’s garbage as an everyday player and deserves to get kicked in the balls by Donald Igwebuike.
You can’t really argue too much with the 1-4 guys in the lineup, maybe Gomez in the 2 hole when he plays, but I think he’s a 9 guy regardless so we’ll move on with that. The other argument people have is hitting Mauer and Morneau back to back instead of putting one of the righties in between them. All you have to do is look at the numbers and you’ll see that it doesn’t matter one bit what side the pitcher is throwing from, these guys are gonna get their hits. Mauer hit .361 off lefties last year and Morneau wasn’t bad at .284. Your righties against lefties last season – Delmon .300, Redmond .277, Gomez .270 and it just gets lower from there (Crede hit just .122 off lefties last year). Argument over.
I’m too lazy and bored right now to look any numbers up for pitching, so let’s just say the twins are going to have one of the best starting rotations in baseball. If these guys stay healthy and consistently do what they are capable of, we’re looking at a staff that will rival the braves of the 90’s when they had Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux. Not even kidding.
1. Scott Baker RHP
2. Francisco Liriano LHP
3. Kevin Slowey RHP
4. Glen Perkins LHP
5. Nick Blackburn RHP
Biggest concern for these guys is throwing more than 4 innings per night. They need at least 2 of these guys to throw over 200 innings this year to take some pressure off the pen, which was overworked as hell last season. If someone wants to look up innings pitched between the starters and bullpen last year go for it, but I’m going to guess the Twins had one of the worst ratios in baseball.
On to the bullpen, and still too lazy to look stuff up, so I’ll just say that the new fat left handed Mexican needs to be as good or better than the last fat left handed Mexican. And he was good when he was here. Not sure about Ayala, he seems like a bum to me, but I honestly don’t know shit about him so I won’t pretend I do. Hate Crain. Hate Guerrier. Hate Bonser. Hopefully either Humber or Swarzak can show something this spring and make the club eliminating the need for Bonser. Other than that, you’ve got the other lefty Breslow who was solid last year and Nathan who is a horse.
Before I end this garbage, there’s one other thing that drives me up a wall with Gardy; the need to bat Redmond 3rd when he gives Mauer the day off. Now we all love Redmond and he’d be a perennial all-star if they voted in a backup catcher, but come on man. Bat him 8th, do what you need to with the rest of the lineup. Problem solved.
Remember, I’m planning on doing a live blog during the game tonight and I’ll try to get the streaming webcam going as well. No promises, but that’s the plan. Peace Bitches.

*UPDATE* Bonser is out for the season with strained vagina or something. I'm not quite sure how today could get any better. Maybe Punto will be involved in a car accident or found to be a member of the Italian Mafia and be forced to leave the country, never to be heard from again. Keep your fingers crossed.


  1. the only way delmon young will surprise me is if he doesn't look like robby ringstad chasing fly balls in left field.

  2. Robby could cover some ground, give him some credit. You almost have to assume Delmon has huge blisters on his toes that prevent him from using the front half of his feet when he runs.

  3. I actually think Delmon is just trying not to step on his lips when he's out there chasing butterflies in left. I do have to agree that he is shoulld be hitting behind Der in the line up.
    And with Bonser going down for 6-8 months, do you think we can get the same doctor to find an injury with Punto? Even if he's hurt he can still make pregame slushies for Der, which is the real reason the Twins signed him.

  4. This whole debate surrounding Cuddy and Crede will quickly evaporate 20 games into the season when they are both hitting -.190 and then both simultaneously suffer life ending elbow and/or ankle injuries.