Monday, March 3, 2008

Will the Twins be better this year??

To answer this question we will look at how I expect the 2008 player’s improvement or lack thereof vs the 2007 player. The measurement is just level of improvement at that position with 1 being 2008 has a decent improvement over 2007, 3 being really big improvement, and 4 being enormous. Obviously -4 would be an enormous downgrade from 2007 to 2008. Enjoy.

2007 C Joe Mauer vs 2008 C Joe Mauer. +2
2007 1B Justin Morneau vs 2008 Justin Morneau +2
2007 2B Luis Castillo vs 2008 Brendan Harris +1
2007 SS Jason Bartlett vs 2008 SS Adam Everett 0
2007 3B Nick Punto vs 2008 3B Mike Lamb +4
2007 LF Jason Tyner vs 2008 LF Delmon Young +4
2007 CF Torii Hunter vs 2008 CF Carlos Gomez? -4
2007 RF Michael Cuddyer vs 2008 Michael Cuddyer 0
2007 DH Rondell White vs 2008 DH Jason Kubel +3

Total lineup improvement +12
2007 C Mike Redmond vs 2008 C Mike Redmond 0
2007 INF Nick Punto vs 2008 INF Nick Punto +1 (could he get any worse?!)
2007 INF Luis Rodriguez vs 2008 INF Brian Buscher +1
2007 OF Lew Ford vs 2008 OF Craig Monroe +1
2007 INF Garrett Jones vs 2008 INF Garrett Jones 0
Total bench improvement +3
Total offensive improvement +15

Starting Pitching
2007 SP Johan Santana vs 2008 SP Francisco Liriano 0
2007 SP Matt Garza vs 2008 SP Kevin Slowey -1
2007 SP Carlos Silva vs 2008 SP Livan Hernandez -2
2007 SP Scott Baker vs 208 SP Scott Baker +1
2007 SP Boof Bonser vs 2008 SP Boof Bonser +3

Total Starting Pitching improvement : +1

2007 CL Joe Nathan vs 2008 CL Joe Nathan 0
2007 RP Pat Neshek vs 2008 RP Pat Neshek 0
2007 RP Matt Gurrier vs 2008 RP Matt Guerrier -1
2007 RP Jesse Crain vs 2008 RP Jesse Crain +2
2007 RP Dennys Reyes vs 2008 RP Dennys Reyes +2
2007 RP Juan Rincon vs 2008 RP Juan Rincon +2
Total Bullpen Improvement: +5
Total Pitching Improvement: +6

Total Improvement overall +21

That is pretty good. I project that on the 25 man roster, an average of 21 Twins will have a decent improvement over last year’s players. This is me probably just being too optimistic but stranger things have happened. Look at 2006, almost all the Twins had their best year so far. Of course other teams got substantially better and you don’t have to look outside of the Twins’ division. Detroit will have the scariest lineup in the major leagues and we will get to face them plenty this season. The bottom line is this. The Twins just lost their best pitcher ever in Johan Santana and some dude named Torii Hunter in the offseason, hence many are writing the Twins off as rebuilding project aimed to get good in 2010 for their new ballpark. Just don’t be surprised if the “rebuilding” Twins have a better record in 2008 than they did in 2007.

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