I'm going with 73-89. If everything goes right I see this club topping out at .500. The odds EVERYTHING go right... small. Lets see how pessimistic Joe can be. I bet I'll be closer to the final record prediction than he will be.
"Just ran some numbers. Those competing for Twins No. 5 spot this year threw 23.3% of team's innings last year as a staff."
"Or in other words, 44.6% of last year's Twins starter innings came from guys *competing* to be the No. 5 starter this year. HUGE."
Hughes and Nolasco aren't huge names. I understand that. But remember the guys they are replacing were so incredibly bad that even average production at these pitching spots will be a huge upgrade. That is the best part about having a horrible pitching staff - upgrades are cheap and make a difference.
Almost 1/2 of our starter IP were from guys who were either a #5 starter or not supposed to make the club.
The offense still strikes out a ton and for the most part stinks. Our pitching will go from the worst in baseball (by a large margin) to somewhere in the 20th of 30 teams mark I would guess.
Dave Cameron of Fangraphs showed that 1 win over replacement in the FA market costs 6MM. If Joe spends up to 110MM we are adding about 25MM payroll. That would be about 4 wins added to the current roster.
Is that the kind of "Spend to win" you had in mind, Joe?
Pedro Florimon was the 16th best shortstop last year. That's competitive. I'm sure he's on Joes **** list of -need to be replaced immediately- but does he? Can you really throw away league average guys? He's not a household name which is Joes issue with him.... Now that I've given some stats on Florimon we'll hear Joe in 6 months from now saying "I can't believe you were hyping Florimon like he was the next Twins all star." I can hear it already. Florimon is what he is. He was league average. Honestly - I'd be thrilled to be saying the same thing next year at this time.
I think the additions of Nolasco and Hughes have solidified the rotation, Pelfey should be much better his 2nd season after TJ as well. We will see improvements from Dozier, Florimon, Plouffe, and Arcia. Willingham will look much like he did in 2012 to provide some much needed pop we've been lacking. The bullpen will continue to be very steady as well. Im feeling a breakout season from Hicks, hes proven it takes him a year to get use to the next level.
If you would like to keep that prediction - how about this - whoever is further from their record (you or me) at the end of the season will leave the PSD Twins section permanently. If you want to change your guess we'll just do a sig bet.
And by the way, Joe -- scouts I've talked to (yes I see and talk to scouts regularly at minor league games) have said that Buxton is faster and has a better arm than Trout. They say his strike-zone judgement is more advanced than Trout's was at the same level and his power is nearly as good. They say that he has the potential to be better than Trout. Will he achieve these levels? Hard to say, but his talent is at least as good as Trout's was at the same point in his development.
Catman - on the 20-80 scale do you recall what they have Buxton at? It seems like the talk of the league right now is Billy Hamilton and his 80+ speed. He could be the next to steal 70 in a year... if he can get on base. (.300 OBP would be optimistic for him) I couldn't help thinking of Buxton and wondering where his speed fell on that scale.
Many scouts have Buxton's speed rated at 80 also. Baseball America rates him at 75 batting, 65 power, 80 speed and defense and 75 arm. Going into the 2012 season, they rated Trout at 70 batting, 65 power, 80 speed, 70 defense and 50 arm and he had already played games in the bigs.
So many guys flame out and never live up to expectations. It's nice thinking we might have the issue of not knowing where to bat Buxton in the lineup... Do we slot him #1? #2? #3? #4? - It could be a fun debate for us the next couple of years. I hope we have the opportunity for that debate!
To think how much of a cornerstone Torii Hunter was for us... I see Hunter as the absolute floor for Buxton at this point. Buxton might not match the slugging but beyond that I honestly think he'll be better than almost everything else Hunter did for us (including defense).