Saturday, February 20, 2010

Debby Downer: The Twins Will Disappoint in 2010...

...because pitching and defense win championships.

With an OF of Delmon, D-Span, and Cuddyer with Kubel as 4th OF, the Twins will have one of the worst defensive outfields in the league. Better hope the pitching staff induces an amazing number of ground balls.

Even if you view the defense as on par with everyone else, the Twins fall short when you compare the top three SPs of the contenders in the AL:

Angels: Jered Weaver, Scott Kazmir, Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders
Mariners: King Felix, Cliff Lee, Ryan Rowland-Smith (OK, 2 out of 3)
Rangers: Rich Harden, Scott Feldman, Tommy Hunter (OK, 1 out of 3)

Yankees: CC Sabathia, Javier Vazquez, AJ Burnett
Red Sox: Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey
Rays: James Shields, Matt F-ing Garza, David Price

White Sox: Jake Peavy, Mark Buehrle, John Danks, Gavin Floyd
Tigers: Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello

Assuming the Twins make playoffs (with arguably the 3rd best rotation in the division), only the Rangers seem like a potential ALDS opponent with a weaker rotation.

The Twins will hit. Infield defense will be solid. The bullpen looks like a strength this year. But to make it to the ALCS or beyond, let alone out of the division, at least two of Baker, Slowey, Blackburn, and Liriano must perform like #2 SPs, not #4 SPs.

I'm enthusiastic about the offseason moves. I'm not sure it's enough. We still need a top-shelf SP. (Which is why I quietly pray we trade Perkins, Casilla, memorabilia from the Metrodome, a handful of prospects, and suitcases of money for a front line starter.)

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