Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2013 Isn't a Rebuilding Year for Twins

Are the Twins rebuilding? Should they be?

There are two ways to see that question. If by "rebuilding", the implication is that he Twins don't think they can compete this season, then no the Twins are not rebuilding. If by rebuilding, you mean the Twins are making a lot of changes to the team they had last year. Then yes, the Twins have rebuilt.

How the Twins will win this year:

As I wrote earlier, the Twins starting staff looks to be major league average going into spring training. But there are several things that could make it a lot better than that. Kyle Gibson could emerge as a top of the order starter. Mike Pelfrey could put up the kind of year he had in 2010. Vance Worley could pitch like he did in 2011. Rich Harden could stay healthy. Scott Diamond could return to his 2012 early season form.

On the offense side, Morneau could return to his MVP output. Trevor Plouffe could emerge as a 30+ HR third baseman. Chris Parmelee could become the hitter he was projected to be as a first round prospect. Mauer, Doumit and Willingham could repeat last year. Aaron Hicks could emerge as a major league center fielder and table setter.

Are all those things likely to happen? No.  And a lot of them would have to happen for the Twins to make the playoffs. But the game is played on the field. Until Mauer and Morneau start to show that age has caught up to them, the Twins shouldn't be throwing away seasons. The presence of two of baseball's premier players give the Twins the potential to contend.

That doesn't mean they shouldn't be looking to the future. The reason the Twins put together a long string of competitive teams was because they were always looking to the future, adding promising new players and letting aging stars leave. That will probably continue around the trading deadline this year if the Twins aren't in contention. But until then, we ought to looking to see how good this team could be, not speculating on trading away its parts.

What do you think? Should the Twins be playing to win this year? Or should they just be building for the future?

1 comment:

Jim H said...

I read your recent posts. There are certainly plenty of questions about the Twins this year but I do think they can contend. I hope the middle infield resolves itself this spring. That is one of the biggest questionmarks for me. If there is a positive answer there, the Twins could be all right.

Having Parmalee and Plouffe show themselves as quality big league regulars would go a long way toward a solid dangerous lineup. I would like to think the starters could be at least big league average, as you suggest, but there are plenty of health questions with these guys.

The other thing I wonder about is Perkins. Bloggers seem to assume that he will be fine as a closer. I think it is a bit premature to assume that.

But I am excited to see how it will play out. The Twins are due for a bit good luck or perhaps not quite so much bad luck after 2 years of just about everything possible going wrong. I also feel there might be enough depth among the starters Ryan assembled to make it possible to withstand an injury or poor performance or 2.

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