We are our only saviors: a Minnesota Twins preview

Good luck sleeping tonight. - Elsa

Remember when the Twins were good? That's not happening again this year. Or next.

Offense: Brian Dozier-2B, Joe Mauer-C, Josh Willingham-LF, Justin Morneau-1B, Ryan Doumit-DH, Trevor Plouffe-3B, Chris Parmelee-RF, Aaron Hicks-CF, Pedro Florimon-SS. Bench: Jamey Carroll-INF, Eduardo Escobar-INF, Oswaldo Arcia-OF, Wilkin Ramirez-OF.

The fact that Brian Dozier is batting leadoff really says everything that needs to be said about this offense. But I'm kind of obligated to write more. Because I care, that's why. I'm trying to find something that Dozier does well, but I'm not really finding anything. He's a passable second baseman? He has very little power and just isn't much of a hitter in general. So he'll hit three or four homeruns against us because yeah. Just under half the balls Joe Mauer has put into play so far this season have fallen for hits. Today is his 30th birthday. You are so very, very old. He's the same hitter he's always been (magical 2009 season excepted) but his days behind the plate are numbered.

Josh Willingham led the team with 35 homeruns last season, which was needed since they lost Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer. Willingham is one of the only power threats in the lineup and may just be the best overall hitter as well. Which is good, because he's awful in the field. It's a good thing the Twins have that claw machine they keep getting fast center fielders out of, because Willingham covers about as much ground as KenWo. New Justin Morneau still depresses the hell out of me. Justin still hasn't returned to being the hitter he was before the concussion, though he's managed to get back to being a somewhat above average hitter. He's just no longer hitting the ball as hard or drawing as many walks. He'll be a free agent after this season and it will be interesting to see where he winds up and what he'll get.

The soulless one known as Ryan Doumit hit well in his first season with Minnesota, posting a .332 wOBA. That's a fantastic number for a catcher, but Doumit only played 59 games as one last year. He mostly DHed and apparently played some left field, which I sincerely hope we get to see because it's a catcher playing left field and that sounds amazing (Carlton Fisk!). He'll hit somewhere in the teens for homeruns, making him just as powerful as the majority of this lineup. Trevor Plouffe on the other hand is the only non-Josh Willingham power threat. He somehow hit 24 homeruns last season, despite never showing that kind of power any season in the minors. The good news for us is that he's pretty bad at everything else. He draws an okay amount of walks and doesn't strike out at an awful rate, but he hits for a painfully low average and cannot play third base worth a tinker's damn.

Dear lord is this lineup depressing and I still have three more hitters to go. Chris Parmelee's only worthwhile tool is his ability to draw walks. This is a rebuilding team, yes, but this lineup is painfully full of people that really shouldn't be starting. I'm sure Mr. Parmelee is a great person (maybe not though, he might litter and fart in public), but he really doesn't belong in the majors as a starting right fielder and here I am now crapping on someone's dream. I'm mean. Aaron Hicks is the last man standing after the Great Minnesota Center Fielder Exodus this winter (no, I will not stop referring to it as such and you can't make me stop). This season has not been particularly kind to the young man, as he's only recorded two hits. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that he'll at least triple that number before season's end. He's very fast, has surprising power, and a great eye for drawing walks. Once he gets his feet wet, he should be the leadoff hitter. I mean, he actually has a future and all and Brian Dozier, well, now I'm being mean again. Pedro Florimon is somehow not a Latino Digimon, which enrages and saddens me. He is however a light-hitting shortstop, which is a favorite of all Minnesotans.

Pitching: Vance Worley-RHP, Kevin Correia-RHP, Mike Pelfrey-RHP, Pedro Hernandez-LHP, Scott Diamond-LHP, Glen Perkins-CL.

Oh god this rotation. This awful, awful rotation. Vance Worley might develop into a pretty good third starter but he is the ace of this rotation because Minnesota is paying the price for all those years of having Johan Santana and Brad Radke and not appreciating them like they should have. His strikeout rate should decline moving out of the National League, but he should give up fewer homeruns no longer pitching half his games in Philadelphia. The Vanimal (brief pause for vomiting) throws a four-seamer in the upper-80s/low-90s, a two-seamer, a slider, and a curveball. He's half Chinese, which other than his goggles is his most interesting fact. Kevin Correia's K/9 over the last two seasons is something like 4.6. 4.6! And the Twins gave him a two year deal this winter. Even for a groundball specialist, that is a terrible number. He has a four-seamer in the low-90s, a cutter, a slider, a curveball, and a changeup and none of them are particularly impressive.

Mike Pelfrey was no longer good enough to pitch for the Mets. Think about that. Much like Correia, he's a groundballer who cannot get strikeouts. This is the least interesting rotation ever. They're worse than watching paint dry because that at least results in a new coat of paint on your wall. Pelfrey's fastball continues to decline and now sits in the low-90s. He's recovering from Tommy John surgery and likes to lick his hands while he pitches because he apparently has no concept of germs. The giant also throws a cutter, a curveball, a slider, and a splitter. Our old friend Pedro Hernandez is somehow their fourth starter. I don't know how it's possible to have someone worse than him in your rotation, but dammit the Twins are teaching us that it's possible. I'm beginning to think they're an exercise in seeing how much pain Minnesotans will subject themselves to. The answer is plenty and they'll be polite about it. The lefty throws a fastball in the upper-80s, a changeup, a cutter, and a curveball.

Scott Diamond is exactly the same as the other three non-interesting pitchers in this rotation. I almost felt bad for the Twins but now that I've had to write about these players I feel nothing but ragehatespite. Why are they building a rotation of groundballers? They're defense isn't that good! IT MAKES NO SENSE! Diamond throws a four-seamer in the upper-80s, a curveball, and a changeup. Glen Perkins actually looks at his own pitch f/x data, which is pretty cool. He seems to be pretty happy with moving to the bullpen and it's obviously been good for his velocity. He's one of the only pitchers on this staff capable of striking people out, making him even more likeable. His four-seamer now sits in the mid-90s and he only mixes it with a slider.

Outlook: I do smile seeing the Twins at the bottom of the standings. The past two years have been ... exquisite. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ron Gardenhire get canned if (read: when) Minnesota finishes in the 60-69 wins range again this season. Sox win season series 12-7.


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