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Wednesday, July 09, 2003
al central idiocy (again)
rob neyer wrote a column about the stupidity of the twins. his basic points are (1) they should have been starting johan santana all season, and (2) they should have traded some of their excess of hitting talent for some middle infielders. is he right? yes, but he didn't go far enough. the twins are even dumber than he says.

first off, let's evaluate the starting pitching:

brad radke .046 .867 .221
kenny rogers .060 .850 .126
kyle lohse .064 .808 .212
rick reed .056 .872 .177
joe mays .072 .905 .215

these guys are basically clones of each other. apparently the twins think if you throw hard you can't be a starter. but joe mays is the worst. he doesn't belong in the major leagues.

johan santana .094 .692 .168

what is the problem here? it's not like he can't start. as rob pointed out, he dominated in that role last year. it must really be that he throws too hard.

the twins think they need him in the pen. but they don't:

eddie guardado .049 .774 .236
latroy hawkins .056 .690 .164

true, those are the only 2 guys they got, but they could fill out their staff somehow. the hard part's done.

hawkins, btw, has been lights out. but guardado's the all-star. it's because he pitches in the clutch. that was sarcasm.

so that's pitching. what about position players?

luis rivas .071 .863 .114
christian guzman .032 .863 .106

rob says they suck, and he's right. but they're young (23 and 25), and while they may not develop patience, they will develop enough power to be useful. i say keep 'em, if they can play their positions. can they? guzman was 22 runs above replacement last year. for a shortstop, that's below average, but acceptable. and he should improve.

rivas, on the other hand, was only 7 above replacement last year, and 14 below the year before. that's a killer. he may never make it, and he certainly shouldn't be starting now.

so rob was right on rivas, and half-right on guzman. maybe the solution is to put guzman at second. how good is his arm? does anybody know?

now for the hitters:

bobby kielty .146 .757 .238
dustan mohr .077 .709 .230
matthew lecroy .042 .781 .288
justin morneau .055 .739 .216
michael cuddyer .110 .781 .211
todd sears .115 .759 .195
mike restovich .093 .746 .241 (AAA)

the twins are also prejudiced against patience. their best hitter is bobby kielty, and he's been jerked around like a scrub. their next three best (cuddyer, sears, restovich) are all in the minors. mohr and lecroy (and sears) are average players in their prime (age 27). they are in the middle of a 2--3 year window of usefulness. they should be traded while they still have value, perhaps for a middle infielder.

the real value here is morneau, cuddyer, and restovich. all can hit in the bigs, and at 22, 24, and 24, all have a chance to be stars. where do they grow these kids?


a j pierzinski .041 .895 .201
joe mauer .093 .897 .086 (A)

pierzinski is the best catcher no one's heard about. but the twins should trade him at the end of the season because (1) he's at the peak of his value, and (2) mauer will be ready. the kid is 20, but he don't care. the trade is not likely though, considering their history . . .

corey koskie .130 .773 .264
doug mientkiewicz .080 .876 .202
torii hunter .093 .820 .220
jaque jones .023 .790 .215

ok corey koskie is quality. but the other three are all overpaid. the twins could have saved the dollars they threw at hunter, put kielty in center (trading defense for offense), and spent the cash on improvements elsewhere. jones and mientkiewicz are just crap. and as we saw above, easily replaceable. this is the real tragedy . . . spending lots of money on players of little value. and it's not like they have it to throw around.

rob got it right: they know how to develop, but they don't know how to win.
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