State Of The Union: What The Minnesota Twins Must Do To Compete in 2013
Friday December 14, 2012
Kyle Holland (MLB Reports intern): Follow @TheKHolland13
The last few years for the Minnesota Twins had been nothing more than atrocious. They have finished in last place in the AL Central both of the past two season finishing 63-99 and 66-96 respectively. The 2011 season was highly disappointing due to the fact the Twins finished first in 2010. They didn’t have Mauer for a good portion of 2011 due to injury so they were hoping for a strong comeback in 2012. He did not disappoint making the All-Star Game in 2012 and finished with one of the top Avgs in the American League. Justin Morneau played the majority of the season and is starting to come around offensively. While the team can’t count on him putting up AL MVP numbers again, he should be average amongst American League First Basemen.
So what exactly do the Twins need to do to get back to their success in the last decade prior to 2011? The simple answer to this question is pitching.
Their starting pitching last summer was less than average. They finished 29th in the majors in with a 5.40 ERA. Their 75 Losses were one-off of the league worst of 76 . Finally, they had the least amount of Strikeouts in the Majors with only 541. They cannot expect to win games with this terrible pitching that goes on all season long.
Even with this pitching, they do have some light at the end of the tunnel. Left-handed rookie Scott Diamond. Diamond has only pitched in 34 games, 27 of which were in 2012. He finished his 2012 campaign with a team leading 12 Wins and 9 Losses. He also led the team in ERA at 3.54. This kid is only 26 Years Old so he has a bright future ahead of him.
The Twins are without a doubt going to need to acquire free agent pitching. Some options include Kyle Lohse and Edwin Jackson. First let’s take a look at the former Twin. Lohse finished 2012 with a very impressive 16-3 record. That was along with his career best 2.86 ERA. He was arguably the ace on a St. Louis Cardinals team that was one win away from the World Series.
The next pitcher the Twins should take a look at is right-handed starter Jackson. He didn’t have his best year in 2012 finishing at 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA. He had indeed proved he can pitch with the best of them the last few years, including an All-Star Game appearance in 2010. He doesn’t look like he will be resigning with Washington, so the Twins should seriously consider making a bid for the guy.
Right now the Twins starting rotation is going to consist of a lot of rookies. Diamond will be solid, but the other two: Liam Hendriks and Cole De Vries don’t have much Major League experience. Combined, these pitchers only have 70 big league starts, 34 of them coming from Diamond alone. Hendriks hasn’t done anything good in the Majors with a career record of 1-10 in 20 starts. De Vries has started 16 games and has a 5-5 record with a 4.11 ERA. The Twins will be looking at the same type of season as last year if they don’t add some more pitchers.
One of the Twins top prospects, Kyle Gibson will unlikely be available in 2013. He is recovering from Tommy John surgery so he will be a long shot. He may be available at some point but the team can’t bank on him
The Twins definitely have potential in 2013 to be a good team but the front office will need to make some serious decisions. Whether it be trades to acquire some pitching or just dipping into the Free Agent pool pitching–is the number one necessity. It will be tough in the same division as the Indians, who just acquired Trevor Bauer, and the Royals who are looking to have their best year in a while next year, but doable. This offseason is going to be a big one for the Twins if they want to make a push next year and more years to come.
(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)
Welcome to our newest Baseball Intern: Kyle Holland:
Kyle is a life long baseball fan outside of Boston. He is a sophomore in high school has played baseball since he was 5. Although growing up in one of the best baseball towns in the major leagues, he has been a Giants fan since 2009. He credits his aunt with the Giants being his favorite team as she lives in San Francisco. Some of his favorite players include Buster Posey, Stephen Drew, Trevor Bauer, Stephen Strasburg, and minor leaguer Danny Hultzen. You can find Kyle on Twitter Follow @TheKHolland13.
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Posted on December 14, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2012-13 offseason, @TheKholland13 on twitter, al central, American league, cleveland indians, Cole De Vries, edwin jackson, joe mauer, justin morneau, kansas city royals, Kyle Gobson, kyle lohse, liam hendriks, minnesota twins, scott diamond, tommy john, trevor bauer. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.