FanPost

Your 2008 MN Twins

So far, Bill Smith has done a great job at the wheel.  He went out and traded for Delmon Young, (traded a great Major League ready pitcher, but that is the price of great hitters) Brendan Harris, (traded our starting SS for him, but Harris has better power and about the same avg with a worse glove) Jason Pridie, (traded a mid-level prospect for this one which has not broken my heart), then he signed out of free agency Adam Everett (a gold glove SS who will more than replace Bartlett in the field but not at the plate) and Mike Lamb (our new starting 3B who I have been wanting for some time now).  

Bill Smith has lost in all of this:  Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, Eduardo Morlan, Torii Hunter, Carlos Silva, Jason Tyner, Lew Ford, Matt Lecroy, Luis Rodriguez, Chris Heintz, Josh Rabe, and Chris Basak.  The only good ones out of that bunch were: Torii Hunter, Carlos Silva, Matt Garza, and Jason Bartlett.  Bill Smith has revolutionized the Twins with new young talent along with veterans(Everett and Lamb) who have been in the Major Leagues for some time.  We lose L-Rod (no tears), Heintz (definately no tears), Rabe (no tears), Ford (no tears), Lecroy (teary eyed simply because he is a fan favorite), and Tyner (a few tears).  Adequately replacing those players will be Young, Pridie, Harris, Everett, and Lamb.

We lose a good starting pitcher in the trade with Tampa for Young, but last year did we lose more on account of our pitching or run support?  Silva lost three one run games to the ChiSox 3-2, 2-1, and 1-0 because our awful run producing team could not score.  If Hunter would have only signed a three year deal with us now, there would be no doubt in my mind that we would go to the AL Championship.  Now it appears that Johan Santana will not be traded and so are we going to give him a four year 25 million dollar contract with options or will we try to trade him at the All-star break?  My hope is for a four year contract, even though Santana wants 7 years 140 million dollar contract, my hope is that by offering him 25 million per year he will remain with the Twins.

Our rotation will consist of those pitchers who were considered in TR's mind as unproven and not ready for the pace of the Major league game.  If we retain Santana, I see our rotation shaping out like this:  Santana-Ace; Baker-#2; Liriano-#3 (by May); Slowey-#4; Perkins/Bonser/Blackburn-#5.  Not a bad rotation all things considered.  Santana can put up at least 16 wins again and now with our offense probably go back to 20-20+ Wins.  Baker can put up 12-15 wins; Liriano (if he returns as the 2006 man who we all loved to watch) can win 19-21 games; Slowey can win 11 games; Perkins/Boof/Blackburn can win 12 games between them I think.

Our Bullpen will trot out the same people as last year with Nathan-CL; Neshek-Setup; Guerrier - Setup; Bonser/Blackburn - Long man ; Perkins/Reyes - LH specialist; Rincon-will he still be around?  If I have forgot any of our great bullpen men, let me know...

In the field you have:
Morneau playing first-A D, A+ offense;
Harris playing second - D D, B offense;
Punto playing second - A+ D, D- O;
Casilla playing second - B+ D, B O;
Everett playing SS - A++ D, C- O;
Lamb playing 3B - B- D, A- O;
Cuddyer playing LF - A D, A+ arm, A O;
Pridie/? playing CF - ? D, ? arm, ? O;
Young playing RF - A D, A+ arm, A O;
Mauer catching - A+ D, A+ arm, A O;
Kubel DHing - A- D, B arm, A O;
Monroe DHing - B D, C+ arm, B+ O;
Redmond backup Catcher - A+ D, B+ arm, A O.

So if we have a starting field along the lines of this:
Morneau playing first-A D, A+ offense;
Harris playing second - D D, B offense;
Everett playing SS - A++ D, C- O;
Lamb playing 3B - B- D, A- O;
Cuddyer playing LF - A D, A+ arm, A O;
Pridie/? playing CF - ? D, ? arm, ? O;
Young playing RF - A D, A+ arm, A O;
Mauer catching - A+ D, A+ arm, A O;
Kubel DHing - A- D, B arm, A O;

Our Defense and Offense look pretty good from where I am sitting with those starting 9...

So, the Opening Day Lineup should look something like this:

Harris - 2B
Kubel - DH
Mauer - C
Young - RF/LF
Morneau- 1B
Cuddyer - LF/RF
Lamb - 3B
Everett - SS
Pridie - CF

Santana
Baker
Liriano
Slowey
Perkins/Boof/Blackburn

I dont know folks...that looks like a pretty good rotation and lineup that can compete in the AL Central...if we could only get Cameron or somebody who is proven in CF and with HR power, that would be a playoff contender.

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