A look back at the season from the perspective of guys who are no longer with us, to see what kind of a team we could put together. The pitching isn't actually that bad, but I'm not sure how many runs this offense would score.
|Name||Pos||AB||AVG||OBP||SLG||HR||2B||SB||BB||K||2008 Team||With Twins|
|Doug Mientkiewicz||1B||285||.277||.374||.379||2||19||0||44||28||Pirates||'98 - '04|
|Christian Guzman||SS||579||.316||.345||.440||9||35||6||23||57||Nationals||'99 - '04|
|Torii Hunter||CF||551||.278||.344||.466||21||37||19||50||108||Angels||'97 - '07|
|David Ortiz||DH||416||.264||.369||.507||23||30||1||70||74||Red Sox||'97 - '02|
|Casey Blake||3B||536||.274||.345||.463||21||36||3||49||120||Indians/Dodgers||'00 - '02|
|A.J. Pierzynski||C||534||.281||.312||.416||13||31||1||19||71||White Sox||'98 - '03|
|Shannon Stewart||LF||175||.240||.325||.303||1||4||3||22||18||Blue Jays||'03 - '06|
|Luis Castillo||2B||298||.245||.355||.305||3||7||17||50||35||Mets||'06 - '07|
According to Baseball Musing's lineup analysis tool, this offense would score 4.836 runs per game...or about 783 runs over the course of a 162-game season. This tool also puts these guys into lineups that would score the most runs per game as well as the least; the interesting part of the highest-scoring offenses though is that all 30 of them have Mientkiewicz leading off, Stewart hitting third, Romoro hitting eighth and Casilla hitting ninth. I hit three of four in my own construction, but there's no way I'd be hitting old man Stewart in the three-hole. (The tool doesn't take anything but OBP and SLG into its calculations.)
As tothe players themselves, it was a rough year in the outfield for former Twins. Hell, I had to stretch on Romero, considering he never played a day with the major league club, but I had to pick him to start over Jacque Jones. With the exception of the bottom three guys it's not a horrible group, but before we get too excited the average age of this lineup is 31.4. Which doesn't sound too bad until you realize that Romero's age drops the average by more than a year. This is not a team built for long-term success. Or short term.
The Bench includes Javier Valentin (over Henry Blanco) as backup catcher (.256/.326/.411); Jason Bartlett as a pretty good insurance policy at short (.286/.329/.361); Augie Ojeda as the utility man (.242/.343/.299); and finally Jacque Jones as the backup outfielder (.147/.239/.207). I know it's horrible, but there really weren't any better options.
|Name||W-L||IP||ERA||Hits||HR||BB||K||2008 Team||With Twins|
|Johan Santana||16-7||234.1||2.53||206||23||63||206||Mets||'00 - '07|
|Kyle Lohse||15-6||200.0||3.78||211||18||49||119||Cardinals||'01 - '06|
|Matt Garza||11-9||184.2||3.70||170||19||59||128||Rays||'06 - '07|
|Mike Lincoln||2-5||70.1||4.48||66||10||24||57||Reds||'99 - '00|
|LaTroy Hawkins||3-1||62.0||3.92||53||3||22||48||Yankees/Astros||'95 - '03|
|Grant Balfour||6-2||58.1||1.54||28||3||24||82||Rays||'01 - 04|
|J.C. Romero||4-4||59.0||2.75||41||5||38||52||Phillies||'99 - '05|
With Rowland-Smith and Dickey, they really weren't even "in the minors" so much as we had them for a minute and them either let them go or gave them back. So once again I stretched to flesh out the bullpen and starter number 5, but it was those two or Carlos Silva and Sidney Ponson, and I felt better about stretching a few perameters to suit my own needs. Besides, doesn't this list look moderately better without Silva and Sidney? Exactly.
The front end of the bullpen is a bit shaky with Jones, Dickey and Lincoln, but once you get past those three the prospects improve a bit. Hawkins ended the year strong with Houston, Beimel's been a rock for the Dodgers, Romero had a great year and Balfour is touching the potential he always had. If those four guys were the meat of my 'pen I'd be happy, although I'm not sure who I'd have close. Not Hawkins; probably Balfour.
Here's the All Ex-Twins team from 2006; there are a few returning for this year's incarnation.