For all the right reasons, the Twins have spent their off-season to date bringing in starting pitching. Nobody will argue that it's the best direction and the right direction to take. But for just one moment I want to digress from the pitching side and focus on the offense.
In 2012, with a good leadoff batter like Denard Span and a speedster like Ben Revere on the roster, Minnesota scored 701 runs for an average of 4.3 runs per game. While the offense last season wasn't the biggest factor in losing 96 games, scoring 4.3 runs per game was still 11th in the American League. After losing that leadoff hitter and the guy who was so fast he could do somersaults and still get a triple, if the offense, in its current form, is going to get better, then the Twins are stuck hoping for marked improvements from Chris Parmelee, Trevor Plouffe, and Justin Morneau, while hoping for repeats of performances from Josh Willingham, Joe Mauer, and Ryan Doumit. It also means that, in terms of defensive runs, we'd be expecting Parmelee and probably Darin Mastroianni to be as efficient as Span and Revere.
All of that just seems unlikely. Brandon spoke earlier today about how even marginal improvements to the pitching staff can make the team better; I'm concerned marginal improvements in the pitching staff could be negated by hoping the offense can be addressed by young and inexperienced internal options, and by less rangey defenders in center and right fields.
Which brings me to Cody Ross. Why Cody Ross? Walk with me through my reasoning.
- Chris Parmelee playing right field everyday doesn't do anything for me. I like the idea of handing him 500 plate appearances this season to see what he can do, but I'm nervous to see him cover right field for 1000 innings. I'd rather see the Twins continue to split his time between right field, first base, and designated hitter.
- Cody Ross isn't exactly Ben Revere, but he's logged 2500 innings in right field in his career. UZR/150, as imperfect as it is, has him up and down but overall in his career has him pegged as 1.6 runs above average. At least we know he won't hemorrhage runs.
- Cody Ross is right handed and likes to pull the ball. For power.
Pull Field, 2012