All Ex-Twins Team, 2013

Joe Robbins

This marks Twinkie Town's sixth All-Ex Twins team since 2006. 2007 and 2012 didn't happen, for whatever reason. We could probably do those in retrospect.

This year's edition of the All-Ex Twins team had three pretty easy areas, and then one more difficult area. Finding enough bodies not just for the infield but also finding a warm body for the bench infielder was interesting, and let's just say we weren't too far off from putting Cuddyer at second and letting Matt Carson onto the bench.

With that in mind, let me take you through a bunch of names that you probably wish were still on the roster.

Starting Rotation

Player GS IP ERA WHIP K/9 With Twins
Francisco Liriano 26 161.0 3.02 1.22 9.1 2005 - 2012
Matt Garza 24 155.1 3.82 1.24 7.9 2006 - 2007
R.A. Dickey 34 224.2 4.21 1.24 7.1 2009
Kyle Lohse 32 198.2 3.35 1.17 5.7 2001 - 2006
Jason Marquis 20 117.2 4.05 1.52 5.5 2012


There were years where I was forced to put Lohse on this roster simply for a lack of other options. In this case, I could have gone with Scott Baker or Philip Humber or even Kevin Slowey, but those choices seemed disingenuous. Lohse earned the distinction this time around, because he had a good season. Marquis also had a surprisingly good season, even if he allows way too many base runners. Considering how he pitched with the Twins last season I'm surprised the Padres gave him any kind of opportunity at all.

On the whole, this isn't a bad starting rotation. The two best guys, Liriano and Garza, aren't 200-inning pitchers, but they don't have to be. Dickey and Lohse are right there, and the Twins would kill to have this rotation's top four.

Bullpen

Player G IP ERA WHIP K/9 With Twins
Joe Nathan 67 64.2 1.39 0.90 10.2 2004 - 2011
Grant Balfour 65 62.2 2.59 1.20 10.3 2001 - 2005
Jesse Crain 38 36.2 0.74 1.15 11.3 2004 - 2010
Jose Mijares 60 49.0 4.22 1.78 9.9 2008 - 2011
LaTroy Hawkins 72 70.2 2.93 1.15 7.0 1995 - 2003
Craig Breslow 61 59.2 1.81 1.12 5.0 2008 - 2009
Pat Neshek 45 40.1 3.35 1.36 6.5 2006 - 2010


This is a kick-ass bullpen. Seeing Nathan, Balfour and even Crain at the top of this list just shows what kind of talent has come through the Minnesota relief corps over the years, and Hawkins just continues to defy time and possibly physics. He's approaching the status of a living legend, partially because in no way did anybody expect him to pitch through his 20s when he first started with the Twins...much less be pitching and pitching well at 40.

Bench

Player G PA HR SB AVG OBP SLG With Twins
Garrett Jones (IF/OF) 144 440 15 2 .233 .289 .419 2007
Danny Valencia (IF) 52 170 8 0 .304 .335 .553 2010 - 2012
Denard Span (OF) 153 662 4 20 .279 .327 .380 2008 - 2012
A.J. Pierzynski (C) 134 529 17 1 .272 .297 .425 1998 - 2003


A big weakness on this team is the depth up the middle, and the infield as a whole. I really didn't want to put Valencia on the team, but I couldn't justify giving Jason Kubel his spot with how weak that infield would be without him. You'll see that two of our starting infielders have some real versatility in terms of how many positions they play, so adding a guy like Valencia makes moving things around a bit easier.

I know, I know - it's a fake team. But I still tried to construct the best one I could. And I love that Pierzyski is still good enough to be on this team.

Starting Lineup

Player G PA HR SB AVG OBP SLG With Twins
Ben Revere (LF) 88 336 0 22 .305 .338 .352 2010 - 2012
Carlos Gomez (CF) 147 590 24 40 .284 .338 .506 2007 - 2009
Michael Cuddyer (1B) 130 540 20 10 .331 .389 .530 2001 - 2011
David Ortiz (DH) 137 600 30 4 .309 .395 .564 1997 - 2002
Wilson Ramos (C) 78 303 16 0 .272 .307 .470 2010
Torii Hunter (RF) 144 652 17 3 .304 .334 .465 1997 - 2007
J.J. Hardy (SS) 159 644 27 2 .263 .306 .433 2010
Alexi Casilla (2B) 62 125 1 9 .214 .268 .295 2006 - 2012
Nick Punto (3B) 116 335 2 3 .255 .328 .327 2004 - 2010

With the exception of the catcher position, second base, and maybe even third, this team is once again better than the one we watched play 162 games this season. And it's not particularly close. This lineup, according to Baseball Musings' Lineup tool, would score 5.118 runs per game - or 829 runs in a season. That's going to lead to a pretty good team.

Conclusions


This might be the best All-Ex Twins team to date. A combination of older players who are still productive, and a recent influx of good, slightly younger players, has made this year's roster fairly easy to flesh out. How do you think this team would do?

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