All-Star Break Conventional Wisdom Player Ratings

Andy Marlin

With the All-Star Break here, it's time to look back at the Twins in the first half - as rated against the conventional wisdom.

Any person with a computer can give you a player-by-player rating for each player that's appeared for the Twins this year. Some might use letter grades, like this was eighth-grade chemistry; some might use ratings out of 10, as if we were pretentious doofuses on Pitchfork, rating albums that we didn't really listen to because we were busy arguing with somebody on the internet about the drum production on the second Rush album.

We here at Twinkie Town, however, aren't interested in objectively rating the Twins. We're going to rate them subjectively, by looking at whether the conventional wisdom for each player is up or down. Here we go:

Batters (in order of plate appearances)

Joe Mauer: UP. Played in more games and batted more times than any other Twin. On base more often than any AL hitter other than Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz. If you say he doesn't catch enough, he was 9th in the AL in innings caught. If you say he doesn't hit enough homers, he's tied for fourth on the team. If you say he's not worth the money, you are strangely worried about the Pohlads' pocketbook. If you say he strikes out too much, please slap yourself.

Justin Morneau: DOWN. It's nice that he's not terrible, but really he's in Lyle Overbay territory at this point at the plate, and while Lyle Overbay is a gentleman and a decent baseball player, there are a lot of Lyle Overbays around.

Ryan Doumit: DOWN. He hasn't really hit for about a month. Given his defensive deficiencies, he needs to get on base, and his OBP has been around .300 the whole year.

Brian Dozier: UP. Has hit for some power, has magically started to walk sometimes, and is no longer a candidate to boot every ground ball.

Josh Willingham: DOWN. No, Josh! You were supposed to be trade bait but you got injured again! Who could have seen this coming, except for the other 29 teams in MLB that did not sign you because you are often injured?

Chris Parmelee: MIDDLE. He's headed back to Triple-A, after earning a season's worth of plate appearances over parts of the last three years, during which time he's been worth about half a win above a replacement player, according to FanGraphs. That seems accurate.

Trevor Plouffe: MIDDLE. Similar to Parmelee, in that we're pretty sure what we're getting from him. Slightly better than average offensively, slightly worse than average defensively.

Aaron Hicks: UP. Okay, hear me out. Yes, he hit .197. But he also hit eight home runs and showed some pretty good defense in center field, and if you take out his 2-for-48 beginning, he's hitting nearly .240, which is fine for a 23-year-old who'd never played above Double-A. Having Hicks here was never about 2013, so as funny as the jokes are, they're also untrue.

Pedro Florimon: MIDDLE. Can field. Can't hit. We knew what we were getting here.

Oswaldo Arcia: UP. Remember that he is even younger than Hicks, which helps explain why he's struck out thirteen hundred times so far in July and is going back to Triple-A.

Jamey Carroll: DOWN. Nicest thing you can say is that he looks like he'll be good in the Old-Timer's games.

Eduardo Escobar: DOWN. The Twins said he needed to play every day, which is why they just sent him back to Triple-A, but if that was true, why did they give him nothing but a handful of plate appearances for the entire first half?

Clete Thomas: UP. Bad hitter, but at least he only struck out one out of every ten trips to the plate, instead of eleven out of ten.

Wilkin Ramirez: MIDDLE. First-half summary: Didn't play much. Got a brain injury. Quoted in the paper telling people he didn't know the months of the year in order. Here's hoping his brain heals.

Chris Hermann: UP. As the third catcher, is the most popular player on the team, according to Ron Gardenhire.

Chris Colabello: UP. Chris Colabello played in the major leagues. That's wonderful.

Darin Mastroianni: DOWN. But the Twins trainers insist he's fine to start running, so ignore your broken ankle, Darin!

Pitchers (in order of innings pitched):

Kevin Correia: MIDDLE. 110 innings of league average pitching, while failing to strike anyone out. Exactly as advertised.

Scott Diamond: DOWN. Genuinely awful this year. Kind of surprising he's still in the majors.

Mike Pelfrey: DOWN. Terrible, but at least he now admits that he wasn't ready to go at the beginning of the season. Way to kid yourself into hurting the team, Mike!

Samuel Deduno: UP. The best of the Twins' starters at the all-important task of making it difficult for opposing players to get hits.

Anthony Swarzak: UP. Not bad, especially given that his role is to pitch in disasters, of which there have been many.

Vance Worley: DOWN. Has responded to his demotion by being Rochester's third-, maybe fourth-best starter. If waived, might go unclaimed.

Ryan Pressly: UP. Nobody knew anything about the Rule 5 pickup, but he's been fine out of the bullpen. Also the winner of the Most Anonymous Twin award.

Jared Burton: DOWN. First he was great. Then he was awful. I'm really looking forward to the inevitable story about how he's been pitching with torn whatevers that the Twins medical staff diagnosed as housewives' knee.

P.J. Walters: DOWN. Here's hoping the Twins stop trying to make P.J. Walters happen. Why not give Cole De Vries or Liam Hendriks or Andrew Albers or any of the ten other Walters-esque pitchers at Triple-A a try?

Casey Fien: UP. Has basically been excellent for a calendar year now.

Josh Roenicke: UP. Has settled in as a decent seventh-inning option. If the Twins ever needed one, which they seldom do.

Pedro Hernandez: DOWN. See P.J. Walters.

Brian Duensing: DOWN. Now getting pounded equally by righties AND lefties, instead of just by righties.

Glen Perkins: UP. All-Star and second-most-popular Twin, which I admit I didn't see coming, back when he was filing grievances against the team.

Caleb Thielbar: UP. Ol' Meat Raffle has been great.

Kyle Gibson: MIDDLE. Three half-decent starts, one really awful one. Needs more time.

Liam Hendriks: MIDDLE. Did you even remember that he pitched twice this year?

Michael Tonkin: UP. What the heck, it's been a good four outs he's gotten so far.

Tyler Robertson: DOWN. We'll always remember fondly the time that Chris Davis ended his major-league career.

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