This past off-season, Terry Ryan shelled out more dough than the Twins have ever spent before in free agency. There will be no summer lovin' with P.J. Walters this coming season, and no one is more sadden than Mrs. Walters.
@SethTweets 2 jerseys, PJs & my signed Mauer jersey. That's it. I can't be wearin twins apparel that just wouldn't be right.— Philip-Tonya Walters (@pwalters25) November 11, 2013
Nor would it be fair to let any team have PJ touch a baseball again. 72 times last season the Twins gave Twins Territory a real treat by sending out Walters, Vance Worley, Pedro Hernandez, Liam Hendriks, Scott Diamond, Cole De Vries, and Andrew Albers. Most of whom posted an ERA above 5.00, and some even above 6.00. The only one on that list that did not sink that low was Andrew Albers, but a 3.9 K/9 is not going to cut it in spite of being an Indy-Baller and you know how much I LOVE my Indy ballers.
The Twins posted the worst strikeout rate over nine innings last year. The additions of Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco, who single handily had 60% of the entire strikeouts the Twins rotation carousel posted last year, will generate those swings and misses that the Twins so desperately need. You can't stress enough how important it is when we're in the dog days of summer and Walters and friends are not getting yet another ill-fated go-around. Those strikeouts from Hughes and Nolasco add up, and are going to help the Twins win a few more games than they did a season ago.
Whether the Twins are actually contending or not by the end of the season, Rick Anderson finally has his hands on some players that actually have talent. If we've learned anything from TR and the Suits (Editors note: sounds like a lounge act) from 1 Twins Way over the last three abysmal seasons, it's that if the organization expects to compete then Gardy and his staff deserve to manage quality players. And no manager needed more talent coming into 2014 than pitching coach Rick Anderson.
One of Anderson's biggest challenges will be dealing with Phil Hughes, who said he suffered from insomnia during his last year in New York because he couldn't figure out when or how to throw a breaking ball without it getting smacked out the park. The comfy confines of Target Field will hopefully cure some of that, and whatever genius Anderson possesses should be hard at work, too. If he can tame the demons in Hughes, can find the best in Nolasco, and possibly get his first taste of Alex Meyer and Trevor May, it will be Anderson's opportunity to demonstrate to the organization (and the fans) that he is capable of coaching up players with potential.
If not then his true colors will show, and the Twitter trolls will troll, including this troll. Because it's been a while. Let's see what 2014 has in store.