Twins Building A Contender For 2012

The Minnesota Twins have continued their busy off-season by signing three more players according to MLB Trade Rumors. Included in the three today were ex-Tigers pitcher Casey Fein, along with other minor leaguers Jason Bulger and Aaron Bates. Look out Tigers fans! The 2012 version of the Minnesota Twins is looking to mean business. Add these three players to the recently signed Jason Marquis, and the Twins could be making their way back to the top of the Central before we know it.

If you detected the sarcasm in the above paragraph, good for you. If not, let me just say, I think it is officially time for us as Tigers fans to start making fun of the rival Twins and not be worried about it biting us in the butt. The only thing the Twinkies are building a contender for is their AAA affiliate the Rochester Red Wings. It appears that they should be loaded for the 2012 seasons and could dominate the International League this summer. Along with the three gentleman above, the Twins have signed at least 14 other minor league free agents to contracts.

Talk about throwing a pile of crap against the wall and hoping some of it sticks!

The reality of it is, that pile of excrement is more likely to slide than stick.

The Twins have long been the beast of the A.L. Central until 2011, when they found themselves in the cellar in the division, and darn near in all of baseball. A lot of that could be explained off to injury, but not all of it. Minnesota was decimated by their attraction to the D.L in 2011, especially to their key players Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. But they also had injuries with guys like Denard Span, Delmon Young, and Jason Kubel. Joe Nathan was ineffective coming off of Tommy John surgery and they had a pretty terrible Francisco Liriano toeing the slab as well. In fact, the only guys that seemed to make it to the every day lineup were Michael Cuddyer and Danny Valencia.

Their pitching and their lack of stuff finally caught up with them. You don’t like strikeouts? Watch the Twins. Full of a staff of guys that can’t break glass with their fastball, and can barely break wind as well, the Twins pitching staff was very much of the foul smelling variety. The only guy to make over 30 starts for them last season was Carl Pavano. Pavano is quite possibly the most pedestrian “ace” of a pitching staff in baseball. He finished with an ERA of 4.30 and K rate of 4.1/9. Yeah, I had to check if that was real too. With Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker (their best pitcher), Brian Duensing and Francisco Liriano as part of the rotation, I don’t think the Twins are scaring their Central Division foes.

But if you think their starting rotation has questions, just look at the bullpen. Lefty Glen Perkins had a strong 2011 for the Twins, and looks like he might have to be their closer in 2012. Besides him, the Twins could have about 4 of those minor league free agents filling out their pen in 2012. Jason Bulger could potentially step in and be their set-up man right away. Man, that makes me LOL as the kids say these days.

It’s not like the Twins made moves that have much potential to make them better. The free agents they have signed are going to be hard-pressed to replace the production of the guys that left in Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel. Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit are stepping into their places, and hopefully for Minnesota fans, they can help the Twins maintain their 2011 mark of 63 wins. SS looks like it will be manned by Jamey Carroll, after their Japanese import from last season Nishioka fell flat on his face.

Am I the only one that doesn’t find these moves intimidating at all?

Of course not, I am just probably the only guy right now wanting to be a jerk and say the Twins stink. It looks like to me, the Twins are clearly going to be terrible again in 2012, and if the Twins’ fans should want to watch a contender, they are going to have to travel to Rochester.

The only thing that is going to salvage a season for the Twins is if their star players can play a full slate of games in 2012. But what is the likelihood of that considering they haven’t done so in a couple of years? And even if they do, that pitching is still likely to get beat up, especially the bullpen.

It’s time that Tigers fans don’t miss this opportunity. The Twins have been kicking us around for years, and now it is our turn to return the favor.

Good luck Minnesota. With the looks of it, you are going to need it.

 

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Tags: Casey Fein Detroit Tigers Jason Bulger Jason Marquis Josh Willingham Minnesota Twins Wilkin Ramirez

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