Twins or sox you decide

Jake Peavy White Sox My Co-author and I have a dispute on who will win the AL Central division. So I have decided to put a little research into it and post a position by position comparison. I’m going to leave out bull pens for the sake of brevity and focus on position players and starting rotations.

Catchers

Twins- Joe Mauer- A+  This one is a no brainer Joe is the reigning MVP and is almost not human. He is easily the best player in the game in my book. Last season he hit .365 and in five short years has three silver sluggers, two gold gloves and an MVP.

Sox- AJ PierzynskiB+  Aj is no spring chicken at 33 but he’s not old either. He batted .300 last year and is known for his physical not afraid to get dirty kind of play. He doesn’t hit for as much power as Mauer but he holds a career .995 fielding percentage and hits for average.

Advantage Twins

First Base

Twins- Justin Morneau – A- Morneau is a good all around player. Plays a good defense at first base and hits with power. He has been a little fragile for a 28 year old and missed the final three weeks of 2009 with a fractured back. If he is completely healthy which appears to be the case he should repeat his .275 ave 30 Hr in 2010.

Sox- Paul Konerko – A  Paul has a little more pop in his bat than Mourneau and in 12 years of play has only 60 errors in the field for a .995 fielding percentage. He has hit 30 or more HR six times in his career and brings leadership and the ability to play third base and left field as well.

Advantage Sox

Second base

Twins- Nick Punto  C+ Nick is not a hitter, or I should say not a very good one . Puto has a total of 12 HR in eight seasons in the MLB. What Punto does offer is a good glove and flexibility to play 2nd, ss, 3rd and all three outfield positions. Punto would make a good bench guy with his career .248 batting average.

Sox- Gordon Beckham B- Beckham had a not so great year as a rookie with the glove committing 14 errors last season. But hitting 14 HR and 63 RBI in 103 games and batting .307 against left handed pitching is certainly an accomplishment for a 23 year old rookie. I expect his first year jitters with the glove to subside and him to be a solid second baseman in 2010.

Advantage Sox

Short Stop

Twins- J.J. Hardy   C+ Another not so good with the bat player for the twins. He holds a career average of .262 which isn’t horrible, but seemed to suck last year with only 11 HR compared to being in the 20’s the two previous years.

Sox – Alexei Ramirez  C+  Another Young  who had a pretty good year with the Bat  posting a .277 average and hit .370 against lefties. (that’s not a misprint) He has decent power too having amassed 21 HR over the past two seasons. He had a rough year with the glove commiting 20 Errors but can play short and second.

Advantage  None

Third Base

Twins- Brendan Harris  C Are you sensing a pattern here? Good with the glove bad with the Bat Harris fits this same category hitting .261 in the hot corner last season with six home runs.

Sox- Mark Teahen  B    Although not a power hitter he hits for average with a little more pop than Harris. Teahen  also has a decent glove and wont embarrass himself in 2010. He should hit a bit closer to .300 with 15-20 HR this year

Advantage   Sox

So far we have learned that The twins have better gloves and the Sox have better bats. as we evaluate the outfielders lets just look at the bats as fielding becomes less of an issue in the big grass.

Center Field

Twins- Denard Span   A-  Span does what a CFer is supposed to do. Hits for average and has speed. .300 average 23 stolen bases in his rookie season. Not much in the line of power but only one season to show for it .

Sox- Alex Rios  A     Rios is due for a big year. This former Blue Jay has tons of talent and hits near .300 and 15-20 HR almost every year. He is also no slouch on the basepads with 24 stolen bases in 2009.

Advantage Sox

Left Field

Twins – Jason Kubel  A-   A young power hitter that had a breakout season last year with 28 HR 103 RBI and a .300 BA  Who could ask for anything more from a power hitting corner.

Sox-  Juan Piarre  B+ No power but hits .300 every year and steals 20-30 bases with ease. A decent fielder but doesn’t get alot of RBI’s

Advantage Twins

Right Field

Twins – Michael Cuddyer   A    Mike is another power hitting corner outfielder for the Twins last season he hit 32 HR and 94 RBI with an average of .276

Sox -  Carlos Quentin   A  Had limited play in 2009 due to injury but in 2008 hit 36 HR and 100RBI with a .288 BA  IF Quintin can repeat this performance the Sox will definitely win this category but for now its a draw.

Advantage   None

So what have we learned: The Twins have better gloves and the Sox have better bats, in the infield. The outfield I think we can pretty much call a draw at this point so what it is going to come down to is the starting rotations. Why? Because pitching wins championships friends. Lets start :

Twins Rotation .

1. Scott Baker  ERA 4.37 Record 15-9  Better record than he should have with an ERA over four. Scott gave up 28 HR in 200 innings, not good.  B

2. Kevin Slowey ERA 4.86 Record 10-3 Also terrible ERA. Slowey spends to much time hurt and only had 90 innings last season. In those 90 innings he gave up 113 Hits, also not good. B-

3. Carl Pavano  ERA 5.10  Record 14-12 in 199 innings he gave up 235 hits. Well at least he didnt spend the whole year on the DL. Gotta go with awful  C-

4. Nick Blackburn  ERA 4.03 Record 11-11 205 innings with 240 hits. also gave up 28 HR and allowed the leauge to bat .290 against him. Better than Pavano but still not good.  B-

5 Francisco Liriano  ERA 5.80 Record 5-13  To be fair to Liriano he has been battleing injuries for the better part of two seasons. But he only has one winning season to show for his world of talent. Until he can show what he did back in 2006 when he went 12-3 he is just not dependable.  C-

White Sox Rotation

1 Jake Peavy-  ERA 3.45 Record 9-6 most of 2009 he was injured so these numbers really dont mean anything. Peavy is 100% healthy and we have no reason to expect that he wont return to his usual form which is double didget wins an ERA under 3 and a trip to the all star game.  A-

2.Mark Buehrle  ERA 3.84 Record 13-10 Mark is a workhorse he has pitched 200 or more innings in nine straight seasons and is only 30 years old . He gives up to many homers but has a winning record in eight of his nine seasons. B+

3. John Danks  ERA 3.77 Record 13-11. John is actually better than his win loss numbers look. In 200 innings last year he only gave up 184 hits and struck out 149 batters. All I can say is UNDERRATED A

4. Gavin Floyd  ERA 4.06 Record 11-11  Gavin is a good guy to have as a number four starter he went 193 innings only giving up 178 hits and struck out 163 batters. He like Buehrle gives up to many home runs but at 27 I would take him in my rotation. B+

5. Freddie Garcia – ERA 4.34 Record 3-4  Freddie is the White Sox re-hab case he has been perpetually injured sense 2006. Will he return to his 200 innings a year 17 win form? I don’t know. It seems though the reward is greater than the risk as a number five starter. C

What have we learned today folks? The White Sox clearly have better pitching than the Twins. So Mr Genevosey I will be expecting your text message any time now admitting to me how I was right and the White Sox are clearly a better team than the young , but talented, Twins.

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