Thursday, July 31, 2008

Livan on the edge

If I had more time or interest I would put together the lyrics of Livan On The Edge (set of course to Aerosmith's song Livin' On The Edge), but as it stands right now I don't have the time or interest. (Note: I do have the time and interst to pull a lot of stats). Anyway, I felt like I should get a quick post in about the state of the Minnesota Twins. I have had time to watch (both live and on tv) and analyze the Twins because right now is a down time for me as a sports fan. I don't really care about the Brett Favre news, Nascar, golf, or even really the National League. My sporting eyes and ears are focused only on the surprising Twins.

The focus on the Twins has brought its ups (11 games over 500, Morneau, Baker, Span, Casilla) and downs (Livan, Young, whoever is batting as the DH), but for this post lets focus on the management. It seems like the Twins management is trying to add a level of difficulty in winning the AL Central. It wasn't tough enough for them to try and win the division when everyone was picking them to finish 4th of 5th. It wasn't tough enough that they traded Santana, traded Garza and let Hunter go, while signing a reliever who most people thought wouldn't be used that much this year. Instead Twins management had to make it more difficult by bringing in Lamb, Everett, Livan, Gomez , Monroe, Harris and Young. Those signings/trades haven't worked out. Lets recap the hitters before getting to Livan Hernandez
  • Lamb - 220 at bats - .227 average, .261 On-base percentage (OBP), .305 slugging percentage (SLG).
  • Everett - 74 at bats - .189 average, .235 OBP, .324 SLG.
  • Gomez - 410 at bats - .256 average, .289 OBP, .354 SLG.
  • Monroe - 163 at bats - .202 average, .274 OBP, .405 SLG.
  • Harris - 330 at bats - .255 average, .311 OBP, .364 SLG
  • Young - 385 at bats - .291 average, .333 OBP, .392 SLG
  • TOTAL for those 6 players - 1582 at bats - .252 average, .296 OBP, .362 SLG

Those numbers might not mean anything to you, so lets do a comparison between those numbers and the Twins overall numbers and the average AL numbers:

  • TOTAL for those 6 players - 1582 at bats - .252 average, .296 OBP, .362 SLG
  • Twins Overall (including above) -3691 AB - .278 average, .335 OBP, .407 SLG.
  • Average AL Team Overall - 3687 AB - .265 average, .333 OBP, .414 SLG.

The 6 Twins offseason acquisitions have been much worse than the average player. In fact out of the 18 possible numbers (average, OBP and SLG) only one player (Delmon Young) or the six has one number (his batting average) higher than the average AL player.

The strange thing is that I am not as upset about those 6 players as I am with Livan Herndandez. There have been a few articles written about Livan's struggles. If you care check out Rob Neyer's insider piece or another Neyer article about how hard Livan is getting hit. Or just check out a replay of last night's game where Livan looked like he was throwing home run derby balls to the White Sox. The reason I am upset is that unlike the 6 players listed above there is an alternative to throwing out Livan every 5 days to pitch. The alternative just happens to be Francisco Liriano. Twins and baseball fans might remember him from 2006 when he went 12-3 with a 2.16ERA and 144 strikeouts in 121 innings. Anyway, he is dominating in Triple A and the Twins refuse to bring him up.

I guess I just don't understand what the Twins are trying to do. They are a 1.5 out of the division lead and they won't even put the best team on the field. They don't need to make a trade to get better (even though it would help). All they have to do is bench Livan and bring in Liriano (or anybody else).

I would like to think that after I convinced Kevin McHale to get Kevin Love instead of OJ Mayo (read the Hold the Mayo post I wrote before the draft), than I can convince Bill Smith to make the right move for the Twins.

1 comment:

Bethany V said...

You got your wish. They dropped Livan today and are calling up Liriano!