There is a heads for every tails, yin for every yang, a good prediction for every bad prediction. I decided to take another stab at predictions for the Minnesota Twins’ 2013 season. Some predictions are positive while others are not. I have little to no proof for any of these, but I do have strong rationale. Really, isn’t that all we are really looking for? Let’s predict!
Good News – Josh Willingham will not be traded in 2013
I blindly feel that Josh Willingham will stay healthy in 2013 and put up a reasonably similar season compared with his 2012. However, I do not think that means the Twins will trade Willingham, especially considering he has another year remaining on his contract. I have remained consistent in my thinking that 2014 will be the year when things really start to turn around for the Twins. I think the Front Office sees things the same way and will opt to keep Willingham for that turnaround season. If nothing else, they would still have another full season to make a deal.
Bad News – Justin Morneau will be traded in 2013
However, I don’t see Morneau remaining in Minnesota for the whole season. Part of the reason I feel this way is that I believe Morneau will have a bounce-back season in 2013. His value will be high enough that the team will need to test the market. With so many teams in contention, due to the additional Wild Cards, I see Morneau being an attractive trade target. If the Twins can get a “B” level prospect for Morneau, they have to consider it. This is especially true when considering that Chris Parmelee could slide to first and the Twins could call up Oswaldo Arcia to play outfield.
I have high hopes for these pitchers. Worley was effective prior to last season, but dealt with injuries. Pelfrey has had effective seasons of his own, although nothing quite as impressive as Worley’s 2011. I feel that these two pitchers will represent the “good” part of the Twins off-season. I think each pitcher pays off long term, as Worley should help the Twins for a few years, while Pelfrey might fetch a low-A prospect in a mid-season trade.
I don’t hold out much hope for Correia and Harden. I don’t want to pile on Correia. I really don’t. I hope he gives the team a lot of innings. I just worry they won’t be good innings. As for Harden, he just deals with too many injuries. He has crazy talent and could have been a star, but he can’t stay healthy and I have a hard time believing that 2013 will be any different for him.
As far as late-inning relievers go, I think Perkins and Burton are extremely good values. Both have great talent and both are signed to a reasonable contract. I am not a huge fan of the “closer role” because I think that certain players are overpaid because they can close games. However, both of these players can close out games and aren’t overpaid when doing that job.
Bad News – The rest of the bullpen will struggle
I’m not predicting much success from the rest of the bullpen. I think that Brian Duensing is a fine pitcher. He is getting older though, and I think expectations are a bit high. I don’t consider him a shut-down lefty specialist and he can’t really get right-handed batters out. Casey Fien is pretty good and Tyler Robertson has talent. The bullpen might be needed a lot this season, and I don’t see a lot of quality arms. However, the talent pool on the way to Minnesota is deep, and some of the college arms selected in the last couple drafts could be ready very soon.
Obviously, Aaron Hicks will make his debut on Opening Day. I believe Hicks is in Minnesota to stay and I do not foresee him being sent out to AAA at any point in the remainder of his career. Kyle Gibson needs to work out some rust, but should be up in Minnesota by mid-season. Oswaldo Arcia shouldn’t spend much time in Rochester either. His bat might be ready right now, but the extra time in AAA will help his overall development. I anticipate his debut around the trade deadline, coinciding with the Morneau trade.
These three prospects are probably the next wave, but I expect that wave to hit in 2014. Injuries would be the only reason to rush Meyer or May to Minnesota in 2013. If many starters go down, one or both might be worth a look over say, P.J. Walters. However, two straight seasons of crazy injuries seems very unlikely. Eddie Rosario had a good camp before leaving for the World Baseball Classic. This seemed to accelerate his timetable in the eyes of some fans. I bet he’ll be here in 2014, but not any sooner.
Good News – Joe Mauer will win his second consecutive OBP title
I love Joe Mauer. I don’t hide that. He is great at not making outs. He’ll win his third overall OBP crown this season. His approach is amazing. He waits for his pitch and he has no problem watching a strike that he can’t handle. He fouls off pitches when he needs to and he doesn’t pop up much (read more here). His approach leads to a lot of walks, a lot of singles and a lot of doubles. If you add that all up, he’ll lead the league in OBP once more.
Bad News – Joe Mauer will not win his fourth batting title
I really want him to though! I just can’t predict that he will win both. He is probably the best pure hitter in baseball, but one crown is enough. However, I do hope that one day we give the OBP winner as much esteem as we give the batting champ. I know the batting title was more important in a historical sense, but now that we know how important OBP is, we should at least equate the two marks. When Mauer wins his third OBP title this season, he’ll have three of each. I love symmetry, so I’ll predict that he wins both next season, when each equal four.
What do you think of my predictions? Which do you agree with and which do you disagree with? Please share your thoughts and your own predictions in the comments below. Don’t be shy, we love you unconditionally.