We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2012 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2012 Twins Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Aaron Gleeman from his eponymous Minnesota Twins Blog.
1) I have Scott Baker down for 2012 projections of 11-7/3.65/1.19/160. How’s that sound to you?
Sounds about right. Baker’s performance is never really a question, as he’s basically been a solid second or third starter with great K/BB ratios for the past five seasons, so it’s just a matter of him staying healthy. Or at least relatively healthy. He’s only topped 180 innings once and is coming off an elbow injury. He should provide good value in most drafts.
2) Well, the Tsuyoshi Nishioka experiment turned out about as well Jeff Goldblum’s teleporting pods. Any chance for some redemption in 2012 for Nishioka?
I doubt it. He’ll have to fight just to make the Opening Day roster as a utility man behind middle infield starters Jamey Carroll and Alexi Casilla. In addition to an inept bat Nishioka also showed that he isn’t as fast or as good a base-stealer as the reports from Japan suggested, so even if he were to somehow work his way into the lineup regularly there just isn’t much fantasy upside.
3) Everyone’s favorite game (or maybe just mine)…. The Over/Under Game! Justin Morneau — 100 games? 25 homers? 85 RBIs?
I’d take the under. Morneau’s concussion status has gotten most of the attention, but he’s also coming back from neck, knee, foot, and wrist surgeries. He hasn’t been healthy and effective since mid-2010, so even if you feel like betting on him staying in the lineup that’s an awful lot of time off to pick up right where he was.
4) Francisco Liriano seemed profoundly lucky last year… Cause I know at least a thousand or so fantasy baseballers that would’ve liked to kill him. Can Liriano regain his pre-surgery form this year?
His pre-surgery form? Definitely not. He simply doesn’t have that type of velocity or raw stuff since having elbow surgery. I think he’s absolutely capable of being closer to the 2010 version than the 2011 version, but he has to make significant strides with his command. I’d certainly take Liriano if he fell to me late in a draft, but there are better high-upside risks to take.
5) What is the best slogan for the 2012 Minnesota Twins?
A) A Healthy Mauer Has Doubles Power!
B) Justin Morneau is Concussin’ No Mo’
C) The Plouffe Is In the Pudding
D) Target Field – Too Big For Our Hitters, Too Small For Our Pitchers
I’m hoping it’s A, because a healthy, doubles-hitting Mauer is one of the best all-around players in baseball and his getting back on track is without question the biggest key for the Twins long term.