Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The k-bro Twins Post-season Awards

As the Twins wrap up another disappointing season, it would be easy to just throw up my hands in a snit and curse them all. But Twins baseball is still better than no baseball. For all the complaining I've done about pitching and leaving men on base, I want to spend a blog post focusing on the good things these players did this season. So, for what it's worth, I'll present the k-bro baseball blog 2012 Twins Awards. Put on your fancy-dancy duds and let's have an awards show.

Twins Pitcher of the Year Award (if the League award is the "Cy Young Award", what is the Twins' version? The "Bert Blyleven Award"? The "Jim Kaat Award"? I vote for the "Brad Radke Award", but then, I would...)

This one should be pretty easy. It's pretty telling that every member of presumed starting rotation when Spring Training started -- Scott Baker, Carl Pavano, Nick Blackburn, Jason Marquis, and Francisco Liriano -- failed make it to September as a member of the Twins 40-man roster. So the Twins were forced to cobble together a rotation of not-ready-for-primetime players. Only one man showed anything resembling consistency and demonstrated that he can stay healthy. Congratulations to Scott Diamond.

Twins Rookie of the Year Award
Normally, I'm not a fan of giving one guy more than one award. I like to spread the love. Unless, of course, that one guy is really special. Not only did Scott Diamond provide stability in a sea of inexperienced pitching, he also gave fans some hope for the future. He didn't fade toward the end of the season which indicates to me that he'll only get better.

Twins Most Impressive Newbie
In his first off-season back in the GM chair, Terry Ryan made a number of impressive free-agent signings (well, except for that whole Jason Marquis thing). Jared Burton, Jamey Carroll, Ryan Doumit, and Josh Willingham have all exceeded my expectations for them when they signed. As upset as I was that the Twins did not re-sign Joe Nathan and Michael Cuddyer, this group helped me move on. But I'm especially having fun with having a legitimate right-handed home run threat. Congratulations to Josh Willingham...and his boom stick.

Twins Most Valuable Player
The definition of the term "valuable" has been hotly contested all over the papers, airwaves, and internet this season. Some regard hitting a lot of home runs and driving in a lot of runs as valuable. I tend to look at a player's all-around game. I believe defense and getting on base provide just as much value as the other things. Therefore, Joe Mauer is my enthusiastic choice. Denard Span did have a better WAR (wins above replacement) stat, but that's because he provided a lot of defensive value at center field with good, but not great, offensive value. However, I think Mauer's overall value was much better, and his offensive numbers were fantastic. Plus, he had to handle a struggling pitching staff. I never really understood the fans who booed him this season; what more do these people want?


Make Up Paper Doll
I have been remiss. The Twins made a DL move, and I didn't even notice. In my defense, I don't understand why they bothered to use the DL because they didn't call anyone up to fill the roster spot. But anyway...
On September 14, the Twins placed pitcher Cole De Vries on the disabled list, retroactive to September 9, with a cracked rib. A line drive off the bat of Cleveland Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera got De Vries right in the gut. He stayed in the game, and pitched well, but admitted he was pretty sore. Initial x-rays were negative, but a subsequent MRI revealed the crack.

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