66-96, 5th in the AL Central
It was another dark year for the Minnesota Twins after spending much of the 2000s as the cost effective kings of the AL Central. They nearly missed losing 100 games and could easily be considered the worst team in the American League.
Joe Mauer did his part (5.0 WAR) and players like Josh Willingham (3.9), Denard Span (3.9), Ben Revere (3.4), and Jamey Carroll (2.4) helped along the way. The rest of the lineup was uninspiring, but serviceable for a non-contender.
But good gracious, the pitching was awful. Scott Diamond’s 2.6 was the only WAR above 1.3 for the entire staff. He was also the only pitcher to throw more than 110 innings. By WAR and FIP they were the worst collective staff in all of baseball. Starters and relievers alike were simply terrible.
The Twins are working on a makeover as they traded Span and Revere for prospects and have signed just about every scrap heap innings eater they can find to serve as stopgaps for 2013. They have some interesting position players coming through the system, but the pitching isn’t terribly exciting.
They should have a bit more reliability in the rotation in 2013 with Worley and his compatriots, but I can’t say they’ll be much better. This is a long road for the Twins to travel back to contention.
With the Tigers improving this offseason and the Royals and Indians making modest upgrades in the short term, it seems unlikely that the Twins will improve upon their 2012 showing.
2012 Grade: F
Early 2013 Projection: 65-97