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3/4/14

Twins 2014 Locks, Spring Training Battles and the first Battle Dashboards

As in the past few years I will use dashboards to keep track of the performance of the Twins' players during Spring Training in order to get a numerical and visual representation of who is doing what, of the players who are battling for a position on the 40-man roster.  With few games in and the first cuts coming early next week, it might be a good time for the first one of these.

To determine that, we need to figure out who are the "locks" to come up North with the Twins. 

As far as position players go, Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe, and Josh Willingham are locks for starting positions.  Kurt Suzuki is also a lock to make the 25-man roster, but not a lock to start, so he is included in the list.   A lot of people might think that Pedro Florimon might also be a lock, but I think that he has to work to make it up North. 

The major Spring Battles for position players are:  The starting and backup catcher jobs, the starting SS job, the starting DH job, two of the starting OFs, and bench positions. 

As far as the rotation goes, Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey are locks.  Kevin Correia might still be considered a lock by man, however he could potentially be beaten for the fourth spot in the rotation and get traded before Spring Training.  In addition, the fifth spot in the rotation is wide-open.

As far as the pen goes, the only locks I see are Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Brian Duensing and Anthony Swarzak, again pending trades.  The starting pitcher combatants for the last rotation spot(s) could also gain positions in the pen.

From the list I excluded players like Kennys Vargas, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler et al who will not make the Twins out of Spring Training.

A reminder of the scoring system:

For the pitchers, I quantify using  a measurement created by Bill James more than a decade ago called "Game Score".  It is calculated as follows:
You start with 50 points for each pitcher.
Add 1 point for each out.
Add 1 point for each strikeout.
Subtract 2 points for each hit.
Subtract 4 points for each earned run.
Subtract 2 points for each unearned run.
Subtract 1 point for each walk.
There is a point bonus for pitching more than 4 innings as well, adding 2 points for each IP after the 4th, but this is not too applicable here.

Game Scored of 49-51 are "average" (yellow),
everything higher than 51 "above average" (green),
and everything below 49 "below average" (red).

For position players, I devised a similar metric that goes like this:
Start with 0 points (unlike the pitching Game Score that starts with 50)
Add 1 point for each Run, RBI, 2B, SB, BB, and HBP recorded.
Add 2.5 for each hit, 3 for each 3B and 4 for each HR.
Subtract 1 for each CS and GIDP,
subtract 1 for each error,
for catchers add 1 for each CS
Subtract 0.2 for each SO and 0.5 for each AB.

Again, as in the Pitching Battle Dashboard, the Position Player Battle Dashboard is color-coded based on average, above average and below average performances, where:

Average is Batting Game Score between 0 and 2
Above average is Batting Game Score higher than 2
Below average is Batting Game Score less than 0

Players on the 40-man roster are in bold.  The ones without options are also underlined.  Lefty pitchers are in italics.

Here is the Dashboard for the Twins' position players:
 

 
And here for the Pitchers:
 
 
 
 
 

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