Friday, October 25, 2013

Using MLB 13: The Show to improve the Minnesota Twins' 2013 Season: Part II

I have been using an old video game to recap a season that already happened.  Sounds enticing, right?  If you missed part I, here you go.  In part I, we went through Spring Training and played out Opening Day.  Sony made some pretty surprising moves after Spring Training and now we're in April and who knows what could happen next?!?!

The suspense is killing you; let's begin. 


The Oswaldo Arcia experiment didn't last very long.  Apparently Robot Ron Gardenhire (RoboRon going forward) has a quicker hook than 2007 Bassmaster Classic winner Boyd Duckett!  Chris Parmelee was inserted into the lineup after Arcia posted a miniscule .121 batting average in his first eight professional games.  Yikes. 

In real life, Darin Mastroianni suffered a stress fracture in his left ankle on April 16 and missed almost four months.  In fake life, Mastroianni suffered a sprained knee on April 16 and would miss just 15 days.  Wilkin Ramirez was promoted from AAA to take his place.  The clubhouse chemistry rating spiked. 
The Twins won seven games in a row from April 12 to April 19.  Then, they lost their next six games.  Life imitates art.  I keep saying that.  Is this art?

The Twins ended April 12-14, four games behind Detroit.  Joe Mauer was the team's best hitter with a .867 OPS.  He also had the best digital sideburns.  He had 19 walks and 22 hits.  Get the bat off your digital shoulder, bum!  Aaron Hicks hit .292 with four home runs and five steals.  The digital fans wanted him sent to Digital New Britain.  Vance Worley was 1-4 with an ERA north of 7.  Digital ball don't lie. 


Remember this date - May 8, 2013.  On that day, the Twins dove headfirst into this pennant race.  They sent Liam Hendriks and his ERA over 8 to AAA.  The sent Kyle Gibson and his ERA over 6 to the bullpen.  They sent Shairon Martis to Class A, just because.  They used the extra roster spot to sign Shaun Marcum, who had been cut in Spring Training.  They signed him for one year, 857K.  Digital Twins Daily applauded!  Also on that day:  Oswaldo Arcia reclaimed his starting spot in right field.  On May 8, 2013, the Twins were just three games behind Detroit and occupied the second Wild Card spot.  Remember this day...

Because it didn't last.  They lost their next 6 games.  By the end of May, the Twins were 13.5 games behind Detroit and sat at 23-32.  GUH.  At the end of May, Brian Duensing led the pitchers with a record of 5-1.  Vance Worley was 3-6 with an ERA over nine!  Scott Diamond, Cole De Vries (lol) and Mike Pelfrey all had ERAs over 5.50.  Aaron Hicks led the Twins with a .843 OPS, 10 doubles, 7 home runs and 12 stolen bases.  No, I did not program this game.  Pelfrey had 22 strikeouts in 63 innings.  Mauer had more GD walks than hits.  IT'S ALL FALLING APART!!!

Then, in a baffling move, the Twins added Josmil Pinto to their trade block.  WTH?  Panic switch engaged, amiright?  They also sent Drew Butera from AAA to AA, which is just not a cool thing to do. 


Well, I suppose we should have seen this coming.  On June 1, the Twins traded Josmil Pinto AND Mike Pelfrey to the Phillies for Dalton Castro.  Trading Pelfrey - fine.  Trading Pinto - confusing?  It's one thing to trade a really young, talented player.  It's another thing to trade him for a fake player.  Let's get to know Dalton a bit:

Sweet.  25 years old, low K/9, low BB/9...where have we seen this before.  Even Robo-Terry Ryan has a soft spot for soft-tossers.  He was assigned to AAA Rochester.  Remember the name Dalton Castro; he's going to come up again later.

June 1 was a significant date for a couple of other reasons too.  The Twins grew tired of Jamey Carroll's .286 batting average and called up Top 50 prospect Boyce Mosley to play short.  Mosley was created by EA, giving Robo-Twins fans the hope that they have a long-term answer at fake short. 

Looks like he might be a lefty-killer.  Decent potential.  Pretty good fielder.  Some pop.  Good baserunner.  Not a good bunter.  Short.  B+ prospect?

In addition, the Pelfrey trade opened a spot in the rotation for the return of Kyle Gibson.  The Twins used their other open roster spot to promote Michael Tonkin.  For the record, Trevor Plouffe is currently hitting .190 and Jamey Carroll's secondary position is listed as 3B.  Just saying. 

The Draft!

The Twins participated in the Rule 4 draft on June 6.  Since Kohl Stewart isn't in the game, the Twins had to go another route with their fourth-overall selection.  Meet Omar Mota, the Twins' first-round selection:

Mota is a 21-year-old second baseman with good contact skills.  His fielding needs some work and he doesn't have much power.  He's not much on the basepaths either.  His upside is probably Brian Dozier.  Great pick, Robo-Ryan!

Twins' seventh-round selection, Nolan Coulter has an MLB ETA of 2023, when he'll be 31 years old.  That seems a bit conservative.  As you can see from this blurry image, all of his bar graphs are very low:

And, he's not on Twitter:

Bummer.  With the draft in the rearview, I think this is a perfect time to stop for today.  We'll cover some big June news and get through the trade deadline next week.  The Twins have one more big trade left in them, I can feel it.  I hope Dalton Castro doesn't buy a home in Minnesota.  Cliffhanger! 

Have a nice day, everyone!

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