Updated: April 6th, 2012 4:16pm
Numbers game: Projecting the Twins' 2012 regular season record

Numbers game: Projecting the Twins' 2012 regular season record

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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Disclaimer: Numbers Game is a place where we dive a little deeper into stats, trends, sabermetrics, and basically make peoples' heads explode.

Rather than take a wild guess as to what the Minnesota Twins' record might be in 2012, let's roll up the sleeves and do some digging.

First, a few notes:

• These projections are based on the Twins having healthy players, which clearly is not a given. Because of the uncertainty of his elbow, Scott Baker was left out of the projections completely.

• There is a 100% chance that each player will either overperform or underperform his projection below. So, obviously, these projections are not meant to be taken as gospel.

• The individual player projections are derived mostly from weighted, three-year batted ball track records (line drives, groundballs, fly balls, home runs, frequency, etc.) as well as strikeout and walk rates.

• The total team run projections (for both offense and pitching) are derived using a modified "runs created" formula that includes total bases, groundball double plays, base stealing rates, walk rates and strikeout rates. The pitcher projections also account for a slightly improved infield defense. If a team hits abnormally well/poorly with runners in scoring position, they could outperform the run projection by 10-20 runs one direction or the other.

• Pitching projections have a wider range of accuracy (or inaccuracy), because defense (hits allowed) can be hard to quantify.

• 14 Twins position players are projected to tally plate appearances for the purposes of these projections. In the past, the Twins have used more than 20 position players in a season. Obviously if those extra players (such as Brian Dozier) take plate appearances away from these 14, the team projection could change.

• Likewise, 15 pitchers are used for these projections. It's likely they will use at least 20. Those extra pitchers would take away innings from the 15 listed below.

• The Twins scored 619 and gave up 804 last year.

Individual hitters

C Joe Mauer (620 plate appearances): .323/.399/.451, 10 HR, 39 doubles
CF Denard Span (620): .274/.353/.367, 3 HR, 22 doubles, 9 triples, 21 steals
3B Danny Valencia (605): .281/.332/.434, 16 HR, 33 doubles
SS Jamey Carroll (550): .281/.349/.328, 0 HR, 16 doubles, 14 steals
LF Josh Willingham (520): .261/.351/.483, 24 HR, 26 doubles
2B Alexi Casilla (525): .271/.333/.368, 3 HR, 24 doubles, 6 triples, 18 steals
DH Justin Morneau (500): .282/.366/.507, 22 HR, 31 doubles
1B Chris Parmelee (480): .254/.334/.402, 14 HR, 20 doubles
C Ryan Doumit (480): .261/.327/.430, 15 HR, 25 doubles
OF Ben Revere (475): .282/.328/.338, 1 HR, 12 doubles, 5 triples, 42 steals
Util Trevor Plouffe (400): .253/.320/.416, 13 HR, 21 doubles
INF Luke Hughes (210): .249/.315/.401, 6 HR, 9 2B
INF Sean Burroughs (205): .285/.335/.360, 2 HR, 8 doubles

Team offense

If each hitter performs to the exact numbers listed above (obviously a hypothetical), the Twins offense would project to post these numbers:

Plate appearances: 6,190
Batting average: .274
On-base percentage: .342
Slugging percentage: .415
Hits: 1,510
Home runs: 132
Walks: 563
Strikeouts: 927
Doubles: 286
Triples: 42
Steals: 115
Caught: 37
GIDP: 120

Runs scored: 803

Individual pitchers

RHP Carl Pavano (215 innings): 115 K, 38 BB, 239 hits, 22 HR
LHP Francisco Liriano (190): 186 K, 70 BB, 182 hits, 17 HR
RHP Nick Blackburn (190): 95 K, 51 BB, 217 hits, 25 HR
RHP Jason Marquis (180): 96 K, 68 BB, 210 hits, 16 HR
RHP Liam Hendriks (150): 108 K, 32 BB, 163 hits, 13 HR
RHP Matt Capps (60): 45 K, 14 BB, 60 hits, 8 HR
LHP Glen Perkins (70): 71 K, 23 BB, 66 hits, 4 HR
LHP Brian Duensing (65): 41 K, 18 BB, 72 hits, 6 HR
RHP Anthony Swarzak (95): 58 K, 24 BB, 106 hits, 8 HR
LHP Matt Maloney (75): 63 K, 18 BB, 79 hits, 6 HR
RHP Jared Burton (55): 51 K, 23 BB, 55 hits, 4 HR
RHP Jeff Gray (40): 20 K, 16 BB, 51 hits, 4 HR
RHP Alex Burnett (30): 23 K, 12 BB, 32 hits, 3 HR
LHP Scott Diamond (30): 22 K, 10 BB, 37 hits, 3 HR
RHP Jeff Manship (20): 14 K, 4 BB, 20 hits, 3 HR

Team pitching/defense

Based on these numbers, the Twins pitching staff (and defense) would project to post these numbers:

Innings: 1,465
Strikeouts: 1,006
Walks: 420
Hits: 1,589
Home runs: 142

Runs allowed: 754

Historically, teams that score 800 and allow 750 usually finish 85-77.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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