|Joe Mauer's lost season was, at least in the eyes of USA Today,|
not as disappointing as the seasons of Pedro Alvarez,
Jason Hayward or Brian Matusz. Really.
The Twins 2011 season -- only seven games to go -- has been so dismal that one can make a Top 10 disappointments list for the team that would stack up pretty well to the USA Today list.
10) Danny Valencia: Lower in every percentage from last season, and a brutal season in the field by the defensive metrics. He leads the team in RBIs, but WAR (Wins Above Replacement) says he's easily replaceable.
9) Denard Span: Was the team's best player until his concussion. Since then, he's either been out of action or completely ineffective -- so ineffective that he now has the lowest batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage of his career.
8) Brian Duensing: 5-1, 2.73 as a starter in 2009; 7-2, 3.05 as a starter in 2010; 9-13, 5.29 this year.
|As difficult a season as Matt Capps|
has had, he's not nearly the most
disappointing Twin of 2011.
6) Justin Morneau: He's not ranked higher because nobody was really sure what to expect from him in his return from 2010's concussion. As we wind up 2011, nobody can be sure what to expect from him in his return from 2011's concussiion.
5) Kevin Slowey: As a starter, he was always flawed by a lack of durability, but he was still generally effective. Shifting him to the bullpen this spring didn't work, and the failure brought on an avalanche of other problems. He's been in the rotation in September, and that isn't going well either.
4) Delmon Young: The Tigers apparently are delighted with Young, but he followed last season's 21 homers, 112 RBIs and .294 batting average with 4, 32 and .266 before the Twins dumped him -- and a lower slugging percentage than Alexi Casilla.
3) Tsuyoshi Nishioka: Even discounting his stellar 2010 season in Japan, it seemed reasonable to expect him to provide league-average play at second base. He broke a leg in the first week of the season, played shaky defense at both second and short, and didn't hit at all.
|Far too many walks for Francisco|
Liriano this season to maintain
1) Joe Mauer: Career lows in virtually every category, excluding his 2003 rookie season -- and even then he had better slash stats. His absence behind the plate, I believe, played some unmeasurable part in the decay of the pitching staff.