Ok, I'll be honest, "law of averages" is a meaningless term. But right now this Twins team is so bad that we all need something to put our hope in, and this is the route I have chosen to go. I thought to myself, "ok, the Twins have been bad, as a whole, but how well would they have to perform to get back to their respective career averages by season's end?" Naturally that won't happen in every case, but it will in a few and so that can give us hope that yes, this team will improve. I'll start from the top of the order, give you their current hitting line, give you their career averages based on the stated number of PAs/ABs, and project what their hitting line and production-level would need to be to meet their career averages. I will clearly state how many PAs and ABs I expect them to have at the end of the year, obviously making the assumption that they will stay healthy for the rest of the season. I'm not bothering to project Slugging % because I don't have that much time.
1.) Denard Span - CF (700PAs/600ABs) - 150-160 games played
Current line: .284/.339/.367 13Rs 6RBI 1HR 2SB
Career line: .288/.365/.390 90Rs 63RBI 5HRs 24SB
Future line: .289/.370 77Rs 57RBI 4HRs 22SB
2.) Alexi Casilla - SS (540PAs/500ABs) - 120-130 games played
Current line: .190/.257/.286 10Rs 3RBI 0HRs 2SB
Career line: .246/.303/.324 60Rs 42RBI 4HRs 15SB
Future line: .254/.313 50Rs 39RBI 4HRs 13SB
3.) Joe Mauer - C (500PAs/440ABs) - 115-120 games played
For Mauer, I'm making the assumption that he returns within the next 2-3 weeks...if that's not the case then obviously you have to adjust these numbers, but 2-3 weeks sounds reasonable at this point.
Current line: .235/.289/.265 2Rs 4RBI 0HRs 0SB
Career line: .326/.406/.479 65Rs 70RBI 6HRs 2SB
Future line: .333/.413 63Rs 66RBI 6HRs 2SB
4.) Justin Morneau - 1B (600PAs/540ABs) - 135-145 games played
Current line: .225/.287/.338 6Rs 9RBI 1HR 0SB
Career line: .284/.356/.507 80Rs 95RBI 24HRs 1SB
Future line: .296/.370 74Rs 86RBI 23HRs 1SB
5.) Jason Kubel - RF/DH (585PAs/535ABs) - 140-150 games played
Current line: .354/.406/.510 11Rs 10RBI 2HRs 1SB
Career line: .274/.338/.465 75Rs 90RBI 23HRs 1SB
Future line: .257/.322 64Rs 80RBI 21HRs 0SB
6.) Delmon Young - LF (575PAs/525ABs) - 130-140 games played
Again, with Young I'm assuming his stay on the DL is not an extended stay and that he'll return to the lineup in 1-2 weeks.
Current line: .228/.286/.281 3Rs 6RBI 0HRs 1SB
Career line: .291/.324.431 76Rs 91RBI 16HRs 7SB
Future line: .298/.327 73Rs 85RBI 16HRs 6SB
7.) Michael Cuddyer - Utility (650PAs/575ABs) - 150-160 games played
Current line: .226/.287/.355 8Rs 4RBI 3HRs 2SB
Career line: .269/.341/.448 86Rs 81RBI 20HRs 6SB
Future line: .277/.351 78Rs 77RBI 17HRs 4SB
8.) Danny Valencia - 3B (600ABs/550ABs) - 155-160 games played
Current line: .211/.292/.305 8Rs 13RBI 2HRs 1SB
Career line: .287/.336/.414 55Rs 77RBI 13HRs 5SB
Future line: .303/.343 47Rs 64RBI 11HRs 4SB
9.) Random Player - 2B/SS
With Nishioka coming back eventually, and this role being shared by Drew Butera, Luke Hughes, etc, etc., it's pretty meaningless to try and project this slot in the lineup. Most of the guys who fill the 9-hitter role for the Twins don't have enough Major League at-bats to give us a reliable career-average.
So what does all this mean? It means that most of the Twins regulars, aside from Span and Kubes, are going to have to play above their heads (in some cases way above their heads), just to finish with an average year. 27 games (the number the Twins have played so far) represents about 17% of the total 162 game schedule. In some cases (Morneau, Cuddyer, Mauer) these guys are going to have to fit 90% of a year's production into just over 80% remaining on the season....and I haven't even touched the pitching!
I assume there are other people out there who listen to Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio in the morning and every Tuesday morning they have Jayson Stark who is a baseball guru and loves stats and baseball history. Anyway, they were talking about the Twins and White Sox this morning, and it was mentioned that the Twins are 10 games out before 30 games have been completed. According to Elias (via Stark) only 3 teams in baseball history have ever won the division after trailing by 10 or more through 30 games. Only 1 (!) team in the modern-era has done it, and that was the 1987 Tigers. I'll never stop hoping as a Twins fan, but things are getting serious now, to the point where if they don't turn around soon, we'll be looking at a fire-sale come July...mark my words, you heard it here first. At least 7/9ths of the lineup are performing far below their career-averages...and we've said for awhile now "ah, it's going to turn around soon" and it hasn't. Now would be a great time to start...I'd love to hear a bunch of "dad-gummit's" from Hawk Harrelson this week.