Below is the opening day roster (more or less) of the 2011 Twins versus the probable roster for the 2012 Twins (as things stand right now). I want to do a quick comparison of the two but add a twist – I want to compare the 2012 player with what we hoped the 2011 player was going to do, not what they actually did. Let’s call it the Hope Index. There is a reason I want to go that way, I promise. I’m also not going to do a ton of analysis here - it's late and I'm winging it a bit - so if you want to make your own changes, go ahead. You can put your Hope Index in the comments.Hitters
Carroll for Nishioka would be a huge upgrade, except this isn't based on reality, but instead on what we expected from Nishioka. We expected a guy who could get on base from the #2 spot and play average defensively. We’re expecting the same from Carroll. I’m calling those even.
I’ll call Doumit and Kubel about even.
Mauer and Span, I think we absolutely need to expect less than we did, given their injury concerns.
As much as I hated the Capps signing this year – and I hated it a lot – I’m not sure the Twins look any worse at closer than they did last year. They might have had a little more depth, but everyone was so unsure of Nathan. I’m calling it even.
I expect we’ll be happier with Marquis than we were with Duensing last year, but our expectations are probably lower. Duensing entered last year with such solid numbers as a starter, it wasn’t unreasonable to view him as a decent #3 starter. I don’t think many folks expect that from Marquis.
Hope Index: five evens, two downgrades and one upgrade.