Highly unlikely, but you never really know for sure. That’s why they play the games.
When you look back on 2012, it really boils down to pitching. They allowed 155 fewer runs than the year before, and the bullpen was really good at protecting leads. The team outperformed its Pythagorean record by a lot, and the biggest reason for that was a truly stellar bullpen performance.
Last year’s pitching was below average but not awful (allowed 4.90 runs/game compared to 5.31 for that 2011 team). The bullpen last year was much better than the 2011 bullpen. So, I don’t think we can pick up as many games as in 2012 purely through pitching improvements, even if a lot of things went right. We’d need to see significant improvement on offense as well. I could kind of dream on it if Mancini made a full comeback, Hays and Santander stayed healthy all year, and Mountcastle approximated his 2020 performance over a full season.
I’ll be watching, one way or the other. This is the most interesting team they’ve had since things fell apart, in terms of individual players to watch.