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View Full Version : Article: Changing Focus: The Danny Valencia & Francisco Liriano Moves



John Bonnes
05-10-2012, 12:31 AM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?531-Changing-Focus-The-Danny-Valencia-Francisco-Liriano-Moves

Nick Nelson
05-10-2012, 12:47 AM
Matt Maloney was the odd man out with another lefty moving to the bullpen. That's unlucky for him.
"Unlucky"? He was flat-out terrible, which is exactly what his track record foretold. He never should have been on the team in the first place, regardless of his spring training statistics.

James Richter
05-10-2012, 01:26 AM
For a guy as cocky as Valencia, this is a great wake-up call. If he can adjust his approach to the point where he's not getting himself out all the time, he could be useful again (to somebody), at least as the short half of a platoon. I'm also interested to see whether Plouffe can handle 3B better than SS.

I see your point on Liriano. But I still think they should have thrown him in the car with the cougar.

As long as we're adding marginal pitchers in their late 20's to the roster, when's it going to be Slama's turn?

twinswon1991
05-10-2012, 06:27 AM
I have a feeling this year the twins are going to continually shift players from the bigs to the minors. This is what happens when the top levels of your organizatin are filled with nothing but replacement level or below replacemnt level players. These are all interchangeable parts.

Sanibelchuck
05-10-2012, 06:39 AM
About time for Valencia to be demoted. This guy thinks he is much better than anyone else. He is the only player that I have ever met that refused to sign his rookie card.

ajr81_2002
05-10-2012, 07:45 AM
I love the Valencia move. He thinks he is great. The other night during the "Pick the Sticks" bit that the FSN crew does pre-game, Valencia walked up to the camera and asked one of the commentators (Roy, maybe) why he wasn't getting any love. Joke or not, there are a lot of irritated fans out there. Danny needs to hit the ball before he jokes on camera about how good he thinks he is.

Han Joelo
05-10-2012, 08:03 AM
This should serve as a little wake-up call for everybody else on the team as well not named Joe, Josh, or Justin.

I was excited at the start of the year when I looked at the lineup--on base guys, power guys, speed guys. The lineup last night made me wince. Do you think Plouffe will get an extended look at 3B? Or RF? Can they bring up Bates and get Parmalee to AAA where he needs to be?

PogueBear
05-10-2012, 08:28 AM
These are the bold(er) roster moves that I feel Bill Smith never had the cojones to do. The sooner this organization embraces a rebuilding season, the better. Every ounce of value that can be had by trading Span, Pavano, and maybe even Liriano (if he pitches well in the bullpen), must be milked out of 2012. I don't think you can necessarily go after other teams' blue chip prospects with those pieces, but someone like Span (especially with a team friendly contract) should at least fetch a higher-ceiling pitching prospect. 2001's marketing campaign was "Get to Know 'Em;" 2012's unofficial campaign will be "Say Your Goodbyes." I will definitely miss Span, but like Hunter, he'll still be easy to root for in other colors, especially since the Nationals are in the NL.

Seth Stohs
05-10-2012, 08:31 AM
Clearly Valencia has the talent and confidence to succeed in the big leagues. This step backwards is likely/hopefully the thing that can help him figure things out again.

Consider this as well... if Valencia spent the whole season with the Twins, he would most likely be a Super 2 and make a bunch of money next year. If he goes down for a month (maybe 5 weeks), something clicks and he turns the career around, the Twins get an extra year of time at near-league minimum.

nokomismod
05-10-2012, 08:36 AM
Did you guys catch Valencia's quote where he said his defense has been great, just his hitting has been lacking?

nokomismod
05-10-2012, 08:37 AM
John, who's the everyday 3b now? Or is it a mixture of Casilla, Plouffe, and Carrol?

SBG
05-10-2012, 08:45 AM
Clearly Valencia has the talent and confidence to succeed in the big leagues. This step backwards is likely/hopefully the thing that can help him figure things out again.

Consider this as well... if Valencia spent the whole season with the Twins, he would most likely be a Super 2 and make a bunch of money next year. If he goes down for a month (maybe 5 weeks), something clicks and he turns the career around, the Twins get an extra year of time at near-league minimum.

Seth, I don't think it is at all clear that he has the talent to succeed in the big leagues. He is a career.235/.274/.357 hitter against right handers. That's not exactly good from a corner infielder. Add to that the evidence that suggests that he is, at best, a below average fielder and I think he's a marginal big leaguer with one good skill -- he mashes lefties.

nicksaviking
05-10-2012, 09:06 AM
Clearly Valencia has the talent and confidence to succeed in the big leagues. This step backwards is likely/hopefully the thing that can help him figure things out again.

Consider this as well... if Valencia spent the whole season with the Twins, he would most likely be a Super 2 and make a bunch of money next year. If he goes down for a month (maybe 5 weeks), something clicks and he turns the career around, the Twins get an extra year of time at near-league minimum.

Or which ever team he gets traded to. If this move helps his trade value at the deadline it was a great decision. If a callup coincides with his yearly July surge the team might get some value back for him.

StormJH1
05-10-2012, 09:19 AM
Did you guys catch Valencia's quote where he said his defense has been great, just his hitting has been lacking?
The broadcast crew noted during the game (when they obviously had no idea he'd be sent down afterwards) that his defense had been significantly better in the past three weeks. I'm not sure I agree with that sentiment, as his range leaves something to be desired even if he isn't making errors, but take it for what it's worth.

What people need to understand about Valencia and this move is that Valencia is not a "prospect". He's 9 days older than Ryan Zimmerman. It just doesn't feel that way because Zimmerman was up in the majors in 2006 playing a full season and posting better numbers at Age 21 than Valencia ever will. However, in terms of their development arc, Zimmerman and Valencia are at roughly the same place. Valencia is what he is. He was never was really supposed to be a 10-year solution at 3rd base...he was only thrust into that role because Joe Crede didn't work out the year before, and the only other options were guys like Harris and Punto.

Did anybody else catch Valencia with Robby Incmikowski (sp?) in the pregame on Monday? Robby was razzing him about why they had picked Mauer instead of him for Pick the Stick, and instead of just rolling with it, Valencia something to the effect of "Whatever, you would jump on Joe Mauer if you had the chance". I didn't see if anyone else noticed it on Twitter or the boards, but this is just yet another example of this guy's immaturity, and you can imagine there are much worse cringe-inducing moments behind closed doors. Those would be excused if he was a serviceable big leaguer, but unfortunately, he isn't.

John Bonnes
05-10-2012, 09:26 AM
"Unlucky"? He was flat-out terrible, which is exactly what his track record foretold. He never should have been on the team in the first place, regardless of his spring training statistics.

By unlucky, I was referring to Liriano being left-handed. If he was right-handed, I think someone else would have gone.

Gernzy
05-10-2012, 09:29 AM
John, who's the everyday 3b now? Or is it a mixture of Casilla, Plouffe, and Carrol?

Exactly right. I have a feeling it will be mostly Carroll with Casilla at 2B.

John Bonnes
05-10-2012, 09:33 AM
What people need to understand about Valencia and this move is that Valencia is not a "prospect". He's 9 days older than Ryan Zimmerman. It just doesn't feel that way because Zimmerman was up in the majors in 2006 playing a full season and posting better numbers at Age 21 than Valencia ever will.

I'm not sure I totally understand what this means. If the point is that Valencia's ceiling is pretty low, I agree. But I still think Valencia could have a Coomerific career in the majors. And I always cut a little slack to 3B for their age. For some reason, a lot of them make it to the bigs a bit later.

One other point I should have made in the story: right about now it might be nice to have Luke Hughes in the organization.

cr9617
05-10-2012, 09:38 AM
Clearly Valencia has the talent and confidence to succeed in the big leagues. This step backwards is likely/hopefully the thing that can help him figure things out again.

Consider this as well... if Valencia spent the whole season with the Twins, he would most likely be a Super 2 and make a bunch of money next year. If he goes down for a month (maybe 5 weeks), something clicks and he turns the career around, the Twins get an extra year of time at near-league minimum.

Come on Seth. He was never a top flight prospect to begin with, so we shouldn't be surprised by his struggles. The guys has no range and does only 1 thing well....hit left handed pitching. He's not a Major League starting third baseman.


He was overhyped from the start, just like Parmelee, Revere, Hendricks, etc....Hopefully Dozier breaks the mold and outperforms.

lee_the_twins_fan
05-10-2012, 09:47 AM
So when Morneau comes off the DL, and is able to play 1B will Parmalee get the regular 3B job? To me, it makes the most sense.*

John Bonnes
05-10-2012, 09:48 AM
Exactly right. I have a feeling it will be mostly Carroll with Casilla at 2B.

I suspect the same. Carroll, mostly. Some Plouffe.

twinswon1991
05-10-2012, 09:56 AM
Danny is not and never was a prospect of any value. He would not have made the bigs on more than 2 or 3 other teams outside of an absolute emergency. The fact that people even mistake him for a prospect speaks to the dire strairs of the Twins minor leagues. He should be nothing more than a AAA afterthought in a good org.

MileHighTwinsFan
05-10-2012, 09:59 AM
I agree with the moves and the change of focus as you describe it. There are guys producing on this team - we should invest in them and move on those who are not. The amount of energy and expectations set on these two is exhausting and dragging the entire club down. Sometimes addition by subtraction is the way to go. The moves don't completely cut ties, but they send a message to these players that it is now or never for them in a Twins uniform.

TwinsFan01
05-10-2012, 10:07 AM
The only thing I don't like about these moves is that they should have happened a couple weeks ago. Better late than never!

powrwrap
05-10-2012, 10:20 AM
Clearly Valencia has the talent and confidence to succeed in the big leagues.

Clearly not. His fundamentals are wrong on both offense and defense. His judgment on the strike zone is terrible. He's an awful player but he thinks he's A-Rod.

John, I liked your take on the transition from focusing on the team to focusing on individual players. The Twins need to work on developing their younger players and what better place than the major leagues with the best coaches in the system. They need to forget about contending for the playoffs and admit they are rebuilding. Maybe this recent spate of maneuvers shows that they finally get it.

James
05-10-2012, 10:21 AM
So when Morneau comes off the DL, and is able to play 1B will Parmalee get the regular 3B job? To me, it makes the most sense.*
Parmalee throws left handed, so he won't be seeing any time at 3B.

jharaldson
05-10-2012, 10:29 AM
I think this is a good direction for the team to go but these type of moves cannot just be limited to guys that are already in Gardy's doghouse but need to go beyond that. A specific example is Blackburn. Nick currently has an ERA of around 7.00 and would be the joke of the rotation if Liriano had not imploded to the extent he did. If Blackburn doesn't turn it around in the next few starts the Twins need to push him in to the bullpen as well.

Mr. Ed
05-10-2012, 10:59 AM
I think this is a good direction for the team to go but these type of moves cannot just be limited to guys that are already in Gardy's doghouse but need to go beyond that. A specific example is Blackburn. Nick currently has an ERA of around 7.00 and would be the joke of the rotation if Liriano had not imploded to the extent he did. If Blackburn doesn't turn it around in the next few starts the Twins need to push him in to the bullpen as well.

The bullpen is getting awfully crowded. Who is next to start in the bigs? They're running out of options(some would say they already have).

roger
05-10-2012, 11:45 AM
One other point I should have made in the story: right about now it might be nice to have Luke Hughes in the organization.

And I was having a good morning until you reminded me of that John. The Twins didn't reclaim him when the A's DFA's him last week and he is currently in Sacremento. But yes, Hughes would be a huge addition to this team right now.

Jim H
05-10-2012, 12:05 PM
But yes, Hughes would be a huge addition to this team right now.

I suppose Hughes could land somewhere and do a Casey Blake, but I don't think that is very likely. I think he is more limited than Valencia as a potential starting 3B, both offensively and defensively. Not, that I am holding out a lot of hope for Valencia, either.

Actually the best hope for a medium term answer at 3B is probably Plouffe, though I am not too sure he will get much of an opportunity.

I am not sure I agree with John's take on what the Twins focus is. It kind of looks to me, that the Twins are flipping cards over, hoping one or more will play. I don't see where they have much choice, but I doubt if it has much to do with develpment of individual players.

robesinfargo
05-10-2012, 12:08 PM
This seems like a good time to make a move outside of the organization...i see Kevin Youkilis may be on the block...seems like a great fit to me

Brett
05-10-2012, 12:35 PM
Looking forward to 2013, with our rotation of Liam Hendriks, Nick Blackburn, PJ Walters, Scott Diamond, and the washed-up remains of wily veteran innings-eater...like Carl Pavano.

Kyle Gibson should be beside himself right now...uninjured, he's the ace. Coming off of TJ surgery, he'll be mediocre for the first year or so.

Wake me up when it's 2014.

matthew0211
05-10-2012, 12:57 PM
Mauer to 3B. Do it. Now.

USAFChief
05-10-2012, 01:39 PM
I suspect the same. Carroll, mostly. Some Plouffe.

Exactly what a rebuilding team playing .250 baseball should be doing...investing time in a 38 yr old 3bman who has trouble hitting enough to stay at SS.

Sheesh, this organization is in bad shape.

Make the Mauer to 3b move now. Right now. Let's at least try to solve some problems long term, rather than diddle around with Alexi Casilla or Jamie Carroll at 3b. At the very least put Plouffe over there and leave him alone.

Boom Boom
05-10-2012, 01:52 PM
Make the Mauer to 3b move now. Right now. Let's at least try to solve some problems long term, rather than diddle around with Alexi Casilla or Jamie Carroll at 3b. At the very least put Plouffe over there and leave him alone.

This is what I would do, and considering the Twins just sent down an infielder to call up an outfielder, it's what I suspect Gardy will do. There's really no reason to play Plouffe in the outfield now.

jessellsworth
05-10-2012, 02:43 PM
Vavra needs to go... ASAP!

Rosterman
05-10-2012, 04:32 PM
Coomerific Career for Danny? Coomer played hard and studied hitting (as well as teaching) and overcame size and weight to have a rather pleasant career and enjoyed every moment he was on the field.

LaBombo
05-10-2012, 05:52 PM
Coomerific Career for Danny? Coomer played hard and studied hitting (as well as teaching) and overcame size and weight to have a rather pleasant career and enjoyed every moment he was on the field.

Yep, and Coomer had quite a bit more success than Disco Danny in the minors before finally getting a crack at the majors.

Maybe a better comparison to Valencia's offensive ceiling is Scott Leius. He was a nice little piece of the puzzle in '91, posting a .795 OPS while platooning at third against lefties. Pressed into service as a near-everyday player in '92, he went down in flames with a .626 OPS.

Now the Twins just need Burroughs to get his Pagliarulo on...

dadawg41
05-10-2012, 06:11 PM
call philly about trading for D. Brown. Start the Sept. call-ups in june (sano, hicks, guerra) and ride the "storm" out!

scottyc35
05-10-2012, 07:00 PM
absolutely had to be done. seeing Valencia ground into a bases-loaded 1-2-3 double play, swinging at bad pitch after bad pitch, he does not belong at the major league level right now.

jorgenswest
05-10-2012, 11:29 PM
And I always cut a little slack to 3B for their age. For some reason, a lot of them make it to the bigs a bit later.


I was not aware that 3B's make it to the bigs later. I would have guessed more catchers and left handed pitchers may develop later. I suppose speed positions may be on the earlier side. Anyone seen a study in this area? My interest is player development and career path. It hasn't been in my mind to be more patient with thirdbasemen.

Shane Wahl
05-11-2012, 12:01 AM
I was not aware that 3B's make it to the bigs later. I would have guessed more catchers and left handed pitchers may develop later. I suppose speed positions may be on the earlier side. Anyone seen a study in this area? My interest is player development and career path. It hasn't been in my mind to be more patient with thirdbasemen.

Often times it is because they were shortstops who had to move to third, but at third you have to produce more offensively than the more common move from short, second base.

Jim H
05-11-2012, 09:55 AM
I was not aware that 3B's make it to the bigs later. I would have guessed more catchers and left handed pitchers may develop later. I suppose speed positions may be on the earlier side. Anyone seen a study in this area? My interest is player development and career path. It hasn't been in my mind to be more patient with thirdbasemen.

There are examples of what John is talking about, Wade Boggs come to mind. But, part of the reason is because of the special demands of the position and that it is sort of a transition position.

Playing 3B well, requires a strong arm, good hands and a certain amount of quickness, if not outright speed. Also since there aren't necessarily as many chances at 3b but a higher percent of difficult chances, errors often appear more glaring.

Many times players start out as middle infielders and are moved to 3B if they don't have enough range for short or 2b but have some power or strong contact skills. A number of very good 3B over the years started at catcher, often again because their bat skills were stronger than their defensive skills.

I think all of these things seem to contribute to longer development time for 3rd baseman. It is also interesting how many very good ballplayers, play at 3rd for a while but ultimately end up in the OF or at 1B. Thome, Killebrew and Shefield are 3 who come immediately to mind. Cuddyer also.

jorgenswest
05-11-2012, 08:18 PM
There are examples of what John is talking about, Wade Boggs come to mind. But, part of the reason is because of the special demands of the position and that it is sort of a transition position.

I guess I am interested in seeing it in the data. Once the data shows a trend, the reasoning would follow. If I look at the current 3B's, will they have had later career starts than other positions? Do prime seasons for a 3B tend to occur later? If so, maybe I should have more hope for the 27 year old Valencia. I did a quick look for a study but didn't see one.

My question: "Is there more hope for Valencia as a struggling 27 year old because he plays 3B and hence will develop later?"

I know there are examples of guys who moved to 3B or away from 3B. Players often move down the defensive spectrum as the age. That doesn't give hope for Valencia. I think I will take a shot at that question sometime in the future. In my mind, I have an impression that catchers and lefties develop later. That may be a false impression. Maybe it is 3B's that require more patience.