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View Full Version : Next Year's Needs Start With Outstanding Defensive SS and 2B



robbie111
08-08-2012, 01:57 AM
I know I'm gonna get ripped for this but with the exception of Willingham and sometimes Plouffe, Twins could have the best defense in baseball if they added two great gloves at SS and 2B. With so many pitch to contact starters this might make a greater impact to the overall team era for starters than adding an ace. Possibilities might be Yunel Escobar or Zack Cozart at SS and Darwin Barney or Jason Kipris at 2B.

Top Gun
08-08-2012, 02:51 AM
Never get any of them, the price would be just too high. I would take Barney for Blacky, Pavano & Capp, Hehehe....

stringer bell
08-08-2012, 05:13 AM
Casilla easily has been the best defender in the infield for the Twins. Yet this board is near-unanimous that he will/should be non-tendered after this season. Just sayin'.

Parker Hageman
08-08-2012, 06:07 AM
According to the Plus/Minus system, Alexi Casilla's +13 rating at second base is in the top five (4th) at that position. Small sample size warning but it jives with my eye test on the season.

Brock Beauchamp
08-08-2012, 06:34 AM
Casilla is a great defender this season. He seems to have put his mental lapses behind him.

Now if he'd just hit as he did in the previous two seasons, we'd have a keeper on our hands.

stringer bell
08-08-2012, 08:42 AM
Casilla is a great defender this season. He seems to have put his mental lapses behind him.

Now if he'd just hit as he did in the previous two seasons, we'd have a keeper on our hands.I agree pig. That is why I am among the diminishing number of Twins fans that wants to give Casilla yet another chance.

Brock Beauchamp
08-08-2012, 08:46 AM
I agree pig. That is why I am among the diminishing number of Twins fans that wants to give Casilla yet another chance.

I was a long time supporter of Casilla but I think it's time to move on. He's going to get more expensive and the team needs to move in a different direction, just as they did with Liriano. I think it's time to shed some of the "aging but still has potential" guys in favor of a younger crop of players.

BTW, I forgot to mention... Targeting middle infielders instead of starting pitching is insane. The Twins need starters and they need lots of 'em.

MidwestMeat
08-08-2012, 08:48 AM
With the players coming up that could potentially be available as early as sometime next season (especially at 2nd....shortstop iffy) I would say leave those spots alone and focus any transactions on acquiring pitching. The WE NEED PITCHING argument is getting old to talk about, but we are going to have to repeat this frustration for a loooong time if something isn't done there.

minn55441
08-08-2012, 08:56 AM
I know I'm gonna get ripped for this but with the exception of Willingham and sometimes Plouffe, Twins could have the best defense in baseball if they added two great gloves at SS and 2B. With so many pitch to contact starters this might make a greater impact to the overall team era for starters than adding an ace. Possibilities might be Yunel Escobar or Zack Cozart at SS and Darwin Barney or Jason Kipris at 2B.

I agree, I'm not sold on Dozier at SS. I don't view him as an above average SS in the field or at the plate. Granted he is 25 and getting his first extended time in the majors. I really haven't seen a progression throughout the year. With roughly 90 AB's in May, June and July this is what he has put up at the plate.
May .228/.247/.337
June .231/.263/.308
July .250/.296/.315

I think you can live with these numbers if he is a standout in the field, but I don't see a gold glove in his future. As I mentioned, he is 25 and may still develop into an above average SS. We will just need better out of our middle infield with our pitching situation.

Steve Lein
08-08-2012, 09:54 AM
Dozier's been okay for the Twins at SS this year, but he is and always has been a better fit for second base than SS in the majors. He's played there for the Twins because he pretty much has to.

If were talking what the Twins need to bring in next year though, I wouldn't even think about signing a position player until the pitching questions are addressed or all avenues have been explored on that front.

Thrylos
08-08-2012, 10:02 AM
Casilla is a great defender this season. He seems to have put his mental lapses behind him.

Now if he'd just hit as he did in the previous two seasons, we'd have a keeper on our hands.

Casilla is a streaky hitter who needs to play most of the time to get hot with the bat. If the manager of the millennium sits him 90% of the time in favor of a 38 year old or Nishi, he will never hit.

J-Dog Dungan
08-08-2012, 10:03 AM
I think the Twins are stuck with whomever they want in-house to play the middle infield, because looking at the list of 2013 MI FA on MLBTR, there is not much hope for the Twins to upgrade. They should work on acquiring pitching, and worry about getting MI later, if at all. Carroll and Dozier, while they haven't been great, have been good enough so we don't vomit every time they come onto the field. I am okay if the Twins have a little less defense on the infield if they keep their defense in the outfield great and their lineup potent.

myjah
08-08-2012, 10:05 AM
Casilla easily has been the best defender in the infield for the Twins. Yet this board is near-unanimous that he will/should be non-tendered after this season. Just sayin'.

It bugs me to no end that Alexi hardly ever gets playing time. He's improved a lot from what I've seen from him. He's better than Dozier, who will most likely never grow beyond a sub-average major league shortstop, yet they sit Dozier out there everyday...

nokomismod
08-08-2012, 10:27 AM
I'm guessing the middle infielder we got in the Liriano trade will be on the big league club next year. I don't think Nishi is back next year (predict retirement). This means either Carrol, Casilla, or Dozier is out. As much as I like Casilla out of the three I'm afriad he's the guy to go. I agree with the others that the Twins will not sign from outside to bolster middle infield for next year.

nokomismod
08-08-2012, 10:37 AM
It bugs me to no end that Alexi hardly ever gets playing time. He's improved a lot from what I've seen from him. He's better than Dozier, who will most likely never grow beyond a sub-average major league shortstop, yet they sit Dozier out there everyday...
I agree with you especially on the defensive side. He's the only one of the current crop of 4 middle infielders that could be an above average defensive ss or 2b.

ShaeTwins
08-08-2012, 10:37 AM
I personally don't understand much of the hate for Casilla either. He hasn't had many great moments this year with the stick, but he's made several defensive gems this season and showed pretty good range (and certainly better range than Carroll or Nishijokeah). Regular playing time seems to be something he would benefit from, both defensively and offensively. Casilla played in 97 games last year and posted a .260/.322/.368, which is far from stellar, but committed only 6 errors at 2B, and is valuable on the basepaths as a runner.

diehardtwinsfan
08-08-2012, 12:24 PM
I certainlty wouldn't mind middle infield upgrades, but this team needs pitching, pitching, and more pitching. They need to get at least 2 more starters via trade or FA.

LaBombo
08-08-2012, 01:24 PM
I certainlty wouldn't mind middle infield upgrades, but this team needs pitching, pitching, and more pitching. They need to get at least 2 more starters via trade or FA.

There's an idea. Instead of placing a high priority on acquiring defensive savants who can't hit, let's work on replacing our p.t.c. guys with real pitchers who can miss some bats! That way they won't need the savants, and would have the option to eventually pursue adequate defenders who can actually hit.

ericchri
08-08-2012, 02:06 PM
I can't help wondering what it might take to get Elvis Andrus away from Texas, since their hotshot prospect, Jurickson Profar, is a SS possibly (probably?) ready to play at the Major-league level next season. Andrus is only 23, and add his .295/.367/.399 slash line into our lineup from the SS position (plus he can steal a few bases) and things get really interesting. And his numbers are surprisingly a little better away from Texas stadium, .299/.369/.416 away versus .290/.364/.382 at home. So he's not exactly a product of that park. He plays pretty good defense as well, from what I recall. Then you move Dozier over to 2B where he hopefully stops throwing the ball over Morneau's head, and you're in pretty good shape.

one_eyed_jack
08-08-2012, 06:21 PM
Yeah upgrades at those positions would be nice, but when you look at how bad the pitching has been, it's hard to argue that it should be priority #1.

Of course, pitching can be helped or hurt a lot by the quality of defense played behind them.

But, the Twins have surrendered 143 home runs this year - most in the AL. I've watched some pretty good defensive middle infielders over the years, but I have yet to see one that can stop a ball from going over the outfield fence in fair territory.

diehardtwinsfan
08-08-2012, 06:44 PM
I can't help wondering what it might take to get Elvis Andrus away from Texas, since their hotshot prospect, Jurickson Profar, is a SS possibly (probably?) ready to play at the Major-league level next season. Andrus is only 23, and add his .295/.367/.399 slash line into our lineup from the SS position (plus he can steal a few bases) and things get really interesting. And his numbers are surprisingly a little better away from Texas stadium, .299/.369/.416 away versus .290/.364/.382 at home. So he's not exactly a product of that park. He plays pretty good defense as well, from what I recall. Then you move Dozier over to 2B where he hopefully stops throwing the ball over Morneau's head, and you're in pretty good shape.


I doubt Andrus will come cheap. He's an inexpensive commodity that plays pretty decent defense and can post a .750 OPS at short. I'd love for him to be here, but he's going to cost something, and he won't be cheap.

BrentMpls
08-08-2012, 06:55 PM
Casilla easily has been the best defender in the infield for the Twins. Yet this board is near-unanimous that he will/should be non-tendered after this season. Just sayin'.

Not an everyday player

BrentMpls
08-08-2012, 06:56 PM
Needs start with pitching.

Thrylos
08-08-2012, 06:56 PM
BTW as far as this goes:


Next Year's Needs Start With Outstanding Defensive SS and 2B

no

Starting Pitching all the way

jokin
08-09-2012, 03:48 PM
I know I'm gonna get ripped for this but with the exception of Willingham and sometimes Plouffe, Twins could have the best defense in baseball if they added two great gloves at SS and 2B. With so many pitch to contact starters this might make a greater impact to the overall team era for starters than adding an ace. Possibilities might be Yunel Escobar or Zack Cozart at SS and Darwin Barney or Jason Kipris at 2B.

I know it isn't widely popular, but how about meeting next year's needs- by starting with hiring new blood in the coaching and consulting areas? I advocated this last year, after Pudge Rodriguez appeared to be done with the Nationals and his son being drafted by the Twins, I will again now. A HOF catcher with a Latin background, known for his tough as nails, fundamentally sound, student-of-the-game approach would be a terrific hire. Add to that, with a former-catcher/Latin-coach in place, there could be a huge addition by subtraction of Latin-whisperer needs from Drew Bew. A well-respected guy in general who could help shape up the young pitching staff, but who would also carry especially extra weight with the current, and up-and-coming Latin prospects.

He's apparently available and waiting for his phone to ring and could certainly be easily motivated to sign on with Dereck in place in the organization, nice article:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/martinez-120720/ivan-rodriguez-stays-student-game-even-retirement

crarko
08-09-2012, 03:54 PM
Pudge would be a heck of a catch. He can't pitch, unfortunately, but could help some of these kids develop into good, sound, ballplayers.

jokin
08-09-2012, 04:02 PM
Pudge would be a heck of a catch. He can't pitch, unfortunately, but could help some of these kids develop into good, sound, ballplayers.

I'd be hoping something close to Dave Duncan.

Shane Wahl
08-09-2012, 04:11 PM
Carroll at SS and Dozier at 2B is the rather obvious defensive change that should happen RIGHT NOW, but Gardy . . .

jorgenswest
08-09-2012, 04:36 PM
Lets's hope Escobar is the real deal with the glove at shortstop. There is a place in baseball for elite defending shortstops batting ninth. I don't know if his performance will match his reputation.

Nick Nelson
08-09-2012, 04:51 PM
I can't help wondering what it might take to get Elvis Andrus away from Texas, since their hotshot prospect, Jurickson Profar, is a SS possibly (probably?) ready to play at the Major-league level next season. Andrus is only 23, and add his .295/.367/.399 slash line into our lineup from the SS position (plus he can steal a few bases) and things get really interesting. And his numbers are surprisingly a little better away from Texas stadium, .299/.369/.416 away versus .290/.364/.382 at home. So he's not exactly a product of that park. He plays pretty good defense as well, from what I recall. Then you move Dozier over to 2B where he hopefully stops throwing the ball over Morneau's head, and you're in pretty good shape.
I like this idea. Problem is that Andrus is only signed through 2014 and he's going to hit the market as a 26-year-old multiple time All-Star SS. So unless the Twins are ready to break the bank for him he's probably a two-year rental.

Still pretty valuable, especially if you're in my camp and you believe the Twins could contend in the short-term (and if you're as sick as I am of the near-constant ineptitude at short), but you've got to be careful about what kind of assets you give up in that kind of situation.

jokin
08-09-2012, 04:52 PM
Carroll at SS and Dozier at 2B is the rather obvious defensive change that should happen RIGHT NOW, but Gardy . . .


Lets's hope Escobar is the real deal with the glove at shortstop. There is a place in baseball for elite defending shortstops batting ninth. I don't know if his performance will match his reputation.

Isn't the above arrangement for 2013 already about a 95% certainty?

Elvis Andrus or Kelly Johnson? About .00001%.

one_eyed_jack
08-09-2012, 04:56 PM
I know it isn't widely popular, but how about meeting next year's needs- by starting with hiring new blood in the coaching and consulting areas? I advocated this last year, after Pudge Rodriguez appeared to be done with the Nationals and his son being drafted by the Twins, I will again now. A HOF catcher with a Latin background, known for his tough as nails, fundamentally sound, student-of-the-game approach would be a terrific hire. Add to that, with a former-catcher/Latin-coach in place, there could be a huge addition by subtraction of Latin-whisperer needs from Drew Bew. A well-respected guy in general who could help shape up the young pitching staff, but who would also carry especially extra weight with the current, and up-and-coming Latin prospects.

He's apparently available and waiting for his phone to ring and could certainly be easily motivated to sign on with Dereck in place in the organization, nice article:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/martinez-120720/ivan-rodriguez-stays-student-game-even-retirement

---I think this whole 'Latin' thing gets overstated a little, just because 2 guys speak the same native language doesn't mean they are going to work well together.

But I am in favor of new blood in this organization. When you have the same people around for too long and always stay loyal to insiders, staleness will eventually set in.

If we were to go that route, Pudge would absolutely be worth a phone call, possibly even the first call.

So would Jose Oquendo, who has been very popular and well respected as the third-base coach in St. Louis and interviewed for a few managerial jobs that he's been turned down for.

Another guy I would call is Ken Oberkfell I became intrigued by him as a possible Gardy replacement after reading this article earlier in the year.
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120205&content_id=26582426&c_id=mlb

jokin
08-09-2012, 05:22 PM
---I think this whole 'Latin' thing gets overstated a little, just because 2 guys speak the same native language doesn't mean they are going to work well together.

But I am in favor of new blood in this organization. When you have the same people around for too long and always stay loyal to insiders, staleness will eventually set in.

If we were to go that route, Pudge would absolutely be worth a phone call, possibly even the first call.

So would Jose Oquendo, who has been very popular and well respected as the third-base coach in St. Louis and interviewed for a few managerial jobs that he's been turned down for.

Another guy I would call is Ken Oberkfell I became intrigued by him as a possible Gardy replacement after reading this article earlier in the year.
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120205&content_id=26582426&c_id=mlb

Wow, great article, always liked him, and not one, but two Latins on the coaching staff, Jack? Love it! Especially as we prepare for the Sano, Rosario and Berrios era. I gotta think the "barrio" effect is a reality on many teams with Anglo/African-American-only coaching staffs. I'll scout around for some supporting evidence. I know it's an old story and things have changed some, but Clemente, Marichal and Cepeda felt pretty isolated and put-upon during their big league careers, and Ortiz and the Twins obviously had some communication problems.

crarko
08-09-2012, 05:39 PM
I'd be hoping something close to Dave Duncan.

That would be sweet. I also wonder if Terry Steinbach could be lured.

jokin
08-09-2012, 07:21 PM
That would be sweet. I also wonder if Terry Steinbach could be lured.

If Pudge and Steiny could be talked into it, why not bring Tim Belcher out of retirement, too? Proven track record and knows the AL well.

Thrylos
08-09-2012, 07:46 PM
The Twins' next manager would be either Scotty or Gene Glynn with the other serving as a bench coach... Done deal

birdwatcher
08-09-2012, 08:19 PM
Everyone is on the same page about the pitching needs, so let's "assume" for the purpooses of our discussion, that there is a possibility of changes in MI personnel.

My gut tells me we get maybe one meaningful change in the MI. So, we either have to live with Dozier at SS, maybe at 2B if an outside fix at SS becomes available. But here's where I'm at: I can stomach either Casilla or Dozier as below-average stop-gaps for 2013. I get damn queasy thinking abouth both, and puke on my tennies thinking about Nishi, Escobar, Florimon, or Nishi playing every day. Do we get one meaningful upgrade in the infield over the winter? If we don't I'll be very dissilusioned.

Top Gun
08-09-2012, 08:32 PM
Defense starts with spring training, Gardy better start practicing that.

birdwatcher
08-09-2012, 08:46 PM
All of the concerns about being equipped to manage a more diverse workforce are of course legitimate. But this whole notion that we need a wholesale change in the ethnic composite of the organization because of language barriers and cultural insensitivities contains its own elements of racial and cultural bigotry. Show me direct evidence of a negative effect.

jimbo92107
08-09-2012, 09:22 PM
Heck, just bring up Pedro Florimon and see what he's got. He's a great fielder, a switch hitter, and he's got a little pop in the bat. Oh, and he's cheap, compared to Casilla and Carroll.

Thrylos
08-09-2012, 09:34 PM
puke on my tennies thinking about Nishi, Escobar, Florimon, or Nishi playing every day.

Have you ever watched Florimon or Escobar play? Or the second Nishi (whomever that might be?) Just asking out of curiosity

jokin
08-09-2012, 11:20 PM
All of the concerns about being equipped to manage a more diverse workforce are of course legitimate. But this whole notion that we need a wholesale change in the ethnic composite of the organization because of language barriers and cultural insensitivities contains its own elements of racial and cultural bigotry. Show me direct evidence of a negative effect.

Who said wholesale change in ethnic composition? Shaking up the moribund thinking by bringing in quality guys with legitimate pedigree of any ethnicity has been the mantra in this thread. If one or two is Latino with high pedigree it just means value-added.

jokin
08-09-2012, 11:26 PM
Have you ever watched Florimon or Escobar play? Or the second Nishi (whomever that might be?) Just asking out of curiosity

That's the thing about sequels, they're never as good as the original....

USAFChief
08-09-2012, 11:27 PM
I don't get the love for Casilla. As a second baseman, he's substandard when you add it all up. And he's already a proven failure as a SS (how quickly some people forget).

I doubt Carroll can hack it as an everyday SS anymore either.

The choices for SS for 2013 are Dozier, someone currently in the minors, a trade, or a FA. Might as well let Dozier play out the season and figure it out over the winter.

Nick Nelson
08-09-2012, 11:37 PM
Assuming his glove is what it's cracked up to be, I think the best bet is to go with Escobar at short and bat him ninth, then figure out a 2B who can give you at least something with the bat. It's been a long time since the Twins have even had a steady defender at SS.

jokin
08-09-2012, 11:42 PM
I don't get the love for Casilla. As a second baseman, he's substandard when you add it all up. And he's already a proven failure as a SS (how quickly some people forget).

I doubt Carroll can hack it as an everyday SS anymore either.

The choices for SS for 2013 are Dozier, someone currently in the minors, a trade, or a FA. Might as well let Dozier play out the season and figure it out over the winter.

My vote for the choice the Twins end up making is a MI consisting of Carroll, Dozier and "someone currently in the minors" (Escobar most likely), although it would be quite easy to trade a prospect for an equivalent or small upgrade to the latter two- at close to the same amount they're paying for the MI this year.