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John Bonnes
08-08-2012, 08:24 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?898-Offensively-Twins-Remain-Uneven

Jim H
08-08-2012, 09:01 PM
I agree that there are areas that need improvement besides pitching. I don't if your chart really clarifies things or not. A lot of the issues center around the infield both offensively and defensively. Is Plouffe the real thing? The power seems to be there. He looked ok defensively for a guy who hadn't really played 3rd much. I still wonder if he can hit for enough average.

I like Dozier. I believe he will be good enough defensively and offensively to hold shortstop down for a few years. A bigger question is 2B. Carroll is a utility infielder. Casilla has played himself off the team. Nishioka seems to be going that direction, again. There is nobody else remotely close to the big leagues to be excited about.

I think that if you believe that the last few are the real Morneau, which I kind of do, then 1B is in very good shape.

It would be very easy to get excited about next year if the Twins can acquire a couple of front line starters this winter. Of course, they have to do it without trading away too much offense.

stringer bell
08-08-2012, 09:43 PM
Yes, the Twins are uneven. There is consensus that the top seven hitters are good enough to staff a contender and I agree. The remaining two positions would be short and second. I think good production from one and slightly improved from the other would be enough to move the Twins to the top half of attacks in the AL. The major problem here is there is not much behind the top seven. The only guy that gives any indication of being a high-OPS hitter is Parmelee and he did produce nearly identical numbers to Valencia when both were sent down. Parmelee has responded by laying waste to AAA, so I think he could come back a put up decent or better numbers. The fact is I would like to see Parm in the lineup already, but unless someone is traded or injured, there is no place for him to play. The relatively low OPS ratings for Revere and Span are mitigated by their on-base skills, defense, and in Revere's case, prowess on the bases.

All told, there is a risk that the offense would go backward with a similar cast of characters next year, but the real issue remains starting pitching.

nokomismod
08-08-2012, 10:31 PM
Good post as I didn't know how truly bad offensively both SS and 2b have been this year. If we could get average offense and defense out of the short position next year out of Dozier, and above average defense and below average offense out of the other (guy who was acquired from the White Sox who's name I won't be able to remember due to too much Scotch Guard), I would be very pleased.
I know that's a lot of improvement to expect from Dozier next year, but I think that's what the Twins will do.
I also wish the Twins would use the next 7 weeks to see if Casilla can produce instead of Nishi.

birdwatcher
08-09-2012, 08:24 AM
It's a positive that Terry Ryan would SUGGEST we have other holes, as opposed to Billy Smith, who would refuse to ADMIT it.

diehardtwinsfan
08-09-2012, 08:34 AM
The issue here is depth and the fact that you quote a season's worth of numbers without any real context behind them. 1B and 3B in particular are NOT the same positions now than what they were in the spring. On the depth side of things, if Mauer was playing catcher a bit more (and moving Butera out of the lineup alltogether), the catching position improves (though I'm not sure management supports the idea of keeping Mauer behind the plate more).

I'd be more inclined to use the guys who will be startinga these roles in 2013 and extrapolate their numbers based on the context... If Plouffe is for real, 3B is a top 5 position. If Morneau has returned, 1B is a top 5 position. I realize that these are "ifs", but there's plenty of evidence that should give the FO hopes that these are reasonable gambles. With 25M to spend, the Twins won't be able to "fix" every position, so counting on Morneau and Plouffe is very defensable.

The problem beyond this though is depth. Next year's depth of guys that can help on the offense will be Parmelee and Hicks/Benson/Arcia. There's no depth in the middle or on the mound for that matter, and the guys manning it now certainly don't inspire confidence (though I do think there's very good reason to think Dozier will eventually earn one of those positions)

birdwatcher
08-09-2012, 08:59 AM
I agree about the depth issue, but think the quality issue at SS and 2B is more problematic (broken record). When your options are Dozier, Casilla, Carroll, Escobar, and Florimon (am I missing someone for 2013?) it appears logical to me to go outside the system for a fix at one of the two positions. Maybe, for the first time in a long long time, they'll trade a prospect for......nah. Never mind.

diehardtwinsfan
08-09-2012, 10:18 AM
I agree about the depth issue, but think the quality issue at SS and 2B is more problematic (broken record). When your options are Dozier, Casilla, Carroll, Escobar, and Florimon (am I missing someone for 2013?) it appears logical to me to go outside the system for a fix at one of the two positions. Maybe, for the first time in a long long time, they'll trade a prospect for......nah. Never mind.


You forgot Nishi :)

Though I'll say this, every time this team has had a decent middle infield, the MI players manage to find their way into Gardy's dog house and get run out. Bartlett and Hardy are more recent examples. Both were good players at their position. Both were sent away for nothing.

3up3down
08-09-2012, 10:43 AM
i believe the twins are closer to competeing than most....simply trade span for whatever(maybe a 2nd baseman) move revere to center...then you have 2 ways to go either sign a power guy for RF or simply play doumit or parmalee in RF and the other DHs...upgrade at 2B & sign a true ace (there arent many to choose from)..with a rotation like wainright,diamond,baker, low level free agent, #5 innings eater, walters,blackburn,devries...(of those i believe walters has the best stuff & could be a very good #5, his change up sets him apart from the others) deduno has a good enough slider he could be a weapon out of the pen ,but not a option as a starter , he has no idea where his FB is going.....just to clear up i am not down on span but his replacement is better defensively & at the plate & cheaper....

Rosterman
08-09-2012, 11:02 AM
The Twins biggest problem offensively is moving runners and bringing them home, especially with limited outs. And a solid bench so you can have a better chance to get that fly ball, keep out of a double play, sacrifice, or run like hell (Mastro does serve that purpose).

birdwatcher
08-09-2012, 11:20 AM
Completely valid criticism on the Bartlett and Hardy decisions, diehard.

diehardtwinsfan
08-09-2012, 11:41 AM
i believe the twins are closer to competeing than most....simply trade span for whatever(maybe a 2nd baseman) move revere to center...then you have 2 ways to go either sign a power guy for RF or simply play doumit or parmalee in RF and the other DHs...upgrade at 2B & sign a true ace (there arent many to choose from)..with a rotation like wainright,diamond,baker, low level free agent, #5 innings eater, walters,blackburn,devries...(of those i believe walters has the best stuff & could be a very good #5, his change up sets him apart from the others) deduno has a good enough slider he could be a weapon out of the pen ,but not a option as a starter , he has no idea where his FB is going.....just to clear up i am not down on span but his replacement is better defensively & at the plate & cheaper....

The Twins need at least 2 pitchers, and I'd prefer a 3rd on a 1 year high upside prove it type deal. We shouldn't be counting on too many guys like Deduno and Walters for next year. We just shouldn't. Those guys belong in AAA for depth. They'll be needed at one point, but should not be counted on as starters. This team also shoudln't be counting on Hendriks and Gibson either for this season. One or both of them should likely emerge at one point during the season, but expecting both to is dangerous.

If you flip Span (or Revere), I don't think you do it for a 2B. You do it for a pitcher, as I don't see this team spending 25M and getting 2 or 3 decent pitchers this offseason. I agree that Dozier needs to improve, though there's good reason to think that he can. There's not a lot of hope for both spots though, as Carol is what he is. Nishi's collosal failure might buy Casilla one more year to put things together, but like most I don't have the confidence he can do that. It might be better to take a flier on guys like Kelly Johnson or Jeff Baker to man that spot for a year or two until one of Santana, Arcia, or Michael is ready.

Paul
08-09-2012, 11:42 AM
You forgot Nishi :)

Though I'll say this, every time this team has had a decent middle infield, the MI players manage to find their way into Gardy's dog house and get run out. Bartlett and Hardy are more recent examples. Both were good players at their position. Both were sent away for nothing.

Nothing? You're calling the offensive juggernaut SS called Brendan Harris and the flame thrower Jim Hoey nothing? Plus weren't there a couple more guys thrown in that almost made AA?

Seriously, I think the problem with Gardy / SS is that Gardy was a very good div 1 SS, gotten old, tryin' to tell plus/plus major leaguers their business.

jokin
08-09-2012, 12:02 PM
It's a positive that Terry Ryan would SUGGEST we have other holes, as opposed to Billy Smith, who would refuse to ADMIT it.

I would SUGGEST that it's very telling that the woeful Cleveland Indians have higher quality positional depth in the MI than the Twins. Though I ADMIT not huge talents, DFA'd Jose Lopez, Cord Phelps, Jason Kipnis, Juan Diaz and Jason Donald would be inexpensive upgrades at 2B or SS and could be easily acquired for little-to-nothing in return.

RickSchuette
08-09-2012, 12:53 PM
This is Minnesota. We can't move Son of Sal out of the lineup. Baseball is now an international sport, with thousands of players on hundreds of teams spread across nearly every continent. Is Drew Butera really among the top 60 catchers on the planet?

SeanS7921
08-09-2012, 01:02 PM
OPS isn't a very good stat as it totally undervalues players who get on base as opposed to players that do not but hit home runs. Slugging % is a way more important piece in the calculation thatn OBP. Ben Revere is mentioned as crud except he plays well on the Defensive side. The guy has an OBP % over 350 and may win the batting title while stealing 40+ bases. Right there that shows you how weak OPS is. It impacts Mauer as well when is OPS relates him to the same category as Trevor Plouffe despite a 70 pt difference in Average and 90 point difference in OBP. WAR is a MUCH better stat which is briefly mentioned for Revere. The lineup is perfect minus one addition to SS or 2B. Most likely get rid of Dozier who sucks and get a utility guy like Carroll that can give you defense and a 1-1.5 WAR which would be sufficent.

SpiritofVodkaDave
08-09-2012, 01:07 PM
OPS is a perfectly fine stat.
Also Plouffe has played better then Mauer this year. That isn't a knock on Mauer as much as it is the fact that Trevor Plouffe has been playing out of his mind.

OPS like most every other stat doesn't obviously tell the full story, as you have to take things such as speed, and defensive value into effect as well. However OPS is miles ahead of "traditional" stats like batting average, RBI's and Runs.

jokin
08-09-2012, 01:09 PM
WAR is a MUCH better stat which is briefly mentioned for Revere.

"WAR- What is it good for?" [To many folks, "absolutely nothing"]

3up3down
08-09-2012, 01:12 PM
diehard, i agree with your comments....and i also said they need 2 pitchers... you spend money on a ace, then you fill #2&3 with baker & diamond, sign a free agent #4 or trade then you have a walters that can match up with other teams #5....i agree you cant rely on a walters ,deduno ,devries as 1,2 or #3 guys but they can be #5s.....as far as gibson maybe...hendricks does not have the stuff to start or help in the pen....

Curt
08-09-2012, 01:43 PM
OPS isn't a very good stat as it totally undervalues players who get on base as opposed to players that do not but hit home runs..


OPS is a perfectly fine stat.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_Production_Average

Gross Production Average or GPA is a baseball statistic created in 2003 by Aaron Gleeman, as a refinement of On-Base Plus Slugging (OPS). GPA attempts to solve two frequently cited problems with OPS. First, OPS gives equal weight to its two components, On Base Percentage (OBP) and Slugging Percentage (SLG). In fact, OBP contributes significantly more to scoring runs than SLG does. Sabermetricians have calculated that OBP is about 80% more valuable than SLG...

Unlike OPS, this formula both gives proper relative weight to its two component statistics...

Brock Beauchamp
08-09-2012, 02:05 PM
If you're talking about only the offensive contribution of a player, it doesn't make much sense to use normal WAR, as it factors in defense.

OPS is a decent quick and dirty stat but I prefer OBP/SLG splits. Either way, OPS isn't a bad baseline stat to use in a comparison like this.

Winston Smith
08-09-2012, 02:07 PM
Where is the bar set? Compete for a central title, or field a team that is playoff caliber? Adding a couple mid level starters and an upgrade in MI may get you a chance in the Central but it won't make you a playoff quality team, imo. Without very good top of the rotation starters getting far in the playoffs is slim at best.
Looking at next year should also include what we have this year and are these guys likely to repeat. Are Willy and Doumsie going to stay healthy and productive their track record says probably not. Will young guys like Reverie and Plouffie repeat in a soph. yr? Will M & M boys stay healthy? This team has been very heathy this year amoung the position players, that is not likely to repeat. All of the big bats have a history of injuries and all have been healthy, hold your breath because our depth is next to zero!

crarko
08-09-2012, 02:11 PM
Where is the bar set? Compete for a central title, or field a team that is playoff caliber? Adding a couple mid level starters and an upgrade in MI may get you a chance in the Central but it won't make you a playoff quality team, imo. Without very good top of the rotation starters getting far in the playoffs is slim at best.
Looking at next year should also include what we have this year and are these guys likely to repeat. Are Willy and Doumsie going to stay healthy and productive their track record says probably not. Will young guys like Reverie and Plouffie repeat in a soph. yr? Will M & M boys stay healthy? This team has been very heathy this year amoung the position players, that is not likely to repeat. All of the big bats have a history of injuries and all have been healthy, hold your breath because our depth is next to zero!

Since there's no chance then, cutting the payroll to like 60 million is a good thing then, right? Why waste good money on these stiffs.:jump:

PopRiveter
08-09-2012, 02:18 PM
Completely valid criticism on the Bartlett and Hardy decisions, diehard.

My trouble with that criticism is that he pointed to "Gardy's doghouse." Gardenhire has made it clear in interviews that he was disappointed to lose Bartlett. I wish I could recall the exact wording, but I remember him saying something like "I thought we finally had our long-term shortstop, but they traded him."
And does anyone remember Gardenhire ever criticizing Hardy? All I remember is a lot of "He knows how to pick it," and "He makes all the plays," etc.
It's been my impression that these were FO decisions that he didn't care for much.

PopRiveter
08-09-2012, 02:22 PM
Found it! Lavelle E Neal wrote the article http://m.startribune.com/news/?id=141377903
"When we lost Bartlett, that was the most frustrating thing for me," Gardenhire said. "I thought we had Bartlett where we wanted him. So when we made the trade with Bartlett, then I was frustrated. But it is what it is. I wanted Bartlett to stay here. I thought we had gotten him to the point where we wanted, so I was not on the Bartlett side of the trade."

RickSchuette
08-09-2012, 02:24 PM
Excellent point on this. Gardy exhibits some of the same issues with young middle infielders that Tom Kelly had with catchers. He has never met one that he thinks is a bona fide major leaguer.

diehardtwinsfan
08-09-2012, 02:29 PM
Found it! Lavelle E Neal wrote the article http://m.startribune.com/news/?id=141377903
"When we lost Bartlett, that was the most frustrating thing for me," Gardenhire said. "I thought we had Bartlett where we wanted him. So when we made the trade with Bartlett, then I was frustrated. But it is what it is. I wanted Bartlett to stay here. I thought we had gotten him to the point where we wanted, so I was not on the Bartlett side of the trade."

It is easy to make a statement like that now, in spring training of 2012 after Bartlett is an established regular, but in practice, when Bartlett played for this team, he was constantly in the dog house with Gardy, whether that was because he was made to spend more time in AAA to learn to be more vocal in the IF (while Juan Castro started for them) or getting benched after not being able to handle a grounder that no other SS in the league would have even been able to get to. Perhaps Gardy was overruled by teh front office, but there's little indication in his treatment of Bartlett while he was a Twin that this was the case.

diehardtwinsfan
08-09-2012, 02:32 PM
Where is the bar set? Compete for a central title, or field a team that is playoff caliber? Adding a couple mid level starters and an upgrade in MI may get you a chance in the Central but it won't make you a playoff quality team, imo. Without very good top of the rotation starters getting far in the playoffs is slim at best.
Looking at next year should also include what we have this year and are these guys likely to repeat. Are Willy and Doumsie going to stay healthy and productive their track record says probably not. Will young guys like Reverie and Plouffie repeat in a soph. yr? Will M & M boys stay healthy? This team has been very heathy this year amoung the position players, that is not likely to repeat. All of the big bats have a history of injuries and all have been healthy, hold your breath because our depth is next to zero!

Whether you like it or not, the team is going to need to take some baby steps to move forward. They have glaring weaknesses in their SP, but that isn't going to get fixed in one offseason. They need to figure out if Dozier can be a competent regular, and while he's shown some flashes of being a good player, there have been lumps too. I'm fine with being a competitor in 2013, especially since I would expect both Hendricks and Gibson to take some lumps next year. I don't think the Twins should be satisfied with that though.

snepp
08-09-2012, 03:02 PM
OPS does break down a bit at the extremes, but in general it's pretty effective.

GPA? Why bother? If you're not going to use OPS, you may as well go straight to a linear weights measure like wOBA that includes base running.

Winston Smith
08-09-2012, 03:35 PM
Since there's no chance then, cutting the payroll to like 60 million is a good thing then, right? Why waste good money on these stiffs.:jump:

"no chance" are your words. Who did I call a stiff?
Building a playoff type team takes steps and part of that is being prepared for injuries and failures. The last few years this team hasn't really had much of a backup plan. Lack of depth is not unique to the Twins it just seems like it always or nearly always comes into play with us.
My question was are we just trying to compete or is there a longer term plan in place to be a quality playoff type team? (I can't see us ever buying a team like some do with a 120m or larger payroll) If you just want to compete you keep all these guys and try to find a few starters to fill out the rotation. If you are looking at building a strong playoff team it probably means trading some of these guys and building up the talent level in the minors for a run a few years down the road.

Dilligaf69
08-09-2012, 03:51 PM
2B and RF are the big ?.....Can Parmalee learn to play well enough in RF to earn a full time spot and thus hold down a everyday spot in the lineup?? If Span is traded and Revere takes over CF he may get a shot especially if they keep Justin going into next season.

SeanS7921
08-09-2012, 05:02 PM
No Trevor Plouffe hasn't even been close to the level of Mauer's performance. Below average defense at 3rd base and a 330 OBP with a 259 Average doesn't translate into a better season than a player who leads the league in OBP and is in the top 5 in average with a war 3+ as opposed to Plouffe who has one around 2. Plouffe has struck out 57 times. That is 2 less than Mauer while having a 100 less at bats. It's not even close.

jokin
08-09-2012, 05:14 PM
No Trevor Plouffe hasn't even been close to the level of Mauer's performance. Below average defense at 3rd base and a 330 OBP with a 259 Average doesn't translate into a better season than a player who leads the league in OBP and is in the top 5 in average with a war 3+ as opposed to Plouffe who has one around 2. Plouffe has struck out 57 times. That is 2 less than Mauer while having a 100 less at bats. It's not even close.

Speaking of close-

Qualifers in AL/OBP

1) Ortiz .414
2) Mauer: .413

jokin
08-09-2012, 05:15 PM
No Trevor Plouffe hasn't even been close to the level of Mauer's performance. Below average defense at 3rd base and a 330 OBP with a 259 Average doesn't translate into a better season than a player who leads the league in OBP and is in the top 5 in average with a war 3+ as opposed to Plouffe who has one around 2. Plouffe has struck out 57 times. That is 2 less than Mauer while having a 100 less at bats. It's not even close.

Mauer's WAR is goosed as a part-time C.

Oxtung
08-09-2012, 05:34 PM
Mauer's WAR is goosed as a part-time C.

And part time DH and part time 1B. Those would seem to average out to be perhaps only slightly above a 3B in the "value added by position" category.

70charger
08-09-2012, 08:36 PM
No Trevor Plouffe hasn't even been close to the level of Mauer's performance. Below average defense at 3rd base and a 330 OBP with a 259 Average doesn't translate into a better season than a player who leads the league in OBP and is in the top 5 in average with a war 3+ as opposed to Plouffe who has one around 2. Plouffe has struck out 57 times. That is 2 less than Mauer while having a 100 less at bats. It's not even close.

WAR with respect to defensive position aside, I agree with this perspective. I don't think it's accurate to say that Plouffe has had a better season. From mid-May until his injury? Yup. (Again, not because Mauer is doing badly; because Plouffe beginning about May 15 was otherworldly.) But that's only about a month, and Mauer has been back to his old rock-solid, consistent self.

Perhaps we're splitting hairs.