View Full Version : What Do The Twins Do If Morneau Can't Go?

John Bonnes
01-14-2012, 09:12 AM
A lot of names are thrown around about backup plans if Morneau isn't right this year. The first problem with those plans is: none of them are likely to produce like Justin Morneau. The second problem is that they all have such significant risks.

1) Mauer - But then Doumit is the fulltime catcher. I can't see either his defense or his body lasting long as a fulltime catcher.

2) Doumit - Ok, but then who is DH? One way or the other, I think this means a platoon of Hughes and Plouffe, which also means Ben Revere is the full time left fielder.

3) Parmelee - I'm as optimistic as anyone about his chance to have a MLB career. But rushing the kid to play full time after completely skipping AAA seems like the best method to jeopardize that.

4) The kid they got from Pittsburgh - Wow. Talk about reaching.

I know we've been talking about how the Twins should spend $1-$2M on a relief pitcher, and that still is a higher priority, but I would sure like to see another $1-$2M spent on a good bat, even if he can only play DH. Talk about a low risk, low cost, high impact move....

Nick Nelson
01-14-2012, 01:45 PM
There's no great answer, unfortunately. I think the best approach would be to alternate Mauer and Doumit between C/1B/DH, while hoping that someone like J.R. Towles, Steven Pearce or Sean Burroughs can emerge as a legitimate third piece in that rotation.

Seth Stohs
01-14-2012, 01:51 PM
I'll just mention that Aaron Bates should be considered an option early in the season if Parmelee struggles in Rochester. Bates joined the Red Wings last year in early May and hit .316/.404 with a bunch of extra base hits. He's not young, but he was a 3rd round pick by the Red Sox in 2006 who worked his way up to the Boston lineup by the end of the 2009 season. I'd consider him before Pearce, or as a bench guy should they use the Doumit/Mauer split at 1B as well.

Parker Hageman
01-14-2012, 02:19 PM
The kid they got from Pittsburgh - Wow. Talk about reaching.

Pearce has been very talented in the minors - hitting .292/.367/.519. That of course has not translated into major league success but it is possible that he is a slow-developer that could emerge like a Casey Kotchman.

While Bates put up some impressive numbers at Rochester, a lot of that seems BABIP-driven. Yes, he had a solid 23% line drive rate but the .407 BABIP is likely unsustainable moving forward (although he has been well above .300 for most of his career). At the same time, he is slaughtering the ball in the Puerto Rican Winter League (hitting .356/.396/.556 in 47 PAs), so I think at the very least he's done enough to merit an audition.

Twins Daily Admin
01-14-2012, 04:09 PM
I like the name of Burroughs, but that illustrates a the key point here: they could have their pick of a bunch of leftover DHs for incredibly cheap. Vlad, Matsui...I might kick the tires on Nady. When Overbay is signing for 1/1, the market just isn't there for these guys. How about Ibanez? Ordonez? Conor Jackson? Carlos Guillen? Isn't an insurance policy worth $1M?

Seth Stohs
01-14-2012, 04:38 PM
Ordonez at $1M is intriguing.

I like Bates though... FSN would have his new wife, Lacey Wilson, on their cameras all of the time!!

Parker Hageman
01-15-2012, 08:29 PM
they could have their pick of a bunch of leftover DHs for incredibly cheap. Vlad, Matsui...I might kick the tires on Nady.

There is a reason those guys are still on the market -- mainly that they are all spent. We saw last year what happens to a 36-year-old Guerrero when you take him out of a very hitter-friendly ballpark: the power vanishes. Can't imagine him having any more success at Target Field. Matsui encountered the same struggles in Oakland.

Ordonez was one guy who, during the post-season, I thought would be a huge bargain this offseason. Unfortunately, he re-aggravated his knee and required more surgery. This pretty much kept him from performing at the beginning of the 2011 season. Still, if you get him on a minor league deal and he proves to be healthy, he would be a solid right-handed addition but I wouldn't count on a rebound.

John Bonnes
01-17-2012, 10:33 AM
Spent or no, the point is that if the Twins don't sign someone, they're trotting out some combination of Revere-Plouffe-Hughes in TWO of the lineup spots AND lose their #5 hitter. What's more, there really isn't a left-handed bat on the bench. Getting a non-fielding bat isnt' going to be that expensive, especially in this market. It's pennywise and poundfoolish to not get a little insurance on this season, especially when the best other solution seems to be rushing Parmelee.

Seth Stohs
01-17-2012, 02:42 PM
While true, If Morneau is the lone player missing, they can be OK... I'd spend the money on pitching if there is any money. Playing two of those three is just what would need to happen.

John Bonnes
01-17-2012, 06:31 PM
...you just might get it.

I just saw the Mark Teahan was released by the Jays. Does he not sound EXACTLY like a guy the Twins would target as a bench bat? Ugh.


Parker Hageman
01-17-2012, 11:57 PM
I don't know, basically Teahen and Sean Burroughs are the exact same type of hitter -- both are left-handed and use the opposite field a lot. I would guess if they are going to add another hitter, it won't be Teahen.

Seth Stohs
01-18-2012, 08:31 AM
Saw that, but there's no way that the Twins would go there, so that's good!

Parker Hageman
01-18-2012, 11:29 AM
Based on FSN's interview with Terry Ryan, it appears that the Twins will not be pursuing an insurance policy for Morneau.