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View Full Version : Spring Training - Game 17 - vs Marlins - 3/17/12



Seth Stohs
03-17-2012, 08:40 AM
The Twins travel across the state to Jupiter to take on Ozzie Guillen and the Marlins. Here is the lineup:

Denard Span CF
Tsuyoshi Nishioka SS
Danny Valencia 3B
Chris Parmelee 1B
Ryan Doumit RF
Luke Hughes DH
Michael Hollimon 2B
JR Towles C
Ben Revere LF

Carl Pavano SP

Fanatic Jack
03-17-2012, 08:55 AM
Does Michael Hollimon have any chance of making the roster as a bench player? He has been pretty impressive and can play multiple positions. You have to think there are three locks in Hughes, Butera, and Plouffe. However, not sure how Twins can send Nishioka north after more bone headed plays this spring. Not to mention he really can't play 3B.. Burroughs has been ok, but Hollimon has really looked good.

John Bonnes
03-17-2012, 09:57 AM
I gotta think that Hollimon is a long shot, maybe the longest of long shots, but there is probably a reason he's getting time at 2B today.

Seth Stohs
03-17-2012, 10:17 AM
Hollimon was pretty bad last year between AA and AAA and yet he hit a bunch of home runs (I think 18?). But I think he played 3B, 2B, 1B, LF and RF last year... not sure how much SS. The Twins signed him out of independent ball, but he did get a cup of coffee with the Tigers. I would agree that it is a very long shot. But it probably was a long shot for him to still be on the roster and gettibeng opportunities like today won't hurt... although getting more than 7 or 8 plate appearances in 2 weeks may also make it more clear why he won't be on the opening day roster.

Fanatic Jack
03-17-2012, 11:02 AM
Seth and John,

Does Tsuyoshi Nishioka make the roster out of spring training if Hollimon does not? He has looked completely lost all spring and it just does not make sense to take him north. I mean is the front office trying to minimize the fact that they signed this guy. Ryan usually does not cover for anybody in the organization, but there is no doubt as a talent evalator, he has to be upset about what he has seen from Nishioka this spring.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 12:23 PM
While Hollimon entered spring as a long-shot, I don't think he's facing those long odds any more. Still not 50-50 but not 100-1 either. If he continues to hit the ball and doesn't make a fool of himself in the field, I think he's got a shot. As Jack said, I just can't see Ryan giving Nishioka a roster spot if he continues to drag-ass over the field. Casilla can give Carroll a day off at SS from time to time if neither Hughes nor Hollimon can play the position.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 12:27 PM
Two first inning walks for Pavstache.

Seth Stohs
03-17-2012, 12:38 PM
yeah, don't get me wrong... I would much prefer Hollimon as a utility guy than Nishioka... And I agree with JC... the odds aren't as bad today as they were at the start of camp. Another hit today.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 12:42 PM
Another reason I'm starting to like Hollimon's chances more is that I can't see the Twins worrying at all about whether he gets splinters on the bench instead of playing regularly in Rochester. He's almost 30 years old, so if they can get a few months' use out of him as a bench player, why not do it? Nishioka will not get any better sitting on the bench and Dozier needs to play regularly, too.

Fanatic Jack
03-17-2012, 12:45 PM
Seth,

I honestly had never heard of Michael Hollimon until this spring. However, it's tough to overlook the spring he is having. He most likely won't make the roster but fun to root for the underdog. He is this year's Luke Hughes.

Jim H
03-17-2012, 12:46 PM
Just how bad has Nishioka been in the field this spring? I have seen the he looks lost comment a few times. A number of bloggers have been taking shots, but that seems mostly based on last year. Is the "He is Bad" comments based on a few bad plays, or more a misplay every game, or just the "He looks lost" comments? I tend to mistrust the herd mentality we find in the blogsphere and even in the main stream media. I haven't really seen anything attributed to Gardy or Ryan or even a trustworthy Twins guy.

Fanatic Jack
03-17-2012, 12:48 PM
Jim H,

He is making the same mistakes defensively as last year. Not clearing the bag on double plays, not watching the ball into his glove, not understanding game situations, and just can't adjust to how fast the game is here in the U.S.

Seth Stohs
03-17-2012, 12:52 PM
Hollimon will either be a utility player with the Twins or a utility player with the Red Wings (or possibly Rock Cats again). Based on his age, no problem with him being a utility guy at all.

I'm a lot surprised by the angst toward Nishioka. From what I read, it's certainly more than just on-field, in-game issues that have writers upset with him. Maybe it is some of last year. Maybe it's just wanting to see somebody (anybody!) else.

Shane Wahl
03-17-2012, 12:55 PM
Hollimon has the advantage of playing 4 positions at NB (2B, SS, 3B, and LF) and 3 at ROC (2B, SS LF) last year. If they are smart about Nishioka and Dozier, then it is a bit of an open battle between Hollimon, Burroughs, and Chang. I like Hollimon's chances. In this regard, he's kinda like Dinkelman but with slugging capability. That .741 OPS last year isn't wonderful, but it came with 18 homers somehow. And that's while playing 4 positions. His average is low because he strikes out a bunch, but his ISO numbers are strong. At least that's more interesting than Nishioka . . .

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 12:57 PM
Agree you have to take most of this with a grain of salt, JimH, but from radio broadcast accounts, there have been more instances where he just can't backhand a ground ball to his right. The Japanese are taught to slide over in front of every ball hit to their right, plant and throw. That affects range and his arm simply isn't all that strong.

.261/.292/.348 for a .639 OPS, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 0 for 1 on SB attempts. Just one extra-base hit (a triple in one of the first games of the season, as I recall).

The point remains that a bench player needs to be able to excel defensively OR be someone you'd want to use as a pinch hitter OR at least have speed you can use as a pinch runner. Nishioka doesn't really measure up in any of those areas and he won't get better at any of them sitting on a bench.

Shane Wahl
03-17-2012, 01:00 PM
More interesting especially since it isn't clear that Nishioka can actually play any position adequately (weak arm at short) and we know the problem at second.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 01:02 PM
For the record, Gladden just made a point of saying "nice job of getting out of the way of the baserunner by Nishioka" on that inning ending DP. So... there's that anyway. :)

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 01:07 PM
Bottom line for me on Hollimon is... you can't MAKE a team in the first two weeks of Spring Training, but you can eliminate yourself that quickly. A lot of guys in the Twins camp have already eliminated themselves but Hollimon isn't one of them.

He has to continue to hit well to make it difficult for the Twins to cut him. If he does that, he's got a shot because he profiles as a utility player more than a lot of guys. If he DOESN'T hit well, he'll just manage to be a late cut.

On that note... he's now 2 for 2 today. Hitting .500 for ST.

Shane Wahl
03-17-2012, 01:12 PM
Pavano should be going 5 today, right?

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 01:18 PM
They measure their outings by pitch counts, not innings, and I'm not sure how many pitches he's thrown, but yeah, you'd think he would be going back out for the 5th. He did walk some guys tho so maybe he's thrown more than it seems like.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 01:21 PM
See if Revere can turn a bloop single in to extra bases with a steal

Twins Fan From Afar
03-17-2012, 01:27 PM
Anyone have the current score?

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 01:28 PM
Still 1-0 Twins on Valencias HR in the 1st

Twins Fan From Afar
03-17-2012, 01:29 PM
Still 1-0 Twins on Valencias HR in the 1st

Thanks. He has shown some power in the last week.

J-Dog Dungan
03-17-2012, 01:31 PM
I also haven't heard much about him having problems in the field...I guess no news is good news when it comes to that

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 01:38 PM
Make that 2-1 Marlins after Pavstache gives up a 2 run HR to Ramirez. Pitching change... Burnett in with 2 out in the 5th.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 01:53 PM
Shift change for the Twins. Only Hughes, Revere and Hollimon remain from the original line up.

By the way, Hollimon is now 3 for 3 today.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 02:06 PM
Pavano's day: 4.2 IP, 5 hits (including a HR), 2 earned runs, 3 walks, 1 K
Burnett: 1.1 IP, 1 hit, no runs, hits, walks or Ks. Slashes his ERA from16.87 down to 11.25

Fanatic Jack
03-17-2012, 02:12 PM
Hollimon is 3-3 today and Nishioka is 0-2.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 02:16 PM
Florimon doubles, Bates singles him home. 2-2 game.

Manship with another good day. Perfect inning with 2 Ks.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 02:19 PM
Hollimon is 3-3 today and Nishioka is 0-2.

Hughes also got collared. 0 for 3 and a K.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 02:21 PM
Hollimon gets his 4th hit... this one right-handed.

Fanatic Jack
03-17-2012, 02:22 PM
Jim,

I think Hollimon has a legitimate shot if he keeps playing this well.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 02:27 PM
Jim,

I think he has a legitimate shot if he keeps playing this well.

I put up a post this morning where I mentioned that Hughes and Nishioka are still the most likely utility players to make the team, but that Hollimon has stood out and that if he keeps hitting the way he has, he could force the Twins to make a very difficult decision. Gladden mentioned that TR made the trip and is watching the game today. Hollimon certainly certainly has had to have made an impression on Ryan today. That said, he still has to keep doing what he's doing because he can't afford to give them a reason NOT to keep him.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 02:29 PM
Matt Maloney with another perfect inning with one K. Still has a perfect 0.00 ERA.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 02:32 PM
Sounds like a perfect bunt for a base hit by Revere. If he can learn to do that, it makes him a helluva lot more valuable. Adds a SB and that drag bunt becomes the same as a double.

Fanatic Jack
03-17-2012, 02:35 PM
For all those Revere haters who say he has no power, everytime he gets on base it's like a double or triple with his speed. He is a very valuable player to the team if he can get on base more often and learn how to bunt.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 02:39 PM
For all those Revere haters who say he has no power, everytime he gets on base it's like a double or triple with his speed. He is a very valuable player to the team if he can get on base more often and learn how to bunt.

That's the big "if." His speed doesn't help if he can't get on base more. Learning to bunt for a base hit is critical for him. It forces infielders to play him in, which also makes it easier to slap a ground ball through the infield.

I don't know how anyone can "hate" Revere... he seems like such a great guy... but it's fair to question whether he'll ever be enough of an offensive bat to start regularly.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 02:49 PM
I'm not sure I've ever heard of a team issuing an intentional walk in Spring Training. Ozzie has his guy give a free pass to Hollimon in the 9th inning. Leave it to Ozzie.

Jim Crikket
03-17-2012, 02:54 PM
Matt Maloney gets a second inning of work. Gives up a bloop hit, but erases it with a double play. Collected another K, too. Twins win 5-2.

Seth Stohs
03-17-2012, 04:10 PM
Best part of spring training are the great stories.

Came into camp and the story was how Nishioka would perform... Hollimon has been the story.
Came into camp hearing so much about Sean Burroughs and Steve Pearce, and it's been Aaron Bates that has been impressing.
When camp started, everyone hated that Maloney was on the 40 man roster... now we're wondering how we can get him into more situations.
Some had given up on Manship and he's been terrific.

I love spring training and the new chance that it is for everyone, from the start, to those coming back from injury, to the non-roster invitees. Hope is a beautiful thing!

Fanatic Jack
03-17-2012, 04:20 PM
Seth, I agree with you it's been fun to watch...Do you think Michael Hoilliman has a legitimate chance to make the roster or is it just fun talk..He had to win a few points today with a great game and Ryan watching.

Seth Stohs
03-17-2012, 04:52 PM
Seth, I agree with you it's been fun to watch...Do you think Michael Hoilliman has a legitimate chance to make the roster or is it just fun talk..He had to win a few points today with a great game and Ryan watching.

My opinion is that he is now officially in the discussions. It is likely he'll get a few more starts in an attempt to get him more at bats against big league pitchers and see how he does. Like Jim Crikket said earlier, you really can't win a job in the first couple of weeks, but now as players move down and his ABs come against better players, we'll see how he does. Odds may still be a little long, but he's giving the Twins an alternative, which is good. Plus, Hollimon obviously has some talent. He has played in the big leagues before (limited, but still, he's done it). And, I'm also a big believer in, once you have good success in AA, anyone can play in the big leagues as a role player if given an opportunity. Hollimon, as a utility player, could be just fine.

And, secondly, it is fun talk, a great story!!