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View Full Version : Article: Nishioka Among Twins Second Roster Cuts



Seth Stohs
03-19-2012, 08:21 AM
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.php?334-Twins-Make-Second-Roster-Cuts

mike wants wins
03-19-2012, 08:55 AM
Glad to see them making the first hard decision they need to make this year. I hope they continue to make them (Butera would be next on my list of decisions that are hard for the Twins to make, but that show they are going to start making them). It's clear Nishioka is not currently a MLB player. And, I'll admit, I thought it was a good gamble to take (having never seen him, I went on faith that the scouts saw something there).

dberthia
03-19-2012, 09:18 AM
Agree completely with "mike wants wins". It's not fair to the team to keep folks like Nishi and Butera on a big league roster. I'm hopeful that they're going to continue to keep making the right decisions this year by dropping Butera. Sad to say it, but I think it's time to encourage Morneau to retire as well. It's a damn shame it's come to this, but again, it's really not fair to the team to keep him on the big league roster.

jimbo92107
03-19-2012, 09:23 AM
Understandable decision with Nishioka, who seems to be having trouble learning the MLB basics of fielding. Nobody wants to see a guy get hurt out there because he doesn't know how to protect himself turning a double play. I just hope Nishi is able to learn and regain his confidence. He could still be a good utility man, possibly a starting 2B.

mike wants wins
03-19-2012, 09:42 AM
Agree with jimbo, I'd love to see him learn and succeed.

J-Dog Dungan
03-19-2012, 09:46 AM
So that means that these guys are left to fight for the last few roster spots:
Pitchers:
Alex Burnett
Terry Doyle
Jeff Gray
Liam Hendriks
Matt Maloney
Jeff Manship
Kyle Waldrop
Jared Burton
Sam Deduno
Phil Dumatrait
Casey Fien
Brendan Wise
Bench Players:
Drew Butera
Danny Lehmann
Rene Rivera
J.R. Towles
Sean Burroughs
Ray Chang
Brian Dinkelman
Brian Dozier
Pedro Florimon
Mike Hollimon
Luke Hughes
Chris Parmelee
Joe Benson
Matt Carson
Rene Tosoni

The ones,to me, that are looking promising on this list are Hollimon, Parmelee, Rivera (ish), Maloney, Waldrop, Manship, Burton.
The next guys that should be cut in my mind should be: Burnett(send to AAA), Butera (send to AAA), & Chang (send to AA/AAA),

JakeE141414
03-19-2012, 09:55 AM
The Dozier vs. Hollimon decision will be interesting. It obviously doesn't make sense for Dozier to make the club if he won't be a starter, but Hollimon could easily fill in the utilitly infielder role. Also, one of the Twins' beat writers mentioned this morning that it is possible the Twins would go sign a backup middle infielder.

mike wants wins
03-19-2012, 10:20 AM
Why doesn't it make sense for Dozier to make the club as a backup? If he's better than Holliman, why not bring him up? Will you use the same logic next year, and waste two years of his prime in AAA? Because logically, that's what you are saying?

J-Dog Dungan
03-19-2012, 10:23 AM
My bad, Tosoni was optioned out as well

Cody Christie
03-19-2012, 10:40 AM
I like the idea of letting Dozier start at shortstop and giving Carroll second base. Casilla could slide into a utility type role

Jim H
03-19-2012, 10:43 AM
I guess everyone was right about Nishioka. My question is will the Twins try to sell his contract to a Japanese team? If he isn't a utility man and Dozier is considered to be the medium term answer at short-what real value does Nishioka have to the Twins? I don't know if it is possible to sell his contract to a Japanese team, or what Nishioka's wishes might be. I can't see that playing at AAA will do him a lot of good, but I suppose I could be wrong.

Dilligaf69
03-19-2012, 10:58 AM
I like the idea of letting Dozier start at shortstop and giving Carroll second base. Casilla could slide into a utility type role



I could live with this.. at least to start. They could always go back to their original plan. But as always you have to remember this is still ONLY spring. It's alot different when the real games start, we have seen plenty of good springs turn into not so good summers. I will say that I think Lexi plays better when he's playing everday although in theory he's perfectly suited for a backup utilty role because he can play 2B/SS and has ZERO power. All in all I think the Twins could roll the dice here and start Dozier at SS and Carroll at 2B which is probably a better spot for him anyway. Either way we should see Dozier barring "injury" come May/June.

ltwedt
03-19-2012, 10:58 AM
Good to see that the Twins are making hard decisions - I also hope that they will look at escaping their obligations to Nishi any way they can - ie., selling his contract to a Japanese team, if that is a possibility. You can't teach "good hands", and isn't he a bit old to teach fundamental infield play and position responsibilities?

Also like Dozier a lot! If Carroll is going to display Butera-like ability at the plate, give the SS job to him - like, NOW!

John Bonnes
03-19-2012, 11:06 AM
I gotta think the chances of Dozier making this team are close to nonexistant. There is no way, barring injury, they hand him a starting job based on a couple of extra hits in spring training - and they shouldn't. And I agree - you don't want Dozier on the bench in MLB - you want him playing in AAA, getting ready for a starting job in MLB.

But I'll be honest, I have no idea who else they're going to take. I assume Plouffe (if he's healthy), Hughes (ditto) and 3rd catcher....Lord, I wonder if Hollimon really has a chance. I'm starting to think he does.

Nick Nelson
03-19-2012, 11:30 AM
We'll see how Hollimon's playing time changes after this move. Thus far he's only gotten 15 AB all spring and I think he's only started once or twice -- that's just not the treatment you give to a guy you're taking a hard look at for a roster spot.

I maintain that the Twins might not take a true "utility guy" north. They've got some guys who can back up SS in a pinch, and could call someone up quickly in the event of an injury.

Seth Stohs
03-19-2012, 11:36 AM
There is no way, barring injury, they hand him a starting job based on a couple of extra hits in spring training - and they shouldn't.

They woudln't base it on a couple of hits... they would be basing it on things like his leadership qualities, his personality, his ability to handle it, his numbers in 2011 and the improvements shown. Many things but it won't be anything about 15-20 at bats. I just think that they brought in Carroll, and they're giong to give Casilla one more try, and hopefully Dozier tears it up in Rochester and takes one of their jobs in June. I think that'd be great.

However, the same qualities that veterans and coaches talked about with Mauer all those spring trainings ago are the same qualities that the coaches, front office and teammates are saying about Dozier now. Granted, Mauer was 20 and Dozier is 24, so they're not comparing them in terms of prospect status, but about their ability to help the team win.

Seth Stohs
03-19-2012, 11:38 AM
We'll see how Hollimon's playing time changes after this move. Thus far he's only gotten 15 AB all spring and I think he's only started once or twice -- that's just not the treatment you give to a guy you're taking a hard look at for a roster spot.


Exactly. What he's done to this point is stay on the big league roster for another week. his 8-15 start keeps him getting looks. What he does from this point forward will determine whether he will be a serious contender. I think he's only made one start. He hasn't yet played SS, I don't think. Last year he played 3B, SS, 2B and LF. Didn't hit well, but did hit a lot of homers. He's already 28-29, so he can be a utility guy at this stage. He does have big league experience too, albeit limited, but that can't hurt. I'd still categorize it as a long shot.

Shane Wahl
03-19-2012, 11:53 AM
Burroughs
Chang
Dinkelman
Dozier
Florimon
Hollimon
Carson

for the 25th roster spot. Dozier won't make the team as a backup, and he shouldn't. Casilla's not losing his spot out of the gates, and Carroll is not going to be signed and then placed on the bench because of some bad spring training. I don't think Dinkelman is still around for any really reason besides it is nice to have super utility guys for games in spring. So Burroughs (L), Chang (R), Hollimon (S), and Florimon (S) in the IF (and Hollimon as third LF), and Carson (R) in the OF are left for serious Twins 25th spot consideration. I still am intrigued most by Carson's power in this group, but Hollimon has to be right there at the top. I don't think it is a long shot anymore.

Shane Wahl
03-19-2012, 11:57 AM
But yeah, cheers to the Twins making the right decision for Nishioka and themselves. My guess is that he and Dozier play the middle infield positions at Rochester with Florimon as the reserve. First injury to an infielder, and it is likely Nishioka's name that gets called.

diehardtwinsfan
03-19-2012, 12:09 PM
I'm with John, I don't see Dozier making it this year baring injury. He needs to be playing every day, and he won't be doing that in Minnesota this season unless someone gets hurt. I'm confused though why everyone seems to think that we need another utiltiy infielder. I thought that is what Luke Hughes was going to be. He's also a decent bat. Plouffe can switch back to the middle if needed, and I wouldn't be surprised in the least if this allows them to either carry an extra pitcher or to make a spot for Parmalee... I really think this is what they are doing. Chris continues to hit. He could carry 1B/DH roles with Justin. Doumit moves into a C/1B/DH/RF role, and Revere spends more time on the bench/spot starting/pinch running/defensive sub.

Thrylos
03-19-2012, 12:12 PM
The only cut that surprised me was Bates. Win Nishoka being where he needs to be, that opens 2 spots (I assume that Hughes and Plouffe are in) for the Bench. Given that Hughes can back up all infield positions other than SS, and Casilla can back up SS, it is not necessary that they get another middle infielder up North. I thought that Bates had a chance, but apparently the Twins feel like Morneau is fine.

Teflon
03-19-2012, 12:29 PM
Here's a novel idea - don't keep a third catcher. What's the worst thing that can happen? You have to sacrifice the DH spot for a couple of at-bats in a game if Mauer gets hurt and Doumit moves to catcher? (Gosh - you could even pinch hit in that situation for the pitcher, couldn't you?). Does this one possibility really justify carrying a stiff on the roster for 162 games?

Seth Stohs
03-19-2012, 12:31 PM
I don't disagree, Teflon... could have a guy up from Rochester the next afternoon.

Neinstein
03-19-2012, 12:45 PM
Here's a novel idea - don't keep a third catcher. What's the worst thing that can happen? You have to sacrifice the DH spot for a couple of at-bats in a game if Mauer gets hurt and Doumit moves to catcher? (Gosh - you could even pinch hit in that situation for the pitcher, couldn't you?). Does this one possibility really justify carrying a stiff on the roster for 162 games?
I actually thought that would be the plan after signing Doumit. The very idea of having a 3rd Catcher sitting around game after game. Save that seat for someone who can do some real damage to the ball.
I will be very annoyed if they keep on a 3rd Catcher.

Teflon
03-19-2012, 12:54 PM
I don't disagree, Teflon... could have a guy up from Rochester the next afternoon.

Exactly. I think a bat like Parmelee's would be more valuable to the team than a third catcher. He can spell Morneau at 1B, DH, maybe even slip into RF for J-Willi from time to time.

Thrylos
03-19-2012, 01:15 PM
Here's a novel idea - don't keep a third catcher. What's the worst thing that can happen? You have to sacrifice the DH spot for a couple of at-bats in a game if Mauer gets hurt and Doumit moves to catcher? (Gosh - you could even pinch hit in that situation for the pitcher, couldn't you?). Does this one possibility really justify carrying a stiff on the roster for 162 games?


I don't disagree, Teflon... could have a guy up from Rochester the next afternoon.

Another note for this point: Willingham entered the league as a catcher. They could move him behind the plate for a couple of innings if needed without losing the DH. If he starts putting the Catcher's gear on later in ST, that would be an indication that they will only have 2 catchers.

roger
03-19-2012, 01:49 PM
We'll see how Hollimon's playing time changes after this move. Thus far he's only gotten 15 AB all spring and I think he's only started once or twice -- that's just not the treatment you give to a guy you're taking a hard look at for a roster spot.

I maintain that the Twins might not take a true "utility guy" north. They've got some guys who can back up SS in a pinch, and could call someone up quickly in the event of an injury.


If they do bring a utility man north, there is some talk about Floriman getting into the mix for the utility spot. He has seen reasonable playing time of late.

Kudos to Mr. Ryan for making the right decision regarding Nishioka!

Jim H
03-19-2012, 01:50 PM
Ryan said on the radio today that Plouffe wasn't a candidate to be backup SS. He said Plouffe could back up at 1B. He also said Plouffe had to make the team. Gladden basically asked Ryan if thought Nishioka could learn how to play big league SS in AAA if he couldn't in 2 ST and a full big league season. Ryan said he didn't expect anything but was hopeful.

No other questions were asked about the backup SS although Gladden said after Ryan left, that Ryan preferred Dozier to play everyday. Gladden speculated that Castilla could be the backup SS. Since Gladden said it, I would assume that won't happen but who knows.

StormJH1
03-19-2012, 02:06 PM
Willingham - He has 15 MLB games as a catcher and none since 2006. I struggle to imagine the Twins asking the biggest free agent signing in their history and (by default) their most dangerous right handed bat to start catching games again at age 33, unless it's an absolute emergency (such as Doumit/Butera breaking his ankle and then Mauer getting Lyme Disease or something on the same night).

Nishioka - Well, it had to be done, and I can't say I expected them to do it, but it basically frees up a roster spot that was just going to be a dead bench spot for weeks or months otherwise. Look, at the end of the day, there was a lot of reason to believe this guy could have worked out. People blast the Twins for screwing this up, but there's just no way of knowing if a guy is going to go "Irabu" or not. Heck, had Nishioka even been as serviceable as Kaz Matsui during his Mets years, he probably could've kept his starting job on this roster. (Matsui was actually pretty good for Colorado, later on, he was just ALWAYS injured). Other teams have tried and whiffed on international prospects, even the really good teams...it was just a much more pronounced failure for this organization b/c they don't usually even try things like this.

StormJH1
03-19-2012, 02:08 PM
Here's a novel idea - don't keep a third catcher. What's the worst thing that can happen? You have to sacrifice the DH spot for a couple of at-bats in a game if Mauer gets hurt and Doumit moves to catcher? (Gosh - you could even pinch hit in that situation for the pitcher, couldn't you?). Does this one possibility really justify carrying a stiff on the roster for 162 games?
I agree, and so do most fans, but Gardy is terrified of that. And the irony of it is that the 3rd catcher would be someone like Butera and the Twins have probably had pitchers (Santana comes to mind) that were better hitters than Butera is!

It's an absurdly rare situation that isn't that big of a deal when it comes up, and the flip side of it is that there will be several times late in games this year when Gardy needs another pinch hitter, and instead of a Parmalee or Burroughs type guy, it will be Butera and they won't be able to use him.

BeefMaster
03-19-2012, 02:11 PM
I think the thing that interests me the most about Nishi's demotion is the fact that it came so early - there are still a lot of pretty-certain cuts on the roster. It strikes me as a sign that either they're trying to send a message ("You need a LOT of work") or they're very close to giving up on him ("We can give Nishi's playing time to Dozier; at least he might amount to something").

mike wants wins
03-19-2012, 04:08 PM
It is stupid to carry three catchers. I've been posting this for months. That's what AAA and airplanes are for. You are 100x better off wtih a guy that might help, than having a guy sit on the bench just in case there is an injury. Oh well, I'm resigned to the fact they will carry three catchers.

Still can't see why, if Dozier is better than the alternatives, he can't be up here. if Casilla is below average, but tolerable, do you keep Dozier down again next year, because he should be getting ready to be a starter? IF he's ready, he should be up. It's not like he's 21.....

Jim H
03-19-2012, 05:49 PM
[QUOTE=Still can't see why, if Dozier is better than the alternatives, he can't be up here. if Casilla is below average, but tolerable, do you keep Dozier down again next year, because he should be getting ready to be a starter? IF he's ready, he should be up. It's not like he's 21.....[/QUOTE]

I think that is the real question, if he is ready. I read that the Twins feel he can play short, they think he could use more seasoning. I expect that is why he is still in camp, there may be Twins officials/staff who think he is ready or maybe ready enough. I do think he should be starting if he is put on the 25 man roster. Carroll is a utility man, but a good one. It should not be hard to get him 3-4 starts a week at SS, 2B and 3B. That would keep everyone fresh and on there toes-so to speak. It would also keepa 38 year old utility man fresh as well.

Teflon
03-19-2012, 05:56 PM
I agree, and so do most fans, but Gardy is terrified of that. And the irony of it is that the 3rd catcher would be someone like Butera and the Twins have probably had pitchers (Santana comes to mind) that were better hitters than Butera is!

Drew Butera in 376 career at-bats: .178 .220 .261 4 HR

Jason Marquis in 573 career at-bats: .197 .216 .283 5 HR

Of course the flip-side is that Butera is probably a better pitcher than Marquis these days.

John Bonnes
03-19-2012, 05:59 PM
I can't see them carrying Dozier as a utility guy - better he develops in AAA. And hitting a little bit for a half season at AA as a 24-year-old is hardly proof that you're ready for a MLB job.

The question is: who IS ready? I don't really see anyone. Which, by the way, is why I don't care if the Twins bring a 3rd catcher north. If it was going to mean an able bat, like DERREK LEE, wasn't going to make the team - that would be one thing. But I don't see that guy in the organization.

Thrylos
03-19-2012, 06:04 PM
It is stupid to carry three catchers. I've been posting this for months.

So... you are saying/implying that Ron Gardenhire is stupid? ;)

Fanatic Jack
03-19-2012, 07:30 PM
John,

I will remind you that you posted an article saying "There is no way Nishioka does not make the team." You were wrong about that and are wrong about Brian Dozier now. He is ready and clearly their best option!!

darin617
03-19-2012, 09:01 PM
So where will Nishioka play at AAA? Or will they just be smart and use him as a platoon player for Rochester. I would hate to see Brian Dozier lose any playing time because of him. Do you think Dozier will be turned into 2b and move him off SS?

Seth Stohs
03-19-2012, 09:05 PM
So where will Nishioka play at AAA? Or will they just be smart and use him as a platoon player for Rochester. I would hate to see Brian Dozier lose any playing time because of him. Do you think Dozier will be turned into 2b and move him off SS?

That's what many people have thought all along. However, Dozier will NOT lose playing time to Nishioka. Dozier is a prospect. But Dozier should play both 2B and SS so that if anything happens to either Casilla or Caroll, he could be called up.

darin617
03-19-2012, 10:46 PM
So... you are saying/implying that Ron Gardenhire is stupid? ;)

Do you really need that question to be answered? Deer in the Headlight look says it all. But, before you judge him remember all those AL Central titles we won and all those playoff games we lost. Case closed.

Dave T
03-20-2012, 11:07 AM
We'll see how Hollimon's playing time changes after this move. Thus far he's only gotten 15 AB all spring and I think he's only started once or twice -- that's just not the treatment you give to a guy you're taking a hard look at for a roster spot.

I maintain that the Twins might not take a true "utility guy" north. They've got some guys who can back up SS in a pinch, and could call someone up quickly in the event of an injury.
If Dozier makes the starting lineup, Carroll is a true "utility guy".