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Brock Beauchamp
01-31-2013, 10:43 AM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=1345-Inefficient-Managing-of-Dollars-and-Years

Seth Stohs
01-31-2013, 10:45 AM
If Jamey Carroll gets those 401 plate appearances, I'll happily hand him the $2 million next year. I have 0 problem with Jamey Carroll. His batting average was down a little last year, but his walk rate was pretty similar, and he really is a steady, solid player in the infield. yeah, he'll be 39 this year, but if he gets through it healthy (and hence reaches the PA number), then there's no reason to believe someone that keeps himself in such great shape can't be a solid utility player in 2013.

I've always (maybe inexplicably) liked Ronny Cedeno, but he'll likely be available again next season if the Twins need a utility infielder.

I also like Eduardo Escobar as a utility guy and think he can be fine in that role for a long time.

I'm definitely in agreement that I don't think that Florimon will be very good with the bat. I don't think anyone would disagree.

I do believe that Brian Dozier will prove himself to be a solid MLB player. Not great, but solid. If you have Dozier and Carroll up the middle, with Escobar playing all three infield spots, I'm comfortable with that. I'm also OK with giving Florimon more of an opportunity.

I went into the offseason thinking pitching-pitching-pitching, so I never placed any emphasis on the middle infield. I wouldn't have spent any extra dollars there. I would have spent more on SP, but I get what they did there too (with the Correia exception, of course).

Brock Beauchamp
01-31-2013, 10:49 AM
No matter what, I think Brian Dozier will get his reps. Picking up another FA wouldn't negatively impact him too much. Escobar may be a decent utility guy but let's be honest here... Those guys grow on trees.

And what's the worst that could happen? You end up with a few too many bodies and dangle somebody at the deadline. On the other hand, the Twins could be looking at a terrible middle infield if Dozier continues to collapse and Florimon can't hit his way out of a paper bag.

Which also enacts the player option for Carroll in 2014. Again, Carroll isn't a bad player but no matter how well he plays, that team option stays in place for 2014 but for a very small amount of money, you can prevent being on the hook for what could be a really bad player option.

diehardtwinsfan
01-31-2013, 10:58 AM
Dozier should get a shot, yes, but I'd have to think he'd be better served by getting some PT and confidence in AAA before coming back. The big issue I see is that this 2014/15 team will still suck up the middle... Maybe the draft will change this, but even that Cuban defector will likely not be playing in MLB by 2015

Seth Stohs
01-31-2013, 11:01 AM
Escobar may be a decent utility guy but let's be honest here... Those guys grow on trees.

Yes, but he'll make $490,000. The veteran utility guys cost $1-2.5 million. Why spend the extra.


Which also enacts the player option for Carroll in 2014. Again, Carroll isn't a bad player but no matter how well he plays, that team option stays in place for 2014 but for a very small amount of money, you can prevent being on the hook for what could be a really bad player option.

1 year, $2M?? At worst, he'll be overpaid like $0.5M. If he plays more than 'just a utility role, $2M is nothing. I'd say Jamey Carroll is the least of the Twins middle infield worries.

Brock Beauchamp
01-31-2013, 11:08 AM
1 year, $2M?? At worst, he'll be overpaid like $0.5M. If he plays more than 'just a utility role, $2M is nothing. I'd say Jamey Carroll is the least of the Twins middle infield worries.

Let's say the Twins picked up Kelly Johnson for whatever the Rays are paying him (probably between $1.5-2m). That's Carroll's player/team option amount in 2014. Sure, it's not a lot of money but it's indicative of the problem with this offseason and that's inefficient use of the free agent market.

What if Carroll tanks in 2013 but given the continued struggles of Florimon and Dozier, is still run out there for 450 PAs? That means the Twins have a wasted roster spot eating up $2m in 2014 that they could have easily avoided by picking up another player to complement their middle infield. If Carroll continues to play well, good for the Twins. Then they enact the 2014 team option and keep him around for another year.

There is virtually no risk in picking up a $2m middle infielder for 2013 because they have the money and they have the need. But as it stands now, that money could easily become a sunk cost on an old player who is no longer worth the space on a Major League roster.

And that's my real problem. The team seems entirely directionless regarding the free agent market. There is no real downside to picking up a guy because he gives you a little more flexibility going into 2014 and he probably improves the 2013 squad. At that point, why not take the small risk and try to field a better team in the short-term?

twinsfanstl
01-31-2013, 11:08 AM
what about offering minor league contracts to Theriot and Freddy Sanchez? Would either take it? I don't see why we wouldn't, it is not as if we are protecting superior players on the 35-40 positions on the roster....

twinsfanstl
01-31-2013, 11:09 AM
btw, obviously I agree with Brock wholeheartedly

LoganJones
01-31-2013, 11:19 AM
Let's say the Twins picked up Kelly Johnson for whatever the Rays are paying him (probably between $1.5-2m). That's Carroll's player/team option amount in 2014. Sure, it's not a lot of money but it's indicative of the problem with this offseason and that's inefficient use of the free agent market.?

What would Kelly Johnson - a not particularly good fielding left-handed, strikeout prone pull hitter - give the Twins in Target Field?

old nurse
01-31-2013, 11:20 AM
The analysis of the play of 2012 is correct. The analysis of how to fix it is what? They should have done something. The free agent market appeared to have a choice between no field or no hit kind of players. They have plenty of the latter. They traded what players they had to trade for a bigger need in pitching. To get a significant upgrade by the trade route would cost them a better prospect. You did not like the inaction, so what would you have wanted them to do that is a reasonable idea?

Brock Beauchamp
01-31-2013, 11:25 AM
The analysis of the play of 2012 is correct. The analysis of how to fix it is what? They should have done something. The free agent market appeared to have a choice between no field or no hit kind of players. They have plenty of the latter. They traded what players they had to trade for a bigger need in pitching. To get a significant upgrade by the trade route would cost them a better prospect. You did not like the inaction, so what would you have wanted them to do that is a reasonable idea?

At this point, I'm not even asking for a significant upgrade. All I'm asking for is an upgrade, period. It's virtually zero risk, as it lets the Twins out of a $2m player option for Carroll in 2014 if he doesn't perform in 2013.

In most cases, I'm against the "more bodies equal better team" argument but in this singular case, it makes a lot of sense because the risk is so low. All you have to do is watch Pedro Florimon for five minutes to see that he's never going to be an adequate Major League starter (there are "no hit middle infielders" and then there are the "Pedro Florimons"). Dozier is a huge question mark. After that, there's nobody worth mentioning (sorry Seth but nobody is going to snatch Escobar away from the Twins if they stash him in AAA). Adding another player allows you to shift Carroll to a reserve role and save yourself from what could be a bad player option in 2014. All it takes is one player, a player that can be had for less money than Carroll's 2014 option.

At that point, you have to ask yourself "Why the hell shouldn't I do this?"

sorney
01-31-2013, 11:29 AM
Why I tend to lean towards Seth here, it is refreshing to have a debate about something other than the crappy pitching decisions.

Seth Stohs
01-31-2013, 11:32 AM
Why I tend to lean towards Seth here, it is refreshing to have a debate about something other than the crappy pitching decisions.

Ha! I agree!!

mcrow
01-31-2013, 11:34 AM
Yes, middle infield is one of many areas this team needs to address. I do think they're worse of at those positions than in the rotation at this point. Would have been nice to add MLB caliber infielder to the mix as of right now we're likely to have AAA level player out there at one position. I like Carroll but he is 39 and maybe would be a great bench guy but he's now forced into a role where the Twins are counting on him to produce above expectations.

johnnydakota
01-31-2013, 11:53 AM
With 20 plus million still avalible ,why not make a run at Diaz?
If we acquire a shortstop , and have added 1 mlb pitcher and 2 prospects,
I would concider this off season an improvement over last years...

righty8383
01-31-2013, 12:20 PM
Johnny is right. With the recent trade aquisitions, middle infield is the biggest weekness on htis team. They have Rosario for 2nd base but his defense is still a bit raw yet and he is still a couple years away anyway. We have a couple other low ceiling guys like Danny Santana and Levi Michael. Michael needs to show something this year.

It seems that going after Diaz is almost too logical. A couple days ago Doogie tweeted that one of his sources said the Twins were concerned about some of the projected dollar amounts that he may be offered. If the Twins aren't willing to make a competetive offer than they don't care or they are clueless IMO.

mcrow
01-31-2013, 12:22 PM
With 20 plus million still avalible ,why not make a run at Diaz?
If we acquire a shortstop , and have added 1 mlb pitcher and 2 prospects,
I would concider this off season an improvement over last years...

Well, you know the answer to that.......they have no intentions of spending $20m more.

The way it looks they're going to have to spend clost to $40M between now and next season to make it to the 50% of revenue they talk about.

FrodaddyG
01-31-2013, 12:33 PM
The analysis of how to fix it is what?
There's only one man to call:
3180

Physics Guy
01-31-2013, 12:35 PM
I've always (maybe inexplicably) liked Ronny Cedeno, but he'll likely be available again next season if the Twins need a utility infielder.



I noticed Ronny Cedeno signed for 1.15M base plus 0.85 in incentives. That sure would have been a cheap insurance policy against Florimon falling on his face. I think Florimon has a chance to be a decent fielder, but his sub-70 OPS+ sure is a black hole at the bottom of the lineup. I guess I can live with one, but that assumes 2B and CF are decent (hopefully Dozier and Hicks).

LoganJones
01-31-2013, 12:40 PM
Ronny Cedeno's career OPS plus is 71. What insurance does he provide over Florimon?

Winston Smith
01-31-2013, 12:41 PM
TR has stated in the last week that he fully expects to compete and be a contender into the fall. He clearly either thinks 20m of payroll in hand isn't needed to field a quality team or he thinks we might all have our stocking caps pulled firmly down over our eyes and will continue to buy tickets and hot dogs no matter how bad they may be.

Brandon
01-31-2013, 12:46 PM
I would feel beeter if they signed Theriot to a minor league deal. My biggest concern is that Florimon is not goint to work out at SS so having someone to fill in would be a good idea. I think Dozier could be successful. But i am not convinced. Carroll can only play one of the 2 positions. As for Carroll, I hope his option vests. He is solid enough so as not to be wasting money. the Twins have the money to burn.

I was hoping the Twins would have signed one MI to a contract (Sanchez, Johnson Theriot, Izturas, to name a few) so only one of Dozier/ Florimon is exposed at a time. Let Florimon show he can play up here before bringing Dozier back.

Brock Beauchamp
01-31-2013, 12:50 PM
As for Carroll, I hope his option vests. He is solid enough so as not to be wasting money. the Twins have the money to burn.

There is no reason to hope Carroll's option vests. No matter what happens, the Twins can always fall back to the team option they have on him if he doesn't reach 401 PAs.

LoganJones
01-31-2013, 01:00 PM
TR has stated in the last week that he fully expects to compete and be a contender into the fall. He clearly either thinks 20m of payroll in hand isn't needed to field a quality team or he thinks we might all have our stocking caps pulled firmly down over our eyes and will continue to buy tickets and hot dogs no matter how bad they may be.

Or, he thinks the players he has in house will get the job done and that the currently unsigned (apart from Saunders, obviously) fellows are no upgrade over who might come available over the course of the spring. But I suppose the idea that he decoded to come back out of retirement just to intentionally jerk around a fanbase makes a lot more sense.

snepp
01-31-2013, 01:04 PM
Hopefully both Dozier and Plouffe play acceptably (both ways), mitigating the need for Carroll to accumulate any plate appearances at those positions and rendering the vesting option moot.

snepp
01-31-2013, 01:08 PM
Ronny Cedeno's career OPS plus is 71. What insurance does he provide over Florimon?

Didn't you berate Nick in another thread over a similarly small improvement?




(nevermind that Cedeno's recent history is an improvement over his early years, making his career mark less meaningful)

Willihammer
01-31-2013, 01:12 PM
Here is my impression of how the Twins generally want to piece their teams together: you field a PTC pitching staff and defensively-skilled middle infielders to soak up the extra batted balls, since both of these groups historically are cheap, and since a high proportion of batted balls go through the middle infield. And then when you spend significant FA dollars, you spend them on sluggers in the corner positions where their defense is supposed to be less of a liability.

One thing I know for sure, from hearing Jr and Gardy talk about their MIfers every year, is that "we want guys to make the routine play."

I looked into this. There were 41 players who logged at least 1000 innings at SS since 2010. On average, those guys had 431.5 balls hit into their "zone" for every 1500 innings of work (ignoring balls out of the zone and any plays made on them). The average SS completed 350.3 plays on these in-zone balls in a season. The best SS was Brandon Crawford, with 402 in-zone plays made per 1500 Inn. And the worst was Elliot Johnson - although to be fair, the Rays use a lot of shifts and therefore move their guys around and out of their zones altogether, a lot. Just above EJ is Hanley, at 303 in-zone plays made per 1500 Inn. A spread of 99 plays over the course of a season.

Compare this to say, LF, where the average defender had just 254 balls hit into his zone over the same period. But, at the bottom of the scale was JD Martinez, who was good for 178 plays per season, and at the top was Austin Kearns, good for 310 plays. The spread in defensive output, over the period 2010-2012, on "routine plays," was actually greater in LF than at SS, even though more total chances are available at SS.

Carroll and Hardy are the only former or current Twins SS's who have played 1000 inn at SS the past 3 years. Both are above average in this regard, by 14 and 32 BIZ-plays per 1500/Inn, respectively. And in LF, Delmon is actually slighly above average, while Willingham is slightly below. In any case, there doesn't appear to be any greater benefit to having a good glove at SS, than there is at a "power" position like LF. Certainly not when it comes at the expense of hitting.

Furthermore, what are the ramifications of a MIfer botching a routine play? Outfielder gets the ball and the hitter gets a single. What if a LFer botches a play? What about 1B or 3B? Guy gets to 2B, or if the ball gets through on the right side, it could be a triple. So if anything, if your resources are scarce, it might be more prudent to put above averge defenders at the corners, and your slow, poor defenders up the middle.

Obviously the point with the Twins is that neither are their resources scarce, nor are they getting particularly fantastic defensive value out of their MI, just by having a contact-heavy pitching staff. At least, not in terms of measuring the "routine play."

edit: The point being, that when a power guy like Kelly Johnson comes along for cheap, and he's not a particularly lousy defender either, you take him, regardless of his position.

jimbo92107
01-31-2013, 01:19 PM
When I look at the Twins starting lineup this season, I see a stopgap solution. The only established power hitters are Willingham and Morneau, and both could be gone by mid-season if a contender needs help. The middle infield I would generously describe as 'iffy,' and the pitching staff is once again a long shot at rising to mediocre.

The good news is, there's hope. Not at the major league level, of course, but it looks like several promising young players are bubbling up through the minor leagues, and their ETA's fall anywhere from 2013 to 2016. In light of that, I'll be watching and cheering for all kinds of teams this year, mostly in the minor leagues.

Go, someday maybe Twins!

roger
01-31-2013, 01:28 PM
If Jamey Carroll gets those 401 plate appearances, I'll happily hand him the $2 million next year. I have 0 problem with Jamey Carroll. His batting average was down a little last year, but his walk rate was pretty similar, and he really is a steady, solid player in the infield. yeah, he'll be 39 this year, but if he gets through it healthy (and hence reaches the PA number), then there's no reason to believe someone that keeps himself in such great shape can't be a solid utility player in 2013.

I've always (maybe inexplicably) liked Ronny Cedeno, but he'll likely be available again next season if the Twins need a utility infielder.

I also like Eduardo Escobar as a utility guy and think he can be fine in that role for a long time.

I'm definitely in agreement that I don't think that Florimon will be very good with the bat. I don't think anyone would disagree.

I do believe that Brian Dozier will prove himself to be a solid MLB player. Not great, but solid. If you have Dozier and Carroll up the middle, with Escobar playing all three infield spots, I'm comfortable with that. I'm also OK with giving Florimon more of an opportunity.

I went into the offseason thinking pitching-pitching-pitching, so I never placed any emphasis on the middle infield. I wouldn't have spent any extra dollars there. I would have spent more on SP, but I get what they did there too (with the Correia exception, of course).

Thanks Seth for again being the voice of reason. I for one am so tired with all the garbage continually thrown at the front office on this site I am at the point that I hate coming here. Yet, this is the only place I can find you and what you have to say about the kids down on the farm. I guess I should listen to Bonnie and stop reading most of it.

As for the middle infield, I have often thought that Dozier could become 'Dustin Pedroia lite.' Before everyone cuts me to shreads, I mean a player similar to Pedroia, just not as good. I do however, see Dozier as a solid major leaguer both at the plate and in the field.

Maybe the best way to approach this year is to sit back and see what the Twins look like come June or July. Personally, I think they are going to surprise a lot of people. Based on what I have read here, I suspect most!

Shane Wahl
01-31-2013, 01:34 PM
I really don't care too much about paying Carroll $2 million in 2014, even if he is (hopefully) forced into a full utility role. I actually wouldn't mind sending him back out to SS with Dozier getting a chance at 2B, and Florimon in the utility role. Escobar needs to get the stick going in AAA . . . having Escobar and Butera on the roster at the same time is frightening.

Shane Wahl
01-31-2013, 01:39 PM
Also I agree with *some* that Dozier could be a .700+ OPS player, even in 2013. You couple that with a slight improvement from Carroll and some modicum of defensive consistency from Florimon and it isn't too bleak. I could almost not care at all about that situation--where I DO care about the MI is in AA, A, A-, etc. That's where it matters going forward with Beresford, Santana, Michael, Rosario, Polanco, and Goodrum.

mcrow
01-31-2013, 01:39 PM
One thing is for sure, if the Twins are going to be a contender at all (unlikely, IMO) they'll need the middle infield and rotation to over achieve.

I think the OF will be OK, I think the corners of the infield will be at least cerviceable and Catcher is good. BP looks good, IMO.

The rotation and middle infield look to be the ball and chain for this team.

mike wants wins
01-31-2013, 02:10 PM
I have no issue with the middle infield plan this year. There did not appear to be many options, and I want Dozier out there all year.

nicksaviking
01-31-2013, 02:12 PM
I like Carroll, in fact I think his superior OBP and the Twins lack of top of the order hitters means he should get one of the starting gigs. That being said, I was remembering a Fangraphs article I read a couple days ago. It was mostly about the likelyhood that Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano would regress this year. According to author Bill Petti, his new metric CLIFFORD shows that the top five players likely to regress are Granderson, Cano, Jordan Schaffer, Delmon Young and Jamey Carroll.

Cano, Granderson, and Other CLIFFORD Candidates for 2013 | FanGraphs Baseball (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/cano-granderson-and-other-clifford-candidates-for-2013/)

Considering he's 39, you probably don't need any kind of advanced statistics to show a decline is likely. I still ride him until he shows he's inferior to Florimon and Escobar. I have no hope of those two ever producing any kind of offense.

panolo
01-31-2013, 02:15 PM
My thoughts fall in line pretty much with what Seth and Logan said. Carroll is not spectacular or special, he just gets the job done. I don't think we have to worry about him breaking down and if he hits 401 PA's $2mil doesn't seem unrealistic or a waste of money for what he does.

I don't have much confidence in Florimon's bat and think Dozier has the best chance of giving us production from the SS in the next few years. Hopefully he takes the bull by the horns this spring and wins that job.

johnnydakota
01-31-2013, 02:29 PM
I like Carroll, in fact I think his superior OBP and the Twins lack of top of the order hitters means he should get one of the starting gigs. That being said, I was remembering a Fangraphs article I read a couple days ago. It was mostly about the likelyhood that Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano would regress this year. According to author Bill Petti, his new metric CLIFFORD shows that the top five players likely to regress are Granderson, Cano, Jordan Schaffer, Delmon Young and Jamey Carroll.

Cano, Granderson, and Other CLIFFORD Candidates for 2013 | FanGraphs Baseball (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/cano-granderson-and-other-clifford-candidates-for-2013/)

Considering he's 39, you probably don't need any kind of advanced statistics to show a decline is likely. I still ride him until he shows he's inferior to Florimon and Escobar. I have no hope of those two ever producing any kind of offensive production.

So resign him through 2017? =)

ThePuck
01-31-2013, 02:29 PM
I don't have much confidence in Florimon's bat and think Dozier has the best chance of giving us production from the SS in the next few years. Hopefully he takes the bull by the horns this spring and wins that job.

Whatever the decision is, it'll be made before ST if it hasn't been made already (and it likely has). ST isn't gonna change anything.

twinsnorth49
01-31-2013, 02:32 PM
Nothing about the Twins MI infield situation last year should have them saying "we're good enough", bringing in some players, if only to serve as competition would have been the prudent thing to do. Dozier deserves another chance to claim the 2nd base job but in no way should it be handed to him and what about Florimon would make anyone think "good enough"?

Highabove
01-31-2013, 02:42 PM
In response to Roger,

I believe the Twins run a forum on their site which is cheerful and positive.
When a company is dishonest with their consumers, you're going to see rocks and arrows thrown their way.

Mitchsull52
01-31-2013, 02:43 PM
So to be clear the argument being made is- the twins should have spent roughly 3.5 to 4.5 million to have two marginally useful middle infielders. Between the two of which they would get, lets say, at most 700 abs. That scenario would be preferable to 4 million for a single marginally useful player over two years and getting so where in the range of 800-100 abs.

You see where you went astray on the frugality point? Now throw on top of the real world scenario your critiquing that there is a risk averting vesting option and it seems pretty clear that what your advocating for is wrong.

Han Joelo
01-31-2013, 02:58 PM
I agree with you, Roger, 100 percent. I tortured myself reading the Correia comments yesterday, and was kind of dismayed. Thanks Logan for fighting the good fight, but apparently at TD, one man's vitriol is another man's snark.

All this angst over such minutiae! I hope they need the saved money for a big mid season trade.

old nurse
01-31-2013, 03:00 PM
Here is my impression of how the Twins generally want to piece their teams together: you field a PTC pitching staff and defensively-skilled middle infielders to soak up the extra batted balls, since both of these groups historically are cheap, and since a high proportion of batted balls go through the middle infield. And then when you spend significant FA dollars, you spend them on sluggers in the corner positions where their defense is supposed to be less of a liability.

One thing I know for sure, from hearing Jr and Gardy talk about their MIfers every year, is that "we want guys to make the routine play."

I looked into this. There were 41 players who logged at least 1000 innings at SS since 2010. On average, those guys had 431.5 balls hit into their "zone" for every 1500 innings of work (ignoring balls out of the zone and any plays made on them). The average SS completed 350.3 plays on these in-zone balls in a season. The best SS was Brandon Crawford, with 402 in-zone plays made per 1500 Inn. And the worst was Elliot Johnson - although to be fair, the Rays use a lot of shifts and therefore move their guys around and out of their zones altogether, a lot. Just above EJ is Hanley, at 303 in-zone plays made per 1500 Inn. A spread of 99 plays over the course of a season.

Compare this to say, LF, where the average defender had just 254 balls hit into his zone over the same period. But, at the bottom of the scale was JD Martinez, who was good for 178 plays per season, and at the top was Austin Kearns, good for 310 plays. The spread in defensive output, over the period 2010-2012, on "routine plays," was actually greater in LF than at SS, even though more total chances are available at SS.

Carroll and Hardy are the only former or current Twins SS's who have played 1000 inn at SS the past 3 years. Both are above average in this regard, by 14 and 32 BIZ-plays per 1500/Inn, respectively. And in LF, Delmon is actually slighly above average, while Willingham is slightly below. In any case, there doesn't appear to be any greater benefit to having a good glove at SS, than there is at a "power" position like LF. Certainly not when it comes at the expense of hitting.

Furthermore, what are the ramifications of a MIfer botching a routine play? Outfielder gets the ball and the hitter gets a single. What if a LFer botches a play? What about 1B or 3B? Guy gets to 2B, or if the ball gets through on the right side, it could be a triple. So if anything, if your resources are scarce, it might be more prudent to put above averge defenders at the corners, and your slow, poor defenders up the middle.

Obviously the point with the Twins is that neither are their resources scarce, nor are they getting particularly fantastic defensive value out of their MI, just by having a contact-heavy pitching staff. At least, not in terms of measuring the "routine play."

edit: The point being, that when a power guy like Kelly Johnson comes along for cheap, and he's not a particularly lousy defender either, you take him, regardless of his position.
You are comparing the extremes of a subjective score and drawing hypothetical conclusions with no data to back the outcome..

Brock Beauchamp
01-31-2013, 03:04 PM
So to be clear the argument being made is- the twins should have spent roughly 3.5 to 4.5 million to have two marginally useful middle infielders. Between the two of which they would get, lets say, at most 700 abs. That scenario would be preferable to 4 million for a single marginally useful player over two years and getting so where in the range of 800-100 abs.

You see where you went astray on the frugality point? Now throw on top of the real world scenario your critiquing that there is a risk averting vesting option and it seems pretty clear that what your advocating for is wrong.

Last season, these were the OPS+ numbers for Twins middle infielders (non Jamey Carroll edition):

Brian Dozier: 67 OPS+ in 340 PAs
Eduardo Escobar: 41 OPS+ in 49 PAs
Pedro Florimon: 61 OPS+ in 150 PAs

Now here are some bargain middle infielders who could have been nabbed for a song ($2m or under, or Jamey Carroll's 2014 option):
Kelly Johnson: 2011, 111 OPS+ in 132 PAs / 2012, 84 OPS+ in 581 PAs
Ronny Cedeno: 2011, 70 OPS+ in 413 PAs / 2012, 104 OPS+ in 186 PAs

You really don't see any room for improvement there? There are two middle infield spots to play, after all. Picking up a second body who has proven the ability to hit Major League pitching is not an unreasonable request. If Dozier (possible) or Florimon (not so much) steps up, you're still allowed some flexibility instead of relying on someone who has a very good chance of being awful at the plate by sliding one of the vets into a utility role. If it allows you to bench Carroll if/when he gets old overnight, even better. Otherwise, you're forced to run Carroll out there nearly every night because he's still better than your second and third options (Escobar and Florimon). As it stands now, Carroll could post a 75 OPS+ and he'd still get his 401 PAs because the chance of Florimon being a viable option at short over the course of a season is virtually zero. Add in a Johnson or Cedeno and you don't have to lean on Jamey so heavily when Florimon and Escobar fail spectacularly.

Also, what happens at third base if Plouffe fails?

Brock Beauchamp
01-31-2013, 03:07 PM
All this angst over such minutiae! I hope they need the saved money for a big mid season trade.

It's not minutiae when the team is coming off back-to-back last place finishes, is fielding the same waaaaaaaay below average middle infield, and those combined "minutiae" players add up to over 10% of payroll (over 15% if you toss Nick Blackburn on the list, over 20% if Nishioka hadn't bowed out of his contract).

"Minutiae" adds up when you continue to pile up bad decisions.

old nurse
01-31-2013, 03:30 PM
What is the gain in runs with OPS+ and runs lost in UZR for Kelly Johnson versus anything the Twins ran out there?

LoganJones
01-31-2013, 03:31 PM
It's not minutiae when the team is coming off back-to-back last place finishes, is fielding the same waaaaaaaay below average middle infield, and those combined "minutiae" players add up to over 10% of payroll (over 15% if you toss Nick Blackburn on the list, over 20% if Nishioka hadn't bowed out of his contract).

"Minutiae" adds up when you continue to pile up bad decisions.
You do realize, this is why 'fan outrage' doesn't register with team decision makers, right? With one hand, you're lambasting them for signing players to deals, and then having said players explode on them. With the other, you're suggesting they sign players who have proven to be bad for major chunks of their careers. Or in the case of Cedeno, for every single season until the 130 AB stretch last year.

Brock Beauchamp
01-31-2013, 03:34 PM
You do realize, this is why 'fan outrage' doesn't register with team decision makers, right? With one hand, you're lambasting them for signing players to deals, and then having said players explode on them. With the other, you're suggesting they sign players who have proven to be bad for major chunks of their careers. Or in the case of Cedeno, for every single season until the 130 AB stretch last year.

There's no such thing as a bad one year contract. I'm not talking about going out and giving Shaun Marcum or Ronny Cedeno a three year deal. I'm talking about exploiting guys who have fallen through the cracks and using them to bolster the weak spots on a roster.

Particularly when there's a good chance that those guys and their one year deals will deliver more wins than the guy you did sign to a multi-year contract.

LoganJones
01-31-2013, 03:36 PM
What is the gain in runs with OPS+ and runs lost in UZR for Kelly Johnson versus anything the Twins ran out there?
Another question is what kind of impact on Johnson's OPS would Target Field have?
I think it's fair to say that Kelly Johnson is an adequate defender on artificial turf. He will likely be a pretty good player for Tampa.

LoganJones
01-31-2013, 03:40 PM
There's no such thing as a bad one year contract. I'm not talking about going out and giving Shaun Marcum or Ronny Cedeno a three year deal. I'm talking about exploiting guys who have fallen through the cracks and using them to bolster the weak spots on a roster.

Particularly when there's a good chance that those guys and their one year deals will deliver more wins than the guy you did sign to a multi-year contract.
I see the idea that Johnson might provide some slight value upgrade, but it's tiny, considering he's been a bad defender on grass, and he's only hit in launching pad situations.

FrodaddyG
01-31-2013, 03:42 PM
drawing hypothetical conclusions with no data to back the outcome..
Pissed that someone's trying to steal your gameplan?

Brock Beauchamp
01-31-2013, 03:45 PM
I see the idea that Johnson might provide some slight value upgrade, but it's tiny, considering he's been a bad defender on grass, and he's only hit in launching pad situations.

On the other hand, he also gets to face AL East pitching all season long. Here's his spray chart. Would he fail miserably at Target Field? It's possible but given his tendency to pull the ball hard (four of his nine homers at Rogers to extreme right field), he could do okay for himself in the ballpark.

Kelly Johnson Hit Chart | Tampa Bay Rays | Player Hit Chart | MLB Baseball | FOX Sports on MSN (http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/player/kelly-johnson/hitchart/335141?q=kelly-johnson)

edit: meh, that spray chart is old. I hate it that Fox Sports always comes up first in Google searches for those things.

Physics Guy
01-31-2013, 03:58 PM
Ronny Cedeno's career OPS plus is 71. What insurance does he provide over Florimon?

Yet his OPS is 85,82, 79 and 104 the past 4 years. Florimon had 61 last year. I realize it's a small sample, but Cedeno most likely produces more with the bat and he has proven he can actually play in the majors.

I'm not saying Florimon doesn't have a chance to be a starter, but I'd like to have another option besides Carroll who we might need at 2B or 3B. $1.15M is pretty cheap insurance.

LoganJones
01-31-2013, 04:09 PM
Yet his OPS is 85,82, 79 and 104 the past 4 years. Florimon had 61 last year. I realize it's a small sample, but Cedeno most likely produces more with the bat and he has proven he can actually play in the majors.

I'm not saying Florimon doesn't have a chance to be a starter, but I'd like to have another option besides Carroll who we might need at 2B or 3B. $1.15M is pretty cheap insurance.

If we buy the idea that Ronny Cedeno is suddenly getting better at hitting, just kinda out of the blue, then we also have to consider the idea that Florimon can get better with some time. The reason I'm not jumping off the Correia cliff is that I see him as a worthy upgrade over what the Twins had to offer. Cedeno & Johnson? Not true upgrades. If they'd signed Johnson, I would have been cool with it, as he's likely to hit some key homers. Cedeno would have mystified me since they already have him in Florimon.

old nurse
01-31-2013, 04:10 PM
Pissed that someone's trying to steal your gameplan?
Nope. Hopeng that I would get the data. I see that you have nothing

mike wants wins
01-31-2013, 04:12 PM
Plouffe should be at third all year....see what you have. Dozier should be at second all year, see what you have. Carroll and the others can fight it out for short and bench. Once they decided not to sign two legit pitchers, the strategy for the infield should have been clear, see what you already have. Lots to rip them for at the MLB level, but this was always dependent on the other actions.

Willihammer
01-31-2013, 04:13 PM
The bottom line is there's no excuse for trotting out a sub .600 OPS talent at any position. It would require an anomalously high number of fielding opportunities to make up for all the lost production at the plate, and that's assuming he's the best defender at his position in baseball. (I am open to the exception at catcher although I realize I'm on a limb with that one).

The reality the Twins seem slow to grasp is that you can stick a DH like Hanley Ramirez at SS and he will still make most the plays. The best fielding SS's are no more valuable on defense than the best fielding left fielders, yet no FO would accept a sub .600 player in LF. Why should that be acceptable at SS?

Besides, I'm not convinced Kelly Johnson's anything less than an average fielder. With the potential, unlike anyone else on this roster, to hit 20-30 bombs.

ThePuck
01-31-2013, 04:18 PM
Found this on another site...I don't tweet, so I have no way to verify if it's true

'Tweet from Darron Wolfson..."Checked with a #MNTwins source on their pursuit of Cuban SS Aledmys Diaz: "The projected money is getting out of hand," the source texted."

snepp
01-31-2013, 04:19 PM
Here's a napkin math hypothetical.

If Kelly Johnson hits near his career mark, he's worth about 0 runs above average offensively.

If Florimon hits like he did last year, he'd be worth about -25 runs in a full season.

Assuming that Dozier pairs up full-time with either player, the question becomes, what is the total defensive difference between SS Florimon / 2B Dozier and SS Dozier / 2B Johnson?

I'd put Johnson as a -5 at 2nd, Florimon as a +5 at short (not much to work off of), Dozier a 0 at SS and +5 at 2nd. That would give a 15 run benefit to the Florimon/Dozier combo defensively, but a -10 run difference overall.

Hypothetically.

ThePuck
01-31-2013, 04:20 PM
The reality the Twins seem slow to grasp is that you can stick a DH like Hanley Ramirez at SS and he will still make most the plays. The best fielding SS's are no more valuable on defense than the best fielding left fielders...

Um, I'm not sure I'm following this...

snepp
01-31-2013, 04:23 PM
Nope. Hopeng that I would get the data. I see that you have nothing

His point being, you routinely demand proof of others, while never providing any yourself.

Willihammer
01-31-2013, 04:24 PM
Um, I'm not sure I'm following this...

Yeah that was confusing. I meant, as I posted earlier in more detail, that the spread between the best-worst fielding LFers and SS is almost exactly the same. (Its actually greater for LFers). Ergo, you can afford to sacrifice leather at SS for power just as you would, conventionally, at the corners. Like with Hanley, who is probably the worst SS in baseball no matter what metric you like. And yet just by being a 6 hole type bat, he's a starter and a overall a pretty valuable one at that.

LoganJones
01-31-2013, 04:24 PM
Nope. Hopeng that I would get the data.
Well, the only player who the Twins have who has comparable data for the past 3 seasons is Carroll. He's been worth 2.6,2.2 and 2.4 WAR Compared to Johnson's 5.8, 2.2, .7.

I do have to take back my claim he's only had good fielding years on turf. He actually was rated highly in 2010 in the field, too. Thanks to a strong 2010 He's been worth one win more than Carroll. Florimon was worth .3 win last year based on defense and base running. Weird.

Brock Beauchamp
01-31-2013, 04:29 PM
If we buy the idea that Ronny Cedeno is suddenly getting better at hitting, just kinda out of the blue, then we also have to consider the idea that Florimon can get better with some time.

No, we don't. Florimon hasn't posted an OPS above .700 since A ball and never posted a season anywhere close to .800.

ThePuck
01-31-2013, 04:30 PM
Yeah that was confusing. I meant, as I posted earlier in more detail, that the spread between the best-worst fielding LFers and SS is almost exactly the same. (Its actually greater for LFers). Ergo, you can afford to sacrifice leather at SS for power just as you would, conventionally, at the corners. Like with Hanley, who is probably the worst SS in baseball no matter what metric you like. And yet just by being a 6 hole type bat, he's a starter and a overall a pretty valuable one at that.

So, your comment wasn't just about pure defense look? Because a guy who gloves like, say, Hardy or Ryan at shortstop should be way more valuable on the defensive side than even an Alex Gordon in LF...if just looking at what their value is on defense on an even scale, if you get what I mean.

snepp
01-31-2013, 04:34 PM
No, we don't. Florimon hasn't posted an OPS above .700 since A ball and never posted a season anywhere close to .800.

Add in, while Cedeno was putrid as a really young player in the minors, he posted a 900+ OPS in his time at AAA, and generally improved as he went up the ladder.

The two players obviously aren't a great comparison offensively.

LoganJones
01-31-2013, 04:38 PM
No, we don't. Florimon hasn't posted an OPS above .700 since A ball and never posted a season anywhere close to .800.
Cedeno was a terrible hitter in the minors, too. His numbers get puffed up a bit from playing in the PCL, but beyond that his track record looks pretty much the same. I'm not hating on the guy, he's a fine slick fielding no-hitting big league shortstop. I just don't see where he's worth a look when Florimon is following in his footsteps.

ThePuck
01-31-2013, 04:42 PM
Fangraphs has Ryan with 27 defensive runs saved. Tops for the qualifying shortstops. They have Jeter last at -16.4 runs saved. So a gap of 43.4.

Fangraphs has Gordon with 24 defensive runs saved. Tops for qualifying LF. Gonzalez and Willingham are tied with -13. A difference of 37.

old nurse
01-31-2013, 04:43 PM
In trying to assess what player brings the stat guys are using strictly batting statistics, wouldn't WAR be a little more reflective of the total effect of the player. Or in using WAR alone, the problem is that it might show the Twins should have hung onto Casilla?

panolo
01-31-2013, 04:43 PM
Whatever the decision is, it'll be made before ST if it hasn't been made already (and it likely has). ST isn't gonna change anything.

I don't know if I totally agree with that but... I can see Dozier having a very good spring and him starting the season AAA so as he doesn't have extra pressure on himself. Not that I would like that move.

ThePuck
01-31-2013, 04:47 PM
I don't know if I totally agree with that but... I can see Dozier having a very good spring and him starting the season AAA so as he doesn't have extra pressure on himself. Not that I would like that move.

The last three big ST battles we had...or at least that I can remember:

2008 ST battle for CF: When Gomez 'won' the CF battle, Span had better numbers.
2010 ST battle for 3B: Harris out played Punto. Punto won. You remember. Punto is my starting shortstop (Twins trade for Hardy)...um, okay, Punto is my starting 2B (Twins sign Hudson)...um, ok Punto and Harris will battle for 3B. Oh, surprise surprise, Punto 'wins'
2011 rotation battle with supposedly six quality starters but only 5 spots. The guy who had the best ST ERA (Slowey) was the one who ended up out of the rotation.

old nurse
01-31-2013, 04:53 PM
His point being, you routinely demand proof of others, while never providing any yourself.

The post was using statistical data and I was interested in more. I see you have a problem with that. So it is wrong to ask for more data from someone who presents data? You have the moderator behind your name, so you tell me? Should I not ask for more data and information from people? Or should I do as some and write mostly snark?

panolo
01-31-2013, 04:58 PM
The last three big ST battles we had...or at least that I can remember:

2008 ST battle for CF: When Gomez 'won' the CF battle, Span had better numbers.
2010 ST battle for 3B: Harris out played Punto. Punto won. You remember. Punto is my starting shortstop (Twins trade for Hardy)...um, okay, Punto is my starting 2B (Twins sign Hudson)...um, ok Punto and Harris will battle for 3B. Oh, surprise surprise, Punto 'wins'
2011 rotation battle with supposedly six quality starters but only 5 spots. The guy who had the best ST ERA (Slowey) was the one who ended up out of the rotation.


I remember and maybe just hope things get finalized without some pre-determined outcome. So maybe against my better judgement I won't agree totally with you :)

TheLeviathan
01-31-2013, 05:02 PM
God forbid a team adds more assets.

ThePuck
01-31-2013, 05:04 PM
I remember and maybe just hope things get finalized without some pre-determined outcome. So maybe against my better judgement I won't agree totally with you :)

Fair enough :-)

Brock Beauchamp
01-31-2013, 05:15 PM
Cedeno was a terrible hitter in the minors, too. His numbers get puffed up a bit from playing in the PCL, but beyond that his track record looks pretty much the same. I'm not hating on the guy, he's a fine slick fielding no-hitting big league shortstop. I just don't see where he's worth a look when Florimon is following in his footsteps.

Minor league numbers don't really matter when the player has 2500 Major League plate appearances, with the last 1300 of them being of a respectable OPS+ (somewhere in the mid to high 80s).

Even if Florimon was following Cedeno's footsteps (and there's no real reason to think that), Cedeno had 1200 plate appearances of pretty awful offense early in his career. Is that what the Twins want from Florimon over the next two seasons?

Fire Dan Gladden
01-31-2013, 05:26 PM
I guess we are scraping the bottom of the barrel if we have been relegated to complaining about the potential of a $2 million vesting option on a fringe starting middle infielder.

Can we officially now say that there is nothing left for us to complain about when it comes to the Twins?

jokin
01-31-2013, 05:45 PM
I guess we are scraping the bottom of the barrel if we have been relegated to complaining about the potential of a $2 million vesting option on a fringe starting middle infielder.

Can we officially now say that there is nothing left for us to complain about when it comes to the Twins?

Conveniently ignoring the part about him being 40 in 2014 and initially signed as a FA in the role of "utility infielder".

Willihammer
01-31-2013, 05:54 PM
So, your comment wasn't just about pure defense look? Because a guy who gloves like, say, Hardy or Ryan at shortstop should be way more valuable on the defensive side than even an Alex Gordon in LF...if just looking at what their value is on defense on an even scale, if you get what I mean.
That's what I thought would be the case before I cracked into some numbers. You can look at the data for 2010-2012 players here (min 1000 Innings): https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5pIzP28qdp-X21zdHI4cVgwY3c/edit?usp=sharing

Although SS will have more balls hit to him, there is just as much variation from the mean in terms of balls fielded, as with LF. This is the case whether or not you include out of zone balls in your totals. (Previously I just looked at in-zone opps and plays made).

For LFers:



Bottom Range of Total Plays made / 1500 Inn
260


Upper Range of Total Plays made / 1500 Inn
398


Mean Total Plays / 1500 Inn



310


STDEV






34.4


2 STDEV Low Limit





241


2 STDEV High Limit





379




For SSs:



Bottom Range of Total Plays Made / 1500 Inn
361


Top Range Total Plays Made / 1500 Inn

470


Mean Total Plays / 1500 Inn


424


STDEV





30


2 STDEV Low Limit



364


2 STDEV High Limit



484




When you think about it, its not surprising. IN today's game, Brett Gardner, Ben Revere and Juan Pierre are playing in the corners. Meanwhile Derek Jeter, Ricky Weeks, and Dan Uggla have MI jobs. Things have leveled out.

Willihammer
01-31-2013, 06:00 PM
Fangraphs has Ryan with 27 defensive runs saved. Tops for the qualifying shortstops. They have Jeter last at -16.4 runs saved. So a gap of 43.4.

Fangraphs has Gordon with 24 defensive runs saved. Tops for qualifying LF. Gonzalez and Willingham are tied with -13. A difference of 37.
I don't know how they're arriving at a run value. All I'm looking at is simple: total inzone and out of zone plays over innings, and scaling to 1500 innings.

Han Joelo
01-31-2013, 06:08 PM
It's not minutiae when the team is coming off back-to-back last place finishes, is fielding the same waaaaaaaay below average middle infield, and those combined "minutiae" players add up to over 10% of payroll (over 15% if you toss Nick Blackburn on the list, over 20% if Nishioka hadn't bowed out of his contract).

"Minutiae" adds up when you continue to pile up bad decisions.

I think we can agree that the Twins have a slim chance of contending this year. Why worry about the marginal value of MI's and 4/5 Starters? For the Twins to have had a decent chance of competing would have required throwing insane amounts of money at Greinke and Sanchez--far more than they signed for, to be complementary pieces on winning teams, vs. saviors on one of the worst, something I don't think either guy is exactly mentally suited for.

I'm not a big stat head, but the moves all this commenting has inspired might only improve the team by a win or two. I mean really, signing Kelly Johnson for MI or Kelly Shoppach to replace the Pariah or signing Kelly Marcum-Villaneuva-Baker-Saunders-Blanton is going to turn this team around? Hell no. If Gibson, Meyer, May, and Berrios develop, than we've got a juggernaut.

For me, these names and stats and contract figures are minutiae. Injury prone Marcum for 4 + 4 Mill for 1 year vs. Steady Correia for 10 for 2 years? Minimum wage Florimon vs. 2 Mill Cedeno? Who cares! They all suck. The difference is one or two wins. This team will blow as the winds of Mauer, Morneau, Willingham, and the cast of youngsters Seth outlined in his post takes them. If the winds blow favorably, like Luke Skywalker/Death Star or Frodo/Mt. Doom favorable, the unspent payroll will come in exceedingly handy come trade deadline. Maybe the pitching is adequate and the offense awesome and the competition horrible and the Twins are in striking distance at the deadline. Maybe Lincecum is revived in a walk year with a big contract. That cash in the Pohlad's bank will come in handy.

If not, they've gotten a good look at some failed decisions. And we'll hopefully get to watch a bunch of (hopefully) promising young prospects get their feet wet in MLB instead of a bunch of has beens.

old nurse
01-31-2013, 07:26 PM
I don't know how they're arriving at a run value. All I'm looking at is simple: total inzone and out of zone plays over innings, and scaling to 1500 innings.
Since you appear to be advocating best bat possible for short than why not Doumit for SS? Since Doumit is a better LF than Willingham, Willingham to short and Doumit to left. Beloit moved Sano to third rather than short because of defense. Under your theory of having better defenders on the outside, that would appear to be a mistake as his replacements did not hit nearly as well as he did. Point really being you have to balance the defense with the offense. Yes it is putrid to have a .600 ops guy at short but there is a balance point somewhere with defense and offensive skills. Hanly has superior offensive skills that more than balance the defense as did Jeter in his younger days.

Kwak
01-31-2013, 08:30 PM
The last three big ST battles we had...or at least that I can remember:

2008 ST battle for CF: When Gomez 'won' the CF battle, Span had better numbers.
2010 ST battle for 3B: Harris out played Punto. Punto won. You remember. Punto is my starting shortstop (Twins trade for Hardy)...um, okay, Punto is my starting 2B (Twins sign Hudson)...um, ok Punto and Harris will battle for 3B. Oh, surprise surprise, Punto 'wins'
2011 rotation battle with supposedly six quality starters but only 5 spots. The guy who had the best ST ERA (Slowey) was the one who ended up out of the rotation.

You forgot about last year's battle for 3B. Luke Hughes "won" and started at 3rd. But as soon as he struggled he was DFA'd and Plouffe became the starting 3B man despite a worse than Butera BAVG.

edavis0308
01-31-2013, 08:36 PM
Since you appear to be advocating best bat possible for short than why not Doumit for SS? Since Doumit is a better LF than Willingham, Willingham to short and Doumit to left. Beloit moved Sano to third rather than short because of defense. Under your theory of having better defenders on the outside, that would appear to be a mistake as his replacements did not hit nearly as well as he did. Point really being you have to balance the defense with the offense. Yes it is putrid to have a .600 ops guy at short but there is a balance point somewhere with defense and offensive skills. Hanly has superior offensive skills that more than balance the defense as did Jeter in his younger days.

That's not what he meant and you know it.

ThePuck
01-31-2013, 08:59 PM
You forgot about last year's battle for 3B. Luke Hughes "won" and started at 3rd. But as soon as he struggled he was DFA'd and Plouffe became the starting 3B man despite a worse than Butera BAVG.

Luke Hughes played 4 games for the Twins last year and never started at 3B

ThePuck
01-31-2013, 09:03 PM
That's what I thought would be the case before I cracked into some numbers. You can look at the data for 2010-2012 players here (min 1000 Innings): https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5pIzP28qdp-X21zdHI4cVgwY3c/edit?usp=sharing

Although SS will have more balls hit to him, there is just as much variation from the mean in terms of balls fielded, as with LF. This is the case whether or not you include out of zone balls in your totals. (Previously I just looked at in-zone opps and plays made).

For LFers:


For SSs:


When you think about it, its not surprising. IN today's game, Brett Gardner, Ben Revere and Juan Pierre are playing in the corners. Meanwhile Derek Jeter, Ricky Weeks, and Dan Uggla have MI jobs. Things have leveled out.

I appreciate your work on this, but I can't agree with your conclusions. Interesting take though.

jokin
01-31-2013, 09:07 PM
That's not what he meant and you know it.

If I had a nickel for every time that was thought or stated in response to an ol'nurse post.....

johnnydakota
01-31-2013, 09:24 PM
I agree with you, Roger, 100 percent. I tortured myself reading the Correia comments yesterday, and was kind of dismayed. Thanks Logan for fighting the good fight, but apparently at TD, one man's vitriol is another man's snark.

All this angst over such minutiae! I hope they need the saved money for a big mid season trade.

so the saved money is for a midseason trade? as in we will have to acquire a player who is paid so much we will need an extra 20 million to pay half his salary, or we are going to throw in an extra 20 mil. plus a prospect?

johnnydakota
01-31-2013, 09:30 PM
If we buy the idea that Ronny Cedeno is suddenly getting better at hitting, just kinda out of the blue, then we also have to consider the idea that Florimon can get better with some time. The reason I'm not jumping off the Correia cliff is that I see him as a worthy upgrade over what the Twins had to offer. Cedeno & Johnson? Not true upgrades. If they'd signed Johnson, I would have been cool with it, as he's likely to hit some key homers. Cedeno would have mystified me since they already have him in Florimon.

I havent looked at cedeno,or johnsons stats, but im guessing they hit better then the .220 florimon did...

old nurse
01-31-2013, 09:53 PM
That's not what he meant and you know it.

He in his original post is claiming that corner defense is more important because the damage done by having lesser players in those roles is worse than having less of a glove at shortstop. If indeed the shortstop position can be manned by a poor defensive player to get the best bat possible then the current best bat on the Twins is Doumit. Please try to tell me among the bench players there is a better bat without a position. If his solution to the current Twins dilemma is to get as good as bat as possible given the current state of the Twins and Rochester rosters there wouldn't be many options. That he justifies it with Ben Revere as a corner outfielder because of his defense ignores the fact that one of the two center fielders had to play right.

edavis0308
01-31-2013, 10:08 PM
He in his original post is claiming that corner defense is more important because the damage done by having lesser players in those roles is worse than having less of a glove at shortstop. If indeed the shortstop position can be manned by a poor defensive player to get the best bat possible then the current best bat on the Twins is Doumit. Please try to tell me among the bench players there is a better bat without a position. If his solution to the current Twins dilemma is to get as good as bat as possible given the current state of the Twins and Rochester rosters there wouldn't be many options.

So your point is we should play a pitcher at center! Butera should be a starting pitcher! Morneau starts at short! We get your nonsensical argument but if you're going to be dense enough to not think he was limiting his argument to only players that are only classified at each given position, albeit the below average players both offensive and defensively, then.. well....grow up.

old nurse
01-31-2013, 10:10 PM
If I had a nickel for every time that was thought or stated in response to an ol'nurse post.....
If I had a nickel for every time you have been petty or rude.

FrodaddyG
01-31-2013, 10:17 PM
If I had a nickel for every time you have been petty or rude.
Nurse refers to someone else as rude.

DRINK!!!

Top Gun
01-31-2013, 10:31 PM
Indians signed RHP Matt Capps to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Capps earned $4.5 million with the Twins last season while posting a 3.68 ERA and 18/4 K/BB ratio over 29 1/3 innings. The 29-year-old right-hander was limited to just three appearances after the All-Star break due to shoulder issues, but he should have a good chance to win a bullpen spot with the Indians if he's healthy.

Top Gun
01-31-2013, 10:36 PM
Capps is another 4M loss for the Twins and I bet he will be better this year.

Kobs
01-31-2013, 11:03 PM
TR has stated in the last week that he fully expects to compete and be a contender into the fall. He clearly either thinks 20m of payroll in hand isn't needed to field a quality team

I'm still convinced that this was the pitch Ryan used to get Smith fired and take back his job.

Willihammer
01-31-2013, 11:11 PM
Since you appear to be advocating best bat possible for short than why not Doumit for SS? Since Doumit is a better LF than Willingham, Willingham to short and Doumit to left.

I would be open to that.

old nurse
01-31-2013, 11:12 PM
Nurse refers to someone else as rude.

DRINK!!!
Drink up

jokin
01-31-2013, 11:17 PM
If I had a nickel for every time you have been petty or rude.

So says the Richard Petty of rude...
And the Ravishing Rick Rude of petty

old nurse
01-31-2013, 11:20 PM
So your point is we should play a pitcher at center! Butera should be a starting pitcher! Morneau starts at short! We get your nonsensical argument but if you're going to be dense enough to not think he was limiting his argument to only players that are only classified at each given position, albeit the below average players both offensive and defensively, then.. well....grow up.
Can Doumit's range at short be any worse than Jeter's

jokin
01-31-2013, 11:21 PM
Drink up (last edited by oldnurse...)

Apparently changes mind on first edited response: "I know you are, but what am I"

old nurse
01-31-2013, 11:40 PM
Apparently changes mind on first edited response: "I know you are, but what am I"
Continuing to speculate on what you know nothing about? Here it is the edited out comment just for you. Bicker bicker bicker. My isn't this exciting for everyone to read. Posted it and changed my mind.

CDog
02-01-2013, 02:34 PM
The last three big ST battles we had...or at least that I can remember:

2008 ST battle for CF: When Gomez 'won' the CF battle, Span had better numbers.
2010 ST battle for 3B: Harris out played Punto. Punto won. You remember. Punto is my starting shortstop (Twins trade for Hardy)...um, okay, Punto is my starting 2B (Twins sign Hudson)...um, ok Punto and Harris will battle for 3B. Oh, surprise surprise, Punto 'wins'
2011 rotation battle with supposedly six quality starters but only 5 spots. The guy who had the best ST ERA (Slowey) was the one who ended up out of the rotation.

This comes up a fair amount, so I figured I'd finally pose the question(s): Is it possible that the winner shouldn't necessarily be the person who ends up with the "better numbers?"

Could it be that the multitudes of professional baseball coaches of the highest level, who are watching almost every second of Spring Training, see more than the (relatively tiny sample of) numbers convey? That perhaps Harris could be observed by experts to be a butcher as an infielder more quickly and definitively than you or I could tell (and that would show up in exactly zero statistics, let alone significantly sample-sized ones)? Or that Span hit a dribbler or two for a hit, or even a line drive on a bad pitch that he shouldn't have been swinging at that skewed those numbers? That Slowey racked up some outs against some guys that ended up in AA?

Those are just examples, obviously, and none or all may be true. They're simply to illustrate the point of the original question. And that is that I don't think it's all that unlikely that a player who does more good things in the right way ends up without the best numbers. "Winning" a Spring Training battle should be (and likely is) about a lot more than what is shown in their batting line or ERA.

ThePuck
02-01-2013, 03:22 PM
This comes up a fair amount, so I figured I'd finally pose the question(s): Is it possible that the winner shouldn't necessarily be the person who ends up with the "better numbers?"

Could it be that the multitudes of professional baseball coaches of the highest level, who are watching almost every second of Spring Training, see more than the (relatively tiny sample of) numbers convey? That perhaps Harris could be observed by experts to be a butcher as an infielder more quickly and definitively than you or I could tell (and that would show up in exactly zero statistics, let alone significantly sample-sized ones)? Or that Span hit a dribbler or two for a hit, or even a line drive on a bad pitch that he shouldn't have been swinging at that skewed those numbers? That Slowey racked up some outs against some guys that ended up in AA?

Those are just examples, obviously, and none or all may be true. They're simply to illustrate the point of the original question. And that is that I don't think it's all that unlikely that a player who does more good things in the right way ends up without the best numbers. "Winning" a Spring Training battle should be (and likely is) about a lot more than what is shown in their batting line or ERA.

Or the results are predetermined and the ST battles are a PR thing...both could be true...but I don't think it's a coincidence that in all three of those instances the guy who lost seemed to do the best by what we normally judge players by. You may be right, could very well be right, but then again...

Riverbrian
02-01-2013, 03:34 PM
I'm willing to guess that the majority of Spring Training Battle are not battles at all. I think the club pretty much knows who they are going up North with and change their minds in spring on occasion but only on rare occasion.

Just a Guess.

Kwak
02-01-2013, 03:41 PM
I'm still convinced that this was the pitch Ryan used to get Smith fired and take back his job.

I thought it was "I can finish dead last too--on half the budget!"

ashburyjohn
02-01-2013, 04:20 PM
I'm still convinced that this was the pitch Ryan used to get Smith fired and take back his job.

I don't accuse Ryan of that, but I do think it is along the right lines. When Smith was fired^H^H^H^H^Hre-assigned Jim Pohlad was quoted concerning "philosophical differences", and at that point I jumped to the conclusion Smith had asked for $20M more in budget, was turned down, re-iterated that he couldn't deliver a winner under those conditions, and Pohlad said if that's how you feel we'll find you another position in the organization. Ryan then agreed to the budget limit and was given the old job back. All supposition on my part, beyond the quote which I do still find archived here (http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7204414/minnesota-twins-dismiss-general-manager-bill-smith-return-terry-ryan-interim).

SweetOne69
02-01-2013, 04:49 PM
I don't accuse Ryan of that, but I do think it is along the right lines. When Smith was fired^H^H^H^H^Hre-assigned Jim Pohlad was quoted concerning "philosophical differences", and at that point I jumped to the conclusion Smith had asked for $20M more in budget, was turned down, re-iterated that he couldn't deliver a winner under those conditions, and Pohlad said if that's how you feel we'll find you another position in the organization. Ryan then agreed to the budget limit and was given the old job back. All supposition on my part, beyond the quote which I do still find archived here (http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7204414/minnesota-twins-dismiss-general-manager-bill-smith-return-terry-ryan-interim).

This

old nurse
02-01-2013, 07:35 PM
I don't accuse Ryan of that, but I do think it is along the right lines. When Smith was fired^H^H^H^H^Hre-assigned Jim Pohlad was quoted concerning "philosophical differences", and at that point I jumped to the conclusion Smith had asked for $20M more in budget, was turned down, re-iterated that he couldn't deliver a winner under those conditions, and Pohlad said if that's how you feel we'll find you another position in the organization. Ryan then agreed to the budget limit and was given the old job back. All supposition on my part, beyond the quote which I do still find archived here (http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7204414/minnesota-twins-dismiss-general-manager-bill-smith-return-terry-ryan-interim).

Maybe the philosophical difference was Smith did not know how to make a trade and would not admit he sucked at it. Maybe he wanted to fire the scouting department because they had not had a decent draft in a few years and the Pohlads did not want to. Maybe the whole pitch to contact thing was Smith's idea because he figured out they were cheaper pitchers and someone else in the organization saw the light. Maybe it was a boxers versus briefs thing. We can all speculate.

FrodaddyG
02-01-2013, 08:47 PM
Maybe he wanted to fire the scouting department because they had not had a decent draft in a few years and the Pohlads did not want to.
This made me curious, so I glanced at the Twins' past 10 drafts (about half JR, half BS) to see what players came to see any noteworthy time in the majors. With the Twins or elsewhere. For the sake of recent drafts, I'll try and list some of the top guys (or just the top few picks from those drafts) who are still possible prospects, since most won't have sniffed the majors yet. (And just because some of these years would just be incredibly sad without listing even the guys who may barely ever see the bigs.)

2003 (Ryan):
Scott Baker (2)

2004 (Ryan):
Trevor Plouffe (1)
Glen Perkins (1S)
Anthony Swarzak (2)
Matt Tolbert (16)

2005 (Ryan):
Matt Garza (1)
Kevin Slowey (2S)
Brian Duensing (3)
Alex Burnett (12)

2006 (Ryan):
Chris Parmelee (1)
Joe Benson (2)
Tyler Robertson (3)
Jeff Manship (14)
Danny Valencia (19)
Anthony Slama (39)

2007 (Ryan):
Revere(1)

2008 (Smith):
Aaron Hicks (1)
Carlos Gutierrez (1)
BJ Hermsen (6)

2009 (Smith):
Kyle Gibson (1)
Chris Herrmann (6)

2010 (Smith):
Alex Wimmers (1)
Niko Goodrum (2)
Eddie Rosario (4)
Nate Roberts (5)

2011 (Smith):
Levi Michael (1)
Travis Harrison (2)
Hudson Boyd (3)
Madison Boer (4)

2012 (Ryan):
Byron Buxton (1)
JO Berrios (2)
Luke Bard (3)
Mason Melotakis (4)

Not an exhaustive list, and I may have missed one or two along the way, and I was only using the draft. No international signings. (Smith's tenure looks quite a bit better if you factor guys like Sano and Kepler into the prospect lists.)

No matter how you spin it, that's a pretty sad showing for the 2003 to 2007 window that Ryan was running things. On the pitching side of things, they netted a total of two useful starting pitchers (Baker and Garza), two useful bullpen lefties (Perkins and Duensing), and whatever you'd call Kevin Slowey at this point in time (in the case of Dickbert, an ***hole).

Hitting-wise, that same time frame saw Parmelee, Plouffe, Valencia, Benson and Revere. Three guys yet to fully prove themselves, a defensive CF, and Danny Valencia (see Dickbert's evaluation of Slowey, Kevin). When this is the cream of the talent pool being drawn upon to replace departing veterans, it probably shouldn't be a huge surprise the team results began to wane eventually. Now to hope the drafts from 2008 on start to pay a few more dividends than the lean years of the mid-2000s.

(I used the draft results on the Twins site if anyone wanted to browse them and maybe catch someone useful I missed:
Minnesota Twins 2003 Draft Results | twinsbaseball.com: Team (http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/team/draft.jsp?c_id=min&year=2003))

Kwak
02-01-2013, 09:43 PM
The Draft results for after the 1st Round are even worse. There are future major leaguers, even future all-stars available. It is true the salary bonuses required to sign 1st round selections did escalate substantially as the millenium progressed, but later round rounds were very affordable for the Twins. There were threads in MLBdotcom about top ten prospects by position and the later rounds were well represented in this year's edition. The Twins talk about scouting and proper development (with loads of time spent in the minors) but the results are dismal. I certainly agree that the draft and International signings should be the primary source of players--but free agents are needed! The class C, D, and recovering-from-surgery are not the type to sign. Focus on a few "upper-tier" free agents at positions the franchise is weak, and fit in the promotions around them--not promote from the minors the tio prospects and then sign guys who are no more than hole-pluggers.

ashburyjohn
02-01-2013, 09:47 PM
Maybe the philosophical difference was Smith did not know how to make a trade and would not admit he sucked at it. Maybe he wanted to fire the scouting department because they had not had a decent draft in a few years and the Pohlads did not want to. Maybe the whole pitch to contact thing was Smith's idea because he figured out they were cheaper pitchers and someone else in the organization saw the light. Maybe it was a boxers versus briefs thing. We can all speculate.

Yeah, it's probably one of those.

Mitchsull52
02-01-2013, 09:48 PM
Last season, these were the OPS+ numbers for Twins middle infielders (non Jamey Carroll edition):

Brian Dozier: 67 OPS+ in 340 PAs
Eduardo Escobar: 41 OPS+ in 49 PAs
Pedro Florimon: 61 OPS+ in 150 PAs

Now here are some bargain middle infielders who could have been nabbed for a song ($2m or under, or Jamey Carroll's 2014 option):
Kelly Johnson: 2011, 111 OPS+ in 132 PAs / 2012, 84 OPS+ in 581 PAs
Ronny Cedeno: 2011, 70 OPS+ in 413 PAs / 2012, 104 OPS+ in 186 PAs

You really don't see any room for improvement there? There are two middle infield spots to play, after all. Picking up a second body who has proven the ability to hit Major League pitching is not an unreasonable request. If Dozier (possible) or Florimon (not so much) steps up, you're still allowed some flexibility instead of relying on someone who has a very good chance of being awful at the plate by sliding one of the vets into a utility role. If it allows you to bench Carroll if/when he gets old overnight, even better. Otherwise, you're forced to run Carroll out there nearly every night because he's still better than your second and third options (Escobar and Florimon). As it stands now, Carroll could post a 75 OPS+ and he'd still get his 401 PAs because the chance of Florimon being a viable option at short over the course of a season is virtually zero. Add in a Johnson or Cedeno and you don't have to lean on Jamey so heavily when Florimon and Escobar fail spectacularly.

Also, what happens at third base if Plouffe fails?

totally agree with everything u just said, except I take issue with just using ops+ over a two year span to prove your point. But I suppose it's a quick and dirty way to roughly establish that the twins can or rather could have (drastically) improved their middle infield. That's not what I was critizing. Your initial writing, to me, seemed to focus on 1) intelligent 2) prudent allocation of dollars and years or as I put it "frugality". Carrol is the primordial utility player, but does using him as such really increase the bang for your buck? Short answer, no. Terry Ryan is one of if not the most savvy GM's in baseball when it comes to these periphery marginal players. Pound for pound paying carrol part time money and using him as a starter is probably one of the most frugal and proper allocation of "dollars and years" when it comes to free agency. In a vacuum yes you are right those other players u listed are almost just as good if not better value but add them to the team this year and you essentially squander carrol value (if you are simply playing carrol less to avoid paying 2 million more in 2014). I believe we have similar ideas for what the twins should have done but ultimately I think you failed to see the forest through the trees. That being said this is one of the more intriguing writings on this website I've read and I hope we get more of them.

old nurse
02-01-2013, 10:21 PM
This made me curious, so I glanced at the Twins' past 10 drafts (about half JR, half BS) to see what players came to see any noteworthy time in the majors. With the Twins or elsewhere. For the sake of recent drafts, I'll try and list some of the top guys (or just the top few picks from those drafts) who are still possible prospects, since most won't have sniffed the majors yet. (And just because some of these years would just be incredibly sad without listing even the guys who may barely ever see the bigs.)

2003 (Ryan):
Scott Baker (2)

2004 (Ryan):
Trevor Plouffe (1)
Glen Perkins (1S)
Anthony Swarzak (2)
Matt Tolbert (16)

2005 (Ryan):
Matt Garza (1)
Kevin Slowey (2S)
Brian Duensing (3)
Alex Burnett (12)

2006 (Ryan):
Chris Parmelee (1)
Joe Benson (2)
Tyler Robertson (3)
Jeff Manship (14)
Danny Valencia (19)
Anthony Slama (39)

2007 (Ryan):
Revere(1)

2008 (Smith):
Aaron Hicks (1)
Carlos Gutierrez (1)
BJ Hermsen (6)

2009 (Smith):
Kyle Gibson (1)
Chris Herrmann (6)

2010 (Smith):
Alex Wimmers (1)
Niko Goodrum (2)
Eddie Rosario (4)
Nate Roberts (5)

2011 (Smith):
Levi Michael (1)
Travis Harrison (2)
Hudson Boyd (3)
Madison Boer (4)

2012 (Ryan):
Byron Buxton (1)
JO Berrios (2)
Luke Bard (3)
Mason Melotakis (4)

Not an exhaustive list, and I may have missed one or two along the way, and I was only using the draft. No international signings. (Smith's tenure looks quite a bit better if you factor guys like Sano and Kepler into the prospect lists.)

No matter how you spin it, that's a pretty sad showing for the 2003 to 2007 window that Ryan was running things. On the pitching side of things, they netted a total of two useful starting pitchers (Baker and Garza), two useful bullpen lefties (Perkins and Duensing), and whatever you'd call Kevin Slowey at this point in time (in the case of Dickbert, an ***hole).

Hitting-wise, that same time frame saw Parmelee, Plouffe, Valencia, Benson and Revere. Three guys yet to fully prove themselves, a defensive CF, and Danny Valencia (see Dickbert's evaluation of Slowey, Kevin). When this is the cream of the talent pool being drawn upon to replace departing veterans, it probably shouldn't be a huge surprise the team results began to wane eventually. Now to hope the drafts from 2008 on start to pay a few more dividends than the lean years of the mid-2000s.

(I used the draft results on the Twins site if anyone wanted to browse them and maybe catch someone useful I missed:
Minnesota Twins 2003 Draft Results | twinsbaseball.com: Team (http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/team/draft.jsp?c_id=min&year=2003))

I am sorry that you couldn't tell I wasn't 100 % serious with the answer. Boxers versus brief should have been a real big clue. I guess I have to be less subtle for you next time.
Nice list of draft choices. Remember it was after the 2011 season. At that point on your lift of draftees how many were starting players, starting pitchers, or closers in 2011 with the Twins? The byproducts of the trades made by Smith, which would have been gleaned from the scouting information, how many of them were in a significant role fore the Twins when Smith left?
Nice you listed the GM. Near the end of this story you can read about Deron Johnson's role in the draft
For Twins scouting director Deron Johnson, scouting is true labor of love | MLB.com: News (http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110208&content_id=16593362&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb)

FrodaddyG
02-01-2013, 10:29 PM
I am sorry that you couldn't tell I wasn't 100 % serious with the answer.
It wasn't prompted out of any kind of seriousness. There was just a line in your post that seemed thought-provoking. (I know. I was amazed, too.)

Kwak
02-01-2013, 11:00 PM
totally agree with everything u just said, except I take issue with just using ops+ over a two year span to prove your point. But I suppose it's a quick and dirty way to roughly establish that the twins can or rather could have (drastically) improved their middle infield. That's not what I was critizing. Your initial writing, to me, seemed to focus on 1) intelligent 2) prudent allocation of dollars and years or as I put it "frugality". Carrol is the primordial utility player, but does using him as such really increase the bang for your buck? Short answer, no. Terry Ryan is one of if not the most savvy GM's in baseball when it comes to these periphery marginal players. Pound for pound paying carrol part time money and using him as a starter is probably one of the most frugal and proper allocation of "dollars and years" when it comes to free agency. In a vacuum yes you are right those other players u listed are almost just as good if not better value but add them to the team this year and you essentially squander carrol value (if you are simply playing carrol less to avoid paying 2 million more in 2014). I believe we have similar ideas for what the twins should have done but ultimately I think you failed to see the forest through the trees. That being said this is one of the more intriguing writings on this website I've read and I hope we get more of them.

Terrific insight! Sign competent "reserve-type" players and install them as "everyday-players" as an example of savvy management. True, it is much less expensive to sign "reserve-type" players than the "everyday-players", but it is folly to expect the "reserve" to produce like everyday players. But of course the esteemed GM is fully aware of that! He simply defines "winning" differently that we dumb fans and that's the source of our confusion/displeasure--we don't don't see the "big picture". The GM wants " a clear path" for all of the wonderful prospects in the system to move into the the major league line-up (at their roughly league-minimum salary) such that the Twins can operate "efficiently" (except for Mauer of course). It is but a minor detail that the team will lose many more than they win--but the team will be efficient!

pajavorski
02-02-2013, 05:03 PM
Hypothetically if the twins are trying to seriously contend in 2013, they would need a bunch of things to go there way. I.e. mauer/ morneau at MVP levels, pelfrey and Harden healthy and decently effective, plouffe being a HR God. Then I see the logic in getting more middleinfield options like cadeno or making a risk reward signing of Kelly johnson. However I believe the TWINS ARENT PLANNING on competing in 2013 thus. TRs talk is just that talk, and I don't blame him. I hope they are stashing all this extra cash with a note on it saying 2014-2015 younger Ace pitcher. hey a guy can hope right?

The Wise One
02-02-2013, 08:06 PM
I'm willing to guess that the majority of Spring Training Battle are not battles at all. I think the club pretty much knows who they are going up North with and change their minds in spring on occasion but only on rare occasion.

Just a Guess.

Take a look at when someone gets their AB in a game. See if Hicks or Benson are going against the front line pitchers. There is a competition on if they are.

Riverbrian
02-02-2013, 08:48 PM
Take a look at when someone gets their AB in a game. See if Hicks or Benson are going against the front line pitchers. There is a competition on if they are.

I will and I can't wait for it.

Mitchsull52
02-03-2013, 11:49 PM
Terrific insight! Sign competent "reserve-type" players and install them as "everyday-players" as an example of savvy management. True, it is much less expensive to sign "reserve-type" players than the "everyday-players", but it is folly to expect the "reserve" to produce like everyday players. But of course the esteemed GM is fully aware of that! He simply defines "winning" differently that we dumb fans and that's the source of our confusion/displeasure--we don't don't see the "big picture". The GM wants " a clear path" for all of the wonderful prospects in the system to move into the the major league line-up (at their roughly league-minimum salary) such that the Twins can operate "efficiently" (except for Mauer of course). It is but a minor detail that the team will lose many more than they win--but the team will be efficient!


Ok, I think a good rule of using sarcasm in print is to not switch back and forth between writing facetiously and seriously. Or, at least, not do so in the same section. Beyond that I don't really see the over all point to any of what you wrote, other then general gripping. "Reserve player" and "regular" are not terms with set parameters. They are not set positions on the field. Jamey carrol makes the twins better and is a cost effective way of doing so. There is an huge range of issues beyond just him. issues that are far more complicated and to be honest much more important. I was trying to have a nuisances discussion and I don't think you added anything directly relevant to it. In fact I think you went off on a tangent that gets really boring hearing about constantly. What's the point of having these blogs to begin with if it always has to devolve in to the same old basic, lowest common denominator, irrational, collective sob? I thought the whole point of this site was essentially very very in depth and detailed variations of the question "so what?"