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Seth Stohs
03-20-2012, 12:32 AM
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.php?338-Ranking-the-Twins-Bench-Options

Nick Nelson
03-20-2012, 07:49 AM
Nice write-up, and I agree with your rankings. Burroughs hasn't done much to blow anyone away this spring, but he's been taking good at-bats and Gardenhire would love to have a guy who can come off the bench late and give a good professional AB.

J-Dog Dungan
03-20-2012, 08:25 AM
I think you have a pretty good list here, but if Hollimon keeps hitting like he has, do you think there is a chance they take him north? Better question, what are the chances that Hollimon keeps hitting as well as he has, and has he faced any tried and true MLB pitchers, or is he usually out when the less-likely-to-get-to-the-Majors bullpen arms come out?

Seth Stohs
03-20-2012, 08:45 AM
I think his track record and 2011 season numbers say he isn't going to hit .500... but since he'll likely only get another 20 plate appearances, it's possible that he keeps hitting through that period. It's the beauty of small sample.

roger
03-20-2012, 09:03 AM
Nice write-up, and I agree with your rankings. Burroughs hasn't done much to blow anyone away this spring, but he's been taking good at-bats and Gardenhire would love to have a guy who can come off the bench late and give a good professional AB.

I will second that!

Jim H
03-20-2012, 09:10 AM
Good write up Seth. I am a bit confused with still having 6 middle infielders in camp. I wouldn't think there are enough AB's for them all. I agree that Dozier should be starting somewhere, and since he is still in camp, he must be in the running for the starting SS job. Otherwise he is taking AB's to no purpose because Gardy and his staff should of seen enough to know what he is.

I am also surprised that Chang, Florimon and Hollimon are all still in camp. I would think you would pick 2 and let them compete for the backup job.

Seth Stohs
03-20-2012, 09:30 AM
Fair question, but they aren't losing a whole lot of at bats. A couple more will likely be sent down to minor league camp late this week or early the following week. The starters aren't getting full games every day. I don't see any harm. If Dozier is not the opening day SP, then it's possible that one of those three (or someone from outside the organization) takes that final roster spot. Gardy needs to see them. Terry Ryan probably needs to see them too.

whydidnt
03-20-2012, 09:39 AM
I think Burroughs and Holliman are similar offensively (not good, but not Nishi like either), so I'd keep Holliman, just for his positional flexibilty. He's 29 and certainly nothing more than a ML bench player, but I'd like to see them give him a shot. Burroughs really hasn't looked good at 3B so far in ST, and has a reputation has a mediocre fielder. He's not going to hit much, based upon his track record so where's his value?

I really don't think Ryan is going outside the organization at this point for a utility guy. We've got too many potential players in camp and fairly set IF. I think if he really thought they could contend this year they might bring someone else in, but at this point what are they going to gain?

Thrylos
03-20-2012, 09:46 AM
I think going outside the organization will be a mistake... They already went outside the organization for a utility infielder, but just handed him the starting SS role.

Burroughs has been from average to below average on the field, but seems to be picking up some steam with the bat. Will be an interesting ST to watch

nicksaviking
03-20-2012, 10:27 AM
I'm not sure why the team would go outside the organization either, unless they plan on getting a long term solution for 2B or SS. Utility infielders are a dime a dozen. None are going to be a significant upgrade to the current options, the nature of the backup infielder demonstrates that they are already a substandard major league option to begin with. In school, no one argues with the teacher to try to improve their grade from a D to a D+, it's just not worth the effort.

On a side note, with questions about Carroll's range (and age) why did the team so adamantly stick him at SS and Casilla at 2B? Casilla has never proven to be a poor SS and he seems to be more comfortable there offensively. Last year his OPS was 67 points higher when he played SS, his carreer OPS is 55 points higher at SS than it is at 2B. And if the Twins though JJ Hardy's range hurt the groundball pitchers, what's going to happen when they expect Valencia to make up the ground that Carroll can no longer reach? Carroll would be much more useful at 2B. I must be missing some obvious issue because this current arrangement seems illogical and I have heard absolutely no discussion on a switch.

Jim H
03-20-2012, 10:48 AM
I have heard Ryan say (over years) that Casilla's best position is 2B. Apparently Gardenhire agrees with that. While Casilla probably has better range than Carroll, it seems like we are looking at a short term situation here. The Twins seem to be looking at Dozier as the medium term answer at short. They seem to think it will be his position at some point(now, this year, beginning of next year) and that he will be able to hold it for awhile.

If that is the case, and if you believe Casilla is at least a medium term answer at 2B, using Carroll as a short term answer at SS and maybe a longer term anwer at utility man, makes sense.

Obviously, many people don't think Casilla is an answer to anything, and some don't think Dozier will be able to play major league SS. I would like to see the Dozier/Casilla combination but I doubt it will survive more than a couple of years.

tharasix
03-20-2012, 11:51 AM
I agree that Casilla is a defensive liability at SS. This time a year ago there was much discussion about the Twins handing him the starting SS job when he had done little to deserve it based on the performance from previous years. Through the beginning of the 2011 season, he did little to prove those concerns wrong. I'd love to see Dozier make it and put Carroll or Casilla on the bench.

WJ
03-20-2012, 11:53 AM
I'd go with the two youngest guys on your list. The conventional wisdom seems to be that Dozier won't make the roster as a utility player because he needs to play everday in order to learn. I would hope the Twins pick a utility player that is ready to play at the major league level right now. He doesn't have to be the finished product, of course, but at least competent defensively. So, either Dozier is ready or he isn't. If he's ready right now, whether he starts or sits on the bench should depend on the other infield options on the 25-man roster.

Ultima Ratio
03-20-2012, 12:29 PM
With Plouffe and Hughs as locks, I take Burroughs and Hollimon. One attribute the must be looked at with this group (and sadly absent here) is pinch running. You've got to have one bench guy for PR purposes. Who's the best base-stealing threat, fastest, best base-running awareness of this group. Also, I cannot endorse taking a waiver option (so I don't) until you know whom the waiver guy is and what he brings to the plate (pardon the pun). You can only evaluate real options at this point. And last, the landscape will arrange itself in the next two weeks for most of these guys with increased PA and PA against MLB pitching. If someone could put together that potential waiver list, that would be fun to see.

Ultima Ratio
03-20-2012, 12:34 PM
I don't want to see Butera or Towles head north. There is no apparent need one can demonstrate for why three catches are necessary especially if/since one of the three is as bad as our third man options.

chaderic20
03-20-2012, 01:38 PM
Sounds like I might be in the minority here, but I think the Twins do need to take 3 catchers north. Given Mauer's and Morneau's injury history you can be sure that there will be many times that both Mauer and Doumit will be in the lineup at the same time in some combination of C and 1B/OF/DH. When that's the case, we will need to have a 3rd catcher on the roster in case either of them needs to come out of a game.

SweetOne69
03-20-2012, 01:51 PM
Sounds like I might be in the minority here, but I think the Twins do need to take 3 catchers north. Given Mauer's and Morneau's injury history you can be sure that there will be many times that both Mauer and Doumit will be in the lineup at the same time in some combination of C and 1B/OF/DH. When that's the case, we will need to have a 3rd catcher on the roster in case either of them needs to come out of a game.

The only real reason to carry 3 catchers is to cover the scenario where both Mauer and Doumit both have to leave the game. Other than that situation, the worst case scenario with only 2 catchers results in the forfeiture of the DH for the remainder of the current game. After the game a replacement catcher can be called up if needed.

Dilligaf69
03-20-2012, 02:09 PM
I agree there is enough internal options...no need to go outside the org IMO. The best bet is probably Burroughs. I would go Dozier at SS, Carroll at 2B and lexi as the utility...no he does'n't play 3b but you have Hughes for that although neither him or Valencia is a great defender. Either way it's probably best to get Dozier some AB's in AAA and get him up here by June.

SweetOne69
03-20-2012, 02:10 PM
One attribute the must be looked at with this group (and sadly absent here) is pinch running. You've got to have one bench guy for PR purposes. Who's the best base-stealing threat, fastest, best base-running awareness of this group. Also, I cannot endorse taking a waiver option (so I don't) until you know whom the waiver guy is and what he brings to the plate (pardon the pun). You can only evaluate real options at this point. And last, the landscape will arrange itself in the next two weeks for most of these guys with increased PA and PA against MLB pitching. If someone could put together that potential waiver list, that would be fun to see.

I agree, Plouffe and Hughes can provide offense, they do need to consider a PR on the bench. To be honest I think the PR will be Revere some of the time as I see him and Plouffe platooning in LF.

Shane Wahl
03-20-2012, 03:16 PM
While I still think Matt Carson's power potential should be respected, I will accept this list as the possibles . . . but I would rank them:

8. Dinkelman (no way). 7. Twins sign MI. 6. Parmelee. 5. Dozier. 4. Chang. 3. Florimon 2. Hollimon. 1. Burroughs.

Having three catchers is stupid, which means they will probably do it. In that case, let's at least hope it is Towles.

Thrylos
03-20-2012, 04:09 PM
If they take 3 catchers: I would rank the bench options:

1. Carroll (Dozier starting)
2. Parmelee (Morneau DH and Doumit bench/OF)
2. Rivera
3. Towles
4. Butera

If they don't necessarily take 3 catchers, I would rank them:

1. Carroll
2. Hollimon
3. Parmelee (Morneau DH)
4. Rivera
5. Burroughs (but his defense bothers me)
6. Chang
7. Dinkelman
8. Florimon

I don't see Benson making the team unless someone is injured.

Seth Stohs
03-20-2012, 05:45 PM
Burroughs came into spring training with the reputation of being a pretty good fielder at 3B... can perceptions really change with a handful of spring training innings at the hot corner?

Thrylos
03-20-2012, 06:44 PM
Burroughs came into spring training with the reputation of being a pretty good fielder at 3B... can perceptions really change with a handful of spring training innings at the hot corner?

His UZR ratings were high when he was younger and with the small sample size of 2011. His Total Zone Ratings were always low (last season with SSS was -3 runs.) Good ol' fielding percentage: .956 (Valencia's career is .955, Nick Punto's is .958 exactly equal to Brian Buscher's) So, I am not sure about reputations, but he looks pretty stiff out there...

Todd G
03-21-2012, 10:02 AM
"the worst case scenario with only 2 catchers results in the forfeiture of the DH for the remainder of the current game."

And really, is letting the pitcher have a couple of at bats really all that much worse then Butera?

Ultima Ratio
03-21-2012, 11:01 AM
"the worst case scenario with only 2 catchers results in the forfeiture of the DH for the remainder of the current game."

And really, is letting the pitcher have a couple of at bats really all that much worse then Butera?
No, this is better than wasting ABs on Butera. Some of our pitchers can at least bunt -- "handle the bat" as Gardy likes to say.

Neinstein
03-21-2012, 11:15 AM
It would also make that game's moment a very special and exciting one. I never get excited when Butera is at the plate.

nokomismod
03-21-2012, 03:15 PM
I'm not sure why the team would go outside the organization either, unless they plan on getting a long term solution for 2B or SS. Utility infielders are a dime a dozen. None are going to be a significant upgrade to the current options, the nature of the backup infielder demonstrates that they are already a substandard major league option to begin with. In school, no one argues with the teacher to try to improve their grade from a D to a D+, it's just not worth the effort.

On a side note, with questions about Carroll's range (and age) why did the team so adamantly stick him at SS and Casilla at 2B? Casilla has never proven to be a poor SS and he seems to be more comfortable there offensively. Last year his OPS was 67 points higher when he played SS, his carreer OPS is 55 points higher at SS than it is at 2B. And if the Twins though JJ Hardy's range hurt the groundball pitchers, what's going to happen when they expect Valencia to make up the ground that Carroll can no longer reach? Carroll would be much more useful at 2B. I must be missing some obvious issue because this current arrangement seems illogical and I have heard absolutely no discussion on a switch.
I agree completely!