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View Full Version : Article: Roster Projections Part 1b: Infielders and Outfielders



Seth Stohs
02-15-2013, 03:39 AM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=1376-Roster-Projections-Part-1b-Infielders-and-Outfielders

johnnydakota
02-15-2013, 04:36 AM
I wonder if the twins will pickup Tony Campana?

tjsyam921
02-15-2013, 06:05 AM
That's what I figure as well. If Benson has a good spring he'll get the spot over Hicks to start the year because of his september call up in 2011. But will he start in center or as a 4th outfielder?

beckmt
02-15-2013, 06:35 AM
Benson will have to start or be in Rochester. Think Hicks will be the CF and leadoff hitter. Boggs could be the fourth outfileder for the start. In the end Parmalee is the key as to how this plays out.

MWLFan
02-15-2013, 07:51 AM
My first reaction after reading your projection was...thats the best we have. I felt like all the people at the beginning of Major League looking over the roster and saying who are these guys. But it really hits home how many retreads and AAAA players are going to filling out the roster to start the season. I just hope July and August we have really started the youth movement in earnest. I don't want to slam guys because these are players trying their best and working hard to improve everyday out there. But heart and sweat can only take you so far in baseball, sooner or later you need some talent. That talent is coming, but we are still a year or so from it. It is like 1982-83 for me, to quote Yogi it is Deja Vu all over again.

jorgenswest
02-15-2013, 08:22 AM
I wish it was more like 82-83. The current roster has too many decline phase players that will not be part of the solution.

I think there is a good chance that either the 6th infielder or 4th outfielder will be a player who is not in the organization yet.

fairweather
02-15-2013, 09:18 AM
Why won't Drew Butera go away? What a waste of a roster spot.

mcrow
02-15-2013, 10:37 AM
Pretty much seems like most of these spots are penciled in for the most part. I think the one thing to watch is Hicks/Benson. I think they want to take it easy with Hicks and not toss him in there if he's off to a slow start.

Seth Stohs
02-15-2013, 10:41 AM
Pretty much seems like most of these spots are penciled in for the most part. I think the one thing to watch is Hicks/Benson. I think they want to take it easy with Hicks and not toss him in there if he's off to a slow start.

Agreed. They're not going to put him into a situation that they don't think he's ready for or could handle. They certainly believe in him. But the part that we don't see will also factor into that. He may hit .220 in spring training, but may be doing the right things in practice. Since Spring Training results should never be the final determinant (although it often is), other factors have to come in to play.

MWLFan
02-15-2013, 10:47 AM
I wish it was more like 82-83. The current roster has too many decline phase players that will not be part of the solution.

I think there is a good chance that either the 6th infielder or 4th outfielder will be a player who is not in the organization yet.

1982 Roster that would go on to lose 100 games included such players as Gary Ward, Jesus Vega, Rob Wilfong, Larry Milbourbne, Ray Smith, Fernando Arroyo, Don Cooper, Doug Corbett, Pete "Freeze" Filson. So the quality of the players overall in 1982 was not overwhelming. Now the difference is that 1982 opening day lineup was also a youth movement with Gaetti, Hrbek, Eisenriech in the starting 9 mixed with vets like Smalley, Wyneger, Dave Engle, Mickey "your so fine" Hatcher. Much deeper then what we anticipate this year. But other names that came up that year and got playing time-Viola, Laudner, Bush. So the core of the 1987-91 teams started to learn in this year. The age of the guys- Herbie was 21 on opening day (jumping AAA I believe), Viola was 22, G-man was 23 and Bush 23. In 1983 a 22 year old named Greg Gagne showed up and we had our Shortstop for the next decade. And all this took place in a brand new Ball park. Maybe we will be surprised in the names coming out spring training.

Bombo Rivera
02-15-2013, 10:47 AM
Willingham and Parmlee in the same starting OF? They are not going to cover much ground. With the Twins pitching staff they might have to utilize the softball defense of 4 OFers anyway. Better have whoever plays CF wear track shoes.

cmathewson
02-15-2013, 11:10 AM
Shocked that the two guys Ryan has penciled in for SS and CF are not even 75% chances. I would say Florimon is close to 90%. He was the starting SS for the last two months last year after all. Nothing has changed since then. And I'd say it's Hicks' job to lose. Consider how they handled Mauer after trading Pierzinski. That is exactly Hick's situation now. He'd have to show some serious flaws to be sent down, imho.

East Coast Twin
02-15-2013, 11:12 AM
Herbie was 21 on opening day (jumping AAA I believe) . . . .

Herbek actually jumped from A ball to the majors as did Eisenreich, which is pretty amazing. Gaetti jumped from AA. Viola was drafted in 1981 and made his major league debut within a year. Laudner was draft in 1979 and made his major league debut two years later.

The Griffith regime had a little different philosophy about promoting prospects through the system.

LewFordLives
02-15-2013, 11:50 AM
Willingham and Parmlee in the same starting OF? They are not going to cover much ground. With the Twins pitching staff they might have to utilize the softball defense of 4 OFers anyway. Better have whoever plays CF wear track shoes.

I think Bombo raises a good point. We know Gardenhire likes speed in the outfield. By the end of May, it wouldn't shock me if Willingham and/or Parmelee is relegated to DH duties and the combination of Mastroianni, Hicks, Benson is holding down at least two spots in the outfield.

mcrow
02-15-2013, 11:55 AM
I think Bombo raises a good point. We know Gardenhire likes speed in the outfield. By the end of May, it wouldn't shock me if Willingham and/or Parmelee is relegated to DH duties and the combination of Mastroianni, Hicks, Benson is holding down at least two spots in the outfield.

I highly doubt that. If you have Willingham or Parmelee added to the DH mix then you hvae difficulty getting Mauer time at DH and you'd have to sit Doumit more. They're best served as a team if they can have all 4 of these guys in the lineup as much as possible.

LewFordLives
02-15-2013, 12:17 PM
When the starting pitching gets lit up, the first thing Gardy is going to do is blame the outfield defense.

mcrow
02-15-2013, 01:05 PM
When the starting pitching gets lit up, the first thing Gardy is going to do is blame the outfield defense.

I don't think so. The guys you propose will be out there really are not that great in field either so it's some huge upgrade. Granted Willingham and Parmelee are not great OF but it's not like we'd be replacing them with a GG caliber OF. Certainly Benson, Hicks and Mastroianni are faster and might have better skill but what you give up at the plate isn't worth the extra defense.

MWLFan
02-15-2013, 01:22 PM
Herbek actually jumped from A ball to the majors as did Eisenreich, which is pretty amazing. Gaetti jumped from AA. Viola was drafted in 1981 and made his major league debut within a year. Laudner was draft in 1979 and made his major league debut two years later.

The Griffith regime had a little different philosophy about promoting prospects through the system.


yes Cheaper...hard to believe I know. They also had a good eye for talent and knew what they had in 1980-81 was not what was going to win. But it took a few years to recover from the floatsam that was drifted through in the late 70's early 80's. Patience was required both in the front office and in the fan base. There was no quick easy fix for those problems as there will be none for these current sets.

nicksaviking
02-15-2013, 01:22 PM
When the starting pitching gets lit up, the first thing Gardy is going to do is blame the outfield defense.

Aside from Okie Blackburn, Okie Gardy seems to hold the starters accountable though at times he may lay the excuse on a lingering physical ailment. Last year, I'm pretty sure during every news conference after games that weren't started by Diamond, Gardy used the phrase, "left a few pitches up in the zone" at minimum two times.

nicksaviking
02-15-2013, 01:26 PM
Herbek actually jumped from A ball to the majors as did Eisenreich, which is pretty amazing. Gaetti jumped from AA. Viola was drafted in 1981 and made his major league debut within a year. Laudner was draft in 1979 and made his major league debut two years later.

The Griffith regime had a little different philosophy about promoting prospects through the system.

True and those were exciting times, but we can't pretend that the salary gulf between young players and veterans hasn't exponentially increased over the last 30 years. Young Twins of this era would likely skip a few levels if the Twins weren't most concerned about furture arbitration and losing players to free agency before they hit their prime.

mcrow
02-15-2013, 01:28 PM
Aside from Okie Blackburn, Okie Gardy seems to hold the starters accountable though at times he may lay the excuse on a lingering physical ailment. Last year, I'm pretty sure during every news conference after games that weren't started by Diamond, Gardy used the phrase, "left a few pitches up in the zone" at minimum two times.

Yes, generally he's willing to lay blame where it belongs but like you said it seems like Blackburn was an exception.

mlhouse
02-15-2013, 02:21 PM
Infielders (6): Justin Morneau, Trevor Plouffe, Jamey Carroll, Pedro Florimon, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar

Parmalee, Mauer, and Doumit can all play 1B behind Morneau. Carroll, Esocbar and Dozier can all play utility IF.

Outfielders (4): Josh Willingham, Chris Parmelee, Aaron Hicks, Joe Benson

There is no reason to wait on Aaron Hicks. And, likewise Joe Benson who will be 25 years old before the season starts. Give Benson a shot as the 4th OF at the major league level. If Benson falters, then recall Mastroianni.

Catchers (2): Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit

No reason to have Butera on the roster at all. Mauer can get significant rest from catching with Doumit behind the plate either with a scheduled day off or playing 1B. This allows the team to carry an extra IF.

Starting Pitchers (5): Scott Diamond, Kevin Correia, Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey(IR), Liam Hendriks, Kyle Gibson

Even on an innings restriction Gibson must be in the rotation. When Pelfrey comes back from DL, Hendriks is odd man out.

Relief Pitchers (8): Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Brian Duensing, Alex Burnett, Casey Fien, Josh Roenicke, Tyler Robertson, Cole DeVries

Rick Blaine
02-15-2013, 03:50 PM
I think Seth's roster projections are probably pretty close. There may be a few cast substitutions among the "subs." They will keep Hicks at Rochester through April. Come June or July we will probably see an outfield of Benson-Hicks-Arcia as Willingham and Morneau are traded at the deadline.

Thrylos
02-15-2013, 05:07 PM
I think that the ST questions as far as the 25-man roster goes, and as far as Ryan & Gardy and Andy go, are for:

2 spots on the IF (Carroll has one locked, which means that Dozier, Florimon, Escobar, or less likely someone else will get them).
1 spot on the OF. Mastro will be up unless he really bombs and Benson and Hicks has a great Spring. These 2 will fight for that one spot.
1 bench spot occupied likely by the IF or the OF (unless his name is Hicks) who loses the above. Colabello might have something different to say about that.


3 rotation spots after Worley and Correia, which will be determined by health. If he can play (word is that he will miss 2 weeks but it is too early,) Diamond has one. Pelfrey is threw 50-60 pitches in a 'pen yesterday, so I think he has another. Gibson? Harden? Hendriks? one of last years' AAAA? Who knows.

All 4 pen spots after Perkins, Burton and Duensing. When healthy Swarzak will have one of them. A whole slew of candidates for those. I think that Swarzak's spot will be taken by one who will lose the last starting spot, unless that is Gibson. Hard to tell who will win the rest.

jimbo92107
02-15-2013, 07:27 PM
Pitch to contact. If you're going to employ a staff that tries to induce outs via poor contact, then behind the pitcher you're going to need fielders with fast feet, great gloves and strong arms. Given that, it wouldn't surprise me to see both Benson and Hicks start the year in the outfield, with Willingham and Parmelee taking turns at DH.

It also introduces an interesting aspect to the race for third catcher. Chris Hermann can play both C and OF, which makes me wonder how good a hitter he'd have to be to supplant Drew Butera. And if he does, then where does that leave Mastrioanni? With the athletic Joe Benson in the mix, I'm not sure the Twins still need the current 4th outfielder.

It's intriguing how a single factor - Joe Benson's hitting in spring training - could affect the overall makeup of the Twins starting roster.

Thrylos
02-15-2013, 08:40 PM
It also introduces an interesting aspect to the race for third catcher. Chris Hermann can play both C and OF, which makes me wonder how good a hitter he'd have to be to supplant Drew Butera. .

This ST, if he hits 1.000, he will not supplant Drew. Next ST, when the people who are running the Twins will, hopefully, be different, things will change.

stringer bell
02-16-2013, 10:39 AM
The Twins won a lot of game with Delmon and Cuddy on the corner OF posts. I don't think Willingham/Parmelee is much worse in covering ground. However, Delmon/Cuddy was a pair of strong arms that Willingham and Parm will not match.

stringer bell
02-16-2013, 10:45 AM
Of Seth's picks in the bullpen, I think Burnett will end up in Rochester. He has an option left, and while he was okay last year overall, he faded as the season went on and his peripherals weren't very good.

Seth Stohs
02-16-2013, 11:45 AM
Of Seth's picks in the bullpen, I think Burnett will end up in Rochester. He has an option left, and while he was okay last year overall, he faded as the season went on and his peripherals weren't very good.

He doesn't strike many out and for awhile, he had as many walks as strikeouts. But, the last 4-6 weeks, he figured out how to strike guys out. I don't think that they'd send him down, but you make a great point in that he does have an option left whereas Wood, Roenicke, Swarzak and some of the others are out of options and Pressly would have to be offered back. So, that is the one thing that could get Burnett sent down.

LaBombo
02-16-2013, 12:53 PM
Infielders (6): Justin Morneau, Trevor Plouffe, Jamey Carroll, Pedro Florimon, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar

Parmalee, Mauer, and Doumit can all play 1B behind Morneau. Carroll, Esocbar and Dozier can all play utility IF.

Outfielders (4): Josh Willingham, Chris Parmelee, Aaron Hicks, Joe Benson

There is no reason to wait on Aaron Hicks.

Service time and not ready yet, so that's at least two reasons...

cmathewson
02-17-2013, 11:10 AM
Service time and not ready yet, so that's at least two reasons...

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I would agree that he's not ready if we had a viable veteran we could slot in until he is. I said the same thing in 2004 with Mauer. But there were no options then either. Mastroiani has started a total of seven games in center field in his career. He's a utility/fourth outfielder who hasn't started for long stretches at any one position in the last few years, not even in the minors. Joe Benson is behind Hicks in development, particularly strike zone judgement, especially after last year, in which he played sparingly and not well. He needs time to get his swing back before he is even a legit candidate. At that point, he'll be competition for Mastroiani more than Hicks, as Benson can play all three outfield positions and Hicks is a pure center fielder.

As always, this will be about who is most ready to take the job and play every day. Hicks is most ready to take the everyday job, imho, sspecially with the need for a lead-off guy. Mastroiani is a bottom-of-the-order hitter. Benson is a guy you slot in seventh or so, where his power can do more damage and his limited OBP skills won't hurt so much. They might try to send Hicks down because of service time, but they will not even get into May before they realize the error in their ways and call him up. When Willingham and Morneau are 1-2 in the league in solo homers, the player with the best OBP potential will get the job for good.

snepp
02-17-2013, 11:31 AM
They might try to send Hicks down because of service time, but they will not even get into May before they realize the error in their ways and call him up.

They don't even need to get into May to get that additional year of control, so I guess there shouldn't be too much to complain about.

John Bonnes
02-17-2013, 01:22 PM
He doesn't strike many out and for awhile, he had as many walks as strikeouts. But, the last 4-6 weeks, he figured out how to strike guys out. I don't think that they'd send him down, but you make a great point in that he does have an option left whereas Wood, Roenicke, Swarzak and some of the others are out of options and Pressly would have to be offered back. So, that is the one thing that could get Burnett sent down.

Unless he's hurt, I can't imagine Burnett not being on the Opening Day roster. I think this is an organizational blind spot.

Seth Stohs
02-18-2013, 02:09 PM
Unless he's hurt, I can't imagine Burnett not being on the Opening Day roster. I think this is an organizational blind spot.

Maybe, but he also put up a pretty strong ERA, so no matter how, he actually got the job done most of last season.

cmathewson
02-18-2013, 06:03 PM
They don't even need to get into May to get that additional year of control, so I guess there shouldn't be too much to complain about.

I was under the impression it was early June to be on the safe side (85 days prior to September). If he happens to be in a class with relatively few rookies, he could land on the Super Two list if he's called up in early May.


A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 22 percent (increased from 17 percent in previous agreements) in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.

snepp
02-18-2013, 06:45 PM
I was under the impression it was early June to be on the safe side (85 days prior to September). If he happens to be in a class with relatively few rookies, he could land on the Super Two list if he's called up in early May.

Super-2 status has nothing to do with years of control, it's strictly a way to provide additional players access to arbitration as a reward spending a large amount of time in the majors, but not enough to be a full season.

Two weeks in AAA is all that it takes for the team to gain a 7th year.

Edit: It actually takes three weeks, not two.


A Mauer-like player that comes up on day 1, and never goes down, would have 3 seasons at minimum, and 3 arbitration seasons.

Year 1: minimum
Year 2: minimum
Year 3: minimum
Year 4: arbitration
Year 5: arbitration
Year 6: arbitration

A player that spends a couple of weeks (three) in the minors would end up with this...

Year 1: minimum (just short of one full year of service)
Year 2: minimum (just short of two years service)
Year 3: minimum (just short of three years service, qualifies for super-2 arb)
Year 4: arbitration
Year 5: arbitration
Year 6: arbitration
Year 7: arbitration


There are roughly 184 days in a ML season, it takes 172 days to acquire one year of service. Once 172 days are accrued in any one season the counting stops. As long as a player accrues fewer than those 172 days in any of their first 6 seasons, they require a 7th season to push them over the free agency threshold.

Willihammer
02-18-2013, 07:09 PM
As long as a player accrues fewer than those 172 days in any of their first 6 seasons, they require a 7th season to push them over the free agency threshold.

I realize everyone on this site has already chalked up 2013 to a "lost cause" but am I reading this correctly, that the Twins could start Hicks in 2018 in AAA for 2 weeks instead of doing it this year, and achieve the same effect that way?

That is of course assuming the 2017 CBA doesn't change things.

snepp
02-18-2013, 07:16 PM
I realize everyone on this site has already chalked up 2013 to a "lost cause" but am I reading this correctly, that the Twins could start Hicks in 2018 in AAA for 2 weeks instead of doing it this year, and achieve the same effect that way?

Yes. Or two weeks in the middle of 2014, or two weeks at the end of 2015, etc, so long as those two weeks occur within the same season.

The only potential wrinkle in the hypothetical 2018 scenario is that once 5 years of service are accrued a player earns the right to refuse demotion, even if they have options remaining. Hicks could theoretically refuse demotion in 2018 as he would have 5 full seasons at that point. (I am not 100% certain on the part about options, that's how I currently understand it)

That's almost exactly what the Brewers ended up doing with Hardy. They demoted him to AAA shortly before he had a chance to accrue his 5th year of service (thus no refusal) and pushing his free agency back an additional season.

Willihammer
02-18-2013, 07:28 PM
5 years? Hell, that solves it. if he's the best CF or leadoff man out of ST then there's no reason not to bring him north.

Unless you really really want to win super 2 status I guess.

snepp
02-18-2013, 07:34 PM
But if you bring him north, and he plays well from day one, you'll have a hard time ever justifying a trip back to AAA. I think it would be highly frowned upon demoting a 4+ year player strictly for service time reasons. :)

Willihammer
02-18-2013, 07:37 PM
At least wait till the season is, mathematically, a lost cause. Punting from Day 1 to get that pesky 7th year, when they guy is your best CF and leadoff option, is laughably premature.

And, in the unlikely event that the TWins are any good this year, then they can wait till he sprains an ankle or goes 3-40. Send him down for 2 weeks to find his stroke or to rehab.

I just can't stand any of this big planning. Nothing ever goes to plan.

cmathewson
02-18-2013, 07:49 PM
I rest my case. It's way too early to worry about arbitration years. When was the last time the Twins even let a good player get more than a couple years into arbitration? They bought out most if not all of Koskie's, Guzman's, Hunter's, Mauer's, Morneau's, and Span's arbitration years. They traded Pierzingski, Mientkievizc, and Revere before it was an issue.

If Hicks is anything like the player we expect, he'll never make it to arbitration with the Twins. They'll sign him to a long-term deal the first year he's eligible.

That's why I was focused on the Super two status. If they can at least prevent him from becoming a Super Two, they can delay the long-term deal by a year.

Thrylos
02-18-2013, 07:56 PM
Interesting talk about Hicks and what the best strategy of delaying arbitration is; please compare that to the Angels' worries and action about delaying arbitration for Mike Trout and the Nats' issues with delaying arbitration for Bryce Harper and you will have a glimpse into part of the problems in the Twins' organization, and their fans' expectations. Frankly, I expect the Twins to bring the best 25 up north. Period. Like winning organizations do. I do not care about arbitration. I care about the Twins winning. Should not be an issue for an organization that made Drew a super 2 (heck, that rhymes.)

Seth Stohs
02-18-2013, 07:58 PM
That's why I was focused on the Super two status. If they can at least prevent him from becoming a Super Two, they can delay the long-term deal by a year.

You're 100% right. It's that they get an extra year to make that decision. I think that's important.

Seth Stohs
02-18-2013, 08:10 PM
Interesting talk about Hicks and what the best strategy of delaying arbitration is; please compare that to the Angels' worries and action about delaying arbitration for Mike Trout and the Nats' issues with delaying arbitration for Bryce Harper and you will have a glimpse into part of the problems in the Twins' organization, and their fans' expectations. Frankly, I expect the Twins to bring the best 25 up north. Period. Like winning organizations do. I do not care about arbitration. I care about the Twins winning. Should not be an issue for an organization that made Drew a super 2 (heck, that rhymes.)

Although I will constantly advocate keeping a player down 1 month to keep them from being a free agent for a year, the Twins are not a team who really worries about it despite so many fans on this site thinking they do.

1.) When the Twins had a prospect the caliber of Trout and Harper (Mauer), they called him up for Opening Day, not worrying about what that would cost them long term.

2.) Chris Parmelee and Liam Hendriks were both on the Opening Day roster in 2012, so clearly the Twins don't worry about such things.

3.) The Nationals called up Harper to make his debut on April 28. He will be a Super 2 eligible The Angels called Trout up on April 28th as well, but he has 1.070 years of service, so he won't be a Super 2.

snepp
02-18-2013, 08:13 PM
I don't care about the arbitration portion of it, avoiding super-2 is largely irrelevant. With the way the payroll is heading and their obvious reluctance to spend any significant money in free agency, that first year of arb isn't going make any difference to the financials. Who else are they going to be paying in those years? Mauer, Worley, and a bunch of minimum wagers.

cmathewson
02-19-2013, 11:04 AM
Although I will constantly advocate keeping a player down 1 month to keep them from being a free agent for a year, the Twins are not a team who really worries about it despite so many fans on this site thinking they do.

1.) When the Twins had a prospect the caliber of Trout and Harper (Mauer), they called him up for Opening Day, not worrying about what that would cost them long term.

2.) Chris Parmelee and Liam Hendriks were both on the Opening Day roster in 2012, so clearly the Twins don't worry about such things.

3.) The Nationals called up Harper to make his debut on April 28. He will be a Super 2 eligible The Angels called Trout up on April 28th as well, but he has 1.070 years of service, so he won't be a Super 2.

Great points Seth. This is what I've been trying to say. We need to distinguish between the theory of the CBA and the practice of managing a roster in relationship to it. In practice, I can count on one finger the times the Twins apparently took an inferior player north to save service time (Bartlett). It was nearly disastrous. They will likely take the best 25 guys north and let the contract issues take care of themselves.

Service time might be used to break ties, however. If Mastroianni and Hicks are equal coming out of spring training, they'll go north with the Maestro. This is the way they seem to be leaning right now, because Gardy loves Maestro and doesn't want to put too much pressure on Hicks. But if Hicks is clearly the better player, he will go north, with Maestro as the fourth outfielder. I might be alone on this board in arguing that Hicks is clearly the better player right now. I base my opinion as much on OBP skills as range in the outfield. With Willingham and Parmalee on the corners, they need an above-average center fielder. Maestro is average at best.

Benson is the wild card. If they send Hicks down, Benson becomes the fourth outfielder. This might not be in his best interests, considering the year he had last year. He needs to play everyday (as does Hicks). Maestro is a good bench player and not the future center fielder. Long term it makes sense to have Hicks and Benson starting in center field in Minnesota and Rochester. Between Benson and Hicks, Hicks is the clear favorite right now, especially since they need an OBP guy at the top of the order, not a free-swinging power hitter.