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Nick Nelson
03-04-2013, 12:07 AM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=1424-Building-a-Bench

johnnydakota
03-04-2013, 12:46 AM
Personally we could sign Thome as a coach either in rochestor (player coach) or as a bench coach here in the bigs and then activate him in september for a goodbye tour...

jokin
03-04-2013, 12:58 AM
Gardy has also thrown Jeff Clement into the mix: With Morneau at Classic, Clement gets reps at first | twinsbaseball.com: News (http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130303&content_id=42220728&notebook_id=42223052&vkey=notebook_min&c_id=min). I hadn't realized that he started out as a catcher in the minor leagues. It's not certain to me though, why he hasn't been behind the plate since 2008. Whether a position-changing-injury or simply inadequate performance behind the plate was the cause, a forced re-conversion back to catcher and a subsequent minor league version of Doumit Part 2 isn't exactly inspiring for additional bench strength.

At this point, I'm inclined to go with a combination of Escobar and Colabello, that would be a story the Twins FO could market, if Cola simply proves he can produce around or slightly above median averages at DH/PH (and a needed RH bat).

Is there any possibility what with all this discussion about converting or re-converting catchers and Mauer's possible increased role as C, that the Twins are actively thinking about the possibilities of moving Doumit between now and the trading deadline?

studickison
03-04-2013, 01:08 AM
Can't agree more, Nick. I think it would be good for the Twins and Gardenhire to move away from the norm and switch things up. I am in large favor of signing Thome! I think Colabello might be better to be in Rochester, playing every day and getting swings in and seeing pitches in case he is called upon due to injury. First base, to me anyway, seems pretty covered between Morneau, Parmelee and Mauer.

FrodaddyG
03-04-2013, 02:25 AM
Personally we could sign Thome as a coach either in rochestor (player coach) or as a bench coach here in the bigs and then activate him in september for a goodbye tour...
What a marketing campaign!

"Come see an old guy who hasn't hit live pitching in a year come flail away one last time!"

NoCryingInBaseball
03-04-2013, 06:55 AM
I have always thought that Butera was wasting a spot on the bench (and the roster) by taking up space in the dugout. I’m happy to see that Escobar has been working out as a backup catcher which could free up a roster spot. Even though I like Thome (mostly for the memories) I would prefer seeing Collabello or Benson take the open spot.

jmlease1
03-04-2013, 07:31 AM
Carrying 12 pitchers is a bad idea. Getting down to 11 so the team can have a legitimate bench is a better call. The only way this team should need 12 pitchers is if the rotation is as much of a mess as it was last season, which would make the season an utter failure again.

I'll love to see Butera get tossed over the side; I just don't think he adds much value. He's a fine defensive player but he's so awful with the bat that he's just not worth keeping on the roster. As a 3rd catcher/defensive replacement he won't hurt the team much, but a better bench bat should be able to help the team more.

Brandon
03-04-2013, 08:13 AM
Thome > Butera. so I would make the move. I suspect this year a third string catcher will get at most 50 innings behind the plate this year. Thome brings a nice bat to the bench and insurance in case of injury to one of several players as Doumit can be redeployed to LF,RF, 1B, and C and Thome take over the DH and not lose much offensively. That would leave 3b as the only offensive downgrade in case of injury as Mastroinni or Hicks can take over for the other in CF, and SS and 2b are already a whole. Colabello can get some time at AAA and be ready in case Thome shows he is done.

johnnydakota
03-04-2013, 08:57 AM
What a marketing campaign!

"Come see an old guy who hasn't hit live pitching in a year come flail away one last time!"

In rochestor he could be a dh or pinch hitter ...while waiting for a september call up..
Also im guessing in september we will all need something to gain our interest again.

cmathewson
03-04-2013, 09:29 AM
I doubt they get him. Rumor has it he is demanding a major league contract. The Twins have offered him a minor league contract with a chance to make the team. At this point, it's a game of chicken. He would have to swallow his pride to come here. I don't think he will.

There are four internal candidates: two outfielders (Wilkin Ramirez and Brandon Boggs) and two first basemen (Jeff Clement and Chris Colabello). All are having good camps. None are on the 40 man roster, but there will be roster spots at the end of camp. If I had to handicap it, I'd go like this:

Boggs (30%) Because he can play all three outfield positions and he's a switch hitter with power and speed, and major league expereince
Ramirez (25%) Because he had a great last two months last year and he's hitting well this spring
Clement (20%) Because he has the most upside
Colabello (15%) Because he's having the best spring at the plate of any of them, but is limited in other ways
Thome (10%) See above

raindog
03-04-2013, 09:34 AM
Make Thome the 3rd catcher. BOOM. Problem solved. Can't be any worse than Lecroy was. ;)

I thought Boggs was pretty terrible at CF? Not sure he's a good option.

SweetOne69
03-04-2013, 10:38 AM
Carrying 12 pitchers is a bad idea. Getting down to 11 so the team can have a legitimate bench is a better call. The only way this team should need 12 pitchers is if the rotation is as much of a mess as it was last season, which would make the season an utter failure again.


If the argument was 13 pitchers I would agree with you, but since most teams carry 12 pitchers it kind of blows your argument out of the water.

Rosterman
03-04-2013, 11:40 AM
The Twins need THAT bat. When you have someone on third and one out, you need someone who will hit a fairly long fly or put the ball into play in a way that works for the batting team's advantage. Mastro, Butera, Escobar can't. Carroll can make it interesting. A Thome is all or nothing. But then you have to replace him in the field.

Nick Nelson
03-04-2013, 11:49 AM
The Twins need THAT bat. When you have someone on third and one out, you need someone who will hit a fairly long fly or put the ball into play in a way that works for the batting team's advantage. Mastro, Butera, Escobar can't. Carroll can make it interesting. A Thome is all or nothing. But then you have to replace him in the field.

And on the bases. But this is where having two speedy backup infielders available would be advantageous. You pinch-hit Thome for, say, Dozier or Florimon, then replace Thome with Escobar. At that point, you'd still have Carroll in your back pocket. It gets a little dicey if you've only got one utility guy on hand, which is why in order to make room for Thome either Butera must go or the bench must be expanded.

Halsey Hall
03-04-2013, 11:57 AM
No way would I sign Thome. Nice guy and all, but he's done, and would just hurt us. He singles and there goes another bench spot with the pinch runner. Boggs or Colabello, maybe even Benson would be better. Hopefully we'll be in positions enough this year where Gardy will have some options to win or tie the games. Thome maybe would help 20% of the time. We've got to do better than that.

Willihammer
03-04-2013, 12:05 PM
Is he done? His .786 OPS in 2012 would have been 3rd best on the Twins, behind only Willingham and Mauer.

twinsnorth49
03-04-2013, 12:11 PM
If Gardy ever had the jam to punt Butera in favour of Escobar then I think I'd be ok with Thome being a bench bat, why not? I don't get the Colobello thing, nice story and everything but seriously, he's going to become a reliable, part time bench bat without ever seeing major league pitching before? He is 29, it's not like they'd be missing out on anything.

Benson is intriguing but if he doesn't get the starting CF job over Hicks, I think he's better off in Rochester getting reps than being a fourth OF/ bench bat, for development purposes or if they ultimately decide to move him for some pitching.

Willihammer
03-04-2013, 12:25 PM
And on the bases. But this is where having two speedy backup infielders available would be advantageous. You pinch-hit Thome for, say, Dozier or Florimon, then replace Thome with Escobar. At that point, you'd still have Carroll in your back pocket. It gets a little dicey if you've only got one utility guy on hand, which is why in order to make room for Thome either Butera must go or the bench must be expanded.
What good is Carroll at that point? Is the opposing manager going to think twice about intentionally walking Thome or bringing in a LOOGY to face him because there is the looming specter of Jamey Carroll? Presumably the reason you are PH-ing in the first place is because you are either behind or the game is tied.

mlhouse
03-04-2013, 12:59 PM
Seriously? Jim Thome? How does Thome help your team rebuild? Every at bat and every inning for the 2013 season needs to be focused on rebuilding the team, not scratching out meaningless wins today. This should have been the focus for 2012 too, which we virtually wasted.

Instead of Thome getting major league plate appearances, give them to Joe Benson. Benson is 25 years old this month. If he can't hit major league pitching now, he never will be able to. Keep him on the roster as the 4th or 5th OF, give him at least 150 plate appearances in the first 81 games and see what he can do over an extended course of real major league competition.

If Benson fails, he fails, and we find a replacement just as Jim Eisenreich failed initially for the Twins. We found out that he could not handle the pressure in his home state and then found a replacement, Kirby Puckett. The lesson is that if the Twins would have sent Eisenreich back down to the minors in 1982 for more seasoning he would have still been standing in Puckett's way in 1984.

But if Benson plays well, then there is something to build on going forward. It is win-win all the way.

FrodaddyG
03-04-2013, 01:01 PM
It gets a little dicey if you've only got one utility guy on hand, which is why in order to make room for Thome either Butera must go or the bench must be expanded.
I'd say the "diceyness" of your bench would need more than Jim Thome to solve it if you're carrying two bench utility infielders beyond the two already manning your MI spots.

cmathewson
03-04-2013, 01:13 PM
Make Thome the 3rd catcher. BOOM. Problem solved. Can't be any worse than Lecroy was. ;)

I thought Boggs was pretty terrible at CF? Not sure he's a good option.

None of these guys is a defensive wiz. But he's the best defender of any of the internal candidates. The primary role is pinch hitter.

twinsnorth49
03-04-2013, 01:22 PM
150 PA's, sprinkled in every 3 or 4 games over half a season, is extended major league competition? Leave Benson in Rochester (assuming he's not the starting CF out of ST) and if he's playing well, bring him up after Morneau is traded and Parmelee moves to 1st base so he can play full time in RF.

Having Thome as a bench bat shouldn't be seen as blocking anyone......except Butera.

josecordoba
03-04-2013, 01:42 PM
1. What's the probability of Herrmann beating out Butera? Hermann has good catching ability and offers the ability to play in the Corner OF. This says nothing about Herrmann having potential to not be the worst hitter in Baseball.

2. I would guess Mastro or Benson for the 4th Outfielder.

3. I guess I don't the angle with singing Thome. A 42 Year Old DH on a 65 Win Team??? He'd probably project to be fairly decent in his role. I guess I just don't see any long term value other then leadership.

Danchat
03-04-2013, 05:37 PM
I'd take Wilkin Ramirez as the 4th OF and Chris Colabello as my sleepers. The Twins don't keep backup infielders! (see last year) Butera is going to be on the bench. Maybe someone like Florimon as the utility guy.

Thrylos
03-04-2013, 05:47 PM
A rebuilding team does not need a part time playing 42 year old with one tool and that fading. I'd rather see them give a bench spot to someone who could be part of the future.

Rick Blaine
03-04-2013, 06:17 PM
Activating Tony Oliva makes more sense. Tony can hit left handers.

Jim H
03-04-2013, 06:29 PM
I guess I don't see how Thome really helps a team anymore. He can't play the field at all. He can't run at all. If doesn't get regular AB's at DH he can't pinch hit. If he gets regular AB's at DH he will be taking them from a better hitter. On top of that the Twins probably need a RH pinch hitter more than a left handed one.

One other thing, CMath, I don't see how Clement has the most upside. None of them have a lot, but Clement really doesn't have much value now that he doesn't catch anymore.

cmathewson
03-04-2013, 06:59 PM
Well, he has elite power, which has been sapped by his recurring knee injuries. The theory is, once he has a healthy back leg, he'll start showing the power again.

Thrylos
03-04-2013, 07:03 PM
Well, he has elite power, which has been sapped by his recurring knee injuries. The theory is, once he has a healthy back leg, he'll start showing the power again.

well... he has had elite power. And it is not only the knees, it is the back. And, let me tell you, at 42 kinda hard to get all those systems go again. More likely than not, his body will be further deteriorating.

But still.... Thome would be the lipstick in a 90+ loss pig of a team.
(which is the main reason not to get him)

ashburyjohn
03-04-2013, 07:10 PM
Activating Tony Oliva makes more sense. Tony can hit left handers.

Burn.

TheLeviathan
03-04-2013, 07:21 PM
At this point, there are a few corpses I'd take back on our bench if it meant the end of the third-catcher roster spot. So yeah, I'll take Thome.

cmathewson
03-04-2013, 08:46 PM
On Thome, I don't think he has anything left. Even in 2010, he would have had limited value if Morneau had stayed healthy. There's a reason he's bounced around since. At this point, his deficiencies outweigh his benefits.

cmathewson
03-04-2013, 08:50 PM
On Benson, he's probably the best player to take the spot previously used by a third catcher, but he needs to play everyday. So we go to Boggs, or Ramirez, or Clement, or Colabello; all of whom would be preferable to Thome. Herrman is another option, but, like Benson, he needs to play everyday and be ready in case of injury.

jorgenswest
03-04-2013, 10:00 PM
Seriously? Jim Thome? How does Thome help your team rebuild? Every at bat and every inning for the 2013 season needs to be focused on rebuilding the team, not scratching out meaningless wins today. This should have been the focus for 2012 too, which we virtually wasted.

Instead of Thome getting major league plate appearances, give them to Joe Benson. Benson is 25 years old this month. If he can't hit major league pitching now, he never will be able to. Keep him on the roster as the 4th or 5th OF, give him at least 150 plate appearances in the first 81 games and see what he can do over an extended course of real major league competition.

If Benson fails, he fails, and we find a replacement just as Jim Eisenreich failed initially for the Twins. We found out that he could not handle the pressure in his home state and then found a replacement, Kirby Puckett. The lesson is that if the Twins would have sent Eisenreich back down to the minors in 1982 for more seasoning he would have still been standing in Puckett's way in 1984.

But if Benson plays well, then there is something to build on going forward. It is win-win all the way.

Count me in support of Benson.

I looked at his splits in AA from two years ago. He is better against lefties. Why not start him against all lefties in RF? Sit one of the left handed hitters from among Parmelee, Morneau, Mauer and Doumit (hits better left handed over career). Two benefits result. You have a good hitter in the bench to pinch hit. You have improved the defense in RF. While Benson is not starting, he serves as a defensive replacement, pinch runner, pinch hitter against lefties on the bench. If Morneau is traded midseason, he will be more ready to take on a larger role. If it is clear he is not capable, Arcia is next in line.

As for he other three spots, I don't care which of Escobar, Florimon or Dozier starts in AAA. One of the two that stay won't hit and the third will get the chance. There is no reason to keep 4 weak hitting middle infielders on the roster. Ideally Escobar's best entry role is a utility player. The Twins can select between Florimon or Dozier and start Carroll at he other spot.

jorgenswest
03-04-2013, 10:07 PM
On Benson, he's probably the best player to take the spot previously used by a third catcher, but he needs to play everyday. So we go to Boggs, or Ramirez, or Clement, or Colabello; all of whom would be preferable to Thome. Herrman is another option, but, like Benson, he needs to play everyday and be ready in case of injury.

I like to see Herrmann and Benson both on the bench. It doesn't matter that Herrmann bats left handed. Butera would never be used as a pinch hitter. Herrmann could be used to pinch hit for a middle infielder against right handed pitching.

jmlease1
03-05-2013, 12:07 AM
If the argument was 13 pitchers I would agree with you, but since most teams carry 12 pitchers it kind of blows your argument out of the water.

Not really. A stupid idea is a stupid idea no matter how many teams do it. an 11 man pitching staff gives the team a 5-man rotation, a closer, 2 primary set-up men, 2 middle relievers, and a long man. That should be enough for a well-stocked bullpen. Throw another guy into the mix and some of them probably aren't going to get enough work, unless, again the rotation is an utter disaster.

Having a 5-man bench allows the Twins to carry the 3rd catcher we know they will anyways, carroll as the utility inf, a 4th OF, and LH & RH pinch hitters (at least one of whom can play in the field). Whether they have the right candidates for the jobs is another question.

jokin
03-05-2013, 12:37 AM
Not really. A stupid idea is a stupid idea no matter how many teams do it. an 11 man pitching staff gives the team a 5-man rotation, a closer, 2 primary set-up men, 2 middle relievers, and a long man. That should be enough for a well-stocked bullpen. Throw another guy into the mix and some of them probably aren't going to get enough work, unless, again the rotation is an utter disaster.

Having a 5-man bench allows the Twins to carry the 3rd catcher we know they will anyways, carroll as the utility inf, a 4th OF, and LH & RH pinch hitters (at least one of whom can play in the field). Whether they have the right candidates for the jobs is another question.

This makes terrific sense if the Twins had a SP staff chock-full of 200+IP Iron Men.

Unfortunately, the Twins have left themselves desperately short of "chock"- not only they are not full of those types, they have only one guy (Pelfrey) who has actually accomplished this feat, and we all know that he will begin the season as a big TJ question mark. Correia and Worley have a history of only being 5-6 inning guys, at best. Gibson is on restricted innings (and possibly a restricted pitch count?), Diamond is coming back from off-season surgery and is due for some sophomore regression. We all know that Hendriks and the rest are wild cards. The Twins also have 15 home games in April, including 9 of the first 15, increasing the chance for a make-up game backlog down the line. With the joined medical issues of the top 4 SPs even starting out the season in the rotation (Pelfrey, Worley, Diamond, Gibson) and experiential/talent question-marks of the other potential starters and depth men, what are the chances that they all make it through the season healthy and innings-eaters to avoid wearing out the Pen? Not good odds.

Bottom line, the Twins in 2013 will more likely make a temporary roster move or two to 13 pitchers, as the staff collectively becomes taxed, way before Gardy would ever feel comfortable dropping to 11.

USAFChief
03-05-2013, 09:14 AM
Bottom line, the Twins in 2013 will more likely make a temporary roster move or two to 13 pitchers, as the staff collectively becomes taxed, way before Gardy would ever feel comfortable dropping to 11. Yup. I'd bet a lot of money against the Twins spending any portion of the 2013 season with an 11 man pitching staff.

snepp
03-05-2013, 10:02 AM
Yup. I'd bet a lot of money against the Twins spending any portion of the 2013 season with an 11 man pitching staff.

The thought of an 11-man staff would probably give Gardy nightmares.

ashburyjohn
03-05-2013, 10:34 AM
The thought of an 11-man staff would probably give Gardy nightmares.

The thought of his rotation is the cause of that. The size of the relief crew is just a corollary.

snepp
03-05-2013, 10:41 AM
The thought of his rotation is the cause of that. The size of the relief crew is just a corollary.

I think they carry a 12-man staff regardless of rotation quality.

USAFChief
03-05-2013, 10:43 AM
I think they carry a 12-man staff regardless of rotation quality. When was the last time the Twins spent a significant amount of time with an 11-man staff?

snepp
03-05-2013, 10:45 AM
When was the last time the Twins spent a significant amount of time with an 11-man staff?

Hell if I know, you're the one with the memory of an elephant. :)

Shane Wahl
03-05-2013, 03:51 PM
A RH bat with pop is the ideal, and that would mean Wilkin Ramirez or Chris Colabello. Obviously a five-man bench would be best, but that won't happen in April, for sure.