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John Bonnes
03-09-2013, 05:15 PM
The Strib's Phil Miller gives an update on the position battles so far. You all know how CF is going, and starting rotation is still too early to tell. But he has some thoughts about the middle infield.

We've heard plenty about how happy the Twins are with Dozier's fielding. But that's only half the battle, and Miller point that out....


Left unsaid is the fact that Dozier hasnít hit like the Twins expected yet, leaving the possibility open that Jamey Carroll or Eduardo Escobar could take the position. Dozierís batting average is below .200, and both of the other candidates, considered steadier with the glove, have outhit him. Dozier remains the favorite, but his improvement in the field isnít enough to keep him there if he doesnít hit.

IN last night's televised game, I was really surprised to see Dozier chasing fastballs at his shoulders. His game MUST be plate discipline. If he doesn't have that, he's in real trouble.

As for SS, Florimon looks more confident defensively and has "cut down on his strikeouts." I guess that's positive. I also think it's damning with low expectations, but for some reason everyone in the Twins organization has decided that kool-aid is good enough to drink.

Leaders in position battles emerge at halfway mark of Twins camp | StarTribune.com (http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/196644041.html)

Seth Stohs
03-10-2013, 12:46 AM
IN last night's televised game, I was really surprised to see Dozier chasing fastballs at his shoulders. His game MUST be plate discipline. If he doesn't have that, he's in real trouble.

As for SS, Florimon looks more confident defensively and has "cut down on his strikeouts." I guess that's positive. I also think it's damning with low expectations, but for some reason everyone in the Twins organization has decided that kool-aid is good enough to drink.

Leaders in position battles emerge at halfway mark of Twins camp | StarTribune.com (http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/196644041.html)

Regarding Dozier in the televised game. That first at bat was certainly not good... But in the second at bat, he took some pitches and drilled an RBI single up the middle. In his third at bat, he took some pitches and worked a walk.

Parker wrote an article a month or so ago about the mechanics of his swing, and even in the strikeout, the swing was good... It may come down entirely to pitch selection.

And, Florimon is what he is. Incremental improvement is still improvement. IF he can play the kind of SS defense that people are convinced he can, there is a ton of value in that . He's also the #9 hitter... Optimism is a good thing. Hope is a good thing. As I had in my projections, I don't think that Florimon will be on the roster terribly long, maybe a couple of months, before Escobar takes over at short. But, I have no problem with giving Florimon's glove an opportunity. Jamey Carroll is always around.

Nick Nelson
03-10-2013, 11:23 PM
Wow, I didn't realize Florimon has only struck out once in 26 PA this spring. I'll take that as a good sign. He's been a K-machine in the past.

kab21
03-11-2013, 12:37 AM
So what's the over/under on Florimon's OPS? .625?

PseudoSABR
03-11-2013, 12:45 AM
So what's the over/under on Florimon's OPS? .625?But we all know that OPS doesn't account for hustle and moxie...

snepp
03-11-2013, 04:02 AM
But we all know that OPS doesn't account for hustle and moxie...

Or athleticism, or getsafteritism.

Jeff A
03-11-2013, 07:17 AM
None of the shortstop candidates is likely to hit, so they might as well go with the best defensive player. If that's Florimon, then it makes sense to give him the job.

FrodaddyG
03-11-2013, 07:24 AM
If this is a "battle", then I'm sure there's some elementary school playground slapfights you'll really be impressed by.

cmathewson
03-11-2013, 08:42 AM
I don't think anyone is terribly happy with Florimon. But the alternative is Escobar, who might hit a bit better but will not have as much range. It certainly the weakest position on the team. But if either can catch the ball, that they can't hit well out of the number 9 spot is not going to lose the Twins many games . I would be pleased with a .600+ OPS out of that spot in the line-up.

Seth Stohs
03-11-2013, 08:45 AM
I'd be fine with a .600+ OPS as well from SS, especially if it accounts for some great defense.

worm33
03-11-2013, 08:57 AM
Who cares, lets just hope Rosario sticks at 2b and has a good year and one of Polanco Santana Goodrum etc stick at SS and develop this year. Im optimistic about one thing right now for the Twins...2015 and beyond :)

Halsey Hall
03-11-2013, 12:23 PM
I care. And in talking with the top man this morning, Escobar most likely will be playing somewhere.

USAFChief
03-11-2013, 12:31 PM
I've never understood some people's belief that a poor hitter in the lineup is somehow not damaging, just because of where that poor hitter is placed in the lineup. The "9 hole hitter" still comes up to the plate once every time through the lineup, just like every other spot. A poor hitter in that spot hurts your team's production.

Physics Guy
03-11-2013, 01:33 PM
Having a SS who can't make plays hurts substantially more. I'm not sure anybody thinks it's great to have a .600 OPS batter in a lineup. Having him hit in the 9-hole just isn't a huge deal when the league average in the AL was .641. His OPS was .579 last year and if he can cut down on K's his OPS should go up. If he can get into the low .600's it isn't a huge issue, IF he produces in the field the way they hope. As an aside, the Twins got .592, .658 and .631 last year out of the 7,8 and 9 spots.

edavis0308
03-11-2013, 01:34 PM
I've never understood some people's belief that a poor hitter in the lineup is somehow not damaging, just because of where that poor hitter is placed in the lineup. The "9 hole hitter" still comes up to the plate once every time through the lineup, just like every other spot. A poor hitter in that spot hurts your team's production.

Not to mention that any time that Butera is in the lineup, one of them isn't hitting 9th.

USAFChief
03-11-2013, 01:52 PM
Not to mention that any time that Butera is in the lineup, one of them isn't hitting 9th. Exactly. Plus, people act like the normal 1-8 hitters in the lineup never miss games for any reason. I'm also not swayed by arguments of "league average for #9 hitters" and such. The idea isn't to be league average, the idea is to be better then league average, in as many areas as possible. It's pretty simple...poor hitters in the lineup are poor hitters in the lineup, no matter where you put them, and they hurt your offense.

snepp
03-11-2013, 02:31 PM
It's pretty simple...poor hitters in the lineup are poor hitters in the lineup, no matter where you put them, and they hurt your offense.

Not if everybody else does their job.


:p

spycake
03-11-2013, 02:39 PM
Agreed, Chief.

Although the sentiment might be more, "realistically, one bad spot in the lineup isn't too bad."

The problem is when you start to think that way, if something goes awry, you're looking at 2, 3, or more bad spots in the lineup. Look at the Twins this year -- they are punting one if not both middle infield spots, which might be a fine in a perfect world, but they still have big question marks at 3B and RF, as well as some lingering questions at 1B, DH, etc. They could easily be looking at 3-4 black holes in the lineup again in a median forecast, which is bad.

Some people probably approached the back end of the rotation the same way. It's a dangerous way to plan if you actually hope to contend.

Nick Nelson
03-11-2013, 10:06 PM
I've never understood some people's belief that a poor hitter in the lineup is somehow not damaging, just because of where that poor hitter is placed in the lineup. The "9 hole hitter" still comes up to the plate once every time through the lineup, just like every other spot. A poor hitter in that spot hurts your team's production.
I think the argument is that having a bad hitter there doesn't put you at too much of a competitive disadvantage because, well, pretty much everyone has a bad hitter there. The average AL No. 9 hitter had a .641 OPS last year, so a .600 OPS isn't really big deal -- especially if it comes with good defense at a key position.

kab21
03-11-2013, 10:17 PM
I'd be fine with a .600+ OPS as well from SS, especially if it accounts for some great defense.

I'm not fine with it but it's what the Twins are going to have because they didn't seem to make an attempt to improve either MI spot this offseason. Yes, we're looking at 2 low .600 OPS's in the lineup. I don't think Hicks or Mastro will do much better than .650 and we'll also have a regular dose of butera.

Nick Nelson
03-11-2013, 10:21 PM
I don't think Hicks or Mastro will do much better than .650 and we'll also have a regular dose of butera.
After speaking with a few people down in Ft. Myers, I'd be surprised if Butera makes the team barring injury.

PseudoSABR
03-11-2013, 10:26 PM
Having someone play the shortstop position competently would be nice to see. Let the ****ing pitcher bat for him.

stringer bell
03-11-2013, 10:44 PM
Escobar--how much speed and range does he have? There have ben glowing reports about Dozier, but his hitting hasn;t been good.

stringer bell
03-11-2013, 10:47 PM
After speaking with a few people down in Ft. Myers, I'd be surprised if Butera makes the team barring injury.I, for one, think that is good news.

Shane Wahl
03-11-2013, 11:19 PM
After speaking with a few people down in Ft. Myers, I'd be surprised if Butera makes the team barring injury.

Maybe this means either Escobar or Clement have proved satisfactory as a last-resort emergency catcher? Or maybe they are going wild and rolling with Colabello?

Willihammer
03-11-2013, 11:27 PM
Having a SS who can't make plays hurts substantially more.

How many blown plays are we talking? The ultimate currency here is runs right, either saved or created? I don't think one counts more than the other.

Maybe Trevor Plouffe is the best SS option.

worm33
03-12-2013, 07:59 AM
After speaking with a few people down in Ft. Myers, I'd be surprised if Butera makes the team barring injury.

One of the best bits of news ive heard all spring.

70charger
03-12-2013, 11:33 AM
After speaking with a few people down in Ft. Myers, I'd be surprised if Butera makes the team barring injury.

I for one would like to know a bit more about this. Any indication what the "backup plan" is? Are they rolling with three catchers or is Mauer being taken serious as a true full-timer? Is Clement being considered for spot duty? Can he even do it anymore? Herrmann getting a pleasant phone call?

Shane Wahl
03-12-2013, 11:40 AM
I for one would like to know a bit more about this. Any indication what the "backup plan" is? Are they rolling with three catchers or is Mauer being taken serious as a true full-timer? Is Clement being considered for spot duty? Can he even do it anymore? Herrmann getting a pleasant phone call?

Yeah, I wonder if Clement or Escobar pleased people enough with their catching demonstration. Does anyone know how that went????

I wish Clement hit from the right side. It would almost be a no-brainer. He caught one game in the minors in 2010 and 16 in 2009. He isn't throwing anyone out, but that is not the necessary condition for an emergency catcher. He has some ability to homer (16 in 459 PAs for Indianapolis last year).

Nick Nelson
03-12-2013, 11:53 AM
I for one would like to know a bit more about this. Any indication what the "backup plan" is? Are they rolling with three catchers or is Mauer being taken serious as a true full-timer? Is Clement being considered for spot duty? Can he even do it anymore? Herrmann getting a pleasant phone call?

If they do decide to carry a third catcher, it would be Butera. Clement has done no catching this spring, to my knowledge, and they don't see Herrmann has being ready. I just think Gardy is serious about wanting more weapons on his bench, and could live with Escobar as an emergency option, and maybe he's finally reached the realization that if he does end up needing Butera for an extended period the guy would only be a phone call away in Rochester.

johnnydakota
03-12-2013, 12:01 PM
Who cares, lets just hope Rosario sticks at 2b and has a good year and one of Polanco Santana Goodrum etc stick at SS and develop this year. Im optimistic about one thing right now for the Twins...2015 and beyond :)

With Berrois and Burris in single A , Meyer and May in AA, and hopeuly a quality college pitcher as our 1st pick...2015 we could have a problem with to many quality starters....

ashburyjohn
03-12-2013, 01:09 PM
If this is a "battle", then I'm sure there's some elementary school playground slapfights you'll really be impressed by.

3471

USAFChief
03-12-2013, 01:40 PM
IIRC they broke camp with 2 catchers last year, too, but that didn't last long. It wouldn't surprise me if Butera was in the minors to start the season, but it would surprise me if that lasted past mid May.

Dave T
03-12-2013, 01:47 PM
Lol, that's a cute emoticon!

glunn
03-12-2013, 02:04 PM
With Berrois and Burris in single A , Meyer and May in AA, and hopeuly a quality college pitcher as our 1st pick...2015 we could have a problem with to many quality starters....

That would be a wonderful problem to have.

kab21
03-12-2013, 07:14 PM
That would be a wonderful problem to have.

Yeah, there is no way that I'm concerned about having too many starters. Worst case - the team actually has depth at the position.