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Alex
09-24-2013, 10:27 PM
Basically, the GM nor Manager believe in platooning:

Platoons not attractive to Twins - TwinCities.com (http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_24148640/platoons-not-attractive-twins)

notoriousgod71
09-24-2013, 10:31 PM
"If you have to, that's another alternative," Ryan said. "On this club, who would you want to platoon?"


Simply the best quote of all-time.

snepp
09-24-2013, 10:45 PM
"We don't platoon here much -- never have," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said recently. "Tom Kelly hated it,

Yet that didn't stop Kelly from employing them if it meant having a better chance of winning.



"I don't recall ever having a platoon," Gardenhire said. "I'm not against it. I'll tell you that. I wouldn't have a problem having a platoon if it fits. If it makes sense numbers-wise and it works, then you go with it."

Like letting Jacque Jones rack up an incredibly putrid OPS against lefties as a corner outfielder, when most any righty with a pulse could have performed dramatically better?

Pius Jefferson
09-24-2013, 10:50 PM
"Tom Kelly hated it, and Ron Gardenhire I don't think is all that excited about platooning. I don't think he likes to platoon players at all. I don't either."

TK may have hated it but he used it in 1991. Oh, and just a hunch that no manager likes platoon players, they just understand that it's sometimes part of putting together the best possible lineup.

stringer bell
09-24-2013, 10:58 PM
Not a real articulate reply from Ryan, but in fact given the 13-man pitching staff, it is pretty hard to have a firm platoon. So, the Twins need better starting pitching, if they want the opportunity to platoon as silly as that sounds. There are guys with severe platoon splits, but with so little roster space it is tough to commit two guys to one position. A modified platoon is possible--for example having a switch hitter like Escobar getting starts against right handers for Plouffe and Dozier and then getting at bats vs. left handers replacing Florimon. Right handers start somewhere between 2/3s and 3/4s of games, so the RH hitting half of a platoon would basically be a bench player.

Shane Wahl
09-25-2013, 12:17 AM
Plouffe and Parmelee in RF next year after Sano's arrival.

Thegrin
09-25-2013, 05:24 AM
Berardino writes a good article. The "Thread Starter" makes a false assumption with the title: "More evidence this organization is stuck in the mud?" I don't think the Twins are "stuck in the mud" at all. They are, however, stuck with some terrible pitching and a lot of young, unproven hitters. I've advocated for a Parmalee/Colabello platoon for quite some time, even though their current splits don't support the idea. Given Mauer's concussion issues, perhaps Mauer should play first base semi-permanently and let Parmalee/Colabello platoon in RF until Sano comes up.

Alex
09-25-2013, 06:35 AM
Berardino writes a good article. The "Thread Starter" makes a false assumption with the title: "More evidence this organization is stuck in the mud?" I don't think the Twins are "stuck in the mud" at all. They are, however, stuck with some terrible pitching and a lot of young, unproven hitters. I've advocated for a Parmalee/Colabello platoon for quite some time, even though their current splits don't support the idea. Given Mauer's concussion issues, perhaps Mauer should play first base semi-permanently and let Parmalee/Colabello platoon in RF until Sano comes up.

I was posing a question, not attempting to paraphrase the article title, though I do have a bias, obviously.

I can understand the Twins not platooning regularly with a shorter roster or young players. Both have some validity even if we could debate that those are symptoms of other issues that would apply to the topic (being stuck, not platooning). However, there are responses to questions here that indicate it's a larger issue than that. You've advocated for more platooning than the manager or general manager.

For my part, it is more evidence that the Twins are stuck with some internal traditional ideas that are keeping them from being competitive. This is latest of which, but includes other recent discussions that have come up.

Brad Swanson
09-25-2013, 07:37 AM
The main issue I have with Gardenhire specifically not using platoons, is that he insists on using his whole bench/roster to "keep players fresh." It's kind of like, you have to get Clete Thomas starts so that's he ready when needed (not to bag on the poor man any more than I already have). Why not just use Clete Thomas in situations where he can contribute and in turn, limit when another player is used in situations when they aren't as productive?

Thomas isn't a great example for obvious reasons, but even in September, I've seen Chris Parmelee at first base against lefties with Chris Colabello on the bench. If you really want to use all your players, why not use them when they have a better likelihood of offering something of value?

Alex
09-25-2013, 07:44 AM
The main issue I have with Gardenhire specifically not using platoons, is that he insists on using his whole bench/roster to "keep players fresh." It's kind of like, you have to get Clete Thomas starts so that's he ready when needed (not to bag on the poor man any more than I already have). Why not just use Clete Thomas in situations where he can contribute and in turn, limit when another player is used in situations when they aren't as productive?

Thomas isn't a great example for obvious reasons, but even in September, I've seen Chris Parmelee at first base against lefties with Chris Colabello on the bench. If you really want to use all your players, why not use them when they have a better likelihood of offering something of value?

It's a good point, and I think the last sentence is something any manager should try to and that, imo, is the something platooning allows.

USAFChief
09-25-2013, 08:05 AM
For my part, it is more evidence that the Twins are stuck with some internal traditional ideas that are keeping them from being competitive. This is latest of which, but includes other recent discussions that have come up.
What's odd is that platooning is a "traditional" idea. Platooning isn't some fancy schmancy saber metric concept, it used to be fairly common. One would think Gardy would love it.

Also, It's gotten harder and harder to implement as pitching staffs have gotten bigger and bigger.

You can do it at catcher, where you're going to carry two on your roster anyway, or have a modified platoon with your 4th OFer for example. But something like Parm/Colabello sharing 1st base is tough these days, at least until September.

i could understand if they'd said ​that.

Oldgoat_MN
09-25-2013, 08:38 AM
"I don't recall ever having a platoon," Gardenhire said. "I'm not against it. I'll tell you that. I wouldn't have a problem having a platoon if it fits. If it makes sense numbers-wise and it works, then you go with it."

Gardy can say that, but a platoon of Kubel & Cuddyer in RF was so obvious it physically hurt, yet Gardy would not do it. USAFchief is right. This is not breakthrough thinking.

This is a time tested strategy that many have used to make their team stronger.

Twins do not do that.

Alex
09-25-2013, 08:59 AM
What's odd is that platooning is a "traditional" idea. Platooning isn't some fancy schmancy saber metric concept, it used to be fairly common. One would think Gardy would love it.

Also, It's gotten harder and harder to implement as pitching staffs have gotten bigger and bigger.

You can do it at catcher, where you're going to carry two on your roster anyway, or have a modified platoon with your 4th OFer for example. But something like Parm/Colabello sharing 1st base is tough these days, at least until September.

i could understand if they'd said ​that.

Correct, and I agree. I should have clarified that I meant "traditional" in terms of this organization (though some others are still traditional by baseball standards as well).

Siehbiscuit
09-25-2013, 09:13 AM
If you really want to use all your players, why not use them when they have a better likelihood of offering something of value?

Putting player in a position to be successful is what good leadership does. Whether it is in business, in parenting or in coaching! Use what a player does well and use that skill as a springboard to build confidence in the areas he may be struggling in. I think how the Reds are using Billy Hamilton will do him SO much good in the long term, because they are using his one elite skill perfectly and he is developing confidence at the MLB level. Hopefully this translates over to his hitting as well. Coaches need to put players in a position to be successful.

kab21
09-25-2013, 09:13 AM
Gardy can say that, but a platoon of Kubel & Cuddyer in RF was so obvious it physically hurt, yet Gardy would not do it. USAFchief is right. This is not breakthrough thinking.

This is a time tested strategy that many have used to make their team stronger.

Twins do not do that.

I think this board and Gardy have short memories.

Kubel was frequently platooned his first 3 years in the league.

Brian buscher was also platooned while here. He only had 18 AB's against lefties one year. It wasn't a strict 2 player like everyone expects since the rest of the MI sucked so much that Harris wasn't benched against righties when buscher started.

I think a potential Plouffe/Parmelee (or Colabello) platoon could work. 12 man pitching staffs make it difficult but Plouffe backs up 3B and can also be the 2nd utility player that the Twins feel like they must have every year. I would be against platooning Hicks since it hurts development but I'm concerned that Hicks future might be as a platoon 4th OF'er.

Shane Wahl
09-25-2013, 09:42 AM
Plouffe mashes lefties. Parmelee hits at a major league level against righties. No brainer.

A four man bench still allows for a few platoon opportunities after all.

TheLeviathan
09-25-2013, 09:53 AM
Plouffe mashes lefties. Parmelee hits at a major league level against righties. No brainer.

A four man bench still allows for a few platoon opportunities after all.

this is the one that needs to happen. There is plenty of position flexibility with them too.

Shane Wahl
09-25-2013, 10:51 AM
this is the one that needs to happen. There is plenty of position flexibility with them too.

I am starting to think differently about TR in these statements. He says something completely obvious here--clearly one cannot build a roster around platoons as there are 13 guys, most of the time, to choose from. Ok, Terry. Thanks. Now I wonder if the FA comment in other threads revolves really around an obvious truth as well about filling all holes with FAs is not possible either. Another obvious truth. Maybe there is more innocence going on here.

Hopefully.

ThePuck
09-25-2013, 10:53 AM
To go slightly off topic, I think it's way past time for MLB to expand the active roster. With 5 man rotations, reliever specialists and pitch counts the norm, 25 man rosters are too small.

Shane Wahl
09-25-2013, 10:54 AM
this is the one that needs to happen. There is plenty of position flexibility with them too.

But yeah. Even if Mauer is the first baseman. I am fairly comfortable, for now, with the defensive ability of a Parmelee/Plouffe platoon in right. And it makes the two marginal players into one real one. Arcia's position is in doubt there, and lord knows the Twins will probably just hang onto Willingham for dear life. But after Sano arrives, Plouffe's value can still be there in a more limited role, maximizing his ability.

Shane Wahl
09-25-2013, 10:54 AM
To go slightly off topic, I think it's way past time for MLB to expand the active roster. With 5 man rotations, reliever specialists and pitch counts the norm, 25 man rosters are too small.

Perhaps. I think they should just keep it at a +1 for 26 players on the roster.

nicksaviking
09-25-2013, 10:55 AM
How much of a baseball person is Dave St. Peter? Does he really understand the game, or is he basically just a business stratagy guy? Because if he has the level of understanding that the average poster on this site has, he cannot seriously be happy to hear his GM and manager spew this nonsense.

nicksaviking
09-25-2013, 10:56 AM
Perhaps. I think they should just keep it at a +1 for 26 players on the roster.

I'm not sure. I don't think I could stomach 4 catchers.

TheLeviathan
09-25-2013, 11:24 AM
How much of a baseball person is Dave St. Peter? Does he really understand the game, or is he basically just a business stratagy guy? Because if he has the level of understanding that the average poster on this site has, he cannot seriously be happy to hear his GM and manager spew this nonsense.

I mentioned this in another thread and Shane is here as well....but if these statements boil down to nothing more than stating the obvious, then you are absolutely correct. These statements are horrifically confusing, poorly worded, full of double talk, hard not to read pessimistic ally, and they make the team sound incompetent.

IdahoPilgrim
09-25-2013, 12:16 PM
To go slightly off topic, I think it's way past time for MLB to expand the active roster. With 5 man rotations, reliever specialists and pitch counts the norm, 25 man rosters are too small.
I've wondered for some time whether they should go to a system similar to the NHL and the lower minor leagues. Maybe have 30-man rosters, but only 25 can be dressed and play in any particular game.

That would make it easier to put somebody on the sideline for a few days to handle a niggling injury without having to do the "should we or shouldn't we DL him" thing. It also gives you more bench and reliever spots for any particular game as resting starters would not be taking a uniformed spot that day. The same thing could apply in September after callups - 40 players on roster, but only 25 dressed for any particular game.

JB_Iowa
09-25-2013, 12:22 PM
How much of a baseball person is Dave St. Peter? Does he really understand the game, or is he basically just a business stratagy guy? Because if he has the level of understanding that the average poster on this site has, he cannot seriously be happy to hear his GM and manager spew this nonsense.

He's been with the Twins since 1990 (when he joined the organization as an intern) so he has 23 years of baseball with the team.

According to his Linked in profile, before he was Twins Prez, he was:


Sr. Vice President, Business Affairs at Minnesota Twins
Vice President, Corporate Communications at Minnesota Twins
Director, Corporate Communications at Minnesota Twins (http://www.linkedin.com/company/minnesota-twins?trk=ppro_cprof)



Manager, Corporate Communications at Minnesota Twins
Manager, Twins Pro Shop at Minnesota Twins




Given his marketing/communications background, nonsense statements and spin, spin, spin would be nothing new to him.

twinsfan34
09-25-2013, 12:43 PM
It would seem if Terry Ryan wouldn't want to employ it - the manager for 2014 and beyond (whether Gardenhire or a new 'hire') would also have a similar philosophy.

To Ryan's point, 'who would you platoon?' has some merit. I'm not sure we really have that serviceable of players on offense to do it. And to maybe win another 5-10 games this year - would that make the difference? Maybe they want a high pick this year as if Draft experts are right, being in the top 5 picks will yield a very good prospect in 2014.

It could work for 2-3 roster spots on the team, often a 3rd/4th OF scenario, as well as a 3rd middle IF who could put in work at 2B/SS/3B.

Someone mentioned 1991. We did sorta did it at 3B in 1991 with Scott Leuis (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=leiussc01&year=1991&t=b) (R) and Mike Pagliarulo (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=paglimi01&year=1991&t=b). We definitely did it with Pagliarulo as his ABs are very skewed to facing RHP. Leuis is about even, but was defeinitely better vs. LHP.

Leuis - 71 AB .254 AVG vs RHP, 128 AB .305 AVG vs LHP
Pagliarulo - 349 AB .284 AVG vs RHP, 16 AB .188 AVG vs LHP

Randy Bush (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=bushra01&year=1991&t=b) (163 AB .302 vs RHP, 2 AB .000 AVG vs LHP) was a 4th OF/DH and he could have been considered "platoon" to an extent - as he faced pretty much only RHP, however it didn't seem he really had a platoon mate. More of just a situational 4th OF.

In 1991, the Minnesota Twins (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/1991.shtml) hit .280 as a team that year. The difference was we had 6 full-time hitters who hit .277 or higher that year (Brian Harper, Kent HrBek, Check Knoblauch, Shane Mack, Kirby Puckett, Chili Davis), including 3 hitters over .310 (Harper, Mack, & Puckett). A lineup that resembles something more similar to the St. Louis Cardinals this year.

The 2013 Twins (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2013.shtml) don't have a regular, other than Mauer, hitting over .259 (Morneau - no longer with the team). Dozier is next at .249. Arcia only has 356 AB, or I would have said him, even so, he's only hitting .256.

We'd have to do 9 platoons, or 18 players + Mauer to get a similar team average as we did in 1991. But then again...could we even get close to that?

Let's see what we have to work with...

Florimon (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=floripe01&year=2013&t=b) can't hit anybody (.235 vs RHP, .188 vs LHP).
Plouffe (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=plouftr01&year=2013&t=b) hit better vs LHP, however, only 2 HR in 107 AB (.234 vs RHP, .299 vs LHP).
Willingham (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=willijo03&year=2013&t=b) couldn't hit a barn, lefty or righty (.210 vs RHP, .215 vs LHP).
Hicks (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=hicksaa01&year=2013&t=b)couldn't hit anything either (.203 vs RHP, .186 vs LHP).
Parmalee (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=parmech01&year=2013&t=b) isn't much better than any of these guys (.250 vs RHP, .172 vs LHP).
Thomas (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=thomacl02&year=2013&t=b) couldn't hit any better than Florimon (.228 vs RHP, .175 vs LHP).
Escobar (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=escobed01&year=2013&t=b) was about even (.238 vs RHP, .231 vs LHP).
Colabello (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=colabch01&year=2013&t=b), well, he's consistent against either hand (.193 vs RHP, .186 vs LHP).

So again...

Ryan, "On this club, who would you want to platoon? (http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_24148640/platoons-not-attractive-twins)"

stringer bell
09-25-2013, 12:56 PM
Lacking the numbers to platoon at several positions, I've thought that using positional flexibility and switch hitters to fill three spots with four players would be ideal. Escobar filling in for Plouffe, Florimon (vs LH starters) and occasionally Dozier (big platoon split) would make sense. Likewise in the outfield, an outfield where one switch hitter replaces two or all three of the regulars depending on the handedness of the pitcher would allow the hitters to be placed in situations that give them a good chance to succeed.

ashburyjohn
09-25-2013, 12:59 PM
Moderator's note: Folks, I had to delete several posts this morning, all for questioning one person's intelligence or another. If you need to, please review the TD Comments Policy:

http://twinsdaily.com/minnesota-twins-talk/8837-revised-comment-policy-september-2013-a.html

There are always shades of gray and someone who lost a post may complain I left intact a couple of other posts that used a term like no-brainer (because it wasn't directed at anyone) or questioning an exec's baseball knowledge (fair game if done with respect). Please, do NOT get your nose out of joint because of where I happened to draw the line this day, NOR use it to fine-tune your own attempt to get away with as much as you can. Pay particular attention to the posting by John Bonnes that is found at the end of the thread in the above link, about staying far away from the boundaries.

There are many good posts in this thread, and I encourage those who still remain unclear on what respect means to use them as an example.

Kwak
09-25-2013, 01:13 PM
To go slightly off topic, I think it's way past time for MLB to expand the active roster. With 5 man rotations, reliever specialists and pitch counts the norm, 25 man rosters are too small.

I can't disagree with you more! The game is about players not managers. If a player isn't functional against LHers (or RHers) then he really isn't much. Train players to compete against all-comers (RH and LH) and play the best. The game slows down with player changes--and Lord knows it's too slow as it is right now.

ThePuck
09-25-2013, 01:29 PM
I can't disagree with you more! The game is about players not managers. If a player isn't functional against LHers (or RHers) then he really isn't much. Train players to compete against all-comers (RH and LH) and play the best. The game slows down with player changes--and Lord knows it's too slow as it is right now.

My post had nothing at all to do with platoons...just expanding the active roster. You know that right? In the AL, if you have 13 pitchers, then you have to start a DH and 8 position players, that leaves three backups. I enjoy double switches, I like the strategy that used to be the norm but has been lost due to having to have so many pitchers on the roster.

Lonestar
09-25-2013, 01:35 PM
To go slightly off topic, I think it's way past time for MLB to expand the active roster. With 5 man rotations, reliever specialists and pitch counts the norm, 25 man rosters are too small.
Before the rosters expanded I looked up the AL contenders. The only one that had a 13-man pitching staff was the Red Sox. The rest had 12-man pitching staffs. Except Tampa Bay which had 11.

I would advocate for the TB model.

edit

Oldgoat_MN
09-25-2013, 01:40 PM
I think we should have the NFL drop its roster to 25 men as well.

That would make even me pay some attention.

Alex
09-25-2013, 01:42 PM
It would seem if Terry Ryan wouldn't want to employ it - the manager for 2014 and beyond (whether Gardenhire or a new 'hire') would also have a similar philosophy.

To Ryan's point, 'who would you platoon?' has some merit. I'm not sure we really have that serviceable of players on offense to do it. And to maybe win another 5-10 games this year - would that make the difference? Maybe they want a high pick this year as if Draft experts are right, being in the top 5 picks will yield a very good prospect in 2014.

.....

So again...

Ryan, "On this club, who would you want to platoon? (http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_24148640/platoons-not-attractive-twins)"

The short answer is that you could platoon for almost any of the Twins lineup and see an improvement (the exception is Mauer at catcher), and that's the frustration I have with the statement and why it comes off as a bit ludicrous to some of us. It's also frustrating to hear an argument that is essentially "since you can't platoon everyone...." I mean, I'm not even saying you have direct platoons, but every IF with the exception of 1B is better against RHP, so a LHB in the infield off the bench as a platoon mate rotating between positions makes a lot of sense.

A couple of points to make on this.
1) I think the point was made, already and clearly, that Tom Kelly did use a very significant platoon in 1991 despite being on record as not liking them. If we're harkening back over two decades to an example of a manager who begrudgingly used them and was successful when he did, I think that's more of a point that argues for the fact that parts of this organization are in need of fresh ideas.

2) I think you need to look beyond average. If you look at OPS, almost every player you mention and some you don't (Doumit) is better 80 points or more (Plouffe is almost 200 points better -- so your stats of choice on him are especially misleading).

3) IMO, the notion of platooning is ideal when you have a team like this one and need to maximize your competitiveness in every game. However, that requires a different set of roster planning than I think the Twins have used in recent years. If they went into the offseason with a clear plan to get a couple of platoon type players they might have gotten significantly more production out of the equivalent of 3 positions.

4) The final problem with the answer is that platooning is a simple and accepted idea and we aren't just talking about this season. These are basic steps that improve the team when there aren't a lot of other options to do so.

Alex
09-25-2013, 01:49 PM
I can't disagree with you more! The game is about players not managers. If a player isn't functional against LHers (or RHers) then he really isn't much. Train players to compete against all-comers (RH and LH) and play the best. The game slows down with player changes--and Lord knows it's too slow as it is right now.

And if a manager isn't willing to use a basic, accepted strategy to get the best out of his players, then imo, he isn't much either.

Platoon splits are a fact of the game.

ThePuck
09-25-2013, 01:51 PM
Before the rosters expanded I looked up the AL contenders. The only one that had a 13-man pitching staff was the Red Sox. The rest had 12-man pitching staffs. Except Tampa Bay which had 11.

I would advocate for the TB model.

edit

You have to have a darn fine pitching staff to only have 11 nowadays....which TB has...but even 12 pitchers, the point is still relatively the same. Dodgers in '61 had like 9 pitchers, same with the Cards in mid 60s, yet I'm pretty sure it was still a 25 man roster rule. That leaves some room from more strategy.

IdahoPilgrim
09-25-2013, 02:03 PM
I can't disagree with you more! The game is about players not managers. If a player isn't functional against LHers (or RHers) then he really isn't much. Train players to compete against all-comers (RH and LH) and play the best. The game slows down with player changes--and Lord knows it's too slow as it is right now.

A good gameday manager, with tactical skills and acumen, can make a difference in close games. I have no problem with that being a part of the equation. It's like a symphony orchestra - you have to have quality musicians, but a good conductor is also an essential piece of the puzzle. Same idea here.

Shane Wahl
09-25-2013, 02:26 PM
It's precisely when you DON'T have regular everyday good players that platooning makes sense. Again, Parm and Plouffe next year eventually.

diehardtwinsfan
09-25-2013, 02:27 PM
The problem I see with them is when do you start it? Morneau couldn't hit lefties that well when he first came up... He became MVP Morneau when he figured it out. The truth is that some of this takes time and repetition to develop. I agree that there's a point when you recognize that JJ cannot hit lefties. The problem is that you have to let him try enough times and fail at it to a point where it's obvious he isn't going to learn.

And in this regard, TR is right, especially with large pitching staffs. You cannot build a roster around this idea... It certainly might help with an established roster and an obvious gaping hole where a guy that fills other positions of need becomes available who also has those favorable platoon splits... but there's a lot of ifs there.

snepp
09-25-2013, 02:36 PM
You cannot build a roster around this idea...

Which no one has even remotely suggested in any way whatsoever.

John Bonnes
09-25-2013, 02:40 PM
Who would I want to platoon? Off the top of my head, and I'm not looking up stats here....

Plouffe and Colabello vs LHs and Parmelee and Doumit vs Righties in RF/1B/DH next year seems like a decent idea.
Center field - Mastroianni and Tomas/Pressley? And that's only because I'd have Hicks start in AAA.

That leaves the bench a little crowded - with a catcher I'm at 13 already, and I don't have a backup middle infielder. But there are some things I can pick through there.

John Bonnes
09-25-2013, 02:50 PM
The problem I see with them is when do you start it? Morneau couldn't hit lefties that well when he first came up... He became MVP Morneau when he figured it out. The truth is that some of this takes time and repetition to develop. I agree that there's a point when you recognize that JJ cannot hit lefties. The problem is that you have to let him try enough times and fail at it to a point where it's obvious he isn't going to learn.

Yeah, as I was watching Plouffe last week, I was wondering something similar. I'd be interested to see if Cuddyer's splits were worse when he came up. It seemed like he learned to go opposite field against righties and really drive lefties. But I don't know that I've studied it. Plouffe just mashes lefties so much, that he really only needs to be a little worse than average vs right-handers to have a pretty impressive overall statistical line.

LaBombo
09-25-2013, 03:02 PM
Twins relievers have thrown one out short of 560 innings this year. That's almost 80 more than either the AL or MLB average, and exactly the result you'd expect from having the worst rotation in baseball. Had Correia not exceeded expectations, even 13 relievers might not have been enough.

So as if the awful rotation just costing a ton of defensive runs isn't enough, it's also costing a few offensive ones as well, taking away a bench spot that could have been a pinch hitter, pinch runner, or, with different manager, an effective platoon instead of a mediocre everyday player.

It also didn't help bench flexibility very much to have three catchers at times, and continually unavailable injured players at others.

Winston Smith
09-25-2013, 03:11 PM
" And to maybe win another 5-10 games this year - would that make the difference?"
That's the point to win games and winning another 10 would get us close to .500 and make watching much more interesting.
On the extra player or 26 man roster that would cost a team around another mill in payroll and expenses at the minimum. Can't see it happening.

USAFChief
09-25-2013, 03:12 PM
Which no one has even remotely suggested in any way whatsoever.
Sorry, but I must disagree. As I read the comments in this thread, to me it seems that is what some are suggesting.

You can't put "Plouffe/Parm in RF" if you don't build your roster to account for that, and accept the limitations such a plan puts on that roster. Likewise a "Parm/Cola at 1st base" platoon. There was even the suggestion that a four man bench allows for "a few" platoon opportunities.

The simple truth is, if a manager is going to employ anything close to a traditional platoon, that needs to be built into the roster and will impact it in other ways.

With today's pitching staffs, I'm not sure the roster implications are worth it. Maybe, but it definately has an effect.

What frustrates me more about Gardy is his tendency to ignore the platoon advantage when he already has it. It used to drive me nuts to see Butera at catcher against a RH starter on a Sunday afternoon, giving Mauer a day off, when they faced a lefthander the day before. As pointed out above, he's still likely to do the same thing.

Alex
09-25-2013, 03:16 PM
Twins relievers have thrown one out short of 560 innings this year. That's almost 80 more than either the AL or MLB average, and exactly the result you'd expect from having the worst rotation in baseball. Had Correia not exceeded expectations, even 13 relievers might not have been enough.

So as if the awful rotation just costing a ton of defensive runs isn't enough, it's also costing a few offensive ones as well, taking away a bench spot that could have been a pinch hitter, pinch runner, or, with different manager, an effective platoon instead of a mediocre everyday player.

It also didn't help bench flexibility very much to have three catchers at times, and continually unavailable injured players at others.

One of the reasons I don't like the "we don't have enough bench spots" argument is that it's symptomatic of other issues within the organization. Inability to acquire solid pitching leads to the need for the 13th pitcher, as does inefficient roster construction (carrying three catchers).

Shane Wahl
09-25-2013, 03:29 PM
Sorry, but I must disagree. As I read the comments in this thread, to me it seems that is what some are suggesting.

You can't put "Plouffe/Parm in RF" if you don't build your roster to account for that, and accept the limitations such a plan puts on that roster. Likewise a "Parm/Cola at 1st base" platoon. There was even the suggestion that a four man bench allows for "a few" platoon opportunities.

The simple truth is, if a manager is going to employ anything close to a traditional platoon, that needs to be built into the roster and will impact it in other ways.

With today's pitching staffs, I'm not sure the roster implications are worth it. Maybe, but it definately has an effect.

What frustrates me more about Gardy is his tendency to ignore the platoon advantage when he already has it. It used to drive me nuts to see Butera at catcher against a RH starter on a Sunday afternoon, giving Mauer a day off, when they faced a lefthander the day before. As pointed out above, he's still likely to do the same thing.

And . . . . how much time have Plouffe and Parmelee been on the roster this year together? Now just fast-forward to next year and Sano taking over at third. That's not building anything into the roster--it's using what they already have. Obviously Sano takes a roster spot from somebody next year, but the Twins could have Doumit and Willingham to choose from for that.

Shane Wahl
09-25-2013, 03:31 PM
By "few" I guess I mean two. John mentioned two, though I hope Doumit is not on the team next year for that. Mastro and Presley would be a clear case next year. If Wilkin Ramirez were healthy in the Clete Thomas epoch this year, that would have been another.

LaBombo
09-25-2013, 03:38 PM
I'm not sure. I don't think I could stomach 4 catchers.
Even if they promise that none of them is Son of Sal?

Alex
09-25-2013, 03:41 PM
Sorry, but I must disagree. As I read the comments in this thread, to me it seems that is what some are suggesting.

You can't put "Plouffe/Parm in RF" if you don't build your roster to account for that, and accept the limitations such a plan puts on that roster. Likewise a "Parm/Cola at 1st base" platoon. There was even the suggestion that a four man bench allows for "a few" platoon opportunities.

The simple truth is, if a manager is going to employ anything close to a traditional platoon, that needs to be built into the roster and will impact it in other ways.


I think there's a distinction here that can be made between building a roster around platooning and simply planning it during roster construction.

My hope is that the Twins would use it in the planning stages as they fill out their bench. For example, realizing that every infield hitter they have is better against LHP and then go and find a infielder in the offseason who can fill in as a LHB that might play everyday and be rotated around.

To me, it doesn't make a lot of sense to start the season as they did this year with the left 3/4 of your starting infield as Plouffe, Florimon, and Dozier, who are all better against LHP, and then have two players on the bench who are also better against LHP in Carroll and Escobar.

It also doesn't make sense to start the season with three other positions where players have similar platoon strengths: RF (Doumit and Parmelee), 1B (Morneau, Parmelee), and C (Mauer, Doumit)

Our initial plan for CF was the same as well, with Hicks, Mastro, and option 3 Ramirez as all better against LHP. Clete Thomas might have been a better option to start the season.

Willingham in LF, btw, has an .823 OPS vs. RHP and a .855 OPS against LHP for his career, so he's an example of one of maybe two players (Mauer was about equal this season, but for his career he is about 100 points lower vs. LHP) that you have on the roster that you could probably assume a platoon type situation isn't going to improve production.

So, with the exception of Hammer and Mauer (Morneau is roughly a .700 career OPS hitter vs. LHB, so I'd say you could platoon him) a platoon or at least a backup who hit opposite would have improved production at 7 spots in the lineup. You can't plan your roster around it but you can certainly try to take advantage of it when constructing a bench, at the very least.

Alex
09-25-2013, 04:03 PM
Who would I want to platoon? Off the top of my head, and I'm not looking up stats here....

Plouffe and Colabello vs LHs and Parmelee and Doumit vs Righties in RF/1B/DH next year seems like a decent idea.
Center field - Mastroianni and Tomas/Pressley? And that's only because I'd have Hicks start in AAA.

That leaves the bench a little crowded - with a catcher I'm at 13 already, and I don't have a backup middle infielder. But there are some things I can pick through there.

I think we need to figure who is going to start before we can come up with decent platoon ideas for next year. A key factor in that will be if the Twins think Plouffe is a 3B or not and whether Mauer moves to a much more regular 1B. Both of those items will create a massive corner crunch for Plouffe (if he's a 1B), Colabello, and Parmelee because in addition to those three you've got Willingham and Doumit who are both corner OF or DHs.

In the OF, with Pressley and Arcia as what appear to be two sure things, Mastro, or another RHB, would be the best option as a fourth OF and can platoon in CF or provide days off at other times to the other corners.

kab21
09-25-2013, 07:19 PM
Sorry, but I must disagree. As I read the comments in this thread, to me it seems that is what some are suggesting.

You can't put "Plouffe/Parm in RF" if you don't build your roster to account for that, and accept the limitations such a plan puts on that roster. Likewise a "Parm/Cola at 1st base" platoon. There was even the suggestion that a four man bench allows for "a few" platoon opportunities.

The simple truth is, if a manager is going to employ anything close to a traditional platoon, that needs to be built into the roster and will impact it in other ways.

With today's pitching staffs, I'm not sure the roster implications are worth it. Maybe, but it definately has an effect.

What frustrates me more about Gardy is his tendency to ignore the platoon advantage when he already has it. It used to drive me nuts to see Butera at catcher against a RH starter on a Sunday afternoon, giving Mauer a day off, when they faced a lefthander the day before. As pointed out above, he's still likely to do the same thing.

A roster would be incredibly easy to setup between a starting OF'er like Presley and a 4th OF'er like Mastro. It would also be very easy to setup with someone like Plouffe on the bench. This is a team that has found a way to have at least one of the following on the roster at almost all times during the last 3-4 yrs: a 3rd catcher, a 2nd futility IF'er or Thome.

Setting up a bench for 2 platoons (not including platoons at C or MI)
backup C
Mastro - 4th OF'er - platoons with Presley
Plouffe - can backup multiple positions and platoon with someone
futility IF'er - a 2nd futility IF'er is not needed since Plouffe can play almost any position if needed

USAFChief
09-25-2013, 07:42 PM
A roster would be incredibly easy to setup between a starting OF'er like Presley and a 4th OF'er like Mastro. It would also be very easy to setup with someone like Plouffe on the bench. This is a team that has found a way to have at least one of the following on the roster at almost all times during the last 3-4 yrs: a 3rd catcher, a 2nd futility IF'er or Thome.

Setting up a bench for 2 platoons (not including platoons at C or MI)
backup C
Mastro - 4th OF'er - platoons with Presley
Plouffe - can backup multiple positions and platoon with someone
futility IF'er - a 2nd futility IF'er is not needed since Plouffe can play almost any position if needed
In your example, only Mastro/Pressly constitutes a true platoon. And as I've said elsewhere, it can be done with a 4th OFer, although since others will need a game here and there, the 4th OFer will end up filling in elsewhere and most likely you'll lose the platoon advantage in a few cases.

If Plouffe is backing up multiple positions, then he's probably not platooning with Parm in RF often enough to call it a platoon.

Perhaps we're just arguing semantics here. I'm all in favor of a manager using the RH hitter vs LH pitcher (and vice versa) platoon advantage whenever possible. That advantage has existed since baseball was invented and will likely exist until they stop playing the game. If you can have your 4th OFer, or futility infielder(s) be someone who hits from the opposite side as the players they spell, great.

What I'm arguing is that a "platoon"--two players sharing one position, one a RH hitter, one LH--is getting awfully hard to pull off in today's game, and has an impact on what you can do with the rest of your roster. Tying up two players to play 1st base, or RF, is almost a thing of the past.

old nurse
09-25-2013, 08:02 PM
In the cases mentioned for platooning I would offer the following advice. Go find a better player. The cases offered are bad vs worse.

kab21
09-25-2013, 08:14 PM
Plouffe being available to backup multiple positions still enables him to be part of a true platoon. to be honest it's exactly what makes it possible to do multiple platoons.

When Sano comes up (which he eventually will) then he should be playing almost everyday. And lets be honest Plouffe shouldn't be playing a lot of MI. but having him available for that rare situation where you need two backup MI'ers can eliminate the need for the frequently rostered two futility IF'ers. That's almost as silly as carrying 3 C's.

Alex
09-25-2013, 08:16 PM
In the cases mentioned for platooning I would offer the following advice. Go find a better player. The cases offered are bad vs worse.

That's obviously the preferred method: get one player who can equally hit lefties and righties. That's the point, though, that that's not easy to do, especially where the Twins are.

USAFChief
09-25-2013, 08:23 PM
Plouffe being available to backup multiple positions still enables him to be part of a true platoon. to be honest it's exactly what makes it possible to do multiple platoons.

Again, maybe this is semantics, but if Plouffe is spelling an infielder, he's not available to platoon Parm in RF, so you end up with Parm against a LH pitcher, which means you don't have a platoon.

Alex
09-25-2013, 08:41 PM
Again, maybe this is semantics, but if Plouffe is spelling an infielder, he's not available to platoon Parm in RF, so you end up with Parm against a LH pitcher, which means you don't have a platoon.

I think you're looking at a very strict version of a platoon, and you're right that with the Twins inability to find decent pitching and need three catchers it would be nearly impossible to dedicate two players to just one position and spot in the lineup.

A more loose version would be setting and using your roster to have players that compliment each other based on platoon splits, maximizing ABs vs. opposite hand pitchers over the course of a season a limiting those with weaker side splits.

The Twins don't seem to fall anywhere on that spectrum, as you point out. In fact, in a post above, I point out how their roster was set up to make things worse with almost no option for it at all. They don't even really alter batting order to adjust for the starter they face.

kab21
09-25-2013, 08:42 PM
Again, maybe this is semantics, but if Plouffe is spelling an infielder, he's not available to platoon Parm in RF, so you end up with Parm against a LH pitcher, which means you don't have a platoon.

You are talking about an occasional game start against lefties. That is going to happen in almost every platoon situation. Sometimes your 4th OF'er is going to need to start in LF because of a nagging injury to the LF'er. I would still consider that a platoon for the other 150-155 games (if it went a full season). The same is true with Plouffe although he will get some starts elsewhere.

old nurse
09-25-2013, 09:36 PM
That's obviously the preferred method: get one player who can equally hit lefties and righties. That's the point, though, that that's not easy to do, especially where the Twins are.

Cots lists 30 outfielders as free agents for this winter. Hitting with an OPS over .725 would be an improvement over the current situation. 2 throw in minor leaguers might even get you one in trade

Alex
09-25-2013, 10:46 PM
Cots lists 30 outfielders as free agents for this winter. Hitting with an OPS over .725 would be an improvement over the current situation. 2 throw in minor leaguers might even get you one in trade

No one is saying hold steady and platoons are all you need. The two ideas are not mutually exclusive, so I'd request that we not turn this into an either or argument. If the Twins go out and get an .800 OPS outfielder, that would be great, especially if he can hit both sides.

Now we only need to fill in six more spots in the lineupwith better hitters as well.... The Twins are in a position where a platoon or two will be an effective way to improve the overall lineup because they aren't going to completely remake the lineup with free agents.

Shane Wahl
09-26-2013, 12:27 AM
I am pretty flabbergasted reading these posts.

Look, supposedly the rebuilding 2013 could at least have been about figuring out who other than Mauer is a legitimate player for the future Twins when Sano, Buxton, and Rosario (as a second baseman, in particular) are ready to play. You can say that Dozier clearly passed the test and that Arcia is a very likely candidate to pass that test given a season beyond his semi-rookie year. Florimon has passed the defensive test and currently has value there. Now, what's left out of 2013?

Hicks was an abomination in April. That word abomination ONLY applies to his performance in April. In my view, there is no way the Twins shouldn't start him on opening day in CF. He can't bat seventh against righties.

Plouffe and Parmelee! I'll be a monkey's uncle. What a damn platoon opportunity for two players who actually were on the roster together most of this year and who could share RF together. This need not be a straight platoon, but it still can work very effectively in maximizing PAs for players in positions where they are most able to contribute.

And thus I don't understand how it is crazy to consider have a roster for 2014 that maximizes the abilities of the . . . . . roster for 2014. If Parmelee is traded somehow, OK, but that is doubtful. In any event when you have such a platoon you are then able, in game, to bring in the other guy to pinch hit! Am I explaining the obvious? Yes. Is this necessary to explain the obvious? Apparently so.

old nurse
09-26-2013, 06:41 AM
No one is saying hold steady and platoons are all you need. The two ideas are not mutually exclusive, so I'd request that we not turn this into an either or argument. If the Twins go out and get an .800 OPS outfielder, that would be great, especially if he can hit both sides.

Now we only need to fill in six more spots in the lineupwith better hitters as well.... The Twins are in a position where a platoon or two will be an effective way to improve the overall lineup because they aren't going to completely remake the lineup with free agents.

The idea of platooning is that your LH and RH bat off the bench play the same position. For it to be an effective use of talent and roster space there has to be above average talent. With a roster of 12 position players it would be a luxury having a platoon. This would especially be true if someone played only DH.

Alex
09-26-2013, 08:30 AM
The idea of platooning is that your LH and RH bat off the bench play the same position. For it to be an effective use of talent and roster space there has to be above average talent. With a roster of 12 position players it would be a luxury having a platoon. This would especially be true if someone played only DH.

First, as many have pointed out, we disagree about the talent level. You get the most out of platooning when you have struggling hitters who are only effective from one side of the plate. Platooning for hitters like Mauer or Willingham has very minimal effect.

Also, as people have mentioned ad nauseum, we can certainly talk "rigid" platoons where two players are dedicated to one lineup and position spot, but there are other ways.

For example, yet again, consider the Twins 2B, SS, and 3B. All three were better against LHP and two crushed it (Dozier and Plouffe) but were significantly worse against RHP. The Twins bench players for them? All better against LHP. This meant the Twins put 1500+ PA against RHP from this collection of infielders that were pretty awful (below .700 OPS) and had no answer for it (bench infielders all terrible against RHP). If the Twins had a player who could hit RHP you then have the option of either platooning straight up for one of them (Plouffe probably since his defense is lacking) or rotate between all of them. Either way you now lower that number of weak PAs against RHP to 1000. It's the same result in the end, people are just getting caught up in the semantics and some sort of rigid definition.

old nurse
09-26-2013, 08:50 AM
First, as many have pointed out, we disagree about the talent level. You get the most out of platooning when you have struggling hitters who are only effective from one side of the plate. Platooning for hitters like Mauer or Willingham has very minimal effect.

Also, as people have mentioned ad nauseum, we can certainly talk "rigid" platoons where two players are dedicated to one lineup and position spot, but there are other ways.

For example, yet again, consider the Twins 2B, SS, and 3B. All three were better against LHP and two crushed it (Dozier and Plouffe) but were significantly worse against RHP. The Twins bench players for them? All better against LHP. This meant the Twins put 1500+ PA against RHP from this collection of infielders that were pretty awful (below .700 OPS) and had no answer for it (bench infielders all terrible against RHP). If the Twins had a player who could hit RHP you then have the option of either platooning straight up for one of them (Plouffe probably since his defense is lacking) or rotate between all of them. Either way you now lower that number of weak PAs against RHP to 1000. It's the same result in the end, people are just getting caught up in the semantics and some sort of rigid definition.

Willingham when he came up wasn't very good at hitting right handers. Would have he got better sitting on the bench? The players all mentioned are still developing. Why stunt their growth? Either they are going to develop or you have to get new players.
Rigid definition. Platoon has a definition. It is or it isn't.

John Bonnes
09-26-2013, 09:03 AM
Willingham when he came up wasn't very good at hitting right handers. Would have he got better sitting on the bench? The players all mentioned are still developing. Why stunt their growth? Either they are going to develop or you have to get new players.
Rigid definition. Platoon has a definition. It is or it isn't.

I think people are able to define "platoon" as they please. It doesn't need to mean "Trevor Plouffe never sees a right-handed starting pitcher and his replacement never sees a lefty." Truth is, I don't think that kind of rigid definition necessarily exists. If the definition is "Twins should be more flexible in their lineup to try and have opposite hands hitting against pitchers", I think that's fine.

On the other hand, the looser the definition, the more I think the Twins have done some of that, or at least where they've had the positional flexibility to do so in several areas, like right field. (They are less likely to do it in areas where they have a veteran, like first base or left field.)

I guess if I was trying to measure it, I would do the following:
- Find out the number of at-bats the Twins have had versus LHs and RHs (or maybe LH starting pitchers and RH starting pitchers). Find the percentage split.
- For each Twins players, find out their same percentage split. Find which players vary the most from that.
- Now doe something similar for a team that is considered a model of platooning, like the Rays. Do the percentages for the top 5 players vary as much as they do for the Twins? How about for another comparable poor team, like the Mariners?

Alex
09-26-2013, 09:21 AM
On the other hand, the looser the definition, the more I think the Twins have done some of that, or at least where they've had the positional flexibility to do so in several areas, like right field. (They are less likely to do it in areas where they have a veteran, like first base or left field.)

I guess if I was trying to measure it, I would do the following:
- Find out the number of at-bats the Twins have had versus LHs and RHs (or maybe LH starting pitchers and RH starting pitchers). Find the percentage split.
- For each Twins players, find out their same percentage split. Find which players vary the most from that.
- Now doe something similar for a team that is considered a model of platooning, like the Rays. Do the percentages for the top 5 players vary as much as they do for the Twins? How about for another comparable poor team, like the Mariners?

I agree that that would be useful, but the Twins also don't seem to construct their roster based on this idea even in the loosest terms which I tried to point out in one of my posts (options 1 and 2 on the depth chart were same-handed hitters) and that affects the numbers as well.

Alex
09-26-2013, 09:24 AM
Rigid definition. Platoon has a definition. It is or it isn't.

That's fine if you want to focus on that, but there are varying levels of discussion here and forcing the definition of this in such narrow terms it becomes pointless to continue.

mike wants wins
09-26-2013, 10:01 AM
You don't need 13 man pitching staffs, if you use AAA as a "bench". Not sure why more teams don't do that.....most of the backends of bullpens are replacement level, and you should not need to worry about protecting them if they run out of options. That should open up room for platoons and a better bench.

old nurse
09-26-2013, 10:58 AM
What is the goal of the team this year? You want to win games but more importantly you need to see if you can develop everyday players. Dozier, Parmelee, and Colabello in the minors showed the ability to hit very well. At what point do you determine they will not develop further and have a limitation. If they are going to be somewhere on the field of play as a regular they need to play regularly. When they need an off day, it should be against a pitcher they are less likely to do well against, that someone else has a better shot at. The conversation thus far would lead me to believe people don't think they are going to get any better as players than what they are now. Plouffe as a career has hit left handed pitching well enough to have a role somewhere. In terms of time, have Colabello or Parmelee been given that chance? If the answer is yes, then I would ask you do you think their best side warrants big league status? A .750 OPS in a limited role doesn't sound like it would help a team on that needs an above average offense.

kab21
09-26-2013, 11:03 AM
Cots lists 30 outfielders as free agents for this winter. Hitting with an OPS over .725 would be an improvement over the current situation. 2 throw in minor leaguers might even get you one in trade

This is an incredibly lazy suggestion that imo puts you in with the crowd that Theo Epstein referenced when he said that signing FA's is not just about checking the box.

If you actually spent a little time checking the stats you would find that there is almost nobody in FA this winter that fits your criteria. I picked the 6 players closest to your criteria to help you. McLouth, Kubel, Morse, Murphy, Scott and CBYoung. Aside from maybe McLouth these are exactly the types of players that the Twins shouldn't be signing. They need to get younger and more athletic. Most of this list that you suggested completely sucks.


Alfredo Amezaga - a 35 yr old that spent the season in AAA
Rick Ankiel - .657 OPS and was DFA'd by 2 teams
Norichika Aoki - has a cheap option
Jeff Baker .910 (used as a platoon player:o)
Jason Bay - .691 OPS
Carlos Beltran - .831 OPS signing for megabucks
Shin-Soo Choo .890 OPS signing for megabucks
Coco Crisp - his option will be exercised
Nelson Cruz - .841 OPS but the Twins won't be signing him
Rajai Davis - .687 OPS
David DeJesus - .745 OPS (used as a platoon player:))
Mark DeRosa - .734 OPS (used as a platoon player:))
Matt Diaz - he's finished but he was a platoon player
Jacoby Ellsbury - signing for megabucks
Jeff Francoeur - .536 OPS
Curtis Granderson - signing for megabucks
Franklin Gutierrez - has missed close to 300 games in the last 3 seasons
Tony Gwynn Jr. - in AAA all season
Corey Hart - .841 signing for megabucks
Raul Ibanez - .811 OPS (41 yrs old)
Reed Johnson * - .674 OPS (a platoon player)
Austin Kearns - he's done
Jason Kubel * - .610 OPS but a good bounceback candidate
Nate McLouth - .734 OPS (actually fits your criteria)
Nyjer Morgan - sat out season
Mike Morse - .651 OPS (could bounceback)
David Murphy - .657 OPS (could bounceback)
Xavier Nady - he's finished
Laynce Nix - he sucks
Hunter Pence signing for megabucks
Juan Rivera - he's finished
Luke Scott - .739 OPS (200+ games missed in 3 seasons)
Ryan Sweeney - .808 OPS as a part timer
Andres Torres - .644 OPS
Chris Young * .654 OPS - a bounceback candidate if his option is declined
Delmon Young .699 OPS (this really is not going to happen)

ashburyjohn
09-26-2013, 12:24 PM
This is an incredibly lazy suggestion that imo puts you in with the crowd that Theo Epstein referenced when he said that signing FA's is not just about checking the box.

Mod note: PLEASE don't make things so personal.

Better: "This is an incredibly lazy suggestion. Theo Epstein has a quote that signing FA's is not just about checking the box."

It's better because it talks about ideas.

Even better: "I like Theo Epstein's quote that signing FA's is not just about checking the box."

This takes the value judgement out about another poster's statement. Please consider it when writing a rebuttal.

The continuation of your post would similarly benefit from removing the second-person form. When you finally arrive at the meat of your post, there's quite a lot there worth considering. Believe me, I HATE simply deleting most posts.

Alex
09-26-2013, 12:33 PM
A rather comprehensive article on platooning.

Need to add O, how about a platoon? - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN (http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/33274/need-to-add-o-how-about-a-platoon)

Among the subjects is "cross-position platooning" which we've talked about here and that the author notes is a more realistic option the way rosters work. They also look at specific examples. Surprising to me was that while I knew platooning wasn't a new idea I am amazed it went back to the deadball era (though it makes sense after seeing that fact).

twinsfan34
09-26-2013, 12:45 PM
2) I think you need to look beyond average. If you look at OPS, almost every player you mention and some you don't (Doumit) is better 80 points or more (Plouffe is almost 200 points better -- so your stats of choice on him are especially misleading).



I didn't mention Doumit, as he is a switch-hitter and didn't have a platoon to match position (C, RF (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/doumiry01.shtml)) wise in the hierarchy of subs that would have benefited the team. He typically already starts at DH or C when Mauer wasn't available. So I guess I didn't factor him as much of a 'platoon' eligible player more of a necessary backup (when Mauer was healthy) as the team didn't carry more than 2 Catchers.

I wonder what Ryan's definition of "platoon" is versus others who question it?

I honestly only feel Plouffe would make it as a "platoon" eligible player going forward. But, even so, his "platoon" skill is hitting LHP, which, honestly, is not that beneficial. However, most RH hit LHP better. Factor in, what if Miguel Sano hits the big club in 2014? He mashes lefties.

I see Aaron Hicks as a starter or gone. Hoping he doesn't go the way of Joe Benson ("toolsy", great defense, never panned out).

Either Willingham can hit or he can't. He generally kills LHP so might be a situational 4th OF vs LHP (but you don't keep someone who only faces LHP - not enough ABS). Although the '4th OF' typically is a LH who hits RH pretty well (e.g. Randy Bush a la 1991) as it's a 3-to-1 ratio of available ABs.

The rest of those guys are hoping to be a serviceable defensive replacement. Florimon might be the only one that qualifies.

If many are thinking the Twins aren't trying to maximize the turd-pile of players we currently have - I CAN go along with that, in the sense of maximizing every little match-up. This does not feel like the 1987 Twins or the 1991 Twins or even the Twins of the early 2000's where pitching changes and timely Pinch Hitters were the norm.

The Front Office here doesn't particularly care if we go 60-102 or 68-94.

I get a sense they're trying to see if there's an everyday player in the players we have. Versus trying to "develop" a bunch of platoon players (don't have the roster spots for such development, thus my '18 players + Mauer' comment).

I would ask this...as many of our top prospects are sitting in A-, A+, & AA...so 2-3 years away. Who do you think makes the cut to that time from this team? I would say only Plouffe out of those "platoon" eligible players would make the cut. Florimon, maybe as a Al Newman play everywhere defensive replacement. But that's a stretch with Santana & Goodrum flashing plenty of defense and they may be able to hit too - and if there's any inclination they can hit, they'll be given every opportunity to push Florimon out the door.

stringer bell
09-26-2013, 12:51 PM
Alex I'll dispute one thing you wrote--you said that all three regular Twins infielders were better against LH pitching. As has been noted on Twins telecasts since mid-season, Florimon has been brutal against left handers. He has a .478 OPS vs. lefties, as opposed to a still very pedestrian .655 against righties. Starting Escobar vs. lefties (.670 OPS) and spotting Eduardo for Plouffe and Dozier makes sense, although both Plouffe and Dozier outhit Escobar vs. righthanders (not significantly).

spycake
09-26-2013, 01:06 PM
Plouffe and Parmelee! I'll be a monkey's uncle. What a damn platoon opportunity for two players who actually were on the roster together most of this year and who could share RF together.

Really? Plouffe I sorta get -- even outside of his crazy 2012, he's been around an .800 OPS vs LHP.

But Parmelee's at .749 vs RHP for his career, and that includes his otherworldly 1.069 from September 2011. He's at .698 vs RHP since then, over 411 PA. That's hardly worth platooning over Plouffe's career .662 OPS vs RHP (and Plouffe's .147 ISO vs RHP is identical to Parmelee's post-2011, so your entire gain is about 20 points of AVG and 10 extra points OBP).

Even Plouffe's platooning potential is limited because it's the short half of the platoon. At least he has some more theoretical positional flexibility, but basically, if a guy is worth being the long half of a platoon (playing vs RHP), he's probably worth starting full-time. Parmelee hasn't looked like that guy yet, especially not in RF.

Alex
09-26-2013, 01:31 PM
Alex I'll dispute one thing you wrote--you said that all three regular Twins infielders were better against LH pitching. As has been noted on Twins telecasts since mid-season, Florimon has been brutal against left handers. He has a .478 OPS vs. lefties, as opposed to a still very pedestrian .655 against righties. Starting Escobar vs. lefties (.670 OPS) and spotting Eduardo for Plouffe and Dozier makes sense, although both Plouffe and Dozier outhit Escobar vs. righthanders (not significantly).

You are correct. In his case I had flipped the numbers. My apologies, but it definitely adds to the point that the opportunity was there and wasn't used and probably should have been.

Alex
09-26-2013, 01:46 PM
Even Plouffe's platooning potential is limited because it's the short half of the platoon. At least he has some more theoretical positional flexibility, but basically, if a guy is worth being the long half of a platoon (playing vs RHP), he's probably worth starting full-time.

I don't think that's true at all, especially as left-handed hitters in general tend to have more extreme splits than righties (I think I got that overall information from Tom Tango's book, but can't remember exactly).

An example (all in good fun):
Jamey Carroll had Morneau by almost 100 points of OPS against LHP this season and for his career has a higher OPS against LHP. That's a player that was considered on of the best hitters in the Twins history and you could have made an argument for platooning him with a utility infielder.

And another fun note:
Despite the fact that Morneau was terrible against lefties (hadn't put up an OPS over .600 for multiple years against them) he was still in the heart of the lineup against them.

(All that said, Morneau was pretty good against lefties for the peak of his career).

YourHouseIsMyHouse
09-26-2013, 03:24 PM
I hate this Plouffe/Parmelee idea. Parmelee is simply a terrible player that shouldn't even be platooning. His .717 OPS vs. righties really isn't much of an upgrade from Plouffe's .654 and 12 HRs. Plus, he OPSed .691 against them last year. In addition, Plouffe would have a lot more range then Parmelee in RF. Since most starting pitchers are right handed, Parmelee would get played more than Plouffe and that just makes me sick. Plouffe has shown he can play at an MLB level and has promise while Parmelee has done nothing of the sort. Oh, and Plouffe hits way more deengers.
If anything a Parmelee/Colabello platoon and I'm not sure I like that.

stringer bell
09-26-2013, 03:24 PM
To summarize, perhaps finding middle ground on this issue: It is probably tough to have a strict platoon, in part because position player numbers have shrunk and in part because the right handed part of a platoon would only start somewhere between 23 and 30% of the time. While having a strict platoon doesn't and shouldn't happen much, the Twins have managed to send out far too many hitters going on the weak side of their platoon splits

twinsfan34
09-26-2013, 03:26 PM
Even Plouffe's platooning potential is limited because it's the short half of the platoon. At least he has some more theoretical positional flexibility, but basically, if a guy is worth being the long half of a platoon (playing vs RHP), he's probably worth starting full-time. Parmelee hasn't looked like that guy yet, especially not in RF.

You nailed it.

twinsfan34
09-26-2013, 03:28 PM
I hate this Plouffe/Parmelee idea. Parmelee is simply a terrible player that shouldn't even be platooning. His .717 OPS vs. righties really isn't much of an upgrade from Plouffe's .654 and 12 HRs. Plus, he OPSed .691 against them last year. In addition, Plouffe would have a lot more range then Parmelee in RF. Since most starting pitchers are right handed, Parmelee would get played more than Plouffe and that just makes me sick. Plouffe has shown he can play at an MLB level and has promise while Parmelee has done nothing of the sort. Oh, and Plouffe hits way more deengers.

Totally agree.

IF somehow Parmalee is on the Twins Roster and playing 80+ games (platoon) - the Twins won't be winning many games. I'd put the over under at 70 Wins.

stringer bell
09-26-2013, 03:30 PM
I hate this Plouffe/Parmelee idea. Parmelee is simply a terrible player that shouldn't even be platooning. His .717 OPS vs. righties really isn't much of an upgrade from Plouffe's .654 and 12 HRs. Plus, he OPSed .691 against them last year. In addition, Plouffe would have a lot more range then Parmelee in RF. Since most starting pitchers are right handed, Parmelee would get played more than Plouffe and that just makes me sick. Plouffe has shown he can play at an MLB level and has promise while Parmelee has done nothing of the sort. Oh, and Plouffe hits way more deengers.No, it isn't fair for RH hitters and I see Plouffe as at least the equal of Parmelee. That said, I don't think Plouffe's OF defense would be superior to Parm. I have more hope for as a hitter than you do, as well. Parmelee is younger, proved that he can play OF this year, and hits lefty. He may be no more than a replacement player, but I think 2014 should be his last chance to prove himself.

twinsfan34
09-26-2013, 03:34 PM
To summarize, perhaps finding middle ground on this issue: It is probably tough to have a strict platoon, in part because position player numbers have shrunk and in part because the right handed part of a platoon would only start somewhere between 23 and 30% of the time. While having a strict platoon doesn't and shouldn't happen much, The Twins have managed to send out far too many hitters going on the weak side of their platoon splits

That's a good summary.


- It hasn't been utilized to it's full potential by Twins management (But I believe it has been done for Development reasons - no reason to 'develop' platoon players - see if they can hit either side)
- It doesn't work for the short-half of the Platoon, that is to be a "platoon" player it is best if they hit RHP well.
- To be solely a "platoon" regular, it would reason the hitter need to hit at least .280 vs that strong side of the platoon (usually RHP).

A question, for those to do some research. Who are some good platoon players? What did the hit vs. LHP or vs RHP. Were these "platoon" players, maybe "combos" is a better word - mostly RH or LH for the "long half" of the platoon (e.g. Pagliarulo vs Leius in 1991).

YourHouseIsMyHouse
09-26-2013, 03:39 PM
One more reason platooning Parmelee and Plouffe is a bad idea is that both are somewhat young. They simply haven't had enough data to justify it. You're basically giving up on both of them too by putting them in that type of role. Parmelee I've given up on, but I think Plouffe has a chance to still be what we'd like him to be. Platoons make more sense for older players (29+) who have wider splits than what these two guys have. To me, it's not a dramatic difference. A player like Valencia is perfect because he's very good against lefties (.875OPS), but is mediocre against righties (.631OPS). He has always been that way and always will and the gap is significant. That makes sense, not this.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
09-26-2013, 03:46 PM
No, it isn't fair for RH hitters and I see Plouffe as at least the equal of Parmelee. That said, I don't think Plouffe's OF defense would be superior to Parm. I have more hope for as a hitter than you do, as well. Parmelee is younger, proved that he can play OF this year, and hits lefty. He may be no more than a replacement player, but I think 2014 should be his last chance to prove himself.

Parmelee will never hit over 20 HRs. Plouffe has shown he can (30HR potential) and probably would have been better had he not been limited by injury (.759 prior). I think he's a better all around hitter, but you are right about the OF defense.

Alex
09-26-2013, 04:04 PM
Look at the article I posted. There were some good examples there

darin617
09-26-2013, 05:10 PM
Basically, the GM nor Manager believe in platooning:

Platoons not attractive to Twins - TwinCities.com (http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_24148640/platoons-not-attractive-twins)

There will always be platoons because the team will never spend the money to sign any actual star players. And if any of the top prospects pan out they will not be willing to pay them.

The Wise One
09-26-2013, 06:31 PM
I am not sure what the fuss is about. For the most part Parmalee does not start when there is a left hander starting. 64 plate appearances in 47 games would indicate he is not starting much against left handers. Plouffe starts at 3B because there wasn't much else for options. What he lacks in BA he makes up for in power over Carroll (when he was here) and Escobar. There is no guarantee of an arrival of Sano, Plouffe will be starting at 3B for the near future. Maybe he doesn't have a long future, but stuff happens. He will be somewhere in the lineup against lefties.
Some players have been all over the outfield. Herman rarely sees a left hander, Parmalee only a little as does Thomas. It would be hard to say there is a set pattern. Sometimes it was a matter of who had a pulse that day, but the mix and match of outfielders would be closer to the loose definition of platoon than not.

Alex
09-26-2013, 08:15 PM
I am not sure what the fuss is about. For the most part Parmalee does not start when there is a left hander starting. 64 plate appearances in 47 games would indicate he is not starting much against left handers. Plouffe starts at 3B because there wasn't much else for options. What he lacks in BA he makes up for in power over Carroll (when he was here) and Escobar. There is no guarantee of an arrival of Sano, Plouffe will be starting at 3B for the near future. Maybe he doesn't have a long future, but stuff happens. He will be somewhere in the lineup against lefties.
Some players have been all over the outfield. Herman rarely sees a left hander, Parmalee only a little as does Thomas. It would be hard to say there is a set pattern. Sometimes it was a matter of who had a pulse that day, but the mix and match of outfielders would be closer to the loose definition of platoon than not.

That's a good point, and when the alternative was Doumit, that's a decent switch.