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View Full Version : Clete Thomas Is The Twins Starting Right Fielder? Really?



John Bonnes
04-21-2012, 03:37 PM
Started this in the game thread, but it's probably it's own topic...

Iif we're looking for a reason to get worked up about Gardy's lineup, forget this 3rd catcher crap - Clete is the topic we should be focusing on. Thomas has STARTED in right field six of the seven games he's been with the Twins. What the hell?

I can understand it a couple of times. For instance, his first game, he gets a pass. His second game he gets a pass because he had the big first game. And I can understand the two starts when the lefties were on the mound and Gardy was protecting/resting Morneau. But that still doesn't explain Game 3 in NYY and tonight. Parmelee is getting screwed here.

Is this just Gardy riding a relatively hot hand, trying to find out what he can do? Or is this going to be a problem/season long obsession?

gunnarthor
04-21-2012, 03:48 PM
I think Gardy is more or less riding the hot hand but also likes his defense and Domit isn't hitting all that well right now. I think you'll see something similiar to how he split Dustin Mohr and Keilty back in 02.

Highabove
04-21-2012, 03:52 PM
"He really get's after it"

Bark's Lounge
04-21-2012, 03:57 PM
I agree with John that Parmelee is getting screwed. Parmelee needs to get the reps in RF as 1B may not be his for a couple years or more. No offense to Clete, but Parmelee is the better option... now and for a good distance into the Twins Future.

SDTwinsFan
04-21-2012, 03:58 PM
Maybe this is Gardy's way of trying to force TR to get Parmalee back down to AAA for more experience? Not that Parmalee looks bad, but he definitely could benefit from some time in AAA.

Seth Stohs
04-21-2012, 04:00 PM
Doumit is doing a lot of catching, and I believe he played RF against a left-handed pitcher. Sometimes players just need a change of scenery and an opportunity, and I'm willing to give some ABs to Clete Thomas to see if he's an example. Most likely, he eventually proves himself to be a 4th/5th OF, but let it play out.

I agree that Parmelee is the one hurt by it. With Doumit catching more, Mauer is at 1B, and Parmelee isn't getting time in RF (which may be good too). He should be in Rochester.

Bark's Lounge
04-21-2012, 04:07 PM
I understand the whole "Parmelee needs more time in the minors argument". The truth of the matter is that he has done nothing on the field to indicate that course of action. Parmelee is 24 with 6 years in the Minors and he is MLB ready. At the end of the year baseball fans will be impressed with his stat line and he will get some ROY votes. I feel very confident I will not Eat Crow on this statement.

Thrylos
04-21-2012, 04:11 PM
I agree with Seth re: Parmelee being in Rochester. Maybe he should have been optioned instead of Luke Hughes being cut the other day.

To the original question: It seems to me that Gardenhire is doing what we wanted him to do forever: Have a true platoon. I have no issues with a Thomas/Plouffe RF platoon. Doumit can play there occasionally as well, but both he and Parmelee are as fleet of feet as Kubel was. So for the sake of defense I'd rather see the Thomas/Plouffe platoon. Would pretty much work like the originally envisioned Revere/Plouffe platoon (at LF) but at this point I think that Thomas maybe brings something more than Revere with the bat.

If Doumit and Mauer catch 50% of the time and the other is either on 1B (Mauer) or at RF (Doumit) I have absolutely no problem with that.

Shane Wahl
04-21-2012, 04:11 PM
It's not simply that he needs more time in the minors. He just needs to be playing every day. There is no reason to start Clete over him in RF. If Gardenhire is doing this for defensive purposes, then Willingham should be in RF and Revere up and in LF.

Bark's Lounge
04-21-2012, 04:18 PM
Is this just Gardy riding a relatively hot hand, trying to find out what he can do? Or is this going to be a problem/season long obsession?

In regards to this portion of John's question:
I think it is too early to tell. The fact that this is on most Twins Fans minds is pretty revealing. Gardy suffers from some kind of Valentine's Syndrome for certain players. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is not the case this time.

twinsnorth49
04-21-2012, 04:19 PM
Doumit is doing a lot of catching, and I believe he played RF against a left-handed pitcher. Sometimes players just need a change of scenery and an opportunity, and I'm willing to give some ABs to Clete Thomas to see if he's an example. Most likely, he eventually proves himself to be a 4th/5th OF, but let it play out.

I agree that Parmelee is the one hurt by it. With Doumit catching more, Mauer is at 1B, and Parmelee isn't getting time in RF (which may be good too). He should be in Rochester.

So who's the starting RF then? If Thomas is a 4th or 5th then who takes the majority of the time, Doumit? Plouffe? I think Gardy is playing the hot hand and seeing if it continues ,but it doesn't appear we have a regular RF.

I've said before that Parmelee's days are numbered, not because of bad play but simply what's best for him in the long run. If things continue to progress, Morneau will get more turns at 1st base, with Mauer and perhaps Doumit ultimately taking more reps as well. That leaves Parmelee struggling to find playing time there as well as in RF.

Thomas isn't going to Rochester so if the Twins want Parmelee to continue to develop, he should go to Rochester for the time being.

John Bonnes
04-21-2012, 04:30 PM
So I made at least one mistake - Thomas has only started five games, not six. He played last last night but did not start versus the lefty. So that's good news. It is looking like mostly a platoon in RF between Thomas and Plouffe.

But it still raises the question - why is Thomas starting over Parmelee ever?
- When Mauer is catching, Doumit could always be the LHed guy in right field.
- And then just "rest" Mauer at 1B or DH when facing a southpaw.
- If facing a southpaw AND Mauer needs rest, then I guess I can see Thomas starting over Parmelee occasionally, but it's not like Parmelee can't play right field. He played about half his games there in the minors.

Thomas should be getting two starts a week, not five. And it's not like we don't know who this guy is. Three hits in his first three games doesn't override a 1000+ plate appearances in AAA where he hit .252. Especially not when he's 28.

Thrylos
04-21-2012, 04:38 PM
- If facing a southpaw AND Mauer needs rest, then I guess I can see Thomas starting over Parmelee occasionally, but it's not like Parmelee can't play right field. He played about half his games there in the minors.
.

In that case, Plouffe should be the right fielder :)

I've seen Parmelee play RF in about 10-15 games now, most of them with the Rock Cats, some in ST and I think one or two with the Twins. He is very immobile out there. His range is not any better than Doumit's. He, like Doumit, is an outfielder on paper (like Kubel was.) I think that his future is at 1B (and with Sano and Harrison coming up and Morneau there for another season) his window there will be short... so unless he really concentrates in one position (he is not excellent defender in 1B) he will end up like Kubel (a DH and PT fielder) sooner than later.

Bark's Lounge
04-21-2012, 04:45 PM
(he is not excellent defender in 1B)

Parmelee was voted the best defensive 1B in the Eastern League last season.

silverslugger
04-21-2012, 04:53 PM
I certainly don't consider Clete Thomas' production, 3/13 overall and 0/4 in his most recent start, "playing the hot hand". Clete Thomas has been described as nothing more than replacement level by most of the blogosphere since the Twins picked him up. So, what's the over/under on number of AB's between Thomas and Butera that is acceptable for the Twins at the end of the season? 250? 300? 400?

minn55441
04-21-2012, 04:53 PM
I think Gardy wants to find a right fielder and we don't have one on this roster.

Plouffe is an athletic SS that was forced into the outfield.
Doumit is a catcher that is still nimble enough to run around and catch the ball.
Parmalee is 1B that is still young enough to run around and catch the ball.
Revere is an outfielder but has no power and a below avg arm for right field.

Did I miss anyone? Clete is an outfielder and is above average in the field, both in terms of his arm and his range. It is yet to be determined if he can cut it at the plate. He only has 13 At bats for us. I think Gardy wants to give him a real shot, just to see what he can do. If it clicks for him in Minnesota and he turns into a .280, 20 HR guy, great for him great for us. We just got the steal of the year. If it turns out that he is a career 4th outfielder or late inning defensive replacement, at least they gave him a shot. I really didn't follow his career with the Tiger's, but he got 116 AB's in 2008 with 1 HR .772 OPS and 275 Ab's in 2009 with 7 HR .709 OPS

Nothing since 2009. I'm sure TR and Gardy had a talk before they ever picked him up and decided the kid needs a shot. Give him 100AB's maybe 200AB playing every day. If he makes it great, if not it was worth the risk.

In my mind there is a big difference between getting 200 at bats spread out over an entire season, many of them as a pinch hitter, rather than the chance to play every day and get 25 to 30 at bats per week.

twinsnorth49
04-21-2012, 05:04 PM
Parmelee was voted the best defensive 1B in the Eastern League last season.

he was probably was an all-star in little league too.

twinsnorth49
04-21-2012, 05:18 PM
So I made at least one mistake - Thomas has only started five games, not six. He played last last night but did not start versus the lefty. So that's good news. It is looking like mostly a platoon in RF between Thomas and Plouffe.

But it still raises the question - why is Thomas starting over Parmelee ever?
- When Mauer is catching, Doumit could always be the LHed guy in right field.
- And then just "rest" Mauer at 1B or DH when facing a southpaw.
- If facing a southpaw AND Mauer needs rest, then I guess I can see Thomas starting over Parmelee occasionally, but it's not like Parmelee can't play right field. He played about half his games there in the minors.

Thomas should be getting two starts a week, not five. And it's not like we don't know who this guy is. Three hits in his first three games doesn't override a 1000+ plate appearances in AAA where he hit .252. Especially not when he's 28.

I agree with what you're saying if the decision is to keep Parmelee in the lineup, which he needs to be in order to stay up. The question then is, why did they even bother to pick up Thomas? They seem to have just as good options already in house.

Bark's Lounge
04-21-2012, 05:20 PM
he was probably was an all-star in little league too.

I get it. You was thinks was Parmelee stinks. I was not trying to was offend you. Point was taken was.

twinsnorth49
04-21-2012, 05:25 PM
I get it. You was thinks was Parmelee stinks. I was not trying to was offend you. Point was taken was.

I'm not offended, sorry for the comment, couldn't resist, it's a problem I have. I don't think Parmelee stinks at all, I just feel that he's in a bit of limbo especially if Morneau starts playing more 1st base, I don't necessarily think he should be in limbo. I kind of like the idea of him playing RF but picking up Thomas has muddled that situation as well.

I don't think he needs more seasoning so much as I think it would just benefit from playing all the time. If that's with the big club the I'm ok with that, he just should play.

Bark's Lounge
04-21-2012, 05:27 PM
The question then is, why did they even bother to pick up Thomas? They seem to have just as good options already in house.

Thomas can play all 3 OF positions very well and has a good arm. He can also be viable offensively in certain situations. Benson would fit that same bill, but unlike Parmelee, Benson can use a little more time in the minors and has a high upside, unlike Clete Thomas.

Bark's Lounge
04-21-2012, 05:49 PM
I'm not offended, sorry for the comment, couldn't resist, it's a problem I have. I don't think Parmelee stinks at all, I just feel that he's in a bit of limbo especially if Morneau starts playing more 1st base, I don't necessarily think he should be in limbo. I kind of like the idea of him playing RF but picking up Thomas has muddled that situation as well.

I don't think he needs more seasoning so much as I think it would just benefit from playing all the time. If that's with the big club the I'm ok with that, he just should play.

This is all banter for fun - not to be taken seriously. I agree with you that Parmelee should play almost everyday. Right now, I think he is playing enough, but the Twins are treading a fine line right now with his playing time. He will be sent down if they take this any further with Thomas' playing time along with other 1B options. My problem is the following:

- The pitching stinks and will stink for the foreseeable future. Thus making this season a non contending one
- In the event of these kind of seasons, doesn't it make more sense to get the young positive projectable players MLB experience to speed up the rebuilding process and
their development
- It is important to keep the fans interested, but most who like baseball will invest their time whether the teams sucks or is a contender
- I feel like the front office does not know how to be honest with the fans. Willingham, Carroll, Marquis and the countless less than average relievers they signed was
unnecessary for the most part... a smoke screen. Rebuilding teams need to fill spots, but I am not sure the Willingham and Carroll signing were needed because we have
Benson, Dozier and a few others who could have filled these roles and learned on the fly. Rebuilding can be painful, but putting young players in starting spots can
expediate the process

Top Gun
04-21-2012, 06:39 PM
CHC: RHP Michael Bowden acquired from Red Sox (http://www.mlbdepthcharts.com/2009/11/michael-bowden-rhp-boston-red-sox-64.html)

jctwins
04-21-2012, 06:56 PM
Started this in the game thread, but it's probably it's own topic...

Iif we're looking for a reason to get worked up about Gardy's lineup, forget this 3rd catcher crap - Clete is the topic we should be focusing on. Thomas has STARTED in right field six of the seven games he's been with the Twins. What the hell?

I can understand it a couple of times. For instance, his first game, he gets a pass. His second game he gets a pass because he had the big first game. And I can understand the two starts when the lefties were on the mound and Gardy was protecting/resting Morneau. But that still doesn't explain Game 3 in NYY and tonight. Parmelee is getting screwed here.

Is this just Gardy riding a relatively hot hand, trying to find out what he can do? Or is this going to be a problem/season long obsession?

This post is pretty negative for what is suppose to be a Twins message board. Give Gardy a break.

mike wants wins
04-21-2012, 07:42 PM
A Twins' message board is for talking about the TWins, not just cheering them on. I can't believe anyone would think Bonnes is anything but a huge Twins' fan.....I appreciate an honest discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the team, and I hope this site never turns into just a cheerleading location.....

twinsnorth49
04-21-2012, 09:03 PM
A Twins' message board is for talking about the TWins, not just cheering them on. I can't believe anyone would think Bonnes is anything but a huge Twins' fan.....I appreciate an honest discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the team, and I hope this site never turns into just a cheerleading location.....

............................+1

pjnelly
04-21-2012, 09:21 PM
Thomas has now struck out more than half the time he has been up to bat this season. Why exactly did Grady not pinch hit for him in the 9th? I saw the strikeout coming when he was in the on deck circle.

twinsnorth49
04-21-2012, 09:25 PM
I'm pretty sure Thomas starts his swing while the pitcher is still in his wind-up.

Ultima Ratio
04-21-2012, 09:47 PM
Well, playing the hot hand surely is not a guy who goes 0-4 with 3 k. If that's hot, then Butera will be have the hot hand at C in no time.

greengoblinrulz
04-21-2012, 10:37 PM
the problem with Thomas playing to me comes back to Morneau not being able to play 1B regularly. Willingham should then be the fulltime DH & Revere shoulda been the fulltime LF. I was looking forward to a Plouffe/Tosoni type platoon in RF. With Parmelee playing 1B, it weakens the defense at both 1B and LF

Bark's Lounge
04-21-2012, 10:44 PM
the problem with Thomas playing to me comes back to Morneau not being able to play 1B regularly. Willingham should then be the fulltime DH & Revere shoulda been the fulltime LF. I was looking forward to a Plouffe/Tosoni type platoon in RF. With Parmelee playing 1B, it weakens the defense at both 1B and LF

How does Parmelee weaken the defense? Where does Morneau fit into your plans if Willingham is DH? Your post was not clear.

nokomismod
04-21-2012, 11:20 PM
Because of Parmalee's lack of speed, I would rather see Clete/Plouffe out in RF until Benson is ready. Revere's lack of power and lack of arm will sink him until he shows at AAA that he can increase his OBP.

Bark's Lounge
04-21-2012, 11:32 PM
Because of Parmalee's lack of speed, I would rather see Clete/Plouffe out in RF until Benson is ready. Revere's lack of power and lack of arm will sink him until he shows at AAA that he can increase his OBP.

In my estimation Parmelee has no less speed than Cuddy did, It is not Revere's lack of power that will hold him back, but his suspect arm, and i think that will ultimately be the deal breaker with him.

whydidnt
04-21-2012, 11:41 PM
In that case, Plouffe should be the right fielder :)

I've seen Parmelee play RF in about 10-15 games now, most of them with the Rock Cats, some in ST and I think one or two with the Twins. He is very immobile out there. His range is not any better than Doumit's. He, like Doumit, is an outfielder on paper (like Kubel was.) I think that his future is at 1B (and with Sano and Harrison coming up and Morneau there for another season) his window there will be short... so unless he really concentrates in one position (he is not excellent defender in 1B) he will end up like Kubel (a DH and PT fielder) sooner than later.

I haven't seen enough of Parmalee to see if can play RF or not, but the Twins must agree with your assessment, based upon the limited appearances there. At the major league level he has hit well, though and it would be nice to get his bat in the lineup regularly. I would rather see Plouffe out there everyday than Thomas as well. I doubt he'll produce any less offensively, and he's athletic enough to be a decent fielder, if not experienced. Reality is that with our lineup, we should not be basing our starting RF on who has the best glove. You can get away with that to a large extent up the middle, but seriously, going with a corner OF because he's your best glove guy doesn't make sense to me. Whoever it is, I don't really like see Thomas take regular at bats from pretty much any of the possibilities on the Twins roster right now (Parmalee, Doumit, Plouffe, heck even Burroughs, who I still don't get why he's on the roster).

Bark's Lounge
04-21-2012, 11:53 PM
heck even Burroughs, who I still don't get why he's on the roster

My assumption is that Burroughs serves as a quick replacement to Valencia as he is not favored by Gardy and his staff, which at this point am in total agreement with them. Valencia continuously has bad plate appearances and is a below average fielder because of his range. I would not be surprised if Burroughs is our starting 3B by mid-May. He can most definitely field and he will hit a bit (singles mostly).

twinsnorth49
04-22-2012, 12:59 AM
I'm pretty confident that Parmelee won't strike out 3-4 times a game, he should have been in the lineup tonight and deserves more serious consideration in RF. As it's been pointed out by a few posters, we got by pretty well with Cuddyer and Kubel, Parmelee can surely cover as much ground as those guys.

Valencia is a mess, I'd like to see Burroughs get a couple games in, Danny seems to think he's entitled to play 3rd base. The poor plays on defense tonight had nothing to do with his range, just looked lost, no confidence. His lack of discipline at the plate is getting tiresome, 14 SO's and too many pop-ups to count.

Riverbrian
04-22-2012, 09:39 AM
Some may not see the value in Burroughs in his current role. Oddly enough... I agree. Not much value in Burroughs thus far with his playing time.

However, Velencia needs a message benching right now. I'm not talking about 1 game on the bench either.

Errors happen but its the type of errors that he makes... The blowing off of fundamentals. His boot in the 7th with the bases loaded was inexcusable. He didn't move his feet. He settled for a backhand. One out... bases loaded and he's fine with waiting and reaching for a routine grounder with a high probability of getting the lead runner at home and a fairly decent chance of an inning ending DP.

Anyone have the game taped? Watch it. I know the Carroll error didnt help the health of the inning but The Carroll error at least happened with effort.

With Velencia... Longoria hit a routine ground ball to his right with an easy hop. If Velencia plays that ball PROfessionally... Aggressively(which the situation demands), Burnett could have escaped the inning. Velencia had TIME to move right while moving IN at an angle to get centered for a throw home or continue that momentum for a step on third and throw across for a 5-3 DP.

Laying back on the ball and settling for a backhand reach (which he dropped) was the work of a player who drifts mentally. Not engaged enough to move his feet with the bases loaded. He isnt hitting enough to tolerate it. Plouffe... Burroughs... It does not matter. Sit Velencia for a message sending amount of games and tell him why.

Im not saying give up on him. I'm sittiing him until he understands that he doesnt have a major league job sewn up. His discipline in the field and at the plate is the reason why he is a below par MLB third baseman. He could be above average in my opinion and have a decent career. I'm beginning to doubt the kid will pull out of it.

Seth Stohs
04-22-2012, 10:01 AM
Thomas will be back in the lineup today (Sunday), Gardy just said on his show, because he is 3-6 lifetime against Jeff Niemann.

John Bonnes
04-22-2012, 10:04 AM
Gardenhire said Thomas is in right field again today. That's 6 of 8 games. At least it sounds like there is some reasoning - Thomas is 3 of 6 in his career vs Niemann. Thomas is now hitting .143.

jorgenswest
04-22-2012, 10:16 AM
Disappointing reasoning. A manager should know better. I want my manager to know better. The 3 for 6 has no meaning and no predictive value.

xtwin
04-22-2012, 10:19 AM
Clete spent the last 2 years in the Minors. Look at his stats and explain why the Twins picked him up. The Twins cut better players than him.

Riverbrian
04-22-2012, 10:27 AM
With Clete Thomas getting playing time, it's really not hard to figure out.

Someone thought Thomas was a ballplayer and someone had to be an advocate for Thomas to sign him. So now someone is going to give Thomas every chance to prove that someone was right.

Any one of us would have done the same thing. It's called backing your convictions.

Disclaimer... I'm not saying I agree with those convictions. They are not my convictions. These convictions belong to someone with actual influence.

If I was in Charge. Willingham would be in RF and Revere would be in LF nearly every day.

Bark's Lounge
04-22-2012, 11:42 AM
Some may not see the value in Burroughs in his current role. Oddly enough... I agree. Not much value in Burroughs thus far with his playing time.

However, Velencia needs a message benching right now. I'm not talking about 1 game on the bench either.

Errors happen but its the type of errors that he makes... The blowing off of fundamentals. His boot in the 7th with the bases loaded was inexcusable. He didn't move his feet. He settled for a backhand. One out... bases loaded and he's fine with waiting and reaching for a routine grounder with a high probability of getting the lead runner at home and a fairly decent chance of an inning ending DP.

Anyone have the game taped? Watch it. I know the Carroll error didnt help the health of the inning but The Carroll error at least happened with effort.

With Velencia... Longoria hit a routine ground ball to his right with an easy hop. If Velencia plays that ball PROfessionally... Aggressively(which the situation demands), Burnett could have escaped the inning. Velencia had TIME to move right while moving IN at an angle to get centered for a throw home or continue that momentum for a step on third and throw across for a 5-3 DP.

Laying back on the ball and settling for a backhand reach (which he dropped) was the work of a player who drifts mentally. Not engaged enough to move his feet with the bases loaded. He isnt hitting enough to tolerate it. Plouffe... Burroughs... It does not matter. Sit Velencia for a message sending amount of games and tell him why.

Im not saying give up on him. I'm sittiing him until he understands that he doesnt have a major league job sewn up. His discipline in the field and at the plate is the reason why he is a below par MLB third baseman. He could be above average in my opinion and have a decent career. I'm beginning to doubt the kid will pull out of it.

Well put! I am in total agreement.

Highabove
04-22-2012, 01:17 PM
Thomas is mostly a career Minor Leaguer.

The Twins will figure this out soon.

Seth Stohs
04-22-2012, 01:24 PM
I tweeted this a few minutes ago: "Thinking that the Twins 'see-what-Clete-Thomas-has-got' experiment may be short-lived cuz they are seeing what Clete Thomas has got!"

John Bonnes
04-22-2012, 06:17 PM
It'll be interesting to see what this week holds.
a) he's been terrible and
b) they're finally facing a bunch of southpaws.
BTW, the "extra innings" in the Gleeman and the Geek podcast has a lot of Clete talk.

one_eyed_jack
04-22-2012, 09:43 PM
I was fine with giving Clete a shot, but I really hope this experiment has come to a merciful end. Never mind Jason Kubel, this guy has had me longing for Jason Repko and Jason Tyner!

And with Casilla and Valencia doing Butera-esque things in the batter's box, we've basically had 3 automatic outs at the bottom of the lineup lately, which has been frustrating.