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Minnesota Wild season 2018-2019

Minnesota Wild Talk Yesterday, 09:55 PM
I figured I would start a new forum for the upcoming season. Most Wild players have been in MN for the past two weeks going through capta...
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2018 Vikings In Season Thread

Minnesota Vikings Talk Yesterday, 09:55 PM
This is correct, they would lose cap room next year. He's going to stay on the team, the question is what role should he have. I'd li...
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Article: 2018 Twins Highlights: Top Pitching Performances

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:05 PM
One of the strange things about the 2018 season for the Twins was that the one thing that seems to be a constant organizational weakness...
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Article: What if This is the Max for Kepler?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:55 PM
At the end of the 2018 Major League Baseball season the Minnesota Twins had a trio of main narratives. First and foremost, this was a tea...
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2018 MLB Postseason Discussion Thread

Other Baseball Yesterday, 08:35 PM
How about a postseason game thread? Any MLB postseason discussion can just go here.
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Did Minnesota Just Summon the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come?

In the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts.

The last of these phantoms, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, is most fearsome of all. Why? Because it represents what the future holds for Scrooge if he does not change his ways.

Scrooge awakens from this haunting experience a new man, steered back toward a righteous path by the vision of a dire future.

I'm not saying the Twins traded for Chris Carter to make a similar impression on Miguel Sano.

I'm only saying it'd make a lot of sense.
Image courtesy of Andy Marlin, USA Today
I feel for Carter. Had he come along 10 years earlier, he might've been viewed much differently as an asset.

Not so long ago, the thought of a 29-year-old who led the league in home runs being forced to settle for a one-year, $3.5 million deal (as Carter did with the Yankees last February) would've been inconceivable. Forty-one homers got you paid. Period.

But it is the reality of today's MLB, where strikeout-prone sluggers who lack complementary offensive skills, or any kind of defensive value, are not commodities. Carter was toiling away in Triple-A before Minnesota traded cash considerations to the Angels for him on Wednesday.

After signing (once again, in late February) a minor-league contract with the Halos, he launched 13 homers with a .600 slugging percentage at Salt Lake, but the big-league club had no use for him.

Carter will head to the minors in his new organization, too, but maybe not for long. The Twins evidently see a possible need for him, which might speak to the level of concern around Joe Mauer.

Surely it's coincidence that Carter arrives in Rochester just as Sano (likely) departs to meet the Twins in Seattle. Surely it is. But...

If you could handpick a "Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come" equivalent for Miguel's Ebenezer – in all of baseball – it would be Chris Carter.

That's no disrespect to Carter, whose 158 home runs would tie Brian Dozier for 12th in Twins history. His power is prodigious, and has been since he was a 20-year-old mashing 39 home runs at High-A. But his grievously high strikeout rates have suffocated the impact of his immense pop.

To be fair, Carter's still playing ball, and has a chance to return to the majors soon. He's hardly a worst-case scenario in the grand scheme. But he was also never gifted with the innate talent of Sano, whose shine has greatly diminished since an incandescent debut in 2015.

Even as one who tries to give Sano every benefit of the doubt, I can't ignore the overwhelming evidence of a player who has strayed badly off course. Underwhelming numbers, tons of missed time, off-the-field allegations, and reports from those around him of an inexplicably lackadaisical attitude.

Sano's career strikeout rate (36.1%) is considerably higher than Carter's (33.3%). It was at an outrageous 40% before he went down this year. While Sano still looks reasonably capable at third base, he's undeniably trending the wrong direction.

The majestic power won't go away. But neither has that of Carter, who now finds himself a journeyman at age 31. Perhaps, if they have a passing encounter on Thursday, Sano will make a note of it.

I found this quote from Paul Molitor, while an MLB investigation floated over Sano's head at Twins camp, rather interesting:

“I think the trend has been he’s figuring some things out; some things have been a little harder to get through to him,” Molitor said. “At times I’ve tried to involve people that might be able to provide a voice that will penetrate. We’re just trying to get him to see the bigger picture.

“He loves to play. It’s all in front of him. He, as much as anyone in that clubhouse, wants what’s in front of him, but I’m not sure he understands what is required to reap those rewards — of competing, winning, financial security, taking care of his family. We’re trying.”

The decision to bring Carter aboard was obviously not motivated by a desire to send some overly dramatic message to Sano. But the 24-year-old, very much at a career crossroads, would be wise to take it as such.

The thought of that future, given his infinitely higher potential, should scare the dickens out of him.

  • Blake, Mike Frasier Law, nicksaviking and 21 others like this

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45 Comments

Awesome write up! Carter be damned. The problem with Sano is not talent, it's between his ears. This is NOT about his weight! He's an elite athlete who seems to carry his weight/muscle quite well, thank you. But long term, it absolutely has to be a concern. And I can't believe that his rehab and off season publicity hasn't affected him, to some degree. But his biggest problem is between his ears. Not just getting in better shape for a longer and healthier life and career, but just understanding his ability and how to play ML baseball. He just needs to understand how talented he truly is. You don't need to try to blast a 450' HR when a 415' HR would suffice. Or how a simple hit, a sacrifice or even a BB when pitchers are afraid to throw to you could make a difference.
    • rukavina, Jerr, Loosey and 15 others like this
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yarnivek1972
May 24 2018 06:27 AM
Are we certain Carter doesn’t represent the Ghost of Christmas Present with regards to Sano?
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IndianaTwin
May 24 2018 06:33 AM

Are we certain Carter doesn’t represent the Ghost of Christmas Present with regards to Sano?


Enough with these literature references. Give me some math!
    • ashburyjohn, Oldgoat_MN, Circus Boy and 4 others like this
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JaleelWhite FanClub
May 24 2018 07:15 AM

 

Enough with these literature references. Give me some math!

 

How about a little algebra?

 

Solve for x

Carter + Sano = (x)K

 

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, Jerr and 11 others like this
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Carole Keller
May 24 2018 07:38 AM

Are we certain Carter doesn’t represent the Ghost of Christmas Present with regards to Sano?


No, Nick got it exactly right. Carter is Sano’s future if he doesn’t make a change to his present.
    • Blake, Mike Frasier Law, Oldgoat_MN and 6 others like this

 

Enough with these literature references. Give me some math!

NO math, pahleeze!!!!!

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Hosken Bombo Disco
May 24 2018 08:34 AM
Nice photo. Imagine that, an AL Central team winning in Yankees Stadium.
    • JaleelWhite FanClub likes this

How about a little algebra?

Solve for x
Carter + Sano = (x)K

i wish I could double like this
    • ashburyjohn and Minny505 like this

Convincing someone that appears to think that they can hit any pitch out of the park that selectivity will get him easier pitches to hit must not be an easy thing to do.

    • Kelly Vance likes this
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tarheeltwinsfan
May 24 2018 09:05 AM

Great article. I hope Miguel Sano reads it, and reads itagain, thinks long and hard about what the article is saying to him, and then talks to someone he respects, who will be honest with him...not just someone who tells Miguel what Miguel wants to hear.

    • jun likes this
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woolywoolhouse
May 24 2018 09:15 AM

If the Twins wants to fix Sano's attitude, there's only one proven way to do it:

 

Have Torii Hunter punch Nick Punto.

    • 70charger, spycake, bizaff and 3 others like this

 

He just needs to understand how talented he truly is.

 

Actually I think that might be the problem: He thinks he can rely on his immense talent and that will be enough.

 

    • JaleelWhite FanClub and caninatl04 like this

I would hope between Mollie/Hunter/Cuddy/Morneau/Kaat/Oliva/Blyleven/Morris which all have ties to the organization that someone could get through to him!Those are some fairly successful names within the game of baseball.If they can't get through to him assuming they have or will try then I don't know what to say about where his head is.Actually I would know what to say but will defer to keep it clean. 

Scratches head.  Thinks about Buxton and literary references...

    • 70charger, jkcarew and Doctor Wu like this
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ashburyjohn
May 24 2018 09:48 AM

i wish I could double like this

You can. Click Unlike, then click Like again. :)

 

Anyhoo, Nick's right to say that the Twins didn't sign Carter as an instructive lesson for Sano. But the parallels are there if Sano wants to be a student of the current market.

    • Sconnie likes this

I hate to even say it, but might this move be about Joe Mauer's concussion symptoms?And the fact that the Twins are highly susceptible to leftys?If Joe can't return soon, Morrison stays at 1B.Is Sano then your 3B or DH?If he's your 3B and Escobar goes back to SS, then who's your DH?Carter simply provides another RH option.

    • Kelly Vance and caninatl04 like this
Of course, Sano can play defense, which Carter can't, at all. Sano is also much younger. Could he go that way? Sure. Will he? I don't think so.
    • Drew and jkcarew like this
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theBOMisthebomb
May 24 2018 11:09 AM
How is Sano different than Carter?

Since the door has been opened, who would we bring in for Buxton's ghost?

Mario Mendoza?Maybe more position-relevant....Jordan Schafer?Sam Fuld?Peter Bourjos?

 

The idea that player A has inferior attitude, work ethic, or self-discipline because he's "fat" or because he has a certain type of body language or even because someone said he did something bad...and that player B necessarily has superior attitude, work ethic, self-discipline because he's fit, or because he "looks like he's always trying really hard", or because "he never gets in trouble"; that failure for player B is acceptable, but not acceptable for player A...I feel this when I read some articles and/or responses here.It's a dangerous and slippery slope...simply because we don't know.We think we know.But we don't know.

 

Results are the only thing that matters and the only thing verifiable.No matter how talented you are, it's hard to be a great MLB player.It just is.

    • Mike Sixel, gagu and Doctor Wu like this
Hot off the stove: Sano activated, Cave optioned.
    • Halsey Hall, Sconnie and MangLitch like this

 

Of course, Sano can play defense, which Carter can't, at all. Sano is also much younger. Could he go that way? Sure. Will he? I don't think so.

I hope you're right, but I am curious. What is it about what we've seen from Sano that makes you think he is unlikely to become Carter-like by the time he's Carter's age?

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nicksaviking
May 24 2018 12:09 PM

 

I hope you're right, but I am curious. What is it about what we've seen from Sano that makes you think he is unlikely to become Carter-like by the time he's Carter's age?

 

I guess I wouldn't try to rate it anywhere on the likely - unlikely scale, but I'd say the fact that plenty of us at the age of 24 thought we knew way more than we actually did only to look back at those years with quite a bit of chagrin and resentment.

 

Most of us turn out OK in the long run.

    • gagu likes this

Y

 

I guess I wouldn't try to rate it anywhere on the likely - unlikely scale, but I'd say the fact that plenty of us at the age of 24 thought we knew way more than we actually did only to look back at those years with quite a bit of chagrin and resentment.

 

Most of us turn out OK in the long run.

OK, no argument there. I'd just point out that, for most of us, turning out OK in the long run allowed for a longer learning curve than a professional baseball player's career. 

    • Oldgoat_MN and adorduan like this
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Kelly Vance
May 24 2018 12:15 PM

Nick, I like the Dickensian flavor of this article.

 

Thing is, Sano had a leg injury and its easy to get overweight when you can't run/jog/etc. Being out of shape can lead to leg pulls, but so can being unbalanced in strengthening quads while ignoring hams.  But I think it is a little early to say....

 

"While Sano still looks reasonably capable at third base, he's undeniably trending the wrong direction."

 

It may be an accurate statement in some way, but Sano has two dingers in his short rehab assignment, so he may bounce back quick and make you eat your words.  Remember, he had 28 homers last year and made the All Star team, and then he missed a lot of time late. I think to be fair, anyone who was an all star and got injured and is struggling to get back is trending in the wrong direction, but I think that is maybe an exaggeration, and only temporary. Maybe very temporary.

 

Sano is still a kid in his head. He has not reached the executive level of judgment and brain function yet. He is a late bloomer as far as maturity goes. Gotta be patient with the kids. 

 

I get to see the Twins and Mariners Friday night in Seattle. Im stoked. 

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this
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yarnivek1972
May 24 2018 12:20 PM

I guess I wouldn't try to rate it anywhere on the likely - unlikely scale, but I'd say the fact that plenty of us at the age of 24 thought we knew way more than we actually did only to look back at those years with quite a bit of chagrin and resentment.

Most of us turn out OK in the long run.


“In the long run, we’re all dead.”

John Maynard Keynes
    • USAFChief, SD Buhr, adorduan and 1 other like this

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