Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Zulgad: Is MLB really making return about dollars and cents?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:24 PM
https://www.skornort...lars-and-cents/   The owners have made their proposal to the players. The players association will now have t...
Full topic ›

Torii, LaTroy Participate in The Athletic's Discussio...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:49 AM
Doug Glanville of The Athletic hosted a panel of fellow former African American baseball players that included Torii Hunter and LaTroy Ha...
Full topic ›

Prospects Live 2-round mock

MLB Draft Today, 09:22 AM
I figured many would have interest in this. Hopefully, we have a draft in some variety this year, but in my contacts with the league offi...
Full topic ›

Reusse: Can Catchers be kept Safe during the outbreak?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:47 PM
 https://www.startrib...reak/570451492/     Patrick Reusse asks a legit question during this time... The key to any return...
Full topic ›

Virtual Twins Baseball Megathread

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:30 PM
Moving forward this will house every game-thread in the comments below until real baseball hopefully comes back. I should have done this...
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs


Trending (3/24): Roster Battles

After a one week absence, Trending is back and better than ever. (But only because it’s better than the first and only week it has appeared.) Let's take a look at some of the roster battles that are going on.
Image courtesy of Brock Beauchamp
The Starting Rotation

All along the general consensus was that Tyler Duffey would be in the Twins rotation. Based on how he performed down the stretch last year, why wouldn’t he be? MLB might as well be short for “What have you done for me lately?” because, lately, Tyler Duffey hasn’t done much. He’s gone from “it’s going to take a disaster to not be in the rotation” to “well his name is written in pencil, not ink” to “well we can’t send Nolasco down, so….”.

The trend line is pointing solidly to Tommy Milone as being the lone lefty in the rotation. And after Nolasco’s strong performance Wednesday - coupled with Duffey not pitching well against minor leaguers - it appears Nolasco has regained the lead in the quest for the fifth and final rotation spot. That could leave Duffey out in the cold (of Rochester).

Trending up, on the other hand, is the Red Wings starting rotation which will include Jose Berrios, Alex Meyer and Tyler Duffey. Taylor Rogers, though, will start the season in the bullpen.

The Bullpen

The group of Glen Perkins, Kevin Jepsen, Trevor May and Casey Fien will form an average (or better) back end. Non-roster lefty Fernando Abad is expected to join them. When Duffey appeared poised for the rotation, that forced Nolasco to take up one of the two remaining bullpen spots. But now with that race tightening up, there could be two spots available in the bullpen.

J.R. Graham was optioned to Rochester on Wednesday. Michael Tonkin finally had a decent showing on Tuesday after giving up runs in each of his last three outings, including two runs in each of his last two one-inning appearances. Tonkin might get a longer look (i.e. into the season) just because he is out of options, but he’s been trending the wrong direction all spring.
Some other names to keep an eye on are Dan Runzler, a lefty who has allowed seven men on base in eight innings, and potential LOOGY Ryan O’Rourke, who has been lights-out in his 5 ⅔ innings this spring. Both of those men are trending in the right direction.

(Edit: Yes, Ryan Pressly should absolutely be considered for the bullpen and is probably a favorite to secure the spot if there is only one opening. If there are two spots open, Pressly has to be considered a near-lock.)

Another name that popped up this afternoon, thanks to Steve Lein, is Tyler Duffey. If he’s not in the rotation, how dominant could he be in the bullpen (a la Trevor May)? You also have the insurance built in that he doesn’t need to be the sixth starter in the organization (Berrios). It’s kinda crazy - and not a move I would make this season - but definitely something that could be worth considering as the roster continues to take shape (and you believe the best 25 should go north).

The Bench

Danny Santana missed seven days of games due to a sore wrist within the last two weeks but has started to hit (5 for 11) in his last three games. He’s been playing a variety of positions, which gives him a little value. The reality is that Santana, another out-of-options player, is going to be on the 25-man whether he hits or not. The hope here, though, is that Molitor can avoid using him as anything but a late-innings pinch-runner when it’s absolutely necessary. I’d still consider him to be trending down, but the slope isn’t as steep as it was ten days ago.
Oswaldo Arcia is in a very similar place. Only Arcia’s (potential) value is in his bat and not his versatility. Arcia teased us in 2014 and frustrated us in 2015. He’s now being pushed by the old knees of the recently unretired Carlos Quentin. Yet it’s still hard to believe that the club will decide to keep Quentin, who has no defensive value compared to even Arcia. But if it’s bat we’re looking for and spring training we’re watching, we still see Arcia’s OPS of .528 next to Quentin’s OPS of .931 in the 15 games they’ve each played and wonder, “What to do with Ozzie?” Smart money is on him taking up a bench spot early in the season.

What do you think? What would you do?


  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

43 Comments

Photo
Old Twins Cap
Mar 23 2016 08:41 PM

I haven't seen much discussion about the outfield in the context of who will replace Miguel Sano in the late innings.That's a pretty regular gig in my book, if the Twins are winning.

 

Santana is not a natural RF, but has speed and a good arm.He can learn to do it, but it's not like he is playing much RF at this point.

 

Arcia is a possible late-inning replacement as well, but, let's face it, a year ago we were figuring who would play defense for him in the late innings.

 

Best candidate would have been:Aaron Hicks, now a starting OF with the NY Yankees.

 

Kepler could be that guy, over time, but we want him to play baseball and not sit on the bench waiting for Sano to come off the field.

 

So, it's an issue in my opinion.Twins will figure it out, maybe Maestro makes it after all, but for now, must be Santana, an unnatural corner guy if ever there was one.

Photo
bluechipper
Mar 23 2016 08:42 PM

You didn't mention Ryan Pressly, who has been very good this spring and was good before his injury last year too. I'm guessing both he and Tonkin make the team, with Duffey (unfortunately) starting at Rochester.

    • Thrylos and jimbo92107 like this
Photo
Jeremy Nygaard
Mar 24 2016 03:55 AM

You didn't mention Ryan Pressly, who has been very good this spring and was good before his injury last year too. I'm guessing both he and Tonkin make the team, with Duffey (unfortunately) starting at Rochester.


You're right. Pressly is probably the favorite to make the team. Who would serve as long man? Maybe Darnell has a shot too.
    • bluechipper likes this

 

You're right. Pressly is probably the favorite to make the team. Who would serve as long man? Maybe Darnell has a shot too.

I heard Terry Ryan talk about Pressly over the winter, he likes him, "he's got good stuff".  

 

At this point it looks to me like he's made the roster.

    • howieramone2 and d-mac like this

I think the Sano discussion should center around what other organization would put their best hitter in a position they have never played and has looked awful so far so that the manager has to take his best bat out of the lineup in the 7th inning so they don't hemorrhage more runs defensively.

 

It should then transition to cover the wisdom of making the defense significantly worse on purpose when you already have one of the worst rotations in the majors.

 

Nothing this team is doing with this roster this season even hints Terry Ryan knows anything about how baseball games are won.

    • Sam Morley likes this

 

I think the Sano discussion should center around what other organization would put their best hitter in a position they have never played and has looked awful so far so that the manager has to take his best bat out of the lineup in the 7th inning so they don't hemorrhage more runs defensively.

 

It should then transition to cover the wisdom of making the defense significantly worse on purpose when you already have one of the worst rotations in the majors.

 

Nothing this team is doing with this roster this season even hints Terry Ryan knows anything about how baseball games are won.

 

You had me up until the last sentence......TR knows a lot more than I do for sure, and I think I have a hint or two.

    • Seth Stohs, REPETE, jimbo92107 and 6 others like this
Photo
Jeremy Nygaard
Mar 24 2016 07:50 AM

 

I think the Sano discussion should center around what other organization would put their best hitter in a position they have never played and has looked awful so far so that the manager has to take his best bat out of the lineup in the 7th inning so they don't hemorrhage more runs defensively.

 

It should then transition to cover the wisdom of making the defense significantly worse on purpose when you already have one of the worst rotations in the majors.

 

Nothing this team is doing with this roster this season even hints Terry Ryan knows anything about how baseball games are won.

 

Miguel Cabrera and Kyle Schwarber come to mind as two really good hitters that were put in the outfield (without much experience) just to get their bat in the lineup. Kris Bryant played 98 innings in the OF last year without any prior experience there at all, including 18 innings in CF. I wouldn't really consider it a common practice... but it's not unheard of. It's not going to be pretty; I just don't want it to be a train wreck.... it makes for a good story to follow though.

 

(And did anyone question Joe Maddon?)

    • Seth Stohs, REPETE, 70charger and 2 others like this

 

Miguel Cabrera and Kyle Schwarber come to mind as two really good hitters that were put in the outfield (without much experience) just to get their bat in the lineup. Kris Bryant played 98 innings in the OF last year without any prior experience there at all, including 18 innings in CF. I wouldn't really consider it a common practice... but it's not unheard of. It's not going to be pretty; I just don't want it to be a train wreck.... it makes for a good story to follow though.

 

(And did anyone question Joe Maddon?)

 

Yup, people LOVE Joe Maddon, but when the Twins do something similar, it's bashed. A couple of very good examples here. 

    • jbissell and howieramone2 like this
Photo
Jeremy Nygaard
Mar 24 2016 07:59 AM

This is from MLBTR this morning... If you sub out Schwarber with Sano, catcher with third base and left field with right field, it's 100% accurate.

 

"Schwarber’s defensive future has been the subject of much debate, as he’s scheduled to see most of his playing time in left field this year even though his fielding prowess is still a question mark. It’s also unclear if Schwarber can handle being a regular catcher"

 

Yup, people LOVE Joe Maddon, but when the Twins do something similar, it's bashed. A couple of very good examples here. 

 

The Twins had DH open....but they signed someone to do that. 

 

I'm not bashing it, I don't get why he didn't play any OF in the minors, if this was an idea. I am questioning it (just as I question the Cubs' action).

    • Dantes929, d-mac and lukeduke1980 like this
Photo
Jeremy Nygaard
Mar 24 2016 08:28 AM

 

The Twins had DH open....but they signed someone to do that. 

 

I'm not bashing it, I don't get why he didn't play any OF in the minors, if this was an idea. I am questioning it (just as I question the Cubs' action).

 

Paul Molitor said a couple things last night while being interviewed on MLB Network that address your question:

 

He said the Twins didn't expect to win the bidding on Park. But when they were able to get him, they had to adjust. He also said that he doesn't want to make a 22-year-old kid a full time DH (which he's said before). 

 

Now that doesn't address WHY it's Sano that has to be in the outfield, but I'd guess they feel he's the one that can be most successful with the change (but, like you, I question if that's a correct assumption).

    • d-mac likes this

 

This is from MLBTR this morning... If you sub out Schwarber with Sano, catcher with third base and left field with right field, it's 100% accurate.

Not sure if this is a joke, those are kind of important substitutions, no?  The Cubs have a starting catcher with a career 104 OPS+ (Montero), that's probably a more useful/valuable asset than a third baseman with a career 99 OPS+ (Plouffe).  The bar for Schwarber to clear is much higher than Sano.  And that's not even getting into Mike's point above, that the Twins also have the DH position (where Schwarber started the majority of Cubs interleague games last season).  Or that perhaps the Twins haven't handled Mauer's position change optimally (locking him into 1B every day).

 

Paul Molitor said a couple things last night while being interviewed on MLB Network that address your question:

 

He said the Twins didn't expect to win the bidding on Park. But when they were able to get him, they had to adjust. He also said that he doesn't want to make a 22-year-old kid a full time DH (which he's said before). 

 

Now that doesn't address WHY it's Sano that has to be in the outfield, but I'd guess they feel he's the one that can be most successful with the change (but, like you, I question if that's a correct assumption).

 

thanks for the info.

 

He said the Twins didn't expect to win the bidding on Park. But when they were able to get him, they had to adjust. He also said that he doesn't want to make a 22-year-old kid a full time DH (which he's said before). 

I don't think those two statements are congruent.  They clearly wanted to win the bidding on Park regardless of whether they "expected" to, because they didn't want Sano to be a full time DH.  That's fine, but that is clearly their decision, which is what people are questioning.

 

It's not like Park materialized from out of nowhere as manna from heaven and they had to rearrange, or even like, say, Denard Span's performance jump in 2008.  The Twins went out of their way to acquire Park (with a record posting fee bid for a Korean player, no?).

    • Mike Sixel likes this

 

This is from MLBTR this morning... If you sub out Schwarber with Sano, catcher with third base and left field with right field, it's 100% accurate.

 

"Schwarber’s defensive future has been the subject of much debate, as he’s scheduled to see most of his playing time in left field this year even though his fielding prowess is still a question mark. It’s also unclear if Schwarber can handle being a regular catcher"

 

Kyle Schwarber is also 6' tall, not pushing 6'5" 265-275.  Whether that is going to make a huge difference or not remains to be seen, but Sano's size is absolutely part of the equation you cannot just ignore

Photo
LA VIkes Fan
Mar 24 2016 09:12 AM

These threads always seem so get to "why didn't we trade Plouffe so Sano can play third"? I don't quite understand all of this angst about Plouffe. He's a plus defender with some power.You could see him starting on a championship team hitting 6th or 7th. The issue with the Twins is that he has to hit 4th or 5th because only have one middle of the order hitter in Sano. The issue isn't that Plouffe hasn't met reasonable expectations; he has. The problem is that he can't meet the unreasonable expectation of hitting in the middle of the lineup because he isn't good enough. He's a guy we should keep unless we can trade him for a quality major league player at a position of need. For the Twins that's either and outfielder who can hit 4th, a decent MLB starting pitcher or a top 25 pitching prospect. The free agent market tells us that a better than average but not elite 3rd baseman like Plouffe doesn't have that kind of value. We really had no choice but to keep him and there's no reason to trade him unless we can get real value. Sano is not that level of defender so he has to try a new position. Happens in baseball all the time. 

    • Blake, messed up, Blackjack and 2 others like this

 

Kyle Schwarber is also 6' tall, not pushing 6'5" 265-275.  Whether that is going to make a huge difference or not remains to be seen, but Sano's size is absolutely part of the equation you cannot just ignore

Kyle Schwarber is also painfully slow.  Sano's adequate speed is also part of the equation.

 

 

    • Dantes929 and bluechipper like this

 

These threads always seem so get to "why didn't we trade Plouffe so Sano can play third"?

There's a bit of that, but there's also "why did we sign a DH project too?"  The Twins had multiple decision points where they didn't have to put Sano in the outfield.  You could go back to our decision to forego positional flexibility with post-catching Mauer too...

 

Kyle Schwarber is also painfully slow.  Sano's adequate speed is also part of the equation.

 

http://m.mlb.com/cut...lds-bunt-single

 

"Painfully slow"? 

 

And while Schwarber's speed may seem surprising with his large, Hulk-like body, Statcast™ estimated the Cub at 20.07 mph. For those wondering, that's .03 mph faster than Rougned Odor, who ran the Blue Jays ragged earlier in the day.

My issue with the defensive replacement for Sano in 8th or 9th inning is what happens when/if the other team still ties the game or takes the lead?Now the Twins just subbed out their best hitter for (Bench Player) and are tied or down a run late in the game and need his bat.

 

It's the same issue I had last year with pinch running for him with 1 or 2 outs when he was at 1st base. 

 

I personally would take my chances with Sano in the outfield so he can still bat if he needs too.

    • Mike Sixel and REPETE like this

 

http://m.mlb.com/cut...lds-bunt-single

 

"Painfully slow"? 

 

And while Schwarber's speed may seem surprising with his large, Hulk-like body, Statcast™ estimated the Cub at 20.07 mph. For those wondering, that's .03 mph faster than Rougned Odor, who ran the Blue Jays ragged earlier in the day.

That's interesting, and a little surprising, but watching him the outfield speed has not been evident.  Maybe he makes up for his speed by not knowing where he should run when he isn't going to a base- could be he just get bad jumps on the ball.

 

-- and of course Sano is likely to suffer some of the same problems

Photo
IndianaTwin
Mar 24 2016 03:17 PM

 

These threads always seem so get to "why didn't we trade Plouffe so Sano can play third"? ...

Really? I thought they all turned into "Nolasco stinks." Did I miss the memo?

 

In seriousness, I am willing to be an optimistic in thinking that Ricky could still be a serviceable part. I know it was against minor leaguers yesterday, but for those who have seen him on several occasions, has he done enough to pass the eye test of being at a different point than the past couple seasons?

    • Mike Sixel likes this
Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Mar 24 2016 03:33 PM

Moderator note:

 

I swear we are debating this trade Plouffe/Sano to RF in a half dozen threads right now.Let's not derail every single thread at TD to rehash this same debate.It's getting very old. 

    • SQUIRREL, glunn and IndianaTwin like this

Am I crazy, or is there still a chance for Arcia in the starting OF?My reasoning is two-fold.First of all, I don't see the Twins exposing him to waivers or pawning him off for pennies on the dollar.No he hasn't produced much until today's 2-HR outing, but by all accounts he's worked his ass off to come back.Secondly, Buxton hasn't exactly been lighting it up.Any chance he starts in AAA, with Rosario in CF & Arcia in LF?There's no guarantee that Rosario repeats his rookie numbers.If Buck lights up AAA, you have a month to see who's got the hotter hand, Rosario or Arcia.   

 

Miguel Cabrera and Kyle Schwarber come to mind as two really good hitters that were put in the outfield (without much experience) just to get their bat in the lineup. Kris Bryant played 98 innings in the OF last year without any prior experience there at all, including 18 innings in CF. I wouldn't really consider it a common practice... but it's not unheard of. It's not going to be pretty; I just don't want it to be a train wreck.... it makes for a good story to follow though.

 

(And did anyone question Joe Maddon?)

98 innings isn't a starting gig, and he's 40-50 pounds lighter than our new RF.

Schwarber played 30% of his minor league innings played on the OF.

Cabrera playing the OF was not a good thing.

 

Sano has played zero at any level of professional ball and is 6 foot 5, 260+.  I'd need solid proof Maddon would consider him for a full time OF job.

 

Anyway, there was no 3B battle, so probably not worth talking about on this thread.

 

 


Similar Articles


by Nick Nelson , 09 Apr 2020
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 05 Jan 2020
Photo


by Cody Christie , 22 Dec 2019
Photo


by Matthew Trueblood , 14 Nov 2019
Photo


by Matthew Trueblood , 21 Oct 2019
Photo