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Virtual Twins Baseball Megathread

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Moving forward this will house every game-thread in the comments below until real baseball hopefully comes back. I should have done this...
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Recent Proposal

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https://www.skornort...lars-and-cents/   The owners have made their proposal to the players. The players association will now have t...
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2020 MINOR LEAGUE SEASON

Twins Minor League Talk 29 May 2020
Baseball America takes a look at what is happening in the minors, a season that would now have been a couple of weeks old.   https:/...
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Twins Boast Plethora of Backup Options

As the offseason winds down, it has become clear that the Twins have their main group of players of whom they will consistently rely on in 2020. While some minor roles might be up for grabs, the main core of the team stands firm and sturdy especially with the addition of Josh Donaldson. But all good plans are doomed to have intrusions and nagging unforeseen issues, so how might the Twins react in such situations?
Image courtesy of © Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Backups are inherently unexciting to fans like you and I for obvious reasons. Hell, even some coaches on professional sports teams have a dislike for backups. Nevertheless, “the next man up” is an important role as every year at least one starter will either go down with an injury, suffer regression, or become a monk and leave the sport as a whole which leaves an opening for someone else. I mean, just look at the Twins’ roster to start 2019 and the roster at the end (Adalberto Mejía and Blake Parker, anyone?)

Beyond the handful of minor league signings such as Cody Asche and Daniel Coloumbe, the Twins are also blessed with a fruitful farm system that inludes a large number of talented prospects who could provide help if need be. Baseball America recently posted their 2020 preseason top 100 prospects list and there were six players on it representing the Twins (Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, Brusdar Graterol, Trevor Larnach, Jordan Balazovic, and Jhoan Duran). None of these names should be especially surprising as we’ve been hearing about a number of these players and their potential for awhile at this point. But one of the most important things that all these players have in common is that they all finished the season at AA or above which means that they all stand a chance to play on the major league squad sometime this year.

Prospect development is much more complicated than that but with the recent somewhat aggressive approach the Twins have taken to some of their prospects, it still stands to reason that they could continue to push some of these players and have them ready for the majors sooner rather than later. It seems like they’re already doing this with Brusdar Graterol as Wes Johnson made comments the other day regarding the plan for Graterol in 2020. Nick Nelson already wrote a great article that touched on basically everything surrounding the move but more than anything the move showed that the Twins are potentially looking more towards the immediate impact of a player rather than planning for something greater in scope.

What does this mean for the Twins in 2020? Potentially if, say, Max Kepler goes down with an injury that takes a month for him to get back, the Twins might look towards replacing him with Alex Kirilloff over Jake Cave or (insert 28-year-old AAAA player here). Or if Homer Bailey slips on a banana peel and is out for a few weeks with a sore rear end, Jhoan Duran might be getting the call up to replace him instead of Blaine Hardy.

If they opt to not use top prospects to replace players, the current Twins bench presents some great options already. Ehire Adrianza could fill in well at any infield spot thanks to his generally solid defense at every infield spot and above average bat (102 wRC+ in 2019). The previously mentioned Cave provides solid offensive upside if they need to call on an outfielder (career 111 wRC+) and will at least look athletic when running in the outfield. Finally, Marwin González could step in at most every position and at least be passable with both the glove and bat. Although, giving him an everyday role strips him of a lot of his value so it would be best to avoid this option.

The third option is somewhere in the middle; a prospect who, while not of a high caliber, has proven that they should at least get a shot in the majors. This route graced the team last year with Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, and Luis Arráez who all now look like regular contributors in the future and this could lead to someone like Zander Wiel showing off what he has to offer. No matter which direction they go, the team should have good options for replacing players and they might even find a future piece in the process.

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15 Comments

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IndianaTwin
Jan 23 2020 09:39 PM

Thanks so much for using the word “plethora.” It means a lot.

 

    • ashbury, birdwatcher, jimbo92107 and 16 others like this

The pain is that any name NOT on the 40-man has to replace someone on the 40-man. 

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howieramone2
Jan 23 2020 10:14 PM
The pain will go away quickly, as the rich get richer.
The depth is there, overall, to be sure.

Cave is a really nice 4th OF, though Marwin could be the first choice, depending how the initial 26 man roster turns out. Of course, he can also fill in nicely at 1B and 3B, SS and 2B in a pinch. Of course, Adrianza can play the entire INF and still play LF if you need him to. Surprised you didn't mention Wade for the OF. Still unsure how good he could be, but shouldnt be dismissed. Really nice to think about the top prospects rising up, but shouldn't dismiss what is on hand/roster either.

Despite a love/hate relationship, Astudillo just shouldn't be dismissed. HEALTHY, he has shown hit ability with contact and some pop. Versatility and being a "ballplayer" are NOT negative terms. When healthy, he has looked solid.

Gordon has the potential to step forward and help. Honestly, before he got hurt, he was probably the guy to be promoted before Arraez.

I remain a mix of confused, frustrated and opptomistic about the staff and their use of Graterol.

I also feel frustrated and opptomistic about Thorpe, Dobnak and Smeltzer. I absolutely 100% get SSS. I absolutely am scared about the first month and a half to next season in regard to depth, performance and results. And who knows, maybe there is anything from a minor to major move yet to take place. I sure hope so.

But no matter what happens, I will say this, I honestly don't know how far back I would have to look to see 3 guys, even with SSS, that looked like any or all could be viable ML pitchers.

Really, really hoping Duran, by the second half, has a lot of people saying; "oh yeah, that guy, almost forgot about him".
    • Sconnie, Dman, ChrisKnutson and 4 others like this

 

Trust Falvey and Levine. They are such an improvement over Terry Ryan’s regime. By developing a structurally sound minor league system with competition sorting it out, Twins future is really bright. That includes producing pitching talent. Under Ryan, that never happened. Just facts.

Deron Johnson was Ryan's guy, His team found most of the players currently on these prospect lists, most of the young players on the current roster. Just facts.

 

    • birdwatcher, DocBauer, Minny505 and 2 others like this
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Doctor Gast
Jan 24 2020 06:56 AM

It`s wonderful to have a "plethora" (this has been a very popular word it seems in the last several years) of very versatile players. Gonzalez filled in for Sano in the beginning of last year on a full time basis & he did a fantastic job! Adrianza has proved himself. Astudillo has shown he has potential but needs work on especially his plate discipline, if he`s devoted as I think he is, he`ll overcome this . Lewis has great potential to be a great utility player until he settles in a position,plus we have a ton of outfield & pitching talent just aching to play in the majors. 

 This said, I have 2 comments. 1st forgive me Wes but I have difficulty starting Graterol in the pen. It`s easier to convert a starter into a reliever than vise versa. Gaterol should nave the opportunity in preseason& later in the minors to work on his secondary pitches & I also put Romero in this category if it`s not too late. We have several pitchers who have came up from the minors & have proven they can play in the majors. They should be given this open BP slot unless they some how fall apart. Gaterol should be given every opportunity to start on the majors level as soon as possible. I don`t think exposure is a problem w/ Gaterol

 2nd w/ all these versatile players I think we could carry less positional players & carry more pitchers to use more creativity.

 3rd use a rotating system from minors to majors to actively use our talent to give the young ones more experience & rest to the more experience

Trust Falvey and Levine. They are such an improvement over Terry Ryan’s regime. By developing a structurally sound minor league system with competition sorting it out, Twins future is really bright. That includes producing pitching talent. Under Ryan, that never happened. Just facts.


I like what Falvey and Levine are doing but the core of the Twins team was built by Ryan...Buxton, Sano, Rosario, Kepler, Polanco, Garver. I think Ryan deserves some credit.
    • birdwatcher, Twins33, PDX Twin and 1 other like this

I'm really pulling for that banana peel you mentioned.

I'm really pulling for that banana peel you mentioned.


Why in the world would you wish for that? Unless that is just mildly inappropriate satire?
    • birdwatcher likes this

So true, although "surfeit" sounds more fun... Plethora just kind of spills out over the table, like chunks of tainted meat later that day.

Thanks so much for using the word “plethora.” It means a lot.

 

    • birdwatcher and IndianaTwin like this

MODERATOR NOTE: Please stick to the topic which is NOT compare and contrast Ryan with Falvey/Levine. I don't care who signed whom, and it doesn't matter, nor is the OP asking for that ... it's asking you to discuss our backup options no matter who signed them.

 

If you want to have a compare/contrast 'regimes' discussion, please start your own thread or write a blog.

    • Minny505 and MN_ExPat like this

I like what Falvey and Levine are doing but the core of the Twins team was built by Ryan...Buxton, Sano, Rosario, Kepler, Polanco, Garver. I think Ryan deserves some credit.


It’s more than that. Every starter except Cruz and Donaldson plus Berrios Duffy May Rogers and last year Gibson.

I generally like what Falvine have done but I don’t understand why people feel the need to denigrate prior leaders to show their support for the current FO

Good article. Still need to have good fortune/health...but agree that the floor for the 2020 club would seem to be very high by Twins historical standards. Would actually like to see slightly 'less' depth after the trade deadline :)

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birdwatcher
Jan 24 2020 05:09 PM

 

Deron Johnson was Ryan's guy, His team found most of the players currently on these prospect lists, most of the young players on the current roster. Just facts.

 

 

Much to his credit, Falvey was aware that he inherited a scouting department that was very good. Most of those people remain, and now they are supported properly. Ryan deserves credit for hiring exceptional scouting personnel and establishing a culture where they will not be outworked in the search for talent. And now, Falvey has them thinking smart too.

 

Of the 250 players to make postseason rosters, only one was discovered laboring in the independent leagues. That was Randy Dobnak, and I think he was a byproduct of Ryan's lingering influence.

 

It's nice to have a plethora, a surfeit, of options. Funny thing, in the Zips piece, at the end, the author rattles off about a half dozen names as viable backup options, and most of them make TD readers either gag (Harper) or raise an eyebrow and go "huh?" ( Vasquez).

 

 

Falvey also identified the deficiencies in development. Pohlad has cut the checks and Falvey has dramatically increased the annual budget and expanded the organizational capacity to a point where other organizations are raiding the Twins for talent.

Hopefully Buxton is able to play 150+ games this year. If not, it is nice to have Gilberto Celestino who is a true CF with elite defensive tools on the 40 man. I think the Twins were hurt last year by not having a true CF who could fill in for a long spell when it was needed.