Jump to content

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

The Forums

Game Thread: Twins vs KC 4:40 PM PST (6:40 PM CDT) 9/19/19

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:19 PM
The Twins took two steps forward toward the goal of winning the division during the series of games against the Sox. Unfortunately, after...
Full topic ›

Front Page: Should Eddie Rosario Be Benched for Not Hustl...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:19 PM
Eddie Rosario is one of five Twins hitters to hit 30 home runs or more this season to help the team set a new standard at the big-league...
Full topic ›

Acuna Matata: Braves Give Ronald Acuna $100 Million

Other Baseball Today, 05:21 PM
Reports this morning are indicating that the Atlanta Braves and Ronald Acuna have agreed to an 8 year deal guaranteeing him $100 million....
Full topic ›

Front Page: Arizona Fall League Preview: Royce Lewis Head...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:12 PM
As of your reading of this article, the Arizona Fall League season has gotten underway for the 2019 season. If you’re thinking that seems...
Full topic ›

Front Page: Mission Accomplished: An Elite Twins Bullpen

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:12 PM
As the month of July came to an end, Minnesota Twins fans watched with anticipation hoping that their club was going to make the necessar...
Full topic ›

Twins Daily Roundtable: Grading Molitor

Twins Daily Roundtable is a weekly series. As part of this series, a question will be posed to the site’s writers and they will respond in 200 words or less (Some writers don’t like to stick to this limit). This will give readers an opportunity to see multiple points of view and then add their own point of view in the comments section.

Paul Molitor is nearing the end of his fourth season as the Minnesota Twins manager. During his first season, the Twins pushed for a playoff spot into the season’s last weeks. There were over 100 losses in 2016. He won AL Manager of the year in 2017 after the Twins bounced back to earn a Wild Card spot. Now in his fourth season, the club is sitting below the .500 mark.

This week’s roundtable discussion question is: “How would you rank Paul Molitor’s managerial performance? Why?”
Image courtesy of Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
Seth Stohs
I think he's doing fine. A manager's role in wins and losses is vastly overstated (wins or losses). As for the lineup, I'd say he does just fine. He mixes it up pretty well and isn't married to certain hitters in certain spots. Bullpen usage is where most find fault. I definitely think he has a tendency to overwork the reliable relievers which, practically, is understandable. But he will need to find a way to trust others to try to keep those top guys from wearing down. He's obviously well respected in the clubhouse, but I don't know what we can really comment on his role in there. We just don't know. A manager can't be at all places. In terms of analytics, he certainly has the people around him that will encourage it.

This is an impossible question to answer with any certainty. Managers usually get too much credit when the team wins, and they get too much of the blame when things go bad.

Tom Froemming
I'd give him a D. We're not at the point where I'm demanding he be fired, but I definitely think the team would be better off with someone else running the show.

I'm happy to see the Twins are bunting much less frequently this year, but I'm still depressed at how inefficiently the bullpen has been managed. There's also no shortage of strange lineup decisions. He seems to have no interest in providing opportunities for younger players and caters to the veterans far too often.

I have a lot of respect for Paul Molitor. He's certainly knows more about baseball than I do, but expertise doesn't always translate to management.

Cody Christie
Expectations were high for the Twins heading into the 2018 season and things haven’t exactly gone as planned. Falvey and Levine seemed to have put together some strong pieces to build off of last season’s playoff run. However, no one could have predicted the lack of production from Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, and Brian Dozier. There’s little a manager can do if the team’s best players aren’t performing or aren’t even on the roster.

I honestly think the front office will decided to go in a different direction this off-season. I believe Falvey and Levine are going to want to bring in someone younger that fits the mold of “being their guy.” They could give Molitor one more chance to see what he does with the club next year but Minnesota won’t have the likes of Sano and Buxton around forever.

If the time isn’t now, when will it be? Overall grade, C- but he moves to a C+ with extra credit for AL Manager of the Year.

Ted Schwerzler
Molitor was put in a difficult position, but he also hasn’t done himself any favors. This front office likely would’ve hired their own guy had they not been mandated to do otherwise. He saved his skin by winning Manager of the Year in 2017, but he’s continued many of his poor habits this season. Bullpen usage has been questionable, in-game strategy leaves something to be desired, and lineup configuration has been head-scratching at times.

Nothing he’s done has been egregious, but the sum of all parts seems average at best. It’s hard to gauge his relatability to this roster without being in the clubhouse, but I tend to believe there’re better options in that department. On a grading scale, I’d tag him with a C-. Regardless of his three-year deal, which did seem odd, I don’t know that Falvey and Levine won’t move on this winter anyways.

Steve Lein
I'll begin this one by pointing out the cliche that managers get too much of the credit for winning and too much of the blame for losing. The players hit, pitch, and play defense while managers really can only make personnel decisions and have situational influence. But that is where good managers can make their mark.

As far as personnel decisions go, Molitor doesn’t get a passing grade from me. Overuse of bullpen pitchers has quite clearly affected their performance. Platoon advantages have not been utilized enough. At times I've thought it was like he's spinning a roulette wheel with players names on it to figure out the lineup order he'd throw out. The up and down records of his his teams during his tenure also tells me he may not have that special sauce that extracts the best out of most of his players consistently. That's one idea I do think the great managers accomplish.

When it comes to the situational side during a game, outside of his use of the bullpen, I do think Molitor does well. He's embraced shifting on defense, I don't think they've done much bunting, and based on his Hall Of Fame playing career I know he’s seen it all. I trust him to make the correct decisions in that sense.

Overall, I’d rank him around the middle of MLB managers, but his time is running out.

SD Buhr
This is really a tough question.

Obviously, you can’t say Paul Molitor has been an incredibly good manager at this point, based on the results on the field, even though last season’s second half was certainly encouraging.

But I’m not really sure you can lay the lack of success this season purely at his feet, either. While most of us were looking for a strong year as they prepared for spring training, I think if you’d have told us then that Polanco and Santana would each miss the entire first half of the season and Sano and Buxton would spend so little time on the active roster, our expectations might have been more muted. I’m not sure you can blame the manager for not winning more games when those major pieces were absent.

Personally, I’d probably give him an overall grade of C+ and, based on that, I won’t really have any objection whether the front office decides to keep him around or bring in someone new.

If you missed any of the most recent roundtable discussions, here are the links:
Closing Time
Prospect Promotions
Hall of Fame Impact
Baseball in 2028
Floundered


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

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

296 Comments

 

The question is simple. Is he more valuable to the Twins with 4 years of control or 6?

 

The answer isn't simple.  

 

I sense you are trying to set me up for the big hammer and I apologize for not co-operating. 

 

    • jimmer likes this
Photo
Don Walcott
Sep 03 2018 11:07 AM

 

The answer isn't simple.  

 

I sense you are trying to set me up for the big hammer and I apologize for not co-operating. 

So why is it so simple that 4 years is better than 3?

 

So why is it so simple that 4 years is better than 3?

 

Because we know most of the X factors.

 

Age and a reasonable assumption of cost based on past arbitration cases that pretty much set the standard for future arbitration cases. 

 

All dependent on the Big X Factor of course... Will he perform? 

    • Don Walcott likes this

 

If the Twins are dumb enough to move off of Buxton and Sano after a bad year, they deserve everything that comes to them. Buxton is the future of this franchise. Jake Cave is a 4th outfielder. He shouldn't even be in the discussion about the future of this franchise and his feelings shouldn't have any bearing on what this team does.

Are we sure Jake Cave is a 4th outfielder?  I know he is not a CF'er, but right now but this year he's playing better than Kepler (yes small sample size).

 

This is a complicated mess by all accounts.  The way the MOY is managing currently is frustrating though.

 

Are we sure Jake Cave is a 4th outfielder?  I know he is not a CF'er, but right now but this year he's playing better than Kepler (yes small sample size).

 

This is a complicated mess by all accounts.  The way the MOY is managing currently is frustrating though.

It's not impossible that he could be an avg corner OFer for a year if the team wanted to move Kepler for something but that's his ceiling and it's optimistic. He's more likely a decent 4th OFer. But he shouldn't have any bearing on Buxton's future.

    • Platoon and rghrbek like this
Photo
Don Walcott
Sep 03 2018 11:30 AM

 

Because we know most of the X factors.

 

Age and a reasonable assumption of cost based on past arbitration cases that pretty much set the standard for future arbitration cases. 

 

All dependent on the Big X Factor of course... Will he perform? 

If he doesn't perform, it doesn't matter for how many years. If he does perform, you've just lost any chance of keeping him beyond 4 years.

 

Obviously, we won't know the correct answer for another year or two or even three regarding whether he will perform, and whether we should have sought an extension (or more than one extension).. But I'd rather pay him more for 6 years, betting that he will perform, than be sure that he'll be done with us in four years. The FO has closed the door on having Buxton more than four years. And the FO's gamble is based on short-term monetary considerations, which makes it frustrating to be a Twins fan.

    • wsnydes likes this

For what's it worth, Mauer, Sano, Austin, and Garver are listed in the starting line-up for today.

 

But then again, so are Grossman and Field.

If he doesn't perform, it doesn't matter for how many years. If he does perform, you've just lost any chance of keeping him beyond 4 years.

Obviously, we won't know the correct answer for another year or two or even three regarding whether he will perform, and whether we should have sought an extension (or more than one extension).. But I'd rather pay him more for 6 years, betting that he will perform, than be sure that he'll be done with us in four years. The FO has closed the door on having Buxton more than four years. And the FO's gamble is based on short-term monetary considerations, which makes it frustrating to be a Twins fan.

It’s not really a monetary issue.

It’s a one more year of team control issue.

I also believe I read the Twins tried to sign him to a deal this past winter, and for whatever reason he wasn’t agreeable. I could be wrong on this.

I do agree the chances of a long term contract are now probably gone.
    • TheLeviathan likes this

If he doesn't perform, it doesn't matter for how many years. If he does perform, you've just lost any chance of keeping him beyond 4 years.

Obviously, we won't know the correct answer for another year or two or even three regarding whether he will perform, and whether we should have sought an extension (or more than one extension).. But I'd rather pay him more for 6 years, betting that he will perform, than be sure that he'll be done with us in four years. The FO has closed the door on having Buxton more than four years. And the FO's gamble is based on short-term monetary considerations, which makes it frustrating to be a Twins fan.

I think you nailed the frustration factor point. This team has so many facets that need to be sorted out that making short term financial decisions like they did is very frustrating. It would have been nice to see them try to keep sorting at least some of those things out.
    • Don Walcott likes this
Photo
Don Walcott
Sep 03 2018 11:45 AM

 

It’s not really a monetary issue.

It’s a one more year of team control issue.

I also believe I read the Twins tried to sign him to a deal this past winter, and for whatever reason he wasn’t agreeable. I could be wrong on this.

I do agree the chances of a long term contract are now probably gone.

As Riverbrian stated, team control means reasonably being able to predict costs based on the outcomes likely in arbitration. That's a money issue. If we pay a guy enough money, he'll stay longer. Of course, if we jerk him around, he won't stay longer. I see it primarily as a money issue. But I understand your point.

As Riverbrian stated, team control means reasonably being able to predict costs based on the outcomes likely in arbitration. That's a money issue. If we pay a guy enough money, he'll stay longer. Of course, if we jerk him around, he won't stay longer. I see it primarily as a money issue. But I understand your point.


Well, no. The extra year of team control means he CANT leave as a free agent until after the 2022 season. Without it, he could have left after the 2021 season.

It has nothing to do with predicting costs.
    • TheLeviathan likes this
Photo
TheLeviathan
Sep 03 2018 12:21 PM

Money is a factor, but team control means he can't walk away because of money.You can plan on him being on your roster, that has far more value to the organization than the dollar amount attached to his name.

Photo
TheLeviathan
Sep 03 2018 12:23 PM

 

Sounds like Molitior is helping to poisoning the Buxton/Twins relationship as best he can. 

 

Molitor was careful not to reveal much of his planned message, one thing he won’t be doing is reassuring Buxton the starting center field job will be his upon reporting to spring training next February. "It's early,” Molitor said. “We’ve got some games here. I would imagine there’s going to be some competition for multiple spots on our team next spring."

 

https://www.twinciti...-twins-players/

 

So you want the Twins to hand him CF next year?

 

People, we're losing our minds here.  

 

If he doesn't perform, it doesn't matter for how many years. If he does perform, you've just lost any chance of keeping him beyond 4 years.

 

Obviously, we won't know the correct answer for another year or two or even three regarding whether he will perform, and whether we should have sought an extension (or more than one extension).. But I'd rather pay him more for 6 years, betting that he will perform, than be sure that he'll be done with us in four years. The FO has closed the door on having Buxton more than four years. And the FO's gamble is based on short-term monetary considerations, which makes it frustrating to be a Twins fan.

 

Now that you have revealed your point.:)

 

In my opinion, you have provided a legitimate alternate direction to the path they chose. 

 

Maybe instead.. they just make a bet on Byron Buxton.

 

Byron we are going to place a bet on you right now. We will buy up those arbitration years plus a couple more and then roll the dice. 

 

I agree that is a legit course of action. 

 

However... We have X factors again. We don't know if they didn't try to extend Byron and were turned down by the agent. 

 

It comes down the agent and team agreeing on how much of a bet they are willing to make.  

 

You have to remember that the agent and player are also capable of placing a bet on themselves as well and therefore turn down a reasonable offer in order to secure a bigger pay day down the road.  

 

 

If the Twins are dumb enough to watch a crash and burn in 2018 and repeat the process thinking that would never happen again. They deserve everything that comes to them. 
 
If Buxton is the future of this franchise... You should be pleased... We just got another year of him.

I think the tenor of this topic may be more who will be able to make the Twins, someday, a truly competitive team? Jake Cave may contribute to that in a small way. But that chance will not evolve without Buxton reaching his ceiling. And since there is no empirical data that Jake Cave is a fool, he knows that more than anyone. Molitors comments likely fall into the depth and category of Gardy's bilateral weakness one. :)
    • Riverbrian likes this

 

So you want the Twins to hand him CF next year?

 

People, we're losing our minds here.  

90 ML at-bats. Injured for most of them. Yes, I want the Twins to hand him CF next year.

    • Platoon likes this
Photo
TheLeviathan
Sep 03 2018 01:56 PM

90 ML at-bats. Injured for most of them. Yes, I want the Twins to hand him CF next year.


All the same issues plagued him even when healthy. I had bought shares in Buxton taking the next step too...but injuries are not the only thing that derailed him. Old habits and a bad approach seemed to rear their head too.
I'd hand him the Cf job, but I'd have found another OF too, a good one. Cave, Kepler, Rosario can all play center if Buxton doesn't work, but I want a really good OF brought in, assuming Machado is out.
    • Twins33, Riverbrian and wsnydes like this
Photo
The Wise One
Sep 03 2018 08:50 PM

 

Because if a manager can’t replace a 7 OPS+. We are done.

If Buxton is the guy who needs playing time to develop and therefore tolerate a 7 OPS+. We are not contenders anymore and there is no reason to sign Logan Morrison. Kenny’s Vargas would have been just fine.

I honestly don’t want to defend LaMarre because I’m really not that impressed with him but here is another point.

Projections are for the front office. Actual performance as it happens is on the manager.

Play throughmigraines and nicked thus performing poorly the player can get ripped. Don't play with leg weakness, you get mocked and ridiculed.There is no winning for a player

    • jimmer likes this

 

Play throughmigraines and nicked thus performing poorly the player can get ripped. Don't play with leg weakness, you get mocked and ridiculed.There is no winning for a player

 

I'm not ripping Byron Buxton.

 

I'm ripping the person who played him through migraines, a broken toe and various things to the tune of an 4 OPS+ and still started him 26 out of his 28 games when he was on the active 25 man roster. 

 

I'm ripping the same person who played Logan Morrison through what I'm told was a painful hip impingement while he produced a 73 OPS+. 

 

Buxton just lost a year of service time and Morrison is going to sign a minor league contract next year and we are out of contention. The strategy of playing through the pain was a complete failure with real world consequences to the team and the players, if anybody wants to claim injuries were the reason.  

 

I blame the manager who made out the lineup cards or the front office who told him to do it or the meeting of everyone that reached a consensus of such.  

 

We have a 25 and 40 man roster so we had options. The names and past history of the options does not matter to me, they were hand chosen to play in case of injury, poor play or social media gaffes.

 

In Morrison and Buxton we had both injury and poor play and they still kept the every day job while remaining active and producing poorly. 

 

I'm not blaming Buxton, I just want the year back. 

 

 

 

    • Mike Sixel and Platoon like this
Gimenez playing again. Why?

Similar Articles


by Cooper Carlson , 16 Sep 2019
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 15 Sep 2019
Photo


by Nate Palmer , 14 Sep 2019
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 12 Sep 2019
Photo


by John Bonnes , 10 Sep 2019
Photo