Jump to content

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

The Forums

Article: Official Rule 5 Draft Day Thread

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:51 AM
The Winter Meetings in Las Vegas have been fairly quiet against in 2018. Certainly there are meetings, but there haven't been a lot of si...
Full topic ›

Buxton: "Pissed" at Twins for No Call-Up Decision...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:59 AM
According to the Star Tribune, Byron Buxton is displeased with the Twins after not being called up in September of 2018. According to Byr...
Full topic ›

Derek Falvey Interview on 1500 ESPN

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:08 AM
Falvey discusses Sano, payroll, etc. http://www.1500espn....an-mackey-judd/
Full topic ›

Twins Minor League Coaches/Coordinators

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 01:01 AM
The Twins made some changes this offseason already in their minor league system. Pitching coaches Ivan Arteaga and Henry Bonilla were let...
Full topic ›

Harold Baines and Lee Smith are Hall of Famers

Other Baseball Yesterday, 11:33 PM
MLB announced tonight that a 16-person committee decided that DH Harold Baines and RP Lee Smith are now Hall of Famers.   Here is th...
Full topic ›

What's There to Say About Ehire?

There are some players who are simply around to fill out a roster. The technical baseball term for these kind of players would be replacement level, but let’s be real, they’re basically the Major League definition of blah.

Ehire Adrianza is one of those players. He's not going to help the Twins sell tickets, nobody's clamoring for his baseball card, but you know what? Players like that are still important.
Image courtesy of © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Among Minnesota's 10 arbitration-eligible players for 2019, only two looked like legitimate candidates to be non-tendered. One, Robbie Grossman, was sent on his way last week. The other (less likely) was Adrianza, who the Twins were quick to lock up with a one-year, $1.3 million contract.

So that’s it, open and close, he's going to be on the Twins in 2019, right? Well, not necessarily.

Arbitration contracts are not guaranteed until a player breaks camp with the team. If a player is released during the first 16 days of spring training they’re only obligated to pay them 30 days’ worth of wages. If they’re let go sometime after that, but still before Opening Day, that jumps to 45 days’ worth of pay. There’s some more info at MLB.com on guaranteed contracts.

It appears at this current time that the Twins are expecting Adrianza to fill a utility role again in 2019, but they have plenty of time to change course. Should they?

Adrianza has proven a very useful pickup for the Twins. He’s appeared in the ninth-most games among Twins position players, and has played almost everywhere: first, second, third, short, left. Let's take a closer look at the versatile infielder, quietly becoming a relative mainstay on the Twins roster.

Defense
The biggest asset Adrianza provides is the ability to play shortstop. It’s really the only thing that’s kept him in the majors this long, but how is he over there?

There are 39 players who logged at least 700 innings at shortstop over the past two seasons. Adrianza ranks 33rd in Defensive Runs Above Average, per FanGraphs. That’s one spot ahead of Jorge Polanco. If we switch the focus over to UZR/150, Adrianza gets a slight bump up to 29th.

No, that’s not especially inspiring, but I would argue he is a capable major league shortstop. The main reason why he ranks so low among his peers is mainly because guys who simply cannot play the position don’t get that many opportunities to do so at the highest level.

Let’s zoom out a bit. If you change the criteria to all players who have a minimum of 500 innings at shortstop over the last four seasons combined, suddenly Adrianza ranks 34th among that sample of 68 players in Defensive Runs Above Average.

Hitting
Of the 298 players to amass at least 500 plate appearances over the past two seasons, Adrianza’s .689 OPS ranks 247th. Well that’s pretty bad, right? In the context of middle infielders, it’s actually not all that terrible.

Ehire still has a higher OPS the past two seasons than Addison Russell, Freddy Galvis, Tim Anderson, Jose Reyes, Jose Iglesias, Amed Rosario, Orlando Arcia, Dansby Swanson … you get the point. Quite a few of those guys were starting shortstops for their teams in 2018.

Being a switch-hitter, Adrianza also doesn’t see a big hit from the platoon advantage, though he has been a little better against lefties over his career (.266/.318/.381). That’s something that can come in handy for a bench player.

Something that surprised me about last season’s numbers was that Adrianza’s hard hit rate (the frequency in which he hit a ball in play 95 mph or harder) was actually higher than Eduardo Escobar last season. Ehire was at 30.5 percent while Eduardo was at 27.2 percent.

So is Adrianza’s bat an asset? No, I wouldn’t necessarily say that, but the bar is set pretty low for a shortstop. He’s better than a good number of the alternatives.

Running
Adrianza is right around average in terms of sprint speed, which means he’s pretty slow for a middle infielder. Among the players on the Twins last season, Robbie Grossman, Logan Forsythe and Tyler Austin all registered faster sprint speeds than Ehire. But, at the same time, Adrianza is 13-for-15 in stolen base attempts as a Twin and has rated out as a slightly above average base runner by FanGraphs.

When you take a look at the overall package Adrianza presents, yes, it’s pretty blah. Still, given how he stacks up against a lot of other shortstops, I actually think that he’d have a decent chance of beating that $1.3 million deal he agreed to with the Twins if he was on the open market.

Taking a look back at his history, I also think it’s reasonable to think he’s more likely to improve than he is to regress.

Development
Since he’s already 29-years-old and hasn’t ever really shown any flashes of becoming a better offensive player, the assumption is Adrianza is without upside. That’s completely fair, but I’m not 100 percent certain it’s true.

The climb up the ladder of the minor leagues is especially difficult for guys like Ehire who make their professional debuts at 16-years-old. They always get pushed eventually. Their developmental timetables are so different than, say, a guy drafted out of college.

Adrianza reached Double A for the first time in his age 22 season. It did not go well. He hit .220/.289/.310 in 512 plate appearances. He repeated the level in 2013 and fared a little better, hitting .240/.331/.312. That slight improvement earned him a jump up to Triple A in mid July of 2014 and he busted out in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League. After hitting .310/.409/.441 in 45 games, Adrianza was headed to San Francisco as a September callup.

Was he ready? Probably not, but he was already on the 40-man roster, so it was time.

In 2014, Adrianza played just six games in the minors and had 106 plate appearances with the Giants. Not a lot of room for development there. This would be a theme over his last few seasons with the Giants.

Adrianza opened 2015 with another impressive run in Triple A, hitting .316/.384/.415 over 44 games. That earned him another shot with the Giants, but again he only logged 134 plate appearances with San Francisco. In 2016, his final season with the Giants, Ehire really struggled to stay on the field. He played a grand total of 17 games in the minors and got just 41 plate appearances in the bigs.

Add it all up and you had a guy entering his age 27 season with 105 career games at Triple A, never more than 45 in one season. In the Majors, he’d accrued just 331 plate appearances stretched across four seasons.

It can’t be easy to work on anything when you’re seeing so little playing time. It’s sad to say, but the best thing for Adrianza probably would have been if he cleared waivers, became a free agent and signed a minor league deal that allowed him to get regular at-bats.

Of course, that’s not what happened. The Brewers claimed him from the Giants, then when Milwaukee tried to sneak him through the Twins claimed him. Ehire had yet another fairly inactive season in 2017.

For the four seasons from 2014-17, Adrianza averaged a grand total of just 211 plate appearances per season. Just to put that into perspective, Twins prospect Ryan Jeffers managed to get 284 plate appearances in the minors this season and he was just drafted in June. Trade deadline acquisition Logan Forsythe got 205 plate appearances with the Twins last season. That lack of seeing competitive pitching could not have helped Adrianza’s swing or approach at the plate.

Thanks to the Jorge Polanco suspension and then the Eduardo Escobar trade, Adrianza managed to log 366 plate appearances with the Twins in 2018. He had one 10-day stay on the DL in early July due to a hamstring injury, other than that he was on the roster all season.

When Minnesota acquired Adrianza he had a .220/.292/.313 slash line in 331 MLB PA; since then he's at .256/.309/.380 in 552 PA. The "all glove, no bat" label doesn't quite apply, as his 23 doubles in 2018 ranked sixth on the Twins. His offense teeters between adequate and intriguing (again, in the context of a guy who can play shortstop).

I’d love to go out on a limb and say that somebody maybe more exciting such as Nick Gordon, who is now on the 40-man roster, would be a better option to fill the utility role. I can’t. Gordon is still at the point in his career where more time in Triple A might be key. Some players (like Adrianza) have suffered from not having that extra development in the high minors. Also, Ehire may not be a guy who’s going to win you any games, but he’s also not going to hurt you. That’s probably not true of Gordon.

Throughout a season, major-league teams always have extra players a phone call (and a day) away at Triple-A. But on a game-to-game basis, you need players with flexibility to fill multiple roles. Adrianza can capably handle virtually every position.

Ehire Adrianza isn’t going to be a guy the Twins promote on their banners outside of Target Field, but he does provide value to the roster. He remains a logical piece to the 25-man roster. In today’s age of three-man benches, having a player reserve capable of playing shortstop is a must.

  • Monkeypaws, mikelink45, DocBauer and 5 others like this

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

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

90 Comments

I disagree that it is easy on any hand. I'm all for providing opportunity to players with upside, but if it was at all easy to identify than everyone would be doing it. This kind of identification is what separates the wheat from the chaff.

Good front offices should be trying, of that I am in lock-step agreement. But it isn't easy to achieve. And if now we're arguing about trying to turn formerly non-productive players into productive ones...I'm all for that too. Hell, the Twins should be doing that with Adrianza if that's the new center of the debate.

What needs to be acknowledged, however, is that scarcity and the talent landscape are clearly against the argument that Adrianza can be replaced with ease. In fact, the scarcity and talent landscape indicate the Twins are already at an advantage here relative to most teams.


Agree that they are hard to find.

Disagree that they are scarce.

Adrianza is a solid bench middle infielder. In 2018, he would have been an upgrade on the bench for the following AL playoff teams:

*Yankees

*Red Sox

*Indians

* maybe the Athletics (depends on what you think of Chad Pinder as an infielder)

 

That's 3.5 of the 5 playoff teams in the AL. He's a better bench MI than what the teams the Twins are looking up to have (that's such horrible sentence structure). Sure, we could go the route of the Red Sox or Yankees and throw $4mil to $6mil at the BMI position, but that doesn't mean you get a better player.

 

And during stretches where he has gotten regular playing time he has trended up to a roughly .700 OPS. For a team with a $125mil payroll, paying $8mil for a BMI is not feasible. Even the teams with $200mil+ payrolls don't pay that much for a BMI.

    • Original Whizzinator likes this

 

Adrianza is a solid bench middle infielder. In 2018, he would have been an upgrade on the bench for the following AL playoff teams:

*Yankees

*Red Sox

*Indians

* maybe the Athletics (depends on what you think of Chad Pinder as an infielder)

 

That's 3.5 of the 5 playoff teams in the AL. He's a better bench MI than what the teams the Twins are looking up to have (that's such horrible sentence structure). Sure, we could go the route of the Red Sox or Yankees and throw $4mil to $6mil at the BMI position, but that doesn't mean you get a better player.

 

And during stretches where he has gotten regular playing time he has trended up to a roughly .700 OPS. For a team with a $125mil payroll, paying $8mil for a BMI is not feasible. Even the teams with $200mil+ payrolls don't pay that much for a BMI.

I don't think Adrianza is an "upgrade" over Brock Holt or Neil Walker. YMMV.

 

I don't think Adrianza is an "upgrade" over Brock Holt or Neil Walker. YMMV.

 

bWAR thinks Adrianza was better than Neil Walker last season, and at 4 years younger I think it's a decent bet Adrianza will be better this year too. The year before Neil Walker was getting paid $17M (and was probably not better than Adrianza; the difference in their bWAR is mostly attributed to playing time, as Walker got double the PAs). Walker looks like an ok starter who has gone into the decline phase of his career and will be out of the league within the next two years if he doesn't have a significant bounceback because no one wants to pay $4-5M to an aging backup whose D is slipping and hit tool is vanishing.

 

Brock Holt was better than Adrianza last year, worse the year before. Holt has a better track record overall, Adrianza is younger and cheaper. Odds are pretty good that they'll be pretty similar players this year.

 

As a backup Adrianza is a useful player, especially at this age and at this cost.

    • Twins33, Minny505 and Original Whizzinator like this

 

I don't think Adrianza is an "upgrade" over Brock Holt or Neil Walker. YMMV.

I would definitely take Adrianza over Walker. 

 

And I was looking at Eduardo Nunez as the BMI for the Red Sox. And in that case, I would rather have Adrianza.

 

Of Nunez, Holt and Kinsler, I would rather have Adrianza going forward. Holt had a career year in 2018, pushing himself into the starting 2B gig. I doubt he does that again. The man was almost out of the league after 2017.

 

Plus, Adrianza is a better fielder than any of the other names mentioned. If Polanco is our opening day SS, we don't have the luxury of signing a 2B/3B limited glove like Holt or Walker. Maybe the Twins brass can swing a trade for Katel Marte from the Dbacks, allowing for a 2B/3B bench bat type instead of a glove first MI.

 

My greater point here is that the BMI for every contending team is more or less at the same level as Adrianza. They will probably all be interchangeable according to ZIPS for 2019.

    • TheLeviathan and Original Whizzinator like this
Photo
TheLeviathan
Dec 06 2018 01:02 PM

 

Agree that they are hard to find.

Disagree that they are scarce.

 

How are they not scarce?Scarcity means, by definition, that there isn't enough to meet demand.That is almost certainly true.So I'm not sure that's the point you're actually making?

    • Minny505 likes this
Photo
TheLeviathan
Dec 06 2018 01:05 PM

 

My greater point here is that the BMI for every contending team is more or less at the same level as Adrianza. They will probably all be interchangeable according to ZIPS for 2019.

 

Yup.One can argue that Adrianza is a bad utility player, but one must ignore facts to do so.  

 

Brock Holt and Marwin Gonzalez were the only two players significantly better in their role than Adrianza last year.Most everyone else is a .675-.725 OPS player with ranges of defensive ability.  

    • Twins33 and Minny505 like this

 

It isn’t football. It’s a 162 game schedule. 12 position player roster spots, one of those is a catcher position. That’s two extra players to find playing time for 162 games. I’m theory nobody would have to sit much at all.

There is plenty of playing time for all. There is absolutely no reason to roster anyone as a backup until he earns the right to not play as much by actually not playing well.

If you give a precious 25 man roster spot to a player under the pretext of the won’t play much. You’ve already screwed up and wasted an opportunity to improve your club just to put all your eggs in a fragile basket.

 

What is the main point that we're disputing? Is it just the definition of a "backup"? I'm not sure I follow.

 

It would be great to have 25 all-stars on the roster who all got an equal piece of the pie. Realistically, no player who believes himself to be "starting caliber" is going to want to sign with a team as the 25th man on the roster (especially in MN, maybe in NYY). I think that's an unrealistic expectation. Many pro players would rather be a starter on a last place team than a non-starter on a World Series contender. 

    • Original Whizzinator likes this

 

How are they not scarce?Scarcity means, by definition, that there isn't enough to meet demand.That is almost certainly true.So I'm not sure that's the point you're actually making?

 

My issue is going to be strictly fundamental. 

 

If the Twins front office presents a contract to Adrianza under the thought process that he is only going to play occasionally. If they say that .680 is good enough for an occasional part-time role. 

 

Adrianza gets the roster spot. They end up settling for a ceiling of .680 (my opinion that he has established a ceiling around that mark). 

 

When that roster spot is no longer available. They can no longer sign someone who is capable of producing a .750 OPS. 

 

The Twins are not the only team that does this and now you have roster spots taken up around the league which leads to a self imposed scarcity because teams have hamstrung themselves with lower expectations and limited the availability for players to establish themselves as .750 capable. 

 

Now if the front office believes in Adrianza (I think they might) and believes that Adrianza could play an every day role if Polanco has Tommy John in April or Sano retires from baseball. If they believe that Adrianza is capable of much more. If they believe he is better than Tim Beckham or whoever based on whatever specific set of data they are using to make those determination... than I have no problem with Adrianza.

 

However... it won't take long into the 2019 season (based on usage) for me to determine from my living room with no data,if they (or the manager) believes that Adrianza is capable of competing for a starting job or taking over for a someone failing or hurt. 

 

If they utilitze Adrianza on just get away days. I'll know and this is a fundamental mistake that is immediate when they settle or say good enough for a part time player and it repeats itself over and over again until they stop saying... good enough for a part time player and get serious about each roster position. 

 

 

 

What is the main point that we're disputing? Is it just the definition of a "backup"? I'm not sure I follow.

 

It would be great to have 25 all-stars on the roster who all got an equal piece of the pie. Realistically, no player who believes himself to be "starting caliber" is going to want to sign with a team as the 25th man on the roster (especially in MN, maybe in NYY). I think that's an unrealistic expectation. Many pro players would rather be a starter on a last place team than a non-starter on a World Series contender. 

 

I don't believe in backups. I only believe in 25 players on a roster, all with the ability to win the majority of playing time based on actual performance. 

 

I'm not asking for 25 all-stars on a roster. I'm simply asking for 25 players who are able to provide competition with the other 24 players on the roster for playing time. Jake Cave is not an all-star but he was able to provide competition for Kepler's playing time.

 

If Adrianza is signed as a part-time role player.. his role has been established as someone who play's part time. His signing is only justified by saying... "He won't play much". 

 

I'm sure players would love to come to a team and be promised an every day job with no consequences if they don't perform. I'm saying, fine don't come.

 

I'll sign the players who will come to the team with the promise that they will play if they out-play the person next to them.  

 

I don't believe in backups. I don't believe in a starting 9 come hell or high water. I believe that you sing for your supper. Morrison should have seen a reduction in playing time. If Molitor wouldn't play LaMarre, he shouldn't have been on the roster. We should have been able to identify a player who could have out produced what Morrison produced. 

 

I don't believe in backups. 

Photo
TheLeviathan
Dec 06 2018 02:55 PM

 

My issue is going to be strictly fundamental. 

 

But that didn't really answer my question..750 OPS players, especially those who can play SS and 2B, are scarce.I'm not even sure that's a debatable contention.

 

I understand your point about utilization, I don't think I disagree.But that doesn't seem to address the scarcity issue and your response to that.Maybe you did mean something entirely different?Should that be my takeaway?

But that didn't really answer my question. .750 OPS players, especially those who can play SS and 2B, are scarce. I'm not even sure that's a debatable contention.

I understand your point about utilization, I don't think I disagree. But that doesn't seem to address the scarcity issue and your response to that. Maybe you did mean something entirely different? Should that be my takeaway?


We are probably talking past each other. My point is pretty simple.

I believe they wouldn’t be scarce with better utilization.

if they are scarce... it’s only because teams settle for a lower bar.... therefore making them seem scarce when in reality they are not.

Teams can start fixing this decades long problem by simply not signing a player with the intention of only limited duty if everything goes perfect. Sign players to compete. Promise them playing time if they perform... take away playing time if they don’t.

 

I don't believe in backups. I only believe in 25 players on a roster, all with the ability to win the majority of playing time based on actual performance. 

 

I'm not asking for 25 all-stars on a roster. I'm simply asking for 25 players who are able to provide competition with the other 24 players on the roster for playing time. Jake Cave is not an all-star but he was able to provide competition for Kepler's playing time.

 

If Adrianza is signed as a part-time role player.. his role has been established as someone who play's part time. His signing is only justified by saying... "He won't play much". 

 

I'm sure players would love to come to a team and be promised an every day job with no consequences if they don't perform. I'm saying, fine don't come.

 

I'll sign the players who will come to the team with the promise that they will play if they out-play the person next to them.  

 

I don't believe in backups. I don't believe in a starting 9 come hell or high water. I believe that you sing for your supper. Morrison should have seen a reduction in playing time. If Molitor wouldn't play LaMarre, he shouldn't have been on the roster. We should have been able to identify a player who could have out produced what Morrison produced. 

 

I don't believe in backups. 

 

That's all fine and good in a vacuum, but the FO has to deal in reality. Most proven, starting quality players aren't going to sign somewhere if they don't see a job opening. So what are we talking about here?

 

A manager problem who kept going to the well with a vet like Morrison who sucked? That manager got fired.

 

You're not going to have a roster with 25 starters on it. And you're going to have a problem if every guy on the roster thinks they should be starting and isn't willing to fill a role. You have to have guys on your roster that fill roles, not just for pitching but for the lineup, especially when you only get 12-13 spots for the guys in the field. Adrianza fills a role: positional flexibility with at least adequate defense and hitting that's respectable for middle infield.

 

You bring up Jake Cave and suggest he competed for Kepler's playing time, but the reality is, with Buxton hurt/ineffective there was an opening for a guy to get some OF playing time. He didn't take away any time from Kepler, who had a career high in games played and plate appearances. Cave's a useful player, but he also had a BABIP of .363 which probably isn't sustainable. He's still a useful player because he can't be an effective CF for you if Buxton repeats last year and be a nice defensive replacement in the corners. but he's not pushing Kepler out of RF. The problem the Twins have right now in the OF is they don't know if Kepler can hit enough to be an every day RF or Buxton can hit enough to be an every day CF.

 

 

    • TheLeviathan, Vanimal46, Shaitan and 2 others like this
Photo
TheLeviathan
Dec 06 2018 04:00 PM

 

We are probably talking past each other. My point is pretty simple.

I believe they wouldn’t be scarce with better utilization.

if they are scarce... it’s only because teams settle for a lower bar.... therefore making them seem scarce when in reality they are not.

Teams can start fixing this decades long problem by simply not signing a player with the intention of only limited duty if everything goes perfect. Sign players to compete. Promise them playing time if they perform... take away playing time if they don’t.

 

I don't believe every baseball player should be playing at SS and 2B.I think that position group will always have a scarcity of good hitters that can capably field those positions at the level required in the big leagues.  

 

It's a rare skill set to handle 2B/SS and be a good major league hitter.Hence the scarcity.No amount of rational belief in flexibility should lead you to a different conclusion.This is an example of when you start to veer away from something I can agree with.

    • Minny505 and Original Whizzinator like this

What's there to say about Ehire?

 

I think the Front Office just made a little statement in picking up Torreyes...nothing like a little

 

C-O-M-P-E-T-I-T-I-O-N

 

(especially when if it works out only costs $800k and if it doesn't $0K)

    • Original Whizzinator likes this

 

I don't believe every baseball player should be playing at SS and 2B.I think that position group will always have a scarcity of good hitters that can capably field those positions at the level required in the big leagues.  

 

It's a rare skill set to handle 2B/SS and be a good major league hitter.Hence the scarcity.No amount of rational belief in flexibility should lead you to a different conclusion.This is an example of when you start to veer away from something I can agree with.

 

SS... I agree with you. It's like the Catcher position where they sacrifice some offense for the defensive skill. 

 

2B less and less... Reports on Adrianza is that he isn't off the charts defensively... not that I always believe the defensive metrics presented. 

 

Thanks for saying my flexibility points are rational but, this isn't a flexibility point I'm making.:)

 

It's a depth point... It's a 25 man roster limitation discussion. Can Adrianza fill in for Schoop if Schoop hits like he did last year or would we be better off with Torreyes or could we trade a couple of low level players for Brock Holt and do even better? 

 

 

 

 

Well, when you advocate "go get two of them" - it sure sounds like you think it's easy.  

 

The Twins got two more!

Photo
TheLeviathan
Dec 06 2018 05:41 PM

 

 

It's a depth point... It's a 25 man roster limitation discussion. Can Adrianza fill in for Schoop if Schoop hits like he did last year or would we be better off with Torreyes or could we trade a couple of low level players for Brock Holt and do even better? 

 

It's not clear to me that any of these guys will be better than Adrianza next year.Probably Holt, but maybe not.And that's sorta my point.

    • Minny505 likes this
Photo
TheLeviathan
Dec 06 2018 06:03 PM

 

The Twins got two more!

 

This was sarcasm right?Not that I mind Schoop...but Torryes has a .664 OPS.And the Yankees thanked him on his way out.

 

But that's the talent landscape in the MI.It's sorta bad.

    • Twins33 likes this

 

It's not clear to me that any of these guys will be better than Adrianza next year.Probably Holt, but maybe not.And that's sorta my point.

 

You might be in lock step with the front office. They obviously see something in him. I won't knock you for liking a player more than I do.  

 

I don't hate him... I believe he should have played a lot more than he did last year but that was based upon what his peers were doing last year. There were times when he was our best hitter last year. 

 

Although, I admit I'm not comfortable with Adrianza being the replacement for a Sano meltdown in 2019. But that personal issue of mine is probably more of Cron/Austin discussion because I had the hope that the Twins would find a 3B that would challenge Sano directly instead of two 1B's taking up the roster space. Cron/Austin on the same roster would limit any 3B acquisition possibility. Bring me Castellanos or Moustakas and I'll be happy.:)  

 

Basically... I see no reason why the Twins couldn't start the season with Polanco, Schoop AND pick a reasonably priced middle infielder with some talent. Asdrubal or whoever. And let them dictate the playing time allocation based on performance. If all are performing... a decent manager will figure it out. He doesn't have to pick two and let the other collect dust.A decent GM will figure out how to turn the excess into something else if Nick Gordon hits the stage a running. And if someone isn't performing... you have another option to turn to. 

 

The Twins have rode the same horses into the ground over and over again. It has to stop.  

 

That's all fine and good in a vacuum, but the FO has to deal in reality. Most proven, starting quality players aren't going to sign somewhere if they don't see a job opening. So what are we talking about here?

 

A manager problem who kept going to the well with a vet like Morrison who sucked? That manager got fired.

 

You're not going to have a roster with 25 starters on it. And you're going to have a problem if every guy on the roster thinks they should be starting and isn't willing to fill a role. You have to have guys on your roster that fill roles, not just for pitching but for the lineup, especially when you only get 12-13 spots for the guys in the field. Adrianza fills a role: positional flexibility with at least adequate defense and hitting that's respectable for middle infield.

 

You bring up Jake Cave and suggest he competed for Kepler's playing time, but the reality is, with Buxton hurt/ineffective there was an opening for a guy to get some OF playing time. He didn't take away any time from Kepler, who had a career high in games played and plate appearances. Cave's a useful player, but he also had a BABIP of .363 which probably isn't sustainable. He's still a useful player because he can't be an effective CF for you if Buxton repeats last year and be a nice defensive replacement in the corners. but he's not pushing Kepler out of RF. The problem the Twins have right now in the OF is they don't know if Kepler can hit enough to be an every day RF or Buxton can hit enough to be an every day CF.

 

Paragraph one: If you have to promise a free agent that the team will faithfully tank along with him if he tanks and his playing time won't ever be questioned... we shouldn't sign a free agent ever again. When you sign a free agent... you pay the money it takes to sign him. You outbid the other teams and no team is going to outbid other teams for limited playing time. Simply outbidding other teams is expressed expectation that he won't be benched IF and I mean IF he is performing. If you are trading to acquire the acquisition... you have his rights.You have all the leverage you need to demand results. If you want to extend your own player to a new deal... he is performing and therefore playing... If he isn't... you don't want to sign him to an extension anyway.

 

If I'm a player... and I have competition for my services... I am strongly considering the talent next to me. I'm not signing with the Twins because they have players hitting .160 playing every day in the same lineup. If I don't have confidence in my talent that I need an assurance of playing time. Yeah... Sign me up Twins. I'd love a sweet deal like that. Get paid millions and produce whatever you like. 

 

Paragraph Two: Yep... and do it again if you have to. 

 

Paragraph Three: The only role they need to fill is the role of performing when given a spot in the lineup. If you are in the lineup as a 2B, you are in the lineup as a 2B. That is your role. The backup role will take care of itself by who isn't getting the job done. It will happen naturally by letting the players decide who gets that role based on who is less deserving. Don't go into the season... "Hey... You are my backup". That's all the expectation I have of you and then give him a million dollars for his willingness to put the uniform on and watch others play. 

 

Paragraph Four: I used Cave as an example and I used Kepler as an example. Don't get lost making the examples specific. They were "For example" but go ahead and insert any names you want for the example. Let's just take your final sentence. "The problem the Twins have right now in the OF is they don't know if Kepler can hit enough to be an every day RF or Buxton can hit enough to be an every day CF". 

 

I agree with that last sentence 1000%... So if you don't know... and I don't know (I don't)... the front office doesn't know... Even Chief doesn't know... Why on earth would you sign a back up who isn't good enough to deserve a starting job and say... he won't play much even if you don't know what is going to happen with Kepler and Buxton. Are we afraid that if Kepler and Buxton figure it out and actually perform, that a 4th outfielder who is also performing is going to be a problem? 

 

Same point for the middle infield... We got Polanco and now we got Schoop. Schoop has major question marks based on last year... just like the question marks we have Kepler, Buxton and Sano... does the team punt the 2B position if Schoop doesn't right the ship. Was he was promised an every day job no matter what to get him here and the season ticket holders are just going to have to take it, if it happens or does Schoop play every day because Adrianza was only signed as a back up to play on getaway days and not signed with the intention of him being needed to play full time? 

 

Just get a player who can compete with Polanco and Schoop. Trade, Waivers, IFA, FA... I don't care. We got money, we got trade chips and we got a weak AL Central. This isn't hard... and it's necessary.

 

All the front office has to do is not sign a player with the attitude that he isn't going to play much. 

 

I don't hate Adrianza... He's got some value. I take issue with any comment that states "He's fine for a backup". 

 

I don't believe in backups. 

 

I don't believe in backups. 

 

I agree with 90% of what you're saying here. Really, it feels that we're just debating the meaning of a word, which I don't understand because it's already defined by the dictionary.

 

Anyway, I like Ehire. I'll end my piece there because otherwise we're just going in circles and it seems like we mostly agree.

 

 

    • Riverbrian likes this

 

What's there to say about Ehire?

 

I think the Front Office just made a little statement in picking up Torreyes...nothing like a little

 

C-O-M-P-E-T-I-T-I-O-N

 

(especially when if it works out only costs $800k and if it doesn't $0K)

I fully expect the Twins to carry two backup infielders. They have every year as long as I can remember.

Honestly, I have no problems at all with Adrianza being on the roster as a backup infielder. Good glove and he's hit much better than advertised.. My bigger concern at this point is improving the pitching staff.

    • Twins33 and Minny505 like this

But, he did have left shoulder labrum surgery in October.It might not affect his fielding much but we will find out if his hitting will be affected.Having a reasonable back up plan, Torreyes, seems prudent.


Similar Articles


by Tom Froemming , 23 Sep 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 21 Sep 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 19 Sep 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 12 Sep 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 07 Sep 2018
Photo