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Arraez finishes 6th in AL Rookie of the Year vote

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Free Agent Pitching

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Gleeman on The Athletic ranked the top 20 Free Agent Pitchers. Odorizzi at 6 (behind Hyun-Jin Ryu, Age 33) Pineda at 8 and Gibson at...

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Rebuilding? Really?

Posted by mikelink45 , 21 November 2018 · 1,729 views

twins rebuilding falvey levine
Rebuilding?  Really? This is not rebuilding - it is prolonged agony. A rebuild from what - an accidental year that got us blown out of the play offs, Since 2010 we have lost 90 or more 5 times. We have been above 500 twice. We have averaged being 22 games behind for the last 8 years. We have seen attendance go down 7 out of 8 years.

We have been 4 or 5th place 5 times and second 3 times - does second in the Central count?

We have been in limbo or purgatory. Some teams get better when they get worse because of their draft place, but we always have to wait two years - now it is for Lewis and Kiriloff.

We rank number 16 in OBP, 19th in Slugging, 18 in OPS - we are 94 in OPS+ and 23rd in HRs, but only 16 in Ks! If you have lots of Ks I thought that the theory was you would have lots of HRs. What did I miss? Of course if you do not hit the long ball - there is always speed - we ranked 28 in SB.

So pitching! Here the BP gives us position number 23 in saves. But good news we are up to 16 in Ks! And we rank #20 in ERA+. But maybe we can just keep them off base with ground balls and great fielding - nope. We are #24 in WHIP. Our starters gave us a +2 WAR ranking us 15 - middle of the pack - at least it is better than the rank of #25 in RP WAR (-4.5)

In wins above average by position we rank #20 overall at - 6.3 WAR. #18 in total pitching WAR (-2.8) which is brought down by our Bullpem ranking #25 at (-4.7). NOTE THAT ALL THESE RANKINGS ARE FOR MLB, NOT JUST THE AL.

In non-pitching we rank number 19. So go around the diamond:
Catcher 16 (-0.6)
1st Base 24 (-1.6) who wanted to bring Mauer back?
2nd Base 21 (-0.7)
SS 24 (0.0) Despite the fact that Eduardo Escobar played there half the year and had 2.2 WAR while he did. What does that say about Polanco?
3B 23 (-0.7)
LF 7 (1.3) There is no minus! Way to go Rosario.
CF 17 (-0.3)
RF 10 (0.3) Not great, but no minus.
DH 27 (-0.8) My god, we can't even get a plus from DH?

All of those from Baseball Reference - https://www.baseball.../MLB/2018.shtml

So what are we rebuilding? We have 40% of a rotation, one decent reliever, two OFs who hold their own and a catcher that is improving.

Yes I am a skeptic. All our deals, our drafts, our promise has amounted to an 8 year purgatory. Tell the FO to call me when we have at least half of a really good team. In all of MLB we were in 19th place last year, 30 games behind the Red Sox, In AL only we were number 9 and five of the six teams behind us were tanking. Even in just our division we were 13 GB! And Cleveland ranked number 5 in the AL and you know how well they did in the playoffs.

  • ToddlerHarmon likes this



It's hard not to be bummed with this lineup but these war rankings were absolutely damning evidence of what needs to be done to get moving in the right direction and the list seems long.

  

Key observations based on your war ratings.

 

1. Our bullpen is bad. Tyler Duffey, Alan Busenitz, Matt Magill and John Curtiss left a lot to be desired. How Jake Reed was once again not called up last season with as bad as the BP was is anyone's guess.

 

I find it puzzling that the FO did so little to try and stabilize the BP situation when it became apparent how bad they really were. I also think that Molitor made a bad situation worse with his mishandling of the pen. That said, it's hard to work with junk and some of the failure falls on the pitching coaches, BUT Paul's usage of BP guys was head scratching at best.

 

The Twins HAVE to upgrade the pen in order to have a shot at competing in 2019 if you ask me.

 

2. No doubt the Catcher position was a weakness on this team but it was probably the least of our problems. Jason Castro being down for almost the entire season certainly hurt, but let's not get carried away. I've never been overly impressed with Castro. I did like what Garver was able to do in limited at-bats down the stretch and the games he caught. Astudillo also provided some interesting moments as well but the Twins could and probably should be looking to upgrade at catcher if possible in my humble opinion. That said, I would still like to see what Garver can do with more playing time and experience.  

 

3. DH. This one really hurts. Logan Morrison was an absolute disaster last season and no-one stepped up and picked up the slack. This guy finished his Twins career with a .186 BA! It doesn't get much worse then that. I had hoped at some point that Vargas would figure things out and develop offensive consistency at the MLB level but we've been wishing that for several seasons and it never happened. An upgrade is definitely needed at DH although it's possible Tyler Austin sees time there.There's also a good chance that Sano ends up at DH in a few years but probably not next season.

 

4.3rd base and CF. Look i know everyone wants to keep the faith with Sano and Buxton but the fact is these two were perhaps the biggest disappointments in all of baseball last season. Sano once again showed up at spring training out of shape but even more disappointing & disturbing was his complete lack of plate discipline a regression from his previous season.

 

Likewise Buxton was wildly inconsistent at the plate and despite all his defensive heroics was not able to overcome a disastrous start to the season and finished -0.6 war. Fortunately Jake Cave stabilized CF after Buxton went down to Rochester but that's not a permanent solution. These two (Sano & Buxton) HAVE to come back with a vengeance next season or the Twins will be forced into Plan B at some point which likely leads to MORE years of mediocrity and misery for the fan base.  

 

5. 2nd base. Brian Dozier utterly failed last season. While i admire what he was able to do in 2016 and 2017 he reverted back to his old offensive Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ways in 2018 and was non existent prior to the all-star break. Unfortunately for the team he never showed up at all last season and was traded.  

 

Heading into 2019 the Twins need to figure out 2nd base and where Gordon fits. Perhaps Polanco moves to 2nd and Gordon stays at short until Lewis arrives. All of this was complicated by Gordon's horrendous season in AAA, Escobar being traded and Polanco's 80 game PED suspension that torpedoed his season for all intensive purposes. Disappointing to say the least. 

 

6. 1st baseI was never a Joe Mauer Homer but a team -1.6 war stat for 1st base? That can't be right? 

 

This is a position that Falvey and Levin will no doubt be looking to upgrade and we already have evidence of that in their discussions with the Diamondbacks over Paul Goldschmidt. That said, i think his price will be unbelievably high in prospects and the Twins might settle on Tyler Austin as a stop gap measure until Brent Rooker arrives. This will undoubtedly cost them games next season depending on how quickly Rooker progresses through AAA (assuming he starts there in 2019) and Austin handles a full time job in the meantime. There's also the the outside chance that Sano ends up at first again depending on how desperate they get, but i think Miguel has a greater chance of ending up at DH the way he's going. 

 

7. Starters. Probably the least of their concerns heading into the off-season which seems hard to believe. Now that Santana is gone, it's Berrios, Gibson, Odorizzi, Romero and Stewart? Pineda is still an option in 2019 along with Gonsalves whom i was not impressed with. There's also an outside chance that Thorpe could be a late season callup if need be. I don't see a reason to spend big here unless it's for someone like Patrick Corbin. For the first time in MANY seasons the Twins have plenty of internal candidates with significant talent to pick from. At times Romero has looked amazing at the major league level and should build on this.Further down, Thorpe is in AAA and should reach 150 innings this coming season.He's getting close.There's also the phenomenon Brusdar Graterol but he's a ways away.The outlook on starters is so much better than a few years ago.

    • Kelly Vance, mikelink45, nclahammer and 1 other like this
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Kelly Vance
Nov 21 2018 07:48 PM

Shaking my head at the Twins handling of Jake Reed.He has done everything they have asked of him. He is a character guy and won an award for off field contributions to humanity ..yada yada yada

 

His numbers are better than bums they had on the major league roster.

And they don't protect him?  

 

Hope he gets picked up by a team that is in it for serious and wins a ring 

    • mikelink45 likes this
Mike, I absolutely will not disagree with you, or argue the numbers. Nor will I argue the run of bad years and 90 loss season's. Also, I have no crystal ball to predict how 2019 will unfold, or who will perform to what levels.

And while I am not making any excuses for anyone, I'd like to offer up a glass is half full counter, if I may.

1] I understand the frustration and disappointment in regard to both Buxton and Sano. I feel it as well. But the truth is, both ARE super talented, and have flashed, especially Sano. "Doc" is my nickname, and I have no medical training, though I do have some knowledge and consider myself fairly intelligent, lol. But the surgery for Sano absolutely bad to curtail his preparation for 2018. (Not to mention his off the field distraction). From migraines to a freak foot injury to his wrist, Buxton's season was a medical disaster, (possibly exasperated by poor medical decisions). There is a really good chance that better health/luck in 2019 will have both of these guys tapping in to their potential.

2] I like Garver a lot. I saw real improvement as the season went along, and I really like the bat. Castro is nothing special, but he's a nice quality, veteran backstop. Having him back helps in various ways, even as the back-up, which is where I see him. Do I have to say again how much I like Astudillo as a bat and nice role player who looked solid behind the plate to me?

3] Lineup and position-wise, in addition to those mentioned above, I liked what Cave brought. Just a little more growth and discipline in his second year, he's a nice player. The same could be said for Austin. Not saying he will be special, but the power is legit, as well as his milb numbers. I don't penalize him for not cracking the Yankees on a consistent basis. Opportunity and timing is a very real thing. He could be a dangerous lower order hitter. Many of us can/have/will debate Polanco as a SS for now or the future. But he has flashed an awful lot of potential offensively for a middle infielder and should only get better. And we should have him for a on entire season in 2019! Does Kepler need to average out weird splits and find a way to take all that potential, and good eye, and become a more consistent threat? Absolutely. But I've seen enough to feel good he may just be about ready to break through.

Are there a couple holes? Absolutely! Could we use more depth and roster/lineup flexibility? Again, Absolutely! But I feel, position player wise, there is a little more here than you state.

3] Rotation-wise, surprisingly, I feel pretty good. Not "giddy", as there is room for improvement and no sure fire "top of the rotation guy who can beat your top of the rotation guy" on hand. At least not yet. And I would be ecstatic if the Twins pulled off a bold move there! It seems Berrios has been around forever, but that's not the case. He's only 25 and coming off only his second full season. There is so much promise there! Romero, a couple months older, missed a lot of milb time due to injury but has shown wicked stuff and potential. With experience and coaching, he could be better than Berrios, potentially by the end of 2019. Gibson has proved himself by his early work and his maturity over the last season and a half. Odorizzi is nothing special, but solid. In fact, when the season was done and someone posted his final numbers and where he was ranked in the league, I was pleasantly surprised. Pineda is not special, at least he hasn't been to this point, but his career numbers are solid. His arm is healthy, and he looked sound in his rehab during 2018.

There is also some depth/competition available and a few arms we could see climbing the ladder next season. Notably Thorpe and possibly Graterol. (The designated starter idea could ease some of these arms along).

4] The bullpen needs help! Especially the way the game has been transforming, and lack of a true #1 SP at this time. But only one good RP? I have to argue that point. Relievers lead a volitle ML life, we all know this. Only the very, very best have year after year of outstanding numbers with little to no hiccups. (Nathan, for example). But I feel Rogers is legit. I really like what I saw in May on his FIRST YEAR BACK. Consistency? Reed has been that for his entire career, and looked to be that same guy early in 2018. Did Molitor wear him out? After multiple years of such consistency and IP, was it just his year to have "tweaks" and have a poor season? We don't know. And that stinks. But history would seem to indicate and still relatively young, that he will bounce back in 2019. Hildy? Again, like Reed, we aren't sure at the moment. But his milb history, his performance in 2017, and good-decent first 2-3 months of 2018 tell me the "sophomore" is inclined to bounce back as well. Just like when he was added initially, I'm still not sure who Magill is! He had some BAD appearances, as RP are wont to do at times. But there were several times I watched him and saw a mid 90's heater and biting slider and wondered what he could do with just a little more consistency. Could the new staff help make that happen? If so, he could be a really nice 7th arm in the pen. (I DESPISE an 8 man pen and hope we don't have to have one next season).

No doubt help is needed here! And there ARE questions. But I don't agree with just one good RP.

Overly optimistic? Hyperbole and spin? Perhaps. There is roster need, to be sure and questions to be answered. And we could argue how full the glass really is. But I'm just trying to offer a different viewpoint on the situation.
    • mikelink45 and ToddlerHarmon like this

 

Shaking my head at the Twins handling of Jake Reed.He has done everything they have asked of him. He is a character guy and won an award for off field contributions to humanity ..yada yada yada

 

His numbers are better than bums they had on the major league roster.

And they don't protect him?  

 

Hope he gets picked up by a team that is in it for serious and wins a ring 

Too bad all our rejects can't rejoin each other in one good pen just to rub our nose in it.

 

 

It's hard not to be bummed with this lineup but these war rankings were absolutely damning evidence of what needs to be done to get moving in the right direction and the list seems long.

  

Key observations based on your war ratings.

 

1. Our bullpen is bad. Tyler Duffey, Alan Busenitz, Matt Magill and John Curtiss left a lot to be desired. How Jake Reed was once again not called up last season with as bad as the BP was is anyone's guess.

 

I find it puzzling that the FO did so little to try and stabilize the BP situation when it became apparent how bad they really were. I also think that Molitor made a bad situation worse with his mishandling of the pen. That said, it's hard to work with junk and some of the failure falls on the pitching coaches, BUT Paul's usage of BP guys was head scratching at best.

 

The Twins HAVE to upgrade the pen in order to have a shot at competing in 2019 if you ask me.

 

2. No doubt the Catcher position was a weakness on this team but it was probably the least of our problems. Jason Castro being down for almost the entire season certainly hurt, but let's not get carried away. I've never been overly impressed with Castro. I did like what Garver was able to do in limited at-bats down the stretch and the games he caught. Astudillo also provided some interesting moments as well but the Twins could and probably should be looking to upgrade at catcher if possible in my humble opinion. That said, I would still like to see what Garver can do with more playing time and experience.  

 

3. DH. This one really hurts. Logan Morrison was an absolute disaster last season and no-one stepped up and picked up the slack. This guy finished his Twins career with a .186 BA! It doesn't get much worse then that. I had hoped at some point that Vargas would figure things out and develop offensive consistency at the MLB level but we've been wishing that for several seasons and it never happened. An upgrade is definitely needed at DH although it's possible Tyler Austin sees time there.There's also a good chance that Sano ends up at DH in a few years but probably not next season.

 

4.3rd base and CF. Look i know everyone wants to keep the faith with Sano and Buxton but the fact is these two were perhaps the biggest disappointments in all of baseball last season. Sano once again showed up at spring training out of shape but even more disappointing & disturbing was his complete lack of plate discipline a regression from his previous season.

 

Likewise Buxton was wildly inconsistent at the plate and despite all his defensive heroics was not able to overcome a disastrous start to the season and finished -0.6 war. Fortunately Jake Cave stabilized CF after Buxton went down to Rochester but that's not a permanent solution. These two (Sano & Buxton) HAVE to come back with a vengeance next season or the Twins will be forced into Plan B at some point which likely leads to MORE years of mediocrity and misery for the fan base.  

 

5. 2nd base. Brian Dozier utterly failed last season. While i admire what he was able to do in 2016 and 2017 he reverted back to his old offensive Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ways in 2018 and was non existent prior to the all-star break. Unfortunately for the team he never showed up at all last season and was traded.  

 

Heading into 2019 the Twins need to figure out 2nd base and where Gordon fits. Perhaps Polanco moves to 2nd and Gordon stays at short until Lewis arrives. All of this was complicated by Gordon's horrendous season in AAA, Escobar being traded and Polanco's 80 game PED suspension that torpedoed his season for all intensive purposes. Disappointing to say the least. 

 

6. 1st baseI was never a Joe Mauer Homer but a team -1.6 war stat for 1st base? That can't be right? 

 

This is a position that Falvey and Levin will no doubt be looking to upgrade and we already have evidence of that in their discussions with the Diamondbacks over Paul Goldschmidt. That said, i think his price will be unbelievably high in prospects and the Twins might settle on Tyler Austin as a stop gap measure until Brent Rooker arrives. This will undoubtedly cost them games next season depending on how quickly Rooker progresses through AAA (assuming he starts there in 2019) and Austin handles a full time job in the meantime. There's also the the outside chance that Sano ends up at first again depending on how desperate they get, but i think Miguel has a greater chance of ending up at DH the way he's going. 

 

7. Starters. Probably the least of their concerns heading into the off-season which seems hard to believe. Now that Santana is gone, it's Berrios, Gibson, Odorizzi, Romero and Stewart? Pineda is still an option in 2019 along with Gonsalves whom i was not impressed with. There's also an outside chance that Thorpe could be a late season callup if need be. I don't see a reason to spend big here unless it's for someone like Patrick Corbin. For the first time in MANY seasons the Twins have plenty of internal candidates with significant talent to pick from. At times Romero has looked amazing at the major league level and should build on this.Further down, Thorpe is in AAA and should reach 150 innings this coming season.He's getting close.There's also the phenomenon Brusdar Graterol but he's a ways away.The outlook on starters is so much better than a few years ago.

Nicely done.So much to work with here.Where is our hope?

 

Mike, I absolutely will not disagree with you, or argue the numbers. Nor will I argue the run of bad years and 90 loss season's. Also, I have no crystal ball to predict how 2019 will unfold, or who will perform to what levels.

And while I am not making any excuses for anyone, I'd like to offer up a glass is half full counter, if I may.

1] I understand the frustration and disappointment in regard to both Buxton and Sano. I feel it as well. But the truth is, both ARE super talented, and have flashed, especially Sano. "Doc" is my nickname, and I have no medical training, though I do have some knowledge and consider myself fairly intelligent, lol. But the surgery for Sano absolutely bad to curtail his preparation for 2018. (Not to mention his off the field distraction). From migraines to a freak foot injury to his wrist, Buxton's season was a medical disaster, (possibly exasperated by poor medical decisions). There is a really good chance that better health/luck in 2019 will have both of these guys tapping in to their potential.

2] I like Garver a lot. I saw real improvement as the season went along, and I really like the bat. Castro is nothing special, but he's a nice quality, veteran backstop. Having him back helps in various ways, even as the back-up, which is where I see him. Do I have to say again how much I like Astudillo as a bat and nice role player who looked solid behind the plate to me?

3] Lineup and position-wise, in addition to those mentioned above, I liked what Cave brought. Just a little more growth and discipline in his second year, he's a nice player. The same could be said for Austin. Not saying he will be special, but the power is legit, as well as his milb numbers. I don't penalize him for not cracking the Yankees on a consistent basis. Opportunity and timing is a very real thing. He could be a dangerous lower order hitter. Many of us can/have/will debate Polanco as a SS for now or the future. But he has flashed an awful lot of potential offensively for a middle infielder and should only get better. And we should have him for a on entire season in 2019! Does Kepler need to average out weird splits and find a way to take all that potential, and good eye, and become a more consistent threat? Absolutely. But I've seen enough to feel good he may just be about ready to break through.

Are there a couple holes? Absolutely! Could we use more depth and roster/lineup flexibility? Again, Absolutely! But I feel, position player wise, there is a little more here than you state.

3] Rotation-wise, surprisingly, I feel pretty good. Not "giddy", as there is room for improvement and no sure fire "top of the rotation guy who can beat your top of the rotation guy" on hand. At least not yet. And I would be ecstatic if the Twins pulled off a bold move there! It seems Berrios has been around forever, but that's not the case. He's only 25 and coming off only his second full season. There is so much promise there! Romero, a couple months older, missed a lot of milb time due to injury but has shown wicked stuff and potential. With experience and coaching, he could be better than Berrios, potentially by the end of 2019. Gibson has proved himself by his early work and his maturity over the last season and a half. Odorizzi is nothing special, but solid. In fact, when the season was done and someone posted his final numbers and where he was ranked in the league, I was pleasantly surprised. Pineda is not special, at least he hasn't been to this point, but his career numbers are solid. His arm is healthy, and he looked sound in his rehab during 2018.

There is also some depth/competition available and a few arms we could see climbing the ladder next season. Notably Thorpe and possibly Graterol. (The designated starter idea could ease some of these arms along).

4] The bullpen needs help! Especially the way the game has been transforming, and lack of a true #1 SP at this time. But only one good RP? I have to argue that point. Relievers lead a volitle ML life, we all know this. Only the very, very best have year after year of outstanding numbers with little to no hiccups. (Nathan, for example). But I feel Rogers is legit. I really like what I saw in May on his FIRST YEAR BACK. Consistency? Reed has been that for his entire career, and looked to be that same guy early in 2018. Did Molitor wear him out? After multiple years of such consistency and IP, was it just his year to have "tweaks" and have a poor season? We don't know. And that stinks. But history would seem to indicate and still relatively young, that he will bounce back in 2019. Hildy? Again, like Reed, we aren't sure at the moment. But his milb history, his performance in 2017, and good-decent first 2-3 months of 2018 tell me the "sophomore" is inclined to bounce back as well. Just like when he was added initially, I'm still not sure who Magill is! He had some BAD appearances, as RP are wont to do at times. But there were several times I watched him and saw a mid 90's heater and biting slider and wondered what he could do with just a little more consistency. Could the new staff help make that happen? If so, he could be a really nice 7th arm in the pen. (I DESPISE an 8 man pen and hope we don't have to have one next season).

No doubt help is needed here! And there ARE questions. But I don't agree with just one good RP.

Overly optimistic? Hyperbole and spin? Perhaps. There is roster need, to be sure and questions to be answered. And we could argue how full the glass really is. But I'm just trying to offer a different viewpoint on the situation.

Nicely done, I always appreciate your thoughtful postings.I do not want to give up on the Twins.I follow them every day of the season and off season, but I do not want to be caught up in the hype until I see something really working. 

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ToddlerHarmon
Nov 22 2018 03:59 AM

I like this skeptical look at the Twins.  I have hope still for Sano, Buxton, Kepler, and Polanco, but they have to establish themselves consistently at a high level this year.  Assume Rosario and Garver will be ok.  Even then you need a shortstop (Polanco to 2B), first, and DH.  Gordon, Rooker, and Cave?  Possible, but it will be painful for all this year, Gordon is not looking like a future starter or a glove-first backup, and Cave probably doesn't have that much offense in him.

 

Basically, this year is where we find out whether Lewis and Kiriloff complete the picture in 2020, or whether they are the reset button.  Scary stuff.

 

    • mikelink45 likes this
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theBOMisthebomb
Nov 22 2018 11:20 AM
This is it. The reason I am ok with the new manager, coaching staff, Mauer retiring, and Falvine finally getting "their system" and "their guys" in place. My frustration as a fan is at an all time high - I will one up the "what are we rebuilding from" question and top it that the Twins really haven't relevant since the 1990s. One surprise ALCS appearance at the start of the Gardy era does not satisfy. This franchise needs something new. The first two years of Falvine they have only dipped the toe in the water. Now, let's jump in the deep end.
    • mikelink45 and birddog like this

This is the first REAL off-season for management to show their stuff. They did a GREAT job patching holes last season with a host of free agent signings. Sadly, few of them worked out as all but Rodney underperformed. Kudos that they managed to stock the system with some quality pieces.

 

The system. They are all prospects until they get to the majors and show they have the spunk to play major league ball. The biggest and bestest numbers mean nothing when a new season begins, and it all changes when you keep facing higher level talent. Somehow looking at the upside, the Twins pretty much have talent in the minors that is equal or better than anyone on the current roster which, sadly, speaks ill of th current roster.

 

When your three highest paid players are Pineda, Reed and Castro...you have problems. Scratch all three from the 40-man and what have you lost. Nothing, but you gained $24 million pay one quality player (and, again, just paying someone money doesn't mean they will produce bigtime, look at Lynn who had everything to gain and lost a lot...or Santana...be interesting to see the contracts they get this off-season).

 

Yes, out of all the players in the system, why Jake Reed? Isn't he better than Busenitz (shipped to Asia), or Duffey, or Magill....he has to be. I'm still uncertain on Curtiss. Hope he is more than the second-coming of Chargois. We will see. But the twins spent last season on three free agent arms and Duke and Rodney did contribute...sadly we are stuck with Reed but he CAN come back, strong.

 

The Twins have strength in the rotation. Job one: Do you longterm sign Gibson AND/OR Odorizzi. Is Gibson signed out of team loyalty? Unfortunately, the team will probably lowball him and Gibson might see 2019 as the chance for a big payout. But if he bombs, the Twins lose on two fronts: untradable, and dogged a longterm bullet. Odorizzi is a $9 million contract. Can they find better for that amount, or a longterm with someone else for a similar amount? Pineda is a gamble (wish got to see a few innings out of him last September). Berrios has matured. We can hope Romero follows in the footsteps. Stewart did well. Goncalves learned. The Twins also have DeJong and Slegers, who should be hungry, and Mejia. A lot of names there. How many do we want to see pitch for the Twins in 2020 or 2021 is MY Question. If you don't see them with the team that long, start dangling them to fill holes in your batting order.

 

The Twins need to make a hard and fast decision on Sano. Is he a third baseman or do the Twins need a third baseman. Do they trust him at first (or swinging in 2019 with Austin between first and DH). I would put my money almost more on a Donaldson fr the next few futures. The Twins also need someone at 2B/SS. Hell, if he really strikesout in the free agent market, I would bring back Dozier for a season. Maybe flip him again, if he improves. Or, go with Gordon and see what he ahs. Push the envelope. But in every other way I would fasttrak Lewis, and also push Wander Javier. 

Cave deserves backup, and maybe even a start in center if Buxton's act isn't together...yet. Astudillo? Do you want him on the bench of Grossman, although Grossman still has an uncanny ability to sometimes get on base. Sano is the screwup here. You have a bench of four guys if you short the bullpen (and I don't consider just having 7 bullpen arms short...don't know why you need 8). Willians, Robbie, Garver, Adrianza. But then Cave pushes one out if he is the 4th outfielder. Almost wish we could live without Castro. Gad, I hope Sano is the second-coming of David Ortiz rather than the once-and-future Oswaldo Arcia or Delmon Young.

 

Then again, could Falvey and Levine be Billy Beane and totally tear apart the roster as it stands. Make up to 10 changes on the 25-man. Ship off prospects on the cusp or really will be bypassed by others after another season, move any perceived depth the Twins have in rotation arms or outfielders or shortstops for arbitration-eligible players who improve the team, and maybe one or two expensive free-agent signings. 

 

Like I said...this is their off-season. They have their manager. They have their coaches. The minor league staff is pretty much re-worked. They have added lots of prospects thru trades, drafting, grabbing from others. They have a lot of money to work with. The Twins have placed SECOND, yes second-place IS better than fourth or fifth or LAST (even if it is just the Central Division). Other teams would like to call themselves so lucky.

 

The good news, don;t see it as a great expense to attend a Twins game in 2019. Baseball is baseball. You can't predict who will win or lose. I find it a fun game to watch, especially in the sun.

    • mikelink45 likes this

In non-pitching we rank number 19. So go around the diamond:
Catcher 16 (-0.6)
1st Base 24 (-1.6) who wanted to bring Mauer back?
2nd Base 21 (-0.7)
SS 24 (0.0) Despite the fact that Eduardo Escobar played there half the year and had 2.2 WAR while he did. What does that say about Polanco?
3B 23 (-0.7)
LF 7 (1.3) There is no minus! Way to go Rosario.
CF 17 (-0.3)
RF 10 (0.3) Not great, but no minus.
DH 27 (-0.8) My god, we can't even get a plus from DH?

 

 

The time has come. 2019 is the season of the changing of he guard. Falvine now have their people in place. They are drafting and trading and signing their players. There are a lot of players on the current roster that are expendable, Just look at the numbers. Last season only Rosario was worthy of a spot in the lineup. (Except:Escobar and he was suppose to be a backup!) 

Berrios, Gibson and Odorizzi give 'em a solid 3 starters, and Rogers and May give 'em a solid 2 in the bullpen. So we got 6 players that are worth keeping at the moment. On a 40 man roster that leaves a lot of holes to fill. I'd give Polonco, Sano, Buxton, Kepler, Austin, Cave, Garver, Astudillo, Hildenberger, 9 of those spots. But for Sano, Buxton and Kepler 2019 is the end of the line if they don't improve to a Rosario productive level. Time is running out for them. The others are extended a longer leash due to last season being their first real chance. As for the Duffey's, Magill's and those that have failed at every attempt numerous times it is more than past time to cut the cord and say bye bye. 

    • mikelink45 likes this

help is on the way for first badse in the way of CJ Cron -http://www.espn.com/...vers-tampa-rays

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

help is on the way for first badse in the way of CJ Cron -http://www.espn.com/...vers-tampa-rays

I really thought a lot about that - still do not understand the Rays cutting him.I really think this is a good move.Now they still have the money to invest in other needs.

 

Thanks for pointing it out.