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Twins should call up Nick Gordon, yesterday

Posted by GoGonzoJournal , 06 June 2018 · 2,158 views

nick gordon ryan lamarre ehire adrianza gregorio petit
Twins should call up Nick Gordon, yesterday Ehire Adrianza has no business playing shortstop everyday, and Gregorio Petit has no business on an MLB roster. Ryan LaMarre should be nothing more than a fourth outfielder and pinch runner. And it’s way past time for the Minnesota Twins to call up Nick Gordon.

This was originally published at FoulPlaybyPlay.com.

The Ehire Adrianza Problem
On Wednesday night in Minneapolis, Ehire Adrianza started at shortstop because Logan Morrison’s back was still a bit stiff, moving Miguel Sano to first base and Eduardo Escobar to third. Miguel playing first makes a lot of sense, but Adrianza being in the lineup with Gordon hitting .357 at AAA Rochester just doesn’t compute.

Adrianza even had two doubles and drove in a run before booting a ball that led to a four-run sixth inning. Adrianza wasn’t given an error on the play. How I don’t know, but it was the play that forced the Twins to go to its bullpen, specifically, the overused Ryan Pressly. Pressly has appeared in 31 of the Twins’ 58 games, and he’s starting to show signs of fatigue. In his last three appearances, he’s allowed three earned runs over two innings, allowing four hits and a walk.

The Pressly problem I’ll save for another rant. This rant is about never seeing Gregorio Petit and Ehire Adrianza in Twins uniforms again. Even if Gordon struggles to hit in the bigs, which hasn’t been a problem for him at any level, he’s better defensively and on the bases than Petit and Adrianza right now.

Gordon is an Upgrade Defensively at Shortstop
Adrianza is three runs below average over 1,200 innings at shortstop. Petit is 48 runs below average over 1,200 innings. And while I don’t have access to the same stat for Gordon, Baseball Reference does tell me his range factor per game (3.46) is higher than Adrianza’s (3.28) and Petit’s (2.67).

Gordon is an Upgrade on the Bases
It’s also safe to assume Gordon to be a better base runner than both Adrianza and Petit. I can’t tell you how many runs Gordon is worth on the bases, but I can tell you he’s faster than Adrianza and Petit. Baseball Prospectus’ editor Aaron Gleeman indicates as much with regards to Adrianza on Twitter.

As a slight, switch-hitting shortstop, it's natural to assume Ehire Adrianza is a good, fast runner. He's not.
He's below average, according to both Sprint Speed and Baseball Prospectus' baserunning metric.
Paul Molitor has used him 10 times as a pinch-runner since last season.
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) June 6, 2018


Adrianza and Petit have each cost the Twins a run on the bases this season and have combined for three stolen bases on four attempts. Gordon is seven of 11 on stolen base attempts this year.

Gordon is an Upgrade at the Plate
I know what you’re thinking: “It doesn’t matter how good Gordon is on the bases if he’s not on base.” Well, his batting average at AAA is higher than Adrianza’s on-base percentage and Petit’s batting average. Gordon is hitting .357 with an on-base percentage of .379. Adrianza’s on-base percentage sat at .281 at the time of this writing, and Petit’s average is .308 in 30 plate appearances.

The Lineup with Gordon
Assuming Morrison and Joe Mauer become available soon, which seems to be the case, you might think Adrianza’s playing time will diminish, and that’s true. But until Byron Buxton is healthy, which could take considerable time, LaMarre will still play center field, where Max Kepler is 35 runs above average over 1,200 innings to LaMarre’s -56. That’s a difference of 91 runs over 135 games.

I don’t know about you, but I’d also rather have Nick Gordon’s bat in the lineup instead of LaMarre’s. LaMarre might be hitting a respectable .288 with a .681 OPS, but just three of his 18 hits have gone for extra bases. Consider this:
  • Joe Mauer, 1B
  • Brian Dozier, 2B
  • Eddie Rosario, RF
  • Miguel Sano, 3B
  • Eduardo Escobar, LF
  • Max Kepler, CF
  • Logan Morrison, DH
  • Mitch Garver, C
  • Nick Gordon, SS
I think this lineup is better defensively, better on the bases and better at the plate than Paul Molitor’s, but I’m not the reigning American League Manager of the Year. Molitor might not be able to convince president of baseball operations Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine to call up Gordon, and I don't know what they're doing claiming Taylor Motter, but Molitor should be in their ear every day, because it’s way past time for the Minnesota Twins to call up Nick Gordon.

  • Danchat and nclahammer like this



Nice article. Yeah, the Twins could really use Gordon... the only downside appears to be his glove. Having Adrianza in the lineup almost every day has hurt this team, and Gordon could be the spark-plug this offense needs, but the closer Polanco gets to returning, the less likely I see Gordon coming up as a starter. I'm not sure if Gordon really needs much time to develop at AAA before he's ready to go in the big leagues.

 

Claiming Taylor Motter made some sense as they've stashed him at AAA with an open 40 man roster spot, probably to see if they can fix his bat. If they could improve his hitting, he'd be a solid bench player and a definite upgrade from somebody like Gregorio Petit. However, if the Twins need to make a move, they could probably DFA him and sneak him through waivers.

 

And don't get me started about the Pressly/Reed overuse situation. Meanwhile Busenitz is crushing AAA for the second straight year (0.47 ERA in 19 IP!!) and not to mention that Moya and Curtiss are dealing and ready for another shot.

    • GoGonzoJournal likes this
I know it's one game, one play, and one error that wasn't called as such, but that boot tonight by Adrianza was really bad and really costly. I don't expect anyone to be perfect, and errors happen. But that was bad. And I was actually tempted to post tonight how much better he has been playing of late. I tend to be conservative when it comes to promotions, letting guys develop and achieve success. Too old school? Perhaps. But I have come to the point now where I really believe Gordon needs his shot. Petit should be back at Rochester. Gordon should get his shot. Polanco is still a month or more from being available and ready.
    • GoGonzoJournal likes this

Motter is because they are not sure Petit will be able to return to Rochester. But, yes, at some point the Twins need to start removing fluff and moving on from potential free agents and AAAA guys and letting the young 'uns play ball.

 

Gordon, Wade both would need to be add ons to the 40-man. Same with Anderson. Man, the Twins seem rich in pitching, with the young guys just needing some innings (and a chance to fail).

 

Gordon COULD spark the offense. Especially if whomever puts together the lineup can figure out a lineup that works.

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tarheeltwinsfan
Jun 07 2018 08:34 AM

Your proposed lineup will stop a lot of grounders with 2 SS, but an empty LF may be a problem.

    • GoGonzoJournal and dbminn like this

Yup. Gordon should've been up three weeks ago. I'm not sure he's going to be an improvement but he has a chance to be very good, and that's more than can be said about 3-4 players on the current roster.

    • GoGonzoJournal likes this

Snooze ... Yet another call up Gordon rant .... Also you may want to include a left fielder in your lineup

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LA VIkes Fan
Jun 07 2018 02:57 PM

Here's an argument for calling up Gordon. The Twins have played 52 games, 28 left before Polanco returns. Mauer is out and may remain out awhile. That leaves Sano and Morrison to play 1B and DH, moving Escobar to his best position at 3B. Adrianza is now the SS and is better suited as an occasional utility guy.Soooo....

 

Bring up Gordon and play his at SS "every day" for the next month. When Mauer returns, he, Sano, Escobar and Morrison can split the 1B/3B/DH positions.DFA Petit for Gordon (he never plays anyway), and move Adrianza to the UTL slot for the first slot, DFA Grossman or Adrianza when Mauer comes back. Leaves LaMarre in CF with Grossman as the 4th OF/occasional DH playing 2 games a week initially. Make Escobar the 4th OF if or when Grossman is DFA'd (scary, but he's played out there before and is he really any worse than Grossman as an OF?). LaMarre goes to AAA or becomes the 4th OF when Buxton returns. In the latter case, either Gordon goes back down if he's struggling,we go to 7 man bullpen, or an injury takes away the roster crunch. 

 

By doing this, we can see what we have in Gordon at this point before Polanco comes back to either see him as the "answer" at SS or 2B for next year or showcase him for a trade. The "everyday lineup" becomes (and it has a LF):  

 

Mauer 1B/DH

Dozier 2B

Rosario LF

Escobar 3B

Sano DH/3B/1B

Kepler RF

LaMarre CF

Garver/Wilson/Rupp (callup for Wilson) C

Gordon SS

 

Morrison plays 3-4 days a week - two at 1B and two at DH (Mauer off one or two, one or two as DH, Sano off one, one at 1B and 1-2 at 3B, with Escobar off one or sliding to either SS or 2B).Morrison slots in Sano's spot in the batting order or behind Sano if Mauer sits and everyone moves up one 1-5. The AB and possible DFA losers in this are Grossman and Adrianza, with Mauer and Gordon taking those ABs.Play Sano or Morrison every day if they get hot at the expense of the other. Seems like an upgrade to me and a strengthening of the bench. 

 

We have several holes in our offebse due to injuries and slumps. IMO the best things we can do is call up Rupp and Gordon. If we want to go for more lowcost help we can trade for KC 3B Moustakas. I doubt he would cost much in terms of prospect capital. The only other thing is to bring up Wade to start in OF in place of Buxton.
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GoGonzoJournal
Jun 07 2018 08:13 PM

Escobar was supposed to be the left fielder. Sorry.

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GoGonzoJournal
Jun 07 2018 08:22 PM

Escobar is the left fielder. My bad. I thought that would have been more obvious, though.

Your proposed lineup will stop a lot of grounders with 2 SS, but an empty LF may be a problem.

 

Escobar doesn't belong in the outfield, anywhere. Funny how this organization won't bring up their best AAA players like Gordon when the player at that position goes down with an injury or in Polanco's case is suspended. Gordon should have been promoted as soon as they lost Polanco. Why is a backup/bench player, Adrianza automatically good enough to be his replacement? He's a utility player. That means he's played sparingly to give your regular guy a day of rest, not to be an everyday player. 

 

As for the lineup, Dozier and Sano should be hitting at the bottom until they start being productive. Problem is there are 5 other guys that belong there too.

    • Danchat and bighat like this

There have been a lot of rants on TD about how the Twins screwed up Buxton by calling him up too early - even though he dominated in the minors. Perhaps the Twins brass is sheepish about calling up Gordon because of how poorly Buxton has turned out?

 

There have been a lot of rants on TD about how the Twins screwed up Buxton by calling him up too early - even though he dominated in the minors. Perhaps the Twins brass is sheepish about calling up Gordon because of how poorly Buxton has turned out?

I highly doubt one prospect's development cycle is going to change how the new regime develops their own prospects. It seems they're going to take their time with him, but it's probably not related to Buxton.

    • dbminn likes this

Only in the Twins organization would a prospect like Gordon been returned back to AA and then not have been called up by now.  

 

Anyone who thinks that bringin up a non-entity like 33 year old Gregorio Petit over Gordon was a good idea is fooling themselves.It is completely unjustifiable. 

 

I get that the Twins want to pretend like they are contenders, but they aren't.I get that Gordon might have some growing pains both at the plate and on the field.But the other fact is he cannot do much worse than Petit and Adrianza.   

 

Only in the Twins organization would a prospect like Gordon been returned back to AA and then not have been called up by now.  

 

Anyone who thinks that bringin up a non-entity like 33 year old Gregorio Petit over Gordon was a good idea is fooling themselves.It is completely unjustifiable. 

 

I get that the Twins want to pretend like they are contenders, but they aren't.I get that Gordon might have some growing pains both at the plate and on the field.But the other fact is he cannot do much worse than Petit and Adrianza.   

 

If they're not in a pennant race, why rush up a prospect, who probably does have more to learn, and start his service time early, rather than saving his arrival for later, when it will be more useful, and he'll be playing at a higher level? What's the downside?

 

Why watch his growing pains in MLB, when he'll have to prioritize immediate production over working on weaknesses, when every day up here literally comes at the expense of a day later, when he's at peak value, for literally the same price? We get six years either way. Each day earlier he starts, each day as a fumbling rookie, puts him one day closer to free agency.

 

I would argue that the only reason to justify that trade off is if you think his nearly formed talent is urgently needed to win a pennant race. I think that case could be made, actually -- they're not that far out, and could get back in it. If you want to win now, and he's your best shot at it, by all means prioritize that over service time concerns. But if you think a pennant is a pipe dream, what's the rush?