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Early Impressions from the Boxscores

Posted by Hosken Bombo Disco , 12 March 2016 · 1,379 views

spring training
Some random, small sample thoughts on the Twins performance, based mostly on what the box scores are telling us, as we approach the halfway point of spring training. All the normal caveats about small sample, quality of opponents, and then some. I feel putting it in writing here will let me see how they hold up as spring training ends and we get going into the regular season.

_______

The bullpen. The three back end guys are Perkins, Jepsen and May. Good on Molly to give May a start today, though. I’d like to see May be a starter again in future seasons, but for this year, he looks ticketed for the 'pen. Add to those three Fien and Abad. That makes five relievers who look to start the season, and of those five, only Fien has allowed an earned run in relief. That’s not bad. Spring training is not necessarily a meaning-making exercise, but you'd rather be doing good than bad.

Additionally, Nick Burdi and J. T. Chargois, our future bullpen anchors, have each thrown 3 scoreless innings. The future might be here early, let's hope. A lot of people were critical of the inaction this winter (not me) but either way, we need guys who can get outs.

Forcing the Twins hand is the fact that guys like Aaron Thompson and Michael Tonkin are struggling to pitch any scoreless innings. Disappointing. (Granted Thompson is no longer on the 40-man.) And throw Meyer in with them. Meyer has faced 8 batters, struck out 3, walked 3, and the other batters 2 had line drive base hits. No batter he has faced has been retired in the field. Two of those other batters were thrown out stealing. Go figure. Nor have other guys like Dean, Reed and Melotakis haven’t put their names in the headlines yet. It’s still early, however.

Then shift to J. R. Graham and Ryan Pressly. Combined, they have pitched 7 scoreless innings. Both are guys that Ryan picked up in the Rule 5 draft and right now, from 35,000 feet, I’d give Pressly a strong chance to make the Opening Day roster. Zack Jones, who Ryan lost to the Brewers in the Rule 5 draft this winter, blew out his shoulder prior to training camp, hasn't resumed throwing yet. Longshots O’Rourke and Kintzler have also pitched 3 scoreless innings apiece. Of those two, give the edge to O’Rourke because he’s awesome on the 40 man.

Prediction: either Burdi or Chargois forces the Twins hand on a promotion right away in April, or even breaking from camp. I’d prefer the latter.

Now let me talk about our new designated hitter. I’m not exactly sure how his name is styled, if it should read Park Byung-ho, or Byung Ho Park, or even Byung-ho Pak, without the R. I’d like to get it right, because he’s going to be good. After a forgetful first game (three strikeouts), he has batted 8-19 with 3 homers. Let’s roll the dice; he is ready.

Arcia, Vargas and Santana have not hit yet, but that could change. Arcia is playing out of position in left field, Santana is playing several positions that he will struggle at in the majors, and Vargas in my opinion plays first base at least as well as Mauer does, but I’d much rather have Mauer for another year than Vargas. Vargas just hasn’t hit consistently since his first call up. Despite Mauer’s struggles, I still usually feel confident when he comes to the plate. I can’t say that about Vargas. Fortunately Vargas still has an option year and can play in Rochester again until needed.

As has also been pointed out, Carlos Quentin is receiving the most playing time of the non roster invitees, by far. He’s also playing all over the field. He hasn’t been a full time player in years—he was even retired last season. The Twins wouldn’t ask him to play full time, but with Park showing he’s ready to DH there’s just no spot for Quentin, unless the Twins want to cut Santana or Arcia, which in my mind would be shortsighted for the limited value Quentin might provide. No doubt Quentin has shown in the past that he can mash, and hopefully he will accept some time in AAA and let the Twins see how things play out.

Buxton figures to make the team, but is striking out a lot. I’m not too worried so long as the Twins can keep him in good spirits and let the development happen as it's meant to for him.

And finally, Miguel Sano. Have you ever seen him hit? When people in sports bars hold up their phones to film Sano at bats on the television, that’s pretty special. Most of us expect him to struggle some in right field, and he will. But he got an outfield assist recently; expect him to get even more outfield assists after the season starts, as opposing base runners test his instincts out there.

Speaking of outfield assists, don’t try to run on Rosario out in left. Or rather, please do try to run on Rosario. :)

  • howieramone2 likes this



I think the 6th spot is Kintzler's job to lose knowing previous roster decisions by the Twins with either a rookie or a LHP as #7.

 

I want Meyer to do something but he's seeming pretty Real Deal over the past year.

 

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Ted Schwerzler
Mar 14 2016 04:19 AM
Tough to consider Kintzler a consideration at all. He's no doubt behind both Pressly and Graham, and the Twins likely would go youth in Burdi/Chargois before him as well.
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Mar 14 2016 04:28 PM
I would agree with Ted on Kintzler but also want to see Meyer do something, like a 3 strikeout inning, if only for his confidence since I don't believe he's going to get a 25-man roster spot right away.