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Monitor: Manager of the Year and Fired?

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Will It Be Okay?

Posted by PintoWF , 10 June 2016 · 1,187 views

eddie rosario miguel sano byron buxton prospects max kepler
Will It Be Okay? Despair is a tough feeling to rebound from once you've felt it as badly as Twins fans have felt it this season.

The sky is falling. There is no hope. Nothing good on the horizon. It is like we've put The Walking Dead on repeat.

I'm not going to go Patrick Reusse on the bit because I couldn't say it much better than he did.

I just want someone to tell me it is going to get better. It has to get better.

Won't it get better?

Like I said, the horizon seems bleak.

Your budding prospects, Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano have combined to hit .231 this season with 137 strikeouts in 372 at-bats. That's a strikeout just under every third at-bat for these guys.

This is your future core. Your hope. And they are failing. Miserably.

Of course, they are all very young. Rosario is the oldest at 24. Buxton the youngest at 22.

And not one of them has played a full season at the Major League level. Preaching patience to a fan base that has seen this team win just 18 games this year is like selling trying to sell sand in the desert. No one is buying it.

It's an old mantra that continues to grow tiresome. But it is the only thing you have to hold on to as Twins fans.

And, frankly, I think these three will be just fine. Between refining their skills and more playing experience, things will turn around. You also have to believe they may feel pressure from other players at their positions. Players like Robbie Grossman or Max Kepler.

A good showing from them should make them realize they are only as good as yesterday's box score indicates.

It will be okay from that standpoint. That's my belief. That's where I put my faith in this team.

Then, I look at the pitching. And all that faith that was built up in the young position players is destroyed.

The current starting rotation is garbage. Last in the American League in ERA+ as a staff, last in the AL in earned runs, last in the AL in runs allowed per game and second to last in the AL in home runs per nine innings. Just to name a few.

And I can't point to anyone in the system that I believe will save this staff. Jose Berrios is one guy and his initial appearance at the big league level was a large fart in a crowded elevator.

I still believe he will get better but it will take more time. Which he has. Guys like Kyle Gibson, Phil Hughes and Ervin Santana do not.

This to me is problems A, B and C for the Twins with not real hope on the horizon. That's why they need to blow the whole thing up. And start now. Not in the off-season but right now.

Outside of Berrios, no one is safe. Even coaches and front office staff. This would be where I agree with Reusse.

I would take a bucket of balls for Nolasco at this point. Or maybe a bag of air. It might give the Twins more value.

What's the point in waiting anymore?

You want to have hope and belief in something as a fan. You can stomach the bad if you believe good will come. You can at least see it from the position players standpoint. You can't from the pitching staff.




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Hosken Bombo Disco
Jun 10 2016 04:26 PM
The inability to develop a single starting pitcher is a huge concern. I guess Scott Baker would be the last one who came up and had any sort of sustainable success. One pitcher in 10 years. You could probably include Garza, Liriano and Santana but then you're getting pretty far back. And they have apparently lost all interest in Trevor May ever starting again.
    • Danchat likes this

Liriano and Santana weren't Twins prospects. Liriano spent three years in the Giants organization before he was traded to the Twins in the A.J. Pierzynski deal. Santana spent 4 and half years in the Astros organization before the Marlins signed him as a Rule 5 pick and traded him to the Twins. That just leaves Garza.

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Hosken Bombo Disco
Jun 10 2016 09:45 PM
No I agree, but we got Liriano while he was still in A ball. Santana is a little different like you said, but the Twins did have him for long enough before he was dominant that you could give them some credit depending on what you are discussing.

It's pretty telling that they used Johan from the bullpen for so long, but refuse to use Berrios or Meyer from the bullpen and used May in the bullpen for the wrong reasons (my opinion).

Considering the number of pitchers the Twins have drafted in the past 4 or so years, maybe the well will have lots of gold coins laying at the bottom. Of course, some of those were relief pitchers. And when you draft pitchers, it is because they have a couple of good pitches and maybe, maybe you see a third in development and with the right coaching, get a fourth, while maintaining their poise and velocity.

 

I also see a lot of position changing and not just sticking with it from the Twins. Rosario was a second baseman but became an outfielder. Danny Santana was groomed as an infielder and thrown into the outfield. Sano was a third baseman and told to change positions. You want guys to be more versatile? Goes waaaaay back when they couldn't make a decision on where to play Cuddyer...second, third? Yes, make guys play a multiple of positions. Groom Plouffe to be your shortstop of the future and then suddenly discover he can't play shortstop? Go figure. Isn't that what the minors are for...to develop and reinforce playing ways and needs?

 

If guys are striking out too much, then it is a system problem. You work with hitters from their first day to recognize the strike zone, learn to take pitches. You also work with guys like Buxton early on to develop those skills necessary for his other skills (bunting for speed, for example). You don't allow players to fallback on old ways, i.e. Dozier. That is the job of coaches, and you have more coaches than ever starting in the minors. Roving instructors give guidance. You have people sit your program. You have multiple coaches now in the majors.

 

Looking at the Twins Report Card, you have to figure out their grades in a multitude of areas. I'll let you make up your minds what the grade is.

 

Drafting:

 

Player Development:

 

Pitching Development:

 

Free Agency (Keeping Your Own Intact):

 

Free Agency (Playing the Marketplace):

 

Recognizing ALL needs and finding Adequate Players:

 

Establishing a Comptitive Skill Set:

 

Front Office Management:

 

On-Field Management:

 

Organization Management:

 

When you fill in the Grades, and think backwards, not much improvement.

 

Oh, wait, they do get an "A" in Selling of Target Field, as well as Taking Minnesota For A Ride!

 

 

It really is disturbing how few good starting pitchers have emerged from the Twins system. Could it possibly come down to bad draft picks? No way. There must be some fundamental flaw in the way the Twins develop pitchers. 

 

On the other hand, maybe we're looking at the end of an era of the Twins drafting "ground ball, weak contact" pitchers rather than strike out pitchers. Maybe Gibson is the last of that era. Duffey is a strike out pitcher with a great curve. Berrios is a strike out pitcher. They just brought up Chargois, a strike out pitcher. Dean and Rogers are more in the former mold, but so far they both seem serviceable. If they bring up Wheeler and Darnell, the Twins would have more lefties than anybody else in the league. That at least would be interesting.

 

Liriano and Santana weren't Twins prospects. Liriano spent three years in the Giants organization before he was traded to the Twins in the A.J. Pierzynski deal. Santana spent 4 and half years in the Astros organization before the Marlins signed him as a Rule 5 pick and traded him to the Twins. That just leaves Garza.

 

However neither of them had any experience above Low A ball, so I don't really think that the Twins shouldn't get some of the credit at least for Liriano, but I'd also say for Santana.

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Coach Rusty
Jun 17 2016 10:11 AM

I'm a long time Twins fan.  I've stuck with them through the good and bad.  I don't live in the area anymore, so I'm not able to follow everything that's going on with the team.  I think the main question that a lot of us Twins fans has is: How does a team that was in contention to make the playoffs for most of last season go to being one of the worst teams this season?