• These Call-Ups Are a Downer

    With the Twins on pace to lose nearly 100 games for a second straight year, fans have to derive joy from the little things. In a season that was basically lost from the get-go, relative frivolities like the trade deadline, August waiver moves and September call-ups become focal points of interest.

    Unfortunately, the Twins have been extremely passive on all these fronts, to a degree that is highly disappointing for a rebuilding club. Their deadline activity amounted to trading Francisco Liriano for a pair of marginal prospects. Their most notable move in August involved dumping Danny Valencia for a 21-year-old A-baller. And their final September call-ups, announced earlier this week, were Luis Perdomo and Eduardo Escobar.

    In isolation, none of these things are necessarily inexcusable, but together they give the air of an organization that isn't very actively pushing toward the future, nor putting in much effort to provide entertainment to the fans who have stuck around through all this losing.

    I mean, at the end of the day, that's the point, right? Giving the people who buy tickets and tune in their televisions something worth watching?

    In a meaningless final month, would it really hurt the development of Aaron Hicks or Oswaldo Arcia to come up and take in the atmosphere of an MLB clubhouse, occasionally getting into a game and offering a glimpse of the promising future? Is there any legitimate reason not to take a look at Deolis Guerra, who will be out of options next year and still hasn't faced a major-league hitter?

    And how can a club that has constantly emphasized a "no scholarships" meritocracy wherein those who earn their shot are rewarded possibly justify promoting Luis Perdomo a 28-year-old journeyman signed during the offseason who issued seven walks in six innings with the Twins earlier this summer over Anthony Slama, who has come up through Minnesota's system and dominated every level, including Triple-A this season where his 13.8 K/9 rate leads all of his International League peers?

    Perhaps the Twins have their developmental reasons for holding off on the likes of Hicks, Arcia and Guerra, but leaving Slama buried despite his phenomenal success defies reason. The organization has to be aware that fans are clamoring for the right-hander, and yet here in this joke of a season they won't let him throw a single pitch. When reporters ask about him all they can get are vague, anonymous quotes about how Slama "does not have good enough stuff to dominate in the big leagues." (As opposed to guys like Jim Hoey, Dusty Hughes and Jeff Gray, who were given plenty of leash in the majors despite their predictable struggles.)

    Unlike many fans, I'm not angry at the team for being in its current state. All franchises go through ups and downs, and the Twins were about due for a valley after a decade of winning and mostly favorable breaks.

    What really bothers me is that this organization can't back up its own rhetoric about earned opportunities, continues to weigh the opinions of its scouts too heavily against objective results, and worst of all won't level with the fans about questionable decision-making.

    We deserve better than that. Especially in a time like this.
    This article was originally published in blog: These Call-Ups Are a Downer started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 40 Comments
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      one of the rate times I fully agree with something you write. Scary...

      One comment:
      As opposed to guys like Jim Hoey, Dusty Hughes and Jeff Gray, who were given plenty of leash in the majors despite their predictable struggles.
      here is a list of immortals who got more innings in the majors with the Twins than Slama the last 4 seasons (in addition to the 3 aforementioned) :

      Phil Dumatrait
      Bobby Keppel
      Ron Mahay
      Matt Maloney
      Jeff Manship
      Sean Henn
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Ryan has always been conservative so I am not shocked that Hicks and Arcia were not given an opportunity.
      It sends a signal to me that Ryan does not plan to trade Span, Revere or Willingham in the offseason. Instead I think they expect to start the year with Hicks and Arcia at AAA. If Ryan was planning on trading one of those guys, they might have called these guys up to give them a taste.

      Slama is just a big headscatcher to me. I am sure that he beat up Toby and stole his lunch money in the minors. Toby cried to Gardy and Slama wouldn't give the money back despite Gardy calling Slama's parents.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Can we add Cole De Vries to the list of pitchers lacking stuff? Just about every article written on the guy prefaces his accomplishments with a line about how he has gotten to the big leagues despite having absolutely no decent pitches.

      Perhaps his Minnesota roots are reason enough to overlook his lack of qualifications.
    1. silverslugger's Avatar
      silverslugger -
      Thank you for stating so eloquently what many of us have been thinking Nick.
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      Much props Nick. Starting in June you started to see people giving comments on looking forward to the Twins September call-ups. This is not a slap in the face, but a nasty upper cut to the chops. (sigh)
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      The disgusting part is that crummy pitchers with bad track records can do well in September, tricking the GM into thinking he doesn't need to go get pitchers. I hope Slama is cut free from this organization, and dominates them every single day of his career. I really do.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      I hope this is the TD column in the Strib. Nice job Nick.
    1. Rick Niedermann's Avatar
      Rick Niedermann -
      Outstanding article. Also glad to see so many Twins fans are well informed and know when a player gets the shaft like Slama did. We deserve better from the Twins after the lousy product they have put on the field the last two years. And Slama deserved better too after having an outstanding minor league career thus far. I wish him the best and hope he is picked up Via Rule 5. And I like Mike wants Wins will hope he makes Terry Ryan take notice everytime he pitches against us. This won't go away Mr. Ryan. We the fans have lost a great deal of respect for you.
    1. joeboo_22's Avatar
      joeboo_22 -
      The move I don't get is Guerra, its like why not? Lets see what he has, I can already see the Twins next spring, deciding to bring him North because he is out of options, not having a clue what he has, or losing him trying to send him down because they don't know if he is ready. Well jesus, make a damn decision on the guy. Is he the top prospect we were all promised in the Johan trade? no, but lets at least see what he has for ourselves. And the same can go with Slama,
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      I hope this is the TD column in the Strib. Nice job Nick.
      That makes 2 of us!
    1. Dilligaf69's Avatar
      Dilligaf69 -
      I don't think Hicks or Arcia not being called up has anything to do with Span...I still think it's very likely he gets traded this offseason.
    1. Mchans24's Avatar
      Mchans24 -
      If Im Hicks or Arcia, Im pissed that I didnt get rewarded for an outstanding season. TR, call them up for nothing more than to spend time with some big leaguers buddy.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      This is a great article. Don't be surprised if Slama ends up doing a great job for some OTHER team next year. If that happens, it will be 100% on Ryan's head.

      Are the Twins being cheap here, because they don't want to pay the callups? Maybe the fans should respond by being too cheap to go to the games?
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
      This is a great article. Don't be surprised if Slama ends up doing a great job for some OTHER team next year. If that happens, it will be 100% on Ryan's head.

      Are the Twins being cheap here, because they don't want to pay the callups? Maybe the fans should respond by being too cheap to go to the games?
      100% correct, nothing else.
      They are the cheapest organization in baseball that operates with a 90-100m payroll. We will eventually hear that payroll is being cut as attendance is down (because the play is so bad).
      Not a single excuse the team makes about playing time, earning the promotion have anything to do with it....purely about paying these extra guys in Sept.
      Cant wait till we resign Carl Pavano to be the staff ace. Its gonna happen
    1. mikes_madness's Avatar
      mikes_madness -
      I completly agree with the comment on Arcia not being called up. I mean he is our future and his numbers are call up worthy. Since we are on the subject of Slama, lets talk about the pitching. The twins could use some help on the back end. Take a look at Pugh's numbers in AA. Very consistant and simlilar year to Slama's. Both of these guys are two guys that could pitch in Minnesota now. What are they waiting for?
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by mikes_madness View Post
      Take a look at Pugh's numbers in AA. Very consistant and simlilar year to Slama's. Both of these guys are two guys that could pitch in Minnesota now. What are they waiting for?
      Pugh is a different case.
      He was tried at AA last year a few times and failed but it was his first full year as a bullpen guy so there was an adjustment. He came in this year and had his first good stats at AA. He threw a no hitter a few years ago as a starter so he could be a good pitcher at some point. But for now I am happy for him to stay at AA.
      Slama has been doing it for years. It doesn't mean Slama will be any good, but he seems to have earned his chance to at least show the Organization what he has.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Great article. It defies reason and demonstrates a lack of intelligent GMing (and so forth . . . to whomever is involved in influencing these kinds of decisions). Goddamn, start Hicks with Revere in the OF for a few games and imagine Span there too. Or if Span comes back in the second half of this month, start all three. That WOULD be entertaining.

      Furthermore, why risk injury to Morneau or Doumit? Call up Arcia.

      Why use innings on Burton, Duensing, and Perkins, the three guaranteed anchors in the 2013 bullpen? Use Guerra, Slama, and Waldrop there. It's as though they are still concerned about 2012 somehow. Jamey Carroll started tonight. Why? Escobar-Florimon would have been worth a look.
    1. phalvorson's Avatar
      phalvorson -
      I'll leave the pitching discussion to you guys for now...

      In the OF, I think Span is shut down for the season. He might make a token appearrance right before the end, just to show that he's healthy, so he can be used as trade bait in the off-season for starting pitching. I don't think that Morneau is going to be traded to make room for Parmalee, like everyone seems to assume. I think the Parmalee experiment right now in RF is what TR hopes to make the permanent solution, then Span is the one he really wants to trade. Revere moves to CF. Mastroianni (sp?) is the 4th OF next year. And that's how it stays, with Willingham in LF. I do, however, think that Morneau will be traded next season near the trade deadline, or allowed to leave at the end of 2013 for draft pick compensation. At that point, Mauer and Doumit and Parmalee will take turns rotating between 1B, RF, & Catcher (except Parmalee at the latter position, obviously). It's the ideal platoon scenario for TR, to save Mauer's knees and give everybody at-bats and playing time.
    1. nokomismod's Avatar
      nokomismod -
      Good post Nick. I too am dissapointed we didn't see Slama and Guerra, but could understand leaving Hicks and Arcia off.
      I feel like most of the season has been a September call up so I am not as dissapointed as others are here.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by phalvorson View Post
      I'll leave the pitching discussion to you guys for now...

      In the OF, I think Span is shut down for the season. He might make a token appearrance right before the end, just to show that he's healthy, so he can be used as trade bait in the off-season for starting pitching. I don't think that Morneau is going to be traded to make room for Parmalee, like everyone seems to assume. I think the Parmalee experiment right now in RF is what TR hopes to make the permanent solution, then Span is the one he really wants to trade. Revere moves to CF. Mastroianni (sp?) is the 4th OF next year. And that's how it stays, with Willingham in LF. I do, however, think that Morneau will be traded next season near the trade deadline, or allowed to leave at the end of 2013 for draft pick compensation. At that point, Mauer and Doumit and Parmalee will take turns rotating between 1B, RF, & Catcher (except Parmalee at the latter position, obviously). It's the ideal platoon scenario for TR, to save Mauer's knees and give everybody at-bats and playing time.

      You are possibly very right, and that is distressing. That OF will be significantly below average. I just don't get it. Why not ship Morneau?
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