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  • Is Terry Ryan Leaving Gardenhire Hung Out to Dry?

    The New Year generally brings with it new beginnings. As we enter into a new year of Twins baseball, I can’t help but think Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire might be a little concerned about a new beginning in his future. For the first time in his decade-plus tenure as manager, Gardenhire will enter the 2013 season without a contract extension in place that carries him beyond the coming year.

    Following an AL worst 96-loss season, Twins General Manager Terry Ryan promised to make improvements to the team. Ryan began by shaking up the coaching staff. Not wasting anytime, Ryan handed bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, third base coach Steve Liddle, first base coach Jerry White and head trainer Rick McWane their pink slips on October 4, one day after closing a second consecutive losing season with a 1-2 road loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Scott Ullger and Joe Vavra were also reassigned to coaching first and third base respectively.
    On October 22, it was announced that Tom Brunansky, Bobby Cuellar and Terry Steinbach would be filling the vacant coaching positions. Prior to the shakeup, the only change to Gardenhire’s staff was Al Newman’s departure in 2005.

    With the coaching staff in order, Ryan shifted his focus to improving a starting rotation that pitched the fewest amount of innings among all AL starting staffs. Ryan’s first transaction sent Denard Span to Washington for pitching prospect Alex Meyer. Picked 23rd overall in the MLB draft by Washington in 2011, Meyer was rank sixth best in the Nationals’ farm system by Baseball America.

    Ryan followed up that trade that sent his starting centerfielder to the NL East by trading his other young speedy outfielder to another NL East team during annual Baseball Winter Meetings. In a deal that looked even more appealing than the Span trade, the Twins sent Ben Revere to the Phillies for pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May.

    Worley will have a definite effect on the Twins rotation this season. He is projected to be the #2 starter for the 2013 Twins behind Scott Diamond. Worley started the 2012 season as the #3 starter for the Phillies behind Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee and ahead of Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton. Worley started off the 2012 season 3-2 prior to before being sent to the DL with a bone chip in his elbow. Worley was shut down and sent to the DL again for surgery following an unsuccessful July and August.

    While Worley looks to be a key fixture in the 2013 Twins rotation, the other half of the deal, Trevor May, looks to be a key fixture in Twins rotations to come. May was ranked the #69 in baseball and the best prospect in the Phillies farm system by Baseball America in 2012. Both the Span and Revere trades were deemed as huge successes for Ryan by the local media and the Twins blogging community.

    Following two successful trades, Ryan looked to the free agent market as a solution for the problems in the starting rotation. He first inked Kevin Correia to two-year, $10M contract. When you look up pitch-to-contact in the dictionary, Kevin Correia’s face might appear next to the definition. As first noted by Aaron Gleeman, Correia finished with the lowest K/9 among starters over the years 2011-2012. (Interestingly enough, Correia posted the exact same K/9 rate as Scott Diamond in 2012.) Ryan proceeded to sign Mike Pelfrey to the tune of $4M. Pelfrey missed the majority of 2012 after having Tommy-John surgery to repair a torn UCL in his elbow. Rich Harden was also added on a minor league deal with an extended offer to spend Spring Training in Fort Myers battling for a rotation spot.

    What do all of these moves have in common? They were all made with 2014 and beyond in mind. The free agent signings affect the 2014 Twins as much as they do the 2013 version. The moves don’t do much to help the 2013 club, but they also don’t tie up money that could be used on free agents in the 2013 offseason. An argument can be made the Revere trade did slightly help the 2013 ball club. The Twins have a surplus of outfielders that can fill the hole during 2013 season as opposed to their lack of major league-ready starting pitching. The reason the Twins traded Revere, however, was not because they received Vance Worley in the deal but by adding Trevor May to the pot, the Phillies offered Minnesota a deal they couldn’t refuse.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think Ryan has done a great job this offseason. He understands that in the coming years there will be an influx of young positional players making their way up to the big leagues. Ryan is looking to build a team around a potential lineup that would include the likes of Hicks and Sano. The trades add two potential great pitchers to go along with the likes of Kyle Gibson and Liam Hendricks in the rotation. The lack of big name free agent signings allow for future rotation, bullpen and other positional signings.


    Focusing on the future isn’t a bad thing. But where does this put Gardy? Is Ryan setting up Gardy for failure? What are your expectations for the Twins in 2013? Will they finish last in the AL Central or will they finish better than expected? Will Gardy be managing the 2014 Minnesota Twins or will it be Paul Molitor?

    (This article was originally posted on
    DezSays.Net
    )

    Please leave your feedback in the comments field below. I would love to hear your opinions! You can also send me a tweet on Twitter by following me @DezSays.
    This article was originally published in blog: Is Terry Ryan Leaving Gardenhire Hung Out to Dry? started by Dez Tobin
    Comments 45 Comments
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Great write-up.
    1. Danchat's Avatar
      Danchat -
      Outside of Kevin Correia, I think TR had a good offseason. However, I believe we are going to lose 90-plus games again and possibly hit the 100 loss barrier. Gardenhire is being left out to dry if he has to turn around this team in 2013.
    1. SpantheMan's Avatar
      SpantheMan -
      How many win do the twins he to get for Gardy to get resigned? I would resign him if the twins get 75 wins. But I think TR will go a different way unless he twins are .500.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      I don't think T.R. is setting up Gardy to fail, in fact I think that notion is ridiculous considering Ryan's principles. Having said that I don't think Gardy is in the plans beyond this year with the focus of the team clearly being the future. What I will find interesting is how Ryan may deal with that if somehow Gardy manages to get this team around .500. A record in and around there would have to be considered a pretty big success and the exit strategy conceivably altered.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Question is did Gardenhire insist on Rick Anderson being retained and therefore linked the two fates together. I see little chance of the Twins doing well enough to save his job. Look at this list.
      1. Hicks or Benson turn into at least serviceable players, so the centerfield hole is filled with Span type numbers.
      2. Plouffe turns into be a decent playballer and hits .270 with 25 - 30 homeruns
      3. Parmalee proves he can hit major league pitching and hits 30 doubles, 15 homeruns and a .280 BA
      4. Mauer and Morneau both have good years and stay off the DL.
      5. Twins find that Dozier, Carroll, Floriman are decent defenders all all hit in the .260 - .270 range.
      6. Twins starting pitchers ERA is a little over 4, as Rich Harden returns to form and Worley, Diamond, and Gibson are all solid. One of Pelfrey or Correria becomes the #5 starter and the other takes Swarzak's spot.
      7. Bullpen is solid as Perkins. Burton, Fien and Duesing all do good jobs out of the pen.

      This is way to much to expect to get to .500 or slightly over, but it would be great if it happened.
    1. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
      Fire Dan Gladden -
      Quote Originally Posted by beckmt View Post
      Question is did Gardenhire insist on Rick Anderson being retained and therefore linked the two fates together. I see little chance of the Twins doing well enough to save his job. Look at this list.
      1. Hicks or Benson turn into at least serviceable players, so the centerfield hole is filled with Span type numbers.
      2. Plouffe turns into be a decent playballer and hits .270 with 25 - 30 homeruns
      3. Parmalee proves he can hit major league pitching and hits 30 doubles, 15 homeruns and a .280 BA
      4. Mauer and Morneau both have good years and stay off the DL.
      5. Twins find that Dozier, Carroll, Floriman are decent defenders all all hit in the .260 - .270 range.
      6. Twins starting pitchers ERA is a little over 4, as Rich Harden returns to form and Worley, Diamond, and Gibson are all solid. One of Pelfrey or Correria becomes the #5 starter and the other takes Swarzak's spot.
      7. Bullpen is solid as Perkins. Burton, Fien and Duesing all do good jobs out of the pen.

      This is way to much to expect to get to .500 or slightly over, but it would be great if it happened.
      If all of these things happen, the Twins would probably be in the hunt for a playoff spot.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpantheMan View Post
      How many win do the twins he to get for Gardy to get resigned? I would resign him if the twins get 75 wins. But I think TR will go a different way unless he twins are .500.
      Unless they win the world series , it is 5 years since Ron needed to find a new job....and needs to take Terry with him
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      Unless they win the world series , it is 5 years since Ron needed to find a new job....and needs to take Terry with him
      To 364 more days of head scratching posts!
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      I think the decision on Garden hire is at least 99% made--but it could be either! Extending him after last year would have caused an uproar--but Ryan could have fired him too, but didn't. Thus, this could go either way--he's gone unless a miracle happens, or he stays if even a bit of progress was shown--it's just not clear.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Gardy has at least some control,but where does it leave the Twins fans? TR has put the Twins fans out to dry with his promises. It's just to bad that clev, and KC can improve but we can't., if the present looks bad, what does that say about the future?
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Indians "have had dialogue" with Shaun Marcum.

      Morosi says "it's not clear yet" whether Cleveland's signing of Brett Myers will affect a potential pursuit of Marcum. The Indians have room in their rotation for another addition, but it remains to be seen if they have enough cash to make it happen. Marcum has also drawn interest from the Royals, Twins and Padres.
    1. lee_the_twins_fan's Avatar
      lee_the_twins_fan -
      Quote Originally Posted by beckmt View Post
      Question is did Gardenhire insist on Rick Anderson being retained and therefore linked the two fates together. I see little chance of the Twins doing well enough to save his job. Look at this list.
      1. Hicks or Benson turn into at least serviceable players, so the centerfield hole is filled with Span type numbers.
      2. Plouffe turns into be a decent playballer and hits .270 with 25 - 30 homeruns
      3. Parmalee proves he can hit major league pitching and hits 30 doubles, 15 homeruns and a .280 BA
      4. Mauer and Morneau both have good years and stay off the DL.
      5. Twins find that Dozier, Carroll, Floriman are decent defenders all all hit in the .260 - .270 range.
      6. Twins starting pitchers ERA is a little over 4, as Rich Harden returns to form and Worley, Diamond, and Gibson are all solid. One of Pelfrey or Correria becomes the #5 starter and the other takes Swarzak's spot.
      7. Bullpen is solid as Perkins. Burton, Fien and Duesing all do good jobs out of the pen.

      This is way to much to expect to get to .500 or slightly over, but it would be great if it happened.
      If all of those things happened, the Twins would be way better than .500. They'd take second in the conference.
      Despite people's aversion to Correia, he's a better pitcher than you think. Their starting pitching will be way better than last year. * *I expect Parmelee to do about the same as last year – not encouraging. He'll be down in AAA with Hicks or Arcia or both in the majors. Harden, Pelfrey and Gibson are the biggest question marks.*

      If the Twins can gel together and start out strong, they could have a very good season. I believe they will be better than last year. If BeckMT's list of things happen, they're an 88-win team. If not, they're an 80-win team. If the wheels fall off the bus completely – which I don't expect given the players they have signed – they're a 75-win team.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Gardenhire will be retained or let go by how well he gets the team to play. Coaches were brought in to help with the need to help the pitchers, hitting and catching. If the players that need to show improvement improve, Gardenhire will be kept. If not, he will be gone.
    1. GoMNTwins's Avatar
      GoMNTwins -
      I think Gardy should be given his walking papers. Not because he's a bad manager, I just think it's time for new blood throughout the organization, including the people above Gardenhire in the front office. I just think that if Gardenhire is held accountable for Ryan's complete lack of effort and is ultimately let go, it's just going to make Ryan and the Pohlads look bad, worse than they do already.
    1. Blackjack's Avatar
      Blackjack -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Gardenhire will be retained or let go by how well he gets the team to play. Coaches were brought in to help with the need to help the pitchers, hitting and catching. If the players that need to show improvement improve, Gardenhire will be kept. If not, he will be gone.
      I agree, if the team plays hard all season, he'll stay - if he wants too. You gotta think that three losing seasons would wear on him, hes banked some good coin, he may want to go the Tom Kelly route and just go back to coaching.

      Speaking of coaches, I like Gardy but I am dispointed that he didn't show some spine, when TR fired HIS coaches, Gardy should have said "I'm out of here".
    1. Blackjack's Avatar
      Blackjack -
      Quote Originally Posted by beckmt View Post
      Question is did Gardenhire insist on Rick Anderson being retained and therefore linked the two fates together. I see little chance of the Twins doing well enough to save his job. Look at this list.
      1. Hicks or Benson turn into at least serviceable players, so the centerfield hole is filled with Span type numbers.
      2. Plouffe turns into be a decent playballer and hits .270 with 25 - 30 homeruns
      3. Parmalee proves he can hit major league pitching and hits 30 doubles, 15 homeruns and a .280 BA
      4. Mauer and Morneau both have good years and stay off the DL.
      5. Twins find that Dozier, Carroll, Floriman are decent defenders all all hit in the .260 - .270 range.
      6. Twins starting pitchers ERA is a little over 4, as Rich Harden returns to form and Worley, Diamond, and Gibson are all solid. One of Pelfrey or Correria becomes the #5 starter and the other takes Swarzak's spot.
      7. Bullpen is solid as Perkins. Burton, Fien and Duesing all do good jobs out of the pen.

      This is way to much to expect to get to .500 or slightly over, but it would be great if it happened.
      Isn't this the way the Twins are always built, meaning all the pieces have to fall together, stay away from injuries, have the stars align just right, in order to win?? When was the last time that they had enough talent to be overwhelming favorites going into a season??
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Blackjack View Post
      Isn't this the way the Twins are always built, meaning all the pieces have to fall together, stay away from injuries, have the stars align just right, in order to win?? When was the last time that they had enough talent to be overwhelming favorites going into a season??
      I think you're underestimating how much talent the Twins have had in past years, particularly 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2010. Teams don't just blindly stumble into five 90 win seasons in a decade through dumb luck.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      There is always another possibility. Maybe, despite his public comments, Gardenhire intends to step aside after the 2013 season (step aside as in retire or move to another position with the club). I know that is contrary to everything he has said in public but given his age and health (I keep remembering his brother's heart-related death), it is not inconceivable to me.

      If that is not his intention, I still don't know that a losing season means that Gardenhire is gone. There would probably be some public demand for Gardenhire to resign but perhaps not as much as there would be for Ryan to resign. Giving Gardenhire such mediocrity to work with may actually be protecting his job as long as the results are in the mediocre range (losses about 90 or less).
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      I actually suspect that Gardenhire and Ryan have already agreed that this will be his final year, regardless of results. He'll move in to a "consulting" role after this season. I don't think Ryan would have left Gardy twisting in the wind and then not given him a legit MLB roster (and I don't think Gardy would have been so laid back about that happening) if they hadn't already come to an agreement about what's going to happen next year.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      If pitching free agents do not want to come here, why would Gardy want to stay? There will be options for him if he wants them, I believe.
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