• What in the Hell is a Pedro Florimon?

    "What in the hell is a Pedro Florimon?" -- professional baseball writer, doing research on projected starting lineups

    Grant Brisbee (@mccoveychron) January 25, 2013

    The above tweet from the wise-cracking and hilarious SB Nation scribe Grant Brisbee was undoubtedly written after he glanced over projected starting lineups across the majors and did a triple-take when he came to Minnesota's shortstop position.

    He's hardly the first. I've had multiple national baseball writers contact me this offseason asking some variation of, "The Twins aren't really going to give this guy a starting job, are they?"

    All I can do is shrug. Florimon's career numbers suggest he is not a major-league caliber player, and he certainly didn't look the part last year, but Terry Ryan has treated shortstop as a non-concern this winter. Possibly the GM is open to trying Brian Dozier there again, or considers Jamey Carroll an acceptable fallback, but Ryan hasn't even openly pondered bringing in someone to compete at the position. He's repeatedly talked about doing so with Trevor Plouffe at third.

    It's not clear what Florimon has done to earn this billing. He was waived by a 93-loss Orioles team after the 2011 season, and then passed on by 29 organizations when the Twins claimed him and outrighted him from their 40-man roster. He went on to up sub par numbers between Double-A and Triple-A, striking out at a Gomez-esque 25 percent rate, and then came up and played poorly with the Twins for a couple months.

    Pedro Florimon swings for the Minnesota Twins

    At TwinsFest over the weekend, Ryan told a media luncheon that Florimon is "the athlete you look for" at shortstop. That may very well be true, and ostensibly the hope is that he'll develop as he ages into his prime and become a useful long-term cog on this rebuilding roster.

    But with Florimon, that really is a stretch. He's 26 and he's totaled over 3,000 professional plate appearances. He has established himself very firmly at the plate as a strikeout machine with minimal power and in the field as a flashy, skillful defender who makes a ton of mistakes.

    In order to provide meaningful value, he'll need to offer enough on defense to make up for all the outs he's likely to give away on offense. That's a tall order. He might be the biggest long shot the Twins have taken at the position since Cristian Guzman's departure, and that's saying something.
    This article was originally published in blog: What in the Hell is a Pedro Florimon? started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 101 Comments
    1. jm3319's Avatar
      jm3319 -
      It's reminders like this that make me glad the NHL came back.
    1. Jim H's Avatar
      Jim H -
      I too am surprised that Ryan didn't acquire a shortstop over the winter. It seems that He believes that Florimon or Dozier can fill that job. Clearly Carroll seemed to prove that utility man should be how he is used and there is no indication that Escobar is much more than an utility option. I would be happy if Florimon could provide the kind of superior defense he showed flashes of, but I am a bit doubtful that will be the case.

      If the Twins have said, I haven't heard it, but I assume there will a competition between Dozier and Florimon for the shortstop job. If Florimon wins it, Dozier may be slid over to 2nd. But realistically I don't know if either is a major league starting middle infielder.
    1. Dance with Disco Dan's Avatar
      Dance with Disco Dan -
      Now that Casilla is gone, Gardy needs a new guy he can bench for a week for making a loose play in the field. Examples must be set in the name of playing the game the right way or TK the Warlock will loose a 100-year curse on the team. Ryan knows this and has offered up Florimon to be soul-crushed in this fashion. Hoping Florimon satiates Gardy's appetite for shaming the physically-talented, Ryan will sneak Hicks and Arcia into the clubhouse. If all works as planned, these players' confidence will be protected and nurtured by the rational acceptance of any fundamental mistakes they might make. Without Florimon as the staked-goat bait, who knows what happens the first time Hicks over-throws a cut off man? Ryan is a smart man and clearly knows what he is doing.
    1. edavis0308's Avatar
      edavis0308 -
      25% strikeout rate? Man I didn't think he was THAT anemic on offense..
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Notice TR didn't say "he's the type of baseball player" you want at shortstop......sigh.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
      Notice TR didn't say "he's the type of baseball player" you want at shortstop......sigh.
      At least they accomplished what they set out to do at the position, get more "athletic." That has to count for something.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      just another reason to cheer for the front office....
      Marcier Izturius could have been added at around 4 million a year ...
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      just another reason to cheer for the front office....
      Marcier Izturius could have been added at around 4 million a year ...
      If that is the best alternative we can come up with I'm not that offended by Terry Ryan not adding a SS.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Anybody can see he's no offensive threat. But that is not why you have shortstops. You have shortstops to turn as many ground balls up the middle and in the hole into outs as possible. And he is the best at this skill we've had in a while. JJ hardy was very good at catching the ball and I lament his unceremonious exit. But, other than him, the Twins have not had a shortstop who could cover as much ground as Florimon since Guzman was 21. He's no star. But he will hold his own at the position. Florimon reminds me of Greg Gagne at that age, who could barely get the bat on the ball, but he could sure get his glove on it. And when he got leather on it, he made outs. That is the promise of Florimon. I'm not saying he will be the next Greg Gagne. But he has a chance to fill the position until Santana or Polanco are ready to take over. Dozier will hit better, but he's no match for Florimon with the glove, and that is what matters on this team. Anybody who watched the team last year will tell you that.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Anybody can see he's no offensive threat. But that is not why you have shortstops. You have shortstops to turn as many ground balls up the middle and in the hole into outs as possible. And he is the best at this skill we've had in a while. JJ hardy was very good at catching the ball and I lament his unceremonious exit. But, other than him, the Twins have not had a shortstop who could cover as much ground as Florimon since Guzman was 21. He's no star. But he will hold his own at the position. Florimon reminds me of Greg Gagne at that age, who could barely get the bat on the ball, but he could sure get his glove on it. And when he got leather on it, he made outs. That is the promise of Florimon. I'm not saying he will be the next Greg Gagne. But he has a chance to fill the position until Santana or Polanco are ready to take over. Dozier will hit better, but he's no match for Florimon with the glove, and that is what matters on this team. Anybody who watched the team last year will tell you that.
      Most teams that carry a light hitting middle infielder , have enough offense and solid defense . we dont ....
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      "At that age" Gagne OPS'd better than a league average shortstop twice already.

      Florimon can only fantasize about hitting as well as Gagne did.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Now is the time to let Florimon & Dozier play them selfs off the team for good.
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      Now is the time to let Florimon & Dozier play them selfs off the team for good.
      Attachment 3151
      "Hi. I was paid $4M a year by the Twins as recently as 3 seasons ago."
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      According to Bleacher Report, the best remaining free agent shortstops are Alex Gonzalez, Ronny Cedeno and Jason Bartlett. Gonzalez sounds risky, but with a high upside. Are any of these guys worth pursuing?
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Could it be that what was available on the free agent market was not much better than Floriman so there was no need to discuss bringing in competition?
    1. Dance with Disco Dan's Avatar
      Dance with Disco Dan -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Could it be that what was available on the free agent market was not much better than Floriman so there was no need to discuss bringing in competition?

      This was my thought. I like to think that Ryan judiciously conserved his cash after determining that the "affordable" free-agent options were not worth the marginal upgrade. It would be easier to think this if a Correia-sized albatross wasn't roosting on his shoulder. But still...

      I was hoping the Reds would be in on Span and that we might get Didi Gregorious as part of the deal. Maybe they were and Ryan just liked the Nats offer more. Looking forward to seeing how the Choo/Bruce center-field combo works out. I think the Reds will kick themselves for not giving whatever kicker it took to get Span or Revere.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      I don't see why the Twins couldn't bring in some waiver wire pickups or minor league free agents to compete with Florimon. The Twins shortstop cupboard is barren in the high minors, and it sounds like they're serious about moving Dozier to second base permanently.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Nothing about Florimon's game should hint at him getting anywhere close to comfortable that he is a shoo-in SS. At the very least some minor league FA's to at least send the message to him that they're open to the idea of playing someone else, as they should be.
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      Floriman is a prototypical Twins shortstop - think Jackie Hernanadez, Lenny Feado and Sergio Ferrer, and dare I say Ron Washington (although he hit a little beter).
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Anybody can see he's no offensive threat. But that is not why you have shortstops. You have shortstops to turn as many ground balls up the middle and in the hole into outs as possible. And he is the best at this skill we've had in a while. JJ hardy was very good at catching the ball and I lament his unceremonious exit. But, other than him, the Twins have not had a shortstop who could cover as much ground as Florimon since Guzman was 21. He's no star. But he will hold his own at the position. Florimon reminds me of Greg Gagne at that age, who could barely get the bat on the ball, but he could sure get his glove on it. And when he got leather on it, he made outs. That is the promise of Florimon. I'm not saying he will be the next Greg Gagne. But he has a chance to fill the position until Santana or Polanco are ready to take over. Dozier will hit better, but he's no match for Florimon with the glove, and that is what matters on this team. Anybody who watched the team last year will tell you that.
      Ah, the old "if everyone else does their job, he doesn't have to hit" gem. Thanks for that, cmat, it's been too long since someone trotted that out. Well played.
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