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  • Fishing for Holes in the Roster

    When a team has lost 90 games in three consecutive seasons, there can be plenty of finger pointing. For the Twins, there are questions to ask about how this current roster was created and what the team can do as they try to move forward.

    Where are the holes in this roster? What needs to be done this offseason? Are there internal options to help remedy the situation? These questions and more need to be answered before the team heads to Florida for spring training.

    Let's take a look at each position and try to figure out how the Twins can get out of this mess. A fishing bobber ranking will accompany each position. One bobber means the position needs to be addressed, two bobbers means the position is steady, and three bobbers means the position is looking good going forward.

    Catcher
    2013 Starter: Joe Mauer
    Other Options: Ryan Doumit, Josmil Pinto, Chris Herrmann
    There are questions about Mauer moving forward from his concussion-related issues. Doumit suffered some concussion issues of his own. At the end of the season, Pinto looked great but can he sustain this kind of production at the big league level? This should be a position for the Twins not to worry about but Mauer's concussion issues bring down this ranking. Ranking: One Bobber

    First Base
    2013 Starter: Justin Morneau (Out of the Organization)
    Other Options: Joe Mauer, Chris Colabello, Chris Parmelee
    Mauer's head troubles could mean a change of position and first base might be his new home by the beginning of next season. Colabello and Parmelee have shown success at Triple-A but it hasn't translated to the big leagues. This could be a spot where the team looks outside the organization for help since there are three left-handed bats and plenty of question marks. Ranking: One Bobber

    Second Base
    2013 Starter: Brian Dozier
    Other Options: Eduardo Escobar, Eddie Rosario
    In a breakout season, Dozier made Twins fans forget his disastrous rookie campaign. He seems to have locked up second base going into next season but Rosario is close to knocking on the door. Rochester will be Rosario's home to start 2014 but a stumble from Dozier could mean Rosario's rise to the big leagues. This position battle will be one to watch moving forward. Ranking: Three Bobbers

    Third Base
    2013 Starter: Trevor Plouffe
    Other Options: Miguel Sano, Deibinson Romero
    Plouffe struggled for most of 2013 but ended the year with a strong month of September. The Twins are going to want to see Sano at the big league level sometime in 2014. After Hicks' terrible 2013 season, the club will probably take it slow with Sano. A hot start in Triple-A from Sano could mean the end of Plouffe's tenure at third base. Ranking: Three Bobbers

    Shortstop
    2013 Starter: Pedro Florimon
    Other Options: Danny Santana, Eduardo Escobar
    Last season, Florimon showed his defensive prowess but his offense continues to be offensive. In the minor leagues, Santana continues to hit but there are giant question marks about his defense. Florimon is the likely starter but Santana's offensive ability is something to watch. Overall, shortstop is a tough spot in the higher levels of the organization. Ranking: One Bobber

    Left Field
    2013 Starter: Josh Willingham
    Other Options: Oswaldo Arcia, Trevor Plouffe
    Willingham followed his tremendous 2012 season with an injury-filled 2013. Arcia had some up and down moments in his rookie year but he still showed the power stroke he had been known for in the minors. As the team looks to the future, it might make sense for Willingham spend more time at DH. Plouffe could see more time in the outfield when Sano arrives. Ranking: Two Bobbers

    Center Field
    2013 Starter: Aaron Hicks
    Other Options: Byron Buxton, Alex Presley
    When the Twins handed the starting center field job to Hicks last year, they hoped the young man would take the position and run. Luckily for Twins fans, Buxton burst onto the scene in 2013. It could still be a couple years before Buxton makes it to the big leagues and this would leave a hole in center field. The future looks bright with Buxton but there are still questions about what Hicks will be able to do in 2014. Ranking: Two Bobbers

    Right Field
    2013 Starter: Chris Parmelee
    Other Options: Aaron Hicks, Darin Mastroianni
    The Twins could be searching for options at this position moving forward. Parmelee and Hicks had disappointing seasons and Mastroianni was hurt for most of the year. Arcia could see some time at this spot if the Twins continue to use Willingham defensively. If Hicks can fix his offensive woes, this could be his spot when Buxton arrives on the scene. Ranking: One Bobber

    What kind of bobber rankings would you give the Twins position players? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
    This article was originally published in blog: Fishing for Holes in the Roster started by Cody Christie
    Comments 22 Comments
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      I don't think shortstop is really an issue for the next couple years.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      I'm not quite sure whether the focus of these ratings is on 2014, or maybe on 2015. Catcher, for instance, seems covered in one way or another for 2014, regardless of whether Joe plays an inning there, so I don't see it as a one-bobber, but may be a problem in 2015 if Pinto doesn't turn out to be capable and when Doumit is gone, so the position bears watching. Third base and Center are problems on opening day 2014 unless one of the touted prospects is actually ready, but likely are both strengths by 2015, so depending on the focus they could be one- or three-bobbers.
    1. Bob Christie's Avatar
      Bob Christie -
      How about a slip bobber for the pitching staff ??
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bob Christie View Post
      How about a slip bobber for the pitching staff ??
      Probably a sinker does the trick, as well.
    1. goulik's Avatar
      goulik -
      Arcia in RF is completely missing. With upcoming Buxton bumping out a cf, I see RF as a three bobber, two at very worst.
    1. Wookiee of the Year's Avatar
      Wookiee of the Year -
      I tend to agree with Cody on shortstop, but I agree with goulik that there's no reason to lock Arcia into LF and make RF a One Bobber.

      The one that surprises me, actually, is Three Bobbers for 3B. Are we certain Sano is locked in there? I'm more confident than I've been in the past, but I can't help but think of Plouffe and wonder about the organization's ability to forecast a prospect's future playing position. I hope you're right that Sano won't be moving to 1B, but I probably would've given only Two Bobbers to 3B based on that chance.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Wookiee of the Year View Post
      The one that surprises me, actually, is Three Bobbers for 3B. Are we certain Sano is locked in there? I'm more confident than I've been in the past, but I can't help but think of Plouffe and wonder about the organization's ability to forecast a prospect's future playing position. I hope you're right that Sano won't be moving to 1B, but I probably would've given only Two Bobbers to 3B based on that chance.
      I think he's absolutely a lock at 3B, and I think Cody was looking at the short-term. Even if Sano isn't the ultimate answer at 3B, he's going to be given a couple of years there. So, it's definitely not a position they should address.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I really like this article by Cody. I think it's a fun topic, and I'll just throw out my "bobbers" by position as well.

      Starting Pitchers - One Bobber (though I want Meyer and May to be starting by second half. I wouldn't sign more than one high-priced starter)
      Bullpen - Three Bobbers - no need to spend there.
      1B - Two Bobbers - if it was me, I'd go with Mauer there, but I'm also good with giving Parmelee/Colabello another shot to start next year.
      2B - Three Bobbers - Dozier and/or Rosario
      SS - Two Bobbers - Florimon isn't a great hitter, but the D is elite. I would not spend money there and hope Santana can take a big step ahead.
      3B - Three Bobbers - Plouffe until Sano is ready.
      LF - Three Bobbers - Willingham will play there. I prefer Arcia in RF. Hicks can play there.
      CF - Three Bobbers - Short-term, no worries with Mastro/Pressley, long-term, Buxton by July/August.
      RF - Three Bobbers - Arcia, Hicks, there are options.
    1. SgtSchmidt11's Avatar
      SgtSchmidt11 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      Probably a sinker does the trick, as well.
      I think there are already too many sinkers. Maybe get a couple of nasty sliders or curves on the rotation...
    1. Reider's Avatar
      Reider -
      It's pretty obvious that fans don't even realize what they have @ SS. Florimon is outstanding and last year was his first full season playing for the Twins. He has great range and a strong arm. He hit 9 hr's last year and led the team in stolen bases (15). With Florimon @ SS and Dozier @ 2nd, the Twins finally have a solid middle infield again. Florimon is absolutely the type of player you want to give another year or two to improve his BA and OBP.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      What I realize is: .221/.281/.330.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      You can live with Florimon if everyone else hits. He has some punch and all, but you have to have more than 2-3 other guys who hit above .250. Offsensively, the Twins don't exactly suck for 2014 if they can figure out the best way to utilize the lineup. You have Mauer catching. You have Doumit as back-up and DH. You have Herrmann on the bench. You have Mauer at first with Colabello as back-up. You have Parmelee on the bench. You have Dozier at second, who has shown power, Florimon at short, and Plouffe still at third. You have Escobar as backup. You have Willingham, Pressly and Arcia in the outfield with Mastro as backup. The bench is basically Mastro, Parmelee, Herrmann and Escobr. I would love to see a more proven bat, and not have to depend on Parmelee or Colabello at first, but both deserve a chance to crack spring training and/or the lineup. The addition of Buxton, Hicks, Sano, Rosario, Santana, and Pinto to the mix in 2014 gives a lot more hope. The biggest question is who's on first and can Pinto make Mauer a non-catcher. Yes, Florimon is the best we have at short right now. I'm not sure Dozier can switch over (or we want him to) but we may need a place for Rosario. Dozier may be one of our top five trading chips as the season progresses.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      What I realize is: .221/.281/.330.
      115 Ks in 134 games. Where's the pukey emoticon?
    1. Mnhomer's Avatar
      Mnhomer -
      Florimon led all MLB ss in put outs (245) range factor (5.29) and was 2nd in defensive war (2.2) and double plays turned (101) yet he only started 127 games.

      Please stop worrying about the ba avg of our 9th hitter. He earned the 495k he made last season.

      If he continues to play great defense and grows at the plate slightly, whether it's 10pts in avg or 5hrs you should be more than happy for many yrs
    1. goulik's Avatar
      goulik -
      Greg Gagne's first full season was 225/279/317. I would love to have the second coming of Greg Gagne but I do not necessarily believe Florimon will be that. But if...
      Gagne Stats
      Yrs. G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR. RBI. SB. CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
      87-91 712 2348 2154 297 549 122 26 48 216 51 34 119 422 .255 .297 .403 .700
      Avg 142 470 431 59 110 24 5 10 43. 10 7 24 84 .255 .297 .403 .700
      And Two World Series titles...
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by goulik View Post
      Greg Gagne's first full season was 225/279/317.
      There's a bit of difference in a 23-year-old coming up to the majors and needing a season to adjust, and someone 26. It's not impossible that Florimon improves at this age, but it's unlikely he reaches Gagne's level on offense; he also could regress.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by Reider View Post
      It's pretty obvious that fans don't even realize what they have @ SS. Florimon is outstanding and last year was his first full season playing for the Twins. He has great range and a strong arm. He hit 9 hr's last year and led the team in stolen bases (15). With Florimon @ SS and Dozier @ 2nd, the Twins finally have a solid middle infield again. Florimon is absolutely the type of player you want to give another year or two to improve his BA and OBP.
      I couldn't agree more.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I would say that the Twins should Florimon-Dozier it up in the infield until Rosario forces a decision. Then, given the abominations-as-options, the Twins should realize that nothing is really lost with Rosario in left field for half (at most) of 2014. Meanwhile, if one of Santana, Beresford, and Polanco has a great season, you can figure out a Dozier trade. Or if two of those guys have good seasons, same thing. I definitely do not entrust the entire future to Pedro Florimon and yet am very unwilling for the Twins, who have been RIDICULOUSLY bad at developing middle infield talent for whatever reason to ever leave themselves with fewer than three solid-good players there, overall.
    1. Major Leauge Ready's Avatar
      Major Leauge Ready -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      I would say that the Twins should Florimon-Dozier it up in the infield until Rosario forces a decision. Then, given the abominations-as-options, the Twins should realize that nothing is really lost with Rosario in left field for half (at most) of 2014. Meanwhile, if one of Santana, Beresford, and Polanco has a great season, you can figure out a Dozier trade. Or if two of those guys have good seasons, same thing. I definitely do not entrust the entire future to Pedro Florimon and yet am very unwilling for the Twins, who have been RIDICULOUSLY bad at developing middle infield talent for whatever reason to ever leave themselves with fewer than three solid-good players there, overall.
      I was thinking the exact same thing. It would we could deal Willingham and/or Doumitt by the deadline and get Rosario to the MLs. Start him in the outfield and see how his bat looks against ML pitching. We could also give him some games at 2B when Dozier needs a day off or even play Dozier at SS for a few games.

      Bottom line is that any decision on Florimon can wait until at least 2015 when it will be a more informed decision. How nice would it be if Florimon improves to league average offensively and Santana proves to be a top prospect. That would give us a viable trade scenario for more pitching.
    1. Paul Pleiss's Avatar
      Paul Pleiss -
      Guys, Joe Mauer is not going to become the everyday 1B. Moving him to 1B doesn't remove the concussion problem. I'm remembering a guy named Morneau who had concussion problems, where did he play again? Joe Mauer should catch, and catch often, ideally 80-100 games with another 40+ between 1B/DH. The Twins could go out and sign a guy like Mark Reynolds who could give them some options at both 1B and 3B, or someone like Corey Hart who would be a corner OF/1B/DH guy. Joe Mauer is not the answer at 1B, not yet anyways. Maybe Chris Parmelee finally figures it out, but having seen nothing since his miraculous September call up years ago, that seems unlikely. I think 1B is the most likely FA signing for the Twins this season outside of the starting rotation.

      Mauer is your catcher, spelled by Doumit/Herrmann in the early season and Pinto down the stretch.

      Dozier seems set at 2B, but it might be interested to see what he could get on the trade market. I'd rather see the Twinks package Rosario and move him for SP instead of Dozier, but whatever it takes to improve the rotation with someone better than a bunch of 4/5 guys.

      Vote for Pedro to hold down the SS position. The only real play I could see here would be signing a guy like S. Drew to take over, and at 31 (?) he's due for some serious regression defensively in the coming years, but would be an immediate boost to the lineup. I feel safe with Pedro at the 6 spot with hopes that Santana does well at AAA and cleans up his defense.

      Plouffe is not the long term answer at 3B, but with Sano knocking on the door it doesn't make sense to spend big on the FA market. A platoon split (!!!!) would be a great sign, but we all know how Gardy feels about that. A veteran looking to rebuild value at 3B on a 1-year deal could be a good sign for the Twins here at a moderate price and if the Twins are bad could be a trade chip as the summer wears on and Sano in waiting.

      Aaron Hicks needs to figure things out. I like Hicks to start the season with the club, but to be prepared to send him down to AAA if needed letting Ryan 'The king' Pressly hold down the CF spot until Hicks can gain some confidence in AAA. Maybe starting Hicks in Rochester is the right move?

      The Hammer will own LF and some combination of Doumit/Parm/Herrmann in right.

      Starting pitching: spend all the money. Spend money the Pohlads don't want to spend. Then spend some more. Package some of our top 10 prospects for David Price and ink him to an extension. Pull out the stops. Make it rain dollar bills.

      The pen seems set, no need to make any upgrades here. Plenty of failed starters to try out in the pen if things go south for the current guys out in the pen, and no need to sign any FA relievers if this team isn't going to be competitive in 2014.

      Whoa, long comment. Back to your regularly scheduled broadcast.
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