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  • What To Do With Chris Parmelee?

    He's at it again.

    Chris Parmelee's 2012 season could be looked at in two different ways. On the one hand, you had a rookie hitter who looked overwhelmed against major-league pitching. On the other hand, you had a 24-year-old absolutely demolishing in his first exposure to Triple-A pitching. He was far and away the best hitter in the International League that year.

    He followed up with a 2013 season that was simply a mess, both in the majors and the minors, and as a result he was outrighted from the 40-man roster this spring. He passed through waivers (somewhat surprisingly, from my view) and now he's back in Rochester. Once again he is looking fantastic at the plate.

    In 29 games for the Red Wings, Parmelee is hitting .327/.398/.589 with seven homers, seven doubles, 23 RBI and a solid 20/13 K/BB ratio. On Sunday he went 3-for-5 with two bombs and five RBI. He has a .939 lifetime OPS at the Triple-A level. He has mastered it.

    The problem is that he hasn't proven to be a good enough hitter in the majors. Since an impressive September call-up in 2011, Parmelee has hit .228/.302/.364 in 186 games with the Twins, and that's pretty terrible production for a guy who offers almost no defensive value.

    Because of the disparity between his numbers in Triple-A and the majors, many have branded Parmelee as a "AAAA player" -- a tweener who's too good for the minors but not quite good enough for the show. Maybe that's what he is, but it seems too soon to affix that label.

    Keep in mind: Parmelee is still only 26 years old. That's one year younger than Trevor Plouffe, who finally seems to be turning the corner now. And although he's been given several different opportunities with the Twins, Parmelee's MLB experience amounts to 631 plate appearances, which is barely more than one full season's worth.

    There's a saying that you don't know what you have in a player until he's reached the 1,000-AB threshold in the majors. Parmelee isn't close to that yet, and I'd say some extra patience is warranted in his case considering his age, his status as a former first-round pick and his domination at the highest level of the minors. It's too soon to give up on him being a useful piece.

    The problem, of course, is that there's no room for him on the major-league roster. The Twins already have Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel, Chris Colabello and Pinto occupying the DH/corner outfielder mix, with Oswaldo Arcia set to return shortly and Josh Willingham not far behind.

    If Mauer's back injury forces him to the disabled list, it's possible the Twins could bring Parmelee back into the fold. He probably wouldn't be in line for regular playing time, at least not right away, but he could be plugged in against some righties with the opportunity to earn a regular gig. That would be a very beneficial development for the Twins.

    At the end of the day, regardless of your feelings about Parmelee, he still probably has a better chance to be a long-term asset for this club than Colabello or Kubel. At a time when every decision ought to be made with the future in mind, at least to some extent, that needs to be a primary consideration.

    What do you think? What should the Twins do with Parmelee?
    Comments 106 Comments
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I'm confused how he has trade value, if he's a AAAA player. I'm confused that we should worry about losing him to options, but keep him in AAA. He has zero value in AAA. None.
      His value is to a team that needs a corner/DH type. It's just that the Twins this year already have Willingham/Arcia/Colabello/Kubel/Fuld/Pinto etc. and in the not too distant future you can add Rosario/Hicks (when Buxton moves to CF)/Kepler/Vargas/Harrison/Walker to the logjam. At this point, Parmelee isn't part of our future, but he could have value as a bench piece on a contender that doesn't have the surplus that the Twins do.
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
      You guys are downplaying the likelihood of our catcher getting hurt and the horrors of not having a DH for a few innings in that scenario.
      That would be awful. A pitcher (who hits about as well as Chris Herrmann) would have to bat! They'd better call up a couple more pitchers just in case.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I find that hard to believe, scotty, but possible.

      Also, imo there is no logjam....Hicks is not a MLB corner OF (and maybe not a CF), Willingham is gone after this year, Cola is a nice story but is probably your 24th or 25th man, Fuld may not be that good, Pinto? I don't think so, Kubel is on a 1 year deal, but knowing the Twins they'll Pelfrey him, I am told Rosario is not a corner OF. So, I count 2 OF even on the roster for next year.....that's if Buxton comes up out of ST. Arcia is it right now. 1 OF. 1.
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      The problem is having Arcia, Kubel and Parmelee is having 3 of the same baseball player. Kubel is a better hitter right now and Arcia probably is as well. Fuld is supposed to be the LH hitting 4th OF which means they aren't bringing Parmelee up to play defense. The only way to make room for Parmelee is to trade Kubel.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      This team needs to do something about the offense quickly. The smoke and mirrors are going to end soon. Personally, I'd like to see Parms get a few more games in AAA, but I do think he should be back here in MLB, and I'd give him an entire season to prove it... Since we are on roster construction, my suggestion would be as follows:

      1) Call up Arcia, send Pinto down to AAA to regain his stroke. He's been lost lately.
      2) Swap Hermann for Fryer.
      3) When Pinto regains his form, swap him and Fryer.
      4) Install Escobar as the every day SS. DFA Florimon, and bring up Nunez to be the utility guy. Call up Parmelee. Find room for him in RF, 1B, and DH if needed. Right now, that would be easy to do.

      4b) If Mauer is headed to the 15 day, I'd think long and hard about giving Vargas a cup of coffee.
      5) I'd probably send Hicks down along with at least one reliever. Call up Kenny Wilson (not b/c I think he's good but b/c I want Hicks playing every day in AAA). Burton I think is the guy to go, so he's traded (not likely) or DFAd in favor of someone who can swing a bat.

      Injuries are kind of forcing Ryan's hand here. We need bats sooner than later.
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      This team needs to do something about the offense quickly. The smoke and mirrors are going to end soon. Personally, I'd like to see Parms get a few more games in AAA, but I do think he should be back here in MLB, and I'd give him an entire season to prove it... Since we are on roster construction, my suggestion would be as follows:

      1) Call up Arcia, send Pinto down to AAA to regain his stroke. He's been lost lately.
      2) Swap Hermann for Fryer.
      3) When Pinto regains his form, swap him and Fryer.
      4) Install Escobar as the every day SS. DFA Florimon, and bring up Nunez to be the utility guy. Call up Parmelee. Find room for him in RF, 1B, and DH if needed. Right now, that would be easy to do.

      4b) If Mauer is headed to the 15 day, I'd think long and hard about giving Vargas a cup of coffee.
      5) I'd probably send Hicks down along with at least one reliever. Call up Kenny Wilson (not b/c I think he's good but b/c I want Hicks playing every day in AAA). Burton I think is the guy to go, so he's traded (not likely) or DFAd in favor of someone who can swing a bat.
      That is a terrible plan. Kenny Wilson would make Florimon's bat look good. Pinto is a much better player than Fryer. Calling up Vargas AND Parmelee is adding two players with the same skill set.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by Siehbiscuit View Post
      This is essentially the same "slump" that Pinto is in right now!?
      There's a big difference between a regular slump (Pinto so far), and a slump as a culmination of 500 poor PA (Parmelee in July 2013). If Parm had just wrapped up a .900 OPS month when he had that slump, I am pretty sure he wouldn't have been sent down. Heck, I don't think he's approached that kind of a stretch in MLB since September 2011.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      There's a saying that you don't know what you have in a player until he's reached the 1,000-AB threshold in the majors.
      How many times do we have to read this?

      For the umpteenth time. Its a TK saying. He said it about guys who came up and raked early. He wanted to see them continue that pace for 1000 PAs before he believed they were real. He never, to my knowledge, said it about guys who came up and laid eggs like Parmelee has (thank god).
    1. troyhobbs's Avatar
      troyhobbs -
      I think Parmelee can hit and that's why he was a 1st rd pick. There probably isn't a pitcher that he's seen more than a handful of times so he needs more experience for sure before being written off. Maybe the Twins have too many corner OF/1B/DH type guys but I think he's an MLB player and it's time to make a trade, either to make room for Parms or get something valuable for him (not sure he's accumulated much value though).

      Also it's way too early for the Twins to put Mauer on the DL, they like to let guys ride the pine for a couple weeks while still occupying a roster spot and then put them on the DL.
    1. Linus's Avatar
      Linus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      How many times do we have to read this?

      For the umpteenth time. Its a TK saying. He said it about guys who came up and raked early. He wanted to see them continue that pace for 1000 PAs before he believed they were real. He never, to my knowledge, said it about guys who came up and laid eggs like Parmelee has (thank god).
      I believe he was referring to all hitters, whether they start off hot or cold.

      This is my concern with bringing up Parms: we can find a roster spot for him but will he get consistent playing time? Our manager is trying to grind out wins, not develop players so that is a problem. Unless and until they clear up the roster of the half dozen corner OF / DH types, you might as well leave him in Rochester so he can play everyday and call him up after they finally run through all the others.

      Developing players need to play, alot. At what level is less important than having the experience of getting out there. That's why I think they are doing Pinto a disservice by not being behind the plate much. Pretty hard to become a better catcher when you don't catch much.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Quote Originally Posted by Siehbiscuit View Post
      25 MAN ROSTER:

      (13 position players)
      C- Suzuki, Pinto (Escobar is the emergency catcher) - Split games evenly. Pinto's bat is good, but are we sure it is better than Colabello, Parmalee or Arcia's to have him be the DH and not one of them?
      1B- Mauer & Colabello
      2B-Dozier
      3B-Plouffe
      SS-Escobar, Florimon (send Santana back to AAA) - The everyday job needs to go to Escobar.
      LF - Kubel & Arcia
      CF - Hicks & Fuld - Hicks needs to play everyday and Fuld is not a part of the future. Hicks still can be (although its painful to watch).
      RF - Parmalee & Colabello - this could be a straight platoon or just riding the "hot hand." Hitters go on streaks. Ride 'em while their hot, sit 'em when they're not.
      DH - Revolving door of matchups and who is hitting well. Pinto has got to be a better hitter to get the AB's here. If its a RH on the mound, there's no reason that Kubel, Arcia and Parmalee can't/should't all be in the lineup.

      SP- Nolasco, Hughes, Correia, Deduno & Gibson (5)
      RP - Theibar, Duensing, Swarzak, Fien, Tonkin, Burton (6)
      CP - Perkins
      (12 pitchers)
      One other note would be to switch out Nunez for Florimon. Nunez could fill in at second, short, third, left and right and could both pinch run and pinch hit. Florimon would be a defensive replacement at short and a pinch runner.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      How many times do we have to read this?

      For the umpteenth time. Its a TK saying. He said it about guys who came up and raked early. He wanted to see them continue that pace for 1000 PAs before he believed they were real. He never, to my knowledge, said it about guys who came up and laid eggs like Parmelee has (thank god).
      What's the difference? Why can't that mantra apply to both scenarios? A hot start to a career can be a mirage but not a cold start?

      Also, let's be clear: it's a stretch to say Parmelee has "laid eggs." It's not like he has been Hicks-like over 600 PA. He has a .717 career OPS in the majors, which isn't very good but also isn't exactly embarrassing.
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      There are some eye opening similarities between Torii Hunter and Chris Parmelee in their minor league and early pro development.

      One big difference being that Torii was playing full time by now, same position, day in day out.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Also, let's be clear: it's a stretch to say Parmelee has "laid eggs." It's not like he has been Hicks-like over 600 PA. He has a .717 career OPS in the majors, which isn't very good but also isn't exactly embarrassing.
      "Hicksian" is an almost historic low bar, though. I think for a 1B (stretched to corner OF), ~.670 OPS over his last ~550 MLB PA is pretty darn near an egg.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hosken Bombo Disco View Post
      There are some eye opening similarities between Torii Hunter and Chris Parmelee in their minor league and early pro development.

      One big difference being that Torii was playing full time by now, same position, day in day out.
      Hunter was a very good defensive CF -- he didn't need to hit to advance.

      Also, once Hunter destroyed AAA pitching at age 24, he came back and OPS'd .856 the last two months of the MLB season, then hit 27 HR at age 25. Parm hasn't done much since his banner AAA campaign in 2012 (age 24), and I don't think it's all opportunity.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      If only they had been bad last year, and had openings in the OF/DH spots so they could have seen more of him......
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottyB View Post
      His value is to a team that needs a corner/DH type. It's just that the Twins this year already have Willingham/Arcia/Colabello/Kubel/Fuld/Pinto etc. and in the not too distant future you can add Rosario/Hicks (when Buxton moves to CF)/Kepler/Vargas/Harrison/Walker to the logjam. At this point, Parmelee isn't part of our future, but he could have value as a bench piece on a contender that doesn't have the surplus that the Twins do.
      He has far more upside than Willingham, Kubel, or Fuld and unlike those three, he's still under contract next year. To say he has no future so get rid of him, means to release Willingham, Fuld, and Kubel. Where does the 2014 logjam go? Oh wait, there's currently two active OFs. It doesn't exist.

      Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Vargas, Harrison, and Walker are all prospects and maybe Vargas you call up this year in a pinch or September, but the rest are a ways off. Parmelee stops none of them. What do you lose?

      And Hicks? He's still young, but he has by no means shown anything more than 4th outfielder to me. He loses balls against blue skies and hasn't hit a darn thing. There's still time for him, but again I ask.

      What logjam? What future?

      if all CP can be is a nice bench piece for a contender, let's see what he can do now for this team, and if he'll be a nice bench piece for the Twins in 2016. If he doesn't work out, cut bait, no loss.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      This is what happens in Gardy's mind if he has his catcher dh and the other catcher gets hurt. Thus a 3rd catcher who appears completely useless at the "major league level" is needed.

    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by DJL44 View Post
      That is a terrible plan. Kenny Wilson would make Florimon's bat look good. Pinto is a much better player than Fryer. Calling up Vargas AND Parmelee is adding two players with the same skill set.
      It's not a win now plan. I think Pinto is going to need some time in Rochester to rediscover things. Hicks most certainly does and is going to do this team no good year in and out flirting with the Mendoza line. Vargas is on the 40 man. If Mauer goes on the 15 day DL, that's move I'd make... and as I said about Parm, I'd prefer he get some more time in AAA. Right now though, the team has no bats, when one of Hermann or Florimon needs to be in the lineup. You can safely call them both up and play them every day.
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      When I voiced concerns the roster had too many weak defensive outfielders (DH types) and essentially exchanging Kubel for Doumit wasn't a great idea specifically because it cost younger players chances to prove whether or not they belonged, several people responded by saying "The only thing keeping Parmelee out of the majors is Parmelee." I don't think that really holds anymore.
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