• Three-Bagger: Two Catchers, Dozier & Parmelee

    * The Twins made their final round of cuts yesterday, sending Brian Dozier, J.R. Towles, Casey Fien and Brian Dinkelman to Rochester. With that, the season-opening 25-man roster has come into clear focus; it will include four starters, eight relievers and surprisingly only two catchers.

    Drew Butera and J.R. Towles appeared to be battling for the third catcher job, but both will open the campaign in Triple-A, meaning that Ron Gardenhire will have Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit as his sole catching options. There's a measure of risk here but I think it's the right choice.

    Mauer and Doumit have both been injured often throughout their careers. If one goes down and lands on the disabled list, the Twins can easily have Butera or Towles up the next day; but, should one suffer a minor injury, it could leave Gardenhire without a backup for a few few days and eliminate Doumit's valuable flexibility.

    In the long run, I believe the risk here is healthily outweighed by the benefit of having a useful player on the bench rather than a no-hit third catcher, but this certainly seems like an instance in which Gardy is going outside of his comfort zone.

    Then again, the organization as a whole has shown willingness to shy away from comfort zones this spring (the early demotion of Tsuyoshi Nishioka standing out as a prime example) and given where the Twins are coming from I think that's appropriate.

    * Dozier stuck around long enough to get a good look from the coaching staff but there was no way he was going to make the team out of spring training, barring an injury to Alexi Casilla or Jamey Carroll. While Gardenhire is clearly enamored with the 24-year-old shortstop, who hit .277/.333/.511 in spring training after a strong minor-league season in 2011, Dozier still hasn't played above Double-A and isn't viewed from outside as a top-notch prospect.

    If Dozier is truly ready to play in the bigs, as he claims, he can go prove it in Rochester while the Twins see what they have in Carroll and Casilla. Meanwhile, Terry Ryan is smartly downplaying the hype, saying "there is some work to be done."
    "Let's not get too carried away with what went on in spring training," [Ryan] said. "You don't get exposed here; you don't necessarily see all the top-line pitchers; you don't see all the top-line relievers. You've got to be careful a little bit. I know that everything was fine. I don't mean to get away from the fact that we have high hopes for him, and a few others that were sent out, but be careful about anointing people in spring training just because they might have been pretty impressive."
    Amen. That's the kind of insightful, forthright quote that we never got from Bill Smith. And Ryan is wise to temper expectations a bit, what with the manager glowing about Dozier and one local scribe hailing him as "the next big thing for the Twins."

    * Of course, while Ryan is cautioning not to put too much stock into spring training performance, the Twins have also apparently elected to roll with Chris Parmelee as their Opening Day first baseman on the basis of a strong showing over the past month.

    Parmelee has hit five homers in exhibition play and also went deep 12 times in the second half last year between Double-A and the majors. If that power is legit and he continues to show good plate discipline, he's got a chance to be a solid contributor, but slow-footed first basemen need to hit and the Twins are taking a leap of faith by letting the 24-year-old bypass Triple-A despite a .416 slugging percentage in 253 games at Double-A.
    This article was originally published in blog: Three-Bagger: Two Catchers, Dozier & Parmelee started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      And amen to this. Don't get me wrong, I hope that Parmelee goes ape. And I hope that Dozier becomes a good middle infielder. But there is generally no connection between September call-ups and true performance the following year and definitely generally no connection between spring training games and the regular season.
    1. minn55441's Avatar
      minn55441 -
      I'm with Shane, I hope that Parmelee has a great year, but I think he will see some bumps in the road and will end up splitting a lot of time with Justin, Joe and a host of others at first. I think that Carroll will have a nice year for us to the point that Carroll will have a higher average with the Twins than Dozier will have with the Red Wings. We don't have to bring up extra base hits because that won't really be a contest. I think we will all like Carroll at short after having witnessed what went on last year at that position. He will be a solid consistent glove and provide a nice bat behind Span at the top of the lineup.
    1. Ultima Ratio's Avatar
      Ultima Ratio -
      Parmelee gets this promotion only as a consequence of Morneau's situation. He's not earned it, but I'm also not horrified at him getting a chance. Guys do sometimes just breakout in the bigs and at his age. We'll see... Also, very surprise but thankful that we're only carrying two catchers. Willinham is the emergency, which relieves all my worries since his actually been a position player at catcher. The bullpen is still downright scary. Hope I'm wrong, but i fear we'll give up many leads and ties in the 6-8th innings.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I'm not sure how you can argue that Parmalee hasn't earned it. He had a very nice spring following a very nice September which followed a nice second half in NB. I won't be surprised in the least if he ends up getting sent down due to adjustments that ML pitchers will make against him, but he's done what has been asked of him.

      I think what people forget is that Chris started out very promising and the Twins tinkered quite a bit with his swing to increase his contact rate. That sapped his power for a couple of years, though it's looking like it's coming back. That's not a bad thing, and to add to it, there are plenty of decent hitters on this team that should offer him some reasonable protection as well.

      I think management was right on Dozier. Unlike Parmalee, there isn't much room for him just yet. Like Parmalee, he could still use some time playing every day in Rochester, so it made more sense. That was the big difference between the two. I have no doubt in my mind that Dozier will be up at somepoint this season, unless Luke Hughes manages to take over starting at 2nd and never looks back. Otherwise, he will probably be the starting SS next year.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Can we stop ripping Smith, and annointing Ryan. The lack of young players in MN and impact players in AAA (especially last year) is on Ryan's time at GM. Who was GM when Dozier was drafted? He already looks better than any MIF drafted by Ryan's regime since, um, ever? Of course, the draft is really about scouts, not GMs.....

      There isn't room for Dozier because they signed Carroll, let's see how that goes, given his range at SS (I do like the signing, but I also would have been ok with rolling the die on Dozier, and using that money elsewhere). I do think Carroll will be around league median at SS, which is fine as long as M&M&S are good....
    1. UCLA_YANKEE_COLA's Avatar
      UCLA_YANKEE_COLA -
      Like you said Mike, it's not on Ryan or on Smith. Scouts drive the draft, GM's have much less input than most would believe.

      And you say you have no problem with the Carroll signing but would've been okay with Dozier too.

      I'm not sure you really said anything.
    1. TwinsFanLV's Avatar
      TwinsFanLV -
      Until the Twins acquire an Ace to anchor the starting staff, none of this Dozier/Parmalee/Hughes stuff is worth debating. It won't matter if the other team averages 6 runs/game.
    1. kirbyelway's Avatar
      kirbyelway -
      We lost 99 games last year mainly because our 3 best players (Span, Morneau and Mauer) had a lost season with injuries. If these guys can stay healthy and with the additions we have added, I like our chances. Our hitting stunk last year we need the big 3 in the lineup. I know people forget about Span, but his OBP is huge for the top of the lineup.
    1. savvyspy's Avatar
      savvyspy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ultima Ratio View Post
      Parmelee gets this promotion only as a consequence of Morneau's situation. He's not earned it, but I'm also not horrified at him getting a chance. Guys do sometimes just breakout in the bigs and at his age. We'll see... Also, very surprise but thankful that we're only carrying two catchers. Willinham is the emergency, which relieves all my worries since his actually been a position player at catcher. The bullpen is still downright scary. Hope I'm wrong, but i fear we'll give up many leads and ties in the 6-8th innings.
      How exactly has Parmalee not "earned" his spot on the 25 man? He's done everything the organization has asked of him in the last 2 seasons. He was one of the only players who showed up at the end of last year and had a very good spring?? It doesn't mean he's going to succeed long term but at some point it makes no sense letting these guys rot on horrible teams in the Twins minor league system. What does anyone learn losing 2/3rd of their games at Rochester or New Britain? This Twins team won't win 70 games. You cannot expect more when you put the worst pitching staff the majors has seem in a decade out there. Why not give some of these young hitter a chance? We know you can go get Butera up here to claim his crown as worst hitter in baseball anytime we want.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by savvyspy View Post
      the worst pitching staff the majors has seem in a decade .
      Where do we place our wagers? I'm thinking of a pretty big number.
    1. Ultima Ratio's Avatar
      Ultima Ratio -
      Quote Originally Posted by savvyspy View Post
      How exactly has Parmalee not "earned" his spot on the 25 man?
      Not to displace Morneau at first if Morneau were healthy. Winning a spot is different than getting a spot. Parmelee has played well enough to get himself into a position to get the spot that Morneau leaves vacant because of injury. He's earned the chance (and I hope he succeeds, but am not a homer or loving change for the sake of change) but he hasn't earned the start. Again, with all that said, I hope Morneau gets back to playing everyday 1B and Parmelee has earned (at that point it will be earned) to start in RF.
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