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Thrylos

I have mixed feelings about Jason Bartlett making the Twins...

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Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch
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...and has nothing to do with nostalgia.

The Twins have been busy trying to finalize their 25 man roster, this week, the last of Spring Training, and unless you are lucky enough to vacation to a remote island away from mobile phones and the Internets, you would know by now that there was a waiver wire frenzy that had two Twins without options (Chris Parmelee and Scott Diamond) passing through waivers unclaimed and assigned to Rochester (with Diamond sleeping on whether he will accept the assignment or not and become a free agent) and a third (Alex Presley of Justin Morneau trade fame) getting claimed by the Astros. While frantically counting bodies to see who might be the backup Centerfielder in the squad, the Twins' Communications Director, Dustin Morse gave the answer on twitter:



That conclusion was there, just by looking at who remained after the waiver activity, and in addition to Jason Bartlett it seems that Chris Colabello, who had a terrific Spring Training, also made the team. However, unlike with Bartlett, no official announcements have been made about Colabello (who does have 2 years of minor league options remaining) and since yesterday the Twins have 2 open 40-man roster spots, even if you include Kubel and Bartlett, which they might use to pick someone from the waiver wire and promote to the 25-man roster.

I really have mixed feelings about Bartlett making the team. I did not like the idea that the Twins gave minor league contracts to both Kubel and Bartlett, mainly because I thought that both of them had their best years well behind and, like when they traded a Hamburger to the Rangers for Yesterday Eddie, the Twins were signing the ghosts of Jasons past. And Bartlett had a horrible Spring on paper and did not get any better when I was down there and saw him in person. His appearances on the plate made me think that he would have hard time making contact from a tee and allowed me to make snide in game remarks like this and this. But something changed yesterday. On one hand I still do not think that he is in shape to help the team with his bat, but it is not the end of the world and he might actually do help the team. Why is that?

First of all, to make it clear. It is not because of nostalgia. If you have been reading this blog for a while, by now you should know that I think that one of the darkest seasons in the Twins' history was the smallball team of 2006, which lost all 3 of its postseason games, despite the facts that it had both the AL MVP and the AL Cy Young and it was the favorite to win it all. Dark times for the Twins, Gardy's piranhas and all, and Bartlett was part of the problem in my book.

It is not even because I think that Florimon probably will not be ready to begin the season and Bartlett might provide insurance. I already think that the Twins have a very capable shortstop (other than Florimon) who should be starting and is due for a break through season.

It is because of this. I really disliked the vibe I got from the Twins when I was down in Fort Myers, especially as far as effort goes, and I wrote about it in detail, predicting that it will be the downfall of the Twins this season. But Barlett actually gave it all this Spring. Inability to make contact or not. He was fine on the field as well, he was always with a smile on his face, including when he made that catch at Centerfield (I was sitting at the new OF seats right above him practically) and he looked like he had fun playing the game like a kid. I think that the Twins can use this kind of energy right now, despite the fact that the Bartlett as a major leaguer experiment might be short-lived.

So, sarcasm aside, I am warming up to the idea...


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  1. Sconnie's Avatar
    I'm with you Thrylos. At the end of the day, Bartlett is the emergency backup. He isn't going to be on the field much, so I'm not so worked up about him or his position, so much as what he means to the team as a figurehead.

    Do you think there is something to the notion that the reason Kubel and Bartlett are on this team right now, is to teach the kids "The Twins Way" kind of player life-coaches?

    I don't have a problem with Kubel or Bartlett so much as what they could represent. If this roster remains somewhat intact throughout this season, I'm disappointed because it points to nostalgia and apathy. Just waiting for reinforcements to arrive in 2016, then 2017...

    If those two are on this team because management sees them as player coaches, and a significant number of veterans on the opening day roster are planned to be traded (ie, Willingham, Florimon, Plouffe, Dozier, Duensing, Correia) and we successfully see a big youth movement this season, I'm all for it.
  2. gil4's Avatar
    "Yesterday Eddie" - nice.

    The only thing I like about the idea of Bartlett and Kubel making the team is nostalgia, and that is mainly applies to Kubel. Bartlett was a decent player in his prime and was a whole lot better than Brendan Harris, but hopefully the nice things I said sound like damning with faint praise. He was an adequate SS who was undervalued by his team and traded for an inadequate one.

    Kubel his hard to think about without wondering what might have been if he hadn't blown his knee out, but what he became was still pretty good for a while.
    Updated 03-28-2014 at 01:14 PM by gil4 (wasn't quite done)
  3. bear333's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie
    I'm with you Thrylos. At the end of the day, Bartlett is the emergency backup. He isn't going to be on the field much, so I'm not so worked up about him or his position, so much as what he means to the team as a figurehead.

    Do you think there is something to the notion that the reason Kubel and Bartlett are on this team right now, is to teach the kids "The Twins Way" kind of player life-coaches?

    I don't have a problem with Kubel or Bartlett so much as what they could represent. If this roster remains somewhat intact throughout this season, I'm disappointed because it points to nostalgia and apathy. Just waiting for reinforcements to arrive in 2016, then 2017...

    If those two are on this team because management sees them as player coaches, and a significant number of veterans on the opening day roster are planned to be traded (ie, Willingham, Florimon, Plouffe, Dozier, Duensing, Correia) and we successfully see a big youth movement this season, I'm all for it.
    There is such a lack of leadership, enthusiasm and cohesion with this lineup that it really doesn't matter that they brought in some old alumni that can't hit. This looks like a team that has set itself to loose 100 games. The league is full of ex Twins that are better than anything we are fielding right now. I have lost all confidence in Gardenhire as a manager. I hope they bring in someone else, next year. Paul Molitor?
  4. Sconnie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bear333
    There is such a lack of leadership, enthusiasm and cohesion with this lineup that it really doesn't matter that they brought in some old alumni that can't hit. This looks like a team that has set itself to loose 100 games. The league is full of ex Twins that are better than anything we are fielding right now. I have lost all confidence in Gardenhire as a manager. I hope they bring in someone else, next year. Paul Molitor?
    you mean to tell me that the prank on Pelfrey could possibly be ineffective at "good cop/bad cop" model of team building? There's a reason most managers don't survive three 90 loss seasons in a row, and the ones that do, get fired mid season in their 4th.

    I'm not on the fire Gardy band wagon. He isn't the GM and can't make his own roster decisions. He can only do his best with Bartlett, which is to make him the fire alarm. He should have a box surrounding him in the dugout that reads "break glass in case of emergency"
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