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Any thoughts on the top of the 8th yesterday?

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#1 Willihammer

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:32 AM

Recap:

Twins were behind 2-5. Due up were Hicks and Florimon for their 3rd PA against Sale, then Dozier for his 4th.

Hicks roped a double, then Gardy pulled Florimon back and put in Escobar to PH. (Sale remained in the game).

On the bench at this point were: Pinto, Bartlett, and Kubel.

???

edit: Down 2-5 at the time, not 3-5

Edited by Willihammer, 01 April 2014 - 09:18 AM.


#2 Brad Swanson

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:38 AM

Recap:

Twins were behind 3-5. Due up were Hicks and Florimon for their 3rd PA against Sale, then Dozier for his 4th.

Hicks roped a double, then Gardy pulled Florimon back and put in Escobar to PH. (Sale remained in the game).

On the bench at this point were: Pinto, Bartlett, and Kubel.

???


I think the logic would be that Gardy didn't want to lose his backup catcher, put Kubel in against a lefty or use Bartlett in any situation where he needed to utilize a bat.
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#3 Seth Stohs

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:41 AM

Kubel would have made no sense against Sale. Pinto would have, but would have meant losing two players. I personally don't think that Escobar is much better than Florimon offensively, so I probably would have just let Florimon hit. But, I get it.

#4 Boom Boom

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:42 AM

This is an indictment on Florimon.

If he's such a terrible hitter that he needs to be sac bunting in the third... and then is pinch-hit for by Escobar... he shouldn't be in the lineup at all.

#5 LoganJones

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:00 AM

This is an indictment on Florimon.

If he's such a terrible hitter that he needs to be sac bunting in the third... and then is pinch-hit for by Escobar... he shouldn't be in the lineup at all.


He probably should have bunted in the 8th, too. Not that the outcome would have been any different. I wonder if Pedro's appendectomy is affecting his right handed swing. Or if Gardy got a bit excited with the bench move there.

#6 CRArko

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:03 AM

If I recall, Escobar delivered some winning hits late in ST games. Gardy does like going with the hot hand. Especially when you have few.

#7 Tibs

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:04 AM

I think he should have left Florimon in there. He is capable of moving a runner over
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#8 Willihammer

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:04 AM

I think the logic would be that Gardy didn't want to lose his backup catcher


Down 3-5 in the 8th with a runner on base, I think you're primary concern has to be - who gives us the best chance to tie the game with 1 swing of the bat, doesn't it?

#9 tobi0040

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:07 AM

Down 3-5 in the 8th with a runner on base, I think you're primary concern has to be - who gives us the best chance to tie the game with 1 swing of the bat, doesn't it?


You can't bat Pinto. Because then IF Suzuki gets hurt, then Mauer has to play catcher for like 1 or 2 innings (sarcasm).

I am not overly worried about losing two players via one switch. If the worst case is you tie the game up and have one or no options in extra innings, well you are still playing in extra innings when you otherwise would not have been. With Florimon out of the game, you are probably not needing many more pinch hit at bats anyway.

On a side note, I think we are going to have a lot of these second guessing scenarios, because we have a few terrible hitters in our lineup and a coach that doesn't manage the lineup/roster moves very well and has irrational worries.

Edited by tobi0040, 01 April 2014 - 09:13 AM.


#10 spycake

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:09 AM

I think the logic would be that Gardy didn't want to lose his backup catcher, put Kubel in against a lefty or use Bartlett in any situation where he needed to utilize a bat.


Maybe Gardy thought he may have to pinch-run for Suzuki. Although Suzuki was on 1B with 2 outs and Mauer up, and he stayed in the game...

Also, maybe Gardy is in agreement with the folks who like Escobar better than Florimon vs LHP. Still, Florimon handled himself fairly well in his first two PA against Sale (no strikes missed or caught looking, worked the count full in his previous PA too) so it seemed a weird time to change course, for marginal benefit.

That situation pretty much screams for Pinto. He's more likely to get a hit, more likely to draw a walk, less likely to strike out, and FAR more likely to hit a HR than any of the other bench options, pretty much regardless of pitcher handedness. Wonder if Gardy would have approached it differently if the batter was the potential tying run?

Part of the benefit of playing a veteran like Suzuki (particularly one with a reputation as a durable gamer) is that it's less critical to always have a backup catcher available. If Suzuki gets dinged up, you're not risking your future to keep him in the game (where you otherwise might remove Mauer, Pinto, etc. for precautionary reasons). Basically, Suzuki shouldn't have to come out unless he suffers a catastrophic injury, so we should be able to deploy Pinto a lot more liberally, especially in the late innings. Swapping Bartlett for Hermann might be necessary here?

#11 nicksaviking

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:12 AM

This is an indictment on Florimon.



I think it's an idictment on the decision to put this bench together the way it is.

Question: How often will the Twins be in a position that it needs a righty to pinch hit for Florimon against a tough lefty late in the game?

Answer: Way too often.

#12 spycake

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:13 AM

Down 3-5 in the 8th with a runner on base, I think you're primary concern has to be - who gives us the best chance to tie the game with 1 swing of the bat, doesn't it?


At the time, we were still down 5-2. Hicks scored the third run later in the inning.

So, Florimon's spot did not represent the tying run, although I'm not sure how much that distinction mattered. It clearly looked like it could be our best chance to get back into the game.

#13 JB_Iowa

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:14 AM

Also, maybe Gardy is in agreement with the folks who like Escobar better than Florimon vs LHP. Still, Florimon handled himself fairly well in his first two PA against Sale (no strikes missed or caught looking, worked the count full in his previous PA too) so it seemed a weird time to change course, for marginal benefit.


Bingo. Of the AB's yesterday, I thought Florimon's were pretty good. (I can't say that about some others).

I was actually surprised when they pulled him. If they had only been down by 1, would he have stayed in???

#14 jorgenswest

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:15 AM

I had these questions at the time.

Does Escobar give us the best chance to win? Using the roster to win games is Gardenhire's responsibility.

If Gardenhire doesn't use Pinto now, would there ever be a better point? I couldn't foresee a better point in yesterday's game. The only reason not to use him is that one of the three other guys gives them a better chance to win.

In what game situation would Bartlett be useful? I suppose his leadership on the bench was helpful at that moment.

If Herrmann is on the roster instead of Bartlett, does Gardenhire use Pinto? Maybe that third catcher isn't so bad after all.

I assume that Gardenhire thought that using Escobar gave them the best chance to win.

#15 spycake

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:18 AM

Additional thought: should we have pinch-hit Pinto for Suzuki later in the inning?Still wasn't a tying run scenario, but with 2 outs, reaching base was critical for extending the inning, and a HR or XBH was especially critical to scoring runs.

We all "Zuke" was the hero of the day, but in general, wouldn't that be the preferred move? You lose your backup catcher, but you get a fresh one, with a better bat, and in this situation, you potentially get Sale out of the game at that moment (assuming Chicago would have gone to the pen there to face a better RH bat than Suzuki).

#16 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:20 AM

Not necessarily disagreeing with anything I've read here, but I do believe that Escobar is/could be a much, much better hitter than Floriman. Escobar had a nice AVG in the minors and a great stretch to start the year last year. How can you all bemoan (perhaps rightly so) Floriman's bat and not feel that ANY substitution was for the good in that spot?

That being said, Pinto should have been put in there. If you're not willing to give him that AB due to the catcher thing, AND you're not willing to let Mauer catch 2 innings, then drop Bartlett like's he's hot and bring up Hermann.

#17 Willihammer

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:24 AM

At the time, we were still down 5-2. Hicks scored the third run later in the inning.

So, Florimon's spot did not represent the tying run, although I'm not sure how much that distinction mattered. It clearly looked like it could be our best chance to get back into the game.


Thanks, I misremembered.

Down 3 instead of 2, Gardy probably was looking to get another baserunner for Dozier-Mauer-Willingham to drive in. Which makes a lot more sense but, is Escobar the best man for that job either?

edit (d'oh): Dozier-Suzuki-Mauer

Edited by Willihammer, 01 April 2014 - 09:29 AM.


#18 JB_Iowa

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:40 AM

Down 3 instead of 2, Gardy probably was looking to get another baserunner for Dozier-Mauer-Willingham to drive in. Which makes a lot more sense but, is Escobar the best man for that job either?

edit (d'oh): Dozier-Suzuki-Mauer



But therein lies the story of yesterday's game. The failures weren't on the fringes. The failures were with the players the Twins were counting on. While I have faith that Mauer will eventually get his game going, I have to see proof of a Dozier return to last year's form, Willingham and Kubel returns to something better than 2013 and a breakthrough from Arcia.

One game does not a season make and it could all be reversed tomorrow with the fringes doing badly and the heart doing well -- the question is whether they ever get it together so that all parts of the line-up function with some competence. It's been a long time since we've seen that.

Edited by JB_Iowa, 01 April 2014 - 09:46 AM.
Changed 2012 to 2013. Forgot a year in there!


#19 spycake

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:43 AM

Not necessarily disagreeing with anything I've read here, but I do believe that Escobar is/could be a much, much better hitter than Floriman. Escobar had a nice AVG in the minors and a great stretch to start the year last year.


Much, much better? His minor league AVG is 20 points better than Florimon, true, but it was only .269. And his minor league OBP is still worse than Florimon's, and his minor league career ISO is lower than Florimon's too.

I was a little intrigued by Escobar's late season run at Rochester last year, but he looked pretty much the same as ever in the Winter Leagues and in spring training:
http://mlb.mlb.com/m...lid=135&t=l_bat

It was clearly the most lateral move on the bench yesterday.

#20 Monkeypaws

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:49 AM

Rendered all the more bizarre when you consider Florimon is 3 for 9 lifetime vs. Sale, whereas Escobar had never faced him.

#21 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:54 AM

Nothing to second guess yesterday except the quality of the opposing starting pitcher. Wow that guy is good.

I might have let Florimon hit though, since it wasn't a potentially game ending at bat situation. Suzuki came through by extending the inning to get to Mauer. They just got beat.

#22 Willihammer

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:56 AM

But therein lies the story of yesterday's game. The failures weren't on the fringes. The failures were with the players the Twins were counting on. While I have faith that Mauer will eventually get his game going, I have to see proof of a Dozier return to last year's form, Willingham and Kubel returns to something better than 2013 and a breakthrough from Arcia.

One game does not a season make and it could all be reversed tomorrow with the fringes doing badly and the heart doing well -- the question is whether they ever get it together so that all parts of the line-up function with some competence. It's been a long time since we've seen that.


Gardy is that you?

Of course we could blame ever single loss on the players. Doesn't change Gardy's job which is to get the most out of them and give his team the best chance to win games.

#23 cmathewson

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:16 AM

I would have gone with Pinto to hit and Esco to field in the bottom of the inning. But, Gardy has nightmares about needing to go with an emergency catcher, like his current first baseman.
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#24 JB_Iowa

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:27 AM

Gardy is that you?

Of course we could blame ever single loss on the players. Doesn't change Gardy's job which is to get the most out of them and give his team the best chance to win games.


I'd more resemble Carol than Gardy :). But no, I don't blame all of the losses on the players and I thought your original question was a good one. I'm willing to wait and see if Gardenhire ever actually uses Pinto to DH or pinch hit -- at this point, his words saying he will don't mean much to me.

But it is still impossible for me to ignore 0-12 from Dozier, Mauer and Willingham.

#25 TheLeviathan

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:27 AM

Rendered all the more bizarre when you consider Florimon is 3 for 9 lifetime vs. Sale, whereas Escobar had never faced him.


Especially with how heavily Gardy relies on matchup data. It was a head scratcher.

I'd also ask...why not Bartlett? If he's supposed to be the veteran guy who knows how to hit in situations and who can play SS......why wasn't it him?

#26 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:37 AM

Gardy is that you?

Of course we could blame ever single loss on the players. Doesn't change Gardy's job which is to get the most out of them and give his team the best chance to win games.


Thats been a concern, that the front office is in possession of performance data that doesn't get communicated to the players on the field. Did we finally shift on Dunn yesterday?

#27 Boom Boom

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:38 AM

Did we finally shift on Dunn yesterday?


It's probably not necessary anymore. He hasn't been the same since he split with Kix Brooks.

#28 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:59 AM

I'd more resemble Carol than Gardy :). But no, I don't blame all of the losses on the players and I thought your original question was a good one. I'm willing to wait and see if Gardenhire ever actually uses Pinto to DH or pinch hit -- at this point, his words saying he will don't mean much to me.But it is still impossible for me to ignore 0-12 from Dozier, Mauer and Willingham.

I guess I'd counter with, Gardy doesnt have any control over those three going 0-12. He does have control over who comes to the plate in that specific AB.My guess is he was saving Pinto for a situation where he represented the tying run. Defensible IMO, made somewhat questionable by the lack of better bench options.

#29 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:04 AM

Recap:

Twins were behind 2-5. Due up were Hicks and Florimon for their 3rd PA against Sale, then Dozier for his 4th.

Hicks roped a double, then Gardy pulled Florimon back and put in Escobar to PH. (Sale remained in the game).

On the bench at this point were: Pinto, Bartlett, and Kubel.

???

edit: Down 2-5 at the time, not 3-5


I did a double-take when Escobar was announced and then remembered "Oh that's right. Ron Gardenhire is the manager."

Harrumph. Not the best move possible, that's for sure.

#30 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:06 AM

I think he should have left Florimon in there. He is capable of moving a runner over


Except that moving the runner over didn't matter one bit. Down three runs, the team needed baserunners.