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Article: Issues in the Outfield

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:05 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...in-the-Outfield

#2 Sconnie

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:20 PM

Well written Parker! My only argument is keeping Bartlett made an already bad situation worse. Keeping Mastro or Presley would have mitigated the pain of watching IF play OF, and the hitting would be about the same, poor.

#3 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:45 PM

Through Monday night, the Twins have had infielders in the outfield for 45.2 innings


Meanwhile Parmelee, who was born and raised an outfielder, was sent to AAA. Is it hindsight to say that Parmelee should have made the team ahead of Bartlett?

#4 The Wise One

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:49 PM

Who positioned Escobar so shallow? The infielders turned outfielders get direction from the dugout. That Escobar looked bad is on the coaches for positioning him that shallow. I don't think he is the speedster that has patrolled shallow out there in the past

#5 troyhobbs

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 05:17 AM

Meanwhile Parmelee, who was born and raised an outfielder, was sent to AAA. Is it hindsight to say that Parmelee should have made the team ahead of Bartlett?


Pretty sure Gardy was the only person in mn that thought Bartlett should make the team, unfortunately his was the only opinion that mattered

#6 PopRiveter

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:24 AM

I don't know how many teams could field a quality outfield while all 3 starters, + a first baseman and a reinforcement outfielder are all out at once.
Mastro and Presley were not going to make an impactful difference and there are always Sam Fulds showing up on the wire (see Mastroianni, Presley, Thomas, Wilson.)
IMO, the true issue isn't depth as much as having a quality starting centerfielder. Hicks' leash is waaaaaaaaay too long. The corners will be fine in short order, but this rash of injuries might mean the loss of Parmelee from the org, and it definitely means we watch some funny routes.

#7 kblack1011

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:25 AM

The front office really has no plan for the outfield. They just bring up players and tell them that they are now outfielders. Even with Parmelee, if they wanted him to be an outfielders, why did he play most his games at first base at AAA? Can't be because we had other major league OF's at AAA. Now with Santana, they have a player who needs to develop his skills as a shortstop (another position of weakness in the organization), but they throw him to centerfield at the majors.

Then they cut players from the 40 man roster who can actually play the outfield. It's becoming clear that they have no real plan to field a competitive team this year.

#8 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:40 AM

So the implication was that Gardy made the call on Bartlett over Presley?

Sigh.

#9 mike wants wins

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 07:43 AM

There is a difference between "quality", and "play someone out there that has less than 20 gams experience", isnt there?

How can there be zero, zero, CF in AAA or AA? No one could move up to AA when Buxton went down, not even for a month or two? That implies, to me, there is no one in A+ either. Really hard to believe.

We've been over this, Hicks can't hit ML pitching. There should have 100% been a plan for his possible failure. There wasn't. The plan to back up Willingham (often injured and older) was to sign an injured older player. With no one in AAA that they wanted to call up if it didn't work.

#10 Brandon

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 07:46 AM

The Twins made a serious run at Raj Davis over the offseason. Would we have this discussion if he chose us over Detroit? So saying the Twins did nothing to address the OF is wrong. There really wasn't any better options out there. I do think the Twins should have brought Pierre in to compete in spring training but I don't remember seeing many available options out there. I also thought it was odd the Twins were going after Raj David so what do I know.

#11 mike wants wins

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 07:50 AM

There were myriad options....they chose not to pursue them. I'd guess over a dozen OF were available they could have signed. They could have traded one of their young RP (since they refuse to promote them, and realy only want verteraniness out there to walk in runs) for a AAA OF. Lots of ways to plan for this. Lots and lots of ways.
Lighten up Francis....

#12 halfchest

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 08:04 AM

Not to defend the front office, but they also were planning on Buxton starting at AA this year and many of us wouldn't have been shocked for him to be pressing for the big leagues by sometime in June if he continued to progress like last year. To me, he was part of the backup plan. The injuries to Hicks and Buxton were tough to foresee. However, once they knew Buxton was hurt it's almost unforgiveable to cut Pressley/Mastroianni knowing we lack depth behind Hicks and that Hicks isn't proven himself.

I was ok with what we brought into training camp MLB(Hicks/Pressley) AAA(Maistro) AA(Buxton) but keeping Bartlett over Pressley seemed dumb then and now it's come back to bite them.

#13 REPETE

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 08:06 AM

it drove me nuts when Gardy played Cuddy at 2B, and raved about what a great team player he was, and how he battled his tail off out there. Cuddy did what his manager asked, but HE COULDN'T PLAY 2B!! There should never be a time a MLB player is so completely out of position, barring late inning replacement necessitated by pinch hitters. Keeping Bartlett, and saying he'll learn how to play OF made no sense. Gardy manages the Twins like a softball team.

#14 Dantes929

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 08:09 AM

"It essentially cost the Twins that game. " Well, much like the Buckner grounder its more that it cost the Twins a fair chance at the game. If you make the play and you would have won then an error costs you the game. If the score is tied when you make it then there was probably a close to even chance you were going to lose anyway.

#15 Cris E

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 08:11 AM

They were too worried about blocking Hicks/Buxton, too concerned about Willingham's feelings to not consider playing him more at DH and less in LF, and way too optimistic in assuming guys would stay healthy. As said above, the insurance policy for the happy path was not well conceived.

#16 cmathewson

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 08:23 AM

This is exactly what I've been saying, but more elegantly written and strongly argued. Great job.

#17 cmathewson

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:48 AM

So the implication was that Gardy made the call on Bartlett over Presley?

Sigh.


Yes. My question is, where is the accountability for decisions like this? Someone said Gardy was the only one in MN who thought it was a good idea. I can say he was the only person in the universe. Bartlett could barely get the bat on the ball in spring training. He had never played professionally in the outfield. So why not give him the chance to play his way onto the 40 man in AAA? If he opts out, I guess he didn't want it enough. But why rush him back from nearly two years away from the game? And why risk losing the only back-up center fielder on the 40 man to do it? Gardy's response was "I don't need a back-up center fielder." If an employee of mine made such a bone-head decision, I'd fire him.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#18 Beezer07

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:02 AM

We've been over this, Hicks can't hit ML pitching.


Hicks has not been good in the majors thus far in his career. But this seems like an awfully bold statement to make considering he's only had 400+ PAs. I know he can't hit ML pitching yet, but why are people so quick to give up on a guy who's part of a team that is BAD? What benefit is there to the Twins in picking up waiver wire garbage with no higher ceiling? I say let Hicks keep struggling and hope he figures it out over the next year, much like hundreds of MLers before him.

#19 SweetOne69

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:07 AM

Yes. My question is, where is the accountability for decisions like this? Someone said Gardy was the only one in MN who thought it was a good idea. I can say he was the only person in the universe. Bartlett could barely get the bat on the ball in spring training. He had never played professionally in the outfield. So why not give him the chance to play his way onto the 40 man in AAA? If he opts out, I guess he didn't want it enough. But why rush him back from nearly two years away from the game? And why risk losing the only back-up center fielder on the 40 man to do it? Gardy's response was "I don't need a back-up center fielder." If an employee of mine made such a bone-head decision, I'd fire him.


I agree.

The conversation should've gone something like this:
Gardy: I want Bartlett on the roster.
FO: I understand you like the guy, but he doesn't look ready. We should keep him in the minors to see if is offense comes around.

#20 JB_Iowa

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:09 AM

The Bartlett decision was not Gardenhire's alone.

He had an enabler in the front office. (That is the part that should be of most concern).

#21 Riverbrian

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:17 AM

Thank You Parker!!!

Your article helped explain some of the things that was confusing the crap out of me. The quote from Antony explaining the 25th man does answer my question on who the inside advocate was for Bartlett. I suspected it was Gardy and that suspicion is now stronger.

I want to be clear... that I don't want to hang anyone over all of this but it's obvious that they missed.

Hicks shouldn't have been handed the starting gig in CF after witnessing 2013. I believe in Hicks... He has the potential to be exciting and he has the tools to get it done. But... Let him conquer AAA first. I was shocked that he made the opening day roster after 2013. And I was triple shocked that no safety net was in place. It's the same scenario as 2013 and it failed. Why try the same approach again? I have no idea.

Another thing... If you are going to create a utility player... There is only one way to do it. You have to take that player and play him somewhere else. Saying that someone is the backup in CF and waiting for every other possible option to get hurt before playing there does nobody any good. Utility players are created by playing elsewhere. Bonofacio is the Cadillac of utility players. He started as 2B in 2007... Moved to 3B in 2009... Moved to the OF in 2010 and moved to SS in 2011. He got a bunch of playing time at each position.

If you want to play your SS in the OF... I'm all for it... But you have to commit to it and create it. Play him... It might be rough for a while but it will get better. If he is only going to play in emergency situations. He will never get better and we will be in a constant state of looking like we have in the OF. The Season is young... Dive in with both feet.

However... Creating a utility guy is goofy and time consuming when you could have just signed the best one out there free of charge.

The Twins approach to CF is a head scratcher. Your article helped but I still don't totally get it.

#22 Dave T

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:38 AM

Parker -- Your article is incomplete! I agree totally that Bartlett had no business in the OF, and Escobar has shown that he should stay in the infield. However, from what I've seen, Santana and Nunez look pretty good out there. What say you about them?

#23 stringer bell

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:45 AM

Hicks has not been good in the majors thus far in his career. But this seems like an awfully bold statement to make considering he's only had 400+ PAs. I know he can't hit ML pitching yet, but why are people so quick to give up on a guy who's part of a team that is BAD? What benefit is there to the Twins in picking up waiver wire garbage with no higher ceiling? I say let Hicks keep struggling and hope he figures it out over the next year, much like hundreds of MLers before him.

I have been among the harshest critics of the handling of center field. That doesn't mean I don't think Hicks has any chance. What is key is what is the best for the development of a young player and right now, IMHO, it seems very clear to me that he needs to go down to AAA and get his confidence back. It should help the player and and will also help the major league team because right now Hicks is about an average fielder and isn't a major league hitter.

#24 mike wants wins

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:51 AM

Hicks wasn't all that good a hitter in the minors, Beezer07.....he is a switch hitter that cannot hit LH...that's kind of a big deal.
Lighten up Francis....

#25 Parker Hageman

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:54 AM

However, from what I've seen, Santana and Nunez look pretty good out there.


Santana might be the most prepared to play outfield -- as I wrote " (Danny Santana did have 15 games in center in 2011 with Beloit)". He did misplay Victorino's ball into a triple last night and also almost dropped the out in deep center after being confused on the liner over his head.

Nunez hasn't been tested, really. Four plays, four balls that should have been caught and were.



#26 Boom Boom

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:54 AM

The whole Bartlett-super utility fiasco and now the Escobar/Santana experiments make me wonder just how concerned Gardenhire is with outfield defense. I get that the roster is limited, but infielders shouldn't be learning, on the fly, how to play the outfield in a major league game.

I doubt he'd be so cavalier about an emergency situation requiring an outfielder to learn how to play the infield.

#27 mike wants wins

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:01 AM

Given Dozier's continued success, that Polanco can move to 2B if needed, maybe Goodrum or Michael......should Rosario be at CF when he returns? If he can hit at all, he'd be a good bridge to Buxton (that bridge looks longer and longer every day).
Lighten up Francis....

#28 cmathewson

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:06 AM

Hicks wasn't all that good a hitter in the minors, Beezer07.....he is a switch hitter that cannot hit LH...that's kind of a big deal.


Hicks has a career minor league OPS of .800 while being on average two years younger than the competition at every level. He's also rated among the top defenders of each league he has played in for his position. There is no reason to believe he can't eventually adjust to major league pitching. He just should not have skipped AAA.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#29 mike wants wins

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:10 AM

That OPS is largely driven by walks....MLB pitchers throw more strikes. He has one season in his professional career where is BA was over .280. I still hope he can figure it out, but I just don't see it happening until he stops switch hitting.
Lighten up Francis....

#30 Kirby_Waved_At_Me

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:27 AM

I doubt he'd be so cavalier about an emergency situation requiring an outfielder to learn how to play the infield.


or someone learning to be the 3rd catcher . . .