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Arcia Needs to Step Up

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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:19 AM

The Twins find themselves a couple games below .500 after the Memorial Day games. We have seen the team play well for a couple of weeks followed by a four-game losing streak which looks right now like a swoon that might be pretty severe.

Currently, among the good news has been the fine play of Brian Dozier, the improved overall play of Trevor Plouffe, and the good work, both hitting and defensively, of Kurt Suzuki. Three right handed hitters who can and should be penciled in to be fixtures throughout the near future. Offensive production and defense from the outfield has been lacking. Kubel started strong in left but has faded badly, Chris Colabello has the most starts in right field. He's not an outfielder and it showed and his hitting went from Hall-of-Fame to Florimon in about as much time as it took to write this sentence. Aaron Hicks has been a mess and has become Topic A at TD, not because of success.

For the Twins to remain competitive, someone who hasn't produced must step up. Given that the "successes" have been right handed hitters, it would be helpful if a left handed hitter came forward. One candidate, of course, is Joe Mauer. The converted first baseman hasn't hit for extra-base pop and remains on course to shatter his career high for strike outs. If Mauer is healthy, his numbers should improve. He has been too good a hitter for too long to OPS more than a hundred points below his career average. Another candidate would be the topic of this thread--Oswaldo Arcia.

Arcia has middle of the order power, much needed by a Twins team lagging in the bottom quarter of home run and slugging stats. He has also shown glimpses of being much more than an occasional long ball hitter. He was destroying AAA when his wrist got healthy, much as he did last year. His left handed bat is probably needed to counterbalance the right handers on the club.

I was a live spectator at the Memorial Day game. Arcia looks dangerous swinging the bat and he actually looked good in the outfield, although he didn't catch one ball for which he made a nice attempt. The idea that he could be in the lineup every day with 20+ homer power and a good batting average really would improve the Twins offense. It would also add stability to have another position locked up, not only for this year, but years to come.

Arcia still is the youngest player on the team. His development this year is essential to the Twins being competitive this year, but more than that, he is a key piece in the puzzle if the Twins are to become a consistently contending team in the last half of this decade.

#2 ChiTownTwinsFan

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 06:28 AM

He just came off the DL for a wrist injury, one he also dealt with last season. While I agree with the sentiment ... that he could be that much needed 'dangerous' power in the lineup ... I personally feel it's too soon to start clamoring for him to 'step up.' Yes, he is young, but for me, I'd just like to see him get through the next month showing progress and showing his wrist will stay healthy. In fact, I'm kind of 'holding my breath' with that, as it was worrisome for me that he had the same wrist injury a year ago. Hopefully that was a fluke and he can now go forth and become the player we all hope he is. But my personal sentiment is to wait a month to see what he does before writing declarative statements about needing to 'step up.'

#3 drock2190

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 06:44 AM

I'd like his strikeouts to dip to a bad 25% instead of 30%+

That will be key for him to become a good hitter.

#4 cmathewson

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:00 AM

It is strange that the fortunes of this team rest on two guys 24 years old or younger who have fewer than 500 PAs a piece, and who both have significant development issues to work through. Ideally, they would not be the guys who needed to step up. Ideally, it would be Dozier, Mauer Willingham and Plouffe. We should all hope these two youngsters step up, but to demand it is a disservice to them.
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#5 mike wants wins

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:11 AM

This is supposed to be Mauer's team. I don't see them winning a lot if he doesn't step up.
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#6 Halsey Hall

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:19 AM

Ideally, it would be Dozier, Mauer Willingham and Plouffe. We should all hope these two youngsters step up, but to demand it is a disservice to them.


I agree with Mauer, Willingham and Plouffe needing to step up. Dozier is still fairly young in my mind and is improving. Let's lay off Arcia with any talk of stepping up and just let him play, take what we get.

#7 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 12:58 PM

I agree with Mauer, Willingham and Plouffe needing to step up. Dozier is still fairly young in my mind and is improving. Let's lay off Arcia with any talk of stepping up and just let him play, take what we get.

How has Plouffe not been stepping up? He leads the league in doubles and has a 111 OPS+, not sure what more you expect from him.

I have this weird feeling that Mauer is playing through an injury all season, I have never seen him struggle like this.
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#8 jokin

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 01:24 PM

He just came off the DL for a wrist injury, one he also dealt with last season. While I agree with the sentiment ... that he could be that much needed 'dangerous' power in the lineup ... I personally feel it's too soon to start clamoring for him to 'step up.' Yes, he is young, but for me, I'd just like to see him get through the next month showing progress and showing his wrist will stay healthy. In fact, I'm kind of 'holding my breath' with that, as it was worrisome for me that he had the same wrist injury a year ago. Hopefully that was a fluke and he can now go forth and become the player we all hope he is. But my personal sentiment is to wait a month to see what he does before writing declarative statements about needing to 'step up.'


The difference with Arcia versus some of the other young players in recent times (do we really need to say the actual names?) is that, in calling on him to "step up", he appears to be a guy who relishes the "call out"....and more importantly, won't have his spirit crushed if he falls short. If he can get fully healthy with the wrist....as you stated, I think this is the key component- if he has another setback, he may require surgery..... I believe the K% issue will fade away (his minor league numbers were pretty good, considering).

And if/when the Twins finally get 3 good defenders out of 4 OFers on the roster, Arcia's defensive deficiencies can be mitigated, and he will be that guy the team looks to to step up, for years to come.

Edited by jokin, 27 May 2014 - 01:28 PM.


#9 TheDean

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 01:28 PM

How has Plouffe not been stepping up? He leads the league in doubles and has a 111 OPS+, not sure what more you expect from him.

I have this weird feeling that Mauer is playing through an injury all season, I have never seen him struggle like this.


I agree. Plouffe has been a pleasant surprise. After Kubel and Colabello nosedived, Plouffe and Zukes have continued to produce (while coming back to Earth a little bit).

Mauer doesn't look like Mauer. It's weird. Maybe it's injury (related or unrelated to the concussion), but I also wonder how much lack of conditioning plays a part. How much do pro ballplayers rely on their offseason conditioning? I had read that Mauer had been out of baseball from the time of going on the DL till Spring Training. That's a long time...

Back on the point of the thread, I had a feeling that the phrase "Needs to Step Up" would ruffle some feathers. It seems a bit harsh. I would say instead that the Twins really need Arcia and Hammer to pick up the slack that Kubel and CC have left behind. If they can produce from the corners, I like the look of a team that includes suddenly good (or lucky) bats at SS, two fine receivers, an improved 3B, and a potential ASG candidate at 2B. I'll be happy if Hicks is the only void in the lineup. Among lineup voids, he is better than both Florimon and "pre-adjustment" Dozier of 2013.

#10 Kirby_Waved_At_Me

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 02:03 PM

Arcia can have Kubel's at bats starting right now.

#11 TheLeviathan

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 02:11 PM

Arcia can have Kubel's at bats starting right now.


How about starting yesterday?

#12 Kirby_Waved_At_Me

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 02:15 PM

that works too

#13 Halsey Hall

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 03:25 PM

How has Plouffe not been stepping up? He leads the league in doubles and has a 111 OPS+, not sure what more you expect from him.

I have this weird feeling that Mauer is playing through an injury all season, I have never seen him struggle like this.

I'm not a Plouffe fan, probably never will be.

#14 ChiTownTwinsFan

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 03:36 PM

The difference with Arcia versus some of the other young players in recent times (do we really need to say the actual names?) is that, in calling on him to "step up", he appears to be a guy who relishes the "call out"....and more importantly, won't have his spirit crushed if he falls short. If he can get fully healthy with the wrist....as you stated, I think this is the key component- if he has another setback, he may require surgery..... I believe the K% issue will fade away (his minor league numbers were pretty good, considering).

And if/when the Twins finally get 3 good defenders out of 4 OFers on the roster, Arcia's defensive deficiencies can be mitigated, and he will be that guy the team looks to to step up, for years to come.


I don't disagree with any of this ... but I still think it's too soon to call him out or to call on him to 'step up.' Really? One day after he comes off the DL? Seriously ... give him a little room. If after a week or two, and he seems like he's progressing, okay. But a day after coming off the DL is just, imo, a little bit, well, jumping the gun a bit out of our own impatience for a faltering team that isn't his responsibility at this point.

#15 Physics Guy

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 03:52 PM

I think there is maybe some confusion about the original post. Many people seem to be reading that the OP is calling out Arcia to step up (as the title of the thread might indicate). If that is what the OP meant, I would agree with the majority in that it is much too early to call him out. I suspect that what he meant to say was that the Twins need Arcia to step up or hope that he does if they are going to continue maintaining a .500 record.

#16 stringer bell

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:11 PM

I think there is maybe some confusion about the original post. Many people seem to be reading that the OP is calling out Arcia to step up (as the title of the thread might indicate). If that is what the OP meant, I would agree with the majority in that it is much too early to call him out. I suspect that what he meant to say was that the Twins need Arcia to step up or hope that he does if they are going to continue maintaining a .500 record.

Look, here's the OP now! I guess maybe sometimes my command of the language suffers for trying to get interest in a post. As Physics Guy surmises, I wasn't calling Arcia out. I was offering my two-bit analysis of the immediate and longer-term future. The club needs a couple of corner guys to hit like big league corner guys and it would be best long-term if it were guys in their future plans--Mauer and Arcia--it also would be great if the Twins had another guy who they could write in every day and I think Arcia is up to it.

I hold no illusions about 2014. Even if the starting pitching improves to average, this club has a lot of holes and it would be a huge surprise if they were in contention. Having another player go from "prospect" or "projected starter" to "established player" would be huge for the future of the team. Obviously, Dozier has taken that step. Plouffe is moving in that direction and to add Arcia would make the future from 2015 that much rosier.

#17 Trevor0333

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:19 PM

This is supposed to be Mauer's team. I don't see them winning a lot if he doesn't step up.


Mauer needs to be better but where do people get that this is Mauer's team? Because he did a Head & Shoulders commercial with Troy Polamaulu. Mauer hasn't been much of a contributor but offense is what top 10 in baseball in runs scored. The problem hasn't been Mauer. It's been Nolasco, Pukefrey, Crappiea, Burton.

The offense is coming more into concern with Collabello & Kubel turning back into pumpkins but Arcia & Hammer are back.

#18 cmathewson

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:27 PM

How has Plouffe not been stepping up? He leads the league in doubles and has a 111 OPS+, not sure what more you expect from him.

I have this weird feeling that Mauer is playing through an injury all season, I have never seen him struggle like this.


I didn't mean to imply that he was not stepping up. Both he and Dozier have been the cornerstones of this offense. Mauer has not and needs to step up. Willingham has been hurt and needs to step up now that he's healthy.
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#19 Ultima Ratio

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:07 PM

If no one else has said it yet, I'll say it now: Arcia needs to step up!
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#20 THE DFC

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:51 PM

Feel free to re-post this thread before every game this year.

#21 AM.

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:19 PM

He really crushed that ball off the wall.

#22 Physics Guy

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:36 PM

He really crushed that ball off the wall.


He didn't crush it quite enough though. Fortunately Nunez came through.

#23 amjgt

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:42 PM

He didn't crush it quite enough though. Fortunately Nunez came through.


That's probably a HR in 28 of the 30 MLB ballparks (AT&T Park maybe being the other).

#24 amjgt

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:57 PM

I did a little digging after that post and found this pretty cool image

http://thumbnails.vi...344ca673751.png

It compares all 30 MLB Ballpark footprints

#25 stringer bell

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 12:47 AM

Over a month later, I am going to re-start the thread. IIRC, after I posted the original thread, Oswaldo had a couple of good games. I still see Arcia as a real lynchpin for the club. His current stats are, to be charitable, substandard. He has looked a bit better since he broke his long 0-fer, so maybe he's on the verge of a hot streak.

#26 curt1965

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 07:27 AM

Maybe it's just the way he carries himself, but I wonder if he doesn't need an attitude adjustment? He needs to make better contact, and while the power and potential is terrific, there appears to be a regression in his play. Hopefully, Morales will explain to him that you can make millions in this game, or significantly less outside of baseball!

#27 SheboyganBrats

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 08:31 AM

IMHO Arcia seems to be having difficulty recognizing the pitch when it comes out of the pitcher's hand, both the location of the pitch and the spin on the ball. When he's at the plate he seems to be flat-out guessing right now. Too often he's swinging at pitches way out of the strike zone. This can happen at times to the best of hitters, and I'm hoping this is just a matter of a young hitter adjusting to MLB pitching and getting to know the pitchers.

#28 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 08:38 AM

He's basically the opposite of Hicks and I think both could stand to learn a bit from each other to balance out their approach. The guy isn't selective at all, and he's swinging out of his shoes it pitches that he cannot hit, whereas Hicks doesn't swing at hardly anything. I'd say the two could learn a bit from each others' approach and could both turn into pretty fine ball players if they did.

#29 Willihammer

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 08:45 AM

Arcia did draw two walks yesterday. Trend or mirage?

#30 amjgt

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 11:21 AM

Maybe it's just the way he carries himself, but I wonder if he doesn't need an attitude adjustment? He needs to make better contact, and while the power and potential is terrific, there appears to be a regression in his play.


Terry? Is that you?