Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Store

Photo

Article: The Trouble With Counting on Kubel

  • Please log in to reply
44 replies to this topic

#1 Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 2,014 posts

Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:20 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...-on-Jason-Kubel

#2 70charger

70charger

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,121 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:12 AM

Good article. I'm not actually counting on Kubel at all, much less the way some here seem to be counting on him. Frankly, I'm not sure he stays on the club for very long at all.

#3 Thrylos

Thrylos

    Yes

  • Members
  • 4,223 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 06:14 AM

I don't expect much from Kubel. He is essentially replacing Doumit who put a .710 OPS last season (which is close to the numbers that hurt Kubel put) and Parmelee whose healthy numbers in 2013 (.228/.309/.354, 24.3% K%) were almost identical to Kubel's. I suspect that at some point in the season Willingham will be the full time DH and (hopefully) by mid-season Plouffe takes over. I just don't want to see (m)any of those guys on the field any more.

#4 sandbun

sandbun

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 25 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 08:20 AM

It kinda worries me that the Twins/Gardy are talking him up. I thought he was fine to bring in for a look, but certainly had no expectations that he would actually make the team. If he did it was a bonus, otherwise it was a chance to show we appreciated him before he goes off into the sunset.

"Last year, the D-Backs and Indians did their best to shield him, limiting him to 40 plate appearances (out of 291) against southpaws."

Wow, they platooned him, and he still put up that poor of a line? Ouch.

Also, as always occurs to me when discussing how Gardy refuses to platoon players, how many teams have managers where the team can sign a guy who might be helpful if used right, but the fans have to worry about the manager screwing it up, therefore making it better if the team doesn't sign that guy even though he could improve the team?

Edited by sandbun, 28 February 2014 - 12:08 PM.


#5 Badsmerf

Badsmerf

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,620 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 08:32 AM

When Plouffe moves off 3rd in favor of Sano a platoon with Kubel would be killer. I hope his struggles last season are behind him. It will be an interesting story to watch, because Kubel is somewhat of a crier.
Do or do not. There is no try.

#6 Dman

Dman

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 447 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 08:57 AM

I've never been a huge Kubel fan. Personally I think they should be playing the younger guys. This sounds like a typical TR bounce back year to build value scenario. The problem is we have enough of those guys as it is right now.

I hope Kubel is on a short leash but knowing Gardy and the Twins he probably gets most of the season to prove himself. Maybe things will work out and they can trade him for something around the deadline but he is not a long term answer for this team.

#7 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 7,262 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 09:12 AM

I love that they signed Kubel, and got him on a minor league deal. I think he's a given to make the roster, but it's not guaranteed. He's only 31, and in 2012, he launched 30 homers. Last year he was hurt. Don't get me wrong. He's not a given, and they have lots of other options if he doesn't pan out, but this is the kind of signing the Twins should (and all teams should) be excited about.

#8 YourHouseIsMyHouse

YourHouseIsMyHouse

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,235 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 09:13 AM

Kubel should not be given any more than 270 ABs in all likelihood. He's back in the AL, but unfortunately in an unfavorable environment for lefties (Target). I feel like he needs all the stars to align for a bounce-back, but my expectations are still about a .780 OPS if he wants to stay with the big club.

#9 jharaldson

jharaldson

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 163 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 09:17 AM

I don't expect much from Kubel. He is essentially replacing Doumit who put a .710 OPS last season (which is close to the numbers that hurt Kubel put)


Kubel had a .610 OPS, that 100 points lower and not what I would call close. Even in Kubel's limited time last year he was worth almost 2 less wins then Doumit so I view this as a clear step down.

http://www.fangraphs...ayers=2113,2161

#10 SpiritofVodkaDave

SpiritofVodkaDave

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 4,020 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 09:18 AM

I think Kubel was a great signing and I think he will be a helluva DH (platoon).

I think he and Hughes are going to be the two guys that have very huge bounce back years. Now I don't see 30 HR in target field, but I think he gets 20 HR, .765 OPS (.790 OPS if they protect him against LHP)
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"- L. Harvey Oswald

:whacky028::whacky028: :whacky028::whacky028:

#11 jharaldson

jharaldson

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 163 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 09:22 AM

What was Kubel's injury last year. I googled "Kubel 2013 Injury" and all I found was a strained quad. Was there something serious that I did not find? I have a hard time thinking a muscle pull in April could really be an excuse for the season he had.

http://msn.foxsports...5?q=jason-kubel

Edited by jharaldson, 28 February 2014 - 09:25 AM.


#12 mike wants wins

mike wants wins

    Would Like to be More Positive

  • Members
  • 5,786 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 09:22 AM

meh, those SO trends lead me to think he's not very good anymore. If he's their primary DH, they'll continue their trend of being one of the worst hitting DH teams in the league.

#13 nicksaviking

nicksaviking

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,632 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 09:25 AM

Kubel on a minor league deal was a pretty good bargain, probably one of the best of the offseason.

Still, I don't know that anyone is really counting on him other than Gardy, who likely is happy with the familiarity and the veteran status. It's TBD if Ryan is counting on him. After all, Ryan has a $2 million incentive to not bring him north with the club right out of the gate.

If all things are equal and that last roster spot comes down to Kubel or Parmelee, Parmelee probably has the edge. You don't lose Kubel if you send him to Rochester, and you save having to pay a hefty bonus.

Edited by nicksaviking, 28 February 2014 - 09:28 AM.


#14 jokin

jokin

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 6,796 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 09:32 AM

Kubel on a minor league deal was a pretty good bargain, probably one of the best of the offseason.

Still, I don't know that anyone is really counting on him other than Gardy, who likely is happy with the familiarity and the veteran status. It's TBD if Ryan is counting on him. After all, Ryan has a $2 million incentive to not bring him north with the club right out of the gate.

If all things are equal and that last roster spot comes down to Kubel or Parmelee, Parmelee probably has the edge. You don't lose Kubel if you send him to Rochester, and you save having to pay a hefty bonus.


Unfortunately, Gardy's new 2 year contract and Terry's public apology for not gettting him better players means that Gardy's opinion will likely hold sway here. And really, what are the alternatives that Gardy can put out there instead? I hope for the 2012 Kubel to make a return, but I fear that the 2013 version of Kubel is closer to the real one....and that Gardy sticks with that version for too long before cutting bait (all the evidence we need is the fact that Doumit kept getting meaningless ABs when the club clearly would have been better served giving those ABs to players like Parmelee, who are/were still potentially part of the future). I think they try to sneak Parmelee through waivers.

Edited by jokin, 28 February 2014 - 09:36 AM.


#15 mike wants wins

mike wants wins

    Would Like to be More Positive

  • Members
  • 5,786 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 09:38 AM

This year should be about finding out what the youth can do, since they punted fixing the offense at all.....and aren't likely to compete. I don't get how using Kubel helps that at all. It's hard to execute your strategy, if you don't execute your strategy.
Lighten up Francis....

#16 TheDean

TheDean

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 126 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 09:39 AM

Agreed. Besides that the roster is a bit overloaded with slow corner OF that don't hit LHP particularly well. As a lineup, things are looking bad against LHP. Hammer, Dozier, Mauer, and Plouffe are the only ones that can actually hit lefties. Arcia, Kubel, Parm, Presley, Florimon, Herrmann all would be roster boat anchors on those days. Everyone talks about platooning, but where is the other half of these platoons going to come from if Willingham, Dozier, and Plouffe are all playing regularly anyway?

#17 birdwatcher

birdwatcher

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 878 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 09:46 AM

I have no clue as to whether he'll bounce back, but there are three things I want to see a whole lot less of by 2015: crappy lumbering outfielders, sloppy station-to-station baserunning, and most importantly, those godawful strikeouts for the wrong team.

#18 DJL44

DJL44

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 268 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 10:30 AM

On strikeouts - the league has been trending upwards too. Most batters will be on an upward trend.

#19 Kwak

Kwak

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,261 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 10:30 AM

Unfortunately, Gardy's new 2 year contract and Terry's public apology for not gettting him better players means that Gardy's opinion will likely hold sway here. And really, what are the alternatives that Gardy can put out there instead? I hope for the 2012 Kubel to make a return, but I fear that the 2013 version of Kubel is closer to the real one....and that Gardy sticks with that version for too long before cutting bait (all the evidence we need is the fact that Doumit kept getting meaningless ABs when the club clearly would have been better served giving those ABs to players like Parmelee, who are/were still potentially part of the future). I think they try to sneak Parmelee through waivers.


It's difficult to conceive that Gardenhire wouldn't make demands [to the effect] of having better players to manage if he is to be held responsible for the Twins' W/L record as a condition of signing a new contract. With respect to the "public apology" it seems that the addition of sooo many veteran players was to provide those "better players". "Meaningless ABs" is a vague term. No, Doumit wasn't signed to be a building block--he was signed to "win now" (at least as much as practicable--like 70+ games). Gardenhire is not, and never was to be the sort of manager to "build a team"--his job was always to "win now". So, if Doumit was played--it was to "win now". It is/was someone else's responsibility to develop the players. The extended minor league service time of most Twins-developed players indicates just that. The Twins do not use the philosophy of pushing prospects to the majors, get them 3 years or so experience, and then sign them long-term--or trade them before they get expensive.

#20 Dantes929

Dantes929

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 289 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 10:36 AM

Once Sano is here it is pretty clear what should be done. Plouffe is a good hitter against lefties and Kubel is a good hitter against righties. Used that way the position will have a combined lifetime OPS near .830. A platoon makes a lot of sense either at DH or left field and when Willingham DH's. The odd guy out is a good late innings pinch hitting power threat.

#21 DAM DC Twins Fans

DAM DC Twins Fans

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 476 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 10:54 AM

As I said in another thread. Once Sano is here (June??) We have 5 guys for 3 spots (LF, RF,DH)--Arcia, Willingham, Parmalee, Kubel, Plouffe. Hopefully, Parmalee gets a chance to see if that Sept. a couple of years ago was a fluke. Arcia has to play everyday. If we platoon Plouffe and Kubel where does that leave Willingham?? I wonder if Kubel is just insurance against Parmalee or in Rochester until we trade Willingham for what little he is worth.

#22 jokin

jokin

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 6,796 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 11:48 AM

It's difficult to conceive that Gardenhire wouldn't make demands [to the effect] of having better players to manage if he is to be held responsible for the Twins' W/L record as a condition of signing a new contract. With respect to the "public apology" it seems that the addition of sooo many veteran players was to provide those "better players". "Meaningless ABs" is a vague term. No, Doumit wasn't signed to be a building block--he was signed to "win now" (at least as much as practicable--like 70+ games). Gardenhire is not, and never was to be the sort of manager to "build a team"--his job was always to "win now". So, if Doumit was played--it was to "win now". It is/was someone else's responsibility to develop the players. The extended minor league service time of most Twins-developed players indicates just that. The Twins do not use the philosophy of pushing prospects to the majors, get them 3 years or so experience, and then sign them long-term--or trade them before they get expensive.


All of which begs the question: Why is Gardy still at the helm of a clearly rebuiling team, and a team that seems fully intent for the next 2 years on the continuation of the practice of NOT "Winning Now"?

#23 highlander

highlander

    Member

  • Members
  • 34 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 11:52 AM

look for kubel to be used in a similar fashion as j thome. his demeanor in the club house and batting cage could be his most positive attribute this year. a veteran lefty off the pine.

#24 johnnydakota

johnnydakota

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 1,498 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 11:57 AM

I love that they signed Kubel, and got him on a minor league deal. I think he's a given to make the roster, but it's not guaranteed. He's only 31, and in 2012, he launched 30 homers. Last year he was hurt. Don't get me wrong. He's not a given, and they have lots of other options if he doesn't pan out, but this is the kind of signing the Twins should (and all teams should) be excited about.


Lots of options? Parmelee? Kenny Vargas? Chris Colabello?

#25 Physics Guy

Physics Guy

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 611 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:24 PM

Kubel had a .610 OPS, that 100 points lower and not what I would call close. Even in Kubel's limited time last year he was worth almost 2 less wins then Doumit so I view this as a clear step down.


The year before Kubel was 50 points higher, when Doumit had a pretty good year. He also has a higher career OPS than Doumit and is a year younger. He's a better OF than Doumit, but then we really don't want him out there very much either. Signing Kubel was a cheap gamble with a potentially nice payout as a 350-400 AB DH against RHP.

#26 Willihammer

Willihammer

    ice cream correspondent

  • Members
  • 2,811 posts
  • LocationSaint Paul

Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:25 PM

What was Kubel's injury last year. I googled "Kubel 2013 Injury" and all I found was a strained quad. Was there something serious that I did not find? I have a hard time thinking a muscle pull in April could really be an excuse for the season he had.

http://msn.foxsports...5?q=jason-kubel


Full injury history here, if you have an hour to kill
http://www.baseballp...rd.php?id=31757

Last year it was

First, his left knee started bothering him in spring training. Then it was his quad in April. That went away but then returned. And then the knee flared up again.
“I think what really might have (hurt) was that I got into a lot of bad habits in the spring because of my knee,” Kubel said, “so I was swinging different. And then in the last month or so I’ve been working on it pretty hard and finally got back to using the legs, and I think that kind of flared it up again.”


http://www.azcentral...els-output.html

#27 deanlambrecht

deanlambrecht

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 149 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 01:02 PM

Sample size of one at bat: Kubel just struck out, facing a right hander, swinging at a wild pitch.

I'm posting just to tease, I hope all the best for Kubel. And nowhere to go but up from his first AB of spring training! :)

#28 Dman

Dman

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 447 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 01:51 PM

All of which begs the question: Why is Gardy still at the helm of a clearly rebuiling team, and a team that seems fully intent for the next 2 years on the continuation of the practice of NOT "Winning Now"?


They have to be setting the "new" team up with a new manager after Gardy's last two years. They must not have wanted these two years on the new managers record. Because they are totally setting Gardy up to fail with what he has to work with. Even if the new guys perform pretty well in 2015 that is going to be an up and down year. After it becomes 5 losing seasons I think it might be the end of both Gardy and Terry, but hopefully the rebuild will be done and the Team on the rise for many seasons.

#29 SpiritofVodkaDave

SpiritofVodkaDave

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 4,020 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 04:20 PM

This year should be about finding out what the youth can do, since they punted fixing the offense at all.....and aren't likely to compete. I don't get how using Kubel helps that at all. It's hard to execute your strategy, if you don't execute your strategy.


I would understand this point if the guy the Twins signed was 35+, however Kubel is still only 31 and only one season removed from a .833 OPS and 30 HR. IF (and it certainly is an IF) he can stay healthy, he could be an asset for this team not only in 2014, but possibly moving forward in the future as well, he clearly enjoys playing in Minnesota, so if he can bounce back this year, he could be a nice affordable part time DH part time bench bat moving forward. If Parmelee lights the world on fire, then yeah, Kubel becomes redundant, but if he bounces back like he can, then he becomes a nice player to have on your team, especially as a part time player/bench bat.

Again he is only 31, there is no reason why he can't be effective another couple seasons at a very cost effective rate.
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"- L. Harvey Oswald

:whacky028::whacky028: :whacky028::whacky028:

#30 SpiritofVodkaDave

SpiritofVodkaDave

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 4,020 posts

Posted 28 February 2014 - 04:22 PM

They have to be setting the "new" team up with a new manager after Gardy's last two years. They must not have wanted these two years on the new managers record. Because they are totally setting Gardy up to fail with what he has to work with. Even if the new guys perform pretty well in 2015 that is going to be an up and down year. After it becomes 5 losing seasons I think it might be the end of both Gardy and Terry, but hopefully the rebuild will be done and the Team on the rise for many seasons.


I dunno, I could see this being the case if they completely fall on their face again this year and don't show improvement, however I think the Twins manage to win at least 72-74 games this year because of the improved rotation alone. If they do that, and get to .500/above .500 in 2015 (very capable) then you certainly can keep him around.

Yeah, Gardy isn't perfect, but the guy has had success in this league, his players like playing for him, he is likable and knows baseball. I wish him nothing but success.
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"- L. Harvey Oswald

:whacky028::whacky028: :whacky028::whacky028: