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Great article, and I'm completely on board with moving Carroll to 2B to make room for Dozier... but probably in a month...
His SS defense... too early for us to know at this point because we've likely only seen him play there 2-3 times in the last year. Would need to see him more consistently.Quote:
There are probably 8 or more reasons not to directly promote Dozier (including the issue of whether he is really going to be a solid defensive shortstop, the fact that having Casilla as the utility infielder raises an issue for a substitute third baseman, and the argument that the Twins should wait to promote Dozier to avoid him achieving Super 2 status), but I'm not convinced by any of them.
Casilla as UT raises questions at 3B - Casilla played there two years ago when he was the UT guy, and Luke Hughes can give Valencia a day off. If Valencia is healthy, he's good for 155 games.
Super 2 status - I'm not worried as much about the Super 2 status as I am about keeping his rights for another season. If he comes up right away, he becomes a free agent after the 2017 season. If the Twins wait until May 1 to call him up, he will be a Super 2, but he won't be a free agent until after the 2018 season. Just for the chance that he really takes off, I'm willing to wait a month!
Thanks for the comment, Seth. You're right -- Valencia is at least workhorse, if not a great 3rd baseman.
Good clarification on the Super 2 and rights issue. I'd of course like to hang onto him as long as possible, too. I could wait till May if it bought us an entire extra year. I'm simply not willing to wait until the second half of the season.
I like starting Dozier, but I'd rather see him at 2B with Casilla at SS and Carroll as the utility infielder.
I don't mind if Dozier makes the team out of spring training. Various quotes earlier this spring make me think he still has things to work on. I rather expect the Twins will start him at AAA. Still, he is close to a finished product and overall, defensively and offensively he could likely be as productive as Carroll at short.
I question why the Twins would move Carroll over to start at 2nd. Carroll is a career utility man. He is comfortable moving from position to positon. He clearly plays 3rd well. He is also 38 years old and making him a full time starter for what is really the first time in his career is a bit unusual.
More importantly the Twins really need to find out if the high level play Casilla has shown in flashes, is the real Casilla. I expect Casilla will start at 2nd, no matter what is done with Dozier. I expect the leash to be relatively short. Casilla needs to perform a higher level, no more month long slumps offensively and defensively.
You can always move Carroll over to 2nd or out of the utility role at any time, if Casilla doesn't perform consistently.
I agree with the arguments, but I (don't throw me off the porch on this) want to see Casilla's hitting and fielding before I demote him to a utility player. Optimism runs eternal, but he's been showing positive signs, and that, along with Carroll's track history (steady) and Dozier's relative inexperience, leads me to a month or two. Keep performing Dozier and he will get his chance, but don't put him on the bench at the majors (Jim H. beat me to the punch, but at least we agree on most points).
What are the chances that Michael Hollimon makes the team at SS or 2B? He has been tearing the cover off the ball. But I'm not down there. He's already played (a little) at the ML level. I read one story yesterday where Gardy and TK were working with him defensively at Shortstop in a practice session on another field.
So what are his chances? Could we trade Casilla and have Dozier and Hollimon playing regularly?
I hope Dozier spends at least the first 2 months at Rochester gaining AAA experience and giving the Twins another year of him being under control. During the same two months--Casilla gets last shot at being a regular. If it works Carroll becomes utility, if it doesnt work, bring up Dozier and make Casilla utility.
The only logical flaw for moving Casilla for Carroll and Dozier, is that right now Casilla is the better player... If one of the 3 should be the utility guy should be Carroll
When should the Twins start the new experiment? How about right after a 99-loss season, when it can't get much worse? I know Parmelee's not Hrbek, Benson's not Puckett, etc. But however good this crop is going to be, it's better to find out early than to wait until the next crop (Sano, et al) is ready for their own early entrance. As for the "more seasoning" argument, I don't see it. None of these new guys has stood out as a dingbat on the field. Parmelee, Hughes, Benson, Dozier and Hendriks all have looked competent. None of them threw to the wrong base or show a clumsy glove. Hendriks didn't lose control, balk or other dumb stuff. In fact, I saw just the opposite. I thought Parmelee and Hughes showed signs of becoming team leaders. I think Benson looks like another possible Marty Cordova. Dozier looks solid in all areas, and Hendriks so far does deserve comparisons to Brad Radke.
Will any of these guys measure up to our fondest dreams? Well, that's why they play the game, and that's why you put them in.
Dozier made the play of the game yesterday on a high chopper, had to jump to snag it then fired it across the diamond from deep in the hole to get the out. I've said before that Dozier probably needs some time at AAA to see where he'll fit, but he's very rapidly changing that opinion. He looks ready.
I don't think giving him the job now makes the most sense for Dozier or for the Twins. He could use some AAA seasoning, and by giving it to him, it pushes back his arb clock a bit, which makes sense as he's really only a stop gap until you get Michael/Rosario/Goodrum, all of whom project to be pretty decent regulars. Even if they were to faulter, it's that much longer you get to keep him. As well, right now, he's not much of an upgrade (if any at all) over what we have, so you are essentially starting that service time and disrupting someone in the clubhouse. I just don't see the point. Better to let him work on some issues in AAA. His presence there will certainly provide a constant reminder to the middle infield that their jobs are not set in stone should they falter.
Dollars & sense are important, but as a Twins fan I would prefer to see some young fellas in there given that we are in a rebuilding mode... not retooling. Last year Dozier really accelerated his time frame to the majors. I understand the Carroll signing, but he is a fair hitting, good fielding Utility player. Has he ever had a starting job promised to him at the beginning of Spring Training? No. The Willingham signing wasn't awful, but in terms of where this franchise is, I would have given Benson the opportunity to be the RF. He has a much bigger arm, is much, much, much faster and could add the same kind of pop to the line-up (great athlete). It's a risk, but one I would be willing to take. On that note, I'd also take Hendricks over Marquis. I understand that these signings helped solve the equation of the team's depth, but does it stunt or build the growth of this franchise's future? I believe the former.
I would hope the Twins don't use service time as any kind of deciding factor. He does not project a ton of power or speed. For middle infielders, those are they biggest factors in both arbitration and contract negotiations. On the off chance he does turn out to be Michael Young (and their minor league stats are actually very similar and Young too waited until he was 24 to get the call) the Twins probably would deserve any criticism they recieve
for keeping a talanted player down for monetary reasons.