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Thread: Article: Twins Avoid Arbitration with Duensing, Plouffe, Swarzak

  1. #41
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10 View Post
    cmathewson, I hardly think Plouffe will start putting up David Ortiz numbers, do you or does anyone else posting here think so either? And within the current organization the improvement at third will obviously be Sano which you implied in a round about way. Plouffe in the outfield or DH down the road? Possibly, but not with the numbers he has put up so far, I am talking real traditional numbers now not WAR which is a problematical stat anyway, isn't it?
    He could end up with Willingham's job next year, at about the same production. It's especially important in this stadium to have hitters like Plouffe around. He has shown flashes of greatness (June 2012). It would be nice to see more consistency. It's up to him.

    WAR is only problematic from a defensive perspective, in the sense that there are two different definitions: bWAR (Baseball Reference) and fWAR (Fangraphs). Both have their issues, because the defensive metrics upon which they are based are not definitive. For example, it's entirely possible that two third basemen will have very different WARs primarily because one has a good shortstop next to him and the other has a bad shortstop. Still and all, those problems are mostly due to small samples. Over the long haul, the best stats we have are pretty accurate measuring sticks of players at their positions.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    Senior Member Triple-A Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
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    There are interesting comparisons between Trevor Plouffe, Michael Cuddyer, and David Ortiz. Cuddyer and Ortiz both blossomed at age 27, when they both added about 100 points to their OPS numbers. But Plouffe's numbers from ages 24-26 are well below these guys.

    With that being said, this is Plouffe's year to shine, before Sano pushes him either off the roster, or into a super-utility role (3b and a corner outfielder). As stated above, this is his time to replace Willingham, but it will take a career year to do it. I like his chances more than Parmelee's to stick with the club.

    As for Duensing, he's a solid bullpen lefty. Yes, he has a heartbeat, and he's a lefty who should be in the bullpen for obvious reasons--increased velocity, and his second half in 2013 is one to grow on.

    Swarzak is the dark horse candidate for the 5th starter job, provided he doesn't screw around during WrestleMania--I mean Twins Fest. Like Seth said above, he's a steal at $935k

  3. #43
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10 View Post
    Seth, how can you or anyone say that Plouffe was not a weak spot given his production (or lack thereof in 2013)? If every team in MLB had such poor figures from any position offensively they would easily be candidates for 90+ losses each year. And, guess what, that is also exactly the Twins victory total each year for the last three seasons.
    Here is a comparison of 2013 numbers:

    Plouffe: .701 OPS, 44 R, 14 HR, 52 RBI, 0.4 WAR, fDef -6.6 (522 PA) age 28 in 2014
    Willingham: .709 OPS, 42 R, 14 HR, 48 RBI, 0.0 WAR, fDef -13.2 (477 PA) age 35 in 2014

    a. who was the weaker spot of the two?
    b. based on age and shape, who is likely to be better in 2014?

    I think that some players do not get the credit they deserve whether others are getting free rides.
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  5. #44
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    Oldguy, I tend to agree with you about WAR. Anytime you take a bunch of stats, mess around with them and create one number, well you have to trust the creators of this, I guess. It doesn't help that there are 2 versions. For me, I would rather look at the component stats, it is going to tell me, personally, more about the players I am comparing.

    That said, I agree with CMath about Plouffe. He is way too inconsistent both offensively and defensively, but there is enough talent and enough flashes of production, that it is too early to give up on him. Let him play 3rd till Sano shows he's ready to take over. At that point well, the decision about Plouffe might be clearer. There is a fair chance there will be an opening in the OF. Maybe a super utility role will work, or maybe a trade. But there is no big hurry to make a decision on Plouffe now.

  6. #45
    Super Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim H View Post
    Oldguy, I tend to agree with you about WAR.
    Moderator's note: please, if you (collectively) feel compelled to invite debate on a topic like this, open a new thread. I thought about asking this earlier when it came up, but hoped it would not start to take a life of its own here in this thread about arbitration and signings and specific players.

  7. #46
    Senior Member Triple-A Sconnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10 View Post
    cmathewson, I hardly think Plouffe will start putting up David Ortiz numbers, do you or does anyone else posting here think so either? And within the current organization the improvement at third will obviously be Sano which you implied in a round about way. Plouffe in the outfield or DH down the road? Possibly, but not with the numbers he has put up so far, I am talking real traditional numbers now not WAR which is a problematical stat anyway, isn't it?
    He didn't compare Plouffe to Ortiz, he said TR didn't want to make the same mistake twice. 1 year 2.3 mil for an ok 3rd baseman you know won't hurt you too bad while you wait for the second coming of Joe Mauer to mature in the minors is fine by me. Especially when you don't have any significantly better options.

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    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
    There are interesting comparisons between Trevor Plouffe, Michael Cuddyer, and David Ortiz.
    Where exactly? It sounds like there is only a comparison if Plouffe breaks out.

    People were predicting the same thing last year, but the truth is that Plouffe is what he is. When you take away one flukey binge last year he did exactly what you'd project from his minor league numbers: pound lefties, but ultimately only be about a 12 HR 700 OPS player. All he was in the minors was about a 15 HR 750 OPS player, so 2013 Plouffe is exactly what the most reliable means of projection would put him at.

    The guy's future is as a platoon player who can destroy lefties, nothing more. I wouldn't give up on him over a couple million because that skill set can have value, but it really bugs me when people last year thought this guy was good for a minimum of 20 homeruns and now are comparing him to guys like Ortiz. Meanwhile, a guy with better minor league projections (Parmelee) is facing the possibility of being cut and people defend that.

    Cutting Plouffe wouldn't make any sense either, but let's not pretend 2013 was a down year for him either. It pretty much falls in line with what we should expect from him.
    Last edited by TheLeviathan; 01-18-2014 at 05:34 PM.

  9. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
    He didn't compare Plouffe to Ortiz, he said TR didn't want to make the same mistake twice. 1 year 2.3 mil for an ok 3rd baseman you know won't hurt you too bad while you wait for the second coming of Joe Mauer to mature in the minors is fine by me. Especially when you don't have any significantly better options.
    Wouldnt Buxton be the 2nd coming of Mauer?
    so that would make Sano the 2nd coming of Justin, right?

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  11. #49
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
    Wouldnt Buxton be the 2nd coming of Mauer?
    so that would make Sano the 2nd coming of Justin, right?
    I don't think it's useful to draw these comparisons. Suffice it to say, Buxton + Sano > Mauer + Morneau at the same points in their careers.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  12. #50
    Senior Member Triple-A Sconnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I don't think it's useful to draw these comparisons. Suffice it to say, Buxton + Sano > Mauer + Morneau at the same points in their careers.
    My point is, Mauer was the savior of this team (and to an extent Morneau) and so too is Sano and to cmathewsons point Buxton as well. Sure Sano and Buxton have more potential than M and M ever did, but they represent the same promise

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    Swarzak is a steal and should probably find a new agent. Lol

    Deunsing has decent stuff, is mostly proven, coming off a very solid year, especially when you look past the first month or so, and there are a whole lot of teams that would love to have a LHRP like him, especially for only 2M.

    Plouffe may or may not ever break out to be anything more than he's shown the past couple of seasons. Even a slight improvement in overall production, daily/consistently against RHP would make a lot of teams envious to have him around. I don't know that he will ever have the bat or consistency of a Cuddyer, (would love if he did), but his fielding at 3B is not poor (from what I have seen) and at this kind of salary, he could be a very valuable bench player at both INF corners, both OF corners, DH, PH, and even a little second perhaps.

    And hats off again to Twins management to avoid the whole messy process of arbitration hearings and bickerings and just settle fairly. Is there a team in the league, I wonder, who does a better job of just settling peacefully and fairly with their arb. elgible players?

  14. #52
    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Where exactly? It sounds like there is only a comparison if Plouffe breaks out.

    People were predicting the same thing last year, but the truth is that Plouffe is what he is. When you take away one flukey binge last year he did exactly what you'd project from his minor league numbers: pound lefties, but ultimately only be about a 12 HR 700 OPS player. All he was in the minors was about a 15 HR 750 OPS player, so 2013 Plouffe is exactly what the most reliable means of projection would put him at.

    The guy's future is as a platoon player who can destroy lefties, nothing more. I wouldn't give up on him over a couple million because that skill set can have value, but it really bugs me when people last year thought this guy was good for a minimum of 20 homeruns and now are comparing him to guys like Ortiz. Meanwhile, a guy with better minor league projections (Parmelee) is facing the possibility of being cut and people defend that.

    Cutting Plouffe wouldn't make any sense either, but let's not pretend 2013 was a down year for him either. It pretty much falls in line with what we should expect from him.
    I get that Plouffe isn't great, but he is still a decent player. Last year showed some serious doubts about his ability to be an everyday player. He could still overcome them, but he might not get everyday playing time if he doesn't show it before Sano is called up. No matter, I think the Twins will hold on to him until another player with his flexibility and skill set comes up (Harrison maybe).
    Do or do not. There is no try.

  15. #53
    Senior Member Triple-A Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Where exactly? It sounds like there is only a comparison if Plouffe breaks out.
    Leviathan, please read to the end of the paragraph, where I state that "Plouffe's numbers from ages 24-26 are well below these guys."

    I, like you, don't think there is much of a comparison with Ortiz and Cuddyer, although other posters in this thread brought up their names in reference to Plouffe. My point is that that there isn't much of a positive correlation--other than the fact that Cuddyer and Ortiz were late bloomers who caught fire around age 27. They had already shown, in their younger years, more promise than Plouffe has shown to date.

    I didn't mean to bug you. I don't think he's the next Ortiz. But I do think he can hit 20+ home runs in 2014, and eventually replace a declining Willingham in left field. I also wouldn't be surprised if he has a career year. All the same, he's not Ortiz, or Cuddyer. Are we clear on that?
    Last edited by Don't Feed the Greed Guy; 01-19-2014 at 12:24 AM. Reason: spelling

  16. #54
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    The guy's future is as a platoon player who can destroy lefties, nothing more.
    This may be true, but I'm not sold yet that he can't be a little more. 2014 is probably his last chance to prove it.

    Worst case though, I could live with a Plouffe/Parmelee platoon in RF where Plouffe backs up 3B and Parmelee backs up 1B. Their career splits are 130/104 wRC+ respectively for roughly 115 combined vs 105 league average. Hopefully Molitor can convince Gardy that this new-fangled platoon thing isn't so bad.

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  18. #55
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
    I, like you, don't think there is much of a comparison with Ortiz and Cuddyer, although other posters in this thread brought up their names in reference to Plouffe.
    Hence my confusion as to why you said there was.

    I'm not saying to cut bait on Plouffe, might as well give him one more chance, but there is some strange kool-aid in Twins-land that has this guy overrated a lot. Mostly because of one flukey 5 week stretch.

  19. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Hence my confusion as to why you said there was.

    I'm not saying to cut bait on Plouffe, might as well give him one more chance, but there is some strange kool-aid in Twins-land that has this guy overrated a lot. Mostly because of one flukey 5 week stretch.
    Amen to that! One good month and get paid 2 million plus. What a racket. And my money is on a year from now everyone on this board will be wanting to cut bait with him.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Hence my confusion as to why you said there was.

    I'm not saying to cut bait on Plouffe, might as well give him one more chance, but there is some strange kool-aid in Twins-land that has this guy overrated a lot. Mostly because of one flukey 5 week stretch.
    Apologies for the confusion. Again, I do NOT think Plouffe is the Second Coming of Ortiz, or Cuddyer, for that matter.

    He could be a super-utility 3rd baseman/corner outfielder and an emergency shortstop if Gardy pinch hits Plouffe for Florimon/Escobar.

    As far as the five week power fluke, what's really telling is Plouffe's lack of power throughout the minors. http://www.baseball-reference.com/mi...d=plouff001tre

    .725 OPS over nine MILB seasons, and 15 homers twice (+8 more in the majors, 2011). His career year may have been 2012.

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    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halsey Hall View Post
    Amen to that! One good month and get paid 2 million plus. What a racket. And my money is on a year from now everyone on this board will be wanting to cut bait with him.
    That could be. But that time is not now. Give him a second full year at the position to say definitively whether he belongs or not. Maybe he's traded or nontendered after the year. Until then, we have need for him.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  22. #59
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
    Apologies for the confusion. Again, I do NOT think Plouffe is the Second Coming of Ortiz, or Cuddyer, for that matter.

    He could be a super-utility 3rd baseman/corner outfielder and an emergency shortstop if Gardy pinch hits Plouffe for Florimon/Escobar.

    As far as the five week power fluke, what's really telling is Plouffe's lack of power throughout the minors. http://www.baseball-reference.com/mi...d=plouff001tre

    .725 OPS over nine MILB seasons, and 15 homers twice (+8 more in the majors, 2011). His career year may have been 2012.
    Just so we're clear: I don't think anybody was comparing Plouffe to those players. As you say, he does not have the track record of either player. We were comparing the decisions the org has made with those two players to this one.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  23. #60
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
    .725 OPS over nine MILB seasons, and 15 homers twice (+8 more in the majors, 2011). His career year may have been 2012.
    100% agree. He hasn't shown that kind of power consistently ever. It's why I took such issue with some who were putting him at a minimum of 20 homeruns last year.

    I really hope they find use for him in a platoon like the one jay mentioned above, but I don't think there is any mystery left about Plouffe. One more year as a placeholder and then on to a valuable bench role.

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