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Thread: Article: The Rundown: Shortstop Shakeup

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    Article: The Rundown: Shortstop Shakeup


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    glunn (04-14-2014)

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    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Good post. Very well written. We have a good thread going on the subject. I won't sum it up here, but I will summarize my perspective.

    When they acquired Sulbaran, they had high hopes. And he initially justified these hopes by putting up better numbers than Berrios last year at the same level and age. But he came into camp overweight and out of shape. Even though he spent the entire year as a starter last year between two teams in the MWL, he could not make the Cedar Rapids starting rotation. If he was relegated to relief and repeating a level, his trade value would plummet off a cliff. So they determined to get whatever they could for him while his 2013 numbers were still fresh in people's minds.

    After shopping him, the best they could do was Nunez. So they did the deal. They had to put a positive spin on the trade, so they hyped Nunez as a possible answer to Florimon's anemic offense. But even though they have two open spots on the 40-man roster, they assigned him to Rochester, where he is unlikely to start at short more than once a week at SS, and otherwise serve in a utility role. Santana is still the immediate future at the position, making a return to New Britain highly unlikely (he has nothing to prove there). Neither will Nunez play second, as Beresford is actually a good AAA player at that position, and is hitting third for Gene Glenn while playing sparkling defense. nunez might take some swings from Romero (3B) or Ramirez (LF). Otherwise, he'll be a decent AAA bench option.

    Far from being a real alternative, Nunez is just depth at a position in which an injury would be difficult to recover from, especially with Bartlett on the DL. Unless an injury occurs, I expect Nunez to spend the year in AAA and maybe earn a September call-up. More likely, he's AAA roster filler until some of the other players move up.

    Is it a bad trade? No. Depth is good, and Sulbaran was about to become a zero in the organization if we didn't do anything. But I wouldn't read more into it than the above.

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    mike wants wins (04-09-2014)

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    Agree with cmath

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    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Good post and good comment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Good post. Very well written. We have a good thread going on the subject. I won't sum it up here, but I will summarize my perspective.

    When they acquired Sulbaran, they had high hopes. And he initially justified these hopes by putting up better numbers than Berrios last year at the same level and age. But he came into camp overweight and out of shape. Even though he spent the entire year as a starter last year between two teams in the MWL, he could not make the Cedar Rapids starting rotation. If he was relegated to relief and repeating a level, his trade value would plummet off a cliff. So they determined to get whatever they could for him while his 2013 numbers were still fresh in people's minds.

    After shopping him, the best they could do was Nunez. So they did the deal. They had to put a positive spin on the trade, so they hyped Nunez as a possible answer to Florimon's anemic offense. But even though they have two open spots on the 40-man roster, they assigned him to Rochester, where he is unlikely to start at short more than once a week at SS, and otherwise serve in a utility role. Santana is still the immediate future at the position, making a return to New Britain highly unlikely (he has nothing to prove there). Neither will Nunez play second, as Beresford is actually a good AAA player at that position, and is hitting third for Gene Glenn while playing sparkling defense. nunez might take some swings from Romero (3B) or Ramirez (LF). Otherwise, he'll be a decent AAA bench option.

    Far from being a real alternative, Nunez is just depth at a position in which an injury would be difficult to recover from, especially with Bartlett on the DL. Unless an injury occurs, I expect Nunez to spend the year in AAA and maybe earn a September call-up. More likely, he's AAA roster filler until some of the other players move up.

    Is it a bad trade? No. Depth is good, and Sulbaran was about to become a zero in the organization if we didn't do anything. But I wouldn't read more into it than the above.
    A few thoughts and facts:

    Nunez is already on the 40 man roster.

    Procedurally, he has to go to Rochester based on maintaining his options.

    He will be starting at SS there sooner rather than later.

    The organization has said they brought him in as an alternative at SS.

    If he isn't clicking, they will ship him out for whatever they can get before just keeping him around as depth.
    Last edited by jokin; 04-09-2014 at 10:25 AM.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Sulbaran was scheduled to start on Tuesday in Great Lakes. They were going to piggyback him and Jorge until they got further into the schedule and needed the 6 starters.

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    I am still scratching my head on the Nunez deal. The Twins biggest problem right now is pitching, and weakening your defense will make that problem worse.

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    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    At what point do we think about putting Plouffe or Dozier back at SS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Good post. Very well written. We have a good thread going on the subject. I won't sum it up here, but I will summarize my perspective.

    When they acquired Sulbaran, they had high hopes. And he initially justified these hopes by putting up better numbers than Berrios last year at the same level and age. But he came into camp overweight and out of shape. Even though he spent the entire year as a starter last year between two teams in the MWL, he could not make the Cedar Rapids starting rotation. If he was relegated to relief and repeating a level, his trade value would plummet off a cliff. So they determined to get whatever they could for him while his 2013 numbers were still fresh in people's minds.

    After shopping him, the best they could do was Nunez. So they did the deal. They had to put a positive spin on the trade, so they hyped Nunez as a possible answer to Florimon's anemic offense. But even though they have two open spots on the 40-man roster, they assigned him to Rochester, where he is unlikely to start at short more than once a week at SS, and otherwise serve in a utility role. Santana is still the immediate future at the position, making a return to New Britain highly unlikely (he has nothing to prove there). Neither will Nunez play second, as Beresford is actually a good AAA player at that position, and is hitting third for Gene Glenn while playing sparkling defense. nunez might take some swings from Romero (3B) or Ramirez (LF). Otherwise, he'll be a decent AAA bench option.

    Far from being a real alternative, Nunez is just depth at a position in which an injury would be difficult to recover from, especially with Bartlett on the DL. Unless an injury occurs, I expect Nunez to spend the year in AAA and maybe earn a September call-up. More likely, he's AAA roster filler until some of the other players move up.

    Is it a bad trade? No. Depth is good, and Sulbaran was about to become a zero in the organization if we didn't do anything. But I wouldn't read more into it than the above.
    These guys are very young, and in many cases immature.
    I'm not giving the organization a free pass on giving up on Sulbaran just because he showed up "out of shape".
    1) Pitchers don't necessarily need to be in great shape to be good at their job. Take David Wells for example. He put up very good numbers last year, why not give him an opportunity to do it again, and if it starts to look like his performance is bothered by his weight or conditioning, address it then?

    2) We are just going to bail on our prospects every time they don't do exactly what the organization asks them to in the offseason?
    Eddie Rosario, allegedly, cares more about getting high than he does his baseball career. Are we just going to bail on him as well?

    Not being able to make the CR rotation was not because of his performance, he pitched great last year. If the organization couldn't find a spot for him, that is on them, he couldn't have done much more last year to earn a spot somewhere this year.

    I'm not saying this will be another one, but this organization is starting to develop a track record of giving away talent in head scratching trades. Ramos for Capps, Garza for Delmon, Gomez for Hardy for Hoey, Liriano for Escobar, etc.

  12. #10
    I struggle with this one. On one hand, when Keith Hernandez, a former batting champ, had drug and other troubles, Whitey Herzog traded him from the Cards for essentially nothing, because Whitey didn't want that kind of person on his team. The Cards went back to the World Series two more times after that (and Keith Hernandez became "I'm Keith Hernandez" in New York). Also, when I hire people, I too consider "clubhouse-type" issues, as well as the person's track record and skillset.

    On the other hand, being overweight is not anything like the issues Hernandez was bringing into the clubhouse, and the Twins' recent record, especially in pitching, seems to give them less of a platform to have a "my way or the highway" attitude about players. One could also argue that the Twins' expectations about player behavior has led to overvaluing sparkplug-type players and good clubhouse guys, who are otherwise weaker in baseball skills, and undervaluing talented players that might need a little adult leadership. In other words, when you're winning, clubhouse behavior may matter more, whereas talent might be a bigger emphasis when you appear on track for last place for the fourth year in a row.

    Cmatty's write-up makes a lot of sense, except for the underlying idea that the team, possibly based on maturity issues, is giving up on a 20-year old with a good track record in exchange for organization filler. That said, professional baseball management knows baseball talent better than we do, so if they think Sulbaran has no potential, despite his track record, as also alluded to by Cmatty, I guess we need to defer to them (and time will tell).

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    Do we have two threads here?--Nunez and Sulbaran? Sulbaran's "claim to fame" is that he was the player received for trading Butera--and he was instantly placed in the Twins Top 20 Prospects. I believe that was "helium". Given the shouting about the #1 minor league system and pitchers in the lower half of the system, it became clear that Sulbaran didn't merit such a lofty status (the other pitchers are better than him). Thus Sulbaran is dead-weight.

    Nunez--of whom this thread is named after. Clearly the Twins have recognized that they have a problem at SS and it won't be fixed soon. Acquiring a cast-off ("The Twins way") at the very least, provides some depth at the position--even if that depth is "thin". Nunez didn't cost anything. When does the SS problem get solved? IDK and I'm not going to hold my breath. My best guess is that the Twins may need to trade some of its prospects in order to acquire a ML-calibre SS who can be kept for several years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
    Do we have two threads here?--Nunez and Sulbaran? Sulbaran's "claim to fame" is that he was the player received for trading Butera--and he was instantly placed in the Twins Top 20 Prospects. I believe that was "helium". Given the shouting about the #1 minor league system and pitchers in the lower half of the system, it became clear that Sulbaran didn't merit such a lofty status (the other pitchers are better than him). Thus Sulbaran is dead-weight.

    Nunez--of whom this thread is named after. Clearly the Twins have recognized that they have a problem at SS and it won't be fixed soon. Acquiring a cast-off ("The Twins way") at the very least, provides some depth at the position--even if that depth is "thin". Nunez didn't cost anything. When does the SS problem get solved? IDK and I'm not going to hold my breath. My best guess is that the Twins may need to trade some of its prospects in order to acquire a ML-calibre SS who can be kept for several years.
    I'd say bringing up the player we traded for Nunez is pretty safely on topic.

    I'll also say that given the fact that Nunez currently has a NEGATIVE career WAR, it is entirely possible that Sulbaran could be the more valuable player in this trade by simply NOT ever making the major leagues.

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    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    According to John Shipley http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_2...g-more-offense

    Nunez trade is spinned as a move to add offense in addition to or replacement of Florimon's anemic hitting, and the move to have Hicks, Arcia, Willingham, and Kubel as your outfielders with no defensive replacement available (until recently) proves this teams willingness to sacrifice defense for offense.

    If this is to be believed (and I buy it) then the logical reason to have Nunez in AAA is to shop Escobar or Florimon to make a 25 man roster spot.

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    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    I wonder if Nunez says more about Rosario's and or Santana's timeline. Frankly I don't really care about Florimon, he's a stop-gap player, but Santana is supposed to be an excellent hitting 2b turned SS I assume to make room for Rosario at 2b. I pictured Rosario a call up this year, until the suspension but Rosario went AWOL (excused sure but still gone). Maybe the plan is to move players back to their original positions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
    I wonder if Nunez says more about Rosario's and or Santana's timeline. Frankly I don't really care about Florimon, he's a stop-gap player, but Santana is supposed to be an excellent hitting 2b turned SS I assume to make room for Rosario at 2b. I pictured Rosario a call up this year, until the suspension but Rosario went AWOL (excused sure but still gone). Maybe the plan is to move players back to their original positions?
    Santana has always been a shortstop. Rosario can't play shortstop.

    And Sulburban was 5'9" and traded for Drew Butera. Way overvalued by some.

    Nunez gives the Twins an option of sorts while they prepare Santana.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    I'd say bringing up the player we traded for Nunez is pretty safely on topic.

    I'll also say that given the fact that Nunez currently has a NEGATIVE career WAR, it is entirely possible that Sulbaran could be the more valuable player in this trade by simply NOT ever making the major leagues.
    Sulbaran's diminutive stature, non-correlative SIERA, huge upgrade in better and more projectable arms in the organization, and him showing up in poor physical condition made this move a no-brainer. The odds are the Twins sold high (for once) and even higher odds that they end up winning this trade.

  19. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    These guys are very young, and in many cases immature.
    I'm not giving the organization a free pass on giving up on Sulbaran just because he showed up "out of shape".
    .
    "Just because he was out of shape".

    We are talking about professional athletes. How lazy and uncommited do you have to be to not not be in shape as a 20 y/o professional athlete? What kind of discipline and/or work ethic doe this demonstrate? What does it say about someone who won't make the effort to stay in shape with millions of dollars on the line. What kind of message does it send to your teammates? I applaud them sending someone down the road who can't be bothered to stay in shape when they have not even made it out of A ball.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    At what point do we think about putting Plouffe or Dozier back at SS?
    I'd put Escobar at SS before Dozier or Plouffe. Just leave those guys where they are.

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    Apparently just about everyone assumes Santana will be the next regular shortstop and I wonder if that is truly the case. How about Polanco and Goodrum? Do not both of those players fit into the equation somehow? Or has management already decided that neither of those two is up to it at the MLB level?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    At what point do we think about putting Plouffe or Dozier back at SS?
    Maybe when there are viable alternatives at 2B and 3B but probably not.

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