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Thread: Stop gaps and prospects

  1. #1
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Stop gaps and prospects

    With this dismal of a start (even at my most negative I would not have projected this), it might be wise to rethink how the Twins approach the free agent market and the development of their prospects. Maybe that means calling for heads, which seems popular around here today, but it doesn't necessarily mean that.

    The Twins have been notoriously bad in the Terry Ryan era of signing stop-gap options who invariably end up being terrible (Mike Lamb, Tony Batista, Rondell White, etc.). Couple this with the fact that the Twins promote prospects (2011 aside) slower than anyone, and you have a mess on your hands in terms of not injecting new talent on the roster. (Jim Thome, Orlando Hudson, and Orlando Cabrera make Bill Smith not look terrible in that regard, one positive for him.).

    Back in November, I remarked that Ty Wigginton might be a good replacement. And then Bobby Abreu. And then Derrek Lee. Wigginton has been great for the Phillies at the corner infield positions. Abreu is available. Derrek Lee is somehow still available. But pipe dreams, apparently, for this organization . . .

    Meanwhile the Twins started out well with signing of Jamey Carroll and Ryan Doumit (and I am currently not too displeased with how they have played--I still think the law of averages will work in Carroll's favor this year and he will be something like .260/.350/.340). A few more good stop gap signings and they could let their prospects develop in Rochester until June or July.

    Instead? Sean Burroughs. JR Towles. And then, Clete Thomas (AFTER signing Wilkin Ramirez and Darin Mastroianni). And on the prospect front, Chris Parmelee is still inexplicably on the Twins roster instead of at Rochester where he belongs.

    I just cannot fathom the thinking there. Wiggington and Lee were/are obvious choices to me. Abreu is more of a stretch . . . but then Clete Thomas started last night. These players aren't the Answer, and you don't rebuild with them, but the right stop gaps allow you to get into position to properly rebuild. The Twins went half way this year and it is showing.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Just point of clarification... you want the Twins to promote minor leaguers faster, and yet you think that Chris Parmelee should be at Rochester?

    I like your idea of the prospects coming up on July, after a tradeoff. Unfortunately to get to that point, it should be guys like Thomas and Butera and Gray and Maloney taking roster spots rather than rushing prospects (like Parmelee, maybe Hendriks). Abreu, Vlad, Lee... why would they come here, and why would the Twins want them (unless they'd be able to trade them later in the season)?

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    Senior Member All-Star Boom Boom's Avatar
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    I'd like to see Dozier up now. I know the Twins want to delay his service clock, but Dozier doesn't really profile as a guy who's going to break the bank down the road. I doubt he's going to play so well that the Twins will not be able to afford him.

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    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    Just point of clarification... you want the Twins to promote minor leaguers faster, and yet you think that Chris Parmelee should be at Rochester?
    In general I want them to promote prospects faster, yes. In Parmelee's case, I would have liked that process to move faster near the end of last season, moving him to Rochester. I am not for players skipping levels altogether--I think that is quite silly to do. With my June/July timetable, Parmelee would have had almost a year at Rochester. Same with Benson. And let's not forget Revere and how he should have 1 year of Rochester under his belt.

    I like the approach of being mildly aggressive with players up to Rochester and seeing how 22-24-year-olds do there as a kind of training ground for the Twins. Instead, many players don't even get to Rochester until age 24 and are still there at 26-27 . . .

    I like your idea of the prospects coming up on July, after a tradeoff. Unfortunately to get to that point, it should be guys like Thomas and Butera and Gray and Maloney taking roster spots rather than rushing prospects (like Parmelee, maybe Hendriks). Abreu, Vlad, Lee... why would they come here, and why would the Twins want them (unless they'd be able to trade them later in the season)?
    One wants Abreu, Vlad, Lee, Wigginton, Dotel, etc. instead because they are better players. That means more wins and that does mean that, yes, they can be traded at the end of July. That's money spent that can yield value in three different ways: more wins, more time to fine-tune prospects in AAA, and something of value back in trades (even hard-throwers at low-A would be something good to get back for the Twins). And probably more revenue for the team back anyway. Clete Thomas isn't bringing people to games . . . .

    By the way, I think Hendriks may just be ready to work things out up with the Twins. He's smart and is ready for the Show in that way. He also diagnoses his problems after games and seems very interested in improving. I am not sure that being at Rochester is going to help him.

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    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    I would like to see Dozier return to .800+ OPS in the minors before getting promoted this early. If he is still the same in a month or two, bring him up anyway, but he is not totally lighting up AAA like he did at BOTH A+ and AA last year.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
    I'd like to see Dozier up now. I know the Twins want to delay his service clock, but Dozier doesn't really profile as a guy who's going to break the bank down the road. I doubt he's going to play so well that the Twins will not be able to afford him.
    Dozier has a .710 OPS in AAA right now... not sure that the "lack of rush" has anything to do with the service clock.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    shane - I agree with you on Hendriks, and on Parmelee.

    I understand wanting more wins, and that's fine, but will adding Abreu get them from 68 to 70 wins? the one reason I can think of to add any of them is to hopefully trade them in a couple of month.

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    Senior Member Double-A MWLFan's Avatar
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    One word, Pitching. Dozier or Carrol, doesn't matter all that much. Butera or Burroughs, really? Thomas or Abreu, yawn. The issue is and will continue to be pitching for the next few years. We could put a outifield of Span, Benson and Hicks out there next year and all three could far exceed their career numbers. Then have Dozier, Parmalee, Carroll and pick a 3rd baseman all be great table setters for the DH combo of Willingham or Morneau with Mauer doing his normal on base and single double parade routine. But if you can't hold the Royals under 6 runs consistently, that just will not work for the long season.
    Next year who is the pitching staff? (God it's May 2nd and I am talking about next year, when did I become a Pirates fan?) Pavano leaves, thanks Carl it was great. Frankie is no longer our enigma, good luck to your next teams pitching coach with your head. Marquis, Jason we hardly knew ya and hope your little girl is healthy. Baker, I faintly remember somebody by that name. It's not like the Red Wings staff is poised to make any Cy Young runs. Talking about the position players is like moving the deck chairs, very expensive ones mind you, around on the Titanic. The big gash in the side has been caused by the lack of quality pitching and that goes back to the failed line of higher pitching draft choices. The Tootle-Hunt club. Until we get some guys, more then one mind you, that can consistently get major league batters out by missing a few bats and keeping the ball in the park it won't matter much if we have a bunch of slap hitting mighty mites running around or a few big time bashers sitting in the corner spots. You either lose 8 to 7 or 8 to 1.

    And yes I want the Twins to draft the Catcher instead of the College Arm, I am gun shy from the last group of college arms they have been working with. Probably not a bright way to look at it, but I just don't see us getting lucky with a healthy college guy who has been throwing 150 pitches a game. But who the heck am I to make such decisions, I have a hard enough time balancing my check book and keeping the budget in line with a wife, two kids, a dog, a bird and a snake in the house.

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    Outside of Wiggington, most of the players you mentioned are all DH candidates... I'm not sure picking up a DH (Lee, Abreau, Vlad) is really what this team needs... Stop-gap position players are often picked up off the scrap heap, just like bullpen arms... It's a crapshoot... Carroll has been a pretty good stop-gap... Though the others have not really worked.... Sometimes you have to cycle through your available bench players from AAA and the waiver wire, until you find someone that sticks... Finding bench players that can make a signficant impact is not easy... Obviously Burroughs and Thomas haven't worked out, but the Twins need to try some others from Rochester or the waiver wire to see if they can find someone reliable...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MWLFan View Post
    One word, Pitching. Dozier or Carrol, doesn't matter all that much. Butera or Burroughs, really? Thomas or Abreu, yawn. The issue is and will continue to be pitching for the next few years. We could put a outifield of Span, Benson and Hicks out there next year and all three could far exceed their career numbers. Then have Dozier, Parmalee, Carroll and pick a 3rd baseman all be great table setters for the DH combo of Willingham or Morneau with Mauer doing his normal on base and single double parade routine. But if you can't hold the Royals under 6 runs consistently, that just will not work for the long season.
    Next year who is the pitching staff? (God it's May 2nd and I am talking about next year, when did I become a Pirates fan?) Pavano leaves, thanks Carl it was great. Frankie is no longer our enigma, good luck to your next teams pitching coach with your head. Marquis, Jason we hardly knew ya and hope your little girl is healthy. Baker, I faintly remember somebody by that name. It's not like the Red Wings staff is poised to make any Cy Young runs. Talking about the position players is like moving the deck chairs, very expensive ones mind you, around on the Titanic. The big gash in the side has been caused by the lack of quality pitching and that goes back to the failed line of higher pitching draft choices. The Tootle-Hunt club. Until we get some guys, more then one mind you, that can consistently get major league batters out by missing a few bats and keeping the ball in the park it won't matter much if we have a bunch of slap hitting mighty mites running around or a few big time bashers sitting in the corner spots. You either lose 8 to 7 or 8 to 1.

    And yes I want the Twins to draft the Catcher instead of the College Arm, I am gun shy from the last group of college arms they have been working with. Probably not a bright way to look at it, but I just don't see us getting lucky with a healthy college guy who has been throwing 150 pitches a game. But who the heck am I to make such decisions, I have a hard enough time balancing my check book and keeping the budget in line with a wife, two kids, a dog, a bird and a snake in the house.
    A snake native to the dodgeville/spring green area, or an import?

  11. #11
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    shane - I agree with you on Hendriks, and on Parmelee.

    I understand wanting more wins, and that's fine, but will adding Abreu get them from 68 to 70 wins? the one reason I can think of to add any of them is to hopefully trade them in a couple of month.
    Let's not forget Ty Wigginton and Derrek Lee too. When I mentioned Wigginton on various Twins blogs last fall the crickets could be heard loud and clear. And that, I thought, was bizarre. And he is showing himself to be very valuable this year. Talk about putting pressure on Valencia . . . and filling in at first base . . .

    But yeah, like I said, the better players add three different values. I guess we can just watch the Twins lose more games with chumps while those prospects develop . . . but A. that isn't happening with Parmelee, and B. it is beyond frustrating to do so.

  12. #12
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmarais66 View Post
    Outside of Wiggington, most of the players you mentioned are all DH candidates... I'm not sure picking up a DH (Lee, Abreau, Vlad) is really what this team needs... Stop-gap position players are often picked up off the scrap heap, just like bullpen arms... It's a crapshoot... Carroll has been a pretty good stop-gap... Though the others have not really worked.... Sometimes you have to cycle through your available bench players from AAA and the waiver wire, until you find someone that sticks... Finding bench players that can make a signficant impact is not easy... Obviously Burroughs and Thomas haven't worked out, but the Twins need to try some others from Rochester or the waiver wire to see if they can find someone reliable...
    Lee is a solid first baseman. You are right about Vlad and Abreu, but so? Morneau was playing some first base and Doumit has been in RF or C quite a bit. And Abreu, at least, could fill in at RF and LF once a week.

    I am fine if the Twins want to go the other route and promote the second tier of prospects (not the top ones, but ones who are less-impactful, but solid) to see if they work out. Those players would be Darin Mastroianni, Pedro Florimon, Aaron Bates, and Matt Carson . . .

  13. #13
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
    I'd like to see Dozier up now. I know the Twins want to delay his service clock, but Dozier doesn't really profile as a guy who's going to break the bank down the road. I doubt he's going to play so well that the Twins will not be able to afford him.

    I'd doubt he's going to play so well as to make a difference, so why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shanewahl View Post
    Lee is a solid first baseman. You are right about Vlad and Abreu, but so? Morneau was playing some first base and Doumit has been in RF or C quite a bit. And Abreu, at least, could fill in at RF and LF once a week.

    I am fine if the Twins want to go the other route and promote the second tier of prospects (not the top ones, but ones who are less-impactful, but solid) to see if they work out. Those players would be Darin Mastroianni, Pedro Florimon, Aaron Bates, and Matt Carson . . .

    I think you meant to say Lee WAS a solid first baseman... Have you seen Abreu play outfield recently? He makes Plouffe look like Willie Mays... I would agree giving some of those guys from the minors a shot, especially Carson... However Floriman has a guy named Dozier standing in front of him... Bates is a 1B/DH and we've got plenty of them right now, not to mention his .206 average at Rochester isn't exactly screaming "Call me up, call me up"...
    Last edited by gmarais66; 05-02-2012 at 03:48 PM.

  15. #15
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWLFan View Post
    One word, Pitching.
    That's one word...I didn't read the rest but it's the right word.

    We can talk in circles all we want about replacements, who at the end of the day are insignificantly better or worse than the players we think they should replace. Fact is, this team would be 4-6 games better right now if we had decent, not great, decent pitching. 2 Quality starts so far and we're talking about Bobby Abreu ,Vlad and Derek Lee???

  16. #16
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Well, by all means, list off some pitchers who should be acquired right now.

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanewahl View Post
    Well, by all means, list off some pitchers who should be acquired right now.
    Tyler Cloyd, Trevor May and Michael Stutes. All in the same team and all blocked
    -----
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