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Thread: Scoggins lowers the boom on Twins/Hicks situation

  1. #1
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    Scoggins lowers the boom on Twins/Hicks situation

    Patrick Reusse started stirring things up about the Twins OF situation this weekend in San Francisco, it's now becoming clear that Patrick is employing his cats paws, first LEN3 in the post-game summary, and now Chip Scoggins, to continue to stir things up, Twins-related in print at the Strib:

    The organization’s mismanagement of the roster left them without a viable alternative in center field, so Hicks must learn to hit righthanded on the fly.

    ....Alex Presley and/or Darin Mastroianni — two guys claimed off waivers — could have taken over in center while Hicks regrouped mentally and emotionally at Class AAA Rochester. Instead, he’s flailing without a safety net.


    The Twins have done Hicks no favors with the way they’ve handled his development. Their fast-track approach in the absence of a Plan B looks grossly shortsighted. Hicks desperately needs seasoning at the Class AAA level, but the Twins don’t have another viable center fielder in the pipeline, at least until Byron Buxton proves he’s ready.


    And so a young player who has lost all confidence approaches the organization about a radical change and the team is forced to go along with it.


    “We need him out there,” Gardenhire said. “We don’t have a replacement right now.”*
    *Yeah Gardy, no kidding.

    Scoggins looked to balance out the story with a ray of hope- uncluttering his mind seems plausibly encouraging from Bruno , but ultimately Scoggins left the reader with little confidence, an example from Little League? Really?:

    “I know one thing with the kid, it’s freeing up his mind,” hitting coach Tom Brunansky said. “I think the thing for him is he’s finally going to feel freer.”


    Until Monday, Hicks said he had not faced a righthanded pitcher from the right side (excluding knuckleballers) since he was 12 years old.
    “It was in an all-star game,” he said. “I had to ask my dad for permission for me to hit righthanded. I was really struggling lefthanded. He gave me the OK. I got a hit. It ended up working out.”
    http://m.startribune.com/sports/?id=260711051&c=y

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    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    I love the Twins... I respect the professionals in the front office and in the dug out.

    But... I see no other way to look at it. CF was mishandled... And it just seems obvious... So obvious that I'm shocked that they missed it.

    The press is absolutely right on this and it also obvious to them.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Good to see someone in the press not trying to excuse or rationalize what a pitiful situation the Twins have created.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
    I love the Twins... I respect the professionals in the front office and in the dug out.

    But... I see no other way to look at it. CF was mishandled... And it just seems obvious... So obvious that I'm shocked that they missed it.

    The press is absolutely right on this and it also obvious to them.
    Reusse is a master pot-stirrer, he's the journalistic equivalent to Billy Bob Thornton's character, Lorne Malvo, on the wonderful new spinoff of the Coen movie, Fargo .

    When I heard his unmistakeably cranky and gravelly voice aggresively going after Gardy after Sunday's game, I knew something was in the works. And this time he has "obvious right" on his side, besides. The rotten egg is even on the face of the President of the Club, who had the temerity to question his customers about the importance of the 25th man on the active roster.

    I hope all of this ends up in some serious soul-searching by ownership and the powers-that-be, there are multiple top-100 prospects in the pipeline who need an active developmental game plan- together with a viable Plan B. This means changes must be implemented, and soon!, be they personnel, philosophical, or both.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
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    I genuinely feel bad for Hicks in all of this. Who knows where he'd be now and what kind of player he'd be if only. Yeah, I don't know, no one can, but he was put in an impossible situation both last year and this. And while his play has been questionable at times, I don't blame him. Yeah, he's playing in the majors and we should be able to expect better from players at this level, but I just can't blame him. It wasn't his choice to be forced to play as he has been. I only hope he can come through the better for it, but he and this whole situation have been handled very irresponsibly, IMHO. Those in charge often make decisions I don't understand but then I don't have the knowledge and experience they do and I usually give them the benefit of the doubt because I'm just a fan. But this situation, we all deserve better, especially Hicks.

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    We played multiple shortstops in the outfield for a week before this flap erupted. If they wanted to call them out, they missed a bunch of opportunities.

    There are so many ideas about what the team should do, and they are so conflicted. We should deal Willy/Correia because they aren't part of the future. Fine, but Presley/Mastro aren't part of the future either. Does giving Alex Presley significant at-bats this year have any possible future payoff? I don't see it. I think they should get a CF that they could use for a while, no question. Dumping Mastro? Not a big deal, just a quick short-term non-fix. Solve the problem. And don't look to Reusse for solutions, just expect scorn and late bandwagon-jumping.

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    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    The time to address his development was early in his career. I know switch hitting was a condition his father placed on playing baseball. But it should have been clear to everybody in the organization when he had to repeat Beloit that his best path to the majors was to give up switch hitting. They never pressed him on it. Now it is a desperate situation.

    The time to address center field was before last year. They traded both center fielders (in good moves) and failed to acquire a replacement. Then they strung him out to dry in the lead-off spot without any back-up for almost two months. So they learned their lesson, right? I thought so when they acquired Presley and resigned Mastro. Then the FO completely botched the roster and we have no viable center fielders above A ball (at least until Fuld returns), again assuming that a kid who was overmatched last year could just jump right in and play every day. The fact that they have had shortstops out there without significant professional expereince at the position for five games this year is just validation of how whacked this situation is.

    It should be obvious to everyone here that I believe in Aaron Hicks. I also think this is the right thing to do. I am in the minority around here when I say I think he will be OK--not great but not horrible. But that doesn't excuse the FO for completely botching his development and then forcing him to learn basic stuff at the major league level without a viable back up above A ball.

    I hope the Twins brass learns at least one thing from this: Rob Antony is not qualified to be a GM of a major league team.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    I appreciate the press is finally riding the Twins more publicly. But I find it hard to believe we'll see any significant changes in Twins land.
    Lighten up Francis....

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    absolutely!

    Quote Originally Posted by big dog View Post
    We played multiple shortstops in the outfield for a week before this flap erupted. If they wanted to call them out, they missed a bunch of opportunities.

    There are so many ideas about what the team should do, and they are so conflicted. We should deal Willy/Correia because they aren't part of the future. Fine, but Presley/Mastro aren't part of the future either. Does giving Alex Presley significant at-bats this year have any possible future payoff? I don't see it. I think they should get a CF that they could use for a while, no question. Dumping Mastro? Not a big deal, just a quick short-term non-fix. Solve the problem. And don't look to Reusse for solutions, just expect scorn and late bandwagon-jumping.
    right on the money!

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    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    It's a pretty tough situation for the Twins, osing Mastro and Pressly seriously is nothing to get upset about...at all!

    They got a superior player in Fuld, who just happened to get injured, while this happened Hicks decided to switch to being a righty full time (which I commend him for). I am wondering if Buxton were healthy if he would get a cup of coffee? But of course he is injured/recovering as well.

    The Twins ultimately will be fine, they will find a AAAA CF in the meantime.
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"- L. Harvey Oswald


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  19. #11
    Yea, I felt bad for Nolasco this weekend. I started watching the game, and when the Twins gave up a run in the first inning because two mediocre shortstops playing in the outfield misplayed hits (but did not commit errors, of course), I just turned it off. Hopefully having Arcia back will help keep outfielders in the outfield for awhile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I hope the Twins brass learns at least one thing from this: Rob Antony is not qualified to be a GM of a major league team.
    I think you need to ask what the guys strengths are. If the first thing you hear is communication and not finding and developing talent, then he should go back to being a PR guy. Here is a real crazy thought. Maybe the best successor to Terry Ryan is not currently employed the by the Twins? The first hand off was to a guy that was mainly an administrator and that didn't go well. How is a hand off to a communication guy going to be any better?
    Last edited by tobi0040; 05-27-2014 at 09:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I appreciate the press is finally riding the Twins more publicly. But I find it hard to believe we'll see any significant changes in Twins land.
    The skies are opening up in the press, the veil has lifted, the Star Trek invisibility cloak is being neutralized. Apparently, The Emperor's New Clothes are now under investigation for fashion fraud. The mass media (or at least Reusse's closest cohorts) is finding out how much "there" is really "there" at One Twins Way:

    http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/M...his_year052614

    http://www.thescore.com/news/508885




    Rhett Bollinger ✔ @RhettBollinger
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    Hicks came into Gardenhire's office and said he has no confidence hitting left-handed so he's going to drop switch-hitting.
    10:57 AM - 26 May 2014

    No follow-up yet on if the inmates are still in charge of the asylum.
    Last edited by jokin; 05-27-2014 at 09:45 AM.

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    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    One other thing about this situation: They put Hicks in an almost impossible situation last year and again this year. How did they handle that with the press? They berated him repeatedly. Antony called him out in spring training and again a month into the year, basically calling him lazy. If they're putting so much confidence in him to stick him in these situations, you'd think they could at least have his back with the press. Something like:

    "We all know it's been a struggle. But he's putting in extra BP. He's getting after it. He's showing signs of breaking out of an early season slump. Give the kid some credit for doing what he can to make the jump from AA."

    Instead, Antony blames the player. The onus is squarely on Antony's shoulders.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    I think the board would be mad if we kept Maestro and Pressley as they are both worse then Hicks. Hicks has shown promise in some areas of his game so he is not totally lost. and we don't know if the Twins have been telling Hicks to drop switch hitting but would not force the issue. That would be on Hicks rather than the Twins. The fact that our 2nd and 3rd option are currently injured is the issue here. If were patient everything will work out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    One other thing about this situation: They put Hicks in an almost impossible situation last year and again this year. How did they handle that with the press? They berated him repeatedly. Antony called him out in spring training and again a month into the year, basically calling him lazy. If they're putting so much confidence in him to stick him in these situations, you'd think they could at least have his back with the press. Something like:

    "We all know it's been a struggle. But he's putting in extra BP. He's getting after it. He's showing signs of breaking out of an early season slump. Give the kid some credit for doing what he can to make the jump from AA."

    Instead, Antony blames the player. The onus is squarely on Antony's shoulders.
    The excuse factory's latest effort (courtesy of Mackey's article):

    Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said recently, "Everyone can look back in hindsight and say you should have held onto [Alex] Presley. We could have. We ran Presley through [waivers], we ran [Chris] Parmelee through, we ran [Scott] Diamond through; Presley got claimed. I don't want to say that we thought, 'We've got Hicks, we don't need anyone else,' because we tried [Darin] Mastroianni as an option."Any time you put somebody out on waivers you take a chance. We rolled the dice, Presley got claimed, Mastro got claimed, [Brooks] Raley and [Kenny] Wilson, we claimed those guys on waivers and when we needed a spot they were at the bottom of our 40[-man roster]. We needed a spot and we ran them through and they got claimed ... When you're turning over and you lose some guys at the bottom of your 40-man roster, sometimes it opens up a spot, maybe somebody else comes along that you like just as much, if not better."
    But here's the thing: When the starting centerfielder has never solidified himself above Double-A, should additional centerfielders be exposed to waivers to make room for guys like Jason Bartlett and Matt Guerrier?


    That's what Antony has said regarding the situation recently, I'd say the guy's in over his head, but that might be considered an insult to this guy, who had more Big League experience:

    Last edited by jokin; 05-27-2014 at 09:58 AM.

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    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    I was glad they let Hicks have another shot at the beginning of the season. I was baffled by their complete lack of a backup option in CF from the get-go. One should not have happened without the other.

    And now Hicks is learning to do something he hasn't done since he was 12 while facing major league pitching. That's such insanity I actually believe putting Parmelee in CF is a superior option. That idea sucks, but it just goes to show how dumb the current plan is IMO.

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    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Meanwhile, this is Hicks since May 10:

    May 10: 1-3, BB
    May 11: 0-1, BB
    May 14: 1-3, BB
    May 15: 1-4, BB
    May 16: 2-4
    May 17: 1-2, BB
    May 18: 1-2, BB
    May 20: 0-3
    May 21: 1-3
    May 23: 0-2, 2BB
    May 24: 0-3
    May 26: 2-4 (both right handed against a right handed pitcher)

    I look at this and ask, where's the crisis? It seems like he has turned a corner. If he has more confidence hitting right handed against right handed pitchers, perhaps he'll be better than he was over the last 15 games. That's a pretty good hitter at the bottom of the order. Let's give him a chance to see if it works.

    Parmelee is barely a right fielder. The only reason he has done decently in TF is he studied that wall and he plays it very well. But his range is severely limited. Parmelee in center would be a blood bath.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    I want Hicks in MN, as long as there is no better option. I see no issue with him learning here vs Rochester. Narrowing his focus should help every aspect of his game. we'll see.
    Lighten up Francis....

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  35. #20
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I want Hicks in MN, as long as there is no better option. I see no issue with him learning here vs Rochester. Narrowing his focus should help every aspect of his game. we'll see.
    My opinion as well. I have been advocating for him to abandon switch hitting for five years. Better late than never. Also, if his long-term position is a corner, he will need to have a power stroke. He has no power from the left side.

    He'll have to adjust as the season goes along, but I don't get why that needs to happen in AAA. I just think guys with his talent will learn wherever they are. As long as he is needed up here, he'll have to learn up here. Not ideal, but it happens a lot in baseball. The ones with true talent, like Gomez or Hunter, eventually get it. This could be the catalyst for him getting it. I sure hope so.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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