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Thread: Next Year's Needs Start With Outstanding Defensive SS and 2B

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    Next Year's Needs Start With Outstanding Defensive SS and 2B

    I know I'm gonna get ripped for this but with the exception of Willingham and sometimes Plouffe, Twins could have the best defense in baseball if they added two great gloves at SS and 2B. With so many pitch to contact starters this might make a greater impact to the overall team era for starters than adding an ace. Possibilities might be Yunel Escobar or Zack Cozart at SS and Darwin Barney or Jason Kipris at 2B.
    Last edited by robbie111; 08-08-2012 at 02:08 AM.

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    Senior Member All-Star
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    Never get any of them, the price would be just too high. I would take Barney for Blacky, Pavano & Capp, Hehehe....

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    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Casilla easily has been the best defender in the infield for the Twins. Yet this board is near-unanimous that he will/should be non-tendered after this season. Just sayin'.

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    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    According to the Plus/Minus system, Alexi Casilla's +13 rating at second base is in the top five (4th) at that position. Small sample size warning but it jives with my eye test on the season.

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Casilla is a great defender this season. He seems to have put his mental lapses behind him.

    Now if he'd just hit as he did in the previous two seasons, we'd have a keeper on our hands.

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    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Casilla

    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Casilla is a great defender this season. He seems to have put his mental lapses behind him.

    Now if he'd just hit as he did in the previous two seasons, we'd have a keeper on our hands.
    I agree pig. That is why I am among the diminishing number of Twins fans that wants to give Casilla yet another chance.

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    I agree pig. That is why I am among the diminishing number of Twins fans that wants to give Casilla yet another chance.
    I was a long time supporter of Casilla but I think it's time to move on. He's going to get more expensive and the team needs to move in a different direction, just as they did with Liriano. I think it's time to shed some of the "aging but still has potential" guys in favor of a younger crop of players.

    BTW, I forgot to mention... Targeting middle infielders instead of starting pitching is insane. The Twins need starters and they need lots of 'em.

  8. #8
    With the players coming up that could potentially be available as early as sometime next season (especially at 2nd....shortstop iffy) I would say leave those spots alone and focus any transactions on acquiring pitching. The WE NEED PITCHING argument is getting old to talk about, but we are going to have to repeat this frustration for a loooong time if something isn't done there.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer minn55441's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbie111 View Post
    I know I'm gonna get ripped for this but with the exception of Willingham and sometimes Plouffe, Twins could have the best defense in baseball if they added two great gloves at SS and 2B. With so many pitch to contact starters this might make a greater impact to the overall team era for starters than adding an ace. Possibilities might be Yunel Escobar or Zack Cozart at SS and Darwin Barney or Jason Kipris at 2B.
    I agree, I'm not sold on Dozier at SS. I don't view him as an above average SS in the field or at the plate. Granted he is 25 and getting his first extended time in the majors. I really haven't seen a progression throughout the year. With roughly 90 AB's in May, June and July this is what he has put up at the plate.
    May .228/.247/.337
    June .231/.263/.308
    July .250/.296/.315

    I think you can live with these numbers if he is a standout in the field, but I don't see a gold glove in his future. As I mentioned, he is 25 and may still develop into an above average SS. We will just need better out of our middle infield with our pitching situation.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Steve Lein's Avatar
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    Dozier's been okay for the Twins at SS this year, but he is and always has been a better fit for second base than SS in the majors. He's played there for the Twins because he pretty much has to.

    If were talking what the Twins need to bring in next year though, I wouldn't even think about signing a position player until the pitching questions are addressed or all avenues have been explored on that front.
    Scouting Report: Tools - Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)
    Spring Training Regular since 2011.

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Casilla is a great defender this season. He seems to have put his mental lapses behind him.

    Now if he'd just hit as he did in the previous two seasons, we'd have a keeper on our hands.
    Casilla is a streaky hitter who needs to play most of the time to get hot with the bat. If the manager of the millennium sits him 90% of the time in favor of a 38 year old or Nishi, he will never hit.
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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer J-Dog Dungan's Avatar
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    I think the Twins are stuck with whomever they want in-house to play the middle infield, because looking at the list of 2013 MI FA on MLBTR, there is not much hope for the Twins to upgrade. They should work on acquiring pitching, and worry about getting MI later, if at all. Carroll and Dozier, while they haven't been great, have been good enough so we don't vomit every time they come onto the field. I am okay if the Twins have a little less defense on the infield if they keep their defense in the outfield great and their lineup potent.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    Casilla easily has been the best defender in the infield for the Twins. Yet this board is near-unanimous that he will/should be non-tendered after this season. Just sayin'.
    It bugs me to no end that Alexi hardly ever gets playing time. He's improved a lot from what I've seen from him. He's better than Dozier, who will most likely never grow beyond a sub-average major league shortstop, yet they sit Dozier out there everyday...

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    I'm guessing the middle infielder we got in the Liriano trade will be on the big league club next year. I don't think Nishi is back next year (predict retirement). This means either Carrol, Casilla, or Dozier is out. As much as I like Casilla out of the three I'm afriad he's the guy to go. I agree with the others that the Twins will not sign from outside to bolster middle infield for next year.

  15. #15
    I personally don't understand much of the hate for Casilla either. He hasn't had many great moments this year with the stick, but he's made several defensive gems this season and showed pretty good range (and certainly better range than Carroll or Nishijokeah). Regular playing time seems to be something he would benefit from, both defensively and offensively. Casilla played in 97 games last year and posted a .260/.322/.368, which is far from stellar, but committed only 6 errors at 2B, and is valuable on the basepaths as a runner.

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    Senior Member Triple-A
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    Quote Originally Posted by myjah View Post
    It bugs me to no end that Alexi hardly ever gets playing time. He's improved a lot from what I've seen from him. He's better than Dozier, who will most likely never grow beyond a sub-average major league shortstop, yet they sit Dozier out there everyday...
    I agree with you especially on the defensive side. He's the only one of the current crop of 4 middle infielders that could be an above average defensive ss or 2b.

  17. #17
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    I certainlty wouldn't mind middle infield upgrades, but this team needs pitching, pitching, and more pitching. They need to get at least 2 more starters via trade or FA.

  18. #18
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    I certainlty wouldn't mind middle infield upgrades, but this team needs pitching, pitching, and more pitching. They need to get at least 2 more starters via trade or FA.
    There's an idea. Instead of placing a high priority on acquiring defensive savants who can't hit, let's work on replacing our p.t.c. guys with real pitchers who can miss some bats! That way they won't need the savants, and would have the option to eventually pursue adequate defenders who can actually hit.

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    I can't help wondering what it might take to get Elvis Andrus away from Texas, since their hotshot prospect, Jurickson Profar, is a SS possibly (probably?) ready to play at the Major-league level next season. Andrus is only 23, and add his .295/.367/.399 slash line into our lineup from the SS position (plus he can steal a few bases) and things get really interesting. And his numbers are surprisingly a little better away from Texas stadium, .299/.369/.416 away versus .290/.364/.382 at home. So he's not exactly a product of that park. He plays pretty good defense as well, from what I recall. Then you move Dozier over to 2B where he hopefully stops throwing the ball over Morneau's head, and you're in pretty good shape.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    Yeah upgrades at those positions would be nice, but when you look at how bad the pitching has been, it's hard to argue that it should be priority #1.

    Of course, pitching can be helped or hurt a lot by the quality of defense played behind them.

    But, the Twins have surrendered 143 home runs this year - most in the AL. I've watched some pretty good defensive middle infielders over the years, but I have yet to see one that can stop a ball from going over the outfield fence in fair territory.

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