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Thread: Article: Position Analysis: Shortstop

  1. #1
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Article: Position Analysis: Shortstop


  2. #2
    It's interesting that Ryan said that Casilla at SS "didn't really work out". Didn't we all watch Casilla become the player we all hoped he would become when he took over at short during May/June/July? I swear we were all in awe that he finally showed some confidence out in the field. In fact, I think a series in Kansas City is where he broke out and played smooth short stop (including an awesome play at the plate on a tag) and then it started reflecting at the plate. According to Bref, at short he had .736 OPS in 36 games. His fielding struggled initially but right when Casilla was "figuring it out", Nishi got healthy and Gardy put Nishi back in at shortstop and Casilla to second. Nishi should have played second, why ruin a good thing (at the time)? I say if Carroll looks like he's 38, swap him and Casilla. The experiment should not be over with for Alexi at short, not with the options the Twins have right now at that position. Then again, he may have only played a respectable SS for a shorter period of time than I remember.

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    Senior Member Triple-A
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    It is interesting that the many people who talk about Dozier being better suited for second base aren't players he has played with. As Seth has often pointed out, pitchers love having Dozier at shortstop when they are on the mound. Who should we go with, the opinions of bloggers/fans or the guys throwing the ball every day?

  4. #4
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Collin View Post
    The experiment should not be over with for Alexi at short, not with the options the Twins have right now at that position.
    I agree. He had his struggles there last season, especially early on, but he actually has the physical skills to play the position which is more than can be said about most of the alternatives.

    Who should we go with, the opinions of bloggers/fans or the guys throwing the ball every day?
    I'm referring to professional talent evaluators more than bloggers and fans. A guy's teammates aren't exactly the most objective source of information either.

  5. #5
    It's one of the bizarre things about Gardy that he gets a lot of credit as a manager (and much of it deserved, I think), but then he has his positions flipped in the wrong direction two years in a row now. Last year, Nishioka was thought to be a shortstop, but they worried about his arm. So Casilla was the guy, and Nishioka played a week at second, sucked, then got his leg broken because he didn't appreciate that MLB'ers threaten bodily harm if you don't jump up on a double play ball. So, Nishioka heals, and then is rewarded for all of that with a shot at shortstop, which was equally as disastrous. Plouffe sucked too, so you would think that Casilla's comparatively steady effort there would be even more appreciated.

    Except that Gardy doesn't like Casilla very much, so we go looking for a new SS. Fine. But the guy they signed is basically a David Eckstein-like "tweener", steady enough at 2B, but not really dynamic range or arm for SS, ESPECIALLY as a 38 year old. And he puts him at SS.

    Look, I've been blowing smoke all offseason about how Carroll is not a SS and this is a bad move, but I'm convinced enough that Carroll is not going to play 140 games at SS this year that I'm not even worrying about it any more. The carousel continues...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Double-A
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
    I agree. He had his struggles there last season, especially early on, but he actually has the physical skills to play the position which is more than can be said about most of the alternatives.


    I'm referring to professional talent evaluators more than bloggers and fans. A guy's teammates aren't exactly the most objective source of information either.
    I agree 100% with your assessment of Casilla. He's the guy with the most upside at SS. The love for Caroll is just indicative of the team's frustration of last year.

    I disagree though with your assessment of the value of the pitchers' opinion re Dozier. Frequently the subjectiveness of the "insiders" reflects the "true" value of the parts. Whether or not they are willing, or can, articulate it to the objective outsiders.

  7. #7
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Is everyone forgetting Casilla was a disaster at SS last year? Let him stay at 2nd where there's at least some chance he can handle the position.

  8. #8
    wow nick, your projection is even worse than ZiPS, which is notably regression-heavy to begin with. love the optimism!

  9. #9
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    I hate to do this because too much of this great site is already littered with posts on this topic, but I am so sick of all the negative comments from the readers! No one is forcing you to read this. If you feel Nick is being negative, don't read his posts. Why is he expected to fill you with optimism? He's being realistic. A player well beyond his prime (especially SS) regressing is not exactly unheard of, and given the Twins inability to provide a competent SS over the past 5+ years (not including J.J. Hardy) makes me believe his prediction could be very true. I just don't understand this mentality of attacking the bloggers by telling them they are not giving you enough hope. What would be the point of this site if all it ever said was "The Twins will win the division this year! See you in the postseason everyone!"

  10. #10
    Senior Member Triple-A Teflon's Avatar
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    It's not like the Twins haven't had viable options at shortstop recently - their front office just kept booting serviceable shortstops like Bartlett and Hardy.

  11. #11
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    I think it is in the best long term interest of the Twins to start Dozier at SS this year. If not now, by June 1. They must assess if he can handle that position defensively at the major league level and speed of the game. If he can not, they must address the position next winter.

    I also think it is their best interest to start Nishioka at AAA or AA. If he has a chance to be useful, he needs to go play every day and find success offensively and defensively. If he isn't successful, at least they will know they can abandon any plans for his future as a Twins.

    At the close of the year, I hope to see Dozier as the majority starter at SS. I would like to see Carroll in the role of filling it at SS, 2B and 3B. He will get significant playing time in that role. I would like to see Nishioka in September having found some success in AAA.

    I think this plan puts the Twins in the best position for making off season decisions about the future of the middle infield.

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