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Thread: Spring Training - Game 17 - vs Marlins - 3/17/12

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Spring Training - Game 17 - vs Marlins - 3/17/12

    The Twins travel across the state to Jupiter to take on Ozzie Guillen and the Marlins. Here is the lineup:

    Denard Span CF
    Tsuyoshi Nishioka SS
    Danny Valencia 3B
    Chris Parmelee 1B
    Ryan Doumit RF
    Luke Hughes DH
    Michael Hollimon 2B
    JR Towles C
    Ben Revere LF

    Carl Pavano SP

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    Does Michael Hollimon have any chance of making the roster as a bench player? He has been pretty impressive and can play multiple positions. You have to think there are three locks in Hughes, Butera, and Plouffe. However, not sure how Twins can send Nishioka north after more bone headed plays this spring. Not to mention he really can't play 3B.. Burroughs has been ok, but Hollimon has really looked good.
    Last edited by Fanatic Jack; 03-17-2012 at 09:13 AM.

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    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    I gotta think that Hollimon is a long shot, maybe the longest of long shots, but there is probably a reason he's getting time at 2B today.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Hollimon was pretty bad last year between AA and AAA and yet he hit a bunch of home runs (I think 18?). But I think he played 3B, 2B, 1B, LF and RF last year... not sure how much SS. The Twins signed him out of independent ball, but he did get a cup of coffee with the Tigers. I would agree that it is a very long shot. But it probably was a long shot for him to still be on the roster and gettibeng opportunities like today won't hurt... although getting more than 7 or 8 plate appearances in 2 weeks may also make it more clear why he won't be on the opening day roster.

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    Seth and John,

    Does Tsuyoshi Nishioka make the roster out of spring training if Hollimon does not? He has looked completely lost all spring and it just does not make sense to take him north. I mean is the front office trying to minimize the fact that they signed this guy. Ryan usually does not cover for anybody in the organization, but there is no doubt as a talent evalator, he has to be upset about what he has seen from Nishioka this spring.

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    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    While Hollimon entered spring as a long-shot, I don't think he's facing those long odds any more. Still not 50-50 but not 100-1 either. If he continues to hit the ball and doesn't make a fool of himself in the field, I think he's got a shot. As Jack said, I just can't see Ryan giving Nishioka a roster spot if he continues to drag-ass over the field. Casilla can give Carroll a day off at SS from time to time if neither Hughes nor Hollimon can play the position.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    Two first inning walks for Pavstache.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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  8. #8
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    yeah, don't get me wrong... I would much prefer Hollimon as a utility guy than Nishioka... And I agree with JC... the odds aren't as bad today as they were at the start of camp. Another hit today.

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    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    Another reason I'm starting to like Hollimon's chances more is that I can't see the Twins worrying at all about whether he gets splinters on the bench instead of playing regularly in Rochester. He's almost 30 years old, so if they can get a few months' use out of him as a bench player, why not do it? Nishioka will not get any better sitting on the bench and Dozier needs to play regularly, too.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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    Seth,

    I honestly had never heard of Michael Hollimon until this spring. However, it's tough to overlook the spring he is having. He most likely won't make the roster but fun to root for the underdog. He is this year's Luke Hughes.
    Last edited by Fanatic Jack; 03-17-2012 at 12:47 PM.

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    Just how bad has Nishioka been in the field this spring? I have seen the he looks lost comment a few times. A number of bloggers have been taking shots, but that seems mostly based on last year. Is the "He is Bad" comments based on a few bad plays, or more a misplay every game, or just the "He looks lost" comments? I tend to mistrust the herd mentality we find in the blogsphere and even in the main stream media. I haven't really seen anything attributed to Gardy or Ryan or even a trustworthy Twins guy.

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    Jim H,

    He is making the same mistakes defensively as last year. Not clearing the bag on double plays, not watching the ball into his glove, not understanding game situations, and just can't adjust to how fast the game is here in the U.S.
    Last edited by Fanatic Jack; 03-17-2012 at 12:52 PM.

  13. #13
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Hollimon will either be a utility player with the Twins or a utility player with the Red Wings (or possibly Rock Cats again). Based on his age, no problem with him being a utility guy at all.

    I'm a lot surprised by the angst toward Nishioka. From what I read, it's certainly more than just on-field, in-game issues that have writers upset with him. Maybe it is some of last year. Maybe it's just wanting to see somebody (anybody!) else.

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    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Hollimon has the advantage of playing 4 positions at NB (2B, SS, 3B, and LF) and 3 at ROC (2B, SS LF) last year. If they are smart about Nishioka and Dozier, then it is a bit of an open battle between Hollimon, Burroughs, and Chang. I like Hollimon's chances. In this regard, he's kinda like Dinkelman but with slugging capability. That .741 OPS last year isn't wonderful, but it came with 18 homers somehow. And that's while playing 4 positions. His average is low because he strikes out a bunch, but his ISO numbers are strong. At least that's more interesting than Nishioka . . .

  15. #15
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    Agree you have to take most of this with a grain of salt, JimH, but from radio broadcast accounts, there have been more instances where he just can't backhand a ground ball to his right. The Japanese are taught to slide over in front of every ball hit to their right, plant and throw. That affects range and his arm simply isn't all that strong.

    .261/.292/.348 for a .639 OPS, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 0 for 1 on SB attempts. Just one extra-base hit (a triple in one of the first games of the season, as I recall).

    The point remains that a bench player needs to be able to excel defensively OR be someone you'd want to use as a pinch hitter OR at least have speed you can use as a pinch runner. Nishioka doesn't really measure up in any of those areas and he won't get better at any of them sitting on a bench.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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  16. #16
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    More interesting especially since it isn't clear that Nishioka can actually play any position adequately (weak arm at short) and we know the problem at second.

  17. #17
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    For the record, Gladden just made a point of saying "nice job of getting out of the way of the baserunner by Nishioka" on that inning ending DP. So... there's that anyway.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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  18. #18
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    Bottom line for me on Hollimon is... you can't MAKE a team in the first two weeks of Spring Training, but you can eliminate yourself that quickly. A lot of guys in the Twins camp have already eliminated themselves but Hollimon isn't one of them.

    He has to continue to hit well to make it difficult for the Twins to cut him. If he does that, he's got a shot because he profiles as a utility player more than a lot of guys. If he DOESN'T hit well, he'll just manage to be a late cut.

    On that note... he's now 2 for 2 today. Hitting .500 for ST.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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  19. #19
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Pavano should be going 5 today, right?

  20. #20
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    They measure their outings by pitch counts, not innings, and I'm not sure how many pitches he's thrown, but yeah, you'd think he would be going back out for the 5th. He did walk some guys tho so maybe he's thrown more than it seems like.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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