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Article: Pedro Florimon's "Limbo Line"

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:17 AM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...on-s-Limbo-Line

#2 The Wise One

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:52 AM

When the talent scouts can find someone who plays adequate defense and can hit Florimon will be replaced. Until then Florimon can put up a number that would be a horrible IQ once you remove the decimal point and still play everyday.
Did Florimon object to a goat in the DR this winter and make someone angry?

#3 blairpaul715


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:54 AM

Well I am not against keeping Floriman, but if we are going to have a utility player to replace him it should be someone who gives you something different, not Escobar...........I think if we had Nunez and Floriman, depending on who we are playing would dictate who plays short.........example, if we are playing a good offensive team where we will most likely need to score runs, I would play Nunez, and if we would play a team that is weak offensively , then we need our best defensive player(s) in game..........we do it all the time with our OF, we play our offensive players early and take them out for the 8th and or 9th inning, why cant we do that with shortstop on a game to game basis? Just my thinking. :)

#4 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 01:26 AM

I waver on this. I think back to the SS merry go round and am glad for a guy like Florimon out there. But he's not helping his cause at the plate.
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#5 clutterheart


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 01:50 AM


[/COLOR][COLOR=#3E3E3E] However, none of the five starters would classify as strikeout pitchers. They will all likely give up a hit per inning. The ball will be put in play and defense does matter.[/COLOR][COLOR=#3E3E3E]

Thats a good point. Everything I hear about [/COLOR][COLOR=#3E3E3E]Nunez 's D makes me dread the day he is at SS and Gibson is pitching...[/COLOR]

#6 Reider


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 02:47 AM

Here's what you're going to get if you replace Florimon with Nunez. Defensively, you'll go from one of the best (Florimon saved 12 runs last year, tied for 2nd in the MLB) to one of the worst (Nunez was responsible for -28 runs last year, while only playing 60% of the innings that Florimon did. That's really bad.), in exchange for a batting average of .262. Is it worth it? That's not for me to decide.

In the big picture, the Twins are .500 and scoring runs, so there's no point in panicking or losing sleep over it. If it makes anyone feel any better, based on the eye test, he looks as sharp as I've ever seen him. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a better year defensively over last year. And obviously Pedro hitting .067 just isn't acceptable either. He's going to have to start hitting soon.

To answer the OP's question, i'd like Florimon to take a step forward. At minimum I'd like to see him hit .240+AVG .290+OBP, 675+OPS with 10+hr's and 20+ stolen bases. Oh and I'd like to see his strike out ratio go down as well. I want to see the guy battle up there and be a tougher out.

#7 tjsyam921


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 04:33 AM

Its shocking to me how difficult it is to find a mlb shortstop that can catch, throw, AND hit. I'd be happy with him if he could get his numbers back to 2013 range.

#8 stringer bell

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 05:19 AM

I have been in the pro-Florimon camp, believing that defense is crucial and that P-Flo could raise his OBP a bit just by making contact a bit more and perhaps bunting successfully a few more times. So far (and it is really early), it looks like he doesn't have a clue at the plate. I do think that in order for Florimon to continue with the Twins 1) he needs to hit at least as well as he did last year and 2) that either he is a starter or he is relegated to the minor leagues or release.

#9 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:01 AM

Bad news = 10 strikeouts in 30 at-bats.

Good news = On Sunday, Florimon drilled two line shots to rightfield--and directly into Norichika Aoki's glove. Maybe he's starting to find himself.

After 578 at-bats, Florimon has a career slash of .211/273/.310. Acceptable, for me, would be somewhere between .225 and .240 for a batting average, and around .300 OBP. Add 15 homers and 35 stolen bases, with stellar defense, and we're talking "ideal."

I REALLY like Pedro. He's taking walks, getting on base. Eight more hits and he's batting .250. It's SO early, but if he's still below the Mendoza line in June, something will have to happen...

#10 cmathewson


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:15 AM

This reminds me a little of the Aaron Hicks struggles from last year. It is magnified because it is the beginning of the season. Also, as DFGG indicated, he's a bit snake bit. His BABIP is .100. Last year is was .284. Because he hits a lot of ground balls, his BABIP will be lower than average, about what it was last year. So he obviously is a bit unlucky. Let's see if some of those liners start finding holes, as they did with Aaron Hicks last year, before making a critical mistake. I would give him into May.

The numbers on Nunez are just bad. If he hit better, I could see it. But he hits just a little better than Escobar while playing poor defense. Before giving him a chance, why not give the job to Escobar? Every indication from AAA suggests Nunez is seen as a utility guy. If you need to send Florimon down (passing him through waivers), you could promote Escobar to the everyday shortstop and give Nunez his job. I would be OK with that. I just don't want a -40 UZR guy at short everyday, not when we are scoring runs, and not with three starters who throw a lot of sinkers.

#11 Thrylos



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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:19 AM

This is one that numbers cannot tell offensively. Florimon is a rally killer. If he made outs while making some contact and moved up (or scored) runners, a low slash line would be acceptable. But he is truly horrible. Below the Butera line and that says a ton.

#12 CRArko


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:20 AM

The numbers on Nunez are just bad. If he hit better, I could see it. But he hits just a little better than Escobar while playing poor defense. Before giving him a chance, why not give the job to Escobar? Every indication from AAA suggests Nunez is seen as a utility guy. If you need to send Florimon down (passing him through waivers), you could promote Escobar to the everyday shortstop and give Nunez his job. I would be OK with that. I just don't want a -40 UZR guy at short everyday, not when we are scoring runs, and not with three starters who throw a lot of sinkers.

Yeah, given the way they are playing Nunez everywhere, this might be the plan. Give Escobar a chance to win the job.

#13 oldguy10


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:37 AM

To me it is whether or not the Twins will score enough runs down the road to justify having such a weak hitter as Florimon in the lineup everyday. And we'll not know that definitively until many more games are played, will we? Ideally it would be good to be able to pinch hit for Florimon in later innings of games. But that is damn near impossible now with thirteen pitchers active on the roster. What other MLB team is carrying thirteen pitchers anyway?

#14 Linus


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:31 AM

Here's a simple but useful way to look at it - call it Bill James in the 5th grade. First of all, nobody gets more frustrated than me watching Florimon bat. Its not even the lack of hits but the lack of productive outs that really drive me nuts, however.....

The difference between Florimon at .210 and Nunez at .260 is 25 hits over 500 ABs (call it one season). Assume the majority of those "difference" hits are singles, which they likely are given the light hitting nature of the position. Also assume that many of those 25 are going to be hits that occur when there are no run scoring opportunities.

Now examine from a fielding perspective. Given the nature of the plays at shortstop, an error or an extra ball that Florimon would track down due to his greater range, would be roughly the equivalent of a single, very similar to the extra hits examined above. Like above, some would happen during run scoring opportunities, most would not.

So, we could quantify the difference as: would the total of Florimon's fewer errors plus the extra balls he would get to be greater than 25? I am guessing the answer to this is clearly yes, especially if you consider double plays he starts on balls Nunez wouldn't get to.

Clearly, both players are flawed and what we really need is a guy that can field and hit adequately but in the current environment, we are probably better off with the better defense. I'm sure somebody that is better with sabrmetrics could use OPS to do a similar, better examination but I think, in a crude way, this illustrates that unless one hitter is going to provide much more in the way of extra base hits, the difference isn't as large as people tend to assume.

Edited by Linus, 15 April 2014 - 07:35 AM.

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:32 AM

I don't think Florimon will ever hit enough to be an asset. I'm pretty sure the Twins have come to the same conclusion.

That said, I don't think the Twins have a better alternative at the moment.

I don't think Escobar will hold up defensively as an every day SS, and wont hit much better if he plays every day, Nunez hits better than either but the downgrade defensively probably makes it a wash at best, and Santana would currently be worse than all three, IMO.

And none of this should be considered unexpected.

#16 mike wants wins

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:34 AM

This isn't like Hicks, since Floriman was never good in the minors, and not good in the majors. He's just bad at hitting. The question is how bad, and how good is his defense? I have no idea, but if he hits around the Mendoza line, there is no amount of defense that can make up for that, imo. There is no real optino at this point, so keep him here, I guess.....but I'd not be upset at all if they tried others at some point this year.

#17 Linus


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:40 AM

I think Nunez will be up soon but not to play short. My guess is that he is going to be the utility guy that Gardy wanted (see Bartlett). My hope is that when this happens, Florimon is sent down and they give Escobar two months to see what he can do. He probably won't cut it but the way they are handling him right now, we will never know what his potential is. If Santana shows any promise in Rochester, bring him up after the All Star break and give the entire remainder of the season.

#18 Lazarus


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:56 AM

I have accepted that Florimon will never be much of a hitter. But is it too much to ask for him to learn how to bunt? If he could at least move a runner along or bunt for a base hit occasionally, he would become more tolerable. Even watching him try that has been...trying.

#19 Boom Boom

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:59 AM

The slash line that P-Flo put up last year was below acceptable in my opinion. I would have replaced him then if there was any kind of alternative, but the Twins didn't (and still don't) have any alternatives.

#20 Boom Boom

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:07 AM

The bunting thing... ugh. It's one thing if you're a player that can effectively bunt for hits, but no AL team should have a hitter in their lineup whose best offensive contribution is a sacrifice bunt.

I could go on about how much I hate the sac bunt in the American League... but that's a different blog.

#21 drivlikejehu


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:07 AM

Florimon is not going to have a .300 OBP. He cannot hit at all. He's easily the worst-hitting regular in MLB. It's not for sure he can even hit enough to stay above replacement level, which shouldn't be hard considering the SS positional adjustment and the fact he's above-average (though overrated) defensively.

#22 JW24


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:14 AM

Many of the other comments have touched on this, but for me, Florimon simply needs to put the ball in play more often. If he can do that, his slash line will rise.

As of right now, it is obviously frustrating to have an automatic out coming to the plate, especially right before the top of the order. However, his value is entirely in his defensive abilities, which are tremendous. In baseball, having great defensive players up the middle is extremely important. This is why the Twins were so hesitant to move Mauer from behind the dish, and waited out Aaron Hicks' struggles so long last season; they provide plus defense at a premium position. Florimon does the same.

On a side note, one move I would love to see the Twins make, and one that I do not feel is likely to happen, is to pursue Nick Franklin of the Seattle Mariners as a potential fix at SS. The Mariners have no place for him to play, after the Cano signing. They have a former second baseman in Dustin Ackley playing outfield already. Franklin would be a down-grade defensively from Florimon (as would almost everyone), but not to the Nunez/Escobar extent, and the kid can hit. Provided that he is only 23 years old, he could be a long term solution at SS.

#23 Sconnie


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:19 AM

The Twins started the season with
1) a starting rotation that still pitches to contact
2) a light hitting good defensive catcher, backed up by just the opposite
3) a new to the position first basemen
4) a good defensive and offensive 2nd basemen
5) a mediocre fielding, good hitting 3rd basemen
6) black hole hitting, Hoover fielding SS
7) a terrible fielding, power hitting left fielder
8) a big question mark in CF
9) an unproven potentially very good hitting, bad fielding right fielder
10) a plethora of DH talent

there has to be more than one player behind the pitchers mound who can field their position cleanly with minimal errors. Hitting has not been an issue so far, but the Twins have been winning games 10 to 8. I'm not ready to pull the plug on Florimon yet.

I would be ok with Florimon for the rest of the season if the following items occurred, reducing or eliminating the other lineup black holes.

1) Hicks proves his potential to be a .250 hitting, excellent fielding CF.
2) Pinto earns the lions share of catching duties.

2 I think is pretty much a lock
1 I'm not sure of, 50/50

it would be icing on the cake if Florimon learned to bunt and steal bases effectively with some frequency.

#24 Tibs


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:24 AM

He needs to put up at least what he did last year. The most frustrating part is he doesn't even seem to move up runners.
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#25 Willihammer


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:27 AM

If the Twins insist on solving this problem from within then they are going to need to get more creative. Here's a couple ideas:

1. swap Herrmann for Beresford. The Twins can't afford the roster space for a no hit bench player and don't need a 3rd catcher anyway.

2. start road games with one of the bench bats as the SS and batting somewhere 1-3. Sub in Florimon for the bottom of the 1st and PH for him again later if necessary. That way you can minimize Florimon to 1-3 PA's per road game while also having him on defense for most of the game.

3. For home games, move Dozier to SS, put Beresford at 2B.

4. Alternatively, at home, move Plouffe to SS, Mauer to 3B, and Colabello to 1B.

5. Can Pinto play 3B?

#26 ericchri


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:44 AM

He's got to OPS in the vicinity of .600 to be a realistic major league starter. Right now that seems unlikely. His numbers won't stay this putrid forever, but I'm not optimistic they'll even approach that .600 mark.

Last year he had some pretty good success (by his standards) early in the year, but in the second half of last year he was pretty much the hitter we've been watching so far this year. He managed to steal a base every other week and hit a homerun once every three weeks, but other than that he was quite terrible.

Normally I'd say a player's got until June when there's nobody really knocking down the door to take his job, but I think he's got maybe a couple more weeks before they send him down and give Escobar or Nunez a shot as the starter. He's been that bad so far.

How is Beresford's defense? The 40-man roster spot would seem to be his biggest hindrance at this point.

#27 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:06 AM

The Twins believe in "pitching to contact".

Disagree with that or not as a good philosophy, that means until the Twins get strikeout pitchers, the SS must be average or better defensively. I think Florimon is overrated defensively but yes, he is better than average. Nunez is simply horrid on defense. NO WAY the Twins can play him at SS. (His defense with the current pitching staff will cost the Twins a run or two at least a game.) The Twins defense on the corners is already below average.

Given that, Florimon has to be given a wide berth. Play him til June--if his numbers come close to last year--keep him in the lineup. Maybe PH in late innings and put Escobar in there then.

#28 mike wants wins

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:12 AM

I like Willihammer's plan a lot, but no way they get that innovative. They just figured out Shifts.....
Lighten up Francis....

#29 brvama


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:16 AM

Having Florimon in the line-up is like a team playing in the AL w/o the DH. That being said, I can tolerate him there IF he can approach his 2013 offensive numbers. As has been stated, the Twins replacement are not clear upgrades either. So until a trade, waiver, or FA signing occurs it is what it is.

It's not unusual for teams to have an offensively weak/defensively strong player in the lineup. The problem occurs when the other spots become offensively challenged. I think any lack of production in the other positions is more troubling for me.

#30 Riverbrian


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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:27 AM

I don't expect Florimon to turn into Tulo.

However... He needs to watch how Plouffe is hitting right now. Plouffe is going with the pitch all of a sudden and it's awesome. Plouffe isn't trying to pull everything and it's working.

This year... I'm watching Florimon pull outside pitches and grounding out weak time and time again.

He's technically flawed and if he fixes it... He could surprise us all.

Sadly... some people never fix it.

On the D side of things... I'll say it again... A play made or not made... isn't just a single stroke in a column or UZR chart.

Anytime a play is made that others don't make... you take a large step toward preventing a big inning. Anytime a play is not made... that extra out can lead to a Bartman sized crooked number.

Official scorers are much to easy going.

Those crooked numbers decide ball games... I will always be a D guy in the pursuit of wins.

Florimon and Dozier are a fantastic pair and better than most keystone combo's.

Edited by Riverbrian, 15 April 2014 - 09:29 AM.

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