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Article: The Twins Lineup Is Producing

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#1 DocBauer

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:31 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...-and-Production

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#2 Otwins

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:59 PM

I am happy you mentioned Bruno. With so many hitters taking better AB's it seems like there needs to be some credit to the coaching staff. The past few years when i was watching i would be thinking ahead to when Mauer was up. Now it is Colabello. Hopefully we can keep this up.

#3 PopRiveter

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 10:02 PM

Right now, I'd wanna bat Cola and Kubel 3, 4 and 4, 3 at least until Arcia and Willingham come back.
Keep Hicks low in the order so he can fly below the radar.

#4 DuluthFan

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 11:06 PM

I don't know why you would want to change the top of the lineup right now. The top and middle of the lineup seems to be working as is. Let's let everyone get settled first before any major changes are made.

#5 Sleestax

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 11:51 PM

I don't know why you would want to change the top of the lineup right now. The top and middle of the lineup seems to be working as is. Let's let everyone get settled first before any major changes are made.

Agreed

#6 Jdosen

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 02:04 AM

As far as Hicks hitting 2nd, he has a 57 wRC+ so far this season, with a .180 batting average. I'm not quite ready to give up on him completely, but he hasn't done anything this year to warrant hitting higher than 8th in the order. Dozier/Mauer 1/2 at the top of the order is just fine with me.

#7 Reider

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 02:19 AM

A couple questions and concerns. I still believe Mauer is best in the #3 hole. When do we consider Hicks for the #2 hole between Dozier and Mauer, with his patience and Mauer behind him?

I think the better question is when do we consider moving Hicks back to the lead off role and moving Dozier to the #2 spot in front of Mauer. And the answer to that question is when he hits better and gets on base more often. He's just not ready yet. I don't understand why you'd want Hicks to be a #2 guy between Dozier and Mauer. Ideally, I think it makes more sense to have the line up: Hicks, Dozier, then Mauer.

And long term, who is our #4 hitter? Even if Hammer comes back strong, he's not a long term answer by any means.

Well if you are talking long-term, Willingham might not even be a Twin next season (or for the rest of this season for that matter), so he's probably not the guy. This is a tough question for me to answer because you have a group of guys who can hit the ball hard (e.g. Willingham, Plouffe, Kubel, Arcia, Colabello, Pinto etc..), but it's hard to say who's going to go out and take that spot long term. It could very well be a player who isn't currently on the roster.

As far as the line up producing, I think that is directly attributed to more quality at bats due to good coaching and the players working hard on their craft.

#8 zchrz

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 03:34 AM

The walks and patience is driving this offense and I didn't really see that coming. Plouffe, Colabello, Kubel, Pinto and Hicks are all showing good discipline and working counts. Mauer has been elite at working counts for a long time and is doing it again, Suzuki and Dozier are also continuing their trends of being a tough out. Arcia and Florimon are the only opportunities for a quick out and Arcia is still a dangerous out.

This lineup can make some things happen with men on base... and get on base...

No more abyss. No more Bernier, Clete, Florimon level section of outs.

#9 Dantes929

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 06:01 AM

" I still believe Mauer is best in the #3 hole. " Why do you believe that? All things considered it actually makes a great deal more sense to bat Mauer leadoff and Dozier 2nd. 5 runs from leadoff spot could turn into as many as 10 runs if Mauer is on when Dozier hits his home runs. Mauer gets on base at a great rate but his power is mostly doubles. Theses attributes beg to be at the top of the order. Why is he best in the 3 hole? Just curious to know your rationale.

#10 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 06:07 AM

I haven't really been worried about Pinto, his track record says he's going to be able to hit without too many problems. His average definitely needs to go up, but given the expectations for this season, I'm quite willing to let him play it out given that he's taking good at bats.

I'm pretty excited about Dozier (though that average needs to come up), Plouffe, and Colabello so far. All of these guys are under team control long enough that they can be a part of the future. Plouffe could transition to the OF when Sano gets up for for good, which would be insurance against Hicks failing (and while he takes good at bats, right now I think this is a very real possibility. I really think he should have been in AAA, even if Presley was worse at the ML level). If Hicks succeeds, suddenly there's a possibility to trade if you don't think there's room for Sano, Plouffe, Cola, Hicks, Buxton, and Arcia. I might be counting my chickens a bit on Arcia and Buxton, but I think at this point that both of these guys will at worst be average major leaguers...

#11 Sconnie

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 07:28 AM

It's a good problem to have, but when Arcia and Willingham come back, how do you find room for Colabello, Arcia, Kubel, Willingham, for two corner OF spots? Bench Hammer?

#12 Shane Wahl

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 07:46 AM

How many leadoff homers does Dozier have now? I think it may be something with the opening at bat of the game or something. In other words, if he were batting 2nd or anywhere else, it isn't clear that he would still have 5 homers. Certain players like Henderson and Soriano had a knack for leading off the game that way. Maybe Dozier is another.

#13 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 07:50 AM

I actually like the top of the lineup just fine how it is. Dozier's OBP continues to climb, Mauer is a fantastic second hitter, Plouffe had done well enough in the third spot, and Kubel/Colabello have performed in cleanup.

#14 Sconnie

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 08:02 AM

Agreed with Brock and Shane, 1-4 has been very effective. Why fix it, if it isn't broken?

#15 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 09:08 AM

Also agree that 1-4 is not the problem. Hicks, though, is driving me INSANE! I love the potential, but WOW is he frustrating. He walks frequently, but it seems that he goes up to the plate looking to walk. He cannot hit. His ability to get on base is an asset. I would like to see him move DOWN to the 9 spot and he can work his on base skills in front of the top of the lineup.

#16 Spawn of Mientkiewicz

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 09:12 AM

The walks and patience is driving this offense and I didn't really see that coming. Plouffe, Colabello, Kubel, Pinto and Hicks are all showing good discipline and working counts. Mauer has been elite at working counts for a long time and is doing it again, Suzuki and Dozier are also continuing their trends of being a tough out. Arcia and Florimon are the only opportunities for a quick out and Arcia is still a dangerous out.

This lineup can make some things happen with men on base... and get on base...

No more abyss. No more Bernier, Clete, Florimon level section of outs.


There is a certain level of satisfaction I get when I see the opposing pitcher's pitch count approach 100 in the 5th inning....even if we haven't pushed a lot of runs across at that point....it's an attitude they have about making the guy work harder than they want to....and it is absolutely refreshing to see...reminds me of the multiple playoff series with the Yankees where they would grind out at bats against our starters and never give in.....

#17 stringer bell

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 09:32 AM

I like what the Twins are doing offensively and there is zero reason to change what is definitely working. I'd love to see Mauer hitting third, but the Twins don't have the guys who should be hitting #1 and #2. Dozier has done a fine job getting on and working counts (also mixing in an occasional long ball), so I suppose he should continue as the leadoff guy. As long as Plouffe, Colabello, Kubel and Pinto continue to hit so well, it only makes sense to keep Mauer at #2.

The bottom of the order has Hicks below the Mendoza line and Florimon barely above the half-Mendoza line. That needs to change but there have been hopeful signs from both guys. Mixing in two more hitters (Hammer and Waldo), could take some managin', but it is nice to have such problems.

#18 longstrangetrip

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 09:42 AM

I am happy you mentioned Bruno. With so many hitters taking better AB's it seems like there needs to be some credit to the coaching staff. The past few years when i was watching i would be thinking ahead to when Mauer was up. Now it is Colabello. Hopefully we can keep this up.


Yes, Bruno needs to be given some credit in his second year. Blyleven made a great point yesterday...you can hear Bruno in the dugout yelling encouragement every time a hitter lets a high fastball or low outside slider go by for a ball. He is much more engaged, and it shows.

But he also has much more to work with this year. TK once told my breakfast group that it just sounded different when Kubel was hitting, and it's clear that his leg issues held him back last year...what a great signing for the Twins. And one of our announcers said the same thing about Pinto...the ball just sounds different off his bat. Colabello is starting to convince me that he can hit in the majors like he did at AAA. And we're producing with the Hammer and Arcia not playing. I'd like to think that the Hammer has a difficult time getting back into the outfield once everyone is healthy.

How Gardy lines them up in the batting order is a work in process. I've never been so unclear about how to go with an order, because there is so much promise and yet so many questions at most spots in the order. Sure is fun to watch it unfold though!

#19 ashburyjohn

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 10:05 AM

In other words, if he were batting 2nd or anywhere else, it isn't clear that he would still have 5 homers.


Very true. It's not quite the same as the Zen saying about a man not being able to step in the same river twice (the second time it's no longer the same river and he's no longer the same man), but that still comes to my mind.

OTOH, if hitting homers further down in the lineup turned out to be a mystery to Dozier, there are a few guys on the coaching staff who could give pointers from personal experience. :)

#20 Linus

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 10:37 AM

It's a good problem to have, but when Arcia and Willingham come back, how do you find room for Colabello, Arcia, Kubel, Willingham, for two corner OF spots? Bench Hammer?


This is easy - Arcia goes to Rochester. This serves two purposes: first, don't mess with a lineup that is scoring runs and winning games. There will be plenty of time to tinker when they cool off. Second, and more importantly, I think Arcia needs to go somewhere to get completely healthy, find his swing and then come up after he proves he can play everyday and produce. In his short stint in the big leagues, there is a disturbing trend of him being hurt and not consistently in the lineup.

#21 spycake

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 10:45 AM

How many leadoff homers does Dozier have now? I think it may be something with the opening at bat of the game or something. In other words, if he were batting 2nd or anywhere else, it isn't clear that he would still have 5 homers. Certain players like Henderson and Soriano had a knack for leading off the game that way. Maybe Dozier is another.


Do leadoff hitters see a different distribution of pitch types? And is Dozier (and the others you mention) just really good at capitalizing on them? Certainly seems logical that players would see a different distribution of pitches batting with men on base, which seems to imply the leadoff hitter's pitches should be special too.

#22 Linus

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 10:57 AM

Do leadoff hitters see a different distribution of pitch types? And is Dozier (and the others you mention) just really good at capitalizing on them? Certainly seems logical that players would see a different distribution of pitches batting with men on base, which seems to imply the leadoff hitter's pitches should be special too.


My first guess is that it is just a fluke - he may not hit another lead off homer the rest of the year. My second guess is that the pitcher may have start of the game butterflies and throws more fastballs, which Dozier likes.

#23 spycake

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 10:59 AM

Hicks was pinch-hit for in last night's game. I don't see him moving up in the order anytime soon (nor should he). I could see Arcia optioned if Willingham gets healthy again.

#24 twinscowboysbulls

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:12 AM

It appears once Arcia and Willingham are healthy we will have some nice bench bat options we didn't think we had. If Gardy will play the hot hand and play R/L matchups correctly than I'm fine with all those guys here, but if not, I'd rather see Arcia in AAA.

#25 twinscowboysbulls

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:14 AM

Also I'm in the camp that thinks Dozier and Mauer should be flipped in the batting order. More 2 run dingers, if Gardy is okay with 2-0 instead of 1-0.

#26 stringer bell

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:22 AM

The compromise position would be to send Arcia to Rochester on rehab assignment and wait to see if Hammer or one of Suzuki, Pinto, Colabello, Kubel cools considerably. I don't want to see Arcia on the bench when he can play. If one of the catchers slumps, the other gets more playing time, but I doubt that either will DH much if Willingham returns. I don't trust Colabello in the outfield at all and would rather he was the DH until he slumps. Assuming Arcia stays without a rehab assignment, we have four guys (Colabello, Willingham, Kubel, and Arcia) getting at-bats at the two corners plus DH, with no catcher DHing.

#27 spycake

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:32 AM

The Twins low OBP last year was almost entirely a function of their low AVG. In 2013, they actually tied for 7th best in MLB in BB% and isolated discipline (AVG minus OBP) -- the only 4 AL teams above us were playoff teams.

This year, our OBP and isolated discipline is super-high, but that's mostly fueled by an almost absurd walk rate. Our AVG is still low and very similar to last year, as is our BABIP. I expect our BB% and OBP/isolated discipline to stabilize much closer to last years numbers (BB% could drop by almost one-third and our OBP/isolated discipline .030 points and we could still lead the league in both, to give you an idea how crazy they have been so far this year).

Seems like low AVG and K% were our bugaboos under Brunansky last year, and both trends seem to be continuing this year in absolute terms, although our relative ranks are somewhat improved in both categories. It will interesting to see how our numbers change if/when the league rates stabilize.

#28 DocBauer

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:42 AM

" I still believe Mauer is best in the #3 hole. " Why do you believe that? All things considered it actually makes a great deal more sense to bat Mauer leadoff and Dozier 2nd. 5 runs from leadoff spot could turn into as many as 10 runs if Mauer is on when Dozier hits his home runs. Mauer gets on base at a great rate but his power is mostly doubles. Theses attributes beg to be at the top of the order. Why is he best in the 3 hole? Just curious to know your rationale.


I guess I'm a little old school when it comes to lineups.I remember Downing and Boggs providing the Angels and Red Sox quality Avg and ON with some power but little to no speed. In fact, Boggs is probably a very good comparison to Mauer. Both these guys helped their teams lead off and were effective in a non conventional way. Mauer could perhaps do the same.

But to my way of thinking, you want a good overall mix of hit/OB/contact in 1 & 2, ideally with a little speed and or power. This lets you set the table as well as put pressure on the pitcher and defense. My school of thought is for a teams very best hitter, Mauer in this case, to hit 3. Your very best overall hitter at 3 accomplishes two goals. One, he can drive in runs. Second, his own good Avg and OB and power helps keep an inning going for the hitters behind him.

#29 spycake

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:47 AM

On Colabello, he's still going opposite field with almost everything except grounders and pop-ups.

The outfield part of his spray chart:
http://www.fangraphs...vs1=ALL&vs2=ALL

actually closely resembles Kubel's:
http://www.fangraphs...vs1=ALL&vs2=ALL

Love the stretch he's on, and will keep riding the hot hand, but he could probably safely settle into a PH/platoon DH/backup 1B type role in the not too distant future, if we wanted to fit Arcia and Willingham back in.

#30 DocBauer

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:48 AM

I think the better question is when do we consider moving Hicks back to the lead off role and moving Dozier to the #2 spot in front of Mauer. And the answer to that question is when he hits better and gets on base more often. He's just not ready yet. I don't understand why you'd want Hicks to be a #2 guy between Dozier and Mauer. Ideally, I think it makes more sense to have the line up: Hicks, Dozier, then Mauer.

Well if you are talking long-term, Willingham might not even be a Twin next season (or for the rest of this season for that matter), so he's probably not the guy. This is a tough question for me to answer because you have a group of guys who can hit the ball hard (e.g. Willingham, Plouffe, Kubel, Arcia, Colabello, Pinto etc..), but it's hard to say who's going to go out and take that spot long term. It could very well be a player who isn't currently on the roster.

As far as the line up producing, I think that is directly attributed to more quality at bats due to good coaching and the players working hard on their craft.


I agree with you on Hicks at 1, and where I hope he ends up. But he's not hitting well enough yet, obviously. Yet, his OB and much better approach clearly shows he's moved on from where he was last year. My thought on him hitting 2, eventually anyway, was to be protected by Dozier and Mauer. Possibly see a few more fastballs as well.

And as to cleanup, I also agree that the right guy probably isn't on the roster right now. Whether we make a move yet this year or next off season remains to be seen.