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Jason Bartlett to retire

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#31 Marta Shearing

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 08:37 AM

I wouldn't lose any sleep over losing a player as awful as Presley.

#32 Marta Shearing

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 08:44 AM

I think they have an OK plan for CF. Hicks backed up by Mastro. Hicks will start to hit precisely when he quits switch hitting.

#33 jmlease1

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 08:53 AM

Managers like mature responsible players on the roster sometimes because they think they cans set an example for some of the younger guys. Bartlett probably hoped he had enough in the tank (and had a healthy enough body) that he could fill that role and contribute a little. So did Gardy. Both were wrong. Bartlett was mature & responsible enough to recognize that and save everyone ( and particularly his own body) more pain.

(I'm wondering if the next guy with that realization will be Willingham).

I'm not going to beat them up too much for Presley over this. First, it isn't clear he would have made the team if not for Bartlett. It seems to me like Colabello is as much to blame for that, and that has worked out pretty well. Second, the penalty for hat decision is losing Alex Presley, which isn't much of a penalty. It reminds me of getting worked up about losing Joe Benson, who is 26 and hitting .230 in AA right now. Sometimes guys just aren't who we want them to be.

(If we want to go after the Twins regarding Presley, it seems to me that a better place to go after them would be why they traded for him in the first place. What did he show them in a month of playing that the scouts couldn't figure out before that?)

But the bottom line is that centerfield is a mess. I couldn't figure out why they were chasing Rajai Davis this winter, but that's pretty clear right now. Mastroianni is slow, Presley is gone and Hicks can't hit fastballs from the left side (and just had his veteran mentor retire). I'm no huge Sam Fuld fan, but he would make a ton of sense on this team right now.


Willingham might go after this season if he keeps getting hurt, but I doubt he'll retire in the middle of this season. He looks like he still has something left in the tank, the question is whether or not he can stay on the field long enough to use it. Bartlett looked like a complete mess in every aspect of the game and hadn't played in a season and a half. While I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision for Jason, it's not like he didn't know this was a possibility. Willingham still might have life left as a RH DH in the AL after this season.

CF is a mess right now, but the frustrating thing is how much of it is self-inflicted. Hicks was rushed up before he was ready after Span & Revere were dealt to replenish the farm system's pitching and it left the team with limited options. Buxton isn't ready yet, and the rest of the farm system are guys who are AAAA-type players. Nothing was done in the offseason as they wasting time and a roster space screwing around with Bartlett, who never should have been an option. That's just not good.

The Bartlett experiment also cost the team some games from Josmil Pinto, as Gardy wasn't willing to DH him until Bartlett went down with the injury. That cost the team his services for 3-4 games (it's possible he would have gotten a rest day) and it's been clear from Day 1 that this team needs his bat.

So the Bartlett experiment, which had little chance of succeeding, screwed up the lineup and the roster. None of it's irreversible or will cause much long-term damage, but it was still a bad choice filled with questionable decision-making.

#34 TheLeviathan

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 08:54 AM

I wouldn't lose any sleep over losing a player as awful as Presley.


No but as John mentioned - they did acquire him in a trade, which means at some point they thought he wasn't awful. At some stage in this process the Twins goofed. (Or many stages one could argue)

#35 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 08:56 AM

I wouldn't lose any sleep over losing a player as awful as Presley.

I think they have an OK plan for CF. Hicks backed up by Mastro. Hicks will start to hit precisely when he quits switch hitting.


Of those three, Presley has the highest career WAR. If Presley is "awful" what does that make Hicks and Mastro?

#36 jokin

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:13 AM

Managers like mature responsible players on the roster sometimes because they think they cans set an example for some of the younger guys. Bartlett probably hoped he had enough in the tank (and had a healthy enough body) that he could fill that role and contribute a little. So did Gardy. Both were wrong. Bartlett was mature & responsible enough to recognize that and save everyone ( and particularly his own body) more pain.

(I'm wondering if the next guy with that realization will be Willingham).

I'm not going to beat them up too much for Presley over this. First, it isn't clear he would have made the team if not for Bartlett. It seems to me like Colabello is as much to blame for that, and that has worked out pretty well. Second, the penalty for hat decision is losing Alex Presley, which isn't much of a penalty. It reminds me of getting worked up about losing Joe Benson, who is 26 and hitting .230 in AA right now. Sometimes guys just aren't who we want them to be.

(If we want to go after the Twins regarding Presley, it seems to me that a better place to go after them would be why they traded for him in the first place. What did he show them in a month of playing that the scouts couldn't figure out before that?)

But the bottom line is that centerfield is a mess. I couldn't figure out why they were chasing Rajai Davis this winter, but that's pretty clear right now. Mastroianni is slow, Presley is gone and Hicks can't hit fastballs from the left side (and just had his veteran mentor retire). I'm no huge Sam Fuld fan, but he would make a ton of sense on this team right now.


Thanks for pointing out important details regarding CF that have frequently been either brushed aside or not covered in detail.

1) The Twins have admitted strongly pursuing Davis, indicating that they had no faith in handing Hicks the job- practically solo w/ Bartlett as a mentor.

2) The second point is Mastro has never regained the speed he displayed in 2012, without which, he has very little to offer to a major league team.

3) Third, Ryan's gushing over Presley after his acquisition last September 1st has certainly proved to have meant as much as was his short-term love affair with the other Pirate castoff, Eric Fryer.

4) It was absolutely insane that someone thought that Bartlett was a legitimate option as the CF backup.

5) Given points 1-4, it's inexplicable that the Twins didn't go harder at attempting to acquire Bonifacio and/or sign Sizemore.

6) Fuld absolutely makes sense as a stopgap, now more than ever. Hicks has shown slightly better than last year, but he still looks prone to a necessary move needing to be made from either a continued prolonged slump or injury- leaving the club without a legit CF starting option.

#37 Danchat

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:18 AM

@Riverbrian

You've made a great point. We should have taken Bonifacio as our super-utility man. I was really hoping we'd sign him back when he was available, and he should could have helped this team.

#38 Halsey Hall

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:24 AM

I say Congratulations to Jason Bartlett. I hope he is happy with this decision and at peace with it. My guess is that he didn't come to this decision by himself. He had a solid career, and hopefully he is able to enjoy the rest of his life with his wife and kids.


My sentiments also.

And I had no qualms about Bartlett and Kubel getting the jobs, like so many seem to have now. This team wasn't going anywhere this year anyway, so why not try. And it seems to be working out, as Kubel has done better than anyone expected. The Twins hit .500 on this one, that's pretty darn good. Bart gave it a shot, and now he won't have to wonder for life what if.... He wants to coach anyway and perhaps has some feelers with interest in that direction. He's had a nice career, made 16 million, and was an important part of the Twins for a time. Good luck to him.

#39 TKGuy

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:29 AM

Good move by Jason. He was a great contributor for the Twins. Maybe he can teach Santana and Polanco. That last game in the OF made him come to the realization that it wasn't going to work

#40 nicksaviking

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:30 AM

I wouldn't lose any sleep over losing a player as awful as Presley.


I agree, I didn't care much for Presley, but then that just goes to show that it was a terrible trade in the first place. Either the trade, or the DFA was a mistake. I'd like to hear an honest evaluation from the front office on the matter. I'd vote both I guess, but hopefully this team learns to stop trading one guy who requires a 40 man roster spot and take back two who will struggle to make it.

One thing I wonder though, how out of commission has Ryan been while dealing with his cancer? Did he make the 25-man roster? Or did he leave that up to Anthony/Gardenhire as he didn't get to evaluate much of spring training?

#41 Jdosen

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:32 AM

I wish Jason well as he rides off into the sunset, so to speak. He was one of my favorite players (aside from the obvious Mauer, Morneau, Santana, Liriano) on the 2006 Twins which was one of the first teams I really fell in love with. I felt that was our best roster of the Gardy era by far, and the team really didn't take off until Bartlett and Punto supplanted Juan Castro and Tony Batista at SS and 3B, respectively. Never felt he got much of an opportunity here the first go-round, and it now looks like the deal that shipped him out of town was one of the worst in franchise history.
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#42 stringer bell

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:35 AM

I forgot about the 40-man roster spot. Claim Fuld?

#43 jokin

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:35 AM

This a hundred times. Maybe Nunez can be that guy? In today's baseball of 13 pitchers you can see why teams are looking for guys like this. I wouldn't doubt that the twins told Bart that Nunez was going to be their guy.


One problem....Nunez has never played CF, in the majors or minors. And there's simply no reason to carry 13 pitchers. They have plenty of RPs- SIX!- in Rochester with options- along with Tonkin, Thielbar and Fien. They could just shuttle the group of RPs with remaining options back and forth representing the #12 pitching spot on the Twins, as needed.

Edited by jokin, 19 April 2014 - 09:38 AM.


#44 jokin

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:37 AM

I forgot about the 40-man roster spot. Claim Fuld?


Do they want that spot for Guerrier? Is that what's holding them back? Or is it having to trade a prospect due to a higher-ranked waiver claimant on Fuld?

#45 jokin

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:43 AM

I think they have an OK plan for CF. Hicks backed up by Mastro. Hicks will start to hit precisely when he quits switch hitting.


It might be an "OK plan for CF", except......your 3rd sentence doesn't appear to be part of the OK plan.

#46 LaBombo

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 10:11 AM

.146/.163/.293

Alex Presley's slash line in 11 games with Houston so far. Not sure whether there is anything decent about that.


That's two weeks vs. the two years Presley put up a greater than zero WAR. Two more than Hicks. Two years >>>>>>> two weeks.

Nobody is suggesting Presley should have been the starter, or that the Twins should give up on Hicks.

But last season should have disabused the Twins of the notion that Hicks was a can't-miss major leaguer. They watched him struggle for three months, demoted him, traded for Presley then dumped him, and entered the season with a 34 year old infielder who had not successfully played baseball since 2011 as the backup CF.

Any front office can make a mistake, but this wasn't just a mistake, and it wasn't some sort of perfect storm of fluke injuries or unforeseeable decline. It was a flawed process of identifying need, evaluating talent and risk, and asking some stone-simple 'what if' contingency questions.

And until the Twins either re-think that process or find more qualified people to execute it, they're in danger of winding up with their organizational pants around their ankles again.

#47 Marta Shearing

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 10:35 AM

Of those three, Presley has the highest career WAR. If Presley is "awful" what does that make Hicks and Mastro?

Hicks is going to be a great player.......once this switch hitting madness ends.

#48 strumdatjag

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 10:37 AM

Look at it this way:" Of the retreads, Bartlett is gone fast, Guerrier has an outside chance of making some contribution at some point this season, and Kubel is contributing in the field and especially at the plate. And the Twins made a minimal investment. I'd say that it has worked out well so far. Say "NO" to Sam Fuld. Let's see who is doing well in the minors and give a chance to that guy who proves his worth, rather than someone who did not prove his worth to another team.

#49 jokin

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 10:37 AM

That's two weeks vs. the two years Presley put up a greater than zero WAR. Two more than Hicks. Two years >>>>>>> two weeks.

Nobody is suggesting Presley should have been the starter, or that the Twins should give up on Hicks.

But last season should have disabused the Twins of the notion that Hicks was a can't-miss major leaguer. They watched him struggle for three months, demoted him, traded for Presley then dumped him, and entered the season with a 34 year old infielder who had not successfully played baseball since 2011 as the backup CF.

Any front office can make a mistake, but this wasn't just a mistake, and it wasn't some sort of perfect storm of fluke injuries or unforeseeable decline. It was a flawed process of identifying need, evaluating talent and risk, and asking some stone-simple 'what if' contingency questions.

And until the Twins either re-think that process or find more qualified people to execute it, they're in danger of winding up with their organizational pants around their ankles again.


The admission that they pursued Rajai Davis is telling. Well that, and their off-season love affair with Presley, only to unceremoniously dump him when he failed to perform well in Spring Training and also because they apparently had promised Bartlett a gig of some kind, no matter how he performed in Spring Training.

You are correct, this wasn't a "mistake" and IMO, it involves more than just re-thinking the process. It appears that the FO once again got involved in roster construction as in the Nishi affair, only this time, bring back some familiar names that the fans are familiar with and whom Gardy harbors no ill will against. Pohlad said he was embarrassed at what went down in 2013 and green-lighted the financial impetus to make requisite changes. The Bartlett swan song as Team Chemist, capped off with the Left Field debacle, was just one more embarrassment, ala 2013- and a huge unforced error on the part of Twins management.

Edited by jokin, 19 April 2014 - 02:10 PM.


#50 jokin

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 10:39 AM

Look at it this way:" Of the retreads, Bartlett is gone fast, Guerrier has an outside chance of making some contribution at some point this season, and Kubel is contributing in the field and especially at the plate. And the Twins made a minimal investment. I'd say that it has worked out well so far. Say "NO" to Sam Fuld. Let's see who is doing well in the minors and give a chance to that guy who proves his worth, rather than someone who did not prove his worth to another team.


I'd be interested in who you think can play a major league CF in the Twins system. Buxton is not coming up any time soon, unfortunately.

#51 Marta Shearing

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 10:43 AM

It might be an "OK plan for CF", except......your 3rd sentence doesn't appear to be part of the OK plan.

Watching him hit lefthanded is painful. It has set his career back. I dont understand what they are thinking.

#52 jokin

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:00 AM

Watching him hit lefthanded is painful. It has set his career back. I dont understand what they are thinking.


It's always baffling when something so obvious is not in some way better addressed.

Given that they didn't call him up in September, his refusal to play winter ball, and their pursuit of Rajai Davis, I honestly don't think they care enough about him to make him give up switch hitting. IMO, they would have been just as happy to open the season with Alex Presley- before his horrible spring. Davis signed for 2yrs./$10M with the Tigers, the Twins probably offered him $7-9M over a similar contract length- and failing at their attempt at getting him, it appears they didn't really care who ended up playing the position.

#53 CRArko

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 12:47 PM

Bartlett has expressed an interest in returning to the organization as a coach. Nothing open right now, but I think (and actually hope) they find a spot for him later on.

His problems seemed to be more physical than anything else.

#54 jokin

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 02:13 PM

Bartlett has expressed an interest in returning to the organization as a coach. Nothing open right now, but I think (and actually hope) they find a spot for him later on.

His problems seemed to be more physical than anything else.


Would love to see Bartlett join the organization in that capacity.

#55 Thrylos

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 03:08 PM

Bartlett has expressed an interest in returning to the organization as a coach. Nothing open right now, but I think (and actually hope) they find a spot for him later on.

His problems seemed to be more physical than anything else.



Bartlett and his family live permanently at Fort Myers, so a ST/EST/GCL/instructional league opportunity will be tailor made for him.
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#56 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 06:44 PM

I half-predicted his retirement on another thread as I didn't really see another way out of this mess. I don't blame Bartlett but this whole episode smelled like shenanigans at every step. But like Danchat and others said it really amounts to very little.

There's some weird belief in this organization right now that outfield requires no special skill and anyone can play it. I base this statement on personnel decisions being made, most recently this spring training. After today, do people still agree with this idea?

It would have been nicer if Bartlett could have gotten a start at shortstop on his way out instead of outfield.

#57 goulik

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 08:23 AM

On behalf of Twins fans across Twins Territory, I would like to thank Mr. Bartlett for playing for our team and being a part of our entertainment. Good luck and may God bless you as you move forward to the next career.