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Giving credit to LEN3 for calling Twins to account on CF situation

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#1 jokin

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 05:08 AM

Len3 doing a little Common Man riff on the Twins mishandling of the CF situation after last night (and note that Len3 also apparently never could get the Presley/Pressly spelling distinction straight, as well) http://www.startribu...257619621.html:

(After he crashed into the wall in the 7th inning,) [COLOR=#333333][FONT=Arial]H(icks) was down for a few minutes but remained in the game for the rest of the inning but was lifted for a pinch hitter after that and took some concussion tests. He's going to take [/FONT][/COLOR]morePosted Image[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Arial] on Friday. If Hicks needs to go on the DL, the Twins are in a jam because I don't think they will be comfortable with Sam Fuld as the everyday outfielder. They would have to call up Darin Mastro.......oh wait, he's gone. Well, they could call up Alex Press.....oh, he's no longer around too.

So,,,,Who would the call up? Or would they just add a reliever for a few days until the bullpen gets rest and then add an outfielder? They don't want to call up Oswaldo Arcia back from his rehab because, Gardy said, they have had a bad history with calling players early from rehab stints, The only player on the 40-man who can play center is Kenny Wilson, whom they recently claimed off waivers and sent to New Britain.[/FONT][/COLOR]


Much like the fabled (and dreaded) Clete Thomas Era of a year ago, could the Days of Kenny soon be upon us? I love Sam Fuld, but as a 4th OF, only. It's an "I told you so" for those of us giving out the warnings, ad infinitum, to be sure.....but this is yet another self-inflicted wound that you would have thought the Twins would have learned their lesson from just one year ago. (Jermaine Mitchell, we hardly knew ye....)

Edited by jokin, 02 May 2014 - 05:27 AM.


#2 Sconnie

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 05:29 AM

The bullpen situation is similar, they should have stuck a fork in Pelfrey before this start. He's way over-done. We saw both CF and SP situations over the past several years. The FO took a stab at SP, but didn't really bother with CF. Fuld seems like an after thought.

#3 mini_tb

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:21 AM

Perhaps they can coax Bartlett out of retirement?

#4 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:31 AM

They either had to address the CF situation in a meaningful way or it doesn't really matter. Sam Fuld or Alex Presley or Darin Mastroianni, none of them are particularly good choices and none of them are significantly better than the others.

Alex Presley is currently rocking a Hicks-esque 70 OPS+ for Houston. Mastroianni isn't the same player he was before the injury. Sam Fuld, eh, whatever. He has played well thus far but I don't expect that to continue.

#5 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:37 AM

Juan Pierre, Andres Torres, and 26 year old Derrick Robinson could possibly be signed as free agents - but those are all Clete Thomas-level signings. There's a reason they aren't already on a 40-Man roster.
Maybe there's an international free agent or someone from the independent leagues that could use a look. . .
As far as I can tell, Cuban defector Rusney Castillo is still a free agent
http://hardballtalk....stillo-defects/

This is all assuming that Hicks needs to go on the DL...

#6 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:38 AM

Haha, there's another story in that article besides Center Field. I wanted to make a joke in the game thread last night about how soon we would hear the Twins whine about their bullpen needing rest. After the entire team just had three days off. Great reporting LENIII looks like it's already happening!

#7 TheLeviathan

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:43 AM

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Hicks is just not very good in the field. He took a tough, but very doable catch for a professional centerfielder, and turned it into something he wanted put on a Wheaties box. That catch could've been made without a jump and with only a minimal wall crash at the end, but because he can't follow the flight of the ball without his eyes on it....he made it look impossible.

I had high hopes for Hicks but it's hard to keep myself optimistic about him with every passing day.

#8 jokin

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:43 AM

They either had to address the CF situation in a meaningful way or it doesn't really matter. Sam Fuld or Alex Presley or Darin Mastroianni, none of them are particularly good choices and none of them are significantly better than the others.

Alex Presley is currently rocking a Hicks-esque 70 OPS+ for Houston. Mastroianni isn't the same player he was before the injury. Sam Fuld, eh, whatever. He has played well thus far but I don't expect that to continue.


There were inexpensive offseason ML acquisition options-as we've well-documented on TD- at little cost to acquire and then pay for their services. The Twins failed to even consider that- given what a disaster CF turned out to be in 2013- that in 2014 a combination of Hicks (or Presley?)/Bartlett was the solution.

#9 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:48 AM

There were inexpensive offseason ML acquisition options-as we've well-documented on TD- at little cost to acquire and then pay. The Twins failed to even consider that- what a disaster CF turned out to be in 2013, and that in 2014 a combination of Hicks (or Presley?)/Bartlett was the solution.


I agree that the Bartlett move was dumb but given how willing the Twins were to cast off Presley, it makes me wonder if there wasn't a personality conflict there... Nothing else makes sense. He was "Hicks insurance" going into Spring Training and by the end of March, they placed him on waivers. It doesn't make sense from an outside perspective and makes me wonder if there isn't more to the story.

Either way, I question whether it really matters. Presley is playing badly, Mastro isn't the same guy anymore after the leg injury, and Fuld is playing over his head. Yeah, it'd be nice if they had actually gone out and "fixed" the problem but I think they expected Presley to be that fix and something went wrong there between March 1st and March 30th.

#10 mike wants wins

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:48 AM

the continued mishandling of CF and SS....well, I don't know how people keep defending this FO. Wasn't Hicks supposed to be these great fielder, who only had to hit a little? And really, the bullpen is tired? Maybe Tonkin could throw more than 5 pitches an outing?
Lighten up Francis....

#11 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:51 AM

the continued mishandling of CF and SS....well, I don't know how people keep defending this FO.


Maybe because they do as many things right as they do wrong? It's not nearly as one-sided as some make it seem on either end of the spectrum.

#12 Sconnie

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:51 AM

Haha, there's another story in that article besides Center Field. I wanted to make a joke in the game thread last night about how soon we would hear the Twins whine about their bullpen needing rest. After the entire team just had three days off. Great reporting LENIII looks like it's already happening!

Is the brain trust really going to admit defeat and DFA or release Pelfrey?

#13 mike wants wins

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:52 AM

90+ losses three years in a row.....so far. What, exactly, looks like it was fixed over the winter for more than 1 year?
Lighten up Francis....

#14 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:53 AM

Is the brain trust really going to admit defeat and DFA or release Pelfrey?


I think that's a mistake and unnecessary. Find out why he's throwing fastballs at 89mph before you throw him in the ditch. There's no reason to cast him off on May 2nd. He shouldn't be anywhere near the rotation (or even the active roster, IMO) but there's no real point in throwing him away, either.

#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:54 AM

90+ losses three years in a row.....so far. What, exactly, looks like it was fixed over the winter for more than 1 year?


Phil Hughes looks pretty good. Dozier is tearing it up again. Plouffe looks to have turned the corner.

#16 jokin

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:54 AM

Juan Pierre, Andres Torres, and 26 year old Derrick Robinson could possibly be signed as free agents - but those are all Clete Thomas-level signings. There's a reason they aren't already on a 40-Man roster.
Maybe there's an international free agent or someone from the independent leagues that could use a look. . .
As far as I can tell, Cuban defector Rusney Castillo is still a free agent
http://hardballtalk....stillo-defects/

This is all assuming that Hicks needs to go on the DL...


And maybe even if he doesn't.....as Levi said, last night's misadventure in CF was just his latest folly.

#17 cmathewson

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:56 AM

They either had to address the CF situation in a meaningful way or it doesn't really matter. Sam Fuld or Alex Presley or Darin Mastroianni, none of them are particularly good choices and none of them are significantly better than the others.

Alex Presley is currently rocking a Hicks-esque 70 OPS+ for Houston. Mastroianni isn't the same player he was before the injury. Sam Fuld, eh, whatever. He has played well thus far but I don't expect that to continue.


The plan was to give Hicks a chance and then Buxton. Everyone else was depth, and better depth going into spring training than we had last year.

The Bartlett situation screwed that all up. First they inexplicably kept him instead of Presley. Neither had good springs, but Bartlett was horrendous. Also, there's the little fact that Bartlett had never played center field in his professional career, and Presley had played like 2000 professional games at the position. When pressed, Gardy said, "I don't need a backup center fielder.' Last night was the best example of why you do. Center fielders crash into walls.

Then they lost Mastro, which was totally avoidable because he had options and Bartlett was quitting. All they had to do was DFA Bartlett until his retirement papers came in (and pay the $500K). Instead they DFAd Mastro to save a little dough. One untold story about that is that Bartlett told the Twins he wanted to retire 10 days before his retirement became official. Why did it take so long? Well the league office is slow, but also Antony asked him to sleep on it for a few days before making it official. If Antony had filed the retirement papers when Bartlett announced his retirement to the team, they would have been filed in plenty of time to claim Fuld and option Mastro. Instead we're left with Wilson, who is barely a AA player.

They are extremely lucky they were awarded Fuld in a waiver claim. According to sources, they only made the claim in the 11th hour. Berardino said they (Antony) were nonplussed when he brought up Fuld's name. They weren't going to claim him. For some reason they changed their minds. And good thing they did because they'd by up schlitz creek without a paddle if they hadn't. I suppose they'd still have Mastro. And no one else above A ball.

Antony has shown repeatedly that he is not ready for this job. He's made really basic mistakes throughout his brief tenure as acting GM. I shudder to think of him at the helm longer term. I can't wait for Ryan to get back and restore order to the FO.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#18 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:57 AM

And maybe even if he doesn't.....as Levi said, last night's misadventure in CF was just his latest folly.


We're calling that play a "folly"? Really?

#19 cmathewson

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 06:57 AM

And maybe even if he doesn't.....as Levi said, last night's misadventure in CF was just his latest folly.


That was a very tough play. Very few CFs even get leather on that ball. I give him credit for going all out after it. Don't add insult to injury.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#20 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:04 AM

Rusney Castillo is probably not available to sign at the moment anyway, and even if he was, from the sound of things his services will be very costly.
Since the Twins are just keeping the seat warm for Buxton (in theory), my guess is that they will not make any attempt to sign the best CF (Castillo) that's out there right now.
Any rumors of potential trade candidates from other teams are probably also out of the question.
It's more likely that the Twins will just wait for someone to be DFA'd or otherwise placed on waivers and replace Kenny Wilson with that guy and the carousel will continue to spin with players that are not quite filling the need.

I remember not that long ago when the team had "too many" CF. . .

#21 CRArko

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:35 AM

So the general consensus is 12-150? That might earn a number one pick.
Crazy... I mean like, so many positive waves... maybe we can't lose, you're on!

#22 jokin

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:41 AM

Maybe because they do as many things right as they do wrong? It's not nearly as one-sided as some make it seem on either end of the spectrum.


Maybe.....but tied in with the CF/SS situation is the fact that their isn't one legitimate leadoff man on the 40-man roster. This situation of the last 2 years, in totality, borders on malfeasance.

#23 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:44 AM

Maybe.....but tied in with the CF/SS situation is the fact that their isn't one legitimate leadoff man on the 40-man roster. This situation of the last 2 years, in totality, borders on malfeasance.


I whole-heartedly agree about shortstop. I was all in favor of picking up someone who could play an MLB shortstop.

Centerfield is a little more difficult. With Buxton on the way and the need to find out what they have in Hicks, going after an established centerfielder just didn't make a lot of sense, not to mention that established centerfielders would shy away from wanting to sign with the Twins for those very reasons.

#24 stringer bell

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:46 AM

The biggest folly is overestimating Aaron Hicks IMHO. He has tools, no doubt, but he's just not shown he can hit major league pitching. The Twins have put the stamp of "full-time CF" on him two straight springs and so far, it hasn't panned out. There should be a legitimate back-up plan for Hicks, not only in the event of injury, but also for ineffectiveness. The secondary problem is not enough depth in the high minors. The Red Wings are using an infielder in center and Kenny Wilson is in New Britain and quite a ways from being a major league ballplayer.

#25 Linus

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:48 AM

Sticking to the title of the thread.....I'm giving LEN3 no credit. In all the years he has covered the Twins, the only thing I've learned from his work is where good restaurants are in Ft. Myers. Anybody even mildly paying attention knew the Twins were one injury away from another centerfield mess. Now that it has happened, he is stating the obvious. Thanks goodness for Twins Daily - you get more meaningful thought and info here in a week than you do from the LEN3 in a year.

#26 nicksaviking

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:10 AM

Maybe because they do as many things right as they do wrong? It's not nearly as one-sided as some make it seem on either end of the spectrum.


A .500 winning percentage isn't going to win anyone a World Series. I expect a better than 50/50 split between positive moves and utter FUBAR.

#27 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:14 AM

A .500 winning percentage isn't going to win anyone a World Series. I expect a better than 50/50 split between positive moves and utter FUBAR.


It's only a 50/50 split if you ignore all the things they're doing in the minors. The Twins have one of the best minor league systems right now, their rotation at Rochester is looking really good, and they've stumbled a bit with their position players lately through injury and/or suspension but it's hard to fault the front office for that.

It's tough to watch the MLB team but there are bright spots there as well. Pinto, Plouffe, Dozier, Mauer, Hughes, the bullpen... All strong points for the team going forward.

#28 sorney

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:15 AM

So the general consensus is 12-150? That might earn a number one pick.


Love it!! If you're going to suck, suck big time!! Go all Astros on it.

#29 TheLeviathan

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:26 AM

We're calling that play a "folly"? Really?


Folly might be strong, but Hicks made that play difficult. Was it a tough catch? Sure. Was it "I'm going to try and be spiderman and throw myself at the wall" tough?

God no. And it only looked that tough because, once again, Hicks is unable to read the flight path of fly balls without staring at it the whole way. Good outfielders don't do that, you often see them take their eye off and run to a spot (I seem to recall Hunter talking about doing exactly that back in the day) and then pick it up when they get closer to where it's going to land.

I'm sorry the kid got hurt, but he got hurt because he's not all that good out there and he keeps showing that over and over again.

#30 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:30 AM

Folly might be strong, but Hicks made that play difficult. Was it a tough catch? Sure. Was it "I'm going to try and be spiderman and throw myself at the wall" tough?

God no. And it only looked that tough because, once again, Hicks is unable to read the flight path of fly balls without staring at it the whole way. Good outfielders don't do that, you often see them take their eye off and run to a spot (I seem to recall Hunter talking about doing exactly that back in the day) and then pick it up when they get closer to where it's going to land.

I'm sorry the kid got hurt, but he got hurt because he's not all that good out there and he keeps showing that over and over again.


I really think you're underselling how difficult that play was to finish. Hicks wasn't running full speed but he was moving at a good clip and got leather on the ball.