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Article: Twins Need to Focus on Future, Not Old Favorites

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:58 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...t-Old-Favorites

#2 deanlambrecht

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:24 PM

Bingo.

#3 jokin

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:44 PM

I have a hard time wrapping my head around what the vision is here???


Maybe because, in a stale, insulated bureaucracy, these are days of future passed, where old habits, like "old favorites", die hard?

But seriously, the braintrust had an offseason meeting led by the head marketing guy (St Peter?)....whose "big, bold and bright vision" for generating fan interest in 2014 was trying to help the fans forget 2011, 12 and 13 by bringing back names from the when the team was last a winner....Garza, Santana, Kubel, Bartlett, Guerrier.

#4 dwintheiser

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:48 PM

Reminds me of the late 90s after Puckett's surprise retirement - the Twins brought in guys like Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield, and Terry Steinbach, not because they'd help the team win, but because nostalgia-intoxicated diehards would keep watching and buying tickets. At least those fans were rewarded with milestones.

if actions speak louder than words, then the front office knows the club isn't close to contending; they're just hoping that, by bringing back guys from the 'glory days', they'll keep convincing FOX Sports to keep the local broadcast contract fat until they can ride out the storm.

#5 Since71

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 04:28 AM

Amen!

#6 Jeff A

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 04:58 AM

I've been hoping that this would be a rerun of the late 90s: get by with marginal vets until the young guys are ready. I'm just not sure I see it happening. As Nick points out, dumping Raley for Guerrier is not a move you make if you're trying to stockpile young talent. Trading Sulbaran for Nunez is not a move you make if you're trying to stockpile young talent. At this point, I agree with Nick. I don't know what the plan is, or even if there is one.

#7 twinstalker

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 05:14 AM

Good piece, Nick, well said. Twins mgmt on and off field is clownish. That's my take, but people need "foot in the door" articles, I suppose, more than my "door in the face" comments. But somehow Twins fans need to see just how poor the decision-making is at Target Field.

I want to disagree with one word you use, and while it might sound nitpicky, I personally think it's a big deal. You say about Kubel/Parmelee: In fairness, that move didn't work out too badly, as Parmelee slipped through waivers. I want to point out that "in fairness" this is the sentence that doesn't fit. Fairness is not the same as hindsight, and in fact it may just be the opposite.

Ryan/Antony did not know or probably believe that Parmelee would make it through waivers, and Parmelee was probably a miss by more than a few teams. Judging actions in hindsight is, hopefully obviously, flawed and leads to more and expanded poor decision-making.

In fairness the article you write is right on. In hindsight the Twins got lucky with Parmelee.*

*This commenter believes Parmelee is likely never a big enough deal to warrant (in hindsight) this strong of reaction, but at this point, there's still a chance he could be an important part of this team 2-3 years from now...when it matters. Not so for Kubel, whose 2014 numbers thus far are rather mediocre, btw.

#8 troyhobbs

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 05:19 AM

All you can do as a fan is avoid Target Field until the pohlads figure out it's time to clean house.

#9 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 05:20 AM

https://encrypted-tb...Zug07uR6jbRWkcg

#10 TheLeviathan

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:05 AM

After all these boondoggles can we retire the completely erroneous myth/meme around here that "the 25th spot is irrelevant"? That's something people have been using as a blanket to defend obnoxious roster moves for years now.

Nick is right on.....EVERY spot counts and should never be tossed aside on a whim. When you practice that kind of nonsense you deserve this kind of karma. (As RB rightly observed)

#11 PopRiveter

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:13 AM

I believe they brought in some veterans who they could trust to set a good example, take some pressure off the kids, and lead the clubhouse.
A lot was made about this team lacking fire. The veterans set the tone. They picked up a handful of guys they trust (makeupwise) knowing that a few would stick and a few would not.
It is in the young players best interests to graduate the minors into a functional mlb clubhouse with some veteran leadership.
If you drop a replacement player to take a shot at one of these guys, that's no big loss. They can pick up another Raley or Mastro 20 times each season.

#12 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:27 AM

The Twins are recreating the Equitable Old Timers Games by roster moves. "Those were the days my friends, we thought they'd never end."

#13 big dog

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:31 AM

I agree about the importance of the roster spots, and I don't understand this interest in promoting Guerrier. I'm pretty ambivalent about Raley. Twins Daily as a whole seemed to shrug their shoulders at best, and hoot at worst, when he was handed a spot on the 40-man, and he hasn't done anything to change my mind. I wonder how much leash Kubel has left.

#14 twinscowboysbulls

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:43 AM

I like your stuff Nick, but this is probably the most spot on thing you have ever written. Checkmate, Twins FO.

#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:44 AM

Great article, Nick. In my opinion, this doesn't even boil down to the 25th roster spot. The Bartlett decision was dumb but it wasn't irreversible. Alex Presley has been Aaron Hicks this year. The two players are interchangeable, as evidenced by their 64 and 66 OPS+.

What corks me the most about this entire situation is that the Twins had a bad roster situation and when faced with this adversity, they made the most incomprehensible move imaginable: they swapped relief pitchers. They bungled not only the 25th roster spot but the 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th roster spots. That will kill a team. They had better options in the minors, they simply sat on their hands instead of doing something about it. To add insult to injury, they (again) showed favor to an aging veteran instead of going with the perfectly good option they already had on the roster or one of the (probably better) young options they had waiting in the minors.

They had the ability to patch together a semi-competent offense and duct tape together an outfield for one game (a game which they lost because their pitchers gave up nine runs, not because of defensive or offensive shortcomings). They didn't do it and they deserve a lot of flak for the decision.

#16 mike wants wins

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:05 AM

For a team that talks about building from within....I have no idea what the plan is based on this year. Pelfrey over Deduno/Meyer/May/Darnell....Bartlett over anyone.....Guryere over any number of fine RP.....Doumit last year over other options......Pinto is barely catching.....the list is not short. None of this makes sense in the context of a rebuilding team.

#17 cmathewson

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:10 AM

I disagree, Brock. The Bartlett decision was dumb and it led to serious problems with the roster in the outfield. Suppose you keep Presley instead. You actually have a real outfielder next to Hicks for the first two months, instead of a DH and a first baseman. And when Hicks got hurt, you would have had depth in Mastro. instead, they let Mastro go to make room for Fuld, which did nothing to improve their depth. At one point, Fuld and Hicks were the only guys who could play center field above Low A ball. That says a lot about how stupid it is to carelessly discard center fielders because of some insane fantasy that Jason Bartlett is another Ben Zobrist. And so now we have a roster with zero center fielders and no real outfielders. Injuries made everything bad. But the Bartlett blunder turned it into a crisis.

Edited by cmathewson, 09 May 2014 - 07:31 AM.


#18 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:21 AM

I disagree, Brock. The Bartlett decision was dumb and it led to serious problems with the roster in the outfield. Suppose you keep Presley instead. You actually have a real outfielder next to Hicks for the first two months, instead of a DH and a first baseman. And when Hicks got hurt, you would have had depth in mastro. instead, they let Mastro go to make room for Fuld, which did nothing to improve their depth. At one point, Fuld and Hicks were the only guys who could play center field above Low A ball. That says a lot about how stupid it is to carelessly discard center fielders because of some insane fantasy that Jason Bartlett is another Ben Zobrist. And so now we have a roster with zero center fielders and no real outfielders. Injuries made everything bad. But the Bartlett blunder turned it into a crisis.


We agree that the Bartlett decision was dumb but I don't feel the loss of Presley was crippling, as evidenced by the acquisition of Fuld in his place, a guy who has been much better than Presley this season.

And we can't have it both ways. This article is criticizing the Twins for going with aging veterans instead of prospects, a valid criticism given the Guerrier move.

But it's pretty tough to criticize the Mastro release when the Twins used that spot to pick up Kenny Wilson, a 24 year old centerfielder. They released Mastro, a guy who has lost a step and never looks to be a legitimate MLB player again, and acquired a young guy with marginal upside.

Isn't that the type of move we generally applaud?

The Twins lost four outfielders in a matter of four weeks. Any team is going to suffer under those circumstances. The real blunder in my mind is not attempting to fix this situation (which, again, was only for one game) by calling up some, you know, outfielders to patch together a roster for 1-2 games while Hicks gets ready to return.

As of today, the Twins now have a centerfielder on the roster again. In my eyes, the problem wasn't that they were missing a centerfielder for a single game, the problem is that they didn't do anything about it while the minor league team was just 140 miles away.

Call up Parmelee and maybe Arcia yesterday and this situation is still ugly but it's not catastrophic. At that point, the team has multiple (bad) options in the outfield for a single game and all you lose is roster chaff like Florimon and Herrmann in the process.

#19 mike wants wins

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:26 AM

The problem is that the AA and AAA have no hitters on the roster that can play OF. None.* How is that possible, this far into a rebuild? I am all over having more elite players, and less depth.....but when your starter is Aaron Hicks, and your backup is a AAAA player, you might want to have some OF in AAA. Call me crazy...

*assuming you count Arcia as a MLB player
Lighten up Francis....

#20 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:29 AM

The problem is that the AA and AAA have no hitters on the roster that can play OF. None.* How is that possible, this far into a rebuild? I am all over having more elite players, and less depth.....but when your starter is Aaron Hicks, and your backup is a AAAA player, you might want to have some OF in AAA. Call me crazy...

*assuming you count Arcia as a MLB player


Chris Parmelee. I don't understand why he has such a bad rep as a defender. He's not flashy in the OF but he's perfectly acceptable in a corner spot and has looked much better than Arcia.

And you continue to underestimate how long rebuilds take. The Twins graduated two top 100 prospects in the OF just last year.

#21 TheLeviathan

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:34 AM

We agree that the Bartlett decision was dumb


it was dumb for precisely the reasons you are defending: they were flippant about who they gave that roster spot to. Every spot should be treated as having value, but the Twins ignored that and took your "bah! It's just the 25th spot! Who cares?" approach and that's why this became such an issue.

Ignoring the value of every 40 man and especially every 25 man spot has been a plague for this team for awhile. Situations like this shine a light on how absurd it is that the Twins act this way and equally absurd it is that some defend it.

#22 cmathewson

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:35 AM

We agree that the Bartlett decision was dumb but I don't feel the loss of Presley was crippling, as evidenced by the acquisition of Fuld in his place, a guy who has been much better than Presley this season.

And we can't have it both ways. This article is criticizing the Twins for going with aging veterans instead of prospects, a valid criticism given the Guerrier move.

But it's pretty tough to criticize the Mastro release when the Twins used that spot to pick up Kenny Wilson, a 24 year old centerfielder. They released Mastro, a guy who has lost a step and never looks to be a legitimate MLB player again, and acquired a young guy with marginal upside.

Isn't that the type of move we generally applaud?

The Twins lost four outfielders in a matter of four weeks. Any team is going to suffer under those circumstances. The real blunder in my mind is not attempting to fix this situation (which, again, was only for one game) by calling up some, you know, outfielders to patch together a roster for 1-2 games while Hicks gets ready to return.

As of today, the Twins now have a centerfielder on the roster again. In my eyes, the problem wasn't that they were missing a centerfielder for a single game, the problem is that they didn't do anything about it while the minor league team was just 140 miles away.

Call up Parmelee and maybe Arcia yesterday and this situation is still ugly but it's not catastrophic. At that point, the team has multiple (bad) options in the outfield for a single game and all you lose is roster chaff like Florimon and Herrmann in the process.


Kenny Wilson will not be ready to play in the majors until next September, at the earliest. He's barely a AA guy. Mastro would be playing now, instead of Escobar or Hermann or whatever other guy is out of position and costing us games. I can't believe you don't see it. Losing Presley cost us an outfielder. Claiming Fuld didn't improve that, because it cost us another outfielder. So we're still down an outfielder. And the Fuld deal happened a month into a season when we were short an outfielder.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#23 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:42 AM

Kenny Wilson will not be ready to play in the majors until next September, at the earliest. He's barely a AA guy. Mastro would be playing now, instead of Escobar or Hermann or whatever other guy is out of position and costing us games. I can't believe you don't see it. Losing Presley cost us an outfielder. Claiming Fuld didn't improve that, because it cost us another outfielder. So we're still down an outfielder. And the Fuld deal happened a month into a season when we were short an outfielder.


What I don't understand is the complaint that the Twins are giving bad ABs to marginal vets but then complain when they pick up a young player at the expense of an older guy who looked really bad in center.

I don't like the last set of moves because the Twins got older and they lost a 25 year old pitcher in the process. I don't complain about the Mastro move for the same reason.

If we want the Twins to get younger, we should be applauding them when they do it and rightfully complain when they do the opposite.

The Twins went into last week with two centerfielders on the 25 man roster. In all but the most bizarre situations, that's enough to field a team.

And you mentioned Herrmann... I think we're both in agreement that he never has and probably never will deserve to be on an MLB roster. But he's completely irrelevant to this conversation, as we both agree that the Twins should have called up someone to replace him long time ago.

#24 mike wants wins

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:43 AM

If you think either Hicks or Fuld is a CF, sure. How about Rochester and NB, who are their CF?
Lighten up Francis....

#25 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:49 AM

If you think either Hicks or Fuld is a CF, sure.


They are. Both have been as good or better than Alex Presley.

How about Rochester and NB, who are their CF?


Again, injuries. If not for Buxton's wrist, he'd be manning CF in New Britain right now and Wilson would probably be in Rochester.

#26 Linus

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:53 AM

One thing that I think is getting too much attention here is the whole age thing. We want the team to get better, not necessarily younger. I get the idea that you would like every position to be filled with a young, promising player as that secures your future. The facts, however, are that many young players don't pan out so strategically inserting a veteran player that improves your club is perfectly fine. The Twins got very young in the Becker / Stahoviak era and it ended up a disaster.

The key distinction is that they make the club better, which Bartlett, Guerrier et al do not. Suzuki, yes; Kubel maybe to probably not.

#27 mike wants wins

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:54 AM

Who are the corner OF in AA and AAA, that could have come up the past week to help? And, if Wilson is a AAA CF, then he should be up here, not a SS or DH playing CF, right?
Lighten up Francis....

#28 Shane Wahl

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:55 AM

Nice job, Nick. This sums up things precisely and concisely.

I do not get the attitude about 24th and 25th roster spots being meaningless. The Twins treated them that way, and look what happened.

Guerrier and Bartlett never had any business being signed by this team. Some dispute this, apparently. To lose anyone from the roster because of an aging, potentially merely average middle reliever is beyond my comprehension. Meanwhile, Darnell goes back down, Guerra, Oliveros, and Achter sit in the minors while oldsters with no future get promoted, and the Twins just look silly with 13 pitchers and gaping roster holes . . . holes being made bigger by the fall of Jason Kubel, Chris Colabello, and Trevor Plouffe.

#29 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:56 AM

Who are the corner OF in AA and AAA, that could have come up the past week to help? And, if Wilson is a AAA CF, then he should be up here, not a SS or DH playing CF, right?


Wilson has a long ways to go to the Majors.

As for corner outfielders, they had options. They inexplicably chose not to use them, which is my entire point.

#30 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 08:00 AM

Nice job, Nick. This sums up things precisely and concisely.

I do not get the attitude about 24th and 25th roster spots being meaningless. The Twins treated them that way, and look what happened.

Guerrier and Bartlett never had any business being signed by this team. Some dispute this, apparently. To lose anyone from the roster because of an aging, potentially merely average middle reliever is beyond my comprehension. Meanwhile, Darnell goes back down, Guerra, Oliveros, and Achter sit in the minors while oldsters with no future get promoted, and the Twins just look silly with 13 pitchers and gaping roster holes . . . holes being made bigger by the fall of Jason Kubel, Chris Colabello, and Trevor Plouffe.


All roster spots are important but the problem cascades when the Twins don't mistreat only the 25th spot but also mistreat the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th spots.

That's basically the entire bench, which is what we saw yesterday.

The thinking that leads a team to adding a relief pitcher to a roster that has strung together 4-6 quality starts while keeping Florimon and Herrmann on the roster is mind-blowing.

If you let Gardy have a pet player as the 25th man, teams can get past that. It's not optimal but we've seen the Twins do it for years. Doesn't mean I like it but I guess I've been (probably too) apathetic toward that thinking, having seen it for years. When you continue to grossly mismanage down to the 20th or 21st man, you're going to get situations like we saw yesterday.