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

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#91 Thrylos

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 07:44 AM

The catcher Herrmann was also playing OF regularly and was sub-replacement with the bat (and also almost cost us a game with his OF defense)


Herrmann and his positions are an interesting story: In College (Alvin CC & Miami, one year each) he was a third baseman and caught and played LF some, but was drafted by the Twins as an OF and then started to catch as well. Having more organizational depth in OF than in C around 2011 and 2012, he started to catch more. With that ratio reversed recently he started to play the OF more. So he is a pretty versatile guy, but in a Brandon Inge (who actually is a pretty good comparable for Herrmann) and not a Nick Punto way.
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#92 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 07:47 AM

Just some food for thought: Remember when a Twins Exec, I think Anthony, said that the Twins were throwing money at people, but no one wanted to play here. But the truth is that players who have played for the Twins speak glowingly and passionately about their time here. The familial sense Twins veterans feel is ubiquitous, even the supposed-spurned ones like Bartlett and Perkins. I've seen video recently where players like Hunter and Span expressed that Minnesota was home and that the Twins grew them up. When Guerrier was quoted saying "This is where I want to be." I found it touching and I was proud to be a Twins fan.

Part of building for the future is establishing a culture of kinship which does have more value than glitz and gold to a good deal of people. It might be an abstract pursuit, but allowing former players to return at the margins of the roster does little harm to present and future teams; and the payoff is something to be proud of and more wins by retaining stars and beckoning them to come here.


Pseudo, I think you are really over-sentimentalizing this. Substitute "familial" and "kinship" for "country club" and you are getting much closer to a better characterization for many of us. A former player who is still active who speaks well of a former team is not noteworthy. Also, I think it's early to describe the current clubhouse culture as resulting in a "payoff of more wins" if I read that correctly.

#93 Thrylos

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 07:53 AM

The late 90s was a different situation. Low stadium revenues but more of a willingness in those final years for developing young talent because that's the right thing to do. The 1999-2001 teams finally matured. Ryan was GM. What's happening 2012-2014 teams feels completely different to me.


I am not going to discuss the Gardenhire Twins and whether or not they were successful, but Ryan does not have any excuses for the late 90s Twins. Revenues cannot be used as an excuse. Look at the Rays for example. And their revenue situation is similar to the Twins' then. Simply: Ryan (and his team) who are still the same people who are running the Twins, did not draft talent and was adverse to trading aging players with some value for talent. That is what teams with limited revenues do and complete (Rays and A's for example.) Also, that "revenue" excuse is really smelly to me. The same venue was full and brought some good $ when there was a better product on the field both before (the MacPhail Twins were leading the majors in attendance) and after the pre-contraction Ryan Twins. So it is not the strike's fault, the Dome's fault or "luck". It is Ryan's fault. Those Twins did not have talent and Ryan (and his team) is directly responsible for that mess, as he is for this mess.
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#94 spycake

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 08:00 AM

Herrmann and his positions are an interesting story: In College (Alvin CC & Miami, one year each) he was a third baseman and caught and played LF some, but was drafted by the Twins as an OF and then started to catch as well. Having more organizational depth in OF than in C around 2011 and 2012, he started to catch more. With that ratio reversed recently he started to play the OF more. So he is a pretty versatile guy, but in a Brandon Inge (who actually is a pretty good comparable for Herrmann) and not a Nick Punto way.


Herrmann has completely abandoned 3B as a pro, though, which was Inge's primary MLB position and main driver of his value. And Inge was a 100 OPS+ bat in his prime too, probably more comparable to Plouffe overall.

#95 Sconnie

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 08:19 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.

So there were bad attitudes a month into the season in the bullpen? The only solution is to bring up Matt Guerrier.

If you can pick up Mastro 20 times per season, why is there still only 1 CF on the active 40 man roster? 20 times is roughly weekly, the Twins should have 2 Mastros by now.

#96 jokin

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 08:34 AM

When Guerrier was quoted saying "This is where I want to be." I found it touching and I was proud to be a Twins fan.


Really? I found it troubling, as that also likely means that (given all of the other ex-Twins who have spurned the Twins offers in recent years) it was likely the only place that offered him. And it's hard to be proud of bringing back aging veterans on a team that is supposed to be in the midst of rebuilding- which leads to this comment:

Part of building for the future is establishing a culture of kinship which does have more value than glitz and gold to a good deal of people. It might be an abstract pursuit, but allowing former players to return at the margins of the roster does little harm to present and future teams; and the payoff is something to be proud of and more wins by retaining stars and beckoning them to come here.


A country club atmosphere invites a culture where "abstract pursuits" lead to the dead ends we've become so accustomed to these last few years, and which are antithetical to the purpose and responsibility of a sports team- which is to entertain while winning games and championships. And it's demonstrable that allowing veterans to return at the margins has done "little harm"- and it's also done significant harm- and given the embarrassing results of the first 6 weeks of the season with respect to roster management, nothing to be proud of.

Edited by jokin, 11 May 2014 - 07:17 AM.


#97 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 09:22 AM

I am not going to discuss the Gardenhire Twins and whether or not they were successful, but Ryan does not have any excuses for the late 90s Twins. Revenues cannot be used as an excuse. Look at the Rays for example. And their revenue situation is similar to the Twins' then. Simply: Ryan (and his team) who are still the same people who are running the Twins, did not draft talent and was adverse to trading aging players with some value for talent. That is what teams with limited revenues do and complete (Rays and A's for example.) Also, that "revenue" excuse is really smelly to me. The same venue was full and brought some good $ when there was a better product on the field both before (the MacPhail Twins were leading the majors in attendance) and after the pre-contraction Ryan Twins. So it is not the strike's fault, the Dome's fault or "luck". It is Ryan's fault. Those Twins did not have talent and Ryan (and his team) is directly responsible for that mess, as he is for this mess.


I am not excusing the Pohlads and Ryan did fail in his short time to assemble a competitive team around what remained of the Puckett / Knoblauch core. But he did eventually assemble a durable core of young guys who were winners. This is not a market that demands sports dynasties which worked in Pohlad's and Ryan's favor. But Ryan can be faulted today for his breezy dismissals of any criticism of how the team is being run, yes.

#98 Brandon

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 10:37 AM

Add the Phillies to the list of teams who could use help in the bullpen. They are in win now mode so they would trade prospects for bullpen help. That's 3 playoff contenders:

1. Phillies
2. Tigers
3. Angels

who all need bullpen help while we have 10 different options. Also Phillies and A's could use a swingman like Correia too.

The beauty of what we are doing this year is we have a huge stockpile of arms we could trade and replace in our pen. Guerrier is one more arm.

#99 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 10:49 AM

Add the Phillies to the list of teams who could use help in the bullpen. They are in win now mode so they would trade prospects for bullpen help. That's 3 playoff contenders:

1. Phillies
2. Tigers
3. Angels

who all need bullpen help while we have 10 different options. Also Phillies and A's could use a swingman like Correia too.

The beauty of what we are doing this year is we have a huge stockpile of arms we could trade and replace in our pen. Guerrier is one more arm.


Nobody is trading anything of value for any of our relievers not named Perkins.

#100 stringer bell

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 10:52 AM

I'll go there. I am thinking that Tonkin would be attractive to a couple clubs, but don't most teams have several guys under 30 that can throw around 95? To my knowledge, the Twins have .......Tonkin.

#101 Deduno Abides

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 10:53 AM

When Guerrier was quoted saying "This is where I want to be." I found it touching and I was proud to be a Twins fan.


There are two basic types of responses regarding satisfactory workplaces.

(1) "I work with a lot of smart, talented people and get to do interesting things almost every day. I feel like I am constantly challenged to become the best I can be. My co-workers do good work and I am glad to work with them, but we also hold each other accountable for poor performance. I learn from my manager, who constantly puts us in position to do well. We use cutting-edge tools, which regularly causes me to learn new things and rethink how to do my job well. I feel like I am contributing to a success."

(2) "The people here are so nice. I like how we do things and feel like working here enables me to have a comfortable life. We want to do well, but not at the expense of relationships. My manager is easy-going and doesn't put too much pressure on me. We don't change things too much, so once I learn how to do something, I can be comfortable that I will be able to continue in the same manner. I feel like my manager is loyal to me, so I feel loyal to my manager. On Fridays, there's cake!"

It seems like a lot of the players that prefer playing for the Twins these days fall into the second answer. All of the players that have chosen to play here over the last few years either don't have a track record of winning and/or have had a lack of success in their most recent years. Players who still have something to offer and/or want to win look elsewhere, even if the money is worse, e.g., Garza and A.J. Once the team re-establishes a winning culture, more players who like the first answer will start coming here.

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#102 S.

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 10:55 AM

Sure, we have a whole bunch of RP, but besides Perkins, who do you really see getting anything back in return? Burton is worthless, doubtful that fien, thielbar, guerrier, duensing, or swarzak are getting you anything back that is ever going to make any sort of significant impact, and I doubt we are going to trade Tonkin or Perkins.

#103 jorgenswest

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 11:00 AM

Nobody is trading anything of value for any of our relievers not named Perkins.


I agree. Perkins new contract also makes him more difficult to trade.

Kurt Suzuki is the best trade chip and really the only one without a 2015 commitment that can get anything beyond the return for Liriano or Morneau.

The supply of relievers and DH types laboring in the field is too great. They never will have value. League average or better starting pitching, catching, shortstops and centerfielders are the best currency.

#104 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 11:07 AM

I'll go there. I am thinking that Tonkin would be attractive to a couple clubs, but don't most teams have several guys under 30 that can throw around 95? To my knowledge, the Twins have .......Tonkin.


Who I would add should not be traded. This guy looks like he can be a late inning shut down guy who is under team control for 6 seasons.

The problem I see it as is that with Burton tanking, their best rental trade option really isn't a good option.

#105 Brandon

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 12:47 PM

2 relievers could be packaged together for a top 10 prospect from a win now team. If I am the Phillies and I am trying to win now. I would trade a solid prospect for 2 solid relievers if it can make that big a difference this year. Or we could trade Corriea or Kubel or Willingham and a reliever for more than otherwise. it all depends on what we can get and how we package the deal on our end. Do I think we can get a top 5 prospect for them ...no but we can get value. Or we can become competitive if we find our SS and Meyer comes up and tears it up, we could just keep our excess and let it go in the offseason.

#106 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 12:52 PM

2 relievers could be packaged together for a top 10 prospect from a win now team. If I am the Phillies and I am trying to win now. I would trade a solid prospect for 2 solid relievers if it can make that big a difference this year. Or we could trade Corriea or Kubel or Willingham and a reliever for more than otherwise. it all depends on what we can get and how we package the deal on our end. Do I think we can get a top 5 prospect for them ...no but we can get value. Or we can become competitive if we find our SS and Meyer comes up and tears it up, we could just keep our excess and let it go in the offseason.


Only if one of them is named Perkins.
Even our next 2 best relievers would be lucky to land someones top 20 spec, nevermind top 10.
And why would anyone trade for Corriea, Kubel or Willingham right now?

Having a bunch of mediocre relievers is not an "excess". Those are the type of guys that everyone in their system has that could be called up at any time.

Why would the Phillies want to give up a spec for a reliever when they could just call up Ken Giles?

#107 S.

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 01:02 PM

Any way you slice it, no team is giving up anything good for a combination of 2 of Guerrier, Swarzak, Duensing, Thielbar, Burton. RPs like that are a dime a dozen.

#108 Kwak

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 01:51 PM

Catching-up on all of the posts--and wished I had been reading them earlier! The "roster problems" stem from two sources: 1) the failure of the FO to keep the pipeline full of future quality major league players from bottom to the top and 2) the need to sell sizzle because there is no steak to sell. Ownership keeps the management around because the profit is "there". What is the basic difference between 2011 and now? The payroll was reduced $30MM--coindentially the reported team profit last year. So why change the FO (if you're an owner)?
The jingles about "these are your Twins--get to know 'em", "outdoor baseball" (buy a ticket or four!), etc., aren't working so a new jingle (marketing plan) was formed--"the old gang is back" (or something like that). Consequently management by short-term marketing jingles, a constrained budget, and by the same group that put the team in this predicament in the first place--this is the result! I am not surprised.
True, the number of injuries is well above a level that could be expected. But the lack of depth is inexcuseable.
I am also surprised by the number of posters complaining about watching Hicks struggle. The time is (was) now to assess whether Hicks is viable for the franchise--and that requires that he play for the Twins. Buxton is coming and it would be criminal to hold is progress back to allow more time to assess whether Hicks has a future with the Twins. Much the same for the other "near-major leaguers" whether position-players or pitchers--play them and assess them in the majors and abandon any fantasy of "wild-card contenders" in 2014.

#109 Thrylos

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 04:00 PM

I am also surprised by the number of posters complaining about watching Hicks struggle. The time is (was) now to assess whether Hicks is viable for the franchise--and that requires that he play for the Twins.


Totally agree with this. Plus, who will play CF if they demote Hicks now? Colabello or Kubel?
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#110 Sconnie

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 05:43 AM

I was actually more upset about the Mastro move than the Presley....This is where Antony is clearly to blame. He didn't need to DFA Mastro to make room on the 40 man for Fuld. He could have DFAd Bartlett and paid the extra $500K. Or he could have filed the retirement papers when Bartlett announced his retirement, instead of waiting three days. Or he could have DFAd Raley. He chose the one reserve outfielder who can play all three outfield spots and who has an option left.

This! It was perfectly feasible to increase depth at a thin position and not decrease depth (too much) at a position of strength or cutting roster chaff. All RA had to do was make sure Bartlett's paperwork got done on Friday, instead of letting it ride and let the chips fall where they may.

#111 RickSchuette

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:30 AM

I've been following Twins baseball since I was a grade school kid in 1961. The Jason Bartlett decision coming out of Spring Training was the oddest damned decision I have ever seen. The only thing I can imagine with some of these decisions is that Gardy and staff are getting tired and really don't want to have to be around young guys anymore, if they have other options. But we have to remember, Gardy cut his teeth under auto-pilot manager Tom Kelly. The only young player Kelly ever tolerated was Kirby Puckett -- and he was a one-in-a-thousand HOFer.

#112 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:48 AM

I've been following Twins baseball since I was a grade school kid in 1961. The Jason Bartlett decision coming out of Spring Training was the oddest damned decision I have ever seen. The only thing I can imagine with some of these decisions is that Gardy and staff are getting tired and really don't want to have to be around young guys anymore, if they have other options. But we have to remember, Gardy cut his teeth under auto-pilot manager Tom Kelly. The only young player Kelly ever tolerated was Kirby Puckett -- and he was a one-in-a-thousand HOFer.


Mostly agree but I've heard a lot of stories about how TK was always the hardest working guy in the organization. Not a lot of patience for young guys from him though if they didn't want to put the work in, true.

#113 mike wants wins

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 08:23 AM

There are two basic types of responses regarding satisfactory workplaces.

(1) "I work with a lot of smart, talented people and get to do interesting things almost every day. I feel like I am constantly challenged to become the best I can be. My co-workers do good work and I am glad to work with them, but we also hold each other accountable for poor performance. I learn from my manager, who constantly puts us in position to do well. We use cutting-edge tools, which regularly causes me to learn new things and rethink how to do my job well. I feel like I am contributing to a success."

(2) "The people here are so nice. I like how we do things and feel like working here enables me to have a comfortable life. We want to do well, but not at the expense of relationships. My manager is easy-going and doesn't put too much pressure on me. We don't change things too much, so once I learn how to do something, I can be comfortable that I will be able to continue in the same manner. I feel like my manager is loyal to me, so I feel loyal to my manager. On Fridays, there's cake!"

It seems like a lot of the players that prefer playing for the Twins these days fall into the second answer. All of the players that have chosen to play here over the last few years either don't have a track record of winning and/or have had a lack of success in their most recent years. Players who still have something to offer and/or want to win look elsewhere, even if the money is worse, e.g., Garza and A.J. Once the team re-establishes a winning culture, more players who like the first answer will start coming here.


If I could LOVE this post, I would. At my last two places of work, when describing people that aren't that good at their jobs, we would always start with "they are super nice people".
Lighten up Francis....