Posted 09 May 2014 - 11:15 AM
Great article. Great points made by Nick and everyone else. Once again, well thought out arguements on both sides, and without the arguing. Lol
Some of my thoughts, and I apologize if I'm repetitive from other posts. The words go where needed.
I 100% understand the Bartlett signing, even kind of agreed with it. Why not take a shot to see if a healthy Barlett could re-discover something and provide a steady backp and steady hand. Doubt something magical would happen, but what if it did? And a lot of people complained that maybe we needed a different attitude to be injected, of even, attitude at all. All that being said, it was obvious by the end of ST it was over. A few walks and at bats where he didn't strike out embarrassingly was no indication he could still play, much less provide depth at multiple positions. Some sort of misguided hope is no reason to give a roster spot to someone, in this case, the Bartlett experiment.
I am not going to arbitrarily bash the FO. Between building the minors, and some ML moves, FA and otherwise, I think they've done a solid job. But when they botch something, it's got to be called out.
A team is built on its many parts. This may be most true in baseball where you really have two teams in one: 11-12 guys who basically do only one thing, pitch, and another 13-14 who play positions, don't pitch, and can't be substituted or rotated as in other sports. Plus, you play nearly every day, and don't have a reserve portion of the roster you can juggle as in the NFL or NBA on a game by game basis. So unless you save a spot at 25 on your roster for that rule 5 player to be stashed, as Nick stated, all 25 spots are important. And the FO blew two areas this off season.
The Twins blew the inf situation, not in regard to SS where they had Florimon, with all due respect to the many discussions and opinions debated at length, but with back up personnel. Sure, take a flyer on Barlett, why not? But nobody knew if Plouffe was going to mature as he has, nobody knew if Escobar was going to round in to a full time SS, short or long term, or be a quality utility guy. And despite playing very well now when given the chance, the jury is still out. Now, I think the Nunez might play out well as adding a useful player. And hopefully Santana will take this opportunity, and his considerable skills, and do something with it.
But we entered ST with Escobar, Barlett and a group of not yet ready middle infielders or AAAA players like Bernier for reserve status. Where was the ONE ML level guy you could count on? Nowhere.
Worse, as I have previously stated, was the OF/CF situation with the unknowns of Hicks, a journeyman in Presley, and an injured and still recovering Mastro. Losing Presley and Mastro and adding Fuld is not the point. Fuld is probably better than Presley anyway and Mastro, thus far, is a shadow of what he was in 2012. It's not about the Twins somehow expecting both Hicks and Fuld having concussions simultaneously. It's not even about losing Mastro and not replacing him. It's about going in to ST without another option to provide overall depth and competition, period.
The not so bad and even good:
The Barlett experiment was over quickly. And don't kid yourself, Gardy and the FO took a stupid shot and it clanked, and they knew it. If Barlett hadn't gotten hurt and decided to hang it up, they would have dropped him very soon. In fact, I have little doubt conversations with the Twins helped lead Bartlett to make his retirement decision.
The Twins made an unusually early season trade to bring in Nunez, not standing pat. Too bad he got hurt right away, but is hopefully healthy now and ready to help off the bench.
Arguements can be made the Twins waited too long, though only early May I don't see it that way, but they sent out Pelfrey and Florimon both. And even before sending Florimon down, Escobar began the process of replacing him. And doing rather well it should be noticed.
Further, despite Gardy's admirable but sometimes mis-guided loyalties to some players, these and other occurrences show a shift in the Twin's rebuilding philosophies and turning to young players. Giving Hicks his shot, playing Escobar now daily, Arcia in the daily lineup when healthy, keeping Pinto on the club and in the lineup daily (though I'd like to see him catch more), sticking with Dozier after the move to 2B last season, trusting Gibson in the rotation, sticking with Thielbar in the pen and calling up Tonkin early.
And shockingly, giving Santana a shot over the veteran Bernier, and actually letting him play!
There is a shift taking place here, and you will see more of it going forward.
Now that being said, I also am puzzled by the Guerrier move. His signing this off season for depth was a so-so move. But, it could provide a low risk depth move due to injuries and the such. And I don't have a real problem with his promotion at this time. I know he's not part of our future, and perhaps he'll simply be cut in a couple of weeks. But there is an opening in the pen with Deduno sliding in to the rotation that happens to co-incide with Guerrier's opt out. So you sent Darnell down, for now, to pitch every day and see if Guerrier can help fill in for the time being. Were it not for the opt out, probably would have seen the younger Pino come up instead. But in this particular case, I don't see Guerrier as being a "business as usual" move. Simply a look-see since things lined up a certain way. Now, if he isn't darned effective,or holds someone back, then we have issues here.
A roster caught short a day or two in the long season due to a sudden flux of injury is not an indictment of the FO. With a player or two ready to rejoin the club in 1-2 days and the team not wanting to make a number of sudden and very temporary roster moves should not be an indictment of the FO. However, failure to take action before the season starts at a position or two that have alarming and glaring needs IS something that needs to reprimanded.