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The Black Hole

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#1 ScottyB

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:35 AM

With Santana now looking as a good potential SS (I know SSS, but I'm optimistic). And other options in the system as good potential starting middle infielders (including Polanco, Dozier, Rosario, Goodrum, etc.). We now officially have a new black hole.

What looked like an embarrassment of riches, just two short years ago, is now our new black hole. Of course I mean centerfield. Two years ago we had Span, Revere, Benson, Mastroianni, Hicks, and Buxton either in the majors or in the pipeline. Now, Hicks is batting .160 and clearly needs seasoning (at least) at Rochester; Span, Revere, Benson and Mastroianni are out of the system; and Buxton is having wrist problems (which we all know is the nemesis of the Twins med staff - see Hardy, Arcia, Willingham, for three). This is causing people to consider moving Santana to CF, which is not really a good option.

One of the biggest errors of spring was passing on Emillio Bonofacio. Now the Twins need to be scouring the wires for another option in center. The other option is to trade for someone. One name that comes to mind, who might be available is Andre Eithier. But can anyone think of any other options that we might be able to get (either major or minor league) who would be able to hit at least .230 and play good defense. Sam Fuld is fine as a fourth outfielder, but shouldn't be the regular out there.

#2 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:39 AM

I could see making a trade if there's reason to think we are contenders. If not, I'd say make due with the mess we have right now and likely sign a 1 year deal with a stop gap solution this offseason

#3 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:39 AM

Danny Santana has 20 MLB plate appearances. I hope the kid continues to hit but let's keep ourselves in check.

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#4 mike wants wins

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:44 AM

If only someone could have predicted Hicks might be bad, and other options had been sitting there, with only MONEY being an issue.......

Right now, I don't think trading for a mediocre, overpaid, guy is the right move. They are not winning it all this year, and giving up assets for Ethier makes no sense, imo. Plus, I can't see how they acquire him, and then spend even 1 penny in FA next year......

IF you could get him for minimal cost, and if the prospect cost was minor, then I'd consider it, maybe.

I'd much rather they just show patience with Buxton.....and, the real black hole is LF. Name your LF......in MLB, AAA, AA......
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#5 Willihammer

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:03 AM

One of the biggest errors of spring was passing on Emillio Bonofacio.


Santana has the same skills as Bonifacio. Fast, switch hitting, middle infielder by trade, converted outfielder at age 23. He won't read balls off the bat as well as an everyday outfielder but I think he has enough speed to make up for some of that and ultimately put up near-average level defense in the OF (like Bonifacio).

If he continues to get on base, he could be a real roster saver as a backup to everyone but catcher.

There's a golden opportunity here.

#6 beckmt

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:09 AM

He might even be good enough to be a starter(at least for a while).

#7 Badsmerf

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:23 AM

If only someone could have predicted Hicks might be bad, and other options had been sitting there, with only MONEY being an issue.......
.

How could you have not seen this coming!!#$@@1


O, you're being sarcastic.
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#8 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:34 AM

There are SO many people and numerous threads that have exclaimed how they are and were sick of guys like Parmalee, Willingham, Kubel, Bartlett, Colabello, Florimon, even some pre-season Plouffe. They have been clamoring and saying "If we aren't going to win, let the young guys figure it out." Parmalee continually got yo-yo'd and never got consistent at-bats, like Plouffe and Dozier did. They fought through. We can't have our cake and eat it too!

I love Hicks' potential, but the kid GREATLY struggles to make contact. He is the BEST defensive OF we have, and at age 23-24 let him struggle. Maybe it "clicks" for him in June or July and we start seeing him become the player we hoped he would. Either we believe in him or we don't. What's the alternative? Danny Santana in CF? Doesn't he have enough learning to do at SS? Let Hicks play and let's hope Bruno can recesitate his bat.

#9 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:39 AM

Hicks and Parmelee are hard to compare because Hicks skipped AAA whereas Parmelee absolutely destroyed it. So in one case you can still argue that some seasoning at the lower level might help, but in the other the player has clearly shown they have nothing left to prove.

Hicks needs to go down, maybe until the break.

#10 mike wants wins

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:56 AM

"recesitate" implies it was once alive. Even his best years in the minors were only ok, and driven by walks somewhat. He can't even make contact LH, why would anyone throw him a ball?
Lighten up Francis....

#11 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 11:01 AM

I don't see how Hicks doesn't get sent down at this point. Originally, I wanted to see him in AAA to establish himself after a lost season but when the team let it ride on Aaron in spring training, I figured "what the hell, let the kid play".

Obviously, that just isn't working.

#12 J_Weise11

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 11:21 AM

With Santana now looking as a good potential SS (I know SSS, but I'm optimistic). And other options in the system as good potential starting middle infielders (including Polanco, Dozier, Rosario, Goodrum, etc.). We now officially have a new black hole.

What looked like an embarrassment of riches, just two short years ago, is now our new black hole. Of course I mean centerfield. Two years ago we had Span, Revere, Benson, Mastroianni, Hicks, and Buxton either in the majors or in the pipeline. Now, Hicks is batting .160 and clearly needs seasoning (at least) at Rochester; Span, Revere, Benson and Mastroianni are out of the system; and Buxton is having wrist problems (which we all know is the nemesis of the Twins med staff - see Hardy, Arcia, Willingham, for three). This is causing people to consider moving Santana to CF, which is not really a good option.

One of the biggest errors of spring was passing on Emillio Bonofacio. Now the Twins need to be scouring the wires for another option in center. The other option is to trade for someone. One name that comes to mind, who might be available is Andre Eithier. But can anyone think of any other options that we might be able to get (either major or minor league) who would be able to hit at least .230 and play good defense. Sam Fuld is fine as a fourth outfielder, but shouldn't be the regular out there.



I would honestly call up the Dodgers and see if they were interested in a Perk for Ethier swap. I know we just extended Perk but this isn't a team who is going to compete this year long term and a closer isn't a high priority. Ethier is under contract through 2017 with an option for 18 and is 32 and could easily move over to LF when Buxton is ready to take over.

#13 DJL44

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 11:44 AM

Hicks just got a week off and no rehab because they were shorthanded. Give him a couple games to knock off the rust.

#14 mike wants wins

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 11:48 AM

Perk for Ethier? Ethier is 32, and is owed a TON of money. Fangraphs has him at NEGATIVE 2 fielding WAR, less than 30% of the way through the season. that Ethier?
Lighten up Francis....

#15 Linus

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 11:57 AM

I was a strong advocate that both Hicks and Pinto start the year in Rochester and prove they belonged here. I'm willing to admit that Pinto has acquitted himself pretty well with the bat (not so much behind the dish) but I'm not happy to say that it is now pretty apparent that Hicks has no business in the big leagues. I'm fine with letting guys "struggle" in the bigs when there is an indication they are getting it and / or they've proven they can hit AAA pitching. With Hicks, neither is apparent.

Rajai Davis (his game costing blunder aside) would look pretty good in CF on a one year deal. I wish the Twins would have pursued him harder.

#16 ericchri

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:14 PM

He obviously doesn't look good as a switch-hitter, but honestly I think Hicks could be just fine if he would just SWING THE BAT. Somebody pointed it out a few weeks ago with actual numbers, but he seems to literally go up there with a plan of watching pitches until he gets two strikes, no matter what. I don't get it. Mauer staring at first pitch cookies is irritating, but he at least can back it up. Hicks can't afford to not swing at good pitches. He may end up taking a few more walks than average, but it doesn't make up for the fact he can barely hit as a result. Until he breaks that habit, I can't see much success for him. I don't know that the guys at AAA are any more likely to pound that through his skull, unfortunately, even though that's where he probably needs to go at this point.

#17 halfchest

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:23 PM

I struggle to really defend Aaron Hicks but look at Dozier, he struggled quite a bit beginning of his second year in the bigs and then turned it around in June. As long as we don't really have a better viable option at AA or AAA to take over for Hicks, I say let it ride.

That said, I would not cry foul if he was demoted and was fully in favor of starting the year with Pressley/Mastroianni as our CF combo and Hicks playing everyday in AAA.

Also, at what point do you send Hicks down to High A and tell him to loosen up his arm, he's about to become a pitcher.

#18 Riverbrian

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:27 PM

Perkins to LA... Should net us a lot more than Ethier... A lot More.

The Dodgers would have the paperwork done and submitted to the league office before the Twins hung up the phone.

Think Joc Pederson... Dee Gordon... Corey Seager or Zach Lee or pass.

I don't know if the Dodgers would part with any of those guys but that's the only place the conversation about Perkins should be.

#19 halfchest

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:29 PM

Also, at what point do you send Hicks down to High A and tell him to loosen up his arm, he's about to become a pitcher.


I'm mostly joking with this . . . mostly.

#20 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 01:05 PM

DeRosa can play CF...just sayin
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#21 twinsnorth49

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 01:19 PM

Hicks just got a week off and no rehab because they were shorthanded. Give him a couple games to knock off the rust.


Knock the rust off of what? The slick, well oiled hitting machine he was before the injury?

#22 amjgt

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 01:28 PM

I'm mostly joking with this . . . mostly.


Think of the roster flexibility!!!

#23 stringer bell

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 01:40 PM

DeRosa can play CF...just sayin

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#24 zchrz

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 01:42 PM

Rasmus from Toronto was being shopped wasn't he? Wonder what that would cost.
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#25 stringer bell

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 01:45 PM

Well, if Buxton ever gets healthy, there's no one standing in his way.

#26 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 02:46 PM

If we're looking outside the organization, I put in a big vote for Bourjos.

Hicks and Dozier aren't a good comp either because Dozier was sent down for two months in 2012 to get things straight. Hicks hasn't had that taste and then uninterrupted time back down in AAA to get things right. I think at this point it's a necessity.

#27 Thrylos

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 04:41 PM

I don't see how Hicks doesn't get sent down at this point. .


Because he is the only CF glove the Twins have from the majors to High A. Fuld is not a centerfielder. He can back up there, but...
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#28 Thrylos

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 04:51 PM

Well, if Buxton ever gets healthy, there's no one standing in his way.


Other than himself. Based on Spring Training and AFL, he really needs to show that he can hit at least AA pitchers (and he hasn't so far.) Hicks has proven that he can do that. What happens if Buxton gets called up and he pulls a Florimon on the plate (which is very likely?) Not a good thing for anyone.
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#29 LaBombo

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 05:12 PM

Because he is the only CF glove the Twins have from the majors to High A. Fuld is not a centerfielder. He can back up there, but...

If there is a single meaningful defensive metric that doesn't show Fuld as somewhere between 'roughly equal to' and 'substantially better than' Hicks, it has eluded me.

Hicks is more athletic and still has the potential to be a fine defensive CF, but until his reads and routes improve he's just not very good.

#30 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 05:16 PM

*NOTE TO MODERATORS: THIS IS NOT AN ATTEMPT AT "THREAD-JACKING"

What if the Twins had just not brought Jason Bartlett north with the club thereby exposing Alex Presley to waiver claims (and maybe saving Mastro in the long run too). Yes there is a hole at CF, but that's what happens when you trade not one but TWO major league caliber CFs in one off-season. Hicks was a gamble, and that hasn't worked out, but I'm not sure he's a bust just yet.