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Berardino: Antony/Gardy on Aaron Hicks

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#21 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:37 AM

Thanks Seth. Hicksies performance at the plate speaks volumes enough without needing to pile on with the work ethic stuff. The same issue came up with Plouffe during his outfield experiment a few years ago, iirc.


That's my point. He's played poorly. No question. But that doesn't mean he isn't working hard. Not everyone prepares in the same way, etc. Looking at the actual quotes, it's not as bad as where the dialogue and discussions want to take it, it seems.

#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:38 AM

I'm sure they talked about it with him in the minors. The links at twinkietown show that it was a known issue then. But at the same time, if a guy is getting by on less work but still putting up a .844 OPS in CF while being over 2 years younger than the avg age of a AA league, the results might have masked the preparation effort.


Certainly possible, but a good PROCESS driven team would look at the process, not the results. I think that is my point.....something is wrong with the process (not that we know what part is broken).

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#23 Cris E

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:53 AM

Both Colabello and Parmalee said the same things when they returned from the wilderness as improved hitters (I know, but humor me for a moment): "I'm more aggressive now. I waited too much for great pitches that weren't showing up, but now I'm hitting the first thing that's hittable." CC said it in April and Parm said it a week ago and Hicks needs the same message today. Send him down to learn how to study pitchers, to learn to expect specific things, and to jump on hittable pitches. He's better than a lot of guys on this roster so they should pull him out (making it clear he's not going back until he's ready) and rebuild his approach and get him going in a better direction.

#24 halfchest

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:59 AM

I really don't think any of these comments are out of line by Antony or Gardy. They say the kid needs to fire it up a little bit and would benefit from more studying of the opposing pitcher and having a better gameplan. It's odd because a lot of times patience at the plate is a good thing but he seems to take pitches anytime he gets that count in hopes of a walk rather than working a walk. Does that make sense? Sounds like he needs a little better eye so he can stop taking those third strikes as often, make the pitcher work a bit more.

#25 MileHighTwinsFan

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:08 PM

To me this is all about maturity - not work ethic. We often forget that these players are still young and somewhat immature adults. They have had success on their own terms for most of their lives. Receiving and internalizing critical feedback is not always part of their DNA. I see this a bit like the Hunter/Morneau wake up call where a young talented player who the team is expecting big things from gets called out. I am sure they have tried many other strategies to get him on track - sending a very public message may be the next step in the maturity process.

I think this is all interesting in light of Parmelee's success now that he is up with the big club. Parmelee getting passed through waivers, not getting picked up and finding himself back in Rochester had to be a wake up call. If he succeeds, it will be because he finally gained the requisite maturity to act and play like a major leaguer. I expect that the goal is the same for Hicks.

#26 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:35 PM

That's my point. He's played poorly. No question. But that doesn't mean he isn't working hard. Not everyone prepares in the same way, etc. Looking at the actual quotes, it's not as bad as where the dialogue and discussions want to take it, it seems.


I agree with that also - the comments are much tamer than they seemed at first blush.

#27 JB_Iowa

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:37 PM

I think this is all interesting in light of Parmelee's success now that he is up with the big club. Parmelee getting passed through waivers, not getting picked up and finding himself back in Rochester had to be a wake up call. If he succeeds, it will be because he finally gained the requisite maturity to act and play like a major leaguer. I expect that the goal is the same for Hicks.


I hope that the "wake up call" for Chris Parmelee sticks but let's not forget that he has only played in 6 games thus far. There is a lot of adjusting and confidence boosting that may still need to be done.

I don't know what type of "wake up call" that Aaron Hicks needs. I do know that I don't ever want Rob Antony to be GM of the Twins.

#28 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:50 PM

If nothing else, Antony needs to realize that he's always on the record when reporters are around and be thinking about smarter ways to say things.

#29 JB_Iowa

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:33 PM

  • Howard Sinker ‏@afansview 29m
    If I'm Aaron Hicks, I say in postgame interview: "I think the frontoffice knows what it wants to do, but I don't think it always has a plan.

#30 Willihammer

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:46 PM

I think, specifically, Hicks needs to address his 2 strike approach. He has 14 strikeouts swinging in 103 PAs, but he has 15 strikeouts looking. Same issue as last year.

Keep the bat on your shoulder first pitch, sure. I'd even go so far as to make that a team rule. But with 2 strikes, be ready to swing!

#31 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:11 PM

Hicks is hitting .161 on this season, but his OBP remains above .300. For a young man who is only 24 I'm definitely not ready to think he's a bust. Maybe he should quit switch hitting, but I'm not sure that's the right solution either. He's patient, maybe too patient, but as a CF who could man the bottom half of the lineup as an OBP/Speed guy, I still like him and believe he provides value to this ball club.

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#32 stringer bell

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:13 PM

Hicks is hitting .161 on this season, but his OBP remains above .300. For a young man who is only 24 I'm definitely not ready to think he's a bust. Maybe he should quit switch hitting, but I'm not sure that's the right solution either. He's patient, maybe too patient, but as a CF who could man the bottom half of the lineup as an OBP/Speed guy, I still like him and believe he provides value to this ball club.

No, a .553 OPS just isn't enough. More to the point, if playing every day for the Twins doesn't bring out Hicks' innate talent, then it is best for him long-term to go to Triple A and find his swing. Despite getting the game-winner vs. a tough pitcher, Hicks just hasn't developed as a hitter. His stats for his first 100 games played are historically bad.

#33 snepp

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:32 PM

Maybe behind the scenes the Twins have an attitude that I've heard Nick Saban express more than once. If you work on the process and get that right, the results should take care of themselves. If they don't, then you've done what you can with the talent you have. If Hick's isn't working on the process of being a professional hitter with that preparation and tape study, then he's just hoping the results work out. I can understand why that would frustrate them. It would frustrate me also.



Sounds an awful lot like my favorite process matrix, simple as it may be.


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#34 alskntwnsfn

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 12:57 PM

I don't think they should handle this stuff through the media, but OTOH if you're hitting below .200 and aren't putting in significantly more prep/practice time you deserve what you get. Basically, this is on Hicks regardless of what Gardy/Antony should have or shouldn't have said.

Its not rocket science, assess what pitchers in general are doing to you and what that day's pitcher likes to do. Assess where the defense is playing you. Then work on that in the cage and BP. Then transfer that knowledge to the game. That's the hard part, but at least you'll be prepared to succeed, regardless of the outcome.

The approaches seem to be much better this year overall, though it still bugs me to see Joe taking BP fastballs right down the middle on 0-0 with guys on base. This team has been very selective, laying off of a lot of good breaking pitches. Hicks isn't squaring anything up right now though, he totally lucked out with that jamshot yesterday for the game winner. He's got to look for a pitch in a zone instead of trying to cover the whole plate w/ less than 2 strikes, shoot, if you're going to be as selective you might as well guess.

#35 JB_Iowa

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 03:01 PM

I found Trevor Plouffe's comments to be a little enlightening -- and I hope that Hicks can learn to trust the process and that it then produces results:

After Thursday’s victory, Hicks cited veteran left fielder Josh Willingham and Plouffe as two players on the Twins that had helped him refine his approach and build better habits. Asked if he had helped Hicks figure out how to glean more from watching video of opposing pitchers, Plouffe nodded.


“Oh, yeah,” Plouffe said. “He knows what he’s doing. It’s just a matter of being consistent with it, trusting the process instead of looking at the results. Because the results are going to fluctuate, no matter how good you are.”

Plouffe nodded across the room to where franchise first baseman Joe Mauer lockers.

“You look at Joe early in the season,” Plouffe said. “His numbers weren’t there, but he trusted his process . Obviously he’s a guy that knows his process works. Now he’s back hitting .300.”
The trouble with a second-year player such as Hicks is he doesn’t have that track record to fall back on, to carry him through the sustained downturns.

“That’s something you have to deal with your whole career — trying to trust your process,” Plouffe said. “This is a tough game. Everyone knows (Hicks) has all the tools. It’s just putting those to work.”



http://blogs.twincities.com/twins/2014/05/16/twinsights-trevor-plouffe-hopes-aaron-hicks-takes-big-moment-and-runs-with-it/


#36 cmathewson

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 03:12 PM

That's my point. He's played poorly. No question. But that doesn't mean he isn't working hard. Not everyone prepares in the same way, etc. Looking at the actual quotes, it's not as bad as where the dialogue and discussions want to take it, it seems.


This. Gardy doesn't understand anyone who isn't a total hyper hypo. He didn't like Cuddy. He didn't like Kubes. He didn't like Bartlett. He he didin't like Plouffe. He doesn't like Hicks. He couldn't hate Mauer for obvious reasons. But if the performance is marginal, his go-to is to blame effort, or preparation or whatever. It's one of several unflattering traits for this manager.

Antony is another story. At least Gardy is qualified to offer an opinion. Antony is the least qualified GM in baseball, so for him to publicly call out his players is just laughable. I wonder if he ever even talks to players privately.
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#37 jokin

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 03:18 PM

I found Trevor Plouffe's comments to be a little enlightening -- and I hope that Hicks can learn to trust the process and that it then produces results:

After Thursday’s victory, Hicks cited veteran left fielder Josh Willingham and Plouffe as two players on the Twins that had helped him refine his approach and build better habits. Asked if he had helped Hicks figure out how to glean more from watching video of opposing pitchers, Plouffe nodded.


“Oh, yeah,” Plouffe said. “He knows what he’s doing. It’s just a matter of being consistent with it, trusting the process instead of looking at the results. Because the results are going to fluctuate, no matter how good you are.”

Plouffe nodded across the room to where franchise first baseman Joe Mauer lockers.

“You look at Joe early in the season,” Plouffe said. “His numbers weren’t there, but he trusted his process . Obviously he’s a guy that knows his process works. Now he’s back hitting .300.”
The trouble with a second-year player such as Hicks is he doesn’t have that track record to fall back on, to carry him through the sustained downturns.

“That’s something you have to deal with your whole career — trying to trust your process,” Plouffe said. “This is a tough game. Everyone knows (Hicks) has all the tools. It’s just putting those to work.”



http://blogs.twincities.com/twins/2014/05/16/twinsights-trevor-plouffe-hopes-aaron-hicks-takes-big-moment-and-runs-with-it/


Thanks for the quote, JB. And Plouffe was the second person out there to greet Hicks after the winning hit (Cola was first). He was extremely professional in the offeason when it appeared that Sano was about to eclipse him at 3rd base. Inexplicably, Dozier and Plouffe appear to be becoming the team's (vocal, at the least) leaders.

#38 Thrylos

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 05:06 PM

That's my point. He's played poorly. No question. But that doesn't mean he isn't working hard. Not everyone prepares in the same way, etc. Looking at the actual quotes, it's not as bad as where the dialogue and discussions want to take it, it seems.


"Bad" or not "bad" enough, these words belong behind closed doors. Imagine if one's manager or Department head (in an everyday job; heck even in an entertainment production, which is somewhat more comparable) was telling customers how "unmotivated" a particular employee is because he needs to study what the company sells. That stuff should never reach the papers...

But it has been the Twins' MO for players who they want to oust. And it is not young players only.
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#39 jokin

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 05:24 PM

"Bad" or not "bad" enough, these words belong behind closed doors. Imagine if one's manager or Department head (in an everyday job; heck even in an entertainment production, which is somewhat more comparable) was telling customers how "unmotivated" a particular employee is because he needs to study what the company sells. That stuff should never reach the papers...

But it has been the Twins' MO for players who they want to oust. And it is not young players only.


Yup. As I've said for the last 8 months, I think the Twins got past the point of caring by the time around the first Hicks demotion last summer- to me, he's now viewed as a short-timer in the Twins long-range planning.

Re: "not the young players only".....The Scott Baker case was particularly appalling.

#40 LaBombo

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 05:44 PM

Antony is the least qualified GM in baseball, so for him to publicly call out his players is just laughable.

Maybe there wasn't a rush to refute this statement because it came late on Friday afternoon.

Or maybe it's because Antony's body of work, dating back to his commendable yet regrettable decision to attempt to discuss advance metrics four years ago, has caused concern even among the fans most likely to give the front office the benefit of the doubt.

The latter gets my vote after this latest Hicks outburst.