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Article: The Twins Are Stuck In Their Comfort Zone

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#31 Dman

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:08 AM

Silly? Outside ideas? Which organization do you like and tell me if the GM did not come from within or is a retread from being fired. Feel free to tell me then about fresh outside ideas if you can find someone who never was a GM having succeess in a new organization. Fresh ideas come from promoting the brightest person possible in the organization. That is the part that those clamoring for change don't seem to get.(Sidebar I can't resist, in 2007 either they were sadly mistaken about Smith's intelligence, or he was the brightest which would explain a lot. Changing the manager doesn't mean much without changing the talent. The point is changing the manager is not the recipe for improvement. Changing the talent is. That doesn't mean keep Gardenhire. It means if they do not change the talent you will have the same outcome. From what I read in these posts, all the Twins world will be a better place when Gardenhire and Ryan are gone. That is silly.


I am with you on this analysis. Managers MANAGE talent they don't create it. When Gardy and Andy were winning and the Twins way was the envy of most teams in baseball they were brilliant at their jobs. When he won manager of the year he must have really been bad at his job.

They lost talented players especially pitching and now the manager needs to be replaced to fix things? Once the Twins start winning again no one will care if Gardy is still in charge or not. Blame who you want but the players have to perform to win games. I can't think of any manager who could win the division with the pitching staff we currently have. Talent coupled with consistent performance wins games. The Twins don't have much of that yet.

#32 Monkeypaws

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:22 AM

I see it as a lack of faith in the Twins organization in their AAA pool, coupled with very weak roster. With with a roster full of question marks, players fail to seize the opportunities given them: Hicks, Parmelee, Mastro, Florimon, etc. Kubel was the one that almost made sense, just 1 season removed from relevance.

Remember a few years back when Jacque Jones attempted a comeback, and actually looked the part, but in the end he was cut because the Twins had a major league roster.

Different times these.

#33 JB_Iowa

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:25 AM

Thank you, Nick.

.... but infused no fresh blood from outside the organization.

In general, I don't think that being loyal to your people and promoting from within are bad things, but there have got to be limits and exceptions. The Twins have been stuck in a losing rut for almost half a decade now, yet they haven't brought one prominent outside voice into the mix during that entire span.

I'm of the opinion that "fresh blood" should be infused during good times and bad times to prevent complacency. That allows for stability while also providing challenges to group think and the possibility of some eye-opening new ideas. Seeing new and different faces also has a psychological impact. We all get into a position where we can predict what long-time colleagues will do or say (heck, we can all pretty much predict what a lot of posters here will say -- I'm sure most of you could have predicted I'd post something along these lines).

Sometimes we need new and different faces (and ideas) just to get our attention and because we "hear" new voices differently. The baseball operations side of the Twins has gone far beyond stable to moribund and it is pretty hard to come back from the brink of death without a complete transfusion. I'm afraid that's where they are now ... at a point where a complete overhaul may be necessary. That might not have been required if they had been willing to blend in new talent earlier.

I'm not sure how long you can keep selling "wait 'til next year" .... when it doesn't seem like next year provides much improvement. We can all be excited about the prospects in the Twins system. But Jim Pohlad is right, they are still just prospects. We've yet to see whether they can have any great impact on the major league club.

#34 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:28 AM

I 100% agree that Jason Bartlett should not have been on the Opening Day roster. I didn't mind the signing, but I assumed he would compete for a utility role in Rochester and shake off some rust and get an opportunity to help the Twins if things went well. With Pedro Florimon as the incumbent and not knowing how ready Danny Santana was, I thought that was a signing worth taking a flyer on.

I was (and remain) 100% fine with signing Kubel to the minor league deal and essentially handing him a roster spot. he was a year removed from hitting 30 home runs, and his 2013 was largely spent injured. He had enough equity built up in his career that I didn't have any problem with giving him a real opportunity to see if he could find it again. Should they have ended that attempt 2-4 weeks earlier? Sure. But I will always support this type of contract.

Matt Guerrier is in the same boat as Kubel, though he was older. He has had a long, very productive career. He had an opt-out and they had to make a choice. He was fine in the low-leverage situations until last night. I'm 100% good with making this change today and getting Ryan Pressly back up here.

This is the time of the year when you go into sell mode and youth movement, and we're seeing the Twins do that.

The Twins did the same thing with Jared Burton a couple of years ago. He signed a minor league contract and despite a tough spring, he was given an Opening Day roster position, and that worked out. Sure, maybe extending him hasn't been totally great, but the original decision was good... And, he was suggested by Wayne Krivsky.

So, I agree that all three of these were busts. I think we're making a bigger deal out of it because they were former good Twins players. However, I really hope they continue to sign these types of guys in the offseason to minor league contracts. It's a good strategy.


I wouldn't go as far to call Guerrier a "bust", he did make it to the major league roster and prior to his last game he did have a 2.67 ERA in 26 appearances. Again his k/9 etc weren't that sexy, but his results were "solid"

It was definitely time for him to go though as his luck definitely ran out.

Having Bartlett on the roster made zero sense to be honest. I don't mind taking a flyer on Kubel, especially after his "hot" start. I'd much rather give a guy a 2 mil contract for one year then give a large deal to a corner OF that ultimately just blocks other players.

At the end of the day though, none of those players ultimately blocked anyone.
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"- L. Harvey Oswald

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#35 Dman

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:28 AM

Again: Either the Twins have talent (and the manager is to blame,) or the Twins do not have the talent (and the front office is to blame.) The Twins are not where they are (and have been since 1992) because of divine intervention...


I think the front office is more to blame than the manager(s). Even before Bill took over the well was pretty dry in the Minors. The front office also made some bad trades and in the end it cost us dearly. Some where along the way they thought they could take any control pitcher and turn him into Brad Radke. Whatever the strategy it failed miserably.

That being said it is hard to criticize a front office that has created the number 2 farm system in all of baseball. If they are such an incompetent bunch what does that say about the rest of the leagues GM's and FO's? They messed up and they are moving in a positive direction to fix it. Only team doing a better job might be the Cubs. If things work out well the Twins FO will redeem themselves in the next few years with or without new guys at the top.

#36 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:34 AM

Nick - A really spot on article...and timely. There are many points to discuss here, but in essence we have some good guys running this organization. They care about the Twins' family. I like that. But it doesn't always result in winning the division title every year...and even sometimes it comes unraveled, as we have seen the last 4 years. I really like your looking at the big picture. I for one, feel like the Twins are in good hands and that consistent winning is just around the corner. There are many lessons to be learned from the last 4 years of Twins baseball...and I look forward to articles and discussions about these lessons to be learned.

#37 Dantes929

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:39 AM

I have always defended these moves because in theory they make senses. Talented players who may have something left in the tank signed to low risk moderate reward deals. The low risk is that if they don't perform in ST or the minor leagues they never see the light of day in the majors. Upside is the talent and track record mentioned earlier. I will no longer defend these moves since the Twins do not follow this simple logic. They turn it into moderate risk due to lost games and blocking younger players and into low rewards since these guys have not had to prove that they are capable or ready to rebound. Twins are criticized often and I defend them often because I feel it is either unwarranted or just too over the top. Not here. Any signing of these types will now be met with skepticism on my part as well.

#38 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:39 AM

I think the front office is more to blame than the manager(s). Even before Bill took over the well was pretty dry in the Minors. The front office also made some bad trades and in the end it cost us dearly. Some where along the way they thought they could take any control pitcher and turn him into Brad Radke. Whatever the strategy it failed miserably.

That being said it is hard to criticize a front office that has created the number 2 farm system in all of baseball. If they are such an incompetent bunch what does that say about the rest of the leagues GM's and FO's? They messed up and they are moving in a positive direction to fix it. Only team doing a better job might be the Cubs. If things work out well the Twins FO will redeem themselves in the next few years with or without new guys at the top.


Unfortunately it is easier to build a great farm system when you have top 5 draft picks year after year for 4 years. The real test is having a solid farm system when the team is consistently winning...which the Twins were doing for 10 years prior. I contend that is the major reason the farm system had run dry 4 years ago. How do the Cardinals win year after year, and yet their farm system is consistently one of the best?

#39 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:42 AM



"I'm of the opinion that "fresh blood" should be infused during good times and bad times to prevent complacency. That allows for stability while also providing challenges to group think and the possibility of some eye-opening new ideas. Seeing new and different faces also has a psychological impact. We all get into a position where we can predict what long-time colleagues will do or say (heck, we can all pretty much predict what a lot of posters here will say -- I'm sure most of you could have predicted I'd post something along these lines)." JB-Iowa


JB from Iowa - I knew you'd say that. :)

Edited by tarheeltwinsfan, 24 July 2014 - 08:46 AM.


#40 jorgenswest

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:43 AM

The problem with signing the trio is that they don't look elsewhere.

Even after signing Kubel, they could have seen his struggle in the spring and looked for a younger player like JD Martinez. They could have given the time in spring to minor league free agents with the upside of age.

They could have replaced Tonkin with AJ Achter. Wouldn't it be better to use those low leverage situations to give experience to a younger player?

Signing decline phase veterans continues the cycle of mediocrity.

#41 Winston Smith

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:01 AM

One playoff series win in 16 years as GM and no playoff games won in 10 for the Manager why would anyone even bring up making changes with that track record?

#42 Dman

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:03 AM

Unfortunately it is easier to build a great farm system when you have top 5 draft picks year after year for 4 years. The real test is having a solid farm system when the team is consistently winning...which the Twins were doing for 10 years prior. I contend that is the major reason the farm system had run dry 4 years ago. How do the Cardinals win year after year, and yet their farm system is consistently one of the best?


No question the Cardinals do it but all other 29 teams fail in regards to the Cardinals as well. The comments were about replacing the front office or managers as fixing the Twins problems because apparently they are not good at their jobs and identifying talent etc.

My point is if they are so outdated and incompetent how can they have the second best farm system in baseball? Picking high certainly helps but other teams have picked high for several years and are behind us. The FO had a large lapse in talent acquisition and it cost them four lost years and likely five but they are fixing that now.

According to the analysts they have a lot of highly talented players in their farm system. I don't think changing the FO is going to help us get even more talent. They have done their job finding high end talent. Now they simply have to hope that talent can perform in MLB.

#43 gocgo

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:04 AM

I agree with many of the comments posted here and I think what frustrates me the most is probably what frustrates many of you.

I'm not a baseball guy...and odds are that you aren't either. Don't get me wrong, we all love the sport and probably know more than the average fan, but, while we would all like to play GM or manager for a season, the reality is that we will never get that shot and even if we did, would probably fail miserably...and that's where the frustration comes in.

If we, who are not baseball guys, could see that Bartlett was not deserving of a roster spot and certainly shouldn't have been put out in left field to showcase that fact, why couldn't the baseball guys? As we watched Kubel swing away in spring training and could see that his bat speed was not where it needed to be, we heard Gardy say "I don't worry about Kubel". Really? Because we, the non-baseball guys, worried about Kubel.

What frustrates me more than anything is that I would like to believe that these guys are better at their jobs than we, the non-baseball guys, would be...and yet, their decisions make me question whether they are.
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#44 Nick Nelson

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:04 AM

The Twins did the same thing with Jared Burton a couple of years ago. He signed a minor league contract and despite a tough spring, he was given an Opening Day roster position, and that worked out. Sure, maybe extending him hasn't been totally great, but the original decision was good... And, he was suggested by Wayne Krivsky.


This really just supports the point I'm trying to make. Bringing Burton aboard was a good move (and one I fully endorsed at the time) for two reasons:

1) He came from another organization, and while he might have been recommended by Krivsky, that recommendation was based on good science -- Burton had posted intriguing numbers when healthy enough to pitch, and contrary to what you stated he in fact looked very good in spring training.

2) He was only 30 when they signed him, meaning he had a chance to stick around and be a contributor for several seasons (which he has). That is the kind of player this team needs to be seeking. Was there any realistic chance that these declining, mid-30s players were going to be part of the next contending Twins team?

Again, Seth, I'm not complaining about signing players to minor-league deals. That's a perfectly sound strategy. When those non-guaranteed contracts carry implicit promises that are apparently rooted in past history, that is a problem.

It comes down to a tweet that Dave St. Peter sent out late in the spring, when a lot of people were expressing bewilderment about the Bartlett thing. He said something like, "I can't believe all the hand-wringing over the 25th spot on our roster." That was one of the most disappointing comments I've seen from a Twins official. These roster spots matter.

#45 TwinsTerritory

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:10 AM

I know I will get ripped to shreds by many for this post and I'm okay with that:D, but I do think there is something to be said for having some veterans around. Teams and organizations that are successful over the long haul generally have some players that may be past their prime, but are still there to show younger players how to be professionals.

As a high school coach that has had fairly successful teams over the past decade, I can say there are times that I've had extremely valuable players that see very little time on the field. Seniors that work hard and are always prepared can teach younger players, even though the younger players are more talented.

I know high school sports are not the same as a major league organization and this isn't an apples to apples comparison (it's not even close), but I firmly believe that some of this is true even at the major league level. I would guess you could go through every MLB roster and find a player or two that probably aren't as talented as someone that they have in the minors, but they chose to keep the veteran around.

I believe that a guy like Guerrier has had value to the organization this year from being around young guys in spring training, to AAA, to the big league team, despite the fact that we probably had plenty of AAA pitchers that have more talent. If a guy like Guerrier can have an influence on young players and still be relatively productive in a certain role, it was a successful signing in my mind. Very shortly after his release, this tweet came out from Brian Duensing: "I'm gonna miss @mattygrrr he's the guy who taught me how to be a professional. A guy I really look up to. Good luck bub."

Having said all of that, the organization obviously needs to weigh all of these things that can't be measured with performance on the field. That is where I see the difference in the Kubel, Guerrier and Bartlett decisions. Kubel had produced relatively recently and did so in April while also by all accounts being a "good clubhouse presence" (for lack of a better term). Guerrier came up and was relatively productive in a small role and the team obviously felt he was a "good clubhouse presence". Keeping Bartlett, on the other hand, caused us to have to release Presley and push Hicks again while providing zero indication that he had any value on the field. That in my mind is the difference.

Go ahead and fire away!!:shoot:

#46 Brandon

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:10 AM

I am going to disagree with you to some extent here. We were not goig to win this year. Ther was a push to be a .500 team and be somewhat competitive while we wait for our prospects to develop. Bartlett was signed to be the 2nd middle IF and backup OF. Kubel to be a DH/OF on a team with several already. and Guerrier to be a middle reliever by the opt ut date. None of the 3 had a prominent role on the team. Kubel had a few good weeks then there was nobody available to replace him, that's why he stayed as long as he did. Guerrier was successful until this week. last appearance he gave up a it and walk and got no one out. If he is hurt then he needed to go, but he could have been included in trade for Corriea or someone else for a prospect. If he is not hurt I bet someone else picks him up. These 3 are a side show to the story of a hopeful .500 team so the team is not so bland. I still don't see how you can call Guerrier a bust as he had a 2.86 ERA up until his last appearance.

Yes I think the Twins are getting to a point that some of the pitching prospects need to come up. But there are other pitchers to consider moving too as Swazak hasn't been the best. Corriea may be on his way out. Will Deunsing be here long term? I could see the Twins signing him to a 2 year 6 million contract as well as trading him. (We have room in the budget). Outside of Meyer and Mays and a few relievers who is ready right now to come up? Pino is supposed to be working on defense as his bat is ready to play at C maybe DH. Everyone else is on track for late next season. wouldn't you rather have an extra story to follow while you wait. I bet the average fan buying a ticket would.

Edited by Brandon, 24 July 2014 - 09:22 AM.


#47 TheDean

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:14 AM

Kubel had a brief hot-streak, but I can't abide the number of PAs he was given. His spring training was terrible, he got a bit lucky to start the year, and then proceeded to tank to a sub-Hicks wRC+. SUB-HICKS! His lack of defensive value was so great that he managed -1.1 rWAR in his time here. At least Presley has been exactly replacement-level in nearly all aspects of his game for Houston.

Guerrier's results were fine, but it was an unnecessary luck-based solution that only served to block other pitchers. Wasted an option on Pressly for no reason.

Bartlett...well I'm going to admit that I thought it was nbd when it happened. 25th man, right? Well, I'm here to owe up to my misjudgment. My bad, folks. If you believe in WAR, his rate of -0.2 rWAR in 4 PAs is kind of impressive in its smallest sample size of terribleness.

#48 gocgo

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:14 AM

I know I will get ripped to shreds by many for this post and I'm okay with that:D, but I do think there is something to be said for having some veterans around. Teams and organizations that are successful over the long haul generally have some players that may be past their prime, but are still there to show younger players how to be professionals.

As a high school coach that has had fairly successful teams over the past decade, I can say there are times that I've had extremely valuable players that see very little time on the field. Seniors that work hard and are always prepared can teach younger players, even though the younger players are more talented.

I know high school sports are not the same as a major league organization and this isn't an apples to apples comparison (it's not even close), but I firmly believe that some of this is true even at the major league level. I would guess you could go through every MLB roster and find a player or two that probably aren't as talented as someone that they have in the minors, but they chose to keep the veteran around.

I believe that a guy like Guerrier has had value to the organization this year from being around young guys in spring training, to AAA, to the big league team, despite the fact that we probably had plenty of AAA pitchers that have more talent. If a guy like Guerrier can have an influence on young players and still be relatively productive in a certain role, it was a successful signing in my mind. Very shortly after his release, this tweet came out from Brian Duensing: "I'm gonna miss @mattygrrr he's the guy who taught me how to be a professional. A guy I really look up to. Good luck bub."

Having said all of that, the organization obviously needs to weigh all of these things that can't be measured with performance on the field. That is where I see the difference in the Kubel, Guerrier and Bartlett decisions. Kubel had produced relatively recently and did so in April while also by all accounts being a "good clubhouse presence" (for lack of a better term). Guerrier came up and was relatively productive in a small role and the team obviously felt he was a "good clubhouse presence". Keeping Bartlett, on the other hand, caused us to have to release Presley and push Hicks again while providing zero indication that he had any value on the field. That in my mind is the difference.

Go ahead and fire away!!:shoot:


I understand what you are saying, but the inverse of keeping those underperforming veterans around is the conflicting message that it sends to the guys in the minors. Want to get promoted? Perform! Perform better than a veteran? Well, not so fast because we're still going to take the veteran over you.

#49 jokin

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:20 AM

No question the Cardinals do it but all other 29 teams fail in regards to the Cardinals as well. The comments were about replacing the front office or managers as fixing the Twins problems because apparently they are not good at their jobs and identifying talent etc.

My point is if they are so outdated and incompetent how can they have the second best farm system in baseball? Picking high certainly helps but other teams have picked high for several years and are behind us. The FO had a large lapse in talent acquisition and it cost them four lost years and likely five but they are fixing that now.

According to the analysts they have a lot of highly talented players in their farm system. I don't think changing the FO is going to help us get even more talent. They have done their job finding high end talent. Now they simply have to hope that talent can perform in MLB.


I disagree. It's pretty easy to get high-end talent in the draft, you don't have to look too far when you're drafting in the top five picks year after year. OTOH, it is incumbent on the Twins, as in the case of the Cardinals and Rays, for example, to not "hope" they can perform, but to properly develop that talent and quickly get it to the major league club.

#50 JB_Iowa

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:22 AM

I know I will get ripped to shreds by many for this post and I'm okay with that:D, but I do think there is something to be said for having some veterans around. Teams and organizations that are successful over the long haul generally have some players that may be past their prime, but are still there to show younger players how to be professionals.


There's nothing wrong with having some veterans around. Bringing in Morales? Made sense although he isn't performing as well as I'd hoped.

Bringing in Nolasco made sense -- having a veteran inning eater who understood how to pitch and could provide some leadership to the younger pitchers on the staff. (Again, this hasn't worked out as I would have hoped).

And there was nothing intrinsically wrong with offering minor league deals to Bartlett, Kubel and Guerrier. It was the seeming favoritism that allowed them spots on the major league roster -- and for far too long that was the problem.

Edited by JB_Iowa, 24 July 2014 - 09:25 AM.


#51 jokin

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:27 AM

I know I will get ripped to shreds by many for this post and I'm okay with that:D, but I do think there is something to be said for having some veterans around. Teams and organizations that are successful over the long haul generally have some players that may be past their prime, but are still there to show younger players how to be professionals.

As a high school coach that has had fairly successful teams over the past decade, I can say there are times that I've had extremely valuable players that see very little time on the field. Seniors that work hard and are always prepared can teach younger players, even though the younger players are more talented.

I know high school sports are not the same as a major league organization and this isn't an apples to apples comparison (it's not even close), but I firmly believe that some of this is true even at the major league level. I would guess you could go through every MLB roster and find a player or two that probably aren't as talented as someone that they have in the minors, but they chose to keep the veteran around.

I believe that a guy like Guerrier has had value to the organization this year from being around young guys in spring training, to AAA, to the big league team, despite the fact that we probably had plenty of AAA pitchers that have more talent. If a guy like Guerrier can have an influence on young players and still be relatively productive in a certain role, it was a successful signing in my mind. Very shortly after his release, this tweet came out from Brian Duensing: "I'm gonna miss @mattygrrr he's the guy who taught me how to be a professional. A guy I really look up to. Good luck bub."

Having said all of that, the organization obviously needs to weigh all of these things that can't be measured with performance on the field. That is where I see the difference in the Kubel, Guerrier and Bartlett decisions. Kubel had produced relatively recently and did so in April while also by all accounts being a "good clubhouse presence" (for lack of a better term). Guerrier came up and was relatively productive in a small role and the team obviously felt he was a "good clubhouse presence". Keeping Bartlett, on the other hand, caused us to have to release Presley and push Hicks again while providing zero indication that he had any value on the field. That in my mind is the difference.

Go ahead and fire away!!:shoot:


Along with what JB said....I appreciate your post and have seen similar examples over my own experience. The part where this all goes awry is when a team ends up using this "veteranness" and "versatility" as desperate justification for an increasingly obvious bad decision. Witness the ongoing Bartlett debacle in ST, wherein the team finally trotted out this year's most preposterous statement about Bartie's new role as "team chemist" and back-up CFer.

Edited by jokin, 24 July 2014 - 09:29 AM.


#52 TwinsTerritory

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:28 AM

I understand what you are saying, but the inverse of keeping those underperforming veterans around is the conflicting message that it sends to the guys in the minors. Want to get promoted? Perform! Perform better than a veteran? Well, not so fast because we're still going to take the veteran over you.


I agree with that concept, I guess I just don't know that there was anyone that was ready (development wise) and performing at such a high level that they would necessarily feel this way. You could make an argument for guys like Pressley and Parmalee taking the spots of Guerrier and Kubel, but I don't know that they're super young guys that are part of the solution either. They have both had plenty of chances as well. On the other hand, keeping Presley over Bartlett clearly would have given us a better 25 man roster and chance to be more successful.

In my mind, Meyer and May are the two guys that are being held down too long but that wasn't due to any of these signings, it's due to the Twins refusing to push a starting pitching prospect (which is extremely frustrating to me).

#53 troyhobbs

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:31 AM

I am with you on this analysis. Managers MANAGE talent they don't create it. When Gardy and Andy were winning and the Twins way was the envy of most teams in baseball they were brilliant at their jobs. When he won manager of the year he must have really been bad at his job.

They lost talented players especially pitching and now the manager needs to be replaced to fix things? Once the Twins start winning again no one will care if Gardy is still in charge or not. Blame who you want but the players have to perform to win games. I can't think of any manager who could win the division with the pitching staff we currently have. Talent coupled with consistent performance wins games. The Twins don't have much of that yet.


Managers don't create talent but the good ones will maximize the talent on their roster. I don't think anyone ever accused Gardy of being a genius even when they were winning. The fan base has favored him because he's personable and he gets ejected from a lot of games. Not to say that the talent isn't lacking or he's a terrible manager, but I have to believe there are better baseball minds out there.

#54 TwinsTerritory

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:31 AM

Along with what JB said....I appreciate your post and have seen similar examples over my own experience. The part where this all goes awry is when a team ends up using this "veteranness" and "versatility" as desperate justification for an increasingly obvious bad decision. Witness the ongoing Bartlett debacle in ST, wherein the team finally trotted out this year's most preposterous statement about Bartie's new role as "team chemist" and back-up CFer.


I agree in the case of Bartlett and will never defend their decision to bring him to MN in April. That had Gardenhire stubbornness written all over it!

#55 jokin

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:35 AM

It comes down to a tweet that Dave St. Peter sent out late in the spring, when a lot of people were expressing bewilderment about the Bartlett thing. He said something like, "I can't believe all the hand-wringing over the 25th spot on our roster." That was one of the most disappointing comments I've seen from a Twins official. These roster spots matter.


Thanks for bringing this one up again, Nick. The power and danger of exposing one's shortcomings on social media, plus the disrespect towards his customer fan base, was on full display in all its glory and personal ignominy for all to see. One of a string of embarrassing managements gaffes last spring.

Edited by jokin, 24 July 2014 - 09:38 AM.


#56 spycake

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:39 AM

At the end of the day though, none of those players ultimately blocked anyone.


Pretty sure we're not going to get good looks at all of the various interesting AAA arms who will require roster decisions this winter and next spring (not to mention longer looks at Meyer and May, who could have been starting while Pino and Johnson got their MLB auditions in Guerrier's bullpen spot). Was it worth it to let Guerrier get mop-up innings for 2+ months, hoping for a long shot chance at a PTBNL or "cash considerations"?

Pretty sure we also couldn't bring aboard Fuld in February if we had essentially promised spots to Bartlett and Kubel, even if we didn't have much confidence in Presley or Mastroianni anymore. I guess that didn't really "block" anyone but it delayed Aaron Hicks for another 2+ months from getting the minor league time he so obviously needed.

#57 Dman

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:43 AM

I disagree. It's pretty easy to get high-end talent in the draft, you don't have to look too far when you're drafting in the top five picks year after year. OTOH, it is incumbent on the Twins, as in the case of the Cardinals and Rays, for example, to not "hope" they can perform, but to properly develop that talent and quickly get it to the major league club.


Just look to Houston and see that drafting high can be perilous as well. It looks like Appel is struggling and they picked poorly with Aiken. Easy, not necessarily.

I think the Twins could bring up players faster but when they have some of them have issue's. Even the Rays and Cardinals have these issues. Not every player works out the way teams hope. How is Will Myers doing for the Rays? There is only so much that can be taught or done and then the players have to perform. They do or they don't for various reasons but most are not controllable. You cannot control injury. You cannot control players weaknesses. The list goes on.

Maybe all the other coaches in Suzuki's career sucked until he made it to the Twins and that is why he suddenly became a good hitter or maybe he just finally figured something out that gave him greater success. Regardless Suzuki is the one that has to figure it out and the coach can only do so much (i.e you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink). I guess we just disagree.

#58 Cris E

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:52 AM

I don't mind a Wise Old Man at the end of the bench, but Burton was already sitting there when Guerrier sat down, and the other end of that bench was full of guys like Correia and Nolasco and Hughes. And Kubel wasn't going to offer much next to Mauer and Suzuki and Willingham either.

The other point to make about these freely available minor league types is that a lot of their potential value comes from cashing them in (ie trading them) if they actually pan out. Morales and Suzuki are not here to get the Twins to the playoffs.

#59 Steve Lein

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:54 AM

It comes down to a tweet that Dave St. Peter sent out late in the spring, when a lot of people were expressing bewilderment about the Bartlett thing. He said something like, "I can't believe all the hand-wringing over the 25th spot on our roster." That was one of the most disappointing comments I've seen from a Twins official. These roster spots matter.


Agreed!!! I remember thinking the same thing about that comment.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#60 spycake

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:55 AM

2) He was only 30 when they signed him, meaning he had a chance to stick around and be a contributor for several seasons (which he has).


And not just due to age, as Burton only had 4 years service at the time, meaning he was arb-eligible and under the Twins control (if we wanted him) for at least 2 more years (plus two more once we bought him out).

The Burton comparison would have worked with Guerrier in the spring of 2009, if he had been non-tendered at age 30 after some struggles in 2008. 5 years later? Not so much.

And again, any one of Kubel, Bartlett, or Guerrier getting an unearned roster spot isn't so bad by itself, it happens all the time. It's the 3 for 3 thing that suggests a serial pattern of either poor talent evaluation or misplaced priorities.