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Article: Changing Focus: The Danny Valencia & Francisco Liriano Moves

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:31 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...o-Liriano-Moves

#2 Nick Nelson

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:47 PM

Matt Maloney was the odd man out with another lefty moving to the bullpen. That's unlucky for him.

"Unlucky"? He was flat-out terrible, which is exactly what his track record foretold. He never should have been on the team in the first place, regardless of his spring training statistics.

#3 James Richter

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:26 AM

For a guy as cocky as Valencia, this is a great wake-up call. If he can adjust his approach to the point where he's not getting himself out all the time, he could be useful again (to somebody), at least as the short half of a platoon. I'm also interested to see whether Plouffe can handle 3B better than SS. I see your point on Liriano. But I still think they should have thrown him in the car with the cougar. As long as we're adding marginal pitchers in their late 20's to the roster, when's it going to be Slama's turn?

#4 twinswon1991

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 05:27 AM

I have a feeling this year the twins are going to continually shift players from the bigs to the minors. This is what happens when the top levels of your organizatin are filled with nothing but replacement level or below replacemnt level players. These are all interchangeable parts.

#5 Sanibelchuck

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 05:39 AM

About time for Valencia to be demoted. This guy thinks he is much better than anyone else. He is the only player that I have ever met that refused to sign his rookie card.

#6 ajr81_2002

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:45 AM

I love the Valencia move. He thinks he is great. The other night during the "Pick the Sticks" bit that the FSN crew does pre-game, Valencia walked up to the camera and asked one of the commentators (Roy, maybe) why he wasn't getting any love. Joke or not, there are a lot of irritated fans out there. Danny needs to hit the ball before he jokes on camera about how good he thinks he is.

#7 Han Joelo

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:03 AM

This should serve as a little wake-up call for everybody else on the team as well not named Joe, Josh, or Justin. I was excited at the start of the year when I looked at the lineup--on base guys, power guys, speed guys. The lineup last night made me wince. Do you think Plouffe will get an extended look at 3B? Or RF? Can they bring up Bates and get Parmalee to AAA where he needs to be?

#8 PogueBear

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:28 AM

These are the bold(er) roster moves that I feel Bill Smith never had the cojones to do. The sooner this organization embraces a rebuilding season, the better. Every ounce of value that can be had by trading Span, Pavano, and maybe even Liriano (if he pitches well in the bullpen), must be milked out of 2012. I don't think you can necessarily go after other teams' blue chip prospects with those pieces, but someone like Span (especially with a team friendly contract) should at least fetch a higher-ceiling pitching prospect. 2001's marketing campaign was "Get to Know 'Em;" 2012's unofficial campaign will be "Say Your Goodbyes." I will definitely miss Span, but like Hunter, he'll still be easy to root for in other colors, especially since the Nationals are in the NL.

#9 Seth Stohs

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:31 AM

Clearly Valencia has the talent and confidence to succeed in the big leagues. This step backwards is likely/hopefully the thing that can help him figure things out again. Consider this as well... if Valencia spent the whole season with the Twins, he would most likely be a Super 2 and make a bunch of money next year. If he goes down for a month (maybe 5 weeks), something clicks and he turns the career around, the Twins get an extra year of time at near-league minimum.

#10 nokomismod

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:36 AM

Did you guys catch Valencia's quote where he said his defense has been great, just his hitting has been lacking?

#11 nokomismod

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:37 AM

John, who's the everyday 3b now? Or is it a mixture of Casilla, Plouffe, and Carrol?

#12 SBG

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:45 AM

Clearly Valencia has the talent and confidence to succeed in the big leagues. This step backwards is likely/hopefully the thing that can help him figure things out again.

Consider this as well... if Valencia spent the whole season with the Twins, he would most likely be a Super 2 and make a bunch of money next year. If he goes down for a month (maybe 5 weeks), something clicks and he turns the career around, the Twins get an extra year of time at near-league minimum.


Seth, I don't think it is at all clear that he has the talent to succeed in the big leagues. He is a career.235/.274/.357 hitter against right handers. That's not exactly good from a corner infielder. Add to that the evidence that suggests that he is, at best, a below average fielder and I think he's a marginal big leaguer with one good skill -- he mashes lefties.

#13 nicksaviking

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:06 AM

Clearly Valencia has the talent and confidence to succeed in the big leagues. This step backwards is likely/hopefully the thing that can help him figure things out again.

Consider this as well... if Valencia spent the whole season with the Twins, he would most likely be a Super 2 and make a bunch of money next year. If he goes down for a month (maybe 5 weeks), something clicks and he turns the career around, the Twins get an extra year of time at near-league minimum.


Or which ever team he gets traded to. If this move helps his trade value at the deadline it was a great decision. If a callup coincides with his yearly July surge the team might get some value back for him.

#14 StormJH1

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:19 AM

Did you guys catch Valencia's quote where he said his defense has been great, just his hitting has been lacking?

The broadcast crew noted during the game (when they obviously had no idea he'd be sent down afterwards) that his defense had been significantly better in the past three weeks. I'm not sure I agree with that sentiment, as his range leaves something to be desired even if he isn't making errors, but take it for what it's worth.

What people need to understand about Valencia and this move is that Valencia is not a "prospect". He's 9 days older than Ryan Zimmerman. It just doesn't feel that way because Zimmerman was up in the majors in 2006 playing a full season and posting better numbers at Age 21 than Valencia ever will. However, in terms of their development arc, Zimmerman and Valencia are at roughly the same place. Valencia is what he is. He was never was really supposed to be a 10-year solution at 3rd base...he was only thrust into that role because Joe Crede didn't work out the year before, and the only other options were guys like Harris and Punto.

Did anybody else catch Valencia with Robby Incmikowski (sp?) in the pregame on Monday? Robby was razzing him about why they had picked Mauer instead of him for Pick the Stick, and instead of just rolling with it, Valencia something to the effect of "Whatever, you would jump on Joe Mauer if you had the chance". I didn't see if anyone else noticed it on Twitter or the boards, but this is just yet another example of this guy's immaturity, and you can imagine there are much worse cringe-inducing moments behind closed doors. Those would be excused if he was a serviceable big leaguer, but unfortunately, he isn't.

#15 John Bonnes

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:26 AM

"Unlucky"? He was flat-out terrible, which is exactly what his track record foretold. He never should have been on the team in the first place, regardless of his spring training statistics.


By unlucky, I was referring to Liriano being left-handed. If he was right-handed, I think someone else would have gone.

#16 Gernzy

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:29 AM

John, who's the everyday 3b now? Or is it a mixture of Casilla, Plouffe, and Carrol?


Exactly right. I have a feeling it will be mostly Carroll with Casilla at 2B.
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#17 John Bonnes

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:33 AM

What people need to understand about Valencia and this move is that Valencia is not a "prospect". He's 9 days older than Ryan Zimmerman. It just doesn't feel that way because Zimmerman was up in the majors in 2006 playing a full season and posting better numbers at Age 21 than Valencia ever will.


I'm not sure I totally understand what this means. If the point is that Valencia's ceiling is pretty low, I agree. But I still think Valencia could have a Coomerific career in the majors. And I always cut a little slack to 3B for their age. For some reason, a lot of them make it to the bigs a bit later.

One other point I should have made in the story: right about now it might be nice to have Luke Hughes in the organization.

#18 cr9617

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:38 AM

Clearly Valencia has the talent and confidence to succeed in the big leagues. This step backwards is likely/hopefully the thing that can help him figure things out again.

Consider this as well... if Valencia spent the whole season with the Twins, he would most likely be a Super 2 and make a bunch of money next year. If he goes down for a month (maybe 5 weeks), something clicks and he turns the career around, the Twins get an extra year of time at near-league minimum.


Come on Seth. He was never a top flight prospect to begin with, so we shouldn't be surprised by his struggles. The guys has no range and does only 1 thing well....hit left handed pitching. He's not a Major League starting third baseman.


He was overhyped from the start, just like Parmelee, Revere, Hendricks, etc....Hopefully Dozier breaks the mold and outperforms.

#19 lee_the_twins_fan

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:47 AM

So when Morneau comes off the DL, and is able to play 1B will Parmalee get the regular 3B job? To me, it makes the most sense.*

#20 John Bonnes

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:48 AM

Exactly right. I have a feeling it will be mostly Carroll with Casilla at 2B.



I suspect the same. Carroll, mostly. Some Plouffe.

#21 twinswon1991

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:56 AM

Danny is not and never was a prospect of any value. He would not have made the bigs on more than 2 or 3 other teams outside of an absolute emergency. The fact that people even mistake him for a prospect speaks to the dire strairs of the Twins minor leagues. He should be nothing more than a AAA afterthought in a good org.

#22 MileHighTwinsFan

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:59 AM

I agree with the moves and the change of focus as you describe it. There are guys producing on this team - we should invest in them and move on those who are not. The amount of energy and expectations set on these two is exhausting and dragging the entire club down. Sometimes addition by subtraction is the way to go. The moves don't completely cut ties, but they send a message to these players that it is now or never for them in a Twins uniform.

#23 TwinsFan01

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:07 AM

The only thing I don't like about these moves is that they should have happened a couple weeks ago. Better late than never!

#24 powrwrap

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:20 AM

Clearly Valencia has the talent and confidence to succeed in the big leagues.


Clearly not. His fundamentals are wrong on both offense and defense. His judgment on the strike zone is terrible. He's an awful player but he thinks he's A-Rod.

John, I liked your take on the transition from focusing on the team to focusing on individual players. The Twins need to work on developing their younger players and what better place than the major leagues with the best coaches in the system. They need to forget about contending for the playoffs and admit they are rebuilding. Maybe this recent spate of maneuvers shows that they finally get it.
[FONT=comic sans ms][COLOR=#000000]"Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand." [/COLOR][/FONT]

#25 James

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:21 AM

So when Morneau comes off the DL, and is able to play 1B will Parmalee get the regular 3B job? To me, it makes the most sense.*

Parmalee throws left handed, so he won't be seeing any time at 3B.

You can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.


#26 jharaldson

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:29 AM

I think this is a good direction for the team to go but these type of moves cannot just be limited to guys that are already in Gardy's doghouse but need to go beyond that. A specific example is Blackburn. Nick currently has an ERA of around 7.00 and would be the joke of the rotation if Liriano had not imploded to the extent he did. If Blackburn doesn't turn it around in the next few starts the Twins need to push him in to the bullpen as well.

#27 Mr. Ed

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:59 AM

I think this is a good direction for the team to go but these type of moves cannot just be limited to guys that are already in Gardy's doghouse but need to go beyond that. A specific example is Blackburn. Nick currently has an ERA of around 7.00 and would be the joke of the rotation if Liriano had not imploded to the extent he did. If Blackburn doesn't turn it around in the next few starts the Twins need to push him in to the bullpen as well.


The bullpen is getting awfully crowded. Who is next to start in the bigs? They're running out of options(some would say they already have).

#28 roger

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:45 AM

One other point I should have made in the story: right about now it might be nice to have Luke Hughes in the organization.


And I was having a good morning until you reminded me of that John. The Twins didn't reclaim him when the A's DFA's him last week and he is currently in Sacremento. But yes, Hughes would be a huge addition to this team right now.

#29 Jim H

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:05 AM

But yes, Hughes would be a huge addition to this team right now.


I suppose Hughes could land somewhere and do a Casey Blake, but I don't think that is very likely. I think he is more limited than Valencia as a potential starting 3B, both offensively and defensively. Not, that I am holding out a lot of hope for Valencia, either.

Actually the best hope for a medium term answer at 3B is probably Plouffe, though I am not too sure he will get much of an opportunity.

I am not sure I agree with John's take on what the Twins focus is. It kind of looks to me, that the Twins are flipping cards over, hoping one or more will play. I don't see where they have much choice, but I doubt if it has much to do with develpment of individual players.

#30 robesinfargo

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:08 AM

This seems like a good time to make a move outside of the organization...i see Kevin Youkilis may be on the block...seems like a great fit to me