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Article: Monday Morning Madness: July 28, 2014

logan darnell brian dozier oswaldo arcia monday morning madness lewis thorpe
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#1 Brad Swanson

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 06:57 AM

Who won the most recent game? Those of us with a healthy recency bias are pretty high on the Twins right now. Everyone else? Not so much.

Logan Darnell...sort of
Congratulations to Darnell for making his first MLB start on Saturday. Darnell, Yohan Pino and Kris Johnson have all deserved their starts. That said, can we please have Trevor May and Alex Meyer now?Darnell, Pino and Johnson are deserving, but Meyer and May are more talented and much more likely to be in the rotation for a long time. Pino is 30, Johnson joins him at 30 in October and Darnell actually has a higher AAA ERA than either Meyer or May.

I understand being patient with prospects, but at this point in the season, Meyer and May need to be on the active roster, learning how to get MLB hitters out. If the Twins have any shot of contending in 2015, one or both of these talented pitchers need to contribute.

Brian Dozier and Oswaldo Arcia
Here's an old Bill Simmons trope for you:
  • Player A - .230/.325/.418
  • Player B - .221/.303/.385
Player A is Dozier, Player B is Arcia. Player A was elected President of Twins Territory, Player B is having an abysmal sophomore season. At least, that's how I've read and heard things. Since May 21, when Dozier's line peaked at .263/.377/.480, he is batting .211/.290/.383.

This isn't even meant to be a criticism of Dozier, more of a call to "back off" of Arcia. I'm glad to see Arcia in the lineup most days, something I called for last Monday. He rewarded the Twins with a pretty decent week. The major difference between Dozier and Arcia is the Twins' willingness to let Dozier work through his slumps. Arcia needs to be afforded the same opportunity, especially if the Twins want him to be a cornerstone player in the near future.

Why I hated 2011-2013
You may have already picked up on a trend from these past two sections, but the thing that bothered me most during the crummy 2011-13 seasons was the Twins' unwillingness to commit to young players with an eye toward the future. To me, a disappointing season is a great time to see what you have in a young player. I'll give the Twins a pass in 2011, because they didn't think they would be bad. 2012-13? No pass.

Oswaldo Arcia was shuffled from AAA to Minnesota routinely in 2013. Liam Hendriks wasn't given a chance to work through struggles in 2012 or 2013. Brian Dozier wasn't even on the Opening Day roster in 2012, which I had actually forgotten about.

When Josmil Pinto was called up in September of 2013, it didn't seem like he was going to get much playing time. Then, he hit like freaking Ted Williams and the Twins had no choice but to give him more playing time. The better plan would have had Pinto as the primary catcher from the start of September.

Well, at least they tried with Aaron Hicks. Of course, they also gave up in the middle of the 2013 season. Granted, he was awful, he had hit better as the season had went on. As such, the Twins came into 2014 with no clue how Hicks would perform. He performed as the baseball equivalent of Courtney Love.

Maybe these guys hadn't fully earned their chances. They almost certainly should have played better when they actually arrived. But what was the point in either waiting on them or not giving them opportunity to adjust? It wasn't an effort to win games because if it was, it was a massive failure.

After the trade deadline later this week, the Twins should be prepared to commit to their young players. Meyer, May, Arcia, Pinto, Danny Santana, Michael Tonkin, maybe even Kennys Vargas. There is no way the Twins plan to be bad in 2015, so they need to figure out if any of these guys are going to be reliable next year and after next year.

Or, they can just call up a bunch of AAA duds and watch the fans enjoy the Vikings pre-season. It's really up to them.

Former Twin Update - Trade Deadline
Next week, I'll have a current Twin to profile in this section. Kendrys Morales was traded last week and he won't be the only 2014 Twin on a different team by the end of this week. The Twins appear to be fully committed to selling, something I applaud them for. Anyone who isn't a part of the future should be jettisoned. I hope that I'm picking between a few different guys for this section next week.

For this week's update, Kendrys Morales continued to be Kendrys Molasses with the Mariners.

Random Gif - Totally Worth It

Posted Image

People love baseballs that are discarded into the stands. This clip is proof. A few things. One, the guy was okay. Two, the guy to his left (from his perspective while laying in traction on the ground) seemed legitimately concerned. Three, hey guy who got the ball, it's actually pretty bad form to hold your trophy over the carcass of the guy who fell neck-first into metal seats to make sure the ball got to you. Four, Willingham smoked one of the next pitches into the bullpen. Ryan Presley resisted the urge to try to back flip into the bleachers to catch the ball.

Get Excited about a Prospect - Lewis Thorpe
For those who aren't in the know, Lewis Thrope is an 18-year-old Australian lefty who is making his full-season debut with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. While you may not get excited about a guy with a 4.91 ERA in 9 starts, I am ecstatic. Thorpe had a rough outing on Thursday, but his overall numbers are pretty impressive. He was a little wild in his first two starts, but since then, he's thrown 29.1 innings over seven starts, has a 4.30 ERA with 32 strikeouts while allowing just 12 walks (4 on Thursday).

I cannot remind you hard enough (can one remind hard?) that Thorpe is a full four years younger than the average player in the Midwest League. He may not be dominating like he did in the GCL in 2013, but he's more than holding his own against much more advanced players. And, he's dominating at times too. On July 2, he went just 4.2 innings, but he struck out 8 and walked just one. This guy could be special. Let's get excited!

Plugging My Way
I really love plugging my own writing. It's kind of my thing. Last week, I wrote about Trevor May and the value of a good, cheap, durable 4th starter. I did some crude research and found that shockingly, they are very valuable. If you missed it and want to criticize my research skills, just click here. n = the sample size, I'm pretty sure of that. Everything else I cobbled together from Moneyball and cereal boxes.

Parting Haiku
Last weekend was lame
Now they go out on the road
Time for BBQ

---

Twins took the final game from the White Sox, so you can get a large or extra-large pizza from PapaJohns.com by using the promo code TWINSWIN on Monday.

Click here to view the article

"Let's get after it." ~ Someone on the Twins, probably.
Kevin Slowey was Framed!


#2 Gernzy

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 07:55 AM

I hope the guy who fell over ended up getting that baseball.

I bent my wookie...

#3 JB_Iowa

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:03 AM

Really enjoyed this.

 

And, I also hope to see the young guys for most of the rest of the season. 

 

Why doesn't Mauer just offer to take the rest of the season off to "heal up" and donate the appropriate portion of his salary to charity?

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#4 spycake

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:59 AM

Player A is Dozier, Player B is Arcia. Player A was elected President of Twins Territory, Player B is having an abysmal sophomore season. At least, that's how I've read and heard things. Since May 21, when Dozier's line peaked at .263/.377/.480, he is batting .211/.290/.383.

This isn't even meant to be a criticism of Dozier, more of a call to "back off" of Arcia.

 

Obviously, I'd feel a lot better about Arcia's poor line if he preceded it with 200 PA of .850 OPS like Dozier did (not to mention Dozier's strong finish to 2013, or his good defense at an up-the-middle position.)

 

Also, Arcia's BABIP is .295 so there's no way he's just on the bad end of some luck.  (Dozier's is .221 in that stretch, although he's probably established himself as a low BA/BABIP kind of guy anyway.)  Arcia is K'ing in over 30% of his PA.  Dozier is under 20%, even in that cherry picked stretch.

 

I'm all for continuing to play Arcia, but there is no question he has not performed well to date.

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#5 montanatwinsfan

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:35 AM

As the Dozier/Arcia part of your article, I would humbly suggest that the major difference between the two is the fact that one of them can play defense.


#6 Brad Swanson

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:40 AM

As the Dozier/Arcia part of your article, I would humbly suggest that the major difference between the two is the fact that one of them can play defense.

 

Absolutely, and I'll admit that Dozier is the better overall player right now.  Arcia could become a much better offensive player if given time to make adjustments.  

"Let's get after it." ~ Someone on the Twins, probably.
Kevin Slowey was Framed!


#7 Brad Swanson

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:42 AM

I hope the guy who fell over ended up getting that baseball.

 

Judging by the guy who ended up with the ball and how proud he was of himself, I'm thinking he just went home with a sore back.

"Let's get after it." ~ Someone on the Twins, probably.
Kevin Slowey was Framed!


#8 spycake

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 01:02 PM

Arcia could become a much better offensive player if given time to make adjustments.  

 

Yup. It's no substitute for a bona fide good MLB performance, but Arcia has been not-disastrous with the bat (97 career OPS+ despite all of his troubles), unlike a certain other 2013-2014 Twins outfielder who shall not be named.  Would be nice if it was trending up, though, and/or accompanied by any defensive value.


#9 Brad Swanson

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 01:50 PM

Yup. It's no substitute for a bona fide good MLB performance, but Arcia has been not-disastrous with the bat (97 career OPS+ despite all of his troubles), unlike a certain other 2013-2014 Twins outfielder who shall not be named.  Would be nice if it was trending up, though, and/or accompanied by any defensive value.

 

I hold out hope for Arcia because of his style and athleticism.  It seems like he could be coached.  I think he's better suited for left though.  But yes, this season has been very disappointing.  

"Let's get after it." ~ Someone on the Twins, probably.
Kevin Slowey was Framed!


#10 TwinsCD

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 03:11 PM

Arcia definitely deserves his spot in the lineup.  He provides power, speed, and a cannon arm in the outfield.  However, he needs to learn some better plate discipline.  Once he can gain that, he'll hit a lot better.  Pitchers are baffling him with mostly off-speed and sinkers low and in that he waves at time and time again.  I would never throw him a fastball anywhere near the zone because he likes to swing at the bad balls.


#11 DocBauer

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 07:20 PM

Fully agree on Arcia with all the above. The talent level is very high. And I've seen enough good plays, and a very good arm most of the time, that I haven't given up on his defense. He is still very young. And he's one of those young players the Twins refuse to promote. (Snicker) I don't believe he'd really gain anything from more AAA time. He's shown too much at this level, despite the streaks and inconsistencies, to not work with him at this level. Despite slumping some recently, I'm still a big believer in Dozier. I do think an extra day off once in a while would help. And while I don't have stats in front of me, didn't his recent dip in production, more or less, coincide with the injuries to Mauer and Santana? If I'm even close to correct, I'd see a lot more pressure on his as well as teams pitching around him. Also a huge lover of Thorpe, as well as the somewhat similar Gonsalves. Maybe the hardest thing to find in all of baseball is a hard throwing LHSP who has the ability to be a quality ML SP. Not even a #1 Cy Young player like Santana, or Viola years before him, but just a good 2-3 quality SP who can do the job day in and day out and be a fixture. Baseball is a game of numbers, numbers we obsess over at times. Numbers that tell a story, sometimes tell a bigger story, and sometimes tell a misleading story. Many of us are obsessed with May and Meyer, and to a lesser extent, Barrios and Stewart. And while all players have their own personal time table for various reasons, we sometimes get impatient for them to arrive and become fixtures. Every year, every other year, some kid is lightning in a bottle and arrives as a quality, if not top, SP at 20 or 21 and we ALL want our team to have a kid just like that! But those are truly rare occurrences. And we sometimes lose track of how young these kids really are at times. In Thorpe, and Gonsalves, we have a couple 19 yo kids pitching in A ball who have some real stuff! Real potential! But most kids this age are in rookie ball, even as top picks, or getting ready for their first season in college, and in a few cases, their redshirt freshman or sophomore seasons. The fact these kids are showing what they are is very exciting! Just be patient and give them time. Both could be in AA in 2016. Wow!
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#12 Dantes929

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:57 PM

The main defense I have had for Pino and Johnson being promoted over Meyer has been simple performance.  They gave up fewer earned runs per 9 than did Meyer.   Their age  should not be held against them.  They simply earned the promotion.   If Darnell had been promoted earlier that would also have been defensible but his ERA is worse than Meyer's now and trending upward whereas Meyer's ERA has been trending downward.   The Darnell promotion over Meyer was not defendable.   Only reason May wasn't the 2nd after Pino to be promoted should have been the injury.




Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: logan darnell, brian dozier, oswaldo arcia, monday morning madness, lewis thorpe