Sure, Mauer has been uninspiring, many of those names are enormous regression risks for future seasons, Hicks has been a miserable failure thus far, Arcia is still working through his issues, Nolasco has been terrible, and there is the pile of flops the team has since cut bait with that contributed much to this season.
Again, there is reason for hope because there has been roster turnover for the better. I've said before I think we're starting to see the climb uphill beginning just based on the fact that we've shed a lot of the 30+ filler. But that climb uphill is still going to include a lot of bad baseball on the way to developing these kids for the biggest jump. The question posed here in this thread is about the quality of baseball being played by the team and this season has not been "good" by many measures.
I would caution against confusing the idea of increasing hope with increasing quality of play. At some point they will intersect, but it ain't now.
Interesting, isn't it, that two passionate and informed fans can look at the same thing, see the same thing, even understand the same thing, and then describe the thing so very differently. Two good people, neither more "right" than the other.
I see the intersection of increasing hope and increasing quality of play right now. In every game now. Now. And I'm not at all confused by the two ideas, not in the least. Sickles ranked 14 other prospects higher than the C+ grades he gave to Vargas and Santana, both of whom are improving the quality of baseball right now.
So, here's how I describe the same things you've described above:
1. Mauer's having a crappy year. He's at serious risk of a bounce-back year, maybe an enormous one.
2. I see a few regression candidates, and not necessarily for enormous regression. Suzuki, Hughes, Escobar, maybe Santana. I wouldn't describe that as "many", and it certainly fits in a normal range for any ball club. But history tells me that only a percentage of regression candidates actually regress.
3. Hicks lit up AA, is doing very well in AAA. His floor may be 4th OF, not the end of the world. Here's hoping Ryan doesn't make the mistake of counting on him again, even if he's matured and improved his attitude and work ethic. If Ryan fails to get us a corner OF this winter, usually an easy FA fix, that'll make me nervous.
4. Arcia's taken his lumps, but he's been crushing it in August. Here's hoping Vargas can mentor him a bit. .
5. Nolasco fared poorly and is overcoming an injury. There's some hope and we saw a few positive signs in his last outing. Sure wouldn't mind him in 2015 as my #4-5 starter.
6. Finally cut bait on some of those base-clogging dullards like Morales and Willingham.
So you see, we don't disagree at all.
Edited by birdwatcher, 22 August 2014 - 10:59 AM.