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Enough Defense

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#1 Willihammer

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:03 AM

According to fangraphs, the Twins are 26th in baseball in defensive runs saved (-23.2). Last year, they were 25th with -36.7 runs. The Twins' worst players over that span include a few players who will probably be in the mix for 2015:
 

Oswaldo Arcia -19.2
Josh Willingham -14.9
Chris Colabello -11.4
Jason Kubel -11.1
Chris Parmelee -9.9
Aaron Hicks -9.8
Justin Morneau -8.9
Ryan Doumit -7.1
Alex Presley -4.2
Josmil Pinto -1.7

 

And some of the best defensive players probably won't be in the mix for 2015:

 

Pedro Florimon 16.2
Clete Thomas 5.3
Sam Fuld 4.9

Kurt Suzuki 4
Eduardo Escobar 2.2
Brian Dozier 1.8
Jordan Schafer 1.8
Eric Fryer 1.6
Trevor Plouffe 1.5
Doug Bernier 1.2
Wilkin Ramirez 0.4

 

Do the Twins need to add more defense in the offseason?

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Well, there's that.

-Dark Star, RIP


#2 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:11 AM

YES

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#3 DJL44

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:18 AM

The Twins need to add more defense in the outfield. The infield is doing alright, although Danny Santana will probably grade out as a minus at SS. They have several flyball pitchers (Milone, Hughes, May) who will perform much better with a good outfield defense.

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#4 Mike Sixel

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:22 AM

In an ideal world, you add a player who can add both offense and defense. In the real world, you add the player that adds to most combination of offense and defense, regardless of which side of the equation is better than the other.

 

The team is on pace to lose around 90 games for the fourth straight year. Given that, any talk of "not having many holes to fill" seems a bit odd to me.

 

Go get some players that are good.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#5 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:23 AM

The Defense is really horrific in the outfield - it's been terrible since Revere was traded.

 

Hicks and Arcia are young enough that I believe both have the ability to improve over time.

Santana, in addition to being young, is playing out of position, so I would give him some leeway as well.

 

Sam Fuld was good enough, but he's gone now. Jordan Schafer has been a step above embarrassing, but has still missed his fair share of plays. Otherwise, the Twins have trotted out a series of players that have no business in a major league outfield.

 

Some of it goes back to that dead horse we've all been beating on - signing Jason Bartlett. But the personnel was bad even without that decision.  

 

The Twins really need to see some improvement from the current group of young guys (Hicks, Arcia, Santana) and they probably need to add some more talent, preferably players that have ML experience playing outfield defense.


#6 beckmt

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:32 AM

Do not know why Hicks has graded out so bad.Santana will have to get a pass as he is out of position.Hopefully some of the players get better over time. Or could this be a case of fitting the statistics to the ballclub.


#7 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:32 AM

I'm pretty skeptical about defensive metrics in general, and I'm rather surprised at Hicks negative grade in particular.I'm also trying to figure out how Santana as a CF isn't on the bad list. 

 

Of course the real question is how Morneau and Doumit made the list for the Twins in 2014....Also, 3 of the 4 worst offenders won't likely be back.Cola might.

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#8 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:49 AM

One thing that I haven't understood is why the Twins keep playing 1B in the outfield. Parmelee is right on the edge of being athletic enough to be in the outfield, but I would think that most teams would only consider using him out there if there was an emergency situation.

 

And Colabello? Sheesh. He's a cool dude, and I wish him the best success for the rest of the year and in the future, but he really should not be considered an outfielder. He's a decent First Baseman, and when he's hitting well, he's worth a look at DH or as the main RH bench bat.

 

I realize that the Roster construction is what it is, but I have to believe that Colabello will be gone next year, and if he is, his replacement on the 40 Man will hopefully be a true outfielder.

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#9 Willihammer

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:12 AM

I'm pretty skeptical about defensive metrics in general, and I'm rather surprised at Hicks negative grade in particular.I'm also trying to figure out how Santana as a CF isn't on the bad list. 

 

Of course the real question is how Morneau and Doumit made the list for the Twins in 2014....Also, 3 of the 4 worst offenders won't likely be back.Cola might.

I cut it off at Pinto. Some of the rest of the "bad" weren't on the 2014 club but does include Santana and Vargas too.

 

Kennys Vargas -1.6
Danny Santana -1.6
Darin Mastroianni -1.6
Kendrys Morales -1.3
Eduardo Nunez -0.7
Jamey Carroll -0.6

Edited by Willihammer, 25 August 2014 - 09:13 AM.

Well, there's that.

-Dark Star, RIP


#10 Willihammer

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:17 AM

Parmelee and Arcia are liabilities in the outfield, I think think everyone's stats and eyeballs are in agreement on that. I think Hicks benefits from a narrative that says he is some kind of superspecimen, long strides, yada yada - he's looked below average to me. I'd prefer Santana actually. I'm unconvinced that putting Mauer in LF would be worse than Parmelee or even some of the FA options (has anyone looked at Melky Cabrera's defensive stats?)

Edited by Willihammer, 25 August 2014 - 09:17 AM.

Well, there's that.

-Dark Star, RIP


#11 SwainZag

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:25 AM

I cut it off at Pinto. Some of the rest of the "bad" weren't on the 2014 club but does include Santana and Vargas too.

 

Kennys Vargas -1.6
Danny Santana -1.6
Darin Mastroianni -1.6
Kendrys Morales -1.3
Eduardo Nunez -0.7
Jamey Carroll -0.6

 

Hasn't Vargas only played 2 or 3 games in the field at most?  Seems like an awfully high number for less than 50 innings in the field.

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#12 nicksaviking

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:34 AM

Hasn't Vargas only played 2 or 3 games in the field at most?  Seems like an awfully high number for less than 50 innings in the field.

 

Agreed.Defense is something that still is best evaluated by the eye test.Defensive metrics are just way too flawed.

 

Also, my eye test tells me that Plouffe, Arcia and Parmelee are much better in the field this year.Still, look for offense first and worry about the defense later.If DH was already occupied and Kennys Vargas had to play 1B everyday, would any of us really be asking for him to be replaced?  His defense was why he wasn't on (m)any top prospect rankings yet now that he's here we're hoping he is a cornerstone of the rebuild.


#13 SwainZag

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:58 AM

Agreed.Defense is something that still is best evaluated by the eye test.Defensive metrics are just way too flawed.

 

Also, my eye test tells me that Plouffe, Arcia and Parmelee are much better in the field this year.Still, look for offense first and worry about the defense later.If DH was already occupied and Kennys Vargas had to play 1B everyday, would any of us really be asking for him to be replaced?  His defense was why he wasn't on (m)any top prospect rankings yet now that he's here we're hoping he is a cornerstone of the rebuild.

 

The eye test and advanced fielding shows that Arcia and Plouffe have improved a lot this year.  Take it for what it's worth but in terms of advanced fielding, Plouffe is a Top 5 defender in the league, a huge improvement over the last 2 years.


#14 birdwatcher

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 10:09 AM

According to fangraphs, the Twins are 26th in baseball in defensive runs saved (-23.2). Last year, they were 25th with -36.7 runs. The Twins' worst players over that span include a few players who will probably be in the mix for 2015:
 

Oswaldo Arcia -19.2
Josh Willingham -14.9
Chris Colabello -11.4
Jason Kubel -11.1
Chris Parmelee -9.9
Aaron Hicks -9.8
Justin Morneau -8.9
Ryan Doumit -7.1
Alex Presley -4.2
Josmil Pinto -1.7

 

And some of the best defensive players probably won't be in the mix for 2015:

 

Pedro Florimon 16.2
Clete Thomas 5.3
Sam Fuld 4.9

Kurt Suzuki 4
Eduardo Escobar 2.2
Brian Dozier 1.8
Jordan Schafer 1.8
Eric Fryer 1.6
Trevor Plouffe 1.5
Doug Bernier 1.2
Wilkin Ramirez 0.4

 

Do the Twins need to add more defense in the offseason?

Other than Arcia, and possibly Hicks, none of the others in the lousy category are going to factor into things in 2015. That said, I hope they bring in a defensively sound corner OF and a young catcher from outside. But way more importantly defensively, they need to bring in a top of the rotation starter!

Edited by birdwatcher, 25 August 2014 - 10:11 AM.


#15 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 10:28 AM

If Cabrera is in shape, He plays better defense than Parmelee and so far better than Arcia.

Melky has had some ugly defense in his career, 2013 in particular. He later found out that he had a tumor on his spine that was causing his mobility issues.

He hasn't been great in LF this season, but he's been better than the majority of the players the Twins have put out there.


#16 Willihammer

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:02 AM

If Cabrera is in shape, He plays better defense than Parmelee and so far better than Arcia.

Melky has had some ugly defense in his career, 2013 in particular. He later found out that he had a tumor on his spine that was causing his mobility issues.

He hasn't been great in LF this season, but he's been better than the majority of the players the Twins have put out there.

So you're saying he's injury prone?

Well, there's that.

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#17 DJL44

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:18 AM

Every starter except groundballer Kyle Gibson is underperforming FIP by a run or more. The team FIP of 3.89 is right in the middle of the pack. The obvious place to upgrade is CF and LF which are relatively large in Target Field compared to the rest of the league. Kansas City is leading the division because their outfield defense is awesome. I don't think Shields is better than Phil Hughes but you wouldn't tell by their ERA+.

 

The Twins infield defense is worse after Florimon was demoted; Dozier's numbers dropped after the move almost as much as they dropped at SS. However, I think Escobar is just fine and Florimon can't hit.

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#18 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:19 AM

RE: Melky Cabrera's durability

 

 

Yeah. The tumor was removed?

 

He's more weight gain prone - he had a lost season playing for Atlanta awhile back.

 

He's just turning 30 next season. I think he's much less injury prone than Grady Sizemore, Shane Victorino, Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, etc.

 

He leads the league in games played in LF this year, so take from that what you will - either he's turned a corner and is durable, or he's overdue for a DL-stint.

 

The tumor may or may not have been related to the growth hormones that had him suspended for 50 games in 2012.

Edited by Kirby_waved_at_me, 25 August 2014 - 11:20 AM.


#19 TheDean

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:42 AM

The eye test and advanced fielding shows that Arcia and Plouffe have improved a lot this year.  Take it for what it's worth but in terms of advanced fielding, Plouffe is a Top 5 defender in the league, a huge improvement over the last 2 years.

 

I actually find it remarkable that the advanced stats like DRS and UZR actually match my personal eye test on most of these guys, both in the good cases, as you mentioned above, and the bad cases.

 

For example, early this year, I thought "Wow, Hammer and Arcia at the corners... we're going to see some balls drop in the gaps."  That they did, and DRS shows that.  Eye test also said, "Kubel and Colabello have to be the worst corner OF replacements in the MLB." DRS and UZR confirm it.  We're talking about impressively bad in a relatively short period of time: 476 innings combined OF time and -16.7 UZR.

 

The Twins are ranked dead last in UZR for LF (and could be further back if it weren't for UZR being very kind to Schafer), they're 25th for RF (could be worse if not for Arcia's stabilizing league-average innings), and middle of the pack in CF (Fuld somehow is superman, UZR hates Hicks, Santana is average-ish).

 

A lot of us don't care for UZR and DRS, but the conclusions are totally in-line with my eye test: the OF defense must be upgraded for the Twins to think about competing for a Wild Card spot.

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#20 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:52 AM

Yes - the Twins OF has been so bad that even Melky Cabrera would be an improvement defensively.