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Article: A Closer Look at the 2015 Twins

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#21 Dantes929

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 09:28 AM

 
The Twins may have been 5th in runs scored in August but their record was still 11-18 (worse than their season average if I am doing my math correctly)  .... and it wasn't all due to pitching.  The Twins were able to pad that run total by beating up on AAAA pitchers but when it came to facing ML average or better pitchers, it often seemed like they were stymied.
 
I understand the argument that there aren't many roster spots available to fill and I'm willing to see how these players develop but I'm not sure how much more palatable that is going to make 2015.  I just don't see the pitching as being there.  The defense will continue to be spotty.  And the hitting will be unpredictable.
 
It isn't a very pleasant picture when we come to year 5 of the debacle.


Hitting is always unpredictable. Average or better pitching will often stymie anyone's hitting. If anyone was average for us this year it was Gibson but look how awesome he was half the time and poor the other half. You can't discount the Twins at #5 because of who they beat up on. Not only do other teams beat up on those pitchers as well our offense never got to face the worst rotation in baseball. Our offense showed marked improvement in better at bats but they are young so I am hoping for more improvement, particularly from Arcia. It may not be all pitching but it is mostly about that.

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#22 TheLeviathan

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 09:38 AM

There are two outfield spots to fill and the top of the rotation still needs help.  I'd say those are some mighty big holes to fill.

 

Any expectation and Buxton and Sano are there to help is hope talking, not logic.  I'm ok with hoping they have an impact next year, but the roster should be addressed by logic, not hope.

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#23 drjim

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 09:47 AM

There are two outfield spots to fill and the top of the rotation still needs help.  I'd say those are some mighty big holes to fill.

 

Any expectation and Buxton and Sano are there to help is hope talking, not logic.  I'm ok with hoping they have an impact next year, but the roster should be addressed by logic, not hope.

 

And the bullpen could use serious upgrades as well.

 

The way I would plan with Buxton and Sano is to plan on nothing next year, but to pretty much avoid a long commitment at those positions.

 

From August 31, 2014 to April 1, 2015 I would anticipate 2 different hitters (not counting Pinto for Fryer) and 5 different pitchers at a minimum.

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#24 stringer bell

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 09:49 AM

An ace, yes. More Nolascos, Correias, etc., not so much. Adding an outfielder who can play decent defense in either center or left also makes a lot of sense. Beyond that, I like the position players and believe totally that barring further injuries, the Twins have two perennial All-Stars on the horizon in the next two years.

The bullpen needs to be turned over and either from within or without, the startng rotation needs to take giant steps.

I am hoping for a new manager and pitching coach next year. It is not that Anderson and Gardenhire aren't competent, but a new voice needs to be in charge.
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#25 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 10:00 AM

I'm not sold on Oswaldo Arcia 

...

 

I get it, but Arcia has that Pierzynski/Hunter/Mientkiewicz competitive quality that this team hasn't seen since, well, Pierzynski Hunter or Mientkiewicz. (With the exception that Arcia doesn't seem to have any of the negative personal aspects that those three did to varying degrees.)

 

I personally hope the Twins stick with Arcia. I can live with his erratic play in the field.

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#26 Boom Boom

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 10:08 AM

I get it, but Arcia has that Pierzynski/Hunter/Mientkiewicz competitive quality that this team hasn't seen since, well, Pierzynski Hunter or Mientkiewicz. (With the exception that Arcia doesn't seem to have any of the negative personal aspects that those three did to varying degrees.)

 

I personally hope the Twins stick with Arcia. I can live with his erratic play in the field.

 

I like him too, but his play has been awful and not deserving of a major league spot.He hasn't even shown any improvement since last year.

 

While we're on the subject of outfielders, the Twins are still lacking a left fielder for 2015 as well.

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#27 TheLeviathan

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 10:24 AM

I like him too, but his play has been awful and not deserving of a major league spot.He hasn't even shown any improvement since last year.

 

While we're on the subject of outfielders, the Twins are still lacking a left fielder for 2015 as well.

 

The month of August was a very nice step forward for him.  He's an awful defender, but his bat is improving.  People set the bar too high for a second year player with some contact concerns - he's coming around and getting better.

 

That's why it's so damn crucial for people to temper their expectations with young players.


#28 birdwatcher

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 10:28 AM

This reminds me of the question I asked last week:  "Do we even recognize good baseball any more?"

 

Have we simply watched so many years of dismal ball that we are willing to lap up any signs of improvement?

 

The Twins may have been 5th in runs scored in August but their record was still 11-18 (worse than their season average if I am doing my math correctly)  .... and it wasn't all due to pitching.  The Twins were able to pad that run total by beating up on AAAA pitchers but when it came to facing ML average or better pitchers, it often seemed like they were stymied.

 

I understand the argument that there aren't many roster spots available to fill and I'm willing to see how these players develop but I'm not sure how much more palatable that is going to make 2015.  I just don't see the pitching as being there.  The defense will continue to be spotty.  And the hitting will be unpredictable.

 

It isn't a very pleasant picture when we come to year 5 of the debacle.

 

The answer to your question from last week is that none of us are confused about the difference between bad baseball and good baseball. Furthermore, almost no one is satisfied with the quality of today's baseball at Target Field. 

 

A handful of us ARE satisfied with the level of progress being made. So perhaps the young man isn't properly distinguishing the difference between being satisfied with the progress versus being satisfied with the level of play.

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#29 Shane Wahl

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 10:35 AM

I haven't read any of these comments on this article, but the general response from the other one was irrational. I am not insulting anyone. Want to make that clear.

 

There isn't a whole lot to be done with this roster, at least not until we see it in full for awhile next year. People seem to jump on this "same roster, same result" train and it is just irrational. Young players can get better. Period. There's some serious youth on the Twins roster right now and some of those young players are not the ones that we expected to be there right now. I have always liked Danny Santana, but this was nowhere near expected. I have always liked Kennys Vargas, but this was nowhere near expected. Sano and Buxton are going to happen. To worry otherwise is to despair over nothing right now. Plouffe has stabled as an average player overall. Escobar is good. Arcia and Pinto are going to hit (though Arcia is clearly going to need some shift in approach). And there's still Mauer and Dozier.

Hughes is (as predicted) good. Gibson has improved a lot. There is good reason to think that May will as well. Let's see about Nolasco, though, there has to be a breaking point next year with this guy (I was only ok with his signing AFTER Hughes was acquired for so cheapish). Meyer needs to be in the rotation out of ST. Think about a rotation of Hughes-Gibson-Nolasco-May-Meyer with Milone as a sixth option for a second. The sixth option is a legitimate 4-5 starter . . . for the first time in years for this team!

I am a prospect nerd so I am biased towards development, but it still is true that the youth movement is arriving and the Twins need to stick with it right now.



 

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#30 Brandon

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 10:38 AM

So on offense we have youngsters: Arcia, Santana, Hicks, Pinto, Vargas, Escobar, and vets Dozier, Plouffe, Suzuki, and Mauer.Parmelee, Nunez and Schaefer on the bench.I see the basics of a solid lineup an with Sano and Buxton ready around the Allstar break and Walker and Polanco by the end of the season we will have options

 

The bullpen is solid as is but there are a few pitchers on the way up that throw real hard.so were good there. 

 

The rotation has the usual:Hughes, Gibson, Nolasco then Millone, May, Meyer, Pino, Pelfry and eventually Berrios.I don't know if any of the other starting pitchers will make the climb and be ready next year so the Twins may want to add a AAAA starter just in case.We used 11 starters this year. 

 

So as I see it we need a AAAA starter for depth and maybe a better back up C and maybe a LF if Hicks and or Schaefer cant cut it for now. 


#31 birdwatcher

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 10:47 AM

And the bullpen could use serious upgrades as well.

 

The way I would plan with Buxton and Sano is to plan on nothing next year, but to pretty much avoid a long commitment at those positions.

 

From August 31, 2014 to April 1, 2015 I would anticipate 2 different hitters (not counting Pinto for Fryer) and 5 different pitchers at a minimum.

 

Well said regarding Buxton and Sano. I'd leave Santana, Plouffe, and Escobar in the lineup until those two supplant them and Santana pushes Escobar out. And it's not illogical to think that both of them would be ready to contribute some time in 2015. In fact it might be illogical to think they wouldn't.

 

So, they have two massive holes: an above-average corner OF and a starter that projects to be as good as we thought Hughes was going to be, or better. I'd love it if they'd shop for a young catcher too. The bullpen will get overhauled and is a minor concern because we have good options there. 


#32 Nick Nelson

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 10:58 AM

Meyer? Ryan basically said again he's not ready. Gibson looks like a 3/4. Nolasco is terrible. Hughes is a nice pitcher. Then there are a bunch of question marks. There are at least 2, if not three, holes there. The Twins can choose to eat Nolasco's money, or trot him out there. We know what they will do there.

Well, no, they really can't "eat Nolasco's money." That's not a viable option. No MLB team would do that one year into a four-year deal. They gave him $50 million for a reason, and that reason is still there even if his contract is off to an incredibly bad start. Are you suggesting that they just eat $36 million and sign another expensive pitcher to replace him? That's not even remotely realistic.

 

 

Any expectation and Buxton and Sano are there to help is hope talking, not logic.  I'm ok with hoping they have an impact next year, but the roster should be addressed by logic, not hope.

Is it? I guess I don't really agree. They're two of the top prospects in baseball and they've both played at Double-A. Either way, as drjim notes, at most the team would be looking to sign short-term stopgaps to keep their seats warm, so any additions at those positions would (logically) be relatively minor.

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#33 Nick Nelson

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 11:02 AM

I'm not sold on Oswaldo Arcia and I think the Twins could do better in right field.He's hitting .220/.288/.429 with 101 strikeouts in only 81 games... and not to mention the bad defense.I know he's young, and I know he's conquered AAA already, but he needs to step back and collect himself because I'm not impressed with how he's played.

 

I'm also not sold on Trevor May being part of the rotation immediately in 2015, leaving Nolasco, Hughes, Gibson, and... Mike Pelfrey?

 

I guess what I'm saying is that I disagree with the premise that the Twins don't need to make any major moves in the offseason.

Well yes, it's one thing to say they could improve in certain areas. It's another thing to say they SHOULD spend a bunch of money on a player who will likely block a younger guy from getting a chance. Are they really in a position where they should be operating like that, especially when you consider that free agents aren't exactly the model of reliability?

 

 

While we're on the subject of outfielders, the Twins are still lacking a left fielder for 2015 as well.

Yep. In the original article that this one is following up on, I said I thought left field is the one spot where the Twins could stand to make a significant addition, so I agree with you there. I'd like to see them sign or trade for an established corner OF bat to stabilize a talented but young lineup.

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#34 laloesch

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 11:13 AM

Milone really shouldn't be discounted so much since he does have a pretty good AL history so far. One big contract for a guy like Lester or Shields would go a long way. Its not an easy fix since you aren't comfortable that the talent is ready but don't want to block them either. This year we went with more youth on offense and I would be fine with doing the same on the pitching side even if it means taking a few more lumps but I understand that I have more patience than most.

 

 

Do you honestly believe that Lester and Shields or any other ace quality starter would sign with the Twins?Even if Pohlad and Ryan were willing to spend the money (probably would take 25-35 million a year), no legitimate ace is going to sign with a franchise mired in 4 seasons of losing and rebuilding.  Just not gonna happen.  I mean we can sit here and daydream all we want, but the facts are the facts.

 

The only way out of this disaster is to lose more games and continue to stock pile talent like the Royals and Pirates.What we really NEED is a #1 or #2 pick in a pitching heavy draft. Those top two or three picks are where you find top tier pitchers.

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#35 Boom Boom

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 11:31 AM

Well yes, it's one thing to say they could improve in certain areas. It's another thing to say they SHOULD spend a bunch of money on a player who will likely block a younger guy from getting a chance. Are they really in a position where they should be operating like that, especially when you consider that free agents aren't exactly the model of reliability?

 

 

I wouldn't even suggest signing a long-term right fielder... but I would be interested in signing a right fielder to a relatively short contract and make Arcia earn his way back on to the team. 


#36 JB_Iowa

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 11:41 AM

You undersold the Twins, they were first in runs in August. But alas the record was the same.

 

Way to depress me even more.

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#37 Platoon

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 11:47 AM

Everyone, including myself has taken turns defending the honor of specific players. By now this includes the entire roster, with the exception of the batboy. But to clarify my previous submission, it is the sum of these parts that is the problem. A Dozier is a nice 2B, an Escobar could play short or second for many good teams, and a Suzuki could catch for a contender. But those teams will have superior players at other positions, and these guys will be major league level "fill ins". Well that might be a bit harsh, but they will not be the engine that drives the train. They are all major league level players, and in some cases very decent ones. But there are too many clustered on one team at one time. A couple examples, with no particular bias.... Dozier hit in the 3 hole this year. Plouffe hit in the 4 hole. I do not mean to say that on those days they were not the TWINS best options, what I mean to say is that if they are, that is a reflection on the entire roster as it currently is constructed!
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#38 stringer bell

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 11:54 AM

There is real progress this year. Look who has been jettisoned. The Twins started the season with a bunch of 30+ guys who were either past their prime or never were very good. Most are gone. They have two (TWO) pretty good options at short, when they started with Florimon. Trevor Plouffe has established himself (as Dozier did in 2013) and Dozier has proven that his breakout wasn't a fluke. The Twins acquired two nice players (Hughes and Suzuki) both now for three years. There is more to be done, no question. Somehow, some way, the pitching needs to be improved dramatically. On the position player front, one key acquisition plus improvement of young players would equal a pretty dynamic and effective offense.
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#39 Mike Sixel

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 11:55 AM

Well, no, they really can't "eat Nolasco's money." That's not a viable option. No MLB team would do that one year into a four-year deal. They gave him $50 million for a reason, and that reason is still there even if his contract is off to an incredibly bad start. Are you suggesting that they just eat $36 million and sign another expensive pitcher to replace him? That's not even remotely realistic.

 

 

Is it? I guess I don't really agree. They're two of the top prospects in baseball and they've both played at Double-A. Either way, as drjim notes, at most the team would be looking to sign short-term stopgaps to keep their seats warm, so any additions at those positions would (logically) be relatively minor.

 

No, I think I was pretty clear, they aren't going to eat that much money. That wasn't clear in my statements?

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


#40 jharaldson

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 12:17 PM

Is it? I guess I don't really agree. They're two of the top prospects in baseball and they've both played at Double-A. 

 

Just to confirm, you are using the presence of 3 plate appearances in AA as a reason why Buxton might be ready for the majors at some point next year.  If such a limited sample size is worth noting then I would also note that he has a .000 OPS, a -100 wRC+, and an astonishing 100 K% in AA.

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