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Valencia, Morneau LH/RH splits and 1st base

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#1 Shane Wahl

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:21 PM

I was going to blog about this, but this will generate more discussion. I propose that the Twins play Valencia at 1B in Rochester and soonish call him up and send that poor bastard Chris Parmelee down (what on earth are the Twins thinking with him!?). Valencia would then hopefully be Luke Hughes+ (except for 2B) and maximizes his value as a lefty-masher. Danny Valencia's career numbers against LH pitching: .325/.374/.485 with 7 homers in 297 PA, and a not terrible 22/36 BB/K ratio. Justin Morneau's 2012 numbers against LH pitching (sit down first): .087/.135/.188 with 2 homers in 74 plate appearances (albeit similar rate to V's career numbers there), and a terrible 4/22 BB/K rate. Morneau's career splits are of course better, but I think they are irrelevant when judging him now. They were only marginally better in similar plate appearances in 2011. A Valencia/Morneau 1B platoon seems to make the most sense as it maximizes the value in a very simple way and it has the added benefit of not "Tosoni-ing" Parmelee. And then the Twins have another power (vs. LH at least) bat in the lineup. Willingham-Plouffe-Parmelee at 4-5-6 (or 3-4-5) against lefties is pretty appealing. Thoughts?

#2 DPJ

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:23 PM

It will be a cold day in hell before Gardy platoons or pitch hits for Morneau (even though it's the absolutly right call) against LHP.

#3 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:26 PM

If the Twins get back into the race you should consider it down the stretch, though I'd rather they get a better "Lefty Masher" instead of Valencia who played terribly all year. However until that point you might as well let Morneau take his lumps and ideally find his swing against LHP again. Morneau is paid to much, and has to much potential/results to be a platoon type guy at this point.

#4 Shane Wahl

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:32 PM

Valencia had 27 plate appearances, I believe, against lefties this year. His career numbers are very good against them. Morneau for the past two seasons has been COMPLETELY TERRIBLE against them. I cannot emphasize those numbers enough. So, how can it possibly be argued that the Twins are getting their money's worth simply by playing Morneau against lefties because he makes $14 million and therefore should "figure it out" (no matter for how long???).

#5 DPJ

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:32 PM

though I'd rather they get a better "Lefty Masher" instead of Valencia who played terribly all year.



So you'd rather the Twins give up an asset to trade for someone when they have a guy in the minors who costs nothing and is a .325/.374/.485 hitter against LHP and makes 400K?

#6 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:38 PM

So you'd rather the Twins give up an asset to trade for someone when they have a guy in the minors who costs nothing and is a .325/.374/.485 hitter against LHP and makes 400K?


I'm not saying they need to give up an asset, I just don't trust Valencia very much at this point.

#7 twinsnorth49

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:44 PM

Morneau's 2011 splits shouldn't count either, way too early to talk about keeping him out of the lineup that often for a guy like Valencia. Mornie isn't a platoon player yet and Valencia isn't ready to be a major leaguer yet.

#8 DPJ

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:44 PM

I'm not saying they need to give up an asset, I just don't trust Valencia very much at this point.


What is there to trust...HE'S A 325/.374/.485 HITTER AGAINST LHP!!

Were not talking about potential or maybe he'll figure it out. The guys has proven he can hit LHP and hit it well.

#9 DPJ

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:46 PM

Valencia isn't ready to be a major leaguer yet.


What does that even mean?

#10 twinsnorth49

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:49 PM

What does that even mean?


Here........I'll................type...............slower............it................means............he's...................not........................good.....................enough..................to...............play............major............league...................baseball............right.................now....................or ............put......................more...............simply......................he........................sucks.

#11 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:49 PM

What is there to trust...HE'S A 325/.374/.485 HITTER AGAINST LHP!!

Were not talking about potential or maybe he'll figure it out. The guys has proven he can hit LHP and hit it well.


[TABLE="class: sortable stats_table"]
[TR="class: hl"]
[TD="align: right"].309/.352/.470 in 2011[/TD]
[TD="align: right"] (.822 OPS) in 2012 he has a .645 OPS aganist lefties. Methinks the Twins should aim higher if they are simply looking for a "leftie" masher to get multiple starts per week at 1st base.[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

Why the hell is the formatting so screwy on this crap??

edit: he has a .822 OPS against LHP in 2011 and a .645 against them in 2012. Color me not super duper impressed.

#12 DPJ

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:53 PM

Which sample size is larger Dave, the 608 at-bats he had in 2011 or 103 at-bats in 2012?

#13 twinsnorth49

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:55 PM

Which sample size is larger Dave, the 608 at-bats he had in 2011 or 103 at-bats in 2012?


Sounds like a trick question Dave, don't bite.

#14 DPJ

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:55 PM

Here........I'll................type...............slower............it................means............he's...................not........................good.....................enough..................to...............play............major............league...................baseball............right.................now....................or ............put......................more...............simply......................he........................sucks.


Extremely dick-headish reply...but whatever.

He's shown over his MLB career that he can hanlde LHP well, no one is saying start him everyday again. But he's a cheap asset within the organization that could fill a role very nicely.

So for what you're asking him to do, he doesn't suck at all.

#15 Shane Wahl

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:17 PM

How on earth do Morneau's 2011 and 2012 stats against lefties not point to "platoon"!? It wouldn't have to be a strict platoon if he has had success against a particular lefty, but talk about pissing money away . . . meanwhile, Valencia knowing his role is not to repeat 2010, but rather to hit lefties like he has before the limited time against them for the Twins this year . . .

I don't really see the rabid disagreement here. I find it hard to believe that Valencia isn't a MLB-ready player against lefties.

#16 snepp

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:20 PM

Having Valencia around to hit lefties occasionally makes more sense than having Parmelee rot on the bench.

#17 kirbyelway

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:48 PM

I'd rather have a bad Morneau than a good Valencia.

#18 daan4786

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:51 PM

How on earth do Morneau's 2011 and 2012 stats against lefties not point to "platoon"!? It wouldn't have to be a strict platoon if he has had success against a particular lefty, but talk about pissing money away . . . meanwhile, Valencia knowing his role is not to repeat 2010, but rather to hit lefties like he has before the limited time against them for the Twins this year . . .

I don't really see the rabid disagreement here. I find it hard to believe that Valencia isn't a MLB-ready player against lefties.


Its not about valencia for me, its that your saying that morneau is incapable of improving against lefties. The guy took most of two years off because his head was messed up. Now he's back and hitting the ball hard- plenty of homers and rbis, although his batting average is low because he's struggling against lefties. Hitting left-handed pitching is difficult for left handed hitters, so isn't it possible that taking all that time off left him with less confidence and changed his approach? He's the same person, the same excellent hitter, but he might need to see more lefties and change his approach (maybe swing a little less) to get back to maybe 80% of where he was in his prime.

#19 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:52 PM

Having Valencia around to hit lefties occasionally makes more sense than having Parmelee rot on the bench.


Given how Parmelee has started to look like he could someday be Morneau's replacement (it's still a bit of a longshot but not impossible), it doubly makes no sense for him to rot on the bench when he could be getting valuable ABs in Rochester.

#20 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:53 PM

Well, I for one am not sure the Twins are "in it" unless some major things change, like picking up a couple of quality starters. Because of that, I am willing to let Morneau take his lumps, though it would be intelligent to ensure that his days off occurr against lefties. He would have had a good case for MVP in 2010 had he not gotten hurt, and while he's always hit righties better than lefties, he's still quite clearly not himself. Given that he hasn't played baseball for an entire season in quite some time, I'd say let him finish the year and get some confidence back. My suspicion is that by next spring, he will be looking a lot more like the old Morneau than even the one we see today. The guy is still in his prime, it isn't time yet to designate him to be a platoon player