This topic sort of piggybacks off of @Platoons from last night:
It's August 4th and the Twins are tied for the 2nd wild card spot!WooHoo!
That is how I think most of us thought we would feel in April if we got to say that statement on August 4th.However, realistically it feels like we are on a sinking ship.Yes, a snapshot of the standings show the Twins in a great spot, but if I were buying futures on the the rest of Twins season I would be shorting.The teams nipping on their heels all got significantly better at the trade deadline while mortgaging some of their future.The Twins got Kevin Jepsen, whose debut was nothing short of terrible.
Today they sit 3 games above .500 with a 54-51 record.Take the month of May out of there though and this is a team that is 10 games under .500.Outside of May their record is 34-44.Pretty much exactly what most thought this team would do this season. 5-11 since the All-Star break and this team looks like it is ready to implode.
Now going back to my topic's title, When to Throw In The Towel.I think most of you are reading this would say now, while more casual fans would want them to play it out and try to hang on to that last playoff spot.Realistically, I think it is over.The reinforcements aren't coming and the teams behind them aren't going to lay down.Even if they manage to play .500 over the next 2 months I don't think that is enough with how well Toronto and Baltimore are player, even the Rangers are sneaking up there.
That being said, I think the first few months of this season gave Twins fans a taste of what is to come in the future years if the roster is managed correctly.And that management should start now.If the Twins don't make it out of this road trip still in full control of one of the Wild Card spots it is time to throw in the towel and rebuild for next year.It sucks!I know, I was hoping this team could make things interesting into September but that doesn't appear to be the case.
There are players on this roster that would be useful for a playoff push, but since that isn't happening here is how I would "throw in the towel' and get an understanding of what this team has for next year when I do believe they will be in contention in September.
#1) Find a spot for Arcia on the 25 man roster:He is out of options next year and will not be back in Rochester whether the Twins think they can slip in through waivers or not.He has too much talent and will be picked up if that happens.Replace Robinson with Arcia and let him do "Arcia things".This guy was once one of the best hitting prospects in this organization and few struggles and discipline issues got him in the Twins doghouse.Let's see if can play well for a 2 month stretch in big leagues.If he can't then I guess a change of scene might be a good thing.If he can, great!The that will give the Twins a lot of Outfield options to open next season.But lets let him get his 2016 tryout started now instead of March.
#2) Pelfrey:Pelfrey has been a pleasant surprise this season.As much hate as he receives he really has actually done well.However, he is a FA after this season and is blocking some younger talent that is more likely to be part of the long-term future.To me is the perfect waiver trade guy.Reminds me of the reverse of the Carl Pavano trade.Perhaps his decent pitching here as of late could snag the Twins a young live bullpen arm in return.
#3) Get May back in the rotation:I know bullpen is one of the three weak spots, but since we are throwing in the towel lets weaken it some more and actually make use of one of the future starters in his actual future role.
#4) Strengthen the pen:I know I just said to weaken it, but I think putting Duffey in there and calling up Berrios could make it quite better.Boyer gets DFA'd in the process.Addition by subtraction!
#5) Get an extended look at Polanco:Nunez doesn't need to take a roster spot.He should not be part of the future.Polanco might be.Is he a shortstop?Let's find out!Put him out there and let him play every day for the next two months.In his couple spot starts he has looked like he can hold his own.
These moves will drastically change the outlook of the roster but it is the right thing to do for the future.The worst that could happen is the Twins lose A LOT of games down the stretch.Or the flip side, possibly this infusion of young talent might spark something and cause them to accidentally stay in this thing a while longer.