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When to Throw In The Towel?

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#1 Loosey

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 09:41 AM

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

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#2 theBOMisthebomb

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 09:52 AM

They still have a puncher's chance at the WC spot in a relatively weak American League so it's silly to give up now. If Joey Mauer and one other bat and Perkins turn it around, who knows what could happen. At the same time I'd like to see them continue to inject the young guns (Buxton in particular) full time. Sort of a mix of staying competitive for the WC and see if these young names we've heard for years are legitimate. Best of both worlds. To cash in their chips and lay down and die now would be foolish.
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#3 Mike Sixel

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 09:57 AM

Well, some of those moves actually probably do both, play young guys and make the team better.

 

Berrios for Boyer for sure helps. Duffey to the bullpen for whomever, helps. Arcia for Robinson helps.

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#4 Badsmerf

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:02 AM

I keep reading "take out the month of May." That is 25% of the games played so far. Sure it was a great month, but take out the month of June instead where they went 11-17 and their record is way better. Cherry picking numbers to make a team look better or worse is cherry picking no matter what you do.

You want to throw in the towel be my guest. I choose to be optimistic in my life. This team has talent, enough to stay competitive until the end. I think it's a long shot they make the playoffs, but I'm not throwing in the towel when they actually have a shot.
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#5 Loosey

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:10 AM

 

I keep reading "take out the month of May." That is 25% of the games played so far. Sure it was a great month, but take out the month of June instead where they went 11-17 and their record is way better. Cherry picking numbers to make a team look better or worse is cherry picking no matter what you do.

You want to throw in the towel be my guest. I choose to be optimistic in my life. This team has talent, enough to stay competitive until the end. I think it's a long shot they make the playoffs, but I'm not throwing in the towel when they actually have a shot.

I wouldn't say it is cherry picking,it was the outlier.The rest of the months align more with how this team was expected to perform this season.I would say they are improving from prior years, but this team really is about a 8-10 games under .500 type of team.

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#6 Winston Smith

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:18 AM

I keep reading "take out the month of May." That is 25% of the games played so far. Sure it was a great month, but take out the month of June instead where they went 11-17 and their record is way better. Cherry picking numbers to make a team look better or worse is cherry picking no matter what you do.

You want to throw in the towel be my guest. I choose to be optimistic in my life. This team has talent, enough to stay competitive until the end. I think it's a long shot they make the playoffs, but I'm not throwing in the towel when they actually have a shot.


They are 24-32 since June 1st so that is no longer a small sample size (56 games) and more likely what they are.

IMO most of these changes will make the team better, now and in the long run.
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#7 Loosey

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:21 AM

 

They are 24-32 since June 1st so that is no longer a small sample size (56 games) and more likely what they are.

IMO most of these changes will make the team better, now and in the long run.

I agree.I should have maybe called it throwing in the towel on their current roster.Since technically, the young guys could make them better and I didn't even add Buxton be recalled to the list of items since I assume they just wait until September to do that.


#8 Platoon

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:25 AM

I keep reading "take out the month of May." That is 25% of the games played so far. Sure it was a great month, but take out the month of June instead where they went 11-17 and their record is way better. Cherry picking numbers to make a team look better or worse is cherry picking no matter what you do.
You want to throw in the towel be my guest. I choose to be optimistic in my life. This team has talent, enough to stay competitive until the end. I think it's a long shot they make the playoffs, but I'm not throwing in the towel when they actually have a shot.

Maybe we need to be optimistic pragmatists? Or pragmatic optimists? :)
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#9 Halsey Hall

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:32 AM

I'd be looking to trade Plouffe right now as he'd bring back a decent return.Play Sano at 3rd the rest of the way to see what we have there.Find out if he's a lifetime dh or not.Eduardo's can spell him at 3rd.Arcia in at dh to also see how he does. 

 

We won't be winning any wild card this year, but could possibly end up only a few games under .500, so let's see just what we have to plan for next season. 

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he gone!


#10 Mike Sixel

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:36 AM

Plouffe won't be traded until the off season now.......
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#11 d-mac

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:42 AM

 

I keep reading "take out the month of May." That is 25% of the games played so far. Sure it was a great month, but take out the month of June instead where they went 11-17 and their record is way better. Cherry picking numbers to make a team look better or worse is cherry picking no matter what you do.

You want to throw in the towel be my guest. I choose to be optimistic in my life. This team has talent, enough to stay competitive until the end. I think it's a long shot they make the playoffs, but I'm not throwing in the towel when they actually have a shot.

 

One of these things is not like the other.

 

Susanthesethings.jpg

 

April: 10-12

May: 20-7

June: 11-17

July: 12-13

Aug: 1-2

 

Why is it cherry picking to remove the statistical outlier? They are -6 in run diff. The only thing that is keeping them in the hunt is their anomalous month of May. I think that this team is finally getting exposed as a paper tiger.

 

4-27-2016: El dia de La Maquina


#12 jimbo92107

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:42 AM

The two areas that need the most help are hitting and pitching.

 

Hitting: Jorge Polanco and Oswaldo Arcia. Put them in and play them for the rest of the season. They're both supposed to have good bats; Polanco is supposed to be a decent SS, and Arcia needs work at corner OF, but can DH and PH. Plus, Arcia is the best bat in the Twins system to sit behind Sano against rightie pitchers.

 

Pitching: We all agree that Blaine Boyer isn't getting it done anymore, and Duensing hasn't looked much better. Replace them with Jose Berrios and Taylor Rogers. Extended looks for both, no matter what (throwing in the towel).

 

Beyond that, other promotions and shuffling should favor just the younger, more promising players, not more shuffling of veteran retreads. I'd get Max Kepler to AAA right now, working on OF and 1B, then look at a September call-up. It's still too hard to imagine moving Joe Mauer to the bench, but at some point you've got to get more power at 1B.

 

I would also move batting coach Tommy Watkins to AA Chattanooga. He was the last coach that had Adam Brett Walker's K rate at 20 percent. Whatever he was doing worked much better that what Chad Allen is doing. Results have to count for coaches, too.

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#13 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:44 AM

The Twins can get more for Plouffe dealing him in the offseason, anyway, right? There's a larger pool of players eligible to be traded then compared to today...

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#14 d-mac

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:46 AM

 

 

I would also move batting coach Tommy Watkins to AA Chattanooga. He was the last coach that had Adam Brett Walker's K rate at 20 percent. Whatever he was doing worked much better that what Chad Allen is doing. Results have to count for coaches, too.

 

ABW is, who he is. He's got no protection in the line-up and he's finally being exposed. The other hitters did just fine with Allen. Besides, isn't this his first year as AA hitting coach?

4-27-2016: El dia de La Maquina


#15 Kwak

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:46 AM

The players threw in the towel--or did you miss the previous homestand?  In fact every year from '11 on has indicated a team that was "below par" at/ 1 week after the ALG--and then implodes--just like this team.  The players are breathing fire starting the season then when reality of the Front Office hits them in the eye, they pack it in.  2015 won't be any different.  If the FO indifference continues, players will focus solely on individual statistics that will "pay them off handsomely--like HRs.  Then this team will be losers for years.


#16 spycake

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:49 AM

 

I keep reading "take out the month of May." That is 25% of the games played so far. Sure it was a great month, but take out the month of June instead where they went 11-17 and their record is way better. Cherry picking numbers to make a team look better or worse is cherry picking no matter what you do.

I thought that too, but it seems somewhat notable for the Twins.  The 4 teams ahead of us in the AL collectively only have 1 month below .500 (Yankees in May).  We have 3, every month so far except May.  Even when we were leading by a few games recently, we really weren't in the same class as those teams.

 

However, among the current wild card contenders, Toronto also has 3 months below .500 and Baltimore 2, although our .393 June winning percentage was the worst among those contenders.  Actually the only teams to post calendar month winning percentages below .400 in the AL so far are:

 

Minnesota

Tampa

Boston

Chicago

Cleveland (April)

Texas (April)

Oakland (twice, April & May)

 

I think the implication is that the Twins talent level might be closer to that group than the contender group above.

 

That said, I still don't advocate throwing in the towel, and was among those disappointed with our trade deadline approach because we weren't aggressive enough.


#17 d-mac

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:50 AM

 

The Twins can get more for Plouffe dealing him in the offseason, anyway, right? There's a larger pool of players eligible to be traded then compared to today...

 

I would assume so, for that type of trade. Let's go get a legit catcher. I don't think Arcia has a place on this team long-term. Rosario, Kepler, Hicks, Buxton are all much better fielders. Arcia fields as bad Elmon Young (Delmon without the D) and has yet to prove that he has enough plate discipline to stick in the majors. Maybe we can package him with Plouffe and Milone for something? Probably doesn't have a ton of value, but some team will probably take a chance on his power.

4-27-2016: El dia de La Maquina


#18 Carole Keller

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 10:56 AM

 

I keep reading "take out the month of May." That is 25% of the games played so far. Sure it was a great month, but take out the month of June instead where they went 11-17 and their record is way better. Cherry picking numbers to make a team look better or worse is cherry picking no matter what you do.

You want to throw in the towel be my guest. I choose to be optimistic in my life. This team has talent, enough to stay competitive until the end. I think it's a long shot they make the playoffs, but I'm not throwing in the towel when they actually have a shot.

I agree that it's too early to throw in the towel. But I also agree that to remain competitive through the rest of the season ... whether or not they make the playoffs ... they need to make some moves. They've been better than I thought they would be this season, which gives me hope. So why not make some moves to shore up some obvious areas to at least remain competitive? It just feels like the FO are the ones throwing in the towel by 'standing pat' mostly (Jepsen aside). But ... it ain't over 'til it's over and something could yet be coming.

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#19 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 11:02 AM

 

The two areas that need the most help are hitting and pitching.

 

Hitting: Jorge Polanco and Oswaldo Arcia. Put them in and play them for the rest of the season. They're both supposed to have good bats; Polanco is supposed to be a decent SS, and Arcia needs work at corner OF, but can DH and PH. Plus, Arcia is the best bat in the Twins system to sit behind Sano against rightie pitchers.

 

Pitching: We all agree that Blaine Boyer isn't getting it done anymore, and Duensing hasn't looked much better. Replace them with Jose Berrios and Taylor Rogers. Extended looks for both, no matter what (throwing in the towel).

 

Beyond that, other promotions and shuffling should favor just the younger, more promising players, not more shuffling of veteran retreads. I'd get Max Kepler to AAA right now, working on OF and 1B, then look at a September call-up. It's still too hard to imagine moving Joe Mauer to the bench, but at some point you've got to get more power at 1B.

 

I would also move batting coach Tommy Watkins to AA Chattanooga. He was the last coach that had Adam Brett Walker's K rate at 20 percent. Whatever he was doing worked much better that what Chad Allen is doing. Results have to count for coaches, too.

 

This is the kind of approach that makes the most sense. This year should be about evaluating talent first and foremost. It's great to contend but not worth playing mediocre vets who don't have a long term place like Robinson, Nunez, Boyer and Duensing in order to run in place.  It's time to take some risk by playing the younger talent including Arcia and Polonco so that next year we can start with a potentially contending team rather than going through another evaluative process. I'm all in favor of trying to contend after the last 4 years but I think we need to be honest about our chances of making the playoffs - they aren't very good. Besides, I think these changes might improve those chances rather than reduce them.  

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#20 twinsnorth49

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 11:03 AM

Not time to throw in the towel, just time to try and make this team better with what they already have. It's not gut check time for the players, it's gut check time for management.
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