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When to Throw In The Towel?

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#21 SwainZag

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 11:42 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.

 

I think it's obvious at least defensively Polonco isn't ready yet.  I can see him up in September, but I'm guessing for now they want to give him everyday reps while they can.  I think almost everyone would like to see Arcia up in platoon against RHP and PH situations and I believe it will come, but right now they feel content on giving him everyday AB's, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him sooner than later.

 

I would assume it would be pretty low chance we see Berrios before September.  IMO, having him keep starting in AAA, where he has only been a short time, is better than him in the pen pitching a handful of innings per week.  There are several candidates that IMO should have replaced Boyer months ago.


#22 Shane Wahl

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 11:47 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. 

 

I agree completely with these five things!


#23 nicksaviking

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 11:53 AM

If throwing in the towel means playing youngsters over vets, they should have thrown in the towel last offseason. 

 

I'm of the mind that playing the youngsters isn't throwing in the towel, but just the more stable way of making your team a year-in and year-out contender.Even if it meant losing a few extra games (and judging by the look of it, it wouldn't) I'd rather see a rotation of Hughes, May, Gibson, Berrios and Duffy/flavor of the week with any number of RFs instead of Hunter. 

 

I like most of the vets too, but they aren't as fun to watch as the kids.

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#24 ShouldaCouldaWoulda

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 12:16 PM

Rest of the season winning% projections from Fangraphs....WORST in the entire AL at .450. 

 

http://www.fangraphs...iv&date=current

 

I was fine with the Twins not making any major moves at the deadline, as long as they were going to maximize their current options within the system. I assumed that would be the plan. Cut off the weakest links on the bench and bullpen. That starts with what I personally feel is an obvious Arcia up and Robinson out, and Berrios up to the pen (limits his innings, helps the MLB club which is most important, and gets his feet wet for starting in MLB next year) and get rid of Boyer and or Fien.  

 

What would a platoon of Hicks and Arcia look like offensively? Sano and Plouffe could also get breaks vs RH's and have Arcia DH those games, so that Hicks still gets to play more often. There is other ways to get Acria's bat in the lineup vs RH's, but platooning with Hicks often (NOT always), and simply resting Plouffe or Sano will get Acrica several days in the lineup, without really effecting Hicks, Plouffe, or Sano. 

 

I am ok with Berrios starting in AAA for a few more starts to get experience, I guess. But, I want pitching for the Twins ASAP, and I don't care if its in the bullpen or rotation. Just am guessing that he will have some sort of inning limit, so putting him in the pen would solve that. There really isn't anything to lose by doing this. If he fails, big deal. Berrios has clearly displayed excellent makeup and attitude. Failure won't ruin him. And, if he does falter with the Twins, well, its either we fail with him or fail the way we have. Obviously the upside reward is much much greater and more likely. 

 

Perkins, May, Jepsen, and Berrios at the end of games sound good? What if Meyer somehow figures it out in September up here? I am fine with either May or Berrios going to the rotation, but the Twins seem committed to giving veterans and higher priced guys with little upside those opportunities.

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#25 jimmer

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 04:49 PM

I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea that pelfrey has been a pleasant surprise and has done well.

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#26 TheLeviathan

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 04:57 PM

 

I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea that pelfrey has been a pleasant surprise and has done well.

 

Well, it might be relative to expectations.  I thought he'd just cash another season's worth of ill-gotten checks while being injured or awful and he's been not-awful.  So there's that, but it's more a reflection of low expectations than quality play.

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#27 jaimedude2

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 05:07 PM

 

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.

Yes and how many of those 24-32 games in 2015, the 32 half of the loss equation were games where the Twins either led late in the game with the bullpen blowing the lead or they had guys on base like the Yankees series where they could have used an extra run and the hitter blew it by not knocking in the extra run. The Twins have had 12-14 1-to 2  run games where they could have gone either way, those 6-10 wins in the end are the difference from being a playoff contender and a team that is on the outside looking in. With only 58 games left they have a short window to make a run. 

The part I can't understand is continuing to use pieces that were not counted on in the past or have failed, this year and continue to fail in there roles, why not replace them and give someone else a shot to do better instead of letting those that have failed continue to lose confidence and get worse. And I'm not talking about Perkins either because he has enough equity built up from the first half of the year that you have to continue to stick with him.

Both the manager and the GM have the opportunity to make changes to the roster and at some point they will have to if they want to remain competitive enough to hang in the chase until the end.

 

Keeping roster spots filled with two players Fryer and Robinson who are so obviously not part of your 25 most talented players in the organization is another oddity that is hard to watch.

Edited by jaimedude2, 04 August 2015 - 05:09 PM.


#28 stringer bell

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 05:54 PM

It is not now time to throw in the towel. Don't forget that two wild card teams played in the World Series last year. As a matter of fact, the Giants were about as hopeless as the Twins do right now. I was in SF when they were feeble and saw them shut out on a Saturday afternoon.

They need to try to win now. Everything went right in May. A lot of things have gone wrong in the other months. It balances out. There is time for a run. It is a long shot that they make the playoffs, but a shot worth taking at this time of year.

#29 nicksaviking

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 06:23 PM

It is not now time to throw in the towel. Don't forget that two wild card teams played in the World Series last year. As a matter of fact, the Giants were about as hopeless as the Twins do right now. I was in SF when they were feeble and saw them shut out on a Saturday afternoon.
They need to try to win now. Everything went right in May. A lot of things have gone wrong in the other months. It balances out. There is time for a run. It is a long shot that they make the playoffs, but a shot worth taking at this time of year.


I might think the Twins are in the same boat as the Giants if they had Madison Bumgarner.
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#30 SwainZag

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 11:40 PM

 

I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea that pelfrey has been a pleasant surprise and has done well.

 

Tell me before the season that you wouldn't be surprised if someone told you that Pelfrey through 20 starts would have a 3.65 ERA with a 4.05 FIP. Pretty much your average mid rotation starter, which I'm sure anyone would be pleasantly surprised with before the season.

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#31 Ncgo4

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 01:09 AM

The Twins are clearly at risk of disappearing. Hunter, Mauer, Plouffe, Suzuki & SS (enter name of choice) cannot hit. Bringing up Kepler, Arcia & Walker (and hopefully Buxton) would not be tossing in the towel. It would be moving to the future. Making the pitching changes outlined earlier couldn't hurt either .

Thank goodness, our incompetent GM didn't do more damage before the trade deadline arrived.

#32 70charger

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 04:22 AM

 

If throwing in the towel means playing youngsters over vets, they should have thrown in the towel last offseason. 

 

I'm of the mind that playing the youngsters isn't throwing in the towel, but just the more stable way of making your team a year-in and year-out contender.Even if it meant losing a few extra games (and judging by the look of it, it wouldn't) I'd rather see a rotation of Hughes, May, Gibson, Berrios and Duffy/flavor of the week with any number of RFs instead of Hunter. 

 

I like most of the vets too, but they aren't as fun to watch as the kids.

 

This is pretty much my thought too. Prepare yourself for the long run, and hope to catch lightning in a bottle the rest of the way. Stranger things have happened, and what we're doing now with the crusty vets sure ain't working.

 

If that's throwing in the towel, consider me on board.

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#33 HitInAPinch

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 08:01 AM

It's a balancing act and catch22 situation. 

 

1st: After what they did in the 1st half of the season, you can't just bail on the MLB roster.They deserve better than that.However...

 

2nd:After the teams who have the tools to make major upgrades to their rosters have done so, the Twins are getting left behind.So what's the point behind the false hope that they'll be contenders?Why not start the rebuild now?

 

3rd:With all the prized talent in MiLB, the Twins should be able to plug them in and really start rolling next year.However...

 

4th:During the past 2 weeks, did you notice the absence of any trade rumors where other teams were targeting the prized talent of the Twins?

 

What's my plan?Glad you ask :s-bluecap:

 

In the off-season or late in the season, I'd start trading veterans where you know you have replacements readily available.And I'm not going to attempt on speculating what the return would be.

 

1. Swap Dozier for Polanco.In a very small sample size, Polanco can hit MLB pitching.It's reported he has throwing issues at SS.Makes him an idea candidate for 2B.

2.Swap Plouffe for Sano.I'm very leery about Sano's ability to play 3B.But I also think he has the ability to "out hit" those issues.Catch and throw, just like Gold Glover Gary Gaetti. 

3.2 for 2 sale!2 SP's out, 2 MiLB starter in.Oddly, it looks like the MiLB starters [I'll go with Duffy and Berrios] are easier to define than the MLB starters [try hard to move Pelfrey before he's gone, Milone]

4.Robinson with Torii going to the bench for OF, DH and PH duties.Need to see Arcia and Walker soon, to make a call.Development-wise, Buxton is pretty much where Hicks was a year ago:needs to heal [wrist sprain AND slight tear] and needs to refine his hitting mechanics.

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It's not my fault !


#34 Mike Sixel

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 08:07 AM

there is zero reason to trade Dozier right now. Zero. He's a top 20 player in the majors. He's not slowing down. Zero, really, really, really bad idea.

 

 

I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#35 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 09:34 AM

I like the idea of a waiver trade of Pelfrey to get May back in the rotation.I like the idea of a couple kids occupying those RP spots too to give them some ML experience.I think Duffey in particular would benefit from that, though I think Berrios (being a bit younger) needs to get those innings more than anything else.I can see him coming up in September. I'd like to see Oliveros get a shot too, or even Achter.

 

I don't think Polanco is ready.I like Nunez as a pinch hit bat since he can hit well for a bench player, so I don't think jettisoning him is smart. 

 

Letting some of the kids from AAA get their feet wet, however, is a great idea.


#36 jimmer

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 09:51 AM

'Tell me before the season that you wouldn't be surprised if someone told you that Pelfrey through 20 starts would have a 3.65 ERA with a 4.05 FIP. Pretty much your average mid rotation starter, which I'm sure anyone would be pleasantly surprised with before the season.'

 

I don't care at all about the ERA stat, so that wouldn't have mattered at all.

 

Pelfrey's FIP is not good, but that's one stat.  Out of 91 qualifying starting pitchers he's 64th in FIP, 91st (dead last) in strikeouts, 91st in K/9IP(dead last), 83rd in xFIP, 76th in WHIP, tied for 63 in WAR, 59th in BB/9IP

 

He only has 11 quality starts.

 

He has been well, WELL, below average and nowhere near good. 

 

Edited by jimmer, 05 August 2015 - 09:53 AM.

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#37 stringer bell

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 10:19 AM

'Tell me before the season that you wouldn't be surprised if someone told you that Pelfrey through 20 starts would have a 3.65 ERA with a 4.05 FIP. Pretty much your average mid rotation starter, which I'm sure anyone would be pleasantly surprised with before the season.'
 
I don't care at all about the ERA stat, so that wouldn't have mattered at all.
 
Pelfrey's FIP is not good, but that's one stat.  Out of 91 qualifying starting pitchers he's 64th in FIP, 91st (dead last) in strikeouts, 91st in K/9IP(dead last), 83rd in xFIP, 76th in WHIP, tied for 63 in WAR, 59th in BB/9IP
 
He only has 11 quality starts.
 
He has been well, WELL, below average and nowhere near good.

The game is about runs scored. Pelf's ERA is decent, so he hasn't been way, way below average. As far as predicting the future, the peripherals say that he won't sustain his decent performance, but to this point, he has been close to average and not way, way below average.
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#38 Mike Sixel

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 10:28 AM

Pelfrey has not been bad, agreed. Of course, he's not exactly been good either, and May could be, and will definitely be here.....and Berrios could be, heck, maybe even Duffey could be.....and yet, Pelfrey is in the rotation......

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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#39 jimmer

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 10:39 AM

 

The game is about runs scored. Pelf's ERA is decent, so he hasn't been way, way below average. As far as predicting the future, the peripherals say that he won't sustain his decent performance, but to this point, he has been close to average and not way, way below average.

Yeah, if you think ERA is a good indicator of pitcher performance. I don't.

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#40 jimmer

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 10:39 AM

 

Pelfrey has not been bad, agreed. Of course, he's not exactly been good either, and May could be, and will definitely be here.....and Berrios could be, heck, maybe even Duffey could be.....and yet, Pelfrey is in the rotation......

I think the info I provided shows he's been pretty bad, but if people want to think he hasn't been, that's certainly their choice.

Edited by jimmer, 05 August 2015 - 10:40 AM.




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