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Random Thoughts on a Sunday Morning

molitor shortstop dozier offense yankees
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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 09:22 AM

For reasons I can't get into, I'm not at my accustomed place(s) on a Sunday morning. It has given me a chance to think about some random things pertaining to the Twins.


I don't want to rival Brian or Always 33, but here are some things I am pondering on a Sunday morning:


1) Paul Molitor was a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. He had the requisite 3000 hits, a high number of stolen bases and a World Series ring. He finished his career with the Twins and played three years for them. Included in those seasons was an outstanding 1996, in which he had 225 hits, drove in 113 and won a Silver Slugger. My question is, if Molitor had retired after playing for the Blue Jays and not toiled three years for the Twins, would he have made the Hall?


2) Brian Dozier is my favorite current Twin. He made his first All-Star appearance (which he deserved) and had an incredible first half of 2015. Since the All-Star break, Dozier has not hit well. I believe his OPS is about .665. He run production has suffered and the power has diminished. His OBP is much lower than last year. Has the league figured him out? Will he have to make adjustments to use the whole field? Should he bunt more for base hits?


3) Last year, the Twins weren't good, but especially in the second half of the season they could score runs. This year, they are struggling. While three players that contributed last year (Arcia, Santana, Vargas) were demoted, the Twins have added a rejuvenated Aaron Hicks, Eddie Rosario and especially Miguel Sano to make up for the heavy regression from the three noted above. Yet, this year the Twins are below the median for run scoring. They've increased their power, relative to the league, but are drawing fewer free passes and no one is hitting for a high average. Is this expected regression or was last year a fluke?


4) I have maintained that the Yankees or Blue Jays get one wild card spot, while the Twins are competing with Houston, Texas and the Angels for the second slot. Toronto is on the verge of sweeping the Yankees and with the Yanks injuries and remaining schedule, maybe the Twins can overtake the Evil Empire. Is there a chance that New York can miss the playoffs? Should the Twins consider New York "in play"?


5) Danny Santana was the surprise Rookie of the Year for the Twins last season. He was given the shortstop position to start 2015 (his natural position) and truly has had a miserable major league season. In 64 games at short, he has managed to register as one of the worst defenders at the position, while registering an OPS+ of 45. Late this year, the Twins have resurrected last year's quasi-incumbent, Eduardo Escobar. Esco has hit very well and done his usual capable job on defense. Do the last two seasons guarantee Escobar the starting nod at shortstop next year? What is Santana's future with the Twins?


The Twins have another huge game today in Chicago. I hope people have time to offer their opinion about my scattered thoughts. Enjoy the game today or maybe the great out-of -doors or maybe some football today.

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#2 mudcat14


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Posted 13 September 2015 - 09:53 AM

1) Probably
2) Despite the fact that opposing pitchers avoid the inner half of the plate to him with remarkable consistency, Dozier tries to pull everything! I've said it before, but if he doesn't change his approach, and PRONTO he'll be as irrelevant as Dam Uggla.
3) Way, way, way too many strikeouts. Even with their abysmal team BA, they could still score many more runs if they occasionally included a productive out or two in a game.
4) Yes.
5) Color me an optimist, but I'm still a big fan of Santana's upside. I also think Escobar's greatest value is in a utility role due to his versatility. What the Twins are planning however, is a mystery to me. I find it interesting that Polanco has played almost exclusively at 2B for Chattanooga over the past few weeks.

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#3 Halsey Hall

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 09:58 AM

1)Good question.I think Molitor would have made the HOF, but it may have taken longer. 


2)Dozier could make a ton more money and be more valuable it he did use the whole field.I wouldn't have him bunting more with the power he does have. 


3)Last year wasn't a fluke, but they just aren't hitting this year for some reason. 


4)There's a very good chance the Yankees miss the playoffs.


5)We'll here there is an open competition for SS next spring, but Esco, in their mind has it locked up. 

he gone!

#4 Monkeypaws


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Posted 13 September 2015 - 10:04 AM

Dozier always seems to fade in the 2nd half - maybe he needs to be spelled once in a while to stay fresh as the season grinds on.

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#5 twinsnorth49


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Posted 13 September 2015 - 10:16 AM

Yeah, I think he still makes the Hof. His remaining years with the Twins would have been looked upon as the hometown boy staying home type thing by the writers, I don't think it would have changed anything.


Dozier very much needs to use the whole field, lately it seems I've noticed him not going after balls on the outer part of the plate, I'm not sure if that is the beginning of a process that has him not trying to pull everything or not. I haven't looked it up but part of that seems to have him striking out looking more on those outer edge pitches, maybe once he gets more comfortable with it we'll start to see him take those pitches the other way.. No to bunting.


Buxton entering the lineup, Hunter's regression, Rosario's low OBP  and taking so long to figure out Esco as their best bet at  SS have contributed to their run scoring woes imo.


Yanks are in trouble, I never thought they were as good as their record and the latest pounding by the Blue Jays in their own park shows the real gap between those two teams. The collar gets real tight in NY in Sept when things aren't going well, I'm not sure they have the horses to stay ahead with all the injuries.


Have to say Esco is the starting SS come next April, Santana will likely  be around as the utility guy with Nunez out, could still be his to take come June, Polanco could spoil that for him though.





#6 spinowner


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Posted 13 September 2015 - 10:47 AM

1) HOF but probably not first ballot.

2) I'm surprised it took as long as it did for the rest of the league to quit throwing him high fastballs. He's gotta adjust somehow.

3) The Twins will score a lot of runs during the next few years as their many young players learn and improve.

4) Yogi's most famous quote.

5) Santana has more potential as a shortstop than does Escobar. Escobar has more potential as a utility player than does Santana. If they both can play their best we have an excellent shortstop in Santana and an excellent utility player in Escobar. But that's a big and important if.

#7 TheLeviathan


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Posted 13 September 2015 - 10:52 AM

I think this year shows Dozier just may be a very streaky hitter.

#8 Rosterman


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Posted 13 September 2015 - 11:05 AM

The Twins have too many like-minded players at times. Plouffe and Dozier. Both similar, yet different. Streaky, have some power, do the job in the field. They work when they hit with runners on. Dozier does have a high number of strikeouts. But you could do worse than those two.


Escobar should be given every chance to be the starting shortstop out of the gate with Santana as the utility guy, who can also play centerfield/outfield. Depending on if Buxton starts the season with the Twins, Santana truly becomes the backup forth outfielder you need. And that is also assuming that you put Arcia in right (and maybe have Hunter on the bench) to start the season. Add in Vargas and whomever you have as a backup catcher, and the becnh does look a bit better in 2016. It all changes if Buxton is in center and Arcia is a bench guy and Hunter isn't resigned. Still looks promising, though.


Santana starting at short is just a placesetter, and Escobar can fill those shoes, too. You have to look longterm.Escobar (like Plouffe) will start getting expensive and you have to ask how much you will pay in arbitration or a longterm contract. If he can keep his value up, he's a valuable tradechip. Same with Santana. I'm sure the Twins will try and use Santana at short, thus making Escobar a utility guy and thus decreasing his arbitration value. But both are, hopefully, temporary cogs on the field. The fate of Polanco is totally up in the air. Will he be a utility guy, a trade piece, or by apssed by Gordon and others by 2017.


The Twins line-up is pretty amazing, where msot guys are basically hitting the team average. No one is shining. Sano has short season excitement in the home-run department. No one is stealing a ton of bases. No ne is hitting .300 (except Pelfrey). Go figure! It's scary to think you are looking at a team of offense pieces that nobody would probably want to trade anything of value for, let alone make a waiver claim on.


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#9 gopherman23


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Posted 14 September 2015 - 07:36 AM

It's scary to think you are looking at a team of offense pieces that nobody would probably want to trade anything of value for, let alone make a waiver claim on.


#10 Dantes929


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Posted 14 September 2015 - 08:09 AM

 Yes, Dozier should bunt as should Hicks, Mauer, Buxton, and anyone else who has the odds shifted in their favor by either slumping swinging away or having a shift against them which makes bunting a statistically good option. 

Though for some reason I like watching :Santana play and do not like watching Escobar, Eduardo has absolutely earned the SS spot. What about anything they have done makes people think Santana has more potential or that Escobar would do better by playing less? Their minor league stats are not far apart and Escobar has done really well when playing full time and has played like a utility player when playing as a utility player. 

Twins OBP is 20 points lower than last year. As bad as Mauer has been he still gets on base 34 points higher than the team average and so his value is higher than it might be if anyone else was getting on base. This team already has more homers than last year but is on pace to score 16 fewer runs.  OBP is just too important.  For those that say we hit more homers and have a better record the reason e havebetter record is run prevention.  We are on pace to give up 71 fewer runs than last year.The rest is either statistical anomaly or the intangibles of baseball since the Pyth shows we should have had 5 more wins in 2014 and 4 fewer this year. 

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#11 Rosterman


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Posted 19 September 2015 - 04:43 PM



Let's play expansion draft. Who would the Twins keep immediately. Who would the Twins likely lose. And, in the off-season, who would the Twins be likely to offer out for trade for a decent return (we know Sano, for one, isn't going anywheres).

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