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Article: Out Of Options But Not Out Of The Plans

oswaldo arcia danny santana michael tonkin trevor plouffe
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#21 ThejacKmp

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 09:39 AM

 

It is difficult to admit failure--but it is inevitable.  The question is:  do it in Spring training or wait until May/June?  The write-up on these guys was oh so kind.  "While no one thinks or expects to put up the numbers in 2014...". Since he isn't an OF ("...Hunter will spend a lot of time...") and now it is accepted he won't hit much--he should receive a spot on the active roster?  At 25 he is no kid--and his ceiling is as a bench player who isn't much defensively and can't hit--why keep him?  There are many better options on the team.

 

Arcia--he can't play either corner--he can only be inserted there (like Willingham was) and hope they don't hit the ball his way.  "He catches most of what he gets to..."--so do little league kids.  As a hitter, he "disappoints" (to be gentle) and quite frankly there are many better options in the minor leagues for the OF.  

 

Tonkin--relief pitchers cycle in performance frequently.  If he has a strong Spring--keep him.  Else, cut him loose, there are lots of good candidates in the system.

 

In short, very little time should be spent on bench players.  If they don't quickly succeed--cut them!

 

If we followed this advice there would be no Michael Cuddyer, no Aaron Hicks, no Trevor Plouffe. Guys develop late (see Dozier, Brian) and you can lose a ton of value by cutting people too quickly.

 

The Twins shouldn't be blocking anyone to keep these guys but that's not really the case. Tonkin is a good a bet as anyone in the pen, Santana is your best utility guy and Arcia doesn't block anyone (you can have Buxton, Roasario and Sano all playing with Kepler developing in AAA and Santana as a late inning defensive sub for Sano.) In no case is keeping these three something that stops other guys who deserve it.


#22 ThejacKmp

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 09:46 AM

 

I feel that Tonkin and Santana have very little long term value to this team, or even much value beyond past May or June. Hopefully they perform well and move on to another organization when the younger, better guys take their turn.

 

There is value in having a Danny Santana on your team all year long. If they can teach him all three OF spots (doable) and get him somewhat comfortable at 3B (less doable but less vital), that's a really valuable utility guy since he already is good enough for 2B/SS. And I think that value will stretch this entire year and through next year. The only real candidate to push Santana for the next two years is Polanco and I think the Twins see him more as an everyday middle infielder who might make Dozier expendable next year or fill in if Escobar struggles. After Polanco you're looking at guys like Levi Michael or James Beresford who don't look like improvements and can't play as many positions as Santana. I think Danny Santana looks like a Twin for the next two years - he's not amazingly good but his versatility is useful.

 

I agree with the second part - I don't know that Santana will be on your team long term (three years from now) - but Santana has value now and will play a vital role on this team.


#23 spycake

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 09:46 AM

 

As Ryan said, all three of these Twins players can win a spot in spring training. I would venture to say it is likely that all three will make the Opening Day roster unless spring training goes just brutally for them.

What do you think Ryan would have said about Pinto before he got DFA'd?  Probably that he would have a chance to win a spot in spring training.  Not sure how meaningful that statement is.

 

Tonkin in particular seems close to that Pinto path -- as you note, the Twins have never shown any great interest in rostering him before, so why would that suddenly change when he is out of options?  The Twins aren't that afraid of cutting young players they are suspicious of (Pinto, Parmelee, Benson, etc.).

 

Arcia would be the next least likely to make it -- they liked him well enough in 2013-2014, but seemed to bury him pretty quickly last year.  Some of that was due to injury, but they are also going to factor in projected health in their decision, so it's still relevant.

 

Santana is obviously the most likely, due to his positional flexibility and having most recently gotten the endorsement of the MLB staff (remember they were playing Santana ahead of Escobar as late as July last year).


#24 ThejacKmp

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 09:49 AM

 

Santana:separate the SS Santana from the CF Santana and how do the stats look?And I'm just not a real big believer in BABIP.It seems like a stat built in search of a problem.Moving him back to the OF seems to make a lot of sense.Worse case:be-all utility man.

 

Arcia:I don't get the love for this guy coming off the bench.Lot's of K's, poor defense.Without consistent reps, I don't see where his power level would be sustainable.

 

Tonkins:You've got to give him a real chance.

 

With Santana you're ascribing a cause effect relationship when we don't even have a proven correlation. Hitting is independent of fielding by all known metrics. Santana hit in 2014 because he had a high BABIP, not because he played CF. That failed him next year but was not caused by him playing SS.

 

Its the same thing with Mauer. He isn't suddenly going to hit if we catch him - his hitting struggles are explained by things which are not related to fielding position.

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#25 scottz

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 10:47 AM

Arcia, career (as a 22, 23, and 24 year old) versus right-handed pitching:
.250/.322/.485 - OPS .807
1 HR every 17.1 AB

 

That's good enough reason to me to keep him around and trot him out there on occasion with a right hander on the hump. El Jardinero!

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#26 mikelink45

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 10:55 AM

This is tough to sort out.  In the past Gardy would have had his favorites, but Molitor has not been here long enough for us to figure out what traits are really appealing to him for companions on the bench. 

 

Danny Santana has not done enough to give him what seems like a guaranteed slot - there are many one year wonders who have come to baseball and knocked the cover off the ball and then could not do anything in subsequent years.  Bob Hazle of the Milwaukee Braves was a great example.  Here is a really good summary of that year - I was at the ball park to see some of his games:  http://research.sabr...aves-to-pennant or you can check this out and see the top 25 one year wonders from Bleacher Report http://bleacherreport.com/articles/713369-baseballs-25-biggest-one-hit-wonders-of-all-time 

 

What this means to me is that Spring Training is to sort out a roster and winter conversation means nothing.  Is Santana a player or a one year wonder?  I do not know, but I do not like to think that he is almost guaranteed a roster spot and that is how the conversations have gone.  Arcia is more interesting, but again, he has to show that he has matured.  

 

Of the three Tonkin seems the best bet, but we have to figure out the Nolasco pitching squad - what do we do with him?  Have him sit on the bench and talk to Joe Mauer or put him in where he will push out a starter with more potential or a reliever who has no more options?


#27 DocBauer

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 11:21 AM

Don't have hus numbers available at the moment, but despite his yo-yo status and such, didn't Tonkin put up his best ML numbers in 2015?

I worry about Arcia as a true "off the bench" player. He needs AB'S on a semi regular to be effective, IMHO. I think this can be done.

I find it kind of strange when I see so much focus on 2015 in regard to Arcia and Santana, their poor seasons, and what they can't do. But I don't feel there is enough reflection back to 2014, or earlier for Arcia, to show what they can do. One bad year doesn't define a young career at this point.
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#28 Mike Sixel

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 11:36 AM

I love all the "if everything works out, he'll be fine" posts.....well, ya. But should you count on everything working out?

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#29 nicksaviking

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 11:39 AM

I fear most that Arcia's "attitude" is going to be a major factor in his future with this club. Frankly, I could care less if he's arrogant, abrasive or sulking, but I know the team has a history of caring.

 

I get it, I don't like those kinds of co-workers. However I DO have those kinds of co-workers, most of us who work with more than a handful of people do. The rest of us have to suck it up and live with it.

 

Neither Arcia's strikeouts nor lack of walks appeared to be a major issue in the minors, I would really like to find out if he can meet his potential, I still feel like he hasn't been giving a full shot. And his defense? So what, Torii Hunter proved last year that you can play RF at Target Field from a lawn chair, particularly if you have a decent CF standing next to you.

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#30 DJL44

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 11:46 AM

I like the idea of developing Jorge Polanco as the utility infielder. I'd like to see him on the team as I think he's a better ballplayer than Santana or Nunez but I don't think he beats out Escobar, Dozier or Plouffe.

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#31 dxpavelka

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 12:29 PM

 

Santana:separate the SS Santana from the CF Santana and how do the stats look?And I'm just not a real big believer in BABIP.It seems like a stat built in search of a problem.Moving him back to the OF seems to make a lot of sense.Worse case:be-all utility man.

 

Arcia:I don't get the love for this guy coming off the bench.Lot's of K's, poor defense.Without consistent reps, I don't see where his power level would be sustainable.

 

Tonkins:You've got to give him a real chance.

Couldn't agree more--About the BABIP.Seems like one of those numbers that a whole bunch of folks parrot others on and when it goes the way they think it will they talk a whole lot of smack but if it goes the other way all we hear is crickets.


#32 spinowner

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 12:33 PM

 

There is value in having a Danny Santana on your team all year long. If they can teach him all three OF spots (doable) and get him somewhat comfortable at 3B (less doable but less vital), that's a really valuable utility guy since he already is good enough for 2B/SS.

You can also do a work-around when it comes to 3B. Escobar could move there from SS with Santana taking SS or Sano could move there from the OF with Santana taking the OF position.

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#33 Don Walcott

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 01:17 PM

I think Santana and Tonkin are the most easily replaced.If Arcia is good, he has power from the left side that we don't have otherwise.I'm hoping he mashes in ST, makes the team, and finds at least semi-regular ABs in the middle of the lineup, protecting our very right-handed regulars.

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#34 old nurse

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 01:18 PM

 

But I'll be darned if we can find any fault with the Twins allocating relief innings to the likes of Roenicke, Duensing, Swarzak, Deduno, Guerrier, Stauffer, and Thompson over the past few years...

A career era+ of 85 and a FIP over 4 will get other people chances. Also never mind that when some of your list were pitching, Tonkin had just progressed to AA

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#35 spycake

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 01:31 PM

 

Couldn't agree more--About the BABIP.Seems like one of those numbers that a whole bunch of folks parrot others on and when it goes the way they think it will they talk a whole lot of smack but if it goes the other way all we hear is crickets.

Pretty sure you wouldn't have heard crickets if Danny Santana had even come close to repeating his historic .405 BABIP in 2015...


#36 spycake

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 01:37 PM

 

A career era+ of 85 and a FIP over 4 will get other people chances. Also never mind that when some of your list were pitching, Tonkin had just progressed to AA

Tonkin moved up to AAA in May 2013.  All of those listed pitched a considerable amount with the Twins beyond that point.  Actually all but Roenicke pitched plenty with the Twins in 2014-2015 ahead of Tonkin, I suppose I could have left him out of this specific example and restricted it to just those two years.


#37 Seth Stohs

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 01:56 PM

 

I love all the "if everything works out, he'll be fine" posts.....well, ya. But should you count on everything working out?

 

Of  course not... that's why Ryan added the "if they come in and earn it" part of the sentence. None of these guys are guaranteed anything... I think we can make some assumptions that some are more certain than others. 

 

It'd be like saying that Alex Meyer should move back to a starter full time because if he's just somewhere between where he was in 2014 and 2015, that'd be a solid starter. No, he's going to try for a bullpen spot in spring and may get another opportunity as a starter in Rochester. 

 

Clearly there wasn't a market for any of the three in the offseason (or I'm guessing they would have been OK with moving them), but they're too talented to give up on at 24-26. Worth giving a shot. 


#38 Seth Stohs

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 02:00 PM

 

I like the idea of developing Jorge Polanco as the utility infielder. I'd like to see him on the team as I think he's a better ballplayer than Santana or Nunez but I don't think he beats out Escobar, Dozier or Plouffe.

 

I think it'd be wise to have him play 2B, 3B, and SS in 2016, maybe even a handful of games at the different outfield positions. Nothing wrong with that. He may be able to hit better than Santana... maybe Nunez, and probably will... Defensively, I don't think he's as good at any of the positions as Santana or Nunez. At least not now.


#39 Mike Sixel

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 02:18 PM

 

Of  course not... that's why Ryan added the "if they come in and earn it" part of the sentence. None of these guys are guaranteed anything... I think we can make some assumptions that some are more certain than others. 

 

It'd be like saying that Alex Meyer should move back to a starter full time because if he's just somewhere between where he was in 2014 and 2015, that'd be a solid starter. No, he's going to try for a bullpen spot in spring and may get another opportunity as a starter in Rochester. 

 

Clearly there wasn't a market for any of the three in the offseason (or I'm guessing they would have been OK with moving them), but they're too talented to give up on at 24-26. Worth giving a shot. 

 

Ryan's not saying it, posters are.......I agree with what you post here.

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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#40 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 03:17 PM

 

I fear most that Arcia's "attitude" is going to be a major factor in his future with this club. Frankly, I could care less if he's arrogant, abrasive or sulking, but I know the team has a history of caring.

 

I get it, I don't like those kinds of co-workers. However I DO have those kinds of co-workers, most of us who work with more than a handful of people do. The rest of us have to suck it up and live with it.

Arcia gets a bad wrap for his "attitude", kid got down on himself last year and it just snowballed from there.  He's grown up over the offseason, "learned alot about me" and is out to prove that he can play everyday in the outfield. Of the three out of options guys, he's the most likely to make you say "crap, I can't believe we let him go for a bag of balls."  Left handed power bats don't grow on trees...

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