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Article: Houston, We have a Problem

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 04:41 AM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...-have-a-Problem

#2 sorney

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:19 AM

Absolutely should start blowing things up. It's been almost two years of the same results, time to start over. With most of the *impact* prospects still a couple years away, might as well load up on some more in hope of striking some gold with that class

#3 DPJ

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:27 AM

I've advocated "blowing it up" since last season and I still think that's the best plan of action for this franchise. The Twins aren't gonna win in the next couple years unless the Pohlads go on a spending spree (which won't happen) Hell maybe I wouldn't be against blowing it up if there was some type of longterm plan coming from the front office, but I've yet to hear anything that sounds like a legit plan to get this team back to the postseason. I don't care about ticket sales or selling hope to the fans cause the moment you start winning again the fans will come back. Yeah it's gonna be a tough couple years, but treading water while still being one of the worst teams in the league isn't a plan. It's time to start over...

#4 mike wants wins

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:35 AM

Yes, they should blow it up. The minors are devoid of pitching, middle infielders, and power. No way they are good next year unless they open up the checkbook in a major way, and almost no one thinks that will happen.

#5 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:44 AM

The question I'd ask is how many of those prospects that Houston got are likely to be impact prospects... If these are B grade guys, Houston instantly has the best farm system in baseball right now... but they don't. I'm all for making smart trades, but blowing things up to get talent that if it makes it is just a utility player isn't the best plan either. I do like how they drafted, but that's also a long term proposition as well, and to be fair to the Twins, I don't think this was an option for them as soon as Corea was off the board. No way Giolito, Gausman, Zimmer, Buxton, etc. were going to go that far below slot so that the Twins could go out and have grabbed a guy like Mccullers. The other thing is that the Twins have a pretty nice core of hitters both now and in the system. Next season, I full expect Benson, Arcia, and Hicks to all be knocking on the door making Revere and Willingham expendable. It would certainly be wise not to bring all of them up at once, but those guys are all profiling as above average regulars, and in the case of Arcia, middle of the order bat. Plouffe, Dozier, Parmalee, Doumit, and Mauer are all looking pretty decent, so this team on the offense is in need of a 2B (or a 3B if they want to move Plouffe over there) and a part time DH. Morneau won't get them much due to his contract, but next year at this time, he's going to be far more valuable even if he doesn't improve over what he's doing now, and if the improvements we see are continuing, the Twins might very well be shopping two sluggers at the deadline next year. Where they are weak, is pitching. They need pitching to work with this next wave. If they can flip Span, Morneau, Willingham, and Liriano for that type of pitching help, then there's no need to blow the team up. However, with all the chips, I highly doubt they can aquire the starters that they need, so in the Twins case, I think it's fair to say that free agency is going to be necessary. Looking at what Ryan is doing thus far, it seems like this is his plan. It isn't a bad plan. I don't think blowing things up is going to get us competing sooner. I do agree that some of the young guys are going to take some lumps, and that is what 2013 is going to be for, and to an extent 2014. That said, if they continue with this plan, they will field a quasi-competitive team that will keep butts in the seats... Lest you forget, this is a business, and selling out target field is a priority. Ryan actually has demonstrated in the past that this is somethign he's capable of doing, and having him as the GM of this team for a couple of years makes a ton of sense.... Once that talent is performing, I'm not sure he's the guy who can get us over the top, but getting us to it is something he does well.

#6 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:54 AM

At this point, I think a "controlled burn" (I'm full of space-related phrases this morning) makes the most sense, which is what appears to be JR's plan. If no one bites on Morneau, wait until next season. As diehard mentioned, his value will be more next season even if his performance remains steady. If you trade either Span or Willingham this season, you can offload the other next year if the team is still awful. It's going to be many years before Houston is anything close to resembling a decent baseball team and with them moving to the nasty AL West next season, it could be even longer than it appears now. The Twins are no longer a small market team. They can afford to bring in decent players every season in FA while offloading players at their peak. The Twins have a lot of hitters in the pipeline in the next three years and Mauer in his prime. To me, it doesn't make any sense to trade the entire team and punt on the next 3-4 seasons, which is essentially what posters on this forum are advocating. In 3-4 years, we'll have Mauer still eating 1/4 of the salary, only at that point he'll be in his early 30s and declining in production.

#7 DPJ

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:58 AM

RP & diehard...can you explain to me whatr JR's plan is?

#8 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:02 AM

RP & diehard...can you explain to me whatr JR's plan is?


To me, it looks like he's trying to move some assets and offload future money for prospects to restock the system while maintaining a semblance of a Major League franchise.

I'm not one to jump the gun and make rash judgments on plans that haven't had time to bear fruit. JR tried to build a better team this offseason, the pitching failed miserably, and now he's compensating. The real test will be this offseason to see how he spends the newly-freed money. It's hard to accurately judge his plan until he actually has a chance to do something.

#9 mike wants wins

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:02 AM

Agree, what is the plan? Not one young player has been acquired in the last year. All their signings were older players.

#10 DPJ

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:09 AM

To me, it looks like he's trying to move some assets and offload future money for prospects to restock the system while maintaining a semblance of a Major League franchise.



I'm not trying to be a dick, but I gotta say it. Is this current abomination really maintaining a semblance of a major league club?

I guess you're right that's it's too early to talk on the plan when time hasn't been given yet. But I'd really love for JR to come out (maybe he will after the deadline) and explain to Twins what his goals and plan is for the future.

#11 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:16 AM

I'm not trying to be a dick, but I gotta say it. Is this current abomination really maintaining a semblance of a major league club?

I guess you're right that's it's too early to talk on the plan when time hasn't been given yet. But I'd really love for JR to come out (maybe he will after the deadline) and explain to Twins what his goals and plan is for the future.


Damn it, I had a long post typed out and the tab crashed in my browser.

Anyway, over 1/3 of the roster looks like a decent ML team. The problem is that the rest of it is complete crap.

I'd also like for JR to come out and state his plans but it doesn't make any sense to do it before the deadline. You're not going to gain negotiating power by showing your hand. But after the waiver deadline, I'd like to see the front office come out and state their intentions for next season and how they plan to get there.

#12 snepp

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:24 AM

I'd like to know what their long-term plans are for the GM position.

#13 DPJ

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:47 AM

Maybe after the deadline JR or DSP will come out and give a state of the union type address for the franchise, cause this is just bad.

#14 TheLeviathan

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:58 AM

It's nice to see the tone around here is getting further and further away from the "You know, with just one or two pitchers, 2013 might....." Which is really a hopeless position. This club has to make some significant changes and it has to start with unloading just about everyone who isn't going to be a part of this team in 2-3 years. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but that's where we're at.

#15 DPJ

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:59 AM

it's nice to see the tone around here is getting further and further away from the "you know, with just one or two pitchers, 2013 might....." which is really a hopeless position.


cue dave

#16 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:21 AM

It's nice to see the tone around here is getting further and further away from the "You know, with just one or two pitchers, 2013 might....." Which is really a hopeless position.

This club has to make some significant changes and it has to start with unloading just about everyone who isn't going to be a part of this team in 2-3 years. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but that's where we're at.


I concur with the sentiment. The difficulty is going to come in assessing who is going to be a part of the team in 2-3 years. I suspect there will be vast disagreement among fans about that. For example, Liriano. Do we keep him or trade him? I would say trade, but quite a few have suggested signing him to a 3-year contract on the hopes he puts his difficulties behind him and fulfills his potential. Certainly, if he does that, he would play a very important role 2-3 years down the road. Same for Baker. I also think (and I know many disagree with me) that you put Span in that category - he is young enough that he can significantly add to this team in 2015 if we keep him that long. I would, however, trade Willingham - I just don't see him starting in 2015 - and Carroll too, if you can get anything for them. So it all comes down to who you keep and who you jettison - as usual, the devil lies in the details.

#17 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:24 AM

RP & diehard...can you explain to me whatr JR's plan is?



From here, it looks like he's attempting to move expendable assets for pitching that help sooner as opposed to later. The real question is how much will he do in free agency, as I don't see any way for this team to improve in that area without making some additions via free agency... Even if he managed to strike gold and flip Liriano and Span for high ceiling AA pitchers this year and then do the same with Morneau and Willingham next year, I'd argue this team still needs pitching to compete in 2014. It has no depth there. As well, bad starting pitching typically leads to bad bullpens as they get overworked.... I suspect the pen in particular is going to be a problem over the next couple of months, even if the starting pitching were to magically improve. Repairing the pen means getting 5 decent starters and having ideally 2 more in AA/AAA that can step in quickly and not implode, and I don't see that happening without some free agency moves.

I do think his draft alligned to this too. They drafted a bunch of college relievers who at worst profile to be pretty decent bullpen options come 2014, and if we are lucky, one learns a 3rd pitch and becomes an average or better starter. As such, I don't see this team having problems finding too much help in the pen around that time.... at least nothing that a Burton style pickup cannot solve.

I don't consider myself to be an optimist or a pessimist. Dave's a bit over-optimistic on these forums, but he isn't as far from reality as you think when he says they just need pitching. 2 above average starters and this team is a fringe contender. I think the players would certainly be playing harder right now and then pen wouldn't be as shakey. This isn't a scenario where you just blow things up and start over. There's plenty of good stuff in the line up and not nearly enough on the mound. Blowing things up will mean a lot of .480 to .520 ball clubs which won't give you a great draft position and will waste the primes of many of the decent prospects that they have.

#18 spideyo

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:26 AM

Surprised that I haven't seen the point brought up before but there is one MAJOR difference between the Twins and the Astros. Next year, the Astros will be playing in the American League for the the first time EVER. They NEED to blow their team up, because they are going to be competing against totally different teams. No more double-switches, no more hitting pitchers. They'll have a regular DH spot to fill. I can't quite articulate it, but there is a distinct difference in playing style between the American League and the National League, and the Astros need to start stocking up on American League players.

#19 cr9617

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:31 AM

It's nice to see the tone around here is getting further and further away from the "You know, with just one or two pitchers, 2013 might....." Which is really a hopeless position.

This club has to make some significant changes and it has to start with unloading just about everyone who isn't going to be a part of this team in 2-3 years. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but that's where we're at.


Right on

I want to believe there is some sort of plan in place, but I'm not entirely sure. To be fair to TR, the hole that this franchise has dug for itself is so damn big, that I think his options were pretty limited for this season. I think he did a pretty good plugging some holes on the cheap, not including the pitching staff.

Not selling last year was a big mistake and an opportunity missed. Other teams would have done it, but this team lacks balls and can't seem to think big enough for that. And, of course, BS was still running the show.

#20 jctwins

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:32 AM

Maybe after the deadline JR or DSP will come out and give a state of the union type address for the franchise, cause this is just bad.


JR has been pretty honest during the Sunday morning/early afternoon radio show, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was pretty open on the Sunday after the deadline.

#21 DPJ

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:35 AM

From here, it looks like he's attempting to move expendable assets for pitching that help sooner as opposed to later.



JR already said he's going for ceiling over availability to help the major league club.

There's plenty of good stuff in the line up and not nearly enough on the mound. Blowing things up will mean a lot of .480 to .520 ball clubs which won't give you a great draft position and will waste the primes of many of the decent prospects that they have.


How does blowing things up not give you a better draft position?

How do you waste the primes of a bunch of kids in the early 20's on the farm?

#22 TheLeviathan

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:39 AM

2 above average starters and this team is a fringe contender. .


What people don't seem to realize is that many more things have gone right than they have gone wrong. Willingham is having a career year. Mauer is healthy and having an outstanding season. Morneau is back and semi-capable. Plouffe had a breakout. Revere is having a breakout. Doumit is healthy and hitting very well. Diamond, Burton, Perkins, and Burnett are pitching some great ball.

When you compare that to the wrongs - Baker hurt, Pavano hurt, Capps hurt, Blackburn garbage. (Maybe one or two others I'm forgetting) - this team is actually a bit lucky they aren't WORSE.

I'm encouraged by some of Ryan's interviews the last few Sundays. He appears to get that this team isn't as good as some think and they're way further off than a pitcher or two.

#23 Thrylos

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:40 AM

The Twins have made few more moves than the ones listed, namely signing 4 - 30+ year old free agent players this off-season, which the Astros did not do...
As far as this goes:

So what do you think? Will the Twins or the Astros contend in their division first?



IMHO "contending in their division" should not cut it any more. The Indians are "contending" and they will finish below .500. One should ask which of the 2 teams will "win a world series next", which is the mark of excellence, not "contending in the division", which is the mark of mediocrity. But, unfortunately, a lot of Twins' fans have been happy with the mediocrity of the Gardy era, which appeared great after the contraction situation and the perpetual basement dwelling of the late 90s. But it is about time the bar is raised again. There is no contraction, there is no perpetual suckage, they got a brand new ballpark... Time to raise the bar for the Twins, because if nobody does, and people are satisfied with mediocrity, mediocrity will continue.

Ask yourselves this: How would you feel if they win 80 games in 2013 and finish 2nd in the division? Is this a successful season or just an improved but mediocre season? I think it is about time we are start to expect excellence from this team...
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#24 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:51 AM

I think 80 wins in 2013 is fine... I think 80 wins as a goal is not. 80 wins next season means that some of the moves Ryan made panned out (which hopefully means that we have some starting pitching we can count on for 2014)...

#25 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:53 AM

JR already said he's going for ceiling over availability to help the major league club.



How does blowing things up not give you a better draft position?

How do you waste the primes of a bunch of kids in the early 20's on the farm?


Becuase they have a lineup that can singlehandly win games now, and it only looks to improve.. Their OF will be better over the next couple of years, and better both offensively and defensively. Dozier, Plouffe, and Parmalee should all improve as well and should solidify themselves as average or better options for their positions. They need pitching... badly.

#26 TheLeviathan

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:58 AM

Becuase they have a lineup that can singlehandly win games now


No they don't. This is such a mistake to believe this.

#27 DPJ

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:11 AM

Becuase they have a lineup that can singlehandly win games now, and it only looks to improve.. Their OF will be better over the next couple of years, and better both offensively and defensively. Dozier, Plouffe, and Parmalee should all improve as well and should solidify themselves as average or better options for their positions. They need pitching... badly.


1. The Twins are 9th in the AL in run scored. A solid lineup but far from singlehandly winning games.

2. The OF prospects of Hicks, Benson, Arcia are nice prospects, but at the end of the day they're still just prospects. More will fail then succeed, so I don't know how you can already start pimping an OF when we don't know what we'll get from any of them.

3. I don't know even know how the hell you're already talking about Doz, Ploufee and Parm as average or abbve-average players at this point in their career.

#28 cr9617

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:16 AM

Becuase they have a lineup that can singlehandly win games now, and it only looks to improve.. Their OF will be better over the next couple of years, and better both offensively and defensively. Dozier, Plouffe, and Parmalee should all improve as well and should solidify themselves as average or better options for their positions. They need pitching... badly.


The current state of the Twins isn't nearly as rosy as you make it seem.

#29 CDog

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:29 AM

What people don't seem to realize is that many more things have gone right than they have gone wrong. Willingham is having a career year. Mauer is healthy and having an outstanding season. Morneau is back and semi-capable. Plouffe had a breakout. Revere is having a breakout. Doumit is healthy and hitting very well. Diamond, Burton, Perkins, and Burnett are pitching some great ball.

When you compare that to the wrongs - Baker hurt, Pavano hurt, Capps hurt, Blackburn garbage. (Maybe one or two others I'm forgetting) - this team is actually a bit lucky they aren't WORSE.


I agree it could be worse, although oddly enough I felt that more strongly earlier in the year when things actually were going worse. Weird. But I don't think they've been lucky, and I'd differntly weight how far above or below expectations some of the things on your list are. Mauer IS having an outstanding year, but it's almost exactly average for him. Doumit is really close to his career averages also. Revere has improved from last year, but is now more in line with what you'd expect of him given his track record. Perkins has been very good, but not all that different than he was last year. Morneau has been available and semi-capable, as you say, but he's still having his worst full-season since his first back in 2005.

Compare that with the downsides. Baker out from before the year even started, and your next two best starters from an expectation standpoint giving very little (Pavano/Liriano), your other two starters (from pre-season plans) both going WELL below career norms to the point of being demoted or released, and Capps being gone has had the domino effect of having every bullpen role being moved a rung up the ladder.

Now that both the positives and the negatives of the year have me depressed, I'll move along...

EDIT: The one downer you may have forgotten that I did too...Valencia crapping the bed. Granted, it allowed in part for Plouffe's breakout, but he was bad while here, and his demotion moved Dozier into the lineup who hasn't been all that effective yet.

Edited by CDog, 26 July 2012 - 09:32 AM.


#30 BD57

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:31 AM

Any club contending would find a way to get Mauer & Willingham's bats in the order pretty much every day. After that - - - not so much. Span would probably be in the lineup for the majority of contenders. Morneau has been that kind of player in the past, but he's a couple of years removed from the last stretch when he was that guy. We don't have a great offensive club - it's better than last year, which (IMO) is why we see it more positively .... but "better than last year" really isn't saying that much. And the starting rotation ... yeech .... as well as Diamond has pitched, he's not a #1 - but that's who he's been for us this year. Who do we have that you'd want to give the ball for a playoff game? This isn't a good team. It can't be fixed by adding a piece or two.