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Article: What Can Be Done to Awaken Slumbering Twins Offense?

byron buxton nick gordon lamonte wade
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#21 iTwins

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 06:24 AM

The Twins could weather the Polanco suspension because they had Eduardo Escobar. The Sano injury forcing Escobar to third has given too much playing time to some very weak bats (Adrianza, Petit). 

 

Factor in injuries to Castro (whose bat was doing pretty poorly, but maybe the injury had some effect on that?) and Buxton, and suddenly the offense is relying on guys like Wilson, LeMarre, and Grossman to pick up the slack. When your bench depth is forced into starting roles, an offensive drop off isn't all that surprising. 

 

The next move will depend on a lot on Sano and Castro's timelines. If there's still several weeks ahead of Sano - Nick Gordon should get the call. If Castro's recovery look to be a challenge, time to start shopping the trade market. 

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#22 wsnydes

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 06:50 AM

I don't think that sending Buxton down will help.He's got to learn to hit MLB pitching.He has nothing left to accomplish in the minors.Calling up Gordon to play SS and living with the lumps is on the top of my list.If there's an injury to an outfielder, that's the time to call up Wade.Having him sit on the bench doesn't really help.A healthy Sano should provide a nice bump too.

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#23 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 06:56 AM

Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on.

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#24 Original Whizzinator

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:15 AM

The time to bring up Gordon was when Sano went down. Probably too late now although what the heck is going on with Sano anyway? Last quote I saw from Molitor said he was running a drill but without much effort.? This guy has a chance for huge amounts of cash but seems clueless. Getting hard to root for the guy. I thought the homerun derby when he was clearly out done by the big damn Yankee would send a humbling message and light a fire but I guess not. He acts like he can sleepwalk through the twins portion of his career then just sign a big deal in N.Y. At this rate they might not want him

#25 Yoke

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:21 AM

The only thing I would do is DFA Adrianza and call up Gordon. It would have been the move to make when Sano went down, and I hope that it's what they would have done had they known Sano was going to be out for more than 10 days.

 

Sending down Buxton will get him crushing AAA pitching, but hasn't he done that before, then came up and done nothing? Let him figure it out.

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#26 Darius

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:27 AM

The problem aren't going to be fixed by bringing up more young guys, or acquiring whatever dumpster fodder is out there right now. The issue lies with the current "veteran" players.

1). Sano is supposed to be the anchor of the lineup. He's supposed to provide run production by way of power, but he also sees a lot of pitches...which can have a ripple effect throughout the lineup as you get into bullpens earlier, etc. His presence can also provide that proverbial "protection" factor. Hes arguably the most important component of the lineup, and it's not there.

2). Morrison has been awful, and he's been sucking up a lot of ABs with runners on. He was hitting the heart of the order for a significant stretch. He's not necessarily a key cog (see second half last year without him), but he certainly could be making up for Sano's absence, but the production hasn't been there.

3). Dozier was great for a few weeks, but has kind of tapered off. We've seen it in the past, the lineup goes as Dozier goes. The consistency isn't there. He'll go on a torrid stretch and hit 6 homers in a week. Then, the other three weeks of the month he'll strike out a ton and meekly pop everything up to the left side of the infield. The production at the end of the year looks nice, but he's actually not helping you win all that many games (how beneficial is a 3 homer game and a 10-1 win one day of the week, followed by five 3-2 type losses?).

Those, IMO, are the main issues. Getting some consistency out of Dozier, getting Sano healthy, and getting some semblance of production from Morrison....along with the contributions from Mauer, Escobar, Rosario, Kepler....could really light the powder keg.

Also, the struggling pitching has to have an impact. When you repeatedly score runs to get a lead in the 5th-6th-7th inning, and it's repeatedly given right back by the pitching staff in the subsequent half inning, it probably takes a little wind out of your sail.

Edited by Darius, 16 May 2018 - 07:29 AM.

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#27 ThejacKmp

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:32 AM

1.) Lamonte Wade solves nothing offensively. He's an upgrade over Grossman defensively but does not profile to be some power bat. The prospect hype far exceeds reality.

 

2.) Nick Gordon is an interesting idea. Not sure the defensive drop off from Adrianza to Gordon will be worth the offensive pickup but it certainly makes sense to drop Petit and bring up Gordon. I'm not sure I'd play him everyday and I'd send him down when Sano gets back so he can get more seasoning (unless he forces your hand) but he'd be a nice spark potentially.

 

3.) Castro is back in 4-6 weeks. No need to go crazy dropping prospects for Realmuto (whose OPS+ is not much bigger than Garver's) because what do you do when Castro gets back? Not play Garver? Seems like a crazy overreaction to a 4 week problem. I also think it's not fair to blame the Twins for not having a great third catcher. Almost nobody has a great third catcher unless they have a prospect in AAA. Bobby Wilson is likely similar to most other guys you can get (though Gimenez would be fun to bring back for a reunion).

 

4.) The biggest thing is to just wait. The Twins are winning games against good teams and they're not getting blown out of the games they lose. There are natural lulls to offenses and this is just one of them. The solutions are all in house (Sano back, Polanco back, Buxton healthy, Castro back) and none are all that far away. Tread water around .500 and make a push in the second half.

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#28 ThejacKmp

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:44 AM

 

Gordon: yes. Now.

Wade: meh...who sits? I don’t think he helps much.

Give up what it takes to acquire Realmuto. Or maybe Lucroy.

Pray for a Sano storm.

 

Realmuto would cost significant prospects.

 

When Lucroy was traded in August 2016 with 1.5 years left on his contract at age 30, he cost the Rangers Baseball America's #16 prospect and #64 prospect (though the Rangers got a decent reliever as well).

 

Realmuto is 27 and has 2.5 years of control left. He would likely cost you multiple top prospects - think Gordon and Gonsalves plus something else.

 

That seems like WAY too much to solve a 4 week problem.

 

Not sure what Lucroy would cost. He's more of a rental player but it's also early in the season so you have to overpay to get a guy like him (the A's may want to wait for the deadline, especially since they are 20-21 and not out of it).

 

Stand pat at catcher. It's 4-6 weeks and Garver has looked good.

 

 


#29 Shaitan

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:06 AM

I'd rather have the injuries now and over with before the All Star Break than during the stretch run. Let's hope everyone is healthy and on a roll by July. Few players play 140+ games/year these days. Let's get the injuries out of the way early. \optimism


#30 Loosey

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:14 AM

I've said it before, I am not worrying about Buxton yet.He hasn't been getting on base enough but he he also has been hitting the ball for some hard outs lately too.Hopefully, that bunt hit jump started something.


#31 USAFChief

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:55 AM

 

The problem aren't going to be fixed by bringing up more young guys, or acquiring whatever dumpster fodder is out there right now. The issue lies with the current "veteran" players.

1). Sano is supposed to be the anchor of the lineup. He's supposed to provide run production by way of power, but he also sees a lot of pitches...which can have a ripple effect throughout the lineup as you get into bullpens earlier, etc. His presence can also provide that proverbial "protection" factor. Hes arguably the most important component of the lineup, and it's not there.

2). Morrison has been awful, and he's been sucking up a lot of ABs with runners on. He was hitting the heart of the order for a significant stretch. He's not necessarily a key cog (see second half last year without him), but he certainly could be making up for Sano's absence, but the production hasn't been there.

3). Dozier was great for a few weeks, but has kind of tapered off. We've seen it in the past, the lineup goes as Dozier goes. The consistency isn't there. He'll go on a torrid stretch and hit 6 homers in a week. Then, the other three weeks of the month he'll strike out a ton and meekly pop everything up to the left side of the infield. The production at the end of the year looks nice, but he's actually not helping you win all that many games (how beneficial is a 3 homer game and a 10-1 win one day of the week, followed by five 3-2 type losses?).

Those, IMO, are the main issues. Getting some consistency out of Dozier, getting Sano healthy, and getting some semblance of production from Morrison....along with the contributions from Mauer, Escobar, Rosario, Kepler....could really light the powder keg.

Also, the struggling pitching has to have an impact. When you repeatedly score runs to get a lead in the 5th-6th-7th inning, and it's repeatedly given right back by the pitching staff in the subsequent half inning, it probably takes a little wind out of your sail.

Perceptions are hard to change.

 

Morrison hasn't been awful recently. He was awful for the first couple weeks of the season.

 

Last 28 days for Morrison: .266/.356/.481. 4 HR, 11 RBI, 12 RS. Slightly higher the last 14 days.

 

By comparison, Mauer the last 28 days: .241/.359/.299. 3 XBH and 4 RBI in a month. woof.

 

 

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#32 wsnydes

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:17 AM

 

Perceptions are hard to change.

 

Morrison hasn't been awful recently. He was awful for the first couple weeks of the season.

 

Last 28 days for Morrison: .266/.356/.481. 4 HR, 11 RBI, 12 RS. Slightly higher the last 14 days.

 

By comparison, Mauer the last 28 days: .241/.359/.299. 3 XBH and 4 RBI in a month. woof.

Agreed on Morrison.He's been much better of late.

 

I'll add this though.Comparing the RBI totals for the two is odd.Mauer has been hitting 1 or 2 in the order with nobody in front of him producing.Morrison has been hitting behind the heart of the order that has largely been productive this past month.Easier to drive guys in when they're there to drive in, HR's or not.You're correct though, he hasn't been very good this past month.this team could really use a real lead-off hitter.Dozier and Mauer aren't real lead-off guys to start with, but they need to step up before this offense will really take off.

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#33 Mike Sixel

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:19 AM

Realmuto is a great short and long term solution. They won't do it, imo. I have been asking for this for months, but I don't see it happening. As for what happens when Castro gets back? Well, include Garver in the trade, and you don't have to worry about it...

Gordon should have been up when Sano went down. They didn't do it. Can't see it happening now.

Wade should have been up when Buxton went down, they didn't do it. Pretty unlikely it happens now.

I'd guess none of those is happening soon.

That leaves just going with what they have and assuming it gets better, for now.

There's always next year, or the next, or maybe by the time I'm Chief's age, I guess....


#34 nicksaviking

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:33 AM

I've seen this one before in 2003. The team had a bunch of pretty good young hitters who just didn't seem to be syncing up their productivity. They traded for a veteran outfielder in Shannon Stewart who was a good-not-great player but who brought a name-brand excitement to the clubhouse which sparked the team the rest of the year.

 

I'd see about trying to get Adam Jones. He's not the OBP machine Stewart was but he's a name-brand vet that would get young guys excited. And he's right handed and can play CF. This team really needs a RH bat.


#35 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:40 AM

 

They are at 8-4 since the beginning of the White Sox series. In those games, they are 5-3 against .500 or better teams that either are or could be playoff contenders. It may not be the most fun way to watch our team win baseball games...it would be much more fun to watch them score 8 runs a game. But if they’ve won 5 of 8 against playoff contenders without their offense clicking I think that’s room for optimism if anything, because I too agree that things will get better offensively. Their starters have started pitching competitively and their bullpen has somehow managed to hang onto a lot of narrow leads. Let’s go twins!

Look at the scores of those games. If the offense is clicking, they add a couple more wins and are REALLY rolling as a team. The pitching has been *very* good more often than not.

 

Here are the runs scored in those four losses:

 

5

4

1

0

 

The offense has stumbled quite often this season. You expect to see that from pretty much any offense over 162 but if the Twins were consistently posting 3+ runs (not exactly a lofty bar to reach), they'd be one of the best teams in the league in the month of May.

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#36 Mike Sixel

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:41 AM

They aren't young. Mauer, Dozier, Morrison, Castro, Escobar.... And it isn't like Rosario and Buxton are in year two of being MLB players. They aren't even in the top ten in being young. The Yankees and Red Sox are younger, on offense, for example.

They just aren't good enough. That said, trading for an actual hitter would be helpful. What position would you replace? You aren't getting a first baseman or DH. Or a second baseman, or third, or outfielder....
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#37 slash129

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:44 AM

Gordon isn't going to happen.Levine basically said so in an interview, when he was out at Frontier Field.His defense and base-running aren't there yet.

 

They can't be making all decisions based on offensive slash lines.

 

Also, Buxton once again proved that he can change games with his speed.He got in the Cardinals' heads with his speed on his bunt and then swiped third on a wild pitch that didn't really get that far from the catcher.None of that stuff shows up in the slash line.

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#38 Mike Sixel

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:59 AM

Gordon isn't going to happen. Levine basically said so in an interview, when he was out at Frontier Field. His defense and base-running aren't there yet.

They can't be making all decisions based on offensive slash lines.

Also, Buxton once again proved that he can change games with his speed. He got in the Cardinals' heads with his speed on his bunt and then swiped third on a wild pitch that didn't really get that far from the catcher. None of that stuff shows up in the slash line.


And all the times he failed to get a hit are cancelled out? The slash line tells a pretty accurate story. Imo.
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#39 awinter

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:29 AM

Crazy theory coming at ya.

The lineup needs it to be August/September. Here's the team OPS by month since 2017:

Apr17.707

May17 .786

Jun17.705

Jul17 .736

Aug17.849

Sep17.804

Apr18 .721

May18.723


#40 slash129

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:33 AM

 

And all the times he failed to get a hit are cancelled out? The slash line tells a pretty accurate story. Imo.

 

It only tells what happens in the batter's box.Last time I checked, there is a lot of baseball that happens outside the batter's box.  




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