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

byron buxton nick gordon lamonte wade
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#41 joefish

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:42 AM

As much as I like Mauer, I sure wish his bat had a little more pop in it. Lead by example, Joe. Rolling over on those ground balls up the middle gets old.
It's time for Ehire to go south.

#42 twins1095

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:50 AM

 

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

 

It does tell a relatively accurate story, but I think it's important to note that Buxton is more efficient with his opportunities on base than other guys--maybe more so than any player on the bases. 

 

He's gonna pick up more bases and ultimately score more runs than other guys which means he doesn't need to be on base as much to ultimately produce the same amount of runs as other guys.  

 

So the slash line does tell an accurate story, but there's a little more value there to that slash line than meets the eye because of how efficient and productive he is when on base. 


#43 Mike Sixel

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:53 AM

It does tell a relatively accurate story, but I think it's important to note that Buxton is more efficient with his opportunities on base than other guys--maybe more so than any player on the bases.

He's gonna pick up more bases and ultimately score more runs than other guys which means he doesn't need to be on base as much to ultimately produce the same amount of runs as other guys.

So the slash line does tell an accurate story, but there's a little more value there to that slash line than meets the eye because of how efficient and productive he is when on base.


I agree, but if you can't get on base, it has less value to be good once you do. There is still a ton of hope, he's not exactly old. But here's just not a good enough hitter so far, alas. Great defender and base runner.... Not even a meh hitter yet.

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#44 twins1095

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:30 AM

 

I agree, but if you can't get on base, it has less value to be good once you do. There is still a ton of hope, he's not exactly old. But here's just not a good enough hitter so far, alas. Great defender and base runner.... Not even a meh hitter yet.

 

Right.I'm not disagreeing, I'm just saying that generally Buxton needs less times on base to produce the amount of runs compared to other players who need higher slash lines to produce the same amount of runs. 

 

There's some context to be had too.Buxton's struggled a bunch this season at the plate I'm not arguing that, but the sample size is small and most of it comes through a stretch in which injuries/etc further give reason to explain, but not excuse, the poor slash.  

 

Last year Buxton started out 4-49 in his first 13 games for a slash line of .082-.135-.257 with 1 run - 2 doubles - 0 3B - 0 HR - 0 RBI - 1 SB - 2 BB - 24 K's (~10% of the season)

 

In the final 120 games Buxton played and 410 ABs (~90% of the season) for a slash line of .275/.335/.785 - 9 BB% - 30K% with 68 runs - 12 2B - 6 3B - 16 HR - 51 RBI - 28 SB 

 

162 game pace for that production is: 90 runs - 16 2B - 8 3B - 21 HR - 68 RBI - 37 SB

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I would argue that volume season numbers do matter, but should be taken with context.For 90% of Buxton's season (and consistently over a 122 game stretch) Buxton performed like the 2nd stat line--that's a lot of production from the bottom of the order.If you told me that a 9/10 times you're getting a player with the bottom line with the kind of defense Buxton plays I'm ecstatic.  

 

Even with the struggles to begin the year and the inconsistency, etc. Buxton's WAR numbers put him, depending on which calculation, somewhere in the top 15-25 position players from a value standpoint.Yes, a lot of that comes from his defense...Yes he's streaky...Yes he strikes out too much...Yes he isn't likely to ever develop into the hitter he was projected to have the potential to be.But with all of those things in mind, none of those very valid criticisms seem to bar him from being a borderline elite value player. 

 

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I think we need to take a longer view here.I understand all of the frustrations, especially as a hitter and in terms of health consistency and especially viewed within the context of what Buxton could be if some of these inconsistencies were fixed.But I think this lens prevents appreciation of what Buxton actually is despite a current track that suggests he's going to leave some potential and maybe quite a bit of potential on the table.But even leaving that on the table, Buxton is still tracking towards a player who, with what he does have, can be a top 20 or borderline top 20 position player in terms of positive value toa team. 

 

Yes, there's a lot of potential that is being left on the table, but there's also a lot there...even as a hitter.  

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#45 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:34 AM

The bottom line is that this lineup doesn't have any GREAT bats, but last year in the second half had 5-7 GOOD bats.All it takes is 2-3 to get hot while the rest play to the average production and you score a lot of runs. The problem now is that 2 of those good bats are missing - Polanco and Sano - which puts much more pressure on the good bats to be hot and forces 2 of the weak to average bats - Buxton and whoever is catching - to move up to the "good" category. The chances of all of that happening consistently is almost zero.So we're left with a team that scores when a couple of the good bats get hot, is mediocre when no one is hot but no more than 1 or 2 players are in in a big slump, but is lousy when the good bats are slumping. Thus, this team has gone as the 3 guys who have been the most streaky as gone - Dozier, Escobar and Kepler. 

 

SO, if that's the problem, the only solution is to add more good bats either by trade, AAA call ups or return from injury/suspension. Too early for trades and too expensive in prospects. We don't have anyone in the minors who we can realistically expect to give us a real upgrade with the possible exception of Gordon at SS.So, I say bring up Gordon and DFA either Adrianza or Petit (my vote is Petit since Adrianza is the better glove) and then just wait for Sano, Polanco, Morrison and Buxton to either come back or improve to historical norms.I don't see much of anything else that makes sense.

 

Bottom line - nothing to see here folks, move along. 

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#46 jkcarew

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:47 AM

 

I agree, but if you can't get on base, it has less value to be good once you do. There is still a ton of hope, he's not exactly old. But here's just not a good enough hitter so far, alas. Great defender and base runner.... Not even a meh hitter yet.

Agreed.There's no such thing as a valuable position player OPS+'ing 23...or 60 or 70.Even in center field there are not enough opportunities (that average defensive players wouldn't make) to make up for outs at the rate he's made them for long stretches of his career to date.He could be a combination of Usain Bolt and Lou Brock on the bases, wouldn't matter.Too many outs.But, if he hits balls over the fence 15-20 times each year and improves the obp part of it even moderately, he's a star.And that's what he looked like he was going to be capable of at the end of last year.We'll see.

 

Regarding the rest of the team...other than CF...1B, DH and SS are the positions with probably the biggest offensive delta between the Twins and league average.Theoretically, SS gets fixed when Sano comes back (and/or Polanco comes back), DH is trending in the right direction.And nothing's going to be done about 1B.So...let's hope the guys start hitting!

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#47 Han Joelo

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:27 PM

Trade Sano for Machado.

#48 DocBauer

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:48 PM

Hate to beat a dead horse with a broken record, but have to say again I felt this team would hover around .500 to begin the season and then take off. Why? Despite some good veterans, there's still a lot of young players that make up this team, and it's future, and all players get hot and cold spells, but a collection of 24-26yo players are still going through learning curves. And there is the intangible complexity of just adding a number of new players to the roster.

Other than Lynn, we are starting to see this team mesh as of late. But to the key points:

1] Gordon and Wade. Love Gordon's season and potential. I know he's still working on things, but he'd be able to play almost daily...if given the opportunity...and it's sort of a "Why not" considering the Polanco suspension and Adrianza's play thus far. (I wouldn't just dump Adrianza). No to Wade. I like him, but I just don't see him coming up to mostly sit on the bench.

Grossman has been hitting better. Grossman has some decent value. But not brining in someone to challenge/replace him was the one major guffaw by the FO this past off season. It's not too late. At this point, I'd rather have ST sensation and early season performer LaMarre. But go out and find a solid, quality bat/OF to be that 4th guy.

2] Buxton to the minors. Didnt happen, probably not going to happen. Still think the Granite injury complicated this situation. I would have loved even a few games just to get some timing back. But his defense, and even the bunt and his base running the other day shows his value even as he works his way back.

3] Get a catcher. There is a whole different thread on this so I will be brief. You have a young, inexperienced catcher now thrust in the limelight. But he has potential, has picked his bat up with more regular play, has caught several outstanding games, and deserves a chance...for a few weeks at least...before pulling a trigger for something other than depth.

4] Shake up the lineup. Molitor has done that. I like Mauer leading off with Dozier hitting second. Molitor has been experimenting. I like that as well. The biggest problem has been clutch hitting. THAT is not on Molitor. (A poor 7-9 with bench players hasn't helped).

Mostly, this remains about patience. I know this is about offense, but consider all the new pitchers. Consider Santana out, Sano out, Buxton out, Polanco out entirely, bad weather, missed games, lack of consistency, travel schedules, etc, and we're sitting around .500 and playing much better as of late despite that horrendously bad stretch.

Morisson is starting to heat up. Find a legitimate replacement for Grossman offensively and defensively. Give Garver a real chance for the next few weeks. Make room for Gordon and start his clock and play him daily because, why the hell not?
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#49 TheLeviathan

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:50 PM

I think there are only two important things to emphasize:

 

Get Sano back.

 

Fix Buxton.I don't know what the issue is but he's had nothing more than a month or two where he's been outrageous and the rest of the time he's so bad at the plate he starts to make me remember Drew Butera.And I don't like to remember Drew Butera.We already have Bobby Wilson for that anyway.


#50 Doctor Wu

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:36 AM

What's Oswaldo Arica doing nowadays? Ha! Just kidding! Then again ....


#51 Mike Sixel

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:06 AM

The Yankees and Red Sox players that age don't seem to need time to warm up. Why should the Twins get this excuse? They aren't a young team.
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One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#52 howieramone2

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:09 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....

Did you know last year at this time they were the second youngest team in all of baseball, based on weighted playing time? I saw it on this very board. I don't agree with you that they have suddenly become old and decrepit. 

Edited by howieramone2, 17 May 2018 - 09:10 AM.

It's official. We received more for board scapegoat John Ryan Murphy, than we did for board favorites Pinto, Arcia, and Vargas combined.


#53 Mike Sixel

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:19 AM

Did you know last year at this time they were the second youngest team in all of baseball, based on weighted playing time? I saw it on this very board. I don't agree with you that they have suddenly become old and decrepit.


I didn't say they were old. There is space between old and young. These aren't numbers I made up, all you have to do is read fangraphs or follow one of their former writers on Twitter. Or, run the numbers like I did. They aren't young. They are about median.

The Red Sox have five regulars 26 or younger. Including a 21 year old, for example, but no one thinks of them as young.

I ran the numbers. I read others that did the same. It's a fact, not an opinion.

The other teams are not stagnant. Many of them called up young players since the start of last year. The Twins have not added any young position players in the last two years. That's not a criticism, it just is.

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#54 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:23 AM

 

The Red Sox have five regulars 26 or younger. Including a 21 year old, for example, but no one thinks of them as young.

Why wouldn't anyone think of the Red Sox as young? I sure do. Like you said, they have five regulars 26 or younger. It causes me a lot of pain to see how young the BoSox and Yankees have become over the past couple of years.

 

When Polanco and Sano return, the Twins will have the same number of guys 26 or younger in the lineup.

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#55 Mike Sixel

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:26 AM

Why wouldn't anyone think of the Red Sox as young? I sure do. Like you said, they have five regulars 26 or younger.

When Polanco and Sano return, the Twins will have the same number of guys 26 or younger in the lineup.


That's my point.... The Twins seem young, until you start looking at other teams. They are just like most other teams. Unless people are arguing most teams are young, but then I don't know what young means, as I consider it a comparative term

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#56 howieramone2

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:26 AM

 

I didn't say they were old. There is space between old and young. These aren't numbers I made up, all you have to do is read fangraphs or follow one of their former writers on Twitter. Or, run the numbers like I did. They aren't young. They are about median.

The Red Sox have five regulars 26 or younger. Including a 21 year old, for example, but no one thinks of them as young.

I ran the numbers. I read others that did the same. It's a fact, not an opinion.

The other teams are not stagnant. Many of them called up young players since the start of last year. The Twins have not added any young position players in the last two years. That's not a criticism, it just is.

They were already young enough, why would they want to get younger? The object is to win games right? Do you have any idea, how many teams are in some form of rebuild? If you want to do the rebuid thing some more, feel free. I'm getting ready for the play-offs the next bunch of years.

It's official. We received more for board scapegoat John Ryan Murphy, than we did for board favorites Pinto, Arcia, and Vargas combined.


#57 Mike Sixel

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:33 AM

They were already young enough, why would they want to get younger? The object is to win games right? Do you have any idea, how many teams are in some form of rebuild? If you want to do the rebuid thing some more, feel free. I'm getting ready for the play-offs the next bunch of years.


I didn't say they should do anything. I merely pointed out they aren't young compared to other teams. Nothing more or less. Well, I did say their she and experience shouldn't be an excuse anymore also.

They have a good mix of ages, probably.

My post was, quite literally, pointing out there aren't young. Nothing more or less.

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#58 twinssporto

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:48 AM

I would continue to let Buxton play.  His bat will come around and his defense is too important to waste in AAA.  I would love to see us bring up Flash Gordon.  That might provide a real spark.

 

Regarding Sano, I hope I'm wrong but I don't think Sano has the durability to be a huge factor on this team this year.  We can pray for a Sano storm but I think the production will be choppy and inconsistent.  A ton of strikeouts then some massive homers, slump, homer, strikeout...

On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.


#59 Mike Sixel

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:50 AM

I would continue to let Buxton play.  His bat will come around and his defense is too important to waste in AAA.  I would love to see us bring up Flash Gordon.  That might provide a real spark.
 
Regarding Sano, I hope I'm wrong but I don't think Sano has the durability to be a huge factor on this team this year.  We can pray for a Sano storm but I think the production will be choppy and inconsistent.  A ton of strikeouts then some massive homers, slump, homer, strikeout...


He's about a million times the hitter Buxton is. Sano is the new Mauer.
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One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#60 twinssporto

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:58 AM

 

He's about a million times the hitter Buxton is. Sano is the new Mauer.

As I said in my post, I hope I'm wrong about Sano......I do agree that when Sano is playing he's probably two million times the hitter Buxton is.  However, it will be interesting to see how durable Sano (and Buxton for that matter) is this year and what type of production he ends up with. I'm cautiously optimistic.  

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On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.




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