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Article: Week in Review: Crisis of Leadership

brian dozier byron buxton miguel sano logan morrison
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#21 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 10:18 PM

 

What's wrong with just recognizing he's a slow starter?

 

His career OPS by month:

 

April - .464

May - .600

June .546

July .739

August .818

September .853

 

I don't consider dreadful numbers for half of a season to be a "slow starter".The problems go well beyond that and the "slow starting" narrative really needs to end.  

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#22 Danchat

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 10:38 PM

 

His career OPS by month:

 

April - .464

May - .600

June .546

July .739

August .818

September .853

 

I don't consider dreadful numbers for half of a season to be a "slow starter".The problems go well beyond that and the "slow starting" narrative really needs to end.  

Wow, that April OPS is unsightly, especially after hitting .718 OPS in 2018 April.

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#23 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 11:02 PM

 

Wow, that April OPS is unsightly, especially after hitting .718 OPS in 2018 April.

 

June ain't much better. 

 

Drew Butera is a career .555 OPS player.That means Byron Buxton is playing about half his seasons at roughly Drew Butera production.I think I'm just done with the excuses until that changes.

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#24 jokin

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 11:51 PM

 

 

​Castro is down, but what was he doing before that?  

 

 

Playing hurt?

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Joyous, fact-based and tireless Twins fan for 40+ years, who unfortunately has been characterized as-

 

"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#25 mikelink45

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 06:43 AM

 

I can ditto a lot of that, especially with the Mystery of LaMarre.Whyohwhyohwhyohwhy is Grossman still in the lineup nearly every day, and not producing?There have been multiple opportunities with LHP on the mound that LaMarre could have taken instead, but now he's back down in Roch, and Cave is up?  

Come on, I mean, just... come on, man!

Despite all the good points in this reflection, I am really most happy to have the LaMarre question.He hit here, he is hitting in the minors.He has been better than Grossman.We sent him down and he continues to be hot so then we call up Cave.Now Cave might be good, but what more does LaMarre need to do and why aren't we riding the hot bat?

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#26 ThejacKmp

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 07:31 AM

 

Somehow despite this well written essay, I am not feeling positive.We still have Lynn in the rotation, we still have Adrianza, Grossman, Cave, and, despite your optimism, Morrison in the lineup.Buxton is still wondering how far it is to 200 and Dozier's veteran leadership is still in the box waiting to be opened.  

 

Can you imagine a championship team with Escobar at clean up?He has done well, but still - clean up!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

​Castro is down, but what was he doing before that?  

 

Please - Gordon and Gonsalves, just because we need something to hope for.

 

See I feel positive.

 

  • Dozier is bound to get hot. He's just up and down,
  • Sano will be back and since he's taking at-bats from Grossman/Cave, he doesn't need to be that good.
  • Buxton will get it going. Maybe not MVP style but he's just shaking off the rust of a long absence.
  • Kepler and Rosario look really good.
  • Castro went down but Garver is a better bat anyways. It'll be great when the Twins get healthy and he's batting 8th
  • Your angst on Morrison is crazy - he had a bad start but he's consistently been an above average hitter and he's raking it now. A very nice piece.
  • The rotation outside of Lance Lynn has been great. Odorizzi is underrated, Berrios/Romero show flashes of dominance, Gibby is backing up last season with a few duds.
  • Lance Lynn has 2-4 more starts to figure it out and then May/Santana will replace him. Lynn is better than this but there's an expiration date so either way the Twins should be okay.
  • The pen has stabilized. There isn't anyone shutdown outside of Reed but it's a deep group that should get better with May/Lynn entering at some point.

The Twins have had just about everything go wrong that could and they're still only 2.5 back of an Indians club that just doesn't look as good as people thought. That's great, things are bound to get better for the Twinkies as they get more games against the division.

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#27 ThejacKmp

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 07:35 AM

 

Despite all the good points in this reflection, I am really most happy to have the LaMarre question.He hit here, he is hitting in the minors.He has been better than Grossman.We sent him down and he continues to be hot so then we call up Cave.Now Cave might be good, but what more does LaMarre need to do and why aren't we riding the hot bat?

 

Even with his insane start, LaMarre only put up a .718 OPS in the majors. He's hot now but his OPS in 256 AAA games is .734.

 

Jake Cave has a AAA OPS of .809 in 203 AAA games. And he's four years younger than LaMarre. And he's hit the ball well so far.

 

I'm glad to see that the FO doesn't ride the hot hand theory or let a week of high BABIP influence the decision. Cave has a better track record and is a better prospect. He deserves to be called up ahead of LaMarre.

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#28 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 07:36 AM

"Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence. "Vince Lombardi. The Twins have been without their starting SS, 3B, CF and #1 starting pitcher from last year's team, all of whom were slated to start at their respective positions this year. Now the starting C and 1B are out with injuries. Not many teams will play .500 ball with these losses to key position players plus the #1 starting pitcher. My feeling is that the Twins have done about as well as can be expected with these confidence crushing losses of personnel. Polanco, Sano, Buck, Santana, Mauer (hopefully) will all be back and each return will build confidence. As long as the Twins can cling to Cleveland's coattails another month, I really think we will take off in July. Our schedule looks favorable. Lynn was a good signing based on available stats, but Lynn just has not panned out. However, Lynn is not the only, nor the main, problem here. When Santana returns to the rotation, one of the "Big Five" must be removed anyway. I'm glad it will be Lynn instead ofany of the other 4. This is a team game and we've been without almost two thirds of what was scheduled to be our opening day starting lineup. It's a wonder the Twins haven't totally given up mentally. It's a wonder I haven't also. But as for me, those early years in the 50's and 60's as a Washington Senators' fan have steeled my resolve."Keep calm and carry on". 

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#29 ThejacKmp

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 07:36 AM

 

Also, I am VERY concerned that Mauer may have already played his last baseball game. 

 

When diving for a ground ball carries a risk of relapse (however small), he is likely going to take a (justified) long hard look at his future. 

 

Balance issues and sensitivity to light WAY more concerning than a refractory headaches and neck pain.

 

Very much hope that I'm overreacting

 

I think you are. The Twins were smart to give him 10 days to get fully recovered. I imagine he'll be itching to get back before that is half up.

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#30 ThejacKmp

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 07:45 AM

 

To Gordon, Wade (when healthy), and Gonslaves, welcome, we've been waiting. To Petit, Grossman, and Lynn, thank you for your service.

 

It's Time

 

Outside of Gordon, this is pretty extreme.

 

Wade makes no sense for the Twins roster. He hits lefty and is not an ideal 4th OF for platoon purposes. He's also never sniffed AAA so lets not rush him to the majors where he's a clunky fit. Grossman isn't amazing but his OPS the last 20 games is .848. Hard to see Wade doing better . . .

 

Lynn has a track record of being a solid starting pitcher. The Twins should give him until Santana returns (or May forces it) to get things right. He's still striking guys out, he's just wild. That can change. Releasing him now is tough - he doesn't need many starts to rebuild some value. Plus, Gonsalves has only started 8 games in AAA. He can use a few more.

 

I can get into Gordon for Petit but I hope that's a stop gap. Polanco/Sano will be back eventually and then Gordon will be in Adrianza's role. I'd rather he's down in AAA playing every day. The jump from AA to the majors is not an easy one.

 

Funny how TD used to rail against TR FO for not following analytics. Now we're back to the "hot bat" theory and want the Flavine FO to react to recent results rather than long-term data.

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#31 ThejacKmp

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 07:47 AM

 

I can ditto a lot of that, especially with the Mystery of LaMarre.Whyohwhyohwhyohwhy is Grossman still in the lineup nearly every day, and not producing?There have been multiple opportunities with LHP on the mound that LaMarre could have taken instead, but now he's back down in Roch, and Cave is up?  

Come on, I mean, just... come on, man!

 

Grossman OPS the last 20 games = .848. He's been producing.

 

LaMarre career AAA OPS = .718. He is who we thought he is, recent BABIP-driven hot streak not withstanding.

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#32 ThejacKmp

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 07:52 AM

 

A well thought out and well written article Nick, but personally, I feel a bit pessimistic. Yes, the Twins are only 19-23 and absolutely missing opportunities and performing inconsistently at times, I'll be the dead horse beater yet again, but I predicted they'd be around .500 the first couple of months before taking off and playing much better ball. My theory was based on 2 factors:



I like the FO and most everything they've done, even if all moves haven't worked out. But there were 4 things I felt were an obvious MUST before the season began. They needed a middle INF for Rochester, at least, for depth to protect against Adrianza regression and to not rush Gordon. (This before the Polanco suspension but became heightened after.) They also needed the very best AAAA 3B they could find to protect Sano's recovery, and help free up Escobar. They needed a solid RH corner OF to challenge/compete with Grossman. (Didn't have to play CF with Rosario, Kepler and Granite around). And they needed a 3rd catcher who could play a bit once they parted ways with Giminez.


 

 

1.) Most team's third catcher is Bobby Wilson. That's just the nature of catching.

 

2.) What RH OF should they have found? Go look at the free agents signed - none of them are any good. The best of the bunch was Carlos Gomez and he's not been great. Also, they never even had a shot at Gomez because they were offering a 4th OF position while Tampa was offering him a starting job. It's easy to complain the Twins should upgrade Grossman but hard to find the actual upgrade (before the season, the deadline is definitely easier to do that).

 

3 and 4.) Escobar was the backup plan for Sano and middle infield. Then Polanco got suspended. Hard to see where they should have been looking - you can't just find capable middle infield players when someone gets suspended 2 weeks before the season. Adrianza has not been great but he's been acceptable. Once Sano comes back, Escobar will play a decent amount of SS and the Twins will be okay. Adrianza has been overmatched as an everyday SS but that's the nature of injuries.

 

 

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#33 Number3

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 07:57 AM

All of this analysis is pointless. Twins will hang around the .500 mark and will be competitive with most of the rest of MLB which is mediocre just like the Twins are. Just enjoy the Tigers series for what it is; a team with the Twins' prior manager 1 game behind them in the standings. Buxton and Sano will not have long careers . They will both remain injury prone and will never be so called professional hitters. Dozier will never be a situational hitter and treats every ab the same. He hits more home runs than his position warrants because that is all he thinks about. Mauer is done whether he plays or not. Twins will hang around the central simply because they are able to field a decent enough team for a weak division no matter who they send out there and as long as pitching remains at least average which it is now.

The 7 games against the Indians from end May to mid June will tell the story whether they have a shot at the Central or not. No more complicated than that.


#34 ashburyjohn

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:28 AM

Funny how TD used to rail against TR FO for not following analytics. Now we're back to the "hot bat" theory and want the Flavine FO to react to recent results rather than long-term data.

Without doing the necessary research I'm going to guess that this is different people saying different things at different times.

 

Opinions will always vary.

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#35 Jham

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:33 AM

Despite all the good points in this reflection, I am really most happy to have the LaMarre question. He hit here, he is hitting in the minors. He has been better than Grossman. We sent him down and he continues to be hot so then we call up Cave. Now Cave might be good, but what more does LaMarre need to do and why aren't we riding the hot bat?


Move to catcher.
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#36 ThejacKmp

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:34 AM

 

Without doing the necessary research I'm going to guess that this is different people saying different things at different times.

 

Opinions will always vary.

 

Yeah, I guess I'm talking more in general than specific people. The general tone in the TR era felt like "Why do we go with Old Baseball Truths and hunches" and the general tone now feels like "These guys are too smart for their own good."

 

My hypothesis is that we like to complain no matter what.

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#37 ashburyjohn

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:41 AM

Yeah, I guess I'm talking more in general than specific people. The general tone in the TR era felt like "Why do we go with Old Baseball Truths and hunches" and the general tone now feels like "These guys are too smart for their own good."

 

My hypothesis is that we like to complain no matter what.

More likely, when TR was replaced, the faction lobbying for his removal no longer needed to continue that message, and a different faction has their opinions on the new team. You can't judge by posting volume, pro or con.

 

Someone will always have a different approach to offer than the current one. Lumping everyone together into "we" clouds that.

 

Best would be to rebut those opinions you disagree with, rather than focus on the people.

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#38 Loosey

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:43 AM

 

His career OPS by month:

 

April - .464

May - .600

June .546

July .739

August .818

September .853

 

I don't consider dreadful numbers for half of a season to be a "slow starter".The problems go well beyond that and the "slow starting" narrative really needs to end.  

My concern with Buxton is he is a too much of a "feel" player.When he feels his swing he is great.When he doesn't he is dreadful.Finding a consistent swing mechanic is key to him having any success.He can't just keep heading out there for months until he finds his swing each year.If he hasn't found a consistent mechanics that work at this point in his career, there a valid concerns.The constant tinkering and adjusting need to be done in February, if at all.

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#39 mikelink45

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:02 AM

 

See I feel positive.

 

  • Dozier is bound to get hot. He's just up and down,
  • Sano will be back and since he's taking at-bats from Grossman/Cave, he doesn't need to be that good.
  • Buxton will get it going. Maybe not MVP style but he's just shaking off the rust of a long absence.
  • Kepler and Rosario look really good.
  • Castro went down but Garver is a better bat anyways. It'll be great when the Twins get healthy and he's batting 8th
  • Your angst on Morrison is crazy - he had a bad start but he's consistently been an above average hitter and he's raking it now. A very nice piece.
  • The rotation outside of Lance Lynn has been great. Odorizzi is underrated, Berrios/Romero show flashes of dominance, Gibby is backing up last season with a few duds.
  • Lance Lynn has 2-4 more starts to figure it out and then May/Santana will replace him. Lynn is better than this but there's an expiration date so either way the Twins should be okay.
  • The pen has stabilized. There isn't anyone shutdown outside of Reed but it's a deep group that should get better with May/Lynn entering at some point.

The Twins have had just about everything go wrong that could and they're still only 2.5 back of an Indians club that just doesn't look as good as people thought. That's great, things are bound to get better for the Twinkies as they get more games against the division.

I appreciate your optimism. I just do not have that same sense.Your list of expectations is quite long.One or two I see.We are in the hunt because we are in a lousy division, but while I will continue to follow the Twins with hope, too, I am not there right now. 

 

Logan Morrison has averaged less that 0.5 WAR per year, he is not a great hitter and I am not enthusiastic about him.I do prefer him to Grossman.  

 

My hope comes with everyone we promote from the minors, but in the mean time, I want your enthusiasm to be the storyline for the rest of the year. 


#40 birddog

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:20 AM

Great article, Nick. I agreed with everything including Dozier and Buxton in top 5 of MVP vote. And I agree with almost every opinion, and that's what makes this year's Twins so frustrating is that there are so many things that need to be fixed. Morrison getting picked off 2nd summarizes so much. A rookie mistake made by a veteran shows they are all trying to do too much which is the problem. Hard to believe we can't beat the shifts teams are putting on us when we have half the field open but yet we hit right at them. Do we not work on going the other way?

 

Like it or not, this is the team that Sano and Buxton built and when at least one of them is not producingwe are not nearly as good. They have so much talent that everyone looks to them to be leaders, but it is tough to show leadership when you are playing poorly. Not sure why Buxton doesn't bunt at least once a game when he is struggling so bad which will force him to see the ball much better. Sano will be mediocre to decent until he learns to use the whole field, but that lack of discipline is what is also making him injury prone and overweight. I'm afraid that he will not get it until he is traded or released.

 

Yes, it is a long season and we will get better soon after Buxton is over his first half funk or Sano heats up, but if this team can't play good baseball for 162 games we will only be wild card contenders. Dropping Hughes and demoting Lynn to the bullpen is the first option I would try to spark this team. As mentioned we have way too many bats that need replacing before we can truly be considered division contenders or even dream about the World Series. Most of us were in awe of the moves the front office made before the season. Yes, some of those moves have failed, but I have confidence that Falvine will make the right moves to improve this roster.

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