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Article: A Solution for the Twins Outfield

ryan lamarre byron buxton zack granite lamonte wade
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#21 spycake

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 08:15 AM

 

Let's take context here. Both Granite and Wade have spent time on the DL this season, and as noted, that makes it difficult to promote (side note, I do think Wade should get the call to AAA in the not so distant future).

They are very different injury cases. Granite was bothered by an injury during spring training, spent over 3 weeks on the DL, and still isn't hitting well. That has definitely complicated any 2018 promotion plans for him.

 

But Wade was fully healthy this spring, and healthy and hitting well into mid-May. He didn't get hurt until he collided with a wall on May 19. Given the Twins still hadn't even promoted him to AAA by that point, even while repeating AA with improved power etc., there really isn't a case that the injury has seriously impacted their promotion plans for him this year.


#22 spycake

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 08:28 AM

 

Both Granite and Wade need to shake off the rust before they get called up.I presume that if one of them gets hot, and LaMarre really struggles, we will see the move made.

Wade was pretty hot as of May 19 (his injury date), at which point LaMarre was 4-for-22 with 9 K's since his 3 hits in extra innings vs Cleveland. And Buxton at that time was 2 for his last 23 with 9 K's and playing through injury.

 

If they weren't willing to promote Wade by then, even just to AAA, I'm not sure what we can presume about their promotion plans for him in the near future.

 

I'd probably expect Jake Cave to get the next call.


#23 jkcarew

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 08:33 AM

Looking at last night's box score.I notice that at the end of the game, LaMarre has the highest OBP of any Twin that appeared in the game.And he bats right-handed...and he's a real center fielder.Inconvenient facts.I'm sure he'd apologize for all this if given the opportunity.

 

It just doesn't seem likely that LaMarre is going away real soon.Seems more realistic that it would the the scenario that I think Mike mentioned where you'd have Wade basically replacing Grossman...playing somewhere, including turns at DH, almost every day.That's the key for Wade, there has to be a scenario for him to play most every day before you're going to bring him up.I think.

 

Granite has really only hit one year of his professional career.Not optimistic that he's going to be a player that you want in the lineup every day.  

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#24 Tom Froemming

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 08:37 AM

If you're looking for the hot hand, that'd certainly be Cave. Since being sent back to Rochester, he's hit three homers in nine games and has a .313/.371/.594 line (.965 OPS). Unlike Granite, however, I'm not sold that Cave is a legit CF.

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#25 Vanimal46

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 09:31 AM

Rosario, Kepler, Granite, and Wade are all left hand hitting batters, which makes your OF very inflexible. Cave too. LaMarre and Grossman are righties (or sh) and that's what they bring on the table. Zander Weil who has been hitting .311/.377/.446 in AA (better than Wade) and Jimmy Kerrigan who is hitting .299/.364/.516 between high A and AAA, are the only decent options at high levels.

Add the fact that Baddoo, Kirilloff, and Arias are all LHH, the Twins are really hurting for right handed outfielders, and DFAing Palka who has a .833 OPS in the majors was a mistake.


It was pretty easy to see last offseason that a RH OF was a need... Instead they went with LaMarre who's had little to no success in the MLB.

Can't say I'm shocked this isn't working out for the team.
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#26 Mike Sixel

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 09:38 AM

I don't get the call for Wade to wait until he can play every day..... With this group, he never gets that chance....in the outfield.

With everyone healthy, he's never more than the fourth OF. So, why wait?

I'm also good with giving Cave a shot instead.

Lamarre will not likely be good, but I'm talking replacing Grossman here anyway, so if they want to watch Lamarre slowly fall back to bad fill season numbers, fine.

But Grossman adds nothing to this roster, now or in the future. And it's time to think of the future.

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


#27 spycake

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 10:35 AM

 

Looking at last night's box score.I notice that at the end of the game, LaMarre has the highest OBP of any Twin that appeared in the game.And he bats right-handed...and he's a real center fielder.Inconvenient facts.I'm sure he'd apologize for all this if given the opportunity.

Would you like to bet on that continuing? LaMarre only has 50 PA, and his OBP has been steadily dropping.

 

Why not hitch your wagon to Gregorio Petit's .407 OBP? Only 27 PA, but if he can reach 6 times in his next 23 PA, he'll be right where LaMarre is now. And he plays shortstop!

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#28 spycake

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 10:47 AM

 

If you're looking for the hot hand, that'd certainly be Cave. Since being sent back to Rochester, he's hit three homers in nine games and has a .313/.371/.594 line (.965 OPS). Unlike Granite, however, I'm not sold that Cave is a legit CF.

That, and even when successful in the minor leagues, Cave is kind of a low-OBP, higher-K type. Even if he managed to post an acceptable batting line in MLB, it would probably be the result of running into a couple of pitches rather than taking consistently good at-bats.


#29 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:33 AM

 

I hate to say it but I think I’ve moved more to intrigue about who we trade away at the deadline and further away from hope this thing gets on track.

What a dumpster fire of a season so far. Pitching and hitting can’t get on the same schedule, guys can’t stay healthy.

Here is my cynical MN sports fan prediction. This thing comes off the rails and the twins are 15+ games out of it a month from now. We sell some pieces and look forward to an impact draft, only to watch these guys figure it out in mid August and go on a meaningless tear that takes us out of a top pick and gives us that big word for next season...... HOPE

And this is the vicious cycle of a MN sports team.

Am I jumping the gun yet?

Yes, of course you are.

But as a fellow frustrated Twins fan, I enjoyed reading your post. 

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#30 jkcarew

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 03:07 PM

 

Would you like to bet on that continuing? LaMarre only has 50 PA, and his OBP has been steadily dropping.

 

Why not hitch your wagon to Gregorio Petit's .407 OBP? Only 27 PA, but if he can reach 6 times in his next 23 PA, he'll be right where LaMarre is now. And he plays shortstop!

No, I wouldn't bet on that continuing.I'd just as soon see Kepler in center and Wade or Cave in RF.

 

But, it's pretty obvious from the lineups the last three nights that the first option/plan is to have a center fielder in center field.They started LaMarre in all games since Buxton's unavailability, including yesterday against a right-handed pitcher after he had gone a combined 0-7 with 4 strikeouts the first two games.As long as that approach is in place, it's LaMarre or Granite.So, LaMarre.I guess until he fails offensively more/faster than he has to date.

 

As for having Wade/Cave up, but still playing LaMarre (or Granite) mainly in center?I just see this as less likely, especially in the case of Wade.You just don't often see AA/young prospects come up to supplement bench/depth.Can you figure out how to mix and match in that scenario so that Wade is playing most days?Debatable....probably easier with Mauer out for an extended period.Should that even matter?I don't feel strongly one way or the other.But it usually matters to those that have the job.

 

Again, based on my (lengthy) record for deciphering what's going through the minds of the clubs brain trust, I'd say it's pretty much a lock that Kepler will be in center and Wade or Cave will be up within the week.

 

 


#31 jorgenswest

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 03:23 PM

I would like to see Wade by the end of the year but he comes with some questions that can’t be answered with data. The Twins staff seeing him everyday likely do have some answers.

Defensively he has moved off of center field and has been reported to have a below average arm. He may be an upgrade in LF over Rosario. Is he a liability in RF and CF?

Offensively there should be some concern about the number of walks absent of good power. With a high number of walks he is seeing a lot of pitches. He must be seeing a lot of pitches he should be barreling up. Is he not recognizing and attacking those pitches? Is he fouling them off when he should be driving them to gaps? He won’t see nearly as many good pitches to hit in the majors. If major league pitchers don’t have to worry about him attacking hittable pitches, they will pound the zone and his minor league walks will turn into weak contact.

I would like to see him in AAA. With success, I would like to see him in September. I don’t advocate for him to be called up now. AA walks without good power doesn’t translate well to the majors.

#32 howeda7

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 03:56 AM

 

What I find amusing about these threads will be the TD reaction after Wade gets promoted to MLB... There will without question be something saying DFA him the moment he has a cold streak.

Let's take context here. Both Granite and Wade have spent time on the DL this season, and as noted, that makes it difficult to promote (side note, I do think Wade should get the call to AAA in the not so distant future).

The other problem is that we've had a couple decent seasons out of Grossman, of which were very good for a 4th OF, and I can certainly see the FO's desire to see if he can figure it out. You don't jettison major leaguers because of a bad slump, especially when there's no guarantee their replacement will be any better.

I don't get the fascination with Granite. He's basically a singles hitter. That's not bad as an occasional sub batting 9th, but not a starting OF in MLB. He's a defensive sub, and should have a decent career as such. But I don't see Granite fixing much of anything... not long term at least. I'd probably role with Cave for the time being at CF.

Grossman is not a good 4th OF'er and his 2017 #'s .246/.721 are close to his career average. But I wouldn't call that a league average hitter. It's pretty obvious that 2016 was the aberration for Grossman, not 2018. 

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#33 Doubles

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 02:16 PM

 

Back when he first returned from the DL, I was on record as being fine with the decision to skip a rehab stint. Knowing full well that would negatively impact his hitting, the reality was that the outfield was a mess the more often they played without his defense. With the Twins having had the accurate information on the fracture far longer than the public , it’s irresponsible that Buxton was allowed to play despite not being able to swing comfortably. It’s one thing to play through pain, but Minnesota allowing Buxton to jeopardize himself further i\\was silly.

I find this to be rather revisionist.

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#34 ThejacKmp

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 02:37 PM

 

It was pretty easy to see last offseason that a RH OF was a need... Instead they went with LaMarre who's had little to no success in the MLB.

Can't say I'm shocked this isn't working out for the team.

 

Who did you want them to go get? Look at the guys who signed this offseason, there wasn't anybody. The best of the bunch was Carlos Gomez and he was able to get a starting job in Tampa so there's little chance he'd come to the Twins even if they gave him more than $4 million.

 

The reality is that finding a 4th OF means looking at guys like Cave, Lamarre, Grossman etc. If guys are good enough to be guaranteed solid OFs, their teams don't let go of them or they take starting jobs. The Twins have done remarkably well with Grossman and LaMarre in a short sample.

Edited by ThejacKmp, 04 June 2018 - 02:37 PM.

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#35 ThejacKmp

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 02:47 PM

The Twins should drop Peit and bring up Cave. They should platoon Cave and Lamarre and hope that works until Buxton is ready to come back. A righty 4th OF should be easier to grab at the deadline when teams are selling and guys welcome a trade to a contender even if it is a bit role (my hope is the Twins use the Hughes savings to take on McCutchen’s salary and get the Giants under the luxury task in exchange for a C prospect).

 

The issue with that is it leaves you a bit short in the IF since Adrianza becomes the only backup for 2B, 3B and SS. It makes it tougher to DH Sano since an injury at 2B, SS or 3B means you either move Rosario in to 2B, try a backup catcher at 3B for an inning or two, or lose the DH. But that seems like an unlikely thing and it’s a short term thing until Polanco comes back in 25 games.

 

Wade needs to play every day and should be up in AAA any day now. Granite never hit in the majors (.611 OPS) and doesn’t have a minor league track record that says that’s a SSS aberration (.770 at AAA, .729 at AA). Easily one of the more overrated “prospects”. I’m continually surprised he’s listed as one of MLB’s top 30 prospects. The draft should knock him off that list but his ceiling is 4th OF.


#36 Mike Sixel

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 02:54 PM

Who did you want them to go get? Look at the guys who signed this offseason, there wasn't anybody. The best of the bunch was Carlos Gomez and he was able to get a starting job in Tampa so there's little chance he'd come to the Twins even if they gave him more than $4 million.
 
The reality is that finding a 4th OF means looking at guys like Cave, Lamarre, Grossman etc. If guys are good enough to be guaranteed solid OFs, their teams don't let go of them or they take starting jobs. The Twins have done remarkably well with Grossman and LaMarre in a short sample.


They could have traded for one. If this is the window, then they need to be willing to trade prospects.
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One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#37 ThejacKmp

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 03:24 PM

 

They could have traded for one. If this is the window, then they need to be willing to trade prospects.

 

First of all, their window is just opening. Not time to worry about it closing. But even if it was closing:

That's easier said than done. You have Buxton, Kepler, and Rosario who all are going to start. And coming up you have Kiriloff, Baddoo, Rooker, Davis, and Wade and maybe Lewis in the OF. So you’re going to have competition for 4th OF as soon as the second half of this season (Wade, Rooker).

 

So you’re looking for someone who is an upgrade over Grossman and co. but who isn’t so good he’s going to block someone farther down the line. That’s a tough place to hit. Not to mention you’re giving up prospects to add to an area that looks to be a pretty considerable strength for the Twins going forward.

 

Grossman isn’t amazing and LaMarre/Cave aren’t either but they’re likely a decent backup plan. You can’t anticipate all major injuries and the Twins are unlucky enough to have Mauer, Castro (Garver could have played RF) and Buxton all down at the same time. Mauer and Buck will be back soon, lightening the load for Grossman.


#38 ashburyjohn

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 03:29 PM

They could have traded for one. If this is the window, then they need to be willing to trade prospects.

Is "window" a term this front office has used with any consistency, or it this how fans view the process based on other front offices? A tiny bit of web-searching didn't turn up Falvey talking about windows. What I can recall Falvey talking about is “long-term, sustainable, championship-caliber” when he was hired. (Similar quote here.) That's not necessarily at odds with trading prospects, but it's not especially congruent-sounding, either.

 

They traded a lottery-ticket* pitcher to get Jake Cave. Someone of higher caliber would cost more than that. Would you trade Ben Rortvedt for a backup OF, for example? More importantly, if you forget about windows and focus on long-term sustainability, would most GMs?

 

I have a feeling that this tangent may swamp the original topic. :)

 

* By that I mean a player who hasn't even made it past short-season/rookie ball yet. Obviously no prospects are sure things. But then again, neither are established players - running a franchise involves weighing the relative risks...

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#39 USAFChief

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 03:41 PM

 

Who did you want them to go get? 

A RH hitting 4th OFer.

 

We've been pretty clear on that.

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#40 Mike Sixel

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 03:55 PM

 

Is "window" a term this front office has used with any consistency, or it this how fans view the process based on other front offices? A tiny bit of web-searching didn't turn up Falvey talking about windows. What I can recall Falvey talking about is “long-term, sustainable, championship-caliber” when he was hired. (Similar quote here.) That's not necessarily at odds with trading prospects, but it's not especially congruent-sounding, either.

 

They traded a lottery-ticket* pitcher to get Jake Cave. Someone of higher caliber would cost more than that. Would you trade Ben Rortvedt for a backup OF, for example? More importantly, if you forget about windows and focus on long-term sustainability, would most GMs?

 

I have a feeling that this tangent may swamp the original topic. :)

 

* By that I mean a player who hasn't even made it past short-season/rookie ball yet. Obviously no prospects are sure things. But then again, neither are established players - running a franchise involves weighing the relative risks...

 

Mid market teams can't compete for "the long term, forever"....they just can't. But yes, this is a tangent. there was actually recently an article on this on one of the sites....basically, to extend your window (and to have ultimate success) you need to spend more and more money.....

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




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