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Article: What's Wrong with the Twins? A Fizzling Core

miguel sano byron buxton
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#21 jun

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 07:25 AM

 

Let's not include Buxton in the same category as Sano.Yes, Buxton started slowly.But his problem has been an injury, including some games trying to come back from it when he should have remained on the DL.Yes, Buxton may never be the hitter we all hoped for, but with his speed and defense he can become a very important part of a good team.Maybe they need to work with him next off season to become a small ball type of hitter.

 

The player I think should be included with Sano is Brian Dozier.Usually players in their contract year put up numbers that are off the charts.He seems more like a player who has left town and is uninterested in what happens to this team....at least to me while he is on the field.A lot of defensive mistakes and minimal production at the plate.

 

As for Sano.He is just plain too big to be effective on the field.As I said elsewhere this morning, when Polanco is back I would ship his butt off to Rochester.Maybe that would get his attention that he needs to work to become the best player he can be.

I would get rid of Adrianza before I demote Sano though. Sano just needs to hit much lower in the order. He could be a good threat off the bench.


#22 yarnivek1972

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 07:27 AM

I'm neutral on the coaches' responsibility. To me they're such easy scapegoats. This is the major leagues - players have established themselves to get to this level they own the majority of the blame for under-performing. The coaches need to help the players with technique when they get off track.

That being said it seems like every other team gets more out of their talent.

I'm not sure where Falvine sit on this season. I think if their feet are held to the fire they defend it as a lost season due to injuries/suspensions. I think Molly deserves the same.

I know we want the compensation pick, but I consider trading Dozier soon if he continues to sleep walk through games.


Injuries are part of the equation for every team. Good teams are adequately prepared for them. As for the suspension, Polanco did next to nothing in the first half last year. Point being his abscence isn’t why the offense is struggling. Again though, there was literally no plan B. 3 good starters at the MLB level for 2b, 3b and ss. One capable replacement. After that the dropoff was/is severe. That’s simply not how teams that win construct their roster.
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#23 JaleelWhite FanClub

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 07:37 AM

Everything was in place. Coming into this season, Sano and Buxton were both 24 years old, established as successful major-league players. One was coming off an All Star appearance, the other an MVP-caliber second half.

 

The bolded words have no reason being grouped into the same sentence at this point. The "glass half-full" "overflowing" approach with a Buxton outlook is ridiculous now. He caught fire for two months last year and suddenly he is an established MVP-caliber talent. Let's just forget the 2-1/2 seasons of crappiness that preceded last year's second half.

 

Any other player with the same track record and the performance over August and September last year would have been met with a fair share of skepticism. But in the Twins world, Buxton's inevitable rise to stardom is for some reason accepted as a given.

 

Every few days we get a new article blaming injuries or claiming mismanagement to try and explain Buxton's woes. Meanwhile we ignore what guys like Rosario and Escobar have done, if not rip on Eddie's "lack of plate discipline" or Eduardo's "shortcomings at SS." Those two have been consistent producers the past few years, but seemingly never get the credit they deserve.

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#24 Tommygun921

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 07:41 AM

I remember when they were both top prospects and scout suggested the Twins could possibly have the equivalent of Trout and Harper on the same team. They're still young but dang. Not even close so far.
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#25 Vanimal46

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 07:44 AM

Sano and Buxton have to play better than this. No doubt about it.

Perhaps our expectations were set way too high for these two players. They've been touted as saviors for the team since 2013... It seems like every year the legend grows how great they are going to be.

#26 Rosterman

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 07:47 AM

Dozier is the question. At the rate of his play, he might be ucky to match Trevor Plouffe for a one-year contract after leaving the Twins. I don't see anyone even knocking at the door to trade for him in his walk season.

 

Coaches HELP players, but players must also HELP themselves. I have always noted that Max Kepler seems to be an extremely hard worker. But he still only can do so much with his talents. But he seems a gamer each and every day he plays.

 

You have also seen changes in the bullpen. But still, with so much film and people tracking pitches and stuff, you really need a game/batter plan to get people out.

 

Coaches are there to work and remind, but they can't hit and pitch for you. There is a lot of head games going on, and the level of play in the majors is so high these days.

 

Line-up construction, roster construction, building a system of replacements/reserves in the minors, looking 3-5 seasons out...that is the job of the front office in tandem with the field manager.

 

Something isn't meshing with the Twins. Disconnect between the front office and the field? Too many players not working on their skillset? When you play ball, you are playing a game that most of us die to play for fun. You also like to produce,m and you want your fellow players to produce as well so you challenge.

 

If anything, the Twins HAVE played challenging games, have stayed in the hunt thru the final out as much as possible. But losing such events can take a toll. Is there a true team leader?

 

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#27 Vanimal46

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 07:56 AM

It also doesn't help when you can look at a lineup on any day and see one or more of Petit, Wilson, Grossman, and LaMarre. These are not players you can count on if you want to be a contending team.
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#28 USAFChief

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:00 AM

 

It also doesn't help when you can look at a lineup on any day and see one or more of Petit, Wilson, Grossman, and LaMarre. These are not players you can count on if you want to be a contending team.

Concur.

 

The fizzling core wouldn't be quite so damaging if the bottom third of the lineup wasn't such a black hole. 

 

 

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#29 FunnyPenguin

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:00 AM

Sano is just so easily beatable by opposing pitchers right now, just get a couple fastballs at the edges he fouls off and then throw a slider/curve that goes low and outside, and he chases for strike 3, the discipline is terrible.If he could stop chasing those and force more pitches in the strike zone, he could become dangerous again, until then he is going to be sad to watch until someone hangs something over the middle of the plate

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#30 Tom Froemming

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:01 AM

We know those two are going to play better at some point -- it can't get much worse -- but my fear is that other elements of the team that have been rolling will fall apart by then. We've already seen Reed and Pressly erode the past couple weeks and Max has hit .186/.290/.337 over his last 25 games.

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#31 Dantes929

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:19 AM

 

Injuries are part of the equation for every team. Good teams are adequately prepared for them. As for the suspension, Polanco did next to nothing in the first half last year. Point being his abscence isn’t why the offense is struggling. Again though, there was literally no plan B. 3 good starters at the MLB level for 2b, 3b and ss. One capable replacement. After that the dropoff was/is severe. That’s simply not how teams that win construct their roster.

Injuries are part of the equation for every team but I would debate that good teams adequately prepare for them.Every team has their Butera's and Punto's and the like as evidenced by the fact that the Twins had both when they were a good team and when those two left they went on and played for WS teams. The good teams can often withstand one or two of these guys playing regularly due to injury but usually not much more than that. Take the top pitcher, the 1st baseman, the catcher and the shortstop off any team and they are going to suffer because if the replacements were starter level they would be starters. If Trout goes down you are replacing your best player with a backup, not with another Trout. Cases in point.Its hard to argue that WS champions are not good teams so how would the 87 Twins have done without Viola, Hrbek, Puckett, Gagne and Laudner?How would the 91 Twins have done without Erickson, Hrbek, Puckett, Gagne and Harper?I'm not saying Santana, Mauer, Buxton, Polanco and Castro are the equivalent but injuries are part of the equation of every team and sometimes the equation adds up to success and sometimes it doesn't for teams good and bad. In this equation combining injuries with bad production from Dozier and Sano is a lousy formula.

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#32 beckmt

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:22 AM

We have 2 major issues

1.extremely bad bullpen useage by the manager

2.too much swing and miss and soft contact by a lot of the hitters.

Second will take time, but I always have been of the mind that you need a bunch of professional hitters who make a lot of contact and foul off a lot of pitches they cannot handle.I do not care how good a bullpen is for the opposing team when their starter is at 100+ pitches in the 5th inning with this approach.Their are ways to handle this, but most teams are not deep enough in the pen at this time to do it.


#33 beckmt

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:23 AM

Constant baserunners and no easy outs will make lot of difference of how the games go.I can see the FO already starting to get away from the swing and miss types in the last few drafts.That is a refreshing change.

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#34 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:27 AM

I've read the article and all the comments to this article from my knowledgeable TD friends...and I am more discouraged now than before I read these solutions. If a player is not hitting, and is leading the world in strikeouts, the player doesn't play on my team, if I have someone who I think will be better. Sano needs a dose of reality and needs to be sent to AAA. Reward good results and punish bad results. Bring up Gordon. Both Sano and Gordon have earned changes of scenery. Buck needs to bunt more...at least once a game. Then he can rattle the other team with his speed. All sorts of good things happen for the Twins with Buck on base. Dozier needs to hit to the opposite field much more. Players need to bunt against an extreme shift. Stop emphasizing this love affair with swings which result in either a SO or a grounder into the shift or a long fly out. These guys are professional hittersThey should be able to "Hit 'em where they ain't". The object is not for an individual to lead the league in HR's and SO's. The object is for a "team"to win. Please tell me where I'm wrong with my suggestions. Help me understand that this game is more complicated than what I think, and that what I have suggested shows my lack of knowledge about how to win at baseball. Then educate me about how to score more runs than the other team through 9 innings. 

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#35 lukeduke1980

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:30 AM

 

We have 2 major issues

1.extremely bad bullpen useage by the manager

 

We have 5 relievers w/20+ innings pitched with ERAs under 3.26. 

 

Please elaborate.

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#36 Doubles

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:34 AM

 

I've never heard anything that says that guys who are heavier strikeout more.

 

Sano has been acceptable in the field and that's where you would see the weight matter most.

 

I'm pretty sick of the Sano-is-too-fat-and-it-shows-he's-lazy-and-doesn't-care obsession. He's just not hitting. That's the problem. The power's fallen off but not that much - it's mainly the average. The strikeouts explain some of that but a big chunk of it is his BABIP has dropped like crazy. Maybe that's luck, maybe that's approach.

If anyone wants to deny that being overweight and out of shape adversely affects athletic performance, you are fully entitled to that opinion.Just the same as anyone who could not disagree more is entitled to that line of thinking.

Edited by Doubles, 07 June 2018 - 08:35 AM.

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#37 TheLeviathan

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:38 AM

It also doesn't help when you can look at a lineup on any day and see one or more of Petit, Wilson, Grossman, and LaMarre. These are not players you can count on if you want to be a contending team.


Sure, but there really is only so much you can do with depth. Competent major leaguers aren't eager to be Plan B or C. The Mariners are playing the corpse of Gordon Beckham for example.

If you had said at ST we would lose Castro, Mauer, Polanco, and Buxton for much of the first half and sano, Dozier, Buxton, and LiMo would all be flailing....it wouldn't take a genius to expect offensive collapse.

It's the healthy guys playing like garbage that hurts most.
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#38 Doubles

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:43 AM

This just seems like it's one of the seasons were enough things happen that make you conclude, "Ya know, maybe this just ain't our year..."

 

The Polanco news in spring training got the ball rolling on this.  

 

Injuries have hammered this team, and when compounded by several players performances regressing compared to last year, and this is what you get.Think about the positions that have been affected by injuries / stupidity that have not been short-term:

 

1B

SS

3B

CF

 

Just seems like these Twins have had 'bad ju-ju' pretty much from the get-go.Yes, all teams have to fight through injuries, but something just seems 'off' this season.

Edited by Doubles, 07 June 2018 - 08:44 AM.

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#39 yarnivek1972

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:46 AM

We have 5 relievers w/20+ innings pitched with ERAs under 3.26.

Please elaborate.


Twins have three (not one, not two, but THREE) relievers in the top 25 in MLB for relief IP. Keep in mind that no team has played fewer games than the Twins. Pressly has appeared in 32 of 58 games. Reed 29. Hildenberger 28. So, again 3 relievers that have appeared in basically half the games. That’s a recipe for disaster. Either those guys will physically break down and land on the DL or their effectiveness will be adversely affected. Or possibly both.
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#40 Vanimal46

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:47 AM

We have 5 relievers w/20+ innings pitched with ERAs under 3.26.

Please elaborate.


Through 58 games, Molitor is constantly relying on 3 pitchers to get the team out of jams...

Ryan Pressly - 32 appearances and consistently relied on to go 1+ innings

Addison Reed - 29 appearances also consistently relied on to go 1+ innings

Hildenberger - 28 appearances 1+ innings at a time

Continuing to ride 3 arms for 50% of games is unsustainable over the course of a season.

This isn't anything new. Molitor does this every single season riding the hot arm(s) until they break down.

Instead of wearing them out over a 2 month period then see them struggle until they recover, he should work in other pitchers. Maybe we could get a full season of good Pressly if that were the case.
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