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Article: Front Office Flop for the Twins?

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#41 mngopherguy

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 10:33 PM

 

I agree about his flaws. But it has been evident since Polanco, then Castro went down, the Twins 2 key young player busts, Dozier and Mauer flailing and/or hurt, and that Santana first went down and that now, may never return to previous form... that this was a lost season.

 

They've been grooming Garver for 6 seasons now, rather than completely give up and pigeonhole his ceiling, why not let him learn as he goes for a few months? The regular ABs might help consistencies in his swing, mature his approach to ML pitching- he has show glimmers of an all-field contact-emphasis hitting philosophy, and since he's caught most of the Twins young pitchers at some point over the last 5 years, let him take his lumps in a lost season and make a more informed opinion later on rather than just pigeonholing him as a back-up. And in favor of proven less-than-mediocrity, Bobby Wilson? Mind-boggling.

 

If Wilson has veteran catching tools, at 35, then he should be mentoring Garver behind the scenes, with Garver getting 2/3rds of the 

 

The real question is does playing Garver at catcher the majority of the time affect his pitchers more than it helps him?Pitching is the most important position in the game, if having a substandard catcher limits any of the pitchers, I don't think it's worth the investment at this level.  

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#42 Mike Sixel

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 10:40 PM

First of, they came in at the end of a season, but got to do the draft, but still inherited a largely homegrown department of players personnel. Plus, Pohlad wanted Molitor kept.

The main job didn't become a shared presidency of the organization, so he sill has to report to someone who wants to sell advertising, fill the seats with season ticket holders, and do anything possible to make sure the team looks and sounds better than it may be.

Some decent drafting. And then a winning season in 2017 and a Manager of the Year. We saw them clean house in development of the imnor leagues, sign lots of good draft picks, play the international bonus money and such.

Unfortunately, some longtime guys just moved around in the front office, you can't fire a manager of the year even though 2017 wasn't THAT good, and because it looked like they were a possible contender, you scrap the 4-5 year plan and get the go ahead to spend more than you have ever seen the Twins spend before to sell more tickets and maybe conquer a weak division.

Happily they didn't spend on longterm contracts, their low-ball offers to promising guys who had yet to prove themselves were rejected, and somehow a lack of leadership from the dugout and possibly the field staff, combined with injuries and slowed progress by TOP prospects is selling a disaster that is far from what anyone expected with the free agent signings of a starter, a trade for another capable arm, three vet additions to the pen, a strength signing at DH

I feel the front office was given five years to turn things around, hopefully sooner, but still...in their own way. So, any pieces that aren't contributing to 2020 and 2021 are moot, in the grand scheme of things, and many of the current players at the major league level still under control and in ALL levels of the minors are the true future of this team. Once they know what they can kinda expect, they can move from there and spend money.

But they had to derail a bit for 2018. Keep Molitor. Temporary patch holes with some decent free agent (temporary) signings as well as fill the upper minors with lotsa (failed) minor league free agents.

The smoke-and-mirrors needed to sell tickets worked for this season, which should be moderately successful after the money bin of 2017 (the Twins budgeted for a much worse attendance than they got last season, and remember...they controlled the selling of full price tickets when the Twins were hot at season's end and few tickets were bargained on StubHub). Unfortunately (or fortunately) with the way things are going, those fans that want to go to a Twins game will be able to go for $5 in August and September.

If there is one big fear, and maybe they are justified in playing with veterans like Belisle and Motter and Wilson, is that until the team dropped out-of-sight, they didn't want to fill the roster with farmhands NOT yet on the roster who might not be able to play out a COMPETITIVE season. If your team isn't competitive, then you throw rookies out there for more than a day callup and have them take lumps, within reason. On the plus side, glad to see them extend their control over slumping Buxton and Sano and hopefully they will both take time to reflect on their talents IN THE MINORS.

Again, the new front office was looking at 2020 and 2021 for really making steam. Even the guys who have another season (Odorizzi and Gibson, for example) could be viable trade candidates for future pieces, as the chances of either signing on for longterm after THIS season are probably slim to none.

So, because of the disaster of 2018, don't get ANY high hopes for a turnaround in 2019. It will be a rebuilding team with prospects given the chance to do or die. Maybe a longer leash. But they will be there in droves and the payroll will probably be the lowest ever in 2019 dollars for the Twins franchise since.......


You think they planned on punting nearly all of Sano and Buxton time? No way. If so, you trade them for insane returns last year. If they were aiming for 2020, they are really doing it wrong.
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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#43 KirbyDome89

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 11:11 PM

 

I'm as confused as anyone why Belisle is on the active roster right now, but some of these examples? 

 

Phil Hughes spent like 6 weeks in the rotation from april to mid may last year, who were the other options at the time? He then spent like 5 more weeks for the rest of the season on the active roster. He had a bloated contract and was given a chance. They cut bait fairly early on this year - earlier than I expected this cheap ownership to allow. 

 

Haley was on the active roster for like 4 weeks. 19 games for Kinley. Bad pitching staffs (historically bad is what they inherited) are going to have bad pitchers on it. 

 

Also, I don't think we should be penalizing them for the roster 3 years ago considering this is the 2nd season they've led the Twins.

I haven't seen anybody blame the FO for Buxton, Sano, Dozier, ect. regressing, but they shouldn't get to contribute to the mess and then shrug off any blame for how this season has gone. 

 

Hughes had no business throwing any innings as a starting pitcher this year. None. He was cooked prior to last season. Haley and Kinley soaked up a valuable roster spot for a month before each doomed experiment mercifully ended. Pitching was, and continues to be, a need for this team; forcing bad/ill-equipped arms onto the roster is part of the problem. 

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#44 KirbyDome89

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 11:33 PM

 

Overall, we're picking at the edges when this season has come down to a core failure. The Garver/LaMarre/Belisle/Cave decisions are not the core of the problem. Santana and Polanco started us off. Then the off-season signings didn't figure things out. Then Sano and Buxton forgot what they already knew. Add in Dozier's walk season failure and I don't see how all of that is the FO's fault.

I agree that at the core of the down season is the failure of Buxton and Sano. 

 

I'm not certain criticism outside that is "picking at the edges," though. Odorizzi and Lynn both had serious question marks when they came over, and we've seen why in each case. Odorizzi has quietly been worse than his 17' campaign that had people worried. Lynn's mission to prove that teams indeed can hand out a bad one year contract has gained much more attention. Morrison is a black hole. I was high on the Reed signing, but he's been awful. That's 2/3 of their FA "haul," that has played a significant role in this disaster of a season, and that's not counting Rodney's inability to actually close out games. 

 

The fact that Wilson, Petit, LaMarre, ect. made the roster is an indictment. Having an actual 4th OFer instead of a journeyman who got hot during ST would've been a good idea. If they were so down on Garver's ability to catch then why not add a serviceable major league catcher? 

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#45 jkcarew

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 12:26 AM

This season is on the players mostly. Opening day starters that haven’t performed to their standard: Castro, Mauer, Dozier, Sano, Buxton, Kepler, and Morrison....and some of these performances haven’t just been poor...they’ve been catastrophic...oh, and the starting SS got himself suspended. While all of this has exposed an embarrassing lack of major league depth in specific cases ©, no organization is going to survive this many starters failing. Not saying roster weirdness (and on-field managerial challenges) haven’t made things more painful than they needed to be from time to time.

Having said that, now is the time for the FO to come to the fore. The time for deferring to the manager’s methods/desire to win a game are past us. The moves with Sano and now Buxton were pretty drastic steps...now let’s see more of that. Sell and promote aggressively...learn as much as possible regarding young assets before this off-season.
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#46 Platoon

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 04:19 AM

We haven't seen enough of Garver behind the plate?

I was likely the first guy bemoaning the fact that Garver looked like a D2 catcher. I haven't really changed that opinion. Turner, a defensive catcher was traded, leaving the choices slim and none. My comment was given the choice of Wilson and Garver I play Garver and see at least if I can develop a MLB hitter. Playing Wilson on this team, at this time is wasted innings. Unless one feels that making a run at second place in the Central Division is a worthwhile goal. :(
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#47 KGB

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 05:25 AM

 

I haven't seen anybody blame the FO for Buxton, Sano, Dozier, ect. regressing, but they shouldn't get to contribute to the mess and then shrug off any blame for how this season has gone. 

 

 

Molitor is always the one getting blamed for development, when I would think most of the development would be done by the coaching staff.All the coaching staff have been FO hires.Last year we gave the coaches credit for Buxton development, this year it's Molitor's fault for the failures?

 

If the FO didn't believe in Molitor or disagreed with his manager philosophy and still gave him a 3 year extension, it doesn't say anything positive about the FO.

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#48 mikelink45

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 05:27 AM

 

Feels like over half the time I'm scratching my head at their decisions. Think about how many service days have been wasted the last 3 years on Justin Haley, Tyler Kinney, Phil Hughes, Breslow, Belisle, etc.

We've been playing with essentially 23 or 24 players throughout their tenure.

Don't leave out Taylor Motter!


#49 mikelink45

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 05:29 AM

 

There is one last thing that Flavine need to do:Finalize the clean up in the FO and get rid of TR's buddies still there. I am not convinced that they are not the ones who are responsible for the mess with the veterans and I am convinced that they are the ones who are feeding the likes of Souhan and Reusse tidbits against players. Unless that front office gets ridof the people who brought you Park and Nishioka and extended Capps and Hughes, there will be no progress.

They are in charge, who is there, what they are doing is on Falvine - TR is gone and so is his influence.If something seems to be left over it is because the new FO wanted it left over.


#50 Riverbrian

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 05:41 AM

The real question is does playing Garver at catcher the majority of the time affect his pitchers more than it helps him? Pitching is the most important position in the game, if having a substandard catcher limits any of the pitchers, I don't think it's worth the investment at this level.


Personally... I’m not sure.

I’ve seen Garver catch some nice pitching performances so I don’t think he is catastrophic in that regard.

However... in this environment... dying for a hit and not dying on the mound. Playing Wilson over Garver seems like treating the heart attack victim with a nose job.
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#51 mikelink45

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 05:45 AM

Ted, I would say this was a great essay, but I am too depressed.These two young FO hires should have been working in the late hours to get to the Twins and start off quickly.We managed to get to the playoffs, but that was not because of them. 

 

I look at all their hires - something I have commented on many times.Too many consultants, too many assistants and not enough results.  

 

I have no idea who the bench coach is - actually I know his name, but I have no idea why he is there.We made Pickler our on the field stats man, hired so many new batting and pitching coaches and assistant coaches and coordinators and ??? but the players that are in the comments almost all regressed with the exception of the two Eddies.  

 

The BP has old guys that will not be around in three years and a minor league with bullpen arms that have not been tested. 

 

I am very critical of the fact that we have had only three players and no versatility on the bench and did not even adjust that for the National League games. Some of you will blame Molitor, but I look at what he has to work with and scratch my head.Miller Huggins couldn't win with these players. 

 

I do not see a plan, I have not seen a pattern unless Belisle and Motter are a pattern, and thus I have no sense that this FO is doing any more than looking at their statistics.  

 

But the most important statistic for the Twins organization is ticket sales and I suspect that Saints, United, and Lynx are grateful for the release of Twins fans to find other entertainment. 

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#52 wsnydes

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 06:02 AM

I've liked what this FO has done with the lower minors and the draft.While none of the offseason moves really excited me on their own, as a whole I thought they were solid additions.Even so, I wasn't expecting anything more than a similar record as last year.I did expect more consistency though.

 

I haven't liked how they've tried to build and supplement the upper minors in support of the major league roster.I also haven't liked the depth moves on the fringe of the major league roster.I've loathed the refusal to bring up the deserving bullpen arms from AAA, instead bringing in the likes of Belisle.The in-season roster management has been nothing short of head scratching.  

 

I still need more time to decide what I think of this FO, but their reaction to an imploding season was not what I would have expected from a team that was poised to actually make a serious move in a poor division.

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#53 peterb18

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 06:37 AM

i think it is the pitchers....but the FO has to make it clear that they don't get to decide, and that they want them to give Garver more of a chance......


However, Garver is a real problem behind the plate. Not a Ruesse fan, but he’s right in that we have weakness at the catching position. I can see why Moiltor plays Wilson so much...because of defense.
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#54 peterb18

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 06:45 AM

It's hard to be impressed, given the Belisle decision, and their refusal to use the AAA RP shuttle plan.
 
But, they get 1 more year from me before I really start deciding.....but ya, the results aren't stellar so far.


We’ve had one good season out of the last seven or eight. My question is: Where are are
all of the high draft choices? Why do we have to use the LaMarr’s, etc of the world. The jury is out on the new front office.

#55 The Wise One

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 07:07 AM

 

It's hard to be impressed, given the Belisle decision, and their refusal to use the AAA RP shuttle plan.

 

But, they get 1 more year from me before I really start deciding.....but ya, the results aren't stellar so far.

There have been plenty of rp shuttled, Busenitz, Littel, Curtis, Moya and Duffey to name a few. Hale and Kinney were also tried. They all had so much success that they were all sent back

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#56 jorgenswest

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 07:15 AM

I am puzzled by Garver. I thought the trade of Murphy was an indicator of the front office’s confidence in his defense. They could really use Murphy’s defense right now.

Edited by jorgenswest, 06 July 2018 - 07:16 AM.

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#57 gocgo

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 07:41 AM

I think what we are seeing is a result of a conflict between the FO and the players.Molitor is in the tough position of having to keep the peace while keeping the players focused on the field.Remember when they sold at the deadline last year?The players rallied and Dozier took it personally.They were a group that was out to prove the FO wrong.I think there is a residual effect from that.I don't think the players like or trust the front office and I think we are seeing the lack of fire and commitment on the field this year.

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#58 awinter

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 07:51 AM

 

Also, I really don't like this Falvine stuff

 

100% agree with this statement. Let's all stop combining their names... please.


#59 lukeduke1980

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 08:00 AM

 

I think what we are seeing is a result of a conflict between the FO and the players.Molitor is in the tough position of having to keep the peace while keeping the players focused on the field.Remember when they sold at the deadline last year?The players rallied and Dozier took it personally.They were a group that was out to prove the FO wrong.I think there is a residual effect from that.I don't think the players like or trust the front office and I think we are seeing the lack of fire and commitment on the field this year.

2 more data points that had generated a similar train of thought in my small brain -

 

I don't think anyone player was glad that Dougie Baseball was fired, let alone while cleaning up from a hurricane.Buxton spoke of Doug 'as a brother to them'

 

Dozier's outspoken attitude the night before opening day 'I'm a free agent'.What did he tell his teamates?'I've busted my butt for the last 7 years hit 40 homeruns, won a gold glove, got MVP votes and they won't offer me an extension?'To me that's how Dozier has played this year with that shell shocked demeanor and I think it's wore off on the group as a whole.

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#60 wsnydes

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 08:09 AM

 

There have been plenty of rp shuttled, Busenitz, Littel, Curtis, Moya and Duffey to name a few. Hale and Kinney were also tried. They all had so much success that they were all sent back

While, I suppose in a sense coming up for one appearance and then immediately getting sent back down most certainly qualifies as "being shuttled", it's hardly productive and misses the point.It's also hardly in the best interest of the organization, especially when those guys are getting fewer innings due to the presence of someone like Belisle.

 

One appearance hardly qualifies as a real opportunity.What are you telling your minor leaguers if the only "chance" that they get with the big league club is one appearance and you're back in the minors, deservedly so or otherwise.

 

At this point, it most certainly makes more sense to see what you've got in the minors than signing aging veterans - especially those that are clearly not superior to what you've already got in house.

Edited by wsnydes, 06 July 2018 - 08:12 AM.

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