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#61 gil4

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 09:26 PM

 

the Twins have the second easiest strength of schedule remaining on the season. Cleveland has the easiest remaining schedule.

The difference there is probably the Twins play the Indians and the Indians play the Twins.

 

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#62 Rosterman

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 09:32 PM

Sadly it is the 10-game matchup with the Indians. If the Twins just split, they go nowhere. Yes, they have an easy schedule, but their hole is too deep for a wild card spot, sadly.

 

They MUST move away from unproductive in 2018 pieces that can be replaced from the minor league system. Includes Lynn, Dozier, Morrison, Duke, Rodney. Also look at moving on from Grossman, Doubles-Man Wilson and Reed. Plus, at some point, Santana will hopefully just be gone so young arms and young batters can play the field. 

 

That's 8 guys who shouldn't be here in 2019 and one maybe. If you get blown away with an offer for Gibson or Odorizzi, you take it.

 

Hope the "starters to be" are hungry enough to be successful. Mejia, Goncalves, Littell. Go for it!

 

And, if a TRUE contender comes calling for Joe Mauer, convince Joe to go and say you are willing to talk for a return in 2019. Anyone know if there are limitations on how much the Twins COULD actually offer him to return in 2019, if he plays thru season's end?

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#63 KirbyDome89

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 09:49 PM

 

Splitting this in two.

 

I’m not sure your point – we’re both saying that his underlying numbers haven’t changed. What seems to have happened is he’s popping the ball up more than driving it to the OF and his BABIP is crazy low (54 points is a lot). The first part may be approach (but also may be a sample size thing or a pressing thing) but the second part is the definition of luck. He’s put about the same number of balls into play and suffered way worse than expected results.

 

I agree that his age is a potential concern but he’s only 30. Also, generally you see other numbers change when a guy starts to lose it. His LD rate drops, he strikes out more, he’s swinging at pitches out of the zone he never used to. That hasn’t happened to Morrison (with the exception of infield pop-ups which to me are pressing more than anything with age though I of course could be wrong). I’d be on him returning to form (not 2017 LM but 2014-2016 LM). That wouldn’t be big for a Twins team with Sano healthy and Escobar 3B/DHing but it is for a team giving Jake Cave and Grossman regular DH ABs.

Right, I'm not arguing what the numbers are, but we disagree as to their underlying cause. I think his poor season has more to do with his approach at the plate, how other teams pitch/play him defensively, and diminished skills with a small amount of "bad luck," sprinkled in. Ninety games and 300 PAs is massive sample in which to be unlucky. 

 

It's not a coincidence that as his HR numbers went up last season, and have trended up this season, his FB/GB rates have essentially reversed. His K% has been stable over those years, but it also made a significant jump for the mid teens to the low 20s after he arrived in TB. He's seeing a significantly higher % of fastballs this year, yet his K rate has been stable, which suggests that he isn't handling that pitch as well as he used to. I would consider that a sign that indeed his skills are sliding. If he's guessing or "cheating," on some pitches that might explain the increase in his IF fly ball rate. His pull % has also gone up despite teams shifting against him. 

 

He's 300 PAs into the season already; I'm not buying that he's simply pressing. Can some of the BABIP dip be due to "bad luck?" Sure, I would bet that his slash line isn't indicative of where his skill level lies. We're in agreement that 17' was an aberration but I think it's more likely we see the 15' version of Morrison rather than 14' edition moving forward. 


#64 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 03:48 AM

False hope, or unfalse hope is the worst thing one could have for this bunch. But let's say you have it. Hope we squeak by Cleveland? To play real baseball teams? Maybe the Yankess? Until this orginisation is convinced that they truly need a new look in the roster, both 25 and 40 man, and some new field staff, we will remain looking forward to playing the dregs of the league for false hope. Someone made a prediction about an 11-0 finish before the ASG and getting to about 5 behind Cleveland. That would be a disaster to this orginisation equivalent to May of 2015.


I disagree with this entire post, in particular the last sentence.
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#65 Platoon

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 05:13 AM

I disagree with this entire post, in particular the last sentence.

Disagreeing is fine, I do it all the time. :). So is the roster then suitable to be a legitimate contender? Do our comtinual baserunning gaffes inspire confidence int the field staff? Maybe it's our record against decent level teams? May of '15 cost the Twins a season of developing younger players in pursuit of something they frankly should not have been chasing. We never took the step of just plain sticking with our younger players and taking our lumps. We sacrificed that for about ten meaningless wins in September.
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#66 wsnydes

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 05:41 AM

 

Yeah, it's asking a lot for 5+ players to all start playing well above where they have for the bulk of the season, and all at roughly the same time. Just look at that list....

 

Cleveland isn't a juggernaut by any means but you have to put some serious blinders on to start poking holes in that team while ignoring just how flawed the Twins roster is. Paper is irrelevant; they've played 89 games to this point and so far we can safely say this isn't a good team. 

and then sustain it for the duration of the season...

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#67 wsnydes

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 05:59 AM

 

Disagreeing is fine, I do it all the time. :). So is the roster then suitable to be a legitimate contender? Do our comtinual baserunning gaffes inspire confidence int the field staff? Maybe it's our record against decent level teams? May of '15 cost the Twins a season of developing younger players in pursuit of something they frankly should not have been chasing. We never took the step of just plain sticking with our younger players and taking our lumps. We sacrificed that for about ten meaningless wins in September.

I'm not sure I'd go as far as disaster, but I agree with your greater point.Fact of the matter is that this franchise needs to quit treading water.It's been doing so for most of the last decade.For a team that should be relatively young, starting in 2015, it got really old really quickly and the young core has fallen apart (for this season anyway).Blowing things up isn't really necessary at this point, in my view, but getting guys looks should take start taking a higher priority to actually build towards something.The Wilson's, Grossman's and Belisle's should be gone so that you can find out what you have in Garver, Cave and several AAA relievers deserving a call up.

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#68 ThejacKmp

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 06:16 AM

 

Yeah, it's asking a lot for 5+ players to all start playing well above where they have for the bulk of the season, and all at roughly the same time. Just look at that list....

 

Cleveland isn't a juggernaut by any means but you have to put some serious blinders on to start poking holes in that team while ignoring just how flawed the Twins roster is. Paper is irrelevant; they've played 89 games to this point and so far we can safely say this isn't a good team. 

 

But not above where they've been playing for their careers. I'm not asking Joe Mauer to hit 10 home runs or Jorge Polanco to be an MVP. I'm asking them to play up to their potential.

 

No one is saying Cleveland isn't good but I don't think it takes blinders to say that they're catchable. No one is saying the Twins roster doesn't have some issues but the other side is that all of those problems are solvable with internal personnel playing up to potential. There isn't a problem on this roster that needs outside help. Except maybe catcher and even that isn't that bad if Garver can just step up.


#69 yarnivek1972

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 06:16 AM

I love all the people touting only 8 games back yet ignoring 8 games under .500. This team has been above .500 for maybe 10 days all year. They have been 5 below .500 for upwards of 30.

#70 ThejacKmp

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 06:27 AM

 

I'm not sure we know to what extent these extreme shifts can have on babip.
Some of it is probably luck, but some of the drop is going to be due to increased pop up and fly ball rates, and some is going to be from hitting it into the shift.

 

I can't find stats on this anywhere but I'd be surprised if Morrison was getting shifted more than he was in the past. Lefties with pull power were early targets of shifting and I imagine that the biggest jumps were years ago. Hard for me to see the shift being the reason for this season's lower BABIP.


#71 TL

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 06:32 AM

I would go so far as to say it is very likely the offense is significantly better in the second half. Dozier, Kepler, Polanco, Morrison should all be much better, and a larger dose of playing time for Garver will also help. That’s 5 right there. And then hopefully Sano and Buxton (even if for defense only) could also really help. Then you trade Lynn and have Romero take that spot with Santana also coming back and contributing as a decent back end arm will upgrade the rotation. These things happening may not overtake the Indians unless they slump but it’s not crazy to think Twins can win 65% of games in second half.

#72 ThejacKmp

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 06:43 AM

 

I completely agree on Morrison which is why I'd at least consider another 1 year low value deal if he doesn't hit 600 PA's.And considering how I expect payroll to go down next year, I don't see the team getting a top notch DH.

 

The Twins payroll will go down next year but that's almost entirely due to the large salaries going off the board (Mauer, Dozier, Santana, Lynn) and the lack of open spots they need to fill (corner infielder/DH, maybe a starter, always a pen guy). Unless the Twins get extension happy (I hope) or land a big free agent (seems unlikely) it’s hard to see how salary wouldn't go down.

 

It's also hard to see how the team wouldn't have $10-$15 million to spend on a 1B/DH type. That’s really the only spot they need to fill due to young internal talent. The issue is who will be available. I may have missed someone who could switch to 1B (Tulowitzki springs to mind) but the list I found is:

 

Danny Valencia
Justin Smoak
Mark Reynolds
Hanley Ramirez
Steve Pearce
Brandon Moss
Marwin Gonzalez
Lucas Duda

Victor Martinez

Nelson Cruz

Evan Gattis

Pedro Alvarez
Matt Adams

 

Didn’t include Mauer because he’ll be a Twin or nothing I imagine. Cruz, Matt Adams, and Justin Smoak are the top tier of that list while Marwin Gonzalez has some upside even in an off year but none of those guys are that amazing and all are aged. After that, it’s a lot of Logan Morrison types.

 

The Twins have a team option for Morrison at $8 million. You might be able to get him lower on the free agent market but if you let him hit it, he may go elsewhere (and probably will, guys don't usually resign where an option was turned down for whatever reason). It’ll be interesting to see if the Twins tap that market again or go with what’s familiar at a reasonable price in Morrison. I imagine the next ten weeks will tell a lot about that.


#73 Doomtints

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:46 AM

We have seen Dozier for enough years to know that he will warm up and atone for his slow start.

 

We haven't seen Morrison for a long time as Twins fans but we can see by his stat sheet that he was never consistently good and was often consistently bad.

 

Garver has been slowly getting better which everyone has somehow failed to notice and/or acknowledge.

 

The Twins have the pieces to have a good bullpen but aren't using them.

 

The starting staff is good enough, and would be better with better support.

 

OK, those are the facts....

 

But the most important facts are: Buxton and Sano are in the minors. Twins management has given up on this season and are looking to the future. This is probably why future cornerstones of the bullpen are also in the minors. But this also means the Twins will be selling off veteran talent this year. The team we are talking about right now won't be the team that finishes the season, so going down the rabbit hole and talking about assets at this point is a waste of time.

Edited by Doomtints, 12 July 2018 - 07:47 AM.


#74 alarp33

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:54 AM

 

 

 

The Twins have the pieces to have a good bullpen but aren't using them.

 

 

OK, those are the facts....

 

 

Very loose definition of "fact". 

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#75 KirbyDome89

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 12:26 PM

 

But not above where they've been playing for their careers. I'm not asking Joe Mauer to hit 10 home runs or Jorge Polanco to be an MVP. I'm asking them to play up to their potential.

 

No one is saying Cleveland isn't good but I don't think it takes blinders to say that they're catchable. No one is saying the Twins roster doesn't have some issues but the other side is that all of those problems are solvable with internal personnel playing up to potential. There isn't a problem on this roster that needs outside help. Except maybe catcher and even that isn't that bad if Garver can just step up.

 

Current potential and career peak are two very different levels.  

  • Dozier's career hasn't been nuclear. Last season was the only one where he was consistently good for an entire calendar season; before that it was Jekyll and Hyde with him. 
  • Mauer is right near his production level in three of the last four seasons. I hoped 17' was a slight return to form but that may be the outlier, and this might be who Joe is now. 
  • For as good as Polanco was in the second half last season, he struggled quite a bit to start the year. We have no idea where his true production level lies, so banking on second half Jorge seems like a stretch. 
  • Morrison will no doubt hit a few more HRs if the Twins continue to feed him ABs, but I doubt the extent to which he heats up is significant enough to do much damage for reasons I alluded to in another post. 
  • Kepler is on pace to be pretty much the guy we've seen the last two years; expecting more is asking him to play above what we've seen from him so far in his young career.
  • Buxton would immediately help the defense but asking anything from his bat is too much. Sano has a better chance to contribute on offense, but right now he isn't playing more than two games in a row at A ball. There's still no timetable for his return. If (hopefully when) either comes back what value they do provide is likely too little too late.
  • I'd love to see Romero and Gonsalves get some innings. Who knows what they'll get out of Gonsalves but Romero would be an improvement over Lynn and the current rotation through the 5 spot. 
  • We're not getting 17' first half Ervin. He's barely touching 90 as of right now. Expecting him to come back and immediately be a plus pitcher is again asking too much. 

So many "if's." Yeah, it takes a certain amount of blind "Homerism," to point out a hole in the Indians' ship, especially when the Twins are Swiss cheese.  

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#76 mngopherguy

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 04:33 PM

 

The Twins payroll will go down next year but that's almost entirely due to the large salaries going off the board (Mauer, Dozier, Santana, Lynn) and the lack of open spots they need to fill (corner infielder/DH, maybe a starter, always a pen guy). Unless the Twins get extension happy (I hope) or land a big free agent (seems unlikely) it’s hard to see how salary wouldn't go down.

 

It's also hard to see how the team wouldn't have $10-$15 million to spend on a 1B/DH type. That’s really the only spot they need to fill due to young internal talent. The issue is who will be available. I may have missed someone who could switch to 1B (Tulowitzki springs to mind) but the list I found is:

 

Danny Valencia
Justin Smoak
Mark Reynolds
Hanley Ramirez
Steve Pearce
Brandon Moss
Marwin Gonzalez
Lucas Duda

Victor Martinez

Nelson Cruz

Evan Gattis

Pedro Alvarez
Matt Adams

 

Didn’t include Mauer because he’ll be a Twin or nothing I imagine. Cruz, Matt Adams, and Justin Smoak are the top tier of that list while Marwin Gonzalez has some upside even in an off year but none of those guys are that amazing and all are aged. After that, it’s a lot of Logan Morrison types.

 

The Twins have a team option for Morrison at $8 million. You might be able to get him lower on the free agent market but if you let him hit it, he may go elsewhere (and probably will, guys don't usually resign where an option was turned down for whatever reason). It’ll be interesting to see if the Twins tap that market again or go with what’s familiar at a reasonable price in Morrison. I imagine the next ten weeks will tell a lot about that.

 

 

I agree with you. I with this group, after the top couple, you may as well take the option or try to resign him at a lower cost.  


#77 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:18 PM

I think it is unlikely that the Twins will catch and pass the Indians. But I also don’t think this is a bad team. The pitching is way better, with way more upside than the Twins have had in years. The offense has sputtered, yet there are many reasons to believe they will get better going forward. The Twins have 10 games left against the Indians, which is fine...but more importantly, 13 against KC, and many more against Chicago and Detroit.

They’ve lost a lot of one-run games, more than their share. They are very young, and have a lot of upside. They seem to be getting hot—yes, off of bottom feeders, but wins are wins. And Cleveland doesn’t seem invincible.

I said let it ride, and if they catch Cleveland, or if they don’t, it will be worth the ride. I’m more optimistic about the direction of this team than I have been in years.
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#78 Mike Sixel

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:39 PM

I think it is unlikely that the Twins will catch and pass the Indians. But I also don’t think this is a bad team. The pitching is way better, with way more upside than the Twins have had in years. The offense has sputtered, yet there are many reasons to believe they will get better going forward. The Twins have 10 games left against the Indians, which is fine...but more importantly, 13 against KC, and many more against Chicago and Detroit.

They’ve lost a lot of one-run games, more than their share. They are very young, and have a lot of upside. They seem to be getting hot—yes, off of bottom feeders, but wins are wins. And Cleveland doesn’t seem invincible.

I said let it ride, and if they catch Cleveland, or if they don’t, it will be worth the ride. I’m more optimistic about the direction of this team than I have been in years.


They're not young. Other than that, sure.

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


#79 USAFChief

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:47 PM

They're not young. Other than that, sure.


Overall, no. But most of their important players aren't old, either.
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#80 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 06:25 AM

Overall, no. But most of their important players aren't old, either.


Exactly. Rosario, Berrios, Romero, Buxton, Sano, Kepler, Polanco is a great core group of young players.

And yes, I include Sano and Buxton in that group. I think this is a less heralded move by the Falvey Levine FO. It’s kind of unheard of to demote these young guys, especially to High A for Sano. But it seems like they are taking a measured, long-term approach with these two, and I think it is going to pay off. I think they are going to be back up soon, and will be contributing to the team this year and for a long time to come. Love the approach.