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Article: Looking Back at How Derek Falvey & Co. Have Transformed the Twins

derek falvey thad levine byron buxton royce lewis
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#21 Buddy Holly

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 09:58 AM

So far what I have seen from Falvine is boring baseball. I hope Molitor retires at the end of the season so he doesn't have to be associated with this boring Product. I can't stand to listen to launch angle and exit velocity anymore. This team forgot how to play. Its feeble baseball. Boring! I been watching this team since the since the early 60's and have seen a lot of bad teams, but never anything this boring. I turn the channel now and watch re runs or the History channel over this boring product. You can keep your new analytic baseball. 

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#22 Han Joelo

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 09:58 AM

I don't think they intended to compete at all at this point, and as some have pointed out, they've won (a little) at the MLB level in spite of (F)ire (T)ornado, not because of them. *I'm tired of Falvine.  Trying something new out.

 

In other words, maybe Fire Tornado's evaluation of the team was spot-on:  The rising crop of players, namely Sano and Buxton (and Molitor), were not the foundation of a championship team, as some others may have thought.  So, everything they've done at the MLB level has had an ulterior motive:  1.). Sign and flip veterans for prospects, or 2.) give Molitor rope with which to hang himself.  They have never planned to win now, 2020+ was always the plan.

 

And/or, maybe they are evaluating their own front office underlings.  Maybe they let an assistant to the regional manager make the decision on Belisle, and HE in turn passed it on to an intern...

Screen Shot 2018 09 09 At 9.53.07 AM
 
Screen Shot 2018 09 09 At 9.52.36 AM

 

 

Edited by Han Joelo, 09 September 2018 - 09:59 AM.


#23 gunnarthor

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 10:17 AM

What vets did they sign and trade?


#24 ashburyjohn

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 10:23 AM

I’m hoping for results. The rest is pretty meaningless to me.

Well of course I'm hoping for results too. The process doesn't seem meaningless to me.

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#25 USAFChief

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 11:00 AM

 

Well of course I'm hoping for results too. The process doesn't seem meaningless to me.

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#26 Han Joelo

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 11:13 AM

 

What vets did they sign and trade?

Rodney and Lynn and Duke?  Not a sign and trade, but the Dozier/Esco trades were kind of along the same lines.  Hopefully Escobar becomes a trade and sign.


#27 ashburyjohn

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 11:26 AM

FSL Flags Fly Forever.

It's something to build on, although the Southern League is a much tougher summit to scale.

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#28 Rosterman

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 11:39 AM

They were given a chance for a five year plan.

 

Year One: elevate what they have in a short off-season, spring training, and see what pieces they have. They sat back and watched Molitor and Co. be competitive in a weak division and make the Wild Card.

 

So, a Slight Blip. Front Office, more than likely, wanted to play like they were a competitive team rather than a rebuild. So, they DID spend money and filled holes with talent that, sadly, didn't pan out...except they did get prospects in return. They also showed a willingness to make a competitive longterm offer to a first string starter like Yu who would've been here for the next 5-6 years. Happily, that didn't happen.

 

If you look deeper, they did two drafts, changed a lot of field staff in the minors, and have a better idea how the future prospects might fit into the plan for the future of the Twins.

 

They also extended Molitor for multiple years. I'm not sure if the coaching staff was their choice or Moilitors, but we will see.

 

Happily, they had a season thru August end where butts came to the game and the overall attendance should be solid, not as good as last year, but last year they expected it to be much much worse than it was (think of all those full price tickets they sold (compared to Stub Hub selling discount tickets) as 2017 wound down.

 

They will be in Year Three next season, but I actually call it Year Two as in 2017 they came in late and basically had to deal with everything as is...fron field staff to players to front office to minor league coaches.

 

So, I see 2020 as the deciding year, with a full court press on 2021 being a year to purchase free agents and know who is locked in as a prospect. I truly sit back and wonder who on the 2018 roster will be here in 2020/2021. I see mainly starting pitchers: Berrios, Gonsalves, Romero, Thorpe. One member of the bullpen may be the closer (May or Hildenberger). I sometimes wonder if Sano and/or Buxton will be opening the 2021 season as Twins. And, will the Twins commit to Rosario for a 3-5 year contract. The status of Kepler and GHarver can be up-for-grabs. Moya and Vasquez are possibilities, but haven't seen enough. That's it.

 

So next season will be a tryout season, maybe some more placesetters (and hopefully signings that they can flip like they did this season)._ see, maybe, 3-4 names being added to the 40-man because they have to be added. Otherwise, we say goodbye to Vargas and Baxendale and Bard. I'm not sure that the entire Chattanooga roster will move to Rochester, so see another 10-12 minor league free agent signings. We may still have Grossman on the bench and Drake and Magill in the bullpen. But, again, we have to be looking at 2020 as the eason we see most prospects NOW in the system, either starting the season or as callups.

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#29 kenbuddha

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 11:58 AM

 

I'm not sure you'll ever see specifics.That would be seen as an unnecessary shot at Terry Ryan.

Plus, we never got specifics as to what Terry Ryan and his team were doing. Why expect it from this front office. If any front office speaks to specifics, it gives information to other organizations that they'd rather not give.


#30 Riverbrian

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 12:01 PM

 

The most difficult thing about this fact, for me, is that for half of this time period, the previous financial obstacles have been significantly reduced (but not eliminated) by events and changes: revenue sharing, team payroll ceilings and penalties, revenues from a new stadium, the international pool, more TV revenue.

 

The playing field is level enough now to warrant our higher expectations.

 

I know this is a Falvey-Lavine discussion and talking about the previous regime tends to take things off the rails but in my opinion... The previous regime dealt Falvey-Lavine a 3 of Diamonds and 8 of Clubs. Therefore... It's relevant to the discussion. 

 

I'll add to your point. 

 

I'm not that concerned about the playoff wins. You gotta make the playoffs to get a playoff win. I have two serious points of contention right now and my hope is that Falvey and Lavine will be the people who fix it... pronto. 

 

1. Since Target Field opened April 12, 2010. The Twins have the 2nd worst record in baseball. 650 Wins 791 Losses for a 45.1 Winning Percentage. Only the Marlins have a worse record over that span. 

 

2. Since Target Field opened... we have not produced or acquired a SUPERSTAR!!! Not one. Rosario or Berrios might get there but they haven't got there yet in my opinion. 

 

Those two things together should be hard to accomplish simultaneously . The Marlins have been worse but they did manage to produce Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich. Bad records means high draft picks, bad players means more opportunity to locate a different player. 

 

It took a concentrated commitment to mediocrity to achieve this. It took a front office saying we have Trevor Plouffe, we are set at 3B, we don't need to find anyone better.

 

It took consistent failure to develop a 1st round pick since Joe Mauer in 2001 or maybe Denard Span in 2002 to accomplish it. Maybe we can count Hicks in 2008 or Kyle Gibson in 2009 as an example of development, but we only really had one decent year of Gibson and we really didn't get to enjoy any of Aaron Hicks playing well.  

 

Speaking of trades, It took lack of activity in the trade market to accomplish it. The Twins have made 54 trades since 2003 and that is the 2nd lowest. 

 

They committed to mediocrity, didn't try to improve it and were unable to develop anyone who could surpass it. 

 

The reason we don't have playoff wins is because we don't have wins to get us to the playoff. With the 2nd worst record in baseball since Target Field opened.

 

This roster should have been fully stocked for Falvey and Lavine to work with. 

 

It wasn't. 

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#31 ashburyjohn

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 12:05 PM

Plus, we never got specifics as to what Terry Ryan and his team were doing. Why expect it from this front office. If any front office speaks to specifics, it gives information to other organizations that they'd rather not give.

If this is still in response to my stated hope for specifics down in the minors, I don't expect anyone in the organization to say anything, either. This thread is in response to an outsider's view of things; I'm hoping that someone closely observing one or more minor league teams has noticed some trends.

A painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen.-- Paul Valery


#32 Doomtints

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 12:13 PM

During the offseason, they largely did what I would have done (albeit slower). At the trade deadline they largely did what I would have done (but not exactly). 

 

The biggest problems are the decisions not around those two events.

 

The issues:

 

1 - It's rare for a communication problem to be so bad in an organization that it's visible to outsiders.

2 - Whether you agree that Molitor knows the fundamentals of managing or not, it should be obvious the Twins won't win a championship with him.

3 - The Twins bullpen was not good at the start of the year and they managed to fix it ... but they didn't realize they fixed it so they kept tinkering and made it worse.

 

There wasn't much they could do about the injuries and suspensions but both showcase how thin the team's talent is.

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#33 Major League Ready

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 12:19 PM

 

I'm hoping for some specifics at some point, though.

 

I would like to know too but they are not going to broadcast the strategies they hope will give the team a competitive advantage. We will need to read between the lines. The people they brought on does imply some very specific things about their assessment of past practices, what needed to be done, and even what they are doing about it. These are people that have demonstrated thought leadership. They will bring with them practices that will be implemented here. This is probably the most crucial aspect of anything that has gone on in the last couple years. Of course, the impact of these actions will never be black and white and it will take a couple more years before we can judge the effect. This is never going to be accepted by the masses who demand immediate change.

Edited by Major Leauge Ready, 09 September 2018 - 12:21 PM.


#34 jimmer

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 12:32 PM

I know this is a Falvey-Lavine discussion and talking about the previous regime tends to take things off the rails but in my opinion... The previous regime dealt Falvey-Lavine a 3 of Diamonds and 8 of Clubs. Therefore... It's relevant to the discussion.

I'll add to your point.

I'm not that concerned about the playoff wins. You gotta make the playoffs to get a playoff win. I have two serious points of contention right now and my hope is that Falvey and Lavine will be the people who fix it... pronto.

1. Since Target Field opened April 12, 2010. The Twins have the 2nd worst record in baseball. 650 Wins 791 Losses for a 45.1 Winning Percentage. Only the Marlins have a worse record over that span.

2. Since Target Field opened... we have not produced or acquired a SUPERSTAR!!! Not one. Rosario or Berrios might get there but they haven't got there yet in my opinion.

Those two things together should be hard to accomplish simultaneously . The Marlins have been worse but they did manage to produce Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich. Bad records means high draft picks, bad players means more opportunity to locate a player.

It took a concentrated commitment to mediocrity to achieve this. It took a front office saying we have Trevor Plouffe we are set at 3B, we don't need to find anyone better.

It took consistent failure to develop a 1st round pick since Joe Mauer in 1991 or maybe Denard Span in 1992 to accomplish it. Maybe we can count Hicks in 2008 or Kyle Gibson in 2009 has an example of development but we only have really had one decent year of Gibson and we really didn't get to enjoy any of Aaron Hicks playing well.

Speaking of trades, It took lack of activity in the trade market to accomplish it. The Twins have made 54 trades since 2003 and that is the 2nd lowest.

They committed to mediocrity, didn't try to improve it and were unable to develop anyone who could surpass it.

The reason we don't have playoff wins is because we don't have wins to get us to the playoff. With the 2nd worst record in baseball since Target Field opened.

This roster should have been fully stocked for Falvey and Lavine to work with.

It wasn't.

Love this post! (Other than saying we drafted Mauer in '91 and Span in '92:-))

Edited by jimmer, 09 September 2018 - 12:36 PM.

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#35 Riverbrian

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 12:37 PM

 

Love this post! (Other than saying we drafted Mauer in '91 and Span in '92:-))

 

Oops.. editing it now.:)

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#36 spycake

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 01:22 PM

Love this post! (Other than saying we drafted Mauer in '91 and Span in '92:-))


Those were the days of "draft and follow"... and follow... and follow... :)
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#37 yarnivek1972

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 03:01 PM

We've heard rumblings that they've had to spend a lot of their time fixing the systems behind the curtains. By all accounts I've heard, the Twins were running two-bit operation.

To use an analogy, it sounds like everyone else was streaming and the Twins were still adjusting the rabbit ears and coax cables.


By all accounts made public, there has been little turnover in the Twins baseball development areas. A few coaches “reassigned” and a few more let go. Doesn’t sound like the house cleaning that was/is clearly needed.

#38 Platoon

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 03:10 PM

The Twins mediocrity was not accidental. The Twins for years were run by TR in concert with Pohlad as a bottom line business. Every move or action they took was made with the intent to make things look like they were going in a positive direction, but at the least possible expense. Safe experienced veterans, with some name recognition, and past their prime. Good marketing moves, poor baseball moves. This was a P&L team. I don't know if that will modify or change, but it seems to have this last winter. That's where I hope this rebuilding of the system is taking us. If it doesn't, we are falling into the old, "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me"! :(
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#39 drivlikejehu

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 03:39 PM

I think expectations have to take account of the fact that Falvey inherited a much weaker set of talent than was believed at the time (and through the beginning of this season). The notion that the new front office could quickly field a contender was 100% based on the idea that Buxton and Sano would be at least good major leaguers, if not more.

 

I do not see any set of realistic actions that the front office could have taken that would have changed where the Twins are at this point (except maybe to make it even worse by trading prospects). I would like to see better roster management, but even that is difficult to assess because Molitor was forced on Falvey, and I don't know if field staff-front office differences play a role.

 

So yeah, there's ticky-tack stuff that is not great, but that's minor in the scheme of things. Falvey has clearly been leading an effort to modernize the front office and build out the infrastructure that is necessary to compete in today's game. 

 

For people who aren't happy with the standings, I guess my first question is - when did you start talking about the need to move on from the Ryan era and embrace a modern approach to management? I was saying that back when the Twins were still winning division titles, because it was obvious that the Twins were going to pay down the road for their old-school ways. 

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#40 mikelink45

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 04:45 PM

Is a Minnesota nice article this one ranks high. Good drafts guys what as far as the team on the field poor signings belisle motter Gimenez LaMotte Plus Morrison and Duke and Lynn. Inability to drop and promote players to fill our needs. I'm really tired of hearing about these young Wiz Kids and all they're going to do for Twins baseball. Teams to rise in one or two years. It's time for them to earn our praise the honeymoon is over.
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