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Article: Twins Daily Roundtable: Biggest Off-Season Need

bryon buxton miguel sano jose berrios max kepler jorge polanco
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#81 Rosterman

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 09:31 AM

I'm still with the Front Office and looking at the team as how it might vision out in 2020 and 2021 and what needs to be done to get there and who, from the big list of prospects, may be the impact pieces that can the team to go all-the-way, in 2021.

 

So that means one more hard look at Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Sano, Berrios. Also Hildenberger, May and Rogers. Do you extend them all?

 

It is making decisions on Odorizzi and Gibson. Are they pieces to be traded between now and mid-season or worth tendering for 3+ years.

 

It is giving time to a variety of pitchers who COULD be here in 2020 or beyond. John Curtiss, Fernando Romero, Gabriel Moya, Kohl Stewart, Stephen Gonsalves, Zack Littell. Andrew Vasquez, Adalberto Mejia.

 

There are so many prospects that SHOULD make the majors in the next 2-3 years. ortvedt, Lewis, Krilloff, Larnach, Gordon, Graterol, Rooker, Javier, Severino. Alcala, Maciel, Haley, Miranda, Baladozic, Arraez, Baddoo, Celestino, Enlow, Bechtold, Paul and more. The minors look very very good for potential guys who will make a trip to the majors.

 

Oh, Lewis Thorpe and Griffin Jax, too. Maybe Felix Jorge is still in the mix.

 

Let the front office go with the plan. Maybe supplement the weakness in the infield today with some placeholder signings. But see what the kids can do. It is a weak division. The Twins could actually win and not die (the starting prospects are gems). 

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#82 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 09:43 AM

 

1st, keeping with the initial thread, the absolute #1 priority for the Twins in 2019, and going forward, is developing and maximizing what you have NOW.

I've read a lot of great posts and ideas here. And on the surface, I understand comments about improving the "talent level" across the board.

But that's NOT the problem. Yes, there are question marks all over the place. But pause your angst and frustration from such a mixed up and disappointing season for a moment to look at the "talent" we are talking about!

Rosario, Buxton and Kepler in the OF with Cave as the 4th man. Couple of seasons ago, a lot of people wanted to trade Rosario. Would you now? Kepler needs to even out his 3 year splits and he's very, very good! Uber prospect Buxton needs to be healthy, just find a consistent approach where bat meets ball better and hitting .250 he's a borderline stud.

Austin is interesting. Polanco has a big bat, loaded with potential, is an OK SS who is better as a 2B, and Sano? You really want to give up on his talent and potential after this weird and crummy season? I sure dont!

1] Said it before, will say it again, get Hunter to spend time with Buxton this off season to talk about everything from hard times, to plate approach. To preserving his body.

2] Get SOMEONE who you trust, a Latin coach/instructor, to work with Sano and continue the work he put in with Ft Myers this season.

3] Examine your ML and milb roster of coaches and make sure a Latin presence of value is at each and every level. As well as instructors. With so much Latin talent in the system, I'm still wondering if we're doing enough in that area.

4] Bring in a pair of quality infielders. Bring in a proven SS to allow Polanco to move to 2B. OR, bring in a high quality 2B...like Castro, as has been mentioned elsewhere...and live with offense vs better defense. (I prefer the better defense route). Iglesias is a guy I'd strongly consider.

5] Re-sign Escobar if you can. Pay him like a starter because hes going to play almost daily. He can be a super utility player or daily player depending how things shake out.

6] Look really hard at adding a high quality SP via trade or FA. I love the Corbin idea, and dont buy the $25M per idea considering the changes in the marketplace.

7] Trade or FA, add one dynamite arm for the bullpen.

Is this a lot? No. It really isn't when you look deep. A pair of quality INF that does nothing to break the bank. And 2 pitchers, SP and RP, that also dont blow up the payroll
Especially when you look at the state of financial affairs after this season.

You're adding 4 players on 2-4 year deals and still probably holding your payroll in 2019 below the 2018 numbers.

The rest is infrastructure.

And if you really are worried about payroll...again, still lower than 2018 almost without a doubt...Reed and Odorizzi come off the books, potentially, after 2019.

Agree with all of this with one honest question - why does everyone asssume Kepler is a starting OF over Cave? Cave has been seriously better with the bat this year and seems as good a corner OF. Kepler has had an OPS+ below 100 each of the last years and they all lookthe same - .733, .737, .734 OPS in the last 3 years. Kepler has had a chance to show what he can do and it looks like we now know what that looks like - roughly .235/.315/.420 (.735), 16-20 HRs, 1.5-2:1 K/BB. Not bad I guess, but the definition of a 4th OF/part time DH on a contending team. 

 

Cave may be no better or even worse long term but at least he's been better this year in a one half season small sample size. .257/.300/.458 (.758), 11 Hrs, all in half a year's worth of at bats. The 6:1 K/BB ratio is troubling but that's been coming down as he plays more. Hard for me to see much of a defensive difference, they're both strong corner OFs, kind of exposed when they have to play CF.  

 

I think 2 of the OF positions for next year are pretty set and it's Rosario and Cave. Not Kepler. I think he's in a fight with Buxton for the 3rd spot and I think he's going to lose that fight to Buxton's glove. He'll stay as the 4th OF over Grossman and/or be part of a 1B/DH/3B/Bench bat group with Austin, Sano Mauer and a FA (Escobar?), with more playing time if Mauer retires. Performance matters. Cave has won a chance to start next year based on performance. Kepler hasn't. 

Edited by LA VIkes Fan, 21 September 2018 - 09:46 AM.


#83 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 09:48 AM

That is not what is being hinted at in Arizona.They have a barren farm, a loaded division, and a number of guys with pretty decent trade value right now.It's absolutely being discussed.Whether it happens or not is anyone's guess.
 
If they decide not to rebuild and hope to resign guys, it likely frees up Grienke as a salary dump.If they rebuild, he gets moved that way too.I'm guessing he gets dealt sometime this offseason as a way to retain Corbin/Goldschmidt/Pollack.


I gave some thought about the D-Back’s situation, and I believe the only way for them to retain Goldschmidt is to trade Greinke, and maybe even Ketel Marte. And if the Twins were to get involved, I’d rather they pass on Greinke, and offer Gibson and Cave (or Wade) for a SS in Marte, because I think I’d be a good deal for both clubs. The D-Backs get cheap replacements for Corbin and Pollock, along with the financial flexibility to extend Goldschmidt and sign a couple less expensive FA, while the Twins would get a true SS, with potential at the plate, and reason to finally move Polanco to 2nd.

#84 Mike Sixel

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 09:48 AM

 

I'm still with the Front Office and looking at the team as how it might vision out in 2020 and 2021 and what needs to be done to get there and who, from the big list of prospects, may be the impact pieces that can the team to go all-the-way, in 2021.

 

So that means one more hard look at Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Sano, Berrios. Also Hildenberger, May and Rogers. Do you extend them all?

 

It is making decisions on Odorizzi and Gibson. Are they pieces to be traded between now and mid-season or worth tendering for 3+ years.

 

It is giving time to a variety of pitchers who COULD be here in 2020 or beyond. John Curtiss, Fernando Romero, Gabriel Moya, Kohl Stewart, Stephen Gonsalves, Zack Littell. Andrew Vasquez, Adalberto Mejia.

 

There are so many prospects that SHOULD make the majors in the next 2-3 years. ortvedt, Lewis, Krilloff, Larnach, Gordon, Graterol, Rooker, Javier, Severino. Alcala, Maciel, Haley, Miranda, Baladozic, Arraez, Baddoo, Celestino, Enlow, Bechtold, Paul and more. The minors look very very good for potential guys who will make a trip to the majors.

 

Oh, Lewis Thorpe and Griffin Jax, too. Maybe Felix Jorge is still in the mix.

 

Let the front office go with the plan. Maybe supplement the weakness in the infield today with some placeholder signings. But see what the kids can do. It is a weak division. The Twins could actually win and not die (the starting prospects are gems). 

 

two more years of not trying to win? I hope not. I hope that is not the plan. If so, just trade Gibson this off season. 

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#85 DocBauer

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 12:36 PM

Agree with all of this with one honest question - why does everyone asssume Kepler is a starting OF over Cave? Cave has been seriously better with the bat this year and seems as good a corner OF. Kepler has had an OPS+ below 100 each of the last years and they all look the same - .733, .737, .734 OPS in the last 3 years. Kepler has had a chance to show what he can do and it looks like we now know what that looks like - roughly .235/.315/.420 (.735), 16-20 HRs, 1.5-2:1 K/BB. Not bad I guess, but the definition of a 4th OF/part time DH on a contending team.

Cave may be no better or even worse long term but at least he's been better this year in a one half season small sample size. .257/.300/.458 (.758), 11 Hrs, all in half a year's worth of at bats. The 6:1 K/BB ratio is troubling but that's been coming down as he plays more. Hard for me to see much of a defensive difference, they're both strong corner OFs, kind of exposed when they have to play CF.

I think 2 of the OF positions for next year are pretty set and it's Rosario and Cave. Not Kepler. I think he's in a fight with Buxton for the 3rd spot and I think he's going to lose that fight to Buxton's glove. He'll stay as the 4th OF over Grossman and/or be part of a 1B/DH/3B/Bench bat group with Austin, Sano Mauer and a FA (Escobar?), with more playing time if Mauer retires. Performance matters. Cave has won a chance to start next year based on performance. Kepler hasn't.


Actually a very interesting question, and one I hadn't thought about. I think the assumption of Kepler over Cave is two fold. 1] He's considered the better defender. 2] POTENTIALLY he's the better hitter, at least in regard to contact and OB. Fair or not, I do see Kepler as the more talented player. But I've been pretty impressed by Cave this far.
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#86 cmoss84

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 01:17 PM

I agree with those of you who are valuing quality bats AND flexibility. I would love to sign Marwin Gonzalez and Eddie Escobar.

 

I also hope we get in on the Patrick Corbin bidding war. 

Definitely a crazy year for free agents!

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#87 nicksaviking

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 01:56 PM

 

At this point in time I say no to big contracts and aging free agents. The Twins should try and target the hidden gems out there, players who could thrive if given the opportunity. I'm thinking of players like Max Muncy or Scooter Gennett, or Blake Treinen, or even an older reclamation project like Johnny Venters or Edwin Jackson. Even a Daniel Palka (now with 26 homes!) type can be useful. No sense spending big money on the Logan Morrisons of the world There's gold in them hills! Just have to dig deeper.

 

While I'd love for the Twins to nail the science on these kinds of discoveries, I don't think it's logical to expect it. I Max Muncy could just as easily have been Jordan Schaffer. Scooter Gennett could have been Taylor Motter and Blake Treinen might as well have been Brandon Kintzler.

 

No one's ever too thrilled when they get these guys off of the scrap heap and their success rate has to be 25% tops. And by success, I mean barely justified in sticking on a 40-man.

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#88 yarnivek1972

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 07:15 AM

Agree with all of this with one honest question - why does everyone asssume Kepler is a starting OF over Cave? Cave has been seriously better with the bat this year and seems as good a corner OF. Kepler has had an OPS+ below 100 each of the last years and they all look the same - .733, .737, .734 OPS in the last 3 years. Kepler has had a chance to show what he can do and it looks like we now know what that looks like - roughly .235/.315/.420 (.735), 16-20 HRs, 1.5-2:1 K/BB. Not bad I guess, but the definition of a 4th OF/part time DH on a contending team.

Cave may be no better or even worse long term but at least he's been better this year in a one half season small sample size. .257/.300/.458 (.758), 11 Hrs, all in half a year's worth of at bats. The 6:1 K/BB ratio is troubling but that's been coming down as he plays more. Hard for me to see much of a defensive difference, they're both strong corner OFs, kind of exposed when they have to play CF.

I think 2 of the OF positions for next year are pretty set and it's Rosario and Cave. Not Kepler. I think he's in a fight with Buxton for the 3rd spot and I think he's going to lose that fight to Buxton's glove. He'll stay as the 4th OF over Grossman and/or be part of a 1B/DH/3B/Bench bat group with Austin, Sano Mauer and a FA (Escobar?), with more playing time if Mauer retires. Performance matters. Cave has won a chance to start next year based on performance. Kepler hasn't.


You answered your own question in the section I highlighted. 6 to 1 K to BB ratio. Kepler dropped his K rate from 20% to 16% and upped his walk rate from 8 % to almost 12%. Plate discipline and pitch recognition is one of the hardest things for young players to master. Discarding someone who pretty much has at age 25 would be beyond dumb IMO. Is there room for Kepler to improve? Certainly. But he proved this season with his improvement vs LHP that he is capable of making adjustments to improve. I’m not qualified to say what adjustment he needs to make to take the next step. Hopefully, someone employed by the Twins is. But the gifts and the talent and the “savvy” are clearly there. He has a 2.4 bWAR. That is a starter, not a 4th OFer.
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#89 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 01:20 PM

 

You answered your own question in the section I highlighted. 6 to 1 K to BB ratio. Kepler dropped his K rate from 20% to 16% and upped his walk rate from 8 % to almost 12%. Plate discipline and pitch recognition is one of the hardest things for young players to master. Discarding someone who pretty much has at age 25 would be beyond dumb IMO. Is there room for Kepler to improve? Certainly. But he proved this season with his improvement vs LHP that he is capable of making adjustments to improve. I’m not qualified to say what adjustment he needs to make to take the next step. Hopefully, someone employed by the Twins is. But the gifts and the talent and the “savvy” are clearly there. He has a 2.4 bWAR. That is a starter, not a 4th OFer.

I'm not suggesting that we discard Kepler, the queston is who amongst the 4 OFs we have, 5 if you count Grossman (one of our best hitters if not our best in the second half), starts and who is the #4. Rosario clearly starts and should DH any day he's not int he field - 600 ABs or bust for him.Kepler has a 2.4 WAR this year, Cave 1.2 WAR in a one half season. By that definition they're both starters and frankly their stats are almost even in every respect - Kepler has a higher OBP and strikes out less, Cave hits fior a higher SLG and higher BA, runs a little better and they're both quality corner OFs and average to slightly above CFs. I think the power makes Cave the winner as it stands now

 

More importantly, Cave has the bigger upside. You're right that Kepler has lowered his K rate and raised his BB rate over time. Cave just got here, he should be able to do the same thing over time.If I can only play one every day, I think we know what Kepler is and with Cave as good already, I play Cave every day to see if he reaches his upside.  

 

The big variable is Buxton's bat. We have to play him for his speed and glove if he can hit even a little and I have to think that he'll be able to meet that minimal standard despite looking so bad this year. That leaves one person out and I think Kepler is that guy at the start of the year. We absolutely do not trade him - he's the 4th OF/LH DH who plays 3-4 times a week while Rosario plays 6 days a week, and Cave and Buxton play 5. Another way to look at it is that the OF positions and half the DH at bats equals roughly 2,400 PAs a year at 4.25 PAs per game per position. You cream off 250 PAs for short stint DL stays and a 5th OF/UTL and you have 2150 PAs to divide up between Rosario, Buxton, Cave and Kepler. Rosario gets 150-155 games or 650 PAs. The remaining 1500 I think should go 600 to Cave, 500 to Buxton and 400 to Kepler. You can adjust during the season based on performance but that's where I'd start. So to me, the issue is really Buxton vs. Kepler and I think Buxton's upside gives him the edge. The great news is that if Buxton stinks at the plate again, Cave plays center and Kepler goes back to 550-600 PAs, and Buxton drops down to 300-350. Either scenario is a much better situation that we had in 2018.

 

This may all be academic if Mauer retires. If he does, then Kepler goes to 1B/DH timeshare with Austin and they both get 500 -550 PAs even if you cream off 50-100 for guys like Rosario and Sano to get a day off their feet to DH, plus Kepler gets some in the OF. Even better in my view would be to re-sign Escobar and have a 1B/Dh/3B/4thOF grouping of Austin, Sano, Kepler and Escobar. There's 500-550 PAs apiece in those 3 spots, more for Kepler playing a day or 2 a week in the OF while giving Rosario, Cave and Buxton 500 (Buxton) to 600 (Rosario) PAs in the OF. The bench then is Adrianza to back up SS and 2B, one of the 2 catchers and the one of the other 7 listed above that's off that day so you actually have a bench bat. Grossman only stays if Buxton can't hack it again and is stil in AAA. Astudillo stays if you have a 7 man BP or goes to AAA as the first call up if you have an 8 man BP.Trade for Starlin Castro and the lineup goes like this: 

 

Polanco SS

Castro 2B (or Forsythe as the number 7 with everyone moving up one)

Rosario LF

Escobar 3B/DH

Sano/Austin 3B/1B/DH

Cave RF/DH

Austin/Sano/Kepler 3B/1B/DH

Garver/Castro C

Buxton CF 

 

Bench - One of Austin/Sano/Kepler/Escobar, Adrianza, one of Castro/Garver, Astudillo if 12 pitchers. 

 

Sign Jose Iglesias to play SS instead of trading for Castro and you have better defense but a weaker lineup like this:

 

Polanco 2B

Escobar 3B/DH

Rosario LF

Sano/Austin 3B/1B/DH

Cave RF/DH

Austin/Sano/Kepler 3B/1B/DH

Garver/Castro C

Iglesias SS

Buxton CF

 

Are these lineups competitve? They are if 2 or 3 of the Sano, Cave, Kepler, Austin, Buxton group step up a level (2 in Sano's case). If not, nope. And isn't that next year's most important question?

 

Edited by LA VIkes Fan, 22 September 2018 - 01:25 PM.


#90 Teflon

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 06:41 PM

Twins biggest off-season need: Replacement season ticket holders.

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#91 ashbury

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 01:42 PM

Twins biggest off-season need: Replacement season ticket holders.

I see no reason this can't be addressed within the organization. There are many fans at Rochester who deserve a promotion, and probably quite a few at Chattanooga who could make the jump easily. They have thriving economies and surely some number there can afford $2000 in support of the big league team. Come on, FO, let's make this happen.

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#92 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 01:44 PM

 

I'm still with the Front Office and looking at the team as how it might vision out in 2020 and 2021 and what needs to be done to get there and who, from the big list of prospects, may be the impact pieces that can the team to go all-the-way, in 2021.

 

So that means one more hard look at Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Sano, Berrios. Also Hildenberger, May and Rogers. Do you extend them all?

 

It is making decisions on Odorizzi and Gibson. Are they pieces to be traded between now and mid-season or worth tendering for 3+ years.

 

It is giving time to a variety of pitchers who COULD be here in 2020 or beyond. John Curtiss, Fernando Romero, Gabriel Moya, Kohl Stewart, Stephen Gonsalves, Zack Littell. Andrew Vasquez, Adalberto Mejia.

 

There are so many prospects that SHOULD make the majors in the next 2-3 years. ortvedt, Lewis, Krilloff, Larnach, Gordon, Graterol, Rooker, Javier, Severino. Alcala, Maciel, Haley, Miranda, Baladozic, Arraez, Baddoo, Celestino, Enlow, Bechtold, Paul and more. The minors look very very good for potential guys who will make a trip to the majors.

 

Oh, Lewis Thorpe and Griffin Jax, too. Maybe Felix Jorge is still in the mix.

 

Let the front office go with the plan. Maybe supplement the weakness in the infield today with some placeholder signings. But see what the kids can do. It is a weak division. The Twins could actually win and not die (the starting prospects are gems). 

Go ahead and take your list of minor leaguers there, put the names into a hat and pull out 4 names. That is how many will stick, now put those 4 into a hat and pull out 1 more name. That is how many will be better than league average. Don't let the Twins love of anyone with a pulse in the minor leagues cloud you judgement. They haven't developed any real successful players for YEARS.




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