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Article: Is Minnesota's Refreshed Coaching Staff... Too Fresh?

rocco baldelli wes johnson jeremy hefner
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#21 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 09:27 AM

 

Let me think about this a moment.Is Kyle Gibson the most senior player on the roster?And is Rosario most senior of every day players?Or is it Grossman?

 

Best get those two signed up so they are around for awhile.

 

As for these two hires, will tell you in July what I think.

 

Not really what youre asking as I know that your'e talking about MLB time... but I looked at my 2018 Opening Day Longest Tenured in the organization list... Mauer, Vargas and Dozier (1, 2, 3 at the time) are all gone, so here is the update:

 

 

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#22 terrydactyls1947

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 09:27 AM

I like the hire for one specific reason. If I'm a young MLB pitcher, I would rather have a pitching coach who can back up the modifications he suggests to me with sound reasoning rather than the usual "because I said so" mentality that appears to be the norm. I did not know that over 240 muscles are involved when throwing a baseball but that sort of expertise would make it easier to accept changes. And his track record seems to back up his approach. Let's hope it works out.
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#23 mikelink45

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 09:36 AM

So far this has not been inspiring.As one of the old guys I am not thrilled by what I have seen, but more than these pitching geniuses I am confused with the rehire of the batting gurus.Our pitching staff started to round out except in the bullpen, but our stud prospects continue to flail at the dust left behind by the fastballs they miss, yet we throw out the pitching coaches and keep the batting coaches.

 

This FO has bewildered me since they first came on. 

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#24 beckmt

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 10:35 AM

This is an interesting set of hires.I do think the main issue here is can they communicate and teach.Players are getting younger (as they will with the steroid era over).Most major league players will be done between age 32 and age 34.You will be dealing with younger players and need to teach them at the major league level to survive.This is what bothered me the last 10 -15 years with the Twins, other clubs would have their top prospects come up and succeed very quickly, the Twins top prospects would struggle for a few years before putting it together (if they did).So maybe the analysis was to blow the whole thing up.We shall see, but this will take another 2 - 4 years to have measurable results.

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#25 RaymondLuxuryYacht

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 10:37 AM

Is Minnesota's Refreshed Coaching Staff... Too Fresh?

 

No

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#26 blindeke

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 11:33 AM

Let's all remember that the people who actually *play* baseball are very young, and getting younger all the time. Mauer just retired at the age of 35. Twenty-something world-class athletes have very different attitudes about the history of baseball than crusty fans.


#27 Jim Hahn

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 11:41 AM

Three concerns with the Wes Johnson hire. Usually major league pitchers are in need of minor refinements rather than major overhauls or a build up from little established fundamentals like a raw prospect or a college kid. Major league pitchers are in such different places in their career from where college kids are,that it requires a a very real mind shift to deal with them.

The 2nd concern is is managing work loads, when to get up relievers, when to let starters work through early inning difficulties and other things of this nature. Molitor and his pitching coaches seemed to struggle in these areas at times, and he and they had been around major league pitchers for years.

The final concern is the mental aspect of pitching in the majors. All major league have enough stuff to get people out, the best ones or at least the ones with the longest careers, have to figure
out the art of pitching. Using one pitch to set up another, handling failure and the other mental aspects of pitching. While some of that is certainly addressed in college, one would think that this part of the game is on a different level in the majors.
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#28 Loops

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 01:54 PM

This to me is like the "new math".Every 5 years or so, school systems across the country have read the latest book and decide on a math shake-up that will make all the kids love and learn math.It never works and they go back to actually memorized math tables.Rinse and repeat.

That is similar to the Twins situation.They are trying something new and gambling that it works.All the latest trends are statistic-based analytics.That being said I think it is trending too far in that direction.You still need some of the old methods.There needs to be a nice mix!

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#29 raindog

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 02:13 PM

I’m definely excited by the Wes Johnson hire but slightly nervous that the players won’t respect him. I like the outside the box thinking though.
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#30 Sconnie

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 02:51 PM

If your strategy to succeed is to invest heavily into analytics, then the coaching staff needs to be the conduit into the clubhouse. You can't say it's your strategy then dabble in it as a coaching staff. You must be "all in" on strategy. 

 

I like that the FO is finally implementing the strategy in earnest.

 

I get the concern of work load changes between major leagues and minor, let alone, college - I was a vocal critic of Molitor's excessive usage of Pressly - I'm more concerned with the pitching coach and bullpen coach is if they can actually teach and provide valuable and new things to the staff. can they get through to the players?

 

Time will tell, but at least at first blush, these two already will be evangelists of the strategy.


#31 Monkeypaws

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 03:20 PM

Fal-vine were brought in to bring fresh ideas - they've dusted off the moldy old cupboards and brought in something fresh. Some of us wanted management that could relate to younger players, and I expect that will happen. 

 

I appreciate the consistency of their actions now they have been given free reign. 

 

 

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#32 SomeGuy

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 04:17 PM

I'm okay with signing someone without MLB experience.Every time I hear so and so has experience with Team X I think "but wasn't he fired for not getting results?What will be different this time?"

 

Sounds like we were one of at least 3 teams interested in signing Wes Johnson.

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#33 Nick Nelson

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 05:23 PM

Well, the final two hires for the Twins field staff are in, and.... not much more in the way of experience.

 

 

3B coach Tony Diaz never played affiliated pro ball, and has only two years experience as an MLB coach. 1B coach Tommy Watkins is 38, and his only experience in the majors was a cup of coffee as a player in 2007.

 

That said, I like these hires. Both appear to bring something very valuable to the table.

 

Diaz, who spent the last two seasons as Colorado's 1B coach, is said to be a great bilingual conduit; Parker notes he "wrote 'Practical English' for Spanish-speaking players to help them adapt to US."

 

Watkins adds some organizational tenure and continuity to a staff that has very little. He's a beloved franchise fixture who's more or less been around continually since the Twins drafted him in 1998. As I wrote a couple weeks ago when mentioning him as a candidate, it seems to say a lot while the vast majority of institutional holdovers have been ushered out under new leadership, Watkins has not only stuck around but kept rising.

 

 

 

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#34 ChiefsKid

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 05:29 PM

I'm really excited to see if a guy like Johnson can replicate the results from college with guys who've "fully developed". I'm sure some of his results (particularly an uptick in velocity) are because of college kids literally just growing.
Most excited about two current players in particular: the resurgence of Addison Reed and the full development of Trevor May. Worst year of Reed's career last year and the best of May's. A bounce back from Reed and the full potential of May is a really good place to start for a back end of a really good bullpen.

However, it doesn't matter if we hire the best, most innovative, and superior analytical coaches in baseball, the current roster just flat out isn't good enough to legitimately compete. I'm pretty tired of mediocre results and there's no good enough reason in my book not to open up the checkbook and fill out the roster now.
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#35 ashburyjohn

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 05:49 PM

1B coach Tommy Watkins is 38, and his only experience in the majors was a cup of coffee as a player in 2007.

Hey Tommy! I'm the guy you said hi to. You know, in Surprise AZ? The guy in the Saints t-shirt? Yeah, me. Bet you thought I'd moved on and forgot all about you. I'm not like that. Congrats on your promotion!

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


#36 nicksaviking

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 06:01 PM

I’m just fine with all the various degrees of lack of experience from the coaches. It’s not like these guys are new to the sport, just new to the old boys club. I think a, “Hey, we’re going to try some different things, this is kind of unprecedented, want to get in on the ground floor?” approach is going to appeal to young players. Might it not work? Yes. Has what they’ve been doing for a decade not worked? Yes.

It might turn off stodgy, set-in-their-ways vets. The types I already have no interest in.

I’ll trust math and science over tradition, gut-instincts and conventional wisdom. That’s not a new school philosophy, Copernicus, Galileo and Di Vinci had these same arguments during The Renaissance.
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#37 ashburyjohn

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 06:22 PM

Copernicus, Galileo and Di Vinci had these same arguments during The Renaissance.

So did L Ron Hubbard, more recently. :)

 

I'm pretty far on the analytics spectrum by nature, but I don't discount "tradition, gut-instincts and conventional wisdom". If my "math" goes contrary to these, my first reaction should be to wonder, "what have I overlooked?" If I can't find anything, that may only mean that it will be discovered after I have put my math into action.

 

Analysis should be followed by synthesis. The pieces have to fit together.

 

And I don't believe that any of these new hires fall into that trap, particularly. Wes Johnson wasn't constructing theories in some darkened research lab, he was out there running pitching staffs in college. Some of his early ideas have already been weeded out, presumably. I've stated some qualms, but I'm also intrigued.

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


#38 old nurse

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 06:47 PM

http://www.wholehogs...arkansas-twins/

 

“If you get into biomechanics, you find out really fast that a pitcher cannot repeat his delivery," Johnson told WholeHogSports in 2017. "You’ve got over 600 muscles in the body. To think that the roughly 240 that we use in pitching are going to fire at the same time - you’ve got a better chance at winning the lottery. TrackMan gives me a chance to show guys a consistent release height and some things we can repeat."

 

Johnson has spent the past two seasons with the Razorbacks and has been credited with the development of several high-round draft picks and prospects, including Blaine Knight, Trevor Stephan, Kacey Murphy, Isaiah Campbell and Matt Cronin.

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#39 nicksaviking

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 06:48 PM

So did L Ron Hubbard, more recently. :)
 
I'm pretty far on the analytics spectrum by nature, but I don't discount "tradition, gut-instincts and conventional wisdom". If my "math" goes contrary to these, my first reaction should be to wonder, "what have I overlooked?" If I can't find anything, that may only mean that it will be discovered after I have put my math into action.


I’m all about the discovery; I’ll accept the associated trial and error laboratory fires that come with it. This franchise has for too long relied on letting other clubs do all the experiments while the Twins suffered the consequences of looking over the front runners shoulder for the answer without knowing the process of getting there.

Also, perhaps I’m wrong, but I thought Hubbard was light on the science and heavy on the fiction?
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#40 Monkeypaws

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 07:30 PM

Brave new world.

Isn’t this what most folks wanted, as opposed to the old school?
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