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Article: 4 Creative Tweaks the Twins Can Make to Get Better

max kepler
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#21 DocBauer

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 12:40 AM

Sorry for the double and confusing post. Sometimes I get this big blob with no breaks and I edit and it comes out OK the second time. For some reason, I got this mess tonight.

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#22 ToddlerHarmon

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 05:46 AM

Hmmm Buxton portaging Astudillo. More momentum when he hits the wall, but also more padding. It checks out.
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#23 Einheri

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 06:11 AM

I've been wanting the Twins to try Kepler at 1B for about a year and a half.
 

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#24 Sconnie

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 06:27 AM

if getting more flexibility from Kepler is a priority he would provide more value playing more CF than 1b.

As for Astudillo, I’m all for giving the man a shot. Give him as many ABs as he earns.

Pitching wise, May and Romero don’t really need labels. Be more flexible with piecing it together and those two could provide very valuable multi-inning appearances coming into the game at a number of scenarios. Romero, Littell, Gonsalves and Mejia are all players that need to take a step towards being a quality mlb pitcher in ‘19. Romero looks really promising, Mejia looks pretty sure of a back of rotation type. No clue on Gonsalves and Littell.

Edited by Sconnie, 28 November 2018 - 06:37 AM.


#25 Major League Ready

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 06:42 AM

Kepler's OPS is as low as Mauer's so he would be no improvement offensively and I seriously doubt he would be Mauer's equal defensively so I don't see how how Kepler at 1B makes us better. His value is that he is a plus defender as a corner OFer and can be used in CF when needed. Putting him at 1B negates his primary contribution so I see this as a step backwards. We not only get worse at 1B we weaken our OF defense.

 

Romero struggled in AAA last year. His control / command has to improve before he is of value in any role at the ML level. He would be more valuable as a starter so I rather they keep him at AAA until he improves his command.

 

I could go either way on May. More innings has more value but I am not convinced he can perform as a starter or stacker. However, it might be worth giving him one more shot.

 

I love Astudillo but let's not get ahead of ourselves. He too needs to prove himself beyond what is a relatively small sample size from last year.

Edited by Major League Ready, 28 November 2018 - 06:44 AM.

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#26 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 07:20 AM

1) Yes...Kirilloff is coming; 2) YES...Romero needs to be in the majors in the pen now Itwill benefit the team and him; 3) No...leave May in the pen...relievers are becoming more and more important in today's game; The Twins are OK on starters now;A BP consisting of May, Rogers and Romero with a revitalized A. Reed and LOGY Vasquez and a correctly used Hildy has real potential; 4) YES, YES, YES...Play Astudillo and get him 500 at bats. This team needed a spark last year and will need one this year as it fights for first place in the AL Central.

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#27 Han Joelo

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 07:22 AM

I like the idea of Kepler gaining some positional flexibility.  If Cave is the real deal, and Buxton comes back, and that long line of OFers in the minors keeps creeping up, it wouldn't be a bad thing.  Like Nick said--not full-time; just on days where they want a lefty heavy lineup.

 

I cringed at the idea of moving Romero to the pen, but then grudgingly have to admit it might not be a bad thing.  Then I dreamt the Twins acquired both Gray and Greinke.

 

They should just change the team name to the Minnesota Astudillos already.  The kids got moxie.  Here are his winter league stats.  Hitting even better with men on base, and better when in scoring position.  This guy is the Chosen One we've been searching for.  You were expecting a 1st Round Pick Knight, you got a hobbit.  That is the way these stories go.  (I took a deep breath and tapped the breaks before writing this paragraph.)

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#28 Riverbrian

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 07:34 AM

Nick... You'll be getting resistance on this but your thinking is exactly how you the team needs to think. The team doesn't need to follow your plan to a tee but the concepts you raise are important. 

 

Kepler: I understand that he is a plus plus defender in the OF. The discussion isn't a full time move to 1B never to play OF again. It is the occasional game played at 1B. If anyone is claiming that our defense is going to fall apart of if Kepler isn't in RF EVERY DAY, then they didn't notice that Kepler wasn't in the OF every day last year. It doesn't have to be Kepler... Rosario occasionally at 3B. It allows you to acquire more assets if you have places to move the over flow. This isn't a hard concept and the fears expressed are 18th century. 

 

Romero and May: Sconnie is right, Remove the starting/reliever pitching labels. Make them pitchers. You don't have to choose between 1 inning of work or 6 innings of work with May. If he's getting people out... let him keep getting people out. Those who get batters out, get more innings. Same thing with Romero. Working Romero out of the bullpen with the idea that a bullpen arm doesn't have to throw just one inning will be a way to manage how many innings he throws. Across baseball Starters had a 4.29 ERA and the bullpen arms had a 4.09 ERA. 

 

Astudillo... Oddly enough. This is the only place I have a slight disagreement. He has options... you need depth in the minors. By starting Astudillo in Rochester... it prevents the team from needing Bobby Wilson as injury replacement. 

 

 

 

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#29 rugbymikes

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 07:44 AM

Would love to see Cave get some reps at 1B. He's shown his athleticism and baseball knowledge throughout his limited time up in the bigs. He has the LH glove and might surprise some people. Worth a look have options and versatility.
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#30 bighat

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:02 AM

Watching Twins batters strike out with a runner on 2nd base and nobody out last year was just brutal. I can't stress how many runs were wasted simply because guys couldn't make contact. Astudillo might not be Tony Gwynn but his contact rate is desperately needed on this team. He puts the ball in play, period. I hope the Twins are seriously considering ways to get him as many ABs as possible. Really hope he makes the team out of ST.

 

Astudillo's not a "nobody" anymore. A diamond in the rough is only valuable if you use the player. He won't do us any good stashed in the minors.

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#31 Monkeypaws

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:09 AM

 

 

They should just change the team name to the Minnesota Astudillos already.  The kids got moxie.  Here are his winter league stats.  Hitting even better with men on base, and better when in scoring position.  This guy is the Chosen One we've been searching for.  You were expecting a 1st Round Pick Knight, you got a hobbit.  That is the way these stories go.  (I took a deep breath and tapped the breaks before writing this paragraph.)

 

The most intriguing stat from Astudillo this winter, besides the .909 ops.

 

2 stolen bases in 3 attempts. :D

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#32 Sconnie

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:09 AM

 

Nick... You'll be getting resistance on this but your thinking is exactly how you the team needs to think. The team doesn't need to follow your plan to a tee but the concepts you raise are important. 

 

Kepler: I understand that he is a plus plus defender in the OF. The discussion isn't a full time move to 1B never to play OF again. It is the occasional game played at 1B. If anyone is claiming that our defense is going to fall apart of if Kepler isn't in RF EVERY DAY, then they didn't notice that Kepler wasn't in the OF every day last year. It doesn't have to be Kepler... Rosario occasionally at 3B. It allows you to acquire more assets if you have places to move the over flow. This isn't a hard concept and the fears expressed are 18th century. 

 

Romero and May: Sconnie is right, Remove the starting/reliever pitching labels. Make them pitchers. You don't have to choose between 1 inning of work or 6 innings of work with May. If he's getting people out... let him keep getting people out. Those who get batters out, get more innings. Same thing with Romero. Working Romero out of the bullpen with the idea that a bullpen arm doesn't have to throw just one inning will be a way to manage how many innings he throws. Across baseball Starters had a 4.29 ERA and the bullpen arms had a 4.09 ERA. 

 

Astudillo... Oddly enough. This is the only place I have a slight disagreement. He has options... you need depth in the minors. By starting Astudillo in Rochester... it prevents the team from needing Bobby Wilson as injury replacement. 

I can get behind Rosario getting some 3B time more than I can getting Kepler some 1b time. Jake Cave's bat in left is more valuable than Adrianza's at 3rd. Kepler's bat is a downgrade against Right handed pitchers compared to Cron. Kepler's fielding is preferable over Cave, however.

 

I disagree on Astudillo - on the big league club as the super-duper-ute he still stops the Bobby Wilson types or ensures the Bobby Wilson types stay in AAA. moreover he gives you the roster flexibility to ensure Gordon gets all the triple A TLC and at-bats he needs. You could possibly not exercise Astudillo's option and still have it for next year. If Gordon earns his way up to the big league club, you can still exercise Astudillo's option and have a space for him.  

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#33 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:11 AM

I love Rosario, but his defense can be really questionable at times, so why not move him to a part time role at DH, let Kepler play LF, and then sign someone to play RF on a 1 year deal (Jones/Span/Markakis??). Yeah, we ‘could’ find more playing time for Cave, but I’d rather go with a veteran, and besides, Cave seems more like trade chip anyways; always need more pitching.

#34 Number3

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:12 AM

As Riverbrian said, the concept here is right on. In other words, maximize the talent you already have instead of constantly looking for the miracle acquisition. Nothing is etched in stone and one would think that the time in FL could be better spent than yucking it up in pretend games and working out the Nassau bets for the golf course.

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#35 Riverbrian

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:29 AM

I can get behind Rosario getting some 3B time more than I can getting Kepler some 1b time. Jake Cave's bat in left is more valuable than Adrianza's at 3rd. Kepler's bat is a downgrade against Right handed pitchers compared to Cron. Kepler's fielding is preferable over Cave, however.

I disagree on Astudillo - on the big league club as the super-duper-ute he still stops the Bobby Wilson types or ensures the Bobby Wilson types stay in AAA. moreover he gives you the roster flexibility to ensure Gordon gets all the triple A TLC and at-bats he needs. You could possibly not exercise Astudillo's option and still have it for next year. If Gordon earns his way up to the big league club, you can still exercise Astudillo's option and have a space for him.


I use Kepler as an example of the idea. If Rosario could play IF it wouldn’t be necessary to move Kepler. If Austin could play OF. DH opens for a bunch of different matchup moves. I’m not going to get tied to one specific player but I am tied to the concept.

On Astudillo. I love the guy. He should have gotten at least a hundred more AB’s with us last year. I want the team stacked with enough talent that players with options have to Knock down the door to make the roster.
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#36 HrbieFan

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:30 AM

Cardinals have had success starting younger guys in the pen and then transitioning them to SP later on. But as of now I have no clue how the rotation will shake out. Will we 3 traditional SP and 2 Openers? Would being a primary pitcher help Romero? His arm is talented and we need to get it on the major league staff for a complete year.

#37 beetlebum71

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:46 AM

Fun piece.The issue with moving Kepler to 1B, even part time, is that so much of his value is derived from his excellent play in RF.Even if he ends up being a plus defender at first, too, his defense won't have the same positive impact that it has in the OF.Add to that the fact that you'll be replacing him in RF with, most likely, Jake Cave, and now you're potentially making yourself worse at two defensive positions.I like the idea of having a guy who can play 1B and OF, but if I'm going to ask one of my OF to grab a 1B mitt, I think it'd be Cave.It doesn't look like he's ever played there, so the learning curve would be steeper than it would be for Kepler, and he's not the big target over there that Max would be, but he's a marginal defender in the OF, would satisfy the desire to have a LH option over there, and would not reduce your OF defense.The Twins were good in 2017 largely because of their OF defense.I'd like to see them go back to that now that Buxton will be healthy.

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#38 nicksaviking

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:47 AM

I like it, though like others have said, I'd still like to see Romero be a more traditional starter. If I flex one of the current starters out it would be Odorizzi who has proven to be very good for a few innings but an absolute disaster should he face a batter a third time. He'd probably thrive being a 2-3-4 inning long man used ideally by a forward thinking manager to bridge to the late innings arms, not wasted as a mop up guy used by an old school manager.

 

And I like Kepler playing 1B rotationally. I think those that are opposed are viewing the situation as Kepler-centric, but it's not. Max is most likely and most often going to be starting, but it would be easier to find a corner outfield bat to help bolster the offense than a 1B, which is a position quickly becoming void of offense.

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#39 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:55 AM

 

? May had literally never missed time with an arm injury before the UCL tear. 

 

May started missing time once he went to the pen... That's why some of us want him starting :)

 

 

Then again, I've given up hope on that... 

 

No to Romero. He needs to start. 

 

Like the idea of Kepler being a bit of a platoon partner to our RH 1B/DH guys, but that works best if Kepler start to hit. 

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#40 twinfan

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:58 AM

May and Romero (along with Mejia) can be very good starters for 5 innings but then they break down. This puts loads of pressure on the bullpen. Thus, they can all be used either as short starters or long (middle) relievers. My biggest problem is the manager taking a relief pitcher out after pitching a solid inning. You use up your bullpen that way and they eventually become tired and ineffective. That has happened to us over the past years. I like Astudillo as a super sub type guy who can lead off for us.

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