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Article: What's There to Say About Ehire?

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#41 Riverbrian

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 10:45 PM

 

Yes.It does.Do you know how many qualified infielders that play SS or 2B or 3B had an OPS of .750 last year? (Not all three, just any of the three)

 

35.If you take out 3B there were only 22.(And I'd say Ehire's ability to play SS/2B is a key part of his value)

 

So, yes, suggesting the Twins sign two such players (at least one of which is for a backup role) is completely out of touch with reality.

 

First of all... I'm not sure where you are getting .750 from? 

 

Second of all... If you are making a projection that he will produce a .750 OPS and if you are right. Adrianza becomes just another example in my eyes of how the Twins screwed up again in 2018 when it came to playing time decisions and playing time allocation. .That OPS is Grossman and Field type production. 

 

Third...

 

Murphy, Asdrubal, LeMahieu, Lowrie, Dietrich and Desclasco are all middle infield players who were all legitimately over .750 last year and available right now. Kinsler, Schoop, Harrison, Beckham and Dozier have been over before.

 

Fourth...

 

If the free agents are just too expensive. We could simply mention bargain basement acquisition players who hit that magic mark with at least 300 AB's. I'll include some 200 AB's candidates because Adrianza wasn't supposed to get 300 AB's in the first place. :)

 

Braves: Culberson 

Cards: Yairo Munoz

D-Backs: Marte

Dodgers: Muncy, Chris Taylor, Kike Hernandez

Mets: McNeil and Flores (I cheated... Flores was only .736 but Adrianza was only .680)

Orioles: Villar (I cheated... he was only .729 and I'm only counting 200 AB's with the Orioles and not the Brewers but... Adrianza got stretched to .750 so... he's on my list)

Pirates: Adam Frazier

Rays: Wendle and Robertson (throw in Brad Miller... he's inexpensive now and looking for work). 

Red Sox: Holt

Reds: He's expensive now but Scooter was once bargain basement. 

Tigers: Our favorite Niko Goodrum was close at .747 

 

Also Aledmys Diaz who was traded to Houston for a 24th ranked prospect. He cleared the .750 mark with the Jays last year and was paid 2M.  

 

Fifth...

 

The reason it's hard (For the Twins) to find a middle infielder who can't surpass .750 OPS is because they consistently settle for guys who produce at a .680 clip. 

 

If they can't find better offensive production than Adrianza... there is no reason for me to get up tomorrow morning.:)

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#42 Riverbrian

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 10:54 PM

 

Except these are people and it's not that simple. It also has to be a player willing to be a backup and one who can perform off the bench, on a moment's notice, often while cold.

 

Most player's who are "good enough to be a starter" want to be starters, not sign in Minnesota to sit on the bench and pray for a teammate's injury, illness, or suspension. Most player's who excelled their whole young lives until MLB have never sat on the bench at all.

 

So don't bench them and make them atrophy. Promise them that if they out-perform the others they will get the playing time. 

 

If I could change baseball... I'd strike the word "back-up" from the lexicon. I'd call them players who didn't play as well as the others. 

 

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#43 Aerodeliria

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 11:43 PM

Pitching and the infield are two places the Twins need help. I think they are not that far from being very, very competitive--especially in the Central Heating Division. I'd like to land at least one infielder of decent quality.

 

To be frank, I'm not really all that comfortable with Polanco winging throws from the shortstop side of 2nd base.

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#44 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 07:08 AM

 

Yes, But there are a decent number of professional middle infielders...including players that have not yet had the opportunity to post a qualifying 750...that have materially better offensive upside than Adrianna...that have the potential to provide a pretty good bat in the role. Go get one of them...or at least explore the cost. Not easy, but I didn’t insinuate that it should be. And I agree that if we define “can OPS 750” to mean “has had qualifying seasons OPS’ing 750”...then you’re not realistically going to acquire that for the utility role.

 

Well, when you advocate "go get two of them" - it sure sounds like you think it's easy. Or it insinuates you don't realize how rare it is for middle infielders to get to that mark.  

 

What you suggest, of course, sounds good. I don't deny that.What I deny is how feasible it is.It's like my "Just go get a gold glove catcher with a 1.000 OPS!" - of course that would be great.But when the rubber meets the road....can that even happen?

 

Only 35 non-1B last year managed that kind of OPS.Among shortstops with 300 at-bats - Ehire was good enough with the bat to be a STARTING shortstop.It's not that your plan doesn't work in theory, it's that it doesn't work when you view the position through the lens of scarcity.  

 

Compare Ehire to other utility infielders and how does he stack up?The answer, based on facts, is that he stacks up pretty well.Better than average in fact.

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#45 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 07:12 AM

 

First of all... I'm not sure where you are getting .750 from? 

 

Second of all... If you are making a projection that he will produce a .750 OPS and if you are right. Adrianza becomes just another example in my eyes of how the Twins screwed up again in 2018 when it came to playing time decisions and playing time allocation. .That OPS is Grossman and Field type production. 

 

Third...

 

Murphy, Asdrubal, LeMahieu, Lowrie, Dietrich and Desclasco are all middle infield players who were all legitimately over .750 last year and available right now. Kinsler, Schoop, Harrison, Beckham and Dozier have been over before.

 

Fourth...

 

If the free agents are just too expensive. We could simply mention bargain basement acquisition players who hit that magic mark with at least 300 AB's. I'll include some 200 AB's candidates because Adrianza wasn't supposed to get 300 AB's in the first place. :)

 

Braves: Culberson 

Cards: Yairo Munoz

D-Backs: Marte

Dodgers: Muncy, Chris Taylor, Kike Hernandez

Mets: McNeil and Flores (I cheated... Flores was only .736 but Adrianza was only .680)

Orioles: Villar (I cheated... he was only .729 and I'm only counting 200 AB's with the Orioles and not the Brewers but... Adrianza got stretched to .750 so... he's on my list)

Pirates: Adam Frazier

Rays: Wendle and Robertson (throw in Brad Miller... he's inexpensive now and looking for work). 

Red Sox: Holt

Reds: He's expensive now but Scooter was once bargain basement. 

Tigers: Our favorite Niko Goodrum was close at .747 

 

 

 

jkcarew came up with .750.I simply said there are not that many guys better than Ehire and his .700ish OPS.And when you take the cheats off of this list, it comes down to about a handful of better utility players in the entire league.That's not because Ehire is some great player, as I said at the beginning, teams field utility infielders like Ehire not because they choose to, but because they have to.The scarcity context of guyswho can do what he does and hit like he does, forces them to.  

 

It's not like all the teams in baseball are too dumb or cheap to employ the legion of players better than Ehire for this role.It's that the legion of players you guys are insinuating exist....don't actually exist.

 

It'd be great if they did though!

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#46 Riverbrian

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 08:20 AM

jkcarew came up with .750. I simply said there are not that many guys better than Ehire and his .700ish OPS. And when you take the cheats off of this list, it comes down to about a handful of better utility players in the entire league. That's not because Ehire is some great player, as I said at the beginning, teams field utility infielders like Ehire not because they choose to, but because they have to. The scarcity context of guys who can do what he does and hit like he does, forces them to.

It's not like all the teams in baseball are too dumb or cheap to employ the legion of players better than Ehire for this role. It's that the legion of players you guys are insinuating exist....don't actually exist.

It'd be great if they did though!

They do exist. Often times the players you think will... don’t. And the players that you think won’t... do and it’s hard to predict obviously.

Right now my concern is pretty simple. If Adrianza was simply signed for a “he’s cheap and fine for getaway days” reason.

They have already screwed up the roster construction and I believe there are plenty of better options at the minimum salary even.

If they signed him because the front office believes he’s the best they can do and he could assume a starting position at a moments notice (including 3B for Sano). Then I have no complaints and I’ll trust those analytics they have that I don’t.

But I swear... if Cron or Polanco or whoever is hitting .185 and the manager doesn’t turn to Adrianza because he isn’t good enough. I’ll be pissed.

I simply don’t like the word back-up. The backups will have to start. There are 25 roster spots every spot should compete against the other spots and you have to roster players who can compete.

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#47 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 09:08 AM

 

I simply don’t like the word back-up. The backups will have to start. There are 25 roster spots every spot should compete against the other spots and you have to roster players who can compete.

 

Sure, but there aren't 750 good players.Even good teams, with a lot of money, end up rostering guys we wouldn't call "good". That isn't because all of these teams are too stupid to sign the good players.Or too cheap.There just simply aren't enough of them.The scarcity of such players is a reason to buy in to your flexibility idea, but even then there are limits because the scarcity is pretty significant.  

 

And when it's this significant, it needs to be remembered when we just flippantly throw around ideas like "Welp, we should just get a better player!"It's not that simple and I say that in agreement that we should acquire better players.It's worth pointing out, however, that relative to the rest of the league (which, frankly, is hte only context that truly matters) - the Twins are doing alright having Adrianza as their utility player.  

 

Suggesting they should "upgrade" him goes down a path that isn't nearly as supported by evidence or the reality of scarcity.

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#48 Shaitan

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 09:12 AM

 

So don't bench them and make them atrophy. Promise them that if they out-perform the others they will get the playing time. 

 

If I could change baseball... I'd strike the word "back-up" from the lexicon. I'd call them players who didn't play as well as the others. 

This isn't football. There are only 9 positions and if you don't start, you don't play. Sometimes it takes a headache before Wally Pipp gets the day off.


#49 Riverbrian

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:32 AM

Sure, but there aren't 750 good players. Even good teams, with a lot of money, end up rostering guys we wouldn't call "good". That isn't because all of these teams are too stupid to sign the good players. Or too cheap. There just simply aren't enough of them. The scarcity of such players is a reason to buy in to your flexibility idea, but even then there are limits because the scarcity is pretty significant.

And when it's this significant, it needs to be remembered when we just flippantly throw around ideas like "Welp, we should just get a better player!" It's not that simple and I say that in agreement that we should acquire better players. It's worth pointing out, however, that relative to the rest of the league (which, frankly, is hte only context that truly matters) - the Twins are doing alright having Adrianza as their utility player.

Suggesting they should "upgrade" him goes down a path that isn't nearly as supported by evidence or the reality of scarcity.


It isn’t easy on hand and incredibly easy on the other hand. Nearly every player on the list I put together wasn’t on the list prior. Meaning they got the chance and they produced plus .750.

They got the chance and produced but they won’t get the chance when you say .680 is the best you can do and lock in. The Twins have a real strong painful history of locking in with mediocre to below mediocre talent.

I dont have anybody in mind. I don’t have the data necessary. The front office does and this is where I have to trust them and I will. But if Baldelli won’t play Adrianza when we need him because he isn’t everyday material. I’ll complain.

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#50 Riverbrian

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:42 AM

This isn't football. There are only 9 positions and if you don't start, you don't play. Sometimes it takes a headache before Wally Pipp gets the day off.

It isn’t football. It’s a 162 game schedule. 12 position player roster spots, one of those is a catcher position. That’s two extra players to find playing time for 162 games. I’m theory nobody would have to sit much at all.

There is plenty of playing time for all. There is absolutely no reason to roster anyone as a backup until he earns the right to not play as much by actually not playing well.

If you give a precious 25 man roster spot to a player under the pretext of the won’t play much. You’ve already screwed up and wasted an opportunity to improve your club just to put all your eggs in a fragile basket.

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#51 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:49 AM

 

It isn’t easy on hand and incredibly easy on the other hand. Nearly every player on the list I put together wasn’t on the list prior. Meaning they got the chance and they produced plus .750.

They got the chance and produced but they won’t get the chance when you say .680 is the best you can do and lock in. The Twins have a real strong painful history of locking in with mediocre to below mediocre talent.

I dont have anybody in mind. I don’t have the data necessary. The front office does and this is where I have to trust them and I will. But if Baldelli won’t play Adrianza when we need him because he isn’t everyday material. I’ll complain.

 

I disagree that it is easy on any hand.I'm all for providing opportunity to players with upside, but if it was at all easy to identify than everyone would be doing it.This kind of identification is what separates the wheat from the chaff.

 

Good front offices should be trying, of that I am in lock-step agreement.But it isn't easy to achieve.And if now we're arguing about trying to turn formerly non-productive players into productive ones...I'm all for that too.Hell, the Twins should be doing that with Adrianza if that's the new center of the debate.

 

What needs to be acknowledged, however, is that scarcity and the talent landscape are clearly against the argument that Adrianza can be replaced with ease.In fact, the scarcity and talent landscape indicate the Twins are already at an advantage here relative to most teams.  

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#52 Riverbrian

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:18 AM

I disagree that it is easy on any hand. I'm all for providing opportunity to players with upside, but if it was at all easy to identify than everyone would be doing it. This kind of identification is what separates the wheat from the chaff.

Good front offices should be trying, of that I am in lock-step agreement. But it isn't easy to achieve. And if now we're arguing about trying to turn formerly non-productive players into productive ones...I'm all for that too. Hell, the Twins should be doing that with Adrianza if that's the new center of the debate.

What needs to be acknowledged, however, is that scarcity and the talent landscape are clearly against the argument that Adrianza can be replaced with ease. In fact, the scarcity and talent landscape indicate the Twins are already at an advantage here relative to most teams.


Agree that they are hard to find.

Disagree that they are scarce.

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#53 Minny505

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:20 AM

Adrianza is a solid bench middle infielder. In 2018, he would have been an upgrade on the bench for the following AL playoff teams:

*Yankees

*Red Sox

*Indians

* maybe the Athletics (depends on what you think of Chad Pinder as an infielder)

 

That's 3.5 of the 5 playoff teams in the AL. He's a better bench MI than what the teams the Twins are looking up to have (that's such horrible sentence structure). Sure, we could go the route of the Red Sox or Yankees and throw $4mil to $6mil at the BMI position, but that doesn't mean you get a better player.

 

And during stretches where he has gotten regular playing time he has trended up to a roughly .700 OPS. For a team with a $125mil payroll, paying $8mil for a BMI is not feasible. Even the teams with $200mil+ payrolls don't pay that much for a BMI.

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#54 USAFChief

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:44 AM

 

Adrianza is a solid bench middle infielder. In 2018, he would have been an upgrade on the bench for the following AL playoff teams:

*Yankees

*Red Sox

*Indians

* maybe the Athletics (depends on what you think of Chad Pinder as an infielder)

 

That's 3.5 of the 5 playoff teams in the AL. He's a better bench MI than what the teams the Twins are looking up to have (that's such horrible sentence structure). Sure, we could go the route of the Red Sox or Yankees and throw $4mil to $6mil at the BMI position, but that doesn't mean you get a better player.

 

And during stretches where he has gotten regular playing time he has trended up to a roughly .700 OPS. For a team with a $125mil payroll, paying $8mil for a BMI is not feasible. Even the teams with $200mil+ payrolls don't pay that much for a BMI.

I don't think Adrianza is an "upgrade" over Brock Holt or Neil Walker. YMMV.

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#55 JLease

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:12 PM

 

I don't think Adrianza is an "upgrade" over Brock Holt or Neil Walker. YMMV.

 

bWAR thinks Adrianza was better than Neil Walker last season, and at 4 years younger I think it's a decent bet Adrianza will be better this year too. The year before Neil Walker was getting paid $17M (and was probably not better than Adrianza; the difference in their bWAR is mostly attributed to playing time, as Walker got double the PAs). Walker looks like an ok starter who has gone into the decline phase of his career and will be out of the league within the next two years if he doesn't have a significant bounceback because no one wants to pay $4-5M to an aging backup whose D is slipping and hit tool is vanishing.

 

Brock Holt was better than Adrianza last year, worse the year before. Holt has a better track record overall, Adrianza is younger and cheaper. Odds are pretty good that they'll be pretty similar players this year.

 

As a backup Adrianza is a useful player, especially at this age and at this cost.

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#56 Minny505

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:35 PM

 

I don't think Adrianza is an "upgrade" over Brock Holt or Neil Walker. YMMV.

I would definitely take Adrianza over Walker. 

 

And I was looking at Eduardo Nunez as the BMI for the Red Sox. And in that case, I would rather have Adrianza.

 

Of Nunez, Holt and Kinsler, I would rather have Adrianza going forward. Holt had a career year in 2018, pushing himself into the starting 2B gig. I doubt he does that again. The man was almost out of the league after 2017.

 

Plus, Adrianza is a better fielder than any of the other names mentioned. If Polanco is our opening day SS, we don't have the luxury of signing a 2B/3B limited glove like Holt or Walker. Maybe the Twins brass can swing a trade for Katel Marte from the Dbacks, allowing for a 2B/3B bench bat type instead of a glove first MI.

 

My greater point here is that the BMI for every contending team is more or less at the same level as Adrianza. They will probably all be interchangeable according to ZIPS for 2019.

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#57 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:02 PM

 

Agree that they are hard to find.

Disagree that they are scarce.

 

How are they not scarce?Scarcity means, by definition, that there isn't enough to meet demand.That is almost certainly true.So I'm not sure that's the point you're actually making?

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#58 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:05 PM

 

My greater point here is that the BMI for every contending team is more or less at the same level as Adrianza. They will probably all be interchangeable according to ZIPS for 2019.

 

Yup.One can argue that Adrianza is a bad utility player, but one must ignore facts to do so.  

 

Brock Holt and Marwin Gonzalez were the only two players significantly better in their role than Adrianza last year.Most everyone else is a .675-.725 OPS player with ranges of defensive ability.  

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#59 Shaitan

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:52 PM

 

It isn’t football. It’s a 162 game schedule. 12 position player roster spots, one of those is a catcher position. That’s two extra players to find playing time for 162 games. I’m theory nobody would have to sit much at all.

There is plenty of playing time for all. There is absolutely no reason to roster anyone as a backup until he earns the right to not play as much by actually not playing well.

If you give a precious 25 man roster spot to a player under the pretext of the won’t play much. You’ve already screwed up and wasted an opportunity to improve your club just to put all your eggs in a fragile basket.

 

What is the main point that we're disputing? Is it just the definition of a "backup"? I'm not sure I follow.

 

It would be great to have 25 all-stars on the roster who all got an equal piece of the pie. Realistically, no player who believes himself to be "starting caliber" is going to want to sign with a team as the 25th man on the roster (especially in MN, maybe in NYY). I think that's an unrealistic expectation. Many pro players would rather be a starter on a last place team than a non-starter on a World Series contender. 

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#60 Riverbrian

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:55 PM

 

How are they not scarce?Scarcity means, by definition, that there isn't enough to meet demand.That is almost certainly true.So I'm not sure that's the point you're actually making?

 

My issue is going to be strictly fundamental. 

 

If the Twins front office presents a contract to Adrianza under the thought process that he is only going to play occasionally. If they say that .680 is good enough for an occasional part-time role. 

 

Adrianza gets the roster spot. They end up settling for a ceiling of .680 (my opinion that he has established a ceiling around that mark). 

 

When that roster spot is no longer available. They can no longer sign someone who is capable of producing a .750 OPS. 

 

The Twins are not the only team that does this and now you have roster spots taken up around the league which leads to a self imposed scarcity because teams have hamstrung themselves with lower expectations and limited the availability for players to establish themselves as .750 capable. 

 

Now if the front office believes in Adrianza (I think they might) and believes that Adrianza could play an every day role if Polanco has Tommy John in April or Sano retires from baseball. If they believe that Adrianza is capable of much more. If they believe he is better than Tim Beckham or whoever based on whatever specific set of data they are using to make those determination... than I have no problem with Adrianza.

 

However... it won't take long into the 2019 season (based on usage) for me to determine from my living room with no data,if they (or the manager) believes that Adrianza is capable of competing for a starting job or taking over for a someone failing or hurt. 

 

If they utilitze Adrianza on just get away days. I'll know and this is a fundamental mistake that is immediate when they settle or say good enough for a part time player and it repeats itself over and over again until they stop saying... good enough for a part time player and get serious about each roster position. 

 

 

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