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Article: Twins Trying to Sustain Excellence

minnesota twins max kepler byron buxton miguel sano
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41 replies to this topic

#21 rdehring

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 07:33 AM

Well that headline sure brought out the whips for a good beat down.

 

But thanks for a good look at three players who have the ability to put the Twins in the playoffs this October.Yes, things need to go better throughout the roster than last year.But 2019 is an odd year and if I recall the last two (2017 and 2015) were both better than those pesky even numbered years.  

 

So lets put the whips away guys and get ready for baseball which is only what, 60 days or so away.

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#22 Sconnie

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 08:37 AM

Mike brings this one up regularly, but so far hasn't... honestly I'm a little disappointed.... How does one sustain anything when there are no payroll commitments past 2019 or 2020? Roster turnover of 30% when you lose 100 games is good. Roster turnover of 30% when you win 85 games... well...

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#23 Number3

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 08:38 AM

Not only is the title of this thread cause for my eyebrows to levitate above my receding hair line but the fact that Sano, Buxton and Kepler are key to the Twins' 2019 and beyond is about as unique of a perspective as noticing that the sun rose on the eastern horizon this morning.

 

Where has this guy been, on one of the Mars probes?

Edited by Number3, 14 December 2018 - 08:39 AM.


#24 Vanimal46

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 08:41 AM

Not only is the title of this thread cause for my eyebrows to levitate above my receding hair line but the fact that Sano, Buxton and Kepler are key to the Twins' 2019 and beyond is about as unique of a perspective as noticing that the sun rose on the eastern horizon this morning.


Correct. There is no confusion what the vision is. It's been the same vision since 2015 when Buxton and Sano were called up.

Problem is, there are plenty of concerns whether the Twins are building around players who won't take this organization to the next level.
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#25 SomeGuy

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 10:11 AM

The Twins should be spending this offseason on building and sustaining an elite bullpen. 

 

I don't think it is a coincidence that the top 5 teams in terms of bullpen ERA made the playoffs last year.7 of the top 10 made the playoffs while 9 had winning records.Easily a deeper talent pool in Free Agency compared to SP and position players.

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#26 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 05:41 PM

The Twins should be spending this offseason on building and sustaining an elite bullpen. 
 
I don't think it is a coincidence that the top 5 teams in terms of bullpen ERA made the playoffs last year.7 of the top 10 made the playoffs while 9 had winning records.Easily a deeper talent pool in Free Agency compared to SP and position players.


I know no two pitchers are the same when coming back from injury (especially TJ), but Trevor May’s performance last year almost makes me wanna take a chance on David Phelps, who before tearing his UCL, was just starting to become one of the better relief pitchers in the game.

Obviously, I’d much rather sign Britton, Kimbrel, Ottavino, Robertson, and Miller but since we’re not pursuing those type of markets this offseason, signing Phelps to a 2yr/$10M deal doesn’t seem like an unreasonable gamble; one season to get back on his feet, another to go out and prove he’s the same guy he was in 2016-17.

The result may not be an elite bullpen, but if we can end the offseason, at the very least, having signed Phelps, Blake Parker, and Cody Allen, I’ll have nothing to complain about.

#27 rv78

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 05:56 PM

 

Why can’t they sign Cruz as an everyday DH? How exciting it would be. Much of my frustration the last 10 years is we haven’t had a regular lineup. Who is the last real HR hitting DH we have had?

I believe that was the plan last season with Morrison. How'd that work out?


#28 rv78

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 06:00 PM

As for sustaining excellence, do the writers on this site actually think before they slap an article together? That's the most rediculous title I think I've ever seen on TD.


#29 jokin

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 12:33 AM

 

I believe that was the plan last season with Morrison. How'd that work out?

 

LoMo ≠ Cruz

 

LoMo had a career year in 2017 amidst a very mediocre career.

 

By comparison, some might be surprised to know:

 

Nelson Cruz is the leader in HRs over he last 10 years with 338 dingers.

 

Only Cabrera and Cano have more XBH over the last 10 years.

 

Nelson Cruz has the highest wRC+for all DH's over the last 10 years.

 

Cruz is winding down in his career, as his numbers reflect, but he'd be light years better than a LoMo or Cron-type as the primary DH.

 

 

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Joyous, fact-based and tireless Twins fan for 40+ years, who unfortunately has been characterized as-

 

"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#30 jokin

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 12:34 AM

 

 

As for sustaining excellence, do the writers on this site actually think before they slap an article together? That's the most rediculous title I think I've ever seen on TD.

 

Concur. But there has been a lot of competition....

 

Joyous, fact-based and tireless Twins fan for 40+ years, who unfortunately has been characterized as-

 

"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#31 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 11:09 AM

In all seriousness, I simply disagree with this article’s basic premise that Kepler is part of the foundation for sustained excellence. I too had high hopes but after 1500+ ABs, he simply hasn’t shown himself to even be an average hitting regular outfielder, much less a core player on a good team. I still have hopes that he could be a decent complementary play but that looks like his ceiling, with this floor a nice fourth outfielder. Right now, the core Players on this team are Rosario and Polanco, with hopes that Sano and Buxton can join them , With the further hope that Cave and Garver can’t be nice complementary pieces.

The big improvement I am hoping for from this Front office is that they don’t become wed to previous decisions and evaluate talent realistically. Kepler Has had his “free look” and now he needs to earn his at bats, initially by coming off the bench behind the two outfielders that outplayed him last year, Rosario and Cave, and Buxton who is upside is just too big to ignore. The old front office would stubbornly continue to run him out there every day in the hope that he would get better and meet with they had projected. Time to be more realistic about that. Performance matters.

#32 howieramone2

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 12:15 PM

 

. Making it to a one game play off and losing?

Did you know they were the first team in the history of baseball to go from losing 100 games, to making the playoffs?


#33 howieramone2

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 12:26 PM

 

Mike brings this one up regularly, but so far hasn't... honestly I'm a little disappointed.... How does one sustain anything when there are no payroll commitments past 2019 or 2020? Roster turnover of 30% when you lose 100 games is good. Roster turnover of 30% when you win 85 games... well...

Don't confuse payroll commitments with player availability. We have one of the top farm systems in all of baseball and 3 or 4 players who are reasonably close. Why don't you ask Mike how much he wants to spend blocking our future stars? As I recall, he also wanted to trade current players, for those with 3,4, or 5 years control. Obviously he wasn't paying attention during the trade deadline.


#34 jorgenswest

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 12:50 PM

Thanks for the article.

I trust the front office’s goal is a path of sustained success. To get there they definitely need to develop the talent of the 27 and below talent.

It is year 3 now and this is their team and their manager. They need results this year. I would set the bar this year as buyers at the deadline. If they can’t make that bar, it is time to look elsewhere for leadership.

#35 ashburyjohn

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 01:35 PM

Did you know they were the first team in the history of baseball to go from losing 100 games, to making the playoffs?

Then that makes them the only team to go from 100 losses to playoffs to irrelevance in 3 consecutive seasons.

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It is not real work unless you would rather be doing something else.


#36 h2oface

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 02:30 PM

 

LoMo ≠ Cruz

Totally agree.

 

But the sad thing is... 

 

LoMo = Cron

 

and that is who they signed.

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#37 h2oface

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 02:44 PM

 

Did you know they were the first team in the history of baseball to go from losing 100 games, to making the playoffs?

 

.....with one of the worst records to make the playoffs all time in 2017, and wouldn't have come close with the same record this year. Not really a big deal in my book, especially since, arguably, with a better manager, they wouldn't have lost 103 the year before after winning 83 in 2015. That kind of graph does not indicate anything sustained to me. Kind of a novelty..... even though a team can and has won the World Series with only 85 regular season wins....... (and one with only 83 wins!) And even though the one game wild card game is called a playoff game...... it is really more like a play-in game to get into the playoffs. 

 

Personally, I am not impressed or enamored by it, since they never should have been so bad in 2016.

Edited by h2oface, 15 December 2018 - 02:50 PM.

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#38 Sconnie

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 03:12 PM

Don't confuse payroll commitments with player availability. We have one of the top farm systems in all of baseball and 3 or 4 players who are reasonably close. Why don't you ask Mike how much he wants to spend blocking our future stars? As I recall, he also wanted to trade current players, for those with 3,4, or 5 years control. Obviously he wasn't paying attention during the trade deadline.

Top farm system gets you what exactly? Having high end players 26-40 on the 40 man roster is critical, but won’t win a World Series.

“Blocking future stars” is just another way is saying that the prospects aren’t better than a decrepit washed up old has-beens.

Polanco and Buxton are fantastic examples of the old regime’s mismanagement of the farm. You’ve got 6 years to graduate a player to the bigs. Buxton is an example of getting promoted too quickly and trading away the incumbent before the heir apparent is ready. Polanco on the other was left too long in the rookie leagues, before he made it to double A, they had to add him to the 40 man and desperation put him on the active roster to sit and rot. Both put in terrible positions due to inadequate free agent signings.

Rather than spend the money for a replacement level player, Polanco languished on the bench.

I get trading big leaguers for pitching prospects but rather than spend the money on a good CF or 4th outfielder they were committed to Buxton flailing away in the bigs. We saw how Buxtons service time got mismanaged with the shenanigan Falvey pulled in Sept.

#39 ewen21

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 06:22 PM

 


Problem is, there are plenty of concerns whether the Twins are building around players who won't take this organization to the next level.

Wouldn't now be the best time to extend them?

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#40 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 06:55 PM

I know Cave had a nice (rookie) year, while Kepler’s was a frustrating one, but are you really gonna crown someone who didn’t even amass 300 at-bats the starting LFer?? While I agree with the premise of the article that Kep’s one of the building block for the future, I don’t necessarily have a problem with having him facing some competition in 2019, throw him at 1B if you have to, but at the end of the day I believe that Kepler’s gonna be a cornerstone in the Twins OF for years to come, and none of Cave, Wade, or even Kirilloff (move Rosie to DH) is gonna change that (unless he gets traded). All the tools are there, we just have to be patient. and eventually we’ll be rewarded with player somewhere in between Yasiel Puig (at worst) and Christian Yelich (at best).
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