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Marwin Gonzalez

versatility 5 for 5 contract third base defense
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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 09:20 AM

Today marks the last day that the Twins get to beat up on the Baltimore Orioles. Right now, the team is riding high with the top OPS and slugging percentage in MLB. On the position player side, there has been only one disappointment and that is the subject of this thread--Marwin Gonzalez.

 

Let's face it, Gonzalez has been poor at the plate. He's hitting .164 and his OPS (.488) is lower than the team's slugging percentage.Talk in the game threads on this site is to trade him, release him, bat him ninth or bench him. I don't see any statistic (advanced or otherwise) that suggests that Marwin has been particularly unlucky. Yet Gonzalez has been a regular with almost 80 plate appearances in the first 24 games. 

 

I liked the signing when the Twins acquired Marwin and I still do. I think that Baldelli is correct in going with him as the principal third baseman and I think his offensive performance will improve. Gonzalez started slowly last year and ended up with a 102 OPS+ for the season. It is early yet, there are 138 games yet to be played. If Marwin were to go 5-5 today with a double and a homer (for instance), his numbers would look OK, that is the way the early season works. Other veteran players have had lousy starts and came back to have good seasons. As a switch-hitter, Gonzalez offers some balance to the lineup and with everyone else raking, the team can afford to be patient. 

 

On the other hand, we're not talking about Trout or Altuve here. Gonzalez is a good player with a lifetime OPS+ of 101, enhanced by a career year two years ago. His biggest asset has been his versatility, with the ability to be plugged in almost anywhere and hit and field competently. I don't think the leash should be too long and the Twins do have a third baseman working back from injury right now. 

 

Baseball Reference (and my eyes) say that Gonzalez has been good at third base so far this year. When Sano returns, he can be freed to be the guy who starts almost any place and is a solid veteran and a threat at the plate. It can't hurt to have quality depth in a long season and I think Marwin Gonzalez will provide that depth and versatility for the Twins has he did for the Astros.

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#2 MMMordabito

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 09:29 AM

I just wish one of the reporters would directly ask Baldelli after a game ... "Do you think Marwin Gonzalez is taking good at-bats?  

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#3 drivlikejehu

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 09:36 AM

If you don't see any statistic showing Gonzalez as being unlucky, you didn't look at all. His BABIP is .192 compared to a career average of .306.

 

His plate discipline has regressed a bit . . . he's definitely had a subpar stretch at the plate. But at this point, odds are that he's the same MLB-average hitter that he was expected to be.

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#4 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 12:33 PM

If you don't see any statistic showing Gonzalez as being unlucky, you didn't look at all. His BABIP is .192 compared to a career average of .306.

His plate discipline has regressed a bit . . . he's definitely had a subpar stretch at the plate. But at this point, odds are that he's the same MLB-average hitter that he was expected to be.


Part (but not all) of that babip drop is because his line drive % is way down, and his groundball % is way up.
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#5 jorgenswest

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 12:45 PM

Part (but not all) of that babip drop is because his line drive % is way down, and his groundball % is way up.


Line drive rate stabilizes at 600 balls in play which is about 218 games started.

#6 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 06:13 PM

Line drive rate stabilizes at 600 balls in play which is about 218 games started.


Do you have a link for that? I'm skeptical that it would take that many balls in play for ld% to stabilize.

#7 jorgenswest

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 06:18 PM

Do you have a link for that? I'm skeptical that it would take that many balls in play for ld% to stabilize.

https://www.freezest...ntasy-baseball/

https://www.baseball...size-after-all/

Edited by jorgenswest, 28 April 2019 - 06:20 PM.

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#8 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 06:24 PM

https://www.freezest...ntasy-baseball/

https://www.baseball...size-after-all/


Thanks for that.
But, I can't help but notice this passage:

"What the stabilizing point means is that a player is likely to repeat his performance if his skills remain exactly the same. It is not a predictor of future performance. A player who changes his approach or gains/loses skills renders the previous sample size data to be somewhat meaningless."

So, the lower LD% could be because it hasn't stabilized yet.
But, it could also be because his skills have declined.

Do we want to give him 800 AB's at this level of performance to find out which one it is?
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#9 cardsfan

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 06:39 PM

A utility type should have been developed in the minors. $20 million.
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#10 AZTwin

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 06:42 PM

A utility type should have been developed in the minors. $20 million.


Imagine how many years of Nick Punto we could have gotten for that price
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#11 jorgenswest

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 06:50 PM

Thanks for that.
But, I can't help but notice this passage:
"What the stabilizing point means is that a player is likely to repeat his performance if his skills remain exactly the same. It is not a predictor of future performance. A player who changes his approach or gains/loses skills renders the previous sample size data to be somewhat meaningless."
So, the lower LD% could be because it hasn't stabilized yet.
But, it could also be because his skills have declined.
Do we want to give him 800 AB's at this level of performance to find out which one it is?


Of course not, line drive percentage is useless for an indicator of performance. There are better indicators that need a small sample like exit velocity.

#12 Blake

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 06:54 PM

Right now, the team can afford to have a bat like Marwin's. However, once the team cools off, and if Marwin's bat remains a liability, then it will be time to look for a solution.

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#13 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 07:03 PM

With the Twins utilizing shifts more than ever (I think), wouldn't that result in the need for a better fielding third baseman, with good range and good hands and arm, because of where the third baseman is positioned in various shifts? I submitthat Gonzales has more range than Sano and is a better overall fielder than Sano. If Sano is handed 3B upon his return, how will that affect the Twins' use of shifts?

Edited by tarheeltwinsfan, 28 April 2019 - 07:04 PM.

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#14 Nine of twelve

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 07:10 PM

Agree that Sano almost certainly has less range than Gonzalez but he has a cannon, so if the shifts are well planned and he's positioned optimally he should be able to throw out more batter-runners than just about anyone.

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#15 old nurse

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 07:49 PM

 

With the Twins utilizing shifts more than ever (I think), wouldn't that result in the need for a better fielding third baseman, with good range and good hands and arm, because of where the third baseman is positioned in various shifts? I submitthat Gonzales has more range than Sano and is a better overall fielder than Sano. If Sano is handed 3B upon his return, how will that affect the Twins' use of shifts?

If the shift is working the ball is going to where Sano aint, the other side of the field.

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#16 gil4

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 07:52 PM

 

Imagine how many years of Nick Punto we could have gotten for that price

His last contract with the Twins was 2yr/$8M (B-R converts it to $4.6M/yr in 2019 $$). So for 20M, we could have has 4 - 5 yrs from a career 76 OPS+ hitter.The two years we paid $4M each for had OPS+ of 68 and 71.  

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#17 Shaitan

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 08:10 PM

They kept saying Morrison would right the ship last year too. Or, in years past, I heard that constantly about Rondell White.

 

But Marwin is different. He was signed as depth instead of as a savior free agent. He'll get fewer AB when Sano returns. Crisis averted. If he gets hot, they'll get him in the lineup when it happens.

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#18 Seth Stohs

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 09:51 PM

 

They kept saying Morrison would right the ship last year too. Or, in years past, I heard that constantly about Rondell White.

 

But Marwin is different. He was signed as depth instead of as a savior free agent. He'll get fewer AB when Sano returns. Crisis averted. If he gets hot, they'll get him in the lineup when it happens.

 

If Morrison or White would have been healthy, their numbers probably would have been in line with their career numbers. Likewise, when Gonzalez gets to 400-500 plate appearances at the end of the season, his OPS will be in that .670-.730 range like it has been four of the last five years. The .900 OPS season was the outlier, we assume. But he's also not going to stay at .450 OPS either (I assume, and again, if healthy). 

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#19 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 10:45 PM

Honestly, I wouldn’t be suprised if this situation plays out like it did for Carlos Santana, where he left his longtime team (Indians) for another (Phillies) only to eventually end up being traded back the following season...

#20 ScrapTheNickname

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 11:16 PM

If Morrison or White would have been healthy, their numbers probably would have been in line with their career numbers. Likewise, when Gonzalez gets to 400-500 plate appearances at the end of the season, his OPS will be in that .670-.730 range like it has been four of the last five years. The .900 OPS season was the outlier, we assume. But he's also not going to stay at .450 OPS either (I assume, and again, if healthy).


I believe Logan Morrison was healthy during his time with the Twins.
He injured his hip in mid-August.
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