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Positional flexibility

marwin astudillo adrianza arraez
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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 08:51 PM

There are some people on this site that have preached that Twins players should be flexible. This year with a couple of new players (Arraez and Marwin Gonzalez) and a new manager, the Twins have demonstrated that they have a roster of players who are flexible. Four players have started at at least four positions, and four more players have started at at least two positions. 

 

I've followed the Twins since they moved to Minnesota and I've never seen a more versatile position player roster. 

 

 

 

 

Marwin Gonzalez--1B (8), 2B (2), SS (1), 3B (32), LF (7), RF (7)

Ehire Adrianza--1B (2), 2B (7), SS (11), 3B (11), RF (2)

Luis Arraez--2B (7), SS (2), 3B (4), LF (5)

Willians Astudillo--1B (4), 2B (1), 3B (8), RF (3), LF (1) C (13)

Max Kepler--RF (59), CF (17)

Eddie Rosario--LF (69), CF (1)

Jake Cave--RF (13), LF (4), CF (2)

Miguel Sanó--3B (33), 1B (2)

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#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 09:10 PM

I think that's a boon and a detriment.

 

It's boon because you have players who can shuffle the diamond. That's good, injuries happen. You need guys like Kepler and Gonzalez to move around a lot.

 

It's a detriment because it means the Twins don't have many dominant defensive players at a position. Notice that the best outfielder in baseball, Buxton, doesn't move positions because OF COURSE HE DOESN'T. If the Twins had a shortstop of that calibre, it'd be the same thing. Or a purely dominant second baseman, who *may* move over to short on occasion.

 

This is a really good roster and I commend the FO for putting it together but it's more of a "let's make this work through sheer body count that doesn't suck" than an actual dominant defensive alignment.

 

But again, the boon is that sheer dominance fails if a single person falters. Pick your poison.

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#3 Thegrin

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 11:59 PM

I love the flexibility of the lineup.I love the steady superiority of our regular outfield, and it doesn't lose much when Cave plays.However, Austudillo, Arrianza, Gonzalez & Arraez do not a competent fielder make.:)


#4 Platoon

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 04:00 AM

To expand on Brock's comments, one could take the Turtle as an example. Some on this site see him as postionally flexible. Others see him as defensively berift at every position he plays. No names will be mentioned to protect freedom of expression. Brock's use off Buxton is semi correct. Semi? Yes, due to the fact that Buxtons enormous athletic ability would likely allow him to play quite a few different positions, albeit not to the caliber that he does CF. Mauer as a catcher v IF is a perfect correlation. That leaves us with the Turtles and Marwins of the world. Good enough to play numerous positions at a sufficient level to be rostered, but never so outstanding that their talent at one spot is so overriding, their manager doesn't want to lose that level of defense. Positional "inflexibility" is a good thing up the middle. Flexibility is easier to take on the edges. Polanco is another good example. On a team with an excellent defensive SS, he would be a perfect candidate for a super IF sub. Plays everyday for his bat at some IF spot. Doesn't "hurt" the team with his glove, and helps with his bat. Nice example of postionally flexible.
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#5 stringer bell

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 06:58 AM

While I agree that the only defensive superstar the Twins have is Buxton, I think it is valuable to point out the players who haven't move--both catcher (other than Astudillo), Schoop, Polanco, and Buxton. In other words, the "regulars" in the center of the diamond are staying put. 

 

The Twins have a bench of multi-position players to fill in capably and often for the eight nominal regulars who have a glove. 

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#6 SQUIRREL

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 07:38 AM

Where’s Brian on this? Surprised he hasn’t written several lengthy posts on the matter! ;)
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#7 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 07:50 AM

 

Where’s Brian on this? Surprised he hasn’t written several lengthy posts on the matter! ;)

Each one goofier than the last.

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#8 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:52 AM

 

Where’s Brian on this? Surprised he hasn’t written several lengthy posts on the matter! ;)

 

I was half tempted to accuse Stringer of trolling Brian.  

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#9 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 10:11 AM

 

I think that's a boon and a detriment.

 

It's boon because you have players who can shuffle the diamond. That's good, injuries happen. You need guys like Kepler and Gonzalez to move around a lot.

 

It's a detriment because it means the Twins don't have many dominant defensive players at a position. Notice that the best outfielder in baseball, Buxton, doesn't move positions because OF COURSE HE DOESN'T. If the Twins had a shortstop of that calibre, it'd be the same thing. Or a purely dominant second baseman, who *may* move over to short on occasion.

 

This is a really good roster and I commend the FO for putting it together but it's more of a "let's make this work through sheer body count that doesn't suck" than an actual dominant defensive alignment.

 

But again, the boon is that sheer dominance fails if a single person falters. Pick your poison.

 

Polanco has been a baller at short. I wish people would quit worrying about him as some kind of defensive liability. He's good there, he hits and he's locked up. One of the best SS's(all around) this club has ever employed. 

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#10 dbminn

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 10:19 AM

The defensive flexibility of Adrianza and Gonzalez have been really important in the first half.

 

Buxton isn't the only excellent defender. Kepler is a very good defensive OF too.By FG def, Buxton and Kepler are the #1 and #2 defensive OF. By DRS, they're tied for third, behind Bellinger and Kiermaier.

Edited by dbminn, 11 July 2019 - 10:20 AM.

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#11 jimbo92107

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 10:41 AM

Positional flexibility is an absolute godsend for the Minnesota Twins. It has allowed Baldelli to fill out a lineup every day without worrying if a player at a certain position even knows where to throw the ball after fielding it. 

 

As beneficial as it is for the team, it also benefits players - especially those that otherwise might not quite star at one position, like Astudillo, but whose bat is too good to leave on the bench. It has also let Baldy give his guys rotational breaks to keep them fresh. Kepler spells Buxton. Torts spells Garver and Castro. Gonzo and Adrianza spell just about everybody on defense. When we look back on this season, the team's ability to spread the load may be a main reason they make it to the end with a relatively healthy roster. 

 

Another benefit has been shifting the defense. Sano has played shortstop on pull shifts for a lefty, and he looked just fine, partly because he played some short in the low minors. And yeah, Buxton could play RF or LF...if you can find somebody better to play center!

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#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 11:17 AM

 

Polanco has been a baller at short. I wish people would quit worrying about him as some kind of defensive liability. He's good there, he hits and he's locked up. One of the best SS's(all around) this club has ever employed. 

I'm not knocking Polanco at all. He's a very good overall player. 

 

But he's not a defensive standout.

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#13 Doomtints

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 11:31 AM

 

There are some people on this site that have preached that Twins players should be flexible. This year with a couple of new players (Arraez and Marwin Gonzalez) and a new manager, the Twins have demonstrated that they have a roster of players who are flexible. Four players have started at at least four positions, and four more players have started at at least two positions. 

 

I've followed the Twins since they moved to Minnesota and I've never seen a more versatile position player roster. 

 

 

 

 

Marwin Gonzalez--1B (8), 2B (2), SS (1), 3B (32), LF (7), RF (7)

Ehire Adrianza--1B (2), 2B (7), SS (11), 3B (11), RF (2)

Luis Arraez--2B (7), SS (2), 3B (4), LF (5)

Willians Astudillo--1B (4), 2B (1), 3B (8), RF (3), LF (1) C (13)

Max Kepler--RF (59), CF (17)

Eddie Rosario--LF (69), CF (1)

Jake Cave--RF (13), LF (4), CF (2)

Miguel Sanó--3B (33), 1B (2)

 

I don't think moving around the OF means that much, that happens all the time. Same with 3B/1B.

 

I think this year's roster has been comparable to previous teams when it comes to flexibility. Astudillo forced himself onto the roster, and Gonzalez/Adrianza are fulfilling their roles. Arraez is the lone surprise.

 

If Sano had not been out, suddenly your list is much less interesting.

Edited by Doomtints, 11 July 2019 - 11:33 AM.

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#14 ashbury

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 03:45 PM

I'm not knocking Polanco at all. He's a very good overall player. 

 

But he's not a defensive standout.

I'm not really a defender of Polanco's defense. But, it's good enough to let the manager write his name in the batting order every day. At SS, that is no small thing - "good enough" there has to be pretty good, no matter how big the bat. He's figured out how to minimize the liability of his arm, a little bit unconventionally for which he and coaches deserves credit, though I cringe every time he throws.

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#15 Riverbrian

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 04:24 PM

There are some people on this site that have preached that Twins players should be flexible.)


I’m not aware of anyone making such claims
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#16 Platoon

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 05:03 PM

Polanco has been a baller at short. I wish people would quit worrying about him as some kind of defensive liability. He's good there, he hits and he's locked up. One of the best SS's(all around) this club has ever employed.

Polanco could be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the defensive shift of anyone in MLB. That times have changed is a good deal for him. Leaving him at the traditional SS position would expose both his arm and his lack of range. Since he now plays roughly a third of the time around or on the right side of 2nd base, his defensive flaws are mitigated. His offense is what I always expected. It's what will guarantee him a roster spot in MLB for the foreseeable, and hopefully considerable future.
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#17 Rosterman

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 05:14 PM

Having this flexibility has worked for (10 injuries and (2) giving someone a rest. They [pretty much have a secondary player at every position if someone would go down, not relying on the minors except in a reserve capacity. Which is good.

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#18 Riverbrian

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 06:06 PM

I think that's a boon and a detriment.

It's boon because you have players who can shuffle the diamond. That's good, injuries happen. You need guys like Kepler and Gonzalez to move around a lot.

It's a detriment because it means the Twins don't have many dominant defensive players at a position. Notice that the best outfielder in baseball, Buxton, doesn't move positions because OF COURSE HE DOESN'T. If the Twins had a shortstop of that calibre, it'd be the same thing. Or a purely dominant second baseman, who *may* move over to short on occasion.

This is a really good roster and I commend the FO for putting it together but it's more of a "let's make this work through sheer body count that doesn't suck" than an actual dominant defensive alignment.

But again, the boon is that sheer dominance fails if a single person falters. Pick your poison.


All 30 have the same detriment. They are combinations of an elite defender or two with guys who hit and play average defense.

The Dodgers play Seager exclusively at SS and Turner exclusively at 3B.

The Cubs play Baez at SS exclusively this year before that it was Russell while Baez moved around.

Having flexibility like the Twins have does not mean you have to have a lack of elite defenders. You can still sign Arenado to play 3B and leave him there while having flexibility elsewhere.

It’s not a detriment in any way shape or form.
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#19 Riverbrian

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 06:09 PM

I was half tempted to accuse Stringer of trolling Brian.


It’s gonna work
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#20 Riverbrian

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 06:13 PM

I don't think moving around the OF means that much, that happens all the time. Same with 3B/1B.

I think this year's roster has been comparable to previous teams when it comes to flexibility. Astudillo forced himself onto the roster, and Gonzalez/Adrianza are fulfilling their roles. Arraez is the lone surprise.

If Sano had not been out, suddenly your list is much less interesting.


The roster management this year isn’t even close to years past.
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