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marwin astudillo adrianza arraez
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#21 yarnivek1972

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 07:40 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.


I must have missed all the games where Doug Mientkiewicz played 3b and Corey Koskie played 1b.
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#22 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 07:53 PM

 

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.

I mean, I guess...? It's kind of like saying "he's in the NFL so he's very good at football".

 

Sure, definitely. I'm not knocking Polanco, he's an MLB shortstop. But he's not particularly good at the defensive side of his craft and, until this year, was actually well below average at it. I'm still skeptical about this year's metrics but, at the very least, I'm glad that he has improved somewhat.


#23 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 07:56 PM

 

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

Yikes, no. There's a reason why so few third basemen are in the Hall. It's an underappreciated and quite unique position.

 

Unless you mean that a third baseman can slide to first base, just like a centerfielder can slide to right/left field.

 

But the inverse is certainly not true.


#24 Sconnie

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 08:03 PM

I must have missed all the games where Doug Mientkiewicz played 3b and Corey Koskie played 1b.

2005-11, 3B was played by the likes of Brian Buscher, Tony Batista, LNP, the corpse of Joe Crede, and Danny Valencia. Twins fans were thrilled in 2012 to get the “stellar” play of Trevor Plouffe.

Most of that time, Justin Morneau was playing first base (2011 injury shortened). Imagine having Morneau at the hot corner so you could find a suitable filler at first...

#25 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 08:09 PM

 

2005-11, 3B was played by the likes of Brian Buscher, Tony Batista, LNP, the corpse of Joe Crede, and Danny Valencia. Twins fans were thrilled in 2012 to get the “stellar” play of Trevor Plouffe.

Most of that time, Justin Morneau was playing first base (2011 injury shortened). Imagine having Morneau at the hot corner so you could find a suitable filler at first...

Morneau turned into a pretty good first baseman after a few seasons but I never read a single scouting report that even hinted at his ability to play third (and IIRC, he wasn't even highly viewed at first through the minors). Other than a handful of games at catcher and in the outfield, he never played another position other than first base as a professional.

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#26 DocBauer

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 08:25 PM

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.


And we have a 100% agreement point.

I would venture to say we are close to elite at 1B with Cron as well, despite a few errors on his 2019 resume.

Personally, despite all the various metrics that try to measure defense, it's still the hardest thing to measure in baseball. For example, if a player at a given position...as we'll use SS as a prime example...makes TREMENDOUS highlight real plays but is inconsistent, how good is he really? If a SS makes all the plays, an occasional really good play, but doesn't flash, is he better or worse?

There is a reason most of your lineup is static. There is a reason some guys are bench or rotational players. Again, an example, if Adrianza could hit like Polanco, he'd be penciled in daily.

Versatility doesn't mean you just toss some guy out in the field because he has a glove and won't spike himself. It means he can, most days and most plays, provide all the normal plays and contribute in some way offensively.

The Twins HAVE a roster built that way.
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#27 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:03 PM

 

And we have a 100% agreement point.

I would venture to say we are close to elite at 1B with Cron as well, despite a few errors on his 2019 resume.

Personally, despite all the various metrics that try to measure defense, it's still the hardest thing to measure in baseball. For example, if a player at a given position...as we'll use SS as a prime example...makes TREMENDOUS highlight real plays but is inconsistent, how good is he really? If a SS makes all the plays, an occasional really good play, but doesn't flash, is he better or worse?

There is a reason most of your lineup is static. There is a reason some guys are bench or rotational players. Again, an example, if Adrianza could hit like Polanco, he'd be penciled in daily.

Versatility doesn't mean you just toss some guy out in the field because he has a glove and won't spike himself. It means he can, most days and most plays, provide all the normal plays and contribute in some way offensively.

The Twins HAVE a roster built that way.

I think it's even more complicated than the bold. Positioning and instincts play a role that we, as viewers focused on the batter and ball off the bat, almost never see unless you're there live to see it unfold without cameras.

 

I call it the "Jim Edmonds effect". Jim was a pretty good centerfielder. Not stellar, but pretty good. I lived in SoCal during his prime seasons. He wasn't awesome defensively, but everyone seemed to think he was.

 

Because the guy would lay himself out for a play and make it look spectacular on a highlight reel. It didn't matter whether he was maybe positioned incorrectly and simply wasn't that fast, his Charlie Hustle effect made all the difference in the world to viewers on TV.

 

But if you were to put, say, Torii Hunter next to Jim Edmonds and watch them both play center, it'd be pretty ****ing clear who was *actually* good and who made plays *look* good within a few innings. Where Edmonds would dive and look spectacular, Hunter would glide in and catch it on his feet. Same ball, one is "spectacular" while the other is "nice catch".

 

And then compare them to a guy like Buxton, who is better than either of them by a considerable margin.

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#28 snepp

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:31 PM

 

2005-11, 3B was played by the likes of Brian Buscher, Tony Batista, LNP, the corpse of Joe Crede, and Danny Valencia. Twins fans were thrilled in 2012 to get the “stellar” play of Trevor Plouffe.

 

Brendan Harris is appalled that you left him out of such an elite club.

 

 

 

Long live the Harrischer!

 

 

/nick

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#29 Sconnie

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:53 PM

Morneau turned into a pretty good first baseman after a few seasons but I never read a single scouting report that even hinted at his ability to play third (and IIRC, he wasn't even highly viewed at first through the minors). Other than a handful of games at catcher and in the outfield, he never played another position other than first base as a professional.

exactly - this 2019 team has a special kind of flexibility. One that shouldn’t be downplayed with statements like “the outfield spots are the same” or “first and third are interchangeable”.

#30 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 10:19 PM

 

exactly - this 2019 team has a special kind of flexibility. One that shouldn’t be downplayed with statements like “the outfield spots are the same” or “first and third are interchangeable”.

Oh, I misunderstood your point. Yes, this team has amazing flexibility.

 

And I'd never make the statement "all outfield spots are the same" or "third/first are interchangeable".

 

My only point was that flexibility does not equate greatness. The Twins are decent in the field but hardly exceptional. That's what you get with flexibility. 

 

Whereas if you're great defensively, you're likely locked into a few players. Should one or two of them falter, you suddenly become mediocre or worse.

 

Case in point, look at Minnesota and Cleveland. Minnesota has no real stars, Cleveland has 4-5. Minnesota has 25 legit MLB players (probably more like 27-28), Cleveland has about 15.

 

There's a reason why Minnesota is six games up and I suspect that number will begin to grow again as time goes on. Cleveland had injuries, which sucks... but their injuries led them to a record under .500. Minnesota had a slew of injuries and has yet to play under .500 for even a week.

 

If you can lose 3-4 players in two weeks and still play .500 ball, you're going to do okay for yourself.

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#31 Riverbrian

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 10:43 PM

The secret isn't so much the flexibility. The secret is the depth. 

 

When you have honest to God depth like we have this year. You have no choice, you have to have flexibility. If you don't have flexibility... the depth that you have acquired will be wasted and pointless. If Arraez can only play 2B and Schoop can only play 2B... then every time you play Arraez, Schoop must sit and vice versa. The fact that Arraez can play a decent LF and 3B along with 2B gives you the chance to get that bat into the lineup without killing Schoop in the process. Other players on the roster can share the burden if you will. 

 

If you choose a starting 9... you are forced to roster lesser players for the other 3-4 position player spots. Because if you have 12-13 fairly equal players there would be no reason to go with a starting 9 and kill the other 3-4 fairly equal players. 

 

By not rostering lesser players (LaMarre for example). A team can survive injuries, get occasional rest, compete against each other for playing time. Become Bulletproof. Become Logan Morrison resistant. 

 

By not rostering lesser players... You have 12 - 13 roster positions that can be used for developing talent, for helping us win or for increasing trade value instead of just 9 for that purpose with 3 to 4 throw away's. 12 developing players instead of 9 increases your odds of actually developing it. 

 

And... And... If you are going to roster the kind of depth the Twins currently have, which is 12-13 players who can compete with each other for playing time. You must have flexibility to accommodate... there is no other option. Depth is the secret... flexibility is the by-product. 

 

This 2019 team was exactly what I was talking about last year. This 2019 team was exactly what I was begging for and exactly what I was meeting resistance over.

 

Here it is now... right in front of us all, we've been watching it since the start of the season and yet so many still can't see it despite watching it.

 

We still have posters who want stick Arraez into an every day 2B job next year and just throw away his ability to play 3B and LF. We have posters afraid that Arraez playing occasional LF means that Rosario can't play LF in 2020. They can't see it. 

 

This discussion started by Stringer can't even discuss the topic without it turning into a "Is Polanco good enough to play SS every day" discussion instead. I don't understand the lack of understanding. 

 

Just watch, it's working. Old habits are hard to break I guess.:)

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#32 DocBauer

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 10:51 PM

I think it's even more complicated than the bold. Positioning and instincts play a role that we, as viewers focused on the batter and ball off the bat, almost never see unless you're there live to see it unfold without cameras.
 
I call it the "Jim Edmonds effect". Jim was a pretty good centerfielder. Not stellar, but pretty good. I lived in SoCal during his prime seasons. He wasn't awesome defensively, but everyone seemed to think he was.
 
Because the guy would lay himself out for a play and make it look spectacular on a highlight reel. It didn't matter whether he was maybe positioned incorrectly and simply wasn't that fast, his Charlie Hustle effect made all the difference in the world to viewers on TV.
 
But if you were to put, say, Torii Hunter next to Jim Edmonds and watch them both play center, it'd be pretty ****ing clear who was *actually* good and who made plays *look* good within a few innings. Where Edmonds would dive and look spectacular, Hunter would glide in and catch it on his feet. Same ball, one is "spectacular" while the other is "nice catch".
 
And then compare them to a guy like Buxton, who is better than either of them by a considerable margin.


Agree 100%!

Defensive metrics are great. But there also comes a point where the eye test matters. It's real, not abstract.

Think about Ozzie and Gagne at SS, for example, a few years removed for sure. Ozzie was the real deal! But Gagne was about as true a defensive SS you could find. And yet he never got the credit he deserved.

You are correct about great gloves at certain positions. And it would be great if you could have a great glove everywhere. But we know that's simply not possible. And that brings us back to the eye test, doesn't it?

This team, IMO, is very solid defensively. The biggest problem I have seen, eye test again, are some stupid plays where they tried too hard to make the big out.

Overall, I think the flexibility has been wonderful.
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#33 DocBauer

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 11:09 PM

The secret isn't so much the flexibility. The secret is the depth. 
 
When you have honest to God depth like we have this year. You have no choice, you have to have flexibility. If you don't have flexibility... the depth that you have acquired will be wasted and pointless. If Arraez can only play 2B and Schoop can only play 2B... then every time you play Arraez, Schoop must sit and vice versa. The fact that Arraez can play a decent LF and 3B along with 2B gives you the chance to get that bat into the lineup without killing Schoop in the process. Other players on the roster can share the burden if you will. 
 
If you choose a starting 9... you are forced to roster lesser players for the other 3-4 position player spots. Because if you have 12-13 fairly equal players there would be no reason to go with a starting 9 and kill the other 3-4 fairly equal players. 
 
By not rostering lesser players (LaMarre for example). A team can survive injuries, get occasional rest, compete against each other for playing time. Become Bulletproof. Become Logan Morrison resistant. 
 
By not rostering lesser players... You have 12 - 13 roster positions that can be used for developing talent, for helping us win or for increasing trade value instead of just 9 for that purpose with 3 to 4 throw away's. 12 developing players instead of 9 increases your odds of actually developing it. 
 
And... And... If you are going to roster the kind of depth the Twins currently have, which is 12-13 players who can compete with each other for playing time. You must have flexibility to accommodate... there is no other option. Depth is the secret... flexibility is the by-product. 
 
This 2019 team was exactly what I was talking about last year. This 2019 team was exactly what I was begging for and exactly what I was meeting resistance over.
 
Here it is now... right in front of us all, we've been watching it since the start of the season and yet so many still can't see it despite watching it.
 
We still have posters who want stick Arraez into an every day 2B job next year and just throw away his ability to play 3B and LF. We have posters afraid that Arraez playing occasional LF means that Rosario can't play LF in 2020. They can't see it. 
 
This discussion started by Stringer can't even discuss the topic without it turning into a "Is Polanco good enough to play SS every day" discussion instead. I don't understand the lack of understanding. 
 
Just watch, it's working. Old habits are hard to break I guess.:)


Kind of funny, to a few how the Cubs and Astros got kuddos for putting guys in different positions to put the best lineup on the field, but the Twins doing the same thing isn't the same.

Stating, this is a mild debate and not singling out anyone!

You can love Rocco and his usage, or not. But he really is using his roster to the max at this point. Everyone plays, and everyone, hopefully, contributes. I'm disappointed as hell in Cave, and not crazy about Arreaz learning the OF on the fly due to injury, but It's still working.

Honestly, if you really look at total roster flexibility, you'd see it in the pen also. Parker, better or worse, has largely been given the 9th, with Rogers being the Fireman. We need help here, of course but Rocco is not stagnate in roles. I like that!
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#34 Kelly Vance

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 11:11 PM

Defense is boring. Unless it's bad. 

Supposed to be that way.

 

The Twins' flexibility has allowed them to weather some minor injury storms and play through the injuries without too much of a drop off.Good teams find a way. 

 

 

 

 

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#35 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 11:38 PM

 

Agree 100%!

Defensive metrics are great. But there also comes a point where the eye test matters. It's real, not abstract.

Think about Ozzie and Gagne at SS, for example, a few years removed for sure. Ozzie was the real deal! But Gagne was about as true a defensive SS you could find. And yet he never got the credit he deserved.

You are correct about great gloves at certain positions. And it would be great if you could have a great glove everywhere. But we know that's simply not possible. And that brings us back to the eye test, doesn't it?

This team, IMO, is very solid defensively. The biggest problem I have seen, eye test again, are some stupid plays where they tried too hard to make the big out.

Overall, I think the flexibility has been wonderful.

I'm sorry Doc but you missed my entire point. The eye test didn't really apply to Edmonds because he made plays look hard. But if you put all those plays in context, he wasn't very good because a guy like Hunter made those same plays look easy.

 

I'm not bashing Edmonds, he was good... but he wasn't great.

 

If you look at the defensive metrics - which I haven't - I suspect Hunter was MUCH better, even though Edmonds was heralded as a great centerfielder by the eye test.

 

And, again, haven't checked but I bet Buxton is better than either of them.

 

The eyes lie.

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#36 Platoon

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 03:49 AM

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

Update: Brian is alive and well!
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#37 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 03:56 AM

I agree with Brian / Stringer that defensive positional flexibility has been an important part of the team’s success this year.

Two points I would add to this discussion.

1. In addition to defensive flexibility, I think that Falvey and Levine have done a good job of trying to upgrade every spot on the roster they possibly could. This has resulted in a deep roster that Rocco can use successfully. In the past, the 23-27 guys on the roster were really marginal, and it never felt like Ryan was trying to get anything better than mediocre with those fringe roster spots.

2. In addition to “defensive positional flexibility” and “maximize every roster spot”, the third tenet I am seeing emerge is “ability to put bat on ball.” I was thinking about this when Buxton botched the suicide squeeze play. He’s way down the list of players I would want doing that. When you look at the roster, you see Astudillo clearly at the top, followed by Arraez, Polanco, and Rosario. Those four guys have elite contact skills. I think that skill is almost becoming underrated in the age of launch angles and strikeouts. But come playoff time, I think the ability to put the bat on the ball becomes more valuable. (Also makes me think Kirilloff might have a better future with the club than Lewis.)
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#38 Sconnie

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 05:15 AM

Oh, I misunderstood your point. Yes, this team has amazing flexibility.

And I'd never make the statement "all outfield spots are the same" or "third/first are interchangeable".

My only point was that flexibility does not equate greatness. The Twins are decent in the field but hardly exceptional. That's what you get with flexibility.

Whereas if you're great defensively, you're likely locked into a few players. Should one or two of them falter, you suddenly become mediocre or worse.

Case in point, look at Minnesota and Cleveland. Minnesota has no real stars, Cleveland has 4-5. Minnesota has 25 legit MLB players (probably more like 27-28), Cleveland has about 15.

There's a reason why Minnesota is six games up and I suspect that number will begin to grow again as time goes on. Cleveland had injuries, which sucks... but their injuries led them to a record under .500. Minnesota had a slew of injuries and has yet to play under .500 for even a week.

If you can lose 3-4 players in two weeks and still play .500 ball, you're going to do okay for yourself.

Yarni was responding to a post up thread that seemed to me to over simplify flexibility, I was agreeing and providing additional context, but apparently not very clear on my stance

#39 Riverbrian

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 06:23 AM

 

Kind of funny, to a few how the Cubs and Astros got kuddos for putting guys in different positions to put the best lineup on the field, but the Twins doing the same thing isn't the same.

Stating, this is a mild debate and not singling out anyone!

You can love Rocco and his usage, or not. But he really is using his roster to the max at this point. Everyone plays, and everyone, hopefully, contributes. I'm disappointed as hell in Cave, and not crazy about Arreaz learning the OF on the fly due to injury, but It's still working.

Honestly, if you really look at total roster flexibility, you'd see it in the pen also. Parker, better or worse, has largely been given the 9th, with Rogers being the Fireman. We need help here, of course but Rocco is not stagnate in roles. I like that!

 

Honestly Doc,

 

Very few around here knew what the Cubs and Astros were doing. They got Kuddo's for winning but very few knew how they were winning.  

 

Very few knew what a Marwin was, "Yeah but what position will he play?". 

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#40 Riverbrian

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 06:31 AM

 

I agree with Brian / Stringer that defensive positional flexibility has been an important part of the team’s success this year.

Two points I would add to this discussion.

1. In addition to defensive flexibility, I think that Falvey and Levine have done a good job of trying to upgrade every spot on the roster they possibly could. This has resulted in a deep roster that Rocco can use successfully. In the past, the 23-27 guys on the roster were really marginal, and it never felt like Ryan was trying to get anything better than mediocre with those fringe roster spots.

 

 

Without Flexibility... If you have Polanco at SS, there is no reason to acquire Simmons to play SS. 

 

With Flexibility... Polanco can play 2B and 3B or maybe LF and Simmons can play SS. You can perpetually upgrade every time the opportunity comes along. 

 

Without Flexibility... If you have Polanco at SS, you pass on Simmons and you acquire a lesser player to backup Polanco at SS.

 

This is what Terry Ryan did and this is why it felt the way it did. 

 

 

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