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Front Page: A Three-Step Plan to Drastically Improve the Twins' Infield Defense in 2020

jorge polanco miguel sano
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#21 wsnydes

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:39 PM

 

Mmmm, that would mean changing every infielder from a team that won 101 games the previous year. That, on it's face, seems to be a bit over overreaction. 

 

They didn't win 101 games by playing sound defense though. In a sense, shifting them around might be ideal since it also keeps the same bats in the lineup. The bats will play regardless of where they play in the field. I'm not sold on moving Polanco or Arraez to the hot corner, but there's definitely room for improvement.

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#22 Gdrazman

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 04:31 PM

Polanco's arm at third not going to cut it. Prior to hand injury Cron hitting and specifically fielding was upper echelon. He saved Polanco and Sano many more errors. He needs to be resigned for the 1 year. Focus on starting pitching this year.
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#23 DannySD

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:56 PM

Sign Didi. Polanco's arm can handle 3B just as well as it can handle SS. 


#24 Matthew Taylor

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 11:07 AM

 

I'm open to something like this, but my question is: do we think Polanco's arm can handle third base? It's his biggest weakness (IMHO) at shortstop. 

 

I also just looked up his minor league career. He's only had two starts there above rookie league in his minor league career. He also played nine games there in the majors in 2016. 

 

If he can handle it, I Iike this plan quite a bit, and might be worth keeping in mind for 2021, if not 2020. Sano isn't getting any younger. I'd love to see Polanco get some time at 3B in spring training, or maybe if he plays in a winter league. 

 

Thanks for reading, John. These are all great points. I'm not sure there's a huge difference in arm strength needed between shortstop and third base, with the higher degree of difficulty throws coming from shortstop. Also, we often have our 3B alone on the left side of the infield, requiring a rangier 3B. I think Polanco fits that bill.

 

I agree we should give Polanco a shot at third in Spring Training. That's why the trade route works better than signing a free agent. We can swing the trade at any point if we see that Polanco can handle the hot corner well. The nice thing with Ahmed is that he's just on a one year deal which could fit in with Royce Lewis's timeline of being an everyday player with the Twins (provided he comes up as a SS which is no lock).


#25 Det95Twins

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 04:48 PM

Polanco's problem at short is his absolute lack of fundamentals, especially throwing the ball.He plays shortstop but throws/flips it likes he's playing 2B.I'd move Polanco to 2B, bring up Gordon to play SS, move Sano to 1B and play Gonzalez at 3B.Arraez will be on the bench (I'm still not convinced he'll hit long term and his defense is pretty bad).The OF should be solid if Kepler stays in RF and Buxton can stay healthy.I think Rosario's fielding problems are related to him trying to make a super human effort on every play and not using his head.I hope Garver keeps improving defensively.


#26 Det95Twins

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 04:50 PM

No, you did NOT say good-bye to Cruz.Signing Didi would be worth 3 more wins per year for the 3 games a year he personally kills the Twins all by himself.


#27 Halsey Hall

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 06:13 PM

Brain freeze, Cron not Cruz. 

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#28 DocBauer

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 08:05 PM

Probably get a lot of feedback on this, but I'd leave the infield alone for next season. Call me an optimist, but when I look at how young Aareaz, Polanco and Sano are, I simply can't believe we won't see internal improvement.

Remember how Sano basically missed most of 2018 and was hurt and overweight but has a cannon and improved his foul ball ability?

Remember how athletic Polanco is, has a new, more comfortable throwing motion and missed the first half of 2018? Not to mention put him at SS for "good" after he was bounced around so much.

Remember Arraez was still a rookie, but is a smart, heady player with good baseball instincts who actually held his own wherever he was placed?

I agree with improving defensively and appreciate good defense. And there are "moving" parts over the next season or two with Gordon and Lewis adding to the mix. Not to mention 1B options.

If you really want a short term SS option, why not just stay in house with Adrianza?

But what's wrong with also allowing for experience, growth and development from the young core you have on hand?
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#29 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 08:34 PM

Great thread. I think they had Polanco throw more sidearm this year, and that improved his accuracy? (Or at least ironed out his flaws.) I’d try to sustain that with Polanco one more season. He can look really good at times... I’d give Sano one more season at third... and it will be interesting to see how Arraez holds up over a whole season. Schoop was good in the field. And I love defense. Cron is great with a good thumb.

I’m not opposed to some infield upgrades but it might take more effort or payroll than is warranted, given the pitching situation. Which suggests that Odorizzi or other fly ball pitchers might be good bets for one more year, too.
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#30 stringer bell

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 09:15 PM

 

Great thread. I think they had Polanco throw more sidearm this year, and that improved his accuracy? (Or at least ironed out his flaws.) I’d try to sustain that with Polanco one more season. He can look really good at times... I’d give Sano one more season at third... and it will be interesting to see how Arraez holds up over a whole season. Schoop was good in the field. And I love defense. Cron is great with a good thumb.

I’m not opposed to some infield upgrades but it might take more effort or payroll than is warranted, given the pitching situation. Which suggests that Odorizzi or other fly ball pitchers might be good bets for one more year, too.

I do think that there could be internal improvement from the existing players. I would dispute that either Cron or Schoop are good defenders. While the number of errors committed is one small part of overall defense, they both made a lot of errors compared to others at their position. Neither Cron nor Schoop would be described as having superior range so I can't see that they are good fielders.

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#31 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 10:13 AM

I do think that there could be internal improvement from the existing players. I would dispute that either Cron or Schoop are good defenders. While the number of errors committed is one small part of overall defense, they both made a lot of errors compared to others at their position. Neither Cron nor Schoop would be described as having superior range so I can't see that they are good fielders.

Valid Points.. I assumed Schoop was good in the field, but maybe not. I do feel Schoop is much better around second base than Arraez and has a stronger arm. And the overall hitting profile weighs strongly in favor of Arraez.

With Cron, the front office will have to decide if the thumb injury is what affected his performance in the second half. I’d give Cron the benefit of the doubt but that’s far from a lock, and have no gut feeling either way on what they will do there.
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#32 Linus

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 08:42 AM

I’ve always been a proponent of having Polanco play second. He would be an above average fielder and we keep the bat. Sign Iglesias for a year or two and you are now above average up the middle. Arreaz gets his at bats by playing multiple positions. He’s not great defensively so if he doesn’t hit at an above average level then he doesn’t have much value

#33 stringer bell

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 10:47 AM

 

I’ve always been a proponent of having Polanco play second. He would be an above average fielder and we keep the bat. Sign Iglesias for a year or two and you are now above average up the middle. Arreaz gets his at bats by playing multiple positions. He’s not great defensively so if he doesn’t hit at an above average level then he doesn’t have much value

I think that would make sense except that the Twins already have Gonzalez and Adrianza to be alternates at multiple positions. Granted Gonzalez is an option in the outfield, but adding Arraez to the alternate list would make it really tough for anyone to get sufficient at-bats. I was a proponent of Polanco to second base last year, supplanted by Iglesias. Seems even less likely this year.


#34 Linus

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 08:45 AM

I think that would make sense except that the Twins already have Gonzalez and Adrianza to be alternates at multiple positions. Granted Gonzalez is an option in the outfield, but adding Arraez to the alternate list would make it really tough for anyone to get sufficient at-bats. I was a proponent of Polanco to second base last year, supplanted by Iglesias. Seems even less likely this year.


Probably right. Part of this stems from the fact that I don’t want to count on Arreaz duplicating his rookie year

#35 Det95Twins

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 08:16 AM

Step 1: Sign Josh Donaldson to play 3B.


That's all of the steps.


Signing Donaldson would eat up half the available FA money and we’d have a poor defensive SS and 2B, a new 1B and 2-3 SP that could split time in Rochester. I’d sign a good defensive catcher, move Sano to 1B, move Polanco to 2B, try Gordon or Adrianza at SS and put Gonzalez at 3B. I’d try for two of Keuchel, Wheeler, Roark and Pineda and let the AAA gang take the #5 starter.



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