I have been arguing this point for two years now. THe Twins approach to their minor league system is too conservative. A few years ago, when the team was at least a contender for the playoffs it was probably the best approach. But now, as a rebuilding team, it isn't.
Aaron Hicks NEEDS to be the starting OF for the Twins next year. No partial season in AAA. Major league. Same with Gibson in the rotation. Sano and Rosario need to be looked at too during the course of the season. I think the Twins need to keep Joe Benson as a backup OF and see if he can do anything. If the management cannot tell if they are keepers and can be developed they are not doing their jobs and need to be fired. This is our reality going forward.
So, why the hell not? After consecutive 95+ loss seasons they have nothing really to lose. To not do this means that they simply cannot or will not develop young players at the major league level. Listen, this worked in 1982. After a couple of rough years, it paid off. Hrbek(21 years old), Gaetti (22 years old), Puckett(23 years old), Viola(22 years old), Bush, Gagne, and Launder were all players "rushed" from the minors.
Puckett played a short season rookie year, a full season of A+, 21 games at AAA and then to the majors. Viola started in AA, pitched 8 games in AAA the next year before he was called up to the majors. Hrbek played a short rookie year, A-, and A+ when he was called up to the majors. Gaetti short rookie, full A, almost a full year in AA and then late season call up. But, they got to the majors really young, worked out their problems at the major league level, LOST lots of games and but in the end, it all turned out alright.
For those of us pushing for moving prospects into the major leagues faster, I will point out that the 1982 Twins lost 102 games. Plus, when they are losing with these guys, I already can hear the complaining about the "cheap Pohlads" for playing minimum-salary player who should be in the minor leagues. One other thought: While the '82 team was the foundation of tehe '87 world champions, let's not glamorize the 1987 Twins, or lose sight of the fact that they were a severely flawed team with only 2 effective starting pitchers. They caught lightening in a bottle by being in the right division (they won the division with 85 wins), and getting hot at the right time. They took a chance with that core group, and got lucky in '87.
I agree that players who are ready can and should move through the minors quickly. But that is clearly not the case with Sano; 90 errors in the 3 years would make him a 20-year-old DH who struggles to hit breaking pitches.Similarly, someone suggested putting Joe Benson on the 25-man in 2013 "to see what he can do": In 2012 he was demoted early for terrible production, then was injured for most of the remainder of the season. If you recall, he and Parmalee were recalled in 2011, and while Parmalee excelled, Benson looked like a guy snatched out of AA-ball without the tools to play in the major leagues.
Personally, I'll side with Ryan and see if he can pull together a competitive club in 2013 by adding pitching, and give most of these guys at least another year in the minors. Sano is NOT Bryce Harper, and rushing him, Rosaria, Arcia, Benson, et al, onto the major leagues is going to hurt the team in the near term, with no evidence it would help them longer-term.