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How the Twins Front Office Addressed Past Playoff Weaknesses

jorge polanco alex colome luis arraez
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#21 Major League Ready

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 09:41 AM

 

What a bunch of Debbie downers.This team plays division winning baseball and it's not good enough? It is as worse than the years they couldn't touch 500 baseball? I bet you all are the one's that said the 87 Twins were gonna be crap and couldn't even win the division.Its baseball, all kinds of crazy things are going to happen that no one predicted.Did you have the Rays beating the Yankee's and Houston and one game away from a world series last year?I know I didn't.The mighty Yankees with Cole etc got beat and they almost beat the loaded Dodgers.Sure there are flaws and weaknesses on this team but it is a good team.We also are close to getting an infusion of new young talent from the farm so in my mind things have never looked better for the future of this club.Put the negative thinking away and enjoy the season.

 

Thanks for this. I am quite happy to be watching a team win 90-100 games. It was not long ago we were watching 90-100 losses. I am even more pleased that it would appear we are positioned to be good for a number of years. They spent $10M-15M more than I expected and I thought they spent it wisely. I guess the fans that don’t recognize revenue enables spending, you might wonder why they didn’t just go buy better players.

 

I also don’t place great predictive value in 2020 results. A lot of very good players struggled. I would still want Christian Yehlich on my team in 2021. The Twins are returning most of the position players who contributed the most in 2019. Plus, they have added Donaldson and Simmons. Before anyone says what about Rosario … He was 11th in WAR among position players in 2019 and replacing him provided $10M in payroll. I guess it would be fair to say we added Simmons with the savings.

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#22 Linus

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 09:50 AM

I’m happy as heck to be watching a good ball club that will likely make the playoffs. The title of the article is how they addressed past playoff weaknesses. Not seeing it. No way this club gets to or wins the World Series. Way too short on quality pitching.

#23 Nick Nelson

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 10:05 AM

 

Eh. TD is getting to be a bit too homery. This should be a make or break year for the FO and it doesn't look much different than other offseasons. Potentially strong offense that's going to strike out a lot, with a low OBP. No ace. Bullpen heavy pitching staff loaded with quantity over quality and games with 5+ pitchers. Boring baseball.

 

We've had to rely on guys like Littell, Romo, Arreaz, Stashak etc in the playoffs. This is the least I've cared about a Twins team going into a season in over fifteen years.

Reality check: This is not a "make or break year for the FO." They completely turned around a mess of a franchise and have produced the best W% for a Twins team in the past 50 years in 2019/20. I know a lot of fans are cranky about postseason losses but the front office is not being held primarily responsible for that. Nor should they be. They have given themselves plenty of leash.

 

This is just an amazingly cynical and pessimistic attitude in the days ahead of spring training. You're entitled to your negativity but don't accuse those who don't share it of being "homery." This is objectively an elite baseball team. Sorry that's not good enough for you.

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#24 Nick Nelson

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 10:21 AM

I'm just trying to imagine myself from 2016 reading all these comments from people who are bored with winning baseball 

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#25 Trov

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 10:31 AM

Baseball is such an interesting sport that building a team to make the playoffs does not mean you will win the playoffs, and so rarely the best team on paper win in the playoffs.It is a game of failures.The fact we have not won a single playoff game for 18 straight is actually kind of crazy.They are different teams at different times and continue to fail.I mean how many teams in history has had 18 game losing streaks ever, not too many.  

 

The trend that I always found was we never seemed to play like we did during regular season and teams would jump on our mistakes and we would fail to jump on theirs.In short series those mistakes get highlighted so much. I also think over the years different little things can be pointed out that led to failing. 

 

You play the season to make the playoffs and hope you are hot when get there.A single additional player will make little difference in the playoffs.We talk about the need to add pitcher x or player y but we have no clue how either will do until the game is played.Over the long haul we may have idea which player will have more value, but in that single game or series we have no clue. 

 

I am looking forward to the season and hope we can finally get it done.  

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#26 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 10:54 AM

fans should be cranky about 0-18... it's embarrassing. Admittedly this FO only holds 1/3 of those losses, but at some point, this is a monkey that needs to be off our back, and sadly, just one win will do it. My big concern though is that this team doesn't have that ace pitcher to go up against the other team's ace, making that first game very difficult to pull off... and of course once that loss sets in, all the old narratives come back no matter how hard the FO tries to bring in people to get rid of them. 

 

as for make or break, I doubt it, but another 0fer showing should require some accountability across the org. Playoffs may be a crap shoot, but we're well beyond crap shoot numbers. 0-18 speaks to something, and it's not good.

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#27 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 11:02 AM

The Twins have made the postseason in 2017, 2019, and 2020... and Byron Buxton has 6 career postseason plate appearances.

 

Sigh.

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#28 Nick Nelson

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 11:15 AM

 

fans should be cranky about 0-18... it's embarrassing. Admittedly this FO only holds 1/3 of those losses, but at some point, this is a monkey that needs to be off our back, and sadly, just one win will do it. My big concern though is that this team doesn't have that ace pitcher to go up against the other team's ace, making that first game very difficult to pull off... and of course once that loss sets in, all the old narratives come back no matter how hard the FO tries to bring in people to get rid of them. 

How many other AL contenders have a better #1 starter than Kenta Maeda? New York... anyone else? 

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#29 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 11:21 AM

 

How many other AL contenders have a better #1 starter than Kenta Maeda? New York... anyone else? 

I'm not sold on 2021 Kenta being quite as good as 2020 Kenta but he made trackable changes to his approach and the underlying numbers reinforce the idea he'll be a better pitcher going forward than he was with the Dodgers.

 

And I just don't understand why Twins fans seem so reluctant to acknowledge that he's probably going to be very good again this season. I can't remember the last time I saw fans of a team ignore a quality starting pitcher on the team while screaming "we need an ace!!!!11" all day, every day.

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#30 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 11:22 AM

 

Reality check: This is not a "make or break year for the FO." They completely turned around a mess of a franchise and have produced the best W% for a Twins team in the past 50 years in 2019/20. I know a lot of fans are cranky about postseason losses but the front office is not being held primarily responsible for that. Nor should they be. They have given themselves plenty of leash.

 

This is just an amazingly cynical and pessimistic attitude in the days ahead of spring training. You're entitled to your negativity but don't accuse those who don't share it of being "homery." This is objectively an elite baseball team. Sorry that's not good enough for you.

The article in question is simply not good. It's arguing that Colone, a cost saving signing, is how the FO is improving our post-season chances.

 

The reality is that this FO inherited one of the best possible situations in 2017. They had a young team with numerous top 100 prospects only a year removed from challenging for a playoff spot. They had the #1 pick in the draft. They had an owner saying he'd spend money. This was a playoff ready team. They didn't build it. And they failed to augment it. They made a lot of moves, most - not all - are in the meh category. They quit on the team in 2017 but the players didn't. They brought back Molitor when it was clear they shouldn't have done that then they blamed their system failure season on him and brought in Rocco (a good move). It's not clear they know which players are building blocks and which players should not be. It's 2021 and our best hitting prospect and best pitching prospect were still acquired by the previous regime despite this FO having 6 first round picks, including 3 in the top 15. 

 

We might be a playoff team, we should be. But our rotation looks to be middle of the road. Our offense could be bad, especially if the Rooker/Larnich/Kiriloff group can't come up and help out in LF.

 

Nelson Cruz was a good signing and I was in favor of adding Donaldson but that might really be a bad move. 


#31 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 11:23 AM

 

How many other AL contenders have a better #1 starter than Kenta Maeda? New York... anyone else? 

that's fair, but I don't think 2020 answered the questions we had about him when we acquired him given that it was a shortened season.

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#32 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 11:31 AM

 

How many other AL contenders have a better #1 starter than Kenta Maeda? New York... anyone else? 

Honestly, I can't think of anything that says we have a homer problem more than arguing that our 33 year old, 7 WAR career pitcher, is the second best pitcher in the AL. 

 

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#33 Fatbat

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 11:39 AM

I don't even care about the 0-18. What are the next 18 playoff games going to be? 1991 was worst to first. 2021 could likely be world series champion MN Twins! We have plenty of talent thru out the whole team. I do find it amusing how there is always someone that will nitpick something about every player. Back in the 80s and 90s we were built by the farm system. We are finally back to that so we will have many successes thru out the next decade. How many teams in MLB have a serious chance at going 18-0 in their next 18 playoff games maybe 4 or 5? I'd include the Twins in that discussion.

#34 Dman

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 12:02 PM

 

Honestly, I can't think of anything that says we have a homer problem more than arguing that our 33 year old, 7 WAR career pitcher, is the second best pitcher in the AL. 

 

But wasn't he the runner up to the AL CY and his numbers just slightly off of Biebers?He isn't exactly scrub material.The Voting had him ahead of Garrett Cole.Yeah short season, I get it and he is known to wear down but still it looks to me that he ranks right up there with the top pitchers in the AL.He doesn't have to be the second best to be very valuable, but right now that appears to be his status.

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#35 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 12:40 PM

I think the FO did what they could to upgrade the pitching staff by upgrading our IF defense with Simmons at SS and Polanco sliding over to 2B. I live in LA and have seen Simmons live 3-5 times a year for the last few years and many times on TV. He is as good as they say and really helped the crap pitching staff the Angels put out every year. We don't know if Polanco is going to be a great or average defensive 2B, but I think we do know that he'll be at least average and should be better than that. I love Arraez (I think he should be the opening day LF), but it's mostly for his bat. He wasn't very good defensively at 2B so you have to think Polanco is an upgrade. Defense helps pitching, particularly guys who don't have strong strikeout rates like Happ and Dobnak.

 

I would love to have signed a true #1 or $2 starter this offseason but the prices were beyond what the Twins were ever likely to pay. I am a little irritated that the Twins didn't sign a better closer than Colome but I think that's the price of re-signing Cruz who we need for offense after letting Rosario go. This defensive upgrade is the next best way to improve the pitching.  

 

We still have the same problem in playoffs - no true #1 starter and no lights out closer. Maybe Maeda or Berrios can be the first and maybe Colome can be the second, but the odds aren't great. Still, the odds are better than they've been Overall, a fun team to watch and we can actually realistically hope for a playoff berth and maybe even a playoff run. 


#36 Dman

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 12:44 PM

 

The reality is that this FO inherited one of the best possible situations in 2017. They had a young team with numerous top 100 prospects only a year removed from challenging for a playoff spot. They had the #1 pick in the draft. They had an owner saying he'd spend money. This was a playoff ready team. They didn't build it. And they failed to augment it. They made a lot of moves, most - not all - are in the meh category. They quit on the team in 2017 but the players didn't. They brought back Molitor when it was clear they shouldn't have done that then they blamed their system failure season on him and brought in Rocco (a good move). It's not clear they know which players are building blocks and which players should not be. It's 2021 and our best hitting prospect and best pitching prospect were still acquired by the previous regime despite this FO having 6 first round picks, including 3 in the top 15. 

 

 

 

What does this even mean?So you would say Andrew Friedman is a crappy GM because even though he had double the budget the Twins have and started with an ace pitcher he couldn't win the world series until last year with all those advantages so he sucks?I don't get your point?Cashman also should be fired for not delivering?Tampa Bay and Oakland can never be good because they generally trade good players away and use their farm to build their team?You lost me.

 

I get your overall point that on paper the Twins did not improve all that much but unless they have a 200M budget what moves were they going to make to get much better than they are right now?The only potential bad contract on the team right now is Donaldson so what brilliant moves were going to move the needle and keep them within their budget?There is a reason we get a supplemental pick every year as we are a lower revenue team that needs to build through the farm.

 

This is a good team.The FO believes in the players they have and think they can improve on what they did last year.I guess we will have to wait and see.

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#37 prouster

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 12:55 PM

 

The article in question is simply not good. It's arguing that Colone, a cost saving signing, is how the FO is improving our post-season chances.

 

The reality is that this FO inherited one of the best possible situations in 2017. They had a young team with numerous top 100 prospects only a year removed from challenging for a playoff spot. They had the #1 pick in the draft. They had an owner saying he'd spend money. This was a playoff ready team. They didn't build it. And they failed to augment it. They made a lot of moves, most - not all - are in the meh category. They quit on the team in 2017 but the players didn't. They brought back Molitor when it was clear they shouldn't have done that then they blamed their system failure season on him and brought in Rocco (a good move). It's not clear they know which players are building blocks and which players should not be. It's 2021 and our best hitting prospect and best pitching prospect were still acquired by the previous regime despite this FO having 6 first round picks, including 3 in the top 15. 

 

We might be a playoff team, we should be. But our rotation looks to be middle of the road. Our offense could be bad, especially if the Rooker/Larnich/Kiriloff group can't come up and help out in LF.

 

Nelson Cruz was a good signing and I was in favor of adding Donaldson but that might really be a bad move. 

The team lost 100 games in 2016. By then, Buxton had made his catastrophic rookie debut, Sano had raised serious questions about his ability to not strike out and actually tap into his immense raw power in live action, and there were no obviously good pitching prospects other than Berrios, who had just made half a season's worth of starts at the MLB level with an ERA over 8. This was unambiguously not the rosy situation you remember.

 

In only a couple of years, Falvey and Levine have completely overhauled the team's player development system. They have modernized their approach to acquiring and developing pitchers. They have signed and traded for multiple impact players—Maeda, Colome, Donaldson, Odorizzi, and Pineda probably being the most notable. The majority of their transactions have indeed been unremarkable, but that's true of all 30 MLB teams. No one makes major transactions the majority of the time. Not one single team. There are only so many superstars to go around. Nonetheless, Falvey and Levine have built a consistent winner in Minnesota, and they've done so largely by raising the team's floor. This is a good team, and I'm sorry you aren't looking forward to watching them. Yes, it can all break down if certain players under perform or get hurt. But I guess I'd be angry as a Yankees fan if Cole, Judge, Stanton, etc. got hurt. I might believe Cashman didn't do enough during the off-season. I'd probably be wrong, though.

 

 

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#38 nicksaviking

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 01:02 PM

 

Honestly, I can't think of anything that says we have a homer problem more than arguing that our 33 year old, 7 WAR career pitcher, is the second best pitcher in the AL. 

 

Yes, surely no other fans have ever argued that their pitcher who was runner up in the Cy Young voting was the second best pitcher in the league. Only those most homerish of homers in Minnesota would dare pat such a pitcher on the back.

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#39 mikelink45

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 01:33 PM

 

How many other AL contenders have a better #1 starter than Kenta Maeda? New York... anyone else? 

Cleveland, Chicago, A's, Blue Jays https://www.mlb.com/...ading-into-2021

 

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#40 mikelink45

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 01:36 PM

The crazy thing about the playoffs is that everyone has good pitching, good hitting and usually good fielding.The Twins won in 87 and 91 with all those attributes, but more important because they had attitude - Puckett, Hrbek, Morris, Gladden and others would not accept losing. We had some good teams with Mauer and Morneau and a Minnesota Nice attitude.Last two years we had good players and matched up with teams, but who stepped up and said - I am not going to lose? So looking to this year, who has the fire, drive and leadership.Don't say Cruz, he is a great DH, but he has been on the last two playoff teams.  

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