What Do The Twins Do If Morneau Can't Go?
12 replies to this topic
Posted 14 January 2012 - 09:12 AM
A lot of names are thrown around about backup plans if Morneau isn't right this year. The first problem with those plans is: none of them are likely to produce like Justin Morneau. The second problem is that they all have such significant risks. 1) Mauer - But then Doumit is the fulltime catcher. I can't see either his defense or his body lasting long as a fulltime catcher. 2) Doumit - Ok, but then who is DH? One way or the other, I think this means a platoon of Hughes and Plouffe, which also means Ben Revere is the full time left fielder. 3) Parmelee - I'm as optimistic as anyone about his chance to have a MLB career. But rushing the kid to play full time after completely skipping AAA seems like the best method to jeopardize that. 4) The kid they got from Pittsburgh - Wow. Talk about reaching. I know we've been talking about how the Twins should spend $1-$2M on a relief pitcher, and that still is a higher priority, but I would sure like to see another $1-$2M spent on a good bat, even if he can only play DH. Talk about a low risk, low cost, high impact move....
Posted 14 January 2012 - 01:45 PM
There's no great answer, unfortunately. I think the best approach would be to alternate Mauer and Doumit between C/1B/DH, while hoping that someone like J.R. Towles, Steven Pearce or Sean Burroughs can emerge as a legitimate third piece in that rotation.
Posted 14 January 2012 - 01:51 PM
I'll just mention that Aaron Bates should be considered an option early in the season if Parmelee struggles in Rochester. Bates joined the Red Wings last year in early May and hit .316/.404 with a bunch of extra base hits. He's not young, but he was a 3rd round pick by the Red Sox in 2006 who worked his way up to the Boston lineup by the end of the 2009 season. I'd consider him before Pearce, or as a bench guy should they use the Doumit/Mauer split at 1B as well.
Posted 14 January 2012 - 02:19 PM
The kid they got from Pittsburgh - Wow. Talk about reaching.
Pearce has been very talented in the minors - hitting .292/.367/.519. That of course has not translated into major league success but it is possible that he is a slow-developer that could emerge like a Casey Kotchman.
While Bates put up some impressive numbers at Rochester, a lot of that seems BABIP-driven. Yes, he had a solid 23% line drive rate but the .407 BABIP is likely unsustainable moving forward (although he has been well above .300 for most of his career). At the same time, he is slaughtering the ball in the Puerto Rican Winter League (hitting .356/.396/.556 in 47 PAs), so I think at the very least he's done enough to merit an audition.
Posted 14 January 2012 - 04:09 PM
I like the name of Burroughs, but that illustrates a the key point here: they could have their pick of a bunch of leftover DHs for incredibly cheap. Vlad, Matsui...I might kick the tires on Nady. When Overbay is signing for 1/1, the market just isn't there for these guys. How about Ibanez? Ordonez? Conor Jackson? Carlos Guillen? Isn't an insurance policy worth $1M?
Posted 15 January 2012 - 08:29 PM
they could have their pick of a bunch of leftover DHs for incredibly cheap. Vlad, Matsui...I might kick the tires on Nady.
There is a reason those guys are still on the market -- mainly that they are all spent. We saw last year what happens to a 36-year-old Guerrero when you take him out of a very hitter-friendly ballpark: the power vanishes. Can't imagine him having any more success at Target Field. Matsui encountered the same struggles in Oakland.
Ordonez was one guy who, during the post-season, I thought would be a huge bargain this offseason. Unfortunately, he re-aggravated his knee and required more surgery. This pretty much kept him from performing at the beginning of the 2011 season. Still, if you get him on a minor league deal and he proves to be healthy, he would be a solid right-handed addition but I wouldn't count on a rebound.
Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:33 AM
Spent or no, the point is that if the Twins don't sign someone, they're trotting out some combination of Revere-Plouffe-Hughes in TWO of the lineup spots AND lose their #5 hitter. What's more, there really isn't a left-handed bat on the bench. Getting a non-fielding bat isnt' going to be that expensive, especially in this market. It's pennywise and poundfoolish to not get a little insurance on this season, especially when the best other solution seems to be rushing Parmelee.