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Mackey: Gibson Should Start In Bullpen, Carroll On The Bench

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:03 PM

Phil Mackey gives five things to watch/opinions about the Twins spring training. The two that struck me were:

The Twins have already decided they won't use Gibson out of the bullpen, mostly because he has been a starter his entire professional and amateur career. Medlen had previous bullpen experience.
If having Gibson available in September is important, the Twins should reconsider.


Mackey is a little more bullish than I am on this pitching staff. Given that, it makes sense. I was also a little surprised to see this:

The Twins would like everyone to believe Eduardo Escobar and Jamey Carroll are firmly in the mix too, and they are. But shortstop and second base are Florimon and Dozier's spots to lose.


I gotta say, I think it's a real mistake to push Dozier to the majors again. Let the guy get his feet under him in AAA for chrisakes.

Mackey: Pitcher injuries, Joe Benson among things to watch in Florida - Minnesota Twins news | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities ? Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Twins

#2 raindog

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:15 PM

I disagree about putting Gibson in the bullpen. If anything, it could be worse. Relievers are known to just let it fly when they only have to pitch an inning or two, which could be worse for the arm.

#3 Boom Boom

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:31 PM

Why should Dozier need to earn a spot when Florimon doesn't need to earn a spot?

#4 snepp

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:34 PM

Why should Dozier need to earn a spot when Florimon doesn't need to earn a spot?


Who said that?

#5 Boom Boom

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:38 PM

Who said that?

John says he thinks its a mistake to push Dozier to the majors. Doesn't say anything about Mackey presuming that Florimon is a shoe-in.

Considering the MI options the Twins have given themselves, I don't see any combination they can roll out that isn't going to be a complete mess.

Edited by Boom Boom, 13 February 2013 - 03:40 PM.


#6 LoganJones

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:41 PM

What more can Florimon learn in AAA? He is what he is. A rangy flashy shortstop who really doesn't hit much. Dozier on the other hand is flipping to the other side of the diamond, as he's primarily been a shortstop. That might be part of it.

#7 snepp

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:43 PM

I guess I didn't read John's comment as meaning Dozier "needed to earn a spot." I saw it more along the lines of giving him a chance to ease in and see a bit of high level success first after his 2012 disaster of a season.

#8 Boom Boom

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:50 PM

I guess I didn't read John's comment as meaning Dozier "needed to earn a spot." I saw it more along the lines of giving him a chance to ease in and see a bit of high level success first after his 2012 disaster of a season.


I think Dozier would need to completely embarrass himself in ST in order to not be guaranteed a spot. There's just no depth.

#9 snepp

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:56 PM

I think Dozier would need to completely embarrass himself in ST in order to not be guaranteed a spot. There's just no depth.


This is true, the middle infield options are, putting it kindly, dreadful.

#10 TheLeviathan

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:04 PM

As long as we don't give Gibson the "Ol' Slowey" with this bullpen thing I'm at least open to it. Much rather see him starting somewhere though, he needs to build back endurance in a regular fashion rather than spot opportunities.

#11 nicksaviking

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:23 PM

Dozier, sure, I guess there's still some upside, but Florimon should not have a spot locked. If the Twins are serious about trying to win some games (they say they are anyway) then Carroll and his superior OBP probably need to be in the lineup most often, perhaps even in the two hole.

I've already conceded the season though so I would give young guys with promise the nod. It's just that Florimon and Escobar have zero promise. I'd get more excited if the Twins signed Jim Thome and gave him a middle infielder glove.

#12 jokin

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:33 PM

As long as we don't give Gibson the "Ol' Slowey" with this bullpen thing I'm at least open to it. Much rather see him starting somewhere though, he needs to build back endurance in a regular fashion rather than spot opportunities.


Has anyone noticed if Ol' Gibson has been reading The Know-it-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists ?

The Twins have already decided they won't use Gibson out of the bullpen, mostly because he has been a starter his entire professional and amateur career. Medlen had previous bullpen experience.
If having Gibson available in September is important, the Twins should reconsider.


Yeah, that's going to happen. I'm with the Twins FO and Leviathan, here (shocking, I know). Geez people, this isn't rocket science, and a Strasburg/Nats scenario just isn't going to happen this year, Mr. Mackey. Given that the Twins have already made a statement of puntage for 2013, the Twins can experiment with Gibson via a short-innings starting schedule, a 6-man rotation, a 3x3 inning matrix every 5th game, delayed call-up, extended spring training, etc.

#13 jokin

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:38 PM

Dozier, sure, I guess there's still some upside, but Florimon should not have a spot locked. If the Twins are serious about trying to win some games (they say they are anyway) then Carroll and his superior OBP probably need to be in the lineup most often, perhaps even in the two hole.

I've already conceded the season though so I would give young guys with promise the nod. It's just that Florimon and Escobar have zero promise. I'd get more excited if the Twins signed Jim Thome and gave him a middle infielder glove.


Sadly, since they won't move Mauer up or risk experimenting with Parmelee there, last year's 39 year-old, 9-hole hitter is the club's best and only logical option for promotion to the 2-spot.

#14 Shane Wahl

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:50 PM

I don't know what on earth is so wrong about starting Gibson either in EST for a time or in Rochester as a STARTER and limiting his innings substantially there so that he can pitch about 100 for the Twins.

Also, Escobar can't seriously be in consideration. He is far and away the guy who needs more AAA time. Dozier at second is perfectly fine and they should let Carroll and Florimon battle for starting shortstop.

#15 mike wants wins

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:55 PM

Because pitching in the minors is the same wear and tear. Start him in MN, put him in limits, use others to finish his games. If they are tired, use AAAA to supplement.

#16 SweetOne69

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:58 PM

Because pitching in the minors is the same wear and tear. Start him in MN, put him in limits, use others to finish his games. If they are tired, use AAAA to supplement.


While pitching in the minors is the same wear and tear on the pitcher it doesn't have the same effect on the bullpen.

#17 mike wants wins

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:00 PM

That is what AAA is for. Use it.

#18 Shane Wahl

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:40 PM

Because pitching in the minors is the same wear and tear. Start him in MN, put him in limits, use others to finish his games. If they are tired, use AAAA to supplement.


Pitching in the bullpen is a totally different animal, and transitioning in season from the bullpen to the rotation isn't very easy. I have said this repeatedly and maybe it is stupid, but have Andrew Albers be Gibson's lefty replacement after 3, later 4, and finally after 5 innings. Let him pitch 4 games at each innings output (or whatever somewhat equivalent pitch count obviously). If everything goes well that would amount to 48 innings max, leaving 100 to go for the Twins. I would rather have Gibson actually pitch a full damn season again finally, which would mean pitching April through September.

#19 Shane Wahl

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:45 PM

Isn't 2010 the last time he pitched April through (well, into) September? Yeah there might be value in that (as a starter) going forward into 2014.

#20 johnnydakota

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:14 PM

I guess I didn't read John's comment as meaning Dozier "needed to earn a spot." I saw it more along the lines of giving him a chance to ease in and see a bit of high level success first after his 2012 disaster of a season.


let him play and see what he does in spring training, if he needs a half season in rochestor ,fine, but if he earns a shot , let him come north and take his lumps, keep Gardy and his posse away from bus tossing , and let the kid learn this year ..

#21 twinsnorth49

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:28 PM

I'd rather see Gibson ease in as a starter in Rochester, as stated the approach for starting is different that a reliever. Let him build up his strength, work on his speeds and get settled. Escobar may buy Dozier some time to get his head straight in Rochester but realistically he's going to have to show he can handle it this year in MN, I'm not so willing to say he's going to be fine at 2B but considering his bat potential and the alternatives, they may as well try it. He's the only thing at MI I'm remotely interested in or hopeful about.

#22 drivlikejehu

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:23 PM

I'm fine with Gibson starting in the Twins' rotation, if he looks good in spring. The idea of needing him in September is just laughable.

The middle infield situation is boring. The Twins are just punting both spots for the time being, and will unquestionably be the worst team in baseball there.

#23 drjim

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:43 AM

Gibson is healthy and 20 months from surgery. He can go full bore in the rotation. If he earns a rotation spot let him do it and worry about innings later.

#24 Shane Wahl

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:52 AM

It's not about "needing" him in September. It's about having him pitch a full season. And anyone not concerned about his innings in a lost season is not serious about making sure everything is OK for 2014 and beyond with him. They cannot mess this situation up!

#25 LoganJones

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:30 PM

I'm sure the reason they're considering Redwings or EST is to prevent the arb clock from ticking when he's not really producing for the team. If they have him do the Rockies thing, you're blowing service time on what amounts to rehab. While it's pretty silly to worry about a 25 year old's service time, there isn't any sense to use it that way. It's sensible to hang on to pitchers you think are going to be good. through that age 31 season anyway. Although, has his clock already started by virtue of being on the 60 Day DL?

#26 mcrow

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

I think Mackey has it all backwards this time around. I would really hate it if they tried Gibson out of the BP, just seems like the quick warm ups and tossing harder in game would be worse for an arm than starting. Also don't see that it's Dozier's job to lose.

#27 Ultima Ratio

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:41 PM

However remote the scenario, I'd rather have the dilemma of shutting him down early while the Twins are still within 8-10 games -- because we put our five best pitchers out there from the beginning of the season. If we are 8-10 games back by the end of May because we are saving arms, what does it matter at that point. Keep the fans interested as long as possible.
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#28 CRArko

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:44 PM

I was in the "try Gibson in Swarzak's spot" camp, but the points I've seen made here have changed my mind. Short start him in Rochester for a month or two, and then bring him up when feasible.