I must not be clear about my point on Dozier and Carroll. I'll summarize:
I think Dozier can be a starting shortstop in the majors, at least for a short period of time while he's cheap. But last year he was overwhelmed in the majors, and overwhelmed in AAA, too, where he only had 200 AB. He needs time in AAA to develop. Then promote him and stick with him through some tough times. That time is not now. He's not ready. He has done NOTHING to prove he is ready.
Carroll is a borderline guy - a great utility guy, a passable starting middle infielder. (He might not be a bad comp for Dozier, though I'm holding some hope Dozier can exceed that level.) I like Carroll. He shouldn't block anyone legitimate, but he's not an embarrassment.
Which brings us to Florimon and Escobar. They aren't going to be passable as anything other than glove-only utility infielders. Neither is ever going to exceed Carroll's current level. Neither has done anything in their minor league history to indicate they can exceed Carroll's current level. I don't see any reason to play either in front of Carroll. The ONLY reason I see to start one of them is to give Dozier time in AAA.
I see your point of view. You could be right, largely on all of them, although I think Carroll is really past the point of being a passable big league starter.
Just because you could be right, doesn't however, mean that you are or will be right. In Dozier's case, I don't really see much value in AAA. Even if he was rushed, now is his opportunity. If he can field like a big league MI, the Twins can put up with some ups and downs with the bat. Florimon showed in his short look last fall, that he can be a spectacular shortstop. His range and arm are at least the equal of Bartlett and his shortstop instincts seem better. Clearly, he needs to be more consistent, but if he can be, then the Twins will be willing to put up with a weak bat.
Using Carroll to back up both makes sense to me. He will certainly get plenty of starts. If either hits a rough patch or suffers a minor injury, Carroll can hold the fort for awhile. Carroll really reminds me of Denny Hocking. A career utility guy who steady with the glove and could hit a bit, but really wasn't an everyday player.
I don't know if either Florimon or Dozier is an everyday player in the big leagues either. But now is the time to find out. With Micheal, Santana, Rosario, Polanco and Goodrum in the minors, the Twins could find a solid or better starters in the near future. If Florimon and/or Dozier can prove to be big league quality middle leaguers, that has trade value. Even if they are only passable, they can hold the fort till better replacements are ready. If it turns out that they aren't really even Carroll good, well, now is the time to find out.
Edited by Jim H, 24 February 2013 - 05:47 PM.