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Kirilloff - LF or RF?

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#1 mudcat14

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 10:12 AM

The linked post from MLB Trade Rumors suggests that Kirilloff will play RF come opening day.I assumed he would be in LF, since Kepler is so well regarded defensively in RF.What are the odds Max slides to the other side of the pasture?

 

link: https://www.mlbtrade...ier-robles.html

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#2 mudcat14

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 10:16 AM

Crap!Either I totally misread the original, or they changed it.Could have sworn it said Kirilloff would play RF.Anyway, it's very unlikely that Kepler would shift over, correct?

 

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#3 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 11:17 AM

Crap!Either I totally misread the original, or they changed it.Could have sworn it said Kirilloff would play RF.Anyway, it's very unlikely that Kepler would shift over, correct?

I don’t think you misread it. Some of these national writers just don’t know the teams as well as we yokels locals do. My bet is the writer saw Kirilloff played in right in the playoff game and ran with it, until someone corrected them.

And of course Kirilloff may end up in right, and he is almost certain to start the year in AAA in any case.
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#4 amjgt

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 11:45 AM

I'll be honest, to me, LF vs RF is a horse a piece. I know there are subtle reasons why you would play a certain guy in one place rather than the other, but it seems very similar.

 

So, I'll ask a question. If Buxton, Kepler and Kirilloff has never played at Target Field or for the Twins and you were starting from scratch, who would play where?

 

Buxton, obviously in CF, but my gut tells me it would be Kepler in LF. He's a better defender than Kirilloff (probably), and I assume over the course of a season, more balls get hit to LF than RF, so why not maximize your defensive strength? Do we know how AK's arm is? I've always thought of Kepler's arm as just fine, but if AK's got a noodle, then maybe he'd be better in LF.

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#5 Doctor Gast

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 11:58 AM

Kiriloff has played primarily RF in the minors. Kiriloff will primarily play LF when called up, subbing Kepler when needed.
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#6 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 12:03 PM

Good question amjgt, I think Kirilloff has a good arm but I am getting mixed signals about the rest of his fielding / run prevention. With Kepler already in right field, and gotten pretty good playing the kasota overhang, I hope the Twins just leave Kepler in right?

What do you think?
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#7 stringer bell

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 01:19 PM

I think that as long as Kepler is around as a corner outfielder, Kirilloff will get his reps in left.
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#8 ScrapTheNickname

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 02:31 PM

That Trade Rumors article is riddled with grammatical mistakes, far more than usual. It did originally say that K. would play in right. Now it says "starting lineup." It's a a free site, and I don't usually criticize them, but this particular article is pretty rough.

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#9 mudcat14

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 05:41 PM

 

That Trade Rumors article is riddled with grammatical mistakes, far more than usual. It did originally say that K. would play in right. Now it says "starting lineup." It's a a free site, and I don't usually criticize them, but this particular article is pretty rough.

 

Now I know I wasn't imagining it.Thanks.As I recall Kirilloff's arm is not considered more than average, at best.I would assume his path to playing time is in LF, at least initially.

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#10 arby58

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 07:40 AM

 

I'll be honest, to me, LF vs RF is a horse a piece. I know there are subtle reasons why you would play a certain guy in one place rather than the other, but it seems very similar.

 

So, I'll ask a question. If Buxton, Kepler and Kirilloff has never played at Target Field or for the Twins and you were starting from scratch, who would play where?

 

Buxton, obviously in CF, but my gut tells me it would be Kepler in LF. He's a better defender than Kirilloff (probably), and I assume over the course of a season, more balls get hit to LF than RF, so why not maximize your defensive strength? Do we know how AK's arm is? I've always thought of Kepler's arm as just fine, but if AK's got a noodle, then maybe he'd be better in LF.

If you look around baseball (now and historically), the stronger defensive corner outfielders have generally played right field rather than left (with all due respect to Barry Bonds and Alex Gordon) - and when 'parking' a player with limited defensive skills in the outfield, it's usually left right than right field (see Harmon Killebrew as a Twins example from the past). Roberto Clemente was arguably the best defensive outfielder of all time (with all due respect to Willie Mays and Paul Blair), and he did it in right field. There are plays a right fielder has to make (long throws to third base being the primary one) that a left fielder doesn't have to make. 

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#11 Nine of twelve

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 08:37 AM

 

If you look around baseball (now and historically), the stronger defensive corner outfielders have generally played right field rather than left (with all due respect to Barry Bonds and Alex Gordon) - and when 'parking' a player with limited defensive skills in the outfield, it's usually left right than right field (see Harmon Killebrew as a Twins example from the past). Roberto Clemente was arguably the best defensive outfielder of all time (with all due respect to Willie Mays and Paul Blair), and he did it in right field. There are plays a right fielder has to make (long throws to third base being the primary one) that a left fielder doesn't have to make. 

As I have said in other threads, LF is the least important defensive position, with the possible exception of pitcher. In relatively recent Twins history we've had Delmon Young and Josh Willingham playing there. Need I say more?

As I have also said in other threads, limiting the discussion to Kiriloff is not how I would look at it. The ideal outfield situation is to have four players, each of whom can play at least two positions, and to have at least two players who can play each position. In addition, a team should have a utility player who can play outfield as well. From there, depending on who has the day off, you put the three starters into the best defensive alignment.


#12 amjgt

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 01:27 PM

I'd be curious to see the analytics of balls in play to LF vs RF. Line drives vs fly balls, etc.

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#13 ashbury

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 01:48 PM

I'd be curious to see the analytics of balls in play to LF vs RF. Line drives vs fly balls, etc.

Concur. I think Range Factors tend to be similar for LFers and RFers (both 33% lower than for CF), but not every Fielding Chance is created equal.
 

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