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The Minnesota Twins Must Test the Water at Triple-A Rochester

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#1 Chris Schad

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:45 AM

Trevor Plouffe, Chris Parmelee, Liam Hendriks and now Vance Worley have all played like baseball gods for the Red Wings after struggling with the Twins. I examined the recent phenomenon here.

Y! SPORTS

#2 John Bonnes

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 09:13 AM

Good story. I'll admit - this is a little uncanny. Why are do many players struggling when they make the leap to MLB after dominating in AAA? I suppose the easy place to point a finger is the coaching staff, but may of them (including the hitting coach and pitching coach) came from AAA.

#3 nicksaviking

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 09:26 AM

Nice article but might I suggest Rochester needs to check the water in Minnesota?

I won't pretend to know the atmosphere in the Twins clubhouse, but surely it's less than ideal considering all the losing the last three seasons. A big deal was made about the Twins losing team leaders like Hunter and Cuddyer. I'm not saying the team is devoid of leaders, but what if they are? What becomes of rookies in a clubhouse mired in a losing mentality when there are no leaders to rely on? I would think a rookie might feel isolated if this were the case. In most workplaces, new guys often take the blame and/or get ignored when things in the company are looking bleak.

Your point about what may happen to Gibson once called up to the big leagues is a good one considering this trend.

#4 Shane Wahl

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:09 AM

Trevor Plouffe played a BUNCH of AAA and wasn't doing anything outside of what he is doing now for the Twins (really, his offense isn't that bad, but for a dip in homers) aside from his 2011 season in AAA where he went off. It was also his fourth season there! Comparing him to Parmelee is just very off. Parmelee has spent too little time in AAA and that is because the Twins mistakenly believe that the SSS in September and ST mean more than years of minor league ball. He should have been in AAA from April until August or so of last year. I bet you we'd be seeing a different player right now. Of course sending him back down NOW is a problem.

Hendriks is similar to Parmelee, but his K/9 drop in Rochester in 2011 from previous seasons should have sounded alarms and he should have stayed in Rochester until it came up over 7 or so.

Worley is just scared to throw strikes right now because he gets pounded often when he does. He needs some confidence for about 4 starts in Rochester and then try again.

#5 LaBombo

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 05:08 PM

...In most workplaces, new guys often take the blame and/or get ignored when things in the company are looking bleak...

Good points. But with respect to many fans, at least, this won't be a problem if he gets called up. The Twins already have a guy they can blame almost anything on. Hint: he's batting .339, and the rest of the Twins are batting .229 (hat tip to AG).

#6 TheLeviathan

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 05:53 PM

I don't understand the surprise about Plouffe. He's never been a particularly good hitter in the minors, not bad, but nothing special. It's a bit out of the norm to expect a guy to trend to be a significantly better player against superior competition.

#7 Rosterman

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 05:57 PM

Plouffe and Parmelee never tore the cover off the bull at their various minor league stops, although they did shine a bit when they got to AAA. Is it the coaching? Do we expect more from prospects overall. Yes, Plouffe was a high-drafted high schooler who never ended up at shortstop in the bigs. Parmelee is an adequate batter, but is replaceable by pretty much any other AAAA guy you can find for a year or two.
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#8 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 06:17 PM

Is it the coaching or the competition? I'd say a bit of both personally. It's not like these guys were getting lucky in Rochester. They destroyed their opponents. The inability to hit a 95 MPH fastball doesn't suddenly show up when being promoted from AAA to MLB.


As a side note, I remember reading many years ago during Atlanta's heyday that their minor league coaching was so good that their players were ready for MLB as soon as they were called up. I never got that feeling with most Minnesota players, as so few shined right away. Mauer was one. Morneau was pretty good too until he struggled in his sophomore year, but Cuddy and Kubes got jerked around quite a bit as did a number of other core players.

#9 TheLeviathan

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 06:43 PM

What amazes me about Parmalee is that the deal is that he can't hit fastballs, but isn't that what he saw mostly at AAA? We generally hear it's the MLB-caliber breaking stuff they aren't exposed to in the minors, but is it fastballs too?

It's hard to explain just how much he pounded AAA if he's got an issue hitting fastballs.