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Article: Twins Center Field Depth Is Tested

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#1 Cody Christie

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 10:03 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...th-to-be-tested

#2 jokin

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 11:14 PM

Thomas might not be the ideal man for center field but the Twins have to play with the hand they were dealt.

Even if it seems like the hand is a couple cards short...


This was a self-inflicted wound, they dealt this hand to themselves, and now they look quite foolish playing 52-pickup.

#3 twinsnorth49

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 11:27 PM

This was a self-inflicted wound, they dealt this hand to themselves, and now they look quite foolish playing 52-pickup.


+1, as much as I'm ok with the return on Span and Revere, the fact that TR was willing to bluff his way through not having a legitimate CF always baffled me. It was Hicks or Hicks from the beginning, Benson being waived a third of the way in is proof positive if that.

#4 Kwak

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 11:45 PM

All this talk about CF depth? Yikes! There are so many holes on this team that to focus on a short-term problem is myopic. Power-hitting, timely hitting, plain 'ol hitting are a lot bigger problem than CF. Middle infield? Wasn't Sunday's doubleheader sufficient evidence to realize that problem is far worse? No need to even mention the elephant in the room.

#5 jokin

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 11:53 PM

Both middle infield and CF, the most critical players on the field besides the battery-mates, were one-option-only bluffs by TR, that have been called. And neither are "short-term problems"- there aren't any more cards left in the deck for the near-to-intermediate-term, anyways.

#6 mlhouse

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:13 AM

We are not a competitive team so this is really not a problem.

#7 jokin

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:29 AM

We are not a competitive team so this is really not a problem.




We're not a competitive team BECAUSE this is just one of many problems that weren't properly addressed.

#8 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 06:10 AM

This was a self-inflicted wound, they dealt this hand to themselves, and now they look quite foolish playing 52-pickup.


What would you have done different? It's not like the Twins can decide who gets injured and who doesn't. This is just one of those situations where you have multiple injuries at one position. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. When that happens, most franchises have to struggle to fill the spot until some of the injuries get resolved.

#9 Blackjack

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 06:14 AM

Terry Ryan is damned if you do, damned if you don't. After last season they needed pitching, he dealt from a position of strength at the time - centerfielders - most people on here applauded his trades and would have done the same thing if they were the GM but now the perfect storm of injuries has made them a little thin.

In hindsight maybe they should have kept Benson around a little longer - but is an outfielder that hits .189 or a few missed fly balls going to make or break their losing season? I think not.

#10 Thrylos

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 06:33 AM

I just don't get this.


Hicks aside (injuries happen,) the Twins have plenty of replacement level CF depth. Lamenting about the loss of 3 of those (Mastroianni, Benson and Ramirez, the latter not really a CF) while having Thomas, Richardson, Pettit and Morales still around, does not make much sense.

Do the Twins have 2 starting CFs like they did last season? No. Was that an uber luxury in a 99+96 loss team? Yes.

It will be fine. If Thomas does not work, get Richardson until Hicksie is healed or Mastroianni healthy (and Hicksie is not exactly hitting the cover off the ball) and call it a day. You can plug any of those guys and have pretty much the same results.

CF is not much of the problem in this team. Really. If Correia is your best SP, you are doomed even if Kirby were the Centerfielder.

This is like someone with terminal stage cancer complaining about a hangnail.

Edited by Thrylos, 11 June 2013 - 06:37 AM.

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#11 launchingthrees

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 06:40 AM

We are not a competitive team so this is really not a problem.


This. Let's see how they hit. We'll worry about positions in 2 years when it matters.

#12 mike wants wins

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 07:01 AM

Two years? Ugh. I do not blame Ryan, three center fielders are now hurt. Of course, none of those were any good, but that is another issue entirely.

#13 Gernzy

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 07:08 AM

I cannot believe it but I agree with Thrylos! CF is not the reason we are a losing team. We made the correct moves in trading Span and Revere. Benson needed to go as well. We could not have imagined these injures were going to happen. Plus who knows if Benson would do any better then Thomas.

#14 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 07:33 AM

I'm not sure what the fuss is. Forget about Clete Thomas or anyone else and put Arcia there. I know Arcia is not a CF, but this season is lost anyways. Put him in CF for 2 weeks while Hicks is out and see if he's adjusted offensively. I couldn't care less about the defense there as it's not his natural position. This keeps Parmalee in the lineup to see if his development continues.

I agree depth has changed. Trading Span and Revere was likely the right decision. While I don't agree with releasing Benson, it isn't as if people would be clamoring to see him right now.

#15 Shane Wahl

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 07:38 AM

The trades were the correct trades to make. I don't see how anyone could have predicted Worley to be this damn terrible. Maybe bad, but not like this.

Benson didn't need to go anywhere so he would have been available instead of using true organizational filler to fill-in with a likely sub-500 OPS.

#16 Shane Wahl

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 07:40 AM

I honestly don't get the "this isn't our biggest problem" crowd? So . . . smaller problems don't add up to a big one?

#17 mike wants wins

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:12 AM

I honestly don't get the "this isn't our biggest problem" crowd? So . . . smaller problems don't add up to a big one?


Wish I could double like this post. can I love a post?

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#18 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:30 AM

@Shane - You nailed it. "The trades were the correct trades to make. I don't see how anyone could have predicted Worley to be this damn terrible." If Worley was pitching like the Worley we all thought we were getting, the Twins could possibly .500 right now. He has been that terrible. Injuries happen, the next guy has to step up.

#19 big dog

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:03 AM

I'd rather have May and Meyer, however they turn out, than a light-hitting good-fielding CF who gets worn down chasing line drives all over the outfield for the next 5 years. The pitching has to be fixed or nothing else matters. If Hermann/Thomas can't back up Hicks for a couple weeks there are more outfielders to try.

The biggest problem the Twins have right now is that it's not 2014. I think the goal this year is to field a half-competitive team while figuring out who to keep and who to trade/release over the next 18 months. Cycling through minor-league outfielders is part of that. Oh yeah, finding a middle infield and a few reliable starters wouldn't hurt either.

#20 terencemann

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:20 AM

Terry Ryan is damned if you do, damned if you don't. After last season they needed pitching, he dealt from a position of strength at the time - centerfielders - most people on here applauded his trades and would have done the same thing if they were the GM but now the perfect storm of injuries has made them a little thin.

In hindsight maybe they should have kept Benson around a little longer - but is an outfielder that hits .189 or a few missed fly balls going to make or break their losing season? I think not.


My problem with Ryan is that, once he made the trades, he decided that the team's best option was to sacrifice a year of control on Hicks and rush him up the the majors and then leave him there once it was clear he wasn't ready. It's a wasted year no matter what at the ML level (and if they didn't think it was going to be a wasted year, they would have gone after much better pitching than they did) but now they may have wasted one of the better assets they had in the organization at the moment.

#21 chuchadoro

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:41 AM

Just put Hammer Time in CF for a few weeks. It might be hilarious enough to help us forget about Pelfrey, Walters & Co. for a while.

#22 jokin

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 11:40 AM

What would you have done different? It's not like the Twins can decide who gets injured and who doesn't. This is just one of those situations where you have multiple injuries at one position. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. When that happens, most franchises have to struggle to fill the spot until some of the injuries get resolved.


The Twins were rated 3rd overall in CF WAR ratings in 2012 with a total of 6.7. This year? Tied for last place- with a NEGATIVE WAR of -1.2. Project the WAR values out to a full season and this plays out to a difference of 10 wins!

This current situation is not directly related to injuries. The Twins voluntarily made the decision to start the season without a CF that had starting-level experience at one of the 4 critical defensive positions. While most franchises might struggle to fill the gap, there were multiple FA options in the offseason- ranging from very expensive to dirt cheap- to sign as major league-starter-ready Plan B options. Another proven CF option presented itself in the Rangers Julio Borbon at the season outset in the first week of April- who would have likely been acquirable in trade for a prospect worth less than Joe Benson- who BTW, we then gave away to Texas for nothing!

Edited by jokin, 11 June 2013 - 11:43 AM.


#23 BabyJesusBuxton

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 11:48 AM

I think the trades for quality starting pitching prospects with high upside was a must with the Twins situation at the end of the year last year. Especially considering the free agent market. (Just think we could have Edwin Jackson's bloated 5+ ERA right now for the minimal price tag of 52 million over 4 years.. Or Lohse at 33 million/3 years and give up our 2nd round pick)

With that said I think our CF situation now is only a short term issue brought on by injury. Hicks has been improving since his horrid April which is what the Twins want out of him - to continue to develop. People are blowing the arbitration issue way out of proportion. IMO he is more valuable to the Twins now than he will be in his final year of arbitration because of the outfield talent coming up in the minors. If he can play a sound CF while learning to hit MLB pitching he will have a lineup spot for the next few years (until Baby Jesus arrives). The fact that Benson was lost on waivers (not released as some people seem to think) shortens the list of viable options but with the offensive numbers he was putting up in AAA there is no guarantee he would have been called up anyways.

#24 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 11:48 AM

The Twins were rated 3rd overall in CF WAR ratings in 2012 with a total of 6.7. This year? Tied for last place- with a NEGATIVE WAR of -1.2. Project the WAR values out to a full season and this plays out to a difference of 10 wins!

This current situation is not directly related to injuries. The Twins voluntarily made the decision to start the season without a CF that had starting-level experience at one of the 4 critical defensive positions. While most franchises might struggle to fill the gap, there were multiple FA options in the offseason- ranging from very expensive to dirt cheap- to sign as major league-starter-ready Plan B options. Another proven CF option presented itself in the Rangers Julio Borbon at the season outset in the first week of April- who would have likely been acquirable in trade for a prospect worth less than Joe Benson- who BTW, we then gave away to Texas for nothing!


So basically your position is that the Twins should have made a FA acquisition for CF before the season started, or shortly after it did, or possibly not traded Span and/or Revere.

I'm going to disagree. We knew it would be weak, but between Hicks, Ramirez & Mastroianni I thought we would be OK, so I'm OK with not adding. We're basically waiting for Buxton at that position anyway, and Hicks seemed to be a good stopgap (and I think may still be so with a little more experience). Benson had his chance to make the position his in ST and fell on his face, and continued doing so in Rocheser. And Borbon, by the way, is not exactly lighting up the scoreboard at his new team (Chicago NL), with a .591 OPS.

And I'm not going to address the WAR argument, because I think the metric is inherently flawed and doesn't add to my understanding of baseball. I'll accept other metrics for discussion but not WAR.

#25 howieramone1406390264

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:00 PM

My problem with Ryan is that, once he made the trades, he decided that the team's best option was to sacrifice a year of control on Hicks and rush him up the the majors and then leave him there once it was clear he wasn't ready. It's a wasted year no matter what at the ML level (and if they didn't think it was going to be a wasted year, they would have gone after much better pitching than they did) but now they may have wasted one of the better assets they had in the organization at the moment.

How is Hicks learning on the job a wasted year? Get used to it, he won't be the last.

#26 jokin

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:02 PM

So basically your position is that the Twins should have made a FA acquisition for CF before the season started, or shortly after it did, or possibly not traded Span and/or Revere.

I'm going to disagree. We knew it would be weak, but between Hicks, Ramirez & Mastroianni I thought we would be OK, so I'm OK with not adding. We're basically waiting for Buxton at that position anyway, and Hicks seemed to be a good stopgap (and I think may still be so with a little more experience). Benson had his chance to make the position his in ST and fell on his face, and continued doing so in Rocheser. And Borbon, by the way, is not exactly lighting up the scoreboard at his new team (Chicago NL), with a .591 OPS.

And I'm not going to address the WAR argument, because I think the metric is inherently flawed and doesn't add to my understanding of baseball. I'll accept other metrics for discussion but not WAR.


We have to agree to disagree. I'm most definitely NOT OK with not adding a legit Plan B option- and said so at the time. There was certainly nothing to stop them payroll-wise. And there certainly was overwhelming evidence that HIcks was a slow study to reach a level of competence as he climbed the career level-of-difficulty ladder in the minors- and then Ryan expected a seamless jump to the majors moving up NOT one level, but TWO.

You sign a Pods, or bring in a Borbon, to give you a slightly above replacement level potential as their career averages suggest. This is what Borbon is currently giving the Cubs, and getting a Plan B option cost them nothing in acquisition cost.

Regarding the WAR argument, it is comprised of other batting and fielding metrics. The Twins are at the bottom in virtually every batting metric (wRC, wOBA, wRAA) and in the bottom 25% in every fielding metric. Will you accept these as evidence?

#27 old nurse

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:10 PM

The Twins were rated 3rd overall in CF WAR ratings in 2012 with a total of 6.7. This year? Tied for last place- with a NEGATIVE WAR of -1.2. Project the WAR values out to a full season and this plays out to a difference of 10 wins!

This current situation is not directly related to injuries. The Twins voluntarily made the decision to start the season without a CF that had starting-level experience at one of the 4 critical defensive positions. While most franchises might struggle to fill the gap, there were multiple FA options in the offseason- ranging from very expensive to dirt cheap- to sign as major league-starter-ready Plan B options. Another proven CF option presented itself in the Rangers Julio Borbon at the season outset in the first week of April- who would have likely been acquirable in trade for a prospect worth less than Joe Benson- who BTW, we then gave away to Texas for nothing!

If you want to make the WAR argument that Borbon would have made a difference over Hicks then check out Borbon's WAR for this year. It is also negative. Projecting to full season, they would be similar. That is using WAR as you did.

#28 big dog

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:13 PM

To be fair, something clicked in his head the day Benson put on a Frisco Roughriders jersey, not a Rangers jersey. Then he pulled a muscle and missed 9 straight games. "Injury-prone" doesn't even begin to describe him. I think if the Twins had kept him they would have ended up with four injured centerfielders.

#29 Kwak

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:39 PM

Spend FA $ for an extra CF--one who was destined to be at best #4 on the depth chart?! Oh my brother, given all of the posts on TD about awful starting pitching, even you would have screamed that Ryan had lost it and his priorities were out of touch with reality. Trade a minor leaguer for said #4 CF--I certainly hope it ouldn't be one with any potential to evr contribute. These rants indicate (to me) someone who drank the Kool-Aid before the season started about "competitive" and now has realized that there never was a scenario for "competitive" in 2013. Take a nap, no more sugar, and definately no more Kool-Aid!

#30 jokin

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:45 PM

Spend FA $ for an extra CF--one who was destined to be at best #4 on the depth chart?! Oh my brother, given all of the posts on TD about awful starting pitching, even you would have screamed that Ryan had lost it and his priorities were out of touch with reality. Trade a minor leaguer for said #4 CF--I certainly hope it ouldn't be one with any potential to evr contribute. These rants indicate (to me) someone who drank the Kool-Aid before the season started about "competitive" and now has realized that there never was a scenario for "competitive" in 2013. Take a nap, no more sugar, and definately no more Kool-Aid!


I guess you are assuming I have a fondness for sugary beverages. A simple glimpse at my posting history would tell you how utterly wrong you are. The scenario for "competitive" is my own construction, not TRs.

Spending $1M for a proven veteran, or $2.5M for Nate McLouth? Oh brother, indeed. That would definitely break the bank at 1 Twins Way.

Edited by jokin, 11 June 2013 - 12:48 PM.