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Twins Dislike Platoons

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#1 Alex

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:27 PM

Basically, the GM nor Manager believe in platooning:

Platoons not attractive to Twins - TwinCities.com

#2 notoriousgod71

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:31 PM

"If you have to, that's another alternative," Ryan said. "On this club, who would you want to platoon?"


Simply the best quote of all-time.

#3 snepp

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:45 PM

"We don't platoon here much -- never have," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said recently. "Tom Kelly hated it,


Yet that didn't stop Kelly from employing them if it meant having a better chance of winning.


"I don't recall ever having a platoon," Gardenhire said. "I'm not against it. I'll tell you that. I wouldn't have a problem having a platoon if it fits. If it makes sense numbers-wise and it works, then you go with it."


Like letting Jacque Jones rack up an incredibly putrid OPS against lefties as a corner outfielder, when most any righty with a pulse could have performed dramatically better?

#4 Pius Jefferson

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:50 PM

"Tom Kelly hated it, and Ron Gardenhire I don't think is all that excited about platooning. I don't think he likes to platoon players at all. I don't either."


TK may have hated it but he used it in 1991. Oh, and just a hunch that no manager likes platoon players, they just understand that it's sometimes part of putting together the best possible lineup.

#5 stringer bell

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:58 PM

Not a real articulate reply from Ryan, but in fact given the 13-man pitching staff, it is pretty hard to have a firm platoon. So, the Twins need better starting pitching, if they want the opportunity to platoon as silly as that sounds. There are guys with severe platoon splits, but with so little roster space it is tough to commit two guys to one position. A modified platoon is possible--for example having a switch hitter like Escobar getting starts against right handers for Plouffe and Dozier and then getting at bats vs. left handers replacing Florimon. Right handers start somewhere between 2/3s and 3/4s of games, so the RH hitting half of a platoon would basically be a bench player.

#6 Shane Wahl

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 11:17 PM

Plouffe and Parmelee in RF next year after Sano's arrival.

#7 Thegrin

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 04:24 AM

Berardino writes a good article. The "Thread Starter" makes a false assumption with the title: "More evidence this organization is stuck in the mud?" I don't think the Twins are "stuck in the mud" at all. They are, however, stuck with some terrible pitching and a lot of young, unproven hitters. I've advocated for a Parmalee/Colabello platoon for quite some time, even though their current splits don't support the idea. Given Mauer's concussion issues, perhaps Mauer should play first base semi-permanently and let Parmalee/Colabello platoon in RF until Sano comes up.

#8 Alex

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:35 AM

Berardino writes a good article. The "Thread Starter" makes a false assumption with the title: "More evidence this organization is stuck in the mud?" I don't think the Twins are "stuck in the mud" at all. They are, however, stuck with some terrible pitching and a lot of young, unproven hitters. I've advocated for a Parmalee/Colabello platoon for quite some time, even though their current splits don't support the idea. Given Mauer's concussion issues, perhaps Mauer should play first base semi-permanently and let Parmalee/Colabello platoon in RF until Sano comes up.


I was posing a question, not attempting to paraphrase the article title, though I do have a bias, obviously.

I can understand the Twins not platooning regularly with a shorter roster or young players. Both have some validity even if we could debate that those are symptoms of other issues that would apply to the topic (being stuck, not platooning). However, there are responses to questions here that indicate it's a larger issue than that. You've advocated for more platooning than the manager or general manager.

For my part, it is more evidence that the Twins are stuck with some internal traditional ideas that are keeping them from being competitive. This is latest of which, but includes other recent discussions that have come up.

Edited by Alex, 25 September 2013 - 05:42 AM.


#9 Brad Swanson

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 06:37 AM

The main issue I have with Gardenhire specifically not using platoons, is that he insists on using his whole bench/roster to "keep players fresh." It's kind of like, you have to get Clete Thomas starts so that's he ready when needed (not to bag on the poor man any more than I already have). Why not just use Clete Thomas in situations where he can contribute and in turn, limit when another player is used in situations when they aren't as productive?

Thomas isn't a great example for obvious reasons, but even in September, I've seen Chris Parmelee at first base against lefties with Chris Colabello on the bench. If you really want to use all your players, why not use them when they have a better likelihood of offering something of value?

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#10 Alex

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 06:44 AM

The main issue I have with Gardenhire specifically not using platoons, is that he insists on using his whole bench/roster to "keep players fresh." It's kind of like, you have to get Clete Thomas starts so that's he ready when needed (not to bag on the poor man any more than I already have). Why not just use Clete Thomas in situations where he can contribute and in turn, limit when another player is used in situations when they aren't as productive?

Thomas isn't a great example for obvious reasons, but even in September, I've seen Chris Parmelee at first base against lefties with Chris Colabello on the bench. If you really want to use all your players, why not use them when they have a better likelihood of offering something of value?


It's a good point, and I think the last sentence is something any manager should try to and that, imo, is the something platooning allows.

#11 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 07:05 AM

For my part, it is more evidence that the Twins are stuck with some internal traditional ideas that are keeping them from being competitive. This is latest of which, but includes other recent discussions that have come up.

What's odd is that platooning is a "traditional" idea. Platooning isn't some fancy schmancy saber metric concept, it used to be fairly common. One would think Gardy would love it.

Also, It's gotten harder and harder to implement as pitching staffs have gotten bigger and bigger.

You can do it at catcher, where you're going to carry two on your roster anyway, or have a modified platoon with your 4th OFer for example. But something like Parm/Colabello sharing 1st base is tough these days, at least until September.

i could understand if they'd said ​that.

#12 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 07:38 AM

"I don't recall ever having a platoon," Gardenhire said. "I'm not against it. I'll tell you that. I wouldn't have a problem having a platoon if it fits. If it makes sense numbers-wise and it works, then you go with it."


Gardy can say that, but a platoon of Kubel & Cuddyer in RF was so obvious it physically hurt, yet Gardy would not do it. USAFchief is right. This is not breakthrough thinking.

This is a time tested strategy that many have used to make their team stronger.

Twins do not do that.

#13 Alex

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 07:59 AM

What's odd is that platooning is a "traditional" idea. Platooning isn't some fancy schmancy saber metric concept, it used to be fairly common. One would think Gardy would love it.

Also, It's gotten harder and harder to implement as pitching staffs have gotten bigger and bigger.

You can do it at catcher, where you're going to carry two on your roster anyway, or have a modified platoon with your 4th OFer for example. But something like Parm/Colabello sharing 1st base is tough these days, at least until September.

i could understand if they'd said ​that.


Correct, and I agree. I should have clarified that I meant "traditional" in terms of this organization (though some others are still traditional by baseball standards as well).

#14 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:13 AM

If you really want to use all your players, why not use them when they have a better likelihood of offering something of value?


Putting player in a position to be successful is what good leadership does. Whether it is in business, in parenting or in coaching! Use what a player does well and use that skill as a springboard to build confidence in the areas he may be struggling in. I think how the Reds are using Billy Hamilton will do him SO much good in the long term, because they are using his one elite skill perfectly and he is developing confidence at the MLB level. Hopefully this translates over to his hitting as well. Coaches need to put players in a position to be successful.

#15 kab21

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:13 AM

Gardy can say that, but a platoon of Kubel & Cuddyer in RF was so obvious it physically hurt, yet Gardy would not do it. USAFchief is right. This is not breakthrough thinking.

This is a time tested strategy that many have used to make their team stronger.

Twins do not do that.


I think this board and Gardy have short memories.

Kubel was frequently platooned his first 3 years in the league.

Brian buscher was also platooned while here. He only had 18 AB's against lefties one year. It wasn't a strict 2 player like everyone expects since the rest of the MI sucked so much that Harris wasn't benched against righties when buscher started.

I think a potential Plouffe/Parmelee (or Colabello) platoon could work. 12 man pitching staffs make it difficult but Plouffe backs up 3B and can also be the 2nd utility player that the Twins feel like they must have every year. I would be against platooning Hicks since it hurts development but I'm concerned that Hicks future might be as a platoon 4th OF'er.

Edited by kab21, 25 September 2013 - 08:17 AM.


#16 Shane Wahl

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:42 AM

Plouffe mashes lefties. Parmelee hits at a major league level against righties. No brainer.

A four man bench still allows for a few platoon opportunities after all.

#17 TheLeviathan

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:53 AM

Plouffe mashes lefties. Parmelee hits at a major league level against righties. No brainer.

A four man bench still allows for a few platoon opportunities after all.


this is the one that needs to happen. There is plenty of position flexibility with them too.

#18 Shane Wahl

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 09:51 AM

this is the one that needs to happen. There is plenty of position flexibility with them too.


I am starting to think differently about TR in these statements. He says something completely obvious here--clearly one cannot build a roster around platoons as there are 13 guys, most of the time, to choose from. Ok, Terry. Thanks. Now I wonder if the FA comment in other threads revolves really around an obvious truth as well about filling all holes with FAs is not possible either. Another obvious truth. Maybe there is more innocence going on here.

Hopefully.

#19 ThePuck

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 09:53 AM

To go slightly off topic, I think it's way past time for MLB to expand the active roster. With 5 man rotations, reliever specialists and pitch counts the norm, 25 man rosters are too small.
Just remember: You put the lime IN the coconut. Only THEN, can you drink it all up.

#20 Shane Wahl

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 09:54 AM

this is the one that needs to happen. There is plenty of position flexibility with them too.


But yeah. Even if Mauer is the first baseman. I am fairly comfortable, for now, with the defensive ability of a Parmelee/Plouffe platoon in right. And it makes the two marginal players into one real one. Arcia's position is in doubt there, and lord knows the Twins will probably just hang onto Willingham for dear life. But after Sano arrives, Plouffe's value can still be there in a more limited role, maximizing his ability.

#21 Shane Wahl

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 09:54 AM

To go slightly off topic, I think it's way past time for MLB to expand the active roster. With 5 man rotations, reliever specialists and pitch counts the norm, 25 man rosters are too small.


Perhaps. I think they should just keep it at a +1 for 26 players on the roster.

#22 nicksaviking

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 09:55 AM

How much of a baseball person is Dave St. Peter? Does he really understand the game, or is he basically just a business stratagy guy? Because if he has the level of understanding that the average poster on this site has, he cannot seriously be happy to hear his GM and manager spew this nonsense.

#23 nicksaviking

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 09:56 AM

Perhaps. I think they should just keep it at a +1 for 26 players on the roster.


I'm not sure. I don't think I could stomach 4 catchers.

#24 TheLeviathan

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 10:24 AM

How much of a baseball person is Dave St. Peter? Does he really understand the game, or is he basically just a business stratagy guy? Because if he has the level of understanding that the average poster on this site has, he cannot seriously be happy to hear his GM and manager spew this nonsense.


I mentioned this in another thread and Shane is here as well....but if these statements boil down to nothing more than stating the obvious, then you are absolutely correct. These statements are horrifically confusing, poorly worded, full of double talk, hard not to read pessimistic ally, and they make the team sound incompetent.

#25 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:16 AM

To go slightly off topic, I think it's way past time for MLB to expand the active roster. With 5 man rotations, reliever specialists and pitch counts the norm, 25 man rosters are too small.

I've wondered for some time whether they should go to a system similar to the NHL and the lower minor leagues. Maybe have 30-man rosters, but only 25 can be dressed and play in any particular game.

That would make it easier to put somebody on the sideline for a few days to handle a niggling injury without having to do the "should we or shouldn't we DL him" thing. It also gives you more bench and reliever spots for any particular game as resting starters would not be taking a uniformed spot that day. The same thing could apply in September after callups - 40 players on roster, but only 25 dressed for any particular game.

#26 JB_Iowa

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:22 AM

How much of a baseball person is Dave St. Peter? Does he really understand the game, or is he basically just a business stratagy guy? Because if he has the level of understanding that the average poster on this site has, he cannot seriously be happy to hear his GM and manager spew this nonsense.


He's been with the Twins since 1990 (when he joined the organization as an intern) so he has 23 years of baseball with the team.

According to his Linked in profile, before he was Twins Prez, he was:

  • Sr. Vice President, Business Affairs at Minnesota Twins
  • Vice President, Corporate Communications at Minnesota Twins
  • Director, Corporate Communications at Minnesota Twins

  • Manager, Corporate Communications at Minnesota Twins
  • Manager, Twins Pro Shop at Minnesota Twins



Given his marketing/communications background, nonsense statements and spin, spin, spin would be nothing new to him.

#27 twinsfan34

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:43 AM

It would seem if Terry Ryan wouldn't want to employ it - the manager for 2014 and beyond (whether Gardenhire or a new 'hire') would also have a similar philosophy.

To Ryan's point, 'who would you platoon?' has some merit. I'm not sure we really have that serviceable of players on offense to do it. And to maybe win another 5-10 games this year - would that make the difference? Maybe they want a high pick this year as if Draft experts are right, being in the top 5 picks will yield a very good prospect in 2014.

It could work for 2-3 roster spots on the team, often a 3rd/4th OF scenario, as well as a 3rd middle IF who could put in work at 2B/SS/3B.

Someone mentioned 1991. We did sorta did it at 3B in 1991 with Scott Leuis ® and Mike Pagliarulo. We definitely did it with Pagliarulo as his ABs are very skewed to facing RHP. Leuis is about even, but was defeinitely better vs. LHP.

Leuis - 71 AB .254 AVG vs RHP, 128 AB .305 AVG vs LHP
Pagliarulo - 349 AB .284 AVG vs RHP, 16 AB .188 AVG vs LHP

Randy Bush (163 AB .302 vs RHP, 2 AB .000 AVG vs LHP) was a 4th OF/DH and he could have been considered "platoon" to an extent - as he faced pretty much only RHP, however it didn't seem he really had a platoon mate. More of just a situational 4th OF.

In 1991, the Minnesota Twins hit .280 as a team that year. The difference was we had 6 full-time hitters who hit .277 or higher that year (Brian Harper, Kent HrBek, Check Knoblauch, Shane Mack, Kirby Puckett, Chili Davis), including 3 hitters over .310 (Harper, Mack, & Puckett). A lineup that resembles something more similar to the St. Louis Cardinals this year.

The 2013 Twins don't have a regular, other than Mauer, hitting over .259 (Morneau - no longer with the team). Dozier is next at .249. Arcia only has 356 AB, or I would have said him, even so, he's only hitting .256.

We'd have to do 9 platoons, or 18 players + Mauer to get a similar team average as we did in 1991. But then again...could we even get close to that?

Let's see what we have to work with...

Florimon can't hit anybody (.235 vs RHP, .188 vs LHP).
Plouffe hit better vs LHP, however, only 2 HR in 107 AB (.234 vs RHP, .299 vs LHP).
Willingham couldn't hit a barn, lefty or righty (.210 vs RHP, .215 vs LHP).
Hicks couldn't hit anything either (.203 vs RHP, .186 vs LHP).
Parmalee isn't much better than any of these guys (.250 vs RHP, .172 vs LHP).
Thomas couldn't hit any better than Florimon (.228 vs RHP, .175 vs LHP).
Escobar was about even (.238 vs RHP, .231 vs LHP).
Colabello, well, he's consistent against either hand (.193 vs RHP, .186 vs LHP).

So again...

Ryan, "On this club, who would you want to platoon?"

Edited by twinsfan34, 26 September 2013 - 08:11 AM.


#28 stringer bell

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:56 AM

Lacking the numbers to platoon at several positions, I've thought that using positional flexibility and switch hitters to fill three spots with four players would be ideal. Escobar filling in for Plouffe, Florimon (vs LH starters) and occasionally Dozier (big platoon split) would make sense. Likewise in the outfield, an outfield where one switch hitter replaces two or all three of the regulars depending on the handedness of the pitcher would allow the hitters to be placed in situations that give them a good chance to succeed.

#29 ashburyjohn

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:59 AM

Moderator's note: Folks, I had to delete several posts this morning, all for questioning one person's intelligence or another. If you need to, please review the TD Comments Policy:

http://twinsdaily.co...ber-2013-a.html

There are always shades of gray and someone who lost a post may complain I left intact a couple of other posts that used a term like no-brainer (because it wasn't directed at anyone) or questioning an exec's baseball knowledge (fair game if done with respect). Please, do NOT get your nose out of joint because of where I happened to draw the line this day, NOR use it to fine-tune your own attempt to get away with as much as you can. Pay particular attention to the posting by John Bonnes that is found at the end of the thread in the above link, about staying far away from the boundaries.

There are many good posts in this thread, and I encourage those who still remain unclear on what respect means to use them as an example.

#30 Kwak

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 12:13 PM

To go slightly off topic, I think it's way past time for MLB to expand the active roster. With 5 man rotations, reliever specialists and pitch counts the norm, 25 man rosters are too small.


I can't disagree with you more! The game is about players not managers. If a player isn't functional against LHers (or RHers) then he really isn't much. Train players to compete against all-comers (RH and LH) and play the best. The game slows down with player changes--and Lord knows it's too slow as it is right now.