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What about the offense?

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#31 mike wants wins

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:01 AM

Basically, the plan appears to be "hope".

Why would anyone think Pressly will play well, given his age and history?

Why can't they win in 2014? They just shaved a lot of runs off the defensive side, why can't they get a real DH/LF, call up Sano earlier rather than later, and get lucky with Hicks/Pinto?

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. :)


#32 Marta Shearing

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:14 AM

The Twins have now "fixed" 40% of their rotation. Last year, they were as far from being top 5 in runs allowed as they were runs scored. In other words, it wasn't just the pitching that held them back....and even TR has said this several times.

Right now, you have no CF or LF (assuming Willingham is the DH, if he's the LF, good luck with your new fly ball pitching staff....) that appears to be able to hit at all. Can you even name the OFers other than Willingham and Arcia at this point? The SS can't hit. The 3B can't be counted on to hit (Sano won't be up right away, imo, and even is he is, do you think he'll be great right away). The catcher, not sure we can name him for sure yet. Doumit isn't good. Basically, they are average or better at 1B and 2B (assuming Dozier is 2nd half Dozier) and maybe RF. That's it on offense. That doesn't take into account defense.

Some have said, well, just wait until Buxton is up. I doubt he's up in 2014. Some have said Hicks will hit this time. I'm not sure he'll ever hit righties, even his good AA year was driven by his ability to walk, an ability he wont' have in the majors if he can't even make contact. And who is the other OF, because if Willingham is the DH, I shudder to think about the O produced with Hicks and Pressley as your OF.

Me? I think the next signing should be an OF that can hit some. I'd settle for a DH, frankly, since Willingham won't be here past 2014 probably. I don't see a SS they can sign, and I'm not sure how they'd trade for a good SS prospect right now.

They have options at SP now, but they have almost no good options at OF/DH/SS/C/3B that we can feel confident in their ability to hit and field.

thoughts?

Help is on the way. Im not worried about the offense.

Pinto
Mauer
Sano
Polanco/Santana/Micheal
Dozier
Rosario
Arcia
Hicks
Buxton
Kepler

#33 mike wants wins

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:27 AM

So every minor leaguer is going to work out? And, ya, maybe, but not in 2014 or probably even a full year of 2105 given your names.....

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. :)


#34 birdwatcher

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:31 AM

I think the reality here though is that not much can be done. Locked in: Mauer, Dozier, Hammer, Arcia, and Pinto. Dozier needs to show that the second half was the real Dozier. Arcia is likely going to improve for no other reason than that he's young and he consistently has done that. You have open spots at SS, 3B, CF, and DH. At 3B, Plouffe is getting another chance... Period. He's shown flashes that he can be good, and the Twins would be silly not to give him one more year. At this point, he's a place holder to Sano, but I don't see the Twins signing a 1 year stop gap solution when anyone signing a 1 year deal is going to be more expensive and probably just as risky as Plouffe. Parmelee is in the same boat on the other side, though he will likely be doing the DH/OF/1B thing to get his at bats. His defense will keep him around a bit longer, but again, the Twins need to figure out if one of these guys can stick. Not all young guys hit like Trout right away. If one does manage to hit well in 2014, that's the DH for the next wave. CF also has options in the near term in Hicks and Buxton. I expect Presley to get the nod opening day and have most of the year to be in the same situation as Plouffe, and Parmelee, but if not, he's going to have Hicks and Buxton pressing him for PT by 2015.

The only real gap that they need to do something about is SS. Problem that I see is that there aren't any good options there other than potentially moving Dozier back if Rosario comes back strong from his suspension.


This describes the situation pretty well in my view. Except the stop-gaps may be for less than a full year in a couple of cases (Plouffe and Parmelee).

The offensive potential here is dramatically better than the pessimistic view that's being described in part by extrapolating last year's horrible glut of individual performance deficiencies (Willingham, Doumit, Plouffe, Arcia, and Parmelee in particular). The organization can better predict the liklihood of a rebound in performance from these five players much better than we can of course. It's unrealistic for us to expect improvement from all five of these guys, but not a pollyanna view to think that maybe at least three, an maybe four of them perform better?

But even if they all perform better, this offense won't be that good until the stopgap group (four of them mentioned here) is supplanted by the likes of Polanco, Hicks, Arcia, Rosario, Pinto, Buxton, Kepler, Santana, and Sano. And even then, the new guys will need to spins their wheels for a year or so before figuring it all out at the highest level.

#35 mike wants wins

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:37 AM

But even if they all perform better, this offense won't be that good until the stopgap group (four of them mentioned here) is supplanted by the likes of Polanco, Hicks, Arcia, Rosario, Pinto, Buxton, Kepler, Santana, and Sano. And even then, the new guys will need to spins their wheels for a year or so before figuring it all out at the highest level.


This part.

This offense won't be that good until a bunch of prospects come up and all succeed. In the meantime, what?

And yes, I'm pessimistic about Mastro and Pressley being 2/3 of the OF. Is that something anyone is excited about?

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. :)


#36 TheLeviathan

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:40 AM

People seem to be missing the point. The future is certainly bright offensively, but the 2014 offense looks pretty god awful at this point. I don't see anything I want Ryan to do now about that, just bracing for the ugliness.

#37 Winston Smith

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:40 AM

The problem I see is that the guys that might have come back years are all slow and poor in the field. Arcia and Pinto may become good players but now are slow footed and not good in the field so they have to hit well to be viable. Willingham, Doumit, Plouffe, Parmalee and Colabelo are all slow and sub par in the field.
Picking up Nate McLouth and Franklin Guetierrez to platoon in one outfiled spot would give us some speed and likely wouldn't cost a lot, of course, Guetierrez can't seem to stay healthy.
Even McLouth and Mastro platoon would help the D. An outfield with Willy, Doumit, Parmalee and or Arcia playing 2 of the spots can't make any pitcher happy.

May all our prospects be All Stars and the beer be free.


#38 Brandon

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:48 AM

Yep. People are way too bullish on Buxton being in the Majors in 2014 but I think early 2015 is a pretty reasonable timeframe.

Of course, Byron could stumble a bit and Thrylos could be right as well.

But counting on him to be a significant contributor in 2014 is overly optimistic.


If Buxton starts next season at AA, and he continues to hit like last year then he will be a candidate to be promoted up after 300 +- plate appearances. I think he will either be up after the allstar break or they will wait till 2015. the Twins won't call him up next September because he won't have to be put on the 40 man roster over the winter and next year we likely won't have any/ many AAAA players we can jettison to make roster space. THis is similar to what happened to Sano this last September. He didn't get the call up for the same reason.

#39 Brandon

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:50 AM

Also Michael Young is a good low cost option for a player to sign for our offense as he can play a number of positions, doesn't strike out alot 15% of plate appearances, can be signed short term 1 year, won't cost alot 3-5 million, and hits for a decent average, and provides leadership the Twins are after.

#40 cmb0252

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:51 AM

Seriously which free agents on the offensive side to people want the Twins to sign? Cano? Haha, yeah right. Drew? Pass. Choo? Could fit but doesn't really fill a need. I just don't see many good fits from free agency. Maybe I'm forgetting someone.

#41 Linus

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:54 AM

I would kick the tires on Corey Hart. He wants to go back to the Brewers and play first but they don't seem to be pursuing him hard. He has played the outfield and, if healthy, could provide some good right handed pop. Stick him in left (he can't be worse than Willingham out there) for a couple of years until Buxton is up and we have our long term outfield set.

#42 Willihammer

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:58 AM

Seriously which free agents on the offensive side to people want the Twins to sign? Cano? Haha, yeah right. Drew? Pass. Choo? Could fit but doesn't really fill a need. I just don't see many good fits from free agency. Maybe I'm forgetting someone.


Drew would be a good pickup IMO.

Twins have too many sub-.300 OBP batters in the bottom half. Those guys are rally killers. Drew might be able to get on base at least and keep a rally going.

#43 stringer bell

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 12:58 PM

Of all the names mentioned here, I probably like Michael Young best for the Twins. He's had a good long career as a hitter and has played several positions (including third) which could keep him in the lineup almost every day.

#44 Jim Crikket

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:09 PM

I guess what it boils down to, for me, is this: I don't see logic in spending any significant money this off-season on any player, regardless of position, that you wouldn't project as a core contributor for at least two (and better yet, three) years and I think that rules out almost anyone you'd sign for his bat.

Now, if the FO looked over the available FAs and their projected internal options and decided there was a FA that is worthy of a 3 year deal (or at least a 2 yr + club option deal) at a position they don't see a strong internal candidate likely to be starting in the Majors by 2016, I'm good with that kind of signing.

If the FO wanted to simply cut ties with Willingham or Doumit and sign a real upgrade for 3+ years, OK.

I just don't see that as being likely.

That being the case, I'm back to looking at additional starting pitchers. Because (a) there are still guys on the market that would be good signings to a 3+ year deal, and (B) I think doing so is within the realm of possibility for this FO.

I simply see mid-season as a more likely time frame for the possible addition of bats. You'll know whether current vets can be moved in trades, you'll know a little more about how your top position prospects are developing and what their realistic MLB times of arrival might be, you'll have a better sense of exactly when the Twins can realistically compete for the Division again and you'll have a much better idea of exactly what positions need to be upgraded to get you there.
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#45 mike wants wins

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:31 PM

So punt on this year, if I can summarize your 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. :)


#46 cmb0252

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:42 PM

So punt on this year, if I can summarize your post.


Punt the year? They just spent $73M on two pitchers and are rumored to be looking for another. They offered AJ a two year deal but he took a one year deal from Boston. They were heavy on Salty but his medicals scared them away from a three year deal. I'm confused how they are punting the year.

Are they punting because they won't give a three year deal to a often injured Drew (which would also cost a draft pick)? Because they aren't offering Choo or Cano big time contracts because they like what they have in the minors or don't like the price tags? I personally just don't see many fits which would be major upgrades.

#47 Shane Wahl

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:50 PM

I haven't read this entire thread. So, sorry about that.

Right now, I think that Eric Fryer is going to be the opening day catcher. You know that I despise this idea, but there it is. There. It. Is.

I think they might be really cautious with Hicks, Arcia, and Pinto, and all start in AAA. Willingham-Presley-Parmelee, with Doumit DHing, Mauer at first, Dozier at second, Florimon at SS, Plouffe at third, and, ahem, Eric Fryer catching.

Here are two alternative scenarios that I would do instead, depending on Willingham/Doumit trades:

1. Willingham and Doumit start 2014 with the Twins:

Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Willingham, DH
Arcia, RF
Plouffe, 3B
Pinto, C
Hicks, CF
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS

with Doumit, Herrmann, Escobar, and Parmelee on the bench.

2. Trade Willingham and Doumit (preferred)

Arcia is primary DH, but still gets OF time. D. Romero replaces Doumit. Colabello is added.

"Shane, we have these good starters now . . ."

Well, the starters add 4 wins, hopefully. I think the Twins might get over 75 wins. I think asking for a fully competitive team is silly in 2014. I have never taken this attitude before. Anyway, I would rather have young guys play RIGHT NOW to get their act together now. The veteran pitchers are there into the future and the young pitchers will be arriving soon. There is no need to clog the 2014 roster with aging position players who aren't going to be on the team after 2014! That is the opposite of what should occur. 2014 can now be seen--as opposed to another total disaster like 2012 and 2013--as the year of actually building a foundation for the team of the future. This future team has Sano, Buxton, Arcia, Hicks, Rosario, Dozier, and Pinto surrounding Mauer. It has Meyer, Gibson, and May/a fast rising starter surrounding Nolasco and Hughes.

#48 mike wants wins

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:02 PM

Punt the year? They just spent $73M on two pitchers and are rumored to be looking for another. They offered AJ a two year deal but he took a one year deal from Boston. They were heavy on Salty but his medicals scared them away from a three year deal. I'm confused how they are punting the year.

Are they punting because they won't give a three year deal to a often injured Drew (which would also cost a draft pick)? Because they aren't offering Choo or Cano big time contracts because they like what they have in the minors or don't like the price tags? I personally just don't see many fits which would be major upgrades.


You are suggesting adding no offense, to a team that was one of the worst in baseball in runs scored, correct? You and others are also saying that the pitchers (and I agree) were signed not just for this year, but for several years, correct?

The year will be better, I believe, with these pitchers. But they were awful offensively last year, and adding no one is unlikely to make it much better, isn't it?

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. :)


#49 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:15 PM

If you could dump Doumit. We could sign Kendry Morales. He would DH and back-up Mauer.

#50 jokin

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:19 PM

I haven't read this entire thread. So, sorry about that.

Right now, I think that Eric Fryer is going to be the opening day catcher. You know that I despise this idea, but there it is. There. It. Is.

I think they might be really cautious with Hicks, Arcia, and Pinto, and all start in AAA. Willingham-Presley-Parmelee, with Doumit DHing, Mauer at first, Dozier at second, Florimon at SS, Plouffe at third, and, ahem, Eric Fryer catching.

Here are two alternative scenarios that I would do instead, depending on Willingham/Doumit trades:

1. Willingham and Doumit start 2014 with the Twins:

Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Willingham, DH
Arcia, RF
Plouffe, 3B
Pinto, C
Hicks, CF
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS

with Doumit, Herrmann, Escobar, and Parmelee on the bench.

2. Trade Willingham and Doumit (preferred)

Arcia is primary DH, but still gets OF time. D. Romero replaces Doumit. Colabello is added.

"Shane, we have these good starters now . . ."

Well, the starters add 4 wins, hopefully. I think the Twins might get over 75 wins. I think asking for a fully competitive team is silly in 2014. I have never taken this attitude before. Anyway, I would rather have young guys play RIGHT NOW to get their act together now. The veteran pitchers are there into the future and the young pitchers will be arriving soon. There is no need to clog the 2014 roster with aging position players who aren't going to be on the team after 2014! That is the opposite of what should occur. 2014 can now be seen--as opposed to another total disaster like 2012 and 2013--as the year of actually building a foundation for the team of the future. This future team has Sano, Buxton, Arcia, Hicks, Rosario, Dozier, and Pinto surrounding Mauer. It has Meyer, Gibson, and May/a fast rising starter surrounding Nolasco and Hughes.


Continuation of the 3-catcher alignment (4 counting Mauer in a pinch) drives me to distraction- need more speed and positonal flexibility in the back-up roles, especially if they inevitably return to the 13 man pitching staff yet again.

I concur that Pinto, Romero, Meyer, Mays and Hicks will all start in AAA, but barring a disastrous Spring Training, it's hard to imagine that Arcia will be held back (the one possible rationale for holding Arcia back in AAA would be the vacant roster spot needing filling created by Rosario's suspension). Similarly, I can see Eric Fryer on the 25-man to open the season, but I'm willing to wager that the Twins will pick up one of the low tier C FAs to be the opening day starter. (They should TRADE for Matt Wieters instead, motivated sellers in Baltimore).

They do need to showcase Willingham and Doumit to maximize their value, so they will be given pretty large and regular roles at the season's outset (it's just how the Twins FO and Gardy roll). It's arguable under this scenario that besides adding a veteran catcher, another good veteran hitter be added on a short-term deal with the idea of promoting the new wave in June, July and August with the understanding that some or all of these vets are traded to facilitate the move. Unfortunately, TR has had little success at moving veterans in in-season trades for much value (Butera is the recent exception to that rule). This would clear the way for a second-half lineup featuring all the usual suspects/top prospects (which hopefully would also include Buxton, but probably not Rosario).

#51 jokin

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:22 PM

If you could dump Doumit. We could sign Kendry Morales. He would DH and back-up Mauer.


Concur. Morales or Hart should be at the top of the hitting shopping list!

#52 Jim Crikket

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:26 PM

You are suggesting adding no offense, to a team that was one of the worst in baseball in runs scored, correct? You and others are also saying that the pitchers (and I agree) were signed not just for this year, but for several years, correct?

The year will be better, I believe, with these pitchers. But they were awful offensively last year, and adding no one is unlikely to make it much better, isn't it?


You admit that the pitching additions means, "the year will be better." How is that punting on the year?

I'm saying the Twins hands are somewhat tied and they're simply not going to just jettison Willingham, Plouffe, Florimon and Doumit, the result being there are no significant offensive FAs that make sense during the off-season. I'm saying that doesn't mean you don't keep shopping for starting pitching. I'm also saying that you see how things evolve in to June and July and then take another look at what might make sense.

If that's punting to you, OK fine. I disagree.

Edited by Jim Crikket, 05 December 2013 - 02:29 PM.

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#53 spycake

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:29 PM

Concur. Morales or Hart should be at the top of the hitting shopping list!


Just FYI, Kendrys Morales was made a qualifying offer by the Mariners, so signing him would cost the Twins a draft pick.

#54 Shane Wahl

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:32 PM

Jokin, in my ideal scenario, it's just Pinto and Herrmann as the catchers. Herrmann improved over his 2012 brief stint, and I think he can provide average defense there, above average defense in the corner OF, and still be a potential .680-710 OPS guy overall. He just has to limit the strikeouts.

How much of the 2013 season was spent with a 13-man pitching staff? They absolutely should not have to do that this year. At all.

#55 cmb0252

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:34 PM

You are suggesting adding no offense, to a team that was one of the worst in baseball in runs scored, correct? You and others are also saying that the pitchers (and I agree) were signed not just for this year, but for several years, correct?

The year will be better, I believe, with these pitchers. But they were awful offensively last year, and adding no one is unlikely to make it much better, isn't it?


Not at all. Its not my money so I'm all for the Twins spending money. What I'm saying is I don't see a realistic offensive upgrade on the free agent market. Key word:realistic. After moving Mauer to first the biggest need was to fill C. They were incredibly aggressive trying to fill it but it didn't work out. Time to move on. Which free agent, realistically, could Ryan sign that would greatly help this team? Personally at this point I hope the Twins start looking into trades to try and fill needs.

#56 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:39 PM

I have to ask, but what exactly do people see in Herrman? I think I'd rather go with Pinto and Doumit (who at least has the potential to hit well there) with Mauer in an emergency role and keep Herrman off the roster alltogether. You still need to get at bats for some other guys to see where they will be, and all Herrman is going to do is clog up a roster spot.

#57 Linus

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:41 PM

My main concern would be not adding somebody where there is a prospect likely to take over soon, 3rd base for example. Also, one reason I'm not worried about Pressly starting in center - chances are Hicks is playing there by the end of the summer. However, we could use a productive corner outfielder because Willingham should be dealt as he is in the last year of his contract and he really just needs to be a DH, and the next outfielder up (Buxton) is likely two years away.

I also would let Doumit catch (I know, let the defensive / framing ridicule begin). Mainly I am doing this so we can showcase him and deal him but also so Pinto can start at AAA along with Hermann. Fryer can ride the pine 6 days a week.

#58 jokin

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:43 PM

Just FYI, Kendrys Morales was made a qualifying offer by the Mariners, so signing him would cost the Twins a draft pick.


Oh, Snap!:angry: Good catch, spy.

Nice chess move by the M's. Pass.

#59 Linus

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:44 PM

I have to ask, but what exactly do people see in Herrman? I think I'd rather go with Pinto and Doumit (who at least has the potential to hit well there) with Mauer in an emergency role and keep Herrman off the roster alltogether. You still need to get at bats for some other guys to see where they will be, and all Herrman is going to do is clog up a roster spot.


I think Pinto and Hermann both start at AAA. They need to develop as I could see them being a great catching tandem for a long time. One bats right, the other left. The likely backup also can play other positions - almost an ideal situation if they develop and take the next step.

#60 jokin

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:45 PM

I have to ask, but what exactly do people see in Herrman? I think I'd rather go with Pinto and Doumit (who at least has the potential to hit well there) with Mauer in an emergency role and keep Herrman off the roster alltogether. You still need to get at bats for some other guys to see where they will be, and all Herrman is going to do is clog up a roster spot.


Yup. As long as he has options left, stash Hermann in Roc. as your emergency call-up catcher. Time for Gardy to relinquish the multiple-catcher safety blanket once and for all.