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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:19 PM
The Twins lost 99 games last season. They are on a pace to lose 111 games this season. Lots of agruments and fingers pointed against players. But... how much slack do you cut the manager and his coaches? And the interim GM who made this team. Methinks that they should be feeling their seat heating up pretty quickly. What do you think?
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:39 PM
In a recent interview, Ron Coomer said it takes about 6 weeks to figure out what you've got. While I tend to agree, there's a lot not to like about what we're seeing. As far as Terry Ryan, Gardy & the staff is concerned ... Thus far, the non-pitchers Ryan added are contributing and (IMO) this group is better with the bats than last year's. As far as the pitching staff moves - - - - not crazy about them. But the bigger issues for me are (1) losing baker before the season started; and (2) Liriano imploding. There aren't many teams out there that wouldn't be badly hurt by 40% of their rotation blowing up.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:40 PM
I don't cut them much slack. I really think that this franchise is stagnant and would like to see some infusions of new talent in the front office and coaching ranks. They had a good run over a 10-year period but they seem almost too comfortable with one another. Just as they did in the early 2000's, the franchise needs to come up with a strategy for competing with middling resources. (Not as low-budget as they once were but without the high-flying local TV revenues that some franchises enjoy.) Franchise just seems stale.
Edited by JB_Iowa, 22 April 2012 - 07:57 PM.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:55 PM
The schedule early is truly brutal. Perhaps the Twins will catch a break because the RSox are in disarray right now, but something tells me they will get well soon, as will the Angels. Certainly, the starting pitching has been below par and prospects aren't that great for the immediate future. I do think patience for the players is in order. A good series can change stats in a hurry. While Doumit hasn't been great, he drove in seven runs on the road trip. Just an example of how numbers even out. Currently, the scapegoats are the bottom of the order--Valencia, Thomas, Casilla, plus Liriano. I think the position players should be given more time, but the lousy starting pitching that Liriano has served up really sucks the life out of the team.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:09 PM
I bought into that whole "brutal schedule" thing prior to April. The reality is, the only thing brutal about the schedule thus far has been that the Twins are the ones playing the schedule. Baltimore is nothing special. LAA and NYY are playing mediocre baseball right now, at best. Sure, NYY brings bats to the game, but their pitching was very pedestrian. TB's pitching is excellent, their lineup not so much. We've got Boston coming in and they are on the ropes and KC after that. KC is currently 3-12, yep that's right, there's actually a team playing worse that the Twins and we get them next weekend. There are no excuses for the current 5-11, certainly not "the schedule".
Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:26 PM
It's too early to start pressing panic buttons based on projections. The Nationals are on pace to win 120 games while the Angels are on pace to lose 100. But I wouldn't put a lot of money on either of those things happenings. And while cleaning house in the front office and coaching staff may be emotionally satisfying to a certain segment of the fan base, I don't see it making much of a difference in the short term. If this turns out to be another 90+ loss season, then I'd be in favor of parting ways with Gardenhire. I've always defended him against the "Gardy sucks" ranters. But sometimes guys just need to hear a different voice. As for TR, you've gotta give him more than one offseason to repair all of the damage that Bill Smith did.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:28 PM
It's probably a bit early to panic. They laid an egg in Balt but played better against the Angels, blew a couple winnable games against both the Rangers and Yankees. Losing a 3 game series to the Rays isn't horrible. But at the same time, I'm not sure if some of their problems, mainly starting pitching, is going to get better. I like Hendriks but he'll have growing pains, Pavano, Marquis and Blackburn will all have moments but will also have their share of horrible outings. It looks spooky but I think we should see where they are in a month before panicking.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:55 PM
It's hard to put your finger on it from our vantage point. We don't get the best view from our cheap seats. I realize that some are ready to light the torches and capture those responsible in the name of justice. One question... can you be absolutely sure who is responsible? Saying TR or Gardy is too easy, does anyone know what goes on behind the scenes. Who's the best GM? Who's the worst? Best manager or the worst, best owner, scouting director, President, vice president, board of directors. How do you know? I don't know and I'd hate to see the lynch mob arrive at the wrong address.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:58 PM
I'll cut them some slack, which could also be interpreted as making excuses for them. There is still a lot of upheaval on this team and while the overall health has been much better than last year, the team is still somewhat in a state of flux. To summarize: Baker gone for the year without throwing a pitch. Marquis starts in the minors because of a family emergency (that would be 2 starters down without playing a game yet). Swarzak missing from the pen forcing Gray, Maloney and Burnett to shoulder a bigger burden than perhaps everyone was comfortable with. Worst fears realized with Liriano, despite hope after a strong spring, everyone now very nervous. Blackburn now iffy due to paranormal shoulder tightness. Extra-terrestrials now infiltrating the team. Aside from that circus, they are still coming to terms with a host of new faces, some still very young and green faces, guys like Morneau forced to DH and a still very unsettled lineup in general. They really have, for a number of reasons, been forced to deviate from what I think they originally envisioned. I'm holding onto some pretty good confidence that by mid-June things are looking a lot brighter. I think well before that the lineup will get into a more consistent groove and players will be in the right places, comfortable and settled into their roles. The pitching isn't going to be great but it's not far away from at least having some stability in who are in the roles they expected them to be in. They can play their way through this but Gardy needs some stability, some provided by the players and some provided by him in regards to who he decides can really play, and them play them. (editor's note, buy thesaurus and find synonym for "still"). Apologies for 3rd paragraph.
Edited by twinsnorth49, 22 April 2012 - 10:01 PM.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:10 PM
This years pitching staff is worse than a preschooler's paper mache collage. Hell, I might start eating paste if I choose to watch these awful pitching performances... which I will. The coaching staff has been a plus for the most part the last 25 years, Gardy's tenure started off well in 2002 with a playoff series victory - since then - regular season success, playoff disasters. I think it is true that a new voice can turn the fortunes of a franchise around to a certain degree, but we don't have the pitching, and who will the Twins hire as their new manager? My guess is that it would be TK as the permanent interim Manager.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:14 PM
Ah, a thread from thrylos proclaiming that all the management and coaches should be fired. How original. This is a rebuilding year. Anyone who saw it as anything different was being willfully optimistic. The Twins are battling through a tough early stretch and dealing with plenty of pitching issues that are out of their control (please don't tell me you're one of those people who think it's the coaching staff's fault that Liriano can't throw strikes). The season is not a month old, and they've played elite teams almost exclusively. I don't know how much slack they should be cut but it's a lot more than this.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:23 PM
I love it when I read the word "rebuilding". I do not see it on Twins Daily too much. It is the truth and reality that Twins fans need to face.
Ah, a thread from thrylos proclaiming that all the management and coaches should be fired. How original.
This is a rebuilding year. Anyone who saw it as anything different was being willfully optimistic. The Twins are battling through a tough early stretch and dealing with plenty of pitching issues that are out of their control (please don't tell me you're one of those people who think it's the coaching staff's fault that Liriano can't throw strikes). The season is not a month old, and they've played elite teams almost exclusively.
I don't know how much slack they should be cut but it's a lot more than this.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:49 PM
The Truth is that the schedule is extremely difficult, when you don't have your starting pitching staff, what is Gardy really supposed to do. He isn't the one making the Terry Ryan decisions, he has to put out there the players he has. Gardy has Valencia, Thomas to deal with, along with filling in the rotation, spot starts from Swarzak, Hendriks, then you have to put and deal with a cancer that is Liriano. Does anybody really think that the coaching would even have a 2 win differential. The answer is no. You also have to keep in mind that Terry Ryan had to deal with a payroll concern of is Morneau and Mauer healthy? Why would you spend any more money on a team if those two aren't healthy. In my mind I would look to see where they are, see if we are in any race and determine to spend at the deadline. I am also giving slack to the Twins til the end of the first 60 games. I am not giving slack to Valencia or Liriano as they have had enough chances now.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:35 PM
Kyle Gibson would likely have been in the team's rotation plans in a big way this year. Add him to the list with Baker and Liriano. Arguably, that's two of the team's top six starters who are out for the year, and a third who's a complete mess. Ownership's decision to reduce payroll left Ryan without the money he needed to address all the holes in the roster. The minors didn't have enough talent to fill those holes either. Neither of those things fall on Ryan or Gardenhire.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:38 AM
Nick, Your facts are about as accurate as Cliff Cleavin. You demanded Liriano be signed to a 3-year deal after the 2010 season. Do you still remember that or just choose to forget. Your right it's not Gardy's fault for losing 12 straight playoff games in a row, a 24-68 lifetime record vs the Yankees, or that he coddled his players so much last year people just asked to sit the bench. We have the worst manager and coaching staff in MLB and it's not even close. Liriano is screwed up because of them telling him to "pitch to contact." Why make changes when the team is losing? It's just a rebuilding year and fans should accept it. This makes a lot of sense and would never fly in NY, LA, Boston, or even Detroit. My last point is Gardy has coached the most talented players in Twins history since 2002 and has accomplished nothing. Sorry but a cheap divsion tiltle (worst division in MLB from 2002-2007) does not mean anything. The fans were promised a better product and you defend them because of a tough schedule. I have never heard Texas complain about their schedule.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:53 AM
An organization puts out a veteran Team, (average age 29) and this is considered Rebuilding?
See 1982 Twins.
Well, that's not really an odd concept in Major League Baseball. Talent is often stored safely below in the spring (or entire year) while "placeholders" get the innings above. Of course it's debatable whether the Twins are in this situation.
I cut the Twins organization some slack. The issue with Morneau, in particular, has been difficult - to say the least. He's a "build around" guy and for well over a year it's been one big question mark. Obviously Maurer is the other head scratcher whose struggles can change the complexion of an entire team. Also, our #1 starter and best starting pitching prospect both get Tommy John. While we can debate whether either of them deserve that classification, their injuries aren't on anybody.
But there are other points that are not so easily dismissed. The infield is one steaming pile of proven mediocrity. The pitching staff probably more so. The organization has attempted incremental improvements with both through the past several years, only to replace mediocrity (or worse - see Nishioka), with more proven mediocrity. I give them credit for giving Parmalee at bats. I was fully expecting them to have 3 catchers and rotating Butera into the 1B/C mix. Of course, it seems that still might come to fruition.
With the outfield, Willingham has been phenomenal this spring. The only problem is that we signed him to play RF and his inability to play RF has left us scrambling; and left one of our best young talents without a chair when the music stopped. So that means we hire another "placeholder" for a position that I'm not sure who he's holding if for - Benson, Hicks, and Revere have all been playing LF/CF. That leads me to Plouffe. I don't know what the plan is with him. It seems to me at some point you have to give him a role and see whether he's a viable option moving forward.
But in the end, it always circles back to pitching. That's been been by far the most frustrating part. I don't criticize the team for giving Liriano chances despite his continuous struggles. He's our best talent. But despite our concerns with him and everybody else, our rotation did not improve whatsoever in the offseason. A notable exception perhaps being Liam Hendricks. We'll see if he can elevate himself above the Nick Blackburn line of Major League mediocrity. I don't have it in me to even discuss the bullpen.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:10 AM
Yes the team is somewhat rebuilding, but we still have the pieces to be somewhat competitive. I don't see us making the playoffs, but .500 isn't out of the question. The front office isn't to blame. No they didn't not get any big name pitchers in the off-season, but when have they ever? This is not a team thats going to throw 50 million at a pitcher. As already said losing Baker and Liriano being a joke is killing us. If our starting pitching gets it under control, which I am seeing start to happen with most of them, we should be fine.
I bent my wookie...