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Does Phil Miller know something here?

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#1 jokin

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:31 PM

Phil Miller threw a little wrinkle into Spring Training with this little tidbit buried in his article about Twins non-roster ST invitees http://www.startribu.../239450721.html :


"Among the most notable are former Twins Jason Bartlett, who agreed to a minor-league contract in November, and Jason Kubel, who signed a minor-league deal in December. Those two are projected to make the Twins' 25-man roster, and perhaps earn starting roles."


These 2 aren't anywhere to be found on the Twins own current depth chart:

http://minnesota.twi...chart/?c_id=min


While I expected Kubel to have a decent chance to make the club out of ST and either sink or swim to stay on the roster, Bartlett's chances of making the Twins seemed much less likely.

#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:35 PM

Eh, I think Miller is speculating. Ryan just said in an interview (paraphrasing here) "Nobody has seen Jason in a year and a half. We'll see what he looks like in Ft Myers."

That isn't exactly a ringing endorsement to see him on the 25 man roster.

#3 jokin

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:55 PM

Eh, I think Miller is speculating. Ryan just said in an interview (paraphrasing here) "Nobody has seen Jason in a year and a half. We'll see what he looks like in Ft Myers."

That isn't exactly a ringing endorsement to see him on the 25 man roster.


I hope this is true, but Miller's rhetoric seems to either be taking wildly great license by the choices in his rhetorical flourish..."are projected to make the Twins"...."perhaps earn starting roles"

...which could blow up in his face and make him look really foolish.....


or he has been tipped by Twins management that both Bartlett and Kubel are on the inside track to securing roster spots. This would necessarily indicate that the Twins have set their sights against further significant offseason improvement from any potential position player acquisitions. Disappointing if true, as there are opportunities out there, plus payroll space.

#4 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:00 PM

I would say if true, it's open admission they don't view Florimon as an everyday solution at SS, and it makes me want Drew even more.

#5 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:06 PM

or he has been tipped by Twins management that both Bartlett and Kubel are on the inside track to securing roster spots. This would necessarily indicate that the Twins have set their sights against further significant offseason improvement from any potential position player acquisitions. Disappointing if true, as there are opportunities out there, plus payroll space.


I just don't buy it. Ryan has openly said that he hasn't seen Jason Bartlett in 18 months. No way is a GM, even one as loyal as Ryan, going to give a 25 man spot to a guy who hasn't played with the organization in half a decade, a guy that hasn't played professional baseball in over a year.

Occam's Razor.

#6 Thrylos

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:13 PM

Phil Miller does not know that Aaron Thompson is a lefty, apparently.
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#7 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:14 PM

Occam's Razor.


Agree. Miller probably just lost focus on his words and lumped Bartlett (not so likely) with Kubel (more likely). Happens.

#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:30 PM

I think it's pretty much a given that Kubel is on the MLB roster Opening Day. They traded Doumit. He had MLB offers. He'll be with the team.

I don't know if Bartlett will even make the Rochester roster out of spring training, and I'd be shocked if he made the Twins roster. That said, it's a great signing because if he's healthy and well-rested, he could get back to being a solid SS.

#9 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:55 PM

I hope this is true, but Miller's rhetoric seems to either be taking wildly great license by the choices in his rhetorical flourish..."are projected to make the Twins"...."perhaps earn starting roles"

...which could blow up in his face and make him look really foolish.....

or he has been tipped by Twins management that both Bartlett and Kubel are on the inside track to securing roster spots. This would necessarily indicate that the Twins have set their sights against further significant offseason improvement from any potential position player acquisitions. Disappointing if true, as there are opportunities out there, plus payroll space.


I don't think I agree, jokin.

I've not scanned the field of who is left as far as power hitting FAs, so I could be missing a couple of obvious options.

It would be OK with me to save some money for next year and spend big to fill a real need. I think, even after this last year, we still are not sure what we have. With Sano in the wings, some other kids coming along and no clear hot-shot SS available in the market I'm not sure what's left to do.

Maybe sign a slugger OF, but aren't we hoping Hicks comes up and joins Arcia & Willingham/Kubel? (with Presley & Mastro as backups)

I know, there's ALWAYS something they COULD do. I do not, however, want them to spend money just to spend money.

Edited by Oldgoat_MN, 09 January 2014 - 07:07 PM.

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#10 Rick Niedermann

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:08 PM

I sure hope Bartlett can win the SS job. Sentimentally, I think he can. He was a great clutch hitter when he was with the Twins and one of my favorite players. Logically, I don't think he makes the grade. Pretty hard to comeback after being gone for so long from the game. If he could approach his 2007 numbers of 2HR 43RBI .265BA .339OBP .699OPS it would be a real boost to the lineup. Keeping my fingers crossed that this gamble works out for the Twins.

#11 JustinCB

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:23 PM

It would be OK with me to save some money for next year and spend big to fill a real need. I do not, however, want them to spend money just to spend money.


Would you rather they pocket it? They're only up to ~85MM. It's not as if they're going to earmark the remainder for 2015.

#12 clutterheart

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:41 PM

I have heard that they assured Kubel he makes the team out of spring

#13 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:08 PM

I sure hope Bartlett can win the SS job. Sentimentally, I think he can. He was a great clutch hitter when he was with the Twins and one of my favorite players. Logically, I don't think he makes the grade. Pretty hard to comeback after being gone for so long from the game. If he could approach his 2007 numbers of 2HR 43RBI .265BA .339OBP .699OPS it would be a real boost to the lineup. Keeping my fingers crossed that this gamble works out for the Twins.


He can easily hit those numbers, even after a year away from MLB. And yes, that would be a boost to the offense, sorry Flori. However, his 2nd rate defense doesn't compare to Pedro's, so maybe it would be a wash? I don't know.

#14 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:09 PM

I have heard that they assured Kubel he makes the team out of spring


Then why not just give him a MLB contract? Making sure they get more for Dumit? I guess that makes sense.

#15 cmathewson

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:33 PM

The reason Bartlett has been out of sight is injuries. He is said to be healthy for the first time in 18 months. If so, he could give Florimon a run for his money. I still think Miller is reaching when he says they expect him to beat out Florimon. But I would not be shocked if he did. Surprised? Yes, Shocked? no.
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#16 jokin

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:00 PM

The reason Bartlett has been out of sight is injuries. He is said to be healthy for the first time in 18 months. If so, he could give Florimon a run for his money. I still think Miller is reaching when he says they expect him to beat out Florimon. But I would not be shocked if he did. Surprised? Yes, Shocked? no.


Mark me down as: Stunned.....but as USAFChief said above, the fact that Miller would willingly print this comment possibly says volumes of what the Twins think of Florimon- a 34 year old who has basically been out of baseball for 2 years- has a decent shot at taking Flori's starting job on a rebuilding team.

#17 jokin

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:16 PM

I don't think I agree, jokin.

I've not scanned the field of who is left as far as power hitting FAs, so I could be missing a couple of obvious options.

It would be OK with me to save some money for next year and spend big to fill a real need. I think, even after this last year, we still are not sure what we have. With Sano in the wings, some other kids coming along and no clear hot-shot SS available in the market I'm not sure what's left to do.

Maybe sign a slugger OF, but aren't we hoping Hicks comes up and joins Arcia & Willingham/Kubel? (with Presley & Mastro as backups)

I know, there's ALWAYS something they COULD do. I do not, however, want them to spend money just to spend money.


Drew and Hardy available at SS.

Morales and M Young available to DH.

Weiters and possibly Jason Castro at C.

Possibly Pods or Grady Sizemore available as CFs.

Jason Kubel would be a great story if he can come in here and hit like he did in 2012, but I think the odds are pretty long to get that type of production:

1)he got those 2012 numbers in the thin desert air,
2)he hates Target Field,
3)you can't possibly play him in the OF at the same time that Willingham is out there (Arcia may need another trip down to AAA),
4)his K% has gone up every year dramatically since 2009, alarmingly up to 31.7% in 2013,
5)his Contact Rate is also plummeting, to career lows (69.8%) in 2013..(he averaged in the 80+% while with the Twins).

Hope the Twins have him visit an ophthamologist.

#18 cmathewson

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:33 PM

Drew and Hardy available at SS.

Morales and M Young available to DH.

Weiters and possibly Jason Castro at C.

Possibly Pods or Grady Sizemore available as CFs.

Jason Kubel would be a great story if he can come in here and hit like he did in 2012, but I think the odds are pretty long to get that type of production:

1)he got those 2012 numbers in the thin desert air,
2)he hates Target Field,
3)you can't possibly play him in the OF at the same time that Willingham is out there (Arcia may need another trip down to AAA),
4)his K% has gone up every year dramatically since 2009, alarmingly up to 31.7% in 2013,
5)his Contact Rate is also plummeting, to career lows (69.8%) in 2013..(he averaged in the 80+% while with the Twins).

Hope the Twins have him visit an ophthamologist.


Sizemore? Really. He hasn't played regularly since 2009. He hasn't played at all since 2011.
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#19 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:35 PM

Sizemore? Really. He hasn't played regularly since 2009. He hasn't played at all since 2011.

Bartlett hasn't played since 2012, and that was 29 games, but people are penciling him in at SS.

#20 jokin

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:18 PM

[quote name='cmathewson']Sizemore? Really. He hasn't played regularly since 2009. He hasn't played at all since 2011.[/QUOTE]

[quote name='USAFChief']Bartlett hasn't played since 2012, and that was 29 games, but people are penciling him in at SS.[/QUOTE]





From MLB.com http://mlb.mlb.com/n...0&vkey=news_cin :

[QUOTE] 'One player the Reds could end up getting is former star Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. "We have [talked]," says Jocketty. "I'm not sure where that is right now. With the holidays, not much has happened." Due to injury trouble, Sizemore has not played since 2011, so if the Reds were to sign him, it would almost certainly be a minor-league deal.
Jocketty believed Sizemore was healthy to try resuming his career.
"We think so. He appears to be," the GM said.'
[/QUOTE]


At least Sizemore and one team think he can come back with a somewhat better endorsement that TR gave Bartlett. Grady Sizemore at 75% until Buxton comes up or Hicks proves truly ready sounds pretty good to me.

Edited by jokin, 09 January 2014 - 11:46 PM.


#21 Otwins

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:39 AM

All Miller said was PERHAPS win a starting role. I do not think it is out of the realm of possibilities that PERHAPS Bartlett beats out Florimon. It is not likely to me that Florimon will ever be as good as Bartlett was. Matters how healthy Bartlett is.

Hardy, Wieters, Castro are listed as being available but what would we have to trade to acquire these guys. I think free agency is our only recourse other than minor trades. Or a trade where we take on salary to acquire value.

Edited by Otwins, 10 January 2014 - 12:44 AM.


#22 The Wise One

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 03:31 AM

Drew and Hardy available at SS.

Morales and M Young available to DH.

Weiters and possibly Jason Castro at C.

Possibly Pods or Grady Sizemore available as CFs.

Jason Kubel would be a great story if he can come in here and hit like he did in 2012, but I think the odds are pretty long to get that type of production:

1)he got those 2012 numbers in the thin desert air,
2)he hates Target Field,
3)you can't possibly play him in the OF at the same time that Willingham is out there (Arcia may need another trip down to AAA),
4)his K% has gone up every year dramatically since 2009, alarmingly up to 31.7% in 2013,
5)his Contact Rate is also plummeting, to career lows (69.8%) in 2013..(he averaged in the 80+% while with the Twins).

Hope the Twins have him visit an ophthamologist.

I am all for getting Weiters and Hardy. Think the Orioles would take Correia, Burton, Florimon, and Duensing in trade for the two? Add Willingham and maybe they might even throw in a prospect. Realistically to get one of those players start with one off Sano or Buxton, add another prospect or two from the top 10 and they might not hang up the phone. Same goes for Castro.

Edited by The Wise One, 10 January 2014 - 03:39 AM.


#23 The Wise One

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 03:34 AM

The Twins hedged their bets with both Kubel and Bartlett. Kubel may have been told things, but the cruel reality is if he does not look good in spring training, he will be a Red Wing.

#24 AM.

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:59 AM

Sizemore sounds like a nice idea (back in 2010, you could have made a good case for him to be set up to be one of the best players for the next decade), but realistically, I don't see that happening at all. We should want Hicks to get another shot at CF, and with the way Buxton is coming, it has to be sooner rather than later for Hicks to get another shot. If you sign Sizemore, then you likely have a muddled situation no matter how you work it.

To answer the question at hand, it does seem quite plausible to me that Bartlett could, if healthy, be the Twins starting SS on Opening Day. That doesn't mean he would be much of upgrade, but that speaks more of their current options rather than his level of play.

#25 gmarais66

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:16 AM

The bar really isn't set very high for Bartlett. If he can hit better than .221/.281/.330 (Florimon's 2013 numbers) he could definitely be the starter...

#26 Jim H

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:28 AM

I was never particularly high on Bartlett's defense when he was with the Twins. I know that others were, and his defense seemed to improve a bit with Tampa. I always did like his offense, considering that there was no power. Still he seems a long shot to me. I would think that the chances of him being more than a backup at this stage of his career are very high against, and I am not sure that he is likely to be any clear upgrade to Escobar. Whether there will be a need for a 2nd backup infielder kind of depends on how the roster plays out.

I can't get much excited about the speculation concerning Sizemore, but clearly the interest in Rajah Davis shows that Ryan might be interested in adding some sort of outfielder who can play defense and has a little pop. Talk about Wieters is kind of silly, why would you want to block Pinto and I really can't see Ryan doing anything at catcher after he added Suzuki.

The whole DH corner outfield thing is still pretty messy and unclear. The outfield would be a lot clearer if Hicks and Arcia prove they are ready.

#27 nicksaviking

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:31 AM

The Twins hedged their bets with both Kubel and Bartlett. Kubel may have been told things, but the cruel reality is if he does not look good in spring training, he will be a Red Wing.


He maybe even has to look better than good. The Twins would save themselves $2 million just by sending him to Rochester for a couple weeks. That's a pretty big incentive. I really doubt Kubel wasn't promised anything, the confident reports about him making the roster are coming from his camp, what else would they say?

Also agree that Miller just didn't choose his words wisely. There's no reason for the team to give Bartlet a 25 man spot now and there's absolutely no reason for them to tell that to Phil Miller.

#28 Jim Crikket

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 01:52 PM

I really hadn't given it much thought before, but I'm not sure it's outside the realm of possibility that Ryan and others in the organization think Bartlett is essentially almost as good a bet as a potential upgrade over Florimon as Drew would be... and for a lot less money/risk.

Bartlett and Drew aren't all that different if you assume both would be healthy enough to produce somewhere near their career averages and Bartlett is just under 2 years older, so the age difference is virtually meaningless if you assume you'd only be looking to get 1-3 years out of either one.

Ryan's too smart to say anything publicly other than what he said, but just because they haven't seen Bartlett on a MLB diamond in a couple years doesn't mean they haven't had eyes watch him work out.

A silent confidence that Bartlett could be for real, if that's the situation, is actually one of the few legitimate reasons I've heard for the Twins seemingly total lack of interest in Drew.

Shortstop is just such an obvious candidate for offensive upgrade that I can't imagine the Twins wouldn't do anything to address it. So maybe they feel they have.
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#29 SpitefulRabbit617

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:07 PM

Gotta love stepping backwards. No idea why we should "hand" either of the two jobs out of spring training. I would rather have Colabello as an outfielder than Kubel and Florimon/Escobar over Bartlett. I would say its safer to see one of them on the DL ending ST a la Cole DeVries than coming with for the opening series in the Regular Season. Retreads are the Twins MOS though........

#30 jokin

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:13 PM

Also agree that Miller just didn't choose his words wisely. There's no reason for the team to give Bartlet a 25 man spot now and there's absolutely no reason for them to tell that to Phil Miller.







Gotta love stepping backwards. No idea why we should "hand" either of the two jobs out of spring training.


I would rather have Colabello as an outfielder than Kubel and Florimon/Escobar over Bartlett. I would say its safer to see one of them on the DL ending ST a la Cole DeVries than coming with for the opening series in the Regular Season.

Retreads are the Twins MOS though........



+1 to SpitefulRabbit

And there is little basis for the attacking of the messenger.....while allowing for a mistake here and there, for the most part, Phil Miller has been a repertorially refreshing breath of beat-coverage-fresh air who hasn't been prone to a lot of sensationalistic or journalistic faux pas. His words are pretty unequivocally stated in reporting that both Kubel and Barlett appear to stand excellent chances on being on the opening day 25-man rosters with a decent shot to be starters.

Spiteful, you answered you're own query quite distinctly, with both your opening and closing thoughts. It appears that the bargain-rate recycling of currently down-on-their-luck former Twins (with Santana still waiting in the wings) is the second prong in their two-pronged offseason marketing plan to stabilize attendance with:

1) an upgraded rotation, and,

2) throwing out some familiar names from the recent and more successful past,

which Nicksaviking, is why they might whisper tidbits like this to Phil Miller. ( I wonder if Corey Koskie is being contemplated at One Twins Way as the platoon partner for Plouffe? /sarc). It actually might work out both marketing-wise and in on-the-field performance, but it's a much longer shot than actually getting better players to add to the Rotation upgrade prong in their apparent offseason Master Plan.

Edited by jokin, 10 January 2014 - 04:25 PM.