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Article: Tanaka Topples Twins and Correia

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 03:27 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...ins-and-Correia

#2 JB_Iowa

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 03:55 PM

Re: Correia

He was very efficient the first 3 innings. Then we hit the 4th and I felt like it was Deja Vu -- second time through the order and all h*ll breaks out. But I was pleasantly surprised to see him settle back in for the 5th and 6th. It'll be interesting to see if he can get through the line-up 2 1/2 to 3 times without a meltdown.

Also, saw this tweet:


  • Mike Berardino ‏@MikeBerardino 32m
    Gardy said #mntwins missed 3 signs today. Aaron Hicks "was part of the we" in "we missed three signs."


    Do you know what the missed signs were?


    Have a safe flight home. Thanks for your updates.

#3 mumoo13

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 04:03 PM

I hope you're wrong about Suzuki. We should just have Mauer hit 2nd, until Hicks proves he's good enough.

#4 JB_Iowa

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 04:09 PM

I think Nick is probably right about Suzuki ... at least to start the season.

And somewhere the other day I thought I saw a stat that batting 2nd was Suzuki's 2nd highest OBP of anyplace he has batted in the line-up (for his career).

#5 Thrylos

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 04:44 PM

And somewhere the other day I thought I saw a stat that batting 2nd was Suzuki's 2nd highest OBP of anyplace he has batted in the line-up (for his career).


Close but not cigar. Here are his career OBPs (and PAs) in different positions:

Batting 1st 124 PA, .258 OBP
Batting 2nd 223 PA, .336 OBP
Batting 3rd 412 PA, .291 OBP
Batting 4th 262 PA, .336 OBP
Batting 5th 450 PA, .300 OBP
Batting 6th 333 PA, .294 OBP
Batting 7th 410 PA, .317 OBP
Batting 8th 759 PA, .308 OBP
Batting 9th 294 PA, .337 OBP

One can argue that he should bat 9th ;)
(other than the leadoff, none of the others are significant based on the amount of PAs.)

The one interesting thing is that he has bat all over the order in his career.
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#6 Nick Nelson

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 04:56 PM

Do you know what the missed signs were?

I'm afraid I don't. I was there for the interview but Gardy was quite vague about it. My assumption is that it had to do with him stealing second after singling in the third. I was kind of waiting for him to attempt a steal because Tanaka has a somewhat slow delivery and the Twins were at the bottom of lineup, but he didn't try running throughout Florimon's entire at-bat and was eventually thrown out when he tried to run during Dozier's following AB.

And somewhere the other day I thought I saw a stat that batting 2nd was Suzuki's 2nd highest OBP of anyplace he has batted in the line-up (for his career).

That's a little misleading. Almost all of his ABs batting second came early in his career, when he was a better hitter. He's been in the starting lineup as No. 2 hitter once in the last four years.

#7 JB_Iowa

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 05:14 PM

Thanks, Nick.

Well, batting second was tied for second on his career positional OBP so at least I'm not hallucinating about the tweet I saw.

I'm not saying he should bat 2nd. But it doesn't surprise me that Gardenhire would bat him there to start the season given the rest of the likely regulars. I think he'd probably rather have Dozier in the 2 spot but there just don't seem to be any good candidates for leadoff. For now, I would guess they want to keep a little of the pressure off Hicks to try to give him a better chance to settle in. And given what happened last spring, its hard to argue with that.

#8 jokin

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 05:33 PM

"He wasn't getting his front foot down which is a bad sign for him," said Gardenhire. "It looked like he was really late on all the pitches."

Nevertheless, one thing I've come to realize down here is that Florimon has a tight grip on the shortstop job. There's no competition for the position despite his late start to the spring, and right now Gardenhire is simply focused on getting him as much playing time as possible before the season gets underway.

"We're working on trying to get him going here."





Thanks for your honest reporting about Florimon. Was his game in the field against the Braves just a mirage? He looked out of synch in the field on those 2 botched plays to his left and of course, just brutal at the plate. (And correct me if I'm wrong, but it looked like Trevor Plouffe had been instructed to cover more ground to Florimon's right, as well, I don't think I've ever seen him go that far to his left before at 3B).

In the meantime, Escobar hits a homer today and appears he's already got his hitting "going here" (.314 BA/.820 OPS). Why not just give Florimon a week of Extended ST if that's what it's going to take to "get him going here?"

Edited by jokin, 22 March 2014 - 05:43 PM.


#9 DuluthFan

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 05:37 PM

Another day, another (meaningless) spring loss. After falling to Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees 5-4 on Saturday, the Twins are now 0-5 since I arrived in Ft. Myers on Monday, but fortunately the games don't start counting for another week.


0-5 Coincidence? Or is the sample size large enough to suggest barring you from attending any Twins games this year?

#10 Willihammer

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 05:59 PM

Gardy's always liked "bat handlers" batting second. Meaning, put the ball in play and not strikeout. Suzuki does do that.

Get em on, get em over, get em in I guess.

#11 Halsey Hall

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 06:27 PM

Thanks, Nick.

I think he'd probably rather have Dozier in the 2 spot but there just don't seem to be any good candidates for leadoff. .


There's one perfect candidate for leadoff, Joe Mauer. Like I told Gardy yesterday, Joe will walk 100 times this year with Willingham behind him. Look what happened today when Joe came up with 2 outs and men on 1st and 2nd. Tanaka didn't give him anything near the zone and a 4 pitch walk. Willingham flies out. Nuff said!

#12 jorgenswest

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 07:05 PM

I didn't imagine Suzuki being the starter or batting second at the time of the signing.

At the time, he was the best of the leftovers at catcher. Seemed like a good idea to have a veteran working with a Pinto and starting a game a series.

The Twins probably need to exercise more caution when handing a veteran to Gardenhire.

How does he profile as a number 2 hitter? He doesn't get on base well. He sees a below average number of pitches per plate appearance. He has been more of a fly ball hitter with a high number of infield fly balls. Odd for a guy that doesn't hit home runs. I really don't think he will hit second very often.

#13 Dantes929

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:15 PM

Pinto would be a better choice for 2nd spot. .351 OBP in minors and .398 in majors last year. Not a big fan of Escobar but he sounds like leaps and bounds better than Florimon right now. A week to go so its not essential to make any decisions right now but if Florimon continues to look bad why put him in a position to fail. I will say again that people should get over Hicks bad year last year and also the idea that he can't bat leadoff. Hicks, Dozier, Mauer, Willingham, Plouffe, Arcia, Colabello, Pinto, and Escobar would be our best lineup, imo.

#14 Willihammer

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:38 PM

There's one perfect candidate for leadoff, Joe Mauer. Like I told Gardy yesterday, Joe will walk 100 times this year with Willingham behind him. Look what happened today when Joe came up with 2 outs and men on 1st and 2nd. Tanaka didn't give him anything near the zone and a 4 pitch walk. Willingham flies out. Nuff said!


About 5 feet from a grand slam. But I agree Hammer needs to pick it up.

#15 jokin

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:50 PM

Pinto would be a better choice for 2nd spot. .351 OBP in minors and .398 in majors last year. Not a big fan of Escobar but he sounds like leaps and bounds better than Florimon right now. A week to go so its not essential to make any decisions right now but if Florimon continues to look bad why put him in a position to fail. I will say again that people should get over Hicks bad year last year and also the idea that he can't bat leadoff. Hicks, Dozier, Mauer, Willingham, Plouffe, Arcia, Colabello, Pinto, and Escobar would be our best lineup, imo.


That lineup sounds about the best they could field to start out the season (but would they risk batting a rookie like Pinto so high in the order after last year's experience?). And speaking of last year, Hicks is apparently back in the doghouse for missing a sign (meaning Presley by default), Suzuki is already the starting C (in which case, does Pinto make the team playing only 2 days a week?) and Florimon is the starting SS, while Kubel is the DH (at least aganst RHSP), so I'm guessing they won't use your lineup much starting out, until something, or someone, gives.

Edited by jokin, 22 March 2014 - 09:59 PM.


#16 tobi0040

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:43 AM

Gardy's always liked "bat handlers" batting second. Meaning, put the ball in play and not strikeout. Suzuki does do that.

Get em on, get em over, get em in I guess.


Bat handlers and speedy guys #2. That is the way he likes it, even if it makes no sense at all. Remember when Casilla batted #2 for 75% of the year when he was hitting .220 with about a .260 OBP?

How someone in the organization doesn't pull Gardy aside and run him through scenarios. Okay, your #3 hitter gets a hit 33% of the time and he will have a runner on 6-7% more often with batters x, y, z batting second. How often does the moving over, hit and run, etc, come into play? You sure that is the best lineup?

Not that they should have to pull him aside and teach him that....

#17 tobi0040

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:47 AM

Close but not cigar. Here are his career OBPs (and PAs) in different positions:

Batting 1st 124 PA, .258 OBP
Batting 2nd 223 PA, .336 OBP
Batting 3rd 412 PA, .291 OBP
Batting 4th 262 PA, .336 OBP
Batting 5th 450 PA, .300 OBP
Batting 6th 333 PA, .294 OBP
Batting 7th 410 PA, .317 OBP
Batting 8th 759 PA, .308 OBP
Batting 9th 294 PA, .337 OBP

One can argue that he should bat 9th ;)
(other than the leadoff, none of the others are significant based on the amount of PAs.)

The one interesting thing is that he has bat all over the order in his career.


Kind of a chicken and egg thing here. When he was having a good year, he gets reps at #2 or #4. He should not be sniffing the top of the lineup

#18 Thrylos

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 08:38 AM

If you look at the lineup today, you will see the biggest issue with Suzuki batting second: Gardy will bat the catcher second, which means that Pinto will bat second as he is today.
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#19 Willihammer

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 08:50 AM

Bat handlers and speedy guys #2. That is the way he likes it, even if it makes no sense at all. Remember when Casilla batted #2 for 75% of the year when he was hitting .220 with about a .260 OBP?

How someone in the organization doesn't pull Gardy aside and run him through scenarios. Okay, your #3 hitter gets a hit 33% of the time and he will have a runner on 6-7% more often with batters x, y, z batting second. How often does the moving over, hit and run, etc, come into play? You sure that is the best lineup?

Not that they should have to pull him aside and teach him that....


In Gardy's defense, the strategy did work to a T in the first inning of this game.

Dozier singled, stole second, took third on a Suzuki groundout, scored on a Mauer groundout. Against a possible ace like Tanaka, maybe its not such a bad strategy.

Honestly, after all the strikeouts last year, a few more "productive outs" would be welcome IMO.

#20 Sconnie

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 09:13 AM

At first I thought the title was "Tanaka Topless"... That would make for an odd TD story.

I hope missing a sign doesn't put Hicks in the doghouse. Sure he should have caught the sign, but that shouldn't necessitate making the team worse and hurting Hicks' development.

in regards to the number 2 hitter and productive outs, small ball can work if you have a lot of speed (and good defense as a byproduct) but this team doesn't have that. They aren't going to beat out many weak grounders to first.

#21 Dantes929

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 09:16 AM

If you look at the lineup today, you will see the biggest issue with Suzuki batting second: Gardy will bat the catcher second, which means that Pinto will bat second as he is today.

But Pinto batting second makes a little sense. Suzuki batting 2nd does not. 1st two guys should be all about OBP.

#22 CRArko

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 09:31 AM

Bat second, play catcher. It's what everybody screamed for with Mauer last year. Looks like it stuck. :)

#23 Halsey Hall

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 09:34 AM

About 5 feet from a grand slam. But I agree Hammer needs to pick it up.


Right, but as high as far. I still haven't seen any comments that Mauer shouldn't lead off. The best stick on the team doesn't need a ton of walks. I really think it's a no brainer for what we have for offense. This team needs runs and it looks like most of them will have to come from the top of the lineup, so let's do this.

#24 Sconnie

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 10:15 AM

Right, but as high as far. I still haven't seen any comments that Mauer shouldn't lead off. The best stick on the team doesn't need a ton of walks. I really think it's a no brainer for what we have for offense. This team needs runs and it looks like most of them will have to come from the top of the lineup, so let's do this.

The highest obp guy with the best speed should lead off...
At least if you bat Mauer lead off, he will hit into fewer double plays.
How would your lineup look with Mauer leading off?
Mauer 1b
Dozier 2b
Kubel DH
Willingham LF
Plouffe 3b
Arcia RF
Suzuki/Pinto C
Florimon SS
Hicks CF

#25 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 10:38 AM

Right, but as high as far. I still haven't seen any comments that Mauer shouldn't lead off. The best stick on the team doesn't need a ton of walks. I really think it's a no brainer for what we have for offense. This team needs runs and it looks like most of them will have to come from the top of the lineup, so let's do this.

There are good arguments to be made to have Mauer in any of the first three spots in the lineup, IMO. I don't see a huge advantage to any of them over the others...the problem isn't where to put Mauer so much as finding better options for the other 8 spots. Given they don't have better options, I feel it's somewhat pointless to worry about which spot Gardy slots Mauer into, but then I've always felt who is in the lineup is way more important than how you arrange them.

#26 Shane Wahl

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 11:43 AM

We know that batting Suzuki second is indefensible.

Honestly, I probably would go Mauer-Dozier-Arcia-Willingham to start the season. Obviously that isn't going to happen though. Maybe the best we can hope for is Dozier-Mauer-Willingham-Arcia.

#27 PopRiveter

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:35 PM

Totally misread this headline as, "Tanaka, Topless Twins, and Correia."
Turned out to be much more appropriate.

#28 ericchri

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 07:40 AM

Where Mauer bats is probably going to be the difference in about +/- 10 runs scored on the season overall. He's obviously the best choice on the team to bat 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th. You'd never waste him lower than that in the order, but the problem is you need to fill in those other 3 spots in the order around him. I think most of us would probably grab Dozier, Willingham, and Arcia for those spots with the assumption they're the 3 next-best hitters on the team. Once you decide on those 4, in my mind you toss a coin between Mauer and Dozier for 1st or 2nd in the lineup, and likewise for Arcia and Willingham for 3rd and 4th. Hopefully Hicks forces his way into this situation, but for now he should really bat lower in the order until he proves he's figured it out.