02-28-2012, 09:57 PM #1
Article: Building a Bench
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/index.html?260-Building-a-Bench
02-28-2012, 10:48 PM #2
Also signed to push Butera for the third catcher spot: one of those bounce back nets.
02-28-2012, 11:00 PM #3
For the most part I agree with you on your bench projections. I think Nishioka should start in AAA or maybe even AA so he doesn't hold Dozier back, but I do not expect the Twins to do that. He is not of much value as a utility guy, but that is what is most likely.
By the way, I think you might have meant 12 pitchers going north, not 13, unless the roster max. is now 26 for opening day.
02-29-2012, 08:52 AM #4
"My assumption is that 13 pitchers will come north, since that's how they Twins have generally operated in the past and they've got a whopping 33 hurlers in camp this year (several of whom are out of options and one of whom is a Rule 5 draftee). If that's indeed the route they go, there's only room for one more bench player beyond the three mentioned above."
If they carry 13 pitchers (i.e. 8 in the pen) that's it. No room (need 12 position players and 9 are starting). But they will carry max 12 pitchers (been talking about even 11) so there is room
02-29-2012, 09:30 AM #5
Bullpen & Bench
And going with 11 pitchers means you can carry the 3rd catcher & have Nishi backing up SS. The bench then would be something like:
02-29-2012, 10:04 AM #6
02-29-2012, 11:43 AM #7
This is something that has driven me nuts for the past couple years. The Twins had only one good hitter that came off the bench (Thome) and that was short-lived as Morneau's injuries pushed Thome into the lineup as the starting DH. The Twins have definitely focused on having capable defenders at each position group (catcher, infield, outfield, and one extra at any of these three) but they haven't really carried any good hitters.
Right now, I'd predict it's Butera, Hughes, Plouffe, and Nishioka/Tosoni for the bench. You've got some decent hitters in Hughes, Plouffe, and Tosoni, but they're not going to strike fear in many hitters.
I keep hoping the Twins will sign Eric Hinske some day, but that's probably never going to happen. Or they'll just do the same thing as they did with Carroll and sign Hinske when he's 37.
02-29-2012, 12:14 PM #8
The bench flexibility is going to be drastically reduced by the Twins (read:Gardy's) insistence on carrying 3 catchers and 12 pitchers. Both are on the iffy side in and of themselves, but combined they put the team in a significant hole regarding the bench.
A 3rd catcher isn't a horrible idea...if they can hit a little and be of use as a PH. Butera has no value there. Towles might, but hasn't proven it in MLB. Makes the 3rd catcher a luxury that's unaffordable with 12 pitchers. That leaves a 4 man bench, and while I think Plouffe & Hughes are close to locks, and are potentially nice options off the bench, that only leaves one spot left. I'd like it to be for a hitter, and unless Nishioka shows something more than what we've seen, he might be better off starting the year in Rochester. I suspect Gardy will want him on the big club , though as an additional option at SS. Plouffe will not be there, absent catastrophe, his career at SS is done.
My preference would be for the Twins to no either not waste a roster spot on a 3rd catcher or a 12th pitcher (I have no hope it'll be both) and keep either Tosoni or Burroughs as the LH bench bat. (If a miracle occurs, give me both) Neither has much left to prove in the minors and both have potential to be good LH bats in MLB, with some positional flexibility. My proposed bench:
No 3rd catcher. If Gardy demands there be one, send Nishioka to AAA and keep Towles if he shows he can hit anything in spring training. I want black hole Butera GONE. I don't want Gardy to have the option of deciding it's a good idea to let Butera be Pavano's personal catcher again and get 50% of the starts when Mauer is resting or DHing over Doumit because "he can really pick it" and "sets a good target" or whatever BS gets trotted out. Butera cannot hit enough to be a MLB player. His D is very good, but not so elite that it can make up for the horrendous hitting.
Part of winning baseball is putting yourself in position to win. Part of that is avoiding situations where you lose. Making sure the manager can't start Drew Butera 50-60 games is part of avoiding a situation where you lose.
02-29-2012, 07:47 PM #9
if only toby g was still on the team......
02-29-2012, 08:26 PM #10
I'm sure that injuries will play a role early and whatever bench leaves Fort Myers will change within two weeks. I love the idea of having a Thome-like veteran bat off the bench. I think if Bill Smith were still in charge, the Twins would have a Derrek Lee or Vlad Guerrero type in camp. As it is, I tend to think that Sean Burroughs has the lead for the final bench spot.