04-25-2012, 06:08 PM #1
Twins sign IF Joe Thurston
To a MiLB deal and assign him to Rochester. Career .226/.305/.323 line in parts of 7 MLB season. Just a fill in at this point, esp. because of Nishioka injuries, but they could have rewarded a AA kid...
04-25-2012, 06:40 PM #2
04-25-2012, 06:48 PM #3
The only way that this may make any sense, is if Dozier gets promoted when they get down to 12 pitchers and Florimon would naturally come up. And he is a AAA and not a AA level player anyways...
04-25-2012, 07:05 PM #4
It makes sense because Rochester needs middle infielders. He's not going to take time from prospects. Florimon is where he needs to b e. No need to move him up at this point. Thurston's a very good AAA player who will help Rochester. This isn't a sign for the big leagues at all. This is for Rochester, and that's OK.
04-25-2012, 07:17 PM #5
04-25-2012, 10:55 PM #6
Nothing wrong with having some farm depth. The Twins have historically been slow to promote and having a quality AAA player to help them win some games is a good thing.
04-26-2012, 12:41 AM #7
I worry about players who aren't moved fast enough to AAA (does not need to be FAST, but 200 PA more than every other team (to MLB) seems gratuitous, or who skip it altogether. What the hell is Rochester . . . . just a half re-tread contingent to supposedly make that team competitive?
Exhibit A: Ben Revere: Very little time in Rochester where he could refine his offensive skills. Why didn't they just sign someone like Clete Thomas or Darin Mastroianni last year to fill his role (and produce similar value) and let Revere develop against near-MLB pitching?
Exhibit B: Chris Parmelee: what a ridiculous situation--he repeats everywhere along the way, including too long at New Britain last year and they SKIP Rochester based on nonsense limited stats from September and spring training (the latter is truly stupid to base much off of). And look at him now. Not even playing all the time and when he does it is sub-700 OPS.
Exhibit C: Joe Benson: repeating like Parmelee until this year, but at Rochester clearly 1/3 of a year too late. How would it not have been better to promote him to AAA at the beginning of August last year to see what he can do there? Promoting guys in season has all sorts of benefits including psychological benefits.
Exhibit D: Brian Dozier: what irony. He is promoted in season and continues his progress, perhaps even getting better with the move to AA last year. And HE is the guy that isn't up with the Twins now and didn't get the call-up last September? Weird.
I don't understand this organization's attitude towards AAA at all. Thurston reminds me of last year when the Twins signed career minor leaguers just to make Rochester happy as though having re-treads is better than up and coming prospects.
04-26-2012, 12:43 AM #8
04-26-2012, 06:18 AM #9
The Twins likely have more prospects in Rochester than most teams in AAA. Have you seen some of these rosters. Syracuse has Bryce Harper, but they also have Jason Michaels and MArk Teahen and a lot of veterans. Lehigh Valley is pretty much nothing but veteran types. I'm not a fan of that. I do like that the Twins have a good mix of veterans and prospects.
Was Ben Revere served well by getting pushed too quickly from AAA to MLB? I don't think so. He was alright, but what could he have done with appropriate AAA time last year.
Chris Parmelee had a nice season in AA last year, but it wasn't dominant by any means, and the Rock Cats were actually in contention for a playoff spot, and that can be part of the development process too, learning to play as a team toward a goal. Same with Joe Benson. And, Parmelee got pushed this year to the big leagues and I think it's fair to say that he's struggling and should be in AAA. Benson is struggling in AAA.
Dozier is a different example because he was dominating at FM last year when promoted to NB. The Twins promoted a ton of prospects throughout the year last year, so I don't think it's fair to say that they don't.
I'm all for rewarding good play, but that good play has to be more than 3 weeks of good play too.
The other thing to remember is that it is possible that Thurston and several of the other veterans at Rochester may have opt-out clauses so there could be some transactions coming by sometime in May, or June 1. There will be injuries, and promotions, particularly at the season's mid-point.
04-26-2012, 07:08 AM #10
The minor league systems are also not only about promoting and pushing through prospects. The lack of infield depth has been a concern for the Twins over the last few years. The Twins may look at Thurston as an upgrade (even a slight one) over what is currently available.
As Seth mentions, you also need to have a mix of veterans to go with the prospects. The veterans can lead by example and help to teach just as much as the actual coaches. Giving the younger prospects a challenge is not such a bad thing either. They see that the team brings in a veteran to fill a slot that could be theirs, so it can push them to be better.
Signing veterans to these minor league deals also gives the Twins more flexability. They can call them up in a pinch wihout burning valuable option years ion prospects who are not quite ready for the show. They may also get some surprises on individuals who can make the roster (see Sean Burroughs, their are countless examples of other teams signing players to minor league contracts only to see them make the team).
Lastly, AAA teams do not want to be the whipping child of the major league team. Rochester wants to see wins just as much as the Twins do. The Rochester teams have been horrible the last few years. The Twins need to maintain a good relationship with the team or they could ultimately lose them (remember, the Twins do not own the Rochester franchise, they are just affiliated with them).
This isn't just about pushing through prospects, their are many other dynamics at play.
04-26-2012, 09:56 AM #11
I will respond to both of you here, since there are similar things said. The performance aspect (Rochester being a bad team) isn't necessarily improved with these has-beens rather than prospects, and there might be more appeal for minor league teams to have prospects that people want to come out and see (any word on Beloit's attendance this year, for instance?). One thing I thought was an improvement over last year is that the Twins initially signed AAA player that were actually pretty good (Burroughs, Carson, Ramirez, Florimon, etc.) as opposed to the Chase Lambin and Jeff Bailey type. Thurston seems like the latter variety, but oh well.
Revere is Exhibit A! I don't mean to say that they Twins should promote fast to MLB, but rather to get players at the highest level of MiLB and see how they perform. This means that I like in-season promotions (for many reasons, one of which is if they are going to move up a level at the beginning of next year anyway, it's good to prevent slow starts by having them be familiar with the next level already--see Aaron Hicks 2011, Michael Gonzalez this year, etc.) and I would have just liked Rochester to have a team of Revere, Benson, Tosoni, Parmelee, etc. last year for some period of time together. Now they are all over the place (Parm 2/3 time with the Twins, Revere up and down, Benson and Tosoni struggling (I know Tosoni is hurt, but keeping in mind last year) at AAA, etc.
The general idea is that I like the team to stay in-house first, giving guys the opportunity to perform when they are already here as opposed to adding Clete Thomas, JR Towles, Joe Thurston, etc. Good lord, is Clete Thomas (aside from being a lefty) really going to be better than Matt Carson for the Twins? JR Towles rather than Danny Lehmann? Thurston rather than Florimon or increased time for Chang?
Meanwhile, instead of AAA has-beens, why not find more Chris Colabellos to start at AA or lower and see what happens. Or under 25 guys who still might develop, but could use time at AA or A+ while promoting guys there up a level?
I don't know the details of the Baseball Prospectus study about minor league service time. The 200 PA more than everyone else doesn't bother me as much if the stagnation occurs at higher levels in the system (and it just happens that players end up not being very good), but I get the sense that a lot of it happens a A/A+.
04-26-2012, 10:12 AM #12
I could swear that a recent study showed the Twins promoted in the minors slower than other teams. Only three players have come up the last three years (for more than a game here and there, not counting RPs), and none of them have been ready/good. Should they really keep doing things the same way? Revere wasn't ready. Valencia looks overmatched. Hendriks isn't ready. Their "process" isn't working, something needs to change. Maybe actually promoting these guys faster is a good idea, so they can see sooner if they are legit or not. There was no reason for Benson not to be in AAA at some point last year, none.Win Twins.
04-26-2012, 10:29 AM #13
I didn't reread, but I think the tentative conclusion was that the best players aren't rushed through nor are they moved very slowly.
04-26-2012, 10:33 AM #14
What's funny is that, of course, the Twins traded Santana to the Mets, the team on the opposite end of the spectrum for players clearly not ready and who took awhile (Humber, Guerra--cross your fingers) or who may be ruined (Mulvey, Gomez) because of irresponsible Met player development thinking. And the Rays position players are moved a bit too fast, perhaps. Hmmm . . . DELMON!!
04-26-2012, 10:44 AM #15
04-26-2012, 10:48 AM #16
So the Twins were ultimately hoping Luke Hughes would be at Rochester to help that team rather than the major league team? Something didn't turn out right here.
04-26-2012, 11:20 AM #17
04-27-2012, 03:58 AM #18