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Twins Have An Oswaldo Arcia Sized Problem


Ted Schwerzler

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Coming into the 2016 Major League Baseball season, Oswaldo Arcia was already on the outs with the Minnesota Twins. He was out of options and Minnesota seemed to be squeezing him out of their plans. With Miguel Sano heading to the outfield and Byung Ho Park taking over designated hitter at bats, playing time would be hard to come by. That narrative couldn't be more true over one-third of the way through the season.

 

Through June 15, Oswaldo Arcia has gotten into just 32 games for the Twins. He's totaled 103 at bats, and he's drawn just 27 starts. The 25 year-old Venezuelan owns a .214/.289/.369 slash line, and his .658 OPS is the lowest total of his four-year major league career. What's worth wondering however, is what to make of it all?

 

Sure, Arcia's numbers at the plate leave something to be desired. However, he's started back to back games just 11 times in 64 games for Minnesota. Since May 15, he's made just seven starts through 27 games despite the struggles of teammate Byung Ho Park. To summarize the situation, his opportunities, when they've been present, have been few and far between. At the end of the day though, that's kind of how a guy operating without options experiences the big leagues.

 

So, what do the Twins do with Arcia? He's posted a positive fWAR just once over the past four seasons, and that was a 0.9 mark in 2014. He's been worth -0.5 fWAR thus far in 2016, and his defensive ability (or lack thereof) is always going to be a detriment. In 2016, Arcia has posted a -4 DRS thus far. In his two most complete MLB seasons (2013/14), Arcia owned -16 and -9 DRS marks respectively. An offensive asset more in thought than reality, and a defensive liability, the Twins decision making time is looming.

 

That reality is only being compounded as Eddie Rosario is currently tearing up Triple-A. Sure, Rosario still isn't walking hardly at all, and his plate approach leaves an incredible amount to be desired at the big league level. Looking at what they've both put forth for the Twins however, it's a tough argument to suggest Rosario doesn't bring more to the table. Complicating things however, is that Rosario shouldn't come up to overtake Arcia's role.

 

As things stand, only Byron Buxton and Max Kepler should be considered realistic cogs of the Twins future outfield. Both have tremendous upside and need to be given the duration of the 2016 season to get acclimated to the level Minnesota needs them to compete at. Despite both of their struggles, neither has anything left to learn at Triple-A. Swapping either player with Rosario would be a tremendous gaffe of the Twins end, and one that should remain out of the equation.

 

Whether Minnesota is open to switching out Arcia for Rosario or not remains to be seen. The latter could rotate playing time with Kepler and would almost assuredly find himself in the field more often than Arcia has. A summer trade of breakout minor league signee Robbie Grossman could open up a spot as well. Regardless of what shuffle takes place, it appears Arcia should likely be the one to go.

 

There's less than a zero percent chance that a major league team would put a waiver claim in on Oswaldo Arcia. He's a 25 year old power hitter that some organization is going to view as a prospect they can unlock. It may very well happen, and it would be unfortunate for the Twins to see it take place. However, much like Grossman, sometimes those situations just need to play out.

 

Whether it's ideal or not, sometimes players just find themselves when presented a different set of circumstances. Minnesota seems to have hit the proverbial jackpot with Robbie Grossman, and Oswaldo Arcia affording another organization that opportunity isn't a death sentence. If time is up for Arcia in Minnesota, I think it's ok to come to grips with that being the reality.

 

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

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It will be reality if Molitor doesn't play him regularly.

 

The Twins have few left handed power options in the organization. You would think he was at least worth two months of consistent play. Had they started the season with that plan, they could be much more confident cutting ties now.

 

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It will be reality if Molitor doesn't play him regularly. The Twins have few left handed power options in the organization. You would think he was at least worth two months of consistent play. Had they started the season with that plan, they could be much more confident cutting ties now.

 

Very good comment, Twins could've afforded themselves some clarity had they chose to have a plan. They didn't.

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I think a part of the Arcia problem is the lingering hangover of David Ortiz.  They don't play him nearly enough because they're afraid of Ks and poor defense.  But they don't trade or release him because they're afraid of giving up the next Big Papi for nothing.  

 

There have been injuries and bad roster decisions that have necessitated some moves, but in light of that, Molly has seen fit to sit the guy for weeks at a time, and not even PH him in situations that just scream for a lefty with potential pop- heck, he wasn't even getting garbage time for long stretches.  

 

One of the silver linings of a lost season like this is the opportunity to see what you've got in the youngsters; let 'em take their lumps and learn, while being evaluated.  Good for the team to get a look, good for the fans, to keep them interested.  But Molly has mis-managed so many of the young guys both last year, and especially this one, (Sano to the OF, fer cryin' out loud), and Arcia is maybe the biggest casualty of all.

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I am really not sure why he is here. It's been very obvious he isn't in their plans, and hasn't been since Molitor took over. It's a wasted roster spot, and short of anyone else coming up with a viable rationale it could be as simple as Ryan doesn't want to see Ortiz 2. That seems silly, but the Twins rarely PH or platoon. He isn't a defensive replacement, and the investment in money and pride in Park preclude Arcia DH'ing. If they aren't going to send Park down after these past 2 1/2 months, they ain't gonna send him down. Arcia seems like a good teammate, I hope he ends up somewhere and gets a chance, and does well.

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There's less than a zero percent chance that a major league team would put a waiver claim in on Oswaldo Arcia. He's a 25 year old power hitter that some organization is going to view as a prospect they can unlock.

I think you worded this incorrectly...

 

I think Arcia's DFA is impending. Molitor likes Santana much better as an OF. Arcia's only hope to hang on the roster is to hope Park gets sent down or Buxton/Kepler go back to AAA.

 

 

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At some point the glass slipper will break for Grossman.  Think Lahair, Bryan.  Would be nice to have both Arcia and Rosario as options when that happens.  The one guy who COULD be moved and actually MIGHT bring value in return is Dozier.  Moving him would open infield opportunities for Santana and maybe even a re-visit to 2B for Rosario.

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I was beating the trade Arcia drum three years ago, in part, because this situation of outfielders on the roster is exactly what I saw playing out by now, and his value was likely (to me anyway, not the Twins) never going to be higher. There was never going to be a place for him here when the Twins were projected to be turning things around.

 

But as you discuss here, they also haven't even given him a chance this year, either.

 

If they do DFA him, I'm pretty certain someone would claim him. He's the type of lotto ticket a lot of teams look for on the waiver wire (though I do think that is what you were trying to say).

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I was beating the trade Arcia drum three years ago, in part, because this situation of outfielders on the roster is exactly what I saw playing out by now, and his value was likely (to me anyway, not the Twins) never going to be higher. There was never going to be a place for him here when the Twins were projected to be turning things around.

 

But as you discuss here, they also haven't even given him a chance this year, either.

 

If they do DFA him, I'm pretty certain someone would claim him. He's the type of lotto ticket a lot of teams look for on the waiver wire (though I do think that is what you were trying to say).

 

Agreed. The list of poorly handled prospects is long. Tonkin and Polanco are the most recent. Tonkin has been given the opportunities (and succeeded) this year, which only makes last year worse. Arcia maybe wasn't going to right the ship, but Minnesota never allowed him to find out.

 

Polanco could be headed down a similar path a year from now if Nunez, Escobar, and Dozier all remain rostered.

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Agreed. The list of poorly handled prospects is long. Tonkin and Polanco are the most recent. Tonkin has been given the opportunities (and succeeded) this year, which only makes last year worse. Arcia maybe wasn't going to right the ship, but Minnesota never allowed him to find out.

 

Polanco could be headed down a similar path a year from now if Nunez, Escobar, and Dozier all remain rostered.

How do we as fans comprehend how the Twins have dealt with a group of very talented young players.?  You can and Berrios and Chargois to this list as well.  There is no plan, no safety net for them, and no sense that we are going to get past the growing pains.  I would rather have them sent elsewhere, like Ortiz, so we can enjoy their talents. 

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We don't have an Arcia problem anymore. I know they cannot keep everyone and Santana lends more flexibility. But that as positive as I can get. This FO just flits from move to move reacting almost entirely on injury based decisions. If you cannot see the perfectly placed platoon DH situation you had in front of you all year, a situation which would have helped Park assimilate and Arcia get AB against righties, what are you looking at. They bumbled onto Grossman and that flame is starting to cool. And as an OF he is minimally better than Arcia. With a far worse arm. And the Nunez pumpkin is next. While both performances were outliers, just think of the Twins offense when they stop hitting! Maybe the solo Park Bang every two weeks will carry them one last thought on Oswaldo. He is coming into 2015 expecting to be the RF, then finds out he is the LF has an ok start, gets hurt and Ryan jerks him around so we can parade a 40 yr old OF for the reminiscent demographic. No wonder he couldn't figure it out, they certainly can't.

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