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According to LEN3- It appears the Twins are near the end of their patience w/ Hicks


jokin
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ScottyB

Hunter was very similar to Hicks.

 

I could not disagree more wholeheartedly. I think the whole story from the Twins side is 'effort', and nobody ever questioned Torii Hunter's effort (the man ran through an outfield wall, after all). I don't think I have seen any complaints from team leaders about Hicks' poor on field results.

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He hasn't shown he can hit. He's awful as a hitter. He can't hit. He walks, some, yes. Can't hit. No spark. No charge. No enthusiasm. No drive. No gotta ram that ball back up the middle. No, no, no.

 

I don't know, I have a really hard time getting behind questioning a player's personality. There are numerous examples of players with an even keel who perform at a very high level. I think it's easy to take a struggling player and try to use their personality as an excuse or a rationale, but I think it usually falls pretty flat.

 

Put it this way, if we swapped Arcia's and Hicks' production right now, there would be many who would be praising Hicks for his calm approach while ripping Arcia for being overly aggressive and immature. It's easy to pin a personality issue on someone when they're down.

 

The reality is that Hicks might not be a good hitter because he isn't a good hitter. Everyone called him a 5-tool player, but he never really had the hit tool down. Without that tool, it's hard to fully utilize power and speed. Now, he's a two-tool player who isn't hitting enough to get MLB experience in the outfield. There are plenty of reasons why Hicks isn't playing well, but I don't think it's fair at all to use his personality as one of those reasons.

 

Sadly, it seems the Twins do have some issue with his personality. If that is the case, maybe they should try to understand their player better rather than chastise him for being who he is.

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I don't understand how these issues, if true, were unknown to the Twins when they traded two CFers and gave him the job last spring. I also don't understand the Twins penchant for using the media to question character.

 

Both of these, 150%, both of these.

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He hasn't shown he can hit. He's awful as a hitter. He can't hit. He walks, some, yes. Can't hit. No spark. No charge. No enthusiasm. No drive. No gotta ram that ball back up the middle. No, no, no.

 

No one gets this far in professional sports w/o drive. No one. These guys work their tails off. I don't think you have any idea what is going on inside Aaron Hicks' head at all. None.

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I don't know, I have a really hard time getting behind questioning a player's personality. There are numerous examples of players with an even keel who perform at a very high level. I think it's easy to take a struggling player and try to use their personality as an excuse or a rationale, but I think it usually falls pretty flat.

 

Put it this way, if we swapped Arcia's and Hicks' production right now, there would be many who would be praising Hicks for his calm approach while ripping Arcia for being overly aggressive and immature. It's easy to pin a personality issue on someone when they're down.

 

The reality is that Hicks might not be a good hitter because he isn't a good hitter. Everyone called him a 5-tool player, but he never really had the hit tool down. Without that tool, it's hard to fully utilize power and speed. Now, he's a two-tool player who isn't hitting enough to get MLB experience in the outfield. There are plenty of reasons why Hicks isn't playing well, but I don't think it's fair at all to use his personality as one of those reasons.

 

Sadly, it seems the Twins do have some issue with his personality. If that is the case, maybe they should try to understand their player better rather than chastise him for being who he is.

 

As long as a player performs at a high level it doesn't matter what his personality is. But when you hit .192 for two straight years they are going to question it regardless.

 

When Mauer is hitting .350 people praise him for his calm, cool demeanor but when he is hitting .260 they question if he cares enough, etc. etc.

 

Hicks refused to play winter ball to work on his game so that probably didn't help his status with management. Quitting SH without input from the Twins probably didn't help his cause either.

 

I don't care if he is hitting .500 in his last 30 AB's. He has had over 400 AB to prove he is not a ML caliber hitter at this point & it is crazy to think he is going to hit RH pitchers at the ML level. As soon as Fuld is ready Hicks should go down.

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I honestly don't understand this Hicks story or where the information being fed to LEN3 is coming from.

 

In mid-May (not quite a month ago), we read about his lack of preparation including the line that he sometimes came to the ballpark w/o knowing th days opposing pitcher. In partial response to that one, Berardino made it clear that Hicks always knew who they were facing when he talked with him pre-game. (not going to look up that tweet/story but I remember it).

 

Then on May 29, the PP published an article entitled "Twins' Hicks Arriving Early, Taking More Cuts"

http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_25858230/twins-aaron-hicks-arriving-early-taking-more-cuts

 

which included this:

 

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said a bat has to be pried out of the hands of center fielder Aaron Hicks.

 

"He has had a bat in his hand every five seconds," Gardenhire said. "It's a little overkill for him."

 

Since the initial stories, Hicks' line has been: .263/.391/.316/.707

 

Not stellar but better than the start of the year and moving up.

 

In the last 7 days: .400/.500/.600/1.100

 

I realize he hasn't played much but it's hard to see anything too wrong there.

 

Then on Saturday, Hicks injured his shoulder making a pretty good diving catch -- personally, I wondered if he injured his shoulder right when the catch was made given the way he landed. I don't know why anyone would question soreness/stiffness in his shoulder.

 

We've seen other stories this week about Hicks' shoulder stiffness/soreness. There's also been some speculation around here that he needs to go to AAA to work on his game as a full-time right-handed batter. But they've just been ordinary stories/reports.

 

But I have been searching around the net and can't find anyone else with the venom of LEN3's comments.

 

They finally criticized him in the press for not preparing well. And he hasn't responded.

 

There are people in the organization who believe he's blowing his chance here.

 

 

Hasn't responded? It looks to me like he has responded on the field. And from the little I could find, it sounds like he was working harder.

 

Then he had 2 injuries/near injuries in the field. The first on the leaping catch which saved a HR at the end of May. Gardenhire responded to that by keeping him on the bench for a couple of games as a precautionary measure (there was some discussion that he hurt his side going above the wall). And now we have the shoulder soreness -- if you watch that catch, I don't know why anyone might question that his shoulder might be sore.

 

The thing that bothers me most is LEN3's statement that: "There are people in this organization who believe he's blowing his chance here". I don't know if this LEN3 printing some speculation because frankly, his coverage has been blown away by most other reporters coverage, or if someone in the Twins organization is feeding this to hm.

 

I've gone through a lot of other posts and can't find any other reporter speculating in this way.

 

While I think Aaron Hicks may well be put on the DL or optioned to Rochester, I think some of this pot-stirring may well be bad, lazy journalism.

 

Here's a beat guy who seems to have his doubts about Hicks:

 

Derek Wetmore @DerekWetmore · Jun 11

Pretty convenient time for Aaron Hicks to get hurt when a trip to the minors was right around the corner.

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We watch these players for a few minutes a day, and somehow we feel qualified to say they lack drive, or heart or whatever--judgements based on the most fleeting perceptions. He's an elite athlete because he has worked hard and has the drive to succeed. It's asinine to suggest that he got hurt on purpose. He hurt it diving for a ball. You don't do that because you lack drive or you want to hang out in the training room. You can question the wisdom, but you can't question the drive.

 

And anyone who's ever had a coach get on you for hustle knows it doesn't matter what the score is, if he's on your case about it, you hustle. You run in from the outfield. You run out from the dugout. You run to first after a walk. You run into the dugout after the inning. You do anything to impress upon your manager that you do hustle. All the time.

 

The results speak for themselves--sub-par. I suspect he'll be going down to Rochester on Friday when they activate Fuld. Hopefully the lack of scrutiny and the change of scenery helps him. I'll be rooting for a great two-plus months. If he's the player they thought he was when they traded or waived every other center fielder above A ball two years in a row to make room for him, he'll respond and be back up here before the end of the year. If he doesn't respond, I'm sure there's 20 other teams that would love to have him.

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Aaron Hicks, if you're reading this, I still love you. I just wish you'd smile more, like Benny Revere. Don't listen to these guys who say you can't hit, you can, I know you can, and you have of late, you just keep getting hurt. I believe in you. If you put your mind to it, anything is possible, my 3rd grade teacher told me so, and teachers can't lie, it's a rule.

 

As advantageous as a DL stint may be here for the Twins while they try to decide what to do with Hicks with Santana continuing to play over his head offensively and Fuld set to come back, I hope that he's able to get back into game shape. I like the direction things are headed for the 24 year old Hicks. Lots of potential still to be realized in that young man.

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He may not always follow every game, but a good reporter always follows the money.

 

I noticed he managed to send the tweet but didn't mention it as one of his 5 thoughts (or 10 thoughts).

 

On the other hand, we have this article on Tuesday, June 10 from Berardino:

 

TORONTO — Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks missed a third straight start Tuesday with a sore right (throwing) shoulder and could soon be headed back to the Twin Cities to be examined by the team’s medical staff.

 

Hicks tried playing catch again Tuesday afternoon but was still hampered, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

 

“It still bothers him,” Gardenhire said. “We’re going to have to figure this out in the next day or so. It’s not really getting much better, so we’ll make a decision here in the next day or two.”

 

Hicks suffered the injury while making a diving catch to end Saturday’s win over Houston. He is available to hit or pinch hit, but throwing is off limits for now.

 

http://blogs.twincities.com/twins/2014/06/10/twinsights-throwing-shoulder-still-bothering-aaron-hicks/

 

I have no problem with what Gardenhire said. It appears to me that certain reporters are the ones making much ado about nothing. Good grief, we could SEE the play on which the injury occurred unlike Pelfrey's groin injury (and while that one was convenient, I'm not prepared to judge and obviously he did have something wrong in a different body part).

 

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I have no problem with what Gardenhire said. It appears to me that certain reporters are the ones making much ado about nothing. Good grief, we could SEE the play on which the injury occurred unlike Pelfrey's groin injury (and while that one was convenient, I'm not prepared to judge and obviously he did have something wrong in a different body part).

 

Whose had a problem with that Gardy quote? This could very well be an unfortunate injury that will force the team's hand, but there isn't "nothing" to this story.

 

This might just have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

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Whose had a problem with that Gardy quote? This could very well be an unfortunate injury that will force the team's hand, but there isn't "nothing" to this story.

 

This might just have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

 

 

Getting hurt is the straw that broke the camel's back?

 

Or are you suggesting a la Derek Wetmore that he isn't hurt but conveniently using his shoulder to avoid being sent down?

 

I find that suggestion incredibly insulting. I have been searching the stories for actual quotes from Twins officials and finally found something from Gardenhire.

 

My suggestion that it is "nothing" is not that the injury is nothing but that LEN3 and Derek Wetmore are trying to stir the pot -- I've addressed LEN3's comments extensively above. This last story was in response to jokin's post of Derek Wetmore's tweet suggesting that this injury was "convenient."

 

You're right, there is nothing convenient about it -- but Wetmore's tweet suggesting that it was convenient is just flat out insulting.

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Getting hurt is the straw that broke the camel's back?

 

Yes....for the issues with Hicks and the Twins boiling over. Sometimes that final straw is something completely unrelated.

 

I don't think LEN3 is stirring the pot. He's reporting whispers on a bizarre situation that appears to have a lot of emotion and frustration with the club and one of it's most important young prospects.

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Getting hurt is the straw that broke the camel's back?

 

Or are you suggesting a la Derek Wetmore that he isn't hurt but conveniently using his shoulder to avoid being sent down?

 

I find that suggestion incredibly insulting. I have been searching the stories for actual quotes from Twins officials and finally found something from Gardenhire.

 

My suggestion that it is "nothing" is not that the injury is nothing but that LEN3 and Derek Wetmore are trying to stir the pot -- I've addressed LEN3's comments extensively above. This last story was in response to jokin's post of Derek Wetmore's tweet suggesting that this injury was "convenient."

 

You're right, there is nothing convenient about it -- but Wetmore's tweet suggesting that it was convenient is just flat out insulting.

 

I don't have an opinion either way. I'm assuming that Hicks got an MRI work-up today, which should shed more light on the injury situation. But in terms of money earned and service time, an injury works in Hicks' favor over a straight demotion.

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No one gets this far in professional sports w/o drive. No one. These guys work their tails off. I don't think you have any idea what is going on inside Aaron Hicks' head at all. None.

 

[video=youtube;eGDBR2L5kzI]

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I don't know, I have a really hard time getting behind questioning a player's personality. There are numerous examples of players with an even keel who perform at a very high level. I think it's easy to take a struggling player and try to use their personality as an excuse or a rationale, but I think it usually falls pretty flat.

 

Put it this way, if we swapped Arcia's and Hicks' production right now, there would be many who would be praising Hicks for his calm approach while ripping Arcia for being overly aggressive and immature. It's easy to pin a personality issue on someone when they're down.

 

The reality is that Hicks might not be a good hitter because he isn't a good hitter. Everyone called him a 5-tool player, but he never really had the hit tool down. Without that tool, it's hard to fully utilize power and speed. Now, he's a two-tool player who isn't hitting enough to get MLB experience in the outfield. There are plenty of reasons why Hicks isn't playing well, but I don't think it's fair at all to use his personality as one of those reasons.

 

Sadly, it seems the Twins do have some issue with his personality. If that is the case, maybe they should try to understand their player better rather than chastise him for being who he is.

Very few are calling it a personality issue. Most are calling it an effort issue based on his actions.

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...

The results speak for themselves--sub-par.

 

This is the essence of it for me -- all this drama could have been kept in house and most of us would have saw exactly what the Twins saw anyway, that he's not ready for the MLB level yet. All the potshots and bad press just feels like piling on and totally unnecessary. Especially at this point now that he's going to be out of the picture.

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Yes....for the issues with Hicks and the Twins boiling over. Sometimes that final straw is something completely unrelated.

 

I don't think LEN3 is stirring the pot. He's reporting whispers on a bizarre situation that appears to have a lot of emotion and frustration with the club and one of it's most important young prospects.

 

I'm convinced LEN3 does have a source. I'm guessing Gardenhire spit venom at the front office last season when Hicks failed--and there was no safety net available. This season somersaults were performed to try to prevent a reoccurence of last year--and Hicks fails again and infielders are brought in to play CF. Likely more venom from Gardenhire. Thankfully, Santana has hit well (actually way, way) above expectations to mollify the situation. But, the egg is still on the FO--so they begin a whisper campaign against Hicks.

But that's how things are in most big cities. Hicks didn't help himself when they golfed at Pebble Beach and shot 80. It makes it appear as if he wasn't focused on baseball. Oh well, hopefully he can get bundled in a trade to give Gardy a veteran catcher to spell Suzuki--and then hit lights-out!

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This is the essence of it for me -- all this drama could have been kept in house and most of us would have saw exactly what the Twins saw anyway, that he's not ready for the MLB level yet. All the potshots and bad press just feels like piling on and totally unnecessary. Especially at this point now that he's going to be out of the picture.

 

It does appear, at first glance, that much of the actual drama is being generated by third parties. This isn't Billy Martin and Dave Boswell throwing haymakers, after all.

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It does appear, at first glance, that much of the actual drama is being generated by third parties. This isn't Billy Martin and Dave Boswell throwing haymakers, after all.

 

But then again, Aaron Hicks comes into this whole thing with a reputation for not taking a lot of swings, even at Gardengnomes.

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This is another example why this organization needs drastic changes from the Front Office, to the manager to the coaches.

 

"Hicks stinks", right? His OBP is .338. Denard Span's OBP the last 3 seasons with the Twins was .331, .328 and .342. So:

 

Either Hicks does not stink

or the Manager stinks who was hitting leadoff a stinky player day after day (insert Violent Femmes sound effect.)

 

Something's got to give... and tired of mentioning the ridiculous practices of throwing certain players under the bus and codling others. Mauer's OBP is .342. So hit him 3rd and keep hitting him third until the cows come home.

 

They just got to go...

Edited by Thrylos
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Someone just suggested Iverson doesn't have drive, because he didn't practice hard enough? Really? Wow. Ya, he didn't try on the court at all during games......

 

 

"Practice"....and...."during games"....two completely different situations. There are countless examples of many guys who have the drive and natural ability for doing well in the latter...who often come to the conclusion that they don't need to put in as much extra effort into the former.

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This is another example why this organization needs drastic changes from the Front Office, to the manager to the coaches.

 

"Hicks stinks", right? His OBP is .338. Denard Span's OBP the last 3 seasons with the Twins was .331, .328 and .342. So:

 

Either Hicks does not stink

or the Manager stinks who was hitting leadoff a stinky player day after day (insert Violent Femmes sound effect.)

 

Something's got to give... and tired of mentioning the ridiculous practices of throwing certain players under the bus and codling others. Mauer's OBP is .342. So hit him 3rd and keep hitting him third until the cows come home.

 

They just got to go...

 

Hicks is good at one thing right now. NOT swinging the bat & hoping the pitcher walks him. That skill can only take you so far. At some point a ML player needs to be able to actually hit the ball.

 

Yes, Hicks OBP is similar to Spans last 3 yrs but their SL% & OPS differ significantly. Hicks is .338/.597(2013) & .262/.602(2014) while Spans ranged from a low of .348/.679 to a high of .395/.738. And I don't think Hick's will improve after giving up SH in the middle of the season.

 

People can make the case that the Twins screwed up the situation with Hicks (& I agree) but I can't believe anyone thinks Hicks shouldn't go to the minors ASAP.

 

Regarding Mauer's .342 OBP. He's not doing so great right now but he does have a "little" bit of history indicating he will be ok. Hicks history indicates he needs more minor league playing time.

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Hicks is good at one thing right now. NOT swinging the bat & hoping the pitcher walks him. That skill can only take you so far. At some point a ML player needs to be able to actually hit the ball.

 

Yes, Hicks OBP is similar to Spans last 3 yrs but their SL% & OPS differ significantly. Hicks is .338/.597(2013) & .262/.602(2014) while Spans ranged from a low of .348/.679 to a high of .395/.738. And I don't think Hick's will improve after giving up SH in the middle of the season.

 

People can make the case that the Twins screwed up the situation with Hicks (& I agree) but I can't believe anyone thinks Hicks shouldn't go to the minors ASAP.

 

Regarding Mauer's .342 OBP. He's not doing so great right now but he does have a "little" bit of history indicating he will be ok. Hicks history indicates he needs more minor league playing time.

 

Guys don't throw four balls to him without throwing strikes intermixed. He works counts. He fouls off pitches. He works for his walks. Why would they give him free passes if he can't hit at all? Drew Butera had a similar approach when he was with the Twins. He'd work counts and get into 3-2 situations a lot. Then they'd throw it right down the middle and he'd make an out. Hicks is not doing that. Now that's not saying much. But it's a gross exaggeration to say that he's only good at taking pitches.

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Someone just suggested Iverson doesn't have drive, because he didn't practice hard enough? Really? Wow. Ya, he didn't try on the court at all during games......

 

If memory serves... Larry Brown had a serious issue with Iverson at practice and he went public with those concerns. Iverson may not need practice but his teammates do and he can help his teammates by participating. But... I know very little about Iverson... I've never met him. So for all I know... Larry Brown may be a drama queen... I've never met him either.

 

Hicks is probably a whole different animal... I have no idea... None of us do... But can't we assume that there are most likely varying levels of engagement across professional baseball and varying levels of expectation from management.

 

With no proof... I honestly believe some players don't work their butts off. I believe they lay up often... They are way too human to believe otherwise.

 

With that said... I have no idea where Hicks fits in... I only know... I'm not seeing what he's capable of thus far. And I don't need a trite sound bite or quote out of context to tell me what I'm seeing.

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Guys don't throw four balls to him without throwing strikes intermixed. He works counts. He fouls off pitches. He works for his walks. Why would they give him free passes if he can't hit at all? Drew Butera had a similar approach when he was with the Twins. He'd work counts and get into 3-2 situations a lot. Then they'd throw it right down the middle and he'd make an out. Hicks is not doing that. Now that's not saying much. But it's a gross exaggeration to say that he's only good at taking pitches.

 

I understand. I doubt pitchers are very afraid of him & they certainly aren't trying to walk him but it happens a fair amount of the time. Yes, he fouls off a fair amount of pitches, works the count a lot & eventually he either walks or strikes out. He strikes out 27% of his PA & it seems like he takes strike 3 way more than he should. When he's not striking out he walks 17% of the time.

 

Bottom line, he's batting under .200 for the 2nd straight season. Does anyone really think that's an acceptable BA even though his OBP is a "stellar".338? Plus, as mentioned, he's giving up switch hitting & that can't be easy against ML RH pitchers.

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