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Hicks off DL, Optioned to New Britain


Seth Stohs
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Berardino updated his blog from earlier today with Gardenhire's comments on Hicks.

http://blogs.twincities.com/twins/2014/06/25/twinsights-aaron-hicks-optioned-to-double-a-new-britain/

 

He will play all three outfield positions in New Britain but I honestly don't think that the Twins see his ceiling as a 4th outfielder. The Twins will have pretty much all outfield positions open next year (Arcia isn't without his struggles either). Buxton may advance quickly or he may not -- obviously this year was a big set back.

 

This sounds mostly to me about putting Hicks somewhere he is comfortable (part of the reason for New Britain over Rochester is that he is familiar with it and had success there).

 

Gardenhire also had this comment:

 

“Torii went down and back up and down and back up,” Gardenhire said. “It happens. (Hicks) is not the first person. He’s not going to be the last person. It’s about trial and error up here. This guy has a lot of talent. When it finally does really click on him and he’s able to carry the same confidence that he had a few years ago into this level consistently — put the ball in play, not worry about home runs, not worry about numbers, just worry about (putting) the ball in play more — he’ll be fine. We think he will be. We like his ability, because he’s got a lot of that.”

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I wonder if anyone ever sat down with Hicks and explained he is kicking MILLIONS of dollars down the drain! Maybe he just isn't that good......or smart

 

And maybe he fully appreciates it and it just puts more pressure on him.

 

It is impossible for any of us to really comprehend what it takes to succeed at the major league level.

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Not sure about easy or not, but:

 

- Hicks has higher OBP than Fuld

- Hicks has higher OBP than Span had his last 3 seasons with the Twins (did not hear too many cries about how awful Span was.)

- The Twins have no back up CF and 3 lumbering corner OFs.

- Hicks is not even playing Centerfield in Hardware City.

 

"Right" Choice?

Guess a whole bunch of wrongs might make a right...

 

 

People keep bringing up OBP like it trumps every other stat. Hicks batted .192 last yr. & is at .198 this yr. but BAM!...his OBP is .338. His SLG% is .262, which is #295 out of 300 players with more than 120 AB. Right now, he can't hit ML pitching & I doubt his walk rate is sustainable.

 

Fuld is not a great option either but he still has a better BA, SLG % & OPS than Hicks. I'm guessing once Plouffe returns Santana will get most of the starts in CF & Fuld will become a defensive replacement for the corner OF or a pinch runner...a role he will be good at. I don't think that's a role Hicks should be used at unless they are giving up on him ever being a ML regular.

 

I hope Hicks eventually becomes a good ML player but he isn't one now. I think he definitely needs to be in the minors learning to hit. I don't know if they are punishing him by putting him in AA, maybe he feels more comfortable there & it's better that he has some success at a lower level to rebuild his confidence.

 

Santana & Fuld can both play CF so they don't need another backup OF. Having Plouffe & Nunez both out is causing problems. I know Florimon sucks but they need "someone" who can play MI. I guess they could cut Florimon & bring up Bernier but it's probably a wash

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Edit: There is an element of "punishment" in this (so to speak) in that Hicks could have been kept on a rehab assignment another two weeks (at major league pay) and then optioned to NB. By optioning him now, he is back at minor league pay (I think) and his accrual of major league service days is stopped. Again, per Berardino's blog entry today:

 

Players accrue big-league service time while on rehab assignments in conjunction with the major league disabled list, so there is some financial component to ending a rehab assignment early. Hicks entered the year with 124 days of big-league service time and has accrued 87 more through Tuesday, putting him at 211 career days: one year and 28 days.

 

A full year of service time is 183 days.

 

In fairness, I think the Twins view it as "good contract management" not punishment.

 

I think there is an element of smart business practice in this as well, because if he gets hurt (again) he continues to accrue service time. I don't know if this (service time) specifically happened to Cuddyer, but didn't he break his foot on a rehab assignment?

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qualify "can" please.

 

Parmelee can play CF. Willingham too. You and me for sure.

 

The fact that Santana and Fuld make up the CF corps and Hicks is now optioned to NB (even though he now no longer needs PAs to adjust to RHP) says alot about in what regard the organization views Hicks at the current point in time.

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qualify "can" please.

 

Parmelee can play CF. Willingham too. You and me for sure.

 

 

 

I'll be the first to admit I thought it was beyond stupid when they put Santana in CF but I've come around on the idea. He's made some bad plays & bad throws but he has made some big improvements already in a short time. I still think he should eventually be a SS but *right now*, he is still an overall upgrade over Hicks.(IMHO)

 

I don't know, I think Fuld is decent in CF. He seems to track the ball ok & catches everything. He should be a backup OF & pinch runner once Nunez & Plouffe return & I'd rather Hicks get regular playing time in the minors than fill that role.

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2Kw5tGJm_normal.jpegMike Berardino @MikeBerardino · 11m

"We sent him to New Britain to get him going," Terry Ryan on Hicks

 

2Kw5tGJm_normal.jpegMike Berardino @MikeBerardino · 13m

What is the message for Aaron Hicks with this demotion to New Britain? "There is no message," Terry Ryan said.

 

2Kw5tGJm_normal.jpegMike Berardino @MikeBerardino · 2m

 

Terry Ryan has no plans to call Aaron Hicks after his option to AA. Pointed out Rob Antony talked to him over the weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hicks is a very talented young man. He also, however, has shown that he is not ready for major league baseball, even if he is more talented than other players on the roster. He needs to work on, among other things: (1) mentally preparing for each baseball game, including developing strong skills at studying pitchers and defense; (2) deciding his approach to hitting, whether it be switch hitting or solely batting from the right side, and whether he is going to be one of the most passive hitters in the league or start attacking a little more, which could be in line with his physical skills; and (3) learning to enjoy baseball and deciding if he really likes playing baseball.

 

I believe he can offer something to the major league team today. However, it is clear that he needs to work on these skills and that he was not able to make progress at the major league level. Therefore, he belongs in the minor leagues. At this time, placing him on the Rochester roster would require removing someone else from that team, which could be the recently-promoted Daniel Ortiz, and there may not be anyone obviously deserving of being removed from a team that is playing pretty well. Therefore, instead of removing someone from Rochester, the team decided it would be better to put Hicks into the spot in AA that Ortiz had held. This makes sense; either AA or AAA will provide a similar opportunity to work on the skills he needs to improve. (Note that he doesn't really need to work on defensive skills and Eddie Rosario is currently playing a lot of CF for New Britain, so Hicks should play any position that gets him into the game and we should not read too much into his defensive position. TR, Gardy and everyone else knows what Hicks can do in CF.) If he starts raking and demonstrates a good approach in NB, it will be easy to promote him to AAA or even back to the majors.

 

We shouldn't read too many long-term messages from this action.

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Honestly, I think Hicks has a confidence issue more than anything else. He strikes me as one of those people who gets overwhelmed when he's asked to work on too many things. That's not uncommon at that age, and I doubt the issue is that he doesn't take it seriously (though that can be a perception issue).

 

That said, he should have started the year in the minors, and I'm glad he's there now and hope he spends the rest of the season there.

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There is another thread asking about the prospect of trading Hicks straight up for Jose Tabata - personally I don't think that would be a fair trade for the Twins.

 

Does all this drama swirling around Hicks make him a trade candidate near the deadline?

 

With all the weirdness surrounding his demotion, would the Twins be likely to get a player or players of value in return for Hicks?

 

Is trading Hicks in the best interests of the Twins, or in the best interests of Aaron Hicks?

 

 

Technically, New Britain is a change of scenery...

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