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I disagree and I won't give them five years. They inherited an incredibly good situation - a number of  young talented players and top prospects, a high draft position, no major payroll issues, a great ballpark and they've already had a chance to chime in on the manager. 

 

Was it really "an incredibly good situation".  The two young guys that were supposed to be superstars certainly have not met expectations. What about the rest of the infield? Dozier went to crap this year. Our SS was suspended and Mauer is a below average 1B.

 

Our SP staff was always mediocre and the bullpen was certainly not anywhere near the type of shutdown bullpens of the top teams. As it turned out, none of the free agent SPs were worth signing this year.  We had very little impending help in the high minors and the guys that are there no are fringe guys or at least no yet fully ready. I would not describe the situation they inherited as incredibly good.

 

They did not pick Jay instead of Benintendi or Gordon instead of Nola.

 

 

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Well, yeah, that's a terrible way to handle that.  You know something like that is going to be a blow to the player, you better have the guts to deliver the message yourself.

I wonder how much of this is TD overreaction. I've seen very little in the media about Buxton being upset. To be fair, he should be, to the extent that he wasn't called up, but at the same time, if hi

IIRC, on Sundays pregame Levine said he did make the call to Buxton after he called his agent. However, Buxton did not answer the call. He then hears it from his agent. So, if that is true, I'd have

 

Was it really "an incredibly good situation".  The two young guys that were supposed to be superstars certainly have not met expectations. What about the rest of the infield? Dozier went to crap this year. Our SS was suspended and Mauer is a below average 1B.

 

Our SP staff was always mediocre and the bullpen was certainly not anywhere near the type of shutdown bullpens of the top teams. As it turned out, none of the free agent SPs were worth signing this year.  We had very little impending help in the high minors and the guys that are there no are fringe guys or at least no yet fully ready. I would not describe the situation they inherited as incredibly good.

 

They did not pick Jay instead of Benintendi or Gordon instead of Nola.

Yeah, it was a great situation. I mentioned this a lot last year but 10 players got 400 or more at-bats last year and 8 of them had been top 100 prospects and the two that weren't were Escobar and Dozier. The FO had Buxton turn in a 5 WAR season and Sano turned in an all-star season. Berrios arrived. Gibson looked like he fixed something in the last half of the year and Santana was a cheap, solid vet in the rotation. They actually had SP depth in the minors with Romero, Gonsalves, Meija and others in-line. Klaw ranked their farm system 11th despite the graduations. Ownership said they'd spend money after the team stayed in the bottom third in payroll (obviously, relying on Pohlad's to spend is a fools errand but there were promises). They had the #1 pick in the draft and a high pool.

 

There really aren't that much better starting positions for a new GM unless you have an owner who is going to give you a 200m+ payroll to play with.

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Don't think it's necessarily piling on, it's more two sides to the same coin. If the plan was more than just "warm up his bat", or if the plan changed with his wrist injury in mid to late July, they should have communicated that then; failing that, and waiting until Sep. 1, they probably shouldn't have left the explanation to an intermediary.

As for "what was going on", the articles around his July 2nd option all reference the front office's stated desire to see his bat get going before a MLB recall. Buxton had no reason to believe he was on a Sano-style project assignment (if that's even the case now, or if it's just the most convenient excuse ).

 

All things being equal, I'd leave Buxton down and keep the extra year of control. But things aren't equal, that year of control may not be worth the chaos and disharmony that it's causing.

 

I'm just disagreeing that Falvey or Levine should have been the one to give Buxton the news. That's the managers job, they tell guys when they're promoted, they tell guys when they're released, they tell guys when they need to pull their act together. I assume what's why in professional baseball they're called managers instead of coaches like they are in college and high school. The president of my company doesn't fire me for chatting on TD too much, that's what my immediate manager is for.

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June 29 he went off the dl for the toe at Rochester. What date are you arbitrarily saying he was done rehabing from a broken toe? His dl time in July was for a wrist strain.

It is not arbitrary. July 2nd, the Twins activated him from the MLB DL (for the toe) and optioned him to Rochester. (He went on the minor league DL later for the wrist.)

 

You can see it in his MLB.com transactions list:

 

http://m.mlb.com/player/621439/byron-buxton

 

July 2, 2018

Minnesota Twins optioned CF Byron Buxton to Rochester Red Wings.

 

June 19, 2018

Minnesota Twins sent OF Byron Buxton on a rehab assignment to Rochester Red Wings.

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I'm just disagreeing that Falvey or Levine should have been the one to give Buxton the news. That's the managers job, they tell guys when they're promoted, they tell guys when they're released, they tell guys when they need to pull their act together. I assume what's why in professional baseball they're called managers instead of coaches like they are in college and high school. The president of my company doesn't fire me for chatting on TD too much, that's what my immediate manager is for.

If the president of your company personally gives you a specific assignment (the front office optioning Buxton on July 2nd), then it's pretty careless of them to let a middle manager or other intermediary give you unspecific feedback in terminating it.

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To say that a hitter that is OPSing somewhere in the mid .700s at AAA should be in the majors is also a pretty bogus condition. Why wouldn't a team be trying to swing a deal for Vargas if a .750 ops in the minors was a must have thing?  Game should be offense and defense. An mlb ops+ in the 80 range is not must have. It it very very rare I say this, but thrylos is right

 

The performance argument is a moot point when guys like Gimenez, Belisle, and Johnny Field are getting innings in actual games. Nobody is making the argument that Buxton has been a great hitter to this point, but the idea that his 18' numbers exclude him from making the expanded roster is laughable. 

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If the president of your company personally gives you a specific assignment (the front office optioning Buxton on July 2nd), then it's pretty careless of them to let a middle manager or other intermediary give you unspecific feedback in terminating it.

 

That's not how the business world works. I doubt Falvey or Lavine ever told Buxton anything about a specific assignment. That was almost certainly Molitor, Pickler or some minor league coordinator. The suits probably gladhand the players in the locker rooms but let the people they hire to manage those players do the intermediary work.

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Yeah, it was a great situation. I mentioned this a lot last year but 10 players got 400 or more at-bats last year and 8 of them had been top 100 prospects and the two that weren't were Escobar and Dozier. The FO had Buxton turn in a 5 WAR season and Sano turned in an all-star season. Berrios arrived. Gibson looked like he fixed something in the last half of the year and Santana was a cheap, solid vet in the rotation. They actually had SP depth in the minors with Romero, Gonsalves, Meija and others in-line. Klaw ranked their farm system 11th despite the graduations. Ownership said they'd spend money after the team stayed in the bottom third in payroll (obviously, relying on Pohlad's to spend is a fools errand but there were promises). They had the #1 pick in the draft and a high pool.

 

There really aren't that much better starting positions for a new GM unless you have an owner who is going to give you a 200m+ payroll to play with.

 

I would agree they looked to be positioned pretty well but there was still much that needed to come together. Also, if we were to catalog the things that went wrong or did not progress, I have a hard time blaming the F/O for much of it. Their two superstar prospects went backward. Is that on the F/O. Dozier had a terrible year. Santana was lost basically for the season. Polanco was suspended. Kepler is still trying to put it all together. Sure, other teams have issues but I think we can agree this team did not have the depth to overcome this many issues.  

 

I don't understand the reference to the #1 draft pick. It seems to have been a good pick and what does that have to do with the current MLB team?

 

The SP depth does not make sense either. None of those players are ready. I guess I could understand if your point is that they have not improved the development of those particular players but none of them were expected to impact the ML team this year. 

 

I have never seen this team as the contender that many insist they have become. They are a team with potential but lots of pieces that still need to ascend to the next level.

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The performance argument is a moot point when guys like Gimenez, Belisle, and Johnny Field are getting innings in actual games. Nobody is making the argument that Buxton has been a great hitter to this point, but the idea that his 18' numbers exclude him from making the expanded roster is laughable. 

That's a simplistic view. Giminez is there for the young SPs.  Obviously, the scouts saw something in Johnny Field. We complain that we could never come up with a Max Muncy because we don't provide an opportunity and then complain when they take a look at a guy. He is getting that look in meaningless games and will be put down the road if he can't show something in this short stint. Belisle is a mystery. 

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I don't think this FO was handed a great situation at all. I think there was a lot to fix and just because we ended up having a good record last year doesn't change that. That 2017 record didnt change the fact our supposed great position player prospects come up here and poop the bed consistently. Didnt change the fact that that we can't seem to be develop pitchers (yes, Berrios and.....?) Didn't change the fact we keep having top draft picks fail over and over. This stuff isn't on the new FO. Can't change a whole organization and fix everything needed in the time they have had.

 

Last year's fluke season put unrealistic expectations on this new FO team. Lots to fix, a whole culture to change. Have they done everything perfect, no, but the dysfunctional organization they were handed will take time to fix, as much as fans don't want it too.

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Buxton did start to get more hits, so in that sense his bat heated up, I guess. But he had one walk in August, versus 13 strikeouts, in 12 games, versus AAA pitching.

 

This should be about Buxton's long term success, and I don't think he showed the plate approach in August necessary to build a base for sustained MLB success at the plate. And I suspect the plate approach he was showing in AAA most likely would have led to MLB pitchers, yet again, carving him up in September, even with expanded rosters.

 

Maybe, maybe not, but I don't think it's as cut-and-dry as some make it that Buxton's AAA batting line last month was definitely deserving of a call up. Small sample size regardless.

 

As an aside, I noticed that he hadn't attempted a stolen base in August. Might lend some credence to the notion that the wrist or another lingering injury isn't allowing him to play full speed. Might be the team trying to keep him healthy. Might just be a coincidence.

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That's not how the business world works. I doubt Falvey or Lavine ever told Buxton anything about a specific assignment. That was almost certainly Molitor, Pickler or some minor league coordinator. The suits probably gladhand the players in the locker rooms but let the people they hire to manage those players do the intermediary work.

Falvey and Levine spoke publicly about it, around his July 2nd option. They specifically said they were optioning him so his bat could heat up before they would recall him again. If they changed their mind since then, they probably owe him a call, and probably before Sep. 1st too.

 

You may not think that July 2nd option or comment was anything special, but optioning a player off a rehab assignment is somewhat unusual, especially when the player is 94 PA removed from being your 3 time opening day starting CF.

 

I get the sense that you and others want to say "Buxton has been hurt and bad so often, he deserves some tough love" but there are plenty of ways to do that without being unprofessional. As far as we know, Buxton has been working very hard toward his return -- I think the least he deserves is timely, direct updates about his status.

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Yeah, it was a great situation. I mentioned this a lot last year but 10 players got 400 or more at-bats last year and 8 of them had been top 100 prospects and the two that weren't were Escobar and Dozier. The FO had Buxton turn in a 5 WAR season and Sano turned in an all-star season. Berrios arrived. Gibson looked like he fixed something in the last half of the year and Santana was a cheap, solid vet in the rotation. They actually had SP depth in the minors with Romero, Gonsalves, Meija and others in-line. Klaw ranked their farm system 11th despite the graduations. Ownership said they'd spend money after the team stayed in the bottom third in payroll (obviously, relying on Pohlad's to spend is a fools errand but there were promises). They had the #1 pick in the draft and a high pool.

 

There really aren't that much better starting positions for a new GM unless you have an owner who is going to give you a 200m+ payroll to play with.

 

I simply don't know how you post this with a straight face.  I have to ask - are you being serious?

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Buxton did start to get more hits, so in that sense his bat heated up, I guess. But he had one walk in August, versus 13 strikeouts, in 12 games, versus AAA pitching.

 

This should be about Buxton's long term success, and I don't think he showed the plate approach in August necessary to build a base for sustained MLB success at the plate. And I suspect the plate approach he was showing in AAA most likely would have led to MLB pitchers, yet again, carving him up in September, even with expanded rosters.

 

Maybe, maybe not, but I don't think it's as cut-and-dry as some make it that Buxton's AAA batting line last month was definitely deserving of a call up. Small sample size regardless.

 

As an aside, I noticed that he hadn't attempted a stolen base in August. Might lend some credence to the notion that the wrist or another lingering injury isn't allowing him to play full speed. Might be the team trying to keep him healthy. Might just be a coincidence.

 

Sure, but it seems likely that could have been communicated better by the front office. As far as I know, Buxton wasn't optioned to AAA with some mandate to make significant changes, like the Sano to Ft. Myers plan -- the front office, around July 2nd, sure made it sound like it was about reps to get his timing back and get comfortable at the plate again after his injury absences.

 

I don't know about the stolen bases, but I suspect the alternating days of rest thing was primarily driven by the front office, so maybe the lack of SB was too.

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That's a simplistic view. Giminez is there for the young SPs.  Obviously, the scouts saw something in Johnny Field. We complain that we could never come up with a Max Muncy because we don't provide an opportunity and then complain when they take a look at a guy. He is getting that look in meaningless games and will be put down the road if he can't show something in this short stint. Belisle is a mystery. 

Agreed that they should always be on the lookout for a guy like Muncy, but those innings shouldn't come at the expense of a player like Buxton. Carving out room for auditions and maintaining the major league development of your own talent aren't mutually exclusive.

 

FWIW Field is 1-22 with 0 BB and 7 Ks. Gimenez spent the majority of the season at AAA and wasn't good there or in limited big league action. Who the hell knows why Belisle is still on a roster. The point is, you can't honestly say anybody in that trio has performed so as to earn or maintain a spot on the active roster. Nobody is disputing Buxton's own struggles here, but if 3 players, who have no future with this club, can perform as poorly as they have and still soak up September innings then it's nearly impossible to say that production is what kept Buxton off the active roster. 

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Sure, but it seems likely that could have been communicated better by the front office. As far as I know, Buxton wasn't optioned to AAA with some mandate to make significant changes, like the Sano to Ft. Myers plan -- the front office, around July 2nd, sure made it sound like it was about reps to get his timing back and get comfortable at the plate again after his injury absences.

 

I don't know about the stolen bases, but I suspect the alternating days of rest thing was primarily driven by the front office, so maybe the lack of SB was too.

 

What are the quotes from the front office from around July 2? I've only seen quotes from Molitor...asking sincerely, btw, not challenging you or being argumentative.

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What are the quotes from the front office from around July 2? I've only seen quotes from Molitor...asking sincerely, btw, not challenging you or being argumentative.

Good question! Can't find it now... I seem to recall it wasn't a direct quote, but it was through a trustworthy source like a beat writer, but maybe I am mistaken. I'll drop that angle.

 

My point has just been there was no need to drag this out to Sep. 1st. By the time he went on the minors DL again at the end of July, I think the front office must have known a 2018 promotion was impossible.

 

Interesting to see those Molitor quotes from July 2nd, though -- suggesting that they optioned him so they could start his 10 day option clock and potentially recall him sooner!

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Agreed that they should always be on the lookout for a guy like Muncy, but those innings shouldn't come at the expense of a player like Buxton. Carving out room for auditions and maintaining the major league development of your own talent aren't mutually exclusive.

 

FWIW Field is 1-22 with 0 BB and 7 Ks. Gimenez spent the majority of the season at AAA and wasn't good there or in limited big league action. Who the hell knows why Belisle is still on a roster. The point is, you can't honestly say anybody in that trio has performed so as to earn or maintain a spot on the active roster. Nobody is disputing Buxton's own struggles here, but if 3 players, who have no future with this club, can perform as poorly as they have and still soak up September innings then it's nearly impossible to say that production is what kept Buxton off the active roster. 

 

For the record, I don't see what they see in Field either. Honestly, I think he sucks but I am not a professional baseball talent analyst and I don't have nearly the experience or information they have. I assume those who have more information and more experience than I have reasonable logic as to why Field is worth a look. Also, the context is that Buxton has had almost 1000 ABs. # weeks of September baseball is not critical to his future and the logic might be it would be better for him to work through whatever they are working on before exposing him to ML pitching again. IDK but there are reasonable potential scenarios. The other end of the logic is that little is lost in taking a look at Field right now. Its's just to bad he is the best guy they have to look at presently.

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I would agree they looked to be positioned pretty well but there was still much that needed to come together. Also, if we were to catalog the things that went wrong or did not progress, I have a hard time blaming the F/O for much of it. Their two superstar prospects went backward. Is that on the F/O. Dozier had a terrible year. Santana was lost basically for the season. Polanco was suspended. Kepler is still trying to put it all together. Sure, other teams have issues but I think we can agree this team did not have the depth to overcome this many issues.  

 

Well, I'm not sure how much you want to blame the FO for that. Some (a lot?) of those things are on the manager and the FO chose to keep Molitor even though he's clearly not the right manager for this club. A lot of our young guys aren't really young anymore and it seems like the ML staff has to take some responsibility for Kepler plateauing and Sano regressing. 

 

As for depth, isn't that part of the FO's job? They traded for Odorizzi and signed Lance Lynn and gave up a draft pick to do it. They went with Reed and Rodney. I agree that the Twins had some bad injuries - Buxton but also Granite and Wade in AAA affected reinforcements - but other FO's seemed to be better prepared for that. 

 

But my initial point that the FO came into a pretty good situation remains. We'll see if they can fix it this offseason.

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Well, I'm not sure how much you want to blame the FO for that. Some (a lot?) of those things are on the manager and the FO chose to keep Molitor even though he's clearly not the right manager for this club. A lot of our young guys aren't really young anymore and it seems like the ML staff has to take some responsibility for Kepler plateauing and Sano regressing. 

 

As for depth, isn't that part of the FO's job? They traded for Odorizzi and signed Lance Lynn and gave up a draft pick to do it. They went with Reed and Rodney. I agree that the Twins had some bad injuries - Buxton but also Granite and Wade in AAA affected reinforcements - but other FO's seemed to be better prepared for that. 

 

But my initial point that the FO came into a pretty good situation remains. We'll see if they can fix it this offseason.

 

If we take a step back, there is very little about the management of the organization that we can make a statement which includes "clearly". None of us have direct contact or the information necessary to conclude anything with this degree of certainty. I realize this is an internet forum but let's keep in mind this would considered absolute incompetence to do so in any business decision making practice.

 

There is also a tendency to judge the FO by our own personal criteria. Like it or not, the relative merit of their job performance is dictated by performance criteria set by ownership. They could be doing a fantastic job by those standards and fail from any given fans perspective, especially given the tendency of fans to have a very short-term view of performance. They have been very clear about building a "sustainable" model. This is at odds with many fans desire to push in all the chips for a very short span of contention. This organization is not going to follow KC's path of being great for a couple years and sucking for 20.

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If we take a step back, there is very little about the management of the organization that we can make a statement which includes "clearly". None of us have direct contact or the information necessary to conclude anything with this degree of certainty. I realize this is an internet forum but let's keep in mind this would considered absolute incompetence to do so in any business decision making practice.

 

There is also a tendency to judge the FO by our own personal criteria. Like it or not, the relative merit of their job performance is dictated by performance criteria set by ownership. They could be doing a fantastic job by those standards and fail from any given fans perspective, especially given the tendency of fans to have a very short-term view of performance. They have been very clear about building a "sustainable" model. This is at odds with many fans desire to push in all the chips for a very short span of contention. This organization is not going to follow KC's path of being great for a couple years and sucking for 20.

Clearly?

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If we take a step back, there is very little about the management of the organization that we can make a statement which includes "clearly". None of us have direct contact or the information necessary to conclude anything with this degree of certainty. I realize this is an internet forum but let's keep in mind this would considered absolute incompetence to do so in any business decision making practice.

 

There is also a tendency to judge the FO by our own personal criteria. Like it or not, the relative merit of their job performance is dictated by performance criteria set by ownership. They could be doing a fantastic job by those standards and fail from any given fans perspective, especially given the tendency of fans to have a very short-term view of performance. They have been very clear about building a "sustainable" model. This is at odds with many fans desire to push in all the chips for a very short span of contention. This organization is not going to follow KC's path of being great for a couple years and sucking for 20.

Well, sure. I suspect ownership's #1 goal is revenue and always will be. And to that end, I think we have to give the FO some benefit of the doubt when they have a low payroll. And you're right that none of us know what criteria you use to measure Molitor's success but by any criteria I can think of, he's a failure.

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For the record, I don't see what they see in Field either. Honestly, I think he sucks but I am not a professional baseball talent analyst and I don't have nearly the experience or information they have. I assume those who have more information and more experience than I have reasonable logic as to why Field is worth a look. Also, the context is that Buxton has had almost 1000 ABs. # weeks of September baseball is not critical to his future and the logic might be it would be better for him to work through whatever they are working on before exposing him to ML pitching again. IDK but there are reasonable potential scenarios. The other end of the logic is that little is lost in taking a look at Field right now. Its's just to bad he is the best guy they have to look at presently.

Maybe? I think if the best explanation for Field's presence is "the FO knows more than us," it's safe to say the decision isn't a good one. Neither of us have to be elite talent evaluators to look at Johnny Field and know he doesn't belong on a major league roster. 

 

Do you think the current version of Buxton is the player we'll see going forward? If not, then I'd argue that giving Field those ABs comes at a great cost in terms of Buxton's development. These September games might be meaningless in terms of wins and losses but there's literally no better time for him to work on whatever it is the coaching staff wants to see. 

 

We can try to find reasons other than service time manipulation for Buxton being left off the expanded roster but in the end they're all fairly weak. 

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The performance argument is a moot point when guys like Gimenez, Belisle, and Johnny Field are getting innings in actual games. Nobody is making the argument that Buxton has been a great hitter to this point, but the idea that his 18' numbers exclude him from making the expanded roster is laughable. 

The numbers don't automatically exclude him, on the other hand what people seem to miss is that it does not say that you must include him. Belisle does not play the outfield, yet

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Maybe? I think if the best explanation for Field's presence is "the FO knows more than us," it's safe to say the decision isn't a good one. Neither of us have to be elite talent evaluators to look at Johnny Field and know he doesn't belong on a major league roster. 

 

Do you think the current version of Buxton is the player we'll see going forward? If not, then I'd argue that giving Field those ABs comes at a great cost in terms of Buxton's development. These September games might be meaningless in terms of wins and losses but there's literally no better time for him to work on whatever it is the coaching staff wants to see. 

 

We can try to find reasons other than service time manipulation for Buxton being left off the expanded roster but in the end they're all fairly weak. 

Years ago Ryan liked Clete Thomas as amateur. He got a fair run here due to that. Field reminds me of that. There have been many players through the years with different coaching reach their potential, see Hicks, Aaaron.  In terms of FO knowing more, I would hope that they do as they should have a lot better scouting

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