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Report from The Fort: Royce Lewis Tears ACL, Will Miss 2021 Season


 

Please list all the teams that have a viable first-division SS currently third on their SS depth chart.  I'll wait.

LA Dodgers, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies. Pretty easy. 

 

But, instead of this route you're taking, let me ask you. Do you think we're in good shape if Simmons is hurt for more than a 15 day IL stint?

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Just yesterday....

"Royce Lewis has been the Twins Daily choice for the Twins #1 prospect each of the past three years. This year, he drops to #2 on the list, but his ceiling remains very high."

 

The fall begins. Still even in today's top 10 now?

What is the California Kid doing in Texas during the 100 year powerless freeze out?

This is just classic.

The high school Number 1 pick won't be seen in the show until he is 24 or 25 I bet. If at all. I mean, project all you want, one of the talk matters. 

 

I feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for the Twins and us fans. It really amazes me how injuries seem to get more and more frequent for these healthy young players, with all the sport's science and training progression. It dosn't seem to be helping. Injuries seem to be more and more frequent, instead of less. And he could have been traded for a fine arm........ we better hold on to all of them until their value is gone, because writing about them and talking about what they could be is paramount.

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 It really amazes me how injuries seem to get more and more frequent for these healthy young players, with all the sport's science and training progression. It dosn't seem to be helping. Injuries seem to be more and more frequent, instead of less. And he could have been traded for a fine arm........ we better hold on to all of them until their value is gone, because writing about them and talking about what they could be is paramount.

 

I'm a 45 year-old man. Weekend warrior athlete, I still play a little soccer, jog/run and do some hiking. Back in my youth I played on the HS varsity basketball team, probably played basketball every day between ages 12 and 18. I've spent years shoveling snow, walking on ice, even slipping and falling plenty of times....no knee injuries for me (knock on wood).

 

Yet one of the best athletes in professional sports slips on some ice in Texas and he's out for a year with a catostrophic injury. It's perplexing indeed!
 


 

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LA Dodgers, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies. Pretty easy. 

 

But, instead of this route you're taking, let me ask you. Do you think we're in good shape if Simmons is hurt for more than a 15 day IL stint?

Dodgers currently list Zach McKinstry as their 3rd string SS. Gavin Lux is no longer a SS if that was your thought.

Yankees currently list Thairo Estrada as their 3rd string SS. They don't even want their 1st string SS playing SS if they could help it.

Mets currently list Jonathan Villar as their 3rd string SS. They traded away their top 2 guys to get Lindor. Villar is a utility guy. Their 2nd string SS is Luis Guillorme.

The Astros don't even list a backup let alone a 3rd string SS.

The Blue Jays list Joe Panik as their 3rd string SS.

The Red Sox list Yairo Munoz as their 3rd string SS.

The Phillies list Scott Kingery as their 3rd string SS. CJ Chatham 4th.

 

Those are the players you're considering "first-division" short stops? Cuz that's what was asked of you. There isn't anyone in there you'd want starting for a playoff team.

 

If Simmons goes down for more than 15 days Polanco slides back to short and Arraez slides back in to every day 2B innings. I'm completely fine with that. Now if there's more injuries beyond that things get shaky. Is Gordon ready? Can Lin, Riddle, or Romine handle everyday duties for a month? I don't want to find out, but those guys aren't drastically worse than any other 3rd string SS. I think you drastically overestimate what other teams are capable of doing if their #1 SS goes down for more than a 15 day stint. There's very few teams that can replace them with a former all star and slide a batting title hopeful into the lineup everyday. Multiple SS injuries hurt any team a great deal. The Twins had a luxury many don't by having a near major league ready top SS prospect.

 

I mean none of the teams you listed even have near MLB ready, big time SS prospects beyond Downs in Boston. Unless you think Martin is stepping in for the Blue Jays in his first professional season and helping them to the playoffs. Maybe you could've argued for the Rays if you think Brujan is able to play SS and he'd be 3rd behind Adames and Franco. Think that's your best argument here.

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LA Dodgers, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies. Pretty easy. 

 

But, instead of this route you're taking, let me ask you. Do you think we're in good shape if Simmons is hurt for more than a 15 day IL stint?

 

How many teams have a backup SS that is better than Polanco?

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Why do our top prospects either get knee injuries or Tommy John? Off the top of my head;

Joe Mauer
Miguel Sano
Alex Kiriloff
Royce Lewis
Jason Kubel
Francisco Liriano
Luis arraez

The humor of the MN Sports Gods. It goes beyond the Twins. Duante Culpepper was never the same. Teddy Bridgewater's was so bad he almost lost his leg.

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LA Dodgers, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies. Pretty easy. 

 

But, instead of this route you're taking, let me ask you. Do you think we're in good shape if Simmons is hurt for more than a 15 day IL stint?

 

The Dodgers third option (according to MLB depth charts) is Zach McKinstry, who has 7 MLB PA's.  Of the infielders on LA's 40 man, only Seager and Turner have played even one inning at SS in MLB, and Turner last did it in 2015.

 

The Yankees third option is Thairo Estrada, who has OPS'd .615 in 121 MLB PA, and only played 5 innings at short.  Of the infielders on NY's 40 man, only Torres, Urshela (65 innings in 2018), LeMahieu (4 innings, none after 2014), and Tyler Wade (142 innings in 2020) have played SS in MLB.  Wade has a career .575 OPS in 346 PA's, and if you play Urshela at short you have to play Andujar at third, who has OPS'd .476 over 121 PA's in 2019 and 2020, and has a career -27.7 UZR/150 at third in 1,244 innings

 

The Met's third option is Jonathan Villar, who has a career -14.9 UZR/150 in over 3,000 innings at short (although that has been better lately).  Of the infielders on NY's 40 man, only Lindor, Villar, and Luis Guillorme (57 innings in 2019/2020) have played SS in MLB.  Guillorme is actually listed as the backup at shortstop, and in his 212 MLB PA's, has a .684 OPS.

 

The Astros' third option is unlisted (there actually isn't even a backup listed).  Of the infielders on Houston's 40 man, only Correa, Altuve (6 innings), Bregman (966 innings), Diaz (2,321 innings), and Gurriel (9 innings) have played SS in MLB.  Gurriel would probably be the third choice behind Correa and Diaz; Gurriel will turn 37 this year, had a .658 OPS last year, and by UZR/150 is below average defensively at 1B.

 

The Blue Jays' third option is Joe Panik, who had never played SS in MLB before last year, and has a .645 OPS over his last 1,024 PA's (2018 through 2020).  Of the other infielders on Toronto's 40 man, only Bichette, Semien (6800 innings), and Espinal (156 innings) have played SS in MLB.  Espinal has only 66 MLB PA's, and put up a .641 OPS.

 

The Red Sox' third option is Jonathan Arauz (second is Marwin), who has played 21 innings at short in MLB, and has OPS'd .644 in 80 PA's.  Of the other infielders on Boston's 40 man, only Bogaerts, Arroyo (93 innings, all but 11 coming in 2017), Devers (2 innings), Marwin (2,252, only 9 after 2018), and Hernandez (536 innings) have played SS in MLB.  Hernandez OPS'd .680 last year, Marwin had a -30.6 UZR/150 at SS in 2018 (his last significant time at short) while OPSing .606 last year, and Arroyo has a -10.3 career UZR/150 at SS.

 

The Phillies' third option is Scott Kingery, who has a career .677 OPS in 1,108 PA's, and a 0.6 UZR/150 in 1,000 innings at SS in MLB.  Of the other infielders on Philadelphia's 40 man, only Segura, Gregorius (7,643 innings), and Miller (3,133 innings but only 44 after 2016) have played SS in MLB.  This honestly seems like probably the deepest shortstop position of the teams you listed.

 

As you can see, it's almost impossible to have a first division regular (which means a top 15-20ish shortstop overall) third on your depth chart--very few teams actually even have 2.

 

To answer your question, I think putting Polanco at short in the event Simmons is hurt is a better situation than 20-25 other teams have at short, and being upset the Twins don't have a better fourth option (which is what we're really talking about here), is just crazy.

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Polanco is our starting 2nd baseman. If I can shuffle around lineups I’m sure several teams could be in the conversation.

Who is easily moved back to SS with Arraez moving to second. So, yes, you can shuffle lineups when an injury happens. Like the Phillies would move Segura back to short if Gregorius goes down. But the Phillies can't replace Segura at 2B with someone with a legit chance to be in the running for a batting title. The Twins have a better ability to handle an injury to their starting SS than almost every team in MLB. It is unreasonable to expect them to be able to replace Simmons, Polanco, and Lewis with another MLB starting quality SS. No team has that ability. None. Not a single one. Why would any starting quality SS sign on to be the 4th (or 3rd if you don't count Lewis as being ready yet) SS in line in any organization?

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People here literally think Polanco is the worst fielding baseball player to ever put on a baseball uniform.

 

 

 

I do not consider Polanco the worst fielding baseball player to wear a uniform. But I do consider him the worst fielding SS in the major leagues last year.

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Luckily, there will be a lot of SS depth in free agency next year. Lindor, Story, Correa, Seager, Baez, Simmons, Semien. Even guys like Miguel Rojas, Brandon Crawford and Jose Iglesias could hold it down for a year. This isn’t the end of the world, but it will hurt the Twins’ salary the next couple of years

Is Nishioka available?

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........If Simmons goes down for more than 15 days Polanco slides back to short and Arraez slides back in to every day 2B innings. I'm completely fine with that. .......

 

It sounds good, and looks kinda good on paper........ but it sure didn't work out well with the money on the line in the playoffs last year.....

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It sounds good, and looks kinda good on paper........ but it sure didn't work out well with the money on the line in the playoffs last year.....

Polanco was also the walking wounded most of last season. It’s not a given that he’s healthy again but there was something obviously wrong with Jorge in 2020 and I hope he’s past it now.
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As far as a third stringer, I’m not too interested in Romine, Lin, Riddle... I’m curious if Lewis’s injury would open a spot in camp for another prospect like Spencer Steer or Will Holland. Seemed like both of those guys put up good numbers in the minors in 2019

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It sounds good, and looks kinda good on paper........ but it sure didn't work out well with the money on the line in the playoffs last year.....

 

Yes, we should definitely base our plans on a two game sample size.  If that's the metric we're using, we should immediately cut every hitter not named Nelson Cruz from our roster.

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Yes, we should definitely base our plans on a two game sample size.  If that's the metric we're using, we should immediately cut every hitter not named Nelson Cruz from our roster.

A lot of people called for that, actually.

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