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Is it time to option out Larnach


He is looking lost at the plate, and maybe a reset is needed.  Hope this happens when the Twins make a trade or two, and add another outfielder to the mix.  Would hate to have Larnach totally messed up by constant failure before being sent down. 

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Wish there were other words for it, but he's been straight up awful in July:

  • July 1st: struck out 4 times against CHISOX
  • July 10: struck out 4 times against DET
  • July 11: struck out 4 times against DET
  • July 19: struck out 5 times in a DH against CHISOX

Overall July numbers for Larnach:

16-for78 (.205) with 37 strikeouts. Dude's been striking out 50% of his ABs this month. He's hit just 2 HR (both coming at the beginning of the month) and 1 double, so he's got a grand total of 3 extra base hits.

It's only natural that we were all excited about him, and to cope with a miserable season it was nice to have something positive to lean on. But it's clear he's overmatched and needs to make an adjustment, probably best done in St. Paul. That low breaking ball is almost an automatic swing-and-miss every time, the book's out.

I know there are some good arguments for keeping him, including "who else do we have?" but I think at this point anyone in the organization who can play outfield might be a better option for both Larnach and Twins fans right now.

 

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1 hour ago, bighat said:

Wish there were other words for it, but he's been straight up awful in July:

  • July 1st: struck out 4 times against CHISOX
  • July 10: struck out 4 times against DET
  • July 11: struck out 4 times against DET
  • July 19: struck out 5 times in a DH against CHISOX

Overall July numbers for Larnach:

16-for78 (.205) with 37 strikeouts. Dude's been striking out 50% of his ABs this month. He's hit just 2 HR (both coming at the beginning of the month) and 1 double, so he's got a grand total of 3 extra base hits.

It's only natural that we were all excited about him, and to cope with a miserable season it was nice to have something positive to lean on. But it's clear he's overmatched and needs to make an adjustment, probably best done in St. Paul. That low breaking ball is almost an automatic swing-and-miss every time, the book's out.

I know there are some good arguments for keeping him, including "who else do we have?" but I think at this point anyone in the organization who can play outfield might be a better option for both Larnach and Twins fans right now.

 

Sounds like he's been taking advice from Sano.

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I hope the Twins have a good idea of the kind of person Larnach is and what a run like this will do to his confidence and ability to rebound. If he's the kind of guy who knew there could be stretches like this early in his career and won't be crushed by it let him fight through it in Minneapolis. If the adjustment he needs to make is to be able to hit pitches that AAA guys can't throw consistently then being in AAA doesn't help him make that adjustment. If he's someone who's confidence could be crushed and you could be hurting his future I hope the Twins know that about him and send him to AAA to feast on some fastballs and get back to mashing. 

It's really all about the individual player and what adjustment they need to make. Can they handle the failure and can the adjustment be made at AAA or does it need to be made at the ML level? His career will depend on him being able to close holes pitchers find and exploit. If he can handle the struggles I don't think it's awful to let him try to close those holes in a Twins uniform during this lost season.

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3 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

To be fair to Celestino, he has no business being the majors. He's 22 years old with all of 105 PAs in AA and zero PAs in AAA. He's in way over his head right now.

Even at Double-A the first month, he wasn't hitting a ton. Celestino has big potential, and I think he can be a solid MLB outfielder in time, but he needs to play, and that isn't going to happen here. I think when Arraez comes back, Celestino should be sent down to play every day. Cave is fine in a 4th OF role...

As for Larnach, the league has made an adjustment to him, and they need to let him work through things and make the adjustment back... 

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1 hour ago, chpettit19 said:

 His career will depend on him being able to close holes pitchers find and exploit. If he can handle the struggles I don't think it's awful to let him try to close those holes in a Twins uniform during this lost season.

I agree, and I would assume the major league coaches are better than the ones in St. Paul. Also I think he needs to be up to really evaluate him on where and what he plays next year. Meaning if he can't make the necessary adjustments this year, the team needs to have a different plan then him starting in the Twins outfield and make him earn his way back up.

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The main reason Larnach has spent so much time on the major league roster: here's a list of full-time or part-time outfielders who are or have been on the injured list this season:

Arraez, Buxton, Cave, Garlick, Kepler, Kirilloff, Refsnyder, Rooker.

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We talked about this 3-4 weeks ago and I said keep him in Minnesota unless he has a bad 3-4 week stretch. Well, he's had the bad 3-4 week stretch. It might make sense to send him down for a couple of weeks with an eye towards bringing him back in late August, early September.  Contreras or Refsnyder can replace him for now and Rooker can get more innings in the field to see if can improve enough to be a better OF than Sano was a few years ago. larnach needs to work through some things, like always taking the first pitch fastball strike and almost always getting 2 strikes, and an inability to hit the low breaking ball. I am concerned that his failure may become wearing and destroy his confidence. He's up a year earlier than expected so these troubles are no big surprise. Let him work things out in a lower pressure environment knowing that he'll be back and is still in the team's long term plans. 

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5 hours ago, Nine of twelve said:

The main reason Larnach has spent so much time on the major league roster: here's a list of full-time or part-time outfielders who are or have been on the injured list this season:

Arraez, Buxton, Cave, Garlick, Kepler, Kirilloff, Refsnyder, Rooker.

Actually the ONLY reason;  he is a Sano style easy out without the absolute power that Sano pops out when it is least expected, plus he is slow afoot and has a weak arm.

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15 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

I hope the Twins have a good idea of the kind of person Larnach is and what a run like this will do to his confidence and ability to rebound. If he's the kind of guy who knew there could be stretches like this early in his career and won't be crushed by it let him fight through it in Minneapolis. If the adjustment he needs to make is to be able to hit pitches that AAA guys can't throw consistently then being in AAA doesn't help him make that adjustment. If he's someone who's confidence could be crushed and you could be hurting his future I hope the Twins know that about him and send him to AAA to feast on some fastballs and get back to mashing. 

It's really all about the individual player and what adjustment they need to make. Can they handle the failure and can the adjustment be made at AAA or does it need to be made at the ML level? His career will depend on him being able to close holes pitchers find and exploit. If he can handle the struggles I don't think it's awful to let him try to close those holes in a Twins uniform during this lost season.

Yeah, so many good hitters have struggled early in career. An example would be Torii Hunter and I’m pretty sure he had to be sent back to AAA at least once. Byron Buxton very slow to develop. Robin Ventura started career ~1 for 41. I agree it depends on the person’s ability to withstand failure. There is some point where you just have to return them to AAA. We’ll know if that time comes when it’s "for sure".

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Great comments.  I feel sorry for some of these young players.  They sure don't seem to be getting much coaching help.  I'd much rather see him in the outfield than Celestino and Cave.  Celestino needs to be in Triple AAA and Cave needs to be traded or DFA.  He's been a hang on guy for a few years with very little production and questionable defense.  

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I looked and saw that Refsnyder and Contreras have been playing LF and RF for St. Paul over the last week, and both have an OPS over .900. That suggests we have options to bring up if its time for Larnach and/or Celestino to get more AAA time.  

I think both need to go back down and re-set, with Larnach coming back up in late August or September. Celstino needs the rest of the season in AAA and maybe most or all of next year. Bring up Refsnyder and Contreras and let's see what they can do. Refsnyder can take the CF duties against LH starters, he did it before, or Kepler can play CF against LHs with Refsnyder in right. Improves the RH offense without a huge sacrifice on defense. Gordon or Cave can play CF against RH pitching. I vote for Gordon because he may be part of next year's team and Cave probably is not unless there's injuries. He appears to have an option left so stashing him in AAA as injury insurance is ok if we don't want to or can't trade or DFA him. 

This is an evaluation/development year, bottom line. Everything has to be evaluated in that light even if it hurts the 2021 product. Next year's 4 top OFs are Buxton, Kepler and . . . (assuming Kirilloff is the 1B). The answers to the "and . . . "  should come from Larnach, Refsnyder, Rooker, Gordon,  and maybe Contreras. Celestino probably is not in the mix for a 26 man spot at the start of next year. Kepler can be the starting RF or he is a perfect 4th OF given his excellent defense, ability to play CF, and below average bat (for a corner OF). We're doing the right thing with Rooker by playing him almost every day and giving him real innings in the OF.  Let's do the same with Gordon, Contreras and Refsnyder now, give Larnach a re-set, and bring Larnach back up for the last month so we can have as much data on these guys as possible.    

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