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Larnach optioned; Gordon recalled


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10 minutes ago, DocBauer said:

I'm OK with this. I think Larnach is going to be an excellent player for us. But he's a rookie who is slumping and pressing right now. This provides him a little re-set and get in a groove and come back up again in a couple of weeks.

For sure. Larnach is overdue for a reset and confidence boost in St. Paul. Hopefully Gordon gets ample playing time to see if he can be a super utility or someone that needs to be replaced on the 40 man next year. 

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1 hour ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

The Twins have optioned Trevor Larnach to St. Paul, and recalled Nick Gordon.

Gordon is at Target Field for tonight's game, in his usual spot on the bench:

image.png.8aa27d23fa19ef92ee385fcac6ead105.png

Imagine having Jake Cave in cf, hitting 70, yes seventy, points lower than Gordon and Gordon being the far better stolen base threat. I’m totally flummoxed by Rocco playing Cave as much as he did at the beginning of the season and as much as he is now. It’s a wonderful formula for losing to ignore the .180 batting average and .500 something OPS.

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4 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

One great catch does not a great fielder make.......

How many LF have you seen make a catch that great? I think it was even a tad better than Allison’s catch. I don’t think a guy who’s a liability in the field could ever pull of such a stunning catch. I haven’t seen a sub par fielder in Rooker. He looks average to above average with the jury still out, IMO, at least.

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18 minutes ago, wavedog said:

They like the way Gordon sits on the bench better than how Larnach sits on the bench....tells better jokes.   

I’m hoping they’ll both be cornerstones going forward. If the Twins let Gordon slip away, it will be a huge mistake, IMO. The FO has to stop the attrition of good talents.

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Move makes sense. Time to give Larnach a re-set since he's hitting .162/.263/.222 over his last 30 games. Also time to see if Gordon can hit MLB pitching well enough to have value. Also gives Rooker more time in the OF to see if he can exceed Josh Willingham's defensive value.  

Cave reminds me of the player Carlos Pena in the movie Moneyball. Management wanted Art Howe to play  Scott Hattieberg at 1B and Howe kept putting Pena in the lineup until the FO traded him to Detroit.  It may be that the only way we'll get Cave out of the lineup for Gordon is to trade or DFA Cave and get him off the roster. 

 

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1 minute ago, Greglw3 said:

How many LF have you seen make a catch that great? I think it was even a tad better than Allison’s catch. I don’t think a guy who’s a liability in the field could ever pull of such a stunning catch. I haven’t seen a sub par fielder in Rooker. He looks average to above average with the jury still out, IMO, at least.

Diving catches, while they look impressive, generally aren't a good measure of defensive ability. It's quite possible a faster, quicker-reacting, or better-positioned defender would have gotten to the ball without the need of making as splashy of a play.

Statcast xBA (Expected Batting Average, formerly Hit Probability) doesn't take direction or positioning into account, so it's not perfect, but a ball hit at that speed and trajectory is overwhelming an out most of the time -- .060 xBA.

Here's the video again, for reference:

https://mlb-cuts-diamond.mlb.com/FORGE/2021/2021-08/14/39e72e2f-c7f58a4b-4d772208-csvm-diamondx64-asset_1280x720_59_4000K.mp4

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I have no problem with sending Larnach down, but color me confused as to why they wouldn't bring up Miranda instead of Gordon.  Miranda has to go on the 40 man at the end of the year anyways, so why not make room now?  I think we have a pretty good idea of what Gordon is at this point--a guy who can play a few different positions acceptably, and won't really hit, but has good speed.  Sounds like a 25th man to me.

Now, maybe with an offseason with no health issues, he can put on some weight, and become a better hitter, but playing him now won't do anything to test that hypothesis.  On the other hand, if Miranda comes up and OPS's over .900, you can feel a lot more comfortable about moving Donaldson.  If he comes up and OPS's .500, now you have to think long and hard about moving Donaldson.

In short, there's still more to learn on Miranda, and it can be learned now.  There may still be more to learn on Gordon, but it can't be learned now.

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4 minutes ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

On the other hand, if Miranda comes up and OPS's over .900, you can feel a lot more comfortable about moving Donaldson.  If he comes up and OPS's .500, now you have to think long and hard about moving Donaldson.

After last month, the front office probably knows something about the feasibility of moving Donaldson. If it can't happen without us eating a ton of cash and taking little or no talent in return, then there's no real rush to seeing Miranda right now -- Donaldson's not going anywhere. Might be good to get the debut out of the way, in case Donaldson gets hurt in the first game again next year, but there's still 7 weeks and a 28-man roster on the horizon.

Playing Gordon could still inform us whether we need to sign a veteran backup infielder this offseason, for example. Of course, we actually need to play Gordon to figure that out. :)

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3 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

Diving catches, while they look impressive, generally aren't a good measure of defensive ability. It's quite possible a faster, quicker-reacting, or better-positioned defender would have gotten to the ball without the need of making as splashy of a play.

Statcast xBA (Expected Batting Average, formerly Hit Probability) doesn't take direction or positioning into account, so it's not perfect, but a ball hit at that speed and trajectory is overwhelming an out most of the time -- .060 xBA.

Here's the video again, for reference:

https://mlb-cuts-diamond.mlb.com/FORGE/2021/2021-08/14/39e72e2f-c7f58a4b-4d772208-csvm-diamondx64-asset_1280x720_59_4000K.mp4

I think Byron Buxton and even Torii Hunter were judged great fielders based in significant part on their frequent diving catches.  As to positioning, the Twins positioned him pretty far to the right of where a left fielder would normally play due to the LH batter. What I saw was Rooker running a loooong way for that ball taking off like superman and extend fully just barely getting it into his glove. It’s telling that Bremer immediately referenced Allison’s catch-- one of the greatest in my lifetime for a Twins player. And Bremer, not a flamboyant announcer really raved about the catch. I don’t know anything about Statcast xBA but if it maintains that ball is caught on the left field line when the left fielder was in an extreme shift toward center, I would say somethings wrong with that system. 

I’m not sure why my reference to that catch is drawing fire, since I am 100% convinced it was one of the greatest catches I’ve seen this year, if not the best. I think it’s something worth celebrating, especially in combination with Rooker’s duo of massive blasts into the third deck recently. He has nice potential. Maybe he won’t make it but the Twins seem dedicated and intrigued enough to find out with his long run in the 2 hole. I actually get excited for his at bats as well as for Arraez’s. The Twins need more young hitters given chances since current hitters with flaws are Simmons, Sano (he is rebounding nicely but still a ?), Cave, Larnach ( I think he’ll be good in time but this was one excruciatingly painful slump) and Kepler. I’d like to see more of Gordon, Miranda, Contreras, possibly Kerrigan in cf instead of Cave, possibly Cabbage and maybe Martin.

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10 minutes ago, Greglw3 said:

I think Byron Buxton and even Torii Hunter were judged great fielders based in significant part on their frequent diving catches.  As to positioning, the Twins positioned him pretty far to the right of where a left fielder would normally play due to the LH batter. What I saw was Rooker running a loooong way for that ball taking off like superman and extend fully just barely getting it into his glove. It’s telling that Bremer immediately referenced Allison’s catch-- one of the greatest in my lifetime for a Twins player. And Bremer, not a flamboyant announcer really raved about the catch. I don’t know anything about Statcast xBA but if it maintains that ball is caught on the left field line when the left fielder was in an extreme shift toward center, I would say somethings wrong with that system. 

I’m not sure why my reference to that catch is drawing fire, since I am 100% convinced it was one of the greatest catches I’ve seen this year, if not the best. I think it’s something worth celebrating, especially in combination with Rooker’s duo of massive blasts into the third deck recently. He has nice potential. Maybe he won’t make it but the Twins seem dedicated and intrigued enough to find out with his long run in the 2 hole. I actually get excited for his at bats as well as for Arraez’s. The Twins need more young hitters given chances since current hitters with flaws are Simmons, Sano (he is rebounding nicely but still a ?), Cave, Larnach ( I think he’ll be good in time but this was one excruciatingly painful slump) and Kepler. I’d like to see more of Gordon, Miranda, Contreras, possibly Kerrigan in cf instead of Cave, possibly Cabbage and maybe Martin.

I agree with this. Not sure why Simmons still plays - not sure why Cave and Refsnyder play ahead of Gordon and Larnach. Not sure why most are down on Rookers potential, and not sure why we aren't calling up some 2021 rule 5 guys like Miranda?

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4 minutes ago, Greglw3 said:

I think Byron Buxton and even Torii Hunter were judged great fielders based in significant part on their frequent diving catches.  As to positioning, the Twins positioned him pretty far to the right of where a left fielder would normally play due to the LH batter. What I saw was Rooker running a loooong way for that ball taking off like superman and extend fully just barely getting it into his glove. It’s telling that Bremer immediately referenced Allison’s catch-- one of the greatest in my lifetime for a Twins player. And Bremer, not a flamboyant announcer really raved about the catch. I don’t know anything about Statcast xBA but if it maintains that ball is caught on the left field line when the left fielder was in an extreme shift toward center, I would say somethings wrong with that system. 

Could a faster player have been able to get to it without a fully-extended dive just to get it into his glove? Or a player with a quicker reaction off the bat? For that matter, could a better defender have been positioned a little closer to the line, because they'd have the speed and quickness to still equal or exceed Rooker's range to left-center?

Don't get me wrong, the catch looked great and I enjoyed it. The allusion to Allison is great. But I'm not sure what it indicates about Rooker's defensive abilities. Not that we have great alternatives in LF at the moment -- I certainly don't object to Rooker getting these reps.

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48 minutes ago, Linus said:

For the love of god play the kid. Simmons can sit and Cave should sit. Let him play three weeks at SS and see what he has. I don’t trust the brain wizards to determine what he can and can’t do without seeing him do it. 

Definitely. I hear veteran former major leaguers and announcers make lavish references to Gordon’s talent. I can easily envision him as a regular and borderline star in the future. He’s tools rich.

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Yeah I am OK with Larnach going down. He will likely be back up in September and this gives him a chance to have more success and gain the confidence he had when he first came up.  The K's are killing him and he needs to better understand what the pitchers are trying to do him.  Most al of the guys moved back to AAA found their bats again and I bet he will too.  If not there is always next year.

Interesting to hear Gordon taking balls at short.  There are lots of 40 man decisions to make so it sure would be nice to see what Nick can do at short.  The last time I saw him which was several years ago now he had a couple of errors and didn't look that great throwing to first base.  Hopefully he is in a better place now and has improved those skills.  If he can even just play solid short or even just a little below average that could be huge for him and the team moving forward.  He just has to not be bad to be valuable in that spot.

Not sure how things will turn out but I hope they give him some games there and see how he does.  I am guessing we won't see Miranda until rosters expand in September as they evaluate some of the relief pitchers they have picked up via trade and waiver wire.  I would look for Ryan in September as well once the playoff teams won't be claiming players because they can't stay on the team for the playoffs at that point some of the guys they picked up on waivers might clear waivers.  Have to believe that is why they haven't moved some guys up yet.

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1 hour ago, Greglw3 said:

Imagine having Jake Cave in cf, hitting 70, yes seventy, points lower than Gordon and Gordon being the far better stolen base threat. I’m totally flummoxed by Rocco playing Cave as much as he did at the beginning of the season and as much as he is now. It’s a wonderful formula for losing to ignore the .180 batting average and .500 something OPS.

Agreed!  Don't have a major issue with Larnach's demotion as he's in serious need of a reset due to his ongoing slump,  Saying that I continue to wonder Baldelli's (and front office) infatuation with Cave?  His defense must be the ONLY answer to why he continues to get regular playing time as his bat is absolutely miserable.  Hitting .177 with 1 HR, 4 RBI in over 113 ABs with a.250 OBP and .516 OPS.  That in itself warrants, maybe, a late inning replacement on defense,  Cave should have ZERO.....repeat ZERO chance to be part of this team next season.  For those that disagree, please reply with your argument in favor of Cave.  He should be DFA'ed Sept, 1st or immediately after this season is (thankfully) over.

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1 hour ago, Greglw3 said:

Definitely. I hear veteran former major leaguers and announcers make lavish references to Gordon’s talent. I can easily envision him as a regular and borderline star in the future. He’s tools rich.

He has good bat to ball skills and he has surprised me with how well he can make contact but his slugging is killing him.  I see he hit a few balls out in AAA and now he is back so maybe they wanted to make sure he has or regained that oooomph to get those doubles, triples and HR's before having him come back.  He needs to be able to play somewhere besides 2nd which is occupied by Polanco and Arraez to be valuable on the 40 man.

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