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Everything posted by BritishTwinsFan

  1. I don't like trading Donaldson. He is an impact player and a statement of intent. As successful as they are, the Twins shouldn't try to be the Rays or A's where nobody gets paid. If Berrios Or Buxton or Kirriloff or Larnach etc etc see their free agency coming and the organization is not paying anyone real money why do they even think about committing themselves to the team. Imagine being a Glasnow type player and knowing that the better you perform the more likely it will be that you are traded away and regress outside of the successful environment. Look at Snell- underutilised to promote trade value, and not allowed to become a star in Tampa. Gets traded to the Padres and underperforms, ultimately looking bad. Then look at it like you are a free agent. You've battled through arbitration and are ready to sign get paid, play for a contender, and have security going forward. That doesn't work if you are worried that two years in they will dump you for little reason and you play out your contract somewhere you didn't choose. Trade someone when their value is high or in the last months of a contract. Trading Donaldson when his value is highest for the Twins is nonsensical. You eat the money, get nothing back, and hurt your reputation. His calf specialist in in Minnesota meaning his injuries are probably best managed here. Plus the Twins don't have a natural thirdbaseman without him.
  2. You seem to have been personally offended by my opinion. I am not a consultant hired to assess why 2021 has been a disaster for the Twins. I am a fan. I watch the games, follow the news, and think about the team. I am not on the inside. I am not in a position to diagnose what the problems might be. My main assertion was that there was a problem in the coaching, which I don't think is too far from your assertion that the problem lay with underperforming players. I get that we have analytics that can produce insights around player performance, and that the same is not available for off field staff. However, simply blaming the people playing the game is not particularly helpful. A roster of little leaguers would have bad stats but we wouldn't blame little Timmy for running home crying at the sight of a 100mph fastball. Polanco had a bad 2020, and it wasn't until he got surgery we found out there was an injury behind it etc. I feel you have fallen into the trap with players as you have identified I may have with coaches.
  3. I disagree with your premise- Pull a guy of the street and have them manage a team and even if you have an allstar roster you still are not winning. Its a fantasy to think that you assemble the best 9 players and that will translate to wins. I grew up watching the England national soccer team. 11 of the best players in the best league but chronically mismanaged leading to disappointment (conditioned me well to be a Twins fan). Rocco can obviously manage because he has won the division twice. However, that doesn't mean that there isn't something amiss with the coaching team and organizational culture. In 2019 and 2020 Rocco was paired with an experienced baseball mind in Shelton and Bell. With the latter's passing you could argue that its had a huge affect on the team. I would also put blame on the pitching department of Wes Johnson. The guy has received a lot of praise especially for the 2020 pitching but this year it has not worked. Project arms have failed, established guys have regressed, and free agents have looked lost. Take Dobnak's slider- A crowning achivement in the Spring and a laughing stock yesterday. Few players can perform without the coaching behind them. We can assess Rocco and the coaching team based on one thing- Results. This core of players who won in the last two years are now underperforming. Do you think they just hit the field and choose to ignore what they have been coached? "Coach said to glove this groundball but maybe if I booted it that would be good for me or my team?" You can blame a player for a singular error but not for a pattern of defensive bungles.
  4. ahh didn't see that he was DHing but that explains why Broxton was also playing last night. If it weren't for his day-to-day injury i'd say park Cruz in a corner outfield spot tonight and hope it isn't an embarrasment to show to other teams "hey look he can play the field, no really, he is out there right now. That's his glove and everything"
  5. It didn't work out but look at it Outside the Kiriloff left field hole to start the season that is exactly what the Twins had. A projected defensive powerhouse left sided infield with masters in those positions. Same with centrefield and right field. Sano who is pretty good at first, Garver and Jeffers as good catchers. I'm sure you are talking about Astudillo who is lovely to have on the bench to cover injuries but shouldn't be starting in the field or relied on to hit. Arraez is serviceable alongside Polanco defensively. Then Cave who fits the role of the 4th outfielder on a team with a strong DH- There for cheapness, defense and flexibility but again isn't an everyday starter. Then in the bullpen on paper you have 3 closers- Rogers and Robles projected to return to 2019 form, and then Colome who WAS a shutdown guy last season, looked a bargain at half the 2020 price and should have suited the defensive infield. Building the roster you are balancing cost with upside and expected performance. Colome even with some regression built in looked good, you can't predict his cutter stopping working based on available data. High leverage situations aren't always the 9th so its good to have flexibility rather than one superstar you are scared to waste or gas. Coming into spring the Twins had Speed (Buxton, Cave Polanco), Defense (Donaldson, Simmons, Buxton), Reliable hitting/Patient hitting (Cruz, Donaldson) plus strikeout guys like Robles in the bullpen. In terms of the players called up for depth Refsynder, Gordon, Larnach have all done well. Bullpen depth perhaps not but a lot of the guys were projects that maybe didn't get the time before being pressed into service. Even with starters there were 7/8 guys set to go opening day. I'm not sure with the budget *And Knowledge* available that there could have been much else done on roster construction. My view is early bad form, surprises and injuries got the Twins behind where the pressure mounted and the fundamentals fell apart. E.g. the infield Errors have been too high but I'm not sure how that could be predicted preseason.
  6. Looks like Refsnyder may be headed back to the IL after last night which frees up the room for Buxton. Otherwise I was thinking it would be Rortvedt sent down to make room on the active roster
  7. I get the Twins haven't been the most injured but firstly I wonder if that includes COVID & Concussion lists. My understanding is these are not IL stints because they don't require 10 days out. (It could well include this information I'm just not sure) Secondly, Its all well and good having injuries but no team has lost their superstar for a five weeks of the season. Imagine where the Blue Jays would be if Vladdy Jr had been out. The record without Buxton isn't that much worse but that was during a period where the Twins got hot and includes, but also he played through injury for a bit. Then you have Garver who was getting hot or Maeda looking bad after playing through injury (I'm really hoping thats the reason he was bad). If it was utility guys or bullpen arms each having minimum IL stints then fine but the Twins have seen key players gone and then their replacements banged up too. Put it this was- Willians Astudillo has remained stubbornly healthy all year to add his skillset of comedy defence, the clutch ability to pop out, and whatever blackmail he has over Rocco to keep getting into the lineup.
  8. Thank Goodness for the FILs cable subscription
  9. Definitely going for the 80/90s digital retro look in all the marketing this season. I'm sure somewhere in the marketing department there is a big binder with exactly the rationale and aims of the campaign but I agree it seems a little out of place. Personally I think it is fun but I would be better with some context or integration into other things
  10. The JBJ discussion is eugh. He is a guy signed to earn a $13 Million in two years. The Twins (And no sane/grounded team) would pay that for a 4th outfielder who did not contribute at the plate. Cave is... well eugh is the kind thing to say but he gets league minimum. No contest for a team with 2 top outfield prospect, an MVP in centre, Solid Kepler and then Arreaz who they also want to get playing time for. Injuries make a fool out of teams and the Twins over rely on utility but if I am building the roster I prioritise cheap to stretch the budget (The size of which should be another debate). With Rich Hill I wonder if the Twins had an offer on the table because I can see a guy choosing the Rays. You get to live in Florida where you might already have a house, lower taxes, and then the Rays analytics/ strategy could elongate a guy like Hill by a few years. You won't go deep into game, you will be put into favourable situations. Would the Twins do that? I mean they trotted out Happ to get slaughtered by the White Sox in consecutive games when the numbers are out there that they devour lefties. He entered Chicago in May with a 1.91 ERA. Take out those starts and he has a 3.7. I don't have a problem with signing happ to be the lefty in your rotation. I do with the strict allegiance to the rotation that left him in ****ty situations. Then with Shoemaker I think they got him and Dobnak the wrong way around. I get the veteran wants to play in the MLB but how many teams were in on him? Would an incentive laden minor league deal have helped him have more development time off two injury hit seasons. He has looked good at times and I'm sure the signing was because there was a hint of a gem for the pitching staff to develop. They just didn't have time. Screw it, sign him and say he got a blister in Spring so he can rehab for a month or so. Instead you have Dobnak of a dominant Spring starting off as what? A closer against the Brewers? A slop guy against the Tigers? Doesn't make sense. But were they wrong to sign him? Other than it screwing up Dobnak, he is a cheap pitcher with upside because of the injuries. Start him in the long role and see. Heck, I even see why they signed Colome. A guy available for half his 2020 salary after a dominant year. They thought they were getting deal of the decade. Simmons was a stop gap until Lewis and a Knee Jerk to Polanco's playoff defence. It all made sense but didn't come off. Do the front office deserve blame? Yeah they have screwed up stuff like not pursing Hill enough or Bargain hunting for Colome and letting May walk. But honestly I think somewhere in the organization there is a cultural problem. How else to you explain choking in the playoffs or not scoring runnings in scoring position. When the pressure is on the Twins shrink. Which is the story of the season. Start off looking good and then lose the first game on a gimmicky walkoff after not being able to score clutch runs. You win that series and the second one and things look good through the home opener. 5-2. The third loss against Seattle on the third walkoff. Then losing the next day from being bad and suddenly its 5-4, Then you meet the hot Red Sox and leave the first home stand 6-7. Another loss then a good start has been a bad start 6-8. Sit around with Covid busting up the roster and stewing on the bad start. Sweep in Oakland including another walk off and its done. The team are struggling and underpressure so can't come back once they know about it. If the pressure doesn't build with the gimmicky losses building up then the they roll on through to the playoffs to lose first round again when the pressure starts. And I think the reasons go through the organization's history to players, coaching , and front office. They have no players with WS rings. Outside Maeda with English as a second language, Happ with 2.2 innings 12 years ago no one has world series experience except Nelson Cruz, who lose in the thing twice. And Cruz has reliably been the best pressure hitter with the only RBIs against the Astros last year. (Rocco also played in a world series and also lost it).
  11. I was going to start a new topic but found this and am putting it here- Do Twins pitchers use anything? I've been looking at baseball savant at a few of the guys who have been with the Twins a while and a few who have gone elsewhere. Anecdotally, I haven't noticed it but then again that could be the broadcast team not showing the right shots or the predominantly dark coloured hats. It is really hard to tell from baseball reference as well, unlike other guys in the league. Take Berrios- No obvious jumps although an uptick of ~90 rpm on the fastball this season. I haven't heard a consensus on when the sticky stuff era begins but he goes back to 2016. Maeda saw spin rate drop on all his pitches last season joining from the Dodgers. He then has his best season. But what to make of it? The Dodgers gave Bauer the bag so they could get his formula but they must have been using something before? So given Kentas drop is so slight it might indicate the Twins are using something but its not as good? But then Pineda got called out with the Yanks for using pine tar and has lower RPMs with the Twins. But he isn't a high spin rate guy in the first place. No pitchers either joining or leaving the Twins have seen a suspicious jump of 200+RPM that I can find. Sometimes it ticks up for the slider but then that could be mechanical adjustments made by the slider fanclub in the Twins pitching department. I'm guessing they must have something but aren't as extreme with it as other teams. Maybe that's why they haven't landed big name pitching in free agency... maybe teams are salivating to glue Berrios' fingers to a baseball and turn him into a sub 2 ERA guy. Maybe they will be better suited if there are rule changes. I don't know but all I do know is that the Pitchers are probably very discrete about it so that Josh Donaldson doesn't see them sticky up and deck them out.
  12. I keep seeing things on Twitter about "Well at least we will get prospects for Nelson Cruz Et Al" and thinking that is really naive. Even setting aside his age, the increased leaguewide value placed on prospect capital, I can't see the Twins getting anything more than a really low level prospect. Right off the bat you can rule out half the teams because no NL team will touch him. I've seen people suggest he could fill in a pinch hitting role but I don't think that is realistic. The obvious comp is Sandoval with the Braves but the key difference is that Sandoval can, in theory, play the field. He has done in every season he has played which means he isn't a one sided bench piece. Cruz hasn't fielded since 2018 and even then it was limited. Even with the outfield calamity this season Cruz hasn't been called into at least an innings worth of action. So for an NL team to use him as a pinch hitter they give up two bench pieces in one. Cruz to hit and then someone else to come in and play the field, 8 spots away from a hitting appearance. I don't think that is feasible. So then you just have the AL. Tampa and Cleveland philosophy is to just sneak into the playoffs and see what happens so won't want to buy. The Blue Jays and White Sox are projected enough light fielding depth by August and September to not need Cruz. Boston and Houston get production from their DH position. The Yankees have Stanton, a lack of outfield depth, and no money under the luxury tax so they are out. That leaves Oakland who also don't fit the buyers profile and have the 26th ranked farm system. Another thing that doesn't bode well is that Cruz entered free agency, could talk to all 30 teams (at a time where universal DH was a possibility) and still ended up with the Twins while also earning less money. It makes it look like the rest of the league aren't really interested in what he has to offer. Hence any return to the Twins will be a prospect who would be a really longshot prospect. With his role as a rolemodel and in Twins marketing I can imagine a world where the front office decides he is more valuable as a mentor and fan favourite. With uncertainty about the CBA and no fans last year they must be aware that the whole window could be jeopardized if Target Field can't bring in fans this season to make money.
  13. Hard to know when the negotiations will start but after missing a few games today seemed like a proof of life assignment. Show the other teams he is still healthy and on the block. I agree with Jorgenswest that he value is limited by not being a utility guy, there aren't many contenders who could really use him. Maybe if the Twins eat all the money he could take Odor's spot on the Yankees. I'd be shocked if he isn't dealt but I would be surprised if they got anything higher than a 5th round pick. I don't really think the Twins will get anything in their sell off but that's another point
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