Keep him. We won't be able to replace him with any savings we get - so we will be worse as a team if he's playing elsewhere for at least 1 more year. No guarantee any savings would be reinvested in the team anyway. However with that said - if we get a 2 or 3 pitcher for it, then it might be a good long term investment.
He's bad against LHP, which is why he moves around the lineup card.
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Another question - #5 - are our pitching gurus really as good as we have claimed? Was Shoemaker wrong to make the statements he made? He gave up one run in 20 innings over four starts in St Paul. Sure we dumped him, but that is just a way of ignoring the truth in the statement. When Happ departed we all cheered - who wants him. The Cardinals did. Somehow he is 4 - 2 with a 4.08 ERA for St Louis. Berrios is 4 - 3 with Toronto and a 3.31 era - down from 3.48 with us and is the kind of pitcher we hope we can sign in FA. Coincidence or something to wonder about?
Larnach and Rooker have shown they still belong in AAA, maybe for career.
Twins will not let Simmons go as they need defense BADLY, ditto for Donaldson.
Utility, hmm, Gordon seems to be improving, Astudillo must stay -- Arraez's numbers at second are actually good but Polanco is not going any where so....
Kirilloff, I hope he is as good as his first go around showed; or they can put Sano on Marie Osmond's diet.;
I would bet Cruz is back for DH, they need offense their badly; at catcher they need Rortvedt defense and Garver offense when he is on a hot streak -- Jeffers offers neither. (Astudillo must be kept as a back-up catcher as his numbers there are better than Jeffers)
Pitching is a slough that Twins management does not seem to have clue how to handle.
Spring Training will tell a lot , just as it did when it showed Rooker was not ready for the Majors this years.
Opening Day lineup? I've heard it said that the single best way to predict tomorrow's weather is to anticipate more of the same from today, until something changes. I'll go with that philosophy here too, and expect minimal changes from this season, along the lines several have suggested here. The thing is, the opening day lineup will last only through batting practice that day, during which someone will suffer a pulled head or sprained liver from a freak accident involving a batting donut and pitching stickum.
Sorry, made the mistake of reading RandBall's Stu before diving into this topic.
As a clarification, I don't think it's actually pronounced "moron." Same vowel sounds, but emphasis on the second syllable rather than the first. I believe it's pronounced "mo-RAHn," not "mOHR-on" (like moron).
Recently, I found myself watching an old Abbott and Costello movie and I was quickly reminded about how funny they were. If you’re an old time comedy fan, you’ve most likely heard the Abbott and Costello “Who’s on first?” comedy routine. If you haven’t heard it or haven’t seen it, find it on line and laugh out loud. Abbott and Costello were comedic geniuses but who knew they could predict the future when they gave their first national radio performance of “Who’s on first?” in 1938. The current Twins roster can be assembled into a potent line up every game of the year but under a microscope, it appears Abbott and Costello could see the upcoming 2022 Twins roster back when the Twins were still the Washington Senators.
“Who’s on first?” The Twins have had some great first basemen since day one in 1961. Currently, first base has become a home for Miguel Sano but it’s been by default. At times, the former third baseman has given us a glimpse of a great arm and a good glove but he is not consistent with either of those tools. He’s destined to be a DH but his plate discipline has to be weighing on the Twins front office as Sano will be 29 years old next season and has shown no signs of improving his strike out rate. Sano is on track for over 200 strike outs per season and a subpar batting average every year if he ever plays a full season of injury free baseball. Will Sano stay at first or will the Twins ultimately move on with Alex Kirilloff, Max Kepler, Brent Rooker or even Mitch Garver? So that leaves the question, “Who’s on first?”
“What’s on second.” The former starting shortstop is what’s on second. Jorge Polanco has moved from shortstop to second base where his defensive skills a better suited. Polanco has become a star as he continues to improve offensively every season and my opinion is that he should stay at second for the foreseeable future. The problem is that the Twins organization has several middle infielders that might be better suited playing second base or in the outfield than they are suited playing shortstop. That being the case along with the Twins current shortstop Andrelton Simmons becoming a free agent at the end of the season leads to the question of will he or won’t he regarding Polanco returning to shortstop next season. Polanco has to be on the field as many games as possible but so does future batting champion Luis Arraez who is also a second baseman. What to do, is still a question at second base.
“I don’t know.” That sums up third base for the Twins since Corey Koskie’s last season with the team in 2004. Former AL MVP Josh Donaldson has been a decent addition when he’s in the lineup. The problem is that father time and the injury bug have caught up with Donaldson to a larger extent than expected. Unfortunately, it’s as if he needs to be listed as "day to day" on the injury report every day of the season. Is Luis Arraez the answer at third? I don’t think so but I don’t know. To the minors. Do you hear crickets? Yes? That’s because the Twins number of third base minor league prospects has been thin in recent years. Jose Miranda has played some third base at St. Paul (AAA) this year, but he has played all over the infield throughout his minor league career. His offensive numbers are fantastic this season but is he another middle infielder trying to fit in at another position. I don’t know.
“I don’t give a darn./I don’t care.” Now I know that Twins management/ownership gives a darn and cares about shortstop but…. 2007 Jason Bartlett to Tampa. 2008/09 Brendan Harris (fill in the roster). 2010 JJ Hardy to Baltimore. 2011 Trevor Plouffe to right field to third base. 2012 Brian Dozier to second base. 2013 Pedro Florimon to minors and Pirates. 2014/15 Eduardo Escobar (temporary) to Arizona. 2015/16 Eduardo Nunez to Boston. 2017 Jorge Polanco arrives but is now at second base. This is a list of successful players but it can be easily interpreted as the Twins thinking that they can plug anybody in at the most important defensive position on the field. Help me applaud the Twins for signing Andrelton Simmons and his gold glove this season. Maybe he’ll be back to solidify that side of the infield again next season. If not…Polanco, Luis Arraez, Nick Gordon or Royce Lewis (big debut) are possible candidates. Stop the turnover, give a darn and care by solidifying the position.
“Why?” This one is a stretch but why not? Why are you out here in left field, Luis Arraez? Because you and your bat have to be in the lineup. Why are you out here, Alex Kirilloff? Because you’re ready for the majors and you need to have plenty of at bats and not be on the bench. Why are you out here, Trevor Larnach and Brent Rooker? Because it’s your major league auditions. These four Twins are all good answers for the question why.
“Because.” Buxton in center field. We’ve seen what he can do. Extend the contract. Enough said! Right? Just because.
“Today.” Mitch Garver is the catcher today, when he’s healthy. It took a few years to get to today from Joe Mauer but Garver is today. Improved defense and a potent bat make him the catcher of today. Pair him with a young good defensive catcher in Ryan Jeffers and the Twins have a good duo behind the plate every day, not just today.
“Tomorrow.” Wow, how appropriate is this for Twins starting pitching? It’s been more than a decade of tomorrows since the Twins had a lights out ace on the staff. With Kenta Maeda hurt, there isn’t one starter to list on the depth chart for the 2022 season. It’s going to take one big off season to figure out all 5 starters for the Twins in 2022. For now, TBD is penciled in as the probable starter tomorrow.
“When?” Right field isn’t accounted for by Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on first?” routine so please allow me to adlib just a little bit. When will Max Kepler put it all together offensively? Defense, no issues but he needs to hit both righties and lefties consistently from season to season to carry a better batting average, OBP and OPS. He should not be a platoon outfielder because of the oppositions starting pitcher. There are several good outfielders in the Twins system including players on the bench and in the minor leagues who would love to take over the every day duties in right field. When will Max Kepler make it over the hump? When will one of the many talented Twins outfielders overtake Kepler on the depth chart? It’s a when, when situation for the TWHENS (Twins) in right field.
Falvey: Who’s on first? Levine: Sano Falvey: Say no to what? Levine: What’s on second.
And we’ll leave it at that……
I'd rather have Gant than Happ. Assuming Gant doesn't need arm replacement surgery, but maybe even if he does.
The Dodgers returned Vasquez to the minors after two appearances. It will be interesting to see what happens to him. So many relievers move around, some successful (at least eventually), some not. Deolis Guerra (Johan Santana trade) is having a good year with Oakland. Took him 9 years to get to the majors, He's been with 5 teams in his 6 years since then (counting Pitt two different times) and he's having his second decent year, the only two times he's been in 20 or more games. Who knows, maybe this is the start of something great!
Polanco has to stay at 2b. Not Arraez, unless they trade Jorge. So I say let's see what Gordon can do at SS. Run him out there for the rest of the season. Let him get comfortable, at least for a few games.
Honestly, if the Twins want a cheap, relatively short contract with a player who has utility and the arm to play SS, they should sign Eduardo Escobar and put him back at SS. His sprint speed and jump all look good enough to play SS adequately and he has the arm strength for it. He turns 33 in January next year and I expect a 2-3 year contract will get him at a price around where he's currently being paid. Escobar playing 3B has more to do with teams he's played at not needing a SS than Escobar being unable to handle the position.
Positive September results for a last place team are welcome.
So often they are but flashes in the pan though.
Just a year ago we were all excited about Rooker, who is now featured in this year's "lowlights."