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Everything posted by Nashvilletwin

  1. Nashvilletwin

    High Marks??

    Great post. Honestly, I do not understand how the Pohlads put up with this mutual admiration society. First it’s Falvine giving Rocco a pass and now its St. Peter giving the FO/Falvine a pat on the back. The Pohlad family, given all they have accomplished, must see that the day-to-day management of this aspect of their many businesses has significantly underperformed. I mean they’re not blind and they didn’t just fall off a turnip truck - they are savvy, smart business people. Two serious questions: 1, Is the Twins organization better off at the end of this season (i.e. better positioned to compete next year and in the foreseeable future) than they were last year? 2. Even if so, were the opportunities seized to maximise that improvement or were those opportunities squandered? The answer to the first is most certainly no. Sure, Lee fell in their laps (like it took rocket science to draft him at their slot - lol), and Ryan, Miranda, Duran, Arreaz, and Gordon overperformed vis-a-vis expectations. What’s the next big accomplishment? Sano, Kepler, Polanco, Buxton, Kiriloff, Larnach, Jeffers, Archer, Bundy, Pagan, Sanchez, Mahle, Lopez, and even Correa (at $35MM when things mattered) were basically unmitigated disasters. Btw, who among this group can be realistically expected to be back better next year (maybe Jeffers - that’s it). The team’s ability to run, throw and catch worsened. The team’s psyche to compete with the better teams continued its free fall as we added the Guardians to a team that mentally has our number. The minor league system dropped in the rankings. Even if some apologists can in their own minds rationalise a “yes” to the first question, there is no chance for a “yes” to the second. I just can’t believe the Pohlads do not see how poorly this team has performed and how the entire organization has fallen behind under the current management.
  2. No vitriol - just business. His signing with us was actually a shrewd roll of the dice by the FO - maybe we catch fire and wind up competing (which, btw, we did until the other not so shrewd FO’s pitching moves, Rocco’s management, bad fundamentals and injuries caught up with us). The FO deserves a lot of applause on the CC signing for sure. The question (certainly inevitable now given CC’s strong post contention performance) is what does the FO do? I see five possibilities: 1. Sign CC to a minimum 8 year deal @ at least $30MM per year. 2. Sign CC to a 5 year deal at closer to $40MM per year. 3. Sign a different SS to a more “reasonable” short-mid term deal. 4. Use the cash to sign FA pitching and try to compete next year with an in-house SS strategy while waiting for a home grown SS in 2024. 5. Save a lot of cash and basically “rebuild” in 2023 developing Lee or Lewis as your SS of the future. The first three choices are possible if the FO doesn’t see a long term SS in the organization who will be ready by 2024 and a one-year in-house stop gap solution isn’t viable. However, #1 isn’t likely - not the Twins way; #2 is what I’d hope for, but not sure CC goes for it with longer term deals on the table; and #3, to really move the dial, would take another unique situation, but we’ve now seen this film a couple of times and it’s not really worked. The last two make more sense if Lewis or Lee or someone else (Polacios or Miller perhaps) is viewed as the long-term SS. #4 is way more likely than #5 as this FO with the Pohlads support will never be in a publicly announced rebuilding mode (see our attendance numbers) and there will be a lot of cash available with CC and others moving on. And #4 could work with the right FA starter/relief pitching signings, a healthy Buxton, and another veteran FA signing like Cruz was. So we hope for #2, but in reality #3 or #4 are more likely and could be better options anyway. Please note, however, none of these work if the FO and Rocco don’t up their games in a big way, the new young core don’t develop, the team doesn’t somehow play better fundamental baseball, and we can’t significantly cut down on the injuries.
  3. Thank you for the outstanding coverage of our minor league teams throughout the season. I enjoyed reading your summaries every morning. Well done and much appreciated.
  4. Hate to say it, but could the prudent move in 2023 be to essentially rebuild? I’m not necessarily advocating for it, but there might be some logic to the strategy. Hear me out. 1. Correa is gone - huge hole at SS to be filled by possibly three young players - Polacios, Lewis, and Lee. Let those three play as much as possible and as time is earned. 2. The new “core” all need rehab and/or seasoning to see what we really have. This might take some time. The new core includes Kiriloff, Larnach, Jeffers, Miranda, Gordon, and, yes, Wallner. Maybe Celestino. 3. Mahle and Maeda are big ifs. Several up and comer starters need to time to prove themselves. Don’t want to waste a season of Gray and Ryan, but Gray seems a bit unhappy anyway and will probably be moved by the deadline (could be the same with Mahle and Maeda too once we are not contending). 4. The prior core - Buxton, Kepler, Sano, and Polanco - will likely only contribute 80-100 or so games next year. The transition is past full swing - it’s actually nearing its conclusion. 5. Great time to reset with a new manager and maybe FO too. The Pohlads have to recognise that Rocco is not the guy to lead a young, mid market club - just not enough fundamentals, ongoing player development, confidence against good teams and solid in-game managerial decisions. Bring in a new leader to get a year under his belt and start to put a new stamp on this team. 6. Can we realistically expect to beat an ascending, young, well-managed Guardians team next year? Hate to say it, but we are not one or two players away from achieving competitive advantage vs. Cleveland or several of the big spending teams. Lets see what Correa does, because this may be the fulcrum on which the decision to retool or not in 2023 turns. But it might not be silly to run a much younger team under new management up the flagpole next season. Couldn’t do any worse than this year, And besides, we will have new uniforms and scoreboard to add to the fun…
  5. Yep, that may be possible. Ideally, we put the right staff and processes in place to get more development and longevity out of the next three: Kiriloff, Larnach, and Jeffers. If you’re the Pohlads, aren’t you livid? Someone has to be accountable or is this just another one of those “luck” things. Sorry, this a Kepler thread…..
  6. A lot of decisions may depend on Correa and whether Max stays or goes could be one. If Correa stays, Max may be more likely to be dealt to get back a more valuable pitching asset or just free up capital for a FA reliever or two. If Correa departs, more cash is available already and Max’s veteran presence may be a bit more valuable. If he were dealt, what does our outfield look like next year? The most likely candidates: Buxton, Larnach, Kiriloff, Gordon, Wallner, and Celestino. The first three are made of glass, the fourth is a converted IF who probably deserves to play everyday, the fifth has plate upside and a huge arm but reminds me a bit of Delmon trying to catch the ball, and the sixth is strictly a utility player at this point. Is that “contender” capable? Can we even get by with that? Max is one of my favourite Twins. Regardless of Correa, I’d probably move him though to redeploy the cash into a shutdown pen as well to focus on ascending players (Max, unfortunately, is more likely descending - another example of a good, young Twin whom we couldn’t get to continue his upward trajectory),
  7. The word “starter” was badly chosen as some might think it only applies to pitchers. In my case I was using it more broadly to refer to everyday players - position or on the bump. I disagree that the manager and his staff do not have responsibility for taking players they get and developing them to their full potential. IMHO it’s one of the most important things a coaching staff can do, especially for a mid market team that cannot jus buy proven talent.
  8. Thank you for your response. You are correct - my view on the ongoing development of players is a that it’s been a mixed bag at best - some successes, some failures, and some tbd. But is that really good enough for a team like the Twins? Re the fundamentals, yes, my view is that the Twins have consistently played poor fundamental baseball under Rocco and that goes to the heart of the coaching staff’s responsibilities. That cannot solely be blamed on youth. In fact, since as a mid market team we are much more likely to have a youngish team, it means strong fundamentals are even that much more important. Re the other questions, I just genuinely want to hear how others on this site would review Rocco’s performance re the criteria I listed. I do believe Rocco has underperformed in these areas and would like to hear from his defenders why that isn’t the case. Moreover, perhaps others have different criteria (such as W-L over the past couple of seasons or playoff games won), but the criteria I listed IMHO most certainly should be expected to be highly correlated with the team’s results. Do well in this those and the Ws will follow. There are Rocco defenders and I respect their point of view. But there just isn’t much actual discussion about his performance vis-a-vis specific job responsibilities and objectives. No matter. I can’t wait until next year. Go Twins!
  9. Thank you, you addressed one of the questions. Re that specific question, what about Kepler, Sano, Berrios. Buxton is hardly a a good example. Arraez almost seems like an accident, but ok. Same with Polanco - he’s been a success. But Ryan (just got him) Ober (let’s see) Dobnak (love him, but please) are hardly good examples. Duran has potential, but it’s still early. There are really very few examples of long term ongoing development of true starters under Rocco. Mixed at best. How about the other questions? I’m sincerely interested in an objective review of Rocco’s performance.
  10. To my fellow DNers who believe Rocco should be back, I respectfully ask if you might respond to the following questions: 1. Is Rocco a better than average in-game manager (i.e. do his in-game decisions, involving pitchers, substitutions, base running, field positioning, etc. etc. result in more net wins or losses vis-a-vis other managers)? 2. Would you say his Twins are well known for playing strong fundamental baseball in all aspects of the game? Even some aspects? If so, please identify. 3. Would you say that Rocco and his staff have consistently developed young players once they joined the big club to the most of their potential (it would be helpful if you could cite some examples other than Miranda and Gordon in their rookie seasons)? 4. How have Rocco and his staff performed in terms of keeping his players on the field vis-a-vis other teams? Above average or below average? Or is this irrelevant because injuries are all bad luck anyway? 5. Would you say that Rocco’s teams have demonstrated the confidence or “swagger” to perform their best against stronger competition? Do his Twins teams (perhaps outside of the clear outlier “Bomba Squad” year) ever really look like they belong in the conversation as true contenders? 6. Would you agree that for small-mid market teams to truly compete against big market teams attracting better hitters and pitchers, they must have a strong in-game manager, play better fundamental baseball than others, develop their young players to their potential, keep the talent they do have on the field, and develop a confidence that allows then to compete against stronger teams? If not, please identify the areas of performance that are more important for a team like the Twins to contend. Truly, I’m just trying to understand the basis/criteria for evaluating the job performance of the Manager, Minnesota Twins. Objectively, how has he performed against the criteria and can you realistically point to anything that might hint at substantive improvement (if any is sought) in the future? Rocco’s performance should be evaluated just like any senior executive - against the goals of the organization and his specific job description criteria and responsibilities.
  11. Agree, but that’s not really going to move the dial.
  12. Kind of a shot across the bow perhaps? A bit of - “it’s all of us or none” maybe? Pohlads are too smart - they must see Rocco is not the right leader for their type of ball club - mid market and young. To win, they know the team has to play better fundamentals and have a stronger in-game manager. Rocco’s skill base might be better with a high priced slugging team with lots of veteran leadership and maybe some big egos. That’s not the Twins. Regardless, expect more throwing the ball around, endless base running gaffes, not moving base runners over, poor pitching management, etc, etc. Why would it change? Every team under Rocco has exhibited these traits.
  13. Ted, your points are solid and it will likely be the case that the FO and Rocco are back. Here are a few thoughts though. First, there will (should) be a “massive” lineup shakeup before Opening Day 2023. Correa, Sanchez, Urshela, Kepler, Sano, Bundy, Archer, Pagan plus maybe one or two more will in all likelihood be gone. Those are eight players that were essentially “starters” when the season began. These departures open up a lot of cash for FAs and opportunity for younger players. Second, what exactly has our manager and coaching staff done to build confidence in our ownership that they are the right people to lead a new, substantially revamped lineup? Do they have exhibit the in-game strategies/decision-making to “steal” more wins than they lose? How are they at getting the team to play solid fundamental baseball (a must for any mid-market team)? What’s been their ability for keeping players on the field (or is that just luck anyway)? What is their track record for developing young major leaguers (Miranda, Gordon and Arraez seem to have positive momentum, but Kepler, Sano, Berrios, and others stagnated badly and the jury is still out on others like Kiriloff, Larnach, and Jeffers)? Is a good clubhouse enough and are we certain that is even the case (I have no reason to doubt it’s the case). Any objective analysis would conclude that the coaching staff has underperformed, perhaps significantly, in these areas. Unless some massive improvements occur (and, again, what evidence is there that is possible), there is little chance that a mid-market team like the Twins led by Rocco can realistically contend. If it’s a package deal - the FO and Rocco together - then you are probably correct: they both stay and we should not expect anything other than another “wait ‘til next year” in 2023, But if I’m the FO (and certainly the Pohlads), I’m not sure I’d want to hitch my wagon to the current coaching staff - remember, they have careers and a business to run too.
  14. Excellent point re acquiring a “big bat”. I wrestled with that in crafting my comment and agree with you that such a bat is missing. It actually becomes more important given the lack of speed in the lineup and the inability of this team to move runners over. If we could keep Correa on a 5 yr/$150MM, I’d probably go for it and add one starter, two relievers, and a cheaper backup C. So your plan is a good alternative as well and very possible. Re Rocco (and his staff) it could be that he is (they are) pretty “average”. However, Rocco and staff have clearly underperformed in the four key areas I mentioned. Again, for a mid-market team comprised of mostly younger, developing players to compete, an “average” coaching staff will never cut it. Can Rocco and crew improve? Maybe, but where is the evidence to support that? The focus of the post was hope for 2023 and it’s a big ask to think Rocco et al will improve enough to turn that hope into reality.
  15. Great comments on this thread - both pro and con re optimism for next season. Here’s another two cents if the Pohlads truly want to contend next season: 1. The starting staff will need at least one solid (i.e. reliable #3 type - sorry we don’t get #1’s or #2’s) FA addition. Not sure who that will be, but there are too many ifs among the nine players mentioned to be comfortable. Mahle and/or Maeda were/was supposed to be that guy, but both should only be looked at as pleasant upside at this point until proven otherwise. FA Budget: $15MM if they go with one addition, $20-25MM if two additions. 2. Same essentially with the relief staff, where I expect at least two, hopefully three, additions to the core of Duran, Jax and Thielbar. Lopez was supposed to be in that group, but obviously cannot be included. This is the most important area for additions: a deep shutdown pen given the way the starting staff is built is a must. FA Budget: $15-20MM. No reason to layup here. 3. Re position players, expect Correa, Sanchez, Urshela, Kepler, and Sano not to be back, leaving us with three holes: SS, C, and RH OF. Don’t expect big bucks to be spent on any of the three as SS is a one year hole at most with Lewis and Lee in the wings and Polacios a cheap stopgap option, C is viewed, rightly or wrongly, as a 40-50% job, and the overall OF depth (even with Kepler gone) is solid. Of the three, the biggest need, and where the most money could be spent, is probably C and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Sanchez is brought back. FA Budget: $10MM - $25MM depending on the SS approach and the depth of the C market. 4. With the lineup described above and a mid-market budget of $125MM give or take, significant improvement in four areas will be required to contend: playing consistent strong fundamental baseball, young players continuing to improve, health, and above average in-game coaching (i.e. managerial decisions lead to net more wins than losses). Any objective assessment of our current coaching staff would lead to the conclusion that substantive, wholesale changes need to be made. Of all the moves ownership could make, this is the most important - if the current staff starting with Rocco is left in place, expectations should be tempered significantly. So, in sum, there is certainly reason for optimism given our current core players and available FA budget. A handful of key additions and a new coaching staff could make this team fun to watch into October next season.
  16. Trade Kepler for a bag of sand if that’s all you get. The salary savings will net us a great reliever or two possibly. The turnover coming is going to be huge: Sano, Max, Sanchez, Urshela, Archer, Bundy, and probably Correa - who am I missing? Polanco might not even be safe (but I think he will be). Think of the cash savings from this group that could be redeployed. Wallner is on the big club next year playing RF.
  17. The premise of the article is correct. The Twins were in a position to contend for the division and (commendably) made moves at the deadline to bolster a weak pitching unit. There are risks involved in making those moves and that’s part of the game. We all (should) get that. However, the two points the article misses are: a) the ability of the FO to assess the true level of risk prior to making the moves and b) the decisions made to put the team in the position of need to have to make such moves. Re the first, over the past several seasons, it’s pretty clear the FO has systematically underestimated the level of “risk” (injury and performance) of the pitchers acquired at the deadline. Can that really be debated or do we just always chalk it up to bad luck? Re the second, the poorer the construction of the pitching unit (and its hard not to argue that at this year’s deadline our pitching unit was in pretty bad shape), the more likely it will be that the FO’s ability to properly assess the risk will be impaired. Sorry, but bad moves upfront most certainly contribute to bad moves (i.e. poorer, less accurate risk assessment) later on. Risks exist - everyone understands. But shrewd FO’s are better able to assess the true levels of that risk.
  18. Agree - not a pattern for the franchise - just this FO (you just listed four happening in the last couple of years, three of which could result in actually no benefit at all to the organization). Actually, I was just being a bit facetious, but I will admit I’m not a fan of the “bad luck” excuse - despite our bad luck on the injury front, this team was capable of much more this season.
  19. If I had a nickel….. Seriously, thanks for that. Hope he has a speedy and complete recovery.
  20. And you know this because…….? Obviously, nothing is certain, including any player’s health or extent of recovery from injury. A career ending injury would be tragic for the young man. Pray that’s not the case. Let’s hope he’s back better than ever; of course, starting next year at the top of our rotation (as opposed to 2024 at the top of another team’s rotation).
  21. Are we certain Mahle will be healthy next year? I’m not sure we know enough to slot him in the rotation, let alone at the top, quite yet. The entire situation just feels like classic Twins: big trade, immediate arm issues, il, rest, try to avoid surgery, come back to pitch a bit, reinjury, surgery, out for year, blah, blah, blah. Hope I’m wrong. Regardless, Ryan will be a big part of the rotation next year - deservedly.
  22. Agree. Ryan has had a very fine rookie year. Take out just a handful of big innings, and it was exceptional. Well done Joe!
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