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Everything posted by Dman

  1. Yeah I totally agree with your take. Even at the beginning of the season I told myself that rotation maybe doesn't look world series bound but it looks solid and there is some depth behind it. This FO had built solid pens the past two season's and while I didn't like some of the arms for the pen who was I to doubt them since they had done well the past couple of years. The bats are what killed us in the playoffs but the offense was top 10 I believe the past two years and with a healthy Donaldson and Buxton had a chance to be even better IMO. It all looked good on paper but was a disaster for a variety of reasons the first two months of the season. But yes I agree with you that you just cannot plan for the kind of depth they needed this year no team can and even teams that took ultra proactive steps in the offseason (I'm looking at you AJ Preller and San Diego) can and are having a disappointing season. The Trever Bauer decision hurt the Dodgers as well and they had to dig into the farm to get Scherzer for their run this year. Strange things happen in a baseball season and you cannot predict every thing will go your way. Even the best laid plans can go up in smoke.
  2. Yeah I am with you on the players. They have to perform and for whatever reason our guys did not perform well early. I don't think coaches can be responsible for dropped balls or poor at bats. Players have to make plays. Coaches prepare players for other teams tendencies and generally try to use statistical data to their benefit that is all they really do IMO. They also can use statistical data to improve player performance by using trackman data etc. but have to be careful about changing things mid season. If a player is slumping for long periods of time and or making the same mistakes then maybe the position coach works with the guy to figure out another approach but you generally don't mess with a swing that a guy has had his entire career mid season unless absolutely necessary. There's only so much coaches can do at some point the player either performs or he doesn't. If you don't think that is true why is it that good coaches in the minors only see a few players succeed each year? Is it all coaching or the skill certain players develop? The players that perform well move up those that don't, don't no matter how good the coaching is. The FO did take some risks especially on the pitching side IMO. Happ at 38 is pretty past a pitchers prime so regression was due at any time. Maeda had never successfully pitched for a full season in the rotation always breaking down toward the end and ending up in the pen. Depending on him seemed risky. Pineda hadn't pitched a full season in while again risky. Dobnak had had moments at the MLB level but was far from a sure thing and they identified that and brought in Shoemaker who hadn't performed well supposedly because of injury but a low risk flyer they could dump and ultimately did. The only stalwart they had was Berrios who himself usually had one good half season and one bad at least until this year. So yeah they could have done more and taken less risk on the pitching side. Even us arm chair GM's could see that. Still I agree with your premise this is on the players more than management. The FO expected these players to perform well and they just didn't for whatever reasons. Players have plenty of motivation to perform well as the money they make can set them up for life. They are human though and get in funks and slumps, panic and hurry throws etc. Coaching only takes them so far. Even the best players make mistakes out there it is part of the game.
  3. I have been as down on Sabato as anyone but am happy to see that 1.015 OPS at High A. I think he still has a chance to be what he was supposed to be which is Rooker Part 2 with hopefully a better eye and slightly better contact skills. I know this FO is heavy into hard hit rate and OPS at the expense of batting average but we haven't seen that translate particularly well so far IMO. I think Gunnarthor makes a good point though. I think it is better to find players with good to great hit tools and decent speed and help them gain power as they move up. Lumbering players with great hard hit rates just are not as useful IMO. Fine to have a few of those guys but this system has too many.
  4. Yeah not sure about Kep anymore and really tired of tons of ground balls into the shift as well as pop ups. I know he is trying harder to go the other way but the results are not there yet. I could see Celestino in that role or possibly Mark Contreras who can hit for power and cover all three outfield positions. Kep does need to up his game or as the OP said maybe trading him gets us something we need. Center needs to be Buxton they have to find a way to extend him. We don't have anyone that can do what he does when healthy. Left is likely a rotation of Rooker, Larnach and Arraez IMO. Kirilloff could play there too but I think they play him first more often than not because he is a plus defender there. I don't think we should sleep on Sano either he is going to hit 30 HR's and that is after doing almost nothing the first two months of the season. If he was doing this to start the season he would be in the 40 HR club which is pretty exclusive. I don't love Sano at first but he is OK there and he was made for the DH spot to become big little Nellie. Pitchers are trying to pitch around the big fella right now especially in tight spots because they are afraid of what he can do. I think he comes into his own next year. I love the turtle, the hustle, the try hard every play, the emotion but I think that with Garver, Jeffers and Rortvedt we have enough catcher depth. With no options left he can't be moved up and down so the value he brought is over. I think Gordon likely takes his spot as the guy who can play Left, center, 3rd, short, 2nd and pitch as needed. Their offensive value isn't that much different with either as they both have 600 OPS's. Gordon can't play catcher but his speed and position flexibility and greater defensive value will likely have the turtle moving on IMO.
  5. That's a nice bit! Nicely written article. 1st base for me is Kirilloff because he has been plus defender there and his bat will play there. 2nd base has to be Polanco. His power bat and solid glove work best there and a healthy Polanco is a productive Polanco so I think they keep him there. SS is anybody's guess but I hope they solve it soon because that position has hurt us for a long time. 3rd can be split by Donaldson and Arraez. If Donaldson stays healthy keep him at third and let him DH from time to time as well as have days off. If he is injured Arraez is decent guy to plug in there. Catcher I like Garver and that HR bat for offense but I like Jeffers better on defense and Rortevedt even better on defense. I think they are OK rotating there. Left field could be a Larnach, Arraez, Rooker combination not sure what they will do there but I think it will be a rotating spot until someone gets hot and takes it. Center belongs to Buxton and I hope they extend him. I just love the guys swagger and confidence right now and he can do everything when healthy. Right is probably still Kepler unless Cabbage or Contreras can unseat him. Kep has been trying harder to go the other way at times and it has worked some but the pull heavy ground out pop out approach could have the Twins moving on. DH likely Sano and a rotating cast of bats. That would be my whose who but injuries and trades could change things in a hurry,
  6. I don't see the Twins unloading Donaldson. Most of the teams with high payrolls that could take him are pretty tapped out and or have more pressing needs than an aging 3rd baseman\DH. Having the Twins put in 6 to 10M per year to get rid of him for a decent prospect doesn't make much sense to me either. Paying another team 6 to 10 per year to watch your player OPS 820 to 850 for them seems like a bad use of money to me and If you are essentially paying a team 15 to 20 million for a prospect it better be a really good one. It also doesn't make the FO look good as they negotiated that deal and no one else will pay it? That is a bad visual IMO. I think if they could unload the full Donaldson contract and then invest that money in one of the good FA SS this year that would make sense. If they think Miranda is ready to replace him at third they could do that although I doubt Miranda OPS's 800 at the MLB level his first season. Like I said I think they keep him as he is providing what he was paid to provide which is 20 some homers an OPS over 800 and a decent walk rate making him a tough out at the plate. If a team wants him they need to pony up IMO and if the Twins do move him they need to reinvest that money in top tier pitching or someone who can play shortstop long term. This is a tough offseason to gauge with a new CBA to be negotiated so that might play into things as well.
  7. Yeah that also might explain why Severino and Sabato both are doing better at High A. Jullian seems to be the only one who really benefited from the auto ball\strike calls as his OBP was nearly 500 with all the walks he took. Definitely appears it needed some refining. Still when it is a strike you need to hit it and a lot of those guys down there are having trouble doing that.
  8. Good points. The Berrios comp was bad on my part as far as similar stuff it was meant more as an it can take time to figure out what guys have and if they can make it even guys like Berrios that have really good stuff kind of statement. Maybe Jax doesn't have enough movement and he was stuck with guys fouling a lot of put away pitches off last night but he does have flashes of nice K stuff. By my eye test only he does seem to have really good horizontal movement in and out IMO. He might not quite have what it takes in the end but I still think he has the stuff to stick. Just my opinion though.
  9. I have been a Burrows critic to this point but what he did in that game was impressive. I still think the pen is his only shot but with performances like that maybe I will be wrong. Just nice not see him get shelled for once. Varland has had a crazy good season. Have to believe he starts at AA next year. He had no trouble adjusting to High A ball at all. Other than K rate his number actually look better at High A than A ball. He has dominated both leagues so I think he has earned starting at AA next year. Cabbage with another HR. I wonder if the Twins are going to have to protect him from rule V and add him to the 40 man? He is nearing 30 HR's on the year and his OPS is near 900 which puts him in pretty elite company. I know that 36% K rate makes it tough for him to translate to MLB ball but with his age and power have to believe a bottom team would be willing to take a chance to find out. Was happy to see the Surge win. I think with one more win they can clinch their division but they have struggles against Arkansas so not a done deal yet. Nice to see guys improving.
  10. A lot of us wanted to see what these young players could do in a lost season and so there are going to be nights like tonight. Almost all pitchers have trouble adjusting to the MLB level when working against the best of the best. Berrios was horrible his first season should we have given up on him right away? Our experienced hitters didn't fair too well in this game either. Sometimes games go off the rails even for good teams. I have seen Tampa crushed by Baltimore etc. etc. Jax has some good stuff whether it is enough to stay in the rotation or not is hard to say at this point but he certainly can be a pen arm if needed. The first time through the order went well the second time not so much. Not sure why they had Moran out there that long other than to rest the bullpen as much as possible since they have pitched the majority innings recently, but it was a bit painful watching him struggle. Still it should help him better understand what will and will not work at this level. Watching that game was hard not gonna lie. With so little offense and poor pitching my time would have been better spent doing other things so I get the frustration but I do think failure games like this help young pitchers learn and I would rather them learn now than next year when we are trying to earn a playoff spot.
  11. I agree with you and the stats that Strotman has WHIP issues which if unresolved will lead to a pen role but I love this guys delivery. It is soo smooth. He really looks like a great pitcher but the results are not there, at least not yet. I do think if he can make a few more adjustments he is a legit MLB pitcher if not he could end up a AAAA guy. Next year will be a big year for him because they won't have time to carry him on the 40 man for long. Hopefully he improves next year and makes the Twins FO look smart. I like the look but it is a results oriented game here's hoping the results get better real soon.
  12. Yeah what you wrote is good to remember. He hasn't been a total bust but I think the fans and the FO were expecting more when they traded for him. I think the FO thought they were getting a quality backup center fielder to cover for Buxton, something they didn't really have in the system at the time, and an above average defensive left fielder if the wheels fell off for center. While I am not sure I saw it at the time he was a little insurance in case of injury which in hindsight was prudent given all of Buxtons injuries. IIRC I don't know that anyone on this board thought it was a great trade at the time but we knew so little about Gil and Cave it seemed hard to quantify. The one thing it did help with is it gave the Twins an almost ready player for MLB for someone three to four years away. It gave them a guy they could easily bring up and down because he had options for a guy that wouldn't be able to help them when they needed help. It seemed like a decent move at the time at least IMO. I think long term the Twins felt Cave was a legit MLB outfielder not a 4th outfielder but it doesn't look like it is going to work out that way. Honestly I would rather have Contreras or Palacios on the 40 man than Cave right now. Heck the way Cave has been at the plate I think I would rather have Whitefield up than Cave. With his lack of improvement and no options left I just don't see him being very useful anymore. I think it is time to try another young guy with potential and see what they can do. I think the Yankee's end up winning this trade but with pitchers who knows. He could injure his arm tomorrow and never be the same. Still nice get for the yank's who were going to DFA Cave to make room on the 40 man anyway.
  13. He is a veteran the Twins are familiar with and who has had success here. I think the Twins bring him back, I think the raised injury concerns are legit and I don't think the Twins can bank on him for a whole season but I still think they bring him back. Not sure how much of a discount they can get as I am pretty sure he will be looking for 8 to 10 mil per year again and would probably like at least a two year deal. He might find that somewhere else hard to say how desperate some teams might be. As the OP said you have to decide if he is in decline mode or not. If the FO believes in decline I would let him walk if they think there is still something there then they need to find a price point they can live with. I could go either way with this one I just thought that since they didn't trade him they would resign him and given all the turnover in the rotation he could be one stabilizing piece if he still has what it takes. Like I said I think they bring him back but who knows what they are thinking.
  14. Hard to find good lefty relievers so have to believe they need him. Watching him last night he looked elite. One thing I have noticed is he looks like he is having fun out there. Smiling trying to enjoy the cat and mouse of pitcher\batter. In other words he looks confident out there. Confident that he can get the job done and I think his numbers show he has been pretty good this year. Baseball is full of failure so never going to be perfect he has had some tough moments as well but for the most part it just looks like he is enjoying his time out there getting some of the best hitters in the game out with his stuff. His return is a great story. I guess I never understood why he never made it back after 2015 but I for one am glad to have him back helping our team.
  15. I don't know Happ and Shoemaker might have been as bad or worse. Being dead last in OPS is pretty damming evidence but as stated his defense has been essentially as advertised. I get the disappointment but not sure he qualifies as worst given he at least has contributed to the success of the team on defense. Nolasco was a painful signing and I thought it was a good decision at the time. That was a signing that was hard to live through. I don't know if I have ever seen a pitcher give up so many hard hit balls. He was a disaster IMO. I don't see how we got much of any value in that deal.
  16. I like Gordon but I see him as a Utility player all the way. The Twins have more well rounded bats at 2nd and 3rd which I believe is why they had him in center until Buck came back. He doesn't really seem to fit anywhere on this team other than in a utility role. The big thing holding him back is slugging\power he just doesn't have that, at least not yet and he is aggressive at the plate so his walk rate is far from elite as well. He is, however, a better hitter than I give him credit for. He makes good contact with the ball and K's at a reasonable 25% at the MLB level which might improve to the more palatable 20% in time. I still feel he has a good hit tool and could be Arraez lite to some degree with less solid plate discipline. I don't know if that is good enough to keep him on this team or not. What would really help him stick is if he could play shortstop. Having a true backup to the position would make him far more valuable. Why the Twins can't try him out there I don't know. I guess they have seen enough in the minors to know he can't do it? not sure. With Lewis, Martin, Miranda and Steer in the wings I just don't see how the Twins can carry Nick on the 40 man much longer. I think he has a better path to some MLB success on a rebuilding team. If I were the Twins I would try and trade him even though the return for the 1st rounder would be poor at least it would be something. If he honestly cannot play shortstop I just don't see room for him on this roster as he is too redundant and with the lack of power the lowest in the pecking order.
  17. Yeah gotta say that was pretty impressive I think the Rays might have messed up. Like you I know it is too early to say that but I just love everything about this guy from the personable interviews to the just throw strikes and dare them to hit'em attitude. Things could change as the league adjusts but golly gee whiz I like this kid.
  18. Good analysis on the extra inning rule. I hadn't factored that in but you are right he often gets soft contact but that isn't good enough in those situations. Strike out pitchers shine in the extra inning rule games. He isn't well suited to that IMO. I could go either way keeping him or moving on I just feel bad for him sometimes because that bad start just makes it really hard to get out of the fan doghouse. It just feels like he deserves a fresh start.
  19. I think at this point Ober and Pineda (if he stays) are locks. I think Ryan has a good chance to be the third guy but it might be a battle between Ryan, Dobnak and Gant for that third spot. If Gant can harness the control and keep his WHIP where it is he is a legit starter IMO. I just don't know if he can do it. I have seen so little of Ryan at the MLB level I don't know what to think at this point. Dobnak has to build back some trust but I think he can do it. They all have their issues but one them should establish they can handle it. I think the Twins will need to bring in two FA starters with Maeda out and on the mend and they need to keep depth for injuries. It is a tough call right now but I think they almost have to start with three internal options as they can't buy a whole new staff.
  20. I like the analysis and it makes sense but not every team is going to be able to sign the three to four elite pitchers that come out every year so 27 teams are going to miss out that is the math of supply and demand. If it is worth it for the Twins why wouldn't it be worth it for the Yankee's, Dodgers etc? Teams that can up the anti until they can't. Maybe it is the owner but Falvey came from Cleveland and they never bought an ace in fact they seem to get rid of their guys once they get too expensive. I think it will be the same mentality for the Twins. They are going to do it from within and hope those one year deals work out more often than not. If they get to a Cleveland like pitching pipeline then they won't spend big on pitching at all. It will all come from the farm. I'm not saying your analysis is wrong but it seems like most teams in the Twins payroll range don't buy into your premise. They seem to feel or have analysis that arms are too volatile to bank on and that on average younger arms are better than older ones. Thus the home grown and one year prove it deals for Oakland, Tampa, KC, Cleveland, Miami, Pittsburg, Milwaukee etc.. None of those teams do what you are suggesting in fact they all avoid it. Most all of those teams are banking on building a staff of young arms and supplementing with a reasonably priced veteran on a shorter term deal. I like the go big or go home approach but for small market it has to hurt and mean losing other valuable players at some point. There is more to your analysis than meets the eye IMO. Else everyone would\could do it.
  21. Hopefully he is Albert Pujols light or something but more likely the scouting reports catch up to him. In the report I read one of the concerns was that aggressiveness at the plate was part of his success but the higher you go that can and usually does become a liability as pitchers exploit that. K rate is important because there is a certain point where it is so much of a liability that even when a player generates positive outcomes they cannot overcome the negatives of non contact outs. Walk rate is key because it forces pitchers to pitch and put balls over the plate. Given what you have there his BABIP looks similar to how Wallner started his season. So he is due for regression with nothing in the numbers to make it appear he can sustain this for long and could drop precipitously once pitchers exploit his weaknesses. Still it is always fun to watch guys do well and give us hope and I do have hope that he will be better than his current numbers indicate.
  22. Nice to see Sands have a really good game against good competition. I really like his stuff I just hope he stays healthy. The Wichita bats have gone cold recently. Without Boyd they seem lost and or they have faced better teams lately as well. Whatever the case I hope they find their Mojo again. Encarnacion-Strand is having quite the debut. I was a little nervous about that pick when the Twins made it as he looked like another slow footed power only guy but if he can hit like that all the way up then, Wow. Looks like a good pick right now but the knock on him was his stroke might not hold up against higher velocity pitching. I guess we will find out before too long because if he keeps hitting like this he is going to move up fast.
  23. Yeah I tend to agree with you. I had been thinking about this more as he has been pretty good recently but he has such a bad rap due to his historically bad start that anytime he struggles at all the fans are all over him. It just feels like it would be best to have a fresh start for both the team and especially the player. He needs a do over and I just don't think he will get that in Minnesota. I know his recent results don't agree with me but I find his pitch mix too predictable. If I am at the plate I wouldn't swing at anything and take my free pass. He is rarely in the zone now and that appears to be how he needs to pitch to survive. It is the cutter diving under the zone for a swinging strike or a ball way off the plate that is an easy take. Last night he did throw a couple of fool me pitches in there so maybe he is working on that but as I said not sure I love the mix in general. Given his recent results, the Twins familiarity with him and everything he has gone through only to get better I would not be surprised if the Twins did pick up the option. Not to lean on him as the closer necessarily but as a middle relief or setup man that they feel they can use multiple days in a row. Seems like a Twins thing to do but I guess we will find out what happens soon enough.
  24. I like what Gant has been doing the last couple of games but if he can't get those walks under control he is still destined for the pen. Was awesome to see him strike out the side but this is Cleveland not the best offensive club out there. I hope he can take the next steps and be a starting pitcher but he still has a ways to go IMO.
  25. The Odo trade needs some context. As per usual the ever payroll conscious Rays needed to move Odo and his market wasn't good. I think we all were surprised the Twins were getting two years of Odo for a single player in A ball. Still Palacios had potential and he is showing now what the Rays thought they were getting. A player with a good eye at the plate who also is hitting for power that can play short. It didn't work out for Tampa but it had decent potential IMO. Tampa achieved what they wanted though which was getting rid of salary so in my mind they weren't really trying to "win" that trade just achieve an objective. So it depends on how you look at these deals IMO. Way too early to assess the Cruz trade and again context is needed. Tampa wasn't worried about winning the Cruz trade long term as they needed a difference maker bat for this postseason and Cruz was the best available that wouldn't hurt them salary wise long term. Strotman was a player likely not good enough to make their 40 man next year and Ryan looks good but is a one trick pony unless his secondary's improve. It is quite the haul for half a year of Cruz but again Tampa needed a short term asset to help them in the playoffs and they got the guy they wanted. If he helps them win the world series then in my mind Tampa wins this trade or you could say both teams won depending on how Ryan and Strotman work out. If Cruz fails to be the difference maker they paid for then it seems hard to see how they could "win" that trade but sometimes you have to take calculated risks and I think theirs was a good one.
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