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Everything posted by DocBauer

  1. I could have been a little more clear in some of what I said. Too many thoughts all at once. I'll try to sort it with a little more clarity and brevity. Yes to keeping Urshela. No to an extension as he's not part of the future. Yes, I think Miranda is OK at 3B and will get better, hence, younger and the better bat, he's clearly the better overall player and part of the future, or the "new core". Maybe, that Miranda is the full time future 3B. He can be! But Lee just might end up an even better fit there, or possibly Lewis depending on how SS turns out. (Which is still obviously a mystery). AK is also in the mix at 1B and could be outstanding there and at the plate. He might take a while after this surgery to get back, he might be 100% right away, and it might not work. So Miranda could end up at 3B or 1B or do what he's doing now and play both. My whole was an attempt to say good players and depth is needed, wanted, and a good thing. That's why having Urshela back is smart. It's why Miraanda's flexibility is a good thing. In an ideal world, at this point next year, we'll have Kirilloff, Arraez, Miranda, Polanco, Lewis, Lee, and Gordon all ready to be part of 2024 is some configuration. You can never have enough good players. I'm not with you on moving Polanco. He was great last year and good again this year until injured. I want to say he was leading the team in RBI and 2nd or 3rd in OPS before he went down. Anyway, I'm not sure yet when Julien is going to be ready, and is he sticking at 2B? I think Martin is headed to the OF and will cover some INF, but not be a fixture there. (A hunch). And while Lee or Lewis could also be excellent 2B, until we see how the rest of the INF shakes out, the last thing I want to do is create another potential hole. Besides, a healthy Polanco is just damn good and I'm not ready to move on at this time. But, I'd be willing to re-visit your idea next offseason, if not the trade deadline this upcoming season.
  2. Stringer, first off, just an excellent post and I think you hit just about everything on the nail head. Honest truth, robbed a little thunder of what I'm wanting to post myself in a blog. I really appreciated one of your initial comments about trying to figure out how the Twins can possibly fit all their position players on the roster at one point. I'm in the same boat both then, and looking at next year. Despite the naysayers, I'm very excited about the POTENTIAL of the lineup in 2023. Other than SS, there isn't a major hole anywhere on the roster with a return to health. Amazing that a team can hit, get OB, and be amongst the best in all MLB getting a runner in from 3B but be amongst the worst at getting runners advanced or IN from 2B. There is a disconnect somewhere that is hard to quantify. I think, in retrospect, the early SP was a bit of an illusion. Bundy has actually been about what most teams would love to have in a 5th starter. The problem was, that role fell to Archer, who never took a step forward. And while Gray was very good, and Ryan had a wonderful rookie season, they were doomed by not adding someone from a tremendous FA class. My goodness, how much better would the rotation have been if they had signed Cueto, as rumored. Ignoring the pen was ridiculous. Even with a healthy Alcala, the pen needed an arm, and NOT Pagan. The lack of middle relief was a maddening downfall! And despite a team not exactly put together anything close to perfect, I just don't understand anyone not looking at injuries to just about everyone and anyone as not being a devastating blow to a contending team. And I don't think I even have to discuss injuries to the staff. (Ober was vastly missed and nobody talks about that). But how much better is the lineup with potential hitters like AK and Larnach and a healthy Kepler and Polanco beyond July? Instead, August and September, as you stated, the lineup was filled with a pair of Hamiltons and Cave and Contreras. And let's not forget having Beckham as an "emergency" player off the bench. Sheesh! How do you score runs at that point! Agreed there will be some roster turnover. It has to happen. Jeffers needs someone. A quality RH OF is needed. Fulmer needs to be re-signed or replaced adequately. And if Correa is not re-signed, not only do we need to figure out a temp situation, but we have to decide if there is a SP available to add to hedge bets vs just filling in with a young arm and hoping for the best. Agreed there is just too much talent on hand to tear things down. My goodness, with health and just a handful of smart additions, this team could be primed to win the ALC and make noise in the playoffs. But the FO HAS to make those few smart additions to add to the roster as well as hedging bets against injury. I'm an optimist about 2023 if the FO is smart and fills a couple holes and "over does" the roster a bit.
  3. I absolutely keep Urshela around for that $10M unless there is just a $ crunch where that $ could be spent as part of an even better addition somewhere. You need depth, options, and good ballplayers across the board. And Urshela is a good player. Period. But he's not great, and not part of the future. He makes great plays and passes my eye test. He's fine defensively, but also fails to make some average plays at times. And that's fine! Some of us are just going to have to agree to disagree in regard to Miranda's defense. I've watched enough of him at 3B to believe he's just fine, with room to get better. And that happens by playing. Just really surprised by a rookie being pigeon holed so quickly as being "bad" because of a couple bad plays and a few more at a position, 1B, that's still relatively new to him. Miranda is OK at 3B and has the better bat. But the Urshela, Miranda, and Arraez grouping between 3B/1B/DH worked really well this year and can again. But as much as I like Urshela and want him back, it would only be on the 1yr deal. Miranda is flatly the better bat and part of the future. All that being said, I'm not 100%,convinced that Miranda WILL BE the 3B of the future. That just might be Lee or Lewis with Miranda doing what he is doing now, playing both 1B and 3B. We ALL hope AK will get right and have the kind of career always projected as a 1B/OF. But until we KNOW, Urshela gives you a quality player to plug in at 3B and in the lower 3rd of the lineup. I think Martin is destined to be a part of the OF picture with the ability to plug a spot here and there in the INF. That still leaves Miranda, Lewis, Lee, Arraez, and maybe Julien somewhere to cover all across the INF along with Gordon and HOPEFULLY AK. But that's the future and not NOW. Urshela IS a "bird in the hand", and a pretty good one. The one thing I WOULD DO with Urshela in ST is move him around some. He has very limited experience at 1B and 2B, but he's definitely played some SS before, including with the Yankees. I don't know how good/bad/average he is there. But if he's at least average, or "ish" there, it increases his value when putting together a lineup, especially early in 2023 waiting on Lewis, potentially. If things break right, and Lewis comes back reasonably early, and AK is ready anywhere from early to June-ish, what's the worst case scenario??? You suddenly have too much talent and not enough room??? Boy, that's a problem I'd love to see the Twins have! KEEP HIM! But no extension at this time.
  4. No question he's a keeper. Too talented for anyone to give up on after a bad year. He's got a great frame, velocity and some solid secondaries. His 2021 was solid, but a mixed bag. He was dominate at times, pretty average at times, but had a decent year overall. A few bumps in the road, especially if he's working on things or trying something different, aren't unexpected. I was thinking his early setback in 2022 was a knee. The bad back makes more sense. He started late, may have been stiff, hard to know, and I've been of the belief that his mechanics were just really screwed up. If he was actually still injured, he would have been put on the IL. I've said before and say again, I think his biggest problem was between the ears. Mechanics are out of whack, you fight to get them right, all the while you're frustrated because nothing seems to work right. But no question 2023 will be big for his future. He's talented enough and young enough a little time at St Paul won't be a bad thing. But we do need to see the Jordy Blaze of old and maybe some ML time, even at the end of the year, to see that he's still got the future envisioned for him.
  5. Good! He's had a fine season and has to be added to the 40 man once the season is done. Why not now and get a taste of the bigs? Awesome!
  6. Some excellent comments about who and where and numbers that add up to too many potential players for every spot. EXAMPLE: Kirilloff at 1B while still having Arraez and Miranda, etc. But too much talent is never a bad problem. So I am focused solely on the 3 young OF in general, not fitting EVERYONE in to a 26 man roster. Kirilloff, IMO, is the very best of them all IF he can get RIGHT. I'm uneducated enough to have no idea, but smart enough to understand his latest procedure makes real sense. I've seen nothing to show me he can't be a solid OF defensively, but even in SSS, he just looks so natural at 1B. No reason he can't be a great 1B who can play a solid corner OF. From pundits to scouts everyone seems to believe he has everything needed to be a high quality hitter and power producer who is damn good, if not special. Unfortunately, it's about health. And my fingers are cramping up saying this, but I think he's 50-50 ever realizing his potential. But damn, you just don't give up on his potential even if it takes a little time to rehab and get RIGHT. On the opposite end of the spectrum, nothing about Larnach's injuries speaks of a chronic nature. He's flashed when healthy. I've always believed he was just slightly below AK in regard to potential. Always thought they'd be close in ability, with AK just having more of an overall "IT" factor that would make him a slightly higher OPS player, with each similar. If you read Larnach's draft profiles, as I did, and re-read them this year, as I did, you would see about 7 out of 10 saying he had solid defensive ability but simply lacked great range. Only a few profiles ever stated they believed he'd be slow or below average. I believe what we've seen so far is solid with a great arm and room to yet improve. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well he hung in against LH pitching this year. His biggest issue, and a pretty small one at that, is he still needs to learn to develop pull power. He HAS good power, but mostly the opposite way or dead center. If he can learn to pull better, who knows? Might be talking legitimate 30HR production. Just, please, no more weird injuries. Wallner has impressed the hell out of me this year, and I'm not even talking about his SSS with the Twins. He used the AFL to produce a 2022 season in the minors similar to what Miranda did in 2021. He produced tremendous numbers at both AA and AAA...with a couple weeks of adjustment between the two levels...and raised his BB and lowered his SO numbers almost month to month. I wanted him up with the Twins to begin August as a hopeful potential shot in the arm. It happened too late. And while it's SSS to be sure, you can see the talent and potential. He's got a cannon for an arm, same as Larnach. And I've been surprised about his movement in the field and on the basepaths. He's a large man, but slim and long legged. He's absolutely an athlete and not slow. I think he does need to refine his defensive game for better routes, and know when to pull up. He has to know which base to throw to and when. And he has to learn the nuances of Target Field and other parks. What young player doesn't? I'm still expecting Kepler to be a Twin come 2023. He's a league average producer offensively and a great defensive player. And we have enough questions about how healthy and prepared all 3 of these young OF are before we jettison a solid MLer like Kepler. (I understand if he could be part of a great deal and moved). And I'm going to hold out hope that all 3 will be healthy for 2023, especially AK. And it won't dismiss my optimism if Kirilloff needs a little milb time to ramp up. And my optimism of Wallner won't be dimmed if the Twins keep Max in RF and let Wallner begin the year with St Paul despite his great September. Remember, never get too high or too low about ST or September. But I also won't be disappointed if the Twins just "go for it" and pen both Larnach and Wallner in the OF and move Kepler as part of a deal. I just don't expect it right now. As an aside, and beating the proverbial dead horse yet again, however they settle on the opening day roster, the FO absolutely has to add a quality RH hitting OF with some pedigree! You just can't bank on the still developing Celestino as being ready to assume that regular role. And as much as I like Gordon in his role, he's still LH. We need a RH bat to compliment what we have, and what we could have.
  7. We've had enough in disappoinent the past 2 months as to how this really fun year ended souly. I think it's great to have an OP like this...awaiting part 2...to celebrate the good things that happened. I'm SO impressed by Miranda! And he's only going to get better with experience. Amazing how being sent down for a single day and then coming right back suddenly turned on a switch. I think his defense at 1B has really improved the last half of the year. I'm still wondering if Lee doesn't turn out to be the long term answer at 3B, but personally, I've seen enough from Miranda at 3B that I think he's OK there as well and will continue to get better. I like Gray a lot! And not just on the field. I really like his leadership and the way he instituted all the rotation arms to watch the day's SP warm up. He looked dominate at times and OK at others. Being available for 28 starts would make me like him more. Gordon is a great story that just has to make you smile. The kid has been through an awful lot. And all he's done is work hard and do whatever has been asked of him. Learn to play the OF on the fly? No problem! He's shown he can hit and run and play decent defense anywhere he's put. He's even got some pop/power developing and while I don't have numbers in front of me, it just seems as though his OB/recognition ability has grown a bit as the season has gone along. He needs to refine his baserunning more to take advantage of his speed. And I'm not sure he's ever going to be GREAT defensively anywhere in particular, but he's OK about anywhere with room to improve. I say "cool the jets" on Ryan being any kind of ACE. They are very rare! And a large number of them seem to come out of nowhere as a guy just suddenly "clicks" between stuff and knowledge to become something special in his late 20's and early 30's. Ryan is talented, affable, and determined. His fastball is real, despite not amazing velocity. And there's no way you can ignore one of the best recent rookie seasons in Twins history. But while his secondary offerings are solid and sometimes excellent, it's that inconsistency he needs to work on. The vast number of fouled pitches seem to be proof of that. I don't know how good he will eventually be, and I've said many times trying to project someone to be an ACE or even #1 is almost always a fools errand, but I do expect continued growth and improvement from him. Lastly, it is very cool to see Minnesota natives making a mark for the "home team". Despite being on the wrong side of 30, Thielbar is very, very good. I think he's vastly underrated. As long as the velocity sticks around, he's got time left in his arm. Easy to be excited about both Varland and Wallner.
  8. When things go poorly, whether it be an entire season like 2021, or a season like 2022 that showed a lot of promise for the 1st half, there is a natural tendency to ask what went wrong? Who is to blame? That allows for venting. This season DID have promise right up until about mid August and the wheels came off. But to me the rankings or "blame"...and I'm a little uncomfortable with that term...would be ad follows. 1] Injuries 2] The FO 3] Rocco and his staff Maeda was out for all or most of the season before it began. We knew this. Maybe it was a question of WHEN Paddack would be hurt and not IF. And yes, we all pretty much expected to miss time. But did anyone really see Buck hurting his knee the 1st week of the season? Arraez lost bad weight and added good weight and was awesome until he started slumping and battling a few issues. Polanco was healthy and coming of his very best season and even in an offensively depressed year, he was producing until he got hurt. Kepler was still producing at his normal, average self until his foot and hip and whatever else debilitated him. I never expected Larnach to develop a muscle issue that required surgery. I also never expected Jeffers to lose almost half a season due to surgery. The list goes on and on. You can't predict all that happened or prevent it all. I still like so much of what the FO has done previously and I even like a lot of what they did this year. But to have an almost empty rotation and not take advantage of the FA pool except for Bundy and Archer was a huge error in judgment. And while nobody could forsee losing Alcala for all but a couple of IP, the pen still needed re-inforcement even with him being healthy. And while I think Celestino still has a future and I don't hate Garlick, for the 3rd year in a row they didn't have a solid, proven RH bat for the OF. Rocco can only play the hand he's dealt, even if he's given some really bad cards at times. I don't think he's a poor manager, but I also think there's room for improvement. When the offense is struggling, due to injuries or whatever reason, maybe a bunt or two is smart. Maybe a little hit and run needs to be used. But you can't bunt or hit and run or steal bases if the players you have can't execute. And that's not all on Rocco or his staff. What IS on them is not trying something different here and there, or working on better baserunning, or throwing to the right base, etc. So while I'm not a huge Rocco fan and I'm wondering about some of his coaches, he/they are a clear #3 on my list.
  9. Nick, I agree in principle with just about everything you've stated with a few important caveats: 1] The team had a mostly empty cupboard for the rotation except for Ryan and Ober and hope on the shelf. The trade for Gray was solid, and I would have done it again, despite some of his missed starts. But ONLY adding Bundy when there was a plethora of good to really good arms available in FA was a HUGE miscalculation. 2] Either ignoring the BP almost entirely was either a horrible miscalculation or hubris they could just "cobble" an effective pen. 3] Some of the baserunning and defensive lapses and miscues were just unacceptable. Granted, young players will make some mistakes. And the past month or so the lineup has basically been AAA quality at multiple spots. And when you play lesser quality players, you generally expect more mistakes. But that doesn't excuse so many mistakes in the season overall. But yes, the established core of the team was a letdown, at least to some degree. Kepler and Polanco disappeared in the 2nd half, but were good to solid before injury. Buxton hung in and produced until he couldn't any longer. Correa didn't have a very good 1st half. Gray was really good but missed time hurt. And there's more, but that's enough. HOWEVER, what also hurt tremendously was the "new core" unable to largely perform as hoped. Ober got hurt and I think we missed him way more than people realize. AK still wasn't right. Larnach looked really good before his hernia, or whatever his injury is to be called. Lewis looked like everything we hoped for and expected before blowing out his knee. Alcala was basically gone the whole season. Jeffers got hurt just as he was really heating up. No need to go on. So really, there were TWO cores who let the team down, old and new. Thank goodness Urshela, Miranda, Gordon, and Arraez played and produced and were in the lineup regularly or who knows how bad things might have been. As Gleeman is fond of saying, it's possible for 2 things to be true. A vast amount of almost incalculable injuries derailed the 2022 season for the Twins, making BOTH the "old" and "new" core letting the team down. But it's also true that some poor roster construction and lack of fundamentals hurt this team.
  10. Nothing wrong with the "M" on the hat they had for a while, (think I even have one still), but I do hope they keep the traditional "TC". I, for one, always liked the pinstripes and would be happy to see them return. I also like the return of the updated powder blues on an occasional basis. Of the current uniforms, I like the home all white version. It took me a while to embrace the blue and red shirts but they aren't my favorites. Maybe I'm just a traditionist when it comes to uniforms, but I enjoy the all whites and grays.
  11. At 6' 185lbs, (as he's listed), he may never develop as a 20HR power hitter. But I wouldn't be surprised if HR power develops over time. But with a bunch of doubles, a few triples I'd be fine if he was in the teens. But agree that more power HAS to come unless the BA and OB are well above average or ML pitchers will just dare him to hit. The hit tool and OB ability appear to be there, even though we haven't seen the big average yet. So I'm still holding out belief he's going to raise his game another level soon, and the AFL could be a big springboard for 2023. I just don't know about him sticking at SS. I've always believed if there's a chance for someone to play the spot, even on an average basis, you leave him there as long as possible to see. And reports I've seen have him looking better post wrist injury and fewer errors. But with Lewis and Lee and a large group of new SS additions in the past couple of drafts, it just feels to me the time is right for him to move to the OF. Of course, nothing wrong with him being able to be an infield fill-in when needed. I've heard the FO feels he could transition to the OF almost immediately and be very good there. Maybe it's just time to get the most out of him and could "relax" him in regard to his hitting by making the move. Year three is going to be big for him.
  12. Lewis is an amazing talent, and IMO, a pretty awesome person. He weathered his top draft status and some mild injuries and poor production as a very young man to just keep plugging away and just keep working. And just when it looks like things might be coming together, he looses 2 full years due to covid and a knee injury. And what does he do? He comes back better and faster than he was before. He won't be 24 until June of next year. Seems he's been around for a while now, but he's still very young and at the age where you would normally expect most prospects to reach MLB, despite his setbacks. Maybe, this time, his 75-80 Buxton speed lowers to 65-70. I hope not, but have to be realistic. I've seen enough in his milb hilights and ST games and his early MLB introduction to believe he can be a good to great SS. Maybe not right away, and maybe not GG, but he's got everything to settle in as a quality ML SS. And he can hit, get OB, run, provide good power, and just play the game the way it's supposed to be played. The kid is a "gamer" in the very best sense of the word. And I wouldn't bet against him coming back STRONG. (Even with some rookie growing pains). I'm still amazed, going back to Kubel and Mauer and so many other top prospects over the past 20yrs that have had serious injuries that seem to come out of nowhere. Lewis has already overcome one. I'm willing to bet he overcomes this one as well, even though, POSSIBLY, he has to slide to 3B or another spot. Not saying that will happen, just wondering.
  13. Chpettit19 pretty much nailed it on the head, but I'm going to add a bit. Parity is an illusion. It is in every single sport. Period! It doesn't exist and will never exist in the trusist form of definition. But what we're talking about, as chpettit19 basically stated well, is for teams/organizations having a LEVEL PLAYING FIELD in order to compete! Vanimal46 is correct that MLB has had the most alternate champions of any sport over the past 10-15-20 years. The problem is, even with that variance, the CHANCE to win, compete, even have a winning season has a very wide variation. I mean, as a Twins fan, do I want a decade or more of losing and barely contending to have 2 good years and a shot? Does winning ONE championship after 20yrs with little to no chance really pay off? Ultimately, is that FUN? Hoping the stars align just right and you can go all in every 10-20yrs and have a chance? The Yankees haven't won the WS in a while. The Dogers have continued to be one of the highest payroll and winningest teams for years now, along with the Yankees, but they've won a single WS in the last decade. But they've also won more and contended more than about anyone else. The NFL is a different animal due to the nature of a game a week, and their marketing. (And marketing is a different conversation). But their financial structure is very different than MLB. So is the NBA. I laugh when people say the NFL is NOT on a "parity" level. Some teams make a ton of more money than other organizations, but that's local market money and merchandising. Each team has a floor and a ceiling that allows EVERY team to compete if the FO and coaching does a good job. Bad drafting and bad coaching? You lose. Good drafting and good coaching? You win. The NBA is similar to MLB due to guaranteed contracts. So maybe MLB needs a floor and instead of a cap, a continued luxury tax or some sort of exception for re-signing your own players. I don't have an exact answer at this moment, and I'm not being paid to do so. But a draft lottery to prevent teams from tanking is ridiculous! The MLB is a crapshoot from the 1st pick to the last with very, very little exception. In ALL sports, including MLB, "tanking" is often a poorly used phrase to describe a losing team looking at young players, selling off those that either don't fit or might bring back prospects or salary relief to address FA to re-build. IMO, MLB are short-sighted, and while I hate to use the word, they are stupid. In general, they refuse to see the logic of growing the game. And growing the game grows interest and potential profits. But I also put the onus on the players and their union as well. Hell, I wanted baseball! I didn't want a stoppage and a short season! But they were in prime position to DEMAND a payroll floor and SOME sort of cap or luxury cap, and equitable profit sharing across the board to make MLB establish an even playing field for all teams. The bite is, a floor actually allows for greater money for all players in the union! And if you're an owner sending $M's to lower market teams, wouldn't you want to see organizations actually SPEND that money vs pocketing it? For the health and growth of MLB, I wish the union had dug in their heels more, even if it decreased the viability of the 2022 season. I think an opportunity was missed. Post-covid, I'm wondering if declining attendance and changes in how people spend their hard earned $ will have an affect the owners can't deny going forward. We're obviously a few years away now from the next collective bargaining. But if MLB wants to grow and not stagnate and begin to lose fans and viewers, I sure hope they figure this stuff out because it's a great game that is losing it's foothold. A floor, SOME kind of cap, maybe with an NBA print of being able to retain your current players more easily, more equitable profit sharing, and better marketing is the answer to a "parity" issue where a well run organization has a chance to win is the answer. You don't run your orgnization well, you lose. That's how MLB SHOULD be run going forward. It may take an act of God or Congress to make it happen. But it shouldn't. It should be half way intelligent parties on both sides figuring it out. Hmmm...come to think of it, maybe it will take divine intervention.
  14. This coming from a fan of Kepler who has always rooted for him and hoped he would nudge his offense up another notch, and who has been disappointed he has never been able to. 1] His career OPS+ is 101. While that number is somewhat skewed by 2019 and 2020, his best 2 years, that's true of every player, where you have lower and greater seasons. So he's not great offensively, never has been, but he's been league average for his career. He's also a gold glove caliber defensive player, which gives him a higher WAR value overall, and raises said overall value. His "problem" is that offensively he should be batting, mostly, lower in the lineup than he's generally been used. 2] His contract for 2023 is not only not expensive, a "normal" Kepler remains league average offensively while having his great defense. But he also fills an important role in 2023 at this point. There remains real hope...you have to have HOPE...that Kirilloff's latest procedure will allow him to continue his career and be the player he can be. What they're doing makes sense, but until we see the resuts.... Larnach doesn't have any chronic injury situation at this point. He's had 2 distinctive and un-related injuries that simply aren't chronic in nature, just unfortunate. But we've seen what he can do when healthy. Wallner has established himself as a top prospect due to numbers and continued improvement. He's looked solid in his debut..which probably should have been a week or two earlier...and that debut will only assist him with making that final step on a permanent basis in the future. But to move Kepler and just trust everything is going to work out is a fools errand. For what has to be at least the 3rd season in a row, the Twins need a RH OF, whether he can play CF or not. But you can't go in to 2023 yet again with only Celestino and Garlick as your RH OF! And you can't just trust everyone else is just going to be fine. Kepler isn't just a 4th OF with his career offense, but he SHOULD play some CF, and he SHOULD sit against LHSP IF you actually have a decent RH option to play both corners at least. And I'm fine if Kepler can be included in a deal to bring in a quality rotation arm. But despite his positives, he's still coming off a bad season and won't bring anything of value by himself. And his value, healthy, just being himself, remains a solid player at this point until AK, Larnach, and Wallner have the opportunity to be healthy and prove themselves.
  15. While I have questions and concerns about 2023, I'm in the optimistic camp. HEALTH remains the #1 thing this team needs in order to be better. Are there a lot of "IF's" involved there? Absolutely! But isn't it true that every team has "if's" going in to the next season? Every team wonders if someone is going to be healthy again, if someone rebounds, if a young player develops, if a prospect is going to be ready, etc, etc. Unfortunately, the Twins have a number of those if's and they are primarily health related. But when I look at the rotation, bullpen, and lineup options/depth/possibilities i feel the 2023 Twins have a chance to be pretty good. Shortstop is the only real hole that has to be figured out. So yes, I'm optimistic. However, they can't use better health as a cure all for 2023. They still need to make some smart additions to improve the overall team and to insure that they CAN be good/better especially if some of those if's don't turn out. They still need a catcher to team with Jeffers, and I think they need to look higher than Leon. I think Leon is a great backstop, but I'd rather have him back on a milb deal if possible, and bring in a solid catcher who can hit a little bit. He doesn't have to be LH, just a solid, experienced catcher who can hit a little bit. I still think another solid RP, which might be Fulmer. But even then, how about another quality arm in case someone is hurt or implodes? And I'm not talking about a $10M signing, just a solid, experienced arm. I'd rather have too many arms, too many options than be scrambling yet again. They simply can't ignore bringing in a solid, RH hitting OF to split time with all of their LH bats. And he doesn't have to be an All Star. But Celestino is still developing and while Garlick is OK and has done relatively well the past 2yrs when healthy, is that the best you can do? Is that what you're going to settle for? With Gordon and Celestino able to help cover CF...Kepler as well if he's back...said RH hitting OF doesn't have to be able to play CF. It would be a bonus, but not needed. My biggest question mark is the rotation. Again, if you just go down the list, it's easy to be optimistic by the names and the depth of options between veterans and young guys. I can see a rotation, rather easily, that is a collection of #2 and #3 arms with some nice looking young #4 and #5 guys with potential. And that's before Paddack hopefully comes back around mid year. But do you stand pat when you should have a good $50M or more to spend? I think you still add if you're smart and want to properly hedge your bets. Can you move bats to someone like Miami for a promising arm? Would the Rockies finally begin a rebuild and move Marquez who has a live arm and is young enoug to grow with a change of scenery? Can you do so without either opening holes at the ML level or dig even deeper in to your milb system? The FA market is not going to look like this past offseason where you had a plethora of choices. And this is just me spit balling a little bit. The one guy I'm curious about is Rodon, who's been targeted twice by the Twins this past year. He might be the one FA arm that might make a difference and he only costs $, not player capital. He might be an injury waiting to happen despite coming off the 2 best seasons of his career. But the risk might be worth the reward on a 3yr deal. Yes, I'm optimistic for 2023, as long as the FO isn't complacent and only trust in better health and just rewind 2022 back again. But if they do add another rotation arm, it's got to be someone at least as good, if not better, than what they already have. No more Happ, Shoemaker, Bundy or Archer types. If they are even remotely tempted to do something like that, then just roll with the young arms all the way and build them up instead of another re-tread.
  16. First and foremost, not to derail the topic, we have to know the Correa situation. No matter how much he and his family like being here, love Minnesota, love the Twins, even want to be here, he's going to opt out for a longer and richer deal. Now, there was a ZERO chance he'd be with the Twins before he actually ended up with the Twins. Wow! Someone is going to give him a 5-7yr deal worth $200-250M. Could he get more? Yes. I'm just looking at the minimum. Could he love being a Twin so much he'd sign for multiple years and $30M with maybe a higher annual the first few years? Sure. But I'm still seeing a 10% chance to MAYBE a 20% chance max! But this is an important situation because it absolutely influences 2023 plans. The Twins have some money to spend. But SOME money and adding another $30+M is very different! It does change the dynamic of this topic. But I'm of the initial opinion he won't be back. So that changes and adds to the premise here. Will the Twins add to the rotation? Sorry to disagree with some, but the system is not "gutted", but ammunition for the future, OR, a potential trade has taken a blow. So a trade for someone of high quality might be a real stretch that would hurt is questionable. Example: a trade with Miami. Out of the question? No. Hurt? Absolutely. It would mean the FO better be right about the international signings and have a 2023 draft that is similar to the 2021 draft to re-stock. There was a really smart comment made by someone in a different, recent thread, (forget who), that just "adding" a SP probably wouldn't move the needle unless it was a difference maker. Accurate but not depressing. IMO, the rotation...and the pen which is a slightly different discussion...is actually set up pretty well for 2023 assuming health. Gray is a very good pitcher. Unhappy with the Twins because he wasn't allowed to throw longer? His response when allowed to was: "I need to do better". Maeda is a quality SP who may never throw as well as he did in 2020. But he's been pretty damn good his whole career and should be ready to be at least solid, if not good, post surgery and an entire ramp up to get ready. I've seen comments on his 2021, but he had an OUTSTANDING ST and then his arm gave out just as the season began. So throw that out the window, IMO. Until we hear otherwise, I'm going to assume Mahle's issue is a tired arm that happens. He's had at least 1 MRI, if not 2, that shows no structural damage. He was fine after rest with the Reds, and looked good initially with the Twins. So until something is suddenly uncovered, I'm going to assume that rest and a normal ramp up will have him ready for 2023. Ryan has had one of the best rookie seasons, possibly ever, at least in recent history, for the Twins. Somewhere along the line, possibly due to his covid illness, he lost sharpness on his secondary pitches. He gets that sharpness back, combined with experience, he's a really nice young arm. There is a really, really nice base to work with here. And then you add the promising young arms of Ober and Winder and Varland and the quality year of SWR and a HOPEFUL rebound of Balazovic and things really look promising. But you need 8 SP in any season even if you have good health. And at some point, small injuries and illness, and double headers, etc, you need 10. The Twins need to add at least one arm to the rotation for depth and insurance. We can argue all day about the "pipeline" and how much it's contributed thus far and how much it might do in 2023. But you cant win without pitching. What's the worst that can happen if you add another quality SP? You suddenly have great depth and some good arms are middle relievers? I like who I see coming back, and some young arms, and some potential depth. The ONE GUY who makes so much sense to RAISE the rotation is Rodon. He's been tied strongly to the Twins twice. But he's also got an arm that could implode one day. Is he worth the risk? IDK, but I'd LOVE to see him in our rotation. And if Correa is gone, there is more than enough $ to take a chance. Extremely long story short, we need another good arm to "protect" and deepen the rotation. Can we afford another trade? Do we trust what we have on hand enough for a mid rotation arm? Or do we "go for it" with $ spent for someone who is a risk but high reward type? My guess? No trade. A decent, solid SP FA or we grab the risky Rodon. 50-50 on Rodon .
  17. I get that you're pretty much speaking rhetorically. But when I read your comment, I couldn't help but spill out thoughts. You didn't ask me, but... I GET the Twins philosophy. We don't have a mythical and proverbial ACE like Verlander to lead our staff. And to be fair, there are very few potential HOF ACES that grace many staffs. But we will look for and hopefully develop at least a quality #1. And we will try to fill the rotation with a couple of good #2's and a solid #5, all the while allowing our young SP to rotate in as depth is required. And unless you have an established STUD...again very rare...to lead your staff, numbers indicate we are best letting our quality starters go 5-7 innings and turn it over to the pen. Ideally, with a clean inning to begin. Honestly, kinda sounds smart! Except, if you have either a crappy pen, OR, a pen based on nothing but 1 IP relievers. Then you're just screwed over a season. From what I can deduce, this was, more or less, the PLAN. Additionally, as alluded to, the PLAN was to allow the SP time to build up strength, and experience for younger arms, and then let themselves extend themselves to more 6 and 7 IP games. Any comment attributed to Gray about being disappointed at not pitching longer was explained by himself when offered the opportunity and not being able to do so at one point. His response was he needed to pitch better when given the chance. The practical theory that permeates MLB at this time is 5-6IP by a starter and a strong bullpen. The Twins blew the strong BP right out of the gate. IDK that NOT allowing SP to go longer early in the year and "save" their arms to pitch longer makes sense. Maybe it does for a young arm still developing and learning. And I understand a RP coming in to a clean inning makes sense as well. But unless your SP is going to face the heart of the order a 3rd time, maybe a little more allowance should be shown earlier in the season. I'm not sure " waiting" decreases any sort of injury or production factor. A better built pen makes a difference regardless.
  18. Hey, liked your post and agree to Gordon love. Outplayed everyone else? Can't agree with you there. Larnach is NOT a finished product. Nor is Kirilloff. But the talent and potential of both, and what they've shown when healthy is damn good. Larnach should be 100% coming ST as there is nothing chronic regarding his injuries. I am crossing and double crossing fingers that this latest surgical procedure...makes sense...will allow him to play freely and be the talented player he can be. I love Gordon and have championed him repeatedly over the past couple of years. He's a lock for 2023 and I'm still not certain we've seen the best of him. But he is still best as a super utility player who is in the lineup 4 of 7 games.
  19. One of the worst things that happened in the 2022 milb season was the injury to E Rodriguez who looks like a potential STUD. His development was outstanding and his future looks bright. And while there is no realistic way to include DSL players, as young as they are, in some top 5-7 list, I do applaud you mentioning these kids. Prospect lists are simply speculation, albeit, with experienced opinions. But they fluctuate from year to year, of course. Think Arraez coming from nowhere. Imagine Balazovic and Enlow 100% in body and mind next season how they change rankings. So I take it all with a grain of salt. But if these kids transition well in 2023...and the organization has a very solid base in place to help them do so...imagine the top 30 with all of them
  20. Separate side note: Should Festa be a legitimate #7 after the 5 options listed and Julien? I know he's a #13 pick in the 2021 draft, but he was DOMINATE at 2 A levels in 2022. Just when it looked like he might be running out of gas, he had one of his best starts of the year to finish the Ft Myers season. And it's not like other players didn't have really good years. But he sure teased at "awesomeness" this year.
  21. RJA stole my initial thunder concerning Julien. Even though we talk about him quite a bit, he seems to be an under the radar player and I don't understand why. After being drafted in 2019, he didn't even make his pro debut until 2021. And all he's done is hit, get OB at an amazing clip, collect XB hits and steal bases at a high rate at 3 levels in his first two seasons. He actually looks pretty special offensively. I get his defense is a question mark, despite being used at multiple positions. It's up to him to take all that athleticism and find a spot or two where he can be at least average defensively. I think he may be destined for LF and 2B. With his length, I wouldn't think 1B would be out of the question, even as a backup option. I'm just guessing the glove and/or arm don't play at 3B. Really going to watch him closely in the AFL along with Martin. I would have made Julien a 6th choice if I wrote the OP. As to the rest listed, a fine list and perfect choices. I'm just not surprised by Wallner. I think he, is compared, unfairly, to Rooker. And I get it. They are big sluggers from quality programs that put up big numbers and were even drafted in similar spots. But they are entirely different people/prospects. Wallner will always K a bunch because he's a power hitter. But Wallner has not on had solid BB and OB numbers, but he's been trending positive in all numbers AS HE HAS BEEN RISING in the system. He still has to prove himself going forward, but I do not see another Rooker or poor version of Sano in him. He SHOULD begin 2023 in AAA but he's going to make a mark. I wasn't the biggest fan of SWR initially. And it wasn't about being traded twice or his lost 2021 with the Olympics. And it wasn't about being so young and pushed so hard. I can deal with all of that. I just kept reading 92mph and still working on his secondary stuff. And I kept wondering why he was so highly regarded if that's what his offering were! And I know he's not even close to being a finished product and the proverbial "switch" might happen any day now, but I'm begining to see what others have projected. I don't want to compare Lee to Martin, because it's not fair for a number of reasons. But Lee has been as advertised from the start. But can we just cool the jets for a moment before we state he'll be ready for MLB mid season? No matter how talented, how about we just let him finish his ROOKIE introduction to pro ball and let him spend at least a little time at AA Wichita in 2023 before we anoint him? Let him finish there, go to instructs, go through ST, produce and play well, and then see how quickly he's ready for AAA. As to the future of the left side of the infield, I'm one of those that thinks Miranda is way better at 3B than some think. I mean, rookie bouncing around and adjusting and he's somehow "bad" in a very SSS? Sorry, I don't agree. But it's not hard to picture Lee maybe being even better with Lewis taking over SS. And I do speculate Lewis will be better at SS than Lee, even though I think Lee could be at least decent there.
  22. I wasn't able to watch his debut, but from what I read it sounds like he was pretty decent the first 3 innings he threw before the wheels came off in his 4th inning. The velocity and K numbers are excellent. Interesting that in 2019 and 2021 his hits and WHIP were very solid. In 2019 and 2022 both were back up higher than you'd like, mostly due to hits, I'd say, as his BB have never been through the roof. I think bean5302 may have stated it best on an earlier post; if the K's are there and the velocity is there and he's not plunking batters or producing extreme BB numbers, it would seem he's just losing control and allowing too many hittable pitches at times. (I'm paraphrasing a bit). He didn't turn 22 until June. Like SWR, he's very young, especially to be at AA already. While not a big kid, I do think, sometimes, the whole length/downward plane idea is, shall we say, inaccurate. Not every successful SP is/has to be 6' 1" and above. Just in recent history I'm thinking of Strotman and Berrios. Obviously there have been others. I agree he deserves a chance, which to me means holding on to him and seeing what happens in 2023 and how much improvement he makes. He'll still only be 22yo when next season starts. I'm guessing it's his "consistency" of control that is the issue. To clarify, BAD CONTROL leads to WP and BB and HB, as well as hard contact, no matter what you throw. I don't know that he's shown that. Lacking "consistent" control is having good stuff and getting guys out and producing high K numbers but leaving too many hittable pitches in the zone at times. I absolutely hate using him as an example, but think Pagan. At only 22yo, there's a real chance he finds greater consistency in his delivery and release to harness his stuff and be a quality pitcher. And while I'd probably leave him in the rotation at St Paul for now, I'm not going to project, at this time, whether he's going to remain a starter or move to the pen. Too early to say. *A young arm like his could, of course, find early success as a potential middle reliever at first, before moving to the rotation.
  23. I'm fine with the idea and it makes a ton of sense, as long as Ober, and Winder, and Varland don't lose starts/innings as they need the innings and expose as well. But with Archer and Gray and Mahle all out, I don't think it's going to be a problem.
  24. First off, injuries tanked this team. I just don't see how anyone can debate that issue. When you're trotting out your 8th OF, a last second veteran catcher add, and what, you're 8th-10th SP options you can only do so much. Some of the lineups the past month have been AAA players filling in. That being said, I don't feel this team was set up properly for 2022 at all. 1] First and foremost, impending lockout and negotiations with Buxton be damned, the Twins were WAY UNDER ANY payroll possibilities and had the opportunity to add a quality SP for 2-4yrs at annual values that were fair and wouldn't break the bank. Even Rodon, who they pushed hard for, ended up with essentially a 1yr deal due to his opt out. Was Verlander coming here? No. But there were some really solid arms available that they didn't even try for. Instead, they took a flier on Bundy. The Gray trade wasn't a bad one at all and probably happens regardless. A FA and Gray, and maybe STILL Bundy would have been a good start to join Ryan and Ober and young arms coming up. And while I actually like Paddack and think he might be a major part of the rotation theb2nd half of 2023 and 2024 and be a re-sign candidate, a team hungry for SP absolutely shouldn't have traded for someone almost guaranteed to blow out his arm. And they wouldn't have had to do so if they just spent $ for one of the quality FA arms out there. Now, this doesn't guarantee success! But it's a solid foundation to build on and lessens a cascading affect that happened. 2] You absolutely CAN BUILD A BULLPEN in a variety of ways. Rebound arms. Starters turned to relievers. Promotions of young arms Solid FA signings. Duran is magnificent. Jax is very good. Thielbar is very good. The Twins really missed Alcala IMO. Lopez was a great move by the Orioles, but we could have done something similar. And while Rogers tanked after his start with the Padres, he's not a true "closer" to pitch daily. He's been really good, but he's not a Joe Nathan type. But having him and using him appropriately instead of Pagan would have made a huge difference for everyone. And you have Rogers if you don't HAVE to make the Paddack trade because you didn't do ANYTHING when you had the opportunity. And needing another quality option no matter the Rogers trade, Smith was it? A 38yo junk ball RH was it? There was NOBODY else worthy of a decent contract that was a better option than Joe Smith? 3] The belief that journeyman Garlick...an OK ballplayer...and not yet proven Celestino could handle the job of quality RH OF when the oft injured Buxton and Kepler were your only proven commodities was a huge error. Not only gas this team been surprisingly susceptible to LH pitching, but the young and very talented Larnach and Krilloff hadn't fully proven themselves as starters as of yet, and each was coming off injury. And Garlick and Celestino were the best you had to offer as RH counterparts? To be fair, I don't hate the FO and I don't hate everything they did before or during the 2022 season. And I didn't hate this team before the year began. I honestly saw a 90-92 win team with decent health and a couple of breaks. But I really questioned their lack of additions to the 3 areas above. And they seemed so very obvious to address based on need, availability, and an open payroll. No way to predict how things would have turned out had they done as described above. Only Maeda was out for 2022, the rest of the injuries have just been one after another, etc, until you barely recognize the team on the field we've been seeing the last month. But it doesn't change the fact that 1 more quality SP, 1 more quality RP along with Rogers, and 1 more quality OF would have helped mitigate some of the poor series we played before and after the break and the trades made. And surely, we wouldn't have given away so many games in the late innings.
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