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rgarfinkle

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  1. I don't think the purpose of eliminating shifting has anything to do with pace of play; that's not the problem it purports to address, and it's not the problem I have with baseball today. The problem is, there's too few balls put in play. It's boring! Walks, Strikeouts, Home Runs--there are so many more at bats that end in one of the three true outcomes that it's not nearly as much fun to watch as it used to be. I don't know if eliminating shifting helps or hurts with putting more balls in play, and hopefully more baserunners. But that is the problem I think it attempts to correct, and that's the problem I'd like most to see baseball solve. What do you all think would solve THIS problem?
  2. Thanks for the perspective. I too am concerned, I too can see slippage, I too fret over Rocco's decisionmaking. But as Ted noted, this is a 162 game season, and there's almost a third of it left. Much has happened, much will happen. This team is 17 games better than they were last year at this time, a remarkable achievement.Successful organizations and players and teams grow over time, over multiple years. They take their lumps, they get better, they grow an identity and a core group of leaders, the league adjusts to them, they fail, then they get even better. This is how championship teams are developed. I am thoroughly enjoying this team, warts and all, and I will relish every pitch and at-bat through the rest of the season, knowing the Twins are an organization with an intelligent plan, developing talent, and a growing sense of confidence.
  3. Thanks for this deep-dive into the numbers. I don't pretend to understand all of that, but I will say it confirms what my eyes tell me. I wonder how much of this drop-off is post-ankle sprain vs. pre-ankle sprain, although his early-season defense was also, by my eye, not as robust as previous years. He's also so casual about one-handed catches, side-saddle catches, etc.; I wish he would play it straighter and safer more of the time. He has to fix this; giving away 3/4 of Buxton's benefit is not a winning formula.
  4. Five things: 1. There are some second-tier lefty arms out there the Twins might go get. Andrew Chafin from D'Backs, Drew Pomeranz, one of the Marlins' lefties. This would be a good move for Twins. 2. I think you might see Jonathan Schoop get traded. Arraez and Adrianza can play 2nd now, they've both proven themselves as plus-hitters over last 3 months. 3. Any chance the Twins are cooking up a deal for Zach Greinke? He's the one arm out there I'd like to see them get. 4. The most valuable commodity in baseball is young pitching. Graterol, Balzovic, any of the young hurlers the Twins are high on will not move, should not move. Position players are another story... 5. In Falvine we trust. These guys have a philosophy, they're savvy, they've earned my trust. This is not about money; this is about fit, risk/reward, short-term v. long-term, the fickleness of bullpen arms--lots of variables. I trust these guys to figure it out, for this season and seasons to come.
  5. I agree with Kelly Vance that this is an irresponsible comment. Will the Twins maybe push him? Possibly. But it's a complicated calculus, not clearly just a case of "if we cared we wouldn't push, and if we don't care we will." You know that. You know that Pineda is part of that decisionmaking. You know that one person's workload and experience and injury is not the same as the next guy. But to suggest that they might be more likely to do that because they won't sign him for 2020? Gosh, I hope not. If you write that, you should have some evidence to back up that implication, because it is damaging to Falvine's reputation to even suggest it. Besides, from a practical point of view, it's a stupid strategy: players are a small, tightly-knit guild. Word gets around, quickly. If the Twins treat a player callously, every other player and agent knows about that in two days, and that is bad for business.
  6. Appropos of nothing, but an observation about the picture that accompanied this story, which was taken in late May or June of last year: only Romero is still with the organization. The other five are all gone.
  7. I think Berrios is the most obvious candidate, for all the reasons mentioned above. The analysis of Gibson and Rosario in previous posts describes the pros and cons of that, and I can go either way. I have two main thoughts: (1) I would differentiate Buxton from Sano. Buxton has been injury prone and maybe hasn't been as able to learn what he needs to learn about hitting a baseball, but he's a world-class defender and a willing (if sometimes stubborn) worker. I'd take a chance on extending him, because even if his hitting is mediocre he still contributes, and if he learns how to handle pitching he's a near all-star. And I think he'll work hard. Sano concerns me more. Can he ever have a body that will work? And what position can he play? You can't extend him on the basis of him being a full-time DH, but are you sure he can play in the field? I would like to see if he can maintain a good weight, show some positional flexibility, show that he can be more than a one-dimensional slugger before I'd pay him. I'd risk having to overpay later. (2) the other point I'd make is, it can be worth signing guys even if you don't necessarily want to keep them forever. The cost certainty makes players more tradeable, as long as you haven't wildly overpaid. I think that applies to Rosario in particular, maybe Polanco. Sign them up, and then if everything breaks right with prospects and you want to trade either or both, you have a contract that can be dealt.
  8. I'm disappointed in the results on the field but I don't think Falvine is acting incorrectly in response to that. I know everyone wants to pan last year's moves, but they made sense at the time and they worked out, in their way. Last year, you had a budding core and you added to it some short-term commitments to see if you could advance on 2017's success. If things had gone well into July, the Twins would have been buyers at the deadline. Instead, things went south, so Falvine salvaged some prospects for Lynn, Duke, and Dozier. That looked like a prudent set of moves, and the fact that the core group went off the rails, for the most part, justifies their caution in not locking in on Darvish or some other long-term commitment. So now they look at 2018, and as Nick and others have said, this strategy looks smart, again: you've got to see what you've got with this group. If things break right, you can buy at the deadline. If they don't, you're not locked into a lot of bad deals. And you've got the money and flexibility to trade for a significant talent who becomes unhappy somewhere, or otherwise needs to move to a new home. They're doing the right thing, and I hope their development coaches and staff can start to maximize the talent we have in the system. That's my biggest disappointment with this team over the years: that the prospects we bring up always seem to underperform their potential. This is the biggest place for organizational improvement and, ultimately, major-league success.
  9. You correctly mention his "recklessly aggressive play." Does anyone ever call him out for that? I know you don't want to take a player's aggression away, etc., but there's some odd macho thing in there that says, oh, we should admire his running into walls all the time. He has to stay healthy to help us. That means he has to stop running into walls--period. Stop sliding headfirst, to protect his wrist. I know he's a good guy but perhaps he's stubborn or maybe not as willing to adjust to things when he has to. I say send him home for September, and give him a little tough love speech--get healthy, stay healthy, take care of your body--no excuses next year.
  10. So, while I generally agree with the conventional wisdom, expressed here, that we'd like to bring young guys up and give them a taste of the majors in a season like this, I also have heard many say that the Twins mishandled Buxton (and maybe Sano and others) by bringing them up early, before they were ready. Maybe some of you, with more experience, have written about this too. I think the thinking is that Buxton's early failures have wrecked his confidence and that it's hard to make major adjustments at the MLB level. And with Sano, that his early success may have made him overconfident and undercut his work ethic. I don't know, I really don't. But I'd like to hear you all consider that bringing young guys up is not without risk. How do we evaluate when it makes sense, and when it doesn't?
  11. I totally agree with this, too. I was arguing against signing Darvish a few weeks ago here, for the reasons listed here but also because I don't see him as a true #1 guy--a guy who can take the pressure, who can lead a staff, who can be a rock around which other players and pieces fall into place. I just don't see him that way. I'd rather spend that money to get a guy who could be a #1, who could be a gritty leader. Here's the idea I've been kicking around: What about making a bid for Greinke? The D-Backs want to get off his contract and re-sign JD, maybe we could make a deal for one front-line prospect and one second-line prospect. Greinke is a #1 guy, to me.
  12. This feels like a minority opinion, but...I hope they don't sign Darvish. At least not for the money he's going to get. My opposition is about the qualities needed in a #1 starter; he doesn't have it, even if his numbers suggest it. #1 starters need to have ... swagger, steel nerves, leadership qualities, something besides great stuff. If the Twins are going to commit huge dollars to a pitcher, it should be someone they feel can be a #1 starter, with all that goes with it. I just don't think Darvish is that. Rather they keep their powder dry and look to spend that money later on someone who has the potential to be The Guy on a championship team. Your thoughts?
  13. I think you all are forgetting something...isn't Adrianza going to take DanSan's spot, as soon as he's healthy? That's what I think is going on there. Regarding Park, This may also be an attempt to take some pressure off of him. You've read about the pressure the Korean players experience in their leagues; he certainly felt that last year. If you bring him up in 2-4 weeks, he'll just slip in and it won't be quite the same pressure as being the regular DH out of the gate. Also, by then, something will happen to clarify the spot on that 40-man roster that they need. It could be that Wimmers is in the same position; something will happen to open up a spot for him shortly. I too wish they'd make a deal with the Red Sox so they can put Haley in the minors.
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