I am surprised to learn that it is only 4 out of 8. I would have guessed more. What's worse is that I can only remember one outing this year where he came in and retired the side 1-2-3. Even when he is not allowing runs, he quite often allows multiple baserunners.
I think if you looked at Kansas City you would see that it was only recently that they went young. They built a cycle of mediocrity around the signing of players like 36 year old middle infielder Mark Grudzielanek. Look at their 2006 roster and decisions. Looks like the blue print Ryan is following. I don 't want the Twins to follow the same path.
All good points, FDG. I think a lot of fans tend to overrate and overestimate prospects; they are eternally convinced the solution to everything is to bring of a bunch of guys from AAA. Some of them even want to move every veteran off the team and basically make this Rochester West.
I'm fine with giving young guys who have earned it a shot, but when you blow the whole thing to smithereens and go in full-scale rebuild mode, it can be hard to get out of.
Look at Kansas City, they've been the team of the future for 10 years now.
Age is a huge consideration.
Very few players have significant careers when the reach the 1000 plate appearance threshold after their age 26 season (July 1 age of given season). Any player who is in the age 24 season needs to be on track towards getting significant playing time by next year. A players best years center 26-29. A team should want those years to be in the majors and not adjusting to the majors.
If they are called up after the super two deadline at age 24, the arbitration should not be a consideration. They will be under team control through their prime. The clock is not a factor for these players.
These players are old enough to meet that threshold
If they are called up after super 2 is not a possibility, they will not be eligible for arbitration for 3 more seasons. None of them is a super prospect. If the biggest problem the Twins have is that they will be due a huge salary as they near or pass 30, they will have been a very productive player by then.
Guerra should be added to the list also. Though he is younger, he will be out of options next year and the Twins will better be able to decide if he is part of the bullpen solution. Herrmann is also 24. However, he is learning to catch.
Your second point about development cited Gomez who came up at age 21 and had 600+ plate appearances at age 22. Young came up at 20 and had 600+ plate appearances at 21. I agree with your point and wouldn't suggest that Sano or similar should be promoted to the majors soon. The Harper/Trout comment also fits Sano but not the above list. Any player 24+ years old has had years of instruction and teaching. It is time to see if they can adjust to the major league level. There will be growing pains. The Twins can afford to suffer through those pains the second half of this year.
I agree. I think it is important not to hold guys back when they are ready. I think certain guys can be fast tracked a little bit, but on the whole rushing guys to the bigs when they aren't prepared can hurt their confidence and stunt their development as players. I think if the season continues to go the way it has been, there will be some guys ready for a taste later in the year.
Good article... I agree with what you've got here.
And I guess there's:
Jamey Carroll "Burnett"
I'll take a crack at some pitchers:
Jason Marquis "de Sade"
Jeff "Shades of" Gray
Liam "Jimi" Hendriks
Nick "Blackburn's Ghost"
Carl "Hey!" Pavano
Matt "Don't Give Me That" Maloney
Alex "Carol" Burnett
While my wife tends to call Justin Morneau "Mr. Hot Pants" (in honor of her 1st base vantage point which for many years provided a view of something she liked) I like other, sometimes less considerate nicknames
Matt "Capps Shoot"
Joe "Chairman Mau"er
"Save Big Money with" Denard S.
and recently my brother has taken up the task of popularizing:
"Country Superstar" Jamey Carroll
(Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised to hear, "That was a classic cut from Vince Gill and now the new hit from Jamey Carroll "Mommas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Middle Relievers")
I would say that I am definitely in it for the "ride." I obviously want some "glory" mixed in but not at the price of uncompetitive baseball for long periods of time.
I have watched the Twins year in and year out, whether they are bad or good. I will say I loved the underdog role in the Dome, low budget lots of enthusiasm, great defense, solid pitching. The "new" Twins have none of that. As much as I didn't like "little Nicky Punto", I kind of wish we had that 16 year old babe ruth style excitement. I will root for the Twins forever, right now it is hard because I am not finding much to root for.
When it comes to the Twins, definately the ride. I have been a Twins fan since I could actually figure out what a fan of something was, and I stick to them no matter how bad they are doing. All I need to remember is the epicosity of Game 163 in 2009 and I am good no matter how bad things get (not entirely true; if the Twins lose 110+ games I might have to start at least partly following a NL team to compensate)
This is a nice blog entry. I too am in it for the ride, though I think you can have the glory too. You build a team to be competitive year in and year out -- to get you into the playoffs -- but you also must make additions to help succeed in the playoffs. This is doable in my humble opinion and that is what frustrates me the most about this organization; well, until now when they are just horrible or playing well, but well below what they're begin paid to do. Keep 'em coming!
Great post, FDG. For me, it's much more about the ride, but I see both perspectives. If you're going to consider every season that doesn't end with a parade a complete failure, you're not to going to have a lot of fun. And it's baseball, it's supposed to be fun.
It was fun watching the low-budget Twins beat out much more heavily-funded teams for playoff spots, even if those postseason runs fizzled early. When I think back to 2009, I think of the Twins piecing together an improbable late season comeback with a bunch of September callups, that culminated in an unforgettable game 163 more than I do another frustrating defeat at the hands of the Evil Empire.
But by 2010, the whole "little team that could" thing had gotten old and a divison title seemed a lot less satisfying. That team was good enough to beat the Yankees, but the Bombers barely had to break a sweat.
Great post, I'm glad I inspired you to write it. And thanks.
With all due respect, this is what I am talking about.The select few that do not hate Gladden provide excuses for him: It's my fault for not listening, he is learning the ropes and is getting better, people like Minnesota bumpkinism...
I really wouldn't have a problem if he stuck to the color, but when he does PBP I have to turn the radio off. He has not improved in this area in all the time he has been here, yet they give him 3+ innings per game. It's a travesty.
I'll tell you some things I've observed from good baseball broadcasters. First of all, sometimes when you call a play, you might anticipate a possible catch and then the runner is all the sudden is able to make it into third base because the fielder missed the ball. Tangents are a good thing when there's not much action going on. You might think that Dan Gladden has missed something. Really, you don't need to call every single pitch but most of them. ,You might think that Gladden has missed an out, but it could be that you maybe weren't listening at the time and missed something. The only time where I can see this happening is when they've some guest in the booth which I'm not a big fan of unless it's a former player. As for dead air, that can be a good thing in a baseball game. Gives you an idea of what the ball park sounds like. And the most important thing of all, Dan Gladden's commentary represents the Twins way. He will criticize when a play's not done fundamentally sound.