• What will another good September mean for Chris Parmelee?

    At this time last year, the Twins called up a couple of young prospects from Double-A to make their major league debuts. Joe Benson was the more highly-touted name out of the two young players but Chris Parmelee came up and made a much stronger impression in the final month of the year. Benson would bat .239/.270/.352 in his 74 plate appearances in September while Parmelee was putting on an offensive show. By season's end, Parmelee was hitting .355/.443/.592 with four home runs and six doubles in 76 at-bats. This strong impression in September left a mark on the Twins that carried over to the beginning of 2012.
    When the Twins broke camp at the end of spring training, Chris Parmelee was on the roster for a variety of different reasons. Parmelee had backed up his strong September with a very good showing during spring training so this definitely helped his cause. The team was also unsure what to expect from Justin Morneau after a concussion shortened season in 2011. It made sense to have Parmelee on the roster to get some time at first base and maybe find outfield playing time as well. For Parmelee, it was most likely a dream come true to skip the Triple-A level and begin the season on the big league roster.

    Those dreams wouldn't last for long as Parmelee struggled out of the gate to find his swing. From Opening Day to the middle of May, he hit .179/.250/.262 with no home runs and six extra-base hits in 27 games. The Parmelee that the Twins had seen at the end of 2011 and in spring training was nowhere to be found so the team sent him down. For Parmelee, it would be his first taste of the Triple-A level and he was going to have to hit his way back to the major league squad. He would do just that in the coming weeks.

    During the second half of May with the Rochester Red Wings, Parmelee hit .452/.575/.839 with three home runs and three doubles in 31 at-bats. He would be back on the roster for the Twins near the beginning of June but he failed to get into the line-up for most of the month. After hitting the cover off of the ball at Triple-A, Parmelee was relegated to late inning pinch hitting duties as he only started three games the rest of the month. It was a strange and frustrating situation for the young player to be at the big league level but not getting into any action.

    He would spend most of the months of July and August in the minor leagues and opposing pitchers got sick of seeing him step into the batters box. He hit over .320 in each of these months and he belted 13 home runs and 13 doubles during this stretch. It was quite the offensive run for the 24-year old but there didn't seem to be a place for him on the big league roster. Morneau had been healthier than originally thought and Joe Mauer needed to spend more time playing first base. The outfield was full with Josh Willingham, Denard Span, and Ben Revere. This left Parmelee in the minors to where he ended up hitting .338/.457/.645 with 17 home runs and 18 other extra-base hits in 64 games.

    It's September again and the Twins have finally found a spot for Parmelee to get some at-bats in the line-up at the big league level. Span has been dealing with a pesky shoulder injury and the team decided that he needed time on the DL. This left an outfield spot open and Parmelee was more than willing to take on the role. He hadn't played in the outfield at all in the minor leagues during the 2012 season but the team felt comfortable giving him a shot to prove himself. In previous seasons, Parmelee spent some time as a right fielder so the position was not foreign to him. His bat was the more important thing and his hot September swing seems to have shown up again.

    Through the first four of games in the month, Parmelee has three multi-hit performances and a couple of home runs to his name. Since getting called-up from Rochester at the end of August, he has managed a hit in every game that he has played in and he seems to be a man on a mission. It's a very small sample size but it seems that he is starting to regain his confidence at the big league level.

    September Stat Summary: .467/.500/1.000, 2 HR, 2 2B, 4 RBI

    The question still remains, what will another good September mean for Chris Parmelee?

    By looking at the roster for next season, there is going to be the same problem for finding playing time for Mr. Parmelee. The outfield looks packed and first base will still be occupied by the M&M Boys. For Parmelee to get regular at-bats with the Twins, it seems like some kind of move will need to be made. One of the aging outfielders like Willingham or Span could be dealt for some pitching help. Morneau could be traded to take some money off the books and to free up a spot at a corner infield position. Parmelee has proven himself at the Triple-A level and he is a cheaper option than the players mentioned above.

    In a story published by the Star Tribune yesterday, it sounds like GM Terry Ryan wants to see who is deserving of a roster spot for 2013. Parmelee is expected to get as much playing time as possible between the multiple positions that he plays and it is up to him to show the front office that he doesn't expect to be making any return trips to Rochester for the rest of his career. A good September will start to wash away any doubts and it could make for some interesting speculation in the offseason.

    Where will Chris Parmelee start the 2013 season? Hopefully he will begin the year as a starter on Opening Day at Target Field.
    This article was originally published in blog: What will another good September mean for Chris Parmelee? started by Cody Christie
    Comments 39 Comments
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Yes, find a spot for Parm. I guess I would like to see another basher--having Mauer, Willingham, Morneau, Doumit ,Parmelee, Plouffe go from 3-8 (or 2-7) is pretty formidable.
    1. COtwin's Avatar
      COtwin -
      It is definitely a conundrum. Chris deserves a chance to play everyday. But at least for next year, Justin still seems to be in the teams plans for the future. Outfield is not Chris' strongest position and not having Span and Revere in there at the same time weakens the defense considerably in my opinion. Ideally Revere would be moved to center with Span either traded or in right, but I understand that this lessens Spans trade value. The question in my mind is this. Is Parmalee capable of being better in the next few years than Justin will be? If yes, than we trade Justin in the next year, until then platoon Parmalee with the outfield and first base. If no, I think we trade Parmalee. Sano seems like a likely candidate for first in the future anyway.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I fear that this OF being trotted out there is going to be the OF for 2013. This means mistakenly trading Span instead of Morneau. This means having a weak OF defense. I would maintain that there is no room for Morneau, Parmelee, Doumit, and Mauer all on the roster at the same time unless they just keep Parmelee in RF the whole time. The obvious solution is to trade Morneau for pitching and play Parmelee at 1B. But what obvious is not what the Twins will do.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      The answer has to be trade somebody (Morneau, Span, Revere, or Willingham). Who do you trade--whoever can bring the best starting pitcher. Morneau will be in his walk year and has concussion history (so I doubt he will bring much), Willingham is a DH playing in LF. So my guess is trading Span or Revere and playing Parmalee in RF next year. I would like to see him at 1B, but it is doubtul the Twins will get much for Morneau.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      If he mashes again, I don't see another alternative to trading both Span and Morneau before the deadline next July (at least one of which should be traded this offseason). With Mauer, Morneau, Doumit, Parmelee, Willingham, Revere (who is coming back down to earth), Hicks, and Arcia competing for spots in 2013, guys are going to have to be traded to clear space.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      I'd prefer they trade Revere before he reverts back to 4th OF status.
      Hicks is the CF of the future, and Revere doesn't hit near enough to justify at corner OF spot.
    1. Too Much Twins's Avatar
      Too Much Twins -
      I'd prefer this path:
      Trade Willingham this off-season for a respectable haul of pitching. He returns significantly more than Morneau or Revere, and frees up 7 mil for more pitching. Start next season with Revere, Span, and Parm in the outfield (he has little experience, but can't be much worse than the Hammer). Assuming another losing season and reasonable trade offers, trade Span for pitching at the deadline and call up Hicks sometime in July. 2013 off-season let Morneau walk, enter 2014 with Parm at first, a young outfield of Hicks, Revere, Arcia and hopefully a large haul of other teams' pitching.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      One would hope that an OF of Revere-Span-Willingham would be possible next year. Can't they make that work, please?

      Trading Morneau (I do think they could get quite a bit of value--it isn't like he is going to be making MORE than $14 million a year after 2013, so teams can think of him as a one-year rental or a longer term declining price option) is the most direct solution to the Parmelee situation that doesn't sacrifice much defense or speed. If the Twins pick up a bit of that $14 million, the return could be very good.

      I would prefer trading Revere over Span, as well (because of Hicks). That would have to be in the offseason, though. Span is going to draw more at the deadline.

      I would like to see Hicks actually get some time in RF in Rochester because of that arm. If they kept BOTH Revere and Span while promoting Hicks at some point next year . . . on some day off for Mauer or Doumit or Parmelee, the Twins would have a ridiculously awesome defensive OF.

      Convincing Revere to play LF and Willingham to play RF has to be on the damn agenda.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      There are so many scenarios for the 2013 OF/1B/DH/C rotation that a positive outcome should be available. I don't mean to be pessimistic, but I don't know that I trust his frong office to make the right decisions though. In recent years they seem content to do little and let the problems work themselves out either by letting young guys who could be in the majors sit in AAA or wait for an injury to make the decision for them.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Given the inflated price that prospects have gone for, one wonders why the Twins haven't even called up Hicks, who is also hot. The best thing may be for Parmelee to continue what he has been doing for his last 300 PAs (only), and bait a buyer like the Red Sox this winter. In a lost season, in September, there is little reason to start Span/Revere/Willihammer when they could be showcasing talent.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by Too Much Twins View Post
      I'd prefer this path:
      Trade Willingham this off-season for a respectable haul of pitching. He returns significantly more than Morneau or Revere, and frees up 7 mil for more pitching. Start next season with Revere, Span, and Parm in the outfield (he has little experience, but can't be much worse than the Hammer). Assuming another losing season and reasonable trade offers, trade Span for pitching at the deadline and call up Hicks sometime in July. 2013 off-season let Morneau walk, enter 2014 with Parm at first, a young outfield of Hicks, Revere, Arcia and hopefully a large haul of other teams' pitching.
      Willingham would bring back a fairly big haul, the biggest out of all of them. But that 30+ homer power is valuable for the Twins, and it comes cheaply. The debacle that was Joe Benson's 2012 season had quite an impact.
    1. Ultima Ratio's Avatar
      Ultima Ratio -
      I don't see a desperate need to trade anyone yet, other than clearing up the roster on paper. If we stand pat, and I think we should until a good trade is offered, this means that we have one nice pinch hitter option every game, and we have 2-3 guys who need to be pinch hit for, namely the middle infield and Revere in a late 2-out home-run-requiring situation. If Revere is the full time LF with a platoon in RF with Parmelee and Willingham, and a DH platoon of Doumit and Willingham, and a de facto platoon at C with Mauer and Doumit -- you get a key player a day of rest who serves as that pinch hitter once a week. I'm not suggesting a strict LHP/RHP platoon, but there are obvious matchups to exploit given this situation: such as sitting Parmelee or Doumit most often when facing a LHP starter. In the 9th, when Carroll/Casilla/Dozier/Frorimon come to the plate, it would be nice to have Doumit/Parmelee to pinch hit then.

      Also, with the health problems that invariable plague this team, this one-day-a-week rest day/PH scenario resolves itself with one injury.

      Caveat: This does not give Gardy license to play Willingham and Parmelee in the OF at the same time. And never, ever should Doumit step on the OF grass outside of warming up before the game.
    1. Siehbiscuit's Avatar
      Siehbiscuit -
      Move Span. OF of Willingham, Span and Parmalee. If we move Morneau at deadline, Parmalee can move to 1B fulltime and Hicks can take over in RF at that time. This will give Hicks a little more seasoning in the minors. Span will get better prospects than Morneau at this point.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Given the inflated price that prospects have gone for, one wonders why the Twins haven't even called up Hicks, who is also hot. The best thing may be for Parmelee to continue what he has been doing for his last 300 PAs (only), and bait a buyer like the Red Sox this winter. In a lost season, in September, there is little reason to start Span/Revere/Willihammer when they could be showcasing talent.
      Trade Hicks?

      No.
    1. DPJ's Avatar
      DPJ -
      Should have just let the Dodgers have Morneau for nothing.

      Money to spend on pitching and opens the door for Parm.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Trade morneau and Willingham. Put hicks, revere and arcia as the starting outfield, with span moving around on healthy days. Put parmalee at first, use the freed up money to get pitching or middle infield help.
    1. joeboo_22's Avatar
      joeboo_22 -
      Here is what is going to happen, Span will be moved in the off season. Revere will move to CF, Parmelee will continue in RF, where though not great, isn't terrible out there either.

      Now what I would do is move Willingham before the deadline, my guess is either Benson, Hicks or Arcia will be ready to play LF by then. If 2 are ready, I trade Doumit as well.

      The reason I don't trade Morneau before next year at the deadline is because of value. I'm not in the know but my guess is Morneau sells well with the average Twins fans, I bet they sell quite a few of his jersey's and his off the field events are pretty well attended.If Morneau showed up healthy next year and put up a .320 35HR 120 RBI's season with a different team it looks terrible on the Twins front office (that doesn't look great right now). So I think they would rather put up with a .260 25HR 80RBI season and let him walk unless a great deal comes his way next year.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      If you trade anyone from our surplus it should not be done to save money, but to obtain talent. In that case, Morneau is the WORST candidate to trade as he will bring the least in return. Span is killing his value with injuries, but I hope he gets back out there and finishes the season, because he makes the most sense to trade with the glut of CFers.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      If you trade anyone from our surplus it should not be done to save money, but to obtain talent. In that case, Morneau is the WORST candidate to trade as he will bring the least in return. Span is killing his value with injuries, but I hope he gets back out there and finishes the season, because he makes the most sense to trade with the glut of CFers.
      Trading Morneau is not about saving money, it is about being able to use that money to make one (just ONE, please, Terry?) FA starting pitcher signing that means something beyond the Jeremy Guthries of the world. Morneau could yield one top prospect and some lower prospect (the Twins could throw in something else like Swarzak and Bigley). He has one near full season with very few injury issues and is back to .270 and 20+ power.

      Willingham brings the biggest return, but he also is that RH power bat the Twins have lacked for a LONG time. There is only a "glut" of CF if you consider Ben Revere really to be a CF, which I don't. Hicks still has to demonstrate that he can be good to very good in AAA. Benson is a question mark. And BOTH could be RF as well.
    1. Huskerboy's Avatar
      Huskerboy -
      Quote Originally Posted by DPJ View Post
      Should have just let the Dodgers have Morneau for nothing.

      Money to spend on pitching and opens the door for Parm.
      Gets my vote. Morneau should be the first to go.
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