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  • Pedro Florimon In Line To Be Opening Day Starter


    "I love having him at shortstop."- Ron Gardenhire, 9/16/12, The Ron Gardenhire Show

    It didn't take very long for Brian Dozier to fall out of the good graces with the Minnesota Twins. The team gave him plenty of opportunities to showcase his talents as the shortstop of the future for the organization but he was unimpressive during his rookie campaign. This has left the door open for another player to step-in and get most of the reps at shortstop during the last couple months of the season. Pedro Florimon was the man the Twins turned to and he might be lining himself up to be a starter on Opening Day next season.
    On Sunday's edition of The Ron Gardenhire Show, Gardy had nothing but praise for Florimon and his performance so far with the club. There are obvious things to like about his defensive and those were the skills Gardenhire focused on when asked about his new shortstop. He likes his hands in the field and his ability to get to the ball seems to be as advertised from his time in the minor leagues. While there were some plays just out of the reach of Dozier, it seems like Florimon is able to complete almost every play that is asked to make. The offensive side of the ball is a little bit of a different story for Mr. Florimon.

    During his time in the minor leagues this season, Florimon didn't exactly strike fear into opposing pitchers. In time at the Double-A and Triple-A level, he hit .259/.318/.351 with only 27 extra-base hits in 424 at-bats. To say, his ability to hit for power is lacking would be an understatement. It is fine for a middle infielder to not have pop in his bat but this usually comes with the ability to be a contact hitter. For Florimon, his contact swing hasn't exactly developed in the minor leagues either. In 83 games with Rochester, he hit .251/.308/.344 so he wasn't exactly pounding down the door for the Twins to give him a look at the big league level.

    Since joining the Twins in the middle of August, Florimon has appeared in 29 games for the club with all of those appearances coming as a shortstop. His non-hitting prowess has followed him to the big league level as he has posted a batting line of .237/.290/.333 with seven extra-base hits in 29 games played. He has almost as many strikeouts (20) as hits (22) and this is another scary trend that has followed him during his trek through the upper minors for the Twins and the Orioles. It would be nice if he could steal a base or two but he was thrown out in 8 of his 21 steal attempts in the minors this season. He hasn't been asked to steal a lot with the Twins but his two attempts at the big league level have been successful.

    He is getting a shot with the team and it is hard not to wonder if this could turn into a more permanent role for next season. We have seen this before with Gardenhire falling in love with a slick fielding middle infielder with limited skills on the offensive side of the ball. It's not like Florimon is a young infielder working his way through the Twins system. He wasn't exactly fought over when he came to the organization as a waiver claim from the Baltimore Orioles organization. In December, he will turn 26-years old and it's hard to imagine his offensive skill taking a giant leap in the coming years. At this point in his development, he is what he is and the Twins have to deal with the player they have on their roster.

    The Twins entered this past spring with some question marks up the middle after signing veteran infielder Jamey Carroll as the team tried to forget about the nightmare of Tsuyoshi Nishioka. It seems more and more like next spring could have some of the same story lines playing out. Terry Ryan and the coaches for the Twins will tell the media about an opening contest for the middle infield spots but they will have an idea about where they want those positions to end up. Carroll, Florimon, and Doizer will all be in the mix for starting roles and even Eduardo Escobar might be given a look. Alexi Casilla is still arbitration eligible but it might be time for the Twins to part ways with him as his contract value starts to rise and his playing ability isn't where the club would like it to be.

    To most fans, Dozier might seem like a better option for the future of the club since he seems to have the vibe surrounding him about an up-and-coming prospect. The truth is Florimon and Dozier are both going to be 26-years old for the majority of next season and it could be make or break time for their careers as big league players. It seems like a situation where Florimon will be given the starting shortstop role out of spring training and the job will be his until he shows the team otherwise. Dozier will be sent to Triple-A to try and find success at that level where he could show the team he deserves a place with the big league club. Carroll will get the nod at second base but an injury or old age could mean Dozier gets the call.

    If I was making the roster, I would like to see Florimon sitting at shortstop to start the year because of his defensive ability. Dozier showed fans and the front office that he was lacking in some defensive areas at shortstop so I would give him the starting second base job. It could take some of the pressure off of him on the defensive side of the ball and let him relax when he steps in the batter’s box. This would leave Carroll as the utility man and it would also give the Twins some flexibility when it comes to giving players a day off in the field. Carroll has shown adequate ability to man most infield positions and this could be his role as he turns 39-years old before the beginning of the 2013 campaign.

    How would the middle infield look on Opening Day if you were in charge of the team?
    This article was originally published in blog: Pedro Florimon lining up to be Opening Day starter started by Cody Christie
    Comments 56 Comments
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      just a couple of games ago against the sox, he boots one early (didn't get scored an error) and then late middle of game he misses and deflects into the outfield with a runner on second, and then starts jogging half-a$$ed after it until he realizes that the left fielder is not going to get to the ball before him, and finally starts trying again......... but all too late. that was just lazy. if you project out his errors to number of games and compare his average at the plate and the fielding stats to dozier..... you will find that they are not as good as brian. but onward with the florimon love if you like. he is a mediocre space filler in my book.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Florimon as the starter in 2013 will last through mid May at best. He's not even a decent AAAA player.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      The shortstop carousel continues.

      This organization's inability to identify even serviceable options at one the most important positions on the field is mind-blowing.
    1. wavedog's Avatar
      wavedog -
      Agreed - if he is our starting shortstop next year - shame on the front office. Florimon is too inconsistent on defense - he'll make the great play but there are too many errors. I will say on the positive side, he is not totally horrible on offense and he has some speed and real good arm. But if we have someone who can't field - they should proably be hitting better than .240. I don't get to see many Twins games but those I have watched it seems like we sure misplay more than our share of infield balls. Dozier and Plouffe's meltdowns in Texas and Floriman's error in the 9th this Saturday on plays at key times in the game.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Gardy must be seeing something I'm not, because I can tell Florimon has the range and the arm to play shortstop but I'm still concerned about his hands and his concentration. His bat has been as advertised.

      I think I'd rather have Jamey Carroll as the regular shortstop.
    1. Oxtung's Avatar
      Oxtung -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      I think I'd rather have Jamey Carroll as the regular shortstop.
      Remember that if Carroll gets 401 PA's next season he has a PLAYER option for 2014 when he will be 40 years old. Would you still rather have Carroll?
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      I think I'd rather have Jamey Carroll as the regular shortstop.
      Remember that if Carroll gets 401 PA's next season he has a PLAYER option for 2014 when he will be 40 years old. Would you still rather have Carroll?
      Yes. If I'm the Twins I'm not thinking about $2 million for Carroll in 2014, I'm trying to put my best players out there.

      I really don't want Carroll there either, but I'd rather give him 401 PAs next year than give Florimon 401 PAs, option or not.

      BTW, I think Carroll's going to eclipse 401 PAs next season regardless.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      I think I'd rather have Jamey Carroll as the regular shortstop.
      Remember that if Carroll gets 401 PA's next season he has a PLAYER option for 2014 when he will be 40 years old. Would you still rather have Carroll?
      Yes. If I'm the Twins I'm not thinking about $2 million for Carroll in 2014, I'm trying to put my best players out there.

      I really don't want Carroll there either, but I'd rather give him 401 PAs next year than give Florimon 401 PAs, option or not.
      If Florimon gets 401 at bats next year... It will mean that he got better at some things and is doing a job. Therefore no problem... If he continues to struggle... He won't see 401 at bats in 2013.

      If Carroll gets 401 at bats next year... It will mean that Florimon and Escobar and Dozier or a new MI didnt get the job done and we needed Carroll to hold down the fort.

      Im hoping Carroll doesn't get 401 at bats for that reason.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      I think I'd rather have Jamey Carroll as the regular shortstop.
      Remember that if Carroll gets 401 PA's next season he has a PLAYER option for 2014 when he will be 40 years old. Would you still rather have Carroll?
      Yes. If I'm the Twins I'm not thinking about $2 million for Carroll in 2014, I'm trying to put my best players out there.

      I really don't want Carroll there either, but I'd rather give him 401 PAs next year than give Florimon 401 PAs, option or not.
      If Florimon gets 401 at bats next year... It will mean that he got better at some things and is doing a job. Therefore no problem... If he continues to struggle... He won't see 401 at bats in 2013.

      If Carroll gets 401 at bats next year... It will mean that Florimon and Escobar and Dozier or a new MI didnt get the job done and we needed Carroll to hold down the fort.

      Im hoping Carroll doesn't get 401 at bats for that reason.
      There you go. Are you confident that the Twins will have all of 2B, shortstop, and 3B locked down for an entire season next year? It hasn't happened recently. And look at the guys you named - I'd even add Plouffe to the list - how many do you think will be able to stick without needing to be replaced?

      Like I said before, it looks to me like Carroll will get enough PAs anyway.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      I think I'd rather have Jamey Carroll as the regular shortstop.
      Remember that if Carroll gets 401 PA's next season he has a PLAYER option for 2014 when he will be 40 years old. Would you still rather have Carroll?
      Yes. If I'm the Twins I'm not thinking about $2 million for Carroll in 2014, I'm trying to put my best players out there.

      I really don't want Carroll there either, but I'd rather give him 401 PAs next year than give Florimon 401 PAs, option or not.
      If Florimon gets 401 at bats next year... It will mean that he got better at some things and is doing a job. Therefore no problem... If he continues to struggle... He won't see 401 at bats in 2013.

      If Carroll gets 401 at bats next year... It will mean that Florimon and Escobar and Dozier or a new MI didnt get the job done and we needed Carroll to hold down the fort.

      Im hoping Carroll doesn't get 401 at bats for that reason.
      There you go. Are you confident that the Twins will have all of 2B, shortstop, and 3B locked down for an entire season next year? It hasn't happened recently. And look at the guys you named - I'd even add Plouffe to the list - how many do you think will be able to stick without needing to be replaced?

      Like I said before, it looks to me like Carroll will get enough PAs anyway.
      I am not confident at all. I think Plouffe is the guy at third and I dont believe the Twins will be looking for a 3B. The hot streak he had this year was stunning. Once you display a streak like that... the Twins would be foolish to not keep him in place in case he does it again. Go ahead and write Plouffes name down and etch it in stone.

      SS and 2B are huge question marks and so is the overall depth. The Twins have multiple holes to plug and itll be hard tp plug them all... I don't expect a big hitting SS or 2b to show up.

      Im not going to worry about .240 or .210 at the plate. The difference will mean very little. I'm gonna try and be reasonable and say simply... Give me someone who can gobble up the routine stuff and make the near impossible play every once in awhile. Florimon looks like he could be that guy but he has to nail down the routine stuff or he won't be given the chance to make the big play. He will lose the job to Escobar or Dozier or Carroll.

      Drew is not the answer. Please God no... Pitching is the priority so let's surround those pitchers with players who can get the ball up the middle. Florimon has done nothing to prove he is the long term answer so far... He's just shown flashes of ability that suggest he could be at the very least... A guy who will support the pitching and the pitching will need all the support it can get.

      Its all about opportunity and Florimon is getting his right now. It's up to him to grab it. He may not. Let's see... Too soon to say right now.
    1. Oxtung's Avatar
      Oxtung -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      I think I'd rather have Jamey Carroll as the regular shortstop.
      Remember that if Carroll gets 401 PA's next season he has a PLAYER option for 2014 when he will be 40 years old. Would you still rather have Carroll?
      Yes. If I'm the Twins I'm not thinking about $2 million for Carroll in 2014, I'm trying to put my best players out there.

      I really don't want Carroll there either, but I'd rather give him 401 PAs next year than give Florimon 401 PAs, option or not.

      BTW, I think Carroll's going to eclipse 401 PAs next season regardless.
      Fair enough. I guess I agree that Carroll is going to end up with the 401 PAs next season. There are too many holes to be fixed in 1 offseason and I think the Twins should target the rotation as priority #1. The player option on Carroll is just something that I think many people forget about and something that we should all keep in mind. It's essentially like signing Carroll to a 2 year deal this offseason if the Twins don't find more depth up the middle.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      I was.about to go check the 2013 FA SS and give a nice response with outside the org options. Then I remembered which team i follow.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      They didn't give Dozier a fair chance, actually. Players should have to demonstrate success at AAA before be thrown into a position for that long while continuing to struggle. The Twins were BIZARRE with him this year.

      Florimon might be fine, but Gardenhire's comments about him are obviously ridiculous.
    1. boney's Avatar
      boney -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      They didn't give Dozier a fair chance, actually.
      absolutely agree
    1. Jack Torse's Avatar
      Jack Torse -
      Dozier's not much better or worse in the grand scheme of things. Thier issues at shortstop is only the tip of the iceberg. Starting pitching is so bad that it's got fans "excited" about guys like Sam Deduno. It's part of a larger issue that the Twins have their stadium and are more interested in turning dimes than winning. Business as usual.
    1. Monkeypaws's Avatar
      Monkeypaws -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      The shortstop carousel continues.

      This organization's inability to identify even serviceable options at one the most important positions on the field is mind-blowing.
      Agreed - Apart from Zoilo, Gagne, and Smalley, this is the norm for the Twins at SS.
    1. Lesser Dali's Avatar
      Lesser Dali -
      I see that a few people think Brian Dozier received the short end of the stick this season with his opportunity. The reality is that he did not play very well. I can assure everyone that we have not seen the last of Dozier. I envision him getting a fair shake next season. My guess is that he is the opening day second baseman.

      Shortstop is another question all together. As this organization stands now there is no long term answer on our 40 man roster or in the organization. If the Twins want a better than stop gap shortstop, they will either have to acquire a shortstop from another organization or wait a number of years until they can develop one.

      The Twins had a somewhat affordable slick fielding shortstop two seasons ago who could also swing the stick a bit. They exchanged him for less than nothing and made some very erroneous decisions regarding the shortstop position in the 2010 off season. The Twins organization made this bed. Unfortunately, we all have to sleep in it.

      On the sunny side of things (not really), we are not the first organization to screw things up and won't be the last. 2011, 2012 and probably beyond is our turn to fester in the MLB landfill.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Talking about who is going to be the starting shortstop in 2013 right now, is like trying to pick paint color for your living room while there is a hole in your roof...

      Low priority. Unless this team upgrades the rotation in 2013 it will not matter who the SS will be, so it might as well be anyone.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Talking about who is going to be the starting shortstop in 2013 right now, is like trying to pick paint color for your living room while there is a hole in your roof...

      Low priority. Unless this team upgrades the rotation in 2013 it will not matter who the SS will be, so it might as well be anyone.
      Disagree. SS is an important position, one that makes a big defensive impact. I can handle amazing fielding SS if they can hit even a little, draw some walks, and maybe steal some bases. Florimon does none of that, and isn't even a very good fielder. I seriously don't get the love for this guy. Yes he is smooth and makes some nice plays, but how can the same guy that ripped Plouffe for inconsistency praise someone that has been just as bad? Plus, Florimon might not even hit over .200. Penciling him in for SS next year would be a terrible mistake and almost guarantee futility.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Florimon has not been very impressive defensively - the tools are there but the execution has not been.

      That said....on what is this insanity about Dozier not getting a fair shot based on? Hell, the guy basically had a scholarship for about a month and a half before he was finally demoted.
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