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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 batterís 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. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Ryan has stated repeatedly that the Twins will not be major players in free agency, even going so far as to make the laughable, empirically false assertion that the 2013 free agent pitcher crop is "thin". And he's also insisted there will be no major turnover in off-field personnel. Sounds like no significant changes to me.
      We have no idea what Ryan actually said in that interview. The only word in quotation was "thin", which was made in reference to elite pitching. To make any assertion about JR's beliefs requires several turns at the Jump To Conclusions mat.

      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      And as I said, no prospects are ready to contribute. Whether Arcia or Hicks get a cup of September joe has nothing to do with helping the Twins win in 2013. Gibson may surprise, but he's been dreadful in his first two starts at AAA.

      Oh, almost forgot,

      Player A Age 23 A+/AA 610 PA's, .287/.366/.436
      Age 24 AAA 282 PA's, .338/.457/.645
      Age 24 MLB 175 PA's .239/.303/.396

      Player B Age 22 AA/AAA 559 PA's .284/.370/.448
      Age 23 AAA 174 PA's .385/.477/.629
      Age 24 MLB 143 PA's .260/.322/.374

      If you're expecting a big boost from a full season of Player A, Chris Parmalee, then have a big steamy helping of Player B, David McCarty. Yes, there are differences, and reasons to be optimistic about Parmalee in the long term, but a half season of unprecedented AAA hitting isn't one of them. In other words, I didn't forget to mention Parm as a prospect ready to make a major contribution in 2013. I just don't see it happening.
      Gibson made two starts in AAA. Two. He jumped from GCL to Fort Myers to Rochester after only a handful of starts. I put absolutely zero stock in that performance, as he was still in the rehab stage. A full offseason and Spring Training will show what he's capable of doing, not ~10 rehab starts in the minors.

      Look at that first slash stat of McCarty's line. Yeah, that batting average of nearly .400 was sustainable, especially considering that it was a full .101 higher than anything he had previously posted during any significant stretch of MiLB hitting. He also did it over a measly 175 PAs in the hitter-happy-haven PCL (remember those days?). To top that off, McCarty went and posted six consecutive sub-.700 OPS seasons in the major leagues. Parmelee, on the other hand, posted a 1.100 OPS in September last year and is posting a .919 OPS this September. In the last 14 months, if Parmelee plays, he hits. That's all there is to it. Despite his inconsistent play and general jerking around by the front office and Gardy, he has still managed a career OPS over .800 in ~250 PAs. And while people tend to discount his MiLB numbers, they were remarkably solid. He posted an OPS of .800 or better in every season except two, his first full season in Beloit (which he followed with a .881 OPS the next season) and one in New Britain. He's been a very consistent hitter who never garnered much attention because of his lack of power (which is no longer a problem) and his position, first base.

      In short, the McCarty comp carries no weight.

      And there's no reason to think that neither Hicks nor Arcia will receive anything more than a September call-up in 2013. Both should start the season in AAA and if one of them is tearing the cover off the ball, we'll see him before the All-Star break.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Gibson made two starts in AAA. Two. He jumped from GCL to Fort Myers to Rochester after only a handful of starts. I put absolutely zero stock in that performance, as he was still in the rehab stage. A full offseason and Spring Training will show what he's capable of doing, not ~10 rehab starts in the minors.
      Not to mention he had a 10/1 K/BB ratio over 6.2 IP in those two Triple-A starts, which is... pretty good. Overall, Gibson put up a 4.13 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 33/6 K/BB in 28 innings on his rehab stint. Not sure how that can be viewed as discouraging for a guy less than 12 months removed from TJ surgery.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Not sure how that can be viewed as discouraging for a guy less than 12 months removed from TJ surgery.
      That he's pitching at all should be encouraging, much less the results. We just can't count on him for next year, but he's an intriguing "bonus" possibility.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Gibson made two starts in AAA. Two. He jumped from GCL to Fort Myers to Rochester after only a handful of starts. I put absolutely zero stock in that performance, as he was still in the rehab stage. A full offseason and Spring Training will show what he's capable of doing, not ~10 rehab starts in the minors.
      Not to mention he had a 10/1 K/BB ratio over 6.2 IP in those two Triple-A starts, which is... pretty good. Overall, Gibson put up a 4.13 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 33/6 K/BB in 28 innings on his rehab stint. Not sure how that can be viewed as discouraging for a guy less than 12 months removed from TJ surgery.
      Who said anything about Gibson's rehab being discouraging? I said three things about Gibson: two bad starts in AAA, could surprise people next year (the good kind), and as of right now, cannot be counted on to hold down a rotation spot (not 5th, though I didn't state that) on a Twins team that would hope to contend in 2013.

      I'm assuming that if you disagree with any of those points, it's the third. Gibson's progressed faster than I expected, but claiming certainty that he'll be a key contributor to a contending 2013 Twins team is beyond absurd in my opinion.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      I took it the same way they did. You stated that he was "dreadful" in AAA as though those two starts possessed any meaningful significance.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      I'm assuming that if you disagree with any of those points, it's the third. Gibson's progressed faster than I expected, but claiming certainty that he'll be a key contributor to a contending 2013 Twins team is beyond absurd in my opinion.
      But that's not the argument, is it? You claimed "no impact prospects ready to contribute". By that reasoning, it's impossible for any prospect "to be ready to contribute" until they've actually done so.

      Gibson should be ready to contribute by the All-Star break if his rehab goes as expected. Parmelee is already contributing. Arcia and Hicks have a good shot at contributing. No one is claiming certainty about anything, we're simply refuting your statement that "no impact prospects are ready to contribute in the majors next season". There are several who should contribute at some point in the season.
    1. Thegrin's Avatar
      Thegrin -
      After tonight's game, I am done with Florimon. If we have him as SS next year, the pitchers will be afraid that the ball will be hit at Florimon. The perfect IF = Florimon SS. Nishioka 2B. makes me want to vomit at the thought.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
      I took it the same way they did. You stated that he was "dreadful" in AAA as though those two starts possessed any meaningful significance.
      Then you missed the point the same way they did. Guess I'm not doing very well at getting that point across.

      If you think Gibson's shown as of today that he's ready to hold down a rotation spot on a contender, I disagree. Otherwise, your post makes absolutely no sense in the context of what I've been saying. My points were, going back to my first in this thread, that A) the Twins will not be contenders next year. B) Therefore, it couldn't hurt to see if Florimon can contribute (I'm thinking utility at best) by playing him ahead of Carroll, who will be 40 when I think the Twins might be relevant again. Which of those two points do you disagree with?

      If you disagree with my reasons why the Twins won't contend, that's fine. But at no point have I ever opined that any of the players in question would not play for, or even contribute to, the Twins in 2013. I just said that I don't think that anyone is ready now to contribute to a contender. Brock agrees with me about everyone about Parmelee, and he's probably wrong about him, unfortunately.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Is it that you believe the Twins will be a contender in 2013 despite being a 90+ loss team with the 3rd worst run differential in MLB, no impact prospects ready to contribute in the majors next season, and a GM who has vowed not to make virtually ANY significant changes in 2013?
      While I understand your sentiment, the Twins aren't nearly that bad off. Parmelee is already in Minnesota. Gibson, Hicks, and Arcia will probably make appearances in 2013. And where has Ryan said he's not going to make changes?
      Ryan has stated that the Twins will [explore every avenue of improving the team, including] free agency... Sounds like [he's willing to make] changes to me.
      Accurated up your post with the bold in brackets.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      With thirteen more games to go the Twins will have a better idea of what Floriman can can do. The stats guys here will tell you about his fielding at the end of the season. 13 games will give you a hint on offense what he can do. I would bet by seasons end he will prove himself to be a backup. Shortstop for the Twins is like being a drummer for Spinal Tap.
    1. Oxtung's Avatar
      Oxtung -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Ryan has stated repeatedly that the Twins will not be major players in free agency, even going so far as to make the laughable, empirically false assertion that the 2013 free agent pitcher crop is "thin". And he's also insisted there will be no major turnover in off-field personnel. Sounds like no significant changes to me.
      We have no idea what Ryan actually said in that interview. The only word in quotation was "thin", which was made in reference to elite pitching. To make any assertion about JR's beliefs requires several turns at the Jump To Conclusions mat.
      Thanks for carrying that torch RP!!
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Ryan has stated repeatedly that the Twins will not be major players in free agency, even going so far as to make the laughable, empirically false assertion that the 2013 free agent pitcher crop is "thin". And he's also insisted there will be no major turnover in off-field personnel. Sounds like no significant changes to me.
      We have no idea what Ryan actually said in that interview. The only word in quotation was "thin", which was made in reference to elite pitching. To make any assertion about JR's beliefs requires several turns at the Jump To Conclusions mat.
      Thanks for carrying that torch RP!!
      Heh, no problem. I really didn't like the quote and what it meant on the surface but given the context, there's little to be gathered from the vague way it was referenced in the article. We should all hope that it was terribly misleading.
    1. Wolfy's Avatar
      Wolfy -
      That was a pretty rough game for Florsy. He can't have a whole lot more of those otherwise he's going to have an empty bandwagon.
    1. Dilligaf69's Avatar
      Dilligaf69 -
      So barring any trades for an upgrade to our "middling" infield it could be Pedro at SS and Dozier at 2B where he'll most certainly be better defensively...assuming of course he gets time there in winter ball and in ST. Would that decision affect the Twins decision to try and trade Morneau..which btw I don't think is happening, but my point being with two relatively light hitting IF at SS and 2B and Plouffes inconsistecy can they afford to trade Justin??? You don't know what Parm is gonna do over a full season and they can't really afford sub par production at all 4 infield spots. So IMO you keep Justin, trade Span put Parm in RF and Revere in CF which is the likely scenario.
    1. Dilligaf69's Avatar
      Dilligaf69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      I'm assuming that if you disagree with any of those points, it's the third. Gibson's progressed faster than I expected, but claiming certainty that he'll be a key contributor to a contending 2013 Twins team is beyond absurd in my opinion.
      But that's not the argument, is it? You claimed "no impact prospects ready to contribute". By that reasoning, it's impossible for any prospect "to be ready to contribute" until they've actually done so.

      Gibson should be ready to contribute by the All-Star break if his rehab goes as expected. Parmelee is already contributing. Arcia and Hicks have a good shot at contributing. No one is claiming certainty about anything, we're simply refuting your statement that "no impact prospects are ready to contribute in the majors next season". There are several who should contribute at some point in the season.

      I'd be suprised if he's not pitching with the big club by early June at the latest.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dilligaf69 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      I'm assuming that if you disagree with any of those points, it's the third. Gibson's progressed faster than I expected, but claiming certainty that he'll be a key contributor to a contending 2013 Twins team is beyond absurd in my opinion.
      But that's not the argument, is it? You claimed "no impact prospects ready to contribute". By that reasoning, it's impossible for any prospect "to be ready to contribute" until they've actually done so.

      Gibson should be ready to contribute by the All-Star break if his rehab goes as expected. Parmelee is already contributing. Arcia and Hicks have a good shot at contributing. No one is claiming certainty about anything, we're simply refuting your statement that "no impact prospects are ready to contribute in the majors next season". There are several who should contribute at some point in the season.

      I'd be suprised if he's not pitching with the big club by early June at the latest.
      So would I. But he's pitched a grand total of 275 innings of professional baseball, most of it below AAA, and is early in the rehab process. Beauchamp offered Gibson as an example of a guy who can be counted on now to be ready to help the Twins contend on opening day. I see little evidence of that.

      Gibson may actually make the team with a strong spring based on need alone, unless the FO decides he starts in AAA no matter what. But the idea that the Twins would view themselves as contenders while simultaneously counting on Gibson, as of today, to hold down a rotation spot from day one is a big stretch. They'd be setting themselves up for another April apocalypse, especially if they fill other rotation spots with potential arsonists like Sam Deduno and his 1/1 K/BB ratio and 5.16 FIP.
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