Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Are Gibson, Hicks Destined For Rochester?

    Some of the most intriguing spring training battles for the Twins are the race for the starting center fielder job and for the last spot in the rotation. Two of the best prospects for the Twins are in the middle of these battles and they both have been putting together decent starts this spring. But even if the rest of the spring goes great for Aaron Hicks and Kyle Gibson, they could be destined to start the year in Rochester.

    There are a few different reasons to think that the Twins will be patient with these two young players. irst, there is opportunity. The team isn't suppose to be contending in 2013 or maybe even 2014. This means there is no rush to get either of these men to the big leagues. They can both be given the opportunity to find success at Triple-A.

    Second, long-term control and money is a factor.

    If the team waits until a few months into the season, they can control these players for an extra season. There are also rules in place for players that get called up in the first couple months of the season to let them reach arbitration as a super two player. The Twins could avoid some of this hassle by letting other players take their spot on the roster until the middle part of the year.

    Finally, each player's history suggests a slower immersion could be beneficial. Hicks has a history of slow starts when he advances to a new level. He played all of last season at the Double-A level so making a two level jump could be hard on him. The team has been very patient with him up until this point and it makes a lot of sense for the club to continue their patient ways.

    The Twins have been clear that Gibson will be on an innings limit this season. It is his first full year back from Tommy John surgery and it is important to be cautious with a young arm. If the Twins want to control his innings at the beginning of the year, it will be easier to do this in Rochester. They don't want a player in the major league starting rotation that has to be pulled early to keep his innings down.

    Within the organization, there might be some debate. While the front office might want Hicks and Gibson to get a little more experience, the manager might not be in a position to wait for the future. Ron Gardenhire is in the last year of his deal and he can't really afford for the club to get off to a slow start. He has said that he wants Hicks to have a shot to start and Gibson has a brighter future than some of the other rotation options.

    With the moves the Twins have made this offseason, their farm system is considered one of the best in the game. Most of their top-level talent hasn't made appearance above the Double-A level. For now, it looks like a waiting game as these players work their way through the minor leagues.

    So when will the next winning team grace fans at Target Field?

    The estimated arrival time for Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer, Trevor May, and Byron Buxton might not be until 2014, 2015 or 2016. If those players make up the core of the next winning Twins team, it might be best to still have multiple years of control over Gibson and Hicks.

    There are going to be reasons to keep Gibson and Hicks with the big league team for the start of the year. However, the reasons to keep them in the minor leagues might outweigh those that are in favor of keeping them up.

    So what do you think? If Gibson and Hicks earn the jobs, should they start the year in Minnesota? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
    This article was originally published in blog: Gibson, Hicks might be destined for Rochester started by Cody Christie
    Comments 128 Comments
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      The Twins had plenty of guys who succeeded after being picked in later rounds as well... But is that a skill that can be maintained over time? That's far from a given and Tampa certainly hasn't proved that they can do it.
      I think it's evidently apparent that the Rays identify draftable talent and minor league talent very well. Furthermore, their cash flow position has forced them to become very shrewd evaluators (talent and cost) of major league talent.

      IE:

      1)Young for Garza and Bartlett/
      2)Garza for Archer (BA #36 Prospect) & Fuld("best #4 OF in BB")/
      3) Shields for Myers (BA #4 Prospect), Montgomery(BA #23 Prospect), Odorizzi(BA# 92 Prospect).

      The Rays have their act together in evaluating and developing talent in all departments, and never make an excuse about playing in the toughest Division in baseball- or playing in the worst park, in the worst market in baseball. (Hire Matt Arnold).
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      I fear what the Twins are about to step in, even with their best foot forward. Particularly when they needlessly tied one hand behind their back!
      Perhaps... Or perhaps not... But the worm must turn regardless.

      If the front office has indeed needlessly bound one hand.

      You can't ask the team... The coaches... The anyone... to just simply die and not fight with the free hand before the struggle even begins.

      Personally... I don't have a problem with the Twins delaying the Arb clock in Hicks case and I don't have a problem with Hicks starting opening day.

      If Hicks is clearly ready and clearly the best option... Suit him up... If he's not clearly better right now. Give him some AAA time to finish cooking a little and save the year of team control.

      I will only be concerned if the Twins kept Hicks down because the front office said... cuz we are gonna suck anyway. That would be impossible for me to support.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      Perhaps... Or perhaps not... But the worm must turn regardless.

      1)If the front office has indeed needlessly bound one hand.

      You can't ask the team... The coaches... The anyone... to just simply die and not fight with the free hand before the struggle even begins.

      2)Personally... I don't have a problem with the Twins delaying the Arb clock in Hicks case and I don't have a problem with Hicks starting opening day.

      If Hicks is clearly ready and clearly the best option... Suit him up... If he's not clearly better right now. Give him some AAA time to finish cooking a little and save the year of team control.

      3)I will only be concerned if the Twins kept Hicks down because the front office said... cuz we are gonna suck anyway. That would be impossible for me to support.
      1) I think the evidence suggests they have tied the knot. (ie, AA OF expected to make the double jump promotion, cover his own defensive area, plus nearly half of the inadaequately manned LF and RF zones, as well...and, oh, bat leadoff besides). Can we agree that for the Twins to be contending season-long, although hope indeed springs eternal, is as likely as rolling two consecutive 7s and the FO knows this to be the case?
      And let's say both Hicks and Gibson hit as 7s, there are still way too many more guys that are almost certain to roll snake-eyes. [(1/6)^2, or 2.8%- it could happen, but they have instead chosen to get leaner and meaner for the interim, take their lumps the next 2 years and look 3 years out to 2015.]

      2) On Hicks immediate future, I am in firm agreement and I like his chances a lot better than Dozier's of making it, but man, that's a lot of pressure on a first-year kid, especially if the intention is "winning". The fact that Podsednik was floated by the Twins as a possible CF alternative tipped their hand pretty much that they will go with any run-of-the-mill placeholder at the first sign of Hicks faltering, the Podfather isn't exactly a candidate for Shannon Stewart-status as The Difference Maker.

      3) The Twins, of course, will never say this, but their offseason inactions (and aforementioned actions) spoke volumes. I got in trouble with some in the dog days of last season for predicting that the Twins were going to follow through with their whisper campaign of taking a meat cleaver to the payroll. Now that they actually exceeded my worst fears, looking at the potential draft class in 2014 (looks pretty promising), are the Twins no lo contendre-ing on purpose to get another top 1-3 pick?, And, therefore, planning on further gutting the lineup midseason (wholesale trade of the usual suspects) and/or receiving a supplemental pick for Morneau on a QO?

      Conclusion: The Twins are likely going to give H & G a good chunk of the year at the MLB level in '13 to get their feet under them with the Twins (possibly along with Arcia when a spot open up at the trade deadline), and begin the staggered 3-year process across the bridge of MLB promotions. "Winning" sure seems like a secondary priority with all these impending machinations, particularly for an organization unwilling or unable to multitask in the FA and Trade Markets for needed positional players and affordable quality SPs this offseason.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I think it is now a given that Hicks will be a Twin out of the gate and that Gibson will be in Rochester. We'll see if I am wrong.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      1) I think the evidence suggests they have tied the knot. (ie, AA OF expected to make the double jump promotion, cover his own defensive area, plus nearly half of the inadaequately manned LF and RF zones, as well...and, oh, bat leadoff besides). Can we agree that for the Twins to be contending season-long, although hope indeed springs eternal, is as likely as rolling two consecutive 7s and the FO knows this to be the case?
      And let's say both Hicks and Gibson hit as 7s, there are still way too many more guys that are almost certain to roll snake-eyes. [(1/6)^2, or 2.8%- it could happen, but they have instead chosen to get leaner and meaner for the interim, take their lumps the next 2 years and look 3 years out to 2015.]

      2) On Hicks immediate future, I am in firm agreement and I like his chances a lot better than Dozier's of making it, but man, that's a lot of pressure on a first-year kid, especially if the intention is "winning". The fact that Podsednik was floated by the Twins as a possible CF alternative tipped their hand pretty much that they will go with any run-of-the-mill placeholder at the first sign of Hicks faltering, the Podfather isn't exactly a candidate for Shannon Stewart-status as The Difference Maker.

      3) The Twins, of course, will never say this, but their offseason inactions (and aforementioned actions) spoke volumes. I got in trouble with some in the dog days of last season for predicting that the Twins were going to follow through with their whisper campaign of taking a meat cleaver to the payroll. Now that they actually exceeded my worst fears, looking at the potential draft class in 2014 (looks pretty promising), are the Twins no lo contendre-ing on purpose to get another top 1-3 pick?, And, therefore, planning on further gutting the lineup midseason (wholesale trade of the usual suspects) and/or receiving a supplemental pick for Morneau on a QO?

      Conclusion: The Twins are likely going to give H & G a good chunk of the year at the MLB level in '13 to get their feet under them with the Twins (possibly along with Arcia when a spot open up at the trade deadline), and begin the staggered 3-year process across the bridge of MLB promotions. "Winning" sure seems like a secondary priority with all these impending machinations, particularly for an organization unwilling or unable to multitask in the FA and Trade Markets for needed positional players and affordable quality SPs this offseason.
      On point #1... You and I are in agreement... I also do not expect season long contention. I do have some realism in my bones... I just know that the realism bone isn't real and means nothing. I predict in 2013 that some good teams are gonna suck and some bad teams are gonna be great... It happens every year.

      But I can't go along with the suggestion that hands were purposely bound and knotted.

      On point #2... I believe we do agree on Hicks but I don't understand the Scotty Pods bit. Rumors are Rumors... A rumor about Scotty Pods could have been made up by anyone playing the home game and speculating... I'm sure it's quite possible that Pods was brought up in discussion amongst Twins staff but... If the Twins were serious about Scotty Pods... He'd be here. Mastro and Boggs appear to be the run of the mill placeholders and I don't like calling them that.

      #3... I don't know. I'm just not worried about payroll.

      I think we will see a bunch of Gibson and Hicks and Arcia this year and I'm pumped.

      "Affordable Quality" both of those words are very hard to define in the context of baseball players. Was Edwin Jackson affordable? Was he Quality? Both are very debatable and its an eye of the beholder discussion.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      I think it is now a given that Hicks will be a Twin out of the gate and that Gibson will be in Rochester. We'll see if I am wrong.
      I agree and I think the key to you being right is:

      If Spring Training is actually going to determine the outcome. If it is... Benson and Mastro have some serious catching up to do. Hicks is trying to grab the job with both hands right now and it's fun to watch.

      Another clue for me is this... When Hicks and Benson are in the lineup together... Who plays CF? It's been Hicks so far.
    1. Linus's Avatar
      Linus -
      Gibson is in the process of making this decision very easy with his recent spring performances. Of course it is certainly possible for him to sharpen up before camp breaks but if this is what its going to look like, he's in AAA for sure. Hicks on the otherhand, is really going to force the issue with his excellent play. I suppose Mastro could do very well and give the Twins a chance to send him to AAA for service time reasons but he's gonna be up soon if not right out of the gate. I think Gibson still has a lot to prove before you start penciling him into the Twins rotation.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      If you base it on spring training then that's true but I actually think the opposite is true. I wouldn't be surprised if Mastro outperforms Hicks this year.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.