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  • For Minnesota Twins, the Future is Now

    We are reminded in the forums here daily that Twins fans have their (sometimes contentious) differences of opinion, but one thing everyone seems to agree on is that this season has been vastly more enjoyable than the previous two.

    In part, that's because the Twins are a far more respectable team. They are only four games below .500 and, outside of the notorious 10-game losing streak, they've generally played rather well.

    After so much sinking during the last two seasons, it feels nice to tread water.

    But staying afloat isn't by itself cause for excitement. What really seems to be keeping fans engaged is that, rather than hearing about the promising future, we're finally seeing it.

    First, there was Aaron Hicks. The former first-round pick was a spring star and has shown some nice flashes over the first half of his rookie season.

    Then came the unexpectedly early arrival of Oswaldo Arcia. The club has tried so, so hard to do the responsible thing and exercise patience with the exuberant 22-year-old, who last year around this time was playing in Single-A.

    But they can't help themselves. Any time a roster spot has become available in the outfield, the Twins have taken advantage of the opportunity to get Arcia on the team. And Ron Gardenhire has shown no hesitation plugging the youngster's game-changing bat into the middle of the lineup on a regular basis. The results speak for themselves. (Over the weekend in Cleveland, Arcia doubled, homered and drove in four runs.)

    Oswaldo Arcia is a promising Twins rookie

    Now, another key piece of the future arrives with the overdue promotion of Kyle Gibson. While the current rotation consists almost entirely of guys who are long- shots to be ongoing fixtures, Gibson is fully expected such a mainstay.

    Terry Ryan implied recently that when he called the top pitching prospect up from Rochester, it'd be for good. So, barring a meltdown in his first couple starts, Gibson likely won't be the one in danger of losing his job when Mike Pelfrey returns from the disabled list. Right now it looks like P.J. Walters and Scott Diamond will be the ones feeling the heat.

    That is, if the Twins feel inclined to make room for a veteran with the league's worst qualifying ERA who is signed to a one-year deal. Pelfrey has been better of late, but still not good. Whether we're talking present or future, it's tough to make a case that he's a superior option to any of Walters, Diamond or Gibson.
    This article was originally published in blog: For Minnesota Twins, the Future is Now started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 45 Comments
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Arcia:
      who last year around this time was playing in Single-A
      Thats amazing. I didn't think about this.

      Ron Gardenhire has shown no hesitation plugging the youngster's game-changing bat into the middle of the lineup on a regular basis.
      This is so nice to see. Too often Gardy gets the reputation of hating on young guys, but Hicks and Arcia are proof positive that he will go with the young untested hand if he likes what he sees.
    1. Red Bull's Avatar
      Red Bull -
      With Arcia, Hicks and Now Gibson on the team it seems like last seaons was the final chapter in a long book that had alot of ups but ended with some huge downs. This season is just the first chapter of the new book that is hopefully long and has a chapter titled: Twins win WS! I guess I will name this first Chapter: New faces in big places! Kinda cheesy but im willing to keep reading.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      The future, indeed, may be closer than I had thought.

      Arcia is one we have been waiting for and he is making us smile. Almost unbelievable that he was in A+ ball just a year ago. (edit: clutterheart beat me to it)

      I am one who thinks Sano is going to take a little more time than that, but Buxton may not and Rosario may climb the ladder quickly.

      We have May turning it on, Meyer on the mend, Darnell Logan and others pitching well. We could have a pretty competitive team next year.

      And maybe, just maybe, that 2016 season we are looking forward to could come to us in 2015.

      I love baseball!
    1. RodneyKline's Avatar
      RodneyKline -
      Doesn't all this talk of "the Gibson era" really just show how desperate we are for better starters? Is he really going to be the ace that this team has been lacking since Johan went to New York or is he going to be a middle of the rotation guy at best. He would not get this much attention if he was in any other system would he? Price, Strasburg, Verlander, Grienke etc are the type of dominating pitchers that other teams get excited about when they get their first call up. I hope he is in their class but I have a feeling that he is not that dominating starter that we need at the top of the rotation. I am just really tired of not having a real #1 or #2 starter and I don't see Gibson or anyone else in our system that can fill those empty spots. I really hope I am wrong!
    1. josecordoba's Avatar
      josecordoba -
      Quote Originally Posted by RodneyKline View Post
      Doesn't all this talk of "the Gibson era" really just show how desperate we are for better starters? Is he really going to be the ace that this team has been lacking since Johan went to New York or is he going to be a middle of the rotation guy at best. He would not get this much attention if he was in any other system would he? Price, Strasburg, Verlander, Grienke etc are the type of dominating pitchers that other teams get excited about when they get their first call up. I hope he is in their class but I have a feeling that he is not that dominating starter that we need at the top of the rotation. I am just really tired of not having a real #1 or #2 starter and I don't see Gibson or anyone else in our system that can fill those empty spots. I really hope I am wrong!
      God Bless Twins Fans!

      I'm guessing Top 50/75 Pitching Prospects making their Major League Debuts get quite a bit of attention in nearly any system.

      As far as whether Gibson only projects as a Mid-Rotation Starter? I can't say I'm not a Scout. What I can say is that even if he does project to be nothing but a Mid-Rotation Starters is that these pitchers have quite a bit of value. This is especially true with the current state of the Twins Pitching Staff.
    1. Ncgo4's Avatar
      Ncgo4 -
      If he is a legitimate "middle of the rotation" pitcher he will be the ace of our staff. Welcome aboard, Kyle.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I don't see future ace with Gibson, though it is a possibility. I think he's more a 2/3 guy... think Scott Baker when he's healthy and pitching well... not a bad pitcher, and definitely an asset for the next wave.

      This is really the first transition of several transition years, though the Twins still don't know what they have in Parmelee (lack of PT) and Plouffe (injury), which is a bit frustrating. Baring injury, I suspect that next year Meyer, May, Darnell, Tonkin, Sano, Pinto, and Rosario should all be transitioning into the majors at various points throughout the year. That should supply enough improvement to the rotation to see a .500 team for the first time in 3 seasons. I'm not sure next year's team will win anything, but they should stay reasonably close into the fall.
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      This is so nice to see. Too often Gardy gets the reputation of hating on young guys, but Hicks and Arcia are proof positive that he will go with the young untested hand if he likes what he sees.
      In Hicks' case he hasn't really been given any options.
      And if he wants to keep his job, he had to show greater willingness to embrace the young guys with this wave that's approaching.

      So far Arcia looks to be working out nicely (he's a Rookie of the Year contender). Sure would be nice to see Parmelee show some consistent hitting ability before Sept. He needs to prove he can hit in July & August to prove that he's more than just a 4A player.

      Nick's point is well-taken: this team is more fun to watch and easier to get behind because of the young players that are starting to break through. It's nice to have hope in the minors that people are buzzing about, but it's even better to have young guys breaking through at the MLB level at the same time!
    1. PeanutsFromHeaven's Avatar
      PeanutsFromHeaven -
      Very, very glad to have young talent coming up definitely ups the enjoyment of watching games.

      I think the Twins may need a get to know 'em style campaign to increase the goofy home-town allegiance factor for casual fans who don't tune in to a .500 team. (A la Gogo, Koskie, etc.)--wasn't it a Twins Daily user who called Arcia "The Blizzard of Os"...I like that nickname.

      Pitching problem tangent: I know that they're all pretty mediocre/bad right now, but any chance Pelfry comes back to find no job at all?
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by PeanutsFromHeaven View Post
      Pitching problem tangent: I know that they're all pretty mediocre/bad right now, but any chance Pelfry comes back to find no job at all?
      I think there's a pretty good chance of that happening. It boils down to Walters and Diamond and their performances over the next two weeks, really.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      Arcia:


      Thats amazing. I didn't think about this.



      This is so nice to see. Too often Gardy gets the reputation of hating on young guys, but Hicks and Arcia are proof positive that he will go with the young untested hand if he likes what he sees.
      I think this is an area where Gardy has grown. Of course, it helps to have low expectations. When he routinely benched young guys, it was usually in the middle of a pennant chase.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by PeanutsFromHeaven View Post
      Very, very glad to have young talent coming up definitely ups the enjoyment of watching games.

      I think the Twins may need a get to know 'em style campaign to increase the goofy home-town allegiance factor for casual fans who don't tune in to a .500 team. (A la Gogo, Koskie, etc.)--wasn't it a Twins Daily user who called Arcia "The Blizzard of Os"...I like that nickname.

      Pitching problem tangent: I know that they're all pretty mediocre/bad right now, but any chance Pelfry comes back to find no job at all?
      I think this back injury was really bad timing. Several reports had him going to Baltimore for a prospect. Now I think he'll need to come back and pitch decently for a couple of starts before that will happen.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      I would guess Walters would be the one out at this time. Gardy is a realist, he knows he needs the youngsters to grow up to win. He once was a minor league manager. So they will get chances. If the Twins pitch better could be around .500 this year. That would be way above expectations.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      It is much more fun to watch the Twins when they are young, and potentially getting better, than old with not much hope for the future. I'm thrilled Arcia, Hicks and Gibson are up this year. It has been too long between promotions of players that are legit MLB starters, which I think all three of these are. Things are looking up for sure.

      I agree with the above posts on some players that will transition up next year, though I think there is a chance Tonkin is up this year.....
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      We've seen a ton of young players come up who are still a long way from reaching their projected ceilings. Some will dissappoint, but don't discount this last wave completely as not being "legit". All of these younger players have a chance to get better: Florimon, Parmelee, Dozier, Plouffe, Gibson, Pressly, Hicks, Escobar, Herrmann, Hendriks, Hernandez, Thielbar, Oliveros, Arcia, Worley, Diamond, and even Deduno. If enough of these guys improve, and the next wave, which is legit even in the minds of the most critical among us, comes through, this will be a contender perhaps by 2016.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by RodneyKline View Post
      Doesn't all this talk of "the Gibson era" really just show how desperate we are for better starters?
      A little, there are other top pitching prospects who have come up with pretty big fanfare though. Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Shelby Miller and Garrett Cole come to mind and while Gibson is not quite at their prospect rankings, he's the top pitching prospect to come to the Twins since the Liriano/Garza/Perkins/Slowey/Blackburn call ups.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      One of the things I like about the near future for the Twins is that their farm system has a good number of non-prospect guys in it that appear to be doing well. Andrew Albers was being discussed for promotion before Gibson. Hernandez, Worley, Hendriks, DeVries, Herrmann, Colabello, Romero, Dinkelman and Richardson, all on AAA! Not to mention #20 prospect Michael Tonkin.

      One thing that worries me a bit is Oswaldo Arcia's emerging ego. Swagger is one thing, but too much "hooray for me" could start to suck the morale from the clubhouse. I hope Arcia remembers that when all is said and done, he's just a baseball player, not Super-duper man. We love the talent, but we could do without the Manny Ramirez antics. More Pujols, less Manny.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by jimbo92107 View Post
      One thing that worries me a bit is Oswaldo Arcia's emerging ego. Swagger is one thing, but too much "hooray for me" could start to suck the morale from the clubhouse.
      Where do you get this from?
    1. chuchadoro's Avatar
      chuchadoro -
      Quote Originally Posted by PeanutsFromHeaven View Post
      Very, very glad to have young talent coming up definitely ups the enjoyment of watching games.

      I think the Twins may need a get to know 'em style campaign to increase the goofy home-town allegiance factor for casual fans who don't tune in to a .500 team. (A la Gogo, Koskie, etc.)
      Get to know 'em (in the biblical sense!)


      - New TD campaign
    1. silverslugger's Avatar
      silverslugger -
      Perhaps a 6 man rotation when Pelfrey comes back? I'll admit, I was thinking Pelf was working his way into trade bait status. He'll probably have to prove he's back with at least 2-3 good starts which will put him up against the trade deadline. Between his status and Gibson's inning limit, whatever that may be, perhaps a 6 man rotation is in order. Even if we keep Pelf for the season, they are both TJ survivors and could probably use the extra rest. Heck, even if they eventually shut down Gibson we would continue to benefit from the 6 man by giving Albers an opportunity or giving Worley another shot at the rotation in August and September.
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