Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Looking For Clues In September

    This season was supposed to answer some questions about the makeup of the next winning Minnesota Twins team. It has largely failed to do so. But there is still some time and some September callups which might provide some clues as to the proper moves to make this offseason.

    The Starting Rotation (recall Scott Diamond)
    I just deleted an introductory paragraph with a lot of stats because it showed you something you already know: the Twins starting rotation is very bad. It was very bad last year, too. And with no immediate help on the horizon, the question is whether the Twins can somehow avoid ďvery badĒ again next year.

    Ideally, the answer would involve giving time to younger pitchers with limited experience and some upside, like Scott Diamond, Liam Hendriks, Vance Worley and Kyle Gibson. However, Hendriks is here and Worley and Gibson are likely done for the year. That leaves Diamond, who has posted a 1.91 ERA since his demotion. In an ideal world, he would replace Mike Pelfrey, who would be traded for a Buterrific prospect from a contending team. Otherwise, shouldnít Pelfrey have an innings limit after coming back from Tommy John? Isnít he nearing it? Please?

    (Donít get me started on giving Kevin Correia a two-year deal. No. Donít. Iím not kidding. Be still.)

    The Bullpen (recall Michael Tonkin)
    The Twins one area of strength is the bullpen, so recalling Tonkin isnít absolutely necessary. Tonkin was hit pretty hard on Sunday, and has already passed his career high for games this season. It would be understandable if he was just shut him down when Rochesterís season ends, especially if they rely on him down the stretch.

    But one way the Twins could continue to build for the future would be to trade some relievers. The Twins already look like they have four impact relievers Ė Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Caleb Thielbar and Casey Fien. Seeing Tonkin in the majors could make them more comfortable shopping one of these guys, though trading relievers in the offseason (when there are so many free agent arms available) doesnít seem especially profitable.

    Catcher (recall Josmil Pinto)
    This is maybe the least likely callup, but there is a good reason to consider it. Just like re-signing Justin Morneau adds to the glut of corner fielding types, so does Ryan Doumitís guaranteed deal next year. The Twins have any number of players that could use at-bats from the DH or right field spots, which makes Doumitís primary value that of a catcher who can step in 70 games per year without embarrassing himself defensively.

    In some ways, Josmil Pinto looks like a similar player. He has shown he can hit at each level but, like Doumit, his defense is questionable. Playing him (and Chris Herrmann) in September might give a hint as to how aggressively the Twins could shop Doumit, who isnít particularly valuable, but can fill a valuable niche for some teams. It would also give the Twins some sense of their backup options if Mauerís concussion doesnít clear up immediately (and maybe give Mauer some extra rest).

    Center Field (recall Darin Mastroianni)
    We all wish Aaron Hicks was ready for the majors. Indeed, we all hoped he was. He wasnít, and after some initial struggles in Rochester and then some injuries, heís far from having mastered AAA. In fact, there is less evidence that Hicks belongs in the majors on Opening Day than there was at this time last year.

    So the Twins need to figure out what their center field options are. Playing Mastroiann and Clete Thomas as a platoon in September might hint as to whether the Twins need to spackle over that centerfield spot until Hicks is ready. (So might calling up Antoan Richardson and his.393 OBP, but Iím not holding my breath.)

    First Base/DH/Right Field/Left Field (recall Chris Parmelee)
    Iím also not holding my breath for this move, either. Three of these four spots are regularly tied up by veterans Ė Doumit, Morneau and Josh Willingham - and the leftover spot needs to be dedicated to Oswaldo Arcia as often as possible. That has left Chris Colabello on the bench a little too often - check that - a LOT too often considering he seems to be behind Wilkin Ramirrez and Chris Herrmann on the depth chart. Donít get me wrong Ė Ramirez and Herrmann both should be evaluated as bench players, but Iíd much rather evaluate next yearís possible first baseman.

    I can understand keeping Parmelee in Rochester. He is hitting just .223, and that isnít the front officeís fault. But 2012's version of Chris Colabello who tore up the Eastern League had "Parmelee" stitched on his back and heís four years younger and while he didnít break through in his 242 at-bats this year, he didnít crash and burn either. A September Parmelee/Colabello platoon makes sense as an experiment at any of three roster spots Ė first base, right field or DH Ė and its not like all the high-end talent in this lineup should prove an insurmountable obstacle.

    Shortstop (recall Eduardo Escobar)
    Instead, I suspect Iím going to see this. Iíll admit a bias against Escobar: heís never hit (even in the minors), his defense looked downright crummy with the Twins and heís the ďreturnĒ we got for Francisco Liriano. On the other hand, I have become irrationally attached to Pedro Florimon; he shines defensively, teased a little with some early hitting and the Twins stole him as a waiver wire pickup. If you think that last point doesnít really matter, then you donít know me.

    But Florimon is now just 27 points of the 600 OPS I feared he would ultimately have. Escobar has been hitting in Rochester - .287/.364/.419. More encouraging is that the 24-year-old (2 years younger than Florimon) has 14 BB and 29 strikeouts, which is a bit better than the nearly 1:4 ratio he had in AAA prior to this season. Finally, Escobarís defensive reputation is much better than he demonstrated in his fairly short time with the Twins.

    It makes sense to see if Escobar can reverse first impressions this fall. The problem is that if he succeeds, the Twins are right where they were to start the season Ė without any real answer at shortstop.

    But truthfully, that can be said for any number of positions. The Twins have more questions than answers. Perhaps September and itís callups will provides some clues.
    This article was originally published in blog: Looking For Clues In September started by John Bonnes
    Comments 70 Comments
    1. whosafraidofluigirussolo's Avatar
      whosafraidofluigirussolo -
      In fact, there is less evidence that Hicks belongs in the majors on Opening Day than there was at this time last year.

      I don't know. Were people seriously talking about Hicks' performance last year as a justification for skipping him to the majors? I think that thinking revealed itself only when the two incumbent CFs were traded. To a lot of us, promoting Hicks straight to MLB looked like rushing him in March, just as it does now.
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      My September goals are very modest. As of today Gibson and Correira are locks for next year's rotation. I don't care who it is, but I would like one more starting pitcher to cement a spot in next year's rotation.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      2014 Starting Staff:
      Correira
      Deduno
      Gibson
      Worley
      Diamond

      Meyer and May in AAA
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      2014 Starting Staff:
      Correira
      Deduno
      Gibson
      Worley
      Diamond

      Meyer and May in AAA
      Clutterheart, I think you're very close. I believe we will add a second tier FA, but good job!
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      2014 Starting Staff:
      Correira
      Deduno
      Gibson
      Worley
      Diamond

      Meyer and May in AAA
      Albers will take a spot from either Worley or Diamond. I'd watch out for DeVries, too. Guys that throw strikes are better than guys that don't.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      I agree that Meyer and May will start in AAA. The big reason I do not think that above will be the starting rotation is the need to fill the seats. I believe the Twins cannot do that without signing some decent FA pitchers. Maybe they will not take the money, but most of the Twins starting pitcher types are 2-3 years away and most of the Twins young hitting prospect will be here by 2015. Twins need a bridge until the pitching catches up. Beyond that it is possible the Morneau bridge has been burnt and the Twins need to see what Parmelle and Collabero can produce. Clete Thomas is not the answer, though I believe Hicks will start next year in AAA.
    1. tjsyam921's Avatar
      tjsyam921 -
      Coming into this season I thought we would see a lot of emerging young talent to get us close to at least wild card contention next year. But considering it still seems our rotation will be lacking yet again in '14 I'm pretty disappointed.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      I really hope Worley and Diamond are not in the plans right now to be apart of the rotation on opening day. I'm really hoping for a Johson/Santana/Lincecum type signing to add some dependability to the rotation. The Twins can't simply lean on Gibson, Meyer, and May developing. That is foolish. They need some actual talent, and its getting a little late to be crossing fingers on prospects.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Another year with zero prospects even available for call up......for a team whose entire strategy is built around the minors.....
    1. Monkeypaws's Avatar
      Monkeypaws -
      I was looking at BJ Upton's numbers yesterday, eerily similar to those of Hicks, worse even, except he makes 13-17 million and will do so through 2017.

      Upton .182/8 HR/21 RBI/11 SB/128K in 330 ABs.

      Hicks .192/8 HR/27 RBI/9 SB/84 K in 281 ABs.

      There was a month or so Hicks appeared to have figured it out. I'm hopeful he will rebound to at least major league average next season.

      It could be worse!
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Yovanni Gallardo on revocable waivers. Claim, make a deal, take on the salary, and start getting ready for 2014's pitching staff.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
      Yovanni Gallardo on revocable waivers. Claim, make a deal, take on the salary, and start getting ready for 2014's pitching staff.
      Two very, very, very different ways to read this comment.......
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Gallardo has a year,and club option left. 11mill, 13 mill

      Very reasonable for a pitcher that is better than anything the Twins have.

      Has a very good track record. They should be proactive and try to improve the team, rather than look at a not-that-great FA class, which basically means dumpster diving by TRyan anyway.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      The time to figure out the players who will fill in around Sano, Rosario, and Buxton started awhile ago, and yet the Twins have done little to figure it out. Willingham, Doumit, and Morneau do nothing for the future and I cringe when I think about all of them being with the team next year. Arcia and Dozier have made it, though Arcia is a borderline DH and Dozier at second base is a problem given Rosario. It would seem to me that Parmelee and Colabello need a full tryout, and it might eventually be a good idea for Plouffe and Parmelee to form a platoon (look at those L/R splits) together at first or in right. I would think that Escobar is going to simply replace Carroll for awhile in 2014.

      The pitching situation cannot be remedied by bringing in another Correia or Pelfrey type. Spending on Johnson, E. Santana or someone like that and then figuring something out around that FA signing is what I would do. Meyer and May need to arrive sometime next year. Hendriks needs to be pitching for the Twins the remainder of the year.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I would spend on Gallardo in a heartbeat.
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      I would spend on Gallardo in a heartbeat.
      11/13 mill is cheap in the pitching market for a guy better than any of the flotsam on this team now. So they can add payroll? PROVE IT. Make a move for the better, instead of dumpster diving, then trying to convince fans that the garbage picked up is actually going to make the team better.

      Currently 5 games better than last year. Big whoop. Finish that way. You still lose 91 games.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      I would spend on Gallardo in a heartbeat.
      I agree with your previous post, but not this one. Some major red flags there around his K rates and mph's.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
      I agree with your previous post, but not this one. Some major red flags there around his K rates and mph's.
      It's just this season, though. Something has been wrong, clearly, this year. I would still take the chance.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      I would let Pelfry and Correia walk if someone claimed them on waivers. Would be tempted to do the same with Willingham, just to free uo 40-man spots to bring up some prospects in September.

      Like they did with Dozier last season, I would not bring up Hicks or Parmelee (assumning we can add another outfield prospect to the 40-man).

      I would bring up Escobar. I would bring up Santana. I would bring up anyone on the 40-man roster to give them a taste of the big leagues and evaluate if they should remain on the 40-man roster.

      That includes, injury healed, Cole DeVries and Pedro Hernandez. Some innings from them and any kind of showing would make a Swarzak or Duensing available as tradebait. If they flounder, you question keeping them on the 40-man. You also bring up Hermsen and May from New Britain...because you can. Hermsen had an awful year and the Twins need to make a choice if he is worthwhile to keep in development or to languish in the minors. That spot he is holding is valuable. Should he keep it? Should the Twins cut him and hope no one else grabs him. That is the question. DeVries deserves one minute chance to shine again in the majors. Hometown kid. Raw break by coming north and blowing it at season's beginning by being injured. Again, if he shows anything worthwhile, you keep him, otherwise he becomes another Mike Restovich.

      I would also bring up Pinto, especially if you downplay Mauer for the rest of the season. Give him and Herrmann innings behind the plate. One or both of them will start at Rochester next year as the Twins figure out Doumit's value.

      The pain is that the Twins don't need to add guys like San to the 40-man this early. They actually don't have to add Sano until next fall, but can invite him and others to spring training to see if they are available for use on the roster earlier rather than later next season.

      Oh, yes, Mastro gets called up. Yes, Richardson deserves a shot, too. But Mastro, Thomas, Ramirez really don't deserve 40-man spots going into the offseason, although they will hold them down for the moment. You can always remove guys from the 40-man who were on it at season's end. You can't remove those added in November, right, until after the season opens. Correct me if I am wrong. So you need a few movable bodies for free agent signings (dream) and the like.

      It's a tough job being general manager right now. You are looking at servcie time issues. You are looking at 40-man needs of team and players. You are hoping the New Britain team can move up to Rochester next year and you may not have to sign 29 minor league free agents (see 2013 Minnesota Twins Roster - Majors View ).

      Yeah, they should be mlooking at Beresford, Bigley, Darnell, Dean, Hanson and all the minor league superstars in September.......
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Would people give up Rosario for Gallardo? If not, how do you propose the Twins acquire him?
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.