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  • What To Do With Chris Parmelee?

    He's at it again.

    Chris Parmelee's 2012 season could be looked at in two different ways. On the one hand, you had a rookie hitter who looked overwhelmed against major-league pitching. On the other hand, you had a 24-year-old absolutely demolishing in his first exposure to Triple-A pitching. He was far and away the best hitter in the International League that year.

    He followed up with a 2013 season that was simply a mess, both in the majors and the minors, and as a result he was outrighted from the 40-man roster this spring. He passed through waivers (somewhat surprisingly, from my view) and now he's back in Rochester. Once again he is looking fantastic at the plate.

    In 29 games for the Red Wings, Parmelee is hitting .327/.398/.589 with seven homers, seven doubles, 23 RBI and a solid 20/13 K/BB ratio. On Sunday he went 3-for-5 with two bombs and five RBI. He has a .939 lifetime OPS at the Triple-A level. He has mastered it.

    The problem is that he hasn't proven to be a good enough hitter in the majors. Since an impressive September call-up in 2011, Parmelee has hit .228/.302/.364 in 186 games with the Twins, and that's pretty terrible production for a guy who offers almost no defensive value.

    Because of the disparity between his numbers in Triple-A and the majors, many have branded Parmelee as a "AAAA player" -- a tweener who's too good for the minors but not quite good enough for the show. Maybe that's what he is, but it seems too soon to affix that label.

    Keep in mind: Parmelee is still only 26 years old. That's one year younger than Trevor Plouffe, who finally seems to be turning the corner now. And although he's been given several different opportunities with the Twins, Parmelee's MLB experience amounts to 631 plate appearances, which is barely more than one full season's worth.

    There's a saying that you don't know what you have in a player until he's reached the 1,000-AB threshold in the majors. Parmelee isn't close to that yet, and I'd say some extra patience is warranted in his case considering his age, his status as a former first-round pick and his domination at the highest level of the minors. It's too soon to give up on him being a useful piece.

    The problem, of course, is that there's no room for him on the major-league roster. The Twins already have Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel, Chris Colabello and Pinto occupying the DH/corner outfielder mix, with Oswaldo Arcia set to return shortly and Josh Willingham not far behind.

    If Mauer's back injury forces him to the disabled list, it's possible the Twins could bring Parmelee back into the fold. He probably wouldn't be in line for regular playing time, at least not right away, but he could be plugged in against some righties with the opportunity to earn a regular gig. That would be a very beneficial development for the Twins.

    At the end of the day, regardless of your feelings about Parmelee, he still probably has a better chance to be a long-term asset for this club than Colabello or Kubel. At a time when every decision ought to be made with the future in mind, at least to some extent, that needs to be a primary consideration.

    What do you think? What should the Twins do with Parmelee?
    Comments 106 Comments
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
      When I voiced concerns the roster had too many weak defensive outfielders (DH types) and essentially exchanging Kubel for Doumit wasn't a great idea specifically because it cost younger players chances to prove whether or not they belonged, several people responded by saying "The only thing keeping Parmelee out of the majors is Parmelee." I don't think that really holds anymore.
      I disagree, Kubel is a better outfielder and has thus far been a better hitter than Doumit, however I do agree that this team from the outset had been too weak fielding in the OF. At the beginning of the season, Parmelee hadn't made the case to bring him up, now he should be up. Partially he has made the case that he has very little left to learn at AAA, partially out of necessity.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      What's the difference? Why can't that mantra apply to both scenarios? A hot start to a career can be a mirage but not a cold start?

      Also, let's be clear: it's a stretch to say Parmelee has "laid eggs." It's not like he has been Hicks-like over 600 PA. He has a .717 career OPS in the majors, which isn't very good but also isn't exactly embarrassing.
      How do you reconcile this with this:

      At the end of the day, regardless of your feelings about Parmelee, he still probably has a better chance to be a long-term asset for this club than Colabello or Kubel. At a time when every decision ought to be made with the future in mind, at least to some extent, that needs to be a primary consideration.
      It almost seems like once guys reach the 1000 PA threshold then are already too old to be around anymore.

      Honestly, Kubel is the one guy of the 3 who has actually raked at the MLB level. Shouldn't he, by your logic, be kept?

      And Colabello hasn't reached 1000 PAs yet. Why should Parmelee take a spot on the 40 man at his expense if we don't even know what we have yet? Because he's 4 years younger?
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Honestly, Kubel is the one guy of the 3 who has actually raked at the MLB level. Shouldn't he, by your logic, be kept?

      And Colabello hasn't reached 1000 PAs yet. Why should Parmelee take a spot on the 40 man at his expense if we don't even know what we have yet? Because he's 4 years younger?
      Who's talking about removing Colabello from the 40-man to make room for Parmelee? There are plenty of other options.

      Kubel is obviously more accomplished and might be the better hitter right now, but honestly, do you expect him to be a more valuable asset than Parmelee over the next three/four years? Keep in mind that Kubel is already making $3 million and will make more going forward if he has a solid year. Keep in mind also that Kubel is at an age where skills tend to decline, not improve.

      I'm not saying there's an easy answer here. The Twins are doing well enough that they should probably just try to keep their best players in the lineup. But they are still clearly amidst a rebuild, and IMO Parmelee still deserves a chance to show he can be a part of the team's future.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      Injuries are kind of forcing Ryan's hand here. We need bats sooner than later.
      One of the reasons behind MLB having 40-man rosters is to allow teams to handle injury situations. Having to juggle the 40-man to handle injury is itself an embarrassment.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Kubel is obviously more accomplished and might be the better hitter right now, but honestly, do you expect him to be a more valuable asset than Parmelee over the next three/four years? Keep in mind that Kubel is already making $3 million and will make more going forward if he has a solid year. Keep in mind also that Kubel is at an age where skills tend to decline, not improve.
      Noted. And yes, I would bet on Kubel before Parmelee. The Twins, and even some of us fans, didn't need 1000 PAs to get absolute statistical proof that Chris Parmelee cannot hit ML fastballs.

      Kubel has proven that he can, over and over.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Or he could rot in triple A while a 35 washed up old gas been reliever continues to make the roster a 13, man staff at the expense of the bench.
    1. Jaykay's Avatar
      Jaykay -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
      Or he could rot in triple A while a 35 washed up old gas been reliever continues to make the roster a 13, man staff at the expense of the bench.
      This is so crazy it might work!
    1. MN43hurryBuxton's Avatar
      MN43hurryBuxton -
      Parmalee absolutely deserves a chance...sooner than later. The Twins should REALLY concentrate on helping him at the Majors. I'm surprised Boston didn't take him on waivers...another power hitting/non-defensive/all star in five years...it is possible.

      The AAA guys (pitchers included) need a chance now...since realistically we will not make the playoffs this year. I sure miss all of that speed in the OF...Gomez, Revere, Span....just too name a few recent ones. We went from Speedy to Needy really FAST!!

      As for pitching...I'm excited to see Yohan Pino get his chance..even before Meyer or May.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Noted. And yes, I would bet on Kubel before Parmelee. The Twins, and even some of us fans, didn't need 1000 PAs to get absolute statistical proof that Chris Parmelee cannot hit ML fastballs.

      Kubel has proven that he can, over and over.
      Yeah? Have you seen Kubel at the plate lately?
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Yeah? Have you seen Kubel at the plate lately?
      Dude turned into a pumpkin in a hurry. I had hope for him, given how he looked so solid at the plate in the early going.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      I know the whole 40-man roster crunch argument for not adding Parmelee but...

      if you don't give him the chance to prove himself this year, he's gone at the end of the season anyway.

      When Arcia comes back, there's a redundancy there. But Arcia has options, and based on what I saw from Ozzie before he got hurt, he should probably be spending more time at AAA.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      What is the point of having depth, if you won't use that depth when it is desperately neede?
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Yeah? Have you seen Kubel at the plate lately?
      How much of this is having to play every day? He's a platoon DH (with Colabello ideally) being forced into everyday action.
    1. Siehbiscuit's Avatar
      Siehbiscuit -
      IMO, this ENTIRE issue is because of poor CF depth and Gardy's desire to carry a 3rd catcher. Suzuki is not a part of the future here. Pinto will be. Pinto needs to catch more and not waste a roster spot because we want his bat in the lineup. Suzuki's bat has been a pleasant surprise, but he will regress. If Pinto needs AB's play him at catcher. Guys like Arcia, Colabello, Willingham can be DH. Unfortunately, Kubel HAS to be in the OF, because all these other guys suck out there.

      Hicks in CF when healthy. Fuld as the 4th OF. With Herrmann gone (why is he even on the 40 man? He provides nothing: can't hit and doesn't catch when he is here). Bring up Parmalee and play the guys that have the hot bat.

      Lastly, dump Guerrier and go back to a 12 man staff. He brings NOTHING that a younger couldn't. He's not even worth anything on the trade market. Silly signing.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Yeah? Have you seen Kubel at the plate lately?
      Should we do another lap on sample size? Kubel's had a lousy couple of weeks, no doubt about it. But he's earned a leash. Parmelee hasn't earned squat and its not for lack of opportunities.
    1. woolywoolhouse's Avatar
      woolywoolhouse -
      Reports are that the Twins purchased Parmalee's contract from Rochester today, to call him up (with a returning Hicks) to take the spots of Florimon and Hermann.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      If so, Arcia's wrist is worse than previously thought. So, maybe the DFAd Hermann? Or, whom?
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Wilson DFA'd
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
      Wilson DFA'd
      Of course it would be a center fielder. But he probably won't get claimed. Speedy little no-hit center fielders are like speedy little no-hit shortstops--a dime a dozen.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Should we do another lap on sample size? Kubel's had a lousy couple of weeks, no doubt about it. But he's earned a leash. Parmelee hasn't earned squat and its not for lack of opportunities.
      631 total PA's cobbled together over 3 years is opportunity? How much leash for Kubel? What's to be gained, the slight illusion of competitiveness for this year?
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