04-01-2014, 09:32 AM #1
Any thoughts on the top of the 8th yesterday?
Twins were behind 2-5. Due up were Hicks and Florimon for their 3rd PA against Sale, then Dozier for his 4th.
Hicks roped a double, then Gardy pulled Florimon back and put in Escobar to PH. (Sale remained in the game).
On the bench at this point were: Pinto, Bartlett, and Kubel.
edit: Down 2-5 at the time, not 3-5
Last edited by Willihammer; 04-01-2014 at 10:18 AM.
04-01-2014, 09:38 AM #2
Works on contingency? No, money down!
Kevin Slowey was Framed!
04-01-2014, 09:41 AM #3
Kubel would have made no sense against Sale. Pinto would have, but would have meant losing two players. I personally don't think that Escobar is much better than Florimon offensively, so I probably would have just let Florimon hit. But, I get it.
04-01-2014, 09:42 AM #4
This is an indictment on Florimon.
If he's such a terrible hitter that he needs to be sac bunting in the third... and then is pinch-hit for by Escobar... he shouldn't be in the lineup at all.
04-01-2014, 10:00 AM #5
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04-01-2014, 10:03 AM #6
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If I recall, Escobar delivered some winning hits late in ST games. Gardy does like going with the hot hand. Especially when you have few.
04-01-2014, 10:04 AM #7
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I think he should have left Florimon in there. He is capable of moving a runner overI couldn't be a player because of bad eyesight, so I decided to be an umpire instead.
04-01-2014, 10:04 AM #8
04-01-2014, 10:07 AM #9
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I am not overly worried about losing two players via one switch. If the worst case is you tie the game up and have one or no options in extra innings, well you are still playing in extra innings when you otherwise would not have been. With Florimon out of the game, you are probably not needing many more pinch hit at bats anyway.
On a side note, I think we are going to have a lot of these second guessing scenarios, because we have a few terrible hitters in our lineup and a coach that doesn't manage the lineup/roster moves very well and has irrational worries.
Last edited by tobi0040; 04-01-2014 at 10:13 AM.
04-01-2014, 10:09 AM #10
Also, maybe Gardy is in agreement with the folks who like Escobar better than Florimon vs LHP. Still, Florimon handled himself fairly well in his first two PA against Sale (no strikes missed or caught looking, worked the count full in his previous PA too) so it seemed a weird time to change course, for marginal benefit.
That situation pretty much screams for Pinto. He's more likely to get a hit, more likely to draw a walk, less likely to strike out, and FAR more likely to hit a HR than any of the other bench options, pretty much regardless of pitcher handedness. Wonder if Gardy would have approached it differently if the batter was the potential tying run?
Part of the benefit of playing a veteran like Suzuki (particularly one with a reputation as a durable gamer) is that it's less critical to always have a backup catcher available. If Suzuki gets dinged up, you're not risking your future to keep him in the game (where you otherwise might remove Mauer, Pinto, etc. for precautionary reasons). Basically, Suzuki shouldn't have to come out unless he suffers a catastrophic injury, so we should be able to deploy Pinto a lot more liberally, especially in the late innings. Swapping Bartlett for Hermann might be necessary here?
04-01-2014, 10:12 AM #11
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04-01-2014, 10:13 AM #12
So, Florimon's spot did not represent the tying run, although I'm not sure how much that distinction mattered. It clearly looked like it could be our best chance to get back into the game.
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04-01-2014, 10:14 AM #13
04-01-2014, 10:15 AM #14
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I had these questions at the time.
Does Escobar give us the best chance to win? Using the roster to win games is Gardenhire's responsibility.
If Gardenhire doesn't use Pinto now, would there ever be a better point? I couldn't foresee a better point in yesterday's game. The only reason not to use him is that one of the three other guys gives them a better chance to win.
In what game situation would Bartlett be useful? I suppose his leadership on the bench was helpful at that moment.
If Herrmann is on the roster instead of Bartlett, does Gardenhire use Pinto? Maybe that third catcher isn't so bad after all.
I assume that Gardenhire thought that using Escobar gave them the best chance to win.
04-01-2014, 10:18 AM #15
Additional thought: should we have pinch-hit Pinto for Suzuki later in the inning?Still wasn't a tying run scenario, but with 2 outs, reaching base was critical for extending the inning, and a HR or XBH was especially critical to scoring runs.
We all "Zuke" was the hero of the day, but in general, wouldn't that be the preferred move? You lose your backup catcher, but you get a fresh one, with a better bat, and in this situation, you potentially get Sale out of the game at that moment (assuming Chicago would have gone to the pen there to face a better RH bat than Suzuki).
04-01-2014, 10:20 AM #16
Not necessarily disagreeing with anything I've read here, but I do believe that Escobar is/could be a much, much better hitter than Floriman. Escobar had a nice AVG in the minors and a great stretch to start the year last year. How can you all bemoan (perhaps rightly so) Floriman's bat and not feel that ANY substitution was for the good in that spot?
That being said, Pinto should have been put in there. If you're not willing to give him that AB due to the catcher thing, AND you're not willing to let Mauer catch 2 innings, then drop Bartlett like's he's hot and bring up Hermann.
04-01-2014, 10:24 AM #17
Last edited by Willihammer; 04-01-2014 at 10:29 AM.
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04-01-2014, 10:40 AM #18
But therein lies the story of yesterday's game. The failures weren't on the fringes. The failures were with the players the Twins were counting on. While I have faith that Mauer will eventually get his game going, I have to see proof of a Dozier return to last year's form, Willingham and Kubel returns to something better than 2013 and a breakthrough from Arcia.
One game does not a season make and it could all be reversed tomorrow with the fringes doing badly and the heart doing well -- the question is whether they ever get it together so that all parts of the line-up function with some competence. It's been a long time since we've seen that.
Last edited by JB_Iowa; 04-01-2014 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Changed 2012 to 2013. Forgot a year in there!
04-01-2014, 10:43 AM #19
I was a little intrigued by Escobar's late season run at Rochester last year, but he looked pretty much the same as ever in the Winter Leagues and in spring training:
It was clearly the most lateral move on the bench yesterday.
04-01-2014, 10:49 AM #20
Rendered all the more bizarre when you consider Florimon is 3 for 9 lifetime vs. Sale, whereas Escobar had never faced him.
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