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Thread: Thoughts After One Series

  1. #21
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Joe A. Preusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I think Hicks needs to stay right where he is until he builds up enough confidence and consistency to move up the lineup. Let the kid get into a groove.
    Hicks looks very comfortable and confident to start the year. It took him a long time to look that way last year (did he ever?). Bottom line is the team needs him to leadoff and he looks capable right now. If you want to give him another series or two to build confidence, then maybe try Plouffe leading off? It's either that or plug Suzuki back into the 2 hole; worked for a game but not a good long term idea. Doz - Mauer - Hammer just isn't potent enough to lead our lineup.

  2. #22
    My initial thoughts are:

    1. Bullpen is getting me a little nervous (but it was like 30 out, so not too worried)

    2. Nolasco and Hughes had decent first starts. (If they keep the ball in the park...ooh boy what they could do.)

    3.Top of lineup needs to find something.

    4.Bottom of the lineup needs to keep it up

    5. Twins may just be good enough for 70 wins this year

  3. #23
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    I think it's awful hard to make too many conclusions about the pitching from this series. Overall, I think all three starters basically had one rough inning but otherwise pitched well enough to give some hope. In particular it was nice to see Hughes have 7 K's. Yes, he gave up two home runs, but we knew he was a flyball pitcher and Chicago has been nearly as much of a bandbox as Yankee Stadium so I'm not surprised by that.

    I think the main issue with the bullpen was that they had to pitch cold. I mean that as a two fold statement. Obviously, the weather was not conducive to getting warmed up well and get a good feel for their pitches. But also, I don't think the bullpen pitchers got the same work in throughout spring training because so much attention was given to the starters. Bullpen arms need to get in the groove of pitching every couple of days or every day in the case of a closer like Perkins. They definitely did not get that in spring training.

    I think the pitching will be fine after a few series and a little warmer weather so they can actually feel their fingertips.

  4. #24
    That Lindstrom pitch that Arcia mashed in the 9th was actually a decent pitch, low on the outside corner. If he can destroy a pitch like that, imagine what Arcia can do to a mistake.

    Pinto looked good yesterday too. He has a great swing. I hope he gets some more ABs and starts behind the plate. Maybe once Clutch Suzuki slumps?

  5. #25
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe A. Preusser View Post
    Hicks looks very comfortable and confident to start the year. It took him a long time to look that way last year (did he ever?). Bottom line is the team needs him to leadoff and he looks capable right now. If you want to give him another series or two to build confidence, then maybe try Plouffe leading off? It's either that or plug Suzuki back into the 2 hole; worked for a game but not a good long term idea. Doz - Mauer - Hammer just isn't potent enough to lead our lineup.
    I think you just let things sit pat for another week or two. Let Mauer and Willingham loosen up and see if they start hitting. No need for knee-jerk reactions after one series in pretty miserable weather.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I think Hicks needs to stay right where he is until he builds up enough confidence and consistency to move up the lineup. Let the kid get into a groove.
    I'm all for that.

  7. #27
    My takeaway from the first series is:

    1) Way too many mental errors and fundamental mistakes. I cringed way too often (see 9th inning yesterday; instead of 2-outs no one on, we have 1-out man on 3rd with bad play in the field and then a throwing mistake that put the guy 90 feet away)
    2) Hoping much of that can be blamed on the weather (to me, it was much more about the wind than the temps) (see 9th inning yesterday)
    3) Pleased to see the starts from a lot of guys - Kubel, Colabello, Suzuki, Hicks, Arcia, Pinto, Plouffe. I'm not worried that Dozier or Mauer won't hit. Even Hammer getting on base helps because I do worry he might be more susceptible to frustration and believing the "am I too old? Is it really over?" doubts.
    4) We at least won one. Big difference between 1-2 and 0-3, especially against CWS.
    5) But the biggest thing for me, that hasn't been said, is that I am so much more optimistic about Pelfrey and Gibson starting the next two games than I ever was about our 4th and 5th starters at any point in the last 3 years. I think those guys can line up against the 4th and 5th guys of other teams and give us a solid chance to win.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    2) Trevor Plouffe had more good at-bats in three days than he has had in any of several months. He still managed to make a bad throw and get thrown out at home, but Plouffe just might be a good enough hitter to keep around .
    Yeah. Even though he's been streaky, and usually streaky bad rather than streaky good, Plouffe still managed to be a near league average hitter in over 500 PA last year. If he's also an average defender at 3B (and B-Ref thought he was last year, FanGraphs not so much), that's a reasonable value player, certainly worthy of a modest salary and lineup spot on a poor team, possibly even a utility spot on a better team.

  9. #29
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    This article should be titled premature speculation. I'm not complaining, I love premature speculation. You can overreact and talk about patience at the same time!

  10. #30
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Joe A. Preusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I think you just let things sit pat for another week or two. Let Mauer and Willingham loosen up and see if they start hitting. No need for knee-jerk reactions after one series in pretty miserable weather.
    I agree about not wanting to react to quickly after one whole series, although I and many others could see a problem with our 1-2-3 even before the season started. You're right, though, nothing wrong with letting things play out for a couple weeks to get a better picture of things.

    I just love playing with lineups. In a perfect world we could even drop Dozier to the 7 hole and go:

    Hicks
    Mauer
    Colobello/Hammer
    Arcia/Kubel
    Plouffe
    Dozier
    Suzuki/Pinto
    Floriman

    That moves Hicks to his natural spot (in this lineup), gets Mauer more ABs, allows whichever RH bat is hotter to support him in the 3 spot, and gets Dozier's bat to the bottom of the order for balance.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trautmann13 View Post
    2. Nolasco and Hughes had decent first starts. (If they keep the ball in the park...ooh boy what they could do.)
    Although the knock on Hughes has been inconsistency and high pitch counts, and both of those were on display yesterday.

    But yeah, I don't expect his HR/FB rate to continue at 33% which should help a lot.

  12. #32
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe A. Preusser View Post
    I agree about not wanting to react to quickly after one whole series, although I and many others could see a problem with our 1-2-3 even before the season started. You're right, though, nothing wrong with letting things play out for a couple weeks to get a better picture of things.

    I just love playing with lineups. In a perfect world we could even drop Dozier to the 7 hole and go:

    Hicks
    Mauer
    Colobello/Hammer
    Arcia/Kubel
    Plouffe
    Dozier
    Suzuki/Pinto
    Floriman

    That moves Hicks to his natural spot (in this lineup), gets Mauer more ABs, allows whichever RH bat is hotter to support him in the 3 spot, and gets Dozier's bat to the bottom of the order for balance.
    Suzuki being anywhere near the top of the lineup is ulcer-inducing. I think we can all agree that is just silly.

    As for Hicks, I'd like to see him end the season at the top of the lineup. Whether that happens in May or July, I'll wait it out to cast judgment. Right now, he doesn't belong there and should be protected a bit in the lineup, both hitting- and expectation-wise.

  13. #33
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    My takeaway from the Chicago series is, this season is shaping up to be a LOT more interesting than I thought. The Twins scored 19 runs in three games. 19 runs! No doubt swirling winds and cold pitchers had something to do with this, but on the other hand, Mauer and Dozier didn't do **** at the plate. When those guys get going, things might get even better.

    Averaging 6+ runs a game is not sustainable, of course. But I was expecting Joe Mauer and the 7 dwarves, and that's not what I got.

  14. #34
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    I was really impressed with Hughes. His stuff looked great but had problems hitting his marks, which isn't uncommon to start the year. If he can get his command under control he could be a steal at $8M a year.

  15. #35
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Whatever the payoff of the extra offense netted by batting Hicks in the leadoff spot, it's hard to see it outweighing the risk of him pressing and foundering again.

    Eventually leadoff should be his until Buxton is ready for it, but it's hard for me to get excited about putting him there when the season is three games old. Give him at least a month to get comfortable at the plate before asking him to accept the greater responsibility of leading off.

    Waiting to move Hicks up and missing a few AB's from a guy who's finally living up to his billing as a strong leadoff guy is a first world problem, like having to drive half an hour before you get to a stretch of road where you can drive your Ferrari 150 mph in relative safety.
    Last edited by LaBombo; 04-04-2014 at 04:42 PM.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Yeah. Even though he's been streaky, and usually streaky bad rather than streaky good, Plouffe still managed to be a near league average hitter in over 500 PA last year. If he's also an average defender at 3B (and B-Ref thought he was last year, FanGraphs not so much), that's a reasonable value player, certainly worthy of a modest salary and lineup spot on a poor team, possibly even a utility spot on a better team.
    The eye test tells me to go with Fangraphs in this case. But I think he ultimately finds himself having the most value as a SuperUtil guy. Guys that can hit with some decent power and in Plouffe's case, increasing willingness to hit to all fields, and play up to 7 positions in a pinch with at least a minimum of competence, are pretty valuable-- the Yankees are now forced to be employing Yangervis Solarte at 3rd- and even turned to Mark Reynolds last year- and kind-of have Kelly Johnson in their Super UTIL role now. But with Plouffe now actually showing some power potential to RF as well as LF, he could become attractive to the Yankees and their much smaller ballpark (He'd already have 2 RF HRs this year at Yankee Stadium).
    Last edited by jokin; 04-04-2014 at 10:46 PM.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    Whatever the payoff of the extra offense netted by batting Hicks in the leadoff spot, it's hard to see it outweighing the risk of him pressing and foundering again.

    Eventually leadoff should be his until Buxton is ready for it, but it's hard for me to get excited about putting him there when the season is three games old. Give him at least a month to get comfortable at the plate before asking him to accept the greater responsibility of leading off.

    Waiting to move Hicks up and missing a few AB's from a guy who's finally living up to his billing as a strong leadoff guy is a first world problem, like having to drive half an hour before you get to a stretch of road where you can drive your Ferrari 150 mph in relative safety.
    Amen to that. And if there was any doubt, 4 ABs batting LH today should offer a nice dose of reality. 2 years ago, Hicks wasn't moved up to the leadoff spot in New Britain until late June. This obviously turned out to be a smart move, as Hicks obviously had reached his comfort zone, as he was huge for the Rock Cats in the #1 spot for the rest of 2012 in AA ball. Supposedly, Carew has pumped up Hicks' bunting skills in the offseason, if he has become more adept at this skill, I'd especially like to see him employ it more often from the left side. Ferrari from the right side of the plate, Prius from the left side.

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  19. #38
    Senior Member Triple-A Reider's Avatar
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    I don't usually get too worked up about the first month of the season. Some players get off to great starts, then tail off, while others start off slow and finish strong.

    Overall, I agree that there are a lot of positives, which I won't bother outlining again. I also agree with keeping Hicks near the bottom of the line up for now. If he's still hitting and playing with confidence later in the season, then he definitely needs to get moved to the lead off spot.

  20. #39
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    There is no sample size too small to prevent me from jumping to a brash conclusion. Therefore, based on the first 5 games of the season, I predict the following:

    1) Kurt Suzuki and Trevor Plouffe will stun the baseball world by becoming the first hitters since Williams to hit .400.

    2) Unfortunately, Mauer, Dozier, Arcia and Florimon will struggle mightily, and all bat below .200 for the year.

    3) The Twins will regret extending Glen Perkins, as he will finish the year with an ERA of 12.00

  21. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by longstrangetrip View Post
    There is no sample size too small to prevent me from jumping to a brash conclusion. Therefore, based on the first 5 games of the season, I predict the following:

    1) Kurt Suzuki and Trevor Plouffe will stun the baseball world by becoming the first hitters since Williams to hit .400.

    2) Unfortunately, Mauer, Dozier, Arcia and Florimon will struggle mightily, and all bat below .200 for the year.

    3) The Twins will regret extending Glen Perkins, as he will finish the year with an ERA of 12.00
    I don't understand why you are even here if you don't think anyone should have any opinions or discussion this early in the season?
    You could always just come back around June or so.
    Honestly, I'm getting a little tired of the few posters who think it is their job to jump into every thread to remind us all that it is too early in the season to draw any conclusions.
    I'm pretty sure just about everyone knows that, and jumping into threads for the sole purpose of reminding us of that just implies that we are too stupid to realize that on our own.
    We've waited all offseason to finally discuss actual baseball again, and now we have to wait another 2 or 3 months before we can?
    Please, just ignore the thread if you think the content is not yet relevant.

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