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Thread: Scoggins lowers the boom on Twins/Hicks situation

  1. #41
    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I didn't compare offense to defense. I just think you need a good defensive center fielder. Imagine putting Plouffe at shortstop. It would be ugly. Same with Parmelee in center. Up-the-middle positions require good defenders. It's one of those maxims you don't mess with. You start with a good defender. If he can hit, he will stick. If not, you try someone else. It's one of the reasons I hate trying to convert career shortstops into center fielders. Right there you violate a key maxim of team construction.

    I never said everything is fine. I said it's not a crisis. There are lots of worse things happening to this team than their starting center fielder. Nolasco is a mess. Correia is, well, Correia. Burton is not right. Guerrier is on the roster. Hicks is getting on base and scoring runs. That's a lot more than can be said for Jason Kubel right now.
    I remember Plouffe at SS, and I remember watching him throw 2/3 of the plays to first into the stands. I do agree with your assertion that CF starts with fielding. Parms at CF would be bad, no doubt, but right now Hicks' development and strength of the future team is taking a back seat to the current stop gap needs of a team that isn't going to do anything anyways.

    Im not saying Parms is the answer at CF, only a better option than Santana. At least Parms knows how to play the outfield and isn't in the early MLB development stages that Santana or Hicks is at. If Parms struggles at CF, he's shown poise and maturity that leads me to believe that his growth won't be stunted. Last year I couldn't say that about Parms. I value Hicks more than Parmelee for the long term, and trust Parmelee won't be ruined in the short term struggles of MLB futility.

    OK, there are worse things than Hicks on the roster. Correia, Kubel, Burton, and Guerrier will/should all be gone by season's end. As for Nolasco, and Mauer (Mauer not mentioned but falls in the same category); just because you pay a lot of money, doesn't mean you will get more output. Just like the sunk cost of injuries, so is free agency. I expect more out of both players, but realistically free agents such as those two aren't going to out perform their career averages over the life of the contract, and will regress towards the end. Nolasco over his career had been a statistically median innings eater. Now he's a highly paid statistically median innings eater. Mauer was a very high obp slap hitting, some gap power doubles producing, catcher, then became a highly paid high obp yada yada yada, and is now a highly paid first basemen who is the same guy we've always known, now on the backside of his career. Hopefully this season so far is marked by injury and a healthy Joe Mauer will arrive some time this season, to improve his hitting to what we're used to seeing.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
    Maybe they are hoping to sign Carbonell as the solution to the problem.
    I only wish that were so- come on Ol N, do you really believe the Twins are in on this hunt?

    But...perhaps you're on to something here, though....maybe the Twins see the "solution to the problem" coming from whomever ultimately signs Daniel Carbonell, as that team then likely releases a bargain bin reject for the Twins to scoop up and make their very own.

  3. #43
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
    I remember Plouffe at SS, and I remember watching him throw 2/3 of the plays to first into the stands. I do agree with your assertion that CF starts with fielding. Parms at CF would be bad, no doubt, but right now Hicks' development and strength of the future team is taking a back seat to the current stop gap needs of a team that isn't going to do anything anyways.

    Im not saying Parms is the answer at CF, only a better option than Santana. At least Parms knows how to play the outfield and isn't in the early MLB development stages that Santana or Hicks is at. If Parms struggles at CF, he's shown poise and maturity that leads me to believe that his growth won't be stunted. Last year I couldn't say that about Parms. I value Hicks more than Parmelee for the long term, and trust Parmelee won't be ruined in the short term struggles of MLB futility.

    OK, there are worse things than Hicks on the roster. Correia, Kubel, Burton, and Guerrier will/should all be gone by season's end. As for Nolasco, and Mauer (Mauer not mentioned but falls in the same category); just because you pay a lot of money, doesn't mean you will get more output. Just like the sunk cost of injuries, so is free agency. I expect more out of both players, but realistically free agents such as those two aren't going to out perform their career averages over the life of the contract, and will regress towards the end. Nolasco over his career had been a statistically median innings eater. Now he's a highly paid statistically median innings eater. Mauer was a very high obp slap hitting, some gap power doubles producing, catcher, then became a highly paid high obp yada yada yada, and is now a highly paid first basemen who is the same guy we've always known, now on the backside of his career. Hopefully this season so far is marked by injury and a healthy Joe Mauer will arrive some time this season, to improve his hitting to what we're used to seeing.
    I think it all boils down to one's philosophy of development. I believe the creme rises to the top whether they are at AAA or the majors. If a guy has the talent to be a long-term major leaguer, he'll make the adjustments. Being a major league player is about making adjustments. The hardest one is the jump to the majors. But as soon as pitchers figure you out, you have many others. Sometimes AAA can help guys spring board. But sometimes AAA delays the inevitable, giving guys a false sense of security.

    Doing well at AAA is not a harbinger of major league success. Parmelee is a great example. He absolutely crushes AAA pitching. But he has struggled to make the jump for longer than a couple of weeks at a time. Once major league pitchers figure out that he struggles to hit belt-high fastballs, he struggles. This is his fourth time trying.

    Ideally, guys would file off all their rough edges in AAA, but very few teams can afford that in every case. So guys often have to learn up here. It is sometimes painful to watch. We want to see polished major leaguers. But it is not strictly necessary.

    At any rate, I don't think AAA is the answer in every case. I'm not convinced it is in Hicks's case. It might be. If so, he'll go back down and learn what he needs to learn at some point, similar to Hunter. But that time is not now, at least until they get a real center fielder to replace him. Obviously, they are not in a huge hurry to do that. One way or another, at around age 25, it'll all click in and he'll be an above average center fielder. At least I hope so.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  4. #44
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    Ordinarily I'm OK with the idea of guys trying to figure it out at the MLB level (on a rebuilding team). But giving up switch-hitting is a major change for a player already producing below replacement level. I guess it probably can't make his stats any worse, since as a lefty he hit like a pitcher, but developmentally... it seems crazy to me.

    This is a player who is helpless against RHP. Not bad, but truly helpless in a way that is unusual for an MLB position player. And now he is making a huge change in his approach against them, on the fly, when the other aspects of his game aren't going all that great either.

    The difference with AAA is that the games don't really count. He would be free to tinker with his new approach without having the same pressure on each at-bat. It wouldn't have to be for long. Trying to work through all this in the Majors seems like a recipe for failure. It's certainly what I'm expecting.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Triple-A DocBauer's Avatar
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    Tons of great feedback! Am I pronounced as wishey-washy if I see and appreciate both sides to all the arguements?

    A few thoughts. Not just speaking of Hicks at this time, but can we please use this example to temper some of our expectations toward prospects, even top prospects? The Trouts and Harpers of the world are very rare. Going back further, Griffey and A-Roid come to mind. Hope and excitement had many calling for Sano and Buxton to be up this season by the all-star break. And there have been calls for Meyer to have been called up a couple weeks ago. No matter how talented the player, And his sky-high ceiling, there are still learning curves involved.

    BTW, some have argued that Hicks should have been ready after 5 milb seasons. But, he was a HS signing. Gomez was up after only 3 seasons, but didnt hit until his 5th ML season. And Hunter spent all or part of 7 seasons in the minors. So there is no exact time table.

    2) Losing Mastro and Presley is really not an issue. Presley is a AAAA journeyman who gave us a decent month or so. Mastro never would have been exposed if not for his bad ankle injury. To this point, he just hasn't been the player he glimpsed to be in 2012. And trading both Span and Revere have proved to be good moves so far. Meyer and May are very, very talented young pitchers having very good seasons at Rochester. In fact, each, in their very first taste of AAA, despite some uneven performances, are probably exceeding expectations thus far. Not based on talent and potential mind you, just at having hit AAA for the first time. Would anyone undo those two trades if you could?

    As far as the OF situation as a whole, I will give Gardy, his staff, and the FO a slight mulligan here. Slight. NOBODY goes in to a season expecting to lose BOTH starting corner OF's the first few weeks of the season, and a quality 4th OF. It just doesn't usually happen, and can't be planned for, really, or expected. And let's be honest here, the Twins have hovered around .500 despite issues at SS and the OF, getting quality production in the interim from Colabello and Kubel that nobody expected. In fact, tip of the cap to what those guys did for us the first month, and Gardy and his staff to piece together lineups that at least sort of worked.

    What I don't excuse, and haven't in previous threads, is a general lack of attention to any sort of real depth being made available! Trade Span and Revere! But don't go in to 2013 with only Hicks and Mastro as your sole options. And after what happened in 2013, even if you try to make some sort of excuse, don't you dare head in to 2014 with Hicks, wounded Mastro, and a so-so journeyman Presley as your only options! Who else were you banking on for ML or milb depth? Kubel? Parmelee? I don't care how big a stud Buxton is and will be, or the overall depth of some good prospects for the OF in A ball, those guys aren't ready yet. There is simply no excuse to have come in to this season without one more solid 4th OF/CF option available, and even another AAAA corner OF who could at least be called up and expected to play the position.

    I believe blaming Antony is a mistake. He got thrust in to a situation. Ryan is still the guy in charge, and was through the bulk of the offseason. And Gardy as the field manager has to take blame too. I just don't know what they were thinking. Despite all the good they do, have done, etc, this one is a black mark.

    3) Whatever ultimately befalls Hicks in regard to his conversion to an exclusively RH hitter, I think it's the best and smartest move. Now, for it to happen during the season at the ML level is a different story open to debate, which is exactly what we're doing here. On the surface, yes, this should take place at Rochester, at least initially. But that luxury doesn't exist at this time. Further, I have to ask and wonder at this point, with his time at the ML level, limited though it may be, is he perhaps better off working with Bruno and/or Molitor at this point anyway on a daily basis?

  6. #46
    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocBauer View Post
    Tons of great feedback! Am I pronounced as wishey-washy if I see and appreciate both sides to all the arguements?

    A few thoughts. Not just speaking of Hicks at this time, but can we please use this example to temper some of our expectations toward prospects, even top prospects? The Trouts and Harpers of the world are very rare. Going back further, Griffey and A-Roid come to mind. Hope and excitement had many calling for Sano and Buxton to be up this season by the all-star break. And there have been calls for Meyer to have been called up a couple weeks ago. No matter how talented the player, And his sky-high ceiling, there are still learning curves involved.

    BTW, some have argued that Hicks should have been ready after 5 milb seasons. But, he was a HS signing. Gomez was up after only 3 seasons, but didnt hit until his 5th ML season. And Hunter spent all or part of 7 seasons in the minors. So there is no exact time table.

    2) Losing Mastro and Presley is really not an issue. Presley is a AAAA journeyman who gave us a decent month or so. Mastro never would have been exposed if not for his bad ankle injury. To this point, he just hasn't been the player he glimpsed to be in 2012. And trading both Span and Revere have proved to be good moves so far. Meyer and May are very, very talented young pitchers having very good seasons at Rochester. In fact, each, in their very first taste of AAA, despite some uneven performances, are probably exceeding expectations thus far. Not based on talent and potential mind you, just at having hit AAA for the first time. Would anyone undo those two trades if you could?

    As far as the OF situation as a whole, I will give Gardy, his staff, and the FO a slight mulligan here. Slight. NOBODY goes in to a season expecting to lose BOTH starting corner OF's the first few weeks of the season, and a quality 4th OF. It just doesn't usually happen, and can't be planned for, really, or expected. And let's be honest here, the Twins have hovered around .500 despite issues at SS and the OF, getting quality production in the interim from Colabello and Kubel that nobody expected. In fact, tip of the cap to what those guys did for us the first month, and Gardy and his staff to piece together lineups that at least sort of worked.

    What I don't excuse, and haven't in previous threads, is a general lack of attention to any sort of real depth being made available! Trade Span and Revere! But don't go in to 2013 with only Hicks and Mastro as your sole options. And after what happened in 2013, even if you try to make some sort of excuse, don't you dare head in to 2014 with Hicks, wounded Mastro, and a so-so journeyman Presley as your only options! Who else were you banking on for ML or milb depth? Kubel? Parmelee? I don't care how big a stud Buxton is and will be, or the overall depth of some good prospects for the OF in A ball, those guys aren't ready yet. There is simply no excuse to have come in to this season without one more solid 4th OF/CF option available, and even another AAAA corner OF who could at least be called up and expected to play the position.

    I believe blaming Antony is a mistake. He got thrust in to a situation. Ryan is still the guy in charge, and was through the bulk of the offseason. And Gardy as the field manager has to take blame too. I just don't know what they were thinking. Despite all the good they do, have done, etc, this one is a black mark.

    3) Whatever ultimately befalls Hicks in regard to his conversion to an exclusively RH hitter, I think it's the best and smartest move. Now, for it to happen during the season at the ML level is a different story open to debate, which is exactly what we're doing here. On the surface, yes, this should take place at Rochester, at least initially. But that luxury doesn't exist at this time. Further, I have to ask and wonder at this point, with his time at the ML level, limited though it may be, is he perhaps better off working with Bruno and/or Molitor at this point anyway on a daily basis?
    They had Hicks, Mastro, and Presley leading up to ST. All the FO had to do was send Hicks to AAA and the depth would have been solved. Sign Fuld? Sure DFA Presley, you still have Mastro and Hicks. Hicks killing triple A? Bring him up and DFA Mastro, then sign or trade for some AAA stop gap if he doesn't pass waivers, if you can. Just because Mastro and Presley were replacement level AAAA filler' doesn't mean you can treat them like interchangeable parts. Sometimes interchangeable parts are hard to find too.

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  8. #47
    Just to throw this out there for fun. Hicks' OBP is higher than Span's this year. Slight ray of hope.

  9. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
    They had Hicks, Mastro, and Presley leading up to ST. All the FO had to do was send Hicks to AAA and the depth would have been solved. Sign Fuld? Sure DFA Presley, you still have Mastro and Hicks. Hicks killing triple A? Bring him up and DFA Mastro, then sign or trade for some AAA stop gap if he doesn't pass waivers, if you can. Just because Mastro and Presley were replacement level AAAA filler' doesn't mean you can treat them like interchangeable parts. Sometimes interchangeable parts are hard to find too.
    You are having fond memories of Mastro before his injuries.
    If they had sent Hicks down and Presly hit like he has forr Houston there would be complaintss of ineptness on the Twins part for sending down Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
    You are having fond memories of Mastro before his injuries.
    If they had sent Hicks down and Presly hit like he has forr Houston there would be complaintss of ineptness on the Twins part for sending down Hicks
    Except that's not how it would have played out. Presley would have started the season as the 4th outfielder. Eventually, Hicks' sub-Mendoza BA and OPSing in the .500s still would have led to him being called out by Ron Gardenhire and Rob Antony for poor production and lazy work habits (http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/259382511.html), only with the Presley and Mastro options- it would have happened much sooner.

    And then Hicks would have been sent down to work on the things he needs to do to be successful- like knowing who the next opposing starting pitcher is, for starters. Meanwhile, Presley's current Astro .250 BA/.629 OPS-ness, coupled with whatever translated to the majors from Mastro's very nice AAA slash of .291/.375/.418/.793 as a backup, would have made the wait for Hicks to get it together to proceed with CF competence and plate mediocrity, to be sure, without much incident or gnashing of teeth- in particular, no Infielders playing Keystone Kops.

    At least that's how most major league teams would have proceeded.
    Last edited by jokin; 05-28-2014 at 07:56 AM.

  11. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    I only wish that were so- come on Ol N, do you really believe the Twins are in on this hunt?

    But...perhaps you're on to something here, though....maybe the Twins see the "solution to the problem" coming from whomever ultimately signs Daniel Carbonell, as that team then likely releases a bargain bin reject for the Twins to scoop up and make their very own.
    They love a toolsy outfielders. Carbonell is said to be that.

  12. #51
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    I'll take jokin's scenario one step futher--Hicks get sent down and Presley stays. Hicks gets a month or two of development time and comes to Minnesota as "new and improved" and immediately hits. It might have happened, instead we have a cluster of events which end up with Danny Santana being the alternate to a RH hitting only Aaron Hicks, still hitting below the Mendoza line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
    They love a toolsy outfielders. Carbonell is said to be that.
    I concur, he is very intriguing, particularly if they don't have to overpay. Am I hearing in your response that you're convinced the Twins are serious players in the Carbonell sweepstakes?

    If the deal were to go down (and it sounds like there's a timing thing in early July to have it make the most financial sense), it would be a radical change in the current team dynamic as well as in the current (apparent) intent of the club to be incrementally a little better year over year with the expectation of forgoing a real serious run until 2016 or 17.

    While I still think this team is ultimately destined for 74 wins on the high end.....Would a signing of Carbonell mean that the FO believes that once they fix the current wacky OF situation that they are then only one or two arms away from becoming a legit Wild Card contender...and maybe that those arms are soon ready to be unleashed from Rochester?

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    People think the Twins will sign a high priced Cuban? After watching the last couple offseasons? I admire your optimism.
    Lighten up Francis....

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    People think the Twins will sign a high priced Cuban? After watching the last couple offseasons? I admire your optimism.
    I'm not holding my breath on this development. I still think it more likely that the Twins involvement in the deal would be that they'd claim the Yankee or Red Sox OFer DFA'd by either team to make room for Carbonell.

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    I can't possibly believe the Twins would be in on Carbonell. With Buxton on the way, it seems like a questionable use of resources... But hey, if they're not going to spend the money somewhere, why not Carbonell?

    (in a perfect world, I'd prefer to see them dive into the FA market this offseason and patch a hole that way, whatever hole that might be)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I can't possibly believe the Twins would be in on Carbonell. With Buxton on the way, it seems like a questionable use of resources... But hey, if they're not going to spend the money somewhere, why not Carbonell?

    (in a perfect world, I'd prefer to see them dive into the FA market this offseason and patch a hole that way, whatever hole that might be)
    I gotta think that Cuba is one country where the Twins alleged problem of "not being able to give away their money" is a moot point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Except that's not how it would have played out. Presley would have started the season as the 4th outfielder. Eventually, Hicks' sub-Mendoza BA and OPSing in the .500s still would have led to him being called out by Ron Gardenhire and Rob Antony for poor production and lazy work habits (http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/259382511.html), only with the Presley and Mastro options- it would have happened much sooner.

    And then Hicks would have been sent down to work on the things he needs to do to be successful- like knowing who the next opposing starting pitcher is, for starters. Meanwhile, Presley's current Astro .250 BA/.629 OPS-ness, coupled with whatever translated to the majors from Mastro's very nice AAA slash of .291/.375/.418/.793 as a backup, would have made the wait for Hicks to get it together to proceed with CF competence and plate mediocrity, to be sure, without much incident or gnashing of teeth- in particular, no Infielders playing Keystone Kops.

    At least that's how most major league teams would have proceeded.
    Mastroianni is a career .220 hitter in the majors with a downward trend. Sure he is sort of hitting in the minors. So did Parmelee and Coabello. Far better than Mastroianni. AAA success is no indication of major league talent after a poor stint in the majors. There is no reason to think the outcome with Hicks will be any different whatever league he plays in. Hicks has a better woba than Presley. Hicks has a better OBP by far. than Presley. I would think you would be more concerned with your speed players getting on base than hitting for power. Pick your statistic to compare the 2 players by. They are both mediocre so far.

  22. #58
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    I'll take jokin's scenario one step futher--Hicks get sent down and Presley stays. Hicks gets a month or two of development time and comes to Minnesota as "new and improved" and immediately hits. It might have happened, instead we have a cluster of events which end up with Danny Santana being the alternate to a RH hitting only Aaron Hicks, still hitting below the Mendoza line.
    Well, that's one scenario. Not sure of its relative likelihood to the following:

    1. Hicks stays in the majors and hits like he has over the last couple of weeks: .286/.382
    2. Hicks struggles as a right handed hitter against right handed pitching to the point that the Twins acquire a replacement and send him down to AAA, where he has a Hunter-like resurgence and rejoins the team in September.
    3. Same as 2 except he and struggles in AAA like he did last year, not making it back to the majors.

    It seems to me your scenario is equally as likely as the three I have listed above. Of the four, only those three are still in play. Of the remaining three, I would say they are equally likely. At least until 2 is both possible and necessary, I'm hoping for 1.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
    Mastroianni is a career .220 hitter in the majors with a downward trend. Sure he is sort of hitting in the minors. So did Parmelee and Coabello. Far better than Mastroianni. AAA success is no indication of major league talent after a poor stint in the majors. There is no reason to think the outcome with Hicks will be any different whatever league he plays in. Hicks has a better woba than Presley. Hicks has a better OBP by far. than Presley. I would think you would be more concerned with your speed players getting on base than hitting for power. Pick your statistic to compare the 2 players by. They are both mediocre so far.
    You're completing skating by the main point of this entire situation, it's about what's best for the Twins and for Hicks. The Twins FO agrees with most fans that Hicks has serious issues that need to be addressed, to which Hicks added yet another wrinkle just last Monday- so both the FO and many fans would beg to differ with your conclusion that "There is no reason to think the outcome with Hicks will be any different whatever league he plays in".

    This has absolutely nothing to do with the projected mediocre performances and comparisons of Presley and Mastroianni relative to Hicks, and everything to do with the Twins needlessly throwing away their CF depth, should Hicks (as borne out) need to go to AAA to work in a lower stress environment and not hurt the major league team, to remedy the very things the Twins FO now admits they would have done sooner, if they only still had their original OF depth.
    Last edited by jokin; 05-28-2014 at 04:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Well, that's one scenario. Not sure of its relative likelihood to the following:

    1. Hicks stays in the majors and hits like he has over the last couple of weeks: .286/.382
    2. Hicks struggles as a right handed hitter against right handed pitching to the point that the Twins acquire a replacement and send him down to AAA, where he has a Hunter-like resurgence and rejoins the team in September.
    3. Same as 2 except he and struggles in AAA like he did last year, not making it back to the majors.

    It seems to me your scenario is equally as likely as the three I have listed above. Of the four, only those three are still in play. Of the remaining three, I would say they are equally likely. At least until 2 is both possible and necessary, I'm hoping for 1.
    I hope so too, but we'd both be basing our conclusion on the faint reed of hope of a very small sample of PAs relative to the other 2 more likely options in the short term based on logic and whatever history there is for some struggling RH hitter picking up a bat against RHP for the first time since the age of 12 and relative to the rest of his major league body of work. Even Gardy and Antony have hinted at serious doubts that #1 is the likely outcome, but their hands are tied until someone viable in CF becomes available.
    Last edited by jokin; 05-28-2014 at 04:45 PM.

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