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Thread: Article: The Big Switch: Willingham Has Something Left In The Tank

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    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Article: The Big Switch: Willingham Has Something Left In The Tank


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    glunn (06-13-2014)

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    The one thing I have noticed is that he is laying off the breaking stuff out of the zone when he is down in the count. Even when he falls behind, he has been able to work into counts that give him a pitch to hit or a walk.

    With a healthy Willingham, Morales and Arcia in the middle of the order - The Twins are poised to do some damage.

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    glunn (06-13-2014)

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    ^^^ Same. Not chasing that breaking ball that tails away and out of the zone.

    If we could just get Mauer to jump on the fastball within the first two pitches and get Plouffe to take a few less strike 3's our meat of the order would be in pretty good shape.

    The question would be...come July 31st...if the Twins are still 5-6 games out. Do they trade Willingham and/or Morales?

    Could easily bring back a fairly decent prospect or two respectively. Maybe throw in Duensing.

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    Senior Member Triple-A
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    It was painful to watch him swing at the outside stuff last year. If he is able to hit the outside stuff out of the park this year then there is no good place for the pitcher to throw the ball. He struck out looking a lot last year as well. This a very small sample size but I hope he has a great year and a team gets interested in adding him at the deadline.

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dman View Post
    This a very small sample size but I hope he has a great year and a team gets interested in adding him at the deadline.
    Hell, I hope the Twins are around .500 at the deadline and don't trade anybody. I know it's probably not in their best long-term interests to do that but I'm tired of seeing this team lose.

    But if they're 5+ games under .500, Morales and Willingham should bring decent pieces in return.

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    USAFChief (06-13-2014)

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    I like the "Thome" approach; let him have about 100 less at bats per year to keep him fresh not only for the end of this year but into next year also!

    Yes, if Josh W keeps producing, sign him for another couple years.

  10. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by PatG View Post
    I like the "Thome" approach; let him have about 100 less at bats per year to keep him fresh not only for the end of this year but into next year also!

    Yes, if Josh W keeps producing, sign him for another couple years.
    Seriously??!! No way. Let him restore some of his trade value and then part ways with him between now and the trade deadline. DO NOT resign him.

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    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    I'm more optimistic since the Morales signing that this team will contend for the wild card. If so, they will be buyers rather than sellers. Too early to tell which they will be at this point. If he keeps hitting like this, chances are they will be buyers. If he drops off again, they will be sellers and he will not be worth much. It's kind of a catch-22.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    Senior Member Triple-A DocBauer's Avatar
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    Color me pink and call me surprised. I had strong hope/belief that Willingham would come in healthy and, while not able to approach his career year, would just hit to his career norm averages. That would be enough to provide solid offensive numbers. One more solid season from the Hammer, along with Arcia, could give us a really nice potential 4-5 punch.

    Then came ST. I know not to read much in to ST stats, but Willingham just looked awful. And I was really wondering about the heart of our lineup this season. And then the season started, and while it was only a few games, he actually looked like he could hit again. And then, unfortunately, came his injury.

    To say his performance since his return is a pleasant surprise would be an understatement. Suddenly, Willingham, Arcia, Morales, Plouffe, Dozier and surprise contributions from Suzuki, Santana and even Escobar have me excited, and a lineup that appears competitive and borderline dangerous most days. Especially if the walks and comparative team OB keeps on staying amongst the leaders.

    I understand that a productive Willingham seems, to some, to be a quality trade chip in the coming months. And while that might be possible, I would argue otherwise. While his defense hasn't been awful since his return, we all know he's nothing special in that regard. He's 34 now. I would argue his value to the Twins for the balance of the season, helping us compete and actually WIN games, and keep up a winning feeling and attitude as we continue to rebuild/transition is more important than a mediocre A level prospect we'd probably receive.

    Further, and hear me out, IF...IF he stays healthy and continues to at least play and hit to career norms, no second career season necessary, he might be worth a one year extension. I'm sure he'll want more. But if it could work out, he could fill a valuable role in 2015 as a veteran RH bat in the lineup. It's doubtful Sano will be ready from day one at the ML level next season. It's also doubtful Buxton will be ready day one either. If Willingham does leave, we still face the possibility of 2 holes in the OF next season. We've blasted and lamented the front office for not taking proper steps this past offseason to provide another alternate for CF.

    I don't think anybody will toss Hicks aside. But you also can't count on him yet either. If Fuld were to come back, he's really a backup, possible platoon option. If he keeps hitting and gets promoted to AAA, and keeps hitting, Rosario might be an option. (At least until Buxton is ready) Does Santana stay at CF or split his time between there and SS? Is it just me, or do we need another option to throw in there, at least temporarily? And if Willingham goes, then we have to address LF as well.

    Ergo, until the Rosario's and Buxton's and Walkers are ready, perhaps what our OF needs is Willingham for one more season and another CF option to bring in to compete and "fill in" for now, possibly provide a challenger to a 4th OF spot eventually.

  13. #10
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Hell, I hope the Twins are around .500 at the deadline and don't trade anybody. I know it's probably not in their best long-term interests to do that but I'm tired of seeing this team lose.

    But if they're 5+ games under .500, Morales and Willingham should bring decent pieces in return.
    Could not agree more.

    I really, really want the Twins to surprise us all and be in contention.

    If they aren't, oh well. Get what you can. But worry about that, then.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

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    Head Moderator MVP glunn's Avatar
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    Great analysis from Parker. I love how Parker makes it easy to understand what's changed.

    Also, the responses have been interesting. Great article. Great thread.

  15. #12
    Willingham extension? I may be open to that. I agree with others that keeping Hammer for another year would be smart. I see the team increasingly getting younger and Josh could fill the "veteran presence" and "bat of the bench" that Thome provided for a couple of years.

    I would offer a 1-2 year extension. If immediate Minor league options were closer I would say no. And get rid of Hicks, I do not enjoy watching him.

  16. #13
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Whether they deal him or not, I could care less. But please god....no extension. The odds of that being a wise investment are almost non-existent.

  17. #14
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    For starters let's not call it an extension. We could bring him back in the offseason on a 1 yr deal but you make that decision when you see how the market is playing out and after any rookies have come up and made a case to be an opening day starter next year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    For starters let's not call it an extension. We could bring him back in the offseason on a 1 yr deal but you make that decision when you see how the market is playing out and after any rookies have come up and made a case to be an opening day starter next year.

    Ryan didn't wait for the starting pitchers market to mature before he signed Hughes, Nolasco and then Pelfrey. If you want the guy, just do it baby.....

    A healthy Wilingham at 6-8 $Mil is just about right, 2 year deal/extension?

  20. #16
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatG View Post
    A healthy Wilingham at 6-8 $Mil is just about right, 2 year deal/extension?
    Josh Willingham in his years 36 and 37 gets more and more likely to NOT be healthy. People seem to forget all of last year and a big chunk of this year.

    Hammer is a great guy and was a great signing, but extending him risks marring that legacy.

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