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Thread: Article: Twins Must End Revolving Door At Shortstop

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    Twins Daily Writer Big-Leaguer Cody Christie's Avatar
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    Article: Twins Must End Revolving Door At Shortstop


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    Senior Member All-Star YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
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    That's pretty incredible to have 7 different guys in the last 7 years starting at SS Opening Day. It's pretty likely the Twins will next season too.

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    What may be the main problem for the Twins is that in this key position in the middle of the infield, the Twins don't realize that you can't get a decent SS for less than $5-$7M (not good or great, but decent). They have a knack for drafting decent to great CF'ers, so they've had a good pipeline of those since Puckett. They can't draft a SS to save their lives, and when they get a decent one like Hardy, they trade him because he's too expensive. As much as I hate the Yankees, they invested in Jeter and built around him, and because of that they have nearly constantly been in the playoffs during his tenure. The Twins need to make SS a cornerstone position - which they never have in over 50 years of existence.

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    I haven't given up on Dozier, by the way. In the minors Jeter had a year with over 50 errors, but they let him work through it. Jeter doesn't have great range, but his instincts are great because of his experience. If the Twins let him, that could be Dozier as well. They just have no patience, in this case it's on Gardy (and I'm a Gardy backer). Having no experienced infielders on the coaching staff doesn't help.

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    I also feel like Dozier still could be the answer (well, medium term answer anyway) at shortstop. Certainly, Bartlett struggled in his first opportunity with the Twins and it wasn't like they had rushed him. There seems like there maybe an answer to the shortstop question in the minors, but since none of the possible answers have played above A ball, it would be nice to settle on somebody for the next few years.

    We should see how the Twins feel about Florimon/Dozier by spring. If they don't bring in a real shortstop, likely through trade, they probably feel like one of the above 2 can handle the job for awhile.

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    Super Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottyB View Post
    What may be the main problem for the Twins is that in this key position in the middle of the infield, the Twins don't realize that you can't get a decent SS for less than $5-$7M (not good or great, but decent). They have a knack for drafting decent to great CF'ers, so they've had a good pipeline of those since Puckett. They can't draft a SS to save their lives, and when they get a decent one like Hardy, they trade him because he's too expensive. As much as I hate the Yankees, they invested in Jeter and built around him, and because of that they have nearly constantly been in the playoffs during his tenure. The Twins need to make SS a cornerstone position - which they never have in over 50 years of existence.
    The Yankees had 10 different SS on opening day between Dent and Jeter. Any team would have built around a guy like Jeter, for as long as they could afford to, it wasn't something particularly shrewd of the Yankees, they just finally got the right player.

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    The revolving started with Smith as GM.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Boom Boom's Avatar
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    I'm not ready to give up on Dozier, but I think he's more suited to second base. He's at least got somewhat of a track record of hitting.

    Did you know that Juan Castro was a better hitter in the minor leagues than Pedro Florimon?

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    I think you are using the metaphor "revolving door" incorrectly as that suggests they are using the same few guys in a rotation.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
    I think you are using the metaphor "revolving door" incorrectly as that suggests they are using the same few guys in a rotation.
    Good point. It seems more like a conga line.

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    with the way Gardy works his roster, it's not hard to understand why we haven't had a guy stick at shortstop or 2B. No one gets a chance to really get comfortable there. 'Guess that lineup' isn't conducive to position stability. We finally had a shortstop in Hardy, and Gardy wanted him gone. Smith traded him due to Gardy's wishes. Heck Gardy said even if Hardy stays, CASILLA would compete with Hardy for shortstop cause Casilla has speed and he liked his athleticism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
    The revolving started with Smith as GM.
    Umm, no. It started when Guzman declared free agency and recieved an offer (much) higher than the Twins were willing to pay. There was a guy fron the Jays (Castro) who started in '05, and maybe early '06, eventually Bartlett (after his promotion). The beat proceeded when Bartlett was traded, and continues today. Ryan was the GM when Guzman left, and money was the main issue.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    Heck Gardy said even if Hardy stays, CASILLA would compete with Hardy for shortstop cause Casilla has speed and he liked his athleticism.
    Casilla, during that time, was showing a lot of promise to become a competent middle infielder. That has since changed, but I think many people thought that Casilla had a huge upside before Hardy left. And there always was the injury cloud that seemed to follow JJ arround. That combined with the desire for speed probably tipped the scales, at least in my mind.
    Last edited by Ex-Iowegian; 11-27-2012 at 05:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex-Iowegian View Post
    Casilla, during that time, was showing a lot of promise to become a competent middle infielder. That has since changed, but I think many people thought that Casilla had a huge upside before Hardy left. .
    When did he show the promise...especially at shortstop? Who thought he had huge upside (besides Gardy)? I'm sorry, I don't buy that at all...

    ...and as far a injury risk? Casilla isn't the model of injury-free

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    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    It's all on Gardy

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    with the way Gardy works his roster, it's not hard to understand why we haven't had a guy stick at shortstop or 2B. No one gets a chance to really get comfortable there. 'Guess that lineup' isn't conducive to position stability. We finally had a shortstop in Hardy, and Gardy wanted him gone. Smith traded him due to Gardy's wishes. Heck Gardy said even if Hardy stays, CASILLA would compete with Hardy for shortstop cause Casilla has speed and he liked his athleticism.
    Gardy's never satisfied with the shortstop position. He had two quality shortstops in the last decade and asked (or let) the front office to trade them without a viable replacement because he didn't like them: Bartlett, because he was quiet and moody in the clubhouse; Hardy because he's slow. Gardy never accepts his starting shortstop if he's not perfect. If he were a head football coach, there'd be a perpetual quarterback controversy.

    Bottom line, this wouldn't be a story if Gardy accepted that shortstop is a difficult position to fill; you have to accept imperfection and help the player get better; and the player will not improve if he's continually criticized by his manager in the press and benched on the first sign of trouble. I have no confidence this situation will improve with the current manager.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    with the way Gardy works his roster, it's not hard to understand why we haven't had a guy stick at shortstop or 2B. No one gets a chance to really get comfortable there. 'Guess that lineup' isn't conducive to position stability. We finally had a shortstop in Hardy, and Gardy wanted him gone. Smith traded him due to Gardy's wishes. Heck Gardy said even if Hardy stays, CASILLA would compete with Hardy for shortstop cause Casilla has speed and he liked his athleticism.
    Gardy's never satisfied with the shortstop position. He had two quality shortstops in the last decade and asked (or let) the front office to trade them without a viable replacement because he didn't like them: Bartlett, because he was quiet and moody in the clubhouse; Hardy because he's slow. Gardy never accepts his starting shortstop if he's not perfect. If he were a head football coach, there'd be a perpetual quarterback controversy.

    Bottom line, this wouldn't be a story if Gardy accepted that shortstop is a difficult position to fill; you have to accept imperfection and help the player get better; and the player will not improve if he's continually criticized by his manager in the press and benched on the first sign of trouble. I have no confidence this situation will improve with the current manager.
    That's true...but what is weird about that, is that Hardy has always been one of the best defensive shortstop in the game...even when he was with us. In 2010, his UZR/150 was 12.8. Better than any starting shortstop in baseball that year. His actual UZR was 8.1, which ranked him 5th. (and remember, that's even though he was battling injury).

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    The worst part of the shortstop problem was how bad those two deals really were. Smith was crazy to trade Garza for Delmon straight up, much less throw Bartlett in on the deal. It drives me crazy that bill Smith traded for Hardy full well knowing that he was arbitration eligible the following year and was going to get more money than he was willing to pay. He traded Gomez for a one year rental.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Linus View Post
    The worst part of the shortstop problem was how bad those two deals really were. Smith was crazy to trade Garza for Delmon straight up, much less throw Bartlett in on the deal. It drives me crazy that bill Smith traded for Hardy full well knowing that he was arbitration eligible the following year and was going to get more money than he was willing to pay. He traded Gomez for a one year rental.
    He didn't even get that much more in arbitration...and the Brewers jerked him around just enough to get him that extra year of arbitration to make him a more valuable trade chip...then we give that year away

  19. #19
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linus View Post
    The worst part of the shortstop problem was how bad those two deals really were. Smith was crazy to trade Garza for Delmon straight up, much less throw Bartlett in on the deal. It drives me crazy that bill Smith traded for Hardy full well knowing that he was arbitration eligible the following year and was going to get more money than he was willing to pay. He traded Gomez for a one year rental.
    Garza for Young wasn't a bad trade on paper. Adding in Bartlett was a big mistake.

    But Smith's real failure was trading Garza the same year as Santana. You simply DO NOT trade both your franchise pitcher and your best young starter in the same offseason and expect positive results. It's madness.

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    Garza for Young was a bad trade on some people's paper.....but you ate right, the mistake was dealing both in the same year. What we do not know is who really was making what decisions that first year....and how much Gardy influenced them. Young is an RBI tease, the kind of guy old school writers love because of offensive counting stats...

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