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Thread: Article: Patience Warranted With Struggling Youngsters

  1. #41
    Senior Member Triple-A h2oface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    And if a guy strikes out 20- 25% of the time in AA and over 40% in the bigs?
    Sorry.......... I got sidetracked. I was no longer referring to Hicks here. Speaking in glittering generalities......... the when it works part. Sorry for the tangent.

  2. #42
    Senior Member Triple-A h2oface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    And if a guy strikes out 20- 25% of the time in AA and over 40% in the bigs?
    Sorry.......... I got sidetracked. I was no longer referring to Hicks here. Speaking in glittering generalities......... the when it works part. Sorry for the tangent.

    So sorry for the double post. I posted from the link from the front page, and I and it didn't show up. In fact, I am getting nothing showing up past my previous post from the link from the front page, even now. But I see many past from the link from the forum........ site seems to be glitching again.
    Last edited by h2oface; 04-11-2013 at 04:46 PM.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Good Job Nick. It makes perfect sense to me. One thing I was thinking about is the affect of a day off. By my maths, Hicks played more innings than any other ballplayer in the majors this spring. Then he has played all nine innings of every game until last night. It looks like today's game will be rained out. So he might get a three-day break before Friday's game. Hopefully, the rest will refresh his mind so he can start fresh on Friday.
    Wrong again. He played and went 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts. He needs to be moved down to the 9th spot until Mastro returns. By then he could be sent down to AAA.

  4. #44
    Can anybody post what about droping him in the order. You could also start giving him a rest after five days on. Its not called giving up its called building confidence.

  5. #45
    If you drop him in the order than you have to find someone to hit lead-off.

  6. #46

    just put him the 8 or 9 spot

    Quote Originally Posted by beckmt View Post
    Great article, need to give these youngsters a chance, not total mess up their minds with pressure to succeed now.
    Not hitting or getting on base leading off, take some pressure off Hicks, put him down in the 8 or 9 spot, put your smokin hot hitter last 5 games at leadoff. He will get it, once he starts to roll , move him up a spot or two until he regains and earns the leadoff spot

  7. #47
    put hicks at 8 or 9 spot, no pressure, he will work his way and get better

  8. #48
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pius Jefferson View Post
    If you drop him in the order than you have to find someone to hit lead-off.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Brad Swanson's Avatar
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    To me, the Hicks debate comes down to why you want to demote him. If the reason is to somehow help his development, then I can understand. Although, I don't agree and I think the best thing for his development is to work through the struggles. However, that is beside the point and I at least understand this argument.

    Now, if the reason for demotion is to improve the team, then I don't understand that rationale. First off, there isn't a player capable of truly helping this team win more games, at least not in center field. Second, Hicks is still the best defensive player at the position that the Twins have and has the most offensive upside of the reasonable candidates.

    Sure, you could platoon Mastroianni and Clete Thomas, but does that platoon really figure to out-produce Hicks if given a full season?

    Finally, this is a bad team. I know the 4-2 start was fun, but the Twins aren't winning more than 70 games this season, so why not give Hicks these games when the stakes are relatively low? That way, in 2014, when the team might actually start to compete, they will have a better idea as to whether they have their long-term center fielder.

    He has played 8 games. If he earned the job in Spring Training, he has certainly earned more than three series to show his talent.
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  10. #50
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Why can't you demote him both to improve his development and make the team better?
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ball… and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Swanson View Post
    To me, the Hicks debate comes down to why you want to demote him. If the reason is to somehow help his development, then I can understand. Although, I don't agree and I think the best thing for his development is to work through the struggles. However, that is beside the point and I at least understand this argument.

    Now, if the reason for demotion is to improve the team, then I don't understand that rationale. First off, there isn't a player capable of truly helping this team win more games, at least not in center field. Second, Hicks is still the best defensive player at the position that the Twins have and has the most offensive upside of the reasonable candidates.

    Sure, you could platoon Mastroianni and Clete Thomas, but does that platoon really figure to out-produce Hicks if given a full season?

    Finally, this is a bad team. I know the 4-2 start was fun, but the Twins aren't winning more than 70 games this season, so why not give Hicks these games when the stakes are relatively low? That way, in 2014, when the team might actually start to compete, they will have a better idea as to whether they have their long-term center fielder.

    He has played 8 games. If he earned the job in Spring Training, he has certainly earned more than three series to show his talent.
    I think that the bottom line is that it's clear if things don't turn around Hicks doesn't belong in the majors right now. Having him way over his head is not working through struggles, it builds frustration, leads to a lack of confidence, and ruins good mechanics as hitters make flailing adjustments (see Dozier last year).

    Second, whether or not you think this team can compete, saying no one else can help them win games just isn't true. Hicks is one of the two worst hitters in baseball through these first three series, if not the worst, and he's posted the most negative WAR so far. So by almost any standards, any ML CF including Mastroianni, would be able to help the team more. I agree that that may not be the concern if Hicks were just "struggling," as the team just isn't that good, but this is far more than that.
    Last edited by Alex; 04-11-2013 at 07:39 PM.

  12. #52
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Brad Swanson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    I think that the bottom line is that it's clear if things don't turn around Hicks doesn't belong in the majors right now. Having him way over his head is not working through struggles, it builds frustration, leads to a lack of confidence, and ruins good mechanics as hitters make flailing adjustments (see Dozier last year).

    Second, whether or not you think this team can compete, saying no one else can help them win games just isn't true. Hicks is one of the two worst hitters in baseball through these first three series, if not the worst, and he's posted the most negative WAR so far. So by almost any standards, any ML CF including Mastroianni, would be able to help the team more. I agree that that may not be the concern if Hicks were just "struggling," as the team just isn't that good, but this is far more than that.
    Hicks has been one of the two worst hitters through those 8 games. That doesn't mean he will continue to be one of the two worst hitters for the remainder of the season. That is my point. Over a 162 game season, I think Hicks will outproduce Mastroianni, Thomas, Benson, Boggs, etc. If the Twins feel he is the best player at the position, they should keep playing him, regardless of how he performs in three series. If he has the best talent, he is the most likely to give the best performance.

    These are all projections based on a tiny sample of games. In addition, we have no idea where his confidence level is right now and we have no idea how frustrated he feels. I also think it is worth noting that if this 8 game stretch of games occurred in the middle of the season, we wouldn't be analyzing it this closely.

    I am also not saying he should never be sent down. I just think he needs to be given a lot more time before that decision is made.
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  13. #53
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Brad Swanson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
    Why can't you demote him both to improve his development and make the team better?
    My argument is that it doesn't make the team better.
    Works on contingency? No, money down!
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  14. #54
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70charger View Post
    I don't think he did either, and neither did I in my reply. The fact is, we're past that point. The decision was made, and when you decide to put a guy like Hicks on your roster, you have to play him, and not sporadically off the bench.

    Whether the decision to put him on the major league roster prior to April 1 was a good idea is another discussion entirely (and I came down on the side of putting him in AAA). It's also a discussion almost impossible to have without hindsight bias.

    I just don't think it much matters halfway through April. You're not getting those 10 games back.
    Thought it was clear I was only talking about sending him down, not benching him, which is obviously a bad idea. Not worried about how much he may have cost the team so far, and not worried a lot going forward unless virtually everything else breaks right for them.

    Couldn't disagree more that the thought process that lead to him being the opening day CF is now irrelevant to his situation.

    If the Twins were looking at a very solid, conflict-free body of evidence that Hicks was ready for the majors opening day, then a 'be patient' thread wouldn't, or at least shouldn't, exist. A strong season or even half season in AAA with improvement in his contact rate, and Hicks is a guy in a slump who probably gets at least a month or two before anyone is thinking demotion.

    Instead, you've got a guy who skipped a level rather than improving his contact rate in AAA, and a lot less to go on about how ready he is, and about what to do next.

    So I can't imagine how the two different evaluation/decision paths don't affect the odds or timing of demotion, unless the Twins decided before the season opener that he stays for X number of weeks, no matter what he does here. If that's the case, I don't see their line of reasoning.
    Last edited by LaBombo; 04-11-2013 at 11:54 PM.

  15. #55
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Swanson View Post
    He has played 8 games. If he earned the job in Spring Training, he has certainly earned more than three series to show his talent.
    If he did earn the job in spring training, then he did it while taking about as few AB's against quality MLB pitchers as he has so far in the regular season, making the sample size a wash.

    And if the Twins really didn't decide Hicks was ready until seeing him in ST, then that means their contingency plans if he were not ready for CF on opening day amounted to Mastro, who is fine as a placeholder, and Benson, who almost nobody wants to see in the majors again until he shows some signs of life in AAA.

    So the whole 'Hicksie won the job in ST' meme is the FO either being dishonest and negligent if they decided before ST, or merely negligent. Which do you think?

    Also, although I know this was touched in an earlier thread, how many non-HOF-caliber Twins position players have been promoted from AA to open the season in the majors, and succeeded, or even stuck? Anybody feel free to jump in. It would be encouraging to hear even a few good examples.
    Last edited by LaBombo; 04-12-2013 at 12:03 AM.

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
    Good luck with that. Given his slow start it's more likely Gardy moves Mauer down to third.

  17. #57
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosterman View Post
    But back to Hicks. He is overmatched and should't be getting 4/5 at bats every inning right now. Let him pull back to the end of the order. Then move him to the 2 spot at some point. If he starts taking pitches not for strikes, then reconsider leadoff.
    But I vote let him take his bumps in this season and learn from the so-called major league coaching staff. If he's the future, let him jump in feet first!
    I don't think we'd be having this conversation if he was getting this many at bats per inning
    Last edited by diehardtwinsfan; 04-12-2013 at 06:39 AM.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Swanson View Post
    Hicks has been one of the two worst hitters through those 8 games. That doesn't mean he will continue to be one of the two worst hitters for the remainder of the season. That is my point. Over a 162 game season, I think Hicks will outproduce Mastroianni, Thomas, Benson, Boggs, etc. If the Twins feel he is the best player at the position, they should keep playing him, regardless of how he performs in three series. If he has the best talent, he is the most likely to give the best performance.

    These are all projections based on a tiny sample of games. In addition, we have no idea where his confidence level is right now and we have no idea how frustrated he feels. I also think it is worth noting that if this 8 game stretch of games occurred in the middle of the season, we wouldn't be analyzing it this closely.

    I am also not saying he should never be sent down. I just think he needs to be given a lot more time before that decision is made.
    It's one thing if he was crushing AAA and then called up and struggled. It's another thing to have a good (yes, that's really all it was) year in AA and make the jump and then struggle. It might indicate it's not just an "adjustment" period -- there were signs in AA that this could happen (I pointed out his strikeout rate we we first discussed this way back when). It could be a sign they moved him up too fast. I'm not saying they send him down today, but if he shows no improvement, I don't think you can keep him up another series after this. If he shows a little improvement, well, then you decide as you go.



    How much time for you?

  19. #59
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Brad Swanson's Avatar
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    I am fine with giving Hicks the full season to figure things out, if that is what it takes. Reasonably, I think a month is almost necessary. If the Twins decide to demote him on May 1, I can understand that. I would not agree with it though. I'd definitely drop him in the batting order prior to sending him to AAA.

    As for contingency, I think the Twins assumed that one of Hicks, Mastro and Benson would be fine. They made their choice, it may not be working right now, but I still think it was the best choice. I fully expect Hicks to turn things around, so perhaps that is why I am on this side of the discussion. I may end up being wrong, but I'd like to get a good enough look at the guy before I admit that I am.

    I just have a hard time calling the front office dishonest or negligent, when I do not have all the information. They make decisions based on the information they have in front of them. I've said this before, you can argue with their methods and evaluations, but I don't think it is fair to accuse them of incompetence or conspiracy. I'd say their relatively successful track record with player development and roster construction is something we tend to forget about in the moment.
    Works on contingency? No, money down!
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  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Swanson View Post
    I am fine with giving Hicks the full season to figure things out, if that is what it takes. Reasonably, I think a month is almost necessary. If the Twins decide to demote him on May 1, I can understand that. I would not agree with it though. I'd definitely drop him in the batting order prior to sending him to AAA.

    As for contingency, I think the Twins assumed that one of Hicks, Mastro and Benson would be fine. They made their choice, it may not be working right now, but I still think it was the best choice. I fully expect Hicks to turn things around, so perhaps that is why I am on this side of the discussion. I may end up being wrong, but I'd like to get a good enough look at the guy before I admit that I am.

    I just have a hard time calling the front office dishonest or negligent, when I do not have all the information. They make decisions based on the information they have in front of them. I've said this before, you can argue with their methods and evaluations, but I don't think it is fair to accuse them of incompetence or conspiracy. I'd say their relatively successful track record with player development and roster construction is something we tend to forget about in the moment.
    Since Terry Ryan, in terms of evaluation, they have moved players up too quickly and have certainly misrepresented players readiness and skillset tto the public.

    I think for Hick's sake more than anything else, if he doesn't show signs of life, you have to send him down.

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