Monday, October 20, 2014

A not Optimistic Twins Discussion

Hello all.  You know what's weird?  We are sitting here, the day before the World Series starts at the end of a season where the Twins fired their manager and I haven't written one word about it.  I still love baseball.  I've still watched almost every playoff game possible.  I have a strong rooting interest in the Royals over the boring and overused Giants.  I still care about who is going to manage the Twins.  Yet nothing.  I was worried at one point that I may have lost my interest in blogging, but I'm super excited to write about college hoops again.  So basically the problem is the Twins.  The Twins have destroyed my interest in writing about baseball.  Completely.  I hate them.

It's hard to care about who the manager is going to be when they're already saying they're not going to spend.  Like this.  And they can't stop doing things like signing Ricky Nolasco for four years or needlessly extending Kurt Suzuki instead of trading him at the peak of his lifetime value.  They finished dead last in the division and won the second fewest games in the AL, and this in a year when they got a miracle season from Phil Hughes and saw Danny Santana break out.  Without two or three breakouts from the youngsters in the rotation they once again have a better chance at losing 90 than winning 82, and too many bad contracts have assured that they can't add any kind of impact starter which means they'll sign some schlub and hope to hit another Hughes-like home run, which is damn unlikely once and nearly impossible twice.

At this point the hope is to wait for all the talent in the minors to get up to the big leagues, a plan which was pushed back with injuries to Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, but it's a plan nonetheless.  This year's Royals show that it can work, although I'm pretty sure that plan fails more than it works and the development of the three-headed monster in the back of the bullpen may be more important.  Maybe 2-3 years from now Sano and Buxton are studs, Santana and Brian Dozier are an excellent double play combination on both sides of the ball, Josmil Pinto has learned how to be a catcher, Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks are viable big league outfielders, Kennys Vargas is a big time power hitter, and Kyle Gibson, Alex Meyer, and Trevor May are solid rotation pieces.  Maybe then they emulate the Royals and package Kohl Stewart and Nick Gordon for a big-time stud top of the rotation ace and really go for it.  Sure, maybe.  That's a whole lot of ifs though for a team without any more money, and a whole lot of eggs in one basket without much of a contingency plan.

This all sounds awfully negative, but it hasn't been all bad.  Despite Denard Span and Ben Revere's outstanding seasons (they finished tied for the NL lead in hits) I was in favor of those trades to stock the farm system with power arms, and low-cost low-year signings on reclamation projects like Hughes are just fine as long as they are low-cost low-year.  I also thought they did a nice job clearing useless players at the trading deadline for whatever they could get last season, except of course for throwing a bunch of money at Suzuki.

It's just disheartening, knowing that they won't spend money to increase payroll in any meaningful way, and I'm convinced they're going to hire Doug Mientkiewicz as the coach since he's already completely inundated with the Twins small market crap that doesn't work.  All of which would mean nothing would change and they'd continue to pin their hopes on hoping a big group of young players all hit their primes at the same time.  Like I said that can work and it's happened before here, but ugh, it has also gone horribly wrong.  Remember this is a team that seems like the last holdout refusing to experiment with a bunch of radical defensive shifts, so I find it unlikely they'll be changing philosophies any time soon.

And with all that being said, I bought into a season ticket package for this upcoming season for the first time.  I'm an idiot.

Royals in 7.  And I'll try to live blog at least one game.


hrbek said...

I have been waiting for you to comment on the Twins. I mostly feel similar as you, but even with more disgust than normal.

Ryan just needs to shut up. Making comments about not spending money and moving Sano to the outfield are not inspiring.

Here is the other thing about Terry Ryan that people don't realize. Ryan is a smug dink. I've heard him take Phil Mackey to task and belittle him on the topic of saber metrics. In a recent interview with Parker Hageman from Twins Daily, he gets down right mean and defensive for a small part of it. Just embarrassing.

I've never been a big Gardy guy, but i blame most of this disaster on Ryan, not Gardy. Gardy was an average manager who couldn't win in the playoffs. Ryan is stuck in his old school ways. If he hires Mientkiewicz, and his old school ways, well it would perpetuate the same old same old.

As it is, it looks like Molitor is the front runner. Not a shock as the twins are so fucking inbred, but at least Molitor is a saber metrics guy, who won't be afraid to shift defensively, or platoon based on batting splits.

On a side note, I love Santana. He had a great year. However, he was better in the pros, than at any time in the minors. I think we need to be careful with assuming he is up for good. Remember Danny Valencia? Same deal there. Santana does play a more valuable position, and is a better athlete, so there is more hope there. Vargas really tailed off at the end of the year. Again, not sold on him, although I love that he is fat and has a short swing.

I love it that you brought up Suzuki. What a terrible signing for a below average fielding catcher, who can't frame a pitch or hit over his career.

Finally, you and your brother's crush on Dozier is well documented. Remember those 30/30 comments? Just silly. I think he stole 1 or 2 bases the 2nd half of the year, and hit 4 home runs. If it's not high and inside, he can't hit it out. Still a nice player and I think we have him a few more years before arbitration is up. Hope his OB% was not a one year deal.

If you posted more about the twins then I wouldn't write this novel. I know you all missed me.

Go Gophers!

snacks said...

Blasting the twins for not spending money in one sentence and then blasting the Twins for signing Nolasco (who was viewed as a legit #2 starter) in the next sentence makes no sense.

WWWWWW said...

1. Valencia is probably a pretty good cautionary tale, but Santana doesn't have the extreme R/L splits Valencia had/has so I'm more confident that he's for real.

2. I actually would be fine with Molitor. I think he saw Minnesota as a place he'd have a chance to become manager, adapted, and will manage his own way once/if he gets the job. I base this on nothing but blind hope.

3. Dozier still finished as a top 3 offensive 2b in the majors and a top 5 overall (per WAR). He's awesome.

4. I'll be back to more posting and overanalyzing once the offseason gets ramped up. My hope knows no bounds.

5. Nobody has ever considered Ricky Nolasco a legit #2 starter. Ever.

D Gangel said...

Nolasco is a legit #2 starter in the same way that a 17 twinkie per day diet is a legit way to shed those extra lbs you put on over the holidays.

snacks said...

Nice misdirection in your response. You ignored the part of my comment regarding your hypocrisy for whining about the Twins not spending money in once sentence then whining about the Twins spending money in the next sentence.

WWWWWW said...

Sorry I thought the "wisely" in the Twins needs need to spend was easily implied.