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Subject: "Gonna amuse myself with a Twins off-season post" Previous topic | Next topic
Walleye
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15352 posts
Wed Nov-30-22 09:57 PM

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"Gonna amuse myself with a Twins off-season post"
Wed Nov-30-22 10:05 PM by Walleye

          

If papers were still printed out, I'd have a literal yard of grading next to me that I don't want to do. And I have to negotiate a beef between my head coach and an irritating sprint coach who seems to have taken to heart my ill-considered over-validation of his ability. Doing this seems more fun, though I doubt I can sustain it. I can't post like I'm young anymore.

2022 was tremendously disappointing because my only expectation *prior* to the acquisition of Correa was that the team would be fun to watch. Buxton would be healthy, now that they paid him, as though things ever work that way. Joe Ryan would build on his 2021 epiphany. Maybe the league would try to limit the shift, a decision I'd otherwise hate, permitting Max Kepler to actually hit again. Things of that nature. Then they acquired Correa and the sweet smell of playing in the deep end of the free agent pool* went to my head and I had expectations for the team. And they played well long enough that I believed them. And then they lost, which is unpleasant but not really unfamiliar and time is long, but they were also boring.

The defensible decision to rest Buxton to keep him fresh entirely failed. I actually didn't hate the idea, especially if it's supported by a deep bench - something newmanagement has treated like a priority, I think. But I'm not really wedded to that view. I don't know. I should read something that tells me the answer, but managing injuries just seems more art than science to me. Like, it's obvious when a coach or a manager is being completely thoughtless about it and risking somebody's career. But beyond that I think there's a lot of good ideas that sometimes go unlucky. So "failed" feels like the most practically descriptive word here, but it's not morally descriptive or anything. Or even that it was particularly poorly executed, though I'd happily hear and argument about that from somebody who knows more about it. That feels interesting and fair.

But that was 2022 and now we're looking forward. Can a contender be built around this present roster? Is the front office just making the right noises about pursuing Correa? What's Royce Lewis and Brooks lee? Yes, obviously. Is there a rotation that can be made that rises beyond "huh. interesting?" Will it include actual left-handed starters? Am I going to do a "Goodbye, Miguel Sano" post? What's the 2023 schedule look like? Am I gonna be able to get to a game?

I know I used to start this with a forty man roster. So that is below. Maybe I'll talk about it tomorrow. Maybe I'll give up on this entirely. Please note that Ryan Jeffers is the only catcher on the forty man roster, which feels like an alarming backfire but helpfully offers something to talk about if I return to this post. Somewhere out there are catchers who will end up on the Twins forty man roster. Let's find them together!

Jorge Alcala
Jordan Balazovic
Matt Canterino
Jhoan Duran
Blayne Enlow
Sonny Gray
Brent Headrick
Ronny Henriquez
Griffin Jax
Jorge López
Kenta Maeda
Tyler Mahle
Trevor Megill
Jovani Moran
Bailey Ober
Chris Paddack
Emilio Pagán
Joe Ryan
Cole Sands
Caleb Thielbar
Louie Varland
Josh Winder
Simeon Woods Richardson

Ryan Jeffers

Luis Arraez
Kyle Farmer
Edouard Julien
Royce Lewis
Jose Miranda
Jorge Polanco

Byron Buxton
Gilberto Celestino
Mark Contreras
Kyle Garlick
Nick Gordon
Max Kepler
Alex Kirilloff
Trevor Larnach
Matt Wallner


*i can still mix metaphors like i'm young, though

______________________________

"Walleye, a lot of things are going to go wrong in your life that technically aren't your fault. Always remember that this doesn't make you any less of an idiot"

--Walleye's Dad

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
I actually liked Gary Sanchez
Dec 01st 2022
1
Not a lot of boring teams at the Winter Meetings
Dec 08th 2022
2
Christian Vazquez 3/30mm
Dec 12th 2022
3

Walleye
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15352 posts
Thu Dec-01-22 09:54 AM

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1. "I actually liked Gary Sanchez"
In response to Reply # 0


          

That doesn't mean that I think he's the solution for this catcher shortage, but he was actually pretty valuable last year. He was knocked pretty much since his prospect days as somebody who was likely to grow out of the catching position, largely due to the gap between his terrible defense and his potential middle-of-the-order bat.

But the defense didn't really improve and the middle-of-the-order bat didn't materialize and now you've got somebody who hits well enough to be a catcher but doesn't catch well enough to be a catcher and therefore needs to make some important decisions about his life and career.

But he's got two consecutive seasons of positive value based largely on his glovework. That could be a fluke or, maybe more importantly for this discussion, the Twins' front office could consider it a fluke. Sometimes it seems to me like the problem with catcher defense isn't actually evaluating it so much as the fact that teams seem to have pretty different priorities when evaluating it. The Twins have made a big noise about their views on catcher positioning and pitch-framing and it seems worth noting that Sanchez' pitch framing numbers last year were a high for his career and the first net-positive that he's put up. Again, maybe a fluke but what we've got here is a guy who:

a)provided 1.3 WAR at a position of need last season
b)seemed to genuinely enjoy his time in Minnesota
c)will probably be available on a relatively cheap one year deal
d)doesn't prohibit the acquisition of a better option at mid-season, either financially or by living in that awkward, liminal stage where you're uncomfortable punting on somebody in case they burn you later

So while I can be fine conceding that Gary Sanchez isn't gonna be the answer for the 2023 Twins catching squad, maybe asking "why not Gary Sanchez?" is a good way to discern what they are looking for.

The most common answer seems to be that they want a lefty to pair with Jeffers. But then they're also careful to clarify that they regard Jeffers as more than just a platoon bat. I agree with the latter notion and think that Jeffers is, for the moment, a strong defender and has potential to go something like .230/.320/.430 and do some nice cleanup work near the bottom of the order. That's not Joe Mauer, but it's a good thing to have. I'll add to that the team composition over the past decade has strongly indicated that, even dating back to the Terry Ryan era, right-handed power is a priority in this park. You can see it in the prospect development and external player acquisition on both sides of the ball. So short of unearthing a left-handed hitting catcher who is literally better than Jeffers, there's no reason to get hung up on pursuing a lefty bat for the position. And forcing things like that - that this position of need should also necessarily offer a specific hitting role rather than simply "be good at baseball in a position we need" - is how bad decisions are made.

So in conclusion, they're not going to bring back Gary Sanchez but there are literally lots of other worse ideas that I suspect the FO will consider first.

______________________________

"Walleye, a lot of things are going to go wrong in your life that technically aren't your fault. Always remember that this doesn't make you any less of an idiot"

--Walleye's Dad

  

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Walleye
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15352 posts
Thu Dec-08-22 10:26 PM

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2. "Not a lot of boring teams at the Winter Meetings"
In response to Reply # 0


          

Looks like they took some meetings really well though. A remote meeting with Dansby Swanson the day after floating "interest" in Xander Bogaerts is definitely an honest effort at pressuring Correa or whatever. Of course, nothing that has happened should displease Correa and his agent at all so "honest effort" is looking like our upper limit here.

They met with Christian Vazquez too, apparently. Maybe even made an offer. Both those sentences were too boring to bother with sneer quotes around "met with" and "made an offer." That's how boring that non-news was. Everybody is signing people. For really long contracts too. I don't watch football or basketball (I watch basketball once and awhile) and indoor track isn't interesting yet.

Though my team had a time trial today. A triple-jumper that I worked with during the fall PR'd by two feet. We got a new, actual horizontal jumps coach to work with our jumpers this year, after me and the other distance assistant had to step in and manage long and triple jumps last year. We sucked at it, but the kids got better and had fun. So I'm taking, like 4% credit for this kid's giant improvement because I had to stand outside in the rain twice a week this fall and pretend to know about triple jump. Admire my sacrifice. My distance runners are looking deep after a decent XC season, and they're showing a bit more early pop than usual. I get nervous when they run too fast, too early. At their age, staying healthy for full, consecutive seasons is really important developmentally. I try to remember that before I schedule a week - that there are worse answers than going too easy. Anyhow, a bunch of them PR'd from last track season. Two of them ran under 5:00 for the first time. That's not particularly fast, but it's always a nice milestone and it makes me happy when a runner cracks it for the first time.

I wrote all of that in the hopes of refreshing MLBTraderumors one more time, but it's still just Brandon Nimmo. Gonna be honest - I didn't realize that he was that good. Nice job, Brandon Nimmo. Get that 2023 New York Mets money, which is apparently pretty abundant. Nice time to be a Mets fan. Congratulations, you bunch.

______________________________

"Walleye, a lot of things are going to go wrong in your life that technically aren't your fault. Always remember that this doesn't make you any less of an idiot"

--Walleye's Dad

  

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Walleye
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15352 posts
Mon Dec-12-22 07:39 PM

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3. "Christian Vazquez 3/30mm"
In response to Reply # 2


          

He's a good defender and he has hit well enough recently. He's 32, which is "eh" but we'll see. The contract doesn't outlast the current Twins competitive window and, in the year of our lord 2022, even the Minnesota Twins can eat a ten million dollar contract for a season. I'm doubly pleased they didn't get cute with the Jeffers thing. He doesn't even have 600 career plate appearances, so it's too early to platoon him. It means they may need to give him or Vazquez a first baseman's glove once and awhile, but there are worse things. That's what I thought they should have done with Gary Sanchez, though I think that Vazquez provides more to the team.

So yeah - the simple approach to roster-building works for me. Sign good baseball players and figure out how they work together as you go. Money's not too bad and they have one more good player than they did yesterday. Easy easy.

______________________________

"Walleye, a lot of things are going to go wrong in your life that technically aren't your fault. Always remember that this doesn't make you any less of an idiot"

--Walleye's Dad

  

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