... is your problem with Delmon Young? I was all ready to piss and moan about the Twins, call Gardenhire a loser, all that, but then Jim Souhan presented his 6 things the Twins need to do to retool.
Let me be the first to tell you, it is an unrelenting pile of....
Why don't I just break this down, FJM style? (but less funny and more angry)
They must alter their team chemistry and organizational philosophies to better enable them to compete against powerhouse teams in the playoffs
Sounds like Souhan wants the manager out! So long, Gardenhire!
Here are my point-by-point recommendations on how to react in the wake of the Twins' most embarrassing playoff loss in recent history:
I can't wait! We're already off to a good start!
1. DON'T BLAME THE MANAGER
If Gardenhire has a relevant flaw, it's that he is highly emotional and intense
And he's a poor tactician. And his teams come out flat in the playoffs. And he's a little overweight. Oh, sorry, that's not relevant.
Some of the greatest managers of all time enjoyed limited postseason success. Atlanta was right to revere Bobby Cox despite his team's playoff failures, and Minnesota should regard Gardenhire similarly.
Bobby Cox's postseason record: 65-63. Gardenhire: 6-21. Also, Cox has a World Series ring and 5 NL pennants, which is 1 more World Series ring and 5 more pennants than Gardenhire has. Cox has been to the World Series almost as many times as Gardenhire has won a postseason game. So, if Souhan means "Minnesota should regard Gardenhire similarly if they only care about how many times he gets ejected from baseball games," then I totally agree,
2. ACQUIRE POWER ARMS
The teams that have beaten the Yankees in the postseason -- the 2001 Diamondbacks with Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, the 2002 Angels with their power bullpen, the 2003 Marlins with Josh Beckett, the 2004 Red Sox with Schilling and Pedro Martinez, the 2006 Tigers with Justin Verlander, etc. -- were able to strike out the Yankees' best hitters in the biggest situations.
Wait, you aren't going to base all of your strategy on beating the Yankees in one series are you? You're not about to propose some sort of ass-minded trade in order to acquire a pitcher that would probably lead to the Twins not making the postseason, in the attempt to beat the Yankees IN the postseason, are you?
Delmon Young is at his highest value, and the organization is down on Kevin Slowey. Could they offer those two plus a prospect and swing a trade for Zack Greinke?
That might not be possible, but it's the right way to think.
Delmon Young is the best right handed hitter on the team that plays in a stadium that favors right handed hitters. Kevin Slowey, when healthy, is a serviceable back of the rotation pitcher
. You could trade Delmon Young alone for Greinke... if the Royals would be willing to take on Young and his salary for one season. They certainly wouldn't tkae Young AND Slowey. They would LOVE those prospects, though. And besides, the Twins next year, and listen very closely, will be BETTER with Young and Slowey than they would without those two and with Greinke on the roster.
Young led the team in RBI (BS statistic, I know) but was the top HR hitter from the right side of the plate, and had an OPS of .826, (between Vlad Guerrerro and Carlos Quentin, btw), and is still under team control for another year or two. you, Jim Souhan, are the only person I know that thinks that Young should be traded, let alone as part of a package
for Zack Greinke.
Slowey, on the other hand, is being plagued by a very high BAbip, which is indicative of bad luck, and WILL be better next year, no matter what your gut tells you.
So in summary, Mr. Souhan, no, trading Young Slowey and a prospect is decidedly NOT the way to think.
3. GET YOUNGER AND FASTER
The impression this offseason is that the Twins need to cut payroll, which means that the team will get younger. Faster? Who cares.
Facing a Yankee team with a weak-armed catcher in Jorge Posada, the Twins found themselves with only one starter who could run, center fielder Denard Span.
Oh right, rebuilding the entire team is focused exclusively on defeating the Yankees, never mind that with your plan, the Twins would be about 14 games behind the Royals, who now have Delmon Young and Kevin Slowey.
While Orlando Hudson and J.J. Hardy were comforting because of their sure hands and experience, by the end of the year neither had produced much offensively or shown range in the field. The Twins, who won't be able to afford bringing everyone back, should get younger, cheaper and faster up the middle.
Orlando Hudson is 32 and coming off a Gold Glove season. JJ Hardy is 28 (if that's old, then I'm screwed) and hit ,300 with 4 HRs over the last month of the season. But you know, facts.
One possibility is starting Alexi Casilla at short and Luke Hughes at second, with Trevor Plouffe and Matt Tolbert waiting their turn.
/Cough cough choke
Casilla would give them speed and range and would produce more runs than Hardy. Hughes would lack range but add pop to the lineup.
So wait, you are troubled by the lack of range, but want to add Hughes who you say would lack range? And his "pop" involves 10 home runs at triple A. And the whole "runs produced" idea that you cite with Casilla? Yeah, runs are essentially produced by the hitters behind you, since they have to, you know, drive you in. The only time you would have created a run solely by yourself is if you hit a home run, which Casilla doesn't do. Casilla would need someone with a big bat behind him to create a run, like Delmon Young.
Hudson won't be back. Hardy will be only if he's willing to take a large pay cut.
This is from his 4th point, which is to be smart about free agents, and I generally agree with this. The only thing I have to say is that Hardy is arbitration eligible, so his salary is likely to be unchanged, or at the very least increase slightly. Anyways, no way he gets a pay cut.
5. BRING BACK JIM THOME
Yeah OK. You always start so good, but right now you have Luke Hughes starting at second and Delmon Young taking the Royals to the World Series.
The Twins might have to overspend to keep Jim Thome.
So so so so so.... wait a minute. Wait. Just a minute. Hold on. So.... You want to let go of JJ Hardy for nothing to get his payroll off the books even though he is an above average fielder and power from an unusual spot in the defensive outfield (AND HE BATS RIGHTY), but you advocate overpaying for Jim Thome? Jim "one of 15 lefties on the team" Thome? Jim "will have to split time with Jason Kubel" Thome? Oh right, Delmon Young is gone, so the all lefty line up can play all the time. You're right. No problems here!
6. CROSS YOUR FINGERS
.... and hope nobody listens to you.
Labels: Delmon Young, Jim Souhan, Jim Thome, Kevin Slowey, Minnesota Twins