Weekend Update

5 Oct

Also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

 

Tomorrow, I will be posting my thoughts on what the Twins should do this offseason. So be sure to stop back for that. For today, I’m just going to post a few bullet points of goings on. I need to figure out a good plan for the SethSpeaks.net offseason. With the podcasts at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SethSpeaks, my thinking is that I will just link to those and save myself a day of writing. That said, I really would like your input into what types of things you would like to read here at SethSpeaks.net throughout the offseason. Any and all ideas are welcome. So please leave Comments or send me an e-mail at sethspeaksnet@hotmail.com, with anything you would like to read here.   

 

·         First, be sure to put your headphones on and head over the www.BlogTalkRadio.com/Andrade where I participated in Marty Andrade’s final Twins Podcast of the year. He and I discussed several topics from AJ Pierzynski to Twins offseason planning. There was a short hiccup about 20 minutes into the show where you will hear some silence, and then I found out that people could hear me, so I rambled incoherently for about a minute before Marty came back on the show and saved the day. Show length – about 75 minutes.

·         Went to the Gophers football game on Saturday morning at the Dome with my brother. The Gophers got there first Big Ten win in almost two years against Indiana. First, that Gophers defense appears to be pretty legit, holding an Indiana offense that has regularly scored more than 30 points. Secondly, Eric Decker is a tremendous Wide Receiver, and he’s got another year of eligibility left. In this game, he had 13 catches for 190 yards. I actually thought he had more catches than that. Decker also plays for the Gophers baseball team and was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in this June’s draft. The Gophers, however, seem to have about one, maybe two, running plays and when they didn’t throw to Decker, pretty much nothing happened. But, it is a much improved team from last year which is good to see.

·         Be sure to check out Roger’s Weekly Twins Minor League report over at Twinkie Town. This week, Roger did an article trying to show us if we should make much out of the statistics of players at Elizabethton.

·         Now that my Top 50 Twins prospects have been determined, I have begun a series of ‘diaries’ at Twinkie Town to determine Twins fans view on Top Prospects. I enjoy doing it because it’s fun to have my own list, but to get people to vote and come up with a consensus, a group’s list, is pretty fun too. Here is the vote for the Twins Top Prospect, and by afternoon, I will begin the vote for Prospect #2, so keep checking in to Twinkie Town to vote and comment.

·         So I ask again, now that the Brewers have been swept by the Phillies in the NL Division Series, was it worth it for the Brewers to give up four prospects (at least two of which have huge upside) for CC Sabathia? Particularly if (when!) the Crew is unable to keep him?

·         How happy am I that the Cubs have lost!? The “Loveable Losers” went down in three games! I think that’s hilarious! Why don’t I like the Cubs? Because everyone thinks that they deserve to win, and in reality, they have become the Yankees (just like the Angels have) and spend, spend, spend. Now, if they win, fine. But let’s admit that this team is just spending, and that is how they are choosing to go about it.

·         To me, I prefer teams like the Twins and Rays who go about things the right way.

·         Does anyone here care about the Minnesota Vikings? I watch their games, and I have a pretty good idea of what is going on, but it isn’t at all like it is with the Twins. If you’re interested in my thoughts on the Vikings, I’ll be happy to jot a few down and get your comments, but if no one wants that, I won’t take the time.

·         Anyone else feel really bad for Sage Rosenfels? That has to hurt!

·         If you missed it on Saturday, I posted an article on my thoughts on the Twins OF situation in 2009.

·         Check out Twin Nation, where I did a Q&A that was posted Saturday morning.

·         Anthony Slama and Ben Revere made Classification All-Star teams at Baseball America. For rookie league teams, Angel Morales and Aaron Hicks made the team.   


That’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed it and found something enjoyable. If you have any questions or comments on anything, please
e-mail me or comment here.  

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18 Responses to “Weekend Update”

  1. mike wants wins October 6, 2008 at 8:43 am #

    Yes, it was worth it for the Brewers to make the trade. They probably would not have made the playoffs w/o him, and as you and others said about the Twins a million times, all you have to do is make it, and anything can happen. They took a chance to win it, it didn’t pan out, but w/o taking that chance, they wouldn’t have enen made the playoffs. What if the Twins had traded two prospects for a real 3B and made the playoffs? Would that have been worth it? I say yes. Next year Mauer or Morneau (please no) could get hurt. Nathan could get hurt. Liriano could be the guy at th end of the year. Who knows what will happen? If the Twins had made a trade earlier this decade for a legit 3B or DH, they might have a WS ring or two. That may have made them less competitive this year, but I’d take that chance. Now, they have not much to show for this decade.

    I doubt most will agree with me, as it is easy to say “no” after they’ve been eliminated. I still say “yes” even after that.

  2. Dome Dog October 6, 2008 at 9:14 am #

    I agree with MWW to a point. But this situation I think shows just how hard it can be to make these types of decisions. When you make a trade for a guy like Sabathia, you aren’t making the trade just to get you to the playoffs. You are making that trade because you think it will win you a World Series ring. They thought Sabathia would do that for them, but it didn’t work out. It was nice to see a team other than the typical “big spenders” take a shot like that. On the other hand however, now you may have set your team back a number of years before they can have another shot. So lets say Sabathia moves on from Milwaukee this offseason and they get 2 draft picks for him. That’s great, but you’ve just traded a handful of upper echelon prospects from you system that you’ve already put a number of years of training into, and that were much closer to helping out the big league club than the 2 compensation picks that you’ll get for Sabathia. So now you don’t have nearly the help from your minor league system that you had before the trade to help fill the holes in your lineup… Like I said, its a tough call, but I like going for it once in a while as long as you evaluate your team well and know that you have a legimate shot at being a World Series Contender.

    For the offseason Seth, I think it would be interesting to compare Twins players of the past to current players today (Twins or otherwise). For instance, how does Jason Bartlett compare to a Greg Gagne? Delmon Young to a Dan Gladden? I don’t know how big of a numbers guy you are, but I just thought it would be interesting. I just thought of it because Bartlett has received a lot of love this season in Tampa Bay (and from blog commentators)and it just got me thinking about how he would compare to a Gagne or somebody else from some good Twins teams of the past.

  3. SethSpeaks October 6, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    I don’t necessarily disagree with MWW either. Sometimes I think it is good to “go for it”. I definitely think that the Brewers gave up far too much. But like you said, once you’re in the playoffs, anything can happen, so getting there is the big thing and CC was a HUGE part of that.

    What it also shows is that a pitcher can only do so much. That really helps the case that the Twins were wise to NOT sign Johan to a huge contract.

    The Brewers went for it, and they got to the playoffs. But I definitely think that they will take several steps backward over the next several years because of it.

    that’s why I personally would not give up the farm for any one player. I actually appreciate sustained success and competitiveness.

    Good idea, Dome Dog…

  4. Shawn in Binghamton October 6, 2008 at 10:17 am #

    I think for a team that had not been in the playoffs in 26 years is more likely to “go for it” than the Twins The Brewers were probably due to fall back next year anyway. They may start losing their current core with Sheets probably gone and Fielder maybe on the trade market. I wouldn’t want the Twins to have done it but i think it was worth a shot for the brewers.

  5. gobbledygookguy October 6, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    depleting prospects is one of the reasons i favor going after players you can have for more then half a season. beltre this summer would have been a 1 1/2 yr player, imo acceptable, now he would be a 1 yr player less acceptable. hardy, uggla type players would be 2-3 yr players probably means a better investment.
    need a mix and this yr seemed like we lacked veteran leadership. joe and justin don’t seem to be the leader types, maybe just to mn.(canada) nice. those kinds of guys are hard to find. be nice to find an infielder with some power that had a little fire in the belly.

  6. gobbledygookguy October 6, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    gladden didn’t really play until he was 27 but looking at 1987 at age 29 , 8 hr, 38 rbi, .249 ave, .312 obp lifetime .270 ave and .324 obp not anything great.
    young this yr at 22, 10 hr, 69 rbi, .290 ave, .336 obp. i think it’s interesting that young has a higher obp then gladden does.
    lifetime: gagne .254 ave and .302 obp
    bartlett .276 ave, .337 obp.
    you can draw your own conclusions. diff. era!

  7. Dome Dog October 6, 2008 at 10:56 am #

    That’s why I think those comparisons would be interesting! All the talk early this year was on how awful Gomez was as a leadoff hitter (which was true). But then the Twins won 2 World Series with Dan Gladden as a leadoff hitter, and without looking at the numbers, I don’t remember him being a very good (prototypical) leadoff guy. So how important is it? And how do you account for a different era with the offensive numbers? Do Gagne and Bartlett compare defensively? How about Cuddyer vs. Brunansky? Hrbek vs. Morneau? Mauer vs. Laudner (Ha! Just kidding…)

  8. mike wants wins October 6, 2008 at 11:06 am #

    They won two world series with good to great pitching, very, very good defense, and 3-5 very good to great hitters. Gladden was a nice piece, but he was no where near the central cog of those teams. Both times they won they went out and got a real DH, either before the season or during the season. The last decade, when they were a 3B or DH away (or in this last year, a 3B, SS, corner OF), they went out and got Monroe and Lamb and Everret…as compared to chili davis and, um, brain just went blank on the 87 dude….

    They didn’t slide into first base then, they didn’t over run first base and get tagged out, they were significantly more fundamentally sound. They had much better production for the whole year from SS and 2B (that is my recollection, anyway).

  9. TT October 6, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    That’s great, but you’ve just traded a handful of upper echelon prospects from you system that you’ve already put a number of years of training into, and that were much closer to helping out the big league club than the 2 compensation picks that you’ll get for Sabathia

    I am not sure that really applies here. Brantley and LaPort might be “upper echelon prospects”, but neither one is really ready to help them compete immediately. They don’t really look like potential core players that are going to be missed in five years. Its possible they won’t produce much of anything at the major league level.

    Sabathia was filling a gaping hole that would have prevented them from competing now. The Brewers challenge now is to sign him or replace him for next year. That is not going to be easy, but I don’t think the prospects they traded for him would have brought a staff ace in return during the off-season.

  10. mike wants wins October 6, 2008 at 11:40 am #

    Isn’t Laport (sp?) considered one of the 20 best prospects in baseball, or thereabouts? He is certainly much more highly regarded than any prospect the Twins got for Santana (I’m going by BA here….).

  11. SethSpeaks October 6, 2008 at 11:55 am #

    Matt Laporta is very highly regarded. My guess is BA will certainly have him in the Top 20, if not the top 10.

    Gomez wasn’t a rookie last year, but I think the year before, he was Top 20 type. Guerra was more in the 50s or 60s depending on the publication.

    And I think it’s been mentioend here several times… Dan Gladden was not a very good hitter and an even worse leadoff hitter, no matter what era he was in.

    And, I believe the player from 1987 that you’re thinking about is Don Baylor. He had one big hit in the World Series, but he certainly wasn’t the difference maker. 1987 – Two good pitchers. 1991 – Three good pitchers.

    And as for Morneau’s leadership, please listen to last Wednesday’s podcast (www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SethSpeaks) where Phil Miller discusses what he calls the Evolution of Justin Morneau. Good stuff.

  12. Dome Dog October 6, 2008 at 12:22 pm #

    I guess I’m not trying to get into an arguement over why this Twins team didn’t win a World Series compared to the ’87 or ’91 teams. I’m more interested in comparing player to player to see if it is reasonable for us to come to some type of conclusion saying either, for example – (A)We can win a World Series with Brian Buscher as our 3rd Baseman, or (B) We can’t win a World Series with Brian Buscher as our 3rd baseman.

    I know that is a bit too simplistic, but I think sometimes as fans we all get carried away with wanting an All-Star at every position, when in reality, you just need a good mix of players to be a World Series contender…

  13. mike wants wins October 6, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    Of course we can win it all with Buscher, if we have Santana, Viola and Liriano as the starting pitchers. It is the combination of pitchers and hitters that makes the difference.

    yes, Don Baylor was the guy, and yes, he did little in the WS, but he was good in the regular season and helped get them to the WS that year (a year that proves anything can happen, that Twins team was probably not nearly as good as the team in 92 or most of the teams earlier this decade – teams that didn’t win it all).

  14. mini_tb October 6, 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    Don Baylor had an 89 OPS+ as a Twin in the 1987 Regular season. He had all of 49 at bats in 20 games. I’m not saying that’s terrible or anything, but Delmon Young had an OPS+ of 100 this year.

  15. mike wants wins October 6, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    huh, and I thought Baylor was better than that. Guess my recollection is not accurate. Is OPS+ comparable year over year, or is it relative to the league that year? That’s what we call the halo effect. Everyone on that team has a more favorable performance review, as their winning it all clouds our judgement….

    As for the Gophers, why anyone would not double cover their 1 offensive threat every play is beyond me. I don’t understand how you don’t do that as a coach. Of course, he has to face another NFL caliber DB this week at IL, so i’d not hold my breath on a win this coming weekend. One site I went to said this IL CB could be a top 10 pick next year.

  16. TT October 6, 2008 at 2:16 pm #

    BA rated LaPorta as the 4th best prospect in the Southern League (AA). I doubt that puts him in the top ten overall. To keep that in perspective, he’s older than either Delmon Young or Carlos Gomez and only playing at AA. He’s older than Mulvey as well. He’s a good prospect, but not likely to be anything special in the major leagues. His upside is probably Cuddyer and his downside is Restovich.

  17. TT October 6, 2008 at 2:35 pm #

    I thought Baylor was better than that.

    Probably because he was. He was 7 for 18 in the post season, with an OBP close to .500. In 13 at bats, he scored three times and drove in three runs against the Cardinals in the World Series. That probably made more of an impression than his averages based on less than 60 plate appearances during the regular season.

  18. CP October 7, 2008 at 12:00 am #

    Seth, I was curious if you had any thoughts regarding Cuddyer being listed as an infielder on the 25-man roster, and a 3B on his player profile. Is there any way to confirm whether the Twins FO is considering a move to third?

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