Twins Notes

11 Nov

also available at http://www.SethSpeaks.net

Hey ya’ll, a couple of long days in Phoenix, so I don’t have much time, but here is a place that you all can post Twins comments and thoughts, especially in the event that something happens at a time in which I am not around a computer, which will again be most of tomorrow.

Mauer Wins Gold… Again…

Looks like Joe Mauer has become a reputation pick already in this category. Don’t get me wrong, he is no Torii Hunter. That is, he still is a good catcher (unlike Hunter the “gold-glove-winning CF” of the Angels… seriously, how is Torii Hunter still a Gold Glove winner while Franklin Gutierrez isn’t? Anyway.) Joe Mauer is a very good defensive catcher, no doubt, and good for him. He’s gained the respect of the AL Managers who vote for this award. But good for him and good for the Twins. Maybe I’m under-reacting. I just can’t get terribly excited about the gold glove award. Who in the American League is better? Here are the likely candidates: Gerald Laird, AJ Pierzynski, Victor Martinez, Kelly Shoppach, Miguel Olivo, Jason Varitek, Jorge Posada, Jose Molina, Dioner Navarro, Gregg Zaun, Matt Weiters, Mike Napoli, Jeff Mathis, Ivan Rodriguez, Kurt Suzuki. OK, maybe Mauer is the winner by default. Those of you that look at catcher’s defense, let me know who else is better?

Twins Release Two More

The Twins released catcher Jeff Christy and OF Ozzie Lewis. Neither move comes as a big surprise, but the Christy release makes me wrong and Thrylos right. I can admit that! J I think that the Twins value top defensive catchers, and Christy certainly was that. But he made Drew Butera look like a silver slugger candidate with the bat, and much of that, to be fair, was a complete lack of playing time. With the likelihood that Wilson Ramos and Drew Butera will be at Rochester and Danny Lehmann, Allan De San Miguel, and Jair Fernandez could be in New Britain, it is good to make Christy a free agent with the opportunity to find another team. Again, as I have been spending some time working on the 2010 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook, here is more information on Jeff Christy. And you will see that it isn’t a tremendous loss to the organization.

Jeff Christy – C – (4/13/84)

Acquired: 6th round pick in 2006 from U. of Nebraska

2009 Team(s): New Britain Rockcats, Rochester Red Wings

2009 Stats: .181/.252/.196, 2-2B, 0 HR, 11 RBI

The Twins place a tremendous amount of value on pitching and on catchers that can help pitchers become better. Jeff Christy is another example of just that. In 2009, Christy split time as the backup catcher at New Britain [AA] and Rochester [AAA]. His OPS in 29 games at AA was .459, and in 21 AAA games, it was just .432. As a backup catcher, he played about once a week. To his credit, he takes good at bats and is willing to move runners along. Defensively, he is a guy that pitchers really like throwing to. He calls a good game, gives a good target and frames the ball well. He has an average arm, but he is very accurate. Christy is a smart guy, and realizes that he is a backup catcher. That can be a big adjustment.

Ozzie Lewis was the Twins 21st round pick in 2007 out of Fresno State. He was the Appalachian League MVP that year. In 2008, he moved up to Beloit and was hurt most of the season. He was healthy in 2009, but with the Twins outfield situation as it is, he will not get opportunities with the Twins, so again, this is a fair move.    

PODCAST TONIGHT

Be sure to check out Fanatic Jack’s Twins Podcast tonight at 9:00 central time. He was joined by co-host Topper Anton, and later in the show, The Twins Geek.

THE TRANSACTION NOT MADE

I talked the other day about the minor league transactions involving Justin Huber, Juan Morillo and Armando Gabino. I noted that the decision on Morillo had to be made this early because had they waited another day, Morillo could have become a free agent and been lost to other organizations. What I failed to note was a move that was NOT made on that day. You may have noticed that David Winfree was not added to the 40 man roster. In other words, Winfree was allowed to become a six year minor league free agent. It will be interesting to see if Winfree is signed by another organization or if he chooses to come back to the Twins.  

What do you think? Send me an e-mail, or leave your Comments here.

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17 Responses to “Twins Notes”

  1. MC November 11, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    Hey there, I haven’t seen much chatter on this, but if D Young bombs and they didn’t sign anyone else to come in… do we see Revere up playing LF while trying to plug the 2 hole (again, if they don’t get a #2 hitter)… I think this would be my #1 fall back option.

  2. JK November 11, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    Revere = Gomez. He doesn’t have the power upside and isn’t quite the defender, but he is a much better hitter. ZIPS projects him to have an 85+ OPS this year.

  3. Andy November 11, 2009 at 11:54 pm #

    JK, how do you say Revere is Gomez but then make the exact opposite comment. Your comment was spot on, he isn’t the same type of defender but is a much better hitter. I think Revere compares more with Span if you ask me. On the Revere fallback option, I think it’s pretty unlikely we see him next year, if we do we’re in trouble. I’d say 2011 is more realistic for him in my opinion.

  4. roger November 12, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    Seth, The Twins announced that they signed Lugo, Yancarlos Ortiz and Henry Arias. The article also stated that Jim Rantz had signed half of his free agents. I have to think there are more than six minor league free agents, which would include Winfree, Brock Peterson and Matt Moses. I suspect there are probably six they are trying to sign and would think they want to sign Winfree.

    • sam November 12, 2009 at 10:11 am #

      i think winfree and moses and peterson are better off with some other team. they are not twins players .twins like smaller guys .

    • sam November 12, 2009 at 10:15 am #

      what article??

  5. Ben November 12, 2009 at 9:29 am #

    Which one of those catchers was better defensively than Mauer? Laird. And it’s not particularly close.

  6. IA twins fan November 12, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    Andy, sorry for being unclear. Revere is as valuable to the Twins in 2010 as Gomez would have been, he just derives that value in a different way. Maybe a better way of saying it would have been excellent fielder + terrible hitter = above average fielder + below average hitter.

    I hope that Pridie or Martin or a free agent will be able to adequately fill the 4th outfield role so that Revere can spend another year plus in the minors developing. However, if push came to shove, I believe that Revere can help the Twins win just as many games this year as Gomez could have.

  7. Kyle November 12, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophers/69488502.html?page=3&c=y

    Found the info about Lugo, Ortiz and Arias hiding in Sid’s column.

  8. TT November 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    Here is Gomez numbers at AA at age 20 .281/.350/.423.

    That is a year younger than Revere was last year playing A ball with these results .311/.372/.369.

    I don’t think it is clear from that comparison that Revere is a better hitter than Gomez. Gomez clearly had more power.

    I like Revere, but I think Gomez had/has a much higher upside. We need to see how Revere does against better pitching. And there seem to be a lot of murmurings about his outfield skills still being raw. If Revere develops into Denard Span offensive player, that is about what we can expect. But he is probably a left fielder with good range and a weak arm.

    In terms of next year – Tosoni is far more likely to be contributing in the big leagues than Revere. and I would not be surprised if the Twins picked up some minor league free agents to compete with Pridie for the fourth/fifth outfielder spot.

    Trying to read any specific meaning in Sid’s column is perilous. Sid may not even be clear what it means. It just sounds good. But if you look at the Rochester roster, I think Winfree and Buscher are the only players who are six-year free agents. Moses would be the sixth. If Machado is still in the system he would be the seventh.

  9. KB November 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    Laird should without a doubt have won. .997 fielding percentage and threw out a ridiculous 41.6% of attempted base stealers, 15% more than Joe.

  10. Seth November 12, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    Just a couple of quick comments while I’ve got a quick break…

    1.) Gerald Laird was the guy I think could have or maybe should havce won the gold glove, and that’s not a knock on Mauer.

    2.) Ben Revere is likely not going to be in the equation for 2010. I don’t really think it’s fair to say he’s better or worse than Gomez. They are very different (offense versus defense), but I definitely don’t believe in or follow Zips or other predictors for guys that are in the minors, especially a guy who played in A ball last year. Also, if you’re only going to get a 85 OPS+, then bring someone else up… And definitely, Tosoni would get a good shot before they would even consider Revere at this point.

  11. IA twins fan November 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    TT, Gomez has a career park adjusted line of 272/338/386. Revere has a career park adjusted line of 342/400/420. Granted Revere hasn’t played above A+ so his numbers need to be discounted some, but he has a much better career batting line. Zips projects Revere to be -5 batting runs and Gomez as -15 batting runs. Call Gomez 10 runs better on defense and it’s a wash for 2010.

    I agree with you that Gomez has a much higher ceiling due to his power potential. Not convinced he reaches that potential in 2010. I agree that Tosoni or others are more likely to see the bullseye than Revere. MC asked how Revere would likely perform if Delmon flopped and he was pressed into service. I think he would be as valuable as Gomez would have been.

  12. TT November 13, 2009 at 1:04 am #

    “threw out a ridiculous 41.6% of attempted base stealers”

    You can only throw out guys when they try to steal. And runners steal on the pitcher, not the catcher. The idea that you can prove someone is a better defensive catcher than Mauer using those statistics is what is ridiculous. Catchers’ primary contribution on defense is not athletic, its calling the game and handling the pitchers. That is reflected in results, but its impossible to sort it out of all the other factors.

    “park adjusted” – park adjustments are notoriously unreliable when applied to individual players. They take meaningful statistics and make them meaningless. The FSL and Fort Myers in particular, is notoriously hard on power hitters. But Revere isn’t a power hitter, so applying park adjustments is going to give him more credit than he deserves.

  13. TT November 13, 2009 at 1:07 am #

    Joe C at the strib is reporting that the Twins want to re-sign Winfree.

    • sam November 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm #

      winfree needs to move on and play for a team that needs a RH bat . at 24 years old he has time on his side . the twins must see no need for him . the twins must no something we don’t.

  14. sam November 13, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    who is joe c at the strib?

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