TwinsCentric was formed by Twins super-bloggers Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman and John Bonnes. Together they publish at TwinsDaily.com and have authored books, e-books and magazines that provide independent and in-depth coverage of the Minnesota Twins from a fan's perspective. You can contact them at TwinsCentric@gmail.com.

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Posts about Roster moves

TwinsCentric: Preview The Orioles By The Numbers

Posted by: John Bonnes Updated: April 1, 2012 - 11:11 PM

 

I know the Twins still have five days until they get to play the Orioles, but I can’t wait. The roster is set. There are a couple more meaningless games against the Rays, because you can’t play enough meaningless games against the Rays. And then a game versus the Miracle? Really? I’ll be damned if I’m not going to look forward to Friday.

 

 
Orioles By The Numbers
 
Overall
69.5 – The over/under Vegas set for Orioles wins this year. Which means if they go 70-92, they would still exceed expectations. That’s the worst over/under in the American League.
 
103-116 – Manager Buck Showalter’s record with the Orioles.
 
2-6 – Twins record against the Orioles last year.
 
Pitching
30 – Where the Orioles whole pitching staff ranked in ERA last year, one spot behind the Twins.
 
5.39 – The collective ERA of the Orioles starting rotation, worst in the major leagues.
 
0.57 – How much worse that ERA was than the second worst team.
 
3 – Days before the season opener that Showalter will be announcing his Opening Day starting pitcher and the rest of the Orioles rotation. That’s Tuesday.
 
13 – Combined number of wins the Opening Day starting pitching candidates, Jake Arrieta and Tommy Hunter, had last year. (Both are right-handers.)
 
Offseason
$3.25M – Biggest contract the Orioles paid to a free agent from MLB this offseason. That’s not per year - that’s total.
 
$19.5M – Amount Orioles spent on a pair of Japanese starting pitchers, Wei-Yin Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada.
 
.290 – The highest batting average of an Orioles everyday player last year. It belonged to Vladimir Guerrero, who was not signed during the offseason and is considering playing in Japan.
 
Offense
14th – Where the Orioles offense ranked in runs scored last year in MLB.
 
196 – Number of times Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds struck out last season while hitting .221.
 
.806 – The highest OPS of any Oriole regular last year. It belonged to Mark Reynolds.
 
7/9 – The fraction of this year’s Orioles lineup that had an OPS of at least 750 last year.  
 
0  - Percent chance JJ Hardy will not be ready for Opening Day, according to JJ Hardy. He’s been out for a week with discomfort in his right shoulder and received a cortisone shot for it on Thursday.
 
~~~
 
All those roster moves made for a busy weekend at TwinsDaily.
 

TwinsCentric: Doumit Signing A Gamble

Posted by: John Bonnes Updated: November 19, 2011 - 12:34 AM
When TwinsCentric looked ahead to the Twins offseason this year, it’s fair to say that Ryan Doumit was prominently mentioned. Here is his writeup for the Offseason GM Handbook:
 
Ryan Doumit
Age: 30 (4/3/81) | 2011 Salary: $5.1M
2011 Stats: .300/.350/.478, 8 HR, 28 RBI
When the Pirates acquired Chris Snyder from Arizona at the 2010 July trade deadline, it signaled the end of regular playing time for Doumit. After playing in 124 games in 2010, Doumit played in less than half of the Pirates games in 2011. However, he posted an OPS over .800, and his career OPS in seven seasons is .776. He has thrown out 25% of would-be base stealers in his career. Not exactly a strong defensive catcher, the Pirates have also tried him out at first base and right field in recent years. Pittsburgh has options for 2012 and 2013 at a combined $15.5 million, a lot for a part-time player, so we expect Doumit to be on the market.
 
And then he made it into half of our offseason blueprints. First Nick Nelson:
 
5) Sign free agent catcher Ryan Doumit for two years, $9 million.
With Mauer’s status hanging in the balance, the Twins need to add depth at catcher, preferably in the form of a player who could play somewhat regularly and add offensive punch to the lineup. Doumit has spent his career as a part-time guy with the Pirates, never playing in more than 124 games, but his .271/.334/.442 career hitting line is very solid for a catcher and he’s only 30. He’s not considered a strong defensive backstop, but Drew Butera can be kept around to fill that role and Doumit can also fill in at first base and in right field.
 
Seth targeted him in his blueprint, too:
 
#5 – Free Agent Signings
Ryan Doumit – C – After making $5.1 million in 2011 in Pittsburgh, he has a $7.25 million option for 2012 and $8.25 million in 2013. He will likely be non-tendered. Although he is not a great defensive catcher, he can definitely hit which would make him a good #2 catcher, DH and PH option. I’d offer him 2 years and $6 million.
 
(As usual, I’ll just mention – you can buy that Handbook. It’s really easy. It’ll come immediately. Doumit was mentioned NINE times in it. But best of all, it’ll make the offseason more fun and a lot shorter. Just click the button below.)

Add to Cart

 
 

There are several good reasons for signing Doumit (pronounced DOUGH-mit). First, he’s not Drew Butera. Second, he’s flexible in the way that Cuddyer was flexible: he can play several non-defensively challenging positions.Also, as mentioned above, he hit last year. And finally, he’s still not Drew Butera.

 
But there are reasons he was available – and not just available, but available at 1-year and $3 million. It’s for these reasons that I’m more cautious than my fellow TwinsCentrists. And I’d like to illustrate these with a couple of hard-learned lessons:
 
Lesson 1: A catcher is only described as “flexible” when he can’t catch.
If he could catch, he would never be moved from catcher. You would never know how flexible he is. The problem with signing Doumit is that while he protects the Twins a bit if Mauer can’t catch, he won’t be a real option for any extended period of time. That is especially true for the Twins and Ron Gardenhire, who aren’t too likely to put up with his brand of defense for too long.
 
Doumit has caught over 100 games just twice in him MLB career. Those two years he threw out 19.6% of base stealers. Overall, he’s thrown out just 24.6% of basestealers.  But there is another reason why you can’t expect him to catch for any extended period of time.
 
Lesson 2: Rate stats don’t help you if you can’t stay on the field.
 
Here are excerpts from Doumit’s yearly review from rotowire.com, an invaluable subscription site for MLB fans. These are yearly evaluations as captured in that moment in time. See if you can spot a trend….
 
2004 The switch-hitting Doumit had trouble staying on the field in 2004, but if he can beat the injury bug this season he has a chance to re-assert himself as a candidate to become the Pirates catcher of the future.
 
2005 - Health has always been a huge concern for Doumit. The 25-year-old switch-hitting catcher stayed healthy enough in 2005 to play 100-plus games (126) for just the second time in seven seasons of professional ball.
 
2006 - For the sixth time in eight professional seasons, Doumit missed significant time due to injuries in 2006. A balky hamstring caused the switch-hitter to play in just 61 games for the Bucs.
 
2007 - The oft-injured Doumit missed nearly half of the 2007 season with ankle, hamstring and wrist injuries, appearing in just 83 games while batting .274 with nine homers and 32 RBI.
 
2008 - He played in only 116 games, but that number was good for the second highest mark of his 10-year professional career.
 
2009 - It's safe to say the Pirates expected more out of their top backstop in 2009, but injuries, slumps and the trading of numerous veterans combined to sour Doumit's season. Doumit broke a bone in his wrist in April and didn't return until July.
 
2010 - Concussions ruined much of Doumit's usefulness in 2010 and it remains to be seen whether he can recover from multiple bouts of head injuries.
 
Honestly, when I got to the part about the concussions, I laughed out loud. Of course he has concussions. In fact, he has a history of them. Last year, while catching on 9/23 he took some foul balls to the face mask. He didn’t start another game after that.  
 
Oh, and he was placed on the 60-day DL this last year, too, with a broken ankle.
 
Given the Twins medical history lately, I’m seriously worried about Doumit’s future. Playing for the Twins might kill him. And if he does die, the medical staff will wait at least five days before confidently placing him on the 15-day DL.
 
Lesson 3: Platoon splits can lie.
Doumit is listed as a switch-hitter, and hit career splits aren’t terrible: 798 OPS versus right-handers and 718 versus left-handers. But it’s important to look at the at-bats. Doumit has had 75% of his at-bats versus right-handers, which means he’s often been hidden against left-handers, and usually that means he’s not facing the really good left-handed pitchers.
 
The truth is that Doumit has never been able to convince the Pirates that he was anything more than a platoon hitter for most of his career.  That includes last year, when he had only 54 at-bats against southpaws. For the Twins, a platoon hitter at catcher would be fine – but Mauer also hits left-handed.
 
So there are warts, to be sure. Personally, I’d have rather seen a right-handed hitting defensive backup catcher signed. Coincidentally, Gerald Laird signed with the Tigers today for $1 million. But for for 1-year and $3 million, Doumit is a decent gamble by the Twins, and it could turn out to pay off big.
 
But make no mistake – it’s a gamble.
 
 

 
This is not the only big Twins news of the day. The Twins made some SURPRISING moves on the deadline for their 40-man roster moves, too. Check out Seths blog for the details

Twins Sign Pitcher Eric Hacker

Posted by: John Bonnes Updated: November 9, 2010 - 1:50 PM

According to a tweet by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Twins have signed pitcher Eric Hacker to a major league deal.

The key in that last sentence is the word “major,” which indicates they expect him to make the roster. The 27-year-old right-hander is probably best described by the word “journeyman.” He has less than a year of major league experience, so he isn’t a traditional free agent. He was just released by the Giants, who he signed a minor league deal with last year. He spent the year in AAA. He started hot, and even was considered to be called up with the Giants in May (over of Madison Bumgarner, who ended up looking like a 21-year-old ace in the playoffs this year). Hacker looks like he cooled considerably as the season went on, finishing with a 4.51 ERA and 129K in 165.2 IP. He doesn’t look like he has outstanding control, as he walked 62.

I’m guessing you’re looking at the Twins new long reliever, in the same way Clay Condrey was the Twins long reliever last year, except, you know, hopefully healthier.

I categorize this as puzzling. It’s not clear why a player of Hacker’s caliber needed a major league deal. It’s equally not clear why he would be more valuable in that role than Jeff Manship, Glen Perkins, or Anthony Swarzak. And for a team that was so protective of 40-man roster moves chooses to spend one on a minor league journeyman pitcher who is going to throw long relief. Oh, well. At least we’ll have some fun with his last name.

Late note: Seth pointed out to me that Hacker has options, so even though it is a guaranteed contract, it likely means its a 2-way deal, meaning the amount of money he makes would vary if he's in the majors or minors. As such, it's not a rue thing that Hacker makes the 25-man roster, and he might be signed as a AAA starter that could possibly find his way into a long relief or swingman role on the major league team. The move makes a little more sense then - it adds some depth, but doesn't commit the Twins too much. If so, it indicates that Twins thought they had some extra room on their 40 man roster that they didn't want to fill with internal options, which isn't a great sign. 

      

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