So, the Twins community at the Bleacher Report used to do regular roundtables where a bunch of us were asked questions related to the Twins team. We never really got around to doing these this year (not a big loss) but I found my responses to an old one for this year (published by Dan W). It dates to before the start of the season and my responses are humorous in hindsight.
Does the addition of Joe Crede make the Twins substantially better or are fans setting themselves up for a disappointment?
Count me among the naysayers. At best, Crede forecasts as a light-hitting average-fielding 3rd baseman. At worst (and much more likely) this year should represent Crede’s last year as a major league caliber player at barely above replacement level value. I would put his OPS under .700 and would put him just below the median point in Zone Rating and Range Factor on defense. He’s no better than a Buscher/Harris platoon and I think he represents a downgrade from Matt Macri, who is ready for a long look in the majors. By mid-season the Twins will be embarrassed by left side of their infield. The money spent on Crede was wasted.
Should the Twins continue their pursuit of Juan Cruz, even if it means leaving Jose Mijares in AAA?
Sure, pursuing Juan Cruz actually makes sense. This would seem to doom any deal. As for Mijares, we can’t make too much of his limited action in the majors last year, and he still has options, so it makes complete sense to vet him some more at AAA.
How should the Twins honor Carl Pohlad? If you were asked to designed one, what would your arm patch look like?
The Tengu were mythological creatures who guarded the forests and mountains of Japan. They were fierce and skilled warriors and soldiers often sought out Tengu in hopes of becoming great warriors themselves. They were considered both malevolent and honorable, but few who rendezvoused with them kept their sanity. As Tengu were to warriors, Carl Pohlad was to businessmen.
His business exploits are the stuff of legend. He once purchased a public transportation company, made it profitable, used government money to buy another business (an airline) then sold the transportation company, now an empty husk of broken and failing equipment, back to the government. Some say he was playing the state of Minnesota for suckers from the beginning and that’s probably right. When it came to the Twins, it must be remembered Pohlad was perfectly willing to contract the team when it was in his best interests. He was a great businessmen but he lacked an loyalty or morals; he was all that was wrong with businessmen today. But, under his watch the team enjoyed some of its greatest successes, along with a decade of darkness.
The patch I would design for Carl Pohlad would be of a Celtic Sword, gripped by a warrior, with a dollar bill skewered on the tip.
Who will surprise us in Spring Training the way Denard Span did last year?
Danny Valencia, Steve Tolleson and Trevor Plouffe should be the prospects to watch. All three are close to the being major league ready. Luke Hughes might come into camp swinging a sweet bat, but the one guy everyone will probably miss is Matt Macri. The guy can hit and should be in top form. Age-wise he’s at the peak of his production value. Another guy to look forlornly at is Jason Pridie, who won’t be playing for the Twins out of Spring Training unless there’s some sort of terrible bus accident. When putting my money on the one player I suspect most capable of a Span-like charge, Macri is the winner.
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