Comments on: Coming to America: Twins sign Tsuyoshi Nishioka to three-year deal Baseball news, insight and analysis from Aaron Gleeman Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:14:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Alphonso Mon, 20 Dec 2010 15:07:00 +0000 @Brian

Was Jake Peavy good in 2006? Nishioka went 2 for 4 against him when he faced him. Don’t romanticize how good MLB is relative to NPB. Nishioka is a very toolsy, athletic player and he’ll do well in the US.

By: mike wants WINS Mon, 20 Dec 2010 14:36:00 +0000 cmatt, are you arguing that Casilla has not been bad? Why is my choice limited to less money? Wouldn’t Hardy plus Casilla be lower risk? If money is a big deal, I’d rather they got rid of Kubel, and kept Hardy. If money is a big deal, then I’d rather they dealt Blackburn and gave his job to random guy X and kept Hardy.

If you go to Fangraphs, and look at Casilla, he’s been awful. 2010 was the first year that his Offense or his Defense had a positive value. In 2006-2009, his offense and defense had negative values. In 2009, only 6 players made their teams worse than Casilla did, of all of the hitters in MLB. We can hope that 2010 was a sign of things to come, but we have around 1000 ABs that indicate that he’s not a legit MLB player. Obviously, that could be wrong. He could turn out to be good or even very good. But the risk, based on the statistics, is high. I certainly have no crystal ball to predict the future, but I’d say that the Twins have gone all in on guys that we either don’t know much about, or that have SO FAR shown to be bad at the MLB level.

I would have prefered keeping Hardy, but I also don’t know the payroll constraints they are under. I also don’t know what other options they are considering at this time (maybe more changes are to come). Frankly, they are flush with OF prospects, and very low on MIF prospects. I’d have rather dealt Kubel, and kept Hardy (assuming they had to cut budget someplace).

By: cmathewson Mon, 20 Dec 2010 04:42:33 +0000 an unknown player and a player that has been bad in 1000 ABs is higher than we want

If that’s bad, I wonder what you consider is good. Name one alternative who projects better for less money.

By: brian Mon, 20 Dec 2010 02:02:09 +0000 It is going to hurt watching Crain blow sliders and 95 mph fastballs past Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Welcome to the MLB.

By: mike wants wins Sun, 19 Dec 2010 19:05:47 +0000 Ismist, since this is the latest thing to happen, doesn’t it makes sense that this is what we would talk about? Does every criticism of every move have to be accompanied with a list of things Smith/Gardy have done well? Doesn’t it make sense that we’d mostly comment on this set of moves, and not others? I’m confused by your post.

Who is criticizing Nishi? Most people are saying that the risk of trusting an unknown player and a player that has been bad in 1000 ABs is higher than we want. This is NOT about Nishi in isolation, this is about trusting two players that have no MLB experience (or have been bad in their MLB time), and weakening the bench at the same time.

By: Alphonso Sun, 19 Dec 2010 15:16:07 +0000 How many people here criticizing Nishioka have seen him play in a game yet? Let’s at least wait until he gets on the field. He had over 200 hits in Japan last year and was their MVP at 26. If the dude hits his career average of .280 and steals 15 bases and plays good defense seems like a good sign for 3 mil per. And come on, it’s not like Hardy was Cal Ripken.

By: Ismist Sun, 19 Dec 2010 07:14:17 +0000 Damn. I hate it when I butcher quotes. Nabob point taken.

To follow up… I wasn’t suggesting Hardy is a free agent. I was suggesting he will be a FA in a year, at which point he will be a) a shortstop with a pulse (so the Twins can’t afford him), or B) an often injured bust (at which point the Twins wouldn’t sign him). I agree that Nisei is a long shot. However, he has more long-term potential (with the Twins), so there may be more thinking behind his signing than just “added speed”.

Also, if you re-read my post you’ll see that I am just as concerned about Nishi as others. I just get a bit defensive when a relatively minor move results in a blogosphere lambasting of Gardenhire. There are far more factors at play than Gardys need for speed.

If the Twins kept Hardy next year, what would they do he year after? I’m sure there are some smart cats here that could come up with a proper strategy, but instead we are comparing apples and oranges.

By: Nay-Bob Sun, 19 Dec 2010 01:13:08 +0000 Please. We’re not nattering naysayers of negativity. We’re nattering NABOBS of negativity.

I wasn’t really paying attention till you butchered that quote, but then I noticed you sort of butcher some other things too. Like, about Hardy:

“He was not a long-term solution. The Twins can’t afford to compete every couple of years for top-talent FAs…”

That is a total non-sequitur. Hardy wasn’t a free agent. That’s the whole point. They had an above average player for below market rates.

And comparing the Twins to the Wolves getting rid of Garnett based on some petty complaints…your point being? Isn’t that exactly what WE’RE complaining of regarding Hardy? That when you have one player who outperforms another in every significant way, you swap them because he lacks “speed” — which doesn’t correlate with either runs scored or defensive range?

I agree that you can’t judge a front office on just their bad moves without acknowledging their good ones, and Thome and Pavano were good. But that still doesn’t make the bad moves good. If us nabobs are trashing Smith on the Hardy move alone, fine. But if we’re trashing the Hardy move on its merits, the point is irrelevant.

I do agree that saying they chose Casilla over Hardy because GArdy doesn’t like Hardy is inconsistent, because GArdy doesn’t like CAsilla either — point well taken.

But you know what inconsistency bothers me a lot more? SAying they don’t like Hardy because he might get injured, then getting another player who has been injured virtually non-stop and giving him a free pass. And saying the new player’s offensive stats are probably undervalued because he was injured so much, so he’ll likely do better next year than usual — while saying the old player, who actually did very well post injury, and seems to be healthy now, will likely do worse next year because he used to be injured. Total double standard. Personally, I’m more worried that Nishioka will get injured, and more optimistic that Hardy will kick ass because he’s healthy. Who knows who’s right? Just don’t call injuries a minus with one player and a plus, in terms of predicting next year’s performance, with another. That’s transparent rationalizing to justify a move without a clear explanation, and raises eyebrows. Just as valuing “speed” over actual defensive range does.

The scariest thing in Gleeman’s post to me was that .395 BABIP of Nishi’s last year. That is clearly an outlier. And given that his BA was clearly an outlier too, it seems much more likely his burst of production was due to his high BABIP than some sudden unveiling of his true talent.

He could earn his salary of about $5 million next year (including prorated posting fee); possibly even the two years after as well. But even if he does, it’s unlikely the TWins will be better off than they would have been with Hardy.

By: ismist Sat, 18 Dec 2010 22:32:29 +0000 Wow. I simply can’t believe all of the Gardy bashing here. Unbelievable. It reminds me of all the criticism Garnett got because he “wasn’t clutch in the fourth quarter.” Well, the Wolves got rid of Garnett…

I’m not suggesting Gardy can’t be criticized for dumb decisions, but let’s take a deep breath. Suggesting he scrapped Hardy because he “didn’t like him” in favor of Casilla because he is “one of Gardy’s guys” borders on asinine. First, the rift between Gardy and Casilla is very well documented. Casilla has been demoted to the minors twice, reportedly for his poor attitude as well as performance. Secondly, what coach in ANY professional sport doesn’t want guys that fit his style? Such demands are foolish when the team stinks, but the Twins are regular contenders. I can only imagine what a Royals fan might think of our silver-spoon fed whining.

Lastly, the Twins don’t only sign “washed up veterans and scrappy middle infielders with no skills.” They (now) have one of the highest payrolls in the league, a result of huge paydays for players like Mauer, Morneau, Nathan, etc. – hardly a collection of aging veterans. Sure, they take a chance on players like Rondell White. But they also took a chance on Pavano and Thome with success. And, in just about every case, these players were signed to be bit players supporting a more impressive cast. You can’t complain about the failures without at least recognizing the successes. Otherwise, you are just a nattering naysayer of negativity.

Now, I don’t know whether letting Hardy go in favor of Nishi was a good idea. In fact, I share the same concerns others here have expressed. However, making the logic leap to pin this all on Gardy is nothing more than Gardy-conspiracy theorizing. At best, Hardy was a 2-year plug for a wide organizational gap. He was not a long-term solution. The Twins can’t afford to compete every couple of years for top-talent FAs, so they will need to take the occasional chance with a signing like Nishi. (And no, they couldn’t afford both). My personal projection (for what it’s worth)… Casilla stinks and is demoted for poor attitude by mid-season… Nishi performs as Aaron projects (meh)… and none of it matters, because the fate of the Twins’ season lies with Mauer gagillion dollar knees, Morneau’s brain, Nathan’s tender elbow, and a cast of starters that that need to stay healthy and have career years. I would mention the bullpen, but no one really knows who the heck will be relieving. Unfortunately for the Twins last year (a season in which they won the freaking division), Morneua’s brain broke along with Nathan’s elbow, the starters underperformed, and (recent) fan-darling Hardy and Hudson were often on the shelf. But, please, continue with your Ulger rants (rolls eyes).

By: cmathewson Sat, 18 Dec 2010 17:04:59 +0000 This Nishoka signing does look like a total disaster.

I’m glad everybody is so confident in this appraisal considering the lack of any kind of formula that translates Japanese success into MLB success. Might I suggest we wait ’till he steps on the field and plays a little before we pronounce this deal a “total disaster”? Even with Aaron’s pessimistic outlook, he looks on par with Orlando Hudson, while being six years younger and costing less per year than Hudson just signed for.